Hi, this is my new story. Sirius is the main character, but he's not really canon, and you'll see why as the story progresses. This story is much darker and agnsty-er; but there are moments of lightness and some really sweet moments of Harry and Ginny together as children. I appreciate anyone who is willing to read it and review it. Unlike my other tome, I am writing this one as I update. Thanks, Mutt
Brother and Sister
A moment ago, everything was as it should be, and now ... it felt like the world had ended, and I had been engulfed in a deep pit of searing flames. I couldn't imagine pain like this, and I doubted that I would ever feel anything like it again. It was a normal night, well as normal as Halloween can be. We didn't get trick or treaters here, my building was too far away, to hard to climb up to my loft, so all I heard were people cavorting in the streets. I was exhausted and I nearly didn't answer the door when I heard the knock.
Then came the news that would forever alter my world. I couldn't breathe, it burned to take in breath, and it felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest. Whatever I had eaten for dinner, I couldn't remember now, reappeared on the floor in front of me. How could he be gone? Even when my Mum and Dad had died, the pain wasn't this bad. I knew their deaths were coming, and he'd been there to help me grieve. But he was gone. I was alone.
The Professors pushed their way into my apartment, and one handed me a phial and told me to drink it. I thought that I was going to die from the pain, I wanted to die from the pain. I didn't want to live in a world where I was alone; where the one person who had always been there for me was missing and wouldn't ever be back.
And then something else swept over me.
That was the only word that could describe me now. Numb.
Professor McGonagall laid my sleeping nephew in my arms and I stumbled back into the sofa in my lounge area, not listening to what they were saying anymore. I looked down at his little round face with the same messy black hair and a memory jumped in my mind.
"Again, again Jamie!" I squealed at my brother. "Make them fly again!"
"Okay, Ellie, hold on," James said, lifting the wand and making the ring of daisies once again lift off the ground and fly around my head. I giggled as they came to set upon my head, forming a crown, clapping with delight.
"If Daddy knows that you took Grandmummy's wand again, you're going to be in so much trouble," I reminded him.
"She was sound asleep on the hammock again," James reminded me. "I'll put it back before she finds out that I have it."
"I'll protect you Jamie, Daddy can't ever get as mad at me," I promised.
"Yeah, yeah. What would I do without you?"
"Probably be in more trouble."
"Race you to the pond!" he dared me, jumping up and beginning to run off.
"No fair, you can't start before I even stand up," I complained before I sprinted off after him.
Oh Jamie, I failed you. How could I have...I won't fail Harry. I promise. My stomach lurched at the memories, and I was afraid that I was going to be sick again. I looked back up at my former Professors trying to wrap my head around what they were saying. But nothing seemed to matter, Jamie was gone, Lily was gone, Sirius had run off and Remus was...well he'd be back in another day or so. I knew where he was and I had gotten a message from him that he was safe. But my promise to protect my brother when I was four and he was five seemed to haunt me now.
"Ellie, Ellie dear are you going to be alright?" Professor Dumbledore asked me and I looked up at him and nodded. I still couldn't believe that my brother was dead. The pain that I was feeling was unfamiliar, but I was honest, I would say that it was feeling anything that felt foreign. I hadn't let myself feel anything in over three years.
James was exactly nine months and twenty-two days older than me, we were closer than Irish twins our parents used to tease us. James was their miracle baby, they'd tried for years to have him and they were thrilled when he was finally born. Then Mum got preggers with me right after he was born. They never thought that they'd have any children, and within a year they had two. I arrived nearly six weeks early, and it was touch and go whether I would survive or not, but Mum and Dad always told us it was when they laid Jamie in the crib with me, then I started to get stronger. We were each others life lines, and we were best friends, even once we went to Hogwarts.
People assumed that we were twins, and were shocked to find out that James birthday was in November and mine was in August, the last day of August, so I just made the cut to be in the same year as him at Hogwarts. He had always promised me that he would have waited anyway, and gone with me, because we had always done everything together. We were sorted into the same house, and I was roommates with Lily Evans, who became Lily Potter, the mother of the little boy I was now holding. I couldn't think of Lily without remembering the first time that she talked about my brother.
"Did you see what he just did?" Lily asked me and I nodded at her. "He spilled my pumpkin juice on purpose, just walked right into me. Do you know who he was?"
"I do. His name is James Potter and he was with..." I started to tell about Jamie and his friends but she cut me off.
"Well he's just...a stupid, stupid boy," she complained, trying to wipe herself off with a napkin. I took my wand out and said the charm that Mummy had taught me at home and she was immediately clean.
