phoenix ashes



 "Are you sure you want to do this?" my roguish lout of a companion inquired of me in a timid voice so unlike his own.

"Of course Im sure!" I barked in return, sounding more and more like that which I hated.

The roguish man took a step backward, astonished at the sudden display of ferocity that was so passionately uncharacteristic of me. Although, I suppose now that it wasnt really me...

"Im sorry," I sighed, letting my weary limbs guide me to the floor, which was already spinning out of control beneath me. "What else can I do? I cant stay here, Im a danger to the students, a danger to everyone..."

My head fell, my eyes meeting the despicable sight that was my own doing. A limp, lifeless figure, the Hogwarts Potions Master, rested in eternal sleep on the cold stone floor. His sallow face held even less colour now than it had in life. Fresh blood trickled from the open wound on his chest, adding gruesome decoration to the bare, colorless room. Claw marks ripped through his entire claw marks...My transformations have always produced an unsettling amount of violence, but Id never killed someone. Until now. I shuddered as I tried to imagine what would happen when news of my crime became public. A Hogwarts professor, a werewolf...Dumbledore would never allow me so much as residence on the grounds, much less resumption of my post as Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. Ha...ironic, is it not? Id become the very horror Id taught my students to guard against. I raised my head to the other man, still standing vigil over my crumpled form, speaking not a word for once in his life.

"Sirius..." I regarded him hoarsely, a whimper escaping my raw throat. His fervent dark eyes regarded me with conviction. "I didnt mean to..." was all I could choke out. His shaggy black head turned suddenly, reminding me nostagically of his animagi form, to the gaunt corpse lying dormant on the frigid stone.

"He deserved it," Sirius spoke in a voice that was barely above a whisper, but the words sliced through me like a thousand curses. The tiny room suddenly seemed several degrees colder.

"Sirius, you cant mean-"

"He was a Death Eater, Remus," the ebony-haired man spat, as if this declaration dismissed all assumption that the man bleeding on the floor was a human being. He tossed a wary look over his shoulder at the casualty, as if he expected him to hop up and attack him. "Hes no better than that bastard Pettigrew, who murdered Lilly and James in their sleep."

I exhaled a sigh, shaking my throbbing head. "I see that twelve years in Azkaban has done nothing to soften your heart," I remarked casually. Sirius scoffed, still staring daggers at the slain Potions Master. Even death had been unable to ebb their hatred for one another.

"Hes dead, Sirius," I declared finally, with a air of resignation. "Severus Snape is dead. And I killed him. You know I have to do it. Id rather die and roast in hell than spend the last of my days rotting alive in Azkaban." Sirius flinched, reminded of his own abominable memories of the wizard prison. "I hope you can understand."

Sirius averted his eyes, flinching in emotional agony as I drew a long, gleaming dirk from the innermost pockets of my ravaged cloak. (I figured the Muggle method was wisest, leaving no suspicions of murder or anything of that sort.) Shutting my eyes and steadying myslef in a vain attempt to control my trembling, I pointed the narrow tip of the blade at my palpitating heart. The heart of a beast, I thought wearily before plunging the blade into my flesh. The last sensation I remember is the wrenching grip of Siriuss strong hand on my shoulder, frozen there in a silent protest. And then everything went black.

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