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Wizards In Kindergarten. by Shadow the pup

Format: Short story
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 12,084
Status: WIP

Rating: 12+

Genres: Fluff, General, AU
Characters: Harry, Lupin, Sirius, OC

First Published: 12/05/2020
Last Chapter: 02/20/2021
Last Updated: 03/01/2021


A sequel to 'Sirius makes a Choice.'  

Petunia insisted that Harry and Dudley needed basic primary education. What she didn't realise was how much trouble two wizards with no magical control could cause. 

The OG Cover is by Midnight Slytherin. Thank you!


Petunia and Dudley are marked as OC's

Chapter 1: In Between
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In the time before Harry started Kindergarten, everything stayed the same. Padfoot and his Aunt Tuney would fight over who should make breakfast then end up cooking together. This was often followed by loud, out of tune singing. They blended muggle and magical music so to Harry it was just music. 

Once a month Moony would get sick, and the whole family would fuss over him. He insisted he was fine, no matter how often Padfoot said it was okay that he wasn’t. Harry got used to sleeping in a pillow fort with Dudley when Moony got really sick. They’d laugh and play games. Harry still didn’t know why Moony got sick, but he always got better and that was important to Harry.

Harry had also made friends. The Weasley’s asked the family over often. It had become part of Harry’s week to make something for Dinner at the Weasley’s with Tuney and Dudley. He’d recently learned how to make mashed potatoes, and he had so much fun squashing them. 
Sometimes at the dinners Harry’s other friends were there. Luna came with her mum and dad; they always wore strange clothes and told funny stories. Cedric was the oldest kid to come, but he was nice and showed everyone what he’d learned at Quidditch practice that week. (Harry thought he’d like his cousin Nym). 

Harry’s favourite thing to do when it was just him, though, was talk to his mum and dad. Padfoot had said they were dead, because a bad man had killed them. Which was why Harry lived with him. And Harry knew they weren’t there physically, but they were there. Padfoot had said they were watching over him. So Harry told them about his day; about Padfoot’s bad singing, how much he missed Nym while she was at Hogwarts, and about the games he and Dudley had made up. His parents were good listeners, and they understood why he didn’t talk to them around the adults. Harry knew it made them sad and he wanted his family to be happy. 

Sirius knew Petunia had a point. He knew that Harry and Dudley should go out and make friends. He also knew he didn’t want them in a muggle school. 
“What if they do magic in front of them?” Was his main argument. 
“How do you explain it when a muggle born does it?” 
“I don’t know, I’m guessing the parents are just really confused and the school just accepts it.” 
“So the school will accept it now, they did with Lily.” 
“But we know why, and I’m a terrible liar.” 
“But somehow hid that you became an animagus when you were 15.” Remus yelled from the other room. 
“Moony I don’t believe for a second McGonagall didn’t know. We weren’t exactly subtle. We named you Moony  for Merlins sake.” 
“Fine, then I’ll lie to these people and that’ll be it. I’ve had years of practice” Remus was trying to out logic Sirius, he really hated when Remus did that. 
“I’m sorry how many times did ‘great aunt Hazel’ die in our second year? I think it was four. You lie well but you can’t keep them straight it’s what you had us for.” 
“She died three times I’ll have you know, and if it weren’t for the fact I couldn’t keep a list of dead relatives, it would’ve been fine.” 
“Okay!” Petunia interrupted, “I tell you what: Remus can lie, Sirius can make sure they all work and my son can get some basic education.” 
“But what if Harry or Dudley tell the teacher they have magic?” Sirius asked. 
“Kids do that all the time. Sometimes they’re fairies or dragons or dolphins. The teacher will smile and nod. It’ll be fine.” 
“But what if-”

“Sirius, I understand you’re worried. So I’ll make you a deal. They go for one month and if in that one month they destroy the statute of secrecy and you have to call in a squad to obliviate the entire school body we can get a tutor and homeschool them. If that doesn’t happen, they go to a muggle primary school until they get their Hogwarts letter.” 
Remus laughed. 
“What was that Moony?” Sirius yelled. 
“The image of Harry and Dudley doing something bad enough to get the obliviaters out. Let them go Padfoot it’ll be right.” 
“Moony I thought we were a team.” 
“We are, just not today.” 
Petunia laughed. 
“I guess I’m out numbered. Fine they can go to school!” 
Remus and Petunia cheered loudly, Petunia brought out a cake from the fridge. It was iced red, and had golden writing. It said: 

‘I knew you’d come around!’ 
Sirius started laughing too, maybe Kindy wasn’t such a bad idea. 

They called the boys into the living room. When they saw the cake their eyes lit up. They pointed to the words and tried to sound them out, the way Remus had taught them to, before giving up and asking for help. 
“What’s the cake for?” Harry asked. 
“I managed to convince Padfoot to let you go to Kindy.” Petunia said. 
“Mumma, what’s Kindy?” Dudley asked. 
“It’s a school, where you learn how to read and write and make friends.” 
“Oh okay,” Harry said, “why didn’t Padfoot want us to go?” 
“Because it’s a muggle school, and they can’t know about magic.” 
“But you know, Tuney.” 
“I do your right, but that’s because my sister and you guys have magic. Muggles with no magical family can’t know.” 
Dudley looked confused by this, “What if someone asks?” 
Sirius jumped in, “They won’t but if you tell the truth adults will think you’re playing,” he mumbled under his breath “or so I’m told.” 
“We’ll talk more about this later, okay? Let’s just have cake now.” Petunia suggested. 
Remus pulled out his wand to cut the cake and summoned some napkins. They ate on the floor with their fingers, and all laughed when the icing smeared all over Harry and Dudley’s face. They looked like they were going to a Gryffindor Quidditch match. 
“After the boys are settled in at Kindy I think they should try little league quidditch.” Sirius said quietly, so only Remus could hear. 
“That could work the season doesn’t start until November, we could make it a surprise one day after school.” 
“Moony that sounds wonderful.” 
“Of course it does I said it.” 
Sirius laughed and shoved him playfully. Thankfully Remus had finished his cake so he could shove back. As always Petunia watched, laughing, and the boys rushed to join in.

Chapter 2: Enrolment
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July 1st 1985 


Sirius had no idea what to wear. This was a novelty for him because his whole life his outfits were pretty straight forward. When he was young his mother dressed him, then he had his Hogwarts uniform, then he dressed to annoy his mother and at some point between then and now he’d found clothes that felt like him. 


These clothes were not good for parent-teacher interviews. 

This muggle school insisted on vetting every single pupil that came through its doors. It didn’t matter how much Sirius protested, saying things like “They’re five!” or “Why won’t they just take our money?” they had a meeting today. 
So Sirius still had to find appropriate muggle clothes.
Remus of course was fine, he owned enough sweater vests to have an honourary teaching degree and Petunia only wore nice muggle attire. They both assured him that he’d be fine but he worried. This school was exclusive, it’s why they’d chosen it (less people to notice any magic), but what if they decided Harry and Dudley weren’t good enough because of him? That simply wasn’t an option. 
So with twenty minutes before they left Sirius was trying desperately to find a button up shirt and unripped jeans because he refused to take Remus up on the offer to steal his clothes for this. 

