Chapter 39
Meet The Parents

Author's Note: I shamelessly borrowed some of the stuff in this chapter (such as the Granger's House) from my story "Vanishing Cabinet of Time".

Edit: Euros changed to Pounds in this chapter. Will be explained more in author's note in beginning of next chapter.

(Saturday, December 26th, 1994 – 4:45 PM)

As the Hogwarts Express continued down the tracks toward London, England, Harry Potter was reading through yet another book, this time it was the book about the three Peverell Brothers, Antioch, Cadmus and Ignotus. Hermione was currently reading the book on Lionesses, her Animagus form, which she had received from Sirius.

Harry raised an eyebrow as he came across a particular passage in the book:

Ignotus Peverell would outlive his brothers by several decades. He would die three days after giving his most prized possession, the Invisibility Cloak, to his eldest son, Charlus. Charlus Peverell would pass the Invisibility Cloak onto his eldest child, a daughter, Iolanthe Peverell, who would marry Hardwin Potter. While it is believed the very same Cloak has been passed on throughout the generations of Potters, Charlus Potter refused to comment about it when this author discussed it with him.

Harry sat up, placed his book on the seat next to him, then removed his Invisibility Cloak from his pocket. He studied it and looked through every inch.

"Harry?" Hermione asked, looking up from her book at him, "What are you doing?"

"How long do you reckon this Cloak has been in my family, Hermione?" Harry asked.

"I don't know," Hermione said, "Your father had it in his possession."

"Mmhmm, and how long do Invisibility Cloaks usually last?" Harry asked.

"I read up on them during our first year after you received that," Hermione said. "It is said the Demiguise Hair grows weaker as time goes on and Cloaks grow thinner and wear out."

"Hermione, this Cloak hasn't aged at all," Harry said. "Yet, this is the Cloak my father had in his possession when he died. Hermione, I believe this is Ignotus Peverell's Invisibility Cloak. One of the so-called Deathly Hallows."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "The Deathly Hallows are a legend, Harry. Do you really believe there is a stone that can bring back the dead? I know you would love to have your parents back, but… no magic can bring back the dead, Harry."

"I know that," Harry said. "Forget the stone. Hermione, this Cloak does not age. This isn't a Demiguise cloak."

"You think it is part of Death's cloak?" Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I don't know what to believe aside from the fact that I am convinced this is Ignotus Peverell's original Cloak," Harry said. "His granddaughter, Iolanthe Peverell, married Hardwin Potter, an ancestor of mine. The Cloak then passed down from child to child – I suspect they had many sons, in order to keep the Potter name intact. My grandfather is mentioned in this book, Hermione. It said he wouldn't talk about the Cloak. Which means he was hiding something about it. Like, the fact that it does not age, and has been passed down through all these generations of Peverells and Potters?"

"Alright, Harry, let's say you're right," Hermione said, "What is your point? Okay, you own one of the legendary Deathly Hallows. The Stone cannot exist, Harry. It defies logic and magic."

"What about the Elder Wand?" Harry asked.

Hermione hesitated. "There is a real possibility it is real. However, it hasn't always been referred to as the Elder Wand. It was also known as the Deathstick, among other names. Harry, if the Elder Wand in the story is the Elder Wand that has been used throughout history, then it is extremely dangerous. It has a very bloody history, before it was lost several years ago."

"What makes you believe it is lost?" Harry asked.

"It is what the books say," Hermione said.

"Let me show you what this book says – or rather depicts," Harry said.

He picked up the book, then flipped through the pages, until he came upon a picture of the Elder Wand. He turned the book to Hermione and showed it to her.

"I've seen this wand before," Harry said, "Have you?"

Hermione's eyes widened as her gaze fell on the wand. The various orbs spaced out along the wand were very familiar.

"Is that… it can't be, Harry!" Hermione gasped. "Dumbledore's wand?"

"Dumbledore's wand," Harry said, "Dumbledore owns the Elder Wand, Hermione. The apparent Dark Lord in the Prophecy I am involved in is in possession the Elder Wand."

"Maybe," Hermione said, "Next time we see Dumbledore, we'll make sure. But, Harry, it could be a completely different wand."

