The Sugar Quill
Author: Dark Princess  Story: Never Change  Chapter: Default
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Never Change

Disclaimer: Anything you recognise does not belong to me, however much I wish that it did. Instead, it all belongs to J. K. Rowling. I’m just playing with her creations for the time being. However, anything you do not recognise does belong to me. (That is, except for the wonderfully created ‘Unbroken Universe’, in which this one-shot is set, as that belongs to Robin. See my A/N for more information.)

 

Summary: “I will not break.” No matter how hard they tried, he would not give in. “I will not fall.” It was for the three of them that he fought. “I made my choice.” Years had passed, but he would not forget the choice that mattered. “I will stand strong.” They tell him that he will give in … But he knows that he won’t. [Set in Robin4’s ‘Unbroken Universe’].

 

Author’s Note: OK, this A/N is far more important than usual. In order to get the full 100-percent feel of this fic, you need to be familiar with Robin’s stories set in the Unbroken Universe, an Alternate Universe series of Harry Potter fan fiction stories, that you can read here on Sugar Quill, (though the most up-to-date postings are on FF.N). This one-shot was inspired by her stories, as well as by the wonderful banner by YourLittleHermione of TDA. Also, a “Thank You” goes out to PirateQueen for beta-ing.

 

This one-shot (rated PG) is dedicated to Robin, whose wonderful stories and characters have given me a great deal of enjoyment for the past few years, (they still do, too), and to whom I could never extend enough thanks. And now, I present for your enjoyment, Never Change.


~**~


Never Change


~**~



Rain. He could hear it; it alternated between faint and loud, but no matter how weak or tired he was, he could hear the constant falling and trickling of the water, the continuous drip … drip … drip of the rain. It was always raining, and he was of the firm belief that such weather would never cease. But it was fitting, really, that the rain would never stop, the raging seas and howling winds would never slow and dim to quietness and stillness. Doing so would go against the very nature of the island, for a calm breeze and clear sky was peaceful — and this island could, in no way, be considered peaceful. Ever.


And it never should be considered as such, really. Heavy, dark grey clouds hung over the sky, preventing any form of natural light from piercing through the thick shadows of the heavily fortified structure. But such was normal; the darkness was expected, and light in this place would not have made any sense. There was life to be found in the light, while the darkness conveyed nothing but death. Light implied innocence, goodness … hope.


All things of which were as far from the shores of this island as it was possible for a feeling to be. Rather, there was a lack of hope, a lack of goodness, a lack of innocence … and a lack of light. The darkness made sure there was, to some degree, a lack of life as well.


Day after day it was the same.


And like the rain, it did not seem like it would ever change. It did not seem like there would ever be any light.

 

~ I will not break. ~



Piercing screams echoed around the room, as well as through the stones and down the lengthy, dimly lit corridors. It was as if no physical barriers could mute their sounds, for it mattered not if one was in the room or several metres away — the sounds were still the same. A person could still hear the screams, the cries …


There were voices, too, but they did not carry like the screams did. Low voices, hushed tones, whispered words … One had to be in the room to even stand a chance of hearing them, and even those who were within could not always hear everything. Some words were laced with wonderment, with curiosity, others with exhaustion and pain. Two different things fuelled the statements — one in interest and another in agony.


Coldness seeped through him, images and memories flickering rapidly through his head. The sounds of the Dementors’ slow, rattling breath resonated all around, and rotting fingers floated just mere centimetres above his skin. Voices shouted curses and screams increased, those of the present mixing with the ones of the past.


And they told him that he should just give in … But he would not.


His only answer was another scream.

 

~ I will not fall. ~



Everything hurt — and that was putting the situation lightly. He could not remember when they had left him, but he did know that he was alone, and had been for quite some time. The coldness from the Dementors still remained, though the horrid and Dark creatures themselves had long since disappeared — out of sight and, surprisingly, far enough away that their effects were muted. Not stopped — they were never fully stopped — but dimmed. Memories of past terrors barely flickered in his mind; the screams and voices of the past were only fragmented and hushed.


He felt himself shivering, though whether such actions came more from the pain or the cold he did not know. His breathing was slow, each breath — each inhaling bit of air — causing him pain, and a coppery taste filled his mouth while the blood’s matching scent assaulted his nose.


And it was still raining, of course; the chill of the icy water joined the coldness already brought and left by Dementors. Exhaustion wrapped around him, and his eyes grew heavier. The memories continued to drift through his head, voices from his past reverberating in his mind.


Though not all of the images were the terrors generally brought about by the soulless and hovering creatures.


