Disclaimer: All of these characters, books, and storylines belong to JK Rowling. I am simply one die hard fan amongst millions, and am only temporarily borrowing the characters to create my own stories. I'll make sure to return them with as little damage as possible. If her lawyers come to check out this story first, I am flattered, but kindly ask for them to check out other fanfics on this website first, since they might like them more.
A/N: Well, now that that's out of the way, I'd like to introduce you to my idea of canon reimagined. I'm Mara, and I'll be your author for this fanfic. Hope you enjoy!
Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived
Sirius Black and Remus Lupin of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, would have been quite happy to demonstrate their magical prowess to anyone who asked... or rather, Sirius would have been happy to do so; Remus would just have mumbled something vaguely offensive under his breath. The Bonded pair were quite different from each other, with Sirius being a high-ranked Auror and member of the Wizengamot, and Remus forever being in between jobs due to his unhappy state as a werewolf, but they managed quite well together. If you'd known Sirius during his Hogwarts days, you'd know that he was the first person one would expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, and he would often go out of his way to remind everyone of that fact.
However, on the morning of the first of November, 1981, the couple could not be found cooking up a storm and relaxing at the huge dining table, as was normal for them to do on any other Sunday. Instead, Sirius could be found in the Headmaster's Office at Hogwarts, arguing furiously with a tall, thin, and very old man wearing long robes, a deep purple cloak, and half-moon glasses which focussed his sparkling, light blue eyes. Sirius had been arguing with the Headmaster for the past hour, trying to convince him to let him retain his rightful position as godfather to his best friend's son, and take him on as a ward.
"Dumbledore, please... don't you understand? I've heard so many atrocious things from Lily about her sister alone, and nothing could make me believe that Petunia Dursley is in any way more fit to raise Harry than Petunia Evans might have been! I remember when Lily found out her sister had gotten married without telling her, and Lily bisited them when they got back from their honeymoon. She told all of us about that... that walrus of a man Petunia had married, and how he was every bit as horrible as she was!" Sirius shouted.
Dumbledore, however, didn't seem very frightened of the highly irritated, very powerful wizard pacing back and forth in front of him, wearing a hole in the carpet. "My dear boy, I understand that the Dursleys may be slightly unpleasant, but Harry is their nephew, and I have every belief that-"
"Oh, no you don't! Don't you 'dear boy' me! I am Harry's godfather, and since Alice and Frank are... unable to take care of Harry, I am the one who should take custody of him."
Sirius, you simply do not understand. When Lily sacrificed herself for Harry, she caused Blood Wards into being. Surely you know of this type of magic?" asked Dumbledore benignly.
Sirius looked up from the floor and pierced the man with a withering glare. "Of course I know about it, but even I know that Blood Wards are a very old, very unstable bit of magic. It would deny entry to anyone who was entirely focussed on causing direct physical pain upon the Wards' centre, but there are other sorts of pain. I should know! From what I know about the Dursleys, their main form of hurting people is verbally, which wouldn't register to the Wards, and I would bet that purposeful neglect wouldn't register either. I will not allow James and Lily's son to be abused in any shape or form, and I am willing to fight you in court for his custody! Is that clear, Albus?"
Dumbledore gave a sad sigh and threaded his long, thin fingers together on the desk he sat behind. After a long moment of staring into Sirius' eyes as though they would tell him whether he was telling the truth, he sighed again and said, "Very well, then. I will tell Hagrid to change course and head to number twelve. You should expect him in about four hours. I expect monthly reports for the first three years, then one report every six months until he reaches eleven. Understood?"
Sirius closed his eyes for a split second in relief, but opened them again after remembering that showing that kind of emotion around Dumbledore was not necessarily a good thing. "Yes, sir. Thank you."
With his godson now safely in his care, he made his way out of the Headmaster's Office, down many stairs, and was just about to make his way outside, when he bumped into none other than Severus Snape, the Potions Master. Snape, a sallow-faced, greasy-haired man who always wore black, looked even more pale than he normally did, and looked surprised to bump into Sirius, but that was quickly covered up by a large sneer. "Black," Snape growled.
"Snape. You look horrible."
If possible, the sneer became even more pronounced than it had been previously. "Eloquent as ever, mutt. Why is it you look cheerful? Surely you haven't bought into the insanity of celebrating the Dark Lord's demise."
Sirius' previously ecstatic expression dropped a bit. "I'm not cheerful about you looking horrible, if that's what you're insinuating, and no, I haven't 'bought into' anything. My best friend died last night, and I can assure you I'm shattered about that. However, I have just managed to persuade Dumbledore from placing Harry with his aunt. That's what I'm so 'cheerful' about."
