AN & Disclaimer - Well, really hope you like the story, and I don't own Harry Potter.
How To Bring Down A Dark Lord: Black Style.
Sirius sped up as he saw the burning in the distance, desperately wishing his bike could go even faster. He was so close, so close and then he swooped down, almost falling off the bike in his rush to see if James and Lily were there. Please, he prayed, let them not be there. They went out for some milk, or something. They can't be there! He ran desperately through the door, and almost tripped over something on the floor. He glanced down and froze.
It was James. His best friend of seven years. The man who had taken him in after he'd run away from his family, without any questions asked. The man whom he loved like a brother. Funny. Didn't people say you were supposed to look peaceful when you died? Because James looked the opposite of peaceful. There was terror, anger and desperation as he lay on the floor, with his wand a few feet away from him, his arm stretched towards the stairs. His glasses were hanging off one ear, with both lenses cracked, and Sirius started to cry. He had tears trickling down his face but he did not make a noise. His best friend was gone, and it felt like his heart was breaking. Peter would pay. That fucking bastard would pay, Sirius swore silently and vehemently.
He knelt down slowly, and rearranged James' body so that it wasn't so awkwardly placed, and closed his eyes in pain. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fucking fair. James had everything going right in his life; a beautiful family, a lovely house, and if it hadn't been for the war, he would have been able to get any job that he'd set his heart on. Then he heard the cry of a baby, and bolted upright. Merlin! Was Harry still alive! And did that mean Lily was as well? He leant over and kissed James on the forehead before grabbing his wand and running up the stairs. He could see the evidence of spell damage on the walls, where Voldemort had evidently made his way through the house, and it made Sirius' skin crawl knowing that so evil a monster had made its way through the happy and loving atmosphere of James and Lily's home. He slowed. Was he still here? Was he, even now, waiting behind the door to attack whoever discovered the burning home first? Sirius rather hoped so. He wanted to make Voldemort pay for what he had done. All the deaths that were on his hands, and now James' was on that list as well. And, as he was soon to discover, so was Lily's.
Nonetheless, he silenced his footsteps accordingly. He didn't want the fucker to hear him coming. Moving along the corridor, he could still hear Harry's crying, and it was then he knew, even without seeing, that Lily was dead. She would never have allowed Harry to continue crying for so long. A lone, small tear rolled down his cheek, and he wiped it away. He couldn't afford for any distractions if there was someone in the room, but as he got closer, he could hear someone. Someone else who was crying, and not the baby's pitiful wailing for his parents who were never to return, but a more heart-wrenching kind of crying you have when someone is completely lost to you forever and you know it. Sirius quickened his pace, and attempted to ready himself for what he would find. He did not expect Snape as he swung round the doorframe, pointing his wand at the centre of the room.
The man was crying over Lily's body with Harry still wailing from his cot, and had apparently not heard Sirius approaching. His first instinct was to blast the bastard into pieces, but as he thought about it more, he decided that Snape could be useful. The words of a Sorting Hat came back to him.
"Slytherin would help you, Mr Black. You would be great in there, I am sure of it."
"But I don't want to." The young Sirius objected obstinately.
"I can see the ambition and the cunning you hold, and those are hallmarks of a true Slytherin, Mr Black."
Sirius smiled coldly. Perhaps it was time to let some of this cunning out.
The first Snape knew of Sirius' presence in the room was when the ropes bound his arms together as well as put under Petrificus Totalus. He slumped over, away from Lily's body. Oh God! It hurt, so much, still. The pain of losing her. His only friend who'd ever truly cared about him.
He felt himself being bound to a chair, and then he was released from the Body-Bind, and he glared as he saw who had tied him up. "Black!" he spat viciously. Wasn't it bad enough he'd had to lose Lily and then most likely wait for his death at Black's hands.
"Snape." Came a somewhat civil reply from the man who stood calmly in front of him.
"What? No Snivellus?"
There was no answer apart from a small smirk, and Severus suddenly realised that this wasn't the same Black he'd known for the past ten years. This one looked decidedly more bloodthirsty, with the look in his eyes promising pain, and Severus started to feel afraid.
"Don't worry, Snape." Black laughed mockingly. "I'm not planning to harm you," and turned around, levitating Lily's body onto the nearby sofa that was used for when Harry was unable to sleep and so it was simply easier for James or Lily (or sometimes both) to sleep there. He closed her eyes gently, and slumped over her body. Snape could not hear what he was whispering, but barely moved a muscle as he waited. Finally Black kissed her on the forehead and moved back to face the captive on his chair.
