Lily bought them all hats when she found out she was pregnant.

They were ridiculous things, thick bucket hats in a nearly fluorescent red that said "Uncle" in large cartoonish font across the front. Always the Charms prodigy, she had spelled tiny, ridiculously childish versions of their animagus and cursed forms underneath the word: a smiley rat with a block of cheese for Peter, a black puppy chasing its tail for Sirius, and a sleepy wolf with its tongue lolling for Remus.

They so rarely had the chance to gather together casually in those days– one or another of them always seemed to be pulled away by work, or studies, or a mission for Dumbledore– and Lily had finally decided to have the Marauders meet just a bit early for the weekly Order meeting, gathering them out in front of the Bones family manor and grinning widely as she and James passed out gift bags.

Remus realized right away, dropping the bag and sweeping both James and Lily into an inhumanely strong embrace that nearly swept them both off their feet in his excitement. Peter followed close behind, slamming the bucket hat onto his head.

"Prongs got laid!" the future traitor shouted, laughing, "There's actual proof now!"

Sirius was a bit slower on the uptake.

He looked slowly from the hat in his hand to James, to Lily, to her stomach, and back to the hat again. One finger very carefully smoothed over the thick lettering as he mouthed, disbelievingly, the word 'Uncle' again and again. Lily's eyes wrinkled in concern, but James just smiled– because James knew. James always knew what Sirius was thinking, and feeling, and sometimes Sirius thought James Potter was the only person in the whole wide world who understood him.

"Uncle?" Sirius whispered, sound finally passing his lips.

"You didn't think you'd be able to escape our family, did you Pads?" James question was light, but the reminder that Sirius was loved, and always welcome, and always wanted was so heavily implied that it made Sirius feel a bit dizzy.

Remus was firing away rapid questions about due dates and morning sickness and books on parenting he'd heard about ("Really, the muggles have been publishing an astonishing amount of literature, it'll be so interesting to see how it applies–,"), and Lily was laughing at them all, and Peter was still crowing about the evidence that James had, yes, actually managed to have sex with his wife. James and Sirius met each others' eyes for a long minute, joy bounding between them, and Sirius felt his lips tip into a wide smile as he held the silly hat up to his lips and kissed it once.

And then he froze.

"Wait– a baby? We're having a BABY?"

Lily snorted. "Actually, I'm having a—,"

"We're having a BABY!" Sirius waggled his hat in the air, panic suddenly crossing his features. "A BABY! A CHILD SHALL BE BORN! We're going to be RAISING A KID!"

"Again, only one of us is preg–,"

"A BABY!"

"Having a mental breakdown there, are you Black?" Marleen McKinnon and Dorcas Meadowes had popped into existence just outside the Bones' wards and walked up the long drive in time to witness the beginning of what was winding up to be an absolute Sirius Black Event. Perched on each of their heads was a bright pink bucket hat with "COOL AUNT" written across the brim in glittering rainbow letters.

"Hey look! We match!" Marlene punched Peter in the shoulder cheerfully, Dorcas sliding past her to join Remus' eager conversation (which had moved on to birthing techniques he had heard of: "And did you know that it was the King of France who popularized—,").

Sirius was not to be deterred. "I'm having a kid! You're having a kid! We're having a kid! And you– you're going to be a DAD!" He jabbed a finger in James' direction only moments before tackling him into the ground, still shouting.

When Alastor Moody came out to see what the commotion was, he was greeted by the sight of Remus trying and failing to pull Sirius off of James, Peter and Marleen chanting, Dorcas ignoring all of them, and Lily laughing hysterically at the chaos.

The idea of a baby- a mini James!- lifted Sirius' mood for months. His Gringotts vault dwindled as he bought increasingly outrageous presents for the little family: every manner of charmed stuffed animal, tiny Quidditch supplies the child wouldn't be able to use for years, an alarming quantity of pregnancy products that Remus off handedly mentioned reading about (Lily put a stop to this when he bought her a pump, of all things), brightly colored blankets, 'proud dad' t-shirts, self-changing nappies, and even a book to read to the family cat about pets interacting with new babies.

Sirius spent every free moment camped on the Potters' couch, begging Lily for updates about the tiny creature growing inside her, arguing with James over proper baby proofing, and lecturing the cat. Remus took to dragging him out whenever possible, for pointless missions or shopping trips or even his own interview practice, just to keep Lily from strangling him.

