Had it my way, I'd wait until December, near the Christmas season to post this but a certain someone lacks the patience to wait until then and demands early release. So I hope you like.

Ash, I present you Christmas gift #1

My First Date Went A Little Like This…

Now Sirius wasn't a medi-wizard or a healer. However he was positively sure he was about ten seconds away from having a heart attack.

Correction, make that five seconds and counting. His blood pressure was rising with every failed breath wheezing from his mouth. His heart was curling up into a tight, tight ball like a fist was clenching the sucker. His hands were shaking worse than frail leaves during the late autumn season.

Dear Moony and Paddy,

Hope things are good at home-and that Artemis didn't wipe you clean again. I told you it'd come back to bite you when you insisted on teaching them poker.

To be fair, Lily was the one that introduced them to the game, turning out to be a clever player herself. She was the teacher and he the student. Also, in his defense, poker seemed like a great game for family bonding time.

Anyway classes are going well. Potions is getting better, even though Neville is still being jumpy around Severus after word spread of the image he conjured up of him in his grandmother's clothes.

That image did just the trick to ease the panic currently twisting his heart and nerves into a pretzel. Snivellous in women's clothing. Sirius regretted for the thousandth time not being there to witness it-and not insisting that kiddo got a picture for him so he can hang on the wall, so they'd have a good laugh all year long.

Maybe that could be a good Christmas gift for him…Wait, no. Sirius shook his head. That wasn't the issue right now. This letter was, and the words it contained was the issue.

Divination is rubbish, no offense to the Professor even though I won't lie. The woman does seem quite batty. Anyway, only two more weeks until the holidays. I can't wait. This upcoming weekend Dumbledore arranged for trip to Hogsmeade to get some shopping done. Thankfully I already did mine and it's still with me at school, so don't even think about looking through my room or the house to find it, Sirius. Or having Artemis and Reggie do your dirty work for you.

Well, he never. Sirius huffed and rolled his eyes, blaming Moony for making Harry to be a skeptical tool. Honestly, what was the point of having kids around if you don't your evil bidding for you from time to time? Especially if the bidding benefitted them as well, getting a peek at their own Christmas gifts too. The way he saw it, everyone won.

But I'm still going to Hogsmeade since…well…

Based on the splotches of ink around this part and the multiple cross-offs, Sirius could tell Harry was struggling to figure out what to write next. He could picture him tapping the quill against his mouth, biting onto the feather like he usually did whenever he was lost in thought.

Draco asked me out and I said yes. We're going out this Saturday.

Draco, as in Malfoy. As in Harry's best friend whom Sirius always held high hope that the friendship would sour once the two reached Hogwarts, but only strengthened since they were both sorted in Slytherin. As in the snotty, bratty son to his snotty, bratty cousin Narcissa and her scum of a husband. As in the same Malfoy who was taking Harry, his innocent kiddo, out on a-a-a date!

Hence why his left eye was twitching as he read that part over and over again. For now the fifteenth time.

Hence the heart attack that was seconds away from ripping him away from this world and thrusting him into another, where he hoped to God Mother Dearest wouldn't be the first face he saw on the other side.

"Papa? I think Daddy's frozen." Through the painful fog crippling his senses, Sirius could make out the sound of his eight year old daughter, Artemis.

"And his mouth is so wide, a cat could jump into it." And her twin brother, Reggie. "Do you think he's gonna have a heart attack, Papa?"

"No, kids," answered Remus, his husband of six years that was fifty percent sweet as chocolate and fifty percent a smart-mouth, royal pain in the arse. "Daddy's not having a heart attack, despite what he may think. He's just in shock. But you're right about the cat moment, Reggie. He may just find one jumping into in there if he doesn't keep his mouth…"Remus got up from the couch, walked over to him, and shoved Sirius's slacked jaw back up. "Shut."

The second Remus removed his hand, his jaw dropped back down, causing the kids to laugh and Remus to shoot him a dark glare.

"Honestly, Sirius-" He thrust the letter into Remus's face, nearly knocking him back.

"Read!" he demanded. "Read and weep along with me."

The twins just laughed harder.

Shooting Sirius another glare, Remus took the letter. A frown pulled on his mouth as he read it, except it was more so one of curiosity than worry or annoyance. "Well," he said after a minute.

The possible heart attack Sirius narrowly avoided came back with sure-fire vengeance, knocking out his breath like a punch, nearly bringing him to his knees.

"Well?!" Sirius exclaimed, flabbergasted. The word so shrill, so high in pitch, it bounced off the walls like a rubber ball. "That's all you can say? Well?"

Remus arched a brow at him. "Very well then?"

