Disclaimer: Still don't own any of the HP Characters mentioned in this story. I still claim ownership of the Goddess Miranda.
Hermione wakes up from a nightmare about her time at Malfoy Manor, while comforting her, Harry has an idea about having small Goblin made knives made. Hagrid gives them Mokeskin pouches like he gave Harry on his seventeenth birthday. On the train Hermione offers a cure for Marietta Edgecombe in exchange for not bullying and protecting Luna. Ginny's plans are thwarted and her potion gifts are destroyed by an 'accident' from Neville's plant. On the platform Harry is introduced to the Grangers and Madam Bones requests Harry and Hermione come to the Ministry to answer questions while revealing that she knows about their marriage.
June 24th 1996 Continued
It was the smell, Hermione realized as she sat in the back seat of the 1992 Mercedes 190 E as her father navigated the streets of London away from Kings Cross. The leather seats had a distinctive smell that brought back memories. The first time she'd ridden in the car was on her way home from her first year at Hogwarts. The car had been almost new then and the smell had been much more defined. She remembered that ride very clearly. She'd talked nonstop as she recounted all the things that just couldn't be described in a letter. She still wondered if her parents believed her as she described trolls and a three-headed giant dog. She did know they had been disappointed that she hadn't been able to demonstrate the incredible magic she'd learned to do. All she could do was describe it to them. "All this time and they've never seen me do real magic," She thought. Then she remembered that she had shown them magic. It was right after she'd ridden in this very car the last time, a little more than a year in the past to her. She remembered the astonishment of her parents as they watched her perform several magical feats. Then she recalled the last bit of magic she'd done for them, removing their memories. "Ironic," She thought sadly as she watched the other cars out the window. She closed her eyes and forced those memories aside. "Harry's right," She mused. "They are but a dream, something that I remember but that never really happened. I'm sixteen again and mum and dad are in the front seat with their memories intact," She instinctively opened her eyes and looked toward the front of the car only to see her mother looking back at her.
"So dear, how was your year?" Jean asked. Hermione could tell it wasn't really her year that she really wanted to ask about. "At least now we know why your letters seemed to be less detailed. Was Harry also the reason you missed Christmas?"
The memories of that Christmas came flooding back to Hermione. Waking up to discover that Harry and the Weasleys were gone; the explanation from Dumbledore, lying to her parents about needing to stay at Hogwarts to study, the trip on the Knight Bus to Grimmauld Place, St. Mungos, Mr. Weasley... She shook her head slightly to clear it before answering. "Harry's not the reason for the letters and he wasn't my boyfriend at Christmas, as for the year, well..." One of her favorite lines came to mind and it seemed fitting for an answer to how her year had been. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
"And of wisdom and foolishness?" Her mother asked. "Well at least you're not forgetting your literature. So what were these reasons? We need a little more elaboration than best and worst of times. Let's start with testing; how did they go, what are they called again?"
"OWLs Mum; Ordinary Wizarding Levels," Hermione replied. "I'm confident I did well, but I won't get the results for a few weeks."
"That's good," Jean replied. "So what else have you been up to this year? What besides OWLs constitutes the worst of times?"
"What I want to know," Mr. Granger interjected, "is why we need that magical protection around our house. You didn't really say why it was necessary and your Headmaster wasn't forthcoming about it either."
Hermione sighed as she grouped her thoughts. Last time she'd told them everything; she really couldn't help it since she was required to take ten potions a day because of the curse she had suffered. She considered not telling them but as her eyes met her mother's again she remembered the vacant look that had been in those eyes right after she'd taken their memories.
"What is it?" Harry asked. "I can feel your sadness, something wrong?"
"No, just being with my parents is reminding me..."
"IT didn't happen, will not happen," Harry said emphatically. "You have to move past that love or you'll never find the peace you need."
"I wish you were here," Hermione said. "I really could use a hug right now."
Harry sent the mental image of the sunrise from that morning to Hermione. "I am there in your heart. I love you."
"I love you too," She replied before steeling herself for what she needed to say. She took a deep breath and let it out. Finally Hermione started. "The tests were fine, definitely not the worst of times. It...it was a lot of other things that made the year bad. There are a lot of things connected so let me start from last summer," Hermione took another deep breath before continuing. "Last summer after I left to go to Harry's Godfather's house, Harry was attacked by Dementors..." She went on to describe the highlights of her fifth year as best as she could remember including Harry's trial, returning to Hogwarts and Umbridge. She described why she really had stayed at Christmas as only Ron and Ginny' s father had been attacked. She told her parents about Ministry's attack on Harry and everything else that happened. "That's why I stopped writing descriptive letters, we found out the Ministry or at least Umbridge was reading our mail," Her mother gasped when she told of Umbridge being arrested and what she eventually confessed to. Then Hermione made it to the events of the previous week. She reached into her school bag and took out the Daily Prophet from the day after the Ministry events and the Quibbler story.
"Last week..." She paused before she continued with the lie that really wasn't a lie, "Last week we, I mean Harry was tricked by Voldemort into going to the Ministry. He thought his godfather was being held prisoner there by Voldemort. When we got there, there were twelve of Voldemort's supporters, Death Eaters, you remember me telling you that's what they were called," Her mother, who had grown pale nodded. "They were there waiting. It was a trap."
