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‘Lumos,’ Harry muttered, and a light appeared at the end of his wand, almost dazzling him. He held it high over his head, and the pebble-dashed walls of number two suddenly sparkled; the garage door gleamed, and between them, Harry saw, quite distinctly, the hulking outline of something very big, with wide, gleaming eyes. (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban pg 30)


Harry froze, his trunk behind him meaning that if he stepped back he would fall. The animal facing him, for that was what it was, took a step forward and Harry lowered his wand to hold it directly in front of him.

He didn’t know much defensive magic but in his mind he was running through every spell that might be of some use. There was expelliarmus of course, although the… dog… creature didn’t look as if he had a wand and Harry wasn’t sure it would work. He could use Wingardium Leviosa like Ron had in first year and drop a brick on its head.

As he was desperately trying to decide what to do first, the enormous dog took another step forwards. Harry started to move his wand, almost completely decided on Expelliarmus when the dog’s shape suddenly began to blur. It’s fur shrunk back into it’s body the limbs changed, some shortening, some lengthening. The head too, began to change, it moved from side to side as it’s nose shortened and the face became rounded. In a matter of seconds Harry was facing a man.

The man, looked like he had just come from the proverbial hell. His black hair was matted and Harry could see pieces of food in his beard. His face, though probably once very handsome was thin and gaunt. His eyes were scary, they looked hollow, like all the life had been drained out of him. His body was thin, underfed and malnourished, but Harry could see wiry muscles underneath the white of his arms. His clothes were mere rags, held together by wishful thinking rather than actual sewing.

The man stood still as Harry took his inventory, knowing that he must look like a complete sight. He decided he might as well speak, so he cleared his throat. He was unsure how well his voice would work he hadn’t used it properly in a decade.

“Harry?” He edged closer, “It is Harry isn’t it?”

This statement had the opposite effect to the one he intended, Harry while fearful before of the large black dog was even more terrified that this… man… knew his name.

“Stay where you are” he squeaked, his nerves and teenage hormones making his voice jump a few octaves. Harry cleared his throat just like the man had and tried again,

“Don’t come any closer, or I’ll… I’ll curse you.”

The man wisely stepped back, Harry being the only wizard with a wand in his possession, and the man had no idea what level of control Harry had over his magic. That thought made him frown, he had no idea of anything about Harry because he had been locked up for the last 12 years.

“Harry Potter.” The boy in question jumped hearing his full name spoken.

“How, how do you know me?” He asked, the thought that this might be a follower of Voldemort slowly gaining force in his mind.

“I was your father’s best friend.” He grinned briefly and Harry saw the man’s face and eyes light up. The happy memory changed his appearance completely and Harry relaxed, but only a little.

“My name is Sirius Black, your dad James Potter, Remus Lupin were the best of friends in Hogwarts. Your dad married Lilly Evans and I was their best man. I am your godfather”

Harry remembered the photo album that Hagrid had given him in his first year with that picture of his mum and dad. The handsome, laughing, smiling man at his parents wedding bare very little resemblance to the man before him, but he was forced to admit that in that instant he had smiled he had felt a sense of recognition.

“Alright, so you were friends with my parents.” He slowly lowered his wand, “Why here, why did you show up now, after 13 years?” Harry felt he had a right to know, especially seeing as if he had a godfather, he wanted to know why he had ever had to live with the Dursley’s.

The man, Sirius, barked a harsh laugh.

“To tell you the truth, the reason it took me so long to find you was because I was in Azkaban and I’ve only just escaped.” Seeing the confused look on his face he added, “from the Wizarding prison.”

At this the wand came right back up, Harry’s hand shaking at the thought.

“Why were you in there?” His voice squeaked again, he winced internally.

Sirius’ face, if it were possible became more gaunt, and he answered,

“That, Harry is a story for the daylight. But I will tell you this I was innocent. That is the only reason I was able to escape. The Wizarding prison is designed to keep it’s wrongdoers inside.”

Harry knew it was unjust to trust the man in front of him, especially when he had just revealed that he was a prison escapee and hadn’t told Harry why he was in there in the first place. But he did. He couldn’t explain why he lowered his wand again, or let a small smile show on his face. The man before him visibly relaxed too, and stepped closer to Harry, the same time Harry moved forwards. They reached each other and Harry cautiously held out his hand,

“Harry Potter, nice to meet you.” He decided he might as well introduce himself, but Sirius ignored the hand, instead striding forward and hugging him.

