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Black Hart by wolfechick31
Chapter 53 : Stunned
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 41


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Sirius’ brow quirked slightly at the strange tone in James’ voice, and without even intending to he was sitting up, looking at his friend quizzically. Sirius couldn’t make himself speak though, a sudden curiosity burned in him but when he saw James’ face he didn’t think he could rush his friend in to speaking.

But as patient as Sirius tried to be, he wasn’t successful for very long.

“About what?” Sirius questioned, his voice slightly more gruff than intended. After the day he had yesterday he wasn’t surprised he sounded so awful.

“Sami.” James breathed, his hazel eyes making contact with Sirius’ for the first time since he had walked into the room. James watched as Sirius tensed, his posture now rigid and undeniably harsh. The name had practically become taboo and as James watched Sirius, frozen like a statue, he remembered why.

“What about her?” Sirius whispered, unable to meet James’ gaze any longer, all his energy now focused on keeping himself as still as possible. For some reason, completely unknown to even himself, it seemed the best defense mechanism.

“She, well—“ James cleared his throat, unable to come up with the words. He had been rehearsing speeches in his mind all morning, but he was finding that everything he had thought up before fell flat when he was sitting in front of his best friend. Because the words he was about to utter would drastically change everything. Again. And as much as James knew a change needed to happen, the ramifications of his actions terrified him.

What?” Sirius blurted out, a slight twitch developing in his fingers as he waited impatiently for James to say something.

“Padfoot…” James sighed, resisting the urge to nervously run his fingers through his hair. “I know why she really left.” The words were so soft James didn’t think Sirius could hear him, but when he looked over to his best friend, Sirius’ grey eyes were finally looking at him.

“She left because she didn’t love me.” Sirius’ tone was almost robotic, as if they were words he had repeated to himself for months now, words he didn’t truly want to believe but had to force himself to hear again and again.

But when James didn’t dispute his point Sirius took a deep breath and once again averted his eyes.

“She left because she didn’t love me.” Sirius repeated with more conviction.

“No.” James said, his voice slightly stronger than it had been not long again. There was a painful silence as James kept his eyes on his friend, waiting for some kind of reaction, but the only noticeable difference was the tightening of Sirius’ jaw and the narrowing of his eyes.

“What—do you mean-- no?” Sirius ground out, his lips barely moving as he forced out the words.

“That’s not why she left.” James answered.

“Then why?” Sirius said silently, his voice so quiet and calm it was almost threatening. But when James didn’t answer quickly enough Sirius was suddenly on his feet, towering over his best friend, over his brother, his entire body shaking with barely contained rage. “WHY?” Sirius suddenly roared, not caring who else could hear or that James looked positively stunned as he leaned back in his chair. “Stop beating around the bush Potter! Tell me!”

“They threatened to kill you Sirius.” James’ tone was still quiet—calm—as he eyed his friend apprehensively. And for the first time since he walked into that room Sirius looked surprised, in fact, it almost looked as if he stumbled back slightly.

“Who?” Sirius asked, his eyes darting around for some kind of answer to all the questions that were now flooding his head. In the beginning Sirius had assumed that something was wrong with the way Samantha had left him, that it didn’t all add up, but every day that she didn’t come back to him, every day that he was reminded of the time she told him she didn’t love him, any hope he had would die.

But now…

“Sirius, that doesn’t matter, not now, what matters is—“

“How long have you known?” Sirius blurted out, somewhat surprised that this was the first question he asked. There had been so many others racing through his mind but that one had come to him suddenly, and now that he asked it, it was the one he needed to know desperately. “HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN?” Sirius roared again, unaware that his fists were clenched together, ready to strike.

His vision was red, and at that moment it didn’t matter that James was his closest friend in the world, that the man standing in front of him had saved his life in so many ways.

He wanted to hit him.

“Since right after she left you.” James answered, once again calm.

And then Sirius punched him.

A lot happened after that. Lily, who had opened the door a moment after Sirius shouted, came rushing forward as James stumbled back. Sirius, stared in horror as he watched blood suddenly come rushing down James’ nose, and James…

James seemed relieved.

