Raising Harry- the ending.
So, somehow I've managed to wrap this up in the MOST depressing way possible, but it's cute-ish… Just read it, I hope it's a worthy ending and I promise some fluff and smut soon!
"When I kissed him for the first time he was as stiff as a board', he smiled quietly and reached out a hand to Remus, intertwining their fingers before continuing, 'in all the right places."
Harry groaned, he should have known that Sirius would answer his earnest questions about a certain divine redhead with some dreadfully embarrassing anecdote. Remus obviously agreed with Harry, he had flushed a strange pink colour and Sirius sat between them laughing like a loon.
"I really didn't need to hear that." Harry finally retorted when it became apparent that all Remus was going to do was his best-ever beetroot impersonation. There must be some truth to the story he thought before he pushed the images out of his head.
"You did ask." Sirius answered.
"I asked for advice not horrifying mental images of you two horny bastards going at it."
"I always get those two things mixed up…"
Harry looked stricken, sending a silent imploring look to Remus; 'help me' it said.
"Just be yourself." Remus reassured. Harry sighed.
"Look, it's not the most original advice that we've ever given you, but it's as good as any other. Any bird that needs you to jump through hoops and change your hair and start wearing anoraks or whatever isn't worth it… Besides, she's mad for you."
Harry squeezed his wife's hand as the music started.
Will you stay in our Lovers' Story
If you stay you won't be sorry
'Cause we believe in you
Soon you'll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing
The two matching caskets sat at the front of a very large congregation. Maroon and gold was everywhere and the flowers filled the room with a smell so heavenly it seemed to sing. It seemed fitting that they had died together, minutes apart. Sirius going first and Remus following him to the great beyond without ever knowing he had to live eight whole minutes without his soul mate. They had died in bed, a peaceful death, and it had fallen to Harry to say farewell to another set of parents, but by now Harry was an old man, his own grandson about to begin Hogwarts. It hadn't made it any easier. Ginny turned to him and wiped the tear away from his cheek with a wrinkled hand. Harry tried to focus on the man who stood now to give the first eulogy.
Neville had aged very well, his hair still dark, his eyes keen and his jaw set as he stared down his grief and began.
"I worked for many years with Remus. He had been my Defence against the dark arts teacher, and was the yardstick by which I measured my own achievements as a professor. His kindness and gentle guidance first showed me that I could learn and also inspired me to teach. He was appointed headmaster following the death of dear Minerva McGonnagal and while he had very large shoes to fill he approached his post like he did everything else, with the utmost grace and good humour…"
Remus held the parchment out in front of him with a shaking hand.
"I'm seeing things." He announced as Sirius took the proffered paper. Harry sat and watched from the couch, he had come back for the funeral and had a small break from auror training.
"Minnie wanted you to be headmaster and the governors agreed." Sirius summarized the letter.
"I can't do that!"
"Why not? You're the best bloody teacher Hogwarts has ever had, all the students love you- even a few of the snakes and if anyone can do it, you can."
"But what about-"
"Sometimes I think the only person with a problem with your condition is you. You have been allowed to teach all these years. Wolfsbane has meant huge progress in the civil rights movement for werewolves-"
"Thanks to an anonymous, incredibly rich benefactor."
"I'm sure I have no idea who that could be. Point is- times have changed and you're getting a promotion that you deserve."
"I feel as though I'm stepping over her corpse."
"She wanted you to fill the space she left here, she loved you."
Remus had run out of reasons why he couldn't do it and set his jaw. Now he had accepted it he was going to throw himself into the role.
"Congratulations! You deserve it." Harry cheered through a mouthful of cereal.
We bought a lot of things
To keep you warm and dry
And a funny old crib on which the paint won't dry
I bought you a pair of shoes
A trumpet you can blow
And a book of rules
On what to say to people
When they pick on you
'Cause if you stay with us you're gonna be pretty Kookie too.
They had moved into the professor's quarters at the beginning of Harry's third year. Few people had even asked about Harry's family arrangements and so it came as a bit of a shock when Harry moved in with his 'two dads'. But then, when one of those dads was the best teacher there could be and the other was a denim-wearing, flying-motorcycle-owning, incredibly wealthy animagus with a way with curses, the taunts dry up pretty quickly. Harry didn't really care about anything anyone had to say about him- Moony and Pads made him bulletproof. He couldn't remember a time without them and the day he found his father's quidditch trophy they had been there to answer his questions and dry the guilty tears of a boy who couldn't remember his father. They had been there for him since he was tiny- leading him by the hand down the road that was his life, giving him advice about girls, exams, teaching him how to cook, reading bed-time stories, ignoring the porn-stash under his bed, and loving him for who he was.
Ginny finally relinquished Harry's hand and stood when it was her turn to talk.
"If it hadn't been for the two beautiful men we came here to remember my life would be, it's safe to assume, very different. I owe my every happiness, every sunshiny moment I've had since school, my beautiful family and my wonderful husband to these two men, and I can't help but wonder how to repay them… Remus once told me that the ancient Egyptians believed that you would continue to live forever in the afterlife as long as you were remembered, so I'd like to tell a few stories about the men themselves. I remember Sirius telling me how they had fallen in love with each other at Hogwarts and it was after years, Sirius' false imprisonment and Harry's coming to live with Remus that they finally admitted their feelings to one another, he went on to tell me about their first date…"
He knocked on the door and tried his hardest not to fidget. In seconds the door was flung open by a thin man. The eyes of the visitor washed over him as he stood there smiling. The visitor's eyes finally fell to the decoration against the other man's neck. He tried valiantly to stifle a guffaw and failed miserably. Finally he found some composure and spoke.
"Is that a bow-tie?" An inquisitive eyebrow accompanied the question.
