Kitayama might be taking a picture of this (mousapelli) wrote,
Kitayama might be taking a picture of this
mousapelli

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The Best of All of Us

I did copperbadge's Dialouge challenge, where you had to use the same dialouge for two different scenes in an hour. I went a bit over, about 40 min, so the italics start where my official thing ends.

it's smidge random and maudlin for me, and it harkens back to when i though Neville would be Harry's Wormtail. Some bits were left purposely open-ended and I like it like that.

The Best of All of Us

"It could have been you just as easily," Sirius told Remus, laying a hand on his shoulder. Remus grinned up at him ruefully.

"It should've been," he replied and they both laughed softly at the old joke about who was supposed to be the godfather for James' first child. Not like it really mattered.

"It's the waiting that's getting to me," Remus sighed, glancing over to where James was pacing back and forth in front of the maternity wing doors, and then back the other way to see Peter slumped in his chair, snoring with his mouth wide open.

Sirius opened his mouth to say something else, but just then the nurse rushed out to tell them James had a son, and that the Marauders were a godfather, a godwolf, and a godrat respectively. James rushed through the doors, but his head popped back through the swinging doors a second later.

"Come on!" he yelled at the others in frustration. Remus and Sirius grinned at each other, shook a bewildered Peter awake and dashed after James.

Later, when Lily was set up in a room finally, Sirius was holding his godson for the first time, hardly daring to breath too hard lest the moment dissipate and be a dream.

"Do you understand what they were talking about now?" Remus asked Sirius, leaning against the side of Sirius' chair with an arm draped over his shoulders. Sirius nodded without looking up. Sirius had worried that he didn't love his godson-to-be enough, but James and Lily had insisted that once he held the baby, they would be inseparable. Remus knew that they had been right, that Sirius already loved the fifth Marauder (his personal nickname for the newborn Potter) more than anybody had a right to love anything.

"I wish I could keep her like this. Peaceful. Safe."

Remus looked over to see James stroking his sleeping wife's hair absently. He slipped away from Sirius to lay a gentle hand on James' shoulder.

"Small chance of that," Remus commented. "Trouble's in her blood."

"She'll be right in the thick of things before long," James agreed. For a moment Remus saw how tired and scared James really was, before the usual Potter smile fell back into place.

"I'll protect you," they heard Sirius promise Harry in the silence. "So help me, I won't let anything near you."

* * * * * *

Sirius stood in the doorway of Harry and Ron's room in the waning hours of the night, just watching Harry sleep. He was restless and tense even then, twisting the covers around himself and making soft noises. Sirius crossed the room before he could stop himself, before he could think too much and laid a warm hand on Harry's back, soothing without waking him. Harry settled slightly, stopped thrashing at least.

"You're the best of all of us," Sirius said softly, solemnly, as though it were some kind of blessing. Perhaps for Sirius, who had given up on God and prayer a long time ago, it was the same.

Sirius left the room and went down to the kitchen. He sat at the table, propping his head up in his hands.

"I could really use your help here, Remus," he sighed aloud.

"Can I do something for you?"

Sirius looked up in surprise to see Remus standing in the doorway, wearing a weary smile. He came in and sat at the table across from Sirius, brushing his knuckles across Sirius' in a way that might have been an accident, or might not have been, and he was letting Sirius decide.

"I never thought I'd see you in this house," Sirius said after a little while, unable to shake his maudlin mood.

"Things always go round if you give them long enough," Remus shrugged. "Anyway, it's different these days, people always going in and out…"

"Molly's driving me crazy," Sirius grumbled.

"She knows about you," Remus said gently, encompassing in that vague phrase Sirius' moods, how he didn't sleep and sometimes didn't eat.

"Molly knows too damn much," Sirius snapped. "I think she hates me."

"She doesn't," Remus shook his head.

"She thinks I'm a terrible godfather." Sirius seemed to slump even more against the table, and Remus reached over to push his face back up and meet his gaze.

"What does Harry think?" Remus asked gently.

"Harry thinks it's going well, given the circumstances."

Remus and Sirius looked up to see Harry standing in the door. He slipped into a seat beside Sirius, murmuring something about how he couldn't sleep. Remus felt his heart breaking as he stared at their identical forlorn expressions.

"You both look like you could do with a good story," Remus said to break up the mood. "There was a good one I remember about some Seventh Years, the Astronomy Tower, and an invisibility cloak, if I recall correctly."

