Sirius had just finished going through his supplies when Harry wandered into the kitchen.
"Hey, kiddo. Are you doing anything this afternoon?"
Harry shook his head, "No. I was just reading in the drawing room, Ron, Fred, and George went to the hospital with Mrs. Weasley and Hermione threatened me with bodily harm if I disturbed her while she was working on her Ancient Runes homework. I was just coming to get something to drink for me and Ginny."
"Would you and Ginny like to do something with me this afternoon?" Sirius asked casually. He cast a hopeful look at his godson. He didn't want to pressure him, but at the same time, it would be a lot of fun.
Harry's face lit up at the prospect of spending the afternoon with his godfather. "Sure. I'll go get her."
By the time Harry and Ginny arrived in the kitchen a few minutes later, Sirius had spread out his supplies.
"Hi, Sirius. So what are we going to do?" Ginny asked eagerly. "I was working on the most boring Potions essay ever."
Sirius laughed, "We are going to make Christmas biscuits. Now before you say anything, I have to let you know that I am fulfilling a promise by making biscuits with you, Harry."
The teens exchanged a glance before Harry replied, "Sure, that sounds like fun. Who was the promise to?"
"I'll tell you that story as we work. Have either of you made Christmas biscuits before?" Sirius asked.
"I used to make biscuits with my mum when I was little," Ginny replied.
Harry shook his head, "No, my aunt didn't trust me with Christmas biscuits for some reason. She would always do them herself."
Biting his tongue to keep from saying anything about Petunia, Sirius asked. "What kind of biscuits do you want to make first? Sugar biscuits, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip?"
"You pick, Harry." Ginny said.
Harry decided on oatmeal raisin biscuits and Sirius pulled out the first recipe card and made it hover in front of them. As the kids started to mix the ingredients together, Sirius started his tale. "As you know, I left this place," he gestured around him to indicate Grimmauld Place, "when I was 16. I went to live with James and his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Potter were the best. They were older when they had James and they didn't spoil him like my parents did Regulus, but he didn't want for much."
James and Sirius looked up from the chess games they were currently playing. James called out, "Yes, mum."
"Can you boys come down to the kitchen for a moment?" Mrs. Potter called.
As they made their way to the kitchen, Sirius leaned over to James, "We didn't do anything did we?"
James scratched his head, "I don't think so. She already yelled at us for breaking the window in the greenhouse. We haven't pulled any pranks recently."
The teens entered the large, warm kitchen to find Mrs. Potter standing in front of the wooden kitchen table.
"Yes, mum. What's up?" James asked with a smile.
Mrs. Potter broke into gales of laughter, "Don't worry, boys you aren't in trouble."
James and Sirius exchanged a sheepish grin and turned back to Mrs. Potter. She continued, "I called you down because I wanted to bake Christmas biscuits with you."
Giving his mother a puzzled look, James said. "Christmas biscuits? We've never done that before."
"Well, actually, darling, we did when you were little, but I stopped for some reason when you got older. I think I was concerned that you would find it too girly or not want to do it. I was talking to Mrs. Bones the other day and she was telling me what fun she and Amelia had baking biscuits together. I figured that in these troubled times, we can use all the fun we can get. So what do you say boys, do you want to bake Christmas biscuits?"
Exchanging another look with his best friend James turned back to his mother, "Sounds great. What do we need to do?"
"Yeah, I love Christmas biscuits." Sirius added.
With a smile, Mrs. Potter began to show the boys how to make Christmas biscuits.
Harry smiled at the image of his dad and godfather baking biscuits together. He slid the first tray of biscuits into the oven and asked, "What was my grandmother like?"
Smiling Sirius replied, "Mrs. P., she was the best. She was a tiny little thing, she was just barely 5 feet tall, so James and I towered over her. But she was a force of nature that's for sure."
Looking at Ginny he said, "In some ways she reminds me of your mother. She took me in without any comment and treated me like another son. She was very easy going for the most part, but if she was angry with you…"
Sirius laughed, "Trust me you did not want her angry with you. She may have been tiny, but James and his dad and I did whatever she told us to do."
"She sounds great," Harry said his eyes shining with emotion.
