Angels in Waiting

By Caroline "Beanie" Hutchings (Carolimabean7@hotmail.com)

Rating: G

Summary: Songfic inspired by the search by HPRealm for songs epitomizing the Harry Potter characters. Switches from Sirius' POV to Harry's.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. It's just fan fiction!

Author's Disclaimer: The song lyrics in this fic come from "Angels in Waiting" by Tammy Cochran, which inspired me to write this story. The story idea is mine and if you steal it, I will hunt you down and force you to buy my mongoose, Clarissa. ::winks::
< >Also, you should know that if there are words in italics, it's the song, but if it's just regular, it's my story.

~

Part 1 . . .

< >We camped out on the living room floor. In our old sleeping bags, by a make-believe fire.

< >Sirius Black paused on the steps of his childhood home. The memories that flooded back were so painful, yet he couldn't resist falling into them. He could hear the young boys' laughter as they raced up these same stairs, ready for another adventure, twenty years earlier . . .

< >"Remus! Sirius! Help me with this food will ya? I can't carry all these Every Flavor Beans alone!"

< >"Come on, James, you know you're the strongest one of us all!" Remus' young, laughing face swam dizzylingly in Sirius' mind.

< >"Speak for yourself, Rem!" The young Sirius ran over to James and hoisted the whole sack into his own arms. "Look at this strength, will ya? Observe my amazing muscles at work, lifting this pitifully light bag."

< >James and Remus exchanged looks, then dumped their sleeping bags on top of Sirius' top-heavy pile. Laughing maniacally, the two boys ran into the house, leaving Sirius behind, struggling with their stuff.

< >"Hey guys, come back! That's not fair, I was just kidding around! Come on, this isn't funny. Oof . . . James, what do you have in here, bricks?"

< >In a tent made of covers, we'd talk for hours. My two brothers and me.

< >"Okay, fine, but next time YOU have to be Grindelwald and I get to be Dumbledore!" Sirius grabbed his toy wand and pointed it threateningly at Remus' stuffed mongoose Larry.

< >"Don't move, Dumbledore, or the mongoose gets it!" He grabbed Larry around the middle and started backing slowly out of the room. Remus formed a mock-horrified expression on his face. Sirius looked around suspiciously and said, "Hey, where's Jam -- AAAAAAAAAH!"

< >Sirius was knocked flat by the force of James tackling him from behind.

< >"Long live Dumbledore!" Remus screamed before he, too, joined the tussle on the ground.

< >The trio ended up giggling uncontrollably on the floor. James sat up and looked at his best friends, his brothers, and said, "We'll always be best friends, won't we? Nothing could ever split us up!"

< >Remus, Sirius, and James knelt solemnly next to their makeshift tent and made a vow, a promise that could never be broken.

< >When the brothers finished their secret handshake, Sirius and Remus sat silently with their eyes closed.

< >James took this most convenient moment to smash pumpkin pasties in both their faces. "HA!"

< >Sirius sputtered in surprise and then, with an evil grin, shouted, "Food fight!"

< >Keeping the faith, racing with destiny.

< >The grown up Sirius sat down on his porch, resigned to the fact that he was being forced to re-live his past. He saw an older version of himself, and a more frightened version of James.

< >"Sirius, he's coming closer. I can feel it. I can't keep Lily and Harry safe by myself much longer." James a man who could fill an entire house with his presence, with his magic, paced Sirius' living room.

< >"Why didn't Remus come?" Sirius asked angrily. "I told him we would need him tonight."

< >James placed his hands on Sirius' shoulders and shook him gently. "Sirius, look at the moon." That was all the explanation Sirius needed.

< >"You need to go into hiding," Sirius said.

< >"Thank you, Captain Obvious," James snapped. He stopped pacing and turned to his son's godfather. "Sirius, I'm sorry. I'm just so goddamned scared for my family." The two hugged, as two lesser man could not have, and James resumed his pacing.

< >"What about Dumbledore's plan? Why don't you use him as your Secret Keeper? Voldemort would never be able to find you or your family."

< >James shook his head. "Too risky. He knows that Lily and I would put our secret into Albus . . . it's too obvious."

< >Sirius took a deep breath and said, "I'll do it." James opened his mouth to object, but Sirius spoke over him. "James, I'm going to do it whether you like it or not. You're my best friend, you and Remus are my brothers, Harry is my godson. I am not going to sit around and let Voldemort kill you. We made a vow, remember? And I intend to keep it."

< >James brushed the tear off his cheek and nodded. "Sirius, if this doesn't work --"

< >"It will," Sirius interrupted fiercely.

< >"If it doesn't, and both Lily and I . . ." James could barely breathe past the lump in his throat. Sirius was openly sobbing now. "If Lily and I don't make it through this, swear to me that you'll take care of Harry." He grabbed Sirius by the arms. "Promise me that; please Sirius, promise me that."

< >Sirius looked up into James' intense eyes. His chest felt like it was going to explode; he felt the dead weight of dread settling into his heart. "I swear," he whispered.

< >They were angels in waiting. Waiting for wings to fly from this world. Away from their pain. Treasuring time, 'til time came to leave leaving behind sweet memories. Angels in waiting, angels in waiting for wings.

< >The whispers came early in the morning.

< >"The Potters? God, no, please not Lily and James."

< >"What about the baby? Harry? They say he's survived. They say that little boy survived You-Know-Who's attack."

< >But Sirius heard none of it, for he was already hunting the traitor down. His anguish was too great to describe, even too great to feel. Instead of a broken heart, it felt more like someone had ripped his still beating heart out of his body, leaving a numb and gaping hole.

