Ginny paused in the middle of making cookies when she heard a noise. A few seconds later she heard it again, someone was knocking on her front door. She wiped her hands on the towel as she walked to the door. They knocked again before she arrived. Peeking out the window she spied an older woman. Not one to take chances she pulled her wand from per pocket and held it behind the door as she opened it.
"May I help you?" she asked politely.
"I'm looking for Harry Potter." the woman stated briskly.
"May I ask who is calling on him?" Ginny was definitely on guard now.
"Petunia Dursley." she answered.
"He isn't here right now." Ginny worked at keeping her grimace hidden, she knew who this was, "Can I give him a message?"
"No I really must speak with him. Do you know when he will return?" Petunia asked.
"Ginny!" the call was coming from the floo.
"Would you minding waiting just a moment and I'll see if I can find out." she replied
Ginny ran to the other room and found Harry's head in the fire. After a quick greeting he came to the heart of his call, "I just received a letter from Minerva. She said a surprise visitor will be coming by in the next couple of days. Thought you would want to know."
"Can you get off early?" Ginny asked.
"Your surprise visitor is at the door." she replied ruefully.
"Who is it?"
"Aunt Petunia." Ginny grimaced.
"I'll be right there." he signed off.
Ginny went back to the door and opened it again, "Sorry about that, Harry just called. He will be here in a few moments. Please come in."
Petunia stepped into the house and was followed in by a small blond girl that Ginny hadn't noticed earlier. The two followed Ginny into the kitchen.
"I hope you don't mind sitting in the kitchen, I was in the middle of baking cookies." Ginny tried to make conversation as she started the teapot.
"What kind of cookies?" the little girl asked with her sweet voice.
"Chocolate chip." Ginny answered, "My kids love them."
"They're my favorite too." she replied, "What's your name?"
"How rude of me, I'm so sorry." Ginny gasped, "I'm Ginny Potter. The Harry you are looking for is my husband."
"I'm Daisy." the girl stated brightly, "How many kids do you have?"
"Three." Ginny giggled at the inquisitive girl, "James, Al and Lily."
"Where are they?" she asked.
"Boarding school, they'll get home tonight, therefore I am baking cookies." Ginny started to ask the girl a question but was interrupted.
"We're in the kitchen." she yelled back.
Harry stepped into the room and gave his wife a quick kiss before he turned to his Aunt, "Aunt Petunia, what a surprise."
"I know, I'm sorry." she ducked her head.
The tea kettle whistled and harry turned to prepare it, "Gin do you want some?"
"Yes please." she responded as she started putting cookie dough on the pan.
"How do you take it Aunt Petunia?" he asked.
"Sugar please." she responded.
"Me too." said a small child's voice.
Harry peered around the vase of flowers and spied the young girl, "Hello me too, I'm Harry."
"I'm not me too." she giggled, "I'm Daisy."
"Well are you really?" Harry chuckled as he pulled down another mug from the cabinet and moved to the table.
"Daisy is Dudley's daughter." Petunia said, "I think she is like you. Is there a way to tell?"
"Normally it's because they have an accident." Harry said, "I don't know if there is a way to test for it."
"I don't have accidents." the girl said firmly, "I'm a big girl."
When she declared this the dishes in the cupboard rattled. Without a word Harry nodded at his wide eyed aunt.
He doesn't mean potty accidents." Ginny explained knowing the girl was magical by her display, "He means magical accidents."
"Magic?" the girl asked enthralled.
"Yes magic." Harry replied.
They group chatted for a while longer as Harry explained a bit about magic and how she couldn't tell anyone. Harry was getting a bit worried when Petunia hadn't said anything for some time. Finally she worked up the nerve.
"Can we come back tomorrow with Dudley?" she blurted out.
"Sure." Harry nodded, "My kids will be home and can play with Daisy while we talk."
"Thank you for tea." Petunia said as she stood.
Harry saw them out of the house before he returned to the kitchen. Ginny had given the girl a cookie to eat on the drive home and Harry felt like he needed one himself.
"You need to get going if you're using the car." she hugged him from behind as he stole another cookie.
"What do you think they want?" he asked.
"Worst case they'll do the same thing they did to you." She shrugged, "Neither of us could allow that to happen so we'll offer to keep her."
"Are you ok with that?" he asked.
"Perfectly." she kissed him and handed him the keys.
The long drive to Kings Cross gave him plenty of time to think. He didn't come to any decisions but he did think. He arrived at the platform just as the train pulled into the station. He never minded picking the kids up off the train as people were generally too wrapped up in their own greetings to pay him any mind. Hermione was waiting by the back wall and Harry walked up to her.
"Boss." he nodded his head.
"Do I know you?' she sniffed and held a straight face for a few seconds before breaking into a grin, "Ginny finished with the cookies?"
"No, I ate too many and she had to start another batch." Harry grinned back.
