Chapter 2: Explanations
A shocked silence surrounded them, and Hermione was the first to break it.
"Sirius? But how? I mean, we all thought-"
Sirius nodded, cutting her off. "I used a Time-Turner."
"But they were all destroyed in our fight with the Death Eaters, weren't they?" asked Hermione.
Sirius smiled. "I caught one before it had a chance to fall and repair itself."
Suddenly, Dumbledore spoke. "Oh, yes, I forgot how quick your reflexes are," he said with an approving smile.
Sirius blushed. "Thanks, Professor."
Dumbledore smiled again.
"I'm glad you're back, Sirius," Hermione told him as he hugged her. "Now you can help me with Buckbeak. He's scared of something, but I can't seem to figure out what."
Sirius stepped forward, bowing low before clicking gently to Buckbeak, who didn't move.
Hermione extended her free hand to him. "It's all right, Buckbeak," she soothed as she patted him. "It's Sirius."
Buckbeak crooned questioningly, as though he couldn't believe his ears.
"Yeh're OK, Buckbeak," Hagrid soothed, bowing to him. "Sirius won' hurt yeh."
"That's right. You remember me, don't you?" Sirius asked.
Buckbeak crooned affirmatively, but retreated toward Hagrid. "Wha's wrong, Buckbeak?" he asked as he patted him. "Shh, shh, yeh're OK."
"Hagrid's right, Beaky," Hermione said gently. "It's OK."
"You know, Sirius, I think I might know why Buckbeak isn't responding well to you," Dumbledore chimed in. "He's probably angry because he thought you left him."
Hermione nodded. "That makes sense. Hippogriffs are very sensitive creatures. You'll have to earn his trust again, Sirius, but in the meantime, you can come up to the castle with Professor Dumbledore and I. Harry's probably awake by now. He'll be so happy to see you."
Sirius chuckled. "It'll be good to see him, too."
Hermione smiled. "You coming, Hagrid?" she asked, glancing over her shoulder.
Hagrid shook his head. "No, I'll stay with Buckbeak. Thanks for soothin' 'im, Hermione."
Hermione smiled again. "Happy to help, Hagrid," she said as she patted his elbow with her free hand. "Anytime you need me, I'm not far away."
Hagrid smiled, nodding as he patted Buckbeak again. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. Hagrid. Come on, Sirius, let's go," Hermione said.
With that, Dumbledore, Sirius, and Hermione headed back up to the castle. When they reached the great oak doors, they headed straight for the Gryffindor common room, where they found Harry and Ron playing Wizard's Chess.
Sirius cleared his throat, causing Ron to glance up. "Um, Harry?" he said shakily. "We've got company."
Harry turned. "Sirius?"
Sirius nodded. "I used a Time-Turner," he said, answering the question that Harry hadn't yet asked,
Harry hugged him as Hedwig flew down to watch the scene unfold.