AN: In a turn of events that is as flattering as it is baffling, my fic Cousin Harry - you guys do know that it's basically just post-canon Dudley told from the POV of his nameless OC wife, right? Just checking - turned out to be really well-received (also, I think it was recc'd a couple of times, maybe?). So, by popular demand, here is the probably less poignant, but hopefully just as good sequel, which will be three chapters total.
Grace looked up when she heard the knock on the door, but a moment later it was followed by the sound of Mum's footsteps, so she went back to her book. It was a good one, about a brother and a sister and their three cousins who stumbled into another world where they discovered that their elaborate play pretend game of knights and magic and treachery was real. Mum had been against Grace reading books with magic in them that were written by non-magical people – Muggles, she reminded herself, the proper term was Muggles – because she was worried Grace would learn all kinds of wrong things she'd have to unlearn before she could relearn them correctly once she got into Hogwarts. But then Dad had said he didn't like the idea of banning Grace from reading any kind of book she wanted, so long as it was age appropriate, and then Mum had gone all gooey-eyed the way she did whenever they were talking about Dad's Tragic Past, and the subject had been dropped.
Grace didn't know a whole lot about Dad's Tragic Past, other than the fact that he had one. She knew a little more about Cousin Harry's, but mostly by accident from when she was asking Dad questions about what Cousin Harry was like. Dad believed that any question Grace asked should be rewarded with a true answer, and Grace had ended up with a vague shape of what things must have been like when Dad and Cousin Harry had been kids. Enough of a shape, anyway, for Grace to decide that she wasn't old enough yet to ask for the full truth; she would wait until she had turned fourteen, which sounded like a terribly grown-up and mature age, and one that was certainly old enough to know the truth about Tragic Pasts and things.
A hank of somewhat limp blonde hair fell in front of her face and Grace absentmindedly pushed it pack behind her ear. She was thinking of growing her hair out longer so she could keep it out of her way in a ponytail the way Mum did, but Grace liked her hair short, like Dad's, though not quite as short as his. Of course, everyone said that she looked a lot like her Dad anyway, even Dad, though he always added 'unfortunately' at the end. Which was silly, even Mrs. Everett said that her Dad was good-looking, and Mrs. Everett was really critical of everyone. Well actually, what Mrs. Everett had said was, "Chin up dear, I know you're plain and frightfully chubby now, but your father was round as a balloon when he was your age, and he certainly grew into his looks. And then there's your mother, who has a certain way about her. I'm sure you'll be breaking hearts in no time." Grace had smiled and thanked her, but privately she thought it was a horrible thing to say. Imagine breaking someone's heart, why in the world would Grace want to do a thing like that?
Mum said not to pay Mrs. Everett any mind, because she was just a gossipy old shrew anyway, but Grace liked talking to Mrs. Everett. Mrs. Everett knew everyone, and Grace learned about all kinds of people she never met before talking to her. Plus Mrs. Everett was just so happy that Grace wanted to spend time with her; Mrs. Everett knew everybody, but she didn't seem to have any real friends. It was no wonder she was mean sometimes, it would make anyone mean if they didn't have anyone to talk to or spend time with.
Distantly, Grace was aware of the conversation going on downstairs, but she wasn't particularly paying attention to it until Mum called up, "Grace! Your letter is here. And a surprise for you, too."
Her letter! They had thought that the letter was going to be delivered by owl like Cousin Harry's had been, but the school must've realized they wouldn't have had a way to respond and had someone come to deliver it in person. Oh, she hoped it was the big man that had brought Cousin Harry's letter!
Grace dropped her book on the desk – upside down and open to save her spot – and ran out of her room and down the hall. To her disappointment there was no giant man with wild black hair and whiskers and a big brown coat who sounded from his description to be just like a character from one of Grace's books waiting for her. Instead there was an old lady, and another lady and a man who both looked to be about Mum and Dad's age. They were talking to Mum, but when Grace paused at the top of the stairs, the man turned his head to look at Grace with bright green eyes hidden behind round wire-frame glasses.
