Here we go Ladies and Gentlemen, the last chapter of Bad Moon Rising!

Before we move onto the chapter, I would first like to thank Lord-Richard-Rahl for being the one thousand person to favorite this story. Also to tell y'all I have a new thing up on FFN called "Of Mists and Dreams" that will be the stash for all the what ifs and sneak peeks I do from now on, I have to get around to doing it for Ao3. But go give that a follow if y'all feel like it.

But, without further ado…


On with the show.


Atalanta opens her eyes.

The next thing she does is curse up a blue strike that would make any sailor proud. She knew the moment she opened her eyes of what had happened. For she was no longer in the ruins upon Mag Turied, but what seemed like a large waiting room set in a gray haze. It was one of those dull waiting rooms with too many people and not enough chairs, everyone was standing or sitting quietly. There wasn't even a TV or radio playing to give some respite to the unnerving quiet that settled over the room.

Atalanta's eyes sweep the drab room in front of her, her heartbreaking as she raises her hand and forms a fist, trying and failing to call upon the Hunt. Her hand falls to her side as well as her face, the lack of the Hunt flowing through her was the final clue to what had happened.

She wasn't fast enough and was struck by the killing curse.

She was dead.

"Kitty-cat?" A familiar voice speaks up from behind her, causing her to smile sadly before turning around.

"Heya, Dog-breath," Atalanta says back to Sirius. He frowned at her but looked the same way that he did before rushing off to Mag Turied minus, oddly enough, his leather jacket. "Where did your jacket go?" She asks, ignoring the sad frown on his face. Sirius had told her months ago when they were drunkenly swapping stories that the jacket he wore was the one that was made for James, Harry's dad. They were twins Sirius had commissioned for James' graduation from the Auror Academy, Harry, of course, had the other.

Sirius runs his hands awkwardly down the front of his shirt, his frown deepening. "I-I don't know, should it have come with me?" He asks, unsure himself.

"Well, you're supposed to be wearing the same things you were…well, cremated in or died in," Atalanta says awkwardly as she scratches the back of her head.

"Tactful," Sirius shoots back deadpanned before sighing. "What about Harry? What happened?" He asks fearfully.

"You got him out of the way of the flames, but then…" Atalanta's lips pressed into a thin line as she looked away from Sirius. "I-I jumped in the way of the killing curse, I was trying to get both of us out of the way but I guess I got clipped by it," the Lioness says sadly.

"So he's still back there with that monster?" Sirius asks, and Atalanta turns back to watch him turn pale at her words, well, paler than a dead man already was. Atalanta nods her head before pressing her face into her hands and rubbing them up and through her short hair, a bit surprised to find no large cat ears on her head. "What the hell are we supposed to do to help him now?" Sirius asks as he begins to pace in the middle of the waiting room.

"What can we do, Sirius? We're dead, remember?" Atalanta points out, causing Sirius to stop pacing and look at her. His handsome face falls into a heartbreaking look as he looks down at his hands, as if he finally realized he was no longer of the living.

Atalanta sighs before shooting him a sad smile. "Come on, Dog breath. Let's find a seat," she tells him before taking hold of one of his hands and pulling him toward the entrance of the waiting room.

"What for?" Sirius asks, sounding confused.

"Simple Dog breath, we'll wait and see if Harry shows up, and if he does, we'll all go to Hades together," Atalanta says, her voice was low and mournful as she spoke, matching the ambience of the waiting room of the dead. They find two empty seats by the door, taking them as their own as they both keep watch over the crowd. The anticipation and regret from both of them grew as they sat without talking for a long while, though both of their thoughts mirrored one another. Both thought of their lives and what had led them to this moment, Atalanta's beginning thousands of years ago while Sirius only a scant thirty-six years.

For Atalanta, she had always known that she would die in a hunt, for hunting had been her whole life. Her foster Fathers that found her on the mountain where her real father abandoned her to die taught her how to hunt at first. How to track and where to shoot, how to move with silent steps as to not alert the prey they sought out, how to race after the elk and stags that were wounded with arrows to make sure they didn't get away. Needless to say, that last one was her favorite part of the hunt, the two old men were always so proud of her when she would take down bigger and bigger prey. They taught her how to dress her kill, what organs were safe to eat, how to prepare their intestines as bow strings or lashes, and most importantly, how to pray to Artemis and honor her with their hunt.

Her adoptive fathers passed when she was only in her thirteenth winter, plague took them both and Atalanta had buried them side by side in the mountains of Arcadia. She ideally wonders if they still rest there still, peacefully under the stars and moons they had taught her with, she hopes so. She had long forgotten their names, or even their faces, a bit of a downside to Artemis Blessing and living as long as she had. You start forgetting the people you met along the way. Her mother, her asshole biological father, Peleus, Castor, Pollux, Herakles, Jason, Madea, Meleager, Theseus, and all the rest from the quests long past. She had forgotten all of their faces and only held the vague notion of what they looked like in her heart. She does remember who they were, how they acted, how they treated her and those fond memories always made her smile.

