Disclaimer – Still not making any money on this.
Author notes – Yes, still bad author over here. You are all allowed to hate me a little bit for taking this long. But I want to give a giant thank you to everyone's who reviewed and also a special thank you to those who has written me on Tumblr asking about updates. It's good to know that people still care about this little story.
Chapter 30 – Second Chances
"What's that saying? Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop."
– Meredith Grey
Harry shifted a bit on the bed, stretched his legs and wiggled his toes for a second, before he relaxed against the cushions again. He had stopped feeling comfortable a few hours ago when his ass started protesting his position by falling asleep and since then he had not been able to find a position that really felt comfortable for his whole body. It was weird, for so many years he had been forced to get up early every day and he had longed for the opportunity to just stay in bed all day but now, when he had his chance, he was starting to hate it.
He would have left the bed hours ago – mothering nurses be damned – but he still felt exhausted and even if the bed was uncomfortable getting up seemed like too much effort.
Sighing he lifted his hands to rub his eyes but when he felt a small tug at his hand he stopped the motion and sneered down at the IV-line that had gotten tangled up in sheets. He understood that it was there to help him and that he would probably feel a lot worse without it but it was still fucking irritating.
Grumbling a bit under his breath he gave up and flopped down on the bed. He knew that he probably looked like a petulant little kid but he was uncomfortable and bored and no-one was here to see him and when the hell was Scott coming back anyway? The blonde had just left to go eat something in the cafeteria with Peter but he really should have been back by now. And he had promised to try and sneak some candy back with him and Harry really felt like he deserved some candy if he was forced to stay in this damn bed.
As if on cue the door opened and Harry looked up expectantly. If Scott had managed to bring some chocolate back then he was ready to forgive and forget, no hard feelings.
But it was not Scott that walked in to the room and Harry felt his face fall as his eyes landed on his godfather.
"Harry," Sirius said as soon as he saw him and the name came out almost like a breath that he had been forced to hold in for too long and now could finally let out again. There were some tears gathering in his eyes but a smile was slowly spreading on his lips and it reminded Harry of a younger Sirius, the one that was always smiling, always happy, always telling jokes.
He shifted again, feeling uncomfortable for a whole other reason, and let his eyes drift down to his lap. "Hi," he said, mostly because it felt like he had to say something but as soon as the word slipped past his lips it felt awkward and he frowned down at his lap. 'Hi'? Was that really the best he could come up with?
But Sirius did not seem to mind as he closed the door behind him and walked further in to the room. "I'm so glad you're alright," he said and let his eyes sweep over Harry's body like he was checking if he really was. Since his smile only got wider Harry suspected that he passed the test. "I've been so worried, you have no idea. Those fucking Dursley's," he snarled and his smile slipped for a second but then he took a deep breath and closed his eyes and when he opened them again he gave Harry another smile. "But you're alright now. That's all that matters. That you're safe."
Harry could not contain the snort that escaped him at those words or the sneer he sent Sirius way but even as he opened his mouth he begged himself to just shut up for once, to not ruin this. But it was too late. "So now it matters."
He had to look away as Sirius face fell and he could already feel the guilt growing in his chest but he could not take the words back. Maybe Sirius really did care, maybe, but he had been gone for so long and what about all those years? Did not it matter then? And Harry was a mean little basterd, he knew that, but it was not all by choice. If Sirius had cared sooner maybe Harry could have been a whole other person.
"I'm sorry." The words were only a whisper and they were not enough so Harry just shook his head and turned away. "For everything," Sirius continued. "I'm so sorry."
"Everyone's always sorry," Harry muttered but tensed a moment later as Sirius suddenly took a few quick steps until he was standing right next to the bed.
"And I'm sorry about that too," he said in a rush and Harry could not help but to look up at him and meet Sirius eyes. There was a sharpness in them that he had never seen before and which made it impossible to look away.
"I know people have failed you, Harry. We've all failed you," Sirius continued. "And there's no excuse good enough and I hate myself for not doing anything sooner, but I'm still so very sorry for everything that you've had to go through. You did not deserve any of it. I need you to know that."
There was a lump in Harry's throat and he tried to swallow but it did not help. He felt weird and exposed and his heart was beating a mile per minute but still his eyes were glued to Sirius. He wanted to look away, to sneer, to say something hurtful but in the end only a small whisper passed his lips.
The surprise that took over Sirius face only lasted for a second before a blinding smile split his face in two and Harry felt a small smile tug at his own lips in response so he quickly looked away. One step at a time.
"Okay then," Sirius said with a laugh. Casting a quick look around he spotted the chair standing on the right side of the bed – the chair Scott had been sitting in for hours – and unceremoniously walked over and flopped down on it with another laugh. "Good."
Silence settled over the room and Harry thought that it would feel weird but it did not. It felt, strangely enough, comfortable. Easy.
He knew it was too good to last.
"So, I talked to the doctors," Sirius said and even if the words them selves had not made Harry tense up than the almost hesitant way the older man said them would have.
"Yeah? Are those quacks going to release me soon?" he asked and twisted his hands in the sheets, his body tensing more for every second, but Sirius continued as if he had not heard.
