"Just because my eyes show no tears...Doesn't mean my heart isn't broken…"-Unknown
"Read it, mate. Enlighten me on the news of the world," James mutters, tossing the newspaper at me.
"Because I'm too sore to."
I sigh, casting James a dark look before unrolling the Morning Prophet and scanning the front page. My head is too fuzzy and dull from the hangover to really absorb anything. The room is too bright, and too loud, adding to the massive headache I already have. My mind wanders a bit before I start reading, about Scarlet and the baby, mostly. She told me not to write her this summer, as she wasn't sure if it would be safe; she also told me she didn't want to talk to me. I don't see how that quite works, I being the father of her baby. She's an odd one, she is. I sigh, casting all the negative thoughts out of my head before turning back to the newspaper.
There was a break-in at some second-hand robe shop in Diagon Alley, remains of a dragon found somewhere out by Hogwarts, and a murder. None of this surprises me, as murders and break-ins are the usual subjects of articles nowadays. I scan through the first two articles, not really giving a shit either way. I then reach the last article on the first page, the one about the murder in London. As soon as I read the first sentence, my heart stops.
Alan White. No, don't be ridiculous Sirius. There's plenty of people in the world with the last name White. Yet, I can't shake the feeling of uncertainty as I read on. My heartbeat quickens with every sentence, praying for my senses to be wrong. Finally, I read the last sentence, and my heart drops into my stomach.
…and daughter Scarlet White.
I notice that my breathing and heart have stopped, frozen from shock and disbelief. No. This can't be true. I don't believe it, she's not dead. They're not dead. I reread the article, still having not moved from my stock still position, everything in my body come to a complete stop. The world even stops turning, and it's just me alone in this little bubble of humanity, knowing that in a span of five minutes, I have lost everything.
"Pads?" James suddenly calls. I don't respond, but I'm aware that he's speaking. "What's going on?"
I can't possibly explain this to them, for they don't know anything about Scarlet's relationship with me; it was more than lovers, it was parents. So, as a response, I let the newspaper fall out of my frozen hands, and float down to land on the coffee table.
"So?" Remus questions, incredulous as always. "This happens everyday."
"Read on," I manage, my voice strange and mangled. I watch the four of them read, the situation still unraveling in my head. As James finishes, he looks up at me, his face full of complete and utter shock. For some reason, this makes it real to me. My brain now consciously knows that they're dead. They're dead. They're dead, and they're not coming back. I feel the tears coming on, and desperately try to stop them, for I don't want them to see me cry. Alas, I can't, and they well up, spilling over and down my cheeks, making me look pathetic. Because, maybe, that's what I am. Pathetic.
My sweet, unborn child, dead. My little baby, who hadn't even gotten to experience the beauties of life yet, dead. It didn't get to experience its mother's laugh, or its father's smile; its grandmother's doting tone or they way my friends would eventually consider it their niece or nephew. I never got to lay eyes on it, the most incredible creation in the world. It was made by mistake, but then again, who isn't? The only thing that matters, is that it did serve a purpose in my life, even if it was only for a little while. It was meant to be alive, and change one person's entire view on life forever.
"Sirius," James starts, his voice stuck in his throat. "Sirius, mate-"
"I don't know what to do," I stammer, gasping for air. My brain suddenly feels even more fuzzy, clouded by grief.
"It's going to be okay-" Remus starts evenly, but what does he know? He's never experienced this. He has his perfect little girlfriend, while I sit here with nothing.
"No," I cut him off. "No, it's not going to be okay."
"We know this is hard," Tonks pipes up. I'm surprised to see tears in her eyes, tears for the girl she hated most in the world. But, this softens my heart, and replaces some of the anger welling up inside me. My little chickadee, crying for me. If only she knew the rest of the story. "But you can get through-"
"You don't understand," I interject again. I stand, for I don't know what else to do. How is the best way to explain this to them, when they know very little? My breathing and heart rate start picking up again, pain welling inside me like a balloon.
"What don't we understand?" James questions, suddenly behind me. He reaches out to lay a hand on my shoulder, and I throw it off. I don't want anyone or anything touching me now. I feel like a bomb about to explode, any little thing could set me off.
"You don't understand," I repeat, starting to pace, my heart rate still climbing. My breathing becomes labored, and I can't help but run my fingers through my hair, trying my best to calm down. "You don't-"
"Well, then, help us understand!" James exclaims, cutting me off. I freeze, my body gone still again as I decide the best way to answer. In this moment, all the pain, anger, hurt, and grief hits me like a train, and I can't control myself.
"SHE WAS PREGNANT! IT WAS MINE! MY CHILD IS DEAD!"
