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Falling Star by Lioness06
Chapter 7 : Removed
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5


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Chapter 6 - Removed

Sirius knew the runaway plan hinged on his acting as normal as possible the rest of the night. The actual escape would have to wait until everyone was asleep. He had said goodnight to his mother and father before his shower and he was expected to stay in his room until morning. Even though it had been a good hour since he’d seen his mother, her piercing gaze occupied his thoughts. Something or someone (his father more than likely) had stopped her from uttering a word about what was to happen tomorrow. Sirius didn’t need more than that look to understand that the punishments he’d endured from his mother throughout the years would not come close to comparing what she’d dish out to him if he failed them now.

Sirius opened his bedroom door and glanced both ways down the hallway before shutting the door firmly. He couldn’t lock it from the inside, but he had at least a few minutes of guaranteed privacy. Quickly Sirius packed the small sack he’d brought from Hogwarts, and stowed the bag under his bed.

Next he glanced inside his closet to only find two robes hanging inside; the dark green one he was to wear tomorrow and the fancier robe he’d worn to the Christmas party a few days ago. Last he’d looked, there had been at least three or four casual robes inside. Sirius almost laughed at the thought that someone had come into his room while he was showering to take them out. It was silly that they were worried he would defy them by wearing a casual robe; that defiance would be tame compared to what Sirius was about to do. He walked over to the wooden dresser, slid open the second drawer finding the trousers and white collared shirt he’d worn under his Hogwarts uniform the day he’d returned home. As he shut the drawer, he figured that would be his best option to wear during his escape.

Sirius crawled into bed only because it was expected of him. He lay still, staring straight up at his ceiling restless and anxious to leave. He wasn’t one to wait around after he’d decided something, but he knew he had to be patient. Sirius closed his eyes and the next thing he knew a snake was erupting out of the ceiling. He cried out and almost fell out of bed. He opened his eyes and for a second didn’t know what had happened. He glanced around his dark room that was very much snakeless and looked over toward his clock to see it was already three in the morning. He groaned quietly. He’d unexpectedly fallen asleep.

Sirius slipped out of bed and walked over to the dresser. He hurriedly dressed, his fingers fumbling with the buttons on his shirt. He retrieved his bag from under his bed and then paused a moment to look around his room, his eyes straining to see anything in the darkness. He’d done his best last summer to Gryffindor-ize his bedroom. There was red and gold all over the walls. He’d also pasted Muggle magazine clippings of models and motorcycles to further infuriate his mother. Rather than to make him feel more at home his choice of decoration had been to illustrate his differences from his family, so he felt little nostalgia. The room may have been his refuge, but it didn’t hold too many fond memories.

Sirius sighed and turned to the door. He opened it slowly and crept down the hall. The floors creaked a bit, but not obnoxiously and not any louder than the usual sounds of an old house. Sirius took the stairs swiftly. He paused midway listening anxiously, but did not hear even the slightest rustle. He stopped by the hall closet that held their winter cloaks. If the chilliness of the house was any indication of the temperature outside, he’d freeze out there without another layer.

Sirius moved his right hand to touch the door knob…and he was thrown into the air, straight into one of corner tables, banging his head and just missing one of the sharp corners. His heart thumped loudly inside of his chest…there was no way that hadn’t awoken someone…he sat there frozen in fear...waiting to be found…waiting for his mother’s wrath. As his breathing went slowly back to normal the house stayed eerily silent, and it was only then he noticed the burning sensation in his hand. He turned it over to see a circular mark in the exact shape of the door knob. 

Sirius pushed himself to his feet. If the closet was jinxed what was the chance the front door wasn’t? He’d been able to open up his bedroom window earlier, but without a wand there was no way he could safely use that as his escape. Sirius looked around suddenly lost. His plan of escape was already dead in the water, and knowing he might freeze outside even if he escaped didn’t exactly give him hope that he’d be successful. If only he had his wand… but that was locked in his father’s study. He knew Regulus slept with his wand under his pillow, so stealing that was out of the question.

