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29 June 2015 @ 09:55 pm
Where We End [Harry Potter]  
Title: Where We End
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: G
Word count: 486
Character: Remus Lupin, Sirius Black
Summary: Sirius is innocent according to the ministry, but he still has sins to answer for.
Notes: For hh_sugarquill challenge, "Oh where do we begin? The rubble or our sins?" (Pompeii by Bastille). Placed 3rd.

Where We End

Sirius stood in the wreckage of the little cottage in Godric’s Hollow. It had been a second home to him since James’s folks had taken him in. When they died and James inherited the home, Sirius had invited himself in as flatmate. Then James had kicked him out in favor of Evans, but honestly Sirius had been no more scarce then. Once the sproglet had been born, Sirius was there twice a week to watch him while Lily and James were on Order missions. All that had stopped when Dumbledore demanded Lily and James take Harry into hiding under the Fidelius charm. It was obvious Sirius should be the Secret-Keeper.

Too obvious. Sirius wanted to be the Secret Keeper; he trusted himself more than anyone. But even he had the common sense to understand he would be targeted. He was fine with being targeted and would happily die to protect his new family. He didn’t think he would give them away, even under torture. But didn’t it just make sense to be doubly sure? He could never tell what he did not know.

He wanted to cry, looking at the blackened furniture that had once been his own home, and the home of James and Lily and Harry. But he had cried himself insensate over the past week, while the Ministry probed for any scrap of physical evidence that Sirius was the Secret-Keeper, that Sirius had betrayed his family. In the end, even Crouch had to relent. Not guilty, they said. Exonerated. It was the headline on today’s Prophet.

Maybe he was not guilty of intending to betray them, but he was guilty of much. He felt as though he walked in a shroud of shame, wishing no one would see him, wishing he had gone to Azkaban after all, where he felt he belonged.

The crack of Apparition right next to him quaked him from her reverie. Remus appeared, face lined and tired, mouth set in a grimace.

“Sirius.” Remus’s greeting was not the warm, familiar greeting of old friends, but the cool distance of newly-made enemies. Sirius didn’t wince at the tone; he deserved no less. It felt good to be hated, when he knew he hated himself as well.

Remus continued, his tone flat: “Dumbledore placed Harry somewhere, and he thinks it best if you don’t know where.”

A flame of indignation sparked to life in Sirius’s chest, but just as quickly died off as he remembered his own guilt. Dumbledore didn’t trust him with Harry’s location. Dumbledore shouldn’t trust him.

“Alright,” Sirius nodded. He thought he should talk to Remus, get it all out on the table. Grovel, beg, plead, cry-- but he was too tired to confront his sins today. Manual labor would be much better. He hefted the shovel he had brought. “Where do we begin?”