Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and her licensees.

A/N: This story is H/Hr. If that is not the ship you sail, abandon ship and find another captain. Also, I don't particularly like Ron or Mrs. Weasley and this story reflects that. There is slight bashing, but mostly comeuppance

Chapter 12

"Happy Birthday, Master Harry Potter sir," said the voice to the left of Harry's ear.

Hearing someone speaking, Hermione opened her eyes and blinked. With a yelp, she pulled the bedding up to cover herself and then looked at the elf standing beside the bed bouncing on the balls of his feet. The intruder seemed to be oblivious to both the hour and the other occupants' state of undress.

Harry reached over to the bedside table and found his glasses. He put them on then looked over and said, "Um, thanks Dobby and just Harry. Er, so, um, not to be rude, but why are you here?" Thinking that Dobby might interpret the question badly, Harry quickly added, "And you are forbidden to hurt yourself."

Looking back at the two humans on the bed, Dobby quickly said, "Master Harry Potter sir, asked Dobby to come serve him on his birthday. It is being Dobby's greatest honor."

With a glance at the clock on the bedside table he saw that it was only half past seven. Scrubbing his face, Harry said, "Why don't you give us a bit to clean up and then we'll head down."

"Serve you?" Hermione asked after Dobby popped away.

Harry shrugged and slipped out of bed. "Obviously that was not why I invited him this morning, but you heard him, it's his greatest honor. I can't not let him do it."

With a resigned look Hermione said, "I'd tell you to find out when his birthday is so you can serve him, but a better gift would be the opposite." She looked at the clock again and half whinged, "Harry, it's still early. I thought we were having a lie in today."

"Tonks and Remus are coming over at eight. Do you really want to put up with her teasing?"

"Say no more, she's worse than Mum. Besides, Fred and George are here. I'm not sure we want them to get in on the act." Grumbling to herself, Hermione stood and stumbled toward the shower. "Happy birthday, Harry."

The pair made it downstairs just after eight to find everyone else already sitting at the kitchen table. With an acknowledgement to everyone's birthday wishes, Harry sat down and took Hermione's hand in his.

"So, Harrikins, how does it feel now to know…" began Fred.

"…that you can do magic like a big boy?" continued George.

With a grin Harry said, "Considering that I've been doing it since Richard found the spell that turned this place into a magical vacuum, no different than yesterday."

"Just a word of advice for you," said Fred ignoring Harry's earlier comment, "some things are still best done the Muggle way. To celebrate turning seventeen, Percy used magic to zip up his trousers. After an hour, Dad had to take him to St. Mungo's and the healer-"

McGonagall cut in quickly, "I do believe that we all get the idea Mr. Weasley."

Harry was trying to stop himself from laughing. "That was a visual picture I didn't need, but good information to have."

Tonks nodded. "It really does explain some things about his personality."

"Not really," said Fred.

"He was like that before," added George.

"Prick," muttered Fred.

Tonks guffawed, she was no longer able to contain herself. "Obviously not."

Heather grinned and looked over at her husband. "What about you, did you give that a go when you came of age?"

"Uh, no. I always thought the consequences of not getting that one right were a bit obvious, besides, I had an appointment later and someone might have been upset with me had I missed it," he replied.

Gwendolyn rolled her eyes at her parents' and informed those with confused looks on their faces, "That is the day they got married."

"Wise man," said Fred.

"Wouldn't want her after me," added George.

"So," said Richard changing the subject and thankful that Alwyne was in the garden trying to determine whether they had Knarls or hedgehogs. "There is an interesting article on the front page of the Prophet." He set it on the table in front of Harry and Hermione.

Harry watched Hermione scan the article and roll her eyes. "What does it say?" he asked.

"Since Rita has developed a close personal relationship with you over the years, stemming from how you confided in her about your parents during the tournament and again when she was the only one willing to listen to you your fifth year, she was honored and humbled to write the article announcing you are fated. She goes on to say how she was correct fourth year, and a bit here and there about our relationship." Hermione read a bit further then scoffed. "She says here that she has been invited to the wedding and will happily provide her faithful readers with all of the details of the ceremony. I guess I should be glad that she didn't go off on me."

