Remus: Hey do you want to play quidditch with us?
Regulus: I feel like Sirius is going to hurt me if I try.
Remus: What gives you that idea?
Sirius:*glares daggers at Regulus*
Remus: Yeah maybe it's best you don't play with us
Remus: Hey do you want to play quidditch with us?
Regulus: I feel like Sirius is going to hurt me if I try.
Remus: What gives you that idea?
Sirius:*glares daggers at Regulus*
Remus: Yeah maybe it's best you don't play with us
Date: August 7, 1966
Regulus: But's that's not fair!
Bellatrix: Who told you life was fair?
Sirius: Andy says sharing is caring.
Bellatrix: What kind of bullshit lie is that?
Sirius: Andy said it and she's our older cousin so it has to be true.
Bellatrix: You want to learn something else from one of your older cousins you need to work hard to get anything in this world.
Bellatrix: *raises what Sirius and Regulus went into the air* So if you want this you have to tackle me.
"An ordinary day at the Crouch-Black house"
Regulus: Barty, can you take out the trash?
Barty: Sure yes, honey.
Barty: -goes to the trashcan-.
Barty: ...what? :)
Regulus: -sigh- Honey, we already talked about this...
Regulus: Hi, Remus, it's Regulus. Can you help me with something?
Remus: Hi, Reg! Sure! What's up?
Regulus: Sirius told me you know a lot about wizard law. Right?
Remus: Yes..a little bit...
Regulus: So...If someone is in my house and refusing to leave, can I set it on fire?
Remus:one question: is it my husband?
Regulus: Unfortunately, I am afraid so.
Remus: Sure. We are legally married! Teddy and I get the money now.
Regulus: Thanks! You're my favourite.
Sirius: I hate you.
Chapter 116: The Eye of the Snake
No one even had the chance to scream as they all landed in a very small room, but instead watched the transformation happen in reverse in rapid succession. Moony had barely gotten to his feet before Remus stood in place, and that only lasted long enough for his eyes to roll back into his head and he fell to the floor, unconscious and naked. The other two animals vanished with much less fanfare, a little pop and only one was left.
Peter rolled off the bed he hadn't even registered he'd been on, blanket in hand to cover him, while all eyes instead turned to the still whimpering dog splayed out on the floor in a puddle of black and red.
Not an ear had been saved from his cries in those echoing mountains, even Alice who hadn't dared turn on a light once she'd been able to go no further in the disturbingly small cave.
James was already knelt over him, speaking fervently the spells they usually used on Moony until his high-pitched keening finally subsided, eyes still half-lidded. Too in pain from the burning wounds to get comfortable to sleep, too exhausted to even take in this new place.
Prongs sat on the ground to pull and rearrange gently so that Padfoot's large head was cushioned on his thigh, sprawled out on his lap and still halfheartedly whimpering. "Everyone's okay, don't worry," he crooned as if to an infant, one hand kneading gently at the scruff of his neck, the other tucking away his wand and turning a gentle palm over his spine and down his legs to make sure he hadn't missed anything. Finally his heavy breathing evened out, but James still winced and held him tighter as his hand came away covered in so much blood.
He'd healed the gashes and mended the broken bones, even the internal damage should have sown itself back together, but he did not know the spell to help with blood loss or even if there was one other than a potion they had no hopes of getting the ingredients for. They'd only ever learned enough to help ease Remus of the worst of it until Madam Pomfrey arrived, and despite the dangers of running with a werewolf, only a few bites and scrapes ever came of it as he never had any interest in fighting them for dominance, let alone trying to eat them. Nothing ever this serious.
He snorted softly at his own train of thought, letting his hand rest gently against the beating heart. He'd be alright, he had to be. He'd sleep it off, they'd get some food into him and Alice, everyone would be fine, they just had to survive this.
"How long will he have to, be like that?" James looked up in surprise, his eyes finally taking in where exactly they were, and his heart thudding for a moment in shock as he realized it was just Regulus in front of him, wide-eyed and curious once more.
"Um, probably should be for a day or so," he answered, distracted as he looked around properly. A large queen-sized bed dominated the room, a thick, crochet blanket still clung to the foot of the bed that Peter was eyeing like he wanted to rip that off too, the quilt covering Moony also looked homespun. A pair of thin, wire-framed glasses sat on the table behind him, and the black book rested on the opposite nightstand, but otherwise there didn't seem much décor to speak of. "A lot of saliva got into the wounds-" he stopped and winced heavily, that was going to burn worse than the original wounds, not to mention scar. "Just, better safe than sorry, he'll work it out of his system and be back to normal in no time. So long as he stays Padfoot, there won't be any problems."
Regulus didn't seem to question any of this, but instead reached his hand out tentatively, brushing his fingers across the crown of his skull. The dog's thick fur felt surprisingly soft. Lupin had said they helped like he'd never believe, and damn if that didn't make more sense than ever right now... "Where did everyone else go?" Potter asked, his eyes on the open door behind him.
"Alice was hoping to find a bathroom, said something about a potions kit if they were lucky, but it leads into a scullery. I don't know more than that." Longbottom had been limping and she'd been anxious to mend that, werewolf in his vicinity or not. Evans had hovered and kept watching Potter, but she'd backed out of the room. He hadn't been able to do more than turn his head slightly to see it all, eyes still trained on his brother.
James sighed, they probably should check that out just to be safe. The last thing they needed was yet another surprise in some stranger's house. Gently nudging until Padfoot was off his lap and apologizing quietly as the soft whimpers started up again, he went over to Peter and grabbed Moony's feet in the burrito of blankets he was still in, the dried blood on it already covering Peter's own spells to heal the damage done to his leg. Peter supported under his arms as they got him onto the bed, and then the two repeated this on Padfoot. He did awaken, stirring and huffing, but a few gentle words calmed him and his bright gray eyes lit with understanding, as he went slack in their grip until the mattress was beneath him. They watched as he nuzzled up against Remus's legs and curled into a ball still trembling slightly, Peter finally taking the quilt and throwing it over him before joining the other two at the door, but leaving it open behind them, just in case.
The washroom at least didn't seem very threatening. There was a bathroom door ajar, but his eyes focused on the stack of freshly laundered wizard's robes sitting in a wicker basket, and James peeked into the cupboard above this to find several threadbare pants and shirts. He dug around for a moment before selecting one of each that should fit Remus, then shrugged and went through them again looking for some for himself. There seemed to be a bit of a variety to his surprise, and wondered how many people lived here. He set those aside for now to keep going though.
The answer came when he followed the two into a very familiar kitchen. He'd only been in it once, but it had been a memorable experience.
"Oh good, you stayed awake," Alice called from the stove. She didn't have the red hair, but she easily reminded him of Mrs. Weasley, the amount of times he'd pictured her here in her home turf.
"Was too keyed up," he admitted, but even to his own ears his voice dragged a bit. They'd only been awake two hours at best since their last lie down, but the night caused a bone-deep weariness in him like they'd just spent a whole twenty-four hours dealing with Moony again.
