Vast Sea Visualization

In a world where magic meets the mind's vast expanse, Lucas, reborn as Harry Potter, wields the power of visualization to master his emotions and wandless magic. With a tranquil sea as his mental fortress, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and magical mastery.

Evoxius · Book&Literature
Not enough ratings
84 Chs

Serious Trial

The solid doors slid open, and Sirius Black stepped through, blinking rapidly as his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting.

Rough manacles bit into his wrists, restraining his movements. Two crimson-clad Aurors flanked him and led him forward with a firm grip on his arms.

Sirius's breath hitched as he took in the vast chamber, with rows of towering benches arranged in a semi-circle, packed with stern-faced, scrutinizing witches and wizards. He recognized one person immediately - the legendary Albus Dumbledore, resplendent in sweeping robes of midnight blue.

Other notable witches and wizards filled the galleries - the entire Wizengamot seemed to be in attendance. The Ancient and Noble Houses were well represented - Sirius spotted the dour visage of Lucius Malfoy, sneering down at him. His gaze slid past, only to freeze on a wizened, almost skeletal figure slumped in his seat. Arcturus Black, his grandfather, looked moments from death itself with his sunken eyes barely open.

At the center of the semi-circle stood a solitary chair, wrought of thick iron and chained to the floor.

The Aurors guided him forward with firm hands. Sirius stumbled slightly, chains clinking, as they directed him into the seat. The cold iron closed around his wrists and ankles as the manacles snapped shut, securing him in place.

The hush over the courtroom was so complete, a dropped pin would have thundered like a Blasting Curse. Every eye was locked on the shackled, haggard figure of Sirius Black in the iron chair. He lifted his chin defiantly, squaring his bony shoulders despite the grimy rags hanging from his emaciated frame.

From her elevated bench, Amelia Bones rose, fixing Sirius with a stern gaze. "This emergency session has been convened to address the matter of Sirius Orion Black," she announced, her clipped tones carrying to every corner of the cavernous chamber. "Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this case, the Wizengamot has deemed it necessary to employ the use of Veritaserum."

A murmur of surprise spread through the crowd at her words. The controversial use of truth serum in legal proceedings was highly irregular and unorthodox. Sirius's heart skipped a beat in his emaciated chest. So they would leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the truth, no matter how unpleasant.

He sought out Dumbledore's lined face amongst the sea of onlookers. The ancient wizard met his gaze and gave the barest perceptible nod. A rush of gratitude steadied Sirius's nerves. Dumbledore had clearly sanctioned this extreme measure to finally reveal the full, plain truth once and for all.

A nondescript wizard in plain robes stepped forward, clutching a small crystal vial. Sirius eyed the clear liquid within warily as the man unstoppered it before Amelia Bones.

"Open your mouth," the wizard instructed in a flat, emotionless voice.

Sirius hesitated a fraction of a second. This was it - the moment that would finally, irrevocably, bare his soul before all to see, warts and all. With a deep, steadying breath, he parted his cracked lips.

The wizard upended the vial over Sirius's open mouth. Three glistening drops of Veritaserum fell onto his tongue.

The effect was instantaneous and utterly disorienting. A bizarre, lethargic calm stole over Sirius, as if he had just downed a dose of Calming Draught. All his cares, worries, and fears seemed to slough away like so much dead weight, dissolving into the ether. Even the constant ache of his emaciated frame faded into blissful numbness.

All that remained was a sense of utter tranquillity, a strange detachment that made him feel as if he were floating outside his own mind, an impassive observer to the proceedings.

Amelia Bones's amplified voice sliced through the silence like a blade. "State your full name for the court records."

Sirius felt his lips move of their own accord, the words spilling out in a dull monotone devoid of any inflection or emotion.

"Sirius Orion Black."

A self-satisfied look flickered across Amelia's stern features before she continued her interrogation.

"The original evidence brought before this court suggests you were the Secret Keeper entrusted with the knowledge of James and Lily Potter's whereabouts prior to their murders on October 31st, 1981 by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Is this true?"


The single word hung in the air, met with murmurs of acknowledgment from the crowd. Many spectators nodded grimly, as if this answer merely confirmed what they had already suspected.

