Disclaimer: See the first chapter....
WARNINGS: Just to remind you, there's going to be Remus/Sirius slash! Minor this time. Gomen ne!
*Note*: Takes place after the defeat of Mouldy Voldie, which in my opinion will happen in Book 7, guaranteeing Siri's freedom. Harry has just come to live with Sirius and Remus, and Ron and Hermione are visiting. Ages: Harry & Hermione, 17; Ron, 18.
Credits: I must absolutely thank my cousin Liz (Princess Miyako). She is a babe, and I love her so much! She helped me immensely by coming up with the base idea for this chapter, and I can't possibly thank her enough. Liz, I love you! May your Muses never leave you!
Epilogue - Breaking the News
What's comin' will come, an' we'll meet it when it does.
-Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Anything good in the Prophet today, love? Remus asked idly, looking up from his sinkfull of dishes and glancing over his shoulder at the tanned, dark-haired man sitting at the kitchen table.
Sirius mumbled, flipping a page. I hate to say it, but the news was more exciting when Voldemort was around.
Remus shuddered, and turned back to his dishes. Don't even say that, he said uneasily, not wanting to remember the horrible war against the Dark Lord.
Sorry, darling. Though the news may be boring, at least I can rest easy every night knowing you and Harry are safe, his mate murmured, getting up from the table and joining Remus at the sink. He wrapped his strong arms around his lover's slender waist and brushed a kiss across his temple.
I love you, Siri, Remus whispered.
I love you too, Remmie. Sirius replied, and gently turned Remus towards him for a kiss.
Sirius and Remus leapt apart as the screen door banged open and Hermione Granger stalked in, brushing her bushy brown hair away from her face and scowling. Remus plunged his hands back into the dishwater and Sirius hastily headed for the fridge as if that was where he had been heading all along. Harry and his friends didn't know anything about their relationship, and though both Sirius and Remus knew very well that they would have to tell them soon, they hadn't figured out how. True, Harry had only been living with them for a week, and Ron and Hermione had only been visiting for three days, so they hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary yet... It had been rather hard for Remus and Sirius to try and act simply as best friends when around the three teenagers; the truth needed to be told. But now wasn't the time.
What's wrong, Hermione? Sirius asked the scowling girl, who fortunately hadn't seen a thing.
Hermione said, startled. I'm sorry, Sirius, Remus. I hope I didn't interrupt anything.
Not at all, Remus lied. What's wrong? You seem flustered.
Well, I - oh, it's nothing, Hermione said in a would-be casual voice.
Apparently it is, judging by the way you stormed in here, Sirius said, sitting back down at the table and pulling out the chair beside him. Come on, what's up? You look like you have something on your mind.
Hermione bit her lip and sat down. All right. But you can't say anything to Harry and Ron!
Our lips are sealed, Remus promised, drying his hands as he too took a seat at the table. What's wrong?
Well, it's - it's Ron, Hermione said unhappily. She blushed as she said it and looked down at her hands, feeling a little embarrassed telling this all to two men who were much older than her and would most likely think her silly, but somehow, she knew it would feel better to get it off her chest. Well, not *really* Ron, if you get my drift - it's more like our parents....
Let me guess. You and Ron want to be together, but your parents aren't to thrilled. The same thing happened to me and Remmie when - Sirius cut himself off abruptly. Oops. That wasn't supposed to get out.
Hermione looked up at him. Yes, that's it! But how - Sirius, what do you mean, you and Remmie'? You sound like you've been through this before - She looked between him and Remus, who was blushing (Damn my facial capillaries!' he thought).
Great slip-up, Black, Sirius' mind snapped sarcastically, and he could have hit himself in the head. Er, well...
Hermione had not been top of her year every year for nothing. She looked from Sirius' awkward expression to her beet-red former professor, and put Sirius' comment together with their looks. Her chocolate-brown eyes widened, and she put a hand over her mouth. When she had recovered slightly from the surprise, she whispered, Sirius! You - and - and Remus? You're - you were -
Sirius nodded slowly. Yeah. Yeah, Hermione, Remus and I were - *are* - well, together.
Hermione's look of shock was slowly replaced by a wide grin. I *knew* it!
Both men stared at her blankly. You did?
She giggled. Oh, come on, you two. It's not that hard to guess. But you haven't told Harry yet, have you?
Sirius muttered. Just my luck, he'd hate me all over again.
He only hated you back then because it was before you told him the *truth*, Hermione pointed out. Ever since he found out Wormtail was the traitor, he's loved you. You're like another dad to him now - *both* of you, she added, looking over at Remus. Don't you think he deserves to know?
said Sirius. I mean - I was going to tell him, but... you know....
Hermione did know of some of the anti-gay principles the Dursleys had hammered into Harry, but she also knew Harry would love both Sirius and Remus no matter what. She opened her mouth to say so, but was cut off by Sirius, who gave her a crafty grin from under his long, shaggy bangs. But I do believe, Hermione dear, that you were telling *us* about *your* problem.
she muttered, her thoughts coming back down to her own problems. Well.... you know how Ron and I feel about each other... but... my dad isn't happy. He thinks Ron isn't..... good enough for me. He's always asking what I see in that poor red-headed kid'.
