Summary: Finding out he has an uncle isn't the only discovery Harry makes during his sixth year at Hogwarts. But How can he cope with all the new things he must take in as well as accept that Draco Malfoy of all people, has a duty to him as well?
Warnings:This is a fic where male slash is the predominant pairing. (Meaning guy on guy stuff.)
non-con (rape), swearing, violence. I have forewarned you, take them seriously. I am also well aware that I will likely have to cut parts from this story to keep with the terms of agreement.
Disclaimer This is a work of fanfiction, written purely to entertain myself and (hopefully) a few others. The world and characters belong entirely to J.K. Rowling, (OC's excluded) and I lay no claim to them whatsoever!
A BIG thanks is owed to SlashFan69 for all her hard work in beta'ing this Chapter!
This is the Beta'd version of the chapter. So Everyone, please thank SlashFan69 for the hard work she put into fixing all my errors!
Chapter One: With Love, Your Aunt and Uncle
When Harry returned to the Dursleys' after fifth year, never in his life did he think he'd have his cousin Dudley in complete awe of him.
Gone were the 'freak' remarks, as well as any kind of derogatory comments about Harry, his parents, his friends or his school. Dudley kept out of Harry's way when he had to do chores, and didn't mess anything up so Harry was forced to repeat it. In fact, he did pretty much nothing but watch, a somewhat thoughtful expression on his face. It wasn't a common thing for Dudley, which somewhat unnerved Harry.
Most of the time Dudley would go out and leave Harry to do as instructed, while Aunt Petunia went to do the shopping and Uncle Vernon was out at work.
Once Harry had been outside weeding the garden and returned to find a cup of tea and a few biscuits awaiting his return. He didn't know how he knew they were for him, they could have been for anyone, considering Dudley had his friends in the sitting room and were watching something on the television: something loud that had the other boy's attention locked to it.
Suspicious, this was Dudley after all, Harry took the gesture for what it was, finished the biscuits and tea, and cleaned up once he was done.
The boys in the other room barely stirred, having been around plenty of times throughout Harry's years and also having seen him doing the cleaning, while they messed it all up afterwards. So now was no different, except that they never messed anything up, and there was not one glance his way. He was sure Dudley had something to do with that, as he'd occasionally throw uneasy glances between Harry and the boys.
Uncle Vernon, Harry noticed, had been unusually quiet while around him lately, and Aunt Petunia's face appeared more pinched. The only normalcy Harry got from the entire family was the chores he was still having to do and Dudley's whining when it came to eating. He was still strictly on a diet, though he was no longer just fat, but had actually developed a muscular build. It would have been daunting for Harry, who was still shorter and much, much smaller when it came to build, but not once had Dudley threatened him or done anything that may have a cause for concern since Harry had returned from Hogwarts for the summer.
On more than one occasion, Harry had thought Dudley was actually going to say something to him, but whatever it was, would cause the blonde to grimace and turn away with a shake of his head.
It was an enigma to Harry, Dudley being nice to him. Uncle Vernon not yelling at him and Aunt Petunia always staring at him, but with a pensive frown and not the usual sneer or bitter look she used to give him.
It was all so... different.
"You saved me," Dudley said one day while Harry had been dusting. Startled, he dropped the duster and peered over at his cousin. Dudley stood in the door frame frowning at something before he continued "That day. With the invisible things."
"Dementors," Harry said automatically, bent and picked up the duster.
"Dementors," Dudley repeated, he seemed to be gathering his courage for something monumental because his face made it look like he was constipated. Then his expression shifted and he asked, "What were they doing here? What are they?"
Harry paused, not exactly sure what to say and decided on the truth. "They were after me," he said. "But the person who sent them didn't know I could cast a patronus... er, a type of magical shield against dementors." He sighed and ran a hand through his near shoulder length hair. "A dementor is a dark creature, they guard the wizard prison called Azkaban and drain you of all happy thoughts until all you have left is everything sad," he said feeling the chill that began gripping him as he let his thoughts carry his speech. "You feel incredibly cold but what's worse is it's kiss. If it kisses you, you lose your soul and all that's left is your body and nothing else. I think muggles would call it depression."
He could see his cousin was fascinated and mildly wary of the subject, considering he had very nearly had all his happiness drained away.
"But why were they sent after you?" Dudley frowned, arms crossed over his chest.