There was silence as Lily muttered a spell to fix and clean up James, but even after she had him taken care of she kept herself facing James, tears welling in her eyes as she found it now impossible to face Sirius.

“You know you deserved that.” Sirius muttered, shaking out his soon to be bruised hand as he sat back down on his bed. James almost felt the urge to smile, but even he couldn’t find humor in the situation.

“I deserved worse than that.” James said quietly and then he gently squeezed Lily’s hand as he had the silently weeping girl now sit in the chair. James wasn’t quite brave (or stupid) enough to take a seat on the bed next to Sirius so instead he just stood next to Lily as they all sat there and endured the painful silence. Finally, Sirius spoke.

“Tell me everything.”

*

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for James to explain everything he knew. Lily had even muttered a few explanations, filling in where James didn’t know all the details. And now, as the three sat, once again in silence, James felt a sick need to explain himself. Explain why he didn’t tell Sirius the truth from the beginning.

“Sirius, I’m so—“

“Not now.” Sirius interrupted, his tone almost cruel. He hadn’t said a word the entire time James and Lily had explained everything. But now, he knew that apologies would come next and Sirius didn’t want to forgive them, not right then.

He was livid. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so angry. Not like this. People had betrayed him before, hurt him, left him… but not James. He had always relied on James above all others. And the sick part was that he still did. And while he knew that he would forgive his best friend eventually, he couldn’t make himself do it right then.

And he certainly didn’t want to listen to his explanations.

“But Sirius, I couldn’t let you—“

“James.” Sirius warned, a growl nearly breaking through.

“No!” James shouted, shocking his friend with his tone. “I know what I did was wrong Sirius, but there was no way I could let you die. And the way Sami made it sound it seemed pretty much guaranteed that that would happen.”

Sirius stared at his friend, his anger towards him ticking away slowly as he recognized the truth in his words. But even then it wasn’t enough. Because there was still some gaping hole in the explanation and he knew there was only one person who could answer those questions for him.

“How can I see her?” Sirius whispered, suddenly looking away from James towards Lily. The red head seemed shocked to have the attention on her suddenly and her jaw dropped in surprise as she blinked owlishly at Sirius. But it only took her a moment to regain her composure.

“I don’t think you can.” Lily whispered, shaking her head as new tears started to fall down her face, but Sirius didn’t seem deterred.

“That’s bollocks and you know it Evans.” Sirius said quickly as he suddenly rushed forward, kneeling in front of Lily, looking nothing short of a desperate man. “You’re one of the most intelligent people I know and I know you still talk to her.” Sirius took a deep breath, the angry lines dissolving from his face. “There must be something.”

Lily was silent for a long time, but Sirius waited patiently now because he could tell she was thinking. And when she finally thought of something he saw it in her eyes. It was like something had clicked in her mind, something she had never made the connection with before that moment.

“Her brothers.” Lily breathed, her expression confident as she looked at Sirius who looked nothing but doubtful. “No, Sirius, they’ve disagreed with Sami from the beginning. They didn’t think she should leave you. She’s only mentioned it briefly, and it never seemed like something too important, but they would help. I know they would.”

They were all quiet another moment, letting this idea sink in. At first it seemed absurd, while John and Patrick Cromwell seemed to have come around to liking Sirius, it never seemed as though they would go behind their sister’s back to help him. Not with something like this.

“It’s worth a shot Padfoot.” James muttered, still seeming to be thinking to himself.

“Yeah,” Sirius whispered, clearing his throat as he suddenly jumped to his feet. “Yeah it is.” He muttered as he looked around his room, startling James and Lily as he rushed to get his wand and shoes. He had his coat on and was almost out the door before James stopped him.

“Do you want me to come with you?” James asked, but to everyone in the room it seemed more as if James was begging him. James couldn’t bare the thought of Sirius hating him, but even though he knew the answer to his question, he had had to ask anyway.

“No.” Sirius said sharply, feeling ashamed of himself as he wanted nothing more than to get away. But despite his anger, he couldn’t hurt James. “Just—not today.” He muttered, his tone softer now, “I’m going to need a little time.”

James nodded, and stepped back towards Lily as Sirius darted out of the room.