Remus took Hermione's hand, raised it to his lips, and kissed it gently. And it's hard. Of course it is. It happened to us.
Our parents hated the idea of us together, Sirius said, a note of bitterness entering his voice. *Hated* it. My parents didn't want anyone to know they had a gay son. They kept me and Remus from seeing each other, and tried to talk me out of being with him. Didn't work, we were already mated, happened the first time we had s-
They weren't thrilled, Remus said hastily, shooting a look at Sirius. My parents were rather... *emphatic*... on the matter. His hand drifted to his cheek unconsciously, thinking of the time his father had found him in bed with Sirius.
Hermione gasped. They hit you?
Remus shook his head quickly, but not quick enough to hide the tears that had sprung into his eyes at the memory. Feeling a tad absurd, he dug out his hanky and wiped his eyes. At the same time, he felt Sirius' arms slide around his waist and Hermione's lips brush a kiss across his cheek.
Don't cry, love, Sirius whispered fiercely in his ear. It's over with. Only a memory. And we're still together, aren't we?
It's not worth it, Hermione said, squeezing Remus' hand encouragingly.
Remus nodded and sniffed, dabbing at his eyes again and putting his hanky away. You're both right. It's in the past... I shouldn't bother myself with it. As I was going to say.... you shouldn't let your parents run your life, Hermione.
Tell em you're going with Ron and that's all there is to it, Sirius shrugged.
Did it work for you?
Well - er, eventually. After my grandmother died.
Ron's grandmother is already dead, Hermione said, and she and Sirius giggled.
Remus shook his head. But you do understand what I'm saying, right?
Hermione giggled, trying to regain a straight face. I'm sorry. Yes, Remus. You're saying Ron and I'll just have to do the best we can and wait until our families come around - right?
Her professor beamed at her. Yes, that's it.
It really worked for you two?
Yes, really! Remus said, a tad impatiently.
Any more questions? Sirius teased her.
I have one, a curt voice said from the kitchen doorway, making Hermione, Remus, and Sirius jump. It was Harry, his arms crossed, leaning against the doorframe with Ron behind him, both of them looking curious. Sirius, Remus, why didn't you tell me before? That you guys are together?
Sirius said weakly, stuck anew on how much Harry looked like James as his godson walked into the kitchen. Er - Harry, I wasn't sure how you'd take it. I know I should have told you before you moved in - I mean, in case you felt uncomfortable living with a gay couple -
Harry waved a hand impatiently. Sirius, you know damn well I love you and Remus no matter what you do. I mean, you know I don't even mind you dated my own mother! He hoisted himself up onto the counter and raised an eyebrow. So when did you plan on telling me? After I walked in on you or something?
Remus and Sirius blushed simultaneously. Sorry, Harry, they mumbled in unison, avoiding that piercing green glare, so much like Lily's.
Sirius sighed, stood up, and said, All right, then - Harry, Ron, and Hermione, listen to what I am saying - Harry especially - Remus and I are lovers. Yes, that means we're gay, it means we have sex together - (the three teenagers blushed but Sirius ignored this) - and it means we're madly in love with each other, and will be forever. He crossed over to his godson and took Harry's hands in his. Can you live with that?
Harry looked up at him, a tear glimmering in the corner of one of his eyes, but he was smiling. Yeah, you stupid great prat. I can live with that just fine.
-Because I think it's fantastic that you both have each other. I really think you need each other, I think being together and having me here will help you both get over your guilty feelings on my parents' deaths and whatever happened in your pasts. I think Remus is perfect for you, Sirius. I think he will help heal you, help replace whatever it was that Azkaban took from you, and make you whole again, make you back into the Sirius Black my parents knew and loved. And Remus needs you as well - to be there with him during the full moon, to love him even when he feels like a monster. To make him feel as human as possible... and draw him out of his sadness and loneliness. I'm glad he has you, and you have him, to help you get through everything, and glad you each have the other to take care of, and to care for you. Yes. You are perfect for each other, I can live with that, and anyone who can't isn't worth bothering with.-
He hugged Sirius tightly, not voicing his thoughts, but just trying to assure his godfather that he loved him with that one hug, trying to convey his love, understanding, and acceptance through it.
And Sirius understood, and whispered in Harry's ear. I love you, Harry. You're just like your dad, you know.
I love you too, Sirius. And I'm glad I'm like my dad, Harry whispered back as they separated, and slid off the counter. He went straight up to Remus and hugged him too, for the first time fully aware of how strong Remus was in spite of his thin and sometimes sickly appearance as Remus hugged him just as tightly as Sirius had done.
Thanks for taking care of him, Harry muttered in Remus' ear. He needs you - and you need him, you know?