All of those quests were hunts in one way or another, whether she was aboard the Argo hunting the Golden Fleece or the Calydonian Boar. Her whole life was one big hunt right until that fucking foot race with Hippomenes and Aphrodite's curse, than it was nothing but slaughter and feasting. Only after so many long years of being a beast of the Hunt, and after Artemis had protected her from Zeus' curse did she find her next hunt.

A hero's death.

She had rejoined the hunt only a few scant years after the death of another hunter and found herself in a whole new world. She was ill fitted for it, the cities far too crowded and the wilds far too sparse for her. So, she resigned herself to look from the one thing that escaped her life before becoming the Lioness, a death worthy of a hero. So she could see her friends once more in Elysium, to reclaim that piece she had lost of herself as the Lioness. But in the end, even that changed because of one scared boy in a room at the Leaky Cauldron. She never expected what would happen when Artemis sent her to England to train some kid in a castle, only to meet him weeks before she should have in some shady pub.

He became someone she wanted to protect, he became a reason to put her hunt for a hero's death on hold just to see him grow, to learn, and become the hero she could see him as. She watched as those haunted and closed off emerald eyes began to shine and become filled with life once more. She watched him get stronger and faster, more skilled, and it brought her a sense of pride watching him smile and grow. And through Harry she had met Sirius, they had a bit of a rocky start with her kicking him a few times, but soon enough she started to fall for his stupid charm. His corny jokes, his roguish smile, how he cared for Harry just as much as she did, the flirting and making her laugh as they danced.

And somewhere between it all, she had forgotten all about her hunt for a hero's death and found a life worth living with Harry and Sirius.

Her eyes drift over to Sirius' form, his own eyes lost in thought as they sweep the waiting room looking for Harry and dreading if he arrives. Atalanta couldn't help to imagine what her life would have been like if they were able to kill Voldemort back on Mag Turied. With his death, Harry would finally be safe and free from the prophecy, Artemis would have kept her word and released Atalanta from her oaths but would keep protecting her from Zeus' curse.

Atalanta likes to think that Sirius would at least make her an honest woman out of her, a small wedding maybe, and living in Grimmauld Place with him and Harry.

Watching Harry graduate Hogwarts.

Taking Vacations to the States to see the hunt.

Going on a few hunts on the islands.

Growing old with Sirius and passing her bow onto Harry.

Maybe kids as well, after Harry had grown and living his own life.

All the what if and if only's causes nothing but heartache and pain for Atalanta, she could feel the tears of a life full of regrets fall down her cheeks. She lets out a shuddering sigh before wiping away the tears on her jacket sleeve before pausing for a moment and looking down. She hadn't arrived in her jacket, only her shirt and leggings, but now a silver jacket of the hunt sat on her shoulders. She had lost all sense of time in her ruminations of her life. She immediately reaches into the pockets and feels them, coins, she counts them out as a sad smile bloom on her face. Atalanta didn't know if it was Harry, Zoë, or Artemis herself, but she was happy that at least someone had thought about it. Atalanta reaches up and adjusts the hat now on her head with a small smile before standing and turning to Sirius.

"Come on, Dog breath. It's time," Atalanta tells him and offers Sirius her hand.

"Time?" Sirius says, looking up at Atalanta in confusion. "Time for what?" He asks.

"It's time to go on our last boat ride," She tells him with a sad smile, as Sirius opens his mouth to ask the obvious question but Atalanta shakes her head. "He's not coming, Sirius. If he hasn't shown up yet, then he won't show up any time soon," she tells him in a gentle voice, Sirius pauses before looking around the waiting room one more time before sighing.

"Alright. together, right?" Sirius asks and smiles as Atalanta nods before he reaches out and takes her hand.

"Together," Atalanta echoes his words like a promise as She and Sirius, hand in hand, walk over to the security booth. The man leaning back in the chair, reading a comic book called "Death: The High Cost of Living" paid them no attention as they walked up to the desk. "Excuse me, you're Charon, right? The boatman?" Atalanta asks, causing the man in the nice looking silk suit to sigh and look at them banefully as his comic falls open on his chest.

"And what do you want?" Charon says banefully to Atalanta with a nasty sneer on his pale emaciated face.

"What else?" Atalanta says as she reaches into the pockets of her jacket and pulls out a stack of golden Drachma and places four of them on the desk. "A boat ride for two, please," she says with a smile.

Sirius Black, The Underworld, Judgement Pavilion.

They reached up, five in total, like fingers on a hand toward the very roof of Hades as if they were meant to hold up the crust of the earth. Greek columns as black as night clawed up to the heavens, whether they were carved from black marble, polished slate, or even obsidian no one could honestly say. But they served as pillars for the area that all mortals feared as much as their inevitable end, the Judgement Pavilion of the Dead.