"Really, Hermione?" Harry said, "You know what I think? I think Dumbledore was in possession of my Cloak for so long, because he was obsessed with the Deathly Hallows, and wanted to see if my father's Cloak was the Peverell Cloak. He probably read this book, and he saw my grandfather's name mentioned. But he could never get Charlus Potter to let him see the Cloak. So when he finally got a chance to borrow it from my father – when my father would conveniently have need for it – he took it."

"It does give credence to the theory that he owns the Elder Wand," Hermione said, "But if that is true, how are you supposed to beat him then?"

"Maybe I don't have to," Harry said, as he showed her the Peverell ring, "I am Lord Peverell. I might be able to summon the wand from him without having to duel him over it."

"That's a big stretch, Harry," Hermione said.

Harry shrugged. "I'll look into it more, before I even try to summon it from him."

"You do realize what is going to happen when you take it from him, don't you?" Hermione asked "Or attempt to do so?"

"He'll know that I see him as a true enemy," Harry said.

Hermione nodded. "Promise me, Harry James. You promise me you won't try anything against him until you are really sure you can handle what comes after."

"I promise, Hermione." Harry said, smiling.

Hermione smiled, looking quite relieved. Suddenly, the compact mirror in Harry's jeans started vibrating.

"I think Sirius is calling," Harry said, "What the bloody hell could he want that he can't tell us when we arrive in London?"

Hermione merely shrugged, while Harry removed the mirror. He opened it and saw Sirius looking at him.

"What's up, Sirius?" Harry asked, "Must be an emergency if it couldn't wait for a couple more hours."

"Is Hermione still with you?" Sirius asked.

"Yes," Harry said.

"Sit together, and make the mirror larger," Sirius said, "I have a couple things to tell both of you. Something happened at Hogwarts in the past hour or so. Amelia had to go and investigate it."

Harry nodded. He stood up and made the mirror grow to size four. He placed it on his seat, then sat down next to Hermione, who had sat up from her laying position.

"What's wrong, Sirius?" Hermione asked.

"Remember this morning how I told you Bartemius Crouch's son, by the same name, died years ago in Azkaban? Turns out that didn't happen. Amelia's working theory is that Bartemius Crouch, Senior switched his son with his ailing wife – using Polyjuice Potion – and brought his son out of Azkaban. Looks like I'm not the first to escape Azkaban anymore! Not sure whether I should be happy or disappointed about that.

"Anyway, it was discovered Crouch, Junior has been at Hogwarts ever since September 1st, impersonating somebody, using Polyjuice Potion. That somebody turned out to be Alastor Moody."

"What?!" Harry and Hermione asked.

"We had a Death Eater teaching us Defense all term?" Harry asked.

Harry couldn't believe it. The Defense Professor that had provided them with so many memorable lessons had turned out to be one of Voldemort's followers, using Polyjuice Potion.

"Seems like it," Sirius said, grimacing, "The real Alastor Moody was trapped in a seven-compartment trunk since late August. Apparently the seventh compartment was some kind of deep well-like space. Moody was kept prisoner so Junior could use his hair for the Polyjuice Potion."

"Oh, my God!" Hermione said, "Harry, last night when we were with Ginny and Professor McGonagall. Moody was acting rather… off… when Professor McGonagall started talking about an anti-Polyjuice ward!"

"Yeah, well, apparently a ward was found," Sirius said. "Junior was out of the castle – apparently trying to discover how his father died – when Dumbledore put up temporary Polyjuice Prevention wards. From what Amelia discovered, Junior ran into the wards, and lost his disguise at the Hogwarts Gate. He made off with Moody's wand and Apparated away. But he left Moody's magical eye and fake leg behind. The only reason we know it was Crouch, Junior was because Moody knew it was him."

"It was Crouch, Junior wasn't it?" Harry asked. "He put my name in the Goblet of Fire?"

"Yes," Sirius said, "It is believed it was him. What his endgame plan was is up in the air, but it is believed he was doing it under orders of Voldemort. It is also believed Junior is responsible for casting the Dark Mark in the air at the Quidditch World Cup. There's something else. When Moody was kidnapped back in August, Pettigrew was helping Junior apprehend him."

"My dream about Voldemort and Pettigrew," Harry said. "They were talking about someone being on the inside or something. Voldemort mentioned his 'most faithful' or something."

