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Hidden, Safe and Sound

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Harry waits at the foot of the stairs. The sun has just set, and he knows any second now—

The door creaks open and Sirius bounds into view. He’s all smiles. Always is. This one, though, doesn’t reach his eyes, but Harry pretends. He knows that’s what Sirius would want after all.

Harry smiles back. “Pub?”

“Yeah, if you don’t have plans…”

“All yours,” Harry says. He never makes other plans on this night.

Sirius bounces down the stairs like a man half his age. He isn’t old, though, not really, but his stint in Azkaban shows in the weather of his face. Still, Harry likes the wrinkles around his eyes, the way he fills out his ratty black tee and holey jeans, the strands of grey slithering through the black waves of his hair.

Sirius pulls on his cloak and Harry uses that moment to shake himself. It’s been ten years and he still has these feelings—this attraction. It isn’t right.

And Sirius is in love. With a ghost.

~

They walk under the light of a full moon. Harry only lets himself gaze at it for a moment. It’s beautiful, but Harry knows to keep his mouth shut about it. Sirius is hunched over, hands stuffed in his pockets, as if the glare is too much.  Still, it isn’t too far to their local, and as soon as they arrive and swing the door open, Sirius visibly relaxes.

The pub is mostly full when they arrive. A match plays on the telly, but the sound is drowned out by raucous laughter and the chatter from the crowd. But as they push through, Harry spies their corner table, miraculously empty. He catches the bartender’s eye—a wizard named Jeffrey, laying low as the night manager in this muggle pub, and Jeffrey winks. He’s a good man, always saves them a seat. Though Harry much prefers the nights when the pub is empty and it’s just him and Sirius and maybe a handful of regulars. It’s almost peaceful those nights.

He nearly casts a discreet privacy spell to drown out the noise while he’s still sober enough to manage it, but stops short of drawing his wand. Maybe the noise and the crowd will be good for Sirius. Maybe tonight will be better.

“First round’s on me. What’ya having?” Harry asks.

“Whiskey,” Sirius replies. “Always whiskey.”

They drink a few rounds. Sirius asks Harry about work. Asks him about girls. (There are never any girls.) Asks after Ron and Hermione. Goes on a tirade about the Ministry. “Best thing you ever did, not joining up,” he says. He always says this. “You’d have made a great Auror, but it’s shite. The Ministry is shite.”

Then he goes quiet. Sips his whiskey, his fifth—maybe his sixth. Harry’s lost count. His eyes drift off and he mutters something Harry can’t make out over the noise. Harry scoots his chair closer, slides his hand over his godfather’s and squeezes.

“I know you miss him,” Harry says, loud enough to break through the din; soft enough so Sirius can pretend he didn’t hear, if he wants.

But Sirius surprises him. “I do,” he says. His lips pull into a grimace. “But I miss you more.”

I’m right here, Harry wants to say, but Sirius pulls away. He leans back in his chair, scrubs his face with his palm. “Fuck. It’s hot. It’s fucking hot, innit?” He tugs at his t-shirt like he means to take it off and Harry quickly grabs his hands to stop him. He smooths the shirt back down over Sirius’ stomach; he’s just drunk enough to let his hands linger, too sober to quiet his nagging guilt. And Sirius roars out, dislodging his touch.

“Too many goddamn people here. Bloody fuck!”

“Let’s go then. Get some air. We’ve got whiskey at home.”

“Bloody right we do,” Sirius says. And just like that, he’s grinning again, jumping up from his chair, wobbling a little, but ending up mostly upright. “Come on, lazy bugger.”

~

They stumble out into the night. The moon seems brighter, the air crisp and much cooler, but Harry keeps his jacket off, enjoying the breeze against his skin. They manage to make it down the pavement mostly all right, though Harry pulls Sirius back from the curb one or two times. Sirius smiles at him. “Always taking care of me, aren’t ya?”

Harry shrugs. “We take care of each other.”

“Yeah,” Sirius says. “Yeah.” He grabs Harry’s hand; his thumb traces the outline of Harry’s palm. Harry reminds himself to breathe. They’re almost home. Almost. And as soon as they arrive he can pour Sirius into bed before stumbling to his own room, and then this night…this night will be over. It’s been one of the good ones, Harry thinks. Maybe Sirius is feeling better.

“You remember that night in the Astronomy Tower?” Sirius looks up at the sky, gazing into the moon’s light. His thumb still wears a path along Harry’s palm. Harry braces himself.

“What night?”

“Fuck off, you know,” Sirius says. His eyes turn angry as his gaze whips to Harry, but they soften almost immediately. “Oh fuck you, Prongs.” Sirius lets out a laugh—harsh, but somehow still warm, and a little part of Harry enjoys it a little too much. But before he can properly berate himself, Sirius tugs him into an alley. He crowds Harry against the side of a brick building. His grey eyes glint in a sliver of moonlight.

“You’re all grown up now, Prongs. I never got to—”

“Sirius,” Harry says with as much sharpness as his drunk tongue can muster. “I’m Harry, Sirius. Harry. James and Lily’s son.”

