As soon as they had reached Hogwarts, the train slowed to a stop and James, who had been holding Sirius up for the very long seven hours, started to shake his brother awake gently. The last thing James wanted was to scare Sirius. He watched as Sirius's eyes snapped open, at first he looked scared and confused but James just ran his hands through Sirius's hair and said, "It's ok. We're at Hogwarts now, you're safe. I won't let anything happen to you, promise." Sirius visibly relaxed and nodded his head.
"Come on Pads." James chuckled as he pushed Sirius up and tried to stand up himself. Damn my legs feel like jelly. A look of guilt flashed over Sirius's face as James tried to stand up but failed, however it was quickly replaced by one of mischief as he said, "Merlin Prongs, did you age 50 years in 7 hours?"
James shook his head at this and grumbled, "Maybe I wouldn't have so much trouble if your lazy ass didn't weigh so much." Sirius's face broke out into a grin and he helped James to his feet.
"Let's go Prongs! We can't miss the feast!" He waved his arms around dramatically and James couldn't help but laugh a little, ok maybe a lot, but a thought dawned upon James in that moment. It was slightly unpleasant but there was a war going on and he couldn't help himself; James knew that a world without Sirius Black was a world he did not want to be in. James promised himself that he would protect Sirius to the best of his ability and keep him from any harm, no matter the cost.
He grinned at the mad boy and let himself be dragged along to the carriages, Peter and Remus were already there waiting for them. James realised that he had no idea what either of his other friends had been doing, even though this made him feel extremely guilty, he reassured himself that they understand; Sirius needed me and they know I would do the same for them.
Regulus Black was sat in a carriage with his Slytherin housemates, hardly his friends, acquaintances was the word he settled for, he glanced back to see his older brother dragging James Potter by the arm to meet their other friends; the tolerable werewolf, Remus Lupin and the little rat-ish boy, Peter Pettigrew. Pettigrew set Regulus on edge and he had no idea why. The younger Black felt a surge of jealousy watching the group, he hated how the Potter boy was a better brother to Sirius than he was, the thing that hurt Regulus the most was that he knew that when the day came, Sirius would choose James over his little brother.
He sighed and willed himself to turn back to his housemates, acquaintances, he reminded himself, but he found that he could not turn away. He found his eyes lingering on the Potter boy, his dishevelled raven hair, his bronzed skin that was almost gleaming in the dim light, his kind hazel eyes that Regulus could stare into for years, the way his grin lit up the-
Regulus stopped himself. No. Potter is a boy, as am I. Wrong. The word rang out inside his head. Anyway, he is on the other side of this. He is off limits, Regulus reminded himself of the facts and tore his eyes away from James, but he let himself stare at the group; how they laughed so carelessly, the way they sat next to each other so closely and freely. A part of Regulus ached knowing that he would never have that kind of trust or love in his life.
Even his own brother wanted to be without him. Regulus Black spent the entire carriage ride staring at his older brother with his 3 best friends wishing more than anything that he could be there with them.
During the sorting of the first years, which was tedious if you weren't a first year, Sirius couldn't help but stare at Regulus. He didn't tear his eyes away from his younger brother's face for the whole duration of the sorting; not when James started cracking jokes, not when Peter nudged him from across the table to get his attention or even when Remus reached over the table and squeezed his hand. Sirius barely remembered anything in form of conversation between the other boys, he only remembered seeing his brother look so tired and so sad.
Where did we go wrong?
Sirius couldn't resist the thought any longer. He had gone over and over their years together trying to find a moment, a turning point, just anything that could show him how he and his brother had grown so distant. He didn't understand how nights spent sneaking into each other's rooms to sleep in one bed had turned into tight smiles from across the dinner table, or how their love for each other had dwindled and burnt out into a hollow space in each brother's life. Sirius had no idea when he had really lost Regulus and he wasn't sure he would ever know. And even though he had James and Remus and Peter, he still wanted Reg.
I'll fix it later. He thought, best give Reg some time.
Sirius would only come to find out years later just how wrong he had been.
