He wandered about the mansion aimlessly. It was only a week before the beginning of school. He didn't want to be here. As much as he loved being around Ron and Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys, he didn't want to be here in this place. Couldn't the Order have found a different headquarters?

There were too many memories here. Angry, shouted words echoed at him from all corners of the dusty house as he walked through it. His godfather's face flashed at him from every mirror and picture frame. His godfather's frustrated voice screamed silently from the very walls. He couldn't tell Mrs. Weasley why he couldn't sit still at meals. He could still hear every word Sirius had spoken in that house. It would surely drive him mad. However, another part of him wanted the voice to keep screaming, wanted the face to keep appearing. It would keep him connected to his godfather. In some small way, his godfather would still live on.

Ron and Hermione probably thought he was crazy. He refused to believe that Sirius had submitted to death so easily. His godfather was too strong to give in. But it appeared he wasn't. However, Harry refused to believe in his godfather's death until his body was presented to him. Until that moment, Harry would never fully believe his godfather had perished in the Department of Mysteries.

Harry hadn't meant to yell at Remus. All his father's friend had asked was if he wanted to live somewhere else until the beginning of the school year. Harry had taken this the wrong way. He'd screamed at Remus, telling him that if he was too much for him, he could easily pack up and move on, because he certainly didn't want to be an everlasting burden, after all, that was all Sirius had been. He'd said that, told Remus that he and the rest of the members of the Order had just seen Sirius as a burden, a burden to keep locked up. It was their fault his godfather wasn't there. They'd driven him mad.

After Remus had quietly walked away, Harry held his head in his hands, the pained look on the werewolf's face stabbing him to the core. Then he became mad at himself. How could he have said such things to Remus, Remus of all people? Remus had always cared for him, had always looked out for him. He had been his second godfather, his only other link to his father and mother besides Peter Pettigrew. Was he starting to take him for granted like he had Sirius? What would he do if he lost Remus as well?

Then that familiar hate blossomed in his chest and swelled, engulfing his heart in a fiery blaze of choking darkness. How could Sirius have done this to him? How could he leave now? Why didn't he listen to Dumbledore? Why couldn't he have just held his crazy plans inside and have stayed in the house where he belonged? He obviously hadn't understood how important the Order was, hadn't understood how much danger Harry himself would be in if he ran off. But he had run off, he'd run off to try and save Harry.

No, he ran off to have an adventure. Adventure was all he cared about. He never cared about anything else. No, sorry, he cared about the PAST, he cared about the people in the PAST, never the people and things in the present. He never cared for them. He cared about adventure, the past and himself. Nothing else.

The hate had tightened its coils tightly around his heart, cutting deeper into it the more his mind interjected into his inner turmoil.

He never cared for anything but himself.

"Harry?"

Harry bit his lip to keep from screaming in anger and frustration as Remus' calm voice spoke out of the silence. Slowly, he turned to face the werewolf. Remus stood in the doorway of Harry's room, his long fingers grasped tightly around a medium sized trunk. The trunk was made of deep mahogany and was a great deal scratched and worn with age. Slowly, Harry's frustration ebbed the longer he stared at Remus and the trunk.

"Harry, I need a favor."

Harry's eyes narrowed. Remus just wanted him to DO something for him, something else so he wouldn't have to think on it. Probably something for the Order. Well, he'd be sure to tell him that he'd do nothing for the Order unless they left this hell-hole of a house.

"I just need you to take this trunk up to the attic." Slowly, Harry's glare lessened and he felt sheepish as he stared at Remus. "I, I just can't get to it right now. I don't," Remus faltered. "I'm sorry. I'll do it myself. I would have gotten Ron or Hermione to do it, but they're helping Molly downstairs and,"

"I'll do it, Remus. Just give it to me."

Harry's frustration with his godfather had returned the longer he stared at Remus, his godfather's friend, his fellow Marauder. He stalked up to him and snatched the trunk from him. To his surprise, it was heavier than it appeared. Harry grasped it tighter as Remus stepped back. Slowly, he turned his back on Harry, then he turned round to face him again.

"Harry, I'm sorry that we're still here." Remus began, his voice quiet and full of emotion. "I know you hate it. I hate it. Sirius is here, he's everywhere. I can't stop his memory from appearing in front of me. The only thing to do is to keep busy, to try to remember that Sirius wouldn't want us to be haunted by him. It is our choice to allow him to haunt us, Harry. We need only allow him to fade away and our minds would be eased. But,"

"Allow him to fade away?" Harry almost screamed. "Is that what you want? You want him to go away? Well, that's already taken care of isn't it? He's not here is he, Remus? He had to run out and be the hero and look where that got him!" Harry shoved past Remus, but stopped before ascending the stairs. "I'd rather go mad than allow him to fade away." He hissed.

"You'd prefer to be preoccupied with the rage that he left you, you mean."

Harry turned about abruptly as Remus' harsh tone sliced through him like a knife.

"Sirius may have wanted to have an adventure, but he wanted to save you, Harry. He would have done anything and everything for you had he been allowed. Yes, it would have been better if he had stayed where he was, but dammit, he was a man, Harry! He was a man with feelings and a heart! You were all he cared about. You were the last thing James asked of Sirius, the last request of friends. James asked Sirius to care for you and Sirius took that to the extreme, why? Because you were a last request, Harry. James' last request. Sirius was a man. Maybe someday you'll understand that and you'll accept it, you'll accept Sirius for who he was."

