Title: When You Get What You Want
Contains: Polyamorous relationship of the male/male/female variety, incest (first cousin once removed), naughty language, alcohol, unplanned pregnancies
Notes: A few.
First, thanks to carmentakoshi for the beta. I know I said so before but I appreciated it quite a lot!
Second, second... ah. There's one point where a character, in passing, brings up the possibility of abortion. It's not the point of the fic in any way. It is a very minor comment. Still, because it is there, even such a slight mention, I feel I should address it: whatever the characters may say or seem to imply does not necessarily reflect my own views on the subject. It is not intended as a commentary on it one way or the other. I thought it would have been odd not to bring it up at all, but it would have gone way off topic to get into it in any detail.
Third: fuck canon character deaths! fuck them so hard. Clearly, this is AU.
Fourth: Oh yeah, this is Remus/Sirius/Tonks. It is not a Remus/Sirius and Remus/Tonks mess. It is Remus/Sirius and Sirius/Tonks and Remus/Tonks all together in a big sexy pile. If that upsets you, well. Whatcha gonna do!
And now, after all that... onto the fic!
When You Get What You Want
Hearing the living room Floo activate, Remus set his book down and checked his watch. It was earlier than he'd expected them to return, so he wondered if anything had happened that he'd need to worry about. When Sirius was involved, it was always likely.
"Did things not go—Harry?"
The young man in the living room was not whom Remus had expected to find. Harry looked up from brushing soot off his pants and offered a shaky grin.
"Not that it isn't always a pleasure, Harry, but what brings you by?"
Harry hesitated, standing awkwardly by the hearth, and Remus gestured for him to take a seat on the sofa, which he gingerly did. Remus's mild smile remained on his face as he sat in the armchair facing Harry, but inwardly he frowned. Harry should not have needed urging to make himself at home. He should have carelessly flopped down onto the ancient sofa, sinking into the deep pillows, as was his wont, rather than perching on the edge of the couch as he had done in those first weeks, when he and Remus were first learning how to share the cottage. Harry had, in fact, taken up residence in Remus's spare room for some time after the end of the war; they'd lived together during those months when Tonks and Teddy had stayed with Andromeda and Sirius had gone missing, taking his bike with him and departing for parts unknown without a word to anybody.
It hadn't been that Harry couldn't afford a place of his own, nor that he was unused to independence,not after practically raising himself at the Dursleys, and then spending a year on the run with Hermione and Ron. The fact was that Molly had insisted, and Remus (and Sirius, before disappearing) backed her up on the matter, that Harry take some time to get his feet under him again before venturing out into the world on his own. While he hadn't objected, Harry had felt it unwise to live under the same roof as both Ginny and her parents, and so he'd turned down Molly's invitation to live at the Burrow. Certainly none of the Weasleys were opposed to the idea of Ginny and Harry becoming Ginny and Harry, and yet.
Sirius had agreed with Harry's judgment on that matter and naturally, without consulting Remus, had volunteered the werewolf's cottage before pulling his vanishing act. Not that Remus would have said no to having Harry stay. Though he tended to seek out solitude, he disliked living in an empty house on his own. Not to mention the fact that it was Harry, whom Remus and Sirius still sometimes thought of as that little drooling baby Prongslet, and for whom they would do nearly anything. So Harry had moved in.
Now, as Harry fidgeted and perched on the edge of the couch, as he had in those first weeks in the cottage, instead leaning back into the accommodating plush cushions, Remus wondered what was wrong. He leaned back in the armchair, folding his hands together and regarding the young man.
"If you're looking for Sirius, I'm afraid he won't be back for a few hours. Tonks and Teddy took him out to a concert." Remus's indulgent smile hinted toward his less than fond opinion of the outing, but it had given him the chance to spend the night in, 'snogging books,' as Sirius and Tonks put it. "I hope it's not urgent."
Harry shook his head, and Remus raised his eyebrows, patiently waiting for elaboration. It had been urgent enough for Harry to Floo in at one fifteen in the morning, so he wondered why Harry insisted on downplaying it.
"Actually, I—I was kind of hoping to talk with you."
