Harry looked confused at Hermione and Ron as they were shoved into Dumbledore's office, where they had been hustled across the castle from the Transfiguaration classroom. Harry spun around to ask what was going on but the door was slammed behind Professor Hooch as she hurried away leaving them staring at the door confused.
Almost as one Harry and Ron turned to look at Hermione who was frowning thoughtfully. She patted her chin with her thumb as walked around in a little circle in the lower half of the office. Harry and Ron moved to sit on the stairs leading up to the second circle of the office waiting for her to work things out.
"Ok, that was clearly an animagus transfiguration, like Professor McGonagall being able to turn into a cat," Hermione turned to look at them making them perk up.
"So Scabbers was whoever this guy was the whole time!?" Ron scrunched his nose.
"I am afraid so yes, Peter Professor McGonagall said before she stunned him. You spell mucking up with your wand must have acted to force him out of his transformation," Hermione nodded.
"He has been sleeping on my bed for years!" Ron groaned shivering.
"The main question aside from who the hell this Peter is, is why we are the ones that have been shoved in here," Harry frowned.
"Yes, me you can understand, but she seemed very insistent that you two be brought up here as well, Harry in specific," Ron said absently while still looking fairly grossed out.
"Professor McGonall's eyes kept flashing to you Harry," Hermione moved to sit next to him on the steps.
"So he is connected to me some how?"
"She definitely knew who he was, she looked really shocked, and then furious. I have never seen her so angry before!" Ron grimaced.
"What is going on!" Harry huffed.
They had to wait an hour and a half, during which time they had ended up entertaining themselves with a set of cards Hermione transfigured after they had run out of different theories on what was going on with the animagus.
Finally though the door opened again and Dumbledore walked through, for the first time since Harry had met him looking grave and haunted. The look was so different to the normally twinkly eyed man that the three of them just froze in place where they were sitting on the floor and stared. It also took them a few moments before they realised Professor Mconagall and Molly were also with the headteacher.
"Mum?" Ron blinked.
"Ron, are you ok?" Molly sighed hurrying over to hug her son. Ron didn't even have time to draw the breath he lost from the hug to answer her when she turned and tugged Harry into a tight hug too.
"I called your mother, she needed to be made aware of what happened and be here for you," McGonagall explained.
"Ok, so what did happen? We were the only ones out the whole class that were separated," Hermione asked.
"Why don't w all take a seat, this is a little bit of a story I am afraid. Some tea too I think," Dumbledore sighed.
He sounded so tired and looked so lost that they all followed up up to the higher part of office and took one of the armchairs that the Headmaster conjured for them. Another quick wave and a tea tray with a cup for each of them appeared on the desk and floated over.
After two and a half years in the Wizarding world Harry was still normally amazed by such acts of magic, however with everything that had had happened and the curiosity of what exactly they were about to be told, he barely blinked in reaching out for the cup hovering in front of him before he looked back to Dumbledore impatiently.
The Headmaster took a good drink of his tea before he placed it back on the table and looked directly at Harry while speaking.
"This is a little bit of a story I am afraid, going back 20 years. Your father Harry made three very good friends when he was here at school. They called themselves the Marauders. All in Gryffindor they put the Weasley twins to shame. Each of them very intelligent and powerful in different ways. Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew.
When the war reached its height all four of them and your mother joined a group that I put together to fight against Voldemort, called the Order of the Phoenix. They all fought against him as much as they could. And then events happened during which Voldemort set his sights on James and Lily, but more specifically the unborn baby that Lily was carrying.
He believed that you would grow to be a danger to his grab for power. So Lily and James went into hiding.
For their safety we used a spell where their location would not be able to be discovered even if Voldemort were standing in your front yard. The only hitch in the plan was that someone had to be the secret keeper, the person to keep the knowledge of the address. While James loved all his friends, he was closest to Sirius. So naturally he chose him to be the Secret keeper,"
"But Voldemort found us," Harry said softly.
"Yes," Dumbledore smiled sadly. "We all believed Sirius had been a traitor and working with Voldemort. We believed he had given your location away, and your house was attacked.
He was caught after he murdered Peter Pettigrew, the only part of him that was found was a finger, and he was sent to the Wizarding prison Azkaban. At least that is the way we thought it went. Until today,"
"Peter Pettigrew," Hermione looked at McGonagall.
"Yes. The man that was revealed to be an animagus in your classroom today was Peter Pettigrew. Sans a finger. We have just interrogated Mr Pettigrew using truth potion veritiserium. He confessed that they switched the Secret keeper at the last moment, believing that Pettigrew, the lesser of his friends, would be the last person that Voldemort suspected of knowing where James and Lily were. Also believing that Pettigrew was their friend and would never sell them out,"
Ron and Hermione both reached out and took Harry's hand as he dropped his head down, tears burning in his eyes as the truth was revealed to him. The man that had appeared in front of him only a few hours ago, the man that had been living in the same dorm as him, he had betrayed his parents and led to their death, he had betrayed his friends when they had trusted him with everything.
"I am sorry Harry, I am sorry that you had to hear this, but you deserved to know," Dumbledore said softly.
"What about Sirius Sir?" Harry asked quietly, his mind spinning, but his mind focussed on the other life that that man had ruined.
"The Ministry came to collect Pettigrew, an investigation will be conducted, but I have no doubt Sirius will be released very soon," Dumbledore assured him.
"Will we have to do anything for the investigation Sir? Will Harry?" Hermione asked tightening her hand around Harry's.
"No you won't do not worry," McGonagall said quickly patting her shoulder.
"Can I go please Sir?" Harry asked weakly.
"Of course my boy, but if you need to talk to anyone, please do not hesitate to come and talk to myself or Professor McGonagall," Dumbledore looked concerned as he watched Harry stand and move to leave.
He hugged Molly tightly one last time, and waited by the door with Hermione's hand in his as Molly squeezed Ron tightly to herself. He felt like he was in a fog and the only thing anchoring him was the hand holding his firmly, Hermione's eyes sad but her grip was firm, knowing as she seemed to always do, what he needed right in that moment.
His other friend seemed to know as well as the moment Ron reached him he took his hand tightly and held on even as they shuffled slightly awkwardly out of the door. Behind them the three adults shared a sad smile, the sight of such a good friendship heartening even at such a time as this. And though they were concerned about what was going to happen and what effect it would have on them, as long as they stood by each other they would be fine.
Chapter 2: Remus
A.N Firstly I would like to say that my lovely beta and friend with this story has started writing on here are well. She has started a beautiful Harry/Luna story, please check it out, her pen name is EtherealDreamer394 on Fanfic
There has been a little confusion with the time of this story. Harry, Hermione and Ron are in their third year, however Sirius did not escape, and it was during this year that Ron's wand was malfunctioning. Voldemort will also not be returning in this story.
The after effect of the revelations were quiet but massive. Harry was having nightmares and picturing the betrayal of his parents over and over, imagining how they must have felt knowing right before they had died that they had been betrayed by the person, the friend, that they had trusted.
He couldn't stop picturing Sirius Black, sitting in a prison that Hermione and Ron had explained to him, which sounded nothing short of hell, knowing that he was innocent, knowing that his friend had betrayed his other friends and led to their murder.
He also was having nightmares of the man that had appeared on their desk in transfiguration transforming during the night and killing Hermione and Ron, killing Seamus, Dean and Neville, killing George, Fred and Ginny. He knew that Ron was also having the same nightmares.
Ron and Harry had had to undergo numerous tests and conversations to make sure that Pettigrew hadn't done anything to them while he had been in the same dorm as them for two and a half years. Or sharing a room with Ron. Percy had also had to speak to Madame Pomphrey considering Scabbers/Pettigrew had been his familiar first.
Dumbledore and McGonagall were keeping exceedingly close watch on Harry and Ron, making sure that everything that had happened had not had any lingering effects of them. So far they are seemed happy that nothing had happened, but Harry guessed the same worry of exactly what a follower of Voldemort could have done while sharing a dorm room with Harry, and living with a white family.
Harry leant against the window in the dorm room with a sigh, feeling the headache brewing behind his eyes, and the strain from the day pressing down on his shoulders. The Daily Prohpet had been full of the news of the false imprisonment of Sirius Black, the trial that was taking place for Peter Pettigrew, as well as details of everything that had happened with his parents and Pettigrew.
The more tactful had spent the whole day throwing pitying glances at him, the less tactful had tried to ask him questions about what had happened and what was going on. Of course Ron was getting the same treatment, and had quickly become exceedingly fed up with the implications and questions of what had happened with the rat/man that had been with him for years.
He did think the less discrete comments would be kept at bay though after someone had implied that Pettigrew had done a lot worse than just hex them, Hermione finally snapped and cursed them. When McGonagall had found out what her foolish Gryffindor had done to deserve such a curse she had sent them to the Hospital Wing and only took 5 points from Hermione.
"Harry?" The dark haired boy jumped and spun around at the sudden voice, he had not even heard anyone coming into the room. "Are you ok?" Seamus frowned concerned and walked closer as he looked at Harry.
"I'm fine, just a headache," Harry shook his head.
"Do you mind?" The Irish teen drew his wand and looked at Harry patiently. "My Mam uses to use this spell on me when I have a headache,"
"Thank you," Harry sat down on his bed and waited as Seamus approached him.
Harry closed his eyes and took a breath when Seamus' cool hand brushed across his forehead, and then he gently tapped Harry's temple with his wand and muttered the spell. Harry tensed for a second at the brief feeling of pressure, and then it was like the spell was numbing his brain as the spell washed over him. He let out a deep sigh of relief as he could finally properly relax.
"That's so much better," he groaned.
"Good isn't it," Seamus grinned sitting down next to Harry on the bed. He nudged their shoulders together gently. "You ok?"
"Yes and no," Harry smiled weakly.
"Its a hell of a lot to take in," Seamus nodded understandingly.
"I don't really know what to think right now honestly, and everyone asking and wanting to know and looking at me, its not helping," Harry blurted out.
"They are all just nosy busy bodies, their own lives are so boring they have to take interest in someone else's,"
"Thanks, and thank you for not pushing for anything," Harry added looking to his friend.
"If you want to talk you will, if you don't I'm not going to push," Seamus smiled before it turned cheeky. "Besides there is a fairly good chance that I will find out through the gossip mill anyway quick enough,"
"Hey!" Harry shoved the Irish teen who fell onto his side laughing.
"Sir?" Harry poked his head into Dumbledore's office with a faint hint of dread, it was never good being summoned to the Headmaster's office, especially when he was pulled out of class for it. Recently he had been calling Harry to his office and asking in numerous ways how he was with a look of concern of his face the whole time like he expected Harry to fall apart at any moment.
"Ah Harry, come in please," Dumbledore waved his hand. Harry walked into the office, but it was only when he was halfway into the office that he realised someone else was there too.
The man sitting in front of Dumbledore's desk looked incredibly nervous, he was twisted around in his seat to look at Harry. It was not in the normal way of someone wanting to catch a glimpse of the great Harry Potter, there was something else in his unusual amber eyes. He had tawny hair, and though his face had a good few scars on it and he was a little thin, he looked and felt kind and warm, especially when he smiled as he hurried to his feet as Harry reached him.
"Sir?" He asked again looking between the Headmaster and the man.
"Harry, this is Remus Lupin he is..."
"The other of dad's friends," Harry interrupted looking at the other man with wide eyes.
"Hello Harry," Remus smiled nervously, wringing his hands as though he did not know what to do with them.
"Hello," Harry's eyes scanned over the other man, not entirely sure what to feel. He had not really considered the fact that he might meet one of his father's friends, he had been too wrapped up in the one that had betrayed and the one that had been betrayed.
