Chapter Twenty-Three: Of Secret Tears

Sirius lay on the ground unable to move, or rather, unwilling to move. Despite Kara's lack of wand, the look in her eyes was murderous and her finger looked more and more like a weapon of mass destruction. Her words rang through his head and though he wanted to scream that maybe what she'd said was true for her: he'd never seen any proof of her statement. Yet, still he remained silent watching her tears release slowly from the confines of her eyes.

Her body was trembling and he could tell that if he said or did anything the hold she had on her emotions would break. He then let his eyes meet hers and saw something unexpected. The seemingly strong willed eleven-year-old looked stripped of everything, leaving nothing but sadness.

"What's wrong?" He braced himself for an attack.

None came.

He opened his eyes and took a chance in standing up. Still there was no attack. When his eyes met hers she spoke, "Library."


She glared at him, the sadness quickly dissipated and was replaced with anger. "You heard me. Your stupid ventures to the library! That's what's wrong. Remus spending more time helping you in destroying me then he ever has with me alone!"

"Remus isn't destroying you. You're overreacting." Sirius stated now wishing he had just played dead and let her go to Hagrid's.

"Overreacting? I'm not overreacting!"

"Alright then. But I sincerely doubt if the library has anything that could destroy you, unless you happened to write a crap book on Potions."

Kara glared at him once again and stepped forward. He flinched slightly and she couldn't help but feel glad that she'd made him do so. "You don't know anything! You should just leave the past in the past. Nothing good comes from opening closed wounds-"

"You're losing me."

"You put your nose in places it doesn't belong. Looking for things that other people don't want you to see."

"I don't understand."

"Of course I did. Because you know nothing! After all your searching-"

"You've officially lost it, Kara. Maybe you should see Madam Pomfrey. I'll take you-" When he touched her shoulder she pulled away and started to cry. He just stared at her, amazed by her reaction.

"Tell me," was the only thing that left his mouth.

She stared into his eyes, "I will not tell you…" she took a deep breath and looked up at the night sky, "I will not tell you that my parents died…"

Remus watched as James stared wide-eyed at the paper before he finally looked at him, "Why?"

Remus merely shrugged. He saw Peter looking at the both of them in confusion, but ignored it figuring he'd catch up eventually. Then he pushed the paper he'd found about the Riddle's towards James. "It's happened before. You were right."

James stared at the paper reading the article. Then he looked up at Remus knowing he had more to say. "I think the Auror's do know about this. I think they just don't want the public to know because they made a mistake. I think… I think they even know what the hex is-"

"But they don't want it published." James interjected, "I thought of that too. I think they'll add it to something Mad-Eye called an Unforgivable. There's three on the list: Imperious, Cruciatus, and one like this one but there's obvious signs of heart failure." He took a deep sigh before he went on, "Someone perfected it." He paused and looked Remus in this eyes, "This someone perfected it." He pointed down at the paper in front of him and pushed it towards Remus. "Now tell me about this."

Sirius didn't understand. He knew her parents were dead. He'd known that from the beginning. It was practically part of their introduction, but it went more without saying than that. He looked at her but before he could say he knew that, she went on, "My parents died," she heaved a large sigh, "because of that killer."

The words flew out of her mouth and as the last word left her lips, her hand flew up to her mouth, and a surprised screech escaped from her throat. Sirius stared at her, his expression blank as the revelation began to process in his head.

He watched as her knees instantly buckled out from under her and she collapsed at his feet, sobbing uncontrollably. In a panic he looked around someone to help him but there was no one in sight. As his eyes scanned his surroundings repeating in a turmoil of unclear noise: My parents died because of that killer.

He looked back down at her. Her brown hair was falling in her face in a way that prevented him from seeing it. The sound of her cries sounded almost more painful than Remus' during his change, which only seemed to add to his worry of not knowing what he should do.

Sirius looked back up at the stars, What do I do? He closed his eyes only to hear the dreaded words she'd uttered and looked back down at her. Then before he could think it though he kneeled down on the damp ground.

He reached out his hand and pulled her hair out of her face, forcing her to look at him. When her eyes met his he attempted to smile at her, which only seemed to make her eyes grow redder and more tears to fall over the brim of her eyes.

He stared at her for a long while as she stared back before his mind left him and he hugged her. He half expected her to push him away but instead she returned the gesture and continued to sob into his shoulder.

Sirius said nothing as he held her, unable to think of anything that sounded right, considering the depth of despair the situation handled and the time that had passed. His mind reeled, shocked that their research topic had done this. He was shocked that it involved Remus, yet again. But more than ever, was completely torn between simply comforting her and asking her questions on the matter.

"I miss them."

Sirius was slightly startled by the intrusion on his thoughts. He felt her pull away. He could still hear her sobs and was now aware that his shoulder was wet with her tears. He watched as she pulled away, keenly aware of how awkward he felt now that she was speaking. Yet still, he kept his eyes on her.

