Remus Lupin woke with a start

Epilogue

Becoming a family had been… different, was what Remus would say. They had given Harry the antidote and his features had changed slightly. To their surprise he had kept some of James' features. Dumbledore had researched the potion they had used and said that it had been an adoption potion, making James a third parent and the charm just served to suppress Remus' features and turn them into James'. Harry's hair had become a tad more manageable and shade lighter. His hands had changed to resemble Remus'; his ears, which had been like James', had changed too and were now a cross between Remus and Lily's ears; his face had been round like James' and had become a little more angular. And of course, Harry's voice, that had bothered Remus all along was just like his at that age, as Sirius pointed out. All in all none of the changes were extremely noticeable to anyone who wasn't close to Harry and everyone else could just blame them on puberty.

Remus was glad for that; Harry Potter's life was already complicated and newsworthy enough without a scandal. This was best kept private. And with Dumbledore's help Remus and Sirius had adopted Harry instead of Remus recognizing the paternity. This way, most people just thought Harry had started calling his adoptive father dad.

That was one of the best days of Remus life. Harry had just called him dad like that without even noticing one day at breakfast.

"Pass me the butter dad," he had said and Remus had stared shocked. When Harry raised his head he asked.

"What?"

"You just called me dad," he said faintly.

"I did?" Harry asked and Remus and Sirius nodded.

"Well, if that's okay with you," Harry said awkwardly. Remus smiled and got up.

"That's perfect Harry," he said kneeling in front of Harry and hugging him. "Perfect," he said hoarsely, with misty eyes.

They had also found out James had known all along when Harry read a letter that James had left in the Potter vaults to which Harry would only have access at seventeen, but that Sirius had access now.

Dear Harry,

I hope you never have to read this letter and that Padfoot has a little sense to give this to you only when you are old enough to understand .I thought hard of what my last message to you should be and decided that you should have the truth.

First and foremost I want to tell you my son, that I love you more than life itself. You gave me joy during a time of sorrow.

I truly hope I have had the opportunity to tell you this in person but I must also tell you here.

Harry, you may know that when we love someone we sometimes do unthinkable things to keep them close. We become scared of losing them and because of that, sometimes we lie by omission. In a time of war that fear is increased immeasurably.

I lied by omission to your mother. I never told her that on one of the many Death Eater raids that I was sent to as an Order member, I was cursed by one Death Eater. It was not a fatal curse but a somewhat more cruel one ; when your mother told me she was expecting I knew you couldn't be mine for that curse had turned me sterile.

Your biological father is one of my best friends, Remus Lupin. If you by any chance do not know him look for him. He is a good man. I do hope that by now you know the truth and are able to have both your fathers around , but I know that may not be the case.

Now you might be thinking I am some kind of magnanimous soul to be able to forgive Remus and Lily so easily, but that is not the case. Well, you see, I may have been aided by a little accident.

Your mother had tried to leave me because she thought I was cheating on her when I was on missions for Dumbledore. I never told her where I went and she thought the worst. I know now that she must have sought comfort in someone and maybefind a way to get back at me. I was so afraid of losing her I said nothing, but of course I tried to find out who. My first thought had been her childhood friend and my childhood enemy Severus Snape. That would be the perfect comeback. It was only at an Order meeting when I saw the way Remus was acting strange when Lily announced her pregnancy that it hit me. It was him, my own best friend!

My first instinct was to rip him apart but Dumbledore was there. Then I saw how Sirius was trying so hard to get Remus and Lily talking, but Remus seemed to be avoiding both of them, so of course I thought my best friend, best man, brother was in on this charade too and wanted to rip him apart as well. However, Dumbledore was still there. So I acted very maturely by snapping at all of them every chance I had during the meeting. Lily had enough of that, as you know your mother is not a force tobe reckoned with, and she threw me out of the room and told me to wait in one of the rooms like a naughty child!

I of course, paced and fumed for a long time until I thought the meeting might be over and walked back to the drawing room and was quite surprised to find it empty.

Now, what does that have to do with anything? You see, back then Headquarters could only be entered or left with a password that changed daily, andas I had entered with Sirius, I didn't know the password and couldn't even use the Floo. I was locked in! I sent a Patronus message but your mother thought it would do me good to stay locked in until the morning!

So, as you can see, I had a lot of time to cool off and start thinking rationally. I happened to know that Remus fancied a certain mangy mutt we all know. As a matter of fact I am quite certain the only person still in denial was him. Well, I remembered that the day your mother tried to leave was also about two days after Remus' dad had been buried and Sirius had come to my doorsteps in hysterics because he had kissed Remus.

I know Remus; he is loyal to the point of foolishness. He would never jeopardize our friendship, so there had to be extenuating circumstances. He, he. I can't help but remember how many times Sirius tried that line on Minnie!

After cooling off I was able to realize that if I said something I might lose everything so I stayed quiet once more, and I gained what I never thought I would have: a son! A son I love so much and an heir to take the Potter name forward.

I hope that I have mustered the courage to tell you all that I know and can share you with Remus but if I haven't I apologize and can only say I am scared of losing you Harry. You are and always will be my baby.