"Remus has come to meet you. I have allowed that you can have the rest of the day off from lessons, I will leave you to it. If you wish to go for a walk you are more than welcome to enjoy this lovely spring day we are having," Dumbledore nodded before he left the office.
Harry turned back to Remus and smiled shyly.
"It is nice to meet you," He said quietly perching on the other chair. Remus quickly took his seat as well, his eyes drinking in Harry.
"I am sorry for staring," He apologised when Harry squirmed a little.
"Its ok, I know I look like my dad, that must be difficult," Harry said softly.
"No its not that!" Remus said quickly. "You do look like James when he was your age, the similarities are strong. But it's just... I have spent the last twelve years imagining what you looked like, picturing how you were and how you were growing up. I used to babysit you,"
"Really?" Harry perked up, happy to know that Remus wanted to see him, Harry, and not the replica of James, but also eager to hear more.
"Yes. I was the most reliable one. Sirius babysat you once and Lily and James came back to find him trying to teach you how to fly a broom, you were only 6 months. It took myself and James 3 hours to manage to unstick him from the roof where Lily stuck him. After that he was only allowed to babysit if I babysat him. We were there at your birth as well," Remus smiled as Harry chuckled.
"Oh Merlin yes! We were nearly as excited as James about you, we went to all the hospital appointments with them, and we were there. I thought the healer was going to curse us, Sirius kept getting in the way, James was pacing and kept trying to encourage Lily while interrogating everyone making sure everything was going ok," Remus smiled at the memory.
"And you?" Harry asked.
"I was having my hand broken by Lily as I tried to go through the breathing with her, while trying not to pass out at the sight of fluids and... blood," He shivered and then grinned when Harry laughed.
"Can you tell me some more stories please?" Harry asked softly.
"Of course," Remus smiled brightly and leant forwards as he started telling Harry all about the Marauders.
They had decided to leave Dumbledore's office and go for the walk he had suggested. As they made their way through the castle Remus told Harry about James and Lily when they had been in school. He had told Harry all the things James had done to try and get Lily's attention, and how much Lily had not been able to stand James until their fifth year. He also told Harry stories about the Marauders and the things that they had gotten up to while they had been at school.
Harry noticed that any talk of Pettigrew was spoken over, though there was a tenseness to Remus' face that made it clear exactly who he was missing out. Harry reckoned that Remus was along the same line of thought as himself, and he didn't want to ruin their first meeting together by bringing up the traitor. However as they sat on the grass in front of the Great Lake there was something that Harry wanted to ask.
"Hmm?" The older man turned with a small smile.
"Do you mind if I ask what is going on with Sirius? I have read in the Daily Prophet that he has been released but...I don't know much else, and Dumbledore just looks really guilty whenever he is brought up so I don't want to ask him,"
"Oh. Of course. I thought that Headmaster Dumbledore would have told you about him. Sirius has been released from prison, he is currently in St Mungo's hospital receiving care and they are trying to help him with any...healing he may require after him time in Prison," Remus said cautiously.
"I have been told about Azkaban," Harry told him softly.
"Sirius...he is not in the greatest of conditions. He needs time in St Mungo's to recover. He is also seeing a mind healer there,"
"I heard that the Dementors are really bad, that people will go mad there because of them, will a mind healer really help?" Harry asked the question that had been playing on his mind.
"He is much better mental state than was feared. I don't know how really, I thought after so long...but they say that they are going to be able to heal him and he will make a full recovery. Pettigrew's hearing is due to take place in three months time," Remus looked back over the lake.
"Have you seen Sirius?" Harry asked curiously, but the older man blanched slightly and looked down at his hands.
"I have not been able to bring myself to go to him. I believed that he was guilty, even before...we knew there was a traitor, he believed it could be me amongst others, and I believed there was a chance it could be him. I do not know if I can face him," Remus sighed.
"Remus? Can I be honest?" Harry smiled at the man when he turned to him.
"You should go and see him. You say that he suspected you, and you suspected him among others, knowing that there was a traitor and not knowing who during a time of war...I can not imagine how difficult that was. Going off of the things you have said about him today, there is a good chance he will forgive you for what has happened so far, especially the circumstances around...Pettigrew. But if you don't go to him now," Harry drew off as Remus looked at him wide eyed.
"You are right," The older man nodded. Harry smiled brightly at him. "Ok, so tell me something about your friends, I have done most of the
talking so far,"
"Well I met Ron..."
It was well passed 1700 when Remus sighed as he looked up. They had talked for the rest of the time about Harry's friends and his schooling. Remus had been impressed to hear about his Quidditch, and in return for stories about his games he had told Harry about his dad's. He was also impressed with his DADA and had informed Harry that it had always been his favourite subject.
"I had better get going," He said standing.
"Will I see you again?" Harry asked suddenly feeling a bout of nerves that had disappeared while they had talked.
"Of course, and if it is ok, may I write to you?" Remus asked, looking a little nervous himself.
"I would really like that," Harry nodded quickly standing up. He hesitated for a second before he reached out and gave Remus a quick hug before dodging back again The older man looked very pleased though and smiled even wider at Harry.
"I will speak to you soon then," Remus nodded before reluctantly leaving.
Harry sat back down and watched as the man made his way down towards the ate, until he was out of sight. He sat for a little loner, not really wanting to head back into everyone where they were still watching him like hawks. His mind was spinning with everything that he had been told today and he jut wanted a little time.
"Harry?" The Irish accent had Harry blinking, and he turned to see Seamus making his way towards him as he waved off some of their friends before jogging over to them.
"Seamus hey," Harry smiled as the other teen sat down next to him.
"Is everything ok? After you got called out of class?" Seamus asked. Harry paused about to lie, but there was no trace of wanting gossip on
his face, only faint concern and curiosity.
"It was a friend of my dad and mum's, he came here to talk to me," Harry admitted.
"That's...good?" Seamus said uncertainly.
"It was," Harry smiled at him. "He told me stories about them, what they were like, the things that they got up to,"
"It must have been nice hearing that," Seamus settled back on the grass, clearly happy to listen to Harry talk.
"All my life they have been this faint concept, I have imagined what they are like, and I have been able to put together this image of them through other things I have heard of them and from pictures. But it was like looking through a fog at someone. Listening to Remus, I was able to actually picture them even more," Harry smiled brighter. He started telling Seamus a couple of the stories that Remus had told him, the Irish boy chuckling and listening with interest, not seeming to get bored as Harry feared.
"I am glad for you. It must be difficult to hear about too though," Seamus said gently.
"It...is yes. I wish I could have known them, or remembered them. There is a feeling of being safe and feeling happy, but that is all. I just...I
miss them so much, but how can I miss something that I didn't have," Harry frowned. He jumped when Seamus wrapped his hand around his wrist and looked at him gently.
"From what you have said it is something that you had, is sounds like they loved you very very much. There is nothing wrong with missing that," Seamus smiled softly.
"Thank you," Harry closed his eyes and took in the comfort from his friend.
"Now come on, you need something to eat," Seamus stood and tugged Harry to his feet, chuckling when Harry staggered slightly into him.
He steadied him with a warm hand on his shoulder and a cheeky grin.
"Yes yes, I know I am smaller," Harry rolled his eyes. The others in the dorm liked to tease him about his height, though it was just teasing.
"Your height is perfect for resting my arm," The Irish teen teased wrapping his arm around Harry's shoulder, and indeed resting it there.
"Oh come on, lets go and eat I am starving!" Harry rolled his eyes.
Chapter 3: Sirius
Harry smiled as he waved at Remus walking up the pathway towards him. The man had kept his word and had been in touch with Harry a lot since their visit. He wrote to him at least twice a week, and he was getting to know him very well, he liked the man. They either exchanged stories, or just got to know each other. Harry now knew that Remus loved Defence Against the Dark Arts, and made a basic living as a writer on the subject, he loved chocolate, he had moved around a lot since everything that had happened, and that the man was a nice, quiet and pleasant man but with a wicked sense of humour hiding underneath it all and a sharp intelligence.
He had also kept Harry filled in on what was happening with Sirius Black. He had gone to see Sirius the day after he had been to Hogwarts to visit Harry. It had been difficult, Remus had admitted to Harry, but they had talked things through, and Remus had told Sirius that he wanted to be there for him, help him heal. He had attended a few of Sirius' mind healing sessions as well to try and help with things that had happened on the lead up to the death of Lily and James and his imprisonment. Apparently the healer believed that
confronting those issues and having Remus by his side would help him greatly in his healing.
The healer also believed that having a relationship with Harry would be a great help to him. Remus had been the one to ask whether Harry wanted to go with him to St Mungo's to meet Sirius. Harry liked Remus for a lot of things, but mainly because he did not treat him like he was stupid or immature, he knew what Harry had been through and that that had destroyed the chance of having any real innocence or naivety. He had told Harry about the Healer's thoughts on Sirius seeing Harry, he had also told Harry that Sirius wanted to meet Harry, but that there was no pressure and if Harry wasn't ready to meet Sirius then he did not have to do it.
There was no pressure on him at all.
He had thought it over and talked with Hermione and Ron about it, but in the end it was simple, he wanted to meet Sirius and hopefully he could form a relationship with Sirius as well as Remus. And if he could help Sirius then he would. This man had tried to protect Harry and his parents, and he had clearly loved the three of them, and they had cared for Sirius.
So now he was standing waiting for Remus to pick him up and take him to St Mungo's with him for his weekend visit. Hermione squeezed his hand gently, a smile on her face when she saw the genuiane affection which he was building for Remus on his face. Ron yawned and sat up from the grass when Hermione tutted, standing fully when she dug the toe of her shoe into his sigh. Harry grinned as his curly haired friend glared at Ron when he muttered something about 'mum' to her, though they did not get the full gist, making the red head blanch and try and plaster his best 'I have annoyed Hermione and am trying to get out of it' smile on his face.
"Harry," Remus said brightly when he reached them. He was looking a lot better than the first time Harry had met him. It seemed the stress of worrying about Sirius, and the reaction he would have to seeing Remus again had been really getting the other man down.
"Remus. These are the friends I was telling you about, Hermione and Ron, guys this is Remus," Harry said brightly. A little spark of warmth burst in his chest at getting to make this introduction, he had never gotten to introduce Hermione and Ron anyone before, instead it was him meeting their families. It felt nice to have someone in his life he actually wanted to introduce them to and for them to meet.
"Mr Lupin, Harry has told us a lot about you, its nice to meet you," Hermione smiled politely holding out her hand.
"Hello," Ron grinned brightly waving to him.
"I have heard a lot about the both of you as well, it is very nice to meet you too, it is good to see you again Harry," Remus smiled turning to the dark haired teen. The both of them paused a little unsure about how to greet each other. In the end Harry did what he wanted and quickly dodged forwards to hug Remus. He could feel the surprise in the other with the way he stiffened, and he went to pull back worried he had upset Remus, but then deceptively strong arms wrapped around him and gave him a firm squeeze before allowing his retreat.
"Are you ready to go?" Harry asked.
"Yes, I hope that we can spend a little bit more time together next time, we do need to make visiting time," Remus smiled at Hermione and Ron.
"Maybe next time to four of us can meet in Hogsmeade," Ron nodded.
"I thought Harry didn't have authority to go to Hogsmeade?" Remus raised his eyebrow. The three friends turned sheepish straight away, grinning weakly at the man. Remus looked sternly at the three of them before eventually his face broke out into a smirk and he started snickering. "You really are far too like James and Lily,"
"I have no idea what you mean," Harry grinned.
"Mmm, which passageway did you find? I am guessing the one that leads to Honeydukes," Remus narrowed his eyes.
