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 Afternoon Tea *Sirius*

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Harry Potter
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PostSubject: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:45 am

Harry sat inside his godfather's office, ready for their afternoon tea together. It had become a new tradition for this school year, and Harry couldn't be happier. This summer had been very interesting, to say the least. But he was overjoyed at not having to move back in with the Dursleys. Number Twelve Grimmauld Place was not the coziest of places to dwell, but it was Harry's heaven. Sirius was there, and to Harry, no place in the world could be better.

He looked to the clock on the wall. He had already been here for fifteen minutes, where WAS that old man? Probably caught up with some crazy gaggle of girls, throwing themselves at his feet. Ugh, it made Harry want to sick up at the amount of fluff they threw in his direction. Some people, he knew, had still not gotten over his godfather's many years in Azkaban. And it was their loss if they treated him like a leper. But for some reason, the teenage girl population at Hogwarts seemed to forget he was recently on every wanted poster along Diagon Alley. Harry supposed it was better than them accusing him of a murder he had not committed.

Harry was so bored, he walked around the desk and began fumbling with gadgets and notecards and the like. He didn't open any drawers or anything, but he also wasn't overly concerned about whether or not he was respecting Sirus's privacy. That was, until he heard footsteps entering the office. He looked up and smiled a cheeky grin.

“All in working order for you. I just wanted to make sure.”

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:07 pm

"But Professor Black, I don't understand." The girl let out a small giggle and Sirius worked to keep his face straight. What was there to misunderstand? At the O.W.L. level, there was very little in Astronomy that was complicated. It was mostly rote memorization, really. Sirius had been worried about students being bored in his class. He'd never worried about them being lost. Of course, he had his suspicions that this girl wasn't as lost as she was letting on.

"They're not perfect pictures. More like suggestions. Ursa Major doesn't look exactly like a bear; it only suggests a bear." He pointed to a nearby star chart. "You see the big dipper?"

Sirius nearly wanted to cheer when she nodded. It was the first time all day he'd been able to get her to admit she actually knew something. Sirius had never had much patience with girls who pretended to be stupid, as though that would somehow impress him. He always preferred the ones who were brilliant and knew it.

"Well, the tail of the big dipper is the tail of the bear. Do you see?"

The student bit her lip, shaking her head slowly as she looked up at Sirius through ludicrously thick eyelashes. The results of a potion, no doubt. Sirius wasn't entirely sure how she was managing to hold her eyes open. Girls had always been strange, and this side of Azkaban they only seemed stranger.

Sirius pulled his pocket watch out of his robes. He was late for his tea with Harry. "I'm afraid I have an appointment. If you still wish to discuss this, you may come and visit me during my office hours."

"But wait! I don't understand comets, either. How do we know that Halley's comet is going to come back in 2061?"

"The same way we know what time the sun will rise tomorrow. It follows a regular and predictable pattern."

"But how do we know?"

"Office hours, my dear."

The girl pouted for a moment, but Sirius merely repeated his dismissal, and she left dejectedly. Sirius didn't even take a moment to gather his notes from his desk. Instead, he rushed off to meet his godson, thankful that his office was close.

The moment he stepped through his office door, he saw Harry and smiled. For a moment, he could have sworn it was James standing there, rifling through his desk. Sirius cleared his throat loudly, and Harry looked up. He looked shocked only for a moment before pasting on the exact same cheeky grin James had always given when he was caught doing something he shouldn't have been. Still, Sirius thought he saw a touch of anxiety behind Harry's eyes that James' had never had.

Sirius nodded, smiling at Harry's comment. "Good to know. I take it you didn't find my secret battle plans to take over the world, then? It'll be brilliant! I'm going to launch my attacks from Antarctica. No one will ever see it coming."


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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:14 pm

Harry chuckled and sat down in his godfather's chair. Sirius always put him in a good mood, no matter what was happening at that moment. And all in all, things were good right now for Harry. He was a little nervous about what he had come to talk about. He now had a girlfriend. He knew that fact in general would not be a big deal. But the girl he was dating was Snape's daughter. And he knew of the hatred that existed between his godfather and the current headmaster. Let's just say it wasn't a pretty sight.

He smiled at what Sirius had said and he feigned looking for the plans.

"Damn, I must have missed them! Well that's alright...it's no longer a secret anymore, is it? Now you'll have to bring me into your plans."

But then his face sobered a bit when he pictured Serenity's face once more and he had to attempt to hide the change before he gave himself away like a book. He wanted to tell Sirius everything, but there was a part of him that shuddered at the very thought. If he didn't approve of the match, Harry would be caught between the two of them. And he knew he couldn't just give up on his feelings for Sere. But he also did not want to dissapoint Sirius in any way. He looked up into the darkened eyes of his godfather and released a nervous breath.

"Sirius...I actually have something I need to talk to you about, if you wouldn't mind giving me some advice. You see...there's this girl," he blushed.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:00 pm

The corners of Sirius' mouth turned down as he suppressed a smile. From the moment Harry was born, he had envisioned this day. He'd always known that Harry would come to him over his dad for advice about the important things. The things James Potter didn't know about women could have filled a book. Sometimes Sirius still wondered how he managed to woo Lily.

Sirius had envisioned a lot of things for his life with baby Harry. And very few of them had happened. He'd fantasized about buying Harry his first real broomstick, long before Lily and James would have thought him ready for such a thing. He imagined sneaking him sweets before dinner and spending weekends teaching him how to outsmart his dad. He'd dreamed of whisking him off to Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley to spend obscene amounts of money on him and returning him to Godric's Hollow full of so much sugar he'd puke and carting so many toys he wouldn't have space for them all. None of those things would happen now, he knew. So many opportunities lost.

But a few of the things he'd imagined could still happen. He could still be the one to buy Harry his first shot of firewhiskey when he turned seventeen. Of course, the way he'd originally envisioned it, Harry wouldn't have been seventeen just yet. Now that Sirius was the one in charge, things like legal drinking ages began to seem more important. Strange how quickly a little responsibility could sober a person up. Stranger still how different he was now that he was out of prison. There were days when he wasn't sure he knew himself anymore. It was an unsettling thing - feeling like a stranger in his own life.

Sirius crossed to his desk, never taking his eyes off his precious godson. He started a pot of tea and invited Harry to sit. "A girl, eh?" he asked, no longer able to suppress his smile. "She must be something very special if she's managed to win your heart. Tell me about this lucky girl."
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:17 pm

Harry grinned at Sirius. His godfather was very good at making him feel comfortable in possibly awkward situations. And that was good, because this could definitely become awkward. Sirius was a mystery to Harry when it came to Serenity. But he had trust in his godfather. He had to, Sirius was his lifeline.

“Well...she is special, that's for sure. But I don't know about lucky. She's smart, and beautiful. And she makes me smile. But you have to promise me something. You have to promise you won't fly off the handle about who it is, or anything.”