Your father,

James Potter

Remus had felt a mixture of relief for his friend had forgiven his betrayal and a little hurt for he had lied to him too. But he couldn't deny he loved James, and forgave him as he had Lily and Sirius.

Then of course there were the awkward moments like the day Harry came to them looking worriedly and asking to talk to them.

Harry looked at Remus warily and biting his lip he blurted, "I don't think I'm gay."

Remus stared at Sirius lost and then turned to Harry, "That's okay son. I didn't think you were, and you're young-"

"But you are!" Harry cried.

"Yes," Remus said calmly. "But you don't have to be."

"But I want you to be my dad and I'm not-"

Remus stopped Harry's nervous babble by taking his hand, "Harry, you are my son no matter what. I don't care if you're different from us."

"But my Aunt and Uncle-"

"Were morons who didn't appreciate what they had," Sirius said flatly. "We love you Harry, just like you are."

Harry nodded but Remus knew that they would have to reassure him many times more. He sat next to him and put an arm around his shoulders.

"We're a family Harry, no matter what. You me and Sirius."

"I like living here with you and your puppy," Harry said leaning in the embrace.

"Hey, I'm not a-"

"Me too," Remus answered. "And you can even play fetch with my puppy from time to time if you want."

"I don't play fetch," Sirius cried.

"Fetch," Remus threw a pillow and Sirius caught it. "See."

He winked and Harry chuckled. Remus and Sirius always tried to lighten up the mood after a serious talk. Like the ones about his "adventures" at Hogwarts when they finally found out Harry was still having nightmares about them and Sirius had to prevent Remus from Flooing to Hogwarts and killing Dumbledore- Sirius made a show of telling Harry to write down the day when he had been the responsible one and not Remus- and the ones that came after the two hellish weeks with the Dursleys.

Afraid of Sirius and Remus, who both decided to go with Harry, the Dursleys hadn't laid a hand on Harry but they had abused him verbally enough until Remus packed all their stuff with a wave of his wand and announced they were leaving, forever. Petunia paled and begged them to stay. They did so, only because Remus knew how much having a safe haven from Voldemort meant for Harry. If not for that, the Dursleys would have gotten what they deserved. And Remus wouldn't have to do anything. He would just need to stop restraining Sirius and sit back to enjoy the show.

Remus had tried to talk to Harry about what the Dursleys had done in the past, but at first Harry wouldn't say anything. He was embarrassed. So Remus and Sirius mainly did the talking, reassuring Harry that the Dursleys were wrong and there was nothing Harry could have done. Slowly Harry started telling them what had happened to him and Remus could only hold him and try to heal him the best way he could. This was one of the times Remus hated the war. If they hadn't needed the protection he would have brought charges up against the family. They should pay for what they did. Instead, they got away free and that grated on Remus' nerves. But there was nothing he could do.

Dumbledore invited him to come back the next year as the History teacher. Apparently he had managed to convince Binns to retire, and had wanted to call a friend for the DADA position because of the Triwizard tournament because Fudge had managed to fumble his way while taking Peter to a holding cell and lost him. The stupid Minister had forgotten to alert the Aurors to place anti-Animagus wards and Peter had transformed when the Aurors released his cuffs and ran just through their feet.

Dumbledore said he would feel better knowing that three more Order Members would be in the castle, since Sirius would accompany Remus as his spouse. Dumbledore was especially pleased with the fact that since that full moon in June, Remus had kept his mind unaided every time. They couldn't explain it and could only believe that it had something to do with Harry, but the only way to test that theory was for other werewolves to stay with their children at the full moon and that wasn't about to happen.

He had also had to remind Snape of his promise not to reveal anything about Remus. Snape had been livid at Sirius' freedom and tried to get Harry and his friends expelled for being out of grounds and attacking a teacher. Dumbledore decided there were extenuating circumstances and since they were at the end of the year there was no use in detention. So Harry and his friends had instead gone to celebrate Buckbeak's escape with Hagrid. No one knew how, but apparently Buckbeak had managed to escape from right under the Minister and the executioner's noses. Remus thought Dumbledore knew how and he had the vague feeling this had something to do with Ms. Granger's time-turner.

The following years hadn't been easy. Remus almost died of a heart attack a hundred times over during the Triwizard Tournament and Voldemort's return. The Ministry had sent a spy to Hogwarts and she had managed to torture Harry right under their noses because Harry was afraid she'd find out about Remus' lycanthropy and take him away from his father. Remus had been livid at the end of the year when he saw the scars on his son's hands and Dumbledore had to ship Dolores Umbridge to St. Mungo's in a rush so Remus didn't kill her.

Then, right before Remus found the scars, Sirius almost fell through the Veil of Death at the Ministry of Magic when Harry had seen a vision of Voldemort torturing Remus and had been unable to reach them because Umbridge had fired Remus on the grounds of inappropriate behavior. Umbridge stated that Remus living together with someone to whom he was not legally married was against Hogwarts' rules and a bad example to the students.

