Content Harry Potter Crossovers/Multiple Fandoms Metafandom
  • Previous
  • Next

Harry found Sirius in dog-form, curled up at the foot of Remus' bed, when he went looking for him after breakfast. Augustus Pye was taking Remus' pulse, looking rather askance at the large black dog glowering nearby.

"How is he?" Harry asked. The Healer sighed and sat in a nearby chair.

"There's no reason he shouldn't be awake soon," he said. "If he isn't by tonight, I'm going to administer some potions -- I don't want to, I'm not an expert in werewolf physiology, but we can't just keep him here like this. He's going to get bedsores, for one."

Harry glanced at Sirius, who blinked his doggy eyes and nudged Remus' blanket-covered knee. There was a quiet knock at the door, and Tonks put her head in. Pye smiled up at her and stood, gesturing for her to take his chair.

"Thanks," she said, settling into it. "I thought he might like it if someone read to him..." she held up a book in a leather binding. "He likes Ellis Graveworthy. You can stay if you want," she added to Harry, who bit his lip and glanced at Sirius. The dog looked defiant.

"I don't know Ellis Graveworthy," Harry said, sitting next to Sirius at the foot of the bed. He wanted to reach out and scratch the dog right between the shoulderblades where he knew the fur grew crosswise and itched, but he didn't know how Sirius would take it so he settled for folding his hands in his lap.

"He's a Wizarding novelist," Tonks said, opening the book and propping it on one leg. "He wrote Wizard Bird and Two Kneazles and a few others. He died young."

There was a change of pressure beside him, and Sirius sat up, scooting to the edge of the bed. "Shop Gods was supposed to be coming out next year," he said.

"That's the one I brought," Tonks answered. "And then Animagus Winter, that's Remus' favourite, but I couldn't find a copy."

"What happened to him?" Sirius asked. Tonks looked down at the book.

"He joined the Order in the last days of the war, is what my mum said," she admitted. "Remus has the whole set signed to him somewhere, they knew each other. He was killed by Death Eaters."

Sirius eyed the book. "That one any good then?"

"It's all right. Remus said that Graveworthy used to say he didn't really learn to be a novelist until he wrote Animagus Winter," Tonks said. "I guess if Remus knew him you probably did, too."

"I'd've given anything to meet Ellis Graveworthy," Sirius said. "Go on then, let's hear it. Least it's one good thing I got out of coming here. I get to read Shop Gods a year early."

Tonks gave him a small smile and opened the book to the first page of text.

"In Diagon Alley," she read, "above the cobblestones but below the shadow of Muggle England, just after the second Muggle war, stood a shop by the name of Wren's Rest which sold post-owls and small carven-wood toys for children..."


Remus was conscious of noise, of the memory of noise and the memory of an impact, something tearing through him like a Change gone horribly wrong. Something that took and took and took when he tried to breathe. He inhaled now and found the air was stale, but wherever he was he could at least breathe freely; he was hot, too hot, but it was so hard to move...

The noise that he had thought was a memory was a voice, now, and he recognised it: Tonks' clear young voice, not conversational but reading in some kind of cadence. He could lie here and listen to that; that would be fine. He liked Tonks' voice.

"...said Wren; he had studied the boy's face for what seemed like ages. It was a good face, strong and broad, but it was glamoured and Wren wondered why. When Charles spoke again -- "

"Hang on, he's moving."

Another young voice, deeper than Ron's, and not Harry's accent at all; then Harry's voice, and a sound that wasn't a sound so much as a movement. He remembered that sound -- he remembered that voice.


He opened his eyes and light stabbed into his skull, making it ache; after a second the cool relief of a painkilling charm washed over him, and he focused on a face bent over his. Tonks; good. Familiar. It smelled like he was in a room in Grimmauld Place -- the faint scent of Harry and the neverending mustiness of the old house.

"Tonks," he croaked. She smiled at him, and he coughed. "Water..."

A cup was pressed to his lips and a hand held his head up off the pillow enough for him to drink without spilling or choking; when he'd swallowed a few mouthfuls of mercifully cold water, he tried moving again and found himself under two or three blankets in a bed that was not his own.

