He'd been watching the house for half an hour, no lights were on, no movement from inside and the car was gone, it seemed that the house was deserted. He snuck up to a large window on one of the sides of the house that wasn't facing the street. Hefting a rock he threw it through the window, the glass shattered immediately and he winced at the noise. Nothing in the house changed, no alarms went off, no lights were turned on. It truly was deserted.
Creeping towards the window he broke off some of the glass that clung to the frame of the window. Avoiding any shards he clambered in and glanced from side to side in search of valuables he walked slowly from what appeared to be the dining room into what looked to be a living room. He walked over to the mantle above the fire place and grabbed a rather plain pot that sat there and opened it; sometimes people put their small change pots on their mantles. The pot was full of sparkling green powder; he sneered and dumped it on the carpet.
Reaching up again his hand skipped over a family portrait and then went back to it; he picked it up and stared in shock at the messy, black haired, be-speckled boy standing in front of a smiling man and a woman. The black haired boy, seemed to tickle his memory, as if the boy meant something… if only he could remember, if only he could make sense of the dark jumble that he figured must be his memories. Suddenly the boy in the picture burst out laughing, dropping the picture in shock he staggered backwards only to bump into something, something warm, something solid, something fleshy, something human and something that was probably the owner of the house that he was breaking into. Sirius tried to get away but the man he had bumped into had a firm grip on him.
"Get off me you stupid fucker" Sirius growled as he tried to get away from him.
"Watch your mouth" the man snapped. Sirius glared up at his captor, the mans eyes widened behind his glasses "Sirius?" he gasped.
"Get off me you bastard!" Sirius growled, struggling to get out of the black haired man's grip. Sirius kneed him straight in the groin. The man let his grip on Sirius's arm slip and Sirius ran.
Sirius ran through the maze of rooms and out the front door. He hadn't looked behind him to see if anyone was chasing him and he wished he had when he felt someone tackle him to the ground. He yelled and tried to hit the person who'd tackled him.
"Sirius calm down, I'm not going to hurt you" A man's voice said gently. Sirius continued to thrash around wildly.
"Like hell you won't" he snarled "You'll turn me into the cops."
"Why would I turn you over to the police?" he asked, Sirius slowed his struggles, the man looked honestly confused.
Narrowing his eyes at the glasses-man as Sirius had decided to refer to him as such, Sirius replied "cuz, I was stealing stuff from your house? But that's just a wild guess, and if you're not going to turn me over to the coppers then why won't you let me go?"
The man stared at Sirius for a long time and finally said "Sirius… you don't remember me do you?" Sirius shook his head "you have no idea who I am?"
"Should I? Would you quite calling me Sirius, its getting really annoying and is there any chance you could sort of get off me I can't feel one of my legs and I think I've broken a rib or something!"
"You don't want me to call you Sirius? Why?" glasses man asked, getting off of Sirius but keeping a firm grip on his arm.
"Well would you want me calling you James, if your name wasn't James?" Sirius replied sarcastically, but instead of looking annoyed the man looked startled at the mention of James.
"You remember James?" he asked excitedly.
Sirius's expression immediately became guarded and suspicious "why?"
"Do you or do you not remember someone by the name of James Potter?" the glasses man asked urgently.
Sirius's face changed to a look of panic and fear "H-how do you know about him? P-please don't tell anyone, I'll do a-anything, I'll work for you or something. Just please don't tell anyone about him." He said in a frenzied rush "You don't know what they do to crazy people on the street, its worse than being a teenager on the street, they consider it a mercy to kill you if they're nice and if they're mean they'll toy with you and hurt you real bad and if the coppers find you, they lock you up even if you haven't done anything. Don't tell anyone about him, please god don't tell anyone about him."
The glasses-man stared at Sirius for awhile, taking in his scrawny, ragged, dirty and bruised state. "You look a bit hungry, want to come back to my place and I'll make you something to eat?" Sirius just nodded in assent "by the way, my name is Harold. What's yours?"
Sirius looked at 'Harold' for a few seconds before speaking "Black, my name is Black."
Harold hid his surprise by helping the boy to his feet and leading him back towards his house. Keeping a firm grip on Sirius's shoulder to make sure he wouldn't bolt, Harold opened the door and led Sirius inside. When Harold took his wand out of his pocket to lock all the doors and windows Sirius flinched violently away from him and would've backed away if it weren't for Harold's grip on his shoulder.
