The Sugar Quill
Author: Starbuckx  Story: Shocks of Adversity  Chapter: Default
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“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow grow, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation”

 

 

 

“We are up here!” I hear Hermione’s voice scream and I stop in my tracks. Sirius must be down there. And Peter too.

 

Peter.

 

A strange feeling is entering my heart and I can’t seem to find a name for it. The mere thought of Sirius doesn’t produce the anger it did before. Instead I now feel a deep longing, a desire to talk to him. To hear his version of the story. To look into his eyes.

 

Peter is alive.

 

I am sure of it. The Marauders’ Map doesn’t show dead people. But if he is alive, does that mean Sirius is innocent? Could it mean that? Or am I just imagining things, looking for things that aren’t there.

 

But if he is innocent …If he spend twelve years in Azkaban for something he didn’t do…

 

I always had trouble believing he had betrayed James and Lily. He was their friend, my friend, Harry’s godfather. I knew him well. And the Sirius I knew wouldn’t have betrayed us like that. The Sirius I knew was noble and brave, mischievous and caring.

 

I pull out my wand and point it at the door, whispering a charm under my breath to open it, trying desperately not to look too desperate. Harry needs a calm face right now.

 

I stand there as I catch a sight of him and it takes a tremendous amount of self-control not to move. He looks awful. His black hair is long and untidy and his eyes look blank and devoid of emotion. Nothing like the Sirius I used to know.

 

I feel sorry for him. He looks like he needs a couple of good meals and someone to take care of him. And for a moment I want to be the one to help him.

 

But I can’t.

 

He betrayed us all, didn’t he? He is the reason for all our misfortunes. He got James and Lily killed. He left Harry without his parents. And he left me without my friends.

 

I am not supposed to be feeling sorry for him.

 

But he meant so much to me for so long. And as I stand here in front of him I realize he still does.

 

I want to understand. Are you innocent Sirius? Can I believe you?

 

I look around, checking on Harry, Ron and Hermione before finally entering the room and saying:

 

“Expeliarmus!”

 

All the wands fly to my hand and I grab them tightly before

letting my eyes rest on him again. Our eyes meet and I can see all the pain he has carried for so long. I see the story of this past twelve years plainly written all over his face.

 

And my mind takes me back in time, to a starry night, not unlike any other. And to a conversation I had never been able to forget.

 

“But a werewolf Sirius. A werewolf. How could you know I wouldn’t hurt you?” I had been asking him.

 

“I just knew,” he had replied, with that half smile he always wore.

 

“There’s no way you could have known.” I had refuted, ready to get into a fight with him.

 

“Of course I knew. It was written all over your face,” He had calmly explained to me.

 

“What are you talking about?” I had asked, a little irritated by his answer.

 

“I am saying it was easy to know what you were thinking. It was written all over your face. I bet James and Peter could see it too.” he had replied, patting me in the back.

 

“You are kidding,” I had told him.

 

“I am dead Sirius,” he had replied with a grin and we had both laughed.

 

“Can’t you see what I am thinking now?” he had asked me minutes later and I had nodded and smiled as I looked ahead. I had seen friendship, loyalty and honesty in his eyes.

 

The same thing I was seeing now.

 

It was there, almost buried under all the pain and resentment and guilt, but it was there.

 

And suddenly I knew the truth. I could understand.

 

Sirius was innocent.

 

For the first time in twelve years I felt completely at peace. Happy. But there were still things that need to be taken care of.

 

‘I believe you’ my eyes tell him and I hope he can still read me as he could when we were at school.

 

I open my mouth to speak and close it again, lost in the emotions of the moment. When I can finally find my voice, it comes out raw and full of emotion and I feel like I am about to cry.

 

“Where is he Sirius?” I ask him, my eyes never leaving his.

 

He raises his hand slowly and points to Peter in his rat form and I cannot take my eyes of him. So this is how he did it… how he fooled us all. How he got Sirius into Azkaban.

 

As a rat.

 

To think that he became a rat because of me. That they all became Animagi because of me.

 

It is your fault, a little voice tells me but I refuse to listen to it. Not now.

 

I start talking, but the words leave my mouth before I can think about them. I don’t really know what I am saying. All I know is that Sirius is standing right in front of me, that he is innocent and that he needs me.

 

Twelve years gone by without a purpose and now I have one. To help my friend. As much as he helped me.

 

I stop talking and look at him again, waiting for a confirmation, needing one.

 

He nods slowly and looks at me with hope.

 

I hear Harry’s voice in the background, but I don’t really know what he is saying. I take two steps towards Sirius and offer him my hand. He takes it and next thing I know his arms are around me and Crookshanks is laying on the floor.

 

A lonely tear rolls across my cheek as I hug him, feeling more grateful than ever for having found the friends I did.

 

He is not alone anymore. I am not alone anymore.

 

And together we can deal with anything and everything.

 

Moony and Padfoot.

 

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

 

//
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