Harry Potter was currently sitting the train, going back to his house, having completed his third year at Hogwarts. He definitely wasn't looking forward to spending any amount of time with the Dursley's; he wanted to spend his time with his newly found Godfather, Sirius Black. If it weren't for Snape, he could have lived with him for the summers. Thinking about Snape worsened his already bad mood, and trying to find a distraction, he looked around in the compartment that he was sitting in.

There was Ron Weasley, his first friend. He was currently sitting on the bench opposite to him, looking bored, a stupid expression on his face, occasionally picking his nose and then admiring his snot covered finger. Harry barely repressed his disgusted shudder. Harry hated to admit it, but sometimes he grated on his nerves with his attitude. He had been deeply betrayed by him in second year when he had been accused of being the Heir of Slytherin, although Ron had told him that he didn't believe him, it wasn't hard to notice the barely disguised fear and loathing that had shown in his eyes, his true feelings on the matter. Harry had ignored it at the time, fearing that if he called him out on it, he would lose his friendship. He had regretted it this past year, it wasn't obvious but he had been barely tolerating his presence, and he wasn't inclined to put up with it anymore.

Turning his head to the right, he looked at his second friend, Hermione Granger. She was sitting with a book held in front of her face, throwing disgusted glances at Ron's antics seemingly trying to inch father away from him. Harry smiled at her behaviour. He could truly say that he enjoyed her company, she was always there to help him through any problem that he had. He had been truly scared when she had been petrified. He would spend some time each day sitting by her side, talking about his day reading her the assignments, which she had missed. The past year, after her fighting with Ron she would often come to him, and would vent her frustrations at Ron. They would talk together about anything, and they would always part ways with a hug and Hermione thanking him for putting up with her. He would wave it off and told her that he enjoyed spending time with her. Eventually, they met up every day, regardless of the fact if Hermione had a fight or not. They talked about their day, and she told him about her life before Hogwarts. Harry had also told her about the Dursley's, not in detail, but enough that Hermione was shocked that relatives could treat each other this way. She had promised that she would talk to her parents and ask if he could spend some time at her house this summer. It was the only thing that he was looking forward to, in his otherwise disastrous summer vacations.

She had also been instrumental in helping him in saving Sirius. He had never been so proud of her before; knowing that she was breaking several laws by her actions, and abusing the responsibility that had been given to her; she had still helped him break out Sirius from Hogwarts. She truly was his best friend.

"What are you reading Hermione?" Harry asked scooting closer to her.

"Oh, this is our text book for Transfiguration for next year. I was just skimming through it, looking at the things that we are supposed to learn next year." Hermione replied.

"Bloody hell Hermione, we haven't even started our summer vacation and you are already studying! Can't you stop studying every minute of your life?" Ron asked, shuddering at the thought of studying during summers.

"Mind your language Ron, I happen to enjoy studying about the magical world, and happen to find it fascinating." Hermione replied, glaring daggers at the boy.

Before Ron could continue the argument, Harry said, "Lay off, Ron." Stopping him from making it a big argument. He knew that Hermione was at her wits end with the red headed boy.

"So what do we have in our course next year?" Harry asked, genuinely interested.

Hermione looked surprised at Harry's genuine interest, but soon a smile blossomed on her face.

"We're supposed to be starting Cross-Species transfiguration." Said Hermione excitedly, she flipped her book a few pages back she began telling him the things that she had read thus far. Noticing Harry craning his neck towards the book, she placed her book closer to Harry so that he could also look into it.

"Now you're corrupting Harry as well." Ron whined.

The two of them didn't look up from the book, ignoring Ron's comment, pointing out to each other things that they thought was fascinating. Both of them had spent a scant few years in the Wizarding world and couldn't help but find their new powers amazing.

Unnoticed by the both of them Ron cast one disgusted glance at them and left the compartment.

The two teens spent the rest of the train ride home going over the book. Harry was the first one to notice that Ron was not in the compartment, he shrugged, figuring that he had to answer nature's call.

