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Hermione paced in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place. The clock in the entrance had recently chimed five pm and she was waiting for five-thirty. Harry was sitting rather nervously at the table nursing a nearly full butterbeer. He wasn’t sure why Hermione was so nervous since she knew what was going on but her emotions were rubbing off on him. If he told the truth he was more worried about the following evening.

Lisa had sent her owl and invited him and Ginny to her house for dinner to talk to her parents about moving into Grimmauld place. This wasn’t too bad but Dudley and Petunia had been invited too. Harry knew Dudley would be polite but his Aunt was an unknown factor. He pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind as Hermione sighed in frustration.

Hermione had told him there was nothing to worry about but she clearly didn’t feel that way about herself. Harry wanted to laugh at his friend since it had been her suggestion to wait until five-thirty. She rationalized that waiting would help avoid the normal crowd associated with the work day. Then they could enter and pass through security rather quickly. While the pair waited Ginny and Ron sat down the table watching in silent amusement. Ron still didn’t know what was going on but he trusted Ginny when she had told him not to worry and that she would explain after they left.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity the clock chimed five-thirty. Hermione sprinted for the fireplace and grabbed the small pot of floo powder. Harry took another swig of the now warm butterbeer and put it back on the table. He walked down the table and gave Ginny a light kiss. “We’ll see you later tonight. Make sure Winky lets everyone know its dinner time before Ron eats everything.” Ginny smiled and nodded. Hermione frowned realizing she had forgotten to say goodbye to Ron and walked down the table to do so.

Ron smiled as the pair returned to the fireplace and spun out of sight with a flash of green flame. “So what exactly is going on?” He asked Ginny as he sat back down. Kreacher brought a light dinner while Winky disappeared to get the others. Ginny recounted the conversation she had had with Kinglsey and Hermione.

Hermione stepped out of the gilded fireplace and onto the solid marble floor of the ministry. She used her wand to syphon any stray soot and cleared a space for Harry to step out behind her. The fireplaces both at Grimmauld Place and the Ministry were kept impeccably clean so there wasn’t much to clear off. Harry took a minute to inspect his dark blue robes that had been a gift from Arthur and then walked alongside Hermione to the atrium.

She had been right about waiting until five-thirty. The fireplaces for departures had small queues but nothing too bad and there were only a trickle of people coming in from the right hand side arrival fireplaces. Hermione thought they were probably the night shift and walked along with them until they arrived at the security desk.

The young man behind the desk looked as though he had been expecting them. “Ah Mr. Potter, Ms. Granger welcome to the Ministry. I’m sure you know the drill.” They did and each handed their wand to him in turn as he notated the information and returned it to them. He handed them two silver visitor badges. The personalized markings said simply “Wizengamot Meeting.” Harry released a held breathe reading the badge and the tension in his shoulders dissipated. He had expected much worse than simply a meeting of the Wizengamot. “Enjoy your visit; I dare say this may be the last time you have to stop at the desk.” He returned to his stool with a wink and picked up a copy of the Daily Prophet. Hermione shrugged at Harry’s questioning look and turned to leave.

“Oh where is the meeting being held? I completely forgot to ask this morning.” Hermione said suddenly as they stepped away.

“Right, the only rooms big enough for the whole Wizengamot are the courtrooms. Courtroom one is the one selected for tonight.

Harry thanked the man and then followed Hermione past the memorial stone and to the lifts. They waited for one to clank to a stop and the few people leaving for the day to clear out. They stepped into the lift as the gate slid shut and Hermione pressed the button for level 9. The lift noisily descended to level 9 and Harry stepped out and led the way to level ten.

“I know this is only a meeting but I always feel nervous about coming down here. We don’t have the best record with the courtrooms.” He said as Hermione walked beside him.

“Actually we’re undefeated. You were cleared of wrongdoing after fighting the dementors and we got away with the locket from Umbridge.” He smiled at her reasoning and relaxed a bit more. He was glad that whatever was happening he had Hermione there with him so he wouldn’t have to go it alone.

When they arrived at the tenth level Kingsley was standing there along with a couple other wizards. All of them had the intricate W of the Wizengamot on their robes. Kingsley noticed their approach and quietly excused himself from the conversation. He embraced Hermione warmly and gave Harry his hand. Harry pulled the man into a one armed hug. “Thank you for coming on such short notice. We’ll begin soon and we’ll start with you Harry.” Kingsley said rather quickly. He looked over his shoulder and noticed the others were entering the courtroom. “I have to go in now someone will be out to bring you in shortly.”

