Title: Here is the housePairing: James/SiriusRating: RWord Count: 2,182Summary: Five times Peter saw something he shouldn’t have (and one time he missed).Author's Notes: Originally written for & posted at mwpp_mischief for the rare pairs fest, prompt #53 (Peter and Remus learned long ago that when Sirius and James are "exploring Hogwarts," they do not want company). Title from the song of the same name by Depeche Mode.1. Peter pokes at his eggs with a fork and tries to appear less uncomfortable than he truly is. It is his third week at Hogwarts. Remus, who Peter privately considers the liaison between himself and the rest of the Gryffindor boys, had taken ill last night and is in the hospital wing. Peter sits in silence next to James and wonders if it's okay to let on he's listening to his conversation with Sirius. His internal debate, along with said conversation, is interrupted by the owl post.Sirius receives a heavy roll of expensive-looking parchment tied with a thick black ribbon. His face darkens as he yanks the ribbon untied and reads the letter quickly. He can't possibly have finished more than ten inches of writing when he throws the scroll down over his half-eaten breakfast and walks out of the Great Hall in stony silence. James follows almost immediately. Peter looks around at the two empty seats to his right, then down the rest of the table. He isn't at all sure what to do. He sits in confusion for another minute before gulping the last of his juice and heading back to the dorm.Once there, he pauses at the door. Sirius, who is always cool without trying to be and is never bothered by much of anything, is red-faced and ranting, perhaps on the verge of tears, but perhaps just very, very angry. It is the first time Peter has seen him look and act like a boy of eleven, rather than at least fourteen. Next to him on his bed, James listens to Sirius' explosive tirade with what Peter will later recognize as empathy, but not sympathy. In the moment, he sees James remaining mostly silent, knowing just what to do and what to say, placing a calming hand on Sirius' trembling shoulder, overall looking young but very wise.Peter feels a tickle growing in the back of his throat and flees the doorway as quietly as possible before he coughs and reveals himself. He can't pinpoint exactly why, but he feels nonetheless like an intruder on a scene that was never meant for his eyes.2. An October storm has been raging outside all day, cancelling Quidditch practice and leaving all of Hogwarts, but particularly Sirius and James, it seems, with an acute case of cabin fever. After dinner, the two of them have flitted from the common room to the fourth-year dorms and back three times already, abandoning homework for Exploding Snap for (mostly) secret animagus study for chess for, finally, lounging on the couch and complaining, loudly, of boredom. Both boys had hit a growth spurt the previous summer and, with their legs stretched sideways, they take up an entire large couch.The couch situation, along with Sirius' dramatic rise to his feet accompanied by a put-upon sigh, earns the four of them nasty glares from Evans and her friends, studying quietly at a corner table. Peter figures that was probably Sirius’ intention, but still feels a mild sense of annoyance. Really, Sirius’ and James’ actions aren’t always reflective of all four of them. Beside him, Remus half-smiles into his Potions textbook. Traitor."Jamie. Brilliant idea, c’mon. Sensitive business, not here. Up with you." He extends a hand to help James to his feet."It's twenty minutes 'til curfew, Black," Evans calls from the corner.Sirius fixes her with a blinding smile. "Not to worry, Evans. I'm sure you'll relish in the silence we leave in our wake."Evans and James both roll their eyes, but she returns to her study, and James takes Sirius' hand, stands, and follows Sirius out of the portrait hole.Peter would never admit it, but he feels left out - of course, how could he not? "I think I'm missing a book for the Defense assignment," he tells Remus in what he hopes is a convincing manner. "Off to the library, back in a moment." Remus looks at him out of the corner of his eye but just nods. Sirius and James are, predictably, in an empty classroom on the second floor, a favorite spot of all of theirs for prank-planning and extra-curricular studying. It really is on the way to the library, Peter reasons, and it would be innocent enough to see them there and stop in on the way to get that book.Less predictably, however, James and Sirius are not huddled over a piece of handwritten parchment or even a textbook. Sirius is settled on a squishy orange armchair (has that ever even been there before?) and James is straddled atop him, his arms wrapped around Sirius’ broad shoulders (unfair, that, for the both of them to be so lean and muscled already).They are kissing energetically, all earlier restlessness obviously channeled into one another. Sirius looks grounded and focused, James calm and content. Peter freezes on the other side of the doorway. He still feels left out, in a way, but now he's mostly just confused.3. The first week of fifth year, James, Sirius, and Peter are alight with barely-suppressed excitement as they close in on the final preparations to become animagi. Their first Friday back, James whispers to Peter, "Reckon we're just about there, Pete. Sirius thinks he's got it! I'm going with him tonight to supervise. Stay with Remus, all right, so he doesn't come after us? We can't go ruining the surprise after all this time!"Peter has a vague impression that James is somehow manipulating him, but truth is, he's not the wizard Sirius or James is, and maybe it's safer that they try before him, anyhow. He does as he's promised and stays with Remus all evening. When midnight has long since passed and Remus is soundly asleep, Peter starts to worry. Did something go wrong? Would they tell him if it had? Do they need help?He slips out of the dark dormitory and cautiously makes his way to the Shrieking Shack, where James had said they would be. He's just here out of concern, he tells himself, but that doesn't explain why he enters the Shack silently and remains in the shadows.Maybe they're just naked in preparation for their first transformation, Peter thinks fleetingly, but the intention behind their nudity is unmistakable, as