But Sirius was not to be deterred.

As the months passed, the Marauders' extended friend group gathered at James and Lily's little cottage and the Longbottom's at every opportunity– they played music and danced and made plans for the two little babies on the way, made elaborate toasts to fallen comrades, played hard games of pick up Quidditch, and dreamed about the end of the war. Lily and Marleen covered maps with brightly colored push pins of the places that they could all visit with toddlers in tow, and James, Frank, and Remus invented clever Transfigurations to decorate the nurseries with.

(Sirius, with Peter's unwilling and exasperated assistance, began researching the safest way to carry a baby on a flying motorcycle.)


It was the end of June, and both Lily and Alice were feeling the heat and the extra weight on their bodies– growing a whole entire little person was horribly hard work. Not everyone had been able to meet by the clear pond at Frank and Alice's that day– most were on missions– but all four Marauders had slipped away from other duties to splash in the light of the slowly sinking sun.

"Guys, did you hear about the new Comet coming out this year? Apparently they're expecting it to break the current speed record!"

Sirius scoffed. "The Cleansweep broke the record just last year! There's no way they've moved that fast in the development labs!"

"No, no- Wormy's absolutely right!" James popped up in the water underneath Lily, using his own body to help her float. "I heard they held on production specifically to knock the Cleansweep out of the market before the next World Cup!"

"Can you even imagine? They'll have to figure out a way to slow the game down for viewers if they're all on those brooms– there's definitely a money making opportunity there!"

"Better patent that idea while you can Moony! Ah, 1980 is shaping up to be a great year boys– new brooms, new high speeds, a World Cup the Cannons might actually get into… what more could a man ask for?" James' contentment was rather rapidly destroyed when Lily rolled over and unceremoniously shoved his head under water. "Hey! What was that for?!"

Sirius' barking laugh carried over from the other side of the pond. "Hey Prongs, did you forget we're having a kid this year?"

Lily, exasperated: "Sirius Black, for the last time, the only one pushing a baby out of their—,"

James, panicking: "WHOO, BABIES! YAY PARENTHOOD! BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO US! WHO CARES ABOUT BROOMS WHEN YOU COULD HAVE BABIES?"

Peter, helpful as ever despite his best attempts: "Yeah, you give birth Lily and Alice! It'll be– well, not awesome, actually it's pretty bloody gross if you really think about it– ha, get it, bloody gross?- and it sounds super painful, but–,"

Alice stole Frank's wand and sent water spraying over all of them.

When the inevitable splash war ended, and they were all drying around a small bonfire on the grass, Sirius glanced fondly towards where Lily and Alice were debating the merits of middle names. "Don't worry pup– you're the number one thing I'm excited for this year, at least."

He touched the edge of his bucket hat in a reverent two finger salute, and turned to chase Peter across the lawn with a sparkler.


Some may have considered it a blessing that the Marauders had all managed to gather for dinner the day Lily went into labor.

But most would agree it was not.

On July 31st, Sirius was midway through a particularly intricate depiction of Fideon Prewitt's failed attempts to flirt with the pretty bartender at the Three Broomsticks when Lily very abruptly cut him off: "Oh."

James' brow furrowed in concern. "Oh?"

Lily nodded solemnly, staring down at her lap in shock. "I've either pissed myself, or the baby's coming."

There was a beat of silence.

"Pads is really very funny. And you have peed a lot lately," Peter offered.

"Are you having contractions? How far apart are the pains? Can your water break if you're in false labor?" Remus asked hopefully.

"Aren't… aren't we due in AUGUST? It isn't August yet!" Sirius felt very confident about this, because he had been keeping a countdown calendar.

Lily looked up at them all and shrugged, wincing mightily. She steeled herself, taking a deep, deep breath before saying the one word they feared above all others: "Labor."

"Oh, oh, OH!" James stood up so quickly that his chair went flying off behind him. He ran both hands through his hair, over and over, his face so pale he rather resembled Nearly Headless Nick. "Alright boys, we have trained for this moment! Actually, we haven't, which now feels like a terrible oversight, and we will be running laps to atone for this at a later date! For now, we improvise! We know what we must do! Lily's comfort is our first priority! It is time to bring our baby into the world! We must- we must–,"

"James! Can the Quidditch Captain speech and get a move on!"

"Right- right– sorry Lils! My wife, mother of my child– Merlin, have I told you how much I love you?" James' eyes were soft as he took in Lily, her hair pinned high off her neck and her skirt a wet puddle under her thighs.

