Chapter 18

A/N: Awe, no love on the last chapter. That's okay. I'm going to try and get back into the old style of things and hopefully get back on the ball here. Please let me know if there is anything you think would be a good idea!

"At that point in my life, I was scared. And why shouldn't I have been? I was on the brink of having everything. I was one of the top students in my year, I was envied by most all of the girls, not just for my looks but because who was on my arm. I had one of the most of good looking, most sought after, sexiest man in the whole school, and I knew it. I was set. But something in the back of my mind kept going back to what Severus Snape had said that night. It meant that I was going to loose everything that I had attained that year and ever.

"Before I had just belonged to the Death Eaters by body only. Yeah I could do their dirty work, easily. It wasn't even a second thought. But since I had hospitalized Wilkes, it was as if I had to reprove myself to them. It had to be body and soul."

"Were you able to do it?" I asked the stunningly beautiful woman in front of me. I was talking to my mother, for the first time ever. I was finding out the story of her life and the blank spots that I didn't know in mine. It was hard to think of this woman as my mother, as she calmly sat in front of me. I had thought of Jeanie Clearwater as my mother for these last fifteen years. But there was no denying the evidence that she had in front of me. Even looking at her I could tell we were related.

She had long silver hair, it hung close to her waistline. She was thin without looking sickly, with long arms and legs. I could see the Dark Mark glistening on her left forearm. Her piercing blue eyes were startling and full of knowledge... She wore a green and silver Chinese dress with loose black fitting robes. I could see the family resemblance however. I had her nose, slender figure, and from what Professor Dumbledore had described to me before this meeting, her wandwork. Professor Dumbledore had also told me that I was much like my father. Cocky, charismatic, a strong ambition, and that I had his eye color. A sleet gray that was hidden beneath a head full of black hair. I was tall without being lanky and awkward even at fifteen.

She was watching me closely, her blue eyes always analyzing mine. What she was looking for, I wasn't sure, but it wasn't awkward like it should have been.

"No. I wanted to keep this new life I was starting to gain. It was the life I had wanted when I was eleven and twelve, when I had first met Sirius and James. It was the life they had promised me I could obtain if I could stay away from the bad people." She quietly rearranged herself in the poofy chair. It was just the three of us in Professor Dumbledore's office. The school year hadn't started yet, it was just the first night for all of the students to arrive. It was getting close to midnight now. I had been listening to her story from the beginning, completely enthralled.

"So if you didn't follow through with You-Know-Who, then what happened?"

"A multiple of things. Snape had told me that the mission wasn't supposed to happen till the end of the year. Even though Saxton was healthy by that point, I still had to prove my worth. It was going to be worse than having to kill my friend, and I was afraid of it. I didn't want to do any of that anymore. More importantly, Sawyer..." she leaned in towards me, her tone completely serious- different than the relaxed talk we'd been having, "I didn't want anyone to have any power over me. The Dark Lord, had I not done what I did, would still hold control over me." She leaned back up against her chair, "Perhaps it might have ended when he disappeared after he tried killing James and Lily's son... but I couldn't know that then. He was the most powerful wizard that anyone had ever seen. The idea of him falling prey to a small child was inconsiderable.

"So I did what any sane person who was being threatened by the Death Eaters. I went to the authorities. Well, I went to the Professor here. He gave me an ultimatum. I could go into hiding whenever school was over and he would protect me, or I could go on living the way I was and eventually end up dead like my best friend.

"I had a lot to think about around that time, also. School was going to be over for good in a few weeks, James and Lily had announced their engagement a couple days before I talked to the Professor, and Sirius had told me he wouldn't even mind getting married soon since no one knew how long they had during this war. I agreed. And though we planned on eventually getting married I still couldn't tell him my biggest secret. I couldn't tell him that in May of 1977 I was pregnant with his child."

"Are you trying to tell me that Sirius Black is my father?"

"Yes."

I let out a low whistle. So my mother is.. was? A Death Eater and now I find out that my real father just broke out from Azkaban and is on the run from the law. What does that mean I'll end up doing?

"How am I supposed to believe all of these allegations? How did I end up with the Clearwaters and why is my last name Zilini instead of Black?"

"Because I wanted my family name to live on. Surely there are enough Blacks going around here. And like I said... Sirius wasn't to know he had a child. It was far less dangerous that way."

"Explain." Was I just a mistake to be hidden forever? And now that he's escaped the secret is out of the bag?

"Explain? I thought it was simple, really." She ran a hand through her long silver hair. She couldn't have been more than 35. She began to paint the picture from her teenage years. It was nice, clear and vivid. And when she talked of Sirius Black it wasn't with contempt or hate, but of a missing longing.

