Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
AN1: So this idea came to me when I was thinking about ideas for my Reading stories and I felt the need to write this. Most of what you need to know will be explained over the course of the story but the basics are that Hermione is the biological daughter of Sirius and Remus. I'll likely go into more detail in a future chapter, but thanks to Magic and Werewolf biology Remus carried and gave birth to her. Lily and James were her godparents and Sirius suggested Peter as secret keeper rather than Remus as he was trying to protect his family.
November 5th 1981
"Go home to your daughter, Remus, she needs you"
Those were the words that Albus Dumbledore said to Remus Lupin after getting him released from the Ministry of Magic holding cell that Remus has spent the last four days being heled in, when he wasn't being interrogated. Remus has been heled by the ministry ever since he returned from a week long mission for the Order of the Phoenix, where he discovered that three of his best friends were dead and the love of his life, his mate, the father of his daughter, Sirius Black, was too blame.
Honestly Remus didn't need Albus to tell him to go home to Hermione as for the past four days that is all he has bene thinking about, his daughter, and seeing her again, thinking of her has been the only thing that has kept him going.
Thanks to Dumbledore, the only friendly person Remus has talked to in the past four days, Remus knows that his daughter is safe, he knows that she was taken, by Sirius before everything went to hell, to friends of his parents, a squib woman and her husband who look after her from time to time and know the truth about everything; Dan and Emma Granger.
Even though he was assured that his daughter was okay Remus can't help his panic or the overwhelming desire he has to see his daughter.
That desire is why Remus is moving as fast as possible up the path and towards the front door of the house belonging to the Grangers at nine pm at night. The second Remus gets to the door he knocks and for ever second he waits Remus feels his worry grow, until what feels like a lifetime to him but is actually only a minute, the door opens the reveal a middle age woman, Emma Granger.
"Remus." Emma says, looking relieved before hugging him, "What's happened? Sirius brought Hermione here over a week ago, he said she needed to stay somewhere safe, and that he'd be back when he can but then we never heard from him again." Emma explains as she hugs Remus.
"Sirius…." Remus starts to say, but as he does he finds his voice breaking as it is the first time he's said Sirius's name out loud since Crouch told him what Sirius did.
"Remus, what happened?" Emma asks as the two of them break apart and Emma looks at the face of the man who is like a nephew to her.
"He… Sirius….. he…." Remus once more attempts to say, but tears come to his eyes and he finds himself unable to find the words.
"Come inside, talk to me." Emma says as she lets Remus into the house and closes the front door behind them, "DAN." She calls as she leads Remus, who looks like he is going to fall apart, towards the lounge room, "It will be okay, whatever it is, it will be okay." Emma says Remus as she helps him over to a chair.
"No, it won't." Remus manages to say as Dan Granger walks in from the living room as honestly Remus isn't sure that anything will ever be okay again.
"Remus, it's good to see you mate." Dan says as he walks in, but as he does he sees the look on his face, "What happened? Where's Sirius?" he asks as Remus sits down on the chair and Emma kneels own in front of him.
"Azkaban." Remus manages to say, "He's in Azkaban." He says, his voice full of pain and betrayal, causing Emma and Dan to exchange looks.
"The prison?" Emma asks, not believing that she heard right as with a muggle born witch mother she knows what that would mean and that horrifies her.
Not trusting his voice, Remus just gives a nod.
"Why? What happened?" Dan asks, not understanding why Sirius would be in Azkaban.
"Voldemort's gone, so are Lily, James, and Peter." Remus reveals, causing Dan and Emma to become even more confused, "He betrayed us. He told Voldemort where to find Lily and James. He killed Peter, and others." Remus says before breaking down in tears, feeling his heart break as he says the words for the first time, not listening to the part of him that says that Sirius wouldn't do that, that there is no way he would do that, that he would never betray them.
"Oh Remus." Emma says, putting her arms around the younger man, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." She says as she hugs Remus who is both breaking down and trying his hardest not to.
"Hermione." Remus suddenly says after a minute, "Where is she?" he asks, looking between Emma and Dan as he and Emma break their hug.
"Upstairs. She's asleep. She's okay." Dan assures Remus.
"I need to see her; I need to hold her." Remus says before heading upstairs, hearing Emma and Dan talk in whispers as he goes.
Once he gets upstairs Remus knows exactly where to go as Hermione stays in the same room whenever she is at the Grangers. Walking in the room, being as quiet as possible as he doesn't want to wake his daughter, Remus walks over to the crib. Once he gets to the crib Remus looks down and sees his daughter who is almost twenty-six months old fast asleep, her short curly brown hair acting almost like a pillow.
