Title: Part of the Pack
Fandom: Harry Potter
Disclaimer: Me is not JK.
Summary: How can someone want two different things? How can they hate their heritage with a passion, yet yearn to please his parents? Sirius’ friends can’t explain but can only help him realise where he truly belongs.
AN: I wrote this while watching Forest Gump one night… why do I have random urges to write random things?? Grr. :-(
Dedicated to my dog. My little mate is a bit ill at the moment, but he’ll be better soon.
Part of the Pack
“Thank god the full moon is today,” Sirius muttered under the crowded cloak, “Or poor Moony would have spent another month without us, and that’s just a waste.”
James rolled his eyes and tried not to trample the smaller figure of Peter as they took little steps across the dark Hogwarts grounds. He could have sworn the cloak wasn’t such a bad fit a few months ago. “Always looking out for Remus, aren’t you, Padfoot?”
“Mmhm, of course. But I sympathise with us too – do you realise that when we break up in a few weeks we only have a year of school left? That’s probably only… ten full moons we can spend with him! We need to start being more creative on our expeditions.”
“I think we’re creative enough,” Peter said nervously.
“Come on, Pete, now’s your time to shine,” James said enthusiastically as they stopped in clear distance of the Whomping Willow. The smaller boy sighed but obligingly transformed into his animagus form of a small rat and ran squeaking to the base of the trunk.
When the Willow froze mid swing of it’s branches, James and Sirius shuffled forward and rid themselves of the cloak to enter. James lowered himself into the hallway first, listening intently. “We should transform, it sounds as if Remus always has. This is your fault, Sirius, for making us late.”
Sirius shot him a glare but after a small flash of colour, his dog form replaced the glare with a sharp bark. Together the stag, dog and rat ran down the hallway to the door where Remus and the stag easily crashed through. They’d fix it in the morning. Except right now their normally mild friend Remus wasn’t there, but in his place a dark creature who was currently tearing and gnawing apart the bedpost. His head swirled to watch their entry, the yellow eyes gleaming excitedly. Sirius barked again, this time happily, and boldly trotted forward to the werewolf, even before the creature’s eyes had recognised their presence and calmed.
But it was Remus that pounced on Sirius, rolling on the floor as he mock-attacked. Prongs quickly joined the fray, nudging the werewolf playfully with his antlers as Peter sat on his back, cheering them on through a series of squeaks.
The inner wolf did not resurface again that night, because Remus knew he was with his pack, his family.
The view of the landscape out the window blurred as the Hogwarts Express zoomed it’s way back to Platform 9¾ for the end of the year. The four boys sat in their usual compartment, fantasising about the upcoming summer.
“You should all come to my house again,” James said earnestly. “We had a great time last summer!”
“Sounds good,” Remus said and Peter smiled.
“I’ll try,” Sirius said doubtfully, “but last time I was only able to come was because I was a good little mascot at my family’s party. It was sickening, I had to be civil to Malfoy, Lestrange and even my cousins.”
James shook his head in confusion. “I don’t even know why you bothered, Sirius, we could have rescued you, or you could have escaped for a few days.”
Sirius didn’t say anything, but bit his lower lip. James frowned worriedly at this strange reaction that was unlike his friend. Leaning forward in his chair slightly, he opened his mouth to comment when he saw Remus shake his head at him. Sirius however didn’t say any more, but instead turned his gaze to the countryside pensively.
“It was about more than that, wasn’t it?” Remus asked softly, ignoring James who turned to look sharply at him.
Sirius said nothing.
“Sirius, you can tell us you know. We’d understand… it must be hard to hate your parents, as you say you do.”
Now Sirius did move his head, but he couldn’t hide the curious glint in his eyes. “Sometimes I’m not even sure if I hate them,” he said quietly. “I mean - I hate everything about being a Black; the self-perceived nobility, prejudices, social status. It killed me to put up such a charade at that party, it went against everything I’ve learnt in the last few years… but I did it. They’re my parents… I think on somehow a part of me just wants to please them and make them proud. Make them happy with me for once, just to know what it feels like! But after playing the perfect little Black boy I was still ignored and scorned while they lathered their attentions on that brat Regulus. I know it’s - childish, but damnit, it still bothers me!”
