Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter as sad and as hard as it is to believe…I just don't. ^_^
A/N: Thank you to all of you who read the first chapter even when it was so horribly written with the worst possible title ever! It meant a lot! Hopefully this next chapter lives up to your expectations!
Love and Halloween Part 2: Meeting Teddy
The lights and noises were more than he had expected.
Hermione looked worriedly up at Sirius' tense face and squeezed his hand, "They'll be so glad to see you Sirius," she told him softly as they slowly began to make their way up the dirt road to the party being held in the back yard area of the Burrow.
Sirius didn't say anything; instead he simply tightened his hold on her hand. As they drew nearer to the house his grip became more and more tight until Hermione finally pulled him to a stop, "Talk to me Sirius," she demanded firmly with a kind look.
Sirius looked down at her and couldn't resist pulling her in for a kiss, glad to finally be able to so whenever he wished, "I'm just worried about how they'll react. I mean, Harry may be happy to see me, but what about everyone else? Like you said, I didn't lose a twin or a daughter…is Andy going to be there?" Sirius asked as he referenced Tonk's death.
With a small nod Hermione reached up to hold Sirius' face in her hands, "Yes, Andy will be there," she said, "And the only person who won't be happy to see you will be that snake Mundungus Fletcher, but it will be purely because you are lucky enough to be with me, something he has unfortunately been trying to be for the last three years or so."
Sirius frowned for a second before his expression turned mischievous, "So I've got some competition huh?"
Hermione rolled her eyes and gave a small laugh, "Hardly," she smiled, "The only thing that has kept Dung from being literally dung for the rest of his life is the fact that there have always been too many witnesses around who could point fingers and name names…" Hermione paused, "Though as I think about it, Draco probably would have turned a blind eye…"
Sirius frowned, "That's the second time you've called that boy by his first name, when were the two of you close enough for him to be able to turn a blind eye?"
Hermione gave Sirius a perplexed look before remembering that he obviously hadn't been paying attention the several times that she had spoken to him, "Draco is one of my best friends," she started, only to be cut off by Sirius' exclamation.
"What?" he yelped in surprise, "You and that git are friends?" he demanded incredulously, "His aunt almost killed you Mione!"
Hermione blinked at him, "Your cousin almost killed me Sirius," she stated in a you're-being-stupid voice, causing Sirius to stop and think at her comment, "Draco was a spy for Harry from midway through our sixth year through the end of the war. He is like a brother to me and you will treat him with respect," she commanded firmly, "You two are so much alike it's scary sometimes," she told him with a soft smile, "He left his family for the light side, abandoning his mother who his father killed not long after the final battle before attempting to kill Draco as well. He and I are like an adopted family, get used to it," she stated, leaving no room for argument.
"I'm not sure how to respond to all of this," Sirius told her honestly, "Malfoys have never been good news, they've always been a dark pureblood supremacist family."
Hermione shook her head in mock incredulousness, raising an eyebrow, "So were the Blacks," she stated in a tone that matched her voice, "And for the record, Draco hasn't believed in pureblood supremacy since third year when I broke his nose."
Sirius scratched the back of his neck, "I guess I'll reserve judgment until I actually meet the kid then," he sighed.
Hermione gave a small giggle, "Sirius, you only look a little older than he does," she teased, "Do you really think you should be calling him a kid?"
Sirius smiled and winked, "I call you kid don't I?" he teased back, wrapping an arm around her neck and pulling her closer so he could press a kiss to her hair, "I love you," he murmured, his face turning serious once more.
Hermione nodded, "I love you too," she replied with a quick kiss, "Now quit stalling, let's go meet this grand-cousin-godson-almost-nephew of yours, and prove to everyone you are in fact still alive."
As Hermione started off towards the corner of the house that once they moved past would leave them in the open for everyone to see, Sirius stopped. Feeling Sirius stop moving behind her, Hermione turned to look at him in confusion, "Sirius?" she asked with a soft tug on his hand.
"I…Just give me a minute okay Angel?" he softly asked, "You go on ahead I'll come around in a second, I just have to get my thoughts together alright?"
Hermione studied him closely for a minute before nodding in agreement, "I'll give you ten minutes, but if you don't come over there by yourself by then, I will come get you and drag you back from wherever you disappeared to," she stated seriously, "No more running away."
Sirius tugged her closer to him and pressed a long slow kiss to her lips that stole her breath away, "No more running away," he murmured in agreement as he let go of her and her hand and let her walk around the corner of the house and into the large throng of people if the noise was anything to go by.
Slowly he moved to rest his back against the side of the house, trying fruitlessly to convince himself that he was man enough to walk around the corner and face all his old friends for what for some would be the first time since his return. Looking back Sirius knew Hermione was right, it had been selfish of him to shut himself away, but now he was too anxious about what they would think about him, about them to be able to walk into the middle of their party square shouldered.
With a soft groan Sirius slid his back down the wall until he was sitting on the cool ground with his knees bent, unheeding of the nice clothes he wore and the dirt and slight dampness they were inevitably going have soaked up once he managed to convince himself to stand back up.
Once again he had managed to screw up, James and Lily had entrusted the care of their son to him, and three times he had failed them, more than three if you count all the times Harry had been in trouble and he hadn't been there to help him throughout the years.
But then there was Hermione, wonderful, brave, intelligent, beautiful Hermione; how was it possible for such an angel to love him as much as he loved her? It was like a dream. Realistically he knew that he could easily walk into the throng of people with and for her, Merlin, he would walk through fire for her, but it still didn't stop him from worrying. What would her friends say? What would Harry say?
Just then a little boy about five or six dressed in a mini Hogwarts uniform came flying around the corner of the house. The boy looked frantically around for a moment without stopping, restlessly shoving the round glasses up his nose just as he caught sight of Sirius. In a split second the little boy was sitting on the ground beside him, breathing hard.
