Songs of Innocence
Summary: Fifth year AU; takes place at the beginning of OOTP in Grimmuald Place. Sirius has been a bad, bad boy. "He could feel the gasps for air and the hurt and betrayal and sadness and whatever else you might feel when you're dying by the hand of someone you loved."
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. Sad, I know, but true. All belongs to J.K. Rowling, who, beyond being a goddess and my idol, is also the owner of Harry Potter and all the people, places and things in this story.
Notes: Title taken from Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake. Title and fic have pretty much nothing to do with each other, but I liked it so it stuck. Pay attention to the fact that this fic moves backwards in time, otherwise it will get confusing. The times are there solely to guide you through what is happening and when we are in time.
Songs of Innocence
The bitter, sickening tang of fresh air and freedom brushed over his skin, prickling like fever chills, acidic with its mockery. This is what you wanted; this is what you wished for. You selfish bastard, you have what you wanted and just look at what you paid for it, just look at what he paid for it.
He was free from that house but he would never be free from that feeling he knew so well, that guilt that ate him up inside and shriveled him up to where he belonged. He didn't deserve to be free, not at all, even though he knew that until he died that he never really would be.
He had tried so hard not to make any noise but it was near impossible in this place. He made it all the way to the door and then it creaked. He remembered every squeaky floorboard and forgot about the creak in the door. Why should he remember it, after all it had been so long since he had exited this prison. He cringed and paused to hear if he had woken anyone up. Nothing, then a groan from the ancient floorboards above is head, footsteps moving toward the stairs. He quickly exited, not caring about the slam the door made behind him, and began running.
He thought about packing, even wondered what he should bring, but really the only thing he had that meant anything to him was lying in an armchair in the library, eyes open for eternity. Two years on the run had told him that all he needed were the cloths on his back. He didn't think he'd ever be able to eat again after what he had done, so food was no problem. He wasted no more time contemplating this before deciding that he needed to leave or risk being caught, so he silently made his way to the front door, knowing from years of experience where to step to avoid making noise. He couldn't make any noise, couldn't be caught.
Why did humans have to be made with so much blood in their veins? Really, all it did was make a mess when it spilled, a mess that he would have to clean up because he may be twisted and sick, but he wasn't heartless and he wasn't just going to leave that precious body lying there in its own blood. A disgusting, blood cleaning, psychopathic killer was what he was and he was glad that he vomited before he cleaned up or he would have made a lot more work for himself.
He couldn't leave the body just lying on the cold floor, so he picked it up and set it gently in an armchair. He tried to prop its head up, but it kept falling to the side; he tried to close the eyes, but they refused to close, staring their innocence up at him for eternity. A searing reminder that this person would never look at him again, that this person wasn't who he thought he was, that this person was different. He wished he could fix the hole in the pajama top, and then wished he could fix the hole in the skin, and then promptly vomited once again.
So dizzy. He was so confused and so dizzy. What had he done? When had he left his brain and let the murderer in? He was so confused, had been since he woke up. He was always confused when he woke up, but it usually went away rather quickly. This time it lingered.
He had thought he left that person behind, that crazed lunatic parson who he was when he thought he had lost everything. Now he really did have nothing and this time it really was his fault and why were people like him allowed to live when they were so… ruined? Why didn't their lungs collapse and their brains implode with the absolute insanity that lived inside? There was a monster that ate away at him slowly, every night until he became this creature he didn't recognize. Why hadn't he seen it coming? Why hadn't anyone seen it coming? What had he done?
What had he done?
He killed the only good thing left in the world. It loved him and trusted him and looked up to him and he destroyed it, like so many things in his past, he destroyed it. He knew now that the shadows had played a trick on him, the shadows and his confusion, but he thought he saw someone who, although was long dead, had tormented him for years.
Always at night there was the rotting flesh and sunken eyes. His best friend that had haunted him for years, telling him that it was all his fault. But it was real, that face and that hair and those glasses had all been real, that stare, that haunting stare and everything that went along with it, the guilt and the pain and the feeling of knowing you'll never be happy again.
So he killed it.
Anyone who ever says that stabbing someone feels like a hot knife sliding through butter was lying. He could feel the tear of skin and muscle quiver up his arm and through his whole body. The slick blood poured over his hand and the stomach-turning sensation of cold steel striking living bone made him want to vomit. He could feel the gasps for air and the hurt and betrayal and sadness and whatever else you might feel when you're dying by the hand of someone you loved.
When he saw him he felt his stomach turn and his head spin and almost wanted to take the knife to his own throat right then and there. You're supposed to be dead. You're supposed to be gone and you've blamed me long enough! It wasn't my fault.
Don't come near me and don't say my name and don't pretend like you're worried or you care, you bastard! Leave me alone!
It wasn't my fault!
No wand. He hated having no wand. Fourteen years and he still couldn't get over having no wand.
A noise woke him up and a noise in this place could have been any one of the thousands of people who seemed to live here these days, but it could also be an intruder, a Death Eater, someone dangerous. No wand, but he had to go through the kitchen to get to the noise, so a knife would be better than nothing.
His sleep was uneasy, at best. His brain just couldn't shut down and his dreams were filled with images of a familiar face, rotted and dead, sad and angry and so hurt, empty eye sockets that still looked through him and blamed him…
An hour ago he had heard two male voices, two young sounding male voices, and knew who they were. Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. The voices were muffled through the door, and then stopped altogether as one set of footsteps moved toward the bedroom and one headed down the stairs. He never knew if the person ever came back up because before he knew it he was asleep, dreaming of friends long gone and a mistake he could never take back.
"Sirius?" The voice whispered through the tiny crack in the door. He invited the young man in. His godson couldn't sleep and just wanted to talk for awhile. Hey talked about what had been going on in their lives, even though Sirius hadn't left the house for the longest time. They had hardly ever gotten the opportunity to talk, really talk with Harry, and he found himself wishing for endless conversation with this incredible person that he loved so deeply.
They talked for nearly and hour before Harry left the room, saying that he was getting tired and would try again to go to sleep. As he left, Sirius couldn't help but think of how much Harry Potter looked like his father.