"Oh, she was." Sirius said.
Mrs. Potter smiled as she watched the boys work together. They were so close, when James was younger she worried about him not having any siblings, but once he met Sirius…well they were brothers in all but blood and name.
"This is a very handy skill to have." Mrs. Potter said as she used her wand to cut out different shapes of biscuits. "Maybe someday you boys will be able to teach your own children how to make Christmas biscuits."
James looked up, but the joke he was about to make died on his lips. He could tell how much this meant to his mother. "Of course, mum."
"I don't mean to get all serious on you boys, I just worry sometimes." Mrs. Potter sighed as she sent the biscuits floating through the air to the baking sheets. "I'm not getting any younger and with all of the trouble going on right now…"
Sirius fidgeted uncomfortably, his family was right in the center of all of the trouble going on. All that pureblood crap, that was one of the reasons he'd left his family. He knew his so-called family thought he was glad to be in Gryffindor to annoy them, but that wasn't the whole reason. Sirius really did think the pureblood nonsense his parents had fed him from the cradle was crazy. He was proud that the Sorting Hat realized that he was different from the rest of those snakes and put him in with the brave and sometimes reckless Gryffindors.
Mrs. Potter shook her head, "I don't want to get into all of that. I just want us to have a great Christmas together – baking biscuits, wrapping presents, decorating the house, singing Christmas carols…I don't want what is going on in the world to stop us from enjoying ourselves when we can. I want you boys to promise me that you will not let that evil man and his followers stop you from enjoying life. Fall in love, get married, have children – that is the way to defeat him."
Sirius sent a sly glance at his best mate, "James would have no problems with that part as long it is to a pretty red-head…"
He got no further and James pelted him with a handful of flour. Laughing, Sirius shook the flour out of his hair, "There's no need to get violent. Besides you know it's true."
With a flick of her wand, Mrs. Potter cleaned Sirius up, "Really, James. It's not exactly a secret how you feel about that girl."
Another flick of her wand brought out a tray of biscuits to be decorated. She had traditional Christmas shapes like trees and ornaments, but she had also included stags and dogs and wolves in the mix.
"Wait a minute," Harry broke in, "My grandmother knew about Remus and you guys?"
A puzzled look crossed Ginny's face for a moment before she realized, "Your dad was an animagus as well?"
Harry nodded, "Yeah, he was a stag. They learned how to become animagi so they could keep Remus company during the full moon."
"Both your grandparents knew." Sirius explained, "It was during the summer I moved in with them. I had been there for about a month and Remus had come over for a week. The second night we were there, after dinner, your grandparents pulled us into the sitting room."
"I was so nervous. I thought maybe they had decided that I couldn't stay any longer," Sirius said a little self consciously. He met Harry's eyes and saw the understanding shining in them. He inwardly winced, realizing that unfortunately his godson understood that feeling all too well.
"Anyhow, they told us that they knew Remus was a werewolf. Poor Remus, I thought he was going to cry on the spot. I think he thought he wasn't going to be allowed to stay either. But Mr. and Mrs. Potter just told us how proud they were that we were such good and loyal friends. Mrs. Potter had seen us transform and had figured out why we learned to become animagi. I thought maybe they would make us register or tell Professor Dumbledore, but they didn't. They said that we were almost adults and if we wanted to keep it a secret that was our decision. I think they wanted us to register when we got older, but if word got out how young we were when we became animagi…it would have put us all under a lot of scrutiny."
"Wow," Ginny said, "Your grandparents sound really cool."
Harry nodded, "They do. I wish I could have met them."
"Me too, kiddo." Sirius said. "They would have loved you to pieces. Your grandmother was still alive when your parents found out that Lily was pregnant…Merlin, she was so happy."
Sirius busied himself with shaping biscuits for a moment to get his emotions under control. The teens exchanged a glance.
"So how do you make different shapes?" Harry asked after a minute trying to redirect the conversation onto a less emotional topic.
Sirius pulled his wand and showed them the spell to cut out Christmas biscuits. "You just think of the shape you want, and then – no spin your wrist like this, Harry."
Both teens tried the spell, "Good job, Ginny."