And yet people thought he was the one with the smart mouth.

Remus turned to the twins, who were barely recovering from their laughing fits. Regulus "Reggie" Lupin-Black looked so much like Sirius's brother: same narrow face, same raven-hair, same quiet spirit but carried a glowing happiness in his eyes that barely touched his brother's. Artemis, born a few minutes earlier which she took great pride in, was practically Sirius's mini-me female in both looks and personality, much to Mooney's horror, except for the splash of freckles she got from her Papa.

"How about you two get on to bed? We'll be there in a few minutes to tuck you in."

"Why?" Reggie asked, ever curious.

"Because Papa has to talk Daddy off a ledge before he goes through a third heart attack." Artemis answered for him.

The two scrammed upstairs when Remus nearly lunged towards them, hands rose high, growling playfully. Aching nostalgia curled Sirius's insides as he watched them go. They were only eight years old, which meant he and Remus only had three more years with them before they headed off to Hogwarts, before the hormones kicked in and the sexual-need rifled up, and they'd scramble about looking for a devious foe ready to crush that innocence and have their fun and-dear sweet, Merlin, he needed to sit down.

Wheezing, Sirius stumbled over to the couch, clenching onto his chest, feeling the twisting behind.

Remus, being completely unsympathetic, took one look at him and answered, "I'm warning you right now, Sirius Black, if you make me a widower, I'll personally cross over to the afterlife to kick your arse."

"This is the end," he wheezed. "I can feel the cold breath of death sucking me away."

"The only thing sucking away is your common sense," Remus hissed.

"It's calling like a siren song. Beckoning me to follow, follow."

"You know, just when I think your dramatic tendencies can't get anymore exhausting, you go ahead and prove me wrong."

"Tell the twins I love them. Let kiddo know I love him and don't blame him even though his last words are took me to my final resting place." Sirius slumped over, one arm draped across his chest, the other hanging off the couch.

"Oh for the love of Merlin," Remus grunted and took his place beside him. Sirius felt the burning glare of those eyes drilling holes into his skull before at last he felt a hand running through his hair.

Silence spread over them for a few minutes. Sirius resting/panicking. Remus stroking his hair, easing the anxiety buzzing in his chest like wild bees.

"This was bound to happen, you know," Remus said finally. "I mean, for Merlin's sake, Sirius, when Harry was five, he came back from the park to announce that Draco Malfoy proposed to him. And since then, they've only grown closer. It was only a matter of time before this happened."

Sirius spent most of that time hoping that friendship would fade. Or that if it must deepen, it would strictly and only platonic. Or hell, that even if hormones kicked in, it would be drawn to other people. Not each other.

"Look I'm still uneasy around the Malfoys, particularly Lucius. But Narcissa was great help to me when I was pregnant with the twins, and has been nothing but kind to Harry. Draco has proven to be a loyal friend."

Sirius said nothing, moving his head over to Remus's lap, glaring/pouting at the wall.

Remus decided to try another tactic. "I'm not exactly jumping for joy over the idea either, but Harry isn't a child anymore. He's now a young man, one with feelings that are new and unfamiliar. Some might be confusing and dizzying and-"

Sirius reached up and squeezed Remus's mouth shut before he dove in any further. "I get the gist of puberty, thank you."

Remus slapped his hand away. "Unlike you, I trust Harry."

Sirius bolted up from the couch and towered over him so fast, he nearly got a taste of whiplash. "Watch your tongue! I do trust him."

Remus stared at him.

"I do!" Sirius insisted. "I just don't trust Malfoy."

Remus rolled his eyes as if the words physically hurt him. "It's their first date. They're just thirteen. What's the worst that can happen?"

"Everything!" Sirius yelped. "Do you remember being thirteen because I most certainly do!"

"Things have changed since then."

"Which only makes things ten times worse. I can see it now. Malfoy will most likely snatch some alcohol and drag Harry down some crazed liquor spiral."

"How on earth will they be able to get-"

"Or worse. Harry makes a dolt to out of himself and Malfoy will make sure word spreads around, and next thing we know week looking at the latest Daily Prophet headline about the Boy Who Lived Wild."

"Padfoot, do you hear yourself right now?"

"Shut up, Moony, I'm on a roll!" Sirius cried. "Or worse, he-he…" His eyes widened as a thought slammed against his head like an upward slap. "He could take Harry to some dark corner or room and treat him to a new rendition of the horizontal mambo that would put a back-alley prostitutes to shame."

"Now you're just being ridiculous."

