Don't own Harry Potter.

Friends and Fathers

Prologue

Remus Lupin opened his eyes, for a moment wondering where he was. He looked to his right and saw his wife. He couldn't tell if she was all right or not.

"Dora," he called urgently. "Dora wake up."

The pink haired woman rolled over and murmured something and then turned with a gasp toward her husband.

"Remus, where are we?"

"At a bit of a crossroads you might say, mates," a new voice answered. Still dazed, Remus didn't recognize the voice, although something told him he should know that voice anywhere.

Remus turned to the voice, and saw the mist taking on a very familiar shape.

"H- Harry?"

The mist became more solid, and Remus could see that the figure's face was older than Harry's, and the eyes were different. The figure was smiling, and making the well remembered gesture of running his fingers through his hair.

"James!" The two friends shared a hug as two more figures appeared,

"Lilly! Sirius!" Remus' joy at seeing his three closest friends was overwhelming for a minuet and he wasn't thinking properly as he turned to his wife.

"Dora can you believe it? Look who's here. Oh, of course, you only know Sirious. What's wrong sweetheart?" Tonks had a look of horror on her face. In a second Remus understood.

"We're dead aren't we?" Rather than see a look of pity on his friends' faces he saw one of confusion.

"Well, not exactly dead," Sirius started to explain. "At least not the way we are."

"You see, you were caught in the crossfire of two spells from what we understand. A freezing spell and a killing curse," Lilly added.

"So to make a long story short, there was some kind of weird reaction. You're souls left your bodies but your bodies were frozen before that so that you didn't quite die," James continued.

"It's not like a dementor's kiss or anything," Sirius said quickly. "Your souls weren't destroyed, and normally since you're not dead they could return to your bodies."

"But," Lillie said hesitantly, "The freezing spell makes that impossible. For now at least. Once the person who cast that spell is dead it will be broken and you can go back."

"So we could be here for a second or for years?" Remus asked anxiously, and James nodded. Dora looked as miserable as Remus had ever seen her.

"You're telling us that we can't go on, and we could end up going back to a world that has believed us dead for years." she summarized.

"It might not be long. We don't know. But when the time comes you'll have the choice of going back or coming with us," Sirius answered. "Anyway, now's not the time to think on that Moony. We have something important to do right now."

James coughed a bit, looking almost afraid himself. "Harry's going to face his own death tonight."

Remus and Tonks flinched and Remus said "Somehow I had a feeling that would happen. But what can we do?"

"Do you remember the story of the Deathly Hallows?" James asked. His friend nodded.

"Of course, it's a popular story among witches and wizards, but what does a children's story have to do with Harry?"

"It's not just a story. The Hallows are real. Harry has the resurrection stone. He's going to call on us to help him find courage in what could be his last moments."

Remus couldn't quite bring himself to ask, but he knew he had to. "Will Harry die for sure then?"

His three friends looked sad and uncertain.

"We have no way to know. But at least if he is we can comfort him a bit until we're all together again."

In his concern for Harry Remus didn't think how he and Tonks wouldn't be able to go on with him for possibly a long time if he did die.

"And Dora and I will be able to appear to him even though we're not dead?"

"Well, yes, but he's only calling on you, me, Padfoot, and Lilly," James said. "Not that he didn't care about you too Tonks. But he's feeling a bit guilty about you two and seeing both of you might make this harder than it has to be."

"And Mooney, you can't let on about your, er, current situation. It would just be confusing right now anyway."

Remus nodded. "I don't understand it well enough myself anyway." He turned back to his wife. "I'll be back soon."

"No hurry. Until you get back I can just sit here and wonder how long we'll have to be trapped between two worlds." Her words were meant to have a sarcastic edge to them Remus knew, but Tonks gentle smile at her husband gave him reassurance that somehow everything would be all right. He just wished he knew how long it would be.