If you recognize it, I don’t own it. It belongs to the fabulous JKR who is so
nice to let us play in her world. If you don’t recognize it, chances are I
might own it, or I barrowed from someone else. Sincere thanks to Robin for
letting my use Sirius’s fighting stance from her stories.
Standing at the edge of
the alley, the young Auror could just see his target. Or at least the shadow of
his target, but that was good enough at that moment. He knew that as long as he
could see the shadow he couldn’t be surprised, affording him a small measure of
relief. The shadow moved, heading for the open space between two buildings. The
Auror was ready for him, waiting for
the right moment. And there it was. The other wizard moved into the open.
But the spell hit a
shield; the wizard made it to safety once more. Frustrated, the Auror turned
away from the opening of the alley –his opponent had a target area now. When he
looked back out he saw the shadow again, closer this time and with his wand
raised. The Auror stepped out from his hiding spot, filled with elation at his
impending victory, when…
Suddenly the Auror was
set upon by a flock of small, twittering birds. He was so intent on seeing
though the birds that he didn’t hear the slight pop behind him. He just managed to clear the birds when he
heard a voice.
The Auror’s legs snapped
together; he fell helplessly to the ground as his attacker Disapparated.
It was a few moments
before he was composed enough to perform the countercurse and free himself.
Once that was done he Apparated out of the simulation room and into the locker
room to pick up his belongings. Afterward he Apparated to his home, tired and
resentful over not being able to best James Potter.
An owl waited for Sirius.
“Hullo, Thea. What does Moony need now?” Dropping his bag and Auror robe in a
chair, Sirius reached for the note.
work wasn’t too stressful. If you haven’t managed to get yourself a date for
this evening, stop by the Bull’s Head around eight, the others will be there.
“Remus, why do you always pick
Muggle establishments?” Sirius asked himself. “They never have any good drinks.
At least the Bull’s Head is relatively close, though.”
Sirius set about making himself
some dinner and tossed a few treats to Thea.
It was a few minutes before
eight when Sirius pulled up to the Bull’s Head and propped his motorbike in the
alley between two of the buildings. He then made his way inside and to the bar.
He had just ordered a Theakstons Bitter when he saw Remus and Peter in a corner.
He paid for his ale and made his way over.
“Glad to see you could make it.
Dressed in leather–let me guess–the bike is outside?”
“Good evening to you too.
Evening, Peter, how was your day?”
“Okay. Mum is still after me to
find a job. She still complains about my getting only four NEWTs.”
“Not everyone can be as smart and
good looking as Sirius here. A good evening to you fine gentlemen.” James slid
into the fourth seat at the table. “So, did I miss anything? Saw your bike
Sirius growled at James. “What
does everyone have against my bike? At least I have a mode of transportation.”
He took a drink of his ale; his hair flipped away from his forehead.
“My God, Sirius, what did you
have a fight with?”
“Remus, what are you talking
“You have a couple of small
gashes on your forehead. Obviously they didn’t bleed too much if you don’t know
Sirius reached up and sure
enough felt the tell tale signs of cuts. “James, you prat, this is all your
“How do you figure?”
“You cast that stupid spell and
made me fall on the ground.”
Remus, trying to ignore the
snickers coming from his other side, cast a quizzical look at James who did his
best to ignore it and took a drink from his own glass. “When will they send the
two of you out together so you’re on the same side?”
“I don’t know. And Sirius, if
you weren’t such an easy target, you wouldn’t have ended up on the sidewalk.”
The four friends sat talking and
drinking for a while. Every now and again Remus would look over James’s
shoulder with an odd smile on his face.
“Moony, would you care to
enlighten us as to why you have such a stupid grin on your face?”
“No, I don’t think I will.”
Sirius rolled his eyes at his
friend and went back to the conversation. After another half-hour of this
look-and-smile business Sirius leaned across the table to see what Remus was
looking at. When he looked over James’s shoulder a young woman standing at the
bar quickly turned away.
