Disclaimer: I own something.
A/N: I didn't mean it. Honestly, I didn't. It just... happened. And that's why this chapter is the Last One.
Yes, the last. I have finished this story at last. And it only took me Merlin knows how long...
And yes, this is exactly how I picture Ollivander -- one who knows everything, sees people's motives, and such. He always seems to know more about people than they do themselves; he'd be very probable to actually believe Sirius's story.
The Adoption Charm they mention in the story is not just any adoption spell; it's a very specific charm, one that affects the child's appearance and even personality to a degree. For a further look into it, read one of my other fics featuring it -- Like Father, Like Son is probably the best if you want to understand how it works.
...And did you really think I'd let Remus die? Honestly...
Under the Unlucky Star
For a moment Sirius panicked, pure and simple. Then, remembering that there was a child next to him, a child who was currently counting on him to get them all well and safe, he forced himself to calm down. After a quick search he found Remus' wand, grasping it desperately.
Using another person's wand never has as good results as using the person's own wand. However, Sirius and Remus shared a special bond -- that of a werewolf's mating. Even after years apart, that bond still existed. Therefore, Sirius did not hesitate to raise the wand and start whispering incantations.
At first he thought his efforts had no result, and began to feel desperate. Then, however, he saw Remus' chest moving slightly with a faltering breath. Casting the spells again, he then breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the werewolf's breath become steadier. Then he turned towards Harry, who was watching him with wide eyes. "Are you all right, tiny one?" he asked.
"Y-yes, sir," Harry said quietly. "But I am cold," he then added very quietly.
"I see." Sirius quickly casted a warming charm, hoping with all his heart that using Remus' wand would change his magical signature enough to keep the Aurors from detecting him. Apparently it did, as there were at least not yet Aurors Apparating to the place to arrest him. A water repelling charm later, he turned again towards the child. "Can you walk for a while, kiddo?" he asked.
"I -- I think so, sir," Harry replied shyly. "Where are we going to go? Will -- will Moony be okay?"
"I hope so, kiddo," sighed Sirius. "And we're going to go to the nearest place that has a working Floo connection. Let's hope I'm not entirely mistaken about where we are at the moment, since if I'm right, I know exactly where to go." With these words, he crouched down and gently collected his lover in his arms.
For some time they walked on in silence, not running like Remus and Harry had done before but still not exactly slowly. After some time Harry transformed to save this strength, startling Sirius.
"Just what did you do, kiddo?" he asked, staring. The little wolf looked up at him with big eyes. Then, there was a blur at his place, and a moment later little Harry looked up at him, looking startled.
"I'm sorry, sir," he whispered. "Did I do bad? I didn't know it was bad. Moony never told me not to change, Moony said that it was good. I'm really sorry for changing!"
"No, it's -- it's okay," Sirius stammered, still staring at the boy. "If you can walk better in that form, by all means, change into it. I was just a bit startled by your sudden change."
Looking relieved, Harry nodded, then transformed again. Then they continued their journey through the forest, a man, a werewolf, and a wolf, all side by side.
It was nightfall when they finally reached their destination. Little Harry, exhausted from the long trek, had some time ago jumped to Sirius' arms. The adult Animagus didn't mind, bearing this little addition to his burden without any complaint. With sheer stubbornness he forced himself to go on, carrying the two he loved towards the only place where he could now get some aid.
The cottage was a small but homely building outside the village. Sirius immediately took his beloved burden inside, a quick "Alohomora!" taking care of the lock. Laying Remus down on a couch he at first had Harry wipe the worst dust away from, he then glanced around the room for the pot of Floo powder he knew to be there. Spotting it, he immediately went for it.
"Who owns this house?" asked Harry just then behind him. "Won't they be angry at us for being here?"
"No, I don't think so," Sirius said, a tiny smile at his lips. "You see, this house belongs to Remus's family -- or, ever since his aunt passed away, to him. Nobody wants to buy the place, so he's stuck with it."
"Why not?" asked Harry, sounding confused. "It is such a nice house!"
"That's because everybody thinks that the house is haunted," Sirius said cheerfully. He was beginning to feel a bit better now, safe from the rain and about to get some help for Remus. "That's not true, though, so you don't need to be scared. This is just an old house with nothing to fear." And now, he took some Floo powder. Casting a magical fire in the fireplace, he threw the powder in it, then yelled a name.
Escaped from prison, currently staying with the one child the whole Wizarding World was looking for, Sirius was taking quite a risk at contacting anyone. However, he was ready to take that risk, for he believed it would all turn out all right in the end. There was only one person who might believe his story, just because he would know it was true -- and that person would surely be able to get Remus some help.
So, falling to his knees, Sirius stuck his head in the fireplace and started a conversation with Ollivander.
The old wizard of course knew that he was innocent before he could say one word. After a couple of questions -- the first being, "Is the boy all right?" before he had even told that he had Harry -- Ollivander nodded. "I will send my sister there," he said. "She'll be able to help poor Remus."
