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Falling Star by Lioness06
Chapter 8 : Blurred
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5


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Chapter 8: Blurred

Sirius opened his eyes. He was enveloped in the softness of white fluffy pillows and blankets. Sunlight filtered into the room through the large windows adorned by lacy curtains. The walls were painted blue and the furniture was arranged in a professional manner.

For a few seconds Sirius had absolutely no idea where he was…and then the night came rushing back to him like a freight train. His father holding his wand out to him…Regulus…his hand being sliced open… He sat up suddenly and a wave of nausea hit him. He closed his eyes lying back down.

He then remembered Mrs. Potter gently shaking him awake inside the gazebo, and Mr. Potter lifting him off the ground. A warm liquid had been poured down his throat, and he didn’t remember anything after that.  So he was at the Potter’s. Opening his eyes again, he now recognized the guest room.

Sirius threw the white cover off. He was not wearing the clothes he had last night. He was in a white t-shirt and navy blue pajama type pants. He saw his winter cloak draped over a white velvet covered armchair. His hand was thickly bandaged and as he wriggled his fingers it ached. As Sirius attempted to get out of bed, the door to the room opened revealing Mrs. Potter. Sirius’s face flushed at the sight of her.

“How are you feeling, dear?”

Sirius didn’t know how to answer. “Sorry to be a bother- ” Sirius began, “I –“

“Oh don’t be silly! You are always welcome here,” Mrs. Potter said gently, and the warmth in her words caused the next words he’d been trying to get out to catch in his throat. After falling out with his mates – after seeing how his own blood had treated him – this kindness was almost unbearable. He didn’t deserve it.

Mrs. Potter took a seat on the bed and laid a hand on his forehead. “Hmmm still warm.” She stuck a thermometer into his mouth and after a minute or so, “Well it is a lot lower than last night at least. That’s a nasty cut on your hand.”

Sirius shrugged. He didn’t really want to answer any questions about what had happened.

“As far as I can tell, the cut isn’t infected, but your body thinks it is. Never saw a curse like this, but then Dark Magic does all sorts of strange things. It didn’t help matters you were out in the freezing rain all night. Why didn’t you wake us up last night?”

“I…James and I…are-“

“I know you two had a row. Well it doesn’t matter. You can stay here to rest and once you are up to it, we’ll need to talk about what happened.”

“I appreciate this all, really, but I just needed a place to rest…I’ll be out of your way...”

“You think my son dictates who I invite into my house? You’ll stay at least until that fever is gone and I won’t take no for an answer. I’ll whip you up something to eat in a moment. Since there really isn’t an infection, I’m just going to give you some general healing potions. We’ll see how you react to that.”

After eating a delicious batch of homemade vegetable soup, Sirius was beginning to relax. Mrs. Potter insisted on looking at his hand again and she was very careful as she unwound the bandage. The cut was still an angry red and bleeding slightly. The burns didn’t look any better.

Mrs. Potter dotted a purple salve on the burns and then spread a white one on the cut; then covered it first with gauze and then another bandage.

“Who did this Sirius?” Mrs. Potter asked suddenly, perhaps hoping if she sprung the question on him, he’d just tell her.

Sirius looked away, his face heating up. The Potters were too good to understand how horrible a mother could be to her own son.

“Someone in your family?” Mrs. Potter prompted.

Sirius nodded.

Mercifully Mrs. Potter did not press the topic. “If we can’t keep your fever down or if this doesn’t begin to show signs of healing, we’ll need a medi-witch or wizard to have a look.  Hopefully it won’t come to that. Why don’t you rest? Is there anything else you need?”

“No…Thank you.”

Mrs. Potter smiled, her hand running through his black hair in a motherly way, something Sirius’s own mother had never done.

Sirius sank back down into the softness and comfort of the bed. He was grateful to have food and shelter, a safe place to get back on his feet, but that did not stop his thoughts from straying to last night. Images flickered through his mind – his father’s resignation, his brother’s surprise, Kreacher’s smirk, his mother’s disgust…over and over. Sirius tried to empty his mind. He didn’t want to feel. He didn’t want to think about them. He was supposed to be free of them. His family shouldn’t be occupying his thoughts any longer.