"Ron said you left work in a hurry earlier." she glanced at him with concern, "Everything ok?"
"Yes just a surprise visitor." Harry sighed.
"I didn't think you could have surprises like that." she was getting more concerned.
"She went through channels." Harry said, "Minerva told her."
"Who?" Hermione finally asked.
"No way!" was her genuinely shocked response as she turned to look at him.
"She brought a little girl with her." Harry sighed, "Daisy is Dudley's."
"He got married?"
"Don't know." he replied, "She's going to come back tomorrow with Dudley. This was just to test the waters and have me check the girl."
"For what?" Hermione asked.
"Is she?" she asked.
"Dad!" Harry's attention was diverted from the answer to his own daughter.
"Hello Flower." Harry scooped her up as Hugo practically tackled Hermione.
"Mum it was so cool." he talked non-stop for five minutes. Harry wasn't sure he even breathed, "Gryffindor won the house cup and then we came home."
"Half a year in five minutes." Harry grinned, "Impressive Hugo."
"Hi Uncle Harry. Has Aunt Ginny got the cookies ready?" he asked.
"Don't know sport." Harry ruffed the boy's hair, "I think she was going to make two batches this time."
"Yes!" he danced around, "Hers are better than Hogwarts."
"You should tell her." Hermione laughed, "She'd appreciate knowing that."
"Hi Mum, Hi Uncle Harry." Rose called as she arrived.
"Hi guys." Al added, "Dad can Scorpius come over tomorrow?"
"Dad can Fred come over tomorrow?" James yelled across the platform.
"Come talk to me." Harry frowned, "I don't want to yell."
"What?" James asked as he walked up.
"No company tomorrow." He said, "I have a… visitor coming by and I don't need any distractions. Day after would be fine for both."
"Who is coming?" Al was the inquisitive one of the bunch.
"My cousin and Aunt." he replied then mumbled, "Should have asked if Vernon was coming too."
"You have relatives?" James asked in shock, he'd never heard his father mention anyone he was related to.
"They are muggles, " Harry warned, "so no funny stuff."
"Really?" Lily asked excitedly. She had inherited her grandfathers curiosity of all things muggle.
"Don't question them to death." Harry finally sat Lily on the ground, "I want to leave in less than ten minutes so get a move on."
All three ran off to say their goodbyes to their friends and were back with him within five minutes. They were worried because their unflappable father was show signs of stress and they were not used to seeing that. It bothered the two boys enough that they didn't even bicker on the way to the car. Harry was too distracted to notice but Hermione did and chatted with them while they were a few feet from their father.
"James sit in the front with your dad and make sure he drives right." she instructed, "Keep him from drifting off in thought, talk about school and stuff. Nothing too deep. Whatever you do don't fight, alright?"
"What can you tell us about them?" Al whispered.
"No much." she whispered her reply, "I know Dudley was a bully when he was young. I think the real stress is because he doesn't know what to expect tomorrow. What are they going to ask him to do. Just don't push, he'll talk when he is ready."
James waited until they were out of the worst of London's traffic before his curiosity got the better of him, "Dad, why didn't you tell us you have muggle relatives?"
"James." Harry sighed, "You know there are parts of my life I don't like to talk about."
"But that's usually related to the war and stuff." he pointed out, "We've read about you in the history books. But it never mentions muggle relatives."
"You won't find much truth written about my life between the attack at Godric's Hollow and my first year at Hogwarts." Harry said, "Very few people knew where I was. There are a series of fiction books someone tried to pawn off as truth but we stopped that."
"I found one place that says you were hidden to protect you from death eaters." Al offered, "But nothing specific."
"I don't like to talk about that time." Harry stated firmly, "But this isn't really about that. My cousin Dudley has a daughter that is a witch. They want to come by tomorrow and talk."
"What about?" Lily asked.
"That's the question Lily Flower." Harry sighed again, "That is the question."
"They were mean." Al sat up straight as he put it all together. He wasn't in Ravenclaw for nothing, "Aunt Hermione said Dudley was a bully and they bullied you didn't they. That's why you don't want to talk about it. Were they abusive?"
"Al I don't want to talk about it." Harry repeated with some heat.
The children fell silent and vowed separately to speak to their mother about it when they got home. James changed the subject and began to recount the last Gryffindor quidditch match that had been against Hufflepuff. The talk the rest of the way home was centered on school life. By the time they arrived home the house was getting crowded. The tradition had started with Teddy. Harry was the one to meet him on the platform after his first year. Andromeda hadn't wanted to be on the crowded platform, the way she resembled Bellatrix sometimes gained her unkind attention. Harry had brought Teddy to their home and was going to floo him to his grandmothers. Ginny had been waiting with a plate of cookies when they arrived to welcome him home. She had decided to repeat it every year after and when Victorie had heard about the cookies on her first ride she wanted some too. Harry had invited Bill's family over so his kids could have a cookie and now it was a Potter/Weasley family tradition. Ginny baked cookies the entire day before they arrived home. Dozens of cookies would disappear almost instantly.
