Title: So Happy to Serve (2000 words)
Beta: Aunty Marion
Fandom/pairings mentioned: Harry Potter; James/Regulus, James/Sirius, James/Lily
Warning: reference to past underaged sex (not on-screen) (characters 18 or older in fic); infidelity; sense of certain doom
Summary: First War era. Harry never knew he had an evil fairy godfather as well. . . . Or: On the eve of his bravest act, Regulus needs something from James.
A/N: Written for
"Well, I suppose this is it for us, then." As soon as James shut the door behind him, Regulus crossed to the opposite side of the room, deliberately putting his back to James. His hair was long enough now to fall past his shoulders. He'd grown as well, the past few months: he'd been stretched thin. His robes hung loose from sharp shoulder bones, and he hated the unfinished way he looked. But his face was still baby-round, he knew. He thought it made him look younger than he was despite the faint shadow of stubble — but he doubted James would see beyond the superficial youth. He parted the heavy curtains just enough to look into the alley behind the inn. It was mostly deserted at this late hour, but he enchanted the window anyway. He didn't trust anyone, these days.
James, who was casting similar protective spells on the door, snorted. "Didn't you think," he started, and then cut himself off. Regulus turned quickly enough to see that James had flushed, his face mottled and his jaw jutting and ugly.
Regulus laughed at him. He knew he sounded just like his brother when he laughed. Judging by the way James' mouth opened, slightly, hungrily, James knew it, too.
"I didn't ever think," Regulus said, and waved a hand grandly, taking in the whole of the shabby room. The slanted floor, stained with centuries of carelessness, the bricked-over fireplace, the enormous bed, dark and heavy and dominating, the faded draperies whose own weight was tearing them apart. They'd never been here before, this part of London, this particular inn. It was only the second time that they'd met in a room with a bed: the luxury of privacy, paid for in untraceable Galleons. One advantage to James being married, Regulus supposed, the thought keeping his sharp smile from slipping. One advantage to being on different sides in a war.
He raised his hands and undid the clasps on his cloak. There were cheap metal hooks nailed to the posts at the foot of the bed. He hung the cloak there and charmed the wrinkles out, and then unbuttoned the top five buttons of his shirt, snagged the collar, and pulled it over his head in one smooth flow of fine, expensive fabric. Hanging it as well, he shook his hair into some order, looking up through his lashes at James.
He'd wound wide strips of bandaging over the mark, but James was looking at his arm in disgust anyway. He always did. James was charmingly predictable.
"Come on, then," Regulus said. He needed to stop smiling, it would only anger James in the end, but this was dangerous, he was terrified, and it was better than the rush of Quidditch or the blaze of a Mudblood's house.
James crossed his arms. "Make me." Regulus shrugged and banished James' clothes into a neat pile on the chair beside the door. He left the glasses on. He wanted James to watch him as he tossed his wand carelessly on the bed, crossed the floor, and went to his knees. Just like old times.
James was half-hard in Regulus' hand when he started licking and already tasted like come when he sucked the head of his cock into his mouth. Regulus liked this, the power of it and the fact that he was gagged. He might have asked if James' wife did this, otherwise; might have asked if Sirius ever had. He didn't want to hear about Lily, the thought of all that domesticity bored him. He did want to hear James admit that Sirius would never, had never, that his hands were touching where Sirius' never had.
He knew it, of course, had known since that first time underneath the Quidditch stands, James' hands knotted angrily in his hair as he pushed him down. Regulus had looked more like Sirius back then, when he was younger. It had maybe been easier for James to pretend.
He'd nearly cut his hair before coming here, tonight, but he had the very faint hope that James would remember who he was. Regulus had never pretended.
He slid James' cock deep, riding his tongue, and then twisted his head to the side as he pulled back, sucking his cheeks hollow until he had just the head of James' cock in his mouth. He licked all around, tracing the slit and the soft baby-smooth skin around it, and James groaned, shifting on his feet for better balance as he spread his legs. One wiry hand curled around Regulus' shoulder, holding him back, the fingers insistent and hard. Regulus pulled back, wiping his mouth along his unbandaged forearm, and looked up in question. James jerked his head at the bed.
Regulus was clumsier than he'd have liked as he stood, but it wasn't as if this was a seduction. He pulled off his boots and dropped his trousers, leaving them on the floor. The bed was so high that he practically had to climb up onto it. It did not move at all under his weight. He nearly compared it to the steadfastness of the pureblood elite, but James appreciated neither politics nor humour. Instead, Regulus stretched out, legs spread, and made himself watch James' face and not his hand as James picked up Regulus' wand.
He doubted James had the imagination to realise that he could kill Regulus instead of fucking him. Good at facts and figures, bad at the big picture, that was James. But he was beautiful in motion — lithe, confident to the point of arrogance, clever with his body in a way more animal than human — that was what had made Regulus start to watch him, back at Hogwarts, on the Quidditch pitch. That was why Regulus was here, open, canting his hips up to catch the clumsy penetration of the easing spell before James breached him.