"That's because she's still afraid of you. She'll be waiting a while if she expects to be invited to the wedding considering that we're already married," said Harry. "I don't understand how something like this gets on the front page."

"Are you going to ring a reporter and refute her statements? There's not one at that entire paper that is honest," said Gwendolyn. "I looked. The only reporter that wasn't involved in that rubbish from a couple years back was Xeno Lovegood, so I dropped off your statement at the Quibbler office this morning.

"They needed something to sell papers and I don't see them being able to follow the Sun's lead," stated Richard.

"What did the Sun do?" asked Hamish.

Heather rolled her eyes and said, "Topless girls on page three."

"Why do we still take the Financial Times then?" he said with a grin knowing they were very different papers.

Heather smiled at him sweetly all the while keeping his attention diverted from the wet sponge that was floating over from the sink. When all of a sudden she made a wringing motion with her hands and it dripped wet soapy water all over his head.

"HEATHER! That was cold!"

"What is the Sun?" asked McGonagall clearly not wanting to get involved with whatever her children were doing.

"Muggle newspaper sometimes, tabloid others. Not that different than the Prophet really. They had a low circulation so a bit back, decided to come up with a gimmick. On the third page is the topless photo of the day. Needless to say the male readers and a certain percentage of the female population who is in to that sort of thing, is quite knowledgeable about current events," said Richard.

"Aunt Petunia refused to allow the Sun into the house, but Uncle Vernon sent Dudley down to the newsagents to pick him up one every day," said Harry shrugging.

"You buy those magazines for Fred and George, Mum, what's the difference?" asked Hermione.

Heather sighed, "It isn't exactly the same thing." Hamish looked at her and grinned while her eyes narrowed and the look she seemed to have inherited from her mother, the same look that petrified Hogwarts students for nearly half a century was looking at him. Instead of stutter and comply like the children, he merely smirked at her. Heather just shook her head and said, "You are going to need to start taking the Sun, because that is as close as you are going to get for a long time."

Luckily for everyone Winky ushered Alwyne to the table then served breakfast, allowing Dobby to place a large plate of Belgian waffles with cream and fresh cut fruit in front of Harry. The little elf stood at Harry's elbow bouncing on the balls of his feet in anticipation of his master needing something from him.

"This is great, Dobby, thanks."

"It is being Dobby's pleasure to be serving Master Harry Potter sir on his birthday," the little elf exclaimed.

"Er, just Harry, Dobby," he replied.

Halfway through the meal, Hermione asked, "What about Percy? I mean from last night and not his, eh, accident."

"You need a bit of background first," said Remus. "Delores was a bit upset when she went to file herself as Harry's guardian and he already had one. She contested it on several grounds but it wouldn't magically permit itself to be altered. Figuring that it was some sort of deal set up by Dumbledore, she reckoned that Harry might not know and of course since Muggles are stupid and ignorant, she and her new lap puppy went and paid a visit to Privet Drive. She pounded on the door for a while and was contemplating Apparating in, but was unsure of the wards. Eventually, whomever Arabella put on things as watchdog put her nose over the hedgerow and told them that the family had gone on holiday to Ireland for the remainder of the summer and wouldn't be back until a few days before the boys were due back to school."

"Percy-," started Tonks.

"You know it was one thing when he didn't believe that he was back, but now to be assisting her? Power hungry git," said Harry.

Remus nodded, and then continued, "Yes, well Percy didn't think that sounded right. After all he is aware of how the relatives treat you so he asked if you had gone along and the woman didn't know, but you'd all left together."

Tonks picked it up from there. "So they got Dawlish to investigate a bit. He learned that you bought some clothes from Madam Malkin's and talked about being excited about going to Ireland. That same night, I was in Hogsmeade getting some information from Hagrid when Dawlish came in. I stepped away and reckoned I'd listen in, see if we needed a bit more damage control. He came up to Hagrid and asked if he'd seen or heard from you since you left school and Hagrid told Dawlish that your relatives agreed to allow you to go on holiday with them if you paid for your own room, meals, and didn't acknowledge that you knew them. There is also a record at Gringotts of you entering the bank, making a withdrawal, and converting most of the gold to punts."

