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December 24, 2009 Harry and Ginny with their children Teddy Lupin, James, Albus, Lily and Ron and Hermione and Jean Grainger with Rose and Hugo went to a children’s Christmas Eve church service. Ron almost never went to church with Hermione and Jean, but Christmas Eve was an exception. They arrived about fifteen minutes early, and went over to look at a rather large Crèche set with the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds and a variety of animals, and at a distance the 3 Wise Men. Albus looked at the scene and asked “Where are the elves?”

“I did think there were elves at Jesus’s birth,” said Harry. “I’ve seen paintings of elves at Jesus’s birth.”

“The elves have dolls like this, and there are elves there,” said Albus. “And Magi came from the east. Dad, we’re the Magi. The elves use the same word for the wise men and for witches and wizards. We’re all Magi.”

Jack Lewis, the priest that had been pastor of the church in London since Harry and Hermione had first started to go, was there and said, “Albus is right. Our church traces its roots back to a group of wizards, Magi, who visited Jesus within about a year of his birth. There was a lot of confusion because Jesus did not become a powerful king, and there were no Magi at Calvary, but the Magi, the ones who visited Jesus, did become Christian within the first century after Jesus’s death.”

After the church service and putting the children down to bed Harry went up to the house elf area. Kreacher and Dobedo were there, still living right above the Potter house, although the area was bigger with both of them having children. There in the common space, what served as a living room was a little Crèche set with, in addition to the usual creatures and people, several elves. Harry asked, “Are house elves Christians?”

“House elves not allowed to go to a church service unless with a master,” said Kreacher. “Not allowed to have different beliefs.”

“How can masters dictate what you believe?” asked Harry.

“Is part of being a house elf,” said Kreacher.

“But what if you do not believe what a master believes?” asked Harry. “What if they want you to do horrible things?”

“Is a problem” said Kreacher. “Is also a problem having to make up own mind. Is a problem being responsible for own choices.”

Kreacher looked at Harry. Harry was sitting on the floor in the house elf area, since the roof was too low for him to comfortable stand, and Kreacher and Dobedo were standing so their faces were at his level. Harriet was holding Dobedo’s hand, but Azalea was standing close to Kreacher but definitely in the background. There was concern on all their faces, and mixed emotions that Harry was having a hard time reading.

“You were at the birth of Jesus?” asked Harry.

“Not us!” said Kreacher. “Some house elves. A few.”

“Were elves at Calvary?” asked Harry.

“A couple,” said Kreacher. “No Magi. Jesus the stonecutter* was a good and holy man. He knew house elves, could see us and talk to us. He was maybe not a Magi, but more than a Magi. We do not know.”

“And some of you became believers?” asked Harry.

“Laws that ruled house elves did not allow,” said Kreacher. “Worse than slaves. Slaves own, own mind. House elves has own mind but is not allowed, because of magic. Is a problem. Keeps own history, but is hard. Tries to stay true to law, obey master, but not do horrible things if master orders.” Kreacher looked concerned, and there was a quick conversation in elfish between Kreacher and Harriet. “Law is not right word. Hard to say.”

“And now you are becoming independent,” said Harry. “I think it is a good thing for you to be allowed to make up your own mind.”

“A good and terrible thing,” said Kreacher. “Still have to obey master, but also must know good and evil, like Adam and Eve. Curse of Adam is to know good and evil.”

“So now that you are getting your freedom you have to choose what to believe?” asked Harry.

“We is talking about choosing to believe or not,” said Kreacher. “Is very difficult.”

“But you knew Jesus,” said Harry.

“Only a couple,” said Kreacher. “Paul sent the slave Onesimus back to Philemon, but told Philemon to love Onesimus as a fellow Christian. All elves know Paul’s letter to Philemon. If Magi would love house elves like Paul talks about in Philemon would not be a problem. Maybe we could believe.”

“Would you like to believe?” asked Harry.

“Yes,” said Dobedo and Harriet together.

“Is not allowed,” said Kreacher.

“Would like to be baptized, but is no history of baptizing house elves,” said Harriet. “If we is allowed to be baptized both Magi and elves would have to realize house elves have souls, live on after death like Magi. No throwing bodies away, no stuffing bodies like trophies.”

“Kreacher?” asked Harry.

“What, master Harry,” said Kreacher.

