Hadrian Potter had an unfortunate childhood. It didn’t begin that way; he was born to Lily and James Potter on 2nd January 1977. Admittedly it was in the middle of a war, but the fighting wasn’t truly brutal until 1980.
His younger brother, Charlus Potter, did not have a similarly unfortunate childhood. He was born 31st July 1980, and loved and praised and gifted everything he desired.
The single dark stain on Charlus’ life was the prophecy made when he was born; a prophecy that sent his family into hiding, a close friend their secret keeper.
On the 31st October 1981, Lily and James weren’t there to see Peter Pettigrew’s betrayal. They were at a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix. They didn’t know what was coming.
Sirius Black was the first to see the ruined safe house in Godric’s Hollow that Hallowe’en. He appeared outside with a faint pop, having felt the wards when they fell. He raced inside and up the stairs immediately, already knowing that his friends were out.
He found two children; a bawling baby, and a silent toddler. Empty black robes lay on the ground, a pale wand beside them.
He moved to comfort his silent godson, muggle first aid training kicking in from his muggle studies. Harry clung to the front of his godfather’s dark robes, face hidden among the fabric.
Suddenly, a second loud crack filled the air, and the Potters raced into the room, quickly moving to their crying baby.
Sirius’ mind whirred. Where could Wormtail be? He wanted to find him, to get answers for what surely couldn’t be a betrayal. He must have been tortured, or imperius-d, or...
None of those were possible. The Fidelius Charm would see that as a violation of its terms. Which meant that Pettigrew had betrayed his friends.
And it was Sirius’ fault.
Sirius disappeared a second later, James turning to see where his friend had gone. He didn’t see Hadrian hidden in his robes.
Sirius reappeared on a street in muggle London, the few pedestrians looking slightly shocked at him. Pettigrew was stood only 10 metres away, clutching shopping bags as he fumbled with his keys to open his front door. Upon hearing the pop of apparition, the small man turned, his shopping bag tumbling to the ground.
“Sirius! What’s up?” the rat squeaked, his hands trembling.
“Lily and James were attacked. Luckily, everyone survived, but it was close.”
“Oh no... I’m g-g-glad they’re okay.”
“Are you scared of me Peter?” Sirius asked, stepping forward.
“O-of course not. W-w-why would I be s-scared if you.”
“I don’t know; everyone knows I would never hurt a friend.”
Pettigrew seemed to relax. “Of course you wouldn’t”
“But if say, someone betrayed me, then I wouldn’t really consider them my friend anymore.”
Peter’s face tightened, and in what seemed to be an eternity to Sirius, the rat pulled out his wand, shouting an incomprehensible phrase, and the world exploded into white.
Sirius woke in a cell. Cold swirled in the air, and Sirius couldn’t help but think of his terrible mother.
“Why am I here?” he asked, not expecting an answer from the seemingly empty cell.
“I don’t know, Padfoot,” a tiny voice came from the corner, and when the now-convict turned, he saw his four-year-old godson.
“Harry?! Why are you here? You shouldn’t be here. You need to leave, right now.”
The child seemed to shrink into his tiny black and white striped pyjamas further, which fell back to show serious burns.
Prison clothes, Sirius realised. Pettigrew’s exploding spell.
“They didn’t see me.”
The Potters were famous. 7 years before, their younger son had defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, after the tragic death of their elder son by the Dark Lord’s own hand. Their elder son who was dead.
“What are you saying, Professor,” James Potter asked, his face set.
“I do not know, my boy. All I know is that-“ the old wizard began to explain, but was cut off by the indignant Lily Potter.
“Our son is alive, and you didn’t think to tell us!”
“If we may have quiet, I’m sure Albus will explain,” Minerva McGonagall interrupted, giving a harsh look to the other occupants of the room.
“Thank you, Minerva. As I was saying, we all thought young Harry dead after his disappearance that Halloween night. However, the register for the new school year holds his name, and that register has never been wrong in all my years here.”
The Potters sat in stunned silence for a minute, before Lily began to speak.
“Charlus will be so happy to have him back - we’ll have to decorate his old room the same, and - “ she gushed, before she was cut off by a gesture from Minerva, who was glaring at the headmaster.
“You haven’t mentioned where the child is, Albus.”
Lily and James both looked to the old man.
He sighed. “Minerva is right. Young Harry is in Azkaban.”
Lily stared at him. James simply whispered, “what?”
Dumbledore took this as a cue to continue. “It would seem that Sirius Black stoke him away when he went to kill Peter Pettigrew, and those muggles.”
“You mean a mass murderer has been raising my son for 7 years.” Lily’s voice was dangerously cold.
“Unfortunately, I do.”
“I’m going to kill Black.” James exclaimed, his fists tightening on the arms of his chair. His gaze cut to Dumbledore. “Can we get him back tomorrow, Professor?”