Ginny had cut several Christmas trees and wreaths. Harry looked over at what she had done and with a spin of his wrist created Santa hats and reindeer.
"Good job, pup." Sirius looked over Harry's shoulder. "Now you can either dip them in sugar or cook them first and decorate with frosting when they are done."
After deciding which biscuits they would decorate later, Harry and Ginny had fun dipping the rest of the biscuits in different colored sugars.
Harry smiled at his godfather, "Do you know how to make gingerbread biscuits?"
"Sure, is that a favorite of yours?" Sirius asked as he dug through his stack of recipe cards.
Harry colored slightly, "Well, I don't know exactly. Aunt Petunia always used to make them for Dudley and they smelled so good, but…she would never let me have any. I just want to try some."
Having kept his focus on the countertop in front of him, Harry missed the horrified looked that traveled between Ginny and Sirius. Taking a deep breath to get his emotions under control, Sirius replied, "I'm sure my gingerbread tastes much better than Petunia's does."
Laughing Harry said, "I'm sure it does."
Sirius smiled as he watched Harry and Ginny creating not only gingerbread men, but also gingerbread dogs, stags, and wolves.
Harry looked over Ginny's shoulder at her latest creation. "What is that?"
She elbowed him lightly, "It's a unicorn. I like unicorns. My brothers would make fun of me if I made unicorns because they said they were too girly."
"I like unicorns," Harry said. "I saw some in the Forbidden Forest during my first year, they are very beautiful."
Ginny gave him a dazzling smile before turning back to make some more unicorns. Sirius bit back a smile at the stunned look that crossed his godson's face as he watched Ginny. "Do I need to be concerned about why my 11 year old godson was in the Forbidden Forest?"
Harry started as he realized he was still staring at Ginny and laughed, "No. I was with Hagrid. I was actually supposed to be there – that time."
"I don't think I'll take that bait." Sirius said laughing.
"Hey, we should make some chocolate biscuits for Remus." Harry said. "He loves chocolate, I'm sure he likes chocolate biscuits, doesn't he?"
Laughing, Sirius replied, "Yes, he does. You know Moony, he loves all forms of chocolate."
Sirius showed Harry how to melt chocolate with his wand and Ginny started mixing the sugar and butter. Once he was sure the teens had the recipe under control, Sirius said, "This isn't the first time we've made biscuits together, kiddo."
Looking up with excitement on his face, Harry said, "Really?"
Smiling at Harry's excitement, Sirius said, "Yeah. Well, you didn't do much, but we did it together."
Sirius pulled up in front of his best friend's house and parked his motorcycle in the driveway. There was smoke coming from the fireplace, so someone was home. He supposed he should have checked to see if someone was home before riding over in the snow, but he was restless and wanted out of his small boring flat.
As he made his way to the front door he smiled to see the tiny snowmen he and James had made last week to entertain Harry. He wasn't sure how entertained his four month old godson had been, but he and James had a blast.
After a few moments, it was an obviously stressed Lily who answered the door. Her dark auburn hair had pulled out of it's normally neat ponytail and Sirius spotted what appeared to be splashes of paint on her jeans and t-shirt.
"Sirius, come on in." Lily said as she hurried towards her kitchen. "I don't know what to do. All I wanted to do was make James a nice Christmas present and now I'll be late to meet Petunia for lunch and I haven't been to the store yet and I won't be able to make these stupid biscuits for the meeting tonight and I still haven't given Harry a bath -"
Lily's voice trailed away as they entered the kitchen. Sirius looked around in shock, the normally clean kitchen was a disaster area. Harry was sitting in his carrier with paint on his feet and legs. Newspaper was scattered all over the floor with a tray of dark green paint to match the paint currently on Lily and Harry. In the center of the mess was a cream colored jumper. On the counter, Sirius could see a stack of bowls with a sack of chocolate chips, cinnamon candies, colored sugar, and several tubes of icing.
Pulling his wand, Sirius cast a silent Cleaning Charm on his godson's feet and legs and picked him up out of his carrier.
"Hey, buddy." Sirius placed a kiss on Harry soft cheek. Harry smiled and reached up to pat Sirius's face.
