I Would Still Choose You
Sirius was in agony and all he could think of was I have to get somewhere safe. He pulled the last dregs of his energy reserves and thought of the only place outside Hogwarts he ever felt safe and hoped to whatever deity that was watching that he would get there without dying.
Lily was reading on the couch at her boyfriend’s house when she heard the unmistakable sound of someone apparating outside the front door. She got up and went to see who was there. Her heart was in her throat as she saw their boyfriend barely standing, bone white, face and shirt covered in blood.
“Lils?” Sirius whispered
“Siri!” She gasped as she reached out to help support him and yelled, “James! Remus! Get down here now! It’s Sirius.”
James bolted down the steps Remus right behind him. His stomach lurched as he saw Sirius. “Jamie.” Sirius rasped as his eyes rolled back and his knees buckled, taking Lily by surprise as he became dead weight.
James and Remus lunged forward and caught Sirius before he could hit the ground and take Lily with him, “Siri!” James called as he gently took him from Remus and cradled his partners body. James rested his forehead against the top of Sirius’s head, “Gods what happen to you?”
Remus bit his lip anxiously, smelling the blood covering Sirius, Moony whining in the back of his head at the state of his pack mate, “let’s get him inside. Do you need help carrying him?”
James stood easily managing Sirius' light weight and gangly limbs. “I’ve got him, just get the doors we’ll put him in my bed.”
Lily worked in tandem with Remus moving any obstacles out of James’ way. “Should we take him to the hospital?” She asked hesitantly.
James frowned, “no my parents will be home in a few minutes. They'll know what to do. I just want to get him laying down so we can see where all this blood is coming from.”
James lay Sirius on his bed gently as if he was made of spun glass. Sirius let out a low moan and made a gagging sound in the back of his throat. Lily quickly took Sirius’ shoulder and got him on his side just in time before using a charm to vanish the vomit from the blanket.
James wiped his mouth carefully with a damp cloth, and gently stroked his cheek, “Padfoot? Siri? Can you open your eyes Love?”
Sirius groaned softly and his eyelids fluttered. Remus ran gentle fingers carefully through his hair checking for blood and bumps, while Lily softly ran her thumb over his shoulder, “that’s it Sirius open your eyes sweetie.” Lily encouraged.
“You’re safe Padfoot. We’ve got you Love.” Remus soothed.
Sirius opened pained, bloodshot eyes and looked disoriented around the room trying to remember what had happened and where he was. “Jamie?” Sirius whispered hesitantly, blindly reaching a shaky hand towards his friend and anchor.
James took it between both his and kissed the chilled fingers, “I’m right here Si. Remy and Lils are here too Love. We’ve got you. You’re safe.”
Sirius gave a small, bloody smile, calm sweeping over him as he realized he somehow made it to them and he was truly safe, before he allowed the darkness to swallow him whole.
The front door opened and James’ parents walked in. They were concerned as there had appeared to be blood on their door frame and porch.
James’ dad called, “Jay where are you at? Is everything ok?”
Remus looked at James before he went to the top of the stairs, “we’re up here in James’ room Mr. Potter. Could you please come up here we’ve got a bit of a situation.”
Fleamont Potter came to the bottom of the stairs, took one look at Remus and the blood on his hands, realizing Remus was shaken, but otherwise fine, he hurried up to James’ room, “Jay what’s up?” His eyes widened as he noticed a bloody and potentially broken Sirius laying on his son’s bed as James held his hand whispering words of comfort. “Merlin.” Fleamont whispered, “Jay when did Sirius get here and what happened?”
James turned pained, worried eyes to his dad, “he got here maybe 10 minutes ago looking like this. I think he apparated here. He saw me and said my name before collapsing.” James turned wary eyes back to Sirius, “I don’t know how he apparated here and didn’t splinch or kill himself.”
Fleamont frowned slightly thinking he’s not old enough to be apparating. Gods he must have been desperate. Lily quietly moved out of the way.
“Mr. Potter he might have a concussion since he threw up once James laid him down on the bed.” Lily stated quietly.
