Disclaimer: If you recognize it it belongs to JKR

Written for the Controversial challenge on HPFC for schizophrenia

"Traitor of my blood. Filth spawned of my womb. Scum, SCUM!"

I wake to my Mother's screams, echoing through the house, through my skull.

"Wastrel, unworthy of my NAME! Unworthy of your BLOOD!"

"Shut up, SHUT UP!"

My screams mingle with hers, screeching, roaring in counterpart. I stagger down the stairs, lurch over the empty bottle that rolls before me and fall.

Pain, a cracked rib, face bleeding.

"You! Shame your flesh, YOU ARE NO SON OF MINE! PATHETIC-"

"I DON'T WANT TO BE YOUR SON," I roar back, crouched in the hall in the thin light of morning.

The curtains are closed.


He stares at me, full of pity and shame. He never says anything, but I see it in his eyes.

Who is he to pity? He has no money, no family. What right does he have to judge me?

"No," I turn and clutch the firewhiskey closer as he tries to steal it from my grasp.

"Sirius, you have to stop this. We need your help. Harry needs your help."

I let him take it, hide it. Once he has gone I'll get it back.

He doesn't understand. I need it to make them go away.


I hear him laughing at me, mocking me from every room, every window, every hiding place that he knows well from our childhood games.

"I was always better than you. Mother loved me better, father loved me better. I did things, I died for my cause. What did you do? You failed. You're pathetic, useless. Useless."

I throw a curse at the curtains he is hiding behind, but he vanishes like usual. Too fast; he was always fast.

"You missed," he giggles, from behind the couch, a child again. "You can't catch me Sirius. I'm hiding."

"YOU'RE DEAD," I yell back.

There is silence.


They are leaving me again. I can hear them packing, talking, happy to go. To escape this prison that I am bound in. I thought I escaped already? Just one prison to another, slop for food, voices in my head.

Buckbeak nudges me, grasping for the dead rat in my hand. Even he only wants me for the food I bring him. I check the paw before feeding it to him. Peter is out there, spying like he always was. Some day he'll get in here and spy on me, and then I'll kill him and feed him to Buckbeak. Or maybe I won't kill him first.

I wonder if Buckbeak likes his food toasted.


It doesn't matter how softly I tread, they always hear me, follow me, eyes full of hatred, contempt.

I failed them and they'll never forgive me. I thought twelve years was penance enough, but they haunt me still.

"I'm sorry," I cry, plea, beg, but they never listen. I turn into a dog and howl at the night, but that just makes it worse. Then I remember the good times when we were brothers. When I swore that I would die for him, for Harry.

I want to die. Then they might leave me alone, but I can't.

Harry needs me. Their son needs me.


She changes her face and everyone laughs. Her eyes are like mine, pale grey, and she has the Black cheekbones. Or maybe that's not her true face. Maybe she is hiding behind it, using it to remind me of who I am, what I am. I don't need her to remind me; I have my mother for that. My brother, my elf, my house. My whole life is just one big reminder of my failures.

She asks me who I would like to see her become. I want her to become James. Then we can run away back to Hogwarts and play jokes and tell tales again. Then there would be no war, no fighting, no hiding.

She could become Lily so that Harry has a mother again. I don't have to worry about him anymore; there are better people than me to look after him.

I want her to become Peter so I can strangle him with my bare hands and drag his lying rodent face to the ministry so I can be free. I want her to become me so that I can go sleep peacefully where no-one will bother me and she can listen to them criticizing her instead.

She has already moved on.


"Don't touch me!"

I force the hands away from me, but they're not there. A giggle from behind me, Regulus playing his stupid games again. The room is empty. A woman's voice screams at me, a man's sneers crude insults. But I don't care, they're not real. I know they're not real, and if I ignore them they'll go away. They have to go away.

"You're memories. You don't belong here anymore. YOU'RE NOT REAL!"

A clatter behind me, a cackling wheeze.

Kreacher laughs as I lie defeated by ghosts.