Her mother gasped again and she'd already noticed her father had adjusted the rear view mirror to look at her. "What do you mean a trap?" He asked. "What happened?"
"They wanted something," Hermione explained. "Something only Harry could give them. We fought them," Hermione handed her mother the newspaper and magazine. "We...we won. Read those and you'll see what happened. The Quibbler is best."
Jean's gaze remained on her daughter for a few moments before she turned her attention to the magazine. At her husband's request she read it out loud. When she finished, she then read the newspaper. At times she'd look incredulously at her daughter.
"And where were the Wizard police or whatever they're called?" Her father asked when his wife had finished. "Or this Headmaster of yours? I thought after all of the stuff in your second year you were supposed to be safe."
Of course her mother and father didn't really know the truth about her second year. Hermione had only told them that she'd been attacked and had to spend several days under medical care. She'd been afraid that had she told them the whole truth about some of the things that happened at Hogwarts, they would have prevented her from returning. Now Hermione considered how to answer her father. He'd asked similar questions the last time but not as argumentative. They'd been more concerned about her well-being then since she'd had such a close call. Finally she explained. "Remember that I'd said Harry had been persecuted by the Ministry and though it had gotten better, he wasn't willing to take the chance no one would believe him."
"So he dragged you off on some crazy scheme?" Mr. Granger asked angrily. "It sounds like you could have been killed."
"He didn't drag me," She retorted as she thought of the previous time and remembered saying the same thing. "He wanted us to stay behind, but I...I mean we weren't going to let him go alone."
Mr. Granger was going to say something else, but Hermione notice her mother laid her hand on his arm. "Dear," she said softly to him, "it's already happened and we can't change it."
"I don't like it," Richard said. "It sounds like that boy has dragged our girl into the middle of a war."
Hermione gave a sad laugh. "It is a war Dad, and yes I am in the middle of it, but I am muggleborn so I'd be targeted anyway. If you knew you were a target would you prefer to be actively fighting or just sitting and waiting for something to happen?"
"You're only sixteen years old and have no business fighting anyone," Her father argued.
"We aren't planning on looking for people to fight," Hermione explained. "But Voldemort is targeting Harry and as long as Harry is in danger then I am too."
"So it's the boy's fault?" Mr. Granger asked. "Maybe we need to take you out of that school. Keep you away from that boy."
Hermione's eyes widened. She hadn't expected that. Her father definitely didn't suggest it last time. "No…no you can't," Hermione replied finally.
"We're your parents Hermione," Her father said. "If we have to do something like that to keep you away from that boy and danger we'll do it."
"Harry isn't 'that boy' Dad, he...he's my boyfriend and I love him," she admitted as she glared at her parents.
"Dear," Her mother said gently, "I know it might seem so, first crushes can seem like it, but love..."
"This isn't a crush," Hermione replied firmly, "and you will not keep me from returning to Hogwarts."
"Young lady," Richard started with an edge to his voice, "you are still our daughter and as such you will listen to us."
"You're forgetting one thing," Hermione said.
"What would that be?"
"I'm also a witch," Hermione replied. "I'll see you at home," She grabbed her bag and turned slightly in her seat; with a crack she disappeared.
"HERMIONE!" Her mother yelled as the front door of their home flew open thirty minutes later. "HERMIONE! ARE YOU HERE?"
"Yes mum," Hermione replied trying to act calm. She was sitting in the den with a book in her hand but still hadn't read a single word.
"Richard," Jean called to her husband as she entered the den. "She's in here," She turned to her daughter. "What did you think you were doing?"
"It's called apparition mum," Hermione replied as she set her book down and looked at her mother. "It's one of the ways witches and wizards can travel."
"You...you had us worried," Jean Granger said as she obviously tried to settle herself. "I mean you just disappeared."
"I know," Hermione replied. "I'm sorry, but..."
By then her father had also joined them. "What was the meaning of that young lady?" He asked irritably.
"I didn't want to argue," Hermione stated honestly. "But we do need to talk. I know you are concerned about me. I know you think you're doing the right thing, but I am not twelve. I will gladly discuss this with you but you must understand that in three months I will be seventeen which is the legal age in the magical world. In the meantime, if I need to, I can always go live with Sirius until then."
Jean looked at her husband and the gaze that passed between them spoke volumes as any look between people who've been married over twenty years tended to do. Then she turned back to her daughter and sighed. "No, you're definitely not twelve. In fact we're not sure if you ever were twelve," She and her husband took a seat on the couch across from Hermione. "You've always been older than your years and now even more so."
Hermione nodded. "Now there'll be no more talk about me not returning to Hogwarts and dad, you'll not refer to Harry as 'that boy'."
"How would you pay for it?" Mr. Granger asked as he grasped for anything to argue with. "School I mean."
"Harry would pay for it," Hermione replied with a shrug. "In fact he'll probably insist on paying anyway."
"That b... I mean how?" Mr. Granger asked. "He can't even afford a decent set of clothes."
Hermione smiled. "You are judging a book by its cover dad and should know better," She paused as she spoke to her husband. "Harry I would like to tell my parents a little about your childhood, unfortunately my father is judging my boyfriend by how he looked."
"I trust you, but I don't want their pity."
"Respect is what they will give you," Hermione replied before answering her father. "I told you how Harry lost his parents when he was a baby and the whole boy-who-lived thing."
