Chapter 75 : I'll Be There For You Through It All, Even If Saving You Sends Me To Heaven
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I will never let you fall
I'll stand up with you forever
I'll be there for you through it all
Even if saving you sends me to heaven
-Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Anastasia had already carried Aldan and Will in from the bike. I had sat outside for a bit; it was a cool, pleasant night. I pondered a bit over the mess our lives had become.
Eventually, I got up, sighing, and walked in through the already-open front door.
Anastasia came from the kitchen, and grabbed my wrist, pulling me from where she had come. “Er, Sirius? Remus is here with some . . . Confusing news.”
I looked to Remus. (The sickly, raged-looking Remus.) He shot me a cryptic look. But I knew what cryptic meant; what we had feared - and dearly hoped to be untrue - was actually coming true.
“Peter sold Lily and James out to Voldemort.”
THAT LITTLE FUCKER IS GOING TO DIE!
Thankfully, I did not have a kid in my hand . . . If I had, he probably would have been thrown angrily to the floor. Instead, I kicked the table, which was nearby.
“Fuck! I’m going to kill that little fucker . . . Lily . . . James . . . Save.”
I spent the next few minutes, swearing and plotting to save James and Lily from their terrible fate, and convincing Anastasia that she couldn’t help because someone needed to watch the kids. In actuality, I was afraid for her, but I couldn’t tell her that.
Just as I was making my way from the door, she yelled, “Sirius! Get your arse back over here, right now!”
I’m sorry, Anastasia, but I can’t do that.
“No! I’m going to save my best mate!” I grabbed my coat, threw it on, and reached for the door.
“Why can’t I?” she demanded.
“Someone needs to stay with the kids,” I reasoned, glad I was quickly able to come up with a legitimate excuse that wouldn’t end in Anastasia screaming at me.
“Remus will! Look, just because I’m not big and strong and a boy doesn’t mean I can’t help save our best friends’ lives.”
And, at the worst of times possible, Remus exited the kids’ bedroom and said, “Aldan and William are asleep.” He pretty much just solidified Anastasia’s argument. And I was going to have to pummel him for it later, because I did not want her out there.
As strong as she may think she is, and as strong as she actually is, she gets so easily distracted. It would be too easy to take advantage of it . . .
And, as I knew, Anastasia took Remus’ words to back her up. “See! He’s great with the kids!”
I knew I wouldn’t win with her. But I wanted no part of her going to a house where Voldemort could be at any time. Instead, I decided to send her on what I knew would be a wild goose chase. “Go look for Peter.”
With no more exchanges, I slammed the door behind me, ran down the pathway, jumped on my bike, and took off into the atmosphere under the cover of darkness.
I couldn’t simply Apparate into Godric’s Hollow - under our own protections, Godric’s Hollow was completely impervious to Apparation.
I suppose I’d never actually counted on needing to get to Godric’s Hollow in a hurry - I had continually told myself that Voldemort wasn’t actually going after Lily, James, and Harry. That their hiding was only a precaution.
That’s why I hadn’t counted on the bike not going fast enough. Flying at a normal speed, it was about fifteen minutes to Godric’s Hollow.
But a terrible, nauseating feeling in my stomach told me that normal speed wasn’t going to cut it. I urged the bike faster, and faster. I hit the maximum speed and still tried to get the bike to go faster. It didn’t matter if my bike broke; it was important, but I certainly wouldn’t need the bike anymore if the Potters didn’t live through this - this . . . whatever it was.
I could see the town of Godric’s Hollow. The motor whined as I pushed it faster.
I could see Lily and James’ house - thankfully, fully in tact.
And then . . . It wasn’t.
I was flying above and just to the left of the house when a room on the right of the top floor - I was pretty sure it was the bedroom - exploded. I could hear the glass of the windows shatter. I saw the roof shatter into millions of pieces. It sounded as I imagine an avalanche might as it crumbled to pieces.
For a moment, all I could do was look back. The destruction of my best friends’ home was like a train wreck.
And then, I came to my senses. I made a sharp turn and pulled back towards the house. My bike and I came to a crashing landing on the street just outside. I tore open the gate and ran in through the already-blasted front door. Then, I stopped dead.
James was lying on the ground, motionless. There was a pool of blood around his head; I presumed he’d hit his head on the way to the ground, because the table just next to him had a bit of blood on it, as well.
James is dead. James. My best friend . . .