It takes as many different forms as there were beliefs in the world, but they were all the same thing in reality, where all mortals go to learn their final fate. To both Atalanta and Sirius, it was like a circular courtroom, dark woods made up the stands and seats of the judges, one of the five black pillars was set behind each of the judges. The last two pillars stood above the other three, one was large and primal looking, carved into the pillar itself. None could tell what came first: the throne or the pillar both looked to be born from the same overwhelming and all-consuming presence. The last pillar had another throne sat into it, a step down from the larger one, it was smaller and far more practical looking as just a simple seat.

Above the heads of the souls filling into the courtroom to be judged sat a large rafter that looped all around the courtroom. Souls that were already judged and worthy of a hero's final reward stood on it, looking down at the souls being judged for their actions in life. The judges of the dead, after highlighting the souls' life, would turn to the gathered hero's above and ask of them if they had thought the person before them was worthy of Elysium. They would either cheer or boo the soul before them to either show their support or their contemptment.

The souls wanting for judgment, who didn't take the easy way of the Asphodel Fields, sat in the dark wood benches that encircled the center of the judgment pavilion. They sat, waiting for their names to be called by the judges so they could at last be judged.

So, when Atalanta was called to stand before the judges, all she did was let out a sigh before turning to Sirius with a small smile. "I'll see you on the other side," she tells him before standing, walking with her head held high and the pride of a lioness, she took her spot in front of the judges.

Aiakos recognized her as a friend of his son.

Shakespeare cheered and saluted her as a hunter of "Fair Artemis".

Thomas Jefferson frowned at her and called her the Nemean Lioness.

The judges pulled out a file that summed up the entirety of Atalanta's life. From the moment she was born to when she had taken the killing curse for Harry in a heroic sacrifice. They measured her greatest deeds against her greatest crimes, they spoke of her sailing on the Argo and helping to slay the Calydonian Boar, from breaking her oath to Artemis and her slaughter of countless half-bloods in the form of the Lioness.

Atalanta said nothing about her time on the Argo nor her greatest hunts, for those deeds spoke for themselves. She spoke of remorse about the lives she took as a Beast of the Hunt, she had even gave them the number of children she ate as the Lioness (three hundred and thirty-nine), how she had fought against the curse as hard as she could even if she had lost in the end every single time. She confessed her crimes in front of the judges who sat and listened to her, interrupting every now and then to ask questions, with grim faces.

After she had said her piece, she looked forward to the three judges as Aiakos spoke to her from his own throne.

"We have heard the remorse from the accused and see the guilt of her deeds weigh heavily on her soul," the noble and wise king says, leaning forward with his elbows resting on the table in front of him as he interlocks his fingers. "So, it will be to the great joy of Atalanta of the Argonauts to know of the the charter of undead rights that was penned and brought into Hades law in 1828 by our very own Thomas Jefferson," Aiakos says with a small smile to the confused face of Atalanta.

"Article six of the Charter states; If in the event a mortal was cursed with madness or any form that would cause the lost of free will, that the crimes committed after being affected by the curse can not and will not be held against the mortal in question," Thomas Jefferson says as he swivels back and forth on his chair as he leans back in it. "Which means your crimes as the Nemean Lioness shan't be held against you in this court, only your broken oath to Artemis. To which-" he says before leaning forward again and pulling out a sheet of paper from Atalanta's file. "-when have received a note from Lady Artemis herself forgiving you of that broken oath for, quote, Fulfilling another oath that was far greater than the one she took when she was younger, end quote," he says reading from the document before looking at Atalanta with a smile.

"But we are not the only judges here, Lady Atalanta," Shakespeare speaks next boisterously as he stands from his seat. "You are at the mercy of the mob and of your contemporaries in the annals of history," the poet says before raising his hands and gesturing to the stands above the courtroom. "So, I ask of you, the heroes of yesteryear and of the modern age! Will thy welcome the company of Lady Atalanta, the Argonaut, the swiftest in Fair Artemis' hunt, the hunter of the Calydonian Boar! Into your ranks of the honored dead!? Who would speak for her!?" Shakespeare asks, raising his voice to speak to the crowd above them.

What answered back was not a cheer, nor a cry of a few, but a ROAR of heroes long dead and the voices of countless young girls who had died in the hunt, sisters one and all. The scaffolding shakes with the stomping of feet, the railing rattles as it is shoke by hands, and the underworld echoes with the call of heroes welcoming one of their own home to Elysium. Shakespeare throws his head back with a laugh and sits back down with a large smile. He looks over to the other two judges who both nod at him before he turns back to Atalanta.

"Lady Atalanta, by the power vested in me and the other Judges of the Dead, as well as the overwhelming support of the heroes that stand in witness, we grant you-" Shakespeare says, pausing for dramatic effect. "-Elysium!" He yells before picking up his gavel and slamming it on the table to the roar of the upper rafters.

