Snacks And Letters - Part 79

Author: [info]sionna_raven
Title: Snacks And Letters - Part 79
Word Count: 2020

 


~Sirius~

The three of us Apparate at the corner of Grimmauld Place. The three of us means Harry, Kreacher and me of course. I'm nervous as hell. Can I make Harry understand without hurting his feelings? I won't give in. I can't give in this time. I am who I am, a Black in Gryffindor. Love it or leave it. I will always love Harry, but I will not let him stand between me and the memory of my brother or between me and Severus. I will not try to meet his expectations against my own judgement.

Harry looks as stubborn and determined as I do. He reminds me so much of James right now that it hurts. He is not James! He is not responsible for my past mistakes........neither was James. I've made my own choices. Would James have rejected me, if I had not jumped on the Gryffindor band wagon and cut all ties to my family? I will never know. Will Harry reject me? We will see.


Harry walks to the kitchen. I'm glad he does. I don't need a portrait to make things even more difficult. Kreacher offers tea and the left-over biscuits. Harry absent-mindedly takes a stag. I wait for him to start with his accusations. I don't need to prove my innocence. Harry seems to have similar ideas and so we silently sit at the wooden table stubbornly nibbling our biscuits. Until Harry can't stand it anymore.


Sirius, I don't know you anymore! What's wrong with you? You don't want to be with your friends anymore and prefer purebloods, Slytherins, Death Eaters and worst of all Snape.”


All the same to you, isn't it? May I remind you that I am a pureblood wizard myself and a Black and excuse me for being a bit sensitive about being called a Death Eater or Dark Wizard. Last time I was called those things I woke up in Azkaban.”


That's not what I meant. You know that.”


Then you should say what you mean. Harry please, listen. You say you don't know me anymore. What makes you think you have ever known me? We've only met a few times under extreme circumstances. I tried to put up a brave face, but really I was a wreck. I've been drunk most of the time. In a way I welcomed Bella's curse to put an end to it.

When I escaped from Azkaban the only thing I wanted to do was to make up for all those lost years. I couldn't. The boy who had been pulling at Padfoot's ears and tail to get a ride on my back and had been throwing toy bricks at Peter Pettigrew the last times I saw him, suddenly was 5 feet tall and I had no idea who you were. It was too late to be the godfather I once wanted to be …. the godfather James wanted me to be ….. and I had no idea how to be the godfather you needed. I tried to meet your expectations instead and failed pathetically. You were the spitting image of James and I assumed you were.... I wanted you to be like him. You're not! It's all right. You're probably a much better man than we were at your age.”


Sirius, I do understand. Take all the time you need to recover....”


I interrupt him impatiently. That's what I'm trying to tell you. I have recovered. I have come to my senses. James died 20 years ago. I survived. Obviously we were not inseparable. I am alive and I want a life of my own.”


I'm not stopping you. We're just worried. You seemed so happy when you came back and there's always a room for you at the Burrow or at my house. You don't need to spent your time with those Slytherins. “


I certainly don't want to spent the rest of my days as a house guest at the Burrow or your cottage. I don't need someone to worry for me or look after me. I've always been able to look after myself. I'd like to spent time with people my age, people I have something in common with, people I like.”


I don't care that the tone of my last words does unnerve Harry.


People you like means SNAPE? What kind of spell has he put on you?”


Turning dead serious again I reply quietly: None! Can't you just stop making Severus responsible for everything you don't like or understand? This is the mindset of a 16 year old. Gryffindor good – Slytherin evil! Good Merlin, Harry! Severus is no more of a Dark Wizard than I am. At least that's what Regulus used to say and he knew both of us pretty well.

Close your mouth; you're lucky that there aren't any flies in December. I am NOT saying I am a Dark Wizard, but I've never had qualms about using … what does Hermione call them?.... not Ministry approved spells. Neither had James or Lily, we all used Severus' spells or improved potions occasionally. Never considered them too Dark. I guess my insolent brother tipped him off about a few of my discoveries, too. Let's say Severus and I were both very interested in.... Advanced Magic.”


Harry has stopped arguing. He crumbles a helpless Hippogriff in his fist. I feel like I should be more kind and patient, but the whole situation makes me more and more stubborn. Who does he think he is? My mum? 'Sirius, don't play with the wrong sort!'

No, this doesn't get me anywhere. Change of strategy.


Harry?.......” I try to sound as kindly as possible and wait for him to look at me. “Harry, let's try to talk like adults. Do you really think I want to join an Ex-Death Eater Club or something and plot to overthrow the Ministry with Dark Magic?”


He shakes his head. Nooo! But...”


