Amelia shut the door to her room and sank onto the bed. She was absolutely dreading the amount of work that faced her once they returned to regular time. Clearly allowing Hogwarts such autonomy was a bad idea if this was the sort of thing happening. She'd heard vague mutterings about what happened during Susan's second year. Students spending months in the hospital wing. She recalled hearing something about Arthur Weasley's daughter being attacked and, prior to that, Dumbledore had been forced to step down temporarily thanks to Lucius Malfoy. She dreaded finding out the truth. But nothing more than rumour. The truth had been kept to the school board, although now, she wasn't so certain they knew the full truth either.

Taking a deep breath, she got up and moved to the desk to start organizing her notes from throughout the day. It took her almost an hour to rewrite everything neatly and in a sensible format rather than quick scribbles. She rubbed her face as the evidence of her future workload swam in front her eyes.

The two most important things would be to launch an investigation into Sirius and his incarceration. It would be made complicated by the fact that Barty Crouch was partly responsible for his lack of a trial, and he was heavily involved in the Tri-Wizard tournament and Quidditch World Cup that would be taking place over the next year. Filling his shoes so close to the events would be a nightmare, but thankfully that would be Cornelius' problem, not hers.

She also had to look into Harry Potter. She highly doubted Albus had gone through the proper routes for wizarding orphans. It was slightly understandable, having Harry Potter's location on file was asking for trouble. However, given what she now knew about the situation, he needed to be removed from that family. As soon as possible. If Sirius was free, he would have the best claim to be Harry's guardian, but she anticipated Cornelius dragging his feet over the whole situation. She needed a solution for Mr. Potter's living situation while that happened.

And then there was the issue of Hogwarts. The Hagrid situation needed to be looked at. He could not remain as a teacher; he didn't even have his OWLs. Nor was he allowed to use magic; in case anything went wrong in his lessons. The fact that he had proven he would bring dangerous creatures like dragons onto the school grounds and then took no real safety precautions around the students was also a large problem. She had no issues with him being the groundskeeper, or even possibly apprenticing to the new Care of Magical Creatures professor. Then there was Severus' behaviour. And Minerva's honestly, however that should hopefully be resolved with her stepping down from one of her roles. Severus clearly did not want to be a teacher. Although she could understand his bias towards Slytherin given what happened at the end of that year, he could not continue to behave abusively towards students not in his house. It was completely unacceptable, and nothing excused that.

History of Magic also required a new teacher. Binns needed to move on. Or continue to teach while the class actually took place in another classroom with a proper teacher. She would need to speak with the board after this. Maybe it was time there was a Ministry representative on the board, just to monitor the situation.

Dumbledore had a whole category to himself. Leaving children on doorsteps, leaving them with abusive relatives and never checking on the boy, sending Hagrid to escort Harry Potter to Diagon Alley when all protocol said it should have been a head of house. His actions with the stone put all of the students of Hogwarts at risk having Lord Voldemort himself possessing a member of staff for the entire year. He had gotten away with cursing Harry Potter's broom where not a single member of staff except for Severus had attempted to do anything. It completely baffled her that a member of staff had actually died on Hogwarts grounds and no investigation took place.

After she had finished compiling her notes and preparing space for tomorrows notes, she headed straight to bed, knowing she would need her strength.


Sirius ushered Harry into the room they had used before. Remus followed close behind. They all seated themselves.

"Harry, I…" Sirius trailed off, looking lost. He wasn't one for deeply emotional talks. He had no idea how to help his godson through what he had been through. "How are you?" He asked eventually.

"I'm fine," Harry replied automatically.

"No. You're not. And that's ok," Remus told him gently. "You had nightmares about what you saw in the forest. I can't imagine that confrontation with Quirrell helped any."

"I'm used to nightmares." Sirius gritted his teeth at that response.

"You shouldn't have to be." Harry could only shrug.

"Honestly, once Sirius is cleared, you both should speak with a Mind Healer," Remus told them. "You need help after Azkaban and Harry, while we are more than happy to listen if you need to talk, neither of us are really qualified to help you."

Harry frowned. He didn't want to talk to some stranger about the things he had seen. Plus, he didn't really trust a stranger not to gossip about having spoken to the famous Harry Potter. He voiced his concern and Remus tried to assure him that a Mind Healer would be strictly professional and bound by confidentiality. However, Harry had plenty of experience with people of authority that were supposed to be professional who were not. Snape for instance.

