Last Will and Testament
Walburga Black had been overjoyed at the birth of her first son.
Her brother Alphard was unmarried and childless, while her other younger brother, Cygnus, and his wife had three daughters. Finally, she had a son who would carry on the Black family name.
Sirius Orion Black truly was his mother's pride and joy.
And then he grew up.
Sirius had never been a spoiled child. He may have been the heir to one of the oldest pureblood families in the Wizarding world, but Walburga and Orion Black were strict parents. Their son would be raised correctly, for how else could he become a proper member of pureblood society? Frivolities were always an afterthought in the Black household.
Walburga truly couldn't say where she had gone wrong in raising her boy. It couldn't possibly have been that she was too harsh with the boy. After all, she had modeled her parenting style after her own beloved parents, and look how she had turned out.
Exactly the opposite of her oldest son, as it so happened.
Walburga Black had been ashamed at the news that her firstborn son had been sorted into Gryffindor, of all houses, upon his entrance into Hogwarts.
Almost every single Black had been sorted in Slytherin. There had been a few Ravenclaws, and possibly one or two Hufflepuffs, if one was to look back far enough on the family tree. But never before had there been a Black who was a Gryffindor. The Black family lived by the example set by Salazar Slytherin, himself. How in Merlin's name had Sirius ended up a Gryffindor?
Walburga could only blame herself…except that Blacks really weren't the sort of people who easily admitted defeat or even that they had any kind of flaws. Obviously it was no one's fault but Sirius' that he had ended up where he did. And naturally that meant that it was up to Walburga to set him straight.
When she actually took the time to think about things, she realized that Sirius' position in Gryffindor could actually be rather beneficial. There, he would have prime access to all of the blood traitors that Walburga so detested. All she needed to do was convince Sirius to turn spy on his own house.
And oh, how she tried. But Sirius simply could not be persuaded; Walburga had never known the boy to be so fiercely loyal to anyone or anything. The damn boy was taking being a Gryffindor far too seriously for her liking. It was better to give him up as a lost cause now, while there was still a chance to salvage the Black name in the pureblood community.
After all, Sirius was only her firstborn son. For as much potential as Walburga had mistakenly seen in him, it was entirely possible that Regulus could possess even more.
And so Walburga transferred all of her hopes and dreams to her younger son. Sirius had failed her. He had abandoned everything his family stood for; had abandoned her. She took great pleasure in blasting her oldest son's name off of the family tree when he ran away from home at the age of sixteen. Sirius and all of his failings were truly gone from her life now, but she still had Regulus. And Regulus would do great things.
Walburga was content once more.
As a young woman, Walburga had believed the proudest moment of her life to be giving birth to a son to carry on the Black name. She was quite sure that she was even more proud the day she found out that Regulus—her beloved Regulus—had joined the ranks of the Death Eaters. Her only remaining son was doing his duty to pureblood society in helping to rid the world of muggleborn filth.
Until one day he didn't come home…
Walburga was nothing short of devastated. Regulus had truly been her pride and joy. He had become more than she could have ever dreamed. And now, suddenly, he wasn't here anymore.
She chose to ignore the whispers that the Dark Lord had given the order for Regulus to be killed for betraying him. That wasn't her Regulus. Her Regulus was loyal to the Dark Lord and his cause. He would never try to back out. Instead, she chose to believe that her son had died a hero. After all, her Regulus always did the right thing; he must have died doing the same.
Walburga could still be proud of him.
It would have been better if Regulus had been a hero and remained alive, though. The truth of the matter was that his death was only the latest in a series of deaths of people close to Walburga.
Cygnus had been the first to go; though technically not a Death Eater, he had been killed in the crossfire of some fight or other. Walburga was sure that that blasted Order of the Phoenix was to blame for her only remaining brother's death.
Orion had died not long after his cousin. Although he had been young—only fifty years old—his was a death of natural causes. Too much stress, she vaguely recalled the Healers saying when they notified her of her husband's passing.
And then Regulus was gone, too. All three of them in the span of a year. Walburga was alone.
Of course, she still had Lucretia, plus Druella and her children. But it just wasn't the same as having a family of her own. Not that Walburga would openly admit to missing her son, husband, and brother. She was far too proud for that. It was best to remain composed in her mourning, as any good pureblood would.
Ironically, it was with the fall of the Dark Lord not two year later that Walburga found any reason to bring herself out of her depression.
Was it possible…had her Sirius returned to her?
All of the higher-ups in the Ministry that she so detested were calling her older son the Dark Lord's right-hand man. Indeed, Sirius had been arrested for betraying the location of his supposed best friend's family to the Dark Lord and then killing thirteen innocent people—Walburga noted with glee that twelve of them were muggles.
This was definitely not the same Sirius that she had blasted off the family tree. This was the Sirius that she had attempted—and thought herself to have failed—to raise. This Sirius had been arrested for living by the ideals that Walburga had raised him by.
She could not possibly have been more proud.
Although he was technically now in prison, her Sirius had returned to her! Had it all been an act, then? Getting sorted into Gryffindor, befriending muggles, walking out on the family, appearing to go against everything the family stood for…all a lie?
In Walburga's humble opinion, it would seem so. Sirius had been the man she'd raised him to be all along.
Now, if there was one thing Walburga Black was not, it was a foolish woman. She knew that the past several years or so had taken their toll on her. She should have decades left, but she knew she'd be lucky for just a few more years. And so she made a decision. She would write her son back into her will.
She had intended to leave everything to Bella and Cissy, but now her son would come first again. After all, if he ever got out of prison, he would need somewhere to live. And what better place could he find than his childhood home?
She still had some doubts though.
For as much as she wanted to believe that everything she had ever thought about her son was wrong, it was still hard for her to accept that it was. Although she didn't want her doubts to be true, there was always the chance that her son had been falsely accused of being a supporter of the Dark Lord, particularly one so important. After all, she did find it slightly suspicious that she had never before caught wind of any rumors within her social circles that her oldest son was living up to his birthright.
So yes, it would do well for her to make sure that she made some provisions in order to be able to make absolutely certain that her son truly was the man she had always hoped he would become.
A permanent sticking charm on the back of the portrait she'd recently had commissioned should do the trick. That way she would always be able to watch over her son, and possibly catch up on the years they had both missed out on.
Everything would be perfect.
Walburga Black died four short years later. She died before her time, weary from everything she'd had to go through in her life—most notably the loss of both her sons and her husband. And yet she died happy, knowing that Sirius—her beloved Sirius—hadn't truly abandoned the values by which she had raised him.