SPECIAL BONUS MATERIAL
Today, Harry Potter turned two years old. That means it's almost been a year since I met him and that I'm nine. Can you believe it? Maybe Remy is old. Maybe I'm old!
Maybe I should stop thinking so much.
Anyway, Cuzzie and Remy threw a huge party for Harry. It was amazing. He got so many presents (fifty-five. I counted.), and do you know how many people were there? It was like a bunch of screaming, fighting, hyper sardines.
Well, I think we smelled better than sardines. I think. Anyway.
Harry was so excited to see me! He's such a cute little man. Even though I see him almost every day (yep, including national holidays!), he always acts so surprised to see me. He can say his own name better now ("Harrah!") and doesn't lithp his eth-eth. I think he's got about fifty million teeth, too. At least he doesn't usually bite me. Mad-Eye's another story…
Then again, Mad-Eye's really creepy. I'd bite him, too, if he picked me up.
What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, Harry's party.
Like I said, everyone was there. The Minister, Ms. Bagnold, was there (she's wicked good at Seeking!), and get this: the Queen of England came. I'm not even joking! It was seriously the Muggle Queen! Mad-Eye thought she was Imperioused, but I heard her talking to Sirius. Nobody who's Imperioused can bet on horses like that. I got a photo of her to prove it. Mum was so jealous.
Harry got all kinds of crazy presents from people who didn't even know him. Some of it was poisoned, I'm pretty sure. Mad-Eye was furious, which would have been funny if his eye didn't keep following me around. He's such a stalker! How much can that eye see, anyway? Creepy!
Sirius got Harry a little leather biker jacket and a toy motorbike to go with his toy broomstick. Little Man kept running over people's feet with it, but that's just because he doesn't have the hang of it yet! I have a picture of that, too; Harry looks completely nuts in it. He is a little evil genius, after all. He figured out how to get past the child-proof charms on all the cupboards already.
Remy got Harry books (The Chronicles of Narnia! He's such an awesome uncle for Harry. He should get an award.), but he had to leave early. He called it a stomachache.
I checked the moon charts when I got home. Poor Remy. I wish there were potions or something for him to take! He still hung out with me even though he didn't feel too good. He sucks at three-a-side Quidditch, just saying, but he makes a great sports commentator. Sirius, are you drunk? Minister, if that's your strategy, I have to wonder how any of your laws were passed. Dora, stop running into branches, you tree-hugger!
Ah. Good times, those. Good times!
Poor Remy. I wonder, does he get lonely when he's a wolfie, or does he only think about…you know…ripping apart humans?
I have to think he gets lonely. Remy's too sweet to be a monster.
Anyway…it's pretty late, and I should go "Night-night," the way Harry said it when I helped him put on the bunny jammies I gave him. It's kind of hard to sleep, sometimes, when I think about Remy being out there, or about Sirius and Harry being all alone.
Today was awesome, though. Remy'll be fine. I'd better go to bed because I am exhaust…
"Padfoot, why are all weddings in summer?"
Harry tugged uncomfortably at his bow tie. He honestly felt as though he were about to die of a combination of heat stroke, strangulation, and embarrassment. I would ask whose bright idea it was to make me be Moony's best man if it weren't my idea!
Uncle Padfoot, meanwhile, looked as cool as a cucumber. With good reason! Harry scowled at his uncle. "Why can't I have an Instant Cooling Charm?"
Padfoot's smirked devilishly. "I, dear godson, am not underage."
"You could put one on for me!" Harry threw up his hands in outrage. "In a month, when I'm seventeen—"
"You'll what, sputter at me?" Harry barely resisted the urge to use some vulgar sign language. He really wanted to avoid Tonks jinxing his fingers together.
Speaking of Tonks...
"Wotcher, Harry!" Dora tried to jump on top of her best friend and ended up knocking him into the wall. "Oh, sorry! How are you, little man?"
"Not so little!" Harry rubbed his head and hugged her. "I thought nobody was supposed to see the bride before the ceremony."
Dora snorted. "I think we've left tradition behind, honestly, what with all the werewolves and Metamorphmaguses and—"
"Extra security?" Sirius muttered. Dora winced as some of the blood drained out of Harry's face.
"Tonks, I told you not to worry about me!"
Harry, you idiot! "Oh, right, so I'm just supposed to let You-Know-Who come strolling in and kidnap my little buddy? Not bloody likely!"
"I just don't want to be a burden!"
"Harry James." Dora tensed, then relaxed as Remus slipped an arm around her. His amber eyes were stern, but they softened as they rested on his nephew. "You were never a burden. You will never be a burden. In order for you to carry out Dumbledore's task, you can't be distracted. Think of it as the Order's job to keep irksome Death Eaters out of the way. It is what we're trained to do, after all!" When Harry smiled reluctantly, Remus let go of Dora and linked arms with him. "Come on, best man. Let's not impede my wedding."