"Someone wants me dead," Harry said shortly and went back to his dusting. For several moments Dudley didn't move and when he did, started muttering under his breath. Even so, Harry caught the end of, 'Not if I can help it.'
For the rest of that day, Harry caught Dudley glancing at him thoughtfully, Aunt Petunia warily, and Uncle Vernon not at all. It was as though the man thought that even looking in Harry's direction might give him some kind of abnormal virus, not that Harry minded in the least. The longer his uncle ignored him, the better.
For once he had been allowed the majority of his school supplies, meaning when he had time, he could study or write the required summer essays for his classes. Sadly, Potions had required the most homework and Harry had been forced to concentrate on his books carefully. He didn't know why he was bothering as he wasn't even sure if he had passed the class yet.
Letters came frequently from his friends. All asking how he was and how the 'stupid muggles' were treating him, if he was being fed properly, and a few care packages to ensure he didn't starve. He received The Daily Prophet, and had lately found that Fudge had been forced to resign and in his place stepped Rufus Scrimgeour, a retired Auror. He looked like a lion but Harry already had his misgivings about the man. He looked to be the exact opposite of Fudge, but he gave Harry the impression that he was a bully and someone to be avoided.
Peering down at an article clipping, Harry frowned. It had been just last summer that people had been against him. Slanging mud at his and Dumbledore's name. Claiming Harry to being crazy or attention seeking, and now he was the media's darling again. Merlin, they made him sick! But, people without an opinion of their own were fickle and would follow the Shepherd with the loudest horn like faithful sheep.
Briefly, he wondered how long it would last and how long he'd stay in the public's good graces this time.
Harry removed his glasses, rubbing at the bridge of his nose before lifting his hands to his temples. He could feel a headache coming on. He had been getting a lot of headaches lately; things in front of him would go temporarily fuzzy, and he'd get a headache. He probably needed a new prescription for his glasses or something.
He sighed, he didn't really feel like having to get a new pair of glasses. He'd have to wait until he met up with Ron and them when they went to Diagon Alley to pick up their new school gear. Unless he went to the Burrow first and talked someone into taking him. Now there's an idea...
Harry set his papers down, capping his ink, he put everything under his bed in a tidy pile. He didn't want to mess up his essays after all.
The vacuuming had to be done before his aunt got home from visiting. He was sure she was just waiting for him to do something wrong so she could complain to his uncle. Dudley certainly hadn't been complaining, and Harry had been especially careful around the two adults.
As he reached the top of the stairs, he heard the loud voices of Dudley's friends below. Not really caring about them in the least, he made his way down the stairs and into the cupboard to get the vacuum cleaner but stopped when he heard Piers, "You know, I haven't seen Potter about the whole time we've been here. I heard your mother mentioning him, but I haven't seen him. Been hiding has he?"
Dudley gave a noncommittal grunt.
"Hmm," Piers continued. "You know, Jonathan here still hasn't met him yet. Isn't it about time for introductions? Potter was our favourite pass time growing up." He gave a wheezy chuckle.
"Who's Potter?" An unknown voice asked. Harry assumed he was Jonathan.
"Big D's wimpy cousin," chortled Piers.
"Lay off Harry, all right?" Dudley said, making Harry freeze. Dudley just defended him against his best friend. The world had finally gone mad.
He had been expecting something along the lines for a while now, truth be told. With the resurrection of Voldemort, the various 'freakish' disasters that were happening all around the world. The Durleys' treating him... well Dudley being helpful and even being curious when it came to magic.
There was a long silence followed by what Harry deemed was a muttered acceptance.
The moment was killed by the long ring of the phone.
"I'll get it!" Dudley bellowed, but Harry was closest and answered anyway.
"Hello, Dursley residence."
Dudley came through the door paused when he saw Harry and glanced nervously back at his friends in the other room. "It's for you," Harry passed the phone over just as Piers walked through the door and froze, as did Dudley, who was looking at Piers while the boys gaze was transfixed upon Harry.
The latter found himself both unnerved and annoyed.
He crossed his arms over his chest indignantly and stared back, hoping to annoy the other as much as he was.
Piers turned to Dudley, phone long forgotten . "You've got to be kidding me!" Piers said, shooting Harry another look. "Now I think I know why you're so protective of him."
