James stepped outside of the muggle apartment, quietly shutting the door so he didn’t wake Lily. It was turning into a frequent occurrence, waking up to Regulus slipping out the door into the dark, but this was the first night James followed him. The other man turned when he heard the door click, hand moving for a wand he no longer had.
“It’s just me.” He watched as Regulus relaxed at his words, so much like Sirius it was uncanny. He moved to sit next to Reg on the steps. Reg glanced over at him briefly, and then turned his attention skyward once more.
“There’s Sirius.” The voice was soft, but James looked up to where Regulus was pointing. He saw the star, already familiar with it thanks to the boy named for the brightest object in the sky. Then he looked back at the brother sitting next to him, and sighed.
“If you just let me contact him, Reg–” He was cut off with a sharp shake of the head and a quick glare.
“No! You promised. I don’t – I can’t, James. I can’t face him. Not right now. Not yet.” Tears were glistening in his eyes, but the proud Slytherin refused to let them fall. James wrapped an arm around him, and after a tense moment of stiffness Regulus leaned into the embrace. “I don’t want him to hate me.”
James stroked his hair softly, much like he had with Sirius, and sighed softly. “He doesn’t hate you, Reg. He never did. But I promised, so I won’t. Not until you tell me to.”
They were silent for a minute, and then James looked back up at the sky.
“So, where’s Regulus?”