A/N Started this some time ago finished for NaNo. Not Beta'd so I apoligise for any errors. Thanks for reading.
Hope your search for your parents is going well. You may have heard that I moved out of the Burrow. I don't know what Ron or Ginny may have written you but everything is fine. Don't cut your trip short on my account.
You know I was planning to visit Gringotts to check on my vault. It went alright I suppose. The goblins weren't exactly polite but they didn't try to kill me. I found out some things that were a bit surprising and are what led to my departure from the Burrow.
My trust vault is the only vault, it was the one used by my parents. All their assets went into it. Most of it I think was spent on Hogwarts. You may have already heard but I'm not rich, though Ron thinks I'm lying, what else is new. There's enough to live on for a while so I'm not worried but not enough to pay a 20,000 galleon bride price that Mrs Weasley wanted me to pay to marry Ginny. Mind now, I'm not dating Gin and haven't been since Dumbledore's funeral but no one was listening to me about that. Then Mrs Weasley found the bank statement in my things, she claimed she was cleaning my room but I really think she was just snooping. So I left.
Well I should sign off now I'm meeting Neville in a bit.
First off let me say I'm very happy you found them. I'm glad they aren't too angry with you. Don't cut your trip short on my account. Spend time with your parents.
Now to answer your questions, yes I'm eating and I have a decent place to live. I've found a job, it's not much and it's in the muggle world but I like it and it allows me to buy groceries. I'm still thinking about going back to Hogwarts for seventh year. McGonagall said she would make me head boy if I wanted but that just doesn't seem right. I think she should pick someone from that class instead of me, who missed a year.
I'm just not sure I could take all the attention. It's complete madness when I go to Diagon Alley I'm sure it'll be worse at school.
Kingsley has offered to let me take Auror training even with out my NEWT's but I'm not sure I want to fight dark wizards all my life. I mean I'm sure I will be fighting every dark lord wan-a-be that wants to make a name for himself, but the run of the mill pickpockets and crooks and the politics and paperwork, doesn't hold any interest for me.
Well I'd better sign off and get to work.
Thank you for the pictures I'm glad you're enjoying your stay there. I can understand your parents not wanting to come back here. The pictures of the Academy of Sorcery certainly look inviting. You need to decide for yourself, Hermione. If you think you'd do best there then stay there. Don't make your decision based on whether Ron or I will be at Hogwarts. I'm still not sure and no matter what Ron might have told you, George said Ron's already turned McGonagall down. He won't be at Hogwarts.
Now as far as being homeless it's not true. I have a perfectly good home, yes it happens to be a tent but it's a much nicer one than that we spent all winter in. I'm sure your information is wrong if you got it from Ginny. We are not dating. I'm not interested in her at all, I haven't even spoken to her since I left the Burrow.
Here's the story. When I left the Burrow I told Mr Weasley that I would be staying with Mrs Tonks, you should be aware that she invited me. And I did stay there a couple of nights but then I got the idea that I'd buy a new tent, I saw them advertised in the Quibbler, and set it up in the back garden at Godric's Hollow. I thought I might see if I could find anything in the ruins there. Problem is apparently I don't own the property anymore. The ministry seized it for back taxes and then put up the memorial. The aurors showed up about the time I went to pitch my tent. I had to go in to talk to Kingsley. He showed me the paper work from where Fudge had it seized right after he was elected. He didn't know anything about what might have been salvaged but suggested I ask McGonagall. She didn't know anything either but suggested Albus may have had things taken to Potter Keep and then was shocked that I didn't know anything about that property.
She told me the cottage was a wedding gift to my Dad from my Grandparents. The Potter Keep is further north in Wales and has been there forever. The ministry couldn't seize it because there are no taxes collected for it due to some grandfather clause in a goblin treaty from the 1500's. As you can imagine I was pretty happy to find out that I might have some things from my family.
So I got directions and went looking for it. It's a huge property, several barns, three greenhouses, a chicken coop, a pottery shed, tool shed even a water wheel with it's own grist mill on a nearby stream, all in various states of disrepair.
I know what you're thinking. Who cares about the outbuildings tell me about the house, right. Well sometime in the last sixteen years the house burned down. There is a massive stone fireplace and part of the adjacent stone wall standing. The rest is burned timber and crumbling rubble.
So I pitched my tent in one of the barns and have been cleaning up the debris, perhaps I will find a cellar intact. Neville helped me clean up and repair one of the greenhouses and I'm growing my own vegetables.
