Chapter 25 : Daughter
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“How is he?” Shay asked as she entered the old house.
Remus closed the door and turned to her.
“He’s up with Buckbeak. He won’t talk to me. I can’t blame him,” Remus said solemnly.
“Don’t beat yourself up over it. I should have never gotten you involved. It’s not your problem. This is my fault,” Shay replied.
“I care about you and Jayme and Sirius is my best friend. I think I’m involved no matter what.”
“I’m going to try to talk to him. He deserves an explanation,” Shay said and headed towards the stairs.
“I think that’s a good idea. You two should just spend some alone time together. It’s been almost 14 years. The two of you deserve a nice chat,” Remus said with a small smile.
Shay looked back at him and gave him a small nod.
“But if you need me. I’ll be down here.”
“Sirius?” Shay called and softly knocked.
She heard stirring in the room, so continued.
“Sirius, I really want to talk to you about this. I want you to hear it directly from me. You deserve that.”
Shay leaned her head against the wood door and waited to see if she was going to be completely ignored.
“You should have told me sooner,” Sirius finally responded through the door.
“I don’t want to talk about this through a door, Sirius. Please let me in,” Shay begged.
She heard Sirius walk towards her and he slowly opened the door. Shay noted that he looked worse than his mug shot.
Sirius swung the door opened and Shay balked when she saw Buckbeak’s overpowering presence.
“Is there somewhere else we can talk? He can tell you’re mad at me and I think he would love a chance to rip me to pieces,” Shay said nervously.
Sirius looked up at Buckbeak and saw that his orange eyes were glowing wildly.
“I guess we can talk in my old room. You do have a child you have to take care of,” Sirius said in spite.
Shay followed him down the hall and they entered the room that she remembered not so fondly. Sirius sat on his bed and motioned for Shay to sit on his desk chair.
“I’m sorry about last night, Sirius. You weren’t supposed to find out like that,” Shay said as soon as she sat down.
“Was I supposed to find out at all?” Sirius asked.
“Yes. One day when you were cleared of all charges.”
“Why? Because you’re embarrassed of who her father is?”
“No, not exactly. Could you imagine if everyone knew who her real father was? How the kids at school would treat her or even worse, how some full-grown wizards would act towards her. You know how some people treat Harry Potter. Imagine how it would be for a girl whose father is an alleged murderer.”
Sirius stayed quiet and tried not to believe what Shay was telling him.
“I just need you to know that everything I have done in the past 14 years has been for our daughter,” Shay said tried to will her oncoming tears away.
“Tell me about her.”
“Her name is Jayme. She’s going to be 13 on August 24th and she’s going to be a 3rd year Gryffindor,” Shay said with a proud smile.
“Jayme?” Sirius questioned.
“I named her after James,” Shay chuckled at a memory, “I promised him on my 19th birthday that I would name our next child after him. It was a joke at the time but when I had her, it just felt right.”
Shay could see a hint of a smile play across Sirius’s face at the remembrance of his best friend.
“She’s very smart and dedicated. She’s at the top of her class. She’s definitely got your sense of humor and deviance. At least according to Severus, but he’s a little biased.”
“Snape knows that she’s my daughter?” Sirius questioned.
“I never told him out right. Only Remus and Jude know for sure. Everyone else that was close to me just sort of assumed because of the timeline of it all. Severus is good to her though. Not too hard on her, even though she is in Gryffindor.”
“So she doesn’t know anything about me?”
“As you saw last night, she knows you as Sirius Black, the escaped convict, not Sirius Black, her biological father who was framed. It took me forever to calm her down last night. She doesn’t understand why I had you in the house and now she’s afraid I’m going to lose my job. She’s always been a bit of a worrier,” Shay said with a sad smile.
“So why disrupt her life now? That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it?” Sirius asked and went to the window.
“She knows that Jude isn’t her biological father. I started dating him when she was five and we got married when she was seven. But she does see him as her father. He adopted her a year after we got married.”
Shay saw that Sirius noticeably stiffened.
“So her last name…” Sirius wondered.
“It's the same as mine and Jude’s. Her name is Jayme Borchardt. I’m sorry, Sirius. You have to understand though, I did what I thought was best for her,” Shay said and went to stand by Sirius.
“Is she talented like you?” Sirius asked quietly.
