Long Way Home
Author: PhoenixFire Liz
Archiving: All FQF will be archived solely at this site until January 30th, 2005. After that, it's yours to do with as you will.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter, its characters, or anything associated with it. I'm not making any money from this story, and I don't intend to.
Challenge & Summary: Challenge #30: Sirius ran away from home on Christmas Day. Sirius finally escapes Grimmauld Place, leaving his childhood home on Christmas. However, instead of running to James first, he runs to Remus.
Author Notes: None Given.
Sirius swirled a glass of wine in his hand as he looked up, seeking solace in the face of a wheezy old grandfather clock, and realized that he was the only red in a sea of green. These people, swirling around him in an endless parade of old blood, old money, and old traditions all bore the distinct appearance of Slytherin alums. Meaning they were snarky-looking gits who, were they not adults, Sirius would've had the distinct pleasure of tackling to the floor and then hexing into incoherence. He took a sip of wine. It burned on his tongue, sour-sweet and tasting just as Slytherin as the people who milled about the parlor, tasted sharp and bitter and condescending.
He didn't want to be here, in the middle of another in a long string of Christmas parties his parents had hosted, strung out over the week like a paper chain, like the ones he'd left hanging in the Gryffindor common room after their own party. He should be at the Potters', drinking spiced cider (Sirius didn't care for eggnog) and leading a loud and rowdy chorus of "God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs," trying to see how many times he could catch Remus under the mistletoe and make him blush redder than the dress robes Sirius was currently wearing. But he was told under no uncertain terms that he was returning home to Grimmauld Place for the holidays, no arguments and no discussions. And no Christmas at the Potters'. He would've even settled with a quiet and vaguely uncomfortable Christmas with Remus' family.
These people, these people he couldn't deal with. Smarmy little Regulus was making small talk and laughing politely, listening intently to their talk of some brilliant man who believed that the only proper wizard was a pureblooded one. Sirius shook his head. Stupid, all of them stupid. Didn't they know blood had nothing to do with wizardry? Peter was from a pureblooded wizarding family and he was absolutely wretched in almost all of his classes. Remus and Lily, half-blood and Muggle-born, were at the top of their year.
His name was cracked off his mother's lips like a warning shot. She fixed him with a glare wearing too much mascara, the meaning behind this look the same as it had been twenty minutes ago. You are the Black family heir, stop standing around and scowling at everyone. You're enough of a disgrace as it is, filthy shame of my flesh.
Sirius ignored her, as he had twenty minutes ago, as he will when she returns in twenty minutes. It was eleven forty-five on Christmas Eve, and he was in no mood to be socializing. So he would continue to disregard his mother now and suffer later.
"I don't see why you can't just do what she says for once," Regulus sighed, slinking over. He plucked the wine glass from his older brother's hand, swirling it expertly before taking an experimental sip.
"Because unlike you, I take no pleasure in licking boots. Why don't you go back to doing that, Reg? I think there're a few arses you haven't kissed yet," Sirius snapped in reply, snatching the glass back.
The younger boy pouted. "You know, just because Mum and Dad are forcing you to stay here over hols, you don't have to take it out on me. It's not my fault you..."
"Not your fault, Regulus? Who was it that told Mum and Dad I have a boyfriend? It's the only reason I'm stuck here, because you opened your big stupid mouth and told them about me and..."
"Well what am I supposed to do? Just let you keep right on shaming the family name? It's disgusting, Sirius! It's...it's unnatural! You're supposed to get married and keep up the family bloodline, it's...it's your duty as a Black and..."
"And I say bollocks to that! You know what? Fuck it. Fuck it, Regulus, I've had enough. I'm leaving," Sirius growled, throwing the wine glass to the floor, the merlot oozing like blood and the glass giving a satisfying shatter. Regulus' gaze fell to the broken glass and then traveled back up to his brother's fury-mottled face.
"What do you mean you're leaving? Leaving the party?" he spluttered.
