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Fic: Just Like Your Father

October 14th, 2006 (10:52 pm)

Title: Just Like Your Father
Author: Starwanderer
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Dark, AU

Summary: This fic starts off after Harry knocks Sirius down in the Shrieking Shack, but the events that follow are slightly different…

Challenge: Written for the Immeritus AU-What if Sirius…? Challenge.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and his world do not belong to me.

“Are you going to kill me, Harry?”

Harry hesitated. He looked down at the wild form of Black-the man who had murdered his parents without a second thought, the man who had hunted down Peter, the man who had laughed after it all. Anger like Harry had never known before erupted inside of him. “What? Are you taunting me?” he asked boldly.

 Black said nothing. He merely stared at Harry, his breath still ragged after the painful collision, returning the piercing gaze.

Harry could feel his blood boil; his heart pumped fiery rage through every vein of his body. He could feel anger and hurt from the tips of his toes to the throbbing roots of every strand of hair on his head. How can he look so calm after all he’s done. How dare he just sit there and not answer back! Harry wanted Black to say something-anything. He dared Black to taunt him. He wanted to scream back at the filfthy murderer, to make him hear his mother’s dying screams over and over again-he wanted to kill

“My parents trusted you and you didn’t even care about what you did to them! Y-you betrayed them!”

“They would have died anyway, Harry,” replied Black.

Harry’s heart flipped at these simple words; his wand pierced through the thinning material of Black’s dingy robes. Eyes bright and brimming with tears, he pointed his wand straight at Black’s own heart with such force that he could feel the echo of Black’s heartbeat vibrate from the tip of his wand to his own trembling hands. “Is that all you’ve got to say? Why don’t you speak-say something!” he demanded.

Black winced in pain, moving to get up, but the door burst open before he could answer. It was Professor Lupin.

“Always there to get me out of a fix, aren’t you Moony?” Black asked, finally breaking his gaze away from Harry.

Everyone else in turn stared at the newcomer. The silence was so loud that it pounded in Harry’s ears, but he didn’t dare break contact with his traitorous godfather. Lupin stood there, face ancient like the dusty moon, considering Black for a split second. Then his eyes deftly scanned the scene before him. First over to Ron cradling his broken leg with Hermione by his side, then back to Black entangled on the floor, then to Harry…

“Harry, it’s alright, I’ll handle things from here,” said Lupin gently.

“He killed my parents!” yelled Harry .

“I know you’re angry-and you have every right to be!” said Lupin. “Yet if you’ll listen, I think we all may have gotten Sirius Black wrong.”

“Got him all wrong?” Harry laughed bitterly. “He just- he killed all those people…he handed my family over to Voldemort. He betrayed them- he’s nothing but a murderous coward!”

“We’ll find out for sure. Now’s not a time to do anything rash before we get all the facts,” said Lupin, with more urgency in his tone. “Just please, trust me,” he continued, looking pointedly at Harry’s wand. It was still jabbing Black’s chest. Harry finally looked up at Lupin. His breath came in short, painful gulps of air. Reluctantly, he nodded and lowered his wand, but he still looked unbelieving towards Black.

“Where’s Peter?” Lupin asked Black.

Black pointed over at Ron. “Hiding over there like the dirty rat that he is-with the boy,” he said, grinning evilly. Lupin spotted Scabbers, but then looked questioningly at Black, as if he were a puzzle he was trying to solve. “That means…you switched. He was the Secret Keeper?” Black nodded.

Harry and Hermione looked on in utter confusion. Ron’s jaw dropped to the floor. “Y-You’re both mad! There’s no Peter here! Mad…right, Harry? Hermione?”

Harry didn’t hear Ron. He continued staring in disbelief at the two adults. “Peter is dead! And he killed him!” he finally said, pointing viciously at Black. “He was the Secret Keeper!”

“I believe Peter is that very rat that Ron is holding,” said Lupin patiently. “I saw him on your map.”