No, Sirius corrected. He wasn't being ridiculous. He was being realistic. He was being cautious. He was being rational. He knew how thirteen year old boys worked. He was one. He sometimes still had the mind of one. He knew the number of ways to make persuasion worm its' way through rationality and willpower, getting belts undone, dropping pants-

Merlin's fucking balls!

It took him a minute to realize that while he was in his mental rampage, Remus was on his own, spouting nonsense at him.

"If you think that you're going to get in the way and ruin his first date-"

"I'm not going to interfere with the date." Sirius said in a soft, calm voice.

"You're…you're not?" He was almost insulted by the bafflement in Remus's voice. "Well, that's good. Brilliant even-"

"I'll be supervising it." Sirius said. "Discreetly," delivered quickly at the look of shock that crossed Remus's face.

"The hell you are!"

"And you'll be helping me of course."



Hogsmeade village was a charming, little place with their shops and cafes dotted at every corner from the joke shop, the candy shop, and Three Broomsticks. It was almost like Diagon Alley but surprisingly less busy and crowded. The upcoming holidays added more piazza to the village. With the recent snowfall that covered the place in dazzling white, the scent of pine and peppermint filling the air, the sparkling fairy-lights and decorations plastered at every store, and a twelve feet Christmas tree in the middle of the square that was covered from head to toe in such glitz and glitter with a golden star on top.

Any other day Sirius would be "aaahing" and "oohing" like a child at the breathtaking beauty. Only this time around he didn't take note of it. His eyes were focused on the crowd of Hogwarts students that flooded the square, huddled in their jackets and scarves. His gaze zeroed in on a boy with messy black hair and round-framed glasses that pulled away from his friends.

Despite the nerves building up inside Sirius's body, a smile broke across his face. Harry looked the same way he did when they said their goodbyes at Platform 9 ¾ :hair still messy, eyes bright green, glasses a tad crooked, his resemblance to James so strong, so identical, Sirius' breath caught in his throat.

He looked good. He looked happy.

Malfoy, seconds later, waltzed over to Harry, announcing his presence with a knock against his shoulder, smirking at the surprise crossing Harry's expression. Like a goddamn lamb meeting the eyes of a wolf. A hungry wolf.

Sirius must have taken a few steps forward without noticing it because a hard tug at his collar yanked him back into place.

"I cannot believe you talked me into this!" Remus hissed in his ear.

Sirius flashed him a charming smile. "You did it out of the goodness of your heart."

"You blackmailed me!"

"Which was done out of the goodness of my heart."

Remus cut him with a sharp glare that carve ice.

He was still sore that Sirius brought up a certain life-size paper manatee replicate of the Hogwarts the kids spent hours putting together that was destroyed within seconds by an absent-minded wolf. Whose identity may be brought to light if Sirius's loose lips decided to open up.

Sirius returned his attention back to the pair. Harry was frowning and rolling his eyes at whatever Malfoy was feeding him, but soon the frown changed to a smile, which caused Malfoy's to brighten. One last eye-roll later, Harry accepted Draco's arm and they went off strolling down the street as if they hadn't have a care in the world.

Or the fact their entangled hands and fingers were causing his blood pressure to raise.

"Did you not see that?" Sirius hissed.

He didn't even bother to turn around to know Remus was rolling his eyes. "Yes, two sane teenagers walking hand-in-hand while an insane lunatic is losing his marbles over it."

Sirius blinked once, twice and glanced at him. "Did you seriously just say losing his marbles?"

Remus looked like he was in a crossroads between bashing his head against a tree or doing so to him. "Of all the things I just said, that's what caught your attention?"

"Considering all the drabble that's been pouring from your mouth all night, that seems the only one worth listening-" It then dawned to him that they were two of the few people left hanging around the sqaure. Everyone else had gone their way, including those two. "Goddamn, Moony, they got away!"

Sirius grabbed his hand and yanked him along as they followed the trail that led to the candy shop.

Honeydukes was one his favorite spots from his times at Hogwarts. In their display window was a white chocolate snowman marching in place with a chocolate-chip smile while the Nutcracker lifted Clara over his head before bringing her down, the buttons to his suit dotted with sour drops, her tutu clearly done from red licorice. Inside the shop, golden light bathed the room as various scents of chocolate and vanilla and honey slammed against their noses. Yards of pink taffy unwinding from its stock and gathering into a child's bag. A group of kids, siblings most likely, that were constantly dripping their cones into the cotton candy fountain to make them bigger. An exhausted worker snapping at rugrats taking more than their fair share of the fudge samples.

Sirius spotted Harry and Malfoy at the chocolate aisle, bags stuffed with sweets tucked into their arms, chatting with bright smiles as they examined their choices.

"Now would you look at that?" Remus said. "Two boys picking out candy. Isn't that nice?"