Sirius shook his head, checking his robe pockets for his wand. "No, fuckwit, I'm leaving. Go on and go scarpering off to Mum to tattle if you like, won't do you much good though. Won't stay another minute in this godforsaken viper's nest."
"You...you can't run away! Mum will disown you!"
"Fine, that's fine then. Let her disown me, I don't care," Sirius muttered.
Regulus continued to sputter, sounding as wheezy and verbally uncoordinated as the grandfather clock, feebly doling out the hour behind them. Sirius started to weave his way back through the milling crowd. There was just too much green here. Too much green and too much blood-crazed ignorance.
Sirius shook his head, artfully shoving his way past late-coming guests who obviously paid no heed to the 'fashionably late' rule, pausing long enough to snatch a cloak from the rack in the foyer. He heard the rustle of his mother's skirt-hems brushing around her thin ankles and hurried with the clasp. With an undisguised scowl of hatred, he took one last glance over his shoulder at the house, Grimmauld Place with all its falsely cheerful Christmas green, and reached for the doorknob.
At 12:03 AM Christmas morning, Sirius Black had officially run away from home.
A rather largish black dog limped into a somewhat clean-looking alleyway at around six-thirty in the morning, transforming into a tall, handsome teenage boy in crimson dress robes and a charcoal-colored wool cloak. He winced, looking down at his hands, which were starting to resemble raw meat, having run on them as paws for a solid six and a half hours. He rolled up the hem of his robe and then one trouser leg, hissing a breath through his teeth at the mess that was his right ankle. His mother had set his father's hunting crups out after him, supposedly to bring him back, but instead, the doglike creatures had attacked him and his favorite pair of shoes.
Sirius heaved a great sigh, leaning heavily against the cold brick of the wall. He'd rest for a few minutes and then start running again. Running. He would've much preferred to take a safer, quicker, and less physically punishing mode of transportation, but he was left with few options. He couldn't summon the Knight Bus on the grounds that his parents had probably already contacted Knight Bus Dispatch and requested that, should Sirius summon one, they return him to Grimmauld Place. He was still a year away from his Apparition tests. All of his brooms were in a cupboard in his bedroom. And he was in some unfamiliar part of what he was quite certain was Muggle England, so he couldn't just go knocking on doors asking to borrow their Floo. At least running as Padfoot ensured him a safe disguise.
"Stupid idea this was," he muttered thickly, wrapping his cloak tighter. "Congratulations, Sirius, you've been named Thickheaded Arse of the Year. Poorest executed runaway scheme in the history of running away. Didn't even think about food."
It was roughly 229 kilometers from London to Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Sirius wasn't sure how far he'd run at present but he was quite certain it wasn't anywhere near enough. And he wasn't quite sure what he was looking for, either. He'd never seen the house from the outside, since he'd only been there through Floo before. But he was sure that he'd know it when he saw it, or, at best, run into somebody else who did know it.
"All right, Sirius, get your arse moving. Long way to Sheffield and you want to make it there while there's still Christmas to be had. No dallying about. Up you get, you poor excuse for a runaway."
Heaving another sigh, he transformed back into the dog. Padfoot shook his heavy black coat, tested his back right leg, and struck out again. Morning was feebly lifting above the horizon, the way the sun struggled through the cold haze an indicator that the weather was not going to favor the young Animagus.
A small part of him wished he'd never left home in the first place.
When Padfoot collapsed, it was about dinnertime, one-ish, and the sky was starting to spit at him. The great black dog lay on the sidewalk of some cul-de-sac he'd stumbled upon, sides heaving as he fought to get a breath. The sun was doing its best to comfort him, but the light was thin, watery, shining through the thick snow-pregnant clouds like skim milk.
