Title: Black Demon
Summary: "Please," he whispered in her ear, mocking her. "Please." And she couldn't help but wonder if this was the first time he's ever said please before, even if he was just making fun of her. Sirius/Ginny
Disclaimer: I only own the plot.
Author's Note: I found this gem in my forgotten files and decided to make something out of it. A short multi-chapter Sirius/Ginny fic for Christmas. Enjoy!
There was ink of her hands. She stared at it, unsure of how it got there, so sure that it wasn't there a moment ago. Its' smell was as distinct as the smell of blood and it burned her nostrils, making her to want to gag. And just as blood would the ink fell from her hands, splashing down to the chamber floor in a steady drip. Her hands began to shake as the swell of panic rose in Ginny's chest. Frantically she wiped her hands on her damp robes and looked around.
It was happening again.
Shadows played across the large chamber and it made it hard for Ginny to see. But she could hear the slithering of a large body, a snake, somewhere near her. Her shoulders hunched in an attempt to protect herself as her eyes narrowed, trying to find him. Tom, Tom, Tom…
Then she heard it, as if he knew her fear was ready to overwhelm her, that her heart was about to stop, that she was about to get sick from the ink on her hands. Ginny froze, her body aching, as his mocking sigh echoed throughout the chamber. Her head turned slightly to the left and there he was, leaning against one of the cement walls, a statue of a snake right above his form. The shadows covered his face and she was almost thankful that she didn't have to look into his eyes (as deadly as a Basilisk). But Ginny still knew he was watching her, watching her in amusement as she tried to get away from him.
Where could she go, where could she hide, how could she get away from him? Would she ever escape him?
"I'm quite sorry to disappoint you, Ginny dear, but there is no escaping me."
Her fists clenched and unclenched as she stumbled towards a wall on the opposite side of the chamber, cold water splashing up on her feet when she fell into a puddle. Beads of perspiration were breaking out across her forehead and neck, dripping down, leaving goose bumps in its trail. Ginny was positive she had never felt fear like this before, never had her mind and body and heart react in such different ways.
"Why you continue to run from me I don't understand."
His words caused Ginny to turn her head to look at him. Tom still leaned against the wall, his body still, but she could make out his black hair and one of his hands, lazily twirling a wand.
"You are mine."
Run. Just run and get away from him.
"As pathetic as you are… Ginny, get over here."
She shook her head in horror.
"You dare? I am what made you the person you are, I am the very blood that streams through your veins, I have embedded myself in your soul and I will never leave. You do not say no to me, I am your master just as you are my slave-"
"Stop," she pleaded, still crouched on the floor.
The water now dampened the end of her nightgown and she was sure it was freezing her, freezing her body so she could not move, could not look away. Tom was silent for a moment, considering her, before he stepped out of the shadows.
"I said get over here," he paused, his bright eyes studying her. "I've missed you."
He was still as beautiful as Ginny feared. A beautiful nightmare, a devil disguised as an angel, a lion in sheep's clothing… How could anyone fear something so perfect? And yet Ginny flinched away as he stepped closer.
"Get over here!" His words rang throughout the chamber and suddenly he was close, close enough that Ginny could smell him, and she screamed.
His hand grabbed her wrist and yanked her to her feet, the wet floor making her slip. Ginny couldn't stop him from pulling her close (she could never get away) and she was sure her voice would fail her soon, it would because she had never screamed so loud or sobbed as much as she was then, when suddenly he spoke again.
"Your demons do not define you."
But it was not Tom's voice that spoke the words. The words did not scare her and the voice, while hoarse, was familiar. Ginny pushed away, the scream dying in her throat, and opened her eyes.
The room was dark, the only light coming from the fire that was almost out in the hearth. Her eyes took a second to focus but, when they did, she found herself staring at Sirius Black.
"It's just me," he whispered to her, not touching her but close enough on the bed to offer comfort. "You're okay."