This stopped Snape up short. "You managed to... what? With Tun- er Petunia? Is he mad?"
"Exactly my thinking, Severus. Thank goodness I was stated as Harry's godfather, or he'd have been sent off to live with her, her whale-husband, and their son," stated Sirius proudly.
Grudging respect shone in Snape's eyes.
Sirius awkwardly cleared his throat and asked, "Would... do you want to meet him? It doesn't have to be for very long, and... erm, it'd have to be before the full moon on the eleventh anyhow..."
A flicker of hope flashed across Snape's expression, but was quickly tamped down by his superior control. The fact that Snape's face had even shown anything but a sneer was a true testament to how much Lily's death the previous night had affected him. "I have classes to teach this week, Black, so the earliest I might be able to... visit the child would be next Sunday. Which time would be preferable?"
Sirius nodded, an uneasy smile on his face. "Oh, just come around one. I'm sure Remus would be fine with that, it's when he's strongest during the week before."
Snape arched one eyebrow regally. "Indeed."
When Sirius arrived back home, he was startled to hear the faint sounds of snoring coming from the dining room. He entered cautiously, and then sighed sadly. His Bondmate was passed out at the kitchen table, several bottles of Ogden's Finest Firewhisky empty and scattered around his place. It was very difficult to get a werewolf tipsy, let along full-on blackout drunk, so to see Remus like this pained him immensely. When they'd gotten the news James and Lily had been killed by Voldemort, Remus had sat in his favourite armchair for hours, not moving, not shouting, and certainly not crying, which was exactly what Sirius had done. Remus had seemed to draw inside himself, as though to hide away from the terrible atrocities the war had done to him. He'd seen the same thing happen to Remus when his mother died shortly before they'd finished Hogwarts, and it had taken months before he'd been able to draw his beloved out of his shell again.
Sirius summoned a Sobering Potion, and gently sat Remus up in his chair before tipping the potion into his mouth. Remus spluttered and choked, then looked at Sirus scathingly.
"Hey," started Sirus, "don't look at me like that, Moony. I need your help to set this place up."
"What for?" moaned Remus.
"Harry's coming. Here. In four hours. We need a room and a cot and-"
"Wait... what? Here? Sirius, this house is not fit for a child! It might have worked out well for the Order's headquarters, but..."
"Ah, Moony, you faithless old soul. You forget. Magic. I've already been to Gringotts to hire curse-breakers, and I've been to the Ministry for pest control. Both teams will be here within ten minutes. We can do all the rest."
Remus stood up on shaky legs and surveyed the room they were in dubiously. "Good luck with that."
Incredibly, within an hour and a half, the portrait of Sirius' mother was gone, Kreacher was introduced to five other Black house elves with remarkably little fuss on his part, all the dangerous animals (dead or alive) had been disposed of or relocated, the house elf heads had been burned, and the goblins in the team of curse-breakers had discovered an unusual locket which they insisted was a Horcrux (Sirius had never heard of one, and the concept had to be explained to him several times). The remaining time was spent popping into many furniture stores, buying children's books (and books on children), and permanently transfiguring the walls and floors to look cheerful instead of horribly depressing.
Finally, Sirius and Remus stood with bated breath in their small back yard and watched as Rubeus Hagrid landed Sirius' huge motorbike on a small stretch of dirt in front of them. "Sirius, Remus. Here yeh go, boys. Dunno how yeh managed ter convince Professor Dumbledore to give him to yeh, but... here he is."
In Hagrid's vast, muscular arms lay Harry, in a swaddle of cloths and blankets. His beetle eyes were crinkled into a smile as he handed the sleeping one-year-old child to his godfather.
"Aww, isn't tha' a lovely picture. Would... would I be able ter... visit him sometimes? Like in summer when there ain't no kids at Hogwarts?" asked Hagrid timidly.
Despite all the sad thoughts going through all three of their heads at what should have been, Sirius and Remus smiled kindly at Hagrid and nodded, causing the hopeful grin on Hagrid's face to transform into a full-blown grin worthy of a (less creepy) Cheshire cat.
Happy with their answer, he said his goodbyes, along with a scratchy, whiskery kiss to Harry, and spun on the spot, popping out of existence with a sound reminiscent of a car backfiring. The family of three walked back inside, eager to get indoors and start their life together.
A breeze ruffled the scrawny bushes and sturdy trees of Grimmauld Place, which lay untidy and resolute, birdsong being heard, and the Muggles living around the unseen number twelve rolled over, waking up to face the day. Unbeknownst to them, Harry Potter, a most extraordinary child, slept on.