Harry took a seat on the bench opposite the door that Kingsley had disappeared through. Hermione however paced rapidly in the hallway. They couldn’t hear what was happening so they just had to wait patiently. They had been waiting for about a half hour when the door opened and Percy Weasley stepped out. “Harry, Hermione it’s good to see you. Harry please follow me and Hermione…” He waited for her to turn and focus on him. “Relax you have nothing to worry about.” He smiled and she nodded taking Harry’s seat on the bench.

Harry followed Percy into the courtroom. All conversation stopped immediately as he entered. There was no chair in the center and so Harry stood. Standing behind the podium was none other than Aberforth Dumbledore.

“Mr. Potter do you know why you have been brought before this meeting of the Wizengamot?” Harry noticed Percy scribbling on his parchment taking the notes of the meeting.

“No Mr. Dumbledore I do not.” Harry answered formally following the lead of Aberforth. “I only received the summons this morning.”

“Well take a seat Mr. Potter and we will explain. Now what do you know of the makeup of the Wizengamot?” He conjured a chair and Harry sat in it.

“It seems there are fewer people now than when I last sat before the court however I know nothing of how members are chosen.” Harry confessed.

Aberforth smiled and explained the court makeup as Kingsley had done for Hermione. As he mentioned the seats held by families and passed from generation to generation Harry understood his purpose at the meeting and realized now why the guard had mentioned they would no longer need to check in.

“So Mr. Potter now that you know a little more about the court can you guess why you have been asked here tonight.” Aberforth wrapped up with a slight twinkle in his eye that reminded Harry so much of Albus.

“I believe so. Based on what you’ve said I believe I am being asked to take the seat that was left to me when my parents died.” He explained. “I was not asked sooner because I was not of age and then certain factors prevented me from taking the seat.”

“You are half correct Mr. Potter. You will indeed be taking the seat left to you by your parents. Afterward your first order of business will be to find four suitable candidates to take the other seats you have recently inherited. As I mentioned only one seat may remain in each family.”

Harry nodded. The revelation was not wholly unexpected after he had inherited so much property but it was still a heavy burden. A few names immediately sprang to the forefront of his mind but he wasn’t sure how to proceed, other than the fact that without a doubt one of the seats would go to a Weasley.

“Now then Mr. Potter there is no official swearing in oath that must be taken. Words have power and depending on the wording an oath could prove exceptionally binding. As a member of the Wizengamot you must be able to use reason without being forced into a decision that may be morally wrong. You are however required to sign the roll of official members and take your seat next to Susan who I believe you know.” Percy presented an ancient scroll and opened it to the bottom which Harry added his name to the list.”

With his signature a stylized W appeared on his robe opposite his Order of Merlin shield. He sighed and ascended to his seat next to Susan. Harry had heard her aunt had been killed and it seemed she was one of the few people in her family left alive. Still she greeted Harry with a warm hug as he sat down.

“By the way Harry the W only appears during meetings and trials where identifying the members is truly important.”Aborforth smiled and again Harry was strongly reminded of Albus. “With that piece of business concluded is there any other new business we need to attend to.” Aberforth asked to the assembled group. Harry looked around and nobody moved at first. Then Kingsley stood.

“With your permission Chief Warlock I have an appointment to bring before the court for one of the open seats that it is my responsibility to fill.”

Aberforth nodded. “Proceed Minister.”

Kingsley stood and cleared his throat. “This person is one of the most intelligent witches I have ever met. Despite her young age she has been through many difficult situations which could have stumped others thrice her age.” He paused to take a breath. “I am recommending this person not only for her qualifications but for the hope that she might be able to help us open relations with Australia again. She has some connections to the continent and would serve well as an ambassador as a muggle-born she can relate to their experiences.” There were a few muffled whispers but they cut off quickly. “At this time I would like to nominate Hermione Jean Granger to become a member of the Wizengamot.”

The whispers returned but Harry could sense they were mostly excited. Overall the response to the news seemed positive. There were some nervous looks and Harry realized that pure-blood beliefs may extend beyond death eaters. He tried not to hold that against his fellow members but knew that things would need to change to prevent the prejudices from affecting society again.

