It Hurts

Summary: Sirius reflecting on his brother and what drove them apart, and his feelings about his brothers death.

It was stupid, really, to be so upset over the little creep. They hadn't spoken to each other for years, had they? Hadn't he often told people he barely remembered what his brother looked like? Hadn't he, when James had suggested contacting Regulus, laughed and said that he didn't want to be back in contact with the idiot, that he didn't mean anything to him?

But deep down, he'd always known that was a lie, and now the idiot was dead, and Sirius was hurting.

He hadn't expected it to hurt. It had been Remus who found out, who told him, and Sirius had never known the words "Regulus is dead" would hit him so hard, cut him so deep, like a knife to the stomach.

But they had.

He was a little bit ashamed of what had happened after Remus had uttered those words. Sirius had dropped to his knees in shock, and Remus had crouched next to him and hugged him.

He wanted to pretend it didn't hurt, but it was too late for that now. And he didn't think he could hide it anyway.

It's not like they'd been close. Never, really. Once upon a time when they were little kids, they got on alright. Even when Sirius went to Hogwarts, got into Gryffindor, Regulus hadn't been horrified and ashamed of him like his parents. At the Christmas holidays, when Sirius had seen him, Regulus had just laughed and siad "I knew you were a bit strange."

When Regulus had started Hogwarts the following year, Sirius had hoped his brother might follow him, but Regulus had wanted to be in Slytherin, and he had been. No problem, Sirius had thought. No big deal.

They'd teased each other about it, during the holidays. They never really saw each other at school, only saying "hey" as they passed each other in the corridors, so it was only the school holidays, when they were at home, that they'd talk to each other properly. So Sirius had said things like "ooh, Slytherin, serious evil wizard then are you?" and Regulus used to reply with "brave Gryffindor, Sirius? Is that why you run away from wasps?" They'd argue good-naturedly over their house Quidditch teams - "mine's the best, James is an awesome seeker, Slytherin haven't ever beat us" - "we still beat the other teams, we're still the best -"

Quidditch. The next thing to create space between them.

Sirius had always loved Quidditch, but had never wanted to play for his house. If you played, he'd always said, you couldn't see the rest of the match properly, couldn't cheer when your side scored, or saved, laugh when players you didn't like got hit with the bludgers. James had wanted to play seeker, though, and in their second year he'd tried out and got the part. It was a shame Regulus had shared that ambition.

It wasn't until Sirius' fourth year, Regulus' third, that a place on the Slytherin Quidditch team had opened, and Regulus had tried out, won the part of Seeker. Sirius still remembered Regulus catching him up in the corridor, telling him excitedly that he'd got the place Sirius hadn't even known he was going to try out for.

Sirius had been so shocked he hadn't said anything, and Regulus had been insulted by his lack of enthusiasm.

"Oh forget it." He'd snapped. "I should've known you wouldn't care." And he'd stormed off.

But the first Quidditch match, Gryffindor versus Slytherin, Sirius had been torn. Should he be cheering on his brother or his best mate? His family or his house? And then, when the match had started, he'd unavoidably been cheering for Gryffindor, for James.

And when they'd won, when Sirius had cheered with the rest of his house, patted James on the back, Regulus had stormed over, whirled him round.

"I can't believe you did that. You're supposed to support me, Sirius, your brother."

"Regulus, Gryffindor's my house -"

"I'm not talking to you."

And he hadn't, hadn't spoken to him until the Slytherin versus Ravenclaw match a few months later, when Regulus had won, and Sirius had congratulated him. They talked after that, but things weren't the same. There was space between them.

Sirius had been distancing himself from his parents, from most of his family, for a while now, ever since he'd gotten into Gryffindor. He'd never believed his parents's views - that muggle-borns weren't as good as pure-bloods, that to belong to the Black family was an honour, made you better, special, and by his fifth year he barely spoke to his parents and spent most of the summer holidays with James, or Remus or Peter. In his fifth year he'd also spent Christmas at Hogwarts.

He'd never done that before, his parents had always forced him home. But he'd told them he was staying to study for his owls. Regulus had been furious. He saw, again, this as Sirius choosing his friends over his family. Over his brother.

And with him spending only a week and a half at home during the summer between his fifth and sixth year, it shouldn't have really been such a surprise that he barely knew his brother anymore.

In Sirius' sixth year he went home for Christmas, just to avoid a shouting match with Regulus again. A few days before the end of the holidays, he'd gone into Regulus' room to borrow some parchment, found his brother reading the Daily Prophet with interest, his eyes alight with admiration. Curious, Sirius had looked over the top to see what the article was. And blanched.

It was about Voldemort, Voldemort killing people and trying to take over. And Regulus was admiring him?

"Don't you think he's great?" Regulus asked. "Powerful...he's winning, he's gonna win."

"He's...he's killing people. He's evil."

"He's not. He's just taking control. Doing what should be done. Mum and dad agree with him. So do I. We shouldn't be hiding from the muggles, we should be controlling them. And the mudbloods shouldn't be allowed -"

He'd stopped talking then, due to Sirius breaking his jaw. He'd punched him as hard as he could when he'd said the word mudblood.

"How can you?" Sirius had said, his voice low and dangerous. "How dare you say that word? How dare you look up to him? I swear, I don't even know you anymore."

"No, I guess you don't." Regulus had said through the pain or his jaw. "You've changed."

And he'd ran from the room, probably to get his jaw fixed by their mother.

Sirius hadn't changed, though. He'd never agreed with any of was just that his family hadn't noticed.

"I don't want to go home." Sirius had sighed for the millionth time, a few weeks before the end of his sixth year. Almost seventeen now, but he couldn't afford to get his own place. "To that house, to my parents to Regulus...I haven't even spoken to him since I punched him at's gonna be hell..."

"Sirius." James had said suddenly. "If you really don't wanna go back, move in with me."


"Move in with me. My parents wont mind, you'd've been stayed over the summer anyway."

"I don't have to go home?"

"You'd have to get your stuff, and tell them, but no. You can live at my house. I'll write home, make sure my parents are OK with it."

They had been. He'd always liked James' parents.

He still remembered going back to his house, to Grimmauld place, and telling his parents he'd be moving out. James had gone with him, and they'd planned to get his stuff, tell his parents, and go.

His mother had glared at James, but the two boys had simply ran up the stairs to Sirius' room, thrown everything into a suitcase. Then he'd gone downstairs. James had waited in the hallway with his bag, Sirius had gone into the drawing room, where his parents and Regulus were waiting. Maybe they already knew what he was going to say.

"I'm not staying. I'm moving out."


"I don't want to live here anymore. I'm moving in with James."

He'd expected one of them, at least, to try and stop him. But his mother had glared at him, Regulus had stared in shock, and his father...his father had snarled "Good" and Sirius still remembered how much that'd hurt. None of them tried to stop him leaving the room, leaving the house with James.

None of them ever contacted him again, either. Never so much as an owl.

If Regulus would see him at school, he'd change direction to avoid him. It had hurt that no one had tried to stop him leaving home, but he'd gotten over it. Pretty much forgot he'd ever had a family to run away from.

Or so he'd thought.

Remus was hugging him, Sirius was sobbing, actually sobbing.

"I hated the little bugger." Sirius choked. "But I never wanted him to die."

"You didn't hate him." Remus muttered, pulling Sirius to his feet and sitting him on the sofa.

"No." Sirius murmured. "No, I guess I didn't."