Nine-year-old Harry walked down the sidewalk with his only friend, Hermione Granger. They became friends three years ago when he started to live with Remus. She was also baby-sat by Harry's babysitter, Hilda White, while her parents went to work at the local dentist office. She was his only friend and he was her only friend. Most children found her bossy and a bit of a know-it-all. Harry couldn't argue that she was at times, but he also knew that was a defense mechanism, at least that is what Remus called it. She showed that side of her only when she felt nervous and scared. The other children avoided him because he was a protective friend of 'Know-It-All Granger', as the other children called her.
He pulled his backpack farther up his shoulder. School was let out and they were on their way to the public library where Remus worked, as was their routine for the past three years. "I can't believe Miss. Blackstock gave us homework over the weekend." Harry complained as they walked up the steps to the front door of the small local library.
"Oh, Harry, the homework won't take that long to do." Hermione whispered when they entered the library. The door closed quietly behind them. "All we have to do is read a page and write one five to seven sentence paragraph."
Harry nodded as he set his backpack on the ground next to a table. "I know, but how easy it is, is beside the point. It's still the weekend. We never had homework over the weekend before. It's the beginning of getting more homework over the weekends." He sat down and pulled his homework out. Hermione sat next to him, rolling her eyes. Harry looked around the library, looking for his guardian. "I wonder where Remus is. He usually greets us at the door." The library wasn't busy. There were only a few people Harry could see between the bookshelves. Irene was at the check-out desk and he saw the other elderly librarian, Richard, putting books on the shelves, but no Remus.
Hermione shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe he is in the back, cataloguing new books into the system. He could have lost track of time or too busy to greet us. I wouldn't worry about it, Harry." She said, turning to her assignment.
Harry did worry about it though. There was something in his gut that told him something had happened. "I'll be right back." He whispered, standing up. He ignored Hermione's question and walked over to Irene. He gave the older librarian a sweet smile. "Afternoon, Irene." He greeted politely.
The older librarian smiled back. "Why, good afternoon to you to, Harry. How was school?" She pushed aside a loose strain of gray hair from her face. The rest of her hair was pulled back into a bun.
"I got my first over-the-weekend homework assignment today." He informed her. "Do you know where Remus is?" He asked, not in the mood for small talk.
Irene nodded. "He is in the back, dear. An odd looking elderly gentleman came in to speak to him in private. Something dreadfully important, I imagine. He looked serious and it seemed to have put Remus on edge. They are in the back right now."
So, something did happen. "Can I go back there?" He asked politely.
Irene gave him a look. "Oh, I don't know, Harry. I think it would be best if you wait out here."
Harry nodded, reluctantly. "Thanks, Irene." He headed back to his seat.
Remus sat in front of the computer and ran a weary hand through his hair. His face was pulled back in worry as he stared at the floor. He glanced up at Albus, who sat on the spare chair next to the desk. "You sure he doesn't know where Harry is?" He asked.
Albus nodded. "I'm sure. No one but myself, Minerva, Poppy, and the Minster knows and even the Minster doesn't know where he is, just that he is with you. I believe the reason he escaped was because of Harry. It was finally discovered that Harry was no longer at his relatives and the Prophet has been writing that Harry is missing. I went to the Minster and we decided to let the public know Harry was safe. I was just about to make the correction when this happened."
Remus nodded and leaned back. "That must be why he escaped." He agreed. "Somehow he got word that Harry was missing and thought if he found him first…" He let the sentence hang in the air between them.
"The Minister did say he gave him a newspaper during his last rounds. He must have seen the article." Albus added.
"How did he escape?" Remus had hesitated asking the question, not sure if he wanted to know.
Albus shook his head. "We are unsure of how he slipped by the dementors or how he got out of the cell. It is a mystery at the moment."
Remus had to look away from the Albus before his face betrayed anything. The question if he should tell Albus floated around in his mind, but something kept him from opening his mouth. It couldn't have been his loyalty to his friends. He was sure James and Peter would want him to tell Albus if Harry was endangered. It must have been his fear of disappointing Albus, allowing his friends to do something dangerous and life-threatening for him. Besides, maybe that wasn't how he got out of the prison. He would be telling the Marauders most guarded secret for nothing if that wasn't how he escaped.
"Don't worry, too much, Remus. Harry will be safe for now. Sirius Black will not get to him." Albus said, standing up. "You do still have a connection to the boy, do you not? You will be able to sense if he is in any danger. So, don't try and smother him."
Remus stood as well and nodded. "I can't promise you anything, Albus. I'm an overprotective werewolf concern with his cub's safety. It is not that easy to simply take it easy when I now someone is trying to locate and kill him." Ablus gave him a look, but didn't respond. "What are you going to tell the press about Harry?" Remus asked curiously.
