"Alas, ear wax!" Harry tried to refrain from laughing, but couldn't stop a chuckle from getting out.

Suddenly the door opened, and a thick curtain of black hair walked through. "Harry, you're awake!" Sirius ran forward, bringing Harry into a bone-crushing hug. "Pup, I was so worried."

Harry grinned wide, and asked, "How long have you been here, Padfoot?"

"Only two days, I couldn't make it the first day. I had to transport a bike." Harry was about to comment on his godfather's highly illegal and very pricey obsession with selling flying motorcycles when Sirius's face morphed from relief to anger. "What were you thinking, Harry! Going after the Stone like that! I told you, Harry! I told you not to do anything stupid with that cloak! You broke school rules! You went against direct orders from Professor Dumbledore! You broke the law! You got yourself put in a coma for three days!"

"Now, Mr. Black," Dumbledore tried to intercede, but Sirius continued on, as if he didn't hear the professor.

"And mostly, you saved the day. Again. If this is what I have to expect at the end of every year, I may just have to home school you!"


It was Mrs. Weasley, who had been sitting crying in front of the fire. She leapt to her feet, closely followed by Mr. Weasley, and both of them flung themsleves on their daughter.

Harry, however, was looking past them. Professor Dumbledore was standing by the mantelpiece, beaming, between Professor McGonagall, who was taking great, steadying gasps, clutching her chest, and Sirius, who looked infinitely relieved. Fawkes went whooshing past Harry's ear and settled on Dumbledore's shoulder, just as Harry found himself and Ron being swept into Mrs. Weasley's tight embrace.

"You saved her! You saved her! How did you do it?"

"I care less about how, and more about why?" Sirius all but growled, crossing the room to Harry, taking him by the shoulders. "I told you last year, I yelled it to you last year! You don't do these things! You're only a boy! If you figure something out, you tell a professor!"

"We did!" Harry rebutted, gesturing towards Lockhart.

Sirius gave him an incredulous look. "A competent professor!"

Harry swept his eyes to look at Ron and Ginny, who looked extremely awkward, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasly, who were distinctly not looking at him. "But Mc-Professor McGonagall was going to send Lockhart, so we figured we'd help him, but then he went all wonky-"

"Harry James! You will shut your mouth right now! You promised me! Promised me! You didn't take into consideration your life, or Ronald's, or Cedric's!"

"Ginny was down there! Hermione was in the hospital wing, petrified!"


Harry glared, and asked, "Can I tell the story now?"

"I can't believe you didn't tell me! All the stories of you and my father, and the rat! And you don't tell me about Lupin! HOW COULD YOU!"

Sirius didn't look at him. Harry pushed his shoulder's back.

"I saw that hug! You were close!"

"Harry-" Sirius cut himself off, he looked to the floor, then back to Harry. "We were, but not anymore."

"TELL ME WHY! How could you keep this from me?" Harry frowned hard, "I thought you loved me. I thought you trusted me. Why won't you just tell me!"

Sirius looked away. "Harry, I can't...I just can't. Not right now. I love you, Harry, you know that! Of course I trust you! I just...I didn't trust him. I thought he was the traitor. We made Peter the Secret Keeper, because I couldn't trust him. You're father never lost faith."

Harry looked doubtful. "Look, Harry...I'll tell you eventually. I'll tell you the whole story, and...hopefully then you'll understand. But, not right now. I know you won't understand right now. Please-"

"Okay, Sirius." Even as he said it, Harry knew that it would be awhile before his godfather actually told him what had happened.