Chapter 1: Chapter One
Lovesong of the Buzzard By BitchKing
The Year 1982
Sirius Orion Black stares out at the grim grey waters from the open bars of his cell, basking in the reprieve from the Dementors. It is February now, spring will soon come to the prison, and Sirius can only hope it will bring even the slightest warmth to the dark place. Three months have passed, creeping by slowly in unbearable pain and screams, and he has long since given up on the idea that Dumbledore will come to rescue him. A small whimper from the darkest corner of his cell pulls the gaunt man from the bars, and he crosses his small cell to the only thing keeping him mostly sane.
His best friend's son. Lily's son. His Son. This poor toddler of only eighteen months, his godson to the rest of the world's knowledge, but in truth the boy is his by blood too. James had been his mate, for all that the man tried to deny his creature's blood-call. He loved Lily, even more than he could bring himself to love Sirius in the end, but Harry was the product of the only night James allowed himself to give in. For all that Lily often hated him for trying to steal her husband's heart, she could not deny the two of them when they asked her if she'd wish to be the surrogate carrier of their child, unable to get pregnant herself do to something her horrible sister had done to her. It was a rough pregnancy, filled with many scares, but when Harry came out one month and two weeks early it was the happiest moment of their lives.
Now Harry is all he has left, and he's trapped in the cell with Sirius. It is not a happy thing having his child with him in this thrice accursed place. The Dementors cant touch it, for all that they wish they could. Sirius shifts into his animagus form and pads over to the child, bundled tight in layers upon layers of prison robes. The Aurors working at the prison have tried many times to get Harry to a safe place, but everyone has always laughed them off. You have to seriously piss someone off to be forced to play guard and escort in Azkaban, so it really is no surprise that they are ignored and written off as being as insane as the people they guard. For all their words, even they have given up, but they do what they can to keep Harry as safe and comfortable as possible in the prison.
The cell they share is the same as every other cell. It has one bed, a concrete slab chained to the wall with a thin grimy cotton filled pad as a mattress, a stained pillow, and a single thin ragged blanket, and two sets of prison robes. It is what every prisoner has rights too. Harry's corner is the one farthest from any bars or inmates, hidden in shadows at all times, and it has a basket-crib crafted from the long thin shavings of wood that the Aurors painstakingly pulled from one of their old boats. It's padded on the inside on all sides from a cut up mattress and pillow, and the baby is bundled up in the adult sized robes and the blanket. It is the best they could do, as the magic of the prison prevents them from giving anything more to the prisoners than the standard fare. Sirius and Harry, despite sharing a cell, are noted by magic as two separate prisoners. When he grows too big for the makeshift crib he will be given his own cell, the empty one directly near Sirius's, and he dreads that day.
Sirius curls up next to the child.
It's times like this when Sirius wonders if life growing up as Dumbledore's naive weapon would have been the better choice.
Time passed in a sluggish crawl of bad nightmares, desperate screaming inmates, and the eerie howling of the wind adding to the chill of the always cold and dark prison.
Harry's second birthday is much like every other day in the prison. The Dementors feed off them like an all you can eat buffet for the majority of the day, but when night falls and the Dementors glide off to guard the outskirts of the lake so no one can get in, like they do every three days, and the Aurors give the prisoners small bars of chocolate with their only meal, a strange slimy bowl of white tasteless mush they get every three days to at least give the illusion they are attempting to keep them alive. Unlike everyone else in the prison, Sirius included, Harry doesn't eat all the chocolate at once. He eats a small nibble from one corner and hides the remaining chocolate in his basket.
By now, everyone is aware of Harry's presence in the prison, and his presence seems to be calming to all in a sickening sort of way. Only Sirius calls him Harry, and he very rarely does that, using it less and less and practically allowing it to fade away into non-existence. Most the time he calls the child Prongslet. The Death Eater's all seem to have taken to calling him little darkling, and Sirius thinks this has to do with the fact that he is the reason of the dark lord's fall, despite what the newspapers say about Neville Longbottom, but it could also be because Harry seems not to be as affected by the Dementors anymore, his child mind easily adapting to the environment in ways no one else could. The Aurors call Harry by pet names like sweetheart and darling, and Sirius knows this is because they don't know how to apologize for the fact that none of them knows how to prevent him from living in such a dark environment. The inmates and Aurors all share one name for him though, because while it started as a joke about Sirius it's the only one they could all agree on. It isn't really even a name. They call him Red, because in the rare moments the sun manages to pierce the clouds his black hair shines like blood, and his avada kedavra green eyes have rings around the iris in bright scarlet. Sometimes Sirius worries the child has been affected badly by the killing curse to the head at fifteen months.
