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December 23, 2010 Harry Potter was working long hours again, trying to help so the Aurors with young families would not have to spend as much time right before Christmas away from their families. He always was on Holiday from Christmas Eve on for a couple of days, and then again in the Caribbean for a week or two in January.

Harry was accompanying the Coopers in patrolling Diagon Alley. By this time Susan was visibly pregnant, and she was spending most of her days accompanying other DMLE officers on rounds. They went into the Wheezes to say hi to George and Angelina and see how things were going.

Just as they were getting ready to leave Timothy Evans approached Harry. “Mr. Potter,” Timothy said. “Can I talk to you privately? It is important!”

“No problem, Timothy,” Harry said.

“It is about my mam,” Timothy said. “I wrote to her, send her a message on a half-kneazle cat. When the half-kneazle came back without the message her owners said that my mam had gotten the message but she didn’t write back.”

“Do you know why she wouldn’t write back?” asked Harry.

“She is probably afraid my dad will try to kill her,” Timothy said.

“Is there anything we can do to help?” Harry asked.

“Can you find her?” he asked. “I told her to call the phone of Ronald and Hermione Weasley, and I asked Mr. Weasley if they had received a call from mam, but they had not.”

“They don’t have landline phones, just these wizard mobiles,” Harry said.

“Freddy said he saw phones connected to wires at their house,” Timothy said.

“That’s listed in Hermione’s Mother’s name, Jean Granger,” Harry said.

“WE’VE GOT TO FIND HER!” Timothy said. He was beginning to get frantic. “I told her I’d be back for Christmas.”

“We know about your, whatever he is, David Evans,” Harry said. “He is known to the law enforcement officers, and he is a real bad man. We have not tried too hard to find your mother because as soon as we do we are probably going to have to hide her. Let me see what I can do.”

Harry called together all the staff he could. After telling them the story of Timothy he said, “We have to find Lilly Evans. We are almost sure that is not the name she is using, but someone should know where she is.”

Harry and his team used all of their contacts with the Muggle law enforcement officers, contacts that had grown in number and sophistication since Harry and Arthur had been in charge of Magical Law Enforcement. Finally, after almost twenty four hours, they had a break. They found a female officer who knew where Lilly Evans was living. It took magic and memory management to get her to reveal what she knew. She knew where Lilly worked and where she lived. So mid-morning December 24 Harry and his team went to Lilly’s work. She had the day off. They went to the rooming house where she rented a room. She was not there.

Harry made a map of the rooming house where Lilly was renting a room, and the area around it. If Lilly showed up her name would appear on the map. They also made a map of the small illegal restaurant where Lilly worked part time. Harry picked up Timothy and had him show Harry and the Aurors where he thought Lilly might be. The drove around until 5:00 PM, and finally Harry took Timothy to his house.

“I think we are going to miss Christmas Eve services this year,” Harry told Ginny and Timothy. “I think this year we need to do all we can to find Timothy’s mother.”

“Mr. Potter,” Timothy said. “The weather is just horrible. You have to find her!”

Timothy was right. It was that kind of blowing wet almost snow type of rain that is way worse than snow. It was just a terrible day or night to be out in. Harry kissed Ginny, saying, “I’ll stay at this until after midnight if I have to, Love. If she’s out in this weather we really do have to find her.

“At least if she goes home I will spot her on the map.”

It was ten o’clock. Harry finally spotted Lilly Evan’s name on the map, moving toward the building where she lived. His driver pulled the black Range Rover that Aurors and other DMLE staff used up to the front door. Harry got out, and Dobedo and another Auror followed at a discrete distance. Harry approached the wet bedraggled figure and softly said, “Lilly,” but she didn’t seem to hear. He put his hand on her shoulder, and she jumped.

“Lilly Evans?” Harry asked. He had a hard time holding back tears. His mother’s name was Lily Evans, and she was dead. Here he was, being given a chance to rescue a Lilly Evans. Harry said, “I’m sorry, but my mother’s name was Lily Evans, and this is hard for me.”

