SSJP Fan Fiction
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, I am not making any money from this.
Urgh, ya know when you look at a blank piece of paper to start the next chapter, and your inspiration levels go from 100 percent to negative ten? That's what happened with this chapter, so sorry for the delay.
The Final Chapter. Please look out at the end for my next story ideas, and give me your opinions.
Chapter 34 - Dependence
The three days stretching between the day after the full moon; Tuesday - the day Sirius had left, and Friday - the day James would find out, one way or the other, whether he would live or die, we're made impossibly longer by the close air of early summer. All around the castle, people were sneezing with hay-fever, or shredding their clothes and complaining about how the weather was making it hard to breathe. It took every drop of self-control for James not to loose his cool. Despite the growing heat in his weakening body, he refused to act any less then normal around Remus and Lily - who had barely left his side since Sirius had left.
On Tuesday, immediately after Sirius was out of sight - but before seeing Severus in the corridor, he'd sent the Black Heir a letter, using a school owl. He knew, of course, that the letter would only arrive at the Black Family Home, at the earliest; Saturday. Then it would have to be inspected by a range of Black-owned House Elves, and only then would Sirius finally be allowed to read it. Yet, the act of writing down all his frustrations in a letter to his best friend had calmed him - and he was oddly resigned to the fact that Friday might be his last day on Earth. At least, if he did die, Sirius would know that James had always been his Partner in Crime, and he would have something to remember him by.
On Wednesday, he sent a letter to his parents, using Lily's owl. He was assured the Tawny was one of the fastest birds in the sky. He wasn't sure when his parents would receive the news, and although he'd procrastinated sending the letter, he silently prayed they'd somehow find a way to be there with him on Friday - that's what parents did right? Perform miracles.
It was on Thursday that he was summoned to Dumbledore's office. Sitting on his side of the headmasters desk, he truly looked at the man in front of him; grey hair which has almost turned completely white; deep laughter lines, and even deeper frown lines; and worst of all - blue eyes with a noticeable lack of twinkle. When did Dumbledore get so… old?
The man placed his elbows on the table, entwined all ten of his fingers together and rested his chin on the bridge they made. James noticed the brown patches of aging freckles around the professor's knuckles. Dumbledore surveyed James over the top of half-moon glasses, and while James was used to this action, he wasn't used to the uncustomary stab of guilt that attacked him when he looked at the old man's tired eyes.
"James." The man said, his voice so low and breathless it struck a chord of sympathy within James the way only old people's exhausted voices do. James bowed his head. Had they done this? Had they been the ones to erase the old coots usual twinkle? All the damn mess they had created this year - had it finally become the trigger that lead to this legendary man's defeat? He felt a gentle hand touch his shoulder.
"I've always thought of every student that have walked through these halls as a child of my own." he paused, "Perhaps a grandchild as of late."
James shook his head, hands flat against his thighs in an attempt to keep his nerves in check. What was Dumbledore saying? Surely he already knew that pretty much every student in the school looked up to him. He was their role-model. Was he looking for confirmation?
"Peter is gone." The old man said, and hushed James as he went to ask questions. "He left last night - I believe it was in order to join forces with Voldemort."
James shivered - he knew it was stupid, but that name was cursed. Strangely, he was eerily calm with this realisation about Peter. Somehow he felt like he should have seen this coming - like life hadn't screwed him around enough.
"That's just peachy." He said, sarcasm dripping from every word. "Two of my best friends almost killed the man I love, the other's a death eater - and I never got the deal in paper like you said, so chances are I'm going to die tomorrow!" he brought the back of his hands up to rub at his eyes. "This is just fucking peachy."
Fawkes found this an opportune moment to land on James shoulder, and the Gryffindor felt hot, wet phoenix tears hit his lap. He snorted in hollow amusement.
"I appreciate the gesture mate." he said, gently stroking the gold and red feathers with the back of his hand, "But I don't think those tears heal wounds of the heart."
- X -
The next day, James found himself in a position he knew all too well. The heat was creeping in. Before he had been sluggish in his thoughts that Friday would see his end, yet today he could barely move - for the heat and the blatant fear. Of course, when asked he repeated that he was fine, yet, when morning came and he didn't receive the usual pain killer, it was the confirmation James needed, that he wouldn't live much past eight o' clock tonight. He tried to act brave, for he was a Gryffindor after all - but how many of us can truly say they can stare death in the face and not be phased?
It soon became to unbearable for him to stand, and by half past seven, half an hour from the deadline, he felt as if he was burning from the inside. His parents hadn't arrived that day, and although Remus and Lily were sat at his bedside, he felt completely alone. He was going to die… there was no words to describe what he was feeling - a strange calm, not accepting, but defeated.
"James." Said Remus, trying to keep the boy in consciousness, since James had been slipping in an out of it all day. He couldn't see Remus at all, yet he could hear perfectly fine. His mouth was dry, but he still opened it to respond.