"Junior," Sirius said, nodding. "Guess that confirms it then. Whatever Junior was plotting when he put you in the Tournament, Harry, it is because of Voldemort."

"Dumbledore believes Voldemort will regain his full strength by summertime," Harry said, "Maybe this is part of how it will be done?"

"But the plot is over, isn't it?" Hermione asked. "Junior's plot was discovered. He won't be coming back to Hogwarts."

"Maybe not," Sirius said, "But Voldemort's not going to let something like this stop him from returning to his full strength. I am sure he has a back-up plan for this. We just don't know what it is."

"Guess we'll just have to remain Constantly Vigilant!" Harry said then he grimaced, "Oh, god, a Death Eater taught us that!"

Hermione snorted. "He was a pretty good teacher, you know. Which is just all kinds of wrong, when I think of it. He was better than Quirrel and Lockhart, definitely. Almost as good as Remus."

"I'm sure Moony will be pleased he's a better Professor than a Death Eater," Sirius snarked. "By the way, the other message I wanted to give you. Ron and Ginny Weasley will have a trial on Monday. You two will be witnesses. We'll figure out when it will begin, and how we'll get you there sometime tomorrow. I'll contact you then."

"Alright," Harry said; he turned to Hermione, "If your parents can't take us to the Leaky Cauldron, we could take the Knight Bus. Then we can use the Floo Network at the Leaky Cauldron to get to the Ministry."

"That might work," Hermione said, "We'll see what my parents say."

"Sounds good to me," Sirius said, "Well, barring any more emergencies, I will see you in a couple of hours when you arrive in London."

"Thanks for telling us, Sirius," Harry said.

"No problem, kid," Sirius said, "Unless you need anything, I best be off."

Harry thought about asking Sirius if he knew anything about the story of his Invisibility Cloak. He decided he'd asked Sirius about it another time.

"Nothing for now," Harry said.

"Me either," Hermione said, "See you in a couple of hours, Sirius."

Sirius winked then vanished from the mirror.

"I don't know what is stranger, Harry," Hermione said, "The fact that we were taught by an apparent Death Eater. Or the fact that we actually learned a lot from an apparent Death Eater."

"Yeah," Harry said, "Pretty weird to think about it. At least we finally know who put my name in the Goblet of Fire."

"But we don't know exactly why," Hermione said.

"Uh. Hermione, maybe we do," Harry said. "Moody – Crouch, Junior – was the one who encouraged me to use my Firebolt, and he was the only who suggested a Summoning Charm. What if… what if he was trying to make sure I won the Tournament?"

"For what purpose?" Hermione asked.

"Whatever happens after the Tournament is over, I suppose," Harry said.

"How so very vague," Hermione said, "Honestly, that could mean anything. Especially if Sirius is right, and Voldemort has a back-up plan."

"Well, I suppose we have to do what a Death Eater taught us and remain constantly vigilant!" Harry said, grinning.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Honestly… please don't remind me of his teachings. The fact that I very much appreciated his classes for the entire term is rather disturbing, since he is a Death Eater."

"Taught by a stuttering Voldemort in our first year and a Death Eater for half of our fourth year," Harry said, then he grinned, "Voldemort must really care about our education."

"Harry James!" Hermione huffed, "That is so very wrong. And very terrifying. Honestly I just want to forget about a Death Eater teaching us."

"I know how I might be able to help," Harry said.

Hermione raised her eyebrows questioningly. Harry grinned, and pulled her over to him then kissed her. Hermione relaxed in his arms and returned the kiss. They continued kissing and snogging for a few minutes, then cuddled up together. As the Hogwarts Express made its way toward London, they talked about what they had read in the various books over the past few hours on the train.

(Saturday, December 26th, 1994 – 6:30 PM)

The Hogwarts Express arrived at Platform Nine and Three Quarters at precisely half-past-six. Harry and Hermione took hold of their Hedwig's cage, and Crookshanks' carrier. The cat was meowing and purring inside his carrier, while Hedwig looked around curiously in her cage. Harry's carry-on bag - and Hermione's as well - was already packed away in his Undetectable Extension Bag, which was latched to his belt, as if it was a coin purse. So, carrying their pets' cages, they made their way out into the corridor with the other students who were waiting to make their way out onto the Platform.