As with everything, Sirius had made a big deal out of nothing. Clothes were the least of his concerns that day.

The first problem occurred when they reached the front desk. A receptionist who looked like a younger, blonder version of Sirius’ mother greeted them. That was the first clue something was wrong.

“Can I help you?” She said not looking up from the form she was filling out. 
“Yeah, we have an appointment with the headmaster Mathew Winestock” Remus said. 
“Why have you brought children with you?” 
“They’re our kids, and this meeting is about whether they’re right to go here.” Sirius said, feeling ready to argue with this woman. 
“Children are no permitted to be in the meeting, drop them off with a babysitter and come back later.” 
“Surely there must be somewhere they can stay while we have our meeting?” Petunia said stopping Sirius from saying his less polite next sentence.
“I’m sorry Ma’am there isn’t” 

“Our appointment is in five minutes.” Sirius said. 
“Then I guess you’ll have to reschedule.” 
As the receptionist said this a man in a suit stepped out of an office. “Why’re we rescheduling, Dorris?” 
“These people brought children.” 
“Good thing we’re a school.” 
“They have a meeting with you now.” 
The headmaster, Mathew, chuckled, “Larry’s got his granddaughter in with him today, she’s about their age. I’m sure he could be persuaded to have them for the next fifteen minutes,” Mathew knocked on another office door, “Larry does Hermione want a friends today?” 
Hermione screamed at the top of her lungs “Yes please!” 
“Send them in Matt.” 

Larry and his granddaughter Hermione were sat on the carpet looking at a children’s chemistry set. Hermione was very carefully pouring, what smelled like vinegar into a test tube. 
“Hello there.” Larry said, smiling up at Harry and Dudley from the floor. 
“Hi,” they waved at him. Dudley had moved half of his body behind Petunia.
“Do you want to watch our experiment?” He asked. 
Harry looked at Sirius and asked, “Can we Padfoot?”

Larry looked at him curiously at the use of the name but said nothing. 
“Of course, Harry.” 
Harry took Dudley’s hand and smiled at him, “It’s okay Big D.” 
The nickname made Dudley laugh and he walked with Harry to watch the experiment. 
Mathew coughed slightly and said, “Shall we go to my office?” 

Mathew’s office looked nothing like Dumbledore’s. He had floor to ceiling book shelves covered in text books and photos of his wife and children. His desk was brand new and made of fake mahogany. The carpet beneath their feet was soft and fluffy, like it was vacuumed frequently. 
“Before we begin can I offer you tea or coffee?” 
They all asked for tea, and Mathew poured it. 
“If you don’t mind me asking why are you all here?” 
Sirius felt himself freeze, they hadn’t planned any of their story. Thankfully Remus knew what he was doing. 
“Sirius’ brother married Petunia’s sister. A few years ago they died in a car crash. Sirius got custody first and I moved in to help look after Harry. Later Petunia separated from her husband and she and Dudley moved in. Now our family is here.” 
“I’m sorry for your loss.” Mathew said. 
“Thank you,” Remus said. 
“If it’s not rude to ask, why did you come?” The question was aimed at Remus. He didn’t have an answer. 
“He didn’t tell the whole story,” Petunia said, “When I moved in with Sirius we fell in love. Remus is my fiancé, and he insisted on coming. He just loves Dudley and wants to help.” 
“Congratulations.” Mathew said. 
Sirius let out a sigh of relief, and thanked Merlin for their quick thinking. 
“Thank you,” Remus said, but he was making eye contact with Petunia. 
“Yes, well onto business. Tell me about your boys.” 
“What do you want to know?” Sirius asked. 
“Anything,” Mathew said, sitting down. 
Sirius didn’t need any more prompting. He spoke in one continuous stream of thought until he ran out of breath and was forced to stop. Mathew stared at him silently. 
“Sorry,” Sirius said, “They’re just amazing kids.” 
“No need to apologise, it’s why I take these meetings.” 
“You don’t have to take them?” Remus asked. 

“No. The meetings could be held by the teacher and the meetings are a new addition to the school, they’re not mandatory.”
Sirius fought his anger down, “Why do you do them then?” 
“To make sure our children have a loving home.” 
The anger drained out of Sirius, he knew what good a school could do. “Thank you.” 
Before Mathew could reply there was a loud bang from another office. 

Everyone raced out to the reception area to see white smoke billowing from Larry’s office. It took a lot of self restraint not to blast the door off it’s hinges when it didn’t open immediately when Sirius turned the handle. He shoved his shoulder against the door and went spilling into the office. 
“What happened?” Sirius yelled. 
Larry coughed and walked to open the window, “Sorry about the bang. We put marshmallows in the microwave, I didn’t realise it could go this wrong.” 
Sure enough the microwave door was hanging open and a  brown lump of caramelised sugar was lining the inside. Sirius had a good idea what had gone wrong, from the looks on Petunia and Remus’ face so did they. 
“Oh it’s alright,” Petunia said, “we were just about to finish getting enrolled. The meetings over.” Petunia held out her hands and Harry and Dudley ran to take them. 
“Bye, Hermione.” Harry said “See you later?” 
Hermione smiled and said “Bye Harry, bye Dudley. See you later.” She said it with so much conviction Sirius wondered whether she had the sight. (Which was ridiculous no one in the last hundred years was documented giving a true prophecy). 

They walked to the receptionist desk where Mathew was waiting for them.
“All your paperwork is in order, I just need an address and a landline number for emergencies.” 
They’re address didn’t exist and telephones didn’t work in magical houses. Sirius really hated his ability to think on the fly. Remus and Petunia came to the rescue again, they really did seem like a to-be-married couple. 
“We’re currently in the process of moving but Remus has the new address in the car, can you just give him a moment to get it?” 
Mathew politely accepted this lie and Remus left the room to go to a car they didn’t have. 

Remus returned a moment later with a piece of paper in his hand. To Sirius it looked blank but he passed it to Mathew and he didn’t seem to notice. 
“Spearhead Avenue? I’ve never been there.” 
“It’s an up and coming family neighbourhood.” Petunia said. 
Mathew said nothing while he filled in the forms. 
“That’s all I need see you September 1st.” 

When they were back at the house, they all sat around the living room. 
“Harry? Dudley? Did you make that marshmallow explode?” Remus asked. 
They looked sheepish. “Maybe...” 

“Did you mean to?” 

“Padfoot what’re we gonna do with these two?” 
“I dunno Moony,” Remus had the look in his eyes that normally meant he’d planned a new prank. Harry and Dudley were already halfway out of the door, attempting to giggle quietly. 
“Well if we let them escape they’ll never get what’s coming.” 
“You’re right Moony, I think we should catch them.” 
The boys shrieked with delight as they ran in opposite directions. Remus and Sirius made a big show of failing to catch them. 
“Well Padfoot, I guess they don’t want cupcakes to celebrate their first prank.” 
“I guess we’ll have to make them ourselves.” 
The boys crept back to the living room. “Cupcakes?” Dudley asked, “You’re not mad?”
“Of course we’re not mad. You can’t grow up with us and not learn a few things. Plus you’re first prank should be celebrated.” Sirius said, “Do you want to bake them now?” 
Their resounding ‘YES!’ echoed off the walls. 