"What's going on here?" All three turned to the new comer.
"Meet Potter," Piers said.
Harry looked at the room's newest addition. He appeared to Harry like a stretched out crow. Black hair cut short and spiked, eyes a deep obsidian and a horrid beak of a nose.
Harry really didn't like the way the other was sizing him up.
"Potter," the crow-like boy said, hand out stretched to shake his.
It was an odd time to think of Draco Malfoy, but the memory of when Malfoy had done almost the exact same thing back in first year flashed through Harry's mind quickly. He shrugged the thought away and peered back as almost the exact same events panned out.
"Peters," the boy said. "Jonathan Peters."
Piers chuckled and intoned. "Bond. James bond. You've got to be kidding me."
Jonathan snarled something unintelligible at Piers and Harry decided maybe vacuuming just now was a very bad idea. He then quickly made his way upstairs with the intent on writing to Hermione to see how she was doing.
Later that night found Harry lying on his bed going over his Transfigurations essays. He wasn't sure if it would be enough, considering this was McGonagall's essay. He wondered if he may have went on a bit much when it came to concentration and will. He thought he may have, but it was needed to get those few extra inches to complete his parchment.
He frowned down at it as the words blurred together and squirmed. He shut his eyes to ignore the movement.
There was also an annoying tapping against the glass pane of his window that had nothing to do with visiting owls, growing irritated with it, he stood and opened it only to have to peer down into the yard below where Jonathan stood, gazing up at him.
When it appeared no explanation was forthcoming Harry asked the obvious, "What do you want?"
"Why you, of course."
Harry was thrown off kilter for a moment. He glared down at the other boy. "No, seriously. It's late. Go home. Do you want Dudley or something?"
"What do you bloody mean?" Harry asked, growing annoyed and more than a little freaked out. He almost thought he knew what the other boy was saying, but it seemed so odd to him. Unless, he was a wizard... but if that were the case he would have known about Harry as soon as his name was mention. As nothing of the sort happened, Harry figured the boy was a muggle.
"I thought it kind of obvious," Jonathan said. "Come down here and talk to me." He waved a rose through the air. "I'll give you this if you do."
An odd thought struck Harry then. He was sure he had seen something like this in a muggle movie once. A boy had been trying to get his girlfriend to talk to him so threw small stones at her window until she answered the incessant tapping...
Oh bloody hell no.
"Go home, Jonathan."
"You know my name!" He practically crowed. There was a rustle and Piers tumbled from the nearby hydrangea bush. Aunt Petunia was going to have a field day when she saw her beloved plant was ruined, and Harry was probably going to have to clean it up.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" Piers asked Jonathan through gritted teeth.
"Same as you, evidently." Jonathan replied, gesturing to the rose in Piers' hand pointedly. The latter crossed his arms in a huff, hiding the flower. "Harry was just about to come down and talk to me."
"I bet you he wasn't," Piers argued. "He doesn't know you and so wouldn't listen to you. Me on the other hand, have known him for years."
"Oh yes, and let us remember what you did to him for many of those years," Jonathan tossed back. "I believe it was called 'Harry Hunting'? It has it's appeals, I must admit, but for quite a different reason." He leered up at Harry.
Having had enough, Harry closed his window just as Dudley left the house and confronted his two friends. This was turning out to be a weird day, but he reminded himself that only a few more days until his birthday, and then he'd likely be going to the Burrow and most of the madness would end.
Oh how wrong he was.
Harry had to admit, Dudley was doing his best to now keep his friends away from home. For the days leading up until Harry's birthday, Dudley had made a point of it to be out of the house with his friends. When he'd get home, it would be close to dinner, his friends were ordered to go to their own home and, despite their various protests, acquiesced to Dudley's order.
Uncle Vernon moved about the house, practically ignoring Harry, something Harry was finding to be a blessing. His Aunt Petunia, he found to be frowning an awful lot, though it was always in a thoughtful way when she was looking at him. When she caught him glancing at her, she would turn away and pretend that she hadn't noticed him at all.
The worst of everything though, had to be Harry himself.
He'd often wakeup to sore and complaining muscles, much like he would if he had over worked while training for Quidditch, and his face would ache like he had tripped and hit the ground face first. His jaw by far hurt the worst.