“If you have to kill me do it quickly and painlessly,” Lilly said, admitting a final and futile defeat. “It is Christmas Eve after all.”

“NO, NO, NO,” Harry said. “I haven’t come to kill you. Are you the mother of Timothy Evans?”

“Who are you?” she said. “Is Timothy all right?”

Harry had been abused as a child, but not like Timothy. He had been agonizing about telling Lilly ever since they started looking for her. He could not tell her that everything was fine, and then let her see her battered son.

“He is worse for wear, but he is healing. I think he is going to be all right,” Harry said.

“Where is he?” Lilly asked.

“At our house, hoping we would be able to find you,” Harry said.

“Who are you, and why do you have Timothy?” Lilly asked.

“My name is Harry Potter, and I am in law enforcement. There is a lot that I have to explain to you. If you come with me we can see your son. Why don’t you get some things so you can stay with us and your son for a few days?”

Harry took the key and put it in the lock.

Harry was shocked when he saw how little Lilly had in her room. Everything she owned fit into one battered suitcase. He thought he had never seen such a defeated woman. Her son had spirit. He was in Gryffindor, and he had been working tirelessly to find his mother. Considering Timothy’s upbringing, and especially the last four years, it was no wonder that he didn’t trust anyone, and maybe hadn’t gone about finding his mother the right way.

Lilly accompanied Harry to the car, and when he opened the back door she got inside. There was a young man driving. Harry said, “We’re done for the night. Take the car to the Ministry and I’ll take Lilly to our house where her son is.”

“Yes sir, Head Auror Potter, sir. Thank you for letting me spend Christmas Eve with you,” the young man said.

“Your son is an unusual young man,” Harry said to Lilly. “Did you ever notice him doing things that were hard to explain, that were, well, magical?”

“Yes, and then David would beat him, or me, or both,” Lilly said. “I think several times David was going to kill one or both of us, but it never worked out right.

“He sent a man to kill me once. The gun misfired a couple of times, so he pointed the gun at himself and almost like magic it fired just as it was pointing at his head. When the Bobbies came I talked them into changing my name and going into hiding, but they found me again and once more stole everything I had.”

“Maybe Timothy protected you,” Harry said. “There is real magic in the world, although most witches and wizards work hard to hide the fact. There was too much persecution of witches and wizards a few hundred years ago, and magical society went into hiding.

“Lilly, your son is a wizard.”

Lilly looked at Harry like she was trying to process what he had told her, but she was obviously exhausted, and she looked terribly cold. He pulled out his wand to examine her, and saw the terrified look on her face. He put her to sleep before examining her with the basic medical scan that all Aurors knew. Lilly’s bodily temperature was close to being dangerously low, and her hands were very close to being frostbitten. He did a warming charm to get her body temperature back up to a safe level.

“Wake up, Lilly,” Harry said.

Harry called Ginny. “I have Timothy’s Lilly, Ginny,” he said.

“Praise Merlin,” Ginny said. “I will be in the kitchen waiting for you.”

They got out of the car, and Harry thanked his staff and took Lilly into the Atrium of the Ministry. “We are going to walk through that fireplace, and end up at my house,” Harry told Lilly.

Lilly looked terrified. She grabbed hold of Harry’s hand tightly, and reluctantly followed him into the Floo.

“Is this Lilly, Harry?” Ginny asked as Harry and Lilly came thru the Floo.

“Lilly, this is my fantastic wife Ginny,” Harry said. Ginny stood up, and Harry and Ginny kissed. “We found her,” Harry said to Ginny, and he broke down in tears. “We found her.”

A very blond boy came noisily down the stairs. He sort of hobbled to his mother.