It was March when I conceived. It wasn't until May that I knew for sure what was going on with my body. That night in March was a beautiful night. The most romantic I had ever seen him. Anyways, back on point. It was hard to tell at first what was happening. It was Madam Promfrey who told me what was happening; I had gone to her after I started to vomit constantly during potions. The vapors were ghastly. The rumors spread like wildfire, and I knew they were going to, but since the attack that I had done on Saxton, none of the rumors got back to me, so it never seemed viable. I don't think Sirius ever heard them either. I'm sure it was something that would have popped up in our many conversations.

But through the rumors, Severus was dropping heavy hints. It was terrible. The emotional stress of finding out that I was with child, and the thought of having to do something horribly drastic, it was more than I could handle at that point. Not only did I have that going on on the outside of school, we had normal things happening like exams, the idea of being thrown out into the real world by ourselves (personally that wasn't scary for me, but for a lot of other students it was). That, but Lily and James were going to get married right after school and join the Order soon after. Sirius was going to join them. They all insisted on myself joining, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't deal with the other members second guessing my motives all of the time. I was branded as a Death Eater, and that was that. They wouldn't believe a damn word I said, even if Dumbledore himself told them I was alright. I was smarter than that. Besides, I didn't want to fight anymore. I had been doing it for years and I was tired of it. I was tired of this stupid pointless war. I didn't care about pure-bloods or Muggle-borns; it just didn't matter to me anymore. The politics still made my head hurt. But more important than the war, I didn't want anything to happen to you, Sawyer. Even though it had only been two months since the conception, I knew that you were going to special and that I wanted you forever. But I knew better than that. I'm very realistic, then and now. I knew that for myself there wasn't going to be a special wedding for myself and Sirius. It was too public and too open. I never wanted to put him in danger, he did that very well himself.

And I knew... I knew deep down in my heart that I was not going to be able to keep you. So... I did what I thought was best and I came to talk to Professor Dumbledore. I remember that night so clearly. I was nervous. One hand on my stomach, the other knocking on his office door.

"Come in," I heard. I quietly opened the door and dropped my hand. I didn't want to give anything away before I had to.

"Ah, Miss Zilini, what an expected visit. How are you tonight?"

I raised an eyebrow at his comment. I sat across from his chair and stared at one of the ornaments at his desk. It was an old habit; I never looked authority figures in the eye. Something I had long picked up from learning Occlumency, something that had needed to be done if I was going to stay alive.

I only shrugged. I didn't know how I was feeling that night. Just off for the most part. The Professor carried on.

"Yes, I have been expecting you for a little while now. One reason or another, I knew that you would come." I nodded.

"You've made your choice in your ultimatum?"

"Yes sir." I gulped and sighed. "I want to be protected. I want to be hidden away. I don't want to fight anymore, I can't risk it." He gave me a knowledgeable nod.

"That is not a problem. You can chose your secret-keeper and we can find you a home to set up the Fidelius Charm in. You will be very safe there, my dear. No one but the secret-keeper will know where you are or even how to see it. That's the main key, though, Miss Zilini, is that you must choose wisely. The secret-keeper can tell others of your position. It is imperative if you want to remain hidden that you chose someone who doesn't... blab so easily."

I nodded. I had heard of a lot of people from the Order being protected by such a charm.

"Is there something else that I can help you with, Miss Zilini? You seem to have a lot on your mind tonight."

"Yes sir. How do adoption agencies work?" he looked at me long and hard before he answered.

"Does Mr. Black know?"

"No sir. I don't want him to either. I think it would be better off... in case something happens to either of us during this war."

"You think something will happen to you both?"

"Sirius plans on joining the Order immediately with James, Lily, Remus and... Peter... He's bold and brash; something will happen. And I will be on that hit list as soon as they realize that I'm in hiding."

"Don't you want to keep your child in hiding with you?" I didn't think about that. I would be able to keep the child with me, and I could protect it. I was strong enough. But that also meant that I believed that Dumbledore's charm would eventually be ineffective.

"Yes... I would like to... But I think that the idea of constantly being hunted and in hiding... that's no life for a child to be in. They should be able to go outside and play without having to worry about being seen or recognized."

The professor slowly nodded in understanding.

"When is it due?"

"November 17th."

"You will be seeing a lot of Mr. Black in that time frame. Are you sure you're going to be able to hide it from him for that long?"

"No, but I'm going to try. I think I might try and head back to America for a little bit. Visit family one last time... I have an Aunt and Uncle that live out there. The war doesn't affect them out there..."

