How Sirius Knew That His Mother Hated Him
On rare occasions you may hear a child say that his or her parents hate them. Well, the sad truth is that occasionally this is true and not the over-exaggerations of a child who didn't get what they wanted.
Sirius always had his doubts about whether or not his mother liked him, though he certainly knew she didn't love him. He'd wonder about it in between fencing lessons, magical law classes, and sneaking onto the roof to get to number thirteen Grimmauld Place, where he'd climb down the drainpipe and into Muggle London.
Regulus was adored by their mother and regularly doted on. He was her baby, and to top it off, he was far more of a Lestrange than Sirius was. You see, Walburga Black was born Walburga Lestrange.
Sirius' father was more concerned with manipulating politicians to get certain laws passed than he was with his heir. So, as most boys do when neglected, Sirius rebelled and badly at that. He never intended it to get too far though. He would still be a Slytherin just like all his ancestors since 1013 when the first Black attended Hogwarts, all Blacks having been taught at home before then.
But his first ride on the Hogwarts Express changed all that.
Sirius had never gotten along with his cousins… barring Andromeda, that is. Bella was cruel and cold, much like Sirius' own mother, though Bella was more sadistic. Narcissa was aloof and self-centered, caring only about how others saw her, most especially Lucius Malfoy. Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange, his mother's nephews, were nearly as sadistic as Bella, though not as creative.
Andromeda and Bellatrix were in the same year at Hogwarts because Bella was unlucky enough to have a birthday in early September, and Andromeda was born a year later in late August. They were polar opposites, though.
Sirius' cousins were all under orders to 'keep their eyes' on him, and were determined to see that he didn't embarrass the family 'no matter what'. Which is why the eleven year old was unsurprised when they barged into his compartment without so much as a by-your-leave.
"Well, Sirius," Bellatrix said coldly, the self-appointed spokesperson of the group, as she was the eldest but for Rodolphus, who followed her lead like a well-trained puppy. "You will be sorted into Slytherin, and what's more, you will only be friends with 'approved' people."
"I beg your pardon," Sirius said boldly, interrupting her speech. "I will be friends with whomever I please, and I don't bloody well care about who is or isn't 'approved'," he sneered, shocked by his own nerve.
Bella narrowed her eyes, pulling her wand and pressing the tip to just beneath his chin. "Watch your tongue, Siri," she said, looming over him. "Because I won't hesitate to remove it from your mouth, making you spend the whole trip to Scotland holding your tongue in your hand." She smirked at the boy, even as the Lestrange brothers began to laugh.
"I'm truly impressed Bella," Sirius said, clapping. "I would have thought that, because of all the inbreeding in the Crabbe family, your mother wouldn't have been able to pass enough magic on to you for you to be able to perform a basic cutting charm."
Bellatrix snarled viciously, and began to mutter a spell when Andromeda grabbed her arm saying, "No!" She stepped between Sirius and Bellatrix, protecting him with her body. "Bella, don't. He's our cousin. He doesn't know what he's saying," Andromeda said, desperately trying to smooth over ruffled feelings. "Sirius hasn't met the unsavory types yet. He doesn't know what they are like." She lightly rubbed her fingers on her sister's arm, calming her as only she could.
Bellatrix leaned in close to Andromeda, pressing her lips against the other girl's ear. "'Unsavory types like your little Hufflepuff lover, Andy?" she asked. "I've seen you with the Mudblood."
Andromeda's eyes were huge as Bellatrix pulled away.
"Mother would be disappointed in you, Andy," she said loud enough for everyone to hear. "Come!" she said sharply to the others, and led the way out of the compartment.
Andromeda turned to Sirius and dropped a hand to rest gently on his shoulder. "Sirius," she said, her eyes sad and worried, "You mustn't provoke her. You know her temper. If you do find friends in other houses, for Merlin's sake, keep it a secret," she whispered. "You know that the only people in other houses that are considered respectable are Ravenclaws, and then only the Purebloods."
"You don't believe that, do you, Andy?" Sirius asked, realizing for the first time that perhaps the Pureblood doctrine was wrong.
"Listen carefully," Andromeda said, spelling the door locked and silenced. "We were taught from the time we were in nappies that Purebloods are stronger and smarter than Muggleborns, but you will see at Hogwarts that, if anything, the reverse is true. They are powerful, Sirius. Our family is wrong."
Sirius stared at her in shock. "Something has changed with you," he said, concerned. "I noticed last year, but thought you were only different because it was your next to the last year of school, and then you'd be getting married to whomever your father arranged your marriage to."
