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Chapter 1 : Alphard Black
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I couldn’t help, but to sigh, the pain weighing on me. It was heavy on my heart like a disease, eating away at it. A pain shot through me on my chest as I rubbed it tenderly with the pads of my fingertips, smoothing out any physically pain. I winced again as it jabbed at me tauntingly, teasing me. The pain only knew that I had a short time to live. I could only speculate about a year, only the ache truly knew.
“GOT YOURSELF LANDED IN GRYFFINDOR!”
My sister’s screechy voice echoed up the stairs, scratching at my office door. I scowled at the door, twirling the quill in my hand. The eagle’s feather caressed and tickled my skin, gentle with its softness. I pulled the parchment in front of me, it thick and tinged with yellow and singed orange of age. I dipped the quill in the ink bottle, it dripping with raven ink. At the top, I wrote in neat cursive, every loop curving and end curling, “My Will.”
The words “My Will” burned into my mind, but it was not taunting me, oh no. I accepted it. My fate was to die soon and I embraced it more than ever. I want to stop feeling the pain heavy on my heart. No, not the physically pain, one generally speaks of. The emotional weight of the heart that rips it, kills it and send it ablaze with the ache of the world. At least, my world that is. My family is my world and it was falling apart before my very eyes. The famous house of Black falling apart just because my nephew is different. Generations and years of prideful Blacks went through Slytherin all expect one who as my sister said, "Got himself landed in Gryffindor." The noble house of Black advocated traditionalism and blood purer than an untouched virgin. Sirius grabbed traditionalism by the neck and challenged it. Deep in my heart, I admired him for that.
“REGULUS IS FAR MUCH BETTER THAN YOU!”
One thing above all, we are all witches and wizards before anything else whether a wizard or a witch is pure-blood, half-blood or muggle-born. What makes a wizard or witch is the abilities, knowledge and experience. The way they gain those is the qualities embedded in them. In my opinion, it is the typical Slytherin qualities that could make a great wizard or witch like determination, resourcefulness, ambition, leadership qualities and cleverness. None of the abstract idea of blood purity. That’s how I always felt. Never did I experience persecution because I was Slytherin. Above all, where was I placed dictated who I was regardless of my views that may have strayed from traditionalism. Apparently, I was like the rest of them, but not poor young Sirius Black.
I heard heavy footsteps pounding on the floor, almost bellowing in anger and a harsh huff. The footsteps came closer and closer until—
“Sirius!” I called, tilting my head toward the doorway.
The footsteps stopped at the doorway and there stood tall, lean, but slightly built young teenager. His raven wavy, shoulder-length hair hid his face as he was looking down at his feet. He tilted his head up, showing his fair complexion. He was unusually grim. His gray eyes were like a sad stormy sky ready to drop its tears. This was the Sirius I am used to seeing, one that was drowning in misery and hate. I like to imagine the Sirius in the pictures he showed me from school, one where his gray eyes were bright as if the sun was slipping through the clouds, one where a grin was plastered on his face, flashing his pearly teeth, the one where he laughed like there was no worry in the world.
“Yes, Uncle Alphard?” he asked, his tone unremarkably polite, yet unhappy.
“Come in, my dear boy,” I commanded.
With a wave of my wand, I conjured a chair and turned my chair away from my desk to face the empty chair which Sirius just had sulked in. He ran his hand through his beautiful hair and eyed me. Soon enough, the cloudiness of miserable disappeared to be placed with concern.
“Uncle, you don’t look so good. We should get you to St. Mungo’s.” He began to shuffle to his feet, but I placed my hand on his shoulder, indicating for him to sit back down. He heaved a sigh and plotted himself back in with cross arms.
“I’m fine, thank you though.”
“You don’t look fine.”
I ran my fingers threw my hair, feeling it wispy and a handful easily shed into my grasp. I stared as Sirius, but my concentration was on the non-verbal spell and I felt the hair shrinking into ashes. I couldn’t have let Sirius see my state, he would rush me to the hospital against my will like a madman.
