Best of Both Worlds Chapter 1

A/N: I've wanted to write this story for a while now! I always thought it was funny that Harry and Hermione never ended up together. Instead she somehow ended up with Ron…anybody who will ever read anything I will ever write about Ron knows my feelings on the guy. He's a jealous immature jackass who doesn't deserve someone like Hermione. But I digress. This story will be so AU it won't be funny. I mean…Harry's parents are going to be alive after all. There'll still be a few elements from the books, but it'll be more like a nod than an actual scene by scene. Another thing about this story. Harry isn't a bad person but he's going through his teen years. Everybody can remember those right? Many of us will do anything to be liked. We'll make 100 excuses for why we're running with a bad crowd and this is something that Harry will have to look at.

The personalities from all the character will be basically different. We saw a beaten down Harry who was starved of love his entire existence. This is a Harry whose has been loved all his life by his parents who would do anything for him.

I hope you all enjoy this story as much as I've been looking forward to it!

-RJS


"Harry! Come down here, please!

Harry rolled his eyes, but nonetheless followed his father's instructions. He had a pretty good idea of what this was about. He knew that his grades from the previous term were due any day now, and his parents probably wanted to tell him that "You're not reaching your full potential!" or "You really need to keep your mind off the girls". HAH. That was a laugh. He had girlfriends in the past, but the girls in Slytherin that were worth it, were few and far between. That might've seemed shallow of him, but it was the truth. The only girl he really thought was a suitable candidate for this year was Greengrass, and she thought she was too good for him. Honestly, she was the only girl he really respected when it came down to it. He would always be respectful of any girl that he was with but Greengrass had earned that respect time and time again. Most of the boys in his year would be infuriated by her shooting them down dozens of times and many had. But it only made him want her more. The chase was the best part of the game.

"What." He stated, as he walked down the stairs. His parents were sitting by the fireplace and sure enough, opened in front of them was a piece of parchment with the Hogwarts logo emblazoned upon it.

"Why don't you sit down Harry?" His mum said, gesturing at the seat across from her and his dad.

"Fine." Harry muttered.

"You want to speak up, young man?" His father glared at him.

"Fine." He said louder this time, without making any effort to disguise the sarcasm. "Is that loud of enough for you, Dad?"

Before his dad could retort, Lily put a hand on her husbands leg and gave him a look. "Please just sit down Harry." She asked.

Sighing, Harry took the seat across from them. "Your grades from Hogwarts came." His mum said motioning to the letter on the table.

"Interesting. Can I go now?" He said rolling his eyes and moving to get up.

"Sit. Down." Dad snapped glaring at him again. "Maybe you like to explain something to us? How it's possible that you received four Acceptable's, including one in DADA?"

Harry shrugged. "It's passing. What's the big deal?"

"The Big Deal, son." His Mum sighed. "Is from what your professor tells us, you could be TEACHING that class if you wanted too. You're always the first to master a spell, and even when you're not, you're the second. But he's told us that your written work is sloppy. He tells us, he's given you numerous chances to take a second chance at assignments, but you've always said no."

"Again! What's the big deal?" Harry snapped at his parents. "As long as I know the spells, that should be the only thing that matters right? That's the reason I'm there!"

"Listen!" Harry's father retorted. "If you don't think it's such a big deal, then why don't you ask your mother's friend Jane, why she didn't take Potions after her fifth year?"

Harry shrugged. "Because she didn't feel like it?" He quipped.

"Because she didn't have the grades, Harry." His Mum said. "She only received an Acceptable for her O.W.L.S. , but the Professor at the time required an Exceeds Expectation."

"So? She didn't get an E. What's the problem?"

"She wanted to be a healer." His Mum sighed. "And for that field, you have to pass your N.E.W.T.S. in Potions, which you can't do, if you don't qualify for it in the first place."

"I don't want to be a healer though." Harry said, as if that won the argument right then and there.

"You've always said that you wanted to be an Auror, like your dad though. What happened?" His mum asked.

Harry shrugged. "Plans change, I guess."

"Son." Harry's dad said. "You can do whatever you want with your life, and your mother and I will still love you. We just don't want you to limit yourself, because you're too lazy to redo an assignment."

"I'm not lazy." Harry snapped at him.

"Then what is it?!" Dad retorted. "Is it those friends of yours? Would you rather spend time with the Malfoy boy?"

