If you always do what you've always done, then you always get what you've always got. -Special agent Anthony DiNozzo
"Hey, pup. You're looking goooof!" Sirius' observation was cut short as Harry, acting every bit the child he was never allowed to be, tackled the older man in a hug. Tears streamed from both pairs of eyes as the two men greeted each other.
After a few seconds, Sirius raised his head and beckoned to a still startled Lupin. The tired man hastily made his way over and joined in the hug. There was hardly a dry eye in the room as the marauders were reunited once more. Not even the still irate young Weasleys dared to interrupt this beautiful moment.
"Well this is charming..." sneered the oily voice of Severus Snape as he glided into the kitchen. "May I ask, however, how it is that the mutt is alive?"
"You really have a death wish, don't 'cha?" asked Jaxom as Harry spun on his heel and strode over to the potions professor.
"Wotcher!" exclaimed a tired voice as Nymphadora Tonks walked into the kitchen. Her usually vibrant pink hair was a dull, mousy brown and dark circles all but glowed underneath her eyes. She slumped to the pantry to remove out a butterbeer, not paying any attention to the scene around her.
"Um...Tonks?" began Hermione, tilting her head toward the three men.
"Yeah?" she looked up and, seeing Hermione's indication, glanced in the proper direction. What she saw made her entire head, including hair and eyes, pale to a ghastly gray. "S-s-s-ir-irius?"
Seeing the many nods, she jumped up and ran to the trio. Two feet from them, she tripped on an arrant patch of air and sprawled into the group, sending them all to the ground. Tears flowing from her eyes as she embraced the winded Sirius.
"T-tonks!" gasped the freshly revived man. "Unless you want me dead again, you should let me breathe."
Slightly embarrassed, she released him and carefully stood. Her attention was drawn to the weight that had just alighted onto her shoulder. A warm, smooth head brushed against her neck. Her complexion returned to normal and a smile graced her lips before her mind was able to process the facts through the haze of familiarity.
"Renth?! What are you doing here?" her suddenly hardened gaze swiveled from face to face until her blood red eyes locked onto a pair of blue sunglasses.
"Before we get into it..." sighed Jaxom in a dejected monotone. "I suggest that you and I move to another room so that they can continue with their reunion."
Seeing her nod, Jaxom turned and left the kitchen. Tonks followed, Renth still nuzzling into her neck. They walked across the hall and into the sitting room, where Jax locked the door and sat in one of the plush easy chairs. Tonks stared standing before the fireplace, staring at the depressed man in front of her.
"Go ahead..." Jaxom sighed, bracing himself for the inevitable lashing.
"I want you stand up and take off those fucking glasses right now."
Jaxom complied instantly, standing and slipping the dark blue lenses from his nose. The black eyes gazed, unblinkingly at her, waiting for the next demand.
"Swear to me that you will answer truthfully."
Sighing deeply, she looked at her feet for a few moments, idly stroking Renth's neck. Her hair shifted to a deep, sorrowful blue as she raised her watery eyes to lock onto his suspiciously misty gaze.
"What were you going to say that night?"
"I was trying to ask if I could see the real you. I'll admit that, after our...activities...my mind was a bit hazy. 'Else I would have thought the question through a bit more. I just wanted to see the woman I loved for her true self."
Tonks gazed into the solid black pupils, searching for the truth. She erupted into motion so fast that poor Renth was left hovering for a split second before he plummeted to the hearth rug with an undignified skwak. The two humans' lips all but fused as limbs entangled and bodies toppled. This was not a passionate kiss. Nor was it tender. It was somewhere in between, where their shared love pooled within their connected hearts. No sensuous or desperate caresses were needed. Every pent up emotion was released in the form of subtle glow. Breath was not necessary, the magic of their reunion revitalizing their very cells.
Renth, tired of the silence, flew over to the pair and landed rather hard on Tonks' rump. This got their attention and they slowly separated. Serene expressions were plastered on their faces as they regained their footing.
"Talk later?" asked Jaxom.
Entering the kitchen, they reunited couple was graced with many a confused glance. They ignored the looks for the moment as Dumbledore, who had just flooed back in, called every one present to the table.
"Now..." he began, steepling his hands. "I do believe that a few explanations are needed."
"Yeah! I've got something that needs a bloody explanation." declared Ron Weasley, ignoring his mother's chiding of the choice of words. "What the hell were you doing kissing Hermy like that?"
"Ron. Do not call me 'Hermy'!"
"Wait a minute, Hermy."
Hermione was in the process of pulling her wand when Harry spoke up.
"Ron. I believe that you were told nor to use that name. As for the kiss, that is a discussion for later. Right, Headmaster?"
"Yes, indeed. Though I am sorely upset that I missed that." the old wizard replied, eyes twinkling. "Now, Mr. Trantic..."
"Headmaster. I do believe that we've moved past that. Call me Jaxom or Jax...please."
