Healing

HP fic by Stormy

Warnings: slash, het, hints of a threesome

Timeline: MWPP, sometime after the events in my other fic Burning Bright (MWPP portions)

Notes: Semi-sequel to Burning Bright, waff, angst, slash and het. Limes a-plenty but no lemons – I don't think the group is quite ready for them. ^^ I know I'm sure not. ^^

Pairings: Sirius/James, James/Lily, Lily/Sirius, James/Sirius/Lily, Sirius/Remus (hint)

One shot (Sunday, July 06, 2003), complete

Healing

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In the end, it was the sharp crack of thunder that threatened to split the heavens that woke him from his bludger-induced slumber in Madam Pomfrey's infirmary.

Eerie blue-white streaks of light lashed against the dark blue-black sky, lighting up the murky grey storm clouds that tried to make an appearance in the middle of the night. The windows in the infirmary were rather far above where one's head rested on the hospital cots, but Sirius found his eyes being drawn to the storm almost against his will.

His mind was still rather cloudy. He remembered a bit of the game against Slytherin; the memory of him twisting his broom into a corkscrew dive in a desperate attempt to reach the bludger Slytherin's beaters had aimed at their Seeker stood out quite vividly. The crack of his bat against the deadly little black ball, the shock waves vibrating up his arm, rattling his teeth – then a sharp cry of his name from the vicinity of the stands and then sheer, agonizing pain…

Must have been a bludger, Sirius decided, reaching up a hand, tentatively touching the bandage at the base of his skull. Wincing at the light contact, he pulled his hand away and turned his eyes away from the vicious dance nature was putting on for him, in favor of gaping at the numerous gifts littering the small table next to his bed. Large bouquets of outlandish and brightly colored flowers, smaller, more tasteful gatherings with wishes of wellness, chocolates and even a teddy bear or two could be found peeking out from behind the floral mass. He was a bit surprised by the number of trinkets and tokens – certainly, this hadn't been his first visit to the Hospital Ward as a result of a Quidditch accident. He reached out, wincing again as the movement caused him to shift against the bed, and snagged one of the cards with fingers trembling from fatigue.

Get well soon, Siri-luv – we're thinking of you, and miss you so

Sirius didn't bother reading the rest of the note. He'd never been fond of that particular nickname by just anyone, nor did he like his letters from admirers to smell as though they'd been dipped in a vat of perfume. Instead, he let it slip from his hand. How long have I been out?

A second glance at the table beside him, revealed several empty vials and a few with potions still in them. Sirius looked at the labels, peering through the poorly lit room, illuminated only by the continuing lightning strikes outside the windows, and managed a good enough glimpse to tell him that those were some pretty heavy-duty potions being used on his person.

Sirius was more then confused, and was about to get up to find Madam Pomfrey and get some answers, when he heard the door open. No one entered. Sirius grinned and waited.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, muttering and mumbling could be heard coming from across the room, and the next crack of lightning showed two people emerging from underneath a very familiar cloak, their eyes on each other, arguing in heated whispers.

"…you just had to taunt Miss Norris, didn't you? We were perfectly fine, we could have just-"Lily was cut off by her partner's vehement protests.

"I owe that cat for getting us caught last night," James defended himself staunchly. "I stand by my right to torment that nasty creature as often as I like!"

"Without me?" Sirius interrupted, smiling as widely as his aching head would allow. "I'm hurt!"

His voice had the same effect he imagined a muggle cattle prod would have, Sirius decided. He watched his two – Friends? Lovers? – stiffen as though being electrocuted, before turning almost as a single unit to stare at him in complete shock.

"Sirius?" Lily whispered, and then Sirius had an armful of Head Girl in his lap, clutching at his hospital gown, soaking the thin material with her tears. Sirius blinked down at her in surprise, and then looked up to see James at his bedside, staring at him with open relief in his eyes, and a few tears of his own as well.

"Sirius…"James breathed, reaching out and wrapping his arm around the bed-bound boy's shoulders, his other arm resting on Lily's shaking back. His forehead pressed against Sirius', and his eyes closed, a rush of breath escaping him. Sirius was more then confused, but was happy to have the two people who meant the most to him in his arms. He returned the hug, whispering soothing nothings to both of them who seemed to be worse off then him at the moment.