Fleamont nodded as he went to work casting spells that would tell him what the damage was. He frowned slightly as he found extensive bruising, cracked ribs, broken nose and the concussion Lily suspected, a broken arm, and obvious evidence that he had the Cruciatus and Cutting curses used on him. Sirius moaned and shifted on the bed before dazed eyes opened and if possible he paled further. Sirius tried to sit up when he caught sight of James’ dad.
Fleamont gently held Sirius still, “It’s ok Sirius you’re safe. We won’t let anything happen to you son. Just relax I’m working on trying to fix you up.”
Sirius trembled, anxious tears sliding down his cheeks, “you can’t tell anyone they’ll kill me."
Fleamont sighed softly, “Sirius I give you my word, no harm will come to you here and we will find a way to keep you safe.” He looked at the teens, “James take Lily and Remus with you, get this list of potions and supplies for me and have your mum bring them up. Once you’ve done that you should all get cleaned up.” Fleamont knelt next to the bed, before gently brushing Sirius’ hair out of his eyes, “Siri who hurt you?” A silent tear slid down Sirius’ cheek, and Fleamont lightly wiped it away, “was it your parents?”
Sirius swallowed thickly, “I can’t.” Silent tears ran down his cheeks, his breaths coming in jagged pants, as he hoarsely whispered, “they’ll kill me if I tell anyone.”
He gently cupped the young teen’s cheek, “Sirius we can help make it so you never have to go back I just need you to tell me what happened.” He gave Sirius’ skeptical look a reassuring smile. “I have documented all your injuries and if you tell me how you got them we can petition to be your legal guardians you will never have to go back there unless you want to. Please Sirius let us help you son.”
Sirius leaned into the comforting touch daring to trust the Potters in a way he couldn’t even trust his own family. “It was Mum and Dad. They hit and kicked me, and they used the Cutting and Cruciatus curses repeatedly, all the while screaming that I was a blood traitor and an unforgivable disappointment, an abomination, and that I shamed them and our family.”
Fleamont listened and ran soothing fingers through the fragile boy’s dark hair, fighting every urge he had to go to the Black residence and show them what it was like to beat on someone who could and would fight back. He carefully hugged the boy close as hoarse sobs wrack his delicate frame. “It’s going to be ok Sirius. You’re not alone and you do have a family who loves you. We won’t leave you or hurt you. I will take care of this and you will never have to go back to them again.”Fleamont stated calmly as he carefully removed Sirius’ shirt and began inspecting the myriad of cuts that littered his torso.
Fleamont locked eyes with his wife who nodded firmly. Fleamont and Euphemia made quick work of cleaning and healing as many of Sirius’ wounds as they could. The broken bones were splinted and wrapped, the deep cuts to his back and torso were dressed to allow the potions time to work. They helped him into a pair of James’ pajama pants and used the blankets to cover his exposed upper body. Sirius had drifted into a fitful exhausted sleep.
Fleamont looked up and couldn’t help but smile at the three worried teenagers in the doorway. “We’ve healed what we could now the potions just need time to work. He's just resting and as long as you keep him calm you can all come sit with him.”
Lily and Remus immediately went to Sirius’ bedside while James paused to talk to his dad outside the room. “Dad?”
Fleamont hugged his son tightly, “it’s going to be ok Jay. I’ve got what I need to get him out of there permanently. We’ll keep him safe I promise.” Fleamont kissed the top of his son’s head, “go sit with them James he’ll feel better if you’re there.”
“Thanks for taking care of him Dad, Mum.” James said quietly.
“James, sweetheart, we love Sirius too and if we can protect him we will.” Euphemia stated firmly, as she also kissed her son’s forehead.
James gave his parents a slightly watery smile before he went to his friends. Remus was holding Sirius’ hand, carding gentle fingers through his hair, kneeling next to the bed so Sirius could easily see him. Lily sat on the edge of the bed her hand resting softly on his hip.
“Whres Jame?” Sirius slurred, as he tried to look around.
James grinned, “I’m right here Si just relax.” James knelt next to Remus as he leaned over and kissed Sirius’ forehead, “ how are you feeling?”