"Leave Draco out of this." Harry glared at his father.
"James." Lily gave her husband a look to shut his mouth. "Harry like your father said, we love you. Don't let your school friends, drag you down with them."

"What the hell are you trying to say?"

"Language!" James glowered at his son.

"What we're trying to say is, we just know the reputation that your friends' families have." Lily said slowly. She didn't want to drive her only son away, and him thinking that they were insulting his friends was an easy way to do so. "It doesn't exactly inspire confidence."

"Is that what this is all about?" Harry's eyes narrowed. "Because Draco's and Theo's dads used to be Death Eaters?! They were put under the Imperiu-"

"Oh, rubbish!" James snorted. "Harry, they took the Dark Mark. The Mark can only be taken willingly, it doesn't matter if Voldemort himself had put them under, he still couldn't force them to put that on their body."

"They're not their father's then!" Harry growled. How dare his parents insult his friends like that! He got up from his seat and moved towards the stairs.

"Excuse me young man, but we're not done here!" Lily called after her son.

"But I am!" Harry said, as he began to stomp up the stairs. His mother was up in a second and had grabbed his arm.

"Do not turn your back on us!"

Harry whirled around and glared down at her from his place on the step. "Listen here you damn Mudb-"

Harry stopped before he could finish the slur, but the damage had already been done. His mother's hand that had been grasping his arm, fell loosely to her side as her ears finally registered what her son had said. She had been called…that word dozens of times. She thought nothing would hurt more than having her best friend Severus refer to her in such a manner. Hearing her fourteen-year-old son call her that was a whole different story.

Before either of them could react, Harry's father had him up against the wall, grasping his shirt.

"WHAT DID YOU CALL YOUR MOTHER?!" James screamed in his son's face. "YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT WORD MEANS TO SOMEONE LIKE HER?!"

Harry's wits finally came back to him, and he pushed his father away. Before James could grab him again, his son was up the stairs and had slammed the door behind him. James made to go after him but was stopped in his tracks by the sniffles that were coming from behind him.

"Lily." He said, taking his wife into his arms as she sobbed into his chest. "Don't let him do this to you. He's not worth it."

"H-H-He's our son, James!" Lily finally got out through her sobs. "He's not just some Pure-blood bigot in the Wizengamot, he's Harry! Our baby boy."

James sighed as his wife continued to cry. Where had they gone wrong? After they heard that their only son had been sorted into Slytherin, they had immediately wanted to resort him, or maybe even transfer him, but he had refused. He said he was happy in the House he was in.

Now they barely even recognized him now.

"Uhmmm…bad timing?"

James looked over and glared at their temporary house guest. "You can't be serious…I thought I made it clear my Firewhiskey was off-limits..."

"But I am, Sirius." Sirius said, taking a small sip of the whiskey. James sighed. "Sorry Prongs. Force of habit."

"Did we disturb you?" Lily said through her sniffles.

"Never mind that." Sirius said walking over. "Are you okay, Lily."

She started to respond, paused, and then shook her head. "We're losing our son."

"Don't say that." Sirius said, giving her a hopeful smile. "How bad could it be?"

"He almost called his mother…that word." James spat.

At first confusion reigned over Sirius, but then it was replaced by clarity. "Where is he?" He growled. "If you like, I'll curse him for you. That should teach him to have a bit more respect for his parents."

James looked about ready to take his best friend up on that offer, but then Lily glared at both of them. "We don't want you to curse him!" She said.

"You don't want curse to him." James muttered but gulped when his wife shot him a glare.

Sirius shrugged, and gave her a smile. "I'm here if you need me." He said and started walking back to the guest room.

"Sirius." Lily said after him, and he turned to face her. "Could you…talk to him?"

Sirius blanched. "I don't know Lily." He sighed. "Why would he want to talk to me, over his own parents?" While he didn't have an overwhelming schedule today, lecturing a fourteen year old boy didn't appeal to him.

"He respects you." James said. "For whatever reason…plus I think this falls under your Godfather duties."

"Godfathers now a days are more for show if anything." Sirius grumbled.

Lily's eyes narrowed. "Fine…don't do it because he's your godson… do it because your friends are giving you a place to stay, because Amelia kicked you out."

This got his attention. "She didn't kick me out! I left of my own accord."

"Sirius…isn't it your family's home?" James asked. "Can't you just key the wards or something to let you back?"

"I could, if I was locked out." Sirius protested. "I can go back anytime I want…when she cools down."

