Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J. K. Rowling, etc. I am not her.
"Bloody Hell!" Harry threw the heavy tome from his lap and across the common room where it thudded loudly against the wall. The other Gryffindors, mostly underclassmen cramming for their Potions exam, packed their bags quickly and escaped to their dorms. Harry's temper, while hard to get to actually show, was well known for being explosive once the scales did tip and none of the younger Gryffindors wanted to be in the line of fire. The sixth-year watched them scamper out, eyebrow twitching and fingers itching to grab something else to throw.
Harry had tried four different spells and a Revealing Potion, specifically designed for people who are unable to discover their animagus forms on their own or through other means, but so far nothing had come from it. Both Ron and Hermione had already discovered their forms, a smooth-coat fox terrier and a river otter respectively, and they'd even managed to transform for the first time a few days ago. At the rate that he was going, his friends would be married, have kids and their grandkids would be animagi before him.
"Calm down, mate." Ron wisely moved to the other couch when Harry's ire first became apparent. "We're sure to find something."
"We've been looking for over two months now, Ron. Even Hermione's frenzied research in the library hasn't found anything." The female of the trio didn't look up at the mention of her name, nose buried between the pages of dusty tome. "Maybe I don't have an animagus form."
"Everyone has an animagus form. It's the ability to transform that not everyone has." Hermione flipped the pages carefully. "I still don't see why you won't ask Professor McGonagall for advice. I'm sure she'd be happy to help you."
"Yeah, and then she'd have me registered with the Ministry. The whole point of me getting my animagus form is to give me an edge against Volde-stop flinching Ron-mort. It'll defeat the purpose if it's on record where anyone could look it up."
Ron sat up excitedly. "I know, let's ask Sirius! He managed to transform into his animagus form without any help from a professor; maybe he'd have a solution."
Harry wanted to slap himself. Why hadn't he thought of that? Hermione clucked her tongue disapprovingly and both boys looked at her. "What?"
"I don't think you should ask Sirius."
"Why not?" Harry was a bit miffed. What did she have against his Godfather?
"He's been in Azkaban for twelve years and only recently escaped from the Veil. I hardly think he's sane enough to be a reliable source."
"Ah, come off it 'Mione. Sirius cares about Harry. He'd never do something to harm him, even if he is bat-shit crazy."
"What? I'm not saying he is!"
"Look, Hermione, I trust Sirius. Over holiday break I'm going to ask for his help. I promise that if he comes up with a solution and it doesn't sound quite right, I'll send you an owl first, alright?" The witch conceded reluctantly and the trio packed up for the night.
About twenty minutes later, Harry and Ron were in their beds, but far from ready for sleep. "So what do you hope your animagus form will be?"
"At first I was hoping for a stag like my father, but that's a vulnerable animal and I don't fancy getting shot during hunting season. A lion would be nice, but it might be too obvious."
"Maybe it'll be a snake since you're a Parselmouth," Ron teased. He grabbed the pillow Harry chucked at him and tucked it under his head. "Mine now!"
A week later, Harry stepped off the Hogwarts Express with Hermione and Ron. He would be going to the Burrow first and spend the night before flooing over to Grimmauld Place in the morning. According to Ron, Charlie, Bill, Percy, and the twins were already at home. Molly greeted Ginny, Ron, and Harry with bone popping hugs and herded her daughter and the teenage boys out of the train station. At the Burrow, the Weasley matriarch set out to 'fatten' Harry up.
"Mum, he doesn't need that much food! You're going to make him burst if he eats all that!"
"Hush, Ronald. Harry, dear, eat as much as you like."
Harry nodded, unwilling to face her wrath. "Yes, Mrs. Weasley."
"Oh, Harry, I've told you before that you can either call me Molly or even Mum if you like."
"Alright, Mrs…Mol-" Harry caught Ron's 'just-say-what-she-really-wants-to-hear' signal and quickly changed courses. "Alright, Mum."