"Where's Harry?" he asked, bewildered, but aware that as James' last living friend he ought to be keeping tabs on the boy.

"He's safe, he's here," Tonks answered, her hand moving from the back of his head to his neck, between his shoulderblades, helping to push him up.

Two boys sat at the foot of his bed, watching him carefully; he blinked sleep-crusted eyes and raised a hand to rub his knuckles across his face. His eyesight was still a little fuzzy, but he made out a touseled head of black hair, two in fact, and for a moment he thought he might be dreaming or seeing double. There were dozens of times he'd woken in the hospital bed at school or the dilapadated four-posted in the Shack, and there would be James and Sirius smiling black-haired at him while Peter made tea...

He turned to look up at Tonks too quickly. She caught him around the shoulders, steadying him before he could fall off the bed.

"How do you feel?" she asked.

"Awful," he answered, leaning back again to look at the two boys. Green eyes; that wasn't James but Harry. He didn't think he knew the other black-haired boy, but --

"What's the last thing you remember?" Tonks asked softly, as Remus stared in shock at the spit and image of Sirius Black -- Sirius when he'd been sixteen, without the gaunt cheeks or deep-lined face, without the hollows under his eyes from twelve years in prison.

"I was talking with Harry," Remus answered, without looking away. "We were discussing the map. I was showing him a bit of it that the twins never found...I spread it out on the floor because it started malfunctioning -- "

He put out a hand, slowly, and noticed that his arm shook. From here he couldn't reach the black-haired boy at the foot of the bed, but the boy was moving forward, stretching out his own hand to touch him.

When their fingers touched, Remus felt his chest heave as though a string attached to his ribcage had been pulled, and he couldn't help the noise his sharp inhalation of breath made.

"You put yourself into the map," he said, eyes wide. "Sirius -- how could you?"

"I didn't mean to," Sirius replied, looking frightened.

"Not -- you didn't -- "

"It was an accident!"

"And when I tried to find out what you were you came back..."

"Nearly killed you," Tonks said. "If you'd been human it would have."

"How did you do it?" Remus asked. "Was it just you? Is James in there too? Did you do it together?"

"Just me," Sirius answered. "I didn't even mean to -- "

"Come here," Remus commanded, drawing his knees up so that Sirius could move closer on the bedspread. He came forward hesitantly and knelt when he was about even with Remus' knees. Remus cupped his face, smoothing the hair back off his forehead, and smiled brokenly.

"Look at you, Sirius," he said, still stroking his hair back. "Look at you, how old are you, sixteen? Our brilliant Padfoot..."

Sirius smiled back, a little warily. "Sixteen," he agreed quietly.

"Merlin, I must seem ancient to you," Remus continued, letting his hands fall away. "You've been told who -- "

"You're Moony," Sirius said. "Harry told me."

"You've been asleep for a while," Harry added, over Sirius' shoulder. "We've told him everything."

"Asleep...?" Remus looked up at Tonks, who nodded in confirmation. "Does the Order know?"

"Don't worry too much about who knows what," she said, ruffling his greying hair with a smile. "Are you hungry?"

"But what about -- "

"Remus," she interrupted, patiently. He paused.

"Yes, please, Tonks," he said. "So long as they can stay."

"What are you, five? Of course they can stay," she answered. "Don't let him move too much," she said to Harry, who nodded.

"Does the Order know?" Remus repeated, when Tonks was gone. The other two looked at each other.

"They know," Harry answered finally. "They've already begun making plans."

"Plans?" Remus asked, coughing again. Harry picked up the glass of water and held it out to him. "Thank you."

"Well, he can't stay here," Harry said.

"I'm going back to Hogwarts," Sirius said.

"Back to Hogwarts? What, nobody's going to notice Sirius bloody Black running around the school?" Remus asked, drinking quickly to stop another coughing fit. With Tonks gone from the room the temporary painkilling charm was slowly wearing off. He tried to breathe deeply.

"We're renaming him," Harry said, as though this solved all problems.

"They're hiring me as a special tutor," Sirius added. "And they're going to let me study for my NEWTs in the meantime. McGonagall got a bit wrinkly, didn't she?"

