Above and Beyond

Sirius's Tale

SIRIUS

It was so good to see Lily and James again. I hadn’t seen my best friend for 14 years and for everyday of that I felt like a part of me had been missing. Now that I was with James again, that missing part has fallen back into place and I was the happiest I have been for a long time. It feels like we have never been apart. He really is my brother, and I wasn’t the same without him. I know what you’re thinking; cheesy. And it is cheesy, but it’s also completely true.

Then there’s Nikki, and I was just going to get even cornier if I think about her too much, so I will keep it short and simple. I love her. So much. I have since fifth year and when she died, it literally broke my heart, so being killed by my little shit of a cousin was really a blessing in disguise, because she was back in my life. It’s like nothing has changed.

I thought that since I was going to stay at her house, I would really enjoy my first night in Above, but to my dismay, she has a spare room in her house and she ordered me into it, saying that we should “take it slow.” Damn.

I woke up really early in the morning, and after a while of lying in bed, I got up and crept into Nikki’s room to watch her sleep. She looked so peaceful and radiant with her blond hair fanned across the pillow and her pale skin glowing, and that was when it hit me. I really was in heaven. And she was my angel.

I contemplated getting into bed with her, just to give her a hug, to make sure she wasn’t just a really good dream, but then I thought about the screaming that would accompany it, and I decided against it. So I sat on the couch for a while, just thinking.

I thought of Harry. Did he and his friends get out of the Ministry of Magic safely? Is he sad about my death? Though I was pretty sure the answer to that was yes. It better be.

Nikki came in about ten minutes later, dressed in running gear. It really didn’t surprise me. Even when we were at Hogwarts, she used to love running. I didn’t mind the outfit either, especially her tiny shorts. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and then said, “I’m going for a run for about half an hour.”

“I figured.”

She laughed, “Make yourself some breakfast, Siri. Have as much as you want. I assume that your stomach is still the bottom less pit it was back on Earth?”

I patted it proudly, “I don’t know, but I think I will pop over to James and Lily’s place to find out. You know how much I love Lily’s pancakes.”

She smiled, and she looked so beautiful, I couldn’t help get up and kiss her. “What was that for?” she asked.

I shrugged, “You’re beautiful, and I really missed you.”

“Me too, Siri. And I’m really happy you’re back here with me.” She said giving me a hug, “But I really have to go for a run.”

I laughed, “So dedicated.”

“You bet.” And with a stunning wink, she ran out the door.

I stared after her for a while, before I went and got dressed, then walked over to the Potters. I knocked quietly, but nobody answered as I expected. They both always slept in. So lazy. I let myself in, (they really shouldn’t keep their door unlocked) and went and sat down at the kitchen table to wait for them to wake up.

As I sat, I let my mind travel back to what I was thinking about before. Harry, his friends, and the biggest question of them all; what does the future hold for him? I was almost certain that Harry was the one that had to defeat Voldemort, though I could be wrong. I had only been here a few hours and already I wanted to see my godson again. Just to check that he’s safe and trying to move on. I don’t know how James and Lily survive. They have been here 14 years and haven’t seen their son the entire time. Super heroes, I tell you.

As I was thinking things over, Lily came into the kitchen saying brightly, “Oh, morning Sirius! What are you doing here? Why aren’t you with Nikki?”

“Running.” I grunted, still thinking about Harry.

She nodded in understanding, then said, “James is still asleep, the lazybones. I swear, that man is always sleeping–” She stopped talking suddenly and I realised she had seen my face and it was probably very clear what I was thinking about. She sat down at the table next to me, putting her hand on my shoulder. “Sirius,” she said, “You can’t dwell on it. It doesn’t help anything. I would know.” She smiled slightly.

I nodded, “I know, but it’s hard not to. How do you two do it? I mean, I have been here only a few hours and already I want to see Harry again. You both have been here for 14 years and you haven’t seen your son once. How do you stop thinking and worrying about him?”

She sighed and dropped her hand from my shoulder. She stared at the table as she spoke. “We never stop thinking about him, Sirius. He is always at the back of my mind, and I know that he is on James’s too. But I try not to dwell on it too much because it only makes me sad.” She sniffed, “I really miss him Siri.”

“I know Lil, I know.” I said, putting my arm around her fragile shoulders that were hunching with the effort to keep in tears. “He really misses you too, you know. He is always thinking about you. He used to ask me and Remus all these questions about you and James, the ridiculous and genius things the Marauders got up to at school.” I laughed at the memories and even Lily, who hated our pranks, gave a little chuckle. “I remember once, he was at school and somehow he found out about that time in our fifth year when James used levicorpus on Snape in front of everyone, and you came out and yelled at him, remember? Then Snape got embarrassed because you were defending him and he called you a…well you know.” She nodded solemnly, but the corners of her mouth were turned up slightly as she relived the memory.