< >"Damn him!" he whispered. "Damn him!" he screamed into the wind. "Peter Pettigrew WILL pay for this," he thought fiercely. "If it's the last thing I ever do, I will kill that man."

< >Sirius' promise to James was temporarily forgotten; left unfulfilled for more than fifteen years.


Part 2 . . .

< >They always knew they'd never grow old. Sometimes the body is weaker than the soul.

< >Harry felt foolish carrying flowers, but Hermione had told him it was the proper thing to do. He had appreciated her offer to accompany him to the graveyard, but this was something he needed to do alone.

< >It only took him five minutes to locate the proper grave, and lay the sunflowers on the tombstone. This was the first time he had been able to bring himself to visit this particular gravesite.

CEDRIC DIGGORY
Beloved son and friend
True champion and hero
We will remember . . .

< >Harry had found it difficult to cope with everyday life after the disastrous ending to the Triwizard Tournament. His friends had been amazingly and completely supportive, but Harry hadn't been able to talk with them about it. He loved Ron and Hermione, but they just didn't understand.

< >Finally, at the end of the summer when he was visiting Ron's family, Mrs. Weasley had taken Harry aside and said kindly, "Why don't you visit Cedric? He's probably the only who could understand what you're going through right now."

< >Harry had agreed and admitted to himself now that he felt a sweeping sense of relief. Just to be here, to be with Cedric, was a comfort in and of itself.

< >He sat down under the giant ash tree shading Cedric's grave. He closed his eyes and saw Cedric standing before him, smiling broadly.

< >Harry gasped and opened his eyes, but Cedric didn't disappear. He rubbed his eyes and said, "Man, I need to get some sleep."

< >Cedric laughed and sat down next to Harry. "You're not hallucinating, Potter. I'm really here."

< >"Are -- are you a ghost?"

< >Cedric shook his head. "Nope, I didn't meet the qualifications. I'm here to talk to you."

< >"About what?"

< >Cedric shrugged. "Who knows? You came to me, buddy. What's going on? Are you scared about Voldemort?"

< >"No." Cedric raised his eyebrows. "Well, that's not what keeps me up at night." Harry took a deep breath and wondered if he could word his feelings clearly. "I'm feeling --" He paused, uncertain.

< >"Guilty?" Cedric guessed shrewdly. Harry nodded, surprised that Cedric understood so easily. Surprised and grateful.

< >"Harry, it wasn't your fault. I know, I know, you've probably heard that a million times. But technically, I got there first. I had every right to take that cup alone." He sighed. "If I had taken it alone, I would still be dead. I would've been the only one to touch that Portkey, the only one transported to Voldemort.

< >"But, my parents would have never known for sure what happened to me. And for what you did, I will be eternally grateful to you Harry. At least, now, my parents have some sort of peace in knowing what happened."

< >To Harry's surprise, Cedric leaned over and hugged him. Harry hugged back, closing his eyes against the tears. When he opened his eyes, Cedric was gone. But the peace, the absolute and total peace remained. And for the first time in months, he smiled.

< >In their darkest hour, I made a promise I will always keep. I'll give them light, I'll let them live through me.

< >When Harry returned to The Burrow, he saw all of the red-heads he loved so dearly out in the yard, de-gnoming the garden. Hermione walked outside to watch all the Weasley children (including Bill, Charley, and Percy) laughing evilly as they chased down the little potatoes with legs.

< >They all paused when they saw Harry coming up the path. Ron gave him a questioning look, and grinned when Harry nodded. This was all that was needed. The wonderful chaos and mayhem continued, and the trio went inside to help with dinner.

< >That night, before dinner officially commenced, Harry stood and cleared his throat.

< >"I know that I've been down a bit lately," he said quietly. Every face was turned toward him in rapt attention. "But I had a revelation today, with help from a friend." He winked at Mrs. Weasley.

< >"But before we start eating, I'd like to make a toast." He raised his glass. "To Cedric Diggory, an amazing man whose life was snuffed out too soon. To the entire Longbottom family; Frank and his wife, two brave parents who will never know their contribution and will never know their son. To Neville, a sweet, loyal young man whose entire life was interrupted, who had to grow up too soon. To all the children out there who are being forced to grow up alone. To Sirius Black, a man betrayed by one of his closest friends. A man who had his best friends and his life ripped away from him in one moment. And finally, to my parents, James and Lily Potter . . ."

< >Harry could barely speak now, but he felt strong with Ron and Hermione next to him, and his adoptive family in front of him. "I pray that I can be a son they would have been proud of. I hope that I can live my life to the fullest, in a way that they weren't allowed to."

< >Harry drank deeply from his glass, then sat down.

< >"Harry," Mr. Weasley said. "I know your parents are proud of you, because I couldn't be more proud if you were my own son." He smiled briefly, then declared, "Molly, darling, this dinner looks wonderful, as usual. Let's eat!"

< >And from the road, the sounds of cheering and laughter, of joking and shouting, of life and love, could be heard.

< >They were angels in waiting, waiting for wings to fly from the world. Away from their pain. Treasuring time, 'til time came to leave leaving behind sweet memories. Angels in waiting, angels in waiting for wings.

< >They were angels in waiting, angels in waiting for me.


- fin -


Author's Note:

< >This is a story that came to me at one o'clock in the morning, and I just had to write it. I was possessed by this uncontrollable need to put this story down on paper. So, I worked non-stop until 4am, and it was finished. I was exhausted, but triumphant.

< >I would like to thank my two favoritest people on this site, Gypsy Silverleaf (Goddess of Astroturf and webmitress) and Tracy (a.ka. Snape and Eviltastic Nose Picker). You guys really helped me get the confidence to write my thoughts and feelings down, and now you both are a part of my work. ::hugs Gypsy and Tracy:: Spanks=zero!


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