A/N: I have no idea where this one-shot came from. The idea just popped into my head, and I went with it. Slightly AU.
Summary: Sirius was an enigma. Normally one would expect him to love April Fools Day…the holiday was all about his element…but it's also his sister's birthday. He hates his sister's birthday. With a passion. James always knew why, and normally he left him alone. But what will happen when in sixth year Sirius crosses the line?
Sirius Orion Black sat on a window sill in the common room, staring out the window. His best friends James sighed, but left Sirius alone. He knew why Sirius was always like this…or at least what Sirius told him.
Padfoot always got depressed around this time of year, but it's been getting worse and worse with each passing year, and James worried for his friend.
James had finally decided to tell the other Marauders what was going on, one day, though at the time he didn't entirely have a choice.
James had been sitting on his bed, trying to focus on some diagram for Herbology, when Remus and Peter walked in together, both with a determined expression on their face.
said. "We want to know why, right now."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Why Padfoot always gets depressed this time of year," Peter said.
James sighed. He always did want to tell them. This was just the perfect excuse.
"You know that
sister he once mentioned?"
"Er…Oh! Cassiopeia, right?" Remus asked. James nodded.
"What about her?" Peter asked.
"On her birthday, when Sirius was ten, she was 16…she died. That's all Sirius ever told me."
They both stared at James in shock. James nodded blankly to their silent questions and turned back to the diagram on the parchment, praying to whatever god did and didn't exist that Sirius would come back normal like he always did.
Little did he know.
- - -
- - -
Sirius was curled up in a big, squashy armchair in front of the Common Room fire.
He barely suppressed a groan when Remus and Peter and James sat on the couch by him. James had told him a little while ago that he told Remus and Peter.
Sirius only continued staring blankly at the fire, lost in his own memories.
"Cassy! Cassy!" A young, ten year old Black ran into the teenager's room and she turned and smiled at Sirius, and he wished he could see the falseness behind the smile.
The young Black held up a paper with a painting on it. It was just a flower, but Cassy gasped in surprise.
"That's wonderful, Siri! It's
"Just like you," Sirius Black giggled out. "That's why I made it for you." She smiled and hung it on her wall, thanking him for it.
"I stay perfect for you guys," she said, though Sirius didn't realize at the time, it was said rather sadly.
"Padfoot? You okay, mate?" Peter asked. Sirius only nodded blankly.
Peter pulled out some homework while James and Remus kept talking quietly, and Sirius only barely registered this.
Sirius was talking towards his room and his little brother Reg came
up. "You should be careful with those block thingies you were
playing with earlier. They're dirty."
"They looked pretty clean to me. Nice and shiny."
"I mean Muggle made them."
"But…Cassy gave them to me! I've played with them for three years."
Cassy's wrong. Muggles are bad."
"Because Mommy said so."
"Well…we have blocks, just a little different ones."
"But Muggles touched these ones, Sirius."
"I don't care."
"Mommy and Cassy are fighting again."
"Cassy went out with a friend from school today."
"The friend's a Mudblood." Reg made the appropriate face at the distaste for Mudbloods. Sirius actually did the same, but then he asked.
"Well…I still don't really get what's so
bad about Mudbloods. Just send them to a different school than us! We
can have Hogwarts all to ourselves!"
"They shouldn't learn magic in the first place!" Reg said. Sirius shrugged. Mudbloods weren't his problem. Just send them to another school, let them play in their world, and we could stay in ours.
"You finished your homework?" Remus asked Sirius.
"Yea." That was the first word Sirius had spoken out loud since lunch. But he was already back in his own little world by the time the other two Marauders had turned around to look at him.
That night Sirius listened carefully as his parents Flooed out to some stupid party that they always went to. They had said Cassy was in charge, but his dad told Siri to watch over Cassy, and that he was the man of the house for the next few hours.
There was a storm outside, and Sirius was scared. But he didn't ever go to his parents when he was. They would just smack him and call him weak. But Cassy sometimes hugged him, and she even let him cuddle up to him at night to sleep peacefully. The only person in the world who could ever protect him.
