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belong to me, however much I wish that it did. Instead, it all belongs to J. K.
Rowling. However, anything you do not recognise does belong to me.
Summary: “He would never see
James smile again. Sirius knew he would never again hear the voice of his best
friend — his brother. Brothers look out for each other. They would
never joke about anything again. They would never again have a “little too
much” to drink and then have to try and explain it to Lily afterwards. Never
again would he have his brother to remember the “good old days” when they both
grew too old to do anything. Never again would the Marauders be together …”
Sirius had the perfect plan to protect James. But what happens when a flawless
idea isn’t so flawless?
Author’sNote: All right, well, I don’t
have much to say for this beginning author’s note, but I would like to give
just a conclusive “Thank You” to the MNFF students, especially those in the
classes with me, and my House, Gryffindor. You have helped in many, many ways,
not least of which is the improvement of my writing. So, thank you. Also, a Thank You to PirateQueen for beta-ing. Now,
I present for your enjoyment, Brothers.
23 October 1981
Heavy torrents of rain tumbled down from the night sky and assaulted the area
of central Britain.
Dark clouds had threatened just such a storm all day long, but no one who had
glanced at the sky earlier could have figured the weather would be this
bad. The wind whistled and howled as it forced its way through the trees’
branches, and it made the roofs and windows of houses and flats shake and
rattle. Such weather had already been raging and attacking the country for
several hours — it had started shortly after sunset and, as the time was
approaching , had
yet to cease.
Located in one of the assaulted flats was a tall, dark-haired man who had
decided he would rather simply crash on his sofa than make it back to his bed.
He had already gotten caught in the storm once that night, and his cloak was
still trying to dry by the door. (The man knew that he could have simply used a
charm to dry the thing, but, being as exhausted as he was when he arrived, had
not had the energy to do so.) Strands of shoulder-length, black hair — still a
bit damp from the rain — covered the man’s face, a few falling into his eyes as
he slept. His sleep, for the most part, seemed calm and peaceful at a first
glance, but if one watched the man long enough, they could see the slight
tightness of his face and the jerk of his head as a nightmare played out in his
“I will NOT!” yelled a sixteen-year-old Sirius Black, his expression angry
as he glared at the older woman in front of him. Pacing up and down in his room
before coming down to the kitchen of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place
obviously had not calmed the eldest Black son, and he ran his hands through his
hair in frustration.
The older woman, Walburga Black, simply glared back
at her rebellious son, and Sirius could tell his mother’s grasp on her temper
was quickly fading. He did not know if she had her wand or not, but he was now
fully regretting leaving his own upstairs. And his father’s presence did not
make the situation any better. It’s not like he would raise a hand to help
me; if he did anything at all, it would be to stop her for her own sake, thought
Sirius. Distantly, he was aware of his mother continuing her tirade against him
— how he wasn’t an obedient son, how he didn’t “live up to his name,” how he
wasn’t Regulus, and why couldn’t he be more like his
brother … basically, everything she had said to him since he was eleven years
old. Doesn’t she realise that I don’t care?
“Make Regulus be nice to her! He’s your little
puppet, after all!”
“As much trouble as you are, Sirius, you are still a son of the House of Black,
and I am still your mother, though Merlin knows how that’s possible,” spat Walburga.
“I don’t WANT to be a Black!” shouted Sirius, his temper finally being fully
released. “Everyone’s insane, especially you, Mother.”
The shouting immediately ceased when Sirius stopped, almost as if someone had
just turned the volume control from the maximum setting to mute. Only the sound
of his breathing reached Sirius's ears and it seemed to drown out everything
else. Time felt like it had stopped for a brief moment, and it wasn’t until
Sirius noticed his father walking towards him that it started up again … and
the sixteen-year-old Black realised he had gone too far.
Orion reached his son, his angular face holding a displeased (or downright
livid) expression and forcefully grasped him by the back of the neck — hard.
With his strong grip, Orion turned his son’s head back in the direction of Walburga. “You are not to speak to your mother like that,
Sirius,” he said, his voice low and quiet, but such mannerisms did not mean
there was any kindness, warmth, or sympathy in the head of the Black household.