As the boys ran around the kitchen grabbing the ingredients they needed, Sirius turned to Remus. 
“So you and Petunia... should I be worried?” Sirius could hear the laughter in his voice. 
“Yes!” Petunia yelled, “He’s realised I look better in the apron and jacket. It’s not long until we run away together.” 
Remus’ head tipped back as he laughed, “Petunia we just had to last one more week, why’d you blow our cover?” 
“I couldn’t help it, I love you Moonpie!” 
Remus laughed harder, “I changed my mind the weddings off.” There was a moment filled with only laughter, then Remus muttered “Moonpie, I’ll never hear the end of this.” 
“You won’t.” Sirius said gleefully, as he put his head on Remus’ shoulder. 
“Merlin help me.” 

Chapter 3: First Day
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1st of September 1985 


Harry Potter knew he was different. His friend Ron had more family than he could count while his cousin Nym only had her and her parents. He knew that other people didn’t have a ‘Moony’ , ‘Padfoot’, or ‘Aunt Tuney’, but he’d never really thought about it. Then he’d gone to the muggle school and spoken to Hermione. She hadn’t been mean, but she didn’t understand how he could have three ‘parents’. Harry thought that surely someone would be like him in the muggle school. 

They apparated just far enough away from the school that no one would see them and walked the short distance in. There was a small group of families outside the office. Harry tried to walk there but Sirius stopped him. 
“Tell me one more time the things you can’t tell or show anyone.” 
“That we have magic, and that Moony and Tuney aren’t married, and that Moony and you are dogs sometimes, and that we don’t walk to school we apparate.” 
“Thank you Harry, Dudley are you doing okay?” 
Dudley looked like he was about to cry. Petunia crouched down to his eye level. 
“Dudley, you are so very brave. You fly so high on your broom and you so happily climb to the highest tree branch just to jump off, so I think you can do this. So you and I are going to walk there and you’re going to make a friend okay.” 
“But what if I mess up? What if I use magic?” 
“You won’t mess up, because muggles who think magic is pretend won’t notice. You can tell them you have magic and they’ll think you’re playing. You can show them magic and they’ll explain it to themselves to help it make sense.” 
“Are you sure?” 
“I’m positive.” 
So Dudley took Petunia’s hand and the family walked to the office.

It was crowded outside the office. The people all stood close enough together that it was starting to feel warm. Harry wanted to take his coat off, but that meant he had to let go of Sirius’ hand and there were to many people bumping them for that to feel safe. So he did his best to ignore the slightly-to-warm feeling. 

After what felt like hours of waiting for something to happen, the man Padfoot, Moony and Tuney had met came out of the office. 
“Hello everyone, I’d like to take you to your new classrooms now. We’ve got a nice sized group this year. Plenty of new friends for everyone. Now if you’ll follow me, we can start learning.” 
Everyone started moving at once. The heat that had surrounded Harry suddenly disappeared and he was glad he hadn’t taken off his coat. Harry reached for Remus’ hand. 
“Super jump?” 
Harry couldn’t tell whether Remus was about to say yes or no because Sirius didn’t let him open his mouth. 
“Please Moony, you know how much he loves it.” 
“I was going to say yes anyway. One, two, three.”

On three Harry jumped as high as he could, while Sirius and Remus pulled him up as high as they could.

Harry laughed and begged “Again! Again! Again!” 
Sirius was looking at Petunia when he said “Sorry Harry, I think it’s Dudley’s turn.” 
“Okay.” Harry went to hold Petunia’s hand while Dudley had his turn. 
“Are you excited, Harry?” 
“Yes! I’m gonna make friends!” 
“That’s good, are you worried about people asking questions?” 
“Yeah, Hermione didn’t understand why I didn’t have a mum and dad. What if they all think I’m weird?” 
“Harry, there’s nothing wrong with being weird. But I think they’ll be jealous.” 
“Because you have three people to give you Christmas presents, three people to give you awesome hugs, and three people to look after you.” 
“That’s not true.” 
“Yes it is, Harry.” 
“You forgot Dudley, he got me that flying toy car last Christmas.” 
Petunia laughed “You’re right Harry, you have four people who love you very much.” 
They’d fallen behind the group now, so they all ran as fast as they could to the classroom; letting Harry release the last of his fear.

There were three teachers standing outside of the classroom. Next to each teacher there was a list of students. They walked to the closest teacher, a woman with greying hair and glasses on a chain around her neck. Padfoot whispered something to Moony that Harry couldn’t hear. It made him laugh.
A minute passed while Padfoot looked through the list, “Come along boys. You’re not in here.” He whispered another thing to Moony as they walked away. 

The next teacher was Larry. 
“Hello again, boys.”

“Hi,” Dudley said. He looked much happier with Larry. 
Larry turned to the list, “I’ve got both of you! You’ll have to promise not to go near the marshmallows though.” 
Dudley laughed, and reached for Harry’s hand to pull him forward. 

“Is Hermione in our class?” Harry asked, letting himself come forward. 
“Unfortunately no. I’m not allowed to teach my granddaughter. They’re worried she be treated unfairly as though she isn’t already the brightest girl her age.” 
“Where is she?” 
“Over with Miss Macnamara.” 
Miss Macnamara was a young woman. She had blonde hair and a beaming smile. She was talking to all the children in her class like she’d met them before. She was talking to Hermione, who was excitedly flipping through a big book. She pointed to pictures and occasionally stopped to point at words on the page. 
“Can we say hi, Padfoot?” Dudley asked. 
“O’ course bud. Thanks Larry.”

They joined hands as they walked away. “Moony,” Sirius whispered, “Hold Petunia’s hand.” 
“She’s your fiancée, remember?” 
Remus looked horrified with himself and looped Petunia’s  arm through his own. 
“Honestly what would you do without me?” 
Harry turned to Dudley, they were both smiling widely; knowing what was about to happen. 
“Live the life of a shut-in out in the countryside somewhere, build a cottage. Maybe buy some chickens.” 
“Have no one to fix you up or give you pain potions. It’d be fun for about a month.” 
“Come on Pads, you know he’s joking. He’d never leave you.” Petunia put a calming hand on his shoulder in mock sympathy. 
“Don’t you side with him.” 
Harry and Dudley were laughing now. 
“It’s what I’m supposed to do, we’re engaged.” 
Sirius made a whining ‘neh’ sound repeatedly, “We’re ‘engaged’ honestly Moony. First James betrays me, now you? ‘It doesn’t mean we’re not friends anymore’  bunch of lies.” 
“Oi!” Harry said, joining in “If Dad didn’t get married you wouldn’t have me!” 
“Good point, we should continue this after you’ve seen Hermione.” 

