AN: I don't even know what mood I was in to have
brought this up out of the depths. It's
a tear jerker, I'll say that much. This
stands alone from my other works, but it also fits in nicely with them if you
have read them.
you look up at the night sky, the reality of what you see is that any number of
the stars shining at you 'died' ages ago, but they still burn in our time
because their light takes so long to travel. That's the cold scientific
explanation, and it takes nothing whatsoever from the beauty of the night sky,
and the brilliant shine of the stars as we gaze at them, and the light that
illuminates our darkness here.
strolled slowly across the great lawn of Hogwarts, smiling faintly as he gazed
up at the grand old castle, lit brilliantly by the bright end-of-summer
afternoon light. The students would be
here soon; children who lived carefree and happy lives, safe in the knowledge
that Voldemort was long dead. It occurred to Sirius that the youngest students
who would arrive here this year may have no memories of the war at all, and he
found that a glorious thought.
Sirius took the
steps of the front entrance two at a time, laughing slightly to himself,
feeling suddenly invigorated. It was
wonderful to be back here, though he had no idea why McGonagall had been so insistent
he come here this morning when she had contacted him at his home. Sirius had managed to put her off while he
dealt with the all the little chores of daily life he needed to see to that
morning, but now he had arrived, and it felt good to be back at the castle,
with every memory it held, and still radiating the laughing, wonder-filled days
at the house elves he met in the front hall, carefully cleaning the floors in
preparation for the arrival of the students in three days. They all greeted him shrilly and told him
'thats the headmistress has been waiting for Misters Black, please go right up! Doors should be open for him!" Sirius hummed an old Gryffindor Quidditch
fight song to himself as he started up the staircase, waited for it to shift to
the left, then continued on. He wondered
if they still sang that song, and if maybe his own son would someday sing it
once he came here, and despite his wife's semi-joking that her dearest wish was
that the boy would follow her into Ravenclaw.
The door to the
Headmistress' tower was indeed open, a sign of how drastically their lives had
changed, and Sirius stepped onto the stairs, leaning against the railing as
they took him up.
Minerva," he called happily as he stepped into the office.
McGonagall immediately looked up and gave a customarily terse but warm smile,
pointing at the seat in front of her as she did so.
you. I know this was rather a bother for
you to drop everything and come here…."
much of a bother to come here, what did you need?"
another smile, this time a little sad.
"How is the
excellent. Just wait until you get the
She gave a
laugh and shook her head. "Remus' eldest starts next year, you know. I'm already starting to plan my strategy for
dealing with that."
smiled, but said nothing, only raising an eyebrow and looking rather pointedly
at her. She gave a small sigh this time,
then picked up a small bundle wrapped in a deep purple silk cloth and stood up
to walk around the desk and stand in front of Sirius.
"Sirius, as you
know, I have been continuing to find various papers of Albus' from time to
figured out all of his secrets, have you?"
"No. And I sincerely hope I never will. But yesterday, I found another collection of
his private papers. In them, I found
something…that belongs to you."
"To me? What on earth would Albus have of mine? Old essays or something I had to write in
manage a small smile at him, but shook her head, then handed him the bundle she
"Sirius, I did
not, please understand, read any more of this than I had to in order to
ascertain what this was. I have not read the contents, simply the first few
lines of the letter Albus enclosed with this for you. I think…I think he must have intended to give
this to you himself at some point…but…"
"But he never
had the chance?" said Sirius, sadly.
fashion. I'm not trying to be
complicated, Sirius; these are personal papers for you and you alone. Maybe he forgot he had them. But I truly do believe he wanted very much
for you to eventually have them. That will
make more sense once you take that with you and read it at home."
at the slim bundle he now held and frowned. "You're sounding a little
mysterious here, Minerva."
McGonagall stopped and shook her head. After a long moment she looked at him
"You know I
remember your parents well; they were two of the first students I ever taught."
"Yes, I do know
"They were a
wonderful pair. We remained friends
after they left, all of their lives."
and gave a self-effacing smile. "I
imagine all of the correspondence sent to my house on my behaviour allowed you
to keep very closely in contact."
not smile. She looked at Sirius closely
and simply said, quietly, "Your parents loved you more than anything in this
world, Sirius. They simply didn't
understand you, and that broke their hearts."
nothing to say to that, so he simply stood up, thanked her, and left.