“high.” Sirius mumbled.
James chuckled, and took over gently petting Sirius’ hair. “Well you are a bit of a mess Love. Dad gave you a pretty strong pain potion.”
Sirius gave them a slightly dopey smile, “I don’t hurt anymore.”
Remus lightly squeezed his hand, “that’s good Si. You should try and rest.”
Sirius took a shaky breath and whispered, “don’t leave?”
Lily’s heart constricted as she carefully brushed his hair away from his face, “we won’t go anywhere Pads.”
She looked at James and arched an eyebrow. He grinned and nodded as her silent suggestion registered. Lily stood up and James carefully moved Sirius back a little before crawling into bed. Sirius immediately snuggled against him resting his head on James’ chest, splinted arm propped on James’ stomach. Remus smiled and crawled in behind Sirius wrapping his warm body carefully around their injured partner's bare, bandaged back.
Lily slid in next to James and softly stroked Sirius’ cheek, before taking his hand, “there Love, now sleep.”
Sirius gave a small smile as his eyes slid shut. James softly rubbed the bare skin of his shoulder as he drifted off, safe in the knowledge that the people he loved most were right there.
Fleamont went up to check on them and stopped, smiling fondly when he saw the four teens snuggled together asleep. Euphemia paused by the door and broke into a knowing smile before whispering, “so are you prepared to have four kids?”
Fleamont snorted quietly, “we always wanted a big family.” He smiled fondly, “they were always going to end this way. I’m just happy they are fearless in their love for one another since there will be few people who understand and even less who approve of them.”
Euphemia rested her head against his shoulder, “I’m glad they have each other. I hope they know we will always support them.”
James opened sleepy eyes and smiled looking happily at his parents before mouthing Thank you. I love you.
His parents smiled and whispered, “Always.” They left the kids to sleep while they got to work making dinner. Sirius made a quiet distressed noise and James immediately began to whisper comforting words. Sirius’ breath came in frantic bursts as he shook his head, shifting restlessly. A low whine escaped his lips and James carded his fingers through Sirius’ hair in an attempt to soothe him.
“It’s ok Siri. Shh. Shh. Wake up Love, it’s just a dream.” James murmured.
Sirius jerked awake panting raggedly a scream dying in his throat.
Remus snuggled closer and softly kissed the back of Sirius’ neck, “we’ve got you Si.”
The tension drained from Sirius as he became a heavier weight against James and Remus. “I’m home.” Sirius hoarsely whispered.
Lily’s bright green eyes looked into Sirius’ wary gray ones, “yes, you are Siri and we are never going to let you go.”
Sirius gave her a smile and felt a tug at the cut on his lip before he tasted the salt and iron of blood. She took her handkerchief and gently dabbed the blood away. James kissed the top of Sirius’ head running comforting fingers through his hair.
Remus kissed his shoulder, “we are all home.”
James smiled at the three people cuddled around him, “no matter where we are as long as we’re together we are home.”
Sirius nodded against James’ chest.
Lily lightly squeezed his hand, kissed James’ shoulder and ran soft fingers through Remus' hair before whispering, “ I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we'd choose anyway. And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you.”
The three boys looked at her with similar soft expressions, the truth of those words evident on their faces. “I read it last summer in a muggle book The Chaos of Stars and it resonated with me and made me think of the three of you. No matter what I will always choose this, us, you.”
Sirius swallowed thickly, “me too. It makes this worth it.”
James tensed slightly, and Sirius looked up into his eyes seeing the question and confirming James’ worst fear in a look. Their partners ignored the silent exchange knowing that answers would be given when they were ready, so for now they just gave them their love and strength. They may be a polyamorous square but there were still two primary partnerships with in that square, James with Sirius and Lily with Remus; they all loved each other and were equally committed to each other, but that didn’t mean the two relationships that became one ceased to exist.
Fleamont knocked lightly on the door, “dinner’s ready everyone.”
Lily and Remus stood up and headed for the dining room while Fleamont came in with a tray for Sirius. James smiled as he helped Sirius sit up. He leaned heavily against James’ chest.
