Author's Notes: Written for behind these ocean eyes' 48 Hours Challenge.


"Your cousin's here."

Sirius jolted awake at James' voice. He had been sleeping on his best friend's floor, and it took him several minutes to remember why. Then it all came back to him.



He had left.

"Oh, God," he moaned, putting his head in his hands. "Which one?" If it was Bellatrix, he'd tell James to tell her he wasn't there. If it was Andromeda, then it wouldn't hurt to talk to her. He just didn't want to get into a fight that would inevitably end in Bellatrix shouting that he'd disgraced the family and he'd better get home faster than she could hex him.

"It's the blonde one. Narcissa."

Sirius looked back up, quite surprised. Of his three cousins, Narcissa was the one he most often ignored. Though she was the closest to his age, he considered her dull and unimportant, what with her fondness for parties and her typically Pureblood sensibilities. So why was she here?

He stood up, wincing at the stiffness in his back from sleeping on the floor. "I'll talk to her, then. She didn't have my parents with her, did she?"

James shook his head, and Sirius made his way down the stairs, barely pausing to glance at himself in a mirror. For someone who had just woken up, he didn't look half bad, he thought.

Narcissa was perched nervously on a couch in the Potters' parlour. Her hands were twisted together in her lap, and her face was tense and strained. In the homey parlour, stiff, proper-looking Narcissa seemed out of place. She didn't belong in places that were so clearly meant to be comfortable – Narcissa was in her element when she was in the high society parties the Blacks had with such regularity.

"Sirius," she said, standing up when she saw him. Had her voice always sounded so thin and pained?

"Cissa." Sirius sank into an armchair, rubbing his eyes. "I hope you have a good reason for getting me up this early."

Narcissa pressed her lips together. "You have to come home, Sirius. This isn't funny."

"It's not meant to be."

"You can't honestly want to stay away from the Blacks forever!"

"Of course I can. I hate the Blacks and everything they stand for. Toujours pur." He snorted. "Our motto might as well be 'consanguines, mais seduisant'. 'Inbred, but sexy'." He laughed at the blush that rose in her cheeks.

"What about me?" Narcissa asked weakly. "Please, surely you can't want to never see me again?"

"I hardly know you, Cissa."

Narcissa looked crushed.

"Fine," she said, her voice trembling and tears gathering at the corners of her large, blue eyes. "I'll just… go."

She stood up, and started for the door. When she reached it, she turned back, and looked her cousin straight in the eye.

"I don't care that I'm never going to see you again," she said, fighting to keep her emotions under control, "and I don't care if you think you hardly know me. I know you. And I love you." Then she flew out the door, slamming it behind her.

Sirius sat in stunned silence for a moment, then turned to James, who had been standing in the background, watching.

"Does she mean she loves you like a cousin?" James asked, fighting to keep a smile off his face.

Sirius shook his head. "Of course not. Like I said, consanguines, mais seduisant."