A/N: Thanks to my beta Kelleypen! And everyone else I made read it. This was written for a competition over at Harrypotter.com a while ago. I wrote it in my Philosophy class all in one go. See, philosophy is good for something.
Sirius Black stood by his window looking up at the clear, starry night. A shooting star passed through his field of vision. Sirius was not a man who believed that wishes came true. Tonight, however, he would try anything to get through the coming days. He closed his eyes and wished. He looked out at the garden before him. The full moon was just starting to rise, giving everything an eerie glow. Owls hooted in the distance adding to the haunting feeling. The shadows of the trees elongated in the light gave off a menacing presence. Sirius knew the trees were nothing to what was really out there. He wondered how the world could hold such evil, where as he stood, the world was silent, peaceful and innocent. As the moon rose higher in the night sky his thoughts turned to more pressing matters, he checked his watch went to his huge black motorbike and flew to his best friend's house.
Fifty miles away in a large forest a man's body distorted in anguish. His back arched, and his muscles contorted in agony. Hair grew out of places it shouldn't, and body parts forced themselves to change. Remus Lupin screamed in pain as the full moon rose higher in the sky. Remus wanted to die; the pain was too much, and he wanted it to end. He hated the full moon; it brought back his biggest fear, that someone would stumble across him, and he would bite them. He would hate himself forever if he ever had to put another human being through this torture. He hoped if he did bite anyone he would then kill them; being dead would be better than this. He felt himself slipping away and the animal instincts taking over. He fought to keep his mind, but it was becoming harder and harder. Finally it was over, and a werewolf ran off into the forest looking for it's kill with not an inkling his best friends were about to make a fatal mistake.
Sirius knocked on the door to his best friend's house. The door opened to reveal a young woman with dazzling green eyes.
"Sirius, since when do you knock," Lily said standing aside to let him in.
"I thought flying my bike in to the house would wake up Harry," he said shrugging.
"That's thoughtful of you, but Harry's not even asleep yet."
"Oh good, I wanted to see him before you put him down." Sirius and Lily walked into the living room and up the stairs to the bathroom. They went in and Sirius saw his best friend covered in water and bubbles.
"Nice look Prongs," Sirius said.
"Hi, Sirius. Look Harry, it's Padfoot. Can you say Padfoot? Paaadfoot." James said pointing to Harry's godfather. Harry broke out in a big smile and started making gurgling noises as he clapped his hands together.
"He's been trying to get Harry to say things like Quidditch and snitch all day," Lily explained.
"How's my favorite godson?" Sirius asked as he bent down next to James, tickling Harry who let out a cry of delight.
"Dumbledore should be here in a few minutes," Lily said. James looked at Sirius.
"Do you want to put him to bed?" Sirius nodded and James and Lily left to go downstairs.
Sirius picked Harry up and wrapped him warmly in a towel. Sirius looked into those brilliant green eyes, making faces to earn squeals from Harry. It was so easy when you're a baby, no worries, no shadow of a threat hanging in the air. Sirius tried keep his spirits up as he put Harry to bed and told him a story, but it was so difficult when he was here to discuss the possible death of the tiny baby in his arms.
Sirius came back downstairs and found himself in the kitchen with James, Lily and Dumbledore. They talked into the night, arguing about who should be the Potter's Secret Keeper.
"I again want to offer myself as secret keeper," Dumbledore was saying.
"No we can't ask you to do that," James said.
"I will do it; I am not afraid of Voldemort," Sirius said defiantly.
"Sirius he'll kill you," Lily asked tears in her eyes.
"As long as you are safe, it doesn't matter," Sirius said.
"I have never been so sure. I wouldn't have offered if I didn't realize the consequences Lils."
Sirius went home that night, a doubt already growing in his mind. He knew Voldemort would know he was the obvious choice as a secret keeper. Voldemort knew the Potter's were going into hiding; he would be sure to come after their best friend first. Voldemort would know he was the Secret Keeper even before they performed the spell. He had to think of another way. He dwelled on these thoughts all day, and before he knew it he found himself again in Lily and James house.
"Why not; you were so sure yesterday," James said after Sirius told him his thoughts.
"It's the perfect diversion tactic," Sirius started to explain. "Voldemort would never suspect you to use Wormtail. There is a traitor in the Order, and we don't know who it is, and Wormtail is the perfect diversion."
"What about Moony?"
"James, there is a reason no one trusts werewolves," Lily said quietly.
"LILY!" James exclaimed.
"I'm just thinking about things clearly. We can't be sure Remus is not the traitor; and Remus would be sure we used Sirius, not Peter."
