Chapter 1 of 44
An official student
Harry James Potter Black was making his awed way through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. He had heard stories of course, but had never ridden the train, never step foot on platform 9 and 3/4. His father had been reluctant but Harry had begged and begged and was granted the right to reach the school as any other student would.
At 10:30 he took a portkey that Grandpa, no, Professor Dumbledore, he would have to remember, had prepared for him and Uncle Moony. His father had to prepare for the arrival of the students. His father was the deputy Head of Gryffindor. Gryffindor was the only house that had one, but since Aunt Minnie, Professor McGonagall Harry, had her deputy Headmistress obligations as well as Head of House, she had gladly accepted Sirius’s help one year when Grandpa had been affected by an awful case of the flu, and she had had to run the school for a the few weeks that had taken him to recover, he wasn’t twenty anymore after all. Harry had been seven and had taken care of Grandpa refusing to leave his bedside until the aged Headmaster was well again. Uncle Albus had become Grandpa over the first year that Harry had lived at Hogwarts. He was four when he announced very seriously at the staff table one night that Uncle was just wrong for him and from then on he’d be Grandpa. Only one person at the table managed to not burst in laughter and even he had a sneer on his face that Harry had learned to interpret as being highly amused.
Harry had grown up at Hogwarts being raised by his adoptive father, Sirius Black and his Uncle Moony. Harry couldn’t go to the Wizarding School at Hogsmead because in the beginning there were still Death Eaters at large so Grandpa had arranged for Harry to be tutored by Remus Lupin, Uncle Moony, at Hogwarts. Remus had first lived in his own quarters but unable to resist his friend’s and his nephew’s puppy eyes (which Remus was sure Sirius had coached Harry into) moved to the Black family’s quarters.
During the summer they lived at Nº 12 Grimmauld Place, the house that Sirius grew up in. Sirius inherited the house when Harry was four and his mother died. He had half his mind to torch the place but Remus pointed out that with his father’s securities measures and a few added from Dumbledore there would be no safer dwelling except for maybe Hogwarts and so they had spent the better part of a summer cleaning the House from any dangerous Black artifacts and painting it so that it didn’t remind Sirius of what the house was while he was growing up. Their hardest job had been a painting of his mother that wouldn’t stop screaming until Harry showed up and said “hello Grandma” and the woman couldn’t stop cooing at her new grandson. Sirius was quite horrified but had to relent at leaving the painting nonetheless. But he didn’t keep the House-elf. Since the old elf almost had a coronary at the possibility of being freed Sirius donated him to Hogwarts’ staff. He was still bound to the Black family but worked in the Hogwarts kitchen.
“Harry,” came a cry from the crowd and Harry spotted Ron Weasley waving at him. Ron and Ginny had started being tutored by Remus two years ago when the twins had started Hogwarts. Mrs. Weasley had had an offer to work at the school in Hogsmead but there were no vacancies for her two younger children and she was about to reject the offer when Dumbledore offered her Remus’ services. They had been worried about Harry never being around children his own age and this solved both families’ problems. So when she apparated to work every day Mrs. Weasley took her youngest children to Hogwarts.
“Ron!” Harry waved and ran to his friends, “Hello Ginny, Mrs. Weasley.”
“Hello Harry, Remus, exited?” Mrs. Weasley asked and Harry nodded.
“I so wanted to be going too,” Ginny mumbled.
“Ginny, you’ll be at Hogwarts every day in my classes or am I not enough?” Remus asked his lips twitching
“No it’s not that Professor. I just wanted to be an official student too,” she hurried to apologize.
“I know,” he chuckled.
“I think it’s best for you to look for a compartment, the twins and Percy have already boarded,” Mrs. Weasley said turning to Harry and Ron she gave each a hug and said, “And mind you behave yourselves, I don’t want any owls telling me you are up to no good like the twins.” She finished sternly and both boys nodded. Harry decide to refrain from letting her know that his father had stocked him with products from Zonko’s behind uncle Moony’s back. Parents and parents that were teachers weren’t supposed to do that. Of course Harry had also conveniently forgotten to tell his father about the products from Zonko’s and detailed instructions Uncle Moony gave him behind Sirius’s back. Not that Harry had many plans for pranks, he wasn’t much of a prankster but he had all the intentions to pass products and instructions to the twins who would be more than happy to give them good use. They said goodbye to Ginny and Remus helped both boys in one of the empty compartments.
“See you both at the sorting,” he said with a smile but his smile faltered at the horrified look on Harry’s face. He knelt and looked at his nephew, “Harry.”
“What if I get sorted into Slytherin? Dad will hate me! He’ll give me back!”
“No he won’t,” he tried to stop Harry from building into hysterics.
“What if I am a squib and they say I can’t be sorted anywhere?”
