Links (coming soon)
Etc. (coming soon)


Art and layout by saridout

All other image and content © Deirdre Riordan 2004. All rights reserved.

Title: Legal
Author: Deirdre Riordan (deirdre.riordan @ gmail . com (remove spaces)
Pairing: Harry/Sirius, others implied
Rated PG-13 for now.
Disclaimer: Hell, if they were mine, I'd be able to afford a lawsuit.
Warning: This will contain m/m sex between someone who's just barely not a minor and a much older man.  Written before OotP release, obviously.

Table of Contents:
Part 1 It won't fit-- it's too thick.
Part 2  Snape, the Bet, and Ice Cream
Part 3  Slash Within Slash

Part 1: "It wont' fit-- it's too thick."

Returning home from his summer job, Harry laughed out loud when he walked into the kitchen and saw Sirius. He was sitting at the table, cigarette clenched between his teeth, glaring determinedly at a muggle typewriter as he tried to stuff a piece of parchment into it for what looked to be about the thirtieth time.

"Sirius," he said, leaning his broomstick against the wall, "What exactly are you trying to do?"

Sirius looked up and grinned. "Well, I got this great idea for a book. So I was going to start on it. But this damned muggle contraption wouldn't cooperate."

"Where did you get that thing anyway?"

"Arthur Weasley."


"Well, he was so excited about the damn thing I couldn't say no. And then I got it home and it seemed like it might be fun to try it out. That was about four hours ago."

"Sirius, you can't put parchment in a typewriter," Harry said, laughing and sitting down on the table. "It wont' fit-- it's too thick."


"That thing on the table."

"Arthur told me it was called a Corona."

"That's the name of the company that made it." Harry leaned over and plucked the pack of cigarettes out of his godfather's pocket. "Anyway, if you really want to use it, we can get you some muggle paper tomorrow. Why do you want to type it anyway? Any wizard publisher is going to look at you a little funny." He pulled a cigarette out of the pack and lit it with a small flame from his wand.

Sirius looked a little embarrassed. "Well, when we were kids, Moony and I snuck into this muggle theatre. And on the screen there was a guy using one of these things, smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey and breaking hearts, and he just seemed so.... bad-ass."

"And this is your final step in molding yourself into this hypothetical muggle?" Harry laughed.

"Well.... kind of...." He took the cigarette out of Harry's mouth, his fingers just grazing his lips. "Smoking's bad for you."

"Bad for you too," Harry said, taking it back.

Sirius shook his head. "Moony'd kill me."

Harry leaned over a little closer than necessary. "Moony isn't here," he said in a slow, singsong voice. Sirius hoped Harry couldn't hear him gasp. Harry sat up a little, shifting back into non-smoldering mode. "Anyway, it's not like you're corrupting me. What do you think Snowball and I were doing in the Astronomy Tower all last year, snogging?"

Sirius laughed, but the idea was a little too close for comfort. "Snowball? Who the hell's Snowball?"

Harry half-snorted, half giggled. "Oh. Oops. I meant Draco."

"Okay, now I know exactly what you were doing in the Astronomy Tower!"

"No, you perverted git! It has nothing to do with that!" Harry said, punching him lightly. "We refused to call him Padfoot, for obvious reasons, so I came up with Snowball. It kind of stuck. He hates it, though." He snickered. "Can't really say I blame him. Although at least he doesn't get Ring-Around-the-bloody-Rosey sung at him twelve times a day."

*Yeah, you'd definitely call me a perverted git if you knew what I think about....* "Speaking of your little menagerie, are they all still coming tomorrow?"

"Yeah, around dinnertime. That'll give us plenty of time to get to the Ministry and the grocery and still be ready."

"Ministry? What do we need to go to the ministry----" he caught Harry's huge grin. "Oh, your bloody apparating licence. I'd forgotten. Just don't muck it up and transform. That's how McGonagall had to register herself, you know."

