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Harry wasn't sure how long he'd simply sat, staring at the map of Hogwarts, the map his father and Sirius had masterminded. He knew that the shadows in the room were lengthening when Remus cleared his throat from the doorway.

"Come in," Harry said, kicking out the other wooden chair near the desk. Remus caught it in one slim hand and turned it around, sitting down and resting his arms on the chair's back. "Anything wrong?"

Remus shook his head with a small smile. "Just checking up. Enjoying your gifts?"

Harry's eyes drifted to the doorway to the bedroom where most of the gifts still sat, unwrapped but untouched.

"They're all very nice," he said truthfully. "It's just a little..."


"Difficult. Right now. All this."

Remus nodded, eyes drifting over the map. He frowned slightly.

"I guess you noticed the ah...conspicuous absence of a gift from me," he said. Harry had, but he hadn't thought it would be polite to mention it. "I thought about borrowing a bit off Tonks, but that's...not exactly wise, that sort of thing."

"You didn't have to get me anything. You gave me the keys," Harry said, gesturing to where the housekeys sat, in a little pigeonhole in the desk.

"Well, I thought I might have something that you're going to value a lot more than objects, in the coming days," Remus said. "Most of what we're going to deal in, during this war, is information. I imagine you know that."

Harry nodded.

"And this isn't exactly helpful information, but it's..." Remus shrugged. "I've been wondering if I ought to speak with you about it sooner, but last year wasn't the time. Now you're of an age to make your own decisions."

Harry found himself wondering, not for the first time, if Remus sometimes avoided looking at him while talking because his eyes reminded Remus of Lily. He understood that people had become used to him looking like James, because it had been years since his father died and longer still since he'd been sixteen, but he knew sometimes his eyes caught people -- especially friends of his mother -- unawares.

"I heard, not long after your second year, about Tom Riddle's diary," Remus continued. "About what it did to Ginny. That's why I haven't told you either. I wanted you to grieve for Sirius, Harry, not to find substitutes."

"I know," Harry said. "You'd know more about grieving than I would, anyway."

"Probably so, but I've lived a good deal longer than you." Remus stood and pushed the chair away, leaning against the desk. One hand touched the ragged edge of the parchment. "May I see the map, Harry?"

Harry laughed, a little bitterly. "It's yours by right."

"No; I think not. Sirius was always our official keeper until we passed it on. He left everything he had to you. Therefore..." Remus smiled and shook his wand out of his sleeve, tapping it on the parchment. "Mischief managed," he said. "Now, Harry, watch closely. Not me; the map."

Harry looked down as Remus spoke again.

"Hello, Prongs," he said. Harry winced, but read the words which spiraled up.

Same old face as ever, Moony.

"The parchment wasn't designed to insult people," Remus said with a small smile. "It's just us, the way we'd react -- and we'd have insulted the majority of people who tried to get in. Go on," he said.

Harry drew his wand out of one of the other pigeonholes in the desk, touching the map.

"Who's there?" he said, feeling foolish.

Mr. Prongs would like to point out what a handsome young man Mr. Potter appears to be.

Mr. Moony would like to express his belief that Mr. Prongs is an egotistical bastard, and thinks the best attribute of Mr. Potter is his eyes.

Harry glanced at Remus, who grinned.

Mr. Padfoot agrees with Mr. Moony about Mr. Potter's eyes, but thinks Mr. Moony is being a stick in the mud.

Mr. Wormtail

Remus lifted his own wand from the map and knocked Harry's away in the process. The ink faded down, like afterimages of a bright flash of light on the eyelids.

"There's no need to hear his opinion," he growled. Harry waited patiently for him to continue."We taught the map to react like we would have -- as we might have when we were sixteen," Remus said, circling his finger on the empty page. "I thought you ought to know. I thought if you wanted to know what your father was like when he was your age, you could ask the map. It might even help, one never knows."

Harry glanced at Remus, his hair prematurely and now almost completely grey, face lined with care beyond his years, and wondered how long it had taken him to decide this. Years, clearly. After all, he could ask the map questions about Moony as easily as Padfoot or Prongs.