He was very hungry now, and evidently thirsty as he lapped at a bit of ice on the walkway, feeling it cold and wet against his tongue. The nearby houses smelled of Christmas dinner and it made his poor stomach lurch with a nauseous ache. Honey-glazed hams, big and pink and dripping with caramelized sauce; mulling spices, warm cider with the flavor of cinnamon rolling on his tongue; gingerbread, hot and dripping with white icing. The dog let out a whine, chewing on a bit of grass. He painfully got to his feet, cast about, and transformed.
Sirius scuffled about with his burning-raw hands in his pockets and almost sobbed in gratitude when he found a crumpled five quid in the bottom of one cloak pocket.
"Moony, you beautiful half-blooded god," he whispered excitedly, leaving the cul-de-sac and heading for a dingy little five-and-ten a few blocks away that he'd passed by earlier. It was thankfully open and he'd shoved the five pounds at the cross-faced man behind the counter, buying a cup of sludgy coffee and a small bag of mostly stale animal crackers. Sirius later realized that the man had overcharged him, but knowing nothing of Muggle money and everything of being hungry he didn't quite care.
"Well, Happy Christmas," he whispered, standing outside the five-and-ten and watching as snowflakes fell onto the inky surface of his coffee. He raised the cup in a toast to himself, the gesture both celebratory and self-pitying.
And though the coffee tasted awful and the animal crackers he vomited up about an hour later, it was admittedly the best he'd eaten in four days' time. Because he'd bought it on his own, with his own money. It was the food of freedom.
At sometime around eight in the evening, Padfoot staggered into Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The snowfall had picked up all day, and by nightfall it had been snowing in earnest. The dog shook off a thick layer of white and transformed back again, the boy almost falling over from the throbbing pain in his hands and feet and the sting of the cold. He shoved his hands into his cloak pockets and stumbled down the main street, looking for someone to give him direction.
After several minutes of wandering aimlessly, dizzy and weak, Sirius pulled out his wand. He held the ebony stick out, whispered something, his words lost on the snow-laden wind.
The wand gave a tremendous lurch, tugging Sirius down the streets, the exhausted boy leaving dragging footprints as he let himself be pulled through the blizzard. He passed by rows of small, comfortably quaint houses with their powdered sugar coating of snow. Some of them twinkled with little white lights, electric ones, Sirius thought dully, little Muggle lights that sparkled like the fireflies Moony and Padfoot had chased last June. He thought he heard carolers, might've seen them on the street corner huddled under a lamppost and singing "Angels We Have Heard on High" slightly out of tune. Or he might've been hallucinating.
Sirius cast his charm again, the wand guiding him to the gate of a little cottage way off the main road, hidden behind a copse of icy-branched trees. He staggered down the walk, freshly shoveled but Sirius hardly noticed this, and thumped his way up the front steps to bang heavily on the wooden door. His fist and the door both came away bloody.
The porch light flickered on and the door swung open. Sirius let out a weary sob, his chapped lips bubbling blood from at least four different places. His knees started to buckle, but a pair of deceptively strong arms wrapped about him and held the dark-haired boy up. There was a flash of amber and a smear of gold that Sirius saw as he started to black.
"Happy Christmas Remus..."
Sophia Lupin didn't have the heart to correct the boy, that her son Remus was curled up in an armchair in the living room, a book on his lap and a blanket slung over his shoulders, tortoiseshell glasses perched on the end of his nose as he drowsed by the fire.
Sirius woke again several hours later to the sensation of someone pressing a spoon against his lips. He opened his mouth obligingly, tasting chicken broth. He nearly choked on it and it scalded his tongue, but it tasted incredible. His eyes fluttered open.
"You are a first-class idiot, Sirius Black."
He smiled, lips splitting again at the motion. "Known that from day one. 'Lo, Moony."
"I can't believe you. What the hell were you thinking, honestly, Sirius? Or were you thinking at all? Look at you, you're a wreck, I'm surprised Mum and Dad didn't haul your sorry arse to the hospital to have your hands and feet chopped off. Dad had to practically saw your shoes off your feet, Sirius, and what happened to your ankle? You could have died and where would that leave me, you great gormless git? You know where? Loving my right hand for the rest of my rather lonely life, that's where," Remus snarled.