"You don't need to make a decision now," Sirius assured him. "And we can get a vow of secrecy from the person if you do decide to go ahead with it. They wouldn't be able to talk about the contents of your sessions without serious consequences, up to and including losing their magic." Harry nodded.

"Is there anything you want to talk about now?" Remus asked him.

"Not right now. I'm still getting my head around all of this. Can you tell me more stories about my parents?"

"Of course, pup," Sirius smiled warmly at him. They sat talking about the Marauders' time at Hogwarts, although they actively tried to exclude stories involving Pettigrew.

Soon Harry's eyes were drooping, and a doorway appeared. Sirius carried his godson through and placed him on the large four poster bed in the middle of the room. It bothered him immensely how light the kid was. He wasn't exactly at his best, Azkaban hadn't done his muscles any good, and he could still carry an almost fourteen-year-old. He put him under the covers and placed his glasses on the bedside table.

Once Harry was tucked in, Sirius spent a few moments just staring at his godson. It had been startling enough to see him for the first time in so long in the muggle suburb, realising little Harry was now just turned thirteen. It was jarring. Seeing him fly had taken him back to good times at Hogwarts. He looked so like James when on a broomstick. It had made Sirius' heart ache for the lost of his best friend as well as fill with pride in Harry. He would admit, only in the depths of his own mind, that for a few seconds he had actually thought it was James. With his memories and mind still so scrambled, everything felt so mixed up. His only way to cope with that was to fixate on Pettigrew. On killing the one responsible for the fate of everyone Sirius held dear.

The night in the Shrieking Shack was blurry in his mind. So much had happened, and it had all been so confusing, he struggled to keep it all straight. He had once again been jarred by the similarities between Harry and James. Particularly when Harry came running after his friend and again when he was standing there wanting to kill him for his betrayal. His friend's face had swum in front of him, mixing with Harry's, except with Lily's eyes. Burning with a fury for his failure, for causing their deaths and letting her son down. He'd once again had to focus on Pettigrew.

Everything had been made so much better and yet so much worse at the same time when Remus had arrived. Unable to deal with all of the emotions he'd felt, he'd pushed it all aside. After so long only able to feel negative emotions, or focus on his revenge, he had reverted to focus on revenge.

Snape had ruined it all. His hatred of Remus for something Sirius had done burned, and Snape had been willing to let Remus be subjected to the Dementor's kiss for petty revenge. Then everything had blurred again, rage, pride, desperate pain and then Harry, bringing him out of it. Pointing out he'd be free if they captured Pettigrew over killing him. Then more Dementors. Followed by a miracle. Harry again, with Hermione, saving him from a fate worse than death. Being brought here, Amelia Bones and Kingsley Shacklebolt hearing and believing in his innocence. It was brilliant. But it had been a long time since he had been around so many people for so long. Focusing on Harry was the only thing stopping him from snapping. Not that it had been entirely helpful, considering all the things he had learnt about his godson's home life.

Everything was tangled up inside him and he wasn't sure at any given moment if he was going to cry, rage, laugh, or some terrible combination of them all.

He forced himself away from Harry, returning to the living room area where Remus was sitting. Sirius ignored him. Despite his joy over reuniting with his only remaining friend, some part of him was hurt by the fact that Remus had believed him capable of being the traitor for thirteen years. That he hadn't come to visit him once, just to get his side of the story. He might have considered the idea that Remus was the traitor, because honestly, he hadn't thought Pettigrew would have had the guts, but he would have gone and demanded to know what happened. Demanded the truth. It enraged him even more that Remus hadn't checked in on Harry in that time either. Yes, he had his own grief to work through, and yes, Dumbledore told him Harry was alright, but they had a duty to James to look after his son. They all knew Petunia's address, hence how he'd found it even after twelve years in Azkaban. No good memories of Petunia after all.

Instead, he wished for a bathroom and another door appeared. He marched right through it. Inside was an enormous bathroom, with a clawfoot tub and the largest shower he'd ever seen. As much as he wanted a long soak, he decided to have a shower first and wash the accumulated grime off of himself. Being on the run wasn't exactly brilliant for one's hygiene.

The next block of time passed without him being fully aware. It was bliss to be able to wash properly, do something with his hair and terrible beard, albeit he had to do it the muggle way, making his hair terribly uneven. It was worth it to no longer have it around his elbows. There was a disturbing amount of grey that made him cringe. So much of his youth lost due to his own stupidity and Crouch's vendetta against the Black family. The first time he had caught sight of his own reflection after leaving Azkaban, it had been like looking at a stranger. There was almost no sign of the handsome, carefree young man he had been. Now, having cleaned up a bit, there were hints of who he used to be in his much too thin face.