Harry cracked up and nearly fell off the table. "Are you kidding me? Bloody hell, can you imagine that!?"

"That's about the reaction I had. Now get off the table and help me cook before I forget and eat you for dinner." *Did I just say that? I just said that. Black, you stupid prat.*

Harry didn't really seem to notice, though, and changed into his phoenix form. He flew up and landed on Sirius' shoulder. The bird nipped at his ear playfully. *That's really Harry doing that... Does that mean he wants to do that? Or does he just think it annoys me?* "Woof," Sirius said. The bird flew down to a chair and changed back into Harry. "Showoff," he said, ruffling the boy's hair. *Such nice hair, so soft... Dammit, he's just a kid! No he's not, he's a bloody adult tomorrow. But he's still.... Oh God....*

"Sirius? Are you all right?" Harry asked, apparently having noticed the somewhat pained look he'd been trying to hide.

"I'm fine," he said, shaking his head. "It's just that... well, I mean, I was just thinking, tomorrow you're of age, you're independent, and then in a month you'll go back to school and then you'll graduate and go off to be great somewhere and I'll never see you and you won't need me anymore..." All of these fears were true, of course, and he had been dreading these things ever since the beginning of the summer. He stared out the window at a bird flying over the moor.

Harry grabbed his hand and pulled him round to face the two soulful green eyes that stared up at him. "Sirius... don't be ridiculous. I'm not going to pack up and move out of here the second I can. I don't even know what I'm doing once I graduate, and I highly doubt it's going to involve going off anywhere very far at all, and it's even less likely to involve much greatness." He pulled Sirius back down into the chair he had stood up from. There was something different in his voice when he spoke again, but Sirius couldn't really tell what. "And there will never be a time when I don't need you."

Sirius realised Harry was still holding his hand. Harry seemed to realise it too, because he glanced down, seeming a little embarrassed. But then he seemed to let that go and pulled Sirius over to him. "Come 'ere, ye git." Sirius felt Harry's arms go around him and his face pressing into his shoulder. Heart pounding, he allowed himself to embrace Harry and breathe in the scent of his hair. Honey and ginger, and on top of that a sort of burnt sugar smell, probably from whatever exploding candies he'd been working with all day at Fred and George's shop. He could have stayed like that for the rest of eternity. He heard Harry mumble something into the fabric of his robe.

"What was that?" he half-whispered into Harry's hair.

Harry moved his so that he could be understood, but didn't take his head off Sirius' shoulder. "I said I love you, y'know."

Sirius felt some kind of vice grip tighten around his heart. "I love you too," he said in the same half-whisper. *So much more than you will ever know.*

Harry let him go and sat up to face him. He touched one delicate thumb to Sirius' cheek to brush away a tear Sirius hadn't realised had fallen. "Don't go getting all maudlin on me, now. I'm not going anywhere for quite some time." Sirius tried not to be too aware of the hand that was carelessly resting on his knee. What could have become a very awkward situation was dispelled when the bird Sirius had seen over the moor soared in through the kitchen window and flew in crazy circles around the kitchen before landing on the table in front of Harry.

"Hello Pig," Harry said, freeing the letter from the owl's leg. Pig went over and helped himself to some of Hedwig's food while Harry opened the letter. "Malfoy, you git," he muttered when he saw the scrambled letters:

loer,d,nd I uiy!g apm nJ rl B'uttrivttrhA eooveyshoe srpen,lo vgst sopr eeil, ttSnyoowwbblieaanmickarmaoklinsevarwLl

"Wow, Malfoy's gotten better at spelling since I last saw him," Sirius said, looking over his shoulder.

Harry pretended to bite at him and summoned his wand. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good," he sighed, and tapped the parchment. The letters obliged him and rearranged themselves into something readable:

'Lo there Ashes! Just reminding you that Blackeye, Silver, and I will be arriving tomorrow at seven pm sharp, so look pretty! love, Snowball

Harry picked up one of the scraps of parchment lying around and scribbled an answer on it:

You're a git, Malfoy. But you have a nice tail, so I'll forgive you this once. See you tomorrow.