Harry stood still on the stairs as Remus turned his back on him and stalked away from him. A part of him wanted to scream back at Remus, to tell him that he'd seen nothing of which he was speaking of in Sirius. However, the other part of him held back. It was the only cooling breath that held back his torrent of hate. He took his anger out on the old steps of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. He stomped up the many flights to the very top of the house, the Black family residence, not caring if he was heard downstairs.

When he reached the attic, he stopped on the stairwell and gazed about him. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling, some just barely brushing the dusty floorboards. There was a pile of boxes and clutter in one corner, the result of Sirius' housekeeping. Harry's hate flared brighter and he stomped over to the pile and threw the trunk with all his might against the debris.

He started to walk away, but the sight of the trunk made him turn about. The trunk had landed violently on the pile, and had slid down it, the lid flying open as it fell to the floor. Papers and books spilled from it, skimming across the floor and coming to rest at Harry's feet. Harry began to kick at them, then stopped himself.

************************************************************************

Never knew I could feel like this.
Like I've never seen the sky before.
I want to vanish inside your kiss.
Every day I'm loving you more than this.


Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings?
Telling me to give you everything.
Seasons may change, winter to spring,
But I love you until the end of time.

Come what may.
Come what may.
I will love you until my dying day.

************************************************************************

A leather bound book had come to rest there before him, its body worn and tearing in some places. A red, torn strip of cloth stuck out from the gold tipped pages. Slowly, Harry bent down and picked it up. The front was just as worn as the back. Slowly, he opened the book, and as he did swirls of vibrant writing shot into his vision. He knew that handwriting. He had once longed for it, had once wanted nothing more than a scrap of paper with a few of these words on it. It was Sirius' handwriting.

Slowly, Harry pressed his finger to the faded ink, insistent emotion pushing at his heart as he began to read. It appeared to be a diary, one that was a continuation of another.

Seventh Year

That's right. SEVENTH YEAR!! Your very own Sirius Black survived Hogwarts up to his SEVENTH YEAR! Can't believe it! James told me he was going to hold a bash for me at his place. It would be in honor of all the detentions I've received in those previous six years, of course. What else would it be for? How many points I've gotten for Gryffindor, or how many points I've scored in Quidditch? Hardly. I don't GET points for Gryffindor, OR Quidditch. That's James' forte. The previous, not the first. The first is REMUS' forte. And there's really nothing Peter is good at, so let's just leave him out of it.

Went back home a bit this summer. Mother was of course the most charming woman in the world, telling me what a bastard I was and a shame to our family for hanging about with Potter and Lupin. Quite obviously, I AM a bastard. No way I could have come from MY parents' bloodstreams like I am. Of course, that would mean that my dear Mum would have had to have cheated on dear, old Dad and that's not her style. Too proud of the Black family name to try to dirty it. Of course, she does have a bit of a thing for Letifer Malfoy. Always hanging about him at meetings and such, she is. Imagine that, ME, being related to his son, that git Lucius. I'd RATHER be half-blood, or Muggle for that matter if I was a Malfoy.

I don't think being Muggle would be so bad actually. Probably think me crazy for saying that but it's true. I'd love just to see what it was like. I should see if there's a spell to turn into a Muggle for a day when I get back to school. I'm sure Potter would love to help me. We work better together anyhow. And if we do it together, guaranteed Remus will be at our elbows making sure we're not doing anything TOO illegal, and of course Pettigrew will be sticking his sniveling nose in our faces, asking what we're doing and if he can help. Honestly, the kid really needs to try to be his own man for a bit instead of hanging about us all the time. I don't HATE him, I just wish he'd act for himself once in a while.

I'm all packed and ready to go. I think I'll leave early and go spend the rest of the week with James. Leave with one last bang just for my dear Mum's sake. She'd LOVE that. As I left, she'd be screaming at me that I was a shame to her, la la, and why couldn't I be more like Regulus. I wouldn't want to be like my dear brother. He conforms too easily. I almost feel sorry for him. I would if he didn't stick so close to Mummy dearest. I can't get close enough to talk some sense into him. Mother's always in the next room making sure I'm not infecting her precious, baby boy with my crazy philosophies. Not like he'd listen anyway. Mother's got him pretty well brainwashed.

Dear GOD! Can't she shut up for ONCE?! Just ONE night! ONE! Couldn't she just stop screaming at me? Well, as you can gather, Mother dearest is calling for her horrible son Sirius to join them at the dinner table. Now that freak of a house-elf, Kreacher is pulling at me. I'd LOVE to fulfill that smarmy git's heart's desire and stick his fat head on the wall with his Mum. Got to go. Mum's talking about getting her wand out and you know that's not good.

Sirius

P.S. Maybe I'll leave for James' tonight. I have a feeling I'll need Mr. Potter's healing skills by the end of the night.

P.P.S. Got a letter from M.

Harry's blood seemed to have frozen in his veins as the words broke off with a splattering of ink. The knowing that he was reading his godfather's most intimate thoughts didn't bother him horribly, not as much as he thought it would. Perhaps here, Harry could prove that Sirius had cared for nothing but himself.