He took a deep breath and looked deeply into Sirius's eyes. There was only one way to know how Sirius would react. And that was to tell him straight out.

“It's Serenity. Serenity...Snape.”

Change the subject, change the subject, his mind screamed at him.

“Can I help with the tea? How would you like it?”

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:29 am

Sirius felt his eyebrow go up into his hairline. He fumbled for the tea. "No, it's fine I've got it."

He poured two cups, playing for time. Then he went to a cupboard behind his desk and fetched a tin of biscuits. He'd developed quite the sweet tooth since escaping Azkaban. He'd never had much of one before, but he supposed twelve years of gruel had taken its toll. He returned to his seat and offered the tin to Harry.

"Serenity Snape?" he echoed. He'd heard the name, of course, and he tried to place a face with it. The only face that came up was Snivelly's, with black eyes glittering.

Sirius wasn't sure what to make of this. "Prongs' son dating the spawn of the Snivelus?" came a small thought.

"Lily's son dating the daughter of her best friend," came another small thought.

Sirius decided he liked the first thought better; it was the sort of thought he could be friends with, but the second thought made more sense. Sirius hated it when his thoughts insisted upon logic. He much preferred it when they insisted upon blowing things up. After twelve years without a happy thought, though, his mind rarely went to places like that. It was as though his thoughts were afraid to venture too far away from heartache, and all was still darkness in his mind. Except for Harry. Harry was his lifeline; his picture of clarity. Harry was his hope.

Sirius had never been able to understand what Lily saw in Snape. That was the beautiful thing about Lily, really. She could see the good in everything and everyone. Even Snape.

Even Sirius.

And Harry was the same. Sirius had seen how gentle he was with the younger students who idolized him, and how encouraging he was with Neville Longbottom. He was a good kid, with a good head on his shoulders. If he liked the spawn of the Snivelus, she mustn't be all bad.

"So, tell me about her," Sirius prodded. "I want to hear everything."
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:47 am

Harry smiled and his nerves relaxed when Sirius did not freak out about Serenity, he merely wanted to know more about her. It was such a heavy relief to him. And now he could talk about Sere...one of his favorite pastimes. He went back to his chair and sat down.

"Well...Serenity is amazing. Only, most people don't see it. She doesn't really show her true self to others very often. She's very smart and caring. And don't ask me where she learned all of that, because I still think Snape is a foul git. She's been trying to convince me otherwise, but I just don't see it."

Serenity would talk about her father's caring nature until she was blue in the face, and Harry would keep his true feelings to himself for the most part. But it was a definite rift within their relationship. He had been treated badly by the headmaster too many times to count. And now that he was officially dating Serenity, Harry was convinced Snape would kill him and make it look like an accident.

"Serenity makes me want to be a better person. At first I wasn't sure if the two of us could actually make a relationship work, her being in Slytherin and whatnot. But she isn't really like any of them. She feels true concern and emotion, something else she hides well from most people. But deep down, I know she has a good heart."

He tried to read his godfather's face to see what was going through the man's head, but he had long ago given up on the possibility of reading Sirius Black. Too much had happened to his father's best mate. Harry wished more than anything that Sirius could have been spared the pain he went through over the last thirteen years. But now Harry had a chance to help make up for the injustice his godfather had faced. Except Harry hoped dearly that he was not abusing the fact that he had a shoulder to lean on now. Sirius was just so easy to talk to. He could see in his eyes the happiness that had once dwelled there in full force. Now there were just so many shadows lingering there.

"Sorry if I'm talking too much. How are you doing? Have you enjoyed teaching so far? I have to say, I think the role of professor suits you, even if every girl here wants to marry you someday," he smiled.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:53 pm

Sirius threw his head back and laughed. It was no secret that the female population of the school was quite taken with him. It had always been thus. When he was a boy, he mastered the art of smiling sweetly at the baker's wife to get free sticky buns, or pouting at the joke shop for toys and sweets. His mother would roll her eyes and mutter about how he was going to be spoiled rotten, but she never made him stop. She liked the idea of her son being able to get whatever he wanted. Good practice for when he was the head of the House of Black.

"That'll wear off," Sirius said when he had caught his breath. "I gave out my very first detention this morning. Poor girl was quite put out about it. Once it gets out what a tyrant I am, all the girls will lose their crushes."

McGonagall warned him he needed to be strict at first or he'd lose control of his classes by Halloween. He wasn't sure he was any good at strictness. It certainly didn't come naturally to him, in any event. When the girl started crying, it had taken all his willpower not to take it back and tell her to consider it a warning. He was starting to think he'd rather his classes be out of control than have to hand out another detention or watch another girl cry.

Sirius remembered his godson's ramblings and smiled. It reminded him of James the day Lily finally agreed to go out with him. Sirius had to put a silencing spell on him at supper just to shut him up. It was either that or kill him. Sirius decided then and there that he was a fan of anyone who could make his godson glow like this.

He studied Harry for a moment before speaking. "She sounds wonderful. So, what sort of advice were you looking for?"
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:17 pm

Harry had to think about that for a moment. He knew the exact kind of advice he wanted from Sirius, but there was so much rambling in his head that he wasn't sure what to say first. He wanted to know what to do next with Serenity, or how he knew if they were taking it too far. He wanted to ask about Snape, and if there was any way to keep the bat off of him for the duration of the relationship. Or what to do if she suddenly lost interest in him. That thought scared him worst of all. And then, of course, there was the reaction his friends had to Serenity, and vice-versa. He had no idea about how to overcome that hurdle.

"Well...To be honest, I'm a little overwhelmed by everything right now. Sometimes I think I might be too young for all of this, and then I just want to argue with myself for calling me young. And then there are other times I just get scared that it's all happening too fast. We...We already said I love you. And though I do think that's what I feel, I'm worried it's all going to disappear or something now that we've said it."

He blushed and looked down for a minute. He wasn't used to confiding every piece of his heart with an adult, especially one who cared about him. He had a close relationship with Professor Dumbledore, but he had never talked about girls with the old man. The thought had never crossed his mind, actually. But Sirius? Harry knew his godfather had experience with women. It was just one of those things that made sense.

"How old were you when you first had a girlfriend, Sirius? And did it ever turn into love? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I'm just curious, is all."

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:38 pm

Sirius quirked a lip as he tried to think back to his days as Hogwarts' most eligible bachelor. He supposed the answer to that question really depended on what a person meant by "girlfriend". He'd claimed his first girlfriend - a girl called Aaliyah Chopra - not two weeks after starting at Hogwarts. But he wasn't sure that counted. They'd mostly just sat together in class and passed notes and held hands. He sat in the back of History of Magic once and kissed her hand and felt horribly daring for having done it. She blushed and grinned and wrote, "I love you. Do you love me? Check yes or no," on a note to him. He checked yes and passed the note back, and two days later they got bored and broke up and Sirius never missed her.

