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Author Notes:

Warning: This chapter includes an implied het sex scene and a slash fantasy.

It was ages before Augustus would come and talk to him and longer still before he would let Harry run down Diagon to fetch George and ask him to find Remus and Tonks. First Augustus insisted on having someone look Harry over and heal his bruises. He took down the whole story in his notes personally, insisting that Harry leave the wooden box in his small but lockable office before he distractedly left it lying somewhere. By the time Remus arrived, Harry had already annoyed the front-desk witch, the canteen staff, and several apprentice Healers with his nervous pacing and constant questions.

"Harry, what on earth is going on? George was at Fourteen Back and you weren't -- he said you're in hospital and Sirius is hurt -- "

Harry ran up to Remus and didn't stop to say hello before throwing himself into the other man, wrapping his arms around Remus' chest and burying his face in his shirt. Remus cast a startled glance at Tonks, then patted Harry gently on the back of his head before disentangling himself. He kept his hands on Harry's shoulders, looking down into his eyes.

"Are you all right?"

Harry nodded, biting his lip.

"Is Sirius all right?"

"They won't tell me!" Harry burst out, frustrated. "Augustus says he will be, but how does he know? There was so much blood..."

There was a cough from behind him, and they both looked up to see Augustus Pye standing by the front desk, gesturing them over.

"I've just come from checking on Sirius. He's fine," he said, and Harry's shoulders sagged with relief. "He's not quite all there -- nasty knock on the head or three he had, and I'm sure you're aware of how scalp wounds bleed -- but he knows who he is and where he is, which is almost more than we can say for Harry here, hm?"

"Can we see him?" Harry asked.

"Yes, but you mustn't upset him. He's quite upset enough already," Augustus added. "This way, I've put him in a private room."

"Are you going to tell me what in bloody hell happened?" Remus asked, as they walked. "George said you were a wreck and wouldn't tell him anything. Why didn't you floo the Aurors? They'd have called Tonks."

"Didn't think of it," Harry said miserably. Tonks hugged his shoulders as they walked.

"It's all right," she said. "Who attacked you?"

"Nobody -- well -- " Harry broke off as they stopped in front of a door and Augustus peered inside it. "I'll tell you later."

Augustus held his finger to his lips as a reminder and opened the door. Sirius was sitting up in bed, a large patch of hair missing from his scalp where a deep cut was already almost completely healed. In addition, he had a strange metal device stuck to the outside of his face, little silvery arms spanning from cheekbone to jaw.

"We had to extract four teeth and we're re-growing them now," Augustus said. "It's better if he doesn't talk while it happens. He's had a potion for the concussion so another half-hour at most and he'll be good as new and ready to go home and have a few days of bed rest."

Sirius gave Harry an imploring look and made an odd gesture with his hands. Harry sat down in the chair next to him as Augustus left.

"I don't understand," he said. "What?"

"It looks like a box," Remus said, as Sirius formed a three-dimensional square with his hands, wincing every time his left arm moved.

"Oh -- oh! It's in Pye's office," Harry said. "Locked up. It's safe."

Sirius rolled his eyes in relief and covered his forehead with one hand.

"Yeah, you don't look so hot," Harry agreed.

"You're re-growing teeth? Did you two get into some kind of fistfight with someone?" Tonks asked.

"Something," Harry said darkly. Sirius growled. "But I think we may have got the cup -- we've got something, anyway."

Sirius mimed a beautiful right hook, and Remus pinched the bridge of his nose.

"I knew I shouldn't have let you two go alone," he said with a sigh. "The Gaunt Crypt is supposed to be safe -- it's a tourist spot..."

"Yeah, well, apparently it's not safe, since it tried to kill us," Harry answered defensively.

"Did you provoke it?" Tonks asked, crossing her arms.

"We might have done," Harry admitted. Sirius looked sheepish. The metal thing on his cheek beeped, and he tore it off with relief.

"I hate that thing," he announced, setting it on the bedside table. He rotated his jaw slowly, then opened his mouth. "Loo ohay?" he asked Harry, who inspected his canines.

"They seem all right."

"It was bloody brilliant, you should have been there," Sirius continued, addressing Remus and Tonks equally. "It went CRASH and then I jumped all over it and Harry beat it off me with part of the arm and it tried to bite -- did you bring the jaw? Show us the jaw," Sirius insisted. Harry put a hand on his chest and pushed him back against the pillows gently.

"You're not quite all there yet," he said.

"I am so -- "

"Well, your hair isn't."