When he finally emerged, dressed in clean clothes, Remus was still in the exact same position as when Sirius had gone into the bathroom.

"How come you're not in bed?" He asked, not sure he was ready to face his friend yet.

"Don't you think…can we talk?" Remus looked so unsure. The same insecurity in his eyes that had been there since Sirius had met him.

"I don't…not right now."

"I thought…I…you said you forgave me."

"I did…do. I forgave you for thinking I was the spy. But you…thirteen years is a long time, Remy. You, Dumbledore, everyone just accepted that I had done it. That I had betrayed James. Nobody tried to find the truth, to even ask me for my side of the story. No trial, no visits in Azkaban. James was my brother in all but blood. But you…I loved you Remus. I didn't want to believe you were the spy, but, really, Peter? If I'd had even an inkling that he had the audacity to swap sides, I'd never have suggested him as the secret keeper. But, if the same thing had happened in reverse, there is nothing that would have stopped me from getting to the bottom of what truly happened."

"I know." Remus refused to meet his eyes. His head was steadily drooping, and his shoulders hunched with every word he spoke. It enraged him. He wanted to shake his friend, demand answers. But he also wanted to cry for everything they had lost. The bond that had been broken.

"I can't do this, Rem. I can't." His voice cracked and suddenly he was vividly aware of wetness on his cheeks.

He turned and dashed blindly through one of the two remaining doors. This bedroom was almost identical to Harry's. He flung himself onto the bed and stared at the ceiling, mind swirling with regrets and horrible thoughts. At least instead of a cold, damp cell, he had a nice warm, comfortable bed to wallow on.

Sleep was still a long time coming.


The Weasleys all filed into a living room just off the reading area. There were plenty of doors, enough for them all to have their own rooms except the twins and Molly and Arthur who would share.

"Ronald Weasley!" Molly began scolding as soon as the door shut. Ron winced. Arthur put a hand on his wife's arm.

"First things first, we are very proud of you Ron. You stood beside your friend, and you were incredibly brave."

"Yeah," Bill agreed. "You're a good friend, Ronnie."

"However, you should not have gone after the stone," Arthur told him. "Harry had nobody to turn to about all of the things going wrong in that school. His broom being cursed and being given such a ridiculous detention amongst other things. You should have spoken to Percy about the troll at Halloween. And about the detention. Percy would have told us and we would have made sure it didn't happen. You know better." Ron blushed.

"I didn't actually have the detention. And I thought you'd say they deserved it for being out of bounds. Not to mention, they only found out that same day. You wouldn't have been able to find out in time to stop it."

"I agree they deserved detention, but sending students into the Forbidden Forest, let alone at night, I would never agree with," Molly stated firmly.

"You are correct, I had forgotten they received such little warning for their detention. However, you should still have let us know so we could have words with the headmaster. He cannot allow students to be sent into the Forbidden Forest, at night, for any reason, let alone a detention," Arthur said.

"With the broom, Professor Dumbledore came to the next match, so we thought the school had it under control," Fred told them. "We did get the broom checked by Professor Flitwick and Madam Hooch at our next practice and they said there was nothing wrong with it."

"At least you got it checked," Charlie praised.

"And I didn't want to tell Percy about the troll because I didn't want to tell him about what I said to Hermione."

"Well, you would have deserved a telling off for what you said," Percy pointed out. "However, I would have prioritized finding the missing student over scolding you." Ron nodded.

"I think we have discussed the most pressing issues, unless anyone else has something they want to say before we all turn in to bed?" Arthur looked around at all his children. They all shook their heads. All of them had had an emotional day and needed time to sort out their own heads before thinking about more discussions.

The twins disappeared into through the door that had their names on the door. Inside, to their delight, was a small potions area. They began cataloguing the ingredients that were available and decided to make a general nutritional potion for Harry. They'd ask him about performing the spell to get a diagnostic for a more specific potion in the morning. It only took a couple of hours to make, but it required constant monitoring. At the last minute, they decided to double the batch so that Sirius could have some. They figured that after Azkaban, he could use some nutrients.