"That was Richard's idea," interjected Gwendolyn. "He mentioned it on our way out that it might be a good way to further the Ministry belief that Harry is on holiday in Ireland with his family. Mum's friend told him that he was clever for a human and said he'd have it done."

Heather looked at him proudly and said, "Very nice sweetie. I wonder if anyone thought it odd that the goblins were being so helpful."

Hamish chuckled and said, "Are you kidding, Dawlish went in there and was probably convinced that it was his role as superior being that they cowed down to and produced the information. Nice job son, very nice."

"Are they looking for Gwendolyn yet?" asked Hermione.

Tonks rolled her eyes and said, "Why, I don't know, but so far all their efforts have been at locating Harry and not trying to figure out just who this guardian is. It's all pointless now since he's of age."

"The only real concern I've had is that they will come after Mum," said Heather.

"I'll be fine, Heather, I need to be there to protect the children. If things get too bad, there are places in the castle I can hide and I am sure that Dobby would be willing to help me escape a touchy situation if necessary." The elf beamed and puffed his little chest out proudly at the thought of such responsibility.

Tonks started laughing. "I forgot to tell you," she snorted again and it took several minutes to get her calmed down enough that she was able to tell them what was so funny. "According to Hagrid, Delores arrived at school right after she'd been voted in by the Board of Governors, marched up to the gargoyle in front of the heads office, and insisted that it step aside and allow her access. It didn't move. She pulled her wand and tried to curse it, hex it, and even tried to blast it apart and the spell rebounded and hit her. Percy was with her so he was able to revive her. That was about when she threw a right tantrum there in the middle of the corridor."

Harry chuckled and said, "She did it last time too."

"It's too bad that Dumbledore rescued her from the centaurs," said Hermione.

With a rare grin, McGonagall said, "She's set up her office in one of the larger classrooms. This was of course after Filch attempted to get in using all of the passwords he knows. That was when I was called in since, after all, I'd been able to access the office. I calmly informed Delores that the deputy headmaster or headmistress may only enter in the absence of the appointed headmaster and as soon as it was magically decreed that she was in charge of the school, all access to the room had been denied, which was unfortunate as I'd left some lesson plans on the desk and would be grateful if, when she does manage to gain access, she'd retrieve them for me."

"That is almost Slytherin of you, Professor," said Harry.

"I'll choose to take that as a compliment, Potter," she replied with a slight grin.

"When did cunning and having ambition become synonymous with evil?" asked Hamish with a frown. "Back when we were in school, most of the Slytherins weren't bad people, just more willing to work in the gray area than say a Hufflepuff."

"There is nothing wrong with being a Hufflepuff," said Tonks somewhat indignantly. "We are a proud house and are very loyal."

"You were a Hufflepuff?" said Harry in surprise. Tonks nodded. "I didn't know that. I don't know what I thought actually."

Tonks looked at him knowingly. "There's nothing wrong with being from outside Gryffindor, Harry."

"I know," said Harry. "We had friends that were in other houses. Luna is a very good friend and she's in Ravenclaw."

"And you dated that pretty Ravenclaw Seeker, Cho Chang, there for a while didn't you, Harry?" said Remus unhelpfully.

Hermione smirked and said, "Yes and he took Luna to Slughorn's Christmas party this year. Harry has a thing for Ravenclaw girls."

Heather started laughing at the double meaning of Hermione's joke and Hamish chuckled. Figuring he'd help the boy he said, "There is nothing wrong with fancying an intelligent woman, son."

"So, what would have happened if Umbridge and Percy had tried to Apparate into Harry's relative's house," asked George.

"Middle of the Channel," replied Heather. "I hope that she can swim. One of them will eventually not be thinking and go for a little dip. Arabella's place too."

Tonks snorted, "I'd pay a lot of gold to see that woman bobbing up and down in the Channel."

"When did you do that?" asked Hermione.

"The night we dropped the two of you off," she replied. "We already knew that we weren't permitted to Apparate in, but that wasn't going to stop someone from the Ministry. I was just going to send everyone to central London, but Remus suggested something that would make a bit more of an impression."

