Well this is it people! The last chapter of this story. Super excited to be finished and I hope you all enjoyed! Thanks to everyone who left comments, like, and favorited this!
Chapter 7- Resolution
The first term of Harry's sixth year had come quickly, and a lot had happened in weeks since he left Remus at Number 12.
He had greatly enjoyed his two weeks with Neville. Harry had taught Neville how to fly and Neville had (tried) to teach him about all the exotic plants in his families Greenhouses. For once, Harry was able to act like a real teenager and it was absolutely wonderful!
Neville hadn't pitied him when he was told about Harry's summer and he was always up for listening and allowing Harry to talk through what he was feeling for Remus, which was a ridiculous number of conflicting things. He hadn't judged him or acted like he thought Harry's decision was right or wrong, and for that Harry was exceptionally grateful.
Ron and Hermione, on the other hand, had been a right nightmares to explain everything to when they had found out after coming to spend the day at the Manor for Harry's birthday. He hadn't wanted word of Remus' transgressions to reach the ears of the public and so he had to get an oath from them not divulge anything they were about to hear, before telling them about his summer.
Both of his friends had been absolutely horrified and what had happened.
Hermione, in predictable Hermione fashion, told Harry that she would be researching everything to do with werewolves, their pack, their mates, and everything else to do with them that she had missed during their third year, so he could make an informed decision about forgiving Remus.
Harry's assertion that he had all the information needed and that he would sort out his feelings in time fell on deaf ears. It wasn't until Harry told Hermione that forgiveness didn't come from books that she started to listen.
"Oh Harry!" She had exclaimed exasperatedly "Then how will you know if he deserves your forgiveness?"
"No one deserves forgiveness Hermione, if they did, they wouldn't need it in the first place. And anyway, it's not just about what I know, it's about what I feel too. No new amount of information is going to change that."
She had relented after that and Harry was glad. She was his best friend and he loved her, but books weren't going to help him at this point.
Ron was a whole different story. He was as supportive as he could be considering his insensitivity issues. He was even surprisingly okay with Snape receiving custody of Harry. What he was not okay with was Harry spending two weeks with Neville instead of coming to the Burrow.
He hadn't outright said anything but the two times Ron had come over to Longbottom Manor, after the initial visit, he had been sullen and jealous and Harry was hard pressed not snap at him to get the hell over it. Harry felt it was best to refuse his invitation the Burrow for a night or two because of this. He had cited how rude it would be to leave Neville by himself when Harry was a guest at his home.
"Besides," He had told Mrs. Weasley through a floo call. "Professor Snape told me I could stay here ,but he didn't say anything about going anywhere else and I really don't want to push my luck with him just yet."
"That's probably for the best, dear." Mrs. Weasley had then smiled and told him she would see him very soon before flooing away.
Ron had gotten over his jealousy of Neville fairly quickly and everything was back to normal by the time term started once more.
The remaining summer weeks he spent at Hogwarts with Snape were…interesting. He was still a snaky bastard and delighted in calling Harry and "idiotic boy," but they had come to an understanding. Harry felt he was too old for a father figure, and Snape was not the fatherly type, and their relationship fell neatly into the category of Mentor. When he graduated Hogwarts, he was sure their status would upgrade to friend.
Snape had been of inestimable help to Harry. He had listened, once again, to Harry's account of what happened during the summer and had quickly and effectively disabused him of all the "ridiculous drivel" Remus had tried to fill his head with.
Snape had told Harry that Remus had just been mad with grief and that he had been the only outlet available for his rage.
"Not that it excuses his behavior." Snape was quick to say.
Remus had been sent to St. Mungo's for help immediately after he had awoken from the last day of that full moon in July and Harry hadn't heard from him or about him since that time. Evidently, he was getting the help he needed. Harry wished him all the luck in the world. Privately. He did not intend to see the man anytime soon.
Snape had given him a small heads up in that regard.
"Once the wolf has regained his senses he will understand how wrong he was on a number of counts, least of which will be his poor decision to keep you with him knowing the danger he posed to you. He will seek your forgiveness. You should be prepared for that eventuality."
Harry knew that was true, but he hoped it would take a while. The emotional wounds were still a little fresh for forgiveness.
"Marshmallow Pumpkins." He recited to the gargoyle with a roll of his eyes. It was the first Saturday in October, and Harry had been sent by Snape to give the Headmaster his inventory list for the month. The school board was quite stingy with potions ingredient money, it seemed, and Snape had to account for every ounce of every ingredient on the first of every month.
Snape had secretly told Harry that he had rigorously complied with that his entire first year of teaching. After that, when it became clear that the board never read them, he had simply sent those same reports over again with only a change of year.
Harry snickered into his hand at the names Snape had called the Governors. His vitriol was funny as long as it wasn't directed at him.
Harry knocked on the door briefly and entered when he heard the aged Headmaster calling him to come in.
He stepped in with a smile on his face, but the smile soon vanished. Remus Lupin was sitting in the Headmasters office staring right at him.
"You have something for me, my boy?" The Headmaster prodded when Harry just stood there in the doorway, eyes down cast.
Harry walked slowly over the desk and sat the scroll of parchment on it. No longer able to find anything humorous about his errand. He glared at the Headmaster. He wasn't stupid. He had been set up.
"Harry." The other man croaked out. Harry dared a glance and saw tears rolling down Remus' face. He looked away, tears gathering in his eyes as well.
"I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am." He let out a little sob. "I hurt you so badly." He didn't seem to be able to finish and completely broke down, covering his face with his hands as his body shook with the force of his sobs.
Harry couldn't control the tears leaving his eyes either, as he watched the man he had cared for so deeply, who had hurt him so badly, cry for what he had done.
Harry kneeled down in front of the sobbing man's chair and pulled his hands from his face, grasped them, and set them, still clenched in his own, on the man's knees.
"I forgive you Remus." Remus shook his head in denial but Harry persisted, even through his own tears. "I forgive you, but I can't forget. You were supposed to take care of me, but you didn't. I loved you and trusted you and all I got back was hate.
"I forgive you everything, but it will never be the same."
"I'll take whatever you'll give me Harry. I know I don't deserve it but I'll take anything."
"Write me. That's all I can give you for now." With that, Harry let go of his hands and stood back up. Remus immediately stood as well, looking for all the world as if wanted nothing but to gather Harry in his arms. Harry did it for him by wrapping his arms around the man's waist and laying his head on his shoulder.
Remus wrapped his arms around him as if he were a lifeline. Muttering thank you over and over again. They stayed like that a few minutes until Remus finally let go and gave Harry a small nod before flooing away.
Harry plopped wearily down on the couch in Snape's chamber fifteen minutes later. Snape looked up from his book in curiosity before burying himself back in it.
"I might be expelled." Harry blurted out and looked Snape from under his fringe.
Snape slowly marked his page and set his book on the table next to his chair. He then turned the full might of his stare on Harry.
"And why, exactly, do you believe this?" Harry quickly explained what had just transpired with Remus.
"While I find the tears disgusting and your forgiveness of the wolf too Hufflepuff for my tastes, I see no reason for expulsion anywhere in your story."
"Well, before I left his office I may have called the Headmaster a manipulative son of a bitch."
Harry couldn't help but smile as Snape's baritone laughter filled the room.