Molly eyes grew wet immediately and she excused herself to the living room. The men at the table hesitated for a second before wolfing down their food, hoping to escape to their rooms before their teary eyed matriarch came back. Surprisingly, Mr. Weasley was the first one done and he all but sprinted up the stairs. One by one the other males finished, stacking their plates in a pile and disappearing from sight. Harry and Ron finished second to last, Harry even managed to clean his plate off completely, and left Ginny and Percy alone at the table. While no less hurried, the third eldest son was trying to eat with as many manners intact as possible. Unfortunately, this slowed him up too much and was wrangled into helping with dishes while he listened to his mother blubber on about Harry calling her Mum.
The twins could be heard laughing over Percy's pleas for help.
The next morning, Molly teared up each time she saw Harry, but managed not to burst into sobs. Ron and the twins, the only ones that hadn't left to do their own thing, rolled their eyes at their mother's soggy sniffles.
"Mum, he's just going-"
"-to Sirius' place. It's not like-"
"-he's leaving the country!"
Harry watched Mrs. Weasley warily, eyeing the dangerously large tears that were ready to fall at the slightest provocation. He reached into the floo pot Molly held and grabbed a handful of floo powder.
"Thanks for the dinner last night Mrs.-" a warning signal from Ron, "Mum."
"Oh, dear, you don't have to thank me. Anytime you're hungry you come right over, no matter the time."
Harry threw the powder into the fireplace and waited for the flames to subside a bit before stepping in. "Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place."
The sixteen year old stumbled out of the fireplace on the other end and tripped to the floor just like always. Ash settled around him, covering the antique rug under him in a thin layer of grey.
"Really, if you didn't look the spitting image of your dad, I'd never guess you were a Potter with that impressive display of grace."
Harry looked up through dirty broken glasses to see Sirius smiling down at him. The older man had gained some weight now that he was out of the Veil and no longer on the run from the Ministry, and had a healthy glow to his skin. His eyes were still haunted from his ordeals, but there was a spark of life in them that wasn't there when Harry first met him almost three years ago. Sirius leaned down and helped his godson to his feet before pulling him into a tight hug, heedless of the ash. "Merlin, it's good to see you Harry. How's school going?" Harry mumbled something into Sirius' chest and he quickly let go so that the young Gryffindor could breathe and speak properly. "What was that?"
"School's okay. Snape's still a git, but DADA is my best subject so he hasn't had a chance to give me any detentions yet. He's right pissed about that. Slughorn is an odd professor, but I'll take him over Snape in Potions any day."
"They gave the DADA position to Snape?! Are they looking to kill you guys?"
"It'll be okay, Sirius. We've still got the DA meetings. No one knows we started it up again. Well, Dumbledore might, but he knows everything going on at Hogwarts."
"Hmm, well, if you ever feel like Snape and your DA aren't cutting it, just come to me and I'll tutor you on some spells. I know some interesting ones."
Harry lit up. "Speaking of tutoring, would you help me with the animagus transformation? Ron, Hermione, and I decided that having an unregistered animagus form would be handy for escapes and sneaking into places. The other two already transformed their first time, but I don't even have a clue as to what my form is! Do you have any suggestions?"
"Actually, I do. When the other Marauders and I were looking into animagi magic, we came across a potion that forces a person into their animagus form, even if it's unknown. It was used mainly to help out witches and wizards that were having a hard time discovering their form or transforming. The downside is that the person loses all sense of self while under the influence of the potion and they really believe that they are an animal. The influence time differs for everyone, but most people come out of it after about a day." Sirius looked deep in thought. "I'm not sure where that book is anymore. I might have to ask Moony, but it could still be in my school trunk. Follow me, my trunk's in the attic." The two Gryffindors ascended the stairs, tip-toeing past the portrait of the late Mrs. Black and made their way to the attic stairs. "Stick close and don't touch anything. There are a lot of cursed items up here and I'm not really sure what any of them does."
Harry watched his Godfather dig around the clutter before turning his attention to the attic itself. There were numerous boxes stacked around, all covered in dust and cobwebs. There was a small glint of metal that caught his eye and Harry carefully tip-toed through the boxes and abandoned furniture. On top of an extremely dusty school trunk with the initials RAB sat a golden locket with an 'S' on it. Harry moved to pick it up, but was distracted by Sirius' shout of triumph and moved toward his Godfather without another thought about the necklace.
