Sirius Black never wanted kids. Too much responsibility, too much to risk in the middle of a war. He wasn’t even married, for Merlin’s sake. He couldn’t picture himself as a father. Godfather, however- now that seemed easy enough. He figured he’d buy James and Lily’s kid a toy every now and then, give it a hug on Christmas, pat its head a few times a year. Nothing to make a big deal out of. It wasn’t his kid, right? Just another way of James trying to make Sirius part of his family, and he loved the honor of it, really- he just didn’t see it as a very important role. Sirius knew it was just in case something terrible happened to both James and Lily, but really, what were the odds? It would just be his godson, just another crying kid, like Andromeda’s or something like that.
This is what he told himself until he laid eyes on Harry James Potter.
His first thought was that he was beautiful. As lovely as a newborn could be, delicate and tiny in every aspect, a tuft of black hair on his round, pink head. Sirius didn’t even want to breathe out of fear of somehow hurting Harry. When the task of picking him up was offered he nearly refused. Could he do it? What if something happened? He looked so fragile and soft, he didn’t want to risk anything. But this was his godson and he’d have to hold him eventually. He was slow to envelope the baby in his arms, whom was awake but silent. He stood there with held breath, his muscles tight with nervousness, yet he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the sight. Sirius had never seen something so captivating, and it wasn’t until Harry looked up at him, blinking slowly, that he released a small gasp. In the baby’s short life, his eyes were already as green as Lily’s and as equally amazing. A warm feeling came over him and Sirius knew exactly what it was, knew then and there that it would be permanent for as long as he lived. Sirius smiled at the baby and brought it closer to his chest, wrapping his arms around it tighter. “This- this is my godson,” Sirius breathed, chuckling slightly. He’d never been one to make ridiculous cooing voices but before he knew it he was lowering his face to say quietly, “I’m your godfather, Harry.” He found himself smiling like he never had before. Who cared if the newborn didn’t understand what he was saying? Harry would grow up to know this because Sirius would never leave his side. He’d always be there to protect him, keep him out of harm’s way, because after seeing such an innocent and vulnerable sight, how couldn’t he?
And as the Aurors were dragging him to the dungeons of the Ministry of Magic, where the booking process for Azkaban began, a single thought broke through everything raging in his head: their dead bodies, Peter’s smirk as he sliced off a finger, the screaming muggles, the fact that this was entirely his fault- all of the grief and guilt and anger and hysteria disappeared in a moment of clarity. He managed to rip an arm away from an Auror, nearly breaking it in the process, to reach out and grip the Minister of Magic’s robes. Sirius didn’t yell out that he was being framed for the mass murder. Instead, with a shaking voice deep with madness and inexplicable desperation, he said, “Tell my godson I love him. Tell Harry Potter I love him. Please, please, please-” Sirius needed them to tell him, needed it more than anything else in that moment. He needed this because he’d already cracked to the point of no return and he wanted one thing to hold on to in the hell he knew he was going to. When the Minister flat out refused, ordering the Aurors to hurry up and take him straight to Azkaban since there’d be no trial, Sirius let out a noise of absolute devastation, which then became a hysteric, twisted laugh that became louder the more unhinged he became. Gone was his sanity, his freedom, his friends, his godson. He’d lost everything he had- and Harry had lost him.
"I love you little guy," Sirius had whispered, his words laced with honesty and deep caring, cradling the baby closer to his chest. His eyes roamed to capture every inch of his little Harry, his Prongslet, his godson. "I promise I always will."
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