“Oh Harry, I can’t believe it really is you. I have missed James so much, my life has been simply horrible, but seeing you… well it’s like seeing him again. Has anyone ever told you, you look exactly like him, well except for the eyes. You have,”

“My mother’s eyes, I know” Harry smiled at the familiar comment. “Uh, Sirius, not that it isn’t nice to meet you and all that, but why are you hugging me?”

“Because, Harry, the last time I saw you, you were in Hagrid’s arms as he took you from your house the night your parents died and you survived. Forgive me if I’m a little upset.”

Harry had not expected that response, and clutched a little tighter to this link to his past.

Finally the two stepped away from each other and Sirius took in Harry’s open trunk.

“Going somewhere?”

Harry blushed, and considered lying, but knew he was horrible at it.

“Yeah, the people I live with, the Dursleys, hate me and tonight I accidentally turned my aunt Marge into a giant floating balloon. I have a feeling that the next time I turn up on the doorstep I will be locked into the cupboard for a week.”

“The Dursleys, Lilly’s muggle family? Why do you live with them and not wizards? Locked in a cupboard? What?”

Harry grinned, noticing the only part of his explanation Sirius hadn’t questioned was his accidental magic.

“Well, I dunno why I have to live with them, Dumbledore makes me go back there every year. I grew up living in the cupboard under the stairs, I was eleven before I was finally allowed to have a bedroom. They were horrible, I had a horrible childhood.” He said melancholy, and then brightening he added, “But Hogwarts is great, its my first real home, you know?”

“I do know, Harry. I felt exactly the same way you do. My parents were purebloods, and very in sync with the way Voldemort worked, in fact they wanted me to become a death eater. I hated living there, but Hogwarts was my true home, and then I ran away and lived with James when I was 16. Just turned up one day and he took me in, no questions asked, you know. He was just like that your father, always wanted to help his friends.”

Harry knew that the man standing before him was going to become a very close friend, not only because of the past they shared but because they were very alike in temperaments.

“So what now?” Harry asked, unsure whether to offer Sirius his house for night, or what he should do.

Sirius, being the adult, took charge. “Well, I have a house that isn’t too far away from here. I’ll apparate us if you like. Seeing as you don’t want to go back to the Dursley’s you could come stay with me. Well… that is… if you want to….” Sirius added embarrased, but hopeful.

“Stay with you?” Harry wondered,

“Well you don’t have to come if you don’t want to, it was just a silly suggestion.” Sirius said mortified,

“Or course I’ll come, dung-brains. Anywhere with you would be better than the Dursleys. But what’s an apparate?”

Sirius looked shocked that Harry didn’t know about apparition, but then he remembered Harry had grown up in a muggle family.

“Apparition, my dear boy, is a Wizarding method of travelling very quickly.”

“Can you take my trunk”, Harry asked eager to see what apparition was.

“It’ll be easier if I shrink it and carry it. Can I borrow your wand?”

Harry handed it over and watched as Sirius shrunk his large trunk and put it in his pocket. He gave the wand back to Harry, who slipped it in his pocket. Sirius’ skeletal fingers grasped Harry’s hand and then he turned on the spot.

Harry learnt what apparition was and it was horrible. He felt like his entire body was being pulled through a hole the size of a straw end. Not soon enough he collapsed onto solid ground again, taking in huge gulps of air. Sirius quietly laughed beside him.

“That was not funny, you could have told me that the apparition thing was going to be so uncomfortable.”

Sirius laughed loudly at his comment and helped Harry to his feet. Harry saw that they had in fact, moved. He was now in, what he assumed was London and he could see the brass knocker of a house just in front of his nose.

“Welcome to 12 Grimmauld Place, the Black family townhouse.”

Together they stepped inside, Harry was instantly assailed by the stench of dust and mould and other things Harry didn’t want to think about.

“Come through here,” Sirius said quietly and guided Harry into a room on the left. This room was much more welcoming. A quiet fire burning in the hearth and no signs of neglect anywhere.

“I don’t use the rest of the house, because I really don’t like being back here, but I made this room habitable while I stayed here. I’ll find somewhere else soon.”

“Why were you staying here in the first place, no offence, but this place is pretty neglected.” Harry said.

“None taken, and Harry, I was looking for you. It took me 12 years to escape and I had no idea where you would be. Running into you tonight was an accident. I was only heading that way because there was apparent a rumor that you lived around there. I guess it was truth then.”

The pair settled into two comfy chairs around the fire and talked the night away. Sirius wanted to know every detail of Harry’s life so far and was appalled at the two previous attempts by Voldemort to regain power. Harry was eager to hear stories of Sirius’s childhood and memories of his parents. Sirius was only to happy to oblige, reveling in being able to enjoy his happy memories again. Both, so happy at the family they had found were oblivious to the terror they were causing the Wizarding world.

