The Simplest of Words
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Sad, but true.
Summary: Written for gingersnape’s “I Love You” Challenge at the HPFF Forums. At the end of his life, Sirius Black looks back and reflects on a life of love and love lost.
The Simplest of Words
The air around them was heavy, thick with the force of magic. Dust from obliterated stones swirled about them, choking the senses of those in the circular room. Powerful, dangerous spells were cast from wands, streaking like lightning about the room enough so that the hairs at the nape of his neck stood on edge. Duels that had been waging around him were now being subdued with the arrival of Albus Dumbledore, many Death Eaters fleeing the Ministry to no doubt retain their freedom.
As duels stopped, the participants separating across the room, his own fight continued. This…for him though, this was a mere continuation of a life long feud. Chills tingled along his spine as he moved in time with her; spell by spell they danced in their blackened tango, twisting in time to dodge the hellish spell of red.
“Come on, you can do better than that,” he shouted, his voice rising over the fighting around them. The glow of the blue flamed gas lights glinted off her dark eyes, illuminating the madness within her. With her twisted grin, he saw the hex streaking towards him to late to dodge. His dueling tango faltered with her manic laugh, the spell hitting him squarely upon his chest.
The pain was quick and blinding, his confident smirk plastered upon his features from now into eternity. Adrenaline surged through his veins, numbing the pain as quick as it had come. In the distance of his mind, he could hear Bellatrix’s maddening cackle no doubt gleeful at what she had done to him. He could see her, the look of triumph on her pale features as she screamed and bounced in twisted delight. She didn’t matter; no one else did to him at that exact second, except for his Harry; his Harry, his dear godson, and the horror that he could see within his eyes as he ran towards the dais.
He was no fool; arrogant maybe, but he was no fool. He, Sirius Black, knew all to well what was happening to him and where he soon may find himself. In the span of a breath, he could see Remus grab Harry, holding him back as he screamed and fought. Had he ever told him how he felt; that he truly did love them? Even once had he said it? Maybe once or twice when Harry was a baby, but that was so long ago and so much had changed since those long-gone years. Did they even know how much he loved them?
As his eyelids began to droop with an unknown heaviness, the force of his dear cousin Bellatrix’s spell pushing him back towards his final resting place, his mind raced through the memories of his long, thirty-six years of life. All the smiles, pranks, and the laughs; the girls, the games they played, the fights they had fought. It was like those old stories you heard, but different all the while. There was no bright light, no release from reality and pain, only memories to ease him along his way. Remus held Harry back while the poor child screamed out in denial, pain and fury, while he could only watch helpless from a distance, separated by the unseen barrier of life and death. Sirius Black watched his past in a fast review, everything both good and bad, like an old flickering Muggle film playing in his mind. Many things he knew he would change…going after Pettigrew that way, losing James and Lily and even saying good-bye to his younger brother, the only relation that had ever cared for him. The one thing he truly regretted in all those thirty-six years? Sirius knew it well as he slipped between the tattered veil. He would have said ‘I love you’ that late spring day.