The pain generally went away within the first five minutes of waking, and he would occasionally get twinges during the day but that was all and it could easily be ignored, so that was what he did.
A few times he had contemplated confiding in Hermione about the strange goings on: the Dursleys' behaviour, his growing pains, or rather waking-up pains, and his headaches, which he attributed to his changing eyesight. He never did though, as she would likely jump to some insane conclusion. He wondered if it may be due to his hereditas. All wizarding children went through it, a sort of puberty, in which a wizarding child would come into their powers. Different families had different skills or powers that were kept within the family.
Those Harry had already seen go through their hereditas had only really had a power increase. For muggleborns, such as Hermione, this was the case, having no background steeped in magic like Ron's family or Harry's. Ron himself had had a rather large increase to his power, and something else Harry just couldn't put his finger on.
Often, Harry had wondered how hereditas would affect him. He was sure to have a magical increase, and he was looking forward to whatever else he received from his magical blood. He only hoped it wasn't something really noticeable, like something that would drew the attention of everyone one once he stepped into a room, it was bad enough at the moment as it was.
Pondering these thoughts, he bumped into Dudley leaving his room. The bigger boy paused and handed Harry something he had noticed the other was carrying. "The guys and me will be out all day tomorrow," Dudley said, shrugged uncomfortably and returned to his room. The door closing with a click.
It occurred to Harry that Dudley had been intent on leaving his room for the sole purpose of giving him... whatever was wrapped in the paper. Nor was it lost on Harry that the next day was his birthday and the wrapped thing was likely a present from his cousin.
Blinking the surrealism away, Harry slipped into his own room, and sat carefully on the bed.
It wasn't late and Harry could still clearly hear the television blurring loudly down stairs. Occasionally, he caught his uncle Vernon's loud bark of a laugh as well as his aunt's ridiculous little titter which joined her husbands. The usual sounds that came from the sitting room, well it would have been the usual had Dudley been down there joining them.
Harry's attention shifting back to the gift. It was poorly wrapped, but then Harry didn't think Dudley was really one to actually wrap something. It was bemusing to say the least, but also made Harry smile a little. The wrapping itself looked like it had been used before, and it was two different types one was crimson, almost the same as Gryffindor red and the other was silver.
Turning out the light, Harry just lay staring at his ceiling waiting for his aunt and uncle to return to their room, for his friends parcels to arrive and of course, midnight. The window he left open for a cool breeze to circulate in his otherwise stuffy bedroom and for Hedwig's easy access to come and go as she pleased.
Hedwig had returned from her hunt, was perched on the stand in her cage peering with what Harry could only deem as concern in her intelligent amber eyes. She hooted softly when she noticed he was looking back at her and swept over to him on the bed.
It was as though she could sense his feelings, or rather, lack thereof. For the most part of his summer holidays he'd just felt nothing. It was almost like he was living as a shell of his former self. He had feelings of course, and grew annoyed or angry, but for the most part, he felt absolutely nothing.
He supposed he was still in shock or something about Sirius' death. Both Ron and Hermione hadn't once mentioned the deceased man's name in fears of possibly upsetting Harry more. Though, in truth, he wasn't sure what to feel about it now. Upset, yes. Sirius, after all, the last person he could really consider family, was dead. Well aside from Dudley who was being halfway decent to him for once.
The Weasleys were always there, and he considered them family, but it just wasn't the same somehow. Ron he considered almost a brother, he knew the feeling was mutual. Mrs Weasley had felt he was like one of her own, and Mr Weasley was along the same lines, he even supposed their children felt similarly, except for Ginny. He still wasn't sure where he stood with her exactly.
Harry sighed and pet Hedwig soothingly as she tipped and pulled at his hair. "It's all right girl," he said reassuringly. "I was just thinking."
She peered at him in a way that suggested that was what she had been worried about, causing Harry to chuckle. Hedwig just ruffled her feathers, appearing indignant.
"How was your hunting?" He asked and sat up. She hooted softly in reply and puffed herself up to show how proud she was of her achievement. "Ahh."
Suddenly, outside his window darkened. Startled by the sudden eclipse of light, Harry whipped out his wand. Logically, he knew nothing evil could touch him while he resided at the Dursley's and called it home but that didn't stop him from seising the only protection he had against what ever it was that was outside.