“What do you want,” asked Harry. “Do you want to join a church?”

“Kreacher wants to do what Master Harry wants,” said Kreacher. “Is being subversive and doing what Master Harry wants, but is old house elf and all changes is very very hard.”

Harry took another long look at the 4 house elves. Azalea was staring at Kreacher like she was feeling very sorry for him. Dobedo and Harriet were holding hands still very uncomfortable, acting like they wanted this conversation to continue but knowing that it was a very difficult conversation for all of them. And Kreacher was beginning to cry. Harry was more aware than every how difficult ‘do what is best for house elves and the Wizarding (or Magi) world’ was for Kreacher. He said, “Kreacher, thank you for everything you are doing. You have done everything I could ever have asked and more, and I appreciate it.”

“Is what house elf do,” said Kreacher.

“Cannot say except in elfish,” said Harriet. “Cannot say spells, curses, laws, except in elfish. Very advanced magic. Should not even talk about it.”

“Is that why Albus and Rose are learning elfish?” asked Harry.

“Is not allowed to have said what we have said,” said Kreacher. “Please leave, Master Harry.”

By this time all the house elves were crying. Harry was getting very close to something very important, but he could see that he needed to back off. How many years had they fought Tom Riddle. This was magic much older and more powerful than Tom Riddle had, and undoing the “curses,” if that is what they were, was going to take a very long time.

(*The word that has been translated “carpenter” in the bible could refer to any of a number of tradesmen. Nazareth in Jesus time had very few trees, but was renowned for stone work, including millstones. If you read the bible Jesus refers to millstones and stone work but never talks about making chairs or tables.)

Christmas 2010, the first Christmas with a Hogwarts student, even if it was Teddy Lupin and not one of the biological grandchildren. Fred was ten, and would be going to Hogwarts next September, and from then on there would be many years when there would be a Weasley at Hogwarts. Molly and Victoria were both nine, and would be going the next year. Roxanne was eight and would be going the following year. Lucy was just eight and would be going the year following Roxanne. Dominique was also just seven and would be in the year following Roxanne, then Louis, who was five but would be in the year following Dominique.

James was five, but because he was born in October he would be going to Hogwarts the year following Louis, then Rose at four and Albus at three and a half, would follow. Then there would be a year gap, followed by Lily and Hugo. Sixteen years, until 2026, at least. Harry had once talked to Molly about the grandchildren, asking if she thought this was the end of the grandchildren. Molly said “The only one who had made sure she cannot get pregnant again is Hermione. Ginny and my other daughter-in-laws are, from what I understand, just taking birth control potions, not quite ready to give up any chance for another child. I cannot complain. I am certainly satisfied with twelve, thirteen, Teddy is and is not.”

Harry thought ‘Teddy is and is not.’ That sort of summarized Teddy. He had a grandma but she was fragile, and in some ways Teddy had indicated that he felt responsible for his grandma, needing to stay with her instead of being part of the Potter family any more than he was. Harry and Ginny were and were not his parents, only godparents and not where he lived although still with legal responsibility because grandma was and was not able to exercise legal custody.

Harry had talked to Ginny, saying, “I understand from your mother that only Hermione is certain she never wants to be pregnant again.”

Ginny looked at Harry sort of pensively. “I did not mind being pregnant, except at first with James. It took me a while to resign myself to looking like a mother and not a Quidditch star. I love nursing; there is something fantastic about having a baby on your breast. Mum is right. It’s hard to say you are certain you never want to be a mother again, especially with a loving husband and all the money and help you could ever need.”

“I’m not the one who has to carry a baby for 9 months, and then push a quaffle out my bottom,” said Harry.

“It’s not being pregnant,” said Ginny. “I really do not need another little one running around while I have our three, three and a half, maybe … running around.”

After Christmas, Harry approached Hermione about the house elves and religion. “Kreacher and Harriet say that house elves are not allowed to have any religious beliefs, except maybe what their owner believes,” he said.

“That’s really not so unusual, Harry,” said Hermione. “In many parts of the world for much of history there was a state religion, and everybody had to belong to it. How much they were supposed to believe is another question, but they were sure not supposed to believe anything different than the state religion.”

“But that’s not fair!” said Harry.

