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Thank yous: Irresistible, the-mpreg-spirit, orlin, ryanzraindrop, Moonglaze, Madame Maya, Dortha, Makalani Astral, Goddess of Gorgeousness, VampiricSheWolf, ladyoficyblueyes, ozumas girl, RoschLupin-Black, SilverGlitterSprite, Aurora Enkeli Medeis, barbarataku, iamtherealmaverick, frk-werewolf, Naphatarie Rose, YamikiofAnime, Hannah, crescomellonnin, Jessica Goldberg, lost angel92, Sapphire Manzanereas, AkiretheGoddess, chaeli.mee., GSFE, ImRelatedToRaulFernandez, vytiri, kuroi-shin, Lurel, Dadaiiro, Saiamye Nakatashi, Stacey, Heng Huo, QueenNarca, KatanaKira, shonen ai fanatic 14, DracoDormiens7, Slasharific, chivels-life, BeautifulButDeadly, Irish-Mexican, sola-bola, Moonsign, FOXANBU, KuroFaiStorm, MC, goldenlass, Seylin, xkidrogue, STEPHiE, Rem10124.
Author's Note: Boy, do I suck hard. Three years since an update... I certainly won't blame the above thank yous if you don't bother continuing your reading of this fic. Honestly, it's been so long that I really don't know where I was going with this fic, I'm just glad I had the foresight to put 'next chapter' summaries at the end of each chapter.
Let's see if this doesn't turn out completely awful.
Oh, and this is so completely AU now (not that it wasn't before, but now that the last two books are out I can see that I'm way off with all the events).
Chapter 10: Grimmauld Christmas
Late the next morning Sirius headed up the stairs to the second floor of the Order Headquarters, a tray with breakfast and coffee on it in his hands. When he reached his destination, he supported the tray on one arm and knocked on the door; he didn't wait for an answer before he opened it and went into the dimly lit room. In the room, he found his best friend, James, half curled up on a bed intently watching the prone blond man under the covers.
James jumped when he heard his name being spoken, he hadn't actually noticed anybody had entered the room; he forced himself to tear his eyes away from Lucius Malfoy's unconscious form to see Sirius watching him worriedly. "Hey…"
Sirius placed the tray on a trunk at the foot of the bed before dragging a chair over to the bed and sitting down, "Have you slept at all?
James shook his head, "I tried…but I was afraid that if I did that he might stop breathing or something…"
Sirius frowned a little, "Well, even if you don't sleep, you should eat something. I brought you some breakfast," James gave a grim but grateful smile. "Did Poppy tell you what his injuries were?"
James ran a hand down his tired face, "Yeah… 'Definite evidence of prolonged exposure to the Cruciatus Curse'," he quoted. "Broken bones, cracked ribs, you name it… I'd really like to know what happened…"
Sirius chewed his bottom lip at the moment, he wasn't fond of Lucius at all but he could see that this was really upsetting James. "Remus thinks that perhaps Voldemort has found out about Lucius's spying…I mean he's nowhere near as good at Occlumency as Snape is, as loathed as I am to admit that… Or of course, Death Eaters could have turned on him or something."
"That's what I was afraid of," replied James, he turned his worried hazel eyes back to Lucius. "Did Dumbledore say anything before he left last night?"
"Only that as soon as Lucius wakes up one of us should question him about what happened. Who did it? Why? How did he get here when he was so badly hurt?"
James nodded sullenly, "If he could have waited until after Christmas to get himself half-killed, it would have been a bit better…"
Sirius furrowed his eyebrows, "Why do you say that?"
"Harry will be here tonight, and I want to spend time with both of them… He resents me enough as it is, I would hate to think what would happen if he found me in bed with Lucius Malfoy, of all people."
Sirius nodded in agreement, "If you're going to sleep in here, I think your best bet would be to not let Harry in here."
James nodded and turned his gaze back to Lucius once more; he reached out a hand to run it through the tussled blond hair, "I'm sorry."
Sirius furrowed his eyebrows, "What for?"
James smiled slightly and looked back to Sirius, "I know you hate him, and I know you don't agree with this relationship-"
"James," said Sirius, cutting his friend off. "You don't have to apologise. You can't help who you fall for, right?" James shook his head. "I guess if you can see passed the bastard that he's been, then I can too."
James smiled a little, "Oh, he's still a bastard, just not to me."
"I suppose I can live with that," Sirius gazed at the unconscious blond for several moments before getting to his feet. "I'll leave you to it."
James nodded; he glanced over his shoulder as Sirius opened the door, "Pads?"
Sirius furrowed his eyebrows, he wasn't quite sure what James was thanking him for, but he gave a shrug, "Don't mention it."
"Harry, you need to give him a chance."