Sirius froze, then slowly turned his head to look down at the little boy who looked a lot like his own godson. Sirius had to do a double take once he actually looked directly at the little boy sitting just inches away from him, he even had the lightning bolt scar!
Just then the boy looked up at Sirius with his emerald green eyes. The two stared at each other for a second, Sirius trying to figure out how this boy looked just like Harry; and who-knew-what running through the boy's mind. Suddenly the boy lifted his hand and slowly waved it in a half circle at Sirius, a determined look on his face, "You don't see anything," the boy stated seriously.
Sirius blinked, had he finally lost his mind?
Just as Sirius was about to open his mouth and say something, the sound of someone else turning around the corner had him turning to see who was coming. It was Harry, looking simultaneously frustrated and amused.
"Where are you, you little nargle?" Harry muttered to himself, looking straight at Sirius before turning his head to look in the bushes a little ways away, "You've got to be around here somewhere!" Harry exclaimed with a shake of his head.
Sirius felt numb, Harry was ignoring him. It was like his worst nightmare come true. Sirius looked over to his left where the little boy was sitting, only to find that the boy was missing. Confused Sirius lifted his hand to nudge the body he could still feel next to him, only to find that he couldn't see his arm. This caused Sirius to drop his eyes to look down at the rest of him.
Well no wonder Harry was ignoring him, he couldn't even see him; and something told Sirius the little boy next to him had something to do with it.
Almost as soon as Sirius came to this conclusion Hermione rounded the corner, "Did you find him?" she asked Harry, her eyes tracing over the spot Sirius had stood just minutes ago sadly thinking Sirius must have gone home.
Harry shook his head, "Was I this mischievous when I was a boy?" he asked with a roll of his eyes, "Or for that matter were any of the Marauders? Poor Victoire, Teddy sure has it out for her," Harry shook his head with a small smile on his face.
"Well you know how they are," Hermione laughed, her eyes still drifting back to the last place she had seen Sirius, "Besides, you didn't have the chance to reek as much havoc as he does, especially on your cousin, I think you're just jealous."
Sirius didn't like not being able to be seen by the two most important people in his life. Just as he was about to stand up and talk to them, regardless of whether they would think they were being haunted or not, the boy next to him reached out and grabbed his arm. Almost immediately Sirius found himself incapable of moving or speaking; what kind of demon was this child?
Harry turned to leave, mentioning something about going to look in the kitchen under the sink, and Hermione nodded, looking one last time in the direction Sirius had once been standing. Desperately Sirius wanted to shout to her that he was still there that he hadn't left, he was shouting her name so loudly in his head, but no sound came out.
However, much to his surprise, Hermione's head whipped around to look directly at him, "Sirius?" she murmured, her eyes probing the wall, and her mind reaching out to find the mind that had been shouting. Seconds later she smiled, shook her head, and turned to walk away, "Have fun you two," she laughed softly.
Sirius sat back relieved she knew he hadn't left, though how he wasn't sure. Now he just had to figure out how this little demon was holding him hostage and why Hermione didn't seem the least bit concerned. Almost as soon as Hermione disappeared from sight Sirius found himself able to move once more. He turned his head to look at the boy in astonishment, "Who are you?" he demanded, not feeling threatened in the least, but still feeling slightly apprehensive.
The boy looked at him, then past him to the corner of the house, "Is anyone else coming?" he asked in a stage whisper.
Sirius stared at the kid, "No," he replied after a few moments.
The boy smiled brightly, "Ah," he sighed, "Sweet freedom," the boy rested his head against the wall behind him, acting as if he were in his twenties rather than only five or six.
Sirius waited, unsure of what to think about the Harry Potter look alike. Just as he was about to ask his question again the boy looked up at him with a mischievous smile, only for the smile to suddenly disappear as the boy blinked up at him.
The kid reached his smallish hands up, pulled of his glasses and rubbed his eyes before turning to look at Sirius once more, looking astonished and gleeful at the same time, "Uncle Padfoot?" he exclaimed.
Now it was Sirius' turn to be astonished and surprised, he hadn't met anyone who called him that except little Harry once upon a time, except it had sounded more like unca padoot back then. He studied the boy, there was no way he was Harry's son but—"Are you Teddy?" he asked in response.
The boy's grin widened as he nodded, "You are Uncle Padfoot!" he laughed, "Awesome! You're a real Marauder!"
Sirius couldn't help the small grin that spread across his face at the star struck look on the boys face, "I sure am," he replied, "How old are you?" he questioned the kid, trying to stop himself from worrying about what things Teddy had been told about him.
"I'm six," Teddy declared, "Only Uncle George keeps trying to tell me that I'm only three, but I know I'm not. They all still treat me like a kid, but I'm not. I'm six years old…that's a whole two years older than Tori!"
Sirius nodded his head, sympathizing with the kid; that was the way it had been with him and Regulus, "I feel your pain kid. But can I ask you something?" he asked.
Teddy nodded, "Is it a secret?" he asked excitedly.
"No," Sirius started, going to explain that you couldn't ask about secrets, but Teddy went on.
"Darn it," he sighed, "I'm a good secret keeper," he stated, "I mean, I never told anyone that it was actually Uncle George that ate Grandma Molly's prize winning pie. I took the blame, I took the punishment, I listened to Grandma Molly and Grandma Andy go on and on and on for hours about how disappointed they were that I ate the whole pie all by myself, which if I really had done would be quite the accomplishment…at least that's what Aunt Mione said. But I didn't tell anybody and so now Uncle George owes me!" Teddy exclaimed emphatically.
Sirius stared down at the kid, that was some tirade, "You have George Weasley in your debt?" he clarified, Teddy nodded, so Sirius simply shook his head and went back to his original question, "So who exactly is Victoire?" he asked.
Teddy frowned, "She's my frienemy," he stated as if that meant anything, "She is Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur's daughter, sometimes she's really nice, but sometimes she is really really really spoiled. So we're frienemies."
