Good-Bye Isn't Forever
We all got onto Buckbeak and flew off.
"You were right, guys; it wasn't my parents I saw earlier! It was me! I saw myself conjuring the Patronus before. I knew I could do it this time because I'd already done it! Does that make sense?"
"No!" said Hermione. "But I don't like flying!" She screamed a bit as Cedric and I let out whoops of joy.
We landed in front of Sirius's cell and used a spell to break open the gate and got him onto Buckbeak and then landed in the courtyard. Sirius let out a whoop of joy and was smiling when we got off.
"I'll be forever grateful for this, for all of you," he said. "I'll head to a safe place to hide until I'm a free man."
"I want to go with you," I said.
Sirius shook his head. "One day, perhaps. But for now, my life will be too unpredictable. And besides, you're meant to be here."
"But you're innocent!" I protested.
"And you know it. And for that, that's enough."
"I don't want you go without me, Sirius," I said, tears trickling down my cheeks. "I just got you back. I can't lose you again. Let me come with you, please."
"Helena, I promise you that one day, we'll lead a new life together, but it can't be now." he said, gently. "You're needed here with Ron, Hermione and Cedric. They need you as much as you need them and Hogwarts is your home for now."
"Okay," I said, sadly.
He gently wiped away my tears. "I expect you're tired of hearing this, but you look so much like your mother and father."
"Tell me anyway," I begged. "Tell me, please."
"You've got James's nose and hair color, but you've got Lily's eyes and her smile. It's cruel I got to spend so much time with them and you so little, but the ones we love never truly leave us. We can always find them in our hearts."
"You'll stay in contact with me, won't you?"
"Of course. I'll write to you as often as I can, and visit as well, I promise. And if you ever have need of me, just tell me, I'll be there. I love you, my little Lena."
I nodded and smiled through my tears as I hugged Sirius. "I love you too, Padfoot," I said, trying to be brave. "I'll keep Snuffles closer now, I promise."
Sirius hugged me tight and then got onto to Buckbeak's back. "Hermione, you really are the brightest witch of your age. And Cedric, you make sure you take good care of my goddaughter," he said.
"I will," said Cedric, as he wrapped an arm around me and I blushed.
Sirius then took off on Buckbeak and flew off into the night sky. My heart ached, but at the same time, it was rejoicing for Sirius. We then ran back to the hospital wing just as Professor Dumbledore closed the door. We went back in and saw Ron looking worried and frightened.
"How'd you get there?" asked Ron. "I was just talking to you over here and now you're over there!"
"What's he talking about, guys?" asked Hermione, grinning.
"Haven't a clue," I said, chuckling.
"Honestly, Ron, how could someone be in two places at once?" said Cedric, making us all laugh.
"We'll explain later, Ron," I said. "But the good news is, Sirius and Buckbeak are okay. We'll talk in the morning when we've all had a good night's sleep."
"Okay," said Ron, nodding.
When Madame Pomfrey would let us go, I went to see Professor Lupin.
"Hello, Helena," he said, before I could even knock. He pointed to the Map. "I saw you coming."
"Of course." Then I saw all his things were packed. "You haven't been sacked, have you, Professor?"
"No, I resigned actually. Someone let loose the nature of my condition yesterday and this time tomorrow, the owls will arrive and the students' parents won't want me teaching their children. I'm quite used to this by now, but I'll find other work."
"I'm sorry," I said, not knowing what else to say.
"Don't apologize. It wasn't your fault. The important thing is, you and your friends are safe," said Professor Lupin. He gazed at me and noticed my look. "Why do you look so miserable Helena? What's wrong?"
I sighed. "Peter Pettigrew escaped. Sirius is still on the run. We did all that work and none of it made any difference."
"Didn't make any difference? Helena, you helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate. It made a great deal of difference. Now, if there's anything I'm proud of is how much you've learned this year and how much your parents are in you," said Professor Lupin.
He smiled. "Your father's animagus form was a stag and your mother's Patronus was a doe, just like yours. They rode again last night. Your parents are alive within you, Helena. And they always will be." He handed me the Marauder's Map. "I believe this belongs to you. Your father would've wanted you to have it. Take care of yourself."
"Professor," I said, before he left. "Will you write to me?"
He smiled and nodded. "Of course, I will. And remember, Helena, if you ever have need of me for anything, just say so and I'll be there, whatever it may be. And that goes for Sirius as well, I believe."
"I will. Thank you, for everything," I promised, as we hugged and then he left.
On the last day of school, I received a Firebolt in the mail with a note from Sirius and a feather from Buckbeak along with a signed permission form to visit Hogsmeade next year, and Gryffindor and Hufflepuff were tied for the House Cup again, making the year end on a high note yet again.
The Dementors were sent away and the Daily Prophet had a field day with Sirius's latest escape. Hermione handed him the Time-Turner and dropped a few of her subjects as she said she'd been going mad with her schedule this year. Ron was also sent a little owl by Sirius as an apology present for Ron's lack of a pet, which Ron took some liking to.
When our journey ended and we got off the train after arriving at King's Cross, Ron said, "The Quidditch World Cup's this summer. Dad got tickets yesterday. Do you want to see it with us?"
"I'd love to," said Hermione.
"I'm already planning on going, but I'll talk to my dad, see if we can all go up together," said Cedric.
"Sounds like a plan," I said, smiling.
"Helena, are you planning on telling your aunt and uncle about Sirius?" asked Cedric, glancing at the Dursleys, who were just a few feet away.
"Maybe, why?" I asked, curiously.
"Well, they know you've got a bodyguard, but I think they'd be interested in knowing about Sirius. You wouldn't be planning on scaring them with the idea of Sirius being a former convicted murderer, would you?" he asked, with a look in his eyes.
I smiled slyly. "Maybe," I said, earning a laugh from them all as we left the magical world and rejoined the Muggle one, not know what lay ahead of us in the future.