"Explain yourself fully," Amelia demanded, her monocle glinting in the torchlight.

Sirius's mouth opened again, and he began to speak in that same toneless monotone, every word forced from his lips by the serum's irresistible influence.

"I was not the Potters' Secret Keeper. At my own suggestion, I became a mere decoy to draw the Death Eaters away from the real Keeper, who was..." He hesitated, visibly gritting his teeth as if fighting against the Veritaserum's compulsion for a brief moment. When he continued, his voice was slightly thicker, tinged with a hint of the suppressed emotion roiling just beneath the surface.

"Peter Pettigrew. The traitorous rat betrayed them to Voldemort."

Amelia simply gestured for Sirius to continue.

And so he recounted the entire tale in ruthless, dispassionate detail - how he had realized too late that Pettigrew was the spy, how he had raced to Godric's Hollow only to find the shattered remains of the Potters' cottage and the lifeless bodies of his best friends amid the rubble. His voice grew noticeably thicker with barely suppressed emotion as he described the terrible scene, each word seeming to lacerate his throat like shards of broken glass.

"I hunted the traitorous rat down," he hoarsely spat, fists clenching until his knuckles turned as white as bone. "I cornered him in that Muggle street. And then...the coward unleashed a Blasting Curse straight into the crowd of Muggles, cut off his own finger and escaped into the sewers."

Many in the crowd nodded at Sirius's words, as Peter Pettigrew's own confession two days prior had already revealed the broad strokes of this injustice to the world.

"And what, pray tell, became of you after this deception?" Amelia demanded, her monocle fixed on Sirius with laser-like intensity.

Sirius swallowed hard with his throat feeling scorched and raw. When he finally answered, his voice was little more than a hollow rasp.

"I was completely out of my mind with grief, and when the Aurors arrived at the scene, I was shouting that it was all my fault. They took me away and put me straight in Azkaban without trial."

This revelation sparked a far more loud reaction from the assembled crowd. Dozens of witches and wizards surged from their seats, shaking their heads and muttering angrily at the sheer audacity of someone being imprisoned without so much as a trial. A dull roar began to build, echoing off the towering walls.

Sirius could only sit blankly, watching the outrage swelling around him with a sort of exhausted detachment, as if observing it all from high above rather than being at the eye of the storm itself.

The truth was finally out, laid bare for all to see. Nothing could change that now.

It was nearly an three minutes before the mayhem finally began to subside. When at last Amelia Bones's magically amplified voice could once again pierce the din, her face was utterly drained of colour, her expression a mask of cold, barely-restrained fury.

"Let the record show," she intoned, each word carrying the weight of a death sentence, "that Sirius Orion Black was illegally apprehended and imprisoned in Azkaban...without so much as a trial or hearing as mandated by wizarding law!"

If possible, the uproar reached even greater heights at this damning pronouncement. Shouts and howls of outrage battered Sirius from all sides like a physical force as spectators surged to their feet, faces twisted with apoplectic rage.

When at long last some semblance of order had been restored through sheer brute force of magic and volume, Amelia turned back to address Sirius. Her face was utterly devoid of colour, her lips compressed into a tight, bloodless line.

"You have heard the unvarnished truth from the accused's own lips, given under the strict influence of Veritaserum," she told the assembled jury in a voice gone hoarse from shouting. "The evidence exonerating Sirius Black appears undeniable."

She pinned him with a severe look from her elevated bench. "Is there anything else you wish to add, Mr. Black? Any other related details this court requires before rendering judgement?"

Sirius swallowed hard, and his throat felt raw and abused. What more could he possibly say after laying his soul bare?

"No," he rasped, shaking his head wearily. "You have heard the full accounting of events."

A grim nod of acknowledgment, and Amelia turned to address the jury once more, her shoulders visibly squaring beneath her robes.

"Members of the jury - you have born witness to the accused's full confession given under the strictest of conditions. The matter of this man's innocence now falls to you to decide. All those in favour of fully pardoning and exonerating Sirius Orion Black, clear your conscience and raise your hand."

A forest of hands rose obediently.