With the announcement Percy again left his post near the podium and escorted Hermione into the courtroom. She stood in front of the chair that Aberforth had conjured for Harry. Unlike when Harry entered the room, the conversation continued for another minute until Aberforth called the group to order with a bang on his gavel. Hermione flinched at the sound but the rest of the room quickly quieted down.

“Good evening Ms. Granger are you aware of why you were invited here tonight.” Aberforth began in much the same way he had with Harry.

“Yes Chief Warlock.” She responded with equal formality. “The Minister informed me of his intentions this morning.”

Harry smiled finally fully understanding Hermione’s nerves. “Excellent, please take a seat I have a few questions for you.” Hermione sat but seemed stunned that Aberforth would question her appointment. “Now Ms. Granger we have all heard of your intelligence and how you assisted Mr. Potter in his quest to defeat Tom Riddle. However we are the group that not only administers justice but approves proposed laws and changes and must look at what is best for the wizarding community as a whole. With that said what skills do you have that you feel would benefit the Wizengamot?”

Hermione took a deep breath and a moment to think over the question. “More so than intelligence I am willing to speak my mind and be honest about my feelings. I will compromise when necessary but will stand by my convictions and principles.”

“And what are some of those principles.” A woman asked from next to Aberforth. Harry did not know who she was.

“Chiefly I believe that regardless of blood-status every witch or wizard should be treated equally under the law.” There was a light murmur mostly of agreement but certainly a few surprised tones. “I also believe that we should strive to find less harsh punishments. Crimes should certainly be punished but exposing those who have committed relatively minor offenses to the torment of the dementors may make the person worse rather than repentant.”

This comment caught Harry off guard. He had never heard Hermione talk about this. This comment was received much more openly by the other members of the court. Of course some would have had family members who had been put in Azkaban.

“Many of us know of your friends’ plans to play quidditch but details of your future plans have remained a mystery Ms. Granger. Can you enlighten us on those?” She wasn’t sure where the question came from but she answered it all the same.

“My immediate future includes a hopefully short trip to Australia. My parents have been in hiding and I hope to bring them home.” Hermione was surprised when nobody commented on the trip. “Beyond that I informed the Minister this morning that I would accept the offer from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. The Minister indicated that department was still understaffed and could benefit from my presence.”

“That is very noble of you to put those talents to use in a department such as that. Some may say that is a waste but if you enjoy the work you will be an asset.” Aberforth finally smiled at Hermione and she noticeably relaxed. “Now does anyone else have additional questions for Ms. Granger before we proceed to a vote?”

An older wizard stood from the top row behind Aberforth and spoke. “Ms. Granger would you tell us what grades you received on your NEWTs. Much has been said of your intelligence, I think we would all like to hear the extent of it.”

Hermione smiled. “Absolutely sir, I received nine NEWTs, all outstanding.” She then went through the classes she had attended.

“And what about outside of class did you have any particular interests?”

“Well unlike my friends I’m not a fan of flying so I didn’t participate in quidditch. However I helped Harry and later Ginny and Ron Weasley as they were team captains to schedule practices and plan sessions. I was made prefect in my fifth year so I was responsible for those in my house as well as being named Head Girl for my final year.”

The man nodded and sat down. Before Aberforth could say something else a witch closer to Molly Weasley’s age stood. “Ms. Granger I have heard that during your time at Hogwarts you tried to free the house elves working there. Would you explain that action and how it will affect your decision making?”

Hermione blushed and coughed lightly into her hand. “That was the actions of a muggleborn who did not fully understand the relationship between humans and house elves. I believed the elves were unhappy in their position and would prefer freedom. I have only met one elf like that and he taught me the error of my ways. I will not attempt to force elves to be freed as they would not approve but if any were to show interest I would work with them and their master to come to an arrangement.”

There was a slight grumble from older members of the court but overall Hermione’s answer was diplomatic and honest. Aberforth waited another minute or so and nobody else stepped forward with any questions. “Well then since there appears to be no further questions does anyone object to proceeding with a vote?” He asked and waited patiently.

“Chief Warlock, I wish to object to a vote. It is highly unusual to appoint someone so young with no experience.” A wizard sitting nearly right behind Aberforth stood and spoke loudly. He was tall and rather young compared to most members of the court. He had a close cropped haircut and neatly trimmed beard both deep red. His voice was quiet and calm but thick with an Irish accent. “She is clearly not qualified and has been nominated solely due to her relationship with Mr. Potter.” Harry hadn’t expected it but the venomous way O’Brien said his name led him to believe he was a pure-blood sympathizer.

