Author's Notes: Some facts may be incorrect, characters a bit ooc, but remember, it is AU. This means I get to play around and manipulate facts to fit in the plot. Yes, it's cheating. Haha!

IMPORTANT: This is the sequel to "With Time Comes Trust". If you hadn't read it, you'll be stranded at sea when you read this, so even if you don't want to read WTCT, at least scan through and clear up the confusion. If you still don't want to read it, I guess I can rescue you with little bits and pieces:

a. The Dursleys was abusive.
b. Sirius was never in Azkaban.
c. Sirius is now officially Harry's guardian.
d. Harry's quite close to all the teaches in Hogwarts including Severus
e. I have killed off Uncle Vernon and made Aunt Petunia cry her way out.

Me-Love-You Owls with a large box of macadamia nut chocolate: Mrs-Osborne's-Class, ginnyweasly_fan RogueBludger, EmeraldKatsEye, Snuffles x and silvernightshade.

Disclaimer: I bow my head in defeat and I surrender myself willingly so keep your swords, warrior and be at peace.

Kitty Name: By the concept of majority wins, the name Shadow is now bestowed upon Harry's kitten! Owing this to Allaire1221, TexasJeanette and Starlight Dreams. This actually tied with 'Ebony' (suggestions from ParanoiaIn2005, trekkie21 and Foxfur) but after nights sticking at the TV watching 'America's Next Top Model', Ebony reminds me of...Ebony. Can't keep imagining the human Ebony when I'm writing about a cat. g

The rest of you who all gave me beautiful cat names, I thank you very much! I loved each and every single one of them especially MindyLou's 'Oreo' suggestion, haha! :)

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Chapter 1: To Hogwarts

Harry stepped out of his compartment timidly, looking around for any sign of other living beings. No one was around but he could hear Remus moving around in another compartment. A week ago, Sirius had offered his position as the Defense teacher to Remus since he was out of a job for now. Remus had turned it down but in the end had agreed to take it along with Sirius. They were both going to take turns to teach all four houses but Remus would be doing most of the practical since Sirius had a tendency to bring overly dangerous stuff to the classroom to have 'more fun'.

Remus had to go and get the rest of his clothes and stuff from his apartment for the clothes he brought when he came over merely to celebrate Harry's birthday did not even make up half of his belongings. He had went to his apartment, a small place just nice for a single occupant to pack up then took Harry down to the Hogwarts Express.

Harry had been given two options by his guardians: To stay at Hogwarts and join the sorting later or get onto the train along with the other students. Harry had opted for the latter for he understood that staying at Hogwarts would clearly show favoritism towards himself. He was also determined not to stick around with the professors too much in this year although he was a little afraid of the prospect of meeting new friends and mixing around with the crowd.

Shadow, the kitten he had named just the week before (for it was always following him around) nudged against his leg as it brushed past and disappeared around a corner. Harry could hear Remus pushing his luggage into a compartment. His own bag was under a seat in another compartment. Hedwig was up at the Owlery for she was a little offended with the idea of being in a cage for Harry to take along.

"Don't be nervous," Remus was suddenly behind Harry.

Harry turned slightly to look at his professor, an expression of surprise on his face.

"It's radiating off you," Remus offered. Then seeing the slightly horrified look on Harry's face, he laughed. "Okay, not much. But I do know you enough to know you are." He ruffled Harry's hair gently. "It's almost time, the first will soon be here."

Harry nodded silently.

"What house do you think you will be in?" Remus asked trying to make conversation. He turned towards the train's exit, motioning Harry to come along. They stopped at the mouth of the Hogwarts Express, now having a clear view of the platform.

"I don't know," Harry said. "Which one is the worst?"

"Slytherin," Remus said immediately.

"Then I'll probably be in there," replied Harry, somewhat miserably.

"Harry, you don't have a single Slytherin streak in you," Remus said. "The worst would be Hufflepuff for you. If you ask Sirius though, the worst would be Ravenclaw."

