(or, twenty truths about sirius black that he will never say aloud)

1. It hurt far more than he would ever admit when he ran away from home and no one tried to stop him.

2. His first hangover was a nightmare - he vaguely recalled hitting on McGonagall and making out with someone whose gender he never was entirely sure of - and swore that he wouldn't get drunk again. He mostly kept that promise, actually, because it was a hell of a lot more fun being mostly sober, watching everyone else make total asses of themselves (like when Remus got sloshed at the Potter's New Years Party and peed in the ice. He teased him about that one for years).

3. He lied when he said that Remus would look good with facial hair.

4. And he was the one who shaved that mustache off while his friend slept, but Tonks paid him to do it.

5. His first kiss, he told all the guys, was when he was seven years old. They never did figure out it was from his grandmother, on the cheek. (His real first kiss was from Naomi Peters, a little Muggle girl who lived two doors down. He was thirteen, and she was just a little younger and looked like a really adorable pixie, all tiny feet and big brown eyes and short, messy blonde hair. His brother saw and told on him, and then Naomi mysteriously moved away. He never did see her again.)

6. He knew about Snape's infatuation with Lily.

7. He never meant to kill Peter. Killing him would be too easy - he'd wanted to make old Wormy suffer, wanted to watch him twitch and convulse and scream and beg forgiveness. He'd wanted to torture Peter until the world just righted itself automatically, until everything just became the way it was supposed to be. But killing him was on the bottom of his list of priorities.

8. As a small child, Sirius idolized his cousin Bellatrix.

9. He always wanted to have a daughter named Jennifer.

10. To his dying day, he could not explain why he really told Snape how to get into the passage beneath the Whomping Willow. It had something to do with his family and the way they had all just accepted Snape and taught Snape all their little tricks and how Regulus had invited Snape over during the summer holidays. For once in his life, Sirius had found himself outcast and Snape accepted, and it was like a slap in the face. But he could never tell anyone any of this, because it would mean admitting that he wanted his family to accept him.

11. He was highly allergic to cats, which made Filch's detentions an absolute nightmare. The only magical ways to suppress the allergy involved letting someone else do it or looking like a bleeding fool for a week until it completely worked, so he finally bit the bullet one summer and bought almost an entire store's worth of allergy medications. (Many years later, after he was dead and gone, Remus was rummaging around in his room and found a whole drawer full of Benadryl. He just put it back and decided not to wonder. Somewhere in the afterlife, Sirius was laughing himself sick.)

12. He had a crush on Lily when he was fourteen, but that spark died when she kicked him in the nuts for cheating on her best friend.

13. He once tried on a thong, just to see what it was like.

14. Everyone thought he was joking when he suggested that they all just shoot Voldemort in the head and get it over with. They all laughed, but he really thought it'd be a good idea - Voldemort would never have expected them to use Muggle means to kill him, and it might just work. In Azkaban, this was just fuel for the fire, because he hadn't had the guts to do it. It was a stupid idea, in retrospect, but it would have felt pretty damn awesome to shoot the hell out of him, anyway.

15. Once, while completely and utterly drunk, Moony had tried to kiss him, thinking he was someone else (he hoped). For a split second, he considered it, but then realized that he would probably have to pry his tongue out with a pair of pliers later and that didn't sound like it would feel very good. So he threw a pillow in Remus's face and pointed him toward the nearest girl. Which was, unfortunately, Lily Evans, who was also obscenely drunk. Neither of them ever did tell James about it, and they never did realize that Sirius knew.

16. He seriously, honestly, truly thought that Severus Snape was a very ugly girl the first time he saw him.

17. Hermione annoyed the hell out of him. He only put up with her because she was Harry's friend (though why was completely beyond him) and because Ron would hang around her and Ron was much more fun to be around.

18. Something in his chest constricted when he found out that Regulus was dead, like he'd lost a little part of himself or something - but that was ridiculous, they hadn't spoken in years. It was just, he couldn't see the Regulus he'd left behind when he'd run, but rather, the naive Regulus whose drink he'd spiked at twelve and who'd played hide-and-go-seek with the rest of them but couldn't hide to save his soul and who'd once cried because Sirius had told him he was gonna be a Squib. Something inside ached for days, and he hid in a room and cried for his idiot brother and his idiot schemes.

19. That night, he escaped his friends, went to a Muggle bar, and got so drunk that he passed out on the counter and had to be woken up at seven the next morning so he could stagger home. The barmaid told him that she was sorry for his loss, that losing a brother must be hard. He modified her memory so no one would know how much Regulus's death had bothered him.

20. Ginny told him all about the diary and Tom Riddle, and he spent the entire time wondering why she thought he would be a good confidant, until he realized that they'd both been betrayed by people they'd trusted. They'd both done terrible things and made horrible mistakes and they both spent years trying to fix them and make things right and get everything back to normal, and they were both learning the hard way that it wasn't possible. So he listened to her spill her story, and then looked her straight in the eye and asked her what she intended to do about it now. She stared at him blankly for a long moment, and then laughed.

"Nothing," she said half-crying, "Nothing."