SSJP Fan Fiction
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I am not making any money from this
Chapter 31 –
Sirius met his brother out by the greenhouses, as requested, at 7 o clock that evening. He'd forgone the school robes, and had dressed up warm due to the still chilly weather, in a deep crimson jumper and skin-tight black jeans. He pulled his hair back off his face and waited as Regulus approached from the castle in a crisp white shirt and black slacks. They stood, facing each other, for a moment. Eventually Regulus broke into a fit of tears.
"Fuck, Reg-" Sirius uttered, stepping forward and placing his hands on his younger brothers' shoulders. It wasn't an uncommon occurrence for the younger Black to burst into sobs. Despite trying to act cool at school, Sirius had grown up with the boy, and at home he was a regular cry-baby. Regulus tried to wipe away his tears, but he had a baseball sized lump in his throat and no matter how much he balled the back of his hands into his eyes the tears refused to stop coming. Sirius finally pulled him into an awkward embrace. "Hey, I've missed you. Even the crying." He confirmed.
Regulus choked out a laugh between sobs.
"I – I missed you – you too." He cried, wrapping his arms around his brother. "I've been so – so mad at you!"
"Why?" Sirius asked, pulling away and holding Regulus at arms-length. The younger boy finally managed to dry up his tears, although his cheeks were still strained a rosy red. He looked down at the floor, struggling slightly under his older brother's hold.
"Because you left." He confessed. Sirius sighed, almost angrily.
"You mean in Summer? I asked you to come with me." He excused, but Regulus just shook his head, closing his eyes and counting to ten to stop an onslaught of tears.
"I couldn't go with you. Mum was a wreck, and she only got worse – but you never cared." He accused. "I asked you not to go."
Sirius let go of his brother's shoulders, balling his hands into fists at his sides.
"You know what that house was like for me. I couldn't stay. It would have destroyed me." He replied, anger seeping into his tone. He would have thought that Regulus would have understood. The younger sibling bit his lip. There was silence for a long period.
"You leaving destroyed our family." He finally said. "It destroyed me."
Sirius visibly deflated. He wanted to hug his brother again, but the boy had put on his usual school act of calm and collected and had crossed his arms across his chest defiantly.
"I'm sorry." The older finally said. He seemed to be apologizing a lot, but he thought of Lily and Petunia, and how saying sorry could mend a relationship. Regulus shrugged.
"I need to tell you something." He said. "Peter Pettigrew, he's a Death Eater."
"You shouldn't joke about things like that." He responded. "It could seriously hurt his reputation."
Regulus rolled his eyes, taking a step towards his brother.
"You have to trust me. I know what he is. He's a Death Eater who's been feeding information on you and your friends to other Death Eaters since the school year began." He explained. "It's nothing much at the moment but one day he'll tell them something which will be deadly."
"Even if that were true, why would the Death Eaters want information on us?" He asked, Regulus shrugged in response.
"Maybe they think you'll grow into a threat – maybe they're looking for new recruits. You and your friends are some of the smartest kids at Hogwarts and The Dark Lord keeps an eye on smart kids."
Sirius shook his head.
"I don't know why you're trying to sell this lie." He admitted, making Regulus stamp his foot in a fit of childish frustration.
"You're right that The Dark Lord doesn't much care for kids, but he inducts them into his ranks so that when they come of age they're well and truly devoted to him. It's reasonable that he's inducted Pete and is looking to do the same with the rest of the marauders!"
Sirius snorted another derivative laugh, and then stopped and surveyed his brother.
"Only his supporters call him 'The Dark Lord'." He stated.
For a long minute you could hear the hubbub of students inside the castle of the silence of the two boys next to the greenhouses. Then Regulus nodded.
"I was inducted over the Christmas break." He confessed. "It's how I know that Pettigrew is one too."
Sirius balled his hands into fists and bought one up, dragging his younger brother forward by the collar of his shirt. He looked into the boy's eyes, as if searching for the truth in them. Eventually, he roughly pushed the younger boy away, so that he fell to the ground.
"Why?" He asked. Regulus snorted angrily, standing up again. He dragged one hand through his curls and regarded his older brother.
"You have no idea what it's like." He told the Gryffindor.
"I lived in that house too! I had the same pressures from mum and dad!"
Regulus laughed, but it was cold.
"You stayed there over the holidays, but it was never your home. Your home was here, in Gryffindor tower, with your supportive friends, and places to go for the holidays!" He shot back. "I had Death Eaters at every turn, repeatedly beating me up to get me to join. I had mum back home still thinking you lived with us half the time, hysterically screaming when she realized you didn't!" He pulled up his sleeves to reveal the bruises that had yet to heal.
Sirius leveled him with a stony glare.
"That's all going to be so much worse now you've signed yourself over to a blood-purist mass-murderer!" He stated, and Regulus nodded along. "Why didn't you speak to me? Why didn't you ask for help?"
"I couldn't risk it." He confessed. "They threatened to go after mum, or you. I know what they do is bad, but I couldn't let them hurt mum."
Sirius shook his head.
"Neither mum or I our innocent – they'll ask you to kill innocents." He snapped, reaching out and punching the boy, who went over, wiping his lip, which had split on the impact. Regulus spat some blood on the ground. "You think I want to be alive to watch you kill innocent people? I'd rather be dead!"