The ‘infection’ his body was fighting caused him to be really drowsy, so his mind finally calmed (with the help of a Calming Draught Mrs. Potter had added to one of the healing potions unbeknownst to Sirius) and he ended up sleeping away most of that first day. The second day when Mrs. Potter inspected his hand she reported the cut and burns were healing normally, only his body didn’t seem to realize that. His temperature was spiking and he was still exhausted. The third day the healing potions finally started having a better effect, actually bringing his fever down for about five hours at a time. Mrs. Potter thought it was best if while the fever was down that he get out of bed. So that third day Sirius found himself wandering around the Potter house as per Mrs. Potter’s instructions; and he found walking about did give him more energy.

He loved the Potter’s residence. It was the total opposite of Grimmauld Place. It was airy and friendly. It was colorful and well-lit. One of his favorite rooms was the sun room, windows all around in a dome like shape, enchanted plants placed artistically around, and furniture that just molded around your body in luxurious comfort. James, Remus, Peter, and he last summer had spent countless nights chatting and star gazing in that very room. Sirius smiled sadly to himself at the memory.  Thinking about James was difficult. It hurt; like a fresh stab at a scabbed wound. If James was avoiding him in his own house what hope was there that things would be different at Hogwarts.

In the late afternoon, Sirius took a short stroll around the neighborhood with Mr. Potter, who had left work a few hours early. The pair was so bundled up with scarves and hats that no one would have been able to tell that Sirius was not James. For the first time Sirius spoke a bit about what had happened the night he ran away. Sirius felt more comfortable talking to Mr. Potter versus Mrs. Potter about this. He didn’t go into detail and in no way mentioned that his decision to not join Voldemort had anything to do with his sudden flight from his home. He made it sound as though he just had enough of his family and couldn’t take it anymore, which wasn’t an outright lie. He did tell Mr. Potter that his mother had been the one to curse his hand and that he believed he’d been disowned, including being burnt off the Black family tree. Mr. Potter had nodded quietly and he did not judge Sirius’s decision, only gave Sirius a reassuring squeeze of the shoulders.

It turned out Mr. Potter had news of his own. He explained to Sirius that rumors were rapidly spreading across all magical families about what had happened. Sirius wasn’t surprised; when you were part of such an old and powerful family more than often your losses were of more interest to others than your triumphs.

“Professor Dumbledore thought it was prudent that no one knows you have taken refuge at our house.”

“Why?” Sirius asked.

“I suppose for your own protection.”

Sirius nodded, but in his mind he couldn’t help think that Dumbledore hadn’t thought much of his safety when he’d sent him home; even if Remus had come up with the idea. He wasn’t about to voice his complaints with Mr. Potter.

“So I’ve been inquiring the last two days about your whereabouts as a concerned parent of a friend of yours. It seems to be working. No one in my division suspects you are here. We only have a few more days to deal with it before Hogwarts starts and it won’t matter.”

“If it’s too much trouble…I can leave-” He couldn’t help but feel he was taking advantage of the Mr. and Mrs. Potter’s kindness, especially since James didn’t seem to think of him as a friend any longer.

Mr. Potter laughed. “Not on about that again. You are not trouble at all. You’ll stay until Hogwarts starts and I don’t want to hear another word about it.”

Sirius smiled. It was one of his first true smiles since the werewolf incident. A shiver ran through him that had nothing to do with the temperature. For the first time Sirius was not looking forward to going back to Hogwarts. He was enjoying being at the Potters; being looked after and cared for was…nice. All that he had to look forward to at Hogwarts was weeks of detention and loneliness. He would have to face Remus and his brother. He would have to face his housemates and the snotty purebloods. He’d have to deal with their assumptions and questions.

Sirius sighed following Mr. Potter back inside. He went upstairs to take a shower as dinner would be ready in an hour. Sirius was now well enough to join the Potter family downstairs. His nervous thoughts strayed to James. He had to hope for the sake of Mr. and Mrs. Potter that if James was still as angry as he’d been at Hogwarts he wouldn’t show it in front of his parents during dinner.

***

The same morning Sirius was checking out the Potter’s sun room, Professor Keenan was lounging in his personal quarters. He’d skipped breakfast because he was feeling a bit under the weather and with so few students staying at Hogwarts over break, his presence wasn’t vital. Keenan cleared this throat, deciding a stroll to the teacher’s lounge to brew a strong cup of tea would be an excellent idea. He hoped to find a copy of today’s Daily Prophet to leaf through. Keenan situated himself on one of the small wooden tables, this one happened to be painted blue and silver, and spread out the newspaper. He flipped through the first few pages; none of the headlines really caught his interest until page three. 

Sirius Black: Heir No More?

