Dear Mr. Black,
I am writing to you to let you know a few things that may seem of an importance to you. Before I go into the details, let me say congratulations on your newfound freedom, and may Peter Pettigrew rot in eternal hell. He was a constant thorn in my side, and frankly, I'm glad he's dead!
As I was saying at the start of this letter, I do have a great deal of information that I'm very sure you would be interested in hearing. I would very much like to share this with you, but I cannot, at this time, say what I have to say. I need your trust in this matter, that you won't run off and give this information over to the Ministry. Although I'm sure you have no real love for them, I do not feel confident enough about you... yet.
So.. how do we work with this situation? I would be greatly appreciative if you could offer any suggestions that would help us both out, so we could grow to trust one another enough to meet in private. At this time, I can only offer my word, as a Malfoy, which I'm sure means little to you, that I am being sincere and that you may greatly benefit in my information. Please send a reply with my owl, as I am eagerly awaiting your response.
* * * *
Are you mad? Do you honestly believe I could trust one single, disgusting hair on your oversized head? What exactly are you playing at, anyways? What information could an evil prick like yourself have to benefit me? Offer me a job as a Death Eater? No thanks. I've been a pseudo Death Eater for 12 years and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, and a life of pure hell in Azkaban.
Tell your master I said "No thank you" for me and kindly leave my life alone. I have so many other things to worry about right now, I simply cannot deal with this.
* * * *
I'm impressed! Maybe you aren't the weak-willed fool Severus Snape always claimed you to be. I waited one full week for the Ministry to come knocking on my office door, asking me why I sent you the letter, but that never occurred. You cannot begin to understand how pleased this makes me.
Let me just get down to this matter at hand. The information I would so very much love to share with you most likely has a great deal with what your current "worries" are. This is all I can say at this time. I hope this at least sparks your interest. Again, my owl will wait for your reply, please be prompt this time.
* * * *
Ok, you've sparked my interest, a bit. You've also scared the hell out of me. Are you saying you have information on my godson? On Harry Potter? If you don't write me back immediately I will indeed run straight to the Ministry with these letters and have them raid every fucking Death Eater house in this country!
* * * *
You're a quick learner, again, I'm impressed! This information I am hinting about may possibly be about your godson, but I cannot say in this letter, for obvious reasons. I will say, however, that this is not some ridiculous ploy to get you to fall into a trap or any other strange thought that is racing through your mind at this moment.
There is one thing I would like to share with you. As you may know, Pettigrew was turned over to the Ministry by persons unknown. I just happen to know who did this, and why. I would be very happy to share this information with you, as it may be a shock to you, but it might help you to better understand why I would be writing to you in the first place. I am hoping this information I will give you, depending on your response, will garner me a bit of trust between us.
* * * *
My godson means more to me than anything else in this world. I need you to know, is this some kind of sick joke? I can't take not knowing where he is, how he is! I'm desperate here. Send me the information about who turned Pettigrew into the Ministry and I will think about this meeting you'd like to set up. Write back immediately!
* * * *
So it seems I struck a chord with my previous letter. Very well, you might want to sit down for this, it's a bit shocking!
Peter Pettigrew was taken to the Ministry of Magic by... me. Lord Voldemort asked me to kindly escort Mr. Pettigrew to the Ministry because it would in fact, clear your name. Why would Lord Voldemort want to turn in a loyal Death Eater and clear your name, you ask? It's simple. Harry Potter asked him to.
* * * *
Are you telling me Voldemort has Harry? Did he hurt Harry? Oh dear lord, please don't tell me he gave himself for my freedom. I will agree to this meeting, I need to know! I am handing all these letters, sealed, to a close friend of mine, and if I do not return from this meeting, the letters are to be opened along with a letter of my own, explaining who I am meeting and my fears for writing it. I name the place. You name the time.
Meet me at Anchor Tap, it's a muggle pub in London, tomorrow. Send your owl back with the time, and I'll be there.
* * * *
I will meet you at the muggle bar at 8:00 p.m. sharp. You will not be disappointed.
* * * *
Sirius shifted his gaze around the pub slowly. He leaned back into the bar and wiped his hand over his forehead, trying to remove the sweat that kept building up there. He tapped his fingers against his wand, hidden in his pocket and glanced again and again to the clock on the wall across from him.
