This is the translation of my fanfic "Shadow" (French), with the precious help of my beta-reader Cyn and Amy, who I must thank very much for their work : English is not my mother tongue, and it was actually a hard job to make my translation looks like proper English !


Chap 1 : Lily's Lullaby


In a deep, agitated sleep, a messy haired boy was fiercely fighting against his blanket.

"Come back… Sirius… No! The veils… wait… I'm sorry!" Suppressing a cry, the teenager woke up with a start. Staring into space, it took a moment to gater his wits. It was summertime, and he was back again, at number four Privet Drive, his uncle and aunt's place...and Sirius was dead. Dead. Fallen through the veil. Because of Harry.

Bellatrix, the mirror...dead.

Harry groped around for his glasses, with no luck. He sighed, 'Never mind'. It was night, it was dark, and he hadn't cried out loud. Vernon was not going to slam the door open and shout at him to let them sleep in peace.

Just like Sirius was.

Sirius, at peace ? How could he, after having been so stupidly killed at the Ministry? It had been for no reason, he was neither cleared of the charges for murder, nor free to enjoy his life. And his godson, Harry... he could only see his death now.

Harry held back a sob. Night after night, Sirius came back to die in his dreams. Of course, he could have asked for a dreamless sleep potion from the Order, but... he didn't deserve it. Sirius could come back every single night, and it wouldn't make up for Harry's errors. The only person who had wanted him since his parents' deaths was dead, and it was Harry's fault... just like his parents, wasn't it?

Unable to go back to sleep, Harry walked to the window. Behind the bars, the full moon was glowing.

'Remus must be in bad shape right now,' he thought. He leaned his forehead against the bars for a while, wishing he could just slip through them, jump to the street, and run far away. Somewhere where he wouldn't know anyone, somewhere no one would die. Just for a while, to forget...Well, why bother?

Better go back to sleep. Tomorrow, there would be a lot of chores to be done. Or Dementors to fight. Tomorrow would be his birthday, for what it was worth.

Harry Potter slipped back in his bed, and sank into a dreamless, dark sleep. He didn't hear midnight striking. He did not see the three pale shadows appear like mist in his room, and gather around his bed. "Harry…forgive me…"

The boy shuddered in his sleep.

"Don't wake him, Sirius. He shouldn't see us; it would just make things more difficult."

"I know" sighed the figure with the long, dark hair. There was deep regret in his gaze. "And yet, if I could just tell him how sorry I am…"

"Sirius, James is right," replied the soft voice of the feminine shape standing by his side. "He will understand; one day, he will know. But we just have tonight, and we've got to choose."

"I know" Sirius said in a stronger voice. "We discussed this already. It's just hard to see our own mistakes weighing down the very one we wanted to protect". The shadows of James and Lily stepped closer to him, until the three of them became a single, protective shape. They kept silent for a while, watching the sleeping boy unaware of their presence.

"I am sorry, Harry." Lily said in a soft voice. "For all of our mistakes, for your fears, for leaving you alone...We only have tonight, my love. And you will probably never know about this... Sirius' death will not have been in vain, in the end. Tonight, my child, receive our gift, the only one we can still give you, and make good use of it. Never forget that we love you, that we willingly gave our lives for you and are so proud of you. My little lion... Happy birthday." The young woman turned toward her companions who answered her with a nod.

The two men stepped toward the sleeping boy, their hands outstreched. "For you, my son; be brave. Stand tall. I trust you, you will find the way. I love you, Harry..."

"Forgive me Harry, for I wasn't the godfather I wanted to be...My death shouldn't be a weight on your shoulders. I was already living on borrowed time and getting getting to know you was a great privilege. We will meet again... when everything will be at peace." A moonbeam filtered through the bars, shining down on the three ghostly shadows leaning over the bed.

A soft voice arose, crooning an old lullabye, it notes reaching deep into the boy's unconsciousness. A profound sense of peace seemed to permeate the room. From the outstreched hands of the two men, a golden haze spread out to hover above the body lying on the bed. As the song ran filled the air, as time seemed to stand still, the haze came to rest just above the boy, slowly dancing, glowing under the moonlight. The lullaby became softer, slower, before dying away on a breath.

As if sensitive to the music, the haze also quit dancing, and stopped, then quickly melted into the boy and disappeared. In his sleep, Harry trembled.

"I love you, Harry." Lily whispered a last time, before fading away. At his bedside, the two other figures vanished without a sound.

Outside, a dog howled his distress to the full moon.

And at number 4, Privet Drive, the now sixteen year old boy seemed to, for a while, glow with a strange light.