Now, it's not just my body that's frozen, but the whole room, and everyone in it. They all sit in shock, taking in what they just heard. I sigh, closing my eyes momentarily to pull myself together enough to tell the story.
"We… we… had a sexual relationship. But nothing more, mind you. We agreed that it would be strictly sexual, no emotions involved… Well, as you might imagine, we weren't very careful around Valentine's Day. That's when we think she… conceived. And, yanno, the funny thing is, she didn't tell me until your party, Remus. She kept it from me, making sure it was mine, because well, she was a slag. But, when she was sure, she didn't even intend on telling me. She is-was… one of the most ridiculous human beings I've ever met."
I get up from conversing with Remus and Tonks, the two killjoys on the couch. The mass amount of alcohol is compromising my usually logical thoughts, and to my drunk brain, going to see Scarlet is a good idea. I haven't seen her in a while, and I'd noticed her moping around a lot. So, adding my usual swagger, I set off up the stairs, and make a left to the girl's dormitories. Unfortunately, I forget about the curse on the stairs, and fall about six times. After the sixth attempt, I gain some sense and call up.
"Oi! Scarlet! May!"
A figure appears at the top of the stairs, looking uncertainly down at me. "What do you want, Black?"
"To speak to Scarlet," I answer, glaring up at May. She huffs, stalking back in the other direction, obviously to retrieve Scarlet. I stand, one hand supporting me on the banister, the other at my side, my foot tapping nervously. It wasn't like Scarlet to miss out on any event like this.
"What do you want?" a sudden voice says from the top of the stairs. There she stands, face red from crying, clad in the shittiest clothes I've ever seen, a tissue in one hand. Her nose is stuffy, making her voice pathetic and strained. I look up at her, she glares down at me, and I know something is seriously wrong.
"What's going on?" I ask, still having to support my drunken body from collapsing. She doesn't answer, but makes a face in the direction of the ruckus from the party. "A secret?"
"You could say that," she answers, tentatively making her way down the stairs. "You're drunk."
"Not really," I answer, trying to give her a winning smile; she grimaces.
"We need to speak in private," she says, avoiding my eyes, her hands twitching nervously.
"Okay then," I say, sighing. "Let's uh, go to my dorm."
With that, I turn around and lead her up the stairs and into 6th year boys, where she stands nervously by the threshold. She takes a moment to wipe her streaming eyes before looking up at me, almost indifferent.
Now it's my turn not to respond. She's lying, pulling a prank on me.
"Wh-what?" I choke out, knitting my eyebrows together.
"You heard me," she says, tears coming freely now. She lays a hand on her abdomen, and shakily takes a seat on my bed. I hesitate, wondering if it would be appropriate to sit next to her.
"And, well, it's yours. But you probably already guessed that," she continues, taking in deep, heaving breaths to try to calm herself down. When I don't answer, she looks up at me critically, almost angrily. "Aren't you going to say something?"
"Ye-yes," I stammer, deciding I needed to sit down. We sit in silence for a moment, the burden of the news weighing me down as if I was holding up the sky. "Are you sure I'm…. I'm…"
"The dad?" she finishes, grimacing. "Yeah. You're the only one that fit in the right time frame… Valentine's Day."
Stupid decision, Sirius, I think, mentally beating myself up for not being more careful.
"May and I researched maternity spells in the restricted section of the library. We found one that could tell me when I conceived."
"The fourteenth?" I question.
"Right," she answers, looking away. Another awkward silence. "What are we going to do, Sirius?"
"I want no part in it," I mumble, my drunk brain taking over.
"You don't want to be a part of your child's life?" she spats incredulously in my direction.
"Scarlet, this shouldn't be happening."
"Well, you know what? It is! And we can't do a thing about it!" she exclaims, standing up and glaring down at me crouched hopelessly on the bed. "And if you don't want to help me out, or even get to know this baby, then we're done talking. Never speak to me again."
With that, she turns on her heel and flies out of the dormitory. I follow her, immediately regretting my decision. How could I be so stupid? I didn't mean a word I said, so why did I say it? It must be the alcohol, impairing my judgment.
"Scarlet!" I call, reaching the bottom on the stairs, where the party is still in full swing. I notice her just slipping through the portrait hole, and bolt after her, bowling a few people over in the process. "Come back here! We need to talk!"
This draws everyone's attention, and my cheeks blush red. I end up stumbling over my own legs a few times, but for the most part, my brain is pretty clear. The shock of the news must've cleared away some of the drunken fog swirling in my brain.
When I finally manage to climb out through the portrait hole, I find her halfway down the corridor, stalking in the direction of the girl's bathrooms. "Scarlet!" I call, speeding up again to catch up to her. "Scarlet!"