"Any opposed?" Amelia's voice rang out clearly. After a momentary pause, with no additional hands raised, she gave a firm nod. "By unanimous decision of the this jury, all charges against the accused are hereby dismissed. Sirius Black, you are an innocent man in the eyes of wizarding law. As compensation, you shall receive the sum of ten thousand Galleons from the Ministry."

The effects of the truth serum were swiftly waning, allowing Sirius to blink and draw a deep, shuddering breath as the weight of the moment settled on him. He was free - exonerated at long last.

"Thank you," he said, voice thick with barely restrained emotion. "All I desire now is to take up my responsibilities as Harry's godfather."

As the manacles were unlocked and the Aurors helped him shakily to his feet, Sirius found Dumbledore's twinkling gaze across the chamber. The old wizard inclined his head in a solemn nod.

Some time later, after Sirius had been provided a private room to refresh himself, a soft rap came at the door.

"Enter," Sirius called out, turning from the small mirror he'd been studying his hollow-cheeked appearance in.

Dumbledore slipped inside, and his solemn gaze met Sirius's. "Sirius... I cannot begin to imagine the suffering you have endured."

Sirius made a dismissive gesture, suddenly unable to meet the ancient wizard's eyes. "Forget it, Dumbledore. It's...it's in the past now."

"Even so." Dumbledore sighed, seeming to age years before Sirius's eyes. "I should have investigated the situation more thoroughly myself after that terrible night. I was so convinced you were the Secret Keeper, I never imagined..." He shook his head slowly. "It was an unforgivable lapse in judgement that cost you over a decade of your life. Can you ever forgive this old fool?"

Sirius looked up then, his haunted eyes searching Dumbledore's face. After an endless moment, he gave a weary nod. "Of course. What matters now is..." He hesitated, suddenly recalling his earlier words in the courtroom. "Harry. I want to finally take my place at his side, as his godfather. To make up for all the years I missed."

Dumbledore's expression turned grave once more. "Harry, your godson, is a truly remarkable individual, Sirius. I feel I must warn you before you meet him."

Sirius cocked an eyebrow in puzzlement. "How do you mean?"

"Harry Potter is world-famous," Dumbledore admitted. "Not just in our world, but in the Muggle realm as well. You see, he is, quite simply, the most brilliant young mind I have ever encountered, wizard or Muggle alike. Despite his young age, his intellect and accomplishments surpass even the most learned adults."

Sirius stared at Dumbledore in disbelief as the old wizard continued.

"He has already completed the entirety of his Muggle education before even setting foot in Hogwarts. He speaks regularly in front of thousands, if not millions, of people and contributed greatly to Muggle scientific fields while still a child himself. And in the magical world..." The old wizard shook his head in wonder. "He is very skilled at wandless magic, and even Occlumency."

Sirius finally found his voice, rasping out, " But... how is that possible?"

"A true prodigy in every sense of the word," Dumbledore replied solemnly. "One utterly without equal that I have ever witnessed. I felt you should be made aware of the exceptional nature of your godson before meeting him. He may well prove...resistant to your overtures of familial bonding, at least initially."

Sirius absorbed this in stunned silence, trying to wrap his mind around the idea of a prodigy eclipsing even Dumbledore. His shoulders slumped as the reality sank in.

"I...see," he muttered at last. "So even my duties as godfather may prove an uphill struggle thanks to my own arrogance and mistakes." He sighed, suddenly looking even more exhausted. "So be it, then. I will simply have to persevere, as I have through all my other trials. Harry is the last link I have to James and Lily. I will not fail them again."

Dumbledore regarded him with something almost like pity. "For what it's worth, I believe you have the strength of character to win young Harry over, given time and patience. Just...prepare yourself. He is truly one of a kind."

Sirius could only nod. "One way or another, I'll make my godson understand. Harry deserves to know the truth...and to learn he still has family looking out for him, no matter how brilliant he may be."

Sirius and Dumbledore turned toward the door as another soft knock sounded. Before either could respond, the door creaked open to reveal a haggard, prematurely aged man with tattered robes and a kind, careworn face.

"Remus..." Sirius breathed, his voice a ragged whisper of disbelief.

Remus Lupin's eyes glistened with unshed tears as he took in the sight of his old friend. His lips trembled for a moment before splitting into a watery smile. "Sirius, oh thank Merlin..."

