January and February slowly went by and the start of March came; the start of spring and the day before Grace’s birthday. Remus, James , Sirius and Peter were standing in the middle of Hogsmeade trying to decide what to do next.
“Why are we here again?” Sirius asked shivering. The cold breeze still hadn’t disappeared since winter ended the week before.
“We’re trying to find Grace a present Padfoot” James said “And the Hogsmeade trip isn’t until Saturday and we need to find her something now because her birthday is tomorrow as you know” James said. “Jewellery shop is the best place”
“What about the bookshop. . . we could get her a book about what they predict the future to be like” Sirius said. Remus, James and Peter just looked at him. “Or not”
“I think I have the best present” Remus said and walked off in a random direction.
“Right boys, since he has gone. Butterbeers?” James asked looking at the other two.
“Read my mind” Peter squeaked and they headed in the direction of the Three Broomsticks. They walked in and were surprised to find Lily and Grace sitting at a booth chatting and laughing.
“Afternoon Ladies” Sirius said sliding beside Grace. James sat next to Lily and Peter sat on the other side of Sirius. “What brings you here on a Thursday afternoon?”
“We come here every Thursday, We like to wind down after a hard weeks work” Grace said and took a sip of her butterbeer.
“Isn’t Friday usually the end of the week?”
“Well spotted Black” Lily said. “But we usually spend Friday doing the weeks homework so we don’t have to do it on the weekend.”
“How long have you guys been doing this for?” James asked.
“Every Thursday since ummmmmm October?” Grace said and looked at Lily who nodded in response.
“And how did you know how to get here without being caught? Peter asked.
“Ah that’s my secret Peter” Grace said and winked. “Where’s Remus?”
“Well your lover boy is out doing lover boy activities for special reasons that DON’T include tomorrow” James said then laughed.
“Oh shut up Mr. I wish I was Lily’s lover boy.” Sirius said. Both Lily and James blushed. This made the rest of the table laugh.
“I told him I didn’t need a present” Grace said. “It means I have to get him one on Saturday. Effort!” She groaned and put her forehead on the table. Sirius patted her on the back.
“Just buy some lingerie and do a little dance for him. Best birthday ever.” Grace smacked him over the head.
“You’re disgusting. You just wish it would happen to you and not Remus since it’s your birthday too”
“Damn straight” he said as he rubbed his head.
“Sorry I’m late girls. Oh, hi boys” Marlene Mckinnon said as she entered the Three Broomsticks.
“Hey that’s okay Marls, take a seat.” Lily said. Marlene sat next to James and Sirius ordered some more butterbeers for the whole table.
“I just saw Remus, he’s looking for you boys.” Just as she said that, Remus walked into the pub and spotted the group instantly.
“Hey guys” He said as he sat down next to Peter. Marlene blushed when she saw him. Grace looked at her as if she was crazy. Sirius noticed this and coughed.
“I just ordered butterbeers, I ordered one for you Moony cause I knew you’d come eventually.”
“What’s with the nicknames?” Marlene asked and looked at all four boys.
“It’s just stupid nicknames we have for each other.” James said. “Nothing special to it”
“Oh okay” Marlene said, happy with the answer she got.
“Well isn’t this cosy” Sirius said. “Look at us all together”
“Oh this is perfect” Remus said. “Rosemetta can you please take our picture?”
“Oh of course” the waitress said and took the camera off Remus. She took the picture of the group and gave the camera back.
“Thankyou” Remus said.
“What’s with the camera?” James said.
“Oh I just bought it, which is a shame, I should have gotten it earlier, would have had great photos of all of us” Remus said.
“Like the time Lily pummelled James with the mattress” Grace said and laughed.
“Or the time Grace jumped on our shield of snow and crushed us all” Peter said. Everybody laughed.
Sitting in an armchair by the fire sat a man which a glass of scotch in his hand, sipping it from time to time. His recent breakup with Nymphadora had made everything worse but he knew it was the best thing.
Remus Lupin looked at the photo album in his lap. All the memories before she disappeared to go back to her time. This is what got him by each day; that and the scotch. When Grace Harris came back, he was not going to let her go; he didn’t care how old she was. She was his and he was hers. They had a bond like no other. Well other than James and Lily.