Dora smacked both of them as they headed for the inside of the church. "Yeah, Harry! Stop holding up my big day! Jeez." She flashed a quick grin at Sirius. "Don't look so tense, Paddy. Mad-Eye and Kingsley have it covered."
Sirius hesitated in the door for a moment. "Right." Then he slipped inside the church as wedding bells began to ring.
Remus listened to the homily. He honestly did. After all, it was he that requested a traditional Catholic wedding in honor of his latent faith. St. Mary's was a beautiful church filled with ornate statues; sunlight danced merrily through the stained-glass panes. The smell of incense brought memories of young childhood, innocence before the bite, thoughts of holiness and angels as the choir sang the "Gloria" and the crowd shifted restlessly in the wooden pews.
Something was off, though. Some part of Remus (the wolf, Remus reminded himself) was stirring anxiously at strange vibrations that seemed to course through the air. Remus shook himself slightly; now was not the time to think of such dark things, and yet…
He paid attention enough through the end of Mass, and by the time he and Dora got to the vows, he was completely enthralled in his almost-wife again. Remus remembered, from a catechism class ages ago, that the priest didn't marry the couple; the couple married each other through the vows. It was a completely non-magical ceremony for the sake of the Muggle side of Tonks's family, but in the instant before he and Dora kissed and sealed the covenant, Remus swore he felt a lurch of enchantment in the air.
Next to them, Harry whooped and wolf-whistled. Further down the line, Sirius was cheering, too, but there was something off in his steely gaze. Remus grimaced.
What's gone wrong this time?
Panic was making Sirius's stomach swoop and swan-dive as he pushed his way through the crowd at the reception. Why now? Oh, God, Harry can't know! C'mon, Moony! Pay attention.
That caught Moony's interest. After a quick handshake with Ted Tonks, the lycanthrope slipped over to his best mate's side. "The wolf felt it during Mass. What is it?"
"Pettigrew." Every word was bitten, chewed, and thoroughly spat out. Scum, liar, traitor! "He's escaped from Azkaban again. Voldemort's on the move."
A light gasp from behind them was the only indication that Tonks was there. She slipped up beside her husband with one hand balanced on her wand. "How far away is he?"
Sirius snorted. "It's Voldemort, cuz. He can move faster than Snivellous confronted with clean underpants when he wants to."
"All the same," a deep, calm voice said from behind them, "I wouldn't worry yet." Kingsley Shacklebolt nodded once from his position at one window. "You can stay here safely for an hour at least; then we should move everyone. Relax, Tonks." He smiled slowly. "It is your wedding, after all. I think Dumbledore would want us to enjoy what happiness we have."
Sirius felt like cursing, but Remus was nodding, too, and Tonks looked convinced. "He'll be fine," Remus whispered as the two of them headed for the dance floor. "You can't protect him forever, Padfoot, not now that he's almost a man."
"I can bloody well try!" Sirius yelled after them. "I'm Harry's godfather, Remus! I'm his godfather!"
His voice was swallowed by the din of partiers.
Dora leaned against Remus. Somewhere above her head, he muttered, "Is it worth it, being married to an old man?"
The Metamorphmagus barely resisted the temptation to slug her husband. "Remus John, I told you when I was eight and I'll tell you again! YOU ARE NOT OLD!"
Peace comes in many forms. The new couple would take theirs while they could.
List of Reviewers! If your name is here, you get a ginormous (as Dora would say) hug and your character of choice to visit with. Number is number of reviews; no number is one review.
Vellouette (2), FranCheesecake (2), XxXpassionatemuseXxX, magicaltears (6), bswan (in Dora's words, MY CUZZIE!), BeautifullDisaster09, panther73110, mervoparkite, larabrambleofbywater (2), choirsinger, SBMFanatic, 3-left-turns, Sarchale, BethxxSandford (2), ZedPM (3), nectoreen, Ainulin, Boudicca's Revolt, Ellipsis the Great (read her fics. They're amazing), SIRIUSNATURE, Ravenclaw Rebel (my sweet personal stalker! 5), dark snake, Jessica, athenakitty, jennadancer, 5thmarauder, farwalker, Sparklespazz101 (4), Lindenmc (2), Duckyumbrella (2), ILikeComps
I love you all! You are amazing for your devotion for this wayward little fic that could. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope I'll see you around!
A sequel will appear once I pin down all my wandering thoughts and tie up some other fic's loose ends. See you then!
p.s. Special hugs to my former ballet teacher, former Catholic Traditions teacher, mother, and grandmother, as I combined aspects of all their personalities (British-ness, humor, eyes, love of all things lemon, and wisdom from all four) to make "my" Dumbledore. Also, to my sister Star, whose command "don't get too bored while I'm gone!" made me finish this story: I LOVE YOU!