But he's already proved you wrong somewhat. Harry's mind whispered. He cared about his brother, didn't he? He wanted to help him, would have had his mother ever left him alone. Doesn't that mean anything to you?

Harry continued to stare at the journal for a time, then flipped the page and began reading again. The entries picked up again after two weeks.

August something....

Sorry, I'm a bit too lazy to write the date in. I'm not even sure of the date. Sorry for the delay. Mother dearest roughed me up quite a bit after I wrote that last entry, so I just left without even eating anything. I couldn't. I practically ran to Potter's. I couldn't grab all my things, well, namely my broom, so I went at it on foot.

I never really feel comfortable when James' Dad swears like he does whenever he sees what Mother does to me. It just seems like such a contrast, that nice, elderly gentleman calling my Mother a 'bitch!' and.....well, other such lovely things. James just laughs whenever he does that. But let's not talk on that. I'm at school now. Mother doesn't exist.

Things are going well actually, despite the fact that McGonagall is determined to kill me by the fourth week of school. We've got about twelve feet of parchment to use up by the next class and on top of that another one of those ruddy star charts to fill out for Divination. I swear, I'm running out of ways to write my death, which truly surprises me as I've thought on it so often.

Peter's still a git, hangs on me and James like a leech. Remus is still Remus. Scholarly as ever. I swear, I'm going to have to teach that lad how to have some fun one of these days. Sorry this is so short, but I've got to help Pettigrew with his Arithmancy. Remus would do it otherwise, except that he's already helping JAMES with his Charms homework. I really don't want to help him, but........

Sirius

Harry froze and flipped the page over. What about the 'M', Sirius had mentioned receiving a letter from? But there was nothing on the next page, nor the next. Frantically, Harry tore through the pages of the journal, but found nothing. Sirius had simply stopped writing. He pulled out his wand and began smacking the diary with it, yelling out any spell he could think of that could possibly reveal the words in the journal. Nothing happened. Harry balanced his wand in one hand, and pulled out a Muggle pen he'd taken from the Dursleys after he ran out of ink for his quills. He scratched agitatedly on the surface of the diary, but no ink flowed from the nib. In frustration, he scribbled on his own hand. Black ink covered it. But when he pressed the nib to the paper, nothing came from it.

"Bastard!" Harry yelled in frustration, tossing his wand on top of the journal as he yelled the foul word.

He was about to storm from the room, when a curious sight caught his eye. Silver sparks were trickling from his wand onto the journal, and when those sparks touched the paper, words followed, etching themselves in the pages. Harry threw himself back onto the floor and grabbed the diary, turning the pages in surprise. The journal was completely filled. and then some. Other loose pages had appeared, each covered with Sirius' loopy handwriting. Eagerly, Harry grabbed the diary and scanned the page.

September something, don't really care for the date, so I'll just write S.S. (i.e. September something)

HA! I'd like to see someone sneak and read my journal NOW! That's right! I've a special password that no one will EVER guess! Now, I'm positive that I can write without being worried about being spied on, and with that said, I can now write what I really WANT to talk about.

You remember how I said I got a letter from M? (Sorry, I'm not going to say her name here, just in case James gets any funny ideas and tries to spy on me.) Anyhow, she wrote me. Wasn't a HUGE letter, but here it is.

Harry scratched at a yellowed piece of parchment that was taped with Spellotape to the surface of the page. In it, the handwriting was flowery, VERY girlish, but with an adult lilt to it.

Sirius,

I hope you're alright. I was honestly worried when your letter stopped so abruptly last time. You really should learn to hold your tongue. That will keep you from getting in deep with your Mother. I'm not even sure why you're still writing me. Then again, you're not done with your homework yet. School is in two bloody WEEKS, Sirius! What are you thinking, sending me a copy of your Potions homework asking for help? I'm not even in your year! But I will admit, the compliment that I 'knew' everything in school no matter the grade was quite touching.

NOT.

I've got to go. Mum wants me to go shopping with her. I honestly can't wait till we go to Diagon Alley. I just want to get out of the Muggle world and back into the magical one! And one last parting word of advice:

QUIT SPENDING SO MUCH TIME CONVERSING WITH JAMES ON HOW TO MAKE HELL THIS YEAR AND GET YOUR HOMEWORK DONE!!

Aren't you proud? I could have sent you a Howler, but didn't.

Yours,

M.

Harry frowned as he saw that Sirius had blotted out the girl's name at the bottom of the letter. However, he did chuckle at the letter itself. It reminded him of something Hermione would have sent to him or Ron. The fact that Sirius was sending his homework to a girl younger than him sounded EXACTLY like something Ron would do, the girl's reaction, just like Hermione's.

Much to his chagrin, Harry found his anger with Sirius slipping away the longer he read the journal. He even guffawed aloud when he read Sirius' words after the girl's message.

Honestly, who does M. think she is bossing me about that way? She's not my ruddy mother! However, I must admit, I'd prefer her over Mother dearest any day. The girl is a genius, but she's quite daft. She didn't have to ask me WHY I was sending her my homework even though she's younger. She's read Hogwarts: A History so many bloody times it makes me want to scream and by the time we reach school every year, she's already got all of her textbooks read. The girl knows her stuff!