Remus opened the first page to see the first photo he ever took. Those were simple times. When everyone was together as friends and not foes. The Three Broomsticks never looked so much better. He closed the album and got up from the sofa. Crossing the room, he got the front door and grabbed his jacket. He was going back to where it all began. Back to the Three Broomsticks.
There was a flash and Grace groaned, opening her eyes, she saw Remus, Lily, James, Peter, Sirius and Marlene hovering over her bed, Remus with a camera in his hand.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” They all shouted.
“Too early” Grace groaned and rolled over.
“Presents” Lily said. Grace sat up straight away with a huge grin on her face.
“Gimme” was all she could say and stretched out her arms in a grabbing motion.
“You’ll have to wait till after breakfast, we’re running late, now get in the shower.”
“Ah can you guys leave the room before I get out of bed?”
“Why? Nothing we guys haven’t seen before.” Sirius said.
“I’m not wearing any pants you git”
“Ohhhhh so nothing us guys minus Remus hasn’t seen. Gotchya” James said and winked. Grace threw her pillow at him which James caught easily. “You’re a pretty crap thrower when you’re half asleep.”
“Shut up and get out” Grace said. The boys left except Remus who sat on the bed next to Grace. “I have to go have a shower Remus.”
“I know; I just wanted to say Happy Birthday myself” he said and kissed her on the lips.
“Why thankyou Mr. Lupin . . . does this mean my present from you is going to get given to me now?”
“Oh you would want that wouldn’t you.” Remus said as her helped her out of bed. “Hey! You are wearing pants.”
“I just wanted them out of the room” Grace said and grabbed clothes out of her trunk. Remus chuckled.
“I see you at breakfast okay babe.” he said and left the room. Grace smiled to herself and went into the bathroom.
As Grace walked down to breakfast. Liz Harris was walking only a few feet ahead of her. She hated that she couldn’t talk to her. Hug her. Love her for being her mum. But even if she wasn’t back in the past, in the present her mum was gone. Nothing could bring her back now.
“I know” Grace jumped to see James looking at her.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” Grace said and kept walking.
“Don’t deny it Grace, I know she’s your mother” Grace stopped and turned to James.
“You don’t know anything”
“I saw the way you looked at her when you saw her talking to Sirius and the way you are looking at her now. You both look the same.” James walked up to her and hugged her. “She dies doesn’t she? You said you were an orphan. . .”
“Depression. Her parents died last year and her brother gets killed. Today.”
“Today?! I thought you said it was months ago?” James looked at her wide eyed. “And today is your. . .”
“Birthday, yes I know, that made it even worse for her. She never celebrated my birthday. Not once.” Grace looked up to see Dumbledore talking to Liz and leading her towards his office. “And it begins. I thought that it was months ago until I figured out why she didn’t celebrate my birthday”
“Grace I know that it’s not right to be selfish, but it’s your birthday, you can’t do anything about it. You can be there as a friend, but not a daughter.”
“I know. We can all be there for her right . . . she did make friends with Sirius right?”
“Yeah but this is Sirius we’re talking about here. Come on, let’s get some breakfast.” James grabbed her hand and walked her to breakfast. Grace thought he was just like Harry, when it was needed, they both shined as the big older brother figure.
The two of them walked into the Great Hall and the first thing that the group noticed was James and Graces’ intertwined hands.
“She saw something she didn’t like” James explained and hugged Grace once more. Lily sat there looking at James and smiled. She always knew something inside him was good.
“What happened?” Sirius asked and then he looked up, Liz came into the Great Hall with tears running down her face. She walked up to Sirius and hugged him. The group just stood there with their mouths wide open.
“We’ll go talk okay?” Sirius whispered and led her out of the Great Hall.
“What the hell was that?” Grace asked as she stared at the two of them.
“I have no idea” Lily said. “I think Sirius has . . . feelings or . . . he’s just trying to get laid.”
“Or maybe he told her that he was gay” Everyone looked at James. “What? He’s done it before. It didn’t work but he’s done it”
“I can’t take this” Grace said and walked out of the Great Hall.