"He was sent to live with his aunt and uncle; two people who really hate magic. For eleven years he was..." She paused to find the right word and finally settled on, "mistreated. While his cousin received mountains of gifts every year for his birthday and Christmas, Harry received nothing. Even his clothes are his cousin's hand-me-downs. He was never allowed to go anywhere or do anything a child normally does," Hermione took a moment as the surge of memories from Harry's childhood Miranda had given her welled up. "He...he suffered as no child should ever suffer from anyone."
A softness in her mother's eyes told Hermione that she understood what she was trying to say, but her father persisted. "What does this have to do with paying for you school?"
"When Harry joined the magical world he found out about his parents and also found out they left him a small fortune."
"Fortune?" Mr. Granger asked. "So why is he dressed like a vagabond."
"Isn't it obvious Richard," Jean replied to her husband. "He's hiding the money from his relatives so they don't try to take it."
"Exactly, but it's no longer a problem," Hermione said. "His godfather is now his guardian. These are the last couple of days he'll wear those clothes. In fact I'm hoping that we can take him shopping for new clothes," At the look her father was giving she continued. "Dad please just give him a chance. Harry is the kindest person you could ever ask for."
"But..." Her father started but found no words.
"Dear, just how serious is your relationship with the young man?" Jean asked as she repeated the same question she'd ask at King's Cross. "You're only sixteen."
"Actually eighteen, almost nineteen, but you can't know that," Hermione thought. She knew what her mother was thinking; she'd said it in the car. Her mother believed it was only a crush, a school romance. She glanced down at her ring as she ran her thumb over it. Then she looked back at her mother. "I'm sure you know this is a promise ring," She explained. "When Harry put it on my finger he promised that I was his future and I've never known Harry to ever break a promise."
"Hermione.." Her mother started.
"Do not try to make me choose between you and Harry," This time tears had come into Hermione's eyes. "Because though I love both of you dearly, Harry is my future as well."
"Dear," Her mother said, "First love is always a precious thing, but they rarely last. Your father and I, we just don't want you to get hurt," She got up from beside her husband and sat down next to her daughter and put her arm around her. "It's obvious you have your mind made up. It is also obvious that you are going to do what you want and there is very little we can do to stop you, but always know we're here for you," She looked at her husband with a glare that made it perfectly clear he was going to say something as well.
"Yes...well, I'll give the b-, I mean the young man a chance," Richard added grumpily. "Will he be visiting or are you planning on leaving us again this summer as well?"
The tone and words from her father made Hermione gaze sharply at him. It wasn't one he'd said the last time, but then she realized what the issue was. Her parents missed her. She spent nine or ten months of the year away at school and then last summer she'd left for Grimmauld place fairly early and didn't spend Christmas with them. In the last two years, she'd spent less than a month with her parents. She smiled as she wiped the tears away on her sleeve. "Harry wanted me to spend time with you this year," She said. "He knew I hadn't been and it was his idea."
"What idea?" Jean Granger asked.
"Well obviously we want to spend as much time together as possible, but as I said, he wanted me to spend time with you too. Winky, Dobby," Hermione called to thin air and immediately two cracks were heard as the two elves appeared.
Hermione parents jumped to their feet instantly in shock as the small large-eared, large-eyed creatures appeared out of thin air. It was one thing to watch their daughter disappear but entirely another to see something or two things appear from nowhere.
"Mum, Dad, this is Winky and Dobby. They are house elves," She said in introduction. "Winky, Dobby this is Richard and Jean Granger, my parents."
"Winky is happy to meet Mistress Hermione's parents," Winky said excitedly. "Can Winky work here while Mistress is away from Hogwarts?"
"Dobby is happy to meet Mistress Hermione's parents as well," Dobby said.
"Uh...nice to meet you," Jean replied. "Hermione? Are these the...the," she wasn't sure what to call them, "beings you were fretting about last summer?"
"Yes, but I was wrong...but we can discuss that later," She replied to her mother before turning to Winky. "Yes, as long as you aren't missed from Hogwarts you may work here. You can ask my parents if they have any chores they need accomplished."
"Chores?" Jean parroted.
"They like to work mum, if you need anything cleaned or work done, they'll do them for you," Hermione said. "But whatever you do, don't try to give them clothes or pay them."
"But…but I thought you said..."
"As I said, I was wrong. I still don't really understand it, but I know I was wrong."
"Well okay, I guess," Jean Granger said hesitantly.
"Now where can we put a fairly large piece of furniture? About this size," Hermione held out her hands to show the size of the vanishing cabinet.
"It's going to allow Harry to visit me and for me to visit him," Hermione explained. "As I said it was his idea, this way I can spend my whole summer here with you and still spend time with him."
Hermione explained about the cabinets and how they worked.
"This cabinet just lets you travel between one and the other?" Her father asked suspiciously. "Did Harry suggest you put it in your bedroom?"
Hermione glared at her father before answering. "No he didn't, but thank you, that's an excellent idea. I'll get the larger bookshelf moved and it'll fit there."
"Hermione..." Her mother started.
"I am not serious mother. I don't need to give dad any more reasons to not like Harry," She turned on her father. "Dad, again I ask you to give Harry a chance."
When the glare from his wife joined the glare from his daughter, Richard held up his hands. "Fine," He said.