"Why?" asked Harry curiously.

"Ravenclaws are very smart people," Remus explained. "And a look at Sirius tells you he hates having to stick his nose in a book all the time."

Harry gave a weak grin. "What house were you in?"

"Gryffindor," Remus answered. "I..."

A boy suddenly appeared on the platform, pushing a trolley laden with heavy luggage. Then people started coming in, all emerging from a barrier.

"There they are," Remus said. "Would you be alright if I left you alone?"

"Of course," said Harry half-heartedly. The sight of other children, all talking happily and motioning energetically to each other made him feel out of place. He felt another bout of nervousness settling in.

"Are you sure?" Remus asked, squinting a little.

"Yes," Harry said.

"Okay, then," Remus said. "See you later, Harry. Be careful."

"'Kay," Harry mumbled.

A girl charged out onto the platform, a large cat curled up on her shoulder. Remus took a last look at Harry then disappeared into the train. Another girl came out, looked around spotted a group of her friends and started giggling. Some were starting to climb aboard and Harry moved deeper into the train to let them pass. All of them ignored him, instead running to compartments and fighting to get a nice one.

He made his way back to where he stowed his bags and sat beside the window, pressing his face on the glass, looking at the sudden sea of students laughing and talking outside.

A loud slam made him jump violently. He turned around quickly to see a boy around his age leaning against the closed sliding door, panting heavily. He had a bright red mop of hair and freckles splayed over his pale face. He gave a feeble wave.

"Hey, seats taken?"

"No," said Harry, a little amused. "What are you hiding from?"

The boy turned towards the door and slid the lock into place. "My mum. She just wouldn't let me go before she fixes my hair, wipes my nose, adjusts my robes..." he shuddered.

Harry gave a tiny smile. "That's nice."

"Nice?!" the boy cried in undisguised horror. "You don't even know how embarrassing it is, no thanks to my brothers who shouts..."

"Ickle Ronnikins? Where are youuuu? Mommy wants to kiss her baby boy goodbye!" A singsong voice floated through the room.

The boy gave a howl of terror and dived beneath the seats. He crawled around and looked up at Harry, lifting a finger to his lips. A cry of "Alohomora!" sprang open the door and two twin boys with the same bright red hair entered.

"I know he came in here," one was saying to the other. "I saw the flash of red."

The other noticed Harry immediately. "Hey, mate! New to Hogwarts?"

Harry nodded. The boy huddled beneath the opposite seats was in Harry's clear sight. He was covering his face with his hands.

"Yeah," Harry replied, trying not to give the other boy away.

"I'm Fred, he's George," he answered. "We are looking for Ron, our baby brother. Was he in here?"

Harry hesitated but after a quick glance towards the begging look on Ron's face, he gave a slow shake of his head.

"Rats, where could he have gone?" George asked.

"Maybe it was the next one," Fred suggested. "Thanks, uh, what's your name?"


Ron was holding his nose suddenly, desperate to stop the urge to sneeze.

"H-Harry!" Harry tore his gaze away from Ron.

"Harry?" Fred bent closer to Harry. "Oh, it's Harry Potter!"

Ron bumped his head on the bottom of the seat in surprise. "What?"

All three of them turned to see Ron who was scrambling out from beneath the dusty seats.

"So there you are," said George sweetly.

"Oh, shut up," said Ron then told Harry accusingly. "You didn't tell me!"

"Tell you what?" Harry asked, bewildered.

"That you are Harry Potter," Fred was examining the scar on Harry's forehead with his intense gaze.

"What's the problem with that?" Harry said defensively shrinking from Fred who was too near for comfort.

"Nothing," George grinned. "Nothing." He patted Harry on the shoulder. "Have a nice trip. Come on, Fred. We'll never get good seats."

Fred leaned back and joined George at the door. "See ya kiddos around."