But Atalanta doesn't turn to thank the judges nor does she look to the heroes above her. She turns to look at Sirius with a soft smile, tears running down her cheeks, as Sirius stood and applauded for her with a smile of his own. He was happy for her, he really was. They had spoken about her desire to see Elysium and to meet her old friends from another time over pints of hard cider during the Christmas hols. Sirius hopes to join her in Elysium, hoping to see if James or Lily made it here or the Celtic underworld.

But as the nymphs of the dead usher Atalanta away and over the bridge that connects the judgment pavilion with Elysium, the Judges of the dead call Sirius forward.

But unlike Atalanta, the Judges found Sirius Orion Black wanting in many aspects of his life. From turning his back on his family, to bullying Severus when they went to Hogwarts. Things Sirius didn't even consider was thrown back into his face with such dispaned and detachment that it stung like a lash from a whip. They spoke of his courage in fighting against the tyranny and bigotry of Voldemort, when Sirius had tried to defend why he had turned his back on his family by telling them that they were the same as Voldemort. The judges had brushed it aside. "Blood is Blood, Sirius Black, and family is family no matter how much we disliked them," Aiakos had informed him, though they had made note of his role as a freedom fighter in both the first and second war with Voldemort.

The judges then got to what they considered the most damning evidence against Sirius. His broken oath to James and Lily, his abandonment of both his duty and Harry that caused the child to suffer. He tried to argue it, how he had thought he left Harry in good hands, that he was just going to be gone for a day or two at most to kill Peter Pettigrew.

"But was it not your choice to seek revenge? Choosing it over your duties that you had sworn to both a man you called brother and the woman who had picked you for Godfather?" Shakespeare asked of Sirius, and the Mad Hound had no answer because that is what he did that night. He had chosen vengeance over his duty to Harry and to James and Lily.

Sirius fell quite after that, as the judges recounted his last two years of life and his heroic sacrifice to save his godson.

"With all the evidence before us, this vested body can not in good conscious, grant you Elysium, Sirius Black. Our ruling is a matter of choice for you, the Asphodel Fields for the next one hundred years after which you may go through the cycle of rebirth or twenty years of hard labor building the infrastructure of Hades, after which you may go through the cycle of rebirth," Aiakos informs him with a passive look on her face as he leans back in his seat. "Unless some of the heroes here before us will speak for you, that is," he says, and just as Sirius closes his eyes and sighs accepting his fate and apologizing to Atalanta in his mind, a voice called out.

"I would!" Says a familiar voice. Sirius' head whips around and looks to the rafters of the courtroom, and there, hanging over the side of the railing like a fool, was James Potter. "I would speak for him! He deserves a deck to his overgrown nose, but he's still a hero! He saved my son!" James yells but even knowing his fate was already decided, Sirius still smiles at James.

"Well, at least I don't have a pair of overgrown horns, Prongs. You sure you're not compensating for something," Sirius says with a grin as James turns to him, blinking in surprise for a moment and then smiling himself.

"The chicks dig the horns, Padfoot, how many times do I have to tell you?" James says with a wide grin and watery eyes. "Besides, it's better than being unable to stop humping teddy bears!" He says as Sirius goffs at him.

"That is slander, Master Padfoot! How dear you!?" Sirius yells back as he points up at James.

"Is it truly slander if I saw it with my own eyes, Misser Padfoot?" James shouts right back at Sirius.

"That never happened, you know damn well it didn't!" Sirius yells at his old friend who throws his head back with a laugh.

"Doesn't matter if it did or didn't, Padfoot. What matters is if I can convince them or not," James says with a grin.

Before Sirius could shoot back with anything else, Thomas Jefferson bangs his gavel, calling for order in the court. "Be that as it may, Mister Potter. It still does not dissolve Sirius Black of his broken oath, nor turning his back on his family," Thomas says, pausing for a moment as James shouts over him.

"They were never his family!" James yells back in Sirius' defense, but Thomas Jefferson just shakes his head.

"I'm sorry, Mister Potter, but this is something we will not be moved on," the Former president says with a frown before turning back to Sirius. "Now if there is no one else, we will need your choice Mister Black. The fields of Punishment or the Asphodel Fields," he informs Sirius with a flat tone, ignoring James' calls of bullshit from the rafters.

Sirius gives James one last look and smile before turning back to the judges, but as he opens his mouth to speak, someone else beats him to it.

"I will speak for this him,"

Atalanta, Elysium.

"Your oath has been fulfilled, Atalanta, and your Lady is satisfied with your service. You are no longer bound to her in death, so you may enjoy Elysium to its fullest," the nymphs of the underworld had told her after asking for her silver jacket. Atalanta had reluctantly handed it over to them with a said smile before they supplied her with the chitōn and péplos to wear within Elysium. The chitōn was short that stopped just above the knees like those of the ancient hunt and Spartan Women and silver in color. The péplos was like a short cape that fell loose from shoulders colored a dark green and hemmed with gold to both signify her homeland of Arcadia and her royal blood. Silver Laurels were placed upon her brow to show both that she was a hero and a champion of Artemis as many of the other hunters had in Elysium.