"Until then." Lily said. "You're living under our roof. Consider this your rent."

He'd rather just pay them Galleons. "Fine." Sirius sighed. "Right after a snack though."

"Or…" Lily offered. "You could do it now, or I'll lock the pantry."

"You're a cruel one, Lily Doe." Sirius groaned.


She gave him a pearly white smile. "That I am, Padfoot. Now get moving."

Sirius stood outside his Godson's room contemplating what he would even say. He had been a teenager once yes, but that was decades ago. The youth of today were miles different, than when he, Remus, James, and Peter were in school.

Just the thought of his former friend brought a scowl to his face. If he ever got his hands on Wormtail, he would strangle him with that bloody rat's tail of his.


Fifteen Years Ago

Sirius took another sip of Ogden's Finest and sat back in his chair. This was his only night off from the Auror Offices this week, and it had been forced upon him. He would've liked nothing more than being out there and ripping those bloody Death Eaters a new one. He was just happy that he didn't have to duel his little brother. For better or for worse, Regulus had fallen. Sirius hadn't seen him in years, but sources inside the Death Eaters had informed them, that his brother was no longer with them. He knew that Regulus would never willingly leave Voldemort's side. His brother had been spoon fed the whole rubbish of Pure-blood supremacy from the cradle and had more than willing to follow the rest of the family's ways. The only one who didn't feel so was his cousin Andromeda. She had married her husband Ted, and her reward had been being kicked out of the family. Even her own parents refused to speak with her. He thinks the words "That Mudblood" and "Blood Traitor Whore" were thrown around more than a few times. Not shockingly enough, Sirius had been the only representative from their family present at the wedding.

He sighed, as he took a sip of his whiskey. He really didn't know how his family could possibly think blood meant anything when it came to wizarding prowess. Some of his cousins were so inbred that they were barely more than Squibs, and they still touted how much more impressive they were than Muggle-borns. HAH. He knew for a fact that Lily could duel ten of them at the same time and come out without a scratch on her.

He shook his head. Oh, how he wished his two closest friends could stay with him. But this damn one-bedroom flat hadn't even impressed Amelia, so why would James, Lily, and Harry want to hide out here? It wasn't like he was loaded or anything. His parents had cut him off after he made it clear he wouldn't follow their bigoted ways…it also didn't help that they tried to force him to marry his cousin Cissa. If he wasn't wrong, he knew she was married to Lucius Malfoy now, and had a son with him.

His momentary relaxation was interrupted by his fire coming alive with green light.

He grinned as Remus stepped out of the fireplace. "Mooney! What a pleasant surprise. Come to share a drink with ole Padfoot?"

"Sirius, there's been an attack." Remus said, not taking the offered Firewhiskey.

Sirius rolled his eyes. "We're at war. I'm not really surprised."

"It's James and Lily."

In a second, Sirius was up. "When." Padfoot stated, his wand already drawn as if he would have to duel someone then and there. Who knew? Maybe he would. The only reason that they had gone with Peter as the Secret Keeper, was because they weren't sure how trustworthy Mooney was.

"It just happened… It was Voldemort."

"Are-Are they…" Sirius couldn't even get the rest out, he didn't know what he would do if his best friends, and his Godson were taken from him.

"They're alive." Sirius let out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding in. "James was able to hold him off long enough for the Auror's to get there."

Sirius was confused. How had the Auror's gotten through the Fidelus Charm? Better yet, how the hell had Voldemort done it?

"Let's go." Remus said holding out his hand.

"Where are we going?"

Mooney looked at him as if he were simple. "To James and Lily…"

"How the bloody hell are we supposed to get through the Charm…"

"The Charm is gone, Sirius."

"But, Pet-"

"I don't know Sirius. James only sent me a Patronus telling me to come to their home in Godric's Hollow. He was going to send one to you next, but I told him I'd fetch you myself." Remus insisted, his hand still offered. He wasn't saying the obvious: he didn't know where the home was because they had been so skeptical about his allegiances that they hadn't told him. He needed Sirius to bring him.

Sirius sighed. "Mooney, I swear to Merlin. If you get me killed, I'm going to bloody haunt you from beyond the grave." He said, taking his friends hand.

Mooney rolled his eyes. "If I wanted you dead, Padfoot. You'd be dead." With that, a POP resonated through the quiet room, as they Disparated.