I couldn’t help but continue recounting it, just to see her smile, “Then James yelled at Snivellus for calling you…what he did. Which only made you mad, and you said something about his arrogance and how you would rather date the Giant Squid then him.”

She was laughing by now. “That’s right,” she said in between her laughter, “he was an arrogant toe rag back then. Only when he deflated his head, did I come to see what a great guy he really was.”

“And also because you were both Heads of the school, and you were stuck sharing a common room together, so it was very hard to avoid him.” I pointed out.

She stuck out her tongue at me, and I laughed. We were both still laughing together when James came downstairs after his morning shower, with nothing on but a pair of boxers that had little on broomsticks and Quidditch balls zooming around, and his towel around his shoulders.

“Morning!” he said cheerfully.

“Well, aren’t you in a good mood this morning.” His wife remarked.

James shrugged, “It’s just good waking up, coming downstairs and seeing my best mate and the woman I love waiting for me. Just like old times!” he grinned, ruffling my hair in a very annoying way and dropping into the chair opposite me just as Lily got up to make breakfast.

I nodded as I smoothed my gorgeous hair back down, “Yeah, just like old times, Prongs. Except you used to wear more clothes then.”

“Yes James, would it really kill you to put a t-shirt on or something?” Lily said.

“Oh Lil, I know you love seeing me without a shirt on.” He chuckled, winking at her.

She blushed slightly and I swallowed a laugh. “She might James, but I don’t really. So be a good pal and put a shirt on. Please?” I said making my puppy dog face that no-one could refuse.

He rolled his eyes, but muttered, “Fine.” as I knew he would, and trudged back upstairs. I grinned at Lily. “You’re welcome.” I said. She hit me on the head with her spatula.

James came back downstairs just as Lily was putting his breakfast on the table. “Thank you, dear.” He said giving her a kiss on the cheek. It never ceased to amaze me how they continue to act like a loved-up newlywed couple. Gag.

When Lily sat down, James said, “so what were you two laughing about before?”

Lily grinned, “Sirius was telling me about how Harry somehow found out about that time in our fifth year after our OWL’s where you were terrorizing Snape by the lake and when I defended him he called me a you-know-what.”

“Oh yeah!” James said, “Then I tried to defend you and you totally insulted me. Which really hurt by the way.”

“And you have gotten over it entirely.” She muttered sarcastically.

“Harry found out about that in his fifth year, and it confused him because he couldn’t understand how Lily could hate you so much, then end up marrying you.” I said to James.

He laughed. “Poor boy probably thought I gave her a love potion or something.”

“I think he did.” I chuckled. “So, he was really desperate to know how you two got together, so he broke into the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor’s office and flooed his head over to Grimmauld Place to ask me and Remus.”

Lily scowled. “Seems he inherited some of your rule breaking skills James.”

“Chip off the old block!” he said proudly. “So Sirius, did you and Moony tell him that I wooed her over with my good looks and charm?”

Lily then turned back to me and said, “I take back what I said before. He still is an arrogant toe-rag.”

I laughed, “After we explained that Lily only could see the real you after you deflated your head in seventh year, James, he seemed happier. He loved learning about you guys. He always wanted Moony and me to tell him stories.” I frowned, “Though we didn’t really get the chance to very often.”

Lily said, “Why not?” at the same time as James wondered, “Padfoot? How come you haven’t mentioned Wormtail at all? It’s just you and Moony.”

I sighed heavily, it seems I couldn’t put it off any longer. “I’ll answer both your questions, but it’s going to be a long story, I’m going to have to start from the beginning.” I shifted in my seat uncomfortably, this was going to take a while.

………………………………………

“Now, I am warning you, some of the things I am going to tell you, you are not going to like. This is not necessarily a happy story and so I am just telling you now. Lily, you may cry, and James, you may get very angry and feel like throttling some people, but let me just remind you now that you are both in Above, and most of the people in this story are still on earth and there is no possible way of getting to them, or protecting them.”

I paused, letting all that sink in. I could see both of them were now worrying about how bad my story was going to be. They aren’t going to like this, I thought grimly. Then I started my story.

“Okay, so the night you two were…killed, I was at home and I got this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew that something had happened, I just wasn’t sure who it was. Remember I had the same feeling about the Longbottoms?” When they nodded, I continued, “So I knew that something was wrong but because I had no idea who to help, I couldn’t go anywhere, and to be honest, after about an hour, I kind of forgot about it. Then Dumbledore arrived.” I swallowed, even with them both sitting here with me now, I couldn’t help feel the crippling sadness I felt when I heard the news. I pushed on, “He was not crying, but his eyes were full of tears and they had lost that sparkle they always had, you know?