All of this happened right after Dumbledore had to leave because the Defense study group Harry had put together had been caught. Remus and Sirius had gone to Grimmauld Place, which was serving as Headquarters for the revived Order of the Phoenix.

Unable to reach them Harry had rushed to save Remus. Sirius had been dueling Bellatrix Lestrange next to the veil and she hit him with a stunner. Both Harry and Remus thought he'd gone through and it was all Remus could do to stop Harry from following Sirius. He couldn't lose both of them was all he thought. But then, in a moment of distraction Harry had followed Bellatrix out of the Hall. Remus had run after them but they had taken both lifts He just managed to get in the Atrium in time to see Voldemort posses Harry and taunt Dumbledore into killing him.

His son was in agony and there was nothing he could do. He threw himself forward with no thought to his safety and embraced Harry's body. In a scream of anguish Voldemort left Harry and later Dumbledore said that was because Harry was full of love; Harry said that when his dad embraced him all he could think of was all four of his parents. Dumbledore had portkeyed them to his office at Hogwarts where he and Harry had sat for what felt like ages feeling numb. They had stayed in that same position they were when they took the portkey, slumped on the floor hugging each other, until Dumbledore arrived with Sirius by his side They couldn't believe their eyes and had both lunged at the man.

Apparently on seeing where Sirius was fighting, Dumbledore had sent a shielding charm at the archway, which made Sirius roll though the shield and fall to the side of it. But from where they were it looked like he had fallen through. Even Bellatrix, who had run instead of watching what happened, must have thought so from her taunts.

He had been a little bruised and frantic once he had been awakened and not seen Remus and Harry around but he was fine.

Harry's sixth year was rough. Voldemort came out of hiding and everything was tense. Dumbledore had wanted Remus to infiltrate the pack but Sirius pointed a major setback; everyone knew Remus Lupin had adopted Harry Potter there was no way he could be subtle. Remus found a friend he had made during the first war to help in his place but dealings were difficult. Throughout the year Albus told Harry about Horcruxes and Harry relayed his knowledge to his parents and friends and Remus started having a sinking sensation he did not say out loud for fear. But deep down he knew. He knew Voldemort had made an extra Horcrux and he just didn't want to think his baby would have to die. He researched frantically for methods of destroying Horcruxes without destroying the vessel but found nothing. At the end of the year Albus Dumbledore was killed by none other than Snape, and all seemed lost. Later Sirius confronted Remus as he became more agitated and depressed and Remus confessed about the Horcrux. Sirius vowed they would not lose Harry.

Everything escalated quickly, suddenly Voldemort took over, the Order was being chased and Harry, Ron and Hermione were on the run. They had been plotting ways to get to the Horcruxes from Grimmauld Place, after Harry, Ron and Hermione had escaped from Bill and Fleur's wedding. They had abandoned the place after Snape's betrayal but Remus had known that was the only safe place for them to go and he and Sirius had joined them. Miraculously, after learning of his brother's attempt to destroy Voldemort, Sirius and Kreacher found an understanding. The kids had gone to the Ministry to try and get a Horcrux. Remus couldn't use Polyjuice because he was a werewolf and even Sirius acknowledged that the three kids would work better together than if he was one of them. They never came back. Remus only had time to get a Patronus telling them to leave when he saw Harry, Ron and Hermione Disapparating from the window leaving a stunned Death Eater behind. The kids had been afraid the Death Eater could get inside but that was not the case, and Remus and Sirius kept using the place as a safe house and Order headquarters.

He had seen Harry briefly when he received a message from Bill that the kids were with them. Harry had told them he had destroyed a Horcrux and that they knew where to find another but said nothing more. The next day Harry, Ron and Hermione were gone with a message, "I love you dad." They would see each other again only in the final battle.

Xxxx

"So Snivellus was good in the end…who would have thought?" Sirius mused. He, Remus and Harry were seated in the front steps of Hogwarts surveying the battlefield, now empty.

"I think good is going to far love, but definitely on our side," Remus said and looked at Harry who was watching Ginny. He pulled him in a hug and said, "Go to her. Don't let seventeen years pass," he finished motioning to Sirius with his head.

Harry nodded and hugged him back, "I'm glad you are okay dad," he said thickly and then turned and hugged Sirius, who was at his other side, "You too daddy's puppy."

"Okay, stop with the daddy's puppy. If you hadn't been gone for so long I'd curse you."

Harry smiled and ran away. Sirius scuttled closer to Remus and threw his arm around the man who was watching Harry. "See? Told you he would manage okay."

"He almost died! What am I saying he did die and came back by a miracle," Remus said shakily hiding his face in Sirius' robes.

Sirius kissed his head and whispered, "I know. But he's okay. We all are. Look there," he said and Remus looked at where Sirius was pointing to Tonks and Kingsley hugging and kissing, "We are all fine and now those two get to go home to their Teddy just like we get to go home with our Harry."

Remus smiled and kissed Sirius. Yes, they would be fine.

The end

Xxx

A/N: I hope you enjoyed and thank you all for reading.

Humongous thanks to SWaddict1986 for betaing!

I know I didn't say who lived and who died but I wanted to leave that open for your imagination.