A/N: This is my first attempt at writing a fanfic ever. I've always like fics that explore the idea of Harry being more confident, the easiest way to make this happen is to have him raised by Sirius. I also wanted to use the time-tested formula of a miss-timed romance. With this information in mind you should know that the intention is for this to be a pretty long story. The plot arc I have planned out right now goes through Harry's 3rd year, at least.
Also, the world and characters that fill it are, of course, the intellectual property of JK Rowling.
Harry stretched as he slowly came awake. The clock to his left read noon thirty. He threw on some shorts and a shirt and walked to the kitchen of Number Twelve, Grimauld Place.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of your company at this early hour, dearest Harry?" asked a very disheveled-looking Sirius Black.
"Just thought I'd get up early for the eventful day we have ahead of us, dearest Sirius."
"I'm out in my auror robes defending your freedom all week and you decide to plan an eventful day on the first day of my weekend? You're heartless."
"You do realize that I leave for Hogwarts tomorrow, right?"
"Of course I know that, Harry! You're one of my favorite godsons, easily in the top three, in fact, and you think I would forget when your first day at Hogwarts is? Absurd!"
"Top 3? I'm pretty sure I'm your only godson, Sirius. And yes, I do think you would forget the day of my departure."
"Sure, you're the only godson I know about, but what if I've got a whole litter of illegitimate godchildren I don't yet know about? One of them could be way better than you and then when I met him or her I would have to remove your most-favored godchild status; talk about egg on my face. That would just be embarrassing for all parties involved, and I know you wouldn't want that. Further, I find it patently offensive that you think I haven't been counting down the days until I get to ship you off to school and get you out of my hair"
"I wouldn't be surprised to find out there was a small army of little half-Siriuses running around England, in fact, every time I see a kid with wild black hair it makes me wonder, but I doubt many people are lining up to make you godfather to their children."
"I don't know what you're on about. Your father clearly thought I was top notch godfather material,"
"He wasn't the best judge of character. Sure, he was friends with Remus but he also thought it expedient to be friends with you and Peter. For all the things he clearly must have done right, given that I share half his genes, and am totally awesome, he just wasn't the best and choose his mates."
"So who were you planning on taking you to Diagon Alley? Certainly not me after those most grievous statements of disrespect."
"That won't work. You see, I know that you can't contain your excitement to set loose the first of the next generation of marauders on Hogwarts."
"Too right you are, Harry. When shall we depart?"
"Right after I get a shower and eat some breakfast, err, lunch. You smell like you might want to consider doing the same... showering that is." Harry suggested.
An hour later they arrived in front of Madam Malkin's with a small "pop."
"Why don't you get your school robes while I go run some errands." Sirius said.
"And, just so we're clear, by 'run some errands' you mean 'go hit on some women,' right?"
"Right you are. I'd invite you to come along but having a kid only helped pick up chicks when you were cute, sorry, mate."
"We'll see who the cute one is when I break your record for most fellow students snogged."
And, with a hand shake, the two went their separate ways.
"Hello dear. With you a minute." madam Malkin said, running her magical measuring tape along another boy.
"You're Harry Potter." the other boy stated, his voice not betraying a hint of emotion.
"Yes, yes I am, indeed. I'm always happy to meet a fan." Harry said, cheerily, as he casually brushed his hair aside to further reveal the scar on his forehead.
"Do you know who I am?" the other boy asked, indignantly.
"Let's see, pale complexion, blonde mullet, and the trappings of old wealth. Could you be a Malfoy, perhaps?"
"I'm Draco Malfoy, and don't think that mere fame will let you get away with talking like like that to a Malfoy"
Madam Malkin, whether she was actually done taking Draco's measurements or not, saw this as an ideal time to head to the back of the store.
"You do realize that the Potters and the Blacks were both fairly well-off pureblood families, too, right? Plus, I'm such a badass that when Voldemort tried to kill me he died. I don't think you're in a position to tell me how I can talk."