A minute later, James composed himself and sat back, though he kept his hand gripping Sirius'. Lily's sniffles slowed, and she seemed content to snuggle close to her best friend, as though to keep him there with her. Sirius smiled.

"Not that I didn't enjoy that," he said, rubbing Lily's back, and squeezing James' hand. "But dare I ask what brought that on?"

Lily looked at him in surprise. "You were hurt pretty bad, Siri," she said gently. There was a tremor in her voice that made Sirius wonder just how bad it had really been. He looked at James, an eyebrow raised, a silent gesture for clarification.

James cleared his throat and leaned forward, his voice husky with unshed tears. "You've been unconscious for almost five days, Sirius. You nearly died before Madam Pomfrey was able to stabilize you."

Sirius was floored. Five days? Nearly died? "James?"

Lily answered him instead, as James was currently gripping Sirius' hand like he was afraid the long-haired boy was going to die on him right then and there. "After you struck that bludger away from Fletcher, the other one struck you in the back of the skull." She looked at him with wide green eyes, her hand cupping the curve of his jaw, holding him in place while she scrutinized him carefully. "It had been cursed to fly faster then what was supposed to be legal and…" she broke off, swallowing a sob.

"It fucking smashed your skull like an egg," James finished coldly, his normally warm brown eyes snapping like icy flames. "You hit the ground at almost thirty feet up and your brains were all but dripping out your head—"

"Enough!" Lily cried and James shut his mouth, biting his lip. After a minute, James took another deep breath and continued.

"McGonagall had her wand on you almost the instant after you hit the ground, freezing your body in that moment of time. It kept you alive long enough for Pomfrey to get out there and repair your skull right there on the pitch. She said…" He swallowed. "She said if she had moved you, you probably wouldn't have survived." His met Sirius' again and they had returned to the warm brown Sirius knew and loved, filled with such pain that he could almost feel it himself. "As it was, she said she didn't know if you were going to be all right…"

"Madam Pomfrey said it was up to you, once she'd finished reconstructing your skull and performing nearly a dozen healing charms on you over the course of several hours," Lily said quietly. "Magic can heal many things, but the head is always the hardest. You've been in a coma since that day, Siri."

Lily was the only person who could get away with calling him that, and she usually reserved that privilege for when she was in the throes of extreme emotion at his expense. Passion, love…anguish…fear….Sirius reached out and cupped her jaw in imitation of the intimate gesture she had done to him and held her eyes with his own.

"I'm okay, Tiger Lily."

Lily searched his gaze as though for confirmation, and then nodded once, before sinking back into his arms, nuzzling his chest. James sighed, reaching up and rubbing his face before laying his forehead on Sirius' shoulder.

"You scared me," he said in a muffled tone, and Sirius echoed his sigh, resting his head on top of James.

"I'm sorry."

"Forgiven," came the response in the same muffled voice, and Sirius chuckled softly, stroking James' hair idly. After a minute, Lily and James both sat up, Lily wiping her eyes, and James manfully blinking back his own emotions. Lily leaned forward and kissed Sirius on the cheek before excusing herself to the bathroom at the end of the ward to clean herself up, leaving Sirius and James to face each other.

There are some things that lifelong friends just can't do in the presence of others, no matter how dear they are. Call it a stereotypical guy thing, but James couldn't break down in front of Lily, and Sirius knew that fact perfectly well. As far as females were concerned, males didn't get weepy over other males. As the door closed at the far end of the Infirmary, Sirius turned to look at James, eyes burning dark with intense meaning.

"James…"

James fell against his long-time friend and lover, holding him as tightly as he could, gripping the cloth so hard it ripped slightly before loosening his hands and splaying them against the injured boy's back, stroking the smooth muscles beneath. His breath was hot against Sirius' neck, searing tears burning a trail down his collarbone, much like Sirius had done once before to Lily, but James was silent in his pent-up grief.

Unlike Sirius, who had no problem with displaying his emotions on his sleeve for the world to see, James had a hard time showing a 'weak' side. Part of it had to be the result of living with a parent who had demanded too much of his only son. Another chunk of it was being Captain of their Quidditch team and Head Boy of their year, making him wary of exposing a soft underbelly for the Slytherins and other opponents to rip apart.

Sirius didn't mind. He knew his friend far too well to think that James was cold-hearted under his somewhat aloof exterior that he presented to the world at large. The silent tears staining his hospital gown spoke volumes more to Sirius then howling sobs would have. Sirius tightened his grip, sending silent apology after apology to his friend for scaring him so badly.