"Here then," Lily got up from the table and offered him a plate covered with sausages already half-drowned in syrup. "I'm sure they won't mind," she added with a smile.
A real, genuine, one could almost call it teasing smile. His brain shut down. His stomach sent a sizzling sensation tracing through every nerve ending in his body. "I, um," he took the offered plate on autopilot looking her dead in the eye, and she let the smile linger as she went back to the table, sitting back down next to Frank as she went back to her fried potatoes and tomatoes.
Silence hung in the kitchen for several long moments as he stood there like he'd been clubbed over the head. Peter and Regulus went forward and began helping themselves to the feast and had dug in for several moments and he still hadn't moved. Peter bit into his eggs with a little too much gusto to stop himself from laughing. Remus and Sirius were going to die they'd missed this. He cleared his throat and directed at anyone who would answer, "so, since when can we leave the room we landed?"
"We could back in the Divination classroom from Trelawney's office," Regulus kindly reminded, but they'd had a lot going on during that time, so he wasn't surprised this detail hadn't been acknowledged in a while. "Maybe we could even before that, but none of us tried to get back inside the Dursleys' home." He was personally glad nobody had tried in Grimmauld place either, someone probably would have died if they'd tried traversing that whole house at once.
"No one tried to leave the Gryffindor dorms to see if we could go into the common room," Alice added. She was kicking herself a bit she hadn't realized the Dursleys' one specifically, her foot had been hanging out of the cat-flap door to Harry's room and she hadn't thought of trying to get the rest of herself out by just opening it?
Frank's eyes glazed over in thought for a moment before saying, "maybe we even could have left the locker rooms to go onto the Quidditch pitch, but I wonder if we couldn't still go beyond that. We can go up the staircase here, but only into Percy's room, none of the others."
"I can't help but wonder if it's because Charlie's room was given to a sibling we haven't gotten tossed into yet," Lily sighed.
"We still can't even get into their living room or the yard, so we still seem pretty confined, it's just slowly getting better," Frank shrugged.
"I'll take that," Lily said in delight.
"Molly does have a potions kit by the way," Alice added in kindly, scraping the last of the bacon onto a plate and bringing that to the table before digging in herself. James still hadn't moved. "I'm not surprised really she'd keep something like that on hand, with all these boys here. There were quite a few things in there Lily and Frank seemed excited over."
"Ditany," Frank nodded seriously.
"Some bubotuber pus," Lily stated.
"A bit of Wiggenweld Potion," Frank added.
"And some blood restorative," Alice finished, taking a hearty bite of a bacon and egg sandwich she'd put together. Clearly she spoke of that one from experience.
"We'll probably just have to nick the lot," Frank winced in shame for admitting this, even as he patted the little white box and cast Alice a smile of no regrets.
"We'll definitely find some way to pay them back if, you know, if it's actually gone or something for real in their time, or whatever," Lily stated in no uncertain terms for the wonky sentence.
"Great," James finally snapped out of his reverie, but then set the plate on the counter even as he still hadn't taken his eyes off of her. "I should, probably give that to them now, they'll sleep even better."
She nodded without surprise, going back to eating her food with far more investment than should really be needed as she gave it a little push in his direction.
Peter stuffed one last bite of eggs into his mouth and followed him, stopping to pick up the clothes left out, James coming in with the tiny vial of blue potion, still full from someone having the forethought already to use a refill charm on it.
The four left in the kitchen didn't break the silence, not yet, as they all reflected how different things felt from the last time they'd been here.
It was hard to tell if the kitchen felt the same impact. Despite the fact that it was still night outside, it was blitheringly obvious this wasn't the same night they'd just left, let alone the day they'd been here last, yet nothing of consequence had changed that they could see. The clock with the Weasley's hands was still drifting aimlessly, the drawers were still overpacked with the same muggle paraphernalia. None of it yet answered the much less pressing question of how much they impacted each environment when they left it.
They weren't really surprised when the Marauders didn't come back, but none of them felt like trying to fall asleep either. Lily finally got up and snagged that deck of cards off the counter, the self-shuffling charm must have worn off, because she began shuffling them and asking if anyone wanted to play a game.
"I've never heard of it," Regulus whispered quietly.
"Neither have I," Frank shrugged, helping Alice to stack up some plates and lead them to the sink which began cleaning them at once.
"I can teach you, it's really simple," she promised, and nobody argued after that.
Lily was the only one who spoke as she explained the game to the three of them, but they were all smiling just a bit at the mostly luck-based structure after only one practice hand and three real rounds. It only took five though before Frank was trying to stifle a yawn, and Alice was quick to make an excuse.
"Neither of you are tired yet?" She still confirmed.
"Not even a little bit," Lily shrugged.
"Nah," Regulus frowned, all thumbs as he tried shuffling the deck again, but it scattered across the table as his bridge collapsed. He couldn't even blame it on an injury, they'd kindly dabbed Wiggenweld Potion onto his sore fingers. His face puckered, but he leaned forward and quickly began pulling them all back to him to try again.
"Well, we're going to borrow Percy's bed for a bit then," she only barely blushed at saying this so casually, but they'd been doing it for practically this whole trip so most of the embarrassment had subsided long before now.
"Alright then," Lily did look up at them with clear curiosity, Alice didn't sound even the least bit sleepy, but offered her hand to Regulus to show him how to do it again instead of saying anything.
He handed it over wordlessly and watched her every move as she shuffled in slow motion.
The two held hands up the narrow staircase up to the second floor, slipping into Percy's room properly now, when they'd only opened the door before just to check if it would.
Here, it seemed, finally was some sort of answer that their passing through didn't have an affect. The bed was still properly made, when she knew for a fact they'd left the blankets in disarray from their springing upon it, and the bottle of ink Sirius had knocked over looked untouched. There was even more thick dust upon every surface.
One could argue somebody had just straightened up and abandoned the place again, but it was hard to fathom a motive for any of the Weasleys' doing so. They both had to cast Tergeo several times to get the room any kind of bearable, let alone sleep in without sneezing their noses off, but as the two crawled under the covers, Frank whispered in her ear, "I was faking that yawning you know."
Alice laughed in surprise as she nestled against his chest. "No, I hadn't suspected you of that." She ran the tips of her fingers across his palm for a few moments before whispering, "that's the first thing you've really said since we landed here."
Frank kissed her temple as he mulled over how to answer her. "I suppose I'd never stopped to consider, why exactly, those guys went and did something so wildly dangerous and illegal themselves to hang around a werewolf. I was more stuck on the man-eating monster bit to, ah, see the other aspects."
He grasped her fingers to get her to stop, that was starting to tickle. "I saw it out there though," he breathed into her ear, "what you and Lily seemed to instantly get. They care for each other, they'd die for each other, Sirius Black really was going to die to stop Lupin from getting to me." It should have been obvious long before now, but he really would admit now his prejudices had kept him pretty narrow minded on this. It wasn't Lupin's fault, he didn't want to hurt any of them, and those three Marauders knew that, everyone had figured that out before him. "Remus," he corrected, deciding if going through all that hadn't put them on first-name terms he didn't know what could.
