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James Gets His Girl

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Upon hearing the third crash that afternoon from the living room, Remus wondered to himself what had possessed him to agree to mind three boys, all under the age of eleven, for an indefinite amount of time while the parents of the youngest two were in London. Sighing, he set down his towel and the glass he was drying, having been taking a break to do the dishes the muggle way as opposed to just magicking them clean while the boys played. Apparently, it was destined to be a short-lived break.

The scene that greeted him was a chaotic jumble of blankets, sofa cushions and the curtains, for some ridiculous reason, along with one of the dining chairs that was on its back, presumably the cause of the crash. How it even got into the room was a question for a different time but he was fairly certain Teddy had something to do with it because it wasn’t there just ten minutes ago when Remus left the boys to play. Before he could even address the three giggling children, though, the fireplace turned green and Remus noticed that another chair had been toppled in front of it. 

“Sirius, wait!” he called but it was too late. The man in question stepped into the room and immediately tripped, an armful of books going flying and a pained groan sounding from the heap in dress robes.

“Why’s there a chair in front of the fireplace?” Sirius muttered as he rolled onto his back and pushed the offending piece of furniture away with his foot.

“Are you alright, Pads?” Remus called as three boys scrambled out of the blankets to see what had happened.

Sirius sighed but nodded. “Would be better without a textbook landing on my hip but yeah, I’m fine…”

Remus nodded slightly, looking again to the fort that had most likely been engineered by his own son. “Teddy, Oliver, Connor; get over here right now.”

The oldest of the three scrambled to face his father, knowing that tone well enough to know that playtime was over whether he liked it or not. As a toddler it had lead to some rather significant temper tantrums that Remus had done his best to forget about in the years since. As the other two, a skinny little four year old with James's hazel eyes and dark brown hair and his almost-two year old brother, the spitting image of Harry, ambled to stand in front of Remus, he was reminded why he hated dealing with toddlers. Connor immediately started crying for the second time that day while Oliver looked torn between giving a sheepish smile like his ten year old idol and grizzling like his little brother. Remus took a deep breath and then knelt down.

“Wipe that smile off your face, Edward Remus, and tell me what the three of you are doing,” Remus demanded of Teddy, drawing more wails from Connor and tipping Oliver’s scales towards crying as well.

“We, um… We built a fort and then Connor jumped on the roof and the chair collapsed and fell over. He’s okay, though! No-one got hurt!” Teddy explained, quick to clarify that he hadn’t completely failed in his task to watch over the smaller boys. His hair shifted from teal to dark blonde to match his father’s. Remus took note of that habit but didn’t comment on it. It never got the boy anywhere but he did it without fail whenever Remus was the one disciplining him.

“Yet you tipped over a chair, which should not be in this room, I might add, and left another in front of the fireplace when I have told you repeatedly not to leave things in front of it,” Remus answered, voice still stern without crossing into angry.

Teddy glanced over to where Sirius was now getting to his feet and retrieving the books he’d come home with. Then he averted his eyes and mumbled something that Remus clearly heard to be, “Sorry, Tad.”

“Look at me when you are talking to me,” Remus reminded him.

Teddy looked up, repeating himself a little clearer.

“It isn’t me you should be apologizing to; it’s your dad.” Remus gestured towards Sirius across the room.

Teddy looked over and his hair shifted again, this time to jet black. “Sorry, Dad,” he called over Connor and Oliver. Sirius waved a hand dismissively while righting the chair that he’d tripped over.

“Now I want you to clean up this mess,” Remus told him. Teddy was quick to nod affirmatively and get to picking up the blankets and pillows. Remus watched him for a moment before looking to the other two boys. He took another deep breath before bringing Connor into his arms to try and get him to stop crying.

“I see you’ve had quite the day,” Sirius commented as he came up behind Oliver and scooped him up into his arms.

Remus sighed and stood, picking Connor up with him. The little boy was clinging to his thin sweater and crying onto his shoulder. While Oliver was upset for being in trouble, Remus had a feeling that this little one was more hysterical for needing a nap. He bounced Connor gently and rubbed his back as he used to with Teddy at this age. “See if you can get Ollie to help Teddy clean up and remind him why it’s a bad idea to leave things in front of the fireplace. I’m putting Connor down for a nap.”

“Right. Sorry I had to be gone so long for that lecture,” Sirius answered, already getting his own little boy calmer.