"Do you recognize this?" Harold asked holding up his wand.
"N-no… not really…" the boy answered hesitantly.
Harold sighed and shook his head sadly, "why don't you come into the kitchen with me?"
"O.k." Sirius replied looking around.
"Just sit yourself down right here and I'll have a snack made up for you in a few minutes." Harold said, pulling out up a chair for Sirius, who sat down uncomfortably. Harold opened the fridge and began pulling out some left-over chicken from the night before. The silence between them stretched until Harold finally had to say something "so… do you have a place to stay right now?"
Sirius glanced up from staring at the floor "uh… not really… I'm sort of staying with this guy who gets me some food and finds us- I mean me, places to sleep at night, he also keeps us safe from gangs and stuff. As long as we- I mean, as long as I keep him happy, he'll stick around" he mumbled.
"He doesn't seem to be doing a really good job at keeping you fed" Harold replied, storing away everything Sirius said for analysis at a later date.
"Food doesn't come cheap and he's a lot bigger than me, so he gets most of it but its better than going hungry." Sirius replied still looking at the floor.
"What do you mean as long as you keep him happy he'll keep you safe?" Harold asked, trying to appear nonchalant.
"Uh… as long as we- I do things for him; he'll keep getting me food and protecting me."
"What kind of things do you do for him?" Harold asked putting some frozen vegetables in the micro-wave, when he received no answer he glanced over his shoulder "Si- uh Black?" he turned completely around and saw Sirius a few feet away, beside the fridge holding Harold's wand. Sirius was looking at it with curiosity written across his features. "Give that here, Black." Harold said sternly holding out his hand and walking slowly towards the boy.
Sirius jumped and backed away from him clutching the wand tighter, mutely he shook his head. He seemed to be muttering words as if searching for a particular one "curious… no… crusty no… crisco… no… cra no… cru… cru… I've got it! CRUCIO!" he yelled the last word and a dark red flash of light burst from the end of the wand, hitting the fridge and creating a large burn hole. Sirius's eyes widened and he stared at the wand in astonishment.
Harold threw himself at Sirius, tackling him to the ground. Grappling for the boy's wrist, Harold tried to point the wand away from himself "CRUCIO! CRUCIO!" Sirius screamed in panic, hitting Harold with his left hand as hard as he could, he kicked and thrashed for all he was worth. Harold bent Sirius's wrist back until with a cry of pain Sirius dropped the wand on the floor. Harold immediately pinned Sirius's wrists to the ground and shifted his weight around so as best to keep the boy pinned. The boy whimpered in fear beneath him and his eyes flared open in panic as soon as Harold began speaking.
"What the hell were you trying to do, Si- er… Black? He growled.
"I'm s-sorry, it just seemed s-so fam- familiar and the w-word… I remembered it, from before! I don't r-remember anything from b-before… I'm sorry!" he wailed near tears. "Please don't- don't-"
"That's a very bad word, it's a dangerous word, never ever use it again." Harold ordered Sirius sternly, carefully getting off of the smaller boy and pocketing his wand.
"I'm sorry" Sirius mumbled, scuttling away from Harold as soon as Harold let go of him. Harold went back to the counter and grabbed the plate of chicken and brought it over to the table.
"Here you go Si- Black" he said, putting the plate down and pulling out a chair to sit opposite to it.
Sirius got up slowly and walked over to the chair as if expecting to be tackled again. Sitting down, he grabbed the fork and began to wolf down the plate of chicken. Harold watched him in silence for a few minutes, examining every inch of his body. From his long dirty hair, to his shadowy eyes with dark bags beneath them, the fading bruise above his left eye, how his cheek bones stood out sharply on his thin face, his ratty clothing, his too thin arms, what appeared to be a tattoo on his left forearm partly obscured by his shirt and the way he sat as lightly as possible as if sitting down pained him.
"So… where are you from?" Harold asked in as kind a tone as possible.
Sirius's head shot up and regarded him suspiciously for a few seconds "London I suppose…"
"What do you mean, you suppose?" Harold queried.