"What?" Sirius asked, reaching up to touch his scalp. When he encountered bare skin, he moaned.

"Jaw?" Remus asked, slightly horrified. Harry dug in his pocket and produced the bronze jawbone of the skeleton. Remus and Tonks exchanged a dark look.

"You dismantled one of the monuments in the crypt?" Tonks asked.

"It tried to dismantle us first!" Harry said. "If it hadn't been for Padfoot, it would have pulled my hand off!"

"Everyone stop talking," Remus said. "This can wait until we get home. Sirius, do you feel all right?"

"I'm going bald!"

"Well, he looks all right, anyway," Remus sighed. "I'll see about getting him released. Has someone informed the authorities that they should probably go have a look at the crypt?"

"Augustus said he'd see that someone got told," Harry said. "He said it's some kind of incident and he had to be the one to report it since Sirius -- well, Nigel, he's Nigel on the paperwork -- came here."

"All right. I'll be back soon. You -- stay put," Remus said to Sirius, who was still feeling out the bald spot on his head.

"Oh, for pity's sake, it could be worse," Tonks said, as Remus left the room. She took out her wand and flicked it at his head. "Adumbro capillusque!"

Hair sprouted from the bald spot, growing so fast it looked alive. Harry had to admit that it did cover the bald spot and until Sirius looked in a mirror, he'd never notice that it was pink and yellow striped. Tonks looked like she was trying very hard not to laugh.

"Thank you," Sirius said gravely.


They took Sirius home as soon as Augustus would release him, with orders that he spend at least the next full day and preferably the next two in bed. He was given a case full of potions -- blood restoratives, energy enhancers, painkillers -- and Apparated home by Remus, who left Tonks to Apparate with Harry.

"You're old enough to get your licence now," she said, as he took her arm. "I really think you should have a bit more practice and then apply. If you'd been able to Apparate this afternoon, you could have taken Sirius directly to St. Mungo's."

Sirius was not at all loath to be helped upstairs by Harry while the others re-heated the curry they'd left on the kitchen counter and brought it up. They had a picnic on Harry's bed, with Sirius propped against the headboard while Harry sat crosslegged next to him and Remus and Tonks pulled chairs up. Sirius was all for opening the box Harry had retrieved from Augustus' office immediately, but the others insisted he eat first. Remus wasn't at all sure they should even try to open it without studying it extensively, but once the food had been cleared away, Harry fetched it from the bookshelf where he'd stashed it and set it on the bed.

It was an odd shape, flat on one side and rising to a narrow peaked dome in order to fit the curve of the bronze skeleton's ribcage on the other. It was absolutely smooth without a trace of joinery anywhere, as if it had been carved from a single block of wood. There was a ring made of green stone and set into a recess in the flat side, attached by a gold hinge; Harry had carried the box by the ring while he was helping Sirius to St. Mungo's.

"It might not be anything," Harry said offhandedly. "It might be something the Gaunts wanted stored there. It might be someone's...remains."

Remus ran his hands over the ring, tilting it up so that Harry saw it in full light. He realised that it was actually a snake eating its own tail, the head and tail a part of the hinge that attached it to the box.

"Considering what you went through just to get the box," he said, "I'm inclined to give it to Tonks and have her give it the full Auror shakedown before anyone else touches it."

"I can have our alchemists look it over, they're pretty clever about this kind of thing," Tonks offered.

"I don't like to let it out of our hands," Harry said reluctantly. "Can't you do it here?"

"Well...I can do part of it here," Tonks said, accepting the box from Remus. She held it up with one finger through the ring and studied it contemplatively. "I'll get started on it tomorrow, all right?"

Harry was about to open his mouth and agree, when she tried to spin it so that her finger was hooked around the outside instead of supporting the inside of the ring. It bumped against her arm and she let out a painful yelp; even as she did so, the ring turned sideways with a snapping noise. The domed portion of the box slid off as she lifted her hand to rub her elbow.

Everyone flinched, Sirius a half-second later than the others.

"Ooooh buggery," Tonks said, dropping the lid as if it had burned her. The dome lay like an oblong bowl on the blankets, something small and hard spinning around inside it.

"Nobody touch it," she ordered, picking up the lid and setting it aside slowly. They all leaned forward.

Inside the smooth, concave surface of the box were two objects: a twist of crumpled parchment and a small stone which had clearly been wrapped in the parchment until recently. The stone was shaped like an egg but much too small, more like a quail's egg.

