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Harry Potter And The Summer Of '95

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Harry was back with the Dursleys for over a month now. He avoided the word home on purpose. It wasn’t his home, Hogwarts was.

A year passed since Sirius had offered Harry to live with him once his name got cleared. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, but he got to meet Sirius secretly in Hogsmeade every month and this was more than he could have ever asked for.

Harry spent most of his summer in his room, trying to see the Dursleys as little as possible. The boredom was so unbearable he had already done all his homework for the next school year. Sometimes he wrote letters to Ron and Hermione but it wasn’t the same as actually spending time with them.

Harry missed his friends dearly, the only company he got at Privet Drive was Dudley, and he would have rather died alone in his room from boredom than spend time with his cousin.

Harry picked up stargazing as a habit when he came back from Hogwarts after his first year, always searching for constellations and naming every single one of their stars. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky always had a special place in his heart, as it was the first one’s name Ron had taught him back in first year. Since he met his godfather, the star meant him so much more than before. Every time he looked at it, he wished Sirius was just as free as the star up in the dark sky.

This night wasn’t any different, Harry was sitting on the windowsill, looking up at the sky and let the whole universe open right in front of him. He was so lost in his thoughts he didn’t saw an owl approaching him. In his surprise, Harry let out a yelp and fell off the windowsill, right on the carpet.

If birds could look mockingly at someone, Harry was sure this owl was doing just that.

„Oww, don’t need to be so rude!” he threw a glance at the animal and furrowed his brows in confusion „Who are you anyway, I’ve never seen you before”

Harry stood up and took the letter from the bird, who nuzzled its head to his hand affectionately.

„You were mocking me just a minute ago, do you really expect me to pet you?” he whispered to the bird in fake annoyance but began stroking it anyway. He carefully opened the letter, curious of who sent it.

It was Sirius’ handwriting, but why wasn’t he using his own owl?

 

My dear Harry,

I missed you a lot since the last time I saw you, how are you? Asteria is already out, doing some honourable duty, so I had to use Moony’s owl, I hope he could find you in Surrey in time.

Remus and I were doing some thinking in the past few days about you, and how you could spend the rest of the summer with us, here, in Wales. Since we found nothing against the idea, we thought we would pick you up on the 27th. What do you say, Harry, spending the rest of the holiday with your favourite godfather and the most brilliant professor on earth? Don’t worry about the Dursleys, we have everything under control. We really would like to have you for the summer, I hope you would like to come as well. Please write back as quickly as possible so Moony and I can figure out the tiniest bit of details in our (already perfect) plan.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Love

Sirius

Ps: Can you please feed Falkor before sending him back? Wales is quite a big journey, even for a strong boy like him.

 

Harry couldn’t believe what he had just read. Back in June, in their last Hogsmeade weekend, Sirius promised him he could visit him during the summer. Harry wasn’t dumb, he knew Sirius was risking enough to see him every month, he couldn’t expect him to have his godson for the whole summer. But a boy could always dream. He tried to keep his excitement in control to avoid disappointment later, but the what if was always lurking in the back of his mind.

He quickly wrote his reply that yes, he would like to spend the rest of the summer with them.  Who in their right mind would like to spend time with the Dursleys anyway? 

After feeding Falkor with some dry crakers that were left out on his desk, he sent off the owl with his letter into the middle of the night.

With this much adrenaline in his body, Harry thought he would be up all night. But exhaustion overtook him quite quickly and fell asleep with a smile on his face for the first time since he returned from Hogwarts.

Two days, two days and I can escape this hell.

 

……….……….……….……….

 

The next two days felt like an eternity, but it was finally the morning of the 27th. Harry had already packed his trunk the day he got the letter, now all he had to do was wait for Remus, who would pick him up alone since it wasn’t safe for Sirius to leave the house, not even in his animagus form.

They were having breakfast in the dining hall, terrible, just like every day. It was only terrible to Harry, of course. He’s been eating the same awful porridge since he got off of baby food, while the Dursleys were having a full British breakfast, always prepared by Harry. When Vernon started talking about muggle politics and how it was a pity someone named Margaret Thatcher wasn’t the prime minister of the UK anymore, the doorbell rang, saving him from planning how to drown himself in his plate of porridge.

„Are we expecting someone?” asked Petunia in a high-pitched voice and then stood up, making her way to the door.  Ohh yes, we are very much expecting someone.

„No, maybe it’s just the post, you know what they are like” shouted Vernon after her.

„Good morning Petunia, how are you on this beautiful day?” it was Remus. Even though Harry couldn’t see him, he could perfectly hear the sarcasm behind his voice.  They really came for me!

„What are you doing at my house, freaks like you aren’t welcomed here!”

„Ohh, I see you’re just as kind as you were 14 years ago”  They had met before?

Vernon stood up and walked to the door and Harry followed „Go away, we don’t like your kind here!” he raised his voice.

He never got to know what Remus would have answered to these insults (probably something witty) because his eyes found Harry behind Vernon.

