James couldn't have been a better friend to Sirius. He managed to convince his parents to let Sirius stay with them, just until school started up again.

Sirius stayed in James's room, sleeping on the floor, or trying to.



"What happened?" James asked. "Why did you finally get out? I mean, you've been talking about running away for years, what finally made you do it?" James sat up in his bed and watched his friend.

"They threw me out," Sirius said flatly.


"I can't tell you."

"Why not?"

"I promised."

"Sirius, I'm your best friend." James leaned closer, and although his voice was concerned, there was curiosity there too. "You can tell me anything. No one will have to know."

"You really want to know?" Sirius asked, his voice suddenly hard. He sat up and faced James, who was taken aback by just how angry he looked.

"Of course I do…"

"All right," said Sirius. "All right, then."

They locked eyes for a long minute, one pair of eyes defiant and the other pair containing barely-masked curiosity.

"I slept with my cousin."

James stared at his best friend, incredulous.

"Now shut up about it."

Sirius turned over, so he didn't have to look at James anymore.

I slept with my cousin.

Fuck up… that's all I ever do.