- Character Bashing
- Death-Minor Character
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Alternate Universe
- Fix It
A/N 2 Thanks for coming on this journey with me, and for all your support. I expect the story to grow some in edits.
Sirius apparated into the receiving room of the Gueron family home and looked around. It was an ancient and beautiful space, and Sirius could feel the magic emanating from the wards. If he’ meant the residents of the manor any arm he would have bounced right off of them, if he was lucky. Some ancient wards were more zealous in their protections.
He stepped out of the circle and turned at the sound of his name not at all surprised to find Agnes Gueron herself waiting for him.
She stepped forward to greet him. Sirius took her hand in his and kissed it. “Madame, it is a pleasure to see you again,” he told her.
Agnes smiled at him brightly. “You always were too charming for your own good, Heir Black. Please call me Agnes. After all, we fought together during the war, and I’ve known your grandfather for many years.”
Sirius nodded. That was true though they hadn’t interacted much. Sirius had spent most of his time in London and then protecting James and Lily. He’s heard plenty of stories; Chief War Mage Agnes Gueron was a legend.
“Thank you, Agnes. I’m Sirius, please.”
“Sirius, I’m happy to see you safe and free. I am sorry for what was done to you. I find it quite offensive both professionally and personally. I’m glad the British Wizagamon saw fit to correct their grievous error.”
“I am too,” Sirius said. “I appreciate all you did to help Harry and keep him safe.”
Before Agnes could answer, they were interrupted by a portrait on the wall. There was a beautiful blond woman in a long white wedding dress in it. She called out and waved to Sirius. When Sirius greeted her she blew him a kiss. “Aren’t you a handsome devil?” she said. “Just as good looking as that muggle that’s been hanging around.”
Sirius laughed. “Thank you, Ma’am, you’re beautiful yourself.”
Agnes huffed. “Don’t encourage her. She’s an incorrigible flirt.” Agnes turned to the painting, “Not right now, Cybil. You can talk to him later.”
“Well I never,” Cybil huffed. She puffed up in indignation and stormed out of her portrait.
Sirius chuckled, and Agnes sighed. “She always did have a flair for the dramatic.”
Just then his grandfather apparated in behind him. He had stayed behind to give some last minute instructions to Kreacher. He’d been prepared to travel much more quickly than Sirius had expected. He had tried to discourage his grandfather from making the trip. He didn’t want to disrupt his life. His father insisted they were safer together and in the end, he’d been forced to agree. He was grateful for his grandfather’s support.
Agnes looked up and smiled “Arcturus, I didn’t know you were coming. It so good to see you.” She stepped forward and much to Sirius’ amusement his grandfather pulled her into a hug and kissed both her cheeks.
He smiled brightly at her. “Agnes, my dear. You look beautiful as ever. In fact, you haven’t changed a bit.”
She chuckled and waved her hand dismissively. “Rubbish, but I appreciate the sentiment. I see where your grandson gets it.” She looked him up and down in appraisal. “You’re looking well too.”
“I hope you don’t mind my intrusion. We felt it prudent that I accompany Sirius to Paris.”
“No of course not.” She called her head house elf sand asked that another guest room be prepared.
She turned to Sirius. “I’ve had you placed on the same corridor as Tony and Harry. I assumed that’s what you’d want.”
“Yes, thank you. I’m anxious to see Harry.”
“As am I,” His grandfather agreed. “But then later we must talk. I’m afraid Sirius had a disturbing run-in with Albus Dumbledore.”
Sirius stifled a snort. That was an understatement.
Agnes frowned. “I see. Well, I’ll want to hear all about what happened, but first, let’s go upstairs. Some people are anxious to see you. They’re outside in the garden. Tony and Harry spend a lot of time out there.”
Sirius felt his heart skip a beat. He wanted to run all the way to the garden. “Yes, thank you.”
Agnes led the up to the first floor and then out into the garden. Sirius hardly paid attention to his surroundings though he got an impression of elegance and wealth. His mind was solely on the upcoming meeting. What if Harry didn’t recognize him? Don’t be stupid he told himself. Harry loves you as much as you love him.
When they stepped outside Sirius looked around for Harry. He laughed when he caught sight of him. Tony had lifted Harry in his arms and was holding him sideways, and he was flying Harry around the grounds as if Harry were a bird or something. He was making a strange humming noise, and Harry was giggling uncontrollably.
His grandfather and Agnes joined in the laughter, and the noise made Tony stop and turn around.
“More, more” Harry shouted, but Tony slowly lowered him to the ground instead.