“No it’s not,” said Hermione. “I’m having a very hard time finding out how many of the rules the house elves operate under are laws passed by the Wizengamot or the International Confederation of Witches and Wizards. Not a lot. More of it is very old magic or tradition, some of it way before we have any records of it. We need to go back to the oldest records and history we can find.”

“Many of the oldest storage caves in Switzerland have hidden areas in the far back of the caves,” said Harry. “I can find them with the mapping program, but we cannot get to them. We are beginning to think that much of the history we are missing is hidden back in those parts of the caves. No one seems to know how to get back there, but there is some belief that the wizard who will rule the valley after me, not as regent but as chief wizard, will be able to open those areas. I’m sick of waiting for some prophesied figure!”

“Harry, you were the child destined to confront Riddle, the prophesied figure,” said Hermione.

“A very uncomfortable position to be in,” said Harry. “You end up feeling responsible for everything that goes wrong, for every death that could have been avoided. Your life is constantly threatened. I think the only thing worse than being in that position would be to be the parent of someone in that position.”

“You worried one of your children going to have adventures like you had?” asked Hermione.

Harry had to ponder this question. “I have a hard time imagining it being James,” said Harry. “He just wants to play Quidditch. Lily is too young to know what she will be like.”

“Albus?” asked Hermione.

“Albus is one strange child sometimes,” said Harry. “He and the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic seem to have a running battle going on. He tries to control his magic, or use it so it cannot be detected. He’s not going to stop doing magic, but at the same time he really does not want to cause us any problems.”

“Have you told him to stop doing any magic?” asked Hermione.

“Those people in the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic are a bunch of petty dictators who could not make it in a real important department. I certainly would not want them as Aurors, and Arthur sure does not want most of them in the important departments,” said Harry. “So they harass the young children who have natural abilities. It’s stupid.”

“So you help him break the law?” asked Hermione, with a smile. She knew Harry would never want Albus to violate any serious law, or do anything to expose the Magi community.

Harry looked at Hermione but did not say anything. Of course he was helping Albus learn how to use magic and not get caught. It was good training. Harry did not want to tell Hermione about the prophesies, but it was sure looking like Albus was the subject of prophesies, powerful scary prophesies.

Harry, Hermione, Kingsley and the rest of the staff made significant progress in modernizing the Ministry during 2010. None of the progress was dramatic by itself, but the cumulative result was impressive.

When Harry first became an Auror the British Auror department was one of the more backward Auror departments, especially backwards for a first world country. The whole Department of Magical Law Enforcement was backwards. Harry was not interested in supervising most of the activities of the department, since they were not matters of serious concern to the safety of what he was beginning to call Magi, the magical people under the government of the Ministry of Magic. He and the rest of the departments did work together, and the longer they worked under Arthur and Harry the better they worked together.

Arthur was never very good at the Magical/Muggle things they were doing to modernize the Ministry, but he had an excellent assistant, a Ravenclaw graduate who wanted to be an Auror and knew everything, but who was not very good at dueling and reacting quickly to difficult situations. Being Arthur’s assistant was ideal for both of them.

Harry had started to refer to magical people as Magi, and when he explained to Hermione why she did as well. He had to explain to so many people why it was better to say Magi than to say witches and wizards. In addition to it being shorter it had positive or neutral connotations, where witch was still a word used for women who had sold their soul to the devil, and had very bad connotations in English and in many other languages. It turned out that Magi, or a word that translated to Magi, was used by some of the magical communities in the world.

Harry and Hermione, both having been raised in the Muggle world, had to explain why it was better to say Magi than witch. Some of the other Muggle born and Magi that lived in both the Magical and Muggle worlds joined in the discussion.

Harry took his family, including Teddy, to the Caribbean for Teddy’s spring break, a week away, with some mapping that both Al and Teddy were very interested in. While they were mapping James sometimes flew with his dad, just for the fun of flying. Harry also had Albus up with him, and Albus seemed to be as interested in the magic of the mapping as in the flying.

The first of April Fred got his magic wand, at eleven, for his birthday. Then he had to find some place he could practice using it. There was a basement magical workshop under WWW, hidden from most attempts to see what was going on down there including the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic, that Fred used some times. The other area was the sub-basement area under Grimmauld Place. Fred would ask if he could come over and use that space, and both Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny allowed Fred to come over some of the time.

