the sound of steady breathing, the house was completely silent. The only soul
in the house, Remus Lupin,
sat in his kitchen, a place that was like all other rooms in the house in the
sense that it was almost fit for human habitation.
He stared at
the news in the Daily Prophet and
found no joy in what he saw. There was news about You-Know-Who being vanquished
and all the odd happenings. None of that was what caught his eye. It was the
article about the one who had once been his friend which drew his attention so
yesterday hadn't been any better despite how the rest of the Wizarding World
celebrated. His eyes searched the cluttered table till he found the headline of
the day before.
It might have meant times
free of terror for others, but it didn't matter to Remus
if Voldemort was gone or still around and attacking everyone in sight. His
sorrows were only starting to accumulate. James Potter—Prongs—dead, Sirius
Black—Padfoot—a mass murderer and—
"…identified as Peter Pettigrew…"
—Peter Pettigrew—Wormtail—dead as well.
The sacrifices couldn’t be greater. All his friends, once brothers, were gone
in some way or another. There was no one to turn to now, no one to go to who
would understand the sorrow in Voldemort's downfall.
"Sirius Black is being transferred to Azkaban
Remus stared at the line for a long moment. His gaze was
unwavering as if daring the article to say that it was true and not just a
rumor. It was as if he was daring the picture of Black in his maddest hour to
say, "Yes, I did it." He knew the truth and the sorrow behind it. He
knew the traitor behind the work like no other would ever know.
You deserved it, Padfoot.
Traitor. Murderous Traitor. I
thought you at least cared for James. But you didn't. You led him falsely. You
led him to his death.
It had to
have been Black who told of the Potters' whereabouts. Remus
knew that the Fidelius Charm had been performed only
nights before with Sirius named Secret-Keeper. After seeing Sirius as best man
at the wedding, such arrangements were not surprising. But what had he done
with the knowledge endowed to him? He had murdered what used to be closest his
"…twelve Muggles and one wizard…"
hand dropped the paper so it rested halfway in his right hand and halfway upon
the table. The freed hand ran through his light brown hair but stopped midway
to pull his head towards the table so that his elbow could rest upon it. Remus looked despondent beyond salvation, and he was.
I thought you were different from the other
Blacks. Not thinking pure-bloods were the best and the rest not even worth
thinking about. I thought you were different, but you're just the same. Being
different didn't suit you, did it?
what he thought had been wrong on many recent cases. Sirius was not to be trusted. James was not as
invincible as he had always seemed to be, unless he had passed the trait to his
son already. And Peter…
Remus had been almost right there. Peter had never been as
great as the rest of the Marauders but they had still taken care of him like a
brother. He always seemed like he'd be one to leave the vicious world for some
unworthy cause just because his brothers weren't there at the right time.
"…a wizard who had been in Black's year…"
Blacks were the same. Bellatrix had turned sour,
Narcissa was with Malfoy and Regulus had turned into
a Death Eater as well. But none of them had been in Gryffindor. Sirius had the
chance to be different and had already been set upon the path. But he still had
fallen, and taken those before him down as well.
I trusted you to be different, Padfoot. I trusted you not to let the werewolf get too far
on our monthly expeditions. You did well then, but what about now? You let
yourself get farther out than we can reach to save you. I trusted you to help
me in fallen times as I would have helped you. I trusted you—
—like a brother.
newspaper had been dropped upon the table so that he could reach out to the mug
by the side of his paper. It lifted into the air by his hand, with the original
thought to drink from it, but his eyes caught sight of the design upon it: a
stag, a wolf, a rat and a dog.
The mug was
soon in the air, soaring quickly to reach the other side of the kitchen. It
came down with a crash, shattering into pieces, upon reaching the ground. Such
effect had allowed the tea that had been held within moments before to be
splattered in a lovely array upon anything remotely close to it, including Remus and the Daily
something under his breath, inaudible even to himself, as he stared at the
place he last saw the cup before it crashed. The piece with the dog's eye was
staring at him, almost in a pitiable way. He was in no mood to clean up his
"…stood there laughing madly…"
"…went without resistance…"
like Sirius to do that. It wasn't at all like Sirius not to defy things or to
go quietly even if he was at fault. The only times Remus
could recall Sirius going quietly to anyplace he was called was if he wasn't
guilty or if he had a prank ready to be pulled somewhere near. But Remus couldn't believe that Sirius could possibly be
innocent of this crime when all facts pointed to him.
always been slightly reckless, but he had never harmed anyone permanently until
now. There were the times he had said he'd kill those Slytherins for what they
were and those were times that Remus had laughed with
him. Occasionally, he had given up an idea, but few were the times he had
enough recklessness in him to pull off something against someone without reasons stronger than reality behind him.
Peter was our friend, my friend at the very
least. You killed him. You killed him without shame.
werewolf within him wanted to howl his sorrows to the air and chill the bones
of all around. He wanted to tear the traitor to pieces. He lusted to fill
others with the fear, sorrow and anger suppressed within him. But there were
few who were not in joyous moods after Voldemort's downfall and those who might
have shared his sorrow and anger were dead.
dawned upon him as he sat there silently brooding in the kitchen. He, Moony,
might have been next in line to die by that particular corrupted Marauder's
hand. His two friends were gone, both from the same small group, and he was
left standing with a killer. No Marauder there, just a murderer.
came down upon the table where Sirius's face was, collapsing the silence which had
stood since the mug had been broken moments before. An imaginary knife pierced
the face which was so quietly going to Azkaban. Anger spread within his veins
to consume any judgment he had.
I wish you hadn't caught him. I could have
joined them, the good Marauders. Now
I'm left in this corrupted world with a corrupted Marauder who's locked up
somewhere just because he didn't have better judgment. You escaped all those
years before when you wanted to, Sirius, why didn't you do so now when your
life was at stake?
