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.
Harry looked around the hallway he and Sirius had landed in with interest. The walls were crimson with gold trimming while the flooring was mahogany. It looked new and well done. Of course, with magic renovating an entire house wouldn't be as hard as it would be for a Muggle.
Sirius led Harry down the hallway and into the living room, and Harry had to smile. It seemed that someone had been smart as each wall of the living room was a different House color, the trimmings the other House color.
"Samuel and Daniella convinced me that you prefer it if I used all of the House colors," Sirius admitted quietly as Harry turned in a circle. "I wanted the house to be mostly Gryffindor colors, but they reminded me that you're a Slytherin and that using all the colors would be fairer."
"I like it," Harry told Sirius with a grin as he took in the new leather furniture, the low table for snacks, the armchairs, the desks in a couple of corners of the room, and the cabinets and drawers along the walls.
"My family tree used to be on that wall," Sirius mentioned, pointing at the Slytherin wall, "but we decided that we should make a new one in the study along with a Potter family tree and one that we make together to show the family we've made without blood being a part of it."
At hearing that Sirius had a copy of his family tree Harry stared at him momentarily with tears in the corners of his eyes before lunging at him and hugging him tightly.
Smiling, Sirius showed Harry the kitchen, which was in Hufflepuff colors, once he had calmed down. That made sense seeing as the Hogwarts kitchens were near the Hufflepuff Common Room, and this house definitely had a Hogwarts theme going for it. There was also a nice long dining table and lots of kitchen appliances that Harry was pretty sure he could work if he had to cook anything.
Sirius then took Harry into the study, which was done in Gryffindor colors like the hallway. On one wall was a large, green tapestry of a family tree with BLACK FAMILY TREE at the top of it. The wall opposite it had a red tapestry with the Potter family tree on it.
Harry walked straight up to it and just stared at it, not really taking anything in. The idea that his family had been around for so long and had been so large was just mind-blowing. He knew he would be looking at this wall a lot in the future.
Finally tearing his eyes away from his family tree, Harry looked behind the desk and was surprised to see a yellow tapestry with two trees on it, but these trees were different. Walking closer to it, Harry realized that the two names on it were his and Sirius', and they had a bunch of lines extending from them. Obviously, this was to be the family tree of their family in everything but blood. Sirius just hadn't gotten around to working on it much.
Turning to face Sirius, he could see that Sirius was also holding back tears as he looked at the two tapestries. Harry had to go hug his godfather, and they held each other until they had calmed down.
"We'll work on that tapestry together this summer," Sirius whispered softly to Harry before leading him from the room.
The second floor had a whole hallway of guest rooms, and Sirius showed each of them to Harry. Three were in each of the House colors, obviously so that his friends could share them. Then there were a couple more in a soft blue for people who didn't want to stay in those rooms – probably the adults.
When Sirius got to the third floor, he stopped outside of a specific room and didn't let Harry enter right away as he stood there looking at the door that looked as if something had once been on it.
"This was Regulus' room," Sirius said quietly. "I think that he would have been honored that you're going to have his room now."
"I think so too," Harry agreed after he got over the feelings he felt when he realized how much Sirius must love him to give him his younger brother's old bedroom.
Sirius opened the door, and Harry took a step into his new room before he froze.
"Whoa," he gasped as he stared.
"Not bad, eh?" Sirius laughed, obviously amused by Harry's reaction.
"It's the best!" Harry exclaimed as he walked inside more.
The ceiling was an emerald green with snakes of silver actually moving around on it. The carpet was a royal blue and quite soft beneath his shoes, which Harry kicked off quickly to feel it on his feet. He was surrounded by a forest that had been charmed to move, but that wasn't the best part of it.
No, the best part was what was in the forest – animals. He looked around and saw animals all around the room, some in the trees, some running between them, and some just resting under them. What made it even better was that each animal represented one of his friends in their Animagus form.
Looking closer, he noticed Padfoot was high up in a tree that had a fallen tree leaning against it, watching over them all. Nearby, Prongs was watching as he say beneath a tree while Moony appeared from between the trees. A doe joined Prongs, and Harry knew that it had to be his mother. A closer look showed lilies were at the roots of the trees as well, and Harry smiled slightly at them.
Turning away from the walls, Harry looked at his bed and smiled when he saw that the bedding was Slytherin colors. He had a wardrobe in his room as well, and Harry could tell that Mr. Davis – no, Samuel, he had told Harry to call him now – had helped find the furniture for the room. The desk reminded him of a mixture of the one from Tracey's home and the one in his Slytherin dorm at Hogwarts.