Lily smiled, only for a second, and then grimaced when another spasm of pain occurred. "James! Move! Now!"

("Frankly, I think Lily is the more motivational one. Bet they would have won more Quidditch matches if she'd been ordering everyone around." Peter whispered loudly. Remus nodded.)

"Sirius! Grab Lily's hospital bag from our room! Grab the baby's bag from the nursery! Why didn't we put them both by the front door, anyways? Oh well, next time- Peter! You are on snack duty! Do NOT forget the pickles! Remus! Get word to everyone! Make sure they meet us at St. Mungos, this kid is coming straight into a celebration!"

The Marauders scrambled, James himself sprinting to grab his wand off the counter. "Alright my love! Let's go! I'll meet you in the waiting room!"

And without a seconds wait, he apparated away.

Lily sat alone in the kitchen, equal parts fond and exasperated. Loud pops around the house suggested the other Marauders were dispersing for the hospital as well.

Running laps later, indeed.

"They definitely all forgot that I can't apparate while in labor, didn't they?"

Lily struggled upright, feeling a bit better with her feet pushing against the ground. She headed for the front door slowly, trying to decide how horrid the Knight Bus ride was going to be and how long it would take for James to realize his colossal mistake. Perhaps he could flag down the Knight Bus and meet her on it? It didn't seem prudent to wait for him here.

Much to her surprise, Sirius came bounding down the stairs before she could step outside, a large nappy bag slung over his chest and his ridiculous bucket hat falling off his head. "Evans! We gotta GO! What are you waiting around for?"

And that was how Lily came to ride a flying motorbike for the first time.

("Sirius Black, why is there a car seat in the sidecar? Why did you add a sidecar?!")


Sirius Black had been called a lot of things– not all of them complimentary– by quite a lot of people– who ranged from lovely to poisonous. But no singular title had ever warmed him so fully, made him feel so grateful, as 'godfather'.

"More like dog father, eh?"

"Shut up, Prongs."

Sirius sat hopefully at Lily's feet, waiting with as much false patience as he could contrive for her to finish feeding Harry and hand him over. He had stumbled into the cozy little cottage in Godric's Hollow covered in blood and ash and the sharp smell of dozens of unnecessary deaths at two am, and had been unconscious while James and Lily rushed to clean and heal him. Now, exhausted but alive, he wanted a reminder of the thing he was fighting for: a future for Harry, and all the other Marauders' children to come.

"Here you go my sweet boy, let's say hello to your Uncle Padfoot now." Lily very carefully arranged Harry- not even two months old- in Sirius' arms. The baby was cooing, milk-drunk and moments from falling back to sleep, bundled in a blanket covered in tiny golden snitches.

"My favorite future Quidditch professional!" Sirius tapped Harry's tiny (so tiny!) nose with one finger.

Harry Potter would not remember his first Christmas– he was, after all, an infant. Much larger children would be pressed to accomplish the same feat.

Lily and James knew this, and they discussed this, and they decided that they would keep their Christmas celebration small and intimate that year out of respect for the war and those who wouldn't be able to return to their own Yule fires. They had years- plenty of years!- to spoil their boy, years he would remember much better than the Christmas he was only not even six months old.

Except then they started looking in toy catalogs…

And Lily couldn't help but bring home a big tree she "liberated" out of a park…

And Remus and James had so much fun making cookies…

And Harry was just so darling in the tiny reindeer outfit that Sirius had crocheted (himself!) for him…

Well.

Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on a light.

The small gathering became a dinner party became a party-party became an all out Yuletide rager, dozens of young Hogwarts grads and newly weds and mature Order members filing in and out to share gifts and cheap wine and cheaper ale. Many stared in abject confusion at a large deer prancing around with fairy lights tied to his anchors, baby Harry giggling wildly from his spot on the table. Remus slyly charmed mistletoe over half a dozen doorways, snickering at the odd couples he caught until he himself ended up trapped with Sirius (Lily and Marlene's loud whistles turned the werewolf bright red, though he took it all in stride). Peter took photo after photo of them all: Lily in James' lap whispering contentedly, Remus sleeping in a questionably gathered pile of Honeydukes chocolates, Marleen and Dorcas kissing under the fire, baby Neville and baby Harry laid out under the tree like little gifts, Alice having Christmas ornaments braided into her hair by Marleen, Fred playing Exploding Snap with the Prewett twins….

