Author's Note: Hey y'all. I'm sorry it's been so long. I have a list of excuses I could give ya but I'm not goin' to. Suffice it to say that real life and family problems got in the way of my writing. I'm sorry it's been so long and that this chapter isn't up to my usual standards. I'll have a new chapter for you in about two weeks. I pretty much have it written just have to edit it and send it to Moony. Speaking of Moony, thank you for betaing for me and for your patience as you wait for the next chapter. I hope y'all enjoy!

Chapter 9

Harry fell to his knees beside Baylee, who just looked down at Harry with something close to distain in her dark blue eyes.

"Are you going to get up anytime soon?" She asked coolly.

Harry hurried to stand up. Once he was on his feet he shoved his shaking hands into his pockets. He didn't want Baylee to see how shaken the portkey made him. After a few moments of silence Harry started looking around for Bill. When he didn't see him Harry said softly "Baylee, where's Bill?"

"He'll be here shortly," the blonde snapped.

Harry glanced around him but there was nothing but sand for what looked like miles around. He took a deep breath as quietly as he could then tentatively asked "Are you sure this is where he wanted to meet us?"

"Yes!" Baylee said harshly. "Great Merlin you are annoying. I can't understand why Bill wanted you in his life. Are you incapable of standing there while keeping your mouth shut?"

Harry lowered his head to look at the golden sand beneath his feet.

"I asked you a question boy!" She snapped.

"No Ma'am, I'm not," he whispered.

Harry could feel Baylee glaring at him, but he refused to look up. He shifted slightly as she kept glaring at him. Harry's head snapped up when he heard a soft pop in front of him. Harry smiled when he saw Bill standing only feet in front of him. Bill smiled back at the boy before turning to Baylee.

"Thank you so much for bringing him here. I hope he didn't give you any problems," Bill said.

"No, not really," Baylee said as she smiled at Bill.

"Not really? What does that mean?" Bill demanded politely.

"Nothing Bill, he just took a while to get ready to leave," the woman explained.

Harry looked up at her with a confused look on her face as Bill turned to level a stern gaze his way.

"Harry?" Bill asked firmly.

"I put my work away as soon as I knew she came to get me. I guess I took too long. I'm sorry for the inconvenience," the boy whispered.

Baylee nodded curtly then apperated away.

"Harry, when someone comes to get you for me I want you to listen to them and do as you're told," Bill said sternly.

Harry nodded looking at the ground. He didn't understand. He didn't think he had taken that long. As soon as he knew he was to go with Baylee he got ready to leave. He made her wait less than five minutes. And the way she was acting toward him, he just didn't understand. Harry flinched as Bill's hand came into his line of sight. The older man ignored the flinch and took the boy's chin in his hand, gently forcing his head up.

"Do you understand?" Bill questioned in a soft voice, his tone still stern.

"Yes si – Bill," the boy responded quietly.

Bill smiled at him warmly as he said happily "Good boy."

Harry smiled back at him tentatively. Bill's eyes shadowed slightly as he leaned forward and pressed a kiss to the dark, messy head before him.

"I'm not angry," he whispered into his boy's ear. "I promise I'm not."

Harry just nodded against his collarbone. Bill fought down a sigh as he pulled Harry closer to him and rubbed his back.

"You're okay, Kiddo. You're okay," Bill whispered into the onyx hair.

After a few minutes Harry pulled away before murmuring a soft "I really am sorry Bill. I didn't mean to make her wait."

"Hey," Bill said quietly as he put his hand under the boy's chin and gently forced his head up to meet his eyes. "I'm not angry with you, I'm really not. It was more of a reminder that you should treat all adults with the respect you would me, not that you really need the reminder. I'm sure you didn't keep Baylee waiting longer than you had to. Putting your work away before you leave is a good habit to have. Baylee…" Bill sighed softly. "I really didn't want to send her to get you but she was the only one who was able to leave. I'm sorry Har."

Harry looked up at his big brother and asked quietly "What did I do to make her not like me?"