It was decided to put the cabinet in the garage. Though it was connected to the house, Richard pointed out that the door would be locked and Harry could be let in when he knocked. Hermione didn't bother to tell him that Harry owned a knife that could open any door if he truly wanted to get in. Ten minutes later Winky and Dobby had the cabinet in a corner of the garage and it was covered by a large tarp.
"So how does it work?" Richard asked.
"Just have to get in it and close the door," Hermione explained. "You'll appear in the matching one."
Late in the evening as the sun was beginning to set, Jean Granger invited her daughter for a walk. They'd only made it down their street when she said. "I really only wanted to talk to you away from your dad."
"I know," Hermione replied.
Hermione shrugged. "I thought so."
"You know he loves you don't you? Your father I mean."
"It's difficult for a man to see his little girl turn into a young woman," Jean explained. "We've seen so little of you that I think he wants you to go back to being his little girl again," They turned onto another street. "The kiss at the train station didn't help."
"I know," Hermione replied. "I'm sorry; well not for the kiss but for not spending very much time with you."
"Are you really here for the whole summer?"
"I want to be mum," Hermione replied. "I've really missed you two."
"You missed a great skiing trip at Christmas."
"I'm sorry but..." Hermione shrugged.
"I understand. So tell me about your boyfriend. Tell me about your Harry," Jean prompted. "Tell me about that first kiss."
"It was magical mum," Hermione replied truthfully. "I can truthfully say a single kiss changed my life."
"That might be exaggerating but I know the feeling," Jean replied.
"If you only knew," Hermione thought with a smile as she remembered that first kiss with Harry.
They spent the next hour discussing Harry Potter. Hermione gave her mother the fictional version of them getting together right after the Quidditch match celebration. She described some of the things Harry had done including taking her to see the sunrise that very morning, though she didn't mention waking up in the bed with Harry right before that sunrise. By the time they'd returned to the street they lived on, the half moon was high in the night sky.
"Would you have really left?" Jean asked, stopping as they turned into the driveway. "Earlier I mean?"
"Yes mum. Though it would have broken my heart, I would have," Hermione replied after a few moments of contemplation. "I know you think this is just a school girl crush or a first love, but it isn't. I truly love Harry and I know he loves me. He is my future," She sighed as her eyes locked on her mother's. "I only want you and dad to get to know him, to give him a chance. I know you will love him as well. He never knew his own parents and the only other family he's really known is the Weasleys and with seven kids it's...it's overwhelming sometimes. I'd like him to experience a smaller loving family. I want him to experience my family, because someday..." she shrugged, "someday," She repeated. "If you and dad really want what is best for me, then understand what is best is Harry."
"Of course. From what you've told me, he seems nice enough," Mrs. Granger replied. "I'll make sure your father is fair. Just remember that you will always be his little girl and he wants to protect you."
"Then he should get along fine with Harry since Harry wants to protect me as well. Remember he has already saved my life," Hermione said. "How many eleven year old boys do you know would jump on the back of a twelve foot monster to save someone he didn't really know?"
"What do you mean twelve foot?" Jean Granger asked as she stopped and turned toward her daughter. "That troll thing from your first year? I don't remember you mentioning it being twelve foot. We thought you had exaggerated the danger."
"If I had told you would you've let me go back?"
"Probably not," Mrs. Granger admitted. "So there really was a three-headed dog as well? Was it twelve feet as well?"
"Yes there was, and it stood about as high as that hedge," Hermione said as she pointed to a neighbor's hedge line that rose above their heads. "His name was Fluffy."
Jean stared up at the top of hedge for several seconds before replying. "You definitely shouldn't tell your dad. He'd really fret about you being there, though with all of the things you say is going on, he's going to worry anyway."
"I can take care of myself and if I do need someone, Harry will be there."
"Again not much comfort for your father," Jean said with a small amount of laughter in her voice before turning serious. "Please be careful and write to us often when you go back to school. We really do miss you when you're gone."
"Actually Harry thought of that as well," Hermione replied. "He wants me to still be a part of your lives, he truly does. When we go back to school, he's going to have the other cabinet taken to Hogwarts so I can come see you whenever I want. You see, to him family is everything, something he's always wanted to have. You should have seen his eyes when the subject of children came up. He's going to be a wonderful father."
"Father? Children?" Jean asked. "Hermione are...are you sleeping with him?" The last part was in a very cautious voice.
Hermione studied her mother before deciding to tell her the truth. "I have slept in his bed, but we are not sexually active. I am still a virgin."
"Is he pressuring you though?" Jean asked.
"No, Harry would never do that," Hermione assured her mother, though from the return look she knew her mother wasn't assured. "Mum, we aren't planning on children tomorrow. It was just something that came up. In fact I've already told him that it should be a minimum of three years after we finish school before we think about children. Give us time to settle into our lives."
As Jean Granger studied her daughter in the light of the moon, stars and nearby street lights. she realized that Hermione was more of a young woman than her little girl who always acted older than she was. "I would like to schedule you an OB-GYN exam though and maybe... maybe you should consider going on birth control just in case."
"We have potions that are more reliable with no side effects," Hermione replied. "I need to brew some other potions this summer so I can brew that one as well. I'll be glad to see a doctor, but Harry and I have agreed we're not ready for that yet. I do understand though that it's better to be ready when eventually it does happen."
