The tawny owl winged its way to Hogwarts, intent on delivering its burden, then roosting for the night in the owlery before winging its way home the next morning. It dropped the bound scroll on the headmaster’s desk and flew back out the window without waiting for a response.
It was only a few minutes later that the addressee entered his office, selected a hard candy from the bowl at the front edge of his desk and unwrapped it as he settled himself in his squishy chair behind his desk.
He looked at the small pile of scrolls awaiting his attention and smiled when he saw the familiar handwriting of the topmost one. He lifted the wax seal stamped with the Black House seal, unfurled it and began to read.
Headmaster, it began.
I’m not writing as Head of house, I’m writing as myself, Sirius.
Would you please pass on the second scroll to Snape? Well, I suppose it’s Prince now.
I’m asking to meet with him, or them, to offer my sincerest apologies for my part in everything that happened with James. I’m not expecting for them to accept it, I don’t deserve it, but I would like it just the same.
Thank you headmaster, Albus. Your help is much appreciated. Whether Snape accepts or not, I have at least tried, and that’s all any of us can really do nowadays, try.
Sirius Orion Black
Before she could even register that her husband was home before the weekend “daddy!!!!!” Could be heard ringing through the cottage as their almost three year old son ran as fast his his little legs would carry him to the front door.
Soon a giggle could be heard over the deep laugh of his father as Severus picked Harry up and tickled his tummy as they continued further into the house in search of wife and mother.
Severus smiled as he caught sight of his pregnant wife standing in the doorway of what would be the new child’s nursery.
“What brings you home during the week?” She asked as he set their son upon his feet and gave her a peck on the lips.
A frown appeared upon his brow as he sighed, “I received an unusual letter today.”
“Oh?” She asked with raised brow. “Who was it from?” He handed his wife the letter as answer and got down on his hands and knees in answer to his son’s urging to giddy-up.
Lily sat in the well used rocking chair in the nursery as she read the letter:
Mr. And Mrs. Prince:
I know I have no right to write to you, but I am. I’m hoping you will consent to meet with me so I can apologize in person for my behaviour during our years at Hogwarts, especially the last year.
There is no excuse for what happened, and I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I would still like to offer my apologies in person.
If you don’t wish to meet, I understand and hope you will take this letter as my apology instead.
Hoping you will consent to a meeting at your convenience and at a place of your choosing,
Sirius Orion Black
“What do you think Severus?” She asked as he came into the room and settled on the floor at her feet with Harry on his lap.
“Dumbledore says that he feels Black is being sincere, but I can’t imagine the Sirius Black from our school years actually sending such a well written letter, let alone apologizing, in print or in person.”
Lily considered the letter and her husband’s words for a moment, and had to agree, “I can’t imagine it either, but maybe what happened with Potter actually got through to him. Maybe he is repentant.”
Severus sighed, “you want to meet him, don’t you,” he stated as he turned to look at her.
Lily nodded, “I do Sev. Something’s telling me to meet him. What’ll it hurt?”
Severus snorted, “it could hurt plenty, but if you wish to do so we can meet at Gringotts one Saturday.”
Two weeks later found the Prince’s sitting in one of the Gringotts conference rooms waiting for one Sirius Black to appear. At one minute to the appointed time he knocked and entered when given leave to do so.
He looked the same, but different too: Gone was the swaggering, pompous jackass who spent seven years making Severus’s life a living hell at school. In his place was a well dressed, good looking man who no longer put off an air of superiority and woe-is-me. He nodded his head in respect, “Lord Prince, Lady Prince. I humbly offer my sincerest apologies for what happened at Hogwarts. There is no excuse for my behavior, but I am sincerely sorry for my part in the events that happened.”
Lily giggled nervously, but Severus sneered. Before he could say anything Lily laid a hand on his and spoke, “get off your high horse Black. You look different, you’re acting different, but are you?”
Sirius heaved a deep sigh and his shoulders slumped a little, “yeah, I am Evans. I really am. Seeing what happened to James,” his breath hitched and quavered for a moment but he pushed through the memories and continued, “it made me look at things, at how we were.”
Lily nodded, “That would do it.”
Sirius nodded, “It would. That was one of the scariest moments of my life. It just about broke me, but then…” He stopped, seeming unsure of what he wanted to say.
Lily and Severus waited for him to continue but he stood there looking like a lost first year. Finally Lily took pity on him, “Then what Sirius?”
He scuffed the toe of his shoe over the marble floor, feeling very unsure of himself but gave himself a mental kick in the backside and continued, “There’s really no excuse for what I did. Can you please forgive me?”
“I can forgive you for my part Sirius,” she said sternly, with just the hint of a smile in her eyes, “but there’s more, isn’t there.”
He nodded forlornly, “May I sit? Please?” He asked.
A tray of tea and biscuits appeared on the table between the three of them as he pulled his seat in; Severus fixed a cup for Lily and himself, and reluctantly reached forward to fix one for one of his greatest enemies when Black reached forward himself and fixed his own tea and snagged a couple of biscuits. After savouring his first sip, Sirius continued almost shyly, “Then my Uncle Alphard took me in,” he then stopped again, continuing reluctantly, “I’m not trying to make excuses…”
Lily cut him off, “If there is an actual reason for some of your behavior, it’s much easier to forgive, although I don’t think either of us will ever really forget.”
Sirius shook his head emphatically, “I don’t EVER want to forget. I don’t like who I was back then, and I don’t ever want to be like him again!”
Lily and Severus looked taken aback by how emphatic Sirius was with his declaration. “I didn’t like you back then either, Black. I have only one question: Why? Why were you like that?”
Sirius sighed. The truth was that Lily and Severus deserved the truth, he just didn’t particularly like the truth. “My mother.”
Severus sneered, “Really Black? Mommy issues is your excuse?” He got up to leave, but Lily still had hold of his hand, and he wouldn’t dare leave her alone with the scum.
Sirius returned the sneer, “No Sni…” he stopped and took several deep breaths to calm himself. As Severus was helping Lily from her chair Sirius spoke again, “Sorry Snape. My mother hexed me, frequently, with odium omnis hexagonis traversa (hatred hex), aimed at anyone who wasn’t a pureblood. The healers were able to remove most of it, but if emotions are high or I meet up with someone whom I had…issues with before, I have to actively work at not hating them. And truly, I don’t hate either of you.”
Severus and Lily looked at him, surprised. For the moment Severus chose to ignore the fact Sirius didn’t hate him and instead asked, “That’s a doozy Black. Why would she do that?”
Sirius growled, “because she was a bitch who hated me, so anything she could do to make my life a living hell was right up her alley!” Tears were shining in Lily’s eyes at the thought that anyone could do such a thing to their child, and Severus caught himself empathising with one of the ones who had made his school years all but unbearable. He fidgeted where he stood: Black’s story was hitting too close to home for him and it was making him uncomfortable.
Eventually the three of them left that meeting with a tentative truce. Sirius to his apartment, and the Prince’s to their cottage in Hogsmeade.