Hey everyone, Welcome to another installment of Harry Potter Theory. In this theory, we’re going to be discussing what Harry’s life would’ve been like if he’d been raised by his godfather, Sirius Black. But before we dive into how very different Harry’s life would’ve been, let’s first discuss how this scenario could’ve come to pass.
Our dear boy Harry was made an orphan at the mere age of one on the 31st of October in 1981, when Lily and James Potter were murdered by Voldemort at the Potter family cottage in Godric’s Hollow. The young family’s whereabouts were supposed to have been concealed by the Fidelius Charm, with only their chosen Secret Keeper knowing their exact location. As most of you will know, it was believed that Sirius, James’ best friend, was the Potters’ Secret Keeper.
We obviously know this to be incorrect, however, as Sirius convinced James and Lily that he would be too obvious of a choice. And so, they changed their minds at the last minute to Peter Pettigrew, who, of course, betrayed them, giving up the Potters’ whereabouts to Voldemort. From there, an enraged Sirius went after Peter to confront him on the shocking betrayal of their friend. Somehow, in this encounter, Peter – or Wormtail as he was also known – committed a mass murder, transformed into his Animagus form as a mouse, and scurried away, leaving a devastated young Sirius to blame for all of the death and destruction.
But what if Sirius hadn’t gone after Peter Pettigrew to exact revenge on behalf of James and Lily? What if he’d never confronted Wormtail, been framed for all those murders, gotten caught, and, ultimately, been sent to Azkaban Prison for the next decade? Instead, what if he’d arrived on the scene at the Potter’s cottage in Godric’s Hollow, and rather than leave his bike with Hagrid to go after Wormtail, he’d been convinced to stay with his newly orphaned godson, Harry? Had Sirius been able to keep his cool in this moment and not rush off, he could’ve explained to Dumbledore and the others that he was never the Potters’ Secret Keeper – that Lily and James had entrusted Peter instead. Having convinced a powerful and respected wizard like Dumbledore of the truth, the others in the Order likely would’ve also accepted Sirius’ testimony. ESPECIALLY, if Wormtail had still committed those other murders – you know the ones he used to fake his own death when Sirius confronted him? Because, of course, if Sirius never went to confront him – if he was never there, how could he have been framed? With Sirius’ name cleared, at least in the eyes of the Order, the next obvious question would’ve been: Who would raise Harry? It’s possible that Dumbledore still would’ve thrown out the Dursleys as a possibility.
But considering how unconvinced Hagrid and McGonagall were about this arrangement when Sirius wasn’t an option as guardian, it’s very likely that the idea of placing Harry in Petunia and Vernon’s care would’ve been shot down pretty quickly. Leaving Sirius as the obvious choice. So, Sirius, a young man of only 22, would’ve been given guardianship of little Harry – at least from the perspective of the Order.
The Ministry of Magic may not have been as easily convinced of Sirius’ innocence, especially if Wormtail still “vanished” that night. So, I’d like to think that the Order would’ve helped Sirius set up a safe space to raise our boy, Harry. In my opinion, the most likely option would’ve been Padfoot’s ancestral home at 12 Grimmauld Place. Just as this location was concealed by another Fidelius Charm for the Order of the Phoenix later in the series, Dumbledore or another wizard could’ve protected the home in a similar manner for Sirius and Harry. So, does this mean that Harry would’ve grown up FAMOUS? Would he have straight away walked among the witches and wizards that praised him for what he was able to accomplish? Well, not really.
You see, Harry would’ve then had a sheltered life, growing up in a primarily Muggle borough of London. Due to his godfather’s need to keep a lower profile, Harry may not have had quite as many experiences as other young witches and wizards, however, there would’ve been several MAJOR, POSITIVE differences in how he was raised. Let’s take a look: #1: First and foremost, Harry would’ve been brought up in a LOVING home. Compared to the emotional and physical a*buse that Harry sustained in the Dursley’s care – I mean, he literally grew up in a CUPBOARD under the stairs at Number 4 Privet Drive – Harry would’ve grown up feeling loved and cared for. This would’ve amplified his already compassionate nature and made him more confident upon entering his first year at Hogwarts.