So what if I want to take advantage of that genius? I'm rude, perhaps, but she's nice enough to accommodate me, even though she does make quite a fuss while she does it. What's odd is that she's not half-bad looking either. Most girls who have smarts tend to be a bit lacking in the beauty department. No, she's not bad looking at all. I'll see if I can snitch a camera off of Lily Evans and take her picture. Lily's always got Muggle stuff like that hanging about in her bag.

Sirius

Harry smiled slightly. Sirius certainly was ignorant if he thought that smart girls couldn't be pretty too. He wondered if Sirius thought about this diary entry when he first met Hermione in the Shrieking Shack. Granted, Hermione wasn't looking her absolute best that day, but when her deep brown eyes sparked with unspoken frustration, or fury as they had on that infamous day, she was anything but ugly.

There it was. A reference to his Mum. Secretly, Harry had been waiting to hear about her. He wanted to know about her, but a part of him really didn't want to. He'd wanted to find out about his father as well, and he'd learned far more than he wanted to.

The next entry of the journal started out with the picture Sirius had promised. However, Harry dropped down and read the entry before looking at it.

What did I tell you? I SAID I would get a picture of M., and I did. No one can stop Sirius Black from getting what he wants. Mind you, Lily wasn't too pleased when she found out I snitched her camera out of her bag and that James helped distract her, but I figure, she can't not speak to me FOREVER! Yes, she's giving me and James the silent treatment, but I'll live.

It's JAMES I'm worried about. Poor lads' a mess. He's wild about her, you know, even if she is Muggle-born. SHE'S quite the clever one as well, and she's got looks too. I must not have been looking at the smart ones very closely. Either that, or they're all taking beauty potions just to make me think I'm going bonkers.

Anyhow, here's that picture of M.! Lovely, eh? Did I just say lovely? I meant comely. She's comely. But there's just something about her. Mind you, I don't know what it is. But there's something about her that makes me, I don't know, question my sanity, I suppose. Makes me think twice. You can't say she's NOT pretty in her own way. I took that when she was fiddling about in the Library, STUDYING, as usual. This time it was Potions. Why she thinks she can suck up to Professor Bane, I've no clue, but she tries anyway. I must say, the way her hair falls over her eye is quite, well, fetching. GOD! I THINK HER HAIR'S FETCHING!!

Madly yours,

Sirius

Finally, Harry looked up at the picture of the girl. She was leaning over a table in the library in a position that Harry recognized all too easily. He had seen it in Hermione many times. Her upper body was bent over an immense book, her head resting on one hand as her eyes scanned the page. The girl's eyes would flick back and forth across the pages intensely, then she'd flip a page. She continued this for several minutes before she slowly turned and glanced towards Harry. Her mouth dropped open in shock and a moment later she was slamming her book shut, her eyes blazing as she marched towards him. Harry grinned as the girl set her book down on a table, grasped the edges of the picture and attempted angrily to fold them down. After a while, she stopped, grasped her book from the table and flounced back into her chair. The girl was tiny and childlike, with dark hair that threatened to slip past the waist-line. Her skin was milky white, the cheeks, red. Sirius had not lied about her eyes. They were vibrant and they were intense. The way the light reflected brilliantly across the gray-green depths sent a shiver down Harry's spine. She was more than fetching. She was beautiful, and only someone like Sirius wouldn't realize that until too late.

The next entry made Harry squirm uncomfortably. Some of the thoughts that Sirius expressed were feelings that were all too familiar to him. He'd felt them run madly through his brain every time he even dared to look at Cho Chang.

M. helped me with my Potions AGAIN tonight. Of course we met in a secluded place. Can't have some smart-arse second year seeing us together and spreading it about school that we're an ITEM or something mad like that. That wouldn't do at all. The girl's not even a part of my league! Why would we go together? However......

She can be quite witty sometimes, quite the little fireball when she's pissed at me, which is a majority of the time. Sometimes, I get the feeling that she watches me when my back is turned. I turn to see and she's looking back down at her book. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind. There's just something about HER looking at me that sends a shiver going up and down my spine. Potter says I'm losing it. Says I must be completely desperate for love if I'm falling for M. But sometimes, much to my surprise, I can almost see myself being with her, walking her to class, kissing her outside Honeydukes, impressing her with my tricks, and just sitting with her, being happy just to be with her. Then I wake up and I see that we'd never make it. Not just because she's younger than me. It's not that.

It's just this odd feeling I can't explain. Every time I try to think of the two of us having a future, my mind goes blank. It's like looking at a picture with no faces. I can't explain why I feel that way. It's this eerie feeling that I don't altogether like. The oddest thing is that it came to me during Divination.

You know I abhor Divination and don't hold with it very much. The teacher was gave us a cup of tea leaves to read and made us look in crystal balls for several bloody hours. She said that we might not see anything in them, but later, a prophecy might come to us. I took that with a grain of salt, as you can bloody well imagine. But when I got some tips for Potions from M. later that day, that feeling came to me when my fingers just barely brushed her hand. It was a sick, loathsome feeling resting in the pit of my stomach. Even after I left her, the feeling stayed there. There's always a lingering of it in the back of my mind whenever I see her.

Maybe I should go to Lily and beg a numbing potion off of her. She's good at potions. Of course, so is M., but I can't exactly ask her for it. She'll wonder what it's for and I can't let her know anything about me or my feelings for her, if that's even what they are. More on this later.

Sirius

Harry stared at the page a moment, then turned it, focusing intently on the next entry.

