Implied Sirius/Harry and Sirius/James. Written for a challenge. Sirius never knew love, until he met the Potters.

Expectations

Sirius never knew love, until he met the Potters.

Sirius reflects the firelight off of the mirror absently, glaring as the glare falls on the Black family seal emblazoned on yet another artifact of the Grand Old Days of the Ancient and Most Noble House. He looks into the mirror and finds himself shocked when, instead of a wickedly grinning face with glasses comedically skewed, a handsome but exhausted-looking middle-aged man greets him there with an expectant look.

Harry will pick it up soon, he knows. Harry, who owls him for assurance that there's someone out there just as much as Sirius waits for his owls for the same reason. This will make it all easier. One term without him here was bad enough.

Remus is concerned but doesn't say anything. Sirius knows that he is, because Remus gets that heavy frown that always made James start laughing and clap him on the back too hard and assure him there's nothing to be scowling at, Moony my boy, everything's great, everything's going to be fine. There was nothing like James's grin to set someone at ease. Sirius can't do that, because he's forgotten how to smile without James. He can only bare his teeth like the animal he is.

Harry Floos in. Sirius wants to ask if he's opened the mirror, but Harry has to ask about James, and it's easier with Remus next to him, easier to reminisce without wondering if he had only had faith in his friends, if he could have kept it all from happening. Remus doesn't talk about his own doubts in the past and how he had finally exploded at their final prank, instead talks about how they were stupid, how it's nothing.

Only later is Sirius troubled, really troubled. Harry is what he is, was, fighting for, Harry is a compatriot and a friend and someone who understands what it's like to grow up in Hell. Harry is everything to him, Harry is the reason he smiles. Yet, Harry is off at Hogwarts and it's a familiar pang, one he eventually learned to banish when his bitch mother soon began to favour Regulus, or when James finally managed to whisk a slightly hesitant and overall taken aback Lily Evans off of her feet and into Hogsmeade, again and again. Sirius has never been anyone's priority.

How can he expect to be Harry's, anyway? Harry has Voldemort to worry about. It isn't much like James of him, though, to get that look on his face, of intense concentration and determination. That's Lily in him, the Lily in his eyes.

He looks into the mirror and tries a smile. It still looks like just a baring of the teeth to him, but it's somehow even worse than before.

"Padfoot?"

It's been a while since Remus has called him that. Sirius looks up. "Moony, old chum, thought you were off with Molly making dinner. You've become so domestic."

Remus takes a seat nearby him. "Should I worry about you?"

"It's not a matter of if you should or shouldn't, because you will either way," Sirius points out.

"It's not right for us to keep you in here," Remus excuses. "Of course you're going to be tamed down, you're locked indoors. I could take you out for a walk," he adds wryly.

"Who said I was tamed down?" Sirius raises an eyebrow.

"No one," Remus says hastily. "Don't worry about Harry. Dumbledore's looking after him."

"Dumbledore was looking after us," Sirius says, looking at his hands. They look older than they did the last time he looked at them. He thinks he must not look at his hands much.

Remus gives him a warning sort of look; Sirius responds with a look of shocked innocence, and as Remus shakes his head with that prefectly disdain, he half-expects James to cry out "COME ON" and yank at their shirtsleeves to move on to the next adventure. There's a silence and Sirius simply looks at Remus until the latter says, "Dumbledore will do what he can. It's more than either of us can."

Remus is nearly as useless as him, Sirius notes, though he's always known that. Sirius is a rich brat who had no money until he was put into Azkaban, and Remus is a werewolf. Somehow, this makes him feel better.

"Molly's dinner should be done soon," Remus says, claps Sirius on the shoulder before standing. "Come down when you're finished gazing at your reflection." At this he leaves.

His dreams are usually painful in their colour and detail, nonetheless the topics – one night he's gripped by one, tripped by a memory that he usually chose to forget, James's rough broom-callused hands possessively on him, just once, just to try it once. Sirius muttering Not a queer before shoving his hand down the front of his best mate's pants, almost wishing he was because then he might be able to have James to himself, and oh, wouldn't his mother be upset?

The memory twists under the pleasure and James's head turns and he's looking at Sirius with Lily's knowing but innocent eyes full of lust, and Sirius knows how Adam must have felt with the first bite of Eve's apple. His hands stop their work. Too late.

Harry is staring at him as he comes, helplessly, mouth draped open slightly, his broom-callused hand still gripping Sirius.

Sirius wakes, and comes, just to get it over with. He thinks he may be sick, but just sits up, trying to slow his breathing and stem his shaking.

Sirius manages to smile the next day, at Remus. Remus, startled at the change in Sirius's eyes, smiles back, warily, wryly. It's only that afternoon, when they get the owl that Harry has rushed into the heart of danger, that Sirius worries about anything at all.

Sirius never knew love, until he met the Potters.