“I know that!” Sirius barks. “You just….you look just like…” His voice trails off. Harry squeezes his hand, but Sirius shrugs out of his grip. He takes a couple unsteady steps backward, scrubbing a hand over his eyes.

“What happened?” Harry asks softly. “On the Astronomy Tower?” Harry knows he shouldn’t, but he can’t help himself. Sirius hardly ever talks about his parents anymore. Not after Remus died. It's only on these rare occasions, nights like tonight, when the moon is full and drink has loosened his tongue, that Sirius will let himself slip. And Harry is too starved for these moments—too drunk to stop himself.

Sirius closes his eyes. He pulls his hair away from his face and holds it behind his head. He sighs.

“It was almost a full moon. Moony was too keyed up and took Dreamless to sleep. Fuck knew where Wormtail was. It was just us.” Sirius opens his eyes; his gaze pierces Harry’s breath still in his chest. “You remember. I know you do.”

Harry can’t speak, can’t bring himself to correct Sirius again.

“For once, you weren’t mooning over Lily. For once, all of your attention was on me. I should’ve told you.” Sirius hovers close again, closer than before. He cups Harry’s jaw, thumb sweeping up over his cheekbone. Harry forgets how to breathe.

Sirius’ voice goes quiet and everything is so very still. “I should’ve kissed you.”

“But…Remus?” Harry manages to whisper.

“I love Remus. I’ll always love Remus. But you…you’re the other half of my soul.”

Harry’s heart thuds so loud he’s certain Sirius can hear it, but in the space of a heartbeat, Sirius wraps a hand around Harry’s neck and pulls. There’s no resistance, no fucking way, because Sirius is going to kiss him. It all happens so fast. Sirius’ lips descend and then he’s kissing Harry, kissing the breath from him, like he’s trying to swallow Harry whole.

Stop, you should stop, you should stop. A never-ending drumbeat to the rhythm of his heart, yet when Harry brings his hands to Sirius’ chest to push him away, all he can do is curl his fingers into Sirius’ t-shirt and hang on.

When Sirius pulls away, his eyes are glittering. Harry’s hard and throbbing and Sirius looks down in the sliver of space between them and grins. He shoves Harry’s thighs open with a knee and his hands fumble with Harry's jeans, prying open the button of his fly.

“Fuck, if I’d known you’d be this easy, I’d have done this ages ago,” he teases. A litany of curses run through Harry’s head—he’s going to hell for this—he can’t let Sirius do this—not when he’s so drunk—not when he has no idea—

But Sirius works a hand into Harry’s jeans and beneath his pants; his fingers find Harry’s cock and he wraps his fist around it. And Harry’s lost; he gives in, the voices drowned out in a sea of “Yes.”

And Sirius starts to stroke.

Sirius presses his groin to Harry’s thigh and rocks his hips in time to the whip of his fist. His head drops to Harry’s shoulder, pressing into the nape of Harry’s neck, and stubble rakes against Harry’s skin.

It’s everything Harry could want—it’s nothing like he ever imagined. In the darkness of his room, dick in hand, hidden under the covers, he imagined Sirius would be rough, would bend him over, take him from behind. He imagined Sirius would go slow, inch inside of him until Harry sobbed, begged for more, for anything. This is just a quick hand job in an alley. Dirty, fast, full of grunts and Sirius’ growls. Quick strokes within the confines of Harry’s pants. The hot slide of Sirius’ prick against Harry’s thigh, separated by far too many layers. And as Harry’s breath comes short and heat flashes over his thighs, he knows it’ll be over all too quickly.

But somehow it’s perfect.

Sirius kisses his neck, scrapes his teeth against skin, and Harry can’t hold back; he comes all over Sirius’ hand, the inside of his pants—he even feels a little splash against his belly.

“That’s my boy,” Sirius whispers. He eases himself free from Harry’s pants, yanks on Harry’s hips and starts bucking even faster against him. “Fuck,” he hisses. “Fuck, fuck, fuckfuckfuck.” He presses his face into Harry’s neck and his body seizes up. They both go still for a single breathtaking moment, then Sirius lets out a gasp, harsh and hot against Harry’s skin, and sags limp.

~

Somehow, Harry manages to get his clothes right, everything tucked away and buttoned up. He’s still sticky. He doesn’t trust himself with a wand right now, least of all pointed at his bits. Sirius leans against the brick; he’s pulled a crumpled pack of cigarettes from his jeans, and he takes a drag off one, watching the smoke dissipate into the air with his exhale. Harry swallows back his words, swallows down his questions. They’d all come out in a jumble anyway, and…he’s not really certain he wants the answers.

Two more blocks to their home; two more blocks of silence. Sirius stubs out his fag on the pavement in front of the house. When he stumbles on the stairs leading to the door, Harry steadies him with a hand on his back.

“Always taking care of me, aren’t ya?”

Guilt floods Harry, seeps through his veins, fills his heart and tightens it in a knot. But he manages a breath. He manages a smile. “We take care of each other.”