He put the same annoying scrambling charm on it that Draco had used and then charmed it further to look blank at first, then a third charm for it to blow a raspberry at you before disintegrating. He chuckled to himself and sent it back off with Pig, who insisted on doing some figure-eights in the air around his head before setting off again.

"Ahh, the many joys of Marauder correspondence," Sirius said mockingly, leaning back in his chair.

Harry pulled off his robe (under which he wore nothing but a pair of cutoff shorts that were a little too loose around the waist) and began to rummage in the icebox. Sirius stared at his lightly muscled back. A magical tattoo of a snitch fluttered on his left shoulder blade. In the small of his back was another tattoo, applied the muggle way, of a phoenix biting the head off a snake. Harry's third tattoo came instantly to his mind-- the half- formed Dark Mark on his forearm that Voldemort had tried to burn into him in a last-ditch effort to gain enough power to stay alive.

Harry emerged holding two bottles of Newcastle and some beef and vegetables. "Stir-fry?" he asked, handing Sirius one of the beers. Sirius could only nod. Harry magicked the stereo to life and put on a CD. He began to sing along loudly with the Ramones and cook dinner. Sirius stared at that beautiful back, thinking how much he wanted to touch it. *It would be so easy, just go up behind him and rub my hands all over his back, then he'd turn around and kiss me and....* Sirius could not get these thoughts out of his mind. *This isn't fair. We used to be able to have a good time together without me mentally undressing him.* So Sirius did the only thing he knew to do under the circumstances, the same thing he'd been doing for months. He went upstairs to jerk off. *I needed a shower anyway,* he reasoned.

He felt a lot more in control of himself afterwards. *Stupid libido.* He pulled on a pair of jeans, leaving off the shirt. He tried to tell himself it was because it was too hot to wear one, but he knew that was a lie. He knew he was attractive, not just for someone his age, and hell, if it would help anything, why not.

Part 2: Snape, the Bet, and Ice Cream

Harry turned around from the stove to find Sirius gone. "Sirius?" He called into the living room.

Sirius came down the stairs a few seconds later. "Yeah?" He was wearing a pair of well-worn jeans and nothing above the waist but the towel around his shoulders. A drip of water rolled down his chest. Harry swallowed. *muststophavingacrushonsirius, muststophavingacrushonsirius! quidditch, quidditch, quidditch! Snape in a bikini...ew!*

"Oh, I wondered where you went."


"I see that now. Dinner's almost ready."

"Sorry for not helping."

Harry shrugged. He didn't really mind. He liked cooking. He'd had to do it so much as a child that it actually became sort of meditative, since he didn't really have to think about what he was doing. "No problem. Least I could do what with all the trouble you're going to tomorrow."

"Throwing you a bloody party is no trouble, I've already told you. As long as you don't mind an old geezer like me hanging around."

"'Course not. I think I'd be mad if you didn't." *more like devastated*

"Are you sure you don't want to invite more people?"

"Nah, I'd rather it be a Marauders-only sort of thing. We'd just ignore everyone else anyway, so I don't see much point in bothering about them."

"I suppose you have a point."

"Course I do. Is Remus coming?"

"He should be. So long as Snape doesn't eat him or anything."

"Ugh, Snape." Harry turned his head a little. For a moment he thought he was seeing things. "Aaaah! Snape!"

"Merlin, Harry, he's not that bad!"

"No, but he's here!" Harry said, pointing to the door, outside of which stood a rather annoyed-looking Snape. Not that he ever didn't look annoyed.

"Oh. Well, I suppose we should let him in."

"Do we have to?"

"Do you want him to stand out there all night?"

"You have a point."

"Of course I do."


They finally walked to the door and de-warded it to admit Snape into the house. "What are you doing here, Professor?" Harry asked, trying not to sound too nasty.