His first real girlfriend was Rhiannon Edwards his third year. He was ashamed to remember now that he had mostly asked her out because she was a muggle-born, so he knew it would infuriate his brother and, by extension, his parents. But it didn't take him long to become entranced by her mocha-colored eyes and her delicious ruby lips and her straw-colored hair that shone golden in the sun and her beautiful laugh that sounded like angels singing. They dated the entire year and shared their first kiss by the lake under the light of the full moon.

Then, the first day of fourth year, she came to him in a flurry of heartache wanting to know why he had never invited her to come visit him over the summer, and why he had never accepted her invitations to come visit her. She would not accept his explanations about his family's disapproval, and in the end they had a shouting match in the middle of the Gryffindor common room that ended with him saying he never wanted to see her again even though he did, and her running to her dormitory in tears, and him saying he didn't care, which was a horrid lie because he cared more than he'd ever cared about anything in his whole life. At least, it felt that way in the moment.

"I was about your age. A little younger, actually. I was a couple months shy of fourteen. We shared our first kiss on my fourteenth birthday." Sirius smiled at the memory. "It's hard to say if I loved her; it was so long ago, but I think I did. I cried all night the night we broke up, and if you ever tell anyone that, I'll turn your hair pink."

He reached over and brushed a lock of hair out of Harry's emerald eyes. "I remember feeling the way you just described. Like everything in my life had suddenly gone mental and the world was spinning so fast it was going to fall out from under me any second. I also remember thinking everything was far too slow - like I was standing at the edges of the rest of my life and trying to force it to hurry up and begin already, but no matter what I did, it wouldn't. It's a strange feeling, being in love."

Sirius sighed. He didn't think of Harry as young, per se, but he looked awfully young now, staring at Sirius expectantly. The silence surrounding them was deafening. Sirius was rarely comfortable with silence these days. Memories began to haunt him in the silence, so he found himself speaking, just to fill it.

"We think of love as this wonderful, blissful thing, and it is, Harry. It truly is, but it also carries quite a lot of fear with it. It's an awful risk, falling in love with a person. There's all this potential for beautiful things, and for joy and peace and perfection, but there's also a chance that it will all go wrong. Whenever you hand someone your heart, there's always the chance they won't take it, and that's terrifying. Or there's the chance they'll abuse it, and you'll end up weaker for having given it, and that's even more terrifying still, but we keep doing it, don't we? That's what makes us human, I think. Our capacity to love against all the odds. It's normal to feel scared... and happy and hopeful and worried all at the same time. That's just how love is. It doesn't make any sense at all, and there' no use trying to force it to, because it never will."

Sirius ran his hand nervously through his hair; he felt he was saying all of this very badly, but how could a person explain the secrets of the heart? He found Harry's eyes and held them "Do you understand what I'm trying to say, Harry?"
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:56 pm

It was strange, to say the least, to hear Sirius talk about his past like this. Harry didn't know much behind the man in front of him, besides what he had slowly learned over the summer. But a lot of what he knew had to do with Azkaban. Harry knew what dementors could do to a person, and his godfather had lived through twelve years of constant torture and darkness. Sometimes it was hard to believe that Sirius had not become completely unhinged in Azkaban. But Harry could see that Sirius had a good heart. And as if that wasn't enough, the man was his own father's best friend. He was closer to family than Harry had ever had, including the Dursleys. Especially the Dursleys! And no matter what kind of demons Sirius had faced, or continued to face, he was precisely what Harry needed.

“No, I get it. I really do. I think,” he laughed. “Love is...hard to understand. It's scary, but it's also incredible. I know I love her. I just don't know what the future holds, you know? I suppose I shouldn't really dwell on that part of it. When I think of love...I think of my mum. I know it sounds stupid and babyish. But everyone always says how kind she was, so I think of her,” he said with a small smile.

Sometimes it seemed that Lily and James Potter had never really lived and breathed in this world. All of the pictures and stories had to be from another universe. One in which they had a fourteen year old son who they lived with, and possibly younger children for that boy to play with and to teach. But having Sirius here, as someone who truly knew and loved them...It made a big difference. It was like they were almost brought back to life with his presence. The same thing had never happened with other people as much as with Sirius. Well, possibly with Remus. But definitely not with Snape. He had gone to school with them, but he was not like them. Not in any way, shape or form. The thought of the old potions master made Harry cringe.

“Oh Merlin, that's another problem I just thought of. What the hell do I do about Snape? Sere is his daughter. I thought he looked at me with murder in his eyes before. But now, I truly think he might kill me. Maybe you should teach me some more defense, something in particular that would work against the dark, greasy father of my girlfriend.”

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:27 pm

Sirius felt his face fall into a frown, but rearranged his features as quickly as he could, hoping for a soothing expression, or perhaps a slightly amused one. He was once a master at schooling his expressions, never giving away anything. The talent had saved the Marauders from more detentions than he could count, but it was more difficult now than it used to be. Things seemed to hit him harder than they used to. His emotions were rawer, somehow, and much closer to the surface. Perhaps because he'd essentially stopped living at twenty years old and now felt as though he'd been been dropped into someone else's life at a full sprint. It could still sneak up on him, sometimes, the things he had missed.

It was especially poignant where Harry was concerned, and he wished now for the millionth time that he'd been able to raise the boy from toddlerhood like Lily and James had planned. If he had, he'd have punched Snape right in his overlarge nose for giving Harry such a hard time. He could hardly believe it when Harry told him some of the things Snape had said to him. He'd always known Snape was a slimy git, but using his teaching position as a bully pulpit to terrorize an eleven-year-old was a new low, even for him.

"Try not to worry about Snape too much, Butterbean. The thing you have to understand is that he's a bully, and underneath all the sneers and the swagger, he's a coward. He was probably only picking on you because he knew you didn't have anyone to defend you, and now that you've got someone in your corner, he'll most likely leave you alone. Besides," Sirius added with a wink. "I think he's still secretly afraid of me, so if he gives you any trouble, just remind him that I've got your back."

Sirius let out a small laugh as a memory popped into his mind.

"Once, when your dad and I were fourth years, we sneaked into the old potions master's liquor cabinet in the middle of the night and got completely pissed. We went to the Great Hall for breakfast, and James ended up climbing on top of the Slytherin table to tell Snape off. He sort of stumbled down the table, knocking everything you could think of into people's laps as he went, and when he got to Snape, he dropped to his knees in front of him and grabbed his robes... which took him about three tries. He kept telling Snape to stand still, dammit, even though he hadn't moved an inch. And then, when he finally got hold of him, he let loose a string of profanity the likes of which I have never heard before or since. I actually think some of the words must have been made up. Have you ever heard of a 'puddle-gumping arse witch'?