Three faces showed vividly in his head during these few, Dementor-free moments. Faces of three men — all different, yet all alike. Black-haired and laughing, brown-haired and strong, blond-haired and trusting … He remembered them, remembered laughing with them, remembered times spent with them. Memories of innocent boys found their way into his thoughts, somehow holding a power in and of themselves that pushed down the exhaustion, a power that muted the agony. And he clung to these moments, as few and far between as they were. For he knew that he needed them.


It was for them, he knew. They were the one thing keeping him together. And the single word entered his thoughts without any searching, without any prompting.


Friends.


It had always been for his friends … And it would always continue to be for them.



~ I made my choice. ~



He remembered that day; he could always recall the very time, and it was not possible for the memory to be any clearer, any more vivid, in his mind. With all the time that had passed (and all the time that he was sure would pass), he did not think that he could ever forget this particular memory.


It was the one that mattered.


“Sirius, I need to talk to you.” James’s voice was quiet, urgent, like what he had to say was of the utmost importance. It was not the way that he remembered his friend’s voice as being. Even in everything that had happened in the war — all the deaths, all the secrets, all the fears — his friend’s tone had never been so different.


That fact alone made him worry. He did not even have to hear James’s words, really, to know. The tone alone caused him to feel fear. Words would undoubtedly just solidify and confirm the matter.


“What?” he asked, still sitting in the chair that he had chosen upon entering and watching his friend. “What is it?”


James was pacing across the room, his hands running through his hair unconsciously. It was a habit that the 21-year-old Auror had yet to break completely, and he could still be found doing it whenever he was upset, or concerned — or when there was something extraordinarily heavy weighing on his mind, whenever James felt like he held a massive burden upon his shoulders. His pacing did not halt, and James gave no indication that he was even aware Sirius had even spoken to him.


“James, talk to me, mate,” he tried again, but as his friend continued ignoring him, he rose from his seat. Stepping right in the middle of James’s pacing path, he forced his friend to stop. “What is it? You have been here for almost a quarter of an hour and have not said a thing. What is wrong?”



And James had told Sirius everything — He had told his best friend what Dumbledore had revealed, what the headmaster had recommended they do, what he and Lily had decided. Hours, he said, had passed as he and his wife had discussed the information, and they had finally reached a decision. But he had not even been able to get the last question from his lips before he had an answer.


“I’ll do it,” said Sirius, interrupting James as the latter spoke. The two men had moved from the living room and were seated in the kitchen, drinks in front of them — one does get thirsty after nearly an hour of conversation, after all. Outside, the sunlight was slowly disappearing as day led into night, and the lights of stars and moon took their posts in the sky, replacing the red and golden orb that was the sun.


“You didn’t even give me a chance to really ask you,” muttered James, lifting his hazel gaze from the wooden tabletop to stare at his friend.


“I know,” Sirius answered. He shrugged half-heartedly. “But you didn’t have to … I’ll be your Secret Keeper.”



And he had been. It had not taken very long for everything to be prepared. Four days after his conversation with James, the Potters were ready; he was ready. Extensive wards had been placed, and no chances were being taken. As the end of October approached, the immensely complex Fidelius Charm had been cast, the secret of his friends’ whereabouts sealed and protected inside of him.


And inside him it remained.

 

~ I will stand strong. ~



Red eyes … pale skin … There was power, evil, fear within him. No light came from him, for he was everything that the darkness conveyed.


All of the days on the island were the same. It was always raining; it was always dark; it was always painful and cold. And there would be nothing new about today; this day was simply like all of the rest of the days. Everything was just starting again.


“Still fighting,” whispered Voldemort, the quiet voice piercing through all of the other sounds, the words reverberating over and over in his tired mind. “But you will give in soon …”


“No,” he responded. For if there was any single thing that he knew beyond a doubt, that was it. Regardless of how much time had passed and how much would pass, regardless of what happened, that was something that he knew would never change. “No, I won’t …”

 

~**~

 

 

Author’s Note: Well, I hope you enjoyed it. This truly was an experience for me, and a few parts of this fic gave me so much trouble that I was about to say, ‘Forget it.’ But, as you can tell, that didn’t happen. (And, honestly, I’m glad that I didn’t abandon the effort.)

 

The quotes separating the different parts to this one-shot are from “Chapter 24: The Moment Reborn” of Promises Defended by Robin, and really were the main inspiration in terms of how to *write* this fic. I had had the idea for this fic after seeing YourLittleHermione’s banner on TDA and instantly falling in love with it, but I didn’t just want to write another Sirius-in-Azkaban story. (Scenes dealing with such are already planned for another work of mine.) Robin’s amazing universe allowed me a way to do just that, and the quotes provided me with a great format and inspiration. And for that, I once again give her a “Thank You.”

 

Now, thank you so much for reading, and please, don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.

 

~Megan

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