LbN: Written for a Teachers' Lounge challenge. Prompt was Arabella/Sirius. Happy reading!
Harry stared around the slightly cramped kitchen, relishing the rare moment of relaxation. These people—his best friends, the Order, the Weasleys, his newly-pardoned godfather—had helped him make it to this point. His seventeenth freaking birthday. As he watched his best friend argue with Tonks over the merits of different butterbeer brands, he realized that no matter how much he missed his parents, he couldn't deny that he had one hell of a family. He wanted this moment to last forever, but as Sirius looked up at him, he knew it wouldn't. He was about to be sent to bed, like a good little boy—
"Harry, could I have a word with you in the garden?" Sirius asked.
Or maybe not.
"Sure, Sirius." He followed his godfather out to the lawn chairs, where some drinks were waiting for them. "What's this?"
"Grade-A Kracken McDragonn's Liquid Courage," Sirius said with a grin. "It's customary for the…er…men in a young man's life to buy him a drink. Unfortunately with Big, Dark, and Snakey running about, we can't go to a pub. Anyway, drink up. I'm just fulfilling another one of my long-neglected godfatherly duties."
Harry snorted. "I doubt my dad's wondering why you were lounging about in Azkaban when you could have been 'godfathering' me."
"No…he's wondering if I managed to get laid while I was in there."
Harry laughed and took a sip of his drink. It made his nose burn and his teeth sting.
"Coincidentally," Sirius went on, shifting in his chair. "That's a good segue into what I wanted to talk to you about."
"Hmm?" Now Harry's nose, ears, and fingers were tingling. And he was starting to get a bad feeling about where this was going.
"Look…you're a man now. And I'm sure you've had…urges already. You probably haven't had a chance to act on them, what with the whole…You-Know-Who trying to kill you and all. But I want you to know that there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it…if you know what I mean."
Harry didn't, so he took a long sip of his drink and tried to ignore the purple spots that flashed in front of his eyes.
"When I was younger, I was…an intensely loving creature," Sirius explained slowly, as though choosing every word out of a vast mental dictionary. "I slept with half the girls in my year. After Hogwarts, I had a bunch of quick, easy glamorous jobs before I got tired of it and lived off the gold my uncle left me. Got me noticed by women. And I had some damn good nights in London, I'll tell you that."
Harry officially didn't want to be having the conversation they seemed to be having.
"Now though, I can't even remember their names. I used them. It was wrong, but I was young and stupid and had picked up the bad pureblood trait of treating women like walking fuck-sticks. Anyway, I went off the grid a few years before the war broke out in earnest. Had a relationship with an older woman. I'll never forget. Arabella Figg."
"WHAT?" Harry yelped, finding his voice. He wished he hadn't. The world began to spin.
Sirius stuck an arm out and pulled Harry up from where the younger man was slowly tipping over. "I'd been back to my parents. Trying to reconcile. It didn't work. I was in a bad place, but I knew there were Muggles and Squibs friendly with Dumbledore…."
"Sirius Black, I believe?"
"Yes. I wrote to you."
"Indeed. Well, there's a place for you in the guest room. There's not too much work to be done around here, but I'll be glad for the help, still."
Sirius adjusted his bag on his shoulder and walked into the small cottage. He sat on the couch as she indicated it and looked around. Pictures of family and friends filled the shelves and tables. There was a small grey kitten walking around. He smiled and picked it up.
"That's Earl, you're holding," she said, entering with tea again.
Sirius chuckled. "I get it. Because he's grey. Earl Grey."
"My nephew thought it was clever. They've all moved up to Scotland now. Anyway, I'll leave breakfast for you tomorrow. Linens and things are all in your room. You can start on the garage roof whenever you're ready."
"Enough with that. You may call me Bella, if you wish."
"Er…that's my cousin's name. We…don't get on."
"Well then, Arabella is just fine. We're going to be living together. No need for all the formality."
Harry's left eye was twitching. He'd forgotten how to speak, or he would've stopped it there.
"We went on in the normal way for weeks," Sirius said wistfully. "Got to know quite a lot about her, and her me. It…our exchanges started to be a bit more…charged, I guess you could say. Our gazes lingered. We found excuses to be in one another's company. She walked in on me in a towel a few times. Our touches stayed just a little longer than what people would call appropriate…. Surprisingly enough, the age difference never even crossed our minds. It just felt natural as we fell together."
This couldn't be happening. Harry began to chug as Sirius continued his story.
Mrs. Figg set the tea tray down and gave Sirius a long glance. "You need a haircut. Shirt off."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Your shirt, Sirius. I don't want to get shampoo and cut hair and all manner of things on your shirt."
Shrugging, Sirius snagged a biscuit and pulled his shirt over his head. He didn't fail to notice the way her eyes lingered on his chiseled frame. He sat down in the chair and let her fuss over him.
"Where's Mr. Figg?" Sirius asked suddenly, in the middle of his shampooing.
"Gone. Off chasing dragons or selling potions on the black market. Who knows these things?"
"Don't be. I loved him once, and I have those memories, but time makes you strong."
"And horny, it would seem," Sirius said. "Best three months of my life, them. She knew a magic beyond anything wizards could come up with. And when our bodies were aligned in the positions of the Warlock Sutra—"
"SIRIUS!" Harry nearly bellowed. His glass was empty now. The lawn was purple, and he was pretty sure he could see goblins building snowmen over in the rose bushes. "Seriously, just…stop. I'm serious."
"No, I'm Sirius," his godfather said.
"You said you were serious. I'm Sirius."
"I don't understand!" Harry wailed.
"Never mind. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes…in the end, she just needed to feel young again. She needed work done, but she also needed work done, if you catch my meaning."
"Unfortunately," Harry sobbed.
"It was the first time I'd ever felt used. It was then I wised up. The point I'm trying to make in all of this, is…well, honestly I've kind of forgotten. Look. This war's going on, but don't…try to get in one last hurrah and end up using some poor lass. It's not fair. You should be…you know…be in some sort of working relationship. And you both should have… caught feelings before you make a move like that. Understand?"
Harry nodded, which was too much movement on his part, because this time he did fall out of the chair.
Sirius hoisted him back up. "Right you are. Erm…you'll be alright in the morning. I'll make sure Molly has bacon sandwiches at the ready when you wake up. Which will probably be around two in the afternoon."
"Let's hope I forget this conversation."
"You want to do it again, sober this time?"
Harry's lip trembled.
"Right, all right…enough of that," Sirius said, patting him awkwardly. He hefted his godson to his feet and helped him (read: dragged him) across the yard. "I hope…you take this seriously once you get over the embarrassment."
Harry didn't answer. He was too busy watching Morgan le Fey go across the yard on the back of a unicorn, juggling fire balls.
Sirius grunted at Molly, Arthur and Tonks as he carried Harry past and up to his room. He dumped him on the bed. "Happy birthday, Harry James. I don't envy your hangover."
"That fairy's picking his nose, Sirius."
"Of course he is," Sirius said, giving Harry an affectionate tap on the chest before heading back downstairs.
"How did it go?" Arthur asked.
"About as well as I'd expected. Didn't account for the fact that Harry is a lightweight."
"Just so long as you spoke with him," Molly said.
"Not to worry, Molly. If that talk didn't scare him off of sex for a good long while, nothing will."
"I'm sure Sirius has ensured that Harry will not get Ginny pregnant until after the war's over," Tonks quipped. She dodged the dishtowel Molly tried to hit her with.
Arthur just shook his head and chuckled.