"Well… I don't rightly know… You see a couple of months back a man found me oh… about half-a-mile from here, he said I was half-dead when he happened upon me, said I kept waking up screaming… calling out for some bloke named… James" Sirius said, swallowing a mouth full of chicken, Harold's ears pricked up at the mention of James "when I finally woke up proper and was lucid and stuff, I couldn't remember anything from before… so I stayed with the man for awhile and he… tried to make me do some work and stuff, but I didn't like it an' I ran away. I wandered around, getting food un' stuff any way I could and then Mack found me, I'd set of the alarm on a car when a bloke knocked me into it, the owner began shouting at me and the Mack told him to go stuff himself an' then Mack took me in and I've been with him ever since."
"So what's this 'Mack' like?" Harold asked curiously "how old is he?"
Sirius finished chewing and swallowing his chicken before answering this time "uh… I'm not actually sure how old he is, it never really came up. But I figure he's got to be in his 20's maybe early 30's. What's he like? Uh… he's a… nice bloke… took me under his wing and showed me around an' stuff. Sometimes he gets a little mean when he's gotten a hold of some liquor. But that's only after he's had a bunch of drinks, it only happens once in a while. He's got a really crappy old car, I'm not sure what model or anything but it works and that's what counts. He used to have a girl friend but she was one of those flighty chicks an' she left him after 'bought a week. He went on a drunken spree for a couple of nights… After that he tried to pick up easy women off of street corners, but soon word got around that there was a bloke in a shitty car that screwed you and then left without paying, so that stopped. But he's a generally nice guy… and he takes care of me. I like him an' I figure he likes me, so it all works."
"I see… so you sleep in his car?" Harold asked taking Sirius's empty plate to the sink.
"Ya, its not the most comfortable place to sleep but its better than a—WHAT THE HELL?" Sirius broke off and jumped to his feet in alarm as two uniformed auroras walked in with their wands at the ready "who are these people? Did you call the cops?"
"Whats going on Harold? You apparated away to check on your house when the wards signaled that somebody was on you property, it was supposed to be just a routine check, but its been 20 minutes and counting… so we decided that you were in trouble and needed help. And what do we find? You eating dinner with some kid!" a brown haired woman said laughing.
"Sorry Mulroney, everything's fine I just got a little sidetracked." Harold replied blushing a little.
Is this the little bugger that set off the wards? He looks familiar," noted a blond haired man, squinting at Sirius who had backed up against a wall and was staring at the new arrivals in horror.
"Oh by the way, your wife and son are freaking out back at the office, James thinks that you're bravely fighting dark supporters, he'll be disappointed that its only this boy" Mulroney interjected.
Harold laughed "I doubt it" then he smacked his hand to his forehead "shoot I forgot about Mari and James, damn. Dave can you watch this boy while I go get Mari and James, don't let him go anywhere. I'll be right back Black." Harold called over his shoulder as he headed for the living room with Mulroney.
Dave regarded the boy pressed up against the wall curiously. "What's your name boy?" he asked as he sat down and put his feet up on the table.
Sirius looked at Dave suspiciously for several seconds before replying "my names Black, what's yours?"
"My names Dave. Black eh… is that your last name?" he asked, staring in amusement at the strange boy edging towards a chair.
"I don't think so, everyone just calls me Black. Can I leave now? I promise not to bother you people anymore, you could you thank Harold for giving me some food and stuff and I'll just be on my way…" Sirius suggested hopefully.
"I don't know why you're here or anything about you but Harold asked me to keep an eye on you and to make sure you don't go anywhere, so that's what I'm gonna do." Dave replied, leaning back in his seat and putting his hands behind his head.
Suddenly an excited shriek sounded from the living room "SIRIUS!" and the black haired, be-speckled boy from the photograph came running into the room and flung himself at Sirius, knocking the slightly shorter boy out of his chair.
"What the-" Sirius managed to yelp before he was tackled to the ground.
"Oh my god Sirius, don't you ever disappear like that ever, ever again! Moony, Wormtail and me have been worried sick! Where the hell did you go? You look horrible, was it your parents?" James garbled hugging Sirius tightly.
Sirius struggled and finally managed to throw the strange boy off of him, crawling backwards hurriedly, he put the table between him and the other boy.
"Sirius?" James asked confused, his smile dying on his face "what's wrong?" when Sirius didn't answer he turned to his dad "Dad, what's wrong with him? Dad?"
Harold stood in the doorway with his arm around his wife Marilyn with a worried expression on his face. "I don't know James, I don't know. He doesn't seem to remember us." Harold replied sadly, as his wife untangled herself from his arm and headed towards Sirius.