"How did you know?!" Ron gawped with what Harry was fairly sure admiration in his eyes.
"The amount of times we used that tunnel," Remus laughed.
"Ok we need to meet up so you can tell us more!" Ron grinned holding out his hand.
"Nice to meet you Mr Lupin," Hermione held out her hand.
"Please, please Remus," The older man smiled warmly before he and Harry turned and made their way to the gates. "Hermione did not look too sure of me towards the end of that
conversation," He said a little concerned once they were a little way away.
"Oh don't worry, she was just trying to figure out how you managed to narrow it down to that one. She loves puzzles and intellect, she is probably to smartest witch our age. Plus she still has difficulty coming to terms with rule breaking," Harry laughed.
"Coming to terms?"
"She does it, and honestly she encourages it as much as we do, but she still feels guilty and disapproves about hearing about rule breaking," Harry explained.
"She actually sounds a lot like me," Remus admitted. "I was always dragged along and I enjoyed it, and came up with a lot of pranks myself, but I felt guilty about breaking the rules at the same time,"
"Wait till I tell her she will be glad she isn't the only one," Harry paused as they stepped outside the gates and Remus held his arm out for him. "Ron said it feels weird, apparating,"
"It is a little strange, sort of like being squeezed through a straw,"
"I hate wizarding transport except for brooms," Harry grumbled but took Remus' arm.
"Ready?" Remus asked gently.
"No, but go," Harry groaned.
When they appeared in the apparition room of St Mungo's Harry promptly bent over and battled to maintain the contents of his stomach where it was. He was a little startled when a
hand reached down and started rubbing his back as a second hand pressed something cool to his forehead. Blinking his eyes open he felt his heart warm a little when he saw Remus' concerned amber eyes looking back at him.
"Sorry the first one is never pleasant, it does get better,"
"Why are you smiling?" Harry groaned as he managed to stand upright.
"Because I just realised that I got to be the one to take you on your first apparition," Remus grinned happily.
"Oh! Yeah!" Harry smiled a little himself.
"We used to talk about it all the time, who would be there for your first what, Lily used to roll her eyes and laugh at us arguing," Remus put his arm around Harry's shoulder to guide him through the busy hallways of the hospital, easily leading the way to the ward Sirius was on.
"What did you claim?" Harry asked curiously.
"I actually claimed first apparition, as well as teaching you Defence, and introducing you to some new books, amongst other things," Remus smiled, though this time it was a little
sad, so Harry nudged him in the side.
"Well there is still plenty of time for the other two, and you have already ticked one off of the list. The defence teachers from the last few years were terrible, but I really enjoy it and its my top subject, so anything you can teach me would be amazing, and I enjoy reading so any suggestions are welcome - just don't tell Ron or Hermione," Harry shivered.
"What would happened?"
"I would be buried under books from Hermione and Ron would feel betrayed," Harry smirked.
"Here we are...Harry Sirius is looking a lot better, but he is still very thin and worn looking. It might be a little bit of a shock seeing him," Remus warned gently.
"Ok," Harry bit his lip wondering what he was going to see in his godfather. Remus had sent him some pictures of James, Sirius, Lily and himself, but that had been 12 years ago and before the man had been sent to a horrible wizarding prison. He had also managed to work out that the laughing man in the wedding picture from his album off Hagrid was Sirius as his dad's best man.
"Hey Padfoot," Remus popped his head into the room.
"Mooney! Oh thank Merlin! I have been going nuts! I am so bored and they won't put me in with the rest of them because they are worried that I will tell them all about my unjust
story!" The voice was a little weak but had a brightness to it that matched with the grinning face from the wedding photo.
"Which you would," Remus said dryly.
"Of course I would, the truth it out there Remi, the truth is out there!"
"15 years and I still regret showing you that film," Remus sighed to which he got a cackle. "I have a visitor for you,"
"Oh Merlin's Balls don't tell me it is Healer Rottweiler! She isn't supposed to come until Wednesday!" Sirius whined making Harry snicker. Remus had told him all about the love/hate relationship Sirius and his physical therapy healer had.
"Not it is not Healer Rothwell," Remus said pointedly before standing back and allowing Harry to walk into the room.
The man on the bed was painfully thin, with dark shadows under grey eyes that had seen far too much, gaunt cheeks, and straggly black hair that had been tamed as much as possible and then stuck up in a pony tail. However his mouth was still smiling and there was a mischievous twinkle in his eyes that apparently even Azkaban could not get rid of.
Sirius sat up quickly with only a faint wince when Harry walked in, and the two of them just stared at the other taking him in, drinking in the sight. Remus dabbed slightly at his eyes as he watched the two of them, making sure the door was shut and locked to give the three of them a little privacy.
"Harry?" Sirius breathed out his name like it was the most precious thing in the world. And Harry found his feet moving without thought, moving to Sirius' bedside and throwing his arms around the man. For someone who looked so weak Sirius' arms held him firmly, hugging him close as he pressed his nose against Harry's hair and breathed in his scent.
Both had tears tumbling down their cheeks, but neither cared as they soaked in the other. After who knew how long another pair of arms wound around the two of them and Remus added himself into the hug with a grin.
"I was feeling left out," He shrugged before digging his chin a little into Sirius' shoulder making the man twitch and giggle at the tickle.
"Merlin Harry, you're so grown up!" Sirius smiled waterly pulling back a little to look at Harry's face, but not removing his arms. "Sorry my dates are still a little off, how old are you?"
"I'm 13," Harry sniffed a little. He closed his eyes as Remus and Sirius both reached up to wipe away his tears, squashed between them he started trembling a little as he soaked up
the warmth of the two men who cared so much for him.
"The last time I held you like this was a week before...Halloween. I had decided to stay over and you were teething. You started crying, but I was just down the hall. I told James and Lily it was ok, and I sat and held you for hours downstairs, we just cuddled and I told you stories, some of them about us at school, some ones I heard when I was growing up. And you just lay there listening to me, quite happy,"
Harry listened to Sirius, smiling at the memory as though it were something he treasured most in the world, and he knew that he wanted to be nowhere else but with the two of them.
They ended up sitting on the bed with Sirius, something that the Healer had tutted at when he had walked in, after Remus unlocked the door, to find Remus and Harry sitting laughing with Sirius on the bed. This of course had just made them laugh even more.
Harry and Remus did most of the talking as Sirius tired very easily, and his throat was very tender still apparently. But he seemed more than happy to listen to Harry talk about his life, tell him about his time so far at Hogwarts. He was excited to hear about Harry being on the Qudditch team, and as Remus had done, practically glowed with pride when Harry
informed him that he had been the youngest player in a century to be allowed onto the team.
He managed to dodge questions about his childhood however, and answered short questions on Vernon and Petunia. He did not miss the look the two man exchanged and he felt himself flushing in embarrassment realising they probably realised what his avoidance meant.
But none of them wanted to spoil today, so Sirius and Remus stopped asking questions about that part of his life, and they talked about happier things.
The second Healer that came into the room to give Sirius his potions was a lot nicer than the first, and when Remus realised it was the end of visiting time she had waved them off and told them that they were welcome to stay, she had winked and said that she had not seen Sirius smile so much. Remus ran out to the café to grab himself and Harry something when Sirius' lunch arrived.
"Its foul stuff," Sirius had whispered conspiratorially when he caught Harry watching him poke his food.
"It doesn't look great," Harry agreed looking at the stew.
"I am on a dietary plan to try and get my strength up, there are a lot of things I can't eat and things I need to, mainly to work alongside the potions I am taking," Sirius pouted making Harry laugh despite the subject.
"How long do they think you will need to stay here?" Harry asked softly pressing closer to Sirius' side.
"Well they think I should be out by June, as long as I behave. Which Remus keeps reminding me," Sirius rolled his eyes. "I'm glad you came to see me. I know it must be strange having two men come into your life that you can't remember and have them suddenly want to have a relationship with you. But it means a lot to me seeing you,"
"I...I really wanted to see you, and I really want to have a relationship with you and Remus, I really like you both. And I think some part of me does remember you both, you're familiar, not in actually memories but in feelings if that makes sense?" Harry looked at Sirius and found warm grey eyes watching him with a bright smile.
"It does, I'm glad. The thought of you, growing up, what you would be like, that is one of the strongest things that kept me going. Imagining getting out of there and getting to see you, hug you again, I was going to write to you when you were around 16, ask you to come visit me. Let me explain. Just getting to talk to you, even if you had hated me, would have been enough to see me through, knowing you were alive and growing up," Sirius dropped his head back onto the pillows as he spoke, his eyes unseeing as they stared, and Harry knew he was imagining being back in that cell.
"I don't hate you, not at all," He snuggled into Sirius' side and hugged his godfather.
"I've...I've..." Sirius tried to say but tears welled up and spilled heavily. He covered his face with his free arm as his other hugged Harry as tightly as he could.
Harry didn't need words though as he hugged Sirius back, he knew what the man wanted to say. All those years locked in the cell, imagining what his godson thought of him, what his best friend's son thought of him, imagining the baby and child he loved so much growing up believing he betrayed his parents and hated him. Knowing that Harry didn't...he could only imagine what that meant to Sirius. So he just hugged him back and lay patiently, enjoying the contact himself.
"I'm sorry I am a little over emotional," Sirius sniffed once he had finally calmed down.
"Its ok," Harry shook his head. "I don't get many hugs, so this is more than fine," Sirius' lips thinned at the implication and he got a hard look in his eyes, before he let it go. For now only though Harry had no doubt.
"Honestly you two, I am gone 15 minutes and you are hugging without me!" Remus complained when he walked in, he had caught the tear tracks on Sirius' face though, he checked
Harry was ok before nodding and sitting on the bed again, an exaggerated pout on his face.
"Snooze you lose!" Sirius grinned.
"I will see you next week," Harry promised hugging Sirius tightly, not wanting to let go.
"And I will write to you, Healer Rottweiler says it will be good for my hands," Sirius grinned at Harry's laugh and Remus' put upon sigh at the nickname.
"See you next week," Harry reluctantly pulled away.
"See you soon pup," Sirius ran his fingers through Harry's hair, a soft smile on his face even though he looked exhausted.
"I will see you after supper for a quick visit," Remus promised.
"You don't have to," Sirius shook his head.
"I want to," Remus said firmly. leaning down he kissed Sirius' cheek before leading Harry out the ward.
They walked in silence for a little while, until they were at the entrance to Hogwarts.
"Ok?" Remus asked gently.
"Yeah, its a lot, but a good a lot. I had a really good time," Harry smiled tiredly.
"Send me a letter tonight and let me know how you are, and I will send a few books back on defence I think you will enjoy," Remus requested.
"Yes sir," Harry saluted.
"Merlin one afternoon with him," Remus shook his head but he was smiling brightly and pulled Harry into a tight hug. "I will see you next week,"
"See you next week Remi," The nickname Sirius used rolled off of his tongue making both blink before the smile Remus gave him was nearly blinding.
"See you next week pup,"
Harry waved at the older man until he apparated away, then he meandered his way back up the to castle. He had had a great day, but he was feeling emotionally exhausted and was
not in the mood for a crush of students.
"Harry," Seamus grabbed his arm just as he stumbled and nearly went face first into the ground had it not been for the Irish teen. "I have no idea how someone so graceful in the air can be so bad on the ground,"
Harry stuck his tongue out at the other making him laugh before he looked closer at Harry concerned.
"You ok? You look exhausted, I have seen brighter looking people in Binns class,"
"Cheers!" Harry huffed shoving at Seamus' shoulder getting a laugh. "I met Sirius today," He admitted softly.