Tonks touched the rim of the box with her wand; when nothing happened, she flicked the wad of parchment out onto the blanket. She picked it up and unfolded it with the same wary caution, smoothing it against her leg.

When she read it, her face closed itself off and she pressed her lips together. She handed it to Sirius, wordlessly.

"To the Dark Lord," Sirius read, voice trembling. "I had thought to be dead long before now but I have had time to realise the scope of your deviance and locate your second Horcrux. They will both be destroyed at my first opportunity though I have left you a present in their place. You should know -- oh, Reg," he said, drawing his knees up against his chest and pressing his face against his legs tiredly.

Harry took the paper from his fingers and finished reading.

"You should know better than to think a son of the House of Black would ever be any man's servant," he read. "I would rather face death, as I am sure I will soon. R.A.B."

Tonks hesitantly reached into the box and took out the little stone, studying it. Remus' hands clenched on the blanket, his dark eyes watching Sirius carefully.

"It would seem," he said softly, "your brother must have led the Dark Lord on quite a merry chase before he died. Your scholarship was sound, Harry; it's not your fault."

"If he'd left the bloody things be, we'd have another horcrux right now," Sirius said.

"It's not impossible to trace where he went before he died -- we may be able to pick up the trail again," Tonks said. "I'll see if we have a file on him. And I want to have this stone looked at," she added, almost as if she were asking Sirius for permission. Sirius glanced at Remus, who nodded.

"I think we're all tired," he said. "And we didn't need this on top of everything else. I have work to do -- Greyback's trial might do us a world of good in the long run, but while it's going on someone needs to write letters to the papers about the difference between a freak of nature and a werewolf. They all know I'm one anyway; might as well be me," he sighed.

"I'll come down with you," Tonks said. "Nobody's going to be at headquarters right now anyway; I'll bring all this in first thing tomorrow. Harry?"

Harry glanced at Sirius, who looked positively grey from exhaustion and pain.

"I need to change," he said, touching the bloody sleeve of his shirt. Sirius' shirt had been a lost cause; he was still wearing the hospital-issue pyjama shirt. "Don't wait on my account."

Remus nodded and descended the staircase; Tonks made it to the top step before she turned and came back, giving Sirius a ginger but heartfelt hug.

"I'm glad you're okay," she said, then bolted down the stairs after Remus. Sirius ducked his head and grinned just a little. Harry slid off the bed and walked to the wardrobe.

"We could have some books sent up from Hogwarts, if you're going to be here for a few days," he said, stripping off his blood-crusted shirt and tossing it into a far corner. He wasn't sure he wanted to wash it; he might burn it instead.

"There are books here," Sirius said, easing himself down in the bed until he lay on his right side, eyes barely slits. He had yet to notice his patch of technicolour hair, but Harry wasn't going to tell him. He unbuckled his belt under the loose tails of his shirt and shucked his grimy trousers.

"Dog hair all over my new clothes," he said with a grin. Sirius grunted. "Do you want some water or anything?"

"Nuh," Sirius said, face almost buried in the pillow. "Might sleep a bit."

"Probably good for you. You're lucky. When Muggles get a concussion, they don't have potions for it -- they have to keep awake for ages."

"Why?" Sirius asked around a yawn.

"No clue. Anyway..." Harry selected a new belt and pair of trousers, "I didn't get to say thank-you yet. You didn't have to go and break your teeth on account of me, you know."

Sirius made a noncommittal noise, so he kept talking.

"I mean, if we'd been smart we'd have got out of there when it started to move. Some Auror I'd make, huh? I bet you Tonks would say it was amazing I could keep my head at all, but I'm starting to think that knowing when to run away is pretty much half of being an Auror to begin with. I still could, if I studied. Bet you'd help me. What NEWTs are you going to -- "

He turned around when Sirius made an alarming moan, but it turned out to be just a snore. Harry hadn't really ever encountered Sirius sleeping as a human before. He wasn't aware that he snored.

Harry crossed to the bed, still holding his trousers in one hand.

"Sirius," he said quietly.


"Do you want me to stay with you?"

Sirius shifted slightly. "Mmhm. Wan' Pa'foo?"

"No -- stay there," Harry said. He abandoned the trousers in favour of the pyjamas he'd tossed on the chair that morning and an extra blanket from the top of the wardrobe.

Sirius was used to a smaller bed than this at Hogwarts, and he took up really very little of it; Harry circled the bed and crawled across to where Sirius lay, curling up in his own blanket on top of the others, his back pressed to Sirius'. It felt awkward, though, and after a minute he rolled over, pressing against the other warm body in the bed just as if it were Padfoot.