Seeing him there, in all his lifeless glory didn’t quite hit me the way you expected the death of your best mate to. Perhaps it was because of the cry I heard overhead. It was unmistakably infantile.
I sprang from my kneeling position and thundered up the stairs, straight to the bedroom. Most of the upstairs look unharmed, but the door of the bedroom was blasted away, and the walls were singed. I tentatively stepped into the room. It was a miracle that Harry was still alive.
Puffs of thick, grey smoke furled from the jagged, destroyed walls. Any furniture that had been lining those walls was gone. Either disintegrated in the explosion, or fallen over into the bushes outside.
I figured Lily had been around there somewhere, and I hoped that her body hadn’t been lost in whatever sort of fight had gone on. I found her fallen body around the corner, untouched by the explosion.
I wasn’t sure whether to be sad that she was dead, or happy that she was dead and still in-tact.
Once I knew that Lily was in that state, I rushed to Harry. He was in his crib. I peered over the side and found him looking up blandly at me and had a strange, lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead.
I picked him up quickly and hugged him tightly.
“Now how the hell are you still alive?” I wondered aloud.
Voldemort had obviously gotten to James and Lily - accomplished wizards who’d defied Voldemort before. Harry, just a baby, got away with his life.
Did he cause the explosion?
Where has Voldemort gone?
All questions I wanted answered, but didn’t know how.
I hurried out of the house, wanting to bring Lily and James’ bodies with me, but deciding to leave the task to the Aurors who would undoubtedly be arriving on the scene momentarily. Harry was far more important at the moment.
I stood outside, on the street, looking up at the house sadly and ignoring the Muggle who were beginning to swarm the scene.
I cursed and swore at no one. “Fuck! Fuck! VOLDEMORT, YOU BASTARD!”
I stomped and screamed some more, Harry held tightly in my hands.
Heavy footfalls temporarily distracted me. “Oh, ‘ello there, Sirius. I see you’ve got Harry.”
I turned to see Hagrid walking towards me. “I was going to bring him back with us.”
Hagrid shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry, Sirius. I’ve got strict orders from Dumbledore; I’m ‘sposed bring ‘im to ‘im, right away.”
“No! You can’t! Lily and James are dead - it’s my job to take care of him!” There was a note of madness in my voice, and it wasn’t lost to Hagrid.
“I know you love ‘im, but I’ve got to-”
I held Harry - wrapped in a blanket and sniffling uncomfortably - against me. “No! Do you know what I had to see?! I watched the house explode flying just overhead; I wasn’t even a minute too late! It’s practically my fault!
“I went into the house and saw James lying there. Still as stone. Dead. Then I got to see Lily in the same way . . . Sound peachy? WELL IT SURE AS HELL WASN’T!”
I stood there, still holding Harry and breathing heavily in distress.
“Sirius. It’s on Dumbledore’s-”
I didn’t feel like arguing anymore. I was too void of energy and spare emotion. And if Dumbledore had requested it, there shouldn’t be any arguing from me. I handed the baby to Hagrid.
Then, I looked sadly back at the motorcycle. The one that I had found outside my house just hours before - a gift from Lily and James. It pained me to look at it, and to know I hadn’t gotten there in time. “Here. Take it, I won’t need it anymore.”
Hagrid looked sadly at me, and patted me consolingly on the back. “Thanks, Sirius. See you ‘round.” He got on the bike with Harry all bundled up and flew away.
Soon after, Oliviators and Aurors began to arrive. I didn’t want to talk to any of them; they could find what I had for themselves. I slipped away without them noticing and began to walk down the streets of Godric’s Hollow, not knowing where I was going.
Then, a quiet voice scared the hell out of me, eerily whispering, “Sirius.”
“Fuck!” I jumped nearly a meter in the air and clutched my hand to my racing heart. A millisecond later, I had registered the voice as Anastasia’s. “What are you doing here?” I spat. I hadn’t intended to be mean, but I was having trouble regulating my emotions at the moment.
“I couldn’t find Peter. There’s no one at Headquarters . . . Something’s going on here.”
“Yeah?” he spat. “Well, we’ve got bigger problems. Lily and James are dead.”
Anastasia’s face fell, but before she could respond, I jumped. The two-way mirror that I always carried was in my pocket.
James has the other one! James has the other one!
For a moment I was elated. It was all a trap! Lily and James weren’t actually dead! Those bodies I had seen were fakes!
