"Pause, you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of that first link on one memorable day." - Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
- Found in the prison cell of Azkaban-escapee, Sirius Lee Black, age 32, imprisoned November 9th, 1981, upon the inspection after his escape on July 31, 1994.Prologue
My name is Sirius Black and I am innocent. The guards in here don't see much, in fact they don't see anything, they're blind, but that's not what I meant. But I was able to sneak a few things in here with me, some parchment, a quill and some ink, a few photographs, just what was in my robes when I left. They took my wand, but they didn't snap it. I know that. I would have felt it. It's not much but it's all I have. Maybe writing will me forget. Nothing else does. But if I concentrate on yesterday maybe it will take my mind off today.
I am innocent. I know I said that before, but it deserves repeating. Even if I'm the only one who will hear it. No matter what happens I must hold on to that if nothing else. Even if I can't remember my name or why I'm in here, I must remember that. Because I am sentenced to spent the rest of my life here. Since I was only twenty-one when I was sentenced, I have a long wait. But I'm here for a crime I didn't commit.
They say I betrayed Lily and James and murdered 13 people including Peter. But I didn't. They say I was working for Voldemort. But I wasn't. They say I'm mad. They may be right.
I didn't do it. But Peter did. I would have never thought of him. That little cowardly Peter was the spy. No one else did.
I wonder what Moony is thinking right now. It is the full moon tonight. I know. Somehow all those nighttime outings must have started some kind of lunar clock in my mind. I can always tell. How could I have suspected him? He was my truest friend. I wish I had told him. Or at least told Dumbledore. I wonder if he believes the stories or does he still believe in me? No, he couldn't. Not even my old teacher could trust me now.
No one knows the truth. No ones ever even heard about it besides my ranting. There is no evidence to support me. All the facts point to me.
I wonder how old Harry is. Does he still look like James? Does he even know who I am? Does he know the story that his parents were betrayed by their best friend?
I can still remember holding him. His big bright green eyes smiling up at me as if he knew who I was. I remember him on the night it all happened. When I found him he was crying by his mothers body. I couldn't look at Lily or James in the other room, or what used to be a room. So I looked at Harry. He was so sweet and soon he fell asleep. Then Hagrid took him and I had nothing left but to look for the murdering traitor who did this.
I feel sometimes, as if I have been here forever. That my life before this, my friends, my family, everything was all a happy dream. But then I remember there is no such thing anymore.
I feel as though I've lived a thousand years. And I might as well have. I have seen more in my short life than most people see in ten lifetimes. I don't know how old I am. I don't know if I'm twenty-five or fifty. I don't know if Addi's alive or Remus or Mari. I miss Mari so much, it hurts to wake up and remember she isn't here beside me. I miss all my friends so much. I don't know how I live each day. But that is how I live. One day at a time. But I don't even want that. I want James and Lily to be alive. I want everything to go back to how it was. But I know that can never be.
Do you know, there was a time when I didn't wake up screaming the names of those I've killed or wronged. There was a time I could sleep soundly, Prongs used to say, " the only time he does look innocent is when he's sleeping." Sleeping is the easy part. What haunts me are the nightmares. Almost every night I am forced to relive my mistake over and over until I'm ready to scream. But I don't scream. The others do, but I don't. I screamed everything out my first week here. I've nothing left, other than what I am going to tell you now.
I don't know how many years have passed since I got here. I kept track on the wall for a while but then, I just gave up. You can still see the scratches other prisoners have made to keep track of the time including mine. Every day blends into the next till you lose track of everything. The only way I know a year has passed is the minister's yearly inspection, which just happened. It's been so long since I've seen daylight; I hardly remember what it looks like any more. But I have to forget where I am. If I stay here too long...
Here it goes.