He relaxed back into the seat, his mind again drifting to thoughts about the coming summer.

"Harry?" Hermione asked softly, getting his attention.

"Hmm . . .?"

"You obviously are smarter that your grades implicate. I've noticed this for a while now, and have been trying to figure this out for a while. You don't need to have your assignments looked over, but you still ask me to. You always get a spell faster than anyone that I have seen, but you don't do that in class. It's like you are intentionally holding back in class." Hermione asked a cute; Harry thought startlingly; on her face.

Harry sighed.

"You're right Hermione." Harry admitted.

Hermione appeared surprised at his candidness.

"But, it's not that I choose to do it. As you know, ever since I was small, I was always bullied by Dudley. The Dursley's would always punish me if I got better grades than their precious Dudley, so I had to get only passable grades. Eventually the teachers also starting handing out detentions to help me improve. Ever since then I have a hard time trusting teachers, and to a lesser extent adults in general. I had thought that I would be able to break out of my habit at Hogwarts, but with Ron acting as he was, I stayed the same, afraid to lose my first friend." Harry said quietly, looking down at his lap.

Hedwig, Harry's snowy owl, perched up in the racks above Harry, hooted softly and fluttered down to sit on Harry's lap. She softly nipped at his fingers. Harry chuckled softly, and started petting her and scratching her head, looking at the owl lovingly.

Hermione simply stared at Harry's interaction with his owl. She had never seen Harry look at something so caringly, so lovingly, before. She had known that Harry was close with his owl, he would make a point to visit Hedwig in the owlery at least once every day, and when he wasn't able to make it, Hedwig would undoubtedly seek him out in the common room, as if making sure that he was alright. Looking at them now, she couldn't help but wonder if she could mean the same to him someday. She suddenly realized that she was comparing herself to an owl, and was actually a bit jealous of it. Trying to distract herself from her thoughts, she stared at the book still lying in her lap, turning the pages, reading nothing.

She was hesitant to voice her thoughts, but finding the courage, she looked at Harry.

"Harry, you have to know that it isn't healthy for you to curb your education." Hermione said hesitantly.

"I know and realize that now. The Wizarding world is more dangerous than the world we grew up in, and looking at it from my point of view, even more so for me. But I was trying to find acceptance, somewhere to belong, for the first time in my life. I thought that with Ron as my friend, I had, but now . . ."

He abruptly stopped, leaving Hermione hanging on his words.

"Now . . .?" Hermione prompted, softly, knowing that it must be incredibly hard for him.

"I need to grow up Hermione, I have to realize that no matter how much I want it to be, the Weasleys aren't my real family. They have their own family to take care of. I have Sirius, but he is a convicted felon, I need to make it in the world on my own." Harry finished sadly.

Hermione was incensed. "Harry James Potter, how dare you think that!"

Harry was jolted out of his morose thoughts. He looked sideways at Hermione, and was surprised to find her eyes a bit teary. Before he knew it, Hermione was hugging him tightly. Hedwig squawked as she was almost crushed between the two of them, and took flight landing on the racks.

"You aren't alone Harry, you never will be. I'll always be by your side Harry, even if you want me to or not. You are my only one true friend Harry, and I'll do anything to help you." Hermione said, her words muffled by Harry's shoulder.

"But Ron . . ." Harry croaked, his eyes stinging, overwhelmed with emotions.

Hermione let go of the death grip she had around Harry, but still kept her hands around his chest. She was distracted from her train of thoughts as she noticed Harry's eyes in such close proximity to hers. It really was the deepest emerald green eyes that she had ever seen.

"Ron was never truly my friend Harry, an acquaintance at best. This past year I have realized that I can no longer tolerate his brash attitude, and immaturity anymore. The only reason that I was civil to him was because he was your friend Harry. I didn't want to make you choose between me and him. I was . . . I was . . . afraid that you would choose him over me, I don't know what I would have done if that would have happened. I can't lose you as my friend Harry. You are much too important to me." Hermione sniffled.

