Chapter 71: Family Support
Mr. Granger blinked when he opened his front door. It was his day off from the office, and he had a few errands to run. So, it came as a complete surprise to see his daughter's friend, Harry Potter, standing in front of him. And yet there he was with his sweet little girl in his arms, but it was not just the pair on his stoop; three other teens, two girls and a boy, along with Harry's red-eyed cat were there as well. Two of them – the brunette and the redhead – were looking around in almost child-like wonder and amazement while the blonde just swayed in place.
"Uhm… come in?" Dr. Granger remarked, stepping aside and letting the group into his home.
"Thank you, Dr. Granger." Harry replied when he walked by and immediately walked into the living room.
Grant watched as Harry laid Hermione on the couch and the other teens followed the raven-haired youth. The blonde immediately moved toward the couch, sitting by Hermione's head and began caressing her hair. The other two looked around their surroundings; staring at the floor lamps, at the entertainment center, and at the family's movie collection. Granted, the teens' school clothes told Grant that they were all witches and wizards, but what really sold Grant on the idea that they had never been in muggle home, or seen an electronic device, was when they jumped at the sound of the phone ringing.
Grant quietly swore under his breath as he immediately reached for the phone.
"Hello, Granger residence." He answered curtly, wanting whoever called to go away so he can figure out what was going on.
"Hello, our records show that you sta—"
Grant immediately hung up and cursed the goddamned telemarketers. With the phone still in his hand, he turned to Harry; a boy his daughter called 'brother'. The young man was looking at him with conflicted expressions. Grant could guess that the teen wanted to be amused about the phone call, but the fact that they were in his house, in the middle of the day, during a school session… the solemnness of the situation outweighed what little amusement the teen could have found.
"Don't get me wrong, Harry." Grant began; the feeling of dread fill him. "But what are you doing here?"
The other teens suddenly looked worried, watching the raven-haired wizard and him and trying to gauge his re-action. That feeling of dread was now like a cold, hard grip on his heart. Something had happened his to baby girl… again! And he was not there to stop it. Grant looked at Harry, trying to find some clue as to what happened to his daughter, but instead he was looking at the face of a soldier about to disobey an unlawful order. Grant knew that look since he had seen it a time or two when he served in Her Majesty's Service. It was a look that you needed to see only once, for it left a profound impact on one's psyche when seen. Harry then rubbed his face before racking his fingers through his hair; erasing that look but Grant knew…
"Is Mrs. Granger home?" Harry asked, rather than answered. Grant stiffened then looked at his daughter. She was asleep, but even he could tell that it was not a restful sleep.
"I'll call her." Grant remarked as he put the cordless phone against his ear.
"Get comfortable guys." Harry ordered while the brunette and the redhead stared at Grant as he talked on the phone, "Siri."
Sirius blinked then shifted to his humanoid form. The nin-nus openly stared at the Fire-Ice Hybrid. Sirius just arched a brow then followed his Lord, who had ventured into the kitchen. The quiet guardsman stared while the other half-demon hunched his shoulders while bracing himself against the counter.
"Shih'nus?" He called when he sensed the raven-haired Lord's demonic aura being barely contained.
::I want to kill them.:: Harry replied then turned his attention to the other.
::It would be your right.:: Sirius stated, knowing who the 'them' were. ::They threatened the life of a pup.::
Harry took a deep breath before slowly exhaling, knowing he did not have the luxury to lose himself into the Shadows just yet.
::She will be needing to see a Healer.:: Sirius' voice helped ground Harry to the present.
Emerald orbs stared into crimson gems.
::Lady Ginny may have the touch of healing, but she is not yet trained in the arts.:: The Hybrid explained himself.
::Do we bring her to Ma-Terrarum, or do we bring Master Stormwing to the Human realm?:: Harry then asked, causing Sirius frowned.
