Harry collapsed in a chair next to the fire with an exhausted sigh. He had spent most of the day with Sirius and had only left after he and Severus both promised not to kill each other in his absence. Harry had to admit that it was amusing at times to see them fight but sometimes he was hurt by the remarks by extension. It was a relief to return to the red and gold clad room and relax by the roaring fireplace. Harry closed his eyes in his moment of peace.
With a groan, Harry cracked open his eyelids to find his three closest friends pulling chairs up and looking at him intently.
“Where’ve you been?” Hermione asked.
“How’s Sirius?” Draco asked.
“How’s my former rat?” Ron asked with a scowl.
Harry looked at them all for a moment before cracking a smile. “I’ve been with Sirius, he’s just fine,” Harry said. He grinned wider. “He’s going to stay with Severus and me until the trial at the end of July.”
Smiles spread around the group.
Hermione patted his hand. “That’s great news!”
“It really is,” Harry agreed. “Severus is less than happy about it but I’m hoping he’ll come around. Or that they’ll at least tolerate each other.”
Ron laughed. “Man, I’d love to see the two of them go at it!”
Hermione shot him a look. Harry didn’t mind, though. “It is pretty funny sometimes,” he admitted.
“And Pettigrew?” Draco reminded him.
“Off to Azkaban,” Harry said casually. “No one volunteered to harbor him.”
Ron snickered. “No wonder.”
“Did you find out what Blaise was doing out there?” Hermione asked. “Or about what the prophecy meant?”
“We think that maybe it wasn’t Hagrid that sent that note,” Harry said simply in reference to the question about Blaise. “And Severus said that the prophecy will have fulfilled itself by now so there’s really nothing we can do.”
“That’s disturbing,” Hermione commented. “But I’m glad everything else has been worked out. You can sleep in peace tonight.”
Harry leaned back and closed his eyes again. He gave a small smile. “I think I’ll try that out.”
In fact, Harry got one of the best nights of sleep he had had in a long time. Even though tomorrow marked their last full day at Hogwarts, Harry did not feel sad about leaving. He was hopeful that this summer would be just as good as the year he had just had.
Harry knocked on the doorframe of Professor Lupin’s office.
“Not anymore,” Lupin replied easily.
“What?” Harry asked with concern. He had come down to invite Lupin to lunch with Sirius. “What do you mean?”
“It has been requested that I leave,” Lupin replied, ceasing packing and straightening to look down at Harry.
“Why?” Harry asked. “You’re the best Defense teacher we’ve had!” he said honestly.
“Thank you, Harry,” Lupin said with a tilt of the head. “It was... let slip that I am a werewolf.”
“By who?” Harry asked, brow furrowing. He dearly hoped that Severus would not stoop so low. He truly did not think it was him.
“Sirius,” Lupin said. At the look of shock and horror on Harry’s face, Lupin went on. “He mentioned it unintentionally while under veritaserum. Unfortunately, the minister was present and... well you can imagine.”
Harry nodded sadly. “Does Sirius know?”
“No,” Lupin said. “I did not want him to feel guilty.”
“I won’t say anything,” Harry promised.
“Thank you, Harry,” Lupin repeated. “Did you need something?”
Harry shrugged. “I just came to see if you wanted to join Severus, Sirius and me for lunch.”
“I would love to,” Lupin said. “I have not seen Sirius since the other night and I get the feeling that if he is staying with Severus I will not see him much over the summer. The same thing goes for you,” he said with a look at Harry.
Harry grinned. “You afraid to come over to Severus’s house?”
“A little,” he admitted. “I doubt he would enjoy that.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry about him. Stop by anytime.”
“I just may take you up on that,” Lupin said, a sly look in his eyes. “It would be fun to aggravate him now and again.”
Harry snorted. “Like he won’t be getting enough of that from Sirius.”
“Very true,” Lupin agreed. “Come, let’s go.”
Together, they went down to Snape’s quarters where the food was being sent rather than the Great Hall. It was widely agreed that Sirius should not be seen by the students in order to save awkward questions from the parents. Harry didn’t mind spending so much time away from his classmates because he could not answer any questions about that night either. Luckily, it was not widely known that they had been out and about being that they left early and came back late. Nevertheless, if asked, Harry would not know how to dodge the question. According to Ron, that job was generally left up to Draco.
The table had already been set and Sirius and Severus were seated across from each other at the table when Harry and Lupin arrived. They glared at each other.
Harry rolled his eyes. “Is this what the whole summer is going to be like?” he complained.
“Yes,” they answered simultaneously, much to their joint annoyance.
Harry and Lupin shared an amused look as they took their seats. Food appeared in a sparkle just like it did in the Great Hall. They helped themselves immediately. As they ate, Harry brought the conversation around to Blaise.
“Did you figure out for sure why Blaise was in the forest?” Harry asked, directed at Severus.
“He was questioned, yes,” Severus replied. “He claims that he heard that you four were illegally going to Hagrid’s and he was going to stop you.”
