My apartment was crowded. With all the work from the Order, how was I supposed to find time to clean out all the clutter? Piled in the corner were stacks of dirty robes and Muggle clothing. Recent pictures, including one of the Order lay spread out on my desk half-obscured beneath books and other odd junk. Although no one would have noticed, the part peaking out showed James and me, Lily hidden underneath an incantation spellbook.
Gritting my teeth, I stared up at the ceiling. There was time to spare until I had to check up on Peter. God help me if the Death Eaters ever tried to attack him. Considering how much he always drooled over James, I hoped that he would never give in. Then again, who would expect little Peter to be the Secret Keeper. He'd wet himself if someone merely jabbed him unexpectedly in the side. I, on the other hand, was perfectly obvious. Then, there was Remus.
There was talk that someone had gone to the Death Eaters and joined Voldemort's forces. Remus had been so isolated recently. It had begun to frighten me. And then he distanced himself from me as well. As clever as Remus was I had no doubt that the Death Eaters would find use for him. It seemed like a separate life ago we had been Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. Then again, after fifth year, Prongs was replaced by James. And it would always be that way for me.
It hurt me to see his oblivious smiles, and sometimes the only thing that kept me strong was the obvious affection and adoration he had for Lily. Even then I'd find myself asking myself that same question: did I make the right choice? I hoped to Gods I had.
Although it had been over a year, whenever I found myself wandering the lonely confines of my shattered mind, I would find myself flickering to that glorious night. I would fall into it once again feeling the electric touch of his skin against mine, mouths melting together like chocolate, pulling apart only to take shaky breaths and announce our love in husky whispers. Though I was drunken by his presence, the memory would never be hazy.
Scowling bitterly, I continued to stare at the ceiling. My legs restlessly shook like an impatient child's and my hands fiddled, grabbing whatever first came into reach. It was a Muggle deck of cards that James had given me as a joke. I smiled and swallowed.
Looking at my watch, I shrugged and decided that I might as well make my way to Peter's at leisure with my motorcycle. After all, I barely had time to take it out for a ride, and it was nice to every now and then. So, I made my way outside concealed under the Disillusionment Charm. My motorcycle was in the alley and concealed where no one would find it. I pulled it out and put a Silencing Charm around it. After all, the last thing I needed was anything hearing me.
Peter wasn't there. His house was abandoned, and somehow a sinking feeling fell to the pit of my stomach. Whatever had happened obviously wasn't going to end well. My mind suddenly fired up, screaming at me, "He's the fucking Secret Keeper, God Dammit!" Before I knew what I was doing, my feet pounded against the ground and over to my motorcycle. Trembles were beginning to snake their way through my body and I fumbled nervously, hands having trouble remaining still enough to turn the key.
"God fucking dammit!" With a roar, my engine turned on and I rose to the air. My hair whipped behind me as I ground my teeth, trying oh so desperately to fight back tears. They could be fine for all I knew. Maybe Peter was there with them.
But I knew that wasn't true. Either Wormtail or Prongs would have told me if that was what he was planning. Cursing, I slammed my hand onto the handlebars. This damn thing needed to go faster.
Then, I saw the ruins. If it had been possible for me to die right then and there I could have sworn that I would have. Before I even realized that I had fully descended, my motorcycle was behind me and my feet pumped against the ground.
"James – Gods – please be there." For once I didn't care that there were tears streaming down my face. I was gasping shuddering, painful breaths and my entire body trembled now ever so slightly in fear and in an impossible, yearning hope. He had to be there. This couldn't be happening. My heart and body froze.
James lay there, lips parted slightly as if he were about to say something. His arms and legs were bent at awkward angles and his messy hair spread behind him. And then there were his eyes – those same hazel orbs I stared into so many times and seen brilliance, charm, care, everything human within. Those same eyes which had once looked at me with such intensity as if to say the words 'I love you' now were glazed over and staring sightlessly at the ceiling.
"James?" I choked it out as a whispered yelp. My entire body seemed to crumple and I crawled over to him, not minding as debris scraped into my skin. Tears flowed down my face like a river and my body convulsed violently as if I had been plunged into a bucket of ice water in the middle of winter. My eyes seemed to seal shut for a moment and when I opened them lines meshed together until everything around me was a fuzzy, indistinguishable mess.
"Wake up, dammit!" Shaking him violently, I sobbed hopelessly. "Wake up…" I muttered, voice fading more and more. My shakes subsided down until I was left nudging him. And then, nothing. "Oh, Gods, James. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." This was all my fault. I'd suggested that they use Peter as a Secret Keeper. I'd dissuaded them from using me. The only reason he had died was because I had made it so.
Cradling his head lightly in my hands, I somehow managed to place it on my lap with shaking arms. Stroking his hair lovingly, I gazed down into the sightless eyes and flinched. "I love you so much. I'm so sorry," I choked out between sobs. Trembling hands wiped away the drops which fell from my face onto him. While closing his eyes, I finally noticed what was missing.
"Accio James' glasses," I said in a weak whisper. They flew into my hand and I placed them on him. He might as well have been sleeping. But I knew it wasn't true and that made all the difference.
My hand pulled through his raven tresses for what I knew would be the last time. And it was all my fault. Closing my eyes, I could almost feel a ghost of his arm hugging around me, and without opening them found his hand to lock fingers. Hushed whispers of what might have been the wind spoke in his voice. "I love you, Siri." As I opened them to find myself as alone as ever, I had never felt lonelier.
"I love you, too." Getting up, I walked out, unable to look behind me again. I felt empty, like a hollowed being and attempted to walk out upright as if I were a puppet held by strings. Part of me felt like I was. A smile seemed like a faraway, impossible thought. I doubted that if my soul were sucked out by a Dementor that there would be much of a difference.