“Then he said, ‘Sirius,’ and for some reason, you two both suddenly popped up in my mind immediately; I knew it was you two. I found out what had happened and I was so angry with myself. I felt like it was my fault you were killed, if I hadn’t–”

“Wait, wait.” Lily interrupted, “Siri, it wasn’t your fault. We know it wasn’t your fault. You weren’t the secret keeper, and we know that Peter would never do it. He was the secret keeper but we know that he would never tell Voldemort the password. We know he wouldn’t.”

James was nodding in agreement. “We know that Wormtail would never do that to us. He is a Marauder, a loyal friend. Voldemort just had some kind of super-powerful magic.”

“But he didn’t James!” I exclaimed. “He didn’t have any freaky magic that could get through the Fidelus Charm! No magic can, no matter how powerful! All he needed was the password. And he had it.”

“What?” Lily gasped.

I ignored her, taking a deep breath, “As soon as Dumbledore told me the news, I went straight to Peter’s house. When he answered and realised it was me, he was overly sad about what had happened. He had never been a good liar, you know that, Prongs. I didn’t even bother leaving the doorstep. I just grabbed his arm, yanked up his sleeve, and there it was. The Dark Mark.”

Lily gasped and began to sob uncontrollably. James just sat there, his mouth hanging open, staring at nothing in particular, his eyes glazed over with shock. He was there for a few long moments, then, as though someone had suddenly flipped a switch, he jumped up and started storming around the room, shouting at the top of his lungs. “HOW COULD HE DO THAT TO US?!! WE WERE HIS FRIENDS! HIS ONLY FRIENDS! AND HE BETRAYED US!! HE IS THE REASON I AM DEAD! THE REASON HARRY HAS NO PARENTS! WHAT A BASTARD!! WHAT A TWO-FACED BASTARD!! WHAT A DOUBLE-CROSSING PIECE OF FUCKING SCUM!!”

“Prongs–”

“I HOPE HE ROTS IN HELL. NO! I HOPE VOLDEMORT KILLS HIM, THEN HE ROTS IN HELL. NO! I HOPE VOLDEMORT TO TORTURES HIM TO INSANITY UNTIL HE BEGS FOR MERCY, THEN KILLS HIM SO THEN HE CAN ROT IN HELL!”

He took a deep breath to calm himself, and it seemed like only then did he realise that Lily was balling her eyes out, and I was just watching him storm around his kitchen, knocking things over and swearing about a friend he thought he could trust. He put his arm around Lily and gently pulled her over to the couch, where he sat down heavily and Lily buried her face in his shoulder. “Sirius,” he said, his voice suddenly sounding like he had aged 30 years, “how could he do that to us? We were his friends for so long. We defended him when he was being teased, we put up with him when he was annoying…we trusted him Siri. He made him a bloody MARAUDER for god’s sake! And this is how he repays us.” He swallowed, his eyes suddenly filled with tears.

“I know James,” I whispered, getting up and walking over to the couch opposite them “we all trusted him.” By this time, Lily had managed to calm her sobs and she looked up at me, her eyes rimmed with red and still full of tears, making the green stand out.

“Sirius,” she croaked out, “continue with your story,”

“Yeah, I want to hear about how you blew him apart.” James added, anger leaking into his voice.

I gave a short humourless chuckle, “Prongs, you have know idea how ironic that sentence is.” I said, before quickly continuing before they could ask questions. “Now where was I before you started storming around and ranting like a madman? Oh yes. So, as soon as I saw the Mark I knew. I was so angry. Not only at him, for killing you guys, but also, I was so angry at myself for convincing you guys to make him the secret keeper in the first place. I thought that Voldemort would never go to Peter because he would never suspect him. I never realised it would be the other way around.

“I drew my wand and forced him out into the street—which was crowded with clueless muggles, by the way—and yelled at him for being the reason you were dead. He blubbered and stuttered about how he didn’t have a choice and about how the Dark Lord would have killed him. His selfishness was the final straw for me. I aimed at him while he screamed that I had killed you two, but then there was an explosion and half the street was blown apart, killing about twelve muggles. When the smoke was starting to clear, I saw a flash of silver, and when I could eventually see clearly again, Pettigrew was gone. For one mad second, I thought that I had cast the spell without knowing it, and it had worked, but then I realised that I would have known if I had cast the spell, which I hadn’t. I didn’t understand, but that was when I saw it. His finger.”

Lily gasped in horror, looking sick at the very thought, and James blurted out, “His what?”

I nodded, “He had his wand behind his back and just before I cursed him, he blew the bloody street apart! Then, under the cover of the explosion, he cut off his finger and transformed into fucking Wormtail. He set me up and got away alive.” They just stared at me for a long moment. “I couldn’t believe I had let that bastard get away! I was so furious with myself that I think I sort of had a moment of madness. I was so overcome with my hatred for him and myself and my absolute sadness and pain about losing you two, I just laughed. I laughed like a mad man for ages, even when the Aurors came and dragged me off to Azkaban.” I hung my head.

“What?” Lily breathed.

