blah - emphasis

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Chapter 3 - A Prank Gone Wrong And A Visitor
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"Daddy..." A soft baby voice whispered near his face as the faint caress of tiny fingers on his stubbled cheek drew Remus from the arms of Morpheus. Amber-hued eyes peeked open to catch a glimpse of his two-year old daughter staring at his face. Brushing his nose against her tiny button nose, Remus smiled and slipped an arm around her, drawing her into the blankets. "Morning, angel. What are you doing up, huh?" Brianne smiled brightly at her daddy, planting a big kiss just above his mouth. "Pahfud...nummy..." She babbled in her baby voice, her little hands patting his face as Remus shifted in the bed, cradling her against his bare chest. He glanced towards the door and smiled at the sight of Sirius standing there.

Sirius chuckled and straightened up from the doorway, "I think what the munchkin is trying to tell you is that it's past time for you to get up and eat the yummy breakfast we made." Brianne giggled, wrapping her chubby arms around her daddy's neck. "Up!" Remus laughed softly and stood up, setting the toddler on the floor. "All right, all right, I'm up, silly."

The dark-haired animagus crouched down and whispered conspiratorially to the little girl. "Let's go prank Daddy's food while he gets dressed, shortie." He scooped her up into his arms while she giggled and clapped her hands together. "Pank daddy's foo'. Go, pahfud!" Remus shook his head, a grin curving his lips. "Corrupting my daughter already, Padfoot?" Sirius grinned back, lightly tickling Brianne's side. "Nah, Moony, just teaching her how to be a Marauder. You're never too young to learn the ways...heh."

The little girl giggled and tugged on Sirius' hair playfully, "Waudew!" Both men laughed at her garbled declaration before Remus lightly poked her belly. "Marauder, angel. Now, be a good girl and don't let Padfoot prank daddy's food, okay?" She nodded solemnly, leaning out of Sirius' arms to plant a kiss on his nose. " 'Kay, daddy."

Smiling, Remus shooed the two of them out of the bedroom so he could dress. Slipping on a pair of jeans and a blue T-shirt, the tawny-haired werewolf walked barefoot into the kitchen. He glanced warily at the plate of eggs, bacon and toast waiting for him at the table. Brianne looked up from her high chair, her face and hands already sticky from syrup, "Pahfud no pank foo, daddy." He blinked, then chuckled before dropping a kiss on the top of her head. "Oh?" A tawny eyebrow was arched in Sirius' direction as the werewolf sat down at the table. Sirius simply smirked and picked up his fork at the same time Remus picked up his. Black eyes met amber, and they both took a bite of eggs at the same time. Not feeling any different, Remus shrugged and continued to eat his breakfast.
It was quiet as the two men ate their breakfast, almost too quiet. Suddenly an amused giggle escaped the sticky two year old, causing both men to look up at her. She was staring at Sirius, giggling, "Pwetty." Remus looked at his daughter, then looked at his fellow Marauder. Amber eyes widened at the sight of Sirius' new look. His shoulder-length hair was in pigtails, tied up with bright silver bows. Silver eyeshadow and glitter accentuated his black eyes, and his lips were a bright cherry red. Remus' mouth dropped open in surprise, and Sirius cocked his head to the side. "What?" Black eyes widened in shock as his normal baritone voice came out as a sultry female one.

Trying not to laugh, the werewolf summoned a small mirror from the bedroom and handed it to his friend. The black-haired animagus stared at his reflection in utter shock. "But how?! This wasn't supposed to happen to me! Aw man..." Remus snickered, shaking his head as his lover looked to him. "I didn't do it, Siri. Maybe you mixed up the plates."

"But but but but but..." A little voice interrupted Sirius' babbling, making both men look at Brianne playing with her cutup pancake. "Daddy say no Pahfud pank foo. Pahfud be bad. Me good girl." Then she looked up at them, her violet eyes sparkling with mischief. "Me waudew! Wight, daddy?" "Yeah, baby girl, you're a marauder now," Remus looked to Sirius and burst into laughter, "the great Sirius Black bested by a two year old!"

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The fire turned green and flared a moment before a tall, lanky man stepped through gracefully. A sneer curved thin lips as his black eyes swept the modest furnishings of the remote cottage. A bright red ball bounced against his boot-clad foot, closely followed by a tiny child. He blinked in surprise to see bright amethyst eyes set in delicate features, tawny curls pulled into pigtails by lavender ribbons. She couldn't be anymore than two, standing there in her little lavender overalls and white T-shirt. He stared at her in shock, his mind working through all the possibilities.

The tall man crouched down and picked up the ball, offering it to her. "Hello." The little girl looked at him before smiling shyly and taking the ball from him, "Hi." She stared at him a bit longer before grabbing his hand, well, really his finger. Charmed by the little girl, he allowed her to lead him, taking care to match her steps. They hadn't gone far when a huge black grim-like dog bounded forward and inserted himself between the man and the child, baring its teeth and growling at the man. Startled, the little girl stumbled back onto her bottom, the red ball flying from her hands and bouncing off the dog's head. She began to tremble and cry, frightened by the growling.

