Well I've never written Fanficiton for a book before, and I never really thought about writing for Harry Potter (I have a thing about messing with perfection)…but a friend asked me to write her this so…Happy Seventeenth Birthday. You know who you are.
Disclaimer: I claim rights to nothing.
Spoilers: Not really…
"Hey Sirius," Harry said walking into his godfather's room without knocking, "Mrs. Weasley wants to know what we should do with all the old books."
"Burn them probably," Sirius said bitterly, "They're all self-righteous pure blood nonsense knowing my mother."
"You sure?" Harry asked. "Tonks seems to think you might be able to get some real money out of them."
"Burn them," Sirius repeated, "I don't want them or any money that comes from knowing I've helped spread those lies to others."
Harry looked at Sirius for a minute. He knew his godfather was growing frustrated of being cooped up inside the house, and he also suspected having a large group of people digging through his family's less than savory past was not helping matters either. Still Sirius seemed to be brooding even more than usual. It was then Harry notices an old, faded photograph lying in Sirius's lap.
"Who's she?' Harry asked gesturing to the picture. It was a photo of a girl about his age, maybe a few years older. She had dark brown and large green eyes. She was certainly pretty, but Harry wondered why Sirius was staring at a photo of a girl who could easily have been his daughter.
"Her name is Isabel," Sirius replied, "She was at Hogwarts with your parents and I."
"Oh," Harry said, realizing belatedly that the photo was an old one and the occupant had almost certainly aged since it was taken. It also occurred to him that the girl was not moving.
Seeming to read Harry's mind, Sirius told him, "it was taken on a family vacation one summer. Her parents were muggles so their photographs don't move. She gave it to me when we graduated."
Harry wanted to know more, but a voice in the back of his head, it sounded a lot like Hermione's, was telling him to be tactful. "Was she a friend of yours?" he asked awkwardly.
"We dated," Sirius replied, "for our last two and a half years at Hogwarts. I felt about her the way James felt about your mother."
Harry was silent unsure of what else to say. Sirius too was silent and staring at the motionless picture he found himself transported back in time.
Sirius pulled another book off the self and added it to the pile at his feet. Now he could see her clearly. She was sitting with a group of friends, mostly other Ravenclaws, but he recognized at least one Hufflepuff among the group. She and the Hufflepuff girl, Siruis though her name might be Katharine, but he was not sure nor did he particularly care, had their heads together and were looking at a large textbook, which Sirius recognized as their Potions book. It looked like she was explaining the concept, but Katharine just shook her head looking away from the book she caught Sirius's eye and nudged her friend, pointing to the bookcase.
Sirius ducked out of sight behind the bookcase, and when he peaked back out, he saw that she was no longer at the take with her friends. He was surveying the library trying to see where she might have gone when a voice behind him made him jump.
"Can I help you?" Isabel demanded one hand on her him, glaring at him a little.
"I was just wondering," he paused, the English language was failing him when he need it to work most, "would you maybe like to—possibly could you—if your free—and if you want to—"
"Look," Isabel told him, a little annoyed, "I have things I need to do. If you have something to say just say it."
"Do you want to meet me at the Three Broomsticks and have a butterbeer when everyone goes into Hogsmeade this weekend?" he asked her, the words coming out in a jumbled rush even though he had been planning this encounter for weeks.
"Will it get you to stop staring at me from behind bookcases?" she asked him. Sirius nodded mutely. "Eleven thirty" she told him before turning and walking back to her table.
All these years later Sirius thought he caught a faint smell of her perfume in the air, but he knew he must of imagined it. He smelled it from time to time, just as he every now and then he thought he caught a glimpse of her. It had happened more during the time he spent living in a cave just outside of Hogsmeade because he could see the village where they had spent so much time together.
Sirius glanced at his watch nervously. He had been sitting a one of the small tables in the corner since eleven o'clock, but now as the minute hand on his watch advanced slowly towards the 30-minute mark, he grew increasingly anxious. What if she did not come?
Suddenly the door swung open and he saw her step inside with a small flurry of snow, and he was relieved both that she was there and that her group of friends was not. He tried to relax and keep his cool. James and Remus had both made fun of him, but they would understand someday.
"Hello," Isabel said sitting down at the table across from Sirius.
"Hello," he said a little hoarsely.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked him.
"Honestly," he replied, "I didn't think you'd come."
Isabel surveyed him for a moment. "I wasn't sure either," she admitted, "but I told you I would and I wasn't very well going to stand you up."