Sirius blinked and was about to ask another question when Teddy slapped his hand on Sirius lips and Sirius found himself immobile once more. He could only guess they were invisible as well, despite the fact that he could still see Teddy, because of the fact that when Bill Weasley rounded the corner with a crying blue haired girl in his arms, he seemed completely unaware of the two Black descendants staring at them.
"Kill 'im daddy," the girl was wailing, "Kill 'im!"
Teddy shook his head in irritation at the girl as Bill continued on his path to the front of the house disappearing around the other corner, whispering comforting words to his daughter, despite the small smile that was on his lips.
Sirius soon found himself capable of movement again, but before he could scold Teddy, the boy was shaking his head and pacing in front of him, "Honestly, all I did was put one of Uncle George's hair changers in her water!" he proclaimed, "It's not the end of the world!"
Sirius raised an eye brow as he watched the boy, "Was that why your godfather was looking for you?" he asked.
Teddy paused, turned to look at Sirius, blinked, and sighed, "Okay fine, so I also put one of Uncle George's mini whiz bangs on her plate, it was wrong, but it was funny! people were laughing," Teddy waved his arms around to elaborate his words, "Honestly she is such a girl."
Without further thought Sirius couldn't stop the laughter that was bubbling up inside of him from exploding forth. He laughed and laughed, feeling more amused than he had since the Marauder's final prank in their seventh year, "You are a piece of work kid," he gasped between full belly laughs, "You seem to have the worst of all three of us wrapped up in that tiny body!"
Teddy scowled, "I'm not tiny!" he snapped, "And who are you talking about? What three?"
Sirius slowly regained a semi-serious face, still smiling, but no longer laughing, though a few snorts escaped every now and then, "I'm talking about myself, Harry's father James, and…" Sirius trailed off, unsure of how to approach the topic of Remus with Teddy.
Teddy looked intrigued, "My dad?" he asked, "You, Uncle James and my Dad?" he repeated, his eyes bright.
Sirius was momentarily surprised by the easy way that Teddy talked about his father, Harry had always had a hard time hearing things about his parents; he was intrigued by them and the things they did in school, but it was always as if you were dredging up sad memories by talking about them. "Yeah," he nodded, "Me, James and Remus, your dad."
With an intense stare the boy folded his legs and sat down in front of Sirius, "You think I'm like my dad?" he breathed, his hair slowly changing from the wild raven black hair it had been to a sandy blond that matched Remus' hair almost exactly. The rest of Teddy's features were changing from an exact replica of Harry and James' faces to one less aristocratic and more Remus like, though Sirius could clearly see traits of Tonks in his features. Sirius could only assume this was what the boy normally looked like.
Nodding, Sirius unthinkingly began to tell Teddy about the time that the Marauders had started a school wide water fight by dropping a few well placed water balloons from the top of the various towers on Hogwarts, making the boy burst into delighted giggles and laughter at the tale.
The two were so distracted that Teddy almost didn't manage to make the both of them go invisible when another tall aristocratic blonde man came around the corner of the house.
"Don't even bother Teddy," the man said, "Hermione told me you were hiding over here."
"Darn it," Teddy growled softly with a dark look on his face, returning their visibility, "I didn't mean to Draco, really!" Teddy cried, his expression morphing to look absolutely distraught.
Glancing first at the man who was apparently Draco Malfoy and then down at Teddy, Sirius shook his head, he really was a piece of work, Sirius hadn't figured out how to act this well until he was near ten.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Don't pull that crap with me cousin," he stated in an arrogant voice, "You and I both know that you fully intended everything that happened to happen. You may be able to fool Bill, and Fleur, and Molly, and Andy, and Hermione, and everyone else, but you don't fool me, or that godfather of yours."
Teddy folded his arms and looked through narrowed eyes at Draco, not looking distraught at all anymore, "Then what do you want?" he asked suspiciously.
Draco pulled his arms from behind his back, revealing two slices of cheese cake that were colored like candy corn, "I thought you might like some cake."
"No catch?" Teddy inquired, slowly reaching out his hands to take the cake.
"Well…" Draco started, and Teddy immediately snatched his hands back.
"I knew it!" he exclaimed, "What do you want?"
Draco rolled his eyes, "Honestly cousin, you're more suspicious than any Slytherin I've ever met, I just want to hang out with you and our other cousin Sirius here."
Teddy's face lightened, "Oh," he said, snatching the cake away from Draco's hand, "Okay," he mumbled through a large bite of food.
Draco watched in amusement as Teddy scarffed down the cake with a speed that would compete with any Weasley, "Oh, and I thought you might want to know that the candy apples are almost all gone," he added once Teddy was finished.
"WHAT?" the little boy shrilled, "And you waited until now to tell me?" Teddy was up and gone like flash, racing around the corner and out of sight.
Sirius watched him go and stood up, looking at Draco suspiciously, "What was that?" he asked the blond who looked like he had dressed up like some sort of muggle rat-pack person.
Draco shrugged and moved to lean a shoulder against the wall, "That was me proving to Potter, Weasley, and Hermione that I could in fact get Teddy to willingly show his face at the party again," he laughed, "It works every time. Cake?" he asked, offering up the other plate he held in his other hand, "Hermione made this one herself the other day," he informed Sirius.
"I'm not nearly as trusting as Teddy," Sirius stated, eyeing the cake carefully.
Draco smirked, "I figured," he responded, "But I didn't think I would get the same results from you if I told you the candy apples were almost all gone," he said with a smile, "Think of it as a peace offering. Neither one of us wanted to be part of our dark families and we both did something about it. We're on the same side, and for Hermione's sake, I thought it would be best if I let you get your mistrust out of your system before she has to see us together."
Slowly Sirius accepted the cake from Draco, "What makes you think I mistrust you?" he wanted to know.
Eyebrow raised, Draco gave a chuckle, "Well the way you are eyeing that cake as if it were going to suddenly change into a pixie and bite you definitely gives it away a little."