Grace shrieked. "Cousin Harry!" She flew down the stairs – quite literally, she would discover later when Cousin Harry told her it was something that his Mum, her Great-aunt Lily, used to do when she was a kid – and wrapped her arms tight around him. Cousin Harry let out an 'oof' of surprise and wobbled a bit like he was going to fall over, but managed to catch his balance, then hugged her back. "You finally came to visit."
"Hello, nice to meet you, Grace," Cousin Harry said, amused.
"Grace Dursley! You do not throw yourself on our guests," Mum chided, but Grace knew she couldn't be all that mad, because she hadn't even bother to stick the Isabel in the middle.
"He's not a guest, he's family," Grace said, turning her head to look at Mum without letting go of Cousin Harry.
"And do you regularly tackle your Aunt and Uncle when they come in the front door?" Mum asked.
"I always give them hugs when they come to visit," Grace retorted. "And I tackle the twins sometimes."
"It's kind of nostalgic, actually," remarked the young woman standing next to Cousin Harry. "How long's it been since you've had a fangirl throw herself on you?"
"Not long enough," Cousin Harry muttered, and Grace smiled. Obviously this woman was a friend of Cousin Harry's if she was teasing him like that, and Grace thought it was especially important that Cousin Harry have lots of friends because of his Tragic Past.
So Grace gave Cousin Harry one last tight squeeze, then released him to address the red-headed woman. "Hi, I'm Grace Dursley. What's your name?"
The woman smiled. ""I'm Ginny Potter, Harry's wife."
Oh, that was even better, Grace thought as she gave Cousin Ginny a hug as well. "It's nice to meet you, Cousin Ginny."
"Grace," Mum half-said and half-sighed. "I'm sorry, she just really likes hugs."
"Everybody likes hugs, Mum," Grace corrected, which earned her a sound that Mum probably wanted to pretend was another sigh of exasperation, but Grace recognized it as a disguised snort of amusement. Definitely not too mad then.
"It's fine," Cousin Ginny said. "Although, I think we're a bit old to be your cousins; maybe you could call us Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry instead?"
Grace considered this. On the one hand, Cousin Harry really was her cousin, or second cousin or something like that, but on the other he had grown up with Dad almost like a brother which made him almost like her uncle. Close enough, anyway. "Alright then, Aunt Ginny," Grace agreed.
Grace turned to the last woman. It was possible that she was a relative of Aunt Ginny's – not Uncle Harry's though, because Dad said Uncle Harry didn't have any other relatives – but Grace didn't think so because the two of them looked nothing alike. This woman must be a representative of the school then, and the one who had brought Grace's letter. She also, Grace decided after a considering glance, was not the sort of person that Grace could just go around hugging. Grace definitely believed that everybody liked hugs, but some people didn't always appreciate them all the time. Some people preferred you show a modicum of decorum – Grace had read that in a book once and loved the way the words sounded together, a modicum of decorum – instead, and Grace had learned that sometimes it was easier to make friends with someone if you did what they thought you ought to do, rather than what you really wanted to. Once Grace had made friends with them, she could always circle back and give them a hug later.
With all that in mind, Grace offered a hand to the woman and said, "Hi, I'm Grace Dursley. What's your name?"
The woman gave her an approving look before clasping Grace's hand and shaking it firmly. "Professor Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Pleased to meet you, Miss Dursley. I have something here for you that I understand from your mother that you've been awaiting quite anxiously." Professor McGonagall reached in her jacket and pulled out a thick envelope that she handed to Grace.
"My letter!" Grace exclaimed, revelling in the feel of the thick parchment in her hands and tracing a finder over the glossy wax seal on the back. It was real now. Not that she had thought Dad was having her and Mum on, not for years and years, but a part of Grace never totally believed it was true until just this moment.
"Quite," said Professor McGonagall. "Now, I realize, Mrs. Dursley, that you and your husband know more about the magical world than the average Muggles, but I do always like to make sure that either myself or one of my staff is on hand immediately after the delivery of the letters to all of our Muggleborn students, to answer any questions that they or their parents might have. You said that Mr. Dursley will be home soon?"
