All in the Family
Chapter 153: Lord Voldemort's Request
They apparently landed in another junk shop, so nobody immediately felt like putting their wands away and instead minorly freaked out to find themselves mostly alone in separate rooms, leaving Sirius' cursing to finally taper off. He couldn't get revenge on his friends if they were dead!
Carefully, highly aware of every move he made, he began slowly disengaging himself from the fern bush he'd knocked over. All around were cabinets full of little lacquered boxes, cases full of gold-embossed books, shelves of orbs and celestial globes, and many flourishing potted plants in brass containers. Finally he heard movement, coughing and someone shifting with great unease, so he abandoned his own similar feeling to run over and see the danger.
Alice had landed haphazardly in a chair, a great ginger wig covering most of her face, and sneezing in rapid succession for the rouge container all mixed together. Sirius sighed in relief and hoped that was going to be the worst of it as he helped get it off and then reached out blindly, seizing the lacy table cloth and getting the edge wet to offer her to get the rest off her face.
"Thanks," she wheezed hopefully for the last time as she accepted his hand and got to her feet, looking properly around with her own misgivings. There was so much stuff crammed around the others could all be buried alive and it would take a year to find them.
They started hearing doors open though and he distinctly heard James start shouting for the others, so Sirius kept hold of her hand and dragged her along to go make sure. She went with him up until he opened the door, and while Sirius stepped out, she stopped and frowned in confusion for the trinket box she spotted. She'd swear she'd seen that in her mothers room before...
The long hallway was littered with yet more standards of luxury, a solid gold bird bath trickling out wine, fragrant perfume bottles on every diamond studded table, and a hand carved jade brush Alice was now twirling in the chandelier light. The place was more grand than their Entrance Hall.
Longbottom and Evans came into sight at the end of the hall, still stretching a bit from their own landings. Sirius opened his mouth, but she yelled back before he even started, "your lot's in there. Don't worry, they won't burn the place down without you."
"As they should," he grinned in agreement. "We should only consider that as our second option when we know what this place is anyways!"
"I've never been here," Alice said slowly, "but I'd swear my auntie has this exact same brush. Can't be that common, can it?"
Longbottom turned then to brush at the hair on Alice's neck, bending over her shoulder to inspect it as well.
Sirius felt a flaring moment of frustration he got to so casually do that and waltzed off. It didn't take much to find the others, as Evans had said, and this room was filled with even more things. There were soft plush couches and glass cases every which way like some cross of a museum and a sitting room. He found Remus smiling in fascination to be holding a fossilized saber cat tooth, he wouldn't believe it if Remus said he'd broken that case by accident. He was also talking to Peter though, and he hesitated as he tried to guess Remus' reaction. Above the waist was a pretty standard public boundary though, and he'd said it was okay last time so he reached tentatively, putting his fingers on the back of his hand, watching carefully, even though he leaned forward like he was going to join in the conversation.
He still pulled back, but Remus smiled at him this time. This was maddening, why couldn't he have left his hand there? James nor anyone would care if they just touched each other!
Peter looked up from the miniature solar system in his hands and felt stunned Sirius was so close at hand and not even glaring at him, just watching Remus with a small frown. 'Better him than me,' Peter instantly decided for whatever the hell Moony was in trouble for, at least Sirius only ever mock threatened him instead of acting on it.
He placed the little glimmering lights back down and scurried off without Remus even noticing, he was watching Sirius back with a grin like he had no idea he'd done anything wrong. Peter doubted that would last as he found James and Regulus, who were having a begrudging conversation about some diary by Gertie Keddle. It had to have something to do with Quidditch, though he wasn't sure what.
"Want to go show Alice that?" He sounded a touch louder than necessary.
Regulus agreed at once and walked out, still thumbing through the precious pages with care, but James hesitated with a look at the other two. "Maybe I shouldn't leave Moony alone with him, just in case of revenge. I don't want to know what they're going to get up to here."
"Yeah, probably not," Peter snorted softly, "but I don't think he even noticed your part in that, so if you don't say anything, he might just take it out on Remus."
James contemplated this for a moment before grinning. "Yeah, okay, don't kill each other!" He finished loudly before he ran off after Regulus, threatening only mild bodily harm about him hogging that.
Peter sighed in relief as he firmly closed the door behind him.
Remus looked away with minor guilt at the door closing as he realized Peter had just walked off and he hadn't even noticed. Merlin how often did that happen?
Sirius took a step even closer now though, and he sure as hell wasn't going to waste this.
Seized by the sudden realization of how little time he might have left, how many more chances would they have to sneak off like this before they got sent back and Sirius could go back to his stupid bucket list! He pulled Sirius to him so desperately, Sirius felt it.
He kissed Moony back with all the energy he had even as his mind warred furiously to understand just what the hell he was so afraid of. Was it really shame, did he think they'd stay like this forever? Sirius would go mad, he couldn't live like that. He already sort of was not being allowed to react freely. He pulled back to ask, but Remus just leaned in and began kissing his neck hard, holding Sirius' waist with enthusiasm. Sirius moaned and held him in place, fingers tangling into the hair on his neck as his pulse began jolting along with his teeth, giving him no chance to answer as he breathily asked, "what's gotten into you?"
Remus pulled back, Sirius released him with a whimper long enough to pant in his face, "you, if you'd shut up," before leaning in and kissing him once more, minorly disappointed to be cutting off that barking laugh he loved so much, but the reward was feeling Sirius' tongue coursing eagerly over his own.