"Just that he isn't missing and that he is somewhere safe. I will not tell them where or with whom. If asked, I would say it is better not to disclose that information with Sirius Black on the loose. They would understand." Albus explained.
They left the back room together and ran into Irene. "Oh, Remus, Harry is here." She informed him.
Remus smiled. "Thank you, Irene." He turned to Albus.
"Well, I guess I should say hello to young Harry before returning to the school. If you excuse me, Remus?" He asked, asking for permission.
Remus nodded. "No, go ahead, Headmaster."
Albus smiled and made his way over to where the two young students were working quietly. Remus watched from the check-out desk as Harry enthusiastically greeted 'Grandpa Al'. He chuckled quietly to himself and shook his head. To Remus' frustration and worry, it had taken four months for Harry to talk to someone else besides him. It was with Albus during the full moon that he finally spoke to another. But it had taken Harry nearly a whole year to feel comfortable enough to call Albus 'Grandpa Al'. Before it was 'Mr. Dumbledore, sir'. After that he started to call Minerva 'Aunty M' and Poppy 'Aunty Pop', much to her annoyance and Remus's amusement.
He sighed. How on earth could he warn Harry about a threat on his life? He knew nothing of magic or the details of how his parents died. Remus had quickly brought an end to the Dursley's lies about the car crash. He told Harry that a bad man came to their home and murdered them before disappearing. He was never caught. The truth without the magic or the why. How was he going to prepare him for Sirius Black? He might have to tell Harry of magic sooner than Albus wanted him to. How else was he going to explain the danger to Harry and why Sirius Black was after him?
He turned his attention back to Harry. His face bright, his eyes wide and they sparkled with happiness. He spoke quietly, still mindful of the fact he was in the library, to Albus. He had gone a long way from the shy, soft-spoken abused boy he had met three years ago. Would finding out about his godfather change him back to the way he was before? Was it even necessary to inform Harry?
After dropping Hermione off at her home, Remus and Harry quietly walked home through the woods, a shortcut they usually took instead of walking down the long, dirt driveway. For some reason Harry couldn't phantom, his guardian didn't have a car. They walked to town and back. Harry hadn't left the area since coming to live with Remus. He never really minded. He was happy where he was, but it made him wonder why. Did Remus even have a driver's licenses?
Harry lifted his head to ask him, but shut it again when he saw the look on Remus' face. His eyes were distant. He looked distracted. He had been like this since Grandpa Al left the library. "Remus, is everything alright?" He asked, concerned.
Remus snapped his eyes to him. "Hmm?" He asked, not hearing the question.
Harry gave him a concern look. "Is everything alright?" He asked again.
"Oh." His guardian nodded and gave a tight smile. "Yes, Harry. Everything will be fine." He said as he placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "You don't have to worry about anything."
Harry caught on to the future tense Remus had used. 'Will? Will be fine?' He thought to himself getting worried. That just confirmed something was wrong now. Harry gave Remus a worried look, but decided to remain quiet. Obviously, his guardian was not going to tell him. It was just another one of those things that was being kept from him for the time being.
There were many secrets that Remus never told him, like his monthly illnesses. All Harry knew was that Remus got sick almost once a month and would go to a hospital. Nothing more, nothing less. Then there are those odd occurrences, like breaking glass when Harry got frustrated or a wound healing within a day. Whenever those odd occurrences happen, Remus would give him a proud look and smile faintly. He would be quick to reassure Harry that he didn't do anything wrong. He didn't find a problem with them like the Dursleys did. Harry shivered with the thought of his former guardians. Remus almost made it seem normal for stuff like that to happen. When Harry questioned them, Remus would just promise him that he would be told just before his eleventh birthday. That was a long ways away for a nine-year-old. At least he knew Remus did plan to tell him. He just wished he didn't have to wait until he was older.
The streets were dark. The only sounds were the sound of families getting ready for bed and the wind brushing against the wind chimes. The only light was coming from the windows of the homes. No one was outside; no one saw a large silhouette figure walking on all fours pass the homes through the backyards. He sneaked passed the last house with a mental sigh of relief before using his skinny, weak legs to run towards a wooden area, looking for a place to hide for the night. His stomach growled, but he ignored it. There wasn't much he could do about that right then anyway.
Observant eyes looked around the woods, looking for any sort of shelter he could use for the night. He walked along. The cricket's music filled with air with the soft sound of the hooting owls. He paused and closed his eyes for a second, taking that brief moment to enjoy the sound and relish the feeling of the breeze against his black fur. He opened his unusual human-like gray eyes. He continued to walk with his head lowered to the ground.