Ginny took a deep breath, her heart racing, and looked around the room again. She was at Grimmauld Place, in the bedroom that she could hardly consider her own but, nonetheless, where she slept. Lifting her hand she cried out. Though ink free, she saw dark liquid running from her fingers and pooling in her palm.
"I'm bleeding," she said, her words soft. "What- what did I do?"
Sirius reached over, grabbing her hand. He eyed it before using the edge of his white shirt to dab away the blood. She watched, dazed, as the cleaning revealed a cut on her palm.
"You're fine," he consoled her. "Nipped me a bit too."
And it was true. Three long scratches ran down his cheek. Ginny felt her face flush and willed her need to get ill to go away.
"Don't worry yourself," he continued, releasing her hand. "I can heal my cheek easy."
Ginny nodded and cradled her hand against her chest. She was tired, so tired, and wanted to close her eyes to rest. But she knew what would happen once she did. Just the memory of the dream sent chills up her spine.
"Sirius," his name sounded like a prayer compared to the name that was ringing in her head.
Tom, Tom, Tom.
"Sirius, what are you doing here?"
But as the sweat dripped down her forehead, rolling down and drenching her nightgown, Ginny knew he must have heard her screams. A simple silencing spell would have guaranteed that never to happen but Ginny must have forgotten, too excited for the arrival of Hermione the next morning.
"Would you like some water? Or something to eat?" He ignored her question and Ginny's eyebrows perked in surprise.
"You look like you've seen a ghost," Sirius pointed out.
"I'm sorry if I woke you," Ginny muttered, using her hand to brush the damp curls off her face.
It was a game of dodging questions. Neither really cared.
Sirius shrugged, leaning back on the bed.
"I know what it's like to fear sleeping," he informed her, mimicking her and pushing his long hair out of his face.
Ginny stared at him. As the dream faded away to reality she began to feel much more like herself and less like the cowering child in the chamber. And Ginny realized how stupid she must seem to him. After all he was a grown man and she was nothing but a silly girl experiencing a nightmare. Sirius had lived through so much more, had had so many worse things effect him, and for Ginny to be the one crying out in fear of the darkness…
Ginny stilled. Even Sirius saying it, the way the dreaded name curled off his lips, caused a stab of fear to pierce her.
"You were saying his…" Sirius stopped, as if thinking better of it. "Sometimes it's hard to remember that our nightmares are just that. They are not real-"
"He is very much real. He is what is forcing you into hiding right now," Ginny snapped.
As soon as she said it, though, Ginny regretted it. Sirius' eyes sharpened and he moved further from her, both physically and mentally. The hand of comfort he had extended to her, the words he used to pull her away from Tom's grasp, he was taking it all with him as he stood from her bed. He almost became a part of the shadows then, became a part of the dark just as Tom was in the chamber. His gaunt face, so much like a skeleton, glanced at her before he shrugged again. Sirius went to speak but Ginny jumped forward, the heavy comforter she had brought from the Burrow sliding off her body, and stopped him.
"Do you really believe what you said?"
Her voice was breathless and Sirius stilled, his eyes taking her in. The wood in the hearth cracked as the last of the fire began to disappear.
"That our demons do not define us?"
He continued to stay silent and Ginny felt that fear again, this time for a different reason. Sirius was someone she hardly knew, even after he extended his childhood home to the Order of the Phoenix. She had not been here long and throughout her childhood she had heard the horror stories of him. Fred and George use to tease both Ron and her about how Sirius Black would escape from Azkaban just for them, to skin them alive as punishment for telling their mum about their latest prank. It took a while for Ginny to even get use to his presence, that his face was that of a friend and not a foe.
And it didn't take much to convince Ginny he was someone she could like. He laughed at the twins in the same way she did and worried over Harry more than her own mum. Remus Lupin, her old professor, seemed protective over the man and Dumbledore was often seen speaking gently to him. The random members of the Order Ginny had seen so far also made a point to go speak to Sirius, often receiving a smile from him that would brighten his face.
