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Like a House on Fire by 800 words of heaven
Chapter 20 : Brothers
 
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Sirius' POV:-

This was strange. I, Sirius Black, was in the library. That in itself was not the strange part – I have spent many hours in the library over my years here at Hogwarts (contrary to popular belief, one is not as brilliant as I in class without putting in some time and effort into being so), but never, in all my years had I spied on my fake girlfriend and my younger brother in the library. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever spied on my fake girlfriend and my younger brother anywhere. It was a pretty strange thing to do – then again, so was my fake girlfriend talking to my younger brother.

“Hey Mills, how’ve you been?” I heard my brother ask on the other side of the bookshelf I had been innocently browsing through moments before (oh, for Merlin’s sake, you’ve caught me. I was, in fact, not innocently browsing through a bookshelf but secretly, er… observing – not stalking – Millie). No one’s allowed to call her Mills except me!

“Can’t complain,” she answered. I could imagine her shrugging her slender shoulders. I removed an abnormally large tome from in front of me, in the hopes that I might be able to see them. And I was in luck – the book on the other side had also been removed, so I had a small visual window into their conversation.

“I heard you’re dating my brother now,” he continued casually.

There was barely a hesitation in her voice now, whenever the subject was brought up. I think I was the only one who picked up on it anymore – or I’d begun to imagine it. “Yeah, I am.” She didn’t sound defensive. Why didn’t she sound defensive? Random guy comes up to you and starts having a casual conversation about your relationship status, and you just answer casually? What’s up with that? I leant in closer.

“Isn’t it a bit weird?”

“Isn’t what a bit weird?” I saw her look bewildered. Merlin, she was so cute when she looked like that…

“Dating your ex’s brother?” he teased. Wait… WHAT? SINCE WHEN HAD MILLIE GONE OUT WITH MY BROTHER? WHY HAD I NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS? WHY DIDN’T SHE TELL ME?

“Isn’t it a bit weird dating your brother’s ex?” she teased right back. They were too comfortable with each other. Why were they too comfortable with each other? If they were exes, why weren’t they more awkward? Exactly how close had they been?

“It’s difficult not to date someone he’s dated.” He leaned casually against the opposite bookshelf, hands in his pockets. My eyes narrowed. He thinks he’s so cool, trying to flirt with my girlfriend… my fake girlfriend, I mean.

She gave a faint smile. I had to work so hard for those smiles, and here he was, my idiot of a brother, getting them for free! “Fair point. But that’s not why you’re here, is it?”

His expression became serious. “No, it’s not.” Then why are you here, you jerk?

“Well, hurry up. The suspense is killing me.” Yeah, didn’t you hear the lady? You’re killing her, so go away.

“I just want you to be careful.”

“About what?” Yeah… about what?

He waved his hand vaguely. “Oh, you know… the war, my brother, your heart…”

She did that absolutely adorable lopsided grin, where only one side of her lips go up, but her eyes fill with sparkles… not that I spend any time staring at her and then analysing her every miniscule movement hours later or anything… “I know about being careful about the war and your brother really isn’t an issue.” Why am I not an issue? Is this a bad thing? Feelings were so damn difficult!

He returned her crooked grin with one of his own. Millie’s back was almost turned towards me, so I couldn’t see much of her face, but I swear I saw her eyes flick towards my brother’s lips, just for a split second, but that could only mean one thing… “My brother really isn’t an issue? Are you so in love with him that you can’t see his womanising ways?”

She sighed. “It’s not like that. He’s just… we’re just… never mind. But thank you for the concern. I didn’t know you still cared.”

He gave her a warm smile. “May I remind you Mills, that it was you who broke up with me.” That’s a good thing… right? “And in my opinion, I think we could have made it work.”

She shook her head with… was that sadness? Does she regret breaking up with my brother? Why? “Not as long as you were Slytherin Seeker and I was Gryffindor’s.” So they broke up over Quidditch? In guy world, that’s a completely legitimate excuse… but in my little (ahem) experience with the opposite sex, I don’t think that quite cuts it…

“Oh please, Mills,” he snorted. How very attractive. Just brings all the girls to the yard, doesn’t it little bro? “You and I both know that wasn’t it.”

“It doesn’t really matter now,” she replied, but she sounded so… I dunno… regretful? If my brother did anything to hurt her, I swear…

“Yeah, I suppose it doesn’t. But I should go before your crazy Quidditch captain finds you fraternizing with the enemy.” He gave another grin. Cocky bastard.

“He’s no crazier than your captain.” That’s my girl, defending her Quidditch captain!

He laughed. “I guess not, but seriously, I better leave before your boyfriend catches us. Wouldn’t want to give him the wrong ideas now, would we?” he said with a sly grin.

She whacked his arm playfully with the book she was holding, galvanising him into finally moving his arse away from her. “Play nice. I don’t want to hear any nasty stories about you getting beaten up by your brother or anything.” She’s more concerned for his safety than mine!

“What? You reckon he could take me on?” Any time, little bro, any time…

“Yes.” I was strangely pleased to hear that. A compliment from Millie White was a rare thing. Merlin, I am so whipped.