They reappeared in front of a home in Godric's Hollow. He recognized the area as soon as he got his wits back. Apparition always took a second for him to adjust. Surrounding the property, were a team of Aurors. "Sirius?" He turned, and blanched when he saw his squad leader approaching…what was worse, she also doubled as his lover. "I could've sworn I ordered you to take a night off."

"My two friends were attacked Amelia. What was I supposed to do?" Sirius argued. "Where are they?"

Amelia's momentary anger at the Black was forgotten. She sighed and nodded towards the house. "This way." She said to Sirius and began leading him and Remus inside. As soon as they got near the house, a dark heavy-set man stepped in front of the doorway. "You can't go in there right now." He said, staring past Amelia at Sirius and Remus. "Auror Potter, is giving his report of tonight's events."

Before any of them could respond, a voice dripping with annoyance and impatience yelled from the confines of the house. "Shacklebolt!" James called out. "If you do not let Auror Black and Mr. Lupin in here post haste, you'll be working cleanup for the next two months."

The man known as Shacklebolt blanched. "My apologies Auror Black, Mr. Lupin." He said bowing his head a bit and moving aside. "Forgive me."

"No harm done." Remus gave the man a slight smile, but Sirius, having a reputation to keep up with, gave him a cold glare as they walked past. Maybe that would teach the rookie a thing or two.

As soon as the two men, and Amelia walked into the home, Sirius and Remus were forced together as Lily Potter threw an arm around each of their necks and pulled them into a hug.

"Remus. Sirius." She said. "I'm so glad to see you're both safe."

"Lily." Sirius got out. She had a habit of crushing ribs with her hugs. Right now she was quickly causing the air to be forced out of his throat.

"Sorry." She apologized releasing the two men. Behind them, Amelia had an amused look on her face.

"Why wouldn't we be safe?" Remus asked.

She blanched, and her lip began to shape. "Peter." She finally got out. "He said tha-"

"Wormtail?" Sirius asked. "What does he have to do with this?"

"He was here tonight Sirius." James said getting up from the couch leaving an annoyed Alastor Moody behind him. "With…Him."

"You can't mean…he didn't?" Remus stuttered.

James nodded. "He was a Death Eater." He said stone-faced. "Wormtail betrayed us."

"We're so sorry Remus." Lily said, taking Mooney into a hug, this time it was much gentler. "We should never have doubted you."

"It's okay, Lily." Remus said, still shocked by the news of his former friends' betrayal. "We're at war. It's hard to trust anyone in this current climate."

"I'd say the war is over after tonight." Alastor said, walking over to them his wooden leg planking across the wooden floor. "Now that He's dead."

"Voldemort is dead?" Sirius asked. James nodded slowly. "How?"

"Fucker tried to kill Harry..." James said staring towards the stairs to the upstairs portion of the house. "He broke the door down, and stunned Lily. Said something about how she was meant for someone else. He hit with me an Expulso charm slamming me into the wall. He really should've used the Killing Curse, and just finished me off. I had no trouble using it on him…"

"You killed him?" Sirius asked not believing what he was hearing. "It's really over?"

"The Death Eaters are still out there, but without their head honcho, they'll be easier to finish off." Moody said. "We should have most of them in Azkaban before the year is out, the rest will be six feet under."

"When I hit him with the curse, something strange happened." James continued as if nothing else had been said. "His body just sort of…vanished."

"Vanished? What do you mean?" Moody turned and gave his former pupil a hard stare with that damn eye of his.

"His did." James replied.

Moody sighed. "Dammit Potter. You really had my hopes up there."

"What do you mean?" Remus asked. "James said he hit him with the Killing Curse. Nobody can survive that."

"The Killing Curse doesn't make a body disappear Lupin." Moody barked. "If what Potter is saying is true, then we have something else on our hands here."

"Like what." Sirius asked.

"I don't know." Moody said staring into the fireplace, where the nonexistent fire raged. "But whatever it is, it isn-"

Before he could finish the thought, Moody's ramblings were interrupted by a wailing cry from upstairs. "I guess it was too much to hope that he would stay napping with all the excitement going on." Lily sighed and began to move towards the stairs.

"No Lily let me." Sirius insisted cutting her off near the stairs. "It's been a while since I've gotten to hold my Godson anyway."

Behind him, Sirius missed the smile that Amelia gave him. "If you're sure Padfoot." Lily smiled at him, and then gave him another hug. "Thank you."