"Wow, how'd you learn to do that?" she asked me, and I noticed how pretty her face was.
"My Mummy taught me at home. My brother" I said emphasizing the word hoping she'd get the hint, "tends to make a lot of messes," I explained and she tilted her head to the side.
"Oh, is he older or younger?" she asked as we gathered our things up for the first day of classes and left the Great Hall after breakfast.
"He's older, but only by a little over nine months."
"Is he at Hogwarts?" she asked and I knew that she wouldn't be happy with the answer, so I figured that I would play with her a little as we walked to class. I could see Jamie and Sirius in front of us, walking with another boy who was in their room. I'd met him last night when I'd hung out in their dorm, rather than being subjected to silly girl talk. Jamie had collided with Lily when I knew that he was aiming to run into me. Just his dumb way of telling me that he loved me.
"Yup, he is."
"What house is he in?"
"Gryffindor," I answered, hoping that she'd figured it out.
"Well I hope that he can teach that disgusting boy some manners," Lily said and I had to work really hard not to laugh. "Ellie, whose your brother?" she stopped at the door to the Charms classroom and I put my hand on her shoulder.
"James Potter," I told her as I walked into the room and was greeted by Jamie, Sirius and their new friend. I turned around and smiled at her. "I'm Ellie, Ellie Potter."
Lily forgave me for not telling her immediately that Jamie was my brother, and we became fast friends. She wasn't silly and giggling like some of the other girls in our year, and we were both smart, so we tended to work together. Since we were together, and Jamie and I had done everything together for as long as we could remember, they were forced to spend time together. I had never seen two people bicker more in my whole life. Sirius and I used to sit there and just look at them, and wonder what was up.
I could feel Harry stir in my arms and again I was brought to the here and now. When he opened his eyes at me, I was immediately again reminded of Lily. His eyes were the exact same color as hers. I held him as he squirmed into a sitting position on my lap, and I could see the question in his eyes.
"Mummy isn't here right now, Harry." I told him, his yearning bringing tears to my eyes.
"Daddy isn't either. Harry," I stopped and had to swallow down the sob that was threatening me. "Mummy and Daddy had to go away. They're with Grammy and Pappy Potter now. It's just going to be Harry and Aunt Ellie now." I tried to explain, but how do you make a toddler understand that his mother and father are dead.
"Mus and Doggie?" He asked me, calling Remus and Sirius by his nicknames for them.
"Uncle Mus is sick right now, but I'm sure that he'll be better in a couple of days," I explained. Remus had a cabin in the woods that he would go to with either James or Sirius when he had to endure the full moon. He stayed there for a couple of days after, to recover before he came home. I usually went and checked on him the morning after a full moon.
"Uncle Sirius is...away. But he'll come see us when he can," I promised the toddler, hoping that I wasn't lying. Dumbledore was trying to tell me that Sirius had betrayed Jamie and Lily, that as their secret keeper he had given away their location, but even with everything that I might believe about Sirius, I knew that betraying James wasn't something that he could have done.
I looked around my small flat, and thought about how this wasn't a place to raise a child. It only had one large room, with a small loo off to one side. It was sparsely decorated, mostly things that I'd collected from my travels around the world. I wasn't here much, it was generally an oversized closet with a big bed in it for me to crash in, wash up in the loo and change clothes. I spent long hours working at the Ministry when I wasn't traveling. Working as a Medical Potions Master was interesting and engrossing work. It was something that I was able to get lost in, which is why I chose the career.
"What am I going to do? I don't have anything to take care of a child with here. When I took care of Harry, I always went to Jamie's house," I explained to the Professors who were still standing in my flat. I realized that I hadn't even offered them a seat, let alone a spot of tea. My Mum would have been appalled at my manners. "I'm sorry, please sit down. Would you like something to drink? I can put the kettle on."
"Nonsense, Ellie." Professor McGonagall said and I nodded at her. "We know that you're not prepared to take care of a child here. We've arranged other accommodations for the two of you, for the time being."
"Oh, all right. Where are we going?" I asked in a daze. "Am I taking him back to my parents house?" I asked, knowing that James and Lily had been living in the cottage that Jamie and I shared with our parents while we were growing up. I loved the little house outside of Leeds, it was cozy and comfortable. When Mum and Dad died within a year of each other, I insisted that James and Lily take the cottage. I didn't need it, I was always at work, they were the ones that were going to have a family. They'd left it six weeks ago to go into hiding.