Sirius' favorite was a picture of himself holding Harry in one arm, gently adjusting the antlers of his reindeer hat and grinning at the camera. In the photo, Harry would open his eyes and yawn, then look right up at him and coo. Sirius wanted to make him godson smile like that for the rest of his life.

He kept it in his wallet, and sometimes took it out to look at it during those next hard months, promising himself that he would make sure Harry always felt so incredibly loved.


February 20, 1982

Invermoriston, Scotland

Sirius hadn't kept his promise.

He had always been rash, but seeing James Potter's lifeless body had destroyed the thin veil of maturity and rationale he had painstakingly worked to achieve in his short years.

The Black family madness took hold, and circumstances made a victim of them all.

So Sirius hadn't kept his promise, and there had been several long, horrible weeks where Harry had, in fact, not felt loved at all.

It could have been worse, Sirius knew. Remus and he had stayed up late whispering about the Boy Who Might Have Been, had the Black's not interfered, had Isla Calderon not inspired Fillius Flitwick to action. Would he have survived to Hogwarts? Would he have ever known either of them? Would Albus have convinced them that it was for the best?

There was no way to know, and Harry was safe now, and yet all the same Sirius still felt the weight of that broken promise weighing him down.

"You know, I've learned that a quiet Padfoot is rarely a good thing," Remus remarked idly as they walked down the pleasantly quaint main street of Invermoriston. "Knut for your thoughts?"

Sirius scoffed. "I'm hardly about to run off and prank someone on a whim now, Moony– for starters, there's no Snivellus nearby."

"As if that'd stop you- do you remember when you charmed the bra off of—,"

Sirius winced, touching his cheek as it throbbed with the phantom pain of a forgotten slap. "Trust me, one does not forget the type of lecture I got from Minnie when Janelle got through with trying to murder me."

They paced forward quietly for only a moment before Sirius burst out, "I'm afraid he'll hate me!"

Remus, rather unprepared to take over the role of mind healer when he himself was also reeling over their upcoming appointment, shook himself out before turning to stare at Sirius. "Hate you?"

"I left him, Moony, and I was supposed to–,"

"Harry could never hate you, Sirius." Remus said this so firmly, so quietly, that Sirius had to pause. "He's always loved you the best of anyone– you're his dog father, after all. James and Lily knew what they were doing when they chose you. If anything, it's me he'll have forgotten, or hate, or… it took me too long to figure out what was going on, Sirius, and I'm awfully ashamed of it."

Sirius shook his head, about to interrupt, but Remus was not to be deterred. "But the fact is, Harry's just a baby, and we haven't got any right to assign him any emotions or put our anger at ourselves on him. It's our job to go in and love him, to never let him be alone again."

"You really are the smart one, aren't you?"

"Brains behind the operations- Merlin knows someone had to be."

The pair hurried on, stopping just outside the gate of the white washed parsonage. "Oi, Pads."

"Yeah?"

"You forgot something." Remus reached deep into his coat pockets and pulled out two lumpy, faded fluorescent red lumps. He shook them out with a sharp snap of his wrist, revealing thick block letters and tiny cartoonish figures: a black puppy chasing its tail and a sleepy wolf with its tongue lolling. "Can't forget our badges of honor, you know."

Sirius gaped at him. "How on earth did you find those?"

Remus just winked. "C'mon Uncle Padfoot– there's a little boy in there who we've made wait too long for us already."


Harry Potter was tiny, even for a not-quite-two year old. This was partially the result of several weeks spent neglected in a broom cupboard, and mostly the result of genetics: his great great grandpa Paul Evans had been so slight in his youth as to have been hand selected for a weekend jockey position. (He'd been quite excellent at it, actually- Paul always said that a fast horse was the closest a person could get to flying. Paul would have adored brooms.)

Several cozy months in Scotland with Nan Isobel and Pillowtop had plumped his belly back out (Harry very dimly remembered having a Mummy who also liked to blow raspberries into his tummy until he squealed with laughter) and brought a sparkle back to his shining eyes, but the little boy still spooked at loud noises and whimpered when left alone in a room. Sometimes, he dreamed about being alone, and he woke up crying for his Mummy or Daddy.

Fortunately, Harry was almost never alone. Pillowtop wouldn't allow for it.

