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?”
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.
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.
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