"I don't think that it would be safe for you to go and live there, not just yet. There are still many Death Eaters at large, and the location of your family home is quite well known," Professor Dumbledore explained, and his answer seemed reasonable to me. "For the time being, we'd like you to go and stay with the Weasley family, outside of Ottery St. Catchpole. They have a son Harry's age and a new baby daughter. They'll be prepared to have another child living with them, and they've already made room for you as well. You'll be safe there as well, the house is well warded."
"Oh, that was very kind of them," I told the pair, the comfortable numbness coming back to me. At least the numbness let me escape the pain. It hurt to breathe and to close my eyes. I felt every cell in my body try and explode to let the pain out, but there was no where for it to go, except back to being numb. "I guess I should get some things together?"
"Why don't I take Harry and see if we can get him a snack, while you pack some of your things up?" The Hogwarts Headmaster suggested and I passed Harry over to him.
"I'll help you dear." Professor McGonagall told me and we went to my messy closet to get some things together. I was embarrassed for her to see it, I had work clothes, and then really gross things that I cleaned and lounged in, nothing in between. The only dress I owned was the one that I wore for Jamie's wedding. I worked, I slept and I went to my brother's, "it's an existence, not a life" Jamie used to tell me. When I'd collected what few clothes would be appropriate, we turned around to see Harry sitting on the table munching on some biscuits, which I was sure were stale, that Dumbledore had found in my kitchen cupboards. I went to the loo and grabbed my few things and tossed them in the bag as well.
"Is there anything else here that you might need in the next few days?"
"No, I ... I'm not here much," I told them and I lifted my wand and turned the lights out and made sure that the two windows were closed. We all left the flat and I locked the door. Thankfully Professor McGonagall created a portkey to get us there, I wasn't sure that I was aware enough to apparate us, and I had only been to the Burrow twice.
When we entered the house, Molly took Harry and said that she would get him ready for bed, and lie him down in Ron's room. I nodded and the Professors talked with Arthur for a few minutes, but I couldn't quite follow the conversation. I wanted the tears to stop flowing from my eyes, but it seemed that there was an endless supply tonight. I looked up on their wall, trying to take my mind off the emptiness that I felt, and started glancing at their pictures. The smiling faces seemed to betray the weight of what was lost tonight. As my eyes moved across the wall, I was shocked to find one of Jamie, Lily, Sirius and I at their wedding. Seeing us all waving, overflowing with happiness, it was too much. I could feel the sobs racking over me as I looked at us, knowing that I would never see my brother again.
"Ellie, are you sure that you're going to be all right?" Jamie asked me, and I put my hands on his shoulders and stared in his eyes.
"Jamie, it's your wedding day. I am so happy for you, I can put the rest of it aside. One of us should be happy and loved. Anyway, I wouldn't want to endure Lily hexing me if I messed today up," I confessed.
"She can be a little scary sometimes."
"Yes, but that's why you love her. She keeps you on your toes."
"She does, couldn't have never married a woman that didn't. Living with you all those years programmed me to need someone like that."
"And don't you ever forget it." Jamie enveloped me in a huge hug, and I returned it.
"It'll be your turn, someday..." he tried to make it a happy sentiment, but I could hear the pain in his voice.
"It'll be a very cold day in hell, Jamie. I just...marriage isn't in the cards for me..." I tried to brush him off, but this was my big brother.
"That's not true, and you know it. He is so in love with you..."
"Stop," I said harshly, "we both know that it won't ever happen." I said, looking away. "Come now, I need to go and see Lily, and you should get out there with your groomsmen."
"Ellie dear, just let it out. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you," Molly Weasley told me, putting an arm around me. I hadn't even realized that she was back in the room.
She plied me with some more potions and showed me the room that I would be sleeping in, and I changed and laid down, but sleep wouldn't come. I flopped around on the small bed, realizing that I missed the large one in my flat, even though I was the only one who ever slept in it. I finally gave up and grabbed my sweater and threw it on over my nightgown and headed downstairs, hoping that there would be something to read to keep my mind off of everything that had happen today.
I nestled myself by the dying fire, and grabbed a book on Muggle airplanes that clearly must be Arthur's and began flipping through the pages. I wasn't really looking at the book, but I wasn't doing anything else either. I was just ... numb again. Pictures of my brother flashed through my head, and my heart hurt at them.
"We're really leaving today, Jamie?" I asked for like the hundredth time as I folded my new Hogwarts robes into my Mummy's old school trunk.
"We are. Pinky swear that we'll help each other with homework." Jamie asked, holding up his little finger to me. I immediately wrapped mine around his and we shook them up and down three times.
"Pinky swear. You'll never get through Potions without me."
"Yeah, and you'll need me to help you in Defense, so we're even."