No, Sirius knew that they revealed the exact opposite emotions in his father.
He had winced slightly when Orion had grabbed him, and the action was made once
again as his father grasped still tighter.
“Apologise to your mother, Sirius. Now.”
A pounding on the door to the flat caused the nightmare to be interrupted, and
a twenty-two-year-old Sirius Black sat up slowly from the sofa, still trying to
rub the sleep from his eyes, as well as clear the images of his not-so-pleasant
past from his head. Running his fingers through his hair, he waited for his
breathing to return to normal. He remembered that night, and it was one of his
clearest memories of his family. It wasn’t every fight that caused him to run
away on the same night, after all. But he also remembered how much worse
that fight had gotten before it ended.
“SIRIUS!”Knock. Knock. Knock. “Are you home? Padfoot?”
James? Sirius thought as he swung his head around in the desperate
search for a clock. He knew it was late, but he didn’t know just how
late. “I’m coming,” he yelled to his visitor outside the door. He struggled up
from his sitting position and headed towards his door, noticing irrelevantly
the messiness of his living room. I should probably clean it, he thought.
Upon opening the door, Sirius came face to face with a soaking wet James
Potter, his fist raised as if ready to pound on the door again. Grinning
slightly, he lowered it.
“Oh, good, you’re home,” he said. “Nice weather, isn’t it?” James entered his
best friend’s living room as Sirius opened the door wider. Walking closer to
the fireplace, James started pacing back and forth, not pausing for a second
until Sirius had shut the door and, heading towards his friend, spoke.
“What are you doing out in this storm, Prongs?” he said, grasping James’s
shoulders to stop his friend’s movements. “Why are you over here so late?”
“I needed to talk to you,” answered James as he ran his own hand through his
hair. Though it was definitely shorter than his friend’s hair, and such an
action was one that he had ceased employing for the most part, James still
found himself doing so when he was worried or upset. “Lily and I were just
talking to Dumbledore,” he said. “He told us something, and —”
“What did he say?” interrupted Sirius, his grey eyes watching his friend
closely. “Prongs, what is it? Was it about the traitor? Did someone die? What
“Lily, Harry, and I need to go into hiding,” James whispered. “Voldemort's after Harry, Sirius … That’s what Dumbledore
said — that the most evil wizard to ever exist is after my son!”
It took a while before Sirius's mind registered the words that his best friend
had spoken. His mind was either working extremely slowly or the idea was just
too difficult to grasp — or both — but when he finally did understand the
words, he let his arms drop from James’s shoulders, only to wrap them around
his friend in an embrace.
“Is Dumbledore sure?” asked Sirius, his mind already knowing the answer before
James nodded in the affirmative. But there was always reason to hope. “How are
you --- What’s Dumbledore’s --- How do you hide ---” The question was nearly
impossible to ask for Sirius, for the words just were not coming, no matter how
hard he tried. It wasn’t a question that one usually wanted to ask.... How
do you ask your friend about his death, really?he
thought. Fortunately, though, James knew him well enough to understand, and he
had an answer.
“Dumbledore said the Fidelius Charm was the best
option,” he muttered. “He said we should probably cast it soon, and then we
started talking about who to choose as a Secret-Keeper ...” James trailed off,
but his meaning was clear.
“You want me to be your Secret-Keeper,” said Sirius. It wasn’t a question; he
knew his friend too well for there to be any doubt in his mind, now that he’d
heard James’s story, why he had needed to talk to him that night and had braved
a storm to do so. There was also no question in regards to what his answer
“We trust you,” James said simply. “Out of everyone, you’re the one that Lily
and I trust the most, and you’re Harry's godfather as well. Padfoot,
“Of course I’ll do it,” Sirius interrupted, staring at his friend all the
while. “You don’t have to try and convince me, Prongs. Brothers look out for
each other, after all.”