“We need to talk to Marlene, Remus and Peter.” Lily sighed after a couple moments, but as she looked at James, seeing the hurt in his expression that he was trying so desperately to hide, she stood up. “We can wait though.” She whispered, reaching up and gently holding his face as she tried to make him look at her. “He’ll forgive you James. I know he will.” She breathed, wrapping her arms around his neck as she burrowed her face into his shoulder.

But James was silent, because as much as he wanted to believe Lily as she whispered those words, he couldn’t, because he honestly couldn’t imagine Sirius ever doing something like that to him.

*

Sirius was trapped in his own mind as she stood across the street from Samantha’s home. He was desperately trying not to overthink everything he had just learned, but at the same time he couldn’t stop putting all the pieces together. It all made sense, it fit her personality to a T. But still, as he stood outside, desperately trying to think of a way to get in to the palace and see her brothers, he came up blank each and every time.

But suddenly, it was like a miracle.

Fabian and Gideon Prewett were walking towards the gates on the opposite side of the street, seemingly heading exactly where he was trying to get. Sirius nearly fainted from surprise, but right before they were about to disappear inside he came to his senses and shouted.

“OI!”

Not the most clever of terms but it seemed to get the job done.

Gideon and Fabian looked around on instinct, not necessarily expecting to see anyone but as they saw Sirius Black sprinting towards them at first they were surprised.

And then they were defensive.

Sirius nearly laughed, which made no sense to him at the time, but he had been so distracted, he nearly forgot there was a war going on. Which was just absurd because this war was the whole reason he was standing there right then.

“Show us your patronus.” Fabian hissed at Sirius, pulling the younger man to the side (hidden from muggles) both their eyes darting around expecting some sort of attack. Sirius nodded, calmly pulling out his wand and reciting the spell. The three men had been on many missions together so Fabian and Gideon immediately accepted him as the actual Sirius Black.

“Sorry about that mate, but you kind of came out of nowhere.” Gideon sighed, as he released the collar of Sirius’ shirt and then patted him on the back. “What the bleedin’ hell are you doing anyway?” He asked.

“I need to get inside the palace.” Sirius rushed out, his expression once again slightly frantic. He tried to tell himself to calm down though, because nothing seemed more suspicious than him appearing to desperately try and get into the palace. A place that was guarded almost as heavily as Hogwarts.

“Why?” Fabian asked, furrowing his brows in confusion. Samantha’s face flashed through Sirius’ mind and he physically found himself shaking his head to try and dispel the image.

It was her brothers that he needed to see first. They were the ones that could get him to her. They were who he needed to focus on right then.

“I need to speak with John or Patrick. I know them—I mean, they know me and if I can just get inside I can find someone to help me talk to them.” Sirius explained.

Gideon and Fabian softened their gaze as they appeared to have accepted his answer. Rumors had obviously spread through the Order of Sirius’ involvement with Samantha Cromwell during their Hogwarts’ years, but everyone had the good sense not to talk about it in front of Sirius.

“Right, well, we’re doing our weekly shift this evening,” Fabian started.

“For the guard.” Gideon added on.

“So we can get you inside, but we can’t guarantee you we can get you to them. We don’t even know if they’re here. We’re not part of the guard that knows the royals whereabouts.” Fabian explained, inferring with his speech that he also didn’t know if Samantha would be there either. But Sirius didn’t seem upset by their comments at all. Once they got him in he could do quite a bit from there.

And he would sit and wait for as long as he needed to if they weren’t home.

*

It turned out Sirius didn’t have to wait long at all.

Fabian and Gideon had gotten him inside with almost no hassle and since they had been doing a weekly shift there for some time now, they also knew who they needed to ask to get information on John and Patrick. So, Sirius was sent to a small parlor off the front entry way as someone was sent to John’s office to request a visit for Sirius. It only took about forty minutes before a breathless butler hurried into the room, seeming very much in a rush.

“King John wishes to see you immediately sir. Would you please follow me?” The butler requested. Sirius nodded absently, moderately surprised at how easy this had all been. In fact, he was so surprised that he forgot how angry he was and suddenly wished Lily was here so he could hug her and thank her for her brilliant idea.

It didn’t take Sirius long before he was standing in front of two very large double doors and the butler was knocking, then opening the door, gesturing Sirius inside.

