Yellow Flowers // Sirius Black
Pairing: (Young) Sirius Black x Slytherin!Reader
Word count: 4257
Prompt: Sirius and Y/N have been good friends their entire lives due to their families being very close-knit. Sirius knows about Y/N’s secret and when confronted with it, thinks of the perfect solution.
Possible trigger warning for abuse, also: swear words
“The Blacks are coming over for supper tonight,” mother said as she started running her brush through my hair. We were seated in front of my big mirror, the one that reflected back my entire room. It was the one place in the house where most of the dark furniture did not wash out every other colour: there were vibrant greens and soft blues and the flowers on my desk and windowsill were a bright yellow, gifts of one of the Black boys who were to visit that night. I involuntarily smiled at the thought of that moment, the sheer memory of it always bringing a light blush to my cheeks; the moment that he came to me with two ridiculously big bouquets of flowers.
“Are those for mother?” I asked, having come down to greet the Black family in the hallway and staying behind to talk to their eldest son Sirius. He was of my age and we were in the same year at Hogwarts, same class even, but I was a Slytherin and he was a Gryffindor. Naturally, that stirred some rivalry in us whilst we were at school, but at home, we were friends.
“No, silly, they’re for you.” Sirius held them out to me and seemed a little bit nervous about the whole ordeal. It was unusual for the Blacks to bring any gifts when visiting, except for around Christmas or birthdays. Usually, those gifts were not as pretty and colourful as Sirius’ flowers and mostly contained nasty hexes or were used to cast similar hexes onto others. Not necessarily what you’d like to get when you’re a 10 year old girl.
Taken aback by his gift, I took them into my arms and admired their smell and colour. “These are beautiful, Sirius. Are they really for me?”
“Yes, Y/N, they are.” He smiled and ran his hands through his long, dark hair, pushing it out of his face. I wished I could thank him in a different way, but I didn’t have the words to. Instead I gave him a huge smile in return and went to put the flowers in water.
I had wondered an endless amount about those flowers - why they were for me, why Sirius of all people would give me them. Was it because of his brother? Regulus was 3 years Sirius’ junior, and he was also sorted into Slytherin, just like me. He tried to fit in with the ‘cool’ crowd, those who had managed to become excellent in the Dark Arts and seemed to lure Regulus in effortlessly, but it earned the poor Black more teases than anything else. Because I had known Regulus all his life, I had decided to help him out whenever I noticed him getting teased, or sometimes bullied, again. I had assumed then that Sirius had given me those flowers to thank me for taking care of Regulus in his first year at school, in ways that Sirius himself couldn’t.
When mother finished brushing my hair, she left me alone to get dressed and get ready for the rest of the day. Just like any other summer, I was forced to study a few days a week, and this was one of them. I sat down at my desk, glanced at the yellow flowers once more, before starting on my History of Magic homework. Once I got to a part about a warrior called Wulfric the Great, I remembered one remarkable moment.
Normally, a History of Magic lesson would pass quietly. Most students were either fast asleep or staring out of the window trying their best not to fall asleep, as professor Binns spoke in a monotone voice about Wulfric the Giantslayer. It could have been a very interesting story, had Binns not been such a boring teacher.
I was trying my best to pay the leastet bit of attention, but found myself scribbling little flowers and hearts on the corner of my piece of parchment. My hand was stained with ink from rubbing over it while writing and with a sigh I put down my feather. I had to wash that ink of.
“Need some water?” came a voice from behind me. I knew who sat behind me, and it certainly wasn’t the person who was at that moment talking to me. I spun around in my seat and was met with a spurt of water right in my face. It came from the tip of a wand, the tip of-
“Sirius!” I exclaimed, not bothering to keep my voice down. As I had expected, Binns didn’t care about the disruption and continued talking, but all students had directed their attention to Sirius Black and Y/N Y/L/N.
“Sorry,” he laughed, not really being sorry of course. Mostly Gryffindors were laughing, but some of the Slytherins were snickering as well. I cast them all angry looks and turned around in my seat, trying to dry my face with one of the drier parts of my cloak.
I smiled. Gryffindors and Slytherins were always at war with one another, but to me, Sirius was nothing if not charming whenever he pulled a prank on anyone. It was different when I was the target, but still I could not be angry at him. It was Sirius after all…
It was a couple of hours later, when I finally finished the essay I had to write, when I heard the clinging of a bell that sounded all throughout the house. That bell could only mean one thing: the Blacks had arrived. I jumped up and practically ran to my mirror, making sure that every little strand of hair was smoothed down perfectly, and that my dress was not crinkly from sitting down in it for so many hours on end.
“Y/N!” mother yelled up through the floorboards. I hurried downstairs, just in time for my father to open the door. He greeted Orion Black with a rough handshake, and his wife Walburga with some kisses to the cheek. He greeted the two boys with a handshake as well and then he showed Orion to the kitchen. They were out of sight after Orion had greeted mother. He never showed any interest to me.
