Chapter 13, oh no I don't want to end on 13! Yes, this is the last chapter of Dangerous Memories ~sobs~. Thank you all for reading and reviewing hope you've enjoyed because it's been fun to write. I'm sure I'll have an idea for a sequel soon because 'these days ya gotta have a sequel!' I also have an idea for a little side-line until the second part comes up so you aren't getting rid of me that easily! Anyway before I burst into uncontrollable sobbing and start an Oscar-like drivel I'll tell you how my story ends and in good old HP style!
Chapter 13: The Best Of Days
The Great Hall was already packed when Harry, Ron and Hermione entered. After wrestling with a few of the younger students they eventually managed to squeeze together at the Gryffindor table.
'Harry, over here!'
A hundred voices seemed to speak the same name at once. Before Harryknew what was happening a sea of students surrounded, him all eagerly projecting questions at him.
'Is Sirius Black really your Godfather?' asked a young muggle-born Ravenclaw.
'Of course he is stupid everyone knows that! So did you really help him escape from the Dementors?' An older Hufflepuff questioned.
'And it was Ron's rat that killed those people?' Pansy Parkinson giggled from the back of the gathering.
Ron shot her a ferocious glance that told her she'd best sit down while she still could.
'Here we go again' Harry thought.
Since his arrival at Hogwarts Harry had become accustomed to always being at the centre of attention, and he hated it. Fame had suddenly been thrust upon him and he knew he had to deal with it but he just wished it would go away, he wished to be normal.
'Quiet!' A voice came over the crowd.
It was Dumbledore. The standing students made their way back to their house tables allowing the headmaster to speak.
'Now, as you all know' he continued 'Sirius Black has just been released from Azkaban, his name completely cleared. As Mr. Black is joining us in the castle today visiting friends and a relative,' he looked smilingly at Harry.
A relative Harry thought proudly while trying his best not to show emotion in front of the resumed stares of his fellow pupils.
Dumbledore went on. 'I think a celebration is in order- to the freedom of Sirius Black' he called raising a tankard of mulled wine.
Sirius, who was sitting next to Remus at the Professors table beamed.
'And yet there is more. Dumbledore told the school 'Upon talking to Mr. Black this morning I have decided to offer him a teaching post at Hogwarts, which he has gladly accepted. Professor Black will be your new Defence Against The Dark Arts lecturer and he has promised me that he will be filling that post for a lot longer than his predecessors. Professor Lupin seems to think he has enough to do with his commitments as head'
A round of applause surged around the Great Hall but there were no claps louder than those of Harry Potter. He couldn't believe it. Not only was Sirius free but he was staying! Since he had heard of Sirius's freedom all of Harry's emotions had been spent on himself but now he was finally ready to celebrate. Hugging Hermione and giving Ron a friendly slap on the back Harry dissolved into laughter, this was better than winning the Quidditch Cup a hundred times over!
Sirius seemed stunned. After spending fourteen years as a feared criminal the last thing he had ever expected was such a warm reception. He stood up to address the school.
'Thank you' he could barely get the words out 'Thank-you very much. First off I would like to show my gratitude to Professor Lupin for handing over the Dark Arts job, he thought that it would be the correct move considering his extensive duties as headmaster. Of course he must set his affairs straight so I won't actually be teaching until after Christmas. Well, er, i think that's it really. Thank-you'
Sirius nodded his head towards the students and took his seat. Dumbledore gave the signal and the hungry masses began to eat.
'Wow!' Ron cried, 'this year is gonna be the best!'
Harry grinned from ear to ear. 'Yeah' he agreed 'The best'
Harry could barely eat a morsel although he was starving. He couldn't believe it, he could think of nothing else. He hadn't even gotten around to the idea of Sirius being free, but now! Sirius would be staying at Hogwarts, Harry could see him every day, this was the best news he could ever have wished for.
When the meal had ended Harry made a dash for the teachers table, his wide grin ever-present.