Remus shoved himself away from the table, forcing it to
slide a few inches away.
However, the chair, having received most of his energy,
toppled over to crash into the wall behind as he stood up. The kitchen was now
in a larger mess than he would have been proud of.
"…many Death Eaters are still at large…"
until now, impossible that any of the Marauders would ever be associated with
Death Eaters. The four of them would have laughed at such a ridiculous idea
mere weeks ago, or even days, but now it was different. Before they might have
found a Marauder's name in the same sentence as "Death Eater," but
never had any of them expected it in that context, except maybe one.
"…believe he was in the inner circle of…"
Remus bit back emotions. More than a year of information
had been passed. And neither Sirius nor James had hid well the fact they had
thought it was he who passed such information to the wizard naming himself Lord
time James had been misled by his best friend and closest brother. Remus had no doubt those two had been closer than with
himself or with Peter. They were rarely apart for anything. If one had
detention, the other served just as many times and no more while he and Peter
had served many times less. It was as if they had been at a competition of a
sort, proving to themselves that they were closer than anyone else could be.
If you only knew, James, of what he's done
to you and Peter. You wouldn't have wanted to match it. You wouldn't be proud.
Remus stormed out of the kitchen with the article
word-for-word clear in his mind. It would never be forgotten no matter how he
might try to be rid of it. He had stared at it too long this morning to ever
forgive Sirius or lose memory of those words.
approached his bedroom with a sense of caution as if something would jump out
at him. But instead, he had entered the room to throw the first thing he saw
across the length of the small place. The latest and last Christmas present
from Sirius had landed moments afterwards with a thud coming from a place out
of sight. He would have left it there, but it had been from James as well.
It was still in fine condition, just a single tearing edge. His hand ran over
the embossed words and nostalgia filled him.
Professor R. J. Lupin
Remus sunk down onto his bed and opened the case and almost
feared what he knew he would find.
Hope this comes in use. You'll
find the rest of our present inside. Prongs is responsible for anything you
didn't enjoy (including chasing things), but if you liked it, it's my fault.
P.S. Not Peter.
Prongs and Padfoot. Padfoot
got too lazy to finish the words.
P.P.S. Prongs said
it was all right when I first wrote it!
time, he had puzzled over what could have been inside and what it had meant by
"chasing things," but now the chocolate frogs were long gone. They
had not been seen by Remus until they had hopped
widely out of reach and his friends had started laughing themselves delirious.
James and Sirius seemed to have opened all of the boxes before stuffing the
frogs in the case and shutting the lid to bring it over. He hadn't finished
reading the note when the frogs hopped out and all the Marauders spent a good
part of the time afterwards chasing jumping chocolate.
also been a few things to remind him of things they had done in school or
otherwise. Remus had found a number of photos and a
single quill once the frogs had been eaten.
remembered that last prank they had pulled before leaving Hogwarts for the
world beyond. The enchanted quill had been a different one, Severus' to be
exact, but it brought back the memory nonetheless. It had been charmed to write
love notes addressed to Severus for a week on and off. Severus seemed to have believed
them until the last day when the final note had come signed and not anonymous
like the rest had been.
I still love you no matter what,
even if you can't figure out who I am.
With love from,
Padfoot Moony Prongs Wormtail
had been wondrous as the Marauders' nicknames were no secret to those in the
school. They had passed him in corridors and given him loving glances as he
sulked and tried to stay hidden for the rest of the year. The story had, of
course, spread through the school in the little time that was left, but it
hadn't cost the Marauders anything at all.
been a close group of friends and the elite group to some (including those in
the group for the most part). But now it was just a broken circle that would
never be mended.
turned to the photos, a collection of moments since their fifth year at
Hogwarts. The first he laid his hand upon was the wedding. James and Lily were
standing side by side with foolish Sirius as their best man. The simplicity of
the picture and the formality of it had made him howl with laughter before for
it represented neither James nor Sirius as they would have been at school. Now
it served only to turn his thoughts of Sirius even further into the deep end of
How could you have changed so much? It seems
impossible that you and he are the same person.
Remus hoped the man's conscience was biting him hard, but
Sirius never seemed to have had one. Sirius had never seemed even the slightest
bit guilty about many of the tricks he played. No guilt when he went off with
shouting words towards some professor's office or when he stumbled back into
the common room late at night after detention. There had been no guilt, so why
would there be guilt now? But so many things had changed. Sirius had gone
the photo back into the case with a disappointed look. Disappointed not in what
Sirius had become, but in his own self for not having seen his true face before
it had been publicly shown.
of the article were engraved into him forever:
By Aeson Lyngbaek
in the midst of the wreckage on Downing Street was
Sirius Black with his wand triumphantly raised. He stood there laughing madly
upon the rubble like a victorious lord after a long battle. Black seems to be
the cause of the death of twelve Muggles and one wizard.
largest part found by the Ministry of the wizard was a finger. This has been
identified as Peter Pettigrew, a wizard who had been in Black's year at
Hogwarts. From reliable sources it is known that Peter was a friend of the
murderer and had not expected the attack until the day of his death.
Black is being transferred to Azkaban under heavy surveillance. After initial
mad calls from the mass murderer, he went without resistance to his fate: a
life in Azkaban. He is to be handed to the dementors
added with past evidence leads the Ministry to suspect he was also involved
in some of the more violent acts from You-Know-Who. It also leads them to
believe he was in the inner circle of Death Eaters, You-Know-Who's closest
may be gone, but many Death Eaters are still at large. The Ministry would
like to warn everyone to stay on the look out for Death Eaters."
I thought you cared.