“We can play some more later, Buddy. I think you have some people here to see you.” Tony turned toward Sirius, and then he pointed. “Look who’s here.”
Harry looked over at them, and Sirius knew he was grinning like a fool. “Hello, there pup,” he said as he stepped closer.
“It’s okay,” Tony said softly to Harry.
“We’ll leave you three to get acquainted,” Agnes said. “Come inside when you’re ready.”
Sirius felt his grandfather squeeze his shoulder gently and he was grateful for the support. He gave his grandfather a quick smile and a nod. With that Agnes and his grandfather quietly left them alone.
Harry frowned and hugged Tony’s leg hiding his face. Tony rubbed his back. “it’s okay,” he repeated. It’s your godfather Sirius do you remember him?”
Tony looked over at Sirius and through him an apologetic look. “He’s a little shy around new people. Um not that you’re new, but…” he trailed off.
“It’s fine. I understand. He hasn’t seen me in months.”
“I bet he’ll warm up to you quickly. I’m not sure if it’s a new thing or if he’s always been his way.” He held out his hand, “I’m Tony DiNozzo. It’s good to finally meet you.”
Sirius took his hand when their skin touched Sirius felt a spark pass between them. His palm tingled. Tony looked startled too, and he let go. “That was odd,” he commented. Magic I suppose or static electricity.”
Sirius agreed with a chuckle, but he wasn’t so sure. Even now Tony’s touch seemed to linger on his skin.
Harry was still hiding his face. Sirius swallowed hard and told himself not to feel disappointed. “It’s new. He was pretty outgoing for a baby. But after what he’s been through it’s hardly surprising.”
Tony nodded. “Yeah. I guess it isn’t.” They traded a look as understanding passing between them.
“Come closer. It’s okay.” Tony waved him forward.
Sirius stepped closer as Tony picked Harry up. “I’m willing to be patient,” Sirius assured him.” He smiled at Harry and waved at him. “Hello, Harry.”
“Can you say hello?” Tony asked him.
Harry shook his head and turned away.
Sirius felt a stab of pain at the rejection, but he ignored it. “I have changed a bit I suppose,’ he said to Tony. “Lost quite a bit of weight. Azkaban does that I’m afraid.”
A thought occurred to Sirius. “Is it alright if I try something? I think Harry will like it. It involves doing magic.”
Tony nodded. “Of course I’m gotten much more comfortable with it. Go ahead.”
Tony was watching him closely, clearly interested. Sirius felt himself flush a little under his intense gaze. Sirius had the impression that Tony DiNozzo missed very little.
Sirius closed his eyes and concentrated on his animagus form in a second he felt himself shrinking down.
Tony gasped as Sirius turned himself into a dog and barked softly.
Harry gasped too, and then he laughed. “Padfoot, Padfoot!,” he called out making an excited noise and trying to get down. Tony put him down, and Harry toddled over as fast as he could toward the dog. Sirius, it’s a person Tony reminded himself. Harry fell on his butt, but before he could get upset Sirius got close and licked his face making Harry giggle.
Tony watched as Harry petted Sirius and called him Padfoot again. Tony watched their reunion. It was surreal, but also touching. Harry hugged Sirius tightly. Then he crawled onto Sirius back and pretended to ride him. Tony stepped in close to make sure Harry didn’t fall, but he needn’t have worried Sirius was slow and gentle in his movements. Tony felt a strange urge to pet the large dog, but he stifled it. It would just be too weird.
Harry crawled over to his favorite ball and pushed it toward Sirius. It was too big for Sirius to get it in his mouth, so he pushed with his nose. Tony couldn’t help but laugh, and Sirius turned to look at him and winked. It made Tony laugh harder. He never imagined having a dog wink at him, even if that dog was really a person.
Tony watched them play for a while until Harry started getting sleepy. Sirius changed back, and Harry smiled and reached out for him. Sirius picked him up. “Siri,” Harry said sleepily and then lay his head on Sirius’ chest. Sirius bent his head and kissed the top of his head. He didn’t look up, and Tony saw his shoulders shaking. Tony walked back into the house to give him some privacy.
Tony found the others in the sitting room talking amiably. He joined them, and by mutual agreement, they kept to easy, mundane topics for the moment.
He introduced himself to Sirius’ grandfather. He was a tall, elegant man and Tony could see the family resemblance between them.
“I’m sorry I ignore you earlier. I didn’t mean to be rude.”
Arcturus waved that away. “Think nothing of it. It was an important moment for Sirius and Harry.” Arcturus looked at him closely. “And for you as well I think?”