Snape held up Pig. "I assure you Potter, this is not a social call. This.... so-called owl collided with the back of my head while I was gathering Yew leaves nearby. As the letter it is carrying is addressed to you, and as my head is what seems to have caused its unconsciousness, I thought I should bring it here."

At this point both Harry and Sirius were about to explode with laughter at the thought of a bloody owl being knocked out by Snape's head.

"What's so funny, Potter? I assure you that the collision of an owl with the back of one's head does not tickle." Just hearing Snape say the word tickle nearly sent Harry over the edge.

"No, of course not, Professor. It's just that Pig is so stupid, that's all."

"Can I offer you anything for your head, Snape? Ice? Whiskey?" Sirius asked, obviously trying not to grin too much.

Snape sneered. "No, thank you Black, I can tend to it myself."

"Would you like to stay for dinner, Professor?" Harry asked, taking Pig from him. He saw Snape's eyes dart briefly down to the mark Voldemort had left on him, just as everyone's did when they were not used to seeing it.

Snape actually seemed to consider that for a moment, probably due to the excellent smell of Harry's cooking. Fortunately he thought better of it, almost definitely due to the murderous look on Sirius' face. "No, thank you, Potter, I'm not hungry. I'll be going now."

"See you later, Professor!" Harry exclaimed, practically shoving Snape out the door. They watched to make sure he apparated away before dissolving into fits of laughter on the floor.

"That was bloody priceless!" Harry exclaimed when they'd calmed down a bit. He went to read the letter Pig (who was beginning to wake up) was carrying and started laughing again. This one was obviously from Ron, as it wasn't charmed but he could barely read it anyway.

Harry-- Draco bet me a galleon I couldn't get Pig to find Snape and whack him in the head. Did it work? Send word back tonight. -R.

His eyes tearing, he held out the note for Sirius to read, who also descended anew into hysterics. Harry scrawled another note--"It worked. You should have seen Snape's face. You are both my heroes. Pig is recovering."-- and sent it off with Hedwig.

They finally got over their fits of giggles and sat down to eat.

"Mmm, this is great, Harry," Sirius said through a mouthful of food. "You never cease to impress me."

"Glad you like it." Harry grinned. He loved making Sirius happy.

"Is there anything special you want to do tomorrow other than getting your licence and the party?"

*Shagging you rotten on the kitchen table comes to mind...Bad Harry! Iron your hands!* "Not really. I wanted to buy some new clothes and things, but that isn't really special... kind of a bother, really.... Well, I guess there was one thing... it's kind of silly though... you'll probably laugh... I was kind of thinking about getting my nipple pierced and I wanted somebody there to hold my hand." Harry could feel the blush creeping into his cheeks.

Sirius did laugh. "I told you it was silly!" Harry exclaimed defensively.

"It's not the idea that's silly.... It's that someone who can stand up to the Cruciatus curse for an hour and barely flinch wants his hand held for a little piercing!"

"I see the irony, but it's not the same thing!" Harry whined.

"And anyway, magical piercings don't hurt at all. They numb you and they pierce you and then they heal it all up and it's like you've had it for years. Unless you were wanting to get it done the Muggle way."

Harry shook his head. "It never occurred to me that there were such things as magical piercings."

Sirius pointed to his ears, which were both full of various studs and hoops. "I got all these in one sitting if that tells you anything."


"Yeah, the poor wizard doing it thought I was nuts to want that many. I never regretted it, though. Not that they're hard to get rid of. Is there any more of that delicious muggle ice cream you bought a few days ago?"

"Should be. Shall we have some before we retire?" Harry started dishing up the ice cream. Retire actually meant 'watch telly until we pass out.' They'd gotten one on a whim and were now both quite addicted to it. The great thing was they didn't have to pay for satellite or anything. Sirius had figured out how to magic in any channel they wanted from just about anywhere in the world. Their current fascination was Star Trek, and they'd managed to find some strange Australian station that showed nothing but.