"She's right James. I hated even thinking that one of our friends could deceive us like that. I know Remus isn't, but he's not here," James sighed he knew his wife and best friend were right; his thoughts went back to his son sleeping peacefully upstairs. He had to keep him safe. Slowly James nodded. Lily put a hand on James; it not only warmed his cold hand but his heart as well. Her simple gesture gave him the strength to say his next words.
"Will you get Peter here now?"
Half an hour later, Sirius came back and waited by the fireplace for Peter to emerge. He hadn't passed his apparition test yet, and something about this thought made Sirius uncomfortable. Peter came out of the fireplace before Sirius could dwell on his thoughts. Peter stood up, brushing the dust off himself, before he followed Sirius into the living room.
"We want you to be our secret keeper Peter," Lily said a smile on her face.
"You … really," Peter stuttered trying to hide his happiness.
"Will you do it?" James asked.
"Of course I will," Peter said a little too enthusiastically for Sirius's liking. Sirius nodded, ignoring the feeling of dread creeping into his stomach.
"I'll go and let you do the charm, Lily," Sirius said getting up. He walked over to Peter and said to him. "I'm trusting you with the lives of the three people I care most about in the world, the people who I have come to love like a family; they mean more to me than the world. Do not let them down. Come to my house in tomorrow. I want to see you," Sirius said. He left going back to his house. When he arrived he looked out to the horizon.
"I'm sorry Remus for doubting you, but it has to be this way to protect them," he said out loud to no one.
Staying at home, not being able to help, or do anything was killing Sirius. He had his orders to stay put for now. The Death Eaters had to think Sirius was hiding. So Sirius stayed away for the sake of his best friend. The day was going by so slowly, Sirius felt as though he was counting down for something to happen, and he didn't know to what. Wormtail was supposed to be there soon. Sirius wasn't too worried, but as the hours slowly dragged on, he hoped Peter would get to his house soon and alleviate his worries. At 9pm he still wasn't there; Sirius decided something was wrong. He went to where Peter was supposed to be hiding, but he wasn't there. His heart started beating rapidly, where was he? Sirius's next instinct was to go to Lily and James's house.
Sirius could see the house in ruins even from up high on his motorbike. He held his breath as he descended. Fear flooded him. A massive figure greeted him morbidly.
"Hagrid … what happened," he asked, though knowing the answer. Hagrid turned tears running from his black eyes. "Give me Harry, I will take him, I'm his Godfather," Sirius said tears now forming in his eyes.
"Dumbledore wants me to bring Harry to him," Hagrid said. Sirius nodded knowing Hagrid would never go against Dumbledore's orders, no matter who it was.
"Take my bike," Sirius said knowing Hagrid had no other way of getting around. "I won't need it." Hagrid put a hand on Sirius shoulder, and Sirius fell to his knees. As Hagrid took off into the night sky with Sirius's godson cradled in his arm, he felt despair taking over every part of his body. Everything he loved was gone; no one would believe he wasn't the secret keeper. His perfect plan had backfired on him, and his world had come crashing down on him. He had nothing left now. He would go and find the traitorous rat and bring justice to him.
Sirius didn't sleep until he tracked Peter down. He was running on pure hatred for the man. He wouldn't sleep until he found Wormtail. It was a defining moment when he did.
"Wormtail, you traitor."
"You don't understand You-Know-Who would have killed me," Wormtail squeaked.
"Remus would have killed you if I hadn't gotten here first."
"You don't really want to kill me—"
"I found you. Now you're not going anywhere until you tell me why you betrayed them, Wormtail. Then you can go to Azkaban. I thought I was making the right decision. No one would have thought of you."
"You betrayed our friends," Wormtail shouted.
"You little piece of filth. I'm James best friend. Do you think they will believe what you shout to a street full of muggles?"
"Yes, because you are going to kill me and a street full of muggles and all that will be left is my finger." There was an explosion and Wormtail vanished. The grief was too much. There was nothing Sirius could do; his life was over.
"I'm sorry Remus," he said to the sky before Ministry of Magic officials swooped down on him and arrested him.
A man lay on the ground naked, dirty, and covered in cuts. As he awoke, he realized how much his body hurt this morning. He muscles screamed in agony as he got up. He just wanted to lie there forever, not moving. Remus started to walk back to where he had put his wand and a spare pair of clothes. As he walked he felt in more pain than usual. He was wondering what had happened since he had gone. He didn't know that two of the only few people who looked through the werewolf and saw the lonely boy behind him were dead. He didn't know his only friend who was still alive would be tainted as a traitor for 13 years. He didn't know when he went back his life would have fallen apart around him or that while everyone else was celebrating he would be mourning his only friends. Or that he would be the only one of a famous foursome left. He didn't know that emotional pain was worse than physical pain. But he was about to find out.