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With Great Power

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"Sirius!" James' voice echoed up the stairs. The sound caused Sirius to catapult out of bed and scramble furiously to hide what he had been reading. Under his pillow seemed as good of a place as any. Of course he didn't quite manage it quickly enough. Before they were completely out of sight, James was stood in the doorway looking at him with an amused smirk. "Oh, sorry mate, were you going to have a wank?" His question accompanied with an inappropriate - or appropriate given the topic of conversation, Sirius supposed - hand gesture.

"No!" Sirius protested. He took a step away from the evidence and his bed, towards his friend. "What do you want anyway?" Clearly something in his expression or tone didn't convince James as the nosy git darted past him the moment Sirius left enough of a gap. The brightly coloured pages Sirius hadn't quite managed to stow away were snatched up by James like a Seeker finally in possession of a Snitch.

"Not like you to be embarrassed about it. I could do with some new material anyway. Lily's not even looking in my direction at the moment."

"She never looks in your direction favourably. Besides, that's not what they are. Don't bend them!" Sirius attempted to pry the magazines from James' tight-fisted grasp. If left with James any longer they were sure to get ruined with his grubby fingerprints and careless attitude towards possessions.

"What are these?" James looked down and got a better view of the pages in his hands and placed a hand on Sirius chest to hold him back. Frustrated, Sirius jerked James' arm out of his way and reached forwards again to pluck them deftly from his friend. "Is this what you wank over? That guy's green! Merlin's beard!"

Certain James' protests could be heard down in the common room, Sirius shushed the other boy. The last thing he wanted, were more people party to the conversation. James alone is bad enough.

"They aren't wank mags, you prat! Give 'em back! I haven't finished that one yet." It had been difficult enough finding a way to get them all delivered to Hogwarts as it was without having to try and get replacements sent out. Luckily, James hadn't done enough damage to them to require a Reparo, Sirius noted when he got his hands back on them. He still ran his fingers over them to smooth out any creases that may have appeared as he settled back on the bed: one leg tucked under him the other foot resting on the floor.

"What are they then?" James may have relinquished them from his possession, but that certainly didn't stop him from hanging over Sirius' shoulder to get a proper look at them now. Sirius had put all but one down on the bed, and that was the one he was now thumbing through. What to tell James that didn't make him look like a kid? "Are they Muggle? They aren't moving."

"Yes, they're Muggle things: comic books. I've got a bunch of them."

"But what do they do? Have you got any I could give to Lily? I bet she misses Muggle things when she isn't at home."

"Do? You read them. They're stories, just like what Moony reads, only they're picture based instead. Why does everything have to link back to Lily with you? I doubt Evans would want them and if she did that family of hers can easily get them for her. These are mine. Not something for you to use to get into a girl's knickers!"

"Ok, ok. Fine, I won't give them to Lils."

"Don't let her hear you call her that."

"Are you sure these are Muggle things? I mean green men? This guy has claws!"

Sirius had to hand it to James; the content was a bit out of the ordinary for non-magical beings. A lot of what they were calling science did not seem possible without the aid of magic, but he hadn't even considered that they might not have been written by Muggles when he had first started reading about their crazy adventures. It had been years ago now, before he had left the horrors of Grimmauld Place for the sanctuary of Hogwarts. One day, he'd sneaked out when his mother had been otherwise engaged with his cousins and had wandered around Muggle London until he had found a shop that captured his interest. Lots of colourful magazine had filled the shelves and he had been fascinated by the lack of movement in the images. He'd stolen one. Taken it home and read it. It hadn't made too much sense at the time, starting reading in the middle of a story arc wasn't what he was used to with books and their beginning, middle and end all contained within the pages of one volume. So he'd never thought about Muggles and their comfort with dealing with magic back then, just thought maybe it was Muggles version of things they couldn’t explain.

"If they're made by wizards, then they're specifically sold by Muggles and not us. And for the record, if I was going to wank over these - which I wouldn't, I have Remus for that - it would be over him." Sirius leant forwards, snagged one of the other comics and flicked through it for a moment before pointing to a rather muscular blond man.

"Well he looks nothing like Remus. Although, he is a lot better than the other one."

Sirius felt his face heat as he blushed. "Why should he look like Remus? Can't I have a fantasy guy as well as a boyfriend?"

"I suppose, but I mean," James flicked through the comic until he found what he wanted, "if I was going to wank over anyone in these things it would be her."

"A redhead. Of course."

"I have a type. Can't help it."

"Yeah, well, you're still not supposed to wank over them."

"What are they for then? People who haven't quite mastered how to read yet?" James asked with a grin.

"Oh, ha ha. I can read perfectly well thank you very much, Prongs." Sirius gave James a shove so he was no longer leaning on him. "No, it's like I said, just like Remus' books only it's a bunch of good guys with powers saving the world and not some sappy shit of forbidden love that Remus likes to sink his fangs into. Muggles, but with superpowers."

"Superpowers?"

"They're like specific branches of magic I guess. The people with them can only really do one spell. It's not like with us, they aren't always born with their power. Some don't even have anything special other than a lot of money. Still help people though. Unlike my family who... Never mind. It's just nice to see the good in people sometimes, you know?"

"I understand." James knew as well as Sirius did that there people out there were killing in the name of blood purity. Even if Sirius' family weren’t actively doing it, they didn't condemn the perpetrators either. Somehow the fact that Muggles were dreaming up people with powers to fight their normal battles for them made it even worse to Sirius. The people they created would surely be able to protect them, but they didn't exist. They were alone and if people like Dumbledore didn't stand in and stop them, the Muggles would be killed in cold blood soon enough by people they hadn’t even imagined existed. The thought was sobering. "Butterbeer? That's why I came up here. Peter and Remus want to pop to Hogsmeade for a drink."

"What? Oh, yeah. Sounds good." Sirius looked down at the comic before sighing and placing them away in his trunk. "While we still can, right?"