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Chapter 29

Homecoming

Remus was sitting in Sirius' bed and Harry was asleep next to him. He was using the term asleep very loosely. The boy was thrashing around and crying out nonstop. Every hour or so he would sit up screaming, fully alert, and terrified of something…though what he was scared of Remus had no idea. He refused to talk about it.

Right now Remus was waiting on a reply from Dumbledore. He had sent Sirius a letter to the apartment that they had shared with James right out of school in Hogsmeade but there had yet to be an answer. Sirius had now been gone for over two weeks, and while he had sent three letters in that first week he hadn't replied except for a short letter telling them that he was fine and there had been a few complications that were delaying the trip. Remus had written him since telling him about Harry's increased nightmares and that his mental stability seemed to be faltering. When Harry was awake he spent the day staring at the wall and crying or randomly screaming and clutching at his chest. He had broken security protocol and sent a patronus message to both Sirius and Dumbledore 20 minutes ago, and was waiting on replies from them both.

A shrill scream jolted Remus from his thoughts and he looked over at Harry who was sitting straight up.

"Harry! Harry it's me…It's okay." He said soothingly.

Harry put his hands up in front of him. "NO! NO! GET AWAY FROM ME! YOU KILLED THEM!" he screamed, his eyes wide and unfocussed, seeing something that was not really there at all.

His eyes were what made Remus realize he wasn't fully awake, he was caught in a dream. "Harry it's me…please calm down. It's Uncle Evan…Uncle Remus….Moony" He said gently, trying to move next to him.

The next moments caught Remus off guard entirely. He watched in both awe and horror as Harry's eyes flashed with emerald fire and he could feel unhindered power in the room around them as it seemed like a dam within the boy broke and Remus was thrown backwards against the wall. At the same moment Harry slumped over, unconscious.

Remus scrambled to get to his feet and ran over to Harry, seeing him unconscious he cursed and quickly released two more patronuses before picking him up and going with his instincts. He turned on the spot and apparated straight into the Hogshead in Hogsmeade.

0o0o0o

Sirius walked down the long hallway and into the kitchen. Mel was sitting at the small table with a cup of coffee sitting in front of her and another one sitting at the empty seat, she looked up when she heard his footsteps.

"She stayed asleep?" she asked softly.

Sirius shook his head. "Nope. I was forced to read the Princess and the Pegasus." he said with a small smile as he sat down in the empty seat across from her.

Melanie nodded and smiled slightly, Sirius had been here every day since finding them again, he had been gone for the time he was supposed to be doing the mission, doing most of it overnights so he had the majority of the day to be at the apartment with her and Rian. She didn't think he had even returned to the apartment he was supposed to be staying at but once in a week and a half. She watched as he took a drink of coffee and looked up at her.

"I finished last night….everything has been completed. Dumbledore even destroyed them all with the fiendfire. There's nothing left." Sirius said quietly.

Melanie's eyes widened. "Except for Harry." She said knowingly, her voice cracking slightly.

Sirius nodded. "We don't know what to do about that yet….we're waiting until we have a more conclusive idea of to do without hurting him." He sighed. "Speaking of Harry…."

Mel bit her lip, understanding where this conversation was going. "Bring him back….just bring him back." She said, almost pleading with him.

Sirius looked at her sadly. "I can't…it's not safe here. Not for him. There are still…."

"There will ALWAYS be someone after him Sirius. He brought down He Who Must Not Be Named he stopped a death eater from killing him without meaning to. He's the son of James and Lily, your godson…someone will always be after him. Bring him home." Melanie said a bit more firmly.

"Mel…you know he's safer where he's at. He's completely hidden, and he's settled, he has school and friends…moving him again would hurt him." Sirius replied in an understanding voice.

"He's got to move eventually anyways to go to Hogwarts! And what is it going to do to him to find out that there is a little girl that calls him her brother? That you have a daughter that you want to be with but are leaving…again…so he can be hidden away from most of the people that love him? What will it do to Rian when this man who walked into her life and she's now getting attached to you….just walks out of it? What will that do Sirius? She is three, she can't understand this. I barely understand this." She said, tears springing to her eyes at the thought of the two kids.

Her reply had brought Sirius up short and he stared at her silently for several minutes. "You…can you…you can come with me." He said. "Both of you."

Melanie shook her head. "I can't. My father is ill! That's the whole reason I moved back, I won't and can't leave him now. He's dying, I will be here for him." She said firmly.

Sirius had forgotten her reasoning for moving back and he nodded, at a loss for what to do. "I can't…I can't put him in danger." He barely breathed.