"I found something better than the book: the potion!" The older Gryffindor held up a palm-sized, cylindrical bottle, royal blue and covered in a lightly opaque, goopy substance. Sirius gave him a sheepish grin at the look Harry sent his way. "It's not what you think. I had a bottle of calming draught in my trunk and it must have broken open when my things were thrown up here." Sirius pulled out a wad of dark cloth, probably a shirt, and wrapped the bottle in it. The older man wiped the residue off his hands with a grimace. "Ugh, that's nasty."
"Sirius, will a potion over twenty years old even work anymore?"
"Of course it will! As long as the container is sealed airtight, the potion will never go bad. At least, that's what I think my Potions professor said. He might have been talking about food for all I know." Sirius chuckled at the disbelief on Harry's face. "Relax; I'm sure it will be fine. None of the ingredients become dangerous over time, even mixed together." He motioned for Harry to descend the steps ahead of him. "Let's go down to the kitchen. I want to make sure this bottle get cleaned really well before you drink out of it. I never knew calming draught coagulated like that when exposed to air for so long."
Harry was having major doubts about asking Sirius for help. He tried to think back to his own Potions classes. Did Snape ever mention anything about potions going bad?
He watched his Godfather hold the bottle under the water running out of the tap. "How's Professor Lupin doing? Tonight's a full moon, isn't it? Will you be heading over to his place later?"
"You know he told you to call him Moony." Sirius dried the bottle and set it gently on the counter. "But yes, I'll be flooing over there at sunset. We can have an early dinner so you don't have to eat alone. Here, the bottle's clean now, so why don't you try it out?"
Harry picked up the bottle and rolled it between his hands. "About that…I was wondering if you could fire call Profes-Moony and ask him if potions go bad over time." At Sirius' affronted look, Harry hastened to explain. "I'm pretty sure you're right and it'll probably be harmless, but I want to make sure. It's been a long time since you were in potions and I doubt Snape's ever given us that information. Please, Sirius, I don't fancy getting poisoned."
Sirius heaved a good natured sigh. "Alright, if you insist. Hold on a moment." His Godfather crossed to the other side of the long kitchen and threw a handful of floo powder into the fireplace. Harry fiddled with the bottle while the two older Gryffindors chatted.
"Hey Moony! Wake up sleepy head!" Sirius must have gotten a snarky response because he barked a laugh. "Yeah, yeah, rusty spoons and eyelash curlers. I've just got a quick question for you, and then you can get back to your beauty sleep until I come over tonight."
"Harry wants to become an animagus, but he can't figure out his form. I've still got that potion from when I was having the same problem and we're wondering if it's still good."
"So he can drink it?"
"Alright, thanks Moony. Yeah, I'll tell him."
Sirius pulled his head out of the fire and the flames turned back to their normal red. He brushed his hand over hair to loosen the ash. He stood up, wiping his hands off on his jeans, leaving grey handprints on the sides of his thighs. He flashed a grin to his Godson as he settled at the kitchen table across from him. "So, now that we've got Moony's Seal of Approval, are you going to try out that potion? Oh, and Moony says hello."
Harry shook his head. "I'd rather wait until tomorrow, after you're back from playing with Prof-Moony. I don't want to get shoved into a cage for the night because I'm not in my right mind."
"That makes sense, I suppose. When I took the potion, the Marauders had a hell of a time getting me to wee on the newspapers they set down. Prongs had to throw away his shoes after I got done chewing them."
Sirius hugged Harry one last time before stepping toward the fireplace. "Remember, if you have any problems, head straight over to the Burrow. Molly's agreed to check up on you before bed."
"I know, Sirius. Stop being such a bloody skirt about this. I'm sixteen; I can take care of myself for a few hours."
"Hey! I'm just trying to be responsible."
"I'm sure Moony will have a heart attack when you tell him."