Atalanta however chose to turn down the sandals they tried to give her. She went a majority of her life without them, she could go the rest of her death without them as well.

They were waiting for her past the gates of Elysium, of course they were. As soon as she heard them call out her name, their faces came flooding back to her. Atalanta turns to them with a grin, The Argonauts stood before her with smiles on their faces and drinks in hand. Peleus, Meleager, Castor and Pollux, and all the rest welcomed the final member of the crew that had sailed the Aegean to retrieve the golden fleece and hunted the Calydonian Boar with her. With tears in her eyes she embraced each one of her old friends, happy to see them all once more.

They dragged her through the winding streets of Elysium passing houses of every make and from every era that heroes young and old called home. Getting to a courtyard that was filled with her past sisters, all cheering and clapping for her, welcoming her home as they mingled with the other heroes. Atalanta and the Argonauts sat and talked, drinking wine from goblets that never seem to run out while the nymphs of the underworld served them endless snacks and meals like a feast for kings and heroes.

There were only a few missing members to the Argonauts. When she asked where they were Atalanta had learned that their captain, Jason, was not welcomed among them for what he had done to Madea in the later part of his life. While Pirithous was still imprisoned by Hades for the crime of trying to steal away Persephone. Medea was also sequestered away in the fields of punishment by Hera for her crimes of Filicide.

"Does old Herakles ever drop by?" Atalanta asks Caster and Pollux, causing the twins to give each other an odd look. Atalanta never got the chance to see him after she was released from her curse, being a god and all had him busy doing whatever gods did.

She also owed him a punch to the nose for what he did to Zoë back in the day.

"Rarely, but he's not allowed in Elysium, no gods are," Caster explains before shoving a handful of mixed nuts into his mouth.

"Rules of the Dread One herself, we heroes dealt with the gods all our life, so in death, we will have peace from their machinations," Pollux tells her with a shrug. "Normally we have to go to the gate to talk to him when he drops by," he says before taking a great gulp of his wine.

"None of the gods? Really?" Atalanta says in surprise.

"Well, there was that one incident a little while back. I don't know if it was a god or what, but something scooped up two of the souls here only to drop them back off an hour later," Theseus says, looking over at Atalanta from where he sat under the large Bodega the Argonauts found themselves under.

"There is no way in Hades that was a god," a quiet voice speaks to Atalanta's left, only to smile when she sees Strider walking toward her with a small smile on her face. Atalanta quickly stands and embraces her fallen sister she had met in her short third life. "It's good to see you here, my sister," Strider whispers into Atalanta's ear.

"It's good to be here," Atalanta says with her own soft smile back. "But what incident?" She asks, curiously.

As Strider steps back and opens her mouth to answer, her eyes wander over Atalanta's shoulder. Strider's eyes widen a bit as another smile breaks across her face. "Speak of the devil," she says with a sigh and a shake of her head that causes Atalanta to turn around to see what her sister was talking about.

Atalanta sees a sea of heroes bow and part like a river before a stone. Heroes like Theseus and Peleus stand from their seats and place hands over hearts as they bow to the soul that had gained the respect and admiration of legends long past. Even Strider behind Atalanta steps to the side and curtsies low before the woman that steps from the crowd. While most heroes do not care for rank and status in death, the gods did. It was shown everywhere you looked in Elysium, you could tell who was a child by the colors of their péplos that signify which God or Goddess you were born of or what royalty you hailed from. Even Atalanta and Strider wore the colors of Artemis in their tunics and laurels, but the woman that steps from the crowd was crowned in the highest honors the gods gave.

Her toga was bright white and made from silk, the sash she wore down her front and that wrapped around her back were the colors of a burning hearth and hemmed with gold. Sacred animals of the gods emblazoned on it, doves, a shield and spear, even a donkey. Upon her head sat a pitch black laurels as if the woman was crowned by Persephone herself for the woman's courage in the face of her death. She was beautiful as well, with an unearthly glow coming off of her as if she was a nymph or one of the gods themselves. Her hair flowed over her shoulder and down her front as it looked to have captured the fires of Hades within it. Her face was a splash of freckles on pale skin with a round, kind face and button nose, but it was her eyes that told Atalanta who she was.

For she had only seen eyes that shade of emerald green in one other person before.

Atalanta knew her, how could she not? The first and only time Atalanta has seen the woman was in a moving picture of her dancing with a man as autumn leaves fell around them. Even now, the woman stood tall and proud in the middle of this gathering of heroes with her eyes gleaming with a vicious intelligence that brought the downfall of a self stylized Dark Lord.