Lily wouldn't give me a potion. She said I should be embracing whatever feelings I want to numb. It'd be good for my character to have remorse for the things I do every once in a while. I couldn't tell her that it wasn't to cure remorse but to get rid of that sick feeling. I'm not sure she'd believe me. Evans is a good girl, but not one to place her trust in me. She trusts JAMES, but not me. Go figure.

I thought that if I avoided M., it would be an easy solution. I'd never see her, therefore, I wouldn't get the feeling. But she couldn't let that rest. She had to ask me if I was mad at her, if she'd done something wrong. Another thing is that I can't stay away from her! As stupid as that sounds, I can't. I keep running into her, and on PURPOSE! I walk by her classes when I'm off without even realizing it. Plus, I can't NOT see her. She gives me help with Potions. Not sure I'd survive if I didn't have her help. Alright, I'm stretching it a bit, but I can't stay away from her.

Maybe I should tell her. But what to say? 'M., for some odd reason I'm attracted to you and I don't know why. I can't even explain it knowledgably, so don't ask! Just KISS me, Baby!' Yeah, THAT'D go over well. A real Casanova, *I* am.

I can't even explain how I feel. Everything just seems to be better when she's around. I'm not worrying about Regulus all the time, or my Mother, or Voldemort. I'm not afraid of anything. I feel like I could take Voldemort with one hand tied behind my back and my eyes closed, WHILE being tortured by the Cruciatus curse at the same time. Is that extreme, or what? Everything just seems so.......wonderful. The sky seems bluer, the world seems brighter when she's around. But how to tell her? God knows. I'd probably stutter. Not good for my reputation. I'd just screw it up. I'd just sound like a bloody idiot. Not like we didn't already know that though, right?

Sirius

The next entry didn't appear till several weeks later. It looked to Harry that Sirius had started to write several times, but had stopped abruptly. There were ink splatters all over the pages and indentations where it appeared the nib of the quill had been jabbed into the paper. Finally, almost a month later, there was another entry.

Christmas Eve

I told her. Right after dinner. She just eyed me with this knowing look as I'm baring my soul to her. It went something like this:

As Harry read the words, a small bubble popped up on the page and the word Loquor appeared just inside it. Slowly, Harry drew out his wand and tapped it, whispering,

"Loquor."

Immediately, voices erupted from the pages of the journal. They were very quiet, but the sound of them made Harry moan aloud and sit back on his heels. Sirius' voice. He hadn't realized how much he'd missed Sirius' voice. It was younger, more carefree, but unmistakably nervous. As the conversation carried out, words chronicling the speakers' conversation appeared on the page.

Me: M., I think you and I can both say we've been hanging out quite a bit lately.

M: Yes, I've noticed.

Me: Now, mind you, it's mainly because of homework, but I think we've come to a greater understanding, don't you think?

M.: Dunno. Depends on what you call a greater understanding.

Me: Well, I mean, we talk a lot and you help me out with some of my pranks and, well, you know, things are, we are........are you getting any bloody thing I'm asking you?

M: I suppose. But you're going to have to define it a little better, Sirius. I'm not sure I've got it completely.

Me: I see. You're getting a sick pleasure out of this, aren't you?

M: Rather. Please continue.

Me: I think we'd, that is, I think you are, well.........what do you say?

Harry grinned at his godfather's helpless tone. He was trying to hard to explain his feelings and was failing miserably. Fortunately, the girl appeared to have a sense of humor.

M: I see. You think that, even though I'm FAR below you in the caste system, we have something and you want to follow that feeling.

Me: Caste what?

M: Never mind. You like me. You want to know if I like you.

Me: Exactly! I knew you'd get it eventually! You know, you should work on your perception skills. You're a wee bit slow on the uptake.

M: Thanks so much. The answer is yes.

Me: What?

M: Yes. Yes, I like you. Talk about slow on the uptake.

Me: Shut up, M.

M: Whatever, git.

Me: So......you want to go out sometime then?

M: I suppose. You're asking, right?

Me: Don't conceal your enthusiasm, PLEASE.

M: Fine, I won't.

Abruptly, the conversation broke off and the writing resumed.

Well, after ten more minutes of arguing, she said she'd go to Hogsmeade with me next weekend. Can't wait! I can't believe I'm so bloody excited about a GIRL, and *M.* no less! James asked me how I get off being such an idiot. He doesn't think we'll make it. Doesn't think I'm mature enough to handle a serious relationship. HE'S one to talk. Him always giving Lily a hard time and acting like a git when she's around just to get her attention. He knows she loves him though, and that's what matters, I suppose. That's what matters to me anyhow.

Sirius

************************************************************************

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place.
Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace.
Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste.
It all revolves around you.

And there's no mountain too high.
No river too wide.
Sing out this song I'll be there by your side.

Storm clouds may gather,

And stars may collide.
But I love you until the end of time.

Come what may.

Come what may.
I will love you,

Until the end of time.

************************************************************************

Harry barely noticed the time on the clock quickly passing by as he lay out on the dusty floor of the attic reading Sirius' journal. There were so many things he never knew about his godfather, so many emotions he never got the chance to show Harry. For instance, Sirius' love for his motorbike was almost as great as his love for the girl M., which of course, disgusted her.