Jean Granger gave a small sigh of relief. As a dentist, she'd seen too many teenage mothers or soon-to-be mothers in her chair. "Don't mention it to your dad. I think he'd prefer if you waited until you were thirty or at least married."
"I did mum, I did wait until I was married and I'm still waiting," Hermione thought. "We won't rush into it mum. When it does happen, we'll both be ready."
Mrs. Granger smiled. "I'm sure you will. Now you were saying you'd like to take your boyfriend shopping?"
"Yes, the sooner the better," Hermione replied. "We have to go to the Ministry of..." She stopped as a yawn came suddenly, "sorry, it's been a long day. We have to go to the Ministry of Magic tomorrow, but maybe tomorrow evening," She had a hopeful look on her face.
"We can make that work. Does Harry understand what it means to go shopping?" Jean asked her daughter. "Especially for a whole wardrobe with two women?"
"Probably not," Hermione replied.
"Then you better not tell him or you'll never get him to go," Mrs. Granger smirked.
"It wouldn't matter to him."
"A teenage boy not minding shopping for clothes?" Jean asked in surprise. "This I have to see."
When they finally made it into the house, Hermione turned to her mother and said. "I'm going to go pop over and give Harry a good night kiss and then turn in. As I said, it was a long day."
*** E E ***
Harry left King's Cross in the company of Sirius, Remus, Tonks and the Weasleys. Just as they'd walked to the station at the beginning of their fifth year, they walked back now. Harry could see the others were constantly looking around as if waiting for an attack. His hand never left the pocket where his wand was located. He wasn't surprised to find other members of the Order along the way. The first he saw was Mad-Eye Moody. He had a bowler hat pulled down over his magical eye and was leaning against a wall. Harry was positive that the eye was busy watching everything around them. He remembered that eye being in Umbridge's office, and he also remembered the Ex-Auror's death. A death that should never have happened. "Well I hope the Dursleys and Chuckles enjoy Australia," He thought as he wondered if Dumbledore would actually do it.
"Hello Moody," Harry said as they passed. "Nice hat."
"Potter," Mad-eye replied gruffly. "Way to keep your eyes open."
Bill Weasley and Fleur were next. They were sitting on a bench chatting. Harry almost didn't recognize the eldest Weasley child without the scars he'd received from Greyback, but Fleur couldn't be mistaken for anyone else. With the long blonde hair and perfect skin, she radiated beauty. Several men almost walked into traffic because they were watching her. She was definitely beautiful Harry admitted as they drew closer to the bench. But for all of her beauty, Harry knew he'd never want her on his arm compared to Hermione. Remembering Ron's responses to the quarter Veela, Harry looked over at his old friend and smirked at the blank expression on Ron's face as he stared at Fleur.
As they came up to the bench, the two occupants rose. "Hello Bill," Harry said. He caught himself from mentioning something about Shell Cottage, a place that might not even exist yet. He then turned to his fiancée. "Fleur? Nice to see you again."
"Bonjour 'Arry," The beautiful French witch replied as she took Bill's arm. "Eet 'as been a while."
"Not as long as you think it has," Harry thought.
"We need to keep moving," Mrs. Weasley said in a tone strong in disapproval.
Harry shook Bill's hand and Fleur moved quickly to kiss him on each cheek.
"Better watch it," Sirius said with a smirk. "You might have an irate witch on your hands if you start kissing Harry. He's a claimed man."
"Vraiment? Qui? I mean who?" Fleur asked as she looked past Harry questioningly. Only seeing Ginny she raised an eyebrow in question at the youngest Weasley who was red in her face. "Ginny?"
Harry glanced at the youngest Weasley and saw a smile that slipped on her lips. He knew he needed to crush that thought immediately. "No, of course not. You know she's like a sister to me. Do you remember Hermione Granger? My friend who went with Victor Krum to the Yule Ball?"
"Oui, of course. Tres bon. You two are good for each uzzer," Fleur said. "But poor Gabrielle...my seester, you remember 'er?"
"Yes, of course," Harry replied. He remembered Fleur saying her sister had been talking about him.
"She's 'as such a crush on you, nozzing but 'Arry Potter all year," Fleur explained. "She 'as been so looking forward to seeing you again next year when...oh but you wouldn't know."
"Know what?" Harry replied feigning a questioning look.
"Bill and I are getting married...next summer."
Molly gave an emphatic throat clearing before announcing a bit too loud. "We need to keep moving. Dumbledore said we shouldn't be out very long," She started forward and took her eldest son by the arm and pulled him along.
Fleur started walking beside Harry and continued to talk. "It will be nice to see you zis summer. Bill and I will be staying with you and Sirius as well."
Even though he remembered them staying at the Burrow last time, Harry turned his head looked questioningly at Sirius who was following behind them.
"Dumbledore wants as many wands as he can get around," Sirius explained. "In this case I didn't see a reason to argue."
"Fair enough," Harry replied. "As long as everyone stays out of my way," He looked back at Fleur. "Married? That's great. I wish you and Bill all the best. I just hope it's not disturbed by Death Eaters this time."
Harry noticed Tonks walking as close as she could to Remus without being obvious. He also noticed her occasional glances at the man she wanted. Harry moved a bit closer to her and then intentionally put a foot in front of hers. As she stumbled, Lupin grabbed her instinctively to keep her from falling. It took her several seconds before she tried to free herself from his arms.