"I've missed you so much." Remus says to his daughter before bending down and carefully picking her up, "You have no idea." Remus says as he cuddles Hermione in close to him before walking over to the rocking chair where he sits down and just holds Hermione as he rocks back and forth.
For a few minutes Remus just sits on the chair, rocking his daughter back and forth as he stares at her face, until he finds himself looking into the brown, with grey flicks, eyes of his daughter.
"Hey Sweetie, go back to sleep. It's okay." Remus says, knowing that he is lying as he is pretty sure that nothing is okay.
"Papa." Hermione says, sounding happy.
"Yeah, it's me." Remus tells his daughter, forcing a smile just for her.
"Daddy?" Hermione asks and Remus can hear the questioning in his daughter's voice and honestly hearing the question, with so much innocence, feels like he is being stabbed in the chest as here is his beautiful innocent daughter who is asking for Sirius, her Daddy, not knowing what he has done or that she will probably never see him again.
"Daddy's not here." Remus tells Hermione, fresh tears coming to his eyes as he tells her, "It's just going to be me and you for a while." Remus tells his daughter, knowing one day he will have to tell Hermione the truth, about everything, and he's not looking forward to that day. Looking down at his daughter Remus also knows that he will fight to get custody of Harry as it's what Lily and James would want and he owes that to them, "Things are going to be different now Mione, but I'll figure things out, I'll look after you." Remus says, knowing that he is going to have to figure things out fast especially considering the next full moon is less than a week away, "I don't know what I'm going to do, what's going to happen to us, but I do know that I'm never going to leave you and that I will do everything I can to make sure you're okay. I'll take care of us, we'll be okay, I promise." Remus says to his daughter as he rocks back and forth, "We'll be okay." Remus repeats, and as he looks down at Hermione he sees that she has fallen asleep again, "I love you." Remus tells his daughter as he bends down and places a kiss on her head.
Once he does Remus just continues to rock back and forth, not letting himself focus on anything else other than his daughters face, he doesn't let himself think about how much it hurts, he doesn't let himself think about how scared he is, or angry, or even think about how much he doesn't want to believe that Sirius is guilty; he only thinks about his daughter because she is his first priority, she's what matters, and he will do whatever it takes to look after her and make sure she is okay.
November 11th 1981
It has been six days since Remus was released from Ministry custody and Remus has spent every minute of the last six days doing his best to keep himself together for his daughter's sake, though every time she asks for "Daddy" or "Unca Jame" or "Anty Lily" Remus finds it just a little harder to hold himself together.
In the past six days Remus has done a lot of thinking about what he is going to do and has come to several decisions, one of which is that he and Hermione are going to move out of their current house because it's too hard for him to live there when everywhere he looks he sees Sirius, and he's going to use the little money that he got from selling his parents' house to buy a new house, one closer to the Grangers. The reason he decided on this is that Dan and Emma have agreed to look after Hermione during the full moons and have offered him the management job at the bookshop they own near their dental surgery. At first Remus was hesitant about accepting the job as it would mean being away from Hermione but Dan and Emma informed him that he can take Hermione to work with him and that he'd be able to take all the time off he needed because of his 'condition', and once they told him that Remus knew that he couldn't pass that up so he accepted.
It is the day of the full moon and a month before that would mean that Sirius would look after Hermione during the day, and the days leading up to it, to allow him to get some rest before she went to The Potters before the moon rises and Sirius joined him as Padfoot, but none of that is possible now. Now Remus is a single father, his mate is in prison and his biggest support is dead, so instead of resting which his body is telling him he desperately needs, Remus is in the back garden chasing after his, very active, daughter.
"Run Papa." Hermione tells her father.
"I'm am running, Hermione." Remus tells his daughter as he runs forward, "I got you." Remus says as he picks Hermione up and tickles her causing her to laugh.
"Well that looks fun." A voice says and as soon as he hears it Remus pulls his wand as he turns to where the voice come from, while using his body to protect Hermione from a line of fire. As he looks towards where he heard the voice Remus sees Albus Dumbledore standing at the gate, with a joyful look on his face.
"Professor Dumbledore, Sir." Remus says, surprised to see him, though out of reflex he doesn't lower his wand.
"How many times do I have to tell you that it's Albus now that you've left school." He reminds Remus, proving in a simple way that he is really Albus Dumbledore, "May I come in?" he asks and Remus nods as he puts his wand back. As Remus puts his wand back Dumbledore opens the gate and walks inside the yard, Remus walking over to him as he does, still holding Hermione.
"Hermione do you remember Papa's friend?" Remus asks his daughter as Hermione has meet Dumbledore before. Hearing her father's question Hermione turns her head and hides her buries her head in Remus's chest, "It's okay Mione. This is Professor Dumbledore, a friend of Papa's, say hello, it's okay." Remus says, trying to be encouraging.
