Thanks to my Betas FriendofMolly and Arnel, and to JK Rowling who allows us to publish..
Friday, Sept 1, 2017
At least someone only tried to kill me once before I went to Hogwarts, Harry Potter thought. Albus has been living with the knowledge that people were out to kill him most of his life. Today they would put Albus on the train for Hogwarts, and this was harder than putting Teddy on the train, and harder than putting James on the train. Neither of them were the subject of prophesies, and neither of them lived under the threat of assassination that Albus seemed to live under.
James and Lily were Quidditch fanatics, and loved going with Ginny to anything to do with Quidditch. Albus was the one who spent a lot of time with him, talking about everything, and asking question after question. Harry was going to miss Albus in a way he had not missed James.
He looked over to his sleeping wife and a big smile crept over his face. Whatever he and his family had to face, it would be better with Ginny by his side. Harry could not imagine a life without Ginny. She was his soulmate.
Harry remembered Albus and Cleopatra, how they were soulmates, even though they had never met. That was one more reason to be worried. When would they meet, and what problems would that cause at Hogwarts?
Harry was on the Hogwarts board, and as head Auror was responsible for the security of Hogwarts and of Great Britain. No one had tried to attack Albus in Britain since Vernon Dursley's funeral eight years ago. Harry hoped that Hogwarts would be safe for Albus; it had been for the last nineteen years, but Harry was still worried.
Ginny Potter woke up to Harry's kiss. She loved her life. She did the spell that gave her a railing to help her balance when she went to the loo. The lack of balance was annoying, but it wasn't like she was in pain. And as she was using the loo and getting ready she thought about being a wife and mother, and how much she loved almost everything about being a mother.
Sending a child off to school was hard, though. She was not sure she could handle it when Lily Luna was in school too. She really was ready for another child; she was young enough.
Ginny was worried about the Prophesies as well. She was also curious about this Cleopatra girl, who was supposed to be Albus' soulmate. She hoped they would not meet too soon. Maybe if they were in different houses she would not have to deal with that issue for a few years.
Albus Potter woke up thrilled to be going to Hogwarts, but worried. There was nothing strange about Albus Potter being worried; he was worried, or concerned, or cautious, most of the time.
He knew he was at the centre of a lot of prophecies. He knew better than almost anyone except his father that way too many prophecies focused on him or could be referring to him. He also knew that people had tried to kill him, and of course that worried him.
He had practiced magic that no underage Magi should have practiced, and had been doing it all his life. Did that make him sneaky, destined to be put in Slytherin? Did that make him bad? He desperately wanted to be good, but he wasn't sure he always was.
It sort of bothered him that, after looking at wand makers in several countries, they still could not find a wand that chose him. The wand he had been using for the last six years worked fine. He already knew most of the spells they were going to be teaching for the next few years. But he wanted THE wand that was right for him.
Cleopatra Desiree Smith woke up as excited as she had ever been. She was going to HOGWARTS! She was going to get out of the Malfoy house where she had been a PRISONER, well, sort of a prisoner, for the last six years.
She was going to MEET people and, she hoped, become FRIENDS with a lot of people. Maybe even Albus Potter! Cleo looked. She still had articles from the Prophet about Albus Potter and his cousin Rose and elf and goblin DNA. She had every article she had ever read about Albus Potter, ever since they sang that duet. She just needed to meet him.
Maybe she could room with his cousin Rose!
Maybe she could room with ALBUS, giggle, giggle.
Cleo hoped Albus still played the guitar, remembering the duet years ago.
She took a deep breath.
The last photograph she saw of him Albus was still a little kid.
She wasn't exactly a little kid anymore. It had started. She could feel, and see, where her breasts were supposed to be they were starting! Not much yet, but it didn't look like a little girl or boy, it was, well, she wasn't real sure what a woman was supposed to look like down at the end of her breasts, except she guessed it was a lot different than a boy looked. Sometimes if the undergarments were thin you could see that women were a lot different than men, and not just the shape of the bust but what was down at the end too. She wished she had names for things. It was hard to talk about or even think about things if you didn't have names for them.
And she had bled, once, down at her bottom, and Mrs. Malfoy said that happened to girls once they reached a certain age, but why, or what was going on, no one talked about those things at the Malfoy house. There was probably a name for that too, something other than, "Mrs. Malfoy, I think I'm BLEEDING TO DEATH through my bottom!"
She hated these Muggle clothes she had to wear. Not that they were Muggle clothes. That was fascinating. Going shopping at a Muggle clothing store with lots of people was really exciting.
There was something three-dimensional about Muggles. She could sort of smell the difference, something three dimensional about them, and the magical people all had an extra fourth dimensional quality to their smell. The same with how people talked. Muggle talk and music was wonderful, but somehow just three dimensional. Magical people had, maybe not a full fourth dimension, but an added something on top of or alongside their sound.