"Teddy and Victorie are here." Lily squealed as they pulled into the drive.
The first ten minutes were greetings and just getting to the cookies. Once they had a few cookies in hand it was time to start visiting and this year it started off with a bang.
"What made you leave work early?' Ron asked amongst all the chatter, "And in such a hurry too.
"Surprise visitor here at the house." he replied.
That got the attention of everyone. Bill was the one that voiced the concern, "Did the wards fail?"
"Nope." Harry responded, "She went through proper channels.
"Who was it?" George asked before Harry could say anymore.
"Who is that?" Rose asked.
"She is my mother's sister." Harry told those that didn't know.
"What did the old bat want?" Ron asked.
"Ronald!" Hermione chided.
"After what she did to my best friend I can call her an old bat if I want." Ron waved her off.
"I don't know exactly." Harry said, "She's coming back tomorrow with Dudley and his daughter who is a witch."
"You don't think they'll treat her the same way do you?" Hermione voiced her concern.
"We won't let that happen." Harry said fiercely.
James almost felt sorry for the unknown relatives if they were about to make his dad angry. Because when his dad used that tone of voice it always meant trouble for whomever he was talking to or about. Uncle Ron called it his 'prepare to get your backside handed to you on a platter' voice. He used it for criminals mostly but James had heard that voice pointed at himself once. He had accidentally hurt Al and Rose when they were playing a game. Luckily mum had stepped in and took over the punishment. Usually it was better to have dad punish you but not when he used that tone of voice.
"We've already decided to take Daisy in rather than leave her in an environment like that." Ginny said into the silence that followed Harry's statement, "If that is happening."
"Aunt Hermione what do you mean when you say treat her the same way?" Teddy asked, "The same way as what?"
"Calm yourself Harry. I don't think they'd be contacting you if the situation was the same." Molly had notice he was really upset about this conversation. She turned to the children and Teddy, "They weren't very nice back years ago. They weren't friendly when Harry had to visit them."
"That's the understatement of the year." Ron grumbled.
"I'm not sure they can change that much." Harry said, "I'm worried."
"I remember talking to Hestia one night that year." Molly looked him straight in the eye, "At first they were all extremely unhappy about everything. Dudley was the first to come around, he asked endless questions. Vernon hated everyone and made their lives miserable. He even yelled at Dudley for asking questions. Petunia settled into ignoring what was happening and acted as though everything was completely normal. The night Kingsley returned them to their home he said they were the most polite he'd ever seen them. War changes everyone it touches."
"Thanks Mum." Harry hugged her firmly for a moment before letting go. He looked much more relaxed when he continued, "You're right, I shouldn't jump to conclusions."
Later after everyone left and the Potters were enjoying a quiet dinner Lily sighed, "The cookie party is always great. But it's nice when they all leave and it's just us."
It was quiet for several minutes before James gathered his courage, "What did they do to you?"
"I don't like…"
"We get that Dad." Al interrupted, "We know they hurt you in some way. We just want to know how bad."
"It doesn't matter." Harry tried to explain it away, "You heard you're Grandmum. They aren't the same people they were back then. I don't want to talk about it right now."
"Fine, but the day after we need to sit down and talk." James said.
"Harry you might be making this worse than it needs to be." Ginny put her hand on his arm, "They want to understand you and what you've been through. They won't think less of you I promise. We will all talk about this day after tomorrow."
Harry took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Finally he nodded. She had hit the nail on the head. He wasn't so worried about talking about what had happened. It was the reactions of his family he was worried about. He didn't want or need pity. He didn't want to be treated differently at all.
The next morning found the entire Potter family sitting quietly in the living room. Harry was pretending to read the paper but as he had yet to turn the page they all knew he wasn't really doing it. Ginny was watching the kids do their summer homework. It had actually been James' idea to help pass the time while they were waiting. A knock on the door startled all of them even though that was what they were waiting on.
Harry stood and walked to the door taking a deep breath on his way. He reached the door and pulled it open to find his relatives on the other side, "Good morning. Please come in."
"Thanks for seeing us Harry." Dudley said as he followed his mother and daughter into the house, "I know you didn't have to and I appreciate this chance."
Harry had no idea what to say to that so he just nodded and led them into the living room, "This is my family, Ginny, James, Al and Lily."
"She looks just like her." Petunia gasped, "Only the eyes are different."
"Everyone this is Aunt Petunia, Dudley and Daisy." Harry finished.
"Another flower." Lily exclaimed, "Did great grandmother Evans have a thing for flowers?"
"Her name was Rose." Petunia offered, "She loved flowers."