Well now. That was unexpected. Certainly Remus and Harry's relationship had only grown as they transitioned from teacher and student to allies in the war to housemates, but it was always Sirius to whom Harry came to for those needs more aptly filled by a parent. Sirius was the one he immediately sought out when things went pear-shaped. Therefore, Remus would have categorized emergency advising in the wee hours of the morning firmly within Sirius's domain, hence his surprise.
While Harry seemed to be debating with himself over how to best present his dilemma, Remus contemplated what, exactly, could possibly have motivated the young man to come to him rather than his godfather. Being a realist at best and a pessimist at worst, none of the possibilities that occurred to Remus were pleasant ones. Despite his best efforts not to think of it, the fear that the source Harry's worries was somehow lycanthropic in nature crept up Remus's spine, lurking at the back of his skull and unwilling to be evicted. However, the timing of the visit, if nothing else, suggested that this was a baseless fear. The last full moon had been two weeks and three days ago; Harry would have spoken to him sooner than this if that was the reason. Yet what else was Remus more qualified to give advice on than Sirius?
Harry leaned forward, his elbows on his knees and his hands clasped before him. He focused on the fire burning low in the hearth rather than Remus's face.
Remus kept his expression carefully blank as he took a moment to absorb what Harry had said, at the same time dispelling his fears. Once the words had sunk in, he rose from the armchair and went into the kitchen. It was only a moment before he returned, bottle of Sirius's favourite cheap Muggle vodka in one hand and two shot glasses in the other.
"From the look of you, I take it you don't know whether or not you're wanting to hear a 'congratulations,' just yet?" Remus said, and poured shots for both of them before setting the bottle down on the floor next to his armchair and handing Harry a glass. Before Remus had sat down again, Harry had tossed the shot back. The young man ran a hand through his perpetually messy hair, then rested it on his forehead.
"I'm sorry," he muttered, catching Remus's gaze out of the corner of his eye. "I keep remembering how I yelled at you that one time, when Tonks was pregnant but you were trying to go with Hermione and Ron and me, and now. I was a bit of an arse about it, wasn't I?"
Remus smiled the satisfied grin of the morally superior, and Harry winced. "To be fair, I needed it," Remus allowed. "It was a poor decision on my part—one of the worst I've ever made. Even if I ultimately decided I didn't want to start a family with Tonks, I needed to take responsibility and talk with her, not simply disappear and leave her with the baby. Which segues nicely back to our main topic, as Tonks, Teddy and I are quite past that point in our lives, and you're here to talk about your own forays into the world of unexpected parenthood. What did you and Ginny discuss?"
"We, uh. We didn't."
Remus couldn't have said he hadn't been expecting it; unannounced visits in the AM hours of the night did not typically indicate a couple eager to share the news of their growing family. Remus downed his shot of vodka, licked his burning lips, and waited to see if Harry would elaborate further.
The silence stretched, and it became clear that Harry was either waiting for Remus to speak, or else simply lost in his own thoughts.
"You need to speak with her," Remus said. He waited until Harry raised his eyes to meet his before he continued. It had, at times, been an effective teaching technique: speaking only one sentence and then waiting for the students to quiet as they waited for the other shoe to drop. It never would have worked on Sirius, who would have been happy to ignore a quiet teacher, but Harry gave his complete attention to Remus the moment he realized Remus was expecting it. "You need to talk about this with her, and soon, more than anything else and no matter what you decide."
"But what do I decide? We're—I mean—I, you know I always wanted a family, but I'm—she's just—"
"Firstly, Harry," Remus interrupted, deciding it was time for another shot for both of them, "you've really come to the wrong person if you'd like to panic over this. You're twenty-four—that makes Ginny, what, twenty-three?" Harry nodded, accepting his refilled glass. "You've got a steady job, albeit a dangerous one, and even if you didn't, financial security isn't something you need worry about. You and Ginny have had your ups and downs, but you've been happily married for five years now, and as you said, you want a family."
He stopped to drink, and to let what he had said sink in.
"Now. Knowing this, you are sitting here with a destitute werewolf who cheated on his boyfriend with said boyfriend's cousin, who is eleven years younger than he is, and who then got her pregnant and promptly fled in the greatest display of cowardice known to man—you are sitting here in a strop, past midnight, talking to me, when you could be in bed with your beautiful wife after having gone over all this with her."
Harry at least looked ashamed at that, and Remus shook his head.