“I didn’t even get a proper trial.” I murmured to the table, “They convicted me of murder, several times. Murder of twelve muggles as well as ‘a fellow wizard’” I made imaginary quotation marks in the air. “They gave me life in Azkaban.”

“BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR!” James yelled, “you didn’t kill those muggles and you didn’t kill a fellow wizard at all!! Didn’t they give you a chance to tell your story?”

I snorted and looked up at their outraged faces, “Of course not. I was a ‘mass murderer’. I supposedly destroyed an entire street, and laughed as I was dragged away. That’s more then enough evidence where they were concerned.”

“Oh Sirius, I’m so sorry,” said Lily quietly, “That must have been awful for you. Did you die there?”

I was about to answer, but James quickly jumped in, “No, it couldn’t have Lils, because the screen said he was murdered. And he told us himself about Bellatrix.” He frowned, “How did you get out? If you were in for life.”

I grinned at him, suddenly amused. “How do you think Prongs? I escaped.”

James laughed and lent over the table to touch his fist to mine. “Of course you did Pads! I didn’t expect anything less of you, being a Marauder and all.”

“Not to mention Sirius Black.” I laughed with him.

Lily frowned at me, “Sirius, how did you manage to escape? You would have been a high security prisoner, because they thought that you were a mass murderer. You would have had Dementors everywhere. Azkaban is impossible to escape from!”

Was impossible, Lils. Was.” I grinned. James laughed.

She rolled her eyes, “Oh, honestly.”

“So, how did you do it?” James said in an excited voice.

I sighed. “Don’t get too excited, James. I didn’t start trying to escape from the moment I was put in there. Honestly, I didn’t really care that I was there. It didn’t matter to me that everyone thought I was a murderer. I knew the truth and that’s all that mattered to me. If I wasn’t in prison, I wouldn’t have wanted to go home, because that’s where I had found out about your death’s, I didn’t really care about living, because I had nothing to live for anymore.

“But the more I was in there, the more I started to think about things. I thought about Remus, and how he would be devastated about your death’s, but then to find out that his only friend left had been thrown into Azkaban for apparently killing his other friend, I felt sorry for him. He didn’t know that Peter was to blame. He told me later that he thought that I had gone mad with grief and had killed Peter by accident. I also thought about Harry. I wondered what his life was like, not having any true family. Dumbledore had told me he was going to the Dursley’s and over the years, I wished more and more that I was out of that hell-hole so I could take care of Harry myself. But I still had no real motivation to get out, Harry would not just be allowed to live with a murderer and I was depressed.

“It wasn’t until I had been in Azkaban for twelve years that I found my motivation. It was the picture on the front page of The Daily Prophet that one of the other prisoners had acquired. It was a picture of the Weasley family. Harry’s best friend Ron and his family.” I added, because they were both looking slightly confused. When they realised what I was talking about, they nodded. “Well, Ron’s Dad had won this lottery thing that the Ministry of Magic held each year—he worked there—and he had taken the whole family on a trip to Egypt to visit the eldest son Bill, who was working over there. Their family isn’t really what you would call ‘well off’, so it was nice that all of them could go away together.”

“But wait Sirius,” Lily interrupted, “Why would a picture of the Weasley’s give you motivation to get out? Did you even know Harry was friends with Ron?”

I rolled my eyes, “Of course I didn’t know they were friends, Lily! I had been in Azkaban for 12 bloody years!” I shook my head at her.

She crossed her arms angrily. “That’s my point!”

“It wasn’t the family in the photo that was my motivation, exactly.” I continued, “At first glance I didn’t really care about the photo. But then I saw him. He was sitting on Ron’s shoulder.” I paused dramatically before saying, “Wormtail.”

“In the picture? With the Weasley’s?” James asked

“Yes, Prongs. He was sitting on Harry’s best friend’s shoulder with the entire Weasley family.”

James shook his head, “I’m sorry, that’s just really weird.”

I rolled my eyes at him, but otherwise continued with my story, pretending James’s daftness hadn’t interrupted me. “So anyway, I would recognise that rat anywhere, having spent almost three years of school scampering around with him”—I grinned at James—” but also because he was missing a toe on one of his feet. Suddenly, I was inspired to get out. He was still alive and posing as a pet rat, given a home, getting food and everything for free, while I rotted away in a cell, and I wasn’t going to stand for it. He was the reason my best friend was killed and I was the one locked away. That night, I started planning.

“At first it seemed hopeless. As you said Lily, Azkaban was impossible to escape from, but I was determined. I got obsessed; it became all I thought about. One night, I had a brainwave. I was sitting in my cell, looking at the picture on the Daily Prophet for about the billionth time and suddenly I thought, ‘I know that Sirius could never avoid the Dementors, they would sense him immediately, but maybe Padfoot could’.” James and Lily’s eyes widened as they realised what I meant.

