31st October 1981
Entered into Round 3 of Fire The Canon's October Fanfiction Tournament (stories about Sirius) and the History of Magic part of ladyoftheknightley's School Subjects Competition (stories using characters from past eras).
Little fact for you, the title, as well as being the date that this happened is the date my parents married. Which probably means I should start thinking what I'm getting them for their anniversary this year. Anyway please let me know what you think, it was slightly rushed to get it up in time for the first contest mentioned above. Thanks.
Sirius landed with a bump in Godric's Hollow. Acrid smoke hit the back of his throat, choking him, and he tumbled off of his bike onto the cold, hard ground. Rubble cut into his hands and knees but he couldn't feel it. Nor could he feel the rain that was beginning to fall, cold constant drizzle that seeped right into the bone, or the wind that whipped his hair into his eyes.
He was numb.
For in front of him was the Potters' cottage but where once it had been a warm, loving, picture perfect family home it was now cold, broken. A shell of its' former self.
Bile started rising in his throat. "No, no, no!"
The remains of the heavy, oak front door were hanging drunkenly off of one hinge while a great hole had been blown in the roof. It looked like the gaping maw of some creature of the deep, with sharp jagged edges, like fangs, that were still softly smouldering. The whole building was wreathed in black smoke almost like a shroud.
The hole, Sirius noticed with a sickening realisation, was right above Harry's nursery. He leant to the side and vomited violently before dropping his head to his hands, unable to look at the cottage any longer. How could this have happened? The Fidelius Charm? Surely then, that meant that Peter was the...
Sirius was nearly sick again at that thought before getting to his feet and drawing his wand, movements jerky and shaking. Thoughts were flying through his head as fast as snitches as he made his way up the path and across the threshold but then he stopped dead, all thoughts disappearing. A wordless cry of pure anguish left him as he took a few more faltering steps forward and then fell to his knees.
There, in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs, was James. His glasses had fallen off and his eyes were dull, staring blankly into nothingness. With a shaking hand Sirius reached out and closed them, surprised at how cold he felt.
No not he. This was no longer James. James was gone, dead. The word echoed round his head and Sirius slumped forward, dropping his head to James' chest, apologising over and over again as he was overcome with sobs.
Eventually he sat back up, tears still sliding down his face.
Perhaps Lily and Harry had managed to escape. But no, somehow Sirius knew they were still here, upstairs in the nursery from the looks of the damage. So with slow, heavy movements he got to his feet and moved up the stairs. As he reached the top step he could see that Harry's door was flung wide open and just visible on the floor of the room beyond was Lily, unnaturally still, limbs flung out at strange angles.
Sirius rushed forward to her, unable to bring himself to look in the cot just yet, and pulled her into his arms.
"I'm so sorry Lily flower," he murmured, "I'm so so sorry."
They hadn't been friends instantly like Sirius and James. In fact it had been a good few years before they even began to tolerate each other. It was only when, in seventh year, James and Lily had started dating that Sirius and Lily had begun to get to know each other and then their relationship quickly blossomed into an almost sibling like love, teasing and annoying each other at every opportunity, but fiercely loyal and always there if the other needed anything.
And now she too was dead. Sirius had lost both a brother and a sister, and what made the pain infinitely worse was that it was because of another trusted brother. Peter.
A new emotion began to rise in Sirius, overtaking the pain and anguish that he'd felt since arriving at Godric's Hollow.
Peter was the traitor, the spy. Peter, who was one of them, a Marauder, had handed James, Lily and Harry over to Voldemort. He was the reason they were dead. How long had he been a spy? Why? How could he? The four of them were best friends. Since their first day at Hogwarts almost. And he had been there at James and Lily's wedding, and Harry's birth as happy and proud as the rest of them. Had he already turned to Voldemort then?
Sirius' head was spinning. He pressed a kiss to Lily's head and said a soft goodbye and then stood up. Peter would pay. He strode to the door, intent on finding the rat when a noise in the room stopped him, evaporating all thoughts of rage and revenge.
It was a soft noise and he almost didn't hear it, thinking it was just his imagination. But as it grew in volume, cutting through the silent house like a beacon of hope, it was clearly a child crying.
Sirius spun around, staring at the cot with wild eyes, and saw a flash of black hair moving.