"Oh baby," Bill whispered as he pulled Harry back against his chest. "It's not you. You didn't do anything. This is her problem and she is taking it out on you. I'll talk to her, tell her to back off. You handled it well, like you should have. You were polite and respectful and I am very proud of you."

Harry pulled back to smile at the redhead before burying his face back into Bill's chest. Bill chuckled warmly as he briskly rubbed Harry's back again before letting out a soft growl and picking Harry up off his feet and swinging him around. Harry laughed delightedly. Almost a minute later Bill set Harry down on his feet and stepped back from him.

"So, are you ready to do some sight seeing?" Bill asked.

Harry grinned as he said excitedly "Yeah!"

Several hours later Harry and Bill were sitting at a restaurant having a snack.

"What was your favorite part of the day?" Bill asked between bites of his eggplant with vinegar and garlic pita bread sandwich.

"I don't know. I enjoyed both the Sphinx and pyramids," Harry responded as he picked at his snack.

"You don't like it?" Bill asked after watching Harry for a minute.

Harry looked up suddenly as he said "No, it's good. I'm just not very hungry."

Bill looked him over with concern in his blue eyes as he asked "Are you feeling okay?"

"Yeah, just tired," the boy responded quietly.

For the first time Bill took a close look at Harry. The boy had slight, bruise-like half circles under his emerald eyes.

"Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you have nightmares?" Bill asked worriedly.

Harry looked down at his plate and back up before confessing quietly "I had a rough night."

"I'm here if you want to talk about it," Bill replied softly. "I'm not going to force you to tell me, however it might make you feel better."

"I know," Harry said. "And I will but I'm still trying to process it… Plus, I just wanted to forget for a little bit."

"That's okay Harry," Bill answered quietly.

Harry nodded and went back to his snack. They chatted quietly as they finished their snacks. Twenty minutes later Bill paid and they left.

"Where would you like to go now?" Bill asked.

"I'm tired… Can we just go home – back to your place?" Harry stuttered.

"It's home Harry and yeah, we can go home," Bill responded calmly.

Bill guided them to an apparation point and apparated them home. Harry stepped away from Bill once they were in the living area.

"I'm almost finished with my Defense paper, I'm going to finish it," Harry said quietly.

"Okay, go ahead. I'm going to read for a while. If you need me just yell," Bill answered.

Harry nodded and went to the table. He pulled over his books and papers and found where he left off. He picked up his pen and flipped through his book until he found his place. He reread the paragraph he needed then began writing. Harry spent another hour on his assignment before he got up and went out to Bill. His big brother looked up from his book and asked "What do you need Har?"

"Would you read this for me? I'm not sure how it is," Harry replied.

"Sure, Kiddo. Lets see it," Bill said cheerfully.

Harry handed him his paper. Bill took it, sat up and patted the seat next to him.

"Have a seat while I read this," Bill invited.

Harry plopped down beside Bill and curled up as his older brother started to read. Bill read through it slowly, within a few lines he had conjured a pen and was making corrections. It took him almost half an hour to finish. As he was reading Harry was absently looking out the window, watching as the sun slowly started to set.

Harry looked over as Bill cleared his throat before he started speaking.

"Overall this was very good. There are a few minor corrections I've made, but they are mostly spelling mistakes and structure mistakes. One point you made needs to be moved. But the spells you've chosen… They are amazing. I wouldn't have thought of most of them as being useful in a battle situation. The fact that you have used some of the unusual ones in your fights was a great addition. It shows that they can be used and that you are willing to think outside the box," Bill said encouragingly. Harry was nodding along with Bill as he spoke.

"Okay, that sounds easy enough to correct," the boy responded thoughtfully.

"Yup," Bill said cheerfully. "Why don't you start to rewrite that while I make us some dinner?"

Harry nodded as he stood up. He stretched his arms over his head, crumpling the paper in his right hand in the process. He sat back down at the kitchen table and started to correct his paper. He smiled slightly as he heard Bill banging around behind him.

An hour later Bill and Harry were sitting at the, now cleared off table, eating baked chicken, carrots and potatoes.

"This is really good Bill," Harry said quietly as he took another bite.

"Thank you, Harry," Bill said with a smile.

