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Like a Phoenix from the Ashes (so are the Days of Sirius' life)

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After Sirius came back through the veil, the first thing he did was sell 12 Grimmauld Place. Well, the very first thing he did was give Cornelius Fudge the two-fingered salute. Then he had a bath and a lie-down, and after that, he sold Grimmauld Place.

The sale had been quite profitable. Sirius had not expected it to sell so quickly; he hadn't figured many people would be keen on a mouldy old mausoleum with stuffed House-elf heads and screaming portraits on the walls. But he'd found someone -- two someones, as a matter of fact -- proving once and for all there is no accounting for taste.

Messrs. Crowley and Fell had been odd sorts. Sirius had thought they smiled too much, but they'd been nice enough, and Sirius had rather liked Mr. Crowley's leather jacket. They hadn't tried to haggle with Sirius over the poltergeist in the fourth floor bathroom, and most importantly, they'd paid up front and in full.

They'd paid a good amount for it too, which Sirius used to buy a nice, well-lit and summery house in Shropshire. There'd also been a tidy sum left over, enough that Sirius didn't have to worry about finding a job. Sirius wouldn't mind working, but twelve-year prison sentences and spontaneous, unexplained resurrections were not quite what most employers looked for in a new hire.

The new house had plenty of space; a bedroom for Sirius, one for Harry, plus an extra for when Remus came to visit. The kitchen, dining room and sitting room were lovely, there was a library, and everything was spread out enough that when Sirius was in his room, he couldn't hear Harry shagging Malfoy in his. Which was good, because he didn't want to think about that.

The only problem with the house was the fireplace. Or rather, what was on the fireplace.

About a week after Sirius and Harry moved in, Dumbledore came through the floo with two large lumps in his robes and a disturbingly suspicious look on his face. He'd insisted everyone have a drink, as well as a couple of sherbet lemons (which Sirius was now sure had been drugged), then he'd made a confession.

Turned out, the graves James and Lily had been buried in were, in fact, empty. Dumbledore had removed their bodies himself shortly after the services, afraid some of Voldemort's followers would try and use their remains for nefarious purposes.

Of course, Hogwarts was not exactly the kind of place one stashed dead bodies (well, since the war, anyway), so Dumbledore'd had them cremated. He'd put them in matching urns, placed the urns on a bookshelf between his pensieve and his astrolabe, and had twinkled about the school for the next seventeen years as if there was nothing out of the ordinary in his office.

Well, aside from him.

He'd given James and Lily to Harry and Sirius that night, saying he thought they would rather be with family and friends. Harry had been quite understanding about the whole thing, once he'd stopped screeching about manipulative old bastards who'd let him lose sleep in front of a bloody mirror when his parents had been in his office the whole time. The urns made Sirius a little uncomfortable, but Harry had seemed to want them, so Sirius had put them on either end of the mantle and had tried to forget about it.

Only, it hadn't worked like that. He couldn't forget about them, even though they had now been in the house for over a month.

He was painfully aware of James and Lily. Sirius' eyes darted to the mantle as soon as he walked in the room, and he peeked through the sitting room door every time he passed it in the hall. He could feel them, watching and waiting, and he fancied he could almost hear them, like that stupid Muggle story Remus made him read about the heart that kept beating under the floor.

Only, Remus had said the heartbeat was a metaphor for that bloke's guilt, and that didn't make any sense. First off, that Poe fellow had been a right Squib (and everyone knew Squibs were barking) and also, Sirius didn't have anything to be guilty about.

All right, maybe he did, but it wasn't really his fault.

He knew he shouldn't think about James when he wanked, because it did make him seem a bit off, what with James having been dead seventeen years, and James' son living on the other side of the house. Of course, James' son spent most of his free time buggering Malfoy, and if Sirius had to pick, he'd much rather wank over the dead.

Lesser of two evils, and that.

And it wasn't his fault, really. He was lonely, was all. It had been a long twelve years in Azkaban and a long two years behind the Veil (which had felt like twelve, all things considered). And Remus was no use at all, the opportunistic bastard. As soon as those blasted drapes had stopped swaying behind Sirius' body, Remus had taken up with Tonks.

Sirius didn't want Remus, anyway. He wanted James, and it didn't help that Harry spent all day running around the house half-naked looking exactly like him. He missed James, and James was in a bloody urn over the fireplace.

James was gold, and looked a bit like a cauldron with handles, except that he had a lid. His name and years were etched across him, over some intricate vinework that wrapped around his surface. He was polished to a shine, and the firelight reflected off of him, dancing bright and yellow in the corner of Sirius' eye.

He turned the page of his book, and tried not to look at the mantle. He needed a bloody drink, but the Firewhiskey was in the kitchen, and judging by the sound of probably-Malfoy being slammed rhythmically into the wall, now was not the time to go in there.

Actually, he wanted a drink. He needed a wank. He'd needed a wank since this morning, when he was interrupted in the shower by Remus coming through the upstairs floo to invite himself over for breakfast. His hard-on had stuck around for most of the meal, until Remus had started talking about how Tonks wanted to have a baby. That had put Sirius off just about everything (even the blueberry scones), because really, no good could come from a werewolf knocking up a metamorphmagus.

Sirius' cock was back at it, harder than it had been before, and it seemed to thrum in time with Harry pounding Malfoy into the wall. It was starting to ache, straining against his trousers, and there was nothing he could do about it. Crossing his legs only made it hurt, and covering his lap with the book only gave it something to seek friction against.

He thought maybe he should go back upstairs and have another shower. A nice, long one, where he could stroke himself under the spray of the water. Only this time, he would close the bloody floo so Remus couldn't tumble in to his room halfway through and make himself to home.