Albus found out, and loved to go down the sub-basement under his aunt and uncle’s house and watch Fred practice with the wand. Harry found out that Albus did more than practice. Albus could levitate things, and Fred could levitate things with the wand. They would use a ball or something else, and see who could push it one way or another, almost like football or Quidditch played with a ball and levitation. If was fun to see the ball being pushed back and forth, Fred at one end of the room, Albus at the other, the ball skittering back and forth between them. Of course all this playing with magic was sort of illegal, but the room in the sub-basement was thoroughly hidden from the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic, hidden from anybody in the Ministry actually.

The middle of April Harry was going to be over at DPW all day. Rose was going somewhere with her grandmother, doing something special, and Albus was really not invited along. He asked if he could go with Harry; Albus wanted to spend as much time with his father as he could and always wanted to be with Harry instead of playing with his cousins if given the chance. Albus and James were a little like oil and water. They could play together at times, especially if Harry or Ginny was watching closely, but James was jealous of Al’s magical ability, and James was always bigger and physically stronger. Al was not exactly afraid of James, but they were hardly best friends.

James was hardly alone. There was a group of boys about the same age, all part of the ‘home schooling’ group around the New Burrow property, that included Louis Weasley, Fabian and Gideon Prewett, and Abraham Stanford, that played together. Sometimes Albus was part of this group, and sometimes he was busy doing his own thing, alone, or with Rose, or with Martin or with both of them.

For some reason Dobedo was going over to DPW Ltd. with Harry, and he had Martin with him. The house elf Martin and Albus really were best friends, something else James was jealous about. As they were going through the factory they came upon the area that had goblins and a few house elves living there. Martin knew one of the house elves, and asked if they could stay with the young house elves and goblins. When it was time for them to go Albus asked if he and Martin could go over to visit the house elves and goblins from time to time, maybe every other week for a half a day or so. Harry said he would see what he could do.

When they got home and Harry was alone with Albus he asked, “Why do you want to visit with the house elves and goblins?”

“To be friends with more people,” said Albus.

“Are you going to become friends with goblin children as well as elf children?” asked Harry.

Albus looked at his dad for a long time. “Some things hard to say in English,” he finally said. “Much harder to become friends with a goblin in English. Much easier in Elfish.”

“Why?” asked Harry.

“I can’t say it,” said Albus. “I do not know enough. I’m sorry.”

“Are you glad you are learning elfish?” said Harry.

“I think it’s real important,” said Albus. “It’s hard. Not always nice being a wizard, a Magi, when you are talking or listening in elfish. Even very nice wizards not always nice. Dad, can I grow up more and learn more before we talk about this?”

“Just keep on learning, Albus. You are still very young. I am very proud of you,” said Harry. He pondered what Al had been telling him for a long time.

Harry finally told Hermione about the discussion. It was so important that he pulled out the memory and he and Hermione looked at the brief discussion exactly as Harry had experienced it. When they came out of the memory Hermione said, “I know there is some deep magic in the relationship between Magi, elves and goblins. I don’t really understand it, and I’m not sure you can understand it unless you know elfish. I have asked Rose to teach me some elfish, but it is really hard to learn if you do not start very young. You have to be painfully careful about relationships, who is over whom and in which way. You almost have to know two or three generations of relationships.

“I think anyone who was friends with house elves and was in a position of power would have a big advantage over anyone else. He would know much more about who was really in charge, and in which of many subtle ways he was in charge or not in charge.”

“Why do the elves want Al and Rose to learn elfish?” asked Harry.

“I do not think we are going to get a simple answer to that question,” said Hermione. “I’m not sure they know.”

“I’m beginning to think Al is me and I am Dumbledore, except Dumbledore knew what he was doing and I don’t,” said Harry.

“Do you think Dumbledore always knew what he was doing?” asked Hermione.

“I’m beginning to think he didn’t always know, and that scares me,” said Harry. “At least Dumbledore knew I was supposed to confront Riddle. I have no idea what Albus is being prepared for.”

“Neither do I, Harry” said Hermione. “Neither do I.”

Harry of course shared as much of this with Ginny as he could. She was a little anxious, being a mother, but really did not get why Harry was so concerned. She was much more confident of Harry’s ability to solve any problem than Harry was.

