gary oldman as sirius black

Sirius, We Hardly Knew Thee

Dear Mr. Sirius Black,

This is it, I guess. Farewell, goodbye, adieu. I’m ready to let you go now.

I saw you fall behind the veil at the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. I swear. Minor tears squeaked out from the corners of my eyes as I saw you fall. You were so close and yet so far away. I wanted to leap into the pages and rescue you myself. I couldn’t believe Jo would do that to me (okay, everyone who read that passage and were outraged at your death). It was exciting and earth-shattering to see you fight so valiantly against Bellatrix but to fade away like that hurt me like a dagger in the back.

However, I resign myself to the fact that a true hero should die in battle. Our men and women in the military do it all the time. The circumstances in their unfortunate deaths are not quite the same as falling behind a veil, but still life-changing to this humble Harry Potter fangirl. You were a hero that we didn’t get to know very well. You are a hero because you survived nearly thirteen years in Azkaban, clinging to the idea that you were innocent and that kept you alive. If staying alive under such brutal conditions is not heroic, I don’t know what is. I will admit you cheated because you took your Animagus form most of the time, but I’d do the same thing.

I hardly knew you, and yet when I saw that you wanted to protect Harry from Pettigrew in the Shrieking Shack, you were redeemed from then on – in my eyes. I don’t know what it is about you, but I immediately felt a kinship when I first read of your existence as Harry’s godfather (and that you weren’t, in fact, a total monster) that has not left. A part of me believes you are still alive, even with literary evidence to the contrary. You are…. were a conflicted man-child, unable to keep your distaste for being locked up at Grimmauld Place and knowing you were the naughty “It Boy” at Hogwarts and flaunting it every chance you got. Plus, anyone who can stand his ground against Severus is all right in my book.

I will admit that I was wary when I heard that Gary Oldman was playing you in the Prisoner of Azkaban film. But I saw the film, with my neck cramped because I was sitting so close to the screen (no fault of my own), and the fantastic Mr. Oldman quickly replaced the image I had of you from reading the books. Up until that point, I always saw him as Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg from the Fifth Element.

Since you have passed beyond the veil, which generally means that you will not be returning, you will forever live on in the fanart, fanfiction, and bittersweet memories I stashed for a rainy day. So I traverse through this crazy/beautiful life that I will lead. You will always be in the back of my mind, and I’ll think of you from time to time. I wish I had a wizarding picture on my wall – maybe your Azkaban wanted poster – to remind me never to forget you.

I can’t forget you, but I’m ready to let go.

Viva la Sirius.

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