Sirius stopped staring at the cake, "Besides that?" he tried being nonchalant.
"The fact that if our roles were reversed I would feel the same way you do," Draco finally stated, his grey eyes serious, "I wouldn't trust me, not after all the things I have done in the past, but for some unfathomable reason Hermione decided to give me a chance to be better than I was and I took it. She saved me, in more ways than one."
Sirius paused in his eating of the delicious cake to eye Draco carefully, "Do you love her?" he asked tersely, immediately feeling like some overprotective and jealous boyfriend.
Draco hesitated, a small mischievous light coming to his eyes, "Yes," he stated, smirking when Sirius tensed up, "like a sister," he added after a moment, "So that means that if you hurt her, Sirius Black," Draco took a step toward Sirius looking menacing, "I will kill you, and this time you won't come back."
Sirius eyed Draco in contemplation for a minute before breaking out into a smirk remarkably similar to Draco's, "Well it's nice to know Hermione has someone looking out for her," he said, "I'm not so sure Harry or Ron could have made the same threat quite as effectively as you just did."
Draco blinked, "What?" he asked as more of something to say than out of actual confusion.
"I have no intention of hurting Hermione, Draco; not now, not ever. I love her more than my own life, she means everything to me, so thank you for taking the time to prove to me that you aren't all bad if you're willing to threaten a man who has at least twenty years experience over you, was wanted for mass murder, and who was brought back from the dead."
"You forget who my father was," Draco stated, unimpressed.
Sirius frowned, "You forget who my mother was," he replied, slightly amused they were arguing about who's parents were worse.
Draco shrugged nonchalantly, "I never met your mother," he responded in a bored tone.
Sirius opened his mouth and words came pouring out unthinkingly, "Well I never met your father!" he snapped childishly.
Draco blinked knowingly.
"Okay, that's a lie," Sirius backtracked once his own words finally managed to make their way to his brain, "Maybe I met him once."
With a raised eyebrow Draco indicated that once again he didn't believe him.
Sirius stared back at Draco for a few seconds before cracking, "Okay fine! So I met him a couple of times! Good Godric, what do you want from me?" Sirius threw his arms up in flustered frustration, only slightly pretending to be irritated when he muttered, "Bloody Slytherin," and turned on his heel and unthinkingly stalked around the corner of the house, leaving Draco to enjoy his laughter by himself.
Finally realizing what he was doing, and already halfway to the well lit section of the Weasley's back yard where the party was being held, Sirius froze, staring at the large group of costumed party goers that he had been so eager to avoid just moments ago.
Almost numbly, his eyes wide, Sirius moved to turn around when Teddy came flying out of nowhere and latched himself onto Sirius' legs, "Don't let them kill me Uncle Sirius!" he wailed.
Surprised, Sirius looked down at the now turquoise hair colored boy who was staring pleadingly up at him, "What did you do this time Cub?" he asked with a wink and a smile that somehow found its way to his lips, recalling the frequency with which the Marauders had referred to Harry by the same nickname, at the time assuming that he was the closest any of them would ever get to a child of their own.
Teddy skillfully schooled his expression into a surprisingly sincere version of an innocent grin, "I didn't do anything," he stated emphatically.
Sirius naturally knew better than to believe the boy, but just when he was about to stoop down to talk to the kid a shrill but familiar voice started shouting, "Theodor Remus Lupin! You get back here this instant young man!" the voice was drawing nearer at a rapid pace as Sirius noted the owner of the voice was a woman with long graying black hair who was completely soaked from head to toe and she didn't look happy at all.
"Didn't do anything huh?" Sirius muttered sarcastically to the boy still wrapped around his legs, a smirk on his face even as his eyes never left the approaching woman, attempting to figure out who she was and why she was so familiar to him.
"When I get my hands on you…" she growled getting even closer, crossing the distance between them quickly, "You're worse than Sirius ever was," she muttered to herself, "At least he never poured ice cold water on me! Honestly, neither of your parents were this difficult!"
Without a doubt Sirius was certain he knew exactly who this woman was, her words so familiar it gave her identity away, and as she finally reached the two boys (who knows where Draco went) his suspicions were confirmed, "Now now Andromeda, is that any way to talk to my Great-godson?" he stated, certain she hadn't figured out who he was yet, if she even recognized he was there at all, her eyes were locked on the little boy who was refusing to look at her.
Jerking her head up Andromeda Tonks came to a sudden halt only feet away from the two and stared. Sirius refrained from smirking as he felt Teddy duck behind him in fear. "Sirius?" Andromeda breathed.
This time he did smile, "The one and only Drama," he responded, using his childhood nickname for his favorite cousin, referencing her flare for the dramatics along with the similar sounds between the word and her name.
"You're really alive?" she asked softly, slowly raising her hands as if to touch him, but never actually doing so.
Even in the dim light Sirius could see her eyes fill with tears, "Nah," Sirius laughed, "I just decided to come back and haunt you by protecting your grandson from your wrath."
Without anything further spoken between the two cousins Sirius found his arms full of a sobbing Andromeda Tonks, "You're really here!" she cried, "I thought you were dead, but then Hermione—And I couldn't go—I'm sorry, so so so sorry!" she moaned into his chest, her tears getting his shirt wet.
Sirius wound his arms around her lightly, surprised and pleased with her reaction to seeing him again, "Hey Drama shh," he soothed, "It's okay, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere."
Slowly Andromeda came back to her 'rational' self, pulling back to look up at Sirius, her urge to punish her grandson almost forgotten as she studied his face, "You look so young," she murmured, her hands smoothing some hair from his face.
Sirius smirked, "You're crazy," he stated arrogantly, "I've always looked this good."
Andromeda laughed with him, "Of course; whatever you say Siri," she replied, her voice turning more serious, "Now about my grandson who got me soaked," she said ominously.
Sirius subtly flicked his wand and dried Andromeda's clothes and hair, "You don't look soaked," he said innocently.