“Mam, mam,” he said. “You must have gotten my letter. I sent it by, one of the Ravenclaw girls has a half-Kneazle cat, and when you give a letter to the cat it can usually find you, and I, well, they agreed that I didn’t have to go home to dad because he beat me so badly but I was going to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas but I really wanted to find you so I snuck home with Freddy Weasley, his dad owns the joke shop and I worked there to earn some money, but we couldn’t find you, and finally Freddy said I should talk to Harry Potter because he was a hero and he could do anything.

“Mam, we learned all about it at school, how Harry Potter fought the wicked wizard and killed him in a duel at Hogwarts and there is a place on the Floor of the great hall showing where it took place, and that FAMOUS Harry Potter is Freddy’s Uncle, and early yesterday morning he came to the Wheezes and I asked him to find you.

“Well, when I said that I had given the half-Kneazle cat a letter to you they said they needed to find you, because you were probably worried to death, and, did you get my letter?”

“Are you ever going to have to go back to live with your Dad?” Lilly asked.

“NO!” Timothy shouted. “I don’t think he’s my dad anyway. I don’t look anything like him.”

“I got the letter on the cat, but I thought it was some sort of a cruel joke,” Lilly said. “I moved several times because David, I hate to call him my husband because we were never married, although his name is on your birth certificate, well I think he was trying to kill me. You are right. He is not your father.

“Then I was off work Christmas Eve, and I thought that if you tried to find me I wasn’t where we lived before, and I spent most of the day around the old neighborhoods asking if anyone had seen you, and I’d, … I’d, … I’d given up.” Lilly was exhausted and she broke down in tears.

Timothy hugged his mother tightly, and said, “It’s all sort of like a fairy tale. I was on crutches and much worse when I got to Hogwarts but Madam Pomfrey and some healers from St. Mungo’s have worked on me and I can walk without crutches and I don’t hurt ALL the time and things are getting better.

“I don’t have as many nightmares either. You are not supposed to see the Thestrals unless you have seen someone die, but I didn’t have any trouble because when I was with, he’s NOT my dad, that man, I saw people killed.”

“Timothy,” Lilly said, “I’m exhausted, and I don’t have any idea what you are talking about most of the time. Let’s go to sleep and we can get to know each other tomorrow.”

“You both can sleep in the guest bedroom,” Ginny said. “Mabel, one of our house elves, will show you.”

“Do we have Christmas presents for them?” Harry asked Ginny when the Timothy and Lilly were gone.

“I have conjured up a couple of extra stockings, and Fleur has gift certificated for both of them,” Ginny said. “What kind of shape was Timothy in when you found him? If that battered little boy is healed he must have been in terrible shape when you found him.”

“He was,” Harry said. Harry and Ginny both cried, sorrow for the two poor guests, and joy that they were reunited, mingled.

Teddy came early Christmas morning, and all the children including Timothy, eagerly went for their stockings. Inside Timothy’s was a gift certificate for one hundred pounds for “clothes and necessities” and another one, this one for twenty five pounds, “not to be spent on necessities, but must be spent on things you want.”

Lilly looked at the Potters. “We can’t accept these gifts from you,” she said. “We don’t have anything to get you, and it’s not like we are family or anything.”

“Lilly,” Harry said, “I grew up in a household where my aunt and uncle gave my cousin lavish presents and never gave me anything. My first Christmas present was a jumper from Ginny’s mum when I was eleven. I get immense pleasure in giving presents to people who really need them. Don’t deny me this little pleasure.

“Look in your stocking. There are presents for you as well.”

Lilly looked in her Christmas stocking. Inside were three envelopes, with instructions to open them in order. The first envelope had a gift certificate for two hundred pounds for “clothes and necessities” and another one, this one for twenty five pounds, “not to be spent on necessities, but must be spent on things you want.” The gift certificates looked like credit cards. The letter was from “The Harry and Ginny Potter Charitable Trust, and it was signed, in the most elegant and fancy signature Lilly had ever seen, Fleur Isabella Delacour Weasley, trustee.