“It is indeed unusual but she is of legal age and has agreed to the appointment there are no bi-laws that would disqualify her.” Kingsley spoke for the first time since Hermione entered the court room. Though he remained seated while speaking his voice carried his authority “Your personal opinion on whether she should be accepted on the court can be expressed in your vote O’Brien.”

“I have raised my objection and it is not up to you to determine if it has merit Minister.”

“No it is up to me.” Aberforth’s voice sounded above the whispers starting in the assembled group. “And unless anyone can cite a rule indicating why Ms. Granger would not be eligible to hold a seat on this court I am going to rule that your objection has no such merit.” Aberforth banged his gavel silencing any conversations that remained.

A witch who sat next to O’Brien flipped through a thick leather-bound book quickly. She seemed to be trying to find such a rule. Before long she closed the book and shook her head at the Irishman. “I withdraw my objection but let the record stand that the vote proceeds under protest.” He sat with his arms crossed.

Aberforth sighed and nodded his head toward Percy who scribbled on his parchment before nodding back. “So noted, now those in favor of approving Ms. Granger’s appointment?” Most of the hands in the court went up though some reluctantly.

“Harry put your hand up.” Susan whispered in his ear while jabbing his ribs. Sheepishly Harry realized he was entitled to a vote and quickly put his hand up alongside Susan. Only a few hands failed to rise and Hermione was confirmed easily.

“Excellent Ms. Granger you are required to sign the scroll recognizing you as a member of the Wizengamot. As we told Mr. Potter there is no oath to take as it could force you to make morally objectionable decisions.” Aberforth explained as Percy presented the scroll for Hermione to sign. She did and the same stylized W appeared on her robes. She took her seat next to Harry and gave him a relieved smile.

“You did wonderfully Hermione.” He whispered to her.

“I agree.” Susan added from the other side. “I really thought they would be tougher on you.”

“Minister do you have any other business to conduct or can we hold the meeting adjourned.” Aberforth asked slightly irritated with the events so far.

“I do have one more piece of business but the court is not required.” Kingsley smiled at Aberforth’s relieved look.

With a bang of his gavel Aberforth declared the meeting adjourned. Most of the members stood but didn’t immediately make for the doors. They took time to greet one another outside of the formalities of the meeting.

Harry was surrounded by quite a few people while Hermione and Susan talked about their future plans. The conversation was interrupted by Kingsley. “Ms. Granger now that you officially a member of the Wizengamot I am appointing you as my personal envoy to Australia. Again it may be difficult to convince their Ministry but I will give you all the proper documentation to verify it.” Hermione nodded her acceptance. “Have either of you eaten dinner.” She shook her head. “I thought not.” Kingsley looked over Hermione’s head at Susan and Harry. “Susan, I hate to interrupt your conversation but is Ms. Abbot working tonight?” Susan nodded once. “Would you go to the Leaky Cauldron and have their largest private room prepared? We can then have dinner together and catch up on old times.” Susan nodded and politely excused herself from the room. “Harry would you mind contacting your house and inviting Ron with us and anyone else who wishes to come?” Harry was confused with the request but sent his patronus with a brief message. He knew Ginny would come but wasn’t sure about anyone else.

Twenty minutes later Harry was relaxing with a butterbeer and talking with Susan and Hannah. He sat holding Ginny’s hand with her head on his shoulder. She wasn’t saying much but was enjoying the time. Everyone from Grimmauld Place had come out and was enjoying themselves. Hannah was technically working but her uncle left her in charge of the private room since it was later in the evening and the dinner rush had passed. She left occasionally to grab cold drinks or bring up their dinner but mostly she sat and talked with her former classmates. Celia and Draco were sitting with Pansy and George who had been talking business at the house when the call came in. Ron and Hermione were speaking in hushed tones with the Minister about the plans for the trip. The details were coming together quickly since there wasn’t much to plan and Hermione felt they could leave soon.

George and Draco seemed to be getting more excited in their conversation and then suddenly George stood as if he had been kicked.” Ladies and Gentleman I have an important announcement to make.” The conversations stopped immediately. “The time has come for Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes to expand and we will be opening our first international location in the months to come.” He paused for the light applause. “With that in mind I’d like to introduce the managers of our soon to open location in Rio De Janiero, Draco Malfoy and Celia Barros.” Another light applause followed and Ron offered a toast to his brother and newest business partners.