When he saw that article, his heart had seemed to stop. 'Harry Potter: Missing.' That had been horrible, knowing Harry was out there in the world with no one to look after him, while Peter Pettigrew was on the loose. He had to find Harry, protect him. However, he had no idea where to even start looking. According to the paper, they had no idea when Harry went missing. Apparently, the family he was with was arrested for abuse three years ago. Which meant it was possible he had been missing for three years, at the least.
He needed to find someone who might know more; somewhere he would be able to eavesdrop for information. He gave up finding any shelter and decided to lie next to a tree instead. He laid down and stared out into the darkness in thought. Hogwarts might be a good place. Surely Albus Dumbledore would know something. He knew he would be able to sneak in to the school.
His head snapped up as a thought came to him. Or Remus Lupin. Albus would have either gone to Remus to tell him about Harry or Remus would have gone to Albus. Whatever the case may be, Remus' cottage was closer then Hogwarts. If he still lived there. With his furry little problem, he couldn't think why he wouldn't still reside there. He wouldn't be able to get the money to buy another home and the cottage was his parent's home. It was sentimental to Remus. He wouldn't have sold it, unless he really had too. He hoped it didn't come to that. Remus had really loved that cottage.
With that in mind, Sirius Black closed his eyes to get some sleep, already planning his trip to his friend's home for the next day.
A week later found Harry glaring at the top of the trees as Hermione sat next to him with her back against the tree and a book in her hands. He placed his arms under his head for support as he laid in the grass on the outskirts of the forest. A week. A whole week of Remus being overprotective. It was getting on his nerves, especially since Remus would not tell him why. Grandpa Al had been over a few times to secretly talk to Remus and would leave right after giving Harry a very quick hello. Harry really wanted to know what was going on.
Luckily it was Saturday and Hermione was able to come over. She had always been a good listener and gave good advice. Remus had gone out, but Aunty M was over to watch them. The only reason Harry was able to be outside without an adult. Lately, Remus would only let him outside if he went with him. "I just don't understand it!" He said turning his head to look at Hermione. His bushy-haired friend put down her book and turned her attention at him. "Why can't he tell me what is wrong? And before you say it, I have tried talking to him about it, but he just won't tell me." He quickly said before Hermione could say anything.
Hermione gave him a look. "Just try and be patient. I'm sure he will tell you what is going on eventually. Maybe it has nothing to do with you. Face it, Harry. What do you know about Remus' past? Maybe he had something happened in his past that he has to face now and you are his anchor, keeping firmly in the present while he is going through a difficult time." She tried to reason with him, sounding much older than she was.
Harry sat up and stared into the woods. He sighed and shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe."
"Just let him try and work whatever it is out before…" A stick snapped from somewhere close and a bush shook, interrupting her. They snapped their heads to the bush. "What was that?" Hermione whispered with wide eyes.
"I don't…" The leaves of the bush rustled as something popped out of the branches. Harry got to his knees and leaned forward curiously. His eyes widen when he saw the face of a large black dog staring at him with such odd intelligence. He sighed in relief and smiled. "It's just a dog, Hermione." The dog stepped out of the bush, his eyes not leaving Harry. He cocked his head to the side, almost like he was confused. Harry shifted forward and held a hand out. "Come here, boy. Come on."
Hermione huffed. "Harry, don't touch it! It could have rabies or something! How do you even know if it's a boy or not? It could be a girl you know."
Harry didn't look at her. Instead, he kept his focus on the dog. "Oh, come on, Hermione. He looks harmless. If he had rabies, wouldn't he be foaming at the mouth or something like that?" He patted his knees. "Come on, boy." The dog walked over to him. "Look at him, Mione. He must be hungry." He pointed out, seeing the ribs of the animal. The dog reached him and sniffed his neck. Harry laughed as the dog pounced on him, excitedly, and licked his face. Harry reached up to pet him around the ears.
"He could have fleas, you know. How would you explain that to Remus?" Hermione said in her know-it-all voice. "You know how he hates dogs."
Harry pushed the dog off of him but hugged him close as he sat back up. "Good boy." He glanced at Hermione and smiled. "I think he likes me!" He said, petting the dog's head. He turned back to the dog. "You must be hungry, boy. You want something to eat?" The dog barked and licked his face, as if he was telling him he was hungry.
"Harry, you can't just take him inside. Remus may not be home, but I don't think Mrs. McGonagall likes dogs either. She might not be pleased about having a dog in the house." Hermione said. "And she would tell Remus. We will get in trouble!"
"I wasn't going to take him in the house. I'm not that stupid, Mione." Harry said, giving her a look. "Stay here with him. I'll be right back." He said. He rushed off before Hermione could protest.
