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Chapter 2 : Memories
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Sirius Black sat in a darkened alley. He made sure to stay in the shadows so that he wouldn’t be seen. He was just hoping to catch a glimpse of his Godson before he began his journey to Hogwarts. He has already been to see his wife and daughter. He half toyed with the idea of going to Terese to tell her the truth and try and persuade her of his innocence. He knew that she would panic; thinking he would do something to their daughter, that she might act rashly and then he wouldn’t be able to go to Hogwarts and get the little rat.
He had seen them though. He knew they were in Brighton; a few things had been sent to him over the years and he had seen a postmark. He saw Terese first. She looked upset and on edge. She was glancing around her all the time as she walked along, presumably to some sort of muggle office job judging by the way she was dressed. About an hour later he saw someone else leave the building. A girl of eleven years old, with long dark hair and a natural grace unusual for someone of her age. She had the same petite build as her mother but was undoubtedly a Black. Francesca. And she was with Remus. He should have known.
He reached into the pocket of his filthy prison robes and pulled out an old dog- eared photo that he had had with him for ten years. The picture showed his wife, about a year after he had been imprisoned. Terese was sitting on the floor with her arms outstretched. She was wearing cropped jeans and a vest top, with her hair partly pulled back and partly falling around her shoulders. A small chubby child with wispy black hair toddled into the picture wearing nothing but a nappy. The child then fell into her mother’s arms and was scooped up for a cuddle. He thought Remus must have sent this one, as Terese, he had been told, had refused to send any photos.
He remembered when she was born- an emergency operation after Bellatrix attack Terese.
He sat in the waiting room at St Mungos. He had been sitting there for hours, waiting for them to come and get him. He knew his baby had been born- sort of. He knew, or he thought, that his wife was still alive. But he hadn’t seen either of them.
Why hadn’t he stayed with her? He was so angry with himself he could hardly bear it. If he had stayed with her they wouldn’t here now. She wouldn’t have been portkeyed to Bellatrix. They may have even caught them.
A Healer came out of the adjoining room. He jumped up.
“Would you like to meet your daughter?” she asked softly. Sirius didn’t say a word until the tiny bundle was in his arms. He pulled the blanket down slightly and gazed at the slightly creased face topped with a tuft of black hair.
“A girl?” he said. The healer nodded. “And is she…?”
“She’ll be fine. You’ve got a fighter there.”
“And Terese? How is she?” The healer hesitated.
“She’s still unconscious. But she’s fighting.”
“Can I sit with her? I want to be there when she wakes up. I want to show her our daughter.”
He was led in to the next room where his wife was lying unconscious. She looked like a doll with her hair plastered to her forehead. He had never realised how small she was. He should have protected her.
In his arms, Francesca started to stir. Her little scrunched eyes opened and suddenly she was staring up at him. He gently rested his fingers on her small chest; she reached up and grabbed his finger.
He knew then he wasn’t going to be the Potters’ secret keeper. He loved James like a brother, as well as Lily and Harry; but he couldn’t put his girls at risk anymore. He would do anything for them, he knew that. He needed to look after them.
After about half an hour, he heard Terese stirring. He went and stood by the bed with the baby still in his arms.
“Tess” he whispered as her eyes fluttered open.
“Sirius?” she stammered, her dry mouth making her voice a rasp.
“I’m here babe”
“Bellatrix.” He replied grimly.
“Where’s… how…” she began, then gasped when she saw what he was holding.
“We have a daughter.” He told her, gently sitting on the edge of the bed as she gingerly manoeuvred herself into a sitting position. He tenderly handed the baby to her mother and they sat staring her in silence for a good few minutes.
“She’s… she’s beautiful.” Terese said tearfully.
“I know.” He replied, kissing the top of his wife’s head. “What do you think we should call her?”
“I like Francesca, after my grandmother.” Sirius nodded.
“It suits her. What about Lily for a middle name?” Terese smiled up at him.
“Francesca Lily. I like that.” She replied.
They sat for hours, taking it in turns to hold her, Terese trying to feed her. Sirius would later see it as the last time he was happy.
They finally put Francesca to sleep in her cot. He stood up and stretched.
“I should owl James and Dumbledore” he told her, seeing her stricken expression.
“Stay, Sirius” she pleaded.
“I’ll be back soon. I’ll just owl James and he can let Dumbledore know, I won’t be long, I promise.”
He just got to the door when he heard her make a strange gasping noise. He spun round to see her clutching at her chest. She was slumped on her pillow, her eyes rolling back in her head.
“TESS” he cried, dashing back to the bed and taking her in his arms. “Tess wake up!” he begged, as Francesca woke and started crying. Some healers ran in; one putting the baby in his arms and ushering him out of the room. “I love you Tess” he said tearfully as he stood in the hallway comforting his daughter, little knowing they were the last words he would say to her.
Sirius shook his head in an attempt to dislodge the memory. He had to focus on getting to Hogwarts and getting hold of that treacherous rat. He stood up and transformed. He saw a lone figure dragging a trunk along angrily. For a moment he thought it was James, then realised it was Harry. He caught a glimpse of him and fell over in shock. A minute later the Knight Bus appeared and Sirius backed away out of sight. It was time to go to Hogwarts.
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