Soon enough, Harry was following Hermione as they crossed the Platform in search of her parents and Sirius. They found her parents first. As soon as Hermione approached her parents, she set down Crookshanks' cage and hugged her mother, than her father.

"Hello, sweetheart," Hermione's mother said, "Why don't you formally introduce us to this young man?"

Hermione cleared her throat and turned to Harry with a smile.

"Mum, Dad, this is my boyfriend, Harry Potter," Hermione said, "Harry, these are my parents, Drs. Daniel and Emma Granger."

"Drs. Granger," Harry said, smiling politely, "It is wonderful to finally officially meet you. Hermione's spoken some about you, but I believe she wants me to get to know you myself."

"Well, aren't you a polite young man," Emma Granger said, smiling. "How about you call us Emma and Dan, hmm? You are Betrothed to our daughter in magical society, aren't you? Doesn't that make you family, basically?"

"Not for a few years, Mum," Hermione said. "I believe I told you that in my letter. Which is why I simply introduced him as my boyfriend. After all, that is all he is in the Muggle world, right?"

"Oh, sweetheart, do relax," Dan said, smiling, "Your Mum's just teasing Harry."

"To stop you from doing it, right?" Hermione asked.

Emma grinned as her husband huffed. "My husband might look like he is trying to be intimidating, but he is just a big softie."

"Emma!" Dan exclaimed, scandalized, "I am not a big softie. Am I, Hermione?"

"Softer than a teddy bear, Daddy," Hermione said, grinning.

"See what it is like around these two, Harry," Dan said, "I'm seriously outnumbered. Maybe it will be even with you around for a week."

"I wouldn't dare side against Hermione, sir!" Harry said.

Dan's eyebrows raised, then he laughed and nodded. "Good man."

"I just passed some sort of test, didn't I?" Harry asked.

"One of many, I am sure," Hermione muttered. "He's probably been thinking of these tests ever since I invited you to spend Christmas Break with us."

"My precious Godson! I found you!" Sirius Black's voice exclaimed, as he appeared near Harry, with Susan Bones towing behind him with an amused smile.

Dan and Emma looked on, amused, as Sirius grabbed Harry in a one-sided hug.

"Geroff, Sirius!" Harry huffed, "You're embarrassing me in front of Hermione's parents."

Sirius released Harry and smiled at Hermione's parents.

"Sirius, these are my parents, Drs. Daniel and Emma Granger," Hermione said, "Mum, Dad, this is Harry's godfather –"

"Greetings!" Sirius cut in, "Name's Sirius Black. You might have seen my handsome face on the Muggle telly a couple summers ago."

"Really now?" Dan asked.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Remember the wanted fugitive a couple summers ago? That's him. He escaped from Azkaban, the wizard prison, but he's completely innocent. Cleared of all charges a week ago."

"Oh!" Emma said, "Well, that is most interesting. It is lovely to meet you, Mr. Black."

"Technically it is Lord Black, but you can call me Sirius!" Sirius said, dashingly, "After all, we might be family in the future. Speaking of family – there you are, Susan! This is my fiancée's niece, Susan Bones. My fiancée is the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and is rather busy. So it is my job to pick her niece up."

"Hi," Susan said, shyly, "I'm a friend of Hermione and Harry. Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too, young lady," Emma said, "Sounds like you have a scoundrel of a future Uncle here."

"Scoundrel?!" Sirius echoed, in mock-horror. "I'll have you know my fiancée has been working on curing me of my scoundrel ways."

"She's not doing very well, is she?" Harry asked, in a stage whisper to Hermione and Susan, who giggled.

Sirius pouted. "I feel so very outnumbered here. Anyway, allow me to be serious, and not just Sirius. It is an honor to meet the parents of a young lady who means so much to my godson. And to me. She helped me out recently in ways I will never be able to pay back. I am sure Harry and Hermione can tell you more about that."

"Well, it is nice to meet you too, Sirius," Dan said, "I am sorry these introductions are so short, but I am afraid we must be off. Where are your belongings, you two?"

"Here," Harry said, pointing to the bag on his belt. "Undetectable Extension Charms on it."