Never did it fail to be painful whenever circumstances came about and he was forced to acknowledge the fact Remus was right. Again. This time, it seemed that Sirius would have too. There was nothing harmful about them getting candy. Maybe it was for treats for themselves once they got through winter finals. Maybe they were gifting them for their friends.

Harry reached into his bad and pulled out a milk chocolate truffle for Malfoy to examine. Entirely harmless. Sirius sucked his teeth. "Alright, alright, I suppose-"

Malfoy leaned in and snatched the candy right out of Harry's hand. With his own mouth. And that mouth was still close to Harry's hand, licking Harry's fingers as if there were smudges of chocolate left behind.

"I'm gonna kill that brat!" Remus pulled him into a corner before he got three steps in, slamming him against the wall.

"Will you please calm down? Do you see that?" Remus pointed back at the scene that prompted his tenth near heart-attack this week. A flustered Harry finally pulling away from Malfoy's hold, the blonde devil smirking at him, somehow managing to wrangle a smile from his kiddo. "I see a happy Harry who's enjoying himself. A Harry will be hurt and embarrassed and furious if he finds out you're spying on him."

"Supervising!" Sirius corrected.


"How can you be so calm about this?"

"Call it keen wolf instincts. I sense no ill-will or intentions from Draco or discomfort from Harry. Only peace."

"Well my godfather instincts aren't so easily swayed." Sirius snuck another peek at them. The chocolate was long gone, but Malfoy still stood too close to Harry. He was going to have to do something about that.

Across the room, the taffy yarns were still unrolling. He decided it need some direction. With a flick of his wand, Sirius cut off a yard of the taffy and sent it flying over to them, slamming right into Malfoy's face. The force was so strong, the boy fell back on his arse with a hard thump that drew everyone's attention to them.

"Are you proud of yourself?" Remus asked.

"Quite." Sirius grinned.

Remus was muttering under his breath, but Sirius barely paid any mind to it. He was watching his beautiful plan unfold.

Based on the years from back and forth visits between Grimmauld Place and the Malfoy manor, along with kiddo's daily letters, he knew there was nothing Malfoys, particularly the young heir, valued more than keeping a fresh, clean appearance. From clothes, shoes, and hair, which was his most-prized possession. Malfoy's pretty, white-blonde hair was tangled with sticky bright pink taffy.

This was good. Sirius watched in excited anticipation as a red-faced Malfoy got back up on his feet, shaking in anger as he tried ripping the candy out. Harry stood across from him, flabbergasted. This was very good. And now Harry was leaning in closer to get a better look at the mess. This was very, very good. He was pulling Malfoy's hands away from his scalp to survey the damage, the sweet sticky damage. Only he was surveying the damage with his own hands. Odd but Sirius could live with that. Wait a minute, what's this?!

Harry's hands slide from Malfoy's sticky hair onto his cheeks, cupping his face, saying something to him in tones so low Sirius couldn't hear. That wasn't part of the plan. Harry wasn't supposed to be doing that. Just like Malfoy wasn't supposed to be blushing as he looked away. Harry wasn't supposed to be leaning in closer to him, smiling more brightly. Malfoy wasn't supposed to be smiling back. They were most certainly not supposed to be a matching set of blushing, smiling love-stuck ninnies. Malfoy most definitely wasn't supposed to be taking Harry's hand and leading them down the hallway into the bathroom.

Sirius's jaw dropped. Abort! Abort! Abort!

He made a lunge for the bathroom, scenarios of filthy open-mouth kisses and sloppy hand-jobs dancing across his head. Then was nearly swerved off the lane by a tired, sour-faced employee who blocked his path.

"Only one person at a time for the bathroom, sir." She smiled with no teeth.

"But those two just went in." Sirius agreed.

"No reason then for the duo to turn into a threesome."

"Funny, I have plenty of reason to turn your ugly muck into a-" Remus grabbed hold of his collar and speeded them of the shop.

As soon as they were outside, Sirius shrugged out of his hold and tossed him a dark glare that Remus returned with one of his own.

"Now that you managed to make a ditz out of yourself and saw for yourself that your paranoia was all for nothing, are you satisfied? Can we please go home?"


Remus titled his head back and groaned.

Once the boys managed to finally pull themselves out of the bathroom, looking suspicously flustered, the next stop for their little rendezvous was Three Broomsticks. The boys were seated by the fireplace, creating more of a sickeningly romantic atmosphere. While Sirius had to dash to the last available table by the windows before another couple could claim it, ignoring the glares shot at them.