Surprised and suspicious Andromeda looked down at her muggle clothing, "What are you—"she noticed her clothes were dry and looked at Sirius suspiciously, "Did you just-?"
Neither confirming nor denying anything Sirius shrugged, "Looks like you have no reason to hex my great-godson," he stated with a smirk and a wink.
Slowly Teddy peeked his head out from behind Sirius' legs. Noting that his grandmother's focus was occupied by Sirius he tore off around the house, "Now look what you did," Andromeda waved in the direction Teddy had headed off in, looking tired and worn out all of a sudden, "Now it will take me ages to catch him again," she sighed.
"Are you a witch or not?" Sirius teased, pulling out his wand.
Andromeda laughed scornfully, "There are no spells for catching runaway children," she said, "I've looked."
Sirius shrugged, "Addo haedo tergo," he stated, making the tip of his wand glow turquoise, "Huh," he frowned in surprise, "The color was always gold for Harry," he muttered to himself thoughtfully.
"What was—" Andromeda started but she was cut off by a squealing and giggling turquoise haired boy that was floating towards them three feet off the ground, "Teddy?" Andromeda exclaimed as she watched Teddy float strait to Sirius and land gently at his feet. Stunned, Andromeda simply stared at the laughing Teddy and the smug Sirius.
With a smirk Sirius shrugged again, "Babysitting little Harry was a nightmare," he tried to explain, "He would constantly want to play hide and seek, a terrible muggle game Lily taught him. So Remus and I, geniuses that we were, invented that spell to keep track of him."
Andromeda sobered at the mention of her late son-in-law, "How are you doing?" she asked him softly, knowing that he would understand she was referring to Remus' death.
Unconsciously Sirius' eyes wandered over to where Hermione was laughing with a princely looking Neville, who, Sirius absently noted, looked far more mature than then last time Sirius had seen him, "I'm doing better now," he finally replied, his eyes obviously filled with love.
Suddenly Sirius felt a hand clap on his shoulder and he looked over to see a smirking Draco standing next to him, "He's got Midnight to help him," Draco stated, "They're in love," he mocked with a grin.
Sirius wasn't sure whether to be insulted or not, but before he could decide and come up with an appropriate retort the familiar bell like sound of Hermione's voice responded for him, "Well at least he and I were brave enough to tell each other how we feel Hurón," Hermione stated smartly with a smirk eerily like Draco's, (and Sirius' own, though he'd never say it out loud).
Sirius snorted in amusement as Hermione wrapped her arms around his waist, "Hurón?" he asked.
Draco raised a pale eyebrow, "It's my animagus nickname," he stated in reply to the unasked question.
"And who came up with that name may I ask?" Sirius questioned with a smirk, pushing down the minor surprise he felt at finding out Draco was also an animagus, "Let me guess, your form is a Ferret?"
Draco frowned, "Yes, Hermione gave me my name," he answered both questions, "How did you guess what my form was?"
Sirius shrugged with a small smile, "Do you know what the Spanish translation for Hurón is?" was all he said in response.
Draco stared at Hermione and Hermione stared back. The two seemed to be communicating somehow, though Sirius couldn't figure out how. Confused he looked over at Andromeda, not noticing Teddy slowly sneaking away again and turning himself invisible.
"They do this a lot," Andromeda told him in response to his unasked question, "You should see the group of them, sometimes their whole conversations are silent."
"How?" Sirius asked with intrigued confusion.
"It's a bit unclear," Andromeda sighed, "None of them really like to talk about that time. As far as I can tell Remus was the only one they ever told anything to," Andromeda watched Hermione and Draco stare at each other for another second, "We think it has something to do with occlumency," she finally told him.
Sirius blinked, "Occlumency?" he repeated.
With a nod Andromeda added, "or legilimency."
"Legilimency?" Sirius exclaimed.
Andromeda shrugged, "Maybe it's both?" she stated.
"And you think Remus knew about all of this?" Sirius asked after a lengthy pause.
Andromeda sighed again and nodded, "He always seemed to know more about Harry and his friends then he told anyone. I get the feeling that they were up to a lot of mischief at school that the Order wouldn't have approved of, so he didn't tell anyone in the Order about it. When you…left," Andromeda hesitated, "Remus was the person Harry turned to, they wrote each other a lot. With the exception of a short period after Harry, Ron, and Hermione went off on their own they were constantly in contact. Even when no one else could get through to Harry, Remus would."
Sirius dropped his head sadly, he should have been there…slowly he lifted his head to look at Andromeda, "How can I—"
"It means WHAT?" Draco exclaimed interrupting him, "I trusted you!"
Hermione was giggling, obviously unconcerned, "Don't worry Draco," she laughed, "Nobody but Harry knows what it means."
"Why would you do such a…" Draco was at a loss for words, clearly irritated.
"Oh, Draco! There you are," the airy voice of Luna Lovegood suddenly joined the conversation, "The urgalsnorts really like your voice you know," she told him secretively.
Draco's face took on a dazed look, "Really?" he asked as he looked at the beautiful blonde.
Sirius now knew what Hermione had been teasing Draco about when she had come to his rescue earlier. It was obvious to anyone who had eyes that Draco was head over heels for this girl. The two stared at each other, doing the same communicating thing that Draco and Hermione had been doing when suddenly Draco looked over at the party and rolled his eyes, "He's right here Potter!" he shouted, startling his two cousins but not Hermione or Luna who were obviously privy to his thoughts.
Sirius looked at Hermione in confusion, she smiled back and answered his unasked question, "Harry and Draco made a bet that Draco wouldn't be able to get you to join the party…" she paused and her eyes distanced for a second, "Harry is arguing that Draco didn't actually get you to join the party since you're still all the way over here," Hermione paused again, during which time Draco let out a loud groan, "Ron is agreeing with Harry," Hermione explained.
"Naturally," Draco grumbled, making Hermione smile in amusement.
