Disclaimer: Anything familiar to JKR's books probably comes from there and is hers not mine. Also, Harry Potter, Hogwarts, the Wizarding World, and anything else that has to do with it belongs to the lovely JK Rowling, not me. I'm just playing in her sandbox and building my own Hogwarts in it.

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Tracey walked into the Room of Requirement and spotted Harry sitting alone in the middle of the room. He was just sitting there, doing absolutely nothing. She walked up until she was behind him and then stood there, doing nothing.

"Yes, Trace?" he whispered quietly, not even moving.

"You've been hiding from me," she muttered as she moved and kneeled down beside him. "Why?"

"I thought the reason was obvious," he replied, still not willing to look at her.

"Because you're moving in with Sirius," she stated, "and you feel that it's more like home than my home ever was even though you don't know Sirius as well as you knew me at the time."

"Yes," he said with a bit of a sigh.

"Harry, you aren't hurting my feelings by feeling like that." Tracey put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed slightly. "My parents are just that – my parents. Sirius is your godfather, someone who is there for you and you alone. He'll never be your father, but neither will my father. Your mother and father are dead, and my parents will take care of you as if you're my brother, but you need someone who knew your parents, who loves you as much as they did and has since you were born.

"My parents love you just as much as they love me, but we all understand that Sirius means something to you in a different way than we do. You love all of us, Harry, and you show it, but you need Sirius just like he needs you. The Davis home will always be a home for you to go to, but for now, it'll be for sleepovers and escapes when you need to get away from Sirius and his prankster ways."

Harry laughed lightly at that, obviously agreeing with her.

"No matter what, you'll always be my twin in everything but blood, Harry; no matter what," Tracey whispered in his ear as she wrapped her arms around his waist and put her head on his shoulder.

"Thank you, Trace," he whispered back as he wrapped his own arms around her waist, leaning his head on hers.

"Anytime, Harry, anytime."

"Tracey finally knock some sense into you?" Ginny asked as she threw herself down onto the couch next to Harry in the Gryffindor Common Room as the twins finally left him alone after planning the end of term prank.

"Oh, shut up," Harry said as he shoved Ginny lightly in the shoulder with his own.

"Ha! I knew she'd make you see sense soon enough," she crowed happily.

"I said shut up," Harry told her with a ghost of a smile on his face, trying to be serious.

"Since when do I listen to you?" she mocked lightly.

Harry growled lightly in response and hit her upside the head gently in a reminder of the day she had finally managed to transform. He had had to do that with everyone in the group so that their animal instincts knew that Harry was Alpha, but he hadn't had to do it since.

"Besides then," she amended with a nod, though she didn't stop smiling.

"Whenever you ask me for homework help?" he suggested with a grin.

"Argh! I never win with you," she groaned, unable to deny that one.

"Isn't that the point?" he asked as Ron walked by and nodded at Harry, to which Harry replied in kind.

"It shouldn't be," Ginny grumbled under her breath as she watched her brother head up the boys' staircase. Harry wouldn't have caught it before he had gotten his Animagus transformation down, but the better senses had transferred over so he could hear and smell better.

"But it is," he told her as he faced her again with a grin, earning a groan from her.

"Any plans for the summer?" she asked, obviously trying to change the subject.

"Get to know Sirius better," he began, deciding to let her have her way this time, "move into my new house, train, play Quidditch, go to other houses to hang out and sleepover, practice running around on four legs, and – what was it again? Oh yeah! – go to the Quidditch World Cup."

"You're going as well?" Ginny asked excitedly as her laughter over his way of saying use his wolf form disappeared in a flash.

"The Minister gave Sirius a couple of tickets in the Top Box and a whole bunch in the next box under it – possibly even the entire box," he told his Quidditch-crazy friend with a grin, though her brothers still didn't know she could fly, let alone play.

"Dad claims he should be able to get eight tickets easily, and he's willing to try and get a couple more if they're needed." Ginny gave Harry a curious look, and he shook his head.

"Tell your dad that enough for your family will be fine. Sirius assured me he has around thirty-five tickets, so he'll be able to get anyone who doesn't have a ticket out of our closer friends a seat in the box given to him, though I'm not completely sure if we have the entire box or not.

