Only A Dream

Only A Dream

(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

(I own nothing, except the plot and a few characters here and there. This story goes along with a revised version of My Name is Sirius Black which I'm working on now. In it, when his father is killed, Sirius does not go with the Potters, but with his only living relatives, his grandparents, who are none too pleased to have him. I have to warn you though, there is a bit of child abuse in here. Nothing too graphic, but there will be. There will also be some in the new MNISB, just to warn you. Tell me what you think of this when you review, which I really hope you will. Thanks.)

"Here you go, Black." The guard shoves a small slip of paper through the bar windows in my cell door. I pick it up. Slowly opening it, I recognize Addi's handwriting. Slowly, savoring every word, I read.

Dear Sirius,

January first. My birthday. Your birthday. We're both twenty-two. It's only been a few months, but the feelings are just as strong, just as painful as when they brought us the news. And now I'm alone. Remus couldn't handle it. Neither could I. We couldn't stand being together when all we did was remind each other of the past. And so I left.

But tonight, as the wind blows and the storm rages outside, I remember summer evenings so long ago.

I can recall the sound of the wind

As it blew through the trees and the trees would bend

I can recall the smell of the rain

On a hot summer night

Coming through the screen

I used to hate thunderstorms. In the area where we grew up, just a few miles away from Dartmoor, in Devonshire, storms were quite a scary sight. I would hear the thunder rolling in the distance and I'd jump out of bed and run down the hall to your room. You'd be sitting there, waiting. And when I opened the door, you'd just smile and move over so I could climb in with you.

I'd crawl in your bed when the lightning flashed

And I'd still be there when the storm had passed

Dead to the world, to the morning cast

Its light all around your room

You weren't that much older, only a few minutes, but still I was your little sister, and we were so close. Dad would always say that he would come in to check on us and we'd still be there, asleep, long after the storm had vanished.

We lived on a street where the tall elm shade

Was as green as the grass and as cool as a blade

That you held in your teeth as we lay on our backs

Staring up at the blue and the blue stared back

I remember you'd drag us out some summer days. We'd pack our lunches, and bike the mile to Dartmoor. Then we'd find a large rock and sit on it, just gazing at the sky. Sometimes, dad came, but sometimes it was only us. We were each other's best friends. You'd always do that trick with a blade of grass. You know the one. I never could, no matter how much you tried to teach me.

Remember, we used to just stare up at the clouds for hours? We'd talk about anything. Mum, school, one of those strange things you'd do before you knew you were magic. And we'd laugh. You were always crazy and you could always make me laugh.

You were my best friend, during all those years, and I, yours. We were twins. People always used to say we looked so much alike, remember? I think there were times when your hair was longer than mine though.

I used to believe we were just like those trees

We'd grown just as tall and as proud as we pleased

With our feet on the ground and our arms in the breeze

Under a sheltering sky

In those years, our lives were prefect. Even after you went off to Hogwarts, we were still close, and we'd still take those long rides. I loved your friends, Remus especially, and they accepted me. I was not simply Sirius's sister, but I was Addi.

Even then, I never believed it could go so wrong.

Twirl me about, and twirl me around

Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground

And when I look up at you looking down,

Say it was only a dream

Then came that awful night. I am still glad you weren't there. You'd never have forgiven yourself. Even at the age of thirteen, you were hard to convince. Dad would have never wanted you to feel bad. He loved you and me so much, he was willing to die for us, Sirius. We were dragged away from all we loved, to that horrible place where we were hated and despised by our only living relatives, our grandparents.

A big truck was parked in the drive one day

They wrapped us in paper and moved us away

Your room was no longer next-door to mine

And we had grown old by that time

Then came the fights. You were always like that, picking fights. But this time, you couldn't defend yourself. And he'd only hurt you more if you did.

You'd try and defend me, but sometimes you'd fail and he'd hit me too.

Then when school started, you begged me not to tell. I didn't. I should have, I should have written to James or Remus right then, but I didn't. I honored you, I trusted you.

