Author's Notes: Written for the fabulous mindabbles. Thanks to the also fabulous whymzycal for the beta. As mentioned, this is a sequel to With a Little Help From My Friends, so it does help to know what happened the night before the morning after.



Sirius was having a rather nice dream when he was abruptly woken by a loud squawk, immediately followed by something heavy falling on top of him.

"Wossat?" he mumbled, unwilling to open his eyes. It was a really good dream, and he ignored the flailing and wriggling on top of him until a sharp elbow jabbed him in his inner thigh. He sat up like a shot.

"Oi! What the fuck?" he yelled, shoving at the intruder.

"Sorry," someone mumbled, and after a few more seconds of chaos, Peter rolled off the bed and hit the floor with a thud. "Ouch."

"Serves you right," Sirius said, rubbing his thigh and trying to get his bearings. Remus was sitting up beside him, dishevelled and confused, his hair standing straight up and his lips red and a bit swollen. "All right, Moony?" he said amidst a yawn, and he scratched his balls. Poor things had no idea how close they'd come to serious harm.

Peter scrambled to his feet, scowling. "Why is Prongs' bed twice its usual size, and what are you—? No, wait. I really don't think I want to know. Will you put some bloody clothes on? Or at least cover up with the sheet or something. I think I just lost my appetite. Ugh."

"Morning, Wormy," Remus said, stifling a yawn. "Sleep well?"

Peter sighed. "Right. Where'd Prongs get off to, then? Did you chase him out of his bed?"

"I thought you said you didn't want to know," Sirius said, lying back and crossing his arms behind his head, ignoring the sheet and blanket down near the vicinity of his feet.

Peter huffed and shoved at the curtain before turning on his heel and stomping off to the toilet.

Remus shook his head and tugged the sheet over Sirius, covering him up to his waist. "Really, Padfoot."

"It's not like he's never seen my cock before, you know."

"Well, he usually doesn't see it up close and personal like that, does he? Poor Wormy."

"How is that my fault?"

"You're the one who enlarged the bed, aren't you?"

Sirius turned his head into his shoulder and grumbled. "We needed the space." He glanced around and squinted. "Where is Prongs? Fled the scene of the crime, eh?"

Remus snorted. "Probably having a shower. You could do with one as well."

Sirius looked at Remus and raised his eyebrows. "Nice hair. You should wear it like that more often. Rough night, was it?"

Remus poked Sirius in the chest. "And whose fault was that?"

"Uh-uh," Sirius said, shaking his head and grinning. "You're not pinning that one on me. This one was all your doing. How much do you want to bet that Prongs avoids us for a week? Bastard sneaked out of bed without waking us." He sighed. "I would have loved to have seen his face."

"He'll be fine," Remus said. "I'm sure he's just embarrassed."

"Well, you were quite the little tart, weren't you? Seduced him right out of his pyjamas."

Sirius managed to get his hands up to ward off the worst of it when Remus smacked him in the head. "Tart? You're the one who's been goading him all week! Besides," he added, "he wasn't exactly wearing his pyjamas when we got there, was he?"

"True. I suppose I'll have to revise my remarks. Prongs was clearly the tart in the proceedings. You were the lecher," Sirius said, raising his arms once again against a fresh onslaught. But Remus, the sneaky bastard he was, was far too cunning for a not-fully-awake Sirius Black. To Sirius' chagrin, Remus bypassed the satisfaction of beating him senseless and went straight for the kill.

"Aaaaargh!" Sirius cried out as Remus dived for his feet. "No fair, ahahaha, quit it, ya bastard! It's not ... not as if that was a bad thing," Sirius said, gasping and wheezing. There were only two places he was ticklish, and unfortunately for Sirius, Remus had discovered them both in due course. Fortunately, though, he only used this knowledge to his advantage on special occasions.

"So," Remus said, gasping a bit himself. Sirius had managed to kick him in the side before Remus had really got hold of him. "You were saying?"

"I was saying you're a lecher," Sirius said, bending his knees to keep his feet from Remus' reach, "but you're my lecher, and I like it just fine."

