AN: This is my first time posting a multi-chapter story on here, so I hope you enjoy this! Trigger warnings (not so much now than in later chapters). Please no flames, but I'd love constructive criticism. RR!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the herby mentioned characters nor do I make a profit from this work of fiction. (What do you think? If I were J. K. Rowling I would not be writing this crappy fanfic.)

Falling felt like an eternity.

Hitting the ancient, costly vase and feeling it shiver, as if it was alive and its heart were trembling, before bursting into a thousand pieces, seemed to take a mere instant.

Sirius had scrambled up, Reparo on his lips, but his mother caught him before he could fix the vase.

Thus his summer began. Being locked in a drafty closet with no food and minimal water was less than pleasant, and, of course, he just had to go and make his situation worse when he was finally liberated after two weeks by stealing his father's alcohol.

He wasn't trying to get high, Sirius told himself. He just hadn't had any in a long time. Of course, this was a notorious canard. Truthfully, Sirius had wanted to forget. And alcohol could make him do that.

And his yearning led drowning one of the four bottles, which, in turn, led to a broken jaw. Followed by an array of kicks which resulted in colorful bruises splashed across his stomach. When his father had drunken the rest of the alcohol himself, all of it in one night, he had administered a beating that left Sirius practically bedridden for another handful of weeks.

He didn't cry through any of it. He had stopped that "childish behavior" when his mother got the brilliant idea to punish his six-year-old self with the Cruciatus curse for crying. Sirius had never let a tear leave his eye after that. I'm old enough not to go around blubbering like a little kid.

Sirius survived on his friends' letters.

James would write in his messy scrawl jokes and hopes and wonders and, of course, rants about Lily - whatever came to his mind, really - and Peter would wish him good summers and tell him of his trips to America. Remus actually separated his thoughts into different paragraphs, letting the narration of his summer, questions of Sirius' own, and oft-pondered inquiries of schoolwork - as well as the coming years - to take shape in his neat handwriting.

So when the first of September rolled around, Sirius was pretty sure he was hyperventilating in relief.

I'm getting out, I'm getting out! I have a whole year to enjoy. I can't wait to see my friends!

In the privacy of his bedroom, Sirius waved his wand over his face, and the bruise on his jawbone tingled before disappearing completely. He'd never let his friends see testaments of the summer. Then he closed his trunk and, with a lifting heart, began to drag it downstairs.

Remus arrived at Platform 9 3/4 filled with excitement at the prospect of seeing his friends after a whole summer without them. They had accepted him despite Remus being a werewolf, which was more than he had ever thought was possible. He knew now, however, that he could not hope to survive without the Marauders.


He looked over to see James and Peter calling to him. "Hi James, hi Peter," he greeted his friends, then looked around. "Where's Sirius?"

James gestured to a group of four. "Pads is with his family."

Remus looked at the Blacks curiously. He knew Sirius hated his family and their pureblood mania, but today he was looking especially sullen, staring at the ground while Orion and Walburga smiled at Regulus, his brother.

Sirius' father turned to him. Remus was too far away to hear Orion's words, but was it defiance he saw glittering in his friend's stormy grey eyes, or perhaps…fear?

Finally catching sight of his friends, Sirius' expression brightened and he walked toward them without a second glance at his infuriated father. "Thank Merlin, I was fucking dying there without any sane person to talk to!" He grinned, but Remus thought he saw something the smirk could barley conceal, though he didn't know what it was.

Instead of asking, he merely muttered, "language, Sirius." The teenager raised a jesting eyebrow at him.

"Good thing you came over here, mate!" James grinned. "We're as sane as you can get!"

Sirius laughed as the scarlet train rolled into the station. "Devised any new pranks for Snivelly?"

As they got on the train and sat down in the compartment, the Marauders talked and joked. James reminiscing over the times Lily had been in near proximity and had not yelled at him, Sirius making a tease out of everything, and Peter tagging along.

Remus was staring idly out the window of the Hogwarts Express when the compartment door slid open.

"A word, Sirius?"

A boy about a year younger that Sirius, with the same black hair and fine features, stood at the door.

"Why?" James challenged before Sirius could answer.

The boy in the Slytherin robes rolled his eyes, face impassive and cold. "I'm his brother."

Sirius stood up, an expression to match his siblings'. It struck Remus odd to see the two brothers, faces both coolly judging, only differently colored ties to show they were from separate houses.

"Okay, Regulus."

They slipped out of the compartment and James glared after them.

"What is it?" Remus raised his eyebrows.

"He's in Slytherin," James protested.

"He's not going to do anything to Sirius. They're brothers."

James shrugged but didn't stop glaring until Sirius came in, his eyes narrowed.

"What did he want?" Peter asked.

Sirius sat down. "Just some brother stuff." He smiled easily. "What? You guys all look like I'm about to get bloody killed!" he laughed and James joined in with a jesting comment.

Remus smiled as they approached Hogwarts, ready for a great year.

Sirius picked at his food, not hungry. After being practically starved the whole summer, it didn't feel right to eat. He noticed Remus giving him an odd look and took a bite, forcing himself to swallow. The food felt odd in his mouth, almost making him gag.

Finally they were told to go to their dormitories, to which Remus immediately stood up and called, "First years, this way!"

Sirius smiled at his friend. Of course he was taking his prefect duties with so much seriousness.

As he stood up, Sirius caught sight of Regulus and quickly looked away, the words his brother had told him scorching his mouth with acid.


He looked up and saw James peering at him. "You okay, mate?"

"Sure, I'm fine." Sirius put up his smile once more, the mask he had formed from seeping scarlet and wisps of slithering silver.

James nodded, reassured, and they headed up to the dormitories with Peter in tow.

AN: And that's it! I know it started off boring, but you will get more of Sirius' troubles next chap! XD