"You sound like Evans. Or McGonagall."
Remus heaved a great sigh. "Well you scared me, Sirius. When my mother ever came in with you slumped in her arms, your hands and feet and face covered in blood, you're practically blue..."
"...I ran away from home," Sirius mumbled, cutting him off. "I couldn't take it anymore and I left. Mother sent the crups out after me and they attacked me, so I changed into Padfoot. I wanted to take the Knight Bus, but I was afraid my parents had talked to them, forced them into taking me home if I summoned one. And I didn't get a chance to grab any of my brooms, either."
"What? Why did you leave?"
Sirius lifted his hands out from under the covers. They were heavily bandaged, the tape and gauze undoubtedly from the stock of werewolf supplies. Remus sported a few bandages of his own, but those were from the moon that'd just passed.
"I couldn't take it anymore. I was sick and tired of them and their stupid blood fanaticism and the way they always criticize me about bloody everything, Mother especially. And then Regulus had to open his fucking mouth and tell Mother and Father that I have a boyfriend...well, you can only imagine how well that went over. Father forbade me from leaving Grimmauld Place, Mother started screaming and hitting me and calling me a failure to the family name...and then the both of them dragged me to all of their Christmas parties in some horrible attempt to find the first available wealthy, pureblooded, beautiful but utterly empty-headed Slytherin bitch to marry me off to. So I left, walked right out the front door and ran."
Remus pulled him into a careful but tight embrace, running his slender fingers through the boy's dark hair. He whispered soft, sweet things, French things, into Sirius' ear, still carding his hands through his hair.
"I'd rather not marry some girl, you know. Don't like girls. Too squishy. Too smart for their own good. Don't like the taste of lipstick in kisses. You're all I want."
"Is that right?" Remus murmured.
Sirius nodded. "Very."
Remus smiled, kissing Sirius' forehead tenderly. "It's a good thing you've already got me, Padfoot, because you've been rather naughty this year and I don't think Father Christmas would've given me to you had you asked."
"He probably wouldn't have given me a lump of coal, though. Might be worried I'd put it in a snowball and lob it at Snivellus," the gray-eyed boy replied archly.
"Good to see you have your sense of humor back."
Sirius took a deep breath, glancing down at his bandaged hands. Remus picked them up and held them in his own, rubbing his thumbs over the white tape.
"I have no reason to be unhappy," Sirius said softly. "I've left my cage, they can't and won't tell me what to do or what to believe ever again. I'm here, spending my Christmas...or what's left of it...with you, with my Moony. I'm quite happy."
Remus kissed the backs of Sirius' hands. "I'm glad you're all right, Padfoot."
Sirius leaned over and brushed his lips over the other boy's. "You taste like gingerbread."
"Mum's made enough biscuits to last until Valentine's Day. I'll get you some, if you like, you've got to be starving," he offered.
"Not really. I think I'd rather just have you, thanks," Sirius replied, leaning in for another kiss. "You're the best gift I've gotten this Christmas, after all."
Remus turned his head away so Sirius' mouth only slid over his cheekbone. "You sure you want to do this? You were lying unconscious in my bed with blue lips and raw, frozen fingers for a good three hours, Padfoot."
"So you can warm me up, then," Sirius murmured against his skin, gray eyes sliding closed. "Come on, Moony, it's Christmas, you're supposed to be bringing me comfort and joy."
Remus laughed. "Oh, is that so?"
Sirius nodded, lips brushing over his jawbone. "Quite. Don't make me beg, Moony."
"I just don't think we should be doing this while you're still on the mend, Padfoot. You should be resting and getting your strength back."
"I'll spend all tomorrow resting," Sirius bargained. "Please, Remus?"
Remus sighed, kissing his cheek. "One of these days I'll be able to tell you no."