"You asleep?" he asked.

"Jus' bout," Sirius answered.

"You all right, Sirius? You don't mind it?" Harry asked. "It's just us, anyway. We always share the bed."

"Don' mind what?" Sirius asked sleepily. He wriggled his shoulders a little, winced, and settled down with Harry's arm curled over his hip, Harry's hand pressed against his chest to keep him still.

"I didn't mean any of it anyway," he said, well aware that Sirius was either asleep or so close to it that he probably wouldn't recall this when he woke. "I don't sleep as well without Padfoot and I don't want you to sleep on the sofa downstairs."

"Mmkay," Sirius answered. "Won't."



Downstairs, Remus made tea while Tonks settled into one of the chairs at the kitchen table and placed the egg atop a leather-bound book. She picked up one of his quills and a spare scrap of parchment and began making notes.

"There are a couple of things I can do at Headquarters, I just need a few tools," she said, as she wrote. "And if Harry agrees, I'll run it past the alchemists and some other specialists. It has to have some kind of significance."

"I don't know. It seems rather light, for its size."

"It does. Durable, though. It might be hollow -- a puzzle-box within a puzzle-box."

"Well, I hope this one doesn't fall open, I think its surprise might be rather nastier than the other box's," he said, carrying two cups of tea to the table. The sugar bowl followed him, floating along in the air and settling between them on a bare patch of table.

"I agree with you. Do you remember Regulus at all?"

Remus shook his head. "Only as an annoyance a few years below us. He and Sirius didn't mix much at school. I didn't visit them during the summers -- the house was warded against werewolves, and they were never fond of his scruffy halfblood friend even before he ran off. You?"

"Mum didn't talk to them at all after she married dad. I only knew Sirius, and I was just a kid when he went to Azkaban."

"Your mum would remember him, though."

"She doesn't talk about that half of the family at all, though. It wasn't easy, you know? She was like Sirius, she hated them all anyway, and then they disowned her, and then Sirius went to Azkaban..."

"Have you told her about Sirius?"

"I keep wondering if I should, but the fewer people who know, the better. And she's...she made peace with him a long time ago. She had to. Why stir it up?"

Remus studied his tea. "I'm beginning to think I should have paid more attention to Regulus. Sirius was -- is -- such a terribly precocious, brilliant man. I don't know why I thought Regulus would be anything less."

"Do you think he destroyed the cup?"

"No. If he hadn't time to destroy the locket...he must have stolen it and hidden it, then gone back for the cup and hidden that somewhere too, but Harry would have found it when he went looking for the locket, if it were at Grimmauld Place. I wonder how Regulus knew."

"We'll know soon, if I have anything to say about it," she said with a grin. "I like mysteries."

"And here I thought you joined up with the Aurors for the shiny uniform," Remus said with a smile.

"You sound tired," she said.

"I am tired."

"Maybe I should go -- let you boys get some sleep."

"No," he said quickly, and she laughed. "No, what I mean is...please stay. Tonight."

"Sure, if you want. Your bed's nicer than mine." She studied his face. "Are you all right?"

"Yes -- I'm sorry, I don't like to say these things..." he looked down at the table. "I mean I don't like to ask because I...need. That can't be...proper, really."

She smiled at him across the table. "It's been a long day. I'm not surprised you're a little under the weather. Sirius could have gone for Harry and dragged him away, instead of breaking his teeth on bronze bones."

"No, it's not -- well, it is. Of course. But it's not only Sirius and Harry."

She waited while he gathered himself, mentally; the tips of his fingers flexed, a sure sign he was thinking hard. She'd seen him do this before, this assembly of his own thoughts into a tight little package, and it worried her just a little.

"The reason I was in London today..." he started, then stopped.

"Dealing with preliminaries for Greyback's trial, right?"

"No. I went to speak to him."

She stared at him. "You what?"

"Moody arranged it. I asked him to. I had to. I had to see him, Tonks."

"You talked to him?" she said, mouth agape. "Are you daft?"

"I asked him not to make a spectacle of himself in the trial. People are going to judge all of us on how he behaves -- "

"You can't reason with him! He eats children, Remus. He eats them."

"Don't you think I know that?" he asked, sharply. "Don't ever forget that I was one of those children."

She watched him warily. "So you went to talk to him today. Alone."

"Moody was there."

"While you talked?"

"He was watching through the door to make sure nothing went wrong."

"But you were alone."