is the intimacy between them. Peter has suspected this thing between them was still happening, but now he knows for sure.James closes the distance between himself and Sirius with an unusual hesitancy, and the question in his eyes looks as if he's asking for Sirius' permission. Sirius nods slightly and breathes "Jamie" with a soft reverence Peter has never heard from him before. Then they are entwined in one another, mouth on mouth and mouth on skin, hands everywhere, murmuring filthy nonsense back and forth. They are both more serious than Peter has ever seen them, but happier too, a deep happiness that couldn't hold a candle to the amused glee of a prank well executed.This might hurt James' chances with Evans if it were to get out, Peter rationalizes, suddenly wildly uncomfortable, so he decides to keep it to himself. Never mind that probably he shouldn't have come here in the first place, and he definitely shouldn't have seen what he had just watched them do. Yes, best never to mention any of it and to return to bed as quickly as possible, pretending to be sleeping when, or if, they returned.4. Sirius and James have been acting odd ever since they boarded to Hogwarts Express together to return for sixth year, not even odd in the ways lovers behave, but something else entirely. Sirius is jumpy, and his many quick smiles look forced and don't reach his haunted eyes. Peter can only describe James as hovering; he can't erase the mental image of James looking rather like a mother hen (and Sirius an egg? A tiny chick? The metaphor briefly goes too far before Peter shuts his eyes and refocuses).After dinner, the four of them relax in the common room, catching up after a long summer apart. "Sirius," Remus says, deceptively mild. "You never wrote."Sirius shifts further into the cushions of the couch. James shifts incrementally closer to him. I don't need you to protect me. Shove it - I want to. You want me to. Peter can almost hear the unspoken words between them.Sirius, when he finally speaks, sounds guarded but not upset. "I left the hellhole. For good. Kipped off to Jamie's, here. Seemed a bit… much to tell by owl. I'm sorry.""No need to be," Remus replies, clasping Sirius briefly but firmly on the shoulder."We would've visited," Peter starts before realizing that it's the wrong thing to say. "I'm glad you're all right."Remus thankfully, if not subtly, steers the direction of the conversation elsewhere. Sirius' smile is grateful and genuine. When James traces a looping pattern across the knobs of Sirius' ribcage and Sirius leans into it like an affection-starved stray, Peter pretends not to notice.5. All four of them are in the library making last-minute preparations for NEWTS. Sirius and James went off to bring back snacks twenty minutes ago, and Peter is absolutely not looking for them in an obscure Herbology section of the library, because, really, that doesn't make any sense at all.Nonetheless, he stops in his tracks when he hears a book fall to the ground followed by muffled noises coming from the adjacent aisle. It's obviously curiosity, not voyeurism, that leads him to remove a few large volumes from the shelf, just enough to peak through to the other side. Squatting down to peer through the gap, Peter is eye-level to a shockingly near Sirius, who is on his knees, James' cock in his mouth. James has his head thrown back, and he's biting his lower lip, hard, presumably in an attempt to stay quiet. His fingers are twisted in Sirius' hair, loosely controlling his head up and down the length of his shaft, but Sirius doesn't seem bothered by the light direction. Quite the opposite, in fact; Peter hears him half-laugh, half-hum into James' crotch, causing James to bite his lip harder and squeeze his eyes shut.Peter blinks, breaking his fixated stare on the scene in front of him, and does his best to replace the huge volumes of Encyclopedia of Rarest Herbs in silence. When he rejoins Remus at the table, the other boy eyes him curiously. "You didn't find the book, then?""Hm? Oh, no, must've gone stupid with hunger. Where the hell are Padfoot and Prongs, anyway?"Remus smiles fondly at him. "I'm sure they're coming." Peter chokes on his own spit and tries to disguise it as a cough. "Shall I see if I can find that text?"Peter shakes his head vigorously, still coughing. "No, maybe one of them has it. Let's just wait a minute, yeah?"Remus just shrugs, still looking faintly amused, and returns to re-reading his notes. Peter attempts to do the same, and doesn't look up from his own chicken scratch even when his friends return, not sure whether he could take in their swollen lips and tousled hair and not let on everything that he's seen.6. Peter is woken from a deep sleep by the sounds of sheets rustling and the click of the door. He has no reason to follow them, he knows that, but old habits die hard and he can't deny he's somehow weirdly curious. Muddled with sleep, it takes him a few extra moments to throw on his robes over his pyjamas and leave Gryffindor Tower.He knows where they're headed, but he's stalled where the staircase should be. He can see it moving away from him, too quickly to catch at the next landing. Knowing the timing of the stairs' movement, he heads the opposite direction, only to stop in utter surprise as that staircase drops an entire floor, completely out of reach. He's never even seen that set move levels before.In an empty classroom far out of Peter's reach, James is moving slowly inside of Sirius, kissing a gentle trail of kisses up and down the length of his neck, the bumps of his spine. After a moment of tension, Sirius opens his eyes, catches James' gaze with his own. They are neither hesitant nor frantic, comfortable in the knowledge they have the entire night ahead of them, comfortable and tender with one another.James, fully inside Sirius to the hilt, pauses for a moment, feeling a bit ridiculous but overwhelmed enough with emotion he needs to say it. "Sir. Fuck. Sir." A breath. "I love you, you know?""I know, Jamie, I know. And I you." He hisses in a breath as James resumes movement. "I love you."Peter, still held hostage by the stairwells, sighs and retreats to Gryffindor Tower. An old, old voice that sounds like giant stones grinding together sounds in his head, There are some things you are not meant to see. Go home. He does.
Loved it. :)