"Tracey and her parents are taking tickets from Sirius along with Neville and his gran, though that second one took a while. Maya, her brother, and her parents also accepted tickets. Blaise is coming without his Mum. Daphne and her family already have tickets along with Theo and his family. Draco's father managed to get three seats off of the Minister in the Top Box. Hermione managed to persuade her parents to let her go as long as she goes on a trip to France with them for a few weeks earlier in the summer.

"Otherwise, everyone else has tickets to go or they just aren't Quidditch fans," Harry finished.

"That seems to cover about everyone," Ginny agreed with a grin.

"Yeah, well, I'd better get going," Harry sighed as he stood up. "I don't want Filch to catch me out after curfew, now, do I?" He smiled at Ginny before leaving the Common Room to head back to his own.

"You're resigning?" Harry demanded as he looked between Sirius and Professor Lupin.

"Yes, Harry, I am resigning at the end of the year," his professor sighed.

"But – but you're the best Defense teacher we've had since I got here! You can't just leave!" He whirled to face Sirius. "Please tell me he's kidding!"

"I'm sorry Harry, but he's not joking around," Sirius said sadly.

"But why?" Harry cried out, facing his professor again.

"There are reasons that you just wouldn't understand, Harry, that are making it so that staying here for another year wouldn't be a good thing," Lupin said slowly.

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" Harry yelled as he realized the cause of this. "Don't tell me you're leaving just because you're a werewolf!"

There was a stunned silence from both men as Harry looked between the two of them, basically glaring. In his mind, that was a stupid reason to leave, even if parents would complain – most of the students wouldn't.

"You – you know?" Lupin asked in a choked voice.

"Lots of hints and clues," Harry said with a nod. "Maybe I'll tell you when you come over during the summer… unless you're living with us." Harry looked at Sirius hopefully, not wanting Lupin to have a hard life just because of what he was.

"I've told him more than once that he had a room at our place, but he keeps on saying no," Sirius told Harry.

"What?" Harry cried indignantly. "No way, you've got to come stay with us! Sirius says we have room, I don't mind, so come and live with us at the very least!"

"You know I'm a werewolf, aren't afraid of me, don't want me to resign, and want me to come live with you?" Lupin asked weakly as he sat down, looking to be in shock.

"Well, yeah," Harry said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You're dangerous, what, one day a month? Otherwise you're just like me, so why should I be afraid or care?"

"James and Lily's son all over," Sirius told Lupin with a smile that Lupin returned halfheartedly. "Almost exactly what your parents told him when they found out."

"I should hope so!" Harry cried.

"Does anyone else know?" Lupin asked Harry softly.

"I haven't told anyone, but I have a feeling that if you ask Hermione she'll know. Tracey might know; same with Ginny. Uh… the Ravenclaws among my closest friends might have figured it out. It's not really something that's come up," Harry admitted. "Besides, none of them have acted differently around you, so they probably don't care if they do know."

"Great," Lupin groaned quietly, but Sirius smiled at Harry.

"Please, Moony, come live with us even if you do resign," Harry begged, using Lupin's Marauder name for the first time ever.

"Well…" Lupin smiled slightly and his face regained some color as he tapped his chin lightly, pretending to be thinking hard. "I guess I can, since you called me Moony."

"Yes!" Harry cheered, punching the air happily while the two adults watched on in amusement.

"He did what I couldn't," Sirius muttered to Lupin in amusement.

"That's because he's more like Lily than James, and you're more like James than Lily," Lupin informed his old friend.

"True… True…"

"I am quite sorry to announce that Professor Lupin will not be returning next year," Professor Dumbledore said during his end of year announcements, looking down at the four House tables, which had been returned for the final feast. "He will be sorely missed by all of us.

"Now, please, tuck in."

Harry looked around the Great Hall and saw that most of the students were eyeing their food, plates, goblets, and silverware a little worriedly, but everyone was in good spirits despite it being the end of the year yet again.

"Time flies while you're enjoying life, doesn't it?" Tracey muttered from beside him, not even looking in his direction.