"And you didn't think I really merited telling this."

He looked away.

"Apparently nobody wants to tell me anything. I'm not an idiot, Remus."

"Tonks, I know that -- "

"Then don't treat me like one."

The kitchen was silent, and he was reminded for a split second of the silence between himself and Fenrir, in the Ministry jail.

"It was something I had to do, and I didn't want to have to defend myself about doing it beforehand," he said. "I don't intend to make a habit of lying to you, but thirty years of avoiding drawing attention to myself -- it's hard to break. I'm trying. I'm telling you now."

"After the fact."

"Tonks, please. Nymphadora. I warned you I'm not perfect."

She stared at him. "So I'm supposed to just accept that you lied to me?"

"No! But -- do you know how long it's been since I had to answer to someone else for my actions? The last time I was in love you weren't old enough to Apparate legally. Yes, by all means, you have the right to be angry, but please stay here tonight."

Her face was cold and grave, like it had been for the unending months of fighting between them over what they even were to each other.

"I need you," he said quietly, looking away. "I know I'm not supposed to, I know it's a terrible way to be in love, to need someone, but I need you and I can't help that."

"You can't do this only when it's convenient to you," she said.

"I'm sorry."

"You can't lie to me and then expect me to pick up the pieces when you're hurt because you lied."

The tips of his ear, all she could really see of him, was red.

"What did you think? That I'd forbid you to go?" she asked.

"No," he whispered. "I thought you'd -- I didn't want to fight with you over it. I hate rows."

"Well, I'm not sure what you'd call this..." she sighed. "If you'd just told me I would have gone with you."

He looked up again, surprised.

"I wouldn't have liked it. I would have been furious at the idea and I would have told you it was daft, but if you'd said you had to, I wouldn't have made you go alone," she said. "But you didn't let me prove that, did you?"

He brushed his hair out of his eyes, one hand clutching at the back of his head. "I've never -- nobody but -- do you realise how naked I am in front of you, Tonks?"


"You know everything. I've been with women who knew I was poor or who knew I was a wizard when they weren't or who knew I loved them and one or two who knew I was a werewolf but I've never been with anyone who knew everything all at once. I don't know how you go about all day knowing everything and still come back to me at the end of it. Bloody hell, the last person who did that was Sirius, and that was twenty years ago when he was too stupid to know any better. Merlin," he said, rubbing his eyes with his fingers. "I sound like an absolute madman. I'm sorry."

She shook her head. "We're all tired. At least you told me. Come on..." she took one of his hands away from his face, grasping his wrist lightly and pulling him up out of the chair. He watched her cautiously, and she wondered what had happened to make him so wary of a little fighting. "Dare you to get naked in front of me for real," she said with a small smile, and he smiled back. "This doesn't mean I'm not angry with you. Don't do that sort of thing again."

"I can't make promises, Tonks -- I can try, but old habits die hard," he said, cupping his hands around her face, fingers threading through her pink hair just behind her ears. "Can I ask you something rude?"

"If you say please I might say yes," she replied, and he blushed.

"No, I just...Tonks, what do you even....what do you get out of...this? I know it's not that easy, this isn't a business transaction,, someone to sleep next to, someone who can talk to you about books...I'm not the only man who can do any of that, and plenty could do it better."

"You want me to forgive you and stroke your ego?" she asked sardonically. He stammered and she put her hand over his mouth. "Don't answer that."

Sometimes he watched her so intently that she wondered if the wolf didn't bleed over into the man when he wasn't careful.

"What I get out of you," she said, slowly, "Is the teenage boy who didn't think his best friend's klutzy little cousin was too uncool to hang out with. Someone who knows what it's like to be looked at...differently, not because of anything you did but just because other people don't see you the way you actually are. Someone who knows about books and history, someone who likes his women intelligent..."

Remus smiled behind her hand.

"Someone who doesn't want me to look like someone else, even in fun, someone who thinks he's not quite good enough for me instead of the other way around."

Her thumb rubbed his cheek gently, and he closed his eyes, breathing hard against her palm.

"When I was nine I thought you and Sirius hung the moon and James Potter lit it," she said. "I don't mind you being human, Remus. But I wouldn't say no if you wanted to be perfect, either," she added, taking her hand away and kissing him. "We both need sleep."

"Yes," he agreed, pulling her almost hesitantly towards the bedroom. "You'll stay?"

"Yes," she said. "I'll stay."


