Posted: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 2:46 PM
Harry was half asleep when the idea came to him.
It would make everything make sense in a way things hadn't in a long, long time.
At least, it felt that way at three o'clock in the morning after too much butterbeer and a night spent studying Switching Charms.
He leapt out of bed and began digging around in his trunk for the mirror Sirius had given him. He'd repaired it late last summer, in a fit of remorse, and had been using it lately to talk to Professor Lupin, who had Sirius's. Or so Harry had thought.
"Pro-- Remus." He still wasn't used to calling his former teacher by his first name, though Lupin had insisted when they began using the mirrors. "Remus, are you awake?"
He waited, and a few minutes later, Lupin's face, surrounded by tousled silver and brown hair, appeared in the mirror.
"Harry, is everything all right?" Lupin asked breathlessly, eyes a little wild.
"Fine. Everything's fine. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Can I come over for a few minutes?"
"I don't think--"
Lupin sighed, just as Harry knew he would, and nodded assent. Since Sirius had died, nobody except Snape refused him much of anything.
Harry stifled a grin. "I'll be right there," he said.
Over the summer Dumbledore had opened a private Floo terminal for Harry's use, hidden in Gryffindor Tower. He threw a handful of Floo powder into the grate and shouted, "Number twelve, Grimmauld Place," and then he was spinning through the tunnels, only to be spat out into the kitchen at the old Black house, where Lupin sat waiting for him.
As Harry stumbled from the grate, Lupin said, "Harry? Are you all right?"
Harry nodded. The kitchen was dark, even with the fire lit, and Lupin looked old and tired and gray, worse even than he had the first time they'd met on the Hogwarts Express, after a full moon and a run in with dementors.
Harry felt awkward, and just a little silly, but the idea had taken hold and he couldn't shake it.
"Are you my father?" Harry blurted, unable to think of anything else to say.
Lupin choked. "Excuse me?"
"Are you my father?" Harry repeated, a little slower this time.
"I-- have you been drinking?"
Harry shook his head. "Answer the question."
Lupin closed his eyes for a moment, as if remembering. "Your mother and I were good friends, yes, and she was a lovely girl, but aside from some fumbling kisses in third year, I never touched her. Don't listen to Peeves. He's a nasty gossip."
Harry blinked. He hadn't wanted to know that. "No! I meant, I meant, are you James Potter? Did you and the real Remus switch bodies before Voldemort attacked that night?"
Lupin stared at him, eyebrows raised, eyes wide in shock. Then he started laughing. He laughed so hard he almost fell out of the chair.
"Remus," Harry snapped.
Lupin sobered. "I'm sorry, but that's the craziest thing I've ever heard."
"Harry, your father loved you very much. Do you really think he'd have left you and your mother to die without him? And abandoned you to the Dursleys without looking back? James might have been a prat sometimes, but he was a good man, and a good father. He loved you, and he died to protect you."
"But you're so nice to me. And your middle initial is 'J'. For James. And, and you taught me the Patronus and seemed shocked when the stag appeared."
Lupin sighed and rubbed his forehead, then rose from his chair and gathered Harry close in an awkward hug.
"I'm nice to you because you're a good kid, and you're the son of two of my best friends," he said softly. "It was a shock to see your Patronus, yes, because it was James, to the life, and I hadn't seen him in twelve years. It was a little... overwhelming. Everything that year was." He paused, seeming to choose his words carefully. "I changed your diapers, Harry; I watched you take your first step and I was there for your first word, but I am not your father."
"Really?" Harry asked desperately.
"Really, really. My middle name is Joaquin, which, if you tell anyone, I will have to kill you." Harry snickered, and Remus said, "I mean it. Tell no one. Especially not Snape. He's been trying to find it out for years."
Harry started laughing, and couldn't stop, and then he was crying and Remus was holding him, whispering soft words of comfort.
He should have been uncomfortable, but Harry felt more at ease with Remus -- and able to think of him as Remus -- than he ever had before.
He wiped his nose on his sleeve; Remus laughed and Harry noticed his face was damp as well.
"I reckon I just wanted, I don't know," Harry said finally. "I feel stupid. I just wanted--"
"You wanted your parents back. I understand." He pulled back and smiled wistfully. "I'm not your father, and I can't take his place. And I'm not, I'm not Sirius. But I can tell you about them, what they were like at school, and after, while things were still good. And I can be your friend, Harry. If you'd like."
Harry swallowed hard. "That, that'd be cool," he said, blinking to stop from crying again.
"Cool," Remus replied with a grin. They found some tissues and Harry blew his nose and wiped his eyes. "You should probably head back to school now, Harry."
He stopped in the fireplace and turned back. Remus still looked tired, but his eyes were bright and he looked better than he had in a long time.
"You were there for my first word?" Harry asked.
"Yes, I was." Just as Harry tossed the handful of Floo powder, he heard Remus say, "It was 'Moony,' by the way."
Harry returned to Gryffindor Tower with a slightly goofy smile on his face, and he slept through the night dreamlessly.
Achromatic: http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool LJ: http://musesfool.livejournal.com
We Invented the Remix...Redux:
Please post a comment on this story.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Title: Daddy Dear
Author: Victoria P. [email]
Details: Standalone | G | 5k | 02/11/04
Summary: Harry's got a theory. It could be Moony.
Notes: Thanks as always to Jen, Pete/Melissa, Dot, and Meg. Because someone's smoking the bad crack, yo (i.e., inspired by this thread): http://www.fictionalley.org/fictionalleypark/forums/showthread.php? s=20a3b72fd5455b232b8c9ac5379d589b&threadid=48761
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to Rowling and Scholastic etc.; this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Archive: Lists, Achromatic
Feedback: would be lovely.
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