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Magic Finds a Way by GrungGranger

Format: Novella
Chapters: 5
Word Count: 19,383
Status: WIP

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, General, Humor
Characters: Harry, McGonagall, Percy, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Harry/Ginny

First Published: 09/01/2007
Last Chapter: 10/23/2007
Last Updated: 10/23/2007

Summary:


This story picks up five day after the epilog from (DH).  I wasn’t disappointed in the ending of that magnificent book as it gave my imagination the chance to insert my own twisted answers to the many loose ends that remained. After much thought, I decided that I might try and share those with you. I am not a fictional writer and hope you will keep that in mind. Most of all, I hope you enjoy.


Chapter 1: At Home with the Potters
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A/N: I have the best Beta in the world. Her Pen name is Pingo and my story would not be nearly as good with out her. She is the talent, I am just the story teller. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper sack with out her help. Thank you so much Pingo, you’re the best.

Chapter 1: At Home with the Potters

Ginny Potter stood in her kitchen preparing the evening meal. With a wave of her wand, knives began cutting up vegetables which would be added to the pot currently boiling away on the stove. She was making all of Harry’s favorite dishes and she anxiously watched the clock her mother had given her and Harry as a wedding present, it indicated the locations of each person in the family. At this moment Harry was still at work, their two boys, James and Albus where at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and their daughter Lily as well as herself, where shown to be safe at home.

She knew it had been a long week for Harry; he always struggled so much after he sent one of the kids off for their first trip to Hogwarts. She’d first seen his reaction to this event when he had accompanied his Godson Teddy and Teddy’s grandmother to Kings Cross on his first trip. It became worse when it was their son James’ turn to go two years ago, that depression lasted a month, but at least he was able to sleep. Since dropping Albus off at Kings Crossing last Sunday, Harry hadn’t been able to sleep and she’d woken up several times in the middle of the night over the past week to find him standing at the boy’s bedroom door staring at their beds. God how that man loves his family, Ginny thought to herself with a smile.

Perhaps tonight would be a good time to broach the subject that had been on her mind for quite some time. She knew he would say “yes”, at least she hoped he would. Oh how she yearned to have another baby, just one more Harry, or maybe two, she giggled at the thought. She was snapped out of her reverie by a loud popping sound emanating from the back yard. She glanced at the clock and sure enough Harry was home. Ginny heard the back door open and close and then she could feel him standing behind her. He reached around her giving her a sweet hug while kissing the nap of her neck sending goose flesh up and down her spine. Harry whispered into his wife’s ear “I love you” Ginny giggled and thought, oh yes, tonight would be the night for her husband to find out what was on her mind.

Harry woke up the following morning; Ginny was still asleep in his arms with her head resting on his shoulder. He realized with amazement that he’d slept like a rock all night. He laid there thinking of what had taken place the night before and a happy contented feeling filled him. He should have known that something was up when he sat down to eat and was served all his favorites. His wife knew him so well. They’d spent the evening after dinner playing with Lily and when Lily was put to bed and was fast asleep, Ginny had curled up next to him on the couch as he read the Daily Prophet. She kept poking him in the ribs until he put the paper down and gave her his full attention. After a rather passionate round of snogging, Ginny had dazed him with her sweet little proposal of having another baby. How could he have refused her?

What he found somewhat amusing was that she thought she had to go to such great lengths to get him to agree to her desires. Harry knew he could never turn down any serious request she made of him. Ginny’s and their children’s happiness was the most important aspiration of his life and had been for the past 19 years. But maybe, he thought, it was a good thing that she didn’t realize what a soft spot he had where she was concerned that made him such a push over, especially if it led to nights like last night.

He laid there holding his wife and dozing peacefully until Lily bust through the door and bounded onto their bed waking Ginny. This was a Potter family tradition during the school year, every Saturday Morning the Potter children would join their parents in bed and wait for the early morning owls to deliver letters from Hogwarts. This had begun when Harry’s Godson Teddy started his education there and Harry had made him promise to post a letter every Friday night. The tradition continued as James started at Hogwarts two years ago and now Albus was also there. Hogwarts had become more and more crowded with Potter children and Harry and Ginny’s bed was feeling a little empty with just Lily jumping up and down on it this Saturday morning. Her joy and excitement made it impossible for Harry and Ginny to feel anything but happiness and excitement as well.

Ginny grabbed Lily tickling and kissing her all over as Harry got up out of bed and opened the bedroom window, settling back into bed he joined the tickling and kissing session, then they all settled in to await the owls. Lily gave her mom a worried look, “what if they’ve forgotten mom?”

Ginny laughed “they better not or your dad will have a howler waiting for them when they get to breakfast Monday morning,”

Lily gasped “he wouldn’t really would he?”

Ginny answered her youngest child, “Ask your brother James and your uncle Teddy if he wouldn’t,” She and Harry laughed, remembering the hastily written letters of apologies both had sent after they’d forgotten. Neither had forgotten again.

“Yep, howlers sure are embarrassing to get when the great hall is crowded for breakfast,” Harry mused out loud for Lily’s benefit.

With a flapping of wings two snowy white owls and two large brown barn owls swooped into the bedroom through the open bedroom window, landing on the bed. Lily screeched with excitement as Harry hastily removed a letter from each owl’s leg patting their heads and giving each one a treat he kept in a bowl on his bedside table. Each owl took flight back out the window in turn. Harry noticed that the two brown owls had delivered letters addressed just to him and they looked rather official, setting those aside, he looked at the other two that had been attached to the snowy white owls that belonged to his two boys. The first was addressed The Potter Family #7 Hamptenshire Lane, Godric Hollows, this one would be from James he thought, the second letter simply had for and address Mom Dad and Lily, this one would be from Albus. He handed the letters over to Lily to open and settled his head down on his pillows to listen. Ginny sat near the foot of the bed holding Lily in her lap. Lily opened the first letter and withdrew two sheets of parchment. Lily scanned the contents saying “This one’s from Albus and there is a note here as well addressed to you dad it’s from Neville Longbottom,” she handed Harry the note and gleefully read Albus’s letter out loud.

“Dear Mom, Dad, and Lily,

I’m a Gryffindor! Isn’t that great? I’m not sure James thinks so. He seems a bit put out with me. The train ride was great! The sorting was scary! The food is brilliant!!! Classes keep me busy, my favorite is brooms. Professor Longbottom saw me flying in my first flying lesson and has attached a note. I get to try out for the quidditch team as Seeker. Isn’t that great! I don’t think James thinks so. Mom, send me more Cauldron Cakes when you get a chance will you please? They are a big hit with me and my friends and the ones you packed in my trunk are gone now. I miss you Lily, can’t wait till you join James and me, we will have such a blast. Dad, thanks for the owl, she’s a beaut, I’ve named her Guinevere, kinda after you mom.

I love all of you,
Albus”

Lily looked up from Albus’s letter, “why can’t they let nine year olds go, it just isn’t fair.”

Ginny squeezed her daughter “I felt the same why when all my brothers where at school and I had to stay home waiting for my eleventh birthday, trust me, in no time you’ll be eleven and joining your brothers, making their lives at school difficult” She glanced up winking at her husband, smiling “Wow another Seeker in the family, Albus must take after his mother I think, what does Neville’s note say dear” she finished chuckling

Harry gave her a playful poke in her side with his big toe, pay back for her jibe and broke the seal, unfolding the parchment, he looked at the note for a minute, then looking up from it and smiling with a hint of confusion he read;

“Harry,

Albus is the most gifted and natural flyer I have ever seen, Minerva agrees, she says he even would have put you to shame. I pointed Albus out to our team captain and have given Albus permission to try out for the Gryffindor quidditch team as its Seeker. The Headmistress has granted special permission for him to have his own broom here at Hogwarts, even though he is a first year. So on your visit here to Hogwarts would you mind bringing Albus his broom, he tells me you purchased him a rather nice one. See you soon.

Neville Longbottom”

“What did he mean by ‘so on your visit here to Hogwarts’ and ‘see you soon’, are you planning a trip to Hogwarts I didn’t know about?” Ginny inquired stormily “we went all through this with James his first year Harry, you know they like the kids to get settled in before parents start making visits, the kids need time to adjust. Parent visits prior to the end of the first term are really frowned on by the…”

Ginny’s reproach came to an abrupt halt because as she was going on and on Harry sat up in bed and stretching over Lily who was still sitting in Ginny’s lap, he put a kiss on her moving lips stopping them. He then gently put his hand to her mouth ensuring she did not continue. Harry in a tender and amused timber, replied to Ginny’s outburst “I haven’t made any plans to visit the school, I promise Ginny, I don’t know what Neville is talking about,”

Harry tried to give his wife a hug but Lily stopped him, pushing him away, “come on dad, Yuck! Will you two cut it out? I want to read James’s letter,”

Harry lay back down with an exaggerated sigh and rolled his eyes, Lily and Ginny giggled at his display of disappointment. Lily began to read from James’s letter;

“Hi Mom and Dad and you too Lily,

Well in case you don’t know, Albus is in the Gryffindor House. After he was sorted he came right over and sat with me and my friends, what a git. We are third years you know. I patted him on the back then showed him where he was to sit with the first years. And guess what, they are letting him try out for Seeker. I wasn’t even allowed to try out for the team until last year. I was the second best flyer on the team last year behind Mary Spinnet and with her finished up with her seventh year and all, I thought I’d give Seeker a go this year. I mean I like being a chaser and all but I wanted to give it a go, but Professor Longbottom saw Albus in his first flying lesson, take off and zoom around the school grounds, he couldn’t stop talking about him. The Professor keeps saying that with Albus as the seeker and me as one of the teams chasers, and with the rest of the team as strong and experienced as they are, Gryffindor had the best chance of winning the quidditch house cup since uncle Ron was king. When I asked him what that meant, he told me to ask Uncle Ron and chuckled. I don’t get adults at all!”