The bar was almost deserted, much to his dismay. He had hoped a larger crowd would be a deterrent for any surprise attacks, but he also didn't underestimate the nature of a Malfoy, who wouldn't care how many muggles he had to kill before he got to what he wanted. The clock read 7:59, and Sirius' heart began to beat faster, feeling his chest thump against his shirt. He gripped his wand and prepared for anything.
Lucius Malfoy casually walked through the door leading to the bar room of the tavern. His nose was crinkled up in disgust as he viewed his surroundings.
His eyes locked onto Sirius, who was leaning on the large bar in front of him, staring him down. His hand was so obviously gripping his wand in his jacket pocket and he stifled a snort, opting for a more mature stance in his first meeting with the animagus. "Ah, Mr. Black. How nice to finally meet you." He said, politely holding out his hand.
Sirius hesitated for a moment, then reluctantly shook it. "Enough with the pleasantries, Malfoy. Let's sit down." Sirius replied.
As they sat at a small table in the back of the bar, a waitress approached them. "What's your poison, Malfoy?" Sirius asked.
He shrugged. "Nothing in this place, but I suppose a nice bottle of brandy couldn't hurt."
Sirius nodded then turned to the waitress. "A bottle of your best brandy, and two glasses, please." She nodded, walking off.
Lucius stared at the animagus curiously as he fidgeted around, waiting for the brandy. He certainly looked a lot healthier than he had in the papers. His hair was short, cropped nicely around his face, thick and dark. His deep blue eyes had a spark to them he took as "Gryffindor courage". Not a bad looking man, rugged and handsome, as he would imagine what an cowboy may look like.
Sirius caught the stare and glared back at him. Luciusí wicked smirk caught him by surprise and he raised an eyebrow.
The waitress was back suddenly, setting down a bottle and two glasses. Lucius insisted on paying, he had brought muggle money for just this occasion, and paid the woman promptly, before shooing her off.
As Lucius poured the brandy into their glasses, Sirius broke the silence. "Ok, Malfoy, tell me everything."
Lucius looked up and smiled. "Very well," he began, "First of all, I will tell you that your godson is safe. He is very healthy and being taken care of very well. No harm will come to him anymore."
Sirius sighed heavily in relief. Then he looked up. "Anymore? What do you mean?" he asked.
"This is why I needed to talk to you. Let me start from the beginning, Black." He said, and Sirius nodded.
"It seems that Harry Potter was hiding a little secret from everyone, except maybe Albus Dumbledore. He has been living with that muggle family since he was one year old, and, well, they didn't care for him that well."
Again, Sirius nodded. He knew Harry hated the Dursleys. "I was planning on him living with me once I gained my freedom, but he disappeared."
Lucius smiled. "He mentioned that once. Anyways, these muggles, disgusting animals that they are, have been beating the child since he was nine years old. They mentally and physically damaged this boy so badly, he wanted to just simply... die."
Sirius' mouth dropped open, his fingers clutching his glass, knuckles white. "Seriously?" he asked.
He continued then, having thrown the bait out. "They finally tore his spirit away this past summer, after his uncle got very nasty with him. He wrote Voldemort a letter asking him to come pick him up in London, and then he stole all his uncle's money and took a taxi to The Leaky Cauldron, awaiting his death. When I got there, he was just sitting by the road, head down in his chest, grossly underweight, dazed. I almost felt pity for him."
Sirius' eyes grew red with hate and anger. "The Dursley's are going to die." was all he could say. That thought ran through his head over and over, nothing else registered.
"I'm well aware of that, Black. That's part of the reason I asked you here." He replied.
Sirius cocked his head. "As much as I'd love to hear what you want to say, I'd like to hear more about Harry right now. Where is he? Can I see him?"
Lucius held up his hand to quiet the animagus. "I believe it would be possible to see him, Black, if we can come to some sort of agreement, but please, allow me to finish my story first." He shrugged and listened. "It seems Harry had asked Albus Dumbledore if he could stay anywhere else besides the Dursley's, not out rightly saying they abused him, but saying they scared him greatly and he was terribly afraid to return there. Dumbledore never asked him why, just said it was safer there than any other place in the world for him."
Sirius sat back, shocked.