"Yes, he should be back from work in the next ten minutes or so. Why don't we go wait from him the living room? Can I get anyone some water or tea or anything?"
The offer of refreshments was turned down all around, and the five of them went into the next room. Grace wanted to sit down next to Uncle Harry, but he and Aunt Ginny both sat down on the loveseat and it would be rude to try and squirm in between them, so Grace joined Mum on the settee instead. That left Professor McGonagall with the chair that Grace hated, because it looked squishy and comfortable, but actually felt hard and unyielding every time Grace tried to sit in it, which was often because whenever she saw it she thought for sure she must have been imagining how uncomfortable it was. Professor McGonagall didn't complain about the chair though; she didn't even look like she wanted to complain and just wasn't because she was trying to be polite. Everyone liked their own things, Grace supposed.
"I like what you've done with the place," Uncle Harry offered hesitantly. "It looks really different from before."
Mum smiled. "Yes, we completely redid the interior when we inherited the house; Petunia's old decorations… well, let's just say she had a style all her own. Of course, she'd probably be spinning in her grave if she knew I'd called her unique."
Uncle Harry chuckled a little in response, then looked surprised at himself for having done so, and Professor McGonagall gave a pointed look at Grace. Really, it was terribly kind of the professor to be worried about Grace hearing not particularly nice things about her grandparents, but Grace already knew that Grandmum and Granddad Dursley had been obsessed with being normal: that was why they had been so mean to Uncle Harry when he was a kid.
"Well, it can't possibly have been worse than Walburga's sense of design," Aunt Ginny said, and Uncle Harry grinned at her.
"I don't know Gin, it's a close call. Just picture this place done up in frills and doilies and floral print as far as the eye can see."
Aunt Ginny crinkled her nose in distaste. "I see your point."
"I like flowers," Grace, who had a floral bedspread in her room, opinioned. "But I like real flowers better than pictures of them. I even go down to Number 11 Wisteria Walk twice a week to help Mr. Davis with his garden, because he's too old to look after it all by himself anymore."
"That's very sweet of you; it must be a lot of hard work," said Aunt Ginny.
Grace shrugged. "It's not too bad. Besides, it makes Mr. Davis happy to have help, and I don't mind working hard if it makes people happy."
Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry exchanged a meaningful glance after that, which worried Grace a little bit, since she didn't want people talking about her like she wasn't there. But then, Mum and Dad exchanged meaningful glances all the time, so it might just be a married thing, in which case Grace was being horribly rude for assuming they were being horribly rude.
"While we're waiting for Dudley to get back, I wonder if you might answer a few of my questions about your school, Professor McGonagall," Mum said.
"I'd be happy to, but wouldn't your husband want to hear all this as well?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"Nah, Dad already really wants me to go to Hogwarts; Mum's the one we need you to convince," Grace said.
Mum frowned at her, but before she could tell Grace off, Uncle Harry interrupted. "Dudley really wants you to go to Hogwarts?"
"Both Dudley and I," Mum said with a pointed look at Grace, "would prefer Grace to attend Hogwarts, because that's what Grace has her heart set on, and she's certainly old enough to be making her own choices about her life. However, Dudley is especially enthusiastic about the prospect, having gotten something of a second-hand look at what a positive impact that school had on your life, Harry. I, however, think we should get a better idea of the curriculum before we make any final decisions. If you wouldn't mind, Professor."
Uncle Harry looked a bit gobsmacked by Mum's pronouncement, but Aunt Ginny gave a mischievous little smile. "Now you've gone and done it. Curriculum is Minerva's soapbox."
"Improving the school curriculum and enhancing the number and quality of the subjects taught is a very important matter," Professor McGonagall said, giving Aunt Ginny a frosty look, before turning to give Mum a more genuine smile, "and I'm very glad you asked about it."
