Title: The Truth Behind the Name and the Lies pt. 6br
Pairing: DracoxHarry, OliverxPercy, twincest?
Notes: An abused boy finds out he's a wizard and a hero; his tormented mind rebels. One person sees through the misconceptions to the real Harry and treats him the way he deserves. How does this change them both and those around them?
Chapter 19- Saying goodbye to the unlikely hero
Narcissa and Andromeda prepared Regulus for burial.
Narcissa had attended the burial of her uncle and father who perished close to Regulus.
Cygnus and Orion Black had grown up best friends, something like herself and Regulus. They had been born only a few months apart, unlike herself and her favourite cousin.
Evan Rosier on her mother's side was a Dark Wizard from an early age and had a huge crush on Bella. Sirius was a twit who had little use for a witch he couldn't fancy. Even if they were barely a month and a half apart in age so they were often thrown together unfortunately.
Regulus and herself were the least and last of the Blacks. Narcissa was the strange one given her colouring and her lack of talent with Dark Magic. Being the bud of two Dark Families she ought to have had the gift, yet it skipped her. Blame was placed on her Dearborn grandfather and her Pucey grandmother since both were notoriously neutral with no natural affinity to Light or Dark Magic.
Regulus was the 'spare', a second son with no prospects until Sirius was disowned. He was forced to distinguish himself from a young age to 'prove his worth'. He became a Seeker his Third Year and made his own mark. Unlike Sirius he didn't stand out by being as un-Black as possible, instead he chose to prove how Black he was. He took classes that tested and moulded him, with high marks in Ancient Runes, Charms and Defence. He had an unhappy talent with hexes that made him a valuable pawn to the Death Eaters so he was inducted into their ranks at a young age at Bellatrix's encouragement. In his eagerness to prove himself he bit off more then he could handle.
His disappearance and proclaimed death on the tapestry had caused her such anguish and had delayed her bonding to Lucius. Lucius had helped her recover from her grief and had chosen Draco not just because of her Black heritage but also because it was Regulus' favourite constellation. She wasn't able to use his name because the grief was so crushing.
Bellatrix had attended but made scathing comments about how he was a fool and probably got himself killed because he was weak or he was a coward like Uncle Marius and killed himself.
She had needed Andromeda but couldn't go to her and was forced to turn to Lucius and it helped strengthen the love between them. Regulus had helped them forge a strong bond…
He had given her Draco…
Andromeda hadn't been allowed to attend Regulus' memorial because she had been thrown out. Her aunt had barred her from her parents' funerals as well; now that she was the face of the House of Black she could mourn her parents properly.
To her this was more than just Regulus' funeral it was a way of properly saying goodbye to the parents who gave her life and her uncle Orion who was her father's dearest friend.
Sometimes as a child she'd seen them together, to this day she'd wondered if there had been more than friendship between them. There was no affection between Walburga and Orion, little still between Drusilla and Cygnus. It mattered not but hopefully whatever their relationship her father and uncle were happy having passed to the Veil so close together.
She and Harry would lead the funeral assisted by Narcissa and Lucius.
Having never bonded or changed his name, Regulus was a Black and only a Black had the right of this ceremony.
Had Sirius still been alive than he would have assisted her, given the animosity between the Black brothers it was probably best that Sirius had passed as well
The Heads of the Black Family, Harry and Andromeda were dressed in green and black respectively, were to conduct the ceremony. Their assistants, Narcissa and Draco were dressed in red and black, were to assist, act as ushers and lead part of the funeral rite.
The ritual space of the Black Family Mausoleum was prepared with a candle at each of the cardinal directions and two flanking the main altar. Regulus' body was laid out at the main altar.
The extended Black, Potter and Malfoy family were expected to wait at the edge of the ritual space, while Andromeda who served as the ceremony's Priestess began to sweep out the Circle widdershins (counter-clockwise) while concentrating and grounding herself. She then replaced the broom lengthwise at the foot of the main altar, pick up the sword and cast the Circle widdershins while saying:
"This is a place which is not a place in a time which is not a time halfway between the worlds of the Living and of Dead. Come family of the deceased Regulus Cygnus Black and though we have no body it seems wise to put his brother to rest now."