"I guess I'm just… kind of scared," Harry said in a low voice. "I, it's… what if I fuck up? I, God, Remus, you know how I grew up. I don't know how to be a dad, at least not a good one, I'm not ready for this."
He fell back against the couch, taking his glasses off and rubbing his eyes. Remus let the silence fall between them, listening to the sound of the fireplace filling the room, and wondered what Harry was really thinking. The obnoxious cuckoo clock that Sirius, Tonks, and Teddy had bullied Remus into allowing into the living room made its ridiculous hourly racket while Remus watched Harry worry.
"James and Lily," Remus started, after the outrageous clock had quieted. "They were twenty, when Lily realized you were on your way."
Harry dropped his hand, raising his eyebrows and replacing his glasses. He pursed his lips and frowned, but did not interrupt.
"I don't know if you've been told, or simply realized it for yourself," Remus continued. "The fact is, you were a bit of a surprise. I've no doubt that James would have happily raised an entire Quidditch team, had Lily been willing, but neither of them had planned to start quite so soon after Hogwarts. Lily, I remember, prayed that somehow the war would be over before you made your debut in the world. She–"
Remus stopped to pour another shot. Speaking of James and Lily was an easy matter as long as he didn't linger on the subject. The longer he spoke of them, the harder it became, and he had to chase the lump from his throat with Sirius's cheap vodka. Harry, still always so eager for words about his lost parents, was silent as Remus composed himself.
"She wanted only the best for you," Remus rasped, setting his glass down. "She was scared. Her parents had just passed away, her sister wouldn't speak to her, and James's parents, they... well." He hadn't planned to say all this, but he had a tendency to get lost in tangents when reminiscing; it was part of why he preferred to avoid it. Harry's posture was relaxed—it was difficult to maintain tension when sunk into the cushions of the sofa as he was—but his expression was alert, Remus commanding his complete attention. "I suppose they only wanted what they thought was best for their son. And they didn't realize that Lily was the best. They worried…" Best to say it simply, Remus thought. He had brought the conversation to this point, and he wasn't going to lie or hide the truth now that he'd come to it. Harry had learned that both of his parents were as imperfect as any other witch or wizard. They had possessed a wealth of affection for their friends and loved ones, and Remus didn't think he would ever be able to speak of them without feeling the pain of the loss. At the same time, James had been overwhelmingly arrogant and quick to judge, while Lily had been spitefully stubborn when she put her mind to it. Harry knew, now, how to accept the bad along with the good.
"They knew that Lily, being Muggle-born, would have a harder time of it than James would. They knew that any child Lily had would have the same challenges."
"So they didn't approve of my mum," Harry surmised.
"They thought she was a lovely young woman," Remus demurred. "They simply didn't want…"
"They didn't want her to drag dad down?"
Remus made to shrug, then aborted the motion and made a restrained, jerky nod. It had hurt him—it had hurt all of them—to think ill of James's parents, whom he still thought of as Mr. and Mrs. Potter, even when they'd insisted that he, Sirius, and Peter call them Mum and Dad as well. But it couldn't be denied that they had done Lily a great disservice; the row they'd gotten into with James when he had proposed to Lily, and she had dared to accept, had upset everybody.
James's parents were murdered by Death Eaters before the wedding date could be determined.
Remus accepted the box of tissues from Harry, who still remembered where everything was kept in the little house. "Your dad," he said, wiping his eyes, "when Lily told him that you were on your way, he did this exact same thing, you know. Showed up at Sirius's flat at some foolish hour of the night, found me on the sofa with a book, told me Lily was up the duff," Harry sputtered at that, "and we shared some shots while I asked him if he'd talked with her yet. He hadn't." Remus gave Harry a pointed look. "So you see, you're basically following tradition."
The two men shared a chuckle at that, though Harry quickly sobered. "What do I tell Ginny?"
"Again, you have come to the wrong person." But a small smile graced Remus's face. "Have you and Ginny talked about children before?"
The young man nodded. "It was always kind of something we figured we'd do, just not yet."
So now comes the real question, Remus thought. The smile left his face and was replaced by a neutral expression. Now he wanted Harry's true, honest opinion to the question, not an answer influenced by what he thought Remus might be thinking. "Do you not want to have this child?"
Harry was struck silent, his mouth hanging slightly open as the full impact of the question hit him.