'Sirius, I can't....why didn't you say....I thought...but ...' Harry struggled to get a single sentence out such was his excitement
Sirius laughed. 'Harry calm down, you'd think I was Santa Claus or something!'
'Oh I know but...' Harry continued excitedly then he remembered Professor Lupin who was sitting by his godfather's side.
Harry turned his attentions to the other Marauder, trying to contain his happiness long enough to hold a serious conversation.
'Remus' he began 'I, I. Well ok umm'
'Harry, do you have something caught on your tongue?' Sirius joked.
'No but I have something to say.' The boy continued. ' Professor I was wrong, I realise that. I've been selfish I' truly sorry. I was just..'
Lupin held up a silencing palm. 'Harry I understand and I thank-you greatly for your apology, I just hope we can put this behind us.'
Holding out his hand to Professor Lupin, Harry confirmed that he was indeed willing to put the past behind them. Remus shook it with a smile.
'Well Harry' Sirius interrupted ' I'm going to be leaving in half an hour. I must settle some business with Remus but I'd love it if you'd come to see me off.'
'You're going?' Harry asked slowly.
'Well yes, I mean, I don't start work until January and I have fourteen years to catch up on. I have no fixed address still and I hope to rekindle some old friendships, just get used to the open air again.' The man replied.
Harry understood he supposed he could manage a few more months without his godfather, he had already waited many years. He practically skipped out of the Great Hall where he rejoined his friends.
'Business Sirius?' Remus sounded slightly annoyed
'I'm not letting it go Moony, I'm going to find her.'
'She might not even know anything about you.' Remus argued.
'Of course she does, she wouldn't just forget me.' Sirius protested.
'Her new family may not want to be contacted Sirius, they have their own lives. They did a good thing taking her in, she could have had to go into care.'
'She was taken away from me Remus! God damn it I can't believe you're saying this! Hell, I'm going to get my things together before I say something I regret!' Sirius yelled, storming out of the hall.
Remus wondered whether he ought to go after his fiend but decided against it. It was useless trying to argue with Sirius, if he had something to learn he'd go about it the hard way.
Harry was already waiting in the entranceway when Sirius arrived carrying his suitcase. The wind outside blew cold and he shivered visibly as he stood waiting. He had decided against inviting Ron and Hermione to wave Sirius off, this was a personal farewell.
On seeing the boy Sirius set down his case and took him in his arms.
You look after yourself Harry' he said softly 'And look after Remus'
Harry smiled ' Of course I will.'
'I'm so glad you have decided to forgive him.' Sirius grinned. 'Forgiveness, there was a lot of that in your parents. Remus never wanted your father to know what happened to Sonny but, you know, I think he would have understood in the end.'
Whether that was true or not he didn't know but he certainly hoped his father would have been forgiving. Remus had already had enough heartache, blame was useless.
'Well, I'd better be off.' Sirius announced as a carriage pulled up outside. He began to load his baggage up when a sudden voice made him stop.
'Moony' Sirius grinned 'I thought you might not come'
'I never could stay mad at you' Lupin mused putting an arm around his friend. 'But I stand by what I said.'
'Me too' Sirius insisted as he climbed into the carriage.
'Bye Harry. Send lots of owls. I've informed the headmaster that I'll visit on Christmas Day', smiling at Remus he added 'He said that he didn't mind.'
'I can't wait' Harry called as the carriage pulled away 'Bye Sirius!'
'Bye' Remus called out and then putting a had on Harry's shoulder 'Come on Mr. Potter, I don't believe students are allowed to be out of bed at this hour.'
The boy smiled at his friends attempt at seriousness.
'Goodnight Harry' came the reply.
With that Harry climbed the stairs to Gryffindor Tower, knowing that tomorrow could be nowhere near as exciting as today.
A/N Oh no that's the end! Well I put a little clue in there as to what my next 'spin-off' fic. will be about. It will only be a small one, just something to keep you occupied while I'm revising but hope you enjoy it. Thanks again for r/r and also the recommendations which I totally appreciated and don't worry I will still be reading all of your amazing fics.