"Ron says that the party stops where the light stops being bright, so technically Harry is right. Draco is upset that now that I've told you all of this you won't help him win," Hermione paused then frowned, "They just shut me out of the conversation!" she suddenly exclaimed with a glare, reaching over to whack Draco.
She rolled her eyes as Draco began complaining, "This is ridiculous, ready or not Sirius, here we go," she stated as she grabbed Sirius' hand and dragged him over to the party and into the light.
Sirius squinted for a second as the light overwhelmed his eyes, but the second they were clear he became distinctly aware of the fact that all had gone silent the moment he had come into sight. Slowly Sirius looked around the crowd that were all staring back at him, many faces he recognized but there were many more that were barely recognizable as they had all aged since the last time he saw them.
Suddenly the silence was interrupted by Molly Weasley appearing right in front of Sirius and Hermione, "Sirius!" she gasped with a smile, "It's nice seeing you out and about!" Sirius was surprised when he found himself engulfed in the Weasley matriarch's arms; he had never gotten along with her very well, so for her to welcome him with such warmth was completely unexpected.
Sirius felt Hermione attempt to worm her hand from his as he hadn't bothered to let go of her when Molly had dragged him into a tight hug; instead of letting go however, he simply squeezed her hand tighter in an attempt to let her know that he needed her to stay beside him in order for him to survive this. In response Hermione squeezed back and quit trying to separate their hands.
When Molly finally released him Sirius took a deep breath of much needed air as he stepped back to stand beside Hermione, "Thank you Molly," he said with a quick look at Hermione, "Hermione finally convinced me to quit being such a recluse, and when she told me about this party tonight I thought, why not?" Sirius looked over to where Harry was staring at him with an indiscernible look, "James, Lily and Remus wouldn't have wanted me to be wallowing like I have been; that wasn't like me."
Slowly people began talking again and going back to whatever it was they had been doing before Sirius had made his appearance, but still Harry and Sirius remained locked in a staring contest, neither making a move to speak to one another. Hermione looked between the two men as Sirius' grip on her hand became tighter, the only apparent sign of nervousness, before she could encourage one of them to make the first move Molly let out another gasp.
"How long has this been going on?" Molly demanded gesturing to Hermione and Sirius' clasped hands with a smile.
Sirius finally looked down at their hands, seeming to realize just how tight he was squeezing and loosening his grip immediately, "Uh…" he started ineloquently, unsure of what to say, his mind focused more on his godson and the confusing look on his face than on Molly and other's reactions to him and Hermione being together.
Hermione smiled at him knowingly, "We've been going around in circles for a while now, but we just got our act together tonight," she told Molly, who simply smiled and hugged the both of them.
"I'm so happy for you both!" she exclaimed once she let go of them and she was about to go on when Sirius finally deiced to make the first move to speak to Harry himself.
"I mean no offence, but it has been a while since I have managed to speak to my godson for more than a few seconds," Sirius stated with a quick look at Hermione, "So if you'll excuse me…" and with a quick kiss to Hermione's forehead and a squeeze of her hand he was gone.
His stride was long and purposeful up until he was mere feet away from Harry where he began to falter for a second. He almost changed his mind about everything and left, but then he noticed the small spark of hope that had appeared in the familiar green eyes of his godson.
Determination renewed Sirius squared his shoulders, "Your first word was something I'm not allowed to repeat in public in fear of your mother coming back to haunt me," he started, "It was a result of one of the many, many, many wild nights that Remus and I spent babysitting you. You had decided that it would be funny to tie both of us up with some of Lily's knitting string which somehow came alive and decided to make it impossible for us to move. Then while we were all tied up you found a muggle sprinkler that was running in the front yard of the muggle home you and your parents were hiding in at the time and brought it in the house… while the water was running."
Sirius paused for a second to take a breath, fully aware he was rambling but uncertain about what else they would end up talking about, "When you came back and found us still struggling to get free you laughed and decided to try and cut hair like your mother would do for James, let's just say that night didn't end well for Moony and I, while everyone else had a good laugh at the whole situation. Your favorite game to play was hide and seek, you always hid a little too well and often you wouldn't tell Moony or me that you were playing the game in the first place."
Harry's eyes were now showing amusement and wonder as Sirius continued to talk and tell him all the things he hadn't even thought to ask those years before the veil. Harry couldn't help the smile that was spreading across his lips as he listened to Sirius ramble on.
"Your first steps were taken while we were all distracted by Lily setting the stove on fire. You walked right out of the house and directly to where James, Remus and I had left our brooms before plopping yourself down next to them with this grin…" Sirius trailed off and blinked, realizing this wasn't what he wanted to be saying right now, "What I mean to say, Harry," he tried again suddenly unable to look at his godson, "is that I'm sorry I haven't been around for you to talk to, to ask questions and get answers no one else will ever be able to give you but me. Responsibility has never been something I was good at, and I've failed you so many times I just didn't want to fail you again. But I promise you now—"
Sirius was cut off as Harry suddenly tugged him into a tight embrace, "I missed you," Harry murmured softly before pulling back, "I just wanted you to come back, I didn't need someone to tell me stories or even someone to guide me and tell me what to do," Harry looked into Sirius' eyes, hoping to convey everything he didn't know how to say, "I just wanted you to be around to see the wonderful things that could make your life worth living, I just wanted you to be able to enjoy your life, for some reason you got a second chance and it hurt to see you wasting away in that room and not being enough to help you be happy again."
Sirius shook his head, "You were enough Harry, I knew that if I ever left that room I would be bombarded by responsibilities, with you being my godson and needing his godfather and Teddy needing his great-godfather," Sirius gestured vaguely to some area behind him, "and Andy needs a cousin, who knows what everyone else needs from me…" Sirius trailed off as his eyes wandered back to rest on Hermione, "I didn't know how to be what everyone needed, and that scared me most of all," Sirius sighed, his eyes returning to his godson.
