Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything recognizable belongs to J.K. Rowling.
"Oh come off it, Moony," Sirius proclaimed loudly as he entered his dormitory, throwing his bag nowhere in particular, "you'd have to be mad to try to—"
The black haired fourth year stopped mid-sentence as the room was filled with an awful crunching sound. He froze and looked back at his two friends whose eyes were just as wide as his had to be.
"What was that," he asked, slowly looking down to the source of the noise.
His eyes caught sight of a gold wire on the left side of his foot. The wire vanished under it, only to reappear on the other side.
"Fuck," Sirius swore as he lifted his foot to reveal a pair of gold wire-rimmed glasses with shattered lens. He bent down to pick them up, a string of profanities falling from his lips.
"Buggering shit," he whispered as he turned around to show his friends, "James is going to beat the living hell out of me. Scratch that. He is going to kill me, then beat the living hell out of me. He is going to feed me to the Giant Squid. He is going to fill my bed with flobberworms, and you know how much I hate those slimy creatures—"
"No. He is going to turn me into a flobberworm—"
"Sirius, I can—"
"No! He is going to make me bald," Sirius yelled, clutching his hair in one hand, as if he was making sure all his hair was still there, " he is going to slip a potion in my drink and make me lose all my hair! What do I do, Moony?! No bird like a bald bloke! What will I do, Moony?! I'll end up staying at Hogwarts and marrying Moaning Myrtle! Moaning Myrtle, Moony! I bloody hate that ghost! Moony, James will make me marry Moaning Myrtle!"
"You know, I think that may be a fantastic idea, Padfoot. Just think, you two could go on a honeymoon in the prefect's lavatory," laughed a different voice from behind the three Marauders.
James Potter slowly came from out of the lavatory doorway. His black hair was shining in the afternoon light from the window beside him. He carefully started to make his way across the room due to his current state of blindness.
"I can already see your wedding. The colors will be black and red with splashes of blue, representing water. All the seats will be toilets and we'll invite all of your friends, Evans and her friends—don't give me that look Wormtail, Evans and I'll already be married— the Quidditch team, and all of Myrtle's friends—well, assuming she's got some."
The three boys just stared at him.
"What's all this anyways? I mean, I'm ecstatic that you are finally coming to terms with your feelings, even if they are for Myrtle, but how did this subject come abo—shit," James swore as he tripped over the corner of Peter's copy of A History of Magic.
"Bloody hell, will someone hand me my glasses," He asked through clenched teeth, holding his injured foot.
None of the boys moved. They all looked around awkwardly, their eyes not meeting each other, James, or the broken glasses. When he didn't hear any of the three move, he squinted at them, trying to get a clearer picture of their faces through his flawed vision.
"Um, I know it's a bit messy in here, but unless you three are sentencing me to death, I really need my glasses from my bed table."
They still remained still. Remus cast a pointed look at Sirius, who did all he could to avoid it. Remus sighed before moving swiftly over the clutter, giving his stubborn friend a well-placed kick in the shin.
"Damn, Remus. Ow! Okay."
Sirius cleared his throat, stepping forward towards his blind friend.
"Um, James, Your glasses, well, they weren't on the table," Sirius said awkwardly.
James gave him a look, "What do you mean, that's where I put them."
Sirius held his hand out and rubbed the back of his head, "They were, um, on the floor."
"The floor, what were they doing down there?"
"Well, I kind of, um, well, I didn't watch where I was going, I was just used to all the clutter and I was too busy talking and, well, I kind of stepped on them."
Sirius finished his confession lamely, extending his arm further to a point where James could make out the general shape of the mangled glasses.
"Shit," James whispered as he took the glasses and placed them on his head, "oh, shit, Sirius, what did you do?"
"I'm sorry, James, it was an accident," Sirius started, his words running together as he spoke, "I didn't mean to step on them. Please don't turn me into a flobberworm, or make me bald. I really don't like Myrtle…Or toilets."
James was silent for a while, squinting through the spider web cracks at his distraught friend.
"Remus? Wait, where are you? Oh, put your hand down you, prat. There are around seven of you. You know the drill."
Remus sighed and shot another pointed look at his friend. He drew his wand from his robe pocket, pointing it at the spot between James' eyes.
James smirked as he looked at Sirius through perfectly fixed lens, "Where shall the reception be?"
Sirius turned to look at Remus, who shrugged, "I tried to tell you, but you insisted on marrying Myrtle."
The night was cold and silent. Sirius ran from his enchanted motorbike, which had skidded to the ground outside of the Potter's home.
Peter couldn't do that, he thought, he wouldn't. He is a Gryffindor and he was put there for a reason. Sure, he may not be the strongest person, or the most aggressive person, and he just about cries at the sight of anything having to do with bats, but he would never do something like this. It's James and Lily! He loved them too mush. He couldn't possibly—
Sirius was over the cottage's threshold before he could even process the state of the house around him.