Draco came and sat with Harry and the others a few minutes later. “Obviously this announcement means that we will be moving out soon. I wanted to thank you for your generosity. I know you expected me to stay longer but I cannot pass up this chance to be happy. We will be leaving as soon as we have a chance to meet with my mum and tell her what’s going on.”

Whatever Harry was going to say was interrupted as Kingsley was sitting nearby and turned in his seat. “That reminds me Draco, one of the reasons I wanted you guys to come out tonight. Narcissa is going to be moved here for your visit on Friday. I agreed with Harry that it would not do well for you two to suffer the dementors. She will be thrilled to hear you doing something good.”

Draco nodded and his eyes misted lightly. “I know it’s not much longer but once she’s released I hope she will follow us. I haven’t known Celia long but it is the first time in my life that I feel a girl genuinely cares for me for me. Even with Pansy we both knew it was just what our families wanted.”

“Celia is a great girl Draco. I couldn’t think of a more caring and compassionate person.” Harry smiled over Draco’s shoulder at his friend. “But as you said to me about Ginny, treat her well, she deserves it. I don’t want to hurt you but I will.” He finished with a wink. Ginny was surprised that Draco had felt the need to threaten Harry but was touched.

“Deal, please keep in touch Harry. You have helped open my eyes to all the hate I was feeling, well you, Ginny and the others. You all forgave me for my stupidity. I hope to hear from you as well Ginny.”

She nodded at his request. “I will miss you Draco but there are still a few days before we are forced to say goodbye.” She smiled lightly. He left the table and returned to his seat next to Celia. She wrapped her arm around his as they sat contently.

Before the conversations could get going again Kingsley stood. “Thank you all for sharing a lovely dinner with me. It is wonderful to be around so many bright young people who will soon be changing our world in wondrous ways. Some of you know what has happened tonight and others are in the dark so I would like to congratulate the two newest members of the Wizengamot Hermione Granger and Harry Potter.” The applause was lighter this time but still present. “I also would like to present these as well.” Kingsley then held up two pieces of leather that looked like wallets to Harry. “Ron these are for you and Harry.”

Both took the wallets and opened them. Ron sat dumbfounded looking inside. At the top was a ministry identification card and the lower side held a six pointed star with the words “Auror Junior Grade” engraved on it. “Minister what is this?”

“After meeting with you four this morning Gawain and I spoke. Given the nature of your mission to Australia it could only assist to have a little more clout.” He paused looking at both boys. “With Gawain’s recommendation you were both made Junior Grade Aurors, this is the rank held by academy graduates. Gawain said you could both skip the academy with your current abilities and with this you have. Should you ever change your mind that is. You are not on active status but you are on call. You will not be called upon unless the situation is truly dire but you now can use magical force with a fair amount of authority and leniency. Be sure to continue studying what I sent you. Your first exercise will be applied in Australia and Hermione will explain why later, so congratulations aurors.”

Ginny and Hermione hugged their boyfriends tightly as they received congratulations. Harry compared his badge to Ron’s and they were identical. The Id’s however verified that Harry was a member of the Wizengamot in addition and he knew that would come in handy. Harry was lost looking over the ID when Kingsley got his attention. “Harry, I have one final thing to ask of you my friend. I believe you should share what you told me with Minerva. Together we can help insure that something like Vold… Tom Riddle never happens again.” Harry nodded his agreement since he knew the next few days were relatively free except for learning how to ride the motorbike with Arthur.

The party seemed to wind down shortly after the announcements. Ginny and Harry excused themselves early in order to get a good night’s sleep. Harry was already starting to worry about dinner with Lisa’s parents and his aunt and cousin.

Harry was nervous as he waited for the car to pull up to his house. His aunt had insisted on picking him and Ginny up for dinner with the Turpins. Her insistence along with the letter coming by owl post made him feel a little better but he still wanted to make a good impression.

Ginny insisted that he looked great and that his aunt was different now. Dudley was happy and Petunia had to be accepting of her son’s happiness. He adjusted his tie for the fifth time while sitting on the porch of the house. “I’m glad your mom had this porch added. It will be nice in the future, especially after a long day of quidditch.”

“It definitely will.” Ginny replied from the chair next to him. She had her fingers laced through his. Her calm demeanor masked her nervousness. Harry’s aunt and cousin were the only true family he had left and she wanted to be accepted by them.