Or Wormtail.

"I trust you with this, Harry," Remus continued, finger still circling, drawing an invisible whirlpool on the top pages of the folded map. "Because you deserve to know your roots and because you are a man not just in name." He smiled at Harry. "Your father would have wanted you to know."

Harry nodded, then glanced back at the page.

"Remus," he said quietly. Remus looked down.

An inky mirror-finger had joined his on the page, and was following his movements. He pulled his hand back as if burned, and the finger on the page shattered into flecks of ink, then into words.

Wotcha, Moony.

Both of them stared at it.

"But it shouldn't..." Remus murmured. "Not without a wand touching it..."

Nothing to say to your old Padfoot?

Remus, perplexed, picked up his wand slowly, eyes never leaving the text.

"It's not supposed to do that, is it?" Harry asked worriedly.

"No, it's not..." he said, touching his wand to the page, avoiding the black ink. "I solemnly swear that I am Remus Lupin," he said, and the ink vanished; in its place four columns of text appeared, each in a different handwriting and a different colour: red, gold, blue, and black.

"These were our notes to each other..." Remus said, scanning the text. "Peter, myself, Sirius, and James. But..."

His eyes widened as he followed Sirius' handwriting. "Did you ever give Sirius your map?" he asked Harry abruptly.

"No -- well, we looked at it together once or twice, but he never had it when I wasn't there, not that I know of," Harry answered. "He didn't seem to like it, actually. You know how he got when people talked about history. He never told me about the notes...what's going on?"

"I'm not sure. Lean back a bit, Harry," Remus pushed him away, gently, and Harry was reminded of the supernatural strength in his underfed body. "I need to try something..."

He spread the map on the floor and knelt in front of it, touching his wand to the text of Sirius' notes. "I think Sirius may have done something to the map...reveal, Padfoot," he said.

Harry watched as the other journals swirled into each other, red and gold and black all pooling together and vanishing as row upon row of scrawling blue text filled the page. Remus, hands spread on the map, gasped and stiffened; there was a flash of blue light, and then Harry was moving, throwing himself forward into the older man and knocking him away from the map, rolling with Remus' shoulders in his arms as a blinding light filled the room.

He ended on top, Remus limp as a rag-doll beneath him, and he crouched over the unconscious man, brushing the hair out of his eyes and checking for a pulse with one hand while he tapped his cheek with the other, hard.

"Remus, wake up -- Remus, please...Remus, please wake up..."

There was a rustle behind him and Harry turned, realising the map was between them and his wand, still sitting on the desk. He was prepared for Voldemort or Wormtail or anything to come rising out of the map...

He was not prepared for a young man, pushing himself up off the floor, looking as confused as Harry felt.

When the other -- not a man, barely more than a boy really -- saw him, he scrabbled backwards until he bumped into the wall. Harry put himself square between Remus and this new intruder, and for a few seconds they stared at each other across the now-empty parchment.

This new boy couldn't be much older than Harry himself. He had blue spatters of ink on his face and hands. Black hair hung across cheekbones which rose sharply under wide eyes. Harry saw, on the edges of his vision, that the floor was covered in flecks of drying blue ink -- as was the crisp white Hogwarts shirt the boy wore.


No, it wasn't. Couldn't be.

Harry's brain shut down but his instincts kicked in the same time the boy's did, and Harry leapt for the desk and his wand at the same time the boy fumbled in his pocket for one. Harry was faster, and found himself straddling the stranger's chest with his wand aimed at the other boy's throat. Slowly, the other boy relaxed and held up his hands.

"I give," he said. "Don't hex me."

Harry took the wand from his hand warily and threw it away behind him. He could hear Remus' breath rattling in his throat, which at least meant he was alive.

"Who are you?" Harry demanded. "How'd you get here?"

The boy gaped at him. "Has anyone ever told you you're a dead ringer for James Potter?" he asked.


The first few seconds of Sirius' arrival in this new place had been intensely confusing; he'd recalled dreams of being made of ink and paper, and flying apart in a windstorm, and then to arrive here, and be leapt upon by what was clearly Prongs' evil twin...