“We both had many proof during the years that that is not the case, I recall once when you stole your father’s wand and the whole Great Hall was covered with cotton candy.”
“That was so good,” Ron said with a dreamy expression rubbing his stomach.
Harry was looking a little calmer but still uncertain, the train started to whistle and Remus knew he had to live.
He hugged the boy and said, “Everything will be just fine and Sirius and I will love you no matter what okay? Okay?” he insisted until the boy gave him a rejected nod. Remus ran out of the compartment and had to jump on the platform as the train was leaving. He saw the train leave and Harry and Ron wave. Ginny ran after the train until it disappeared from view. He said goodbye and apparated to Hogwarts, he needed to have a serious talk with his friend and make sure Sirius would not overreact if Harry was sorted somewhere else other than Gryffindor.
Professor Black was getting his office in order. Pilling lessons plan and sorting through the call sheets.
“Professor Black,” he snorted. Ever since he took this job he never stopped imagining James reaction and teasing. Not that he had to imagine much, Remus had been merciless in the teasing department. The infamous Sirius Black joining what he had named “the enemy” in his school years. Handing detentions (not that he handed as many as lets say, Snape or McGonagall), disciplining students. But nevertheless Sirius loved his job. He had been an Auror and had never thought of doing anything else. He had accepted this job because of Harry, for his safety, but ended up in love. Sirius loved telling tales, having the class hanging on his every word. Making boring Goblin rebellions sound like the most amazing novel. There was a knock on his door and before he could answer his best friend and brother entered with a grim face. His heart sank, the first thought he had was that something had happened to Harry and he sprang to his feet.
“What happened? I knew it! I shouldn’t have let him go! Too dangerous! Bunch of Death Eaters out there just waiting to get their grubby little hands on my baby!”
“What are you going on about?” Remus asked bewildered.
“You come in here like something happened and what am I going on about?” Sirius cried nervously.
“Nothing happened. Well, nothing dangerous happened,” Remus sighed and sat down on one of the chairs in front of Sirius desk gesturing that his friend should do the same, “We need to talk.”
Sirius sat down and waited with dread.
“Harry had a minor nervous breakdown right before the train departed about how you would hate him and give him back, I have no idea to whom, I imagine the Dursleys,-“
“I’d never do that! He knows that!”
“Will you let me finish,” Remus said annoyed, “that you would hate him if he was sorted into Slytherin. Now I assured him that you would not have a problem with that,” he finished giving Sirius a penetrating look.
“He won’t be,” Sirius snorted.
“And if he was?”
“He won’t, he’ll be a Gryffindor.”
”I am not that sure. Harry does have Gryffindor qualities but he also has qualities from the other houses too. He is fiercely loyal, Hufflepuff,” Remus started ticking with his fingers, “he is very smart, Ravenclaw, and he is quite cunning, Slytherin.” Sirius flinched at this, “And unlike you or Snape for that matter Harry doesn’t have prejudices against the houses he sees both qualities ad flaws in all of them. His fear comes from knowing that you despise Slytherin.”
“Hey, I am not like Snape, I have never discriminated Slytherin students.”
Remus nodded, “True, you are able to leave your dislike outside of your work. But you do despise Slytherin, they do represent what you worked hard to distance yourself from. Your family’s dark past,” he finished with a raised eyebrow.
Sirius sighed and ran his hand through his face.
“I love Harry,” he bit his lips, “I love him like he was my own, since he was born. I used to feel guilty because I had been jealous of James for being his father and then James wasn’t there anymore and I had Harry at the expense of his life.” He shook his head to get rid of sad thoughts.
“You know that’s not true, you would have given your life to save James if you could,” Remus said leaning forward on his chair and putting a calming hand on his friend’s knee.
“I know,” he took a deep breath; “I won’t lie to you, if he were to be a Slytherin it wouldn’t be easy for me to digest, but I will always love and be proud of him.”
“That’s all I am asking of you,” Remus said smiling.
Ron and Harry were in the middle of stuffing their faces with chocolate frogs and Bertie Bot’s Every flavor beans when a bushy haired girl entered their compartment looking for a toad. She looked at them with mild disgust at their lack of eating manners and introduced herself as Hermione Granger. Before they could even say their names she was telling them how she was muggleborn, her parents dentists and citing all the books she had already read in one breath. When she finished Ron said faintly.
“Ron Weasley,” and she turned to Harry and spotting his scar very bluntly said.
“You’re Harry Potter!”
“Yes thank you for informing me and it’s Harry Potter Black,” he answered annoyed. Two things he hated were his fame and people not acknowledging his dad.
“I read all about you,” she said exited.
“I highly doubt that because I never gave any interview so anything you read is speculation,” he said shortly.