Remus just nodded and left the room. It wasn’t Sirius’s fault that one of the leading researchers on lycanthropy treatment was speaking on the very same day that Ginny had gotten ill enough with the pregnancy of her third child to need to go to St. Mungo’s and her two boys needed someone to watch over them while Harry was at her side. He supposed that missing their parents might also be playing into the boys’ fussiness, particularly Connor’s. Oliver had always been independent, mobile fairly early and getting into mischief as soon as possible, staying close enough to his parents to be safe but not minding to be across the room doing his own thing even as a toddler. Connor was most definitely a daddy’s boy, though, wanting to cling to Harry whenever he could. His parents were trying to encourage him to be a little more independent with some success, his brother helping now that he was old enough to speak to him and coax him into playing together. Time away from them was always difficult though and Remus had spent the first hour of their impromptu visit with the little boy in his lap crying his eyes out while Teddy and Oliver went to play in Teddy’s room.

Once in the relative calm of his bedroom, Remus was able to get Connor to settle down further. He had earlier transfigured the armchair in the corner into a cot and set the boy in it now, rubbing his tummy and singing to him until he properly quieted and fell asleep. Then he sighed and ran a hand over his own face. How Harry and Ginny had dealt with two boys under the age of three when Connor was born was beyond him. Raising one was enough for him. Luckily, Teddy had not been near as fussy as Connor outside of his toddler years when everything was a fight. Being screamed at by a tiny version of himself because rocks were deemed inedible and wands were not playthings was something Remus only wanted to live once. Coupled with constant appearance morphs during those tantrums, parenting was an absolute nightmare for about two years. He had been so glad to get his laidback son back not long after his third birthday. While he was happy to help Harry and Ginny by taking the boys off their hands every once in a while, he was certainly happy to be able to give them back as well.

“They’re reading in Teddy’s room,” Sirius’s soft voice announced behind him, arms going around his waist. Remus felt himself smile. He’d known the man was approaching but hadn’t expected him to come up behind him and hug him. “You alright, Moony?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Remus settled his hands on Sirius’s arms and took another deep breath.

“Mmm, you seemed a bit frazzled just now.” Sirius kissed his neck in what he knew was an attempt to distract him for whatever he felt like Remus was bothered by.

“I had a screaming toddler in my arms. Of course I was frazzled,” Remus retorted, rolling his eyes and subconsciously slouching somewhat to make it easier for Sirius to account for their height difference. He felt Sirius’s lips smirk against his skin while his own smile widened.

“Yes, well, that does make sense, I suppose,” Sirius agreed, his voice somewhat muffled. When he lifted his head, he settled his chin on Remus’s shoulder. “Coffee?”

“I would love some. And then you can tell me all about whatever supposed advances they are making in the field of healing.” Remus was always skeptical about people working with lycanthropy but had to admit that there was sometimes some good that came out of it. Most of it was brushed under the rug and ignored, good or otherwise, because people just didn’t care. In the last decade, that had gotten better in light of his own efforts at Hogwarts but it was still an uphill battle for werewolves to be completely accepted in society. He turned in Sirius’s arms and saw the man light up, though. At least he had one person completely on his side and, lucky for him, that one person was also incredibly skilled at healing and had recently devoted himself to treating lycanthropy as well.

Sirius snagged his arm as they parted, guiding Remus from the room and into the kitchen where their small dining table was currently covered in Teddy’s homework. The boy had a book report due upon his return to school in September and also had a maths workbook to be finishing. He whined regularly about having to do muggle homework and that he wanted to be at Hogwarts as he had been for the first five years of his life but Remus reminded him, time and time again, that if it wasn’t for attending the primary school local to their cottage in Yorkshire, he’d be dealing with a tutor instead. Sirius had told him horror stories about working with tutors, of course neglecting to mention that if they got him a tutor it wouldn’t be one who was so bigoted or outrageously strict. Accepting homework and primary school as the lesser of two evils, especially considering the fact that Sirius still dropped him off and picked him up via floo to Hogsmeade every day so he did still actually live at Hogwarts most of the year, Teddy usually gave in and worked on his homework for about an hour a day each summer. 

“Any word from Prongslet yet?” Sirius asked as Remus set to clearing the table somewhat.

“Albus stopped by just after you left this morning with a note saying that Ginny’s healer thought she was going into early labor but that she was stable for now. Since she’s only a week earlier than expected, supposedly the healer is going to let it take its course and see what happens. We may end up with the boys overnight but Harry said he would come by in person if that was the case. I haven’t heard anything since,” Remus explained calmly.