"I just don't want to hurt anybody." I whispered.
"I know El, but sometimes you've gotta be able to defend yourself."
"Naw, that's why I have you around." I told him, reaching up and tussling his hair.
"Aw, El, why'd you do that? It took me like 15 minutes to get it to stop standing on end this morning," he said, trying to flatten his hair back out.
"Here I'll fix it," I told him, as I straightened it out. "Maybe you'll meet a cute girl today?"
"Maybe, but boys had better not look at you. You're not snogging until you're like 30. Me and Sirius will see to that."
"Thanks Jamie. You're a peach." I sighed, knowing that dating with my brother around would be a task. He didn't let any boys near me, except for Sirius.
I was startled by some rather loud knocking and a familiar voice calling out from the other side of the door. I sighed loudly as I both rubbed my temples and got up from the chair. I opened there door, and there stood the one boy that James had trusted around me.
"Sirius, what are you doing here?" I asked as he pushed his way in. "Please, come on in," I added sarcastically and then closed the door. Seeing him somehow made the pain more real, the hurt all that much deeper. I wanted him to comfort me, I needed him to tell me that everything would be all right; but I knew that I'd never let myself.
"I came to see Harry, to make sure that he's all right."
"Sirius, you're being hunted. They think that you betrayed Jamie and Lily." I blurted out. I had to keep him safe.
"Ellie, you of all people should know that I couldn't do that." He told me, his eyes pleading with me, and for a moment, he looked like the boy that Jamie and I had met when we were six and seven.
"Blagh," I screamed. "Something just tickled my foot. It felt yuckie. You don't think that there are Grindylows in the pond, do you?" I asked him as we swam around.
"Naw, just water dragons, Ellie," he teased me.
"That's silly, Jamie. There's no such thing as..."
"Sure there are." Jamie and I turned to where the voice came from and found a boy on the banks of the pond, standing by the pile of our clothes that we'd left there. Jamie and I always went skinny dipping, Mummy and Daddy didn't seem to mind. The boy was already starting to strip down out of his clothes. He stood about as tall as Jamie, and had hair almost as dark, but his eyes, they were pale. "Water dragons only eat little girls."
"That's really stupid," I told him honestly.
"Who are you?" Jamie asked, swimming so he was next to me. Jamie always protected me.
"Sirius Black. My father bought the house up on the hill, we're going to summer here," he explained, taking off the rest of his clothes and diving in the water. When he came up for air, he was quite near us, and dripping wet.
"I'm James Potter and this is my sister Ellie. We have the blue house..."
"The one with the big porch and the old lady asleep on the hammock?" Sirius asked us and we nodded.
"That's Grandmummy, she's always sleeping." I told him and then asked, "How old are you?"
"Seven. How old are you?"
"I'm seven, Ellie is six..." James started, but I needed to correct him.
"I will be seven in one month and eleven days."
"Yes, Ellie," he said, sounding annoyed that I'd reminded him when my birthday was again. "But I'm still your big brother," he said with a big splash of his arm, getting me soaked.
Soon we were splashing and playing. When we'd had enough, we got out and went exploring. James even stole Grandmummy's wand again; but all day, I couldn't stop looking at Sirius' eyes.
I forced myself into the present, but those pale grey eyes, framed by the dark hair were here too. They were bloodshot and swollen, and I knew that he'd been crying over Jamie. The only reason he and I had even tried in the last few years was because it would have been too hard on Jamie to have to pick between his best mate and his sister.
My head was throbbing and I was suddenly wishing for the numbness that I had earlier. The pain was just too much, made all the worse by his being here. My stomach lurched again, it always did when he was too close; coupled with the grief of loosing Jamie and Lily, I found it to be too much. I ran to the kitchen and was sick in the sink.
There wasn't much in my stomach, so mostly what came up was thick, yellow bile. I stood there, head bent over, clutching onto the sink, hoping that the rushing sound in my ears would stop so that I could stand up. Then, he was behind me, holding my hair back and rubbing along my spine.
"Ellie," he whispered, but the sound ripped through me as if it were a cannon going off, and my well constructed emotional wall felt like it would crumble. I stood there, grasping the porcelain of the basin, fearful of where my hands would go if I released them. I so wanted to hold him, but we couldn't. We couldn't even to try and take away the pain that we were both feeling.
"Stop," I begged, knowing if I tried for more words, everything that I'd worked so hard for during the last three years would dissolve away.
"I know how badly you're hurting. I feel it too. He was like my brother, but he was yours..."
"Yeah, he was Sirius, but he's gone. He left me alone. He promised that we'd always be together..."
