Summary: Sirius reflects on his feelings towards Harry, from the boy's birth to the man's death.
A/N: This is very different from anything I've written before. The fic is inspired by a song called You Won't Be Mine by Matchbox 20. If you have never heard it before then listen to it coz it is really moving. Rob Thomas has an amazing voice which I think suits Sirius well. Thanks for reading and please review with your comments, good or bad.
Disclaimer: I do not own rights to Harry Potter or You Won't Be Mine. No infringement is intended.
The first time I held you in my arms, I knew you needed me. It was a dependence that frightened me so much, yet I was more than willing to take on the role of your Godfather. I wanted to teach you things, show you things, and watch you grow. Your first word, your first step, your first prank! I wanted to be the person you came to, when you didn't see eye to eye with Lily or James. I wanted to hear about your problems and love life. Uncle Sirius, that's me. I could cope with the tears and the tantrums because I knew when I first saw you that I loved you.
When your parents died, a part of me died along with them. The guilt I felt, the rage… I had to put it aside and think only of you. I went to you; I knew you needed me. Then my whole life changed. Azkaban destroyed me. I was unfairly cast away, to spend each and every day thinking of you. What was your first word? Who would you call 'father' now? The guilt I felt was unbearable. You needed me and I wasn't there. I only hoped that you would be strong, like your father, and grow to be what I hoped you would be -an good man.
Your life at the Dursley's was hardly a happy one, filled with lies and deceit. You were dragged up with no will to live but to simply exist. To live with Muggles, never knowing who you truly were or where you came from…it angered me so much, yet I was unable to take you from their world and bring you home where you belonged. Did you ever think of your parents? Wonder what they were like? Did you ever hope for someone to save you from that life and make you feel as if you meant something to someone? You never knew, the whole time you were growing up, that there was someone who wanted you. I wanted to call you 'son'. I would dream, and my dreams would make me cry out in the night. The frustration I felt was unreal. I had to see you, see the boy you had become. I needed to know that, even without me, you were strong.
When the frustration became too much, I knew that I had to escape. Even then, you feared me, hated me, and blamed me for the death of your parents that we both so desperately loved. Once again you were kept from the truth. I was relieved to see that Remus was in your life. He is a good man. I found that you had made friends that were faithful and sincere. The bond you three shared…it made me think of James, causing more heartache through your own happiness. When I thought of being a free man, I could have broken down with joy. I wanted nothing more than to offer you the stable home you had always dreamed of. I wanted so much to play the father…for you to play the son. But again that chance was snatched away from me and it hurt so much more this time around. You had only just begun to understand how much you meant to me, but I had to go. You were left alone again, as was I.
And so we were apart again. I was so grateful of the odd chance of seeing you in Hogsmeade. I was willing to risk the chance of capture in order to see that you were well. Perhaps I shouldn't have, I would have been no good to you banged up in Azkaban, or worse. As soon as I heard of your being entered into the Triwizard Tournament I began to panic. My fear matched that of any parent, worrying about their child and knowing that they can't be there to protect them. In fact it was more so. You get put through so much Harry, it really is unfair. When I heard that you had appeared out of the maze holding Diggory's body I was, in some perverse way, incredibly pleased. Relief took over me. So what if some kid I had never met was unfortunate enough to lose his life? My boy was safe. But realising what this meant for you soon quashed my sick delight. Voldemort was back and more than capable of killing, he'd shown you that much already. But Cedric's death, though it affected you a great deal, seemed to fill you with a sense of grim determination. Your mind filled with possible horrors of yet to come, you did not return to me, you went to the Muggles. There was no support for you there and I was left hoping that this was not too much for you.