"It is like Mary Poppins' handbag, Daddy," Hermione said.

"Oh, that is very interesting and certainly makes it easier to carry your luggage around!" Dan said.

"Susan and I must be off too," Sirius said, then looked at Harry and Hermione, "I'll contact you two tomorrow about Monday."

"Alright," Hermione said; she then turned to her parents, who looked curious, "We'll tell you later."

Her parents merely nodded. After some farewells, Harry and the Grangers split off from Sirius and Susan. It took nearly fifteen minutes for them to reach the Grangers' family car.

The trip to the Grangers' home in Crawley would take about an hour or so. So to pass the time, upon request of Emma, Harry and Hermione discussed some of what they had learned in their classes for the first term, along with how their exams had gone. Everything else they wanted to speak to Hermione's parents about – the more serious stuff – wasn't the type of conversation one should have in a car.

"Actually we can show you some stuff we learned this week," Hermione said. "I told you about Harry's Emancipation, and how I am his Vassal now? Well, that basically gives both of permission to use magic at home, as long as we're not using it in front of Muggles who don't know about magic."

"Well, that is wonderful, sweetheart!" Emma said, "I know you've wanted to show us what you learned at school, but never could."

"Well, now we get the chance to do it," Hermione said, grinning.

"Speaking of Muggles who do not know about magic," Dan said, "Hermione, I assume you've told Harry about the New Year's Eve party we attend each year?"

"Yes, Dad," Hermione said, "Actually, I just discussed it with him this morning. I assume we're still going?"

"Of course, dear," Emma said, "We wouldn't pass it up this year, especially now that you have a handsome boy to show off to everyone! You'll be the envy of all the girls your age this year, Hermione, thanks to this handsome young man."

Harry blushed and Hermione rolled her eyes.

"As long as they don't think they'll be able to steal him from me for a dance," Hermione said. "Harry agreed to purchase a new formal outfit for the party. I also figured he could buy a few winter and spring outfits."

"Of course, dear," Emma said, "Your father and I were thinking about going shopping tomorrow. You and I can find you a nice dress for the party, while Dan helps Harry find a nice outfit. Then he can shop for anything else he needs."

"We also need to go to Diagon Alley, Mum," Hermione said. "We need to speak to our Account Manager at Gringotts Bank."

"'Our'?" Dan asked, momentarily looking at Hermione through the rear-view mirror. "You two aren't already sharing a bank account already?"

"Of course not, Dad," Hermione said, blushing. "We just happen to have the same Account Manager for House Potter and House Dagworth-Granger."

"Yes, House Dagworth-Granger," Dan murmured. "I was certainly surprised to discover my family is descended from – who was it?"

"Hector Dagworth-Granger," Hermione said, "Founder of the Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers. He's a famous wizard in our society."

"I was most surprised to find out we're descended from wizards and witches," Dan said. "I'm still trying to figure out why Dagworth sounds so familiar. I know I've heard it in recent years, before you found out you were a witch, in fact."

"I'm sure you'll figure it out sometime, Daddy," Hermione said.

"Yes," Dan said, "I am sure I will."

It was nearing eight-o-clock in the evening when they finally arrived in the city of Crawley. Before they made their way to the Granger's home, they stopped by a local pizza shop, and ordered a couple of pizzas for dinner that evening.

At a quarter-past-eight, they finally pulled into the driveway of the Granger's home. Harry stepped out of the car, then grabbed Hedwig's cage – Hedwig having behaved most admirably during the entire ride - then he took his first look at the house. It was beautiful two-and-a-half story brick house with an attic at the top. Large windows covered much of the front of the house, and shades hid the interior from view. Six-foot hedges and fences surrounded the front and back yard, allowing privacy. Dan and Emma led Harry, and Hermione toward the front door.

As Harry followed Dan and Emma inside, he found that the bottom floor of the house looked eerily similar to Number Four, Privet Drive. To his left, there was an archway which led into the family sitting room. Ahead of them, at the end of the hallway, there was another door.

"Welcome to our humble home," Emma said. "Through the door at the end of the hallway, is the kitchen and dining room. To the door to your left is the sitting room. Hermione? Harry will be sleeping in the guest room. Please show him a tour of the upper floor and lead him to his bedroom. Then come on downstairs to the sitting room. We can dine on pizza and open up presents."