Sirius put off
opening the bundle for two days, distracting himself with work and family
matters. He knew he was being silly, but
he was actually feeling a little scared of seeing what it was that Albus
Dumbledore had kept wrapped in that cloth for him. Albus never did a frivolous thing in his
life, and whatever was there, whatever had made McGonagall so instant he come
to see her and claim this package as soon as possible, made him very
trepidatious. He did not tell his wife
about any of it, and at last on the third day after he had put his son to bed,
he carefully shut his office door and took out the silk-wrapped package.
It seemed to be
rather old. Sirius tapped it lightly with his wand to undo the knots McGonagall
had re-tied after she had initially opened it.
The outer wrappings fell away, to reveal an old parchment letter, carefully
folded, and another tightly wrapped bundle.
This had not been disturbed, obviously.
Whatever was inside had been carefully wrapped and sealed with the dark
cords around it a long time ago.
up the letter and opened it, and was greeted with Albus Dumbledore's familiar
and deeply missed writing.
- I found these in your father's study. I thought you might like to have them.
opened the second package, and found two framed pictures, wrapped in a small
piece of purple silk, and a sealed letter.
Hands shaking slightly, Sirius pulled the silk back to look at the first
It was a
photograph of Sirius and his parents, taken when Sirius was about 10 years old,
and Sirius recognized it as the one picture his father always kept with him.
They were having a picnic by the river in the back of their house. Sirius was laughing wildly, even as he hugged
both his parents tightly, and laughed at the camera. His mother and father were laughing just as
much, holding Sirius between them, and looking young and full of life. A year before the darkness had come into
their lives and changed everything.
Sirius stared at them, marvelling at the sight. He had almost forgotten… this was how he
remembered his mother and father in his dreams; in those flickering half-lit
images he could never recall fully once he woke up. Like looking at a sea of stars, and seeing
them shine in the darkness.
carefully put the picture on the desk, and then unwrapped the second one. This startled him, as he couldn't image how
his father had gotten a hold of it. It
was a picture of Sirius and Harry, and Sirius recognized it was taken on
Harry's first birthday. Sirius held
Harry closely, and they were laughing at each other, and smiling out of the
picture radiantly. Sirius felt his
breath catch as he suddenly remembered exactly the moment this was taken. He could actually *hear* Lily calling at him
to look at her so she could 'get one decent picture of my little puppy with his
rather silly godfather'. My little
puppy…. Sirius had completely forgotten that Lily used to call Harry
that. James had commented that 'my
little fawn' might be more appropriate, thank you, but Lily called Harry her
puppy. Remus probably remembered, but he
had never said…. But that was to be expected.
Sirius found that Remus never mentioned things to Sirius about their
past unless Sirius remembered them. It was Remus being over-protective of him,
but for once he didn't feel like yelling at Remus. He just smiled as he looked at the
picture. Remus had been there, of
course, right behind Lily with James, both of them making absurdly silly faces
at the baby.
this one next to the other, and took up the sealed envelope. He opened it, and took out a sealed letter
with a loose piece of parchment folded over it.
The loose paper proved to be another note from Albus.
have something else for you, Sirius. It
was something that one day I hoped to give you.
I found this in your father's papers, when we searched them after his
death. I was the first to find it,
something for which I am now more grateful for than ever, as at the time
something compelled me to keep it, where others, I greatly fear, would have
opened the sealed letter. It was several
pieces of parchment, written on sloppily, vaguely, in a distracted an
unconnected fashion – as if the author was simply scribbling things as they
came to them….and it was in his father's handwriting. Sirius almost didn't recognise the loose,
untidy script for a moment; his father had always been so neat, so precise; but
as he read the pages, he understood.
has just left here, Sirius. It was hard
for us to speak, as both of us are so trapped in our pain over what has
occurred. I am sorry for this, mainly
because I think that Remus feels we do not want to see him. Maybe we don't; seeing Remus, seeing him
without you there, is more painful than I can tell you. The look in his eyes I am certain is the same
one he can see in mine, and it is a horrible thing. Those grey eyes have become flat; I don't
think they can even cry anymore. But to
not see him would be worse, because even in this cloud of horror which hangs
over us, I still see him and remember wonderful things.