Regulus stood back up, punching his brother in return, and when Sirius fell, he jumped on top, punching him again and again, despite his brothers struggles.
"I'd rather be dead!" The Slytherin screamed back. "I'm terrified of the day I graduate and he calls on me to do those things. I can only hope I find the courage to end it before then!" He yelled. He stood up, and kicked his brother in the ribs for good measure.
Sirius spat blood on the ground next to him, cradling his ribs with a pained expression. He stared at the floor. If his brother really was a Death Eater, and he had confessed as much – maybe he was also telling the truth about Pete? It would make sense as to why Pete had been sneaking off so much the last few months.
"Why?" He asked again, coughing a bit. Regulus laid down beside him, placing a hand on his brother's cheek, which was cut and bruised from Regulus' outburst.
"Because I love you."
- X -
James wandered the castle for the tenth time, looking in every nook and cranny, in unused classrooms, in used classrooms, behind suits of armour, behind Ms Norris - yet still he couldn't find Severus. He'd asked Remus, but the werewolf was getting ready for the full moon and couldn't stay for long. He'd asked Lily, but she'd simply said she had no clue, and went back to writing her letter. He'd be dammed if he'd forgiven Sirius enough to ask him if he'd seen the Slytherin, but even if he had, the boy had made his way out to the grounds a while previously.
He poked his head into the great hall for what felt like the millionth time, and was greeted with a couple of Hufflepuffs and a stray Gryffindor first year. Not a Slytherin in sight. It was nearing 8 o' clock, and he'd have to go down to see Remus relatively soon.
After so long enjoying Severus' company, and having had the boy confess he was fond of James' company, it felt strange to not have the Slytherin around. He'd been battling with a horrible empty feeling ever since the day in the grounds when Sirius and the imposter who was pretending to be him had attacked Severus. He'd spent hours pacing the dungeons, looking for the boy – trying to apologise. But Severus wouldn't speak to him. He'd gone down to the work-room what felt like hundreds of times, but either Severus had mastered the art of camouflage, or he'd found somewhere new to hang out, and he was beginning to worry that this was the week Severus wouldn't make the Elixir for him.
When he found himself checking behind the stone gargoyles outside Dumbledore's office for the fourth time, he decided to give up, and opened his bag to bring out the invisibility cloak. He quickly checked no one was watching, then swung it over himself, quickly making his way out into the grounds. He could see the Womping Willow out of the corner of his right eye, and should have headed towards it to meet Remus, but out of the corner of his left eye he saw Sirius, looking pretty beaten up, with Regulus lying on the floor beside him. He instantly changed his course of action and ran over to the two of them.
"What the fuck happened?" He demanded, asking Regulus because Sirius looked too beat up to answer anything. The younger Black sibling refused to look James in the eyes.
"We fought." He admitted.
James rose an eyebrow.
"You two fought?" he asked for clarification. Regulus had a fat lip, but other than that, had barely a scratch on him. Sirius, however, looked like he'd been ran over by a bulldozer. Said bulldozer survivor gave a deep chuckle, then coughed, spluttering.
"Kid's a better fighter then he looks." He mumbled, turning his head so one side so that his face hit the ground and became covered in mud.
"You're telling me." James replied wistfully, giving his friend a once over to assess the damage, gently turning Sirius' body so his wounds were exposed. "I'm just going to clean you up a bit, then we'll help you get up to the Medical Wing, alright?"
Sirius nodded gingerly. James passed his cloak to Regulus.
"Hold that." He said, bringing out his wand and muttering some spells he'd learnt that should help his friend out. He grinned once he thought Sirius was healthy enough to walk, and helped the other Gryffindor stand up. They walked up to the castle and up all the flights of stairs to the fourth floor in silence, with Regulus trailing along behind them, and it was only when they got to just outside the Medical Wing, did James think to ask Sirius if while he was outside, had he happened to see Severus.
Sirius' eyes widened at the question and he broke away from James, running, albeit slowly, back the way they had come.
"Fuck James." He swore under his breath. "I've done a terrible thing."
James caught up easily and stopped Sirius from going any further.
"Calm down, you're hurt. Just stop freaking out and tell me what you did." He said, holding the boy up under his shoulders.
"James I…" He gulped. "Snape… He's going to Remus. He knows how to get there."
"Very funny, well… not really, but good try anyway." He chuckled. "How would Sev know?" He asked, jokingly. Sirius grabbed a fistful of James' shirt.
"You have to believe me! I told him… Merlin… I told him." He bowed his head, weakening his grip on his friend's shirt. "James… I told him."
It took James all of half a second to register what Sirius had said, and he roughly pushed off the boy to run in the other direction. What had Sirius been thinking? He ran and ran, sliding down the barristers to speed up his trip. Would Snape really go? What had Sirius told him exactly? Had he said that Remus was a werewolf? If he had then Severus might have gone to further his research for Wolf's Bane, but if he hadn't… Severus would be taken completely by surprise. James shook his head, while running, even if Severus went thinking he knew what he was getting himself into, Remus was a werewolf, and reading about werewolves was completely different to being in the company of one.
Remus was sure to attack; he was lethal to humans. Remus couldn't help himself, it was impossible that he wouldn't attack. Severus was going to be attacked by a rabid werewolf. Severus was going to die… he shook his head again, rushing away those thoughts. He'd get there in time to stop anything like that.
He hoped he'd get there in time…