Chapter 20 : A Light In The Darkness
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Hi! I'm so sorry it's taken so long to update. These last two chapters were very difficult to write. I wasn't sure where I needed Yves and the story to go. Such a dilemma. But don't worry- it's all sorted now.
As always, thank you so much for reading. We're over 2000 reads now. Drop me a review or a message if you can, I'd really like to hear your opinions and comments.
All my love- A
And I feel like we're letting go
As my white flag hits the ground
And everyone feels the same
Picked up and thrown by a hurricane
~Hurricane by Vaults
By the time I walked back to the dormitories I realised it was early morning. But I didn’t care; it was Sunday after all. I kept on running over what had just happened. The night had felt like an eternity- some of it bad, some of it good, but I was finding out that that’s what life was- good and bad all rolled into one all at once. You just had to focus on the great bits to get through it. I couldn’t wait to get into bed and sleep the day away but the night wasn’t over yet. Sirius had propped himself up against the entrance to Gryffindor Tower. His head had lolled to the side, arms folded, legs outstretched. Stubble had spread across his face and he looked even paler than he had in the moonlight. I took a moment to compose myself before I knelt down and placed my hand on his arm.
“Sirius, wake up.” I said in my softest voice shaking him a little.
His eyes popped open but the light was gone. He looked like a ghoul.
“Yves,” He said straightening himself up a bit, “I was waiting for you. I need to talk to you.”
“You always need to talk to me Sirius.” I said, “Besides, I don’t want to talk about tonight. I don’t want to talk to you about anything.”
“No please Yves. Please.” He said getting to his feet quickly.
I considered him before nodding for him to continue.
“I cannot tell you how sorry I am Yves. I don’t know what I was thinking. You know I’m not really like this! I know you know.” He said taking my hand. “There’s something about you that overwhelms me. I just… I lost it tonight. It was my own fault and I know that. If I hadn’t been so arrogant all the time, if I had just kept my temper…”
“It’s too late for what if’s now Sirius.” I said gently. I didn’t want to be the girl who kicked him when he was down now matter how much he deserved it. But that didn’t mean that I had to listen to a thousand excuses. I was trying to focus on the good but it didn’t mean that I would forget the bad.
“I know.” He said clinging to my hand even harder and dropping his head. “The New Years Party… that… I think we misunderstood each other. I saw you slip away so I followed around the back of the house. I didn’t mean to listen in on your conversation with your brother. At first I thought he was some guy from the party. The way you were standing… I could just tell that you were uncomfortable. But then as I got closer I saw the resemblance.” He paused to look at he. He was completely crestfallen.
“It’s over now.” I said, “Could we just keep what Alec said between us?”
“I would never breathe a word Yves.” He said stepping closer, his eyes igniting. “I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was judging you darling.” He said tenderly. “I… the muggle thing… I know you. I know you’re not a murderer. I think I was a little in shock, I know you’d never deny what you’ve done no matter what it is. And I was so angry with myself because I was the one who lured you out of Hogwarts. I was the one who pushed until you came and look what happened. It could have been so much worse. He could have killed you and it would have been my fault.” He said hanging his head again. I was in utter shock. Was everything that happened at new years as simple as a miscommunication? Really? But I wasn’t his responsibility. He couldn’t hold himself accountable for what happened to me. And then, as so often happened with Sirius, I started talking, almost involuntarily.
“I didn’t know that’s what you meant. I thought you meant that I was dangerous and I was putting the Potters in danger. Which I suppose I was. But that’s not your responsibility Sirius- I should have known better, I should have known that they would find out I wasn’t at Hogwarts. They know everything else that goes on.”
“What do you mean?” He said, a frown developing on his face.
“I mean they knew I was at Hogwarts to begin with, they knew enough to send someone to send me a message. A few messages actually.”
“Explain please.” He said the frown not etched to his forehead.
“I mean, the letter my mom sent me and then I was attacked, and then Mary was attacked at Hogsmeade and that came with a message too, and then there was another attack at Christmas. Voldemort- he keeps on sending me messages, he wants me to join him and the more I resist, the more violent the messages are becoming. It’s what Alec was talking about. You didn’t put the Potters in danger Sirius.”
“Why does he want you?” He asked after a little while, letting what I was saying soak in.
I took a deep breath before ploughing on.