The smile on James’s face was not forced this time, like it had been when
Sirius had opened the door. Rather, it was true, and one of utmost relief. He
looked as if a huge worry had been lifted from his shoulders, yet not all of
the weight had left; there was still a tremendously heavy burden on the young
man’s shoulders, and both James and Sirius knew it.
“Thanks, Padfoot,” said James as he walked over
towards the sofa and sat down. “You were the first one we thought of, Sirius,
and I think Dumbledore already knew we’d ask you before we even began talking
about who to choose…. Our friendship is well known, mate.”
“Yeah, it is.” Sirius's voice was distant, as if his mind wasn’t on the
conversation. But that view wasn’t completely correct. His mind was on
the conversation ... on James’s last statements, to be specific. “‘You were
the first one we thought of ... Our friendship is well known ... well known
“You can’t choose me as your Secret-Keeper, James,” said Sirius. He saw the
confused expression on his best friend’s face, saw him forming the words “Why
not,” though James’s mouth hadn’t even started to open. Sirius continued on.
“He’ll know it’s me, James,” he said. “‘Our friendship is well known,’ you
said. When he can’t find you, he’ll know exactly where to look.”
“I’d die for you, Prongs; you know that,” whispered Sirius, his words
continuing as if he had not even heard James’s interruption. “I’m not concerned
for me, but I couldn’t live with myself if you died, and it was my fault ... if
he caught me, if I wasn’t strong enough and did break, and he was able
to find you because of it. But I have a better idea.”
James leaned back into the sofa, still staring at Sirius like the latter wasn’t
thinking straight. Sirius could tell that James thought him crazy, thought he
was losing his mind, but he knew that he had just thought up the most brilliant
idea ever to come from any one of the four Marauders. It topped all of their childhood
pranks and was right up there with the Map and becoming Animagi.
This idea was utter brilliance.
“Choose Peter as your Secret-Keeper,” said Sirius, who continued immediately
before James could argue, as he looked ready to do. “It’s the perfect plan,
don’t you see? We let it be known that it’s me; everyone can believe that. But
the real truth will be that it’s Peter. No one will ever suspect him, James.
That way, even if Voldemort finds me, even if I
break, it won’t matter, because I won’t hold the secret; Wormtail
Silence greeted the ending of Sirius's explanation, rather than an immediate
argument by James. He had had an argument in the beginning, Sirius knew, but he
knew his friend perfectly. They thought alike, and James could see the
flawlessness of the plan as well as he could.
“Are you sure about this, Sirius?” said James. “I mean, it’s not that I don’t
trust Wormtail, but we both know he’s not the
“But that won’t matter because he’ll never have to resist Voldemort
trying to break him. Voldemort’ll never know it’s
him, and neither will anyone else. Only you, Lily, Peter, and I will know the
Sirius could see the arguments in James diminishing. He could see his friend
come to realise what he himself already knew — the plan was perfect. And he
doesn’t argue for Remus, either, thought Sirius. He
can sense that, too. Yes, they could all sense a change in Remus; the quiet member of their group wasn’t acting like
his normal self, and the rest of the Marauders could feel it. He was more
distant from them ... and whenever discussion turned to the Order or traitors,
he wouldn’t have his usual numerous opinions to offer. There was no evidence,
exactly, that Remus was the traitor, but it had to be
someone. And Moony’s the best candidate, he
“I guess you’re right,” muttered James. “I can’t find anything wrong with the
idea ... But don’t you think we should ask Peter about it first?” The sitting
Marauder started to smile as he glanced up at the dark-haired man still
standing by the fire, a small jar of green powder held in his hand.
“It’s only a little bit after ,”
said Sirius, a matching grin on his own face and his eyes twinkling
mischievously. “Why don’t we go and wake up our ratty friend?”
31 October 1981
About a week had passed since the night that James had shown up at Sirius's
front door, soaking wet from a raging storm that had assaulted the country. The
weather had calmed down mostly after that night, and there hadn’t been another
storm like that one since then. Tonight’s sunset had taken place in a clear
sky, the sun’s rays stretching across the sky, which had turned a mixture of
red, orange, and yellow shades. Whereas a week ago, the world seemed like it
was ending in raining and pounding glory, tonight, there was a level of peace;
an end was not even in sight for Sirius Black.
