Previously on Potter-less
Leah stared at the enormous dog in disbelief. She knew it was him. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind. Even from the distance she was at, she could see he was giving her the “I’m sorry” look a dog gave when it was being scolded. He tentatively made a step towards her and she shook her head ever so slightly and he stopped immediately.
She strode off in a huff into her building and closed the door to her apartment. Was he out of his bloody mind?! She pursed her lips and thought about what to do. She guessed he wanted to talk, but now that she was under magical surveillance, that was going to prove tricky. She noticed her rubbish bin was pretty full. She found a paper sack and put some palatable food into it with a note:
“Under ministry surveillance, if you need to talk approach the fifth floor with care around midnight.”
She then went and took her rubbish out to the community bin, “accidentally” dropping the bag on the ground and striding away without any regard to the dog. She returned to her flat and busied herself with preparations for the Minister’s meetings the next day and magicking a small meal for herself.
Leah could hear the comings and goings of her neighbors and as things slowed down for the evening, she wondered how he was going to sneak into the building. At around midnight, she heard a whimper and scratching at her door. She opened the door and the great black dog tentatively padded into the apartment, his tail slightly between his legs. She shut and locked her door and cast a couple of spells to prevent any curious ears. When she finished, she gasped at the man who stood before her.
He’d aged considerably in the last twelve years, and clearly didn’t eat well. Her anger at him was abated. “Christ what did they do to you in there?”
He replied, “You know what the dementors are like.”
“Yeah, but after all this time?”
“They don’t affect me as severely when I’m in my animagus form.”
She thought a moment, and nodded, “I guess that makes sense. But why in the hell are you here?”
“I think I can finally prove my innocence.”
“How the bloody hell are you going to do that?!”
He took out the copy of The Daily Prophet she’d just thrown away, “Look on the youngest boy’s shoulder.” She studied the Weasley family carefully and then noticed it. “Crickey… is that…?”
“Wormtail.” He confirmed.
“But… I don’t understand, why did you go after him?”
“I convinced James that Peter would be the better secret keeper.”
Her eyes widened, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I couldn’t. And you were so ill, Peter didn’t want to stop by. At any rate, when I went to check in on him and couldn’t find him, I realized my mistake in trusting that filthy rat.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
“Make my way north and commit the murder I was imprisoned for.”
“What?! What about us? Your son?!?!?”
“Your s…. You never got my letter.”
He looked at her confused, “What letter? I thought you cut me off when you heard what I did.”
“I wrote a coded letter, like we used to on holidays, the ministry was down my back thinking I supported You Know Who, like you apparently did, so I wrote a letter denouncing our relationship and how you will never know your son.”
“Coded Sirius. If you’d ever gotten it, you would’ve realized it was all bunk… except you having a son. That’s why I was sick… I was pregnant.”
He sat down in shock, “I… never knew… I mean I would’ve escaped sooner…”
“And have the three of us on the run.” She went to a bookshelf and pulled out photo album and gave it to Sirius.
“Al’s at a friend’s house right now, but here you go.”
“Alphard Angus… your uncle, my father.”
“And keeping with my family tradition.” He scowled.
She shrugged, “I kinda liked it, plus I thought it pissed your mother off.”
He cracked a smile at that and turned the pages of the photo album for a bit. “So tell me about him.”
“Al? Well, he’s pretty smart, seems to be pretty talented with a wand too. He’s uh, in Ravenclaw.”
He blinked as though slightly disappointed, “At least he’s not in Slytherin.” He looked at the most recent photo in the album. “What about you?”
“I’ve been surviving, my father’s estate supported us for a while, when that started to run out I took a job as a barkeep in a muggle tavern, and now I’m the personal assistant to the Muggle Prime Minister.”
“Wow, that sounds important. And not in the wizarding world at all.”
“Well like I said.” She said curtly, “People assumed we were both in league with You Know Who.”
He scowled again, “That’s absurd. Well, all the more reason to get rid of Pettigrew.”
“Sirius, I beg you, bring him in alive; clear your name. Or let me help you.”
“No! I’ve apparently caused you enough grief in your life.” He was pacing, “I need to protect Harry, if Voldemort rises up again, Peter is in the perfect place to strike and I couldn’t forgive myself if anything happened to him.”
He made a move towards the door. “I’ve taken up too much of your time.”
“No, stay. At least rest for the night, get a good meal in for your journey. And if you need anything, I do have an owl.”
“With the ministry watching you, I should limit our contact. Like I said, I’ve caused you enough grief in your life.”
She nodded. She made him a more substantial meal which he ate voraciously and then was content to curl up on the couch. When she woke up the next morning, she found he’d already snuck out leaving a note.
“See you soon. Padfoot.”