He nearly gave up when an idea popped into his head. He moved forward toward the kitchen leaving his bag on the floor. There was the possibility something there could be used, Muggle-style, to help him find a way out of the house.  To get to the kitchen, he had to pass his father’s study and Sirius reasoned checking to be sure it was locked was at least worth the few seconds it would waste. Creeping down the hall past the painted portraits of his ancestors, Sirius halted in front of the study and reached for the door. He braced himself to be vaulted into the air again only to find the door to simply…swing open.

Peering into the darkness, he was in for another shock. Sirius froze. His stomach dropped.

 “F-F-Father?”

 “I had hoped to be wrong about you, son. I really did.” Two lamps flickered on as his father spoke, filling the room with an eerie glow.

“Sir – I- sir- I just-“ Sirius stumbled over his words.

“You came for this, did you not?” His father held out his wand. When Sirius just stood gaping, Mr. Black waved him closer. “Well. Take it.”

Sirius stepped forward, unsure if this was some trick. Once the wand was in his hand he quickly stepped back. He winced as the wood rubbed against the burns on his hand. Hoping his father would take no notice, he transferred the wand over to his left hand.

“Going somewhere?” Mr. Black asked standing up and turning to stare out his window.

Sirius straightened up. His mind was still trying to wrap itself around the situation he’d fallen into. “I can’t do it, sir. I can’t.”

“I suspected you would have cold feet. It is why I waited up. It is why I didn’t lock you in your room as your mother suggested.” Mr. Black turned back to his son. Father and son looked at each other; their eyes were a very similar shade. “I won’t force you to join.”

“You won’t?” Sirius croaked. Was there a slither of decency in his father after all?

“You are no longer a child. I will no longer treat you as one. I will no longer impose my will on you. It is your decision to make.”

“And if my decision is to-“ Sirius began, his voice surprisingly steady given the circumstances.

“Abandon the family? Leave?” Mr. Black cut in.

“No,” Sirius said. “Not go with Lucius.”

“One and the same.” Mr. Black folded his hands. “An adult should only make a decision after knowing all the consequences.” Mr. Black paused to stare down at Sirius and lowered his voice slightly. “Do you?”

“I think I do,” Sirius said unsurely.

Mr. Black laughed, but there was no humor to the sound. “Think? Think! You should know! You should be sure!” Mr. Black walked around his desk to stand in front of it. “I am gracious enough to give you one last chance, do not take this opportunity lightly. Think it through, but know what you want. Running away from your responsibilities is not a very Gryffindor thing to do, so maybe there is hope for you yet.

Sirius watched his father, tense with his wand clenched in his hand, ready to defend himself.

“Now understand this: I refuse to cloth, feed, or house someone who is no longer loyal to the family, even if that individual is my own flesh and blood-“

“What is the meaning of this?!” Sirius turned to see his mother in her dressing gown looking livid. Kreacher was beside her. Sirius had a feeling his crash into the corner table had woken up the house-elf, and Kreacher had thought to wake his mother. “I told you we should lock him in. Drug him if we have to!”

“Go back to bed, dear. I am handling this.”

“You call this handling it? He’s about to runaway! And you’ve given him back his wand.” She gestured violently toward Sirius.

Mr. Black moved back behind his desk. He looked annoyed by his wife’s presence. “Yes, I have and for good reason. Our son has caused this family enough scandal. Frankly I am sick of it. I will not allow him to bring further shame to this family only to have him come crawling back to us in a few days. There will be no second chances. Sirius, will be given an ultimatum and then he will chose his path. Now, if you would be so kind to let me continue?”

Mrs. Black face turned uglier. “This is not the way things are done! Children are not given such decisions!”

“Ah! But Sirius is no longer a child. If he was, the Dark Lord would not take him into his service. It is time we stop treating him like one.”

“This better not backfire, Orion.”

