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52. “I’m drunk,” is a bad answer to the question, “Why would you do that Black?” when posed by my Head of House or any other figure of authority. Even if I was joking.

A/N: This is dedicated to @ihavetogetoutofhere. I hope it’s as good as you were hoping!

Whistling to himself, Sirius winked at the fourth year standing in front of the Gryffindor Common Room entrance, smirking when she giggled in return with glee.

He still had it.

He told the fat lady the password, stepping inside of the opening and paused in his step at the sight.

A large banner had been hung from the ceiling, with the word “Intervention” written in bold, red letters across the white fabric. Beneath the banner, there was a group of people standing there, facing the doorway where he was standing.

Among the group were his three best friends: James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew.

Glancing at some of the other people in the room, like Marlene McKinnon, Lily Evans, the one kid he’d tried to give a tattoo to, and – what was McGonagall doing here? – Sirius turned to look at James, raising one eyebrow.

“Wish you would have told me we were doing an intervention. I would’ve worn my intervention robes. Who’s the poor sod we’re going after?”

James and Remus glanced at each other, before Peter bravely stepped forward, “It’s you, Sirius. We’re here to talk about you.”

Both of his eyebrows shot up.

“Me? Why the hell would we need to – Wait. This is a joke, isn’t it,” Sirius huffed under his breath, his eyes lightening, “This is funny. Good joke, guys.”

Peter frowned, “It’s not a joke.”

Sure it’s not,” Sirius winked, smirking as he folded his arms and leaned against the still open entrance.

“Just,” Peter paused, looking around at the others, frowning when no one appeared to want to step in to help, “Why don’t you have a seat.”

“I’m fine here,” Sirius assured his friend, shrugging his shoulders carelessly.

“Have a seat, Mr. Black,” Professor McGonagall barked, causing the three closest students to here to flinch.

Sirius, who was used to McGonagall’s raised voice by now, rolled his eyes and walked over to a chair placed in front of the fireplace. He plopped down into the seat and looked around, appreciating the strategic placement of the chair. His back was towards a wall and everyone in the group was standing in front of them. He could see every one of their faces.

They all stood silent, staring intensely at Sirius.

Uncomfortable, he shifted in his chair and waved his hand, “C’mon then. Get started. What is this intervention for?”

“Your drinking problem,” Peter replied nervously.

“My – “, Sirius blinked, his brain faltering as he tried to understand what his friend was referring to, “My what?”

“Your drinking problem,” Peter repeated, answering with a little more confidence than he’d had before.

“I don’t have a drinking problem,” Sirius replied flatly.

Peter smiled smugly, “That’s what someone with a drinking problem would say.”

Sirius groaned, shooting a look over at James and Remus, hoping that they’d step forward to help him out.

Remus had a frown on his face as though he were seriously concerned about the outcome of this conversation.

James had his hand covering his mouth and he looked as though he were trying to hold back his laughter.

Traitor.

“Mr. Black,” Professor McGonagall spoke, drawing his attention away from James and towards her, “Your friends here are concerned for you, and quite frankly I am as well. The amount of times you have admitted to being drunk as an excuse for why you’ve broken a rule or acted out is astounding.”

Groaning, Sirius rubbed his eyes as he admitted, “I was just joking. I thought you knew that, Professor. I’m not actually drunk all the time, just stupid, apparently.”

“Be that as it may,” she continued, “I invite you to listen to the concerns of your friends and classmates and think long and hard about what they have to say.”

She stepped forward, “I look forward to hearing from you how it turned out. I want you in my office after dinner this evening so we can discuss it.”

Sirius grumbled to himself, muttering under his breath, “Jeeze, I need a drink.”

Overhearing him as she passed by, McGonagall reached down and smacked the back of Sirius’ head, causing him to yelp out in more surprise than in pain.

Rubbing the tender spot, Sirius glared at McGonagall’s retreating figure as she left the common room. Turning back to the others, and realizing that his fate had been sealed – no thanks to James who was sniggering behind his fingers – Sirius slumped in his seat and waved for the first person to go.

It was the small kid he’d tried giving a tattoo to several months before.

“Hi,” he said nervously, looking down from a little white notecard he held tightly in his hands, “My name is Michael. A few months ago, I went to you to get a tattoo, but when I arrived you were completely drunk. This was unprofessional and frightening. If you would like to continue on with your career as a tattoo artist, and get more clients, you must do something about your drinking problem.”

“Oh, I don’t want to be a tattoo artist anymore,” Sirius commented off-handedly.

“You – you don’t?” Michael stuttered, looking a mix in between disbelief and relieved.

“Nah,” Sirius answered, leaning his head back to rest against the head, “That was so three months ago.”

“Not to mention he sucks at drawing,” James chimed in, grunting when Remus smacked him in his gut.

“Well, this can still affect any future employment you may have – “

“Boring!” Sirius yelled out, cutting Michael off in the middle of his sentence, “You’ve made your point. No need to continue on. Now, who’s next?”

Sirius smiled when a girl from their year stepped forward, a frown etched onto her face, and her arms folded tightly in front of her chest.

“Ah, Marlene, what a joy it is to see you.”

“Can’t say the same, Black,” Marlene replied with a huff, “You need to quit it with the drinking. You’re obnoxious and overly touchy, not to mention you constantly try and attack my cat.”