By Jenny Jenston

The author alone was enough to give Keenan pause. Jenny Jenston had written controversial articles before and she wasn’t known for double checking her facts. She was very popular for this exact fact. Still there had to be real evidence for Jenston to write something like this about the Blacks. He’d fear for her life if this wasn’t true, and even if it were, she might want to watch her back. Keenan continued to read.

As part of a generation of Daily Prophet writers, my family has written a plethora of articles on the Black Family. Today I will not be writing about one of their lavish parties or engagement with another powerful family. I have on good authority received word from someone close to the Black family that Sirius Black – eldest male heir – was disowned, effectively forfeiting his inheritance. Once all the paper work has been completed, all 16 year-old Sirius will have left will be his family’s last name.

The details about how this all transpired are still forthcoming. Some sources say the boy left Grimmauld Place in a rage; others say that he was thrown out after an argument. My original contact indicated that the Black family had ‘done all they could’ and that ‘that a string of the boy’s actions over the years had finally culminated so that this outcome was unavoidable”. Our contact described Sirius as ‘troubled’, ‘with a violent temper”, and that ‘he took pleasure in the pain his rebellion caused his family”.

Sirius’s path diverged from his ancestors, the moment he stepped into Hogwarts as the only Black to be sorted into a House other than Slytherin. He also became fast friends with James Potter, the son of one of his family’s biggest political enemies. As the years passed by, Sirius became more vocal about his dislike of his family.  Even though Sirius excelled academically, he was quickly labeled a ‘troublemaker’- earning heaps of detentions. As the boy has matured, his troublemaking has only increased. A Hogwarts prefect told us Sirius was a ‘bit of bully’ and was ‘apprehended often for hexing other students’. Apparently right before break – not very long before this all happened – Sirius received a severe punishment. It included weeks of daily detentions as well all his Hogwarts privileges revoked until the end of the year.

Keenan stopped. He’d been expecting an article against the Black family and Sirius, but Jenston was blatantly just attacking the boy. He wondered who these Hogwarts students were that the reporter was quoting and how she’d found them. Keenan shook his head and plodded on wanting to read the entire thing.

If this does not paint a picture of a troubled boy, one most ask why any sane person would choose to forfeit an inheritance as large as the Blacks; and effectively lock shut all the doors his family name would have opened upon graduation.

We may never know if this was rash last second decision or a calculated break from his family that had been in the works for a while. The fact remains that less than a week ago Sirius Black went from heir to one of the largest fortunes in the Wizarding World to a penniless runaway scoundrel.

Where is Sirius now? Did he flee to Hogwarts?  To the Potters? Some distant cousin twice removed? No one knows. We hope to publish very soon an interview with Sirius Black.

Professor Keenan gaped at the article, a hundred thoughts running through his head. It was as if his worst fears for the boy had come true. No one on the staff knew that besides teaching, he had been given an additional role to play. Professor Dumbledore had confided in him Voldemort was recruiting sixteen-year old students and he had been put in charge of keeping an eye on Sirius Black. He supposed other teachers may have been assigned other students, but no one would be as large a prize for Voldemort as Black. Keenan hadn’t agreed at first to the task; not sure he was qualified. He supposed at only twenty-three his teen years weren’t that far behind him, but he was no Muggle psychologist.

Of course, Dumbledore had known exactly what to say to get him on board. Dumbledore had only to mention Keenan’s brother and outline the similarities between the two boys…and before Keenan knew it, he’d said yes. Jack, his younger brother, had been a Muggle as had Keenan’s parents. Like Sirius, Jack was a troublemaker, insolent and had a certain disregard for authority. There were, of course, glaring differences between Sirius and Jack that Keenan came to see. Jack was more a loner and though Jack had fought constantly with their parents, they were supportive and not awful like the Black’s. Jack was also slightly below average in academics, while Sirius was one of the brightest students at Hogwarts. Jack had been through three Muggle boarding schools before dying in a tragic accident in his last year. Keenan had been out of school at the time, but at nineteen he had been too busy with his own life to spend time aiding his brother.  He should have realized the downward spiral his brother had been caught up in and put a stop to it. So he had hoped in helping Black it would make up for his failings as a brother.  His best intentions had gone awry.

Keenan abruptly stood up knowing he had to immediately speak to Albus Dumbledore about the article. He clutched the newspaper in his hand and strode to the door. As he opened it the very person he wanted to see stood in his way. Startled, Keenan spluttered over his first few words, “A-Albus, h-have you seen the Prophet today?”

