Prologue: Promises' Epilogue
Every beginning has an end, though sometimes the two flip-flopped or joined together, a phenomenon that some people called going full circle. He'd have called the concept crap, however. He'd been called many things in his life: friend, enemy; rebel, hero; student and teacher. The one thing he'd never been was predictable, but he was consistently inconsistent. Dependable even when he tried to pretend he wasn't. A completely contradictory contradiction—even his friends had a hard time figuring it out. Once, only once, he'd mentioned that an enemy perhaps knew him best of all.
There was a monument on a hill top, standing lonely against a starry sky. This time of year, if you stood at the right angle, the Dog Star could be seen shining down on the black marble monument, and there was enough ambient light that magic was hardly needed to illuminate the words.
Faithful until the end.
Gone, but never forgotten.
This wasn't quite a funeral, though it was quiet and solemn. The wake would come later, as wild and as carefree as Sirius could have wanted. They'd celebrate him for all of his rough edges and for every one of his contradictions, honoring the man they'd known, the man they'd believed in. He'd been a reluctant hero, but he'd saved them when no one else could.
The date, of course, had little meaning. Most people wouldn't have understood what had happened on this day, the twenty-fourth of October, just one hundred and twenty-one years ago. Some remembered, but their number was growing fewer.
An old man stepped up to the podium, squeezing his wife's hand on his way by. He wasn't ancient, not by Wizarding standards, tallying only a bit over one hundred and twenty years. But he'd gone gray early, much to everyone's surprise, and was a "distinguished" silver these days.
The body of Sirius Black was elsewhere—every one of the thousands of witches and wizards present had known that for some time. This wasn't a grave; it was simply a place to remember promises that had been made and promises that had never been broken. It didn't need to be more than that, and couldn't, anyway…regardless of what the silent onlookers might have wanted.
A little known Wizarding law stated that every Auror, could their body be recovered, had to be interred in the Ministry of Magic's vaults. Necromancy had fallen out of fashion over the past millennia, but no one wanted bodies lying about for the next aspiring Dark Lord to dig up and use. Of course, of all Aurors who died on active duty, over half of their bodies were never recovered. These days were quieter, but no one present had forgotten the war.
"1981," the silver-haired, green-eyed Harry Potter said, "was a year that changed everything. And in a very real sense, in 1981, Sirius Black saved us all."
Ye Olde Author's Note: A short beginning, but a beginning nonetheless—and stay with me, as this is only the beginning. But if you're new to this story, fear not! Although this is one of many installments in the "Unbroken Universe", this is actually (chronologically) the first story in the arc. But if you're not new to the UU, or don't mind reading the other stories out of order, feel free to check out Promises Unbroken, Promises Remembered, and Promises Defended here on FFN. And as always (as I'm a typical author), please do let me know what you think!