THE NATIVE HUE OF RESOLUTION
A/N: This is my first
attempt at writing a story. When I read Thing1's brilliant "Veritas,"
the powerful moment where Draco asked Harry what he did the night they finished
their education at Hogwarts stuck in my head. The git would not leave me alone
until I wrote this story. So, thanks Draco.
Lots of appreciation
to Thing1, for writing such wonderful characters and allowing me to borrow
express enough gratitude to Durayan, Luna, Thing1, and Vargmoy (thanks for
sticking it out through every draft!) for their wonderful beta-reading. This story
has been drastically improved thanks to their thoughtful comments and
appreciation to all of my reviewers, Corgi, Tayloire, and The Good Doctor
Monaco here at The Sugar Quill, and Mincot, Laurus Nobilus, Luna, Vargmoy, and
RavenNat at The Werewolf Registry for your kind words of encouragement.
thanks to J.K. Rowling, for writing such a wonderful characters as Remus,
Sirius, Draco, Professor Dumbledore, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hedwig, Crookshanks,
and even Cornelius Fudge for us to enjoy in her amazing world of witchcraft and
CHAPTER TWO – A LONG
Remus and Sirius completed the wards around
the house by early afternoon.
"Now I can finally spend some time
with my younger godson!" said Sirius crisply as he clapped his hands
"It is good to see that twinkle in
your eyes again, Padfoot," remarked Remus. <I>It’s been far too
infrequent of late.</I>
Sirius strode around the house and into
the back garden, then sat on an oak bench near where Katie was cutting flowers.
Malcolm wobbled over to his godfather with his arms reaching out for Sirius, a
happy baby grin on his face and his large brown eyes dancing as Sirius swung
him into the air.
"Ah, my little marauder, would you
like me to show you the muddiest places to play in the garden?"
Malcolm bounced upon Sirius’ knee as he
reached for his nose.
"How are the arrangements coming,
Katie looked over at Sirius and smiled as
she brushed a stray lock of her dark hair back from her eyes, leaving a smudge
on her temple. She rose up and instinctively wrapped her arm around Remus as he
came up next to her and gave her a soft kiss.
"For the twentieth time today,
Sirius, everything is fine."
Remus smiled at Katie as she said this
and gave her that special look he reserved just for her. Katie met his gaze
with her own dark brown eyes and shook her head slightly.
"If you think he’s bad now, Katie,
you should have seen him before James’ bachelor party! Worrying over all of
the, um, ‘special’ arrangements he had made to make the night
unforgettable!" Remus winked at Sirius.
"Well, it was my duty and obligation
as his best man!" Sirius pretended to be quite serious. <I>Yeah,
"Where you got the veela from is
what I would like to know." Remus and Sirius had matching mischievous
smiles on their faces as they started laughing.
"I don’t, thank you…" said
Katie as she collected her son from Sirius. "…especially in front of
"Katie-girl, we have to train him
now while he’s young - otherwise, Argus Filch will be very disappointed in us.
Malcolm’s already one and a half years old!" Sirius put his right hand
across his chest and gave Katie that innocent look he had perfected so long
"He’s right, Katie." Remus had
the same innocent look on his face as Sirius.
"I have no doubt you both will have
thoroughly corrupted Malcolm before he goes to Hogwarts no matter what I
say!" she laughed. "Why don’t you go see what Liz is up to,
"As you wish, madam. I trust you
have no objections to my putting your son down for his nap first." Sirius
gave a deep bow, reclaimed Malcolm, and exited into the house. Remus rolled his
eyes at his friend’s melodramatics. Together, he and Katie gathered the rest of
the flowers for the party and arranged them in the house.
It was quiet downstairs after he and
Katie had finished with the flowers. Sirius is probably still upstairs with
Liz. Good. That should keep his mind off of Harry for a little while. It’s
going to be quite a shock for Harry, but I think he is ready to handle it.
James, where are you when we need you? Sirius is so afraid he won’t be able to
calm Harry down, even with all of us here to help! Ah, Prongs, you chose your
son’s godfather well. He loves Harry as much as any parent ever could. We both
do. But this… this is unfamiliar territory. Thank goodness Dumbledore is going
to explain it. I don’t know that Harry would believe us about this.