The oversized nanny kneazle was soft and cozy and purred like a train engine (according to Nan Isobel) and- most importantly- reminded Harry of someone he sorely missed. He chased after Harry as they explored the yard outside the parsonage, and helped him sneak biscuits out of the kitchen while Nan Isobel very nicely pretended she didn't notice. Pillowtop woke Harry up from bad dreams with excessive quantities of kisses, and let him ride around on his back like a miniature horse, and suffered an excessive number of small hats and swords being arranged around his head and paws.

Between Nan Isobel and Pillowtop, Harry was almost always happy again.

Almost always.

Almost.

Sometimes even Pillowtop wasn't enough to scare the bad dreams away, horrible nightmares where Harry's Mummy screamed and there were horrible bright flashes of light and- and-and–

Harry was a quiet child– words were the one thing that didn't seem to want to come back to him– but in those moments he was loud. He screamed and cried and kicked his feet and tried to hide under the bed and it took Pillowtop's purring and Nan Isobel's rocking and singing for him to calm down again.

But those dreams felt further and further away with every stolen biscuit and affectionate hug and game of hide and go seek.

Sometimes Harry had marvelous dreams. He dreamed of waking up snuggled in between Mummy and Daddy and feeling perfectly safe and at home. He dreamed of a tall man with a cozy sweater and big pockets giving him little bites of chocolate and winking. He dreamed of flying through the sky on a big, loud bike.

One day, Harry woke up from his nap on Pillowtop's wide back to the sound of voices in the front parlor. He recognized Nan Isobel's right away, of course, but the others were too quiet. Immediately uncertain– Harry wasn't quite sure how to feel about strangers these days; he had, after all, been subjected to some of the worse– the child tugged on Pillowtop's pointy ears until the cat finally huffed and opened his eyes, rolling over to dislodge his tiny assailant.

Harry stared at Pillowtop.

Pillowtop stared at Harry.

Per Pillowtop's rather magically accurate estimations, nap time today should have lasted for approximately twenty minutes longer, and Harry would need his nappy changed and a snack before he went gallivanting into the front room.

Harry blinked.

Pillowtop blinked.

The kneazle considered his ward and his own chances of getting a bit more sleep. Slim to none.

Harry won out.

As a well-trained nanny kneazle working in a magical household, Pillowtop had rather a lot more capability than most underpaid nursery workers. In short order, he had nudged his young charge onto the changing pad on the floor and into the vicinity of a self changing nappy. Sharp teeth and tidy paws urged Harry into a thick wool sweater decorated with tiny lambs and warm little trousers. Biscuits and a juice box were quickly acquired from the snack table.

Pillowtop tugged his toddler in a circle, nosing him in a particularly thorough review. Finally, satisfied that Harry was appropriately presentable, the oversized kneazle led him ceremoniously down the hall to the front room.

As they approached, the voices became louder, and Harry began to scrunch up his little nose uncertainly. Tugging Pillowtop's tail, he stopped and concentrated very, very hard. "Know?"

Pillowtop purred.

Bolstered, Harry carried on into the doorway where he stopped to investigate further.

Nan Isobel was sitting on the couch with Auntie Minnie, who he sort of remembered and who he'd seen in countless pictures lately (Nan Isobel always read him the funny parts of Auntie Minnie's letters).

Across from these familiar countenances were two men sitting in Nan Isobel's matching short parlor chairs. Their backs were to Harry, so he could only see the long dark curls of the figure on the left and the sandy crop of the figure on the right. The dark haired man was barking out loud laughter, the other speaking wryly and motioning with his hands.

And Harry realized he did, in fact, 'know'.

The expression on Nan Isobel and Auntie Minnie's faces had apparently clued the two visitors in to their new companion, because both men were suddenly spinning up and out of their chair.

"Harry," breathed the first missing uncle, and he dropped to his knees. "Harry, do you remember–,"

"Pup!" the second missing uncle shouted, and he rushed forward to crouch down. "Merlin, I've missed you Pup. Now you may not know us anymore, but don't be afraid, we're your–,"

"Uncle Pa'foot! Uncle Moony!"

Uncle Padfoot beamed, opening his arms for Harry to fling himself into, and Uncle Moony crawled over to join them in a tight hug.

It was several minutes later, the three all chattering over one another and patting each others backs (Moony), and heads (Padfoot), and cheeks (Harry), when Harry realized that there were tears streaming down both his uncles' faces.

"Sad?" the little boy asked, suddenly deeply concerned. He patted both their cheeks a bit more fiercely. "Why sad?"