Andromeda smiled at her young cousin and said, "Can you keep a secret?"
"You know I can," Sirius said. "What is it?"
Andromeda reached into the neck of her robes with one hand and pulled out a thin gold chain that had a small diamond ring dangling from it. "I – I've been seeing someone in Hufflepuff since just after the OWLS. He's a Muggleborn, but top in our year," she explained. "I love him, and we're going to elope at Christmastime."
Sirius paled. "They're going to cast you out of the family. You know that, right?" he asked, a few tears trickling down his cheeks.
"I know," she said somewhat sadly. "But when you truly believe in something or someone, you'll do anything for it. You'll give up your life for it. I believe that Ted is just as good as any Pureblood, more so perhaps because he doesn't have prejudices."
Sirius stared blankly into her face for one long minute until Andromeda said, "Think very carefully about it, my brightest star," with great affection.
Sirius blinked several times, unable to respond as she left the compartment. He tried to imagine his life without Andy, without her calling him her brightest star, which was incidentally the only nickname he could stand being called.
"Do you mind if I sit in here?" a voice asked from the door. It was a boy with messy black hair, hazel eyes, and silver wire-rimmed glasses.
"No, I don't mind," Sirius replied absentmindedly, as he sat down.
"Thank Merlin," the boy said, collapsing onto the bench opposite Sirius. "I was just kicked out of my compartment by this group of upperclassmen who were really rude. I'm James Potter, by the way."
"Sirius Black," Sirius replied.
"Any relation to Bellatrix Black," James asked, frowning slightly. "She's the one who kicked me out of my compartment."
"Unfortunately, she's my cousin, though I hope you won't blame me for that," Sirius replied, slowly beginning to feel more like himself.
"Of course I won't blame you for her actions," James said. "Besides, my grandmum was a Black, and she was the nicest grandmum ever."
Sirius smiled slightly.
"She was the one who gave me my middle name actually," James continued despite the lack of a response. "It's a constellation name as per the Black tradition of naming their children after stars. I'm actually James Leo Potter," he said. "What's your middle name?"
Sirius smiled slightly. "You don't like quiet much do you? I don't either usually. Anyway, my middle name is Orion. I'm Sirius Orion Black."
James snorted as he tried to stifle a laugh.
"What?" Sirius asked.
James smiled somewhat sheepishly and said, "Your mother must not like you much, either that or she doesn't like herself. Your initials are S.O.B. as in son of a…" James let the words trail off.
"No," Sirius said, beginning to laugh. "She doesn't like me much."
James now felt comfortable laughing as well, and the only time their compartment was silent during the rest of the trip was when Sirius was counting out the number of Sickles he owed the snack cart lady, James' mother having packed him a lunch.
Later that evening as the sorting was about to begin, Sirius' eyes met Andromeda's. She immediately smiled at him. His gaze flicked down to Bellatrix, who glared at him coldly for daring to stand next to the blood traitor Potter.
"Black, Sirius," Minerva McGonagall announced, barely keeping from grimacing at the idea of another Black.
Sirius looked once more at Andromeda before moving towards the stool and sitting down. Just before the hat was lowered on his head, he looked back at James, who grinned good-naturedly back at him.
Hmm… Another Black it would seem, a voice said in Sirius' head. He jumped slightly even though he knew to expect it.
Yep, that's me, Sirius thought back. Sirius Orion Black… son of a bitch.
The hat chuckled at this, making McGonagall shift nervously, wondering what on earth could possibly be amusing about a Black.
You are different from your family, aren't you? the hat mused. Perhaps you would have made a good Slytherin a few hours ago, but not anymore it would seem. Not the studious type either, it thought, though you're smart enough, you prefer being active to sitting in class.
Joy! Sirius thought excitedly. I'm either a Hufflepuff or a Gryffindor, either way I'm going to be disowned. He paused for a moment before challenging the hat, Bring it on, hat. Bring. It. On.
The hat chuckled once more, even as the Blacks and Lestranges began to sweat. It never took so long to sort one of them before.
"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat shouted before saying, Good luck, in Sirius' head.
Sirius hopped off the stool, handing the hat to McGonagall, and grinned cheekily up at her, mischief sparkling in his eyes.
All Minerva McGonagall could think was that for the next seven years she would be needing a lot more scotch than normal.
25 Points: Johnny Depp played a famous British author, who was it?