Well, he did the only thing that came naturally and was guaranteed to stop the Evil in their tracks. Not that he'd come up against Evil with a capital E, yet, but clearly he was going to one day, and it worked on the lesser evil-with-a-lower-case-e Slytherins.

He piffled.

"Has anyone ever told you you're a dead ringer for James Potter?" he asked the boy sitting on his chest.

It did make the other boy pause, and lean back slightly.

"I promise I won't try to kill you?" Sirius tried.

"Who are you?" the boy repeated, more uncertain now.

"Sirius Black," Sirius said, gathering all the dignity that he could muster while having his chest sat on. Surprisingly, it was still considerable. "Of the most ancient and noble house of Black, if you don't mind, and I'm not accustomed to being prodded in the throat with other people's wands."

The boy leaned back further, then climbed off him slowly.

"If you move I'll hex you into next week," he said fiercely, and went back to the man lying on the floor -- really, he did look an awful lot like Mr. Lupin, except Mr. Lupin would never have dressed that shabbily. Mrs. Lupin, of whom Sirius was extraordinarily fond, would never have allowed it.

"Is he all right?" Sirius asked.

"I don't know -- shut up!" the boy snapped. "Don't move and don't talk."

"Oi, you brought me here you know," Sirius snapped back.

"I did not!"

"Well I didn't bloody come here on my own, did I?"

"Will you shut up?" the boy snapped. "He's breathing. He's got a pulse...Remus...wake up...please wake up..."

Sirius could hear the panic in the boy's voice, and he resolutely ignored for the moment the name he was calling. "Can I help?" he asked, crawling forward.

The boy's head lifted and his wand shot out. "I told you not to move," he snarled. "Come near him and I'll kill you."

Sirius held up his hands. "My wand's next to your shoe. What'm I supposed to do without it, talk him to death? He needs a Healer."

The boy bit his lip, looking uncertainly towards the door, and only then did Sirius realise where he was. Every muscle in his body tensed.

"Is my family here?" he asked.


"My family, if they catch you here -- if they catch me here -- "

The boy gave him an irritated wave. "Your family's not here and will you please shut up and let me think?"

Sirius, whose distress at the whole situation was overwhelming, pulled his knees up against his chest and wrapped his arms around them. He watched the boy consider him, and then the man on the floor, and then the door.

"I'm going downstairs," he said. "I'm calling help. If you so much as breathe on him I swear to god it'll be the last thing you do."

Sirius nodded. He had no desire to move at all. If his family heard his voice or his footsteps, they'd find him, and his father had promised to kill him if he ever set foot in the family home again. He'd do it, too.

The boy took Sirius' wand and left, Muggle trainers squeaking on the old wood floors. Sirius sat hunched against the desk and rocked back and forth a little. He could hear the man's labored breathing, and he longed to turn into Padfoot, but the boy clearly had some sway over the family somehow and it would be bad to reveal himself.

Instead he studied the man's profile, trying to calm down. Definitely a Lupin. Probably an uncle, hadn't Moony said he was named after an uncle or something? All the Lupin men had R names, he knew that because he'd made fun of Remus first day in classes and Remus had calmly turned to him and given him a lecture on the Lupin wizarding clan that had made Sirius feel about six inches tall, even in the face of a puny, funny-haired, half-breed little kid. How many R names were there? Ronald, Richard, Remus of course, Romulus -- uch! Rufus, Randall, Roger, Ramsey, Raymond, Randolph, Rudolph, Riley...Regulus, of course.

Clearly he was hysterical. He was reciting names in his head, for Merlin's sake.

Gosh, there were a lot of R names.

He had the same skinny build as Remus' father, and Remus' high forehead and somewhat unfortunate chin. And the boy had looked so much like James...

He hadn't gotten the boy's name, he realised, and for all he knew he could be summoning the rest of the Blacks even as he sat here and contemplated his companion, this new Remus (Raymond, Reginald, Regis, Rhett...)

Well, there wasn't much to be done, really. All he could do was sit here and, if his father did show up, turn into Padfoot and bite the living hell out of him.

Not such a bad plan, really.