Remus narrowed his eyes. "Wouldn't have me any other way?"

"Oh, there's lots of ways I'd have you, and have done, of course. Last night, though." Sirius grinned. "Quite an impressive bit of mischief it was. Definitely rates an 'O'."

Remus smiled, looking rather like a kneazle that ate an entire flock of canaries. Sirius felt a tug in the pit of his stomach, and warmth spread from his chest, radiating outward. He'd never say it aloud—it wasn't the sort of thing eighteen-year-old boys were in the habit of saying. Well, not Sirius Black, at any rate; he'd leave the soppy declarations of unfettered, undying love to Prongs and his endless pursuit of Evans—but at times like this, he had to admit he was almost tempted.

Instead, he reached out, pulled Remus to him, and kissed him. It wasn't a passionate kiss. Those were for after they'd cleaned their teeth, of course. Merely a faint press of lips—Mmm, they were swollen and soft beneath his own—together with a gentle stroke of fingers along Remus' jaw that lasted for all of two seconds, but it was enough.

Remus blinked in surprise and murmured a soft, "Oh!" then smiled and, stretching, kissed Sirius' forehead. "Daft bugger."

Pleased with himself, Sirius smiled. Who needed words? Remus always seemed to know what he meant.

Sirius yawned and sat up, stretching his arms over his head. "I suppose we should get moving. Before Prongs and Wormy use up all the hot water."

Remus gave him a look. "The castle has never run out of hot water. Well, once. I think it was 1647 or '48. A powerful Obsidio Charm gone haywire bollocksed up all the water pipes."

"I'm not even going to ask how you knew that," Sirius said, inching his way to the edge of the bed. He stopped just short of swinging his legs over the side, an idea percolating in the dark corners of his mind. "Obsidio Charm, you say?"

"Oh, no you don't," Remus said, clearly familiar with far too many of those dark corners. "I like my hot water just fine, and besides, do you know how complicated—"

"It can't be that difficult. Not for the likes of us," Sirius said, the idea taking full shape. "We could probably even modify a Freezing Charm—"

Remus clapped his hand over Sirius' mouth, not that that did anything to muffle his brain.

"I'd rather not spend the better part of our last year here in perpetual detention. Besides, Dumbledore would have Prongs' badges, both of them, quicker than you could say 'Quidditch'."

Sirius took hold of Remus' hand and held it, palm up. He traced the myriad lines that criss-crossed it with his fingernail. "You're going soft on me, Moony."

"Not soft," Remus said as a visible tremor rippled through his body. "Merely sensible. Well, a little bit, anyway, since someone has to be around you lot."

Sirius sighed. He wasn't about to let a good idea like that go so easily, so he filed it away for later contemplation. He looked up at Remus and pouted. "There's sensible, and then there's downright dull."

Remus extricated his hand, fingers slowly curling inward. "Such mortal insults this early in the morning," he said lightly. He glanced at the empty doorway and turned back to Sirius, a mischievous smile spreading across his face. "My poor, petulant Padfoot. I think I know a way to placate you. What would you say to a little wager?"


Sirius had to admire Remus. Sure, one hand might taketh away, but the other hand ... He promised he'd never again call him dull. Well, not out loud when Remus was within earshot, anyway.

James was another story. He'd spent breakfast that morning not-very-carefully not meeting their eyes. But not meeting their eyes didn't mean Prongs' eyes hadn't fixated on other things. Particularly when Sirius had offered Remus a breakfast sausage and had gently fed it to him with a great show of exaggeration. The coughing fit that erupted the moment Remus' lips had closed around the end of the sausage had been rather epic, and Peter's helpful pounding on Prongs' back had been anything but.

It was amusing to Sirius to see Prongs in such a state. After breakfast, they'd had Charms class where he'd spent half the time muttering to himself about Memory Charms, and the other half with his head swivelling between Evans and both Remus and himself. He'd come round sooner or later, Sirius knew. Remus had been wrong. It wasn't embarrassment that Prongs was suffering from—well, not solely—but rather guilt.