In three strides, Remus crossed the room and engulfed Sirius in a fierce embrace, clapping him on the back with a choked sound somewhere between a sob and a bark of relieved laughter. "I knew it, I always knew you were innocent!"

Sirius returned the hug with equal passion, feeling some of the lingering chill of Azkaban's despair finally beginning to thaw from his bones. He squeezed his eyes shut against the sudden burning sensation as his throat grew uncomfortably tight. "R-Remus, you daft old wolf..."

They held the embrace for a long moment before finally pulling apart, both men surreptitiously wiping at their eyes. Remus regarded Sirius with a look of intense regret and sadness.

"I'm so sorry, Padfoot," he said with a tone thick with emotion. "All these years, I should have realized the truth, should have known you would never betray James like that rat Pettigrew did."

Sirius waved a dismissive hand, and his lips twisted into a wry, bittersweet smile. "You weren't alone in being deceived, old friend. We all underestimated Wormtail's capacity for cowardice and treachery."

Remus opened his mouth to protest further, but Sirius cut him off firmly. "Enough of that. What's done is done - I don't blame you, Moony. We were all victims of that traitorous rat's schemes."

He clapped Remus on the shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze. "What matters now is moving forward, yeah? I need to meet my godson, make amends for all the time I've missed..."

Remus nodded slowly, a pensive expression on his careworn face. "Harry..." he murmured, almost to himself. "Yes, of course you'll want to meet him straight away."

He turned his gaze towards Dumbledore, and something flickered in his eyes - a mixture of reverence, gratitude, and the faintest trace of apprehension.

"Professor," Remus said, inclining his head respectfully. "It's been...far too long."

Dumbledore regarded him with that ageless, twinkling gaze from behind his half-moon spectacles. "Indeed it has, Remus. I trust you've been keeping yourself...occupied, these past years?"

Remus's shoulders stiffened almost imperceptibly. "Doing what I could to get by, Headmaster," he replied, a defensive edge creeping into his tone. "Odd jobs, menial labor - anything to make ends meet where they'd have a...a werewolf."

He seemed to deflate slightly, the brief spark of defiance fading from his eyes as quickly as it had come. With a weary shake of his head, he turned back towards Sirius.

"I've tried keeping abreast of things, you know. Read all about Harry in the Muggle papers, heard the stories..." Remus snorted mirthlessly. "A world-famous prodigy, they call him. Youngest person to graduate university, revolutionized renewable energy technology, insanely rich thanks to his stocks..." He trailed off, giving Sirius an apologetic look. "I'll admit, I never quite knew how to approach him, after everything. Part of me was...scared, I suppose."

Sirius cocked an eyebrow at that. "Scared? Of a child, Remus?"

"You don't understand," Remus insisted, running a hand through his graying sandy hair. "Harry's no ordinary child, from what I've read. His intellect is...well, off the charts would be putting it mildly. He's consistently portrayed as this hyper-rational genius operating on a higher plane than the rest of us mere mortals." He shook his head slowly. "I'm just a werewolf who barely scraped by, Sirius. What could I possibly have to offer someone like that?"

Sirius studied his old friend for a long moment, taking in the weary lines etched deep into Remus's careworn face, the perpetual air of quiet resignation that seemed to cling to him like a shroud. His heart clenched with a pang of sympathy and regret. While he had suffered unimaginable torment in Azkaban, Remus's life had clearly been no picnic either, constantly shunned and ostracized by the very society he longed to be a part of.

"Moony..." Sirius began, his rasping voice thick with emotion. He reached out, gripping Remus's shoulder in a firm, steadying grasp. "You listen to me. Your condition doesn't define who you are - it's just an obstacle, like any other. And Harry..." He shook his head vehemently. "He may be the brightest mind of his generation, but he's still just a boy in many ways. A boy who's been deprived of his parents."

Remus opened his mouth to protest, but Sirius barrelled on, as his eyes burnt with a renewed intensity.

"We're all he has left of the Marauders, Remus. The last link to the family he should have had." Sirius's grip on his friend's shoulder tightened almost painfully. "He needs us, whether his brilliant mind can grasp that or not. We owe it to James and Lily's memories to be there for their son, no matter how intimidatingly intelligent he may be."