“I am, but the question is not how I am doing. How are you, Sirius?”
He grunted, looking out the window. I followed his gaze and the scenery acknowledged us too. The bare trees like skeletons scratched its finger on the window as the wind howled, rocking its branches. The clouds settled thick and lonely in the skies and met the buildings of London at the horizon.
“Horrible,” he answered simply.
“Why do you put up with it?” I whispered, leaning forward.
“Where am I going to go, Uncle?” he demanded, furrowing his eyebrows and scowling.
“Leave. There is nothing for you here.”
“To where?” he hissed. “Trust me if I could I would live in Hogwarts, but I can’t.”
I leaned back, fiddling with my thumbs in my lap. “I thought about buying you a flat in London, but I soon realized that a flat is no way for a young man to live who is still growing. A young man like yourself still needs support, not financial because I can give you that. You need love, someone to worry about you, care for you—”
“But Uncle,” Sirius interrupted as politely as he could, “there is no one here willing to do that expect you. And to be honest, Uncle, you should live here and I wouldn’t tell you to move in with me into this flat because you need someone looking out for you in the condition you are in and I have to be at Hogwarts so I’m not constantly around unless…unless I drop out. I could drop out, Uncle!” he said happily, but as soon as the happiness came, it left. “…but my friends…”
“Nonsense!” I waved my hand in the air, dismissing his irrational thought and impulsive idea. “That was not what I was attempting to imply, Sirius. Listen, here, boy, think long and hard about someone who can give you a family you want and you deserve. Because we are obviously not it.”
“Uncle, why haven’t you left?”
I sighed, gazing back out the window. “I suppose loyalty. I still love my family very much, although they are very…rigid. And I’m already old, Sirius. If I was to leave, I should have left at your age.” I peered at him. “How is the Potter boy?”
Sirius’ eyes twinkled. “Good. He’s doing great—” I could his face brighten up especially when he saw my own eyes twinkling, “Uncle, are you suggesting—?”
“I am not suggesting anything,” I winked. “But I am pretty positive the Potter family enjoys you very much. And I remember you telling me, mister young Potter had suggested several times for you to move in with his family and that they would be more than willing to accept you.”
He smiled slightly, “But, I don’t want to be a burden.”
“Sirius, brothers are not sometimes blood, but brotherhood can be found in in great friendship. And no one else is better than family especially the ones you created.”
Sirius grinned, “I don’t know. I guess you’ve convinced me, Uncle with your endless knowledge.”
I laughed, “And the thousandth time is a charm?” as he stood from his chair and walked to the doorway. He shrugged sheepishly with a grin.
“Sirius!” I called. I slid the drawer of the desk opened and pulled out a velvet emerald pouch which jingled lightly. “An early birthday present?”
Grinning, he walked over to me and I handed him the pouch as he asked, “You sure, Uncle?”
“Absolutely,” I smiled.
“Uncle…” he faded out into a grateful smile. “You are the best. I wouldn’t have made it all these years without you. I owe you so much…”
“Nonsense, boy you owe me nothing. You gave me more than what I ever imagined, my memories. When you were little, how you use to sit on my lap as I read you the Tales of Beedle the Bard or how I use to carry you on my shoulders when we shopped at Honey Dukes or how I taught you how to fly. No, Sirius, you gave me happiness that can last a life time. I never had a son of my own, but you Sirius, were the closest thing. Thank you.”
“Thank you, Uncle. Now, I’m not sure if I can leave you.”
“Sirius,” I scolded with a smile. “Go. It is fine. And take care of yourself.”