“But everyone knows that Peter is-“

“The map doesn’t lie, Harry,” said Lupin. “I should know. I helped make it with Black, Peter, and your father. Peter was on that map tonight. He’s still alive.”

“Yet not for long,” said Black, a mad hunger burning in his eyes. Scabbers started twitching frantically in Ron’s grip. “Oi, stop it you stupid rat!” cried Ron, tightening his grip on Scabbers. “Bloody hell! He bit me again!”

Scabbers broke loose and tried to scamper away, but with a ravenous growl Black transformed and lunged towards him. He caught Scabber’s tail with his sharp fangs, his mouth frothing with the eagerness to kill his prey. Yet in a split second the vermin had transformed into his human form.

Chaos ensued. Peter grabbed Ron’s wand from the floor and sent Padfoot flying across the room. Padfoot yelped in pain as he hit the wall and landed with full impact on the broken bed. It caved in and came crashing down on him in a cloud of dust. Then Lupin disarmed Peter, who seconds later was body slammed to the ground once again by Black in his human form. A cloud of dust engulfed the two as they blindly fought for Ron’s wand. Peter grasped the wand triumphantly, but with one flick of his wand Lupin ensnared him in heavy ropes.

Harry looked on helplessly. He had no idea what was going on-all he knew was that he only had Lupin to trust. Professor Lupin had always been there for Harry -he had even saved his life on their very first meeting on the Hogwarts Express. Lupin had spent long hours teaching Harry how to construe a Patronus. For all Harry knew, Lupin had been his dad’s loyal friend to the very end. Now either Black or Pettigrew was traitor…

“I want to know what’s going on!” Harry demanded frustratingly, taking a few steps forward. “Who really was Secret Keeper?” He looked at Lupin, hoping he could explain everything and bring order like he always did.

“I had to change at the last minute. And now I’m going to kill the piece of vermin for betraying me!” growled Black.

“P-please, Sirius! Don’t d-do it!” cried Peter, slowly backing away towards a boarded window. “L-let me explain! Please.” Black, deadened eyes suddenly glowing with the thirst for revenge, dove at him in response.

“Wait, Sirius! NO!” cried Lupin. He grabbed hold of Black’s arm but let go soon after he saw Peter running towards the door.

Harry stood in front of the door blocking the way. He knew Peter certainly wasn’t acting innocent, but he didn’t care whether he was dangerously meddling in a possible murderer’s escape. All he knew was that he wouldn’t let anyone, not even Voldemort, dare get in his way until he knew who had betrayed his parents. “Expelliarmus!” he cried, disarming Peter. Harry handled his weapon, adrenaline pumping in his body, but he was unsure of what to do next. Then he saw Lupin and Black running towards him.

Peter squeaked and leapt for his wand. “I-I’ll kill the boy! I’ll really do-”

Lupin disarmed Peter again and leapt in front of Harry to shield him, his wand pointed directly between Peter’s eyes. “Go, Harry! Take you friends and get out of here!” he said, panting heavily. “And tell Dumbledore to-”

Before Lupin could finish, Peter transformed into Wormtail, grabbed Ron’s wand with his vermin fangs, and scurried under Lupin’s legs. He transformed again in front of Harry, who was still blocking the doorway. “Avada Kedavra!”

It seemed to happen in slow motion, yet not even the swiftest movement could have prevented any of it. Lupin, who had rushed next to Peter in an instant, threw himself in front of Harry. The curse met his body in mid-air, the jet of light casting an eerie green glow over his face. Harry could see his professor’s eyes open wide in shock…or maybe it was denial of what had overcome, as his mouth was still taut with purpose. Then time sped forward as Lupin dropped heavily to the ground. His glossy eyes looked up into Harry’s, as if making sure he was alright one last time, before his head slumped to the side.

A horrible knot of guilt and disbelief churned in Harry’s stomach. It rose and clogged his throat, making him feel like he was going to retch all over himself. It took a while for him to register Hermione’s sobs from the other side of the room. Yet finally he summoned enough courage to look at her. She had her faced buried in Ron’s shoulder, who was staring at the floor as though his life depended on it. His ashen-face was extremely grave. Harry slowly looked away in pain, only to jump backwards at another sight in front of him. Another body lay dead on the floor with a pool of blood trailing from the head. It was Peter.