James softly kissed Sirius’ temple, “are you up to trying some soup?”
Sirius gave a small nod against James’ shoulder.
Fleamont smiled at his son and the boy who may as well be his, “there’s enough for both of you. I figured James would want to stay with you.”
Sirius gave him a hesitant smile and James a grateful one. “Thanks dad.”
Fleamont settled the tray next to James on the bed and gently ruffled both boys hair. “Once you’re finished eating we'll change the bandages again and finish getting you settled for the night.”
Sirius looked at James and then at Fleamont uncertainly, “can Jamie stay while the bandages are changed?”
Fleamont smiled, “yes he can stay if you want him to.”
James rested his forehead against Sirius’ shoulder, “I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”
Once they were alone again Sirius reached a shaky hand for the spoon in his soup bowl. James gently shifted him so he could help if Sirius needed it. Sirius slowly ate half his soup before refusing to continue.
James stroked his cheek softly, “are you ok?”
Sirius nodded,” I just need to let my stomach settle.”
James smiled and kissed the top of his shoulder. “Do you want to talk about what happened?”
Sirius let out a small sigh, “not really, but you have a right to know. Someone told my parents about us…” Sirius leaned his head back against James’ shoulder to look at him, “The four of us.”
James bowed his head against Sirius’ shoulder, “fuck. How did you get away?”
Sirius gave him a sad smile, “I kept thinking I need to get away. I need to get somewhere safe and I ended up on your doorstep.”
James let out a startled laugh, “only you could use accidental magic to apparate away after your parents did their level best to kill you.”
Sirius snuggled into James’ chest, the tension draining as he listened to the steady beat of James’ heart, “other than Hogwarts this is the only place I’ve ever felt safe. With you, Lils, and Remy I’ve never felt safer.”
James kissed the top of Sirius’ head. “I’m glad you feel safe here.” James kissed him again softly, “I love you so much and I just want to keep you safe.”
Fleamont Potter stood outside his son’s room and couldn’t help hearing the quiet conversation. He wanted nothing more than to visit Orion and Walburga Black and hex them from now until the end of their days for what they’ve continuously put their son through. The scars Sirius bore not only on his physical body, but the ones that showed in his psyche. He and his wife had always wanted a large family, but it just wasn’t to be, and the thought of anyone having a child and not being willing to cherish them for the gift they were made no sense to him at all. He knew that James was often spoiled, but at the end of the day he was so proud of the man he could see him becoming.
He closed his eyes and thought about the first time he saw James and Sirius together and his heart swelled. The life and laughter that rolled off the two boys was overwhelming. James ran excitedly to his parents, “Mum, Dad this is my best mate Sirius!”
Fleamont remembered how Sirius suddenly stiffened all laughter sliding away as he looked past James’ family and formally said, “Mr. and Mrs. Potter it’s nice to meet you.” Sirius took another quick glance and the color drained from his face, “I have to go James. I can’t keep Mother and Father waiting.”
Fleamont watched the young boy walk stiffly to his parents and for the first time understood why the sudden change in his demeanor. Orion Black grabbed his son roughly by the back of his neck and was marching him towards the barrier. Fleamont never knew exactly what was done to Sirius that day, but looking at the seriously injured teen on his son’s bed he could imagine and it again filled him with a burning desire to hex the hell out of Lord and Lady Black. Fleamont took a quiet, deep breath and let it out slowly, reigning in his anger at Sirius’ parents. This wasn’t his fault and there was no reason to frighten him further.
Fleamont knocked lightly on the door frame, “did dinner go alright?”
Sirius gave a shy smile, “it was good, thank you.”
James smiled and held Sirius close, “are you ready to start his next round of bandages?”
“Your mum took Remus and Lily out to get a treat for later so if you want to get started now would be a good time.” Fleamont stated soothingly.
Sirius nodded, “I’m ready.”
James helped Sirius lay down, his head pillowed on James’ leg. Fleamont carefully removed the bandages from Sirius’ chest and abdomen, and it took all the restraint James possessed to not vomit at the sight of the violent slashes that marred his skin. Sirius whimpered and shifted. James watched the cuts open and begin bleeding again as he realized how deep they were.