will remember the beautiful little boy who let me hold him tightly in my arms
as I told him stories of Muggle knights battling dragons. The little boy who laughed so merry at the
idea that you could run a dragon through with a lance. The same little boy who made me worry on
occasion that he might just try it for the sport and the thrill of the
handsome young man who brought tears to my eyes and a tightness to my chest, I
felt so proud to see him -
love you, my star, my Sirius. I loved
you from the moment you were born. I
loved you the day your mother told me she was going to have you. Sirius, I think I loved you even before then,
because I wanted you so very much, and I wept the first time I looked into your
eyes, and I just recognized you; the face of the angel from my dreams for all
those years. I have always loved you,
even those times you were convinced I did not, and even in those times, now,
when perhaps you feel I may not. I will
always love you, I will always watch for you and I will wait for you. My tears then at seeing you again will be
from unfound joy.
think you thought nobody saw you crying after Harry's christening, as you sat
there in the garden with him. But I did;
I did not speak to you as I did not want to disturb you. I wanted only to watch the smile on your
face; the joy -------
I couldn't help but cry a little myself, thinking what I would be like for you
when one day it was your own child, not James', you held so closely.
what of our dreams, now, my star? I will
not let them go. I have to believe in my
heart that what I feel is true; that this darkness that holds you and keeps you
from me now will release you. Not to
cold death, but return you to the warmth of the joyful life you carried like a
banner with you.
want to see you hold your child.
I want to see the joy on your face that I always felt on mine. I want to hold you again myself
stopped there, and Sirius dropped the parchment on his desk, shaking. He didn't let himself think; he simply
couldn't – to go back, to feel the pain of regret again that his parents had
never known the truth… but this letter – they felt it, didn't they? Hadn't they?
Sirius sat in
his office for a long, long time. Eventually he stood up and moved into the darkened
hallways of the house, making his way upstairs. Sirius couldn't stop himself
from walking into his son's room. He
stood inside the door for a few minutes, just watching the little boy
sleep. Finally he went over and knelt
down next to the bed and smoothed Griffin's hair away from his face. Griffin opened an
eye sleepily at that, but smiled when he saw Sirius.
Sirius, smiling softly, "sorry I woke you."
Sirius just sat
there looking at Griffin for a few long moments, with Griffin watching
him. Finally Griffin sat up.
"Daddy? Do you need something?"
about that, then leaned back and held his hand out.
"Griffin? Let's go sit on the roof."
surprised, but eagerly took Sirius' hand and let him pull him out of bed, then
pick him up and carry him up the stairs to the third floor, then up the stairs
to the roof. Sirius carried Griffin over to the
side of the flat there on the top, then sat down and held Griffin in his lap
carefully keeping an arm around him. Griffin gave him a
rather shy smile.
approve of this, you know."
not here right now. I want to show you
something." said Sirius, pointing at the sky.
"You see that
star just there? The really bright one?"
"Do you know
what it's called?"
"That star is
Griffin looked a
little puzzled. "Daddy, that's your
name, not a star."
I'm named after that star."
"Griffin, are you
still looking at that star?"
"Okay, now I
want you to smile and wave with me."
"Come on. Say hello to grandpa with me."
Griffin looked back
up at the star, gave a small smile, and waved shyly.
"Can he see us?"
whispered Griffin, sounding a little awed at the idea.
"Oh, yes, Griffin. He's looking at us right now."
"Daddy why are
"Because I miss
grandpa very, very much, Griffin. And even though I know he
can see us right now, I would give almost anything to see him, too."
"What did he
"Well, he was
tall, and he had light hair like mummy does, and his eyes were purple."
they were blue, but a purple sort of blue."
he looked a little like I do, even though I have dark eyes and dark hair. Our
faces were shaped the same, and our eyes."
"So, that means
I'm going to look like grandpa too?
Cause everyone always says I look like you."
"Sometimes, Griffin, we need to
"I love you,
"Oh Griffin, I love you
too. Very much. And forever, no matter what."
"Do you love me
as much as grandpa loved you?"
"Yes, Griffin, I do."
"Good. Because I love you just as much as you loved
couldn't understand why Sirius cried even harder at that, but he simply wrapped
his arms around his father, and gazed over his shoulder at the bright star
above their heads, smiling.