After Sirius left, Remus turned towards James another question on his mind. "And Wormtail?" He said not wanting to use the Traitors name.

James shrugged. "I don't know." He said glowering at the mention of their former friend. "As soon as he saw that his Master had fallen, he tucked tail and ran. The last glimpse I got of him, he had grabbed his left arm and transformed."

"His left arm?" Remus asked his mind racing. "If he really was a Death Eater, could it have been-"

"The Mark?" James finished. "I think so."

"Pettigrew will see justice." Amelia said. "Until then, I think Alastor has heard what he needs too."

"I most certainly have not." Moody argued.

"Alastor." Lily said, giving the man a sweet smile that was dripping with venom. "Thank you so much for coming tonight. But if you don't mind, James can answer any questions that you liked answer…tomorrow."

"Bu-"

"If you'd like to come around noon, that'd be wonderful." Lily finished. "We can have tea."

Moody sighed. Lily Potter clearly had spoken. He was all for kicking down doors, and stunning any bloody Death Eater that tried him, but he'd rather go through a hundred of them than go against her. "Fine then. I'll be here at thirty minutes before noon."

"See you at NOON." Lily called after him as he left through the front door.

"You have to teach me how to do that." James grumbled. Lily shrugged.

"Some things can't be taught." She said, and then looked over at Amelia. "I think I better go rescue your man from Harry."

"Trust me, Lily. It's the other way around." She smiled.

Lily left the room, and just thought to herself how lucky they were. She could've died tonight. Her husband and son too. And what had that been about? Her being meant for someone else.

"Sirius?" She said softly knocking on the door frame as she walked into the nursery. In the corner was a sight. Sirius had fallen asleep while holding Harry in his arms. The big bad Auror was wrapped around the toddler's little finger.

She smiled, and then stroked her sons face with a finger. "Mommy loves you Harry." She said gently as her son slept. "She will never stop loving you."


Lily had thought he had fallen asleep that night, but he had merely been resting his eyes. He had heard every word, and they were running through his brain at this very moment. He only hoped that she had meant them.

He sighed and knocked gently on Harry's door. "Harry?" He said speaking into the door. "You in there?"

No response, so he knocked again. "Prongslet." He said using the nickname he had given the boy as an infant. "I'm not leaving until you open up this door so I can talk to you."

After a few seconds there had still been no response. Sirius sighed, but then the door came open with a click.

"Harry?" He said but didn't see his Godson in the door. He slowly pushed it open and let himself in the room.

It was a typical teenage boys' room. Posters of his favorite Quidditch team, the Falmouth Falcons adorned the walls. There was also a stationary poster of the football club, Manchester United. Sirius guessed Muggle life had rubbed off on the boy, who was staring off space from his bed in the corner of the room.

"You know you're not supposed to use magic outside of school." Sirius said sitting down next to him. Harry only shrugged. "Nice weather we've been having. I was just telling your father, that if it keeps up I'll-"

"I know why you're here Sirius." Harry glowered at his Godfather. "My parents asked you to talk to me, didn't they?"

Sirius smiled at the boy. "Godfather duties Harry." He said simply to Harry, who only snorted and then went silent again. "Are you okay Harry?"

"Never been better." Harry spat. "Can you go now?"

"You don't seem better." Sirius ignored the comment. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I said I'm fine." Harry snapped.

"If you were fine, you wouldn't have called your mother a Mudblood." Sirius right back at him, and the boy flinched. He had forgotten how big his Godfather's fangs were.

"Please Harry." Sirius pleaded. "Talk to me. I promise you, anything you tell me won't leave this room."

Harry sighed. "I like being in Slytherin, Sirius."

"I know, Prongslet." This had never been an issue. Sirius had been less than enthused when he heard his Godson was a member of the house of snakes, but it didn't make him love Harry any less.

"I have a good group of friends, I'm the Seeker for the team, and the younger years look up to me." Harry continued, as his eyes glanced over to the photo by his bed. It was a picture of him, Blaise, and Draco after they won the Quidditch in third year against Gryffindor. Harry was in the center hoisting the cup above his head and had the widest smile on his face that Sirius had ever seen.

"I'm proud of you for that Harry." And Sirius was. "But what does that have to do with your Mum."

"They've never accepted me Sirius." He stated. "Ever since I was sorted, they've always hated me for my house."

"That's not true." Sirius said. "Your parents love you."