„Hello Harry, it’s good to see you, did you pack your stuff?” he smiled.

„Yes, I’ll just bring it right here” and with that, he bolted up the stairs and brought his trunk to the doorway in record time.

„So you just want the freak then? Good, you don’t even need to bring him back” said Vernon and walked back to the dining hall. Petunia lingered for a moment but followed her husband.

Anger shot across Remus’ face but it was gone as soon his gaze found Harry again „Are you all ready to go?”

„I’ve never been more ready” Harry grinned at him.

They began walking down the streets, chatting lightly about things like school and what Wales was like. After 10 minutes of walking, still no sight of a car, Harry was confused.

„We aren’t going to walk all the way to Wales, right? he couldn’t help but ask as his curiosity took over him.

Remus chuckled „Of course not, we are just looking for a safe place to apparate”

„Ohh, right, I didn’t think of that” he said awkwardly.

Instead of mocking him, as the Dursleys would have done in a similar situation, Remus just smiled at him gently „Have you ever apparated before?”

„No, never”

„I’m not going to lie, it will be a bit unpleasant for the first time. It’s like using the floo, but more intense” he explained.

After another 10 minutes of searching, they finally found an abandoned alley, perfect for apparition.

„Hold on my arm as tight as you can and don’t release it till I say, alright?

„Alright” said Harry a bit hesitantly, trying hard to hide his fear. What a great Gryffindor am, he thought but he didn’t want to be the (possibly) first wizard to die in apparition. As if Remus could have read his thoughts, he smiled at him reassuringly „Don’t worry, you will be alright, just hold on tight and nothing terrible should happen” Harry was happy to see Remus was just as caring as he was at Hogwarts.

„Now I count back from three and we apparate at one, ready?” Harry nodded, not trusting his voice.

„Three…”

„Two…”

„One…”

And with a pop, they were gone.

 

……….……….……….……….

 

They landed near a forest and Harry almost fell if Remus didn’t catch him.

„Are you okay?” he asked.

„Yeah, just a little bit dizzy” answered Harry.

„That’s normal for the first apparition, you’ll get used to it. Can you walk? The house is not far away, five minutes at most”

„Yes” he said and they started walking „But why didn’t we apparate to the house?”

„Anti-apparition wards, we can’t apparate there or anywhere near it”

Their walk was very pleasant. Wales was just as beautiful as it was described in books. So much greener than Surrey or even the grassy hills of Scotland.

A few minutes later they reached an old-looking cottage, where a big black dog was wiggling his tail in excitement.

„Padfoot, what did I tell you about leaving the house?” tried to ask Remus in a stern tone but he immediately broke down in a smile as the dog started licking his face.

„Okay, okay, apology accepted, now let's go inside”

Inside the house, Sirius now in his human form was waiting for him, arms wide open.

„Sirius!” Harry ran into his embrace „I’ve missed you! How are you?”

„I missed you too, Prongslet, I’m glad you’re here” he squeezed him one last time before letting go „How do you like Wales?”

„It’s beautiful, so much better than Surrey”

„I’m glad to hear that. Now, what do you say, we bring up your stuff to your room and we prepare lunch together?” 

„My own room?” he asked in disbelief.

„Of course, everyone needs their own place”

Upstairs, Harry looked around the room in awe. It was much bigger than the one at the Dursleys. It was full of books and muggle records, the walls were covered in posters. It was a bit messy but not in a disturbing way, if anything, it just made it even cozier.

„It’s Moony’s old room, I hope you don’t mind his stuff being here. We tried to bring all his belongings to the attic, but there wasn’t enough space.

„No, it’s perfect” he smiled. It was strange to see glimpses of Remus’ childhood, however, it was also very comforting.

„Who are those men on that poster?” he couldn’t help but ask.

„Ohh Harry, you have to learn so much about muggle music, good thing our Moony has a huge record collection. These men on the poster are the most brilliant musicians the world has ever seen. They are called Queen”

„Queen? But why?”

„Dunno Prongslet, but they are the highness of rock music. C’mon, let’s help Moony with that lunch”

In the kitchen, Remus was already preparing the ingredients. The kitchen wasn’t exactly modern, just like the rest of the house, but it was lovely in its own way. Somehow it fitted well with the Welsh landscape.

„We are having Goulash and pancakes if that’s okay with you, Harry” said Remus.

„What’s Goulash?” he asked.

„It’s a delicious Hungarian soup, it has meat and vegetables in it, I’m sure you will like it”

„Moony bought his first international culinary book a few months ago, since then I don’t think I’ve eaten proper British food”

„Ohh, don’t act like you don’t like it Padfoot!”

„That’s true, all the courses are very delicious” he nudged Remus’ arm playfully and started helping to chop the vegetables.

Three hours later they were resting in the living room, their bellies full of food. Remus was right, the soup was indeed very good.

„What would you like to do later, Prongslet?” Harry wasn’t used to being asked for his opinion. At the Dursleys, he was ordered around like a house-elf.

„Uhmm, I don’t know, what can we do here?” he cringed at his question because it felt like, here he could do anything he wanted to.