Remus smiled. "So have we all, in case you hadn't noticed," he said, running his fingers through his hair and separating out a lock of grey.

"Yeah," Sirius said, rather sadly.

"Here we are then," Tonks said, kicking the door open and almost tripping on the carpet. "Stew and bread and good wishes from downstairs. I've floo'd Augustus Pye and he'll be around in a little while to talk to you."

"Thank you," Remus said quietly, reaching up to take the bowl out of the air where it was floating behind Tonks. The plate of bread settled on the blanket nearby, and Sirius promptly took a piece and began buttering it.

"We were just talking about me going back to school," he said, breaking off half and passing it to Harry.

Remus, pushing chunks of beef around to try to collect them all at once, looked skeptical. "Are we sure this is a wise idea?"

"McGonagall seemed to think it was the only one worth considering," Tonks answered. "Don't you take any more of that bread, Sirius Black."

Sirius looked sullen and shoved the rest of his bread into his mouth. Remus chuckled.

"Hard to be taking orders from someone who used to come up to your knee, isn't it?" he asked amusedly.

"I'll eat more bread if I please," Sirius answered. "I just don't feel like any right now."

Remus gave him a sober nod and then winked at Harry. He felt unaccountably euphoric, which was probably equal parts lightheadedness and having Sirius back, any form of Sirius. Sixteen or thirty-six, it didn't matter. In fact he probably, given the choice, would prefer sixteen, even with all the flaws that came with adolescence. Those were surface and could be polished.

That was the most comforting and the most dangerous thing about Sirius. At the core, he never really changed.


Halfway through the meal, Augustus Pye came to take Remus' pulse and check his eyes and do a lot of other rather silly Healer things, which Sirius only bore as well as he did because he'd seen Madam Pomfrey do them lots of times before -- and done them a few times himself, if it came to that. By the time Remus was sopping up the last of the stew broth with the bread, Tonks was ready to shoo Pye and Harry and Sirius out, but Remus put his hand on her arm and smiled. When Remus smiled, well. Even James wasn't able to say no to that ingratiating grin.

Hadn't ever been. James hadn't ever been able to say no . He couldn't be not-able to say no now, because he was dead and couldn't say anything.

Sirius ignored that, concentrating on being where he was and not everything he'd lost in the last two days, because if he did that he might run mad.

"I'd like to speak with Sirius alone for a little while, if that's all right," Remus said. "Nothing stressful, Tonks, I promise. Please," he added.

Tonks sighed. "All right. Come on, Harry."

Harry gave them a reassuring look and patted Sirius on the shoulder tentatively before he slid off the bed and followed Tonks and the Healer out, closing the door behind him. The room was terribly silent for a few minutes. Sirius studied the pattern of the top blanket and waited for Remus to speak.

"Here you are, Sirius," Remus said.

"Yeah. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"I would have done it voluntarily if you'd given me warning."

"I don't think I knew how. I don't....remember being in the map. Just going to bed one night and waking up here, covered in ink. Your Harry very nearly hexed me stupid."

Remus sighed. "That does sound like Harry."

"He was worried about you."

"Apparently he had reason. How long, exactly, have I been unconscious?"

"Just about a day. Most of yesterday, and it's coming up on lunch-time today."

"Harry says they've told you everything," Remus said. "How much is everything?"

Sirius shrugged. "He showed me his photographs and told me what he knows, and about us joining the Order thing, and Wormtail and all."

"He told you Wormtail was the traitor?"

Sirius ducked his head. "Yeah. Sorry about that."

"I forgave the man who actually did mistrust me, Padfoot, I think I can forgive you," Remus said. "I do need to ask though...have you told them everything?"

"Well, they know about Padfoot and about the map but they already knew that -- I mean what else do you expect I ought to tell them?" Sirius asked.

"About yourself, I mean," Remus said. "Moody knows, and I know, but that's about it -- oh, Tonks, probably," he added. Sirius stared at him.

"Myself?" Sirius asked, voice rising slightly. If Remus had picked up something from the map..."What's there to tell about me?"