There was a total of five tables between them and Harry, so they were mostly hidden from sight. For extra measures though, Sirius took the menus and spread them wide open, building a small shield he quickly ducked behind.

"You know," Remus said. "If you're that desperate to spy, you could have at least used Polyjuice to better disguise yourself."

"No time. That potion would have taken forever for brew. Not to mention it would have been a dead-give away."

"And hiding behind a menu-fort isn't?"

"Let me have my moment, Moony!" Sirius snarled.

Remus propped a fist underneath his chin, his expression flat. "I'm just going to say this right now, because I know at the end of the night I'll be right. I told you so."

"I told you so." Sirius mimicked, using his hand as a squatting puppet. He glanced over at the pairing.

For the most part, it appeared innocent enough. A waiter must have already came in to take their orders since their menus were gone. They sat across from each other, so there was a good distance between them. Granted, he would have preferred if they could pull their eyes away from each other to pay attention to other others. Like the fireplace, the scenery, even the damn silverware. But at least their hands were apart, mouths apart, their legs entangled-

Their legs en-what? Sirius nearly fell out of his chair and did a double take.

The rest of their limbs were apart and to themselves, but their legs were intact. With each other. Entangled around each other with Malfoy's sock-clad foot out of his shoe and pressed against Harry's leg.

"Sirius." Remus warned.

His left eye was twitching.

Malfoy's foot was now going up and down Harry's leg.

"Remain calm."

His blood was roaring in his ears.

"No reason to get all worked up."

Malfoy's foot was reaching higher and higher, close to his thigh.

Sirius's fisted hand was clutched so tightly, he could feel his bones breaking.

The waiter came back to the boys' table and dropped a tray of two butterbeers. With Malfoy's foot still attached Harry's thigh.

"Don't you dare!" Remus, reading his mind, reached for him.

He was fast, but Sirius was faster. He grabbed his wand and aimed his spell at the drinks, chanting, "Bubble, bubble. Toil and trouble!"

A jet of red light fired from the tip, skidding over the head heads of customers, hitting both glasses. He saw bubbles stirring in the mugs before they settled.

Harry was still talking to the waiter, maybe placing his order. Malfoy, with his foot still nuzzled against Harry's leg, reached for his drink, taking a sip. A sip that he instantly spat out, spraying Harry's face, the table, calling curious glances over to their table.

Including one very happy Sirius Black who had to bit his lips to keep his laughter in.

"Malfoy, what the hell?" Harry screamed, grabbing wads of napkins to dry off his soaked face.

"W…water." Malfoy croaked.

Harry scowled at him, but the scowl vanished as he noticed how still his companion was, the sweat dripping down his face, the trembling of his limbs. "Draco? Are you okay?"

"Water." He repeated.

"Sir?" the waiter asked.

"Water!" Malfoy leaped from his chair and raced over to the neighboring table, reaching for the jug of water their waiter left, chugging it down in five or six large gulps. Still, it wasn't enough. He went over to the next table, then the next. Three large jugs of water and it still wasn't enough. His skin was soaked from sweat, his face was nearly red as a tomato.

He raced over to the bathroom, screaming water water water, clearing all from his path.

This time Harry didn't follow. He stayed behind at the table and braved the nosy stares, the whispers. It pained him to see his kiddo so upset but at least now he was free from Malfoy's groping ankle.

Remus didn't seem to think so; the frown he wore definitely made that clear.


Remus only shook his head.

Malfoy eventually returned but it was clear their appetizer was gone. Saying little to each other, they left the restaurant and walked through the village until eventually they wound up at the outskirts of Hogsmeade, at the woods. Sirius and a reluctant, scowling Remus took shelter by a wide oak tree.

The scene couldn't have been anymore romantic, as if Cupid himself came down and personally created this nauseating picture of sweetness. Harry and Malfoy standing by two trees that leaned towards each other as if they were shaping a heart over their heads, surrounded by the falling snowflakes, with hundreds of stars in the inky-blue sky that gave it a finishing touch.

"This night has been complete shite." Malfoy said, breaking the silence.

Just as Sirius hoped it would.

"It wasn't that bad, Draco."

"Not that bad? Not that bad?!" Malfoy repeated, stunned. "Let's do a recap, shall we, Potter? I got slapped in the face with a taffy that took almost an hour to get out of my hair. Someone or something nearly singed my gums off with that molten lava butterbeer. And nearly every stop we passed, we got doused with heaps of snow from the rooftop.

Really? Remus's exasperated expression asked.

Smiling cheekily, Sirius sang, "Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow."

"This has to be the worst date in the history of dates." Malfoy grumbled.

Worst date which hopefully meant it was the official end to all dates.

