-An AU (Prisoner of Azkaban) in which Remus remembers his Wolfsbane potion on the night that the truth about Sirius is revealed, and manages to help return Pettigrew to the castle. I don't own the characters, all JK Rowling. Also, because I love using my imagination, but also hate the idea of ruining an amazing story, I'm going to try to stick to the crucial details in Harry Potter and not digress to far from the plot line. Not sure how far this story will go, I'll write this chapter and go from there. Sirius is my favorite character, so this will mostly focus on Harry and himself. Warnings: Mentions of child abuse and maybe a little bit of mental health problems/depression. -
"Well Sirius, I think I owe you an apology." Dumbledore said in awe, still staring at the unconscious heap that was Pettigrew. After calling the Minister to Hogwarts and administering the veritaserum, they had stunned Pettigrew to keep him from changing back into his animagus form. It was now the next morning; Pettigrew had remained unconscious, and Remus had returned from his easier-than-normal transformation thanks to the Wolfsbane potion he remembered to take before pursuing the kids into the Whomping Willow.
Black smiled up at his former headmaster. "It's not your fault Albus. Those were dark times, I think everyone believed it was me, even my best mate."
Professor Lupin placed a hand on his shoulder and Black looked up to meet his eyes. "I too am sorry for that. I should have known you would have never betrayed Lily and James, you loved them and Harry far too much."
At the mention of his name, Harry glanced up. Fudge had left after hearing the confession the previous evening to retrieve aurors to deliver Pettigrew to Azkaban, so all who remained in the room were Dumbledore, Professor Lupin, Black, and himself. Hermione and Ron, after giving their own testimony, were sent to the hospital wing, where a still unconscious Professor Snape resided.
"Speaking of Harry," Dumbledore said kindly, his eyes twinkling as he walked in his direction. "How do you feel about all this? That was a noble thing that you did tonight, saving an innocent man's life, as well as sparing the man's life that took something as dear as a parent's love away from you."
Harry gave Dumbledore a small smile and looked back down again. He was very happy about the turn of events - there was no denying that. But a question had been bothering him all night, ever since Black had mentioned outside of the Whomping Willow that he was in fact, his godfather. "Do… do I have to go back to the Dursley's?" Harry whispered, not daring to look up into the eyes of his headmaster for the fear of seeing pity in them.
Dumbledore turned and walked back towards his desk, not making eye contact with any of them. "Harry, this is tricky stuff. I've explained to you about your mother's protection in the past, haven't I?"
"Well yes, but-" Harry started, immediately cut off.
"I know you aren't happy living with them though, and I would hate to prevent you from getting to know one of the people that have considered you family since the moment they laid eyes on you." Dumbledore motioned to Black, who in return gave Harry a reassuring nod. "That being said, I'm at a loss for what to do. I want you to be happy Harry, and I think we can all agree Sirius deserves some love and happiness in his life after this twelve year ordeal-"
"Sir," Harry stopped him, confused. "What does any of that have to do with my mother's protection?"
"Like I said Harry, it's difficult magic. When your mother died for you, she sealed a certain type of blood ward around you that's strengthened while you're at the Dursley's. As long as you consider it to be home, and you return to it once a year, you're protected. That's all I want to tell you for the time being on the matter, but that's why I've been adamant on sending you back. As I told you your first year, I firmly believe that Voldemort will return, and want to ensure that you are completely protected through the family magic Lily bestowed upon you; however, there is an alternative that I have been contemplating." Dumbledore paused, looking at the wide-eyed boy in front of him.
Harry nodded, waiting to hear of Dumbledore's alternative.
"The issue is, by sending you to live with Sirius, Number 4 Privet Drive will no longer be home to you and the blood wards will become useless. But I think some similar protections can be set up between your godfather and you. I need to read up more on the idea, but being named a godparent is a very important magical wizarding tradition, so I'm sure we can find some way to make this work. My request of you, until I can guarantee that information, is that you return there until your birthday, which if I am correct, is a month away from today?" Harry nodded, listening raptly to the older wizard. "That will seal the blood wards for another year, allow me to gather information on a bond between a godparent and child and the protections that come with it, and give Sirius time to settle down himself and get his own life back on track. You can spend the final month of your summer with Sirius, getting to know him before you return to Hogwarts next year. Hopefully we'll have your permanent living arrangements worked out by the Christmas holidays. Do we have a deal Harry?"
Harry glanced over at Sirius, who was looking hopeful. He smiled at him, then turned back to Dumbledore and nodded. "Yes professor, we do."
"Wonderful," Dumbledore said, the twinkle returning to his bright blue eyes. "On that note, I will have to ask you to leave, as the aurors should be arriving soon for Pettigrew, and Sirius will have to fill out some paperwork."