"This is my fault." he rasped out, making Lily shake her head defiantly - though he couldn't see it. He carried on, oblivious to her actions, and fighting through the pain it caused his throat to speak. "I depended too much on him… I should have… I don't know, found out how to make the Elixir for myself." He coughed, making Remus lean forward and try to help him get comfortable - unfortunately, James wasn't comfortable anywhere at that moment.
"James, this isn't your fault, how could you have known you'd get ill." Lily said, and James could hear the tears in her. It was ridiculous, that the only time she showed any form of caring for him, was after he'd given up on her.
"It's my fault for falling for a guy like that." he said, glad he couldn't see their response. Although he was sure they would have already figured it out, it wasn't something you admitted every day. He wanted them to know, before he died. At least then he wouldn't feel like he'd been lying to them this whole time. He flinched, without truly having the energy for it, when the door burst open.
"James!" said a loud voice, rushing forwards. James gently toyed with the idea of it being Severus, coming to the rescue, but instantly recognised the voice as Sirius's.
"What are you doing back here?" asked Remus' voice. Sirius must've shrugged - that's what he always did when asked anything. James remembered him doing it a lot during lessons. Funny, he mused - was this God's idea of his life flashing past his eyes? Remembering Sirius shrug a lot? Despite himself, he smiled.
"I just got James' letter - that's one fucking fast owl - and mum was unusual nice about it, told me to piss off back to school." he stopped, gave a short laugh, "Not like I was arguing, be able to get out of that house was brilliant!"
James felt a hand on his forehead.
"You're burning up mate." Sirius said, "Too bad Severus doesn't think you're this hot." he joked, and James grinned, trying not to show how much pain he was in. He heard Lily mumble something like 'insensitive', but he knew Sirius was just trying to lighten the mood. That's what Sirius did - make inappropriate jokes in inappropriate situations.
"Depended too much." James repeated, coughing slightly, and turning over (with lots of effort) to spit out blood. Sirius stepped back, taking in the smell of blood, sweat and tears. The room really was like a deathbed.
"People are always saying 'only ever depend on yourself, and that way you wont be disappointed.' - Yet, I feel if everyone lived by that philosophy, we'd be a very solitary race."
Two boys and one girl looked up to find Severus standing in the doorway. He was even paler then normal, and his hair was damp and lank. He leant against the frame, and stuck a hand in the pocket of his Muggle jeans. It was unusual to see Snape in anything other then his cloak, but here he was, in a light green tee-shit and jeans, fiddling with something in his pocket.
"What are you doing here, if you're not going to save him?" Spat Lily, anger flowing through her. How dare he show up here when he'd let James get to this state? How much torture had Severus put James through?
"I thought I'd want to see my revenge." He answered, glancing over at James' weak, broken body. "He's truly quite pathetic isn't he?" he said, and dodged as Sirius went to swing at him.
"I don't care Snape, I'll beat you to death this time - how can you call this revenge? Haven't you done enough?" Severus dodge easily as Sirius went to swing again, and pushed the boy against the wall.
"Hear me out." he said, checking his watch. "I still have 27 minutes to change my mind." he added. Sirius spat at the floor.
"What can we do?" said Remus, "to make you change your mind?"
"Just listen to me." he said, and with the affirmative nod, he made his way in to the room and sat down on the edge of James' bed.
"People on a whole hate to admit it," he started, "But we're pack animals. Like wolves, ironically. I say ironically because while humans and wolves share the common factor of being pack animals - having lots of friends and depending on our families - Lupin, a werewolf (so part human and part wolf), isn't truly excepted by either group, is he?"
Lily had gasped at the realisation of Remus' secret, but said nothing more, and Severus didn't seem to care that he had just told another person about Remus' furry little problem. He looked at James - sweaty and breathing heavily, but trying desperately to listen.
"He's shunned and ridiculed, yet the fact of the matter is, if they needed help, Lupin would be there for an animal of either group, no matter how much they abused him. It's pathetic, and makes me sick to my stomach." He ignored the fact that Remus was feeling a little insulted. "Enough about Lupin though, since this isn't really about Lupin. It's about James and I, stupidly. We're two boys who tried to overcome their differences and along the way realised that we were depending on each other. Both of us. James depends on me to keep him alive, and I in turn depend on him - because we're bound together."
We're bound together.
"It's what human's do, we depend on each other. You, Black, you depend on you're marauder buddies on anchor you to Gryffindor, don't you? And Lupin, you depend on the same people to keep you sane during the full moons. Lily… even you've been depending on Sirius all this year to keep you from losing contact with your sister… am I right?"
He waited while the occupants of the room reluctantly nodded.
"It's not a bad thing. It's just… human." He sighed. "This story is told to the extremes. A dying bully having to depend on his ex-victim to survive, and somewhere in the mix, he went and fell for me. All those twists and turns, they served to spice it up a bit, but Dependence is all about characteristics, and could have been present in any story which has human characters. Dependence comes from the very core of our being.