Harry and Ginny simultaneously broke out in a merry chorus of “Weasley is Our King” remembering the Slytherin’s disastrous attempt of psyching out Ginny’s brother, Ron, who at the time had been the Gryffindor Keeper,

Lily put her hands on her hips looking and sounding just like her grandma Weasley when she scolded her parents, “Really, you two carry on like a couple of school kids!” Harry and Ginny burst into laughter at her and Lily, her face turning red, sounded more her own age as she whined “Stop, I want to finish James’s letter,” her parents finally pulled themselves together and settled down, the youngest Potter continued reading aloud;

“I guess if the Professor is right and we really do win the cup, having Albus on the team is ok, He is kind of fun hanging around with sometimes and I do like being a chaser. The food here as always is great, not as good as moms though. I like all my classes except for Divination. All third years are taught by Professor Trelawney who is so old and weird. She creeps me out, keeps predicting horrible things are going to happen to me and the rest of the class. She said she had you as a student dad and then she just looked real sad and shook her head. She’s crackers if you ask me. I need to finish up this letter as I have promised to meet up with someone later. Love you Lily, you too mom and dad,

James”

“I wonder if he has a girlfriend.” Ginny thought out loud, Lily giggled and Harry’s stomach picked this time to rumble with the sounds of emptiness and hunger. “Right then, come on Lily,” Ginny said getting off the bed, pulling her daughter with her “I think that’s the sound that says it’s time we get breakfast started or else your dad will start eating those owl snacks,” Harry sat up in bed watching his daughter laughing and waving at him as she was pulled from the bedroom by his wife. When they had gone he turned his attention to the two unread letters.

Chapter 2: Family Matters Most
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((Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor do I wish that I did. I could never have produced the masterpiece that JKR has.))

A/N: I have the best Beta in the world. Her Pen name is Pingo and my story would not be nearly as good with out her. She is the talent, I am just the story teller. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper sack with out her help. Thank you so much Pingo, you’re the best.

Chapter 2: Family Matters Most

Harry sat on the edge of his bed, the two letters he’d just read lay on the bed beside him. He sat there confused and worried. The letters were spoiling what had started out to be a great day. Harry thought to himself, “Why is the Minister removing me from my duties within the Auror Department and placing me on a special assignment?”

Even though the Minister stated in his letter that Harry would be allowed to return to his current position when the special assignment was terminated, Harry was feeling apprehensive about his future at the Ministry. He only knew of one person ever being put on special assignment by the Minister. That had happened four years ago and the person had never returned to his job at the Ministry.

Harry was not looking forward to sharing the letters with Ginny. They contained no explanations, just the dry facts and if he was not able to come up with an explanation as to what was going on, Ginny was likely to think he was holding back information from her again. This was especially troubling to Harry after their conversation earlier about his supposed visit to Hogwarts. One moment he was telling her he had no plans on going to Hogwarts and now obviously he was.

Harry was worried about her reaction “Is she going believe I had no prior knowledge of any of this?” He’d given her reason to doubt him in the past. In a stupid attempts to keep her from worrying he’d hidden things from her and kept her in the dark about the dangers he faced as an Auror. Then six years ago Ron had been seriously injured and almost died. Ginny had been a rock. She’d kept her head and been there for Hermione who had lost it completely. He’d been totally useless, practically paralyzed with grief and fear, feeling as if he’d been hit by the combination of a Confundus Charm and a Jelly-Legs Jinx. It had been a horrible week waiting while Ron teetered on the brink of death. Harry realized then that Ginny was no longer the shy little girl he had first met at the Burrow but was now his wife, the mother of his children and a strong smart capable woman.

Harry came to the decision that he might as well get on with it, so he got up from the bed and left the bedroom. When he entered the living room he spotted Ginny and Lily in the kitchen still putting breakfast together. “Ginny, could you put breakfast on hold for a few and come back to the bedroom, it’s kind of important,”

Ginny gave Harry a funny sly smile misinterpreting his motives, “How important? Ron just used the floo to ask if he, Hermione and Hugo could pop in for breakfast. I was just about to come tell you. Will it wait till later?”
Ron and Hermione coming over for breakfast was not exactly a surprise or unusual as neither of his best friends had the slightest ability in the kitchen and Ron looked for any excuse to poach a meal.

“What did you tell him?” Harry asked stiffly,

“What I always do, yes, we didn’t have plans this morning, did we?” her smile disappeared and a slight look of concern replaced it as Ginny picked up on his mood “Harry is everything alright?”

“It’s just those other letters we received this morning. I wanted you to read them and maybe we could talk about them, just you and me, but I guess they can wait till later,” Harry replied glumly,

Ginny realizing the importance of Harry’s need through his demeanor began waving her wand and turning off the fire she was using to cook with, “Hold on, I can set this aside, it won’t ruin, is half an hour enough time?”

Ginny saw Harry’s expression ease and the nod of his head, “yes,”

“Why don’t you go in and get out of your bed clothes and get dressed for breakfast,” speaking now to her daughter she continued “Lily you do the same ok, get dressed and run a brush through your hair,” as her daughter left the kitchen, heading for her bedroom, Ginny returned her attention back to her husband “I’ll get this stuff off the heat then pop over and tell Ron and Hermione to hold up for about half an hour, as soon as I’m back, I’ll come in the bedroom and we can talk, ok?”

Harry smiled at his wife then retreating toward the bedroom he said “Yeah, that will be great and Ginny, I love you,”

Ginny shouted back as he left the room “I love you too,”

When Ginny came into the bedroom, Harry had finished dressing into his usual weekend attire; worn blue jean trousers, a white T-shirt, white socks and trainers. Ginny came over and gave him a hug “so what is it, that’s got you all worked up?” She asked,

Harry handed her the letters and said “these,”

Ginny sat down on the bed and Harry sat down next to her as she read quietly aloud,

“From the office of Minister Kingsley Shacklebolt

Mr. Harry Potter

I have placed you on special assignment as of this coming Monday for an unspecified term. The head of the Auror Department has been made aware of the conditions of your assignment. While on special assignment you will have no correspondence with me or any person in the Ministry but will be reporting to and taking direction from the Headmistress of Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall. Your current position in the Auror Department will be waiting for you when your return. I regret any inconvenience this may cause you or your family.

Sincerely
Kingsley Shacklebolt Minister of Magic”

Ginny brow slightly knitted with worry looked over at her husband for a second and then she read the second letter aloud,

“Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Dear Harry,

I am assuming that by now you have received a letter from Minister Shacklebolt. I am requesting that you present yourself to me in my office this Monday at 10 A.M. Please be prepared to stay here at the school for a few days as we have a great deal of material to cover.

Minerva McGonagall”

Ginny turned to her husband slightly and gazed into his eyes searching for the truth, “And before this morning you had no inkling about any of this?”

Harry, keeping his eyes fixed on his wife’s replied sincerely “none, I promise.”

She surprised him by initiating a sweet and quick little snogging session then she said “Well then, we’ll worry about this when we have to. Thank you for sharing this with me. Lets enjoy our weekend, ok?” and she kissed him again a little more urgently then sighed, “Why don’t you go finish up breakfast, get Lily to help, while I get myself put together,”

Harry kissed her forehead tenderly, “thank you,” was all he said and he got to his feet and made his way to the kitchen. Lily joined him and together they continued getting breakfast ready. Harry waving his wand, turning the sausages and the frying potatoes when required, Lily was giving the porridge a stir now and then. Every few minutes one of them would check on the sweet rolls in the oven. Ginny was busy in their bedroom getting dressed and doing what ever women, do, in order to be “put together”.

Harry had noticed when he’d opened the bedroom window earlier that the weather this morning was cool and clear and as he looked out of the kitchen window, the day was starting out sunny and beautiful. He figured Ron and Hermione would probably walk the seven blocks from their home enjoying the weather. Hermione preferred to travel in non-magical ways whenever possible when Hugo and Rose were in tow, it gave her children a better understanding of the muggle up bringing she’d experienced.

Ron went along with her on this as he’d inherited a bit of his father’s fascination of muggle ways and enjoyed learning muggle forms of transportation. Ron had mastered to some extent the time honored muggle tradition of automobile operation but his forays as a chauffeur of their family auto usually led to heated arguments with Hermione about his aptitude or lack there of. Harry doubted that for such a short trip Ron would risk the torment of another argument.

He told Lily that he figured their company should be arriving at any moment and she ran and stationed herself at the front door window, waiting impatiently for her Aunt, Uncle and most importantly her cousin Hugo to make their appearance. Lily always enjoyed company but especially Hugo, she and Hugo were best mates.

A few minutes later Ginny emerged into the living room heading toward the kitchen just as Lily squealed, “Here they come!” and she flung open the front door, bouncing with excitement as she urged her Aunt, Uncle and cousin to hurry “Come on, breakfast is about ready and dad’s so hungry he’s about to attack the owl treats!”

Ginny made a detour from her original destination and headed toward the front door, before she got there Hugo rushed in and hugged Lily with one arm, carrying his wizard chess board and a pouch containing the pieces in the other. The two made to get off to Lily’s room when Ginny stopped them saying to Hugo, “Hey, you all right, mate?”

Hugo and Lily bounced up and down, wanting to get away and play. Hugo replied to his Aunt “can't complain,” and he and Lily made a single movement toward her room but their progress again was terminated by Ginny’s words spoken in an exaggerated threatening tone,“You better slow down and give your aunt and uncle a hug, and you my sweet daughter had better get back over to the door and do the same when your Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron come though it,” the kids chuckled not at all intimidated, but they proceeded to follow her directions, Lily returning to the front door and Hugo grudgingly, gave his Aunt a hug.

“Aw, Aunt Ginny cut it out” Hugo moaned escaping Ginny’s grasp as she’d been messing with his bushy head of flaming red hair after giving him a hug. Hugo, finding himself free of his Aunt’s clutches made a beeline for the kitchen and his uncle Harry.

Hermione saw this interaction between her son and her best girl friend and as she bent down to give Lily a hug she yelled at the exuberant little copy of her husband who was running toward the kitchen “you better be nice to your Aunt Ginny or Grandma Weasley might take after you with her broom,” winking at Ginny and hugging Lily she continued but this time to her niece “Good morning sweetie, how’s my Lily?”

“Great! Now that you’ve arrived, thanks,” Lily answered as Ron finally made his way into the entry way.

Ron snatched Lily from her Aunt, grabbing his niece under her arms and lifting her up over his head. He spun her around and around while Lily laughed then he let her down and holding her in a hug he said “Blimey, you’re getting so big, soon you’ll be off to Hogwarts yourself, won’t you? What will your old Uncle Ron do, how will I brightened up my morning when your beautiful face is off to that nasty old school?”

Blushing, Lily pushed her way free of her Uncle and chided “Will you stop, some times Uncle Ron you are so silly,” she looked at her mother and asked, “Now can we go play?”

Ginny replied shaking her head “No, but you two can go wash your hands and set the table, that is as soon as your dad is finished mauling Hugo,” at that everyone’s attention turned to where Harry came walking toward them from the kitchen holding Hugo upside down by the ankles laughing.

Hugo sputtered as he laughed, “Un…cle Ha..rr..y, let meee do..wn,” he squirmed trying to free himself, his face turning a bright crimson as blood rushed to his face forced there by gravity,

Ginny chided her husband “Harry will you put that poor boy right before his head explodes”

Harry responded by gently setting the boy down and letting him go. “I caught him trying to nick a sausage from the kitchen,” as he walked over to welcome Ron and shake his hand, still laughing he added “he looked exactly like you did when I accidentally hit you with that levitation spell from Professor Snape’s old potions book, remember, up in our old dorm room?”

