The one where Sirius and Remus belong to different worlds, and it’s harder to find each other than expected.
Sirius was woken up the next morning - only too early - by Sam, feeling instantly groggy and disoriented by a certain smile occupying his thoughts.
Sirius cracked one eye open, his vision of bright green eyes and neat blonde hair only slightly obscured by his own eyelashes.
Sam raised an eyebrow, “They don’t pay me to watch you drool, you know.”
Sirius humphed, eye shutting again and words slurred with sleep, “Five more minutes. And that’s Mr. Black to you. Maybe even master for waking me up…”
Sam scoffed, “Sure it is, mate. Only in front of your mum. And not if you want breakfast.”
Sirius sighed, “Breakfast..” Then more awake, “Breakfast.”
He sat up so suddenly that Sam jolted back, “Jesus! What the hell, Sirius?”
Sirius turned frantically on Sam, hand grabbing the sleeve of his servant’s jacket, “Sam.”
“Oi, ‘m right here, y’lunatic.” Green eyes questioning, he shook off Sirius’ grasp, “What’s wrong?”
“I-“ Sirius worried his lip, “I met someone last night. One of your lot.”
Sam looked at Sirius through hooded eyes, “Well, that’s not rude at all,” he said dryly.
Sirius cursed, “That’s not what I- Sorry. I meant he works with you.”
Sam’s eyebrows pulled low, “You mean- he- he works here? At the castle?”
Sirius slid off his bed, bare feet pacing back and forth on the wooden floor, “That’s what I said isn’t it?”
“I- Wait.” Sam stood as well, hands out, “What do you mean you met him? Like you- you and him-“
“What? Oh- god no! I’ve just met him. Bella was being a bitch and so I just got into his car.”
Sam was silent for a moment, eyes squinted as he tried to work out Sirius’ words, “You- wait, what?”
Sirius sighed, pushing a hand through his hair and turning on the spot to resume his pacing in front of the fireplace, “Well, I didn’t know it was his car.”
“That’s not helping me much.”
“He almost ran me over while I was running and then I got into his car and convinced him to drive.”
Sam looked blankly at Sirius for a moment, “Okay. I’ll rephrase: What?”
Sirius groaned, “Never mind how we met! The point is- is…” Sirius groaned, “Sam-“
“Calm down!” Sam slid off the bed, “Just- just get dressed, okay? What’s his name? I probably know him.”
Sirius tugged a sweater over his body, letting his arms down with a huff when it got stuck at the top of his head.
“Remus.” He said, his voice muffled, “His name’s Remus.”
When Sam yanked the sweater over Sirius’ head, he was grinning from ear to ear, “Seriously?”
“What? What’s wrong with that?”
Sam laughed, “Nothing! Nothing, he’s just- he’s one of my best mates.”
Sirius felt his eyes go wide, “No.”
Sam shoved a pair of trousers into his hands, “Yep.”
“Well- wait, what does he do?”
“He works in-“
“The kitchens! Right, right.” Sirius attempted to balance on one foot and tie his shoe at the same time, only to have Sam have to steady him with a hand on his shoulder.
“You truly are helpless, aren’t you.”
Sirius straightened up, narrowing his eyes, “Well, that’s not rude at all.’” He mocked.
Sam smirked at him, shaking his head, “Breakfast. Now.”
Dinner was quite the occasion in the Black household. It was rarely just the family. This could have been due to the fact that, when it was, bickering was sure to break out. Guests kept things civil. Guests also meant white tie.
“What do you think would happen if I walked down there in a t-shirt?”
Sam flashed him a grin in the mirror and he held Sirius’ jacket out for him to shrug over his shoulders, “Death. Probably.”
“Probably.” Sirius agreed, smoothing down his collar, “What do you think would happen if you walked down there in a t-shirt?”
“Me? Oh, I’d get fired.”
Sirius pretended to frown deeply, accentuating his posh accent, “Well, that seems deeply unfair, I do say.”
Sam just nodded solemnly, and held open the door.
“Sirius.” His mother dragged his name out, the ‘i’s sounding thick with her slapped on smile, the one that seemed to stretch her cheeks unnaturally, “On time for once, are we?”
Sirius trotted down the last few steps of the main staircase, “You have Sam to thank for that.”
His mother stared blankly at him for a moment, smile widening in discomfort at suddenly not knowing what her son was talking about - not like it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. She threw her head to the left, letting out a long laugh for her guest’s sake, “Yes, of course.” She smoothed down her too revealing dress for a woman of her age, laying her hand on a rather large man’s arm, “Sirius, you remember Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson, don’t you?”
