Sirius paced outside Harry's bedroom, resisting the urge to wring his hands in his anxiety. Where the hell was Remus? Why was it taking so long?
As if in answer to his query, the noise of the floo roaring to life sent him running to the top of the stairs as Remus came striding into view.
'Poppy's not there!,' he said breathlessly. 'The school is closed down for the holiday, I couldn't find anyone. Is there any change?'
Sirius shook his head frantically. 'I can't wake him up Moony. I don't know what to do.'
Remus grabbed his friends arms and squeezed as hard as he dared.
'It'll be OK Sirius, but we are going to have to take him St Mungo's'
Sirius nodded tearfully and headed back into his godsons room. He took in a shaky breath at Harry's pale white face lying so still against the pillow; not a single mark on his body.
It had been an hour since Sirius had looked out of the kitchen window and seen his precious ward lying in a tangled heap at the foot of the huge oak tree in the garden.
Sirius couldn't ever remember feeling as scared as he lay Harry on the bed and made frantic floo calls to Poppy and then Remus when that had failed.
He gently lifted Harry into his arms and Remus helped him to wrap a blanket around the boy.
'Siri?' Remus said gently as they carefully walked down the stairs. 'You need to decide on a story. Harry is still technically 'missing'.'
'I guess I just say I found him in..erm, Newcastle?'
Remus nodded. 'We can say we found him in an abandoned building. It would fit with the living homeless tales you've been spinning.'
Sirius shifted Harry's weight in his arms as he reached for a handful of floo powder.
'Oh God Remus, I built that tree house. It's my fault! If anything happens to ….'
'It's not your fault,' his friend cut him off. 'Accidents happen with children; you can't avoid that. Lets get him some help shall we. You can beat yourself up later.'
Sirius nodded and stepped into the fire.
'St Mungos,' he cried louder than strictly necessary and stepped out into the white marble foyer of the famous hospital. Sirius was aware of Remus stepping out behind him a moment later and following him swiftly to the reception desk.
With impressive efficiency, Sirius soon found himself stood on the wrong side of charmed screens as a flurry of healers surrounded the still boy, their wands moving quickly as they cast a variety of diagnostic spells.
A young staff member in a purple tunic grasped Sirius gently by the elbow and led him away from the screens, to a small seating area.
'Sir, if I could just take some details from you and then we can let you back in with your son,' she stated quietly, clearly used to dealing with distressed loved ones.
Sirius nodded numbly, desperate to be on the other side of those screens.
'Can you tell me what happened sir?'
'I'm not sure, a fall I think.' Sirius exchanged a worried glance with Remus. It was important that they gave the healers as accurate a picture as possible so they could help Harry.
'I found him lying at the foot of...of a flight of stairs. It was in an abandoned building. I think the stairs had given way. Maybe a 20 foot drop.'
The healer nodded and disappeared behind the screens to give the vital information to the staff working on the boy before returning a few minutes later and taking a seat beside the two men.
'How is he?' Remus asked quietly and the healer smiled.
'Healer Argos is looking after him just now. He will come and talk to you as soon as he has some information for you. Can I just take a few details from you.'
'Can you tell me your son's name?'
Sirius swallowed. Well this was it then, he thought wryly. No more privacy for any of them.
'He's my godson and his name is Harry Potter.' Sirius almost whispered.
The healers eyes shot up from her notes and he saw recognition blaze in her eyes as she realised who he was.
'You found him,' she stated, almost as quietly as Sirius himself had been and he nodded in reply. She smiled tearfully and swiftly stood.
'These questions can wait, let me go find out how he's doing for you'
Sirius watched her walk swiftly away and then buried his face in his hands with a groan.
'Now I feel terrible. Everyone's going to think I was the gallant rescuer instead of a negligent parent.'
Remus slung his arm around his friends shoulders. 'You weren't negligent Sirius. I've never seen a more attentive parent. Harry was playing in his tree house and somehow fell. You haven't done anything wrong here and besides we need people to see you as Harry's personal hero. That's the whole point of Griphook's plan.'
Sirius looked up at his friend and groaned again. 'Griphook! I'm such an idiot! He set up emergency medical help for us. We didn't need to come here at all.'
Remus ran his hand through his hair with a sigh. 'Yes, I had forgotten that as well. He squeezed his friends shoulder. 'Perhaps it's for the best. You couldn't keep this pretence up forever and I think people will respect your privacy, at least for a few months. The cottage is still well hidden after all.'