The only unusual thing at the spring meeting of the International Confederation of Witches and Wizards was Ginny noticed that Al had quite a discussion with Nausicaa Scheria, and that after church Sunday Al was talking to Nausicaa and Apollo Scheria. Al was only three and a half old, so the discussions were pretty basic, a lot of ‘what’s that,’ but Al was really trying hard to figure everything out. The Wizard Christian Church allowed people to become affiliated, members of a local church, even if they had not been baptized or, like Harry, had been baptized but never had a formal faith conversion. It was one example of the awkwardness of the Christian/magic relationship. Harry went to church about half of the time; Ginny accompanied him only occasionally. Al was also beginning to go with Harry. Church bored James.

Summer! It was the Summer of 2010. Teddy and Freddy both had wands, and as long as they did not do anything too wild they could get away with using them around the New Burrow property. For a variety of reasons Harry and Hermione had strengthened and modified the wards around the New Burrow property. One reason was they were tired of being hassled by the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic. Since the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic knew full well that underage magic was being done on the property there was an uneasy standoff. The law really did not and could not say that an underage Magi could not do any magic, just that they could not do it in front of Muggles and be noticed or get caught doing underage magic. Underage full blooded Magi had practiced magic as children for as long as anyone could remember, and the law was chiefly used for egregious violations and, to Harry’s disgust, to hassle Muggle born or children of Muggle/Magi relationships.

Harry noticed that Teddy and Freddy frequently engaged in duels on the top of the towers, of course floating down to the ground when one or occasionally both of them lost the duel. He was fascinated by this; Tom and Cinnamon Appleleaf said that this kind of duel had been going on since they were children but since Harry’s nieces and nephews were not involved he just did not notice.

“When are you going to be done with school?” asked Harry of the couple.

“We are done going to school to learn,” said Tom, “Although I hope I never stop learning. I’m going to be teaching the beginning Transfiguration courses at Hogwarts in the fall. Cinnamon is better at Transfiguration, and is going to be teaching the older grades, but I’m better at teaching beginners. Cinnamon and I are looking for a house in Hogsmeade, but we are also talking to Minerva about building a house within the Hogwarts grounds.”

“There is something coming up about that at the Hogwarts board meeting” said Harry. “Making it easier for married couples to be teachers at Hogwarts and not have to be away from their young families for weeks at a time.”

Harry and Tom talked more about Hogwarts, and the changes that Minerva and the board were planning.

Lily and Hugo were almost two, and Ginny was watching them and talking to Cinnamon. “Where are the babies,” asked Cinnamon. Lily and Hugo were the youngest of the children; after years of babies there were no babies, no pregnant witches, in sight. This generation seemed to have finally stopped having children. Of course from the way Cinnamon talked there could be another baby by next summer; she and Tom had been married for 4 years and they were ready for a child.

Shortly after Cinnamon asked about babies Belinda Dursley walked out of the Burrow with her nine month old daughter Perri. “Hi, Ginny” said Belinda. “Dudley said that Harry said that I should bring Perri over to the play area here during the summer.”

“You are very welcome to be over here,” said Ginny. “Belinda, this is Cinnamon Appleleaf. Her husband Tom is talking to Harry. They moved to this area into one of the first new houses right after the Battle of Hogwarts. Cinnamon, Belinda is a witch married to Harry’s Muggle cousin Dudley, and they live at the end of the street where we live.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Mrs. Dursley,” said Cinnamon.

“Please, call me Belinda. You’re not that young,” said Belinda.

“I’m twenty-one and just graduated from the Wizarding College in Switzerland,” said Cinnamon.

“Well see, you are twenty-one and married and a college graduate. You’re a grownup,” said Belinda.

“I’m not sure I feel like a grownup yet,” said Cinnamon. “When do you feel you are a grownup?” By this time Harry and Tom had come over to join in the conversation.

Everybody had heard the question. Harry said, “I had to grow up too fast. The fall after the Battle of Hogwarts people were already looking to me as a leader. I had to act as a grownup. I’m not sure I felt much like a child the last years at Hogwarts, certainly not the last year we were on the run.”