"So what is this present for James?" Sirius asked Lily anxiously. He was a little afraid she was going to start crying and he did not deal well with crying girls.
Lily took a deep breath and pointed to the jumper on the floor. "I wanted to put Harry's hand and foot prints on the jumper. I thought it would make a cute gift, but I can't get it…I've already had to clear it off and start all over again three or four times."
Sirius nodded, "Do you want me to help? I'll hold his foot and you hold the jumper?"
Nodding gratefully, Lily knelt down on the floor and smoothed out the jumper. Sirius looked at Harry for a moment before pulling off the pants he had on, "I think it will be easier without these in the way."
He wrapped his arm around Harry holding him still and stood him in the green paint. He and Lily laughed at the look on Harry's face. Sirius lifted him out of the paint and held him above the tray for a moment to let the extra paint drip off, then he pressed Harry's feet to the jumper.
Lily cleaned off Harry's feet, before they repeated the process with Harry's hands. As Sirius cleaned off his feet, Lily pulled out her wand and in a neat precise hand wrote 'Happy Christmas, Daddy' above the prints they had made and 1980 below the prints. She smiled as she cast a Preservation Charm on the jumper so the prints and writing wouldn't smudge.
She held up the jumper to show it to Sirius, "What do you think?"
Smiling Sirius nodded, "It looks great. I think Prongs will love it."
Lily set the jumper on the table with a smile. Her smile faded as she caught sight of the clock. "Oh, no. I have only 30 minutes to meet Petunia."
Sirius rolled his eyes, "Why are you meeting with her anyhow? She is always such a …"
He trailed off as he caught the look on Lily's face. She sighed, "I know we aren't getting along that well now, but we were so close growing up…I just keep hoping that we will get that back."
Sirius made a face, but he knew that if he had a chance with Regulus he might be tempted to meet with him. Lily continued brightly, "Petunia has a baby boy as well, his name is Dudley, he's a month older than Harry. I haven't met him yet, but…anyhow Petunia and I are going to have lunch and do some Christmas shopping. That's something we always used to do with our mum."
Looking worriedly at the clock, Lily said, "I don't think I'll have time to get Harry over to Mrs. Figg's, maybe I should call Pet and tell her I'll be late."
Making up his mind, Sirius said, "Don't worry about it Lily. I'll watch Harry, didn't you say something about going to the store?"
Lily looked at him with a mixture of gratitude and concern in her eyes. "Are you sure? I was going to go to the store this morning and get some raisins and some more flour and eggs for the biscuits."
"Not a problem, Lils. Harry and I will go to store. You go have lunch with your snotty sister and we'll hang out here and have fun."
Lily still looked a little uncertain, but another glimpse of the clock made up her mind. "You remember how to make his bottles and check them?"
Sirius rolled his eyes, "Yes, Lily. I just watched him last week. I remember how to change his nappies and make his bottle and that disgusting cereal you feed him. Go, we'll be fine."
With a look of gratitude, Lily ran up the stairs to get ready. Ten minutes later she was back downstairs, she had let her long auburn hair down and had changed into in a clean silver blouse, black pants, and low heels,
Sirius gave a loud whistle as she ran through to grab her purse. "Hey, Lils, you clean up good."
Rolling her eyes, Lily ignored his comment. "James is out running an errand for the Order, I'm not sure if he'll be home before the meeting or if he's just planning on heading straight there."
"Not a problem, you have fun and I'll see you back here later." Sirius said.
Kissing her son on the cheek, Lily smiled at Sirius, "Thanks. And remember, no taking Harry flying or up on your motorcycle."
Ginny was laughing, "So how long after she left did you take him flying?"
Affecting an offended look, Sirius asked, "What makes you think I took him flying?"
Ginny and Harry both burst out laughing.
"I think they're on to you," came a voice from the doorway.
Turning to see his best friend in the doorway, Sirius mock glared at him, "Did the smell of chocolate lure you from the library?"
"Actually, it did," Remus laughed as he helped himself to a chocolate biscuit fresh from the oven.
"I will have you know, that it is only thanks to my generous godson that we have chocolate biscuits for you," Sirius told him.