Sirius slapped on a smile of his own, reaching his hand out grandly to Mr. Parkinson, “Of course. How are-“
“And their daughter, Claudia?”
Sirius’ handshake froze, his smile tightening. He suddenly felt far too much like his mother.
He hadn’t noticed the girl before, standing to the left of her parents, aside her mother. Sirius felt his throat go dry.
“Claudia.” He straightened up. Her hand was cold and small when he took it. She offered him a small, nervous smile.
He tried to offer one back, “Of course. How are you?”
“Fine, thank you-“
“We’re very pleased,” Her father’s booming voice made both Sirius and Claudia jump, “to be here, in such a noble house. What an invitation to receive.” Mr. Parkinson was taking Sirius’ hand again, clapping his other atop it as if Sirius himself had invited him. The word invitation hung in the air. Sirius had a bad feeling it was double sided.
Sirius pulled away as smoothly as he could from the red-faced man’s grasp, “We’re very pleased to have you. And I’m sure ‘we’ includes my father, who will be along shortly..” He glanced at his mother who pressed her lips together.
“Yes.” She agreed, “Shortly.” Then the smile was back up as if nothing had happened, “Shall we go in?”
The table felt too large for so few people. The food seemed to be too much. His mother had pulled all the stops: Chicken and duck, an array of sides, two waiters to a person. To his left, Claudia looked more than comfortable taking whatever she wanted without a glance at who was giving it.
Sirius looked up to his right, grinning, “You know me too well, James.”
Sirius heard a little snort from his left. Claudia was dabbing at her mouth with her napkin, and lean over a little too close for Sirius’ liking.
She scrunched her nose in what Sirius was sure she thought was an endearing way, “You know the names of them?”
He heard the tiniest of scoffs from behind him and instantly imaged James trying to casually adjust his glasses while planning how best to spit into her pudding. Sirius pushed away the thought that he could easily do it from this distance.
“Well.” He leaned back in his chair, flattening his napkin on his lap, “Only the few that annoy me most.”
A throat cleared from behind him and he suppressed a smile.
Sirius only had a moment to acknowledge that Claudia looked far too pleased with this answer, before the great double set of doors were banging open loudly. There was a scuffling of chairs scraping back as they all stood.
“Ah, dinner time. What’ve I missed?”
Orion Black sauntered into the dinning room then, impeccably dressed, smile spread wide, colorless eyes glinting, and reeking of the strong scent that usually accompanied his presence: Whiskey.
“Darling,” His mother’s act was back in place, thicker than her makeup, “I’m so glad that work finally permitted you to join us-“
“Sit.” Mr. Black commanded, as if barking at a dog, has he fell into his own chair. His eyes flicked to James who was in the process of serving Mr. Parkinson yet another serving of duck, “You.”
James’ back straightened up as all eyes turned on him. Sirius could see his mother eyeing his unruly hair out of the corner of his eye.
“Fetch me and my friend here,” He gestured to Mr. Parkinson, who attempted to smile through a mouthful of pork. Sirius winced, “fetch us a whiskey, would you?”
Mrs. Black let out another one of her drawn out laughs, looking to Mrs. Parkinson as if daring her not to join along, “But darling, don’t you think you’ve had enough?”
Mr. Black barely glanced at her, “Second thought, bring the bottle.”
Claudia’s eyes moved back and forth across the table, lips pursed. It was as if she was watching a rather displeasing tennis match.
Sirius’ mother dabbed at her mouth with her napkin, eyes hard and glaring on her husband.
James closed the doors behind him and all was silent for a few beats too long. Until Orion seemed to realize Sirius was there.
He laced his fingers across his stomach, “So they’ve told you, have they?”
The throat-drying feeling crept up again almost immediately. Sirius set his fork down, “Told me?” He croaked.
“Well, the marriage, what else!”
Sirius swallowed hard. He felt his breath rattling in his chest. he looked dead on at his mother, “Yes, mother. What else could we have been talking about?”
Mrs. Black’s eyes flashed, “It was right to wait for your father to be present.”
Like he’s even really present anymore
Sirius bit his tongue.
His mother pulled her lips back in a smile, “Isn’t it excellent news?”
“Yes, excellent news.” Mr. Parkinson piped up, hand patting his great stomach. Sirius’ father smirked at him. Sirius didn’t look at Claudia.
“Yes.” He choked out. He picked up his fork again, squaring his shoulders, “Yes, excellent.”
James came back in with his father’s whiskey.
(I know there’s no Remus action in this part (don’t hate me, he’ll be back very very soon i promise!) but I just wanted you all to meet some other characters, including some of my own :) hope you enjoy!)