“So,” exclaimed Sirius sitting
back down, “which of us was she staring at?”
“Well, I could be wrong, but you
“Then you will have to excuse
me.” Sirius downed the rest of his drink and stood, making his way slowly
through the tables. He finally reached the bar and took an empty spot near the
end, pretending to look over the list of drinks.
“The Bitter isn’t bad, though
I’ve had better.”
Sirius glanced to his left,
toward the voice. Standing at his elbow was the young woman who had been
watching him. At first he thought she had mossy brown hair, but upon closer
inspection he saw that it was shot through with copper. She came to just above
his shoulder, which surprised him. Standing at six feet himself, most women
barely came up to his shoulder.
It was her eyes that really drew
him in. They were amber and seemed to be alive. He was so struck by them it
took a moment to realize she was talking.
“My name is Manhattan.” She held
her hand out to him.
“S–Sirius. Do you come
here often? I don’t recall seeing you around before.”
“Once in a while I make it out here.”
The bartender come over to see
if they wanted anything to drink and Sirius stayed at the bar talking with
Manhattan; he didn’t realize how late it had gotten until James stopped by
“Well, have fun pal. See you at
“Blimey, has it really gotten
that late? Miss Manhattan, it’s been a pleasure. We’ll have to meet again some
time.” Sirius kissed her hand in a grand manner before following his friends
outside. “So, does anyone want a ride home? It’s safe, I swear.”
“Do you solemnly swear?”
“Now James, you know those two
words only go together on certain occasions. No takers? All right, then.”
Sirius got on his bike and sped off down the road. One of these days, he’d
manage to get it to fly.
Later that week Sirius again
found himself in an alley, only this time he was being hunted and didn’t know
his opponent’s whereabouts. He quickly took stock of his surroundings: an
escape ladder led to the roof of a nearby building and he thought he’d see if
there was an advantage to be gained by climbing to the top.
Once there he could see the
layout better, but there was still no sign of his opponent. Sirius was looking
over the side when he caught movement to the right and ducked just as a jet of
red light whizzed though the space he had just occupied.
He quickly made his way back to
the ladder. As he got close to the ladder his intuition kicked in; Sirius
peered over the side and saw his adversary waiting for him at the bottom.
He ran silently to the other
side of the building and vaulted over the low roof wall. Sirius made his safe
descent to the ground with the help of a quick Cushioning Charm. Upon landing
he quickly took stock of his surroundings. Looking up he saw his adversary on
the roof; quickly yet quietly he left the alley.
The street he found himself in
was mostly open, but that didn’t disconcert Sirius. He quickly made for a
parked car on the other side just down the road. As he neared the car he heard
the telltale pop of someone Apparating into the vicinity. Sirius took a leap for
cover and rolled, coming out on the other side in a crouch with his wand at the
His adversary stood there,
facing the other way.
Before his foe had a chance to
react, Sirius held his own wand in his right hand and his adversary’s in his
left; both were pointed at his target.
James turned around, hands
raised in defeat. “Nice job, Padfoot. Erm… might I have my wand back? You look
extremely threatening in that pose.”
“I don’t know. You did leave me
in a compromising position last time.”
“Yes, but you had a wand; at
this point, I don’t.”
“Such a shame, too. Well,
goodbye.” Sirius flashed a devilish grin before Disapparating, dropping James’s
wand at the last second.
“Oi, Black. You coming for
dinner tonight? Lily’s coming over and I know Mum would be happy to see you
“Yeah, I’ll be there. 7:30,
“Yeah,” James confirmed,
entering his and Sirius’s cubicle. “You really should do something with your
half of the cubicle. It’s kind of bland.” Flicking his wand slightly he
transformed the gray walls on Sirius’s side into a rainbow of color. James’s
side was already full of pictures from their days at Hogwarts and various other
“When I want to decorate, I’ll
do it myself,” said Sirius with mock outrage as he charmed the walls back to
normal. “Now get out so I can get some work done. Don’t you have work of your
“Sure, but if you’re kicking me
out, how can I do it?” James plopped down into his chair. “It’s a shame there’s
so much paperwork to do in training. But I hear it doesn’t get any better once
you’re actually in.”