Not that Sirius had any plans to make it easy for him. Guilt wasn't something to be dwelt upon, a lesson Sirius had learned and internalized for the sake of self-preservation. It was a useless emotion that in his experience never did anyone any good. Sirius blamed Evans. Then again, he blamed her any time James did something stupid.

As they left the Charms corridor—Peter having gone off to Muggle Studies and Remus walking ahead of them with Evans on their way to Arithmancy—James walked stiffly beside him, back to muttering to himself. They had a free period, and Sirius could practically see the wheels turning inside James' head. He'd make some pitiful excuse and scamper off, unable to bear being alone with Sirius for an entire hour.

"Ahhh," Sirius said, stretching his arms and wrapping one around James' shoulder. "Best night of sleep I've had all term. How 'bout you, Prongsy?" He hugged James against his side and grinned when James made a strangled sound in his throat. "You looked pretty knackered when you drifted off last night. And that was a really long shower you had this morning. Look at you. Fresh as a daisy, you are," he added, chucking James under his chin.

He leant in conspiratorially and whispered, "I'm sure Evans noticed. She couldn't stop staring—or was that glaring?—at you all through Charms. The haunted look in your eyes and the dark circles beneath them are hardly noticeable at all," he added as he trailed his hand down James' back and squeezed his bum for good measure.

James pushed Sirius away and scowled. "Are you mad?"

Sirius merely laughed, confident. The bet was in the bag. Sure, he'd wallow for the rest of the day, but Sirius knew James almost better than he knew himself.

"Look, Padfoot, I've got to go. Have to go, ah, have to go see Dumbledore about a thing."

Sirius cleared his throat in an attempt to hide his glee. He schooled his features and put on a concerned expression. "A thing? Is it a big thing?" he asked, his eyes widening.

James looked indignant. "It's a thing, all right? Head Boy stuff, so never you mind."

"Oh, I won't mind," Sirius said. "Some of us didn't have time to linger in the shower, so I've some business I need to take care of myself, you know?" He glanced over at James out of the corner of his eye and noticed he was turning a rather interesting shade of puce. He started muttering again, though this time Sirius was sure he caught the words "barking" and "pervert". Was he good or what?

They reached the end of the corridor, and James gazed longingly after Remus and Evans as they headed up the stairs, the two of them engrossed in conversation. Sirius shook his head and hid a smile. Prongs was blinkered, all right. He wondered which one of the two James was actually thinking about just then.

James fidgeted and glanced at his watch. "Right. Have to go. That thing, you know. Don't want to be late."

Sirius nodded and James took off, running up the stairs without looking back.

Sirius couldn't resist a final jab, and called out, "See you at lunch. I hope Dumbledore helps you take care of your thing!"

James stopped short, nearly tripping as he grabbed banister to steady himself, and Sirius imagined the colour of his face had taken on a tinge of green. Today was going to be vastly entertaining, and it wasn't even lunch yet.


Sirius took his time making his way up the stairs, chuckling over James and his dilemma. Things tended to look differently in the light of day, and sometimes they took a bit of getting used to. A well-timed fit of panic could be constructive. Well, in truth it was kind of bollocks when it happened to you, Sirius thought, but he was not above enjoying it at James' expense. If you couldn't mess with your best friend, then what was the point of friendship?

He paused as he reached the fourth floor landing. Remus had tried to distract him earlier, but like any other dog with a bone, he was still thinking about the Obsidio Charm.

The best part about being a seventh year was that the Restricted Section was no longer restricted. Sure, several shelves were secured with strong obstruction charms and could only be examined with a Professor's permission, but those were mostly Dark Arts books. Gravenby's Uncharitable Charmes & Spyteful Spells was merely in the Restricted Section with the hopes of keeping it out of the hands of mischievous young students—like Sirius and James, for example.

He stepped off the landing and was assailed from behind by an invisible arm.


"Shut up, you wanker," came James' voice from out of the ether. "I thought you were going back to the tower."

Sirius shrugged. "I was, but then I had a better idea. Just going to check something out in the library. Aren't you going to be late for your 'thing'?"