Hermione’s face lit up when Harry called her name. 
“Hiya! Are you in my class?” 
“No we got your granddad.” Harry said. 
“I wish. He’s so funny.” 
“Do you want to play together at break-time?” Dudley asked. 
“Yeah!” Hermione yelled, she spoke quieter after “Yeah, does that mean we’re friends?” 
“Yeah.” Dudley said, “We’re friends.” 
“See you at break.” Hermione said as the bell went. 

The class started with introductions. 
“Hello everyone, I’m Mr Granger. I’ve been working here for 20 years and I love doing it. I have two sons and one lovely granddaughter who’s in your year. To start our lesson I want everyone to draw a picture of your family and tell the class about it.” He pulled out a bucket full of crayons and coloured pencils and placed it next to a pile of paper. 
Everyone rushed forward to choose their favourite colour. Harry and Dudley both grabbed handfuls of crayons, they were used to sharing. 
“Dudley do you think we could draw one big picture together?” Harry asked. 
“I think we could.” Dudley said, “Can I draw doggy Padfoot?” 
“Yeah! And put Moony in too.” 
“What does he look like?” 
“I’m not sure, just another dog I guess.” 
They sat together drawing in harmony. Occasionally one would make a suggestion to the others part of the drawing but there were no arguments. In the end they had a drawing of Potter manor. In front of the manor stood all five of them, plus two doggie companions stood next to their person. Petunia’s triangle dress was covered in flowers, Sirius’ leather jacket  was a boxy black shape, and Remus’ hair looked like straw; but it looked like their family. Right at the end Harry asked “Can I draw my mum and dad in the background?” 
“I guess so, they do leave us stuff sometimes.” 
It had been Harry’s second birthday when the first presents came. One for him and Dudley laid on his parents graves. Since then for every holiday they took a trip to visit and leave flowers in thanks. So Harry drew them very small, holding a flower in one hand and a present in the other. 
“Who would like to go first?” Larry asked. 
Harry put his hand up like he’d been told to. 
“Come on up.” 
Harry and Dudley both stood up and walked to the front of the class. 
“Harry and me don’t have a mum and dad. I have mum, Padfoot and Moony.” Dudley said pointing at them as he said their names. 
“And I have a Tuney, Moony and Padfoot and my cousin to play with.” 
“And what do you boys like doing?” Larry asked. 
Harry looked at Dudley, he couldn’t say ‘riding broomsticks‘ could he? 
“We like baking and playing catch and playing with our dog.” Dudley said. 
“That sounds fun, thank you boys. If you’d like to sit down now that would be lovely.” 
They returned to their seats and Dudley whispered as quietly as he could “At least I didn’t say we catch on brooms.” 
Harry laughed and enjoyed getting to know his classmates. 

The rest of the day happened so quickly, Harry wasn’t sure where the time had gone. Not long after everyone had introduced themselves it was break-time. They played hide and seek with Hermione and a boy called Edmund. Hermione said he was sat by himself and so she invited him. Harry didn’t mind there was another person it made the games more fun (even if Dudley did win every time). 
Then they did maths and Larry read them a book called ‘The BFG.’ Harry felt like he did more that day then he ever had done before in his life. 

When the bell rang for the end of the day everyone had come to pick them up. 
“Did you have a good day?” They all asked. 
Harry and Dudley spoke over each other in their excitement to tell them everything. 
“Well then.” Sirius laughed “I guess Petunia made the right decision.” 
“Padfoot? Can we come back again?” Harry asked. 
“Of course, Harry.” 
“Yay!” Harry yelled.

Chapter 4: Little League Quidditch
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October 3rd 1985 


Harry had been having a great time at school but he loved the weekends. He didn’t have to worry about secrets and could do anything he wanted. It surprised him on this particular Sunday when Padfoot woke him up and told him to get ready to go. They didn’t have school on Sunday. 
“Where are we going?” He asked. 
“It’s a surprise.” Padfoot replied, handing him his clothes for the day, “but I promise it’ll be worth the early start.” 
“Okay Padfoot.” Harry said as he left to go wake up Dudley. 

At a few minutes past nine everyone was ready. They all linked arms and apparated. It felt like Harry was being incased by a straw and someone was sucking all the air out of it. When he was freed from it they were on a grassy field. Around them children of various ages were  on broomsticks. Harry could see Nym blowing a whistle at  her team and yelling for them to pay attention to the game. 
“Welcome to little league quidditch.” Padfoot said smiling widely. 

From the depths of his coat pockets Moony produced a picnic rug for them to sit on while they waited, not that they’d needed it. Almost as soon as they sat down a young woman came to introduce herself. 
“Hi, I’m Amber and I’ll be running your skill assessment for today so we know what team to put you in.”

”I’m good at going fast.” Harry said. 
“And I’m good with a bat.” Dudley said. 
“I’m sure you are, but we want to look at all your skills right now. This way you can get better.” 
“What brooms will they be using?” Petunia asked. 
“We like to start them off with modified brooms. They’ll hover five feet off the ground and the pitch will have nets just in case.” Amber said cheerfully, as though children falling from great heights was something to be celebrated. 
“Okay, lead the way to the broom shed then.” Sirius said. 

The broom shed turned out to be incredibly boring. Unlike the one at home there were no secrets to be found underneath the old brooms, Amber never stopped to tell a story about any dents or nicks in the wood or smile at trophies from long gone students. Harry wanted his broom not a strangers, but he didn’t say that because he knew it was for his own safety. 
“Alright, here are the comets you’ll be using today. Remember not to go at a speed that doesn’t feel safe and most importantly to have fun!” 

Sirius was more than happy to sit on the grass and watch the try out. He knew they were good enough (better than ‘enough’ if you asked him) to get on the team and enjoyed getting to sit with and cheer on his family. 

They started with laps, which seemed to make Harry happy. Like his father, Harry pushed the broom as much as he could, leaning until his nose was touching the handle. He was at the maximum height and seemed to be trying to break the incarnation stopping him from getting any higher. 
Dudley was a future chaser. His balance was impeccable and he had no fear taking his hands off the handle just to feel the airbrushing over him. His whole face was bright and alert, he waved every time he went past them. 


The next task was catching and throwing. The boys had been using each other as partners since they’d started flying and had no problem getting into the right place at the right time to catch the quaffle. They didn’t speak so much as nod and glance in the direction the ball was going, their faces screwed up in concentration and commitment to the game. 

The final drill was run by Nym and her friend. The boys were thrilled to see her and refused to start without giving her a hug. 
“Aw, you guys are so cute.” Nym said, she kept looking at them then glancing back at their parents, “Now I’m gonna give you bats and your job is to hit the balls we throw at you. They’re made of foam so they won’t hurt if you miss.” 
Harry and Dudley mounted their brooms and took the foam bats.

Nym and her friend seemed to be having fun. They’d ditch the ball then grab three more to make their shots difficult to get. Nym kept glancing over at the adults and Sirius had a good idea what (or rather who) she was looking at. 
“Tuney, I think we have competition.” Sirius whispered, a devilish grin on his face. 
“We do?” Petunia asked, oblivious to what Nym was doing. 
“Our Moonpie has an admirer.” Sirius wailed, putting his head in his hands dramatically. 
“I do not.” Remus replied, struggling not to laugh at Sirius’ antics. 
“Yeah you do, see how Nym’s looking at you.” 
“That’s disgusting, I’m basically her uncle.” 