As quickly as he'd gone quiet, he shot up from the couch. "No! I mean, yes—I mean!" The outburst seemed to have caught him by surprise, but wide-eyed, he rode it out. "If, I mean, as long as Ginny wants to, I do—I want to have her baby!"
Remus allowed himself a grin, and it wasn't long before he was outright laughing at Harry's phrasing. "Well," he managed between laughs, "you've gotten things a bit mixed up, but now, now I think congratulations are in order."
He pushed himself to his feet, clapping Harry on the shoulder as he passed the young man on his way to the kitchen. For his part, Harry remained where he stood, dumbstruck.
"I'm going to be a father," he gasped.
Remus returned from the kitchen with a small glass of whiskey on ice, which he held out. Harry took it automatically.
"Sip that," the werewolf advised. "It's the expensive stuff. I'm owling Ginny, so if she's up, she'll know you're all right, or if she's as sensible as I think she is, she'll get the note when she wakes up tomorrow, and she can come by for breakfast."
"I'm going to be a dad," Harry said again. Remus, grinning, shook his head, pushed Harry back down to sit on the couch, and went to get the parchment.
He was sending off the owl when the Floo flared up again. Wondering if Ginny had deduced where Harry had fled to and had come to fetch her husband, or if Harry had impulsively decided to return home to speak with Ginny right then rather than waiting until morning, he returned to the living room. Harry was still embedded in the sofa, nursing his drink. Teddy was standing on the rug before the hearth, staring wide-eyed at his godfather and the half-empty bottle of vodka on the coffee table. Too intelligent by half, that boy, Remus thought fondly. Right on Teddy's tail and tumbling from the fireplace were Tonks and Sirius, the latter leaning heavily on his younger cousin.
"Oh my," Remus mumbled, at the same time as Teddy turned to his mother, pointed toward the sofa, and shouted in his shrill seven-year-old voice, "Harry's drunk!"
Sirius started laughing just as Tonks tripped, and Remus, forgetting his wand as instinct took over, darted forward to catch them while Teddy scrambled out of the way. There was one very loud thump, and a couple of smaller ones. When Remus opened his eyes, he was crushed underneath a still-snickering Sirius, who didn't seem to have realized he'd fallen down, and a flushed Tonks.
"Welcome home," Remus grunted, trying—and failing—to not make a face at the smell of beer and cigarettes on his lovers. He knew his own breath had to stink of vodka and he had no right to complain, but the cheapest of Sirius's vodka was still miles above the swill that masqueraded as beer at the concerts he and Tonks frequented.
"What've you been getting up to here without us, Moony?" Sirius laughed, while Tonks took advantage of their position to demand a welcome-home kiss from Remus. When he felt Sirius's tongue on his earlobe, he regretfully pulled away—at least, as well as he could before the back of his head hit the floor.
"Not in front of the children," Remus mock-reprimanded. All three of them on the floor simultaneously tilted their heads to see that Teddy had planted himself on the sofa next to Harry, and was peeking down at them through his fingers. Harry, for his part, was staring at Teddy as though he'd never seen the young metamorphmagus before that moment.
Remus shoved ineffectually at the two concert-goers crushing him.
"All right, up we go."
With a groan, Sirius rolled off and sprawled out on the floor next to Remus, not bothering to actually move himself farther than that, while Tonks disentangled herself from the two men and pulled herself up onto the couch next to her son. Remus sat up, rubbing the back of his head and wondering if Harry was ready to share his news with anybody else just yet. The two cousins would probably demand an explanation for why Remus had been plying the young man with alcohol, however, and he'd had a bit too much vodka to lie convincingly on the spot. Then again, Sirius and Tonks had probably had enough beer themselves that they wouldn't be up to their usual standard in flushing out Remus's misdirection.
"How was the concert?"
This had apparently been the correct thing to ask, as all three began to eagerly inform Remus of the details of their outing, Sirius's low slurred voice competing with Teddy's childishly high pitch, and neither of them achieving the same level of coherence as Tonks, to whom Remus turned for a cohesive account of events, not even pretending to pay attention to Sirius and Teddy's attempts to talk over her.
"This berk," she was grumbling, as she kicked Sirius in the shoulder. He quieted to wince and rub at the spot. "This utter berk got himself in a fight at the bar, and we had to leave early."