Remus held Sirius's fiery gaze for a long moment before giving a slow, solemn nod of acceptance. "You're right, of course," he murmured. "As you so often were, despite my insistent doubts." A wry, self-deprecating smile quirked at the corners of his lips. "I've been a coward, letting my own fears and insecurities keep me from Harry all these years. It's time I manned up and did right by the son of my oldest friends."

Sirius returned the smile, feeling warmth blossoming in his chest at Remus's words - the first true flicker of hope he'd felt since his name had been cleared. He was no longer alone in the world, no longer the last surviving member of the fractured family he'd built with James, Lily, Remus and...and even Peter, once upon a time before that traitorous rat had destroyed everything.

"We'll get through to him together, Moony," Sirius said, clapping his friend firmly on the back. "If anyone can connect with an intimidatingly brilliant mind, it's us - we had plenty of practice keeping up with James's antics, after all."

The two friends shared a bark of ragged laughter at that, some of the lingering tension finally beginning to bleed from the air around them. Sirius felt lighter than he had in over a decade, as if a great weight were slowly being lifted from his shoulders.

Dumbledore watched the exchange between the two old friends with a faint, approving smile playing about his lips. When their laughter at last trailed off into contented silence, he spoke up once more, that ever-present twinkle seeming just a touch brighter in his eyes.

"I am pleased to see the bonds of friendship and brotherhood still burn so brightly between you two, after so long apart," the ancient wizard said with fondness in his voice.


Sirius sighed deeply as the door closed behind Remus and Dumbledore, leaving him alone once more. He turned towards the small mirror mounted on the wall, grimacing at his haggard reflection.

His sunken cheeks cast hollow shadows across his gaunt face, the bones of his jaw far too pronounced. Dark circles seemed permanently etched beneath his eyes like bruises. Limp strands of lank, matted hair hung limply, framing his haunted expression.

"Merlin's beard..." Sirius muttered, leaning closer to the mirror as he studied the walking corpse that stared back at him. "I look half-dead already."

He reached up, brushing his fingertips against the coarse stubble lining his jaw and wincing at the sensation. Like sandpaper against his calloused skin. When was the last time he'd felt the simple pleasure of a clean-shaven face?

"I really must clean up," he said aloud, and his gravelly voice sounded alien to his own ears in the stillness of the room. "Can't very well meet my godson looking like the bloody Grim Reaper himself."

As if in direct response, a sharp rap of knuckles against the door made him start. Sirius's head whipped around, eyes narrowing suspiciously at the unexpected interruption.

"Popular bloke lately, aren't I?" he growled under his breath, stalking across the room.

He grasped the handle, steeling himself for whoever waited on the other side. With a sharp twist, he pulled the door open -

And found himself suddenly face-to-face with the withered, ancient visage of his grandfather, Arcturus Black. The old man's face was a death mask of wrinkles and sagging flesh with his dark eyes sunken deep into their sockets. He leaned heavily upon a twisted cane, skeletal frame seeming to fold in on itself beneath the weight of his finely-tailored robes.

"G-Grandfather?" Sirius stammered, caught utterly off-guard by the sight of the Black family patriarch.

Arcturus lifted his head, those beady dark eyes locking onto Sirius with great intensity despite his decrepit appearance. His thin lips twisted into a contemptuous sneer.

"So..." he rasped, each word a laboured wheeze. "The prodigal dog has finally returned to the pack, has he?"

Sirius felt his jaw tighten, a familiar surge of resentment towards his grandfather's constant scorn welling up inside him. Before he could respond, Arcturus continued in that same mocking rasp.

"I watched the entire spectacle, you realize. Saw you confess to your supposed 'innocence' under that thrice-damned truth serum." One gnarled hand waved a dismissive gesture. "A pretty tale, to be sure. Though whether it is the truth remains to be seen."

"You've made your feelings on the matter quite clear over the years, Grandfather," Sirius bit out through gritted teeth. "I'm surprised you even bothered to show your face here."