"I barely remember them." She wiped away her tears but it didn't do much good because more followed her proclamation, "I mean I was four."

Sirius stared at her. His mind quickly clicked into place, browsing though the hidden vaults before it finally settled, "You were four?"

She stared at him with her bloodshot eyes as if shocked to find him sitting before her, "Yeah."

"But that means-"

She nodded as she blinked back tears she was willing not to fall. "That it was the same year Remus was bitten." Sirius was quiet. "I think the world is specially designed so that if one thing goes wrong, twenty other things go at the same time."

Sirius stared at her, listening to her words; he almost had to remind himself that she was younger than him.

Still she continued like a flood gate had opened in her mouth and all the contents had to come out. "It even happened during the same time. Obviously, I was at Lupin Lodge visiting because my parents were going somewhere, I still don't know where. I'm the one that made Remus go outside; I'm the one that made Remus a werewolf. And sometimes I think that that's the reason my parents were taken away."

Upon those words Sirius shook his head, "That's not true and you know it. You had nothing to do with that. If I had that logic, my father hits me sometimes because I- well, I don't know what- but did something daft." He scrunched up his face silently wishing he'd kept his mouth shut. "I guess." He finished lamely.

Kara feigned a smile, "I guess."

"It's true." He stated mildly defeated by his lack of having anything intelligent to say.

They fell silent.

Sirius stared at her waiting for her to get up off the ground to signal that he could stop being sensitive. Then she moved slightly giving him some hope that this moment was over before: "I still remember the Aurors coming to the door, and Uncle Edmund crying saying that it wasn't enough for his son to be taken away? (Because at the time the medi-witches said there was a twenty percent chance that he'd survive.) And Aunt Gwen taking the bags that the Auror handed her. My parents' bags." Her breath shuddered as she held back even more tears.

Sirius stayed silent and placed his hand on her shoulder as a way to tell her that it was okay. She looked at him quickly before looked away, and went on, "I remember Aunt Gwen unpacking the bags the next night. The way she unfolded the clothes, and handled the toiletries. So gentle. I watched her for a long while before she finally realized I was watching her." Kara then looked him directly into Sirius' grey eyes.

"She let me go in and sit on the bed next to her. She'd been crying but I stayed put and just stared at the objects. The belongings that were in a separate bag that had been found on my parents bodies. I didn't know that at the time, I was too young. The only thing I understood was that they were never coming back. That when they told me they'd be back before Christmas, they had lied."

Sirius just stared at her as she seemed to be figuring out what next to say. His hand was still on her shoulder and he merely squeezed it in reassurance. He had nothing to say. Jokes wouldn't work and everything else seemed dumb.

"It's funny through, the one thing I remember the most was that my mom's handkerchief was missing from the pile of stuff that was dropped off. Out of everything, that was the only thing missing."

Sirius just stared at her before his mouth got ahead of his brain. "Wait, so you're saying they were killed because of a hanky?" He stopped himself from laughing, "That's retarded, Kara."

Through her sorrow she still made time to glare at him, "Not if you think about it."

Sirius' brow cocked upward, "Right."

"Let me finish!"

Sirius held up his hands, "Okay."

"The handkerchief was an antique-"

"So lots of people carry around old junk."

She glared at him again, "It was hand made and had the letters R.R. embroidered in the corner in a really elegant style. My mum carried it everywhere with her. It was her most prized possession."

Sirius' eyes grew wide as comprehension dawned on him, "Rowena Ravenclaw," he paused, "you're the last descendant."

Kara nodded and turned a slight shade of red, "I think that's why," her eyes teared up a bit but this time she managed to hold them in, "why they died. I still don't understand the handkerchief, and I probably never will. It might not have any significance at all."

"Maybe," was all Sirius could say.

Then in an abrupt motion, Kara stood up and wiped her eyes. Sirius watched from the ground as she looked over the grounds. He stood up a moment later not knowing what else he could do for her.

"Well, I guess that's it for visiting Hagrid, then." She announced breaking the tension that was building between the two of them.

Sirius simply shrugged his shoulders, "I guess," he stated awkwardly.

He then turned towards the castle entrance. He took only a few steps before he heard her speak once more, "Sirius," he turned around, "don't tell anyone about this."

"I won't," he then turned back around.

"Anyone, Sirius!"

He simply held his hand up to tell her that he understood and walked into the castle.

Remus took a deep breath as he finished his tale. He looked directly at James who appeared to be processing the information, just delivered to him, over and over. Peter, too, was staring at him, but his face seemed more blank than James', which made it hard for him to tell if he had even understood at all. He felt his face grow flush under the pressure of their glances before he finally looked away.

"So that's it then." James said finally.

Remus felt his brow cock upward at the sound of defeat in James' voice. He hadn't expected that. Actually, out of all the options his brain had played out, taking charge and finding out for certain what the hell this chap was up to was the one Remus had been banking on.

