Chapter One

Sirius James Potter was a boy. A boy who was short for his age and had messy black hair and blue eyes. A boy who looked exactly like his father had at his age except for the fact that his dad had green eyes and wore glasses. Sirius had his mother's eyes.

Sirius had a mum named Ginny and a dad named Harry. He had a nine-year-old sister named Virginia. They all lived together in a Muggle neighborhood. Dad felt more comfortable in a Muggle neighborhood.

Even though they were a wizarding family, the Potters spent most of their time around and living like Muggles. Both Sirius and his sister were to attend Muggle schools until they were accepted into Hogwarts, a school of magic.

It was August 19. Today was Sirius' eleventh birthday. Maybe he would get his acceptance letter from Hogwarts today. He certainly hoped so. He couldn't wait to go to Hogwarts.

"Breakfast is ready!" Mum shouted for her children. Sirius got out of bed, threw on some jeans and a T-shirt, and left the room.

"Happy birthday!" His sister called, coming from her room. The two clattered downstairs and headed for the table.

Mum and Dad were already there, sitting at their seats. The table was set, and eggs, bacon, pancakes, and sausages were steaming.

Sirius sat down across from his mum and Virginia sat at the end of the table. There was a large package beside Sirius' plate.

He looked up at his mum. "Can I open it now?" He asked.

"May I." she corrected.

"May I?" He repeated impatiently.

"Yes you may." Sirius tore open the package and found a broomstick, a Silver Stripe 500, practically the best broom available. He looked to see Mum rolling her eyes, and Dad grinning.

"Thanks Dad!" He threw his arms around his dad. "This is so cool! May I go try it out?"

Dad opened his mouth, but Mum answered for him. "Finish your breakfast first, and then you and Dad can go flying."

"All right!" Sirius hurried through his breakfast, and finished about the same time as his dad.

"You ready?" Asked his dad.

"Of course. Are you?" Sirius asked with a grin.

His dad grinned back. "You bet I am."

Dad led the way to the fireplace, and took a pinch of floo powder. "Moonlit Shack!" He said, then disappeared into the fire. Sirius followed suit, and found himself in an abandoned building.

It was the same as it always had been. It had only one room, and no furniture. There were marks and dark stains on the floor and walls. Sirius had once asked his dad about the marks and stains, but Dad had simply shrugged and said that someone had used this place before him and didn't need it any more. Sirius had stopped asking, but sometimes he wondered if there had been a murder there or something.

"But then wouldn't there be a ghost of some sort?" He would ask himself. Since there was no ghost, there couldn't have been a murder there. Could there?

At any rate, Sirius and his dad had been coming here for years. The shack was deep in the woods, far from anyone who might possibly see the two flying around on their broomsticks. The two could fly around for hours, and often did.

Today, of course, they would have to be back by four o' clock. That was when Sirius' birthday party was, and they couldn't be late for that. So Sirius and his dad took to the air immediately to get in as much time flying as they could.

Before they knew it, it was four o' clock, and Dad motioned for Sirius to land. Sirius grinned and dove for the ground as fast as he could. His dad followed behind, and the two were suddenly hurtling towards the ground. They played this game all the time, seeing who could stay in the dive the longest without falling off the broom. Sirius pulled up at the last second possible, but Dad tumbled off his broom as it stopped and rolled along the grass. Then he sat up and grinned.

"Looks like you won this round." Dad laughed. "Come on, or we're going to be late. You know how your mum gets when we're late."

"Yeah." Agreed Sirius, and the two headed for home.

"You're late." Said Mum as they came through the fireplace. "Sirius, upstairs now and take a shower. You two are filthy. Harry, you can get in after he's finished."

"Yes, Mum." Sirius said, and hurried upstairs to shower.

Ten minutes later, Sirius came running back down the stairs. Guests had already started arriving, but they were mostly people Dad had known in school, so he didn't know any of the other kids very well.

There were the Weasleys, with their four kids, three with bright red hair like their dad and one with brown hair like her Mum. Then there were the Longbottoms, and their daughter. And of course, the Finnegans, with their kid. Mostly they would hang out with Virginia, and Sirius would sit and listen to the adults. They always had some great stories.