"It's not a threat, Potter, I'm simply pointing out that it might be wise for you to put more consideration into the company you keep."
"Good advice, no doubt, but I think you and I might disagree on what sort of company is worth keeping."
Madam Malkin returned and handed Draco his robes before she began her work measuring Harry.
"See you around school, then, Draco!" Harry said with a false tone of friendliness as Draco paid the assistant at the counter and left the store, but not before shooting a quick glare in Harry's direction.
With new robes in hand Harry walked along Diagon Alley and saw Sirius just in time to catch him sealing the deal for a date next Friday with a cute blonde number that looked, at most, 15 years Harry's senior. When she'd left Harry walked up and said with a chuckle.
"Robbing the cradle, are we?"
"I can assure you that she's a VERY mature 23-year-old, Harry."
"Well, she looked mature in all the areas you care about, anyways." Harry observed.
"She's more mature that any girl you've dated!" Sirius whined.
"I'm 11 and I've never dated anyone."
"That's entirely not the point. If we get some ice cream will you shut up?"
"It's worth a shot."
And so they began wading through the busy streets of Diagon Alley toward Fortescue's ice cream shop.
As they arrived a gaggle of redheads were exiting.
"Sirius!," the eldest of the redheaded men called out.
"Uh, hello..." Sirius started.
"Arthur, Arthur Weasley" the man informed him. "I'm down in the office of muggle artifacts so we don't really see each other but the tales were going around the office last week about bust you guys made up in Newcastle."
"Just part of the job." Sirius replied with a smile that clearly betrayed this rare attempt at humility.
"Yes, well it sounds like you did well. Say, would this young lad to your side happen to be Harry Potter?" Mr. Weasley said, suddenly noticing the raver-haired boy who had been watching on, amused.
"The one and only." Harry responded. At this the youngest Weasley's eyes got big and she somehow managed to choke a little on her ice cream.
"Oh, dear, he has eyes just like his mother but he looks just like his father, doesn't he? I'm Molly, Arthur's wife. Is Harry starting Hogwarts this year?"
"Yes, we were just out getting his supplies, actually." Sirius answered.
"As were we, this is actually little Ron's first year at Hogwarts, too." Molly said with a motion to a boy Harry's age. "And we've got to get all the older boys' things, as well. Where are your manners? You kids should introduce yourselves."
"I'm George" "and I'm Fred" the twins said with a wave.
"I'm Percy, I've been made the Gryffendor prefect this year."
"Good thing you told him, Perce" "Yeah, he might not have noticed the prefect badge you saw fit to wear to Diagon alley" Fred and George said.
"Now boys, we're all very proud to have another prefect in the family."
"Right" Fred and George said together.
Harry turned his attention to the only Weasley who had not introduced herself, she was staring rather intently at her feet. After a moment she looked up a little startled, not quite meeting Harry's eye.
"Oh! I'm, uh, Ginny. Weasley. My name is actually Ginevra, but everyone just calls me Ginny." She blushed and then looked back at her feet.
"Uh, right. I'm Harry. Potter. But some people just call me the boy who lived." Harry said with a bit of a laugh. Fred, George, and Ron laughed, too. Ginny didn't. This didn't seem to bother Harry much.
"Excellent! You've made some new friends, Harry! I've got some errands to run, want to finish getting your supplies with them?"
"Excellent! I'll meet you back here in, let's say, an hour and a half? Oh, and I should probably give you the rest of your school money. Buy everything you new need to be a true Marauder."
Sirius dropped a small pouch of galleons in Harry's hand and walked away as Ron stared at the pouch enviously.