The Sunday after they went to the Gaunt crypt, Sirius woke with a pounding headache and a stiff neck. A few seconds' contemplation allowed him to deduce that the headache was likely the result of being clobbered by statuary the day before; the stiff neck was probably from sleeping in one position all night.

He could feel Harry curled against his back, Harry's hand clutching his pyjama shirt and Harry's breath on his neck. It was nice, of course, but it also wasn't helping what he understood to be most teenage boys' natural reactions to waking up in the morning. He slid his hand up and untangled Harry's fingers from his shirt gently, regretfully sliding out of the bed and standing unsteadily. Harry mumbled something sleepily and pulled in on himself, pressing his messy-haired head deeper into the pillow.

A hot bath would help the headache, and anyway they only had a clawfoot bathtub in the upstairs room. He gingerly eased his pyjama shirt over his head and left it on the floor, removing the trousers he'd fallen asleep in.

Something had been shoved in the back pocket, next to the Marauder's Map; Sirius didn't feel comfortable if he didn't have the Map somewhere about him. He pulled them out together and then placed the Map in a cubbyhole in Harry's writing desk before unfolding the thick, expensive parchment.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A HEALER, the top read. The rest of it was filled with smaller print, interspersed with pictures of Healers patching up various gory injuries and holding buckets for vomiting patients. A note was stuck to it.

Nigel, just some literature to get you started. If you manage to keep out of the hospital as a patient in the future, anyway. Augustus.

Sirius grinned and shoved the pamphlet in with the Map, then tossed his trousers and pants next to his shirt and wandered into the bathroom. A hot bath and a few minutes of privacy, that was what was needed. He ran the bath and climbed in, his left shoulder still protesting any strenuous use until he slid down and submerged his whole body up to his chin in the steaming water. He could feel the muscles in his left shoulder stretching, the knots slowly unwinding. He let his mind wander as he soaked, right hand resting on his belly, left dangling over the edge of the tub.

If one had to get into shouting matches with Harry Potter, ending the day by saving his life and being honourably injured was a pretty good way to win the fight. He, Sirius Black, was an out and out hero. He was definitely a Good Dog.

When he'd realised, somewhere around the age of fourteen, that he was never going to be like other boys, he'd also realised that it would be absolutely fatal to allow himself anywhere near the idea of sex with James Potter. It was hard enough imagining the awkwardness of sex with another boy, without it being his best friend, for all intents and purposes the brother he'd wanted instead of the brother he'd actually got. Remus was safe; Remus never let anyone too close, even his friends, and Remus was handsome too in a scholarly sort of way. He'd entertained fantasies of getting Remus alone in the Prefect's bathroom and explaining precisely what a bad young man he had been. It always ended with the mental vision of Remus' thighs tightening around his jerking hips and had naturally led, because variety was the spice of life, to the idea of other Prefects doing the same -- Matthew Byrnbaum (who was a bit of a wanker, especially for a Hufflepuff) among them.

But never James.

The thing was that Harry, for all he looked like James, wasn't James, and Sirius had realised that he liked dark hair and sharp jawlines, he liked green eyes. He slid his hand a little lower, meditating on this, until his knuckles brushed his erection under the water.

He and Harry were Adventurers. Perhaps the crypt could have gone differently; without the broken teeth and broken bones, Sirius would have been there with Harry leaning up against him and collapsing in relief across his body. Harry could have looked down and said "Thanks" in that way he had, and Sirius could have -- his hand twitched and rubbed, gently -- just leaned up and kissed him and said "you're welcome" which would just barely have gotten his tongue past Harry's lips.

It took even less effort in fantasy than it would have in reality to have rolled Harry over and straddled his hips. He could have kissed Harry there on the floor of the Gaunt family crypt and given the skeletons a show, brought life back into the cold stone cavern.

Some little voice in the back of his mind told him this was just a bit too creepy and wouldn't a nice, warm hospital bed be more comfortable anyway?

His breath came a little faster now, inhaling the steam of the bath as he pinned Harry underneath him on the hospital bed in the very private room and kissed his shoulders and spine. Harry writhed delightfully up against his cock and begged Sirius please just like that.

Sirius tilted his head back on the rim of the bathtub and tried not to moan. The warm air sent pleasant tingles across his skin and he pulled himself up out of the bath until he was sitting on the edge, his left hand clenching it for support while his right hand moved faster, and Harry's mouth was slickly warm and he moaned and --

Harry woke briefly when a warm, damp body curled up against him again, but whoever it was smelled like comforting things, soap and clean laundry and Sirius, and he merely adjusted to accomodate this new presence and slept on.

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