The door closed behind them. A blanket of awkward silence settled before Ron stuck out his hand lamely. "Hi. I'm Ron."

Harry grasped the hand offered. "Hi. I'm Harry."

Ron dropped down next to him dusting his robes. "So...made any friends yet?"

"Not really," Harry confessed.

"Can you be mine?" Ron asked. He pulled his bag up on the seat beside him. "I don't have any either."

"Sure," said Harry. One friend! Things were going quite smoothly...

Ron was digging into his bag, then producing a fat, sleazy mouse. "Have any pets?"

"Yeah," Harry answered. "I have an owl and a kitten."

"You can have two?" asked Ron incredulously. "I thought only one was allowed."

Harry shrugged. "I don't know, both of them was a birthday present. But Hedwig, my owl, is at the Owlery," he added helpfully.

"Well, whatever," said Ron. "If I had two, I would also have brought both. Can't show favoritism, can we?" He dangled the rat by its tail in front of Harry. "This is Scabbers. Scabbers, say hi."

The rat didn't move, its eyes closed, a paw over the nose. "Never mind him," said Ron. "He's always sleeping."

The door slid open again. "Any empty seats?"

"Plenty," Ron replied. "Come on in."

A fat boy trotted into the compartment, yanking his luggage along. A girl with bushy brown hair followed him in.

"Hi, I'm Hermione!" She said brightly. "I'm new to Hogwarts!"

"Well, aren't we all?" Ron asked.

"This is Neville," said Hermione as if Ron hadn't spoken at all. "What's your name?"

"I'm Ron and this is Harry," Ron said.

"Hey, Harry. Ron," Neville said, Hermione echoing his greetings.

Hemione turned around and then started to pull a large trunk into the room. She panted heavily and Harry who was nearest to her, got up and helped her pull it in.

"What did you bring?" asked Ron. "That looks like it weighs 10 tons."

"Around that," Harry agreed, returning to his seat once the trunk was in place.

"Oh, those are all my books," Hermione said offhandedly.

"Books?" Ron repeated. He turned to Harry. "How many do you have?"

"Er...around six to ten?" Harry said.

"Ten?" Hermione repeated disbelievingly. "Don't you own any other reference books or text?"

"Aren't the textbooks enough?" asked Ron lazily.

"No," said Hermione rather haughtily. "I have about thirty of them with me." She took off her backpack she was carrying and thumped it on the floor. "These are my favorite books. I just have to have them with me all the time."

Neville looked at the large backpack resting on the ground. "That looks heavy, Hermione."

"It is," Hermione confessed. "But I still like to carry them with me. When I'm bored, I can at least read them wherever I am."

"You'll be in Ravenclaw," Ron offered.

"Oh, I don't know," said Hermione. "I was thinking more of Hufflepuff or maybe Gryffindor."

"I have to be in Gryffindor," Ron said suddenly.

"Why?" Harry asked curiously.

Ron groaned. "Because my whole frickin' family was in Gryffindor, that's why! Mom and Dad will be disappointed if I was put in..." He shuddered. "Hufflepuff. Or worst. Slytherin."

"Slytherin, not good," agreed Neville.

A small 'meow' alerted Harry to his kitten who was slipping through the crack the slightly open door offered. "That's Shadow," Harry said.

"It's so cute!" Hermione squealed picking the kitten up. "I like kittens."

Neville extended a toad to Hermione. "This is Trevor." He announced proudly.

But Hermione was too busy letting Shadow lick her fingers with its tiny pink tongue.

"Can I have a look?" asked Harry, catching Neville's look of disappointment.

Neville gave Trevor to Harry gratefully and Harry spent a whole minute blinking at the fat slimy toad sitting sleepily on his palm. Hermione's startled cry and a loud bang of the door made all three of the boys snap their heads up in surprise.

"That door sure seems to keep opening," Ron grumbled.

However, Harry was the one to jump up first from his seat. "Give him back," he demanded. A blonde boy held Shadow by its tail, the kitten squealing in fear.