Ron laughing too, shook Harry’s hand and slapped him on the shoulder “Erm, yea I remember, never got you back for that one, did I mate,” he jested.

Harry then went to greet Hermione with a hug but she just brushed past him coldly and followed Ginny who was already headed for the kitchen. He looked to Ron for an explanation of Hermione’s behavior. Ron just shrugged his shoulders.

“She’s not upset with me rough housing with Hugo is she?” Harry inquired, “She’s never gotten upset before,” Ron shook his head giving a negative response to Harry’s question, ”Well she can’t have reacted that way because she’s still going on about the half blood prince thing after twenty two years, is she?”

“I am pretty sure that’s not it either,” replied Ron noncommittally “Why don’t we skip it for now aye, lets help the kids with the table. I sure don’t want breakfast ruined, I am starved. I wouldn’t worry yourself, you know Hermione when she’s ready to let you have it, you’ll get it, whether you want it or not,” and he winced with the thought and poked Harry in the ribs with his elbow.

As the two men entered the dinning room they heard the end of the children’s conversation, Hugo was telling Lily, “my mom and dad have been up most of the night arguing,” this combined with Hermione’s earlier rejection to his attempted greeting was giving Harry a disagreeable feeling in his stomach. He looked over at Ron who was reacting to the kid’s conversation by turning a bit ashen. Ron refused to acknowledge Harry’s glare and proceeded to help the children set the table.

Hugo, having his father’s appetite, was cleaning up his third helping of sausages and fried potatoes while Lily waited patiently for him to finish. Harry had looked up several time during breakfast and discovered Hermione glaring angrily at him. His attempts to start a conversation with her were met with curt short replies. Ron simply ignored or pretended to ignore what was taking place around him, focusing on his food. Ginny however picked up on the hostility being directed at her husband and the tension in the room.

Getting up from the table, Ginny excused the children and directed them to Lily’s bedroom to play, once they left the room she frostily turned her attention to the remaining people at the table, “I’m not sure what is going on here but I am going to the kitchen to fetch the sweet rolls and coffee, when I return we are all going to have a little chat,” All three remaining people at the table went to get up and give her a hand but Ginny stopped them cold snapping “I don’t need any of your help, the three of you just sit there quietly and you’d better not start anything until I get back” and she huffed out of the room.

Harry threw his hands up in exasperation and returned Hermione’s angry glare but heeded his wife’s warning and sat quietly. Mean while, Ron kept his head down and shoveled fork after fork of food into his mouth, eating as much as he could before the battle began. Hermione sat rigid, still glaring at Harry, with her arms crossed over her chest and her legs crossed at the ankles.

After a few minutes Ginny returned levitating two large trays with her wand. On one tray was a large plate stacked with the sweet rolls she’d baked earlier and four small desert plates, on the other tray sat four coffee cups, four saucers, clean silverware and a carafe. She set the trays down on the table and with a flick of her wand the items on the trays traded places with the dirty breakfast dishes and the empty bowls that had contained the sausages, fried potatoes and porridge. The only items left on the table that had been there prior to Ginny’s little piece of domestic magic were the milk pitcher and sugar bowl. She left the dinning room, the trays loaded with the dirty dishes floating along in front of her, not saying a word.

Ron, who no longer had food to shovel into his mouth to keep it busy, said in a whisper, “I think she’s a bit put out with you two,”

Hermione whispered back angrily, “Ron, shut up,”

But he didn’t, he continued still whispering, “I still don’t get why your so ruddy hacked off at Harry, he ain’t got nothing to do with this, it’s me you should be sorting out isn’t it? I am the one said yes. I think you’re a bit off your head, you are.”

Harry sat listening very closely trying to get a heads up on what was going on, but the conversation got no farther because just as Ron finished, Ginny returned to the dinning room. She sat down in her chair and said calmly, “Ok, Hermione, tell me what’s up?” Then looking at Ron and Harry and she said firmly “you two keep your traps shut till she’s finish!”

Hermione stared at Harry again but the anger was gone from her eyes, it was replaced by the intense look Harry had seen so often when she stared down a suspected criminal she was prosecuting in front of the Wizengamot. Harry sat up straight and squirmed a bit under her stare even though he was not aware of being guilty of anything. Hermione began.

“Last night as I was leaving the Ministry, Minister Shacklebolt stopped me in the hall and asked if he could accompany me home. He said he needed to have word with Ron. I agreed of course, he is the Minister after all. When we arrived however he asked Ron to take a walk with him, leaving me alone in the house with Hugo. The Minister never returned but when Ron did he told me he’d agreed to fill in for Harry in the Auror Division while Harry was out. Well you’ve done it Harry, you’ve managed to suck Ron back in it haven’t you?”

Harry looked at Ron who was sitting, head tilted down, looking at his hands that were folded in front of him on the table. Then he looked back at his wife and Hermione who were both now looking at him accusingly, Hermione with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Harry was beginning to understand what Hermione was so upset about. Hermione had spent years trying to get Ron to resign from the Auror Division and take a safe position working for his brother George at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, Ron had flatly refused. Then a little over six years ago Ron, working alone had tracked down and captured six dangerous six escapees from Azkaban prison, three were known former Death Eaters with life sentences and three had come of age after Voldemort’s demise and been charged and convicted for crimes against muggles. He’d produced a Patronus and sent it with instructions, back to the Ministry requesting assistance but while waited for assistance, the escapees become aware of his presence and attacked him. When help, in the form of other Aurors arrived, they found Ron leaning against the wall holding his wand over the six incapacitated escapees their wands at his feet, when the Aurors reached him, he collapsed grievously injured. They had needed to use all their skills to preserve Ron’s life and magically transported him to Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.

Ron spent a week teetering between life and death before he’d started to improve. It had taken an additional six weeks before he’d been released from the hospital. After two months recuperating at home, Ron returned to his job at the Auror Division and had been given a hero’s welcome. Ron was, from that point on the most highly respected Auror in the Division and even Harry was not considered his equal.

Afterward, Hermione had never said another word to Ron about resigning but the stress of her worrying took its toll like it never had before. She was unable to sleep and ate sporadically losing weight. She looked haggard all the time and broke down crying for no reason. Ginny and others tried to help but found there was nothing they could do. Hermione took a leave from her post at the Ministry for health reasons, she and the kids had been spending the day at the Burrow visiting with Ron’s mother when Ron showed up at midday with the news that he’d resigned. Molly Weasley kept her grandchildren with her sending Ron and Hermione off by themselves for a few days. When they returned Hermione was back to her old self and Ron accepted the job that George had been offering him.

The head of the Auror Department and the Minister made several attempts over the following years to get Ron to reconsider and return to his position. Ron had always listened politely and refused but last night Ron had apparently agreed to return and Hermione was, Harry realized, blaming him. “Blimey, she thinks I’ve conspired with the Minister to drag Ron back into a life filled with danger,” Harry thought “no wonder she’s so hacked off with me,”

Ginny cleared her throat, demanding with out words that Harry respond to what Hermione had just said. Harry reached to his back pocket and withdrew the two letters. He held them as he spoke in a shaky somber voice, “Hermione, I have never discussed Ron’s return to the Auror Division with the Minister, although I think Ron is more than capable, he has his reasons why he left and I respect his decision. If he chooses to return, I will respect that decision as well. I’m not going to lie to you Hermione. I missed Ron when he left. You two are my dearest friends, you are family and I love you both. I would never intentionally hurt either of you for any reason. Please believe me. Before I got these letters this morning,” he held out his hand containing the letters, shaking them, “I had no idea I was even leaving my job,” He tossed the letter on the table in front of Hermione, “Read them for yourself,”

Harry sat quietly as the letters were read first by Hermione and then Ron read them as well. When Ron finished he looked at Harry, his shoulders slumped a bit and he said, “So how’d you mess up, mate? I mean you had to mess up some way, right, to get put on special assignment and all?”

Harry looked at Ron, and then he looked at Ginny and Hermione. They sat looking at him silent and expectantly. He didn’t have an answer for Ron’s question.

When Harry didn’t answer, Ron continued his musings out loud, “I mean Percy was put on special assignment four years ago by the Minister, wasn’t he? He has never returned to his position as Assistant to the Minister. As far as any one knows, he’s still on special assignment. We all thought Minister Shacklebolt was grooming him to take his place. So Percy would have to of ballsed up something awfully bad to be sent away by the Minister for this long, wouldn’t he? And I can’t remember anyone else from the Ministry being placed on special assignment,”

Harry still had no answer for any of them. Harry thought about what Ron had said. It was true, most people felt that Percy must have messed up in some major way to have basically disappeared from the Ministry the way he had. It had been a shame, Percy had started off so wrong, he’d been guided by the principals of money and power early in his career at the Ministry and then after Voldemort’s defeat, he resigned. Percy spent the following two years rebuilding his relationship with his family. He stood by his brother George who was grieving over his twin brother, Fred’s death. Percy moved in with George, ran George’s business for awhile and dragged him home drunk on fire whisky when George went through a bad drinking phase. When George finally came around, after almost two years, and could stand on his own, Percy accepted a lowly position back at the Ministry. Percy had worked hard and done good work, eventually gaining the trust and admiration of his fellow workers and the Minister. Percy moved up in the Ministry again, but this time he hadn’t used the backs of others to do it. Ron was right, in the eyes of most people; Percy was perhaps a year, maybe two, away from having Minister Shacklebolt back him as his successor. Then he was gone with no reasons given other than that he was on special assignment for the Minister. He still showed up at family functions, was extremely close to his brother George, he came over to Harry and Ginny’s for dinner from time to time but he never would talk about what had happened and what he was doing.

Finally Harry gave up, shrugging; he said not to any one in particular, “I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. If I have done something wrong, I can’t even guess what it would be. If I am being shunned by the Ministry, punished in some way, I don’t know why but I promise that before this morning I had no idea that I was leaving and that Ron would be asked to take my place,”

Hermione got up from her chair and came over to Harry. She hugged him hard and started blubbering. He could feel her tears splashing down on his t-shirt and he didn’t know what to do, so he hugged her back, looking to Ron and Ginny for some help, but no help came, they just sat there looking bemused. Hermione continued to hug Harry but calmed down enough to apologize “I am s..s..so sorry Harry. I ..I ..I . don’t know what’s… what’s the matter with me, Ron was r.r.right, I might need my head examined. How I could have thought th..that you, and the Min..Minister, I took it all out on you? I’m so s..s..sorry,”

Harry held her and patted her back “I love you Hermione,” was all he said. It was enough. She hugging him for just a second more then she returned to her seat with a happy smile on her face and red puffy eyes.