“Don’t make me have to cast a
Silencing Charm on you again.”
“Ho, very funny.” James started
his own work.
“Mum, I’m here.”
“Mum, I’m here too.”
Mrs. Potter came into the entrance
hall as James and Sirius were taking off their Auror robes. “James, you’re
early. Sirius, what a pleasant surprise.” She had a warm hug for both of them.
“Why don’t you join me in the kitchen while I finish getting dinner ready. Your
father should be home any time now. When is Lily arriving?”
“I told her diner was at 7:30.”
James sat at the table. “So she said she’d be here around seven.”
“Is there anything I can do to
help?” asked Sirius.
“Not at the moment, no. Just sit
and tell me how you’ve been. Its so quiet without you boys here all the time.”
Sirius and James talked about
work–as much as they could anyway–about James besting Sirius earlier in the
week and Sirius coming out on top that morning in the training room. Sirius
talked about his bike and how it was almost ready to fly… and got a scathing
look from Mrs. Potter in return.
At one point they heard a pop of
Apparition. To be sure that it was a safe arrival Sirius leaned back so that he
could see into the hall, he received a wave of greeting as Mr. Potter headed
into his study. A little while later there was another pop followed by Lily’s
“In here, Lily.” James stood to
greet her. She entered the kitchen just as he was getting to the doorway.
“Good evening everyone. Sirius,
how great to see you. You look well.”
“Would I dare look any other way
in your presence?” he asked as he twirled her in a hug.
After dinner James, Lily, and
Sirius went outside to enjoy the unusually warm April evening. They had been
talking about some upcoming plans they had for the spring when Sirius made an
“I was thinking, we should get
“Sirius, what kind of a
suggestion is that?”
“Its okay, Lily; he just wants
to impress his new girl.” James had to duck to avoid a wallop to the head from
his best friend. Lily burst out laughing.
“Who is the lucky lady this
“Someone he met on the
pull at a Muggle bar. Doesn’t even know her name or where she lives.”
“Her name is Manhattan and she
lives in London” Sirius attempted to look superior, but he was smiling so
didn’t quite manage it.
“See James, he can get particulars. Too bad London is
so vague when telling someone where you live.”
“Where are you suggesting we get
these tattoos anyway? And who are you talking about when you say ‘we’?” James looked interested but apprehensive and ruffled his fingers through his hair.
“Where you get it would be up to
you; I’m thinking of the body-art parlour across the street from my flat. And
the ‘we’ refers to us, of course–you, me, Remus, Peter. It would be fun.”
James appeared to be giving the
idea some thought. “I’m game I guess, if Remus and Peter are. But I’m clueless
about cost, preparation, care, things like that.”
“I’ll take care of finding all that out.”
Sirius spent Saturday morning
cleaning; his mates were coming over to his place that night and he hadn’t done
a good job of looking after himself or his flat all week. By lunchtime the
place was presentable; he decided to look into the tattoo information so he
would have that to present to the others that evening.
A young man stood behind the
tattoo-parlour counter. He looked up with an unexpected glean of recognition
and turned, calling into the back room. “Oi, Manny. I think you have a
visitor.” He returned his attention to Sirius. “What can I do for you today,
Sirius was taken aback for a
moment by the use of his name and made to grab his wand, but then recognized
the young man as being from his year at Hogwarts.
“I came in to enquire about
tattoos… Ravenclaw, correct?”