"Sorry," Tonks murmured to the werewolf.
"It wasn't a problem," Lupin replied.
Another ten minutes and they were at number twelve Grimmauld Place.
"I'll take this up to your room," Sirius said as he grabbed Harry's trunk.
"We need to put a bed in there for Ron as well," Mrs. Weasley said. "He..."
"No!" Harry replied forcefully. "Hasn't this already been discussed? Didn't Ron tell you?"
"Tell me what?" Molly Weasley asked as she looked at her son.
"That he and I are no longer friends. I was accused of 'stealing his girl'," Harry explained.
"I had my own girlfriend," Ron retorted, "until you had to go and have your girlfriend say something to Lavender. You just can't stand for anyone else to have anything, can you?"
"You prob...no," Harry stopped himself. "It's not worth trying to argue with you. Mrs. Weasley please understand that Ron is not welcome in my room," He turned and stomped up the steps with Sirius behind him.
Mrs. Weasley looked stunned as she glared at her children waiting for an explanation. Ron's face was a bright Weasley red.
"Stupid git," He muttered as he watched Harry go up the steps.
"RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY!" Harry could hear Molly's voice from up the steps but he didn't hear the rest of her tirade as he closed and locked his door behind him.
"Looking forward to a Dursley free summer?" Sirius asked.
"Definitely, but I'd even have stayed there if that would have been what it took to keep you alive," Harry replied.
"Yeah, I'm not a big fan of dying either, but don't ever feel guilty about that," Sirius said. "Now why did you trip Nymphy? Are you mad at her for some reason?"
"You noticed it?"
"I was right behind you, well actually right behind Fleur but don't tell her that," Sirius replied with a wink.
"Don't tell Bill you mean?"
"He IS one very lucky man," Sirius said. "If that's the way they grow them in France, I need to think about moving there."
"I think you SERIOUSLY need a date," Harry said. "Speaking of which, where's Buckbeak?"
"Ouch! I think I was just insulted," Sirius said to a wall before turning back to his godson. "He's still in his room, but Dumbledore said it should be okay to let him return to Hogwarts this week. He's going to let Hagrid know and coordinate for him to get back."
The mention of Hagrid made Harry think of the mokeskin pouches and what they wanted to put in them. "Do you know where I can get Goblin made daggers or knives?"
"How big?" Sirius asked. "There's a whole set of Goblin made knives in the kitchen."
"Really?" Harry exclaimed. "Real Goblin made?"
"Of course. Nothing but the best for my mother you know," Sirius grumbled. "Why?"
Harry explained what they wanted them for.
"That's not a bad idea. I think a couple of the small paring knives will work great for you," Sirius said. "They might be small but they're almost unbreakable. Now, you still haven't told me what's your beef with my cousin."
"I don't have a problem with her," Harry said. "There was something we didn't tell you about the future because of what you might say, but I think I have to tell you now because with you still around it might not happen the same way."
"Now you have me curious, I mean you said Tonks died like I did."
"She did. She died fighting alongside her husband," Harry explained. "They left a few month old son behind."
"Tonks got married?" Sirius asked and then realized what Harry was saying. "You mean Moony don't you?" When Harry nodded, Sirius left out a yell of laughter. "That old mangy wolf married into my family?"
"You can't say anything," Harry implored. "Well you can but not like that. If I understood it correctly, Tonks is already in love with Moony at this time and he likes her too, but he doesn't believe he's good enough for her. He thinks it would hurt her to be associated with a werewolf."
"But they got together?"
"Yeah after Dumbledore died, they got married sometime before Fleur and Bill."
Sirius smiled. "Well good for the man and he had a son as well huh?" He got a twinkle in his eye that could rival Dumbledore. "I guess I'll see if I can't hurry it up some this time."
"Just don't mess it up," Harry said. "I know there are no guarantees but Moony and Tonks were happy. They even made me Teddy's godfather."
"Teddy?" Sirius asked. "After Tonks' father?"
"Yeah, he died as well."
"If I can help it, they'll have their happiness," Sirius said determinedly. "Merlin knows that man needs something good in his life. Does anyone else know?"
"Hermione of course, but I don't…wait Mrs. Weasley might," Harry said. "Not the future of course, but the night I went to the Burrow last go round, she and Tonks were talking when I got there. Tonks was sad and though at the time I thought it was over you dying, I'm pretty sure it was because of Moony."
"I'll see what Molly knows," Sirius said. "Might take her mind off of Fleur. Talk about someone she doesn't like. They've only been here a couple of days, mostly Fleur since Bill's been working long hours, but it's obvious the Molly doesn't like the goddess."
"Wished there was a way to fix that easily, but last time it took Bill being mauled by Greyback for Mrs. Weasley to find out that Fleur really does love Bill."
"I think if I were Bill, I'd take not being mauled. Molly will eventually come around. It might take a bit longer, but you never know."
"I agree," Harry replied.
"So what did Amelia want earlier?"
"Oh, she wants us to come to the Ministry tomorrow. More questions."
"I'll arrange it. What time?"
"Earlier the better, I want to go to Hermione's home tomorrow," Harry replied. "I also need to get to the bank to get money out of my vault. When I get a chance, I want to take Hermione out on a date. I know I can't move around safely in wizarding places, but I should be relatively safe in the muggle world."