Tonks was downstairs, industriously conducting an entire armada of scrubbing brushes as they washed the dishes and packaged up the birthday cake into neat packets for the chill-charmed cupboard that took the place of a Muggle fridge.

"Hiya, Harry, how's -- " she stopped when she saw his face, and her wand hand dropped. Most of the scrubbing brushes seemed to pause in anticipation.

"My map exploded," Harry blurted. "It hurt Remus somehow and there's a stranger in the bedroom and he says he's Sirius -- I told him if he moved I'd kill him so Remus ought to be safe enough -- " He took hold of her sleeve and tugged her towards the staircase. The plates and brushes clattered down as she followed him.

"Who did you tell?" Tonks asked confusedly as they climbed the stairs two at a time. Harry pushed open the door to his bedroom while Tonks stood in front of it, wand at the ready. She burst inside as soon as it was open, and Harry followed.

The boy -- Sirius -- was right where he'd left him, curled up in a small, anxious-looking ball. Remus was still breathing heavily, but his fingers were twitching. Harry hoped that was a good sign.

"Sirius?" Tonks asked, and Harry turned to look at her, surprised.

"Who're you?" the boy replied. "I didn't touch him, I swear -- "

Harry watched Tonks kneel by Remus, her face gone very pale. He slid down next to her as she took his pulse and began muttering an incantation over him. After a second his breathing eased and his fingers stopped twitching.

"Only a werewolf," she sighed, almost affectionately. "He seems all right, and the charm should keep him stable for now. Mobilicorpus," she added, and he rose off the ground. She levitated him easily through the door and onto the bed while Sirius -- the boy -- ducked out of her way hurriedly. When he was settled, she turned to regard their intruder gravely.

"Right then," she said. "If you're polyjuiced I'll just strip it out of your system with a very painful blood-cleansing charm and if you've got some sort of masking charm on I'll just tear it right off your skin. I'm told it feels like having tape ripped off every inch of your body."

Sirius didn't move.

"But I'm not going to do it here," she decided. "I don't want the screams waking him." She reached down and hauled Sirius to his feet, shoving him towards Harry, who darted backwards. "Into the kitchen with both of you while I floo for Pye to have a proper Healer look at Remus."

They trooped downstairs and Tonks floo-called for Augustus Pye, an Order recruit who was not unfamiliar to Harry -- one Christmas he had helped treat Arthur Weasley's snake-inflicted injuries. The Healer gave Harry a friendly smile as he came through.

"Stay here and don't get into trouble. Harry, if he starts something -- well, you're a big boy now. Bash his head in, " Tonks said, leading Pye up to the room.

Harry and Sirius sat and stared at each other across the table.

"Are you really Sirius?" Harry finally asked.

"Were you trying to summon someone else?" Sirius demanded. "Who was that witch?"

"That's Tonks," Harry answered. "She's an Auror."

"I saw that," Sirius said scornfully. "Tonks, eh? My cousin married a Tonks. Got a kid about six years old. Metamorphmagus. Sent my mum into a right snit, Andromeda marrying a Muggle-born and then putting out the most magical kid we've had in four generations..." he paused. "My family really isn't here?" he asked.

Harry narrowed his eyes at him. "How old are you?"

"Sixteen, how old are you? What's your name, anyhow?"

"Well, that's taken care of," Tonks said brightly, reappearing in the stairwell. She put her hands on her hips and stood in front of the two boys, looking down at them thoughtfully. "I've scheduled a full-on panic attack for later, so as long as the adrenaline's still running you might as well explain yourselves. Not you," she added, pointing to Sirius. "Harry, you tell me what happened."

Harry hesitated.

"Remus made my map explode," he blurted. "And then he was just there."

Tonks glanced at Sirius, who shrugged. "I went to bed last night and woke up covered in ink in a guestroom with people jabbing me in the throat with wands, which I still don't appreciate," he added to Harry.

Tonks delicately put her hand over her eyes.


