Title: The Prodigal Son

Characters: Orion, Walburga, Regulus and Sirius Black.

Notes: This is a little oneshot for Sirius Black, because he's too amazing to be left out of my repertoire. The lyrics are from James Blunt's, Billy, and the characters belong to the ever-wonderful Jo Rowling. I hope you enjoy!

Billy's leaving today
(don't know where he's going).
Holds his head in disgrace
(he can't escape the truth);
He knows the price that he's paid.
He admits that it's too late to admit that he's afraid...

"Well, what do you suggest we name him, Orion?" Walburga's nasally whines echo through the walls of their old, traditional house, mimicking the cries of their newly-acquired child.

"What of William?" Her husband suggests, running a hand through his dark hair. His son, now days old, still has the pale blue eyes babies have a habit of being born with, and a curl of shocking black hair Orion is proud to say the boy has inherited from himself.

"William?" Walburga scoffs, rolling her own dark blue eyes. Orion secretly wishes the boy will inherit his own grey eyes - the grey eyes of the Blacks - rather than his wife's cold stare.

"It's a classic," Orion protests.

"A Muggle classic," his wife scorns, almost amused, "he might as well be a Mudblood with that name. What would they call him? Billy? No, we have to keep it in the family. Traditional star names, Orion, as we have had for generations."

"I refuse to call my firstborn Milky Way," this elects a smirk from his female counterpart. "Fine. Will you at least consider Orion?"

"Darling," Walburga drawls patronizingly, putting a delicate clawed hand onto his robed arm, "it is tradition to have the father's name as the middle name of the firstborn son. All pureblood families have done it for years."

"How about Regulus?"

"Regulus?" Walburga taps a manicured nail against her ruby lips. "It's not regal enough. Perhaps for our second son. And have you no idea of Astronomy? Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo. The lion. It would not do to have our first son associated with that House, not at all."

The stand in silent thought for a few more moments.

"Oh, for Merlin's sake!" Walburga cries suddenly, flailing her arms about. "Kreacher!" The house elf appears with a pop and Walburga orders some stiff drinks for her and her husband. Kreacher scowls in Orion's direction - he never has liked the man. The feeling is entirely mutual.

"Have you nothing between your ears at all?" She mutters, glancing at Orion. "Because, surely, someone with even as little brain cells as you should be able to come up with a simple name!" Walburga shrieks hypocritically.

"Sirius," Orion says darkly, his tone leaving nothing open for suggestion.

He is already bored of his and his wife's pureblood banter that wears him down every time it happens. His wife smirks.

"Sirius. Perfect."

Tomorrow comes,
Sorrow becomes his soul mate.
The damage is done; the prodigal son is too late.
Old doors are closed but he's always open
To relive time in his mind -
Oh, Billy...

Despite what he claims later, Sirius does not leave in a flash of fury and fireworks as his personality so suggests. He plans it in the dead of the night when no guards are near, and has every detail etched in perfect detail in his mind.

He sneaks away in the day time - because who would suspect that Sirius Black would be stupid enough to escape in broad daylight? Certainly not his capturers.

Tomorrow comes, and he waits restlessly. They know it; they can feel his unexplainable energy thrumming through his every move and thought. Sorrow comes a little too fast and a little too hard nowadays (he can't even bring himself to make the obvious joke here) and he remembers the world he's about to leave behind.

Because the damage is done and has been done long ago.

And though he is still young, still bright, the old doors have closed behind him.

The prodigal son, with messy hair and circular glasses, is too late. He still relives every single time in his mind - every mistake, every word he had previously been led to believe.

The world around him is dark. Everything is dark, like the magic humming in the air and the lack of windows. Sirius, had he not remembered being dragged in here, would have almost thought that there was also a lack of doors.

He doesn't know when night is or when days start, though he sometimes guesses from the noises outside from the other "guests". He hasn't seen the moon for a while.

He wonders how Remus is coping, alone again this month and all he can see is blood. He wonders how James and Lily are, in their own little haven in their own little world where the war can't touch them.

He wonders how poor, little Peter is.

Oh, Sirius.

Billy's leaving today
(don't know where he's going).
He's got lines on his face
(they tell the story of his pain) -
He accepts it's his fate;
He admits it took too long to admit that he was wrong...