"Hi." Hermione says in a quiet voice, still looking shy.
"Hello Hermione, it's very nice to see you again." Albus says with a reassuring smile, not wanting to scare the toddler.
"Can I offer you a cup of tea si…. Albus?" Remus asks, honestly a little worried about why Albus is there as recent experience tells him that it can't be anything good.
"That would be lovely." Albus says and Remus leads Albus inside, not letting go of Hermione for a second.
A few minutes later Remus, Dumbledore and Hermione and inside sitting in the sitting room, both Remus and Albus have cups of tea while Hermione is bouncing on Remus's leg.
"Are you going somewhere?" Albus asks as from the second he walked inside he noticed the stack of packing boxes.
"We're moving." Remus reveals, "I don't think it's a good idea to stay here, too many people know about this house." Remus says as more than a few members of the Order know, "And….." he starts to say before trailing off.
"There are too many memories, ghosts." Albus says, realising what Remus is trying not to say.
"Yeah." Remus confirms as he takes a sip of his tea.
"How are you my boy?" Albus asks, sounding concerned.
"I don't know." Remus says, telling the truth, "I don't understand how he could do that." Remus admits, pain in his voice, "I never would have believed that he could have, and… It's hard." Remus says, changing his mind about what he is going to say mid-sentence as he is pretty sure that Dumbledore may not react well to him saying that he doesn't want to believe it, can't believe it.
"Yes, I expect it would be." Dumbledore says, looking at Remus and giving Remus the impression that he knows exactly what he didn't say, "If you would like a friendly ear I will always be willing to listen." Albus says as he is pretty sure that in a lot of ways he can understand what Remus is feeling.
"Thank you, Albus." Remus says, that offer meaning a lot to him. In response Albus gives him a look and the two of the drift into silence as they drink their tea, the only sound in the room being Hermione's chuckles as she bounces on her Papa's leg, "I miss him." Remus admits, doing so against his better judgement, "I don't want to, but I do."
"I understand." Albus says and even though he doesn't understand how Remus just knows that he does and that makes him feel slightly less alone, "How's Hermione doing with everything?" Albus asks, feeling that changing the subject might be best for both of them.
"I don't think she really understands what's happening." Remus admits as he looks down at his daughter, "All she knows that people she loves aren't here, and she doesn't know why." Remus explains, "She keeps asking for her Daddy and Lily, James, Peter, she's even asked for Harry a couple of times." Remus reveals, it being clear that it is hard for him to talk about.
"Daddy?" Hermione asks, looking around, looking for her other father.
"Daddy's not here Hermione." Remus says, saying what he's been saying every time Hermione asks for her Dad as he's not entirely sure how to explain to his two-year-old what is going on.
"I want Daddy." Hermione says, saying her first three-word sentence.
"Oh sweetie, I know, I know you do." Remus says as he picks Hermione up off his leg and hugs her, there being a part of him that feels anger at Sirius for causing their daughter this kind of pain, "I want him too." Remus admits in a whisper to Hermione, not wanting Dumbledore to overhear, "But he's not here."
"Want Daddy." Hermione repeats, "Papa want Daddy."
"I know honey, I'm sorry." Remus says, trying to force himself not to cry as Hermione's voice has pain in it too which is something he never wanted, "How about a biscuit, would you like one of those?" Remus asks, honestly breaking his own rules about the kind of food he feeds Hermione, in hopes of distracting her.
"Yes." Hermione answers and Remus picks up one of the biscuit off his plate, breaks a small piece of and hands it to his daughter, watching her carefully as she eats it.
"Does she say that a lot?" Albus asks, honestly feeling very sorry for Remus as it cannot be easy for him to have to keep hearing Hermione ask for her Dad after everything that has happened.
"Yes." Remus says, with a sigh as honestly he doesn't know what is worse the fact that Hermione keeps asking for Sirius or the knowledge that one day she will stop. Hearing that Albus gives Remus a sympathetic look and once more the two of them drift into silence.
"It is a full moon today." Albus comments, saying what Remus is well aware of, "What arrangements have you made for Hermione?" he asks, curious as he is sure that Remus has made some.
"Friends of my parents, a squib and her husband, have agreed to look after her during the full moons. They will be here later this afternoon." Remus reveals.
"Jolly good." Albus says and the two of them once more drift into silence.
A few hours later Albus has left Remus and Hermione, with promises of checking in on them again, and Hermione has taken as well as woken up from her nap.
As it is getting later in the day Remus can feel himself getting weaker, more tired, and because of that he is sitting on the living room floor watching his daughter play rather than playing with her himself.