She shivered at the idea of how close that must have been for him to have had such a good picture. The story had been easy enough to piece together, why else but her boyfriend bleeding would Padfoot have to restrain him with such ferocity? She hadn't exactly wanted details though. "I thought he was dying out there," she hadn't wanted to admit this, afraid it would only make him hate Remus more telling how close she'd been to him as well in such a dangerous time, but now she admitted, "he just looked, so in pain, right before," she stopped with another shiver at just the idea of having to go through something like that once a month. Then the heart wrenching cry of the animal, she'd been convinced Sirius Black was dying on the other side of that log barrier keeping the werewolf away and she'd done nothing to help.
Frank shivered with her, but then instantly relaxed and just held her tighter. "I don't think Lily was kidding about trying to invent that Wolfsbane potion even earlier," he added on.
"No, I'd imagine she wasn't," she could hear the grin in his voice. She still held tight to him as guilt warred with practicality. She couldn't deny anymore Frank hadn't been all wrong either, they really could find themselves in 'Moony's' vicinity again at any time, but there must be some better option out there than his mates constantly taking a beating for them every time.
"Might help her with that," he muttered, thinking he definitely owed the guy more of an apology than that, but it was at least a start.
Lily and Regulus were both very much aware this was the most time they'd spent around each other period. There was no peril to avoid, no book to read, they were simply trapped in this room with only each other for company and a deck of cards.
The game simply gave their hands something to do, and they did have to concentrate on it a bit, but the awkward silence started to wane as Regulus really got the hang of it. By the tenth hand he was shuffling with moderate success and dealing out the cards like he'd done it countless times, and by the eleventh the two started to realize they may both have a bit of a competitive streak.
Regulus was finally the one to break the long stretch of silence as he managed to beat her for the first time, and her response was to sigh she shouldn't have taught him that move. "Who taught you how to play this?" He hoped his voice wasn't as stiff as it sounded to his own ears, and that she wouldn't realize same as him this was the first time he'd tried talking to a muggle-born.
Though technically, he had no idea what Peter's blood status was. He'd admitted once already he'd never met his father, and though he hadn't outright said it Regulus had sussed out from his home and a few lapses in knowledge of wizarding society over their talks his mother was a Muggle, so he was as good as a muggle-born in some people's eyes. He just didn't want to be one of those people anymore.
"My mum," she smiled at the memory, while doing several extra shuffles of the deck to make sure she didn't get that hand again. "My sister got very bored with it and didn't want to stay past the second time, so it became a thing with me and her, we'd play for hours," as she dealt out the next hand.
He found himself completely fascinated at nearly everything she'd just said. He wasn't unaware she had a sister, that Petunia Dursley deserved a far worse word than mudblood thrown at her, plus he still remembered that boggart they'd come across, but it was the way she spoke about her in past tense, like he kept thinking about Sirius.
There was also the fact that she'd done such a thing as play a game with her mum, did all parents do that, or was it a Muggle thing?
He thought over his words as he collected the new cards, but didn't think there was anything offensive in them. Still, he spoke cautiously as he arranged his hand, waiting for her to give him a dirty look any second so he would stop and not ruin this. "Me and Sirius used to play Three Brothers, but not since we were a lot younger, he hadn't even started being an arse yet if you can believe it."
The cheek had not been the part of that he was concerned with sharing, but to his disbelief she actually giggled.
He sat there just staring at her despite the fact that it was his turn. He kept waiting for something to happen, but even he wasn't quite sure what. He'd never asked why you shouldn't hang around muggle-borns.
"What's Three Brothers?" She asked.
"It's a kids' story," he paused and chewed on his cheek for only a moment, but it was ridiculous at this point to even let the thought flutter about her learning something to do with wizards as he finally went and the pattern continued. "There's these three objects these brothers won from death, and when you have them all, you'd be master of death. A stone that lets you see the dead, a wand that can't be beat, and a cloak that repels any spell. When Sirius read it to me, we went on a quest about the house, looking for them. In the attic, all the spare rooms, you name it."
Lily was baffled something so lighthearted could have taken place in that miserable home, but then she wasn't more sure if she was disappointed, or unsurprised when he finished, "we eventually nicked father's wand, and he grounded us for a week for doing something so silly. Sirius doesn't like playing games with me much since."
His smile was childishly delighted as he won the hand again, it was hard to believe this was the same lad simply sitting here chatting with her when he'd once laughed at the most degrading of insults right in front of her.
He'd never outright called her that though, never really bothered to speak to her at all anymore than she had him. It was not lost on her as he now shuffled for a new game with ease that they'd all been rather stuck in their ways.
Alice and Frank really had dozed off, but only for an hour or two for a nap, when they came back down they saw Regulus and Lily were still at it, and a scorecard had been produced at some point. They'd won a pretty equal amount of times, and both seemed convinced they were going to trump the other eventually, but they spoke to each other with casual ease as they recalled what had happened at Slughorn's last party.
"The boys still out?" Alice felt bad for interrupting, but she was starting to get worried. How long were they supposed to sleep that kind of thing off before someone checked on them?
"Yeah," Regulus said casually enough. His sharp eyes missed nothing as he played his next card but kept the door to the scullery in his periphery.
"I think this is a common thing though," Lily added, her voice trying for casual, and failing. "I mean, Lupin does miss classes quite a lot, we all knew that, and those guys make up excuses for him all the time, so they probably know better than us."
"Did you want back in the game?" Regulus asked, and Frank wondered if it was his imagination some of the stiffness had left his voice.
"Sure," they both agreed.
The four whittled away at least another hour at it, until Alice finally convinced the two with a mild insanity problem they could call it even, and went to make some more breakfast, as all the ingredients were ready about the kitchen instead of hoping she could get into the Weasleys' cellar. By then though they were all growing restless and obviously watching the door.
"I'll go try and wake them up," Regulus finally volunteered what they were all thinking. "If they try to kill me, just know, I would have won eventually," he finished with a leveled look at Evans, who just smirked and pocketed the deck.
He pushed the door open quietly to find them all piled onto the bed. Sirius, err, the dog, Padfoot?, was now stretched out almost comfortably with his head across Peter's chest and feet digging into Potter's back, his own furry behind right on Lupin's nose that was not causing him to miss a beat of snoring. He sucked on his cheek for a moment debating how to do this, before finally deciding Peter was the least likely to sock him in the face on any given occasion, let alone being woken up.
He eased up and gently tapped him on the shoulder, but it wasn't his voice who said, "going to take more than that to get them up."
He made a very undignified squeal of surprise that should have woken up the whole house as he watched Potter. His eyes hadn't opened, he didn't even seem to have moved, but when he frowned around at the others again he realized it was the truth. Peter had merely grumbled and twitched but kept on snoring, and Sirius and Lupin hadn't even done that.