In one entry, Sirius wrote scornfully:

M. wants me to get rid of the motorbike. Thinks it's silly. But she's just playing. I KNOW she loves flying on it. However, she was a wee bit pissed when I was a half hour late for a date because I was waxing the bike. I WANTED IT TO LOOK GOOD FOR THE BLOODY DATE! I tried to explain it to her, but she was sullen all night. Of course she forgave me in the end. How could she refuse ME? She couldn't of course. No one can.

Throughout the journal entries, Sirius never slipped and revealed the girl's name. He always put her name down as 'M.'. Never anything different. Harry wondered if the girl was still alive, if she knew about Sirius' imprisonment, or of his death. He shuddered as he thought of that. He didn't want to know how the girl would have reacted. She appeared to love Sirius very much. The journal was filled with responses to love letters Sirius had sent to her. Between the yellowed pages was a wilted and crumbling red rose that she had worn on her gown on Christmas. Sirius talked about her non-stop. Harry could only imagine how the girl would have reacted to Sirius' imprisonment and now, death. He didn't want to imagine it. He wouldn't want to know of the pain she would be in.

As time wore on, Sirius let more things slip through his thoughts about the girl M.. Yellowed clippings from the Daily Prophet were stuck between the pages, each one telling of more and more attacks on Muggles and wizarding folk alike.

"SIGN OF VOLDEMORT HANGS OVER THE HOUSES OF 10 WIZARDING FAMILIES IN ONLY THREE DAYS!"

"DAILY PROPHET REPORTER RITA SKEETER BELIEVES THAT THE RADICAL VOLDEMORT IS FOCUSED ON BOTH WIZARDING FAMILIES AND NON-MAGIC FAMILIES!"

"MINISTER OF MAGIC ORDERS A COMPLETE LOCKDOWN OF WIZARDING HOMES! EVERY FAMILY ORDERED TO BE ALERT AND PREPARED FOR ANY ATTACK!"

Harry shook his head as he gazed down at the pictures of ordinary looking houses, ordinary save for the immense snake-laden skull that hung above them.

There was one bit of joy that Harry found in the troubled words of the journal. His birth was recorded and Sirius was more than thrilled.

I'M A BLOODY GODFATHER!! Lily had the baby today, July 31st. Good time to be born in my opinion, course, the kid didn't really have much of a choice. James was as pleased as punch to have a son. He was jumping about like mad screaming,

"I'VE GOT A SON! I'VE GOT A SON! HIS NAME'S HARRY!" Then he grabbed at me and yelled, "HIS NAME'S HARRY AND GUESS WHAT? YOU'RE GOING TO BE GODFATHER, SIRIUS! HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, BLACK? NOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE! TAKE THAT!"

Just about all of that special fuzzy feeling I was having for being Harry's godfather slipped away when I heard what M. likes to call the 'R' word. I was really quiet, but James didn't even notice. He was too busy jumping about and cursing the fact that he couldn't send any owls out to anyone. They're in hiding, so it's not a great idea. Anyhow, back to the whole apprehension about the 'R' word.

I went to see baby Harry while Lily was resting and after James had fallen asleep from exhaustion. The kid was lying in his crib, sweet as could be. He was awake, but he wasn't screaming or whining or anything that babies usually do. He just laid there and looked up at me with these bright green eyes, Lily's eyes. I just stood there and stared at him, and he just stared right back at me. In that moment, I realized that I didn't care if I had to be responsible to be Harry's godfather. It would be worth it just to see him grow, just to see what kind of person he'd be like. If he'd be a genius like his mother, or a talented Quidditch player like his father, or even if he'd take up my practical jokes where I left off. Mind you, it would take a lot of work to get him up to par, but it would be worth it to borrow James' invisibility cloak, go to Hogwarts with Harry and watch the look on McGonagall's face when Harry lets loose a dungbomb behind her desk just like I always used to. It'll be a great responsibility to take care of Harry, to be there for Lily and James as they raise this boy, but it would be worth it to see the man he'd become.

Harry stared at the page for a long time before finally turning it. To his surprise, tears were slipping down his cheeks one at a time, each splashing on the yellowed page below him. He couldn't help it. Reading his godfather's thoughts about HIM, it just seemed to be the thing he needed to hear. He needed to know how much his godfather cared for him, even if he already knew. He just needed to be reminded.

M. seemed to be fading quickly from the journal. Sirius spoke more of James, Lily, and of "the plan", than anything or anyone else.

I can't say anything here in case by some means, this journal is found and broken into. I don't want to be responsible for that. Lily has everything planned out and she's prepared for any attack. So is James for that matter. It's odd. It seems that all of a sudden James has gotten this great sense of responsibility that he didn't have a few weeks ago. I suppose having a son will do that to a fellow. Peter on the other hand is a hysterical wreck. He's nervous all the time and stutters like mad. The only person who can put up with his sniveling is Lily. She just pats him on the back and talks all sweet to him. That makes James sick. He just tells her to let him learn how to be a man on his own, but Lily won't let it be. But what's odd is that Peter seems to get worse when she tries to comfort him. I'll never understand that git.