Harry gave him an understanding smile, "How do you think I feel, being the 'chosen one' and all that?" he laughed before growing serious once more, "All you need to be—all any of us want or need you to be—is happy," Harry nodded as if trying to communicate something he didn't know how to say, "And anything we can do to help you to be happy we will do, you never need to feel like you have to stretch yourself so many different ways, just be here and enjoy your life, that's all any of us want from you."
Sirius blinked, this was not at all how he thought this conversation would go and he wasn't sure how to feel about that, "But what about—" he tried to protest but Harry cut him off.
"Sirius," Harry stated firmly, "It was never my parents or Remus' intention to place so much responsibility on you," Harry paused and contemplated his words, "Well, from what Remus told me, maybe it was their intention to help you grow up a little, but even though I may not remember much about my parents, or have gotten to know Remus half as well as I wished I could, I do know that they wouldn't want you to give up your happiness to be what everyone wants you to be, I would never ask that of you, nor would Teddy or Andy…" Harry grinned mischievously, "or, for that matter, would Hermione."
Sirius' head snapped up as he looked at his godson in surprised confusion, "What are you talking about?" he demanded worriedly.
Harry rolled his eyes, "It has been perfectly obvious to anyone with half a brain over the last year or so since you came back that Hermione is absolutely in love with you," he chuckled, "And to those who know her like I do it has been even longer than that…say, fourth year or so?"
He couldn't help it, Sirius gaped at Harry, "Really?" he gasped, "you knew about this all along?"
Harry laughed but before he could say anything Hermione marched up to him and pinched his shoulder, "Harry James Potter, you stop this interrogation right now!" she exclaimed, "If I want to be with Sirius then that is my decision, so I demand that you—"
Harry held up his hands in defense, "Interrogation?" he repeated incredulously, "I haven't even asked him anything, all I've said to your lovely boyfriend" Harry said the word mockingly making them both blink at the oddity of the word being applied to Sirius, "about this situation is that it has been a long time coming and that everyone knows that you're in love with him!" Harry smirked as he looked back at his godfather, "Though I do have to say…if you hurt her I will make you wish you were still dead," he stated suddenly serious.
Sirius was about to reply that he had absolutely no intention of ever letting Hermione go, and that included hurting her for any reason, when Hermione beat him to it, "That's enough Lightning!" she scolded, though she looked slightly pleased that Harry was looking out for her.
"Or what?" Harry replied challengingly.
Sirius watched the two interact as a sort of peace seemed to descend on him, this is what he had hoped for his entire life, a place and people to call home. He had found it once with the Potters and Remus, but it had all been ripped sharply out from under him; now he finally felt as if he had found that happy place once more, right here with his godson, his girlfriend – though it was a little odd to call her that considering his age—and the rest of their family.
His thoughts were interrupted when Hermione suddenly transformed into her wolf form and lunged at Harry. Sirius made a move to stop her, his eyes wide in surprise that she would attack Harry like that, when suddenly Harry, who had a giant smile on his face, disappeared and in his place stood another rather large black wolf with green eyes the shade of the same curse that had given him the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. The two wolves growled and began wrestling with one another playfully as Sirius watched on with a stunned look on his face.
"I haven't seen Harry this happy in a while," a voice commented from his left, making Sirius turn to find Neville Longbottom, Draco, Lee Jordan, George and several girls he didn't know.
Ignoring everyone but Neville for a moment Sirius smiled kindly at him, "Neville Longbottom," he stated, " I haven't seen you since the day you ran around the Potter's home absolutely terrified for your life because you and Harry had managed to steal more than a few freshly made cookies from the table right under the nose of that terrifyingly observant grandmother of yours. James, Remus and I tried to cover for you of course –your father would have helped but he was out that day with your mother—unfortunately all our help ended up doing was making her mad enough to lecture Lily on how little control she had over her family and how it was all our fault that you were turning out to be a delinquent like the rest of us," Sirius looked completely unrepentant for the part he played in all of this.
Neville tilted his head, "I knew you?" he asked in confusion, "Harry and I knew each other growing up?"
Sirius snickered, "Don't sound so surprised," he laughed, "Frank was one of our best friends in school, he was an honorary Marauder of sorts. Alice was also one of Lily's best friends, so when they both found out they were due with two little baby boys on the same day they were both completely ecstatic and decided right away that you two would grow up best friends," Sirius' eyes distanced for awhile, "You two always got along, but more often than not you found yourselves in trouble as a result of things Harry would drag you into doing," he chuckled, "It was always amusing to watch your face whenever you two got caught."
Neville looked in surprise over to where the two wolves were still playing with one another, "We were friends?"
Sirius nodded, "As close as two little one year old boys could be," he confirmed, "That's just one more thing I would have changed if I hadn't gone after Pettigrew," he then murmured to himself.
"What do you mean?" Neville asked.
Looking surprised that he had spoken out loud Sirius blinked, "I made a lot of promises to a lot of people, to James and Lily to take care of Harry, to Remus to help him through the full moons, and to your parents to make sure that you would have fun every now and then, but I let them down, I let all of them down by getting so mad that I walked right into a trap by that rat!" Sirius took a deep breath, "It would have all been different if I had stuck around. Harry wouldn't have been forced to live with his aunt and uncle, Remus wouldn't have been alone, and I would have been able to make sure that that friendship you and Harry had wasn't over before it had even begun…and I would have helped you to have a little more fun than your grandmother would have liked," he added with a wink.
Neville smiled, "As it is I don't think you did to shabbily," he tried to console Sirius, "Everything turned out alright in the end," he paused, "Well as much as could have with what happened to both our parents," he nudged Sirius, "Just don't disappear on us again and I think it will be even better than it has been."
Sirius nodded, "I have no intention of disappearing, I'm afraid your stuck with me," he smirked, "Now could you perhaps introduce me to these friends of yours and Harry's?" he asked as he gestured to the group surrounding him as they cheered Hermione and Harry on.
