“Lately, I find the truth has become so elusive, often imaginary. But, in the end, it’s all that we’re left with, isn’t it? What is real, what you can taste and touch and feel. The words that pass between us as we look each other in the eye are all we have to hold onto. The truth.I hold it dear.”
She walks into English fifteen minutes late, wearing both a deeply unflattering smock and a scowl. Neither are an especially new look on her.
“Vector,” she says under her breath, as an answer to Mary McDonald’s unspoken question. It’s the answer to every question in the room. Ms Vector is notorious among them all for her very strict adherence to the school’s dress code.
“Yes, Miss Evans’ entrance was very exciting, but I’ll have your attention back to the lesson now, please,” says Ms McGonagall. James snaps back to attention. It’s for the best.
“Here,” James says, shrugging off his jacket and thrusting it toward Lily. She gives him this look like, fuck off, and James has to bite his tongue to stop from aggravating her. “They’re doing uniform checks up the hall. Just put it on.”
Evans gives him a very strange look, and it takes him a second to realise that it’s neutral.
She looks good in his jacket.
Every third dress code violation results in a lunch time detention. It’s only October, and Lily’s already had six. She doesn’t look at James as she takes the seat three ahead and one to the left of him.
There’s a thump from somewhere in the back of the classroom, and McGonagall isn’t planning on looking up - it sounds like it came from the general vicinity of Potter and Black, and that’s certainly not a situation she wants to engage with - but the entire class is already turned around to see what the fuss is.
She strides down the aisle between the desks, and is about three years past surprised to find James Potter lying on the floor, gazing at the ceiling, glasses knocked aside.
“Am I boring you so much that you decided to take a nap?” she asks, and James gives this wicked smile, and here we go–
“Sorry, Miss, I can’t get up. It’s Evans’ shoulders - they’re overwhelming me. I simply can’t do anything until she covers them up. Sirius, tell me when it’s safe.”
He’s a funny boy, she’ll give him that. “Potter, get up. This is hardly the time for foolishness.”
Sirius Black knew what stunning felt like. He had been stunned several times by the likes of Lily Evans, Remus Lupin and even James Potter when he didn’t behave as he should. He knew what it felt like ever since he was 9 years old because sometimes he just didn’t know when to shut up. So when Bellatrix’ spell hit him, he felt that familiar tingle all over his body, soon he’d fall to the marble floors of the Department of Mysteries, he would feel the cold of the marble all over his skin and Harry would continue duelling for him, he was as good as James was, he could handle that git Malfoy himself.
When he lost his balance, he heard familiar voices that didn’t belong to anyone in the room with him, calling his name, telling him to be careful. They sounded like.. James?
Sirius felt his body become weightless as he fell backwards, the last thing he heard was Harry’s piercing scream and Bellatrix’ chanting.
I killed Sirius Black. I killed Sirius Black. I killed Sirius Black.
He was falling like you would fall in your nightmares and wake up suddenly from the pull but this time he didn’t wake up. He kept falling like he threw himself from a tall building, it was like the time stood still but he kept falling. When he finally reached the ground he didn’t crash as he should have but he landed gracefully, which didn’t sound very much like him. Sirius felt hard ground behind his back but it wasn’t cold like the marble would have been. He couldn’t really be dead, could he? Bella liked to exaggerate things and Harry could have screamed about something else. Sirius was almost completely sure Bella hit him with a stunning curse, was he weak enough to die from a stunning curse?
Sirius didn’t dare open his eyes as the reality settled in, he didn’t hear Harry or the others in the room, not Moody’s orders nor Tonks’ rapid duelling, he didn’t hear Remus’ strong curses either. For the first time in his life, or hisexistence was a better choice of words now, he wanted to hear Bella’s screeching voice.
Sirius felt like he was shot in the head. His eyes flew open as he heard the familiar voice of his little brother. Regulus was extending a hand for Sirius to take but Sirius ignored it and pushed himself up. Second shot, this time through his heart. James Potter was standing right there, in flesh and blood. Was this his heaven? As he was thinking about what was going on, Sirius saw the taller boy running to him as his wife slowly walked behind him.
James looked the same as Sirius had left him on the floor that October night, his hair perfectly messy and glasses still crooked. Lily glowed the way she did before the war, the beauty of her heart somehow always reached the surface. They were as Sirius had left them and they were not real. How could they be? When had Sirius been that lucky?