"Thanks," he said earnestly.
"You're different," she told him after a moment, her head cocked a little to one side as she studied him.
"I am?" he asked confused.
"Yeah," she said, "I always see you hanging out with James, and I thought you were like him, a bit full of yourself, but I don't think you are."
"He's not really," Sirius said in a half-hearted effort to defend his friend from an accusation he knew was true, "you just have to get to know him."
"I'd rather get to know you," she replied with a smile.
"I'd like that too," Sirius told her feeling a bit more sure of himself.
So they had gotten to know each other, slowly over the course of several months. Most of the time they just talked as they walked the grounds or the streets of Hogsmeade. More than once she helped him with his Potions homework to prevent him from receiving failing marks. She was one of the only ones who ever showed Snape up in Potions class and Sirius gloried in that, though not in front of Isabel, who like Lily, disapproved of their torment of Severus. It was not really dating at first, though he would later call it so when asked about their relationship. That came later on a warm spring day towards the end of their fifth year.
They were sitting together on a blanket by the lake, a transfiguration textbook lay forgotten nearby. "It's beautiful today," Isabel remarked, looking out across the water.
"It is," Sirius agreed. Nearby he could see James, Remus, and Peter playing catch. Every once and a while Peter would miss, the ball would fly into the lake, and James would retrieve it with a lazy flick of his wand.
After a while, Remus seemed to grow tired of the game and walked over to where the pair sat. "If your not using that," he said gesturing to the book, "may I borrow it? There are a few things I want to go over before our exam tomorrow."
Sirius glanced at Isabel, but she nodded. He got the impression that she liked Remus more than either Peter or James. He could understand that. If James had not been his best mate for so long he probably would not put up with him either. To be fair, Sirius also usually thoroughly enjoyed James antics, but he could understand how others would not.
"Go ahead," he told Remus.
"Thanks," Remus replied with a smile to both him and Isabel before walking off to sit under a tree with the book open in his lap, quietly murmuring things under his breath.
Sirius laid back on the blanket staring up at the bright blue sky. Gently he tugged at Isabel's sleeve until she laid down next to him, her head resting on her arm. "Look at that," he said pointing to a cloud with his free arm, "looks like a hippogriff doesn't it?"
"Not really," Isabel replied.
"Well that one looks like a broomstick," Sirius tried again, pointing out another cloud.
"Not really," Isabel said again.
"You know," Sirius said turning his head to look at her, "sometimes you just aren't any fun."
"I'm plenty of fun," she told him, "You just pick back clouds. That one looks like the giant squid."
"Does not," Sirius argued squinting at the white blob, which resembled a sheep more than anything else.
"Does too," Isabel told him with a lazy flick of her wand and a murmured word. The cloud suddenly reformed into a perfect outline of the giant squid, one tentacle raised, waving.
"Where did you learn to do that?" Sirius asked moderately impressed.
"It's in the back of our Charms book," she told him.
"We have a Charms book?" Sirius asked.
"Some of us do," she told him with a small smile, turning her head to look at him so their faces were only a few inches apart.
"I really like you," Sirius said, immediately frustrated by how juvenile that sounded.
"I like you too," she replied. Keeping her voice, like Sirius's, barely more than a whisper. There was no need to speak loudly.
"No," he told her, "I mean—"
"I know what you mean," she interrupted him.
For a moment, they just laid there looking into each other's eyes, feeling the warmth of the sun and letting the cheerful chatter of their fellow students become a nondescript roar. Then without though, reacting on instinct alone, Sirius closed the distance placing his lips on hers, hesitant at first but then stronger, more confident.
Sirius shook his head looking down at the photo. It had been so long since he had thought about those warm sunny days. He had found the picture in his bedside draw when he was cleaning out his bedroom, and in fact he had forgotten it even still existed. His mother had attempted to destroy every relic of her from the house years ago, reminding Sirius that Blacks did not associate with Mudblood filth. A few years later she had attempted to remove every trace of Sirius himself from the house, except strangely enough his room, which had been left untouched. He supposed it was because not one was willing to deal with it.
"So you were together?" Harry asked tentatively.
Sirius laughed his bark-like laugh. "She was my closest friend," Sirius said, "besides your father of course, and yeah we were together."
"What happened to her?" Harry asked, wondering if she too had fallen victim to Voldemort or his death eaters.
"As far as I know she still works at St. Mungo's," he replied, "She's one of their chief healers."