"I guess we'd better head to Flourish and Blott's, then" Mrs. Weasley said as she looked at Harry with some unrest. Mrs. Weasley was happy to have to boy who lived with her but she didn't exactly approve of Sirius' antics and, though she was a few years his senior, she had heard of the Marauders' antics at Hogwarts even in their early years. The fact that Harry and sort of poked fun at her only daughter a few minutes prior seemed to confirm her suspicions about Sirius' parenting abilities. She wasn't going to tell Harry Potter – THE Harry Potter – he couldn't accompany her kids to get school supplies, though. Besides, he already seems to be getting along just fine with Fred and George.
"So Harry" "Your uncle used a curious term to describe his aspirations for you at Hogwarts" George, and then Fred, said.
"You mean a marauder?"
"Yes" they said in unison.
"Uh, yeah, that was what he and my father and their friends called themselves. They each had nicknames, too. Sirius was Padfoot. He said I get a nickname, too, once I start at Hogwarts."
Harry noticed the twins seemed to stop listening and start communicating using some sort of non-verbal twin-speak as soon as he had mentioned Padfoot. This was almost frightening.
"We're in." They said at last.
"We want to be marauders." "We think that when you find out a little more about our great feats of daring and wit you will agree." "In fact, we have already obtained an artifact from these marauders you speak of, but I'm afraid we can't show this to you until we have proof that you are truly up to no good."
"You just went from asking to join my club to giving me stipulations."
"Well the stipulations are about the map, not the club, these are two separate issues entirely." "Though we think this could be tremendous use to said club, it's certainly been of great use to us." "Right you are, Fred." "I'm George." "No, I'm George." "Right."
There was something odd about these two, Harry thought. Odd was not at all derogatory in Harry's mind, however, quite the opposite, really. Harry saw great potential and was pretty sure he's just found his first two fellow marauders.
Buying books was fairly uneventful for most people if you don't count the more studious of the muggle-born first years amazed that so many tomes on the subjects of magic existed. When it was time to pay, despite his pompous facade, Harry actually felt a little guilty as he bought new books while all the Weasley children held their heavily used copies. After the twins' offer outside the ice cream parlor they didn't seem to be interested in talking to Harry so much as observing him to decide if he met up to their exacting standards of what a Marauder ought to be. He wasn't sure if they were joining the Marauders or if he would be the one joining, now. He couldn't figure out whether or not they approved by eavesdropping, either. The twins were each so in tune with what the other was thinking that you'd think they were legillimens.
Actually, that's a pretty good theory. Harry thought to himself. When the twins laughed to themselves right after his thought it was a little unsettling.
Given that those two were previously disposed Harry decided to strike up a conversation with Ron, instead, as the family made their way to their last stop: the apothecary.
"First year at Hogwarts, too, eh?" Harry inquired.
"Yeah. What house do you think you'll get in? I'm going to Gryffindor for sure. That's where everyone else in the family went."
"Well, both my parents were in Gryffindor and Sirius, my godfather, was, too. Besides all that I'm pretty much the bravest person I know so I don't think there's much of a question that I'll be in Gryffindor." Harry said with a grin.
"Unfortunately for us, the prefect for Gryffindor is a real git from what I've been told. I heard-"
Ron's sentence was truncated by a swift whack to the back of the head by Molly just as they arrived at the store.
In the store Ron was passing on all the wild stories the twins had told him about Hogwarts, like how you were sorted into houses by fighting a dragon. Harry was quite sure you just put on a talking, singing hat but Ron seemed too heavily invested in the dragon theory for Harry to break the news to him. When Ron finally paused for a breath Harry told him about the shenanigans his Godfather and company had pulled off at the school. This brought up the subject of the marauders.
"They sound like Fred and George" Ron informed him.
"Funny you should mention that, they actually already asked me to be in the next generation of marauders. They even said they own something that belonged to the marauders."
"Wouldn't surprise me, they know everything about Hogwarts. Last year mum sent them a screamer after she got word that someone had set off fireworks in Filch's office. They never got caught for that one, though."
"I admire the skill required for that but you have to admit that's not the cleverest prank you've ever heard of. It lacks a certain creativity that I feel the marauders had."