When he looked at Potter again his eyes were blinking hazily open, rubbing his knuckles into them and finally shifting to get up. He grabbed Arthur's glasses by mistake, went cross-eyed, and then finally stretched as he eyed Regulus wearily fixing his own in place. "How long we been out?"
"Couple hours, five maybe," he shrugged, none of them had been wearing a watch when this happened, and they weren't even sure it would have worked regardless.
"That's it?" His face scrunched up with displeasure. "Oh we're doomed, Moony's been out for two or three days after a night like that." Then he paused and assessed the lot, and glanced out the window as he reconsidered, "but, he also wasn't changed for nearly as long as usual, so we might get lucky and not have to set the house on fire."
"I'm sure the Weasley's would appreciate that," he nodded, eyeing the giant black shape curiously once more.
"Any food?" James cut in, and Regulus dragged his eyes back away from his furry brother but merely shrugged. Then he seemed to take the hint, and finally left.
James rubbed his eyes for a few more moments, but thankfully the tempting sounds of sizzling meat already had Padfoot and Peter's nose twitching to life. Maybe this process would have been easier if they were all Hufflepuffs instead.
Regulus hadn't been all wrong going after Peter first, only a few pointed prods and shakes with the promise of breakfast and he was rolling out of bed with some unintelligible grumbling before stomping off. Padfoot was usually more difficult, but his tail was thumping in excitement as he stretched instead before James even had to say anything, the food probably smelt even better to him like that.
"Ahah," he quickly scolded when he recognized the other way he was stretching, about to change back. "You are not to change back for twenty-four hours mister."
The dog huffed, and Regulus couldn't help but agree. "How exactly are you going to enforce that?"
Potter whirled on the spot to scowl at him, clearly annoyed he was still hanging around, but he was just too curious to pass up seeing Sirius like this.
"Fine then," he turned back, "until we finish this book."
Sirius huffed again, and Regulus laughed to realize he still recognized that gleam of challenge in his brother's eye. "I imagine that won't be any easier to stop him talking that long."
Potter threw his hands in the air in frustration before turning to him and snapping, "can I help you?"
"No," Regulus shrugged, "just watching."
"Well I'm so glad you're enjoying the show," he grumbled, turning back to Padfoot with actual sternness in his voice that surprised him, he really hadn't thought Potter had it in him. "I mean it Padfoot, you do not change back until I say so, you got really messed up, and I want you to wait. Better safe than sorry."
His brother finally let out a huge bursting sigh, but nodded and hopped off the bed still on all fours. He reared up and snagged the book on his way out, tail held jauntily in the air with an odd bit of smugness Regulus couldn't guess at. Did he think he could read that while barking at them?
The two walked into the kitchen amongst several odd stares, but Peter explained before he could while making a plate, "James wants him to wait, better safe than sorry."
It wasn't so funny anymore hearing them both say the same thing back to back in the exact same weary tone.
"Okay," Alice drew the word out a bit, but finally set up a plate, hesitated a moment, and just put it on the floor. Padfoot pounced on it and was licking the plate clean in moments, but in fairness, he did that even when he didn't have that kind of tongue just to annoy people.
The bathroom in the scullery was only a toilet, sink, and medicine cabinet, so sadly nobody got a shower this time, but Remus considered that a good thing as he shuffled along, James probably would have followed him in there as he stayed right behind him. It was a miracle he didn't have his hand on his back like an invalid.
He'd blindly dumped half a jar of brown sugar onto his eggs and scarfed down those before finally some real life began to stir in him, and he blinked around in confusion muttering, "how are we back in the Weasleys' kitchen?"
"Magic Moony, keep up," Peter snickered as he dumped yet more ketchup across his eggs, the plate looked more like a bloody mess than the werewolf's.
James properly explained their new theory, and by then everyone had finally slowed in their eating, if not stopped altogether.
Remus had nothing to argue against any of that as he scraped his fork uneasily across his plate for a moment before finally putting his dishes away and going over to Padfoot to fetch the book. He figured people were going to be glaring at him regardless from now on, may as well pretend in his own head it was at that.
Padfoot had been waiting for just such a thing, and quickly snagged up the book he'd kept under him while eating, and took off to the opposite side of the kitchen. "Oh no, we are not doing this again!" His face was almost luminescent pale, despite the sleep and food he still seemed only passably functional, but there was a genuine smile on his face as he effed his own words and started after him.
The game didn't last long, no one was in doubt Padfoot was going easy on him and let himself be cornered after only one romp around the kitchen, but finally Remus bent down and grabbed the book. Even Sirius didn't dare play tug of war with such a precious thing as their escape, and he let the slightly soggy mess splat to the ground.
"You're disgusting," Remus told him pleasantly.
The dog barked a laugh, did a little spin on the spot, and then went over to plop down in front of the still hot stove. He was still smiling as he eased back to the table and almost forgot to tense up at putting all attention on him as he read, "The Eye of the Snake."
"Oh great, what does Malfoy do to annoy him now," Regulus huffed under his breath. He'd already gotten Harry kicked off the quidditch team, a grievous insult that even he would have decked his fellow student for. Malfoy had been a sore loser from the beginning and even this was still a new low.
"Erm," Frank surprised them all by clearing his throat, and almost meeting Lupin's eyes without flinching. "I'm ah, curious, but um, how do you, I mean, what do you remember, well, we can't read when we're not all awake, so-"
"Well, technically, he is awake," Potter stated, eyeing him oddly, his tone much more sarcastic than waspish, but Longbottom had sounded nothing but curious, so he was trying to restrain himself.
"I remember," Remus answered much more quietly but sincerely, eyes twitching to a few more bits of toast left, to Frank, to the book like he couldn't decide what to address. "Hagrid came back and told where he'd been, Umbridge was an arse. The details are fuzzy and vague, but," he shrugged and finally settled on telling the book he remembered what had transgressed, fighting back the urge to scream as the pain had been the most clear in his head, and Padfoot wouldn't have had to restrain him like that except for the worst of reasons. Something had nearly gone very wrong, he hadn't needed James to tell him that.
He decided against elaborating that he did remember things better when he'd eaten, he didn't think Longbottom would want to know that. It had only happened a few times anyways, he'd come across a few predators that met Moony's liking, like a blood-sucking bugbear or even an acromantula that was only human-sized, more for the challenge and then eating the kill for victory rather than actually having a taste for it. They all knew what Moony really had a craving for.
Nobody interrupted him again as he started, the trio worrying about Hagrid's coming lessons and the range of possibilities of how he'd get fired for basically anything he brought to class.
The lesson turned out to be fantastic though, as it went over Thestrals.
"I've heard of those!" Remus exclaimed with the most energy yet, though really it was a miracle that amount of sugar he'd ingested hadn't done that already. "My dad's mentioned them, you can only see them if you've seen death."
His grin slipped away though as he muttered, "oh," in surprise, now eyeing Peter and Longbottom.
"Guess your dad never actually described them as creepy, skeleton, horse-looking things," Peter sighed.
"Nope, he's just mentioned them in passing. Ah, sorry, again," he finished sheepishly.