Andromeda as Priestess took Harry who was serving as the Priest by the hands and pulled him into the Circle. They turn in a half-turn widdershins as he entered and then he pulled in Draco who then led his mother into the circle and so on until everyone is in the Circle.
After which Andromeda took up the sword and closes off the 'doorway' by making it glow and hover preventing others from joining them. A glowing shield rose encircling them.
Then they began to call the directions Widdershins, beginning with the West. The assistants assisted them in this and the directions had been assigned ahead of time.
Harry took his place in the West and held up his hand, "As the sun sets, so our friend has left us. The water of our tears like the salt water of the sea, and Life the water of our mother's womb, bless this Circle."
Narcissa had moved to the South, her eyes wet with tears spoke, "As life is a day, so our friend has passed into the night. The fire of our life, the memories and courage, the strength given to us by our friend blesses this Circle."
Draco stood in the East, "As all that falls shall rise again, so our friend will be reborn.
They are the air we breathe, this treasure of our life, the compassionate caring we give each other blesses this Circle."
Andromeda stood in the North, "As the Earth forms us so our friend shall return to the earth. Our Mother feeds us and clothes us. She gives us everything and in the end she takes our bodies back. And Earth blesses this Circle."
The Priestess and Priest recognized the presence magic, Earth and Chaos in the Circle and specifically heighten their own awareness of the presence of the divine, acting from the divine part of themselves through the ritual.
Harry spoke again moving towards the altar his hands still raised, "Mother Earth you are the Goddess, as are all women. You give birth and have given this gift to your children. You feed the inhabitants of the world from your own body and You take them back for a new birth. World without end, eternal creation."
Andromeda met him at the altar, "Father Chaos you are the God, as are all men. You are born. You live and You die, only to be born again. All-Father, All-Destroyer, ruler of the land of the dead."
Together they joined their hands and intoned, "Birth and death." Repeating the phrase in unison three times.
Then Andromeda turned and addressed the corpse, "You are dead. None should ever die alone. I am here to help you with your passing Cousin. There is only love, the greatest Mystery. I reach behind my fear. I open my heart and my eyes in the light of this love."
"Our lives are formed of many others and we form other lives in turn. And when we are here with you after you die, we honor your life." Harry turned to Sirius' brother whom he had never known as he spoke.
Andromeda's voice rose filling the chamber, "There is only love. The love of the Goddess gives birth to the universe. The love of our parents gives birth to us. The love of our friends and family sustains our life. Kindness, love and pleasure – we are formed from these and we form each other. When we die we leave them behind us."
"You have left your family. You have left sex and even gender. You cannot be a woman or a man and enter the other world. You have left behind your body. None who have bodies can pass into the other world." Harry said gently.
"The earth is taking you back now, the Great Mother. Her womb is the Earth that will receive your body. Your body is a seed now, a seed of other lives." Andromeda blinked away her tears, "In a sacred space we have gathered to honor you and to give you some things to take on the journey with you."
Harry addressed the Circle, "Please come up now if you can and speak of Regulus. Tell him whatever you need to. Help him in the journey into the Veil."
Narcissa stepped forward, her hand over her breast, "I was always fond of Lucius but he wasn't to be mine. Then your mother announced that I was to be given to the Malfoy family to fulfill Andromeda's contract to regain our honour. I was happy; pained at the loss of a beloved sister but glad to have the man I cared for. Then the news came that you were gone, you had died. Lucius came to me in my despair and pain. He helped me; because you had left us we created a strong bond even in those dark days. Lucius came to love me. I named Draco after your favorite constellation cousin. He is here because of you. I find it extremely fitting that my beloved son gave you back to me and that I can be here to truly say goodbye."
Lucius came to her and embraced her, "I was not always as good of a prefect as I should have been. I looked after Severus and often you fell out of my sights. I am sorry for that. Perhaps, if I had tried harder to look after you when I knew that Andromeda could not and Bellatrix would not you might be here. I would not trade my family for anything. I am grateful that Narcissa let me in when she was weak and needed comfort. I suppose I owe you thanks. Your sacrifice was what helped me find someone worthy in Narcissa."