After tidying his study and reviewing one
last time the list of wards Dumbledore wanted, Remus went upstairs to check on
Malcolm. He smiled as he looked down at his own son napping in his little bed
with the old blue and white quilt on it that had once belonged to his own
grandmother when she was a child. The brightly embroidered quilt had been
Remus’ favourite blanket when he was a little boy. He could still remember the
day his father had given it to him when he was a mere three years old. Oh, how
his parents had filled his mind with stories Remus still treasured about the
birds, animals, and fantastic beasts on the quilt! He stroked Malcolm’s soft
brown hair with the gentlest of touches. I cannot imagine having to tell
Malcolm something like this, especially with Voldemort still out there. And
Wormtail. It will be hard enough telling him about the wolf, let alone
something like this. Remus pulled the warm blanket closer around Malcolm’s
shoulders. Gods, we better defeat Voldemort soon so this world is safe for
you and Harry!
It was soon time for all of them to take
their showers and get dressed during the last quiet minutes before Malcolm was
once again awake. And then all that remained was to await their guests.
Remus was the first one ready. He went
down to his study in his midnight blue robes and looked at the picture of
James, Sirius, Peter, and himself that Lily had taken when they left Hogwarts.
He fingered the clear crystal frame gently as the sun glinted off of it like a
prism. We were so young and innocent then. He chuckled quietly to
himself. Well, as innocent as we ever were. And yet, James and Lily would
soon be married and have a son. Who knows if Wormtail had already been working
with Death Eaters? He sat down at his desk, staring outside at the
afternoon sun shining brightly across the gardens.
Sirius soon joined Remus in the study
looking somewhat pale in his black robes. He sat down heavily in one of the
overstuffed chairs in Remus’ study and buried his head in his hands. "I
Remus got up from his desk and sat in a
chair opposite Sirius. Putting a sympathetic hand on Sirius’ shoulder, he said
quietly, "He must know; it is vital to his future. He cannot be protected
by Hogwarts anymore."
"I know!" Sirius barked as he
stood up suddenly and began to pace back and forth. "James should be here!
He should be telling Harry." Sirius stopped pacing and lifted his head
towards the ceiling, tears pooling in his eyes. He crossed his arms and resumed
his pacing. I hate it when he does that! Especially when he has a good
reason to be nervous.
"Sirius, this conversation has been
a long time in coming. You know that. It must happen. It is going to happen.
Let’s not think about it anymore. The conversation will take care of itself.
Harry is strong and will be able to face it. In the meantime, let’s focus on
the evening’s festivities."
Sirius smirked at this suggestion.
Remus continued. "You know, we will
have a lot of fun tonight, too. No reason to be so down trodden. It’s not like you
made the meal! Katie’s making a wonderful dinner. Everyone we care most about
will be here. We will be starting a whole summer with Harry in the house. You
have Harry’s and my birthday parties to plan, not to mention two godsons to
spoil rotten and corrupt. Things are looking brighter!" Remus clapped
Sirius on the back. Sirius managed a weak smile. They walked down the hall to
the front room, where Liz was descending the staircase, dressed in emerald
green robes that showed off her bright hazel eyes. Her dark blonde hair
cascaded over her robes so that her face was beautifully framed as her eyes
shone brightly at Sirius.
Sirius gazed up at her, all thoughts of
Harry apparently having temporarily fled his mind as a smile began to grow on
his face. "You know, Moony, I think you might be right!" Sirius
reached up and took Liz’s hand in both of his and gave it a gentle kiss. Thank
Liz came and stood next to Sirius, her
hand still in his. "Has Katie come down?"
"No," Remus replied, "not
yet. She shouldn’t be that much longer."
"Good. Then we can all set the table
for dinner while we wait." Liz always was good at taking charge of things.
The mahogany table was soon set with the
Lupins’ best china and glasses. The china had been in his father’s family for
several generations. The two birds on the blue oriental inspired Weeping Willow
pattern made him feel like he was flying free above the worries of life. The
china also spoke of home, where Remus always knew he was loved unconditionally
and that meant everything to him.