Peter just shrugged and helped himself to more juice. He'd never held anything against his friends, he wasn't going to start with that. A part of him still remembered how resentful he'd been feeling right before his catastrophe of a future was spelled out, and he'd spent many an alone hour worrying how that had built up and turned him into someone who could do that to James.
"Who did you see die?" Regulus blurted in surprise.
James twitched like he wanted to reach across the table and slap the idiot on the neck, even Padfoot huffed and eyed the heel of his brother's shoe with temptation and they all suddenly realized what a bad idea having him run around with available sharp teeth was.
Peter didn't seem bothered by it though, answering casually enough, "my Uncle Pierce*. He'd been sickly for ages and bedridden for that week, Mum told me not to go in there, but I did, guess it was just bad timing I happened to be watching him when he, you know, wasn't sleeping anymore. I was ten," he finished with a casual shrug that he hoped hid well how he'd come blubbering into the living room to his mother about his Uncle starting to look funny.
His friends had heard this before, but Remus still felt like an idiot and was kicking himself as he kept going he'd never put that together as he eagerly read the descriptions of them again and all of Hagrid's fun facts.
Alice laid her hand on Frank's, rubbing her thumb over his knuckles with a silent question, but he merely answered by kissing hers in return and turning quietly to ask Lily if she wanted to play that card game again. He'd tell her, just maybe not now, she already had a dislike for his mum and this probably wouldn't make things better.
Lily had barely gotten the cards clear from her pocket though when everyone really was scowling at the book in Lupin's hands just like he'd wanted as Umbridge arrived, and made even more of an arse of herself than usual.
"That woman has no bounds," Lily seethed, nearly crumpling the queen of hearts up in her fist before correcting herself.
"Can hardly believe someone so bloody awful exists, treating him like that in his own class, and we've been living with You-Know-Who murdering people by the day in our Daily Prophet," Alice agreed with quiet ferocity.
Frank just winced, but not for the reason everyone but Alice assumed. He now thought himself being just as bad as her, the way he'd treated Lupin, but certainly wasn't sympathizing with her like Potter's glare insinuated. He wanted to correct him, but the words 'I don't think your friend wants to eat me anymore' sounded obtuse to his own ears.
Their terse mutters and grumbles weren't making this better though, so Lily offered offhand and absolutely casual if Pettigrew and Potter wanted to be dealt in.
Peter agreed, he'd even heard of the game they'd been playing, but James opted out and tipped the chair back, rocking it casually as he watched everyone, especially her, with open interest once more. He still didn't know what she meant by it, that plate of food from before his nap, nor just casually speaking in his direction at all! It's not like he expected her gratitude at protecting her out there, he'd do it for anyone for Moony's sake.
It killed something inside of him to even turn down this offer and enjoy her attention freely, surely they could even partner up on whatever this game was, but Remus was already shuffling uncomfortably at having put himself the center of attention like the idiot they knew he was, but he'd been as aware as Padfoot he was going to do this to himself just to prove how normal he was when he woke up. At least him not playing along didn't make Remus feel so singled out. That didn't mean he wasn't slightly tempted to push the idiot out of the chair and have him sit on the floor with Padfoot, all attention would be off him anyways, win win for everyone-
Regulus had eaten no less than half the loaf of bread with just butter and cinnamon, and soon began regretting it as his stomach swirled when the pleasant DA lesson ended and the book spiraled into territory he'd certainly never expected this to go in, and was clearly the only one. Everyone around him was laughing and tittering softly about Harry's first kiss with Cho, when Regulus had dropped half his hand in surprise.
The good mood wasn't meant to last in anyone as Harry went off to bed, and his thoughts weren't able to linger on girls much longer at the following nightmare.
Potter tipped his chair over in surprise, Padfoot jumped to his feet, hackles raised but no snakes to fight off in here, the rest of them stayed still as statues when Arthur Weasley was attacked, and in the deadly silence that followed as McGonagall arrived for Harry, Remus loathed finishing the last sentence as he looked one more time around the homey kitchen with dread, he wasn't the only one wondering if they'd ever come back here again.
*Do I in fact imagine that Pierce Polkiss may be a Jr., and is some relative of Peter's, considering they're both described with a rat like face? Yes, yes I do.
Several folks said, “I would love to see more of Regulus and Sirius shenanigans!” after Chapter 18. Well, lo and behold, I actually have a deleted bit of Chapter 18 showcasing just that. The second draft was from Sirius’ perspective, but since Sirius lent his voice to In Memoriam, and we’re about to hit a short run of non-Harry chapters, I brought the chapter back to Harry in the third draft. (the first draft was an entirely different Harry chapter about breaking James out of prison, but that got pushed back in favor of some character development; we’ll get back to it, I promise.)
So here’s a short bit, taken out of my scraps. It’s headed with “MY DARLING” because it is one of several darlings I have killed while writing Deathly Hallows, but it’s the only one to earn the all-caps title. Thanks to the magic of fanfic, I can still share this darling with you. (the alternate title for this chapter should be: Sirius Accidentally Outs Himself as a Furry)
Padfoot hated the city. It was loud and there were so many people, each with their own scents and emotions. He supposed he should count himself lucky Harry had bled so much, or the trail would have been harder to follow.
He recognized the wizards on the platform easily. Their attire of slacks combined with hoodies or rain slickers paired with thick rubber work boots marked them easily as incompetently dressed Ministry employees. Sirius supposed they were keeping an eye open for someone stupid enough to come to the platform in search of Harry, someone just like him.
The platform had been scrubbed clean, but Padfoot could still detect Harry’s scent through the bleach. He didn’t board the train that pulled into the station, not yet. He waited, sniffing the entrance of the car carefully. He didn’t smell Harry or bleach. So he sat back and waited. A few Muggles scratched his ears as they passed or before boarding the train. Sirius let them without protest.
He had learned that Muggles, by and large, enjoyed dogs as long as those dogs were gentle, still, and quiet. And if he was anything else — too loud, too quick, or too threatening — they were eager to chase him out or worse, catch him. It was a lesson he had learned early in his life, long before he had become Padfoot; it was just an easier lesson to follow when he was Padfoot. Something about a thick coat of fur, the eyes and ears of a predator, and four paws to run with made him far more comfortable and settled in his own skin than being a young boy in the middle of a war ever had.
Another train pulled in, and this one, too, didn’t smell of Harry, but the third one did. He followed the Muggles into the carriage, and noticed a small black shadow slip in after him. It hid under the seat, and Sirius pointedly ignored it. He took a post at the door and waited, ready to check each stop this train made until he found Harry.
Regulus had tried desperately to talk him out of this, but Sirius had ignored him. Between him, Lily, and Remus, Sirius was the only one who could track down Harry, and if he didn’t, Lily and Remus would. Lily was far more likely to be recognized on the platform than Padfoot was, making Sirius not only the safest choice, but the most efficient choice, given Padfoot’s hunting instincts.