James threw himself at Sirius and Sirius felt himself melt because the way James hugged him hadn’t changed in all those years either and Sirius could feel the warmth radiating from him. If this was a dream, how did he feel that? James kept mumbling “I’m sorry” quietly as he held Sirius tighter. He had replayed James’ hugs millions of times in his head when he was locked up, they always made him feel safe and of all the things that could have happened to him, he never expected this. When James finally pulled back, Sirius could see the warm honey eyes of his brother looking back at him glistening with the tears he was trying to hold back.
“I’m sorry,” whispered James once more. “I’m so sorry you had to live like that and it’s all because of us.”
Sirius didn’t know what to say, did it even matter if he was a part of his imagination? He then stared at Lily who had his hand on her mouth as she always did when she was about to cry, he could see her chin trembling as she tried to keep it in.
“You should see this,” she murmured and pulled Sirius by the hand and now Sirius was looking at Harry who was running after an ecstatic Bellatrix for revenge leaving Remus behind. “I don’t know how he will heal after this.”
“He will Lils, he has so much of you in him.”
Sirius had no idea what was going on, if this was real or not but seeing Harry like that was the second most hardest thing he had to endure. He was so broken, almost as broken as his Moony was, Sirius could feel it from wherever he was. He could hear the way is heart shattered into sand sized pieces but he knew, he knew Harry would get better. He knew his godson. In the two short years he got to share with him, he had seen him grow more and more like James with a heart of gold and he was sure, Harry was strong enough to get over him, too.
Sirius finally looked away from his godson, seeing that Dumbledore was there and he would be alright, he fixed his gaze on James who was standing right next to him.
“Are you real?” asked Sirius, he couldn’t help but touch James’ face and shoulders and all of them a proof that his brother was standing right in front of him after all these years.
It was Sirius’ time to hold on tight, it could be a lie but he didn’t care, he might be dead but he didn’t give a shit because he had his Prongs back. As stupid as it may sound, Sirius didn’t feel like he was dead, he even felt alive because he had already died on 31st of October fifteen years ago when he had seen James lying on the floor life drained from his eyes.
“I tried so hard to take him, Lils,” said Sirius as he was staring at Lily Evans’ green eyes and smiling at the thought of how they were the exact same of the boy downstairs. “I never wanted him to be taken to Petunia’s and I’m so–”
Lily hugged Sirius so genuinely, Sirius knew it was her way of telling him that it wasn’t his fault.
“We should be the ones apologising to you,” said Lily in between her hiccups.
“For what exactly?” challenged Sirius because he really couldn’t see any reason for them to be sorry for. It was all his fault.
“You had to live in Azkaban for twelve years because of us Pads, you lived with those creatures and I watched you, how you lost your senses and your soul–” James began but Sirius raised his hand to shut him up.
“What are you on about?” asked Sirius angrily. “I am the reason you two are– are- arehere.” He wouldn’t say the other word, it had been almost fifteen years and Sirius never used that word when it came to James.
“But you were-”
“Nothing makes up for the fact that I was a coward for backing out of being the Secret Keeper,” confessed Sirius as he took a deep breath, he had never said that out loud before. He was a coward and he got his brother and his wife killed because he couldn’t just step up for once. “It should have been me and I should have died for you after all the things you had done for me.”
“I didn’t do those things for you to die for me Pads, I did them because you deserved them. Just like you deserved a happy life, with or without us,” argued James as he pushed his glasses up to rub his eyes softly. James Potter didn’t like crying, Sirius remembered clearly.
“We can play the blame game forever Jamie, just for once in your life, let me take the fall for you because this time, I need to,” begged Sirius. “Also we forget who the real culprit is because we are like that, we never let another take the fall.”
James smiled warmly at him and Sirius tipped his head to the right to look at Regulus who was now hiding behind Lily, there was no point in avoiding him anymore.
“And may I ask what the hell you are doing here, Reggie?” demanded Sirius angrily. Regulus didn’t belong where James and Lily were, he didn’t deserve to be in the same place as them.
All three of them went silent, Lily and James were most possibly communicating telepathically and Regulus was just staring at his pale hands.
“He died so maybe someday someone might defeat Voldemort,” said Lily quietly and Sirius felt his world come crashing down around him, Lily wouldn’t have lied to make him better but how was that possible? The last time he checked Regulus was a Death Eater. He walked straight to Regulus to look into the identical grey eyes as his, it was almost like looking in a mirror.
“You did what?”
“I never planned it to be a suicide mission Siri but it was. He had-– I still can’t say his fucking name.” Regulus steadied his breathing and picked up from where he left off. “Voldemort had tortured Kreacher and left him to die. I just– I couldn’t find you anywhere so I took the matter in my own hands and ended up here.”