The prisoners all chipped in for a present. It isn't much, just a quilt sewed from a small patch of each of their robes, but the child seems to love it more than anything. The Aurors, being the only ones able to actually buy things, all pitched in a small part of their paychecks for the chocolates for the prisoners in place of a cake, and their present came in the form of a hand made beautiful dream catcher which was promptly hung in Harry's new cell above his bed. The basket that he'd previously been using as a bed had broken a few days earlier while the boy was having a violent nightmare, but the padding was fixed back into a whole pillow and mattress and added to his cell. They had tried to give him new robes and bed stuff, but it had not worked because Azkaban's magic sensed he already owned some.
Harry moves out of Sirius's cell the very next morning, leaving only a small "window" of bars above each of their beds for them to see each other from.
Bellatrix Lestrange is very fond of the child responsible for her master's death, but she is hardly the only one. He is alarmingly thin, and terribly small, but it has some advantages. The boy has the ability to leave his cell whenever he wants, and he makes sure to visit everyone, even those who have been downright cruel and vicious to him. In fact, the only one he doesn't visit is a stupid mangy werewolf a few cells over from hers, which she seriously doesn't blame him for because she wouldn't willingly visit a man who tried to rape her either.
And what fun that day had been. Watching the tiny tot lay the werewolf out on the floor as if it was the easiest thing in the world was the funniest thing she'd ever seen. Of course it helped that the werewolf had not expected it, but Bellatrix would love to meet the person who expects a two year old to suddenly cave in the front of their chest to squeeze their heart. She had been taken forcibly a long time ago, by her own father, so watching the boy scold and threaten his own would be rapist was what made her finally start liking him.
It doesn't help that he treats her, and everyone else, with love and kindness, sharing the chocolates the Aurors often sneak him with everyone, even if it means going without for a few weeks himself. He's selfless to a fault, something she blames her cousin for entirely, but she knows if he were not here they'd have all gone insane long ago.
She braids a few chunks of the boy's long messy hair as he listens eagerly to her calm explanations on magic. He's an attentive and fast learning student, already in control of his wild magic despite his young age. Just what she always wanted of a son. When the Aurors come to take him away for the next three days, Bellatrix lets her hand fall to her stomach. She's miscarried two weeks after they locked her up here, and she isn't certain if she'll ever be able to get her body healthy enough to ever have another one. Like many of the female inmates, Harry is the only child she has.
Halloween causes some issues in the prison, when Harry accidentally slips while climbing to get to some of the upper level cells and falls. He doesn't die, but he breaks his left hip in a way that will force him to limp for the rest of his life. The Aurors heal him as best as they can, but it isn't enough. The inmates label the day a day of bad luck and decide to make sure to keep him safe as long as he is there.
Pretty soon though, Harry is right back to climbing like he always has, not letting his crooked leg prevent him from visiting his friends.
The year ends without any more issues.
Just more screams, more bad memories, and more pain.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Lovesong of the Buzzard
The Year 1985
Bartemius Crouch Jr. left today. It wasn't obvious if you weren't looking, Sirius probably would have believed the ruse in another life where he didn't have his darling son with him, but when they walked past their cells, Crouch Sr. practically dragging him, Barty tried to point out Harry to his father. It didn't work, but both Harry and Sirius are grateful for his attempts nonetheless.
There is a light tapping on his bars and Sirius looks up to grin at his mischievous son. He waves the child in, and he watches as the tiny little boy slips through the crossed magical bars like a cat, as if the magic surrounding the cells has no affect on him. In all honesty, it probably doesn't. Harry is a magical prodigy, more powerful than Sirius could have ever hoped for. Between Bellatrix and the other death eaters teaching him dark magic, Sirius the Aurors and any other light witches and wizards teaching light magic, and the rest of the inmates teaching him neutral magic and their own special brands of magic he shouldn't be able to pick up but does, Harry is getting a finer education at only four, nearly five, than any seventh year student at Hogwarts. All he does is wandless, and as soon as he masters a spell he begins silent casting as well. Fenrir, a vicious werewolf two floors up and four cells to his left, the one who bit Sirius's best friend a long time ago, thinks he'll become a spell creator or wand weaver when he grows up because of just how in tune with his magic he is, and no one can really disagree with that.