"Oh, I don't know, we could have it in the den. I've always thought Spock would go quite well with ice cream."

"I knew it! I knew it! You fancy him, don't you?" He knew Sirius was (or at least used to be) attracted to men, but he also knew that Leonard Nimoy was currently about 80 years old.

"Only a little! It's the ears! Sortez chocolat!" Sirius shot warm chocolate sauce out of his wand and onto the ice cream. He licked the tip of it when he was done and Harry nearly melted on the spot. He had never bothered to ask where Sirius had learned that spell, and wasn't sure he wanted to know.

"You realise that actor is thoroughly ancient!"

"And what's wrong with older men?" Harry wasn't too sure how much he should read into that question... He wanted to read an awful lot into it, but he wouldn't let himself.

"Well, nothing," he answered honestly, "But past a certain age, i.e. a million...."

"He's only a little older than my father would be."

"Yeah, like twenty years older!"

"All right, all right. But I never said I fancied Leonard Nimoy. I only hinted at the fact that I might fancy Spock a little. Come on, the ice cream's melting."

Part 3: Slash Within Slash

They assumed their usual positions on the huge couch in the den, rather close together. They ate their ice cream and were soon sucked into Star Trek. By this time, they'd seen every episode at least twice and had bits of many of them memorized. They had become convinced (unbeknownst to them, like thousands of muggles across the world) that Kirk and Spock were actually sleeping together and spent a lot of time pointing out evidence to that end.

They started watching in the middle of "The City on the Edge of Forever" in which their heroes got stuck in depression-era New York. Thankfully Harry no longer had to explain the Depression or New York to Sirius, as he had done it before.

"You, at his side, as if you've always been there and always will!" They chorused along with Edith Keeler in unison. "Awwww!"

"There's only one bed free in that room! That contraption's taking up the other one!" Sirius exclaimed. "They'll both have to sleep together!"

"Ooh, look how sad Spock looks when Jim confesses he's in love with Edith! He wants her to die!"

And so it went for several episodes, with random interjections of "Kiss me Spock!", "You know they're snogging in the turbolift!" and "Oh my god, he's checking out Spock's bum!" Eventually, as always, Harry gradually drooped onto Sirius and they both fell asleep. Harry had often wondered why they bothered having beds and pyjamas when they just fell asleep on the sofa every night in their clothes.

Harry woke up a few hours later to find himself cradled in Sirius' arms. His first instinct was to try to extricate himself in order to avoid embarrassment, but it just felt so... good, so utterly right that he couldn't bear to move. He lay perfectly still, listening to the rhythm of Sirius' breathing, feeling his chest rise and fall, revelling in the soft bare skin against his. He drowned himself in the scent of the man holding him, memorising it, picking out every little piece of it-- chocolate, shampoo, soap, and at the core of it all a scent that could merely be described as Sirius, sweet and a little musky--like the forest after a rain. When he finally got down to that core, a realisation hit him like a truckload of coffins. This wasn't just some crush. Crushes were cerebral and temporary and could eventually be banished. He'd had crushes before, and this didn't feel like one. He realised that he loved this man with every single atom of his essence, every cell of his body, wanted to possess him and be possessed by him, wanted to crawl inside of him and know everything he knew and thought and felt. This was love. This was need in its purest, rawest form. His heart was pounding so hard he felt sure the noise would wake Sirius. He tried to ignore his own arousal, will it away, but it would not be so easily conquered. Sighing softly, he closed his eyes and resigned himself to wanting.

Mercifully, Harry was able to sleep again, but the sleep itself was less than peaceful. He was on the bridge of the Enterprise, wearing a gold tunic and sitting in the Captain's chair. Looking around, he saw Oliver Wood, Snape, Viktor Krum, and Sirius. But he knew and somehow did not question that they were actually Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and Spock respectively.

