Sirius froze on the spot, and stared into his son's eyes for several moments. It took him several minutes to realize that the boy was frowning at him and had probably said something. He broke out of the daze, though, when the boy stepped back a little, out of his grip.
"Sorry." Sirius said after a moment, running a hand through his hair and suddenly feeling incredibly grateful that he had gotten a bit cleaned up. His son shrugged. His son, Cedric, who was frowning a little at the him.
"Yeah." The boy fidgeted a little, watching Sirius. "Me too. I've got to-" He gestured in the opposite direction and started to leave.
"I'm not dangerous, you know? I've never killed anyone." Cedric stopped and turned to him, a frown back on his face.
"I know," he said after a moment, "I heard what happened." Sirius nodded, relieved that his son believed it. "Why do you care what I think, though?"
"Would you want people believing that you were a mass murderer?"
"I suppose not."
"Sirius." Sirius jumped at the voice and looked behind him as Remus came up. Remus gave him a look that had him feeling a little guilty, before he turned to Cedric. Cedric gestured back the way he came.
"I've got to go…finish packing, I guess." Sirius and Remus both watched him leave.
"What are you doing?" Remus asked when he was sure that Cedric was well out of hearing distance.
"I'm not doing anything," anger tinged Sirius' voice, "I was out walking, so was he. We ran into each other. Literally." He followed Remus back to his office, where his things were packed up as well.
"What are you going to do now?" Remus asked after a moment. Sirius shrugged and dropped down in one of the chairs.
"What am I supposed to do? You guys have a point. I can't just walk up to him and go 'guess what! I'm your real dad!'." Remus nodded.
"Are you going to be able to do this? I mean, stay away?"
"What choice do I have?" He watched Sirius for a moment. It was true that he hadn't really known Sirius for twelve years but he was worried about this. If Sirius hadn't changed too much and judging from what he had seen so far he hadn't, he doubted that Sirius would be able to stay away for long.
"Just, whatever you do, be careful."
"Just come over when you feel like it. You know my dad won't mind." Alec said as they came to one compartment with Patrick Atkins and Natalie Cooke already inside. The rest of the ride passed rather quickly as they talked with several other friends.
Before long, Cedric was getting off, saying goodbye to his friends and heading towards his father.
Harry had said goodbye to Ron and Hermione but he still hadn't left Hogwarts himself. Sirius had said that they were still working out the issue of where they would live. Dumbledore had already suggested one place that made Sirius grimace and shake his head.
Sirius still seemed a little bit distracted. He had come out with Harry to watch the students leaving the castle. Something was going on and he wished he knew what it was that Sirius was hiding.
He still couldn't believe that he was getting away from the Dursley's. He wouldn't ever have to see those people again hopefully. He remembered hoping when he was younger that someone would come to take him away and now it was happening.
It was obvious to him that Sirius didn't think he should be living wherever it was that Dumbledore had suggested, but Harry didn't much care where they lived. He figured he'd be happy in a cardboard box if Sirius was there with him.
"What's going on?" Harry asked as soon as Sirius stepped into the common room. Harry was still staying in Gryffindor until they figured out a good place for them to stay.
"Well, we got a house. They're just putting some protection around it right now. Well, a lot of protection. I figure by the time they're done it'll be impossible to get into."
"That's good." Sirius nodded and sat down across from Harry.
"So, how are you doing?" Harry grinned.
"Are you kidding? I'm doing great. I still can't believe this is happening." Sirius smiled back at him and looked off for a moment. Harry frowned.
"Are you alright?" Sirius turned back to him.
"I'm fine, kid." He leaned forward. "So, want to check out the new house?"
Cedric frowned thoughtfully at his food. He had been back for a day and Amos hadn't started acting weird yet. He had expected it, but he was also expecting that to change sometime in the next week.
His father would act perfectly normal for the first few days he came back from Hogwarts and then he'd start acting weird. He usually went over to Alec's when his dad got really crazy.
"So, how was your year?" Amos asked after a moment, smiling at Cedric.
"Good." Cedric said, shrugging. He hadn't mentioned the most of what had happened at Hogwarts in his letters because of the way that Amos had reacted to seeing Sirius Black's picture in the newspaper at the beginning of the year.