Sirius came over with two cups of coffee, setting one in front of Remus before sitting down at the table. He smiled when Remus murmured, “Diolch,” and then reclined in the chair.

“One week isn’t really a problem. So long as there aren’t complications otherwise.”

“That was what I figured. Harry didn’t seem too worried in his letter,” Remus answered, sipping calmly at his cup. In his years of knowing his godson, he’d gotten rather adept at figuring out Harry’s mood from his written words. He wrote of irrelevant things or wrote in clipped sentences when he was upset about something. If he was happy about something, he tended to ramble on and on about it, carrying the way he spoke into his letters. In this particular letter, he’d obviously been rushed as he was at his wife’s side expecting their third child any time now but he’d given enough detail to express that while he was worried, he wasn’t overly stressed out.

“Ginny’ll be fine.” Sirius set down his cup and glanced towards the door as the sound of the boys now playing again instead of reading drifted down the stairs.

Remus nodded, ignoring the noises as it seemed like no-one was getting hurt for now, and then met eyes with Sirius. “So about your lecture?”

Sirius grinned and launched into an explanation of the research being done on not only the treatment of lycanthropy but into better understanding what it actually was and how it affected the body and mind of those afflicted. It was still early days but findings were suggesting that the condition was a bloodborne curse rather than altering the genetic makeup of the afflicted, thereby confirming the hopeful suspicion that Teddy had truly managed to escape without inheriting it from his father. Sexual contact clearly did not transmit the curse either but there were still ongoing studies into whether an infected mother could pass it on to her unborn child since many people were still unwilling to really share their condition even for the sake of medical research to better their lives. The stigma, though better than it had been, was still too heavy a burden to bear for most. The rest of the research just confirmed what Remus already knew: the body of a werewolf literally tore itself apart to reform into a new shape rather than magically transfiguring into an animal as an animagus could do and the mental state of the cursed individual while in wolf form became something of a second personality that ebbed and flowed with the tidal pull of the moon. The Wolfsbane Potion affected the mental state more than the physical and now that it was better understood what it was actually doing, research was being put into improving its effects along with making it more palatable. Of course, Sirius had already been experimenting with that in the safety of their own home when they had full moons away from Hogwarts and had been met with both hopeful improvements and stark failures. It also turned out that a lot of the old, obscure remedies Sirius had found in the restricted section of the Hogwarts library years ago were being brought back into the forefront of healing with trials being done on more widespread use of tailored treatments for the symptoms of lycanthropy. Sirius, at least, seemed hopefully optimistic about it all. Remus, having dealt with the actual effects of the curse rather than the clinical descriptions of it in research papers for some forty-four years remained more cynical about the supposed improvements. He smiled for Sirius, though, and was quietly thankful for his dedication.

“Tad!” came a yell from the stairs followed by thundering steps of too-rough little boys.

“Uncle Remus!” a second, squeakier call sounded.

Remus sighed, smiled and shook his head. He and Sirius had been talking for well over an hour and he was genuinely surprised that Teddy and Oliver had lasted that long without vying for someone’s attention. “Yes?”

Both boys burst into the room, grinning mischievously. Teddy had resorted to his typical teal hair now though his eyes were still natural, his father’s. He didn’t often change them, happier to just mess with his hair much as his mother had been wont to do. Oliver was all smiles again, his earlier upset clearly long forgotten.

“Can we go outside and play quidditch?” Teddy asked.

“Quidditch with a four year old?” Remus asked, deadpan.

“We’ll be careful! We’ll stay close to the ground and everything! We’ll be alright. I was on a broom by his age,” Teddy pleaded.

“Only because your godfather wants to give me a heart attack at every possible moment,” Remus answered with a good-natured sigh.

Sirius laughed and stood. “I’ll watch them and make sure no-one dies.”

“How comforting,” Remus retorted.

“So we can?” Teddy looked to Sirius with a possibly even wider grin.

“Yes. Go on.” Sirius shooed both boys out the back door. They both went whooping excitedly. “Go check on Connor. Weather’s nice. He can play outside, maybe, while those two Mini-Marauders are airborne.”

Remus rolled his eyes but smiled and nodded, heading to the bedroom while Sirius joined the older boys to help them get their brooms. Connor was still asleep but didn’t seem to complain about being picked up and cuddled. He slept in Remus’s arms for a while under a tree while his brother and cousin, for lack of a better term, played with Sirius. It made for a peaceful end to the day while they waited on word from Harry about arrangements for the evening.