He stepped forward and embraced me lightly as I returned it with an encouraging pat on his back. He grinned brightly once he pulled again and scurried off excitedly. Then silence loomed as an eerie foreshadowing like the silence before the storm. I felt an emptiness drape over the like fog seeping through every crack. Goosebumps rose to my skin as my eyes darted constantly to the door, waiting. I imagined Sirius, creeping out his bedroom door and running off into London’s embrace, the freedom pulsing through him. I looked back down to my parchment, the only words written, “My Will.” I leaned forward, writing neatly,
All my gold will be left to my dear nephew, Sirius Black III.
I signed the parchment with my name and took the black wax, lighting it with the fire flickering from the end of my wand then stamped the Black crest onto it next to my signature. Gravely, I studied the will, the consequences washing over me like light waves greeting the shore. It did not cause a stir of panic in me, but rather I accepted it like my nearing death.
“DISGRACE CHILD! WHERE ARE YOU? STUPID BRAT! SIRIUS BLACK!”
Footsteps creepily creaked until it was disappeared into an unnerving silence. I felt a burn of a stare heating my back as I looked up from my parchment. There stood a woman straight with her head held high, reeking with pride, but a dangerous pride that persecutes. Her waxy skin sagged as the firm lines of solemnity aligned with the stern flash of her gray eyes. Her blonde hair with wisp of gray was tied into a bun. She walked in, her bony arms rocking back down forward and her small fist clenched.
“Where is he, Alphard?” she asked when she was beside me.
“Perhaps he left,” I replied sternly. “You never did him any good.”
“Ran away?” she hissed. “He…oh…no…that blood-traitor, disgrace for a Black. He is no son of mine!” she roared, her eyes glancing downward at the parchment. “Your will?” she snarled. “To Sirius?” She barked with an evil laugh. “Change it now. Alphard.”
“I will not,” I whispered, my voice low yet firm.
“It is not your money!” she screeched.
I jumped from my chair, slightly swaying from my swiftness, but I ignored it with the courage beating in me. “It is my money, Walburga! I am the eldest son of the Black family so the money is mine. What I chose to do with it is not your concern.”
“And you chose to give it to the blood-traitor?” she hissed.
“He is your son,” I snapped.
“Not for much longer.” She spun on her heel, storming as I limped after her, my inside froze over to artic ice.
“What are you doing, Walburga?” I shouted after her.
“He is no longer my son!” she bellowed, stomping down the stairs. “He does not deserve to be called a Black!”
There she stood in front of the Black tapestry, beautiful on the living room wall. The thread embroidered, glistening bright gold and designed into a tree, its branches winding against the green wall. Each branch stopped at a renaissance artistic portrait of the members of the Black family with scrolls curving with their names written upon it. At the base of the tree, snakes with feathery wings wrapped around its trunk. At the top, it beautiful cursive was “The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black ‘Toujour pur.’” The only ugliness stained on the tapestry was scorched black marks, ruining the flowing beauty. She was going to do it again…
“Walburga, please, act rational!” I begged.
With her wand above her head, she swung her arm widely and her face contoured in an ugly, raging fury. She was consumed by something dark, her heart drowning with the doomed ignorance. She circled her arm, then aimed at Sirius’ portrait, handsome than ever. “NO!” I cried. A fire bolt in singed orange thundered from her wand, zapping his face. Her face was no longer in an ugly rage, but rather an eccentric happiness. His face smoked as the black crept outward, covering his face. She pulled her wand back as the bolt burned the ceiling, sounding of a crackling static. She then whipped her wand to the right, the bolt disappeared, sizzling and fire ashes floating to the floor. She looked back at me, grinning evilly.
My heart shattered into a trillion little shards, ragged, but delicate. The air was ripped from his lungs and my stomach was knotted, a sickening feeling settling in it. She now pointed her wand at my portrait while she was looking at me like a teacher pointing to a word on the board.
“Change your will,” she commanded.
“No. Change your ways!”
“Alphard, if your will does not change once you die, you will follow the fate of your blood-traitor nephew.”
It was an empty threat. I would never abandon him. And with my last breath, I knew I would be “blasted” off, but that was my freedom. It was freedom from the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.
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