"Quite a few actually," Sirius responded cautiously, raising an eyebrow. Remus' expression said that Sirius should know exactly what story he was talking about.

"Tell me," Harry asked.

"It's a good one," Sirius gave Remus a significant look before reaching over to take his hand across the table. "It's my favorite story about you."

* * * * * *
* * * * * *

"It could have been you just as easily," Hermione had told Harry as he felt his godchild kicking inside her belly. "It should've been."

Harry had been shaken when she'd said it, but had covered it up by making a joke about hormones, and she had laughed nervously as though she hadn't been serious, as though she hadn't just confessed something that Ron could never, ever know about.

“It’s the waiting that’s getting to me,” she’d said.
Harry didn't bring it up again even when Hermione asked him to stay in the delivery room with her and Ron, but he thought about it frequently during the entire harrowing experience.

"Come on!" Harry urged Hermione's last push before the wail of her new daughter filled the room. Ron, clutching Hermione's other hand, was beyond words. Then there was crying and hugging and Weasleys filled the room and his goddaughter was named Molly Virginia for both the Weasley who had died to save her and the one who was still here for her.

"Do you understand what they were talking about now?" and exhausted Hermione asked Harry as he held the tiny Weasley a little later. Harry nodded gravely, thinking about every time Remus and Sirius had tried to explain and he hadn't understood. In that moment, he simultaneously missed them both terribly and was sure they were there with him.

"I wish I could keep her like this. Peaceful. Safe," he said almost to himself, unable to keep from thinking about the war outside these sterile walls. He wondered if his parents had been this terrified when he was born. If Sirius had been.

"Small chance of that," Hermione's laugh carried the same worry in it. "Trouble's in her blood."

"She'll be right in the thick of things before long," Harry hugged Molly tighter, as though that could keep everything bad away from her. "I'll protect you," he swore. "So help me, I won't let anything near you."

* * * * * *

When Harry saw Molly for the first time in five years, he was struck dumb by the Ron set to her jaw and the burning Hermione intelligence he saw in her eyes, but even more so by the anger on the seven-year-old's face that he could only guess was some remnant of himself.

"You're the best of all of us," he finally managed. Molly turned her back to him and left the room without a word. Although it hurt like being slapped, Harry felt he deserved the pain.

It was his own fault he'd spent nearly all of Molly's childhood in Azkaban. Not for killing Neville, they would have pardoned him for that. It was Lavender's death, Lavender who hadn't understood and was only trying to stop Harry, for which they couldn't forgive.

"I could really use your help here, Remus," Harry murmured, raising his eyes ceiling-ward. Remus had always known how to deal with Harry when he was angriest, when he was hurt. Harry hoped he could have half the patience for his own godchild.

"Can I do something for you?"

Harry looked up to see Percy watching him guardedly. Harry shrugged, and after a few moments of silence, Percy asked Harry to come into the kitchen for some tea.

"I never thought I'd see you in this house," Harry smiled wanly, glancing around the kitchen of the Burrow.

"Things always go round if you give them long enough," Percy replied easily, the topic of his family defection now ancient history. "Anyway, it's different these days, people always going in and out…"

Eventually the topic of why Harry was here had to inevitably come up.

"Molly's driving me crazy," he murmured, feeling like he had no right to complain about a situation that he had created himself.

"She knows about you," Percy shrugged as if it explained everything. And it did.

"Molly knows too damn much." Harry's voice carried more sorrow in five words than should have been legal. "I think she hates me."

"She doesn't," Percy's voice remained neutral, vaguely concerned, but holding no answers.

"She thinks I'm a terrible godfather."

"What does Harry think?" Percy asked with a pointed glance.

"Harry thinks it's going well, given the circumstances."

The sarcasm felt good, even though the anger in it was directed towards himself. Percy remained in the kitchen with Harry, talking for a long time. Harry was grateful, but didn't understand until he looked up to see Molly hovering in the doorway, petulant anger warring with curiosity on her face.

"You both look like you could do with a good story," Percy commented, motioning for her to sit with them. She did so cautiously, eyeing Harry with open suspicion. "There was a good one I remember about some Seventh Years, the Astronomy Tower, and an invisibility cloak, if I recall correctly."

"Quite a few actually," Harry said slowly. Percy stood up and left them alone, hiding his look of relief until he was out of the room.

"Tell me," Molly demanded, the first words she had spoken to Harry.

"It is a good one," Harry told her. "It's my favorite story about you."

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