"I told you to shut it, didn't I? There was no 'thing', you arse," James spat, and dragged him off down the fourth floor corridor past the library.

Sirius took a moment to envision James' expression based on his voice: face red, eyes practically bulging out of their sockets, and his jaw rigid as he clenched his teeth. It really was a thing of beauty.

The passed the boys bathroom and came to a tall mirror. They paused, and Sirius glanced around. "Clear," he said. He heard James tap the glass with his wand and whisper the password, and they stepped through the mirror into the passage behind it.

Sirius blinked, trying to adjust his eyes to the sudden darkness. "Does this mean you want me to help you with your 'thing' instead, then?"

He heard the barest wisp as James took off his cloak before he was roughly thrown against the wall. James loomed before him. Sirius couldn't see him, but he could feel him, menacing.

"I told you," James said, grabbing Sirius by the shoulders and grinding up against him, "there was no 'thing'!"

Sirius blinked again, ignoring the pain in his left shoulder and the back of his head where he'd hit the wall, and wrapped his arms around James, hands splayed against his arse, pulling him closer and thrusting his own hips forward. "Oh, there's a thing, all right, and I was right. It's pretty damn big."

"Shut up," James said, digging his fingers into Sirius' shoulders.

Sirius chuckled. "Had a good time last night, did you, Prongs? I knew you'd—"

Clearly realising that Sirius wasn't going to do any kind of shutting up, James did the most expedient thing he could do without his wand: he grabbed Sirius' face and stuck his tongue into his mouth.

As snogging went, it wasn't the tidiest—or the least slobbery—one he'd ever had, but it was certainly fierce. James was angry, frustrated. Sirius could feel it coming off him like waves. But he was also hard and desperate, and randy as the proverbial goat, or in James' case, stag. His lips subconsciously quirked into a half-smile and James bit him.

"Ow," Sirius said, then twined his fingers into James' hair and mashed their lips together again. It was exhilarating, really. With his other hand, he grabbed James' robes and lifted them, fingers scrabbling for his jeans and finding only pants.

There were a thousand things he considered saying at that moment, but his mouth was busy, so he settled for pushing James' hips back, tugging his pants down, and wrapping his fingers around James' cock in a firm grip.

James groaned, his mouth going slack against Sirius' lips. Sirius took that moment to turn things about, literally, as he pushed James up against the wall and pounced, all tongue and teeth.

"Bastard," James muttered when Sirius bit his tongue. At least Sirius was pretty sure that's what he was trying to say. But instead of pushing him away, James pulled him closer, fingers twisting in Sirius' hair and tugging, hips thrusting into Sirius' fisted hand.

James protested when Sirius restrained his hips and slowed his hand, then gasped when Sirius stroked his balls. He squeezed them gently, and with his index finger, he pressed down hard on the soft spot just behind them, circling. Sirius smiled as James' groan rose at least an octave.

"Like that, do you?" Sirius said, turning his head and wiping his mouth on his shoulder.

"Shut up and suck me off," James said with a gasp.

Sirius snorted. "Overbearing ponce."

James tugged his hair hard. "Padfoot!"

"Ow. Who's helping who out here? And don't whinge. It's unmanly."

"For fuck's sake, please!"

"Well, since you're begging so nicely." Sirius gently rolled James' balls in the palm of his hand and stroked his thumb down the length of his cock. "Anything to help out a friend and his 'thing'," Sirius said. He dropped to his knees, vaguely disappointed that he couldn't actually see anything.

"You're never going to let that one go, are you," James said in a voice that was half-anticipatory, half-resigned.

"Not on your life," Sirius said. He thought about last night, remembering what Remus had looked like on his knees before James, and smiled to himself. That'd work. He grasped the base of James' cock and ran his other hand up the length to the tip, listening to the erratic rhythm of James' breathing. When James' breath hitched, Sirius decided he was too impatient to tease him as he'd intended. He licked his lips and sucked James' cock into his mouth.

James made a whimpering sound, and Sirius hummed, turning James' whimper into a long, drawn-out moan. With his free hand, he reached around to James' arse, fingers stroking gently down the crease.


