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Chapter One

The Hogwarts Express pulled into the station with a gentle series of clangs. The red engine gleamed under the bright sun of the summer afternoon. Anxious parents of first years crowded the doors and craned their necks. A tall boy in jeans and a short pink shirt was the first to descend the steps, tugging the hem of his shirt down as he scowled at his mother. “Mum! Why did you pack this for me?”

“Oh, sorry dear,” she said and with a wave of her wand the shirt doubled in length as it turned a more appropriate brown.

More and more children poured out onto the platform. Some tearfully reunited with their families while others chattered animatedly about recent exams and upcoming summer plans. A young girl with curly black hair tripped over her own foot, dropping the owl cage in her arms. The door popped open and the owl excitedly zoomed off into the air, ignoring her dismayed cries.

Time passed and the crowd thinned. A group of four young men stepped out just as the train began to depart from the station, stumbling a little as they landed on the concrete, laughing. “Peter!” A short pudgy man barreled down on the group, anger flashing in his eyes. He quite forcibly dragged his son away from his friends. Peter cast a wordless look of goodbye at them and then turned to his dad to begin spouting excuses about the delay.

“James, have I ever told you how much I appreciate you dropping me off?” Sirius asked, watching their friend go with a shake of his head.

“Mate, your dad would never do that to you,” James said. 

“True,” Sirius said. “He’d have to care enough to get mad.” Sirius stretched his arms over his head, a self-deprecating grin on his face. “Well, let’s get on with it. You ready, Remus?” Remus nodded as he zipped up a small pocket on his suitcase, now containing a prefect badge. He ran his hands over his frayed jeans before falling into step with his friends. Talking, they leaned casually through the brick barrier of Platform 9 ¾.

As they merged into the crowd of Muggles, Remus looked over at his friends. “I’ll write you both when I’m home,” he said and his eyes went to the sky. “I’m really going to miss you guys. This past year during, well, you know, was the best year of my life.” 

“Don’t get girly on us,” James said brightly. “You know we’ll be there for full moons. Right, Black?”

“Right on, Potter,” Sirius said and clapped a hand to Remus’s shoulder. “Take care, Remus.”

“He always does,” James said, elbowing Sirius out of the way to shake Remus’s hand. “Have a good summer, mate.” With a few more words of farewell, Remus turned away and began the walk to the nearest bus stop. James watched him go and then put a hand to his forehead, shielding the sun as he scanned the road for the taxi his parents had said would be waiting.

“Why is it this sunny? Someone forgot we’re in Britain, eh?” James complained as they began to walk up and down the pick-up lane. 

“Hey, enjoy it,” Sirius said. “It’s probably the only sunny day we’ll get until July.”

“I hope so,” James said. “I hate the sun. Ah! There it is.” The teens hoisted their luggage back into their arms and made their way over to the idling car. “How great would it be to use magic right now?” James asked as they struggled under the weight of their trunks.

“Maybe you just need to work out more,” Sirius said, ignoring the drops of sweat beading on his hairline. “You’re stuck thinking sitting on a broom is exercise, you’ve gotten weak.”

“Okay,” James said, panting slightly, “let’s arm wrestle as soon as we get in the car.”

“No, arm wrestle now, trunks and all,” Sirius said, quite seriously, and James began to laugh.

“Stop, dammit, I’m going to drop this on my toe.” They bickered their way into the back seat, James gave the driver Sirius’s neighbor’s address, and the arm wrestling commenced. By the time they pulled up to Number 11 Grimmauld Place, Sirius had soundly beaten James in arm wrestling three times. Unfortunately, James liked to take revenge in the form of a game of Mercy, which Sirius lost quite quickly.

“My tolerance for pain is low,” he said as he slid out of the car.
“Well, good luck this summer, then,” James said with a grin. Sirius enthusiastically flipped James off with both hands. “I’ll floo call you tomorrow night. Talk to your parents about you staying for my dad’s work holiday, yeah?”

“Of course,” Sirius said. He pulled his trunk out and let it fall to the ground with a thump. “Bye James,” he added with another one finger salute for good measure.

“You love me,” James said and shut the car door. The taxi drove away and Sirius felt the smile slide off his face. He’d done his best to put up a good front for James, he always did, but as he turned to face his unplottable home, a heavy pit settled in his stomach.

“This is the last time,” he whispered to himself, heaving the trunk off the ground. “Three months and you’ll be free of them forever.” At the door, he pulled out his wand to perform the necessary spells to enter, and then shouldered into his personal hell.

Sirius paused in the entrance hall and listened to the depressing sounds of the Black house. Soft music drifted down the stairs, undoubtedly from his brother Regulus, who always Side-Apparated here with another Slytherin’s parents. Slithery sounds came from the kitchen. Undoubtedly Sirius’s parents were hosting whoever had brought Regulus home this time. He briefly debated breaking the cultured silence by dropping his luggage or knocking over a vase but in the end he opted for a quiet retreat. He cast a Featherlight charm and Levitated his trunk as he slowly climbed the stairs, avoiding any creaky step with purpose.

Sirius opened the door to his room and grinned at the sight. His pictures and posters were still firmly attached to the wall, although the singe marks around several of them left evidence of his mum’s desperate attempts to remove them. He left his things on his bed and walked around, admiring the images he hadn’t seen in almost a year. He stopped to watch picture-versions of him and his friends. One picture showed fifth-year James holding up the Cup-winning snitch triumphantly and cheering. He wished with pathetic ferocity that he could be back at Hogwarts.

Sirius turned away from the pictures and returned to his door. He double-checked that he had locked it and cast a strong locking charm on it for good measure. He threw himself across his bed to easily rummage underneath it, hands running over cardboard and metal boxes alike. After a few moments of groping, he found the box he’d been looking for. He sat up with it and put it in his lap with a guilty look toward the door. He could still hear Regulus practicing and his parents chatting so he figured he was safe. With a steadying breath, he pulled the lid off the box and dumped the contents across his cover.

Muggle and Wizarding images alike flashed before him. A man flexed his muscles, grinned, and turned his head to kiss both biceps. Two men ran their hands up each other’s naked bodies as they kissed. Sirius reached out and picked up his favorite shot. It was a simple one, Muggle, of a man in leather assless chaps. The man had his back to the camera as he leaned against a motorcycle but his head was turned back, a mischievous smile permanently poised on his face. Sirius ran a trembling finger over the man’s curly hair, the bright brown eyes, and then with abrupt violence gathered all of his materials and shoved them back in the box. His heart pounded as he shoved the box back under his bed. He settled down in his bed and stared at his erection as it bobbed occasionally and rather helplessly.

“I’m not going to do it,” he whispered to his own prick. It throbbed against his jeans in response. His mind travelled unwillingly back to the picture of the man that combined two of his biggest fetishes: motorcycles and looking like James. “Fuck,” he swore and reached down to undo his pants.