She was a little taken aback but was not to be deterred, “I read you vanquished You-Know-Who, and-“
“My mum vanquished Voldemort when she gave her life for me. My dad explained it to me a few years back.”
“I though your father was dead,” she said bluntly. The nerve! No tact what so ever.
“My first dad, James died to save me, I was adopted by his best friend Sirius Black and am now his son,” he said through gritted teeth. Ron sensing his friend discomfort tried to tell Hermione as politely as he knew how to, which wasn’t very:
“Harry doesn’t like to talk about what happened so drop it.”
Hermione huffed and said, “You better change, we’re almost there.” And she stalked away leaving two dumbfound boys.
Sirius was fidgeting on his chair. He had already received dirty looks from all the teachers, including his best friend for his lack of professory behavior. After what felt like an eternity McGonagall finally came in leading the first years and in the middle of them was his little Harry. He was smaller than the average first year, Madam Pomfrey had never been able to tell if his stunted growth had been because of the Dursleys horrendous care for six very important months in a toddler’s life or if that was from the failed killing curse. Harry was animatedly talking with his best friend and Sirius could imagine their plotting. Harry and Ron weren’t prankster like him and James had been but they were no saints. You couldn’t blink and they had run to the forest, or “borrowed” the school brooms for a nightly stroll when Ron spent the night.
The students stood in a line in front of the school and the hat gave them his yearly serenade. Not that Sirius was paying any attention. He was having a hard enough time not to get up and bring Harry to his customary chair in between of him and Moony at the staff table. He kept repeating in his head “He’s a student now, that’s his place. He’s all grown up and before you know it he’ll be graduating and meeting some woman that will throw his head off and convince him to elope with her and you’ll never see your baby again. Get him and lock him up in his room till he’s fifty!” he even gave a little jerk upwards until he reasoned, “No, that wouldn’t work.”
“Black, Harry James Potter,” McGonagall called and Sirius jerked when he realized he had missed the start of the sorting. Harry sat on the stool for a long time. Sirius was sweating, what was taking so long? After what seemed like an eternity the hat cried “Gryffindor!” and Sirius sagged in relief. He immediately burst into applause and smiled widely at his son who gave him a little wave before joining his table. He saw from the corner of his eyes Oliver Wood’s yelp of “Yes!” and knew him and McGonagall would be cornered tonight for a possible review in the first year on the team rule. Oliver had had his eye on Harry since he first saw Harry flying on his own first year and had trained Harry for the seeker position ever since. When reminded that he could be training the opposition Oliver brushed them off saying Harry would be a Gryffindor.
Sirius turned with a smile to his best friend and couldn’t help but snort at Remus delighted face. No matter what Remus had preached Sirius knew that his friend had also hoped for Gryffindor.
When Minerva sat down Sirius couldn’t help the comment, “Too bad you’re going to have to say good bye to that shiny cup in your office Severus.”
Snape narrowed his eyes and hissed, “Why would I?”
“Come on, not even you can deny Harry’s talent as a seeker and since Charlie Weasley graduated Gryffindor hasn’t had another permanent replacement,” Remus said calmly.
“First years aren’t aloud on the team,” Snape sneered.
“Actually, as Mr. Wood was so kind to remind me in a lengthy letter this summer,” McGonagall said and Sirius was impressed with Woods fanaticism, “First years aren’t allowed brooms but there’s nothing in the rules concerning the House team. It’s just a given that first years won’t try for the teams. They can use the school brooms, or lets say if some parent or alumni were to donate brooms for a certain team they could use those.”
Snape huffed and glared and Sirius was already thinking of the issue of Broom Weekly that he had in his quarters and his very large family vault.
Harry dropped on his new bed with an exhausted sigh. He had wanted to talk to his dad but prefect Percy had ordered the first years to follow him. Like him and Ron couldn’t go up to Gryffindor Tower with their eyes closed. Gryffindor! The hat had a hard time placing him, it said he would do well in any house but then it decided to go with the qualities Harry didn’t have, he was clever, but not studious. He was loyal and hardworking but he was a little too reckless for Hufflepuff. He was cunning but not ambitious; he just wanted to make his very weird family proud, so no Slytherin. He was brave and daring. And as pointed out before, reckless, a prime flaw on Gryffindors. Harry smiled, if not for his dad and the fact that he wanted to be with Ron, he wouldn’t have minded any house. He had friends in all of the Houses and knew for a fact that all the Houses had good and bad people. Peter Pettigrew had been a Gryffindor, and Aunt Andy a Slytherin. And he loved Aunt Andy. She spoiled him rotten.
Harry sighed and tried to sleep in this foreign bead, even being so exhausted and knowing his dad was in the same castle he was homesick. Weird thought!