"Then when he finished he puked all over Snape. He always claimed that was his life's greatest accomplishment, after you. Anyway, half the table jumped up to defend their housemate. Someone - we never found out who, but I always suspected Snape - hit James with a bat bogey hex, but James was so drunk he hardly noticed. He just laid on the table with his head in the bangers and started singing a song about the pretty stars. I always held my liquor significantly better than he did, and Remus and Peter had been smart enough not to join us, so we all turned our wands on the Slytherins after they hexed James, and one of them ran up to the staff table for protection. They were more than happy to hex some helpless drunken sot, but the second it looked like there might be consequences, they were off tattling. It was quite ridiculous, but I suppose that's Slytherin for you."

Snape's scowling face rushed, unbidden and unwanted, into Sirius' mind. He was trying hard to give the man the benefit of the doubt; Dumbledore didn't place his trust easily, after all, but it was difficult to change his opinions on the man he'd spent the better part of his life hating. Another memory stirred very suddenly in Sirius' brain - this time of the auburn-haired, doe-eyed, willowy creature he'd given detention this morning. Her scowl had stirred something in his mind, but he hadn't put much thought into it.

He also remembered her muttering about her father finding out, though he'd assumed at the time it was the typical self-important pureblood nonsense. He'd tried that threat himself a few times his first year at Hogwarts, and could still recall the way his stomach clenched the day McGonagall called his bluff and said, "Yes, I'd be very interested in knowing what your father would have to say about your abysmal behavior. Let's go to my fireplace and call him, shall we?" Sirius had backpedaled quickly and gladly agreed to come to detention any time she wished, and in the end felt he'd got off light even though he ended up with the exact same punishment he'd been protesting only minutes before.

The girl had been pretty enough, Sirius supposed. He didn't really pay much attention to that sort of thing anymore, and especially not where students were concerned. She didn't much resemble Snape, so he'd never have suspected... but now that he thought about it, he could see the resemblance in small ways: her mannerisms, and the lines of her jaw, and the way she held her head up proudly. And surely two people having that same horrid scowl couldn't be a coincidence. Could it?

"You know, I think perhaps I've met your Serenity. I think she may have been the girl I gave detention to this morning. The girl was a Slytherin, and she was fighting with Hermione. That wouldn't have been her, would it?"


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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:18 pm

Harry felt his stomach plummet into his toes. At first, he had been reassured about what Sirius had said about Snape. He felt that he finally had someone in his corner now, so the headmaster could not bully him any longer. But then his godfather mentioned that he had given detention to a Slytherin girl who was fighting with Hermione. There was no doubt in Harry's mind that the girl in question was Serenity. And Harry knew then and there that he had to put a stop to it. If Sirius and Serenity got off on the wrong foot, it was all downhill from there.

He felt himself stand and look up at his godfather, his features tense from the bundle of nerves that had gathered somewhere in his torso. He gripped the desk and found himself mentally counting so that he would not lose his temper.

"Please," he said in a strained whisper. "Please tell me you did not actually give my girlfriend a detention. Because in all honesty, I'm pretty sure I would never be able to speak to you again."

Harry knew how much Sirius cared about him, that was not the question now. So if he asked for him to take the detention away from Serenity, then he would do it. Wouldn't he? Harry had not asked for much. And he even had mentioned that if it was too much stress or trouble to take him in, he would find another place to live until Sirius could handle the burden of a teenager. This was only a test. And within a few moments, Harry knew that his godfather would see the light and take back what he had done. Everyone made mistakes. Sirius just needed to correct this one and everything would be fine. He sighed and smiled slightly as his mind accepted the plan they would take.

"No, it's alright. You'll just take the detention away, and it'll be like it never happened. In fact, I'll talk to her for you and tell her everything is fine and you just didn't know who she was. Merlin, Sirius...you nearly gave me a heart attack," he said, releasing a nervous breath.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:38 pm

Sirius tried not to react too much to Harry's request, but he couldn't help letting a little surprise show upon his face. The boy had been through three years at Hogwarts. Surely he knew by now that detentions didn't just go away simply because a person wanted them to. He scratched absently at his head, playing for time.

"It doesn't really work like that, Harry," he said apologetically. He hated the thought of his godson being disappointed in him, and the threat of Harry never speaking to him again was mildly disconcerting. He didn't think Harry would actually stop speaking to him - not for long anyway, but he found the idea of broken fellowship between the two of them - even if it was only brief - to be a frightening one. Silly, that. You'd think Harry was the adult and Sirius the child.

"Once a detention is assigned, it goes on record immediately. I can't get rid of it." Sirius stopped and took a deep breath, warring with himself over whether or not to say the next words that were dancing through his mind. In the end, he decided, Harry ought to hear them. Sirius wanted to explain to him why he had done what he had done. "And to be honest, even if I could, I wouldn't. She deserved it. Hell, she practically asked me for it."

Sirius cringed as he heard those words come out of his mouth. He'd had a few adults tell him that in his day, and he always thought it an exceedingly stupid thing to say. Who asked to be punished? But it seemed fitting now. The girl just wouldn't stop pushing; she'd clearly been looking for some sort of reaction. If Sirius were being honest with himself, he supposed he had to admit that most of the times when adults told him he was asking for it, he had been doing much the same thing: skirting the edges of appropriate behavior to see how far he could go before he would hit the edges of their patience.

Sirius had always had a talent for finding the boundaries and pushing at them gently to see how far they would stretch - and then at working out how to stretch them just a wee bit farther. James had been good at that as well, which meant that Harry probably was, too, although Sirius certainly hadn't seen any evidence for it. The boy had been nothing short of saintly in Sirius' presence. Certainly not like Sirius and James had been.

They actually made a teacher quit their third year - the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. The poor thing was young - fresh out of auror training and with less than two months of field work under her belt. She never saw James and Sirius coming, and seemed to think she could just sort of love them into good behavior. She'd keep them after class for impassioned pleas that were mostly thinly veiled compliments about how James and Sirius were so smart and so talented, and really, didn't they want to be the sort of boys that the other students looked up to, and didn't they want to set a good example. They had been all of five minutes into the first of many of those lectures when they decided what kind of example they wanted to set and declared open war. Within two class periods, the rest of the class had joined in, and within two more the remainder of the student body had done the same. Only a few weeks after that, the poor woman ran out of the classroom in tears one day after Sirius hit her right between the eyes with an ink pellet. She never came back.

Yes, Sirius knew all too well that, even if they were perfectly lovely as individuals, where groups of kids were concerned a sort of mob mentality ruled, and they would exploit any weakness he was stupid enough to show them. If he proved himself a pushover early on, he'd never manage to regain control.