So there you have the story. I need to get to work.
I am not married, Hermione, Ginny lied! There was no wedding. Mrs Weasley sent Aurors after me. They forced me to the Burrow where Kingsley was waiting to perform the service with just the family. When I protested I thought Mr Weasley was going to blow his top. He pulled his wand and was shouting, I thought he was going to curse me. Kingsley stepped in then had the Aurors restrain Mr Weasley and explained that since I had gotten Ginny pregnant I was expected to marry her. No way was I agreeing to that. I tried to explain that Ginny and I never, ever, not even once. Then she starts wailing about betraying her. Mrs Weasley started screaming. Ron tried to punch me and had to be stunned. So I did the only thing I could. I pulled my wand and made an oath that I never had sex with Ginevra Weasley. That shut them up for all of two minutes until Mr Weasley started shouting at Ginny. I left then. I don't know what happened after that. I suppose I'll talk to George at some point but I really don't care.
Look I'll be at Mrs. Tonks' on my birthday. I've enclosed the number call me, and we can talk more about it if you want.
It was nice to talk to you yesterday. I just wanted to tell you I think you are making the right choice in staying in Australia and finishing your schooling there. It's good that you can live at home and still go to school. I know how much you've missed your mum and dad.
I went and saw George today like you suggested. He told me Ginny refused to name the father after I left. He said Mr Weasley almost disowned her. Only Mrs Weasley wouldn't let him. She won't be going back to Hogwarts either. He said she's going to do home study and then take her NEWT's in the spring. I don't feel at all sorry for her, Hermione. She tried to trap me.
George says his Dad's embarrassed and wants to meet me to apologize. Do you think I should meet him?
I know I promised to think about coming there to school but I don't think I can. I don't have enough money left to move to Australia and pay tuition there. I don't think I want to leave Potter Keep either. I've found some dishes and silverware in a crate in the wreckage. I'm hoping to find other bits and pieces. It might not be much be it's mine.
It's official I'm going back to Hogwarts. McGonagall talked me into it. I'll have my own room and be a seventh year prefect but not Head Boy. I'll be able to leave some weekends to take care of my greenhouse and do some training with the Aurors. I'm taking Charms, Transfiguration, DADA, and Potions. I know it's a light load but it's really all I need. I'm also going to play quidditch as Seeker and Captain. I'm looking forward to playing again. I've been flying at the Keep.
I've fixed up all the buildings. Mr Weasley taught me some household repair spells. You were right I needed to let him apologize. We both felt better.
You asked about my job. It's a little grocers in the closest village. I stopped in there to pick up milk and cereal just after I moved here. There was a sign in the window so I asked. Mr Maxwell said he hire me for one day. If he liked my work I could stay on. If he didn't I wouldn't have the job. He must have liked me. Now I have to let him know I'm going back to school September 1. I'll miss it. Just being Harry Potter stock boy.
I have to go I'm meeting Neville at the Ministry for something that Kingsley wants.
Can you believe it? Neville suckered me into an awards ceremony. Kingsley said they'd contacted you but you couldn't make it back for the ceremony. Anyway your Order of Merlin first class is enclosed. Did you know it comes with a 100 galleon a year stipend?
I uncovered the doorway to the cellar. Surprisingly it hasn't collapsed. There are several rooms down there, a potions lab (yes I'll be careful disposing of outdated ingredients), and a food storage room. It's full of home canned stuff. It's got some sort of stasis charm on it and looks good and I found flour and sugar in sealed containers. Don't worry I'll have someone check it before I eat any of it. Then there is the wine cellar. Some of these bottles are really old. If I ever need money I suppose I could sell them. The one room is rather strange. I think there may be a hidden door or something. I have to investigate some more.
I've got to go, I've been invited to dinner at Neville's.
I told you I would have that old food checked out. Winky came and got rid of everything that wasn't any good. She said the rest is safe. Then she wanted to know if she could come work for me. We are in pay negotiation now. She reminded me that Kreacher is still at Hogwarts. I need to go check on Grimmauld Place now too. There might be something salvageable there. No way do I want to live there. She also found the hidden door in the cellar. I should have guessed it was hidden under a blood ward. Winky couldn't access it but she told me it was there. Had to smear a bit of my blood on the door to get it to open. You'll never guess what I found.