“She’s a Black, wouldn’t be the first time we’ve married family.” 
“I’m old.” Remus said forcefully. 

“If you’re old, what am I?” Petunia asked, “Plus, now that I look he’s not wrong, Nym’s constantly glancing this way. I can see her friend giggling.” 
“Oh Tuney I think you’re missing the point, Nym’s going to steal him away. We’ll lose him forever.” 
“Pads, you’re a nightmare.” Remus said sighing “she’s twelve and might I add I’ve changed her nappies. She doesn’t fancy me.” 
“Aw, keep telling yourself that. You just don’t know what to do now people have realised you’re actually quiet the catch.” Sirius said, smirking. 
“It’s all the mystery about you, makes people wanna know more.” Petunia said, trying not to giggle. 
“Keep telling yourselves that, I’m going to watch my honorary godsons play quidditch now.”  

Unsurprisingly (to Sirius at least) they both made the team. They were both chasers and their first team practice was in a week. 
“Well done!” Sirius yelled, scooping them both up in his arms, “I knew you’d be able to do it!” 
“I’m very proud!” Petunia said. 
“You’re both exceptional quidditch players!” Remus added, ruffling their hair.

“Merlin Moony, not the hair ruffling again.” Sirius pretended to groan.
“I’m just being supportive.” 
“James wouldn’t ever stop doing that, he looked ridiculous. Remember when he got dandruff one year during Christmas and it snowed more in our dorm than outside.” 
Remys shuddered, “Ergh, you’re right. No more hair ruffling.” 
They boys laughed and asked to be put down so they could go for a fly with Nym before they left. 

“You know, she might be trying to steal you but she’s good with the boys.” Sirius said. 
“She’s doing what we did with her, we were older though.” 
“Didn’t we once drink most of Andy’s cheap liquor?” 
Remus laughed, and so did Petunia despite not being there when it happened. 
“You two need to tell me some stories when we get home.” She laughed. 

Chapter 5: Problems at School.
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CW for bullying

October 22nd 1985 


Harry decided his favourite part of a school day was break time. He loved learning but nothing beat getting to go out and play with his friends. Hermione often wanted to play make-believe and they’d all wander around waving sticks about and pretending to do magic (Which both Dudley and Harry found hilarious). Edmund didn’t talk much but it was clear he enjoyed the company. Harry assumed that eventually he’d talk to them more. He must have games he wanted to play. 


One day as they were running around; hiding behind bushes and waving sticks at each other, some older boys came over to them. 
“Y’alright Eddie?” The biggest called out. 
“Y-yes.” Edmund replied. 
“Wotcher doing?” 
“Playing magic? With this girl?” He said it like an insult. 
Edmund nodded. 
“I always knew you were a little weird but come off it Eddie. You don’t want this.” 
“I... I do.” 
Harry watched the exchange in confusion. Who were these people? Why were they being mean? 
“Leave him alone, we’re having fun!” Hermione snapped. 
“Aww look at Eddie’s lit’le girlfriend.” The boy teased. 
“You don’t need to be so mean.” 
“But you’re makin’ it so easy, if Eddie here didn’t hang out wiff freaks who think magic is real I would’nt haff  too.” 
“They’re not freaks.” Dudley was stood with them now as well, “magic is real!” 
“There’s a whole group of ‘em!” The boy cackled with laughter. 

“Leave us alone.” Dudley snapped. Harry wished he could stop standing there and help. 
“I’m so scared. Bunch o’ fivies gonna hurt me.” He mocked. 
Dudley’s face set in hard lines and the boy froze. “What’s happ’nin?”

“You’re going to go away!” Dudley screamed and the boy turned and walked the other way, his face full of confusion. 
“Are you okay?” Dudley asked his friends. When they nodded he smiled at them and offered them both a new stick to play with. Harry has never felt more helpless.

The rest of the day passed peacefully. Edmund didn’t seem upset after Dudley scared the bully away and no one cared that Harry had been unable to help except him. 
Guilt wormed it’s way into his head. If he wanted to be a Gryffindor, he had to be brave. He couldn’t stand and watch bad things happen to people. He tried not to think about it, they were learning about different animals that day, but he desperately wanted to prove he could help his friends. 

It was Sirius’ turn to pick up Harry and Dudley that day, which Harry was grateful for. Sirius would know what to do! So when they got to the manor, Harry asked to talk to him without Dudley. 
“What can I do for you?” Sirius asked, he was sat on Harry’s bed and paying Harry his full attention. 
“Something bad happened at school today.” 
“What happened?” 
Harry told the story and Sirius nodded along. 
“I don’t want it to happen again!” Harry said finally. 
“Well to try and stop the bully we can talk to your teacher, and to help you feel less scared I think you should talk to Aunt  Tuney.” 

“Aunt Tuney?” 
“Yeah, she knows what she’s doing. And I used to be to scared to do what she can.” 
“You did? But you’re a Gryffindor.” 
“I am, but when I was younger lots of people scared me and I wasn’t always nice because of it.” 
“How were you brave then?” Harry wasn’t being mean, just curious. 
“I did what Dudley did, I’d make them go away. But sometimes I’d hurt people or go to far.” 
“How did you make it stop?” 
A look Harry had never seen before passed over his face, Sirius what quiet for a moment. “I showed them that they couldn’t hurt me anymore.”

“Okay Padfoot.” Harry hugged him, he didn’t know how this was an answer to his question but he felt better anyway. 

The next day the bully came again, this time with his friends. Dudley and Hermione were in the bathrooms.
“Little Eddies still wiv these freaks. Maybe we need to take ‘im away.” 
“I don’t want to.” Edmund said.

“I don’t really care.” 
“Mum said you had to be nice!” He was whining but Harry couldn’t blame him. 
The boys laughed “Oh mum said how scary.”

“Go away!” Edmund yelled. 
“Or what?” The boy must’ve been Edmunds brother. 
“Or... or” He had no retort. 
“Or we’ll get away.” Harry said

The group laughed, “A new freak has come to play.” 
“ We’re going now.” Harry took his friends arm and started walking away. 
“Wotherself! I didn’t say youse could go!” 
“Edmund said we could.” 

“Oh he’s ‘Edmund’ now.” The group weren’t moving, even though Harry knew they wanted to. 
“That’s my name.” Edmund said, “We’re going to the swings now.” 
The boys didn’t look back, Harry understood what Sirius had meant the day before. 
“Are you okay?” He whispered. 
“Yeah, I think they’ll leave me alone now.” Edmund was beaming. 
“Good, wanna try and jump from the swings?” 
Edmund smiled more and their break time improved immediately. 

Chapter 6: Waifs and Strays
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November 1st 1985


The day after Halloween was always lively. It didn’t matter if it was a school day or not the whole family would get out of the house and do something together. Moony had said it was because “Your Mum and Dad would want us to be happy, so we will be.”