Sirius opened his mouth to answer and then abruptly stopped as the young healer returned, accompanied by an older man in a deep navy robe.
Sirius stood and nodded, reaching out to shake the hand the man offered.
'I'm Healer Argos, I'm the shift leader here tonight and have been tending to Harry.'
'Is he...will he...,' Sirius broke off, his throat closing on him.
'Harry's fine Mr Black. He had a nasty head injury consistent with a fall and some bruising to his back but nothing too serious. He is starting to come around now although he is still a little disorientated. He has been asking for a 'Barney.''
Sirius let out a ragged breath as relief washed over him and sat down abruptly.
'Perhaps a calming draft?' The healer said softly to his colleague and she bustled away leaving the three men alone.
Healer Argos perched on the table before Sirius's seat and patted his arm. 'How would you like us proceed Mr Black. We could keep Harry here overnight and do a full medical review to see how he is doing but that would mean completing admission paperwork which means the Ministry and quickly afterwards the media would know of Harry's whereabouts. Alternatively, I could send him home with you this evening and have a Healer come and see him there in the morning.'
The younger healer reappeared with a glass of water and a small purple vial that she handed to Sirius with a gentle smile. He quickly downed the potion and glass of water, feeling instantly less shaky. Harry was fine! Just a bump on the head, nothing to worry about at all. He took a deep breath and considered the healers question.
'I think I would prefer him to remain here overnight and get checked out thoroughly. I'm not sure when he would have last had medical attention. Anything you can do to keep the Ministry vultures away would be much appreciated.
The healer nodded sympathetically. 'I'm sure we could keep the paperwork out of the system until the morning. If you don't mind me saying so Mr Black, I wouldn't mind giving you a thorough check up as well. I imagine it has been a while since you received any medical care.'
'That's a good idea Sirius,' Moony said gently as he saw his friend grimace. 'It would put my mind at rest.'
Sirius shrugged, and the healer smiled. 'Excellent. I will set up a twin room for you and Harry. Would you like to see him? I imagine that you didn't get the chance to introduce yourself properly before.'
Sirius jumped up, his mind racing. This is where it could all unravel if Harry showed instant recognition.
Sirius strode to Harry's bed, his breath catching all over again as he took his godson's hand in his. He was still so pale. Harry's eyes flickered open and he gave a weak smile before his eyelids slid down again heavily and he drifted back to sleep.
'We have given him a mild calming draft so he will likely be a bit sleepy for a while,' the healer explained.
'I thought you weren't meant to sleep with a concussion?' Remus asked worriedly.
'There is no evidence of swelling on his brain so we aren't worried at all,' Healer Argos explained. 'It's perfectly safe for him to sleep and good that he gets some rest now. His back is likely to be sore tomorrow when the bruising comes out and he might find it harder to rest.'
The Healer conjured two chairs which he set beside the bed. He then conjured a second single bed and a pair of pyjamas and robe for Sirius. He gave Sirius a pointed look before leaving the room and the two men alone.
Sirius sighed heavily before changing into the hospital pyjamas and coming to sit beside Harry, his hand automatically resting on the young boys head.
'Well this day has certainly not gone the way I expected it to.'
Remus smiled. 'I'm amazed you have managed to hide him this long, to be honest. How you have managed to meet Minerva for coffee every week and not let anything slip is beyond me.'
'That's because she scares you silly,' Sirius said with a snort.
Remus chuckled. 'Well, I can't really deny that although she has been a great boss. I will be sorry to see this job come to an end.'
'She can't make it permanent?' Sirius asked, lowering his voice to a whisper as Harry frowned and stirred in his bed.
'No; it was only ever a temporary thing whilst all the changes were settling in. I have been glad to still have work to do over the summer holidays but my contract finishes in four weeks. I will have to look for something else then.'
Sirius turned back to his godson as Harry yawned and opened his eyes again.
'Padfoot?' he said sleepily and Sirius ran a finger across the boys forehead.
'I'm here kid, so is Moony. How are you feeling?'
'Bumped my head,' Harry mumbled and Sirius chuckled.
'I know kid, you scared me silly. Did you fall out of the tree?'
Harry bobbed his head and then winced. 'Ouch. I was trying to catch my snitch, I leant over too far.'
