LbN: If you get squicked by the mention of Blackcest, don't read this chapter. If you're really into Blackcest, don't get your hopes up too high :). I left some to the imagination...

Something about learning the History of Voldemort wasn't exactly conducive to a good night's sleep. After tossing and turning, he sat up and quietly located his shoes. Grabbing his invisibility cloak and one of the vials he'd brought from Sirius' house, he crept out of the dorm. The common room was empty, save for two house elves who were tidying up. He bypassed them easily, and made his way into the corridor.


This vial was different. Harry turned it over in his hand as he sat on the couch the Room of Requirement had provided. He was a little worried about what he would see, and for the first time, he was seriously considering heeding Tonks's advice and putting the memory back. It was definitely from Sirius' Azkaban years—the date on the bottle told him that much. But it hadn't been in chronological order, like the rest of the memories—it had been at the back of the cabinet. Harry told himself that this was just because it was bigger than the rest, but somehow the size of the memory worried him to.

"I'm being stupid," he said. "It's just a memory."

He poured it into the Pensieve and entered it.

The cell was mostly dark, but there was a bit of light streaming in from one of the windows. Underneath it, a man sat next to a pile of papers. Harry recognized his godfather immediately, even though Sirius looked completely different than any other time Harry had seen him. He was thin—terribly thin—and his hair and beard were scraggly and gray. He sat, staring into nothing, as Dementors swooped around outside the cell.

The silence was eerie. Three other prisoners lay still in the cell, and the only noise was the swoosh of the Dementors' cloaks. Harry was tense, waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. He walked over to his godfather. The man had a small, messy of yellowing papers next to him, along with one or two newer ones. Harry realized, with a pang of sadness, that all of the older papers were from his birthday. Each one read "July 31", as did the one his godfather was currently holding, but not looking at. Harry squinted to see the full date in the darkness—July 31, 1987. He was about to sit down when something moved to his right.

Bellatrix Lestrange moved into the light. "Sirius," she cooed. "Sirius Black."

Sirius gave an almost imperceptible flinch, but stayed silent.

"Oh," Bellatrix said with a mock pout, "I'm sorry. I forgot. You want to be Sirius Potter…."

"His birthday…" Sirius muttered. "His birthday. Harry's. Seven. Seven candles. His birthday…" He sounded hollow, defeated…and Harry had the sneaking suspicion that his godfather was trying to keep from throttling Bellatrix….

"Don't be sad, little Sirius," Bellatrix said. She crawled over as much as her chains would allow. "Bella's here."

"Harry…his birthday…"

"We can be a family again." She reached out and ran a hand through his dirty hair.

Harry watched, open mouthed, as Sirius did not pull away. The memory faded, and a new one began. Harry understood now—this was a series of memories. He looked around the cell.

Sirius, it seemed, had come to his senses a bit. He was huddled as far away from Bellatrix as he could get, and glaring in her direction.

Bellatrix was undeterred. "I can't help you if you sit so far away," she said.

"Help me?" Sirius spat. "Since when have you ever cared about helping me?"

"That's all I've ever wanted," she said in an urgent whisper, trying to move closer to Sirius. "Sit closer."

Sirius didn't move, but Harry saw that he'd lost his scowl.

"I've always wanted to help you—to teach you how to be a good pureblood son."

"The way you 'taught' Narcissa?" Sirius asked, voice full of contempt.

Bellatrix smiled. She almost looked beautiful again at the mention of her sister. It didn't last, as Dementors began crowding around their cell. "You shouldn't sneer, little Sirius. I saw the way you used to look at me. The way you looked at me that night."

The memory faded. Harry was left in complete darkness for a moment. He squinted, and could just make out his godfather's form lying on the ground. Someone was kneeling beside him. Again the room was silent. Harry took a few steps closer, and saw that the kneeling figure was, of course, Bellatrix. He could see his godfather shaking a bit, but the man wasn't pulling away.

Once more, everything went hazy for a moment as the memory changed. It was daytime now, and the cell was empty except for Bellatrix and Sirius. Bellatrix was standing up beside him, laughing madly about something, and Sirius was glowering at her.

"It's a shame you didn't stick around to the end of the party," she said, grinning. "Poor Regulus…it was all I could do to comfort him…"

"Shut. Up." Sirius said.

"But then, you were always so selfish. You never cared one bit about the family. You and Andromeda—always denying yourselves. Even when you were calling Regulus' name out in your sleep, you still—"

"I SAID SHUT UP!" Sirius roared, jumping to his feet.

"Temper. I see why they call you a murderer."

Sirius grabbed Bellatrix around the throat and shoved her against the grimy wall. Before Harry registered what was about to happen, Sirius had leaned into Bellatrix and kissed her, hard. They broke apart a few seconds later. "I am not a murderer," he growled.

Bellatrix smiled again. "There's my little Sirius."

Harry retched as they began kissing again. He needed to leave—had to leave—but he couldn't look away. He watched, horror-struck, as they continued to kiss. He watched as Bellatrix's hand snaked down into Sirius' thin trousers. He watched as they lowered themselves to the floor, chains rattling. Harry could see that Sirius wasn't going to stop this—on the contrary, he looked to be enjoying himself. When he saw his godfather begin to suck fiercely at Bellatrix's nipple, Harry decided he'd officially seen enough. He pulled himself out of the memory and kicked the Pensieve's stand over. It went clattering across the floor—the memory evaporating into the air. Good. He never wanted to see that again.

Shuddering, and close to tears, he grabbed his invisibility cloak, and left the Room of Requirement. He was done. Tonks was right- he should've left the memories alone. If Sirius had been alive, there may have come a day when he explained things to Harry. Explained the insanity, explained his life. But he wasn't there. And now, all Harry had was that picture etched into his memory. No explanation, and no Sirius. Sirius, as he had known him, was gone. As he walked back to Gryffindor tower, Harry prayed with all his might that Voldemort's trail of memories would actually lead to something good.

Fin