Sirius released James' cock and snorted. "Just trust me, all right?"

James mumbled something under his breath, which Sirius took for assent, and continued where he'd left off.

Sirius felt James tense when his finger inched its way inside the crease of his arse, and he squeezed the base of his cock, sucking hard as though to distract him. James bucked his hips, and Sirius resumed his exploration, finding the spot he was aiming for.

Part of him—the nasty, vengeful part—was tempted to really be a bastard about the whole thing, but this was James, and he was skittish enough already. Besides, despite his present bad grace, he knew James trusted him just as he trusted James, and twenty seconds of retaliatory satisfaction wasn't worth it.

Sirius hummed again as his finger gently circled James' hole, pressing but not fully penetrating, his tongue mimicking his finger's movement on the underside of James' cock as he slid his lips up and down the shaft. James was outright swearing now, mostly variants of "Oh, fuck!" and "Don't fucking stop!", his hips thrusting erratically.

Sirius rubbed his finger around and against James' hole—he could feel James' balls tightening in his hand—and the tip slipped inside when James thrust back half a second before he came. He held it there, circling gently, swallowing as James spent himself. James sagged against the wall, and Sirius removed his finger, squeezing James' arse and giving the tip of his cock a final lick.

James slid down the wall, landing on his arse with a soft thump. "Christ," he said once he'd got his breath back.

"Told you you'd like it," Sirius said, squatting beside him and rubbing his jaw.

"Shut up," James said, but his voice held no malice.

"Done with all your wallowing now?"

"I've no idea what you're talking about."

Sirius grinned. "'Course not. Guess this means you might even talk to us during lunch?"

"Maybe," James said.

"It's not cheating, you daft bugger." He felt more than saw James' answering shrug.

"I know it's not. Still, it's kind of, I don't know. Weird, isn't it?"

Sirius shrugged. "Nah, not really. It's us, isn't it?"

"I suppose. Hey, you don't think Moony's going to hex me in my sleep because we ...? I mean, I'd maybe feel a little bit bad if—What? What's so funny?"

Sirius sat down hard on the ground, lost his balance, and nearly rolled over. "Moony is going to be happier than an erumpent on billywigs. He won the bet."

"Bet?" James asked with an edge in his voice. "What bet?"

Sirius cleared his throat. "Well, I said you'd be on your knees crawling into our bed tonight for sure. He said I was an ignorant arse, and that you were gagging for it so hard, you wouldn't make it 'til lunch."

"He what?" James spluttered. "That bloody bastard! I oughta hex that crooked grin right off his smug, weasel face! I'll show him gagging."

Sirius laughed. "Keep your wand to yourself. Well, the magic one. Or did you want me to pretend to defend your non-existent virtue?"

James grumbled and got to his feet, pulled up his pants, and straightened his robes. "Hmph. Some best friend you are."

"Well, he was right, wasn't he?" Sirius said.

"No, he wasn't, you arse. So what exactly was this bet then?"

Sirius cleared his throat. "Oh, nothing you need to worry your little head over. At least not right now."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" James snapped.

"It means you'll find out when you find out," Sirius said, smiling, even though James couldn't see him. "So. Who was better?"

"Who was better what?"

"You know damn well what I mean. Me or Moony. Who was better?"

James was quiet for a good ten seconds before replying, "If you think I'm going to answer that, you need your head examined by a team of specialists at the Thickey Ward at St. Mungo's."

"Some best friend you are," Sirius said, mocking James from a few minutes earlier.

James snorted.

"I can read between the lines of that response, you know," Sirius said, getting to his feet. He took out his wand, cast "Lumos", and glanced at his watch. "Oh, good."

"What's good?" James asked, picking up his discarded cloak and stuffing it inside his robes.

"We've still got just under an hour before lunch. Plenty of time to go back to the dormitory."

"What's so good about that?"

Sirius draped his arm around James' shoulder, exhaling a very loud, very overdramatic sigh.

"Well, you see, I've got this 'thing', and I'm going to need some help taking care of it."