Ron lay on his bed, wondering just how much trouble he was going to be in after the reading of the second book. His parents already knew he had been into the forest, and they had heard Harry's recounting of events at the end of the year, but they had been focused on Ginny. And he hadn't been scolded in Egypt during the summer, so he wondered just how much they had really heard. He wasn't looking forward to reading about meeting Aragog. Or anything to do with Lockhart. He did feel bad for his jealousy towards his best friend. Hearing just how bad Harry's life with the Dursley's had been, made him realise how lucky he was. His family might not be rich, he might have to deal with second-hand things, but his family loved him. He had support. No matter what happened, how much he got scolded, his family would love him and be there for him.

Percy sat quietly at the desk in his room. So much had changed. The twins had actually apologised. Something he never in a million years though would happen. He wished his siblings looked up to him like he had to Bill and Charlie, but having read over some of his actions, and read about Ron's insecurities, he could understand how he could have seemed overbearing.

It had also shocked him to the core to find out that The Bartemius Crouch had thrown an innocent man into Azkaban. Honestly, he hadn't wanted to believe Sirius Black, but he could see no reason why the man would lie. If they were going to read about him during these books, they would likely find out the truth anyway. But the idea that such a rule abiding man he admired greatly would do something so terrible, left him feeling hollow. Part of him hoped that Sirius was mistaken, and that Mr. Crouch hadn't done that, because he didn't know what to do. He had been offered a job working in the Ministry under him. And he desperately wanted to work his way through the Ministry. He wanted to be Minister for Magic. The idea of so working under such a man turned his stomach. All he could do was hope that these books would give him a path to take.


Draco sat with his mother and godfather in their living area. Both of them were giving him disappointed looks that made him feel about two feet tall.

"You lied to me. Several times," Severus said. His voice quiet, disappointed and deadly. Draco fought to hide a wince.

"I'm sorry, Uncle Sev. I just…Potter refused my hand, and I was embarrassed."

"That does not excuse your lies about the flying lesson, not telling me about the fact there was a dragon on school property, or the fact that you went around cursing other students for fun. I taught you better than that."

"As did I," his mother put in sternly. "You might have been eleven then, but you are fourteen now. I expect your behaviour to improve significantly."

"I can't control what happens in the books," Draco protested.

"I mean during the reading. You have behaved reasonably since you made the truce with Mr. Potter, and I expect it to continue."

"Yes, what was that truce with Potter all about? And how did it come about?" Severus inquired.

"We are going to be reading these books for some time, Severus," Narcissa told him. "It would not do to antagonize those in the room with us. And, if the Dark Lord does return, Draco will need protection. Having a truce with Mr. Potter will aid in that endeavour."

"You intend not to stand with the Dark Lord?" Severus raised an eyebrow.

"I intend to protect my son, the Dark Lord's goals may have been admirable, but all of us could see his…change of state towards the end of the war. I will not risk Draco."

Draco looked between his mother and his godfather, only his pureblood training stopped his mouth falling open. His mother was going to betray the Dark Lord for him. To keep him safe. She'd implied something like that earlier, but Draco couldn't really imagine it. His father idolised the Dark Lord. Thought he had the right of it. And Draco had been raised to think the same. But was it true? He had no idea. His entire world view was being thrown into chaos and he had no idea what to do about it. What to think anymore. It was all too much.

"But what about you?" He asked his mother.

"I will do what I must, Draco."

"Narcissa…" Severus' tone was soft but cautious. She fixed him with a piercing look.

"I believe we were discussing Draco's behaviour at school."

"I think we finished that discussion," Draco put in quickly.

"Hmmm, we shall see how you behaved during your second year. We may need to revisit this discussion. Severus, I shall leave his punishment to you, as his misbehaviour falls within your purview as his head of house." Draco almost groaned. Severus' punishments were the worst. His mother's face softened.

"I know this is difficult for you, Draco. I allowed your father too much freedom in your upbringing. We will take this time to teach you to disregard some of his teachings. Namely on acceptable behaviour."

"You want me to accept mud…muggleborns?" He asked, quickly correcting himself at the look on his godfather's face. He wasn't sure why Severus hated the word mudblood so much, but he did. Draco had learnt at a young age not to voice such terms in his godfather's presence. His mother sighed.