“Most likely. I never told her about my own powers. She really doesn’t know a whole lot about my past. It would bring up too many questions. I always figured it would be safer for her if I kept her in the dark. That’s why I can’t rejoin the Order.”
“Don’t you want to protect her?” Sirius asked.
“I am. Look what happened to me during the last war. I should be dead but I went through hell instead. What if she is like me and she goes through that same pain? I can’t handle thinking about that,” Shay explained and wrapped her arms around herself in comfort.
“Shay, we need you to join. Like Kingsley said, we will protect you. We have to help Harry in any way we can. Lily and James would have done the same for our child,” Sirius said and leaned against the windowsill.
“You guys just asked me yesterday. Please give me time to think about it.”
“Fine,” Sirius said and walked towards the door.
“Is that it?” Shay asked.
Sirius stopped at the door.
“I would like to meet her. She is my daughter, after all.”
“I have to tell Jude what’s going on first,” Shay countered.
Sirius whipped around.
“Because he is her father,” Shay blatantly stated.
“I’m her father,” Sirius hissed and moved closer to her.
“No, Jude has taken care of Jayme and he loves her as if she was his own. You can’t show back up and expect things to be the same as they were,” Shay said loudly.
“I was in Azkaban! You know that I would have been there if I could!” Sirius yelled wildly.
It shocked Shay, how fast Sirius got angry.
“You had a choice, Sirius. When James and Lily died you could have came to me and explained that you weren’t the secret keeper. We could have gotten you a trial. One drop of veritaserum and you would have been cleared. But you let your despair and Peter Pettigrew get the best of you and you left me all alone. You left me with a baby that I didn’t want,” Shay angrily wiped away her tears after her confession, “I love Jayme with all my heart but when I look at her all I see is you. You don’t understand how that feels.”
“I didn’t leave you, Shay. I would have never left you. I still love you,” Sirius whispered with tears brimming from his eyes.
“Please don’t say that.”
“No, you have to hear it and understand it. I’m always going to love you,” Sirius said and went to wrap Shay in his arms.
She quickly got away.
“I have to go. This isn’t right. Sirius, I’m going to talk to Jude tonight but you have to give me time.”
“I know you feel the same way,” Sirius persisted.
“You have no clue how I feel. If you did then you wouldn’t be doing this to me.”
Shay looked as if she didn’t even know how she was supposed to feel. Sirius had a hard time looking at her in that moment.
“Can you just let me know when I can meet her?” Sirius asked quietly.
Shay responded with a small nod and slipped out of the room as quickly as she could.
She practically ran down the stairs and found Remus reading a book, or at least pretending to.
“Some things never change. Sirius and I are still good at arguing,” Shay said uncomfortably as Remus looked at her over his book.
“Are you all right?” Remus asked and set his book on his lap.
“Yes. I’m going to head out though. I obviously have to talk to Jude but first I have to figure out what I’m going to say. So I have a long night ahead of me,” Shay said with a grimace.
“Don’t rush it Shay. Sirius isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Remember, he’s not supposed to leave the house.”
“Since when have you known Sirius to follow the rules?”
“Long day at the office. I’m definitely ready for bed,” Shay heard her husband call from their bathroom as she secured their room with a silencing charm.
She had to make sure Jayme, who was hopefully sound asleep down the hall, didn’t hear a single part of the conversation.
“Each day gets longer. Let’s think about retiring soon,” Shay answered back and tried to find a perfect place to sit on her bed.
“We’re only in our 30’s,” Jude answered with a smile and entered the bedroom.
“It’s just something to sleep on,” Shay said, trying to genuinely contribute to the conversation without giving herself away.
“Are you ok? You look uncomfortable,” Jude questioned and crossed the room to his side of the bed.
“I’m not uncomfortable,” Shay said and self-consciously adjusted herself, “But I do need to talk to you.”
“Uh-oh,” Jude said half-jokingly and stood by to hear what his wife had to say.
“I know where Sirius Black is,” Shay blurted out.
Jude’s complexion paled considerably.
“You’ve informed the Ministry, haven’t you?”
Shay shook her head and became very interested in the duvet.
“So you’re telling me that you’re protecting the man that gave up your best friends to the Dark Lord and killed one of your other best friends and twelve other innocent muggle bystanders. Oh, and by the way he’s trying to kill Harry Potter,” Jude’s rage came through more and more with each word.