He walked into her room in his Quidditch jimmies and she was there, sitting on her bed, holding something in her hand which Sirius vaguely identified as Muggle.
"Cassy, how aren't you scared of
"The older you grow…time changes everything.
Sirius nodded in pretended understanding.
"Sirius…you know I love you, right?" she was twirling the Muggle thing on her hand. Sirius was trying to remember what it was…he had seen many Muggle bobbies with it…gah!
"Yes. I love you, too."
"Why do you love me?"
"Well…you're my sister, my Cassy. You're smart, and funny, and brave. You're perfect."
"Sirius…don't come up here."
Now Sirius was confused.
"I just…you don't need to be here."
Oh, no. Maybe she was turning into their parents.
"What are holding?" Sirius asked curiously.
"This thing? Um…Muggles call it a gun."
"Oh." Sirius shrugged
"You know," she said. "Muggles aren't really all that bad. They're wonderful, even. Our families are just idiots for not seeing that."
"You coming upstairs?" James asked as they all got up, and Sirius shook his head.
"I…I'll be up later. Then I want to go get something."
"Are you sure you'll be all right?" James asked once again as the other two walked off.
"Yes! Just…leave me alone."
"I stayed perfect for you guys…" Cassy muttered sadly.
"Thanks!" Sirius said, not really sure what to say. What was going on?
"I can't stay perfect forever."
"Oh…I'm sorry?" Sirius ventured.
"Don't worry." She said. She looked up at the clock, and Sirius realized that now that it was past midnight, it was the next day.
"Happy indeed. Today's my escape."
"From everything. I'm sorry. Please remember I love you."
She had stood up and walked to stare out the window as she talked, and she had turned to face Sirius when she said she loved him. She was scaring him, but he wasn't sure what to do, or what was even going on.
Sirius watched when she took the thing and placed one end on her gut, right near the bottom of her chest, and she used her thumb to tug at something on.BANG
"Padfoot?" James came back down. Sirius realized he was shaking but he didn't want any comfort. He just wanted to be alone. It was late, late enough that James was the only other one in the common room.
"Sirius? Come on-"
"I said GO AWAY!"
Sirius didn't have to look to know that James flinched back and was staring at him in shock.
"Sirius? What's wrong? Talk to me, Padfoot!"
"Just. Leave. Me. Alone."
"Don't call me that!"
Sirius knew he was probably scaring James with the deadly whisper he just used. But only one person in the world was allowed to call him Siri, and that person was dead.
"Just. Go. A. Way."
Sirius was shaking even harder now, and the trembling wasn't helping him feel any better. He also knew he wasn't in the best shape. He hadn't eaten all day, and he got less sleep than usual last night, and probably wouldn't sleep at all tonight.
He once heard that "Time heals all wounds."
He really wanted to go back and strangle whoever said that. Time only made things worse. Time only made the pain worse.
Sirius stared in horror as his sister fell backwards and onto the floor. There was a hole in her chest, and there was blood all over her, the floor, and Sirius. She was still shaking though, and jerking around wildly.
He looked at all the blood. The gun had slipped out of her hand and was lying about a meter away, bouncing from her body's impact. He could see something goopy in and on her…oh, god, those were her guts!
Sirius couldn't help but just stare at the blood. There was so much. With all that much, it just looked so dark…almost black, especially in her deep blue and purple room. And it was glassy, reflective.
It was horrible.
Reg had come to see what was going on, and Sirius realized he was screaming.
"Hold on!" Reg shouted, running to the fireplace to Floo. Sirius was still screaming, a high pitched one, and he wouldn't stop. Couldn't stop.
Finally he felt strong hands clamp themselves over Sirius's mouth, and Sirius was staring up at his father.
They both tried to hold her down, and someone was sent to Floo again, and Sirius did the only thing he really knew how to do.
"Sirius!" Remus said when Sirius came up the stairs. But Sirius ignored him, walked right over to James bedside table, and grabbed the map.
"I'll be back later," Sirius said blankly.
"Where are you going?" James stood up to face him, and Sirius turned to glare.