"The original reason muggleborns were not accepted was due to their reluctance to accept our traditions. We now celebrate Halloween instead of Samhain, Christmas instead of Yule. The muggles are a highly religious society and many look upon those with magic as evil. There have been many cases of muggleborns being physically abused or even killed, something no pureblood would stand for. Just look at Mr. Potter. While not muggleborn, his vile muggle relatives abuse him simply for having magic. Before, in the beginning, the Dark Lord wanted to put laws in place to keep our traditions alive, to limit the influence muggleborns have on our society. That does not mean they are inherently inferior; it means they require a better education on our ways upon their entry to our world. The Dark Lord wanted to find muggleborn children sooner than their eleventh birthday and have them adopted by pureblood families. He may have changed, but I still stand for those ideals."

Draco's eyes were almost falling out of his head by the time his mother finished her explanation. It went against everything his father had ever told him to consider muggleborns as not inferior to purebloods. But he could see the validity of her points about their poor education.

"But those like Granger, there is no way she hasn't researched our ways as much as possible, yet she still tries to impose her muggle beliefs on everyone around her," Draco said.

"Yes, well," his mother's lips pursed, "some muggleborns are too entrenched in their muggle views and cannot adapt. They should have their magic bound and be sent back to the muggle world." Draco nodded, relieved that at least something made sense to him. Plus, he couldn't deny he'd enjoy the idea of Granger being forced back to the muggle world. He might b trying to get along with Harry, but Weasley and Granger thoroughly annoyed him.

"I believe that is enough for one evening. It has been a long day. Time for bed, Draco. You have lessons in the morning."

"Yes, Uncle Sev," Draco sighed, knowing it would do no good to argue.

Severus watched his godson leave and sighed heavily. How had so much changed in a day? Everything he thought he had known about Potter was completely wrong. The boy had been abused. And he had made it worse. He wasn't arrogant, he simply placed no value on his own life. While he was definitely still a rulebreaker, he was nothing like James Potter. Severus hoped he would resist the influence of Black, who he despised even more than Potter Senior.

He had known his godson had been badly influenced by Lucius, but to have it shoved in his face that he was far more of a bully than Potter Junior was hard to face. He just hoped Draco was still young enough to adapt to all of these changes and become a better person.

There was also the issue of Dumbledore. The man had lied to him, inadvertently causing him to break his vow. He had been assured that Potter was well looked after. While he didn't believe Albus knew the extent of the abuse the boy suffered, he could easily believe he had remained wilfully ignorant of the situation as there were very few other safe places for the boy to go. There was no excuse for leaving a boy in an abusive home, but if he was merely unhappy and not as loved as he could be, well, that was just fine in Albus' mind. The price to pay for the safety provided by the blood wards. Severus disagreed, but he knew the headmaster had an idealised view of family. Heavens only knew why, considering he'd known that Severus' own father had been abusive, not to mention Black's family. While they may not have been physically abusive, no pureblood family would, that didn't mean he didn't have good reason to run away to Potter's at sixteen. That was just two of the boys in their year, he had known of several others who also had less than ideal homes. The headmaster's unfailing belief in the strength of familial bonds baffled and angered him. It was dangerous.

Severus was wrenched from his thoughts when Narcissa stood. She bade him goodnight and left the room. Soon, he decided to follow. Dwelling would do him no good and he would need the strength to read about Potter's second year the following morning. That was the year of the blond idiot.


Dumbledore sighed as everyone refused to speak with him. The weight of his decisions made him feel much older than he already was. He knew he had done what was required. Young Harry was safe from Voldemort. But he had still failed the boy. He had wanted him to have a childhood, believed that Petunia would overcome her childhood dislike of her sister to raise her nephew. Forcing him to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs? Yet, where else could he have placed the boy? Narcissa and Andromeda had the best claim on him from the pureblood families and he could not have risked Lucius getting Harry with his money. While many other families would have some distant blood relation to Harry, there were few that could be trusted, and none close enough to make the blood wards work as they came from Lily and not James. Petunia was the only viable option to give Harry the protection he would need.

And yet…if Sirius was freed, he would want custody of Harry. And he would almost certainly be granted it. Cornelius would trip over his own feet to make it up to Sirius, so he didn't sue. He would have to research if the blood wards could be moved. Perhaps if Sirius were to blood adopt Harry, it would be good enough. They would exchange blood, giving Sirius a little of Lily's protection. Not to mention there would certainly be more love to power them.

He was also deeply concerned about what other information these books would reveal. Would it prove his suspicions to be true? If so, there were too many people in the room that might accidentally reveal the information. Or not so accidentally in the case of Narcissa and Draco. He wondered why they had been brought here.

