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Fanfic / The Dogfather

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The Dogfather is a Harry Potter What If? fic by Holli Michelle, which started on Tumblr as a post in bullets.

On November 1, 1981, the Dursleys call the police to their home, claiming that some stranger has left a Doorstop Baby, in a basket with a scrap of paper saying nothing more than "His name is Harry". They relinquish all custody rights and surrender him to foster services. Harry is adopted by a childless couple, Tim and Caro MacIntyre. That should be the end of it, except a few years later rogue Death Eaters murder the Dursleys, and Harry Potter has vanished. Cue a black dog following Harry MacIntyre home from school and getting himself accepted into the family, and one sleepless night young Harry discovering that his dog is an Animagus.

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The fic follows Harry up to the end of his first year at Hogwarts. The author has posted snippets from later in the timeline, but indicated that a full sequel is unlikely. A prequel, "The Black Dog", follows Sirius and Remus in their search for the missing Harry. "There and Back Again" is a series of snippets showing Draco Malfoy during the summer holidays at the end of each school year, showing how his personality changes in this AU and giving some hints about what else changes or stays the same. "Home from Omelas" is the end of the story.


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Tropes for this fic include:

  • Calling the Old Man Out: Draco in time becomes embittered about how his father tries to spoil him but doesn't listen about the important parts of life, like werewolf rights and keeping people alive. After Lucius saves Draco's life during the Battle of Hogwarts only to die later, Draco afterward says that his father was a "bastard" because saving his life once doesn't make up for using his son as a pawn for the Dark Lord.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Minerva McGonagall, when she sees "Harry MacIntyre" in the list of people to send Hogwarts letters to, and then the Weasley family, when they meet him waiting for the Hogwarts Express, feel sorry for Harry because the coincidence of his name and age are going to make things weird for him at Hogwarts and being a Muggle he won't understand why.
    • Harry wants to know more about what his birth mother was like when she was young, since Sirius and Remus only became friends with her later on. He decides to ask one of the teachers if they know of anyone who knew her well and might be willing to share stories about her. The teacher he picks for this purpose is Severus Snape.
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  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Draco when he learns who Harry is asks why he hangs out with Muggleborns and Muggle lovers, "The wrong sort". Harry saltily replies that he doesn't consider them the wrong sort at all.
  • For Want of a Nail: Many changes occur thanks to the Dursleys surrendering Harry to foster services:
    • Harry's personality is formed differently as a result of being raised in a loving home. For one thing, he has less of a need to prove his own worth, which means less of a drive toward reckless heroics.
    • Without the blood protection, Death Eaters that evaded Azkaban ambush the Dursleys. Dudley miraculously survives and grows up to be a healthy, well-adjusted adult.
    • The news that Harry has disappeared from the Wizarding World inspires Sirius to break out of Azkaban several years early. He finds Lupin and proves his innocence, and they track down Harry. Sirius can't bear to separate Harry from loving parents and instead plays the part of a stray to watch over his godson. In time he and Lupin reveal their magical heritage and Tim and Caro adopt them as well. It also means that Bellatrix doesn't kill Sirius in the Ministry of Magic because Harry knows that "Padfoot" is perfectly safe.
    • Pettigrew runs away from the Weasleys after Sirius escapes, and Ron's new rat is named Whiskers. Later on, Pettigrew busts the Lestranges and one other Death Eater out of Azkaban, in the hopes of reviving Voldemort.
    • Sirius reaches an understanding with Snape, and thanks him for watching out for Harry when Sirius couldn't.
    • Draco never develops a full rivalry with Harry because Harry doesn't associate him with Dudley, and doesn't even consider his insults worth a response. They become friends by the end of first-year, and Draco fights his father about werewolf rights.
    • The MacIntyres never hate the Malfoys, but instead pity them for how they've raised their son to be hateful. This also means that Harry never develops a loathing for the Malfoys, even sending birthday gifts to Draco. Narcissa in year five sends Draco to live with Harry's family for the summer after Lucius is arrested for the whole prophecy debacle and Voldemort wants to use Draco as a scapegoat. After Draco is coerced into trying to kill Dumbledore and is horrified that Snape did so instead, he spends the summer at Aunt Andromeda's where Hermione makes it clear that everyone forgives him because he was used as a pawn and is not a killer.