"I'm pretty sure that much of their most ingenious work is never discovered. I think mum has actually mentioned the marauders before, though, and I don't think she approved. She seemed to think of them as bullies."
"To be fair, that's probably not entirely untrue. I happen to know they had a bit of a grudge against one Severus Snape."
"Our potions instructor?" Ron said, shocked.
"Well, that's the name on the list of ingredients we're buying, and how many S. Snapes can there be?"
"Not more than one, I hope. Fred and George said he's vicious."
"Exactly. I get the feeling that he probably did something to the earn the bullying he got from the Marauders. Sirius always called him 'the greasy git.' In fact, I bet he's gonna flip when he hears he's one of m professors"
"Probably." Ron agreed.
With that they rang up their purchases and left the store, just in time to see Sirius chatting up another, rather attractive, 20-something.
"Does Sirius have a daughter?" Ron asked.
"You mean the girl he's talking to? Never seen her before. My guess is that she's Saturday."
"Saturday?" Ron asked with a puzzled look on his face.
"Well the top aurors usually just work Monday through Friday, he tries to have a date for each night of the weekend, usually, and he already found Friday when I was getting my robes, so I'm betting this one is Saturday."
Ron had a look of either awe or disbelief on his face. Probably both.
Harry added "You know he was a bit of a legend at Hogwarts, too. I thought he might have made it up, give that he is occasionally prone to exaggerations but Remus backed him up. He figures he snogged half the girls in his year by the end of his first year and half the girls in the school by the end of 3rd year. He set the bar high but I think I've got a pretty good shot at beating him."
"You've got some competition, mate. Fred and George said that Hufflepuff's chaser, Cedric, is pretty popular with the ladies."
"I'm not really worried. Lots of girls have a thing for going out with famous people. I'll just show them this" Harry said, pulling his hair aside to further reveal the lightening bolt scar on his forehead, "and they'll melt."
"If I didn't have a sister I might not believe you but I happen to know exactly what you're talking about, I grew up with Ginny. Can you believe she would always ask mum and dad to tell her fairy tales about you when she was younger? I think she might even have a poster of you in her room. It's kind of creepy now that I've met you, really. Now that I think about it, I'm really surprised that she didn't ask you a barrage of questions when she met you. In fact, she's not even this quiet normally."
Sirius walked up at that moment, leaving Ron to shift his ideas about what could make Ginny so quiet into his thoughts.
"Get everything you need, Harry?"
"Well I guess we'd better get heading home. Thanks for watching him for me" He said, shaking the hands of Arthur and Molly. "I'm sure those two will be the pride of Gryffindor in no time" he added, with a nod in Ron and Harry's direction. Harry joined Sirius' side and waved at the Weasleys as they disappeared with a small "pop."
"That Sirius Black is in no shape to be raising a kid. Did you see how young that girl he was chatting up was?" Molly said with a disapproving sigh. As the Weasleys began making their way back to the Leaky Cauldron Ginny snapped back to normal and starting talking to Ron about quidditch. She didn't understand the confused look on his face when she started talking to him.
"So that little ginger looked like she was into you." Sirius commented to Harry.
"Uh, Ron's a guy, Sirius."
"I was talking about his sister, Harry." He said with some indignance.
"First and foremost, she's 10, Sirius. Secondly, she's not even very attractive. I'm frankly offended you think I'm going to lower my standards so far, so soon. I haven't even given Hogwarts a shot, yet."
"Ah, I know Harry. Just hoping I could get you tied up with a girlfriend to slow you down at Hogwarts."
"Someone sounds a little scared about loosing their status as the most wanted man of Hogwarts. Plus, having a girlfriend never slowed you down."
"I'm not scared, Harry, just cautious. And you're right, having a girlfriend never did slow me down but your dad always had his pesky 'morals' and the like, I'm banking on that being genetic."
"I don't think you're going to get that lucky." Harry said with a grin.