The first stop didn’t have even a whiff of Harry, but the second one did, though it was no longer paired with bleach. Sirius could only surmise that Harry had healed any open wounds before exiting the train and he felt both relieved and proud.
That relief vanished almost as soon as he stepped off of the train. This station was enormous. It wasn’t just another Underground station; it was the biggest train station in London. Crowds hurried past, chasing after trains. Others clustered around kiosks and maps. Sirius’ heart sank. Harry could have boarded a train to practically anywhere from here, even Paris.
The small black shadow slunk out of the carriage behind him and slipped into a tiny space beneath a nearby bin. Padfoot put his wet nose to the ground and followed Harry’s faint scent to a ticket station. From there it was difficult to determine where to go next. He thought he had a faint trail of Harry’s blood but it was unusual, mixed with something else.
“Pardon me, sir,” a nearby Muggle said, “but you need to have your dog on a lead at all times —”
“Oh,” a man looked down at Padfoot. “He’s not my dog.”
Sirius decided to follow the scent of Harry’s blood. It led him out of the station and away from the Underground service workers. The last thing he needed was for a well-meaning Muggle to try to help him find his owner. The few times it had happened in the past, he had always had James to bail it out.
Sirius shook off the stab of grief that came with the thought. It was always easier to shake off grief as Padfoot, as if the same abilities that heightened his physical senses dulled the sharper edges of his hurt. Besides, he reminded himself, there was nothing he could do for James right now, not until they were able to find whatever Death Eater prison he was being held in — and they had to believe he was being held. What Sirius could do was find Harry.
Though it had been less than twenty-four hours since Harry had passed through here, London had a way of making people invisible, of burying passersby in the scent of automobile smog and endless eateries. Sirius had to work hard to discern the scent of Harry’s blood through it all, but he managed to follow the trail south for less than a mile until it disappeared into a tall, brown-brick residential building.
Padfoot sat down on the pavement and evaluated his options. It would not be hard to sniff out Harry, if he truly was in this building, but a large dog was likely to be chased out of a private building. As Sirius, it wouldn’t be hard to charm his way into the building, but it might be harder to find Harry.
Padfoot barked softly at the bushes. The black cat that had been tailing him crawled out. He knew Regulus had no interest in helping him, and had only come along as emergency backup in case of a duel, but Padfoot gestured his head towards the building anyway.
The small, black cat stared at Padfoot, then back up at the building. Reluctantly, he slipped up the stairs and into the building on the heels of an unsuspecting resident.
Padfoot sniffed the stone retaining wall. Plenty of people had passed through here, but he didn’t smell Harry, not exactly. He definitely smelled the blood trail he had been following, but that wasn’t the same thing as Harry’s scent. He wondered if it was Greyback who had come through here, but Sirius was fairly certain that he would recognize Greyback’s scent if he came across it.
He wondered, briefly, if Regulus had been right when he had said that Sirius was better off staying with Remus and Lily, rather than hunting down Harry. The full moon was just two days away, and he knew Remus was nervous. Brewing the Wolfsbane Potion had been impossible this week. They had been moving too frequently to get together the ingredients, and they still hadn’t figured out where Remus was going to transform. Lily would need to be somewhere safe but on hand in case of emergency, and they couldn’t be anywhere too open that might put others at risk. Tonks had, kindly, suggested hers and her mother’s home, but that had only sent Remus into another downward spiral. Remus was wary enough of transforming around people he loved when he had the Wolfsbane Potion to keep his mind. He was never going to allow himself to lose control with Tonks so close at hand.
Sirius tried to shake his worries off. Remus was tomorrow’s problem. Harry was today’s.
Regulus returned from his investigation surprisingly quickly. He hurried across the street and over a low wall, into some plants. When he stepped out as himself, Sirius reluctantly followed and also used the wall as cover to return to his human form.
“What did you find?” Sirius asked.
Regulus smoothed the front of his cloak. “Harry isn’t there.”
“Then why did we come here?”
Sirius swung his legs over the wall. “Because someone here has information about Harry. Did you follow the blood trail?”
“It’s going to be a dead end.”
“I’d prefer you didn’t use that word.”
“The trail is cold, Sirius. We have no way to know where Harry has gone.”
“Give me a flat number and I’ll go myself.”
Regulus hesitated, but Sirius knew he would give in. They were stubborn, the both of them, but Regulus had never built up the tolerance for conflict that Sirius had. Sirius could thrive in the center of chaos; he’d had to in order to survive. Regulus, however, invested too much effort in fighting chaos. It was always going to be a losing battle.
Regulus crossed the street, back to the building. He pointed his wand at the lock, but it didn’t budge.
Sirius looked over Regulus’ shoulder. “Oh, it’s one of those keypads? Alohomora is no good.” He dug his own wand out and aimed a hot white spark. It fizzed and sputtered and then the lock clicked.
Regulus pulled the door open. “Did you break it?”
Sirius shrugged. “They malfunction all the time. Keeps the Muggle maintenance men employed.”
Regulus led Sirius upstairs to the top floor and gestured at a door near the stairwell. “The trail leads here. But I didn’t see, hear, or smell anything to indicate that Harry might be here. I can’t imagine Harry would have stayed in London.”
“No, but if whoever lives here had Harry’s blood on them, they might be able to tell us something.”
“And if that person is a Death Eater?”
“Then I guess we’ll duel them.” Sirius knocked on the door.
“We aren’t even going to try to disguise ourselves?” Regulus hissed at him, but Sirius couldn’t answer, because the door opened.
The gentleman in the doorway wore a fine Muggle suit. His skin was dark and he had a neatly trimmed beard and shaved head. He looked about Sirius’ age, and was about as tall, though definitely rounder in both face and build.
He looked over the two of them and raised a thick eyebrow. “Can I help you?”
Sirius held out his hand. “I hope so. My name’s Sirius.”
“Nigel Brooks,” he said, and shook Sirius’ hand warily. His eyes drifted over Sirius’ shoulder to Regulus, but Sirius had a feeling Regulus would not be keen on an introduction.
Sirius reached into his pocket and pulled out a photograph. “We’re trying to find someone, and we think you might have run into him.” The picture of Harry was from Remus’ wedding. He had folded it over so that Ron and Hermione were hidden, along with most of the movement in the picture. Harry still blinked and his smile moved slightly, but Sirius hoped the Muggle would just think it a trick of the light.
Brooks took the photo to examine it more closely, then shrugged. “Might’ve seen him around.” He looked Sirius and Regulus over again. “You don’t look like police.”
Sirius glanced down at his worn jeans and leather jacket. “Hardly,” he said. “I’m his godfather. His mother’s awfully worried. We’re just trying to get some information.”
Brooks returned the photograph. “I’m afraid I can’t help you. Best of luck, though.”
He started to close the door, but Sirius wedged his foot in the door. “We know you saw him, and at the very least, got his blood on you. We’re just trying to find out where he might have gone. There are dangerous people after him.”
Nigel straightened, and Sirius recognized a familiar determination in his dark eyes. “If what you say is true, and if I really did run into a young man, injured and running for his life, then what makes you think I would tell the first strangers who knocked on my door anything about him?”