“He didn’t do any of that. Sirius is innocent.”
Jude looked as if he had a million things to say but couldn’t get a single word out.
“Please let me explain. But I’m telling this to my husband, not an Unspeakable.”
Shay watched Jude wrestle with his reason versus his emotions. She knew that he was very loyal to the Ministry, however Shay also knew that Jude was even more loyal towards her.
He sat down beside her and Shay took this as an opportunity to begin.
“Albus Dumbledore has reinstated the Order of the Phoenix. A Fidelius Charm with Albus as the secret keeper protects the headquarters. Nobody can get in unless Albus wants them in. So naturally, that is where Sirius is. He’s a member of the Order once again. Everyone that survived the first war has joined again, that is except for me.”
“I’m assuming they asked you to join again,” Jude said.
“Yes, and I told them no at first.”
“At first?” Jude questioned cautiously.
“They said they have a Polyjuice Potion, one Severus made himself, that would protect my identity. Jude, it’s really hard for me not to help. But I told them I had to think about it,” Shay said and she still couldn’t seem to look at Jude.
“You almost died the last time. You have a family to think about as well.”
“I had a family to think about the first time around too,” Shay answered defensively.
“It’s different now.”
“How so, Jude?” Shay asked a got up from the bed.
“Jayme is almost 13. Do you know how much it would hurt her if she lost you? You’ve been the one constant in her life. And what about me, Shay?” Jude asked with pain creasing across his face.
“What about you?”
“I love you. Please don’t forget that now that Sirius is back in the picture.”
Shay took a deep breath and sat on the windowsill facing Jude.
“I lost my son in the first war and I lost a lot of other people I loved too by the end of it. I know I have the same things to lose this time around.”
“Cillian was only a year when it happened. How do you think it would feel to lose Jayme?” Jude questioned.
“I loved…I still love my son very much. I know how it feels to lose a child. Don’t question me on that.”
“Jayme doesn’t even know about him,” Jude said quietly.
“Why would I tell her? So she can feel my pain too? Parents are supposed to protect their children, not bring them into the misery too.”
“So then you’re not going to tell her about Sirius?” Jude asked and got up from the bed as well.
Shay stared at the floor for a few seconds before answering.
“Sirius came over yesterday. He saw Jayme. He’s knows that he’s her father,” Shay said and with each word felt smaller and smaller for what she was doing to her husband.
“What?” Jude asked harshly.
“I’m Jayme’s father!” Jude yelled and Shay jumped a little.
“I know you are and I told Sirius that today. But he wants to meet his daughter and how can I deny him that?” Shay explained and Jude saw that there were tears falling freely on her face.
“You say no, simple as that. He’s a damn convicted murderer. I don’t want him in the same house as my family. Especially since my wife is still in love with him.”
“I’m not Jude. I swear I’m not. But Sirius is innocent. He was never the secret keeper. Peter Pettigrew was. Peter betrayed Lily and James. Sirius came to me two years ago.”
“Two years ago?” Jude interrupted.
Shay held up her hand towards him and continued.
“I was ready to kill him that night, like I always planned if I had the chance. Then he told me what actually happened. He had proof. So I gave him until the end of that school year to prove it.”
“Which he didn’t, or else the Ministry wouldn’t still be searching high and low for him.”
“Things didn’t go as planned, but Sirius proved that Peter is still alive. Remus saw it with his own eyes. Albus trusts Sirius and Harry Potter loves him. Sirius is practically the only family he has.”
“But I didn’t see Sirius again until yesterday when Albus asked me to rejoin the Order. I invited Remus and Sirius over for a cup of tea and that’s when Jayme walked in on us,” Shay said and felt horrible.
“Jayme met him?” Jude asked and was slowly pacing the room.
“And she freaked out. It took me forever to calm her down. She just knows that he’s an old friend of mine and I explained to her that Sirius is innocent. I want Sirius to meet her, Jude. But she doesn’t have to know anymore than she does now. If Sirius cares about her at all, he’ll let her go on thinking he is just a friend. You are her father. She’s lucky enough to have you and so am I. But Sirius did his time, and now he deserves to meet her.”
Jude stared down his wife for a minute before snatching up his pillow and a blanket.
“What are you doing?” Shay asked and got up from the windowsill.
“Sleeping on the couch tonight. I can’t bring myself to sleep next to a liar.”
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