Disclaimer: Apologies to J.K. Rowling, but there needed to be a funeral.
This story ©2003 by Lady Narcissa. Rated PG-13.
Harry sat alone in his bedroom at Privet Drive, tossing items feverishly out of his trunk. Parchment, quills, inkbottles—which smashed onto the wooden floor—spellbooks, school ties, and clothes all lay scattered about. Robes covered the entire mess, soaking up the ink, and the homework diary Hermione had given him opened with a squawk. Do it today and then you can play! it squealed; Harry pointed his wand at it, eyes narrowed.
The planner was as smart as Hermione; it shut itself and lay quiet.
There, on the bottom of the trunk, lay Sirius’s mirror, its glass front smashed to pieces. He picked it up tenderly, as if it were a newborn baby, and laid it on his bed. Precious beyond belief, he couldn’t believe he’d waited until it was too late to use it. The reasoning had been sound but in the end it was he who’d so eagerly pulled Sirius into mortal peril after all. He ran his fingers over the silvery surface, willing his godfather’s face to appear, but to no avail.
Piece by piece, Harry retrieved the shards of glass and fitted them into place, a puzzle solved. So what if he got into trouble—he didn’t care, not any more—he touched his wand tip to the glass. Reparo. The pieces mended themselves in an instant.
And there was no warning owl from the Ministry of Magic this time. He’d already paid the price. He deserved to use magic at Privet Drive any time he wanted without worrying about age restrictions and pointless Ministry decrees. If they expelled him, so much the better.
I’ve got to try it again, Harry said to himself. He held the mirror in both hands.
A pair of green eyes looked back at him. His own.
‘Sirius! Sirius Black!’
Nothing happened. Harry felt his throat close up again; the rage he had felt every day in the little while since Sirius’s death filled his entire body until he shook uncontrollably. But this time he didn’t throw the mirror. Even if Sirius would never appear in it, never give him advice again, never smile that dangerously reassuring smile of his, he would keep it. He’d have it always, as a reminder.
But still, he had to do something. He had to bury his godfather.
Harry peered into the trunk. There were two items left: the books Sirius and Remus had given him for Christmas, and the handle of the penknife, its blade melted away. The books were amazing; he swore silently to study them carefully every day over the summer. Then he picked up the penknife, now broken and useless. Yes, that was it; that would do. He tossed it up into the air and caught it with grim satisfaction, then wrapped it in his Gryffindor scarf.
Glancing one more time at the mirror—maybe a glimmer? No…—he walked slowly down the stairs and out into the back yard at Privet Drive, ignoring the unabashed stares and gaping mouths of his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley. They’d barely spoken a word to him the entire ride home; Mad-Eye Moody had obviously made the impact he’d hoped for. And they didn’t bother him now, even when Aunt Petunia craned her neck to look through the window to see him emerge from the garage, spade in hand, and start digging out behind her voluminous hydrangea bushes. Petunia and Vernon merely exchanged glances and pretended they weren’t seeing it.
As he dug a small square out of the yard, Harry’s jaws clenched tight. He tried to speak but found he could not; his throat was tight and his eyes stung with wetness. I’ll have to do this silently, Sirius, but you won’t mind, will you. I wish it could be anyplace but here. You deserve far better than Privet Drive, but it’s all I have. And I think you’d rather be laid to rest here than in Grimmauld Place.
He continued to dig until the square was tidy and deep enough so that no animal could disturb it, although he knew full well that if Uncle Vernon ever saw an animal digging in his garden, there’d be a swift end to that particular creature. He took the scarf-wrapped penknife handle and laid it into the earth tenderly, with great reverence. Snuffles, I don’t know how to say good-bye. I haven’t the words, I haven’t the inclination. Damn it, Sirius, come back. There was so much we still had to do… so much to talk about… so much you could have shared with me.
His thoughts trailed off as the tears he’d denied himself finally came streaming out of his eyes. They were uncontrollable; his vain attempts to stop them fell by the wayside. With his bare hands, he covered the penknife with the good, fresh earth, pressing it firmly into place, tears commingling with the ground. When he was done he sat back on his heels, wiping his eyes. He sat staring at the small, rather pathetic shrine. I’m sorry, Sirius. You deserve so much more. This was the best I could do.
He stayed by the memorial long after the sun had set and the neighbours at Privet Drive had stopped caring what the strange boy from Number Four had been doing in his aunt’s garden after all.
Late that night as Harry lay in bed unable to sleep, Hedwig hooted quietly in her cage. He shot her a baleful warning glance, but he didn’t really care if she made noise. He didn’t really care about much, not any more.
Hedwig’s hooting grew in volume; Harry shook his head. But when she ruffled her feathers and widened her amber eyes, he took notice.
Flying toward his open window was another owl. Oh, here it is, finally, Harry thought glumly, the official warning from the Ministry. Took them long enough. He sighed, resigned, as a handsome Great Horned Owl swooped into the room and rested on the ledge, talon out, so that Harry might remove the parchment it carried. As soon as he’d taken delivery the owl hooted in a dignified way and flew off into the night, not waiting for praise, payment, or treats.
Harry watched it go, not the least bit eager to read what it had brought. But finally he opened the seal; it wasn’t from the Ministry after all. There was a short note in Lupin’s even scrawl covering another longer piece of parchment that had been folded in two. It read:
I found this while putting things away. It belongs to you.
Curious and slightly annoyed—he’d not left anything behind at Grimmauld Place—he unfolded the second parchment. His heart dropped to his feet as he recognised his godfather’s handwriting. Hands trembling, he read eagerly.
I’m not sure why you’ve not used the mirror I gave you, but I assume you feel it’s unsafe in some way. Don’t worry so much! James and I used it for years without detection. It saved me from many a gloomy detention, I can tell you that, and it was always a cheery thought that late in the night when I was supposed to be either cleaning bedpans or polishing trophies, I could look forward to your father’s face calling to me from the darkness.
It meant everything to me to have you here over Christmas, Harry, although I wish the circumstances that brought you had been different. No matter; Arthur was saved and it all worked out in the end. I’ve spoken to Dumbledore and told him you’re to come and stay with me here during the summer holiday and that I won’t take no for an answer, no matter how sensible his objections. It’s time we got to spend some time together, you and I, Harry. That’s why your father and mother appointed me your godfather, after all. There are a few things I do know.
I know, for example, that your parents loved each other with a burning passion that even Voldemort couldn’t destroy. I also know, for example, that they loved you more than they loved life itself, and acted as they did to protect you. Because they knew you mattered, Harry, far beyond what they—what we—were doing with the Order, with the fight against Voldemort, with all of it. They knew that without you, their lives would have little meaning. I only hope I might be as lucky some day to find for myself what they found in one another. Be proud of them, Harry; be proud of who they were and who you are. They loved you so greatly, enough to lay down their lives for you.
But listen to me! When I can, I’ll find a safe way to get this to you. Until then, rest assured that I’ll be here to take care of you. I may not be your father, Harry, but I love you as if you were my own son. Hopefully I'll figure a way to get this into your hands before summer, but if not... I'll see you then.
Harry took off his glasses and put them aside. He let out one deep breath after the other, staring up at the ceiling. He didn’t even object when Hedwig flew over from the spot on her perch and brushed away his tears with her wing.