"They told me about the cuts," he said. "And the bruising. You've lost a lot of blood, Harry, and you were really dehydrated. But," and here he paused for a second, "they can't make it all add up."
Harry knew were this were going. The doctors had already asked him once but apparently his little freak out had scared them enough to not try it again but it really was a low blow to send Sirius to do it instead.
"You didn't have any wounds on your face," Sirius continued. "A big bruise and a few small scratches but nothing that could explain all the blood. So they took a sample and," he paused again, looking unsure, "it wasn't yours."
There was a ringing in Harry's ears now and he wanted to cover them with his hands to make it stop but he knew that it wouldn't help. His hands were clenching the sheets so hard his knuckles had turned white and he had to blink his eyes quickly to clear them. He was not about to cry. He was not.
"Where did the blood come from, Harry?"
He could taste iron in his mouth and first he thought that is was some kind of phantom memory but then he realised that he had bitten through his own lip and the taste and the memory combined was almost enough to make him gag.
"Harry? Whose blood was it?"
It took him a second to realise that he was the one who had spoken but once he did he forced himself to continue. "Please, Sirius." The words felt so foreign on his tongue. To have to ask – to plead – for something was not something that he used to allow himself to do because it gave people a chance to turn him down and to see him weak. It was better to take what he could and damn the rest. But now . . .
"Can we not talk about this?" Harry asked. "Please."
He did not dare look up, both afraid of seeing Sirius' reaction and of showing how close to tears he actually was.
The hand on his shoulder startled him and he twisted away from it before he even had processed what had happened. When he finally did he chanced a look at his godfather now standing beside the bed and his hand slowly falling down to hang by his side again.
"Okay," Sirius said, as if nothing had happened even though his smile looked a bit forced. "If you don't want to talk about it then that's okay. You don't have to."
Harry felt a weight lift from his shoulders as he took in a shuddering breath. "Yeah?"
"Yeah," Sirius said and his smile looked easier now. "But if you ever do want to talk about it, you can always come to me, okay?"
Harry doubted that he ever would and he doubted even more that he would ever want to tell Sirius but he nodded anyway. "Okay."
The smile Sirius gave him kind of made it feel worth it.
As the older man took his seat again Harry remembered something and he frowned as he looked at his godfather.
"Scott said something earlier," he said and continued when Sirius gave him a questioning look. "That your lawyer had gone to the Dursley's and that's why people knew I had run away. But," his eyebrows pulled together in confusion, "what was he doing there?"
Sirius sighed and lifted a hand to scratch at his neck. "I really had hoped to bring this up under other circumstances but I guess now's as good a time as any." he shifted a bit in his seat before he met Harry's eyes.
"I've filed for adoption," he said and when Harry only looked more confused he continued. "For you."
The world tipped sideways for a moment and Harry had to grab on to the side of the bed. "What?"
"I'm your godfather, Harry, and I know I messed up chasing after that damn rat," he was leaning forward in his seat now, hands twisting in his lap like he was nervous, "but you were supposed to stay with me. I was supposed to take care of you. And I know this is really late but I was hoping that you'd give me a chance anyway. I probably don't deserve it but here's for hoping, right?"
Harry's head was spinning with all this information and he felt breathless all of a sudden. "You want," his voice broke of and he cleared his throat before trying again. "You want me to live with you?" The way Sirius nodded made him feel dizzy and he had to look away again.
"Yes," Sirius said. "I know you'll be eighteen in less than a year so it's not that much time, unless you want to stay longer because of course you can stay longer if you want I just thought that you'd want a place of your own then but if you want to stay you can stay!" With a chuckle Sirius broke of and leaned back in his chair again. "Sorry, I'm rambling, but I hope you know what I mean."
When Harry only stayed silent, frowning down at his lap, Sirius leaned forward again. "Harry?"
"You want me to stay with you?" Harry asked again, eyes still on his lap.
"Yes," Sirius answered.
It was Sirius turn to frown now. "Yes."
"I – " Harry started but broke of again. This was what he wanted right? What he had always dreamt of? That Sirius would come back for him and take him home and everything would be like it used to be. He wanted this.
So why was he hesitating?
"Harry," Sirius said and it was barely a whisper. "Harry, look at me."
It took a moment but Harry finally managed to lift his head and meet Sirius gentle eyes.
"Do you want to stay at Horizon?"
Did he? He had the chance to go back home, to England, to stay with his godfather who really seemed to care about him. But . . . he had not been in England for nine years. The friends he once had had probably forgotten him by now. His godfather seemed to care but he did not really know him. His parents where dead.
And than there was Horizon.
He had made friends there, no matter how unlikely it seemed. And yeah, he did not really like the woods or the teachers or the food but he liked them.
And he liked Scott.
"It's just – it's – " It's home.
When he looked at Sirius again there was a small smile on the mans lips.
"It's okay, Harry, " he said. "If you want to stay there then it's okay. I won't pull you out."
The relief was like a weight lifting of his chest.
"But," Sirius continued, "I'd still like to adopt you. If nothing else than at least to make sure that the Dursley's doesn't get the chance to try and pull something again. And also," he looked hesitant now, his hands twisting together again, "maybe I could come and visit you? Sometimes?"
Harry felt like laughing but he settled for a smile. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I think I'd be alright with that."