It had been a week, and James and Lily were still perfectly safe. No one had
come after Sirius, either, which struck the dark-haired man as slightly odd, in
a way. He had been sure that Voldemort would have at
least attempted to look for him by now, but nothing at all had happened. Perhaps
he’s focussing elsewhere, thought Sirius as he stopped his motorbike
outside the gate to a somewhat rundown cottage in a small Muggle
village. But that’s probably just wishful thinking. He knew that Voldemort wouldn’t give up his pursuit of the Potters
easily, and Sirius was determined to keep him from achieving his goal. Brothers
look out for each other, after all.
Sirius made his way up the walk to the front door of the house — Peter's safe
house — and knocked twice. He waited for a moment, but there was no reply.
“Peter?” he said, knocking a few more times on the door. Again, there wasn’t an
answer. “Damn it,” hissed Sirius as he withdrew his wand from his back pocket,
taking a few glances over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t being watched by
anyone. Once he was sure he was alone, he begin the removal of the numerous
wards and enchantments that he, James, and Lily had put on the house. No Death
Eaters would have been able to get inside if they had tried to break in, but
unfortunately, such security also worked the other way; no Order members could
get inside without either having Peter let them in or removing the wards
Finally, the last ward was taken down, and Sirius breathed relief as he opened
the door. While he shut and locked the door, he spoke. “Did you not hear the
knocks, Wormtail?” he said. “I said I was coming, and
you were supposed to —” Sirius had turned around and as he did so, the sight
that greeted his eyes made the words die in his mouth.
The main living room was empty. Oh, all the furniture and stuff was still
there, but there wasn’t a person present other than Sirius. No sounds of
movement came from the other rooms of the small house, either. “Peter?” he said
as he headed down towards the single bedroom and bathroom in search of his
friend. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise, and a cold shiver raced
down his spine as he pushed open first the bathroom door and then the one to
the bedroom, neither of which revealed anyone. “Wormtail,
are you here?”
Something’s not right, he thought. It’s all wrong. He should be here;
he wasn’t ever to leave this house. … And they couldn’t have come; the wards
were up and the place is spotless. Sirius checked the final room of the
house — the kitchen — before he allowed his mind to fully accept the truth of
what he had realised.
“The traitor ... is Peter,” he muttered, his head spinning, and Sirius
struggled to contain his dinner as it threatened to show itself again. “It
isn’t Remus ... It’s Peter ... It was always Peter.”
Once his mind had managed to wrap itself around such a revelation, however, the
entire truth of what the revelation meant came upon him, and he felt his heart
stop and his body grow cold.
“James ...” whispered Sirius. The uttered word had
barely left his mouth before he was out the door and racing down the walk
towards his motorbike. He had not even paused to shut the door on his way out,
but such a minor detail did not have a place in his mind. All that mattered to
Sirius was that he arrived before it was too late.
It can’t be too late, he thought. It can’t be.
When he finally arrived at Godric’s Hollow, however,
the column of smoke rising towards the night sky, blotting out the stars at it
did so, and the sound of crackling flames that were dying out after burning for
some time, told Sirius that he was too late.
He barely registered where he landed his bike upon
arriving, nor did he think when his motorbike almost fell over on its side.
There was only one thought that kept circling through his mind. It’s my
fault, he thought. All of this is my fault. “James,” he sobbed as he
collapsed to his knees on the ash-covered grass. Not even the sound and blast
of the fire was able to tear the dark-haired man’s attention from his grief.
That is, until, his tear-filled grey gaze happened to fall upon another
dark-haired man lying several feet in front of him, the fiery flames reflecting
off his broken glasses.