After what had felt like hours, the sorting was over and mounds of food had appeared in front of the students. Marlene smiled and wasted no time in heaping food onto her plate and shoving it into her mouth. Half way through chewing some potatoes, she looked up and saw Dorcas smirking at her. Marlene hurriedly swallowed her food and choked out a, "What?"
To which Dorcas raised her eyebrows and whispered, so only the Marauderettes could hear, "You're so beautiful, but you eat like a pig." Lily and Mary burst into a fit of giggles. Marlene rolled her eyes and continued to shovel food down her gullet, she turned to her right and spotted the Marauders a few seats down. Remus was stuffing his face with all the food, as was Peter, James was telling them all a joke with his mouth half full and Sirius just confused her. He wasn't really laughing and surprisingly he wasn't stuffing his face, instead he was staring at Remus, the corners of his mouth upturned ever so slightly.
Godric, he has it bad. She smirked and turned back around to face Dorcas who was still staring a her, but this time she was gazing at Marlene as if there was no one else in the room. Marlene had promised herself that morning whilst she was getting ready that she wouldn't fall and embarrass herself in front of Dorcas like she usually did. Marlene McKinnon did fall that night, just not in the way she thought she would.
Remus had been practically drooling over Sirius since they sat down next to each other in the carriage and Sirius's hand had accidentally brushed over his thigh. He was disgusted with himself, of course Sirius would never like him back, he had never even entertained the idea. It was easier that way, at least Remus thought it was. Remus knew he liked boys and not girls since 3rd year when all the boys were talking about girls. He had felt nothing of the feelings other boys felt towards girls, instead he felt those feelings for boys. It was hard to get his head around it at first but he knew it was hopeless. Being gay was frowned upon and Remus had enough of that from being a werewolf and didn't want anymore.
To make matters even more complicated Remus had a crush on one of his best friends. And of course it had to be Sirius. Sirius fucking Black with his leather jackets and his cigarettes and his perfect hair and his silver eyes and that stupid grin. If only Sirius knew what he did to Remus with that stupid, idiotic, gorgeous grin. Remus took a breath in and forced his eyes away from Sirius. He pretended to listen James ramble on about Quidditch and how he was sure he would be made Captain next year. Remus had noticed that James hadn't mentioned Lily yet, which was quite unusual but then again so was James. Remus thanked Merlin that they weren't hearing about her green eyes and her red hair.
Evie McGrath was sat at the Ravenclaw table with her friends Benjy Fenwick and Emmeline Vance. They were breathless with laughter over Benjy's attempt of catching an olive in his mouth; it had flown over his head and somehow managed to hit Lucius Malfoy at the Slytherin table. After what could have been hours of uncontrollable fits of giggles and cold glares from Malfoy and his lot, the trio calmed themselves enough to carry on eating whilst occasionally falling into another burst of laughter. Evie looked up from her plate and saw that Em and Benjy had started giggling again. She smiled and glanced back to the Slytherin tale where Lucius and his gang of minions were staring at them.
A dark haired boy with a pale face and beautiful grey-blue eyes caught her attention. Evie furrowed her brows as she tried to place the boy.
The name came to her as she remembered Charms, History of Magic and Potions with the Slytherins last year. She remembered him as quiet and reserved, quite the opposite to Sirius Black who was loud and bashful. The Marauders and always been kind to the trio of Ravenclaws after Remus had befriended them to get away from the crazy every now and again. She didn't blame him at all and he was welcomed openly whenever he asked to study with them or spend lunch with them. Of course Evie knew he was a werewolf, she'd know since her second year, mainly because she wasn't stupid but also neither James, Peter or Sirius (especially not Sirius) were very subtle. They literally called him Moony.
They had snuck into the Gryffindor common room many a time to hang around with the boys and had snuck them into the Ravenclaw common room many times too. She thought back to Regulus and any conversations they may have shared. Evie thought they sat next to each other during Defense whilst they were first years, but other than that she couldn't really think of any other interactions between them.
The Ravenclaw decided that she would make an effort to become friends with him as she quite liked the way he came across, she loved the Marauders, even when they were acting like little children and was curious to get to know Sirius's brother. Regulus did seem kind, but the type of kind you had to earn and draw out. Luckily for Regulus, Evie was patient and once she had set her mind to something, there was pretty much no going back.