Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta's; Ronnekins (who knows everything there is to know about the Blacks), Mary (who has beta'ing down to an artform!) and John (who is the quickest beta in the west!).
PROLOGUE - 'Toujours Pur'
The Story of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black
The dark house was once the proudest in the land. The five story home was built on an acreage more than two hundred years ago, set on the outskirts of a growing and bustling city. Over the years London had encroached slowly upon the house, crawling and creeping over the vast property, such that, it faded like magic into the city. Now, it remained only a derelict of its former glory. The home, much like the story of the Ancient Blacks, remained empty, broken and contained only dark whispers. The thick smoke from London blanketed the area so that you could no longer see the stars from empty Black family home.
Sirius' mother claimed that when Sirius was born a shadow had fixed itself over the family. No one was sure why she disliked the Noble Families first born son and heir to the Black Fortune. Perhaps it was because Sirius never acted as she wished. He asked questions about his heritage, was often headstrong and unforgiving, admonished her for drinking, caused fusses at family and social gatherings, was Sorted into Gryffindor, befriended that Muggle lover Potter…
But if she disliked him then, she hated him after the winter he turned fifteen. For it was that winter that Caelum Black, the head of the Black family, was murdered - leaving the family fortune and namesake to her least favourite son.
If Sirius was a disappointment, Regulus, the second son and pride to the family, was not able to do much better. The boy lived with his mothers favour yet was essentially weak and it wasn't long before his fellow Death Eaters killed him. Of course, Sirius's mother soon followed. They say she died of a "broken heart" - yet everyone who knew Auriga Black understood that she had no heart to break, it was her potion addiction that poisoned her in the end.
It was no surprise to the people of the Wizarding World when the last of the Black family was dragged to Azkaban a convicted murderer and right hand man to You-Know-Who.
Thus went the story of the infamous Blacks.
"It's okay," coaxed Remus.
Sirius' family home stood before them. The red brick was now black and darkened; from Sirius position the house seemed extremely high. The tall house looked like a ruin, several of the windows broken, a large crack stretched down the side like a greedy hand trying to reach the broken steps that lead to the front door. In dog form, the stench from the house was unbearable.
"Come on," pressed Remus from the broken stoop. "Dumbledore will be here soon."
Sirius, as a Black, and owner of this ruin was the only one who could open the front door. Remus waited impatiently, his werewolf senses sharp, he could actually taste Dark Magic.
With a soft pop Sirius turned back into a man and quickly ushered his friend into the house. Pushing forth the black door and ignoring the heat from the old silver serpent knocker the pair wandered inside. The floorboards creaked and dust flew up around their feet. The house was dead, dry and musty. It looked as if it had been uninhabited for one hundred years instead of just ten.
The door creaked closed behind him.
"Lumos," Sirius whispered pulling out his wand. He could navigate this place in the dark, yet he preferred to be more prepared as he didn't know what might go 'bump' in the dark. The light shone down the hallway, illuminating the high ceilings and crocked pictures on the walls.
"Hello Son," snarled a crackled voice. "Welcome home."