"Taking the detention away would be suicide. I might as well pin a target on my back and tattoo 'village idiot' on my forehead. If I let one person get away with disrespect, it'll only be a matter of time before people are shooting ink pellets at me when my back is turned, and then when it isn't. And then next thing you know, they'll be tossing me off the Astronomy Tower just to see if I'll catch on a nail halfway down. I know how these things work, Harry. I was a Marauder, remember?"
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:04 am

Harry felt his mouth draw into a tight line and he had to grip the desk in front of him once more. He couldn't believe that Sirius was acting this way. Just like every other professor in this stupid school! He was supposed to be the cool one. Harry had expected him to sneak him off to Hogsmeade on random school nights, or to help him prank the headmaster. He had never expected his godfather to give Serenity a detention, and then not even regret it after! Harry knew in this moment what he would do. He would push Sirius to give him the same punishment. It would be difficult, to say the least. Harry knew that it would probably take quite a bit of pushing. And he wasn't usually the type to do so. But he would do it for Serenity.

“I don't care who the hell you were back then! You're supposed to be there for me now! Tell them you made a mistake, and that she was actually quite nice to you. I thought you were the king of spinning tales, why can't you do this one for me?”

He felt his chest heaving and he had to try thinking fast. Would he be able to think faster than Sirius, though, that was the question. Not bloody likely. But he had to try.

“You know what I think? I think all of those Marauder stories must be bollocks. You go around, pretending like you understand what we're all going through, because you were our age once, right? You're the great Sirius Black! You laughed at teachers with tears in your eyes, and they didn't even know they were the joke, did they? Or was that all just a pack of lies to get me to trust you?!”

His voice was rising in volume, and he wasn't quite sure where it was coming from. But he was going to run with it.

“You don't even care that you gave my girlfriend a detention! That's not who you said you
were! Merlin, Sirius. I didn't realize that one of the main attributes of being popular is being two-faced. Maybe you should teach me that, eh? Forget spells and charms, forget bloody star charts. I want to know how to lie like Sirius Black!”

He blushed and felt a familiar knot tie in his stomach telling him that he wanted to sick up. He knew, without a doubt, that he had gone too far. But hopefully, he would make up for it later. As long as Sirius put him in detention with Serenity, this would all be worth it. If not...well, he had just made his godfather feel like shite for no good reason.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:49 pm

Sirius felt his stomach flip-flop, sort of like it used to do when he went over a hill too quickly on his motorbike, and a sharp pain went through his chest as a gasp forced its way out of his throat. He remembered his mother telling him once that when he quarreled with her, it felt like he was sticking a knife in her chest, but he'd always thought she was trying to send him on a guilt trip. Now he saw exactly what she meant.

The backs of his eyes began to sting, and he bit the emotion away. That was always rule number one for surviving in Grimmauld Place: never show weakness, and tears were most certainly weakness. Anger was the only negative emotion a Black was permitted to feel. Sadness was a sign of defeat, and so Sirius learned young to channel his tears into action. That was how he had been so dangerous during the war; fear became action. That was also how he got himself arrested; when most people would have been standing in a lake of grief, Sirius was running, looking for something - anything - to do, and thus he had arrived on Wormtail's doorstep. And after Wormtail bested him, even then, grief was not allowed. And so he had done the only thing he could: he had laughed in the face of destruction.

But Azkaban had changed that, too. After living in such close quarters with Fear and Grief for twelve years, they were like shadowy companions that followed him closely, never quite letting him out of their sight. And no amount of running could help him escape.

Sirius couldn't make himself speak. He opened and closed his mouth, attempting to force out words. He wasn't even entirely sure what words he wanted to say, but it didn't matter. The only things that came out were little gasps and shudders. He took two steps backward and tripped over his own chair, falling hard into the seat. It bounced with him as his fingers found the armrests and made claws around them.

His eyes, glued to the ground, found a spider spinning a web in a corner beneath his desk. James had been frightened of spiders, and so Sirius would bring them to him whenever he found one, just to watch him shout and jump for cover. He'd have told that story, except that Harry, apparently, wouldn't have believed it. Was this what Harry really thought of him? That he was a liar? That he was two-faced? That all the things he'd told Harry about James, hoping to make Harry feel closer to the man who had loved him so much, were bollocks?

Sirius looked up desperately at Harry's face - so much like James' - and into Harry's eyes - so much like Lily's - and suddenly he couldn't catch his breath. He'd always been afraid this would happen; that Harry would hate him. That Harry would reject him. That Harry wouldn't want to be around him, and now it was happening, and it was almost more than he could bear. He looked away from the judgment he imagined he saw in Harry's countenance, and finally found his voice."Butterbean... Harry... I..."

Sirius' voice caught. He took a deep breath and let it out. Its "whoosh" was surprisingly loud against the stillness of the room and the clanging of his heart. His anguish-filled eyes made their way to Harry's once more. "Is that really what you think? That I've been lying to you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:13 pm

Harry felt his heart practically shatter within his chest, and he wanted nothing more than to go back and erase everything he had just said to Sirius. Even when he went over it in his mind, he still could not believe he had actually called him a liar. And he had said that he was two-faced. After the time they had spent together over the summer, Harry knew that Sirius was anything but that. Harry was actually convinced that no one could have been more sincere than his godfather. Twelve years as an innocent prisoner in Azkaban could do that to a person. He had no reason to lie about anything.

He saw the hurt in Sirius's eyes, and could feel it in the air. It was like a dementor was here now. A cold mist had settled in the room, or maybe it was just around Harry himself. Either way, he could feel the happiness draining from him. Or perhaps, it had already gone. He forced himself to lift his eyes, which were now wet with a soft sheen of tears, and look into those grey eyes.

"Sirius, I-"

He couldn't bring himself to say more without breaking down. A fine show of gratitude this was. Sirius had been the only adult to love him unconditionally. Even Dumbledore sometimes seemed to have a sort of agenda. But Sirius had taken him in, no questions asked. He didn't have to...he had chosen to. And what did Harry do to repay him? He called into question his honesty and trustworthiness. And if he were to be honest with himself, Harry knew there was nothing he could do to fully take the pain away; the pain that he had placed there himself.

He had to force himself to find his voice, as small and pitiful as it would sound. Sirius at least deserved an attempt at an apology.

"Of course I don't think that of you, Sirius," he replied softly. "I don't know what came over me. You...you aren't a liar, and I know that. I suppose I was just angry. But there's no excuse for what I said."

Against his will, a tear fell down his cheek and he hurriedly wiped it away with the back of his hand. He took a deep breath before continuing.

"I love hearing stories of you and my dad in school. It's a...a very real link to him. And I can't believe I questioned that. Do you think...can we just go back? If I tell you that you've been the first adult I could actually trust with everything...would you forgive me?"

And then he felt an uncontrollable sob escape his throat, and he covered his face in his hands in an attempt to stop the sea of despair that was quickly taking over. He had almost forgotten that Sirius was there, except for the overwhelming guilt he was experiencing.