Sirius just gaped at his little brother. The boy he had blamed for being a pawn to his mother had died because of the small possibility that someday someone might defeat Voldemort and Sirius just assumed he died miserably.
“I am so proud of you, Reggie.”
Sirius saw the smile on Regulus’ face widen as he smiled back at him but he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“I am sorry because I wasn’t there for you and because I didn’t protect you from them,” apologised Sirius. “I wasn’t a good brother to you because I was busy being a good brother to Jamie. It never occurred to me that I could do both and I am sorry for that.”
“You were what kept me here Siri, you were the reason I never moved on because I wanted you to know that I didn’t disappoint you,” babbled Regulus as he played with the loose strings of his clothes. “I did that to make you proud and to make up for all the things I did.”
“You are not leaving, are you?”
“No, I won’t leave before I see that man defeated,” replied Regulus with disgust in his voice.
Sirius pulled his brother in to bone crushing hug like he did when they were around 10 years old Walburga was having a particularly cruel day, Sirius hadn’t hugged Regulus like that since he was 12 and Merlin, it felt good.
Sirius could hear the panic in Lily’s voice, not a lot of people knew that but Sirius knew Lily like the back of his hand, okay maybe his left hand but he did nevertheless. Sirius walked with James and Regulus to where Lily was standing rigidly and he saw Harry was now in the Headmaster’s room. Sirius and James had spent considerable time in that place.
Sirius looked down at his godson, he was wreaking havoc in Dumbledore’s room and yelling at the Headmaster with so much anger that Sirius felt like Harry got his temper from him, Sirius had never been subtle about showing his anger however this was different. Harry was yelling because of him and how he had had enough because apparently Sirius’ absence was the last drop for him and Sirius felt his heart drop to his stomach, he still had his heart after all, albeit not beating.
“Can I, um, see Moony from here?”
One question was all it took and before others could reply, Sirius could see Remus, Merlin knows where, with a good supply of Firewhiskey by his side as he stared into oblivion. Sirius slowly realised he was in the room where he kept Buckbeak, why would he shut himself up in that miserable place? Remus was rocking back and forth, Sirius hadn’t seen him do that since he was thirteen, he did that when he couldn’t handle everything going on around him.
He’s gone, he’s gone again. He’s gone.
It felt like all Sirius did was disappoint. The black sheep of the family, the coward that got James and Lily killed, the useless brother and constantly absent lover. Sirius hadn’t realised up until now that being with James meant that he would be without Remus. He had disappointed the man who loved him yet again, he never could do right by Remus and he had left him alone, again.
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
by James Wright
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly Asleep on the black trunk, Blowing like a leaf in green shadow. Down the ravine behind the empty house, The cowbells follow one another Into the distances of the afternoon. To my right, In a field of sunlight between two pines, The droppings of last year’s horses Blaze up into golden stones. I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on. A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home. I have wasted my life.
Lily and James were sitting together on a couch diagonal the two of you. Lily was holding a sleeping Harry in her arms. “We want to make the two of you godparents.” You locked eyes with Sirius and nodded. The two of you had just gotten married after dating all through your Hogwarts years. “We’d love to,” you tell the Potters.
With the war raging around you, you could never be sure of your safety. There was always a chance that this baby could end up an orphan. The two of you made it back to Grimmauld Place. You were living there for the time being. You couldn’t exactly go house hunting in the middle of a war.
Sirius wrapped his arms around you and kissed your forehead. “I love you.” Hearing those words brought you back to the present. You were in the middle of a war, married at 20, and godparent to a baby. Tears filled your eyes and you wrapped your arms around Sirius’s waist. “What’s wrong?” he asked you, gently raising your chin so your eyes are locked. “It’s just everything. We’re just kids in the middle of a war and now we’re godparents, and it’s just so much.” Sirius leaned down and kissed you. “Just know that whatever happens, we have each other. Even if you want to get rid of me, I’ll be here.”
Halloween came around, and instead of the happy celebrations Hogwarts offered, you and Sirius were lying low at home, avoiding the ever-strengthening Voldemort. As night approached, you were getting ready for bed. You crawled into an empty bed and tried to fall asleep. You begged Sirius to come to bed, but both of you knew that Death Eaters were coming after him.
He was the most obvious Secret Keeper, and he knew that they would come after him. He gave it off to Peter, knowing they’d never suspect the sweet boy. You pulled the covers close to you, but couldn’t get to sleep. All of a sudden, a scream filled the house. You jumped out of bed, grabbed your wand and ran downstairs. “SIRIUS!” you screamed, tears filling your eyes.