"Very well then...Jax...I assume that you are the reason that one of our number we believed lost is sitting at the table."
"Dumbledore. I don't think that the children have to hear this." declared Molly Weasley as she began to shoo them out.
"Actually Molly, I believe that I am Harry's guardian. Not that he needs one."
The red-headed woman glared at the revived man. "They are still too young."
"I'm not leaving." declared Harry, surprising all of them. "You were here before. I have as much of a stake, if not more than, you, Mrs Weasley. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but...and this is the utmost respect intended...too bad."
"And I am going to stay with Harry." added Hermione. "Besides, I'm of age and, at the risk of sounding childish, you are not my mother."
The silence was deafening as Molly blustered, her ears growing the trademark Weasley red.
"I'm not leaving either, mum." stated Ron, still glaring at Harry.
"Neither am I." added Ginny. That sealed it.
"Oh yes you are! You two are still my own, and you will leave this kitchen...NOW!"
Jaxom, having watched the proceedings with a bemused expression, leaned over to the ginger-haired man beside him.
"Aren't you going to say something, sir?"
"Are you taking the piss? There's not a bloody chance in hell that I'll get into that."
Grumbling angrily, the youngest Weasley children stomped out of the kitchen. Molly glared once more at Harry and Hermione, neither of which giving an inch, before she huffed and went about making tea an attempt to calm down.
"Now that that is settled, I believe that we were asking about Sirius?" asked Jaxom, trying to break the tension.
"Yes. How is it that he is alive? I saw him fall through the veil after that bitch Bellatrix stunned him." asked Harry.
"Simple, really. Does everyone remember the deal that I had going with death." seeing the the affirmative nods, he continued. "Well...I'd heard of Mr Black's death. I managed to convince death to revive him, seeing as how he'd fall through that damn veil, and not by any earthly means."
"I see..." was all the headmaster said.
"But why?" asked Hermione. "You didn't even know Harry or any of us. Why would you make a deal like that?"
"Like it or not, Miss Granger, we are connected. Both of us were tasked with Voldemort's destruction. The main difference is, not to be insulting Harry, I can actually do it." Jaxom quickly raised his hands in a placating gesture as he saw the slightly angry looks on the teens' faces. "Again. I'm not trying to insult you, Harry. You gotta remember that I've been training for years. Given enough time, I have no doubt that you'd have no problem."
"Well, I do believe that we should table this rather...enlightening meeting for the time being. Mr Tran...Jaxom, do you have a place to sleep?"
"Nah...I usually sleep wherever I end up."
"Can you not afford a room somewhere?" asked Kingsley Shacklebolt.
"Oh, yeah. I just don't spend the money. During my training, I lost the dependence for the 'comforts of home'. I can sleep anywhere."
"That won't work." declared Sirius. "We've got plenty of room here. Why don't you take one of those?"
"He'll be in my room." stated Tonks, drawing many strange looks and Molly Weasley's enraged glare.
"No! I will not have it!" the Weasley Matriarch shouted.
"Is there something I should know, little cousin?" asked Sirius, ignoring the building rant for the moment.
"Not really." replied the young auror with an uncaring shrug of her shoulders.
"Very well, but you remember your silencing charms, young lady."
"NO! There are children in this house."
"Which, I believe, is what warranted the 'silencing charm' statement." replied Jaxom. "Besides...do you honestly think that the teens in this house are that naive?"
"Watch you tone, young man, or I'll EEK!" her threat was left hanging as Renth swooped at her from Tonks' shoulder, where he'd been sitting to watch the meeting. The fire lizard playfully nipped at the red hair before circling back to 'his' humans.
"Control that creature!" bellowed the irate mother.
"Don't talk to me. Renth has a mind of his own. You got a problem, take it up with him. Besides, if he had meant you harm...you would have been harmed. That was just his way of telling you to watch the threats. He's very possessive of his 'pet' human as he likes to call me."
"Albus! You can't really mean to allow this!"
"Alas, Molly, it is not my house. It is...hmm. Who exactly owns the house now?"
"Raggie told me that Gringotts accepts Lord Black's resurrection. Which means that all willed monies and properties have been returned to your vault and holdings, Sirius, unless you deem it otherwise. Of course, to change that requires a trip to the bank. Speaking of which, I owe the goblin a sundae. Anyone care to join us?"
"Me." said Harry, Hermione, Tonks, Arthur, and Dumbledore simultaneously.
"What?! Albus! You can't honestly be allowing Harry to travel to Diagon Alley for ice cream with You-know-who and his death eaters are running around."
"I believe that, with Mr Trantic and myself along, we will all be well protected should any unpleasantness occur. Shall we?"
Nodding, the group rose from the kitchen table and walked out. Unable to resist a final jibe, Jaxom leaned down to Molly's ear on his way out.
"Did you ever get the feeling that you don't have as much pull as you thought?" and, with a final wink at her beet-red complexion, he exited the room.