Sirius scrambled over towards the fallen body of his best friend, not caring at
all as he tripped over the piles of debris and rubble, his hands gaining
splinters and burns from the still-burning bits of wood. The pain on his flesh
could not compare to the anguish his soul felt. “James,” he said, falling again
to his knees, this time at the side of his friend. He lifted the pieces of wood
and other rubble from James’s chest and tossed them away. “Prongs, come on,
wake up ... Come on, Prongs ... James,” he said, his voice low and catching in
his throat. Sirius grasped James’s shoulders, his arms, his
head — whatever he could shake to try and make his friend move. But
there wasn’t any movement, and Sirius had known there wouldn’t be; it had just
been wishful thinking.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around his friend’s body as he
held him close. “I’m sorry, James; I was wrong. … It wasn’t Remus;
it was Peter, and I was wrong. … And it’s my fault … I’m sorry, Prongs.” Those
two words — “I’m sorry” — were spoken more times than Sirius remembered. They
seemed so pointless, really, but it was all he could think of to say. Pleading
for his friend to wake up wouldn’t do any good; it was impossible, Sirius knew.
Laughing and joking no longer held any sort of purpose for him, either. All he
could do was apologise for what he believed to be his failure.
“I promised that he wouldn’t find you,” he muttered. “He was supposed to come
after me … You were supposed to be safe, Prongs … I’m sorry … It’s my fault …
I’m sorry …” Sobs racked his body as Sirius let his grief run free; there was
no reason to hide it here. Tears fell from his eyes, making rivers run down his
cheeks, and dripped to the ground. His breathing was ragged and harsh, but he
did not seek to either wipe the tears away or control his breath. His stomach
rolled over, though he fought the nauseous feeling for a time. Eventually,
however, he lost that battle, and vomited his late dinner on top of a piece of
wood that Sirius recognised as being a piece of the Potters’ front door. Such a
memory made the young man vomit again.
As he turned away from the doorway, running his hands through his hair while
the tears continued to fall, his eyes caught sight of some glass next to
James’s head that he had not noticed before. Reaching out a shaking hand,
Sirius pulled out what turned out to be a broken picture frame, the picture
itself only slightly crinkled, but otherwise, it was undamaged; James’s falling
on it had saved the photograph from any fire damage. Sirius stared unblinkingly
at the picture, his fingers tracing over the three people waving up at him.
On the left side of the photograph was James, his face split in a huge smile
and laughter shining in his hazel eyes. His attention, when not looking
straight ahead, was on the two figures next to him — though mainly on the small
figure held within the arms of the other. Standing on the right side of the
photograph was Sirius himself, his black hair just slightly shorter than he had
it now, and in his arms was a grinning Harry, barely over a year old. He was
waving around his arms in joy, expressions of laughter and glee on his face as
the Sirius in the photo — a mischievous gleam in his eyes — reached out and
tickled his godson.
Sirius just stared at the photograph in his hands, his mind remembering that
day clearly. It had been only a couple of weeks ago, after all. And as he
watched the grinning James of the past reach out and tickle his son shortly
after the Sirius in the photo had, his sight spun and it became difficult to
breathe. He would never see James smile again. Sirius knew he would never again
hear the voice of his best friend — his brother. Brothers look out for each
other. They would never joke about anything again. They would never again
have a “little too much” to drink and then have to try and explain it to Lily
afterwards. Never again would he have his brother to remember the “good old
days” when they both grew too old to do anything. Never again would the
Marauders be together …
“Peter,” he hissed, his voice almost being drowned out by the crackling fire.
Peter was the cause of this … Peter was the traitor, and Peter had killed his
brother. The rat, Sirius knew, would have to die. There was no other way …
Brothers who betray those who would have died for them do not deserve to
With that thought, Sirius ripped the photograph from its frame and stuffed it
into his pocket. He would remember his brother … and he would avenge his
Author’sNote: Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this
as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ve been a little Sirius-obsessed lately (‘a
little’, yeah right), and thought that maybe writing him would make that compulsion
lessen … It didn’t. I now have several pages filled with ideas and such for
some Sirius writing, and this story specifically is
looking at a sequel, with maybe a prequel/companion piece to it. Anyway, thank
you for reading, and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.
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