Lilly looked at Harry. “We have already gotten Timothy clothes,” Harry said.

She opened the next envelope. The certificate said that they had rented an apartment for her in a building in London, and gave the address. Lilly was almost sure she could not afford an apartment where this on was.

“I can’t afford to live there!” Lilly said.

Harry said, “Now look in the third envelope, Lilly.”

The third envelope contained a brief letter saying that on the next Monday she had a job interview with Bill Weasley and Michael Appleleaf.

“Between the job and the apartment we can keep you safe, Lilly,” Harry said.

“Mum, everything is going to be all right,” Timothy said.

Lilly broke down in tears again, but you could tell they were tears of joy.

“Everybody needs to get dressed to go to the New Burrow for Christmas,” Harry announced. “Timothy and Lilly, you are going with us.”

All the children were thru the Floo when Harry took Lilly. Right after Ginny and Mitzi went thru. Molly gave Harry a hug, then Ginny, and then turned to Lilly. She held Lilly, her hands on Lilly’s shoulders, and said, “You must be Lilly, the mother of Timothy. It is SO GOOD to see that they found you. You are safe and loved here.” Molly pulled Lilly into one of her patented hugs, and Lilly felt suddenly welcomed.

Lilly sat down next to Ginny, surveying a rather large and noisy group of people. Timothy had a boy and girl by the hand, and pulled them over to his mother.

Timothy said, “Mam, this is Freddy Weasley. His parents own a store that sells all sorts of fun magic things. Freddy is in class with me, and we room together. Frank Longbottom is also in our class and room, and his dad is one of the professors! It’s real strange rooming with the son of a professor. They call Professor Longbottom “The Snake Slayer,” and he is some sort of real hero.

“Oh, and this is his little sister Roxanne.”

“I’m not THAT little, Timothy,” Roxanne said, and she left.

“Teddy Lupin is also at Hogwarts,” Timothy said. Teddy came over to see Timothy and Lilly, pulling a pretty girl along.

Teddy said, “Timothy, this is Victoire Weasley. She is going to Hogwarts next year.”

A man with a terribly scarred face and maybe the most beautiful woman Lilly had ever seen followed Victoire, and two more children followed.

“Timothy, Mrs. Evans,” Victoire said, “I would like to introduce you to my mother and father, Bill and Fleur Weasley, and my LITTLE sister and brother Dominique and Louis.”

Dominique said,” Little!” with distain, turned and walked away.

Bill and Lilly spend a little time talking.

George and Angelina came over and introduce themselves. George did say that Timothy was very helpful at the shop, and he was glad he could pay Timothy for the help.

By the time dinner was done Christmas Eve it was obvious to Harry, Ginny and Molly that the Evans were exhausted. Lilly had finally started to take notes, about the people, and about magic. She kept looking at the notes and shaking her head, like there was WAY too much new information to learn. Lilly’s eyes were beginning to glaze over, so Timothy and Lilly were sent back to spend Boxing Day alone getting to know each other.

This year Christmas was going to be a two day affair. Boxing Day was on a Saturday, and for once all the Diagon Alley merchants had agreed to be closed on Boxing Day. It had been a very good year for almost all the merchants, the ones specializing in dark magic being the only exceptions.

All the cousins wanted to stay over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. There were eight bedrooms upstairs, so this should be easy. Five bedrooms for the parents, as long as Charley went back to tending his Dragons, and then you had three bedrooms for all the children. If all the boys slept with Teddy, that is, Freddy, Louis, James, Albus and Hugo, then you could put the seven girls in two bedrooms. Harry was worried about the age difference, although hopefully the older two boys could watch over the younger four.

That was too many children in one room, really. And seven girls would not really fit in one bedroom, and the children were just old enough you did not want boys and girls sleeping together and of course none of this would work if Charlie stayed. None of the adults really wanted a child in their room. They hoped to sleep in, or not sleep but take advantage of the holiday for other activities in their bedrooms. None of the adults really felt that they could be back at their homes while their children were the only unsupervised ones. In the end there were six boys in the one room, with three bunk beds.

