He was lying on his back in his bed, staring at the popcorn-plastered ceiling of his room, debating with himself whether or not he was gay. Did he blush when James put his arm around his shoulders? Yes. Did he shy away from conversation when Peter started talking about girls? Yes, he supposed he did that too. Did he dream about muscled bodies and rough kisses? When it came to answering that question...

He sighed and rolled onto his side. He could deny that he had dreams about his friend Sirius in a not-just-a-friend sort of way, but that wouldn't do him any good at'all.

Downstairs a door hit the wall as it slammed open. Then shut. Masculine, drunken yelling filtered upstairs and into his sensitive ears. Followed by a helpless female whimper. Then a loud slap. The sound echoed off the hollow walls. It was followed by another, and another. A door slammed shut. Glass shattered. He winced. His father was drunk. Again. He was hurting his mother. Again. He was barricaded in his room pretending he didn't hear. Again.

He could put a stop to it. He knew he could. He knew enough hexes and curses that he would stop the angry drunken man from hurting his submissive mother. The man wouldn't even see him standing on the stairs. But he didn't move from his spot. And he didn't know why. Where's that bloody Gryffindor courage when you need it?

After the second set of glass shattered he heard no more. It unnerved him slightly. He sighed again. He would have to clean the mess up in the morning. He knew it. How many bloody Christmases had he spent doing that before?

He could have stopped it all those times.

Wizards dressed in black dress robes. Witches with their faces buried in lace handkerchiefs. Relatives hugged each other tightly. Looks of pity shot towards him when they thought he wasn't looking. He saw them all. He hate them for it. Every last one of them. What business did they have coming here and pretending they knew what it was like to be him? And, even better, what right did they have giving him those looks of pity? He didn't need their pity.

To his left was James. His right, Sirius. To Sirius' right was Peter. James' parents were behind him. Sirius' couldn't care less. Peter's mother was sobbing next to Mrs. Potter. In front of him was a coffin of black. The wood was maple. Flowers covered the closed half of the lid. The other half was open, exposing the pale face of his mother. He couldn't look. The freshly dug dirt seemed of interest all of a sudden. The priests' words were a blur to him. Snow of pure white covered everything.

He turned and walked away with out a word to anyone. Away from the pity. Away from the tears. Away from the pale face of his mother who had literally had the life beaten out of her.

He should have stopped it that time.

He sat at the base of a large willow tree next to the lake. He watched the giant squid lazily play in the water, which was warm from the early summer sun. With a sign he looked down at his hands. He gave a bitter laugh. He had half expected them to be stained with scarlet colored blood.

The Ministry had taken care of his drunken father. The fool had been taken to Azkaban. He didn't think that place was right for his father though. The man deserved to die. He would have killed him too, if James and Sirius hadn't stopped him. He couldn't let his temper rise like that again. His father was twice his weight and had a good half a foot on him in height. He had knocked him unconscious for three day. No one cared that he had done it. His father had deserved it. They looked the other way.

He felt someone sit next to him. He didn't have to look up from his hands to know who it was. Sirius was the only person who knew he liked to come here to think.

"You've been quiet lately," Sirius observed. Someone should give that boy a prize for being overly obvious.

"You noticed."

"Why wouldn't I?" Sirius looked down at him. He didn't want to answer. It would seem self-pitying. If you pity yourself, you'll only draw the pity of others. He didn't want that. He answered anyway. Sirius wouldn't pity him. Sirius hated pity as much as he did.

"No one's noticed me lately. All they care about is making sure I won't jump off the Astronomy Tower or something," He gave another bitter laugh. "Like that would help anything," Sirius chose to ignore his last comment.

"I've always noticed you. I noticed when you left your mum's funeral. I noticed when you snuck out of the common room to get drunk last month. I noticed your hangover the next morning. I noticed how you've buried yourself in your work as well,"

The message: Sirius notices things.Good for Sirius. He didn't really care. So what? The boy noticed his different behavior. Different behavior that should be expected. His mother had just died not too long ago. He looked up at Sirius.

"Do you have a point?"

"Yes. I do."

"Good. Care to share it with me?"

"Yes. I think I will," Sirius kissed him. He was shocked for a few moments. He relaxed shortly after. Sirius pulled away far enough to see his face.

"Not all people are bad you know."

"I know," he whispered. They kissed again Sirius pulled back and looked at him once more. This time with a hint of nervousness in his eyes.

"You don't have to do this you know,"

"I need this Sirius. I need you. Help me forget them... please?" He knew he sounded desperate. But he wasn't lying. He did need it. He needed Sirius to help him live. To prove that not everyone in the world is like his father.

Sirius didn't respond. They kissed again.

He didn't want to stop it this time.

A/n– This is a different writing style from anything I've done before. It never says who 'He' is, but I'm sure it's quite obvious. It doesn't leave much room for other characters, but there is some.

Note: Edited on 5/23/05 for grammar, spelling and punctuation. A few things may be different from the original version, but nothing drastic.

Please review. I adore constructive criticism.