Tony nodded. Yes, it had been. Tony’s first thought had been how attractive Sirius was. He’d seen a picture, but it hadn’t done him justice. It was a shame he was too young for Tony. He was the same age as Lily, so that made Tony a full eight years older than Sirius.
A few minutes later Sirius was led into the sitting room by Bitsy on of the house elves responsible for the garden, Harry still in his arms.
Sirius walked straight over to Tony. “He’s asleep. I’m going to put him to bed if that’s alright?”
Tony stood up. “Of course, you don’t need to ask. I’ll show you the way. It’s easy to get lost in this place.”
Sirius nodded. “Thank you, I’d like that.”
Tony led him up the stair and down several hallways until they reached the nursery.
Once they were inside Sirius, set Harry down in his crib and cast a silencing charm and a monitoring spell. He explained to Tony he’d be notified if Harry woke up.
“Can you do the same for me?” he asked. Posey usually notifies me. She’s the nanny elf, but it would be nice not to have to depend on her all the time. That way she wouldn’t have to be constantly monitoring.”
Sirius looked thoughtful. “Hmm, I’m not sure. I might be able to tie it to an object, but how would you turn it off without magic? Let me think about it. I used to like to tinker with magic and muggle objects when I was younger. Lily wanted to be able to play her music. I was trying to find a way to make her mp3 player work in the magical world before the war.”
Tony was impressed. He hoped Sirius could make it work. He’d heard that making tech and magic work together was something that most magical people had given up as a lost cause. “That sounds like Lily. She loved music and art. Thank you, I appreciate that.”
“I enjoyed listening to her music too. It was something we shared.”
“I’d be interested in hearing some magical bands if you have them?”
“We do. I’d love to hear the type of music you like too.”
“I like a little bit of everything, but I especially like jazz. I play the piano too. I’ve had lessons since I was very young.”
Sirius looked interested. “I’d love to hear you play.”
Tony shrugged. “Maybe when I’ve gotten to know you better. I don’t play for just anyone.”
“Fair enough, but I’ll look forward to it.” He gave Tony a charming smile that made his stomach flutter. Sirius looked around as if noticing his surroundings for the first time. “This is nice,” he said.
Tony nodded. “Yeah, Agnes insisted on redecorating it, and he’s got so many toys. I’ve been spoiling him a bit,” he admitted with a shrug.
Sirius grinned at him. “He deserves it. I brought him several things as well. I can’t wait to give them to him.” Sirius reached out and brushed a lock of hair off Harry’s forehead.
“Well, I hope not one of those brooms because he is too young for them. They are far more dangerous than cars and children aren’t allowed to drive them until they’re sixteen.”
Sirius laughed. Lily had been right. Tony glared at him. “That’s funny to you?’ he asked. “I’m sorry no matter what anyone claims I just don’t see how it can be safe.”
He held up a hand. “No, I’m sorry. It’s just that Lily was of a similar opinion. It’s a bit of an inside joke between us. No brooms I promise. At least not for now, but I think ten should be old enough. He’ll learn at school once he’d turn eleven anyway, and frankly, I’d much rather teach him myself.”
Tony nodded. “Yes, that does sound better. I don’t like the idea of a stranger teaching him.”
Sirius nodded, and the lapsed into a comfortable silence. They watched Harry silently for a while. “Do you think we can make this work?’ Sirius finally asked him.
Tony turned, and their eyes met and held for a long moment. “I think we can. As long as we both put Harry first.”
Sirius nodded. “We will. Dumbledore thinks he has some sort of great destiny. He admitted as much to me. That’s why he had me thrown in prison so that Harry would be defenseless. So that he could do whatever he wanted with him.”
Tony nodded. “I was afraid it was something like that.”
Sirius started. “You guessed?”
“I’m good at putting things together,” Tony said with a shrug. “Dumbledore went to a lot of trouble to get access to Harry he shouldn’t have had.”
“We have to protect him,” Sirius said quietly.
“We will, together, no one will ever hurt him again,” Tony promised. Or Sirius either he added silently. Tony would protect them both. It was a promise he was determined to keep.
A few days later Sirius sat at the breakfast table content with his world. He was amazed by how well things were going. He and Tony were getting along better than he’d hoped. They had a lot to work out of course. Where they were going to live, for a start, they couldn’t stay here forever. Tony also had a job he loved, and a life back in America. Decisions would have to be made and soon. Despite the uncertainty, Sirius was happier than he could remember being in a very long time.
