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What Could Have Been by inkscribble

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 1,857

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: General, Romance, AU
Characters: Harry, Ron, Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 01/20/2009
Last Chapter: 04/26/2009
Last Updated: 04/26/2009

fantastic banner made by akeyana at TDA!

There will always be a What Could Have been. This goes for the Potter family too.

Chapter 1: What Could Have Been
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A/N: First of all to the validators, I'm so sorry that I've been making so many changes with this story! But I'm the most forgetful person in the world and always remember that I need to add something one in a while. This is a real edit though, I've fixed some things up that needed to be fixed. (:

This is AU, seeing as James and Lily are alive and Voldemort never went after Harry. Wormtail isn't in the story because I think Dumbledore would have figured out that he was a traitor and double spy if he hadn't pretended to blow himself up (; . The Harry in this story is kind of OOC but that's simply because I think he would have been a lot different if he had grown up being loved. Also, I know this is sort of like Harry talking to Albus in the epilogue but I've tried to change it around a little now.

Disclaimer: J.K Rowling owns everything, but you already knew that didn't you?

”Don’t break any rules –”

“Make sure to use the Cloak when you go out –“

“Don’t get into too much trouble –“

“You remember how to use the Map –“

“Don’t listen to your father and be respectful to –“

“Say hello to Peeves from me –“

“Don’t go near the Dark Forest –“

“Prank Snape from me, will you?” Sirius Black cut in before Lily or James Potter had a chance to say anything else.

“Sirius!” said Lily accusingly, glaring at her husbands best friend and her son’s god father.

Eleven year old Harry Potter just grinned at the man with long, dark hair who winked at him from behind Lily’s back.

September First had finally come along, and the excitement that was splashed across Harry’s face was something not even a new broomstick or a game of Quidditch could bring out in him.

“We’ll miss you, don’t forget to write” Lily said, clearly done with the lecturing, and embraced him.

“Yeah, tell us all about your Gryffindor mates” James said as he pulled Harry in so close that he was out of breath when he let go.

“How many times do I have to tell you not do that?” Lily snapped at her husband and then turned back to her son again. “Of course it doesn’t matter what house you are in darling, you’ll make friends even if it’s Slytherin”

“He’ll have friends but no home” Sirius joked, but fell silent when he caught the look on Lily’s face.

“Don’t worry mum” grinned Harry. “I’ll be in Gryffindor” he sounded so confident it was almost like he’d already been sorted.

“Yes well, in case you’re not,” Lily started carefully. “We’ll love you no matter where you end up”

“We’ll try to smuggle in a broom for you” Sirius exclaimed, who had evidently forgotten that Lily was mad with him about his last comment.

“I doubt it will make any difference, but don’t get into too much trouble” Remus Lupin, who had been quiet up until then, said with a small smile tucking the corners of his lips.

“That’s a bit rich, coming from you isn’t it?” Lily scoffed, raising her eyebrows at the three friends who weren’t even bothering to hide their grins.

Harry laughed out loud and James tousled his son’s hair fondly, with a proud smile on his lips.

“Now, don’t forget to introduce yourself to Mr. Filch” said James in a mock formality. “I think a few Dungbombs will make him remember you” he added in a whisper so Lily, who was making sure that Harry’s owl was safely tucked away in its cage, didn’t hear him.

“Of course Dad” Harry replied loudly and then added in a whisper: “I’m going to try to get the House Elves to put some Frog Spawn Soap in his goblet”

“That’s my boy” James bragged and ruffles Harry’s hair once again.

Even at such a young age, Harry resembled his father in many ways. They had the same messy, jet-black hair, bad eye-sight and even though he was only eleven it was clear that he had taken after his father when it came to his body too. His eyes were another story, they were the exact same emerald green as his mother’s were.

“Well you better be off if you don’t want to miss the train” Lily acknowledged and bent down to kiss him.

Harry hugged her a little harder than someone who had been saying he wouldn't miss home at all for the past few weeks before turning to his dad.

“I’ll miss you son” James admitted, looking less amused than he had not so long ago. It was like the fact that he wasn’t going to see his boy up until Christmas had finally settled in. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do” James winked and gave Harry another rib-cracking hug that left him just as out of breath as the last one had.

“If school is too hard on you –“

“Just don’t care about it and have some fun instead” Sirius finished Remus’s sentence before giving his god-son a one armed hug. “I’ll be expecting a letter telling me about how it went with that Mrs. Norris thing we talked about….”

Harry smiled at Sirius before turning to Remus who pulled him into a hug.