"I agree," Harry said. "But there is an upside to all this."

Upside? What upside? There should be no upside. Nothing about this date should include an upside.

"Such as?" Malfoy asked.

"Safe to say after this one, the standards for date two are pretty manageable."


"True," Malfoy agreed. "I think a picnic at the Astronomy tower would seem like a five-star extraordinaire."

"I think even a study-date at the library would seem like a grand dining experience."

"We'd just need golden ink and parchment to make it a royal event."

"Oh most definitely, kind sir. And paper crowns to shown off our royal stature."

"We can use the leftover notes from the finals we already."

"Sounds perfect."

Malfoy grinned. "Sounds like a date."

What-what-what-what? WHAT?!

Harry laughed along with Malfoy and looked at him. From where Sirius stood, he made out the unmistakable fondness that touched his face, growing as he took a step forward.

"Also," Horror coiled in Sirius's stomach from the gentle tenderness in Harry's eyes that matched Malfoy's smile, tenderness that hummed from his voice as he said, "Despite the craziness, I did have a good time."

Shock danced across Malfoy's face, replaced by amazement, then dimmed to soft wonderment as he took a step forward. "Really?"


Draco pursed his mouth, attempting to look nonplussed, but the delight printing his face shattered that illusion as he stepped closer, one hand reaching for Harry's check, head bended down. "In that case, I can think of a perfect way to close to this interesting night-"


Looking back on thiat moment, the future-Sirius would make one thing clear: this wasn't his fault. He was a simple victim of being caught in the moment. It was the rush of adrenaline casting a thick, red veil over his eyes. It was his overactive imagination working triple time, painting a more scandalous picture that what happened.

It happened so fast, it was all a blur. A set of images crashing into each other. Sirius racing over to them. Sirius tackling Malfoy to the ground. Moony nearly tearing clamps of his hair off his scalp. Harry's widened eyes as big as his agape mouth. Malfoy, shock and fury marred onto his face, wrapping one around Sirius's throat, the other hand pressing against his face, trying to shove him off. Harry and Moony rushing over to them, Harry helpig Malfoy get back on on his feet, Moony ripping Sirius away from the bastard with a pull of his ear.

"How dare you touch me, you insane mongrel!" Malfoy screamed.

"How dare you try to molest my godson, you slimy, perverted-"

"Sirius, what the hell are you doing here?!"

Oh. Shite. Remus released him when he was sure Sirius wouldn't take Malfoy down a second time, his left ear throbbing from the tight grip. Harry and Malfoy stood across from them, their expressions twined in anger although Harry's was mixed with shock.

"I..I...I was just…" Sirius smacked his lips, raking through his mind for an excuse. Any good excuse. "I was just…waltzing around the neighborhood, and me and Moony decided to check out the stars." Laughing nervously, Sirius whacked Remus in the arm. "Right, Remus?"

"Please do not involve me in this."


Harry's eyes flickered over to Remus before they returned back to him. It was a struggle to keep the bright smile on Sirius's face and not break into sweat, although he could feel wet beds dotting his forehead. But he must have done something, exposed himself through a twitch or maybe Harry had become a mind-reader over the semester and didn't mention it in his letter, because a confirmation sparked in those green eyes. A confirmation that made dread slice through Sirius's gut. "You were spying on us?"

"Supervising," he insisted, though the claim sounded weak to his own ears.

"You were the reason our date went to hell!"

"All circumstantial, unrelated accidents-"

"Cut the crap!" Anger and hurt twisted Harry's voice, cutting through Sirius's insides.

Nope. Sirius spotted mist cloaking those fury-lit eyes. Now his insides were being hacked into pieces.

"If your grand, scheming plan was to humiliate me, congrats. Mission accomplished because I never been so humiliated in my damn life."

"Kiddo, no. That's not it." Sirius reached for him, but Harry stepped away.

"Come on, Draco," he called to his friend. "Let's go."

"Harry, wait."

He was already walking away without looking Sirius's direction. Malfoy stuck close to his side, but then paused to say, "You can expect a bill from my drycleaner Monday morning, Black."


"Don't say it." Sirius moaned later on that night, curled up into a ball, lying sideways on the couch. "I don't need to know how badly I screwed up."

"I didn't say anything." Remus said.

Well that God for that. Sirius curled tighter into his pity ball. He already felt like shite; he didn't need anymore salt to be added to his open, raw wounds.

"You screwed up though." Reggie said without turning away from his coloring book.

"Big time." Artemis agreed, exchanging her red for his blue and turning over to the next page in her own book. "Just like Papa said you would."