"We were looking for a grand murdering nose wipe stealer?" Peter stated quizzically without hiding the obvious amusement in his voice.

Both Remus and James looked at him, though neither of them appeared to see the humor in it.

"No, Pete, we were looking for the bloke that killed Remus' Aunt and Uncle." he looked down at the paper in disgust, "And, unfortunately, we're never going to find him."

James then took up the separate stacks of Daily Prophet's and walked over to the filing cabinet and dropped them inside with a grand 'thud.' When he came back to the table the other two were standing with their things collected. Remus' mind was reeling. This wasn't like James.

They headed out of the library to their common room. As they passed the armor on the third floor, Remus stopped suddenly. James and Peter continued on for a few steps before they realized that Remus was no longer at their side.

"What's wrong?" James asked when he turned around.

Remus merely glanced at him before he answered, "This whole thing." he felt his brow furrow as he contemplated his next words, "I don't think we should throw the towel in on this one."

"Remus, the answer isn't in the library. We've failed."

Remus shook his head, "So. That hasn't ever stopped us before. Look at all the things we've done to Snape. Some take more time than others, but we stick to it." Remus paused before he looked James directly in the face. When he saw a smirk that matched one of Sirius' best he was silently urged to continue.

"And I for one am not going to let this guy get away with killing my family. We'll find out who he is-"

"I don't think he's going to stay in the closet much longer, anyway. And how exactly are we going to stop him when we do find out?"

Remus continued, ignoring Peter's comment, "And you know why, James?"

James nodded slightly at the question but said nothing. Still, Remus continued, "Because Lily's right. We are marauders; and a marauder never quits."

James' smirk instantly became a huge grin upon hearing those words, "All right then. We won't give up."

Remus smiled as they rounded the corner, once again in route to their common room.

"Now, let's just find, Sirius. Lord only knows what he's gotten himself into."

The rest of the term flew by in a blur of continuous motion. Having to find another outlet for their energy they managed to run amuck in between studying for their finals which, according to Sirius, should have never been instated in the first place.

Overall, though, they found that there would have been little time for research with or without finding the new developments. Being so swept with studying Remus found that the actual exams were a blessing rather than a hindrance. And, before long the end of term feast was upon them.

The actual feast was nothing special. The only real announcement that they were going to heed was that Professor Pike would be leaving them come next term. This announcement was met with cheers from the Slytherins.

"Do they know no shame?" Remus stated appalled by the outburst.

The others merely looked at him.

"No," Sirius stated simply. He looked up to the front of the room where Pike was standing with his typical smile planted firmly on his face, "It's a real shame though, I was actually starting to like the guy."

Remus smiled and resisted the sudden urge to roll his eyes.

It wasn't long then, before they boarded the train and headed home. The four boys had found a compartment to themselves and occupied their time with the snacks from the treat trolley coupled with the few pranks they had left over from the beginning of the year.

They were nearly at Kings Cross when Kara and Alexial traipsed in with their luggage behind them.

"You can't be in here." Sirius stated firmly.

Kara smirked, "Oh, is that right?" She said in an oh-to-friendly tone before she looked over at Alexial and smiled. They smirked slightly to each other before they both picked a side and shoved their bodies so that they would fit into the seats.

"Oh, dear god!" Remus exclaimed, only to hear James giggle loudly in his ear.

Alexial and Kara let out matching chuckles as the train stopped with a slight jerk. When the train had come to a complete stop they stood up, grabbed their things, and filed off of the train.

When they stepped onto the platform, Peter took off instantly to his parents, barely taking the time to utter a goodbye. Sirius and Remus said "toodles" to James, who was under strict orders not to waist time on the platform with his mates, for his father had an "important meeting" in a half hour.

When he had finally gone, Sirius turned to Remus and said nothing, he simply took it upon himself to hug him. Remus' reaction was slow to say the least, this was very unlike Sirius, but eventually, his body caught up with his brain. When Sirius broke the hug, almost as abruptly as it had started, he smiled and looked over Remus' shoulder, "Alexial, don't you have to get to your parents?"

"No, she's staying with us for awhile." Kara answered.

Remus saw Sirius' brow cock upward, before he met his eyes once again, "Well, then, take these," he then shoved the bag of leftover prank supplies into his hand, "That should make for a good time." He smirked, "You better do a Marauder proud now.

See ya, mate," with that he turned around to meet his fate for the rest of the summer.

Remus smiled at him as he left, before he, too, turned around to meet up with his family and head home for what was destined to be an adventurous summer.

That's all folks. Well at least for this one. I have the next Story all in order well at least the first chapter I just have to get my lazy butt to type it up. Yeah... it should be up soon within the next week fingers crossed. And it'll be called "Rules to Marauding; throw 'em out the window..."

Now I'd like to thank everyone for reviewing and I really hope you liked this one. Yeah Thanks (Sorry for not listing names this time I'm just... lazy) Love you all hope you continue to read my stuff.