Surreptitiously, Remus glanced at the horrid cuckoo clock. Though he'd lost track of time speaking with Harry, it was, in fact, earlier than he'd expected his family to return.
"It's true!" Teddy chimed in, realizing that Tonks was leading the story. "The other guy was bigger and he picked up a chair and hit uncle Padfoot with it! On the head!" He mimed the action, and Harry, next to him, flinched, looking down to Sirius, who remained on the floor.
Sirius grinned hugely at the boy's retelling of his exploits. "Don't leave out the best part, Ted."
Remus raised an eyebrow at Tonks, silently asking the extent of Sirius's injuries, now that he recalled that when they'd entered, Sirius had needed Tonks's support to stay upright. She simply shook her head. Nothing too bad, the gesture said, nothing broken or concussed, or at least, not anymore. Tonks was handy with her quick healing spells.
Teddy bounced on the couch and clapped his hands, entirely too energetic for such a late hour, Remus thought. "That's the part where you hit him in the face, right, uncle Padfoot?"
"And down he went!" Sirius crowed.
"Pschooooooo!" Teddy exclaimed, throwing his arms up and squealing and giggling even before Tonks swooped in to tickle his ribs. His gleeful shrieks seemed to shake Harry out of his stupor, and he watched his godson squirm and wiggle to escape his mother's fingers and finally topple to the floor and roll on top of Sirius. Even as the older man winced from the sudden impact of a seven-year-old on his chest, he was wrapping his arms around the boy and grinning.
"You're a terrible influence," Harry observed of his godfather, as though he was realizing it for the first time. Sirius merely smirked and messed up Teddy's hair, which shifted through a broad spectrum of colours between his fingers. A few more giggles escaped from the younger boy as he settled against his 'uncle', his recent burst of energy giving way to the fatigue that came of still being awake past midnight.
Remus was fondly regarding the tired pile of animagus and metamorphmagus, and it was clear that when he spoke, he had to force his voice to hold its firm, reprimanding tone. "Really, Padfoot. A barfight? Isn't forty-four a bit old for that sort of thing?"
"Never too old to stand up to heathens who insult your family," Sirius mumbled, eyelids fluttering.
When Remus turned to her, Tonks shook her head.
"I didn't see all of it," she admitted. "By the time I knew anything was happening, Teddy had started crying, and Sirius was confronting this huge bloke, I swear he was about to pull his wand on the arsehole."
Belatedly, Sirius's hands covered Teddy's ears, and he shushed the boy's exclamations about Mummy using a bad word.
"And then, well, you heard about the chair. I think he was too angry—or drunk—to feel it at that point. He just leapt on the guy, he was so angry…"
Remus reached up, resting his hand on Tonks's knee and holding her gaze. Sirius's rages had grown more rare and tempered with age, but were never easy to witness. She gave Remus a small smile, her heavy-lidded eyes flickering from jeweled blue to a warm amber that matched his own.
At the sound of Teddy's giggling resuming, they both turned to see their son's attention fixed on Harry, who had tried to stand without much success. The Boy Who Lived was now the Boy Who Wobbled, finding his legs unsteady beneath him and the couch cushions unwilling to release their hold on him. Remus gave Tonks's knee a squeeze before making his own wavering attempt at getting to his feet. Tonks's laughter joined her son's as Remus stood, holding his arms out to steady himself.
By the time both metamorphmagi had quieted, Remus felt up to the task of actually walking, and he surveyed the room before deciding on a course of action. "Tonks, Teddy, why don't you two put Sirius to bed, and I'll get Harry settled into the guest bedroom."
"Aye aye, Dad!" Teddy crowed, snapping off a salute.
Tonks mimicked the gesture, smiling knowingly at Remus—and only snickering a little bit when he moved to help Harry off the couch. The endeavor went far more successfully than Remus had anticipated, in that neither of them ended up on the floor, nor did anything breakable.
"I didn't think I drank so much," Harry confided to Remus as the two men shuffled into the guest room.
