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An Orderly Engagement

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"I'm thinking of proposing to Lily."

Sirius climbed out of the big, downy bed and stretched luxuriously, his muscles tightening and relaxing. Scooping up his knickers from the floor, he said in a casual tone, "Really?" He stood and turned, facing James as he pulled his pants on. "How do her parents feel about that?"

"Bugger her parents!" James sat up and ran an impatient hand through his messy hair. "How do you feel?"

Sirius pretended to consider this as he tugged on his jeans. "Well, I haven't met them. And," he winked before his head disappeared under his shirt and reappeared, his brown hair wild, "you know I'm not much for doing the buggering." He leaned over the bed and kissed James' forehead delicately. "Or hadn't you noticed?" He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled on a pair of socks and a worn-out looking pair of trainers. "I always let you top, don't I?"

James made a frustrated noise and plucked his glasses from the nightstand, shoving them on with a pout. "Be serious for once. Please."

Sirius couldn't get over how adorable James looked in those glasses. He beamed at him and said, "I'm always Sirius, love." His shoes tied and his jacket zipped, he kissed James once more and said, "Now, do remember to throw up the enchantments when you let yourself out, mmm? Our furry friend said you forgot last time."

James made to protest, but Sirius was gone before he could.

Taking the steps two at a time, Sirius whistled softly as he left the building which housed his London flat. He smiled a little at the cherry red beauty waiting for him outside, his girl, his hog. He hopped astride the great beast and revved her, grinning at the purr and tugging on his helmet. That was one of the first things he'd bought last year, when he'd gotten his inheritance money: one perfect, lovely, flashing red 1959 Triumph Bonneville T120 motorbike, in what his distant relation Arthur Weasley had called "beyond working order" when he'd sold it to Sirius. In fact, Mr. Weasley- an Order member, and an all around good guy with a decent-sized brood of redheaded children and a plump, pleasant wife- seemed in a rather hurry to be rid of the bike, which he whisperingly confessed he had "salvaged" from work and fixed up in his shed, unbeknownst to his bonny bride. It was a Muggle artifact, and a beaut, but it had some…modifications. For one thing, it could fly (which pleased Sirius immensely, as he hated Apparating and felt broomsticks were too precarious for long trips). It was also magically enlarged, with a sidecar attachment should he need it. This made it both exceptionally illegal and terrifically delightful, and Sirius had bought it outright the very moment he set eyes on it.

Sirius goaded the bike into traffic. He enjoyed driving in London, though he suspected that even amongst Muggles, that was a rare joy. He liked the mad traffic, and the tight squeezes, and the big red buses that dwarfed his little darling and sent his hair dancing as they rode past. As he rode, the wind tugging at his jacket, he contemplated James' query and found himself thinking, instead, of the events of the last year.

The Order of the Pheonix, that delightful brood…he couldn't imagine what his life would be like without them. The work he did was enjoyable and meaningful in a world that was slowly coming apart at the seams. Mostly, Dumbledore had Sirius transporting Muggleborns and their families out of the country, to safe houses in Ireland, France and Spain...even America! The transcontinental flights were quick work on the bike, and he liked transporting the kids, though he wasn't always fond of their parents. It surprised Sirius to find that he was really quite good with kids, and he often found himself wishing he had one of his own…though how that could ever be possible, he couldn't imagine.

He flicked his signal and drifted into the left lane. A young man, dark haired and thin as Sirius' brother, gave his bike an appreciative look from the sidewalk, and Sirius' heart hurt for just a moment. After his father had died, on the day of his graduation, Sirius had had one last conversation with his brother. It didn't go well; it was more of shouting match than anything else, and they'd parted ways with more enmity for each other than ever. Three weeks later, Dumbledore informed Sirius that he had disappeared. Regulus, you fool…Sirius cleared his throat, swung the bike around a sharp corner, and willed himself to think of anything else.

James, it always came back to that. The last year with James had been…indescribable. They had spent the month after school was over in a makeshift tent in the woods, learning every dip and hollow of the other's body. The sex was…there were no words for it. Unreal, mind-blowing…Sirius didn't have a vocabulary profound enough to put terms to it. But it was good, that was certain. James was a very caring lover. When Sirius got his own flat, James often wound up there, tangled in his sheets, and Sirius couldn't pretend he minded. And after James and Lily had moved in together, there seemed to be an unspoken rule: In Sirius' apartment, they were lovers. Outside of those walls, they were merely the best of friends. It wasn't exactly an optimal situation, but Sirius couldn't bear to imagine the alternative, and so he went along with it as smilingly as he could manage.

There it is. Burgundy shutters. Hideous mint green siding. Can't miss it. Sirius shook his head, laughing a little, and eased the bike up to the curb. Cutting her off, he sat for a moment, tugging off the helmet and shaking out his hair. Things had turned out pretty okay, hadn't they? Lily was his friend again, as much as she ever would be. Being in the Order meant he had reason to run into all of his friends, even ever-distant Peter, who seemed to be evolving, fashion-wise, into something of a punk, to everyone's great amusement. Sirius swing off the bike and stretched his legs. Sure, things had turned out okay. For now.

The job done and the trip over, Sirius jogged up the steps to his flat and waved away the Muggle-repelling charms and simple protection spells that guarded his home. Upon entering, he tossed them back up again effortlessly and hung his helmet on a hook near the door, yawning. The house was quiet; Moony must have been out. Good, Sirius thought, rubbing his eyes. He was spent.

Entering the living room, he stopped and grimaced. There was a distinct squeaking coming from Remus' room, accompanied by panting and the occasional small gasp. Trying his best to ignore it, Sirius went into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water.

"Oh! Oh, oh, yes!" called a female voice from Remus' bedroom, and Sirius rolled his eyes. When he had agreed to let a room to Remus, his friend was an insufferably bookish virgin. Unfortunately for Sirius, a certain married Auror had changed all that some months back. The squeaking grew more rapid, and now a male groaning joined the cacophony. Sirius gulped his water down and made a face as the woman gasped: "Ooooooh, Remus, yes yes oh ruddy hell yes!" There was a deep growl, a groan, and long and distinctly female moan…then silence. Before Sirius could manage to wash his glass and sneak off to his room, Remus' door was swinging open.

"Oh, back already?" Remus was wearing nothing but a towel wrapped about his waist, his chest white and trailed with small, pale scars. He gave Sirius a wry smile and a small, half-hearted shrug. "Hand me a couple of glasses, would you?"

Sirius did. The good thing about having Remus as a flatmate was that both of them were willing to overlook each others' indiscretions. Sirius knew that Remus was boffing Alice Longbottom, and Remus knew that Sirius and James had it off behind closed doors on a fairly regular basis, but thankfully for both parties, these were things both roommates were willing to ignore. Remus filled the glasses with cold tea and made his way back to his room. Turning at the door, he said, "Oh, and would you talk to James? When I got home, the Muggle repellants were up, but the protection spells weren't. Most agitating."

"Come back to bed, pet," called Alice, and Remus colored slightly before obeying, his door clicking quietly closed behind him.

Sirius quickly followed suit, heading to his own room and softly shutting the door.