The conversation after that was surprisingly boring, considering they were talking about a magic school. Sure, it was cool to hear a little about some of the different kinds of magical subjects she could learn, but it was less exciting to find out she would also have to take maths for the first two years – after that the only maths they offered was apparently an elective in magical maths called Arthimancy. Grace supposed she was a little pleased on Professor McGonagall's behalf because she sounded so proud and like she had worked very hard to get them to teach maths, since they didn't used to do it when Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny were in school, but still Grace didn't want to go to a magical school to learn maths. Even magical maths.
The adults continued to talk about Grace's very interesting and magical future school in the most boring adult way possible, and Grace eventually decided to tune them out and look at the contents of her letter instead. She was just trying to puzzle out whether or not she was going to be expected to wear the pointy witch's hat everywhere – Grace did not look good in hat – when they heard the sound of the front door opening.
"In here, Dudley," Mum called. "We have guests."
"Guests? Why didn't you call me, I could have-"
Dad stopped dead in the doorway, looking shocked. But that was silly. They had all known that Grace was going to be getting her Hogwarts letter soon, and that they were hoping to be able to get back in touch with Uncle Harry that way. It couldn't be that surprising that Uncle Harry beat them to it. Maybe Dad was just confused; Uncle Harry did look pretty different from the way Dad described him now that he was all grown up, so Dad might not recognize him. "Uncle Harry came to visit us Dad," she said helpfully.
"I see that, love," Dad said, before turning to Uncle Harry and looking really nervous. "Harry. It's… it's really good to see you again."
"It's actually good to see you too," Uncle Harry said.
"I thought about trying to write you, but I didn't have an address. And from what I remember, wizards don't really use phones," Dad said.
Uncle Harry laughed a little at that, then turned to Aunt Ginny and said, "Ron," as though that were an explanation. It must have been, because when he said it, Aunt Ginny laughed a little too. Uncle Harry returned his attention to Dad and said, "This is my wife, Ginny."
"Pleased to meet you," Dad said, crossing the room to shake Aunt Ginny's hand. He made a vague motion with his hands in Uncle Harry's direction like he was going to shake his hand or hug him – he ought to hug him, they were practically brothers and they hadn't seen each other in forever, and Grace was always of the opinion that more hugs was better, regardless – but his hands ended up dropping back to his sides. "I seem to recall that Harry was friends with a big family of redheads?" Dad said to Aunt Ginny.
Aunt Ginny made a harrumphing noise. "I swear, not every redhead in the Wizarding World is a Weasley: Susan Bones has a lovely head of curly red hair and the Prewetts on Mum's side almost all have red hair." Dad started to apologize, but Aunt Ginny waved him off, "As it happens, however, I am a Weasley: Ginny Potter née Weasley."
"And this is Professor Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts," Uncle Harry said, gesturing toward the professor and Dad shook her hand as well before coming to sit down on the settee next to Grace.
"I was just telling your wife all about the classes we offer and our general curriculum at Hogwarts," Professor McGonagall said.
"Oh good. And what's the verdict?" Dad asked Mum.
"Well, they don't require maths for as long as I would like," Mum said, "And there's only English for two years and no visual arts classes whatsoever-"
"Mum, I told you I don't want to take a drawing class," Grace interrupted.
"I know love, but you're so good at it, I just wanted you to have the option in case you changed your mind. In any case, there are a few classes they don't offer that I would prefer it if they did, but I do realize there are only so many hours in a day they can spend teaching the kids, and it appears there's a lot more to learn about magic than I ever imagined, so some classes would have to be sacrificed to make room. And I'm very convinced that the faculty places the upmost importance on making sure the students receive a quality education," Mum concluded with a smile at Professor McGonagall, which she returned with a slight inclination of her head.
"That's good to hear. What do you think Grace, do you still want to go to Hogwarts? Even if they don't require maths?"
"Especially if they don't require maths," Grace retorted. "Yes, definitely."