He had to use this time wisely. Prepare and make plans. He also needed to restore his staff's faith in him. Along with Harry. It hurt that they believed he did not have the boy's best interests at heart. He wanted to give him the tools to survive. Voldemort would come after him, and Harry would be the one to defeat him. He could not do that without some experience and training. Not to mention the protection of Lily's sacrifice. They needed to understand the necessity of his actions.

In the morning, all of his staff wanted to talk to him. Well, to yell at him. Minerva and Severus were the most vocal in voicing all of his supposed failures. His deputy was mostly aggrieved that he hadn't listened to her when she told him the Dursleys were the worst kind of muggles. Naturally Severus wasn't impressed that he had failed to mention Harry's living situation as he would also have warned him against leaving the boy with Petunia. Naturally the man denied it when Albus asked if he was growing fond of Harry, citing he only cared for Lily. But there was less conviction behind the statement than usual and despite the scolding he was getting, Albus fought to hide a smile.

"Albus, the tournament next year, do you believe Voldemort, sorry Severus, will try something?" Minerva asked him. He sighed.

"I always believe he will try something, Minerva."

"Don't you get smart with me, Albus Dumbledore." She gave him a Look that was usually reserved for students like the Marauders and the Weasley twins. "You intended for Harry to face You-Know-Who in his first year. I will not stand for you doing such a thing again. I have let Harry down before; I will do everything in my power not to do so again." He sighed heavily. This was what he was afraid of. That his staff would not understand what needed to happen. Why he had to let Harry gain the experience he would need in the future.

"Minerva…"

"No, Albus. I agree with her. We have a duty of care to our students and knowingly allowing Mr. Potter to face He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is blatantly disregarding that duty," Filius spoke up. He and Pomona had been rather quiet so far, but there was a steely look in the half-goblin's eyes that was rarely seen. He pinched the bridge of his nose. Would they rather Harry encountered Voldemort in uncontrolled circumstances, where they may not be any help available?

"Voldemort will come after Harry. There is no doubt about that. Would you rather he did so woefully unprepared?"

"I would rather we kept our student safe. If you wish to better prepare Mr. Potter then maybe advanced lessons would be a better way to go, rather than sending him up against the most dangerous wizard since Grindelwald?" Filius queried.

"I didn't wish for him to be burdened so young. To feel like he was being trained to fight. He deserves a childhood."

"His relatives made sure he didn't have one of those," Pomona snorted. "And being attacked by a troll, having his broom cursed and facing his parent's killer while at school, supposedly the safest place in the UK, hardly made for a 'childhood'.

Albus sighed heavily once more. He felt the weight of his decisions more than ever. Harry might not have had the best childhood, but he was safe and healthy. He hadn't spent his entire life under intense scrutiny.

"I did as I felt was best. I am sorry you disagree, but there is little I can do now."

"Do not think this conversation is over, Albus," Minerva warned. "I vividly recall the events of Mr. Potter's second year."

"We're going to have to read about Gilderoy again," Pomona groaned.

"It seems we will actually find out what happened to our colleague once more. Seeing as Albus does not see fit to allow us the truth," Filius stated. Albus retreated back to his room, leaving his staff to their own devices.


The next morning, Harry woke early. He stared blearily around and reached for his glasses. He was lying in a large four-poster bed with a light blue bedspread and curtains with no idea how he had gotten there. The last thing he remembered was talking to Sirius and Professor Lupin. Remus. The whole of yesterday came crashing back into his mind. He groaned. Today was going to be even worse. His second year had been awful.

He assumed that Sirius had taken him to bed, and he was highly embarrassed to have been tucked in like a child. Yet, he also wished he could remember it. He'd never had anything like that before. Someone caring enough to actually tuck him into bed. Unless you counted Madam Pomfrey.

Honestly, he didn't want to get up. He didn't want to read about his life. He also certainly did not want to attend potions lessons with Snape. But he couldn't resist the idea of having a father figure, a guardian who would actually look after him. He had agreed to live with Sirius immediately, and his agreement still stood. He was even more eager now he'd spent time with his godfather.

Finally getting up, he performed his morning ablutions and found clothes that fitted him perfectly in a wardrobe. It was kind of strange actually wearing clothes, other than his robes, that fit properly.

Heading into the living room area, he found nobody else was up. Deciding to wait, not wanting to face the other people who might be in the reading room, he sat down on one of the couches. A selection of books appeared, and he decided he might as well get a head start on his summer work. It's not like he'd be able to do it at the Dursleys'. Despite all the promises he'd been made and the adults' uproar at his living conditions, he held little hope of actually leaving his relatives.