But the thing Atalanta couldn't get over was just how young the woman looked, she looked barely older then Atalanta herself.

The woman and Atalanta lock eyes, forest green meeting shining emeralds and both of them freeze in recognition. But it was Meleager that spoke when neither of the women said a word to each other.

Meleager coughs loudly, catching everyone's but Atalanta's and the woman's attention. "Perhaps we give the ladies a few minutes of privacy, huh lads?" He calls out loudly, causing the rest of the heroes to grumble in acceptance before leaving, patting Atalanta on the back of bowing to the woman one last time before leaving. In a few scant seconds the courtyard that the welcoming party for Atalanta was emptied of everyone but for the two women.

For Atalanta and Lily Potter.

Lily's hands fidget with nerves as she picks at her cuticles, looking unsure of what to say or do for a moment before she finally speaks. "Um, sorry about- well, all of that. I didn't mean to interrupt," she politely apologizes.

"What? No, no- I mean, its- its fine, of course," Atalanta quickly says, raising her hands in a show of no harm done. "I'm here for a while I guess, so it's not a problem, I swear. It's not like the party is gonna end," she says with a quick smile as she watches Lily smile a bit before tucking a strand of red hair behind her head while looking away bashfully.

Lily lets out a breath in a huff. "Right," she says, mostly to herself as she looks away from Atalanta for a moment before looking back to the Lioness and stepping closer to her. "You're her. You're Atalanta, correct," she asks, but it comes out more like a statement with a pensive look on her face. As if Lily knew exactly who she was without a doubt, but was trying to be polite as she was holding herself back from something.

Atalanta opens her mouth to answer, but no words leave her mouth. She wanted to say so much to Lily, to tell her Harry still loved her and James, that he had never forgotten about her sacrifice. She wanted to thank her for giving her her little brother and melting the ice off of her lady's heart, she wanted to apologize and beg for Lily's forgiveness for leaving Harry behind, for not seeing him safe at the end of the war.

For not giving Harry the home he deserved.

But none of it escapes her lips, the words choking in her throat, so all Atalanta could do was nod to Lily's question as the woman steps closer to Atalanta.

Lily opens her mouth to say something before closing it, as if she was unsure what to say. Her eyes begin to water as she tries to find the words once more, but couldn't, a look of pain and joy crossing her face as the tears begin to fall. Atalanta expects Lily to yell at her, demanding why Atalanta had left Harry behind, why she couldn't have saved him from Voldemort, so it is the last thing she expects from Lily that the woman does.

Lily throws her arms around Atalanta and drags her into a bone crushing hug, as the mortal mother begins to sob into her shoulder.

"Thank you," Lily says between her sobs as clings onto Atalanta for dear life. "Thank you. You saved him, you saved my moonlight, you saved Harry. Thank you," she says as Atalanta feels her eyes burn with her own unshed tears as she wraps her arms around Lily.

"But- but I left him," Atalanta says, swallowing the lump in her throat as she feels her own tears cascading down her cheeks.

Lily pulls back from her hug, her face a picture of heartbreak and sadness. "Not that. You saved him from Voldemort, yes, but I wasn't talking about that," she tells Atalanta, much to the hunter's confusion, Lily sees it in the girl's eyes and gives her a sad smile. "You saved him from Petunia, you took him from that house, you yelled at Artemis for how she was treating him," she says as she places a hand of the side of Atalanta face, Lily's tears flowing freely down her face as she smile at her son's savior. "And in the face of Artemis' anger and threats you stood up for him, you told Artemis what she needed to hear. You listened to Sirius when you didn't need to and gave him a family when he needed them the most," she says, her voice breaking a few times as she spoke to Atalanta.

"You saved him, when no one else could," Lily tells Atalanta with a joyful smile. "Thank you, for everything you did for him," Lily says one more time before pulling Atalanta, the daughter she didn't know she had, back into her embrace.

Sirius Black.

"I will speak for this mortal," these words rang out across the judgment pavilion like a chime calling those hungry to it. With the words was also brought warmth and hope of a roaring fire in the hearth as Sirius turns and watches the last person he ever thought to see in the bleak and gloomy underworld step from the crowd of souls.


She steps into the middle of the courtroom, pulling down her dark brown hood and looking up at the Judges of the Dead with twin burning coals for eyes. "Or do the words of a minor god hold no sway over the Judges of the Dead?" She asks in a kind voice. The eyes of the Judges of the Dead widen comically as all three processed just who stood before them. Then each one of them throws themselves to the ground, kneeling before the Goddess of Hearth and home.

"It is an honor beyond words to have you grace our courtroom, Fair Lady Hestia," Shakespeare speaks as he extends his arms with his eyes never leaving the floor. "But you will not find a single soul here who would ever call you, the keeper of fire and mother of the hearth, a minor goddess," he says with a scoff as if the very notation was insulting.