But they brought presents, as he and Virginia did when they were invited to their birthday parties, so it was okay. So what if the kids barely knew each other at all? Sirius was used to it, as were the others, so it didn't really bother any of them.

Mum always had a specific way of doing birthday parties. First there were drinks and chips and dip, then there was ice cream, then came the 'Happy Birthday' song and cake. After that they would play games outside, and then there would be a piƱata. Then presents would be opened, and after that parents would sit around and talk, and the kids would just run around the house and yard. All in all, it was a great plan.

Of course, presents were the best part. This year, Sirius got a multi-color ink quill set, a practice snitch, a joke kit, and a T-shirt that said, "How would I know what the teacher wants to talk to you about, Mum?"

Sirius sat and looked through his presents, eavesdropping as the parents sat around the table. Maybe he would hear another story about the crazy professors at Hogwarts or the infamous Weasley twins.

"So I heard he's coming back." Mum said, looking over at Mrs. Weasley. "Is that true?"

"He might be coming back. You know how that is. He said he'd have to see." She replied.

"He'd have to see?" Dad cut in. "That sounds a lot like him, doesn't it, Ron?"

Mr. Weasley laughed. "Yeah, well, He did show up."

"Late." Added Mrs. Weasley.

"True." He agreed.

"What?" Asked Mr. Longbottom. "Showed up for what?"

"Well," Mr. Weasley answered, " 'Mione and I invited him to our wedding, and he shrugged and said he'd try to be there, but couldn't make any promises, but best wishes."

The adults burst into laughter at this. Finally Mr. Finnegan calmed down and asked, "So what would he be teaching, then? DADA?"

Dad shook his head.

"That job's already been taken." Mrs. Weasley explained. "Besides, he said something about being busy most of the time. I think he's starting a dueling club."

"As long as it's better than the last one." Muttered Mum, and the rest of the adults agreed.

"Anything's bound to be better than him, Ginny." Said Mr. Weasley.

"Especially if it's Professor Lupin." Agreed Mr. Longbottom.

"No contest there." Added Mr. Finnegan. "Professor Lupin could kick Lockhart's butt any day."

The other adults agreed.

That night, in bed, Sirius wondered who this Professor Lupin could be. Some mighty dueler, no doubt. A big, strong, fast guy. Maybe around his parents' age, maybe he had even gone to school with them. The best of the best.

When Sirius went to Hogwarts, would he be able to meet this dueler? Maybe he could take the dueling class. And maybe he could become so good, he could duel with Professor Lupin. And then, if he were a Gryffindor, he wouldn't have to worry about any Slytherins.

But what if the Professor were mean, stern, tough, harsh, and demanding? What if he didn't like Sirius and wouldn't let him take the class? What if first years weren't allowed to take the class? What then?

But, despite these questions, Sirius soon fell asleep, and the next thing he knew, it was morning.

"Sirius!" Called his Mum. "Breakfast is ready! Hurry Up!"

Sirius climbed out of bed, threw on his new T-shirt and a pair of jeans, and clambered downstairs.

The rest of the family was at the table, and Virginia was grinning madly, as if she were up to something.

"What are you up to?" He asked.

"Nothing!" She protested, a gleam in her eye.

"No, really, what is it?"

Virginia covered her mouth with her hands. Then she burst out. "You got a letter! It's by your plate!"

Sirius looked, and sure enough, there was a letter by his plate. He picked up the envelope, it was addressed to him. He turned it over.

It bore the Hogwarts Seal.

He had been accepted! Into Hogwarts! Sirius let out a whoop and jumped up and down. "Yes!" He opened the letter and read it.

"Congratulations!" Dad said, hugging Sirius.

"YAY! YAY! YAY!" Virginia shouted, as if she herself had been accepted.

"Sit down and eat." Mum told the family. "And congratulations dear, we're very proud of you. Now eat up."

"I'm too excited to eat, Mum." Sirius complained.

"You will eat if you want to get your school supplies today." She replied.

"In that case, I'm starved, Mum. Where's the food?"

"I thought so." Mum said, a twinkle in her eye.