Harry didn’t think they should need a reason to be happy together, but when his family was so bright and bubbly he couldn’t question it. 

On this particular November first; Sirius bounded into the living room as Padfoot. He jumped all over the couches, barking as loud as he could with a lead in his mouth. November firsts were usually Padfoot days. Dudley wasted no time getting one of the toys out of the box to throw for him. The toy wasted no time destroying a priceless, Potter artefact forcing Moony to get up to fix it. 
“You did that on purpose.” Moony said to Padfoot grumpily. 
Padfoot grinned the way all dogs do before rolling onto his back to apologise. 
Moony rolled his eyes before patting him saying “You’re lucky I love you.” 
Tuney laughed and feigned outrage, “Moonpie! I thought you loved me and me alone.” 
Harry and Dudley laughed as clipped the lead to Padfoot’s collar who took it in his mouth and strutted around proudly as though saying ‘I’m walking myself

“Can we go to the park today?” Dudley asked, “I think Padfoot wants to.” 
Sirius replaced Padfoot and spat out his lead, “You know me too well, Big D.” 
So it was decided, today would be a park day.

For all Moony’s grumbling he seemed happy to go out. It was raining (as was so frequent in Britain), but that was nothing a little magic couldn’t improve. Everyone got a small bubble put around them to keep the rain out, including Padfoot who protested it quite loudly. (Moony and Tuney said if he smelled like wet dog he would be sleeping outside and then suddenly he was all for it.) 

Harry and Dudley played every game they could think of. Harry won every game of tag, then Dudley beat him in hide and seek before they decided to throw a frisbee for Padfoot together.
Everything was going perfectly until a large white dog came barreling towards them. It had no collar and was soaked through to the bone. It barked at Padfoot as though asking for his help. Dudley put one  hand out in front of Harry, to protect him, then with the other stepped closer to the dog. 
“Hey little guy,” He said calmly. At the same time Tuney rushed forward to take them away from the dog. 

“You mustn’t do that Dudders, we don’t know if he’s friendly.” 
“He’s nice to Padfoot.” 
“He’s another doggie, that’s different.” 
“No he’s not.” Harry said “Padfoot’s a human.” 
“Not to that doggie, darling. We must let them talk first.” 
Harry watched curiously as the two dogs ran up and down the park, they nipped at each other and rolled around on the sodden grass. Padfoot barked at them and gestured with his head to behind a building. They followed him and Sirius reappeared. 
“He says his name is Wags and that his family dropped him off here this morning. I think they dumped him.” Padfoot looked at the white dog sadly. 
“What does that mean?” Harry asked. 
“It means his family doesn’t want him anymore.” Sirius said, patting Wags absentmindedly. 
“Can we be his family?” Harry asked. 

“I suppose we are a family of waifs and strays,” Tuney said, “And he doesn’t look much older than a puppy.” 
“So we can keep him!” Dudley said, he’d always loved dogs. He had been obsessed with Sirius’ animagus form since he was a baby. 
“We’ll have to tell the ranger we have him, he might have a family looking for him.” Moony said. 
“But we can look after him for now, right?” Harry peered up at the adults with large pleading eyes. Dudley joined in, “Please!” They both clasped their hands at their chest. 
“I guess it’s not the first mutt the Potters have taken in,” Moony said nudging Padfoot with his elbow. He was trying hard not to laugh. 
“Oi! Moony I’ll not let you talk about yourself like that!” Padfoot said seriously. 
“Keep telling yourself that Pads,” Tuney said, “Now could you tell Wags what he needs to do to come home with us?” 
Padfoot the dog reappeared and the family left with a new addition. A week later the ranger rung the house to tell them they could keep Wags. 

Like they had done every time something good happened, the family sat on the floor by the fire. Harry couldn’t think of a celebration they’d had sat on chairs. That night they all had one hand on Wags; showering him with affection. In the other hand they all had wine glasses full of sparkling apple juice. Padfoot raised his glass, smiling proudly “To the family of Waifs and Strays.” 
Everyone echoed Padfoot and drunk their juice. The bubbles tickled and he found that if he drunk to quickly they came out of his nose. Harry didn’t know what ‘Waifs and Strays’ meant but if it meant he got bubbly apples juice and a new family member it must be a good thing. 

Chapter 7: Blood Moon
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14th December 1985; 4 am. 

There was a thud, and the bed sank slightly. Sirius tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. 
“Are you awake?” 
The bed compression sank and now Sirius felt two hands on his side shaking him gently. 
“‘m sleep’n” He mumbled. 
“No you’re not.” There was more shaking and Sirius felt one hand move to the top of the covers.
“Stop ‘at” 

The blanket was yanked down letting in the cold air. Sirius opened his eye and saw Remus knelt above him. The curtain was open and he could see Remus smiling evilly in the almost-full moon light. 
“I’m awake, why’d you leave.” Sirius said, sitting up and yanking the covers up. 
“I couldn’t sleep.” Remus made himself comfortable next to Sirius. 
“Full moon tomorrow, why aren’t you dead?” 
“You don’t remember? I thought that tattoo on your shoulder blade told you all of the moon cycle.” 
“You... are far to awake.” 
“It’s the Blood Moon! I can’t help it.” 
“It’s the,” Sirius stopped for a moment trying not to fall back asleep, “It’s the Blood Moon!” 
“I can feel it already, it’s gonna be a long night!” Remus was fighting to keep his voice down. Sirius could see how giddy he was, this Moon was definitely going to be fun. 
“I wanted to invite Petunia and the boys and Wags! We could go dog sledging! Or play frisbee! It’d be so much fun!” Remus started bouncing slightly, like a little kid right before Christmas. 
“That,” Sirius yawned, “sounds good, we’ll have to talk to her in the morning though. She’s asleep and we won’t convince her if you wake her up at...” Sirius checked his clock “4 in the morning!” 
“Oh right sorry, go back to sleep.” 
“It’s alright, it’s the best part of the year.” 
“It’s up there. Mind if I stay here? I won’t wake you until the suns up.” He was a bit too loud but Sirius ignored it. 
“Yeah, stay. I’ll steal your warmth since you opened the covers.” 
“If you’d acknowledged me I wouldn’t have needed too.” 
Sirius laughed, he was mostly asleep now “Maybe this was...” he didn’t get to finish his sentence. 

Remus spoke to Petunia at a much more reasonable time. Sirius was dropping the boys at school, so if she said no they wouldn’t be disappointed. 
“Do you want a cuppa?” He yelled. 
“Yes please!” 
Remus pointed his wand at the kettle and it boiled almost instantly, he hadn’t had this little control since he was eleven. The thought made him laugh. 
“Here you go.” He put the tea on the coffee table, which felt strangely ironic and made him laugh, “Careful it’s really hot.” 
“Losing your touch, Moony?” 
“Nah, any other day of the month it’d be perfect. There’s a Blood Moon tonight, my magic’s a bit wonky.” 
“I know you explain this every year but, what that is?” 
“Once a year, I transform and keep my mind and I can’t infect anyone. It’s the only time it’s almost painless.” Remus could tell he was getting loud. 
“Sounds fun,” Petunia said. She probably didn’t know the right response. 
“It is,” Remus said eagerly, “I was hoping this year you and the boys would come out. You’ve never met Moony, and we have all these games to play. Please come!” 
“We can come, but first you and Pads have to show us you’re in control.” 
“Not a problem! Thank you!” 

