It isn't raining.
That's the first thing I notice. Somehow I always imagined it would be raining. It was
raining when I was outside for the last time. As if the sky was crying, crying for
James and Lily. It must have rained at their funeral, too. I didn't attend. James would
have been angry, that I didn't even attend his funeral. But I didn't get to. I was already
in – don't think of that.
I remembered that it rained. I didn't remember the rain itself, though. What does rain
feel like? Is it wet? Wet like the ocean I just crawled out of? I don't remember. Too
many happy memories connected with rain, I guess. I lost almost all my happy
memories in Azk- don't think of it..
But it isn't raining. The sky is clear, the sun is sinking into the sea, tinting the entire
ocean blood-red. Lily would have liked to see this. She was always painting scenes
like this. She loved to paint.
I'm on a beach. A sandy beach. Not too many sandy beaches in England, and those
are usually swarming with tourists – when it's not raining, and it isn't. I guess I
should leave soon. It's so late that the beach is empty, but tomorrow the people will
start arriving. Can't be here then.
The wind's getting stronger. It's whipping the sand up, so that it glides over the
ground like smoke or fog, golden in the sunset. James would have loved this weather.
He loved all kinds of odd weather. I remember – yes! I remember! – a time, back in
out third year it must have been, when there was a bad accident in Charms. The skies
above Hogwarts poured bright green peppermint-flavored rain for three days. Most of
the students fled inside and hid from the Ministry wizards who'd come. The Ministry
was very upset, what with all the Muggles needing Memory Charms and all. But
James – James stood outside and laughed. We all thought he was crazy.
That memory is tinged with sadness, the knowledge of what happened later. All my
memories of James are bittersweet now. But I'll gladly take the bitter with the sweet,
I've only had the bitter for twelve years. All the bad memories – small ones, like
Professor McGonagall giving us detention for some prank or another, or large ones.
Foremost among the latter is the memory of that awful day, Halloween twelve years
ago. It's branded in my memory now, I've relived it so often. And then there is
another horrid memory… me talking to James about my /brilliant/ idea of using Peter
as Secret Keeper. He didn't want to, in the beginning. I convinced him… That
memory nearly cost me my sanity. The knowledge that I wasn't completely innocent
of James' death, although I /was/ innocent of the crimes they'd imprisoned me for. As
a matter of fact, maybe it /did/ cost me my sanity. After all, don't all mad people think
they're sane? But then, if I think I'm insane, I have to be sane, right?
Stop it stop it stop it. You did /not/ survive, sanity intact – yes it /is/ intact – for all
this time to drive yourself mad now, Sirius. Go. Stop Wormtail, find Harry. That was
his name, wasn't it? Harry? Too many happy memories connected with that.
I turn to go, but am riveted by the ocean. The ocean. I never saw it when I was a child
– odd when you're living on an island, right? But I never did. First time I saw it was
with James, Remus and /Peter/, in the summer after our fifth year. I was fascinated,
and I am now. The ocean is so… eternal. Unchanging. The waves were pounding at
the shore before I was born, and they will be long after I'm dead. Odd, that sensation
of being finite. But comforting, too, after Az- that place. Somewhere, somewhen, the
waves are washing up at a sandy beach where James, Remus and I are talking,
laughing, joking, carefree. Somewhere, somewhen, they're washing against the stony
cliffs of Azk- /don't think of it!/
I wish I was like the ocean. The ocean doesn't cry. It doesn't scream. It doesn't feel
despair, it doesn't feel grief, sorrow, pain … Perhaps later, in a few years, I'll change
my mind. Perhaps then, I'll feel happiness again – what is that, anyway? I can't
remember… But for now, I wish I was like the ocean.
I turn and leave.