"Did she end it?" Harry asked, not sure why he was asking his godfather all these personal questions, but realizing as he did so that he knew very little about Sirius's life. Harry had always imagined him as his father's partner in crime and constant companion, but it occurred to him now that Sirius must have had his own life.
"No," Sirius said shaking his head, "I ended it."
"Can you believe it?" Isabel asked as they walked along the lakeshore, "Our years at Hogwarts are over. We take that train home tomorrow, and we're never coming back."
"Yeah," Sirius said distractedly, "It seems like yesterday we were standing in the Great Hall waiting to be sorted, and now we're going out into the real world."
"Yeah," Isabel said with a nod, "It's a dangerous world out there."
"It's getting worse everyday," Sirius said quietly.
"That's why I want to be a healer," Isabel told him, "I want to help."
Sirius was quiet. He did not want to say what he knew he had to. He and Isabel came from different worlds. She had spent her entire magical life at Hogwarts, where it was safe and all the horrible things took place far away. Sirius had seen some of those horrible actions first hand, many of them committed by members of his old family. He hated them, all of them, for what they were and what they'd done, but he could not escape them. She could, and he had to save her from it.
"I've been looking at apartment's we could rent in London," she said after a few moments of silence.
Sirius steeled himself. "I can't," he told her.
"Can't what?" she asked.
"I can't live with you in London," he explained.
"Why?" she said, furrowing her eyebrows.
"Because tomorrow," he said, "tomorrow has to be goodbye forever."
Isabel was quiet. "Is this because of your family?" she asked him.
"Yes," he replied.
"I thought you said you didn't care what they thought," she said, her voice sharper that it usually was with him.
"I don't," he said, "but I know them, and I know what they're wrapped up in. I know how dangerous it is, and I don't want you to get mixed up in that."
"What if I don't care?" she demanded.
"I do," he said simply.
"Everywhere is dangerous these days," she pointed out, "with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named gaining power. What difference does it make?"
"Because out there in the world, you are talented, but you are average. All the right people know your name, but most of the bad ones don't. With any luck you can keep it that way," he told her. "In my family, there isn't that option."
"You're exaggerating," Isabel told him.
"I'm not," Sirius told her, "Do you remember my cousin, Bellatrix?"
"Sure," Isabel said, "She graduated a few years ago didn't she?"
"Yeah," Sirius replied, "and she's already on her way to becoming He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's chief lieutenant."
Isabel looked at him, realizing for the first time, just how little she truly knew about Sirius's family. He had explained a long time ago why he never wanted her to meet them, and she respected that. Now she wondered whether she should have pushed harder, but she knew him and she supposed that was what really mattered.
"I didn't know," she said.
"I'm glad," he replied.
"It wouldn't have changed anything," she told him.
"It should have," he said. She could see the bitterness in his eyes.
"Maybe," she replied, "but it wouldn't have."
"I'm not going to change my mind," he told her.
"I know," she replied quietly, "that's why I'm not arguing. I know I can't stop you, and I don't want to spend our last days together angry."
Sirius saw the sincerity in her eyes and was reminded for the hundredth time that day why he loved her. He knew that he was never going to find another girl like her no matter how long he lived, but of course his life expectancy was not all that long. Maybe if by some miracle he was still alive when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was vanquished, maybe then he could seek her out and they could start anew, but he doubted that day would ever come. So he did not say a word.
"I love you," she told him.
"I love you too," he replied taking her hand in his as they continued their walk around the lake, "I always will."
"If you loved her why'd you leave her?" Harry asked perplexed.
"Because I was already planning to join the Order of the Phoenix," he said.
"She wouldn't have wanted to join?" Harry asked.
"No," Sirius said, "She'd have done it without hesitation. That was the problem." Harry looked at him. "You've seen the pictures. Very few of those people are still alive. I never expected to live this long, most of us didn't."
"You could have made it work," Harry protested.
"Maybe," Sirius said, "But I think it would have been selfish. She had the chance to have a career, to save lives, and maybe settle down, and have kids. I was never going to be able to give her that."
He looked at Harry for a moment realizing that his godson was in the same position. As long as Voldemort lived, there could be no chance of normalcy. One of them would have to die for Harry to know peace. Sirius shook his head because that thought scared him. Harry was the closest thing to family he had known since James died.
"I still don't understand," Harry told him.
"You will one day," Sirius said, "one day you'll walk away from someone you love because it's the only way to protect them."
Okay…there you go. Hope you liked it.