"You know me too well sometimes, Trace, and yeah, it does," he replied with a grin in her direction before he grabbed food and began eating.

"Where's the prank this year, Harry?" Theo asked from the other side of the table, drawing attention to Harry from the few of their friends who had heard.

"What prank?" Harry replied as he swallowed a mouthful of pumpkin juice.

"You and the twins almost always have a prank planned for the end of year feast, and I've seen you talking with them," he retorted sharply, knowing Harry was trying to get away with it. "What are you going to change on us this time?"

"Nothing," Harry said with a raised eyebrow.

Theo shut up when Tracey shook her head at him, and everyone continued eating with normal conversation about the summer going on all around them.

Just as everyone was relaxing near the end of the feast, obviously relieved none of them had been turned into something, four simultaneous bangs were heard, one from each corner of the Hall.

Everyone looked around to see smoke in the corners, and from the smoke emerged four animals, again one from each. One was a silver snake, another was a bronze eagle, a third was a gold lion, and the last was a black badger. Attached to the end of each animal was a black piece of fabric.

As everyone watched, the animals moved to the center of the Hall and placed the fabric so that everyone could see that the Hogwarts crest was on it, except the animals were missing. Once the four pieces of fabric, which had contained each animal's part of the crest, were completely lined up, the animals positioned themselves as they normally were on the crest. Finally, they were almost sucked into the fabric so that they appeared to be nothing more than part of the picture.

Suddenly, the four parts of the crest merged together and rose up into the air, a single piece of fabric. Still floating, the crest went above the Head Table and came to a stop in front of the wall behind the teachers, slowly moving backwards until it attached itself to the wall.

Finally, everything stopped moving, and it was obvious it was over.

There was a stunned silence for a few minutes before everyone, teachers included, began to clap. The cheering went on for a good five minutes before Dumbledore stood up and everyone fell silent.

"I believe even the teachers must agree that that was an amazing piece of magic," he said with twinkling blue eyes. "Though I'm not sure if the other professors would agree with me, I believe that something like that should earn some recognition."

Harry was a bit shocked when every single professor, Snape and McGonagall included, nodded at Dumbledore's words. He and the twins hadn't expected that when they had spent a lot of spare time in the library trying to find all of the spells needed to pull that spectacle off. They had decided not to prank a specific person but to put on a show this year, and it seemed everyone had loved it.

"Would the people who put that together be willing to take claim for their amazing piece of magic?" Professor Dumbledore requested. "Looking at my colleagues, I believe I can safely say that none of you will be punished for that brilliant piece of work."

Harry caught the twins' eyes, and in a single moment, he knew that they wanted to do the same thing he did – tell the school that they had been the minds behind it all. The three boys silently counted down simultaneously and stood in the same movement.

"I should have known," Dumbledore mused as everyone stared at them in amazement. "Well, boys, that was an amazing piece of magic. You may just have to tell your professors how you managed to succeed in doing that, if you have the time before you leave. Now, I believe they earn another round of applause for an amazing show tonight!"

Everyone cheered for them, and it felt just as good as winning the Quidditch Cup, succeeding at his Animagus transformation, and so many of the other accomplishments he had done since getting to Hogwarts.

"That was amazing, Harry!" Theo exclaimed as they walked down to the Common Room after Harry and the twins had explained to all of the professors how they had managed to make the prank happen. "It also explains why you said you weren't pranking anyone – you were all putting on a show!"

Harry just smiled at his friend before entering the Common Room and heading to pack his trunk for the next day.

"I can't believe we've been here for three years," Harry sighed as he turned away from Hogwarts to walk to the horseless carriages that would take them to the Hogwarts Express.

"I know!" Blaise agreed. "It feels like just yesterday we heard the Sorting Hat place you in Slytherin and you started changing the school upside-down."

"That's probably because he's still turning it upside-down," Daphne said dryly. "Still, I have to agree as well; it's all gone by so fast."

"Well, at least we still have four more years to go," Draco reminded them as he joined them in their carriage moments before it left the school, wanting to avoid his group of friends.

"Do you think we'll still be friends after Hogwarts?" Astoria asked curiously, having followed her sister.