“Yes I was. Francis Devin at
your service. And you have come to the right place to get your information:
Dragon Tooth Tattooing is the best. What kind of information are you looking
Before Sirius could answer a
young woman emerged from the back room. Her brown and copper hair was pulled
back and her amber eyes full of laughter. When she saw who was in the shop she
“Well Mr. Black, its seems you
have found me.”
“Sirius, allow me to present my
sister, Manhattan Devin. A graduate from Madam Rhiamon’s Charms Academy.”
“Why did you go all evening
without telling me?”
“Now where would the fun have
been in that? Since you seem surprised that I’m here, I gather you didn’t come
to see me.” Manhattan punched her brother good-naturedly; he was laughing at
“I stopped in looking for
information on tattoos. But instead I find the angel who so captured my
attention. Perhaps you could be of some assistance?” Sirius flashed her the
grin that always had the desired effect on women.
“Padfoot, you in?”
“Yeah Moony. In the kitchen–come
help,” Sirius called back in response. “What did you bring for this evening?”
“Fire Crab Whisky. Any idea what
Prongs will bring?” Remus entered the kitchen and set the bottle on the table.
“With him you never can tell. I
picked up some Chimaera Ale when I was out this afternoon. Don’t know if Peter
will remember to bring anything. But we should have enough.”
Remus helped Sirius gather up
some glasses and take them into the living room as James Apparated in.
“Brought some Veela Vodka and
Runespore Rum; now we can have a grand time.”
“Does Lily know how much you
drink at times, Prongs?” Sirius took the
bottles from James to put with the other ones.
“Of course she does. Who
do you think I drink with when I’m not with the pair of you?”
They all laughed so hard they
didn’t hear Peter Apparate in.
“If you’re laughing this much
you must have started without me.” He feigned disappointment, but was really
rather amused by his friends.
“That’s not true. We haven’t had
a drop.” Remus answered, though the look he shot James said that that might not
be entirely true for all of them. “But know that you’re here we can get
started. What did you bring?”
“Just some crisps. I never know
what’s good to drink.”
“Peter, my lad,” said Sirius
throwing one arm around his shoulders and steering him to the sofa, “you did
just fine. After all, we have to have something to eat too. Prongs, will you do
James poured four shots
of Runespore and handed them around. The four friends drank the first shot
together as had become their tradition. After that they settled in for a night
Many shots later, while
they were playing cards, Sirius’s thoughts started to drift. It took a kick from
James to bring him back.
“Oi, Padfoot, stay with us.”
“I’m sorry. Is it my
“It has been for five minutes,
if you had been paying attention.”
“There must be something on your
mind,” injected Remus kindly with a hint of laughter, “to have you drifting
into the stratosphere.”
“Probably the girl from the bar.
But she lives in London so he’ll never find her.” James chuckled as he poured
himself a shot of Veela Vodka.
“Actually, she lives just across
“What?” exclaimed James.
“She does.” Sirius told
them about his afternoon, and how, much to his delight, he’d found
James laughed, Peter looked
bewildered and awestruck at the same time, and Remus just smiled in that
all-knowing way of his.
“Well, you know what you have to
do now don’t you?”
“Do enlighten me, Moony.” Sirius
didn’t quite manage the look of total ignorance that he was going for, and
ended up instead with a rather bewildered expression.
“I’ll enlighten you,” broke in
James. “Get off your malingering arse and go ask her out.”
“When did you swallow a
dictionary?” Peter’s comment caused everyone to burst out laughing again.
“Wormtail’s right, you know,”
Sirius got out between chuckles. “The use of big words was always Moony’s
“They require you to do some
reading and research to become an Auror. I guess I picked up some new words
along the way.”
Everyone chortled more at this
proclamation. It wasn’t very long before most of the liquor was gone and the
four friends were sloshed beyond comprehension.
Author’s Note: A huge thank you to Lady Narcissa, my
fabulous beta reader. Also, thanks to Sammy Weasley for being my unofficial
beta and for letting me barrow some of your people and drinks.