“Sirius, that’s brilliant!” Lily almost shouted, “Dementors can’t sense animals as strongly as humans, even Animagi. That was really smart Siri.” She added, sounding quite shocked, which was definitely and insult to my intelligence.

I smirked proudly as James pouted, “I could have thought of that.” He said, sounding like a jealous child.

“I know you could have, sweetie,” Lily laughed lightly, “but for Sirius to think of something like that is quite an accomplishment.” With his ego properly stroked, it was now James’s turn to smirk and mine to sulk.

“I resent that!” I said. James smirk grew more pronounced and Lily rolled her eyes. “You are welcome to keep making jokes at my expense,” I grumbled, “unless you want to hear the rest of the story. I’m not even up to the good bit. Harry hasn’t even come in yet.”

Lily shook her head at me and said, “Okay, we won’t be mean we promise. Now keep telling the story Siri, we want to hear your gripping escape tale.”

“Oh well, if you insist!” I said, happy to keep them absorbed in my story. I put on a deep, dramatic voice, “So, after his amazing idea, the heroic and devilishly handsome Sirius, who all the girls in Azkaban wanted a shag with, changed into his Padfoot animagus form, and managed to slip out of the bars of his cell. His black fur was silky smooth and glistened in the moonli–”

“Sirius!” James and Lily yelled at the same time.

I sighed heavily, “Fine then, suit yourselves, have the boring version.” They both rolled their eyes (at the same time, I might add, which was kind of scary) so I moved on. “so yes, I discovered that as Padfoot I could slip out of the bars of my cell quite easily, being underfed and everything. And the fact that I was black was very handy indeed, because it was night time and none of the other prisoners would have been able to see me. I tried to avoid the Dementors as best I could because, you know, I didn’t want to risk it. Anyway, to make a long story short, it took me a while, but eventually I managed to escape. Sirius Black was free once again.” I smiled triumphantly.

James grinned and gave me a high five, “Nice work, mate.” he said.

“So what did you do once you were free?” Lily asked, clearly hooked in my enthralling story.

“Well, I realised that it wouldn’t take them long to notice I was gone and as soon as it was realised, I knew there would be wanted posters everywhere, with me being a ‘mass murderer’ and all.” I rolled my eyes, “so I knew I had to stay in dog form. Being an illegal animagus, no one would recognise me and I could remain invisible. I also realised that it was still the summer holidays for the kids, and I had no idea where the Weasley’s lived so I would have to wait until school started.

“So to pass the time, I went to try and find the Dursley’s house, to see if I could get a glimpse of my godson who I hadn’t seen for 12 years. Let me tell you guys, it wasn’t very hard to find their street. All the houses have immaculate lawns and perfect gardens, I knew it was where they would have lived. The day I got there, I had to keep hidden, because I was much more obvious in the daylight. I just roamed in the bushes until nightfall, keeping invisible in the bushes. When night came I was still searching for their house, when I heard some man yelling and a woman screaming. When I looked up there was a little dot floating around in the sky. It looked like a giant balloon. I didn’t think much of it, but Harry told me later that it was Dursley’s sister. She was teasing him and insulting you two, apparently and he got mad and accidently made her inflate like a balloon and she floated away. Took days to get her down I heard.” I chuckled.

Lily and James burst into laughter and I couldn’t help laughing with them. I’m sure they could have pictured it very easily. We had all met Dursely’s sister once at their wedding. Man, she was one hell of a woman. Once we calmed down a bit James said, “Boy, I would have loved to see that.” He laughed again.

“Well, he certainly is your son isn’t he?” I said, “James, you were the only person I would have expected to think of that. Before I met Harry, that is.”

James and Lily were both beaming proudly. Lily didn’t even seem to mind that her son had expanded her brother-in-law’s sister into a balloon. There were a couple of minutes of silence while they were caught up in their thoughts.

“Oh, sorry Pads,” James suddenly said, coming back to reality, “continue.”

“Right.” I said, “So a little while later, I was hiding in the bushes near the park at the end of their street, when I hear someone storming down the street dragging what sounded like a trunk. They got to the park and sat down on the curb, not seeming very happy. That was when I realised that it was a teenage boy with black hair that stuck up every where just like yours always did James.” I grinned at him, “I knew it was Harry, so I moved closer and he must have heard me because he turned around. It was him. I immediately recognised his face because he looked exactly like you in your 3rd year, Prongs. But he has Lily’s eyes. It was so surreal seeing him for the first time in 12 years, but I only had a moment because I knew he had seen me and I had to run. I had got a glimpse of my godson, so I had to get on my way.”

I paused, and Lily and James gaped at me. “That’s it?” Lily asked, looking slightly dumbfounded, “you just walked away?”

I shrugged and nodded. “I had to keep moving.” She just shook her head at me.

“So, you saw him, and then you went and tracked down Wormtail?” said James, getting back on track.