"This is the best," Harry said as he went over to Sirius and hugged the Marauder in thanks, a smile on his face.
"Only the best for you," Sirius replied as he hugged his godson. "Now come on, we've still got a bit more to see!"
Harry followed Sirius across the cold floor to the room on the other side of the hall, which had Sirius' name on the door. As Harry expected, the entire room was Gryffindor colors, but it also had posters of Muggle models, his friends from Hogwarts, and even a couple of his younger brother, Regulus.
When Sirius stopped outside the last room on the third floor, Harry was surprised to realize that they weren't going inside.
"This was my parents' room," Sirius muttered quietly. "I thought it was better to not use it for now; it can be a guest room if necessary."
After that, Sirius led Harry up into the attic, and Harry was quite surprised to see that it wasn't a storage area but a room expanded with magic so that it could be a training room. In a way, it reminded Harry of the Room of Requirement, but obviously not done by magic.
"We figured you and your friends would need a place to train, and this should work for you," Sirius told Harry, obviously worried about his reaction.
"This is perfect!" he told his godfather. "We'll have room to spread out and train. I mean, you've got extra swords over here," Harry pointed to a corner of the room where spare swords were held in a rack, "targets and throwing knives galore over there," this time he pointed to the other side of the room, "and mats covering almost the entire room so that none of us get hurt!" Harry walked onto a mat and bounced his feet on it to prove his point.
"We couldn't ask for anything more." Harry turned to smile at his godfather, and had to hold in the laugh that threatened to come up as he watched the older man smile in relief.
"That's good," Sirius said weakly with a small smile. "Why don't you go unpack and then just hang out around the house for a bit? I'm going to go get us some groceries and we can fight over who cooks tonight."
"Oh no, I'm not eating anything that you make!" Harry exclaimed, pretending to be worried as he backed away in mock fear. "I'm cooking the meals in this house."
"Oh, fine, way to make me feel terrible," Sirius said before he broke out in laughter and Harry's façade fell as he too went into hysterics.
Once they had calmed down, Sirius went to go shopping while Harry went into his room. After putting clothes into the wardrobe, school stuff into the desk, and personal stuff into his bedside table, Harry sat down on his bed and just looked around his room, thinking.
Compared to the Dursleys, this place was paradise. Unfortunately, Harry was beginning to feel the sadness of leaving Tracey's house, even if he was truly excited to be living with his godfather. It was a big change, and he would have to get used to it.
Harry was distracted by the walls, and he began to pay closer attention to the animals running around in them.
As he watched, the silver-blond fox jumped onto the almost-black wolf, biting the dark fur to hold on. The wolf shook itself as hard as it could, and the fox leapt off just in time for a reddish-brown lynx to jump on top of the wolf. This time, the wolf sat down calmly until the lynx got upset by the immediate surrender and got off, leaving itself open for a sudden pounce by the wolf. The two animals rolled over and over, wrestling for control while the fox watched in amusement before leaving the pair alone.
Harry had to laugh as he looked above the fox and saw a raven fly down in front of it to distract the fox as a monkey took a bunch of berries and dropped them on the light-colored fox, dyeing the fur a mixture of red, blue, and purple. The fox yelped silently in surprise before making a silent noise, obviously calling for backup that it got in the form of a golden eagle, which went after the raven so that the fox could concentrate on the monkey.
Turning away again, Harry saw a brown fox jump on top of a lion, whose fur was a light golden color, probably because there was some blond mixed into the fur. The lion roared silently, drawing the attention of a nearby dark brown bear, who rushed over to the lion and hit the fox on the head sharply so that it got off. A light brown cat jumped on top of the bear's head from a branch above the group, its claws digging into the fur. Roaring from the bear drew the attention of the wolf, and both it and the lynx rushed over and began to break up the fight, all of the animals stopping moments after the wolf began to growl.
A horse galloped over and the cat got on its back so that it was out of the fight for a while. The horse brought the cat over to where a falcon was resting its wings on a branch. A cheetah and a tiger were both resting under the same tree, so the cat joined the pair and stretched before lying down calmly, as if the fight had never happened.
On the other side of the room, away from the others, three animals were close to another group of animals. Two dogs, one black and the other a dirty blond, were wrestling on the ground while a doe shook its head at them and rolled its eyes. A cougar seemed to be mimicking the doe, which drew a smile from Harry. In the trees above the pair, a white owl with a tinge of blond to its feathers was watching as well.
Another wolf, this one more of a mix of light brown and gray, was looking at a hawk, whose beak was moving in what was obviously a conversation with the wolf, a stag standing next to the doe looking at the pair with interest, though it didn't join in on the conversation.