Dumbledore surveyed him in that way of his, always making Keenan feel as if the Headmaster was seeing more than the average wizard or witch. “I have.”

“And?”

“I was surprised there hasn’t been an escalation of attacks since it is the Holidays, but I suppose Voldemort is still keeping a lower profile.”

Keenan stared at him. “I was referring to the article about Sirius Black.”

“Ah…yes. Not to worry. The boy is safe. The Potter’s owled me this morning to let me know he is staying with them.” Dumbledore took a seat in one of the many squishy armchairs. The way the Headmaster settled casually into his seat made it clear he felt that was all there was to discuss about the matter.

Keean sat heavily in an armchair directly across from the older wizard. He slammed the newspaper down on the small wooden table between them. Dumbledore did not flinch.

“Is that all you have to say? I warned you not to send him home.”

Did Dumbledore feel no responsibility for what had happened? Keenan been adamant that Sirius be allowed to stay at Hogwarts over break and Dumbledore had completely disregarded his opinion. Hadn’t the point of him keeping a close eye on the boy been so Keenan would have more of an understanding on what was happening in the boy’s life than the Headmaster?

He had emphasized the vulnerable position Sirius was in after the altercation with his mother at school and then losing his best friends after the incident with the Willow. It was like they were handing the boy over to Voldemort gift wrapped and on a silver platter. 

 “I know you did. Please do not think that I disregarded your opinion.”

Keenan flushed. He wondered again if Dumbledore could read his mind. He still felt like such a schoolboy in front of the older wizard at times.

Dumbledore cleared his throat and continued, “I thought about your points carefully. But staying at Hogwarts is a privilege; I had every right to send Mr. Black home.”

“That’s not why you did, is it?” Keenan replied. Dumbledore had not ignored his points. On the contrary, Keenan realized with a jolt, though he hoped he was wrong, that it was because of those reasons Dumbledore had sent Black home.

Dumbledore sighed. He took off his eyeglasses, wiped the glass, and perched them back on his nose before carefully answering. “I did what I thought was best and everything turned out fine.”

“I don’t call a sixteen year old boy disinherited as everything turning out fine.” He did not bother to keep the sarcasm out of his voice.

“I can’t afford to coddle these students. They may be only teenagers, but they are going to head very important political families. The sooner I know where they stand; the better.” There was an edge to the Dumbledore’s voice now, but Keenan was too angry to pay any attention to it.

“He’s not the head or heir of the Black’s anymore,” Keenan spat.

“And now I know that he is firmly on our side.”

“How do you even know that? How do you know this mess (he jabbed at the newspaper) had anything to do with Voldemort?”

“As I told you at the start of term, I knew through gathered intelligence that Voldemort was targeting certain underage students.”

Keenan waved his hand impatiently. “Yes, and I kept an eye on Sirius. I tried to gain his trust. I invited his mother in hopes to mend his relationship with his family. Failed miserably in it all…but I did what you asked.”

“These same sources said that rumors were flying around that a powerful pureblood family was joining the ranks a few days before Sirius ran away. I contacted them this morning and when my source inquired further about when this powerful family was going to reveal itself, the source was told not to mention it again on the pain of death. Now I can’t be sure it was the Blacks, but it would be a huge coincidence if it weren’t.”

Keenan mulled over Dumbledore’s statements. He was still unhappy with the way he’d gone about it all and one thing still bugged him. “What would you have done if the opposite happened? If your source had told you the Black’s had pledged their allegiance to Voldemort’s cause through their heir. Would the boy be expelled? Arrested?”

“No. Not immediately at least. The longer I can keep the students at Hogwarts and out of the brewing war, even budding Death Eaters, the better. I’d keep a very close eye on him. Any trouble he’d cause would have been investigated carefully to see if it had any underlying pureblood or anti-Muggle motivation.”

Keenan had heard enough. Risking any boy’s future was something he could never stand behind. He didn’t yell, but drew himself up to his full height. He lowered his voice, his tone quietly furious. “All I can say is we are both very lucky Mr. Black had stronger character than either of us thought.” The door banged closed behind him as he stepped out of the room, his cloak flapping and words echoing in the silence.

***

James was spending a lazy morning in his bedroom. He was flipping through a Quidditch magazine when the most delicious smell wafted into this room. James recognized the aroma immediately. His mother was baking her famous chocolate chip cookies. Anyone who tried them raved about them. Most of Gryffindor had tried them as his Mum mailed large packages bursting with sweets throughout the year. James’s stomach growled and he sprung off his bed leaving the Quidditch magazine he’d been studying lying haphazardly opened.