"So what if it is?" A challenging eyebrow rose in response.
"I'm sorry, I'm just touched… Sirius Black wearing a bow-tie just for me!"
Sirius pouted and started to grumble "I thought you'd like it. You always used to tell me I needed to be neater…" After that it descended into muttering. To redeem himself Remus kissed Sirius and conjured a huge bunch of flowers.
"I love it! I really do, it was just surprising, that's all."
"Besides, I've never dated a ventriloquists dummy before."
Sirius pursed his lips and stared at the laughing man in front of him. "Ha fucking ha."
"I couldn't resist, forgive me?"
In response Sirius held out an arm and walked Remus down the path.
"Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise." Sirius was no longer in a huff, excited to show Remus what he had planned. He spun on his heel, holding onto Remus' arm as he apparated suddenly.
"Merlin, a bit of warning wouldn't have gone astray!" Remus grumbled when they arrived.
"Sorry, I couldn't resist."
Remus was about to say something when he saw a small pagoda in the middle-distance. It was lit with a thousand lights and beneath it there was a metal table and chairs. They made their way over to the setting and Remus sat down. Before him there was an enamel plate and an empty jam jar.
"The first meal we had in the flat… but they demolished the old building… here seemed as good a place as any." Sirius grinned sheepishly. "I hope you don't mind."
"I think it's the most wonderful thing anyone has ever done."
"Shall we start?"
"Please." Sirius waved a hand and a piece of toast with melted cheese appeared on the plates before them. Remus didn't want to ruin this moment by talking, so he took a bite of his grilled cheese. It was delicious, and it took him a minute to realise that Sirius wasn't eating, he was sitting opposite, staring at him, a strange light in his eyes.
"You know I wanted you to move in because I was absolutely and totally in love with you and I couldn't bear the thought of you not being there, reading a book on the lounge in the evenings, or burning your toast in the morning because you're still half-asleep. I don't think I ever truly thought I'd tell you how I felt… I wish I had. I wasted so much time."
"Making up for it now though, aren't we? Finally."
They sat and ate in silence, just happy to be where they were, with each other. When the first course was completed the plates filled with spaghetti. Dinner was completed with increasing conversation, as each man spilled a thousand little moments to the other, sewing the patchwork of a great romance they both thought might never happen. Finally over tea Sirius made a final confession.
"I always hoped that I might walk in on you in the shower." Sirius blushed.
"I always left the door a little ajar, just in case you did." Remus reached a hand out to caress Sirius' fingers.
"Look, I know we agreed to take this all slowly, but I think we've already done that…" Remus purred the sentence and all Sirius could do in reply was to nod. They stood, still holding hands and apparated to the cottage. That night was the first they shared a bed, and by noon the next day Sirius had moved his things in.
"…I must admit that as much as I loved these two blokes I was a little concerned when they were put in charge of planning Harry's buck's night, and I was right to be worried. The state in which he was returned to me was ridiculous, luckily they also came bearing gifts…"
Harry lay face-down on the carpet, his glasses had been lost somewhere over Kent and he was wearing nothing but a pair of y-fronts, which was very strange because they weren't Harry's underwear of choice.
"What did you do to him?" Ginny demanded.
"Nothing… That's how you're supposed to look after a buck's night. Just be thankful we arranged it for a month before the wedding. Now, Harry mentioned that there was a teensy problem with your dress." Sirius stepped over his prone godson and steered Ginny into the sitting room.
"One of my idiot brothers spilled a shrinking potion on it yesterday at the final fitting."
"Never fear, dear Ginevra. Moony and Padfoot have the solution!" Sirius gestured towards the door expectantly. Nothing happened.
"I said WE HAVE THE SOLUTION!"
Still nothing happened. Sirius strode to the door and stuck his head around.
"Where the fuck is the fucking solution?"
"Sorry, I was just making sure that Harry was still breathing. He's fine!" Remus finished when a panicked look crossed Ginny's face. Finally he and Sirius presented Ginny with a box. Ginny opened it and pulled back the crepe paper to reveal a mauve dress, a thousand flower buds decorated it.
"Go and try it on." Sirius beamed, as Ginny ran from the room. When she returned she was covered in a thousand flowers, the buds opening when the dress was worn. The bodice was fitted and a small train trailed behind her.
"Where did you get this from?" Ginny asked as she conjured a mirror and watched her reflection.
"It was Lily's. We found it in a pile of things last week. When we heard of the unfortunate dress ruination we thought you might like to wear it."
Harry took a deep, steadying breath and stood between the wooden boxes that held everything that had made him who he was today, he touched each with a gentle hand, searching for something in the wood grain that just wasn't there. It took his a few seconds to realise that there was nothing in these unfeeling boxes, that he and everyone in the room held the keys to their legacy. He slowly looked around and started to speak.
"I can't help but feel cheated, even now, as I guide my own children and grandchildren, that Pads and Moony won't be there for me to lean on, to share a cup of tea as we figure out what to do about this one's grades or that one's rather torrid love life or even, to slurringly solve the world's problems over a bottle of firewhiskey. But it's just occurred to me that they are always here with us, in us all. Sirius sits upon the shoulder-length hair of the teenage rebel. Remus sits in the quiet moments when we enjoy a cup of tea and a good book. They are there in the sigh of young lovers and the confidence of old ones. They are the hands that shaped me and pushed me toward my destiny, they are the ones who I have to thank for everything. They are the ones I will miss for the rest of my life. The pain of their passing cuts like a knife, but the lessons they taught me should go some way to healing it. I loved them dearly and am richer for knowing them. Thank you for your confidence and your intelligence, your sense of humour and your love. Thanks for all of your strengths and weaknesses. But most of all, thanks for raising Harry."