Harry smiled and brought his hand up to wipe away the stray tears on her cheeks with his thumb. Hermione blushed under Harry's intimate action, and was honestly surprised at his forwardness. Harry had never been one to initiate contact with anyone. She still remembered the first time she had hugged him, and his stiff reaction.

"You silly, silly girl. Don't you realize that you are much more important to me than Ron, you always have been. If it came down to a choice, I would have always chosen you without hesitation." Harry said softly, honesty shining in his eyes.

Hermione smiled brilliantly up at him. Happiness seemed to practically bleed off of her. She gave Harry a huge hug, muttered a grateful 'Thank You' and sat back on the bench, her hips precariously close to Harry's.

Ron ambled back in their compartment just as the train pulled into King's Cross station. The three of them got down at the station. Ron didn't wait for them and crossed the barrier into the muggle world. Harry and Hermione followed him through and Hermione began looking around, searching for her parents.

Harry spotted Uncle Vernon at once. He was standing a good distance from Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, eyeing them suspiciously, and when Mrs. Weasley hugged Harry in greeting, his worst suspicions about them seemed to be confirmed.

In that time, Hermione had spotted her parents and tugged on Harry's sleeve, urging him to follow her. Harry followed her through the crowd, and came to stop in front of Hermione's parents. Hermione immediately bounded into her mother's waiting arms, mother and daughter reuniting after a long time. She hugged her father after detaching herself from her mother, and tugged on his hand bringing them towards Harry.

Stopping in front of Harry, they moved aside, to keep away from the crowd.

"Harry these are my parents. My daddy, Dr. Daniel Granger and my mum Dr. Emma Granger." She said pointing them out as she introduced them. "Mum, Dad this is my friend Harry, Harry Potter." She finished.

Harry held out his hands and shook hands with Dan and Emma, muttering greetings politely.

"Harry, I have to say it's nice to finally meet you in person. Hermione talks to us about you constantly, it's good to see that she is making some good friends." Dan said cheerfully, apparently unaware of his blushing daughter glaring holes at the back of his head.

"She's a great person Mr. Granger, I'm lucky to call her my friend." Harry replied shyly.

"That she is." Dan said with a fond glance at Hermione's blushing form.

Emma smiled at seeing her daughter acting in such a fashion. This way the first time that she acted like a girl her age should. Emma loved her daughter, but she couldn't help but be disappointed by her lack of friends. Seeing her letters going on and on about how much fun she was having at school with her friends, helped her with the loneliness of having her daughter away at school for most of the year.

After shaking Harry's hands she brought up a topic that she intended to be a surprise for their daughter.

"Harry, Hermione asked us in one of her letters if you could stay at our place sometime this summer." Emma said a serious expression on her face.

"Yes Mrs. Granger, I know." Harry replied a little confused.

Hermione, who was talking to her father, snapped up her head at her mother and walked towards her, a pleading expression on her face. Apparently, she was the authority on such matters.

"Can he please come over mum, please?" She said.

Emma milked the situation for all it was worth, looking at her daughter's pleading expression and Harry's neutral one amusedly.

"Sure." She said smiling widely, unable to keep her face serious any longer.

"Thank you." Hermione repeated the same two words over and over again, giving her mum a huge hug.

"Calm down Hermione dear. Now Harry, we would like to talk with your relatives about setting a time so that it doesn't clash with any plans that they may have made." Emma said, unaware that, Hermione's face had changed expressions abruptly.

Harry winced.

Before Hermione could explain to her mum about Harry's relationship with his relatives, she was interrupted by a loud and angry cry.


Vernon Dursley was charging up to their position, looking the part of a stampeding elephant.

"What do you think you are playing at boy! We have been waiting here to pick you up from that dratted school of yours to drag your ungrateful ass back, and what do we get for our troubles? You ignore us go socializing. Get your stuff. We're leaving NOW!" Vernon said in clipped tones, his fists clenched in anger, his face an alarming shade of red.

"Uncle Vernon. . ." Harry started.

