This follows "Living Death" "Memorial" and "Mouring Morning." I give you a new POV. please note that reviews help me to figure out what people like/ what people hate. i would love to get a little feed back on this so i know if i should bother to follow this arch or not. thanks.--Special K the Great.
Warnings: I think you get the idea if you read my other fics.
Disclaimer: Should be fairly obvious by now. a few OC's are mine, but not much else.
It's been almost twenty years since that day. I'm sorry. It's been a long time since I've been here to visit you. Regulus hasn't spared any expenses on you, has he? I think your coffin is resting on a base of solid gold.
I can't believe you still look exactly the same. It's like time has stopped, but it hasn't.
I have a son now. His name is Harry. Not Harold. Not Henry. His name is just Harry. He's almost sixteen. He was sorted almost instantly into Gryffindor. (I thought you might want to know that one of his best friends has two older brothers who are trying to brake your and James' record for most detentions. They still have 217 left to go and only 1 ½ years left to get them all.) It's almost scary. My little boy's almost all grown up. He looks just like his father.
James…I gave him a try, but we didn't work out…aren't working out…it's complicated. Officially we're still married, but we treat each other like strangers sometimes. He still gets Harry on weekends over the Holidays and summer break. I would never stop him from seeing Harry; that would kill James. He loves Harry more than anyone else in this world, and Harry loves his father, too. He practically worships him. Sometimes it hurts me a little, but I try not to mind.
I've been living with my parents, who both adore Harry. I only really see my sister and her family at Holidays, but we don't speak much at all (they're still afraid of magic). Dudley (her son) use to pick on Harry when they were younger. He stopped after Harry threatened to sick his "Uncle Moony" on him at the next full moon. James had to spank Harry for that because we Do Not use Uncle Moony's condition to threaten or scare anyone. To this day I can still see how tormented James was. He was crying as much as Harry.
The world's a dark place. I can't remember a time that it was different anymore. Voldemort and his Deatheaters are getting more and more powerful. You heard of him before, right? That Dark Lord everyone whispered about over breakfast? Well, he took power. When I say I'm living with my parents, I mean I'm living with them under a Fidelius Charm. Dumbledore's our secret keeper, so we're safe from the Dark Lord, but most people aren't so lucky. James has been forced to move no less than eight times because of Deatheaters. When he gats Harry for the weekend, he comes here. A few years ago he lost his parents to the Deatheaters. He and Harry are the last of the Potters now, and if it wasn't for Harry and Remus and Peter, I don't think James'd bother with anything anymore.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happen if I had gotten there just five minutes sooner. Would I have been able to stop you from drinking that potion? I miss you. I miss you now just as much as I did then.
Remus really took it hard. He was in denial for so long, and then he just broke down. He and James both did. I'm not sure what happened, but Anna Marie—you remember her, right? She's married now to Gregory Davis. He was a Ravenclaw a year a head of us. They have three children now. Last I heard they were living in the United States.—well, she told me your brother confronted James in the Common Room. Everyone said it was horrible! The things he said! He must have really loved you to hate James that much. From what I've read, Regulus has invested much of your family's gold into finding a way to revive you. Remus has given up hope. I'm sorry I'm telling you this, but I think you should know why he is the way he is.
He has a son now. His name is Teddy. His mother is your cousin Andromeda's daughter—did you ever get to meet her? Nymphadora's her name, but she insists on being called Tonks. She and Remus spend most of their time fighting now. James thinks they only got together because, well…she reminds us of you. Most of the people Remus has been with either look like or act like you. She's special. She's a metamorphmagus. I guess an affinity for transfiguration runs in your family.
Harry's here. He's never had much patience. I asked him to wait outside this chamber until I came for him, but I didn't really expect him to wait. I know he wonders why we're here. This is the Black Family Mausoleum after all, located in the most exclusive plot of the most famed wizarding cemetery in the world. It's the Westchester Abbey of our world. Neither James nor I have ever brought Harry here before, and we haven't told him of anyone related to us who was a Black. You were as good as a Potter anyway, so we always said you were James' brother. It's dangerous being here. I'm one of the most wanted witches in the country and Voldemort has been after Harry for many years, but you're worth the risk. Besides, every where is dangerous.
"This way, Harry," I call to him. His footsteps echo over the marble floor (I swear there's more marble here than in entire cities). He eyes several sarcophagi warily with tense shoulders. He freezes when he see you in your coffin. I can't blame him for it. It's more than a little unsettling and upsetting to see a boy your own age lying in a coffin of glass, looking for all the world as if he were nothing more than deeply asleep. Sometimes I wonder why Regulus didn't put you in a sarcophagus, but I supposed having you in plain sight is a decent ward against trespassers.
"Why are we here?" he asks softly, still staring at you.