A frantic Mrs. Weasley shook Ron and Hermione from their beds at 2 a.m.

“Wha.. whasis it?” Ron mumbled incoherently.

“It’s Harry. Now you had better get yourself down stairs this instant, you are going to want to hear this.” Ron sat bolt upright when he heard the word Harry. His family and Hermione had been staying in the rooms above the Leaky Cauldron for a few days and had hoped Harry would join then tomorrow. He didn’t like his mum’s tone, and Hermione didn’t either. Coming to stand next to him at the top of the stairs, having been woken in the same manner.

“What do you think is going on? You don’t think something bad has happened to Harry do you?” She whispered.

“I dunno Hermione, I guess we had better go find out.

The sight that met them in the private eating room, was extraordinary. Inside were seated, Dumbledore, McGonnagall, Cornelius Fudge, a thin man with greying hair and all the Weasleys.

The chatter stopped as soon as the door opened but they smiled at the two teenagers who stepped inside. Dumbledore took charge,

“Right, well I suppose only some of you know why you are here so I should tell you.” There were murmurs of agreement through the room.

“Harry Potter is missing.” Hermione gasped, and Ron looked sickened.

“We are fearing the worst Remus,” Dumbledore said to the thin man who had dropped his head into his hands in apparent anguish.

“Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban and we fear that he has gone after Harry.”

At this Hermione interrupted. She knew of course, about the escaped murderer but couldn’t fathom how they expected him to go after Harry and said so.

Dumbledore’s usually twinkling eyes looked at her gravely over his half-moon glasses and continued,

“Because, my dear Miss Granger, Sirius Black is responsible for the deaths of Harry’s parents. It was he who sold them to Voldemort. Sirius Black, one of James Potter’s best friends.

The room was silent, as if a shockwave had just passed, which in a way it had. Not many people were privy to the knowledge that Dumbledore that just shared. The conversation started up again and soon the room was full of people discussion what they should now do. The carried on talking for nearly 2 hours, by which time Ron and Hermione were nearly asleep on their feet. Everyone headed off in the various directions they had been sent, some to bed, others the Daily Prophet and some to Hogwarts and some to the Ministry of Magic.

When Harry awoke it was to the gentle tapping on the window of a tawny owl. He grinned and went to fetch it. The owl who delivered his copy of the Daily Prophet had still found him even though he was no where near where he used to live. He paid the bird and unfolded the paper and gasped.

Right there on the front page was a giant picture of him with the caption, ‘Harry Potter the Boy-Who-Lived missing. Ministry fears that Sirius Black is involved.’

Harry opened the paper and began to read the article, interested to see why anyone would think Sirius Black would go after Harry. But he had only gotten a few sentences into the article when it was snatched from his hands by the very person it was discussing.

“Hey I was reading that” Harry protested.

Sirius threw it onto the table and sat next to Harry.

“There is a reason I did that and it is because you should hear the truth, not the garbled and wrong ministry version.”

Harry stilled, knowing he was about to find out why his godfather had been locked up in Azkaban. And find out he did. Sirius told him the truth, the whole truth, about how he had thought switching with Peter had been such a good idea at the time and how it had all gone wrong. How he had wept when he saw Harry still alive and how he had hunted Pettigrew and finally how Pettigrew had outsmarted him.

Harry believed him completely. It wasn’t just because he was able to tell all the fatcs, but he spoke with such sincerity. His tone changing from self-disgust to mourning and back again. When he told Harry that Pettigrew was in fact Ron’s rat, Harry jumped up.

“But this is brilliant. All I have to do is make Pettigrew turn back into a human and show him to the world and they’ll have to admit you are innocent, and then I can really move in with you.”

And that signaled the beginning of all their plans. They worked on them for two weeks straight, uncaring that the Wizarding world was going frantic about their Saviour’s disappearance. Harry felt bad for keeping the truth from Ron and Hermione though, and after discussion with Sirius sent them a note. It read,

“Dear Ron and Hermione,

I hope this letter finds you well. Don’t tell anyone what this letter is about. In fact I should warn you I charmed it so the real letter only appears to you two. To everyone else it is a shopping list for a 15th birthday party. I am currently with Sirius Black, he took me away with him, but it’s not what you think it is. Don’t freak out, and don’t tell anyone anything. I’ll come visit you soon and we can laugh about the whole thing. Please don’t worry, I’m perfectly safe.

Love Harry.”

