Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or places in this story (said characters/places are property of JK Rowling).
Chapter One I'll Kill You For What You've Done
Harry raised the wand. Now was the moment to do it. Now was the moment to avenge his mother and father. He was going to kill Black. He had to kill Black. This was his chance….
The seconds lengthened. And still Harry stood frozen there, wand poised, Black staring up at him, Crookshanks on his chest. Ron's ragged breathing came from near the bed; Hermione was quite silent.
Suddenly, a new thought entered Harry's head. How? It seemed a strange question, but a relevant one none the less. How would he kill Black? No one had ever told him the incantation for killing someone. He knew several spells for other various things, but none of them would actually kill Black.
"Hermione," he said suddenly, over his shoulder, "come here for a second, will you?"
He heard slow, halting footsteps behind him, but kept his eyes on Black, and in a moment, Hermione was by his side, shaking. Only then did he turn to look at her, and he saw her looking back, her eyes wide with fear. "What's the spell for killing someone?" he whispered in her ear, so Black wouldn't hear.
Hermione whimpered and shook her head. "No -- Harry, please don't! I -- I can't. Just…"
"Tell me, Hermione! Come on! Just tell me! No one has to know. I won't tell them you told me."
"Harry, this isn't about that!" Hermione cried, grabbing his raised arm, the wand clutched tightly in his hand, and tried to lower it, but he threw her arms off.
"Tell me or go away. If you won't help me, then why are you here?"
"Harry, please…." Hermione broke off, her voice breaking. She took a deep breath and started again. "You don't want to do this. This isn't you! This is…you'll hate yourself if you do this! You can't kill him!"
"Why not? He killed my parents, he doesn't seem to care!"
"Harry, I can't help you with this. I can't be a part of this!"
"Then go away," Harry said darkly, and Hermione walked back to Ron, sobbing quietly. Harry turned back to Black, who was watching him in interest.
"Don't know how to do it, do you?" He asked in a quiet, almost amused, voice. "Somehow I didn't think you would. All you have to do is say Avada Kedavra." Harry looked at him, shocked. Why was he helping him?
Harry shot a look over his shoulder to Hermione, who was still crying. "Is he telling the truth?"
Hermione whimpered slightly, wringing her hands. "Harry…."
"Just tell me if he's telling me the truth, Hermione! It's the least you can do!"
Hermione nodded her head slowly before sinking to the bed beside Ron and sobbing into her hands. Ron, giving Harry a strange, unreadable look, put an arm around Hermione's shoulders. Harry turned back around, tightening his grip on his wand. "I'll kill you for what you've done," he said slowly, and immediately wondered why he'd said it. For a moment he considered the possibility that he was hoping to be stopped, and then decided against it. He wanted nothing more than to see Black dead. To make him know what it was to be the people he'd betrayed, the innocent lives he'd taken just to finish off Peter Pettigrew.
"I really wish you'd let me explain to you --"
"What is there to explain? You betrayed my parents, you're the reason they're dead. What else is there?"
"I didn't betray them, but --"
"What do you call selling them out to Voldemort?" Harry shouted, growing rather impatient with Black's cryptic messages.
"I didn't, but, if you'll let me finish, I am responsible for their death, but not in the way you think. Someone else betrayed them."
"You were their Secret-Keeper! You were the only one who could've told anyone!"
"Harry, please -- I -- I was James' best friend. He wouldn't want you to kill me!"
"DON'T!" Harry roared suddenly, a new fit of anger seizing him. "DON'T YOU SAY HIS NAME! YOU DON'T DESERVE TO! YOU KILLED HIM! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT UTTERING HIS NAME WITH YOUR FOUL MOUTH! JUST SHUT UP!"
"Harry, just listen to me!"
"Why should I? Why should I care what you have to say? Why should anything about you matter to me at all? My parents didn't matter to you, you had no problem betraying them. Why should you matter to me?"
"Because I know the truth. I'm the only one who does. Don't you want to know the truth, Harry?"
