Disclaimer: I do not own it.

Always There

As the sun reaches it's highest point, the moon radiates the whitest glow. It was past midnight but the teenage boy sat staring out his window at the stars in the sky. They calmed him. If it wasn't the stars it was the sunrise. If not the sunrise, then the sunset. It was better than being down there. No, he was much better off confined in his room, but even with the scarlet and gold that covered every inch of the walls, the pictures of his friends, he still felt out of place. He would always feel out of place here. Sirius Black let out a sigh knowing that the summer had only begun. He was stuck here, yet his heart craved to be back within the walls of Hogwarts.

Sudden banging on the door grasped Sirius' attention. He looked at the door, as if trying to see through it, to see who had disturbed the quiet that had only begun to engulf in.

He didn't open the door. Didn't bother to move his lips and ask who it was.

The banging did not cease. "Open the door now or you'll regret it you-". The door opened a few inches.

"Did you want something Mother?" he asked the figure standing in front of him-no emotion apparent in his face.

"Your Father wants you downstairs right now. He's having a fit. Quite angry. Should be interesting," she snarled.

Should he even bother going down? It would be worse if he didn't, but then again he couldn't care less. Turning back to his mother he said, "And I should care, why?" before making to slam the door close, but his mother wasn't that keen on giving it up.

She coolly entered the room, scanning the walls. "So this is what you have become?" she snarled.

"This is what I have always been." replied Sirius coolly as he stood towering over his mother. His mother took a step back and her eyes wandered to the pictures hanging near his bed. One in particular caught her eye. "So these are your so called friends, eh? Potter? The pathetic blood traitor. Filth him and his family. Oh and that would be Lupin. Nasty look about him, wouldn't you agree? But then again I would say the same about Pettigrew…Fools the lot of them. Disgraces. Including you and your pathetic self. Mingling with mudbloods." She spat out. Sirius tried to keep calm, but each comment his mother made his blood boil more and more. He drew out his wand and brought it to his mother's throat. "Never call me…call them…," he said through clenched teeth as he pushed the wand harder against his mother's skin, before finally gaining control of his anger. He made a move to exit the room but a snicker of laughter stopped him. He turned around to see his mother facing him.

"I'm really getting sick of your arrogance-CRUCIO!" The spell hit Sirius right in the chest.

He would not show weakness. He would not scream in pain. He could control it-but it felt as if every vein in his body was on fire. His body twisted and turned at odd angles…

"Like that, do you my dear son? Oh what is that-you want more? CRUCIO!" she yelled once more, this time with more force. Her blood rushed with excitement seeing Sirius weaken each second.Watching him forced to obey...The pain was too much for Sirius. He could not control the tears that were now rushing down his face. With each second it hurt more but he would not beg for mercy. He would not give his mother the satisfaction of seeing him plead for an end to his pain. He tried to throw off the curse, but it was hopeless. He had been weakened, but then, the pain subsided. His vision was blurry but he could make out the outline of his mother kneeling down beside him, a smile spread across her face. "Time to go pay your father a visit Sirius," she laughed as she slapped Sirius across his face. "Wakey wakey. Mustn't keep him waiting too long," she said. "You know how he gets cranky."

Sirius was pulled off the floor against his will. If it was up to him he would have chosen to lay there the whole night. Slept on the floor. He craved to sleep now-forget his pain, forget his suffering. Enter a world that was his home-but that was not to happen as he walked down the stairs, attempting not to wince as he took each step. "Oh hurry up!" said Mrs. Black clearly frustrated as she sent another curse flying towards Sirius, making him fall down the steps and bang his head on the landing below. Was it even worth it to get up?

"There you are!" screamed a rather unpleasant voice, the last voice that Sirius wanted to hear. "Get up now! Spreading your filth on my floor. Scum!"

Why should he get up? Why should he care? If scum was what he was, this house should be covered in it. "He said get up! IMPERIO!" Mrs. Black yelled as she watched Sirius rise off the floor, a scowl growing on her face.

Sirius had stood quietly, but enough was enough. "I hate you. I hate you all," He muttered.

"Hate us? You hate us? Born into one of the most prestigious pureblood families, given anything you could have asked for, and this," Mrs. Black said scanning Sirius from top to bottom-" is how you repay us?"