Harry sat there in a state of concerned bewilderment, Hermione’s out burst was completely unlike his friend and her sudden change of moods a bit scary, he could tell that Ginny was felling the same way by the way she was looking at Hermione. Ron on the other hand was gazing at his wife with total adoration and she was returning his loving gaze. The two just sat there looking into each others eyes. Ginny finally burst their little love bubble “Umm .. Hermione are you ok? Ron, I don’t know about you returning to the Ministry, I don’t want to see her fall apart again,”

“What are you talking about Ginny,” replied Ron, appearing like he just woke up from a dream,

Ginny snapped back “I am talking about the way she was just before you resigned you git, I’m sorry Hermione, but you were having a break down and now your sort of acting the same way. Don’t put her through this again Ron, please,”

Ron’s brow creased a little as he took in Ginny’s words and digested them, “Let’s try and get this all sorted out, ok? Harry has never tried to get me to come back. Sure we talk almost daily about the Auror Department. I know for example that the department is already short handed since Williamson retired. It wasn’t a big problem though because things are rather slow with only a few really old outstanding files still active, mostly paperwork and interoffice information sharing, ain’t that right Harry,” Harry tentatively shook his head affirmatively and Ron continued “it’s so slow I’ll probably never leave the office and if Harry is gone for any extended period of time, Teddy will be finishing up his Auror training in six months, after that I’m gone. I told the Minister last night that he could have me for up to six months and that’s it. It’s not likely that much is going to change in six months, is it? George can spare me for that long.” Ron looked seriously at his wife and continued, “I am not going to let you down, I promise, six months at the most, I’ll be careful. You will know if for any reason I leave the office on a case, otherwise I will be sitting there pushing paper and you’ll have no need to worry, ok?”

Harry and Ginny looked over to Hermione, who was still gazing at her husband lovingly, “I’ll be fine,” she crooned,

Harry was beginning to think some kind of spell had been cast on Hermione and began looking around the dinning room for the culprit.

Ron gazing back at Hermione, that love bubble thing starting to form again, reassuring her “sure you will, and you’ll only be, like what, in your eighth month, when all of this is over, right”

Ginny jumped up and squealed, Harry, still not catching on and thinking something was wrong, reached for his wand and hit the floor tumbling out of his chair. Ron started laughing and Hermione, blushing, whacked Ron on the side of his head, saying “you weren’t suppose to say anything, you git,”

Harry, from the floor, said, “what the!”

Ginny, jumping up and down, squealed, “Is it true, are you pregnant?”

Hermione, now squealing too, came back with, “Yes!”

Ron still laughing got up from his chair and bent over, offering a stunned Harry Potter a hand up.

It was finally dawning on Harry what was going on, he excepted Ron’s help up and shook Ron’s hand smiling, Ginny and Hermione where hugging, Ron picked this moment to utter “I’m kind a still hungry, do you think we can have a go at those sweet rolls now?” this comment caused every one to start laughing.

The mood had definitely changed in the dinning room of #7 Hamptenshire Lane. Everybody settled back down in their chairs, coffee was served by Ginny and the talk between the two girls was all about babies. Much to the delight of Hermione, Ginny informed everybody that she and Harry were trying to get in the family way also.

Ron sat quietly, eating sweet rolls, beaming with pride.

Harry was glad for his friend’s good news. He sat quietly as well, drinking his coffee, eating a sweet roll, enjoying the moment and thinking, “This is what it’s all about, it’s not about letters, it’s not about jobs, it’s about family, family matters most.”


Chapter 3: Chapter 3: The Lucky Man
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

((Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor do I wish that I did. I could never have produced the masterpiece that JKR has.))
A/N: I have the best Beta in the world. Her pen name is Pingo and my story would not be nearly as good with out her. She is the talent, I am just the story teller. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper sack with out her help. Thank you so much Pingo, you’re the best.

Chapter 3: The Lucky Man

Several hours after breakfast, close to midday, Ron, Hermione and Hugo departed the Potter house. This time they used Harry and Ginny’s fire place and floo powder as a means of transportation, their destination, the Burrow. Now that the kneazle was out of the bag, Ron and Hermione decided they had better drop in on Ron’s mom and dad and let them know about the expected family addition and then they planned on spending Sunday evening with Hermione's family telling them the good news. Ron was hoping his mom would offer up some lunch and maybe, if he was lucky, he would get Sunday dinner at the Granger’s.

Harry spent most of Saturday afternoon searching the attic for his old school trunk and found it buried under Ginny’s old Holyhead Harpies Quidditch equipment and robes. She played seeker for the Harpies for three years prior to the birth of James, helping them finish out of last place for the first time in their history. Harry levitated the trunk removing it from the attic and set it down in the middle of the living room. Never having really unpacked it since finishing up and leaving Hogwarts it was full of old junk. Lily and Ginny had a good time helping him clean out the trunk, sorting through everything, tossing out the trash and boxing up the rest. Harry repacked the trunk with normal everyday clothes, several sets of robes, quills, parchment, several types of ink, his invisibility cloak and the Marauder's Map.

As he packed the last two items in the trunk he thought about them a bit. The future ownership of these items had bothered him for some time. He wanted Lily to have his invisibility cloak, he knew that for sure, but the Marauder's Map was a different story. He had thought he would give it to Albus in his second year at Hogwarts seeing as James managed to get in enough mischief without it but with Ginny wanting another child, now he was unsure. Harry heard his wife calling out “Harry, Lily, get washed up, dinner is almost ready,” Harry closed the trunk trying to make a mental note of the other things he needed to bring with him as he headed to his bedroom and its bathroom to get cleaned up for dinner.

The family table still felt a bit empty without James and Albus. Harry ate quietly while Ginny and Lily talked excitedly about Hermione’s good news. Before dinner was completed an owl arrived at the dinning room window tapping loudly. Lily rushed over and opened the window. The owl, with a note attached to its leg swooped in and landed on the dinning room table. Harry asked Ginny humorously, “Would you do the pleasures, I am in no mood for any more letters today,”

Ginny removed the note from the owl, scratched its head giving it a scrape of food from her plate. The owl hooted and remained in place. “I think this is the new owl George bought mom and dad. After Errol passed away they never seemed able to replace him themselves, One of these days Harry maybe we should think of getting a family owl, or Lily an owl, when the boys aren’t home it makes it kind of rough,” Ginny had been examining the owl as she said this knowing darn well Harry had never been able to replace his owl, Hedwig, even after all these years, now she turned her attention to the note, “Yep, it’s from mom, after Ron and Hermione’s visit, mom has decided to get the family together tomorrow for lunch at the Burrow and have them make the official announcement, she is asking if we can make it?”

Ginny looked up at Harry, Lily looked at her dad too and said “Daddy please,”

How could he say no to that, Harry shook his head “yes”, saying “Ron’s having a good weekend, he’s probably managed to nick three meals so far,”

Ginny gave him a fake look of disapproval for his comment about Ron, giggled and wrote their acceptance on the note returning it to the owls leg, Lily came over and gave Harry a kiss on his cheek and a hug saying sweetly “Thank you daddy,”

With a loud hoot the owl took off and flew out the window. They all finished their dinner with Harry thinking how his daughter had the same knack as his wife, for getting what she wanted from him.

Harry woke up Sunday morning smiling, feeling extremely contented again. Ginny was sleeping with her head on his shoulder all snuggled up to him. He had slept like a rock for the second consecutive night and he laid there soaking it all in. Every morning he woke up with Ginny beside him was a gift that nineteen years ago he never thought would be possible. “I’m a lucky man,” he whispered aloud.

Ginny surprised him by whispering back “I know,” and she hugged him gently.

After breakfast they all readied themselves for the gathering at the Burrow. Ginny wanted to get there early and help her mom get ready. Lily had been waiting impatiently by the living room fireplace for fifteen minutes when her parents finally joined her. Lily said “I go first,” Harry watched Lily grab a hand full of floo powder from a bowl that set on the floor next to the living room fireplace; she threw it into the hearth and green flames burst to life. Lily stepped into the flames and said, “The Burrow,” and disappeared. Ginny went next and Harry followed. Harry stepped into the green fire, the fire was not hot but felt cool instead, he said, “The Burrow” and started to spin, the sensation was as though he was traveling and spinning down a large tube, he could make out the openings of other fireplaces and the rooms beyond along the way, he began to slow down and Harry spotted the Burrow’s kitchen where he stepped out from the flames feeling a bit queasy and wondering if he would ever get used to the sensation of traveling in this method.

When Harry materialized into and stepped out of the Burrow’s kitchen fireplace, Ginny and Lily were there, brushing some soot from their clothes. Bill’s wife Fluer, and their two youngest daughters, Antoinette who is ten years old, and Bridget who is eight, had already arrived and were busy helping Mrs. Weasley in the kitchen. After everybody was properly greeted with many kisses and hugs, Ginny and Lily joined the work being done, Ginny asked Fluer “Have you heard from Victoire,” Bill and Fluer’s oldest daughter Victoire is seventeen and in her seventh year at Hogwarts. Harry’s Godson Teddy and Victoire had been inseparable growing up and now romance was taking over, where once a strong childhood friendship existed.

Antoinette answered for her mom, “Oh yes, all she says is how she misses Teddy, Teddy this and Teddy that,” The women laughed.

Fluer added, “She might concentrate on her studies a little, aye Molly?”

Harry made his exit from the kitchen as quickly as possible missing the rest of the women’s conversation, leaving the house, he headed to Mr. Weasley’s shed where Harry figured his father-in-law was probably hiding out. Harry entered the shed and saw that Arthur was indeed inside; he and Ginny’s brother Bill were sitting in old wooden chairs, drinking butterbeer and listening to a big old wizarding wireless set. Arthur and Bill looked a bit startled when Harry entered the old shed. Arthur, stood up, offered his hand “Blimey! Harry, I thought you might be Molly or Fluer coming to put us to work, they didn’t spot you heading this way, did they?”

“I don’t think so,” Harry shook Arthur’s hand and then Bill’s in greeting.

Bill asked, peaking out the door toward the house, “How’s Ginny and the kids” and Arthur with a wave of his wand caused a chair to emerge from what looked like a pile of old debris at the back of the shed and set it down next to the others.

“They’re great, I saw Fluer and the girls when I got here, they look good,” Harry could now hear the broadcast from the wireless; it was a Quidditch match. “Who’s playing?” Harry asked as they all took their seats and

Arthur offered Harry a butterbeer which he accepted gladly and replied, “Ginny’s old team the Holyhead Harpies against Puddlemere United,”

Harry mused aloud, “I thought they played yesterday morning, I was going to listen but Ron and Hermione stopped by,”

“For breakfast I bet,” Bill ribbed and Harry nodded with a smile.

