Warning - this is so AU it needs another category of its own. It's one of those Sirius-doesn't-die-James-and-Lily-come-forward-in-time stories --- This will not magically excuse the pun solve all of Harry's problems. He will get into a slash relationship with Ron. There are others in slash relationships as well.
A/N - I started this a few months after I read book five and fell over it again recently so I thought I'd finish it and then punish you all horribly by posting it on the net. The characters may be OC in places, but that was the only way I could make the story work. As for cannon ---- it's been fired heh
Disclaimer - JKR owns all the characters etc, etc, etc. I have said it once, no need to say it a thousand times, right? Right.
A/N 2 - Be glad that I haven't tortured you with this until it is finished unlike my beta reader who ended up having to invite me to her house so she could make sure I wrote this and got it right! because looking back I can see it's taken me two years to write it!
Message from my beta - also be glad you didn't have to put up with the cliff hangers!!!!!
Chapter one: Seriously Bored
Sirius looked up at the ceiling above his bed and sighed in boredom. The novelty of being waited on hand and foot had worn off really fast. Confined to bed, and too weak to actually defy Madam Pomfrey, he was reduced to waiting for Remus to return from whatever errand he'd slipped away on. He didn't even have the strength to sit up properly and read; and he hated reading lying down. Not that there was anything in the room to read anyway as the papers were kept from him and the family library dealt mainly with the Dark Arts, and in all reality he just wasn't that bored. Very few people could just drop in and visit him, though Tonks dropped by as often as she could. Unfortunately with the revelation that Voldemort had returned - Fudge was touting it as if it was fresh news to him - the Order was incredibly busy, tracing spies of both the Death Eaters and the Ministry. It was the unfortunate truth that the disastrous battle at the Ministry for his godson's life had done some very real damage to all of them, though not all of it was visible.
His thoughts turned to the people that had rushed to Harry's aid, and once more he thanked Merlin, or whoever watched over foolishly loyal friends, that they had all survived. Ron Weasley - Harry's right hand man - had suffered some scarring to his arms and wrists in the aftermath of those brains. The scars would fade for the most part, only showing up if the marred skin was flushed or burnt by the sun, until eventually they faded into nothing.
Hermione Granger - Harry's right hand woman - had suffered an unidentified curse that had managed to almost dissolve her rib cage. She would recover in time, and although Madam Pomfrey had to repair some minor damage to her heart and lungs, there would be no lasting effects. She would have to be careful in her dotage though, lest the curse come back to haunt her. Please Merlin that wouldn't be until she was closing in on one hundred and eighty at the very least.
Ginny Weasley - Harry's friend - had broken an ankle, but she hadn't had to spend more than a few minutes in the care of Madam Pomfrey. Neither had Luna Lovegood, who was knocked unconscious by the Death Eaters they had battled. Neville Longbottom's nose had been repaired in seconds, and his pride in his accomplishments had allowed the young man to stand up to his grandmothers withering concern. Mrs Longbottom had been forced to see that her son's son had grown into a fine young man.
Harry's injuries were all internal, and Sirius was the most concerned about him. The others had family to support them, but once more his godson was exiled to the Dursley's and cut off from the Wizarding world. The problem was that once again Harry had led others into danger, yet had himself emerged relatively unscathed. Sirius knew - because Harry had told him right before he sobbed himself to sleep like a small child in his arms - that Harry blamed himself for their injuries and bitterly regretted his mistakes of the past year. Any teenage arrogance he'd had was gone, vanished like a snowflake in a fire. Sirius feared that his godson would never recover from this blow.
Sirius himself had very nearly fallen through the Veil in the Department of Mysteries. Only a shield, erected unconsciously by his godsons love, had stopped him from falling through, though his legs had crossed the threshold. He'd felt his life being leached away and had only just made it back into the room. Harry hadn't seen that of course, believing him dead his godson had chased LeStrange through the Ministry, to be eventually cornered and possessed by Voldemort himself. It had taken all of Harry's love to free himself from the foul Wizard's grip, and when he'd finally been allowed to visit Sirius three days later, it was obvious to the former convict that the teen hadn't recovered.
Sirius almost wished that Kreacher was still alive, so he could order the foul little elf around and generally make its life miserable. Apparently Remus had lost his temper and despatched the elf when it had muttered something about being sad that Sirius hadn't died. Remus' temper was enhanced by his curse, especially near the full moon, and Kreacher's death had been swift but unexpected. The werewolf had disposed of the body without ceremony and then gone on to destroy all the heads mounted on the wall and Mrs Black as well in a rage. Only Sirius' voice, calling anxiously from his bed, had distracted the werewolf, who had curled up on the covers with Sirius hand in his hair to calm down.
Remus had cared for him the past two weeks; waiting on him with a calm patience that Sirius was determined to wear down. He could get his friend to do the most outrageous things when he was riled; in fact some of their more successful pranks had been powered by Moony's indignation. Sirius grinned at the ceiling in memory, only to have the grin fade when a thought hit him out of the blue. He shoved with weakened arms to try and sit up better to figure this out when the door opened and Remus slipped cautiously into the room. His friend hated to wake him, and always did his best to move lightly when entering or leaving a room.
"Sirius?" Remus' arms wrapped around him and helped prop him up in the bed comfortably. He snagged a frayed sleeve and tugged and his friend joined him on the bed, curled up a little and leaning against the same pillows.
"I just realised," Sirius said hoarsely, "How different Harry and his friends are to how we were in school."
"What brought this on?" Moony sounded confused, as well he might. He was too close to the situation to really see it, his stint as Harry's teacher blinding him to the differences between the Marauders and the Golden Trio.
"I was thinking about how Harry snuck himself and his friends out of school - like we used to long ago," Sirius leaned into his friends shoulder, "But then I realised how different it was. When we were sneaking dung bombs into the staff room, they were sneaking through a set of enchantments to protect a philosopher's stone. When we were pranking the Slytherin common room they were figuring out the Chamber of Secrets. When James and I were figuring out why you kept disappearing, they were fighting an accused murderer for the life of a friend. When we were trying to hex the Slytherin's brooms, Harry was duelling Voldemort… I was thinking how proud James would be that his son broke as many rules as he did, but when we broke the rules it was for a prank or a lark. When Harry breaks the rules it's for the good of others."
"A bit of a shock to realise that your young man has grown up so fast," Remus muttered, "Our Cub hasn't had much of a child hood, what with one thing or another."
"We haven't helped," Sirius replied heavily, "We kept him in the dark last year, treated him like some helpless innocent. We tried to preserve a childhood that he's never been allowed to have."
"You can't change the past, Padfoot," Moony sighed, with all the bitter weight of experience. Padfoot nodded, twisting a bit so they were face to face, their breath warm on each others skin.
"We can avoid repeating the same mistakes. He gets told everything this year," Sirius replied, "I'll make Molly see the truth of the matter. No more deceptions, not even for his own good. He's already done so much, we should respect that."
"As you wish," Moony replied sadly and Padfoot nodded, his eyes drooping as his energy ran out, as it was wont to do nowadays. He felt thin yet strong arms creep around him and settled into the embrace gratefully, resting in the protection that his pack mate was offering.