But just as Sirius needed to earn Ginny's trust she needed to earn his. And she felt she had just lost any she had previously gained.
She paused, licking her lips. The sweat that had drenched her was now making her feel sticky and Ginny could only imagine how she appeared to him. So silly, so stupid… how could she let her temper run free like that? Especially since Lord Voldemort was not Tom Riddle, not to Ginny. Tom was a sweet poison; something you didn't realize was killing you until the last drop of it hit your tongue but yet it was almost enjoyable. He was a drug, a guilty pleasure. He was everything you could want him to be as he drove a knife into you. From what Ginny knew of Voldemort he was not Tom; he was a Frankenstein, damaged and ugly but unlike Frankenstein Voldemort was not kind at heart. He was simply ugly through and through.
"I'm afraid I'll never get away from him."
The fire completely died and Ginny froze, her breath getting caught in her throat. She could feel the bed sink on one side as Sirius sat back down.
"Sometimes I like my demons. It helps me remember…" he trailed off, lost in his thoughts.
Ginny could barely make out his form. She tried to squint her eyes to see him better.
"I want you to know you're not alone. I'm… I'm here for you, Ginny. I understand."
He stood from the bed and moved quietly through her dark bedroom. Her eyes were better adjusted to the darkness now and she followed his form. Sirius paused by her bedroom door and she liked to think he looked back to her before he finally pulled open the door. Some light streamed in from the lanterns in the corridor, blinding her momentarily. Then he shut the door and she was swallowed by darkness again.
Eight Years Later
When Ginny had received the letter she had been sitting at the Burrow, feet propped up on the arm of the couch as she looked through a novel Hermione had given her without really seeing it. It was June and warm, especially in the Burrow where her Mum insisted on keeping the fire burning since her Dad was sick with the flu. It would have been the perfect day to be playing Quidditch, Ginny mused, if she had opted to try out for the Holyhead Harpies again.
Her thoughts that were beginning to border on self-pity disappeared at the sight of the owl at the window. It stared at her with wide eyes before she finally put the book down, leaving it open on an unknown page. With a single hop towards her, the owl lifted its leg. And on it was the letter that would change everything.
She bounded to St. Mungo's, saying goodbye to her parents beforehand with a kiss on the cheek to not arise suspicions. Ginny wasn't sure what to make of the letter. It was from Kingsley, Minister of Magic, asking for her to meet him at St. Mungo's as soon as she was free. She wasn't to tell anyone of their meeting. Kingsley was a family friend, especially after how close the Weasleys' worked with him in the Order of the Phoenix and after the Final Battle. And while Ginny considered herself friendly with the older wizard she never expected to receive any sort of mail from him.
And for it to be a secret meeting at St. Mungo's?
Her heart twisted as she walked down the white hospital corridor on the fifth floor. Kingsley requested her presence in the tearoom, an odd spot to want to meet. She had absolutely no idea what could be going on.
As soon as she approached the tearoom she could see Kingsley's large form sitting at a table alone. Actually, Ginny realized as she looked around, the whole tearoom was empty. He looked up at her arrival and a large smile spread across his face.
"You've arrived quickly," Kingsley said, rising to greet her.
Ginny grinned and hugged the man before they both sat down.
"It seemed important, your letter," Ginny watched Kingsley pour her a cup of tea. "Is everything okay? Is it Harry?"
Kingsley shook his head at that, his gold earring glinting in the artificial light of the room.
"Harry is fine, as are Ron and Neville."
"Oh," Ginny paused, eyeing Kingsley. "Good, I was a bit worried it would have to do with them."
Kingsley didn't respond right away, instead taking a sip of his tea. Clearly he was thinking of how to say whatever it was on his mind. Ginny felt rather restless. She didn't like waiting, especially when whatever Kingsley had to say to her was clearly important.
"Did you realize what yesterday was?"
