When Doves Cry


~~Inquisitive and thoughtful She was the challenge he'd been waiting for A reminder that creativity runs deep, like secrets~~
As the weeks passed, Sirius was beginning to realize that he'd met his match in me. When he wanted to be cruel to Severus, I could stop him much more efficiently by threatening not to snog him for the rest of the week. When we would sneak out at night to see which of our animal forms was faster, I would affectionately tackle him to the ground and then run as fast as I could, letting the cool night air ripple through my golden fur. When he got lazy and didn't want to do his homework, I would force him to finish, promising to reward him afterwards. But most importantly, when he would fall into his rare bouts of depression, I would refuse to leave his side until the darkness within him had passed. This was not an easy job, but I did it all the same.
One such occasion happened on Sirius's birthday. It was November 7th, a Saturday, and he had been in a cheery mood from the moment he woke up. He opened all our presents eagerly, grinning at each gift and looking like nothing could ruin his mood. We walked to breakfast at a leisurely pace, knowing Sirius would not be rushed on his birthday. Other people from Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw would come up to him as we walked and eagerly wish him a happy birthday. Some people even had gifts for him. All in all, it was looking to be a very happy birthday indeed.
When we got to the Gryffindor table, his happy mood had only doubled, infecting everyone around him. He stopped smiling, though, when he noticed a figure walking his way wearing the green and silver of Slytherin. I hoped Regulus was only there to wish Sirius a happy birthday, but judging by the look on his face, he had a different reason for coming over.
"Hey, Reg," I said pleasantly. "What brings you to our side of the Great Hall?"
He looked uncomfortable and was clutching a package in his hands. "Sirius," he said, not quite looking Sirius in the face, "I'm supposed to give you something."
Immediately, Sirius looked suspicious. His parents never gave him anything for his birthday. They had stopped getting him gifts after he got sorted into Gryffindor. "I don't want it," he said, turning away from Regulus.
"Are you okay?" I asked Regulus. He looked ill, like he might throw up at any moment.
He ignored me, frowning at Sirius and trying to decide what to do. Finally, he set the package down on the table in front of Sirius. "I'm sorry," he said simply before walking away.
Sirius eyed the package warily, looking afraid that it would hex him if he touched it. Finally, his curiosity won out and he tenderly opened the lid of the box and frowned in confusion.
"Is that dirt?" he asked.
I looked in the box and saw a finely ground brownish gray powder in it. My stomach began to churn uneasily. "Is there a note?" I asked instead of answering him.
"Dunno," he said.
I grabbed the lid of the box and found a letter stuck to the bottom of it, concealed because Sirius hadn't turned the lid over when removing it. I read the letter quickly and felt my stomach churn more violently.
"What's it say?" Sirius asked, noticing the letter in my hands.
James, Remus, and Peter all watched us with apprehensive faces, knowing this couldn't be any good.
"It's dirt," I said. "To represent what they think of you."
"Then why do you look nauseous?" he asked with a frown.
"I just hate how they treat you," I answered.
"Let me see the note," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I want to know what you're lying about." He reached for the letter.
"No, Sirius, you don't," I said, pressing it tightly to my chest. "Just, don't touch that stuff." I pointed to the "dirt" in the box.
"I thought you said it was just dirt," he challenged.
"I thought you just said I was lying," I countered.
"Look, why won't you let me see the letter?"
"Because it's horrible, even for them. Because it will ruin your birthday, and because you really do not want to know what's in that box."
"Sirius, she looks pretty horrified. You shouldn't read that letter. Ignorance is bliss, after all," James said.
"I agree," Peter said. "Some things are just better left unknown."
"What about you, Remus?" Sirius asked, crossing his arms. "Do you think I should ignore what my parents sent to me?"
Remus did not answer. He was staring at the box with his jaw tightly clenched, his face shockingly pale. "I can smell it," he said. "Oh, God, I can smell it."
The full moon was only a week away, and the closer it got, the more heightened Remus's senses became. The wolf would inch closer and closer, finally making its appearance under the silver light of the moon.
Sirius seemed to take that as a sign that whatever it was, it had to be bad if Remus was reacting like that. Still, he didn't relent.
"Roxi," he said in a serious tone, "please just let me read the letter. I know it's probably really bad, but I need to know."
I bit my lip, hesitating before slowly handing the letter to him.

That mongrel you deign to call a pet was scratching at the front door early this morning and woke me up . So I disposed of him. Here are his remains. Happy birthday.