"I have a deal to make with you, Snape. You help me discover your old compatriots, or I kill you." Sirius said pleasantly, but fingering his wand as he watched Snape make his decision. It wasn't a hard one.
"Unbreakable Oath then." An eyebrow was raised in question. Sirius snorted. "I wouldn't trust you as far as I could throw you, Snape, and then not even half of that distance."
"Good decision." And the two men almost shared a smile.
"Mistress?" Kreacher croaked. "There be a young Master here to see youse."
Walburga thought she'd have to get a new house-elf. This one appeared to be losing its memory. Her son was dead. And the other one could probably be the same, for all she knew or cared. Or at least tried to convince herself that she didn't care about Sirius. His leaving had wrenched a small hole in her heart, but she knew that it would have happened sooner or later; his character and the small annoying problem of morals meant he probably would never have consented to follow the Dark Lord.
"Show whoever it is in, Kreacher." Walburga said lazily, and gave a gasp of shock when the man in question entered. "Hello Mother." Sirius said with dark humour colouring his tone. "Wonderful to see you again."
"Sirius. A...pleasure to see you again," Walburga said frostily, only half-sarcastically. Her eldest son had changed so much and she was subtlety drinking in the changes. He had grown, and looked increasingly like his father. "May I inquire into your reasons for visiting?"
"Well, Mother, it mostly consists of wanting to bring the Dark Lord down," he said in a somewhat mocking tone, but Walburga did not miss the small movement of his wand as it leapt from his wrist holster to his hand.
"Really, Sirius? This need to help the Mudbloods again? Can you not see that he is trying to do something good for the wizarding world?" she argued passionately. This might be the last chance she'd have to argue with her son about what was right, for him and the world in general. "He wants to improve our life-style, instead of having to worry about Mudbloods and half-bloods desecrating it!"
Sirius gave a hysterical bark of laughter. "You think the Dark Lord is so great, Mother. The Dark Lord is holding up the ideal pureblood culture, hmm? So why is he fucking killing them? "He roared, ignoring the gasp from his mother when he swore. "He's killed James Potter, and many other purebloods, and you know how few of us there are left!"
Walburga retorted furiously. "They were blood traitors! They deserved to die for consorting with Mudbloods!"
"Right." Sirius said calmly, although there was a dangerous undercurrent underlying his tone, indicating just how irate he was. "So why did he kill Regulus?"
A silence echoed throughout the room.
"Do you mean to tell me that the Dark Lord killed my son?" Walburga finally asked.
"Yes. He sent us, that is to say, the Order, his body. Probably to try and warn us off infiltrating. And Regulus was the one chosen to send that message."
"But Lucius Malfoy told me he'd been killed in battle with the Order," she exclaimed.
"He was lying. The fucker sent us a message telling us he had no qualms about killing his own men if he thought they were trying to work against him. I suppose he thought that Regulus was trying to desert." Another brief silence took over.
"That man used my son as a message and killed him. He dared to murder a Black!" Walburga said, her voice rising, nearly rising out of her armchair as if she would go after the Dark Lord there and then. Then she sat back in the chair.
"I believe he will have to pay," she finally said with a cold smile; so cold that it probably would freeze ice. In fact, Sirius was almost tempted to see if it could.
"But, the Dark Lord is dead, Mother."
"No, Sirius, he is not." Walburga replied calmly. "He came to ask for the permission of the use of the Black Library when he was still at Hogwarts. My father was charmed by him and so agreed, but kept a watchful eye on the books he viewed. They spoke of Horcruxes, and it is my belief that he was mad enough to create them."
Sirius was frowning. "What the hell are Horcruxes?"
"Dark magic that one uses in order to preserve their existence on this planet. You have to kill in cold blood to put a piece of your soul into a container of some sort, and you cannot die until this container is destroyed. I believe that the Dark Lord has created several of these containers, and so his spirit still lives on somewhere." Walburga finished.
"So you suggest that we destroy them?" Sirius questioned. "Well, I would help you Mother, and avenge my friends, but there is one thing that I would like to ask of you before I leave."
"Yes?" she questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"The Potter boy?" she interrupted.
"Yes, Mother." Sirius said, slightly exasperated at her interruption. "I need someone...trustworthy to care for him whilst I hunt down those other bastards and the Horcruxes."
"I might have an alternate idea, actually, Sirius, that does not include you spending your youth on hunting down others who are likely to kill you. No, I propose a meeting of the purebloods, in which we can hope to change their beliefs regarding a certain half-blood." A vicious smile accompanied these words, and was soon joined by one from Sirius, as they plotted the downfall of the Dark Lord together. As a family.
