As Jasmine was checking if the way to the door was clear for her to leave, she heard a small voice say, "Jasy."
She whipped around, not daring to believe her own ears.
Harry was sitting up, his green eyes pouring into Jasmine's grey. "Jasy."
He remembered. There was no other explanation, Harry had always called her that, that same annoying name Sirius did. Jasmine quickly closed the door with her paw and changed back to her usual form. She took in a deep breath to calm her nervous breathing, and wiped her eyes of the forming tears; she dared not hope.
Harry gave her a bright smile and said, "Jasy," one more time, satisfied and expressing his happiness of seeing her. He crawled as fast as he could into his godmother's waiting arms to give her a hug she hadn't received in years.
Jasmine held him close and tight as Harry sat in her lap. She felt the tears come back as she first realized this wasn't a dream, and then again when she knew there was no way for her to stay, or for Harry to leave.
"Oh, Harry, I love you so much," she whispered more to herself than Harry.
"I wuv you, too."
Jasmine smiled and gave the small child a kiss on the cheek, not missing the curse of a scar on his forehead that would mark him for life.
Jasmine closed her eyes, knowing she should have expected this. But how can you tell a three-year-old his parents are dead?
"Jasy, where Mummy?"
She took another calming breath before answering to the best of her ability. "Harry, Mummy's gone." She was looking him in the eyes now, although she wanted to look anywhere but.
"She come back?"
"No," Jasmine answered, her voice pained as she began to cry, knowing Harry's young heart had to be breaking, knowing she was responsible. "No, and she can't come back. She wants to though, she wants to so much."
Harry thought about what she had said for a minute. "Where Daddy?"
Oh, why? Jasmine thought, why did it always have to be her?
"Daddy's gone too, baby." She could no longer feel the tears she knew were falling down her face. At least Harry would see that it's ok to be sad.
"Why?" He was ready to cry himself now.
Jasmine paused, Harry was so young, so innocent. She didn't want to take that from him, not when his parents were already taken. She couldn't tell him he had to be alone for a few more years still. But she had to say something, even though she had no idea what; while she had always loved Harry and was able to take care of him no problem, she couldn't grasp the nurturing part, couldn't think of what to say the would be in the child's best interest...
"They're dead, Harry. When people die... they can't come back... no matter how much they want to... Harry? Harry, do you understand?"
Harry was crying, he wanted his parents, he needed them. "Dhey wuv me?"
"Oh, of course! Of course they love you! They love you with all their hearts, more than anything! They'd do anything to be with you right now."
"I wuv Mummy an Daddy too."
"I know you do, baby, I know."
"Sirius is gone too." There was no denying, her voice was breaking beyond belief. "So is Remus."
"Will dhey come bak?" Harry's voice was so sad and hurt that Jasmine couldn't help but hold him as close and tight as possible.
"I hope so, Harry, I hope so."
A few minutes later, Jasmine tried to put on a smile, and asked, "Harry, can I have a big smile, please?"
Harry nodded and smiled, even brighter than before.
"Ok," Jasmine said, taking out the camera she used to take humiliating pictures of the Marauders.
She snapped a photo of Harry, now glad that she had it with her.
"Can I have a kiss?"
"Yes, ou can," Harry said, giving her one.
"Aww, thank you."
"You're welcalm," he said, sitting down and picking up Blotchy again.
"Harry, I have to go now, but I'll be back as soon as I possibly can, ok? I promise," Jasmine told Harry, beginning to die on the inside.
Jasmine nodded. "Yeah, I promice."
Harry got up and hugged her once more. "I wuv ou, Jasy."
"Love you too, kid." She kissed his forehead and transformed back into Tips, then snuck out of the cupboard, the hardest thing she ever had to do.
Despite of everything, she was seething. How dare they treat her godson like this?! She should take him with her, she knew she should. But she knew, also, that were she to take Harry there would be nothing she could do to make his life better in the long run. Jasmine knew that she'd be on the run with a three-year-old, who'd never get to go to Hogwarts. She had no choice.
Jasmine got out of the house and found a dark alley to change back to herself in. Once she did, Jasmine took out her wizarding camera and tapped it twice with her wand. Two photographs of Harry came out, and she hid them in her cloak.
In Diagon Alley, she went to the Owl Post Office, and asked the witch there, despite the early hour, for a sturdy, hard-wearing owl.
"Well, this one can certainly beat the weather," the witch said.
Once Jasmine had the owl, she grabbed a quill and quickly jotted down "Guess who misses you?" on the back of one of the pictures and tied it and the Christmas card to the bird's leg, along with a quick, temporary spell on the entire owl.
Jasmine spent the rest of the day in a bar, not bothering to realize it was Christmas, and aimlessly walked around London.
When she got home, Jasmine found everyone sitting around the tree.
Andromeda was the first on her feet.
"Jasmine Black, where have you been?!" her sister demanded. It was obvious they knew she had left the house before they had even woke.
"Out," was the only reply, and it wasn't completely sober. Jasmine felt tears, again, and was amazed that she had only cried once in her life before October 31, 1981. She was about to retreat to her room when Andromeda turned her around and hugged her tightly.
Jasmine cried into her sister's shoulder, not knowing what else to do.
"I won't tell," Andromeda whispered, knowing exactly where Jasmine had been.
"Just get some rest now, everything will still be here in the morning."
Jasmine nodded and went to her room.
Sirius didn't know how much time had passed, and he wondered if it even existed in the hellhole that housed his life.
He looked out the small, barred window, and, to his amazement, saw an owl. But owls never come to Azkaban, they wouldn't be allowed. He had to be hallucinating.
But no, the owl sat on the ledge of the window, and stuck its leg through the bars.
Sirius reached up to it and took the note; the owl stayed put. He unfolded the message to see a picture fall out, but he left that for the moment and read the note first. 'Happy Christmas, Pads!' and a shining Christmas tree. Sirius knew who it was from, after all, who else could get an owl to fly to Azkaban at Christmas undetected?
The picture lay momentarily forgotten as Sirius ripped off a part of the unused parchment and wrote, using his finger and some of the mud that covered his cell, 'Happy Christmas, Tips.' He tied it to the owl's leg and sent it off.
As he placed his cousin's card in his robes, he noticed the photo on the ground; the back said, 'Guess who misses you?' Sirius picked it up and smiled to see the person he cared about the most smiling back at him: Harry.
Looking at the picture caused the cold of the dementors to come back. Sirius quickly closed his eyes and repeated, "innocent, innocent, innocent," in his mind until it lessened.
Then he took time to really look at the picture as Padfoot. Harry was older, and he looked even more like James, except for the eyes that Sirius could have recognized anywhere. His heart filled with pride as he thought of his tiny godson.
As Jasmine was getting ready for bed, nine hours after leaving Diagon Alley, she heard a soft tap at her window. She opened it, letting in a gust of cold and the owl she had sent to Sirius that morning.
She read the note, smiling, and sent the owl back to the post office, then placed the note in a small shoebox she kept full of notes photos that meant something important to her.
Jasmine put the shoebox back under her bed, and knocked on the wall. She heard a small knock back.
"Happy Christmas, squirt. Sorry I was gone all day."
"Happy Christmas, Auntie J, just open my present first tomorrow!"
"You got it, good night."
A/N: I know it probably wasn't my best and I should have gotten it out sooner. Hope you enjoyed though!