Series title: Paternity
Title: When you Wish Upon a Star
Writer: Az K Mello
For Prongs, her challenge, and her sickness. Plus I'm vying for some stickers!
Words: 2,495 (Who's to say that's not a drabble)
He was glad Harry was out of the house. Though he loved the boy with all his heart it hurt to look at him. All his features were so like his father's, but he wasn't James. He would never want Harry to be James. Harry was Harry and that was a good thing but he couldn't help but. . .
The tree was nice, they had dressed it that morning. And here he was sitting, legs akimbo, crying in front of the symbol. The first times James had kissed him they had been looking for a Christmas tree. They had been fourteen and it was so innocent and perfect.
He looked up at the star and said softly, "I would trade my freedom, I would trade anything. . . God how I wish you were here with me. I need you here with me, at my side. You could even play that bad Barry Manilow music you liked! I wish you weren't dead. I wish you would come home to me and look at the tree. You could do all that critiquing. You loved Christmas, you were so fucking annoying: it all needed to be perfect. I'm sure this tree is some how wrong. I'm sure you could fix it. I miss you so much. How could you leave me?"
"You know I'll never leave you," said a gentle voice behind him. "Why are you crying? Where are we?"
Sirius just sighed heavily, what a perfect time for one of his "turns". Dumbledore had labeled them that his "turns" he said they were grief caused images. The man assured him that over time they would fade, but Sirius liked the hauntings even if he felt empty when it was over. Frankly Sirius had never been good with euphemisms and saw them for what they were hysterical, schizophrenic visions. And they were schizophrenic because they were psychotic. The difference between a psychosis and a neurosis is very simple: if you're neurotic you know that what you're seeing is fake no matter how it scares you, whereas if your psychotic you don't think the dog told you to killed Brittany Spears you know he did. When James was there he believed damn well that his lover was truly back. He would have whole conversations about the days events and would have long forgotten memories dragged to the surface. It was only when James literally ceased to be that Sirius would figure out that his baby wasn't really there.
Tonight though things were different. He was too tired and broken to think that this was real. It had taken a while but he had finally figured out that God was punishing him. The only person he had loved and been loved by had died because of his stupidity. He didn't deserve to be happy, he didn't deserve to have his son there. Yes he had told Harry that he was Lily's son because that's what everyone else thought. Why disillusion the lad? Why tell him that in fact Lily had just been a close friend who carried his and James' baby because back then, even in the wizarding community, male pregnancy was risky? There was no point, why tell him that he never had a mother and that his only parent was alive and loving him but was also broken and crazy? Why break his pretty fantasies?
"Sirius?" asked the specter of James, "You haven't answered, love, are you ok? Where are we?"
"We aren't anywhere. I'm alone in my house. You're dead, you son of a bitch."
"I'm dead?" asked James sounding hurt. It was odd, in prior visions James had never pretended or acted as though he didn't know of his demise.
"Yes, don't you remember? You and Lily went into hiding because Voldemort wanted Harry and didn't know he was ours and not Lily's. And I told Peter to be the secret keeper because no one would ever suspect him. But he fucked us all over and here you are dead."
"Dead." Sirius spoke callously not caring about the specter's feelings.
"Hhharry?' stuttered James.
"Is fine, he lives with me. He grew up so beautifully." He knew that this was fake, that this wasn't James but that didn't stop him from sobbing. "He's so fucking great."
"He's here?" asked James suddenly filled with hope.
"No, he's at his boyfriend Oliver's house."
"He has a boyfriend? How old is our baby?"
"Fuck! I missed so much!"
"You're still missing it: you aren't real."
"There's no need to rub it in."
"I've been dead seventeen years."
"You should be happy by now." James sounded resolved.
"It's time for you to move on and be happy. You should love someone."
"I do," replied Sirius raising his head to look at the ghost's eyes.
James felt broken inside but he forced himself to smile. "That's good."
"I love you and Harry. And before you say it again, don't tell me to move on. I can't and it's not fair to ask me, you aren't even real."
"Ok," said James softly. He reached out a hand to stroke Sirius' hair, "I won't ask you. . . it's not even like I really like the thought of you with someone. I just can't bare you sitting here alone in the dark looking at a lit tree and weeping. It's Christmas."
"You're the only reason I liked Christmas." Then suddenly it occurred to him. "You're touching me. You can't touch me."
"Should I not? Is that bad? Because I'm a spirit and not really me I'm not allowed to feel you?"
"No I mean you can't touch me." He laughed dryly, "Always before I believed you were real and the moment one of us tried to touch the other you would just disappear. And here you are touching me when I don't think any of this is real."
"So what does that mean?" asked James running his thumb down Sirius' cheek.
"I, I made a wish on the tree's star. I wished you were here and, and then you were. But I've gone crazy and I thought you. . . I thought this wasn't real. Is it real? Please tell me it's real."
"My heart's beating. I feel cold therefore I am warm blooded. . . You wished on a star?" he said incredulously with a smirk. "I never thought I would see the day you wished for something instead of making it happen."
Slowly Sirius sighed and spoke softly, "I spent twelve years in Azkaban wishing things were different, and five years ago I was free and I wish for a lot of things. I guess I'm not quite so proud as I was once, I'm not so idealistic. Growing up I thought I was this jaded abused child who was so hard. And then you died and I realized that it was all bullshit because no matter what happened I climbed into your bedroom window and it was all ok. And suddenly you weren't there."
"I'm sorry. I would never leave you if I had a choice. I'll never leave you now. Tell me about Harry."
"He's amazing. I fall in love with him again everyday."
"You used to say that when he was a baby."
"It still holds true." He pulled James into his lap and rocked them both gently trying to figure out what came next.