"When a young girl tells her friend of the time what boy she likes at the time, she depends on that friend not to tell anyone. She trusts her. When a young boy tells his teacher that another boy put a grasshopper in his hair, he depends on the teacher to sort the situation out - preferably by getting rid of the grasshopper. When a child runs to their mother with a scraped knee, they depend on their mother to make it feel better again. Once we get older and steal out first kiss from someone we trust, we depend on our partner to respond and tell us that what we're doing in okay. When he get to college, or even just school, we depend on our teachers to give us the information we need to pass our exams. When we go to a job interview, we depend on the employer to employ us. Even in every day things, like on the road, we depend on the actions of others to keep everyone safe." He paused. "Any questions?"
Everyone shook their head, and James gave a strangled laugh, coughing and crying slightly. Severus gave a sincere smile, then carried on;
"Dependence forms the very essence of our relationships with other people. Would you see someone hanging off the edge of a cliff, screaming for help, and simply leave them because they should have only depended on themselves in the first place? No, you wouldn't. I know you wouldn't. Whether you are running on adrenaline, or paralyzed with fear, we always find a way to help out our peers. Our pack. Even if they were a total stranger. Even if they were an enemy… Our human hearts sympathise too easily. We question ourselves, asking; what would happen if I was in that situation? Would people leave me? Perhaps it's curiosity, perhaps it's an idle daydream, perhaps it's a sympathetic gesture. Or perhaps, it's that deep down we realise that the human race depends on each other.
"Furthermore - it goes beyond humans depending on each other. Nature depends on the actions of others. Humans, animals, plants - the very breeze! It's all relative in the great circle of things.
"It could be argued that somewhere, hidden, there are entities - immortals or Gods, that are beyond this cycle. Maybe they laugh at us pitiful mortals, because they have the pleasure of being able to depend solely on themselves. It's an enviable image. However, the fact of the matter is - we are mere humans, and we do have to depend on others. Even if we were able to skim it down to the basics, we'd still depend on other animals for food, and those animals would have to depend on plants for nourishment. Those plants depend on the sun for photosynthesis, and that sun depends on the gravitational pull and the orbit of the universe to keep doing what it does best - being a giant ball of gas that radiates heat energy.
"Perhaps the universe is the route of this 'evil' called dependence, but no, even that universe might depend on the other universes around it. Maybe there is no source. There may be no starting point, telling us when dependence began. We could keep tracing it back to the very beginnings of time, when the future ends, and still we might never know. It's inevitable that we just accept that dependence if a part of us. No… is us. We're defined by our relationships with others, how we act with the people around us. Those actions are based off how much be depend on that person - subconsciously -. So, I feel justified to say that the immortal dependence is one and the same as us mortal humans."
He paused, sighed, and checked his watch.
"Just something to mull over." He said, bringing a small vile out his pocket. He pointed his wand at it and everyone watched as it grew into a sealed container of potion. He uncapped it, and checked his watch again. "Two minutes James." He said to the boy, who was finding it hard to keep his eyes open.
"Why?" The boy rasped out, whining pitifully at the intense heat.
"Because." Severus replied. "We're bound together. I depend on you as much as you depend on me. I don't know if this is love or not, but… If I let you die, who would I have to torture?"
James let out a pained laugh, and Severus checked his watch one more time before tipping the potion into the boys open mouth.
- X -
"You know this deal is still on, and I have the perfect order in mind for you right now." He said, once James was able to move again, the next day. They'd caught each other in the hallway. Sirius was back home, and Remus was off with Lily, so James had bumped into Severus on his own. James nodded.
"What?" He asked, trying to act like he didn't care. Severus grabbed his shoulder, pulling his forward.
I spent since Thursday writing and re-writing this chapter like, 10 times! And I still don't like it… but… at least it managed to finish it this time.
I had a review on my last chapter saying how she wished something would happen to Sev, then he might not be able to do the potion, but he swooped in at the last minute and saved the day, and I was like 'o.0 omfg she knew my plot!' but then again… it was kind of an obvious plot. XD
So, this is it folks. *smile*
Who wants to give me some opinions on the next stories I plan on writing for the Harry Potter fandom? I have a choice of two:
The first is to explore the idea that one destination has many paths leading to it. So, when God decides where you'll end up in life, he doesn't really care how you get there… It would basically be about what would happen if the Marauder's hadn't met on that fateful train ride on their first year. And would travel with them through the years, until they somehow end up in exactly the same position, and would explore the different ways in which they could have gotten to that terrible night of Halloween. This would be a huge project, and might very well take me YEARS, but I'm willing to do it if people are interested.
The next revolves around the Black sisters; Bellatrix, Andromeda and Narcissa. Mainly Narcissa. It would be told from Narcissa's point of view, as she looks at her older sisters - Bella and Andromeda. One who followed the dark arts because of her family, and one who followed her heart. It would tell the story of how she came to be with Lucius. I've been researching the Black family tree, and there's loads of interesting stories and plot twists I can put in this one.
So, do they sound interesting? If so, which one would you want to see first?