Hearing his daughter, Remus rushed into the parlor and scooped Brianne into his arms. "Hush, baby, it's okay. It's just Padfoot." She clung to her daddy, tears coursing down her face. 'Bad pahfud, daddy." Cradling her even closer, the amber-eyed man looked up, ready to rip into Sirius. His eyes widened when he caught sight of the tall, black-clad mad standing there with his wand in hand. The grim-like dog shifted back into Sirius, who glared at their visitor while keeping himself directly between the man and Remus.
Glancing between both men, Remus stepped forward...his normally calm features marred by a frown. "Both of you stop it now. This instant, or so help me Merlin, I will teach you the meaning of cruel and unusual punishment." The werewolf glared at both of them in turn before turning on his heel and heading into the kitchen, his daughter held protectively in his arms. Sirius glanced at their visitor with a frown before following his lover silently. Tucking his wand back into its holster, the other man followed as well.

Sighing softly, the werewolf sat down at the clean table and settled the whimpering child against his chest. Amber eyes lifted to both men, his hand lightly rubbing over her back. "Sirius...Severus...would one of you care to explain what just happened? In a calm and collected manner, mind you..." The dark-haired Potions Master glanced towards the small girl-child in Remus' arms before glancing up at the werewolf, managing to clear his face of any emotion. "Well, Lupin, Albus sent me here to stay with you two fools for the next week, or at least until the full moon passes. I flooed in, only to be greeted by the child. I was about to call out when that idiot mutt decided to jump in things and knock her to the floor, growling and carrying on." A sneer twisted his lips as he glanced towards the animagus, who'd sat down next to Remus.

Sirius glanced up and sneered right back at the Potions Master, "Did you really think I would've let you stay so close to Bri? Of course I jumped in, Snivellus. Still the same greasy git." Shaking his head, the black-haired animagus turned back to Remus and leaned over close to Brianne. Gently he touched her tear-damp cheek, brushing aside a tawny curl as he whispered softly to her. "Sorry, baby girl, I didn't mean to scare you." She peeked from her daddy's chest, pointing a tiny finger at Sirius, "Bad pahfud." Her father sighed again and closed his eyes a moment before rising to his feet. Grabbing a sippy cup filled with milk, he looked at both men, "Could you both try to remain civil while I lay her down for a nap?" Not waiting for an answer, he left for the nursery.

Fifteen minutes later, Remus came back to the kitchen only to find both men caught in the depths of a silent staring contest. Amber eyes took in the sneering countenance of Hogwarts' resident Potions Master, and the glaring face of his lover. Quietly he prepared a pot of tea and set it on the table, causing both men to start and look at him. Ignoring them, he poured each of them a cup of tea and settled down at the table. He took a sip before actually looking at the other two, his voice calm and deadly. "If either of you ever yell, argue, fight or even look at each other nasty around my daughter again, you will be begging be to give you to Voldemort for a quick death. Am I making myself clear?" Both men shuddered involuntarily, visibly gulping before nodding affirmatively.

It was silent for a few moments before Severus finally spoke quietly, choosing to ignore Sirius' presence altogether. "Why didn't you tell me, Lupin? Were you ever going to tell me, or would I have had to figure it out when she was sorted at Hogwarts?" The dark-haired animagus broke in before Remus could even answer, his black eyes narrowing slightly, "Why should Remus have told you anything, Snape? How do you even know if she's yours?" The Potions Master looked at the ex-convict dispassionately before even answering. "She has my mother's eyes, Black."

Remus blinked in surprise and smacked Sirius upside the head, "Shut up, Sirius. I can handle this myself." Shaking his head, the werewolf turned his attention back to Severus, his gaze serious. "I didn't tell you because I knew your stance on werewolves, and I wasn't about to allow you the opportunity to hurt her irreparably with your stinging and sarcastic rejection." Severus stared at him a moment before shaking his head vehemently, "I would never have rejected my own child, Remus! Surely you realize that." The amber-eyed wizard tilted his head slightly, "Realize what, Severus? That you only have relationships when it's convenient for you, and toss them aside the moment it's not? I am sorry, but my daughter is never going to feel unloved or worthless because her father is a cold, unfeeling bastard." He broke off as the sound of Brianne's crying filtered into the kitchen. Rising to his feet, the werewolf hurried into the nursery to comfort his daughter.

Severus closed his eyes, resting his head in his hands. He barely noticed as the other man stared at him contemplatively. "You really hurt him, Snape. Somehow I think that was your intent all along, to string him along until he was so caught up in you that he thought you cared, and then dump him like yesterday's trash. But it had consequences that your sneaky Slytherin mind didn't even conceive of being possible. You didn't even realize what you lost when you rejected Remus. A loving relationship with someone as special as him, and the chance to get to your daughter." Sirius rose to his feet, fixing the Slytherin with a dark gaze, "I used to hate you, Snivellus. Now I can only manage to pity you for the prejudiced, weak-minded fool you are."

Lapsing into silence, the dark-haired wizard left the kitchen and paused in the hallway at the sight of his lover eavesdropping. A faint smile touched his lips as he wrapped his arms around the smaller man, drawing him into a comforting embrace. Remus whispered softly against Sirius' neck, "Thank you."

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Author's Note - I am so sorry this took so long to get out. I actually had this written two months ago, but was too lazy to actually type it up! I'll try to update sooner!