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Tempt Me Not
By Jamie K.

The night swiftly changed. The skies, once blue, turned stormy and fierce. Deep thunder splitting the air. Lightning illuminated the rectangular room. Showing a simple bed in the corner by the window, old wooden bureaus, a writing desk, and a broomstick. Books and parchment littered the space under the walls, displaying dusty quills. In the center of the room, bent over a piece of parchment, was a young man. He looked to be about eighteen, with elegant dark hair and sharp dark eyes. Very good-looking in appearance, he frowned as he sat back on his haunches.

Dipping a long quill in his bottle of ink, he blew out his breath and moved his hand to the top of the new sheet of parchment. He began to write:

Professor Dumbledore,

He stopped suddenly and looked up, as if unsure how to continue. “Is he still ‘Professor’?” The young man wondered out loud. “But I’ve graduated. He isn’t my professor. Can I call him Albus, now?” He grinned a little, and dipped his pen again in the ink the color of his hair.

Dear Albus, It is come to my attention that this Voldemort has struck again in London. Of course, you already know this, I am sure. But my ‘parents’ have been acting like they know something, as is my brother. What do you advise me to do? Best, Sirius Black

Sirius read over his message again, before giving a shrill whistle. He looked at the window in expectation, but the night was as eerie as ever. “Where is that blasted owl?” He cursed quietly, and walked over to the sill. Sirius breathed in the deep air, and looked up at the moon automatically. It was a crescent. He sighed and folded up his letter; he’s send it tomorrow. Suddenly a high screech filled the air and a bundle of gray feathers zoomed into Sirius’s room. The owl landed neatly atop the chest of drawers, a lopsided letter securely in his strong beak. “Chaser!” Sirius cried happily. “So James has decided to write, has he now? It’s about time, it’s been ages!” But he was smiling widely and took the letter. Chaser ruffled her feathers and fixed her large eyes on Sirius’s hands, which were quickly fumbling the letter open.

Padfoot, How’s your break been so far? It’s been great here; except Mum has made her ‘special meat loaf surprise’ again. It was nice knowing you. Anyway, Mum and Dad say it’s okay if you want to move in here, if your parents are still feeding you the usually rubbish (and I’m not talking about meat loaf surprises) and treat you like a rat (don’t tell Wormtail…). Send Chaser back soon with your decision! Always, Prongs
P.S. Did you here about Lord what’s-his-name? That was awful, mum cried when she saw it in the Prophet.

“Come m’ere Chaser!” Sirius said joyfully, practically dancing on his feet. “I’ve got a job for you!” The owl cocked her head, then flew lightly over. Sirius quickly wrote his reply (Yes, yes, yes!) on the other side of the paper and fastened it to Chaser’s leg. He was going to get out of here, finally, for good! He’d be gone, and never have to see this old house ever again. “Take this as quick as you can to James!” Sirius said quickly giving the owl a perhaps too-strong nudge out the window. Turning, the young Black gazed around at his room. Gathering up what he needed, he piled it in a corner. Taking the rest in, Sirius shook his head; he wouldn’t miss any of it. “Leaving, are you?” Sirius jumped the voice startlingly loud, slicing through the silence. His eyes glittered, as he recognized the silky voice. “What’s it to you?” Sirius muttered angrily. The younger black laughed a little, leaning casually against the door frame. His black hair—a mirror image of his older brothers—was combed back, it glittered silver in the moonlight. “You really don’t know the answer, Padfoot?” His younger brother’s answered shocked Sirius. His heart beating painfully against his ribcage, he tried desperately to mask the give-away expression that sprang to his pale face. “W-what did you call me?” Sirius chocked, turning to face his brother. Regi smiled a smile that seemed to have almost evil-qualities to it. “Ah, so I was right.” Regi answered softly. “I thought you’d react that way; seeing as how it would simply destroy mum and dad to find out you’ve been friends for this long with a werewolf and a Potter.” A chill fear seized Sirius as he heard the words sliding calmly through his own kinsman’s mouth. He had been so careful (so careful!) to keep it all a secret! How had Regi found out? “Why would you think that?” Sirius tried to reply calmly. Regi smiled even wider and laughed quietly again. “Well it was obvious, you know. I do notice more then you think I do.” The younger Black drummed his fingers contentedly against the wooden walls. “Fancy that: A werewolf just graduated from Hogwarts? What shall the ministry say, I wonder? Wouldn’t want to be it, you know, hasn’t got much of a future, that one.” Sirius found himself shaking his head, anger flowing through his veins like currants in a creek. This only improved Regi’s mood. “You know, mum won’t be too proud of you, not that she ever was though. And dad? I wouldn’t get in a range of his wand for awhile, dear brother.” Regi grinned and studied Sirius intently. Sirius just barely held himself back from turning to a dog, and attacking the very-smug Regi. “Of course, we shall see in the morning. I suggest you get a good night’s sleep, Padfoot. It may well be your last for awhile.” “What is that supposed to mean!” Sirius burst out in fury, his eyes alit with the anger he hadn’t known for a record of a week. “It means that things are changing, my brother.” Regi replied smoothly. “The ministry, Hogwarts, everything will be changing soon. Don’t you see, Sirius?” Regi took a step towards his older brother. “This Lord Voldemort! He’s powerful, invincible! You can’t win against him. No. The only winners are those who join him. Good and bad isn’t all there is; there is also power. Don’t you want that Sirius, that power?” Sirius stopped. Did he? Power. It made you wealthy, not with gold, but with choices, influence. All he’d wanted his whole life, he could make then happen! He could change everything. All he had to do was join them. Join this Lord Voldemort. Become powerful. Become someone he never thought that he could be. Could he do that? Would he? “Come on Sirius, don’t you want mum to be as proud of you as she is of me? You don’t want to betray our family, do you?” Regi prompted. No. No, he didn’t want to. But he couldn’t betray his friends, could he? He couldn’t forget everything he had gained during the last seven years of his life! Could he?