Yesterday? June 6th? She began to shake her head before pausing. There was something about that date that caused a feeling of dread to wash over her. Ginny's eyebrows furrowed as she tried to remember.
"After so much loss, so much death, in our lifetime dates can sometimes become unimportant," Kingsley told her. "Sirius Black-"
The Department of Mysteries. The Veil. Hi graceful arch backwards into death.
"Sirius," Ginny breathed.
How could she have forgotten? Shame burned her and Ginny shrunk in her seat. Good, kind Sirius who had only been trying to help Harry. It had to be almost… six or seven years now. Ginny closed her eyes, hating herself.
"I didn't bring you here to make you feel bad about yourself," Kingsley's deep voice echoed in the empty room. "There were many more deaths after Sirius. It took me a few minutes to remember the date as well."
Kingsley leaned forward, lowering his voice as he continued to speak.
"I bring you here today, Ginny, because something extraordinary happened last night. I wasn't at the Ministry when I got the alert to a large surge of power in the Department of Mysteries. That isn't exactly uncommon but after all the trouble that has been caused down there," his eyebrows rose and Ginny felt the end of her lips turn up in a smile against her will. "I've decided to keep myself notified if anything significant goes on there. It was barely ten minutes later that Arnold Mackleer, Head of the Department of Mysteries, was urgently requesting my presence in the Death Chamber."
The Death Chamber. Ginny felt a shiver crawl up her back, thinking of the place where Sirius was lost. But as Kingsley continued to speak suspicion begin to nib at her. What was going on exactly?
"What I'm about to tell you, Ginny, you cannot tell another soul."
Ginny stared at Kingsley, unsure if she wanted to make such a commitment. Clearly something had happened in the Death Chamber and yesterday was Sirius' death. Now they were in St. Mungo's… There was something connecting it all but Ginny wasn't sure what. And how could she not agree to speak of any possible news of Sirius when she was so close to Harry-
She focused on the Minister before nodding.
"Of course," she reluctantly agreed. "I won't tell anyone."
Kingsley nodded to himself before he continued telling his story.
"The surge of magic had been coming from the archway and Arnold had just entered the Death Chamber to see someone exit the Veil."
Time stopped. Surely it must have because this did not make sense and Ginny's head wasn't able to wrap around it.
"You don't mean," Ginny tried to speak and stopped.
It was impossible. He was dead, wasn't he? He was suppose to be dead.
"Sirius?" she croaked his name.
"Sirius has returned."
Ginny pushed away from the table, standing up and walking away from Kingsley. She put her hands on her head and just stared at the ceiling. Then she turned back to the Minister, a large smile on her face.
"Is he okay? He's not- is he harmed?"
"He seems perfectly fine," Kingsley responded slowly. "If not a little… agitated."
"When can we see him? Harry will be so happy-"
Kingsley held up a large hand at her words.
"Ah, Ginny, remember what I said. No one can know of this."
Ginny's eyes narrowed and she approached the table.
"You just told me Sirius is alive and well and you aren't going to tell his godson? His godson who happens to be one of your top-notch Aurors and helped you rebuild the wizarding world after the Final Battle."
"I do love how you defend Harry," Kingsley said, chuckling a bit before turning grim again. "There is more to the story."
"Isn't there always?"
Ginny sat down in her original seat.
"What's really going on, Kingsley? Why am I here? Why can't Harry see Sirius?"
He lowered his voice once again.
"There's something different about Sirius. There's a lot different about him, to be honest. As for why you're here… well, your name is the only name he remembers."
Ginny liked to consider herself brave. After all, she had faced Bellatrix Lestrange during the Final Battle, though her mum had been the one to finish off the horrendous witch. She had helped disrupt Snape and the Deatheaters' rule of Hogwarts her sixth year. She had followed Harry and the other to the Department of Mysteries her fourth year and she had survived Tom.