“Voldemort… he spent some time at my parent’s house with my family. While everyone else was enamoured with him, honoured by him choosing us as a place to reside, no matter how temporary and to what end. I tried to pretend that I was like them, but there was something about him that made my hair stand on end. I couldn’t stand to be around him and even though I tried to keep my feelings hidden, he was getting under my skin. He would always watch me, I realised later, for signs that I didn’t feel the same way about him my parents did. I think it was important for him to have us as a set or something as though we were part of a collection. My family, we’re direct descendants of Gillert Grindelwald and I think that Voldemort thought that it meant something, that there was something important in our blood. My whole family thought the same. I was always ashamed for people to know but my brothers thought it set us apart. I wasn’t fooled by Voldemort’s charm as they were. He just fed them lies that flattered their already established delusions and in turn, they fed his. I knew he would kill all of us at the drop of a wand if it so pleased him. But I was scared so I pretended to go along with it. But he knew, Voldemort… He knew. And he wanted me to prove myself. He wanted me to kill a muggle my brothers had found walking down the road. He… If he wasn’t there, if he had walked a little faster or slower he wouldn’t have been there…”
I had thought about that a lot. The twisted fate that had brought the boy down the road at the exact moment someone was looking for a muggle. I didn’t doubt that they would have found someone else but it was his face that haunted me.
“I couldn’t do it though, at first... We were standing there and he was willing me to do it but I just couldn’t. And then he lifted his wand to my family and I knew that if I didn’t kill the boy he would kill my family and he was going to kill me. I should have let him kill us. All of us are worth less than the boy I killed. But I did it. I used the killing curse and the boy… he died before he hit the ground, his eyes wide open, the snow falling on him. And I dream about him- the boy. And his body going cold in the snow. I dream about his eyes, the way they lost their life. I dream about Voldemort, his laugh… his words. And I sometimes dream that it’s you I kill; all your light snuffed out with as much effort as snuffing a candle. I know not everyone would have chosen to kill the muggle boy but I did and it’s a horror I have to live with just like you have to live with what you did tonight.”
Even though I had just come back from Severus and despite everything that had happened tonight, for some reason, and it was quite a troublesome realisation, that I was never more comfortable than I when I was with Sirius, never more myself, never more honest.
There was no judgement in his face now. He was simply listening to me, thinking over what I had said.
After a while he spoke. His voice was clear and confident.
“You did what you had to do to survive. I did what I did because I am completely selfish.” He stepped a fraction closer to me. There was already so little space between us. “I know he is better for you, I can see how happy he has made you. But when you said you might love him…” He shook his head, his face crumpling. “I completely lost control. It felt like I couldn’t breathe, like someone had poured oil into my lungs, like my chest was doused in acid. I didn’t just want him to die I wanted him to suffer. I can’t even say that it was a moment of madness. It was more than that. I felt like all the light in my life had been snuffed out, like there was only darkness and I was smothered in it. I have been sitting here thinking about what I did, what could have happened… You,” he said taking my face in his hands, lifting it up to look at him, electricity seemed to hum between us, “deserve more than me, more than this. You deserve exactly what makes you happy.”
“Sirius…” I started to say but he interrupted.
“I love you.” He said and I blinked. I don’t think he meant to say it, his eyes flared wide in surprise. Slowly a smile spread across his face and it was completely beautiful. “Yves,” He said putting his forehead against mine, our noses touching, “I love you. I am completely in love with you. There will never be anyone else for me. Just you.” My heart was beating so hard I could hardly hear him. Moments ago I had been with Severus and I thought that that was the happiest I would ever feel but suddenly those feelings were coloured now by what Sirius had said. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I was feeling, it was a sort of sadness, but it was more than that. Sirius pulled away from me to look in my eyes, still smiling in the strangest way. Did he know something I didn’t? He pulled me into his arms, and I pressed my face against his chest while he nestled into my hair, breathing deeply. I did the same and sucked in as much air, as much of his scent, as I could but it was over all too soon. He stepped out of my arms I didn’t even realise were wound around him, and looked at me with a kind of peace on his face I had only seen when he was asleep. He pressed his lips roughly against my forehead in his familiar way before turning to walk away. It was then that I remembered something Dumbledore had said to me.
“Sirius,” I said calling out to him just before he rounded a corner and disappeared. He turned, still smiling the most perfect smile. “Dumbledore said something once and I think it saved my life. He said that me asking my family to choose the light over the darkness isn’t the same as them asking me to forego the light for darkness. He said that there was darkness within us all but that we all have light if only we would nurture it.”
He paused before answering, his smile widening even more.
“Don’t worry Yves. I’ve already found my light.” He said before disappearing.
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