    • Thanks to the latter, Neville never becomes a Nervous Wreck due to Draco bullying him.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: After the news breaks that Harry is the Boy Who Lived, Ron gets Ronald Weasleyed by his mother when he gets evasive about how long he's known already.
  • Gag Echo: The second thing Harry asks when he finds out that Padfoot turns into a man is "Are you a werewolf?". When Harry introduces him to his parents, their first question is also "Are you a werewolf?"note 
  • Happily Adopted: Harry insists that Tim and Caro are his parents, and that he's not just a Potter.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sirius rescuing Draco and Harry from Quirrel makes them friends, when Sirius changes into his human shape to quiet a screaming Draco. Later on, Draco feels incredibly guilty when he accidentally gets Buckbeak sentenced to death and Harry doesn't speak to him for several months in third year. The final Heel comes in, however, when he fights with his father about letting werewolves buy Wolfsbane Potion ingredients.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Harry's Muggle friends know something is up; they're ignorant of the Wizarding World but are observant enough to realize he's involved in something deep since he's Not Himself after year four. Draco, while staying with Harry's family for the summer following fifth year, reluctantly tells them that it's better for them not to know. They decide to drop the issue but say they want to help any way that they can.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not Harry Potter, it's Harry MacIntyre, as he will tell everyone.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Draco is coerced into killing Dumbledore by his father, and Snape still kills Dumbledore.
  • Internal Reveal: The MacIntyres are the first to learn that their dog is an Animagus. During Harry's first year, this extends to Hermione, Ron, Draco, the Weasleys, McGonagall, and Dumbledore.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: After the confrontation with Quirrel, Sirius starts avoiding Harry because he feels guilty about not being there to back him up, and that makes Harry afraid that Sirius blames him for going into danger without backup. On the train home at the end of the year, Hermione makes a transparent excuse to leave the compartment and take Ron with her, so that it's just Harry and Sirius and they've got no excuse not to talk about it.
  • I Was Named "My Name": The MacIntyres call their dog "Padfoot" for over a year before they find out that that's his actual nickname. Justified: As a baby, Harry had a dog toy that he loved and named Padfoot because it reminded him of the real Padfoot, and when the real Padfoot shows up, the family names him after the toy, not knowing that he's the same dog that the toy was named after.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Draco is horrified after realizing that his father used him to kill Dumbledore and serve the Dark Lord, and even if he didn't strike the killing blow he was involved since Snape killed Dumbledore to take the fall.
  • Race Lift: This fic uses the fan theory that Harry has South Asian ancestry.
  • Reality Ensues: The Death Eaters wouldn't have been able to track down Harry in foster care services because wizards don't even bother learning cursory facts about the Muggle world, though Remus and Sirius destroy the documents they used to track Harry down anyway just on the off chance the Death Eaters manage to dig up someone a bit more savvy.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Invoked and subverted; Draco tells Hermione it's not like the Order would trust him after he was put on a mission to kill Dumbledore. Hermione tells him not to say such things, everyone knows he was manipulated.
  • Side Bet: After the news breaks that Harry is the Boy Who Lived, all his dorm-mates hurry to find him and ask if it's true. When they find him, they get distracted when he calmly hands some money over to Ron: the outcome of a bet on which of them would reach him first (it was Seamus, since Dean Thomas is muggleborn and thus not quite as curious about the whole thing).
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The narration offers a couple on behalf of Snape, who definitely doesn't envy Harry his happy family, and certainly wasn't thrown off when Sirius voluntarily came to him to apologize for his past behavior.
  • Wrong Assumption: Snape assumes Harry is going to be a smug glory hound like he remembers Harry's birth father being, and is constantly wrong-footed by how much Harry isn't. He's a bit blindsided when Harry comes to visit him before class to ask about his mother. (Canon Harry at least took pleasure in being Harry Potter The Boy Who Lived, because it was a link to his parents and a support to his self-esteem; Harry MacIntyre, who has a healthy self-esteem and a perfectly good set of parents, completely astonishes Snape by regarding the whole business as something of a nuisance.)

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