"No, Pup, no. We're not sad at all."

"We're very happy is all, Harry, very happy to see you. We've missed you, you see, and sometimes adults do silly things like cry when they're happy."

"No cry," Harry insisted, patting them all the more firmly. "No cry."

He wasn't sure why his Uncles held him tighter and laughed.


February 27, 1982

Invermoriston, Scotland

Sirius and Remus spent the shortest week of their lives in Invermoriston.

They'd arrived with two possible plans.

The first, for if Harry did not remember or did not trust them: a slow re-introduction, a new foundation for long-term trust. They had expected to need to go along with this plan, and had not let themselves hope for more.

The second, for if Harry did remember them, was overzealous at best: not expecting any of it to come to fruition, they scheduled every second of every day with activities designed to make up for their absence. Ice skating, hot chocolate, a circus show, visits to the zoo, motorcycle rides, long games of tag and hide and seek, building a snow fort and charming snow people to battle one another, long cozy naps by the fire, reading all of Harry's old favorite books (with voices!), making gingerbread cookies, finger painting….

And Harry babbled the whole time, as if the restoration of these two beloved people from Before was all he had needed to find his voice. At not quite two his vocabulary was fairly limited, but that certainly didn't stop him from trying his best to communicate.

Isobel and Minerva were relieved, but nervous. Isobel had grown awfully attached to Harry while fostering him– she'd never keep him from Sirius, but she did very hesitantly request that they continue to visit, or perhaps she could stop by to see them?

"Madam, I owe you my life for the love you've given our Pup!" Sirius had bowed, so theatrically earnest that even Minerva had to smile. "We welcome you at every opportunity. Simply say the word, and we'll be here."

Pillowtop was a little less certain about these newcomers– kneazles, like cats, can be terribly territorial, and the particularly canine scent of both these usurpers was unpleasant in his opinion.

It took progressively impressive bribery– mostly in the form of doxies and sardines– for Pillowtop to warm up to Remus.

Poor Sirius didn't stand a chance.

"Not sure how you expect to be living with us with that attitude," Sirius grumbled one evening, rubbing his arm where Pillowtop had taken the opportunity to swipe at him. "Bloody thing."

"Kitty?" Harry asked, looking concerned. "Kitty?"

Sirius winced. "Right. Yes. Kitty. Of course we're taking your… kitty."

Pillowtop purred, particularly smug.

The final day of their visit rolled around all together to fast, and even the joy (read: relief) of knowing they'd be permanently reunited following the custody case in just a few short days didn't quite make up for the sheer panic at the idea of letting Harry out of their sight.

"Och, our lad'll be fine," Isobel dismissed from where she held Harry on her front stoop. "You'll nay patch now, and whit's fur ye'll no go past ye. Right, Harry?"

Harry nodded solemnly. "Whit's fur," he mimicked, with absolutely no idea what his delightful nan actually meant or why his Uncles started snickering (it was the wee accent).

"Would just hate for him to think we're…. That we're…."

"Leaving. Again."

Isobel shook her head impatiently. "He's a bairn, nae a numpty. Tell the lad."

"Tell… tell him?"

Remus' eyes gleamed. "Ah- ah I remember this! From the book with…. Yes. Ok then."

Remus leaned his face close to Harry's, dropping a casual kiss on that small brow. "Harry, Uncle Padfoot and I are going to go to London for just a few days to finish preparing for us to all live together. You're going to play with Nan Isobel and Pillowtop while we're busy, and then we'll all meet up for a wonderful party. Would you like a party? In less than…. In four night time sleeps?"

Harry was comfortable with counting to four, more or less- Nan Isobel always made him count his biscuits with her. Four sleeps wasn't that long– instead of dwelling on them, his attention was caught by something more interesting from Remus' statement. "Party?"

"That's right Pup!" Sirius ruffled his hair one more time, fingers catching in the thick dark curls. "An awesome party! The best type of party- everyone is super excited for it!"

(Isobel snorted: "Minerva would've been 'super excited' if ye'd planned a good wedding."

Remus snickered.)

"Party!" Harry agreed, pleased. "Sleeps! Party! Sleeps!"

"Close enough," Remus grinned, and stood to tug Padfoot away. "We'll see you both soon. We love you Harry!"

"Love you Pup! Thank you again, Madam, we look forward to meeting again."

And the remaining Marauders apparated out of sight.