Harry was quickly reminded of his present for Hermione and her parents in his bag, and reminded himself to get it out soon.

"Yes, Mum," Hermione said, "Come on, Harry!"

Harry followed Hermione up the stairs. The bathroom was the first room they came to – the door situated nearly right in front of the stairs.

"This is the family bathroom," Hermione explained. "Mum and Daddy's bedroom at the end of the hallway has their own little private bathroom as well. My room is on the left side, here, with a window showing the front of the house. And the guest room – your room – has a nice view of the backyard."

"Our rooms are right across from each other, huh?" Harry said. "Interesting."

"Don't get any ideas," Hermione said, "Mum and Dad can hear the doors open and close quite easily. Come on inside. I need to get my things from your bag anyway."

Harry followed Hermione into her bedroom. He smiled as he looked around her room. It was very Hermione, with at least four bookshelves full of books, and the walls and ceiling were painted periwinkle blue, same as her dress had been the previous evening. Hermione set Crookshanks' carrier down and opened it up.

An orange blur sped from the carrier with a meow and Crookshanks ran out of the room.

"Probably has to use the bathroom, poor thing," Hermione said, with a giggle.

Harry grinned. He opened his bag and pulled out Hermione's traveling bag from it and handed it to her.

"Go on, now, before Daddy sees you in my room," Hermione said, smiling, "I'll meet you in the hallway in five minutes."

Harry agreed and stepped out of Hermione's bedroom, and crossed the hallway, then stepped into the room which would be his bedroom for the next week. The walls were covered with a light-blue wallpaper, the same as Hermione's own bedroom. He was beginning to understand her preference for favorite colors. The bed was as big as the one in his bedroom in his Private Quarters at Hogwarts. He walked over to the desk sitting below the window, and set Hedwig's cage on it. Then he walked over to the opened the window, and Hedwig's cage.

"This is new territory for you, girl," Harry said, "So be careful."

Hedwig barked in acknowledgement and flew out the window. Harry removed the travel bag, which mostly held books inside, and placed it on the desk beside Hedwig's cage. He then rummaged through his bag and found the two wrapped presents, one which was a combined gift for Hermione and her parents, and one was a gift for Dan and Emma.

Suddenly, Dobby appeared.

"Hello, Dobby," Harry said.

"Dobby be having a letter for the Great Harry Potter," Dobby said, "Dobby be believing it be from the French Tournament champion."

"Fleur Delacour?" Harry asked.

"Yes, that be her name," Dobby said.

Harry thanked Dobby and took the scroll of parchment Dobby offered.

"Dobby?" Harry asked, "Could you go to Gringotts and exchange some Galleons from my Vault for 500 pounds? Please put it on the desk here when you return. Also, please tell Keeper Ragnok that Hermione and I will meet with him sometime tomorrow, but we do not know the exact time. Tell him we apologize for that."

"Dobby be doing so," Dobby said.

Dobby vanished, and Harry stared at the scroll of parchment in his hand. What was Fleur Delacour writing him about? He shrugged and set it on the desk. He would read it after spending some time with Hermione and her parents.

"Harry?" Hermione asked, "You ready?"

"Coming!" Harry said.

He grabbed the two wrapped presents, and walked out of the room.

"Dobby just came by," Harry said, "He gave me a letter from Fleur Delacour. No, I haven't read it yet, and I have no idea what she could want."

"As long as it isn't a love letter, my love," Hermione teased. "You haven't been writing her love letters, have you?"

"No, Hermione," Harry said, "You're the only girl for me, and you always will be."

"Just making sure, Harry James," Hermione said, smiling. "Come on. My parents are probably waiting for us."

Harry smiled and followed Hermione downstairs.

I apologize for the abrupt ending, but I was having so much trouble trying to figure out what to do with the gift-giving scene. It almost made me want to delay posting this entire chapter over a simple scene. So I stopped the chapter here. I will try to summarize the gifts in the next chapter, and it will begin with Fleur's letter.

Next Chapter: Fleur's letter, shopping and another visit to Gringotts. Harry and Hermione then discuss everything that had happened over the past three and a half years surrounding them, Hogwarts, and the recent developments as well.