Walburga Black kissed my mother on the cheeks and then moved onto me as mother greeted her sons. “Y/N, I see you took out your best dress tonight. In honour of us, I suppose?”
I laughed politely, as if she had made a joke. I knew for certain that it was truly an insult instead.
Walburga and my mother disappeared to the kitchen and as usual, I was left with just Regulus and Sirius now. The brothers stood in silence for a moment, when they finally moved. Regulus just nodded at me and followed our parents to the kitchen, where he would resort to playing with our house elf. Sirius told me that out of everyone at Grimmauldplace, Regulus liked their house elf Kreacher the best. Maybe there was a reason he preferred enslaved creatures to the ones that could walk freely, like us.
“Hi,” I said to Sirius, shuffling my feet a little bit. The first meeting after the end of term was always the most awkward, where we had to find our roles as childhood friends again. After all, at school we were almost enemies. There was always that playful wink of his in my direction, or that smile I gave him whenever I knew he was just pretending, but we were supposed to hate each other. That’s what Slytherins and Gryffindors have always done and will always continue to do. But that’s just simply not the way that Sirius and I were. “Let me show you your flowers.”
I went up the stairs in front of him and led him to my room. We had just a couple of minutes until I would be called down again to help prepare dinner. My mother loved to cook whenever we had guests and would not leave anything up to our house elf if she deemed the visitors important enough.
“They look good in your room,” said Sirius, wandering over to my desk and touching a petal gently. I knew they were not supposed to be alive anymore, but I managed to keep them alive through magic. I had instructed our house elf well and she would keep them alive for me.
“Thank you.” I shut the door behind Sirius and myself and leaned against it, watching him look at the books on my desk. “I was just doing some History of Magic homework when you arrived,” I explained.
“Always on top of your school work.” Sirius smiled at me. “I haven’t touched a single book yet.”
“Didn’t think you had,” I said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He spun around and for a second looked dangerously threatening, but I knew he was just joking and laughed. He cracked a smile as well and wandered over to investigate the flowers on the windowsill. “These are even more beautiful.”
“They get that way under the right amount of sunlight,” I said. I had all of that knowledge from Herbology and had asked professor Sprout how to preserve blooming flowers. I distinctively remember having been red in the face by my own question, trying but failing to ignore the strange looks I was getting from the Hufflepuffs and other Slytherins in my class that had managed to overhear my question.
“Sometimes I wonder why you weren’t put in Ravenclaw,” Sirius said thoughtfully.
“Probably because I’m not intelligent enough.”
“Nonsense,” he immediately protested. He opened his mouth to continue, but -
“Y/N!” a voice called from downstairs. My mother.
Immediately thereafter, a second voice joined it: “Sirius!” It was his mother.
“Let’s go,” I said. We hurried downstairs and as I had expected, mother requested my presence in the kitchen. Walburga was told to sit down, even though she really wanted to help us - “No, please, I insist.” “It’ll be alright, Walburga, I do this all the time-” - and she and Sirius joined the people in the dining room, where Regulus, Orion and my father were undoubtedly talking about something unimportant.
As soon as we were alone in the kitchen, mother turned to me, pointing at me with her spoon. “Don’t mess up the carrots this time, Y/N! I also want every single piece of cabbage to be shredded absolutely perfectly. If not, you know the consequences,” she said, after which she started stirring the food that was already in the pot, smelling deliciously. I started cutting up the many carrots, trying my best not to screw up.
“Are the carrots ready? They need to be put in now.”
I had just one carrot left to cut and my mother started getting inpatient. “With now, I mean now! Not just whenever you want to.” In my hurry to cut the last carrot, I accidentally made a cut in my finger, blood instantly seeping out of the wound and onto the pieces of carrot that were still on my chopping board. I stared at the mess I created for a bit longer than any other person would have.
“You did that on purpose, didn’t you, child?”
“No, mother, I swear-” I looked up at mother, who loomed over me threateningly. Her eyes held the same venomous look as a snake’s.
“You know what the consequences are, Y/N. And this time there is no chance you can convince me you weren’t in the wrong.” Mother grabbed my uncut hand, the one I had been using to clutch my wounded one. “This is what dumb whores like you deserve!” She pushed my hand against the hot pot, first on side, than the other. Tears welled up in my eyes but I knew not to make a noise, or my punishment would be even worse.
“Go and get cleaned up, you pig!” Mother pushed me away from the food. I stumbled and almost fell, but managed to stabilize myself. I hurried off before mother could hurtle more insults at me, up the stairs toward the bathroom, where we kept an emergency kit.
