Chapter 1 : Shared Sadness
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Point-of-view of a young man, late teens
I had been watching him for some time now. I couldn’t have guessed how
long I stood immobile, watching the boy who so many adored and who so many
violently hated. I would not have wished to trade places with him right
now if someone had paid me a thousand galleons.
It had not made the papers. Either the Order or the Ministry had squelched
any news of it. It would have made a juicy tale. The evil murdering bastard
finally vanquished. It made me sick!
Remus brought me the news days later. He and I both knew that he had
been avoiding telling me this devastating news. Excuses had been made,
apologies given. I forgave him immediately. How does a man tell someone
that their life has been inexplicably altered? How does a man shatter another
I didn’t envy Remus either. I had tried to owl him for the last few
months, but every missive was returned unopened. He must have been in his
own private hell. We all had regrets but his were perhaps among the strongest,
among the longest lasting. How could a man lose his best friends one by
one? It had to have scarred him deeply.
The lone wolf stood solitary, hunched and mournful. His loneliness wrapped
around him forever.
I shook my head in annoyance. I had not come here to ruminate about
Remus. I had a more symbolic reason for being here. I had to lay my heart
to rest. Remus had told me to go to Hogwarts, that Dumbledore would not
make trouble for me. He knew what I had learned and what would never be
recognized and understood my need to lay this to rest.
Slowly, I made my way to the main castle where the boy a few years my
junior sat. His hand found the inlaid plaque of a giant dog and rubbed
it absently. I could see the silvery sheen of tears on his cheeks and wondered
if I should be intruding for a moment. Those thoughts quickly left me as
I remembered my purpose. A deep breath helped to cleanse my mind and ease
the agonizing pain in my chest.
I made my way closer, step by plodding step. Each one I took seemed
to increase the tightness, the grief that threatened to overcome me. When
I reached the stone steps, I could only sag boneless down next to the boy
who lovingly stroked the plaque of remembrance.
“What do you want here? Go away!” his voice was needlessly harsh. I
knew not if it was driven by pain or protection but in a strange way I
understood. We were kindred. Our pain made us one.
I swallowed hard past the lump of pure agony in my throat. “I wanted
to pay tribute to him.” My gesture toward the plaque was cut off as the
boy stood and whirled toward me. He was tall and regal as he pulled his
wand out and just for a moment I wondered what it would be like to be him.
“I don’t know you and you haven’t any right to be here!” He waved the
wand around to punctuate a point, but otherwise did not threaten me with
it. “Leave me alone. Just go away!” His voice quavered and tears threatened
to fall again, washing his cheeks with their shimmer.
I felt a rush of guilt at seeing him in this state and turned away to
give him time to compose himself. I needed time to get my emotions under
control as well. When I turned back moments later he looked defeated, his
wand hanging loosely at his side.
“I’m not here to bother you,” I began, my voice threatening to break.
“I’m here to honor him.” My hand shook as I gestured to the plaque. “I
won’t bother you but I…. need a moment. Will you give a stranger that,
He jumped guiltily when he realized that I knew his name but said nothing,
preferring to scan the horizon. I had my moment but now that the time was
near, I had no idea what to say and I just couldn’t bring myself to speak
what was in my heart with Harry Potter nearby.
After minutes of struggling for the words, I finally pulled a flask
out of my robes. “To you, Sirius Black. May you never be forgotten. May
those that loved you never regret a moment spent with you.” I downed two
gulps of the single malt whiskey that Remus had told me was his favorite
and soundlessly offered the flask to Harry.
Harry stared at the flask for a few moments, no doubt worried that I
might have put a potion in with the alcohol. As he watched me, he slowly
brought the flask to his lips and knocked back a healthy swallow. His eyes
watered and he coughed slightly but otherwise he seemed to handle the liquor
“It was his favorite,” I explained. “Remus told me where to find his
favorite whiskey. I wanted….” There were so many things to say but I lacked
Harry’s eyes narrowed as I mentioned Remus but he didn’t speak for a
long time. We stood watching each other, his green eyes meeting my dark
blue. As if we mirrored each other, we both shoved our dark hair away from
our eyes. The too-famous scar marred his forehead. I flushed and looked
away, ashamed for thinking that I wanted to be him for one moment.
Harry Potter had not had an easy life. Yes, he had possessed the thing
that I had most desired, but he had suffered for that in many ways. I wouldn’t
want to be him.
Minutes passed. He tried to read something in my gaze that was not there
and when he could not, his expression again turned hostile. I purposely
made myself conceal the pain that I felt, the longing and ache deep inside
me. I couldn’t share it with him, not now, maybe not ever.
“You’ve done what you came here to do.” His voice rang out. “Now go!
Leave! You don’t belong here! Who are you to him? Why did you come here?”
I turned away and began walking down the path. When I was a half-dozen
steps away, I gazed back at him and swallowed hard, letting the emotion
spill forth. “My name is Nicholas Black. He was my father, though he never
knew about me and we never met.”
The words hung in the air for a few moments before I turned and began
walking away from Harry. Tears streamed down my face every step of the
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