“Alright, alright. I’ll be a good little boy,” he said, walking backwards towards the main section of the library. “And you remember to be careful, yeah?”

“Yes, I’ll remember Regulus!” A surge of anger and annoyance shot through me at the sound of his name on her lips. It had taken me so long to convince her to use my first name.

With a fleeting last grin, my brother was gone.

Millie sighed and turned back to the shelf she had been looking at, wandering deeper into the shadows.

I quietly moved away from the bookshelf (after placing the book back in its rightful place, because Madam Pince is scary) and slipped away so I could think about what I had just heard.

And contemplate exactly what it meant.

For Millie.

For me.

For us.

 

~*~

Millie's POV:-


Something’s wrong. Sirius is acting weird. And when I say weird, I mean different to how he usually acts because that’s pretty weird in comparison to normal behaviour for human beings. Anyways, he’s acting weird and I don’t know why. Normally, I wouldn’t care, but he’s one of those annoying people who seem to affect the area in the near vicinity of themselves with their moods. And it’s bloody annoying. As in, messing with my creative juices annoying. I’ve been staring at a sort-of blank page on my sketchbook for the past ten minutes without anything happening, whilst Sirius the serial sulker (try saying that five times fast – OUT LOUD) sits there and sulks his sorry arse off. Stupid.

I sigh and finally give up hope on ever being able to do anything with him around in this mood. “What’s wrong?” I ask, perhaps a little too wearily to sound genuinely concerned enough.

His brooding stare flicks from the carpet (interesting pattern I’m sure) to hold my gaze. “Nothing’s wrong,” he says evenly, deciding to ignore my previous rudeness.

“Something’s bothering you, I can tell.”

“Can you now?” he asked, raising his eyebrows. No need to be so condescending and sarcastic with me, but I didn’t say this out loud – what little social aptitude I had gleaned over the course of my life was being put to the test right now.

Everyone can tell Sirius.” Yeah, you’re messing with the creative vibes and all.

He stared at me broodingly some more.

“Fine. Don’t tell me what’s wrong,” I huffed and returned to my sketchbook, deciding to ignore him and my homework for the rest of the night.

Maybe I should have thought that idea through more.

 

“Did you and Sirius get into a fight or something?” Sarah asked quietly at breakfast a couple of days later. He was still in his weird little funk.

“No,” I replied shortly, not really wanting to go into it when I was only on my second cup of tea.

“Then why – ?”

“Don’t ask me. I tried to talk to him about it the other night, but he didn’t want to, so…” I shrugged.

“So you just let it go?”

“Yeah. It’ll blow over soon.”

Hopefully.

 

I decided that if by lunchtime things weren’t magically better then I’d confront Black about his little attitude problem… only because it was still messing with my creative vibes and not because I cared or anything.

 

Things weren’t magically better, so I decided that I’d skip Potions and force Black to tell me what was going on. Don’t ask how I was planning to do it, maybe I could sit on him? But then he’s quite capable of pushing me off with ease…

“Hey Lils, cover for me if Slughorn asks where I am?” I asked. Maybe I should have asked someone who wasn’t Head Girl to cover my skiving activities, but I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with James acting immaturely. One Marauder at a time, please.

She gave me a disapproving look, but agreed to anyways.

I gave her a hug and left the Great Hall to hunt Black down.

 

“Millie, what are you doing?” he asked me. And rightly so, I’d managed to snag him somewhere on the third floor corridor as he was on the way up to get his books for afternoon classes. I’d just grabbed his wrist and pulled him into a concealed corridor that lead to an abandoned one, so no one would accidentally or otherwise find us and start asking awkward questions.

I didn’t answer him until I was sure that we were alone. Once satisfied, I turned towards him and all but yelled, “What is wrong with you?”

He looked at me in surprise. It was the first emotion I had seen on his face other than sulky in days. “What?” he spluttered.

“What is wrong with you?” I repeated, slightly calmer this time.

“What do you mean?” STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW CUTE HE LOOKS RIGHT NOW! That is so not appropriate. Ever (really trying to get over this little crush of mine, if you couldn’t tell).

“Why have you been,” I waved my hands around, to illustrate my point. When all I got was a blank look, I stopped with the hand-waving. “Why have you been sulking?”

“I haven’t been sulking!” he said, immediately acting defensively.

“Yes, you have! And it’s really starting to piss me off!”

“Piss you off? Piss you off? Why on earth would anything I ever do piss you off?” His face was all flushed with the sudden burst of anger and it triggered mine too. Sirius Black really was the only person who could get me so riled up in such a short time. Except my mother. I think my mother could do it a tiny bit faster.

Everything you do pisses me off!”

“I know! You’ve told me before!”

“Well you bloody don’t get the message do you?”

“Then why are you bothering with me?”

“Because I told you, your bloody sulking is annoying me! Or didn’t you get that part?”

“That’s what you think I am, don’t you? An idiot?”

“I don’t think that, Black. I know that.”

“Then why are you even with me?”

Because I have to be!

“No, you don’t,” he said, suddenly a lot quieter and calmer. I really don’t understand this guy’s moods. They swing faster than you can say Quidditch.