Sirius laughed. "Mother you have no idea, do you? Worshipping the blood that runs through your body-completely oblivious to that surrounds you! Teaching your own children that muggles and muggleborns aren't fit to walk on the same ground we do, yet you aren't half the person they are! You are prepared to kill off the innocent for the perfect image of the world when you don't realize we need them to survive! You taunt me for being put in Gryffindor when my heart knows that's where I belong! You don't care for your son's happiness-only for the ways of following our noble family traditions. The name Black does not make me proud-oh no-It makes me feel worthless. If I could I would discard it without a moments hesitation!" Sirius yelled at his mother's face, the tears of sadness and pain now gone from his face.

"You…you!" his mother was at loss for words, but his brother was far from it.

"How dare you…" he screeched. "How dare you speak to our mother like that!" said Regulus, who had just entered the room upon hearing the commotion that took place below. "If you turn your back on this family so be it, but I will not let you leave this house without pain!" yelled Regulus as he stepped towards Sirius and punched him in his face.

"If I can get out of here, this prison, I guarantee you I will have a smile on my face," Sirius replied while secretly pulling his wand out of his robe. "Expelliarmus!" he yelled, disarming his brother, as his wand flew across to the other end of the room. Sirius' gray eyes no longer contained the calm disposition, but were piercing through Regulus.

"Reg," Sirius choked, "You are my brother. I can turn my back on them without feeling a bloody ounce of regret, but I cannot stand here and watch them corrupt you. Please listen to me. Come with me. Trust me. When have I ever done anything to hurt you? I've looked after you since you were a baby. Protected you...and now you are ready to hurt me because THEY want to! Do I mean nothing to you Reg?" Sirius said, now standing inches away from his brother. Regulus looked Sirius into his eyes and then, slowly pushed his brother aside. Regulus walked over to his father and stood tall beside him.

"I hope you know what you have gotten yourself into Regulus." Sirius whispered before turning his back on his family.

"Once you leave this house, you'll never be able to come back!" his mother screamed. "You have nowhere else to go! I am your mother-"

"You are no mother of mine."

"And as of this moment you are no longer my son! Get out. GET OUT NOW!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. She approached Sirius and slapped him across his face. "Leave and never come back. LEAVE!" Her anger raged on and sparks emitted from her wand. She held it at Sirius's face as he doubled over in pain. He was bleeding now. Was it from falling down the stairs? Or from the curses his mother was throwing at him? Sirius stumbled backwards, unaware of the pain as he pushed the front door open. He took one step out the house-happy to finally be free. In the background he heard a small blast-surely his name being blasted off the tapestry. A small crept onto his face.

How long had he been walking? It was late at night-and sometime ago it had started pouring. He had no cloak with him, only the clothes that he would have slept in. Yet he walked on, unaware of where his feet were taking him. It felt as if his mind was asleep, yet his feet kept moving-onward. He didn't notice when the rain stopped or as he turned a curb on the street. He didn't realize he was walking up a porch and banging on a door for his dear life. He didn't realize that he was slowly losing consciousness. He didn't realize when he fell to the ground-finally able to enter that dream world that he was craving mere hours ago. He didn't realize when someone opened the door and saw his limp form lying on the floor...He was happy where he was for now. He didn't want to realize.
"Sirius?" James whispered quietly as he saw the body of his best friend lying there at his doorstep. It was late at night and he had been awoken by knocking on his front door. Sirius was the last person he had expected. Slowly he knelt down beside his friend. His face was covered in deep gashes that were still bleeding. He had a nasty bump forming on the back of his head and there were more bruises than he could count. James tried to shake Sirius, only wanting a reassurance of some sort. "Sirius?" he said once more. No response. "Sirius!" he screamed, a tear falling freely from his eyes. "Mom! Dad! Please come!" he choked out. "Please…"

James heard his parents rushing down the stairs. As they came out the door Mrs. Potter gasped as she saw Sirius' condition, rushing to her son's side. "James-bring him inside. Hurry…" she said, softly-but with force. James and his father lifted Sirius and brought him into the living room, laying the poor teenage boy across the sofa. Mrs. Potter began performing healing spells immediately. As each second passed, the more shook up James became. He paced across the room, but his eyes stayed firm on Sirius's face. Who did this to him? Death eaters? His family? They surely hated him enough.