“It was a lot different for me,” said Ginny. “Even after I was married I was in school for a year, and even as a married student at Hogwarts it is hard to feel you are a grownup. Playing on a sports team, where you have curfews and rules, hard to feel you are a grownup there. I sort of felt like a grownup when we were taking care of Teddy, but he was not our son so I sort of felt like I was an imposter, playing the role of a mother.” Ginny was quiet for a moment, and then exclaimed “I know! Donna Lionheart was over here at the pond, and I was looking at James and her daughter Erica, and I thought how nice it would be if those two fell in love and got married, and … and had children so I was a grandmother … and … grandmother … and I thought ‘Oh my I really am a grown up mother.’”

Everybody laughed at this. “Children first!” said Tom. “You have to have children before you get to be a grandparent. I’m ready, and I know mum and dad are ready to be grandparents. And I’d better act as a grownup to my students if I am teaching at Hogwarts.”

Hogwarts was continuing to grow. There was a fifth house, for foreign students and students who for some reason were not going to be sorted in to a house. This included some older students who started not as first year’s but as third or fourth years, and who in previous years would not have gone to Hogwarts at all. There was some magic in who was accepted, who the sorting had sent to one of the four houses and who the sorting hat sent to the other house. It appeared that a lot of students worldwide wanted to spend the last two years at Hogwarts.

There were also so many things that needed to be taught that the school was going to have an optional eight year, and many of those students but not all were going to be in the new fifth house.

Because of the increase in the size of the school much additional staff was needed. One of the biggest obstacles to recruiting staff was housing, or lack of housing for married couples with small children. There were plenty of apartments that were comfortable for a couple, but none really good for raising a family.

In the end, and with Harry’s encouragement, they added an apartment complex to the castle, looking very much like the rest of the castle, apartments around a courtyard that could serve as a secure playing area for young children, one story high at first but with plans to grow it to as many stories as they needed.

By the time they started teaching Cinnamon was pregnant, and she had a baby before the school let out for the summer. The apartments were done before the end of the 2010-2011 school year, and Tom and Cinnamon were among the first to move in.

There was quite a crowd of students going to school in the fall of 2010. Frank Longbottom II had started school with Teddy Lupin, so they were 2nd year students. Going to school as first years were, Freddy Weasley, Elisa Williamson and Jonathan Appleleaf. For several years the crowd of students belonging to Harry and Ginny’s close friends going to Hogwarts was going to grow.

The end of August 2010 ended up being rather frantic. Two weeks before the Quidditch season started Ginny told Harry, “I’ve lost a third of my stringers. Too many women with small children, men with other things they have to do. I need some new people to report on these games in a hurry!”

“Don’t you have quite a few people looking for these jobs?” Harry asked.

“The last couple of years I have always had a lot of candidates,” Ginny replied. “I always try to have backups. I have to do a lot of interviewing, have all the candidates give me a sample of their writing. I am asking in the next two columns for more help. It’s just going to be a little frantic.

“Mum and Fleur are going to help with the children, and Jean Granger is going to have Albus for a few more hours a day. I have asked Mum to take Teddy for his shopping for Hogwarts.”

Harry didn’t see a lot of Ginny for the next week. She even missed a couple of dinners, something very unusual, as she interviewed people.

The morning of August 30 Harry got out his maps of the Hogwarts Express. He always had Aurors check the train a couple of days before it was due to leave and then keep a watch over it. This year he gave the job to Susan Cooper, one of his newer Aurors. She and her husband Greg were only in their second year of being qualified Aurors. Susan was pregnant, so she was on restricted duty. Scanning the Hogwarts Express would be an ideal job.

Just after lunch Susan was back, and with her was the most battered boy Harry thought he had ever seen, except maybe right after the Battle of Hogwarts.

“Who are you?” Harry asked.

“Timothy Evans, sir,” the boy said. “I have my Hogwarts letter right here! Can I stay there? I don’t ever want to go back to my father!”

“May I see your letter?” Harry asked. He looked over the letter, and saw that everything was in order. The map of the Ministry on Harry’s desk showed that a Timothy Evans was in his office, so the boy was telling the truth, at least about his name.

“What happened to you?” Harry asked.

“My dad is a real bad man, and he doesn’t like me. He wants me dead, but somehow he has not been able to kill me or mam. She’s hiding and I escaped.”

Harry listened to Timothy’s sad story, gently questioning him until he was satisfied. Then he said, “Timothy, we need to get you over to our hospital, St. Mungo’s. I want them to examine you before we do anything else.”