He started with his potion's homework, in case Snape decided to start by asking him questions about it. It was rather confusing, and he held little hope that it would make anymore sense after these remedial lessons. Still, he was about halfway through when a bleary-eyed Sirius stumbled out of his room. Despite looking like he hadn't slept at all, he looked a lot better than he had the night before. For one thing, his hair had been washed and cut, no longer matted and hanging around his elbows. It was now rather wonkily cut, but just brushed his shoulders. His face was still almost skeletal. Hopefully the time here would allow him to put some weight on with some decent meals. His eyes were still bloodshot, but it seemed more like he'd spent the night crying.

"Morning, pup." He offered Harry a small smile that was clearly strained.

"Good morning," he replied.

"Did you manage to sleep alright?"

"Er, yes thanks. And, um, thank you for putting me in bed. I don't even remember falling asleep." Sirius' smile became a little more real.

"No worries. It was a long day for us all. And I missed out on twelve years of putting you to bed." Harry blushed slightly.

"Are you alright?" He asked tentatively. Sirius sighed.

"Not really. Azkaban suppresses all emotions except the negative ones. Being a dog also dampened those. Now I'm feeling everything and its intense. But I'll be alright. Amelia believes me, and she's incredibly fair so hopefully once we get out of here, I'll be free. That's getting me through. The idea of being free and spoiling my godson." He gave a lopsided grin and Harry couldn't stop himself grinning back. "How about we go and grab some breakfast?"

"Should we wait for Prof…Remus?"

"Na. He's a nightmare to wake up this close to a full moon." There was something tense in Sirius' features that told Harry that wasn't the entire truth. The pair had seemed thrilled to be reunited in the shack. They'd been getting along fine yesterday and had been laughing and joking around telling him stories about the Marauders' days at Hogwarts. He wondered if something had happened after he'd fallen asleep. Still, he just nodded and followed his godfather into the reading room. All of the teachers were already awake and sitting together with cups of tea or coffee.

"What's this? Sirius Black awake voluntarily before midday?" Minerva teased. Sirius shot her a wink.

"I get to read all about my godson. Of course, I'm awake." He didn't add that he hadn't actually been asleep for more than about an hour.

"You look better," Pomona smiled.

"I feel it. Any breakfast?"

"Apparently the time bubble did not include any house-elves. So, if you want breakfast, it's fend for yourself," Filius told him. He groaned.

Harry felt decidedly awkward hovering in front of his professors, so he slipped into the kitchen area and assessed what there was for breakfast. It didn't take him long to have several rations of bacon frying alongside eggs and sausages. Given how much Dudley and Vernon ate, he was used to cooking ridiculously large amounts of food at once. He was just plating up the bacon when Mrs Weasley came bustling in.

"Oh, Harry dear, you don't need to cook."

"I don't mind." He shrugged.

"Well, you've done enough, why don't you go and take this lot through. The smell is sure to wake the rest of the vultures." She gave him a fond smile. Then she waved her wand and the plates of food multiplied. Harry grabbed a couple and walked towards the reading room. The rest of the plates followed, floating along behind him.

"Brilliant, food!" Charlie exclaimed. While he had been in the kitchen, most of the Weasleys had woken, along with the Tonks', Narcissa and Draco. Scanning the room, he realised Ron and Remus were the only two missing. Neville and Luna were sitting with Ginny at one end of the table. The teachers sat together at the other. The Ministry workers and the Tonks' sat along one side with Sirius next to Andromeda. Narcissa and Draco sat awkwardly at the teacher's end, next to Snape. The Weasleys were along the other side with Hermione.

"Did you make all this, Harry?" Hermione asked in concern.

"Er, some of it," he said, placing the plates down.

Everyone dug in, and Harry received many compliments for his cooking, causing him to turn bright red by the time Ron and Remus emerged. The talk around the table carefully avoided any sensitive topics that he been brought up the day before.

"Hey, Harry?" Fred whispered when he was sure everyone was distracted. Harry looked over, raising an eyebrow. The twin handed him a vial of purplish liquid.

"And what will this turn me into?" Fred pulled a faux offended expression.

"You wound me. It won't turn you into anything other than a healthy person. It's a nutritional potion. Only a general one I'm afraid, but if you let me or George do a scan, we can make one tailored to you." Harry blinked in shock.

"Er, thanks. What does the scan show you?"

"Just what nutrients you're missing."