Arthur chuckled a little, “They did start yesterday morning. The Snitch hasn’t been caught yet. Puddlemere United is breaking in a new Seeker and he hasn’t a clue and every time the Holyhead Harpies Seeker makes a move, she is blocked by a Puddlemere United Beater. The Harpies have scored most of their points on penalty shots. Right now it’s Harpies 1010 to Puddlemere United’s 870,”

Harry sat listened to the game, enjoying his drink, “Who is coming today?”

Arthur thought for a moment and then responded, “Well besides your family, Bill’s family and Ron’s of course, Percy will be here, in fact I’m surprised he’s not here already, and George and his family, Charlie can’t make the trip from Romania, he is on Dragon watch duty this weekend and his wife Bianca doesn’t like traveling with their four boys without him, so they won’t be here either, Lee Jordan and his family were going to be here but that’s him your listening to, so unless this match ends soon, it’s likely they will miss it,”

Bill added, “even if it does, he is likely to be exhausted, won’t he?”

“Bill, you know Lee, he’s like Ron, it there’s food and it’s good, he’ll show up if possible,” Arthur quipped.

Arthur handed out another round of butterbeers and the three men settled in to listen to the match. Harry realized, now that he was listening more closely, it was indeed Lee Jordan doing the commentary. He was a little hoarse but still recognizable. Harry had first heard Lee’s commentary style from high up on his broom as he competed in his first Quidditch match as Gryffindor’s Seeker in his first year at Hogwarts.

Lee and the twins Fred and George had been best of friends at Hogwarts. Afterwards, Lee had managed to run a mobile renegade Wizarding Wireless Network program during the months prior to the end of Voldemort’s reign. He used this program to broadcast the truth about the Ministry’s take over and to bolster support for the resistance. Under assumed names Fred, George and others had appeared on Lee’s program called “Potters Watch”.

Lee became famous in the Wizarding Wireless Network business after Voldemort’s defeat. He spent the following two years building what had been a sporadic, single hour a day program into a twenty four hour a day operation. Lee’s own expanded three hour a day late afternoon program was the cornerstone of what became the most successful Wizarding Wireless Network station of its day. Lee’s life became all work and no fun and he’d lost touch with his one remaining best friend, George, in the process.

Several years ago, over dinner, Ginny’s parents had taken Harry and Ginny into there confidence and shared with them the truth of how George and Lee had reconnected. It was Percy who’d contacted Lee seventeen years ago and told him of George’s plight. Lee tracked down George the following night in Hogsmeade, at the Hog’s Head pub. George was already half crocked on fire whisky. The two sat and reminisced all night about Fred and all the mischief and fun the three of them had gotten into. No one knows exactly how it all came about, but Lee sold his Wizarding Wireless Network station for a small fortune to a very wealthy wizard named John Peel, who was looking to break into the wizarding broadcasting business. Part of the deal included Lee doing his late afternoon program three times a week and occasional doing commentary of Quidditch matches. He used a portion of the proceeds to buy into George’s stagnating business, Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and became George’s partner. Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes rebounded and over the years, they became the largest producers and retailers of magical novelties and practical jokes in all of Europe. Lee became a regular at Weasley family gatherings, Molly and Arthur virtually adopting Lee as there own.

Four years after their reunion and partnership, with the business flourishing, the two went on a four week hiatus to a sea coast wizarding resort in Somerset. While relaxing and having a good time the two met and spent time with two witches, Opal and her younger sister, Jasper. Within a year the Burrow became the site of a double wedding, George took Opal, the more rowdy of the sisters, to be his wife and Lee married Jasper, the prettier of the two. Then five years ago George and Opal presented to the Weasley clan a son name Fred after George’s twin brother. The day after Fred was born, Lee’s wife, Jasper gave birth to a daughter who they named Minerva, after Lee’s favorite teacher at Hogwarts.

It was a loud cry of “No!” that brought Harry back to the present from his reminiscing. He looked around realizing that the cry had come from Bill and Arthur. They sat there shaking there heads with displeasure.

Harry heard Lee over the wireless shouting “they don’t deserve it the bloody gits, so after twenty three hours and twenty minutes of fouling and brutalizing the Harpies Seeker, the Puddlemere United win the match. What a pile of ghoul manure! The final score Puddlemere United 1070 to the Holyhead Harpies 1060,”

Arthur taped the wireless with his wand turning it off in disgust “I don’t know why I root for those witches,”

“Yes you do,” Bill replied with a snicker.

Color rose in Arthur’s checks and he meekly responded to Bill’s jibe, grinning, “yeah well, maybe we better head back to the house, we are probably close to exceeding the good will of our witches, don’t you think?”

Ron, Hermione and Hugo had just got there when Harry, Arthur and Bill returned from the shed. Percy arrived a few minutes after them. George and Lee with their families turned up together a few minutes late, citing the long running Quidditch match as their excuse.

Lunch had been, as it always was at the Burrow, a warm and pleasant family affair, with good food, great conversations and plenty of love shared by all.
Several years ago, George had given his parents an expensive anniversary present. He brought in wizards who specialized in home improvement charms and spells. Although from the out side, the Burrow looked just the same, the inside had been magically altered. It had the same look and feel about it, but when required, certain rooms and furnishings expanded to allow for the growing Weasley clan, making it possible for all of the subsequent Weasley gatherings to take place indoors without anyone feeling crowded. During Lunch Ron gave the announcement that they had all been brought together for. Everyone cheered and toasted the expectant parents, as well as the soon to be big brother Hugo, who turned a startling shade of red, as all good Weasleys do, with the embarrassment of garnering so much attention.

After lunch the kids were sent off to play, the adults remained inside, enjoying each others company. Several times, Harry attempted to converse with Percy about all this special assignment business but Percy always seemed to slip him. He didn’t seem to be overtly avoiding him but much to Harry’s annoyance, Percy seemed to have something important to do or somebody else he needed to talk to every time Harry approached him. Before he could get the chance to corner him, Percy had said his goodbye’s and left.

Percy’s apparent avoidance left Harry feeling apprehensive as he, Ginny and Lily got ready to head home. Molly inquired of Ginny “I was going to ask you if Lily could just spend the rest of the day and tonight here, she is going to be here in the morning anyway. You haven’t forgotten that we’ve planned to start the children’s classes tomorrow have you? Fluer has already agreed to let Antoinette and Bridget stay, I thought they could help me finish getting things ready and then the girls could have an end of the summer slumber party.”

The Ministry discouraged witches and wizards from sending their children to public muggle schools as it was near impossible for the Ministry to monitor accidental displays of magic and cover them up. Most magical families home schooled or found other means of providing primary education for their children. Mrs. Weasley schooled her grand children in the basics of reading, writing, basic wizarding history and other essential skills just as she had done for her own children. This tradition started when Andromeda Tonks, Teddy’s grandmother had been having a hard time keeping the boy busy and keeping up with his growing curiosity. She‘d approached Mrs. Weasley with the idea of combining to provide care and primary education for Teddy and Victoire together in one setting. Molly was already taking care of Victoire during the week days for Bill and Fluer and she agreed thinking it would be good for the kids. As other grandchildren came along they were cared for and taught at the Burrow as well. Ginny joined her mother and Andromeda after James was born taking over the care of the small children freeing Molly and Andromeda to concentrate on educating the older ones. Fluer resigned her position at Gringotts Wizarding Bank when she was pregnant with Antoinette and replaced an aging Andromeda. Wave after wave of young witches and wizards found their way to the Burrow and when they turned eleven went off to Hogwarts.

In reply to her mother’s request that Lily stay over night, Ginny looked at Harry and Harry looked at Lily who said “please daddy” and she gave him a hug. Harry looked at Ginny helplessly and shook his head “yes,”

Ginny leaned over and gave her mother a hug goodbye “You always make everything so wonderful mom, I love you,”

Molly whispered into her daughter’s ear, “now you take that man of yours home and cook him a nice dinner and be sweet to him, ok, Ron and Hermione’s new baby is going to need somebody its own age to play with,”

Ginny pulled back from the hug turning slightly red in the face,” Mom!”

Her mother responded giggling and winking slightly at her daughter. “Ginny I might be old but I’m not that old,”

Harry caught only the last part of this exchange between his wife and his mother-in-law and he couldn’t help but feel as if he was being lead down the yellow brick road. Tentatively, he gave Molly a hug goodbye and a kiss on her cheek, meekly he muttered “Thanks mom,” and Ginny and her mom giggled.

“What?” Harry asked,

Ginny replied “Oh, nothing dear, lets go home,” Harry caught the wink she gave back at her mother, and knew that tonight he would probably sleep like a rock again for the third night in a row.

Upon arriving home Ginny helped Harry finish putting the things together for Harry’s trip to Hogwarts. “When do you figure you’ll be leaving in the morning?”

“I thought I would apparate from the back yard around six in the morning. I was hoping Hagrid would meet me in Hogsmeade and help and accompany me to the school grounds. I was hoping to get there early and visit with Hagrid maybe he has an idea of what’s going on, but I just realized I forgot to post him a note telling him when to expect me,” Harry responded,

“Well you better not forget these,” Ginny said as she walked over and set Harry and Albus’s brooms down on Harry’s trunk.

“Thanks, I don’t know what I would do without you, I am going to miss you Gin,” with this Harry reached over and took is wife’s hand in his. Looking into her eyes and he felt a little glum “I don’t like being away from you even for one night,”

Ginny came closer to Harry and snuggled into him getting a hug in return she looked up into his face and said sweetly, “I’m going to get the stuff put together for Lily and pop it over to the Burrow, I’ll use mom and dad’s owl and let Hagrid know you’ll be there in the morning, why don’t you go in and take a short nap, when I get back I’ll get dinner and I’ll wake you up when it’s ready,”

Harry noticed that same mischievous look on his wife’s face that she had when she and her mom where their saying goodbyes at the Burrow. He kissed her tenderly pulling her even closer and whispered into her ear “I love you,”

Ginny pushed him away playfully saying “You had better Harry Potter,”

Shaking his head and smiling he did what he was told and as headed for the bedroom he thought to himself “I am a lucky man.”


Chapter 4: Homecoming
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

((Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor do I wish that I did. I could never have produced the masterpiece that JKR has.))
A/N: I have the best Beta in the world. Her pen name is Pingo and my story would not be nearly as good with out her. She is the talent, I am just the story teller. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper sack with out her help. Thank you so much Pingo, you’re the best.