"Harry…!" She started to say, but he was already gone. She gave the dog an uncertain look, pulling her legs closer to her. "Nice doggie." She whispered shakily when the dog turned his attention to her. She glanced back at the house, hoping Harry wouldn't take too long. She glanced wearily at the dog. The dog had planted his butt on the ground and was staring at the cottage. She took a breath when she realized his attention was off of her. He seemed to be waiting for Harry to return as much as she was.
She hugged her knees to her chest, nervously as she kept an eye on the dog. She didn't not like dogs, but big and dirty ones made her nervous. Who knew what diseases they carried or how dangerous they were? The dog turned his head towards her and tilted it like he was studying her. She made a nervous sound at the back of her throat and tensed him. "Nice doggie. Stay." She kept repeating.
Sirius couldn't believe his luck. Harry, his little pup, was safe and it didn't take him long to find him. He stared at the familiar cabin sadly as he laid down on the ground waiting for his godson. Harry was happy and didn't need him. He didn't need him at all. He was torn from feeling lonely and feeling happy. Sirius had no one. No one wanted him or needed him. He was alone. However, he was glad to see Harry happy and safe and he was overjoyed that Remus was not alone as he had feared. He was glad to see Remus being a part of Harry's life, a major part. The part that was supposed to be James, the part that should have been passed on to him in the event of James and Lily's death. He pushed back the jealousy. He had no right for that. It was his fault he was in this mess anyhow.
He turned his head to take a look at the young girl. She was eyeing him almost fearfully, a look Sirius knew all too well. Harry's friend. How many friends did he have? How did they meet? Where did they meet? He wanted to know. He wanted to know everything about Harry, but he couldn't. Since he found Harry and now knew he was safe, there was only one thing left to do. Find Wormtail and kill him. Sirius turned away from the girl and narrowed his eyes angrily. Wormtail would not stand a chance against him. He would find him and get his revenge. He sighed. However, Wormtail could be anywhere and he wanted to stay with Harry.
Sirius suddenly lifted his head up as an idea came to him. Maybe he could stay here and keep an eye on Harry. Remus didn't know about Wormtail. He wouldn't be looking for a rat. Wormtail could easily get by him and kill Harry in his sleep. Sirius would have to keep an eye out for the rat, since Remus would not. He could do something for Harry. He had to do something for Harry and if this is the only thing he could do then he shall do it. He laid his head back on the ground, satisfied with his idea. He would stay there, for Harry. No matter the risks. If Remus saw him then the game would be up, but Sirius Black was a risk taker and this wasn't about him. It was about keeping Harry safe. He would just have to hide out in the woods.
He lifted his head back up when he saw Harry running back out of the cabin, holding something in his hands. He quickly got on his legs in excitement when he smelled bacon. He panted, his tongue rolled out of his mouth, as his taste buds watered from the heavenly smell. He almost barked in his excitement, but stopped himself. He didn't want to alarm Professor McGonagall, who was supposedly watching the two children, much to Sirius' surprise. He had no idea if Remus told Dumbledore about him being an animagus and thought it best to stay hidden from Dumbledore and McGonagall.
Harry smiled at him and set the plate down in front of him. "There you go, boy, a fresh cooked meal just for you." Sirius inhaled the bacon, hungrily. Harry chuckled at him. "You must have been mighty hungry! Sorry, I can't get more at the moment." He apologized.
"Harry, how did you get that by Mrs. McGonagall?" The girl asked, staring at his now empty plate.
Harry shrugged his shoulders as he petted Sirius on the head. Sirius leaned into the touch. It had been such a long time since he felt physical affection from anyone. It really felt good. Really good. "It wasn't easy. I told her it was for us and she gave me that disapproval look. I don't think she really believed me. That, or, she didn't think breakfast food made a good afternoon snack." He looked back down at him. "You're going to need a name." He said as he scratched the back of Sirius' ears.
"Harry!" The girl huffed. "You can't keep him! Where would you keep him? How are you going to get this approved by Remus?"
"Awe, Hermione, please don't tell Remus." Harry begged. Sirius turned to the girl, Hermione, and gave her the best puppy dog eyes he could. He silently begged along with Harry that she wouldn't tell Remus. If she did, he would be forced to leave before he was caught. "He'll just stay in the woods, I promise. I won't take him inside at all. Please."
Hermione gave them a look before nodding. "Oh, all right. Only because you should tell him and not me." She defended her decision.
Harry gave her a big grin. "Thanks, Mione!" He turned back to the dog. "Good boy." He petted him and smiled at his new friend.
This will be more of a Sirius/Remus bonding story. Redeveloping their friendship...friendship, not a slash