Sirius didn’t recognize this room. When he used to visit the palace he had always met with the Cromwell brothers in the late king’s office. That room, he now realized, was much more traditional than this one. What he presumed was John’s new office seemed more modern. There were very few older paintings of past royalty, not to mention the furniture and overall décor screamed simplicity rather than extravagance.

But the room only distracted him for a moment as his eyes focused on John, who was currently on what Sirius assumed was the telephone (he always got that mixed up with the television so he couldn’t quite be sure). When John saw him enter he held up a finger asking for Sirius to wait a moment, to which the dark haired boy nodded his agreement.

John didn’t seem to be speaking much, mostly listening, so Sirius stood in mostly silence as he waited anxiously to speak with him. The second he saw the eldest Cromwell brother it was like cold water had been dumped over his head, reminding him immediately of why he was here, waking him out of the fog that he had allowed to occupy his mind, rather than thinking about Samantha.

Sirius was once again distracted however when the door opened again. Sirius nearly felt his heart go through his chest as he watched anxiously to see who stepped through the door. He wasn’t sure if he was relieved or disappointed to see Patrick, somehow looking years older instead of the months since Sirius had last seen him. Patrick didn’t say anything as he walked in and made his way over to what was clearly John’s liquor cabinet, but nor did he ignore Sirius as he walked in. He nodded in greeting and as he poured himself a drink, he poured two more, dropping one on John’s desk, then bringing one towards Sirius.

“I think we’re all going to need these.” Patrick muttered as he handed Sirius a drink, then took a sip of his own.

Sirius didn’t think he had ever agreed with Patrick Cromwell more.

Only another moment later was John saying his farewells on the telephone (Sirius was sure he had that right) and then looking towards Sirius. He stared hard at the man in front of him for a moment, his eyes then looking towards the drink Patrick had left him and then loosening his tie as he took a rather large sip.

“You look like hell Black.” John said suddenly, his gaze once again focused on Sirius who was moderately surprised by the bluntness in his statement.

“Yes, well,” Sirius cleared his throat, “It’s been a rough couple of days.”

“Days?” Patrick asked, making his way over to pour another drink, his tone skeptical.

“Months would probably be more accurate.” Sirius said quietly, but somewhat harshly. The two Cromwell brothers nodded in understanding and the three men were silent another moment as they all sipped at their drinks. Finally, John got down to business.

“So what is it that you know Sirius?” John asked, his voice sounding so casual you’d think he was asking about the weather, but Sirius could see the shrewdness in his eyes.

“Well, where to begin?” Sirius asked, forcing himself to keep his tone light and sarcastic as he swallowed the rest of his drink and sat down in the chair nearest him. “Apparently, my life was threatened by Voldemort because of certain associations I once had,” Sirius couldn’t quite find himself able to say Samantha’s name, not in front of John and Patrick, not yet, “Then, I was left jilted and abandoned, all my plans for the future ruined because of a death threat that, honestly, I rather anticipated. I have apparently been lied to by nearly everyone I know and care about these last, oh, nine months, and now, I’m here.” Sirius finished, slightly breathless from forcing himself not to yell. Because the anger was once again building, and when it came to Sirius, he had never been good at burying that down. “I want to know why.” Sirius demanded quietly, looking back and forth between John and Patrick with his most intimidating stare.

“You know why Sirius.” Patrick said carefully. “Your life was threatened, Sami was never willing to risk that.”

No!” Sirius was once again on his feet. “There’s more. I know there is. There’s something that James didn’t know, something that Lily didn’t know… There’s more to this threat than what you’re telling me.” Sirius took a deep breath, once again trying to calm himself but not really succeeding. “She’s not stupid.” Sirius whispered, “She wouldn’t have just taken some threat from Avery and then left me. I know that now. There’s something else

John and Patrick shared a significant glance and then sighed, both looking exhausted once again.

“You’re smarter than I thought Black.” John said wryly, swirling the contents of his glass casually. “But unfortunately, we’re not at liberty to tell you. That’s her decision.”

“I know.” Sirius snorted, looking as though that was the most obvious statement in the world.

