a/n-well, this is is: the last chapter. I hope you liked the story. I must say, this was rather depressing to write. However...if you go to my profile and click on the link for SiRiUsLyPiNkAnDgReEn, you can read the marauder-era stories I'm co-authoring with An-Jelly-Ca, which are not in the least bit depressing in any way. Happy reading!

disclaimer-Nothing is mine.


He couldn't believe it was true.

Dumbledore had called an emergency meeting of the Order of the Phoenix in the middle of the night, and when he hadn't seen Marlene there, he'd automatically assumed she'd slept through the summons. It was something she was very well known for.

But then Dumbledore had entered the room, and Sirius had seen the grave expression upon his face. Something was wrong, very wrong. For the first time he could remember, Sirius thought Dumbledore looked even older than he was. And as his former headmaster had sunk into his chair at the head of the table and silence had fallen upon the group, Sirius had seen how Dumbledore's shoulders had sagged. In that instant before Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak, Sirius had known that his life was about to change forever. He didn't know how he knew…he just did.

Even now, hours later, Sirius shuddered at the memory of those fateful words Dumbledore had spoken.

There had been a Death Eater attack. And it wasn't just the Death Eaters; Voldemort had gone with them as well this time. Their target: the McKinnon family.

Marlene was dead, along with the rest of her family. Marlene and her parents and her brothers. Dead, all of them.

Sirius just couldn't believe it. The little girl he'd met more than a decade ago, who had grown with the years into the woman he loved, was gone forever. Voldemort had killed her. Sirius felt as if he was all alone in the world. Yes, he still had James and Remus, and Peter too, when he was actually around, but it just wasn't the same. Marlene had understood him like no one else ever had. She had been the one to stick with him through thick and thin, had listened to his constant hardships that now seemed so menial in comparison to this.

They hadn't told anyone yet, but Sirius and Marlene had been planning to get married. It would have been a small wedding, just the Marauders, Marlene's family, James' parents, and maybe even Sirius' cousin Andromeda. And they would have been happy, too. Marlene was meant for Sirius; she had been like his other half. And now she was gone. There was no one left, and Sirius just didn't know how he was going to go on without her.

Everything had been so much simpler back in school. The only things he had to worry about back then were not sleeping through class, getting away with the many pranks he had pulled, and not actually getting on McGonagall's bad side. There was nothing to be afraid of when you were safe in school, protected by the one person it was rumored that this newest dark lord was afraid of. Being at Hogwarts was safer than living in your own home, there was no danger of being attacked by death eaters at school. Sirius wished more than anything else that he could just go back to the days when he was still at Hogwarts.

Even now, he sat in his darkened apartment, not seeing anything in the dim light but the picture he held in his hands. It was of he and Marlene on their very last day at Hogwarts. Marlene had brought it by just two days ago, the last time he had seen her. It all seemed so long ago, now. Looking down at their smiling faces, Sirius couldn't remember ever feeling so happy in his life as he did whenever Marlene was around him. He would never feel that way ever again, of that he was sure.

Don't give up

You are loved