CHAPTER 5 – THE GRANGERS

Harry dashed up the stairs, silently berating himself for leaving the baby alone. He flew threw the door and skidded to a halt, horrified at what he saw.

The bedroom window was shattered, and glass lay scattered all over the floor. Dudley was standing by the broken window with a horrid sneer on his face.

"What are you doing!" Harry ran over to Dudley, grabbed him by the shirt and began shaking him. "What did you do!"

Dudley's grin disappeared and was replaced by a scowl of disgust. He pulled himself from Harry's grasp and swung a fist into Harry's jaw. Harry fell to the ground with a loud thump. Before he could get up, Dudley kicked him in the stomach and strode from the room with a satisfied smirk on his face.

Harry groaned and tried to get up. The pain was intense, but his worry for Daffodil kept him going. He grabbed the windowsill and pulled himself up. He had just made it when he heard the soft coo. He turned, not believing his ears, and spotted Daffodil crawling out from under the bed, not a scrape on her tiny little body. Harry couldn't believe his eyes. He dashed over to Daffodil and scooped her up, squeezing her so tightly she started to cry. He quickly released his grip and put her on his hip. But if Daffodil was over here, then what had Dudley thrown out the window? He walked over the broken glass and looked out. It was just his schoolbooks. He couldn't tell which ones they were, but he didn't care. As long as Daffodil was okay.

That had been a little close for comfort. Deciding to never leave the baby alone again, he took Daffodil down the stairs and outside to gather his books. Getting them up to his room was a little tricky with a baby on his hip, but he managed to make it in under 5 trips.

Harry awoke to the sound of the doorbell. It had been a long morning. He had spent it chasing Daffodil around his room, trying to get packed and keep her out of trouble at the same time. He had been so exhausted that after lunch he had placed Daffodil in her makeshift playpen and lain down to take a nap. Rubbing his eyes, he sat up and looked around. Daffodil was quietly snoring on the floor, and Hedwig was trying to unzip one of his bags; probably the one with the birdseed. Grinning, he walked over and stroked the bird, then gently placed her in her cage, latching the door. The Grangers were here. Turning, he scooped up the still-sleeping Daffodil and grabbed his bags. Realizing he was out of hands, he put everything down and let Hedwig out of her cage.

"It would probably be easier if you just met us there, Hedwig. I'll meet you at the Granger's in a couple of hours." He gave her one last stroke and threw her out the window. He watched her disappear for a moment, then went back to carrying all his stuff down the stairs. Or trying to anyways. He had everything gathered in his arms and was trying to figure out how to get the door open without dropping Daffodil when the door swung open. A grinning Hermione stood in the doorway. Harry was so surprised he nearly dropped his load. Hermione dashed over and took the baby from his arms.

"Thanks" He mumbled, now able to carry everything easily.

She grinned. "No problem" She turned and walked out the door, stopping to motion for him to follow, before she disappeared down the stairs. Harry was quick to follow.

He dropped Hedwig's cage on the stairs and had to stop and pick it up. By the time he reached the living room, Hermione and Daffodil were already there, and Mr. And Mrs. Granger were Oooing and Awwing over the baby. Mr. Granger noticed Harry walk in and went to take some of his bags. He went out to the car to drop off his load, and Harry followed. Mr. Granger had just closed the trunk when Hermione and Mrs. Granger appeared.

"Does she have a car seat?" Hermione asked, Harry nodded and went to get it from the Dursleys' car. When he returned, Mrs. Granger took it from him and buckled it into the Granger van. Then she strapped Daffodil in tightly. She smiled at Harry, then climbed into the front seat. Mr. Granger was already in the driver's seat, and Harry and Hermione slid into the van beside Daffodil. Mr. Granger made sure everyone was buckled up, and with one last look at the Dursley house, they drove away.

Alan Granger pulled the van into the driveway of a nice yellow house. It had been a long drive, but the Grangers and Harry had passed it by talking up a storm. Harry was told to call Mr. And Mrs. Granger Alan and Savannah instead of Mr. And Mrs. Granger. Harry happily agreed...Mr. And Mrs. Granger was such a mouthful. The tired group piled out of the van, a grumpy Daffodil in Harry's arms. She had cried and slept pretty much the whole way. Cried more than slept. The Grangers led Harry and Daffodil up a stone pathway and into the house. It was a nice house, Harry had to admit. Petunia would kill for a house like this one.