Good, I'm glad we've settled that, because I still believe in what we fought for and that blood shouldn't matter at all. Family does matter to me, though; my brother does matter to me. Severus helped me to bury him. We invited former Death Eaters and some other Slytherins, all people who knew him and cared for him. Excuse me for not wanting people there who never met him or have no idea who he was.

It was a question of respect to invite his friends not mine. Severus liked this gathering even less than I did.

Which leads me to my next question. Severus has been on our side since the first war. For his own reasons perhaps, but many of us had their own reasons. Without him your task had been a good deal more difficult. He's not exactly a fan of yours, but he's not the enemy. I enjoyed his company in the last few days despite the sad task we had to fulfill. I enjoyed our correspondence and I'm looking forward to teach at Hogwarts. Do you honestly believe that Severus intends to curse or poison me or tries to control my mind? Why should he?”


I admit he's been a great help during the last war and Minerva wanted him as her successor when she retired to teaching only. Neville even says Snape's is a decent headmaster. He said he's fair.” I hide my smile behind the empty teacup. Harry is a good lad. He's just a little bit stubborn when Severus is concerned and overprotective about me. ”But with you it's different; it's personal. He believes you tried to feed him to a werewolf. You hated each other's guts for 30 years. ”


Yes, we did, 25 years are more precise. What happened before our 5th year was a bit different at least for me. We hated each other openly, couldn't get along for 5 minutes. Don't you remember everyone telling us to be civil for the Order's sake? We couldn't. We both couldn't even pretend to be indifferent. Nothing could make us act like we trusted each other, not our mutual aims, not the sheer necessity to work together, not even Dumbledore's orders or Molly's admonitions or Remus' pleas for peace. Severus had never said he believes what I told him about that night in the tunnel, if he didn't. We both don't use the word friendship lightly. If Severus intended to have his revenge by having me work for him at Hogwarts, he'd said so and dared me to accept anyway. I'm perfectly safe in in his company, safer perhaps than with anyone else who is nice and kind. I dare hope he gives me the same credit. Harry, I listen to your concerns when you can bring up reasonable evidence. I'll answer your questions as far as they respect my privacy. I will not report all my doings or conversations to the Head of Auror Office. I consider myself an adult man, able to make my own decisions, to choose my company to my liking. You're not my father. I'm neither a child nor insane. Can you respect that”


You're twisting my words. I don't want to control you. I just don't want you to get hurt! I don't want to lose you again!”


Oh Harry, you're not going to lose me. You can't be everyone's guardian and certainly not mine. I can take care of myself. Severus is no danger to me. I'm sorry that my attempts to get my life in order make you feel uncomfortable. I need room to breathe. I really don't want to hurt you. You don't need to support my decisions; just let me …. follow my own judgement. Think about it, discuss it with your friends, whatever you like.”

You won't change your mind, will you?” I simply shake my head in reply. Harry continues. “Promise me to be careful, with Malfoy and those other guys. There's still more than one wizard on the street who doesn't believe in your innocence. Try not to provoke the Ministry too much. And absolutely no further adventures like your cave trip. Promise!”


I bite my lips not to say 'Yes Mum!' Instead I say: I promise.”

I don't have another dead brother who needs recovering from a cave.


***

Harry has left after reminding me to make an appointment with Kingsley as soon as possible. He is a reasonable man and Caradoc was his friend. He'll see the necessity to deal with the bodies in an appropriate respectful way. I scribble a note to him asking to meet him tomorrow morning. I want it all over before I leave for Hogwarts.


Another task I'd rather avoided waits for me in the drawing room.

Regulus greets me with a rather exasperated “Is it over?”


Yes, it is over. Everyone we invited has been there and it's been a decent ceremony you would have liked.” I reply, thinking that the last phrase is rubbish the moment I say it. Nobody would like his own funeral.


Regulus smirks. “That's not what I meant. Has Saint Potter given you his approval, when you begged his forgiveness?”


I didn't beg for anything!” I don't think I can stand the same pointless discussion a second time. I don't need to. It's Regulus.


You do care for the Potter boy, don't you?” Regulus smiles generously. “I may be willing to meet him again, if you give me your word he has more sense and better manners than his father.”


He is less like James than he looks, I assure you. ...But James wasn't as bad as you think. No, really! He wasn't. Not worse than me.” I add sniggering.


You're my brother. Brothers are supposed to be annoying.”


Thank you for reminding me. I nearly forgot that.”


We're both laughing. Regulus gets serious again.


Sirius? There's something else. Kreacher told me.... About your Patronus. I'd like to see it.”


Getting sentimental, are we?”


Only checking, if you got it right...”


Kreacher interrupts us carrying an owl. I'm a bit surprised that Kingsley replies so quickly, but then I recognize the owl. It's from Severus.


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October 2013

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