Harry looked over sadly to his godfather and Professor Lupin. He didn't want to leave - he wanted to talk with Sirius more. The night had been so eventful, he wanted to get to know him better. Sirius noticed this and walked over to where Harry was sitting. He placed a hand on his shoulder and looked down at him with kind, gray eyes. "Don't worry, I'll stop by the hospital wing before I make my leave this evening and we can say a proper farewell."
"Absolutely," Dumbledore said with another smile. "I'm sure Madam Pomfrey would like a look at both of you, especially you Sirius. I trust you haven't had a decent meal recently?"
Sirius chuckled, then squeezed Harry's shoulder before moving back to where Professor Lupin and Dumbledore were standing. Harry got up and walked toward the door, receiving a pat on the back from Professor Lupin on his way.
"Oi, Harry, what happened?" Ron said, sitting up in bed as Harry walked into the hospital wing. He saw Snape out of the corner of his eye, who in turn was grimacing at him as if he was the most vile thing to step foot in the castle.
"I'll tell you later," Harry said with a faint nod in Snape's direction. Hermione and Ron both caught the hint and went on to talking about other things, like Quidditch and the end of year banquet that would be happening in a few days. Although Harry was disappointed to have to return to the Dursley's again, a newfound hope was rising in him at the prospect of living with Sirius in a meager month. He couldn't wait to see the look on his Uncle's face when he told him his escaped convict of a godfather would be coming to their house halfway through the summer… he might even "forget" to mention Sirius's innocence to him.
"Hurry boy, your aunt and I don't have all day for goodbyes. We work you know! Ungrateful little freak." Uncle Vernon sniped across the train station, attracting the attention of all of the Weasley's.
"Oh, that man is dreadful, Harry." Mrs. Weasley said, giving Harry a large hug and a kiss on the cheek. "I hate that you can't come with us, but we'll be seeing you soon I hope, at the Quidditch World Cup perhaps? Did Ron mention that to you on the train?"
Harry nodded and gave Mrs. Weasley a reassuring smile. "I'd love to Mrs. Weasley - and don't worry too much about me. Dumbledore and I are working on new living arrangements. I'm sure Ron will tell you about them soon."
With one last pat on the shoulder from Ron and a hug from Hermione, Harry walked to the Dursley's, feeling much more content this summer than the previous ones.
"What are you holding boy?" Vernon asked, slightly unhinged by the look of pure happiness that ran across Harry's features when he spoke.
"It's a letter from my godfather." Harry replied simply, pulling it away from his uncle's reach.
"You haven't got a godfather," Vernon yelled, turning a delightful shade of puce at the prospect.
"Oh actually I do - he's a convicted murder that recently escaped. He likes to check up on me from time to time, he might even stop by this summer." Harry said casually, appreciating the look of horror on his relative's ugly features.
He walked off towards the car, feeling far more confident about this upcoming summer than he had when Dumbledore first mentioned the plans. What he didn't notice however, was the rapid conversation his aunt and uncle were having further behind him.
"Did you know he had a godfather?" Vernon whispered frantically to his wife.
"N-no! He's never said anything before and I had never looked at my sister's will." Petunia sighed, "I just assumed she put us on it when he showed up on our doorstep. Oh god Vernon, what are we to do? If the convict shows up in our neighborhood-"
"He won't," Vernon said confidently. "The only reason he would show up would be to take the little freak away from us, which he can't do, we're his legal guardians."
"But Vernon, what if he shows up and does some… some of that horrid stuff that their kind do. We've got to protect our poor Dudders. What if-" Petunia gasped, clutching her heart.
"What is it, my sweet?" Vernon said, noticing his wife's distress.
"I mean, who would really want that freak anyway?" Petunia said, anger growing inside of her. "I know exactly what that convict wants. We were on the Potter's will I'm sure, Vernon, but what if this convict was placed on it higher than us? He doesn't want the boy, he wants my sister's money, which is rightfully ours! We've had to support the little freak for years, we deserve their possessions. He's going to try and take the boy and then kill him, so he can be the rightful heir of it. We've got to stop him from coming here!"
"You're probably right, and I have a plan, Petunia." Vernon said, eyeing Harry in front of him as he re-read his godfather's letter. "We have to scare the boy, make sure he doesn't say he wants to be taken from us. They can't remove him if he says he doesn't want to be. There would be no reason to, and his godfather would be so hurt he wouldn't come back. Then we can decide what to do with the boy and the Potter's inheritance would be ours."
Petunia nodded at her husband's words as they approached the car, still worried about the prospect of a convicted murderer showing up in Little Whinging, but knowing that her husband was right as usual.
Harry, who was encaptured in the letter was none the wiser to what his relatives had planned, but he was already counting down the days to what he hoped would be the best birthday he ever had.