Harry huffed. “As if.”
“Hagrid, however, knew nothing of the sort,” Severus continued.
“We got a note from Hagrid saying to meet him in the forest at dusk, it was important,” Harry explained to the other two present. “It was probably Blaise.”
Severus nodded. “That is what I am thinking as well.”
“Oh, so that’s who I jumped over,” Sirius said, clarity dawning on him.
Severus raised a critical brow. “So it is your fault that he was hurt?”
“How’s that my fault?” Sirius asked indignantly.
“He said that the ‘grim’ appeared behind him and when he tried to run, he slipped and hit his head on a rock.”
“He should not have been in the forest,” Lupin said, coming to Sirius’s defense.
“Perhaps,” Severus conceded. “In any case, he has since dropped Divination.”
Harry shrugged. “Hermione did too; it’s a joke, really. Can I drop it?” he asked Severus.
Severus gave an uncharacteristic shrug. “You are going to live with the ‘grim’, it does not matter whether you continue in it or not.”
Harry’s lip twitched. “I’ll think about it. Was he punished?”
A dark glimmer appeared in Severus’s eye. “It was too late this year but I can assure you that next year will be anything but easy for him.”
Everyone returned their attention to their food. For a few minutes, there was no conversation.
“You need not eat like a criminal,” Severus scolded Sirius. “I do not think Harry is about to steal your food.”
“I’m not!” Harry insisted playfully.
Sirius relaxed his posture. “Habit, sorry.”
Severus sneered. “I hope you do not have any other annoying habits. Groveling on the floor and begging for death, for instance.”
Harry shot Severus a warning look.
“I wouldn’t do that, if I were you, Sirius, for fear that he would oblige,” Lupin commented.
Sirius grinned at his friend who shared his smile. Severus watched the two with apparent disgust.
“This has to be the strangest group of people ever gathered,” Lupin said. “The Boy Who Lived, a former Death Eater, a werewolf and a rumored mass murderer.”
Harry laughed. “Yep. I told you that I attract trouble,” he said to Severus.
“That much has always been clear,” Severus said in a long suffering tone.
Sirius studied the pair, still apparently trying to work out how it had ever ended up this way. He nudged Lupin with his elbow.
“What do you think James would say if he heard about this?” he asked, gesturing with his chin towards Severus and Harry.
Lupin inclined his head. “He would have found the very idea abhorrent. He would have been wrong, though.”
“Would he?” Sirius asked. “He’d have been happy that Harry is happy at least. But the shock alone could send him back to his grave.”
Severus leaned over to Harry. “They seem to have forgotten that we can hear them.”
“It seems that way,” Harry replied quietly, still listening to their conversation. He was deeply curious about what his parents would think of him and all of the things that he had done.
“Lily would’ve been angry at first, I think,” Sirius said. “But she would have come around quickly. She always was too accepting,” he said, shaking his head as if it were a great flaw in her character.
Severus cleared his throat loudly. “I do appreciate that you insult me to my face rather than behind my back, but I do believe this has gone far enough. We can hear you after all.”
“Can you?” Sirius asked rhetorically, face bright with cloying interest. He was rewarded with yet another dark glare. Sirius shrugged. “I’m already getting used to your glaring.”
Severus frowned. Harry stifled a laugh. He could almost read Severus’s mind as he clearly would professed that that simply would not do. Harry shook his head. It was going to be an interesting summer.
As Harry sat down with his friends for the End of Year feast, a warm sensation found its way into his chest. Though the return of Voldemort was apparently imminent, Harry could not be happier. He would deal with Voldemort when the time came, or hopefully not at all. Meanwhile, Harry was surrounded by his loyal friends, a godfather that he never knew he had, and a father who understood everything. Harry could feel the great things coming and, for better or worse, he would be there to see them through. As Harry ate, he listened to Ron and Draco chatter about Quidditch.
“You coming to the World Cup, Harry?” Draco asked.
“When’s that?” Harry replied, a little distracted.
“This summer. It should be a great time,” Ron said enticingly.
Harry shrugged. “I’ll see if Severus will let me.”
“If he doesn’t want to go you can always come with us,” Ron said.
“Or with me, I’m sure my mother wouldn’t mind,” Draco said.
“Same goes for you, Hermione,” Ron said. Draco nodded in agreement.
“Thanks,” they both said. Harry would like to go, he thought. He had never really followed professional Quidditch but the experience would be pretty neat. He would have to talk to Severus about it.
The meal wound down with minimal gossip about why the dementors left. Harry wondered what they would tell the public. Until it was certain, he doubted that they would put out the whole story of Pettigrew’s treachery. For a while it seemed that Sirius would have to live with the bad reputation that he did not deserve. Harry got the feeling that he didn’t mind especially as long as he was free.
As Harry went to sleep that night, he realized he was ready, for once, to leave Hogwarts and see what the next months would bring.