After another few minutes Harry asked Ginny a question she was surprised to hear. “Gin would you like to go out on a date with me Friday night?”

“Harry I’m your fiancee why would we need to go on a date?”

“Because we never have and we never get to spend time together just the two of us. Plus I’d like to take you to see my parents if you’d be interested.” Harry admitted squeezing her hand tightly. “I don’t know much about Godric’s Hollow but we could go out there early in the afternoon visit the house I lived in and go to the cemetery and then find a nice place for dinner.”

“I think that would be a lovely evening.” Ginny returned the squeeze and leaned over the arm of her chair to kiss him gently. It was at that moment that a green four door sedan pulled up in front of number 11 Grimmauld Place.

“I guess my aunt is driving. She must think Dudley is mad for pointing us out and she cannot see us.” Harry smiled as they stood. They stepped off of the porch hand in hand as Petunia stepped out of the car looking confused. When she saw the pair appear seemingly out of nowhere she was shocked but smiled tentatively. Dudley got out of the passenger seat and looked over the car at his cousin.

“Hello Aunt Petunia, I hope we have a better time than when last we met.” He was polite but very serious. The meeting at the airport over a year ago replayed in his head. Dudley had been friendly but his aunt was almost as upset as his uncle. He felt guilty though because he hadn’t seen his aunt a year and his first reaction was to test her sincerity.

Petunia paled slightly and looked away. Harry could see tears forming in her eyes. “I’m sorry Harry. Jealousy is horrible thing and it led me to hate my sister when I could not go to school with her. Then I allowed those feelings to be projected onto you by Vernon. I have been working with a therapist for the few months ever since Dudley and I moved out.”

Harry smiled lightly at the reaction. He had never expected the admission and knew this was his chance for a new relationship with his aunt. “I am happy to hear that Aunt Petunia. I hope that soon we can talk about mom and I can learn more about her.” He embraced his aunt warmly as she nodded. “Now though I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Ginny Weasley.” Ginny extended her hand to the lady but was pulled into a quick hug.

“I heard many good things about you and your family while we were in hiding.” She wiped her eyes. “I couldn’t let Vernon know I was listening hoping to hear good news but I paid attention, especially as Dudley became more interested in Lisa.”

“Speaking of Lisa we are running late it’ll take an hour or so to get there and that’s if we don’t have to deal with London traffic.” Dudley spoke up from the other side of the car. Petunia checked her watch and nodded.

“You’re right Dudley. We have plenty of time to talk in the car. You drive and Harry you can ride up front with him.” Dudley came around the car and got in as his mother opened the back door and slid in behind him. Harry and Ginny followed and soon they were leaving London behind and headed north.

The car pulled into the driveway of a modest two story home a little over an hour later. Dudley had been pretty spot on with the timing and they had managed to avoid any major traffic delays. The time passed quickly as the conversation was very enjoyable. Harry couldn’t believe the difference in his family after the year apart. He got out of the car and looked at the house. It was green with white shutters, a decent sized front porch connected from the garage across the entire front side. A few chairs were scattered across the porch and Lisa was reclining in one with a book. She looked up as the car pulled in and jumped up quickly. She yelled something through the screen door before rushing off the porch to meet Dudley as he stepped out of the car.
“Duds it’s good to see you. I’ve missed you.” Lisa smiled and kissed him lightly. Petunia smiled brightly at her reaction.

Harry saw the screen door open and a woman who looked remarkably like Lisa stepped out onto the porch. “Come now Lisa let our guests come inside. She said sweetly while Lisa let go of Dudley and took his hand. They walked up the path to the porch while Petunia followed. Harry took Ginny’s hand and brought up the rear. Subconsciously he scanned the area for any signs of danger before entering the house.

“You must be Harry it is so lovely to meet you. We have heard so many things.” Lisa’s mother exclaimed extending a hand as He and Ginny came in the door. “My name is Jessi Turpin.”

“Yes I am Harry.” He said with a smile. “This is my girlfriend Ginny Weasley. Thank you for having us.”

“It is a pleasure Harry. And a pleasure to meet you as well Ginny, Lisa has told us much about you.” Jessi shook Ginny’s hand warmly. “Please take a seat in the lounge I’ll get some drinks while we wait for dinner. My husband Ed is in watching the telly feel free to join him.”