"Oh wow, how did that go?" Seamus' eyes widened, and all trace of teasing disappeared. This is what he liked about the other teen, he was fun and full of jokes but he knew when
to calm down and be serious.
"Good, really good,"
"But...am I weird for enjoying spending time with him and Remus, wanting to hug them, hugging them and feeling so comfy with people I have just met?" Harry asked nervously.
"Harry, none of us say it, but we know your aunt and uncle aren't great, these men care a lot about you and have for a long time, and from what you have told me, and from the pictures you adored them when you were a baby. Yes years have passed and they may not be defined memories for you, but love like that doesn't fade or disappear. There is nothing wrong with enjoying being with them, or enjoying their affection. If anything you deserve it, so does Sirius Black, and both of you need it," Seamus shrugged.
"You can be wise when you want to be," Harry smiled in thanks.
"Just don't tell anyone, you will blow my rep," Seamus sniffed and did a Draco impression.
"What air head that likes to blow things up?" Harry asked dryly before laughing and racing off when Seamus made tickle fingers at him.
Chapter 4: Home
Harry laughed as Sirius told him a story about something he, Remus and James had gotten up to wen they were in the their last year, and Lily's reaction when she had found out, something which rivalled the wrath of McGonagall. He was in his usual place sitting on Sirius' bed with him, the older man was sitting up and gesturing excitedly in his storytelling, something that he would not have been able to do two months ago when Harry first met him. But he was getting better by the day, you could see it now, he was filling out and looking less drawn and tired.
He had much more energy and movement, he didn't tire as quickly and he was feeling much better by the day now. Healer Rottweiler was doing a good job, and Sirius was able to move around a lot more.
It was one of the few occasions that Remus was not with them, he had come to collect Harry and dropped him off at the hospital before leaving them while he went to do some errands. They were getting on better and better as the weekly visits passed and Harry loved being able to spend time with the two men. Having someone who was interested in him, having people who cared for him and enjoyed hearing about his day, who enjoyed his company and wanted to spend more time with him was absolutely amazing. He wrote to the two of them through the week, and got to visit Sirius on Saturdays.
He looked up with a smile when Remus walked in, titling his head confused when the other man looked a little nervous, his smile shaky as he closed and locked the door behind himself. At the same time Sirius tensed up as well and looked at Remus nervously.
"Did you get them?"
"Yes," Remus nodded.
"What's going on?" Harry asked confused.
"Harry, we need to talk to you about a few things, some serious matters. Is that ok?" Remus asked kicking off his shoes as was their habit
and making their way over to sit on the bed as well.
"Ok," Harry said slowly looking between the two of them.
"If we discus anything that you are not comfortable with discussing then we will stop, but we do ask that you hear us out, and trust us," Sirius took his hand and squeezed it gently, comfortingly.
"Ok, what is going on?" Harry asked them confused.
"Ok. Harry we knew Petunia when she was younger, when we would visit Lily during the last two summers of Hogwarts, the few occasions they had interactions during the years after. We know that she was not very accepting of magic, and neither was her husband. From the things that you have said, and more importantly not said we have gathered enough to guess that you are not very...well treated at their house," Their mouths were in thin lines, and Remus' voce shook a little with anger, for him, as he spoke.
Harry looked between the two men in his life that he cared for so much, two men that he cared for, and that cared for him. And he knew this was the tipping moment he had sensed coming for a long time. This was the moment where he either admitted exactly how he was treated at the Dursleys, for the first time, and let the truth out. Or he kept quiet.
Remus reached out and placed his own hand around his and Sirius' his eyes warm and understanding as they looked at Harry, when he turned Sirius' expression was the same. More than that both of them were looking protective and worried for him. And that more than anything had him opening his mouth and telling them everything.
By the time he was done, he was more than a little emotionally drained. There were tear stains on all their faces and more than halfway through he had been squashed between Remus and Sirius as they hugged him tightly as though they could protect him from all the hurt and sorrow that he had experienced in his life. The grip the two of them had on him felt like it was keeping him together, keep him from falling apart, as for the fisrt time in his life he admitted that the people that should have cared for him and loved him hated him, had hurt him, humiliated and abused him, had treated him like he was less than human.
Remus and Sirius had been horrified and angry for him, they had been hurt and upset, they had cried for him. And finally when he had finished they had just sat like this hugging him as they all calmed down from the revelation of what had just been said.
"Harry, I want you to listen to me. Those...animals should never, ever have treated you like that, none of what happened was your fault sweetheart," Remus said gently, Harry turned and buried his face into Remus' shoulder, the smell of tweed, paper and sweet chocolate filled his senses. The two of them hugged him even tighter.
"We want to ask you something, I am getting out of the hospital next month. Remus and I are moving in together, and we want you to come and live with us. I am your legal guardian again now that I have been officially found innocent. The papers that Remus collected this afternoon were official documents to adopt you. Both of us,"
"You want...you want me to...really?" Hope filled him as he looked between the two of them excitedly.
"Really, we would love it. Harry both of us have dreamed about being a part of your life. We know that you are a teenager, but we would like to be there for you, whenever you need, however you need us. We would like for you to live with us," Remus nodded smiling.
"We can be a family, the three of us. We can find somewhere to live together, and have a life together," Sirius nodded.
"I would love to!" Harry agreed quickly.
"Before you agree completely, there is something that I need to tell you Harry," Remus said nervously, moving a little aside.
"Ok," Harry looked confused between the two of them when Sirius reached out and gripped Remus' shoulder clearly in support.
"This is about me, I was...when I was younger I was attacked by a werewolf, it bit me and turned me into one two. Once a month I turn into a werewolf, a dangerous beast that..."
"Remus enough!" Sirius frowned at his friend, taking Harry's chin and turning his wide eyed stare around onto him. "Harry once a month Remus turns into a werewolf. He does everything that he can to make sure that he never hurts anyone else, or infects them, and he goes through a lot of pain and suffering because of this curse. He takes a potion that lets him keep his own mind, but because of this he is treated badly by the wizarding world, a lot of people see someone with creature blood or a curse like Remi's as lesser," Sirius explained.
"People are cruel, but I am dangerous, and I am judged for what I am, anyone close to me gets judged as well," Remus said firmly.
Harry turned and faced Remus, looking into kind amber eyes that were filled with worry and pain, filled with so much hurt and surety that Harry would judge him for what he was.
Harry knelt up and wrapped his arms tightly around Remus, hugging him with everything that he had. Remus froze underneath his grip before he trembled and hugged him back fiercely.
"This doesn't change what I think about you Remi, or who you are. You are still the man that came to Hogwarts and explained everything to me, who took the time to be kind and gentle. You are the first person that gave me options and didn't just expect things of me. You are the man who has been helping me with my school works and writes to me and makes me feel like I have people who truly care for me, who are interested in my day and school work. You are the man that hugged me while I told you...about what happened, and just hugged me close," Harry said softly.
Remus pressed his face into Harry's shoulder and hugged him closer.
"And I would still love to come and live with you and Siri, I would love that more than anything," Harry looked at the both of them. "Can we...would we be able to do it soon, for you to adopt me?"
"We can do it straight away," Remus beamed handing Harry the papers he had brought.
"Why does this say that Remus is needed for you to adopt me?" Harry asked curiously.
"Honestly we are both needed for the other to adopt you. For me it is because I am a werewolf, I would not be allowed to adopt you normally but because of the situation with Sirius and because Dumbledore is backing us as long as Sirius adopts you as well, I will be allowed to. For Sirius, its because he was in prison, his mental health would be called into question, so he needs someone else to be there as well as his support if he is to adopt you now. Where he to wait another year h would be able to do it himself, but we don't want to wait,"
"And I want both of you to adopt me," Harry said firmly.
"So lets get signing!" Sirius said excitedly wiggling the pen in the air.
"So...you are going to get to live with them?" Ron grinned taking Harry's hands.
"Yup, the papers get filed tomorrow, once they are processed I am their charge. I will be interviewed by someone from the Ministry to make sure it is really what want, they will be interviewed and Siri's mediwizards, it will probably take a few weeks. But yes," Harry nodded a little stunned.
"Oh Harry!" Hermione wrapped her arms around him from behind.
"Mate, I am so happy for you," Ron squeezed his hands.
"I wont have to do back to the Dursleys," Harry closed his eyes.
"Do Sirius and Remus..."
"I told them...everything..." Harry licked his lips and looked at his friends. "We talked about it. Sirius is hiring lawyers with his family money, I agreed to pressing charges against them for what they did to me,"
"We will be with you as well Harry. Through it all,"
"Hermione is right, you have Sirius and Remus, you have us. You're doing the right thing," Ron nodded.
"Its a lot worse than you have ever told us, isn't it?" Hermione asked gently.
"Being here, being with you, it was an escape, I was away from them. I felt as though if I told you they would...infect my happiness here as well. It wasn't that I didn't trust you..."
"You don't need to explain Harry," Hermione shook her head.
"We're just glad you have people who are going to help you," Ron smiled.
"Thank you. And thank you for being there for me through all of this," Harry smiled at his friends who groaned and threw their arms around
"Harry?" The soft call of his name had him blinking and looking away from the fire to see Seamus standing on the steps leading to their dorm.
"What's the matter? I went to the toilet and saw you weren't in bed. Everything ok? It was your visit with Sirius today wasn't it?" Seamus asked
concerned as he made his way over to the sofa. He lifted the blanket Harry was covering himself with and shoved his feet underneath, blue eyes looking at Harry concerned.
"I did. I think I'm just overexcited, I can't sleep," Harry laughed shakily.
"Excited? What happened?" Seamus asked curiously.
"Sirius and Remus want to adopt me," Harry grinned. It felt amazing to say every time it was amazing!
"Really?!" Seamus smiled so brightly for him that Harry's own smile got even wider.
"Yup! We signed the papers today!" Harry squirmed a little in place.
"Harry, that is...congratulations!" Seamus caught his hand and squeezed.
"Thank you. They said we can find a house and move in together this summer," Harry breathed out.
"No wonder you can't sleep! Hang on!" Seamus jumped up from the sofa and raced up the stairs before hurrying back down a few moments later to a bemused Harry. Grinning with that bright boyish grin he took his hands from behind his back and held up a six pack of butterbeer and a large block of caramel chocolate. "We need to celebrate this in style!"
"Seamus you have been saving them!" Harry protested.
"For a good occasion, there is not going to be a better one than this," Seamus made himself comfortable on the sofa again, grinning when
Harry squawked when he tucked his cold toes under his thigh, before he opened two of the bottles. "To freedom," he proposed the toast.
Harry looked at him shocked, and then embarrassed when he realised that Seamus knew about his family. Probably not half of it, but enough to understand and know. He drew in slightly embarrassed and humiliated. But then Sirius and Remus' words from earlier came back to him, their comfort. Seamus' blue eyes were warm and understanding, no judgement.
"Harry?" Seamus blinked when he found Harry wrapped around him.
"Sorry, seems to be the day for hugs," Harry started to pull back but then Seamus' arms wrapped around him and hugged him back. In the corner of his eyes Harry could see the bottles of butterbeer floating in the air waiting for them. Seamus held him tightly, just the right amount of pressure in his hug as Harry sank into his grip, he pressed his face into Seamus' shoulder and breathed in Seamus' scent.
"I'm happy for you Harry," Seamus said softly.
Harry laughed as Remus tried to look scolding over Harry's midnight celebration, but he was looking far too happy himself to really pull it off. He had a stack of papers of different houses for them to look over together. Harry was practically bouncing as they walked, they were going to pick out a house, a home, a real home, for the three of them. He would have a home to go to this summer!
