As Elena was waking up on a late summer morning, a dog howled in her window. The singular howl triggered something in Elena, an old memory. Suddenly, a mental picture of a large, shaggy, black dog came to her mind. The dog had grey eyes and a grin on his face (if a dog can grin). It was wagging its tail at her and its tongue drooped out of its mouth. It yapped a little at her, wanting to play. Elena hesitantly stuck her hand out to pet the animal when a knock on her door refocused her.
Sighing to herself, she stood out of bed. Why did that same image always pop into her mind at the most unexpected moments? She had come to terms with the fact that she would never see that man again. She was happy because of it. That man had been a murderer, a betrayer, a liar. He belonged just where he was.
Opening her front door to grab to morning paper, Elena gasped.
“Good morning Elena. Would you mind so much to allow me in?” Remus Lupin said with a kind smile. He looked horrible, but that was understandable. Thinking about it now, the full moon had only been a few nights earlier.
“Of course Remus. Would you like some tea? My goodness dearie, I haven’t seen you in ages. Harry misses you. Don’t be a stranger.” She said, moving away from the door so Remus could step inside.
“Yes please. I know Elena; it’s just been hard seeing him. You know I love him, but he's just so much like both of them. But that’s not why I'm here. We need to talk Elena. And I'm not sure you're going to love hearing this.” Remus said quietly. The pair walked into the kitchen, Elena eyeing him suspiciously.
As Elena prepared the tea, she could tell Remus was trying to figure out what he was going to say to her in his head.
“Just spit it out Moony. I'm a big girl now. I can handle it.” Elena said, smiling. Remus sighed and looked her in the eyes.
“He’s innocent. He didn’t do it.” he said simply. Elena knew what he meant instantly, but how could this be?
“That’s not possible Moony. Everyone knows he was the Secret-Keeper.” Elena said.
“But that’s the thing. He wasn’t. Dumbledore went to Azkaban yesterday to give him a chance. He used Veratiserum. There isn’t a way he could have fought it, being so weak. He wasn’t the Secret Keeper. It was Peter, always Peter.” As Remus spoke, Elena’s eyes filled with tears. He was innocent. He was probably on his way to her tony cottage in Little Winging at that moment.
It was then that little Harry made his way into the kitchen.
“Moony!” he exclaimed, delighted. The three year old launched himself into his surrogate uncle’s arms. The little boy’s black hair was even more unruly from sleep. His emerald eyes, Lily’s eyes, were bright and alive.
“Hiya Harry! Have you been a good boy for Elena?” Remus asked.
Giggling, Harry replied, “Yes! I even brushed my teeths last night!”
“Good boy. How about I get you some breakfast and then you can go watch cartoons in the living room. Elena and I need to talk about boring grownup stuff.” Remus wrinkled his nose like the very idea made him sick. Harry copied the face and then ran into the living room.
“You really are good with him.” Elena noted. Remus nodded, pouring Harry his cereal. Remus walked into the living room and left Elena to her thoughts for a few moments. Then she realized something.
“What about the thirteen people he killed Remus? Peter couldn’t have done that could he? He couldn’t have killed himself then blew up a street!” Elena accused when Remus reappeared in the ktchen.
“Well actually, Peter isn’t dead Elena. He's alive, in his rat form, and at Arthur Weasley’s house, right now.” Remus said, “The Ministry is on their way to retrieve him.”
Elena was shocked. Little Peter Pettigrew, a murder. There was just no way. He was always the cowardly one, the follower. Elena knew that James only tolerated him because he felt bad for the pudgy boy and saw that he had a few good traits in him. James always looked for the best in people. He was wrong with Peter.
“I know, it’s a lot to take in. but Sirius is at the Ministry now, signing his release forms.” Remus said.
“Do you think he's going to come here?” Elena asked quietly Listening to the sounds of the cartoon drifting in from the living room and the faint smell of Lucky Charms was soothing for Elena. This had been her life for the last two years since Lily and James died. When Sirius had been arrested, Dumbledore had wished for Harry to go to his aunt’s house, but Elena wouldn’t have that. He was her godson, and she would raise him as her own. She knew she could do it, seeing as she practically raised her younger sister already.
But if Sirius showed up, that would change everything. Harry would become shy in his own house. The toddler hated meeting new people. Eventually he would warm up to them, but it was a process.
And Elena had been trying to forget Sirius and move on with her life .she had been a wreck when she heard he had betrayed Lily and James, and her. She grew to hate him, then miss him, love him again, and then hate him. It was a never ending cycle. If he showed up, which Elena was sure he would, her feelings would be all over the place.
“He definitely will. The question is, will you let him in again?” Remus asked. Elena had no answer.