James kissed Sirius’ forehead, “shh Love it’s ok. Look at me Si, I’ve got you.”
Sirius turned tear clouded, pained gray eyes towards James taking quick shallow breaths as Fleamont spread a thick healing potion over the cuts.
“Breathe with me Siri.” James soothed as he ran gentle fingers through Sirius’ hair, taking slow deep breaths.
Sirius slowly started to synch his breathing with James as he kept a death grip on James’ hand. Fleamont worked quickly and gently, cleaning and applying the potions and casting healing spells before applying clean bandages.
“You’re doing so well Sirius. We’re halfway there.” Fleamont encouraged softly. “Jay, can you help me get him on his side?”
Sirius grit his teeth, and bit back a scream as they carefully rolled him on his side and angled him a little forward. Fleamont moved quickly, removing bandages and casting cleaning charms as James kept up a soothing stream of words helping Sirius breathe through the pain. Everything in James wanted to scream and rage at what had been done to his love. He couldn’t believe that his back looked worse than his chest and stomach, but somehow it did, a riot of bruises and long deep slashes.
Fleamont cast complex healing charms and proceeded to spread more potions on the deep lacerations. Once the clean bandages we’re back in place he looked at his son, “can you help him sit up I want to give him another blood replenishing potion, as well as more skelegrow and a pain potion.”
James nodded as he carefully propped up his barely conscious boyfriend against his chest. He pressed a soft kiss to Sirius’ temple, “Dad needs you to take some potions do you think you can drink them?”
Sirius blinked sluggishly, as he rasped, “yeah I can drink them.” Sirius rolled his head, which was resting heavily on James’ shoulder towards Fleamont and gave him a wan smile, “ready when you are.”
Fleamont held out the blood replenishing potion first. Sirius reached out a shaky hand to take it but James smoothly took it from his dad and held the vial to Sirius’ lips. They repeated the process twice more before Sirius gave into the darkness eating away at his vision, sagging heavily against James’ chest.
James looked at his dad, “are you sure we shouldn’t take him to the hospital?”
Fleamont smiled, “Sirius was quite insistent that no one know what happened to him, but don’t worry Jay your aunt Cassie is coming to check on him when she gets done at St. Mungos. She’s going to do further documentation and she is discreet so we can get this handled with minimal exposure for Sirius.”
James nodded and pressed a soft kiss to Sirius’s forehead. “How could they do this to him Dad?” James looked at Sirius sleeping in his arms, a lock of dark hair laying over one eye, “they could have killed him.”
Fleamont kissed the top of his son’s head, and softly brushed Sirius’ hair out of his eyes, “I don’t know how they could do this Jamie, but I promise to do everything I can to protect and heal him.”
“Dad, are you and Mum ok with us?” James asked tentatively.
Fleamont cupped James’ cheek and made him look at him, “James your Mum and I love you no matter what. Lily, Remus, and Sirius are wonderful people and we couldn’t wish for better people to love you and for you to love in return. We are proud of all of you and the strength of the relationship you’ve built for yourselves. I know some people will make things hard for you or hate you for what you are, but we will always love all of you and support you no matter what.” He kissed the top of James’ head and gently ran his hand over Sirius’s hair. “We think of all of you as our kids. You are everything to us and that will never change.”
James gave his dad a teary smile, “I needed that. Thanks Dad.”
James smiled as Remus and Lily’s heads popped around the corner. He was reading a book and Sirius was still asleep propped against his chest.
“Come in, he’ll be happy you’re back.” James said quietly, setting his book aside.
Remus and Lily crawled on to the bed being careful not to bump their sleeping partner. Remus lightly ran his fingers through Sirius’ hair, “how’d it go?”
“Dad healed what he could. Aunt Cassie did a little more healing and gave Dad some different potions for tomorrow.”James rested his cheek against Sirius’ hair. “He’s in less pain now.”
Lily squeezed James’ hand, “He looks a little better. He's less tense and his color is better.”