"It's all right, Sirius, you told me ages ago," Remus said gently. "About you and, er, blokes."

"There's nothing to tell about me and blokes!" Sirius blurted. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Sirius, listen to me. I'm trying to tell you that people know. So that you'll know you can trust them," Remus continued. Sirius stared at him in horror. "Sirius, please. Don't look so terrified. It's just me," he added.

"Nobody knew about that!"

"Well, not when we were sixteen, certainly," Remus said sardonically. "But the truth rather came out when James and I caught you with Matthew Byrnbaum the night before graduation -- "

"Byrnbaum should be so lucky!" Sirius said hotly, then flushed with embarrassment. "I mean, I don't fancy blokes!"

"You fancied me for a year and a half."

"I never did!"

"You told me so yourself," Remus said, with a small smile.

"Well you needn't be so amused over it," Sirius growled.

"I just thought you ought to be aware that I knew. And so do Moody and Tonks. It's all right, you know. I mean it's different than when we were boys -- well, different than -- " Remus sighed. "It's different now than it was twenty years ago. It's a bit more accepted. Not much, but..."

"Well, I'll thank you not to go blabbing it about," Sirius said sullenly.

"I don't intend to. I kept your secret for far longer than you managed to keep mine," Remus chided gently.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean? I haven't told anyone about you, they all knew already!"

Remus gave him a searching look. "You hadn't finished sixth year yet, had you?"

"Why, who found out in sixth year?"

"It's not important. I'm tired, Sirius, I'd like to sleep some more. I just thought you ought to know."

"Wait -- " Sirius started, but Remus had slid down under the blankets again and rolled over so that he faced the wall, away from the younger man. "All right, be that way," Sirius said. "But you might have the decency to tell me whether you fancied me back."

"If I had ever fancied blokes, Sirius, it would have been you," Remus said, around what was clearly a yawn. "Unfortunately, you were the odd one out in that respect."


"Good to have you back though."

Sirius nodded. "Mind if I stay? There's room for Padfoot."

Remus lifted a hand and gestured agreeably; Sirius closed his eyes, Changed, and curled up at the foot of the bed.


Remus began to move around again by that evening, haltingly with his cane or Tonks' arm for support. His familiarity with the cane made Sirius angry, but there was little he could do. The calm, almost serene man who took weakness in stride was not precisely the shy and impulsive boy Sirius had known. While he wanted to speak to Remus, wanted the reassurance of his presence, he also didn't know how. It was not his Moony who listened with keen silence but spoke with authority when he had to, not his Moony who deftly deflected people away from each other when raised voices threatened. It was not his Moony with grey hair and an old face and a cane who depended on Tonks, who was not his Little Dora, to help him down the stairs.

That afternoon was spent mostly playing catch-up; Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who treated Sirius with wary deference at first, had reports to make and questions to ask about Harry's sojourn with the Dursleys, which incensed Sirius more every time he heard it. He felt no protective urge towards Harry, no godfatherly paternity, but no-one should have endured such things. Sirius knew from experience what it was like to be reviled by one's family. He hated the Dursleys because they were like his own family, but worse -- they were low class.

And Harry himself, who looked like Sirius' James, was as unlike James as he could possibly be. He was sober, grave and thoughtful -- and so silent as well, where James would have filled the room with wisecracks and overlarge gestures. Nor was he swotty and studious like Evans, all competence and imperious bossiness.

Harry was like Moony more than anything. He was adult, and his friends were no less so, though they were more given to laughter than Harry was. Sirius felt quite a child among them. They spoke in low adult tones, about adult things like deaths and battles, things Sirius had dreamed about as adventures but never encountered -- not as they had, not in earnest. Skirmishes with the Slytherins, with no permanent casualties on either side, were all he could put to his name. He wondered why he was allowed there at all. Perhaps they wouldn't have, except that he lived at Grimmauld Place now and would have been left alone if they hadn't.

Of course there was gossip to be had as well, and there were jokes and jests of a subdued sort. It was evening before they finished recounting their summers to date and Harry finally adjourned them all -- Ron, Hermione, a tired-looking Moony and a solicitous Tonks -- for dinner.