Mr. Black ignored his wife’s last comment. He did not continue immediately and Sirius shifted one foot to another as his father considered him. “Sirius, there are two paths before you. One is with your family, with your blood-line. A path where you are loyal to the family, proudly do your duty, and thank Lucius profusely for his help in getting you in the Dark Lord’s good graces. The other path is bleak... a life without family and honor, in the gutters with the other filthy blood-traitors. Disowned, homeless, penniless…worthless.” There was strong stress on the last word.

The words hit Sirius hard. He didn’t know what he’d been hoping for, but this would not be a clean break from his family. They’d be estranged. He’d be alone. There would be no turning back the clock if he changed his mind. Sirius had imagined running away countless of times…usually telling them exactly what he thought of their horrid family and cursing them all into oblivion. Instead he no longer felt so confident about his decision. It took all his inner strength to hide the fact he was visibly shaken by the turn of events.

“This is nonsense!” Mrs. Black exclaimed.

“No it is not. If Sirius is not willing to do his duty then it is time to cut the ties. Clearly time will not change the boy’s mind. If Potter abandoning Sirius will not do it either, then there is no reason to expenditure more energy on him. It is time for Regulus to take his place. This family needs to continue advancing. Our sons are the only ones who will continue to carry on the family name. There is no one else.”

Mrs. Black looked thunderous, but she did not argue. She threw her eldest the most venomous of looks. Sirius stepped back as if actually struck.

“What will be your path?” Mr. Black questioned.

Sirius looked from one parent to the other and back again. Kreacher was glaring at him at his mother’s side. The house elf would love for Regulus to be heir; he basically already treated him as such. Sirius couldn’t find his voice to speak. His eyes traveled around his father’s office; Black family history littered the space.  There was a beautifully embroidered Black family crest hanging on the wall; it had been a wedding gift given to Sirius’s great grandparents many years ago.  Silver goblets dating back to beginning of the century lined one of the bookshelves. Then there was the elaborately carved desk his father sat behind that would never rot because it had been treated with a potion by one of his ancestors. And lastly his eyes fell on a silver framed photograph of Regulus and him, 9 and 11 respectively. It was taken around the time Sirius had received his Hogwarts letter. They were smiling and looked like proper brothers.

“I’d like to get some sleep tonight,” Mr. Black said dryly. Sirius’s eyes locked back on his father. Mrs. Black made noise of disapproval; she didn’t think it would be wise to rush their son’s decision. “What have you decided?”

Sirius felt un-footed and uneasy.

His decision to leave had been an act of survival. It was the safest way to get out of the terrible situation he’d been thrown into. He hadn’t expected a confrontation tonight. He hadn’t expected to have the consequences laid out neatly in front of him. He had wanted time to regroup. He had wanted for just time to pass before facing his family head on like this.

Sirius took one last look at the picture; thought one last time about the boy he’d been at that time. Even at that age he had never been as obedient as his parent’s had liked. He was always disciplined more than his brother, but back then his parents had chalked it up to misplaced enthusiasm.  His sorting into Gryffindor had changed that. He became a ‘disappointment’ in their eyes…that had not changed and his stomach flipped in the realization that they had never forgiven him for it.

That thought reminded him of the reason he was here in the first place. The cold hard facts about what would happen to him if he didn’t leave. It reminded him of the sort of life his parents wanted for him.

His uneasiness turned to coldness. The coldness strengthened his resolve.

“I’m leaving,” Sirius stated softly.  There was an unnerving silence, as the words hung in the room. “I’m leaving,” Sirius repeated, this time his voice louder and sure.

 “So be it,” Orion said and there was a fleeting of hurt in his eyes.

Sirius pocketed his wand. He turned to pass his mother and she grabbed his arm tight enough to cause pain. “It will be pleasure blasting you off the family tapestry!” Sirius tried to push away from her, but Mrs. Black would not let go. “Why wait? Let’s get that messy business done with now.” She pulled a struggling Sirius out into the hallway.

“Walburga…” Mr. Black called out warningly suddenly worried for his son’s – no the boy’s - safety. The whole point of giving Sirius a choice like this was so they could play up the fact he’d abandoned them. Sending Sirius off injured and banged up would only put people on the boy’s side.