Katie soon joined her husband, Sirius,
and Liz. Instead of the usual Muggle attire she preferred, she was wearing her
dusty rose coloured robes that Remus adored on her. She leaned against Remus’
shoulder as he began rubbing her back. <I>Even Katie understands the
significance of this evening; of the histories and destinies to be told here…in
our home. Ours. </I>
"Is everything ready, then?"
Sirius was tapping his watch with his index finger again. He started fussing
with the table settings, making sure everything was exactly straight and
centered at each place. Everyone else’s eyes were following his movements. He
bent over the dining table with one eye closed tightly and held his thumb out
in front of his other eye, carefully aligning the table settings. He appeared
to be concentrating quite hard on this task – as if it were a matter of life or
"Would you like a hand, Padfoot? Can
I get you anything? Ruler? Leveller? Sextant?"
Sirius looked up at Remus with a start.
The very corners of his mouth raised in the tiniest of smiles. "There’s
that sarcasm nobody believes you have, Moony." Sirius bent over the table
"Mr Black, I think it is time we
chill the pumpkin juice and Butterbeers," suggested Liz, putting her arm
around Sirius’ and pulling him away from the place settings with a wink to
Remus and Katie. "I am sure they would find ice cold drinks more enjoyable
than perfectly aligned dishes!"
"I apologise, Miss Harker. I just
want everything to be perfect tonight for Harry… I mean for all of them. It’s
such an important night!" Sirius was fidgeting as he tried to get out of
the hold Liz had on his arm.
Liz cupped Sirius’ face in her hand and
pulled it in front of her own face. She looked him straight in the eyes in her
no-nonsense fashion. "It will be, Mr Black. All they care about is having
a good time together and with us. You know Harry is just as anxious to see you
as you are to see him."
Sirius nodded slightly but started
fidgeting once again, trying to straighten a fork that was still within his
"Just think of all those stories we
can tell Harry now that he is out of Hogwarts." suggested Remus brightly,
trying to help Liz in settling Sirius’ nerves.
"Come on, Sirius!" said Katie.
"I need you out of the way so I can start dinner. Heaven knows I would not
trust you with the cooking!" she sniggered.
Sirius straightened up and looked at all
of their faces. "It would seem my presence is not wanted here. Fine. I am
quite certain that young Master Lupin would not mind a visit from his
godfather. Perhaps I can wake him up from his nap and teach him some of the
finer points of being a Beater. It should come in handy when he gets to
Katie opened her mouth to reply. However,
Sirius was too fast for her. He had already left the room and bolted up the
stairs bellowing in a singsong voice, "MALCOLM! Are you ready to have lots
of fun?" before Katie had realised what Sirius was up to.
Liz put her hand firmly on Remus’ shoulder.
"And you’ve known him how long? Typical Sirius… one minute he’s totally
depressed and as nervous as a cat and the next he’s as happy as you are in
front of the Chocolate Frogs display at Honeydukes! Still, there is something
about him you’ve just got to love!" She withdrew her arm and sighed.
"I suppose someone ought to go up there and serve as chaperone for those
two, although it’s not Malcolm that I’m worried will destroy the room!"
Liz followed Sirius up the stairs as a toddler’s giggles could clearly be heard
erupting on the second story.
"It’s amazing the way Malcolm is
always so cheerful when Sirius wakes him up; why can’t he ever be like that for
us?" remarked Remus.
Katie eyed Remus with concern. "Is
Sirius going to be alright?"
"Certainly. He’s just all wound up
right now, that’s all. Sirius is torn between wishing Harry would arrive post
haste and worrying about his reactions to tonight’s revelations." Remus’
grey eyes wandered as he looked out the dining room window at the spot where
the Portkey would shortly be depositing Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny.
Katie followed her husband’s line of
vision with her own eyes. "He’s not the only one feeling that way, I dare
Remus turned back to her and softly
pressed his lips upon her cheek. "Katie, love, I never could get one past
you, could I?" Her eyes sparkled as he gently stroked her cheek with the
back of his hand.
"Right, then," he said all at
once. "Let’s finish our dinner preparations so we can help Liz peel Sirius
off of the walls!"