James smiled tiredly, “he’s had two blood replenishing potions, so that’s helped. Cassie said he should take one more tomorrow.”
Remus blinked in shock, “he lost that much blood?! They could have killed him!”
Sirius gave a sleepy smile as he opened his eyes, “I believe that was their goal Rem.”
Remus reached out and cupped Sirius’ cheek, “I’m sorry I woke you Si.” Remus yanked and agitated hand through his hair, “Merlin I don’t understand your family.”
Sirius gave him a smile as he turned his head and softly kissed his palm trying to soothe the agitated wolf. “It’s ok Remy I wasn’t really sleeping just resting.” Sirius let out a quiet chuckle, “if you manage to figure out what the hell is wrong with them let me know cause Merlin knows I’ve never been able to figure them out.” Sirius shrugged his shoulder, “maybe if I could have stuff like this wouldn’t have happened so often.”
A silent tear slid down Lily’s cheek as the weight of Sirius’ words hit her. Sirius reached out and wiped the tear away with his thumb, “Hey Lily flower it’s not worth crying over.”
Lily’s eyes blazed, as she gripped his good hand firmly, hearing the unsaid I’m not worth crying about. “Sirius Orion Black! You listen here, your pain and the abuse you’ve suffered is absolutely worth my tears. I swear to Merlin and whatever deity you want that if I see your parents anytime soon I will hex them with in an inch of their pathetic, hateful lives.” Lily declared vehemently.
James kissed the top of Sirius’ head, “what she said times a thousand.”
Sirius tilted his head back and looked at James, “I really am ok Jamie.”
James shook his head, seeing the dark circles under his eyes and the hint of pain in their depths, before he softly kissed Sirius. “You will be ok, but no you are not ok and I saw exactly what they did to you. They deserve whatever hexes come their way.”
Remus nodded in agreement. “I didn’t see all the wounds, but I could smell the blood and the sheer amount of it made Moony really anxious.”
Sirius reached out with his splinted arm and lightly squeezed Remus' hand. “You can reassure Moony I’m going to be fine.”
Sirius moved to get up and James carefully tightened his hold around Sirius’ waist. “What are you doing Si?”
Sirius lay his head against James’ shoulder, “I’m going to the loo.”
James laughed, “not alone you aren’t. You heard Dad and Cassie no walking for 24 hours and then you can walk as long as someone is with you.”
Sirius shot James an annoyed look. “So how do you expect me to get to the bathroom then?”
James just rolled his eyes as he stood and easily picked Sirius up, “I carry you.”
Sirius sighed and rested his head against James’ shoulder, protesting quietly, “I can walk.”
James kissed his cheek, “No Love, you can’t right now without tearing open your wounds.” James whispered against Sirius’ ear, “besides I like carrying you.”
Sirius kissed James’ cheek, giving him a tired smile as he whispered, “my hero."
Lily and Remus smiled when they heard James’ laughter echo down the hallway.
Lily crawled on to Remus’ lap and wrapped her arms around him. “Hey Remy it’s ok.”
Remus kissed her shoulder, “It’s really not Lils. I want to tear his parents apart and I don’t know if I can keep that in check.” Remus rested his forehead against Lily’s, “they could have killed him and Moony wants blood for blood.”
She kissed him fiercely, “and you think that makes you a monster?” He nodded sharply once in response before she kissed him again, “I want blood for blood as well and I don’t have a inner wolf as an excuse. So my love, what does that make me?”
Remus looked at her seeing the intense fire in her eyes and for a brief moment she saw Moony looking back at her through Remus’ eyes and she finally truly understood what it meant to be pack. Lily shifted off his lap and rested her head against his shoulder, so he could settle on the bed more comfortably in preparation for Sirius and James' return.
They both jumped as James softly answered, “it makes you human Lils.”
Sirius rasped, cradled in James’ arms, head resting tiredly against his chest, “wolf or no Remy you aren’t a monster. Wanting someone to pay for this makes sense at a purely base level and everyone is capable of hitting that level with the right motivation.” Sirius coughed and continued, “it doesn’t make you monsters Moons, Lily, it makes you human. It makes you family.”
