Sirius reveled in the feeling of muscles stretching and contracting as he ran along beside the train

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or settings. They all are the property of J. K. Rowling.

The Promise

Sirius reveled in the feeling of muscles stretching and contracting as he ran along beside the train. He knew it was rash to go see Harry off but he was going out of his mind in that dingy old house. The wind ruffled his fur and he shook his head and slowed to a walk. He slowly made his way back to platform nine and three quarters. Perhaps he would spend a few hours wandering around London. There was no reason he couldn't be out in his dog form. Dumbledore and the others were being far too cautious. Besides, what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them.

He entered Grimmauld Place that evening feeling alive and refreshed. He transformed quickly and moved into the kitchen. His stomach was suddenly letting him know about the meals he had missed that day.

"Kreacher" He yelled even as he began to rummage around in the cupboard. Kreacher always seemed to make himself rather scarce when Sirius entered the kitchen.

"eh hem"

Sirius froze for a moment. He wasn't sure who it was who was standing behind him but chances were good that whoever it was would not be pleased with how Sirius had spent his day. 'Don't panic!' he told himself. 'They don't know anything'

Sirius forced himself not to turn around and he said with the most casual voice he could muster "I'm starved. I need to send Kreacher to get some more supplies." He grabbed a loaf of bread and turned around but froze when he found himself looking into the very angry face of Remus Lupin.

"You were seen!" he growled.

Sirius' face paled a bit and he swallowed hard. "S..seen doing what?"

Remus didn't even deign to answer this question. It was very clear that Sirius knew exactly where he had been seen. "The entire ministry is looking for you. The ENTIRE MINISTRY, and you think you can just prance around the middle of London as you please!! That is incredibly reckless and foolish…even for you! Lucious Malfoy figured it out. Dumbledore happened to intercept the message he sent to the Prime Minister or you would have taken before you even left the platform!!"

The thought of being taken back to Azkaban and the Dementor's kiss made Sirius want to vomit on the floor right there. "Perhaps it wasn't such a great idea' he thought to himself. "Remus…I"

Remus put up a hand to stop his faltering speech. For a few moments they looked at each other is silence. Then Remus reached out and slowly removed the loaf of bread Sirius was still holding poised in the air. "Go to your room." He said in a voice no louder than a whisper.

Sirius took in a sharp hissing breath "Nooooooo…Remus, you can't…"

Remus' amber eye's flashed. "to… your… room." He said with an intensity that caused a chill to run down Sirius' spine. There was only one reason Sirius had ever been sent to his room and it wasn't good! The only people to have ever sent him to his room were Mr. Potter and then James. Remus knew that James had, at times, disciplined him but he had never done so himself or said anything about it. Sirius stood in shocked horror for a brief moment and then he bolted from the kitchen. At least he could get away from that look Remus was giving him for a bit.

Sirius quickly shut the door of his bedroom and leaned against it shutting his eyes. No, no, no! This couldn't be happening! OK, yes, James had expressed his displeasure on his backside on several occasions but it had been what..15 years since that had last happened. He was an adult now! He was an escaped convict for crying out loud. Convicts do not get..spanked!! It wasn't fair anyway. He hated being cooped up in this stupid old house that only reminded him of the family that had couldn't stand being a part of. He hated feeling like he couldn't do anything to help anyone!

"Grrrr" he pulled at his hair in frustration. This was all so stupid! He wasn't answerable to Remus! He was an adult! He moved forward and gave a hard kick at his small nightstand. The leg broke and the contents went spewing onto the ground with a satisfying crash. Stupid nightstand! Stupid house! He picked up a book and hurled it at the wall, and he felt another surge of satisfaction when it glanced off and knocked over the floor lamp. He pulled out his wand and aimed it at the desk "Bomba…"

"Expelliarmus!" Sirius' wand flew out of his hand and onto the floor by the feet of one very angry looking werewolf. Sirius spun around, eyes flashing and spoiling for a fight. "Remus, I don't care what…." but his voice suddenly trailed off as his eyes spotted what Remus was holding in his left hand. "W..where did you get that?" He demanded.

Remus looked down at his left hand, too, and slowly brought the large mahogany brush up and took it in both hands examining it closely. "You recognize this, then, do you? Let me tell you a little story, Sirius."

Sirius was still breathing hard but his eyes were glued to the brush and he stood stock-still. Remus continued also keeping his eyes on the brush, slowly turning it in his hands. "You see, Sirius, when James knew that Voldemort was coming after him, he came to me with a most interesting request. He told me how much he admired your incredible courage and passion. He also explained that sometimes these emotions led you into trouble. He made me take this brush and promise that if anything happened to him that I would look after you. He made me promise that if you ever started to do things that endangered yourself or others or if you started throwing tantrums like a little child…" At these words Remus looked up and pierced Sirius with his gaze. "…that I would apply this brush to your stubborn ass until you CAME TO YOUR SENSES!!"

Sirius tore his eyes away from the brush and met Remus' gaze. What he saw there sent a shiver up his spine. It was sheer determination. It was clear that Remus saw using that that brush as an act of duty to both him and James and he was going to do it! He was going to spank him like a little boy!! Oh Merlin…

"Now," continued Remus, crossing his arms and keeping his gaze leveled on Sirius "do you have anything to say for yourself, young man?"

Silence

Remus cocked one eyebrow and began tapping the brush against his shoulder where it rested as though he was anxious to begin using it for his intended purpose.

"ehm" Sirius cleared his throat and tried desperately to think of some defense for his behavior. He shifted his weight from foot to foot. He couldn't bear to keep looking at Remus' face so his eyes cast about the room. The sight that met him there was not at all comforting. The floor was littered with the debris of his recent outburst. Had he really done that? Boy, he was acting like a complete child. He shook his head, that sort of thinking was not going to help his backside. He needed some excuse…

"No?" said Remus interrupting Sirius' thoughts. "Then perhaps you can tell me why you decided to ignore Dumbledore's orders and go to the train station in full view of hundreds of people?"

The mention of Dumbledore's orders helped to rally Sirius to his own defense. "Look, Remus, I am not a child. I can decide for myself when I can leave my own house. If I want to go say goodbye to my godson then I jolly well have the right to do it!"

"Ah, I see." Said Remus with a sarcastic tone. "So it is the 'It's my life, I can do what I please' argument is it?"

"errr…well, yeah. I guess it is."

"Sirius, let me ask you a question. If I decided that I was sick and tired of waiting for Dumbledore to take action so I went by myself to confront Greyback, what would you say?"

Silence again

"No, Sirius, I want an answer. What would you say!"

"I would say you were an idiotic fool."

"And, what if, when you told me that, I started yelling about how it was my life and I could do what I pleased and I started smashing everything in sight? What would you say then, Sirius?"

There was a lengthy pause as Sirius wrestled with admitting the truth, knowing it was tantamount to proclaiming his own guilt. Finally, his shoulders sagged and he looked down to the floor. "I would ask to borrow your brush." He whispered with a small smirk.

TBC

Remus snickered. "Indeed!