Write me another story
Write me a world where Love is to Love, not blood and quarreling and bitterness
Write me a world where a Godfather is worth more than an aunt who neither cares nor loves
Write a world with justice -
Write me a world where someone stopped to listen to Sirius Black.
Write us a world where Mad-eye stood up for Sirius’ chance to defend himself because “it doesn’t matter how it looks, dammit, vigilance goes both ways, you watch your back against the people you fight with but you watch their backs too” where Minerva trusted her gut “I don’t know, Albus, remember those boys…” where Dumbledore used his political clout and paid attention and made a difference
Write me a world where there was time in the rejoicing of the aftermath of Voldemort’s defeat to stop and, not recoiling in horror from betrayal and murder and a decimated corpse, locking it up and throwing away the key, to take it and examine it and think for a second before destroying another life
Write me a world where a young man, terrified and heartbroken and completely lost, is handed a new world and a tiny human life as he walks out of Ministry security
Write me a world where a one-year-old laughs for the first time in a week when he sees his godfather, who comes for dinner every thursday night and throws him highest in the air - even higher than daddy - where is daddy - begins to whimper then laughs again when Sirius picks him out of Minerva’s arms
Write me a Deep Magic written into a stronger, stranger, older bond than DNA, a Dumbledore who sits his old pupil down in his office (with Snape - eyes red and face haggard - and Minerva and Flitwick standing behind) and sits down between them on the desk this child who wraps one tiny chubby hand around one of each of their fingers and grips tight; A Dumbledore who explains as best he can to an exhausted starving 21-year-old “Sirius, Harry’s mother gave her life for son… you are his Godfather and the one they both loved the most, will you love Harry like they did, will you protect him? Because I believe -” And a Sirius Black who cannot shut up (Sirius Black never could shut up), who blurts “YES yes of course please Dumbledore let me look after him, he’s mine now, its my job - I’m sorry I should have - my fault, it’s my (Minerva steps forward and lifts a hand towards his shoulder - he cannot stop saying my fault since it happened) - and, when Harry starts to whine again at the distress in his voice - “dear Merlin he’s soaking why has no-one changed him yet, I’m sorry, lil’ man -” (and Minerva lets the hand fall).
Write me a new visitor at the Weasleys’ that night, because “really, Sirius, you can’t keep him there now the place is freezing and trust me dearie I’ve got seven already one more bottle won’t make a difference now go and have a shower and NO I won’t hear of it you are STAYING THE NIGHT now look Bill dear, yes, he’s Harry, you’re right, no, a bit younger than Ron, I think, that’s right Sirius dear isn’t it, he’s…” but Sirius has already gone for a shower and the hot water rushes down his back like pure relief that finally, finally, here’s something like normality and finally, finally, he lets himself cry for his best friends, for his brother, for one more orphan in the world.
Write me a broken man with red eyes and a child who is only happy because he doesn’t understand, but a boiled egg is the best thing either of them could have possibly seen on that night.
Write me a Remus who appears in the middle of the chaos which is egg-and-soldiers-night at the Weasleys’ with a bang that sends the children shrieking and grabs his friend and hugs him tight “damn you damnyoudamnyoutohell Black don’t you ever ever do that to me again where’s Harry” and they both break down again and Molly scolds him for swearing and makes them a cup of tea and Arthur chases the children up to bed and they all sit down in the living room and take stock of this new world and try to tell themselves that now the children will grow up safe, that this is what Prongs and Lily were fighting for.
Write me a Minerva who goes to the Potters’ - and a Hagrid who absolutely insists on ‘helping her’ - and extracts what she can from the rubble and grim-facedly leaved the rest with the wizards who’ve come to begin the clearout and they bring Harry’s cot and blanket (miraculously, somehow, only just a little singed) to the Weasleys’ that very night. Write me a Sirius Black who holds a cup of tea (he never somehow found it in himself to tell Molly he really doesn’t care for tea) tight between his hands and begins to realise slowly (and it will be a slow, slow realisation, but eventually he will get there) that he’s not alone. Write me a Sirius who is exhausted and lost and angry and scared and sad and a room a little too full up of friends and family, and write me hope.
Write me a Harry who smiles a big grin full of exactly three teeth at Kreacher and a Sirius who swallows hard and resolves that this joyful little person won’t grow up in a house full of hate like he did. Write me a master and house-elf who gradually gradually learn to tolerate each other, over many years and with many a bitten-back word.
Write me a Remus who comes over most nights and spends periods living with his friend and their boy, who helps, with Kreacher a bit (he knows what it’s like to be ignored and marginalized and shunned and if Kreacher knew what Remus really was who knows what he’d say, but there’s something between them nonetheless), with Harry more (here, Padfoot, let me read to him - oh Moony thank Merlin I swear one more time through ‘Percy and his bloody purple wand’ and I’ll” - “ok, shh, give him here, come on Harry-my-lad…” ) and with Sirius a lot. Write me friends who help each other heal, and get used to Muggles confusing them for a couple with a son, and the varied reactions and bizarre questions that entails, and when Remus’ mother finally quietly passes away, he moves in for real. Write me a Remus who insists that he cannot take his friend’s charity, and even with all James’ money in trust for Harry and for Sirius as his guardian and all the Black family fortune going to waste will not be convinced until Sirius reaches out and takes his friend’s hand in both of his and says Remus I need you here - and Remus scoffed because Sirius was always such a drama queen and it’s been long enough now that they can joke about this - but at the same time, it’s not quite a joke, and Remus doesn’t suggest leaving after that.