Now, however, she didn't want to open the door to the hospital room because her fear of what was inside of it was overwhelming. Ginny knew what lay behind the door. Kingsley stood beside her, waiting. But he had warned her of the foul temper in the room, of the yelling and cursing she could not hear.
She didn't feel brave now as she waited outside the door. She didn't want to enter, to be honest. She didn't want to be the only one who knew about Sirius. She didn't want to keep a secret from Harry, not when they had just broken up and were trying to remain friends. She didn't want to be a part of this.
But, she supposed, bravery didn't necessary mean wanting to do something you feared. It was just doing it anyway. So Ginny gave Kingsley a tight smile to affirm that she was ready. He placed the tip of his wand on the door, for there was no doorknob to turn to get in. The door cracked open at the wands touch and Ginny pushed it open with her hand. She stepped into the white room, leaving Kingsley outside in the corridor.
Surprisingly, the room was completely silent. It smelt like cigarette smoke, though, and it hung heavy in the air. Ginny's eyes didn't need to scan the room to find him. He was sitting with his back towards her, looking out a window that was shut. In between his pointer and middle finger a cigarette carelessly hung lit, the smoke drifting into the air, forming a cloud around him. Ginny took a deep breath to calm her nerves then wanted to cough, gag.
He turned when he heard her and Ginny froze.
It was Sirius Black. There was no doubt about it. Ginny couldn't move from her spot. Because as much as this was Sirius it wasn't. Ginny instantly remembered the Sirius who she had spent time with at Grimmauld Place. His shaggy hair hung to his shoulders, his face gaunt and his teeth yellowing. He had been happy, though, when he wasn't frustrated at being locked in his childhood home. And he had been kind. He had also been over twenty years her senior. This Sirius, though…
Ginny watched as Sirius' eyes looked over her before meeting her gaze. He raised the cigarette to his lips and took a drag.
This Sirius was not who she remembered. He was young, ridiculously young. If Ginny didn't know any better she'd say he was about her age. His face, which before was wrinkled and bony, was now full and healthy. His hair was no longer long and matted, his body no longer dangerously skinny… his eyes were not bitter. They were just angry.
He blew out smoke when he spoke.
"You must be Ginny."
They continued to stare at each other before Sirius dropped the cigarette to the ground. He didn't bother to stomp it out and Ginny felt a flicker of annoyance break way through her shock.
"You do remember me," she noted softly.
His dark eyebrows rose at her words.
"Not as you are," Sirius slowly said. "You were younger."
It was silent after he spoke. Ginny was tempted to look away but couldn't. As different as this Sirius was before her she could see the similarities. The same eyes, same nose. The way his lips formed words as he spoke. Still tall. Where the Sirius she knew had the haunting look of beauty lost, the Sirius before her was strikingly handsome.
"I want to see Dumbledore."
His words surprised Ginny and she blinked.
"Albus Dumbledore. I want to see him. I need- I need to explain."
Something dark flashed in Sirius' eyes and his hand twitched. Ginny realized he didn't have a wand.
"James and Lily-" he stopped, his voice getting caught in his throat. "I want my wand back. Let me out of here!"
Ginny took a step closer to him and his hand shot up.
"Don't come closer."
"I don't know what's going on here," he growled, standing up from his chair. "I don't know who any of you are, I know this is a trick-"
"A trick? How are we tricking you?"
"That man, Kingsley, he's been filling my head with lies. I won't fall for it. And whatever you're doing here, I don't care. I don't know why you're in my head but I won't tell you anything, none of you."
Ginny wanted to say something to calm him but couldn't find the words. Something was so very wrong here; something that Kingsley seemed unable to properly tell her. Before she had entered the hospital room, Kingsley had warned Ginny that Sirius' memory seemed faulty. He didn't seem to recall any recent events; and by recent, any events from before Azkaban. However… Sirius did remember Ginny.
But Sirius clearly didn't realize that Kingsley and Ginny were friends of his, not enemies. He looked momentarily panicked. And he had no wand. Did he think they took him prisoner? But why would he think that?