"Thank you, William Shakespeare, for your kind words," Hestia says with a small smile as Sirius continues to look at her in shock. "But I did not come here for kind words, I've come to speak on behalf of this mortal so he may be allowed to enter Elysium for his deeds in his life," she says as she looks beyond the Judges and into the darkness beyond the pavilion.

"My Lady," Aiakos says, looking up from the floor to Hestia with a look of trepidation on his face. "Forgive me for my insolence, but we've already judged Sirius Black as unworthy of Elysium. He turned his back on his blood, he had broken an oath," he informs Hestia as the goddess looks back at him with a raised brow.

"You are forgiven, King Aiakos, but I was not speaking to you," Hestia says with finality, sending confusion across the three judges' faces as she turned back to the darkness beyond them. It was then, all in the courtroom heard it, the sounds of footsteps echoing throughout the underworld coming from the darkness. A chill enters the courtroom that had Sirius shivering as if someone had stepped over his grave, he instinctively steps closer to Hestia's warmth to fight it off.

From the darkness he came, walking at a slow meandering pace as he stepped into the light of the courtroom. His face was one of cold command, and his eyes black voids as he brings with him the scent of hellfire and death. He stood at least ten feet tall, dwarfing all in the room and dominating it with his presence alone. Long black robes that looked to be weaved from silk and smoke hung from his body, the screaming faces of trapped souls twist painfully in the fabric. His salt and pepper hair was neatly combed to the side and a clean shave was on his face, resting between his arm and his side was a large bronze helm that flicked between horrible visages. His dark eyes sweep over the courtroom, passing over Sirius who breaks out into a cold sweat just by the man glancing at him, before they land on the goddess beside Sirius.

"Hestia," the man says, his lips bending into a slight smirk as he looks at her. "A rare treat to have you in my realm, what brings you here?" He asks, curiosity ringing in his tone.

"Hello, Hades. How are you doing, little brother?" Hestia asks with a wide smile full of love, one Hades returns though not as wide.

"I am as fine as I can be," Hades says with a small sigh. "Kore and Melinoë are doing well too, Melinoë just back from her tour in fact," he says, the small smile never leaving his face, his eyes shining like onyxes as he speaks of his wife and daughter.

"I'm glad to hear it," Hestia says and looks to mean every word of it. "But I am here to speak on behalf of this mortal," she says as she gestures toward Sirius beside her. "I wish for him to enter Elysium with his friend and love," she states simply to her younger brother. Hades turns back to Sirius, his black eyes evaluating him before narrowing. Sirius feels compelled to kneel before the keeper of the dead and he who has many guests, to which he doesn't fight and falls to a single knee before Hades.

Hades lets out a short hum before walking over toward the last two thrones before, much to Sirius' surprise, he sits at the lower and smaller of the two. Hades places his helm on the armrest before holding out a single hand toward his Judges. Aiakos must have known what the Lord of the Dead wanted before he even sat down, because the former king already had Sirius' file in hand and handed it over. Hades opens the file and starts to skim through it, his dark eyes flicking back and forth quickly as he reads. He turns the pages faster than Sirius could even read, but the more Hades' read, the deeper his frown got.

"Had you already come to a decision on his Judgment?" Hades asks, his voice like a cold morning mist in a graveyard.

"Yes, my lord," Thomas Jefferson speaks up as he stands before Hades. "It was our decision to give him a choice, one hundred years in the Asphodel Fields or twenty years of hard labor in the Fields of Punishment," he answers quickly and Hades nods his head at his words.

"I would have given him the same," Hades says before handing the file back to his judges before commanding them to sit. He turns back to Hestia before leaning back into his throne and stapling his fingers. "Speak, Hestia, and let me hear why you think this mortal-" he says, gesturing to Sirius. "-is worthy of my mercy and your forgiveness as most of his crimes are linked to your domains," he says quietly and politely in the face of his eldest sister.

"Family is more than those you share blood with, and a home is more than four walls that you sleep in. Sirius Black did not turn his back on his family, he turned his back on cruel, bigoted, people he had the ill fortune to share blood with. A family doesn't torture or belittle their blood for not sharing their world views, for wanting to fight for what is right," Hestia says with her hands folded in front of her, her voice is gentle but stern, her eyes alight with the flames of the hearth.

"His real family were those who took him in and shared with him their love freely. The Potter family asked nothing from him in return but he still thought of them as his mother and father, as his brother and sister. They were his true family, not those who had given birth to him, for family can be who they choose far more so than those they are born to and he never turned his back on them. He mourned with James Potter when Euphemia and Fleamont passed away just as any good son should," Hestia tells her younger brother with a stern look on her face.

"And of his broken oath?" Hades asks, his brow raised once more.