“No, the term hadn’t started yet so I had to wait. I also had to figure out how to get into the castle. It’s Hogwarts, for crying out loud! It wasn’t going to be easy. I spent months planning it, and to be honest, I eventually decided to just make it up as I went along.”

James laughed, “The best kind of plan,”

“Yes, and you and Moony both know James that that is the type of plan that I do best.” I said. He grinned and nodded.

“So term started and by the time I actually managed to get into the castle, it was more then half way through. It took a long time. Once I was in the castle –still in animagus form of course- I went straight up to the Gryffindor Tower. But as I was making my way up there I realised that I didn’t know the password. I was stuck again. Then I noticed a little piece of parchment just lying on the ground. When I looked at it, I realised that it had a list of passwords written on it. I couldn’t believe my luck! I picked it up and went straight to the Fat Lady. She wasn’t happy when I woke her up—you both know how she is when you wake her in the middle of the night—but after–”

“Sirius!” Lily cut in, “I know that you and James used to go out in the middle of the night at school, but I never did! I was always asleep in my bed!” she crossed her arms indignantly.

“Please!” I scoffed at the same time James rolled his eyes at her, “You are talking to Sirius Black here, Lils! I know everything that happened in Hogwarts during our time there, especially midnight rendezvous with a certain Head Boy.” I waggled my eyebrows at her and she blushed deeply while James hit me on the upside of my head, his cheeks slightly red.

“Only because you were the gossip king of Hogwarts.” She snapped.

“True.” I admitted, “But the point is, that Moony and I knew all about you and Prongs here sneaking out of your common room for a night-time excursion. Not to mention the fact that all the Marauders knew about you, Mary and Nikki sneaking out for a little midnight ice cream snack in sixth year. You did it all the time. Hell! Sometimes we even followed you!”

James nodded and smirked with me, but stopped suddenly when his wife turned on him. “James!” she almost yelled, “How could you do that! How come we never saw you?”

“Because we were under the Invisibility Cloak!” he yelled back as if it was the most obvious answer in the world, which it was.

“Why would you guys do that?!” Lily was still shouting.

“Jeez, calm down Lilyflower!” I said, “Don’t get so worked up about it! It was like 10 years ago! And we didn’t care that you snuck out. We actually were kind of annoyed that you girls had thought of it before we did.”

She smiled proudly, but then said, “But why did you follow us?”

James sighed in exasperation, “Because! You still wouldn’t go out with me even when you knew I was madly in love with you, Moony was dating Mary and he wanted to know why she snuck out at night, and Padfoot was all ga-ga for Nikki!”

“Really Siri?” Lily asked curiously, so easily sidetracked, “even in sixth year? I know that you eventually went out in seventh year, but if you liked her why didn’t you ask her out then? She liked you for ages.”

“I did! And we went out for about 3 months secretly before we even decided to tell you guys.”

“What!” they both yelled.

“Oops, forgot you didn’t know about that.” I muttered, making a mental note to warn Nikki before Lily got to her. I shrugged. “We can talk about that later. Can I get back onto my story? I’m almost at the good bit!”

“Fine.” They both muttered. (I swear they spend waaaaay too much time together.)

“Anyway, after I said the password, she let me in easily enough. Probably thought I was a teacher or something, it being dark, and she was still half asleep, so I got into the common room. When I walked in I had to just stop and stand there for a while before I could move again. Let me tell you guys, it was weird being back there, in that room. It looked exactly the same. Not a single thing out of place. We all had so many great memories there and it was my only real home as a kid. Apart from your place of course James.” I sighed, smiling reminiscently, “it was the place we would do homework, hang out, where you two would have your shouting matches for the whole castle to hear,”—Lily stuck her tongue out at me for bringing that up—“then it was the place you two finally got together” they both grinned, “and it was the place where all 7 of us used to sit and chat for ages in seventh year, when we were all together. Remember?” I sighed again, “Good times.”

There was a long moment of silence as we all sat there remembering those seven years when the hardest thing we had to do was finish our homework and pass our exams, you could only find people being the victims of dark magic occasionally in the halls at night, (usually the Slytherins’ doing) and generally the worst you got was cuts or giant boils. No one was being murdered or tortured back then. And no one was betrayed and killed by their best friend I thought savagely. I shook my head sharply in order to bring myself back to reality.

“So after my little trip back to the past, I headed up to the boys dormitory’s. Harry and Ron’s was easy enough to find. It was our old room, Prongs. I saw Harry, sleeping peacefully, perfectly unaware that the person responsible for sending his parents to their deaths’ was sleeping in the bed next to his. I crept up to Ron’s bed, anger growing inside of me. I was finally going to get Wormtail. I got my trusty knife and slashed his curtains. I could see Wormtail sleeping on his pillow. Then Ron started to stir so I knew I had to do it fast. I got my knife and lent over, about to get that bloody rat, when Ron woke up. He obviously saw me because I was standing over him with a knife in my hand, and he started screaming. I don’t blame him, I would have yelled if there was a man over my bed with a knife as well. Anyway his yelling woke up Wormtail and he saw me and scampered away. And I high-tailed it out of there as fast as I could. The whole tower would have woken up from the racket Ron was making so I sprinted away, changing into Padfoot on the way down.” I took a deep, calming breath, I was getting stressed just reliving it. “Don’t worry though! I got away safely.”