Dad smiled at her, glanced up at Mum who gave a nod, then turned to Professor McGonagall. "It sounds like Grace will be enrolling in Hogwarts this upcoming year. Now, as far as tuition…"
"The Ministry of Magic takes care of that," Professor McGonagall told him. "You will need to buy her supplies, however. There's a list of what's required in the envelope with her acceptance letter, as well as a schedule for the days that the school will be sponsoring outings to help the parents of our new Muggleborn students."
Dad gestured at her envelope and Grace handed it over to let him look through it for the schedule. Deprived of her letter to look at, Grace glanced over at Aunt Ginny, who was whispering something in Uncle Harry's ear. Uncle Harry said something to her looking… nervous, maybe, but what would he have to be nervous about? Then he caught Grace looking at him and he gave her a smile, and Grace smiled back, blushing a little because it was very rude to stare at someone like that.
Uncle Harry cleared his throat. "Or, if you wanted, you could come with us when we take our lot in August."
"You mean I have more cousins?" Grace asked, eyes wide.
Aunt Ginny laughed. "A lot more, if you count the entire Weasley clan. But we'll just be bringing our three: James, Al, and Lily, who's just a year older than you."
Wow. Three more cousins already doubled the number that Grace had had on just Mum's side of the family, and there were even more beyond that? This really was the best day ever. "Can we go, Dad? Please?"
"I hope so," Dad replied. "When in August were you thinking of going?"
"Oh, we hadn't planned it out yet," Aunt Ginny said. She glanced over at Uncle Harry, but he just shrugged, so Aunt Ginny said, "The first Saturday of the month, maybe? What's the date for that?"
Mum pulled out her phone and a minute later said, "That would be the third, which looks fine for us, if it works for you."
"That should be fine," said Uncle Harry, with Aunt Ginny almost interrupting him before he finished.
"Oh! Is that one of those fancy telephones that's also a computer?" she asked, pronouncing the word computer slightly odd.
"Yes, it's a smart phone, though I would hardly call it fancy nowadays. Astounding maybe, it really is amazing all the things that technology can do," Mum said, holding the phone up for Aunt Ginny to see.
"It certainly seems so from what I've heard," Aunt Ginny agreed. "Though if you ever meet my father make sure you don't let him know you have a… smart phone, you said? Not unless you want him to talk your ear off trying to figure out how it works."
"You might not have wanted to let Ginny know either," Uncle Harry remarked dryly.
"Shut it, you," Aunt Ginny teased right back, giving Uncle Harry's shoulder a bit of a shove with her own. "At least I never had a collection of batteries and plugs."
"That's right, the man who came in through the fireplace is your father," Dad said, with sudden comprehension. "I remember him saying something about collecting plugs."
"Yeah, that's Arthur," Uncle Harry agreed. He glanced at the fireplace automatically when Dad mentioned it, then did a double take. "You un-boarded the fireplace."
"It seemed like the thing to do," Dad said vaguely, which was silly, because he had opened up the fireplace in case Uncle Harry ever decided to visit through that way, he had told Grace so himself. But if he didn't want to say anything about it, then Grace wasn't going to tell on him.
"You could get it connected to the Floo Network – that's what let's people come and go from the fireplace – permanently if you wanted, now that Grace is going to Hogwarts," Uncle Harry offered. "They didn't used to allow that, but the Ministry is trying to be more inclusive of the immediate Muggle relatives of wizards and witches these days."
"Oh, that sounds like it could be terribly useful. Would we be able to use it too, or do you have to be magic?" Mum asked.
"No, the magic is all in the Floo powder and the Network, though the Ministry does still frown on Muggles using it outside of an emergency," said Uncle Harry.
"That's certainly something to think on; maybe we could talk about it more when we meet you in August to go school shopping?" Mum suggested.
"That sounds like an excellent idea," Professor McGonagall cut in. "Now, are there any more questions I can answer for the three of you this evening?"
"Oh, I'm sure I had a lot more, but I can't remember any of them now," Mum said.
"I told you that you ought to write them down," Dad remarked.