Arcturus's sneer deepened into an outright scowl, his sunken eyes blazing with sudden fury. "Hold your insolent tongue, boy!" he spat. "You may have escaped that vile pit of Azkaban, but make no mistake - in my eyes, you shall forever remain the same traitorous filth who betrayed the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black!"

The old man stabbed an accusing, bony finger towards Sirius's face, his arm trembling with the effort.

"Your 'innocence' matters not to me," he hissed venomously. "The stain of your actions remains! You cavorted with beasts and Mudbloods, turned your back on the purest of bloodlines! Even now, I can smell the stench of your precious halfbreed friend clinging to these very rags!"

Sirius felt his fists clenching at his sides, nails biting into his calloused palms. The old resentments, the festering hatred he'd harboured since his youth, came boiling to the surface unbidden. He opened his mouth, fully prepared to unleash over a decade's worth of pent-up rage and bitterness upon his wretched grandfather -

Only to pause, the words dying on his lips as he truly looked at Arcturus - at the withered husk of a man clinging to life like a shrivelled insect. Beneath the loathing sneer and hateful glare, Sirius could see the unmistakable truth shining through those sunken, beady eyes.

Fear. His grandfather was afraid - afraid that the world was passing him by, that his antiquated views and pureblood dogma were becoming as obsolete and meaningless as he was.

And in that moment, Sirius felt something unexpected - pity.

The anger drained from him in a rush, leaving him feeling utterly drained, hollowed out. He was abruptly, painfully aware of just how much of his life had been wasted on this bitter, toxic feud with the man before him. A feud that had accomplished nothing but breed more hatred, more resentment, a seemingly endless cycle of negativity.

"Save your breath, Grandfather," Sirius said, rasping voice devoid of any heat or rancor. "I'm through trading insults and slights with you. That path leads nowhere but deeper into the abyss, and I've already wasted far too many years lost in its depths."

Arcturus seemed taken aback by Sirius's calm, almost serene demeanor. He blinked owlishly, the sneer slipping from his features as he was clearly thrown off-balance by this unexpected shift in his grandson's manner.

Sirius continued, and his tone became almost pleading as he met the old man's gaze. "I've been given a second chance, Grandfather - a chance to embrace the light once more, to leave the darkness of the past behind me where it belongs. I beg you, don't let your own bitterness and hatred condemn you to the same eternal night I've endured."

For a long, breathless moment, grandfather and grandson studied one another in silence. Arcturus's face was utterly inscrutable, a stony mask devoid of any hint of what might lurk behind those shadowed eyes.

Then, with a derisive snort and a shake of his ancient head, the old man turned away, his cane clacking against the stone floor.

"Such pretty words, wasted on ears too old and withered to hear them," he rasped without looking back. "I am what I am, boy - the last scion of an ancient and noble legacy. One you turned your back on long ago."

With surprising swiftness for one so feeble, Arcturus began shuffling away down the corridor, his cane tapping out a rhythmic thud with each laboured step. Sirius could only watch with his shoulders slumping in weary resignation, as his grandfather's bony figure grew smaller and smaller in the distance.

"Goodbye, Grandfather," he murmured at last, mostly to himself. "Perhaps in another life, we could have found common ground. But not this one, it seems."

Turning away from the empty corridor, Sirius retreated back into his chambers and firmly closed the door, shutting out the bitter echoes of the past once more. He leaned back against the solid oak, letting out a deep, bone-weary sigh as he scrubbed his hands over his face.

"That's enough reunions with family for one day, I'd wager," he muttered darkly.

His gaze slid towards the narrow cot against the wall, suddenly feeling utterly and completely drained, as if that brief confrontation with Arcturus had sapped what little remaining reserves of energy he possessed. Perhaps some rest would help settle his mind...

Crossing the room in a few weary strides, Sirius collapsed bonelessly onto the thin mattress, not even bothering to remove his shoes. He stared sightlessly up at the cracked ceiling, feeling the soft pillow cradling the back of his skull.

Despite the heavy emotions still roiling within him, exhaustion swiftly began tugging at his eyelids with insistent fingers. Sirius fought against it for a few moments before finally allowing his eyes to slip closed with a grunt.

Sleep claimed him almost instantly, dragging him down into blissful, dreamless oblivion.