I noticed I was getting blood everywhere - on the stairs, the carpet, the sink - but I had no choice for my other hand was burning so badly. I had never treated a burn with magic before and seeing as mother had burned my wandhand, I couldn’t easily heal my cut one.
I wasn’t aware of the ruckus I was making, until I suddenly heard loud footsteps on the staircase. I held still, hoping, praying that it wasn’t going to be mother. Not mother, please, not mother wanting to tell me off for crying…
Instead, there was a knock on the door. I held still at first, but an involuntary sob gave off my position. Shit, that hand really hurt. I held my breath, hoping I hadn’t been heard. Another knock. “Y/N, open up please.” I recognized that voice. It was Sirius.
I managed to get even more blood anywhere while unlocking the door. It was swung open immediately, revealing a frantic Sirius on the other side of it. He stepped inside and closed the door behind him. “Come on,” he said. “No second to lose.”
He took out his wand from his pocket and motioned for me to hold out my hands to him. He took the bleeding hand and muttered a few words, letting me weep silently. “Accio burn ointment,” he flicked his wand and a small vial of ointment shot out of the emergency kit. Sirius softly rubbed it onto my stinging skin, softening the pain immediately. I let out a sigh of release, but couldn’t put a stop to my tears.
Sirius let bandages shoot out of his wand that he wrapped softly around my hand, covering up the burned areas perfectly. When he finished wrapping the bandage around it, he placed a kiss on top of my hand and pulled me in for a hug. He didn’t say anything, just held me there until we were called down for supper.
I wondered if Sirius knew what had happened, if he knew what we were heading down toward. My mother. A monster at moments like this. But I loved her.
I put away the emergency kit quickly and Sirius wiped away my tears softly. Without saying another word, we went downstairs, where I was forced to sit at a table with mother, who seemed utterly emotionless at the hurt she had caused me. I was used to it, but I saw how Sirius, who sat across from me, was getting angrier and angrier by the minute. But he wisely kept his mouth shut.
He managed to stay calm until after dessert - the leftovers of a cake I had made just a day ago, which seemed ages looking back on it then - and even after tea. Finally, it was time for the Blacks to leave. Orion didn’t look at me, Walburga only nodded at me and said: “What a klutz you are,” in response to my bandaged hand and Regulus gave me a warm, shy smile before hurrying on to greet mother and father. Sirius stopped a little longer in front of me.
“I have asked your father if he could take you to see me next week. Are you alright with that?” I nodded, because I felt warm inside from the way he had indirectly stuck up for me just now. He smiled at me and hugged me quickly, without our parents taking any notice. He was fast to kiss mothers’ cheeks and took a little bit longer to shake fathers’ hand. And then the Black family was gone.
It was indeed well into the next week when my father brought up the subject of the Blacks again. “Young Sirius has asked me if I would mind taking you to see him in London today,” father said. We were seated at the kitchen table after breakfast and our house elf was cleaning up around us. Mother was taking a bath upstairs, she was going off to Diagon Alley with a few of her friends that day and was excited to be out of the house for a minute. I thought I was going to spend the day in the house alone, with only our house elf as company. I would be able to read and wander around the house, but the prospect of seeing Sirius again, was even better.
Father dropped mother off first at the Leaky Cauldron. I wondered why he hadn’t taken me to Grimmauldplace before, since the Ministry was practically around the corner from the Leaky Cauldron, but instead of dropping me on the other side of town, he drove around the block and dropped me off in front of the Leaky Cauldron as well. I raised an eyebrow at him, but my father shook his head and it made me not say anything. I only thanked him for driving me here. He nodded and left, racing down the street and disappearing from view.
With a deep breath, I entered the Leaky Cauldron, afraid to come across my mother. But no, she wasn’t there, and in the corner of the Leaky Cauldron, I saw Sirius. However, he wasn’t alone, he had taken James. It took all of me not to turn around and leave this nasty old pub then and there, but the effort my father had put into me seeing Sirius that day, was enough to drive me further, through the pub, toward Sirius.
“Y/N!” he greeted enthusiastically upon seeing me. He hugged me and then proceeded to introduce me to James, as if I had no idea who James Potter was. Of course I knew who he was - one of those annoying school friends of Sirius’.
Tom the Innkeeper came over to us and the two boys ordered butterbeer while I ordered a pumpkin juice. We exchanged niceties and then James announced he had to go to the loo, leaving Sirius and I alone.
“Why did you bring him?” I immediately asked.
“How is your hand?” Sirius bounced back.
“That’s not what I asked.”
“I want an answer,” Sirius said. “And, has anything else happened in the last couple of days?” He knew. I knew then for sure that he knew. I didn’t know how much exactly, but it could have been everything.
I stared down at the table as I shook my head, looking at my hand. It was no longer bandaged as it had been last Friday, but I could see the blisters and the redness of the burn lingering on my hand. A cruel reminder of what mother did to me for accidentally cutting my own hand while chopping carrots.
