Stone Drunk and Half Invisible

January 1st, 1977

Diary,

I'm seventeen-years-old today! Imagine it, the first day of my adult life. A new year, a new chapter, a new me... Well, maybe not a new me, but at least the same me with an improvement or two. I say, I really do feel chipper today! And it's snowing again! We made snowmen yesterday and it was ever-so-much fun! I just love the snow. It makes everything look so pristine and perfect.

Mary MacDonald sighed, annoyed with her mother at the 'positive things' journal she was forcing her daughter to keep. As though writing about insincere, trivial things was supposed to make her a more cheerful person. As she glanced out the window, searching for more sugary sweet things to say about her birthday, Mary saw something that made the pen in her hand drop to the floor.

There on the lawn, between her father and mother snowmen, was a man.

He was lying face-down in the snow, only his upper half and his feet visible, a wand in one hand and a bottle in the other. Bloody hell! She jammed her feet into her trainers quickly, forsaking socks in her rush, and threw on a heavy coat. She checked the clock - six forty-five – and snagged her wand before making her way quickly and quietly down the stairs and out the front door. She had to get rid of him before her parents woke up or, worse, the neighbors saw.

Mary steadied herself and prepared a stunner as she approached the figure. She was no fool, she knew these were dangerous times, but she was not about to let her parents, a couple of Muggle greengrocers, be the ones to investigate. Her fingers tightened on her wand as the figure groaned and began to shift. He rolled over slowly, letting loose his hold on both his wand and the bottle, which she could now see was clearly marked as Ogden's Old Firewhisky. A drunk wizard on her lawn in the middle of her Muggle neighborhood, how could this birthday get any better?

"Ugh... Bl-bloody hell," a familiar voice stuttered, bringing a free hand up to shield his eyes.

"Sirius?" she questioned, dropping her wand arm and rushing to him.

His face was pale and his lips were chapped and almost blue. How long had he been out in the snow? As Mary began looking him over, she noticed his legs. At first she'd simply thought they were covered in snow, but looking at them now... Well, they weren't there. She reached out and furrowed her brow as her fingers made contact with a silky, fluid material. Pinching it between her fingers, she began pulling it toward her. A gasp escaped her as Sirius' legs appeared from thin air.

An invisibility cloak? Where had he come across such an item? Then again, with his group of friends anything was possible. It definitely answered a lot of questions she had had about their mischief through the years.

Mary looked around quickly and, once she was certain the Smythes and the Barrows were still tucked away in bed, tossed the cloak over her fellow Gryffindor. She stood, tucking away the bottle and his wand, and waving her own as she whispered, "Locomotor!" There was another groan as he was lifted out of the snow and she led him quickly inside and up to her bedroom.

After an hour of drying charms, heating spells and Pepper-Up Potion, Sirius seemed to be coming out of his stupor. The raven-haired teen was swaddled down in blankets on Mary's twin bed, gulping down another dose of the potion. She held out a mug of coffee and asked if he took cream or sugar.

"Black," was his quick reply as he took it from her and began sipping away.

"Well," she began, once she was sure he wasn't going to keel over. "What are you doing here, Sirius?"

"Oh, you know," he replied, his tone nonchalant as he buried himself deeper into the comforters and quilts. "I was in the area, thought I'd drop by and see how your snowmen were doing."

"And?"

"Well, let's just say there's a wedding and a baby, but not in that order." He gave her a sly grin and a wink, tipping the chipped mug against his lips.

Mary snorted, taking her seat at the desk. "Really, Black, what kind of way is that to start the year? Drunk and unconscious on your ex-girlfriend's lawn."

"Oi, you forgot invisible."

"No, actually, you forgot that part," she retorted smoothly, pulling off her trainers and slipping into her comfy slippers.

"I was going to surprise you for your birthday, MacDonald, if you must know."

She felt a bit of astonishment and a twinge in her chest at the fact that he remembered her birthday, but suppressed it quickly. It wouldn't do for her to awaken those silly old feelings.

"Well, mischief managed, because I was definitely not expecting you, of all people."

"What's that mean, 'me, of all people'?" he asked defensively. "We're friends, y'know, can't I come see a friend on holiday?"

"If you hadn't noticed, we have not been friendly since May when you dumped me because you couldn't maintain a 'long-distance relationship' over the summer."

"Long distance is hard."

"We both live in the bloody West Country!" she burst out, throwing her hands in the air.

"Well–"

"No," she cut him off. "I'm done with this, I don't know why I brought it up. Doesn't matter. Just tell me why you were outside my house, stone drunk and half invisible, when you know there are Muggles about."

"I-I just got lonely," he said, his stormy eyes dropping to the mug in his hand.

She felt her irritation slip away at his words.

"I mean, it's the holidays again," he continued. "Last year wasn't so bad, but now James has Lily and Peter's with his family and Remus even had a date last night... and I just want something more that a snog and a grope sometimes, y'know?"

Mary knew that the look on her face was an odd one, but she couldn't correct it while his admission still hung in the air. Sirius Black, handsome and buoyant, had been lonely and come to find solace in her company.

She burst with laughter at the very thought of it.

"You almost had me that time, Black," she replied, sighing and wiping tears from her eyes. "Oh, that was too good."

He gave her an odd smile. "Yeah, I almost had you, huh?"