"Again, if you didn't look it, I would swear you weren't a Potter. Such words you speak to your own Godfather! Lily would have had a good laugh on my account."
"Yeah. She lived for my torment. I'll see you tomorrow morning, Prongslet. Don't burn down the house….at least while you're in it."
Sirius threw the floo powder into the fireplace and stepped inside with practiced ease. He shouted out Remus' address and twirled away from Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. On the other end, he stepped out the low hearth with a grace that was born from experience and the need to please pureblooded parents.
Moony was nowhere to be seen, Sirius figured he was still napping to avoid the aches that plagued him the day of the full moon, and the ex-convict cast a cleaning spell on the area and himself before trotting to the back room. Moony preferred to live away from the majority of the world, sticking to very rural areas. His latest cabin was on the extremely remote island of St. Kilda. Only muggle military inhabited the main island and, with the help of wards, Remus was able to live without too much bother. His only way in and out was through the floo, which afforded him much privacy from the Wizarding World.
The cabin only had two bedrooms, though one was used as a holding cell for the full moon, so Sirius had no trouble finding his lycan friend. Sirius pushed the door open silently and peered in. His hand came up to cover his mouth to prevent a chuckle from escaping. Remus was cocooned in a pile of feather down blankets, the thick marshmallowly linens hiding most of his face from view. Only the tip of his nose and a patch of graying tawny hair were exposed.
Sirius treaded carefully over the hardwood floor, watching out for rogue edges on the plushy rugs that the werewolf was so fond of. He lifted the edge of the blankets and, after toeing off his shoes, slid into the pocket of warmth behind his friend. Remus jolted out of his sleep when Sirius nuzzled into his neck and murmured into his ear.
"Hey there, Sexy…"
Remus was pulled from a very nice dream about sunlight and heaters and softness by a baritone voice echoing softly in his ear, tickling the soft hair at his temple. "Ugh. What?" He opened one eye sleepily, vision still blurry. Dark hair and a wide grin sat just inside his peripheral vision. "Sirius, what are you doing, you dunce? It can't be that late already. What time is it?"
"Half past three. The moon will rise in about an hour, and then we've got about four hours until it's completely full." Sirius propped himself up and turned his friend so that he could look him in the face. "Have you eaten at all today?"
"No. I've been too sleepy. It's okay, though. I'm not really hungry."
"Nonsense! You know better than anyone else that you need to eat before your transformation. You're too thin as it is and if you don't have any extra calories to burn, you're just going to get thinner." Sirius slid out from the warm blankets and whipped them off of his friend, heedless of the surprised shriek and Remus state of undress.
"Well, if you'd wear more than unders while you slept, you wouldn't have such a hard time getting out of bed! It's December! Where are your warm pajamas?"
"You chewed them up last month, remember? I haven't had time to replace them." Remus pulled a pillow over his lap to hide his y-fronts and to try to preserve warmth. He had no problem being in his unders in front of Sirius, he'd walked around starkers in the dorms before with the other Marauders even, but after so many years of being separated from his friend it was a bit awkward. He had many more scars than when he was younger.
Sirius headed out the kitchen, calling over his shoulder. "Get some warm clothes on and sit at the table. I'm going to make you something to eat and you'd better eat it or you'll suffer the consequences." He heard Remus shuffle around in the back room and, assured the lazy werewolf was awake, puttered around the kitchen to scrounge up a quick meal for him.
Remus stumbled out of his room, hair mussed and clothes barely on. His shirt buttons were in the wrong holes and, as a result, one shoulder was exposed. He plunked down on one of the rickety dining chairs, the wooden joints creaking in protest.
"Really, Moony, I know you can transfigure better than that." Sirius flicked his wand at Remus' chair and it wriggled for an instant before changing into a cushioned chair with arm rests. The werewolf sighed in relief and flashed his friend a grateful smile. Sirius set down a plate of sandwiches filled with thick cuts of leftover roast beef. Remus caught a sniff of the meat and, with a hungry groan, dug into the sandwiches. "See, I knew you were hungry."