Mrs. Black ignored her husband as she pushed Sirius along the hallway toward the room that held the Family Tapestry. The sight of her other son stopped her suddenly in her tracks, though her grip stayed firm on Sirius’s upper arm.

Regulus stood in front of them looking dumbfounded. “What’s going on?” Regulus was still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, and had no idea the seriousness of the situation.

 “Your brother is a coward,” his mother bellowed. Sirius cringed slightly at her loud tone. “Skirting his duties.” She squeezed Sirius’s arm painfully. “Running away!” She shoved Sirius against hallway wall and with a contemptuous glare let go. 

“You’re running away?” Regulus asked his eyes widening as he took in the scene in front of him. The rage in his mother’s eyes, his father’s silent presence in the background, and that defiant glint in Sirius’s eyes.

 “If you call it that,” Sirius said. It was a combination of running away and being kicked out, but now was not the time to point it out. Regulus didn’t seem capable of speech.

Sirius backed away from his mother and father, closer to Regulus. He clutched his wand back in his right hand, ignoring the pain of the burn. Until he was safely out of the house he was not going to put that away again. Sirius turned his back on his family and swiftly walked back to the closet. He swept up the bag.

Regulus and his parents had followed him. Regulus called out. “Sirius…wait…”

Sirius paused to look at his brother. Regulus looked upset. It was too late to wish that things were different. His only hope was that his brother could withstand the pressures of being the new Black heir.

“Sirius,” Regulus repeated; there was sadness in his tone. Sirius waited for Regulus to say something more. The words did not come. The silence was as good as acceptance of the situation in Sirius’s eyes. He berated himself for even thinking for a brief second that Regulus would try to persuade him to stay.

Instead Regulus turned to their father, and Mr. Black stepped up beside him. He put his hand on Regulus’s shoulder, his eyes on Sirius. “Take your winter cloak,” he commanded. Sirius was surprised by the gesture. If he froze to death overnight surely it would make things simpler for the Blacks. For Orion it was again for the sake of appearances. He didn’t want Sirius spreading around that they had not let him retrieve proper clothing in the dead of winter before kicking him out.  “You’re dressed like a common Muggle…at least have pride in being a wizard even if you have none for your bloodline.”

The comment erased any positive thoughts he’d momentarily had about his father. Sirius’s voice hardened as he stated, “I’d get it if I could.”

Mr. Black waved his wand and muttered under his breath for a good thirty seconds undoing all the jinxes. Sirius retrieved the cloak and clasped it over himself. It was handsome cloak, navy blue and made with the warmest of wool. Mrs. Black’s fierce gaze went straight to the Black family crest prominently displayed on the upper left side of the cloak. Sirius didn’t notice, nor had he realized that during the interaction with his father that his mother had placed herself directly in front of the door.

Sirius who had planned to make a beeline for the door, hesitated. He looked to his father for help, expecting him to order his wife out of the way. Mr. Black looking resigned did no such thing. 

Sirius gathered his courage and plodded towards his mother anyway. He didn’t raise his wand, but clenched it, ready to fire a spell at any moment. Right on top of her, he waited for her to yell a few curses (non magical) at him and then move out of the way.

There was a dangerous look in Mrs. Black eyes and stepping forward, she hissed loudly, “How dare you!” Instead of steady stream of obscenities a spell flew from her wand. Sirius recoiled and only heard a strange ripping noise. Shocked to find himself in no pain, he looked down to see the Black crest had been torn off. It lay in tatters on the floor.

Giving Sirius no time to recover she grabbed at hold of his wrist, twisting it so his wand clattered to the floor. She pointed tip of her wand only a centimeter from his hand making a slashing gesture. The pain was sudden and sharp; the hex had sliced open his hand, cutting into some of the blisters that had formed from the burn. Blood begin flowing out, bright red, dripping onto the floor. Sirius clenched his hand in pain. Mrs. Black forced his hand open lifting it closer to Sirius’s face.