You know how everyone is always says the Potters were rich? But there was very little in Gringotts. Well I figured out why. I found the Potter family vault. There are trunks full of galleons, shelves with boxes full of jewelry of every kind, gold goblets with the Potter crest on them and an honest to god pirate chest full of gold coins. They aren't galleons, maybe doubloons. I'm going to take a couple into London to a coin dealer. I even found a silver table service with the Gryffindor crest on it.
The best yet Hermione are the books. My ancestors have been keeping journals for centuries. There are at least a hundred leather bound journals in a book case in this hidden room. You are the only one I'm telling about this so don't spread it around and don't worry when you come to visit you can look at them.
Well that's all for this letter. I want to go read one of those journals. I'll let you know what I find out.
I was surprised you didn't turn up on my door step at hearing I have old books. That's a joke. I wasn't trying to tease you back, really. I'm glad the school there has a nice library.
I'm not worried about muggle post being intercepted. I stop over at Mrs Tonks nearly every day to check on her and Teddy. She always tells me when I've a letter. As to telling you about the treasure of course I trust you., Hermione, you are my best friend.
As for the books there isn't really anything earth shattering in the ones I've read so far. The oldest one are really hard to decipher with archaic writing and all and that's after the translation spell I got from Madam Pince, as they are in Welsh. I found a spell to glaze pottery. It's mostly records of freeholder tithes, bushels of wheat or fruit, baskets of fish, sides of venison or bacon. Birth and death records of both the family and freeholders. How much it cost to equip a man-at-arms.
I did find out that the reason there are no taxes on the keep is that William Potter agreed to keep money in Gringotts as part of a goblin treaty to end a war. I seems that people felt that if the Potters trusted the goblins enough to keep their money there then it must be safe. That journal also cautioned to keep the biggest portion of our money in our own vault. Double safety as every one thinks it's in Gringotts. When I met with the goblins the last time and they told my I didn't have very much in my vault they also said they doubled my fees to the highest rate. I wonder if I threaten to close the account and go public if they would lower the rates?
About Winky, I think she is much smarter than me. She absolutely refused money. Eventually I found out why. There is an elf contract that wizards are supposed to follow. Each elf 'owned' is supposed to receive one blanket, a bowl, one meal per day, and enough cloth to clothe themselves plus any special equipment need to perform their required duties.
As you can guess this usually is rags and pot scrapings. Winky wanted the contract fulfilled not money so we finally agreed on, two elf sized thick wool blankets, one lightweight cotton blanket, one large bath towel (not for wearing), two meals per day (what ever she fixes for me) 15 yards of assorted cloth and 3 sickles worth of notions. Did you know that buttons and thread and lace are called notions?
When I went to Harrods for the blankets I also found a plastic set of plate, bowl and cup with rainbows for her and bears for Kreacher. Luckily I can give her money for the cloth and she'll pick it out and make something for her and Kreacher. Kreacher was overwhelmed by the blanket and table ware and was actually polite.
Added to this she came home with another elf yesterday. His name is Runt and he is an outdoor house elf. He accepted the same contract with the addition of a heavy canvas or leather apron and a pair of gloves. He then started to tell me about the equipment in the barns. Apparently Winky gave him a tour first. I have a magic powered harvester, plow, harrow, wagon and milking machine. I also have a cheese press and cider press. Runt has already started cleaning up the orchard and helping in the greenhouse.
Well I've got to cut this off. I promised to take Teddy to the zoo today.
Both your letters came the same day. While you are right that I don't deserve to be ranted at in writing I do accept your apology.
However you are working under a misconception. House elves don't consider themselves slaves. You think they are based on what you've seen but Hermione, Winky believes she is family. So do I for that matter. The elf contract originally brought the elf into the family and you don't pay family to take care of you. What would your mother think if you offered her money for taking care of you? That's why Winky was so upset I mean how would you feel if your parents, your 'family' threw your clothes at you and told you to get out you aren't welcome there anymore?
As for being called Master, well I admit I'm a bit thick but Winky finally made me understand that they use 'master' as a term of respect for the Master of the Household. For them, asking to be called Harry would be like Professor McGonagall asking you to call her Minerva in class.
Winky takes her responsibility to take care of me very seriously. Maybe you'll get a laugh when I tell you what happened. Winky asked me about household money. I went down to the vault and filled a quart jar with galleons, sickles and knuts and gave it to her. Of course my thought was when it ran out I'd give her more. Well I saw the three of them later at the table counting it all out and making a list. I figured it was a shopping list and went to work not really thinking about it.