She could see something different, some sort of richness, a fourth dimensional possibility, in magical people that just wasn't there in most Muggles. Except some Muggles had some or at least some of all the above, but they were Muggles, but they weren't totally.
It wasn't Muggles she hated, it was the store. Fanny's Fat Fashions. She HATED that store. It always made her feel FAT. She had big hips. She had a little belly too, but it wasn't real big, and most women had a little belly, except young Mrs. Malfoy, ASTORIA yeetch, she was flat everywhere. Astoria, HATED anyone with shape.
Nothing fit! Not unless it was way too big. Trousers that were big enough around her hips assumed she had this huge, fat, waistline, and she didn't, and the shape was all wrong. It was the same thing with skirts.
Dresses were worse, big tent like things.
She HATED FANNY'S FAT FASHIONS!
Mrs. Weasley, the black one, she was a lot darker, and young Mr. Weasley, their son, he was about the same shade as she was, and she, Mrs. Weasley, she had BIG HIPS too, but her clothes fit, like a woman was SUPPOSE to have big hips, not like you were FAT!
Cleo looked at her wand. She smelled it. The sandalwood handle SMELLED like sandalwood, and although there was not as much smell to bamboo there was some, and the tip, the dragon tooth, if you tried to smell it you could smell DRAGON. The three cores were always in tension. She didn't consider it fighting, exactly, but you needed a firm hand to control a wand with three powerful cores.
She could get more information about people with the wand aiding her other senses. The wand was one thing in her life that was JUST RIGHT.
SHE WAS GOING TO HOGWARTS! !
'Albus is on the train' Harry thought. 'Why is this so much harder than when we put James on the train?' Since the train was out of sight he turned around. There were eight couples left, and they seemed to be in pairs.
Two couples were obviously Muggles. A witch was guiding them through the doorway that would lead back to the station. That the door led to a small office a long way from the actual platform was always a surprise to Muggles, but it was a good way to keep the surveillance cameras from finding out what was going on.
Two more were almost certainly very conservative pure-bloods, dressed in traditional robes. They would leave through a Floo they had installed in platform 9 ¾ for anyone who would attract too much attention if they walked through the train station. The more surveillance cameras around the harder it was to cover for Magi not wearing Muggle clothes, and the more the Ministry insisted Magi in robes stay out of Muggle areas and away from Muggle surveillance cameras.
The next two couples were dressed in Muggle clothes. Harry was not sure if one of each of the couples were a Muggle or not.
Finally there were Ron and Hermione, plus Hugo, and his family. Ron waved and said "Taking the car to the Ministry garage, and then taking the Floo to work." Ron was going to his full time job as a key partner in Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, not his part time job as an Auror. Hermione, of course, was going to her job as Vice Minister of Magic.
Dobedo was by Harry's side, the only protection Harry needed most of the time. The little elf was notorious for the very few occasions when he had defended Harry with a meat-cleaver, and just the sight of the little elf was enough to scare most Magi with any desire to harm Harry. Since they had captured the last of the Death Eaters Britain had really been much safer and more peaceful. There were still parts of the world that were dangerous, but they, anyone in the family, had more protection when they went outside of 'safe spaces.' Of course there was extra protection, two Aurors on brooms, shadowing them as they drove to the station. It was too well known that Albus was starting school today, and that he would probably take the train. The Shook family drove to the station about the same time, taking their two daughters, so there was another Auror couple close as well.
Albus had his elf shadow, Frerin, with him, and Cleo had her elf shadow, Dis, with her. Maybe the elves could keep Al and Cleo from meeting right away. Harry could hope.
Ginny had her elf, Mitzi, by her side. Mitzi had been close to Ginny since a little after Ginny suffered the devastating head injury that ended her Quidditch career. Mitzi's main job was compensating for Ginny's lack of balance and inability to hear much out of her right ear. Ginny was still wobbly on her feet, and there were still the occasional innuendoes that the reason she was so wobbly had more to do with too much drinking than the head injury, a charge that, although it was totally false, still stung from time to time.
They were going to take Lily and Hugo to the New Burrow where Molly and Audrey would have classes for them.
Ginny and Mitzi would be going to various Quidditch teams getting ready for tomorrow's games. Usually Ginny would have a pair of stringers at each of the teams, writing the story of the game from that team's point of view. Ginny would of course be one of the two people covering the Harpies, her old team.
Life was good.
The Prophecies were really bothering him. Albus was too close to the centre of too many of them, as was Cleo, the girl who had been living at Malfoy's.
If there was nothing going on at work Harry thought he might visit the prophets in Switzerland. It wasn't like there was anything to worry about, but it couldn't hurt.
Harry wondered if this was how Albus Dumbledore reacted when he, Harry Potter, had finally showed up at Hogwarts.
Harry felt the scar on his forehead. Riddle was dead. Britain was peaceful. Hogwarts was safe. Albus would be at Hogwarts for the next seven years. Safe. Hopefully safe.
An uneventful seven years, Harry hoped.