The lounge was immediately to the left of the hall and Harry followed Petunia in. Dudley and Lisa were already seated on the love seat holding hands. Ed was seated on one end of a long couch and stood as they walked in. He was a tall man, nearly a head taller than Harry. He was broad shouldered with thick arms covered in dark hair. His hair was thinning on top of his head and he sported a well-groomed goatee.
“It’s nice to meet you Harry, my name is Edward but everyone calls me Ed.” He shook Harry’s hand and Harry felt roughed calloused skin. Harry didn’t mention it but he imaged the man worked hard for a living.

“Thank you for having us Ed. It is a pleasure. I’m not sure if you overheard me introduce her to your wife but this is my girlfriend Ginny Weasley.” Ed nodded and shook Ginny’s hand as well. His large one engulfing Ginny’s much smaller one.

“Please take a seat.” Ed said then looked around the lounge. There was only the couch and love seat in the room and with all the guests there just weren’t enough spots. “I mean let me get you a couple chairs from the dining room for you.” He actually blushed a little nervously.

“No need, I’ll take care of it.” Harry smiled and waved his wand. Another love seat appeared across from the first. Harry sat in it along with Ginny while Ed returned to his seat smiling.

“Some of the things that magic can do are truly marvelous. Don’t you agree Petunia?” Ed smiled and sat back on the couch.

Harry watched his aunt as she looked around nervously. She sighed lightly as she began talking. “To be honest Ed I am still trying to get used to it. For many years I hated my sister because I couldn’t be like her and then when our parents fell ill I thought she had the power to make them better and wouldn’t. I held that against her for a long time until I started to understand the limits of magic.” Harry finally understood better why his aunt had been so angry at his mom and family for all that time. Jealousy played a small role but it was much deeper.

“Speaking of the limitations of magic won’t you get in trouble for using it in front of muggles?” Ed asked a little nervously.

“Ordinarily yes,” Harry answered. “However there are exceptions to the secrecy statute. The most notable is immediate family of wizards are exempt. That means most magic performed in this house will probably be ignored.” Harry smiled a little bit at Lisa’s surprised look. He was also amazed that he remembered part of the law book though he only had a short amount of time to read. “Also the magic was performed by a Ministry official so I don’t expect anything to come of it.”

“Ministry official, but Harry I thought you were going to play quidditch?” Dudley was stumped by his admission.

“I am but I was given a special test a few weeks ago and the Minister said I was qualified to earn a rank as a junior grade auror so I am on call if not actually working for the Ministry.”

“Blimey Harry that is amazing news.” Dudley and Petunia were surprised though Ed seemed a bit confused. Jessi brought some tea pausing a moment as she looked at the new loveseat. Ed gestured to Harry who just smiled again. After everyone was served Ed finally asked the question that had been on his mind while his wife took the seat beside him.

“Since I am still more than a little confused about your world outside of the school what is an auror Harry?”

Harry thought about it for a while. “Well I guess you could call us sort of a combination detective and special operations part of the law enforcement branch of the ministry. Aurors are tasked with investigating and finding those that practice the dark arts. It is very rare for qualified candidates to be accepted but my friend Ron, Ginny’s older brother and I have been granted the rank without having to complete the academy.”

“Well of course you were after defeating Voldemort but why are you on call.” Jessi asked fairly astounded at the young man who sat before her.

“Because I’d rather not make a career out of what life was like in school. I’d prefer to live with my friends and play quidditch.” He paused. “Has Lisa explained quidditch to you?” They both nodded and Harry knew that Dudley had learned of the game. “Speaking of living with my friends though I believe that brings me to the reason Lisa helped to arrange this dinner tonight.”

“Hold that thought for one moment Harry.” Jessi held up a hand to stop him. She then returned to the kitchen for a few minutes before returning to her seat. “Dinner will be ready before long so please you were saying?”

“Well Mr. and Mrs. Turpin I own a very large house in London. Many of the rooms are sitting empty and if you would not be against it I would like Lisa to move in with us, namely myself, Ginny and some of our close friends.”
“While we appreciate the courtesy but Lisa is of age and can make those decisions for herself. We will support her choice.”

Lisa relaxed greatly hearing her mother’s assertion. “I appreciate the confidence but I was worried that you would still see me as a child.”

Ed laughed heartily. “After you informed us you were going to the battle and told us that we would not be able to stop you from fighting for your future we both accepted you were an adult. Besides you can apparate, you can visit almost any time. Is this something you truly want to do?”