"He didn't mean to break that promise..." I mustered the strength to stand and look at him.
"No one keeps their promises," I said darkly, again finding the resolve to harden myself. "Sirius, leave. Go up to the cabin, Remus is there. Stay there until I can figure this all out."
"Will be fine. I'll take care of him and love him as if he were my own." I said pointedly, and I knew that he hadn't missed the meaning. "You're being tracked, you shouldn't be here." I told him, wanting him to go and hide in the darkness. Then a thought came to me. "How did you know where to find me?"
"Ellie," he started, his face getting soft again. "I can always find you." He whispered, putting his hand on my face. Electricity shot through me at his touch, and I wanted more. I wanted his arms around me, I wanted the strength that he'd always given me.
And then I remembered.
"Sirius, leave. Go to the cabin or go home to your wife," I spit the last word out. Rosemund Rowle Black was my least favorite person in the world.
"If I'm not here helping with Harry, then I'm going after Peter." I shook my head and headed back into the lounge, reaching for my wand and realizing it wasn't there, Sirius handed his to me and I took it, cleaned out my mouth and relit the fire, giving it back before I even realized what I had done. I hated that he knew what I needed without ever having to tell him.
"Why would you go after that little...irritation?"
"Ellie, James made him the secret keeper," he confessed and my head snapped to look at him.
"But, when I said no, he told me he was going to ask you..." I mumbled, knowing that I'd truly failed my brother. I had begged him to pick someone who could defend themselves better, I wasn't ever good at Defensive Spells and I didn't have the fortitude to hurt or kill someone.
"I told him that it would be better if it wasn't me. I was afraid that I'd...because of her," he told me quietly, and I knew that it was Rosemund again. I sank to the cushions, wishing again that I'd had the courage to do what Jamie had asked of me.
"It really is my fault that they're dead..." I sobbed, as I put my head in my hands.
"Lolly, it isn't your fault. It's Peter's fault..." Sirius comforted me, using his private nickname for me. We were fourteen when he gave it to me, just back for our fourth year. The memory slammed into me, as if I had been hit by the Hogwarts Express.
"You know, you're too sweet to be just called Ellie," he said as his fingers played with my hair. We were out on the Astronomy tower, away from everyone. We'd just shared our seventeenth kiss, and I could tell you where each one of them took place and how they felt.
"Really? Then what would you call me?" I asked him, my head still floating from the way that he'd snogged me.
"I'd call you..." he stopped to think. "Lolly, because you're just as sweet as a lollipop."
"You're very silly tonight," I told him, and he nodded in agreement.
"Yup, because James has finally accepted that I fancy you, and that you fancy me and if any boy had to be around his sister, he was glad it was me. Makes me pretty happy, and that makes me silly."
"Okay, then you may call me Lolly, but only you," I told him, and he grinned at me in a way that made me just a little nervous.
"Good, because I'm the only bloke that's going to do this to you too..." he said as his lips came to mine again in number eighteen.
"Please, don't call me Lolly," I whimpered, as his hand gently brushed my cheek, wiping away my tears. "Look, go to Remus, and stay there. Let me look into all of this, please?" I pleaded, finally turning to look at those pale eyes that were parallel with mine. "I lost Jamie and Lily today, I might die if I were to loose you too. Go, please. Harry and I will be fine." Tears streaming down my face.
"Ellie, I can't...I don't want to leave you like this." I was on the edge of a fence, and I could fall either way right now. I needed to make sure that I didn't fall into Sirius, no matter how badly I wanted to.
"Sirius, I'm not your concern anymore. You've got..." I couldn't even say her name out loud "...her. You know how to find me, when the dust settles, we can figure out a way for you to see Harry."
"But, I want to help..." he begged and I almost didn't have the strength to send him away.
"Go now, before someone finds out where you are. She isn't going to tolerate much more from you, and she'll go running to your mother, which isn't something either of us want." I reminded him, reflexively grabbing the place where I had a scar on my arm from the curse that his mother had thrown at me when we were seventeen.
"But I love you," he confessed, and I recoiled my emotions back into me. I wasn't going to let his words get to me. I wasn't going to be swayed.
"Those are only words, and you know it. Go, please. I'll be up to the cabin soon to check on Remus and I'll tell you what's going on. Leave me alone, Sirius." I said harshly, opening the door and pointing to it. He looked more wounded than when he'd arrived, and I hated that I'd just thrown his feelings back at him, but it had to be done. I looked at the ground as he passed, not wanting to see those eyes again and only looked up moments later, to see him fade into the darkness. I closed the door and slid down it, caving into a sobbing mass on the floor.