disclaimer: Any and all characters recognised are property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros, etc.

author's note: This is...disturbing. Sirius is very young. Lucius is really creepy. There is foul language. And this is AU, of course -- none of these things would happen in Canon, because I'm certain that any sexual abuse, no matter how well-concealed, would eventually be found out and the offenders would be dealt with. Severely. But for the purposes of this fic, try to suspend disbelief and go on the assumption that they're all just really good at hiding it and no one knows.

And again I say, this is very dark. Please be warned about what you're getting yourself into.

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Sirius did not smile. 'My whole family have been in Slytherin,' he said.

'Blimey,' said James, 'and I thought you seemed all right!'

Sirius grinned. 'Maybe I'll break the tradition. Where are you heading, if you've got the choice?'

James lifted an invisible sword. '"Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!" Like my dad.'

Snape made a small, disparaging noise. James turned on him.

'Got a problem with that?'

'No,' said Snape, though his slight sneer said otherwise. 'If you'd rather be brawny than brainy -- '

'Where're you hoping to go, seeing as you're neither?' interjected Sirius.

-- p 539, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (British Ed.), J.K. Rowling

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blood tea

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1. sorting

When the Hat cries, "SLYTHERIN," he doesn't know what to do. Of course he takes the Hat off his head. Of course he picks himself up and wanders aimlessly to the table swathed in silver and green. Of course he moves with grace, does not complain, does not protest -- does exactly, to the letter, what's expected of him.

Of course. Of course.

He's lived with Them for eleven years; how could he possibly think he was immune?

He makes the briefest of eye contact with James, but the betrayal he sees in those honey orbs is too much for Sirius to stomach; he looks away. Snivellus is staring at him, too -- with deepest loathing, mostly, but a sort of vindication as well. That's what you get, Black, Snape seems to say. You're no better than the rest of Us, no matter what you try to tell yourself and the rest of the world.

As he takes his seat at the Slytherin table, he feels a hand on the small of his back. He looks up into the ice-grey eyes of Lucius Malfoy, and his heart skips a beat.

---

2. summer

Sirius is top of all his classes; his parents, for once, are proud. "You are finally living up to Our name," his mother says, calmly taking a sip of claret. "We knew you would grow out of that ghastly childhood rebellion if we only gave you time, did we not, Orion?"

"Quite so," his father agrees. "I remember the discourteous whelp who committed atrocious acts punishable by the Cruciatus on a regular basis. Your self-control has improved dramatically since then."

Sirius stares at his supper, saying nothing. He remains the very picture of said self-control, while inside he battles the urge to pick up his plate and throw it across the room...or smash his hand into the pristine walls, split his knuckles and spill his pure Black blood all over the freshly washed stone...or perhaps do something even more melodramatic, like shout or scream or cry about the torturous unfairness of it all.

Because -- they don't know what it's like for him, there. The Cruciatus would be preferable.

---

3. second year

Sirius and Snape studiously ignore each other. Sirius doesn't come to Snape's defence when James bullies him; Snape doesn't say a word when Lucius touches Sirius.

Little touches at first (a flighty brush of gloved fingers; the searing impression of a hand on his stiffened shoulder), then bigger touches (the scratch of manicured fingernails against Sirius's scalp; the ghosting of lips against his earlobe), followed by the biggest touches of all (a bruising kiss in the fourth floor broom cupboard; the imprint of teeth and glistening blood next to his right nipple).

Every meeting ends with the twisting and building climax of Lucius's mouth, and it fills Sirius with a terrible feeling of heat-heat-heat explodenowpleasemore -- waitSTOPidon'twantthisanymore --

And then Lucius says that he's in this "funny little business of reciprocity," and so Sirius, pale and shaking, does up his trousers and gets down on his knees to reciprocate.

When he comes back to the dorms, he and Snape continue to ignore one another. Sirius turns a blind eye to the fact that Snape is covered in bruises; Snape turns a blind eye to the fact that Sirius is covered in Lucius.

---

4. third year

It is a relief when Lucius graduates. Sirius thinks to himself that he is free, now, he won't have to put up with it any longer. But then Rosier is there (his touches inexpert and impatient and rough and fierce) and then Mulciber has his turn (his lips burn into Sirius's flesh like fever and Sirius arches like the child he is) and Travers corners him after class (heedless of danger, perhaps even inviting it) --

-- and the worst part is, Sirius keeps thinking that he has had better. He almost misses Lucius, then, for Lucius had an art to what he did. A poisonous, perfect taste; a toxic and tantalising ability to cause pain without marks and draw blood without Sirius ever noticing a thing. He was breathtaking and cruel and beautiful, and Sirius hated-hated-wanted? to be fuckedfuckedfucked until sweat trickled delicately down Lucius's pale peach flesh and landed, soundlessly, upon the very centre of Sirius's rail-thin chest. A tiny splash, like a teardrop. Or a bit of hot wax.

It burned. You cried. You loved it.

Did he?

Sometimes, when Sirius is sure everyone has gone to sleep, he puts up a Silencing spell and lets his hand drop below the waistband of his silk shorts. His prick is chafed and sore from the constant use, but it grows hard with naught but two strokes as he thinks of Lucius's eyes and imagines those perfect teeth leaving telling bruises on his collarbone.