"Oh God, what have I done?"

He wasn't sure if he had actually asked the question out loud or not. But the sound hung in the air as if the words were permanently branded between Harry and Sirius.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:38 pm

It took a moment for Sirius' brain to catch up with what his ears were hearing, and another moment after that for his lungs to decide to draw breath again and his heart to resume its beating. Sirius took a deep breath as he realized that Harry was taking the words back. He was apologizing. He was asking for forgiveness.

Sirius sighed. And now Harry was crying. Perfect. Just perfect.

"Dammit," Sirius whispered. Honestly. Was there any bad thing in the world that he couldn't work out how to make worse? The pain in his chest brightened, and he wondered briefly if this was what dying felt like. He was quite sure that pain was the feeling of his heart shredding itself to ribbons inside his ribs. Sirius never would understand how it was that he always managed to bungle everything so spectacularly.

Harry was despondent, his head buried in his hands. Sirius could hardly bear to hear him cry. He'd never been able to stand Harry's cries, even when he was a baby. He'd hold him for hours just to keep him from crying. Once, when he was minding Harry, he cried whenever Sirius put him down, so Sirius held him the whole day. By the time James and Lily came home, Sirius was near to the point of wetting himself, but didn't want to let Harry go long enough to go to the loo. He didn't want to risk upsetting his godson, even for a moment.

We'll, he'd sure as hell managed to upset him now. Sirius' eyes groped around for a tissue or a handkerchief, or even a flannel. Anything to offer the lad. But there was nothing. Sirius' mother had tried to teach him to carry a handkerchief, but, like so many of her lessons, it didn't take. Sirius had always been a roll-out-of-bed-and-throw-on-the-first-clean-thing-you-see sort of person. He never planned ahead well enough to remember a handkerchief.

Sirius rose and made his way slowly over to the spot where Harry stood, wishing he knew what to say to ease his godson's distress. In the end, he said nothing, and instead pulled Harry into a tight embrace. If he couldn't offer the boy a tissue after making him cry, he could, at the very least, offer him a shoulder to do it on. He half expected Harry to jerk away, to close in on himself, to walk away in disgust and leave Sirius all alone.

"Shh, Harry," Sirius whispered. He rubbed Harry's back and kissed Harry's messy hair, still waiting for the rejection he was sure was coming. "It's all right. I forgive you." There had never been any question about that. "Shh," Sirius continued, cooing words of comfort and waiting for Harry's tears to still. "Shh, Butterbean. Everything will be all right. Shh. Shh."
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:23 pm

Harry held onto his godfather tightly and cried against his shoulder. He still hated knowing that he had hurt him, and it would take some time for them both to completely heal from the biting words Harry had thrown at Sirius. But at least this was a start.

Harry sniffled and pulled back a bit, wiping his eyes. He knew that Sirius had already seen him crying, but it was just a natural teenage reaction. He needed to try saving face somewhat. When he felt he could look up into those grey eyes again, he released a shuddering breath and bit the inside of his cheek.

“I still can’t believe I said those things to you. Are you sure you’re not cross? I…I’ll admit, I didn’t have the best intentions when I said what I did. I was…to be honest, I was trying to get into detention with Serenity.”

Now that he said it out loud, he felt extremely ridiculous. Who in their right mind tried to manipulate things like that? Especially when a loved one could get hurt in the process. And Sirius had gotten hurt. The more time that passed, the more stupid and immature he felt.

“I know. Tell me how ridiculous I am. I‘m ready to hear it."

He felt himself blushing and he was currently very happy that Sirius cared about him without question. He certainly did not deserve that kind of affection from anyone right now, but he was glad for it all the same.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:47 pm

Sirius gave a small, sad smile and found his voice, surprised by how quiet it sounded. "No, I don't think you're ridiculous. That was very sweet to want to keep your girlfriend company. Detention's always a little more bearable when you've got company. I had detention with Snape a few times, and even that made it better. Gave me someone to throw things at when the prefects weren't looking. I think I set some world records shooting ink pellets at him in sixth year."

Harry looked miserable, with red eyes and wet cheeks. Sirius could have kicked himself for letting it show that he was hurt. Adults weren't supposed to do things like that. They were supposed to be cool, calm, and collected. Mr. Potter always was. The only time Sirius ever saw the man frazzled was when he and James did something dangerous, and even then he never seemed to take it personally, as Sirius had just done. There were never guilt trips the way there were with Sirius' mother. It was always about what James and Sirius had done wrong, not about how worried Mr. Potter had been or how badly they had hurt him. That was all Sirius ever seemed to hear with his mother, but Mr. Potter's insistence on keeping to the matter at hand made Sirius feel worse because he had to actually face that he'd done something wrong - usually knowing full well it was wrong as he did it.

Sirius held out a hand to Harry. "Here. Let me clean your glasses for you." He waited for Harry to hand them over and wiped the glasses on the hem of his shirt. It felt special, somehow, to do this small thing for his godson. He should have been doing small things like this for him all his life. He held them up to the light to inspect them, making sure all traces of the teardrops were gone, before handing them back to Harry. He wanted to pull Harry into another embrace, but he wasn't sure if it was for Harry or himself that he felt the desire. He let the moment pass, and the air felt suddenly heavy between them. They'd have to talk about what had just happened. They couldn't leave things like this.

"Harry, I promise I'm not cross, but..." But what? Sirius had no idea what he wanted to say. You're not permitted to speak to me like that? Too parental. You better not ever do that again? Too threatening. Besides, it was obvious the boy felt awful about it. Sirius really didn't need to punish or lecture. Nor was he particularly interested in doing so.

"Harry, have a seat." Sirius motioned toward a chair and waited for Harry to obey. He leaned a hip on his desk and immediately wished he hadn't ordered Harry to sit. This was all wrong, towering over the boy like this. He lifted himself to sit on his desk, and that felt better. He was still towering, but it was a more casual sort of towering this way. "I said I'm not cross, and I meant that, but we still need to talk about this. No matter what your reasons may have been, it is not okay for you to speak to me like that. It's not okay to speak to anyone like that, for that matter. You're better than that. I'm disappointed in you, Harry."

Sirius winced inwardly when he heard the words come out of his mouth. He'd started this telling himself he wasn't going to lecture, and now that was exactly what he was doing. But it was true, he realized as he thought about it. One of the melange of emotions he felt at the moment was, indeed, disappointment. After seeing how kindhearted Harry could be, he was saddened and, yes, disappointed, to see this streak of meanness in him.