"What would you say to him?"

"I don't know."

His eyes gleamed off his glasses, and I looked away. I was hiding a huge secret from the one person that could probably help me.

"I will contact you when I have suitable adoptive parents. Anything else, Miss Zilini?" I shook my head no and left the room. Tears had started to fall at that point. Even though I knew I was gaining just about everything I wanted, I knew that I was giving up far more than that.

I told Sirius that after school I was going to be staying with my Aunt Jora and Uncle Timmy in America. I told him that I was going to be the only one to go. It was something that he didn't enjoy the thought of.

"I don't want you going there by yourself." He said simply. Together we were laying on the couch, listening to Lily and Sallie discuss bridal affairs. James and Remus were talking together about what it would be like to join the Order of the Phoenix once they were finally done with school. And Peter was missing completely from the picture, which was odd to me but not something that I wanted to bring up. He seemed to be missing more and more lately. I didn't want a controversy to start.

"I'll be fine. I'll send them an Owl and after school I'll head out there for a little while."

"How long is a little while though? I don't want you to be gone too long..."

"Oh please, it's not like you'll miss me." I teased. "You'll be playing sheriff along with the others and you'll completely forget I exist."

"Well, I'd rather not forget." He smirked and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. I could feel the emotions welling up inside. I didn't want this to ever end, but I knew it was going to have to. I knew better.

"It'll be alright. I'll come back as soon as I think it's safe. Professor Dumbledore said he would set up a safe house for me to be in, to keep me safe and hidden from all the Death Eaters out seeking revenge." Sirius nodded.

"Fidelius Charm, right?"

"Right."

"Awesome. No one will ever be able to find you." He squeezed tight. "You're going to make sure that I will at least be able to come visit, right? I mean, I'm not the one that you want to keep out?" He smiled mischievously as I smacked him on the arm.

"You would be the last person that I would want to keep out of my home."

"Great."

Time began to pass slowly and soon finals and the end of the school year were fast approaching. Graduation was a beautiful ceremony, making everyone feel elated and accomplished. The Marauder's however, were dead set on having an all-out party. Unfortunately James' parents had recently passed away, but they had left him their home in Godric's Hollow. James had Lily quickly move in after school was over. Their wedding was fast approaching. It may have been weird to have them living together so soon and before they were officially wed, but James was like Sirius; he didn't trust the idea of having her so far away from him. Not that she couldn't handle herself, but anyways. Soon after school was out, she moved in, and I moved away.

I spent the remaining six months with my family in America. Aunt Jora and Uncle Timmy were very jubilant to have my company. I told them that I would soon be expecting a little boy to join us and it brought even more celebration. Since the news of my parent's death, they had thought that the Zilini line would forever be lost. I told that that you would keep my last name instead of the father's, to make sure that this would never happen. I told them that we would change how the world viewed our family.

It was a dark time for me during those last few months. I had limited my contact with Sirius, without trying to let him think anything was wrong. My heart ached often to be with him, but I knew this was better.

It wasn't long before November that Professor Dumbledore had indeed contacted me with a family. Jeanie and Bradley Clearwater. They had a two year-old daughter named Penelope and had been trying for a second child only to find out that Jeanie was unable to conceive anymore. They would take my son and raise him as their own. It was heartbreaking knowing that someone was going to take the only other being who knew everything I thought, and would tell things to as I laid in bed at night; away from me... possibly forever. But I knew it had to be done. I had been in contact with Professor Dumbledore many times during my trip to America. I was going to start on a different sort of mission now. I was going to accomplish what Bridgette had started. I was going to find out more information on the Horcrux that the Dark Lord may have created. There was no way I could have a child and keep him safe with me. It was because Bridgette had found out this terrible idea and possible secret that he had me kill her. He couldn't have the information get out to anyone else. So while Dumbledore was at the school, protecting his students, I would go out into the field and discover what I could, to see whether or not that he had developed anything like this black magic.

But that also meant that I had lied to Sirius. I would not be returning home any time soon. As much as it hurt me, I ignored the letters; I didn't bother to even open them. Soon they began to slow down and they eventually stopped. I never did go back to read them. I traveled the safest way I could; as a Muggle with her infant son, I got an airline ride back to London. There I met Professor Dumbledore and the Clearwaters. It was a short visit, but I did what I had to do. I carefully handed over the only precious cargo I could ever have carried. Without saying good-bye, I Apparated away to my protected new home. There, I awaited the orders that would come.

A/N: I decided to switch it up some! What do you thiiiiiiiiiiink? I need to know! Please review and let me know what you think of this TWIST! Mwuahahahaha. Love!