"What Best Friends Are For"

Disclaimer: In no way whatsoever do I own Harry Potter or any other portion of the fabulous world that J.K. Rowling has created.

Author's Note: I was reading this Lily & James story (I can't remember which one), and in it Remus was talking about the night Sirius left home and came to James. We all know that James and his family took Sirius in after he left home, and I started wondering exactly what happened. This is my take on it. Let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy. Also, I state near the end that "there was nothing homosexual about his love for his friend either- it was simply the deep platonic caring that only a best friend can have." And, I'd just like to say, that I have nothign against homosexuals, I just don't think James and Sirius ever had a romantic relationship. As some stories say they do. But, to each their own. I'm just warning you, this isn't slash.

Sirius Black sat on the window seat in his second story bedroom, looking out the window at the dreary world that lie outside the glass pane. The spacious Black family home was quiet for once, and the only noticeable sound was that of the rain steadily hitting the roof. His mother hadn't spoken to him all day, and it had been pure heaven. Today had been one of the best days that he had ever spent in his hell hole of a "home."

Sirius was counting down the days until school started back and he could be back at Hogwarts. September first simply could not come fast enough. Trying to make the time pass more quickly, Sirius had decided to attempt his holiday homework. An open school book sat on Sirius' lap- but he had, of course, gotten distracted. Concentrating wasn't his forte, his attention span was shockingly short.

The lull in the ever waging household war suddenly ceased, however, when Sirius' bedroom door swung upon. It was his mother, and she looked more furious than he had seen her in a long time. Her face was flushed with anger, her teeth were bared, and her eyes were red- as though she'd been crying.

Sirius paused, wondering what he'd done to set her off this time. He didn't remember pulling any pranks that would have just set her off. The last prank he remembered setting up was for Regulus, and that had come in effect two days ago. He'd already gotten told off for that. His father must have done something to tick her off. Sirius was the family scapegoat, she must have decided to take her frustration out on him.

"Sirius, you have got to stop this nonsense!" She screeched,

Hm…maybe he had pulled a prank after all…But what could it have been?

"What nonsense Mother?" He said tiredly, not in the mood to deal with her.

"Hanging around with that filth," She spat, "that's surely where you picked up this unruly behavior…You're ruining the Black family name!"

Oh wait! He remembered now…he'd put spices into the cup for her afternoon tea. Clearly, just as he'd expected, the house elves hadn't noticed and served her tea in the spiced cup none the less. He tried to hold back a grin at the thought of her reaction. If only he'd been there to see it!

"Oh Mother, please." Sirius replied in a frustrated tone, "I'm the only one in the family who gives an ounce of respectability to the name Black."

"How dare you- you insolent child, you-" Her face became a deeper red with anger, and she seemed to be growing from her short stature into a tall ogre.

"Oh shut it you hag," He retorted,

"What happened to you?" She cried in fury, "I did not raise you to be this,"

"You're right." He said, "You raised me to be a prejudiced Slytherin who adores the Dark Arts. Thank goodness I avoided that destiny!" He said the last part forcefully, making sure his gratitude that he was different from the rest of Blacks shone through.

"It's those filthy friends of yours," she continued as if she'd never been interrupted, "those Gryffindors. They've caused you to turn your back on all the good and true things we've taught you. I don't even recognize you anymore."

Madness was still spewing out of her mouth, but she was a little less livid at least.

"Good and true?" he barked, chuckling hoarsely at the thought, "Mother," he continued jeeringly, "Nothing you have ever taught me has been 'good and true.' I know all I know by believing the polar opposite of the garbage you have force fed me over the years."

"Garbage?" She shrieked her face becoming contorted, "All that I have taught you has been anything but garbage!"

"The only lesson of value I've ever learned from you is that I should tune out all that you say." He snarled, standing up from his seat- the book in his lap clattering to the floor.

"SIRIUS BLACK! THAT IS IT! YOU WILL NOT DISRESPECT ME IN THIS WAY!" She cried, returning to her previous state of complete rage,

"And I will not be treated like this!" He roared, "I will not live in this house with you, you bigots!"

"Oh really?" She replied sneeringly, her voice a little softer, "And where will you go exactly?"

"Anywhere but here," He replied in a cold somewhat quiet voice.