Harry had a pleased smile on his face as he continued to watch the animals, turning back to the other animals as he thought about their human counterparts.
All of Harry's closest friends were Animagi, and it was just another thing to bring them closer together. Each and every one of his friends had agreed to Harry's view on the wizarding world, and it changed their own views. Hogwarts hadn't been the same since Harry had been Sorted into Slytherin and had begun showing the others that the different Houses and heritages didn't make a difference.
Draco, the silvery-blond fox, was probably one of the more interesting additions to Harry's group of friends. As a Malfoy, Draco had grown up with completely opposite ideals from the ones Harry had introduced to Hogwarts, yet Draco had watched the group during their first year and seen what they were about. In a moment of surprise for most involved, Draco had told Harry and his other friends that he wanted to be part of the group as a friend, though he had to hide it from his other friends so that his father wouldn't know.
Since that day, Draco had been less of a rude idiot when his other friends and the older Slytherins weren't around, and a perfect pure-blood when they were around, mostly so that his father wouldn't realize that Draco had changed. It had been a huge turning point in Draco Malfoy's life, for he had changed from a Death Eater-in-training to someone learning how to fight to protect himself, his friends, and his loved ones. If Lord Voldemort ever came back, Draco wouldn't be willing to join him, and they all knew it.
The next friend Harry looked at was Theodore Nott, better known as Theo to his friends and the other fox in the group. He, too, had been raised by a Death Eater father, but he had been taught to watch, listen, learn, and then decide what to do, unlike Draco. Unfortunately for Theo's father, the talent had allowed Theo to realize that what Harry had been saying was better than what his own father was saying, so he too joined Harry, though much earlier than Draco had. In fact, now knowing Theo's past, Harry was a bit surprised the boy had joined Harry's side so soon, as he was probably the least likely of his first four friends to have joined him.
If Theo was the least likely to join Harry's ideals and friends, Tracey Davis was probably the most likely. Her father was Muggle-born and her mother pure-blood. They were known as a neutral family as they hadn't chosen a side in the first war against Voldemort, and they also didn't mind most dark magic. Of course, if asked what side they would be on now, they would say against Voldemort, though maybe not fighting alongside Albus Dumbledore.
Tracey was the Slytherin in Harry's year who was closest to him, and one of the two people to actually understand him. All of their friends were claiming they were twins in everything but blood, and their birthdays were one day apart, with Harry's being first. When Harry's friends had first found out about his relatives and his home life with them, Tracey and her parents had given him a home with them, and they, along with Sirius, were basically parents to him.
Daphne Greengrass was Tracey's closest friend in Slytherin besides Harry, and one of Harry's good friends. She was the lion of the group, and it amused them all to no end that a Slytherin was a lion Animagus seeing as the lion was Gryffindor's mascot, and Slytherins and Gryffindors were mortal enemies when it came to a lot of things.
From her family's point of view, Daphne's friendship with Harry was a good thing as they were a dark family when it came to magic knowledge, but they had stayed neutral during the war because they didn't want to side with either Voldemort or Dumbledore. Many neutral families saw Harry as a third choice, and it was probably true if Harry ever thought about it seeing as he didn't have a bias against House or blood, yet he didn't wish to side with either Dumbledore or Voldemort.
Daphne's sister Astoria was the golden eagle, and she was two years younger than Daphne and also a Slytherin. She was just as sly and ambitious as the rest, even if she was younger. In fact, some of Harry's friends outside of his closest group were afraid of her even though she was younger than them.
Blaise Zabini made up the final person in Harry's Slytherin friends from his year, and he was the bear who had hit Theo's fox over the head. His mother had married seven times and all of her husbands had turned up dead, leaving her with a lot of money. It meant that his mother didn't mind what he did all that much as long as he kept out of trouble and didn't give her a terrible image by the entire wizarding world, which he wasn't.
Outside of his Slytherin friends, Harry had befriended the Weasley twins, Fred and George, who were two years older than him and pranksters. Their forms were different, which had surprised a lot of people, but they had fit. Fred was the monkey while George was the raven.
Their family was different as it was a pure light family and known as blood traitors to Death Eaters and the darker pure-blood families. It had taken a lot for their mother to accept the fact that they were friends with Slytherins and that they weren't so bad. Harry hadn't heard their father's view on it all that much, but the little he had heard was that their father didn't mind, but wanted to make his own opinion on it all.
The twins had a younger brother, Ron, who had caused trouble for Harry and his friends in their first year and second year, but their third year had been different. Ron had begun looking at Harry differently, mostly because he had saved his younger sister, Ginny, at the end of her first year. It meant that he wasn't bothering them, and he had even begun talking with Harry once in a while, though not all that often. At the rate he was going, Ron might actually be Harry's friend sometime during the beginning of fourth year.