“Look at me,” Sirius said. It was the different tone of voice that made me do as he said. “I’m moving out. I wanted to tell you last Friday, but now I’ve made things definite. James’ parents are nice enough to let me stay with them for the reminder of my school years. And, since that’s just two of them, I reckon that- Actually, I asked them.”
“What? You asked them what?”
“I asked them if you could stay as well. Even if it was just the rest of this summer. You can’t stay in that house anymore, Y/N… I know it happens more often than you want me to think. And not only when you’re preparing stew.”
“Sirius, I can’t- I can’t stay with James and his parents. I barely know him-”
“But you know me,” said Sirius. “Trust me. If you want, you can be out of James’ home within minutes, if you have another place to stay. Just please tell me you won’t go back to your mother, OK? Promise me. At least, not longer than to just grab a few things.”
“Sirius- You can’t ask me this.”
“I’m not asking you to. I’m telling you to.” He took my hands into his. “Come on. Do you want James to tell you that it’s fine? That you can be with us? If you don’t feel comfortable living in the same house as James, then at least think of me there. If you want we can rent out an apartment together as soon as we have the opportunity.”
“Sirius, if she doesn’t want it,” suddenly James appeared behind his friend, “you can’t force her to.” He said down in the chair he had previously been sitting in and took a sip of his butterbeer. “Y/N, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. It’s just that Sirius is very concerned for you and he’d rather see you somewhere safe.”
“You told him?”
“I couldn’t keep it to myself,” said Sirius.
I sighed and stood up. “I have to think this over, OK? On my own. I can’t promise you anything. Not yet.”
“Where are you going?” Sirius asked upon me walking away from their table.
“Out. I’ll be back soon.”
I took a walk around the Muggle neighbourhood, looking around and thinking everything through. I’d love to be away from the house that has always been abusive to me. My mother was impossible to go in against and I knew my father was afraid of her in some way. That’s why he drove me here and why he approved of me seeing Sirius today. He knew that Sirius was going to ask me to move out of the house. I knew I wanted to talk to my father more than ever, so I made my way to the guest entrance of the Ministry of Magic.
It was easy to get in as I had been there more often. The phonebooth lowered me to the Atrium and then I used an elevator to navigate to the right floor. I found my father sitting at his desk reading some report and scribbling little notes in the margins when he looked up and saw me. “Y/N.” He didn’t sound surprised.
“Sirius has told me about his plan,” I said.
“Has he?” Father took off his glasses and lay them down on his desk, focusing his eyes on me instead of the text in front of him. “What did you say?”
“Nothing yet,” I admitted. “I need to know what you think.”
“But it’s your choice to make,” he said. “The Black family has always offered us more than we can give back, but I know it hasn’t been easy on Sirius living in that house. Grimmauldplace is dark, and not everyone in that house has been treated well. I think he is making the right choice moving to James Potter.”
“Do you think I would make the right choice if I were to move to James Potter?”
“I know you’re not friends with him,” father said. “Sirius has told me that much. But I am willing to make sure that you can live somewhere else. First, you need to get out of the house and the only way I can see that happening right now, is if you allow Sirius to help you. I don’t want her to get her hands on you again.”
I knew he was talking about mother. “Am I making the right choice?”
“Do what you need to do, my darling. I will support you endlessly.”
As I walked back to the Leaky Cauldron I repeated in my head what I was going to tell Sirius. I had so many responses in the back of my head that I was trying to pick the right one from, that every thought was starting to get all jumbled and messed up. I sighed as I pushed open the door, still not having decided upon the right way to tell him.
Sirius and James were still at the table I had left them at, my untouched pumpkin juice sitting at the table as well. They had ordered food, I could see that from the crumbs on the empty plates in front of them, and they had been waiting all along for me to come back.
Upon seeing me, Sirius instantly jumped up. I could see that he had been a nervous wreck all the while I had been gone. I didn’t know what to say, so I let my actions speak the truth for me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him against me. “Thank you,” I whispered, before pressing my lips against his.
He kissed back, but I could feel how surprised he was in how his hands touched my body, first my upperback and then the small of it. He pulled back. “Are you- are you coming with me to James?”
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Because it’s what I need to do. Thank you for your flowers.”
“That’s ages ago,” Sirius said, surprised I would bring them up now.
“No. No, it’s not. Everytime I look at them I am reminded that I have you. That we have each other.” I smiled and hugged him now, tighter than ever. Then I quickly let go of him, went around the table and wrapped my arms around James as well. “Thank you! And your parents! I can’t wait to meet those kind souls!”
James and Sirius exchanged a look that I couldn’t see. They knew my reaction was sincere, James was congratulating Sirius on his catch and they were secretly slapping each other on the back. All three of those simultaenously.
I let go of James. “Now. Who wants stew?”