Remus took his arm as they reached Sirius' room and heard raised voices from within, one of them clearly Sirius' but the others they didn't know. They shared a look and approached the door confused.
"...think a werewolf and a convicted felon can adopt the boy-who-lived!"
"I think that myself - a wrongly convicted victim who was locked away for 12 years, Remus - a respected academic, both of us best friends to Harry's parents. I am Harry's legal guardian, and he is not the boy-who-lived, he is Harry. My godson, my best friend's son," Sirius snapped.
Harry closed his eyes as he felt that glow in his chest growing even brighter. He stepped into the room with Remus close behind him, and Sirius' face went from furious to warm as he held his arms out. Harry moved quickly to him for their normal hug.
"Mr Potter...I am sure you understand that we can not allow you to be seen as living with..."
"I want to live with Sirius and Remus," Harry interrupted who he was fairly sure was Minister Fudge. The man went puce straight away, the winning smile sliding off of his face.
"No see here, there is a certain expectation and..."
"Say Remus? Are you hearing this? Minister Fudge is suggesting that Harry's wellbeing, happiness and choice, is less important than what
someone may think of him," Sirius tilted his head slightly looking at the Minister with a dangerous look in his eyes.
"I think I did hear that. I also believe that I heard Minister Fudge stating that potential public opinion could be more important than Harry's legal rights," Remus hummed, smiling pleasantly.
"Speaking of legal rights, I am also sure that I heard Minister Fudge discriminating against me for being in prison. My lawsuit against the Ministry is definitely going to get a little more interesting when my solicitor hears about the fact that not only was I denied 12 years of my godson's life, but when I am released the Ministry try and keep us apart yet again, despite the fact that with all charges dropped I am not his legal guardian once again, and he has expressed his desire to live with us," Sirius tapped his chin thoughtfully.
"I believe he did. It is also interesting that Minister Fudge finds time in his busy schedule of running our Country to...comment on a simple adoption process," Remus nodded.
"M...Mr Potter, please..." Fudge was looking as though he was about to have a heart attack. Harry tensed up, but Sirius and Remus both placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Harry is 13 years old, you do not have the right to speak to him without our, or Headmaster Dumbledore, or his...relatives permission, which you certainly do not have. Now we would appreciate it if you would leave," Sirius glared.
Harry watched as one of the men with the Minister leant over and muttered something to him making the Minister flush even darker, something that Harry wasn't sure was possible. Then the man snarled, just snarled, and spun storming out the room. Harry stood there watching a little stunned for a moment as Remus and Sirius discussed the visit over his head.
"Harry?" Sirius asked confused when Harry turned around and wrapped an arm around each other them and hugged them as best he could.
"For what?" Remus asked confused. Harry shook his head but pressed his face to Sirius' shoulder.
The two men exchanged a look over Harry's head and just wrapped themselves around him. He couldn't tell them how much it meant to him that they had protected him like that, that they had stopped Fudge from talking to him, pressuring him and using him.
"Harry, you know we are not going to let them control your life right?" Remus said softly, pulling back and cupping his face, over Remus' shoulder Sirius grinned warmly at him nodding.
"They are never going to stop trying," Harry said quietly.
"And we will never stop protecting you, no matter how old you get. You can be 49 with a wife or husband and kids of your own and we will be camped out on your doorstep stopping them," Sirius laughed.
"Guys..." Harry laughed allowing them to pull him back into a hug.
"Geez Harry what the hell is Hedwig bringing you?" Seamus asked. Harry looked up from where he was sitting next to him at breakfast going over his divination homework with Ron. Sure enough Hedwig was flying towards them, with difficulty considering the thick envelope of paper that she was carrying with her.
Harry reached up for her to land and relieved her of the envelope, feeding her plenty of bacon to appease her before opening the envelope. Confused he pulled out the numerous sheaths of paper, flicking through it quicker and quicker as he realised what he was holding.
"Harry?" Hermione asked curiously. Looking up his friends all blinked when they saw his eyes glittering brightly.
"What is it?" Ron asked leaning over to try and see what was on the pages. "Houses?"
"Houses!" Harry beamed. "Its houses Sirius and Remus have looked out. They want me to go through them and pick which ones I want to visit. They have applied for a weekend permit so we can go out and view them once the adoption has gone through,"
"Wow, Harry!" Seamus clapped him on the back.
"Lets have a look," Hermione smiled picking up one of the papers.
"What type of place do you want?" Ron asked.
"I...don't know...I mean I thought about it, maybe a cottage?" Harry suggested softly.
"Ok, so lets separate these out, and you can look at the cottages, if there isn't something you like there, you can look at the others," Hermione suggested.
"Good idea," Harry shuffled through half the papers as Hermione did the same with the other half, sorting them into two piles.
He started going through them excitedly with the others, looking at all the different houses eagerly. He turned and met the blue eyes of his Irish friend, and found him looking not bored as he expected, but just as excited for him as Ron and Hermione were.
Seamus smiled brightly at him holding out one of the documents with pictures moving around the living room of a little cottage. Harry didn't quite hear what he said, something about being able to picture Harry living somewhere like that. All he could really focus on was how lucky he felt right now. He had Remus and Sirius, he had amazing friends, he was going to be adopted and never have to go back to Privet Drive, he was looking to chose a home.
He would have a real home and a real family. He couldn't wait.
Chapter 5: Adoption?
Harry grinned as he listened to Hermione chewing Ron out about the fact that he was still doing his Transfiguration homework, despite the fact it wasn't due for another 5 days. Ron met his eyes over their friend's shoulder and discretely rolled his eyes. Smothering his snickers, he turned to look for Remus coming for their normal visiting time. He had the selection of houses that he had picked out from the bundle he had been sent with him, and he was looking forward to reading through them with the two men.
"Harry, could you come to my office please, there has been a little delay, so you're meeting Remus at the Hospital," Dumbledore smiled as he came over to them.
"Is Remi ok?" Harry asked immediately.
"Remi, it's been a while since I have heard that nickname. Yes, he's fine, he lost track with his books that's all," Dumbledore chuckled.
"That sounds like him, he's writing a new one you know," Harry said proudly as he hugged Hermione and Ron goodbye, before hurrying after the Headmaster.
"I didn't, he always was a smart boy. I believe we have him to thank for your grades coming on?"
"He and Siri have been helping me a lot," Harry nodded.
"Are you happy my boy? I have spoken to Remus and Sirius about this adoption," Dumbledore asked softly.
"Yes I am. I really like them, I want to live with them," Harry said firmly.
"Ok, ok, no need to make that face at me. I heard Fudge had been poking his nose in," Dumbledore sighed.
"What's with that twinkle?" Harry squinted seeing the look on the older man's face.
"Nothing, nothing my boy. You may want to make sure that you read the paper tomorrow though," Dumbledore chuckled. "Blood pop, right off you go, the floo is all ready, I need to go and start up a teacher meeting, dreadful things, especially as Professor Binns always shows up halfway through. Honestly, I have to have the House Elves lace the tea with pepper ups,"
"Have fun sir," Harry laughed waving before he jogged up the stairs.
He stepped into the office, closing the door behind himself. He turned and spotted two people already there, but when he opened his mouth to apologise for bursting in they turned. He gasped when he realised it was Remus and Sirius, and then realised what Sirius being here meant.
"Oh Merlin, you have been released!" Harry gasped hurrying across the room and throwing his arms around his godfather.
"Surprise!" Sirius beamed.
"Congratulations! This is amazing!" Harry laughed.
"We wanted to surprise you with it," Remus told him, reaching out to run his fingers through Harry's hair.
"This is amazing!" Harry squealed a little more than he wanted to admit tugging Remus into the hug as well. "You're out of hospital!"
"I am, I am staying with Remus for now until we get our own place for the three of us," Sirius told him.
"This is so great, Siri! I am so happy for you," Harry laughed.
"Have you had a chance to look over the houses that we brought for you?" Remus asked.
"Yes, I did. Hermione helped me so we are a little organised," Harry said sheepishly taking a seat on the floor.
"Organised?" Sirius asked, before blinking when Harry pulled out the listings pinned together in separate bundles, and then a list.
"So, this is a list of all the things that I would like out of a house, and we have sections for what you guys would like, when you fill it in we can work out which of these match up to the categories that we have most in common," Harry explained.
"Let me guess Hermione?" Remus laughed sitting down next to him after conjuring a massive cushion that popped to life under Harry, and that all three of them could fit on.
"How did you know!" Harry gasped in mock surprise.
"She is very efficient," Sirius blinked pulling the pad with lined out categories to him and reading through it.
"Is this ok? Because if it's not we can do it differently, it's just they're excited for me, and when Hermione gets excited and smells the chance to organise something she gets really organised and..."
"Harry, it's fine, honestly," Remus wrapped his arm around him.
"We're glad that your friends are happy about this. Especially as they are likely to be around during the summer," Sirius added.
"They can come during the summer?" Harry brightened.
"Of course, we would want you to stay with us, get settled, and get to know each other better during the summer, so we presumed your friends would come to us. Sleepovers and things like that. We can hook the Fireplace to the floo so Ron and that can pop over whenever they like, and one of us can go get Hermione by apparition,"
"Really? You would be ok with that?" Harry asked.
"Of course, Harry this will be your home. We would be worried that you weren't happy with us if you didn't want to have your friends over. Plus, we want to actually get to know your friends properly as well," Remus smiled kissing his cheek.
"Thank you guys, I can't wait," Harry beamed at them.
"We have heard back from our solicitors, we asked them to monitor the process to make sure that Fudge didn't try and interfere with it along the way. They are with the final department. Sirius' healer have all be spoken to and given him an ok for adoption with a partner. We will likely be receiving our invitations to go to the Ministry for interviews on it in the next few days," Remus explained.
"We have spoken to Dumbledore about it, and he has agreed that should yours come during school time he will allow you to go, and he or McGonagall will also go with you to make sure that the Ministry don't try anything considering we can't be there for you," Sirius added.
"Ok, and then it will all be done, right?" Harry asked nervously.
"Yup, and then you will be ours, all ours," Sirius cackled evilly before pouncing on Harry tickling him, making him cry out with laughter.
"Remi!" Harry pouted in between giggles appealingly to the werewolf who was watching with laughter. Snickering Remus let out a war cry of his own, pouncing on top of Sirius and joining in the fight.
"Have you seen the papers?" Seamus asked as soon as Harry walked up to him the next day at breakfast. Remembering what Dumbledore had said yesterday Harry quickly leant his chest along Seamus' back to see the paper between him and Dean. Grinning as soon as he saw the Headline, he looked up to meet Dumbledore's twinkling eyes.
**Fudge Meddling in the life of Harry Potter
Everyone knows the name of the young celebrity, everyone knows what he is famous for. The young man who lost everything in one night but saved us all has been through a lot for one so young. Not only were his parents taken from him on that fateful night, but we have now recently discovered that his godfather was cruelly ripped from his life.
Sirius Black as I am sure you are all aware was wrongly convicted for the murder of Peter Pettigrew, because of this he has spent the last 12 years in Azkaban, and he and Harry Potter have missed out on that time together.
From reports from the Hospital it seems Mr Potter has been granted weekend leave from Hogwarts to go and visit Mr Black to aid in his recovery from the dreadful effects of Azkaban. It has been noted that it is quite a miracle on how well Mr Black survived in Azkaban, and that his mental condition was incredibly good considering where he was.
In independent Mind Healer, Healer Merryweather, has theorised that because Mr Black knew he was innocent he was able to cling on that thought to hold his sanity together, and because it was not a happy thought, the Dementors could not take it from him.
