Setting: Takes place after "Prisoner of Azkaban".

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. *sniff*

Left of Orion

The starry night glittered coldly, a chill wind ruffling his unruly black hair as he clung tightly to Buckbeak's feathers, wishing more than once for the flying motorcycle of his youth. It was funny really, or would have been if his situation had not been so sad. He hadn't thought of that bike in years.

Under his feet and far below, England lay green and dark, asleep and awaiting the first rays of the pale sun. People slept there, soundly and without fear. They knew nothing of Voldemort or Death Eaters or even himself. And they knew nothing of his godson, Harry, which was probably all for the best.

His godson.

That phrase still managed to warm something cold within him, something he had long thought lost in his miseries in Azkaban. Harry was a remnant of a time when he had been happy and carefree and reckless. A time when James and Lily Potter had still been alive, and he and Remus and Peter had been known as the Marauders, the mischief-makers of Hogwarts. He could still remember those days, though the Dementor's had strived to take the memories from him. He could even recall the very day when Harry had been born and a tiny, cooing bundle had been placed in his arms, Lily's voice filled with warmth near his ear, "Say 'hello' to your godson, Sirius."

How everything had changed since those simple times.

He was much changed. He knew that without even looking at himself. The change was inside just as much as it was outside. He was gaunt and weary from his stay in Azkaban, his once handsome face drawn, his dark eyes filled with guilt and an old grief. In his heart, he was tired and he was no longer as reckless as he had been once, though courage and bravery still flowed through his veins. As long as Harry lived, Sirius would fight. The moment he had laid eyes on the boy, he had known that was to be his task. It was the only way, you see, that he could make amends. James had died because Sirius had thought himself so clever. He would not let the same thing happen to Harry. 

A war was coming, that was clear. Dark forces were rising again and he, who had spent a lifetime in shadows, knew it well. Perhaps that was why he felt a burgeoning determination rising within him. He, of all wizards, knew the terrors of the dark side and with that knowledge came the will to fight them. He had made many mistakes in his life but never again would he underestimate Voldemort's forces. Evil had no greater power than the illusion of goodness. Peter had taught him that lesson too well, and because of that, Sirius would win.

Tightening his jaw, he made a silent promise to himself and cast his eyes to the heavens, the cold light gilding his features in silver. It had been a long time since he had made a wish or even dared to look for it…

There.

Just left of Orion, the star he was named for, glittering brightly and clearly. Not dim, as he might have thought, but beautiful in it's lonely elegance. For a moment, he was struck by all he had lost, and his eyes prickled with tears that would not fall. Through everything, the star remained, and so did he.

He had not questioned fate in his cell in Azkaban for it was only there that he had received the punishment he knew he deserved. After all, it had been he who suggested James use Peter. At the time he had been so confidant of his reasoning, so sure, and that had gotten his best friend killed in the end.

And yet Sirius Black had survived.

He remained.

The stars twinkled above him and he exhaled quietly, his intense expression slipping away with the breeze. He was free now though and perhaps it was time he took his place in life again. Peter would pay in the end, that was inevitable, and that striking blow would be from Sirius' own hand. There would be no blood on any hands but his own. Innocence must be protected, especially Harry's.

Flying across a brightening sky, Sirius did make a wish. A quiet one, harbored in the cage of his heart, only to be loosed in a time of great need and reassurance.

"Harry, if you need me, look to the sky. I will always be there, just left of Orion. The star that remains. Forever."

THE END