Chapter 4: Homecoming

On a warm cloudless night with a full moon providing illumination, Harry and Dumbledore stood on the edge of an unfamiliar wooded area. Enormous ancient trees grew within the forest and darkness reigned under the dense canopy created by the upper most entangled branches of the trees. Thick underbrush grew at ground level under the canopy as if the bushes and vines were keeping guard, baring the way to any traveler who might try and gain entrance. Harry was not sure where exactly they were or how they had gotten here, he looked over to Dumbledore and saw a panicked expression on his wise old face the likes of which Harry had never seen and it scared him. Dumbledore pointed at the dark foreboding forest and screamed at Harry “Ginny is in there and she is in grave danger!”

Harry withdrew his wand and charged into the forest. He struggled through the thick tangle of bushes, vines and low braches, tripping over the exposed roots of the massive trees. The foliage seemed to grab at his clothing holding him back. He found himself in complete darkness and said “Lumos” flicking his wand. The light emitting from his wand only drove back the darkness in about a five meter circle around him. Dumbledore was not visible in the available light. Harry stopped and listened, the only sounds he heard were his own ragged breathing, the pounding of his panicked heart and the normal sounds of the forest. He did not hear the expected sounds of Dumbledore crashing through the forest some where nearby. Harry realized he was alone.

Frantic, Harry renewed his efforts, searching frenziedly through the forest. He had no idea where Ginny was but he knew he had to find her. Nothing mattered to him at that moment but her safety. Harry sensed a movement to his right and turned to look toward it. Suddenly red and green flashes of light exploded into existence and headed right for him. He immediately knew he was under attack and that there were too many for him to fight off alone. He took off running in the opposite direction, ducking and weaving, moving as fast as the crushing foliage around him would allow. All around him spells hit the trucks of trees, exploding with loud bangs, the spells and jinxes missing him by inches. He ran wildly, zigzagging to avoid the barrage of spells being cast his way. In front of him Harry saw a break in the growth. It was a clearing and at its center, illuminated by the full moon, he could clearly see Ginny kneeling in front of a tall figure of a man in wizarding robes. Just as he made the edge of the clearing Harry saw the figure raise his arm with wand in hand and point it at Ginny and he clearly heard the man’s triumphant voice ring out “Avada Ka…”

Harry screamed “No!” and was raising his own wand ……

Harry’s nightmare was interrupted by Ginny who had a hand on his shoulder and was shaking him and pleading, “Harry, Harry, wake up,”

Harry subconsciously resisted being ripped from the nightmare. Its final scene was still frozen in his mind waiting for his return. Harry’s every instinct made him resist waking up and drove him to return and save his one true love from certain death. He fought to get back to the Ginny of his nightmare but the real Ginny was shaking him again, “Harry wake up, what is that noise?”

Slowly, reluctantly Harry was pulled into wakefulness. He felt his heart pounding in his chest and he became aware that his bedclothes were drenched in sweat. Gradually his conscious mind was taking over and groggily he realized he’d been having a nightmare again. Harry habitually reached to his scar, “no, no pain,” he came almost fully awake with the awareness that all was still safe.

“Harry!” Ginny, almost shouted, “What’s making all that noise?”

Harry sat up in bed with a start, focused on the fact that the banging he had associated with the exploding of missed spells in his nightmare had not ended with his dream. “I’m sorry,” he stammered, getting out of bed and grabbing his wand, “stay here, I’ll check it out,”

The banging was coming from the front of the house and Harry made his way carefully out of his bedroom feeling his way through the darkness. The absence of light coming from the widows indicated to Harry that morning was far from dawning. He gave his wand a flick and said “Lumos” and the tip of his wand created enough light for him to see through the darkness. As he approaches the front of the house, Harry realized that the banging was coming from the front door and who ever was doing the pounding was likely to smash the door in if wasn’t stop soon. In a loud and demanding voice he asked, “Who’s out there?”

The banging stopped and a gruff voice replied “’s me Harry, ’s Hagrid, open the door an’ let me in, lights are comin’ on in howses all up and down the street,”

Moving quickly Harry unlocked and opened the front door to his house and Hagrid rushed in, barely fitting, bending low as to not hit his head on the door frame. Harry noticed Hagrid had on his driving goggles and on a hunch looked out the door before closing it. The flying motorbike that Hagrid liked to fly around on was sitting in his front lawn. Closing the door, a little up set, Harry asked, “What time is it?” and then he waved his wand, and brought lights on in the entry way and living room.

“’s nearly fer,” answered Hagrid stepping into the living room looking a bit disheveled.

Following behind Hagrid, Harry a little shaken and confused asked worriedly, “What are you doing here Hagrid, is everything all right?”

But before Hagrid could answer, Ginny entered the living room from the bedroom pulling on a housecoat over her nightgown, “Harry is that Hagrid I hear,” and then seeing Hagrid, “what’s going on? Is everything all right, are the boys okay?”

“Yes, yes the boys are fine. I was jus hopin’ maybe Harry might wan’ a fly to Hogwarts on that broom of ‘is. Thought I’d come to give ‘im some help hauling his stuff. I got yeh’re post last night saying Harry was leaving around six o’clock, spected you’d be up an all,” Hagrid looked from Ginny to Harry then at his large shuffling feet saying “I guess I shouldn’ta just dropped by, aye? Wasn’ a good idea, I think I woke the whole neighborhood,”

Harry broke out in a big smile and gave his old friend a hug, “Don’t worry about it Hagrid, it isn’t the first time Godric's Hollow has been woke up in the middle of the night and it probably wont be the last,”

Ginny walked over to the hairy old half giant she’d come to love as much as Harry over the years wiping the sleep from her eyes. She hugged him looking up into his big kind hairy face and said with a playful scolding tone, “And so how were you planning to haul his stuff? You and my dad didn’t get that old motorbike of your’s running again did you?”

Hagrid released the grip he had on the two Potters and stepped back looking down at his large feet again, “Well I wasn’ waning to get yer dad in trouble with yeh an yer mum or nothin’ but Arthur did sort a give me a hand, it works great now, it does. I got the side car on and I was sort a thinkin’ Harry could pack ‘is luggage and all in it,”

Harry turned to his wife and gave her, what she had affectionately come to call “the big green eyes”, the look that usually got him what he wanted, “how about it Gin he’s here and everything,”

Ginny could feel his excitement and knew that Harry’s least favorite way to travel was apparation. She knew how much he loved to fly and that he hardly ever got the chance. Ginny not wanting to give in to quickly, gave the two men a look she usually reserved for her children when ever they tried to pull a fast one over on her, “I don’t know,” and she paused waiting for the reaction she knew she would get and the two over grown boys did not let her down. The stood there heads down, looking crushed and crest fallen. Ginny then continued with a playful grin on her lips, “sure it’s fine, but the two of you be careful and I want an owl letting me know you got there okay,”

Harry and Hagrid exchanged excited smiles, then Hagrid winked at Ginny and jokingly bowed to her saying, “yeh doesn’ have ter worry abou’ a thing. I’ll keep me eye on ‘im the whole way,”

Harry reached out and pulled his wife into him and gave her a squeeze and a kiss on her forehead, “thanks Gin,” and then to Hagrid he said “why don’t you push the motorbike around to the backyard, the concealment charms are stronger back there, we’ll pack up and we can take off after the neighbors go back to bed, I’ll get my things and meet you back there,”

Ginny piped in “I’ll start some tea and warm up some scones, you two can eat while you wait for things to settle down.”

Hagrid took off for the front door. Harry held Ginny tighter and kissed her sweetly. Then he looked deeply into her eyes and said, “I am going to miss you terribly you know,”

Ginny pushed him away playfully and gave him one of her most seductive smiles before heading toward the kitchen saying, “Harry Potter you better not be gone to long, we have some serious work of our own to do, you know?”

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

It had been a beautiful night for flying and he and Hagrid had watched the sunrise on a glorious morning from high in the air just prior to landing on the grounds of Hogwarts. The trip had lifted Harry’s spirits, his belongings along with Albus’s broom where now sitting in a corner of Hagrid’s hut. After cleaning up from the flight Harry left the hut to enjoy the fine fall morning. Hagrid was still getting cleaning up after he’d stashed the motorbike in the forest beside his home.

Harry wandered outside and found two large sturdy wooden chairs with a small table sitting between them. The chairs faced the school grounds and the castle. Harry chose a chair and hoisted himself up into it. He noticed that the grass in front of him was slightly trampled as if students might have sat there while Hagrid taught classes on the Care of Magical Creatures. Harry also notice scorch marks in the grass and he wondered with a smile what creatures Hagrid was torturing his students with that might have caused the grass to be burned. As he sat their getting comfortable his gaze wandered up to the castle, “This was the first real home I every really knew,” Harry mused as remembrances of his first meetings with Hagrid and his best friends Ron and Hermione flooded his thoughts.

So thoroughly was Harry lost in the past that the sound of Hagrid exiting the hut caused him to start and look over to his big friend who came carrying in his large hands two hefty mugs and a tray, “I was thinkin’ some hot tea and some rock cakes might hit the spot, it was a bit chilly up there, wasn’ it?” He set the mugs and tray down on the table and sat in the remaining empty chair on the other side of it. “Olympe and I, we like to sit out here in the mornin’s and evenin’s when she’s visitin’. Try them rock cakes Harry, she’s bin given’ me sum cookin’ lessons,”

Harry took a rock cake from the tray and cautiously bit down on it. Surprised he said to Hagrid, “I don’t mean to hurt your feelings or anything Hagrid but the lessons are working, these are really good,”

Hagrid beamed blissfully at Harry “She’s a good woman me Olympe is, we decided this summer to make things more permanent. She’s resigning as headmistress of Beauxbatons an’ next year takin’ a position on staff here at Hogwarts, she’s the bes’ thing tha’ ever happened to me Harry,”

Harry was very happy for Hagrid, He and Madame Olympe had been spending time together, meeting in various place, some times one or the others school for over twenty years, “I thought neither on of you wanted to give up your jobs, what made Olympe change her mind?”

Hagrid sighed and shook his hairy head “I dunno, this summer we met here and Olympe and Professor McGonagall had a long private conversation an’ when she came back it had bin decided, I was seriously thinkin’ of retirein’ meself in a few more years after I made sure me Goddaughter got started off righ’ here,” He said this last bit with a big proud grin.

Harry knew that one of the proudest days of Hagrid’s life was the day he and Ginny had asked Hagrid to be Lily’s Godfather, ever since Hagrid had looked forward to the day that she would started her first year at Hogwarts, “Well I am very happy for the two of you Hagrid, I’m sure Olympe will be happy here. So what position did Professor McGonagall offer her?”