“I would like to be more on my own. Harry’s house is in London and it would make getting to work easier if I get a job in the Ministry. His fireplace can connect directly to the office. That and it would be closer to see Duds.” She squeezed his hand and smiled at him. Harry saw the deep love in both their eyes.

“Well I guess that’s settled then. When would you be moving?” Ed asked.

Before Lisa could answer Harry cut in. “It would likely be a couple of weeks. You see Ginny and I along with her brother Ron and his girlfriend Hermione will be leaving for Australia soon.”

A buzzer sounded in the kitchen and Jessi stood up once again. “Dinner should only be five more minutes.” She called. “Why don’t we come into the dining room and get settled?”

Harry helped Ginny stand after setting his still mostly full tea on the tray on the coffee table in the center of the lounge. Together they followed Ed through to dining room. The room was a fairly decent sized with a solid oval shaped wood table and comfortable looking chairs. Ed took the seat furthest from the kitchen and stood behind it while everyone else sat down. Harry and Ginny sat against the back wall with a view of the yard behind them. Dudley, Lisa and Petunia sat across from the couple with Dudley sitting between the two women in his life. Ed left the room quickly after they were seated and returned with a bottle of white wine. He popped the cork and poured a small amount into Petunia’s glass. She sniffed it lightly before tasting it.

“Excellent choice to accompany the roast, it smells absolutely delicious by the way Jessi.” She called into the kitchen so the other woman could hear.

Petunia was right and Harry’s mouth was watering as the smells filled the air. Ed poured wine for everyone even Ginny who was legally underage in the muggle world and then sat back in his chair. “Lisa will you help me with the food?” Jessi called through the open kitchen door. A minute later the two women came in carrying various dishes and finally a large pork roast was placed on the table.
A relaxed silence settled over the group as plates were passed and loaded with the spread. Harry quickly tried everything and it was wonderfully prepared. After a few minutes of eating Ed picked up where the conversation had left off.

“So tell us Harry why are you going to Australia, a graduation celebration?”

Harry wiped his mouth and tucked his napkin on his lap. “I wish it was so sir. Our friend Hermione is a muggleborn like Lisa. She was also highly targeted by the dark wizards during the war so in order to protect her parents she altered their memory and instilled an urge for them to move to Australia.” He explained to the group. “We are going to bring them home.”

“I am certainly glad we didn’t have to go through such drastic steps. The year in hiding was rough but we came through it and with some added family as well.” Jessi smiled at Dudley and Petunia who seemed genuinely happy about the occurrence. “Ginny we seem to be asking questions about Harry but what about you? What are you going to do in the future?”

Ginny blushed. “Well I have been offered a tryout to play quidditch as well. Harry thinks I’m a shoo in but I’m nervous about it. Mostly because I’m trying out for my favorite team, the all witch Harpies.”

“That would be interesting if you two end up playing against each other. Don’t let her show you up Harry.” Ed punched his arm lightly while everyone laughed. “Why quidditch for you though Harry? With your abilities and popularity you could likely land any job you wanted.”

“Exactly, I am fed up with danger and putting my life on the line every day. I’m eighteen, have the love of my life with me and money is no worry so why not do what I love.” There was a stunned silence at the way Harry casually remarked that money was no worry. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have brought that up. I’m not used to these types of dinners.” He kicked himself for not keeping quiet.

“Nothing to worry about Harry, I understand your thought. If I was in your position I would not be working in the auto repair shop I am at now.”

“No instead you’d own the shop and would never come home.” Jessi replied with a cheeky smile.

“True, well that and maybe traveling a bit more with the woman I love.” Ed winked at his wife across the table.

“I do hope to travel more when the season is over. I would love to see the United States and Australia as a tourist. I’m told there are parts of Asia and Africa that are simply wonderful. But that is something Ginny and I haven’t had time to discuss yet.”

The conversation went through a variety of topics from there. By the end of the night everyone was comfortable and Lisa was looking forward to moving into Grimmauld Place once everyone returned from Australia. The conversation and drinks lasted well after dinner and by the end of the night Ed had insisted that Petunia and Dudley spend the night. He would not let them drive. Harry and Ginny however preferred to apparate home.

AN: Sorry for the long wait for an update. I have been helping a recently published friend proofread his next story. Updates should be coming quicker now.

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