So, woke up early on the weekend with this idea and started writing. I am still working on 'The Secret Keeper', in fact I've already written about 1000 words of the next chapter. Just at the moment, this new idea is occuping my mind.
Another note. According to the Black family tree Bellatrix is about 8 years older than Sirius. But for the purpose of this fic, she's only a couple of years old. I hope it does not detract too much for people.
The final note, a huge thank you to my long suffering beta, Ambush99. Cheers, you are awesome!
"Good Christmas?" James said with a grin, as he dumped his trunk on the floor.
"Yeah, uneventful, but good all the same," Remus said, as he flopped down on a bench. "You?"
"Great. I didn't do a lot, just a nice break from school and everything," James said flopping down next to Remus. "What about you, Pete?"
"Good. We didn't get the snow like you guys did, but it was great catching up with my friends from home," Peter said, as he pushed his trunk under the seats.
"Have you spoken to him?" Remus asked.
"No," James replied, his features slightly darkening.
"Do you think he will try and join us?"
"I doubt it," James replied, as the train slowly pulled out of the station. He looked around. There was no sign of their former friend. He doubted if he could come back from what he did. He hadn't bothered to get an explanation; Sirius had been suspended and had gone straight home. He hadn't bothered to owl him, but then nor had Sirius. He thought the bastard would have at least owled Remus and apologised, but he hadn't.
"Bloody Slytherins," James muttered, as he watched a familiar group of black cloaked people walk past.
"So, I guess you are the heir now, Reg."
James frowned and leant closer to the door. He heard Peter start up a conversation in the background. "Shhh," he said, holding up his hand, as he strained to hear the conversation outside.
"Yeah," the speaker replied, drawing out his words. "Too be honest, mother and father had been working out a way to disinherit him for years. It was clear he was never going to amend his nasty, little, blood traitor ways. But they don't need to worry about that now, nature had her way."
James sat there, open mouthed, not knowing what else to do. He was vaguely aware of his two friends attempts to engage him in conversation, but he couldn't. Without realising it, he found himself standing, a shaking hand resting on the door.
He shook his head, ignoring Remus' urgent, worried voice. "What did you say?" he said, standing in the corridor.
"You shouldn't be listening into people's conversations, nasty little blood traitor."
"Fuck off," James hissed, brushing off the much larger sixth year.
"Ooo, did ickle James hear about his ickle boyfriend," Bellatrix, Sirius' cousin, taunted.
"He's not my boyfriend," James bit back. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Ooo let's see, blood traitors are weak," Bellatrix laughed.
"Quit playing games, Bellatrix. What the hell happened to Sirius?!" James snapped.
"He's," Bellatrix giggled, pausing, as though for dramatic effect. "He's dead."
"What?" James managed, his throat suddenly very tight.
"Yup, dragonpox. One minute he's there, the next he's not," Bellatrix sang and clicked her fingers.
"I, I don't believe you," James stammered. "Regulus?"
"It's true," Regulus replied, in a bored, almost disinterested tone.
"He's your brother!"
"He was, was my brother!" Regulus retorted. "Don't they teach you dumb Gryffindors anything about bloody grammar."
Normally James would have fired a decent hex but he couldn't. He just stood there, staring at Sirius' brother in disbelief. It couldn't be true. Sirius Black didn't just die, he would die dramatically in an explosion, taking several death eaters with him. He didn't just die from dragonpox.
"One less blood traitor. Oh well, no great loss," Bellatrix sang, as she skipped down the corridor, her fellow Slytherins in tow.
"James," Remus said quietly, laying a gentle hand on his friend's shoulder. "Come on mate, come back in here."
James shook his head, too numb to do anything else. "I can't," he muttered. He clamped his hand over his mouth and bolted towards the toilet, as bile rose up in his throat. He barely made it, slamming the door behind before he emptied the contents of his stomach. He sank down on the floor, pulling his legs up to his chest, and rested his head on his knees. Dry sobs racked his body. Sirius couldn't be dead. His life couldn't just be snuffed out like it was nothing. He was so wild and full of life.
"James," Remus called out softly, as he knocked on the door. "Mate, are you okay?"
"Leave me alone," James replied, in a choked sob.
"You know I can't do that mate," Remus replied, his eyes brimming with tears. What Sirius had done had been terrible, but he certainly hadn't wanted the other boy dead. He had tried owling Sirius, but all of the letters had been returned unread.
"It's my fault," James sobbed.
"Because it is."
"Mate, come out of there. It'll be easier to talk that way," Remus called out, wiping his tears with the back of his hand.
Remus looked up to see Lily Evans standing over him. "Hi Lily," he said, forcing a smile.
"Sirius," Remus bit back a sob. "Sirius is dead."
"What? How?" Lily exclaimed. She never really liked the intelligent, brash individual Sirius was, but she certainly didn't want him dead.
"Dragonpox," Remus replied, looking away.
"Oh god, I'm so sorry," Lily replied, bending down and gently hugging Remus. "Is there anything I can do?"
"No," Remus said shaking his head. "If you…"
"James is in there?" Lily whispered. She watched Remus nod. "Okay," she said standing up. "If you need anything, I'll be just down the train."
"Thank you," Remus mouthed, watching her walk away. "Please James, we need you. I don't know what to do." He exhaled slowly as he heard the lock click back.
"Why?" was all James managed, as he faced his friend.
"I don't know," Remus replied in a hitched breath. "Shall we go back to the compartment?"
James nodded. "Okay," he sniffed.
Peter sat there, wide eyed and silent. James staggered in, slumping in the corner, pulling his knees up to his chest, remaining silent.
"Did, did you find out why?" Peter asked, tears running unashamedly down his face.
"Why he betrayed your secret?"
"Why does it matter? He's dead," James said distantly, a tear slowly slipping down his face. "The last thing I said to him was I hoped he'd crawl into the dark hole he came from and die."