Mr Black has currently been undergoing extensive care and tests to get himself back to health as quickly as possible. It has been noted that he has stuck to every physical therapy, dietary and healing course he has been treated with, and all with one aim in mind it would seem.
Adopting his Godson finally. Harry Potter and Mr Black, along with a good friend of Mr Black's and the Potters from school, Remus Lupin, have been bonding and become very close over the duration of Mr Black's healing and there visits together. And last week papers were filed for the two men to adopt Harry Potter.
Inside sources have revealed to this writer that Mr Potter has come to greatly care and love for his Godfathers, and Mr Black and Mr Lupin are overjoyed to be a part of Harry's life, to get to care for, and raise the teen, who's life they once dreamt they would be part of from the beginning. Mr Black and Mr Lupin were both present at the birth of Mr Potter, and were very close to him in the 18 months they were part of his life as a baby. This writer can only imagine the heartbreak and pain that the two of them went through at being torn apart from the little baby they loved, not knowing where he was, or what became of him. Not getting to be part of his life.
The three of them lost a great deal that fateful night, and have all missed years together that they will never be able to get back. So, it comes as a surprise to this writer to hear that the Ministry are once again trying to intervene in Mr Black's life, after he has been found innocent of all crimes, and is looking for reimbursement for wrongful convictions.
A private source has informed this writer that the Minister of Magic himself, Minister Fudge, was present in Mr Black's hospital room, trying to pressure him into giving up the idea of adopting Mr Potter.
It should also be noted that Minister Fudge has made no other effort of contact to Mr Black to apologise for his wrongful convictions and false imprisonment, this was the first time he had made any effort of contact.
Minister Fudge was heard to be saying that due to the public opinion he did not think Mr Potter should go and live with Mr Black and Mr Lupin. And when Mr Lupin arrived at St Mungo's with Mr Potter, the Minister then attempted to pressure Mr Potter himself. Mrs Black and Lupin defended their godson, and informed the Minister that he should not be trying to pressure a minor or talk to him without permission from his current guardians, to which the Minister pushed to carry on trying to pressure Mr Potter.
This raises a concern as to why the Minister of Magic decided that his time would be worthwhile spent trying to stop the adoption of a family that has been separated for 12 years!**
Harry looked at Hermione and Ron with a wide smirk as he finished reading the article, laughter bubbling as he imagined the colour Fudge would go after reading this article.
"You ok there Seamus?" Dean said, something teasing in his tone making Harry look back around at him, and then at Seamus' face, who he was still leaning on. The Irish boy was bright red, and had a strange look on his face.
"Sorry! Am I heavy?" Harry asked quickly pulling away.
"I don't think that was the problem," Ron said giving Seamus a look that he didn't get.
"What's going on?" Harry frowned.
"Nothing, nothing. So how much of a heart attack do you think Fudge will have when he reads this?" Seamus asked.
Harry looked between him, Ron and Dean for a moment before letting it go when it didn't seem they were going to say anything else about it. Sitting down between Seamus and Ron, he pulled the paper towards himself for one more read.
"It's quite tasteful isn't it," Hermione smirked approvingly.
"I wish I could see his face, and his reaction to this. It's quite well timed as well, I should be getting my adoption interview any day now," Harry said brightly.
"Not long now and it will all be official and sealed," Seamus nudged him a little, seemingly having gotten over whatever was going on with him.
"I know I can't wait. And we narrowed down some houses yesterday too, so once the adoption is all done, we can go and start looking for houses too. We all seemed to really like that little cottage with the garden, and the roses growing around the front door, so that is top of our list to go and visit!"
"Did they like my sorting system?" Hermione asked.
"They were really impressed, Remus especially, and they guessed where my homework planner came from," Harry teased her gently, getting a small laugh and blush from her. "They also said that once we are settled into the house you guys can come and stay over whenever you like too,"
"... be invited?" Fred and George grinned coming up behind him and looping their arms around his neck.
"Of course, you would, Sirius and Remus would love you, and I think you would really like them. Plus, they want to meet the two beaters who protected me on the field, and who helped me out," Harry said sweetly. "Actually, are you guys ok to come and talk for a few moments?" He asked nervously.
"Of course, we are," Fred said, a small frown forming when he saw the nerves on Harry's face.
"We will see you later, yeah Harry?" Seamus asked.
"Of course," Harry smiled, giving the Irish teen who had been amazing the last few weeks an impulsive hug, before he turned and walked away with Fred, George, Hermione and Ron.
"What are you doing with Seamus later Harry?" Ron said with a note of that...something in his voice again that Harry couldn't place. He squinted at his best friend, but all he could see was good natured teasing, and nothing else.
"I am giving him some flying lessons, he wants to get a little better at it and asked me. He's going to help with my charms homework in
return," Harry explained.
They made their way down onto the grounds to the lake, getting comfortable on the grass, Hermione conjuring a blanket for them, and then Fred and George turned to look at Harry curiously as Ron placed his hand on Harry's shoulder and Hermione slipped her own into Harry's.
"What is going on Harry?" George asked gently.
"I have been speaking to Sirius and Remus, they had suspicions about what was going on at the Dursleys and how they treated me, I told them everything," Harry admitted.
"It was a lot worse..."
"...than you ever told us, wasn't it?" The asked, concern and worry showing on their faces.
"Yes it was, I wanted to just get away from it, I didn't want it brought here. I didn't want pity," Harry explained, a flush of humiliation covering his cheeks.
"Harry, you don't need to explain to us," George shook his head, reaching across to take Harry's free hand.
"What do you need from us?" Fred asked gently.
"Sirius and Remus are pressing charges again the Dursleys, and they have put their solicitors on it. But they need evidence. Would you be willing to give your memories, and give evidence about what happened when you rescued me in second year?" Harry asked.
"Of course we will," The two of them said together at the same time.
"You may need to go to court with me, if it gets that far," Harry told them.
"Of course we will, those animals deserve everything that they get," George huffed.
"I hope that Remus and Sirius throw everything that they had at them," Fred growled slightly.
"I think they plan on it, Sirius' solicitors are firing through everything from the sounds of it, and are ready to do this asap," Hermione nodded
sharply, her brown eyes burning with anger.
"The solicitors are going to make sure that it is all kept quiet, and that none of it gets out," Harry sighed.
"He doesn't want it splashed all over the papers," Ron explained.
"I can understand why, it's your business, no one else's,"
"Are Sirius and Remus still looking at suing the Daily Prophet for all the rubbish that they have written about you?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, while they are suing for what they said about Sirius and all the 'proof' that they provided when he was arrested, they are throwing what they have done to me as well. Remus says it will stop them from doing it in the future and thinking they can slander us as they like. Apparently, some reporter called Rita Skeeter showed up and tried to write this hideous report about how Sirius was dangerous and damaged and shouldn't be allowed into the general public," Harry rolled his eyes.
"Oh, she wrote something about dad once, not a nice woman," George rolled his eyes.
"Well luckily Sirius had already hired solicitors by then and they had put the fear of Merlin, Morgana and Circe into the papers about saying
anything bad about him," Harry smirked.
"So tell us some happier news, when does Sirius get out?" Fred asked.
"He got out yesterday," Harry beamed.
"Mr Potter?" Dumbledore poked his head into the potions classroom three days later, and Harry's heart jumped into his mouth as he realised straight away what this was. His mouth was dry and his hands were shaking straight away. "Ah Professor Snape, I am going to have to steal Mr Potter away I am afraid,"
"Really Headmaster? Mr Potter is being allowed to skip lessons now? If only other students were allowed the same familial privileges," Snape sneered. The whole classroom, including the Slytherins, gawped at him, completely stunned and unable to believe that he had actually said that to the Headmaster. They had all noted that he had been even nastier to Harry since the revelation of Peter in the Transfiguration classroom, but this was another thing all together.
"I believe that Mr Potter's familial problems are quite different to any others, if any other students legal guardian were locked away unlawfully for 12 years, I assure you that they would receive the same treatment. As it is this is a Ministry summons, which we can not be late for. So Harry?" Dumbledore's tone was congenial, his eyes were not.
Harry quickly packed up his things and hurried after the Headmaster. They were making their way to the Entrance Hall Harry absently noted as he watched the Headmaster's angry expression.
"Why is Snape so much nastier recently?" Harry decided just to ask.
"I wondered when you would ask," Dumbledore sighed, slowing down his footsteps a little. "Severus and your father were... not unlike yourself and Draco Malfoy. Sirius was your Ron. The three of them had quite a heated relationship through the years,"
"Dad and Sirius ganged up on Snape?" Harry frowned.
"Professor Snape Harry. And yes they did pick on him together, but Severus started as many of the fights as they did, and fought back just as hard," Dumbledore rested his hand on his shoulder.
"Right," Harry looked to his feet, an image of Dudley crossing his eyes.
"They were children Harry, and the three of them did not get along. Severus had a deep dislike of James and Sirius for no reason besides Lily.
They were friends, but James took an interest in Lily nearly from the start and chased her. Severus felt threatened and so started the feud with the two of them. Remus and... Peter stayed out of it for the most part. Harry they would fight with him, but it was not a one sided thing,"
"Ok, thank you for telling me," Harry smiled, pushing it to the back of his mind to ask Remus and Sirius about. "So Sn... Professor Snape is angry because, what, Sirius is free and I am spending time with him?"
"Unfortunately, yes, that is what it comes down to," Dumbledore sighed sadly. "But come, this is a happy day! Now I am going to apparate us into the Ministry. We will go to the Department of Childcare and Adoptions. They will ask you some questions,"
Harry linked arms with Dumbledore, who apparated them into the Ministry. By now he was quite used to the uncomfortable sensation of apparition, and barely blinked, though he did look with interest around them. They had landed in a large entrance hall, and as Dumbledore led him out they stepped into a massive area. One wall was lined with Fireplaces which were flaring green every second with people coming and going, people were milling about everywhere. The place was tiled green, looking impressive and imposing.
Dumbledore led him with an arm around his shoulders so that he could look around wide eyed at everything, including the massive golden fountain in the middle of the atrium, holding a wizard, witch, centaur, house elf and a Goblin. He frowned a little as he looked closer and realised that the magical creatures were gazing adoringly at the witch and wizard. He turned back around when he heard clicks and whooshing noises, in time to watch a lift door shut and then rocket up the massive wall to who knows where.
He followed Dumbledore into one of the lifts, which they conveniently got to themselves. Or maybe not so, he realised when he saw the people gathered outside pointing and whispering curiously about the both of them. Luckily the doors closed quickly and they were off. He guessed Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter were quite a sight.
"Harry if they ask you anything that you are not comfortable with, or you wish to take a break, just let me know straight away. I am there to make sure that you are not pressured, or feel uncomfortable in any way," Dumbledore assured him.
"Thank you sir," Harry nodded, taking a deep breath as the doors opened, and he realised that this was it. "Will Sirius and Remus have had their interviews yet?" He asked.
"I do not think so, they likely would have let me know. I think that Madame Burron is wishing to speak with yourself first. If she does not think you should go to Sirius and Remus then there would be no point in bringing them in. By the same respects should she decide it is appropriate then the only questions she needs to ask them is to make sure they are appropriate and want you with them for the correct
"Oh, right," Harry gulped.
"Harry you love Sirius and Remus, and they love you. You want to be a family. That is all that is important and that is what Madame Burron will see. She is a very competent witch, and she knows what she is doing. She will see that, do not worry," Dumbledore smiled at him.
"Such high prise Albus, you will make me blush," A voice said from behind them dryly. Harry turned to find a young witch standing there looking amused. She looked very smart and professional in her neat red Ministry robes, her blonde curly hair was battled into a bun - not unlike when Hermione decided to tame her hair. But she had warm brown eyes and a friendly smile.