Ron and Hermione did in fact freak out about the letter and had many whispered discussions about whether to tell or not. In the end they decided to do what Harry wanted, only because they were afraid of Sirius Black.

Harry meanwhile had spent the two weeks learning. Sirius had found a way to counteract the trace, so Harry could use magic without the Ministry realizing. Together Harry and Sirius practiced the incantation to turn Pettigrew back into the human he really was and how to immobilize him so that the adults would see him. Sirius would accompany Harry of course, but under the cloak so no one would attack him until Harry had proved him innocent.

Harry also learnt many useful jinxes and curses from Sirius. Harry having learnt that his dad and Sirius were unregistered animagi as well as Pettigrew Harry really wanted to be one. So Sirius, who was just as reckless as he was when he was a teenager set about helping Harry accomplish it. They decided not to tell anyone, although Harry wanted to let Hermione and Ron in on the secret so they could choose to become one too. But at the time, the secret was a special bond between Godfather and Godson. A project that the two worked on in utter secrecy.

Sirius also taught Harry to cast a patronus, because having suffered for 12 years at the hands of the dementors, he was not about to let his Godson ever have to face them defenseless. Harry’s patronus was a stag, just like his father who had been nicknamed Prongs because it was also his animagus animal. Sirius’ nickname was Padfoot, reflecting his large black dog. Harry longed to meet Lupin- the werewolf affectionally titled Moony, he knew that he would be able to tell him more about his parents.

One very important trip the two took was into Diagon Alley, both under the cloak, which was really quite amusing. They visited only two places, Gringotts and Mr. Olivander’s. Gringotts was so that both Harry and Sirius could get enough money to buy a house together. Harry flatly refused to let Sirius buy it on his own. Sirius’s family had died off while he was in Azkaban leaving him very wealthy. The only tricky part was accessing it. They decided to visit at a time when no one was about and Gringotts was nearly closed.

Slipping inside undetected they concealed themselves from any wizards view and revealed themselves to the goblins. Curious though they were, they had little choice but to allow the men to access their gold.

Later with bags bulging with galleons the pair paid a visit to Mr. Ollivander. Sirius’s wand had been broken in half when he was convicted of killing Pettigrew and he needed a new one. He could not continue using Harry’s, especially when Harry went back to Hogwarts.

They opened the door to Mr. Ollivander’s shop and Harry instantly remembered stepping in on his 11th birthday. He felt uneasy, as he didn’t quite trust the hook-nosed old man. Surprisingly the man eagerly obliged them by helping Sirius get a new wand. It seemed that he was unsurprised that Sirius was there, or at least didn’t care if he was a murderer or not. It freaked Harry out a little and they left as soon as they had paid for Sirius’ new wand.

With only a few more days until they would spring their trap the two spent it shopping and browsing for houses is disguise. On their last day they found the perfect house. It was situated in central London, close enough to walk to Kings Cross and had the most charming, happy air around it. Harry knew that after the horrors of Azkaban Sirius needed somewhere happy to recuperate. Sirius knew that after his horrible childhood experiences, Harry needed somewhere to create happy memories. Buying the house was a uniting experience. They chose the essential elements of furniture that day and planned to move in the day after next if their plan for tomorrow worked. Which it would, because as Harry said, they had planned it so well nothing could go wrong.

The newspaper had informed the Wizarding World that the Weasleys, Dumbledore and Fudge, the minister were all staying at the Leaky Cauldron in order to supervise the search for Harry.

Harry and Sirius waited until dinner time and then apparated to just outside. Harry stepped out of the invisibility cloak and opened the door. Inside was quiet, most people were too worried about Harry to want to enjoy themselves. Ron and Hermione were sick of all the tension, when Harry had said he was fine they believed him. They were in the main bar playing exploding snap when Harry walked in and so were the first to notice him.

With joyful shouts they smothered him in hugs and good natured insults, until everyone else was brought running by the racket the three were making.

Sirius under the cloak was happy to see Harry with his friends, he had told him a lot about these two and their unwavering conviction to him.

Dumbledore, stopped short at the top of the stairs at the sight below him, before doing something very un-Dumbledoreish-like. He ran down the stairs and picked Harry up in a huge hug, reminiscent of Hagrid.

“Professor, put me down please” Harry asked, not a little embarrassed. Everyone had gathered their wits and gathered around him, wanting an explanation. So far the plan was working perfectly.

“Uh, can we talk somewhere a little more, private? Please?” Everyone instantly understood his wish for privacy and as one moved upstairs to the private dining room. Again, something Harry and Sirius had predicted.