„We can play quidditch if you want?” Sirius offered.

„I don’t have my broom with me” he answered sadly.

„That’s not a problem, you can use Moony’s”

„But wouldn’t you like to play with us?” he turned to Remus.

„Let’s just say I’m not a big fan of flying”

„He fell off in first year” snickered Sirius „However, he did quidditch commentary”

„You did?” asked Harry in surprise

„Yes, a few times” he admitted.

„Till Minnie forbid him” Sirius grinned at Remus „She didn’t really like his biased opinion on Gryffindor. And his foul mouth of course”

„Me biased? While two of my best friends were playing for Gryffindor? Absolutely not, no, never. I have no idea what you’re talking about Padfoot” he grinned back at him then turned to Harry „Of course you can use my broom, I have some letters to finish writing anyway. Have fun!”

 

……….……….……….……….

 

Harry knew Sirius used to be a beater back in the day, but he didn’t expect him to be this good.

„Giving up, are we?” his godfather teased him.

„Never!” he shot back and then took after a snitch. He was only a few centimetres away from catching it when something pulled him back. A branch hit him in the face and he let out a yelp. Harry looked down and found Sirius laughing so hard he had to hold his stomach.

„Sirius, don’t laugh, come and help!”

„S-Sorry, you’re just hanging there and-„ he broke down in another fit of laughing.

„Sirius!”

„I’m coming, I’m coming” he still laughed but eventually helped Harry down to the ground.

„So that means I won?” he asked with smugness on his face.

„No, you didn’t catch the Snitch!”

„But you got caught up in a tree” he started laughing again.

„But that doesn’t mean you win!” now Harry was laughing too.

„Say whatever you want Prongslet, I won” he ruffled Harry’s hair.

 

……….……….……….……….

 

At dinner, the first thing Sirius did was to tell Remus about the tree incident.

„He was just shooting across the air and then the tree yanked him back like this” Sirius illustrated the story with his hands.

„And you kept laughing at me” joined Harry.

„But it was funny” his godfather started laughing for the 100th time of the day. It was nice to see him being genuinely happy.

„It’s not nice to laugh at other people, Padfoot!” said Remus, trying hard to fight back the smile forming on the corner of his lips.

„I’m the oldest here, you can’t tell me what to do!” he stuck his tongue out at Remus.  Am I really living with two 34-year-old men? 

„With three months!”

„That’s three months' worth of wisdom!” Remus just rolled his eyes at the comment and Harry had to control himself not to start laughing. He didn’t know dinners can be this fun with family. Family!

„Anyway Moony, do you have some Queen records? Prongslet hadn’t heard about them till he saw your old poster in the room, I think it’s time to show him some real music”

„You don’t know Queen?” Harry shook his head „Ohh, we can solve that very easily. What album should we show him first?” he turned to Sirius.

„Something from the 70s. Not A Night At The Opera though”

„What’s your problem with A Night At The Opera?”

„It’s just not as good as everyone says it is”

„For Merlin’s sake, we’ve already discussed the album doesn’t only consist of I’m In Love With My Car!”

Harry watched the two arguing about which album they should first show Harry. At Hogwarts, Ron made him listen to the most popular wizarding bands, but he didn’t like any of them. Hermione probably knew much more about muggle music, but she never talked about it. At the Dursleys they only listened to political radio stations, music was forbidden in the house.

After dinner, Remus began searching through a huge box full of records

„Ahh yes, I found it” he held up a record and gave it to Sirius.

„This” he showed up the album with four men being in a weird shadow on the cover „Is the best thing you will ever hear in your life, Harry”

Music filled up the room and it was already better than what Ron had shown him. His feelings must have been written on his face because Sirius clutched his chest dramatically.

„Ohh look at him Remus, he already loves it!” he just grinned back at his godfather.

Exactly 40 minutes later, Harry was sitting in the armchair, completely speechless.

„Wow, I’ve never thought music can be this good!” now he was deeply regretting not asking Hermione about muggle music.

„And this is just the beginning, Prongslet” laughed Sirius „that box is full of records and I’m sure there’s more in the attic too”

„Can we listen to some more?” he asked enthusiastically.

„Of course, just pick a record you like” said Remus, who was sitting on the ground by the fireplace with Sirius’ head in his lap.

He was looking through all the albums when a bright yellow one caught his eyes. Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.

„Sex Pistols!” Sirius jumped up.

„Oh god, no…” Remus buried his head in his hands „Harry, did you know Sirius had a punk phase in 6th year?”

„Phase? I’m still punk enough, thank you very much” he flipped his hair dramatically.

„Whatever makes you sleep at night, Padfoot” he winked at Harry, who began laughing.

„Don’t laugh at me Harry, join me to dance instead. You too, Moony”

„Now you finally get it back for the tree incident” he laughed but joined him anyway.

They kept listening to music and dancing till late at night. He watched Sirius and Remus singing along to Moonage Daydream by David Bowie and Harry never felt happier in his life before. This is my family now.