"I'll be right back." Harry slid off of his broom and handed it to Oliver Wood. "Are you sure you don't want to come in?"
"Sirius scares me."
"He didn't mean it ya know?"
"What: when he threatened to eviscerate me if I did anything untoward to you? I'm really glad you have someone looking out for you but I'm still scared."
"He seemed off this morning. I just want to check and see if he's ok." He kissed the side of Oliver's mouth, "I'll be right back."
His key slid silently into the lock. If Sirius was asleep Harry didn't want to wake him. He always got touchy and depressed around Christmas. Though his seasonal depression never stopped him from pulling out all the stops on the big day. Christmas was huge and fun and amazing. He always made sure Harry was badly spoiled to make up for lost time. But his mood worried the boy none the less. As he walked into the house proper he heard voices and stopped. He heard a voice talking and guessed Sirius had a friend over.
"I missed you so badly." He heard Sirius say. Harry was heartened by the words it was nice to know that his godfather had a special friend.
"I'm not going anywhere." The voice that spoke belonged to a man! Harry had never thought his mentor was gay! Sirius had never told him that when Harry came out to him. "So does Harry know?"
"No," Sirius sounded guilty. Maybe this stranger had been trying to get the man to introduce them. "He was thirteen when I found him. He thought I killed you: the whole world did." Harry's mouth went dry. "What would you have had me say, 'Harry, I'm not your godfather I'm your father. Your mum isn't yer mum she just carried you for yer father and I. Your da was bent and in love with me and I loved him. Now come live with me.' That would be a great thing to say, I had no proof, he had no reason to trust me. And I had to let him go back to Lily's sicko family. I wanted to kill them all for being so fucking mean to him. I wanted to take him in my arms and rock him but I couldn't. It would have been misconstrued and I would have been the perv who killed the Potters and then tried to seduce their son! So I held my tongue. And at the point where I finally could have told him the truth it was too late: I would have been lying to him for over a year to then come clean for the selfish reason of wanting his love. Well fuck that."
"You could have-"
"I had no proof, Prongs," Sirius interrupted. "I had one visitor while I was in Azkaban. Dumbledore came and burned Harry's birth certificate in front of me. He said he wasn't going to let the boy know his father was a murderous bastard who fucked over his dad: Dumbledore swore at me. And so I've sat here biting my fucking tongue. And now you're here."
"I could tell him."
"Let's do this one bombshell at a time." Sirius laughed as he scrubbed his face of the tears.
"Can I kiss you?"
"Hell yes!" And just as their lips met they heard a heavy thud. James broke away with a groan and went to the hall.
"I think you have a burglar." He said over his shoulder.
Sirius walked over and laughed dryly. "No we have a son who needs an explanation. Oliver must be outside."
"Harry?" asked James with wonder. He examined the boy's face. "Even though I knew logically. . . he's not a baby."
"I know, it's odd." Sigh hooked his arm around James' waist and breathed in his lover's scent, "We should put him on the couch."
"He looks just like you."
"Are you being funny? He looks nothing like me and exactly like you."
"No way. Look at his forehead, and his nose, and his wrists' he couldn't be anyone but your son."
"Grab his legs would you?" asked Sirius who was all business when it came to their son. He had always been the one in charge of actual care giving. When ever Harry had become really upset he would send James to get a bottle while he calmed the baby.
Within minutes Harry was conscious and the first words out of his mouth were biting. "You bastard." Sirius cast his eyes away feeling hurt and guilty all at once. "When I came out I was worried sick and you never said a word! And I was worried about what he," he pointed at James but didn't actually name him, "would think and you just laughed and said you were sure he would have been nothing but proud."
"I'm sorry, Harry," he looked away and felt his heart break. This was why he hadn't told him, he knew it would only cause hurt. His son spoke with so much anger and all he had wanted was to protect him.
"Harry," said James softly but cold eyes stopped his words.
"And where were you? Everyone tells me you're dead and then I walk in on you snogging my dad!" he shot another look at Sirius as the man dropped his head into his hands to breathe slowly and to not watch the anger on the face of his newly acknowledged son.
"I was dead, but tonight Sear made a wish and it bought me back."
"Right," Harry said sarcastically, "Unlike all my wishing, that went no where but the minute Mr. Black opens his mouth suddenly it all works?"
"Well," James faltered, "yeah."
"Harry, it's true."
He rounded on Padfoot, "Oh and we know you think honesty is the best policy!"
"I wished on the star and then he was here."
"How do you expect me to believe that? Why would it have worked for you when it never has for me?"
"Maybe because I wanted it that much more, I was desperate. I knew what I wanted. You wanted a father. I wanted my James back." Sirius bit into his lip harshly as he tried to control his rather ragged emotions.
Harry fell silent. For a few long minutes no one spoke or moved and when he finally looked up he was hugging himself as he asked, "So my birth certificate said you were my dad?"
"James and I were listed, yeah."
"Was a sweet girl," James said, "but she had very little to do with actually being your mum."
"Oh. . . You could have told me, Sear." Harry looked up with begging eyes, "Did you not want that? Did you not want to be the dad?"
Without thinking Sirius sat down and pulled the boy close, "No, Christ, No! I wanted so badly for you to be happy! Would you have really wanted to know?"
After thinking for a minute Harry said, "Yeah." And turned his head into his father's shoulder as he tried to think things through. Sirius held his son like any father would for the very first time. "But how?" he asked in reference to his conception.
"Magic," James replied sitting heavily and smiled as Harry put a hand on his leg.
In his emotional state Harry was having issues contacting his brain. "Don't be ridiculous! . . . we're wizards, aren't we?"
The three of them had to laugh.