“Remus is in the library!” Lily called after her. “What was that about?” she then whispered to James. James led her out of the Great Hall so no one else could hear.
“Liz is Grace’s mother.” Lily just looked at James.
“I knew it!” she said suddenly which caused James to jump a little. “Wait. Did she tell you?”
“No I figured it out.”
“Nice. So why is Liz upset?”
“Her brother dies today”
“I thought it was months ago when Grace first told us her brother was killed.”
“She thought it was until she realised it was on her own birthday. That’s what caused the depression to worsen.”
“Oh that’s horrible” Lily said getting tears in her eyes. James put his arms around her and pulled her close. A couple of people in the entrance hall were looking at them strangely. Lily Evans would never let James Potter near her. Lily looked up at James and he smiled down at her. He was not going to push it. He was not going to try and kiss her. He was just going to hug her. Because he felt lucky that she was letting him her hug better.
Grace walked into the library and to the spot where she and Remus usually sit for some alone time together at night. As just as she thought, Remus was sitting there with a big smile on his face and a present in his hands.
“Finally here’s the birthday girl” he said and motioned her to sit down.
“It happened today” was all the Grace said and Remus went pale.
“On your birthday?”
“I finally realised why mum was so sad on my birthday” Remus pulled her in for a hug and kissed her on the forehead.
“Don’t you think that this is your fault Grace; don’t you dare.”
“I’m not. It’s just really sad. That for six years, she had to be reminded of something sad and something happy. I know she loved me. I know that it wasn’t my fault.”
“I’m glad that you think that” he said pulling her closer.
“Do I get my present now?” Remus laughed as she looked up at him and smiled. He handed her the present and she looked at it with a quizzical look on her face. She un-wrapped it to see the most beautiful frame and inside that frame was a picture of her, Lily, Remus, James and Sirius out the front of Hogwarts. The caption on the frame read; ‘For Better or For Worse. United We Stand.’
“This is amazing Remus” Grace said with tears in her eyes. She sat the frame down next to her and kissed him with all that she could.
“Hey lovebirds, stop snogging” Sirius said as he walked up to them. “Did she like the present Remus?”
“Loved it” Grace said.
“Oh I can tell.” Sirius said. “Hey what’s this? Grace Harris was here 12.12.1977, missing HP, HG, RW & GW everyday. . . Are they your friends back home?” He said, running his fingers across the words on the bookshelf.
“Yeah they are. I still miss them everyday.”
“Well I shall add something” Sirius said and started scratching words on the bookshelf.
“How come you didn’t see this when you were in your present time?” Remus asked as he watched Sirius scratch away.
“It used to be blocked off for unknown purposes until the end of 5th year, they reopened it but at that time it was the end of school and nobody had worked that needed to be done”
“I’m guessing the unknown purpose was you?” Sirius suggested. “All finished” Grace and Remus looked at the bookshelf to see;
‘Sirius Black was here with Grace Harris and Remus Lupin 07.03.1978. Happy Birthday Grace. Stop snogging Moony.’
“Very classy Padfoot” Remus said and punched him in the arm.
“Hey hey easy on the merchandise” Sirius said and then laughed. “Come on Grace, we have to give you your presents.” All three of them walked out of the library to see people walking around whispering and chatting excitedly. Sirius pulled out a 3rd year Gryffindor boy. “What going on?”
“Lily Evans and James Potter. Snogging in the entrance hall.” The boy said and ran off to catch up with his friends. All three of them looked at each other.
“Nah. Never.” Remus said then pondered for a moment. “Or maybe.” They sprinted off towards the entrance hall and sure enough. Standing in the middle of the entrance hall were Lily Evans and James Potter. Snogging.
“Way to take the day from Grace. OI YOU TWO!” Sirius said and walked towards them. Grace grabbed him by the arm.
“If you break them up. So help me god. I will make sure you never see tomorrow.” Grace warned Sirius.
“Okay okay.” Sirius said and put his hands up in defence. Grace smiled. She knew it would happen soon.
“Finally” was all she said.
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