Remus thought he did very well being patient. He was restless. At Hogwarts he’d run around pranking anyone and anything that moved. He’d leave jinxes on doorways, drop dungbombs in class, he even let off fireworks once (Peter had sworn his eyebrows were never the same again). So he considered the fact he hadn’t set the house in fire a win. 
He did however attempt to fix the dogsleds, which had water damage, and break them completely. He then had to go to Sirius’ workshop and attempt to make two more. These ended up as slabs of wood because Sirius ran in at the last second and told him not to use magic in his workshop today, thank you very much. 

Exiled and full of energy, he decided to run laps around the house. The moon hadn’t done this to him since... before the war. Remus stopped running and tried to think about anything else. Think about the present, he thought, focus on the birds building their nest or the breeze that smells of rain. 
It didn’t work. Everything became sharper during the moon. His memories were life like. 

He could smell the box of chocolates Sirius had brought as an apology. He didn’t know what Sirius had done that week. They were always getting into fights when they were younger. The Marauders always offered him chocolate. They thought it helped with the pain.

It didn’t.

He had been trying to weaken the wolf. He heard the box go flying out of Sirius’ hand. He knew he had started to walk away. He heard Sirius plead and grab his shoulder. He remembered anger that non longer had a purpose. Their arguments were always like that.  He felt himself start running; too much energy to do anything else.


Remus snapped back to reality thanks to Petunia.

“Remus! I need you to help me.” 
The real world was brighter, it had more colour. “Yeah, what’s up?” 
“The washing machines broken. I need you to hand wash this load for me.” 
So he did. 

The moon rose at exactly 5.43 pm. Sirius had been building Moony an outdoor container for months now. This was the first time he was using it. Petunia, Harry and Dudley stood in a small building. Once the moon rose Remus wouldn’t be able to reach them in there. (“Just in case something goes wrong” Sirius had said, “Not that it will”). 
“You ready Moony?” Sirius said as he stretched. He always did this, he acted like it was some big sports game he needed to prepare for. 
“I’ve been ready for over twelve hours! I’m so done with this restlessness. Let’s do something!” 
Sirius flicked his wand and Remus’ temporary cage surrounded him. 
“Remember what you need to do to show you’re in there?” 
“Yes! Sit, drop, roll over, and offer you my paw. It’s gonna be fine!” 
“Alright no need to yell, see you in a minute.” 
The moon rose and Remus finally felt calm.

Harry watched in fascination as Moony changed into well Moony. It wasn’t like Padfoot’s transformation which was as smooth as running water. This was more like trying to sail in a slushy. It was jerky and inconsistent. There were little twitches followed by huge spasms and changes. Then he stilled and the wolf was allowed to play. 
“Hiya Moony, you in there?” 
The wolf, Moony, nodded. 
“I need you to show me you’re still you.” 
Harry thought Moony had. After all Padfoot wasn’t being used as a chew toy. But Moony didn’t look annoyed, he did what he’d promised to do and when his paw was in the air Padfoot shook it. 
“It’s all right you lot, out you come!” 
The rest of the family entered the field and Moony ran to greet them. He jumped and yipped, spinning madly before running away. 
He seemed to be saying “Come and get me!” 
So the boys, doggie Padfoot, and Wags did. They ran in the dark. Harry’s tiny, trainer covered feet stumbled over rocks and logs but he didn’t stop. Aunt Tuney was behind them, dragging two sleds. 
“What are we doing with those?” Dudley asked, stopping for a moment. 
“Moony and Padfoot are going to race each other and take you for a ride.” 
Harry watched Dudley’s face light up, “That’s awesome!” 
“It is, but if we lose them in the woods we can’t do it.” 

Harry and Dudley took off at full pelt. Trees flew past him. Occasionally they’d stop to help each other find their balance. They’d hear howls in the distance and follow them. Eventually they came to a large clearing, where all three dogs were waiting for them. 

Padfoot returned to his human body and grinned at them, “Took you long enough.” 
Aunt Tuney chuckled, “I’d have been quicker if you lot hadn’t got excited and left me to carry everything.” 
“Or you’re just slow.” 
“Oh really,” she turned to Moony, “I’m joining you’re race Moony. We’ve got to beat this over confident mutt.” 
“That’s a low blow my dear, you’re on. Harry you’re on my sled.” He transformed back and the enchanted sled straps, snapped into place. Padfoot barked and Moony went to his sled. 
Tuney smiled, “Dudley go with Moony. On the count of three we’re off. You two can count.” 
In unison they said;



They nodded at each other. 

There was a moment of confusion, then they set off.


It wasn’t like riding a broom. That was smooth and stream lined. This was rough and bumpy. Harry felt the sled go over every rock and tree root. The clearing wasn’t as flat as Harry thought. Still it was exhilarating. 
“Faster! Faster! Faster!” He yelled. He stood up to better watch the race and the wind whipped at his clothing. It felt faster than it was. Moony was winning. Dudley stuck his tongue out at them as he passed. 
“Come on Padfoot!” Harry yelled. There was a thump and they slowed down. Aunt Tuney had jumped on their sled. Padfoot barked and kept running. Tuney leaped to Moony’s sled, who had slowed down to watch. Now Tuney would leave them in the dust. Wags was still laid in the clearing watching. 

They did laps for hours and only stopped when it started raining. No one knew who won, though the next day everyone would claim it was them. When the rain started pouring, Tuney lead them back to the house. 
“Say goodnight to Moony and Padfoot.” She said. 
They said goodnight and watched the dogs walk into the building that Harry had started the night in. 
“Did you have fun?” Tuney asked. 
“Yeah! When can we go again?” Dudley asked.
“Next year sweetie.” 

They both sighed. 
“I’m sorry, I didn’t decide that so I can’t change it. I’ll explain it tomorrow because it’s well past your bedtime.” 
“Can we make a pillow fort?” Harry asked. 
“Of course,” Tuney answered. 

Remus woke up the next day, thankfully, exhausted. Sirius lay next to him. He was still asleep. He knew that the others wouldn’t be awake yet and decided he would enjoy this quiet moment and go back to sleep. 

Chapter 8: Severus Snape
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A/N sorry this took so long. Writers block sucks.

6th of January 1986


It was snowing when Harry woke up. He shot out of bed and up to Dudley’s room so quickly that his socks warmed slightly from friction with the carpet. As he swung open the door a hand on the other side rugged harder and pulled the door from his hand. Dudley looked as excited as Harry felt. 
“It’s snowing!” Dudley screamed. 
“I know!” Excitement bubbled our of Harry. 
“Grab your coats and you can play.” Aunt Tuney’s voice was muffled and sleepy. 
The boys didn’t wait and ran out into the garden. 