"Well, I write them down next time, and then I'll ask Ginny and Harry when we see them in August," Mum countered. "Thank you for your time, Professor. It was very nice meeting you."
"And you all as well," Professor McGonagall, standing up.
Grace hopped up too, and approached the Professor. "Thank you so much for coming out to see us, ma'am, and for bringing my Hogwarts letter and telling us all about the school and for offering me a place there. I really appreciate it." Grace eyed to woman for a second and decided that now was not the time for a hug yet either, so she offered her hand again instead.
"You are very welcome, Miss Dursley. I look forward to seeing you again this September," Professor McGonagall said, giving Grace another firm handshake. Grace beamed at her.
"We better go too," Uncle Harry said. "I promised Molly that we would have dinner with her this evening."
Aunt Ginny opened her mouth, then quickly closed it again, and then opened it again to speak. "Of course, I'd nearly forgot," she said brightly. "My mother, it's been at least fifteen or twenty years since the last of us moved out of the house, and she still has such a bad case of empty nest syndrome that we pay her for babysitting by going to her house and letting her cook dinner for us."
Everybody laughed at that, even Grace because that was a very silly way to do things, but she felt sad for Mrs. Weasley too, a little bit. She sounded like she must be lonely, and it was such a terrible thing for a person to be lonely. Maybe Grace would ask Aunt Ginny if Grace could go keep her mother company from time to time. Mrs. Weasley might even have something new to teach Grace; in Grace's experience most people enjoyed being to teach someone else about their favourite thing, and Grace had learned so much and how to do so many different exciting things that way.
Dad, Grace, and Mum had walked their guests out to the front entryway and were making the arrangements for their shopping trip and saying their final goodbyes to Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny, Professor McGonagall already having left, when Mum suddenly said," Oh, Harry! Your things."
"My things?" Uncle Harry repeated, patting at his pockets.
"No, Mum means your old trunk up in the attic," Grace said. Dad told her about the trunk, but Grace had never seen it herself. Partially because the attic had never been done up as a proper room, so Dad said it was too dangerous for Grace to be allowed up there, but mostly because they were Uncle Harry's things, and it was rude to go snooping through someone else's stuff no matter how curious you were.
Uncle Harry blinked a few times. "You saved my old trunk?"
"When we got back after… that year away, I found it still sitting in your old room. Dad probably would have tossed it out, so I took it and stuck it up in the back corner of the attic to keep it safe from him until you came back for it. You know how he was: out of sight, out of mind," Dad said, and Uncle Harry nodded absently. "Of course, you never did come to pick it up, so it's likely just a lot of old junk, but we have it, if you want it."
Uncle Harry still didn't say anything, so finally Aunt Ginny, with a sly grin, said, that "Oh, isn't that where all the old jumpers Mum made for you are? You could wear one to dinner tonight; she'd be so pleased!"
"Somehow I doubt a jumper from when I was eleven will still fit," Uncle Harry said sarcastically before turning back to Dad. "But I would like the old trunk back if you have it. Up in the attic, you said?"
"Yeah, let me show you where I put it," Dad agreed, heading up the stairs with Uncle Harry following after.
"That was good of him, to save it," Aunt Ginny commented once the two men were out of earshot. "Harry was sure all his stuff had been chucked in the bin."
"Dudley's a good man," Mum said proudly, before changing the subject. "I'm sorry, this is a silly question, but do you all really not have mobile phones? I just can't even imagine."
"You didn't have a mobile either until you were all grown up," Grace pointed out.
Mum huffed at her. "I'll have you know I got my first phone as a gift for doing well on my A levels. I'm not that old."
"You're not old," Grace said – Grandmum and Granddad were old – "mobile phones are just really young, is all." Mum made a face at her.
Aunt Ginny laughed. "In answer to your question, no, we really don't have them. I've been trying to convince Harry that we should get some for a while now – a computer sound so useful, especially one you can carry around in your pocket. But Harry always points out that our mirrors work just as well, better for us even, as phones would to talk to each other, so there's no need to be wasting money."