::We do not know how traveling between realms will affect the unborn pup.::
::Okay… we'll bring Master Stormwing here then.:: Harry nodded, feeling comfortable that something was being done. ::As soon as we get back to Hogwarts, you'll go back to Ma-Terrarum and bring back Master Stormwing.::
Sirius just nodded.
"That's a beautiful language." Mr. Granger said, standing at the entry of the kitchen. He was surprised that the pair did not seem to be startled by his presence.
"Thank you, sir." Harry replied.
"Emma will be home within the hour; if traffic cooperates."
"Okay." Harry breathed.
"I don't suppose you can tell me why all of you are here in the middle of the day when you're supposed to be in school?"
Harry was quiet for a moment before softly replying.
"It'd be better if we wait for Mrs. Granger."
When Emma received her husband's call, she had feared the worse. She had feared that something had happened to her baby girl. Her daughter may have physically survived the most traumatic experience that anyone could survive from. But Emma knew that rape leaves more than physically injuries; it leaves a wound so deep that it does not fully heal. She had been reluctant to let her little girl go back to Hogwarts, but it was what Hermione wanted. Her little angel had believed that by going back to school, everything could go back to "normal", but Emma knew that was not possible.
When Hermione was raped, Emma did everything she could to help her baby girl; researched and reached out to support groups. Emma helped where she could but feared it was not enough. During her research, she learned about the suicide rate of rape victims, and that knowledge terrified her to no end. Hence, the reason why she feared the worse when Grant called.
She immediately rushed home. Absently amazed that a bobby had not pulled her over for speeding. Honestly, she did not care if one had stopped her. She barely remembered turning off her vehicle as she literally jumped out of her car. She ran up the stairs and threw open the front door. She did not even realized that her husband had called her name nor did she acknowledged the group of teenagers in her living room. Her attention was solely focused on her baby.
She looked at Hermione, taking her girl's pale and tear-stained complexion. Emma noted that her daughter was wearing her school robes. Despite the fact that her daughter looked pale and frighten, Emma was relieved that she was there. Then she heard her daughter call out in a weak voice.
Emma immediately dropped her purse and car keys, and she rushed over to her daughter. She gathered her trembling baby girl into her arms and held her tightly.
"Shh… shh…" Emma whispered while rocking Hermione back and forth, "I have you! I've got you! Shh… mommy's here."
It was almost an hour before both mother and daughter were calm enough to have what was going to be an emotional conversation. After a while Mr. Granger joined his wife and daughter on the couch while the others of the Pack found themselves sitting either on a chair or on the floor, save for Harry and Sirius. Sirius took a position that allowed him a view of the entire room, ensuring that no threat appeared.
Harry, himself, sat on the coffee table, facing the Granger family. Normally, Emma would have made some sort of witty comment remark about coffee tables were for sitting coffee and not butts, but the hard look on the young man's face made her realize that now was not the time for manners.
"There's no delicate way to say this." Harry murmured as he looked at Mr. and Mrs. Granger in the eye then looked at Mina, who just nodded. "Hermione is pregnant."
A heavy silence filled the room before it was broken with a strangled gasp.
"What?!" Mrs. Granger clutched her daughter tighter.
"Are you certain?" Mr. Granger asked.
"Yes." Harry stated, "Ginny has the ability to judge one's health through touch. When Hermione fainted earlier today, Gin sensed multiple heartbeats when she checked on her."
Instantly, Mr. and Mrs. Granger turned to their daughter; asking questions 'was she alright', 'does she feel weak or woozy', and many others. Hermione was able to assure her parents that she was okay and that she did not feel weak or woozy. She looked to her brother; her parents did not miss the look that between the two teens.
"What happened?" Grant demanded.
"Hermione was taken to the infirmary to be checked out. The school medi-witch did a scan, which confirmed Hermione's pregnancy…" Harry trailed then sighed, "The Wizarding World has an archaic notion of women's position in society…"
"And what does that mean?!" Emma growled.
"It means we only have value if we remain pure and marry into a good family." The young red-haired girl stated.