Sirius moaned so loud it probably should have been embarrassing as Remus sat him down on the couch, his hands moving with a vengeance, one on his hip, one where he really wanted. The look on his face right before though had Sirius pull back again and look him right in the eye as he whispered, "you ashamed to be with me Moony?" He couldn't figure out why, only the worst of the pureblood families would have a problem with them both being blokes, and Remus's dad shouldn't have put any of that sort of pressure on him. Was it a Muggle thing from his Mums side? That was far beyond him. There was a difference between privacy and an old schoolmarm, which was what Remus was turning into if he wouldn't allow someone to so much as ever hold his hand.
What was he supposed to do if he said yes? Go behind his back and talk to James for help? That would definitely just make things worse when Remus inevitably found out. He was already out of ideas on how to get him to relax though and he'd have to put a stop to this himself if it was bothering Remus that much.
His hands shook with desire, he released his hip and grasped Sirius' neck, trying like Padfoot to say with touch what he just couldn't put into words. "No," he snorted. "Did you really want me to do this in front of them?" He demanded as he moved his hand just enough to get the button undone. Was he trying to be funny, because even Padfoot couldn't be that casual.
Sirius' hands tightened on his waist, some deranged part of him torn between keeping Remus in place or keep this going as he said, "that's not what I meant and you know it."
He really didn't though, he'd thought Sirius had been subtle about coaxing him off alone. "What are you after then, exactly?" That list felt like it was burning a hole in his pocket. If Sirius really wanted to have it out, there was a very good chance this would be their last time together. "You really want to talk about this, now?" His hands convulsed at the thought, he felt in fascination as Sirius' throat pulsed under his thumb, and he jolted for where his other hand still was.
"Just, making sure you're all good," Sirius panted and definitely believed him, there wasn't a dose of anything but lust now in Remus' undivided attention. Shit, he should still ask about the touching thing though-
"Never better," he promised as he leaned in and tried to keep him from thinking of anything else with a long kiss.*
Regulus had already caught up to the others and was now boring Longbottom and Evans stupid as he and Alice continued to dissect the first ever recordings of Quidditch games! James didn't even know some of the fun facts Regulus started spouting from some other book he'd apparently read in his Uncle's study before. They didn't even stop when Peter summoned the book and began reading, despite the attention grabbing chapter title. Voldemort requesting anything could not be a good thing.
They didn't fully come to a halt until the next memory, this place was described, and the name of the owner was memorable enough to them now. "Hepzibah, I've heard that before," Alice nodded slowly. "My dad and cousins have mentioned her a fair few times, some old hoarder who hid her most valuable collections away and was poisoned by her own house-elf before she would give up their location. My Uncle Throckmorton swears she ordered Hokey to do it rather than give up where Hufflepuff's Cup is."
The place felt colder all of a sudden, as they all looked around like they expected the teenage Riddle to pop up in here again. It felt like no coincidence all of a sudden as the questions continued circling ever closer to them just what Voldemort had planned in his past, and what he'd done to get where he was now.
Alice's family history was confirmed in only a few paragraphs, as this woman was indeed one to have a founder's item somewhere in her home, and showing it off to Tom Riddle would surely be one of her final acts. James went to read over Peter's shoulder for a few moments and shivered in disgust to see this woman had even managed to get her hands on Slytherin's locket of all things.
It suddenly bothered him a great deal he had no idea what Sirius and Remus were off doing, and he scowled a bit at Peter as it only just occurred to him what had happened, escaping Sirius again. He really was easily distracted. He nudged him hard to get his attention, but it wasn't exactly subtle as he stopped reading Dumbledore's summary of the false version of events and the house-elf unjustly getting the blame as he muttered, "you're never going to start talking to each other again if you don't try."
Sirius might have given up, but he hoped Peter still hadn't.
Peter gave him a pitying sort of look, glanced back down the hall, and then went back to the book with a soft, "sorry mate."
He didn't know what he was apologizing for this time, and it still sounded far to resigned. He crossed his arms and glared at him, beyond sick of feeling like he was out of the loop on all three of them lately, but was thoroughly distracted as Evans shouted, "yes! I just did a Transfiguration spell before you Potter!"
He whirled around to see Evans had been practicing her bird spell again, and a little yellow winged creature was fluttering about her head.
"Oh come on!" He groaned. "Longbottom's teaching you advanced spells, I could do it too if he'd tell me the incantation."
The little bird flew above him and began twittering at the flick of her wand, he reached up on impulse and tried to snatch at it like a snitch before the feathers flew from his fingers.
They started bickering then, and Lily would admit she was teasing far more than she had a right to as the illegal animagus still had years of experience over her in this particular branch of magic, but he didn't even bring that up. Merlin, none of them had ever actually bragged about that astounding feat of magic in fact, he just kept spiritedly lobbying back and forth with her just like always as the two kept haranguing what physical spells they could trounce the other with, and it was just, fun.
Familiar in a new kind of way, she even got him to laugh as she reminded him of some of the spells she'd used on him to break up his fights without mentioning who else had been involved.
Peter had kept reading, and the next memory was even more traumatic, Voldemort wanted to be a teacher at their school! Had cursed the position himself so that no others could! He paused on the last sentence to see James at least having the time of his life to be back in any kind of attention on Evans and smiled softly as he waited a few more moments, counting silently in his head to make sure the pause was noticeable, but was once again ignored. Some things would never change, he thought fondly as he saw Regulus watching him with a sad frown when he finished.
*Pornography to be posted separately