There was a particularly loud thump, followed by the clatter of pots and pans tumbling to their death from the top of the sideboard. It startled Sirius, causing him to jump out of his chair, shouting when the book slid off his lap and onto his foot.

"Sirius!"

He jumped again, his eyes darting nervously to the mantle before he realised it was Harry. Harry did that sometimes, which was bothersome, but Sirius figured if Malfoy didn't mind, it wasn't his place to complain.

It was a shame Malfoy didn't mind, really, because if he did he'd quit coming around, and that would solve a lot of problems, including the one in Sirius' pants.

There was another thump, and another banshee-like wail of his name, which he knew was Harry, because of the rather high-pitched shriek of 'Potter' that followed it. But Sirius' eyes drifted back toward the mantle, lingering on James' urn. He shut the sitting room door with a wave of his wand, walked over to the fireplace, and leaned close.

"James?" Sirius whispered.

He felt ridiculous immediately, because it was not like James was going to answer. James was not even James -- he was three and a half cups of ashes inside a fancy gold pot.

Yet, he couldn't quite stop himself from lifting off the lid and peering inside.

"James?"

The ashes stirred when Sirius' breath wisped inside the urn, but there was still no answer. Not that this was a surprise, because James was dead. Very, very dead.

Sirius pinched the bridge of his nose with one hand and tried to regroup, which was a mistake, really, because his other hand, suddenly weighed down with a solid gold urn, sagged low, and James rubbed right over his cock. Sirius jerked James upward, jolted by the rush of sensation that spiraled through his body, and James rubbed again his cock again.

He moaned quietly, then froze, his free hand flying up to cover his mouth. He glanced down at James with wide, grey eyes, unable to comprehend what he had just done. There was no question about it, he was more than a bit off, because missing James was one thing, but this was not on.

But his cock had ideas of its own, it didn't care what Sirius thought in the least. It strained, pushing against his flies, as if trying to touch James again. It managed it, brushing across James just slightly, but that was enough to make Sirius' hips jerk forward, grinding his cock into James long and hard.

This was wrong. Merlin in a teacosy, this was wrong, but Sirius' cock didn't care, and as his hips rocked forward into James again, sending a shower of sparks through his body, Sirius wasn't sure he cared, either.

He missed James, he really did, and no one would know. The only other person in the house was Harry, and Harry was a little busy at the moment, and it's not like James was going to tell anyone.

Sirius took a hold of James with both hands, fingers curled tight around his handles, and rocked his hips forward. James was a bit stiff, but Sirius didn't care, because he was James, and the idea alone made it felt really, really good.

He stopped rocking and started rubbing, holding James tight against him and moving him up and down hard and fast. He could feel his release building low in his belly, feel his body reaching for it, and while the firm press of James against him was brilliant, it wasn't quite enough.

Sirius let go of James with one hand and pulled desperately at his flies, hissing when his fingers closed around his cock. He stroked himself hard and fast, his thumb swirling over the head, imagining James on his knees in front of him like it used to be in school.

He pictured James' lips sliding over his cock as he stroked down his length and he came, his cock twitching wildly in his hand, his wrist knocking James' lid off as he spurted over his fingers and into the fucking urn.

"Shit!"

He stared down at himself for a long moment, unable to think, unable to breath. When he finally wrapped his head around the situation he grabbed his wand, casting a cleansing charm on himself and the outside of the urn. He didn't want to try and muck around with mess inside, so he replaced James' lid, polished him up as best he could with his shirt, and decided to just put James back on the mantle and pretend this never happened.

Only he couldn't. As soon as he had the door open, he heard a curious noise. It was a strange kind of rattling, and it sounded like it was coming from the fireplace.

He turned back and froze, watching as James teetered precariously on the mantle, his lid dancing about furiously. He hurried back to the fireplace and pulled James down, setting him on the floor, because the last thing he needed was James toppling off and breaking wide open.

James continued to shake, wobbling back and forth, and then he did break, splitting into quarters like a melon, the fact that he was solid gold be damned. The pile of ashes in the centre began to shift and swirl, eddying like a whirpool, and Sirius watched in horror as something started to sprout out of them.

Sirius screamed.

It was a girl. She was about twenty years old, and completely starkers. Her hair was red, black and gold and once, and fell to her to her waist in charming curls. She had fabulous breasts and a perfect, heart-shaped face, and upon closer inspection, her eyes seemed to change colour with the shift of the light, blue and lavender and green.

"Bloody Hell!"

That was Harry, who was now standing in the doorway. He was sweaty and half-naked, and had a love bite on his neck the size of one of the smaller Orkneys. Malfoy was behind him, peering curiously over his shoulder and holding his trousers up with on hand.

"Who is shit is that?" Harry demanded.

It's your sister. Kind of, Sirius thought hysterically. "No one," he said.

"And why is she standing on Dad?"

You don't want to know. "Well, um." Really, you don't.

"How did she get here?"

"She just, kind of... came through the floo."

Harry made a funny, strangled noise, but Sirius ignored him, and turned his attention back to the girl. Who was still naked.

The girl smiled at him, her pink lips curving perfectly. The air around her seemed to crackle with magic, and just watching her stand there and breathe was making his cock hard again.

Somewhere, birds were singing.

"What's your name?" Sirius managed.

"What would you like it to be?"

Her voice was beautiful, a sexy purr and tinkling of bells all at once. Sirius smiled, and took her by the hand.

"Let's go upstairs." Sirius said to her. "I have something to show you."

Harry squawked and Malfoy snorted, but Sirius brushed passed them and led her out the door. Remus thought he had it good, getting a different face every night. Variety was fine, but this girl was something else.

Sirius was willing to wager she'd be the best lay in Wizarding Britain.