But oh how our dreams went bump in the night

And the voices downstairs getting into a fight

And the next day a silence you could cut with a knife

And feel like a blade at your throat

The long years passed. I'd only see you during breaks, and those were hell in themselves. As we grew older, you grew more rebellious. I was shocked when you told me, you'd become animagi. I remember when you came home with that earring and the tattoo. Grandfather went off his rocker. That was one of the worst. He was always criticizing you about something, your hair, which you kept long and sometimes tied back, your school, your friends, even mum.

But every night, after the house was dark, I'd slip up to your room. It was in the attic, showing just how much he hated the magic in your blood. You'd still be there, waiting, and you'd still move over to let me climb in, even though there was hardly room for you in that narrow bed. He'd hurt you, but I was the one who cried.

Twirl me about and twirl me around

Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground

When I look up at you looking down

Say it as only a dream

Then came that night when you snapped. You'd gotten that letter, the one that told you, you'd gotten the scholarship you'd worked so hard for. I remember you smiled. I'd missed that smile. But he slapped it off your face.

He tried to kill you that night. He tried, but he failed. And you packed your things. I saw you slip down to your bike.

The day we left home you got an early start

I watched your bike back out in the dark

I opened the door to your room down the hall

I turned on the light

And all that I saw

Were a bed and a desk and couple of tacks?

No sign of someone who expects to be back

It must have been one hell of a suitcase you packed

Fear mounted in me. I was so scared you were leaving me. I prayed that you weren't.

"We'll get through this together." You said. But watching you pack your things was too much. I slipped out my door and climbed the stairs to your room.

As I opened the door, I knew you weren't planning on coming back. The room was bare, the posters and pictures on the walls gone. your books weren't piled on the desk or stacked in the corners. There was no sign that anyone had ever lived here, much less my own brother.

Then you tapped my shoulder. You'd climbed through my window, but had found me gone, you said. Then you told me,

"It's time to go." You looked horrible, wounds badly dressed and looking so pale, like you'd faint any second.

We piled my stuff with yours on dad's old bike, then we were gone.

It took us two days to get to Remus's. Two days in which we rested wherever there was shelter, ate whatever we could steal, and drank from whatever creak or pool we could find. You couldn't do more than an hour at a time. I wasn't surprised. He had, after all, hit you with an iron poker. It was a hard trip. You were out of it for a lot of the time. Many times, I was the one who had to drive. But we were together and we had left that God-awful place forever. That was all that mattered.

When we got there, Remus was horrified. He called everyone, James, Lily, Erin, Peter. And they all showed up. You know, that was the one time I ever recall Erin being mad. But it only showed how much they loved us.

Twirl me about, twirl me around

Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground

When I look up at you looking down

Say it was only a dream

The years passed. We grew older. We had our lives. Erin was killed. You mourned, but moved on. You graduated at the top of your class. James and Lily got head boy and girl and you got the record for most detentions ever received by a student. You were so proud. I still have the certificate.

Lily and James got married and had little Harry. You were named his godfather.

You became an auror. You had fulfilled your dream. You met Mari and fell in love. Then you had Cassi. I was an aunt. She looks more and more like you every day. By the way, I should let you know. Mari is pregnant. With twins, they say. You'll be a father again. I've asked Mari to write when they are born, to at least let you name them. She says she will.

Remus became a teacher at Hogwarts. You always used to tease him, but even you could see he loved it. You even got him that suitcase, and stamped his name across it.

I never told you this, but Remus did ask me to marry him. We were going to tell you, but then the news came and neither of us could believe it. There was no way we could have gotten married then.

I remember the trial. You looked so pale, so scared. When Remus got up, your face was frightened. You rushed at him, begging to believe that you never did it.

Then you turned to me. You looked into my eyes and begged. You never begged. To beg, you said, was to be weak, to admit you needed help. And here you were on your knees, pleading with me to believe you.

I always knew when you were lying, Siri. And you weren't lying.

Happy birthday, Siri.

Your sister,


Twirl me about, twirl me around

Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground

When I look up at you looking down

Say it was only a dream

I put down the letter and I cry. Then as the moon rises, I look out. Happy birthday Addi. Thank you.