The compartment was silent, Sirius’s outburst still ringing in his friends’ ears. James couldn’t respond. Although he forced himself to try and understand what Sirius was feeling, he didn’t know how to help him.
A few weeks later, on an unusually cold summer’s night, the Potters’ living was stuffed in a still darkness, silent, with only a halo of flickering flame. It framed a body lying on the settee, with a book rising and falling gently on his chest. His head fell to the side, mouth slightly open and exceedingly rumpled black hair fell about his face.
James jolted upright, the book crashing to the floor. He leapt to his feet, looking around wildly with his eyes still blinking away sleep. The boy eventually sighed and ran a hand through his hair. When had he fallen asleep? Why was there no one there to wake him?
Thud, came another pound at the door, and although it wasn’t very loud it echoed lightly in the large hallway.
“All right, all right,” James mumbled and curiously made his way to the door. Peeking through the curtain, he saw two sombre blue eyes staring back at him.
“Sirius!” he cried, throwing the door open.
His best friend stood there, with a trunk and broom beside him, and the sight scared James more than anything he could remember. The eyes… the blue eyes that were looking at him were hard and dull, surrounded by black circles. Sirius had never been hard and dull.
“Sirius, mate what are you doing here?” James asked worriedly, ushering Sirius inside and grabbing the trunk.
“I’m… not sure,” the other boy replied, standing in the middle of the hallway. He wrapped his arms around himself awkwardly.
James gently took Sirius by the arm and led him to the settee. He had never seen Sirius so... uncertain. “Well, tell me what happened,” he said, looking at his friend patiently.
Sirius nodded slowly. “I didn’t do what they wanted… my parents. They were having a dinner party again, and wanted me to be the little mascot… I just can’t do it anymore, James, it’s not who I am. I can’t pretend for them. So, they got mad… I’ve never seen my Dad that angry, and I’ve made him angry a fair few times. Furious… they….” Sirius took a shuddering breath and lifted the sleeve to his shirt, revealing a long, jagged cut that still bled crimson freely. James gasped. Sirius sniffed, but continued, “How could they do this? How could they hurt their own child? Care more about their status than me? I took your advice, James, I ran – I can’t, I’m not doing this anymore. I’ve had enough! I’m not their son anymore!”
He leant forward, curling in on himself as he sobbed. James quickly wrapped his arm around his friend, for that was the best condolence he could give at the moment.
Sirius laughed echoed in barks off the Shrieking Shack’s walls. He sat huddled with his three friends on the bed, waiting for the moon to reach its peak. It had been hard returning to school, knowing he would have to face his venomous cousins and little brother, but he had handled it well with the help of his friends. He had spent the remainder of the holiday at James’ house with Remus and Peter joining them occasionally. Sirius felt a kind of peace inside himself… like he had moved on. Like he had truly accepted that he would never be a real Black, and would never have a proper family. It was tinged with bitter regret, but he firmly believed he was now okay with it.
“Oh,” Remus said suddenly, interrupting their conversation, hitching forward. “Transform!”
There was no hesitation from his friends, and their animal forms moved away to watch Remus’ excruciatingly slow, painful change. When at last the fully formed weary wolf sat in front of them, they waited. The hairy beast turned it’s head towards them and growled, getting onto all four legs. The dog, stag and rat watched, ready to be on guard when the wolf suddenly leaped forward and pounced on Sirius, rolling until Sirius was pinned underneath him. Sirius lay submissively, wandering what the wolf would do and safe in the knowledge that his stag friend was only a few feet away if he needed to help.
The wolf looked down at him, his menacing yellow eyes now changed to Remus’ soft ones. He nudged Sirius’s face with his nose. Sirius was too surprised to give a reaction, so Remus continued to do so, so comfortingly that Sirius gave a small whimper of emotion. The wolf stopped and moved to lie beside his friend. He leaned forward and gently licked the dog’s healing paw, which had been taking an unusually long time to recover from the curse he had been attacked with. Sirius continued to lie there, taking the comfort gratefully. After a while he took one of Remus’ ears in his mouth and tugged playfully. Remus mock growled and rolled onto Sirius, starting their annual mock fight.
Who needs Blacks when Sirius was part of a pack right here?