The room settled into seats and looked at Harry. Hermione and Ron were closest to them, Ron with his rat on his shoulder. Harry grinned faintly, that rat was about to get sprung. He stood up and started to speak, but it was not what anyone was expecting.

Instead of an explanation Harry had pulled out his wand, aimed it at Ron’s shoulder and murmured a quiet spell. Everyone was shocked at this actions, but they all became more horrified as they realized that the rat had fallen off Ron’s shoulder and was rapidly shooting upwards, loosing his fur and becoming, Peter Pettigrew.

Harry waited patiently until the transformation was complete and then stunned him, before using wingardium leviosa to levitate him. Then he spoke,

“You see before you a man the Wizarding world believes dead. They believe he died a hero because he tried to confront his friend about his terrible actions against my parents. Obviously he is alive, and I know for a fact that Sirius Black was not my parents secret keeper, but this man, Peter Pettigrew.”

The room was completely silent, staring dumbfounded at either Harry or the unconscious man revolving slowly by Harry’s head. So he continued,

“Sirus was able to escape Azkaban because he knew he was innocent and he had to save me from Pettigrew.” Adressing the minister he said, “Now Mr. Fudge, As you can see Sirius Black is not guilty of the murder of Peter Pettigrew, which means your justice system apprehended the wrong man, and put him in prison for 12 years. I think you need to make amends, and you can start by getting him full pardon for his supposed crimes and clearing his name completely. Then you can put this slimeball where he belongs.”

Turning to Dumbledore and a thin man who fitted the description of Remus Lupin he said, “Sirius and I have bought a house. Lupin we want to share it with you, feel free to move in. Dumbledore, if there is any reason at all for me to stay at the Dursleys speak now or forever hold your peace.”

Dumbledore started, “Actually there is Harry.” Harry’s cheerful mood evaporated. “The protective magic placed on you by your mother is only kept active by your continual residence at number 4 Privet drive.” Seeing Harry’s crestfallen expression he continued, “However, the magic needs you to only reside there for 1 day a year to keep it active. It will automatically cease on your 17th birthday. If you agree to stay at your uncle and aunts for 2 days a year, just to be safe, there is nothing wrong with you moving in with Sirius.”

Harry celebrated by jumping in the air and fist-pumping with such violence that his wrist cracked. Ron and Hermione laughed at him, happy that Harry had found a family he really belonged to at last.

Harry faced the group of people once more, noticing Remus had come to stand a lot closer to him.

“Now, before I ask Sirius to come say hi, I want all of your agreement that you believe him to be innocent.”

“Pretty hard not to, if you look at the revolving twit” Said either Fred or George, Harry wasn’t sure, but everyone laughed.

“Alright, show of hands everyone who wants Sirius back because awesome and innocent” Again more laughter followed this statement, but everyone put their hands willingly up. Remus put both of his hands up, guessing correctly that Sirius was actually in the room.

“Okay Sirius” Harry said quietly.

Sirius threw the invisibility cloak off himself and revealed that he was standing right next to Harry. There were gasps of surprise followed by spontaneous applause. Remus, the last marauder left, or so he had thought practically jumped on Sirius and hugged him. The haunted look he had aqquired because of his ‘furry-little-problem’ left his face completely and both men looked younger, more handsome and more carefree than anyone had seen them in a long, long time.

The night that followed was very loud, very raucous and a whole lot of fun. Sirius who was actually quite wealthy inisisted on buying everybody drinks and secretly let Harry and Ron have a firewhisky, only on their solemn promise to never tell Molly.

At one stage Ginny was sitting by him, and Harry oblivious to the winks and nudges of his two housemates chatted easily to her, realizing that she was not just Ron’s younger sister but a lovely person in her own right. Later Harry would insist that they were just friends, and that she was Ron’s sister and that he was 13 for crying out loud. But Sirius and Remus always teased him about it.

A few weeks after Harry’s return, the day before Harry left for Hogwarts infact he managed his first complete transformation. With both Remus and Sirius helping him he had learnt extremely quickly. Harry entered his third year with the ability to transform himself into a huge lion. The red and gold mane thereof reminded all three of them of Gryffindor and commented on how suited he was to that house. Harry earned himself his new nickname, which even Ron and Hermione used, although not aware why. He was called Beasty, which depending on what connotation it was given was either insulting or adoring. It was frequently used as both, by almost everyone who knew him.

The previous 13 years of Harry Potter’s life had been mostly miserable. The last two had been the best because of Ron and Hermione and the new life that he discovered he was a part of, but celebrating with his friends and his new found family, he looked at Sirius and Remus, who had instantly agreed to move in with them and was completely and blissfully happy.
 





 

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