Both boys were rather tall – they had recently turned seventeen – but they were rather even with each other. James usually took the lead, though, having an air of leadership about him. But at the moment, Sirius had an aura of passionate anger – but it wasn't aimed at James.
"To visit my sister." Was all Sirius bother to say. He turned, descended the stairs, and out the portrait hole, and did the only thing he knew how to do:
"WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP HER?" Sirius was staring glassy eyed at his mother. All he could hear was the loud bang. All he could see was all that blood.
"She could have lived," his mother hissed. "If you had been strong enough to get instead of standing there screaming like the weak little baby you are!"
Sirius had finally snapped out it enough to hear that.
"You killed her!"
I did…Cassy…why did you go? Why did you leave me?
"Is dead!" his mother screamed.
"I'm so sorry…" Sirius aimlessly repeated her words from less than an hour ago.
"Well that doesn't cut it! If you ever mean it, than you shouldn't have to say it!"
His mother smacked him – her hardest, a strength she rarely used. Her many rings bit into his cheek, and Sirius soon tasted the metallic taste of blood on his lips.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP HER!?"
His mother finally got frustrated with Sirius being unresponsive, and kicked his stomach.
"You. Can't. Even. Feel. This. Can. You?" She said between smacks and punches.
But she was wrong. He could feel every single smack, kick, punch, and the sting of every word. Sirius wished he couldn't feel pain, but he could.
Every. Last. Drop.
Sirius cast a glamour charm on himself and walked into Three Broomsticks.
"Two bottles of your strongest Firewhiskey," Sirius said.
He got the bottles and paid without a hitch and walked outside and up the road, where he put his Apparation lessons to use, and with the terrible tube feeling, he was at the gates of a cemetery.
The Black Private Cemetery.
He opened the gates rather easily and walked through the many twisted paths and walkways, until he came to the grave he was looking for.Cassiopeia Andromeda Black
Sirius sat crossed-legged on her grave. This was the first time he had ever been to her grave since her funeral.
"I'm sorry, Cassy. I'm so sorry."
Sirius lay on the floor of his bedroom, a lightly bruised body, and a very battered heart.
There was only one thing his mother was right about.
He had killed Cassy.
'I stayed perfect for you guys.'
'I can't stay perfect forever.'
Sirius wanted to cry, but when he had started crying just moments earlier, his mother had smack Sirius so hard, more blood was dripping down his face and neck. He wanted to cry, but he was afraid of his mother and afraid of being weak.
Sirius uncorked the Firewhiskey bottle and drank it quickly. The memories were drowning, and Sirius's empty stomach couldn't give them a life raft.
He babbled on, refusing to cry, to his dead sister, the only thing he could really managed out was "Sorry".
He knew he was trying to forget, but he couldn't help but remember.
the Healer said. "It was too late. There was nothing we could
Sirius was glad that he was in the doorway, hiding, because otherwise, he knew his parents would have…he didn't really want to finish that thought.
"The bullet tore through her lung, shattered her spine, and stopped right there. It was a Colt 1911."
"If you had been called earlier, would she have lived?" Reg asked.
Why do you care? You hated her, Sirius thought.
"Well…in all honesty…I hate to say this,
there was a very, very slim chance, less than three percent. But yes,
an earlier call by a few minutes…there might have been a small
"But…there was a chance?" Reg asked.
"Not much," Healer Smith said. He picked up his bag and walked, but Sirius wasn't fast enough to get away from his father's hand grasping his collar and pulling him into Sirius's room as the Healer left.
"You see what cowardice does?"
Sirius couldn't respond.
'But yes, an earlier call by a few minutes…there might have been a small chance…'
"Answer me, boy!"
Sirius started crying.
"I'm sorry…I'm just so sorry…"
Sirius wasn't even remotely surprised by his dad's strong hand connecting with his already raw-red cheek, and the tears slowed down considerably. He looked down, and realized he was soaked in blood.
What pained Sirius most was that he knew none of it was his.
"You better be sorry, boy. Your fault she's dead."