The tawny-haired man ignored Sirius' smug comment and chowed into a second sandwich. The werewolf deep inside him was grumbling, eager to be set free. It could smell its pack mate and wanted to play. Remus knew he'd need as many calories as he could get. The sun had fully set by now and anticipation grew in his chest.
"Our little Prongslet wants to follow in Prongs' footsteps and become an animagus. What do you think his form will be?"
Remus swallowed the bite he was on with difficulty. "I'm sure it will be something that gets into as much trouble as he does, but it'll be too cute to strangle."
Sirius barked out a laugh and took Remus' plate to the sink. "If that's the case, he may just turn back into a toddler. Merlin knows if he didn't have those big green eyes Lily would have smothered him with a pillow. It's a good thing I taught him the puppy pout."
The two Gryffindors moved into the second back room, the one meant just for Moony's 'time of the month'. The room was devoid of any furniture, but the floor was filled with woven rugs to ward off the chill and fluffy pillows were scattered everywhere. Sirius hauled the pillows into one of the corners and, after nipping into Remus' bedroom, piled a bunch of blankets over them. Remus was already stripped down to his y-fronts again and dove into the blankets to escape the chill in the air. Sirius snickered and snuggled under the covers with him. He removed his robe, but didn't need to remove his clothes to transform into Padfoot.
Remus nuzzled his nose into Sirius' collarbone, breathing in his scent. His legs were drawn up toward his chest and Sirius' legs hooked behind his knees to bring him even closer. Sirius raked his fingers through Remus' hair gently, lulling him into a light doze.
The two friends napped to pass the time away until the moon rose overhead; full, and bright, and terrible.
Harry puffed a burst of air to lift the fringe of hair out of his eyes. Mrs. Weasley had just left him and he felt a headache coming on. He appreciated he concern, but he was unused to her hovering and didn't know how to deal with it. The red-haired woman left reluctantly after making Harry promise he'd get to sleep fairly soon.
He was way too worked up for sleep, though. Every few minutes his attention was caught by the blue bottle that held Sirius' potion. He'd waited so long to discover his animagus form and now his chance was sitting innocently on the kitchen table, glinting up at him.
'Maybe I could take it right now. I could lock myself in my room and when Sirius gets home in the morning he can come see what my form is and he won't have to worry about me getting into things I'm not supposed to.'
Harry hesitated for a second; hand poised over the bottle, and grabbed it before he could change his mind. He ran up the stairs and locked his bedroom door behind him, hopeful that his animagus form didn't have opposable thumbs. Harry sat down on his bed and stared down at the bottle in his hand.
'Moony said it was safe, so I'm sure that it's okay.'
Harry popped the cork out of the bottle and chugged the contents, choking on the horrible taste. The bottle slipped out of his grip, thunking dully on the wooden floor. He held one hand to his throat, futilely trying to ease the pain.
His knees hit the floor heavily, Harry knew they were going to bruise, and he barely managed to catch himself with one hand as he fell forward. The braided rug, filled with blues and greens, faded to grey tones and he squinted in confusion as it grew closer.
'What the Hell?'
A hand slapped his face and Sirius jolted awake with a snort. Remus was curled slightly below him, breaths deep and even. Sunlight poured in from the high windows in the room and Sirius shoulder was warm from where one ray lay across it. Remus snuffled in his sleep and nuzzled into Sirius' shoulder.
The sunbeam that had been warming Sirius' shoulder shifted enough to hit Moony in the eyes, rousing the man. Remus mumbled groggily and shielded his face.
"What time is it Padfoot?"
Sirius cast a quick tempus and cursed. "Bullocks! It's already half past nine. Harry'll be wondering where I am by now. He must be chomping at the bit to try out that potion."
Remus opened one eye in confusion. "What potion was that again?"
"The one we made for me during our Hogwarts years. Remember, I was having a tough time transforming and-"
"You mean the one that we had to cut a lock of your hair off for?"
"Yeah, that one. I completely forgot about that part. It took forever for that chunk to grow out and match the rest of my head."