Blushing slightly Harry said, "I just thought you would like chocolate biscuits."
"Well, thank you, I love chocolate biscuits. These are really good by the way." Remus said with a twinkle in his eyes. "So Sirius is teaching you how to make Christmas biscuits?"
"Yeah, it's great." Harry said.
Ginny nodded in agreement. "Cooking with my mum is never this much fun."
Flushing with pleasure, Sirius smiled. "Thanks. What would you like to do next?"
Harry gestured for Ginny to choose. She smiled, "Can we make some jam biscuits?"
With a smile, Sirius produced the appropriate recipe card. Once they had started making the batter, Remus turned to Harry, "So what is this about Sirius not taking you flying? You know he and James had you up on a broom when you were only a few months old."
"That's true, but I didn't take him up without James and James wasn't home the time I'm talking about." Sirius said virtuously.
"That's because you were scared of Lily." Remus pointed out laughing.
Ginny and Harry watched the conversation between the two old friends with amusement.
"Why were you scared of Harry's mum?" Ginny asked curiously.
Sirius turned to her laughing, "Well, rather like you, Lily was a beautiful red head with a bit of a temper and a rather powerful witch."
While Ginny blushed, Remus added, "Lily knew better than to trust this old dog."
"Probably like your brothers are scared of you," Harry put in.
"I would never hurt Harry," Sirius said looking a little put out, "I have always been very careful around Harry."
"Do you know I used to have dreams about your flying motorcycle?" Harry said.
"Really?" Sirius asked. "I never really took you up on it much."
"It's kind of mixed up with the memories of my parents, so it might be from when Hagrid took me to my aunt and uncle's house." Harry explained. "I thought it was just a dream for the longest time until Hagrid mentioned that he used your flying motorcycle to take me to my aunt and uncle's house."
"So what did you do if you didn't take him flying?" Ginny asked.
Sirius laughed, "I made Christmas biscuits with him of course."
Sirius bundled Harry up and headed into town. Having spent quite a bit of time with the Potters, Sirius knew his way around Godric's Hollow. He skirted around the town square and headed for the small grocers on the corner. It only took him a few minutes to find everything Lily needed and they headed back home.
Sirius settled Harry down on a blanket on the floor after feeding and changing him. Looking around, Sirius cast Locking and Security Charms before changing into Padfoot and settling down on the floor next to the sleeping baby.
When Sirius woke a little while later, he felt small hands pulling on his fur. Turning his head, he saw his godson leaning against him rubbing his face in his fur. Padfoot gave a soft bark and licked Harry on the face. Harry fell back against the pillows stacked around him laughing. Padfoot nosed him in the belly and Harry grabbed his snout between his little hands.
After Harry tired of playing with the shaggy black dog, Padfoot transformed back into Sirius. Reaching down, he grabbed his godson and threw him in the air. Harry squealed with laughter as Sirius caught him and kissed him on the forehead.
Ginny laughed, "That is so cute. Harry used to play with you while you were in your animagus form?"
Remus burst out laughing as both Harry and Sirius blushed. "Yeah, it was pretty cute when Padfoot would curl up with Harry. Harry used to love to play with Padfoot."
Getting over his embarrassment, Sirius added "When I would bark, he would just laugh and laugh. We would play and then he would curl up next to me and fall asleep."
Carrying his godson with him, Sirius made his way into the kitchen. After he fixed Harry a bottle and settled him in the carrier, he looked around at the supplies Lily had gathered to bake biscuits.
"What do you think, Harry, should we make some Christmas biscuits?" Sirius asked the baby.
Chewing on his favorite stuffed stag, Harry smiled at the older wizard.
"I'll take that as a yes," Sirius said. Looking around, he had to admit Lily was very organized. She had the recipe cards set out as well as most of the supplies she would need. Unfortunately, as brilliant as Lily was, she just could not get the hang of baking.
"I do actually know how to do this," Sirius told the infant as he gathered and measured the necessary ingredients. "Your grandmother taught me how."
With a wave of his wand, Sirius sent the necessary ingredients into a bowl and set it to stirring. "You know, I left my parent's house when I was 16. You don't really need to know why, but I went to live with your dad and your grandparents. Now your grandmother was wonderful woman."
