Chapter 1 : Prologue
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At ten years old, Sirius Black was more mature than most boys twice his age. Part of it, of course, stemmed from his birthright. Born the eldest son of one of the oldest and most regal of all wizarding families, some would say his behavior had been so ingrained in his genetics that it was impossible for him to be anything but mature. For the Black family, appearing as anything other than royalty was a disgrace and for young Sirius, as with any child of his age, pleasing his parents was the one thing he was determined to do. So, over time, Sirius had learned to feign smiles at those he despised, laugh at dreadful jokes, and present himself as a prince overseeing his people.
Where genetics could not teach him, his parents gladly filled in the void. His mother skilled him in the finer things like manners, dancing, reverence for ladies and the ability to make anyone believe you cared deeply about their problems whether you actually gave a damn or not. His mother was so skilled in this area that Sirius himself rarely knew if she was listening to him out of love or merely tolerating his presence.
Whereas his mother taught him to be a gentleman, Sirius’ father educated him in the more roguish side of life. He showed Sirius the value of a good bottle of whiskey to ease his troubles; skilled him on the fine art of learning how to hide drunkenness from ne’er do wells; and, took him along for nights out with the men where loud music, gambling, and ladies who were willing to do anything for the right price jaded Sirius’ opinion of the outside world.
Even with all their careful planning and instruction, though, Sirius developed qualities that his parents abhorred. He sought friendships outside the old wizarding families, befriended those less fortunate than him and, perhaps most devastating of all, Sirius Black believed that every person, no matter how dark, had threads of goodness in them that were just waiting to be revealed. In the darkest hours before daylight, Sirius would lay alone in his bed holding desperately to this belief. The idea that one day goodness would reveal itself in his family helped him greet each day with renewed hope and, more importantly, let him believe that even in his darkened heart a light would someday allow him to find true happiness.
More than anyone, it was his uncle who had kept this feeling alive within Sirius. His uncle disagreed with many things Sirius’ parents had taught him or allowed him to witness and each time they were together, Sirius felt loved, wanted, and protected in a way he’d never experienced at home. Sirius felt free to laugh, question without fear of reprimand, enjoy the company of both muggles and mudbloods alike and, let his honest nature shine through. His uncle had instilled a sense of adventure in Sirius and their long nights of conspiring over future mischief always kept Sirius intrigued. So when on an early summer’s eve, long after his parents had retired to bed, a hollow rapping on his bedroom window came, Sirius knew his adventure was just about to begin.
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you'll find something solid to stand on
Or you'll be taught how to fly
– Richard Bach