Nothing was noticeable at first. The house looked just like it always had. Pictures hanging on the walls of the hallway, an empty side table at the far wall which used to house an awful vase that Sirius had threatened to curse into oblivion on many occasions, a long table to his left which held more pictures and figurines, and a load of muggle plants that Lily had an odd obsession with.
He scanned the room until his eyes caught something; just at the end of the hallway, where the kitchen and stairs were accessible. He crept closer, slowly sliding his hand to his jacket pocket where his wand was hidden. Just a few more steps and he would be able to make out the strange shape.
He stopped, as if hit with a stunning jinx.
In front of him was a pair of sock-clad feet. His hands grew moist despite the freezing air, and Sirius held back a whimper. Every nerve in his body screamed that this couldn't be real. That it was a joke. It was Halloween anyway, this was James and Sirius' night to scare one another. They even had a contest! No way, that this was what he thought it was.
Yet, there was a small voice, barely noticeable, that said that this was not joke.
Sirius closed the gap in-between the pair of feet and himself until he was standing right on top of their owner.
James Potter had never looked more ordinary.
His hair was rumpled just how it always was, his eyes were closed, and his clothes bore no imperfections. Sirius could've sworn he was sleeping.
Sirius' heart slowed down to a normal rhythm, and he let go of his wand. He stretched, taking in his surroundings.
The first thing he noticed was that the air was warmer in this area of the house. A light snow had begun to cover the first of the top steps.
Sirius didn't give it a second thought.
"Bloody git," he muttered to the "dead" James, "you really had me going there for a second. Just about had a bloody heart attack. But you win, man, you win."
James made no response.
"James," Sirius said, "get up, man. C'mon, the joke is up," Sirius lightly pushed James' not-yet-cold arm with his foot, which moved his entire body in an unnatural motion.
"James," Sirius said again with all the force he could muster, "get up. I get it. Ha ha. Funny joke. Now stop playing," he turned his back on his friend Just registering that it seemed to be snowing upstairs, "C'mon, man, you know how pissed Lily will be if she sees this," he dusted off the picture and hung it on the wall, yet he was only met with silence.
Frustration burned through Sirius' veins. How could he think this is funny?! How could he think that ruining his house and laying there like that, so still and stiff, making it look like You-Know-Who—
That's when he heard the baby cry.
James was many things. He was pompous at times, rash when it came to those he loved, dim when it came to Lily and a show-off when he was proud. However, above all those things, James was a father, and a bloody good one at that. There was no way in hell that James would pull a prank like this, leaving Harry alone, even if it took only a minute. There was no way that he would ignore Harry while he cried, even if it ruined his joke.
He turned around frantically, seeing the blaze which set an eerie orange glow to the dark house. He saw the ash which was moving down the stairs slowly.
That's when Sirius realized.
Realization hit him, and hit him hard.
This couldn't be a prank.
This wasn't a joke.
He felt the frustration drain out of him, leaving nothing in its place.
"James," the name came out as a strangled sob, which ended in a choke. Sirius sank to his knees, his entire body shaking as he looked at his best friend. As he hit the ground, a sharp sound came from the unnaturally quiet house. Sirius lifted up his left knee, which was resting on a familiar pair of wire-rimmed glasses.
Sirius picked up the glasses with unfamiliar pale, shaking hands. A few shards of glass fell away from the circular lens as they were raised, but Sirius didn't notice.
He looked to his best friend, who looked so different without the now- ruined glasses on. He fingered the wire arm of the spectacles as he was reminded of a time in fourth year when he had broken these very same glasses; when they were still four friends who were young and innocent.
"I-I'm sorry," Sirius managed to croak, "I d-didn't me-an to b-break them, it j-j-just happened."
James didn't respond.
"He-re," he said, pulling out his wand, "I'll f-fix-x them."
His hand was shaky with the flourish, and his words came out in short gasps.
The glasses didn't mend. They sat in Sirius' hand, useless.
"I-I wis-h R-remus was here, he c-ould fix-x them-m," Sirius rested the glasses on his friend's chest.
"H-ere. Y-ou sh-oul-d ho-ld them-m. W-wait u-ntil he c-comes," that's when he heard the sirens. He knew that those were the muggle police; he and James had been pulled over enough times on his motorbike to be able to recognize them miles away.
"You hear tha-t? The m-m-uggles are he-re. Im-aging how th-ey'll be whe-n they see th-e m-otorb-i-ike," his laugh was cold and humorless.
Sirius looked at the glasses again, which were now littered in droplets of water, tears. It was only then did Sirius realize he was crying.
He let out a pained howl, his entire body breaking down as the defenses he had built since he was nine started to crumble. His cries of pain mixed with the baby's from upstairs.
Sirius, with his vision blurred by tears, was still able to see the inferno, which had grown in size.
Panic coursed through his veins. He had to get Harry out of there. He couldn't lose him too. He had already lost James, and Lily was probably—
"I-I'll be back," he promised, wiping tears from his face, "I-I need t-o g-get H-arry. B-but I'll be back," Sirius got up, using the plant next to him for support to hold his weak legs.
"A-and d-don't l-ose those g-glasses, w-e still ne-ed to fix-x them."
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