"What are you doing here, Sirius?" The older boy almost lets his lined face look surprised, but catches himself just in time. The younger remains emotionless.

"I live here," he answers with malice, looking around at the green and black and silver house with disdain. The air is thick with the Dark magic he will soon know all too well, and he is surprised he hasn't been poisoned altogether just yet. Yet.

Regulus sighs irritably. "I know that. But what are you doing here? You usually stay with... Potter." He sneers the last word, but there's too much effort put into it and an emotion that Sirius struggles to place.

"So what if I do?" Sirius replies, resenting the way the Slytherins always seem to keep tabs on his whereabouts. "You auditioning for Bella's right hand man, Reggie?"

"It's better than being Potter's right hand man!" Regulus bites back.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that." He's slightly annoyed at being referred to as James' right hand man, but no matter. "What, Reggie? Have they got you choosing sides already? You do know it's illegal if you get a tattoo now, don't you?" Sirius raises an eyebrow and he knows that Regulus knows exactly what he's getting at.


The elder of the two smirks. "Oh, nothing. Just stating a fact."

"Bloody useful fact," Regulus mutters, and Sirius is almost tempted to smile, until his little brother looks up at him, a spitting image of him at twelve. He suddenly looks scared.

They both stare at each other too long for it to be comfortable.

"I didn't choose it, you know."

"Choose what, Reg?"

It almost surprises Sirius how easily his voice has turned gentle and soothing in the presence of Regulus' near-tears. He thinks that it may be instinct. He doesn't receive an answer, though, and Regulus never does tell him.

"I hate you!" His brother screams suddenly, and Sirius takes a step back at the viciousness. "I hate you, you stupid Gryffindor! You're going to get yourself killed because you're playing for the wrong side!"

"Regulus," Sirius says, his voice level and still in that soothing tone that is almost unnatural to him. I

t is a tone he saves for full moon nights with Remus and the days when Lily is a bit too harsh with James and the hours he argues with Professor McGonagall over a recent essay mark for Peter.

"The first sign of madness is talking to yourself." Regulus doesn't protest.

"I hate you so much," he half sobs, but instead of turning to his brother for comfort, like he used to do, he turns away. "I hate everything you stand for, Sirius, everything you are. You make me sick."

"You don't mean that, Reggie," Sirius half begs as his brother turns to leave. He looks back for a moment, identical eyes locking for a second, and he blinks back. Regulus' mouth twitches for a second, and opens, and closes, and then he sighs. And leaves.


Tomorrow comes,
Sorrow becomes his soul mate.
The damage is done; the prodigal son is too late.
Old doors are closed but he's always open
To relive time in his mind -
Oh, Billy...

"Come on, Sirius. You have to mean it."

Bellatrix Black hovers over Sirius, who hovers over Regulus, who is crouched on the floor. The small boy lets out a low whine, and Bellatrix chuckles.

"Come on, pup. We've all been through it, and trust me, it's worth it. They won't let a little weakling like you into Dark ranks, now, will they? Mummy and Daddy would be so disappointed if they found you couldn't even handle a little pain."

"I'm not a baby!" Regulus cries, though his high voice and small size make his elder cousin snort in disbelief.

"You're seven now, Siri," she coos, tucking a strand of his too-long hair behind his ear. "You're not a baby, are you, Sirius? You're not like little Reggie, are you?"

"I have to do it, Reg," Sirius pleads with his little brother, who is only five. He shakes his head, as though in a dream. He casts the spell. Regulus screams. Bellatrix cackles. Sirius is momentarily glad that his parents are out.

Then Regulus falls silent. Bellatrix turns. And Sirius cries.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to; too late to say no..." He says, holding the smaller form close to his chest. Sirius was four when Bellatrix first ordered Narcissa to cast Crucio on him. He still remembers the pain, though it is hazy now, faded.

"You witch!" Sirius screams at Bellatrix, who raises an eyebrow.

"Excellent observation, baby cousin," she mocks, flicking her dark hair over her shoulder. She turns to Regulus, who cowers. "You're a real Black now. Welcome to the family." Only when she leaves does Regulus let out the breath Sirius hadn't known he had been holding.

"Ignore Bella, Reggie. It's you and me. We can beat that cow any day," he whispers to his brother.

"You and me?" Regulus echoes.