James hissed his breath between his teeth, his head dropping even as he set his hands behind Regulus' knees and pulled his body up. He rolled his hips, settling himself with a slow meticulousness that made Regulus want to curse with frustration. It wasn't as if James cared about Regulus' pleasure; he just borrowed his body as a canvas on which to paint his desires. James moved against him slowly and told Regulus how to touch himself, to fan his hair back, touch and twist his nipples with fingers sucked wet, run his hands down the vault of his ribs, skim fingertips over his stomach, cup one palm around his balls while running his nails down his thigh hard enough to leave red marks.
James wouldn't touch him any more than was necessary, and James wouldn't let him come until he was begging for it. Regulus found he had to maintain a certain level of amused detachment to counteract the feeling that he was just there for the ride, as it were. At least — at least it was good, he thought, at least James used that beautiful motion of his to sweep them through sexual positions that kept Regulus out of his mind with need, sweat-soaked, gnawing on the back of his hand to keep from babbling. Finally he was rolled up and settled in James' lap, his back to James' chest. His head lolled backwards, and every muscle had been abused into softness, James' kineticism apparently infectious: he found himself unable to stop fucking himself down on James' dick. His world had shrunk down to nothing but that desperation, and at the end James stilled him with the pressure of his hands holding Regulus down. He did beg, then, and James said, "Get your own self off."
Regulus put one hand around his cock and reached back with the other to feel where he was stretched aching open around James. Filled, fulfilled, fucked; and he was gasping air in so hard his chest hurt as he tried to force his body to realise that it had permission to let go now.
Orgasm hit him without warning, making him shout in surprise as his vision washed red and black, his toes curled so hard they cramped, and his cock jerked in his hand, coming and coming and coming. There was nothing left of him at the end to protest when James shoved him forward onto his shoulders, ass in the air, pulling out and then shoving into him hard. Regulus had the oddest feeling that he was floating under water, staring up at the sun, entirely relaxed now that he didn't own his body any more.
James jerked out of him right before he came, finishing himself off with his hand, his come pooling at the base of Regulus' spine. He breathed hard for a good minute, holding Regulus down with both hands on his legs. If Regulus had been able to talk, he'd have said it wasn't necessary, he couldn't have moved for anything. But James huffed out an angry-sounding sigh and pulled away, getting off the bed and fetching his clothes. Regulus stretched gingerly and reached for his wand, surprised almost that he could. He cleaned up with a few well-practiced spells, and watched. Even after sex, James moved with purpose and strength.
"This time really has to be the last," James said. He turned away from Regulus as he dressed; as if he had secrets. "Lily, I — she's expecting. A baby," he added, looking down at his hands as he fastened his belt.
"I doubt our paths will cross again." Regulus rolled on his side, propping his head up on his palm.
"She gave me — what you asked." James dug in his front trouser pocket and pulled out a miniaturised jar. He set it on the floor and tapped it with his wand. It rocked slightly as it resized, and Regulus had to grab onto the edge of the mattress to keep from diving down and curling protectively around the jar. "She said it's a bad potion. Dark."
Regulus shivered. He forced himself to relax, sat up, and held out a hand to catch his shirt as he summoned it. He didn't feel any warmer with it on, but it gave him the illusion of protection from the cold knowledge of the mark on his skin. "Those names you needed — I sent my servant to Dumbledore. He'll tell you. Or not." Regulus dredged up a weary smile. "The things I could tell you about Dumbledore. The mistakes he made."
James buttoned his cuffs last and tugged his sleeves down. "I trust him."
"With your life, I suppose, and with Lily's, and with your child's." Regulus slid off the bed to the floor, icy beneath his bare feet. "Trust is a slippery thing." He pulled on his trousers. It was easy to move now. He thought that later he'd be stiff and hurting, but that was all right. Pain helped him remember. "If this were a story," he said, keeping his voice light, so that James wouldn't pay attention, "I'd be your child's wicked fairy godfather. I'd give it Lily's eyes and your hair, her intelligence and your breath-taking lack of curiosity for the world around you. The things going on that you just don't see." Regulus shook his head in exaggerated dismay. "I wish your child close-minded ignorance, and you all joy of it."
James looked at him at the last, blank for a second, and then smiled, his old, cruel, arrogant smile. "You really are pathetic, aren't you? I almost feel sorry for you."
Regulus cast a mirroring spell on the back of the door and checked his reflection. He fixed his collar and the fall of his cloak, pulled his hair back and tied it with a ribbon, and avoided his brother's eyes staring out at him from his too-young face. He shrank the jar of potion from Lily and tucked it away in an inner pocket. "There. I wash my hands of you. Go home to your wife, and stop thinking that you're in love with my brother. Someday, you'll know who I am. I hope it hurts you like a curse and makes everything you love seem empty."
James looked on the verge of punching him. Regulus smiled and breathed in anger, let it burn right down into his blood, and breathed out his sorrow until none remained.
(Deathly Hallows (British hardback edition), p. 159)