"They killed my dog?" he said softly, looking horrified.
For his tenth birthday, he had begged his parents for a puppy. He had wanted a male bearded collie, but his parents got him a female Scottish deerhound instead. I think they'd been hoping he would hate it since it wasn't what he asked for so they could get rid of it, but he fell in love with her. That dog was precious to him, and they knew it. For six years now, he had cared for that dog.
"Sirius, I'm so sorry," I said. I gently placed the lid back on the box so he wouldn't have to see the ashes anymore.
He silently got up and walked away, leaving the box behind. I knew he was being torn apart inside. The relationship between man and dog is sacred. Considering Sirius himself could become a dog, his relationship with Koira had been very close indeed. Sometimes, it seemed like Koira was more Sirius's sibling than Regulus was.
"Oh, man," James said sadly. "Sirius loved Koira. Sometimes, I think Padfoot and Koira would curl up together to sleep like siblings." He used Padfoot to refer to Sirius's Animagus form instead of using it as his nickname.
"I'm gonna go check on him," I said, grabbing the box and getting up to follow Sirius.
I found him laying face-down on his bed. I set the box down on his bedside table and crawled up beside him, resting an arm on his back. He turned into my touch, burying his face in my chest and letting me hold him. He wasn't crying-Sirius never cried-but he was still deeply upset. I had a feeling he wasn't just upset over his dog. I think part of him was mourning because it still hurt him that his parents hated him so much.
"They killed her because she wanted to go outside," he said, his voice muffled from being pressed into my collarbone.
"They're evil," I said. "They don't matter. Besides, I'm pretty sure your mom has sever mental disabilities."
"What makes you think that?" he asked, his voice just a tiny notch happier.
"It would take someone endlessly stupid to just not like you at all."
"So my whole family is endlessly stupid?" He sounded very much like he agreed.
"Well, Regulus is just a dolt. I don't think he hates you. But your parents are completely, entirely, undoubtedly stupid."
"I'm sad that I couldn't be there when Koira died," he said.
"I know," I answered, wrapping him more tightly in my arms. "But she had a good life thanks to you."
"I suppose," he mumbled, sounding unconvinced.
"If you want, we could take her ashes and scatter them around the grounds. Her final resting place will be the place you always considered to be home, and it's a place she would have loved."
"It's pretty cold," he pointed out.
"That's okay," I replied.
"You'd be willing to stand outside with me for as long as it takes to scatter Koira's ashes around the grounds?" He finally pulled his face away from my chest to look at me.
"Of course I would," I answered, giving him a light kiss.
He smiled and slowly pulled away from my arms, getting up to gather some warm clothing and coat. A bundle of clothes got dumped on the bed right beside me, and he tossed a scarf and a jacket onto me. "You can wear those," he said. "Hang on, I think I have some gloves somewhere around here." He continued searching, throwing random objects onto James's bed carelessly, until he emerged with a pair of gray wool gloves.
I put on the jacket and scarf he'd handed me, waiting to put the gloves on until we were outside. He carried the box, and we made our way to the tree near the Black Lake. With a sad sigh, he took a handful of ashes and scattered them on the ground, letting the wind pick some up and carry them away. Then we kept walking, occasionally stopping so he could scatter another handful. He put them by the Whomping Willow, drizzled them at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and scattered them over the most beautiful parts of the grounds. The entire time, neither of us said a word. When he was finally done, we headed inside so he could wash his hands.
"Thanks for doing that with me," he said once we were sitting in the Gryffindor common room. "I know she was just a dog, but...." He trailed off.
"Some people might not understand how much our pets become a part of our families, but I do. I know she meant a lot to you. She was probably the only thing that gave you happy memories while you had to be in that wretched house."
"How do you always know what I need?" he asked, glancing sideways to look at me before facing the fireplace again.
"What do you mean?"
"Ever since you walked into our lives, you've known exactly what I needed. You could tell when I wanted to be alone, or when I was hoping someone would stay by my side, you always know what to say to make me laugh, and you can read me better than even James can. How do you know me so well?"
I shrugged. "I pay attention. I listen for what you're not saying instead of hearing what you are."
"It's incredible. I didn't even realize that what I needed most was to scatter Koira's ashes with someone there beside me until you suggested it, but once you did, it was exactly what I had to do."
"Well, I thought about what I would have wanted in your position. And that seemed like the best idea."
He turned to face me fully, a contemplative frown on his face. "So can you just read my emotions like they're written across my face?"
"No, it's definitely not that easy. You're very good at making sure people don't see what you're really feeling. But after all the years we've been friends, I've gotten pretty good at knowing what you try to keep hidden."
"Like what?" he asked.
I glanced around to make sure we were alone because I knew he wouldn't want anyone else to overhear our conversations. People couldn't start thinking Sirius Black had a weakness.
"Sometimes you think you're worthless," I answered in a sad voice. "You wonder what's wrong with you to make you so vile, no one in your family can stand you. Your ego is split into two sections: the one that really is confident, one the one that pretends to be so no one can see just how unsure you really are."
He stared at me in surprise, looking uncomfortable. "I feel like you just ripped me open and pulled out all my insides to inspect them," he said.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I didn't mean to upset you with my observations."
"I can't believe you know all of that about me," he said. "You're incredible." The way he said it made it seem like he was awed by me, but also a bit scared of my ability to gaze into his soul and see the fragile pieces he tried so hard to cover up.
"You should know, though, the five people who think you're worthless don't know what they're talking about."
"Five?" he asked in confusion.
"Your parents, Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix, and Snape."
"Oh, right," he said.
"The rest of the world knows the truth, and the truth is that you are wonderful. Remus, James, Peter, and I think you're worth enough to give our lives for you, and we know you feel the same about us. Which just increases your worth. Someone who cares that much about their friends couldn't possibly be worthless. Besides, I'd be pretty lost without you."
He smiled and kissed me gently. "See? You always know exactly what I need. That head of yours is clearly full of secrets and knowledge that you can use to influence the world around you."
I smiled and leaned into him. "Oh, yes, I'm full of secrets," I said jokingly.
♠ ♠ ♠
All Time Low! <3
Also, tried to do italics for the letter. Hope it worked!!