"Just looking, no fear," he replied. "Nice kitten," he said, not meaning it at all. He dropped the kitten on the floor. Shadow gave a whimper and dashed over to Harry and hid underneath his robes.

"Malfoy, get out," Ron said, trying to sound brave as he inched farther away.

"Why?" Draco gave a mock pout. "You don't want me here?"

"Draco?" a fat boy poked his head into the compartment. "Seats are almost all taken. Unless you want to sit with the Gryffindor Quidditch members."

Draco made a face. "No Gryffindors, Crabbe." He glanced at the half empty compartment. "I guess we could camp out here."

"Did we offer you a place?" Hermione asked coldly.

"Oh, is this your train?" Draco sneered.

"No, is it yours?" Hermione shot back.

"It's for the public," Draco suggested. He entered fully into the room, followed by Crabbe and another boy. "Get the bags, Goyle."

Hermione huffed her way to the seat beside Ron. Neville slid in beside Harry. Draco, Crabbe and Goyle sat opposite them in a row. After spending five minutes scowling at each other, Harry absently comforting the kitten who was licking its paws in a rather offended posture, Draco spoke up.

"What house are you aiming for?"

Everybody looked at one another.

"Um...who are you talking to?" asked Neville uneasily.

"All of you, spongehead," Draco snapped.

Neville shrank into the wall. "I don't know..."

"Gryffindor or Ravenclaw," said Hermione smartly.

Ron mumbled something unintelligible. Harry didn't say a word.

"God," Draco puffed. "I feel like I'm talking to some mentally challenged people! I'm done being nice."

"Nobody asked you to," Hermione snarled.

"Hold it, wildcat," Goyle smirked.

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The rest of the journey was spent in silence on Harry's side, and boasting on Draco's side. Hermione was reading 'To Plant a Plant' by Warre Anson while Neville slept heavily beside Harry, head bumping against the wall. Ron and Harry continued poking Scabbers and Shadow to make friends.

Draco was just finishing his story of 'How I learned to play Quidditch' when the train pulled to a stop.

"We are there!" Crabbe said loudly, excitement bordering on his voice.

Hermione closed her book and slipped it inside her backpack. "I can't believe it! I'm going to see the castle for real this time! Aren't you all?"

Harry conveniently neglected to answer her and Draco chose to shoot a dirty look at her. Ron shook Neville awake and they slid open the compartment's door. Students were streaming past and Draco waited impatiently until he found a gap between the crowd and slipped in. The rest took the opportunity and followed him, letting Draco do the dirty work of pushing and pulling.

Once they got off the train, they heard a strong voice that carried through the noisy atmosphere.

"First 'ears! First 'ears o'er here!"

"Where?" Neville looked flustered. "For what?"

"First years have to go to the castle through boats!" Hermione cut in looking even more ecstatic. Although they were all told to leave their luggage in the train, Hermione had insisted to bring her backpack with her.

They fought their own way to the edge of the water since Draco, Crabbe and Goyle had disappeared in the throngs and waited patiently for their turn. Hagrid was there, his push form but gentle as he divided the first years into groups. He caught Harry's eye and he smiled, but gave away no sign that he knew Harry.

They got into a boat along with a pair of twin girls and adjusted themselves in the small boat. They spotted Draco, Crabbe and Goyle who pushed a boy out of their way to climb on a boat. Then after another ten minutes, Hagrid's voice boomed out again.

"Everyone stay close, follow me and hang on," he called. As the boats slipped into the dark waters, a light held above the boat snapped on lighting up the black night.

"I wonder what the castle would be like," Hermione said. "I read that the Great Hall has a ceiling that is enchanted to look like the sky outside. Isn't it such a good piece of magic? The sight must be spectacular! I wonder who will teach us Transfiguration, won't it be exciting to turn something into another?"

"Yeah," mumbled Ron.