"Thank you," Sirius breathed, very relieved. He then ended the conversation, coming back to the reality of the little cottage. Seeing Harry yawn, he put the boy sleep in the smaller of the two bedrooms. Then he got a blanket for Remus, and with newly found strength, determined not to fall asleep, began to clean.
He just finished cleaning the kitchen when he heard somebody coming through the fireplace. A tiny bit of doubt crept into his heart; what if Ollivander had called Aurors after all? However, as he entered the living room, he saw a tiny witch wiping soot from her clothes. The resemblance to her brother was uncanny.
"You can call me Jemena," she said as a means of greeting. "And you're Sirius Black, then? I can see what my brother meant; there's no way you were guilty. Now, where is the patient?"
Sirius showed her to the still unconscious werewolf, very worried for his former lover. As he then saw her starting to fuss about with the air of somebody who knows exactly what they are doing, he sighed in relief. Surely Remus would be all right in the hands of such a capable healer.
A moment later Jemena looked up at him. "Go to sleep," she ordered, her words leaving no room for disagreements. Blinking, Sirius at first hesitated a bit, then headed for the bigger bedroom.
Sirius thought that he couldn't sleep anyway, the worry for Remus being too heavy on his mind. However, as soon as his head touched the pillow, he fell asleep.
When Sirius woke up, the sun was shining brightly outside. He rose from the bed, noticing that he was still in full clothes -- well, if you could call 'clothes' the rags he had left from Azkaban -- and staggered out of the room. On the couch in the living room he saw Remus, who now seemed to be merely peacefully sleeping instead of unconscious. Taking this as a good sign, he headed for the kitchen.
"Good morning, sir!" he heard Harry's cheerful greeting. "Auntie Jemena made me breakfast!"
"'Auntie Jemena?'" echoed Sirius, raising an eyebrow at the witch who was seated opposite to Harry.
"Well, he had to call me something," Jemena replied calmly. "Your werewolf friend will recover," she then said, knowing instantly what worried him the most. "He'll be very weak for quite some time, and will probably have to be careful not to exhaust himself for the rest of his life. However, he'll be able to lead an absolutely normal life. And before you ask, he had a Lunatome," she then said. "It's a disease only werewolves can catch. The symptoms include growing weakness, forgetfulness, deliriousness, and finally breathing difficulties -- the last one usually causes the death. From what I understood of little Harry's explanation, you saved him from dying of lack of oxygen as his breath was stopped."
"So he'll be all right?" Sirius questioned franticly. "It won't make him die sooner or anything?"
"Oh, no," Jemena said. "At least not if he's not overexerted or put under some strong curse. The disease will leave him with a weak heart and occasional breathing difficulties, so I suggest you look after him."
"Oh, I will -- as long as I can hide from the Aurors," Sirius said with a wry smile. "As soon as they find us, I'll be put back to Azkaban or given the Kiss and Harry will be taken away. Merlin knows what'll become of Remus then, assuming that they don't accuse him of kidnapping Harry and put him in prison, too."
"That matter can be resolved," Jemena said calmly. "I have already arranged everything with my brother. And before you start to worry, I'll tell you this: Dumbledore contacted my brother, telling that if Remus Lupin contacted him, the werewolf was to be given all help he needed, including help to hide from the Aurors. It seems that the Headmaster doesn't want Harry to return to his relatives, either."
"But -- what can you do?" asked Sirius, stunned. "It's not like you can change my identity or something!"
"Close enough," she said, not batting an eyelid. "We'll tweak the records of Sirius Black's magical signature. Then we'll get you a new wand and a new record with a different name, along with some semi-permanent Glamouring Charms. And as for Harry, well, a simple Adoption Charm will help you hide him in plain sight. The Aurors will probably get suspicious when Remus Lupin suddenly has a new lover and an adopted child when everybody is looking for Sirius Black and Harry Potter. However, if their own records claim the two of you have nothing to do with Sirius and Harry, there's little they can do."
Sirius nodded slowly. "What can we ever do to repay you?" he then asked quietly.
"Raise Harry properly," Jemena replied. "Let him have a happy childhood and enter Hogwarts when the time comes. Also, inform me when you're going to get his wand for him -- I want to be present for that." Then, just as Sirius opened his mouth to thank her again, she added, "Oh, and go take a bath. Please."
"Well, well, look at this," said a wizard with reddish brown hair down to his mid-back and pale blue eyes. "They have found some traces of Sirius Black's magic mingled with that of Harry Potters. As unfortunate as it is, they have reasons to believe that one or both of them are dead as a result of a magical clash. In any case, it is useless to try to find them anymore. Thus, the search will be ceased."
"That's a relief," said the man sitting opposite to him, this one with greying golden brown hair pulled back on a ponytail. "No matter what, I've spent every day worrying whether they're going to come here."