"All right," said Kingsley Shacklebolt, his deep voice echoing a little in the kitchen, "I'd like to see if I understand this properly. For the last three years, Harry has been in the possession of what is possibly the most unique map in my experience, designed by his father, Lupin, and Black -- "

" -- and Peter Pettigrew," Sirius added, continuing to be mystified by their apparent inability to remember Wormtail's name.

"And, as you say, Peter Pettigrew," Shacklebolt acknowledged. "In addition, it contains..." he looked at Harry, briefly, "According to Lupin, a journal charm not dissimilar to Tom Riddle's."

"Who's that?" Sirius asked.

"This is not for your benefit, Mr. Black," Shacklebolt replied. "A little patience, if you please, and shortly everything will be explained."

Sirius subsided meekly; it was all very well to strut and shout in front of professors and students, but this was an Auror, and even Sirius had a healthy respect for Aurors.

Especially tall, extremely muscular ones like Shacklebolt.

"You weren't aware of the journals, Harry?" Tonks asked. Harry shook his head.

"And they're not...exactly the same as the diary," he said slowly.

"How do you know?"

Harry looked uncomfortable. "I know things. About the diary, I mean, and I don't think they would have done...what Tom did to make the diary. Anyway, the Twins probably never found the journals -- they told me once it took them three months to get into the map alone," he answered. "The names let you into the journals, but they wouldn't have known who Padfoot and Moony and the rest -- "

"Hey!" Sirius yelped. "How do you know -- "

"Mr. Black, if you cannot remain quiet, I will remove you," Shacklebolt said.

"But he -- "

"Quiet, please."

Sirius crossed his arms and glared across the table at Harry.

"And Lupin opened up the journals," Shacklebolt recited, "And then...?"

"He said 'Reveal, Padfoot'," Harry answered. "And there was a flash of light, and Remus passed out. And next thing I know he's here."

Sirius opened his mouth to protest again, but Shacklebolt stopped him with a warning scowl before turning to Tonks. "How's Lupin?" he asked.

"He seems all right. He's sleeping upstairs. Pye says there's nothing we can do for now -- he doesn't want to move him to St. Mungo's."

"Listen, I'd like to know what's going on here," Sirius complained.

"As would we all, Mr. Black, but I'm afraid it appears the man to best answer our questions is unconscious," Shacklebolt replied. "Unfortunately, we cannot wait for him to regain consciousness to inform you of some rather unpleasant truths, from your perspective."

"What's he on about?" Sirius asked Harry, who frowned.

"Mr. Black, you are...sixteen, correct? For you the year is nineteen-seventy-six?"

Sirius looked at him suspiciously.

"However, for the rest of us, the year is nineteen-ninety-seven," Shacklebolt continued. "And you are not, in actuality, Sirius Black at all. You are a memory of him, trapped in the map he helped to create. And have been, for the past twenty years. Give or take."

A Muggle might have shouted and ranted and scoffed, but Sirius had read a lot of books and studied the functions behind the Marauder's Map. He merely sat thoughtfully for a while. He couldn't, for the life of him, think of anything to say, other than --

"Send me back," he ordered.

"I doubt it's possible. Technically you don't exist. You're a manifestation of the map, given life. I imagine the only reason your resurrection didn't kill Lupin is that he's not human -- "

"Then send me back into the map."

"I wouldn't have the first clue how," Shacklebolt said, infuriatingly reasonable. "Would you?"

Sirius scowled and turned away.

"So...he really is Sirius?" Harry said.

"Not your Sirius, Harry," Tonks said gently, and Sirius turned back.

"What do you mean, his Sirius?" he demanded. "I've never seen him before in my life."

"You're my godfather," Harry said.


"You're also dead."

"Shut up!"

"He's right," Shacklebolt agreed, and Sirius wanted to punch him. "The Sirius who put you into the map grew up and became Harry's godfather. Harry's parents are Lily and James Potter."

Sirius let out a bark of laughter. "Not Lily Evans? She wouldn't give him the time of day!"

"Lily Evans," Shacklebolt confirmed. "She and James Potter are also dead."

Sirius, struck dumb, looked at Harry. Harry nodded slowly.

"Voldemort," he said, and Sirius winced. "He killed them. Wormtail was a traitor, but you were blamed." Harry bit his lip. "Things went badly."