Lily smiled at her new Great Aunt and turned to Daisy, "Do you want to come to my room and play with some of my toys?"
"Can I Daddy?" the girl turned to Dudley.
"Yes that's fine." Dudley hugged the little girl, "Be good for your cousin."
"I will." she replied as Lily led her up the stairs.
James and Al meanwhile had packed up their school books and were sitting quietly in a corner hoping they would get to stay and learn what was going on.
"Would you like some tea?" Ginny asked.
"Yes please." Petunia sat shakily on the sofa by Dudley.
Ginny wasn't gone long and it was still quiet when she sat the tea service on the table and handed out the tea.
"First off," Dudley started, "I want to apologize for everything my friends and I did to torment you when we were younger. I look back now and think I should have been beaten for acting that way."
Dudley nudged Petunia who quickly said, "I'm sorry for allowing it to happen and for my part in it too. I was reprehensible."
"Where is Uncle Vernon?" Harry asked since he didn't know what to say to the apologies.
"He died two years ago. Heart attack. I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to you." Dudley said as he patted his mother's hand, "He never changed. He and I hadn't spoken in more than six months when he died."
"I'm sorry." Harry said sympathetically.
"I'm not." Dudley said, "We got into a fight just after Daisy's first bout of accidental magic. He wanted me to throw her away. I refused and he said never to speak to him again, amongst other things and I obliged. Mum had to sneak around just to visit."
"You knew she was a witch?" Ginny asked glancing at Petunia.
"We suspected it." Dudley said, "Dad was convinced but I didn't know how to tell for sure. Mum told me about yesterday, thank you for confirming it."
"What about Daisy's mother?" Ginny asked.
"Long story." Dudley sighed but started in, "After your war ended I worked towards becoming a middle weight boxing champion. I've done quite well. Just not well enough for Susan. She wanted to marry a rich man and I didn't become that. I probably won't as a trainer either."
"She was nothing but a gold digger." Petunia grumbled.
"She got pregnant, we got married." Dudley grinned ruefully, "One day a week ago I came home early to surprise her for her birthday. She wasn't the only one surprised. I got a rather nasty shock and so did her girlfriend or I guess I should say lover. Anyway I left rather quickly after packing up a few things. I picked up Daisy from school and we've been living in a hotel for the last week."
"I'm sorry." Harry said.
"Better to find out now." Dudley shrugged, "Now I have a problem and this is why I'm here. I'm going to be facing a really nasty divorce and I can't leave Daisy at a daycare. She's had some problems getting teased for weird things happening around her."
"What do you need." Harry got to the point.
"I have to find a place for us to live and someone to watch Daisy. Mum has taken a leave of absence from the library where she works in order to watch her since school let out." Dudley said, "But we're going to need the money she gets because all my assets are frozen for the time being. I didn't want Susan to empty out the bank accounts and take everything we had."
Before anymore could be said Ginny interrupted, "How about lunch?"
"I can help." Petunia when to stand.
"It's already done." Ginny smiled, "James go get the girls please."
Al showed the two Dursleys to the dining room while Ginny spoke with Harry, "You're thinking hard."
"I have an idea but I want to run it by you first." he whispered.
"Ok, I'll call mum to come visit with them while we talk after lunch." Ginny said.
Molly arrived just as lunch was finishing. She immediately ushered the children and the two adult Dursleys into the back yard. James and Al made a beeline for the broom shed and pulled out a quaffle to toss around. Lily in the meantime had brought out a blanket and a few dolls for Daisy. She spread it out and they sat on it together.
"What are they doing with the brooms?" Dudley asked.
"They're going to toss the quaffle around." Lily answered.
"The what?" Daisy asked.
"The ball." Lily pointed out.
"So what are the brooms for?" Dudley asked again but before anyone could respond James and Al took off.
"They're flying." Daisy screeched.
Lily spent the next several minutes telling them about quidditch. Daisy sat enthralled watching their every move. The boys were showing off to their audience and were looping and diving all around them.
"I want to fly." Daisy stated.
"It doesn't look very safe." Dudley winced as they almost collided in mid air.
"With them," Molly indicated the two boys, "No it's not safe. However with Lily it is fine. She's the only one in this family who flies with their brain still attached. Harry and Ginny are as bad or worse than those two if they're on their own. They do settle down if the kids are in the air."
"Please Daddy?" Daisy was jumping up and down in front of her father.
"I'll be really careful." Lily promised, "I'll go slow and stay close to the ground. But with Gran's sticking charm she won't fall off even if we hang upside down."
"What's a sticking charm?" Daisy asked.
"It sticks your backside to the broom so you won't fall." Molly stated, "With Ginny playing quidditch professionally and Harry's love for flying these three were on brooms practically from birth. It is safe."
"Please Daddy." Daisy begged again.
"Alright." Dudley gave in, "Low and slow."