“See this, Sirius. Purest of blood flows in your veins and you care not! You do not deserve a drop of this blood – I would bleed it out of you if I could-” Mrs. Black cocked her wand as if to use the Slicing hex again.

“Walburga – that is enough,” Mr. Black said forcefully.

“Do not worry husband,” Mrs. Black said with a callous laugh. “The cut will heal…unlike our family.” Mrs. Black abruptly let go of her son and then her back stiff and head held high, she stalked away.

Breathing heavily, Sirius inspected his hand to see it was still bleeding heavily. Some of the blisters from the burn were oozing as well. He looked up to see his father and brother still side by side staring at him.

“Go to bed, Regulus,” Mr. Black ordered.

Regulus did not protest, scurrying up the stairs. Mr. Black continued to stare at Sirius, disdain marred his face.  Mr. Black shook his head slowly and the last bit of emotion in his face disappeared, his eyes now void of emotion. With not another word to his eldest, he left Sirius alone at the foyer. Not bothering to process what had just happened, Sirius crouched down for his wand. As he stood up he felt momentarily dizzy and almost knocked into the serpent vase beside the door. Beneath the vase he spotted a white dresser scarf. He grabbed it and wrapped it haphazardly around his hand a few times. Using his other hand he turned the knob, using his body to push open the heavy oak door and stumbled out. He clicked the door behind him and walked swiftly away from Grimmauld Place.

With a good block and a half distance away Sirius turned to view his house. He was free of them! Really free. He wanted to shout it out loud; he felt giddy. He almost did until he looked into the dark bleak night and realized he had nowhere to go. He was homeless, disowned, banished…this was no time to celebrate…a blood traitor. Though it was the worst thing a Black could be called, blood-traitor was the one label he was proud to carry.

His hand throbbed and he could see the blood had started soaking through the cloth already. Sirius ignored it; his mother had stated it would heal so it wasn’t high on his list of priorities. The constant mist had already chilled Sirius to the bone and when the rain started up again, he knew sooner than later he needed to find shelter.

Further down a few streets a Muggle police cruiser stopped to make sure he was ok. He must have been quite a sight with his cloak on. It was dark and raining so it was hard to for the policeman to make him out, so Sirius hoped he didn’t look too odd. When the policeman insisted he take him to the station to call his parents, Sirius made a dash for it. He might have his wand back, but he was underage. He had no wish to be called in for a hearing because of underage magic. He eventually averted the Muggle police but not before jumping over one fence, squeezing through another that had two broken wooden planks, and scraping both his knees on concrete steps.

The police had chased him near a playground and Sirius took a seat on a bench to catch his breath. The rain at this point turned to a downpour and Sirius’s cloak and clothes underneath were soaked through in a few minutes. He shivered involuntarily and his hand gave a twinge as to remind him that it needed to be looked at properly.

Knowing he had to make a decision about where to go, Sirius called the Knight bus. The bus was nearly empty, and he debated about whether to give them Andromeda’s address. Andromeda’s letter surfaced to his mind; the one that had stated she would not take him in if he ran away, fearing for her child’s safety above all. She had barely escaped the Black family wrath herself a few years ago. The bus driver was not patient, so in a rush Sirius blurted out, “The Potter’s residence.”

As the bus took off, Sirius sat down carefully. The pain in his hand seemed to be increasing instead of decreasing and he shivered rather violently. He declined the hot chocolate that was offered; he did not have much coin on him and it would be embarrassing not to have enough for the trip. Sirius closed his eyes and before he knew it the bus driver was kicking him awake and demanding fare. He noted that he was rather sweaty and despite how wet he was, his skin was very warm to the touch. He dug into his pockets and by the driver’s grin he knew he overpaid, but he did not care.