Spock-Sirius turned around from the viewer gadget he was always staring into. "Captain," he said, "There is a dangerous craft approaching."

"On screen," he said.

"Keptin," said Krum-Chekov, "Do you vish me to arm the phasers?"

"Stand ready, Ensign."

"Aye, sir."

"Lieutenant Uhura, open a hailing frequency. See if it responds."

"Aye, Sir." Uhura was actually Dean in a dress.

"Mr. Spock, come with me to the briefing room. You have the conn, Mr. Scott."

"But sir!" exclaimed Wood-Scotty "The craft! Shouldn't I be in the engine room in case ye need power?"

"This won't take long, Scotty."

At this, Sirius-Spock raised an eyebrow and they walked into the lift together. As soon as the doors closed behind them, they flew into each other's arms, tasting each other's lips, their hands roaming frantically. He could feel his shirt being ripped, and Spock-Sirius pushed him to the floor. "It would be illogical to protest against our natures, Captain," he growled before throwing himself on top of Harry. Instead of kissing him, though, he began to shake his shoulders vigorously.

"Harry. Harry. Wake up."

"Mmmmm, what are you waiting for, Commander?" Harry moaned, disoriented.

"Harry, you're dreaming, wake up."

Harry's eyes snapped open to see Sirius looking down at him. He could feel all the blood rush out of the rest of his body and into his cheeks. "Oh, bugger."

Sirius chuckled. "I guess good old Voldie wasn't in this one," he said, raising an eyebrow.

Harry was suddenly painfully aware of his proximity. "Don't do that!" he exclaimed, trying to get all images of Sirius and pointed ears out of his head.

"Do what?"

"The eyebrow thing! It's-- I--"

"You had a Spock dream, didn't you!" Sirius said triumphantly.

Harry went pale. "How did you know?"

"Well, the eyebrow thing bothering you, coupled with 'mmmm, what are you waiting for, commander?' and I kind of put it together."

*I said that out loud?* Harry groaned. "I said that out loud?"

"'fraid so. You just can't make fun of me for fancying Spock anymore."

*Ugh, Dean in a dress* Harry suddenly remembered. "That was the weirdest dream I've had in a while. Oliver Wood was Scotty, and Viktor Krum of all people was Chekov, and Uhura was Dean Thomas in a bloody dress! And Snape was Sulu for some ungodly reason, their voices are similar I guess... and Spock was---" Harry had to cut himself off right there to keep from revealing exactly who had played the part of Spock.

"Spock was what?"

"*Devouring* me. Bloody weird." *Weird is not the word for it, Potter.*

"It doesn't mean anything, Harry."

*Like hell it doesn't!* "What do you mean?"

"I mean, it doesn't mean you're gay or anything if that's what you're worried about. You looked worried."

*Right.* He realised he hadn't ever actually come out to Sirius. "Oh, no, I am. Gay that is, not worried."

He could not for the life of him read the look that flashed through Sirius' eyes. "Umm... congratulations? I never really know what to say to that."

Harry laughed. "Sorry, I guess I forgot to tell you."

"Forgot to tell me? How long have you known?"

*Might as well tell him everything.* "Probably about since Malfoy seduced me last year."

"You're dating... Malfoy." Another one of those unreadable expressions.

*Well that came out wrong. Ha. A pun.* "Em, no, not really. Not at all, actually. We just kind of...."

"Screw around sometimes when you're bored?"

*How'd he know?* "Yeah, for lack of better prospects."

Sirius snorted. "Merlin, how much better a prospect do you want? Most of Hogwarts wants to get in his pants!"

"We know each other too well. I mean, I love him to death, but I'm not honestly that attracted to him most of the time. Too blond." *Too young. Too not you.* "You're not angry, are you?"

"Why should I be angry? I hope I'm not that much of a hypocrite."

"No, I mean that I didn't tell you sooner."

"You're not required to tell me anything you don't want to, you know that."