I pulled the mirror excitedly out of my pocket. “It’s Remus.” I’d forgotten that we gave him the other one when he went away to live with the werewolves.
“Sirius!” Remus gasped. “I don’t know if Anna’s with you, but you’ve got to find her and get to Headquarters, straight away.” He disappeared immediately after and there was nothing we could do but follow the instructions he’d given us.
We walked to the edge of town, then I grasped Anastasia's hand tightly and together we Apparated to Headquarters.
When we got back from Headquarters, I was ready and raring to go after Peter. I was a bit shaky in my Apparation and we landed roughly in front of the house. Then, Anna looked questioningly towards our house. “Where the hell are the kids?”
I had no idea. But Remus appeared next to us immediately after and answered, “Aldan and William are next door . . . I explained that there was an emergency and they were more than kind at being disturbed so late at night.”
Well, that’s nice of them, I suppose.
But I had no time to worry about that at the moment. Still pissed from earlier, I stomped into the house, picked up a sack from the closet, and threw various potions and food items into it. I picked up the coat I had thrown off earlier and got ready to depart once again.
Remus left to go retrieve Al and Will from the neighbor’s. While he was gone, I walked over to Anastasia. I grabbed one of her hands and turned her around to face me. Then, I kissed her forehead. “I know you want to come with me, but I need you to wait here. If Remus is right, that bastard will be here looking for us.”
She looked up and nodded silently.
And then, I did what I probably shouldn’t have, if the past held any truth. But I couldn’t stop it from coming out. “Anastasia, no matter what happens, I am always going to love you . . . I know, I know, you probably don’t want me getting all mushy on you, but I have to say it. Now that Lily and James have-have-have . . . gone, it’s really hard for me to keep what I feel inside.”
She bit her lip. It was endearing (and quite a turn on.) “Sirius, I love you, too.”
“Come here, nutter.” I grabbed her tightly and lifted her off the floor, as if she was as tall as me. “I’m going to come back a completely innocent man, and Peter will be in the hands of the Dementors. And you, and me, and Remus are going to live a happy, happy life. Okay?”
Anastasia nodded, still biting her lip. Then, without warning, she threw her face into mine. Our lips clashed together so harshly that our teeth clicked. But I felt good; even if she couldn’t say it, Anastasia showed me that she felt just as I did.
As I pulled away and left the house, it occurred to me that the kiss may have to last a lifetime.
No . . . I won’t think about that. I will get out of this alive.
A day I spent, scouring the country-side of England and it's surrounding countries.
At the Order meeting, Remus had pointed out the unlikely-hood of Peter leaving the job unfinished. Until I was framed for being on Voldemort’s side, the little shit head wouldn’t leave.
I went from London, to Hogwarts, to Surrey, to Somerset. I went to Scotland, to Ireland and to Whales. He was no where to be found.
I estimated that it was approximately a day later when the mirror in my pocket flared.
I yanked it out of my pocket, frustrated with not being able to find the rat, and tersely said, “What?”
Anastasia looked frantic on the other end. “Get back here, now . . . Peter’s here.”
I didn’t even give myself a chance to say good-bye. I cut off the connection and shoved the mirror back in my pocket.
I Apparated home immediately. I was frustrated about how long it took; nearly fifteen seconds, because of the distance.
But soon enough, the squeezing feeling stopped, and I was on the street just in front of my house. Anastasia was already running around, taunting Peter and yelling.
“You better hope the Aurors get here before I find you, Peter,” I warned. “You’d be better off in the hands of the dementors than me!”
I heard a squeak from somewhere in garden. The grass rippled as the rat-Peter made a dash for the street.
“Barricade it!” Anastasia screamed.
I saw the rat leap onto the street and brought my wand crashing down against the atmosphere. I was knocked slightly off-balance when an invisible bubble popped up around us.
Peter was scurrying around frantically, trying to find a week spot. But he wouldn’t. I always was better in school. Meanwhile, our neighbours began to come outside to investigate the commotion.
With no where to run, Peter turned back into himself. The Muggles around gasped.
“Not cool, little man,” I heard Anastasia cry, from where she still was in the garden. “You had some of the coolest friends in the world. And let me assure you - they are all gone.
“Petrificus totalus!” While Peter was distracted, I caught the bastard off-guard. Not the most honorable thing to do - to get your enemy while their back is turned - but being a traitor is way worse, I decided.