And then arrived the day I had dreamt about for so long. You came to stay with me. Fair enough it was only for a brief time in the summer, and the house was barely habitable but I was ecstatic! You, however, were less happy having found out that you had yet again been kept in the dark. Terrified that you would hate me, I was willing to let you know as much as I could. This displeased certain people, but I stood my ground. I was, after all, your guardian. And so you came to forgive the lies. You had more things to worry about. When I heard about the Dementors attacking you, I was immediately reminded of two summers before. This in mind, I was eager to get you out of Privet Drive. I also felt guilty that I couldn't have been there to guard you. It frustrated me to hear from other Order members about you, but I knew I had to stay put. When your court hearing arrived I secretly hoped that you would be expelled. Petty I know, but I couldn't help myself. I eventually came to realise that your true place was at Hogwarts. I was being selfish. I knew damn well that being cooped up all day every day was no life at all, and I chided myself for wanting you to sink down and join me. You went back to school and I felt that lump in my throat and sickness in my stomach that I felt every time we had to say goodbye. I recklessly joined you at the train station. Perhaps I shouldn't have, but I had to spend as much time as I could with you before you left my life again.
We spoke briefly during your year at school, each time less and less. Floo networks were being watched and letters were being intercepted. It wasn't safe…for either of us. I guess my happiest memory of that year was Christmas. My first Christmas with you…and my last. I had often wondered what it would be like to have a family of my own around Christmas time. And, for this brief moment in my life, I relished in the feeling. It was better than I had ever imagined.
You shared with me the idea of a defence group. I thought it was a great idea, but for all the wrong reasons. I said to you, and I regretted it afterwards, "You are less like James than I thought." Seeing the hurt in your eyes almost broke my heart. I can be so spiteful sometimes. It's because I'm bitter about all the things I have lost and all the things I should have. Saying those words made me think. In a way I was right, you weren't like James. At that moment I knew – you were like me. I took great pride in this, and hoped that you would too if you ever figured it out for yourself. I don't think you ever did.
And then, on that warm night in June, both of our lives were changed again. Having found out from no other than Snape that you had gone to the Department of Mysteries in search of me, I knew that I could not sit idly by and do nothing. It's all right saying I was being reckless, foolish, and headstrong but you were in danger. I took it upon myself to go to you. I needed to prove myself to you and finally win the love I was so eager to feel in return. You needed me, just like when I first held you in my arms, just like when you were growing up alone. Damn it, I was going to be there this time and I was going to do it right.
I never expected this. The shock in your eyes reflected my own. The disbelief, the confusion. Remus held you in his arms as you sobbed, he explained the loss, and in the end he did what I could not. Why am I such a failure? All I wanted was to prove myself worthy of the title your parents gave me! Why was it so hard? I would scream but you would never hear. Frustration again, only this time at myself. It should have always been at myself.
Your heart is broken. You scream too, but for you people listen. You are sat down and told the whole story, beginning to end. The lies enrage you. What you sacrificed me for…it wasn't worth it to you at all. You are angry and you hit out, scream until your throat is burning but even then it doesn't mask the pain that you are feeling inside. The guilt fills you like a dull weight, threatening to engulf you for the rest of your life. The pain is unbearable. But you must go on. From what you have just learnt, people are depending on you. The realisation hits you and you are strong once more. At this time I understand the irony of the situation. You feel as I feel. The frustration, anger, betrayal, fear, aggression…it is all veiled by one reality – somebody needs you. You will go on.
I see you now, though I'm not there. I see you sat in the dusty summer street, tears streaking down your face. I see you and it tears me up inside. I want to be with you so much, to help you through things to come but I can't. I fear for you, as you fear for your friends, as you feared for me. Do you fear for yourself? A part of me says yes, of course you must, but I know you are reluctant to admit it. This war is far from over, and I will not be there to see it end … either way.
I love you, Harry. I should have told you this long ago. It's so unfair to have someone else snatched from you, but Harry you must go on…for me. Let go of your hurt and live for me. You are the greatest son I could have ever had. And although I know I can never replace James, all I've ever wanted is your acceptance as a father. I've had it taken from me at so many stages in my life and just when I thought that I could finally receive the same love in return you are taken from me once more. I guess I should have realised long ago…you will never be mine.
A/N: What do you think? If you know the song you will understand so much more. It was harrowing to write, believe me. I hope I've done Sirius justice… wherever he is now.