Chapter Text

Harry arrived just after dinner. He was all smiles and laughs as Connor and Oliver practically bowled him over when he stepped through the fireplace. Drawing both boys into his arms, he stood and spun them around as they both squealed, “Daddy!”

“Hi, Uncle Harry!” Teddy called from across the room where he had been working on a puzzle with Sirius on the coffee table but was now far more interested in his godfather’s sudden appearance.

“Prongslet!” Sirius greeted, grinning at the young man.

Remus set aside the toys he and Potter boys had been playing with on the floor and stood to greet his godson, a soft smile on his face. “Hello, Harry. We have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. Some more eager than others.” 

“I can tell, blimey. It’s like I haven’t seen these two in weeks rather than hours.” Harry grinned and hugged his boys close, one on each hip. Connor rested on his shoulder while Oliver launched into a full explanation of everything that he had done that day, starting with breakfast pancakes Sirius had made before he left, much to Remus’s complaints about the sheer amount of syrup he poured all over them, and then the assorted games that Oliver and Teddy had played while Remus read to Connor to calm him down. After that, Connor had joined in playing and they had built things with lego and played toy cars and made a train track that spanned the entire length of the living room and then Remus made them lunch. According to Oliver, Sirius’s pancakes were better than Remus’s ham and cheese toasties. Sirius smirked across at Remus at that comment and Remus just rolled his eyes. The story continued to tell of the fort the three of them had made while Remus did the dishes, conveniently left out that they’d all gotten in trouble for it, and went on to tell about Teddy reading stories to Oliver and then they started playing with his toys before they played outside for the rest of the afternoon. Harry listened with rapt attention as the story went on with Oliver scoring goals against Sirius and Teddy in quidditch and Teddy showing him how to do a loop-de-loop, which Remus had cringed at seeing the boys attempt despite Sirius being there to catch them when they inevitably fell. Oliver finally went silent after detailing their dinner of bangers and mash with baked beans, cooked by Sirius with Teddy’s help while Remus gave Oliver and Connor a bath for having gotten all dirty playing outside, and then telling all about the toy animals they were playing with before Harry came. He especially liked the way that Remus made them all walk around and make believable sound effects and informed his father that the cheetah was his favorite because it ran fast.

Harry was sitting in the only armchair in the room with Connor in his lap and Oliver bouncing excitedly beside him by the time the story was finally done. Remus and Sirius had settled on the couch, Remus wearing a bemused smile and Sirius laughing at the way Harry just kept nodding and smiling at his son, encouraging his story-telling with amused questions and awed exclamations. Teddy had decided to settle between the two of them, grinning and giggling at his cousin’s tale of their day together. Remus remembered when Teddy had been Oliver’s age and had done much the same thing with him whenever he came back from teaching, regaling him with adventures he’d had with Sirius through the day. Only such tiny children could possibly talk so much without running out of steam and Sirius had certainly lived up to his promise to train the boy as a Mini-Marauder so there was no shortage of things to tell about.

“You had quite the day, huh?” Harry commented to his son as the little boy snuggled up next to him. Oliver nodded, tired out from having told his whole story with little to no breaks. “I’m glad you had fun.” The little boy grinned when Harry ruffled his hair.

“So, Prongslet, now that Mini-Prongs is done, tell us if we have a third little fawn to dote on yet,” Sirius prompted, grinning when Harry rolled his eyes.

“You and the deer jokes, I swear, Sirius.”

“You know you love it.” Sirius smirked.

“Be glad he can’t do anything too stupid with it. He went through a phase of calling Teddy Moonpie…” Remus added. Teddy stared at him and then at Sirius with wide eyes. “You were too little to remember. I put a stop to it pretty quickly.”

“The Great Moony, Destroyer of All Things Fun!” Sirius lamented, a hand on his heart as he closed his eyes.

“Destroyer of All Things Stupid, you mean.”

Teddy and Harry both laughed at that while Sirius gave Remus a mock hurt expression and feigned ignoring him by turning away from him. “See what I have to put with, Prongslet?”

“Don’t bring me into your domestic spats,” Harry retorted.

Remus snorted a laugh before bringing the conversation back to the original question. “On that note, do tell us what news you have. How is Ginny?”

Harry’s smile widened and his emerald eyes lit up. “Ginny’s great. So unbelievably brave and amazing. She resting now and they’re keeping her overnight but she should be able to come home in a day or two.”

“Is Mummy okay?” Oliver asked at his side.

