Cry Tonight

He stood outside the door, listening intently to the conversation inside, his aunt's voice angrily telling his mother of Andromeda's "dishonour", of how his favourite cousin had ran away to marry a mudblood.

He smirked and silently congratulated her, but couldn't help the more negative feeling a part of him felt.

(You were all I had, here, and yet you left me.)

He stood in the hallway, watching his brother walk away. They'd had their worst argument yet, screaming things that Sirius hoped neither meant. The students of Hogwarts, far too used to the Black brothers' fights, had already recovered from the scene and were continuing on their way. Sirius ran a hand through his hair, finally forced to accept that he and his brother were unlikely to ever get along again.

(All those promises we made, broken, now.)

He waited. It was stupid, he knew, but he waited, half-hoping they'd stop him. They had to try, didn't they? Had to ask him to stay? They couldn't turn their back on him – they just couldn't...But then his mother glared and looked away, Regulus looked down at the floor, and his father snarled for him to just go, if he was going. And Sirius walked from the house, pretending that it didn't hurt.

(You claimed to love me, but now I see.)

The news of Regulus' death hits him harder than he expected. The loss of his brother may have really happened a lifetime ago, but this is so final, so painful, so unexpected. He loved his brother, and he can't deny it. Can't deny, either, that he wished their relationship would somehow mend.

(I lost you long ago, it's true, but loved you all the same.)

He saw the house, and for a moment froze as all the breath left his lungs. It couldn't be – it wasn't possible – no –

He sank to his knees, then, because it was true. The house was practically destroyed, and he couldn't go any closer, because he knew, just knew, that he'd see their bodies. It was all his fault.

(If I had the chance, I would have given my life for you.)

He laughed, as they dragged him away, because they didn't know, didn't understand, and wouldn't believe him. Because Peter had turned out to be the darkest of their group, and in some twisted way the smartest, too. Because he had lost everything, now. His family had slipped away, bit by bit, James and Lily were dead, Peter was a Death Eater, and Remus was bound to believe the lies, believe him at fault. He had lost the only people he had.

(It's all so surprising and yet so predictable.)

He started when he saw the rat, perched on the boys shoulder. The rat, the painfully familiar rat. And he scanned the words, and felt his heart speed up. The boy – the boy the rat was with – was going to Hogwarts after the summer. The rat was going to Hogwarts, to Harry. To James and Lily's son...

(I will give you everything I owe you, repay my every debt.)

His eyes focussed on Peter, as the boy groaned in pain. A hatred rose in his like no other – it was all the rat's fault. James and Lily's death, his own incarceration, Remus' life without his friends to support him, Harry's life without parents. If he had any doubts, before this moment, that he'd be able to destroy the rat, kill him, they have vanished now. It ends tonight.

(Because you were my friend, but now I see my enemy in your eyes.)

He stands on the top floor of his house – his house, but it doesn't feel like his – and closes his eyes, pretending he's really on the roof. Pretending he's really breathing fresh air, that he's really free. It occurs to him that he's spent so little time truly free, and wonders why he still craves freedom, when freedom has always been so fleeting.

(One day, one day I will be free.)

Even as the curse speeds towards him, he knows that this is the end. He can feel death advance upon him, and knows it is his time, and there is not use fighting it. He doesn't have time to find Harry in the crowd, though he'd have liked one last look. He doesn't see Remus, either, but he'd have liked to say goodbye. He realises they are the two who will mourn him most, miss him most, and wonders if his life was that empty that they are the only ones who matter.

(Few will mourn my end.)

(More, I think, will rejoice it.)

(Will you cry for me, miss me, plead for my return?)

(Will you weep for the end of someone you once loved?)

(Will you? Will you? Will you?)

(Maybe if you cried tonight, all would be forgiven.)

(But maybe if you cried tonight, it wouldn't be enough.)

(Cry tonight, for me.)