The gray-eyed boy smiled and brushed a linen-swathed hand over the jaw he'd just kissed. "But where's the fun in that?"
Remus shook his head, getting up and crossing to the door. He poked his head out, glanced around the hallway, and then carefully closed the door and locked it. He padded back across the wooden floor and braided rug, standing over the small bed.
"All right, you win...if only because it's Christmas. But if my parents catch us, I swear that I will toss you out on your arse into the nearest snowdrift and you can walk all the way to the Potters," Remus threatened, pulling back the covers and slipping into bed with Sirius.
Sirius chuckled, pressing Remus' hands over his heart. "Will you at least feed me before you throw me out into the snow? Or throw a sandwich out after me?"
"You said you weren't hungry," Remus murmured, slipping his fingers under the hem of Sirius' boxers. "You said you didn't want anything other than me."
"I'm not, I don't, but if you're throwing me out and I have to walk all the way to Brighton I'm going to get hungry and I used that five quid you snuck in my cloak to buy sustenance on this long trudge."
Remus nodded, one hand curled around his jaw, the fingers of his other hand stroking his hipbone, feeling the skin under his fingertips prickle with gooseflesh. "So you did find that scary Muggle money? I'm surprised you actually managed to use it."
"Oi...I may be a spoiled wizard son from a pureblood family that shuns anything Muggle, including pouring a glass of water with your own hands, but I'm not completely ignorant," Sirius rejoined, leaning into the touch.
"No, certainly not," Remus agreed, pulling him into a slow, deep kiss.
Sirius sighed softly into the other boy's mouth, lips parting, breathing the same warm wet breath. He felt the slide of a tongue running over his lower lip, coaxing gently, and smiled against Remus' mouth. For a boy so vehement about not doing anything, he was rather insistent, body pressing careful and close. Sirius clasped a hand over the back of Remus' neck, urging him down, tongues slashing slick and hot against one another. Sirius pulled away, plying kisses along Remus' throat, shivering as he heard the blonde trying to stifle moans, strangled mewls slipping from his bruise-flushed lips.
Remus shifted, jerking off his oatmeal-colored jumper and the green tartan oxford underneath it, the clothes falling off the bed and tumbling to the floor. His hands slid over Sirius' chest, plucking open the buttons of the flannel pajamas Mathieu Lupin had loaned the shivering boy. He trailed kisses down his breastbone, over the Quidditch-toned muscles of his torso, hearing the thick pulse of the dark-haired boy's blood as it sang through his veins. Sirius had a hand to his mouth, biting down on his index finger between the knuckles, gasping around his flesh. Remus pulled upwards again, taking Sirius' hand, kissing the knuckles, kissing his mouth, pressing the linen-wrapped palm against his heart.
Sirius held his hand there as the blonde boy trailed his fingers from the back of his hand, over his wrist and up his arm, the touch light and delicate and utterly maddening. He was panting softly as Remus' fingertips skated up his bicep, slipping over his shoulder, over his ribs and down his side. Sirius made a soft noise in the back of his throat, hips rising and rolling against Remus'.
The werewolf let out a shuddering breath, leaning close to his ear. "I love you, Sirius."
He smiled. "I love you too."
Remus slid his hands down between them, tugging off Sirius' boxers and then his own, kicking them away as heated flesh slid against heated flesh, both boys muffling groans against each other's mouths. Remus stuck a hand out from under the bedclothes, opening a drawer in his bedside table and pushing aside a pile of papers that littered the bottom of it. He knocked on the bottom, popping open a secret compartment and lifting out a tube of lubricant before resetting the drawer and closing it.
"Sneak," Sirius murmured.
"Learned from the best sneaks in Hogwarts," Remus replied, smiling and kissing him.
The blonde boy unscrewed the cap on the tube, squeezed the lubricant onto his fingers and pressed two of them inside himself, hissing and biting back howls. Sirius whimpered, feeling the slender, scarred body writhing above him as Remus slid his fingers in and out of his own body.