"We're visiting one of my old friends," I answer. "This is your uncle Padfoot, Harry."
He knows of you, as I told you before. James has spoiled Harry with stories of the mischief he, Peter, Remus, and you got into when you were all in school. Harry had asked once what had happened to you, but only ever once. James had just got really quiet, and Harry picked up on his discomfort. He is rather perceptive at times.
"That's Padfoot? What happened to him? Why's he in there? Is he dead? Is that why Dad won't talk about him after sixth year?" he asks rapidly. He's confused, but I think he knows the answer to what really happened.
"He did this to himself, Harry," I answer quietly anyway. There's no sense in softening it. That would be an insult to Harry's intelligence, and to your memory. "When he was sixteen, he took a potion that ended his life." He looks shocked and angry, so I interrupt him before he can speak. "Don't judge him, Harry. You didn't know him or what he was really like. You know what your father wishes to remember of him. Everything James told you was true—Sirius was one of the most loyal and loving of people; however, there's things about Sirius he would never tell you. There's things about Sirius he doesn't even know."
"And you do?"
Do I? I think I do. I think you've told me things you'd never tell James because he didn't know what it really was like to be hated for something you had no control over by someone who was supposed to love you without conditions. "Sirius and I didn't become close until a little before he did this. He was alone, Harry. He told to me things about his life and his family I had no idea that went on. He was such a strong person to survived in that House with those people. I loved him, just like a lot of people did. Had circumstances been different, I could have seen a future with him," I tell him, though I'm not sure why I am. The only other person I had told was Anna Marie before she had gotten married. If lots of things had been different…if you hadn't still been in love with Remus…
"You would have rather been with someone else than Dad?" he asks.
I should have known he'd ask that. After all, James is his idol. I still don't understand why I'm so bitter about that. It's just this feeling I can't make go away. Is this what you felt about Severus? No, you didn't resent Severus. You hated him, as did James, and both of you took every opportunity to remind everyone of the fact. At least you hated him before you were exiled. After that I don't think you were capable of hating anyone. "At the time, yes. But then I wouldn't have you, would I?"
It's not the answer he wants, but he knows better than to argue with me. "Why would anyone want to kill himself?" he asks softly.
Last year a boy named Cedric Diggory had committed suicide. I don't think he and Harry were close, but it really affected Harry. Diggory was a Hufflepuff a few years older than Harry and well-liked by almost everyone. He was captain of the Hufflepuff quiditch team. He was dating the prettiest girl in Hogwarts (according to Harry). Harry couldn't fathom why Cedric Diggory would do something so drastic as ending his life. He can't understand, just like James couldn't understand why you did it. I don't think anyone can truly understand. I mean, I have an idea of why you did it and why Cedric did it. I think it's because no one really understood. They had an idea of each of you that was utterly false, and both of you were just tired of living in lies.
"Harry, Sirius grew up in a very different world. You know he's not really your uncle, right?" I ask him. He nods. I said James and I always told him you were, but the lack of pictures of a young you and a vast horde of pictures of a young James showed the truth. "Sirius's family—the Blacks—were and are so much more terrible than you can imagine. The are the royalty of the purebloods," I say slowly. "There's a first year boy named Sirius as well, right?"
"Yeah," he answers. "Sirius Black. I thought it was weird, but Dad said Padfoot was a Potter, not a Black, so it was just a coincidence."
"No. That Sirius is the son of Sirius's younger brother, who had always been the favorite son," I respond. "Sirius's parents were cruel and heartless as their name. They did things to him that I cannot begin to find words for," I continue, looking him straight in the eye. His eyes—the only thing he got from me—are confused. "Sirius ran away after fifth year. Your father's family took him in. James and Sirius were like brothers—they were closer than brothers. The were like twins. They were always to together getting into trouble or just being James-and-Sirius. If you think Fred and George Weasley are horrible when they're together, then you know just a taste of what James and Sirius were like."
"I'm getting there, Harry," I say softly. "Something happened during sixth year that broke apart their friendship. Sirius fell into a depression—he was never the most balanced of people, and how could he have ever been? His family hadn't showed him any compassion during his whole life—they hated him. I tried to help him, but it wasn't enough. You can be outraged and hate what he did, but don't hate him, Harry. Hate the people that drove him to this, but pity him. Try to understand," I command. Trying to understand is so much harder than anyone thinks it is.
His head is bowed. He stands still and quiet for a moment before asking, "Why does he look like that?"
"No one ever figured out why. The potion he drank is the most powerful sleeping potion in existence. Sirius found a way to make it better. He drank enough to stop the hearts of three men. He should have died, but he didn't, not really. He's only asleep, Harry. Very, very deeply asleep. He's been in this coffin for almost thirty years, only sleeping, and he doesn't look like a day has gone by. He'll never wake up again."