"Um, ok, sure. Can we do it later?"

"Yeah. We'll do it during lunch or something." Harry nodded.

"Fred? Thanks."

"Anything for our little brother." He winked.

Once everyone had finished eating, the teachers stood and announced the schedule for the morning's activities. Harry was deeply unhappy to have potions.

Snape led him through a black door that looked horribly like the door to his dungeon classroom. He was relived when Neville and Andromeda followed him in. The room was disturbingly similar to the potion's classroom, but much smaller. There were only five workstations that already had cauldrons set up.

Andromeda guided Neville to the lefthand side of the room, leaving Harry facing Snape. His trepidation rose as the look on the professor's face.

"Potter. Why do you need to crush snake fangs?"

"Uh…" Snape rolled his eyes.

"Have you never read a textbook?"

"Severus!" Andromeda called. He growled.

"Fine. I know this may be difficult for you, Potter, but please pay attention." With that, he launched into a long lecture on how different ingredients reacted with each other and why they had to be prepared in a certain manner. Harry struggled to keep up writing notes on everything, but without the usual insults thrown in his direction, Snape was actually rather good at explaining things. Many things certainly made more sense than they had ever done before. The hour flew by much to his surprise. When Andromeda called an end to the lesson, Harry was startled.

"I hope you at least some of that has sunk into your thick skull, Potter?" Snape drawled.

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir," Harry replied politely. "That helped a lot." Snape's eyes widened ever so slightly in surprise. He recovered quickly, nodding to Harry and then sweeping from the room. Harry followed him out, exchanging bewildered looks with Neville.

Back in the reading room, almost everyone was already back. Ron was looking unhappy. He and the other Weasleys, including Mr. Weasley, had been having muggle lessons with Ted. It hadn't really occurred to Harry that it was strange how little Mr. Weasley actually knew about muggle things considering he was supposed to be a leading expert. The Weasley patriarch was clearly thrilled with the lesson and was asking Ted questions at a rate that rivalled Hermione.

"Urgh. It's supposed to be summer. Why do we have to have lessons?" Ron groaned as Harry sat next to him. "How was potions with Snape?"

"It was weirdly ok," Harry said. "He accused me of never opening a textbook, but other than that, he actually taught for a change." Ron looked shocked.

"Reckon it'll last?"

"Dunno. If Mrs Tonks, continues to be in the room at the same time then probably. If only because she'll correct him if he doesn't."

"Hey Pup," Sirius said as he sat down between the two of them. "What have you got next?" Harry shrugged.

"Mr. Potter is with Miss Granger having lessons on magical culture with Andromeda, while Ronald will be going over his Transfiguration work with me," Minerva stated, coming over. Ron groaned and she fixed him with a sharp glare. With a reluctant sigh, he got up and followed the professor. Harry was quickly dragged off by an enthusiastic Hermione.

What followed was an hour that should have been really interesting, except Hermione kept arguing with Andromeda. She was horrified by most of the magical practices, including the celebration of Samhain and house-elves. Harry was seriously contemplating asking to have separate lessons. They covered an incredibly basic overview of the Ministry, and the Wizengamot. Then wizarding holidays had come in which had set Hermione off. The house-elf issue hadn't come about until the end of the lesson when Andromeda commented that she wished the time bubble had included one. Harry had escaped ten minutes into his friend's rant.

The final hour of lessons found Harry with all his year mates having defence lessons from Remus. Luna joined them as he went over everything, they should have learnt in first year. It had gone by quickly as Quirrell might not have been the best, but he did teach them something. Luna struggled the most, but as a Ravenclaw and a pureblood, she had done plenty of her own research and already known the basics.

Finally, they were released for lunch. Harry was pleased that lessons were over, but he was not looking forward to reading about second year. He supposed it would be too much to hope that the book skipped over his time at the Dursleys and went straight to the Burrow.

They settled back down in the reading room. Dumbledore picked up the second book.

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," he read. Ginny stiffened immediately. Molly grabbed her daughter and settled her between herself and Arthur.

"The chamber?" Charlie whistled.

"I thought that was a myth," Tonks said.

"You mean like the Cursed Vaults?" Bill pointed out. She conceded the point.

"You found the chamber? Even we never found that. Good going, pup," Sirius praised. Harry winced. He'd quite happily have never found the place; except he was the only person who could stop the basilisk and stop Voldemort coming back by killing Ginny.

Once the low murmurs stopped, Dumbledore began reading.