“I dunno but I think the Professors bin havin’ problems finding teachers to fill the places left empty by those Professors gettin’ old an’ retiring,’ ”

Hearing this information Harry straightened in his chair, thinking maybe he was on to something about what he was doing here, “Hagrid do you know why I’ve been requested to meet with McGonagall? Does it have something to do with the need for teachers?”

“Well I shouldn’ say anything abou’ that, and I really don’ know much but I ‘spect ‘s got something ta do with yeh’re brother-in-law Percy spendin’ so much time here at Hogwarts an in the Headmistresses office fer the past fur years,” replied Hagrid “an don’ ask me nothin’ more ‘cause I don know nothin’ an the staffs been asked to keep quiet abou’ it,”

Harry sat in silent surprise at this revelation about Percy, musing over the possibilities. Hagrid was relieved that Harry hadn’t pushed the issue. Both sat quietly for a long while, drinking their tea, eating Hagrid’s rock cakes and enjoying their surroundings.

Deciding he still did not have enough pieces of information to definitely pin down the reason for his visit to Hogwarts, Harry began to drift back to thoughts of his final year at the school. Looking up at the beautiful old castle and the surrounding grounds brought back memories about the days after the final battle.

At first it had been a time of funerals and healing. The day after the battle witches and wizards from all over began to show up. It turned into a scene similar to that of the tent city that Harry had experienced during the Quidditch World Cup. Day after day more of them came, some with their families in tow. Tents were erected on the grounds of Hogwarts and when it became crowded they continued to pop up out side the grounds. Huge tents were constructed as established community meeting and eating areas. Smaller tents were erected and sufficed as sleeping quarters.

Healers from St Mungo's were some of the first to arrive. Madam Pomfrey took charge and coordinated their efforts to tend to the injured from both sides of the conflict.

Portions of the Ministry of Magic briefly relocated to Hogwarts.
Kingsley Shacklebolt was named temporary Minister of Magic and initially performed his duties from with in the school. Minister Shacklebolt named Dawlish to head the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Dawlish, wanting to be near the school, set up his interim offices in very plain tents on the grounds near the entrance to the castle. He temporarily moved the Improper Use of Magic Office and the Wizengamot to the school. Griselda Marchbanks was reinstated and elevated to the position of Chief Witch of the Wizengamot.

Funerals were held for those who had died in the conflict. The funerals were followed by ceremonies honoring both the dead and the living who distinguished themselves by standing up against the Dark Lord.

Eventually the task of repairing the damage to the school itself was attended to. With the help of so many the repairs took less then three weeks to complete.

Finally after nearly two months the crowd began to disperse and life began to get back to normal.

After the Funerals, almost a month after the final battle Ron and Mr. Weasley accompanied Hermione to Australia to locate and retrieve Hermione’s parents. Harry couldn’t help but smile as the memories of their return two weeks later ran through his mind. Mr. and Mrs. Granger’s new life and memories did not include them having a child. Being childless left them feeling incomplete, so they had conspired to make themselves complete. Ron, his dad and Hermione returned to the Burrow with Hermione’s father and her now very pregnant mother. Mr. and Mrs. Granger’s memories had been restored and all three of the Grangers were a bit over come trying to deal with the resulting side effects of their Australian experience.

Two months later Mrs. Granger gave birth to Hermione’s brother Grugwyn who showed signs of magical ability early in his life. Grugwyn was a very intelligent student but unlike Hermione and much to her dismay, he was ruled by a mischievous soul and spent more time in trouble rather than out. He attended Hogwarts and had been in the same year as Teddy. After graduating he was recruited by George and Lee and went to work for them as a developer of new products and full time prankster.

Harry, Ron, Hermione and all the students that had been unable to attend school the previous year returned the following year. Arrangements were made for all students to receive additional classes to catch them up. Harry’s belated seventh year ended up being one of the best years of his life. Ginny and his relationship got the chance to grow and deepen into a passionate, strong and lasting love. Ron and Hermione were finally together as a couple and were so busy catching up on lost time snogging they didn’t have much time to argue. A relationship that had begun at Bill and Fluer’s cottage between Dean Thomas and Luna bloomed and resulted in their marriage several years later. Neville’s personality burgeoned into one of a true leader as he finished his final year as Hogwarts head boy. Without the fear of Voldemort looming around every corner, the year became one of hard work, great accomplishments, unity, celebration and new beginnings.

“Ah Harry,” Hagrid’s voice interrupted Harry’s thoughts bringing him back to the present, “are yeh okay? ‘Bout time someone should be comin’ to fetch yeh, I’m thinkin’,”

“I’m sorry Hagrid I was lost in thought. I didn’t mean to sit here and ignore you. Forgive me?”

“Tha’ happens when yeh get older Harry, don’ be worryin’ yeh’re self about it” Hagrid replied with a knowing smile and a heavy hand on Harry’s shoulder jostling him a bit.

Hagrid’s words were now sinking into Harry’s consciousness, “What do you mean someone should be coming to get me? I don’t need an escort. I went to school here. I know how to get where I’m going,”

“Well, erm, yeh see, professor McGonagall sort a left me instruction to meet up with yeh and keep yeh here until someone came to fetch yeh,” Hagrid seemed to Harry a little uncomfortable as he spoke.

“Why?” Harry asked

“I dunno Harry really I don’, I’m guessin’ it’s gotta do with not wantin’ to disrupt the students, yeh’re still famous yeh know,”

Harry shook his head and accepted this explanation for the moment. Harry realized he was thirsty and that he had finished his tea. Holding out his Mug he said “Hagrid, you don’t by chance have some pumpkin juice, if you do, could I maybe get some? I’m a bit thirsty and I’ve had my fill of tea.”

Hagrid took Harry’s mug and got to his feet, “Tha’s no problem, I’ll get yeh some,”

Harry looked back up at the castle suddenly not feeling as at home as he had a few moments before. Harry thought to himself “maybe considering this trip a Homecoming of sorts had been a mistake,”


Chapter 5: Chapter 5: School Registration and Orientation
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((Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor do I wish that I did. I could never have produced the masterpiece that JKR has.))
A/N: I have the best Beta in the world. Her pen name is Pingo and my story would not be nearly as good with out her. She is the talent, I am just the story teller. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper sack with out her help. Thank you so much Pingo, you’re the best.


Chapter 5: School Registration and Orientation

Harry sat, waiting for Hagrid to return, utilizing the time to compose himself. Prior to his conversation with Hagrid it hadn’t occurred to him that his movements about the school and the school grounds might be limited. The possibility of this constraint sparked anger in him and Harry was attempting to suppress his resentment until he had a more complete picture of the situation.

A movement from up by the castle caught his eye. Harry focused on the movement and became aware that a person had exited the castle and was heading in his general direction. Harry watched as the individual came closer and right as Harry realized it was Percy Weasley, Percy waved at him.

Percy was wearing traditional Hogwarts school robes. He had grown his hair out and when Harry had seen him the day before at the Burrow he’d worn it lose hanging down over his shoulders, now however Percy had it tied back into a pony tail. A couple of years back Percy let his chin whiskers and mustache grow out into a thick well trimmed door-knocker beard. He’d also replaced his horn rimmed glasses with half lens wire rimmed reading glasses he wore low on his nose. Harry had never felt the changes in Percy’s appearance suited him but in this setting he looked scholarly and he actually fit in rather well.

Harry waved back at his brother-in-law calling out to Hagrid, “Percy is on his way down,”

Harry heard the door to Hagrid’s hut open and shut and saw Hagrid come out to join him carrying three mugs. He suspected Hagrid had been waiting on Percy’s arrival to rejoin him and he wondered why. Harry was feeling a little uneasy when he stood up and extended his hand to Percy, “I almost didn’t recognize you. Are you my escort?” Harry realized this last part came out a little sharp,

Percy nodded his head “yes” shaking Harry’s hand and cautiously said “Good morning Harry, Good morning Hagrid,” then in a friendly voice continued, “This day has been a long time in coming let me tell you. Harry, there is so much I have wanted to talk to you about but was unable to. I am so happy you are here,”

Harry thought he picked up on happiness and relief in Percy’s voice. He replied, kind of shocked at Percy’s demeanor, “I was under the impression I was being punished in some way, was I wrong?”

Percy gave Harry a huge grin, “Way wrong, let me assure you that this is no punishment,” He looked at Hagrid and the mugs in Hagrid’s hands, “Is one of those for me?”

Hagrid nodded and handed a Mug to Percy and one to Harry.

Percy took a drink, “Ahh, pumpkin juice always hit the spot, thanks Hagrid”

“Yer welcome,” Hagrid replied, “drink up, I’ve got me first class in bout an hour, need to get ready fer it yeh know,”

“We’ll be out of your hair in a few, I promise” and Percy took another gulp of his drink enjoying it.

Harry took a large swig of his own and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, “Percy. Why the escort? I know my to the headmistresses office,”

“We’ll get to that don’t worry Harry give me a chance,” indicating to Hagrid that he’d finished with his drink Percy handed him his mug, Harry did the same.

Hagrid took the mugs, “Will I be seein’ yeh tonight then?” he asked looking at Harry,

Harry shrugged and looked at Percy,

“We’ve set him up quarters in the old class room, out side the entrance to Professor McGonagall’s office, on the left hand side. You can visit with him there if you like,”

“Oh, all righ’ then, maybe I’ll see you tonight then Harry, Yeh better get that owl off to yer wife though as soon as yeh get to up to the school, dun wan’ her sendin’ me no howler that’s fer sure,” Hagrid, lifted the mugs slightly and nodded toward his hut indicating he was heading that way.

Harry reached up and patted him on the shoulder, “Thanks Hagrid, for the juice, well really for everything, maybe you can come join me for dinner,” looking at Percy, “I take it I’ll be dining in my room?”

“Rooms actually,” Percy replied nodding his head, “Mine are across the hall, both of you can join me if you’d like, I would enjoy the company,”

Harry saw that Hagrid was surprised by something but whether it was that Percy had quarters at the school or the invitation for dinner he did not know.

Hagrid grumbled “Sure, okay”

“Great, about half past six then, if it’s okay with you Harry?”

“Yea, sure, see ya then Hagrid,” Harry watch Hagrid headed toward his hut then He and Percy began their trek toward the school.

As they walked toward the castle Percy chuckled “So you thought you were being punished? I guess you would, most people think that’s what happened to me isn’t it?”