"Albus will lay a dragon egg before he allows you to go roaming about."
"Dumbledore's protection attempts in the past have been underwhelming at the best," Harry replied. "I really don't care what the old man says."
"Harry, why do you think Molly and Arthur are really staying here?" Sirius asked. "They'll never admit it, but I guarantee that they have orders from Albus to let him know if you try to be too independent. If you tried to walk out that door, they will either try to stop you or be on the floo to Dumbledore immediately."
Harry shrugged. "I'm not worried about it. In fact it might be better that way."
"Why do I have a feeling you aren't just laying over for the Headmaster?"
Harry smiled. "I'm not, but as long as he thinks I'm here then so will Snape. Snape will tell Voldemort and I won't have to worry about Death Eaters will I?" He nodded toward the cabinet. "I have a way out of here that no one knows of, so don't be surprised when I stay locked in my room all day. If someone is looking for me, then let me know by the mirror. I'll get back as soon as I can."
Sirius smiled at his godson. "I swear you're becoming more and more like James every day."
"Thanks, but I'm not my dad," Harry replied. "I have my own wife now and someday I'll have my own family," They were silent for a minute for Harry continued. "I saw their graves you know, when we were in Godric's Hollow. I also saw their old house."
A pained expression crossed Sirius' face. "I...I haven't. I should, but..."
"They'll understand," Harry said. "Maybe...when this is all over we'll both go there."
Sirius nodded. "Sounds like something we can do."
They chatted for a few more minutes until there was a knock on the door. "Harry?" the voice of Molly Weasley asked. "Dinner is done."
"We'll be down soon," Harry replied and then in a lower voice. "Help me keep an eye on Ginny. I'll tell you about the train trip back later, but we know she had several cauldrons of different types of love and jealousy potions. She even had one filled with a lust potion."
"What are you going to do?"
"Find out if she has any left and then catch her in the act," Harry replied. "It has got to be in front of Arthur or at least Bill and Fleur."
"Why not Molly?" Sirius asked. "Do you think she's in on it?"
"No…Miranda's only complaint about her was her overly mothering, but I do know she used a love potion on Arthur when they were younger. She told Ginny and Hermione about. I'm afraid she won't take it seriously enough if it's only her."
"Molly has told that story to everyone," Sirius chuckled. "What she didn't know was the Arthur knew about it. He liked her too but was too shy to approach her. He figured the love potion would just do what he wanted to happen anyway. It worked it seems."
"And no one bothers telling Ginny that part of it and now she thinks it's perfectly acceptable to use potions on me."
"True. What can I do to help?" Sirius asked.
"I don't know," Harry replied. "Like I said, I'm not even sure if she has any more. If she does, I need to know and if not, I need to know if she starts brewing more."
"Can I get Kreacher to help?" Sirius asked. "I can have him check Ginny's trunk when everyone is out."
"That'd help," Harry agreed. "Thanks."
If Harry had any complaints against Molly Weasley, her cooking definitely wasn't one of them. The table everyone was sitting around was overflowing with various pots and bowls of delectable things to eat. Someone had made sure that Ron wasn't sitting near Harry, but unfortunately Ginny ended up sitting at his left side. The first thing Harry did when he filled his cup was to move it away from her.
"So," Mrs. Weasley started, "how were the OWLs?" She was looking at Harry, so he started.
"I think I did very well," Harry said. "I was told I did exceptionally well in Charms and I'm quite sure I did very well in Defense. I might have even got an O in potions. The color was exactly right anyway."
"Excellent Harry," Mrs. Weasley said with true enthusiasm. She turned to her son. "And you Ron, how'd yours go?"
"Waadl enhmp" Ron said through a mouth full of food.
"Ronald Weasley, don't talk with your mouth full," His mother said.
"Well enough," Ron said after he'd swallowed his mouthful without chewing another time. He immediately shoveled another bite into his mouth.
"Did you ever get to take your Charms test?" Harry asked.
"Why?" Molly asked turning again to her son. "Why didn't you take your Charms OWL?"
Ron still had his mouth full so Harry explained. "There were a few love potions going around that day. Somehow Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson ended up fighting over Ron right in the Great Hall before the test. Pansy actually kissed him."
"Well that's better than Draco," Sirius smirked. "Love potions? Good prank. Did anyone else get hit?"
Harry turned to Ginny, "There was Millicent…"
"NO!" Ginny exclaimed and rushed out of the room as she again tasted the kiss of the overly large Slytherin Hag. She didn't stop until she was in the bathroom digging out her toothbrush.
"Millicent Bulstrode got a love potion for Ginny?" Tonks asked incredulously.
"Yeah, I understand there was a kiss and everything," Harry smirked.
"I need to have a word with Dumbledore," Molly said. "How can such things happen at that school?"
"He wasn't there remember," Harry explained. "In fact Umbridge accused Hermione because of that stupid article by Skeeter last year. That's how she ended up being questioned."
"How did Hermione do in her OWLS?" Tonks asked.
"She'll get all Os of course," Harry shrugged. "My girlfriend is the smartest witch at Hogwarts."
"Just like your mother," Sirius said. "Remus here," He pointed over to his fellow Marauder, "and your father were both smart, but Lily was in a class by herself."
"Sirius, maybe you shouldn't…" Molly started as she looked over at Harry.