Remus flew out of the pile of pillows and blankets and sprinted for his bedroom, heedless of his naked state in front of Sirius. "Sirius, you moron! The reason we put your hair in was because the potion needs to be personalized, like the Polyjuice potion. The potion is meant only for you!"
"Well, I don't see what the problem is. We'll just have to make a fresh batch and put some of Harry's hair in. Merlin knows he's due for a haircut. He didn't want to take it until I got back because he had no clue what his form is and he didn't want to be put in a cage. I'll just pour out the potion when I get back, problem solved."
Remus bounced out of his bedroom, one leg up while he tried to put his sock on. "Except that Harry's got the Potter curse for curiosity. Combine that with his natural ability to get into trouble no matter where he goes and we have a disaster on our hands."
Sirius paled a bit. He could just picture Harry succumbing to curiosity and drinking down the potion. The dark haired Gryffindor worried for his furniture, even if he wasn't attached to any of it. The two Gryffindors flooed back to Grimmauld Place, worried about what sort of danger they were about to face.
"I'll bet he's already targeted my bedroom and marked my bed. I swear to Merlin that if my sheets have even a hint of urine, I'm going to have a new fur rug."
"Now, now, that's just the territorial mutt in you talking. Besides, how do you know he had fur? He may have changed into a snake or something."
"You said it yourself, Moony. That potion is meant only for me. Whatever he turns into, it's going to have fur."
"Actually, there are no recorded incidents of something like this happening. For all we know, nothing has happened to him at all. Then again, it could have changed him into something horrible, like a fish."
They split up to search around the gloomy house. Remus took a cautious approach, carefully looking behind things and calling out Harry's name softly. Sirius, on the other hand, took to yelling for his godson and slamming open doors only to give the rooms a cursory glance.
Amazingly, even with his brutish tactics, Sirius was the first to find Harry. He finally worked his way to Harry's room, and really it should have been the first place he looked, and swung open the door just as recklessly as he had the others. Inside it looked like any other teenager's room: trunk's content all over the floor, dirty laundry wriggling around near the edge of the bed, dirty-wait, wriggling clothes?
Sirius crept into the room, hand ready to pull out his wand and cast an, unfortunately necessary, stunner if Harry turned out to be an animal willing to bite his toes off without so much as a 'how do you do'. He heard Remus come up behind him, attracted by the lack of yelling, but kept his eyes focused on the moving clothes. Sirius reached a hand out to the small bundle on the floor, but Remus beat him to it.
"Remus, I wanted to do it!" Sirius knew he was whining, but he couldn't help it. Moony always ruined his fun!
"At the rate you were going, it would have been Christmas already." The werewolf dug his hands into Harry's discarded clothes. There were a couple of weird squeaky noises, a yip, and then a small black puppy was pulled out of the mess. It nipped playfully at Remus' fingers, croaking happily. Remus chuckled softly, eyes alight.
"Well, what do we have here?" The puppy stopped nipping and cocked his head, staring up at the lycan. Harry's green eyes studied him. There was a small patch of white fur over his right eye, marking where his scar rested. "It would seem, Padfoot, that Harry has become a black lab, just like you." Remus pressed the puppy into the dark haired man's chest. Sirius felt teeth pulling at the collar of his shirt. "In a way, my friend, you're now a father. Congratulations, it's a boy."
Sirius cupped his big hands underneath Harry's animagus form and cradled him gently. Really, it was just like when the boy was born. That strange pressure he'd felt sixteen years ago was back as he stared down at green eyes. From the look on Remus' face, sad, proud, and in a little bit of awe, the other man was feeling it, too. Harry was croaking again, attempting to pull Sirius' collar out of shape.
Remus leaned down to look closely at the young pup in Sirius' hands. "It's hard to tell, but I don't think he's weaned yet. We can try some soft solid food. If he doesn't take it, we'll have to pick up some puppy formula and a bottle to feed him."
Sirius lifted Harry up to eye level, pulling his collar even further out of shape. The puppy yanked his head back playfully, rump wiggling on the human's palm. He smiled softly and gently pried his shirt out of the little jaw, exposing tiny teeth. He hoped the pup wasn't weaned yet. He missed the times he spent feeding Harry his bottle, the infant suckling like a piglet.
