Title: Untied Shoelaces
Fandom: Harry Potter
Prompt: Alternate History: Canon event changed
Warnings: mentions of violence and painful wounds
Summary: Untied shoelaces are bad for your health. Harry finds this out the hard way when he trips while fleeing a werewolf, an unlucky occurrence that will change his life forever.
Disclaimer: The first bit (in italics) is taken directly from POA, all credit for that portion of this story goes to J. K. Rowling, to whom the Harry Potter series belongs. The characters are all hers, as well.
A/N: This is going to be the first in a series of one-shots, most likely- I already have another planned for one of the other AU Bingo prompts (werewolves, which is the prompt that inspired this AU originally, but this story fit the 'canon event changed' prompt better). Written for the AU bingo challenge on livejournal.
"Hermione!" said Harry suddenly. "We've got to move!"
"We mustn't, I keep telling you -"
"Not to interfere! Lupin's going to run into the forest, right at us!"
"Quick!" she moaned, dashing to untie Buckbeak. "Quick! Where are we going to go? Where are we going to hide? The dementors will be coming any moment -"
"Back to Hagrid's!" Harry said. "It's empty now - come on!"
They ran as fast as they could, Buckbeak cantering along behind them. They could hear the werewolf howling behind them...
Untied shoelaces are bad for your health. It was an idle thought, but an important one, as he lay in the hospital wing. If it hadn't been for Buckbeak, the werewolf would have killed him. It had made quite the effort at taking his leg off, as it was. He'd been lucky to get away at all, even with Buckbeak's help- he couldn't run too well with his leg bleeding from a gigantic bite wound, so he'd hopped, with some help from Hermione, away from the fight until Buckbeak somehow managed to knock the werewolf out. Bowing was a bit tricky standing on one leg, too, but Buckbeak's back would be a safer place for him than his own two feet- what with one foot being practically useless thanks to the pain in his leg. It was a good thing the hippogriff already liked him.
He'd ridden Buckbeak to Hagrid's hut, where Hermione did what she could to stop the bleeding. His leg was a bit more useful after that, enough that it got him to the shore of the lake in time to cast the patronus and save his own life (and that struck him as downright strange, but also very cool, even though this time travel stuff made his head hurt a bit if he thought about it too long), though he had to sit down while Hermione lectured him for it, because the bleeding had stopped but it still hurt like hell.
Getting Sirius out had been easy, but getting back to the hospital wing in ten minutes made his leg feel like it was on fire. Hermione stammered an explanation to Dumbledore while Harry simply sat on the floor, trying to make the pain go away. It had led to Dumbledore explaining everything to Madam Pompfrey, with the strictest vow of confidentiality, and then promising to explain to Lupin in the morning- he deserved to know what he'd done, though Harry, at least, didn't blame him in the slightest. Explaining to Ron, though, had been the worst part- he'd looked like he was going to be sick for a minute, and you could see him readjusting his perception of werewolves afterward.
Now all he had to worry about was Snape poisoning his Wolfsbane.
"He's a WHAT, NOW?" Uncle Vernon roared, glaring at Lupin.
"A werewolf. A potion can be delivered monthly to keep him from-"
"And you say you caused this?" Aunt Petunia interrupted.
"Yes," Lupin replied sadly.
"Then you take him. I won't have any more of this- dangerous freakishness in my house!" she snapped.
"He needs the protection that living here offers him," Lupin insisted, his tone level though he was obviously holding back on a number of things he'd rather say.
"I'd rather live with you," Harry offered, though he doubted his opinion would mean much to any of them right now. Uncle Vernon leveled a glare at him and he sunk back into his seat, trying to look like he wasn't there.
"If you won't take him, he can live on the street," Uncle Vernon said. "He certainly won't be living here."
Remus looked down at his hands, folded in his lap. "I suppose I have no choice then," he said softly. "Harry, gather your things. We'll have to visit Dumbledore, and then try to find a bigger flat- I don't have room enough for two people."
"Yes!" Harry cried, grinning and scrambling to gather what little he left in his room during the school year. There wasn't much worth taking- and he was leaving Dudley's cast offs, he could get better clothes now- and it only took a few minutes before they were back on their way, leaving the Dursleys' house forever.