James looked relieved that I was okay after that, but Lily glared at me murderously. I sunk further into my seat, the phrase if looks could kill running through my mind. “Sirius!” she screamed at me, “how could you do that to the poor boy! He would have been almost scared to death at the sight of a man standing over him with a knife! If you were aiming at the rat on his pillow it would have certainly looked like you were aiming for him! Not to mention the fact that you were supposedly a mass murderer and probably the most wanted man in the country.” When I nodded, confirming that she was, as usual, correct she continued to shout at me, green eyes blazing. “That would have been possibly the scariest thing for a person, let alone a 13 year-old boy! How could you?!” She took a breath to calm herself.

“Whoa, there Lils.” I said, my hands up in front of me in surrender, and also to protect my stunningly handsome face, “you don’t think I felt bad? After thinking about it, I felt horrible for Ron. I would have been horrified if it was me. But it’s okay because when I apologized to him in the Shrieking Shack, he forgave me. I did say I was very sorry and I told him it was all a misunderstanding.”

She nodded, looking slightly calmer and I felt safe enough to lower my hands from my face.

“Hey, Pads?” James said.

“Hey, Prongs.”

“Did you just say the Shrieking Shack? With Ron?” he asked.

“It wasn’t just Ron,” I said, “Harry was there too, and his friend Hermione. And Moony, and Wormtail…and Snape as well,” I remembered with distaste.

Both Lily and James opened their mouths to explode with questions, but I silenced them by covering their mouths with my hands. “I will answer everything when I continue with my story, and if I don’t end up answering one, feel free to ask at the end.” I said.

Once they both looked like they were going to be quiet, I took my hands away, and started with the next part of my story. “I had stolen some parchment and a quill from the Gryffindor Common room on my way out and I decided to write to Moony for the first time in 12 years, because I knew he would find out about me being in Hogwarts and above Ron’s bed very soon. He was teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts at the time, and you will learn about that later” I added, when Lily and James both looked confused.

“I wrote to him and explained everything, hoping he would understand, that he would finally realise that I wasn’t the friend that had betrayed him and the Marauders. I had to sign it as Padfoot because I knew that the Ministry would be checking the mail. After that I just had to wait. I was really angry that I still hadn’t got Pettigrew but I tried to put it out of my mind. When word got around that ‘Sirius Black, mass murderer’ had broken into Hogwarts and almost killed a student, security got tighter then ever. Dumbledore got stricter on what time students had to be inside the castle and even more Dementors were sent in for security.” Both Lily and James’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates and I realised that I had not told them about that. It would have been hilarious if I was talking about a different subject.

“Woops,” I said, “Sorry, forgot to tell you about that. When school went back, Dumbledore somehow knew I was going to end up somewhere near Hogwarts after my breakout. I swear that man is unbelievable. So he reluctantly accepted the Ministry’s offer to install several Dementors to roam around the school and stop me from coming in. Don’t worry, they were only on the very edge of the school. Obviously it didn’t work very well, because they couldn’t sense me very easily as a dog.” I couldn’t resist adding smugly.

“So when I still managed to break in, security was increased. Even Dumbledore thought that I was the reason you two were dead. No one knew that I wasn’t the dangerous one.

“Anyway, with the added Dementors and everything I had to stay and live in the Forbidden Forest. Just taking my time and wondering how the hell I was going to get Pettigrew. One evening, I saw Ron, Harry and Hermione running across the grounds near the Whomping Willow. It looked like Ron was chasing something. Then I realised it was Wormtail. I realised that this was my chance so I sprinted, still as Padfoot, towards the rat. Unfortunately, Ron had just got to him and managed to pick him up just before I got to him. I made a split-second decision—you know, the kind I should really think about, but don’t—to still go for Wormtail even if Ron was holding him. I heard Harry yell “RON!” and I knew that they had seen me. Ron turned, but then I grabbed his leg—probably a bit to hard, because I heard a snap—with my mouth and dragged him into the tunnel underneath the Whomping Willow that leads straight into the Shrieking Shack.

“Ron was yelling in my ear, probably from the pain in his leg mostly, because I had broken it. Which I didn’t mean to do” I hastily added, after seeing Lily’s face, “When we got into the Shack, I let Ron go and turned back into human form again. When Ron saw me, he obviously realised who I was because he stared at me. Kind of annoying really since I wasn’t really a killer, he was still holding the real bloody murderer in his hand. We soon heard Harry and Hermione, coming down the tunnel, as I expected they would, loyal kids. When they got into the room, they ran straight to Ron. They couldn’t see me because I was standing sort of behind the door. But when Harry asked ‘where’s the dog Ron?’ Ron pointed at me, saying how I was Animagus.