"What the hell is going on? Get away from me woman!" Sirius yelled angrily, moving away from Marilyn when she tried to hug him "Please, just let me go home! Let me go home to Mack?"
"We can't do that Black, I'm sorry." Harold replied.
"Mack's gonna be real pissed if I'm late! I need to go back right now!" Sirius cried frantically, wringing his hands.
"Harold, I suppose Sirius could go back to this 'Mack' for tonight and then we could keep talking tomorrow. It is pretty late." Marilyn said putting her hand on Harolds arm.
"What are you doing tomorrow Black? Mind if I come to talk to you?" Harold asked moving towards Sirius.
"We're staying at Mack's brother's apartment for a few days. I'm sure Mack won't mind to much if we get together again…" Sirius replied earnestly.
"Sirius?" James asked nervously "you don't remember me at all?"
Sirius paused on his way to the door, suddenly uneasy he replied slowly "I've seen you before… you've shown up in my dreams…" he paused and then blurted out "and I've heard your voice before in my head!" With that he ran out of the room.
After a short stunned silence, Harold ran after Sirius calling over his shoulder to Marilyn and James "I'm going to drive him to Mack's, I'll be back soon."
Harold burst out of his front door to find Sirius hunched over on the curb his shoulders shaking.
"Hey Black, I'll drive you back to your place." Harold offered carefully.
Sirius looked up quickly and wiped his eyes with his sleeve, slowly he nodded. Harold helped him to his feet and led Sirius over to his car, which was parked across the street.
"You've got a pretty sweet car!" Sirius said in admiration as he got into the front seat of the dark blue Lincoln.
"Thanks, James likes it to" Harold answered unthinkingly as he started the car. Sirius's face darkened and he sank lower in his seat. "Uh… o.k. so where abouts do you live?" Harold asked changing the subject quickly.
"You know where Bank street is? Well one of the streets going off of its called Tiesto and I'll give you the rest of the directions when we get to Bank." Sirius replied somewhat sullenly.
The silence once again began to stretch until finally Harold opened his mouth to break it, but Sirius beat him to the punch " why do want to talk to me? Why do you and that boy, James keep calling me Sirius? Why didn't you call the cops when you found me breaking into your house? Why… why do you seem so fucking familiar, though I can't for the life of me figure out where I've seen you before." Sirius blurted out.
Harold paused, pondering the questions, searching for an answer "I want to talk to you because I think you used to be my son's best friend, you used to be closer to him then a brother. James and I keep calling you Sirius because that was you name, it still is. I didn't call the cops because as I said before, you used to be my son's best friend and why do I seem familiar to you? Because you used to run away from your parents place and stay with us whenever possible."
Harold glanced over at Sirius to see how he was taking this news, Sirius was staring at him with his mouth hanging open and his eyes bugging out. "You… you have GOT to be shitting me!" he finally said "why… how… could I have forgotten all that? How?"
"I don't know" Harold replied seriously "I truly don't know, but we can discuss this more tomorrow. Where do I go from here?"
Sirius looked up and pointed out the street "just keep going till you see a really big apartment building… that one!"
"O.k." Harold said as he parked the car and got out "I'll just walk you up."
"Uh… sure. You'd better lock your car, other wise stuff might uh… go missing." Sirius pointed out.
Harold complied and then walked Sirius towards the apartment building, they walked in and Sirius grabbed the mail from one of the mail boxes, climbing into the elevator Sirius pushed the button for the third floor the elevator creaked into movement, the light flicked on and off and the stench of cigarette smoke and what smelled like vomit almost made Harold want to hurl.
As he walked out of the elevator Harold gulped in the relatively clean air of the hallway desperately.
"It does smell pretty bad doesn't it?" Sirius noted cheerfully.
"Oh yaa! I'm so taking the stairs on the way down!" Harold replied following Sirius down the hall.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. There are like no working lights in there. Everyone takes them for their own apartments." Sirius explained stopping infront of a door with peeling white paint, he knocked.
"Who is it?" a mans voice called from inside.
"Its me, Black!" Sirius called back "now open door!"
The door swung open to reveal a young man with heavily tattooed arms, wearing only a pair of faded blue jeans. "Where the hell have you been?" the man trailed off upon seeing Harold, slowly he looked Harold up and down taking in the neat clothing and Harold's hand on Sirius's shoulder "and who the hell is he?"