"That is the far more simple one," Hestia admits, her face growing softer as she smiles at Hades. "He has earned my forgiveness. I sent him to labor, and without complaint, he went forth and completed it," she says with a shrug as she eyes her younger brother with a look that screams not to challenge her on such matters. "That aside, I'd rather not enact the champion bylaw," she says with a bit of a sigh, causing Hades to bulk at her.

"You would do that, for this mortal?" The Lord of the Dead asks, sounding shocked as Sirius was just kneeling confused.

"I would," Hestia says without hesitation and a tone that came close to hard.

Hades just sighs before running a hand down his face and turning to Sirius. "Sirius Orion Black," he calls out. Causing Sirius to look up at the Lord of the Dead with worry in his eyes. "I can count on one hand the amount of time my eldest sister has come to my kingdom to speak on behalf of a mortal, and after I was done, I would still have fingers left over," he says with a glare that could level a mountain range. "So I hope you understand the gravity of what my sister is doing for you and be thankful for her benevolence," Hades says as he watches Sirius swallow the lump in his throat.

"Of course, um- Lord Hades, it's just that she doesn't care for worship," Sirius says, flinching slightly at his words.

"He is very correct about that, I don't," Hestia says with a small smile as Hades sighs and pitches the bridge between his eyes. When the Lord of the Dead opens them again, he looks down at Sirius with a scowl.

"Sirius Orion Black, due to the unending benevolence of my older sister, I will be changing the sentence of my judges. Something I very really do," Hades says with a bit of a frown as Hestia smiles up at him. "On the word of Hestia, Goddess of Hearth, Home, and Family. I grant you Elysium," he says, his voice echoing throughout the underworld as his word became law in his realm. Hades then stands from his throne, picking up his helm as he does, and turns to Hestia one more time. "It was, as always, lovely to see my sister. Perhaps next time you visit we'll be less business, and more tea and cakes so we may catch up," he says with a small smile and a dip of his head.

"I would like that, Hades. Perhaps before the next winter solstice, when Persephone is here," Hestia says with a smile of her own before Hades simply nods his head and dawns his helm before vanishing into the shadows from whence he came. "Come along, Sirius," she finally speaks to him as she turns and walks toward the hall that Atalanta was led down.

Sirius looks up to the rafters, looking for James, but his old friend is already gone. He quickly stands and moves quickly to walk aside the Goddess of the Hearth. "Why?" He simply asks.

"Because Sirius, I had told you I would not let the travesty continue, and I am true to my word," Hestia explains before stopping and facing him just outside the gates of Elysium. "Like yourself," she says with a smile. Sirius opens his mouth to say something, but to him, it didn't feel right, it didn't feel like it was enough. So, like a few short years before, Sirius kneels before Hestia of his own free will with his head bowed.

"Thank you, my Lady. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Lady Hestia," he says and means it. The sincerity of his statement rang true in his voice, from the man who could not remember and the hound who would not forget to the Goddess that gave it all back to him. Who gave him something that was sweeter than revenge, a second chance.

"You are welcome, Sirius Orion of the House of Black. Know, that you may have left the one you thought to protect above all else alone in the world, you imparted him with a gift that many others take for granted," Hestia says as she lays her hand on Sirius' head with a soft smile. "And that is a home, something he will fight for and a hope that will never die, for he is one of Elpis' favorites," she says before bring her hand down to Sirius' chin and tilting his head back so he may look into her eyes that burned like a hearth. "Go, Sirius. Embrace Elysium, embrace your brothers, and embrace your eternity that you've earned with your own actions. And know, at the end, he will have his home of that I can guarantee," she says with a smile.

Sirius nods once more before standing and turning to face the golden gates of Elysium before walking through them, embracing his afterlife with open arms.

But it wasn't James or Lily that welcomed him, nor was it Atalanta.

"Regulus?" Sirius breaths out in shock as he sees the young man before him.

"You just couldn't take your time, could you, Sirius?" Regulus says with a smile as he was dressed in black toga. Sirius lets out a laugh before moving to embrace his brother, only to be punched in the side of his head by his other brother.

"That's for leaving Harry, you fucking cunt!" James yells at him while standing over him. "Now get up so I can hug you, Padfoot!" He says with a girl as he, Sirius and Regulus all laugh.

Chapter done!

And with it, so sets the Bad Moon!

It's been a almost a year since I started writing this book and in my honest opinion, it's been the best one yet. With no little thanks to my sometimes editor, so every say thanks to Politically Problematic Prose Pundit for putting up with my shit as long as he did.

So, before I leave you all for my break from this series, I have an interesting question. With the next book being the last in the Hogwarts years and the war with Voldemort and the Formorians in full swing, who would you like to see Harry fight with and against who?

(As in: Harry and X vs Y)

Barring the obvious answer of Scáthach, because yes, I have a plan for that. The one my editor said was Harry and Cait-Sith vs someone, which I'm going to do because that sounds fun.

But with that question, I'll see you all in the next book: The philosophy of fear.

Which will be announced on this story first!

Kingsaxcul, out!