“Take care” He said quietly. “Write if there’s anything we, I, can get you”

“Thanks Uncle Remus” Harry answered.

James, Sirius and Remus put away his trunk away while Harry got into the empty compartment where he would be able to see his family until the very last minute.

There was a loud whistle coming from the train, warning the few students that were still on the platform and a moment later the train begun moving.

Harry waved eagerly at his parents and more-or-less-uncle’s until the train had left the platform.

He was on his way. He, Harry James Potter, was on his way to Hogwarts.

There was a knock on the compartment door that slid open and revealed a boy with fiery red hair and freckles scattered all across his somewhat long nose. He looked like he was about Harry’s age, although taller.

“Can I sit here? All the other are full” the boy asked to which Harry nodded.

“I’m Ron by the way, Ron Weasley” the boy, Ron, introduced himself as he had sat down on the seat opposite of Harry’s.

“I’m Harry. Harry Potter” and after that it didn’t take long before the two first years were discussing Quidditch just as fiercely as Ron’s hair.



More than brilliant it’s –“



Hours later, Harry and Ron were gawking at their first look at the castle that would be their home for a large part of the next seven years.

It was better than anything Harry could have ever imagined. It had sounded terrific when his parents had told him about it, but they had obviously not done it justice. Hogwarts was amazing. Harry couldn’t tear his emerald green eyes away from it as the boats they were all sitting in made its way over the lake.

“My brother told me there’s a Giant Squid in here” Ron informed Harry after another moment of starring at the castle.

He was talking about the lake, Harry realized after a second.

“Maybe we can feed it a Dungbomb and see what happens” Harry proposed, shrugging as a grin spread over his lips.

Ron looked somewhere in between frightened and excited at the mention of Harry’s idea.

“What house do you think you’ll be in?” Harry asked after a moment of silence, in which they had both taken the time to stare some more at the castle.

“Gryffindor, probably” Ron answered dully. “My whole family has been in Gryffindor for generations, I can only imagine what my parents would do to me if I end up somewhere else”

Harry felt a sting of gratitude over what his mum had said on the platform earlier that day.

“Well, I’m going to be in Gryffindor too so at least we’ll be together” said Harry confidently.

Ron didn’t have time to ask him how he knew that though, even though it was clear that he was about to, because the boats reached land at that moment.

Harry got out of the boat after Ron and with the rest of their group of first-years he followed Hagrid, trying to look everywhere at once. Not that he could make out too much, the sky was pitch black with no stars singing down at them.

Hagrid raised his giant hand and knocked three times on the doors that lead in to Hogwarts.

Harry took a deep breath and held it for a second. Finally, someone opened it and light from the hall inside made it possible for him to make out a very stern looking woman dressed in red and a black hat balancing on top of her head.

Dear Mum and Dad

I’m sorry that I haven’t written until now, but I’ve been really busy (not with school work, don’t worry Dad. I’ll never be busy with that when Mum’s not threatening to take my broomstick away). The castle is brilliant! I’m in Gryffindor, of course, just like you two (and like Sirius and Remus too). I met a bloke, Ron Weasley, on the Hogwarts express and he’s in Gryffindor too! Neville who came to my birthday party once is too. Professor McGonagall won’t let me try out for the house team even though I told her I’m the only chance they’ve got if they want to win. I don’t think she listened actually. I tried out those new Dungbombs in Filch’s office, and they worked really well. Thanks for getting me them! He went right down mad though, Filch, but I managed to blame Peeves. Tomorrow I have my first flying class, even though I can’t be on the team at least I can show those bloody Slytherin’s that they’re not best. There’s a really annoying boy, his name is Draco Malfoy. He’s friends with these two really dull guys who can’t stand up right without having to think about it. The classes are pretty hard. I didn’t think they would. Snape hates me, I’ve already got two detentions and I’m going to get another one if I don’t do my homework now. Say hello to Padfoot and Moony.

Lots of love,

“See, I told you he’d be fine” James said after his wife had finished reading Harry’s first letter to them out loud.

“Yes, I guess you were right” Lily admitted with a small laugh. “Although he could be doing without those detentions I mean -”

Before she had a chance to continue what was sure to turn into a long rant James pressed his lips against hers.

“At least, we have the house to ourselves now”

“Sorry Prongs, you don’t” Sirius announced cheerfully as he stepped through the doors to the kitchen, followed closely by Remus who was looking half amused half sorry that he had interrupted something that was sure to turn into something pretty feisty.

“Ah, what could have been” James muttered.