Write me every Sunday lunch at the Weasleys and Harry round to be babysat whenever Sirius has something to take care of or needs time to himself, and Molly trying to teach Sirius how to change a nappy and realising it’s completely unnecessary because who really thinks Lily Potter would have had Sirius hanging about in her house twice a week hyping up her boy and not making himself useful in the slightest, of course he’d have learnt how to change a nappy.
Write me a Minerva who comes by frequently and has Harry to tea at Hogwarts every so often when he gets a bit older, for James and Lily’s sake and to check that young Black isn’t raising too much of a ragamuffin - and for the most part, she and Molly and Remus between them manage a healthy level of manners in a fairly ordinary 6,8,11-year-old boy.
Write me a Harry and Ron who grow up together, an extra slim (but never skinny) dark-haired, pale (but never unhealthily so) brother to an unruly pack of seven, an overgrown garden to race toy brooms in, gnomes to be bitten by and a mother to scold all her children indiscriminately.
Write me a Sirius who comes to collect his godson in time to stay for tea and Molly who says “look there now Sirius!” and Sirius looks out and sees his boy - easy to spot out of among the five gingers fighting over a broom - break away from the group and jump and swing the old cleansweep under him before he hits the ground and zoom away around the treetops laughing “no hands Fred you gnome-end-sucker!” and Sirius feels something sharp clench in his heart because he looks so like James (and James is never ever going to do that stupid move ever again) so it’s grief, fresh as the first month, but also he is six, how can he already do that jump thing? so it’s also pride and, scariest of all he is six, that language - and he finds there are tears streaming down his cheeks and he can’t speak too well and Molly just sits him down and gives another of her interminable cups of tea (he doesn’t mind them so much now) and pats him on the shoulder, and he glances up and sees that there are tears in the corners of her eyes, too. But he drinks the tea and it passes and by the time the children come in complaining about something and clamouring for cake there’s no sign of anything amiss.
Write me a Harry who grows up with a godfather who makes mistakes, who cries and shakes some nights with flashbacks that overtake him, who never had good parents of his own and isn’t too sure what they look like exactly, but damned if he won’t do all that he can for his friend’s boy - and not even his friends’ boy, either, his boy, his Harry, because really, in the end, what is a godson but a son by another name, and what is blood but love? Write me a Harry who grew up with stories of his parents from anyone who would tell them, pictures around the house (Sirius wonders whether to black Peter out of them, but this house has had enough blacked-out faces, and that was the best part of his life, after all) and no real family, but plenty enough friends to be getting on with.
Write me parties at Christmas with the old Order and their children because if there’s one season Sirius will make an effort for its Christmas and Grimmuld Place is the best venue for things like this. Write me a house too big for just two lads, but more often than not it’s three, (eventually permanently three) and sometimes more, (Hagrid fills up a room himself, every so often in the holidays) and Sirius is never ever used to how much noise and life one 9-year-old boy can instill in the gloomiest of houses, and surely he never had this much energy? (On reflection, yes, he did, definitely, probably more).
Write me a Dumbledore who watches and waits and prays - very un-wizardly habit, that, but he always had his eccentricities - and hopes. He hopes he is right and he hopes against hope that it will never be necessary to test his theories and Voldemort will never return and he hopes that nothing will change. He hopes that he was right to make the choices he did. But when Harry arrives at Hogwarts at the age of 11, healthy and happy and loved, with someone to hug him goodbye at the station and a friend to sit with on the carriage already and a “yes!” fistpump when the hat shouts “GRYFFINDOR!” which - though he will never ever know it, who is to tell him? - is exactly the same gesture his father made when he received the same sorting twenty years ago - when he sits down with a little bit of overawed wonder in the green eyes, which is exactly how his mother looked, and waves to Hagrid, and turns to speak to the bushy-brown-haired girl next to him because she looks even more scared than he feels and Remus told him he should look for someone who looks like that and say hello, and starts to tell her what he plans to write home to his godfather about, and what will she write to her parents, he knows they’ll be so excited to hear about all of this I mean LOOK at it, look at Hogwarts, isn’t this GREAT? (and the very tense Muggle-born girl is relaxed enough to listen to someone else for the first time since Neville introduced himself on the train) - Dumbledore smiles. He won’t know how his choices pan out, and he won’t know what the future holds - but right now (and Minerva, watching the Sorting but with a smile to spare for her young Harry James, so grown up, agrees) it seems like the best that could have been.