To his great relief and annoyance however, his would-be assailant was nothing more than a rather large and majestic midnight colour owl. It was huge, almost twice the size of Hedwig and in it's large claws it contained an expensive looking black envelope.
It held it's leg out to Harry, never tearing it's piercing black gaze from the boy. The fact that it almost took up a whole window pane did nothing to ease Harry's anxieties of the creature, but he took the envelope anyway.
"Do you want something to eat or drink before you leave?" Harry enquired unsurely. "Or to rest?"
The large owl looked mildly indignant of the last request, but ducked it's head politely and returned to the darkness from which it appeared.
Leery of the letter, Harry handled it with care. He knew no one but those close to him knew of his residency within the muggle home, but still, years had taught him caution was often a good thing when it came to anything magical. As much as that fireplaces were magical portals, cups could be made into travel devices and cars could be made to fly.
"What do you think, girl?" Harry asked, glancing at his faithful pet.
She peered at the envelope in his grasp, tilting her head this way and that, as though studying the object carefully. Then she hooted again and landed on his shoulder.
Harry smiled. "If I go you go, right?" He questioned her, easily deducting her motives. Another soft hoot answered him and he turned the parchment to read the front.
While the envelope was a thick, very expensive looking paper and of the deepest obsidian. The elegant and flowing script on the front was a luscious, blood red and easily drew his attention. The words it bore were simple,
To be opened on your birthday.
Well, Harry thought catching a glance of his clock. The vivid red digits easily seen in the darkness. I won't have long to wait.
It was already 11:35 now, and he could easily make out the shapes of two approaching owls that a shared bundle between them. The pair glided in with Pig in the lead and manoeuvring to ensure Errol didn't knock himself out as they came through the window.
Offering both something to eat and drink (In Errol's case, somewhere to rest) Harry set all his gifts aside and waited for the time to tick down.
There was an odd silence that struck mere seconds before the red digits flicked over to 12, and Harry's world was flooded with deafening noise as he was swallowed by a deep, overwhelming darkness.
That night he dreamt of eternal darkness and two barely lit paths that wound off in separate directions.
It was to a loud shriek and horribly pounding head that Harry woke to the next morning. He didn't know why his Aunt was screaming, just that it was somewhere close and he could almost sense her... distress.
Wanting to move but feeling heavily weighed down, he managed to roll a little and peered out at her through his oddly red sheet. "Aunt Petunia?"
Merlin, was that his voice?
It sounded so weird, almost hypnotic, and now that his conscious was gradually seeping back into his sore body, he could feel that something was different. The air was heavy, suffocating and infused with the coppery smell of blood verging on the scent of dried eggs. It was disgusting, and his stomach flipped with the unpleasant scent. He could feel the air brushing across his skin in gentle gusts, not usual unless a breeze was blowing, which it wasn't. There was also the fact that he could hear his aunt's thundering heart.
Sitting up fluidly and ignoring the twinges his muscles would give every other movement, Harry gazed into his aunt's terrified face. She looked dead with her lack of colouring and her eyes were wide.
Harry's sight blurred for a moment before settling again and he went to adjust his glasses only to find he wasn't wearing them. Looking down he found them shattered a foot from the bed and lying in a large puddle of something that looked suspiciously like blood... His sight was beyond perfect.
As Harry dared, he glanced around and discovered why his aunt looked so scared.
The once bland and pale painted room was splashed with red. His bed was covered in it as was the floor. It looked like a few people had given their life so he could use their blood as a grotesques paintjob.
Harry felt sick. He grabbed for his waste bin hurriedly and threw up.
He noticed absently that all three owls were gone and his window had been shut. He felt, sticky and hungry.
"I'll do the cleaning today," his aunt said and hastily left.
Wondering how he was going to explain this, or even clean it, he grabbed a fresh change of clothes and slipped out to the bathroom. That could all wait, for now he'd have a shower and worry about the mess once he didn't feel like a walking corpse.
Having thoroughly showered, Harry set about brushing his teeth and froze when his reflection peered back at him through a partially steam covered mirror.
Of course he had known his features would change slowly through out his life, it wasn't noticeable unless you saw a picture of him as a small child and compared it to when he was older and that had continued happening, though a little more rapidly since his fifteenth but this... this was unexplainable even if it had something to do with his hereditas.