Remus whispered back, kissing Harry's forehead. Yes, Harry, I do know.
When Remus and Harry let go of each other, Sirius cast a curious glance at Hermione and Ron, who had drawn back a little and were standing near the back door, holding hands and looking just the slightest bit out of place. He was already well-assured by Hermione's acceptance of the news; it was just Ron he was a little worried about. He didn't want Ron's relationship with Harry to be strained by the news... while Harry and Hermione clearly had no qualms about living with a gay couple, Ron just might. And Sirius really didn't want Ron to feel uncomfortable around either himself or Remus; God knew all three of the teenagers had drawn close to the two adult wizards over the past four years.
Er - Ron? Sirius asked. Are you okay?
Ron took a deep breath and shrugged, but gave both men a reassuring smile. Yeah, Sirius, I'm okay - it's just - you know, a shock. A *good* one, he added hastily before anyone could comment. It's going to take me a little while to get used to - but I still like you both. And, you know, I think it's cool you've got each other - I mean, you're.. I dunno, like the Odd Couple or something.
The kitchen exploded with laughter at Ron's comment; Ron turned almost as red as his hair but laughed too.
You're right, sniggered Remus, wiping tears from his eyes and smiling up at the tall redhead. I suppose we *are* the Odd Couple, in a way. I'm the neat one...
I'm the messy one and proud of it, Sirius said, making as if to kiss Ron's cheek, but he thought better of it and squeezed his hand instead, then smiled shyly at the three teenagers. It's going to sound sappy when I say it, but - having your support - well, means a lot to us.
Uhoh, you're getting mushy, Sirius, Harry teased. You'd better stop there, or Ron'll get freaked out.
With a grin, Sirius nodded. Yeah, I suppose I'll have to hold up my reputation *somehow*, right?
Hermione grinned back. Wouldn't want Sirius Black, escaped convict, ruining his reputation, she said, and dodged, giggling, as Sirius made a half-hearted swipe at her head. Anyone up for a swim?
Sounds good, Ron agreed, putting an arm around Hermione's waist and starting to head out the door. C'mon, Harry.
I'll be along in a minute, Harry said, and waited until Ron and Hermione were halfway to the pool before turning to Remus and Sirius. You know, you didn't have to be scared about telling me, he said softly. I've taken everything else you've ever told me pretty well, haven't I?
Sirius agreed. But... we were scared you'd act like everyone else when you found out...
Not very well, Remus said quietly.
Harry smiled a little. But I didn't. And I'm telling you the truth - I'm really happy you guys are together.
Thank you, Harry, Remus murmured, feeling tears stinging his eyes once more.
Harry paused halfway out the door and looked back at them. What did they say when they found out? - my parents, I mean.
Sirius smiled. They're the ones who tried to get us together in the first place, really. They knew we were meant for each other before we realized it ourselves.
Harry's smile widened. Without another word, he slipped out the door and ran across the lawn to join Ron and Hermione.
He really is a wonderful boy, Remus murmured, digging out his hanky once more. He's just like his parents.
The best of both, all in one, Sirius said softly, kissing Remus' cheek and giving him a tight hug. Don't cry, love.
I *do* cry too often, don't I? Remus said sheepishly, putting away his hanky.
I think it's cute, Sirius replied, then tickled his mate under the chin. But I like seeing you laugh even more. D'you want to go join them?
Remus shook his head and took his lover's hand. Not just yet. Let's just leave them, for now. I only want to sit and cuddle with you.
The two men went out onto the sunny back porch and settled themselves in the old porch swing, half-sitting, half-lying in each other's arms, dozing in the warm sunshine and watching Harry and his friends playing in the pool.
What about Ron and Hermione? Remus wondered aloud, remembering Hermione's worries for the first time in the last half hour.
Sirius shook his head and kissed the side of Remus' neck. I wouldn't worry about them, my love. I think they're going to be okay. They can take care of themselves, and their parents will come around in time.
You're right, Remus said softly. They'll be okay.
He settled back in Sirius' arms, feeling very happy and content, fully at peace with the world for the very first time since.... God, a long time - probably since before Sirius went to Azkaban. With a small smile, he watched Harry, Ron, and Hermione playing a rather haphazard game of water volleyball, not wanting this afternoon to end. Now that the children knew about himself and Sirius, the guilty feelings Remus had been habouring over keeping their relationship secret were gone. His eyelids began to droop. His last thought before falling asleep was, Some people might not think my life is perfect - and it isn't, not entirely - but I wouldn't change a single thing about it.
~November 21, 2002 - June 1, 2003~
(A/N: Sorry this had to be the end.... thanks to everyone who stuck around for so long! ^-^ I was sapped for ideas, so this was as far as I could get. Took nearly a whole year out of my life, this story did. It was well worth it, I think. I finally tackled a long, serious story as opposed to my short, silly stories. I'm in the process of writing another serious romance - it's not Harry Potter, but I promise it'll be sweet.....)