The Sugar Quill
Author: B. Nonymous (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Sirius Black and the Four Points  Chapter: Default
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Sirius Black and the Four Points - B. Nonymous

Sirius Black and the Four Points.

JKR has demolished my original plans for Sirus between Harry's fifth and sixth year (never mind making my collected works canon-blasted).

So here's a small sketch with the same title as the multi-chaptered work I was planning. I've already seen some very nice Sirius-in-the-afterlife stories (e.g. Robin has a very nice one right here on the Quill) - here's mine. It also sets up a bit of what I imagine the wizarding world in the US (a topic I've wanted to explore for some time) will be like. Thanks to Night Zephyr for beta reading, and thanks to Herm-own-ninny (aka. Mrs. Nonymous) for her continuing support. Enjoy!

POINT ONE - You're Dead

Sirius was in a very plain white-walled sitting room. The veil was to the left of the chair he was standing in front of, and a door was on his right. Opposite him in an identical chair was a handsome young man, probably a year or two older than Harry, thought Sirius.

"Where have I seen you before?" asked Sirius, now completely cognizant of the fact that he was dead.

The boy furrowed his brow before replying, "I'm not sure. I'm Cedric Diggory - and I was told to greet you."

Cedric took Sirius's shocked silence as permission to continue speaking.

"Are you really Sirius Black? And why are you here? I figured a mass-murderer..."

Cedric's jaw dropped. Being dead had apparently not dulled his wits, and though he was a bit slow, he seemed to realize his faux-pas before Sirius had a chance to address his innocence.

"You didn't do it, did you? It... it was that hunched over man... the one who killed me, wasn't it?"

Sirius immediately knew why Cedric, of all people, was here to greet him. Cedric, however, did not yet understand why. Sirius took Cedric's realization of the truth as an opportunity to slowly sit down. He began speaking after taking a deep breath.

"You realize we both have something in common? Don't you?" quipped Sirius while rapidly reevaluating his opinions on life, death, and the existence of fate or some other divine force.

Cedric looked at him hard, choosing his answer carefully. After a five-second pause, he spoke. "Harry... he thinks you're his fault too, doesn't he?"

Sirius smiled and knew that he and Cedric would be able to have a long chat about his godson. Maybe afterwards, Sirius thought, I'll be allowed to walk through the door.

POINT TWO - You Aren't Coming Back

"Of all the times of my life he had to see me, it had to be through Snape's eyes," spoke James Potter. Lily merely shook her head after hearing Sirius's recount of Harry and the Pensieve.

"He was heartbroken, Prongs. Remus and I couldn't do anything but agree with him. I mean... he risked his life just to tell us. He broke into Umbridge's office..."

"I know all about that, Sirius. We can occasionally watch, you know."

Sirius looked hopeful. He had not been gone for long, and James's words placed a sense of hope in him that maybe he could send Harry one last message.

Lily reached over to touch Sirius on the shoulder. "Sirius... you can't... you can't. Once you're here, you've accepted death irrevocably."

POINT THREE - You're Not The First

Sirius was still surprised that, when he went looking for someone else to talk to, his first run-in would be with an American legend... a founder of American wizardry. Given his limited access to people: Cedric Diggory, then James and Lily, he figured something or someone arranged a meeting with, of all people, Carlisle Hughes. So far, all three of the people he had been allowed to visit had a deep connection to him via Harry. This other person had no obvious connection to Sirius, but he listened.

He listened as he got a far more interesting History of Magic lecture than he ever did during seven years of Professor Binns. Carlisle Hughes founded the third of the Salem Schools - Hughes House. He founded it upon the principle that modern wizards and witches would do better to blend in undetected with the Muggle population than to hide themselves. Even in a land as large as the Colonies were at the time, he thought it made little sense to stay isolated from the larger population.

This principle of assimilation allowed the upstarts of Hughes House (and those Salem Warlocks and Salem Witches who agreed with him) an opportunity to help aid in the Colonial struggle for independence. After the United States was born, Carlisle Hughes became the first chief of the newly-formed Federal Bureau of Magic. He was, in effect, the equivalent of the Minister of Magic in Britain, a fact that was recognized in 1799 via a treaty signed in Hogsmeade.

The elderly man spoke with his strange accent, "As a young man, I wondered if I had gone to Hogwarts, what house I would have been sorted into? When I visited Britain in 1799 to sign the Recognition Treaty, I actually got to wear the Sorting Hat, you know!"

Sirius started to open his mouth to ask the obvious question, but Hughes continued with a better one.

"Do you know what the Sorting Hat told me?"

Sirius sunk his shoulders, looked at Hughes for a moment, and said with a note of confusion, "No."

"It told me, 'It takes a brave man to stand up for his principles. It takes a braver man to stand up to his friends. But...'"

Sirius brightened up upon hearing the very words the Sorting Hat had told him when he started Hogwarts. He joined along in his own impression of the Sorting Hat's voice.

" takes the bravest of them all to stand up to his own family! Bravery like that belongs in GRYFFINDOR!"

They laughed for a whole minute after they finished together. Carlisle Hughes, sounding not unlike an American version of Dumbledore, looked at Sirius with a twinkle in his eye.

"I had often thought I would have come here in a manner similar to the way you did - while fighting. The truth is, son, I never had anyone I loved who was in that kind of danger - the kind that your young Harry was in. I have to tell you, I am a bit envious that you were able to fight for him."

Sirius looked at him almost angrily. The boisterous Hughes again beat him to the punch.

"At the same time, I'm sure you're envious of someone like me who was able to live out his life fully... we can talk about that some more, you know. James Potter and I have had a few chats like that. He's told me so much about you, son."

POINT FOUR - You Won't Be The Last

Sirius was now waiting in the sitting room again. This time, he was in the chair where Cedric had been some time ago. He had lost track of time, something Lily and James warned him about. He had met many people since his death, but it seemed like only a week, or perhaps a month. It was tiring thinking about such mortal concepts now.

The veil shimmered, and for the first time, Sirius was going to welcome someone beyond the Veil. It was someone for whom he was uniquely qualified to meet.

"Hello Wormtail - I'm glad you finally made it back!"

Please comment - I'm such a softie for comments!

Assuming I can get more writing time - I have a Grindelwald-era fic that has one chapter nearly complete, and six more to write. It was going to be more setup for Sirius and the Four Points in that it details a pair of American wizards who are in the fight against Grindelwald. It'll be a good one, I think.

And finally - since Sirius is no longer available, who should I send to America between Harry's fifth and sixth year? My short list includes:
  • Bill Weasley (with letters to Fleur in between)
  • Charlie Weasley (he's the new international go-to-guy, no?)
  • Percy Weasley (revisiting the theme of redemption?)
  • Tonks (who will be the most (ab)used character in fanfic)
  • Moody (I had him mostly right in the Peter trilogy, I think)
  • I'm open, however, to other suggestions. Please fire them off in the comments section! Thanks - B. Nonymous.

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