Sirius sighed as he started scooping dough onto the baking sheet. "I wish you could have met your grandparents, they passed away when your mum was pregnant with you."
He watched the baby for a moment before continuing, "Anyhow, your grandmum decided that your dad and I needed to learn how to make Christmas biscuits."
Sliding the tray into the oven, Sirius cleaned the bowl and started making more batter. He continued his story to the baby, "I think your grandmum sometimes missed not having a girl, but anyhow she had me and James. So she was determined to teach us how to make Christmas biscuits."
To Sirius's surprise, the afternoon flew by as he made and decorated biscuits. He set up a blanket and pillows on the floor and set Harry up with some toys. He told Harry story after story about his grandparents and parents.
After setting the last tray of biscuits on the cooling rack, Sirius picked up the baby and carried him into the sitting room. He had just settled down on the floor when the door opened and Lily came in carrying several bags.
She stopped short at the sight of Sirius and Harry playing on the floor. "Did you two have fun?"
Setting down her bags, Lily came over and picked up her baby. "What did you and Uncle Padfoot do today, angel?"
Kissing the baby, she set him on her hip and carried him into the kitchen where she looked around in confusion. Turning back to look at Sirius who had followed her, "You made Christmas biscuits?"
Blushing slightly Sirius said, "Well, you said you were going to make biscuits for the meeting tonight. I just thought I would help out."
Lily walked over to the table and looked at the stacks of chocolate chips, sugar biscuits, lemon bars, peanut butter biscuits, and oatmeal raisin biscuits.
"This looks amazing, Sirius." Lily said. "I had no idea you could cook."
The banging of the front door distracted the two of them.
"Lily, Sirius." James's voice echoed through the house.
"In here, love." Lily called.
As James came into the kitchen, he reached out for Harry. "How's my boy?"
Harry shrieked with delight as his father lifted him up in the air and twirled him around. Settling Harry in his arms, James gave Lily a kiss and greeted Sirius. He looked around the kitchen.
Smiling he said, "Making Christmas biscuits with my son, Padfoot?"
Sirius nodded, "Just like I promised, Prongs."
Harry smiled as they set the last of the biscuits on racks to cool. With a flick of his wand, Sirius sent the dirty bowls, measuring cups, and utensils to the sink.
"Thanks, Sirius." Harry said. "That was fun…and I loved hearing about my parents and grandparents."
"You're welcome, kiddo." Sirius replied as he gathered his godson in a big hug. Harry stiffened for a moment, but quickly returned the embrace.
The sound of the front door opening announced the return of the Weasleys from the hospital. Before Ginny escaped upstairs, Sirius turned to her. "Thanks for helping."
Ginny smiled and hugged the older wizard, before he pulled away he whispered into her ear, "You are really good for him. Thanks."
After duplicating his recipe cards, Sirius handed the original stack to Harry. "Your grandmother made these cards for me. I don't know where your dad's ended up, but I think these should go to you."
With a shaking hand, Harry reached out and took the handwritten cards from his godfather. He looked down at the cards, tears prickling his eyes. It was the only thing he'd ever been given of his grandparents. Blinking to clear the tears from his eyes, Harry looked up at his godfather. He couldn't even imagine what to say.
Sirius smiled at the emotion he saw in his godson's eyes. He pulled him into another hug and kissed him on the top of his head. "Just make sure you share them with your children someday."
Ginny smiled as she looked at the paper chain covered Christmas tree. She straightened up the sitting room before heading into the kitchen. In the doorway she paused to take in the scene.
James was mixing up a batch of batter with Teddy helping to keep him on track. Albus was decorating some Christmas tree biscuits while Harry was helping Lily to dip her broomstick shaped biscuit into green sugar.
Three year old Lily looked up at her father, "Is that good, Daddy?"
Harry smiled down at his daughter, "That is perfect, princess."
"Daddy," James said. "Tell me about making Christmas biscuits with Uncle Sirius."
Harry looked up and caught sight of his wife in the doorway; he smiled and blew a kiss at her. "It was the Christmas I was 15…."