Half the journey was spent by listening to Hermione's energetic chatter. Although Harry had been at the castle for about a month, and had explored almost every cranny with either Severus, Sirius or by himself, the excitement radiating off Hermione was just contagious. He found himself feeling rather excited too but one look at Ron told him that panic was setting in. Ron was probably worried about which house he would be placed in.

"Oh, no!" Neville cried.

"What?" asked one of the twins. Their names were Padma and Parvati Patil, Hermione being the most friendly person (and the most talkative one) on the boat had started the introductions. They had also shown brief surprise when Harry's surname set in and Hermione and Neville who hadn't noticed Harry's last name almost fell off the boat but they recovered quickly. Seeing that Harry didn't really like them pressing on the matter, they hadn't talked about it although Neville was starting to stare at Harry's forehead.

"Trevor is gone!"

"Who is Trevor?" The other twin asked.

"My toad!" Neville frantically started digging around his robes. "I was just holding it!"

"Maybe it jumped off board," Ron suggested.

"No!" Neville wailed.

"I have tried some simple spells, and it actually worked," Hermione didn't stop talking as she turned around to try to find Trevor. Her large backpack didn't give her much freedom to twist properly and she could only check her sides. "I hope that whatever class we go to first will..."

Sitting opposite her, Harry saw a dark object hopping out from somewhere behind Ron and then it flew towards Hermione, aiming right into her mouth. Hermione gave a strangled scream then in her frenzy to get the toad out of her mouth, she shifted around wildly. Her heavy backpack slipped from the edge of the boat and weighed her down. Giving a high pitched shriek, Hermione fell backwards into the water with a loud splash.

"Hermione!" Ron threw himself to the other side of the boat. "Hermione, where are you!"

"Oh, God!" Neville looked horrified. "Hermione, are you alright?"

The twins started yelling for Hagrid but he was too far in front to hear. The boat in front started yelling too and the message slowly made its way towards Hagrid. Harry could see air bubbles popping up from the water and Hermione's fingers grasping air as Ron, Neville and the twins tried to reach out to her but even before they had time to think straight, Hermione's fingers sank below the water the bubbles gradually stopped appearing.

In a flash, Harry knew that Hermione would never get to the surface as long as she was carrying that heavy bag on her shoulders and knowing her, she would never let it go. Looking around quickly, he could see everyone searching anxiously through the water, Hagrid finally getting the message and making his way to them.

There was no time to wait until Hagrid arrived. Without thinking further, Harry pushed Ron and Neville apart both who were searching the water for any sign of Hermione with their hands and jumped into the water with a loud splash.

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Replies to Reviews received for With Time Comes Trust

I'm just going to do this lightly:

Thank you for the nice warm feeling you gave to me when I read your review : Loopy Luna Lovegood, Chibi, Wytil, jeangab057, SparkyKnight, texasjeanette, Serebii, EmeraldKatsEye, ParanoiaIn2005, Eric2, Calimora, chocoliciouz, Krylancelo, angel74, StarWest45, Japonica, Elven Warrior1, Thowra, ERMonkey Queen of Insanity, Siri Kat, Drigpaws, lyss33, MiruSedna, Yana5, Starlight Dreams and athenakitty
Wiccan PussyKat -- That's funny, haha! [...Harry's not your average cookie] So cute!
Serpent of Light -- Thank you! HUGS
kikyogirl021989 -- Be a writer? Still a beginner here! Haha! Thank you, XOXO
Jadyn Potter -- What's wrong with the 'baby'? It's not really a mom thing, my dad calls me baby. No harm :)
MikiBaby -- More of Petunia and Dudley? Did you just say that? You are the first one that ever liked those two! *grin*
Illucia -- Thanks for all the five feedback you gave! About your review for chapter 8 (...Sirius and Severus couldn't flank him...) I sort of explained that in...um...whichever chapter it was. Lousy excuse, huh? Haha! Well, every story has its flaws!