Remus hasn't been here in weeks. In fact, he hasn't come around since two weeks ago. I'm certain that it's Remus. He's the betrayer. I hate to think it, but it's the only logical guess. He's always sneaking about. One time I caught him skulking in Lily and James' kitchen getting at Lily's store of potions and ingredients. I asked him what he was doing and he just froze, then gave me this wild story that Lily needed it for some spell to protect the grounds. I had just seen Lily and she was rocking Harry to sleep. I just wish I knew why he was doing this to us, why he was going behind our backs like this. We've got no choice but to destroy him before he destroys us.

Even M. is skulking about. I rarely see her anymore. She just says that she's working on something very important and she'll tell me about it later. Yet, I see her leaving Lily and James' late at night when I'm outside on the watch. What is she doing? Lily won't even tell me. Just tells me that M. wanted some advice on something. But she refuses to tell me and that's what irks me the most. I WANT to know. I want some sense of communication. We just don't do that anymore. I swear to God, if she's working with Remus.......

I don't know what I'll do if it comes down to that. Dumbledore keeps telling me not to do anything rash, to keep my head and proceed with the plan. But Dumbledore doesn't know that I'm not Lily and James' Secret-Keeper anymore. Only Lily, James, Peter and I know, as it should be. God knows what would happen if anyone else knew.

As the journal went on, Harry realized that Sirius had gotten over his lack of memory and had begun to put the dates in the journal. His heart began to race as the dates began to slip down further and further towards Halloween, the day his parents had been ruthlessly murdered and the day Sirius' life had truly ended.

October 28

Dear God, I can't stand this! All this skulking about! It's about to drive me mad! Lily had to calm me down this afternoon. She usually just has to do that with Peter. This time was different. It was because of M. She won't talk to me, and today I caught her messing about with some spell in her basement. She saw me and started screaming at me to get the hell out. I just stared at her, then turned tail and ran, but not without giving her hell right back. She stormed up the stairs after me and told me to keep my God-damned nose out of her business. When she first screamed at me, I figured it was just because she was on edge because of the recent attacks Voldemort has been making on our world. They've been so close to us as of late. But as she continued to give me hell, things just got more and more worse.

I told her that she needed to get HER God-damned nose out of her spell books and to start talking to me again.

She told me that I didn't understand.

I told her, 'Damn straight,' I didn't understand.

She said I didn't understand her, didn't understand that what she was doing was so important she couldn't tell me.

I told her that I DIDN'T understand her anymore, didn't want to try to. She was too different. She was right from the beginning. We WERE too different to survive together.

She said I was right. We were too odd a match to ever be anything.

I screamed that she was a bitch.

She called me a heartless bastard.

I told her I hoped that she got busted for whatever she was doing. That would teach her. Perhaps a few years in Azkaban would get her straight.

She said maybe a few years in Azkaban might be good for ME, help me with my temper. She said what she was doing was too important, too vital for me to know.

I said she must be working for Voldemort. If she was working for him it'd make a lot of sense. She was certainly acting odd around Lily and James. I told her perhaps she should run and join her Master before we took him down first.

She screamed. Cried. Repeated over and over, "Heartless bastard! Heartless bastard! You don't understand, Sirius. You don't understand!"

I told her I didn't want to understand. I walked out on her, but not before telling her that I'd never loved her. She was dead to me. Only *I* would fall in love with a woman working with Voldemort. Only me. Just my good luck.

As the news of that heartstopping entry settled into Harry's mind, he froze again as he looked at the following date.

November 1

Don't have much time. I've got to get back, got to find Peter before it's too late. I'm on my way to find him. I'm just resting for a spell, but not for long. Just needed to get one last butterbeer before setting out for my revenge. Butterbeer always helped me think clearly.

Don't have much time. Lily and James are dead. Murdered by Voldemort. Remus is nowhere to be found. Peter is missing. Harry is with Hagrid. How Dumbledore found out so quickly about Lily and James is beyond me. No one can be sure of anything with that man. Hagrid took the motorbike. I have no use for it where I'm going. I don't know what I'll do. I'm frozen, but so filled with anger. How can someone be so numb, but so filled with emotion at the same time? It seems impossible, but it is. At least Harry is safe.....

It wasn't M. It never was. I was wrong to ever doubt her. How could I have doubted her? She was my world. My everything. How do I know? I saw her before I found Lily and James. She warned me, told me to go to them. Even after our fight she came to find me. I almost killed her. It never was her. Her project is something that will help destroy Voldemort forever. I can't say here. Only she and the others with her can bring it about, can bring it to counter Voldemort. She has her own road to travel, as do I.

She begged me not to do anything rash.

I promised her nothing.

She left me a note that said I was her everything. She said she was doing this for me, for our world. She didn't fear losing her own life, but she couldn't bear it if she lived to see me die. She had to do it, had to go her own way.

I never told her how much I loved her. She'll never know. I may never see her again after this. Granted, I don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do, but I continue to remember that feeling, that sickening feeling that has never faded from my mind: the feeling that I'll never see her again, that we'll never see each other again in this life.

I never told her how much I truly cared for her. If I never see you again, my love, I love you. I really do.

That's all I can say, the best I can do. I love you with all my heart. I regret nothing. If you know anything on that road you travel, know that I loved you, that I always will, forever and always.

I have to go. My butterbeer is gone and time is passing by so fast. I've got to find Peter before it's too late. Then I'll find Remus. I must find the truth, no matter how far or how long it takes me. Time is passing, love incites me to make one last stand.