When I didn’t reply, he took this as his cue to continue talking.

“We can end this right now… if you want.” He ran a hand through his hair, so that it was even more sexily dishevelled than before. Merlin, I’m such a goner, it’s not even funny. How on earth can I break up with a guy I have a crush on? How? “I mean, isn’t that what you’ve wanted all this time?” He looked at me, waiting for me to say something.

“Sirius… I…”

“You don’t have to say anything Mills. If you and my brother want to –”

“Wait, what?” Did he just say brother?

He looked a bit uncomfortable now. “Well, I saw you two the other day… talking in the library…”

“Is this what this is all about?” I asked incredulously. “Regulus?”

“No need to sound so surprised,” he said defensively. “You didn’t think I would find out about you and him?”

No, not really. Secret relationships being secret and all. “Um…”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked, looking more than a little hurt.

“Well… I didn’t really think it was that important, to be honest.” And I still don’t think it was that important.

“Why on earth wouldn’t it be important for me to know that you dated my younger brother?”

“Because I’m not dating him anymore and I really didn’t think it would be so important to you.”

He ran another hand through his hair. If he kept doing that I’d just have to snog him, I swear. “Of course it’s important!”

“But why?”

“Because I want – no – I need to know what you ever saw in a jerk like him!”

“He really isn’t that bad,” I said, before I realised who I was talking to. Immediately, Sirius’ face closed up, his eyes went cold and he folded his arms across his chest defensively. “What I mean to say is –”

“That I just can’t compare,” he intoned dispassionately. Oh Merlin, why is he so damn insecure about all this?

“That’s right! You can’t compare! You two are completely different!”

“Well, I’d certainly hope so, considering he’s a Death Eater!”

“You don’t know that for sure,” I said frowning. For Regulus’s sake, I hoped that wasn’t true.

“Oh come on Millie! You know the type of people he hangs around! Of course he’s one of them!”

“It doesn’t really matter what he is –”

“What do you mean it doesn’t matter? Of course it matters!”

“Well, okay it does, but right now, it doesn’t matter.”

“What did you ever see in him?” I could almost hear the second part of that question: and don’t see in me. No, shut up brain! Stop trying to delude me into thinking that Sirius Black likes me in that way. Because he doesn’t. All this is just because he has insecurities concerning his brother and himself which he doesn’t want to confront and resolve. So really brain, shut up.

“Well… he was nice, I suppose. And we have a lot in common.”

He raised his eyebrows at that one.

“We both like Quidditch.” Even I know that’s not enough to form an entire relationship over, but I was kind of put on the spot a bit, so said the first thing that popped into my head. “And there were other things…” That I really didn’t want to talk about right now.

“And what about us?” he asked quietly. This was what I had been dreading.

“What about us?” I asked, stalling for time.

“What do we have in common?” We both stared at each other for a moment as I tried to think of something to say.

“I don’t know, Sirius,” I said quietly. “What do you think?”

I saw something flit through his eyes. Before I could identify what it was, another emotion solidified – resolve. Uh oh. What was he resolving himself to do? Sirius quickly strode over, closing the space between us. If that wasn’t surprising and body-paralysing enough, what he did next sure as hell was. He pinned me to the wall. Um, excuse me?

“Sirius –” I couldn’t really say much more because at that precise moment, he decides to kiss me.

 

No, no. That was right. Sirius Black is, in fact, kissing me right now. And I think I may be kissing him back. And it’s very nice. His lips really are as soft as they appear to be, but all those bathroom stories about his kissing are a lie – he’s way better at kissing than any of those girls made him out to be. And understandably so; if other girls found out he was such a good snog, they’d be lining up straight away… more than they do now, I mean. His arms wrapped tightly around my waist, pulling me close to his body. His very buff body. My arms slipped around his neck and my fingers began playing with his hair. I wonder what shampoo he uses that makes his hair so soft?

Dear Merlin, help me! I’m probably having the best snog of my life right now and I think about what shampoo he uses?

But really, it must be a good one, because his hair is –

Oh my Merlin! He’s kissing down my neck! This feels so good. A soft moan escaped my lips as his lips wandered across my skin, leaving a trail of fire in their wake. I tugged his head back up towards mine and our lips crash into each other.

When we finally pull apart, all I can manage to do is stand there and try and catch my breath, still clutching him close to me. Sirius was not much better than me. I snuck a glance at him. His lips were all swollen and his hair was even more dishevelled than before. Merlin he looked so… so…

Our eyes locked. All coherent thought (what little I had) stopped. Oh Merlin, his eyes…

Wait.

What.

Have.

I.

Just.

Done?




AN: And welcome to the end of Act I, Part 2 of 2 of Regulus. Now, now, I realise you may be disappointed with the lack of Regulus for the next set of chapters, but this is only Act I of Regulus, so there's more to come of his wonderfullness!!!

Also, on another note, what do you think NOW that they've (FINALLY) kissed? Have I satisfied that particular request? Actually, I think I did pretty good in this chapter, what with Regulus AND snogging! I should get a prize or something!

Or even better - reviews!

Lots of love

xx


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