Sirius expected better. James and Lily would have expected better. They were never cruel, James and Lily. They'd have wanted their son to grow up to be as kind and giving and... selfless as they themselves were. And Sirius wanted that, too. Wanted it for them but, more even than that, wanted it for Harry. He had never known anyone better than the two of them, and the fact that Harry was so like them both filled Sirius with pride. Sirius sighed. He shouldn't have said he was disappointed, even if he was. But there was no taking it back now. And maybe Harry would truly hear it and learn something from it. Sirius always did, when Mr. Potter said those awful words to him. There wasn't a punishment in the world that affected him more than knowing he'd disappointed the man he looked up to so much.

"Harry, look at me please." Sirius waited for Harry's eyes to slowly pop up and find his own before continuing. "I love you, Harry. More than I could ever say, and I want you to be the best that you can possibly be and... well... I didn't mean to turn this into a lecture. I just... well... I don't know. I just expected better from you, is all. You're going to need to help me understand what was going through your head."
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:31 am

I'm disappointed in you, Harry.

The words swam around inside Harry's mind and clung to him, pulling every piece of his mind and soul into a dark sea of guilt. He had never wanted to hear this statement from his godfather. It reminded him of the way Professor Lupin had called him out the year before. Nothing made sense right now, because what was supposed to be true and real right now no longer computed. Sirius was disappointed in him. Everything after that didn't really matter.

Growing up with the Dursleys, he had never had to deal with this kind of emotion. He came to them as a disappointment. So really, it was never a surprise to them when he did something they didn't like. They had never truly loved him the way he knew Sirius did. That was what made this moment hurt so much. And Harry knew that he had only brought it upon himself. Had he really thought that this was the best way to deal with the situation? Had he thought it through more completely, he would have realized that this was not the way to get the results he wanted. But that was the problem. He hadn't thought it through, so now he was stuck in this disgusting feeling of guilt and regret that he couldn't shake. And more importantly, he didn't want to. He deserved to feel this way, and he would swim in it as long as he had to. Until all the pain he had caused Sirius had left his godfather's eyes completely.

He looked up at the man who was now more like his father than anyone but James had been, and he tried to find some of that Gryffindor courage he knew he was reported to have. It was not making an appearance right now.

"I wasn't trying to be mean," he began in a soft voice. "Honestly, I just wanted to get in enough trouble to get detention with Serenity. And once I began, I didn't know how to stop. But you're right...there's no excuse. I should never speak to you that way, and believe me, if I could take it back, I would."

He released a deep, shuddering breath; the kind that is almost involuntary after one has been crying as hard as Harry had. Then he held back more tears as he looked once again at his godfather.

"I suppose I can't really explain it much further. Other than the fact that I...well, I was afraid that you would hate the idea of me dating Serenity. And I took out my fear and frustration on you. I know that doesn't excuse it, but...I guess that's what went through my head," he finished lamely.

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:12 pm

Sirius ran a nervous hand through his hair; he'd need to cut it soon. Harry's could use trimming as well, now that he thought about it. Sirius still wasn't entirely sure about this whole parenthood thing. Small things like that always seemed to be slipping through the cracks. Picking up after Harry, and keeping up with where he'd left his trainers, and taking him for haircuts. It was a lot to remember. Sometimes he thought Harry would be better off without him. The Dursleys, for all their horribleness, had probably never forgotten to cut the boy's hair. Sirius was still waiting for the day that Harry put together that he was a dud and decided he was better off with his aunt and uncle.

Sirius wasn't sure how to respond to Harry now. He wasn't entirely sure he bought the excuse that he was only trying to get into detention. It seemed to Sirius that if that was what he wanted, it would have been much easier to just ask.

Still, Sirius could remember what it had been like to be fourteen. Logic certainly hadn't been his strong suit back then. Usually he came up with an idea and acted on it, and consequences be damned. Then, of course, once he'd been caught and was staring down a disappointed Mr. and Mrs. Potter or Professor McGonagall or Dumbledore, only then would the guilt come and the reflection that maybe, just maybe, painting a glittering and slightly pornographic mural on the ceiling of the Entrance Hall wasn't the best idea. Perhaps it had been the same with Harry?

Sirius wasn't sure if he hoped so or not. Based on some of the stories he had heard, Harry had inherited James' tendency toward recklessness, which was unfortunate for the both of them. Sirius had a keen appreciation for the Potters and how difficult it must have been to raise boys like James and Sirius. They did a bang-up job of it, and Sirius hoped he could do half as well, though if today was any indication he was only going to bugger it up.

The truth was that it would never have occurred to him to give Harry detention; not for this. This was a parental issue, not a pedagogical one. Although, really, it would never have occurred to him to punish Harry at all. He had no desire to punish his godson over something so, well, silly. According to Remus, punishment didn't really work that well on him anyway. He responded much better to feeling he'd disappointed the people he looked up to. That wasn't surprising, really; James had been much the same way. Detentions rolled off of him like water off a duck's back, but one stern look from one of his parents or Dumbledore or Lily, or even sometimes Sirius, could bring him up short.

The only problem with that was that Sirius wasn't entirely sure whether Harry cared about disappointing him or not, or if he cared whether or not Sirius punished him. For that matter, Sirius wasn't entirely sure he had the authority to punish Harry, anyway. As a teacher, sure, but as a parent? He wasn't the boy's father, and Harry had been on his own so long that he'd probably resent someone swooping into his life to play dad now.

The truth was that Sirius saw Harry as some strange cross between son, brother, and best mate that left his own role in the boy's life feeling rather nebulous. It reminded him of a joke he'd once heard about crossing a kangaroo with an elephant and ending up with giant holes all over Australia. Their lives together were one giant non sequitur. Now that Sirius thought about it, an awkward situation such as this was quite nearly inevitable with such a strange combination of sentiments and relationships swirling around them.

Sirius ran his fingers nervously through his hair again and tried to channel Mr. Potter.

"Okay, Harry, first of all, understand this: what I want more than anything else in the world is for you to be happy and well. That means that as long as she's kind to you, and she makes you happy, and she's not trying to lead you into trouble, I don't care who you're dating. I don't want you to ever feel afraid to tell me things, kiddo. I'm not here to judge you. I'm here to help you. Please don't ever forget that. It doesn't matter what happens or what you do or who you date or how much trouble you get yourself into, I will always be here for you. Always. I love you, kid."

Sirius stopped, thinking of how many times he'd heard Mr. Potter say those exact same words to him. No matter how many times he heard that same thing, it never stopped feeling good. Of course, that usually preceded the difficult part of the conversation: the part where Mr. Potter would begin asking pointed questions designed to make Sirius really analyzed his own thoughts and actions, more than just, "We thought it would be funny" or "It seemed like it would be exciting".

Sirius wasn't sure how to begin such a conversation with Harry, and he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to, but he supposed he'd have to say something. If Lily were here, she'd probably say Harry was testing his boundaries and needed to be shown where they are. She used to say things like that, usually when she was carting Harry to the corner and the Marauders were laughing over the peas Harry had just smeared in her hair and telling her to lighten up. Well, Sirius didn't have it in him to be stern anymore. He only wanted to end this quarrel quickly. He'd never realized before that such quarrels were as hard on the parent as they were on the kid. Maybe harder, because there was this sense of looming responsibility and fear that if he screwed this up, his relationship with Harry would be ruined forever.