Harry looked up, and once again his eyes locked with Black’s haunting grey eyes. Harry tried to process everything that had happened. Lupin is good but Peter killed Lupin…so Black killed Peter. Does that mean…was Lupin…is Black...innocent? A tiny spark of hope lighted Harry’s heart, but died just as quickly as it came. Somehow, with Lupin lying cold and motionless on the floor, nothing else seemed to matter at the moment.

“He died…because of me-and I didn’t-I couldn’t help him,” said Harry in an inaudible whisper, his eyes returning to the floor. “I was right there…” Black said nothing. He simply watched Harry.

Yet Harry felt the intensity of Black’s gaze and his mind snapped back into the present place and time. He still had to know the truth. “So…it’s true-Peter was the spy?

Black finally broke his silence: “Stupid Peter-wanted all the glory for himself.”

“But-what do you mean?” Harry asked, instinctively grasping his wand.

Next thing Harry knew he was tied up in thick ropes with little room to breathe. His bondage was so heavy that he toppled to the ground, wand still in hand. He shot a glance over at his friends, who were in the same dilemma as he. They though were gagged as well. “What-what are you doing? Let us go!” Harry yelled.

“I can’t do that, Harry. You’re too daring for your own good,” said Black.

“But wait- Peter was the spy!” Harry said in anger and mounting bewilderment.

“Who said there was only one spy?” said Black, his hoarse, cold laughter shaking the beaten walls. It was that same manic laughter Harry had heard in his feverish dreams.

“YOU TRAITOR!” Harry cried, wriggling desperately to break free of his bondage. “MY DAD WOULD HAVE DIED FOR YOU!”

“Your father would have died no matter what. He was on the wrong side.”

“Yeah? What about Peter? Why’d you kill your friend for killing Professor Lupin?” Harry continued in a reckless fury. “AZKABAN FINALLY MAKE YOU

“Damn if I ever grew soft-for anyone or anything!!” said Black. “I’ve lived in hell my whole life-let alone Azkaban. Peter tried to convince the Dark Lord that I was unfaithful because he was scared for his own skin, which is why the Dark Lord wanted him to be the Secret Keeper in the first place-but enough of this! I’ve waited too damn long for the respect and power that I deserve…”

“You're pathetic! You know that?”

“Harry, you do realize the situation you’re in, don’t you?” said Black, disturbingly regaining his cold demeanor.

Harry wanted to shout another retort, but nothing came out. Hermione whimpered in the corner where she was tied up, silently begging Harry not to push his limits. Ron was trying to get up with both a broken leg and his heavy bondage. Harry’s stomach jolted. They were all in danger, and Harry was in a feeble position to do anything. His mind raced as he prayed for some miraculous plan that would save them.

“Ah, now you’re finally coming to reason,” said Black, a ghost of a grin shadowing his face. “If you give in, then you and your friends will be safe. The Dark Lord is a great ally.”

Harry’s head pounded with millions of thoughts. He saw his father run to his fate and heard his mother’s dying screams. He felt the warmth of her arms as she clung tightly to him, knowing she would soon have to leave him. He remembered Lupin looking at him with those concerned eyes when the boggart got the best of him, and then the look in Lupin’s dead eyes as they met Harry’s. He remembered the cold laughter that he had heard as a baby. He remembered how Black had laughed…

“You can go back to Voldemort alone. I’ll wait for the both of you.”

“So brave, aren’t we? Yet you’re running out of people to die for you,” said Black.

“No one else is going to die for me today,” returned Harry, getting a better hold of his wand through the thick tangle of rope.

“So you won’t accept my offer?” asked Black, raising Ron’s wand with his claw-like hands.

“Over my dead body!” cried Harry, though his wand arm trembled.

“Alright then.” said Black coolly. “You’re just like your father, Harry.”