“Then why are you speaking to us?” Patrick blurted out, looking thoroughly bewildered.

“Well I couldn’t very well request to see her, she wouldn’t let me past the gate.” Sirius explained. John and Patrick nearly smiled. Sirius knew their sister almost too well.

“And you think we’ll bring you to her?” John asked and Sirius was unsure if he was being sarcastic or not.

“I was hoping.” Sirius replied, his voice much softer than it had been since he had walked into the room. “I don’t have a chance in hell if I don’t have your help.” Sirius shrugged, knowing that there was nothing else he could do. Whether or not he spoke to Samantha relied completely and totally on her brothers now.

“She’ll be in her study.” John whispered, his finger tapping carefully against his chin as he appraised Sirius. “When she’s home, that’s where she is. Always.” There was another long silence and then John was standing, walking towards Sirius. “I’ll show you myself.”

*

Sirius and John walked in silence for a moment, getting curious looks from the few members of the staff that they passed. But, before they could reach Samantha Sirius had to ask the question that had burning in his throat ever since they stepped foot out of the room.

“You’re not going to warn her I’m here?” Sirius whispered, the seconds turning into an eternity as he waited for John to reply. Suddenly, John stopped, surprising Sirius slightly, when he turned to face him.

“Sirius, as I have discovered over the last several months, my sister is an exceptionally talented liar when she wishes to be. I have found that I underestimated her intelligence significantly over the last several years of her life. Maybe because she’s been away at school, or maybe because when I used to be with her she was so carefree and happy I never thought she could manipulate a situation so well,” John paused, Sirius listening in fascination, eager for him to continue. “If given the time to think she will easily be able to come up with some brilliant way to keep you away.

“However, I’ve also learned that her weakness is her emotions.” John gave Sirius a sad smile as he eyed the younger man carefully, “If we catch her by surprise she can’t come up with anything, not right away. It’s your best chance to get the truth out of her.” John finished softly.

Sirius found himself unable to respond, and instead just nodded, eyes wide, and once again followed John. Finally, when John stopped once again, they were a set of doors that Sirius found incredibly familiar.

“Isn’t this—“

“Samantha took it over when she moved back home.” John replied quietly. “She never leaves this room. Only to sleep.” John explained and Sirius nodded. He stared at the door, feeling once again overly emotionally.

This was it. This was when he would get his answers. One way or another he was going to see Samantha and he was going to see the real one. Not the hollow version of a girl he had come to know not so long ago, the one he had fallen in love with. The one he trusted with his life.

And as furious, and hurt, and destroyed as he was by his recent discoveries he couldn’t deny that he still loved her. Would still lay down his life for her.

“It’s unlocked. I’ll leave you and you can go in when you’re ready.”

Sirius only nodded, unable to take his gaze away from the door in front of him. He vaguely heard the soft footsteps of John Cromwell making their way back down the hall but the longer he stood there, the only sound he could focus on was the sound of his heart beating in his ears.

His feelings had been going through waves all day, he was up and he was down, he was furious and he was terrified, he was elated and he was crushed. It was a wonder he hadn’t been physically ill.

But finally, after an unknown amount of time, he reached out a shaking hand, turned the handle, and pushed open the door, forcing himself to walk inside.

*

Samantha heard the door open, but was too distracted by the responses she was reading to look up right away.

Dumbledore had requested that she write to the ministries of other countries and try and gain their help in the battle against Voldemort. While they may be the magical ministries, Dumbledore believed that if they heard from someone like her they may possibly be more inclined to help.

But Dumbledore had been wrong, and Samantha pursed her lips as she read an apologetic letter from France’s Minister of Magic, saying that at this time, they were unable to help. Apparently, Voldemort’s reputation had traveled far and wide because this was far from the only rejection she had received.

She had nearly forgotten that someone else had clearly come in to her study, and when Samantha glanced up, expecting to see either John or Patrick, she was horrified to see that she had been incredibly wrong. In fact, she wouldn’t have guessed that the person standing so casually in the middle of the room, would ever step foot in here.

She was utterly speechless. Even when she tried to open her mouth to speak she found that that was impossible. Her breath caught and she could do nothing but stare.