"Of course, Reg. We'll always be on the same side. And if it's against our cousins, who cares? We don't need a bunch of girls to tell us what to do and - and hurt us."

Bellatrix then opens the door, and says with a smile, "Your mother's waiting, Sirius. She isn't very happy that you've been using Daddy's wand, now, is she?" Bellatrix's smile turns into a smirk. "You don't want to keep Aunt Walburga waiting, do you?" She closes it firmly behind her.

"You should go, Sirius," Regulus says, and Sirius looks down, and finally meets his brother's eyes - blue. Their mother's blue, to be precise. Sirius shivers, and clears his mind with ease. He takes a deep breath before flashing Reggie a brave smile.

"Wish me luck, right, Reg?"


Once he was a lover sleeping with another,
Now he's just known as a cheat.
And he wished he'd had a mirror; looked a little clearer;
Seen into the eyes of the weak...

Sirius taps the wall. It's solid stone, like the castle walls of Hogwarts, but permeable. They have broken a little, crumbled a bit after years of abuse and disrepair.

"Stupid bloody metaphors," Sirius growls to himself.

He doesn't like it here. His two way mirror is trapped in a world he is no longer a part of. He's been too blinded by fame and glory and power to realise it was only a matter of time. They had been warned, of course. They all had. Sirius had just been too stupid to listen, and the nagging voice in his head reminds him of this.

Sirius Black, the traitor. The traitor Sirius Black.

Sadly, it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? There aren't many times that Sirius is remembered as a just a boy, brave and powerful and intelligent.

He is Sirius Black; the traitor. Nothing else.

The thing is, if he could've looked a little closer, a little clearer, into the eyes of his father, he might've noticed, somehow, how weak he is. Too foolhardy. Too impulsive. Too manipulative. He is his father, and Orion Black is nothing if not weak.

Maybe he cheated everyone a bit - only slightly - and played them, but then again, it isn't as if they cared before, was it, so why would they care now?

Maybe, soon, Sirius will realise that he is naïve. Because arrogance is ignorance - as everyone knows - even if ignorance is bliss. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Sometimes you have to care.

Too late, too late, too late...

Maybe, he thinks, it'll all be alright. Maybe they'll all see the errors of their ways - including him - and everything will be hunky-dory and who cares if he's betrayed them? He's done it before. He'll do it again. Everyone knows where they stand, with him. He's predictable - that's the clue. If only they could see that. And they will, he thinks. They have to, surely?

Stupid Sirius.

Tomorrow comes,
Sorrow becomes his soul mate.
The damage is done; the prodigal son is too late.
Old doors are closed but he's always open
To relive time in his mind -
Oh, Billy.


Tomorrow has come. He sighs, because he is home. He doesn't feel weighted down, or wet, or weary, because he is home, where he is meant to be. He is with the Potters. He will always be with the Potters.

"Sirius?" His best friend calls, launching himself at the shaking teenager. "Oh, thank Merlin. Mum said you were at the door, but I knew you were at your house. What happened?"

Sirius says nothing, but lets his friend fuss over him in the non-manly way you only can if you're scared shitless.

"Have you got your broomstick?" Sirius lets out a smile, knowing that this would be the first question his friend would ask, but shakes his head. "Trunk?" He shakes his head again. "Wand?"

"Of course," Sirius replies, with a mischievous grin that doesn't really meet his eyes.

James says nothing, but slides down the banister leading off from their entrance hall to the basement James keeps as his Man-Room, where all the broomsticks and magazines are held.

They talk for hours - three of which, James spends calling Sirius Billy after hearing the tale Sirius' parents once told him. They talk about Regulus and Bellatrix and the cellar Sirius had been locked in. They talk of school and Quidditch and the Marauders, and Transfiguration and best friends and jokes and they just talk. It's what best friends, what brothers, do.

They avoid talks of pureblood politics and Azkaban and werewolves, out of some unspoken code and some unwritten rule that nobody else can possibly understand.

They are James and Sirius, Padfoot and Prongs, and tonight, they ride again.

"My door's always open, alright, Padfoot?" James says, when it is dark and they are on the second floor, and the house is silent. Sirius nods, and lets the black come again, and once again, sorrow becomes his soul mate. Maybe the prodigal son is too late after all.

Oh, Sirius.