Disclaimer: All characters/situations mentioned property of J.K. Rowling. I claim only this fiction.

At Night

At night.

There are shadows moving in your eyes, your half-closed eyes that flicker restlessly in dreams. Spiders skitter and stairs creak. You are alone. No one will ever smooth your hair off your brow, tangle gentle fingers and tug tenderly down. No one will ever know the sweetness of your little boy hand curling about their's.

At night, under the stairs.

Light echoes in your room. It dims, becomes a ghost, haunts your sleep. The house shifts around you; you feel as if you are in its center, its heart. You feel as if you are its secret axis of gravity and without you, it'll whirl uncontrollably, set off into space. You know that, without you there, this house will shiver down.

At night, under the stairs, in the cupboard.

You tell yourself stories, talking so you can hear a voice outside of your head. It never works, for your words become your whispers, and your whispers become your thoughts. You can never escape yourself, no matter how you try. All your stories are about boys with mothers and fathers who love them very much, and they make you ache for what will never be yours. Yet, despite neglected heart-pain, your tears don't fall. You've never known you have everything to cry for.

At night, under the stairs, in the cupboard, safe.

The door is locked behind you on the other side.

At night, ten years later.

The room is too big. This is all you can think of. Too many shadows; too much light. Your eyes ache.

All of you aches.

You think: I wish I had that small space back.

You want something familiar in an unfamiliar time. You want spiders and loneliness and the quiet, solemn sureness that only this house – and not the whole world – rests on your shoulders. You want a locked door that shuts you in.

You think: Oh Sirius, Sirius, Sirius.

Still you don't cry. You never have before, and this ache is nothing new. You've been grieving your whole life.