Emma opened and closed her mouth, wanting to say something about idiotic medieval ideology, but the words did not seem to want to flow from her mouth.
"And what does that have to do with Hermione being pregnant?" Grant asked.
"As a muggleborn, Hermione had no Head of House to speak for her and her rights; to protect her." The brunette boy remarked.
Grant narrowed his eyes then turned his hard glare on the solemn green-eyed teen.
"Is he implying that they would have made her get an abortion, even if she choose to keep the baby?!" Grant's tone was hard and unforgiving.
"Or force her to bond with her rapist if they knew his name." Harry replied.
Emma gave out a startled cry while Grant's complexion paled.
"You can't be serious…" Grant whispered as he noticed the hard looks on the others' faces.
"Wait! You said 'had'." Emma quietly muttered to break the painful silence that had suddenly taken over the room.
Grant looked at his wife in confusion.
"Ma'am?" Harry looked at Mrs. Granger.
"He said 'Hermione had no Head of House'. What do you mean by that?" She asked while looking at the young man.
Harry suddenly looked sheepish, which Grant noticed had the effect to cause the other teens to look at the raven-haired youth with fondness; even his daughter looked at the green-eyed teen affectionately.
"Eh… yeah about that, I may have blood adopted Mina into my House as my sister."
"I'm sorry what?" Grant blinked in confusion at how Harry's statement related to his wife's question.
"So, okay…" Harry sighed, "Blood is important in the Wizarding World; not just because it'll dictate one's social standing but also because our blood has power within it. Our blood is so important that it's also illegal to use in spells, potions, rituals and even protective wards. Because when we use blood in any of these, it draws on our power…"
"Okay. But how does this…" Emma trailed off.
"We…" Harry started as he waved a hand to all of the teens in the room, including the mysterious Sirius, "did a simple blood ritual that made all of us blood-siblings… made us family."
"Oh!" Emma gasped; realizing that one of the boys was of high enough social standing within the Wizarding World that they had become her daughter's Head of House and effectively giving them power to protect Hermione from those archaic rules and laws.
"Family?" Grant repeated as he looked at his daughter, who gave a small smile.
"I always wanted siblings." Hermione replied.
"I take it that this is not metaphoric?" Grant asked. He remembered as a boy, he and some of his schoolmates did a "blood-pact" making them so-called "blood-brothers", but their friendship did not last long past primary school.
"That's correct." The quiet brunette answered, "In the eyes of Magic, we are brothers and sisters, and as such, the oldest House has authority over us as our Lord; his word is our Law. And when he said that he'll support our sister's decision to keep the baby, we're happy to obey."
"Eh… yeah… aristocracy is still a thing in the Wizarding World." Harry dryly commented, "A House that can trace their magical lineage the farthest has a higher social standing than those who cannot. And the only way a 'lesser' House can gain any social standing is to marry into a higher standing House, which is where that stupid notion of a witch's worth is through their 'purity'; not only in blood but in body as well."
Grant then looked at the timid brunette, who just knowingly smiled and shook his head.
"My family may be one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, but it can't beat a lineage of a Founder?"
"A Founder?" Emma asked.
"Hogwarts was founded by four extremely powerful and magically gifted witches and wizards." The young blonde witch replied in a dreamy tone that could bewitch you even if she was simply reading the morning paper. "Rowena Ravenclaw, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff and Godric Gryffindor."
"To be the descendent of one of them," The red-head continued, "means you have the highest standing in the Wizarding World; making you royalty… or at least as good as."
"And I take it that one of you is such a descendent?" Grant asked.
"Oh, not only are they descendent of one of the Founders but two!" The blonde laughed, causing Harry to groan as he rubbed his face.
"Harry?!" Emma gasped as soon as she realized of whom the blonde was speaking of.
"Eh… yeah, about that…"
Nin-nus (youma-lingua) – human
Shih'nus (youma-lingua) – Lord
Bobby (British, slang) – police officer