Remus reached out for Sirius and James carefully laid him in Remus' arms. Remus nuzzled Sirius’ hair and breathed in his scent deeply trying to soothe Moony and to reaffirm that Sirius was here, and while hurt, alive. Sirius buried his face against Remus’ neck and hummed contently. James crawled into bed and pulled the blankets up around them all before curling protectively around Sirius’ back. The four teens wrung out from the stress of the day were asleep in no time.
Remus startled awake to Sirius trembling in his arms. He stroked Sirius’ cheek and was shocked by the heat radiating off him.
“Prongs?” Remus said quietly.
James blinked the sleep out of his eyes, and inquired drowsily, “what’s wrong Moony?”
“Does Si feel warm to you?” Remus asked.
James came awake all at once and put a gentle hand against Sirius’ sweat damp forehead. “Shit. He's burning up.”
Sirius moaned low in his throat as he shivered. Remus unconsciously pulled him closer, moving the blanket further up his shoulder, “get your dad Jamie.”
James jumped out of bed and ran to his parents room, “Dad it’s Sirius. He’s got a fever."
Fleamont hopped out of bed and grabbed one of the potions that Cassie had left in case Sirius spiked a fever as it would help with not only the fever, but fight off any potential infection as well. He also grabbed the supplies to change the bandages and continue to treat his wounds. “Ok Jay let’s go check Siri out.”
They walked back in to James’ room and found Lily and Remus talking to Sirius trying to keep him calm. Sirius seemed to be unconscious, but moving restlessly in Remus’ arms while Lily ran a cool, wet cloth over his forehead and cheeks.
“Siri relax Love, it’s just Lily and Remus holding you.” James reassured.
Sirius blinked sluggishly as he blindly looked for James. “Jamie?” He questioned anxiously.
James crawled into bed next to him, and touched his cheek, “I’m right here Si.”
James looked at Remus as Lily moved over so Fleamont could reach Sirius. “Rem can you help me prop him up, Dad needs to give him a potion to bring his fever down. Then we’ll need to keep hold of him while Dad changes the bandages and checks for infection.”
James and Remus worked in perfect concert to prop a semi-conscious Sirius up comfortably, while Lily got a new bowl of water and helped Fleamont set up everything he needed to take care of Sirius. Fleamont handed James the potion.
James stroked Sirius’ cheek to try and get his attention, “Sirius, can you drink this for me Love? It’ll help you feel better.”
Sirius whimpered, eyes closed tightly, and turned his face away, “no! You’re not going to poison me again.”
The three teens gave Fleamont wide-eyed, horrified looks.
James stroked Sirius’s cheek again, as he coaxed “Siri look at me Love, it’s Jamie you’re safe here. No one wants to poison you.” James stroked his hair, “you’re running a high fever sweetheart and we need you to drink this potion to help you feel better.”
Remus joined James in coaxing Sirius, “come on Si open those pretty gray eyes and look at us. You’re safe here Love. Sweetheart, it’s Remus, James, and Lily please let us help you.”
Sirius opened his eyes and looked around the room. He was obviously still disoriented as James stroked his cheek, “Siri? Are you with us?”
Sirius looked at James and reached a trembling hand towards him, “Jamie?”
James took his hand and placed it against his cheek, “yes sweetheart I’m right here. Can you drink the potion for Dad? We need to get your fever down.”
James held the vial to Sirius’ lips and smiled when he opened them and drank the potion. James kissed Sirius’ temple, “thank you Love. Is it ok with you if Remy and I hold you while Dad and Lily take care of changing your dressings?”
Sirius nodded resting his head heavily against James’ shoulder, struggling to stay awake. Fleamont removed the bandages on his chest and frowned at the slashes. They were healing, but far slower than he expected, and other than the skin around the cuts being red there was no indication of possible infection.
“Sirius your parents used the Cutting curse to do this did they do anything else?” Fleamont inquired.