"I know the truth. Besides, why are you trying to save yourself? You told me how to kill you! Why are you suddenly changing your mind?"
"I was giving you a choice. Choices are what make us human. I was giving you a choice, when confronted with all the necessary information, to decide what to do to me. But you still don't have all the information, Harry…."
"But I do! It's really quite simple, Black! You betrayed my parents! You are the reason they're dead, the reason I was forced to live with those awful muggles, the reason I never knew my parents! It's your fault!"
Black's expression softened, and Harry could swear he saw the smallest trace of tears in his eyes. "Harry, let me explain. Just please let me explain. It's not what you think. I'm so sorry those things happened to you --"
"SHUT UP! You are not sorry, don't say that! You aren't sorry, so just SHUT UP! You can't be sorry! If you were so remorseful, you would've had enough feelings in you to not betray them in the first place!" Harry stopped speaking for a moment, his voice shaking. He didn't trust himself to carry on.
"Harry --" Hermione said suddenly from behind him, her voice lined with tears. Harry looked sharply over his shoulder, almost grateful form the reprieve of the current conversation.
"What do you want?" he snapped.
"You don't -- you don't have to do this!"
"Yes, I do! I can't just let him get away with this!"
"No, I'm not saying that! I'm saying -- you can let the Ministry handle him."
"I have to do this. It has to be me. For my parents."
"They wouldn't want you to be a murderer, Harry!"
"What would you know about what they would or wouldn't want, Hermione? You didn't know them! Neither did I! And it's all his fault!" He said angrily, pointing at Black.
"Harry, please don't be mad at me! I'm just saying that they were good people, and they wouldn't want you to do this! Do you realize what'll happen to you if you kill him? You'll get sent to Azkaban!"
"Not if we don't tell anyone that I did it. We can say we'd gone to visit Hagrid hours ago, he'd given Scabbers to Ron, and when Scabbers had bit him and ran away, we were all attacked by the tree, and it was the tree that broke his leg."
"Harry, you should just let the Ministry handle this!" Hermione cried, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Hermione, I have to do this. Listen, if you don't want to watch, just -- just take Ron back up to the castle. Give me five minutes, that's all I ask. Give me five minutes from the time you get to the Hospital wing before you tell them that you left me behind because I was still looking for Scabbers. Leave him behind and I'll have him with me when I show up, okay?"
"Hermione, Ron needs to get up to the hospital wing. He's not looking so good. Just take him, okay?"
"Harry, I'm begging you, don't do this! It won't solve anything! They'll know you did it! One way or another, they'll find out."
"Let them. What have I got to lose, Hermione? Thanks to him, I have no parents, and my friends aren't exactly being very good ones at the moment."
Hermione shook her head, fresh tears following similar tracts the old ones had left on her cheeks. "I am your friend. I'm doing this because I care about you. This will not solve anything. You killing him will only make it worse!"
Suddenly, their conversation was cut off by a new sound, muffled footsteps echoing up through the floorboards -- someone was downstairs. Hermione looked quickly to the door, and opened her mouth to scream. Harry whirled around to face Black, leveling his wand with Black's chest, a small fraction above Crookshank's body. "HELP!" Hermione screamed, watching Harry, a sorrowful expression in her eyes. "WE'RE UP HERE! SIRIUS BLACK IS HERE! PLEASE HELP! QUICK!"
"I understand," Sirius said softly, almost resigned, pulling Crookshanks off of him and holding him on the ground so he wouldn't be hurt.
"I don't want you to understand." Harry listened for a moment to the footsteps, which were now thundering up the stairs, before saying, trying to keep his voice as still as possible, "Avada Kedavra!"
Author's Note: There you have it. I'm not sure if this story will be continued or not, but I think this chapter makes a fairly nice open-ended one-shot if it doesn't. I have a second chapter half-done. I don't know...we shall see. For now, we'll leave it here. What do you think happened? You think he really goes through with it? Thanks for reading and please review.