“Good to see you too.” Sirius said, his voice light, his mouth turned into some grotesque form of a smile, as he walked towards the window. Samantha’s eyes followed him as he seemed to find the whiskey that every Cromwell seemed to keep in stock.

Samantha never would have guessed that he was just finding any way he could to stop his hands from shaking.

Sirius stared out the window for a moment, closing his eyes, trying to relax himself. He wasn’t sure how he hadn’t completely exploded on her yet, but he considered it a blessing. He would like nothing more than to rile her up, make her the one to overreact.

After all, he hadn’t seen that side of Samantha in months.

When Sirius turned back around Samantha was now staring down at her desk, her eyes wide, her face pale. He noted with some satisfaction that she was gripping her desk as if she would like to break through it. He reveled in the fact that his presence was having at least some kind of effect on her.

Sirius poured himself another drink and then casually made his way towards the chair in the middle of the room, but instead of sitting in it, he dragged it directly towards the edge of Samantha’s desk, and then sat down, acting is if he couldn’t be more comfortable.

But his act was without an audience because Samantha hadn’t lifted her gaze from her desk.

“So,” Sirius began, leaning forward, his eyes boring into her, “Voldemort threatened to kill me.”

Samantha was sure she was going to be ill. And if not ill then she would perform violence. She wasn’t sure who she would attack but suddenly Samantha felt the strangest need to physically harm some one.

She wasn’t supposed to be having this conversation. Not now.

She had of course planned on having it eventually. After all, she was fighting this war night and day so that she could do nothing but run back to Sirius, tell him everything, and spend the rest of her life begging him to forgive her and take her back.

But this was wrong. Because the war wasn’t over. Because his life was still in danger. Because now he knew the truth.

Or at the very least, part of it. But she still couldn’t find her voice and ask him how much he knew.

“Hmm, suddenly all out of things to say.” Sirius said, his tone still unnaturally light and calm considering the topic. “All out of lies. All out of ways to crush me down until I wouldn’t even want to get back up again.” Sirius couldn’t stay calm anymore and he was practically hissing at the girl sitting in front of him.

But she couldn’t keep her eyes on her desk any longer.

“Sirius.” She breathed, the word a plea. But Sirius wouldn’t give in to her, he wasn’t going to feel sorry for her.

“The worst is what a damn good job you did.” Sirius snapped, his grey eyes thunderous. “You knew exactly how to hurt me. Exactly what to say, exactly what to do. Every word you uttered that day was rubbish, but it was perfectly orchestrated.

“You knew me better than anyone, saw past all the bullshit, and you used my deepest insecurities against me, to hurt me.” Sirius paused, breathing heavily as he suddenly stood to his feet, and pointed his finger. “And that is something I don’t think I could ever forgive you for Sami.”

Samantha suddenly felt the tears welling in her eyes as she stared at him, once again at a loss for words. But as Sirius pulled his hand back, he ran his hands almost frantically through his hair, nearly growling to himself.

“And you knew.” He whispered, again after a long silence. “You did all of this risking the fact that we might never get past this. And that’s where I’m confused Sami.” Sirius looked at the dark haired girl again, noticing how scared she looked, how even when her hands where gripping her desk for dear life she still seemed to be shaking.

He couldn’t stop himself from nearly running to the other side of the desk, kneeling in front of her and turning her to face him. Her lips trembled as she looked down at him and suddenly the anger was gone, the hurt was gone; all that was left was concern, and Samantha felt the urge to be sick again as she realized the concern was for her.

“Sami, something happened that scared you so much you had to leave me. And it wasn’t just what Avery said.” Sirius resisted the urge to reach out and touch her. “What else?” Sirius begged and Samantha couldn’t stop herself from sobbing now.

She shook her head furiously as she truth about her father sat at the tip of her tongue. It was the most painful internal battle she had ever experienced as she thought about telling Sirius everything. Not just about threatening Sirius, but about how easily that threat could be followed through on. After all, her father had been gotten to so easily. He had been here, at home, with protection.

But it hadn’t been enough.

And Samantha felt, deep in her bones, that if she told Sirius the truth she would have no more excuses to push him away. And she needed him alive. If nothing else, she needed him alive.

