I know it’s not his fault, and it pains me to even think that I might dislike him for something he can’t possibly have control over. But, it just gets to me sometimes, how nearly identical he is to his parents.
I remember the first time I saw him in the paper, when he was just little, and they’d snagged a shot of him on his way onto the train his third year. Underneath it was a nasty article written by the one and only Rita Skeeter, though I don’t care to remember what it said. All I remember is looking at his picture and nearly being caught. I was in dog form, staring avidly at the newspaper in the stand, eyes wide, and, even without the title, even without his fame, I would have recognized him from a mile away.
Lily’s emerald green eyes stared right back at me, in that way only she knew how. They stared deep into my soul, knew every little fire of my being. She knew me inside out, that girl did. From the first time I laid eyes on her, I knew she knew. And she did. Halfway through my first year, she cornered me and demanded to know if I really was a Black, if I really was as evil as everyone made us out to be.
I’d laughed at her, really hard. Even at eleven, I knew who my family was, knew they couldn’t be trusted even a little, knew how terrible they were. My brother I would love forever, no matter what, but my parents and my family were nothing to me, even so young. And I’d told her, yes, yes we are evil, but I’m not.
And she believed me. I’d never met someone before who had, but the sudden smile that warmed Lily’s face told me she understood and, when she took my hand and directed me to the Great Hall to join her for dinner, I felt okay. She always had a way with me, a way that James couldn’t understand and couldn’t gain. Lily just knew what to say, what to do, how to react, when to just do nothing and leave me alone. We were never best friends, but I’d always been drawn to her like I was drawn to the beauty and sincerity of my Aunt Andromeda.
I loved Lily, only as a friend, but I’d always loved her, adored her. James was another story entirely. The first time I met him was in Diagon Alley when Andromeda let me tag along while she helped her little sister, Narcissa, shop. I was outside the Quidditch shop, just standing there staring with my mouth open and so excited. He’d walked right up to me, the little shit he was, and nudged me.
“Cool, huh?” he said, and I just nodded, nudging him back.
We were seven. Ever since then, and I’m not even sure how we managed it, we’d been the best of friends. He and I were inseparable in Hogwarts, and he was certainly a brother to me, if not by blood. Living with him, being his best man, and wanting to save his life were only natural progressions.
And Harry’s hair. My heart stopped, and my mouth felt dry when I caught that next. I remember hearing Lily groan about him mussing it up because he thought it looked so cool like that, like he could impress her just with his awesome always-windswept hair. It always made me laugh, and I made it a target for dye and tricks our entire fourth year.
Harry literally was a combination of his parents, and I hated him for it. Seeing him in person his third year only made it worse. I remember exiting the Whomping Willow and just having the urge to get away from him. For that first while, I always thought I was going to lose my nerve, that I was going to fall apart all over again just because he was so much of them.
And now here I was, fighting alongside him, nearly two years later, and I couldn’t be in more pain. He had Lily’s stubbornness, James’ quickness, Lily’s intelligence, and James’ rashness. He knew just what spell to use and when to use it, and he was so forceful. Every movement brought back more and more memories, and I’ll amount that to why my darling cousin caught me.
Though, dying in such peace makes me angry. I’ve not been hit by a killing curse, and there is no pain in falling through the curtain. I simply fall, and I’m gone, and I hate myself more than anything for that.
My two best friends suffered more than anything, and I’ve left their son alone to fall gracefully to death. I can see him, the last thing I’ll see as I fall, stunned, and it makes me happy. He is them in this moment, and they are smiling back at me, something I don’t deserve.
“Padfoot, if we die, we should die together, okay?”
“I don’t think you can plan that, mate,” I laughed, pushing James playfully.
“I’m serious, Sirius.”
At which point we both fell into hilarious bouts of cackling laughter. We were good at stupid things like that.
“Honestly, though,” he began again, smiling, “We gotta go together.”
“Yea, why’s that?”
“Because you’re my best mate, my only brother. I want to live and die by your side.”
We were nineteen when we had that conversation, one year before he was found and killed. I remember hearing that conversation that night in my head as I careened to a halt in front of the dilapidated house. It rang through my ears, and I felt as though I’d failed, failed my best friend in his only true request. He’d never really asked me for much, other than to “pass the butter” and “stop staring at my ass”, and I couldn’t even give him the only thing he really wanted from me.
Seeing Hagrid standing there meant I’d failed Lily as well.
“You have to take care of him,” Lily demanded, taking my hand like she’d done so many times before.
She’d arrived at my door at three in the morning, a common time for me to be awake. After leaning against the doorframe for a few moments, I’d finally noticed her and waved her in. She’d immediately sat on the bed next to me, a look of determination on her face.
“Him who?” I asked, though I knew.
“James, stupid,” she scoffed, though she was smiling, “You can’t let him go crazy.”
She was pregnant; they were moving in a week because of the prophecy. I was being kicked out, though Remus was letting me stay with him until I found a place of my own.
“You’re his best friend, Sirius, his brother. You need to make sure he’s okay, alright?”
“And what about you?”
“I can take care of myself,” she waved away, but I wasn’t having that.
“Lily, you’re like a sister to me. Don’t think I’m going to forget you. I will always stay by you, through thick and thin, no matter what. I love you, stupid,” I mocked, “I’ll be there for both of you, to keep both of you sane and happy.”
And I’d let her down.
It wouldn’t dawn on Harry until after the fact, when Bella would gloat. I could already picture his face, and Remus. He was the only one left of us, the Marauders, our sacred friendship. I was leaving my only best friend left alone, I was letting our legacy die with only Remus to reminisce. I always wish I’d spent more time telling Harry everything instead of just lecturing and giving advice. I wish I’d told him about my life, told him about the Marauders, told him about his parents and all the amazing experiences we had. But I hadn’t, and now I had failed my godson and Remus.
I only hope I will live on happily in memory.
Disclaimer: Lyrics by Linkin Park, as is the title.
Woah. Talk about self deprecation, though sometimes this is how I perceive Sirius and his moodiness. Don’t forget to review!