"Now as for the rest of this, it's clear to me you feel badly about it, so I suppose we don't need to discuss it anymore. But in the future you need to think before you act. There were quite a few ways you could have gone about this thing without insulting me, you know."

Sirius sighed and smiled and reached out to ruffle Harry's hair.

"Why not set fireworks off the Astronomy tower or stick nude pictures on the ends of the telescopes or paint my quarters pink or something? For that matter, why not just ask me? Merlin's bum, kid. I ought to give you detention just for being so incompetent at getting detention."
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:21 pm

Harry smiled in return, and tried to dodge Sirius’s hand. He didn’t really care if his hair got messed up, but he also wanted to try looking good for Serenity later. If they both stayed out of trouble long enough to see each other later, that was. But with the way Sirius was teasing him, Harry knew he was probably in the clear. Whether he felt he deserved to be out of trouble or not, now that was the real question. He still felt incredibly guilty for hurting his godfather the way he had. But at least he wasn’t confused about whether he would be forgiven, or whether he was loved. He knew Sirius would love him no matter what. That was why he felt comfortable giving his godfather a look of fake offense.

“Come now, Sirius. Naked pictures? Really? What do you take me for?”

But then he couldn’t hold it anymore, and his grin broke through. He just couldn’t help it with Sirius around. He didn’t know anyone who could, really. Except for maybe Snape.

“But painting your quarters? I can definitely try that, thanks for the idea. Any other gems I should know?”

He smiled and thought that he should probably keep his godfather away from Fred and George. If those three ever got together, they would make Peeves look like an angel. Although, they would create quite the entertaining thing, he was sure.

“And you aren’t allowed to tease me for not being able to get a proper detention. Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing? I think you should give it to me anyway, since I did try. Even though it may have been a poor attempt according to Marauder standards,” he smiled.

“So will you, or won’t you? I guess that’s the question of the moment, eh?”

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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:38 pm

Sirius chuckled, more to play for time than anything else. Harry was certainly a determined chap, but Sirius had no intention of giving him detention. He still wasn't terribly sure about this whole discipline thing - from either a parental or a pedagogical perspective - but he was quite sure he wasn't supposed to reward bad behavior. Of course, he never would have imagined that giving a kid detention would count as rewarding bad behavior. Harry was a very odd sort of person.

Sirius supposed he couldn't blame Harry for the attempt, even if the execution left something to be desired. In truth, it reminded Sirius of something James might have done. Harry's words still stung, even if Harry was now saying he didn't mean them. Harry had not only insulted Sirius, he had also insulted his father's memory. Sirius thought that bothered him more than anything.

Sirius hadn't really grieved for James and Lily. There hadn't been time. Everything had happened so quickly: the awful discovery at the little house in Godric's Hollow, the loss of Harry, the meeting in London, the explosion. It all felt strange to Sirius now, as though he were looking at it through a distorted window or drops of rain. And then Sirius was in prison, surrounded by dementors, consumed only with his own heartache. It amazed him, sometimes, how much he could still miss James after all this time. The memories haunted him.

It was Sirius' fault. All of it. He was the one who convinced James to trust Peter. He was the one who insisted they change at the last minute. He was the one who handed Peter the information to betray his best friend. And now here Harry stood before him, scarred, wounded, all because of Sirius' arrogant belief that a friend would never betray him. Things should have been different. Sirius should have trusted Remus, should have gone along silently with James and Lily's plan. Then they'd still be alive. Then Harry would have been brought up with people who loved him instead of people who locked him in a cupboard.

A familiar guilt bubbled up in his gut. That was Sirius' fault as well. He never should have let Hagrid take Harry that night. He knew as he watched them fly away on his motorbike that it was a mistake, but he didn't know where they were going, and so he could not follow. The guilt threatened to overwhelm him. Not only had Sirius handed Harry over - practically threw him at the people who were going to spend the entirety of his childhood abusing him - but Sirius even supplied the getaway vehicle. In a haze of confusion and grief and betrayal, Sirius himself had become the betrayer, had hurt Harry believing it to be the right thing. Tears stung at his eyes again. It wasn't supposed to happen this way.

Sirius studied Harry for a moment. So like his parents. Both of them. After all he'd been through, Harry ought to have whatever he wanted.

"I'll tell you what. I'm not going to give you detention, but if you were to just happen to show up on Tuesday at, say, 7:30 needing help with something, you might find that someone else is here as well."

The Snape girl's detention would begin at seven o'clock, but Sirius supposed thirty minutes would be enough time to get the point across.

"I warn you, she'll still have to work. It is detention after all. If you distract her too much, I'll send you away, but far be it for me to stand in the way of young love."
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PostSubject: Re: Afternoon Tea *Sirius*   Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:33 pm

Harry smiled and without even really thinking about it, he leaned forward and hugged Sirius. He was now convinced more than ever that he did not deserve this man. No one had ever been more like a father to him, and he was sure no one alive WAS more like his father. He liked to think that he himself was like James, as everyone had been trying to tell him. But he thought too much of his father to believe himself like him. And because he had not known him, Harry was almost positive that James Potter had been practically perfect. And he knew without a doubt that his mother was. He still felt incredible anger toward Voldemort, and to any of his followers that had helped in his parents' deaths. Especially Pettigrew. Harry felt bile rise in the back of his throat. He had been so close to him, just a few short months ago. And if he had not took pity on him, Pettigrew would be barely breathing right about now. Harry forced himself to stop reliving that awful night and he pulled back to look into his godfather's eyes.

"Tuesday, 7:30? I'll be there. And thanks. I know sometimes I act foolishly, so...thanks for not kicking me out or turning me over to St. Mungo's or anything. And don't worry...I won't be in the way, I'll even help if you want."

He sighed and sat back down, thinking about all that had occurred tonight. For one, there was his anger about Serenity getting that detention. And then his outburst, with the accompanying fear that he had hurt his relationship with Sirius so badly that it was beyond repair. He was especially guilty about what he had said about the Marauders' stories. He really hoped they would not stop. It was a living link to his father, as well as his mother. And he felt that a part of him would die if he didn't hear more.

"Hey, Sirius? Mind telling me another story from when you went to school? I think it would help me feel better about everything."

He also hoped that it would help Sirius to feel better about it as well. Harry had not had very many healthy arguments in his life. He had been raised by extremely emotionally crippled people. Not only that, but they had never really cared for him to begin with. He didn't know how this whole forgive and forget thing really worked. But maybe if they laughed together, it would go a long way towards healing. He prayed he was right about it.

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