"Don't talk back to me boy! Wait until we're home, I'll teach you how I handle spoiled brats like you." Saying that, Vernon grabbed the back of Harry's shirt, and steered him towards his car.

The Grangers stood at their places, shocked to see Harry treated this way. Dan was the first one to regain his senses and followed them through the station. The way that Harry's relatives treated him was alarming; he needed to make sure that Harry would be alright. Rushing through the crowd, he stamped his foot on the pavement, when he realized that he had lost them.

"Damnit!" he cursed, and turned around walking back to his family.

Harry was sitting in the back of Vernon's car, anger bubbling inside him. If he wanted to grow up and live his life, he couldn't allow his uncle to treat him this way.

As Vernon drew his car into the driveway, Harry's nervousness increased. Steeling himself for the inevitable confrontation, Harry got out of the car.

"Get in freak! , before the neighbours see you." Vernon shoved Harry into the house.

The sight that greeted him was something that he had rarely seen. Petunia and Dudley were standing in the hall, facing the couch, their faces unnaturally pale.

Vernon steeped into the house after Harry, and noticed the duo as well.

"Petunia, what's going on?" Vernon asked.

It was just then that Harry noticed the back of a man's head jutting above the couch.

The man stood up and smiled roguishly at them.

"Ah . . . Dursley, remember me?" he asked.

Harry's nerves left him in an instant. He released a breath of air that he wasn't aware he was holding.

"Hey there pup, fancy meeting you here." Sirius said lifting up his arms.

"SIRIUS!" Harry shouted happily, giving him a hug, thumping him on the back.

"What are you doing here? Aren't you risking being caught?" Harry asked as his mind settled down and he was capable of rational thought again.

"Yeah, but I figured I would have a nice little chat with your relatives before I went on my way. I haven't got a lot of time, wouldn't want Dementors swooping around here now would we?" Sirius said with a chuckle.

"Now . . . first things first. Ground rules, don't get in my godson's way, you are not to assign him chores, or do your work for you. If you treat him in any way that can be considered impolite," at this he dug his hands into his cloak and brought out what appeared to be an antique watch, out "this nifty little thing here, will inform me at once, and then there will be three less people inhabiting the earth. Do I make myself clear?" Sirius asked.

The three Dursleys were cowering in fear. They recognized him as the same criminal for whom the warning had been flashed in the news last summer. Remembering that he had been convicted for multiple murders, the Dursleys nodded their heads emphatically.

"Pleasure doing business with you." Sirius bowed his head mockingly, an insane grin plastered on his face.

Harry could barely control his laughter at Sirius's antics; he coughed slightly to cover up an escaped chuckle, and hurriedly escorted Sirius to his room.

"That was brilliant." Harry laughed. "Did you see the look on their faces? Simply priceless."

"I aim to please." Sirius said.

"So what does the watch really do?" Harry asked, curious.

"What makes you think it doesn't do exactly what I told them it does?" Sirius asked seriously.

Harry gave him a deadpan look.

"Ho. . . Not so easy to fool are you?" Sirius asked rhetorically.

Harry shook his head amusedly.

"Honestly? I have no clue what the watch does; I nicked it off an antique store on the way here. But hey . . . they don't know that do they?" Sirius asked.

"Thank you Sirius, you don't know how much you have helped me." Harry said.

"You are Padfoot's godson pup, you gotta have some privileges." Sirius smiled.

"I hate to cut this short Harry, but I wasn't kidding about the Dementors. I need to leave as soon as possible." Sirius said sadly.

"I understand." Harry gave him a hug muttering a whispered 'Stay safe', as he watched him transform into a dog and jump out the window, bounding away.

He heard the phone ringing, and was surprised when his Aunt called him.

"Potter, there is a phone call for you." She said, her revulsion plain.

He was confused thinking about who would be calling him, but couldn't help the thought, 'Life just got a whole lot better.'

A/N: For those people who have read my story with the same title, don't get confused, I decided that it needed a re-write and came up with this idea. I will be using the same ideas as in the previous one, just the story starts differently. Thanks for reading and Please Review.