The sun came up several hours later, when Harry and Dudley trudged back inside soaking wet and shivering. Moony handed them both warm towels as they walked into the house, after he’d dried them to stop them catching a chill. 
“Did you have fun, boys?” He asked and laughed when they looked at him like he was stupid. Admittedly it was a dumb question. Snow days were their favourite. 
“Do you wanna visit Mum and Dad today Harry?” Sirius yelled from the kitchen. 
“Why?” Harry yelled, the snow was so much fun. 
“‘Cause they love you and want to give you your New Years gift.” 
“Can we still play in the snow?” 
“Of course. We want you to have fun.” 
Harry and Dudley cheered and the days plans were made. 

The graveyard wasn’t a somber place. Flowers were freshly placed on gravestones. The wrought iron fence was clear of rust and some one had strung tinsel on it. Harry and Dudley played chasey through the maze of tombs. They didn’t think this was a sad place. They loved the presents ‘Mum and Dad’ left and could talk to Lily and James for hours. Harry really had taken Sirius’ words from all those years ago to heart. 
The boys said hello to Mrs Norbert who was clearing the snow on her drive way. 
The boys raced to the brightly wrapped presents placed in the snow. Red and gold wrapping, glistened in the reflected sunlight. They stopped running when they noticed a man cloaked in black with long, greasy hair. 
Of course Snivellous was there. Sirius tensed up and immediately both Remus and Petunia placed a calming hand on his shoulder. Given that they all had a bad history with the slime ball in front of him, Sirius thought this was rather hypocritical.

“Padfoot who’s this?” Dudley called out. 
Snape looked in their direction and two thoughts flitted over his face. Clear as when they were teenagers. You’re really still using that nickname? And Why are you here? 
Sirius ignored this and yelled back to Dudley, “He was a friend of your Aunts.” 
“Oh okay, can I say hi to Aunt Lily still?” 
Sirius looked at Petunia for answers, it was her son after all. Petunia yelled out, “Just stay where we can see you.” 
Remus muttered something that sounded like ‘Merlin help me.’ But surely he wouldn’t say that, he knew they could be civil. Really he was just over reacting. 

Severus glared at the boys but said nothing. He’d left flowers on Lily’s grace but not James. Some things never change. Despite being told it was okay to go straight to their gifts the boys waited. They hung back, away from the strange man who had never visited before. 
“Severus, what a surprise to see you.” Petunia called out, she smiled like he hadn’t once despised her. 
“Petunia, it’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“It’s unfortunate that we’re both here though.” 
“It truly is.” 
Sirius leaned into Petunia and whispered “We might not be here if you hadn’t joined up.” 
Petunia looked like she couldn’t decide whether to laugh or get angry.

“How has your new year been?” 
“Quite pleasant, I’ll be going now.” 
Severus stalked off, his cloak billowing behind him like an off-brand vampire. 
“Mumma,” Dudley called, “Why was that man here?” 
Severus stopped walking. “I was your Aunts best friend.” 
“Is that why you got her killed?” Sirius was surprised to find that it wasn’t him speaking. Remus has taken two steps towards the boys, and looked ready for a fight. 
“What the Dark Lord did wasn’t my fault.” 
“How dare you! You still call him that? The pet name the Death Eaters has for him? Get out.” 
Severus sneered at Remus who had now moved to stand in front of Harry and Dudley. “It’s a public area. You can’t force me to move, Loony Lupin.” 
“Really Snivellous, childhood taunts? No wonder Lily chose James.” 
Harry and Dudley stepped back to Sirius and Petunia. The four of them held hands and watched Remus with apprehension. 
“Lily couldn’t see the bigger picture. She didn’t accept my protection.” 
“Funny, why didn’t she accept it again? Oh that’s it. You joined a group dedicated to wiping her out. Leave Severus, I don’t want the boys day to be ruined.” 
Severus didn’t seem to have anymore fight in him. He gestured to the snow coated graveyard and said, “Yes it’s a lovely day you have planned. Visit your dead parents. Have a wonderful day.” He dissaperated with a deafening crack. Leaving the family to process what had been said.

Harry had many questions. Who was that man? What had Moony been talking about? How did that man relate to his parents death? But Harry didn’t think he’d get an answer. Padfoot wanted them to be happy when they visited Mum and Dad and those weren’t happy questions. So he opened his presents and played in the snow. They had a massive snowball fight that everyone swore they won and got hot chocolate before going home. Harry kept coming back to what the man had said, “She didn’t accept my protection.” Could he have saved his Mum and Dad? Was there something the man could have done so he would be playing with his parents in the snow too? If their was, why hadn’t he? 

When Padfoot tucked Harry in that night he asked his question. 
“Who was that man today?” 
“Someone I went to school with, we didn’t get along.” 
“Was he one of the people who you told me about when Edmund was being picked on?” 
“Yeah he was Harry, but he’s not important.” 
“He said he could have saved Mum.” 
“Lord Voldemort wanted your parents dead Harry, no one could have stopped him.” 
“He thought he could save her.” 
“No one could’ve, you mustn’t worry yourself with what could have happened. Unfortunately the what if’s didn’t happen.” 
“Padfoot, did you ask those questions once?” 
“I did Harry, but it doesn’t bring them back. It just makes us sad, and your Mum and Dad would want you to be happy.” 
“But I miss them.” 
“I do too, Buddy. Tell you what, why don’t I show you something.” 
Harry got out of bed and followed Padfoot into the living room. Padfoot tapped his wand against a brick in the fireplace and it opened up. In that hole sat an old box. Padfoot pulled it out and opened it. 
The box was full of paper. No not paper, letters and photos. Each one had a date written on the back. Padfoot pulled one out and read it to him. 

Deer Prongs, 

I can’t believe you let Prongslet be born without me! How could you? I wanted to be the first to give him his birthday present. I’ll be in first thing tomorrow. Tell my Godson I love him. 
Love, Padfoot. 


Padfoot was reading him a letter about his own birth. Harry couldn’t believe it. Then he pulled out his Dads response. 

Deer Padfoot, 

Little Prongslet just couldn’t wait any longer. He was desperate to meet us all. He’s absolutely tiny I can tell he’ll look like me. He’s got the Potter hair already! Lily adores him and fell asleep with him in her arms. Fast asleep but she wouldn’t let me take him. I’ve given him your love but I don’t think he understands just yet. 
Love Prongs. 


Harry’s Dad has written that.  His Mum had refused to let him go. His parents had written about him and had loved him. Padfoot pulled out a photo of four boys. He recognised three of them. They were the Marauders. This was his Dad as a boy. A never photo showed his Mum in a white dress next to a man who looked like her. That was his Grandfather. Harry looked at each photo like it was his only chance. His Mum had had red hair and his eyes. His Dad was wearing quidditch robes in most photos, he was a chaser like Harry and Dudley.
He fell asleep on the couch. Leaning against Padfoot and hearing the stories of his parents. The last thing he heard Padfoot say was, “We can’t ask what if’s Harry, but we can remember they loved us.” 
Then Harry was dreaming. His parents were there; they told him they loved him and said a real goodbye. It wasn’t a bad dream. In fact it was the best sleep Harry had ever had.