Sirius stared at the grave. The rain made it sway a little…although that could have just been Sirius, still being dizzy as he stood. He took a step, but the mud made him slip, and he landed back on the relatively drier side of the grave.
"Why, Cassy?" Sirius said to the stone. "Why did you do that? Why did you have to go? Why weren't you there when I needed you most? Why did you leave me alone?"
"You aren't alone." Sirius whipped around, although eh couldn't place who it was as his vision swooned.
"Who-wh-who are you?"
"Can't you recognize me?" The shadowy figure came closer.
"Can't see y-you. But, whoev…ever you are. Leave!"
The figure came closer, and the figure of James Potter slowly showed itself through the steadily pouring rain.
"I can't do that,
"Yes you can! Just leave me a-a…alone! I'll see ye' la'er!"
Sirius tried to get up, but once again, gravity chose to be his enemy and Sirius slipped and fell once again. Now his chin, part of his face, and almost all of his front was covered in mud.
"Sirius, you can't
even stand up straight."
"Yes I can…just the mud…" this time Sirius stood up and managed to stay up. He took a step back, but James charged forward.
Sirius turned, but before he could run, James tackled him, and Sirius's cheek scraped against the grave stone.
Sirius kicked at James.
"Get off o' me!"
"No!" James was trying to take the defensive side, but it was a losing side.
Finally, James just punched Sirius to get the boy back to his senses.
But it only drove Sirius in deeper.
"Sirius, you're being an idiot and making a mistake!"
"Sirius Orion Black! You killed my daughter! You killed her! You could have saved her and you didn't!"
Sirius chocked back a sob that was starting to suffocate him, and randomly threw a punch. Judging by the sudden thud and pain in his fist, he hit something…and judging by the warm softness, it was James.
"You can't be like this every year! I'm sorry she's dead, but you have to let go!"
"I can't believe you just let her go like that! Why didn't you stop her?"
Sirius just gave up and turned to the stone.
"I'm sorry, Cassy, I'm so sorry…please…I'm so sorry…"
- - -
- - -
James Potter watched as Sirius mumbled incoherently at the grave. At first he thought it was drunken gibberish, but then he heard, and when he listened he realized what Sirius was saying.
"I'm sorry, Cassy, I'm so sorry…please…I'm so sorry…"
"Sirius?" James said softly. He could tell that Sirius was trying desperately not to cry.
Then he remembered…something he had found when he was just glancing through Sirius's stuff to find the map of this exact cemetery.
"Sirius…" this time James gently walked over and wrapped his arms protectively around Sirius's huddled up form, all notions of manliness completely erased. His friend's need for comfort far exceeded his pride, at least a thousand fold, most likely more.
Sirius also seemed to realize this, for he just turned and let loose what appeared to be years of sobs and tears, crying into James's shoulder.
James let him do that, resting his chin on Sirius's head, sating out into the distance. All he ever heard was that Cassy had died.
But there was more to it. He knew it.
"Sirius…what happened to her? How'd she die?"
her…I killed her…"
"Shot herself. And I could have stopped…I could have even saved her…but I was too scared to move…to help…"
James stared. He would have liked to have known this sooner. Just death was one thing, but suicide was another…and did he ever even see the body? Maybe the wounds…he was sure that those kinds of wounds would be terrifying.
"Did…did you see
her after she died?"
"I saw her when she died!" he sobbed out. "I was there when it happened…right there…I got soaked in her blood…right there…and I didn't stop her!"
James stared blankly in shock. This explained so much…
He started rocking back and forth, hoping to ease even just a little bit of Sirius's tension. This finally explained why Sirius never got much sleep even when he was happy, or normal.
"Sirius…was it a
Sirius barley managed to look up long enough to see James, who kept going.
"The gun: was it a
Sirius nodded blankly.
"I found it in your trunk."
Sirius's face got streaked with tears once again, and just sobbed into James's strong chest again.
