A Proper Family

What if Peter Pettigrew hadn't escaped? What if, in Harry's third year, Sirius was found innocent? This is the story of what would happen if, starting in his third year, Harry Potter was raised by his godfather.

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1. Leaving Hogwarts

The sun rose golden and bright upon Hogwarts on the last day of term. As the sunlight crept through Harry's dormitory window, the thirteen year old sat up and stretched. He pushed open the curtains of his four poster for the last time that year, and grabbed his glasses. Putting them on, Harry began to dress himself for breakfast. He moved slowly, drifting in and out of a sleepy haze.

In his mind's eyes he began to relive that night in the Shrieking Shack. He watched Lupin's horrendous transformation, Pettigrew's attempted escape, and Sirius's capture. He felt his body hit the hard ground; he dove on top of Pettigrew in rat form. Holding the squirming animagus, Harry thought about nothing except that Pettigrew had killed his parents, Pettigrew had killed his parents.

And he succeeeded. Ron and Hermione raced back up to the castle, away from Lupin, and straight to Dumbledore. Harry opened his eyes wearily, and felt his heart sink. When he thought about what could've happened if Pettigrew had escaped...

But that didn't matter now. Harry was finally, at long last, leaving the Dursleys forever. He was going to live with his godfather. He was going to be a normal boy, at least, in that aspect. He could go home for the holidays, invite his friends over in the summer, and have someone who talk to. Harry grinned, picturing Sirius's face when he had left his hearing as an innocent man.

The hustle and bustle of the morning left Gryffindor tower in great distress. People wandered about everywhere, searching for missing shoes and spell books, saying hearty goodbyes, and juggling trunks and owl cages alike. Harry, Ron, and Hermione crowded onto the Hogwarts Express and found an empty compartment. The three of them sat down, Hermione with Crookshanks, and Ron with his new owl, Pigwidgeon (or as he called the tiny gray fur ball, Pig). Ron had received Pig as a thank you note from Sirius because Ron had attended Sirius's hearing.

"Harry," Hermione said suddenly. "Where's Hedwig?" she asked curiously. "Blimey!" Harry shouted and jumped to his feet. "I must've forgotten her on the platform." Harry raced down the corridor and hopped down onto the platform.

Harry worked his way through the throngs of people back to where they had been standing on the Hogsmeade platform. He bent over and snatched up the snowy owl's cage. Inside, Hedwig fluttered her wings and angrily turned her head away. "I'm sorry," Harry reasoned with her. "I was thinking about the summer and just got distracted, okay?" She hooted and turned her beak up. Harry turned and started to head back on to the train, when he walked right into what felt like a brick wall.

It was Hagrid. Harry looked up into Hagrid's great shaggy beard and beetle black eyes, and Harry was surprised to see that they were teary. "Hagrid!" Harry said, "What's the matter?" Hagrid shook Harry off with a wave of his massive hand and said "Nuthin'. Just this weather..." he trailed off, looking into the distance. "Beaky would've loved the summer sun." Hagrid broke off, his voice wavering. Hagrid had been downright depressed ever since Buckbeak's execution. Harry grimaced and responded, "I'm sure he would've. Well," Harry continued awkwardly, "Bye Hagrid!" Harry said as he rushed back to the steaming scarlet engine. Hagrid waved him off, tears streaming silently down his rosy face.

Ron and Hermione were deep in conversation when Harry returned."It's ridiculous, that's what it is." Hermione hissed. "It's a bunch of prejudiced people who think that Lupin is garbage."

"Oh come off it, Hermione!" Ron argued. "He's a werewolf, you can't expect people to-"

"Expect people to what, Ron?" Hermione interrupted furiously. "Expect people to trust Dumbledore? Expect people to trust Lupin? Expect people to not be biased and bullies?"

Ron started to speak again but Harry coughed slightly and their heads turned.

"I hate to break up yet another argument," Harry said firmly. "But this is my last Hogwarts Express before I move in with Sirius, and I'd like to enjoy it please."

Ron and Hermione looked sheepish for a moment, and then began to laugh. Harry joined them, and the three friends laughed and talked and laughed some more until the rolling green fields had morphed into roads and buildings.

As the train pulled into the station, Harry, Ron, and Hermione gathered their things and hurried out into the corridor. The train finally slowed to a stop, and Harry jumped off, lugging his massive trunk behind him. Then, he saw standing in the mist of the platform, two people that made his heart soar.

Sirius Black and Remus Lupin stood in the distance. Sirius was beaming, receiving several shocked looks from those around him. Lupin was smiling grimly, avoiding eye contact with the swarm of students.

Harry rushed toward his godfather and Lupin, and as he reached them Sirius's beam grew yet larger. "Got you things then?" Sirius asked. Harry nodded eagerly, then turned to Lupin. "How are you, Professor?" Harry asked. He hadn't seen Lupin since the morning after his transformation, when Lupin had handed in his resignation. Lupin answered quietly, "Fine, thanks Harry. And call me Remus." He added with a slight grin. Harry nodded with a smile.

Then, he turned quickly to say goodbye to Ron and Hermione. They huddled anxiously a little ways a way on the platform, watching to make sure Harry was okay. Harry smiled at both of them and said, "Have a good summer. Don't forget to write!" Hermione smiled, looking relieved. Ron added, "Yeah, and you two need to visit the Burrow again this summer. It's the Quidditch World Cup!" Harry and Hermione nodded happily, but then Harry reminded them "And don't forget that you all can visit me this summer at Sirius's." The pair of them grinned at his delighted face. Then, Harry walked back to Remus and Sirius, knowing that for the first time, he was going to have a proper summer.

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