“Sirius,” She choked on the word, swallowing down another sob as she shook her head, “I can’t tell you. I can’t.”

“Yes. You can” He growled, no longer able to resist the urge to touch her as he brought his hand to her cheek, unable to stop the flow of contentment at feeling her again. And there was a deep satisfaction as she pressed her cheek more firmly into his palm.

“No. Sirius, you may know the truth now but—“

Sirius didn’t want to listen to her excuses, he needed to distract her, find some way for her to stop thinking about leaving him and just think about being with him.

So he kissed her.

And it was just like it had always been but it was different now too. Because he knew, he absolutely, positively knew that she loved him back. She didn’t have to say it, in fact, he didn’t expect her to, but as he kissed her, and her lips moved with his just like they always did, he was sure of it.

And when he finally pulled away they were both quiet, their eyes closed as they rested their foreheads against each other, catching their breath.

But the silence didn’t last long enough.

“Nothing’s going to change.” Samantha whispered, and Sirius’ eyes flew open, staring in horror at Samantha as he pulled back slightly, her eyes opening much more reluctantly. And he could see that he was losing her again.

“But I know now.” Sirius whispered. “It already changed.” He snapped.

“No,” Samantha shook her head, biting her lip and momentarily distracting Sirius with the familiar sight of it. “It just makes it harder Sirius. I won’t risk your life.” She sighed.

Sirius was suddenly on his feet, his stance once again angry and hostile.

“It’s my LIFE!” Sirius roared, unable to stop himself as he leaned forward on Samantha’s chair, his hands gripping the armrests of the chair as Samantha leaned back, looking terrified, but no less resolute in her decision. That just infuriated him more. “You’ve been controlling me now for months Samantha. You should have told me the truth from the beginning because I should have had a say. This wasn’t your decision to make.” Sirius growled.

“You would have died Sirius.” Samantha snapped, the terror now gone as her eyes narrowed in frustration. “You put no self worth on your own existence and if I told you that you had been threatened from the beginning you wouldn’t have done a damn thing.”

Sirius glared at her, knowing that she was right.

“You had no right.” Sirius’ voice was low, dangerous, as his eyes stared into hers. “I deserved the truth from the beginning and you know it. You never should have lied to me the way you did.”

“No.” Samantha said quietly, but her voice was just as menacing as his. “I didn’t have any right to lie to you. I know that. You know I know that. You also know that I will never forgive myself for hurting you Sirius, ever.” Samantha paused, pushing herself forward, making Sirius step back as she finally stood. “But I don’t regret my decision Sirius. Not if it’s going to keep you alive. Which is why, I will not be with you.” She said with finality.

And Sirius knew he was not going to win this argument today.

“I never thought I could dislike you as much as I do right now.” Sirius snapped, his gaze harsh as he looked at Samantha, unable to ignore the flash of hurt that crossed her eyes. “But I hate myself more, because as much as that’s true, it still doesn’t change a thing about what I feel about you. Which just goes to show what a sodding fool I am.”

And then he was gone, leaving a stunned Samantha, alone.

*********************************************

A/N: It's strange, in all my planning for this story, a LOT has changed. For instance, the biggest thing, was that first of all, James was never originally going to be the one to tell Sirius the truth. In fact, it was kind of an 'accident' that James found out at all.

But, as I was writing the story, I couldn't not have Lily tell James. And then, I was left with the debacle of James not telling Sirius. I WAS going to have him keep his mouth shut, but I realized how impossible that would be so James finally blurted it out.

Which brings me to my next point...

Sirius wasn't supposed to find out the truth until the end of the story. It's interesting how as I get further and further into this story certain plot twists change, all because originally I thought the characters would do one thing but now they're doing something completely different.

Interesting...

Anyway I would also, while I'm writing this, like to thank EVERYONE who has read this story and kept up with over my too long breaks. But, as much as I hate to use this excuse, life has gotten in the way. But, considering how close we are to the end, and I how I always seem to come back to this story, I'm sure I'm won't be able to stop until this story is complete. So, thank you once again to everyone who has stuck around, really and truly, and I hope that you can all hold on a bit longer as we finish up! Thanks again!



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Black Hart: Stunned

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