You ran around the house and straight into Sirius. “What happened?” “Get dressed. It’s James.”
You ran upstairs and pulled on Sirius’s jacket over your nightgown. You pulled on shoes and ran to Sirius. The two of you got onto his motorcycle and flew to the Potter house. The lights were all off and you feared the worst. Sirius ran in and you followed. You immediately saw the body of James Potter lying on the floor. Sirius was knelt down beside him. Your hand covered your mouth and you dropped down beside him.
Sobs forced their way through your body. He was too young. You were all too young. You heard a cry and jumped up. That couldn’t be. You went to the nursery and found Lily laying on the ground. Your heart shattered. Your best friend was lying on the ground, dead. You had to step over her to retrieve Harry. You held him close to your chest as you walked out of the room.
“Hey, baby, it’ll be okay. We’re here. Uncle Siri and I.” You walked down the stairs and to Sirius. “It was Peter,” he said, still holding James’s hand. “I know.” You caught your breath. “Lily’s gone, too.” “James didn’t have his wand.”
“We need to go to Dumbledore.” The three of you apparated to Hogwarts. They were still celebrating Halloween festivities. Some of your younger friends saw you and pointed you out to others. “We need to talk. Now,” Sirius said to Dumbledore. He led the three of you to his office. “Peter did it. Peter Pettigrew. He’s Secret Keeper. If you don’t put him in jail, I swear I’ll kill him.”
Before Dumbledore could answer, Remus burst into his office. “Is it true?” he asked, tears streaming down his face. He, then, saw us with Harry and began crying. “What happened,” he choked out. “Peter became secret keeper. I didn’t think they’d suspect him.”
Professor Slughorn came in with a vial in his hand. “Truth serum. Drink it.” He handed it to Sirius, who willingly drank it. “Peter became secret keeper. James agreed it was the safest way.”
Harry was two now. He was the most famous kid in the wizarding world, but at least he was loved. You were sat on the couch at your new house in Hogsmeade. You bounced Harry on your lap, who laughed at every movement. “Remus is here,” Sirius called. “Uncle Remmy’s here!” you exclaimed to Harry, who laughed.
Remus and Sirius walked in. Remus gave you a hug and you handed him Harry. “Has he started talking yet?” he asked. “Not yet,” Sirius responded. “Say ‘Uncle Remus’.” Harry looked at him in confusion, before crying. “Every single time,” Remus said before handing Harry to Sirius.
Sirius put him in his high chair and you all relocated to the dining room. You brought in the food and Sirius began cutting up little pieces for Harry. “Dada,” Harry said. All eyes locked on the little boy. “Did he just say-” Sirius asked. “Dada!” Harry yelled directly at Sirius.
Sirius gave Harry the food. “Do you think James hates me?” Sirius asked. “The two of you are raising his orphaned son, I think he loves you more than anyone on this planet,” Remus said.
You look at Harry who has food covering his face. This boy somehow found a way into your life and he was there to stay.
that’s bob…. dressed as james potter. i remember lying on my bedroom floor crying when this happened.
not to mention that jkr herself saw it too
anyway, long story short, bob morley is my favourite human who plays one of my favourite characters and has also become a popular fc for james. basically the trifecta of all the things that’s found on my blog can be summed up by one person
“Well,” said Lupin slowly, “Snape was a special case. I mean, he never lost an opportunity to curse James so you couldn’t really expect James to take that lying down, could you?
1. this was in the context of post fifth year, when he stopped hexing randoms
2. no fucking shit that snape sought retribution against his bully, which is exactly what it was: retribution against his bully
3. throughout their time at hogwarts, james and sirius singled out and relentlessly bullied snape. they bullied him. their bullying does not progress into a ‘mutual feud’ because of james’ apparent decision to not hex people unless they hex him, because unless james directly apologised/made amends to snape and made it clear that that was the case, snape has no way of knowing that. james doesn’t get to decide that his actions don’t deserve retribution
if snape punches harry on monday, then decides that night he isn’t going to attack anyone unless they attack him, but never apologises to harry, or make that clear at all, and harry then sasses snape on tuesday, which causes snape to retaliate, that does not make harry the instigator. snape is still at fault
this isn’t even covering the fact that remus’ repeatedly highlighted flaw is his leniency towards his friends, that he literally begins that statement with a ‘weeeell’ which is why harry wasn’t convinced, or that remus only discussed james, not sirius, who it was made clear also bullied snape and who snape knows as someone who acts with james