The dark haired man jolted and looked over at his friend. "What was that Moony?"
"We need to set up a spot for Harry to use as a loo, unless you don't mind him weeing on the carpets."
"I'm not looking forward to learning a shampooing charm just to clean up accidents. There should be some old Daily Prophets stacked up in a box in the kitchen, near the pantry."
Just then, Harry gave a huge yawn, little jaw wide open. The two older Gryffindors laughed gently. Sirius couldn't resist tickling the sixteen-year-old-turned-pup's little round belly. He gathered up Harry's discarded shirt and followed Remus downstairs to the sitting room. He made a small nest with the shirt and transfigured one of the sofa pillows into a small stuffed puppy to place next to the real one. Harry immediately snuggled into his companion and soon soft snores were coming from the napping pup.
"That's one of the cutest things I've even seen." Sirius looked over at Remus. "Was Padfoot ever that cute when I took that potion?"
Remus snorted. "Only when you were sleeping. When you were awake I swear nothing was sacred. I can't tell you how many shoes James went through and you seemed to think Peter's essays, the ones that had no less than half a meter to them, were your 'potty spots'."
"I knew Padfoot could smell untrustworthy people."
The two men left the pup sleeping in the makeshift nest on the floor and headed into the kitchen. Remus set about making tea while Sirius pulled out a package of chocolate biscuits from the pantry. "Do you think we should let Dumbledore know about this?"
Sirius shook his head. "I don't see why we should. I'm Harry's guardian, not him. Besides, the potion will wear off in about a day and Prongslet will be no worse for it."
"I suppose you're right, but if something goes wrong, we'll have to notify him. That potion was only meant for you. I have a bad feeling that this is going to take a while to get through." Remus poured tea for the both of them and they quietly worked on their snack.
"Moony, can I tell you something?"
"Of course, Padfoot. What is it?"
"I've been a bit bothered about how much control Dumbledore has over Harry. He's the headmaster of Hogwarts, and the leader of the Order of the Phoenix, but how does that translate into Harry's keeper? At school he has the responsibility to protect the students, but the Order fights Voldemort. We're not Potter-Police."
"Potter-Police? Really, Sirius, that was pathetic."
"Well, what would you call it? Dumbledore has had his hand in Harry's life since before he was born, even since that whole mess about Harry being one of the 'chosen ones' who would be attacked by Voldemort. Now he has Order members watching Harry in the muggle world to make sure he stays at home at all times during the summer. He's been governing our pup's life when he doesn't have any place to."
"But you've been in prison and on the run for fifteen years. I couldn't take Harry because I'm a werewolf. Dumbledore was the next in line."
"Says who? I saw James and Lily's wills; I was there when they were being written up. If I had been somehow incapacitated, Harry was supposed to go to James' parents next. It was only a stroke of luck that they were killed only a few weeks before Voldemort attacked our friends. James never got the chance to update the will. Dumbledore used that loophole to send Harry off to Lily's horrible sister." Sirius drained his teacup. He pointed at Remus for emphasis, half eaten biscuit dropping crumbs everywhere. "Besides, I've been freed of all charges so we can be there for Harry now. Dumbledore will need to back the hell off. There's no way I'm going to let that old codger manipulate Harry into thinking he's only a weapon for the Light."
"When did you get so bitter toward Dumbledore? You've only ever sung praises about him before you were thrown into Azkaban."
"Ever since he failed to believe that I'd never hurt Prongs, Lily and Prongslet. He fell under the same bias that everyone else had about me. Since my last name is Black, I must have betrayed them. Managing to get sorted into Gryffindor was only proof of how sneaky I could be that I could even trick the Sorting Hat." Sirius threw down the biscuit, no longer hungry. He knew that Remus' expression was very guilty right then. His friend had also believed that he'd betrayed everyone.
"Sirius, you know that's not why I thought you were guilty, right? I knew it wasn't because of your family that you would have done that."
