Sirius sat, abandoned at the dinner table. Normally, he was the first out of the room, desperate to leave. Tonight, he couldn't be bothered to do so. Instead he remained seat, seething at his father's words that had left smoking holes in his worn armor.
Sirius's bitter musings were interrupted when another teenage boy entered the room. Leaning back against the stone wall, he gave Sirius and appraising look.
It was striking how much the two brothers resembled each other. They had the same eyes, gray and cold. They had the same black hair, falling into those cold gray eyes. Neither one would know it, but they also had to same carefree smile, hidden away when in the company of each other.
The intruder spoke first, caution in his voice.
"Sirius," he spoke with cold formality, "you could join you know. Maybe then-"
"Maybe then what," the older of the two snapped, "maybe then my sodding parents would care about me? Maybe then I wouldn't be an embarrassment anymore?"
Regulus didn't say anything.
"I'll tell you something, you are the embarrassments. You want me to join the Death Eaters, kill and torture people for something I," he jabbed a finger to his chest, "don't even believe in. No family would ask that of each other."
"This family does," Regulus said, repeating his father's words.
Regulus might have well stricken Sirius across the face.
"What family," Sirius asked cruelly as he stormed from the kitchen and up to his room.
He passed the sitting room where three people sat, two of them happily chattering women while Mr. Black sat silently, watching Sirius pass through the hall without a trace of emotion betraying his face.
Sirius closed the door behind him and smiled for the first time since he returned to this bloody hell hole.
His bedroom was his favorite of the house, solely because it was against everything else about the Blacks. Just like him.
He passed the Gryffindor banners, winked at the Muggle models posted up on his wall as he went over to sit on his bed. Permanently stuck to the wall was the thing that kept him sane here: a picture of the Marauders, laughing at the camera. It was perhaps his only reminder of what happiness was.
He sat with his back to the picture, leaning against the wall, ashamed of what he was doing.
He pulled his sleeve up, exposing his muscular forearm. He saw a single blue vein winding its way under his skin. Pure blood ran through that vein and he didn't care in the least bit.
After a moment of pondering, he began to trace the image of a snake winding through a human skull with his finger, wondering if the ink in his skin would actually give him a family. If succumbing to the Dark Lord, allowing Voldemort to take his wand to Sirius's outstretched arm, if that could earn the respect and love he craved from his parents.
In his mind, Sirius recalled the image of his cousin. Her proud smirk as she told them her news. How she had clutched in pain as she pulled the sleeve of her black robes away from her left forearm, which was raw red from irritation. There, on her pale skin, was the glaring image of the Dark Mark, carved into her by the Dark Lord himself.
Even easier to recall was the look on Regulus's face as he saw their cousin's arm. It was probably burned in Sirius's mind forever: that disgusting eagerness, the admiring glances Regulus feverishly shot the black haired girl. The passion burning in Bella's heavily-lidded eyes as she spoke of her Dark Lord.
She was forever marked by the dark wizard. Forever contaminated by his evil.
He saw his parents, his mother's unforgiving stare and his father's blank one.
No family could ask someone to throw down everything they believe, drop everyone they care about. Nobody could ask family to contaminate themselves with this symbol, poison themselves with every vile thing it stood for.
If that's what the Black family did, then he was not a Black.
They were no family of his.
Familiar recklessness seized the sixteen year old.
He had finished the bike hadn't he? Uncle Alphard had just left him all that money. It was summer vacation, and nobody would miss him…this was the time to act.
Sirius threw on a leather jacket rather than his normal robes, in full celebration of the moment and as one last act of rebellion against his parents.
He didn't bother to sneak; he strode out the door with nothing. He didn't need the clothes they had bought for him. They were tainted with hatred and mistreatment.
Though he was in plain sight, nobody made a move to stop him. His father still watched silently, saying nothing. His mother talked to Cousin Bellatrix louder, refusing to look at her son as he stood at the front door.
Bella smirked in a knowing way at the silly little boy, who had refused her offer earlier that evening.
"I told the Dark Lord I have someone in mind as a new recruit."
Bella chuckled to herself.
Sirius didn't see Regulus in the room with them, it was then he realized that no matter what Regulus said or how many times he said it, he never really cared.
Sirius threw the front door open, slamming it with all his might. Glorious anger pumping through his veins, he strode through the late evening, dusk settled comfortably over London.
Sirius walked quickly, only slowing when he came to his destination: a small though heavily vandalized children's playground that had been abandoned long ago.
He went back behind a large tree, whose impressive height and long twisted branches (though severely knotted and gnarled) looked like a dead version of the Marauder's large beech tree they spent so much time under.
With a grin Sirius lifted the Disillusionment Charm on his treasured project.
Gleaming in the dimming sunlight was the metal beauty. Pipes chasing themselves around the shiny black metal, magically improved meters between the top notch handlebars…Sirius had spent a large part of his inheritance on this bike.
It was his pride and joy.
With a turn of his hand and roar of its engine, Sirius was finally acting on his most imagined fantasy. He was running away, escaping the prejudiced clutch of his fam-No, those people were not his family.
He traveled for an hour or so, the enchanted compass pointing him in the direction of his destination. He coasted for a bit, allowing the pale mist to run over his face pleasantly.
When he arrived at the Potter's Mansion, he hesitated in the drive. He knew that the moment he entered their house, he was irreversibly orphaning himself from the Blacks. He knew that from the moment his foot left the doorstep that part of his life was over.
He knocked on the door, harder than intended in his defiant state of mind.
The image of his surrogate mother sharpened as she neared the door, knowing perfectly who was there. Her red hair, bounced about as she hurried, her hazel eyes shining even through the glass.
The door was flung open and Mrs. Potter's arms were flung around Sirius.
They stood there for that moment, hugging as a mother and son should. Sirius felt something hot fall from his stinging eyes and let it fall into James's mum's hair, finding that he didn't care he was crying.
Because nobody here would call him weak.
Behind the woman stood another boy of sixteen, his hair black as Sirius's, but much more messy. His hazel eyes, same as his mother's, were lit with excitement at seeing his best mate, but he looked slightly embarrassed as he surveyed the scene.
He shoved his hands into his pockets, ruffled his hair, grinned and said happily, "Hiya Padfoot."