Peter fell to the ground and I slowly made my way over to him. In the darkness, I didn’t register the arrival of someone else, or them taking down the shield I had created. But sure enough, there was a Death Eater standing directly next to me.
Anastasia, who had been slowly making her way over to the fight, was forcefully throw back.
I was glad; if she joined the fight, she could be hurt much, much worse. But, it did give me incentive to seriously hurt the evil bastard. No one touches my girl and gets away with it.
But even with Peter being the dunce that he is, two was better than one, and the Death Eater was obviously skilled. He’d freed Peter, and this time it was me lying flat on my back.
Across the way, I heard Anastasia yelling and screaming and swearing. I couldn’t even turn my head to look at her. But suddenly, she was silent. I wasn’t quite sure what our enemies had done to her, but I knew she wouldn’t shut up of her own accord.
“Sirius? How could you!? Lily and James . . .” Peter was standing above me.
And he was lying.
My blood boiled. There were no words for just how angry I was over what he was about to do.
We’d been friends with the ungrateful little fucker for over ten years. He was family to us.
Then, he went and betrayed our closest friends.
Then, in the most cowardly fucking fashion out there, he denies it, and tries to pin the blame on me.
The anger coursing through my body fought through the spell he had on me. I could only move my mouth, but it was enough to raggedly whisper, “You lying bastard.”
Then, I was free. I knew it was Peter that had let me go. Perhaps he was afraid I could fight off the rest of my spell with my unintentional magic. I didn’t even take a second to breathe before my wand was out and pointing at Peter’s neck.
But before I could utter that unforgivable curse to avenge the deaths of Lily and James, Peter brought his wand down, slicing through the air. My face fell; I knew exactly what he was doing. It was a set-up . . . And he’d bested me.
The spell - obviously Dark Magic - ripped up the street in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible with a single spell. Fire erupted, our innocent neighbor who had come to see the commotion flew up, and came down on the hard gravel, obviously no longer living.
I was lucky enough to fly onto the grass. I muttered a quick cushioning spell before I hit the ground, to soften the blow. However, it was still moderately painful.
I coughed and choked as my breath returned to me and the smoke cleared.
When it finally did, the reason for all of our misfortune was gone. “No,” I whispered. Then, more loudly and madly. “No!”
With twelve dead bodies and Peter missing - the spot where he had been completely bloodied up - there was a problem.
“What do we do?” Anastasia whispered. It would be only moments before Aurors swarmed the scene.
“We explain what happened,” I answered calmly. Far more calmly than I actually was.
Anastasia shook her head. “You heard what Dumbledore said,” she stressed. “Everyone thinks you’re the bad guy.”
It was my turn to shake my head. “Relax. It will all be okay.”
Though even as I said it, I didn’t necessarily believe it.
It was less than minute before the Aurors arrived. They bound us both, Anastasia yelling and swearing at them the whole time in the angry way of her.
I explained the situation to them. How we had a secret keeper for Lily and James, and switched at the last moment. How Peter had come to frame me, and that Anastasia had only tried to stop him.
After I had finished telling the story, they let Anastasia go. And bound me even tighter.
“Don’t think we don’t know who you are,” one Auror spat. I knew him. He was in Seventh year at the same time I was - a Ravenclaw . . . Jonathon Boot.
“You betrayed Lily and Harry Potter. And where is Peter Pettigrew? What a terrible alibi.” To my left, I saw Anastasia seething, and her hands twitching. I willed her not to make a scene, something that I knew she was itching to do. “It’s quite obvious that you killed him and twelve Muggles.”
As I stood there, bound and being dragged away by former classmates that once were friendly with me, I began to laugh. Of course it was Peter.
How could I not have known it all along?
He surely felt out of place with us, and sometimes we left him out of things. It had never been on purpose, and he knew that.
Of course it was Peter. Who else was that weak of mind that they could fall to the dark side.
I don’t know how no one realized it before.
My laughter soon turned maniacal and the Aurors the dragged me away adopted worried looks on their face.
Behind me, I could hear Anastasia screaming and shouting in rage. Then, hurried footsteps as she tried to catch up. “Sirius. Sirius!" she screamed. "He’s innocent! I swear to God - he’s done nothing!"
A/N: Now, I know there’s a big hole in time when Sirius and Anna should be at Headquarters - it will all be expanded upon next chapter. Also, if you will notice, we’ve made a full circle. If you remember all the way back to the first chapter, that’s the first thing that Anna says. Next chapter will explain many things. Promise.
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