Saturday at dinner Fred said “The cousins have gotten together, and we want to stay another night! It is fun being together.”

“Ze house is not quite big enough for everybody, children,” said Fleur, looking at Molly.

“This house is huge,” said Grandmother Molly. “I love having my whole family around. We may have to do something about the number of bedrooms if this happens very often.”

“Like next summer,” said James. “I would love to spend some of the summer here so we can fly together.”

“That would be great,” said Teddy. “I need more practice if I am going to become a first string player on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.”

“Flying!” said Lily jumping up and down.

Victoire said, “It would be nice for the older girl cousins to get together more often without school work. Sundays are nice, but they are always too short. We love it when we come over here in the summer, but we always seem to get here too late and leave too early.”

“I’d like to have a chance to stay here,” said Roxanne. “I’ll work at the store when I have too, but I’d rather be here, even doing lessons some days.”

“We can walk here in the summer” said Lucy, “but it’s a really long walk, and it’s not the same thing as sleeping in the same room or same house as your cousins.”

“What if we want to bring a friend over?” asked Teddy. “Six people are already too many in my room.”

“A boyfriend or a girlfriend?” asked Ginny.

Teddy got a little red. “You’d better not have a girl sleeping in your room, Teddy,” said Victoire, getting a little red herself.

“Then don’t sleep with Teddy,” said Freddy to Victoire, and both Teddy and Victoire had daggers in their eyes as they looked at Freddy.

“Let’s see how the adults feel about this,” said Harry. “If there were enough bedrooms would you like to spend more of the Christmas Holiday and part of the summer living here?”

“The children love playing around the pond,” said Bill. “If they are all together they can come to our house on the shore together easier than if they are in separate houses.”

Audrey thought of her mother Phyllis, who was always glaring at the two girls whenever they loudly ran out to visit the pond and the cousins. “In some ways it would be easier being closer to the pond, so the children could come and go more easily, in the summer,” she said.

“If Charley was here we would lose another bedroom” said Molly. “I’m just not sure I want a bigger house.”

“We could build one right next door,” said Harry. Turning to the children he said, “Would that be good enough?”

“Like you could go from one house to the other without having to get your winter coat on, like that close?” asked Victoire.

“Make the place where we fly in bad weather bigger, daddy,” said James.

Over the next few weeks the parents continued to talk about making a second house next to the New Burrow. Harry said he would build the house. He felt that the first house he ever felt at home in was the old Burrow, and he was delighted to be able to have a place where all the cousins could experience not only visiting but living in such a magical place. Potter’s New Burrow was constructed in February and March of 2011. It was very similar to the New Burrow, almost a mirror image. There were about 20 feet between the end of the L that housed Arthur and Molly, and then a very similar L downstairs for Harry and Ginny, and another kitchen. The front of the house was laid out the same way, and on the other end downstairs was an L for Ron and Hermione. Upstairs over Harry and Ginny was the L for Percy and Audrey and over Ron and Hermione was the L for George and Angelina.

Bill and Fleur took the L over Arthur and Molly’s room, and their three children slept at the New Burrow, mostly, although there was a lot of moving around sleeping in different bedrooms. That left nine children for the six bedrooms in Potter’s New Burrow. Molly and Lucy usually slept together, and Al agreed to sleep with Hugo. No one wanted to sleep with Lily all the time, and Rose was too serious for and too young for Roxanne, but somehow Roxanne was able to room with Lily. Sometimes some of the children slept at the New Burrow instead of next door at Potters New Burrow, and there was a lot of moving back and forth between the houses.

Although the houses were not physically connected they were magically connected. Even in the worst weather it was like there was a glass wall over the two houses and the space between them, and you could walk outside between the houses in shirt sleeve comfort.

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