Hermione took Harry's free hand and led him up the stairs and down the hall to the left. Alan followed with Harry's bags. Hermione opened a door at the end of the hall and pushed Harry inside. It was a bedroom, but not just any bedroom. It was probably the largest bedroom Harry had ever seen, and there was another door by the dresser.

Hermione noticed him looking at the door and told him, "That door leads to the room we prepared for Daffodil. There's also an adjoining door in there to my parents' room for when we're in school. Come on," She took his hand, "Come see it." Grinning, Harry let Hermione lead him to the bedroom.

Harry gasped as Hermione opened the door. The room was spectacular! It was decorated with the theme 'daffodil'. Everything was yellow or white, and there were dozens of daffodils plastered to the walls. Harry loved it. He turned to look at Daffodil, only to see her eyes wide open, staring at the room. Grinning, he set her down and watched her scamper off to explore her new home.

"Thanks Hermione, it's incredible." 'She probably came up with the idea herself. Did most of the work too I'd guess'. Hermione's happy smile confirmed his thoughts.

They sat on a giant yellow beanbag chair and talked while Daffodil played contentedly on the floor. They were deep in a conversation about Quidditch when Savanna came in to tell them dinner was ready. Hermione picked up Daffodil and followed Harry and her mother to the dining room.

As they walked through the living room, Harry noticed the impeccable style the Grangers possessed. Every room he'd seen so far had a specific theme and was decorated accordingly. Harry was impressed. Entering the dining room, Harry saw that the Grangers had already set up a high chair for Daffodil to use. Hermione walked over and buckled Daffodil in and slid into a chair at the table. Harry sat between Daffodil and Hermione, and Alan and Savanna sat across from them. The spaghetti dinner had already been set out, and the family served themselves.

A steady conversation had rolled all through dinner. It was a pleasant change for Harry; the Dursleys always ate in silence, which drove him nuts. He was reaching for another dinner roll when Savanna spoke.

"Harry, is there anything in particular that we'll need to know about Daffodil or her needs for when you're gone? I mean, we've got the basic baby stuff down pretty well; Hermione was a baby once and we got plenty of experience with her," Hermione gave an embarrassed scowl at this, "but every baby is unique and we were..." Alan cut her off.

"Savanna dear, I'm sure Harry knows all of this," He grinned, "All we need to know is her specific personality quirks and health needs, Harry. We've got all summer; we don't need to know everything about her right this moment. Just the really important stuff."

Harry smiled. He was going to enjoy staying with these people. "Well, she's been into biting lately, so I'd watch your fingers if I were you," Hermione giggled softly, "but I think that's her only personality quirk. Oh, she is kind of spoiled, I must admit. But other than that, I can't think of anything in particular. As for her health needs, all I can think of is her allergy to wool."

The Grangers' eyes widened at this. "She's allergic to wool?" asked Hermione. At Harry's nod, she sighed. "Well, I guess it could be worse. At least it's not cotton." Harry laughed at this, Alan and Savanna smiled.

The rest of the meal was spent talking about Daffodil, and no one even noticed how late it was until Daffodil's spoon fell to the floor with a clatter. They turned to look at her, only to find she'd fallen asleep in her spaghetti. With a sigh, Harry got up to clean the mess, but Savanna beat him to it.

"We're going to be dealing with this thing for quite a while. Let me take care of it." Harry nodded, gratefully sitting back down. Alan rose and went to help with the baby, leaving Harry and Hermione alone at the table.

"I guess we'd better get to bed," said Hermione. Harry glanced at the clock and nodded. Hermione followed Harry to his room, and as Harry turned to go inside, Hermione gave him a small smile. "I'm really glad you're spending the summer with us Harry."

"Yeah, me too. Thanks for letting me come." Harry returned Hermione's smile. "I'll see you in the morning, okay?" Hermione nodded and disappeared through the door across the hall from Harry's. Harry went into his own room and collapsed on his bead, not even bothering to change his clothes before hen fell into a deep sleep.