Hermione you won't believe it but I am now the owner of five chickens and a goat. Well I suppose it's really four hens, a rooster and a goat but I was certainly surprised. When I asked about it Winky looked at me like I was an idiot. I'll be eating the eggs until I go to school, then the rooster will make himself useful and next spring when I come back home we'll have not only eggs but fried chicken and stewed chicken and well you get the picture.
Goat milk tastes rather odd but I suppose I'll get used to it. Runt says it's cheaper to have a goat, at least until next year when he can grow feed for a cow.
I also have a brand new bee hive in the orchard and Runt has planted in the second greenhouse.
See it was a matter of perception. I saw the money as groceries, Winky saw it as working capital. I told you she's smarter than me. Besides Winky says she has to make sure I can afford to care for four elves. I was surprised at that because I'm pretty sure there are only three here now but I guess she must have another elf she wants me to contract.
I'm enclosing some pictures of Teddy and I at the zoo. We had a lot of fun.
I have my books for school and have been reading them over. I feel like it's been forever since Hogwarts even though it's only been a year.
Well I need to get busy. I'm helping Runt clean out the irrigation ditch to the orchard this afternoon. Kreacher says I should supervise from a lawn chair with a tall fruity drink but I really want to learn the ins and out of managing a farm since it seems I have one.
Thank you for the pictures and the book about Aboriginal wizards. Sounds like you had a nice field trip.
You asked about Grimmauld place well, I sent Kreacher to check it out. Unfortunately he came back hexed from a booby trap planted by our evil tag a long or one of his friends after our hasty departure. He was easily sorted out but not so for the house. I went to check on it myself, dispelled the traps I could find. The place is a disaster. It's been completely trashed. I hate to tell you but the library was tossed and most of the books destroyed. Once Kreacher was feeling better I had him show me where the Black's kept their secret stuff. The room had been cleaned out. I have a feeling that Bellatrix had been there.
I've talked it over with Andy Tonks and she is going to organize selling the building. She's going to offer it to Mrs. Malfoy first though I don't why she'd want it. What ever money I get for it I'm going to put into trust for Teddy. I hope the Goblins won't gouge me too much.
I stopped in to see George, Ron is working for him. He, Ron that is, isn't speaking to me. Apparently he blames me for Ginny's condition even though I swore an oath. George says it isn't that he thinks I'm the father, it's that I didn't do the 'right' thing and marry Ginny anyway. I don't think I'll ever understand that. I'm sure he wouldn't feel that way if it was him some girl was trying to trap into marriage.
You asked about the bees. Winky and Runt got them at the elf market. Runt says they'll make the trees bear better fruit and we'll have our own honey. Of course Runt will sell the excess at the market just like the extra eggs and vegetables. I decided I didn't really like goat milk on my super sugary muggle breakfast cereal so Winky started making goat cheese. It takes a while for that.
Well I should go, Neville and I are going to the cinema tonight. It should be an interesting experiment.
Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Have you been to a healer to make sure it's not something worse than just a cold. Shouldn't a healer be able to take care of that? I mean Madam Pomfrey always dosed me with pepper up and I was fine.
Teddy and I and the elves are all fine.
I've been concerned about them being in a tent all winter even though they can use magic and it's much nicer than what we had. I've been looking into building a house. Then Runt told me about Wizard houses. You can go to the shop and purchase a pre-built house and take it home. It's shrunk down to doll house size and when you get it where you want it you just cancel the shrinking charm. You can even buy one room at a time as your family expands. I guess I know why the Burrow looks the way it does now.
I was worried about the opening to the cellar being exposed so Runt and I moved one of the workshop buildings over it and put in a trap door but I'm thinking that a little house over the site might look nicer and be a better solution for the winter while I'm at Hogwarts.
Well I need to wind this up, I'm supposed watch Teddy this evening while Mrs Tonks go out with a friend.
This is my last letter before I go back to Hogwarts. I'll only be able to send letters when I can leave school rather than send them to Mrs Tonks to be mailed. The interest in me has not died down and I won't risk them getting intercepted.
I've sent a book in a separate package as lady in the post office said it would take longer to get there. I bought a pre-made house. The salesman offered a care and maintenance book with it, so I bought a copy for you as well. The house is three bedrooms, two baths. This way Teddy can have his own room and I can still have a guest room. Now before you blow up the house has a loft room the salesman said could be used as a home office or work room. I've made an elf loft. I told Winky to divide it up however she wanted. She was very pleased with the space.