The rain was now pelting down as Sirius approached the Potter mansion. Staring at the familiar house where he’d always been welcome, Sirius faltered. He should have not come here. James was no longer his friend. He’d used up the bit of coin he had in his pockets and he was in no state to walk to Andromeda’s. Remembering the wooden gazebo the Potters had in the back, Sirius made a decision. It would give him shelter; he could rest, and head out to Andromeda’s in the morning. Even if she would not take him in permanently, he believed at the least she’d give him extra clothes, something to eat and a few galleons.

***

James awoke from a restless night of sleep. He’d given up on actually enjoying the Holiday break. Guilt was eating at him. He felt guilty about his treatment of Sirius and then guilty about the guilt on behalf of Remus. He had every right to be furious with Sirius. He had every right to ignore him. James did regret telling his friend he thought he was as awful as his family, but it had been in the heat of the moment and an insult he knew Sirius would be unable to brush away.

James had seen firsthand at King’s Cross the resignation on Sirius’s face when his mother had picked him up. For the thousandths time he wished he had spoken up in Dumbledore’s office or at least gone later to speak to the Headmaster. He alone really knew what Sirius faced at home. He also knew Sirius would be too proud to admit it to Dumbledore. Another conundrum was Sirius keeping mum about the meeting Keenan had set up with Mrs. Black that had transpired minutes before the incident with Snape. It would have explained Sirius’s mindset, which Dumbledore might have taken into consideration. Maybe Dumbledore had…if Keenan had not kept quiet about it.

To get his mind off his two friends he tried picturing Lily Evans…her flawless skin, bright green eyes, and flame-red hair. He closed his eyes hoping to dream about her and then sighed in annoyance a few seconds later. It was early in the morning, but sleep would not come. He threw his blue comforter off in frustration. James slid his feet into his fluffy red slippers. If he was awake, he might as well get on with the day.

He clamored down to the kitchen and was surprised to find his parents not only up, but whispering conspiratorially.

“James, please sit, dear. We need to talk,” Mrs. Potter said gently, patting a seat beside her. She had warm blue eyes and a welcoming look to her.

James’s stomach lurched. Someone had died; he was sure of it.

“Sirius… turned up this morning,” Mr. Potter began. His eyes were hazel like James and though he still had a full head of hair it had long since lost its dark color.

“Sirius?”

Mr. Potter nodded gravely. “I found him out in the gazebo. He’s running a high fever. His right hand is burned and there’s a horrible gash. It was raining last night so his clothes were soaked…looks like he’d been out there a few hours.”

James was unable to speak. His heart thumped loudly.

“He’s resting upstairs at the moment,” Mrs. Potter added. She looked at James expectantly.  

“Are you going to send him to Saint Mungos?”

“Why would we do that?” Mrs. Potter asked sharply. James had told his parents the bare minimum about his falling out with Sirius. He would have preferred not to tell them at all, but he didn’t have a choice when they began questioning when Sirius was visiting during the holidays as he had done the past two years. Mr. Potter had taken the information in stride, but James’s mother had been fishing for details since James had first spoken about it.

 “You said he was sick. Last time I checked you two aren’t medi-wizards,” James mumbled.

“I’ve tended a sick child or two in my day. He had his school bag with him. If his family is responsible for the injury to his hand then I don’t want them to know where he is. Nor will I send him to a hospital that will give them access to him.”

“Maybe he cut it on a rock.”

“That cut was caused by magic…I can’t tell yet what kind, but knowing the Blacks…Anyway when Sirius is awake, you can ask him yourself,” Mrs. Potter replied.

“I don’t think I’ll have time. I’ve got plans,” James stated. He scraped the chair along the wooden floor, standing up. He put two slices of toast in the toaster and smothered them with strawberry jam. He kept his back to his parents who he could hear conferring softly. James poured himself a cup of tea and sat back down to enjoy his breakfast. The Potter’s had a house-elf, but unless it was Sunday breakfast, James was expected to fix it himself.

As James sat down to eat, Mrs. Potter left the table, busying herself with fetching more tea. Mrs. Potter poured herself and Mr. Potter another cup of tea before asking the next thing on her mind. “Are you not going to see Sirius at all?”