"Because they have too." Harry retorted. "They've only come to one of my games in my entire career, and that was the Gryffindor game my second year. Even then, Father refused to support his son by wearing his colors. I had to see that fucking Lion sweater the entire game."

"Language!" Sirius snapped.

Harry ignored him. "They've never accepted the fact that I'm happy in Slytherin. They can't even accept my friends. Year after year, I've asked if Blaise, Theo, or Draco could spend some time here. Always the same answer. Fine. So then can I go over to their homes? THEIR parents always gave permission. But again, the same answer from MINE."

"Harry, your parents just don't want you to get hurt." Sirius reasoned.

"By who? Draco's house elf? From what Draco tells me, the thing falls over himself trying to please his masters."

"The Notts and Malfoys have a reputation." Sirius said. "It's not a very good one."

"Okay then. Explain Blaise." Harry glared at the man. "If you'd spend one second with him, you'd see that off the pitch, he couldn't hurt a damn fly. His family has always been kind to me. Mrs. Zabini has been sending me a gift for Christmas and my birthday since my second year. So, tell me Sirius why I can't hang around with my own friends during the summer?"

Sirius started to respond, but Harry kept pushing. "My parents just want me to be friends with that Blood Traitor Weasley. That's what they really want."

Sirius slapped Harry upside the head. "My own mother would've loved you right now, Harry." Sirius seethed. "I'm sorry for hitting you, but you really want to know why they don't let you associate yourself with your friends outside of school? It's because of talk like that."

If he was fazed by the slap, Harry didn't show. "They're just words. They don't mean anything."

"They don't mean anything?!" Sirius exploded. "Harry, an entire war was fought over the same talk that you're speaking of. Words that "don't mean anything" killed hundreds."

"And if they don't mean anything, tell me: why is your mother currently sobbing downstairs?"

This got Harry's attention. "I didn't want to make her cry." Harry grumbled. Despite everything there was between him and his parents, he still loved them, especially his Mum.

"Then what did what did you want, Harry?"

"I don't know." Harry said gently. "They just slipped out. I-I didn't think it would matter."

"Maybe they aren't just words, Harry." Sirius said, and Harry slowly nodded. "You need to apologize to your Mum. And your Dad."

"Why do I need to apologize to him?!" Harry said, whirling on Sirius.

"Because he's your father, and demands your respect, and you've been a right little shit over the past few years. Don't think just because this is our first talk about it, that I haven't seen it." Sirius glared.

Harry sighed. "Fine."

"I-I'm sorry, Sirius." Harry said looking down at the floor.

"Good practice, Prongslet." Sirius said putting a hand on his Godson's shoulder. "But save it for the two people who really need to hear it."

Harry nodded, and got up. He began to follow Sirius towards the door. "Do you think they'll still let me go on the cruise next week?" They had been planning this cruise since winter, and Harry had been looking forward to it ever since. It was through some Muggle vacation company that his family owned stock in.

"Best not to bring that up." Sirius said, as they walked down the stairs. "Just worry about apologizing."

They walked into the living room, and Harry felt his heart sink as soon as he saw his mother. Although she had gotten her tears under control, her face was still red, and Harry knew that his Godfather had been right when he said she had been crying. And it was because of Harry.

"I believe Harry has something he wants to say." Sirius declared, and shoved his Godson towards his parents. Harry wanted to send a glare back at the man but knew that wouldn't go over well.

"I'm sorry, Mum." He said gently. "I never should've called you…that. Please forgive me."

For a second his mother didn't react. Then she got up out of her chair and took him into her arms. "Harry." She whispered to him as she embraced him. "There is nothing you could ever do, that will make you love you less."

Harry felt his eyes burn as a tear left it, and then it hit him. He realized that he hadn't been the easiest to deal with. He had probably been a right little shit just like Sirius said. He loved his parents. He really did. He just wanted them to accept him for all that he was. He hugged his mother back and it really took everything in him to not bury his head into her chest and start to sob.

"Please just promise me something Harry."

"Anything." He said.

"Please. Never use that word again." She begged. "I've been called that word many times in my life and I can tell you: It hurts. Especially when it comes from someone you love."

"I promise Mum." He didn't know if he honestly could keep that promise. It wasn't that he would go out, kick down the door to Gryffindor, and call Granger…well that. But being around the friends that he had made, it was almost impossible to stop saying it all together.

"Are you all packed for the cruise son?" James asked.

"I can still go?" Harry asked surprised.