"I spent all after noon watching a house and I figured it was deserted and stuff and so I tried to bust, this" Sirius said, jerking his head towards Harold "is the owner of the house. His names Harold."
Harold stuck out his hand smiling, but the tattooed man didn't take it, instead he glared at Harold suspiciously.
"Don't worry" Harold reassured him "I'm not here to press charges or get anyone in trouble. I'd just like to speak to Mack for a second."
"Fine" the man said, finally taking Harold's out stretched hand in a quick shake. He then turned around and walked back to the couch and threw himself down on it. "I think Macks in the bedroom, he's been waiting for you Black, said you two had plans or something."
"Oh shit! I forgot about that!" Sirius groaned slapping his hand to his forehead. "I'll go get him, you wait right here." He told Harold.
Harold stood uncomfortably in the living room, shifting from foot to foot, suddenly he heard voices from the direction in which Sirius had gone.
"There you are! I've been waiting for half and hour! I thought you'd forgotten or somut'. You wanna know what all this waiting has done to me?" A new voice said.
"Not right now Mack, NO, not right now. There's a bloke who wants to have a chat with you in the living room." Sirius's voice answered.
"Who is it?" came the voice that could only belong to Mack.
"Just a bloke I ran into when I was checking out a house." Sirius replied.
A few seconds later Sirius and a tall lanky man, who looked to be about 26 or 27 came into the room. The man ran his hand over his shaven head as looked Harold up and down. "So what do you want?" he asked crossing his tattooed arms.
"I found Black breaking into my house today, don't worry I'm not going to press charges or anything but I'd like to set a date that I could perhaps get together with Black to talk?" Harold explained.
"And why should I let Black 'get together' with you?" Mack asked tugging at one of his earrings.
"Well for starters, if I really wanted to I could press charges and I'll give you 15 quid now and another 15 quid tomorrow if you do." Harold said taking his bribe out of his wallet.
Mack's bored expression immediately changed to one of interest. "You have yourself a deal mate. Just give me your address and I'll have him there at… lets say 10:30-ish tomorrow."
"That sounds good, do you have a pen and paper, so I could write it down on?" Harold asked.
"Sure thing, just give me a sec" Mack replied sifting through a pile of crap on the coffee table. He finally came up with the pen and paper. "Here you go."
"Thanks" Harold replied, as he quickly wrote down his address. "I'll see you tomorrow Black!" he called over his shoulder as he left the apartment.
"That was odd" Mack said leading Sirius towards the bedroom "anyways we were going to get you some piercings today remember?"
"Sorry, I forgot!" Sirius apologized quickly.
"You must not 'ave really wanted them then…" Mack teased.
"No, no! I do!" Sirius pleaded back jokingly.
"Well I don't know…" Mack laughed "convince me" he added with a leer.
Sirius's arm snaked around Mack's neck and Sirius pressed his lips to Mack's. Mack pushed the smaller boy against a wall and began exploring the interior of Sirius's mouth. Sirius wrapped his legs around Mack's waist, pulling Mack closer. Their mini-make out session lasted only for a few more seconds before Sirius pulled back a little.
"Are you convinced yet?" he asked running his fingers up and down Mack's neck.
"No, not really, convince me some more." Mack growled leaning in to suck greedily at Sirius's throat.
Approximately half an hour later, Sirius and Mack left the apartment with Greg and his girl-friend Maddie. They walked down to a tattoo and piercing shop on Bank street.
"So what do you want to get Black?" Mack asked looking at the pictures and drawings on the walls.
"Uh… can I get my ears pierced like yours, except for the cartilage piercing, I don't want that." Black asked.
"That sounds good, lets see if I can get you a discount since your getting so many." Mack said as he walked over to a large tattooed man who was piercing a girls eyebrow. "What would it cost to get 7 or so ear piercings done?"
Without glancing up the guy answered "Since I know you, I'll say… 20 quid. Just sit down in an empty chair and I'll be with you in a minute."
"Oy Mack, me an' Maddie are going down to the pub, we'll catch you later." Greg told Mack as he walked out the door with an arm around Maddie's waist.
"K" Mack said over his shoulder as he sat down next to Black and opened a magazine to the section about sex.
Authors Note: not really a big cliffy… I just decided that I should post a story and didn't really finish off the chapter. Anyways…