Two weeks later
Walburga watched as the other purebloods entered. Her own family came first, with Sirius at the head – it would not do to have the hostess' own family late to such a meeting. Then the Malfoys, who were quickly followed by the Lestranges and Yaxleys. The Rosiers, Crabbes and Goyles all entered together, and there was a short pause before the Carrows entered. Walburga sneered inwardly. The Carrows had once been a great family, before the father of the two here had lost his fortune in gambling, and the present ones did not seem inclined to attempt to restore their lost family honour. Next were the Averys and Notts, and finally Dolohov. The doors slammed shut as he entered, and he flinched, looking over his shoulder as he made his way to his seat.
"Well. Now we are all here, I believe we should get down to business, as it were," Walburga finally said. "I want to bring down the Dark Lord."
This was greeted with an uproar of shouting, and more than half of the men present, as well as her niece Bellatrix, attempted to leave but were shocked by the electricity crackling along the doors as they reached for the door handle. Walburga simply watched them with a small smirk playing about her lips, and when she turned to look, Sirius had the same expression.
"Tell us what this is really about, Aunt Walburga!" Bellatrix snarled as she wheeled away from the doors and strode back to her seat. Her husband followed like a little lost puppy, the matriarch of the Black family noted scornfully.
"Well, apart from bringing down the Dark Lord, dear Bellatrix." Walburga started sweetly. "I did want to make a point about the disgrace that you have brought on to the Black family."
"What? Why?" Bellatrix paled, and her eyes widened in shock. This usually started the disownment speech, and she certainly had no wish to be disowned.
"You follow a half-blood." Mutterings started amongst the group gathered there. "You are not staying true to the pureblood way of life if you follow..." (here came a disdainful sniff) "a half-blood. And so do the rest of you with that filthy Mark on your arm." The mutterings increased.
"Aunt Walburga, may I please ask what the hell do you mean when you say half-blood?" Lucius Malfoy demanded furiously.
"Language, dear nephew. And oh, I do feel a sudden thirst. Sirius, please bring me some water." The old woman said, fanning herself with a quickly transfigured fan.
Nobody appeared to have really taken into account what Sirius' presence meant and Bellatrix Lestrange stood up hurriedly, levelling her wand at him. "Cousin!" she spat. "What is a blood traitor like you doing here?"
"Why, cousin?" Sirius replied with a smirk on his lips as he bowed flamboyantly. "Have you missed me?" Several chuckles broke out at this, and most noticeably, Walburga was one of them. Bellatrix flushed, but kept her wand trained on Sirius.
"You know what I mean, cousin," she said, her teeth gritted. "Why. Are. You. Here?"
"Why else but to help my dear mother bring down the Dark Lord, dear Bellatrix. And never fear, I am no spy for the Order. I simply want to rip the fucker into tiny, little, bloody pieces after what he's done to me." Sirius said calmly. Bellatrix stared a moment longer, and Sirius felt like she was trying to look through him. Finally, she nodded and returned to her seat. "It's nice to have you back...Sirius." He inclined his head towards her and then conjured a glass of water which he presented to his mother, who took it with a gracious nod.
"But 'ow do we know that you're not simply making this up?"Amycus Carrow whined. "For all we know, 'e really is a pureblood."
Oh for Merlin's sake! Walburga thought exasperatedly. "I went to school with the boy," she said calmly, hiding her annoyance with the idiot. "I saw the state of his manners when he was sorted into Slytherin, and so of course I know all about Tom Riddle's true heritage. The son of a Muggle father and a witch mother. He did not even have the decency to be born to a Mudblood father, who at least would have had some magic. So one could say it is our responsibility to wipe out the rot before it spreads to the rest of the tree." Murmurs of agreement came from around the room.
Only Lucius Malfoy did not look convinced. "You have something to say, perhaps, Lucius?" Walburga asked. Her tone was seemingly casual but an edge of danger belied that sentiment.
"I simply cannot see why you would choose to oppose the Dark Lord since he is so useful in attempting to maintain the pureblood way of life. He got rid of the Mudbloods with ease and he is easily the most powerful wizard of the century."
"Lord Malfoy, may I ask you then why he murders purebloods if he is so supportive of them? You know how precious few of us there remain, and yet he kills them like there are many more to spare. Well, I for one would like to put an end to him when he starts killing the Old Families. He has already murdered James Potter who is rightfully one of us, and my son as well. When he turns on those who have helped him so, it is time to get rid of him." Walburga said casually, yet gripping her wand in her pocket, so that it was ready to be drawn out quickly.