“We’re his family.”
“Family can’t be dangerous?” Brook’s voice was cold, and Sirius, while he appreciated the man’s desire to protect Harry, felt outmatched. He didn’t feel outmatched very often.
“His name is Harry,” Regulus said, “and all we want is to know that he’s alive. You don’t have to tell us where he went, just tell us that he’s safe.”
Brooks stared at Regulus for a moment, then opened the door so it was no longer pressing on Sirius’ foot. “He’s alive, as far as I know. There was a lot of blood, but his injuries weren’t as bad as they looked. I thought whoever was chasing him had torn his wrist open, but when he showed it to me, there wasn’t even a scratch. He refused to go to hospital, just said he wanted out of the city, so I put him on a train. That’s the last I saw of him.”
“Has anyone else come asking for him?”
“No. You’re the first.”
“Thank you for your help.” Regulus inclined his head. “Sirius, we’re done here.”
Sirius did not think they were done. He wanted to know exactly which train Harry had gotten on. But Regulus was already leaving.
“Reg — wait —” But Regulus did not wait. Sirius eyed Brooks, but he supposed Regulus was right. They weren’t going to get anything more out of this man.
“Thanks,” he muttered.
“Sirius —” Brooks hesitated, and Sirius waited, hopeful.
But Brooks gave them neither a train nor destination. Instead, he handed Sirius a small business card. “If you find him, I’d like to know he’s alright.”
Sirius looked down at the plain white card. It had the man’s name printed on it and the contact information for an art gallery.
“I’d find him faster if you’d tell me more.”
“He told me he was going to find his aunt and uncle,” Brooks said. “If you’re really his family, it shouldn’t be hard for you to track them down.” And he closed the door.
Sirius walked away, more confused than when they had arrived. He met Regulus at the bottom of the stairs.
“Did he tell you anything?” Regulus asked.
Sirius handed Regulus the business card. “He said Harry went to stay with an aunt and uncle. Do you think he meant Tonks and Remus?”
“I suppose that would be a simple way to explain their relationship to a stranger. Why would Harry go to Remus?”
“Maybe a fight with Greyback scared some sense in him.” Sirius found himself hoping it was true rather than believing it was true. Harry had been pushing them away all summer, and Sirius thought one duel unlikely to have changed Harry’s mind. Harry had his mother’s stubbornness, after all.
Regulus handed the card back to Sirius. “I suppose there’s nothing else to do. We’ll just have to trust this man Brooks’ word that Harry is safe.”
“We’re hardly done.” Sirius was already walking back to the station at a brisk pace. “Now we show Harry’s photograph on the platforms. We start with the line headed for Tonks, and pray he didn't actually board a train to Paris.”
An unusual anger sparked in Regulus’ cold gaze as he hurried after Sirius. Not that Regulus never got angry, but he usually tempered it so well. “Harry is wanted by some of the most dangerous people in the world and you think it's a good idea to flash his picture around to every blasted Muggle in London — you’re also wanted by those same people! You can't just spend a day on a platform where they're surely to be looking for Harry — it’s absurd!”
Regulus' general frown of displeasure twitched with his outburst. His nose scrunched the tiniest bit and his already thin lips seemed to disappear. He looked so much like Narcissa. Sirius looked away, wishing his brother could wear someone else’s face. He wished, more often than not, that he could wear someone else’s face, too. Perhaps that was just another reason it was so much easier to be Padfoot.
“We’ll wear disguises.” Sirius surprised himself with the “we.” He had never wanted Regulus to come along on this hunt in the first place, but suddenly he was not keen on Regulus leaving him to it alone. “Hell we could even pretend to be Hit Wizards, deputised with hunting Harry down, if any wizards question us.”
“But the Muggles, Sirius! You’ll have to Obliviate every single one of them that you talk to, or else the Death Eaters or Hit Wizards or Muggle-born Registration Commision or Snatchers or any other group of wizards that want you and I dead could interrogate them and track it back to us — or worse back to Harry.”
“That will take us forever —”
“Why can't you just let Harry go? You know he got away from Greyback. Brooks put him on a train, helped him, made sure he wasn’t injured, so he must be safe somewhere. Isn’t that enough?”
“No. Not for me, and not for Lily nor Remus.” It wouldn’t be enough for James, either.
“You can't protect him from everything, Sirius. He’s seventeen now, and whatever Dumbledore’s asked of him —”
Anger flared hot and bright in Sirius' chest as he whirled on Regulus, and there was no Padfoot to soften the edges as he snarled Regulus words back at him. “‘Whatever Dumbledore’s asked of him’? Harry’s told us you're in on it so don't give me that hippogriff shit acting like you don't know. Like you're not keeping all the same secrets from us as Harry is. Like this is somehow less your fault, just because you slink away from arguments whenever you damn well please.”
Regulus’ temper faded from his face, replaced with an unusual, stricken expression that Sirius was not sure he had ever seen on his brother. Blacks felt many things, and usually felt them strongly, but fear? That wasn't something Sirius had seen in any of his cousins before, nor his brother.
But to Regulus’ credit, he did not transform into a cat and run away. He carefully schooled his expression back into its traditional calm and proud with a dash of disdainful form.
“I’ll help you find Harry,” he finally said in a quiet, almost apologetic voice. “But we Transfigure our disguises, no Polyjuice. It's too unreliable. And we Obliviate every Muggle we meet — don’t argue with me on this, Sirius! Yes, it will take longer, but it will keep Harry safer, and I trust that wherever he has run off to, he is indeed safe. We would have heard otherwise if he wasn't.”
Sirius took in several deep breaths to make sure his anger was cooled, at least enough that it would not attract the attention of those passing by them on the pavement, before speaking again. “Fine. Let’s do what we can today. And I want to put a word in the paper to Tonks, just in case he really did mean that he was on his way to her and Remus.”
“The paper? Sirius —”
“Not the Prophet. I’m not an idiot. Tonks, Remus, and I have a code we use for personals in the Times. Her idea. Said her dad used to use it in the first war to communicate with some of his Muggle-born friends, at first just after he and Andromeda eloped and had gone to ground to avoid her family, then as part of the war effort.”
Regulus shook his head. “It’s still risky —”
“It’s a war. There’s risk. Accept it and move on. The longer you whine about it, the longer nothing gets done.”
Regulus studied Sirius, and Sirius did not care for the intent look on Regulus’ face, almost like Regulus was trying to peer directly into his thoughts. It reminded him too much of their mother, trying to parse just how much trouble Sirius was in, just how much damage he had done.
But Regulus did not scold Sirius, nor criticise him. “I’m sorry,” he said instead. “You're right.”
Had Sirius been in a slightly better mood, he might have had a joke ready, made Regulus repeat his apology. As it stood, Sirius had trouble accepting it at all. Perhaps it was no real wonder he and Regulus had grown so far apart. Even when one reached out, the other couldn't bother to reach back.