"Madame Burron, a pleasure, as always," Albus beamed.
"Honestly, it's still strange having my headmaster refer to me as Madame," She grinned taking his hand and then holding her hand out to
Harry as well. "A pleasure to meet you Harry, I am Madame Burron, but you may call me Amelia if you wish,"
"Nice to meet you," He said, feeling suddenly shy, but less nervous, a little.
"Right, well in we go," She motioned them into the office that they were standing outside of. It wasn't what Harr expected at all, it was very relaxed and comfortable. There was a sofa and two armchairs, and in the corner a desk that had a lot of paperwork on. In between the sofa
and the chairs was a low coffee table with a bunch of pretty flowers on.
"Have a seat my boy," Dumbledore smiled leading him over to sit on the sofa. He and Amelia took the armchairs.
"I like your office," Harry said softly.
"Thank you, we try and keep things relaxed in here. It helps to have a more comfortable atmosphere for chats like the one we are about to have," Amelia explained.
"Ok," Harry nodded tensely.
"There is no need to be nervous Harry," She smiled. "So how about you tell me what you, Sirius and Remus have been up to since you met them,"
"Oh ok," He nodded and then stated chatting away, becoming more enthusiastic as he relaxed.
"Here we are," Amelia said as she walked back into the room and placed a glass of juice in front of him.
"Thank you," Harry took the juice and had a sip. He had talked for the last hour and gone over all his time with Remus and Sirius.
"So Harry, you were placed with your mother's sister and her husband correct?" Amelia asked.
"Yes," Harry tensed.
"Are you not upset to be leaving your family?"
"No, I don't want to live with them," Harry said firmly.
"Harry I need to know why you have decided you want to live with people you have just met, instead of with the people that raised you,"
Amelia said gently. Harry glanced at Dumbledore, but the older man just looked back at hi. Taking a breath he closed his eyes and pictured the little cottage that he, Remus and Sirius would be going to look at, he imagined them having a little garden there, and sitting outside in the summer.
Biting his lip he looked up at Amelia and took a breath. She was looking at him really concerned, and someone that helped him talk.
"They didn't raise me, they dragged me up. I want to go and live with Remus and Sirius, because in the tie that we have been together they have showed me 20 times the amount of love that the Dursleys ever showed me. They hate magic, and they hate me, they starved me, treated me like a House Elf, Vernon would yank my hair and throw me into things, they would let Dudley beat me up, they starved me, and until my Hogwarts letter came and they panicked, my bedroom was the cupboard under the stairs. They hate me, and have made sure that I knew that I was not wanted in their house,"
"Harry, this is very serious. Have you ever told anyone about this?" Amelia asked. Harry glanced again to Dumbledore who was staring stonily back at him now.
"Sirius and Remus know. Their solicitors are putting together pressing charges against them," Harry answered.
"And what did they say to you about it?" Amelia questioned, her quill scribbling furiously away now.
"They told me that it wasn't my fault that they treated me like that, that they love me and they want to be the family I deserve. They also asked Healer Rottweiler to have a look at me and make sure there is no lasting damage from what they did. I need to take potions over the summer because I have malnutrition and something to fix my eyes, but Healer Rottweiler said I would be ok to wait till then, and it would be better because they are likely to make me feel a little ill for a few weeks. She also made a dietary plan for me as well as Sirius, which I have been following. Sirius booked me in as well with his mind healer once we get to the summer. I wasn't happy about it at first, but then Sirius explained it the same as him being in Azkaban, and it didn't mean he was weak or anything like that for talking to a mind healer, but that he had been through a lot, and it was doing him good to talk about it to someone,"
"That all sounds very good, I am going to have to speak to Mr Black's lawyers, I will need to be involved in this as well as your case worker, and should my meetings with Sirius and Remus go well, then I will need to have a few more visits than I normally would with you all," Amelia explained.
"Does that mean my meeting went good for the adoption?!" Harry asked excitedly.
"Yes it did. I will need to talk to you a little more though Harry about the Dursleys," Amelia said gently.
"Ok," Harry frowned.
"Its nothing bad I promise, I just need to make sure that you are ok, you are my concern, and I want to make sure that you are ok, and that you are happy," Amelia assured him. "Now, I am going to talk you through what happens next,"
"So it all went ok?" Seamus asked.
They were once again curled up on the sofa in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room. It was gone midnight, but Harry had been unable to sleep with everything swimming around in his head, and Seamus had found him once again.
"Yes it did, though," Harry paused frowning as he pulled the blanket a little higher.
"What's the matter?" Seamus asked concerned.
"I don't know, it was just... I got the strangest feeling that Dumbledore was pissed at me," Harry said confused.
"What? Because you told her about those pigs?!" Seamus scowled.
"What? They are pigs! I would call them a lot worse, and curse them all if I could!" He growled before staring at Harry worried. "Why are you smiling?"
"Because I am lucky. I am surrounded by amazing people, who care about me," Harry sighed dropping his head onto Seamus' shoulder. The taller teen tensed underneath him, and he was about to life his head back up, when a warm arm wrapped around his shoulder and held him close.
"So you think it was about those things?" Seamus asked going back to their conversation after clearing his throat.
"Yes I think so, he barely said a word to me coming back here," Harry frowned.
"You believe me?" Harry blinked looking up.
"Of course why would you lie? Were you lying?" Seamus asked confused.
"No! No of course not. Sorry I love Hermione and Ron, but I feel like I have to explain myself and prove things to them all the time. They will follow me into everything..after I explain," He grinned.
"I trust you," Seamus shrugged.
"Thank you," Harry sighed contently, resting his head on Seamus' shoulder again.
The next morning when they were discovered on the sofa sleeping cuddled up they were of course teased about it. Seamus took it in good humour, though he once again caught him and Ron exchanging some strange looks over breakfast that he couldn't figure out.
He really needed to ask his best friend about what the hell that was.
"Harry seriously! Its like three in the morning!" Dean groaned as Harry opened the window to let the owl that had been pecking at the window repeatedly to try and wake them up for who knows how long.
The other four were sitting up sleepily in their beds watching Harry stumble to his window to let the bird in. "I'm really sorry guys, it must be an emergency,"
They watched as Harry opened the letter and squinted at it to try and read it. Ron was nodding off practically when they all jerked fully away at the scream Harry let out. In a second Ron was on is feet and racing over to Harry, Seamus on his heels. Both of them panicked slightly when they saw the tears in Harry's eyes as he brought his hand up to cover his mouth.
"What, what is it? Harry what happened?" Ron asked frantically. Harry shoved the letter at him before throwing himself into Seamus' arms.
They watched as Ron read it before he shouted too. "Oh Merlin Harry!" Before throwing himself at Harry and a very surprised Seamus who found himself yanked into the three way hug.
"What's going on?" Neville asked, seriously concerned now.
"It went through!" Harry managed to say between his tears.
"What did?!" Seamus, Dean and Neville asked frustrated.
"The adoption!" Ron beamed. The other three looked at them bemused as they jumped up and down hugging each other.
"The adoption went through, its official! It's done! they allowed it! I'm adopted! They have adopted me!" Harry shouted.
"Oh Merlin!" Harry laughed as Dean practically tackled him, Seamus and Neville right behind him.
"Celebration!" Seamus laughed.
"What's going on? What is with the looks?" Hermione squinted looking between the two of them where they standing at the bottom of the girls staircase looking exhausted and squirming excitedly.
"Guess what we got this morning?" Harry beamed.
"Very early this morning," Dean snorted walking passed, looking as tired as Ron and Harry.
Harry snickered but thrust the letter at Hermione.
Everyone in the common room jumped out of their skins, and one of the portraits fell from their chair, at the scream that Hermione read out before she pounced on Harry, tugging him into a bone cracking hug while squealing happily for him.
"What is going on?" Lavender asked confused at all the noise as Ron joined in the hug.
"Harry's adoption went through, he's being adopted!" Seamus beamed.
Everyone crowded around him calling out their congratulations and patting him on the back or hugging him while Hermione maintained her hug on him.
"Is it just me or are the Gryffindors being very strange today?" McGonagall muttered to Sprout as she watched her lions practically raising the roof with their chatter and laughter.
"They seem to be celebrating something," Fliwick nodded.
"They were a nightmare during potions!" Snape snarled.
"Mr Finnigan no! No! Do not..." McGonagall grimaced as the explosion rocked the hall.
Chapter 6: Home
Professor McGonagall glared at Seamus who was trying his best to look repentant and innocent at the same time, as he pleaded that it was not his fault that his default magic seemed to be explosions. Harry tried to look serious as he stood by watching the Professors assess the damage that had been done to the surrounding area, however when Seamus took advantage of McGonagall's turned back to wink at him, he could not suppress his laughter.
Luckily he was saved from the yelling Snape was obviously gearing up to do when the doors to the Great Hall slammed open, and Sirius strode in, Remus close behind looking a mix between mortified and excited.
"Sirius! Remus!" Harry squeaked excitedly before he rushed towards them as fast as he could, throwing himself at the two men who caught him in a hug between them.
"It's official! It's official, you are ours!" Sirius was beaming and it looked like he couldn't stop. Remus and Harry were not any better, and Harry laughed as Sirius stood bouncing on his toes excitedly. Suddenly there were a few more bodies added to the hug, and Sirius and Remus turned around bemused to see Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Seamus, Fred and George also hugging them all.
"We're so happy for you!" George and Fred beamed.
"This is so exciting!" Hermione nodded. Suddenly their whole group were bouncing again in excitement. At least until...
"Stop and desist right now!" McGonagall barked, and her students, current and old did as they were told straight away, turning with fear to their head of house. "Good, now part!" The let go of each other and moved to stand in a line. She nodded sharply, marched forwards and yanked Sirius and Remus into a hug that looked like it hurt.
Harry squeaked a little when she turned to him and before he knew it he was also being hugged. "Congratulations, the three of you," She smiled.
"Yes, congratulations," Albus smiled nodding to them.
"I am sorry to ask Headmaster, but could we maybe have an hour with Harry, to celebrate please?" Remus asked.
"Of course, though I will have to check with his teacher if it acceptable as well," Albus looked around.
"His next lesson is with me, his marks are more than acceptable that he can spare an hour, and I am sure Ms Granger will be more than happy to catch him up," Professor Flitwick squeaked before he patted each of their knees. "Congratulations boys,"
"Thank you, sir," Harry smiled brightly, snatching Sirius and Remus' hands and dragged them from the hall. Laughing as he dragged them to the Room of Requirement, they watched fondly as he paced up and down before a door appeared.
"I can't believe it, you're our son!" Sirius beamed scooping Harry up the moment the door closed behind them and hugged him tightly, burying his face into Harry's hair. He felt Remus wrapping his arms around the two of them, and he closed his eyes, allowing himself to soak up the warmth and comfort of the two men, his new fathers.
"So, what's the plan?" Harry asked once he was squished between Remus and Sirius on a sofa in front of the fire.
"Well, this weekend we have permission to come and get you, and we can go see the houses we picked out and choose one or two. We have spoken to Madame Burron, and she has signed permission for us to have contact with you every Saturday, even get to take you out for the day, while you are here for the rest of term. Then when summer comes you will come live with us," Remus explained.
"I never thought I would resent Hogwarts being required boarding before," Sirius huffed. "There will be some serious stuff in between all of this as well. We have the Mind healer set up, she will be coming to visit every Thursday night. Amongst this as well, you are going to need to make a few statements and speak to Madame Burron about the Dursleys,"
"Will you be able to be there for those talks and statements?" Harry asked uncertainly, playing nervously with the cuff of his robes.