Sirius expects his son will become a Dark Lord, because his magic wraps around them all like a warm blanket or the caress of a lover, leaving all of them ready to serve him without question. He isn't the only one who feels it either. Rabastan Lestrange had been the first to point it out, and many others followed soon after, but in the end most of them came to the conclusion on their own. He should be worried, he should be against the teachings of the others, but considering the light side has left him to rot in a cell, and he knows the Dark Lord would bust all his followers out without a second thought if he were still able, so he thinks maybe he might follow the man when he comes back after all. He's already been branded a traitor, might as well become one. Perhaps his parents are laughing and rolling around in their graves because eighteen months in Azkaban finally convinced him of what they were always trying to shove in his face. He's a dark wizard, but that doesn't mean he wont punch Voldemort for killing Lily and James, or that we won't rip Peter into about seven thousand pieces and then deliver him on the ministry doorstep with a signed fucking confession of his sins.
Sirius pulls out of his thoughts and refocuses on his sons animated details about Bellatrix's most recent lesson. She has been teaching him spells his parents didn't start trying to teach him until he was twelve, but then again no one started their dark education before five years old anyways and he started at two, and Harry picks everything up so fast. The entire cell next to him has been turned into a storage room for his son's books, which the Aurors bring every time one is requested, long since giving up on the endeavor to stop Harry Potter's dark arts training. They spoil the child, but it is hard not to.
"You know, I didn't start learning the melting Curse until I was almost ten." Sirius says to his child so that he knows he's listening.
Harry's eerie red rimmed emerald eyes widen in wonder. "Really?" he gasps. At Sirius's nod the four year old grins and tugs and his unruly dirty waist length hair. "Vol says he learned when he was eleven, but he didn't really know about magic before then."
Vol, short for both Marvolo, which is apparently his first name according to Harry, and Voldemort, which is what everyone else knows him by. The name of the voice in his child's head. The Dementors were the ones to tell Sirius the truth about Vol, and wasn't that a surprise because learning the great horrible creatures can speak was terrifying, even if they did not use words or speak in the same way he does. It matters little in the end. What matters is that his sweet innocent son is a human-horcrux. His scar holds a fraction of the dark lord's soul, and through some magic he managed to split his soul evenly instead of in half over and over again, leaving Harry with a sixth of the dark lord's soul inside his head. This is why he knows that Voldemort is not dead, and it is what keeps the Death Eaters sane. It help's keep Sirius sane too, because it isn't actually a happy thought for any of them. The Death Eaters know this means their lord is probably floating around in the abyss waiting for one of them to resurrect him or find him, and Sirius just knows Vol is teaching Harry through dreams and other things because Harry's nightmares leave him waking up half the time unable to speak anything but parseltongue. It keeps them sane, but it doesn't prevent them from loosing themselves when the Dementors come to feed. A six hour break to sleep, eat, and teach in every three days doesn't lessen the horrors of having Dementors around constantly.
Sirius shakes out of his inner thoughts. "Well Pup, the Melting Curse is pretty high level, so today I'll teach you the Blending Spell."
"The Blending Spell?" Harry giggles.
"Yeah, it's for making smoothies. You stick everything you're gonna blend into a cup, or just leave it in the open if you want, and then you move your wand in an s shape while saying Lichefiere." Sirius uses a stick to show the motions. He gives Harry an encouraging look.
The articulate four year old doesn't tremble over his words like Sirius would have at his age. He gets it the fourth try. "Lichefiere!" he says, pointing his wand at a ball of grey moss he pulled off the walls, and the moss is suddenly shredded up into liquid on the floor.
"Very good!" Sirius praises, popping a kiss on top of his son's head. Before he can think of another spell to teach the child he suddenly feels the chill of the Dementors returning to the cells. Harry gives him a sad look and then slips through the bars and back into his own cell like a gymnast or spy through a laser grid, albeit one who limps and doesn't put much pressure on one leg. Sirius has enough time to see the opening mouth of the Dementor, and then his world dissolves into nothing but bad memories and images of his best friend and mate dead on the floor of Godric's Hallow.
Harry's fifth birthday isn't on one of the three day breaks this year, so it's spent trapped in nightmares. The child only really has two bad memories for the Dementors to show him, each time more detailed than the last. Harry can tell anyone exactly how his parents died by now, remembering every last detail now since his birth. He can easily describe the scent of the grey moss against his cheek as that werewolf attempted to rape him, before his magic allowed him the ability to flip the beast to the ground and threaten to eat his heart. He's grown used to those bad memories.
But that doesn't mean the Dementors can't affect him.
Vol has many bad memories, and very few good ones. Harry suffers through a mix of nightmares that the Dementors come up with on their own, and the bad memories of Vol's life. But at least he has the other boy living in his head, because all the others have slowly been loosing their minds, and Harry can still tell the difference between nightmares and reality.
Reality is warmer, darker, and he has more people to talk to. The nightmares take up every other aspect of his life.
It's probably seriously messed up that he finds the nightmares soothing, but they are all he knows.
I know, short chapter. The next chapter has a significant time jump because describing his young life is getting boring to me.