Sirius watched Tony feed Harry his breakfast. Harry liked it when Tony fed him best, and truth be told Sirius didn’t mind. Feeding Harry was a messy business, and both the child and adult involved often needed a bath afterward.
“Siri, Blueberry?” he offered a smooshed berry to Sirius. He leaned forward and pretended to eat it, and Harry giggled.
“He loves these, eats them every day,” Tony said.
“So I’ve noticed.” Harry tried to put another berry in his mouth, and Sirius took it out of his sticky hand.
Agnes entered, greeting them all, and sat down at the table. Once her food appeared in front of her, and she’d eaten some, she looked at Sirius.
“You used to be an auror is that correct?”
“Yes, I trained right out of Hogwarts. I wasn’t one for that long before the war broke out.” Sirius asked for another cup of coffee, and it appeared in front of him after a few seconds. He was grateful to have something to do with his hands.
“Yes, but your test scores were excellent, and your superiors had good things today. Your war record also does you credit.”
Sirius felt his cheeks heat at the unexpected praise. “Thank you, I appreciate it.”
Agnes waved that away. “It’s the truth. Tell me have you thought about what you’re going to do now?”
Sirius shook his head. “No, not yet. I’m pretty happy where I am right now. To m=be honest I don’t need to work, but I’d like to go back to work eventually. I don’t like to be idle.”
“Good. I’m glad to hear it. I think you’d make an excellent War Mage and there’s a place for you in my department if you want it.”
Sirius stared at her for a long moment. “I don’t know what to say. I’m honored, but I’m not sure I’m ready yet.
Agnes took a sip of her tea before answering. “Your honesty does you credit. I understand that you’ve been through an ordeal. You’d have to be cleared by a mind healer and go through training just like any other recruit. Still, I have no doubt you’ll manage. I hope you’ll consider it.”
Sirius nodded, and he grinned. “Thank you. I will definitely consider your offer.”
Agnes nodded. “May I suggest you see a mind healer no matter what you decide. You have a lot to work through, and therapy can be beneficial.”
Sirius nodded, but he didn’t answer. He knew Agnes was right, but he didn’t like the idea of going to see a mind healer. A part of him knew Agnes was right, but he had never been a fan of talking about his feels or of letting someone into his mind.
He felt someone watching him, and looked up to meet Tony’s eyes. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you, it’s unexpected.”
“But deserved, I’m sure.” Tony looked down at his hands. Sirius thought he understood what the other man was feeling.
Sirius leaned forward. “I’m sorry I know your life is in limbo and it has to be difficult for you. I’m willing to go back to the States with you. We’d certainly be safer from Dumbledore there.”
Tony nodded, “I appreciate that, and you aren’t wrong about Dumbledore. But I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. We have a lot of support here we wouldn’t have at home. You have family here, and by extension so does Harry. I have work and friends at home, but I’m not sure I can justify tearing Harry or you from your home.”
“Moving wouldn’t be easy for you,’ Sirius pointed out quietly.
“No, but it’s doable. I’d adjust. I went to boarding school in Switzerland for a few years, and I’ve traveled in Europe. I could transfer to a European NCIS Unit, or I’ve had job offers from Interpol in the past and also a special crime unit that’s affiliated with our version of the World Court.”
Sirius wasn’t all the surprised. “That’s impressive,” he said. “Well, I’m willing to help you in any way I can. We don’t have to make any decisions today.”
They were interrupted by a pretty woman entering the room. She reminded Sirius of Lily, and he felt a pang of grief. He pushed it aside. She looked around, and her face lit up when she saw Tony,
“Tony, I have some good news.”
Tony grinned. “Hey Kel, I’m glad you’re here come and meet Sirius.”
“Kel!” Harry called and waved. Harry loved Kelly.
Kelly walked over and gave Harry a kiss on the cheek apparently uncaring of the mess. “Hey kiddo,” she said. “That looks yummy.”
Harry giggled. “Yummy!” he agreed and offered Kelly his spoon. Sirius smiled. It was wonderful to see Harry so happy.
She smiled. “No that’s Harry’s food.” Harry put the spoon down and took some porridge with his fingers and stuck them in his mouth. He got most of it on his face though.
“Good job,” Kelly said.
“Good,” Harry agreed. He clapped his hands happily.
Kelly chuckled and tickled Harry gently making him giggle even more. Then she turned to Sirius and held out her hand. “Hi, I’m Kelly Gibbs. It’s so nice to finally meet you.”
He smiled and shook her hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Tony’s told me about you and what you did for us.”
“I have heard a lot about you. I’m glad to see you free.”
