Title: Padfoot and Prongs

Characters: James Potter and Sirius Black.

Notes: This is just a short one-shot set on the night that Sirius found his best friend dead. It could be taken as slash, though I prefer to view it as the intense, brotherly friendship that is Padfoot and Prongs. I hope you enjoy!

Maybe a normal person wouldn't have paid much attention to the young man in the hallway. Maybe they would mutter a few words, close his eyes, cry a few tears, and then ascend the stairs to see to the crying infant. But not Sirius Black.

Sirius cried more than a few tears over the body of James Potter.

He had always been insane, even before the walls of Azkaban closed in. He figured that the cry of young Harry upstairs was the broken hope of his imagination; it wouldn't be the first time.

But James Potter; he was everything to Sirius. A friend, a best friend, a brother. People never did seem to understand that.

They were connected with more than just blood.

Maybe they got on so well because they understood what it meant to be a pureblood Gryffindor, even if Sirius was facing his family and James's family was facing society. They understood the table manners drilled into them since they could sit upright at said table.

They understood the rebellion they needed to take part in against power.

Of course, like all best friends were wont to do, they got into fights. It was mainly James telling Sirius to hold in his cruel Black side that frequented appearances now and again, and Sirius telling James to reign in his arrogant Potter side when his head got too big to walk through the door. It worked for them.

Without Sirius, James would've been hated by his peers, because there's confidence, and there's arrogance, and it took James too long to find that balance.

Without James, Sirius would've succumbed to his prejudices and madness and the cruelty of his family and been the not-so-disinherited Black heir, Gryffindor or not. Without each other, they would've broken.

But they were James and Sirius, Padfoot and Prongs, and they would never ride again.

James was dead.

He didn't look asleep. People said that, that the dead were just sleeping. Sirius wanted to reach out and close his friend's eyelids, but his memory was of warm, pink skin, and he feared that if he touched the marble skin just beneath his fingers, that memory would fade like the others.

James's glassy eyes were all Sirius could see now; no mischievous twinkle, like that of a new prank or new way to woo Lily Evans. Exactly what shade of hazel had his eyes been? Sirius couldn't remember.

Sirius couldn't remember a lot of things, even before the Dementors, because James was dead.

That was why Sirius spent more time than most kneeling beside the body of his more than best friend, his brother, his kindred spirit When he eventually tore himself away and ascended the stairs and stumbled over the body of his best friend's wife - dead, too, and so cold, Sirius thought as his fingers brushed her eyelids shut - he was left with James's face and Lily's eyes and smile and temperament and tears and laugh.

And Sirius took the little boy and left, because Harry was Lily's son and he had to avenge James.