"Yes." His father said, but then he became stern. "But we will be in contact with your Professor's and if we hear you're not trying this term, this'll be the last trip you take till your seventeen. Are we understood?"

Harry nodded frantically. It wasn't that he was a bad student, or even that he was lazy. He mostly procrastinated. It was true. He had been given opportunities to re do assignments but hadn't seen the point. He had a passing grade in those classes anyway…. okay maybe he was just a tad bit lazy.

"But until next weekend, you're grounded." Lily said, and Harry nodded. "I forgive you Harry, but I can't forgive your grades. Maybe some time by yourself is what you need." Her son muttered something under his breath that she didn't hear. "Or if you like, you can stay behind from the cruise…"

Harry blanched. "I think I have some homework to do for Charms." He said quickly before sprinting up the stairs.

The adults broke out into laughter as soon as the door shut behind the boy. "That went well." Sirius said finally taking a sip of the Firewhiskey he had poured what seemed like weeks ago. He shrugged off the glare from James. "What? I earned this."

Lily sighed. "What is it, Lil?" James asked his wife.

"I just worry about him." She said looking off towards Harry's room. "We can't order him who he can and can't be friends with, but I just don't know why he hangs around the people he does."

James nodded. He and his friends had been…less than unsavory back in their days in Hogwarts, but he still liked to think they knew the difference between right and wrong. They certainly were never ones to be associated with Death Eaters. Except Wormtail that was.

"Why can't he be friends with that nice Weasley boy?" Lily said thoughtfully. Molly Prewett had been a friend to her back at Hogwarts, and her son Ronald was supposed to be an upstanding young man. She didn't know why her son couldn't associate with him; houses be dammed.


"Hermione dear." Emma said gently knocking on her daughter's door before poking her head in. "Are you all packed?"

Hermione looked up from the ground where she sat Indian style. "Yes, Mum." If her mother only knew, and she probably did, Hermione had been packed for over a week now. It didn't matter that the cruise was another few days away. She liked being ready.

Her mother smiled down at her. "You should probably get some rest dear. It's getting late."

Hermione sighed. "I was going to stay up and do some homework. I want to get it all done before we leave."

"I'm surprised that it's taken you this long to do it." Emma teased.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Goodnight Mum."

Her mother rolled her eyes. Her daughter had to get it from somewhere. "Goodnight love." She said before closing the door behind her.

Hermione shook her head and looked over at the pamphlet she had been looking through for the past week. The cruise that her parents had booked would leave London in three days' time and would take them down past Portugal and through the Mediterranean Sea. And it was all for her.

Her grades from the previous semester had come in last week, and Hermione couldn't have been happier. Besides Potions, which she managed an E in, she had received an O from each one of her Professors. Feeling that she was due a reward, her parents had surprised her with this cruise. While she typically would have rather just stayed in and read, she was trying to get a bit out of her comfort zone. That's what Ron was always pushing her to do anyway. Besides she had pretty much her entire library packed away.

She sighed when she thought of her boyfriend. While she was happy with Ron, they fought constantly over the most basic of things. They had only been together since the Yule Ball, but even before then, they were never best friends.

He had always defended her though. Being a Muggle-born in the wizarding world wasn't easy and some of the students at Hogwarts made it their mission to make her life harder. Namely Malfoy and his group of friends. But Ron had always been there. She knew it had mostly been due to the fact that he wouldn't let a Slytherin pick on a member of his house, but part of her liked to think he always had a crush on her.

The two worst ones were Malfoy and Theodore Nott. Malfoy's two goons, Crabbe and Goyle, never really said anything. Probably because they had a tough time breathing and walking at the same time. Blaise Zabini had never said a harsh word to her but had never stuck up for her either.

The worst probably was Harry Potter really. He had never spoken to her, but the way he looked at her. Like she wasn't even worth his time, brought on a different type of hurt. And was even more peculiar she had heard that his own mother was a Muggle-born, and both his parents had been Gryffindors to boot. She wondered if they knew how their son felt about blood status.

BAH. She wouldn't spend her night thinking about that git Harry Potter. She really did have homework to do.


A/N: Hope Y'all enjoyed the chapter!

I can already hear the reviews. "Harry would never say Mudblood." "Harry would never hang out with Malfoy!" Canon Harry 100% would never utter that word, but this is Fanfiction. Like I said at the opening things are going to be different from the books. Hope y'all enjoy the ride!

-RJS