“Well, if your cat wasn’t such an a-hole, maybe I wouldn’t have to,” he retorted.

“What has my cat ever done to you?” Marlene growled.

“What hasn’t she done?” Sirius replied, just as passionately.

“Guys, guys,” James said stepping forward, holding his hands up in between them as though he were ready to hold both of them back if push came to shove, “Let’s not get into this now. Marlene, Sirius hates your cat, but when he drinks, he actually gets overly affectionate with it.”

Sirius gasped in outrage, “How dare you tell her my secrets.”

Marlene blinked surprised as James ignored his friend and continued, “All those crappy stunts he’s pulled were when he was sober. And, honestly, he’s kind of overly touchy on a normal day, drinking doesn’t change that. And really, when is he not obnoxious?”

“Okay,” Sirius interjected, holding his finger up, “I know you’re trying to defend me here, but that’s just hurtful.”

“Shut up, Sirius,” both Remus and James spoke at the same time.

Sirius sunk back into his seat, his pout becoming more prominent. Marlene thought through James points before nodding her head and conceding, “Alright, you make a good point.”

She turned to Sirius and pointed her index finger directly in his face, “I don’t care if you’re sober or not, you stay away from my cat.”

“I will if she does,” Sirius answered petulantly, watching as Marlene turned and walked away.

“Alright? Who’s next?” James prompted, smiling eagerly when Lily stepped forward.

Sirius rolled his eyes as Lily completely ignored the star struck James, instead favoring to shoot a glare at him.

“You need to stop pulling pranks so much for the next few weeks.”

“I thought we were here about my ‘drinking problem’,” Sirius retorted, “Not about pranking.”

Lily waved her hand, as though she were shooing Sirius’ comment away and said unconcernedly, “Yeah, yeah. Drinking is bad. You’re young and full of hope with much life to give. For your own self-worth, please stop drinking.”

She folded her arms and continued, “But, we’ve got our exams coming up soon, and I cannot be constantly worried about what you’re going to be doing next. I need to focus on my studies. So, please, just step back with the major pranks.”

“You think about me often?” Sirius asked with a wink, raising his eyebrows suggestively as he ignore the glare James was shooting his way, “Besides, why am I the only one getting a lecture?”

“Because we all know most of the pranks are your idea,” Lily shot back immediately.

Sirius snuck a glance over at the other three who shrugged unconcerned. Sure, they each came up with a fair amount of prank ideas on their own, but they didn’t mind if Sirius took most of the credit, or in this case, the blame.

“Well, I will certainly take that into consideration,” Sirius responded with a salute.

Lily grumbled, nodding over at Marlene who followed behind her, and left the room, mumbling under her breath at how this was a waste of time and she could have been doing something actually productive instead.

Sirius watched the two girls go, before turning to another kid who he’d never met before and was munching on some nuts.

“So, what do you have to say?” Sirius asked him with a nod, “Why’re you here?”

The kid shrugged, “Oh, I’m just here for the snacks.”

“Nice,” Sirius answered back with a nod of approval, turning back to his friends.

Peter, seeming to realize that this intervention had not gone the way he’d planned, stepped forward and quickly said, “Sirius, you are one of my best friends. In fact, I feel we’re more than friends. As James always says, we’re brothers. And when I see you drink in an attempt to wash away your sorrows, it makes me sad. We just want to help you.”

Remus nodded and added, “We love you, Sirius. We’re here for you. Anything you need, you let us know, and we’ll be right here. But, please, for everyone’s sake, you really don’t need the bottle as much as you think you do.”

Sirius glanced over at James, “What do you think?”

He didn’t think he had a drinking problem. In fact, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a drink. He did know that he blamed drinking on his actions just the night before, but that wasn’t really the same thing.

James shrugged, “Drinking never solved anyone’s problems. Not long-term, anyway. Besides, we just want our brother back.”

Sirius nodded as James stepped forward, pulling him into a hug.

The room broke out into applause, many of the girls letting out coos and sighs of happiness at the tender display of affection between the two best friends.

Beside James pulled away, he whispered in Sirius’ ear, so no one else could hear him, “I know you don’t actually have a drinking problem. But, perhaps you put aside the alcohol jokes for just a little while. Peter was very insistent despite mine and Remus’ protests.”

Sirius pulled back and squinted suspiciously, “So, there were protests?”

James smirked, clapping Sirius on the back, before responding in a slightly mocking tone, “What do you think?”

Sirius whipped over to look at Remus who still looked concerned.

He scanned h is body language for any sign of betrayal, feeling a sense of victory when he saw Remus’ hand twitch slightly. 

He caught Remus’ gaze and wasn’t surprised to see a slight twinkle of mischief resting in the back.

Feeling proud of his best friends, he turned and smiled at the group of people still surrounding him and spoke in a confident voice, “Thank you all for coming and being here as a support to me. It warms my heart to know there are so many who are invested in my well-being. I promise from here on out, I will try to do better!”

Another round of applause filled the room.

Sirius waited for everyone to settle down and the room was nearly silent before he nodded at James, winked exaggeratedly at Remus (who rolled his eyes in response) and announced proudly, “Well, this feels like a success. Let’s pull out some drinks to celebrate. Who’s with me?”

He smirked when the room let out a collective groan.