“I said I’m busy,” James said defensively as Mrs. Potter sat back down. He’d already devoured the first slice and was now eating the second.

“Then after your plans,” Mrs. Potter insisted, glancing at her husband for aid.

James glared. “We aren’t on speaking terms, ok?” Before today James had let his parents believe his spat with Sirius was minor. He hoped they’d get the hint now that it was more than that and not bother him about it. “I don’t even want him here!”

Mrs. Potter raised her eyebrows and sternly stated, “This is my house. Sirius is welcome to stay here until he needs. I thought I raised you better than this.”

“That doesn’t mean I have to talk to him,” James countered. He crossed his arms. “He’s your guest then.”

Mrs. Potter looked pointedly at her husband. Mr. Potter took a long sip of the strong tea before casually asking, “James, you said you weren’t on speaking terms?”

James rolled his eyes. He knew his parents meant the best, but they could be infuriating. “That’s what I said.”

“And Sirius knows how angry you still are at him?”

James hesitated. “Yes…he knows. So?”

“Yet he still came here knowing you wouldn’t speak to him and how furious you still were…”

James shrugged.

“That suggests to me Sirius was desperate. He really had nowhere else to go. Something happened to him and whatever it is…he’s going to need a friend.”

James shifted uncomfortably in his seat. His father spoke the truth. It was an act of desperation on Sirius’s part to show up here. Nothing James had said nor his behavior had indicated he had been close to forgiving Sirius. What in Merlin’s beard had happened in the few days Sirius had been home?

“I’m going out for a fly,” he said rising to clear his plate. The fresh air would clear his mind.

“In this weather? You’ll catch your death,” Mrs. Potter said.

“I’ll be fine, Mum. We practice Quidditch in this weather all the time. Please? I’ll dress warm.” James looked over at his father. He understood the thrill of flying and Quidditch more than his mother.

“Can you wait until it gets a little warmer? Perhaps after lunch…”

“I can do a Warming charm on my clothes,” James suggested.

“You are underage,” Mrs. Potter reminded him.

James huffed. His parents usually allowed him to perform simple spells outside of Hogwarts even if technically it wasn’t allowed, but he didn’t press the matter. He looked moodily at his empty cup of tea. Now what was he supposed to do with his morning.

“All right…a half an hour,” Mrs. Potter relented. “Ask your father to do the Warming charm. You can go out longer later in the afternoon.”

James grinned. “Thank you!” he said jumping to his feet his energy renewed.

Mrs. Potter sighed softly looking fondly at her only child. “Fly carefully…I worry about all those flips and dives you like doing. Please don’t do them when you are out there alone.”

James smiled innocently. “I won’t,” he lied. Mr. Potter sent his son a cheerful wink. He was well aware that flying for teenage boys was all about tricks and stunts; the more dangerous the better.

 Thinking James might now be more agreeable since he had gotten his way; Mrs. Potter interjected casually, “And Sirius might be awake when you come back. I hope you change your mind and speak to him.”

James looked at his father exasperatedly and when Mr. Potter gave him an encouraging nod, James muttered, “I’ll think about it, Mum. Ok?” Before he could blink Mrs. Potter engulfed James in a hug, wrapping her arms around him tightly.

 “Mum…” he groaned good-naturedly, pushing her away.

“Off you go,” she said now smiling. James hurried out the kitchen anxious to get in the air. He could hear his mother calling out after him. “Remember, half an hour!”

James climbed the steps to his room passing the guest bedroom that usually Sirius used. He paused before it. Though he’d said he’d think about speaking to Sirius to placate his mother, he knew it was going to very difficult to avoid Sirius if he was to stay until school started up again. James sighed; he’d worry about that after flying.

***

Author’s note: I had a few different versions of Sirius running away. I debated between a range of possibilities all the way from Sirius sneaking out without any confrontation with his family to the opposite where they have a full on duel where Sirius is seriously injured. Anyway I’m happiest with the version I published and I hope I did it justice.

So how did you like it? Leave a review to let me know.


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