Ginny Weasley was the only other person to truly know Harry. The two of them had become close after Harry had saved her from the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry knew that some of their friends were betting on when he would ask her out, which made them both roll their eyes. Of course, if his friends had seen his walls and watched the lynx and wolf wrestling, they would say it would mean they were meant for each other as he was the wolf and she the lynx. Both of them could speak Parseltongue, which was the language of snakes, because of Lord Voldemort, who had once been known as Tom Riddle, and it had given them something else in common to bring them closer. Now, Harry didn't know what he would do without her.
Hermione Granger was a Muggle-born Gryffindor in his year, and she was smart enough to be in Ravenclaw. She was the cougar and a brilliant witch. Neville Longbottom, the falcon, was the only other Gryffindor to be friends with Harry in their year, and he was a pure-blood from a light family that had been pretty close to his own family. Neville had grown up with his grandmother and she didn't mind Harry as she couldn't believe James and Lily Potter's son going dark.
Susan Bones, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and Hannah Abbott were the Hufflepuffs in Harry's year that were Animagi, and they were the tiger, the cheetah, and the horse respectively. Susan was a pure-blood, Justin a Muggle-born, and Hannah a half-blood, but none of their families minded their friendship with Harry.
Padma Patil, Terry Boot, and Luna Lovegood were Ravenclaws in the group, though Luna was a year younger while Padma and Terry were Harry's age. Padma was the hawk, Terry the dirty-blond dog, and Luna the owl of the group. Luna was the only pure-blood while the other two were half-bloods.
All of them made up Harry closest friends, and he didn't know what he'd be without them. There had been two possibilities when Harry had been Sorted into Slytherin: He made a lot of friends or he had absolutely none. Luckily, Harry had managed the former and not the latter, and that would have made a huge difference on Hogwarts.
Sighing, Harry stood slowly and walked over to the stag and doe, which were still standing under the same tree as before. He reached out with his right hand and placed it on the doe before moving it across the wall to the stag. His other hand had reached under his T-shirt and pulled out a gold chain to hold onto the rings hanging from it.
The stag was his father as he, too, had been an Animagus. His mother was the doe because, even though she had never been an Animagus, her Patronus had been a doe. The rings on the chain around his neck were their wedding rings, and among the few things he truly had from his parents.
It was at times like these that it was hardest for Harry to think about them, for he had never known them personally even though their friends from their Hogwarts years had told him stories. Sometimes it's impossible to replace the real thing with stories, and this was one of those times.
Harry closed his eyes for a moment before opening them, putting the chain back under his shirt, and walking back to his bed to lie down. He closed his eyes and fell asleep on top of his bedding.
Waking up slowly, Harry looked around the room to realize that he had fallen asleep. Rubbing his eyes after taking his glasses off, he began to wake up more. After cleaning his glasses of their smudges with his shirt, Harry put them back on and stood up.
Harry headed down to the kitchen, guessing that if there was anywhere Sirius would be, it would be in there. As he got closer, he heard Sirius' bark of laughter and a softer, calmer voice saying something. If he had to guess, Harry would say that Remus had arrived.
"Moony!" Harry called as he opened the door into the kitchen and saw the older man, rushing over to hug him.
"Look what the cat dragged in!" Sirius laughed.
"Two things, Sirius," Harry said as he pulled out of the hug, not letting Remus say anything as he wanted to. "First: Do you mean me or Moony? Second: Don't you mean wolf?"
Harry smiled innocently at Sirius as Remus broke out into laughter at the confused look on Sirius' face. Slowly, Sirius figured out what Harry meant and let out a bark of laughter.
"Nice one Pup," he said. "I meant you, but I guess it could be either of you, and yes, it probably should be wolf instead of cat."
"I gather you like the house," Remus said to Harry as the teen sat down at the table.
"Oh yeah!" Harry exclaimed happily, his green eyes shining. "It's the best!"
"I'm glad you like it, Pup, but I've got some bad news to tell you," Sirius said, his voice a lot more serious than before and with an edge to it.
Harry turned to face his godfather, but the only response he got to his questioning look was the newspaper Sirius was holding out for him to read. One glance at the title on the front page of the Evening Prophet and Harry almost dropped the paper, but he managed to hold onto it as he read the article.
SECOND PERSON ESCAPES FROM AZKABAN!
PETER PETTIGREW AT LARGE AND DANGEROUS!
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.