James clamored down the grand staircase. He passed their house-elf Minnie who scolded him to not run. James grinned good-naturedly, but did not slow down.  James skidded to a stop in front of the swinging kitchen door.

The laughter inside caused him to hesitate. He recognized the voices immediately; it was Sirius and his mother. James had managed to avoid Sirius so far and wasn’t sure if he was ready to face him. The first two days Sirius hadn’t left his room, so it hadn’t been difficult. Yesterday James had spent all day with two of his childhood friends who though didn’t live nearby did visit their grandparents regularly. They were twins (boy and girl), a year older than him and attended Durmstrang. Since James hadn’t seen them since the summer, he had readily agreed when he was invited to eat both lunch and dinner over their house. 

James thought about the argument he had with his mother upon returning. She had reminded James that they had their own guest here and it would be courteous if he attended meals here and not somewhere else. He reminded her that he had been a guest himself, but she didn’t seem to find that a plausible reason for his absence the entire day. James hated fighting with his mother and it didn’t happen often.

James took a deep breath. He shouldn’t be nervous facing Sirius. This was after all his house, not Sirius’s. If anyone should feel out of sorts it should be Sirius.

James burst forward. “Hello, Mum.” He strolled into the kitchen with forced casualness ignoring Sirius. “I could smell those upstairs. Are they almost ready?”

 “Three minutes or so. Have a seat. Want some tea?”

“Sure,” James said and slipped into a seat. He flicked his gaze over to Sirius. His friend looked very pale. The laughter had put some color back into Sirius’s face, but he still had a peaky look about him. 

“Milk and sugar?” Mrs. Potter asked.

“Yes,” James answered. His eyes roamed again toward Sirius and at the moment Sirius had brought both his hands up to cup his tea and James took in the bandaged hand. James frowned. He had forgotten Sirius had been injured. All this time James had believed Sirius had been sick with a cold in bed from being out long in the rain and cold. Of course he hadn’t made any effort to investigate the reason Sirius had turned up at their doorstep.

Mrs. Potter placed a steaming cup of tea in front of James and took a seat. “I was just telling Sirius stories about my Hogwarts years. Oh – I have a great one. I am sure James has heard this one many times. The one during the Quidditch match?”

James rolled his eyes. He knew the story his mother was referring to, but it was a good one. James motioned his hand for his mother to continue.

Mrs. Potter beamed at James. He suspected she thought he’d be difficult about hearing this tale again. “It was during my fourth year. My best friend, Annabella and I had an enormous crush on the new Seeker who was in our year. He had golden hair and golden brown eyes to match. We had planned to send up sparks that would erupt into a good luck sign, but it all went horribly wrong…”

James glanced over at Sirius who was listening to his mother avidly.

“…I still don’t know exactly what happened, but the sparks didn’t erupt into words…instead they came crashing down on the crowd. It hit a Hufflepuff banner, bursting into flames and then one thing after another caught fire. It was quite a sight…twelve students were sent to Hospital Wing, the match was postponed, and Annabella and I had Saturday detention for a month. And James’s father who was Quidditch Captain at the time was so angry at us. In the Common room later that night he roared and raged for what felt like hours – I must have turned the color of beet. As horrible as it was, it also was the first time as a lowly fourth year that I caught the attention of sixth year Harold Potter and…”

Ding!

Oh the cookies are finished!” Mrs. Potter fumbled on oven mitts that were covered in snitches.

“Do you need help?” James and Sirius asked in unison.

“I’ve got it,” she answered taking out two large sheets of cookies and placing them on a rack to cool. Sirius and James regarded each other coolly as Mrs. Potter returned to the table. “So what was I saying? I caught the attention of Harold, but he stayed angry at me even when Gryffindor won the rescheduled game. I think he finally forgave us when Gryffindor won the cup. We started chatting the year after and the rest you can say was history…Annabella and I am still close friends. One thing I learned about Hogwarts, you’ll never make better friends than you do there. Treasure those friendships.”

Sirius was nodded slowly and James sent his mother an exasperated look. He knew his mother meant the best, but she didn’t have to be so obvious about it. Staying seated Mrs. Potter took out her wand and with some elegant wand movement had a plate of the cookies in front of them.