"He needs you Sirius." Lucius continued. "He's a strong boy, but he's disturbed, insane. He has nightmares almost every night, wakes up screaming, calling out for you. He refuses help with them."
His heart sank even further than it had already. "Tell me what you want from me, Malfoy. I want to see Harry." Sirius said.
"I need your trust, Black. My Lord lost a Death Eater because of you, he wants repayment. He needs your help with the boy. He's not going to turn him into a monster, he has no plans for Harry at all, as a matter of fact. He wants you. He wants to make a deal with you. You work for him, he'll let you see Harry whenever you want."
Sirius' eyes narrowed. "He wants me to be a Death Eater, I knew it."
Lucius wave his hand a bit. "He wants your help with Harry, for now. He's trying to stop the nightmares that haunt him so badly. My Lord will ask you to join us. He respects you, and believes you two can work this out." He ran his fingers over his hair.
Sirius sat dazed, deep in thought. "Voldemort is the reason all of this has happened."
Lucius smirked. "Than you see why he needs your help. Harry is turning into him as we speak, Black." he said, sipping his brandy casually as he let the animagus brood.
Sirius sat up. "Ok, I'll help. I have to talk this over with Remus though, but I know he cares about Harry as much as I do."
"Ah, the werewolf. He would be a fine addition as well." Lucius replied.
"A fine addition? You mean as a Death Eater? He would never.."
He stopped Sirius again. "To help Harry, but... " he paused. "you might want to put aside your good-guy images for a few days, Black. I'm going to offer you a shot at the Dursleys. You can take part in their demise if you agree to help my Lord with your godson."
Sirius nodded robotically. "As I said, I'll need to discuss this with Lupin, but count me in. Anything for Harry. I owe him that much."
Lucius smiled. "Very good. I will be in touch in a few days. We'll have the Dursley's within the week. I promise you your safety, Black. This is your choice. If you and the wolf agree, you will not be harmed unless you provoke it first."
Sirius stood up. "Good evening, then." He said and apparated away.
"Good evening, indeed." Lucius said with a laugh.
Remus Lupin paced the room. "How do you even know he's telling the truth, Sirius? For all we know, Harry isn't even there!"
He shook his head and stood up from the couch in their living room. "I don't know, I just believe him. I have no choice either way. I'm going, and you can't stop me."
Remus walked over to his best friend and rested his hands on his shoulders. "Then I'm going with you." he said, looking into his' eyes.
"No, Remus. I can't let you go. It could very well be dangerous. I can't risk loosing you too." he replied.
Remus stood firm. "I'm going with you."
Sirius sighed and embraced him, letting the tears he held for so long, slide down his cheeks. "I can't believe Harry would do this. Why didn't he tell us?"
Remus rubbed his back as he walked him over to the couch. "He probably didn't want to worry you, Siri, he's always been so much like his father. Don't think about it right now. Let's just wait for the go ahead and see what we can do to help him."
He looked up into Remus' amber eyes. "Are you sure you want to do this, Remy? What if... *sigh* There's something I left out. Lucius mentioned Voldemort wanting me to become.. you know.. a Death Eater. I don't know what his offer is yet, but I'm sure it's blackmail over Harry. After my life of Azkaban and all the years in hiding, hell, even now no one can walk by me without screaming... it just doesn't seem like that bad of an idea. You're my best friend. I wouldn't want to put you through this. You're too good."
Remus nodded and rested his chin on his head. "Look at us, Siri. We're both outcasts here. Everyone is afraid of me, as well. You are the only person who isn't afraid of me. I could never let you go alone. I care too much to let anything happen to you. I care about Harry as well, and I know I can't talk you out of this."
The animagus sighed. "It could be a trap, I just want you to understand that."
Remus nodded, and patted his back. "It doesn't really matter. Does it?"
Sirius shook his head. "No."
* * * * *
The festivities are about to begin. We need an answer tonight, or you may miss on that 'shot' I was willing to give you. Send back your answer as soon as you read this.
* * * * *
* * * * *
I can't tell you how happy that makes us. Harry will be so excited to see you. We'll have the floo network opened up from your home immediately. Both of you floo over as soon as you get this. Bring your wands and a few changes of clothing, this plans on being a long and very exciting week. Just say "Riddle House, main hall."