"He's going to try and find Voldemort, isn't he?" Harry asked in a resigned voice. "Voldemort is going to get a follower back, and probably his body in the long run."
"That's what Sam, Daniel, and I believe," Sirius admitted softly, understanding Harry's resigned look but not liking it. "War is coming soon."
"Then we'd best spend the time we have left having fun!" Harry said as he forced his mood to turn around completely, quite used to putting on fake fronts after three years of being the leader of his friends.
Sirius and Remus exchanged looks as Harry stood up and went over to join Kreacher, their house-elf, by the stove so that he could help the elf cook dinner. Harry knew that the pair was looking at him worriedly, but this was something that Harry wouldn't truly let himself think about until he was in bed.
Just as Harry sat down at the table to eat, he winced and his left hand went right to his pocket, which had suddenly started burning. Muttering darkly under his breath about Daphne, Harry pulled out a three-fold emerald green journal with a pencil resting in each of the folds. Activating the Journal, Harry saw that a bunch of his friends were already using the colored Journal mode.
Harry: Yes, Daphe?
Daphne: You haven't been on since we got home. We've been waiting for you.
Harry: Let me guess, Trace and Gin told you to leave me alone and let me sign on when I was ready while Theo annoyed you like crazy. Eventually, you gave in to Trace and Gin's advice, but you've gotten so impatient that you had to make my Journal burn just as I was sitting down to eat dinner.
Tracey: That about sums it up.
Gin: I actually think that Harry has all of us pegged down pretty well. Anyway, how's the new house, Harry?
Harry: You all are going to love it! It's amazing! By the way, Daphe, that's part of the reason I haven't been on yet today. That, plus the fact that I fell asleep as I looked around my room.
Theo: What's there to see in a room?
Tracey: Daddy's told me that his walls are great entertainment, but he won't tell me anything else.
Harry: The walls of my room could keep all of us distracted for hours if we let them unless we got bored of watching and felt like mimicking them.
Blaise: What in the world does that mean?
Harry: *Zips lips tightly* Not telling.
Astoria: Argh… he's in one of those moods again, isn't he?
Harry: First of all, I am not in one of those moods; second, you're all going to love my room; third, I'm going to get off and eat. I'll talk to all of you in a bit.
Harry shut his Journal, shrunk it, and put it back into his pocket as if he did it every day, which he did. Looking up, he saw that Sirius and Remus were staring at him in amazement.
"What? Daphne got annoying so I had to make sure she wouldn't annoy me for a while," he told the two Marauders.
"Do you all do that every day?" Remus finally asked.
"You're sure you're not going to be a professor at Hogwarts again?" Harry asked as he thought about it.
"I might eventually come back, but not for a few years," Remus said.
"Have you ever noticed people write a lot during class when not practicing spells?" Harry asked him, purposely answering the original question with a question.
"Yes, but I expect they were just taking notes," Remus informed him.
"If they were above third year they were most likely taking notes, but every single one of my friends from the different Houses has a Journal, and we're always using them during class," Harry said happily before taking a bite of his steak.
"You all managed to get something like this by all of the professors?" Sirius asked as he laughed, Remus being unable to say anything else as he was shocked by the idea. "I have to say, you're all as good as we Marauders at getting away with things."
"I'm pretty sure we're better than you all were when it comes to our Journals," Harry informed his godfather with a smug smile. "And Moony, you'll catch flies with your mouth open like that. Not even wolves like flies, I'm afraid."
"You're telling me that I had three years of students using those Journals during my class all year?" Remus finally asked in disbelief as he finally shook himself of his shock.
"Well, not all year," Harry admitted. "Very few people had Journals the first month, if they had them at all, but after that… basically, yeah."
"I think we had better eat before Moony here faints from amazement," Sirius told Harry in amusement, and they shared a smile as they began eating.
In Harry's mind, this was the perfect first day at his new home.
Obviously this is Part Two in a series, so if you haven't read my story Becoming Alpha, the rest of this story will make about as much sense as this story did. For those of you following over from Becoming Alpha, welcome to the sequel! It's great to see you. :) It was amazing to see so many reviews on Chapter Thirty-Seven of Becoming Alpha, so thank you if you were among the huge wave of reviews sent to my inbox day after day!
An introduction to Return of an Alpha, but I thought it also introduced the summer well. Let me know your thoughts on it, maybe?
I'm even italicizing this that that it's PERFECTLY CLEAR. Return of an Alpha will be updated ONCE A WEEK! I'm sorry for those of you from Becoming Alpha who only joined after I changed it to twice a week, but this story is still incomplete while Becoming Alpha wasn't. Look for me every Sunday.