"Tomorrow," Harry said, "we start. If you're up to it," he added politely to Remus, who smiled and nodded.

"The war doesn't seem to wait for any man," Sirius said, as Harry took down a griddle and lit the stove underneath with a flick of his wand. Hermione set three knives to buttering bread, and Ron set another three sharper ones to chopping cheese. Tonks put a large saucepan on the stove next to the griddle and began pouring cans of tomato soup into it.

"It seems to have waited for me," Harry sighed. "I wish it hadn't. But I can be patient if they can; running in will only get us killed."

"Well, we're certainly going to have to spend at least some little thought on what Sirius means for the war," Remus replied. "Above and beyond any illicit activities he may get up to at school."

"What more is there to think about?" Harry asked.

"Oh...inheritance, livelihood, legality," Remus replied.

"Is that what you've been thinking about all afternoon when you're pretending to pay attention?" Tonks asked with a grin.

"No, then I was thinking about having a nap," he answered.

"Well, if you can find Kreacher..." Ron said darkly. "I haven't seen him since summer started, except lurking round the bottom of the stairs, leering at the portrait in the hallway."

"What do we want to find that sack of uselessness for?" Sirius asked, alarmed.

"You may very well own this house," Remus replied.

"Bloody hell, I don't want it!"

"Kreacher," Harry called. "Kreacher, come here."

"Where does he go the rest of the time, do you suppose?" Hermione asked.

"Who cares?" Ron replied. The soup began to bubble, and he started laying out sandwiches on the griddle to fry.

Kreacher appeared in the doorway, grumbling under his breath.

"One sure way to find out," Harry sighed. "Go on, give him an order."

Sirius looked down at the house-elf disdainfully. "Cut your head off," he said.

"Sirius!" Hermione said, horrified. Kreacher merely sneered and pointed a finger.

"He sounds like old mistress' son and looks like old mistress' son but he is not. He is a pureblood and ought to be master but no, Kreacher must serve the half-blood, oh what must mistress think -- "

"That's enough, Kreacher," Harry replied, and Kreacher made a sort of obsequious snorting noise. "I don't need you right now."

"How could you tell him to do that?" Hermione demanded of Sirius as Kreacher vanished, but Sirius had lived in the same dormitory as Lily Evans for six years and had no fear of loud women.

"What do you care? He's not your house-elf," he retorted.

"He shouldn't be anyone's! House-elves ought to be free," she insisted.

"That house-elf ought to be poisoned," Sirius answered.

"He's a person!"

Sirius shrugged. "I know a lot of people who should be poisoned."

"What if all this had belonged to you and he really had done it?"

"Good riddance," Sirius said ruthlessly. "I hate this house and everything in it. If it were mine I'd blow it up. If you're not mad you'll do the same, one day," he said to Harry.

"Gentlemen," Moony said gently. Sirius lifted his chin and jutted it out.

"I don't care who knows it. What are you going to do, set me lines?" he demanded. There was a hiss from the stove as Ron began turning the sandwiches.

"Clearly Harry is still the owner, and thus the point is theoretical. You can blow up as many theoretical houses as you like, but you will have to tolerate this one's existence another thirty days," Remus said, still in that tolerant, gentle voice -- the one with steel bands behind it.

"I wonder why," Tonks said. "I suppose once the title passes it can't pass back, or something."

"He's not really Sirius," Hermione said viciously. "He's just something a bit of parchment vomited up."

"Oh, that is it," Sirius said, reaching for his wand. "I'll show you how bloody real I can be -- "

Harry was between them with a fluid, silent movement that startled Hermione so badly she knocked a sandwich to the floor.

"No fighting," he said. "Not between us. Hermione, apologise."

"Why should -- "


"Sorry," Hermione said sullenly.

"Sirius?" Harry said, gesturing at Hermione.

"What should I apologise for? She called me vomit!"

"Sirius," said Harry.

"Sorry," Sirius muttered. He noticed Moony was looking oddly at Harry.

"Sandwiches are ready," Ron said hesitantly, clearing his throat.

  • Previous
  • Next