And despite the rules against using magic out of school (not that Sirius ever paid any regard to the rules), he pulled out his wand and cried "Accio!" His belongings began whizzing through the air, and he flicked his wand at each one, motioning them to their own place inside his trunk. When all he wanted was packed away, he flicked his wand again, locking the trunk, and then flicked it again shrinking the trunk to make it more manageable. He jammed his wand into his pocket, and then donned his cloak, which had been lying on his bed. He grabbed his broom and shrunken trunk- which easily fit underneath the crook of his arm.

He gave a curt nod to his mother, who had witnessed his motions in shock, and approached his bedroom door. He headed with purpose down the stairs to the front door, carrying his things with him. She mutely followed him, stopping at the top of the stairs, her eyes watching him in utter disbelief. He paused at the door, and turned swiftly on his heels facing her. His hand rested on the doorknob, and his eyes showed anger and remorse.

"Good bye Mother." He said icily,

"If you walk out the door," she said quietly but harshly, her eyes full of uncontrollable rage, "If you walk out that door…then you will no longer be a Black."

He shook his head at her and turned, his hand opening the door. Rain was falling heavily on the porch, everything that lay past it was soggy and grey.

"We'll disown you!" She called from the top of the stairs, "You'll never be able to come back! This is your final chance!"

"Like I care." He retorted, disdain evident,

"GOOD RIDDANCE!" She screamed as he slammed the door, "GOOD RIDDANCE!"

She never was sure if he heard her or not. She never saw him again. She never spoke to him again. She heard rumors of him. She read in the papers of the death of some of his closest friends, the Potters and that Peter Pettigrew. She read the decision of the Ministry that he was murderer of Pettigrew and the betrayer of the Potters. She knew he was not involved with the Dark Lord, but her only thought regarding his sentence to spend the rest of his life in Askaban was 'Good Riddance.'

He may have been her son once upon a time. But after he walked out that door, he was simply trash whom she would never claim relation to.

James Potter sat in his living room reading a novel, because while he wouldn't admit it, he actually enjoyed reading. He knew, however, once he returned to Hogwarts for his Sixth year, he wouldn't read any more novels for pleasure until the following summer. He had an image to maintain after all. He looked up from his book to the window. It had been raining for a few hours now, and as the afternoon turned to evening the sky was turning from grey to black.

James found his thoughts drifting as he gazed out the window from his position on the cozy couch. The pounding rain and crackling fire lulling him into a trancelike state. However, he was abruptly propelled from his thoughts at the sudden heavy pounding on the front door. He jumped a little, startled by the loud interruption. He sighed, and stood up, making his way to the door. The pounding didn't cease as he approached and he called out.

"I'm coming! Lay off already!"

He reached the door, unlocked it and swung it open. It was Sirius. He stood there silent except for his heavy panting. The rain was coming down diagonally towards his back, making his sopping wet outfit stick to his body even more. His black hair was messy as usual, and the rainwater was making it frizz.

"Padfoot?" James asked, shocked to see his best friend on his doorstep,

Sirius just looked at his best friend.

"Come in." James said, standing to the side and opening the door wider simultaneously.

Sirius stepped into the doorway, and James closed the door behind him. In the light, Sirius looked like even more of a mess than James originally thought. While James knew without a doubt that his friend's flight during the rainy weather had caused most of his state, James knew that wasn't the only reason for his appearance. His eyes were bloodshot, and beneath streaks of tears that the boy had tried to hide, his cheeks were blotchy. James sighed, knowing without Sirius even opening his mouth what had happened.

"You okay?" He asked,

Sirius shrugged, and James knew that his best friend really wasn't sure how to feel. James understood. He paused, and then leaned in- hugging his best friend. Sirius hugged him back, and James knew that was what Sirius needed even more than a warm home or food or a shower. Sirius needed love. And James had plenty of love to offer his best friend; there was nothing homosexual about his love for his friend either- it was simply the deep platonic caring that only a best friend can have.

"Put your things in your usual room," James said, "You know where everything is. I'll ask the house elves for some food. Take a shower, and come find me when you're done. I'll tell my parents you're here."

"Thank you." Sirius said softly,

James knew despite his friend's few words, how much this meant to him.

"It's what best friends are for." James replied.

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