"Papa play." Hermione says as she walks over to her Papa, "Play Papa." She tells her Papa pulling his arm in hopes of trying to get him up.
"Papa can't play right now Hermione." Remus tells his daughter, hating that that is the truth as he feels like he is letting her down.
"Play." Hermione repeats.
"Not right now. How about we read." Remus suggests, wanting to do something with his daughter and right now reading is probably the only thing he can do.
"Yes!" Hermione says and she moves quickly and jumps on Remus's lap, causing him to wince in pain due to how sore his body currently is.
"Okay. Which book do you want me to go get?" Remus asks his daughter curious.
Hearing the question, and understanding it, Hermione gets a look of deep concentration on her face and then she smiles.
"What book would you….." Remus starts to ask but then he notices a book coming flying towards him and he is lost for words, "Oh I see, you want me to read this one?" Remus asks as the book stops right in front of him.
"Yes!" Hermione says with a grin, looking rather proud of herself.
"Okay." Remus says as he reaches out and takes the book, "I'm very proud of you, Hermione." Remus tells his daughter as while she has shown little signs of magic this was her biggest show yet, "Now let's see what book you have chosen." Remus tells his daughter as he opens the book and begins to read.
A few hours later the rising of the moon is getting closer and the time has come for Remus too leave Hermione before he transforms.
As he has to leave within the next few minutes so that he can have enough time to get to a safe place before transforming Remus is standing by his back door with Emma and Dan, holding Hermione.
"If anything happens….." Remus starts to say.
"Use your emergency button to call for Minerva McGonagall or Albus Dumbledore, only them." Emma tells Remus.
"And…." Remus starts to say
"Don't let anyone other than your them inside and make sure we use the questions we established to make sure it's them." Dan finishes, knowing what Remus is going to say as he has said it many times, "We know Remus. It will be okay."
"It's the first full moon since….. I just need to know she'll be okay." Remus says as he looks down at his daughter.
"I know." Emma says, "We'll look after her Remus, she'll be okay." she promises.
"It's getting late." Dan comments, "You better get going." He tells Remus in a caring tone of voice.
"Yeah, I guess I better." Remus says as he places a kiss on his daughter's head, knowing that even though he doesn't want to leave her he can't risk being near Hermione during a fall moon, "I love you, Hermione." Remus tells his daughter before handing her over to Emma.
"Papa?" Hermione asks her father, confusion in her voice, reaching for him while Emma holds her.
"I've got to go away for a little while, but I'll be back soon and Dan and Emma are going to look after you until then." Remus says, trying to explain it in the simplest way possible to his two-year-old.
"NO! STAY!" Hermione yells, looking upset.
"I can't." Remus tells his daughter, "I wish I could but I can't." Remus tells his daughter.
"NO, NO, NO, NO." Hermione yells, starting to cry.
"Oh sweetie." Remus says, tears coming to his own eyes as he hates that he has made his daughter so upset, "If I could stay I would, but I can't."
"No." Hermione once more says as the tears start to roll even more freely down her cheeks.
"Mione…" Remus starts to say, wishing that there was something he could say or do that would explain to his daughter why he had to go.
"It's time, Remus, you've got to go." Emma tells Remus, knowing that this must be basically killing him to leave Hermione.
"I know." Remus says and he once more leans down and places another kiss on his daughters head, "I love you." Remus tells her before he turns and walks away, hearing his daughters cries as he goes.
With ever step he makes everything inside of Remus is telling him to turn back around, to go back to his daughter, to hold her and tell her that everything is going to be okay but he knows that it is too dangerous for him to do so. As he walks away hearing her cries Remus knows that it is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things he has ever done.
Far away from were Remus and their daughter is, all alone in a cold cell in Azkaban, Sirius is sitting staring through the thin crack in the wall, waiting for the moon to rise as he knows what it will mean. As he sits Sirius is doing his best to try not to think about his mate and daughter as he doesn't want the Dementors to take them away from him, but at the same time thinking about them is all he can do. He can see his little girls face, he can hear Remus's disappointed voice that is saying he should have thought about them before going after Peter.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Sirius says to himself, and even with the Dementors sucking away his joy, his hope, he finds himself being able to hope that the two people he loves more than anything are okay, he finds himself hoping that Remus manages to get through his first full moon alone in years.
As he stares out the crack waiting for the moon Sirius just wishes that he could see his daughter one more time, he wishes that he could be there for Remus to help him through the pain of his transformations, but he can't, and worse of all is that he knows that he only has himself to blame.
"I'm sorry, Moony." Sirius says to himself before turning into Padfoot, that being the only way he's learnt to resist the Dementors without his wand, but even as a dog he continues to stare out the tiny crack, his mind on the people he loves and how much he has let them down.