“Yeah, Ollie, Mummy’s fine. She’s just tired. She was working hard all day,” Harry answered, looking down at the little boy staring up at him.

“So… little fawn the third?” Sirius prompted again.

Harry grinned as he looked up at his godfathers again. “A little girl! We have a daughter!”

Remus couldn’t keep a matching grin from spreading across his face even as Sirius punched his arm playfully across Teddy. He’d talked Remus into betting on whether the baby would be a boy or a girl but Remus didn’t even care that he’d lost that bet. With two boys already, he’d bet on a third but Sirius had been positive it would be a girl. He seemed to have an uncanny ability to predict that sort of thing despite claiming since childhood that divination was worthless. It was, though, the only thing he had ever beaten Remus in bets with.

“What have you named her?” Remus asked.

Harry gave him a sheepish smile. “We haven’t yet, actually. We both thought she’d be another boy so we never considered girls’ names. I mean… Lily will be her middle name. We both agreed to that but we didn’t want to give our kids the same names as my parents. And Molly’s out too, for the same reason and because of Percy’s little girl. That’s just way too awkward.”

“Makes sense,” Sirius answered. “Better than my dear old family. Did you know I’m the third Sirius Black? Would it have killed them to have come up with a more original name? Pureblood mania for ya, I tell you. Gotta carry on the traditional names in favor of originality.”

“Evelynn,” Remus suggested, stalling Sirius’s sarcastic and steadily dark-turning rant with a pensive expression on his face. 

Harry stared at him and then cocked his head. “Evelynn? Is that a Welsh name?”

Remus shook his head. “No. Actually, I’m not sure of its origin. Possibly Irish, possibly English. James never said where it came from. It was his favorite girls’ name, though.”

“Evelynn Lily Potter...” Harry tried out the name and then smiled. “I like the way that sounds. I’ll ask Ginny what she thinks when I go back to her later.”

“James had said when you were born that he wanted to name your sister that. He quite badly wanted a little girl to spoil,” Remus told him, the same pensive smile on his face. James and Lily had wanted another child, but after the war. If they’d survived, Remus suspected he’d have been godfather to a whole brood of little Potter children. As fate would have it, it was their son now fulfilling that dream for them.

“Ya hear that, Prongs? Finally got your little girl!” Sirius called out to nobody in particular, conjuring a wispy image of a family of deer to trot about the room, a tiny little fawn hopping along with her mother while two adult stags and another doe watched on and two little stags coming into their antlers played among them. They were not unlike patronuses in appearance, just smaller. Oliver clapped at the image excitedly and Harry grinned, watching them prance around until they faded.

Chapter Text

Remus held his son's hand as they walked down the road from Hogwarts towards the gates of the school grounds, bundled in their autumn coats. Teddy was sporting black and orange hair at present and was singing in Welsh. Sirius was whistling Nos Galan Gaeaf for his adopted son at his side, his hair tied back and a scarf wrapped loosely around his neck against the chill October air. Remus was just smiling bemusedly as they reached their destination. 

"Alright, enough singing. Save it for Lily and James," he told them. Sirius grinned and Teddy laughed but they both obliged. Remus just rolled his eyes and looked to Sirius. "I'll see you at the church."

Sirius winked and gave a casual salute before Remus and Teddy disapparated. They appeared outside a small church with a vast graveyard splayed out behind it. It was a familiar location, visited every year in lieu of attending the annual Hogwarts Halloween Feast. Remus much preferred the quiet intimacy of family gatherings over the raucous banquets anyway. As Sirius appeared beside him, Harry called his name. He turned to see the young family approaching down the street towards them. Oliver ran on ahead, leaping into Sirius's open arms and immediately chatting his ear off. Connor clutched his father's hand in earnest, his pale face obscured by a fluffy scarf so only the eyes he shared with Harry and Lily were visible under a scruff of untidy Potter hair. Ginny and Harry walked hand in hand, both beaming at Remus and Sirius, and the newest member of the family was gently cradled in a harness on Ginny's chest. A tiny little head of ginger hair tucked into a hand-knit hat embroidered with a fancy capital E peered about with dark curious eyes. She, like her brothers, had inherited her mother's freckles. Remus smiled at her and offered her his finger.

"Hello, cornyn," he greeted when she grasped it in a tiny hand and looked at him. His smile widened when she graced him with one of her own.

"She is always smiling, this little monster," Ginny commented affectionately. "Even when she's sleeping."

"Could be worse. She could be changing her appearance on you every few hours like a certain somebody," Sirius commented.