Deciding that she'd been patient long enough, after all there was a pile of brightly wrapped gifts taunting her and who knew what goodies were inside, Alwyne asked, "Uncle Harry, are you going to open your presents?" He looked at her and smiled.

Remus smiled and nudged the pile of gifts toward Harry. "Go on, you only come of age once."

Harry grinned and picked up the gift on top. "Bill and Fleur?" asked Harry looking at the twins.

"We stopped off at the shop last night on our way here to send out your birthday invites and there was an owl from Bill asking, if we were to see you before the party, to drop off his gift, he thought it might be awkward later in front of Mum," answer George.

Harry tore into the paper and found a magical razor. "Cool."

"We each got one when we came of age, that's a good gift," said Fred. "Just be specific."

"He gave one to Ron too," chuckled Harry. "He didn't heed Neville's warning and the first time he used it he ended up shaving off his eyebrows and at least half his hair. Had to regrow it before breakfast."

"I'm sorry I missed that," said Hermione.

Harry leaned over and kissed her, "What'll you give me for a copy of the memory?"

With a calculating gleam, she leaned in and whispered something in Harry's ear. "Right then. I'll keep that in mind."

"What'd she offer, Harry?" asked Tonks waggling her eyebrows.

With a dramatic swallow, Harry said, "Nothing, she just reminded me that we're bonded, and since I was thinking about what happened, she could see it, then there was something about extortion and the little couch in our sitting room."

Everyone at the table chuckled. Harry then continued on with his pile of gifts. There was a lurid pair of mismatched socks from Dobby, Wheezes from the twins, dragon hide gloves from Charlie, assorted Muggle clothes from Gwendolyn, Alwyne, and Richard, and a box of Chocolate Frogs from McGonagall.

With a wink at the little girl who has been waiting patiently all throughout breakfast, he took a couple Chocolate Frogs out of the box and slipped them to her. She'd been excited the week before; she opened her frog to find her very own Harry Potter card. She'd even told him to autograph it for her.

When Harry reached for one of the two remaining packages, Heather put her hand on his and said, "Ours next and then I think that we need to explain something to you."

"Er, all right," said Harry a bit confused. He opened the gift to reveal a new watch. Harry instantly slipped it onto his wrist. "Thanks, I needed this. I haven't had one since I went swimming in the lake fourth year."

"That is a magical watch, they are a bit more sturdy than Muggle watches," supplied Hamish.

Heather pulled a chair and sat next to Harry. "When I wizard comes of age, it is tradition for his parents to give him a watch. One that will last him a lifetime," explained Heather. "The one that Hamish is wearing, I took off of him before… well it is the one that Mum gave him when he came of age. Anyway, it has your initials and today's date engraved onto the back."

"Heather came to see me last week, she wanted to talk to me about your birthday gift," said Remus. "I think wanting to make sure that she wasn't stepping on anyone's toes as far as your gift goes." Heather nodded at him. "There is no prouder moment for a wizard's parents than to give him his watch. No one could ever replace Lily and James, or Sirius and none of us want to, but it was important to all of us that you receive your watch. Luckily, we had a solution and I think the way we worked it out was very appropriate."

Harry took the last box, a plain one with a ribbon and opened it. Inside was a second watch, but unlike the pristine one that he'd received from Hermione's parents, this one had been worn. "Was this yours Moony?"

Remus just shook his head and turned it over.

"JCP 27 Mar 1977," whispered Harry. He ran his fingers over the engraving. "Do you know what his middle name was?"

"Camden," replied Remus. "James Camden Potter, which was your grandfather's first name."

Harry looked up at Hermione and blinked back tears. "Thank you Remus," she said for him as she pulled Harry into a hug. "Thank you for keeping it safe all of these years."

The rest of the day was far less somber. After her parents left to get things organized and to head over to the Burrow, Harry and Hermione went out on a picnic.

Shortly after they returned, Gwendolyn walked up to her sister and picked a dried leaf out of her hair. "Did you have a good time?" Seeing her sister blush, Gwendolyn chuckled and said, "You know Mum would use something like this to torment you for a while. Be more careful. Now go on and get cleaned up. By the time you are ready, it'll be time for us to leaf." With a wink, she headed up the stairs leaving her younger sister cringing at the pun.