"How badly?" Sirius asked, in a hoarse whisper.

"Sirius was sent to Azkaban for their murder. It's complicated; perhaps we should wait," Shacklebolt said. "For now, what you need to know is that he was innocent, that we were unable to exonerate him, and that he was murdered himself, a little over a year ago."

Sirius, still attempting to digest the murder of his best well as his own death...had a sudden thought.

"Then the man upstairs...that's Moony," he said.

"That is Remus Lupin, yes," Shacklebolt said.

Sirius bolted for the kitchen door instinctively. If Moony was the only one left, then to Moony he would go. Moony would know what to do, he always did, even if he was twenty years older. Shacklebolt almost caught his arm but he shrugged it off and pelted up the stairs. Halfway up, on the landing, Tonks caught up with him and kept hold of him.

"Let me go!" he shouted. "I want to see him!"

"Shut UP shut UP!" she hissed, but another screaming voice was drowning her out, and Sirius backed away from it, terrified, shoulderblades pressing up against a wall in panic. His mother's voice, aged but perfectly recognisable.


Shacklebolt and Harry arrived at that point and thrust the curtains closed on a hideous, gaping-mouthed portrait of his mother hanging in the front hallway. Sirius felt his hands shaking and hated himself for his cowardice. At least the horrible voice was silent.

"If you keep quiet, you can see him," Shacklebolt said in a low, urgent voice. "If you try a stunt like that again I'll stupefy you until we can properly lock you up."

There was a hand on his arm and he flinched; Harry had touched him to get his attention.

"This way," he whispered, and led the way up the stairs as if Sirius didn't know his own family's house.

He'd studied the man when Harry had gone to fetch the Aurors, but then it had been as a curiousity; now he looked on the lined face and grey hair and wondered if his older self had looked like that, wondered what had happened to Moony to age him so quickly. If the year was ninety-seven then he was only in his late thirties; old to a teenager, yes, but hardly ancient.

"I did this," he said, staring at the shallow rise and fall of Moony's chest.

"He'll be okay," Harry said, but he didn't sound as if he knew for sure either.

"I didn't mean to." Sirius had never felt more like being Padfoot in his life; James was dead and James' son was here telling him that he himself was dead, and this grown man was Moony, and the world had moved on.

But if they knew the name Padfoot, then they almost surely knew he was an Animagus. He glanced at Harry, who seemed to read his mind and took his hand off his shoulder.

Sirius felt his bones shift and change, the ecstatic moment of transformation sweeping over him, and then Padfoot lifted his muzzle in a solitary, wailing howl. There was no doubt this was Moony now; he smelled like Moony, and this boy's scent was similar to James'. Padfoot rested his head on the bedspread and felt arms encircle his neck as Harry slipped to the floor and leaned against him, a comforting, human weight, a face buried in his shaggy fur.


Tonks watched as Sirius transformed, knowing that normally the change from man to dog was a private thing best done in solitude, but she understood the need, as well, to hide from the world under another face. The howl he released chilled her and she saw Harry flinch; then Padfoot leaned against the bed and Harry slid down with his back to it, below Remus' too-still shoulder, and wrapped his arms around the big dog's neck. She was surprised Sirius allowed it, given the confusion of the day, but the dog was stoic and still.

There was a sound not unlike a sob from Harry, but his face was pressed into Padfoot's fur and she couldn't be positive. She felt she ought to leave them, but that was Remus on the bed -- Remus, who had only just a month ago finally given in to her persistence --

She let her hand drift down to stroke Harry's head, whispered a reassurance, and sat on the bed to touch Remus with her other hand. Her fingers rested on his wrist, counting out the steady beat of his pulse, one, two, three. She saw Padfoot's eyes on her but they weren't accusatory, as their Sirius' had sometimes been when she sat with Remus at dinner or spoke to him after meetings. Those eyes were merely curious and frightened.

She lifted her hand from Harry's head to scratch behind Padfoot's ears but he jerked away, distrustful, and nuzzled against Harry instead, lapping at his ear before returning to his head-on-blanket vigil.

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