He touches the glass over your cheek. Tears gather in the corner of my eyes. It seems like I cry every day now. I can't remember when I haven't.
I am shocked out of my grief by a loud boom as the doors to the mausoleum are opened again. The sound of strong and confident footsteps following a steady and rapid tempo rapping over the marble reaches my ears.
"Mum? What's going on?" Harry asks as I turn towards the noise.
"Shh!" I hush. If it is any of a certain few people, we are dead. I can only hope it is an ally.
"Show yourself!" a steady voice commands, a voice I haven't heard in months. "Who dares to trespass in my family's final respite?" He gets closer.
"Regulus?" I call.
He appears suddenly in a fury of billowing dark cloth and finery. His wand is pointed toward me and his face is a mask, but his eyes so much like yours are surprised. He obviously wasn't expecting to see me here.
"What are you doing here, Potter?" he says, his voice hushed, and he glances all around quickly to see if there's anyone else here besides me and Harry.
"I'm introducing Harry to his Uncle Padfoot."
"You shouldn't be here. Do you have any idea what would have happened to you if Bellatrix or even Narcissia had come instead of me?" he demands, taking a step closer. "They would have handed you over to the Dark Lord before you could of ever hoped to escape. You would be dead or made to wish you were, and they would have tortured your son until there was nothing left in that little head of his. Then they would have used him to get your husband, and you don't want to imagine what punishment awaits blood-traitors."
Harry gets between us with his own wand drawn—foolish. I'll be the first to say that Harry has a lot of talent when it comes to defense against the dark arts, but Regulus is a fully grown wizard who has been raised in the dark arts, just like you were. He knows spells that are only legal because the Ministry (before they became just a puppet for the Dark Lord) didn't want to acknowledge their existence.
"And what do you plan to do, boy? If I had wanted to turn either you or your mother over to the Dark Lord I would have already instead of wasting breath," Regulus remarks scathingly. He lowers his wand, but keeps it at the ready. I hadn't noticed before, but his accent is thicker than yours had been. I can't place it. It's a mix of so many things. James said once that you could speak more languages than he had fingers. I had wondered if he was just exaggerating, but I guess he was telling the truth.
One of the candles lighting the crypt blows out, leaving the whole vault darker and more dreary then before. It casts a shadow on Regulus and the wall behind him. He sighs. "Why did you come here?" he asks again, now looking at you.
"I told you. I'm introducing Harry to his Uncle Padfoot."
"I never understood why any of his friends called him that. It's a ridiculous name. Why would anyone want to be referred to by an alias of the Grim?" he remarks quietly, almost thoughtfully. "An animagus at sixteen. Well Sirius always did like breaking expectations." I almost wonder how he learned you were one, but perhaps he came to the conclusion after seeing James transform once on a mission. Prongs and James' animagus form are easy to connect.
"Put down your wand Harry," I say.
"Mom! He's a Deatheater!" he yells as he looks at me like I've lost my mind. Perhaps I have.
"You should check yourself before you speak," Regulus sneers.
Regulus has an eyebrow raised. I don't know if this is a sign of danger or amusement. Maybe it's both. You and your brother were never the easiest of people to read. "Harry, it's okay. He's with us," I say softly and urgently.
The Order of the Phoenix.
Dumbledore founded the Order years ago to combat Voldemort. We have several spies among the Deatheaters, and Regulus is one of them, as is Severus. Without them we would have lost long, long ago. Without brave people like the both of them, there would be no resistance. If Regulus was ever found out, his punishment would be worse than what the Deatheaters do to blood-traitors.
Harry's jaw tightens, but he puts his wand away. He knows better than to doubt anyone who will admit to being in the Order, especially someone with as much to loose as Regulus does. No one would lie about this. It's too dangerous to even joke about.
"Where was Lily Evans when Sirius Black took the potion?" Regulus asks to be sure who I am.
"Lily Evans was giving Regulus Black a note from Sirius Black asking him to meet with him to talk. What did Regulus Black say to Lily Evans afterward?" I respond.
"He said to her, 'Ma Fleur, it is not your fault,'" he answers. "It is good to see you again, Lily. I trust this is Harry. It must be. By Merlin he looks like James."
"How is your son?"
"Sirius? He is well. He's the first in the family to go to Ravenclaw. I am glad; he would not have lasted in Slytherin."
You would have been proud of how Regulus has turned out. He's a good man. As he and I share news with each other Harry wonders back over to you. I keep one eye on him, but most of my attention is on your brother. I should ask him if he has any pictures of you from your childhood. James at least would appreciate a few.
"MOM! HE MOVED!"
"What?" Regulus and I demand in unison as we turn to Harry. He's staring wide-eyed at you…and you're staring back. Oh my Merlin. You're staring back.