Apparently the kids didn't get the memo. Or they did and just felt like salting his wounds. Sirius lifted his head up to glare at them, then passed that glare along to Remus, the source of their smart-mouths.

Remus raised his hands in surrender. "I didn't say anything."

"Your damn mouth-pieces said enough for you." he snapped. "Sucking up all your smart-arse juice."

"Well I did carry them for nine months." Remus reminded

"And at least Papa's smart arse didn't ruin Harry's date."


Sirius missed her shrug as he turned over in the couch, facing the cushion, hugging himself tighter. He didn't turn around, even as Remus moved his head onto his lap.

"Harry hates me." Sirius moaned.

"No, he doesn't," He assured. "He's just mad and you can't blame him."

"I know." As much as he hated to admit, which only made things worst.

"Just give him some space, Padfoot. I'm sure he'll come around."

"Doubt it."

"Sirius, there have been many, many, countless times where you frustrated me to the point of considering murder-"

"If this is supposed to be a philosophical way of cheering me up, you're failing."

"Point is," Remus stressed. "No matter how much you angered me, I always forgave you in the end. Harry will too. You'll see."

Sirius doubted that. Hopeful as Remus was, he didn't understand. He didn't see the depth of hurt and anger he spotted gleaming in Harry's eyes, stabbing Sirius in the chest and lower gut everytime he thought about it. Remus also seemed to have forgotten Harry had inherited Lily's temper, which was the worst out of the four of them.

Which was why Sirius wasn't all that surprised when all the letters he spent to kiddo received no reply, although he did get that bill from Malfoy for the outrageously-priced drycleaning, along with the threat of sending him straight to Azkaban if he ever laid a finger on the little twat again. When letters did come in, they were addressed to Remus, to Artemis, to Reggie, even Kreacher who looked just as shocked as Sirius was. All of which didn't mention a word of what happened or Sirius. When Harry came through the floo at the start of holiday break, he accepted the flying hugs the twins sprung on him, Remus's hair-ruffling and bear hug, but then breezed past Sirius before he could get a word in.

"It's not fair." Sirius grumbled, knowing he sounded like a whiny brat and not giving two shits about it. Just because he knew he knew how upset Harry was didn't mean it didn't hurt getting iced by him. "You were there too. How come I'm getting all the heat?"

Remus hit him with a pointed look. "Because I'm not the one who tackled his date to the ground, ruined his first date, and insisted on spying on him in the first place."

"Su-per-vising!" Sirius barked.

"Spy-ing." Artemis chirped.

Growling, Sirius shot her a glare that she answered back with a sly smile. Remus pushed her back behind his leg.

"Just talk to him."

"He doesn't want to talk to me."

"Well, then you're just going to have to persuade him."

Sirus's left brow rose. "And how do you I do that?"

Reggie poked him in the leg and presented him with a slice of treacle tart saved from dinner. Sirius had insisted on Kreacher making it tonight in hopes of softening Harry up, when the boy had only taken a few bites before he excused himself from the table. Reggie had cut a big slice and topped it with a scoop of chocolate brownie ice cream, another favorite of Harry's. "Take this and tell him you're sorry."

A shoot of déjà vu pricked Sirius's head. Eight years ago Harry said the nearly same thing to him because he was a dense idiot for not picking up on Remus's hints on their soon-to-be extended family. Now his son was giving the same advice because he was a dense idiot that made a big mess out of things.

Based on the smile Remus wore, Sirius wasn't the only one who had a quick waltz through memory lane.

That was how Sirius found himself minutes later pressed against Harry's door, treacle tart and ice cream in hand, using his foot to knock.

"Kiddo, can we talk? Please."

No answer.

"I know you're in there and I get how pissed you are, so can we please talk?"

Still no answer.

"I got treacle tart. Nice and hot," At least now it was, thanks to the heating charm he used. "And some brownie ice cream. With your name written on it."

Nada. Sirius's brows furrowed. Now he knew Harry was pissed.

"Alright, I didn't want to do this, but you leave me no choice. Just remember you brougtht this on yourself." Sirius pressed two fingers against his throat as he cleared it. Then in the most unholy, painfully-obnoxious, painfully-shrilled, God-awful singing to ever cross the 12 Grimmauld Place:

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

"Oh-no, Daddy's singing again." Artemis cried. He could picture her covering her ears.

"Papa, we need ear-muffs!" Reggie screamed. "And a muffler."

Just for that comment, Sirius increased the volume of his singing.

Tis the season to be jolly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Kreacher popped up beside him, ears folded, hands pressed against him to shot him a dark glare before he vanished.

Don we now our gay apparel

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la.

"Sirius!" Remus shouted.

"Make it stop!" Artemis cried.

