Chapter 11 – All Wrong Yet All Right
When Mae finally reached her destination, she was sobbing and hysterical. She had just watched her only remaining friend die.
Albus Dumbledore was there with several other members of the Order of the Phoenix. They started at the sound of the slamming door and looked to her bent figure low to the floor.
"Mae!" one of them called.
So distraught, she could barely tell who they were. She forced her eyes open and looked up at the face of Dumbledore. "Professor," she said quietly.
"Nonsense, Mae," he said in a hushed voice, "I am no longer your professor."
"Professor, no! They killed him. They killed Hiro!"
"By Merlin, what happened?!" one of the others called.
"Not here," Dumbledore said and bid the others carry her to the kitchen.
Despite their protests, they did so, and soon she was sitting in a chair with two men on other side of her and Dumbledore across from her. They sat in silence for a while, Mae afraid to talk for fear of losing herself in the horrors, Dumbledore not wanting to pry.
The man on her right finally succumbed to his eagerness and exclaimed, "Oh, for goodness' sake! Are we going to get this over with or not?!"
"Please remain calm in her presence," said Dumbledore. "She needs to feel comfortable with her surroundings before she can tell us anything. She has not been a member of the Order for very long nor spent much time in this place. Be patient."
Mae looked up at Dumbledore with pleading eyes, not wanting to say anything while the other men were there. He seemed to understand because he sent them away, and then he looked at her expectantly, knowing that she would speak to him now.
She explained all that she could remember of what happened after she and Hiro left Sirius's apartment: the arrival at the house of the suspected leak; his entrance; what she remembered of their argument; the arrival of Voldemort; Hiro's death; and then the torture Voldemort put her through. "…And then he said to me, 'You will be a messenger, Mae Yokozuna. You will carry this to Albus Dumbledore, and you will dangle it in front of his face. I will be laughing when he has heard these words, for I will know. I will not know where you are, but I will know when you tell him.'"
Dumbledore appeared puzzled by these words or perhaps it was something else she had said. He, then, said seriously, "You remember nothing of who the leak was?"
She hesitated. "I—I know that I do know, but it refuses to come to me. I cannot even remember who I suspected. I do not remember most of my conversations with Remus, and Sirius, and Peter, and Lily and James. I just can't remember. Why does it elude me so, Professor?"
He nodded slowly. "Your memory has been tampered with, Mae. He will not tell me who the leak is. It is too important to him. He is trying to tempt me with your knowledge and yet lack of knowledge. Something very dangerous and very horrible will be happening soon."
"How do you know?" asked she, her eyes dark and sad.
"It is his way to do such things with such dramatics," he responded slowly. "It may perhaps be happening to you, though, Mae. I think now would be a good time for you to go into hiding. You will be in danger, even if you return to Japan now."
She nodded slowly. "I will do what I can, sir. Just tell me what to do."
Sirius felt bad about lying to everyone. When they had all asked or implied that he was the Secret-Keeper, he never corrected them or even hinted that it wasn't him in the first place. But it was too late to change any of that, and in a little while he would be late.
When he reached Peter's house for a short conversation, possibly about what Mae had said the night before, he was five minutes late. No one answered his knocking. Curious and a little frightened, he opened the door, expecting a helpless Peter tied up or even dead.
But the house was eerily clean. All the lights were out. He checked the whole house, but not a soul was there. There weren't even signs of a struggle. Everything there just felt so damn wrong. He knew that Peter wouldn't leave without a reason.
And then it hit him. Perhaps Mae had been right all along. Perhaps it was Peter that was the leak. Oh, Merlin! And what would that mean? What would happen if he was the leak?
Sirius sped to Lily and James's house on his flying motorcycle. He could see the flames even before he reached Godric's Hollow. Hagrid was there with a baby in his arms. Lily and James were dead and crumpled in the cinders. But it was strange—no Dark Mark was hanging in the air.
Tears were already in his eyes, messing up his vision, and his face was already pale as a ghost when he touched down on the ground. He let the motorbike drop to the ground, not bothering to put up the kickstand. He was too worried about Lily and James and Harry. He rushed to the side of the burning building, allowing the tears to flow freely down his face.
At the site of him, Hagrid moved closer, trying to comfort him. The baby was sobbing in his arms—almost as much as Sirius was but not quite as much.
As he was kneeling there, he came to a conclusion. Mae had been right. She had been correct in her reasoning. It had been Peter that had been weak. And now she was gone off to Japan, and he couldn't even tell her that she was right. Every single thing she had said—it was all right.
But Peter had to be somewhere. He had to find him. He had to track that bastard down and kill him.
However, he couldn't let rage take over him. He had to think about his godson. He had to think about poor Harry, without any parents left to care for him. Sirius was all that Harry had now.
He turned to Hagrid then, begging him, "Give Harry to me, Hagrid. I'm his godfather. I'll look after him."
The half-giant hesitated then. "Can't, Sirius. Sorry, but Dumbledore says he's gotta go ter his aunt an' uncle's."
Sirius tried to argue, but it was only half-heartedly. He wouldn't have been able to catch Peter if he was carrying a baby. Besides, there were still plenty of Death Eaters that would be quite happy if they could kill either of them at that moment. It was too dangerous. So he gave up, asking to just hold him for a moment before Hagrid left with him.
Hagrid obliged and placed the adorable little boy in his arms. It was then that he realized a lightning bolt-shaped scar on the baby's forehead. The baby calmed a little in his arms and looked up at him with Lily's emerald eyes.
With a small sigh of sorrow and resignation, he returned the baby to Hagrid's awaiting arms. "Here, take my motorcycle," he said, motioning back to the bike on the ground. He moved to it and righted it, gesturing for Hagrid to come toward it. "It'll get you there faster. I won't need it anymore."
Hagrid seemed confused by that, but he took it anyway, thanking him.
And Sirius watched sadly as they flew up into the sky toward Lily's retched sister and her husband, and he knew that Harry would never be happy there, but he also knew that that was just how things had to be… for the time being. In his own time, he would search out that foul Peter Pettigrew, his one-time friend, and kill him.
But Fate had a different thing planned.
The Daily Prophet's main article was over something almost as horrible as Voldemort—or so Remus thought. Sirius Black had been apprehended for the murder of thirteen Muggles and one wizard, Peter Pettigrew. So it had been Sirius, after all, and Mae's reasoning was all wrong. Peter never could have done it. He was too weak.
But what scared him most was the story below the main one. It was about an attack by infuriated Death Eaters. When they learned of the Dark Lord's demise, they started blowing things up.
Few had survived the attack, and one of the survivors had listed off people they had known to be in the building. One of the people had spoken of an oriental girl with a sad face. With the help of several other survivors, he had identified it as one Mae Yokozuna.
So she was dead. There was nothing left to it. The love of his life was dead, and he didn't even get to apologize or tell her that he really did love her.
And he would regret it for the rest of his life.