He zipped up his jacket, suddenly cold, though it was only the middle of the afternoon, and kicked his boots against a nearby wall. It didn't lessen his frustration.
And after a full day walking up and down train platforms, talking to and Obliviating every Muggle they met, Sirius was no less frustrated. The task ahead of them was enormous, and with each passing day that left them with no leads, it seemed more and more futile.
But there was nothing else to do. Lily and Remus did their part connecting with the Order, hunting down rumors of sightings of Harry, while Regulus and Sirius plodded on through Muggle after Muggle and Memory Charm after Memory Charm.
It was two full moons more before, finally, a Muggle woman frowned as she looked at the photo.
“I think… Goodness it’s been a while, but I think I did see him. Or I saw a boy who looked like him. Had red hair. I thought it odd with his complexion, but it was a dark sort of red, I suppose. The glasses… I can’t remember if he was wearing them or not. He was a twitchy lad, though, rather unhappy face. Is he in some sort of trouble?”
“No,” Sirius said, though it was not exactly true. He spoke quickly, anxious to get every detail out of this woman. “I’m his godfather, just trying to track him down. Can you tell me where he went?”
She pursed her lips. “I think… it must have been the rail line that goes out to Portsmouth — yes, I was visiting my sister that day, and I remember he had a large pack. I thought he must be on his way home from a walking tour.”
Sirius could not fathom what might have attracted Harry to Portsmouth. He wondered if it had something to do with Dumbledore. Maybe Regulus would know, but Regulus said nothing, mere stood at Sirius’ side, waiting to Obliviate this poor woman as soon as she was done talking.
“Do you know where he got off the train?” Sirius asked.
She frowned and handed the photograph back to Sirius. “I don’t know… he tripped over my bag on his way out. I felt awful. It… oh! It was Guildford. Yes, I remember, because —”
“Thank you so much for your time,” Regulus interrupted. Then, her eyes glassed over. She blinked at Sirius and Regulus, slowly, uncertain.
“Er — can I help you?” she asked.
“No, thanks,” Sirius grunted, and as soon as she was gone, he whirled on Regulus. “She might have had more information!”
“We needed to know where Harry had gone. Now we know. What else could she have told us? It’s not as if she followed him off the train. Besides, Sirius, she saw Harry over a month ago. There’s no way Harry’s still in Guildford, no reason he would stay in one place for so long.”
“Are you sure?” Sirius lowered his voice and tried to keep the threatening tone out of it, but he found it difficult. “You don’t know of anything in Guildford that might keep him there? Nothing to do with Dumbledore or You-Know-Who?”
Regulus’ stare was even, but that didn’t tell Sirius much. “Nothing. And if you can’t think of anything that would keep him there, then all we can do is go down there and see if some other Muggle happens to remember him passing through months ago — there’s just no sense in it. We know he got away safely. Let that be enough.”
Sirius was no longer listening to Regulus. He had plucked a map from a kiosk and was staring at Guildford on the network of spider web lines spiraling out from Waterloo Station, trying to make sense of why it had appealed to Harry.
“I’m an idiot,” he finally said.
“That’s nothing new,” Regulus said.
“Brooks told us where he was going from the beginning and I was too stupid to understand.”
“What are you talking about?”
“He was going to see his aunt and uncle, is what Brooks said. Not Tonks and Remus — his mum’s sister. Her Muggle family.”
“Does Harry even know them?”
“He knows they’re in hiding, and he knows their house will be empty — bloody hell I can’t believe I’m that thick.” Sirius balled the map up in his fist.
“Should we tell Lily and Remus —”
“Let’s make sure he’s there before we get their hopes up.” Sirius fought down another grunt of frustration. He had not felt this stupid in a long time, but how was he supposed to connect Harry to Petunia and Vernon, whom Harry had met perhaps twice in his life? He did not even wait to slip away to a hidden corner of the platform to Disapparate. He turned on the spot, in the midst of a crowd of Muggles, ignoring all of Regulus’ protests, and disappeared with a crack.
you're skipping classes with marauders on a rainy day [ playlist + rain sounds ]
"oh, to be young and to feel love's keen sting"
I want someone to talk about the marauders with, please someone message me about the marauders.
Regulus: *Saying 'I love you' to James in morse code*
James: I like the beat, what song is that?
*•.¸♡ kinktober master list ♡¸.•*
navigation | master list | taglist
a/n: decided to join in on kinktober this year (first year being on here lol) not going full out but i am doing ten days and instead of full fics they will be little blurbs hope you guys enjoy!!
warnings: there will be warnings at the top of every post (when) linked please read them all before continuing to read beyond that point
oct. 1st | james potter - tity sucking
oct. 4th | sirius black - knife play
oct. 8th | regulus black - mirror sex & innocence kink
oct. 10th | poly!blaise x draco x theo - dumbification
oct. 14th | remus lupin - praise
oct. 18th | professor!draco malfoy - cockwarming
oct. 22st | poly!marauders - overstimulation
oct. 24th | boyfriends brother!bill weasley - degradation
oct. 28th | professor!remus lupin - thigh riding
oct. 31st | doctor!james potter - innocence kink
continued tags in reblog
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James: You come here often?
Regulus: Well, this is our bed so I come here every night.
James: What a coincidence, me too *fuckboi face*
My Regulus Black Headcannons because why not
☆ He loves hawaiian shirts (James likes hin wearing them too).
☆ His animagus form is a black cat. He became an animagus before the marauders did. He definitly teases James about it. Lily would/does call him Salem.
☆ He wears so many rings that he fiddles with constantly.
☆ He is really into poetry and even wrotes his own. It is very angsty.
☆ He actually loves swimming and is great at it. He loves the sea and once challended Barty and Evan to a race in the Black Lake. He won. By a mile.
☆ Barty was his gay awakening.
☆ Pandora is his best friend, although he is very close with Barty and Evan too.
☆ On the aroace spectrums but also gay. Probably greyaro and demiace
☆ Knows way too much about random things like the story of Achillies and Patroclus. James loves listening to him talk about it. He mainly loves his voice and how passionate he is.
☆ He never stopped loving his brother.
☆ He hated Snape but was a lot more subtle than the Marauders about it. Specifically clever pranks that were blamed on the Marauders they never found out it was him. Well, James did in 7th year but he never told the others.
☆ He is very good at occlumency and legitimancy.
☆ He is very intelligent, able to do wandless and wordless magic. He is also very good at potions and duelling. He created his own potions and spells.
☆ He secretly reads a lot of muggle books and poetry.
☆ He was so sassy.
☆ Just as dramatic as Sirius if not more. I mean, he literally wrote a letter to the Dark Lord basically saying screw you I outsmarted you and stole your necklace.
Regulus: I hate you!
James *in his head, enemies to lovers, slow burn, sad with happy ending, 200k+ words.*: Sure you do, baby Black
Lily: As your best friend-
Regulus: I don't have a best friend
Lily: AS YOUR BEST FRIEND
just thinking about how barty definitely scream sang without me when reg left and went back to james
My Fanon universe, my rules