"Sirius…you've got to think…" Mel started, but was cut off as a silvery wolf patronus appeared in the apartment, speaking in a very familiar voice.

"I've no clue where you are. You're not replying to letters. I'm sending this to find you, no matter your location. Harry is sick. His magic is back and is strong. I'm taking him to Hogwarts. I think you need to come."

Sirius stared at the place where the patronus had been and cursed, he stood up. "Harry! I…I have to go." He stammered.

Melanie stood up with him. "I'm coming. Nothing will stop me." She said firmly.

"Rian…she's asleep." Sirius protested, opening the front door.

Melanie looked at him like he had lost his mind. "There are beds in the infirmary, which is probably where we're going. You're not walking away from my daughter. I don't want her to know that pain. I have NEVER stopped waiting for you Sirius, but if you walk away, and force us to stay away….that's the last time you do it. I won't let someone…even her own father…walk in and out of her life. And I may not have seen him in years, but I STILL love that little boy." She said firmly.

Sirius froze with his hand on the door. "Harry is already in danger…I don't want to put her in more danger than she is already in by just being my child."

Melanie looked at him, her face hard and impassive. "Sirius Black, I know you think you're doing the right thing…and I know you're only trying to protect Harry and I can understand that. REALLY I can…I've helped you do it. But now, I have to protect someone too…and you being here while doing a mission that was dangerous puts Rian in danger. Especially if you disappear again. If you leave, and I am forced to leave to find a safe place for her again…I will not come back, and I will be leaving this ring behind. "

Sirius blinked, taken back by the obvious seriousness in her voice. "I can't NOT go." He said in a choked voice.

"I'm not asking you to go. I'm saying, take us with you to Hogwarts. I'm saying get him, and come back home." Mel said simply.

Sirius looked at her, then the door, then the hallway. He took in a shaky breath and let the door go as he walked away from the door and down the hallway. "I'll get the baby." He said, letting his fingers slide across her arm as he walked past her, the most intimately he had touched her since returning.

O0o0o0o0o

Sirius pushed past a harassed looking Madam Pomphrey, a sleeping toddler still in his arms.

"Mr. Black, really, this isn't necessary he's…." but she was cut off by Harry's excited squeak when he saw his father.

Harry was sitting up on an infirmary bed, a quaffle in his lap. He looked very very pale but was smiling. Remus was seated on the side of the bed, he too was smiling though it looked far more grim than Harry's, he was obviously smiling just for Harry's benefit as Dumbledore shared the same expression and was sitting in a highbacked chair next to the bed.

"DAD!" Harry cried, trying to get off the bed but being pushed back onto it by Remus as he saw Sirius.

Sirius rushed over, adjusting the little girl in his arms. "Jamie…Harry…what's wrong? Are you alright? Let me look at you." He said instantly, using his free hand to hold Harry's head in place and look him over. "Remus, why did you bring him here?" he asked.

Remus was looking at Sirius with a look of blatant confusion. "He….who's kid do you have?" he asked, distracted.

Harry seemed to have just noticed the child too. Sirius wasn't even forcing him to hold still anymore while checking him over as he looked curiously at the little girl.

Sirius looked down at the curly dark hair and shook his head, only just then realizing they would have found him holding Rian strange. "That's not the….what's going on?" he asked again, more urgent this time. "Is he okay? Why would you bring him here?" he demanded quietly, not wanting to wake up Rian.

"He…the bindings…" Remus started as he glanced at Dumbledore he was going to finish but a sharp intake of breath from Harry silenced any and all conversation.

All three men looked at the ten year old worriedly, only to see him staring at the entry to the hospital wing with something close to awe or shock on his face. Sirius followed his gaze and bit his lip when he saw Mel standing completely frozen in the doorway as she stared at the little boy she hadn't seen in four years. Remus' eyes widened as he looked from Mel to Harry and then to Sirius, stopping on the little girl and if possible his eyes went even more round as realization hit him. The old professor smiled softly and nodded his head in acknowledgement of the woman.

But Mel didn't notice anyone, not Remus, or Dumbledore, not Sirius, not even Rian who was safe in her father's arms. She only had eyes for the dark headed boy that sat staring at her just as intently. She watched as his emerald eyes sparkled with unshed tears and felt a few of her own splash onto her cheeks. At that moment it wouldn't have mattered if a sticking charm was on Harry as he sprung up from the bed and ran towards the door, the men or nurse didn't even have a chance to protest as he flung himself into Mel's waiting arms, broken sobs escaping his chest like they hadn't heard in years.

Melanie ran her hand through his hair and hugged him to her chest, holding him securely in her arms. "Welcome home Harry." She whispered into his ear as she felt him shake with renewed sobs in her embrace.