'That must have been scary,' Sirius said gently and Harry nodded before moving in closer to his godfathers side.
Sirius slipped his arm beneath the boys shoulders and pulled him into a firm hug.
'You're fine now kid. The healers are going to keep you in the hospital tonight but I'm staying too.' Sirius exchanged a look with Remus before continuing. 'Do you remember what we said about talking with other witches and wizards?'
Harry snuggled into Sirius's side, burying his face into the man's robe.
'You mean that it's a secret that I'm living with you and that everyone thinks I'm hiding somewhere?'
'Yeah, kid,' he stoked Harry's hair gently. 'Well, Moony and I told the healers that we found you in Newcastle so everyone will think that we have just met. Do you think you can remember that?'
Harry bobbed his head. 'I have to say I was living with the homeless kids?'
'That's right Harry,' Remus added. 'You don't have to say too much. You can say that you don't want to talk about it. Everyone will understand.'
Harry leant back against the pillow and eyed his uncle and godfather seriously.
'Does this mean we don't have to hide no more?...and we can go visit the wizards shops and Hogwarts?'
Sirius grinned. 'That's exactly what it means Harry.'
He broke off as the healer entered the room and pretending he hadn't seen the man, added. 'So if you want to Harry, you can come and live with me now? We can be a brand new family.'
Harry glanced at the healer and catching on quickly, gave a shy smile. 'I would like that Sir, if Barney my snake can come too?'
Sirius hid a grin as he answered. 'I'm sure Barney can come too if we can find him.'
'...and he can live in my room and doesn't have to be in a tank all the time?' Harry added cheekily and Remus hid a laugh under a sudden coughing fit.
The healer added a note to Harry's chart and backed away.
'There are clearly important negotiations going on here so I will leave you three in peace.'
'Slytherin!' Remus coughed into Sirius's ear once the healer had gone. 'The boy's definitely Slytherin.'
Al Moody stood in the corridor at St Mungo's cradling a cup of black coffee in his hand and smiled in satisfaction. This mornings events were long overdue.
It was barley 9 am but he had been up for several hours and had already been at his desk when the message had reached him that Harry Potter and Sirius Black had been admitted to St Mungos.
He had hurried over with Kingsley, fearful about what he would find and had been relieved to discover that both were fine and that Black had actually been persuaded to have a routine health check.
Al moved back to the window and smiled at the sight before him. A small black haired child lay curled up in the bed, one tiny foot hanging over the edge and his arms wrapped around a stuffed dragon. Sirius Black was sleeping in a armchair beside the boy, his own bed abandoned at some point in the night. The man's feet were propped up on the boys bed and one hand lay across the child's arm.
He glanced away as Kingsley's sure strides echoed down the empty corridor. The tall dark man smiled and came to stand beside him, his almost regal presence steadying Al as it always did.
'That's a nice sight, isn't it?' the man said softly, looking back into the hospital room and Al sighed.
'It was one I was beginning to think I would never see.' Al admitted. 'Have you reported in?'
Kingsley handed his superior the files he had completed.
'Yes, I have just got off the floo with Arthur Weasley. He will spread the word but not until after lunch. Both Black and young Harry are expected to be discharged home by then so it will give them some time to go to ground before The Prophet get the story. I also informed Minerva McGonagall, Lupin was apparently with Black when they found the boy so he is in the picture.'
Al nodded. 'Well, there's nothing left to do here then. Lets go and leave them to wake up in peace. It's not often we get a happy ending in this line of work, is it?'
Kingsley took a last look at the fledgling family and thought fondly of his own loved ones, safely tucked up at home.
'I hope I get to meet Harry one day. I would like a image of a live, healthy boy to drive those awful pensieve memories away.'
Al grunted. 'You're not the only one lad. You're not the only one.'
The two men headed off for a late breakfast, both feeling the heaviness that had infiltrated the wizarding world these last few years, finally lifting from their shoulders.
A/N - Thats all folks! Sorry that was mean, not really.
I will be continuing this story in a sequel / possibly series but I need your help.
What would you like to see happen? Would you like it to pick up immediately after this one or skip to Harry starting Hogwarts? Which characters do you like? Are Sirius and Remus just friends? Which house will Harry get sorted into? Let me know and I will take it from there. Thanks for reading. Kendra.