Sirius coughed, “Father always alters that curse to make the cuts last longer and I always get a fever from it.” Sirius took a deep, shuddering breath, “it’s not infected. I’m fairly certain it’s from my magic fighting his.”
Fleamont had to ignore the distressed looks the other teens we’re giving as well as suppress his own rage at Lord and Lady Black. “This has happened before?”
Sirius swallowed then licked his dry cracked lips, “yeah, I think this is the fifth time they’ve done this.” Sirius closed his eyes and rested his head against James’ chest, “I actually thought they might kill me this time.”
Lily handed James a glass of water and nodded towards Sirius, “he needs to drink or he’ll feel worse.”
James put the glass to Sirius’ lips and he immediately took a long drink before opening exhausted eyes and giving Lily a grateful look. James and Remus helped him turn over so Fleamont could take care of his back. Sirius drifted in and out of consciousness while Fleamont worked.
“Do they look infected?” James asked his dad.
“No Jay I think Sirius is right, there doesn’t seem to be any infection. The fever is most likely caused by his magic fighting his father’s spell work.” Fleamont finished spreading the thick potion on Sirius’ back and cast a spell that should help Sirius counter what Orion had done. “The potion he took for the fever should help regardless, for now it’s late and you should all try to get some sleep.”
Sirius woke before everyone else and just allowed himself the joy and peace of listening to the steady beat of Remus’ heart, feeling the warm strength of James at his back and the soft comfort of Lily’s hand resting on his hip. The pain and disorientation of the previous day was less. He was unbelievably sore, but felt more alert and overall better.
James kissed the back of Sirius’ neck, “you okay?"
Sirius smiled and squeezed James’ hand, “sore, but better.” He sighed “Merlin I want a shower or a bath. I just feel gross.”
James kissed his bare shoulder, “we can ask Dad if you can take a bath before your bandages get changed.”
“Are you going to let me take it by myself?” Sirius asked the impish smile evident in his tone.
James ran a callused hand down Sirius’ side avoiding the bandages, “no I’ll be there with you.”
Remus kissed Sirius’ forehead, “good morning, Loves.” Remus looked at Sirius and smiled, “you look like you’re feeling better.”
Siriusgave him a content smile and nuzzled his chest. “I’m sore, but overall I think I feel better.”
Lily squeezed his hand, “you definitely look and sound better.”
“Thanks Lils.” Sirius grinned.
Lily kissed his fingers, “you had us pretty worried Si.”
Sirius brushed his fingers lightly against her cheek, “sorry Love. I promise I am feeling better, sore, but not sick anymore.”
Remus stroked his cheek, “can we ask what led to your parents to try and kill you?”
Sirius leaned his head back against James’ shoulder, taking strength from his closeness.
James kissed Sirius’ neck, “it’s ok Siri they should know.”
Sirius opened his eyes and looked at Remus and Lily, “someone told my parents about the four of us.” Sirius looked at their confused expressions, “my parents would be upset enough with me for the Poly aspect of the relationship, but they know James and his family are blood traitors, they know Remus is a half-blood and somehow they also know he’s a werewolf, and they know Lily is muggleborn. There was never a chance that this was going to be well received by my parents. If I go back there without removing all of you from my life they will kill me, and since I’ve been disowned I have no interest or intention of going back ever.”
Sirius was curled up in James’ arms as he carded his fingers through Sirius’ hair trying to soothe and reassure his love as Sirius told their partners the truth. Lily and Remus looked sick at the thought of losing Sirius, but also the thought of being the reason he was beaten so savagely by his parents. Remus wrapped a comforting arm around Lily as silent tears tracked down their cheeks.
Sirius reached out and wiped away their tears, “I didn’t tell you this to make you sad or hurt you. I don’t want secrets between us and you both had a right to know what happened and why.” Sirius shifted and let out a quiet hiss before continuing, “I love all three of you more than I will ever be able to explain and I would never be able to walk away from you just to save myself.”
Sirius slumped back against James’ chest looking tired but determined, “I choose you, all of you. There isn’t a day, time or situation that I wouldn’t choose you. You are my family and there is nowhere else I’d rather be no matter the cost.”