"Sirius," Ginny wanted to touch him, calm him. "Sirius, it's okay."
"Piss off," Sirius snapped, falling back into his seat.
He looked helpless as he put his head in his hands.
And Ginny felt like a fish out of water, just gaping at him. Sirius seemed uninterested in her and she took a step back. She needed to see Kingsley, she needed answers.
"I killed them," she thought she heard him moan before she pulled open the hospital door and stepped into the corridor.
Kingsley was standing there, arms crossed. As their eyes met, he sighed.
"Now you see the issue."
"What was that?" Ginny asked, her voice high. "Why doesn't he remember anything? James and Lily- he means James and Lily Potter?"
"Harry's parents, yes," Kingsley agreed. "That's why I can't have Harry knowing he's here. Not till we get his memory sorted out. Somehow the veil has transformed him."
"More like took the Sirius from twenty years ago and brought him here, lack of memory and all."
"Exactly. Come, let's go back to the tearoom."
They walked next to each other as they went back to the empty tearoom. Ginny knew for a fact that normally the room was bustling with people who had family and friends at St. Mungo's. Somehow Kingsley had made sure the whole floor stayed empty while Sirius stayed in the locked room.
As soon as they entered the tearoom neither went to sit down. Instead they stood opposite each other as Kingsley began to express his thoughts.
"I believe, along with Arnold Mackleer, that somehow the veil changed him both body and mind. His memory has clearly been altered. I'm not sure whether he believes us to be Ministry or Deatheaters… but he believes he is being held against his will."
"He is being held against his will."
"For his own protection," Kingsley pointed out sharply, though his words weren't unkind. "We need to keep an eye on him. We can only hope his memory will return so he can be released out into the public. If not, it will be quite a culture shock to send him out into the real world when the last thing he remembers is the early 80's."
They were both silent before speaking at the same time.
"What are you going to do with him?"
"Now, perhaps, you see why I wanted you here."
Ginny brushed a curl from her face.
"No," Ginny sighed. "I don't…"
She trailed off and tilted her head in thought.
"Why does he remember me? He knew who I was as soon as I walked through that door."
Kingsley lifted his shoulders in a shrug.
"Your guess is as good as ours. But your presence will only help ease him. I'd like you to stay here with him."
Ginny let out a burst of surprised laughter.
"Stay here? At St. Mungo's? With Sirius? Are you mad? You saw what happened when Sirius was locked in a house for a few months so you want to keep him locked in a single room until he regains his memory- which we don't even know for sure is going to happen?"
Ginny took a deep breath before continuing her rant.
"And I have a life! My family would know right away if I wasn't home all the time, I have friends, I have to practice Quidditch, what about Harry, he'd know-"
Kingsley reached out and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Ginny," he began softly. "You're right. We can't keep Sirius here. We'll have to plan for somewhere else… But I know you didn't try out for the Holyhead Harpies this year, your father had told me. And I also know that you and Harry have broken up. I need you to help me with this. Sirius needs you. You just pointed out how horrible an idea it would be to keep him locked up here. And there is some link between you and him, a link that needs to be explored in order to help him."
She was being used. Ginny's cheeks burned and she gnawed at her bottom lip.
"Wouldn't this be the perfect time to get away?"
"We broke up months ago," Ginny replied shortly, opting to talk about her breakup than the situation at hand.
"But your family doesn't know, not really."
"How do you know?" she snapped, folding her arms across her chest.
"I tend to have a calming effect on people," Kingsley said, squeezing her shoulder. "Harry might have accidentally mentioned it to me. And anytime there's a breakup it's the perfect time to go on a holiday."
She wanted to shake his hand off her shoulder, to go back to the Burrow. She wished she had tried out for the Holyhead Harpies. She wished she never responded to the letter, that she didn't agree to tell no one of the secret that Sirius was alive. But she couldn't change the past. Ginny sighed before nodding.
"Thank you. I'll figure out the arrangements."