Sirius kept crying for quite a while, until he was no longer awake. Weather he was just asleep or unconscious from the drinking, James didn't know, but he also didn't care, and he was grateful, because either way Sirius was in a deep sleep, and James could easily lift him up. He was pretty positive Sirius was passed out, though, because he didn't awaken when James accidentally shook him.
So James held one arm under Sirius's back and the under his knees, scooping him up, his head hanging and reminding James much of a dead body, but shoved that thought away. With this shocking suicide revelation, he didn't need thoughts like that in his head.
He grabbed the map and Apparated back to the Shrieking Shack, where he slowly descended the tunnel and started the trek back to Hogwarts.
He managed to use Sirius's foot to touch the root to get the Womping Willow to stop moving long enough for James to pass through. He managed to get out, and with the help of the Invisibility cloak he had left in the large house on his way to find Sirius, managed to get back up to the sixth year boys' dorm without too much trouble.
"James!" Peter and Remus both cried at once, before staring at the unconscious Sirius.
Peter asked, while Simultaneously, Remus's werewolf senses made him
ask, "Is that Firewhiskey?"
"Passed out drunk, yes," James answered shortly, and both stared in shock at the usually carefree, happy-go-lucky young man that James was carrying effortlessly (and silently thanking all the gods for his lifetime of working out for Quidditch) and gently set Sirius on his bed. James didn't feel an guilt or shame in using his wand to make Sirius's trainers and socks shoot off his foot and by his trunk, or in tucking Sirius in even though he was still fully clothes, using only a drying charm instead, and one to get rid of the mud.
James just sat down and carefully watched Sirius's face.
"What's going on?" Remus asked.
"I finally found out what happened to Cassy."
"What?" Peter asked as James walked over to Sirius's trunk.
James dug through, until he pulled a gun.
"She shot herself. With Colt 1911." Both stared at the gun. "I really hope he kept this for memory's sake and not to try something stupid."
All three nodded just as the dawn approached and Sirius groggily started to rouse.
- - -
- - -
"How are you?" James asked Sirius winced and all three remembered that he was in a hangover right about now. James immediately, though quietly as possible, pulled the hangings closed to the sunlight, when the sun really started to rise over the stormy night, wouldn't hurt Sirius, and Padfoot was thankful for that.
"How are you?" James whispered this time.
"Bleh?" James asked, smiling. Sirius's smile was obviously fake, but he nodded. Then he realized that Remus and Peter were there, and seeing as they didn't seem confused, they had to have known.
Sirius felt the blush coming up, though less out of actual embarrassment and more out of shame, before just gently lowering his head onto the pillow.
"Can…can you guys leave me alone?" Sirius asked.
"Sorry, mate," James said gently. "We're too worried about you…especially since you have this."
Sirius looked up and his eyes widened (an action he regretted) at the sight of his sister's gun.
"Where did you-"
"I was looking through your stuff for a map for that cemetery, but I found this, as well."
"I wasn't going to
do anything with it. It's completely empty, I swear."
"I know," James said. "I checked. But that's not the point."
"What is it, then?" Sirius whispered out.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Peter said, sitting by Sirius alongside Remus. Sirius just wished they would all go away so they wouldn't have to see him like this. But they wouldn't leave. He knew it.
want you to know. That I killed her."
"You didn't kill her," Remus said firm and gently.
"She did," Peter finished in much the same tone.
"I could have stopped her. And even if I didn't…I was right there when it happened. I could have called for help and she could have lived…but I was just screaming."
"Where did she shoot?" James asked, and Sirius vaguely pointed as his chest, and at James's spine.
"Sirius," Remus said. "I doubt, with those wounds, she would have lived if she got help-"
"And even if she did, it would be a miserable life, the rest of it being spent in a bed. And you can't go back and change the past. Don't try to."
Sirius," James said. "We'll help you through this."
Sirius could only stare blankly at the wall.
"Promise?" Sirius asked. He turned in the bad to face James, who nodded.
A/N: There you go, there it was. Hope you liked it. I'm sorry about all the grammar mistakes. I just didn't have time to wait and edit it because I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, wanted to get this one-shot out.
So, please, leave a review. I LIVE OFF OF THEM!