Sirius nodded. “Thank you for the part you played in my release.” Tony had filled Sirius in on everything that had led to his arrival in France with Harry, and Sirius’ release. They’d had a lot of time to talk, and Sirius was surprised how easy he found talking to Tony. He had an intelligence and dry wit that Sirius admired.
Tony put his arms around Kelly’s shoulder companionably. “Kelly is an old family friend,” Tony explained. “I’ve known her for years but I only recently discovered she’s a witch.”
Kelly shrugged and turned to look at Tony. “I couldn’t tell you before. Get over it.”
Tony sighed and shook his head. “Rude.” Kelly ignored him.
“He’s impossible,” she said, but she sounded fond. “Anyway, I’m an Auror currently on loan to the ISC. I’m working with the War Mage Division. I’m learning a lot.”
“Congratulations,” Sirius said. He might be working with Kelly soon. It was a pleasant thought. The job offer was only beginning to sink in. It was a lot to take in. A part of him wanted to jump in, but another part of him was terrified.
“Thanks, I sort of fell into it. It was supposed to be a temporary loan, but Madame Gueron liked my work, and I received a long term transfer a few weeks ago,”
“She’s brilliant and a hard worker,” Tony said proudly. “I’m not surprised Agnes saw that.”
Kelly flushed with pleasure. “Thank you, Tony. That means a lot.”
Plus she can’t live without me.,” Tony said. He winked at Sirius. Sirius was amused. Kelly and Tony seemed to have a sibling-like relationship.
Kelly sighed. “And you ruined it.” She punched Tony lightly on the arm. “Besides, somebody has to watch out for you, especially since dad isn’t here. He’d want me to watch out for you. ”
Tony sighed. “Yep, he’d want me looking after you too. We’re family after all.” Sirus felt a sudden stab of jealousy. He ruthlessly suppressed it.
“Want something to eat?” Tony asked.
Kelly shook her head. “I can’t stay. I just wanted to talk to you for a minute.”
“I can leave,” Sirius offered.
“No stay, please. This will only take a minute.”
“Let’s sit down,” Tony said. Once they were all sitting around the table. Kelly looked down at her hands.
“I talked to my dad and told him everything. You and Andre were right I should have been honest from the start. I should have down it in person, but I was too chicken. To say he wasn’t happy is an understatement.”
Tony winced. “Lots of yelling?”
“Worse he got quiet.”
Tony whistled. “That is bad. A quiet Gibbs is never a good thing.”
Kelly nodded. “He’s disappointed that I lied, but we had a good talk. We’re going to be okay.”
Tony reached out and took her hand. “I’m glad Kel. It’ll work out you’ll see.”
She nodded and took a deep breath. “Anyway, I told Dad all about what’s going on. He’s pissed at you for not calling, but he understands why you kept my secret.
Toy sighed, and Sirius thought he looked relieved. “That’s good.”
“Yes, so Dad went ahead and put in the paperwork for an extended leave. He wants you to know he’ll fly over whenever you need him. He also gave me this. She opened her purse and took out a piece of paper. Tony took it. “It’s a list of open assignments at NCIS European Resident Agencies.”
Tony’s eyes widened. “Dad wants me to make it clear he wants you to come home and that you’ll always have a place with him in D.C., but he thought the list might prove useful.”
Tony put it in his pocket without opening it. “Thanks. If you talk to him let him know I appreciate it, and that I’ll call him soon.”
“I will.” Kelly stood up. “I’m sorry I can’t stay. I have to get to work.”
Tony stood and hugged Kelly then after saying goodbye to Sirius and Harry she walked toward the door.
“Bye,” Harry called after her waving; Kelly stopped in the doorway and waved back.
“She’s lovely,” Sirius commented. “It sounds like you do have plenty of options.”
Tony nodded. “It does. It’s a relief to know I won’t be fired outright for my extended absence.”
He looked at Harry and grinned. Harry had turned his porridge bowl over onto his head. Luckily it was mostly empty. “Looks like our little boy is done, and he has oatmeal in his hair.” Tony grimaced as he removed the bowl.
“Want to help me give him a bath?” Tony took Harry out of the high chair and held him at arm’s length. He grimaced slightly.
Sirius grinned. “I’d love too.” He took a good look at his godson “You can carry Harry,” he said. “No sense in both of us getting dirty.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “How generous of you.” He squeezed Sirius’ shoulder, and it tingled at the touch.
Sirius laughed and together they went upstairs to take care of Harry. Yes, life was better than he’d expected. He hoped that he’d get to keep it for many years to come.