“You didn’t exactly do anything to alter their perception. So what happened?” Harry was feeling better but was still a little apprehensive about the whole situation,

“I volunteered,” Percy replied “Minister Shacklebolt approached me one morning and asked if I ever considered taking his place as Minister of Magic. That kind of surprised me but I told him the truth. I told him that at one time I would have called it my goal but that I had since decided that the power and responsibility was not for me,”

Harry was a little stunned at this and Percy must have noticed because he continued chuckling again, “That surprises you, does it? It surprised him too I suppose. He said he thought he understood though and several days latter he approached me with a project that would require me to be placed on what he phrased as “special assignment by the Minister” for an indeterminable amount of time. After he explained what the project entailed I jumped at the chance. Been on it ever since,”

“So why didn’t you ever say anything about it to any one?”

“The circumstances don’t allow for it. It’s a bit of a delicate situation. Let that suffice for now, okay?” Percy answered as they reached the huge oak front doors of the castle and entered the school.

They made their way up into the school and Percy continued, “My presence here hasn’t raised much of an interest. I confine myself to my quarters or Professor McGonagall’s office most of the time I’m here. I leave the grounds or arrive during times that will arouse the least attention. The staff has been informed that I am here helping the Headmistress and have been asked to take no notice of my presence. For the most part my being here has not had an affect on the activities or education of the students and the biggest advantage I have had in pulling this off is that I am a nobody. You on the other hand are still very well known,” Percy said this with an amused expression as they exited a stairway and entered the second floor that Harry remembered with the gargoyle that guarded the entrance to the Headmistresses office.

Percy came to a stop and pointed to a door on the left that Harry remembered had been the entrance to a large unused classroom, “That opens to your rooms, I think you will find them very comfortable,” He then pointed to another door on the opposite wall, “that leads to my rooms,” They continued down the hall and came to the gargoyle

Percy said, “Fred Weasley,”

And the gargoyle jumped aside saying “a good day to you sirs” revealing the revolving staircase behind it.

Percy and Harry stepped on the bottom stair and were moved upward. Percy began to chuckle, saying “She likes to use the names of her favorite former students as her passwords. Fred, George and Lee have all been used as passwords over the past four years more times then I can count. She has never used my name though. I think there is a suppressed mischief maker in our Headmistress if you ask me,”

Harry sensed a deep affection in Percy toward the Headmistress. He and Percy had never been what one might call close. Harry had learned to respect the man Percy had grown to become prior to his taking leave from the ministry but Percy had always maintained an air of superiority that put Harry off. However, as Harry observed Percy during this meeting, he began to see qualities in the man that he liked. Percy was at home here and appeared comfortable and he seemed to be trying to make Harry feel every bit as comfortable here as well.

When they reached the top of the stairs Percy knocked on the door to McGonagall’s office. The door opened on its own and McGonagall’s voice came out at them “Come in, Please come in,”

Harry could see Professor McGonagall sitting behind what looked like the same desk Dumbledore had sat behind. In fact the office looked almost exactly like it had when Dumbledore was Headmaster. The few exceptions were that Fawkes was no longer present, two new portraits of past Headmasters hung on the wall and Professor McGonagall had added what Harry thought must be a three meter by three meter square table surrounded by four chairs in the center of the office.

Entering the office and Harry took a moment to acknowledge two of the portraits of past Headmasters. He smiled at the portrait of his mentor, Albus Dumbledore and nodded his head receiving a twinkling knowing smile in return. He then turned to the portrait hanging next to Dumbledore’s, this one was of Severus Snape and Severus looked back at Harry looking more relaxed and happier then Harry had ever seen him. Harry smiled at him and nodded his head. Severus sneered back in his usual way but his eyes held none of the malice of the past, in fact Harry saw that his old potions teacher was glazing at him with a look of pride in his eyes.

They move toward McGonagall and she got up and made her way around to the front of her desk to greet them. Harry was surprised when she said “Harry, thank you for coming,” and made to hug him. When Harry kind of pulled back she said, “I think a hug between friends is in order, don’t you?” and she patted his cheek warmly then hugged him in a friendly way.

Harry hugged her back uncomfortably and then pulled away saying, “I’m sorry Professor you will always be a friend, a close dear friend but I am having some trouble separating our friendship from the fact that you now seem to unexpectedly be my boss and I have no idea what my job is,”

The Headmistress smiled and motioning them to have a seat at the square table in the center of the office “Harry please, unless we find ourselves in the company of students I would prefer you to continue to call my Minerva as you have for years, please sit and be comfortable.”

Percy held a chair for McGonagall and Harry waited until she was seated before taking a chair on her left. Percy took the chair to her right. “I apologize, Harry for any disruption in your family life or any unnecessary concern this might have caused. When we break for lunch perhaps you should send Ginny a note quelling any fears or anxiety she may be having. Percy argued that we should approach this whole thing in a less formal way, I guess maybe he was right,”

It had been a year since Harry had seen the Professor. She had looked very good back then but today she appeared tired and older than Harry had ever seen her look. “Are you ok Profess-er-Minerva?" Harry looked at the Headmistress with a worried expression.

She replied waving of his concern “Oh yes, I’m fine,”

But Percy interrupted looking a little concern and chided the Headmistress “She has been putting in to many hours, pushing herself to hard the last few months. I keep telling her to slow down, that we will get there. Even Madam Pomfrey has tried to intervene,” he gave an exasperated hand jester directed toward the Headmistress and looked directly at her with a gleam of admiration in his eyes, “but will she listen? No!”

McGonagall sat up a little straighter and collected herself attempting to ward off the concern being directed at her, “I am fine,” she said sternly to Percy then looked at Harry saying, “besides most of our work for the time being is done, now it’s all up to Harry,”

Harry groaned inside. This did not sound good. It sounded to him as if a large responsibility was about to be thrust upon him. Harry didn’t mind normal mundane, day to day responsibilities no matter how large. Marriage, raising children, even the dangers of his job he could handle and even enjoy but he’d lived most of his young life with the consuming responsibility of the magical would on his shoulders and he didn’t think he could go back to those days. Warily and a little angrily he asked, “What are you two planning on getting me involved in, how big is this?” Harry tried to gulp down his dread.

McGonagall and Percy both looked concerned and confused at the look of terror that was evident on Harry’s face, finally the Headmistress seemed to come to an understanding and in a in a soothing motherly manner she reached out to him “No Harry it’s nothing like last time, if you do nothing, life will go on as it has been, what we are trying to do is simply to help things along a bit, but we can’t do it with out you, no big wars, no deaths, no danger to your family just helping things improve a little. Its important work but it’s not like the last time okay?”

Percy now understanding as well added apologetically, “Oh my, Harry, I am so sorry, we could never ask you, would never ask you, you have done more than, oh my no.” He failed to find the words to express himself and he ended by shaking his head and looking down at his hands.

Feeling very relieved and embarrassed, Harry put his hands palms up on the table and said “Sorry about that, why don’t you tell me what I am supposed to be doing. That way I’ll be able to stop with all the silliness,”

McGonagall with a nod of her head and a smile took out her wand and silently cast a spell. The outer edges of the room became dark, the area around the table was the only area of the room that was not affected by the spreading darkness, “That was to give us some privacy, What we say and what we do inside this lighted area can not be seen nor heard by any one outside of it. It has been made clear to us that this is a requirement. Once the doors to your quarters are closed similar charms placed on those rooms will also provide you this level of privacy. This is all very sensitive knowledge” She looked at Percy, “Shall I start off then?”

Percy nodded yes and the Headmistress began Harry’s education, “We simply want to end the discrimination the magical world has for people born of magical families that have no magical ability, people who are referred to as squibs. We also hope to end the shame and abuse that the magical family of a squib suffer. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but ran into, well, a stumbling block, one I didn’t have the skill to circumvent.”

She paused briefly allowing Harry to ask, “This can’t really be so hard can it?”

Percy answered ruefully, “From the surface you wouldn’t think so would you? But when Minerva first began looking into the issue she found it entangled with very strong old magic and out of fear for the unknown consequences and on the advice of Dumbledore she backed off until she could untangle it. So now you know the goal. You will come to understand is that it will be a delicate undertaking to accomplish and there are some dangers with messing around with old magic. What you will come to understand is that most of the danger involves the sharing of what we have learned. To avoid the danger, don’t share it.”

Harry shook his head slightly “Percy the last ten years you worked in the ministry were dedicated to resolving prejudices and persecution of half humans like Hagrid and nonhumans like the giants, goblins and elves. The progress you achieved was admirable. Was old magic was some how involved there?”

“Old magic is a weird thing Harry, I didn’t realize it at the time, but yeah I think to some extent old magic helped me out and to a greater extent it blocked some of my progress. The old magic we are talking about here seeks a balance, seeks to preserve, it hides itself much like the way we use magic to hide our existence from the muggles. We simply don’t see it or are diverted from recognizing its true nature, even when it’s right under our noses, we some how miss it. Voldemort learned this the hard way. In this case old magic uses squibs to provide balance, to preserve the magical world we know and ensure that an all important connection is maintained to the muggle world.”

It was hard for Harry to grasp the full meaning of what Percy was saying, “I still am not getting the full picture here. What I know of old magic has to do with my mom and the way I was protected by her love and the way she sacrificed her life for me,”

Percy and McGonagall both nodded in agreement and Percy continued, “Harry if she had known her sacrifice would have protected you and the results her sacrifice would come to, it would have broken the laws of old magic and you would have died with your parents. When you walked out into those woods to lay down your life, you had no idea that the sacrifice you made, even though it didn’t ultimately kill you would have invoked old magic. Your selfless act protected the rest us forever from Voldemort. Even if he had not died he would have been powerless to harm anyone again. If you had known this fact however, old magic’s laws would have been broken and the out come would have most assuredly been much different. I’ve worked for four years to untangle the old magic surrounding the existence of squibs and we have to make changes with out revealing the truth about the role squibs play to bring about balance or we could bring an end to the human race, both magical and muggle,”

Sounding a bit indignant Harry slapped his hand on the table, “wait you said that I would not be placing my loved ones in any danger, that you would not ask me to carry the weight or the responsibility of all that I love on my shoulders again, now you say this could bring an end to everything?” he sounded miserable and angry as he finished and he looked from the Professor to Percy with a steely glare.

McGonagall held up her hands, “Harry, he said it could, not that it would bring an end to the human race. We are talking about hundreds of years from now. The affects wouldn’t be immediate. But most important, we have a plan to bring about change that we feel will not ultimately break the laws of old magic. What we are asking is for you to listen and for you to learn what Percy has documented over the last four years. When you understand all that we think we do and if you agree to go forward then we will explain to you your role. If you don’t agree to move forward then the only stipulation we have is that you keep this knowledge to yourself.”

Percy added with wry smile, “Consider this your registration and orientation to the school of old magic.”

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please leave a review and let me know what you think.


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