Always,

Sirius Emrys Black

The rest of the journal was empty. Sirius had never had time to write anything more in it. Had he been able to, he would of told of Peter's betrayal, of his unjust imprisonment in Azkaban. Harry wondered if Sirius had forgotten about this journal. If he hadn't, would he have given it to Harry to read? Would he have WANTED Harry to read it? Harry wasn't sure, but as he closed the book and stared at his tears splashing across the cover, he knew that his godfather's words had helped him immeasurably.

It didn't matter that his godfather had written them years ago. The message was still the same. Sirius had changed during his stay in Azkaban, certainly, but every moment of freedom changed him back to the man he used to be. In one of his entries, Sirius had written:

"Lily says I'm too rash. James says I'm the perfect Marauder, the definition of THAT being that I AM rash, adventurous, and a bit self-centered. I know that I am all these things, but it's just part of who I am, part of Sirius Black. I try my best not to be repulsive, but it's hard to find people who understand me, who understand that I'm trying to be the best man I can be. It will just take some time."

Sirius had never meant to hurt Harry because of himself. Harry felt that he should have added one other attribute in his definition of the perfect Marauder: undying love and faithfulness. Sirius had never stepped back when it came to those whom he loved. He had gone to avenge Lily and James as soon as possible. He had come to Harry's rescue more than once, more than he should have. If he hadn't cared so much about Harry, he wouldn't have died.

Harry pressed his hands to his face as the tears rushed faster and faster down his cheeks. He wanted to blame himself for Sirius' death, but he couldn't. He know knew that Sirius wouldn't want him to. He'd tell him,

"It's not your fault, Harry. I shouldn't have left. But I couldn't help myself, Harry. I couldn't just let the others rush to your rescue while I stayed at home and did nothing. You're my godson for Godsakes! I couldn't leave you alone. Not when I could help save you."

"Sirius, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." Harry choked into his hands.

He knew Sirius wasn't there. He never would be, but somewhere he had to be looking at Harry, wishing he could escape from wherever he was so he could comfort his godson. Harry just couldn't help it. He couldn't believe he'd been so callous, so harsh on Sirius. Though he'd known his godfather for three years now, he had never truly known him, and Harry had blamed Sirius for his misunderstanding.

There were so many layers to Sirius Black. He loved life, his friends, and one woman, all with a vibrant passion that filled his entire soul. Harry would never understand that kind of passion that had filled his godfather. It would take years to truly understand. Harry had taken life for granted so many times, hadn't understood how much he was loved by those around him. Sirius knew what he did not. Those he loved could easily be taken away any second of any day. Sirius had lost so many: his best friends, his freedom, his godson. Harry had never known Sirius, just as Sirius had never known Harry. Harry couldn't blame Sirius for his actions. He didn't truly understand them.

As a hand gently pressed down on his shoulder, Harry looked up to see Remus Lupin bending over him, concern expressed in his wide eyes.

"Harry, are you alright? I, oh God."

Lupin suddenly dropped to his knees as he caught sight of the journal. Harry wiped his tears away on his sleeve and held out the book to Remus.

"It's his journal. I figured out the password." Harry said through muffled tears.

Remus continued to stare at the book, his hands pressed against the floor almost desperately.

"How many times did I see Sirius writing in that book and wonder what he was writing?" He whispered.

"Take it. You should read it." Harry said, pushing it towards Lupin.

But Lupin continued to stare at the journal with wide, pain-filled eyes.

"I can't, Harry. Not just yet. Perhaps later. What is the password?" Remus asked quietly, finally turning to gaze at Harry.

Harry let loose a hysterical laugh and hiccoughed.

"Bastard!" He laughed.

Remus stared at him for a moment, then began to laugh loudly. He pressed his hands up against his eyes, and when he removed them, tears were spilling down his face.

"Only Sirius. Only Sirius could come up with that kind of password." He breathed.

Harry stared at Remus for a time, then slowly said,

"Remus, I'm so sorry for all the things I said to you."

Remus waved his hand.

"Harry, don't,

"No, I am." Harry cut in. "I never really understood Sirius. He was my godfather, but I never knew him. You did. You understood Sirius more than I did. That's why, I can only imagine what pain you're feeling right now. I'm in pain, but what you're feeling," Harry couldn't finish his sentence. Remus had closed his eyes, but tears continued to spill out of the tightly closed lids. "He was a complicated man with many layers, but like you said, he was a man. I probably shouldn't have read his journal, Remus, but now that I have, I have a better idea of who Sirius was. I understand him just a little, and that's enough for now.

"I only wish that you could have had time to truly know him in person, Harry." Remus choked.

Harry stared at Remus, then slowly put his arms around the man, resting his head on his shoulder. Remus slipped his arms around Harry's thin body, but said nothing, though Harry felt his tears soaking through his sweater.

Harry knew that time would heal his wounds. They were already partially healed. Now that he somewhat understood who his godfather was, it was slightly easier to accept his death. It was like Remus said: Sirius was a man. He loved and he lost, but he lived his life as fully as he possibly could. That was all Harry had to accept for now. The rest would come in time. His godfather was a man. Perhaps when Harry himself had grown into a man, he'd truly understand. Till then, he could just love his godfather for who he was, for his dedication, his lust for life and his love for him, his godson. That was all Harry could believe, could know for now, and that was enough.