"Even if they did, they wouldn't find anything," the other man reminded him. "Relax, Remus."
"That's easier said than done, Dave," Remus replied, sighing a bit. "You know me. I can't help but worry."
Dave smiled sadly, reaching his hand over the table to rest it atop Remus'. This made the werewolf smile weakly at him. "Calm down, love. James'll notice and freak out."
They had now pretty much settled down to their new life. Once Remus had woken up it hadn't taken much to convince him that Sirius was indeed innocent. Shortly after that, Sirius became Dave and Harry James Lupin -- their new identities included new names, of course. Even their cover-up story was clear: Remus had disappeared to spend some time alone with his lover, whom he had then married -- thank Merlin for gay marriages being legal in the Wizarding World. When Remus' cousin had then died, leaving a little son, they had decided to adopt him and name him James for Remus' deceased friend. The cute boy with his huge blue eyes and golden brown hair was always attracting attention, true, but none of the wizards and witches they had come across had made any connection to the still missing Harry Potter.
So now the little family lived happily in their cottage some way from a semi-magical village. As Sirius had left Remus free access to his money, they had no worries about living, although the adults were planning to get jobs once James went to school. They were planning to keep him at home until he got over his at times invincible shyness -- a result of years of abuse and neglect -- but eventually he'd have to go to school, even if it was only to have some contact with other kids. When that happened, they were bound to get bored if they weren't working.
At the moment James was already outside playing while his adoptive parents were finishing their breakfast. Along with a child's laughter, they heard a dog barking -- they had bought the boy a puppy as soon as they could, knowing that it would definitely fit in, given their canine natures.
Remus had been very startled when one day he had seen Dumbledore in the fireplace. Even more startled he had been when the Headmaster had congratulated him and Sirius for having Harry, and asking them to take good care of him. Oblivious to his halfhearted protests the Headmaster had told that he knew the truth and didn't mind, admitting the mistake he had done with sending Harry to the Dursleys. The only thing he asked for was that they'd keep him updated about James' life and allow him to visit every now and then. Of course they had promised to do that. Even the full moon problem was solved as Dumbledore heard of James' Animagus skills -- before that, he had suggested that he could care for the child once a month. Of course the fact that such a small child had accomplished such a thing surprised him, but he didn't appear too shocked. Most probably it was just what he'd expected from little Harry Potter -- er, James Lupin.
Today, however, they actually had something to do -- or, rather, Remus had. This thing was his checkup with Jemena, who had insisted to be the only one who would treat him. Remus hadn't protested much, of course -- Jemena was the only mediwitch, aside from Poppy Pomfrey, who had ever treated him as a human, not a beast. And for that reason alone Dave absolutely adored the woman.
So, that afternoon, Dave took James and the dog -- who was called Sirius, much to Dave's half amused annoyance -- for a walk, while Remus stayed behind. Soon enough Jemena arrived, immediately starting to cast examination charms. "You haven't overexerted yourself, right?" she asked sharply from Remus.
"No, I haven't, Jemena," he replied with a suffering sigh. "Besides, it's not like Dave would even let me!"
"And in stopping you he does right," the tiny witch replied firmly. "You may refuse to understand it, Remus, but it's your life we're concerned about. Any extra effort might be too much for your heart; it's a miracle that you still survive your transformations. You don't want to do that to Dave and James, now do you?"
"Of course not," the werewolf replied softly, casting his eyes down to the floor. And he didn't. He already knew that it was hard on them both to know how much he suffered during the transformations; even James, who perhaps didn't understand all of it, did know that his Dad was in pain, and thus James was sad. There was no way Remus would let even more pain to come to them by deliberately killing himself.
"That's good," Jemena said. "Now, you do seem to be all right at the moment. But do remember!" was the last she said before disappearing through the fireplace, not even staying for tea in her hurry.
When Dave and James returned, they found an extraordinarily gloomy werewolf quietly sipping tea in the kitchen. However, even these slightly darker moments didn't manage to completely block the light.
Sometimes when they all were on a walk through the village on a sunny day, little James skipping between his two guardians, some stranger would stop and stare at them. But the others, those who lived in the village, would just wave their hands and say, "Oh, you know. That's just Lupins, a very weird family indeed, but so happy they are. Remus is, the poor boy, often sick, but he and Dave take so good care of little James. You'd almost think he's their own, they love him so much... And each other, too."
And, at hearing this, they'd gently smile at each other. Dave would pick James up with no difficulty, for he still was very tiny for his age. And Remus would wrap an arm around Dave's shoulders, and they would continue their walk, happy and content as they were.
At those times, they could almost believe that they were living under a lucky star after all.
A/N: Thank you for bearing with me all this time... I hope you enjoyed the story, short as it may be. I'm not one for long adventures, at least not when I'd have to write them myself, so everything had to be resolved pretty quickly.