Harry glared at Hermione, "Why should I? He's been alive all this time and I was left to think he was dead!"
"Everyone was left to think he was dead," replied Hermione, she was not going to back down, especially not now. As far as she was concerned, Harry was being completely unreasonable. "You heard what Dumbledore and Sirius told you, he was locked up by the Death Eaters and tortured."
"They could have told me when he was rescued."
"He was weak and scarred – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Do you honestly think he could have coped with a petulant teenager when he was first taken to headquarters?" Hermione sighed; Harry was refusing to look at her now, his gaze fixed on the train compartment window instead. "Give them a chance, Harry."
Remus snorted quietly, "Good to know you reply to girls' names as well," Sirius frowned at him, confusion written all over his face. "For our daughter, I like the name Emily."
"You mean you don't want to keep with the traditions of our families?" asked Sirius innocently as he went to sit down on the drawing room couch next to Remus.
"If you can think of a decent star or Roman mythology name then I'll consider it."
"I like Cassandra."
Remus wrinkled his nose, "I have an Aunt Cassandra. I'm fairly certain that she's evil, she was at Hogwarts in the same year as Voldemort."
"Is she the one that used to hex you to punish you?"
"One and the same."
"Lyra. It's a constellation."
Remus let his eyes scan the Black Family Tapestry as he considered the name, "No one in your family has had that name before?"
"Not that I'm aware of," Sirius turned to face Remus and brushed his fingers through the pregnant werewolf's hair. "You know, as much as I loathe my family, our daughter having a similar name wouldn't be the end of the world."
"I know, but... Even without a strange name she's still going to have a certain stigma attached to her," Remus rested his head against the back of the couch and closed his eyes. "Your family, your time in Azkaban, me being a werewolf... What if the other kids pick on her because of us?"
"Hey..." Sirius pulled Remus gently into his arms. "She's not even out of the womb yet and you're already worrying," Remus made a little noise, much like the whimpers he sometimes did when he was asleep; it was awfully reminiscent of the wolf that Sirius couldn't help but smile. "I have no doubt that this war will be over long before she turns eleven and heads off to Hogwarts. I see no reason for her to be picked on, even with my family background. If it really bothers you, she can take your name?"
Remus sniffed and raised his head; there was something else on his mind as well, and he was yet to voice that concern to Sirius, "What if she's a werewolf?"
Sirius would be lying if he said he hadn't thought about that as well, but as far as he was concerned his little girl could have any number of problems and he wouldn't love her any less. Remus, on the other hand, he just knew that Remus would forever hate himself if their daughter contracted his lycanthropy, "She'll still have us. She certainly won't have to go through that alone. But what is the chance of her actually being born a werewolf?"
"Madame Pomfrey said there's a twenty percent chance it could happen."
"Which means there's an eighty percent chance that it won't."
"You're usually the pessimistic one."
"Mm, but someone has to pick up the optimistic slack, because you've taken over my job."
Twelve Grimmauld Place was soon buzzing with activity once more as Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny arrived from Hogwarts, along with several other Weasleys and members of the Order. Upon arriving, Hermione and Ginny spent an awful lot of time with Remus, asking about the baby and making sure he was comfortable; it had gotten to the point where Remus had had to question just why they were doing this.
"Because..." started Ginny, trying to think of a better reason than 'boys are stupid'.
Remus raised an eyebrow, "Because what?"
Hermione sat down in an armchair with a book, "Because Ron is being a nuisance, Harry is being, well, Harry, and he has a lot on his mind, mostly about his dad. Mrs Weasley will make us help her in the kitchen and she knows full well we'll only get in the way," she gave a shrug. "It's safer here with you."
"Unless Sirius is getting territorial, of course," added Ginny.
Remus laughed quietly, "Don't worry about him, he is otherwise occupied."
"James, he's your son."
James sighed and rubbed his forehead, "I know. Let's just leave the big meeting until tomorrow, okay?" he glanced up at Sirius who was frowning at him. "You said he still looked upset, right? So, let him settle in for the holiday and then I'll talk to him."
"Do I take that as you declining the offer for dinner with everyone else?"
James nodded, "I want to see him alone, without everyone else meddling. And I need to think about what I'm going to say..."
"Are you going to tell him about Mal-Lucius?"
"Well... If you don't and he thinks something is being hidden from him then he'll do his best to find out what's going on."
"That's what I thought..."
Sirius sighed, "You'll just have to give him some time. Likely, he'll be really angry about you two if you tell him, but he will get over it. You're his dad, James, and he needs you, no matter how distasteful your choice in men is."
James smiled a little, "I hope you're right."
Author's Note: Yeah, that kinda sucked. I promise I'll try better next time (hopefully it won't take me another three years).
Next Chapter: James and Harry meet properly. Lucius wakes up.