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I don’t own Harry Potter. Move along.

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Chapter 4 – Riding in the Rain

That night Harry and Ted talked to Carla about magic over dinner, and Harry tucked Carla into bed.

“What do I call you?” Carla asked as Harry lowered the blanket over her, and he paused. To be honest, he hadn’t thought about that himself, and shrugged.

“Whatever you’re comfortable with,” Harry said as he stood up and began walking out of the room.

“Okay, night-night,” Carla said as Harry turned off the light.

“‘Night, Carla,” Harry replied, closing the bedroom door. Harry went up to his office and did some paperwork that he had been neglecting lately before retiring himself.

The next day, Harry woke up and walked down the stairs to see Carla lying on the floor reading a book.

“What are you reading?” Harry asked as he made himself coffee. Carla held the book up to show the cover that read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. “Ted’s, I presume. Is it interesting?” Harry asked, hiding his grin behind his coffee mug when Carla nodded vigorously.

“Are there really unicorns?” she asked eagerly. When Harry nodded, she squealed in delight and continued reading. Harry took another sip of his coffee and let the warmth run through him, but was quickly pulled out of his stupor by the phone ringing. Harry picked it up and looked at the caller ID. Not recognizing the number, he turned it on and held it to his ear.

“Who’s this?” Harry asked.

“This is Sylvia Jules, Headmistress of East Surrey Primary School, may I speak to Mister Potter?” an unfamiliar voice responded. Harry looked at the phone in confusion before returning it to his ear.

“This is Potter, how did you get my number?” Harry asked suspiciously.

“We originally contacted Vernon Dursley regarding his granddaughter, Carla’s attendance this fall, but he said that she was in your custody now, and gave me your number to contact.” Harry sighed, mentally berating himself for not thinking about Carla’s schooling.

“I take it that this means we’re going to have a meeting,” Harry sighed, rubbing his eyes.

“If it’s not too much trouble,” Headmistress Jules confirmed.

“I’ll be there in a couple of hours,” Harry replied, hanging up before she could respond. Harry made Carla a bowl of cereal and while she was eating, threw a handful of Floo powder into the fireplace. “The greenhouse,” Harry announced to the green fire, and an image of a sitting room appeared in the flames. Harry rapped his fingers on the edge of the fireplace impatiently while waiting for the person he was calling to arrive. Finally, a slightly chubby man in his mid-twenties wearing a brown shirt with a blinking eye, a flashing heart and a swaying tree printed on the front stooped down in front of the Floo.

“Hey, Harry,” Neville greeted as he sat himself down on the floor. “What do you need?”

“Hey, Neville,” Harry replied. “I need to run an errand, and I was wondering if you would mind holding down the fort for me; Hermione’s busy with work and I don’t want to bother Molly,” he explained.

“So you bother me,” Neville said cheekily. “Fine, let me grab my trousers and I’ll be over in a few minutes,” he said, pulling himself up and closing the Floo connection. Harry turned back to Carla, who was eating her cereal slowly, engrossed in her book.

“Carla?” The girl looked up when Harry called her name. “I’ve got to talk to the principal at your school, so a friend of mine will be watching you for a few hours, so behave while I’m gone, okay?” Carla nodded wordlessly, and glued her eyes back to the book. Shaking his head in amusement, Harry walked up to Ted’s room and opened to see the boy clutching his pillow in his sleep. Harry walked over and gently shook him awake. “Hey, kid, I’m going to be gone for a few hours, so behave for Uncle Neville when you wake up, okay?” Ted just groaned tiredly and snuggled back into his pillow.

Harry walked back downstairs just in time to see the Floo flare up and see Neville walk in.

“Hey, thanks for the help, Nev,” Harry said as he shook his friend’s hand.

“No problem, mate, always happy to help,” Neville said. He saw Carla, who was reading her book with wide, unblinking eyes. “Hi, my name’s Neville,” he said loud enough to break Carla from her trance. “What’s your name?” Carla suddenly became shy, and muttered her name so softly that she had to repeat herself for Neville to hear her.

“Okay, behave you two, don’t burn the place down while I’m gone,” Harry said as he grabbed a small toy motorcycle off of the mantel and walked out the door. Casting a notice-me-not charm, Harry set the toy on the floor and snapped his fingers, and it enlarged itself to a full-sized motorcycle. Canceling the notice-me-not charm, Harry slid on his helmet and revved the engine, roaring down the road.

Two long and wet hours later (“Really, you’d think that as often as it rains here, that people would be used to it...” Harry grumbled to himself), Harry pulled into the parking lot of East Surrey Primary School. Home of six years of bad childhood memories, Harry thought bitterly. Shaking his head to clear it, Harry walked into the building, his wet shoes squeaking loudly on the polished tile floor. Walking down the familiar hallways, Harry quickly found himself standing in front of the Headmistress’s office, and knocked on the door.

“Come in,” Headmistress Jules said behind the door and Harry walked in to see a dark-skinned woman in her late thirties sitting behind the desk. Hanging his dripping jacket onto a coat hanger, he sat down on a chair, quickly soaking the cushion. “Lovely day,” she said sarcastically, glaring at the downpour outside momentarily before turning back to Harry. “I’m sure you’re wondering why you’re here; it’s mostly contact information in case of emergency, so if you would just fill out this form here,” she said, handing Harry a survey paper. Muttering darkly, Harry rolled up his sleeves and filled out the form and handed it back. “Finally, how are you related to Carla Dursley?” she asked as Harry rolled his sleeves back down.

“We’re related through her grandparents,” Harry responded vaguely.

“So, you’re her uncle?” Principal Jules asked, her eyebrow raised.

“More like...second cousin,” Harry said, shrugging. “Is that all?” he continued, noticing that the rain was beginning to lighten. When Principal Jules nodded, Harry stood up and shook her hand. “It was nice meeting you, but I should leave before the rain picks up again.” Grabbing his jacket, Harry walked out into the rain and climbed onto his motorcycle. He drove off and coasted into an abandoned alleyway. Checking to make sure no one was watching, he climbed off and shrunk it back to its miniature size. Taking the tiny vehicle into his pocket, Harry spun around and Apparated back to 12 Grimmauld Place. When he stopped spinning, he saw Neville sitting at his table, sipping a cup of tea.

“You look like hell, mate,” Neville observed, stifling a laugh. Harry glared at him as he cast a drying charm on himself.

“Ha, ha, laugh it up,” Harry grumbled as he hung his jacket up and kicked off his shoes. “Where are the little monsters?” Neville pointed upstairs.

“Last I heard, they were playing exploding snap,” he said. He glanced at his watch and drained the rest of his tea. “I’ve got to go, I need to water my plants,” he said quickly.

“Take them outside,” Harry suggested, fishing out a fistful of galleons and placing them in Neville’s hand. “Thanks for watching the kids, mate.”

“No problem, Harry. See you at work next month?” Neville asked as he grabbed a fistful of Floo powder.

“Unless Voldemort comes back from the dead, I should,” Harry confirmed. Waving goodbye, Neville threw the powder into the fire and stepped through. Pouring himself a cup of tea, Harry walked upstairs to see Carla and Ted playing checkers. “Carla, when do you go to school?” Harry asked.

“September first,” Carla replied.

“Okay, carry on,” Harry said, leaving the children to their game. Harry walked to his room and just stood in front of the window, watching the rain.

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I don’t know how drivers react to rain in England, but here in Hawaii, people slam on their brakes if so much as a single freaking drop falls from the sky! I'm exaggerating of course, but it's pretty bad here.

As far as I know, East Surrey Primary School is fictional.

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