Sirius cupped his hand around his mouth, came closer to the door, and practically yelled:

Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

The door swung opened so suddenly, Sirius stumbled forward, nearly falling on his face, then quickly backed away from the fierceness glowing in those vivid green eyes.

Yup, he was Lily's son alright. Her son down to a t. There was no one else in the world, not even his own mother, who carried a glare that could make person nearly soil themselves from one look.

"I warned you." Sirius said.

Harry rolled his eyes and walked back to his room. Since Sirius didn't hear an outright no, he followed him in. Harry plopped himself back on the bed and picked up his book, continuing where he left off.

"Treacle tart?" Sirius protested.

Harry didn't bat an eye as he flipped over to the next page.

"I'm not leaving until you speak to me."

Harry turned over to the other side, facing the wall and showing Sirius his back.

Lily's fiery temper. James's ability to hold onto grudges. Plus Remus's pettiness. What a kid.

"I know you don't believe me, but I'm sorry about what happened. And-and what I did." Sirius said. "I'll admit it, I went too far. And I'm really sorry."

A minute passed. Then two. Then five. Five almost turned into six until finally he heard, "Just tell me why."

Sirius blinked, eyes bouncing back to Harry, who was now sitting in his bed, knees up and arms wrapped around them, staring straight ahead at the wall. "I'm sorry."

"Tell me why." Harry repeated, looking over at him. "Tell me why you would embarrass me like that. Why would you be there spying-"


Harry's glare held his tongue. "Spying. You were spying on me, plain and simple. Tell me why."


"Is it because you still think Draco is like his father?"


"Is it because I was on a date with a guy?"

"Now that would be hypocritical-"

"Then why!"

"I guess…well…I suppose…"

Harry watched him carefully.

"I suppose it's because…well…particularly because I still don't entirely trust Malfoy."

Harry rolled his eyes and was about to reply, but thankfully complied when Sirius raised his hand.

"But it's mostly because…" Sirius took in a deep breath. "I guess I still see you as the little five year old kid who used to race to the door whenever I came back home. Or how you wouldn't go to sleep until I searched every inch underneath your bed for monsters. And gave-and continue to give me advice whenever I messed things up with Remus."

The tension slowly melted from Harry's face. A ghost of a smile threatening to appear.

"And getting that letter...it just hit me. Reminded me how much you've really grown up. Soon you'll graduate from Hogwarts, start a new life, and won't need me anymore." Each word was a hammer pounding a nail deeper into his chest until the last pound broke his heart into pieces. "I couldn't take it."

"That's not true."

Blinking away the mist clouding his eyes, Sirius looked at Harry, who was now turned fully to him. The ghost smile from earlier grabbed hold of his mouth.

"I'll always need you, Paddy. Even when you drive me insane."

"How is it all of you take after Remus?"

Harry chuckled. Sirius leaned closer to him.

"So you forgive me?"

Harry stared at him for a moment. "One three conditions. One, that you promise to never spy on me again. Especially on dates."

"Scout's honor."

"Second, that you'll be at least civil to Draco. Meaning no stink-eyes and keep all comments to a minimal."



"Alright, alright, I swear. What's the third condition?"

"Third that you swear on your magic that you'll never do anything like that again."

"I promise."

Harry scoffed, rolling his eyes, and stood up from the bed, opening his arms. Sirius wasted no time jumping into them, knocking them back into the bed.


"You're doing well, Sirius." Remis commented on New Year's Eve, knocking his shoulder into him.

Sirius grunted in reply, eyes locked on kiddo and Malfoy as they entertained the twins in the living room. From what he could make out, Harry was the imprisoned princess and Malfoy was the dragon keeping guard that the twins must take down. Part of one of the conditions Harry laid out was letting Malfoy join them for New Year's to make up for the date fiasco. Sadly Remus, the damn traitor he was, backed Harry up, so he couldn't refuse.

For the most part Malfoy, Harry's newely-appointed boyfriend (Merlin, Sirius would never get used to that without shuddering) wasn't entirely awful. Other than giving Sirius the stink-eyes, still peeved over that snow tackle, he was surprisingly polite with Remus. The twins were instantly taken by him. Even Kreacher was half in love with the kid.

While the twins were arguing over what game to play next, Harry and Malfoy were hanging by the couch, hands entwined.

"Sirius." Remus warned.

"I'm calm."

Harry dropped his head onto Malfoy's shoulder.


"I'm calm."

Malfoy chuckled, brushed a loose curl away from Harry's face, and dropped a kiss. Right. On. The mouth.

"Calm just flew out the fucking window!" Sirius seethed. "Malfoy!"