"Sirius Black, I told you never to speak to me again," she says evenly, obviously trying not to scream.
"Scarlet," I start, reaching out and laying a hand on her shoulder. "I didn't mean-"
"You didn't mean it?" she questions, looking at me sarcastically with wide eyes. "Oh ho, I'm sure you didn't."
"I didn't!" I argue, slowly but surely laying my palm on her abdomen, where our little baby lay, not even big enough to be felt. "It's my child, too, you know."
"I'm not daft," she retorts, grabbing my wrist and throwing it away. "We're done."
She stalks back down the hallway, and makes a left a few feet away, retreating into the girl's bathroom. I sigh, slouching my shoulders and hanging my head. This must be a dream.
I sit myself against the cold, stone wall, bawling freely, my face buried in my hands. I rarely cry, because crying means you're weak, but I can't stop myself now. I'm gasping for air, crying out in the most emotional pain I've ever felt in my entire life. It hurts so much it might as well be physical.
When I've finished my story, they sit in silence, shocked at what they've just heard. Tonks cries even harder, her face red and puffy, clinging to Remus's arm; Peter sits in his spot on the floor, jaw dropped; James stands frozen where I left him, unreadable, indifferent; and Remus just looks curiously at me, his eyes squinted as if they were analyzing me. I take a seat on the couch and bury my face in my hands, my elbows on my knees. I've almost calmed down, now my heart aches, my stomach twists, and I feel as if I'm about to vomit.
"She was due in November," I choke up. "She was five months. It was a girl."
"A little girl?" Remus pipes up. All heads snap in his direction, shocked that he said anything. I sigh, secretly thankful that he did.
"Yes, Remus," I say, nodding my head. "My little girl."
I sigh, looking back down at my broken heart laying on the floor. I feel strangely empty, as if you could touch me and I would shatter, like an expensive vase or a corpse. I'm more like a corpse, I think. Worthless.
With that, I get up without a word and climb the stairs leading to the rooms on the second floor. Each step is forced, and heavy, and makes me tired. This isn't my life. This is someone else's nightmare.
Things Sirius Black does when he's upset:
1. Plays a prank on Snivellus
2. Drowns himself in alcohol
4. Shags a girl
5. Takes a shower
Since three out of the five are impossible at this moment, and he isn't allowed to smoke in the house, he takes a shower. As the five of us sit in awe in the living room, we hear the water turn on from upstairs, and many thumps as he knocks down all the expensive goo my mother keeps in there.
"Who would've known?" Remus says, the only one brave enough to speak. He takes his seat next to Tonks again, sighing.
"We must be reeeeally thick," I say, falling back into my armchair.
"Now that I think about it," Tonks says, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. "It was obvious."
"The crying, the weight gain, the depression, the overall lack of emotion and hygiene," Peter rattles off, looking thoughtful. "Yeah, I'd say it was obvious."
"You wouldn't have noticed it if it was staring back at you in the face, Wormtail," I mutter, rolling my eyes; he shoots me a dirty look.
"And I'm only crying for his sake," Tonks interjects. "I could care less about Scarlet, and I know that sounds terrible, but I don't. She made my living space unbearable, and tormented me in so many ways."
"I don't blame you," I say, leaning back in my chair. We all sit in a heavy silence for a few moments, listening to the sound of running water from above. "What would they have done anyways? Scarlet couldn't bring a baby to school."
"They probably would've dropped out," Remus says, wrapping his arm around Tonks's shoulder. "That would've killed Sirius's chances of becoming an Auror."
"I don't know what to say," Tonks mutters, staring incomprehensively at the newspaper. "Sirius being a father?"
"I think we all knew it would happen at some point," I say, trying to give a small smile. "He, being the man-slag he is."
"I suppose," Tonks responds, wiping away another tear.
"He'll get through it," I say evenly, sighing. I know Sirius better than anyone in this room, and I feel like I'm obligated to say this. "Somehow, someway, Sirius Black will find a reason to live again."
Hey guys! Sorry if I made you cry, because I did! :'(
How are all of you today? Thank God for the weekend! I have one bit of philosophy for you all today: coffee is a writer's best friend. Isn't that the truth?! Although it makes me really sick. :p
That's all I have to say for now! I got some amazing reviews on my last chapter, so thank you all so much! If you're reading, you might as well leave a little review! ;)
Have a good day all! I'm going to get my foot x-rayed because I'm the clumsiest prat ever and I think I broke my big toe! :O
Love you all! *hugs*
Ps, another extra long chapter! ;D
Pss, please go read my Sherlock Holmes one-shot!