"I know... it's just..." Harry could feel himself blushing furiously. "I was afraid you'd think I didn't trust you enough to tell you. And I was afraid you'd--"

Sirius pulled him up and hugged him, probably reacting to the pained look on his face. *Oh god all this skin I'm going to die, I'm going to die....*

"Harry, shut up. It's fine. Just don't lie to me anymore, okay?"

"Lie to you? What have I lied to you about?"

Sirius smirked. "You made out like you and Malfoy weren't snogging in the Astronomy Tower."

Harry could see how he could draw that conclusion. "We never did. We tended to use our lovely private Prefect rooms for that."

Sirius screwed up his face in mock disgust. "Ugh, remind me to owl Dumbledore about revisiting your prefect status."

Harry punched him in the arm. "You wouldn't!"

Sirius gave him that smile that always reduced him to a quivering pile of Potter-goo. "No, I wouldn't."


"I know where you sleep." Sirius gave him his best escaped lunatic glare but couldn't hold it.

"Speaking of sleep," Harry said, yawning.

"Yeah, we'd better. If we're getting your licence and buying you clothes and getting you pierced, on top of hosting a bunch of drunken Animagi, we're going to need our strength."

*Oh, take me to bed with you. I'll never ask for anything else.* "What, you actually think the piercing thing is a good idea?"

"Why the hell not? It's not going to hurt, and you can take it out if you decide you don't like it."

"Well, the only thing is...." *How in fuck was he supposed to say this to Sirius?* "I've heard... from girls at least, that sometimes it... messes up the nerves or something and you can't feel anything anymore without some kind of charm." He looked down, squirming and blushing. *Great, now he knows I've got sensitive nipples.*

To his utter astonishment, Sirius was laughing.

"What! It isn't funny!" He exclaimed, blushing more if that was actually possible.

Sirius managed to stop laughing and cleared his throat. "No, I suppose not. But anyway, I've never heard of that happening in cases where it was done properly. Who'd you hear that from anyway?"

"Umm, Lavender Brown. She probably did it herself though, now that I think about it. Serves her right. Anyway, do you know of someone who'll do it properly?"

"Course I do. I'll take you to the same guy who did my ears. I'm sure he's still around."

"Well, I suppose if he knows what he's doing... I mean your ears haven't fallen off or anything...." There was just something about getting a hole poked in him that made him nervous. He wanted the result, but not really the process.

"Harry, you're being silly. Nothing can go wrong. Did you worry about blood poisoning and AIDS when you got that Muggle tattoo?"

The muggle tattoo was a bit of a sensitive subject for Harry. Of course, Sirius had no way of knowing that. After Voldemort's fall, after he had cast Cruciatus and the Killing Curse a grand total of twenty-three times (he counted each death he caused every time he thought about it), after he had watched his classmates take curse after unforgivable curse for him because they thought he was the only one who could save them, after Draco and Hermione had nearly died in his arms, after Voldemort left him marked for life, after all that pain, he'd gone numb. Just utterly numb. He'd lain in the Hospital Wing for days, and sat around there for days after, holding his friends' hands, begging them to wake up. But he couldn't feel anything. When Madam Pomfrey had ordered him to go and get some sleep, he'd snuck into Hogsmeade and floo'd to Diagon Alley, and from there entered Muggle London, where he got the tattoo. "I wasn't thinking about things like that when I got it," Harry said quietly. "Sometime I'll tell you how I got it, but not tonight."

Sirius nodded and laid a hand on Harry's shoulder as though he already knew. *Probably isn't hard to guess what the thing means, and he's seen it enough times.* "We should both get some sleep," Sirius said, pulling him off the couch.

Harry slept, but not peacefully.

~~to be continued (one of these days...)~~

Email comments to deirdre.riordan @ (remove spaces)

Striking Thirteen
Hallways and Forgotten Spaces
La Découverte ou L'Ignorance

Coming Around
Operation: Parkinson
Wanna Touch

Far From Innocent
An Accident of Birth