Runt and I will be dismantling part of the third greenhouse as it is damaged to much for use and adding a sun-room to the house with the undamaged panels. You can read all about adding rooms in the book I sent.
You've probably noticed the enclose newspaper articles. As you know I don't take the paper so I didn't know anything about it until I was already in the Alley at the house shop. I pick out what I wanted and ask to charge it to my vault. The salesman looked embarrassed and said he didn't think he could do that under the circumstances. Then he had to show me the Prophet article.
I know it had to be Molly or Ginny that told the paper I was broke. Now you have to understand that I had a bank draft for the purchase of Grimmauld place in my pocket for quite a bit more than the house I wanted but that needed to go into a trust for Teddy. I told the fellow I'd be back with a draft and went to Gringotts. I figured the goblins would gouge me for the draft but it had to be done. I really couldn't have timed it better. Gringotts was a mad house, people demanding their money and the goblins had shut down the teller windows. Apparently most people felt that the goblins had either stolen from me or allowed someone else to steal from me.
As I walked into Gringotts everyone went silent and then some reporter started in. As you can see by the second article it was all resolved but I really don't like personal questions. I also feel like I took advantage of the goblins, not that they don't deserve it but, well, you know. I got a good deal on Teddy's trust, my account is back to its lower fees and I'm a favorite client again. The wizarding public believes Gringotts is safe.
On another topic you didn't say how you were feeling in your last letter, did you see the healer? I worry about you Hermione. Especially since I can't just pop over and check on you. You tend to over work if I don't keep an eye on you, you know.
Mr Maxwell, the grocer I'm working for says I'm welcome to come back in the spring. It's nice knowing I have a job waiting for me. Kingsley is still after me to join the Aurors. Oh and I forgot to tell you but I got an offer to try out for a profession quidditch team. I wrote back that I was returning to Hogwarts so maybe in the spring, but I don't think I'm really interested in playing for the Chudley Cannons.
I really am nervous about Hogwarts, I wish more that anything that you were going back with me. I miss you Hermione. I'm thinking about coming there for Christmas if you want me to. Let me know so I can make plans.
I'm back at Hogwarts. I was right it's as bad as I thought it might be. I'm almost ready to go back home and I've only been here three days.
The train ride wasn't too bad. I rode with Luna and Dennis Creevey, believe it or not, when I wasn't at the prefect meeting. Dennis says he doesn't blame me for Colin's death. I was relieved actually. He does have Colin's camera with him but promised not to take surprise candids of me.
I broke up a fight on the train a group of muggleborns ganged up on a couple of pure bloods in revenge for something that happened last year. Apparently the cycle of violence just continues.
I've also discovered that there are only three kinds of girls attending Hogwarts this year. The ones the stare, whisper and runaway. The ones that stand way to close and giggle and Luna. There was one girl this morning that stood way to close and kept blinking her eyes. I finally told her if there was something wrong with her eyes she should see Madam Pomfrey. Then I had to take points for her bad language. I just don't understand.
Oh, I didn't tell you about Kreacher did I? After I set up the trust for Teddy, Kreacher decided that since I used the money from the sale of the Black house that Teddy must be the Black heir. He followed me to Andy Tonks' house and got a look at Teddy. He decided that Teddy looks just like Master Regulus when he was a baby so his parentage doesn't matter. He wants to serve Teddy when he's older. He told me he was bred to be a valet for Sirius's Dad Orion and started taking care of him when Orion was 5 and moved out of the nursery into his own room. Then when Orion went to Hogwarts Kreacher started learning to be Head Elf for when Orion would set up his own household. So he's insisting he serve Teddy when Teddy turns five. Anyway Kreacher is checking on Teddy every day and then coming to Hogwarts to report so I can send your letters sooner with him.
Well Kreacher just popped in with a plate of biscuits from Winky so I'd better sign off and let him take this to Mrs Tonks to mail.
Luna caught me in the hallway this morning, she poked me in the chest three or four times saying, 'study, study, study,' each time. Then she walked away. She did the same thing a couple of hours later. The third time she started poking me a grabbed her finger and asked what she was doing. Imagine my surprise when she told me that you wrote that she might need to nag me to make sure I was studying.