"I think we will," Harry said, though he left out the thought in his mind about how they would still be friends as long as they were all still alive then.

They were silent as they found a compartment on the train. Harry sat one seat away from the window, and Tracey sat next to him. When Ginny got there, she sat on his other side and Ankh moved onto her lap to enjoy the sun for a little while.

Others began arriving at the compartment and filled it up until Theo had to make the compartment even larger than he had when they had gotten there. Once the train left, Exploding Snap and Wizard's Chess were played all over while people talked.

"Are you okay?" Ginny asked Harry quietly in Parseltongue because he was staring past her and out the window, not doing anything.

"Just wondering what next year will bring," he told her quietly. "First year we had Quirrell trying to steal the Philosopher's Stone, so we had to keep an eye out for clues. Then we had your first year and all that happened during it. This year we had Sirius escape from Azkaban and supposedly out to kill me. I'm worried about next year now."

"What will come will come, so don't worry about it until it's here," Ginny told him. "Besides, you can do anything if you have enough nerve, and you've certainly got a lot of it."

"Thanks, Gin," he said quietly before leaning his head on her shoulder and continuing to look out the window.

"No problem, Harry."

"Sirius!" Harry cried as he rushed to hug his godfather, whom he had gotten pretty close to in the past six months.

"Hey, Pup!" Sirius said, using his nickname for Harry as he grabbed him in a hug as well. "How was the feast last night – and the ride home?"

"Ask Moony about the feast, and the train was fine," he replied as he let go of Sirius as smiled at him. "How are you doing?"

"Not bad, but I've got something unfortunate to show you back at the house," Sirius admitted. "I wish you didn't have to come home to this sort of news, but it's better to get it out in the open now rather than later."

"It's fine, Sirius," Harry assured his godfather. "I'd rather know what's going on than be kept in the dark."

"Go say good-bye to your friends, even though you'll all probably be talking again the moment you get home," Sirius told him with a laugh as he saw some of Harry's friends looking at him anxiously.

Harry smiled and rushed back over to his friends. The girls all hugged him while the guys hit him on the back or shook his hand, a few even giving him one-armed hugs. Harry was laughing at something one of the twins had said.

Sirius sighed sadly, wishing his godson would be able to stay this happy, but he knew that Harry would lose his happiness once he saw the article Dumbledore had sent Sirius earlier that day so that he wouldn't be surprised when he saw the Evening Prophet.

Finally, Harry said good-bye and rushed over to Sirius, who shrunk his trunk and led Harry out of the platform before pulling him into a corner and giving him a Portkey.

Harry grabbed the Portkey, Sirius activated it, and they left to go home.



In a startling development, a second person has escaped from Azkaban, yet again connected to the same case as last time. Peter Pettigrew escaped late last night, though no one seems to know how he did it; if they do know, it's being kept tightly under wraps. Minister warns the public to keep an eye out and to be prepared for anything. Pettigrew has a wand he stole and is dangerous.

For more on Pettigrew, Black, and anything else relating to it go to pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11.

Fin… For Now…

Well, that's it for Becoming Alpha. Look for the story Return of an Alpha sometime Sunday. If you want, I can PM you the link once it's up.

A huge thanks to all of my readers and especially the reviewers. You all persuaded me to post this twice a week rather than only once. Just because this story might have been complete before I posted it doesn't mean you all didn't encourage me on Return of an Alpha.

Gotta thank two people, the first being Arnel. Your Beta jobs were fantastic and got me thinking about the order of my wording. The second person is who this entire story is dedicated to: My Plot Beta and best friend Ana. Without you, my friend, Becoming Alpha wouldn't have been so extensive and well thought-out, nor would this entire series have so many subplots. You alone know how much time and effort has gone into this, Ana, and for helping me through it being my plot sandpaper, I have to thank you.

I'll talk to you all again on Sunday - if you want a PM about Return of an Alpha, please just PM me or request it in your review. Now, is it too much to ask for a final review on this story?

Thanks for reading Becoming Alpha because the reviews and hit count make my day every time I see them. I hope to see you all at Return of an Alpha!


Posted: 4/13/11