“You know what? I think we could.” The sun shone bright against the green grass of the hill. Sirius laughed and playfully threw a clump of dirt at James, who nimbly caught it, only to toss it to Remus, who wasn’t so quick. “Of course we could! We can do anything!” Sirius answered happily dodging the attack from Remus, who had recovered from his face full of dirt. “The question is when?” James grinned, but Remus snorted. “No, the question is how.” James rolled his eyes and exchanged a glance with Sirius. “Am I the only one worried? We have a transfiguration test tomorrow!” Peter cried, appearing suddenly from behind a very large book. “I already studied.” Announced Remus proudly. “I know it already.” James and Sirius answered at the exact same time. The foursome burst into laughter that even Peter joined in at. And up in the clear blue sky, flew an owl. The majestic white bird swooped to a stop at a top window of Hogwarts, a letter in her beak. A letter bearing the first bit of news that would change everything worth laughing about. Oblivious, the four friends sat back grinning. “Someday, we’ll be the most well known wizards in Britain.” James stated, smiling at the skies. “Britain? Prongs, I think you need to start thinking realistically. I would go for more like, the entire word, maybe?” Sirius answered. “You’ve both lost your minds, then.” Remus smiled, chuckling a little as he shook his head slowly. “I dunno,” Said Sirius thoughtfully. “Does it really matter? All we have to do is stick together, you know, and we can do anything.” “Cheers to that!” James laughed, conjuring up a small goblet with his wand, and raising it, toasting the future. “Let’s start now, then.” Said Peter desperately. “I really need help on this transfiguration!” James sighed in mock exasperation. “Honestly, Wormtail, it’s not that difficult. I personally find it as easy as Quidditch…” “Good thing your head is big enough for it all, then.” Remus retorted, rolling his eyes playfully.
James pretended to be hurt, and Sirius laughed out loud. Life was good. It always had been here, and it always would be.

He couldn’t. “Come on, Sirius. You know you have to, you’re a Black, and it’s your destiny.” Regi reminded him softly, inching closer by the second. He wouldn’t. Power was just a mirage, a mask to what really lay beyond its deceptive costume. He was the one who played tricks; he wasn’t one to fall for them. Sirius looked calmly at Regi, burying his emotions deep, deep down. “I don’t have to do anything.” He said, looking directly in his younger brother’s eyes. “I’m leaving. I’ve put up with you, and mum, and dad for too long. I can’t help being a Black, but I can change my destiny, and I will!” Regi’s look of pure satisfaction was quickly replaced with one of bitter resentment, his black eyes narrowing dangerously. “I’m out of here.” And ignoring the look of pure anger on his brother’s face, Sirius Black lifted his trunk, kicked old socks out of his way, and turned once more to face Regi. “Sirius! You’ll be sorry! I know everything! Someday you’ll be bowing to me! You’ll be at my mercy!” Regi lashed out in fury. And as he disapparated from the dark room, Sirius couldn’t care less. When he saw the familiar front door of his best friend’s house, he walked confidently up to his future, turning his back on his past; wand in his hand.

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