“When Harry saw me, and realised who I was, he tried to grab me, but Hermione held him back saying, ‘if you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too’ to me. I couldn’t help but smile, at their loyalty to Harry, they were true friends.

Harry really tried to get at me, but Hermione held him and yelled at him to stop. Harry shouted back at her, about how I had killed you two, and then he broke free of her, and jumped at me, forgetting all about magic, I assume. You would have been proud the way that boy fights James. He got me down on the floor, then, remembering his wand, he pulled it out and pointed it at me.

‘Are you going to kill me Harry?’ I asked, actually getting a little worried, but I was also quite proud that my godson was so determined and brave.

“Just then, Remus burst in, and, seeing Harry’s wand pointed at me, he disarmed him. Harry immediately got off me, assuming that because Remus was a teacher, that Remus would take care of me.” I broke off, chuckling, “it’s funny how basically the opposite happened. Moony pulled me off the floor and gave me a big hug. It was so good to see him again. Then Hermione shouted at us, ‘I TRUSTED YOU!’ she yelled at Remus, ‘I kept your secret, and all this time you have been helping HIM!’ she turned to Harry and Ron, telling them that Remus was a werewolf, she really is an incredibly smart girl. Reminds me so much of you, Lils,” I added, grinning at her, and she smiled happily.

“But I was sick of just mucking around. I was agitated, I wanted to get it done, but the always practical Moony told me to wait. He said, ‘Harry has a right to know why’ and I knew he was right.

Harry interrupted then, saying that he knew why. He said that I betrayed his parents, and that I was the reason you were dead. ‘No Harry, I thought so too, until Sirius explained it all,’ Remus said, then he continued in telling basically the whole Animagus story, which, as you know James, takes a long time.” James nodded sympathetically, “It was maddening waiting for him to finish the story. He was just getting to the end when we were rudely interrupted by none other then the sneaking intruder himself, Snape.

“He burst in and disarmed Remus. He yelled at him for helping ‘an old friend into the castle’. He was going to get me and take me to the Dementors, and he almost got away with it too, if Harry hadn’t disarmed him at the same time Hermione and Ron did. The spell was so powerful that he was thrown backwards and knocked out. I would have laughed in any other situation. Harry wanted to know more about Pettigrew. When Remus explained that he thought Pettigrew was also dead until Harry mentioned seeing him on the Marauders Map—which he had somehow managed to get his hands on by the way—” I added for James’ sake, and he looked delighted with the fact that his son now has part of Marauder history.

“Harry said that the map must have been lying. ‘The Map never lies!’ I said, because we both know this is completely true Prongs, ‘Pettigrew is alive! And he’s in this room. Right there!’ I pointed to Ron’s rat. Harry wouldn’t believe us unless we showed him that Peter was really an animagus. Once we got Ron to let go of him, Remus and I tried to get him to turn back, but he was scampering everywhere and it took us a few tries. But we eventually got him.

“Well, to say that all three of them looked shocked would be an understatement. Ron looked utterly gobsmacked that the rat that had been in his family for 12 years was actually a person. Anyway, Peter tried to sweet-talk everyone in the room into sparing him. And Remus and I had our wands pointed at him, about to kill him, when Harry said ‘NO’

We both turned to look at him, we tried to tell him it was the right thing to do because he had betrayed you two, but Harry said, ‘Don’t kill him, we’ll take him up to the castle. There the Dementors can have him.’ I stopped letting them absorb all that.

After a long moment James asked, “Why? Why wouldn’t Harry let you kill him? He bloody well deserved it.” He muttered.

I smiled slightly, “I asked him, and he said that he didn’t think his dad would want his two best friends to become killers.” I watched as James and Lily’s faces softened and they both smiled sadly. James looked so proud that Harry would be that noble; they both looked like they were going to cry.

“So? Did the Dementors get him?” he asked eventually.

I shook my head sadly, “When we eventually got out of the Shack, it was a full moon. I didn’t remember until it was too late, and Remus hadn’t had his potion. I had to transform into Padfoot to stop Moony attacking Harry and Ron and Hermione, and with everything going on, Peter turned into Wormtail again and took off.” I sighed heavily, “He got away.”

There were several minutes of silence. I thought that James would be angry or disappointed with the way my story ended, but for once, he surprised me by laughing. “Yeah,” he chuckled, “Moony’s furry little problem does have a tendency to make your hands full.” I laughed with him, and even Lily cracked a smile.

“So Siri,” she said when we had stopped laughing, “is that the end of the story?”

I grinned at her, and couldn’t resist slipping in the cheesy remark, “No way, Lils. That was just the beginning.”


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