"It does hit you harder when you stand up," Remus concurred. He would have thought, at forty-four, he might have had a better head for drinking. Then again, since he preferred spending his nights inside with a book rather than out in the pub, it wasn't so surprising after all. Truly, once he stood it was not so bad. It was only the transition from sitting to standing…
Harry did not bother to ask about pajamas or even to toe off his shoes before falling onto the bed face first. He grunted, reached up, removed his glasses and set them blindly onto the nightstand. Remus swatted at the younger man's legs, sitting down on the edge of the bed when Harry obligingly moved out of the way, rolling onto his side.
"You remember where everything is, Prongslet?"
Harry groaned, covering his face with his hands. "Don't call me that. Of course I remember. This was my room."
Remus reached out and ruffled Harry's hair, just as he would with Teddy. "It's your room whenever you need it. Listen, Harry…"
The young man lowered his hands, green eyes squinting at Remus as he fought fatigue and alcohol to focus on the once-professor. Remus had always wondered just how the world looked to Harry without glasses; could the young man, for example, see how Remus's face softened into a proud smile as he regarded James and Lily's son, or was it all simply too much of a blurred mess?
"I know," Harry started before Remus had finished gathering his thoughts. "I know I'm being silly, and that I made a poor decision, not talking to Ginny first. I've got nothing to worry about…."
Remus shook his head as Harry trailed off. "Of course you would panic, Harry," he chuckled. "You saved the world twice in as many decades. You lived more years dealing with mortal peril than without. Of course you wouldn't know what to do when suddenly you have a normal life, and you get the things you want."
Harry had kicked his shoes off, and Remus lifted the blankets for Harry to slip beneath them.
"Is that the voice of experience?" Harry mumbled, fatigue making his voice quiet and slurred, but Remus, used to deciphering Teddy's babbling, didn't find it difficult to discern Harry's question.
"Naturally," Remus confirmed, tucking the blankets up at Harry's chin and shoulders. He didn't care that the boy was twenty-four, and not such a boy any longer. Harry smiled at the paternal gesture, his eyes sliding closed, clearly content and comfortable, warm and safe, and Remus felt a warmth in his chest that had nothing to do with the alcohol consumed prior. "I was so jealous of your mum and dad, you know, when you came into their lives. Being a werewolf, I knew I'd never find somebody who would love me, who'd accept me for all that I am, or who would want to raise a family with me, and I wanted that more than anything. Finding two people who felt that way, well, I'd never imagined I could be so lucky. I didn't know what to do." Futilely, he brushed Harry's bangs back. As expected, the messy curls sprung back into place on his forehead.
"You had a rough time of it," Harry observed, voice lilting sleepily.
Remus "hmm"ed in agreement. "But I never fought a basilisk when I was twelve, or faced down an angry dragon at age fourteen, or went wand-to-wand with Voldemort before I'd graduated Hogwarts. Normal families know how to raise children, but they couldn't save the world. So you see, it all evens out in the end."
Harry was quiet but for his deep, even breaths.
"Goodnight, Prongslet," Remus whispered, leaning forward and placing a dry kiss on Harry's forehead.
The sight of Sirius leaning against the doorjamb greeted him as he rose from the bed. Sirius stepped aside to allow Remus through the door, only to lean on the werewolf instead as they walked down the hall to their room.
"You're so good with the kids," Sirius mumbled into Remus's neck. "We're lucky to raise a family with you, and don't you forget it."
"You heard all that, hm?" Remus wrapped an arm around Sirius's waist, drawing him close. It made walking slower, as they coordinated their legs to avoid tripping each other up, but the press of Sirius's solid torso against his own made such things trivialities.
Sirius was nodding against Remus's shoulder, leaning into him and turning the half-hug into a full-stop embrace, halting their progress to their room. "You put things in perspective really well, you know… I always wondered why you got so upset whenever you got the things you wanted, but I didn't always react so great myself, did I?"
Remus recalled Sirius's violent, screaming anger when Remus had refused to leave Tonks and Teddy for him, and how that rage had not at all been assuaged, but had in fact seemed to grow, when Remus and Tonks had both confessed that they didn't want to leave Sirius behind, either.
"No," Remus agreed, pressing a kiss to Sirius's temple, "no, you always have been a bit volatile."
He dropped kisses along Sirius's cheekbone, the strong line of his jaw, the corner of his mouth…
Tonks found them "necking in the hallway like a pair of fifth-years," and dragged them with her into the master bedroom.
[ensemble nous trouvons l'amour]