Late in the day Madam Pomfrey walked into Harry’s office, accompanied by Timothy. She had Timothy sit down, and then she said, “We have given Timothy some pain medicine so he can go on the train September 1. Someone needs to get him books and supplies, and I would expect it would be best if someone would accompany him on the train. Can you get that done for me?”

“We are already taking Teddy, and we can take Timothy too,” Harry said. “I’m sure we can arrange for his supplies.”

“We are going to have Timothy in the infirmary every weekend and over breaks healing him,” Poppy said. “The internal injuries are worse than the ones you can see. He should be mostly healed by the end of the school year.”

Timothy was a little groggy. The pain medicine they gave him really kept him from hurting, but it made him woozy as well. “I am used to pain, Madam Pomfrey, mam,” he said. “I don’t like being so groggy. I need to know what is going on.”

“Just take one potion every six hours, not two,” Poppy said. “It’s all right to take two before you go to sleep.

“Harry, where is Timothy going to stay until he gets on the train, and who is going to get him his supplies?”

“I don’t know, but will figure it out,” Harry said.

Harry called Ginny. “I have a young man that is going to need a place to stay for a couple of days, and to get his Hogwarts supplies. Have you gotten all your stringers for Quidditch lined up? I thought you said you had it all taken care of last night.

A rather frantic Ginny said, “Call mum. I would but I had a couple of stringers quit at the last minute, and I’m frantic trying to get coverage for all the Quidditch games. The season starts Saturday. Between that and three demanding children even with house elf help I’m probably not going to have time.

“Mum has to take Freddy shopping tomorrow. That idiot brother of mine has been so busy selling things to other children that he’s forgotten to get Freddy his things.”

Harry hated to keep imposing on Molly, but could not see a better choice. He called and explained the situation to her, but before he was halfway through Molly said, “You bring that poor boy over here RIGHT NOW! The stores at Diagon Alley are open late tonight, and I can give him a good meal and get him some clothes. Now, Harry, now.”

“Yes, mum,” Harry said.

“Was that your mother?” Timothy asked.

“That was my wife’s mother,” Harry said. “She is the closest thing I have to a mother. Mine was killed when I was just a year old.”

“I’m sorry,” Timothy said.

“I’m real sorry too,” Harry said. “Let’s get you to Mum Weasley.”

Harry locked the door to his office, leaving it in more of a mess than was usual for him, and took Timothy to a private floo. In no time Harry and Timothy were in the kitchen of Molly Weasley. Molly looked at Timothy and said, “Let me hug you, young man. Tell me if I am hugging you too hard.”

Molly hugged Timothy until she could see that it was beginning to hurt him, and then got him to sit at a big kitchen table. “When was the last time you have anything to eat, Timothy?” she asked.

“I had a sandwich at the hospital,” Timothy said, “but before that it was yesterday afternoon.”

“I told the house elves to get dinner ready for us about 8:00 PM. Before we go shopping I have fruit, sandwiches, and a salad for you.” Molly pulled out serving dishes with everything on it, and a very hungry Timothy had a big salad, two sandwiches, and took two apples to put in his pocked.

“I have to go home,” Harry told Molly. “Ginny is frantically trying to hire a couple additional reporters before Quidditch season starts, and I ought to be home with the children.”

“I will take care of Timothy,” Molly said. Very quietly she said, “The Harry and Ginny Potter foundation is going to get this boy some nice clothes and good school supplies! Thank you, Harry.”

Harry went home to spend some time with his family. Ginny was at dinner, but she had an appointment right after, and Harry put the children to bed. Teddy came over to dinner, as was his custom. Harry told Teddy as much as he could about Timothy. Teddy said, “Gran Weasley is going to take Freddy and me shopping for our Hogwarts supplies tomorrow. We can take Timothy with us, and make sure he gets some stuff from WWW.”

There was nothing particularly different about the fall of 2010. All the children continued to learn. Al kept getting into trouble with the Department for the Regulation of Underage Magic, always for the most trivial things. A couple of the members of the department really were upset that Al could levitate things and do other magic without a wand, something that only a very few Magi could do, and they seemed to have a personal vendetta against Albus.

Harry had all of the Aurors and most of the other Magi in the DMLE wearing armor, and the armor was getting better. All of Great Britain was almost too peaceful, but the time Harry spent supervising teams of International Aurors was giving him enough excitement. Life was good.

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