James’s mother smiled softly in memory of her younger days. “That wasn’t the last time I got in trouble. Trouble always seemed to find me…unlike you boys who go looking for trouble.”

“Can’t help it, Mrs. Potter,” Sirius said lightly reaching for one of the cookies. James grabbed one as well savoring the way the cookie melted in his mouth. Sirius was looking at him as if he expected James to make a similar comment. James cast his eyes downward and didn’t see the disappointment in Sirius’s grey-blue ones.

“Well look at the time. If I don’t start getting ready, I’ll be late for that lunch I’m supposed to attend,” Mrs. Potter exclaimed. She flicked her wand once more, and one of the cabinets opened and an ornate dish flew out. She filled it with half of the cookies. “Don’t eat the rest of these today if you can help it. I’m taking one tray to lunch. I’ll be back for dinner. Minnie can make you sandwiches for lunch. The healing potions are on your dresser if you need them, Sirius.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Potter,” Sirius said. Mrs. Potter walked over and squeezed Sirius’s shoulders in a motherly fashion causing Sirius to color. James looked away, aware of the way Sirius seemed to soak up the parental attention. He felt strange as if it was a private moment he shouldn’t have witnessed. 

“Be good, James. I’m going upstairs to change and I’ll Apparate there,” Mrs. Potter continued and she kissed James on the cheek. The ornate dish filled with cookies floated up behind her.

The sudden absence of James’s mother caused the tension in the room rapidly rise. Sirius was sitting tensely and James felt uncomfortable. Still hungry, James moved to grab another two cookies. As he munched on the cookies, out of the corner of his eyes, James saw Sirius stand up. Sirius only managed a few steps before he was suddenly swaying. James jumped to his feet immediately and he reached Sirius just in time to prop him up as Sirius’s knees gave out. James helped him sit back down on the kitchen chair. Sirius’s pale pallor was ashen now and beads of sweat appeared on his forehead.

“Sorry…” Sirius mumbled. He was breathing heavily and every time he opened his eyes he immediately closed them as though everything in front of him was spinning.

“Maybe you should lie down,” James said. “Let me help you to the couch.”

Sirius opened his eyes looking surprised by the offer. “All right.”

Sirius put his arm around James’s shoulder and it took all of James’s strength not to buckle under the weight. If Sirius was leaning this heavily on him; he really wasn’t well. In tune with each other’s movements even though they weren’t on speaking terms, they made it quickly to the sitting room. Sirius stretched himself out on his back; he was lanky and he took up the entire length.

“Can I get you anything? Water?”

“Actually…your mother…there’s a green potion on the dresser in the guest room…three drops in a glass of water…” Sirius was struggling to speak, but James understood.

“Be right back!” James took the steps two by two. There were four potions on the dresser, luckily only one was green. James rushed down the stairs to fill up a glass of water. Sirius sat up carefully as James handed him the glass. He watched Sirius drink slowly. James took back the empty glass and Sirius laid back down closing his eyes. James fell back into a seat on the other side of the room. He watched Sirius’s chest rise up and down. James had become lost in his own thoughts when he heard a quiet Thank you.

James looked over to see Sirius was no longer ashen, but back to being pale. His dark hair fell into his eyes, strands clinging to his sweaty forehead. “Sirius…” James began, running a hand through his own hair.

Sirius opened his eyes and he brought himself back to a sitting position. “I’m ok now. Your mother said the curse might have strange and random effects on my body.”

Silence filled the room again. Millions of questions filled James’s head; he wondered why Sirius was here, about the bandaged hand, the rumors that Sirius had been disowned, the curse Sirius referred to and the fact Sirius had nearly passed out.

James met Sirius’s eyes and at the moment James didn’t care what had happened before Christmas. He felt that familiar tug of friendship. He missed Sirius. It wasn’t just that Sirius had practically passed out in front of him. He suddenly saw again the parts of Sirius’s personality that he liked – Sirius’s barking laughter, his joking nature, his strength… he knew now he not only missed his best friend, but he wanted to fix things between them.  James took a deep breath. “We need to talk.”

***

Author’s note: I know…another cliffhanger…but look James is finally turning around! So hopefully that softens it! Let me know what you thought of Keenan’s POV part. It will probably be the only part of the story in his view and I debated about not putting it in at all. Hopefully it puts some insight into both Keenan’s and Dumbledore’s characters, but not too much that it feels it doesn’t belong in the story. Now’s the time you press that lovely review button and make my day!

 


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