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When he realizes it, he stands straight up, stiff as a board, in the middle of the room, while they converse with Mad-Eye and Kingsley.

He should have seen it coming. The glances, the talks together, simply the feeling (of love in the air). The fact that they were paired together so frequently. The way that he would mention her name, and she would mention his. How they knew so much about each other, more than were mentioned in passing.

(Pre-Azkaban Sirius would be shocked at himself for taking so long to make such a realization, and immediately say something about it, despite the setting, and then proceed to play matchmaker. But it doesn’t really matter what pre-Azkaban Sirius would do, because that Sirius is gone.)

As it is, he is already drawing more and more conclusions. Armed with this new knowledge, he is much more equipped to travel out into the frontier of the to-be-discovered.

And more is being uncovered.

They, sitting here in the gathering, making eyes across the table, are so like the couples that went before them.

Sirius can see it in his mind’s eye (And so can he, though she would have been too young). All of them young, fresh, and brave. All of them dead, or worse.

He, of course, had been solely devoted to the Order. (In his years in prison, he pondered this, and realized he felt guilt for the actions of the Death Eaters. His family. Bella. Cissy. Reg. And he grown up around many of the others. In those long years, he was also haunted by one question: In another world, would he, Sirius Black, bear a Dark Mark tattoo?) And then, of course, it was war. People weren’t going out as much, and he was busy. He just didn’t have time for romance. Sirius had friends, and he thought that would be enough.

And it had been, until it hadn’t.

Because now, here he was: locked up in a place of nightmares (he found old horrible relics and propaganda all the time), with two of his friends dead, the other as good as (a nasty, dirty traitor, who was allowed to roam free), and the final was falling in love, and he would be leaving Sirius.

He saw it: they were in love with each other. (They’re not together, not just yet, but soon.) They would leave him, stuck alone in his demented family’s house, with no regular company save a hypogriff and an insane house-elf.

And then he come to his second-most important realization: they would die.

It was inevitable, the casualties. People would die, Sirius knew (and had known before; though it hadn’t seemed real until Reg, all those years before.) but this he had a gut feeling, a sense of premonition. And he understood why.

They did remind him so much of Lily and James. And Frank and Alice.

And he understood it. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks would die for each other.

(He could only hope that it was only death (Poor, poor Frank and Alice — he had heard the news in Azkaban, coming in with his cousin, who he would have despised from that point on if he hadn’t already) and, though it seemed cruel of him, that they didn’t leave a young child behind. One that would never know them, that they would never know. Though, he realized, looking around, Molly had taken Harry in; she might take it in too, of course, hoping that she made it.)

He understood it. It didn’t meant he liked it.

He stands up, and leaves the room and the confused calls of the four of them behind him.

He will go to check up on Buckbeak. That always makes him feel better.