The Sugar Quill
Author: Thing1 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Veritas  Chapter: Prologue
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***

Malcolm did try, very hard, to look even vaguely interested in the baby.

"Whatíd you name him?"

"What did you name him, Malcolm," stressed him father, softly, with an amused expression.

Malcolm rolled his eyes at his father and looked back at Sirius. "What DID you name him, Sirius?"

Sirius laughed. I love this boy.

"Griffin. What do you think?" He ignored Remusí expression of delight and amusement.

"Thatís a good name, at leastÖ." Remus and Sirius grinned at each other, and Remus shook his head. Sirius handed the baby to Remus, then picked up Malcolm and held him closely.

"Weíd thought you might choose ĎJamesí, you know," said Remus, looking at Griffin.

"No, same reason as you not choosing it. James is Harryís name to use, if and when he ever bothers to get married and have a few kids."

Remus laughed. "Heís 22 Padfoot; heís got a little time. Malcolm wasnít born until I was 37. And here you are atÖ."

"Yes, yes. Letís not say it out loud, shall we, Moony?" Sirius turned his attention to Malcolm. "Iím glad you like the name. Itís very important to me that you think that. You need to help me with him, you know. Make sure he grows up as wonderful as you."

Malcolm suddenly looked very sad. "ThenÖthen you should bring him back home. So we can all be togetherÖ." He started to cry softly and buried his head on Siriusí shoulder. Donít, please Malcolm. It broke my heart to leave that house. You didnít understand that I wasnít leaving you.

"Malcolm, please. I love you so much and I hate to see you cry," Sirius told him quietly, patting the boy on the back. He looked at Remus, who looked concerned, but Remus quickly turned his attention to Griffin, who was now waking up.

Malcolm had been miserable after Sirius had moved out of the Lupinís home a little over a year ago. He said little, but had climbed onto his fatherís lap and cried quietly almost everyday for a week. Remus and Katie had tried to cheer him up, but Malcolm was far too young to understand everything that had happened, and that Siriusí departure was a good thing.

Sirius had also been somewhat miserable himself, knowing how hard Malcolm was taking the turn of events. He was just the most wonderful thing in my life for so long. Katie said I was spoiling him, but Malcolmís far too much like Remus to ever be spoiled. Cares too much about everyone else to be so selfish.

"Malcolm?"

Malcolm stopped crying and looked at Sirius. The brave face. This will become the defiant face pretty soon, I guarantee it. That thought made Sirius grin. "Listen you, Iím still here when you need me; you know that. Always."

Malcolm nodded, and looked at Remus, who smiled at him. Malcolm smiled back at his father, and then looked back at Sirius, and sighed. "I know. Sorry to blub." Sirius and Remus both laughed at this.

"Blub away, boy. Lord knows we blubed enough over you."

Malcolm patted Sirius on the cheek, as he was want to do with the people he loved the most, and Sirius turned him so he sat on his knee, facing Remus and the baby. "Now, I know Griffin there is not much fun at the moment, but I promise heíll improve with age. Honestly."

Malcolm looked at the baby thoughtfully for a few moments. Then he smiled up at his father again.

"Was I that small?"

"Indeed."

"Can he do magic yet?" Sirius smiled at Remus, who grinned back at him, obviously thinking the same thought.

"Not for a while, Malcolm. You only just started yourself, you know. And youíre almost six; Griffinís only four days old, so I guess thereís not much to be expected of him." Sirius gave Malcolm a wink. "You know what? I think Iíll have to agree with you about babies. They are a bit useless, arenít they?"

Malcolm raised his eyebrows and glanced at Remus with a very surprised expression on his face.

"Sirius Black," said Remus, pretending to sound stern and formal, "we are not to say such things. Even if we do think them. Right, son?"

But Malcolm was now wearing a rather wicked looking grin that bode no good. "Well, I didnít say it."

"But you did think it, my little marauder, didnít you?" said his mother, walking up and picking him up off of Sirius. She raised an eyebrow at Sirius, but he just gave Katie an equally dangerous smile. "Thanks for setting our parenting skills back another two months. Careful with all this Liz," she said over her shoulder, as Liz appeared behind her. "Never turn your back on him. Or the other one, for that matter." She smiled Remus, who was still pretending to look stern. Malcolm wasnít buying it though, and wriggled free of his mother to go stand next to Remus and give the baby a closer look. He leaned into his fatherís shoulder and looked at Griffin, now fussing quietly in Remusí arms.

The adults watched without speaking, all looking a little amused, and finally Malcolm looked up again and spoke.

"I guess he is special, isnít he?"

Sirius felt tears come into his eyes at that, and his smile shook at bit. "Oh, very special, Malcolm. Just like you." You were the first miracle weíd had in a long, long time. And you made us all so happy, despite everything that was going on. He caught Lizí eye, and gave his wife a wink. Well, it wasnít all that terrible, I guess.

//
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