"But Potter was a blood traitor, and Black was a..." He quickly realised who he was talking to and closed his mouth immediately before he insulted his wife's family anymore.
"How exactly would we go about destroying him then?" asked Sebastian Nott. "We all know he is not dead; the Marks on our arms attest to that, so how exactly is he is still alive?"
"He has created Horcruxes."
There was a sharp intake of breath from nearly everybody in the room. Predictably, the Carrows were looking confused, and Walburga looked scornfully at them; she wasn't going to explain to them what Horcruxes were.
"But how would we find them?" asked one of the Yaxleys.
"I have one." Bellatrix mentioned casually, swinging her wand by its handle. "It's in my vault.
"Um, sorry, dear, but don't you mean our-" Rodolphus piped up but was promptly interrupted by Bellatrix. "Rodolphus." She said warningly, but not even glancing at him. He shut up.
"I believe he would have chosen items that mean something to him. What is yours, Bella?" Walburga said thoughtfully.
"Helga Hufflepuff's cup. Is it possible that he would have chosen other Founders' items?" Bellatrix questioned eagerly. She was feeling slightly disgusted with herself: she had chosen to follow a half-blood! It was not proper for a Black to follow any other than a Black, or at least of pure blood, and she had failed the family's honour, and now she felt a duty to bring down the man who had so carefully enslaved most of her companions.
"It is possible, I suppose." Walburga allowed. Inside she was thinking quickly. There were rumours that her old school friend had applied for a teaching position at Hogwarts but had been turned down by the recent arrival to the post of Headmaster – Albus Dumbledore. It was possible that he may have taken one of the Founders' items whilst there, or maybe more, and used them for his Horcruxes.
"I suppose I should agree with all of this, but really, Aunt Walburga, you can't possibly hope to defeat the Dark Lord. He has more power than any of us have seen for years." Lucius scoffed. "In fact, I'm quite tempted to leave now. Come, Narcissa." She did not move. "Narcissa. Follow me." He said forcefully, turning round on his way to the door.
"No, Lucius. I would prefer to stay with my blood family since they are speaking sense right now. Have you forgotten how many times the Dark Lord has cursed you, nearly to death?" Narcissa pleaded. "If you have any sense, you will stay so that our son will not suffer the same fate!"
"And may I also remind you, Lord Malfoy, that I hold more power at my fingertips than you could ever dream of." Walburga said frostily. "And that includes wiping from your memory the details of this conversation so that you cannot pass it on." The man in question hesitated before he reached the door. His shoulders slumped in surrender as he turned back to his chair.
"Very well, Aunt Walburga. What would you have me do? " he asked. " For I have another Horcrux. A diary."
"Well, I propose..." And as she carried on talking about her plans, a few evil laughs were heard from the room, making the spirit currently in Albania instinctively shiver in fear although he was oblivious as to why.
As the plans were being developed - with Sirius a large proponent in them – Walburga smiled. She was sure he would come back into the house, if only for the small boy currently living there, and between them, she was sure that they could raise Harry to be a proper Slytherin. He would be the epitome of cunning and ambition. He was already at the moment and in ten years, would be the master. Actually, she thought, it would probably be best to change his name, so nobody would find him. The Dark Lord Voldemort – although with the plans of finding his Horcruxes, destroying them, and then bringing him back so that he could be destroyed for good – would probably not prove to be much of a problem.
It was Dumbledore she was most worried about. Putting the Potters under an Order-approved house with only a Fidelius? She snorted. It would have made a lot more sense for them to inhabit one of the older Potter mansions, since they, as an Old Family, would have wards and enchantments on them that Voldemort could have never hoped to break. And as for the Secret Keeper? He could have put it on somebody a whole lot more trustworthy. Really, the man was supposed to be the most powerful in Britain. He could have at least Legilimen-ed peoples' minds to see who the traitor was. And it turned out to be the Mudblood one. No real surprise there, Walburga thought contemptuously.
Perhaps she should give Harry a Black name. Yes...she quickly went over the possible names, although how they were going to explain his sudden appearance into the family would be difficult. Perhaps a long lost love child of Sirius'? That would prove to be no surprise for those who knew of his womanising reputation at Hogwarts. Yes, and it had been a Mudblood who had had to go into hiding, who had named their child...Caelum Black? She smirked. These next years would prove to be most interesting.
AN - Hope you liked it, and pleasse don't forget to read and review. Reviews are always a nice present for the writers who put so much time and effort into writing. Thanks!