I'm doing just fine in class, Hermione, I don't need Luna to nag me. Though it is fun to be in class with her we have Charms together. She comes up with the most amazing things you can do with the charms we are learning other than the things you're supposed to use them for.
I'm holding try-outs for the Quidditch team tomorrow. I have to rebuild the entire team but so do the other houses so I'm not too worried about it. I hope some of the younger kids try out. Dennis is talking about it. He's cheeky, told me he wanted to try for seeker; I laughed and told him he could. It's been so long since I played I may be really bad.
Well I better go, I promised to meet Luna in the library so she can nag me again.
Gryffindor has a new Quidditch team; I think half the house tried out. So I added a full roster of reserves, that way we can play games for practice part of the time. Most of the kids are younger so I should leave them in a good position for next year.
Dennis is reserve seeker, he isn't half bad, actually. With training he'll do well. Don't worry I won't be pulling an Oliver on these kids and get them up at 4 o'clock in the morning for practice. I also told them all that if they didn't keep their grades up they wouldn't play. You should have seen some of their faces you'd have thought I'd just announced that I was a dark lord.
I don't think I've told you Vector is our new Head of House since McGonagall is Headmistress. She not bad at all. There are mandatory house meetings once a month and she had individual meetings with everyone to discuss grades and goals. I told her I wasn't sure just what I want to do after Hogwarts, told her about my farm and the job in the grocery when she seemed concerned I wouldn't be able to support myself. But I eventually talked her around. We'll meet once or twice a term. Slughorn is still teaching potions and Flitwick Charms. There an Auror named Baggins who is on the injured list teaching DADA. He seems to be intimidated by me.
I'd better get to my transfiguration essay
You're beginning to worry me, I haven't heard from you for awhile. If I don't hear from you by Christmas I'm coming there.
Classes are doing well as is quidditch. Kingsley invited me to the ministry to train with the Aurors. That was fun we had an impromptu dueling tournament. I dumped Kingsley on his bum. He's getting soft sitting behind that desk. Of course he wanted my help on a piece of legislation. Wants me to address the Wizengamot next week. You know he suspended all of the muggleborn restrictions when he took office now he wants to get rid of them completely and the old geezers are dithering. Kingsley is hoping I can scare the crap out of them and get them moving in the right direction.
I wish you were here to write my speech or even to give it. Neville will be there to back me up so I guess I'll survive.
I think you know Luna and I have been studying together in the library. Well one of my team mates came over to our table last week and ask if I could help her with her charms, then next thing I know the whole team is meeting there for a study group. Dennis said that since I said they can't play because of bad grades then it's up to me to help them get good grades. I'm going to have to find some place to help them with their spell work though. I guess I need to go check on the room of requirement to see how badly it was damaged or if still even works. Write soon, I miss hearing from you.
Got the letter from your mother today with the request for your medical records. If she hadn't said you were fine and I wasn't to come there first thing I think I'd have been on the way before I finished it. I took it to McGonagall and Pomfrey. Already mailed the copy express mail and it should be there long before this letter reaches you.
I know you are a brilliant potions maker but next time you should listen and go to a real healer. Pomfrey explained to me about potion toxicity build up. She also made me take a flushing potion just in case. She said I should learn about it this year in potions because most students aren't exposed to the really dangerous potions that leave build up in the system. Things like polyjuice, mandrake draught, and half the potions she gave you after the battle in the Department of Mysteries. Pomfrey muttered under her breath the entire time she was making the copies about people who self treated. I wouldn't be surprised if she sent you a howler, if she could find an owl to take it that far.
Then I ask about the prank stuff from George. She growled at me, Hermione. Then said she would talk to McGonagall and Slughorn about discussing potion toxicity build up in earlier level classes so student could be aware of problems. Then she threw me out of the infirmary.
I went to Andi's after I mailed your records. Teddy is doing well growing like a weed. Andi is doing better as well. Having Teddy takes her mind off of losing Tonks and Ted.
Please let me know how you are doing. I can't help but worry about you.
I got your mothers second letter with your ps. Glad you're doing better. I thought the description of how they tested your hair for potions was really interesting. I ask Slughorn about it. He arranged a special optional class for all years with Flitwick and Pomfrey. It was really interesting to learn how to charm diagnostic parchment and make the potion to test for toxicity. Every one that attended got to do one. There was some spectacular fallout though. There were five girls from various house that discovered they had been given Amortentia at different times over the last couple of years. McGonagall questioned them and discovered they'd all slept with the same boy. Did you know Bryan Selwyn, he was a year behind us in Ravenclaw? Well he's been expelled and arrested.