He comes not thirty seconds later, and when he brings his soiled fingers to his lips, he can almost pretend it's His.

---

5. fourth year

Regulus gets Sorted into Slytherin and Sirius feels a conflicting array of emotions: he's proud of his little brother and jealous of him as well; a part of him is frightened for Regulus -- he wants to tell him, Turn around, get back on the stool, ask the Hat to send you somewhere else. But, of course, he doesn't. Of course he smiles serenely, pats his brother on the back, and says, "Welcome to Slytherin, Reg," just as he knows he's supposed to do.

Sirius sees Avery sit down beside Regulus, a soft smile on those otherwise ugly features, and whisper something to him. Regulus looks slightly suspicious, but then Avery is putting a gentle hand on the small of Regulus's back and peering deep into his eyes, speaking words that Sirius cannot hear and cannot save him from. Something feral threatens to erupt from deep within him and he bites the inside of his cheek so hard he tastes blood, but with great pains he manages to keep from running over and ripping Avery limb from limb.

Snape leans over and mutters in Sirius's ear, "Aren't you going to do something about that? It's your brother, for Merlin's sake."

Sirius inhales slowly, exhales inaudibly. "My self-control has improved dramatically," he says, and calmly takes a sip of tea.

---

6. fifth year

Sirius remembers, sometimes, his ancient promise to keep Regulus safe. Years and years ago -- maybe four, maybe five -- but things were relatively uncomplicated and the punishments came in short brilliant red bursts, so he knows they must have been young.

He is in bed with his brother: no funny business, of course, just the necessary comfort after Reg has had a nightmare. Regulus snuggles in closer, all angles and bony elbows and stupid seven-year-old questions, and Sirius wants to send him back to his own bed so he can get some room and some sleep. But he doesn't, because he swore to protect Reg, and that means protecting him from the unseen things as well -- the things Sirius cannot fight, the things in Regulus's head.

Reg asks about God; Sirius says, talk to father.

Reg asks about love; Sirius says, it's just chemicals in the brain.

Reg asks about poetry; Sirius says, it's maudlin and rubbishy.

Reg asks about Lucius; Sirius thinks he might fall off the edge of the earth.

---

7. summer

The air is unusually hot and muggy; something heavy hangs in the balance -- heavier than the words they aren't saying, the Dark Lord they aren't talking about. It sticks to the roof of Sirius's mouth when he tries to choke down his ("perfect good, you ungrateful brat") supper, and catches in his throat when he attempts to swallow his own saliva.

He sees Lucius with a hand on Regulus's shoulder, guiding him away from the party with a gentle but commanding air, and Regulus (to his credit) looks neither gullible nor taken in by Lucius's act. He just looks -- tired. He knows a volatile political situation when he's presented with one; he knows just what's beneath the left sleeve of that custom-tailored plum-coloured robe Lucius is wearing. Regulus knows. Regulus won't fight.

Maybe that's what you love about him. Maybe that's what you despise, as well.

Sirius dissociates and thinks about a time, not too long ago, when it was Lucius's perfect nails raking up his soft and oh-so-fragile skin...back when he glowed with fairy lights and tin-foil wings and a tongue that was cold and inexperienced. Before he grew hard and tough and wiry with muscle. Before he became the very opposite of what Lucius wanted.

He could protect Regulus then. He wasn't such a coward. (He wasn't such a deviant, either.)

---

8. sixth year

Sirius doesn't see Lucius for a long time after that. When next he does, it is at another family function and Sirius is sixteen -- tall, built, not a child anymore -- and Lucius is twenty-one, married, and long in the service of the Dark Lord.

"You and my cousin look good together," Sirius says, for lack of anything better to say. Pretty people make pretty children. The next in line for the Malfoy throne is sure to be the most beautiful, delicate blond creature the Black-Malfoy line has ever seen.

"Yes," Lucius agrees. "It was a fortuitous match, wasn't it? Narcissa is an absolute delight."

Sirius has never heard anyone describe her that way; he fights the urge to laugh or smirk or stare incredulously. "Lucius," he says instead, "might I interest you in a fine cognac?"

Lucius smiles, places his hand on the small of Sirius's back, and says in his lilting way, "Of course. Lead the way."

Sirius does so, appreciating how intricate the gesture is: despite the fact that Lucius does not want him, the blond has made it abundantly clear that he will never relinquish that finely-manicured, custom-gloved upper hand.

---

9. seventh year

Regulus pours another cup of tea and thinks to himself that perhaps his self-control has improved dramatically.

Sirius pours another cup of brandy and thinks to himself that perhaps this is a mistake.

Lucius reaches out to touch that pale bruised peach flesh and thinks to himself that perhaps he got it right the first time.

The candle burns away to almost nothing and blood mixes with wax in the imprint left by his white and perfect teeth, a mark that will last for days on two twin teenage chests that are more beautiful together than they ever were apart. It is cruel and terrible and Sirius doesn't want it, but of course he would never say no. Of course not, for that would be like claiming he is better than Them; that he is immune. Of course no one is immune.

After the first few fluttering touches, Lucius is vindicated. Regulus is nervous. Sirius is terrified. Maybe that should be enough to stop this, but it isn't.

(Of course it isn't. Of course. Of course.)

---

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a/n: If you managed to stomach it, I hope you review!