"Dad!" Teddy whined, getting a Marauder grin for his trouble.

"Hey, come on. Think of all the mischief you can make when you go to Hogwarts next year," Sirius answered.

"He can do without your bad influence, Padfoot," Remus countered.

"Too late for that," Sirius sang as he hoisted Oliver onto his shoulders and headed into the cemetery.

Harry laughed and followed, releasing Ginny's hand to clap his godson on the shoulder. "C'mon, Ted. Don't mind him."

Teddy rolled his eyes but gave Harry a good natured smile as he walked with him and Connor. "You don't have to live with him."

"True enough." Harry grinned and lead the boys to follow Sirius.

"How do you put up with him?" Ginny asked, shaking her head as she and Remus were left alone with the baby.

Remus shrugged. "The same way you put up with my godson, I imagine. A healthy dose of sarcasm and calling him out on his stupidity."

"I heard that!" came both Harry's and Sirius's raised voices in chorus, to which both their partners laughed.

Remus took his hand back and gestured to follow the others. "Shall we?" he asked around an amused grin.

The walk through the grounds was respectfully quiet once the laughter had settled. Oliver pointed out gravestones that he thought looked interesting now that he was old enough to notice them and then grinned and waved when they reached the double wide marker they sought. The headstone of Lily and James Potter had been lovingly cared for over the past few years, the white marble shining in the late October sun. Fresh flowers, always containing a single white lily, adorned the grave in a simple vase and a collection of gifts sat in a little chest, charmed for protection from the elements. A tiny bear sat in it, the oldest in the collection, along with other trinkets and more recently drawings and baby items. Under the engraved epitaph were new words, magically carved into the stone to signify those who still loved them even after they were gone.

Harry settled beside the grave, smiling as he reached up to his wife for the baby girl in her arms. Ginny handed her over and sat beside him, drawing Connor into her lap. Remus and Sirius sat too, Oliver in Sirius's lap while Teddy sat beside Harry.

"Sorry we haven't been by in a couple months," Harry said to the picture of his parents that Remus had charmed onto the stone the second time they'd visited the grave together. It had become an annual memorial for the small family and had eventually become something to look forward to rather than a reason to get upset. "Things have been a little busy in Godric's Hollow lately. But we're here with everyone now. And we have someone new for you to meet this time."

Harry took his wand and then pointed it to the inscribed names. "Mum, Dad, meet Evelynn." The words shifted on the stone, adding his daughter's name to the list of those who continued their legacy.

Lovingly remembered by friends and family left behind:

Sirius Orion Black, Remus John Lupin and Edward Remus Lupin

Harry James Potter, Ginevra Molly Potter, Oliver James Potter, Connor Frederick Potter and Evelynn Lily Potter

"Evie, this is your nanny and grandad," Harry told the little girl when he set his wand aside. He reached out to touch the picture of his parents and smiled when she followed his finger with her gaze. The little image of James and Lily waved at her as if they recognized her presence and she smiled at them.

Remus pulled out a photo of the family he'd taken when they went to visit Evelynn for her homecoming. In it, Harry and Ginny were holding her together while Connor and Oliver peeked in as close as possible to see their new baby sister. Sirius had written beneath it the same message he'd called out when they had learned the news, using the same charm Remus had crafted in their youth to make it talk when touched. He set the picture in the chest of little mementos and smiled at the picture of his friends. He still missed them dearly but time and loving the family they'd left behind made the ache less pronounced. Sharing stories and celebrating their lives rather than dwelling on their deaths made it easier to go on living while still loving them, in much the same way as sharing and celebrating Dora's life with Teddy as he grew made the pain of their shared loss easier to bear. 

A hand settled on his leg and Remus looked over to find Sirius smiling serenely at him. He returned the smile and took comfort from the simple touch, knowing Sirius needed it as much as he did. Ginny was doing much the same with Harry, an arm around him while he spoke to his parents about their family. 

They spent the afternoon sharing stories and telling James and Lily about all that was going on in their lives lately. It had become an annual ritual and even though a few tears were inevitably shed before they left, laughter and smiles and amusing stories shared by the children and adults alike had them all in a good mood as they walked back through the small town to the Potter family home Harry had recently reclaimed and restored. Though he had been against it at first, Remus now found a certain amount of peace in knowing that Harry was sharing with his own family a place so near and dear to his parents' hearts. The house that had once been his childhood home was now the house his children called home and the house that finally had a little girl for James.