#2: Next on the list – and it’s a big one – being raised by Sirius would mean that Harry knew he was a WIZARD. He would’ve known who HE was, who VOLDEMORT was, and what had actually happened to his parents that terrible night. He would know where the scar on his head came from. He wouldn’t be confused by the magical happenings that would later occur as he approached the age of 11. He would’ve known what his parents looked like – watching them move about in magical photos, as his godfather told him what they’d been like before they died – giving Harry a much better sense of self as he matured into a young man.
Which brings us to our next point… #3: If Sirius had raised Harry, and Harry had known about the wizarding world (and not been confined to the Dursley’s cupboard), he likely would’ve developed a lot more personal relationships. Quite obviously, this would’ve started with Sirius as a father-figure. But there would’ve been many more caring people involved in Harry’s life as well. Dumbledore may have checked in from time to time. Of course, Remus Lupin, member of the Marauders, and James’ and Sirius’ good friend, would’ve been around.
He may have even helped raise Harry in a sense, being the more level-headed of the two friends. Harry also would’ve been introduced to other young witches and wizards. He may have even met the Weasley children before attending Hogwarts, through ties of the Order.
#4: Harry would’ve learned to fly a broomstick at a very young age. As some of you may know, Sirius actually gave Harry his very first broomstick for Christmas at the tender age of one. With Sirius raising little Harry, their joint enthusiasm for flying – Sirius on his motorbike and Harry on a broomstick – would’ve been just one more thing that bonded the two together. As an enthusiastic flyer, Harry would’ve become a fan of Quidditch as soon as he was introduced to the sport – which, of course, would’ve been in early childhood.
Once again, his experiences within the wizarding world would impact his confidence once at Hogwarts. He still would’ve been selected as the Gryffindor team’s Seeker, but he would’ve made the team by attending tryouts, instead of being accidentally recruited by McGonagall in year one. Maybe Harry would have even gone on to join a professional Quidditch team. #5: Now this next one may be more than a little contentious to say, but since Sirius was portrayed as a fairly “cool” character, it’s not that far-fetched to imagine that if Harry had grown up with him as his guardian, Harry may have been a little less…nerdy. I’m not talking about anything that would’ve changed his personality.
But perhaps he would’ve worn glasses that were a bit more trendy – or he could’ve taken to contacts! Sirius could’ve also taught him how to style his “untidy” air. And when Harry’s interest in girls began, ol’ Padfoot would’ve been there to help him know how to approach the ladies – respectfully, of course. Not that Harry did too badly for himself in this area – but certain interactions with Cho Chang or, eventually, Ginny, may have been a little less…awkward. #6: The sixth and final difference I’ll mention – although there could arguably be many more – is that if Harry had been raised by Sirius, he likely would’ve been told all about the mischief that his father and godfather got up to as students. Harry may have even fallen asleep as a young boy listening to Sirius regale him with stories of the Marauders’ adventures, learning why they formed the group to help Lupin with his monthly transformations as a werewolf.
Harry then would’ve discovered how James and Sirius taught themselves to be Animagi, transforming into animals and back again into humans at will. He would know all about James’ form as a stag, which is why they called him Prongs, and Sirius’ form as a dog, leading to his nickname Padfoot. This would’ve perhaps given Harry an intense interest in learning how to become an Animagus himself…I think Harry could’ve even done it, transforming into, say, a woodland creature like his father. Perhaps a fox or wolf, which would’ve aligned him with both Sirius and James.
Or maybe he would’ve also been a stag, just like his Patronus was… Which brings us to the end of this theory! What do you guys think? Did I miss any obvious differences? What do you think Harry’s life would’ve been like if he’d been raised by Sirius? Let me know down in the comments below. And don’t forget to like the theory and subscribe to the channel if you enjoyed the content! Additionally, If you want to hear about ANOTHER one of these theorys where Harry’s circumstances lead him down a darker path, then I’d be happy to make that as well. Until next time… WHEN ALL THIS IS OVER, WE’LL BE A PROPER FAMILY. YOU’LL SEE.