"If you want us to be yes, of course," Remus assured him, hugging him into his side.
"I don't think I can really...talk about it, not properly, without you there," Harry admitted.
"Then we will be there, for every meeting," Sirius kissed his temple.
"Thank you, for everything, I used to dream about...having a family and a home, of being loved. Thank you, both of you so much," Harry rambled quickly.
"Thank you for giving us the chance to have a family and a home as well. You are giving us as much as we giving you Harry. We're going to be just fine," Remus kissed his temple.
Harry smiled softly snuggling into them as he listened to them discussing what houses they were going to view, and what they wanted. Sirius scoffed when Remus insisted that they needed a room for a library, Remus vetoed buying a niffler for a pet, Sirius insisted that they couldn't have a cat.
"Ok, what pet would you like Harry?" Remus asked turning to where he was watching them with obvious amusement on his face.
"Guys do you know I am a..." Harry drew off frowning down at his hands as a flash of worry went through him.
"What is it?" Remus frowned a little.
"I...I discovered that I have a magical skill that isn't normal in the wizarding world. I realised I could do it when I was eleven before I found out about magic, and with everything that happened after that, finding out about the wizarding world, coming to Hogwarts and starting learning, well, I kind of forgot about it. But then I was talking to the Twins and told them about what happened, and they...well they told me what the skill was and that it was normally associated with Dark Wizards, they advised me not to really announce it," Harry shrugged.
"Ok kiddo, want to tell us what it is?" Sirius smiled.
"I can talk to snakes," Harry said slowly, reluctantly. When they sat blinking at him he carried on. "I think the twins called it Parseltongue,"
"Oh, wow," Sirius nodded.
"That's..." Remus nodded as well.
"Are you...is it..."
"You could pull some amazing pranks with that!" Sirius grinned.
"I would love to see you do it, Harry, for research," Remus added.
"You guys aren't freaked out?" Harry brightened looking at them.
"I am going, to be honest, it is quite a shock, not something I was expecting to hear, and it will take a little time to get used to, but not in a bad way I promise. We're not about to start calling you Slytherins heir or anything like that," Remus promised him.
"I can bow to you if you want?" Sirius grinned. "Oh great Snake Lord! Hey, can you charm Slytherins like a snake charmer, that would be hilarious! Snape floating out a basket,"
"Sirius!" Remus scolded as Harry laughed.
"So...can I have a pet snake?" He asked hopefully turning Bambi eyes on the two horrified men.
"Hey, take this, it's a little chilly today," Seamus held out a jumper to Harry. The dark haired teen glanced out the window and saw that the weather did look a little off.
"Thank you, Seamus," Harry beamed tugging the jumper on. All his old clothes had been burnt in a Gryffindor common room late party with his friends. All he had was his uniforms and his few decent items of clothing. Sirius had promised he would pick him up a few things and post them in for him this week, and then they would have a shopping trip during the summer. It felt amazing knowing that he would never have to wear Dudley's hand me downs again. Until his new clothes arrived, however, he was a little limited for choice.
He snuggled into the warm green jumper that smelt of Seamus, the lingering background scent of ash and heat always there with the firebug.
"Ready to go?" Seamus asked wrapping his arm around Harry's shoulder.
"Yup! I can't believe I am getting to go house hunting!" He beamed.
"I can't wait to come and see it. Between the three of you you all have very different tastes, this place will either be brilliant or chaos," Seamus laughed.
"Hey!" Harry protested laughing.
"Come on, let's get you down there,"
"Hermione and Ron still fighting?" Harry asked as he followed.
"I have ten to one odds she's going to hex him," Seamus grinned.
"Honestly," Harry rolled his eyes.
"So, everything go ok Thursday, I haven't really had five minutes alone with you with everyone listening in," Seamus asked, tugging Harry even closer.
"There wasn't really much that happened, I met him and we went over a couple of things to do with...them. He explained to me what a mind healer does, the mix of magic and speaking about things. We start properly next Thursday," Harry shrugged.
"How are you feeling about it?" Seamus asked.
"Kind of a little silly, and exposed, but at the same time, I know my head is a bit of a mess, and I need this to be better in myself," Harry sighed.
"There is nothing wrong with needing a little help to sort through your demons Harry," Seamus smiled squeezing him.
"Thank you," Harry smiled. He had been worried that his friends would judge him for needing to speak to a Mind Healer, but they had all just been relieved that he was getting help and support they had felt he needed. They were also secretly setting up to have little sleepovers and snack parties waiting, they weren't aware he knew yet. The thought of his friends wanting to wait up and be there for him in that way was just amazing to him. He had realised more and more how many people were surrounding him. "Really,"
"You never have to thank me, Harry," Seamus shook his head as they got to the front doors.
"I do, and I appreciate everything," Harry smiled kissing his cheek before racing down the steps to where Sirius and Remus were waiting for him, staring intently at the blushing Irish teen.
Harry grinned as he looked around the hillside that they had landed on. The last couple of houses had been disappointing, and none of them had really clicked with them. This one, however, caught his attention straight away.
They were right on the cliff edge with the sound of the sea lapping at the beach below. The cliff face was covered in long waist high grass with flowers growing in patches, a gravel pathway wound its way through the grass to the house. The House itself was surrounded by a waist-high white stone wall, a beautiful guilded gate allowing them entrance into the garden.
His eyes lit up as he took in the flower and fruit beds on one side of the massive garden, the other side had a large lawn with several cherry blossom trees growing in the centre, it would be the perfect place to sit in the summer and have a picnic. The garden was massive, winding around the back of the house as well from what Harry could see.
The House was three stories high and looked like a picture book cottage, there was a small porch leading up to the front door and the door itself was surrounded by roses casting a sweet scent to mix in with the salt air. Ivy grew up the front of the house, and white stone was revealed in the exterior of the building.
Stepping through the door, and the whole place just felt like home. Turning around in a circle he smiled at the homely place. The entrance hall was big enough to hold a circular table that currently held pictures of the current family living here, a little blonde haired girl with a gap-toothed smile ran up to the camera, waved and ran off again. Leading off from the entrance hall was a large carved wooden staircase, and a door to the right, one to the left and one down the side of the staircase.
"What do you think Harry?" Sirius asked softly.
"I really like it," Harry beamed turning to see similar expressions on their faces.
"Well, lead on," Remus motioned to the door on the left. Grinning Harry walked in and fell in love with the room straight away. A massive bay window overlooked the side of the garden with the lawn and the trees, there was a fireplace in the room, and so much space. Everything else had been taken out, and they could see the potential it had.
"This is perfect!" Sirius grinned spinning around.
"Maybe, we could, make a window seat there? Cushions and blankets?" Harry suggested softly.
"Oh, that would be wonderful! It would be perfect for reading!" Remus beamed before scowling playfully as Harry and Sirius groaned.
The rest of the house was just as beautiful, they moved from the living room to the back of the room and through into the kitchen. It was massive, with a large island in the centre, and a huge arga cooker was seated at the back of the room. Big windows over looked the huge back garden which had long grass and flowers growing wide in it, oak, elm, beech and willow trees grew in it as well. There was a small round table sitting near the back door.
They moved from there, passed the door which would lead out down beside the staircase, and into the dining room. It had massive bay windows at either end of the room, overlooking the gardens and flooding the room with light. A fire place sat in the room which would be wonderful lit in the winter months. Currently empty, with the size of the room they would be able to have a large dining table in here and still have plenty of room.
Upstairs held five massive bedrooms, each one with a different character and personality. Plenty of rooms for them, and for any guests. Harry stood in the room that he really felt something for, he could picture this being his bedroom and looked around with that fledgeling hope in his chest growing a little brighter.
"The room next door is amazing, definitely my bedroom, do you like this one?" Sirius asked curiously looking around.
"I really like this one," Harry nodded.
"I love the one across the hall, and there are plenty for when your friends come to stay," Remus nodded walking in. "Shall we check out the next level?"
"We could make the room at the top of the stairs into a library!" Remus said excitedly.
"And the one to the right of the stairs would be a perfect lab! I can make a start on creating things for my joke shop," Sirius nodded.
"I really loved that house!" Harry beamed.
"I think it was definitely the one," Sirius looked at the other two.
"Definitely, the others weren't even close. I can imagine us living there, having a home," Remus smiled.
"Shall we put in an offer then?" Sirius asked excitedly.
"Yes," Remus and Harry both nodded.
"Ok!" Sirius took out the card that the letting agent had handed them and tapped his wand against the house that they had been to view. The card flashed for a second and the listing turned red on the card and then the words pending appeared. "Now we wait," He sighed.
"What are you wanting to eat Cub?" Remus asked picking up the menu.
"What?" Harry blinked.
"Lunch? What do you want?" Remus asked confusedly.
"No, you called me cub," Harry said, a massive smile starting to form.
"Did I? I think I did it on automatic," Remus blinked. "Is...is that ok?" He asked.
"Yes," Harry smiled shyly. "I...they always had names for my cousin, little pet names, and even though they were horrific, I wanted someone to want to call me something like that," He added when he remembered the Mind Healer's advise on opening up more both with his feelings and with how he had felt with the Dursleys.
"You are our Cub," Sirius reached out and combed his fingers through Harry's hair. His words were firm and left no doubt in Harry's mind that he meant them, the smile on Remus' face as he looked at Harry confirmed it with him as well.
"So, Cub, what are you wanting?" Remus said.
Happily he picked up the menu and started reading through it, choosing what he wanted. They had the afternoon together and were planning on having a little shop after their lunch before Sirius and Remus returned him to Hogwarts.
Harry scrubbed his hand through his hair feeling more than a little stretched out after his session with the Mind Healer, it had been a long hour, and he realised now that it was going to be a little bit of a slog. He had a whole new respect for Sirius going through this, and still going through this, especially as he knew a large part of it was so he could adopt Harry and was part of the stipulations of the adoption.
The Healer smiled and said goodbye to him again before leaving the room. Sirius and Remus came and sat down on either side of him, pressing him between them in a hug. They seemed to be waiting for something, and once he relaxed enough Sirius pulled back and pulled a set of papers from his pocket and held them out to Harry.
Looking between them with hope he wondered if these were the papers for the house. They had been waiting to hear back from the letting agency. Nervously he opened up the papers and blinked down at the deeds to the house. Their house. Their Home.
He had a home.
"Cub!" Remus and Sirius both said in distress when Harry started crying. They hugged him quickly and started making soothing sounds.
"Did you change your mind about the house?" Remus asked.
"No, no I really want it still I just..." Harry sniffed rubbing at his eyes.
"What is it Cub?" Sirius asked.
"After talking today about everything, and thinking and remembering how unwanted I was, knowing that I have a home, I fianlly have a home with people who want me, a family, I have a home with family," He managed to say before tears took over again.
"These are happy tears, right?" Sirius confirmed.
"Definitely happy tears," Harry laughed.
"We can start making plans for what we want to do, thinking about decorating and furniture. We can use our visitation hours with you to plan, and on the weekends we can take you from Hogwarts we can go shopping!" Sirius said excitedly.
"Honestly, I think the thing that he has missed most when he was away was shopping," Remus muttered to Harry making the young teen burst out laughing as Sirius protested loudly about how cheeseburgers and his bike was right up there as well, Remus of course took mock offence and the two started squabbling, no doubt to make Harry feel better, and it was working.
He could not wait for the summer, and he could not wait to see the home that they would make together. He had never thought that he would have this, but sitting between these two men, looking at them he realised that he finally had that chance. And he would make the most of every single moment of it.
For the first time in his life he could not wait for summer!