As the bruises disappeared and the cuts sealed themselves, Sirius began to look like his old self. There was only one thing missing. James wished that Sirius could smile, his famous heart warming smile. He couldn't bear to see his friend like this. He looked so helpless. James wiped away the tears in his eyes and went and sat on the ground next to the sofa. He closed his eyes, trying to take a steady breath when Sirius spoke.

"James…" he said so quietly that it was barely audible.

James quickly pulled himself up and faced his best friend. "Sirius! What happened? Who did this?" he screamed.

"Not so loud…" Sirius mumbled, wincing.

"Sorry" James whispered as he looked into the eyes of his friend-no his brother. "You gave me a right out fright. Scared me half to death."

"Talk any louder and I'm going to start wishing you were dead." Sirius laughed. James broke into a smile and jumped towards his friend and gave him a hug, tears streaming down his face.

"James…choking…can't breathe…" Sirius choked out.

"Oh sorry." James smiled.

"It's okay mate. Always knew you had a soft side. There's a swan in there somewhere…" Sirius said breaking into a grin as he tried to stand up.

"A swan?" James said giving Sirius a questioning look. "Swan? What's in you then-a hippo?"

"Sirius-you need your rest sweetie. You're very pale. Go upstairs with James and both of you to bed this very instance." Mrs. Potter ordered to the both of them. "One second honey," Mr. Potter said as he grabbed onto Sirius' shoulders and turned him around. "What happened tonight?" he asked the boy whose smile had once again vanished. "Sirius, something happened to you. We need to know what. You can trust us. We've always thought of you as our son, ever since the first day James introduced us." Mr. Potter asked sincerely.

Sirius glanced at James who gave him a nod of encouragement. "Thanks sir…that means a lot to me." He whispered. "More than you can possibly know."

"No need to thank me Sirius. Now please tell me what happened?" he questioned once again.

"Mum…mum she chucked me out. Disowned me." He said trying to laugh to lighten the mood. He wanted to make it seem like it was a joke but the tears in his eyes said otherwise. "It was bound to happen. Never did like me much." He whispered.'

Mrs. Potter let out a gasp and rushed to Sirius's side and engulfed him in a hug, like she would with her own son. "Oh my…" she said. "Sirius-you will always have a home here-you know that, don't you? You will stay here with us. Our home is yours." She said still holding onto Sirius, trying to calm him. "Thank you." Was all Sirius could think to say. "Thank you so much…."

"Okay, no more crying for tonight." Mrs. Potter declared, holding Sirius' face between her hands. "Off to bed. You need your rest."

James took hold of Sirius's arm and led him upstairs to his room. They both walked in silence, neither not knowing what to say to the other. James began rummaging through his drawers, attempting to find something dry for Sirius to wear.

"Clean. Dry. Exactly what you need." James whispered to Sirius as he handed him the clothes. "The bathroom is over there…" he said pointing to a door on the opposite end of the hall.

"How could they do that to me Prongs?" Sirius whispered. "Do what?" asked James settling himself on the bed next to Sirius.

"Kick me out? Hit me? I mean…I might not have been the perfect son, but I was still their son. Their brother." He said, now crying. "Do you know what its like to be hated by the people who are supposed to love you? I've always wished I could have a family that was always there for me. I ended up with one that couldn't look into my face without seeing a disgrace." He cried, not trying to hide his tears. James stood up and walked around so he was facing his friend. He grabbed Sirius by the shoulders and looked straight at him. "Never call yourself a disgrace. Never tell yourself you don't have a family. Never tell yourself you're hated. Believe it or not you're not a disgrace. You have friends that love you. You have a family here. I've known since the first time we met you were my brother. Padfoot the last thing you are is alone." He was crying now too. Sirius stood up and looked at James and smiled before he stepped forward and hugged his friend, his brother.

"Never knew you were that sentimental Prongs," Sirius laughed, but his voice showed there was nowhere in the world that he'd rather be. "Now about that hippo comment earlier…"

A/N: James replies by saying that Sirius is a graceful hippo. ;)

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