"I'm fine, Mrs. Weasley," Harry replied.
"Yeah Lily was about the only one who could put James in his place as well. Very much like how Hermione's about the only one you'll listen to," Sirius continued. "I remember at Christmas time when you were locked in your room. As soon as she walked in the door she stomped up those steps and in no time she'd done what no one else could."
"I didn't listen to her last week though," Harry replied trying to sound convincing. "She warned me it was probably a trap."
"And yet she was still there with you."
"Speaking of the Ministry," Arthur spoke up. "Have you heard my news? I got promoted. I'm heading up a brand new office. With You-Know-Who finally recognized as having returned, the wizarding world is being flooded with counterfeit protection devices and other such junk. I've got ten witches and wizards under me now and our job is to find and confiscate them."
"So similar to your old job, but instead of muggles, you're protecting Witches and Wizards?" Harry asked.
"Yes," Arthur exclaimed.
As Molly beamed at everyone about her husband's promotion, Harry couldn't help but think about that. When he had been protecting Muggles, it had just been a two person office but now that it's wizards being protected, a full eleven people were doing it. "The whole society is bigoted against muggles and even those that like muggles have some bias," But Harry liked Molly and Arthur and was really happy that he got the promotion. "That's great," He finally said.
After dinner, Harry announced he was going back to his room. "I'm going to get started on my homework," He said. "I also need to start studying runes. I asked McGonagall if I could take Runes next year. I'm hoping to be at a fourth year level. With Hermione's help I should be ready."
"Oh that's wonderful Harry," Molly said. She turned to her son who was still eating. "Ron you should do something like that."
"MOHJP CLRYS?" He asked through another mouthful of food. He quickly wilted under his mother's gaze and swallowed. "More classes? Studying in the summer?"
Harry didn't bother listening to anymore. He left the table and dashed up the steps. He was twenty pages into his wife's third year Runes book when Hermione voice materialized in his head. "Anyone in your room?"
"I'm coming over for my goodnight kiss."
"Can't stay for the night?"
"Not tonight," Hermione said quietly as she opened the cabinet and let herself out. She came over and wrapped her arms around her husband and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "I've missed you, but I've had a good discussion with mum. Dad isn't taking me having a boyfriend too well, but he's going to give you a chance."
"What did you and your mum talk about?"
"You of course," Hermione said.
"A thing or two," Hermione replied with a smile then looked down at what Harry was doing. "Runes already?"
"Better than being with Ron," Harry admitted. "Besides it's not as bad as I thought it would be."
"Wished you'd have taken it instead of Divinations?"
"Definitely," Harry replied. "Maybe if I'd had spent more time with you...well maybe we'd have gotten to that kiss a lot sooner."
"That's what Miranda wanted, but we can't change that."
"I know. Oh Bill and Fleur are here. Tonks and Remus as well. I told Sirius about those two in the future including about Teddy."
"Should we interfere in that?" Hermione asked. "I mean we can't guarantee everything happens as it did."
"I am pretty sure they already had feeling for each other by now, it's just Moony not believing he's good enough for Tonks. I don't think we're interfering if we just help him realize that isn't true. Besides, Sirius could go a long way in hurting their relationship if he makes the wrong comment thinking he's being funny."
"Sirius is also going to arrange for us to go to the Ministry tomorrow," Harry said.
"Just let me know…" Hermione replied as another yawn overtook her, "know when to come over. Well I need to get to bed; I awoke way too early this morning."
Harry pulled his wife close and gave her a kiss that gave promise that his love would be there the next morning waiting for her. "I told Sirius I also need to stop by the bank tomorrow. I need money for the summer because I want to take you out."
"I'd like that," Another small kiss. "Oh, that reminds me, tomorrow when my mother comes home from work, we're going shopping for your clothes."
"She's going with us?" Harry asked.
Hermione nodded. "I want her to really meet you Harry, to see what a wonderful boyfriend you are and what a wonderful husband you are and will be."
Hermione kissed Harry once more and then disappeared into the cabinet.
*** E E ****
"You're sure about this?" Voldemort asked the Death Eater that knelt in front of him.
"Yes, M'lord," The Death Eater replied. "I was getting my son from the station when I heard Potter say something about it being strange those muggles who protect him weren't there. It seems like he isn't going back there."
"Did he mention where he was going?" Voldemort asked. Word had gotten back to Voldemort from his spies in the Ministry that the Dementor attack on Potter had in fact happened the previous year. The questioning of Dolores Umbridge had proved it. It had also proved that Potter was indeed moving around outside the wards that protected him. Voldemort had four Death Eaters currently patrolling the area where the attack occurred waiting for Potter to show back up.
"No M'lord, but they were walking. It was him, Black, that werewolf, those Blood traitor Weasleys and a few others. They walked past the normal apparition point. I followed for a little while but then I saw Alastor Moody and didn't dare continue."
"You did well Goyle," Voldemort said softly. "Very well indeed. The wards will be down in a few days if Potter does not return and then we'll find out if those muggles know anything. Meanwhile you and Yaxley start searching the area that you saw them walking toward. If Potter was outside the wards before, he'll probably be brash enough to go outside Dumbledore's protections again."
"And if we see him?"
"Capture him if you can, but you will not kill him," Voldemort said. "Bring him to me so I can show the world that Harry Potter cannot help them."