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He paused at the memorial, newly erected in the town square. Quietly, he looked down upon the baby who’s face was unmarked and happy; a perfect likeness to the other young man in the statue. A young man? Was that all that he’d become? Someone who had run through the night with him, who was his family when the one who’d raised him threw him out in no uncertain terms. This man now sat before him, the same smile on his face, love still captured in his eyes for the woman and child next to him. He stared at the family, willing them to break their silence, to show the signs of life he’d become so accustomed to. The smile on her face was heartbreaking and loving, as she gazed down upon him, looking with unseeing eyes.

When he could look no longer, he turned away from the town square, and the statue disappeared once more, transforming again into the obelisk of names honoring those who could never fathom a world beyond their own; the one to which he belonged. The wrought-iron gates gave without sound, and he stepped onto the well-worn path, feeling the first wave of apprehension hit him. He easily picked out his destination, deep within the cemetery, enveloped by the stone imprints of others lost to the darkness. There were wreaths of flowers still hanging, people remembering them on the anniversary of the day they had been taken.

It was quiet and still as he crossed the graveyard outside the old church. Dark gray clouds loomed, but even the tears they would shed later were merely a pathetic reflection of how he felt. With each step he took, he noticed everything but his destination. The petals of a forgotten rose crushed into the soft, wet earth, giving delicately even now under his boot. The white against the dark mud halted him like nothing else had.

He knelt down, shifting his boot off the torn bud. He picked it up by the stem, flipping the slime off the soft petals as he lifted it to his face. He touched it to his cheek gently, stroking it across towards his nose, as if it were not an emaciated shell of forgotten beauty, but perhaps a lock of his lover’s hair. No matter the trail of grime it left across his face; he had been running for so long he’d forgotten about things like warm food and soft bed sheets; this soft caress had brought him back to those times. When the edges of the petals trailed across his eyelashes, he snapped his eyes open, not realizing he’d stopped long enough to savor and imagine a better time.

He crushed the delicate bud in his hand, feeling the body of it give against his worn palm. He could feel the breaking, the tearing of the flesh of each petal like a knife between his fingers. Something in him broke then, and he released the rose, not knowing where it fell. A sob of rage ripped out of his chest then, but no tears came. He had cried enough for a lifetime, and he knew he hadn’t anything left inside him to give to the pain. He walked on, now stumbling as he fought to find his final destination once more. He came just short of the row of graves, where the large headstone stood, taunting him as he made out the names emblazoned across it.

He dropped down onto the frozen ground, his hands groping at the headstone. He traced the freshly carved lettering, and he felt where the letters had been cut away, where magic had touched the face of the ancient stone. Even in the failing light, the marble shone brilliantly against the darkness surrounding it—surrounding him. In the light, he was lost in memories; in happier times he’d spent laughing, taking for granted the days that had even then been numbered. They’d not worried about Voldemort at those times, even when tales of his growing power reached them. But they thought they were safe, far away from the world in the shelter Hogwarts provided them. Images of smiling people in dress robes, the white swirling of a ball gown beneath a moonlit sky…A crying newborn baby being pressed into a redheaded woman’s arms, her emerald eyes glittering with joyful tears, reflecting back from beneath the damp black hair of her son…

He wept quietly, finally giving in to the emptiness that had replaced his shattered heart. Tears streamed down his face, drawing lines along his jutting cheekbones, falling into crystals frozen on the matted hair. He’d let so much of himself go, trying to survive inside his own personal hell. He’d even lost his name at one point, or even the knowledge of a name at all. But the images that had tortured him began now to change him. The tears froze to his cheeks, their trails of dirt left twisted down the once handsome face.

No longer did he weep, when he could find the cause of his greatest loss; when he could make him pay. No more would he cry these worthless tears, found in the face of a man who long ago had forgotten how to love. He’d long ago forgotten friends; the faces of those he knew in another lifetime were among the first memories the Dementors stole from him. Even his own name had become a distant echo. A savior in the form of a long-dormant talent came too late for his soul; but his mind now sharpened outside the walls of Azkaban, and he knew what he must do.

He could feel it leaving him then. The pain was gone; the loss and hurt had been replaced. In their wake came a new emotion, one with a familiar bittersweet bite. It invaded his senses, taking first his mouth and nose, working with clawed talons through his body. He could hear a roaring in his ears, and his fingers lost sense, all but to squeeze out the final breaths…to take, to kill…

Peter had escaped him once, but no longer. He would have his revenge. Peter would pay for Sirius’s greatest loss. James had lost his life, and now Peter would repay the debt he owed.

A/N: I am back! I know I haven't been very active in the writing bit, but I decided to make my debut back with a bit of a change lol. I had a lot of fun jumping out of my chosen genre for this piece. It came to me while reading, that SIrius too might have made that trip to Godric's Hollow before going to find Peter and killing him. Just thought I would explore that bit of the book. Thanks for reading!

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