With a nod Neville pointed to each of the people surrounding them, "That is Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas, they were roommates with Harry, Ron and me at Hogwarts. Next to them is Lee Jordan, Fred and George's best friend in school. Then those girls are Katie Bell, Alicia Spinnet, and Angelina Johnson, they were in the twins' year," Neville gestured to the other girls and one boy on the other side of him, "That is Colin Creevy, Pavarti and Padma Patil, Susan Bones, Lavender Brown, and Hannah Abbot. You already know Draco, one of my closest friends, and Luna Lovegood."
Sirius nodded, fairly certain that he would forget most the names by the end of the night, "How do you all know each other?" he asked.
Neville blinked, "Didn't Harry or Hermione tell you?" he asked incredulously, "These are all members of the First Class DA," he said as if that explained everything.
Apparently it didn't if the blank look on Sirius' face was anything to go by. Neville looked longingly at the pair of wolves before reluctantly turning to begin explaining to Sirius what the First Class DA was; before he could say anything Draco gripped his shoulder and rolled his eyes, "Go on, I'll explain," he laughed gesturing to the animagi.
Neville smiled and nodded, "Thanks," he called over his shoulder before shouting a quick, "All in!" and shifting into his own form of a cougar.
Now Sirius really was completely shocked, "How many of you are there?" he finally demanded, sparing a quick look at Draco before gaping as he watched Luna and Ginny change into a white cat and a lynx respectively and join in the fray.
Draco smirked, "Oh you know…a lot," he laughed.
With a frown Sirius gave Draco a look that clearly demanded that he explain, "And how exactly did this come about?" he questioned impatiently.
Draco shrugged, "Well, from what Hermione has told me the attempts at transformation started sometime around February of our sixth year but they weren't able to get it until just after Easter break. There was something about multiple failures, Potter having some sort of temper tantrum that involved the discovery of his ability to do wandless and wordless magic, and there being hundreds of unhelpful books in the Room of Requirement. Ultimately it came down to three books that helped them, meaning Potter, Weasley, Ginny and Hermione, to figure out how to become successful animagi."
Sirius narrowed his eyes suspiciously, what three books could have helped them so much, and where were they when he and his friends were looking for such a thing? Draco obviously saw his confusion and continued on with his story.
"The three books became required reading for everyone in the First Class DA, which by the way was the advanced members of the newly renewed DA group, mostly they were the members from the first time around. The three books as you might have guessed, were called A Book by Padfoot—very creative title by the way—" Draco snickered, " A Guide by Prongs, and Becoming an Animagus From the View of an Observer," Sirius looked more surprised than Draco seemed to think he should, "So maybe you didn't guess…" he paused in surprise.
Sirius struggled to voice the thoughts in his mind, "You used those books?" Sirius was incredulous, "We didn't actually mean for them to mean anything, they were just a way for us to keep track of the things we tried and failed!"
Draco raised an eyebrow, "Then what was with the lame titles?"he asked.
Shaking his head Sirius gave a weak chuckle, "We were bored so we named them, but we never thought anyone but us would actually see them!" Sirius paused for a minute before realizing something, "Wait, only three books?" he tried to clarify.
Draco smirked, "The fourth apparently only lasted mere seconds before Potter blew it up and burned the remains before dumping the ashes out the window," Draco seemed amused by this, "I would have done the same thing had Potter and I switched places," he commented thoughtfully.
Sirius let out a bark of laughter, "He really did that?"
"Nasty temper that godson of yours has," Draco mock sighed with a sad shake of his head, "he could easily become a crazy freakazoid mass murderer with a face that looked like it had had just enough adjustments to its nose for it to fall off…" Draco trailed off as he pretended to be concerned.
Sirius didn't think he had ever heard anyone speak of Voldemort so flippantly, "And what part did you play in all of this?" he asked.
Draco smiled softly as he looked at the brownish wolf, "Hermione convinced me to spy for Potter," he finally sighed, "Ultimately that meant joining her little band of do-gooders," Draco was distracted as a white fluffy cat with startlingly blue eyes pranced up to him and seemed to wait patiently at Draco's feet. Bending down to pick the cat up, "This is Looney, or as I like to call her, Snowflake; her human name is Luna," he said with a smile at Sirius, "I'm afraid the rest of the story is going to have to wait until later Padfoot," Draco stated as he began to walk away to sit down with the cat in his lap.
Sirius watched as the animals continued to play with one another as the other adults laughed and talked among themselves, loosing himself in his thoughts. Absently he sent out a silent wish that James, Lily, Remus and Nymph could be here to see all this joy. This is what the war had been about, what they had all died for; just this moment of perfect contentedness.
Feeling something tug on his cape Sirius looked down to find Teddy staring back up at him, "Uncle Padfoot?" the little boy asked quietly, "Aren't you an Animagus too?"
Sirius smiled and nodded, "I am," he replied bending down to be eye level with the blue haired boy.
"Then why aren't you playing with them?" was Teddy's next question.
The idea honestly hadn't occurred to him, "Should I?" he asked Teddy. With a vigorous nod as his encouragement Sirius concentrated as he attempted to become the form of Padfoot for the first time since his return. Upon the completion of his transformation Teddy giggled.
"You're a doggy like Aunt Mione and Harry," he exclaimed in glee, "You know what that means? Dog pile!" he shouted as he dived into the fray and tackled Midnight and Lightning at the same time.
Yes, Sirius thought, this is what family was all about. He would never again hide away from moments like these. With a loud bark of joy Padfoot joined in the fun, glad to once again be able to feel as if he had finally come home.
A/N: Yes, it's true, I finally updated this story! Lol, it was a long time coming but I wanted to get it just right, as it is, I'm not sure it was everything I thought it would be, but I still think it went over pretty well. I absolutely love writing Teddy, he is soooooooo CUTE! ^_^ If you liked this, or didn't, please leave a review, they make my day!
Thanks again for reading and REVIEWing!