The dark haired man sighed and looked up at his friend. "I know, Remus, I know. Even if you had, I couldn't be angry at you. For a while we were suspicious of you because of you're werewolf." Sirius wrapped one arm around Remus' shoulders and pulled him close. "We're quite a pair, aren't we?"
Remus laughed and shoved a biscuit in Sirius' mouth. "Please, I'm not nearly as thick-headed as you."
Harry woke up slowly, much too warm and comfortable to completely return to the land of the living. He snuggled into the softness cushioning him and let out a snuffle. Above him someone let out a snicker and he peeked one eye open. He was cocooned in a warm blanket that smelled faintly of sweat and leather and snuggled up against a huge, fluffy brown pillow. Sirius and Remus hovered over him, strange looks on their faces. "What's going on, Sirius?"
At least, that's what he tried to ask, but all that came out was a series of squeaks, grunts, and a bark. 'What the hell?'
"Hahaha, look at that, Remus. Little guy's trying to say something." Sirius poked Harry in the face, finger gently rubbed against the soft fur of his cheek. Harry lifted a hand to bat the offending digit away and froze when he saw a tiny black paw instead. The past night's events came back to him and Harry jolted up to his feet, awkwardly tipping to and fro as he tried to balance on a strange feet.
"Sirius, help me! I took that potion last night, but something went wrong! None of the books about animagus' ever said there was supposed to be pain during transformations. What happened to me?" Harry knew his godfathers couldn't understand him, but he was too desperate to think clearly.
Sirius and Remus stared at him bemusedly. "I think he is trying to tell us something, Padfoot. It looks like Harry's human mind is in control." Remus leaned around his friend and picked up the little black puppy barking and whining frantically at them. "You're safe Harry. We know you took Sirius left over potion. I missunderstood what potion you two had found, pup. That particular potion is meant for only the one who made it. Like the polyjuice potion, some of Sirius' hair was added at the end and was only ever meant to be ingested by him. With anyone else, there's no telling how it will react with their magic. You were very lucky you weren't killed, kiddo."
Harry settled down as Remus picked him up and cradled him gently in his hands. "It figures, huh? It's just my luck that I take a potion with unknown effects."
The older Gryffindors smiled at Harry's grunts. Even if they couldn't understand what he was saying, they could understand his tone. "Don't worry, Harry. We'll figure something out." Sirius took Harry from Remus and snuggled his nose into the fluffy fur at the pup's temple. "You're just so cute like this!"
Harry licked Sirius on the cheek and wriggled to be let down. He gripped Sirius' pant leg in his teeth and pulled. He was getting hungry. "Feed me!"
"This is going to be tough if we can't figure out a way to understand him, Moony."
Remus thought for a moment. "Why not change into Padfoot? It'll be taxing on your magic, but it will help reassure Harry that he's not alone in this if he has someone to talk to directly." The werewolf barely finished his last sentence before there were too black dogs in front of him, mirror images of each other down to the puppy mentality. "Well, then. Glad you agree." Padfoot barked and turned to nose Harry's tiny body to the kitchen. Remus sighed heavily. Of course food would be the first thing on the to-do list. "Alright you two, let's get something to eat."
He had a feeling he had two children to baby sit now.
So, I've been working on this for a little over a year now. I've written bits and pieces of it as the months go by, as a form of stress relief, and I'm finally at a point that I can cut it off and post it as the first chapter. I have no idea how long this will end up being, but I'm shooting for a max of five chapters, equal in length to this one (maybe even longer, but definitely not shorter). Updates will not be consistent. It could take me another year to get the next chapter out. This story is only for stress relief and writer's block.
And before anyone asks, Harry will not be paired with anyone during this story. Same goes with Remus and Sirius. They're not actually together, but you can pretend they are if you really want to.
Also, about the full moon. The reason why Sirius mentioned that it was already out even though it was early afternoon is because they're in a cabin way up north during the Winter. Night comes sooner, and so does the moon. The moon isn't actually 'full' the whole time it's visible, however. It's really only full for a little bit. It just seems like it's full to the human eye because the change from waxing to waning is so hard to see in the hours between the two. I hope that all made sense?