My mind wasn't working properly, and the moment I'd stepped out of the ruins I went over to my motorcycle. I reapplied the Disillusionment Charm (which I'd apparently taken off at some point) and was just about to get on it when I heard someone approaching. Skipping immediately to Peter, I applied the spell to myself as well again. I'd get the bastard.
It wasn't Peter; it was Hagrid. With sloppy tears, he walked into the ruins. I could hear his dog-like howling as he delved deeper in. Then, within minutes he was out. The spell had been taken off of both me and my bike. And what I saw made me stop and a small – could it be – happiness enter my heart. "Harry."
"Sirius, I want you to be Harry's Godfather." James smiles up at me, hand placed lightly on my shoulder and that silly grin on his face.
"Can I say I'm honored, or would that sound absolutely ridiculous?" He laughs that deep rich laugh, but I can hear that underneath he's frightened. Something's wrong. His eyes are dulled and I can't believe I haven't noticed how exhausted he looks. "James…" His eyes meet mine and although he tries to hide it for a moment, guiltiness enters his eyes and a sigh escapes.
"We're going into hiding. I need you to take care of Harry if anything happens to us. We trust you over everyone else. I trust you over everyone else. You're my best mate."
"Nothing's going to happen to you," I bark out more roughly than I mean to.
"But you don't know that. How many people have we lost so far? There's a war going on. For all I know, Lily and I could be killed. I just need to know that there's somewhere Harry can go if that happens."
"You're not going to get killed." My hand wraps around my wand with a death grip as my jaw clenches. It would never happen – not to James.
"Just promise me. Please, Sirius." I hear echoes of my begging him not to torture me as he reminds me of the ten years that have passed. I can't look him the eyes as I nod. He can't see the tears I have to try so hard to hold back.
Harry looked so much like James, but he had his mother's piercing green eyes. "He's alive?" I hadn't even bothered looking. I figured no one could have survived.
"H- He defeated He- Wh-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," Hagrid managed to stutter between gulps and tears. An ever-so small glimmer of hope entered in me.
"Give him to me, Hagrid." I'd do what James never was able to do – what I'd robbed of him, and I'd do it for him. I had promised.
"Professor Dumbledore's orders…" There was no more the half-giant could manage.
"I'm his Godfather. Please, Hagrid." I had to do this for James.
But he persisted. "I can't." The dim light within me was blown out. Then, I had to avenge their deaths and find Peter.
"Take my bike. I won't need it anymore." I had to Apparate and find him. And knowing him, he was off to find the Order to tell them of what I'd done. After all, no one knew that he had been the Secret Keeper – that it was he who betrayed James and Lily over to Voldemort, not I.
I Apparated, and sure enough, among the crowd of bewildered Muggles I saw him slipping past, a nervous look on his face.
"PETER!" He froze in his tracks, turned around, and squealed. He looked so terrified, and I chuckled to myself knowing he had all the reason to be.
"Si-Sirius…?" What could he say? He had betrayed them to Voldemort, only fleeing upon seeing what had happened. The vermin didn't even have the courage to try protect himself. Anger filled me with more intensity until I glared with an insidious hatred. It was his reason that Harry would never have parents. This excuse of a person killed Lily. And because of him James was dead. "He forced me t-to!"
"Voldemort didn't force you to do anything," I snarled under my breath, low enough that no one would hear me. But before I had a chance to do anything else, though my wand was raised, Peter had already formed a plan of his own.
"You betrayed Lily and James! Death Eater! Murderer!" Eyes followed from his pointing finger to me. The street behind him exploded with such force, and screams erupted from all around. Accusing eyes were torn from me as bodies flew backward roughly against the pavement. Those same eyes were empty. A dead Muggle blasted past me, hazel eyes wide and glazed. It was too much death for me to handle. As I saw Peter fading away into a rat and scurrying down the sewers, a laugh of a madman burst from my chest.
No one would believe me. Peter had cut off his finger a moment before - proof of his death. It was the perfect cover-up. The laugh shook through my body like violent sobs would shake through any normal man. Yet I was not normal. I would never be normal. James was dead.
A hand grasped around my arm, yet like an unconsoled child I continued to let the laughter ache through my body.
"Sirius Black," a voice began somewhere off in the distance behind my muffled thoughts.
Oh, Gods, James really was dead. All these people really were dead.
"You're under arrest for the murders of James and Lily Potter." A list of names followed, but I couldn't focus other than when Peter's name was mentioned. He was somewhere out there, though no one would believe me. "Azkaban." In response, I could only laugh a madman's laugh of agony at my deteriorating life.
I could feel his arm wrapped around my waist as he pulled me against him, whispering words of comfort and showering me in sweet kisses. I could see him, gazing arrogantly with those charming hazel eyes, only to have spoken to the words "I love you". I could taste him as he pulled against my lips with the fury of suppressed love. But it was nothing he would ever have known, erased by my own hand.
I collapsed into an unstable mess as the Aurors appeared and sent hexes my way. To them, I was guilty.
A/N: Oh, yes, that is the end. Sorry for those of you who wanted a happy ending, but this is the way it has to be. I hope you liked it. Rate and review and tell me all about what I did wrong/what I could have improved. But don't forget to mention what you liked. :D
Sorry it took a while, but I had so much work this past week and I had to write this chapter about seven times before I was happy with it. Also, I messed up the first time because I wrote that someone else told him, which I stupidly did not thinking about the whole Secret Keeper thing. Anyhow, this is it! I finally finished! I'm actually sad to be done. :'(