He now stood around 5'9, while not tall nor was he short besides, he still had time to grow. His hair had remained the same near shoulder length and curled around his neck looking sexily tousled. His build had remained slight and he had lost his tan, making him ivory coloured and as pale as the Malfoys. His face, while still containing his mother's and father's features, had been refined to perfection and no longer did he have any flaws. He looked... Abnormally striking.
There is no possible way I can explain this, he mused to himself. Certainly not to the Dursleys.
He was rather sure he wouldn't be able to explain this new change to anyone at all. Hermione would dig for answers, certainly and when he had none to give she would look for them. Ron would likely just sit aside and try his best to fathom what was going on and would be the ever faithful friend, letting Harry do his thing and offering silent support whenever Harry needed it.
Gods did he need help.
Luckily, his clothes were still too big and so he had no difficulties with them. Changing into them, he slipped back into his room with a bucket of soapy water, a mop and many cleaning cloths, he set to work trying to get the blood from the room.
It was sometime after 12 when he emerged from his room, having gotten the majority of the blood from the walls, ceiling and floor. He had scrubbed his sheets and blankets but decided they were a lost cause. There was no way he could get all the blood out of those. It was just a waste of time.
His aunt obviously thought the same as she said nothing when he brought them downstairs to be disposed of.
"Eat something," she said stiffly. "I hear that you'll need it."
Puzzled, Harry glanced at her questioningly.
"I was informed that a... change might happen on your birthday," she informed him and quickly strolled away, not looking at him once. Which may have been all for the best considering she had been holding her favourite vase.
Complying, Harry quickly threw together a sandwich, grabbed a glass of juice and ran back up the stairs to his room.
It still stank of blood and he couldn't rid the smell of it from the room or his nose, despite leaving the windows open wide and spraying with air freshener. The combined odour was far worse than the original stink.
It was while chewing on his sandwich that he noticed the multi-coloured wrapping of Dudley's gift and remembered he still hadn't opened his birthday presents. He set his food and glass aside and pulled his presents out.
How they had managed to avoid one spatter of blood, was beyond Harry. Choosing to open Dudley's present first, Harry careful peeled back the two different wrappings and was surprised to find an ornamental dagger. It was small, slender with an ebony and silver hilt. A faux emerald capped the end. The blade itself appeared to be of two different mentals. The upper half a sharp, reflective silver while the bottom was a dull, almost purple shade.
Harry rewrapped it carefully, for no other reason than if his aunt or uncle saw it that's think he was about to commit a ritual murder or something.
From Hermione he received a few different books on advanced defensive spells as well as offensive and a small photo album she had compiled of all their year mates since they were first years. There were also letters from their school mates wishing him a happy sixteenth. The album itself was a red-brown with golden borders, and the words on it's spine. 'Memories'.
Ron had gotten Harry Chocolate Frogs and Berty Botts' Every Flavor Beans as well as a subscription for Quidditch Weekly, something which must have cost him an arm and a leg.
The twins and Ginny sent a large sample of the newest products from Weasley Wizard Wheezes and the Weasley family in general sent Harry a large care package, followed by the yearly jumper of crimson and gold wool. Hagrid sent Harry some rock cakes and a small moke pouch, which prevented anyone but the wearer to know it was there, and Remus gave Harry a book on magical creatures as well as the Black family signet ring and a note saying that Sirius had intended to give it to Harry himself on his sixteenth.
It was while Harry sat staring glumly at the Black heir's ring that he saw the black envelope he had received. Looking at it pensively, he grabbed it and tore the blood-red seal open. Vaguely noting the dragon it bore, he pulled the thick cream parchment out and began to read.
Happy sixteenth! I hope this letter finds you well and not in too much pain after your hereditas. I am sorry I could not be there with you personally for your transition, as it would have been much smoother for you.
I'm am also deeply regretful that until now I have not contact ed as it would also have helped you with your adjustment period. However, it was deemed the best that I stay away until it was a certainty that you would come into your rightful hereditas, and, as such has occurred, I would like to meet with you.
I dare not speak openly despite my faithful messenger, as we both know there are many eyes and ears that may intercept us, but what I must speak with you is of utmost importance. I know that you will not trust me easily, considering the events that surrounded your growing up, but if you can, would you be willing to meet me the evening of your birthday? I will arrive around eleven in the evening.
Until then, take care.
With love, your Aunt and Uncle.