He frowned a little, thinking about the very strange meeting he had with Sirius Black at the end of the school year, and the weird way the man had looked at him. Then there was the way that Professor Lupin had looked at Black, like he was doing something wrong.
After a minute, Cedric shrugged it off. Black had spent twelve years in Azkaban, his people skills probably weren't the best. Plus, it wasn't like everyone would believe that he was innocent, even with overwhelming evidence. Wondering around the halls at Hogwarts couldn't be the best of ideas.
"I do read the papers, Ced." Amos said, bringing him out of his thoughts. "I know what's been happening there." Cedric shrugged.
"It's not like it has anything to do with me."
"Of course not." But his father frowned as he said it, and he stared off into space for a moment. Cedric watched him wearily for a moment before excusing himself. Sometimes if he left, his father would snap out of it.
Sighing, Cedric lay down in his bed. It was already starting again. This was going to be a long summer.
"It's wonderful." Harry said, grinning as he walked into his new home with Sirius, who smiled in return.
"Well, they made it as safe as can be. This place is practically a fortress." The house wasn't huge, but it wasn't tiny either. It was out in the country, and Sirius had said that there were many wards around it.
Sirius showed him the place, stopping at one of the rooms, and proclaiming that it was Harry's. There was a bed already there and his things were sitting on top of it. Harry grinned and bounced on it.
"It's great." He said, grinning like mad.
Harry got up early the next morning. He had barely slept at all. He and Sirius hadn't talked much the night before on account of the fact that it had been pretty late.
Harry was just too exited and wired to sleep. The kitchen was stocked with food and Harry decided to cook something for breakfast, figuring that Sirius probably wouldn't be so great at it considering where he had been the past twelve years.
Sirius had barely slept at all the night he and Harry had gotten to their new home. He was happy to be out. He was happy that his record was cleared and that Harry was staying with him, but he couldn't stop thinking about his son.
Seeing the boy briefly at Hogwarts had done that. It wasn't like he hadn't seen his son at all. He had throughout the year when he was trying to get into the castle to get to Peter but he had, for the fist time since the boy had been four, seen him face to face. Talked to him, even.
The need to see his son again was almost overwhelming, especially at night when nobody else was around. He knew that Dumbledore and Remus were right, but the prospect of his kid never knowing about him, of never seeing his kid again…
"You cooked?" Sirius asked, stopping short in the kitchen doorway. Harry shrugged, sitting the food on the table.
"Why? Is something wrong? Do you not like your room? I could-"
"It's not that!" Harry interrupted him, smiling. "I was just too hyper to sleep. I mean, I always thought I wouldn't leave the Dursley's until I was legally an adult, you know?"
"Oh." Sirius said. He sat at the table. "You know, you don't have to cook." Harry raised an eyebrow and sat down as well.
"Really? Are you going to?" Sirius stopped and grinned a little, but it faded a little.
"I'm just saying; don't feel like you have to, because you don't." Harry smiled wider. They ate breakfast, which Sirius noted was very good and Sirius told Harry a few stories about his days at school with James.
They were both laughing throughout and when they left the table, Harry was unable to keep the large grin off his face.
Much to the delight of both Sirius and Harry, Remus was practically living with them now as well. He had started coming over more and more often. Harry didn't think he'd ever been happier. He had once thought that nothing could beat coming to Hogwarts for the first time. He was wrong.
Still, he couldn't help but to notice that something was going on with Sirius and Remus. Sometimes they would be talking about something and immediately change the subject when they noticed him coming in the room.
Also, Sirius was leaving to go somewhere every now and then and Remus was not happy about it.
Sirius couldn't help it. He had agreed to stay away from his son, to not tell him the truth, but the urge to see the boy wouldn't leave. He wasn't sleeping to well with it either.
Remus wasn't happy about it, but he had eventually agreed to stay with Harry while Sirius went to the Diggory's to watch over his son when he could in his dog form.
Sirius knew that Remus thought it wasn't healthy. That he should move on with his life, focus on Harry, but Remus didn't know what it was like. He couldn't just forget about his son.
He only went when Remus would take Harry out or when Harry was sleeping. It wasn't like he was neglecting Harry. He couldn't forget. He couldn't just settle for never seeing his child again.