"Shh. Just another moment, Sirius, it's all right," he whispered through gritted teeth, amber eyes hazy and glimmering with gold.
Sirius shook his head, his hair slapping the pillow. "Why this way?"
"Sirius Black, do you honestly think your body has the physical capacity to do it any other way?" Remus asked, spearing him with a half-hearted glare and an arched eyebrow.
Remus leaned over and kissed Sirius once more, sliding his fingers out and reaching for the lube again. Sirius' breaths were quick and shallow as Remus smeared lube over his aching cock, the blonde taking great pleasure in stroking him slowly.
"Stop teasing me," Sirius whined petulantly.
"Listen to you, you sound more like Padfoot than you do Sirius," Remus chuckled.
The gray-eyed boy pouted. "That's mean...and you can't be mean to me, it's Christmas."
"Is it really?" his boyfriend quipped, his smile luminous. "That's news to me."
Remus was still chuckling and smiling brilliantly as he positioned himself, slowly impaling himself on the other boy's length. Sirius let a soft whimper roll from his lips, hips rising to meet Remus' downward movement. The two of them held still for several long, slow moments, Remus pressing soft kisses to Sirius' mouth, Sirius rubbing Remus' shoulders with his bandaged hands.
"Are you going to move?"
The werewolf shrugged. "Maybe. Maybe we'll just stay right here, like this, and be very still."
"That's beyond cruel, Remus Lupin. Please move. I've had, for the most part, a right awful Christmas and I think I deserve that one kindness."
"You, Mr. Sirius Black, deserve all the kindness in the world."
Remus started moving, impaling himself over and over again, rocking slowly against Sirius' body, the other boy's hips rising to meet each movement. They stifled heated moans against bruised mouths, Sirius' linen-wrapped hands still sliding over Remus' shoulders. The amber-eyed boy thrust back slowly and deeply, watching his lover's gray eyes shining wet-bright as they made love.
"Fuck, Remus, can't you move any faster?" Sirius breathed.
"Certainly Sirius, I will ride you so hard that the headboard pounds against the wall, my father comes in here, breaks the door open, and finds us fucking. Yes, Sirius, I can."
"All right, all right, no need to be sarcastic."
Remus leaned over and kissed his nose. "I'm just playing with you, Padfoot dear."
The blonde reached between the two of them and began slowly stroking his own cock in time with his thrusts, Sirius wrapping one of his hands around Remus', completing the circle, making them truly whole. They moved faster, still not fast enough to slap the headboard against the thin walls but enough to make Sirius writhe with every rise of his hips. Remus pressed his lips to Sirius' one last time, the two of them swallowing each other's cries as they climaxed within heartbeats of one another, Remus' come spurting hotly over their joined hands.
Sirius let out a sigh as Remus collapsed onto his sticky-hot body, mindful of his bruises and the bandaged bits. Remus smiled sleepily at him, snuggling close.
"Happy Christmas, Padfoot."
Sirius closed his eyes, letting a cool tear slip down his face. "Happy Christmas indeed."
"Shh, don't cry, you're safe now, you're home," Remus whispered, wiping away the tear and any others that might have been gathering in his long dark lashes. "Took a rather long way home, but you're home."
"Moony, whenever I'm with you, I'm home."
The amber-eyed boy grinned. "That was horribly lame, Sirius."
"Ask me to come up with something better after I've had a good night's sleep, a hot shower, and some of your mother's gingerbread biscuits. And Christmas presents. I'll say something utterly profound to you after Christmas presents."
"At this point, Sirius," Remus murmured, "I think they've become Boxing Day presents."
Sirius shrugged, mumbling as he nodded off to sleep, "That's what I get for running away on Christmas, I suppose. Next time I run away from home I'll pick a better day to do it. And I'll line my pockets with sandwiches."
"Or how about you don't run away from home again?"
"That too. Night, Moony, Happy Christmas."
Remus kissed his jaw. "Happy Christmas, Padfoot."