I'm so glad that so many of you liked the last chapter! Thank you all for your support. :)
This chapter quote sums it up pretty well, I think :D I just hope none of you are diabetics because the sweet fluff might screw up your blood sugar levels :/ It's not that bad, though... I think.
"And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live."
- Stephen King, The Dark Tower
The mist rolled over the stony, silent buildings and engulfed the streets below, dimming the early morning sunrise and gave the start to the cool day an eerie chill. It had been years since the war had ended but Remus still felt a little apprehensive on mornings like this one, where an instinct for danger, honed and over stimulated during the war, left him feeling inexplicably uneasy.
Luckily, a high pitched child's giggle broke the eerie silence.
Remus smiled. It appeared that little James the second was up and most likely wreaking havoc somewhere in the apartment. He just hoped that it wasn't in the spare room because he would undoubtedly wake up the still sleeping, baby Albus and then the day would start already. He was just making his way to the spare room which was set up for the two children, when Sirius emerged from the master bedroom, still in pajama pants and with two-year old James hanging horizontally under his arm, laughing madly.
"Remind me why we agreed to this again?", Sirius requested groggily, ignoring James' squeals of delight as he hung so far from the floor.
"Because Harry and Ginny need a break and it's the godfather's duty to provide them with such."
Sirius lowered the boy to the floor and as if he'd released a wind up muggle toy, the toddler taking off towards the kitchen as soon as his feet hit the floor, still laughing as madly as ever.
"But a whole weekend, Moony?", Sirius grumbled, following James to the kitchen, intent on some coffee, "A whole two days of these two little monsters and being woken up every morning by this one trying to peel my eyelids off."
"He does live up to his namesake, doesn't he?" Remus replied wryly as he watched the energetic boy try to reach up to the owl that was perched on the bench. The owl, which was a Hogwarts owl, judging by the seal on the envelope in its beak, ruffled its feathers indignantly as it looked down at the little fingers grasping just beyond its reach. Remus gently pushed the little hand out of the way and took the envelope, allowing the owl to gratefully soar back out of the open window and away from the danger of having its feathers pulled by little hands.
The letter probably only contained details about his renewed position as Professor of Defence Against The Dark Arts. Hogwarts was still understaffed and desperate for anyone with qualifications after the war, and as no one else had been available for the job, Minerva had been happy to reemploy him. She'd sent owls to parents, explaining that without him, there would be no Defence Against The Dark Arts taught that year and that Harry Potter himself had recommended him. In the light of the war everyone was still recovering from and parents' anxious desire for that particular subject to be taught, most parents were remarkably hushed about the employment of a werewolf, with the exception of a few who threatened to remove their children from the school. Still, Minerva ensured Remus that she was happy to have him back and he'd graciously accepted, eager to be back teaching young, thirsty minds all that he knew of a subject he was well learned in.
"Is it good news, Professor?"
Remus grinned at the voice behind him and chuckled at the renewed title that Sirius had taken a very deep interest in.
"Probably." Bad news didn't come by owl every morning now, no, not like before.
Sirius came to stand next to him, staring thoughtfully out at the mist that was steadily thinning beyond the window of their new apartment. At their feet, James had managed to open the bottom kitchen drawer and was rifling through the odd, mismatched contents with child's curiosity, examining the spellotape, an emergency Healing kit and candles that he came across.
"You know, you never told me what happened when you followed me through the veil."
Remus froze, the morning suddenly seeming darker and colder as he automatically remembered the younger version of himself, the skinny swinging legs, the sad eyes, the tempting offer. But then he looked over at Sirius, coffee cup in hand, grey strands among the black at his temples, watching him with an expectant face. He wouldn't have given this up for the world and what had seemed as temptation before, growing up without the curse of lycanthropy, paled to nothing in light of what he had now.
Albus' waking wail tore through the apartment and James whined at the sound from somewhere around their feet, probably aware that his time as centre of attention that morning was up. Still, Remus smiled at Sirius, the most honest, happiest smile he thought he was capable of.
"It doesn't matter. I got you back, I got my life back and I got more than I ever dreamed of. I wouldn't change this for the world."
Sirius regarded him shrewdly for a few moments before returning his own smile with a snort, "You really know how to avoid answering a question, don't you, Professor Lupin? For that, it can be your turn to change Al's nappy."
Remus sighed and rolled his eyes. But it was true, he wouldn't have changed this for anything.
So I hope you like the final part to this story! I really hope the addition of making them babysit wasn't too corny but the idea simply wouldn't leave my head.
Thank you to everyone for reading this enormous monster of a story and brownie points to all those who took the time to make my day by commenting. Really, you'll never know how happy you've all made me. Insert teary, snotty thanks here.
I'm busy writing more S/R fics (a really, massively long AU one) so look out for those, if you want. Again, thank you guys so much! :) It's been a total pleasure!