They fell into comfortable silence as they finished their dinner. When they both were done Harry stood and cleared the table. It took him twenty minutes to wash, dry and put away the dishes, pots and pans. He told Bill he was going to have an early night and went to bed.

Harry shot up in bed several hours later. He frantically looked around the room before his eyes settled on the clock on his bedside table. It read one thirty in the morning. He ran a shaky hand over his eyes, pretending he didn't feel the moisture. He pushed himself out of bed, grabbed his cover and padded out into the living room. Harry curled up on the closest end of the couch and pulled his blanket over himself as he drifted back to sleep.

"Harry," a soft voice said. "Harry, it's time to wake up Kiddo."

Harry opened his bright green eyes to see his big brother crouched in front of him. He was confused for a second before remembering he came out here last night. Harry nodded slightly as his eyes slid closed again. He forced them back open seconds later. Bill sighed softly from above him before Harry felt himself being lifted from the sofa. His eyes snapped open as he was cradled against his big brother's chest. Moments later he was lowered onto Bill's bed. Bill crawled carefully over him to lie down beside him. He was pulled against the red head's chest.

"We can both get a little more sleep," he murmured into the soft, silky black hair under his chin.

Harry buried closer to the older man as he ran his hand up and down his back. Within minutes he had fallen into a peaceful sleep.

Harry woke again several hours later. He sat up slowly and looked around his big brother's room in confusion for a few seconds until he remembered Bill bringing him in here earlier. Harry started to move off the bed when the door opened and Bill came in carrying a tray of food with him.

"Stay put Har," Bill said firmly. "We can both have brunch in bed."

"You didn't have to do that," Harry said, squirming slightly in embarrassment.

Bill offered him a slight smile before he told him to move over. Harry moved to the far side of the bed then Bill carefully sat beside him. He elongated the tray so it fit over both of their laps. He put some scrambled eggs, fruit, a piece of French toast and a few pieces of bacon on a plate and pushed it towards Harry.

"Wow… This looks great Bill but you didn't have to go to all this trouble," Harry said softly.

"I know I didn't have to but I wanted to," Bill replied with a smile.

Harry smiled at him as he speared a piece of fruit and popped it in this mouth. Bill laughed before he started eating his own breakfast. As they ate they talked about what they were going to do with the few days they had left before they had to return to Headquarters. Harry was going to finish his homework while Bill worked on a few odds and ends for his job and they would continue going out in the afternoons.

"Nicoli, Jesse and Ben would like to see you again, so how would you feel about them coming over tonight for dinner?" Bill asked.

Harry thought about it for a second before he tentatively smiled.

"What about Baylee?" Harry asked slowly.

"She isn't going to be here. She has plans with some friends tonight. I asked if she wanted to come but she didn't want to cancel her plans and that is fine. I figured you would be more comfortable without Baylee around. I really would like you to get to know Jesse, Nic and Ben and I think you would have an easier time of it with Baylee not here. I don't know what her problem is and I'm sorry she is taking it out on you. It's not acceptable and I won't have her around you if she can't at the very least be polite." Bill explained gently.

Harry thought about what Bill had said before he replied softly.

"I guess that would work. I don't want Baylee to be hurt because we aren't including her but…" Harry let out a shuddery sigh before continuing. "I know she doesn't like me and I'm uncomfortable around her. I want to get to know the other three though. I know they mean a lot to you."

Bill carefully wrapped his arm around Harry's shoulders and pulled him close. Harry leaned his head on his shoulder and smiled slightly.

"I love you Kiddo. You know that right?" Bill spoke softly.

Harry nodded before saying quietly "I love you too."

Bill smiled before he kissed the side of Harry's head. Harry smiled at him as he settled against his older brother. Harry smiled up at Bill before he closed his green eyes and fell into a light doze as he thought about seeing Bill's extended family tonight.

Author's Note: Thanks again for reading! I hope ya liked the chapter. I know not much happened but it would have been too long with the party. I have a bit of action in there so it should get interesting. Thank you to everyone who reviewed this story. Y'all have pushed me over 100 reviews. Thank ya so much! Until next time be happy, be healthy, be safe,

Lynn