"You have magic mirrors?" Grace asked. "That you can make phone calls with?"
"Special magic mirrors," Aunt Ginny told her. "These kind are all connected to one another, so if you say someone's name while holding your mirror, you can see what their mirror sees and they can see yours." Oh, so using the mirrors was more like skyping than making a phone call; that made sense. "Regular magic mirrors just tell you if you're having a good hair day, or when you got a spot coming in."
"You said that mirrors work better for you than phones would. How's that?" Mum asked.
"Muggle technology doesn't work well when that a lot of magic is around. It's something to do with… electric magnets, I think? Hermione, that's my sister-in-law, looked into it once and gave me what I was assured was a very simple explanation, so, of course I didn't understand a word of it. Basically, at home or if we were out walking a phone would work fine, but when Harry goes into work, or if I go into the office, and when the kids go off to school, they'd be worthless."
"I won't be able to use my phone at Hogwarts?" Grace asked. If she couldn't use her phone to call and text her friends, how was she supposed to keep in touch with them while she was at school? They were all going to think Grace hated them.
"I'm sorry, love," Mum said. "You'll just have to tell all your friends that your new school is out in the middle of nowhere, and there's no reception."
"Besides, it might not even be for forever," Aunt Ginny told her. "I have a co-worker who writes for the Charms section of the paper, and she told me there are a lot of Muggleborn witches and wizards who want to be able to use technology and magic both. So there are people working on creating spells to allow things like phones and computers to work even in very magical areas."
That wasn't fair; Grace wanted to be able to make her phone work at school now. Still, she guessed that it was better finding out before she left for Hogwarts, so she could warn all her friends that she wouldn't be able to talk to them. And Aunt Ginny was being really nice try and make Grace feel better. "Thank you for telling me."
"Of course," Aunt Ginny said, smiling.
Grace considered Aunt Ginny for a moment. There was something else that Grace wanted to thank her for, but Grace didn't want to want to accidently spread someone else's secrets around. But then, Aunt Ginny was Uncle Harry's wife, and husbands and wives weren't supposed to keep secrets from each other. It was probably okay then. "Aunt Ginny?" Grace said.
"Yes?" Aunt Ginny said, smiling down at Grace.
"I just wanted to thank you for helping to make Uncle Harry happy. I mean, I think everyone should be happy, but it's especially important for Uncle Harry, because of his Tragic Past," Grace said, her voice going a bit softer on the last couple of words. Even if there wasn't anyone to overhear, it didn't feel like the kind of thing she should be shouting about.
"That's very sweet of you, but I don't think your Uncle Harry would want you to treat him special like that. He's really just a normal person," Aunt Ginny said.
"Oh, I know that," Grace assured her. "I mean, I don't treat Dad any different than Mum, even though he had a Tragic Past too."
"He did?" Aunt Ginny asked sounding a bit surprised.
Grace frowned a bit. How could Aunt Ginny not know about Dad's Tragic Past? It was the same as Uncle Harry's, after all. Well, not the same-same, but it came from the same thing. Unless Aunt Ginny was talking about the evil wizard that Uncle Harry had to fight, and she didn't know about Grandmum and Granddad Dursley at all? Grace glanced over at Mum to see if she had accidently said something she wasn't supposed to, but Mum didn't seem upset or anything, so Grace figured that meant if Aunt Ginny really didn't know, it was okay for Grace to tell her.
"He did," Grace confirmed. "I never met my Grandmum and Granddad Dursley, but Dad told me about them a little, and I don't think they were very good parents. Your family is supposed to take care of you and they didn't do it right."
"You're right," Aunt Ginny said. "But luckily now your Dad has you and your Mum, and Harry has me and James, Al, and Lily."
"And they have each other," Grace reminded her.
Aunt Ginny smiled and glanced up at the stairs, where Uncle Harry and Dad were carrying a great big steamer trunk – Oh! Was Grace going to get to get one of those too? – down the stairs, before turning back to Grace. "I guess they do."