Draco joined his parents, "I rarely heard your name before. You were always called mother's favorite cousin. Named for your favorite constellation is something I never knew. I wish I could have known you. If you are watching us then please know that I have taken on your quest. I will finish what you started cousin. We'll take down the Dark Lord and avenge you."
Charity waddled up, "I was always watching Sirius, I loved him from the first. You and I were in the same year but never spoke. I saw him watching you when we were in school. He was proud in his own way of you. He rejoiced in your Quidditch successes and he would have been proud of you in the end. Both of you passed doing your part to defy an evil man. I will take care of your Kreacher and see that he is treated well."
Severus and Remus shared their memories of Regulus, and wished him well.
Andromeda sighed, "We were the most alike weren't we? We kept to ourselves and kept our own counsels. I took a different path, choosing to turn my back on the family as did Sirius. It was cruel of us wasn't it? We left you and Narcissa alone to bear our family's hopes and ambitions. You were gentle like father weren't you? I hope you found love and knew how it felt to be loved before the end. You were kind to even house elves and terribly fond of old Kreacher. He still cares for you and mourns your loss. We will keep him on in remembrance. In the end you too decided to choose your own path. For that I applaud you. It takes strength to stand up to family. I hope you find happiness cousin."
When they had finished and no one else came forwards Harry then addressed the body,"I will remember you at Samhain and bless you then."
Samhain was the day his parents died as well and he would add Regulus to the list of people he prayed for and spent a moment of silence in remembrance for.
The circle then began to chant, quietly:
"We all come from the Earth and to Her we shall return like a drop of rain falling to the ocean. We all come from Chaos and through Him we are reborn. Corn and grain, corn and grain. All that falls shall rise again."
Andromeda held her hand over Regulus' body, "Journey on now, cousin. We will follow when we can. May you be born again at the same time and in the same place as those you knew and loved in this life. May you know them again and love them again."
From her hand came fire and it consumed the body on the altar as well as it's wrappings.
A large door opened behind the altar and a silver urn emerged. It fell through the shield and landed in Harry's out stretched hands.
The ashes drifted into the urn and it sealed itself.
Emblazoned were the words:
Regulus Cygnus Black
B. 3 Nov 1960
D. 10 Aug 1977
Draco returned to the East, "The Sun will rise again."
Harry moved to the South, "Life continues."
Narcissa sniffed from the West, "Love is all that we can be sure of."
Andromeda intoned from the North, "Only the Mother is eternal." She held out her hand and the sword that guarded the entrance to the circle returned to her and the shield lowered.
A pillar candle had been lit while the ashes filled the urn and was left to burn while the crowd files out of the Circle.
They entered the crypt filled with urns that contained the ashes of their ancestors.
Harry held the urn cradled in his palms.
Draco took his place on the East side of the room, "We welcome the spirits of the Ancestors and the honored dead not yet reborn."
From the South Harry spoke, "We welcome our heroes and inspirations."
Narcissa had composed herself as she claimed the West, "We welcome the Ancestors to incarnate in our children and grandchildren and in our families."
Andromeda called from the North, "We welcome our deaths and our lives."
The urn was returned to it's place and beside it gleamed that of his parents and brother.
They had already prepared the small altar in the vault's centre.
Andromeda and Harry chorused, "It is not we that bless this food and drink but it which blesses us. In its nature it nourishes our bodies, in sharing food and drink we create community."
Each mourner took a drink from the chalice and poured a drop onto the urn. Then they torn a bit of cake and sprinkled the crumbs over the urn as well. When all had finished the mourners file out of the mausoleum and return to the grounds of Grimmauld Place.
The directions were dismissed quietly with an informal thanks by Andromeda, Harry and Narcissa. Then they head back to the reception in the repaired dining room.
A glass of wine and the leftover cakes were left behind in the vault on the altar.
More stories were shared by Narcissa, Severus and Andromeda as part of the funeral ritual.
Kreacher tearfully offered stories of Regulus' childhood before Hogwarts as well.
Once the meal at the wake was eaten they parted ways to spend the rest of the day in silent contemplation.
What do you think? Outstanding? Exceeds Expectations? Acceptable? Poor? Dreadful? Troll?