James shuddered once more and then turned his face up, seeking Sirius' mouth almost pleadingly. Sirius agreed eagerly, pressing his lips firmly against James, whose mouth yielded instantly. Lazily battling back and forth, neither striving for a hold over the other, Sirius lost himself in the warmth of his lover's mouth, almost purring as he felt James' strong hands work their magic against his spine.

They broke apart, gasping softly, eyes shining with emotions neither could hide from the other, nor could they even attempt to. James brought his hands up from Sirius' spine, rubbing his shoulders once, before sliding back down to grip his forearms.

"Remus thinks it was Snape," he murmured, keeping his forehead pressed to the other. "He and Peter are checking it out."

Sirius recalled Lily mentioning something about a curse on the bludger and let loose with one of his own.

James smiled, ignoring the language and pressed one final kiss to Sirius' lips before leaning back. "We'll find out, love," he said calmly. "Right now though, you need rest more then we need to keep entertaining Lily's voyeuristic tendencies."

Sirius blinked and looked over to the open bathroom door to see a smiling Lily watching them. Amusement danced in her bright green eyes, but Sirius could also see the tenderness for him and her concern for James lurking in their depths. He smiled back at her, indicating his success in cheering their partner, and she nodded. James ignored their non-verbal byplay, and stood up, one hand still loosely gripping Sirius's fingers.

"We'll be back tomorrow," he promised unnecessarily. Sirius held back a snort, knowing that they had most likely been visiting him every day AND night since he'd been injured, if anything was to be inferred from the dark circles around their eyes. "Rest, okay? No sneaking out of the infirmary until Pomfrey gives you the okay this time."

They really must have been worried for James to start enforcing Pomfrey's lengthy hospital stays. Sirius nodded solemnly.

Lily leaned down and kissed him softly, though no less passionately then James, and whispered," We love you, Siri," in his ears. He nodded and she ducked under the invisibility cloak James held out for her. James gave him one last smile, and then he disappeared from view after her.

Sirius listened to them make their way across the floor, smiling and raising his hand in farewell as the door opened, knowing they were giving him one last look. As though to confirm his thoughts, two hands – one large, one small – appeared from beneath the cloak to return the gesture before vanishing, letting the door fall closed behind them.

The smile stayed on his face, even after Pomfrey bustled in to check on him, shocked to find him awake and requesting something to eat. As she hurried out to inform the Headmaster of his return to consciousness, Sirius blinked again as the door cracked open, and another familiar form slipped in.

"Moony?"

"Hay Padfoot," Remus said softly. He crossed over the faint beams of quarter-moonlight that were streaming through the windows. At some point during his reunion with Lily and James, the storm that been raging all night, had stopped. He hadn't even noticed. "How are you feeling?"

"A lot better then I suspect I felt five days ago," Sirius said ruefully. Remus nodded.

"I'm glad to hear it." Remus played with the edge of his robe. "I was worried."

"I didn't mean to scare you."

"I know." Remus looked at him carefully. "Lily and James were going out of their minds."

Sirius nodded, wondering just how much Remus knew.

"I just wanted to check on you for myself," Remus continued. "I usually came in after those two left." He smiled. "Being a werewolf can sometimes come in handy for sensing the approach of others when you don't have the benefit of an invisibility cloak."

Sirius chuckled. "Well, you came, you saw, I live." He smiled warmly at his best friend. "Think you can sleep now?"

Remus nodded. "Good night Sirius."

He gazed at his recovering mate with affection and maybe something more but he turned away to fast for Sirius to decipher what it could have been. The werewolf padded over to the door, cocking his head to one side as he listened for the sounds of anyone approaching and then gave one last wave before leaving.

Sirius wanted to think over what could have been in that last look Remus gave him, but the energy he had expended since waking up only a short time ago was all but gone, and he found himself sinking back into the cushions that suddenly felt more comfortable then before.

It was probably nothing more then the usual concern, he decided just before the comforting hand of Sleep pulled her curtain over his mind. That's my Moony, always worried…

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End

The use of the word 'mate' can mean either a friend or a partner within a relationship. The use of the word in the third-to-last paragraph is intentional on my part, but for what reason – well, that's another sequel. ^^

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