I miss you Hermione, Luna's nagging just isn't the same as yours. I keep turning to share some comment or complaint and you aren't there. Get well Hermione.
It was very good to hear from you. That was the longest letter I think I've ever gotten from you. I'm sorry that the healers are not letting you study. It must be driving you mad but really we both know that you could have taken your NEWT's last summer without even taking seventh year. Just relax and do what they tell you.
Things are better here. Those creepy stalker girls that try to stand to close are being kept away by my quidditch girls. Since we practice and have a study group together they've gotten use to me. I have 6 girls and 7 boys on the team since we have a full roster of reserves. Mostly third and forth years. Our first game is coming up soon and I think we're ready. Randy was pushing for more practices but I don't think we need them. He right up there with Ron and Oliver in fanaticism.
Yes my grades are good and I'm getting all my work done on time. You know I enjoyed teaching the DA and I am having a lot of fun with the study group. McGonagall ask me if I might consider teaching next year. I told her maybe but in a few years not right away. I think I might like to get a Mastery or two. Probably Defense and Charms. I don't really think I want to be an Auror any more either. I don't like dealing with those old farts in the Wizengamot and Ministry. Don't get me wrong Kingsley is great and he's really trying to make a difference but half those wankers in the Wizengamot sat out the war behind wards and now they try to claim credit and maintain the status quo. If things don't change we'll have another dark wanker in twenty years. I can see it here in the halls of Hogwarts. McGonagall is doing her best but there's still bullying and favoritism and sorry for that bit of rant.
I went to Neville's for dinner this past weekend Susan Bones was there. Like me she's the last of her family. Nev and Sue both have seats on the Wizengamot but you have to be 21 to take it. Madam Longbottom is her proxy as well as Nev's. So most of the discussion was how to effect the changes we need to make. I'm quite sure I don't like politics.
Oh you're probably going to laugh at me when I tell you what happened the last night. Kreacher woke me out of a sound sleep at 3:30 in the morning to present me with the newest Potter elf. Apparently when Winky told me I had to support four elves she meant she was going to have a baby. That's why she wanted to come to work for me. He is named after his father sort of anyway. Kreacher and I had a long confusing conversation and I know he thinks I'm a complete idiot. I had to have him spell the name to finally get it. Winky named the baby Dobbytoo. How that for a laugh? I must admit he is the ugliest thing I think I've ever seen and hardly bigger than my hand. I'll have to go shopping this weekend to buy Dobbytoo's contract items and some sort of present for Winky.
When read back over what I just wrote I was surprised I hadn't thought about it but I was sleeping soundly last night. I haven't had any nightmares since I moved out of the burrow this summer. I've had bad dreams for most of my life and can't believe I didn't notice when they stopped. I figured that I would have them for the rest of my life.
I miss you and wish you were here
It's wonderful that you're back in school. Don't worry about being behind, so what if it takes you an extra term to complete seventh year. Mind you I don't think it will. I still say you could have passed your NEWT's last summer.
Flitwick heard from McGonagall that I was interested in a Charms mastery and has offered me a apprenticeship. I accepted and will be meeting with him a couple of hours a week for the rest of the year. He seems to think I could pass the Mastery test when I take my NEWT's in the spring if I really work at it. It doesn't seem to be a problem since I have a light course load anyway.
I did get to the shops and bought some things for Dobbytoo. Blankets, dishes, a rattle and the cutest pair a little baby socks. Then I had to explain to Winky that the socks were not clothes but in honor of Dobby. I also found out baby elfs grow up in about a year. Dobbytoo will be starting to help around the house in about six months and can be given specialized training at a year old. I told Winky Dobbytoo could learn what ever he wanted to.
I picked up a camera and am sending you pictures. There's Dobbytoo with Winky. Teddy with Kreacher and Runt with the chickens, my little house and the quidditch team.
Kingsley wants Nev and I to stop by the Ministry Saturday he says he wants us to come spar with him as he needs the exercise, sounds fun.
I need to break off here and get ready for the Halloween feast. I'm hoping for a nice relaxing meal. No trolls, giant snakes, escaped prisoners or flaming goblets allowed.
Ha bloody ha ha. I suppose it depends on how you look at it as to whether I jinxed myself.
McGonagall announced new staff at the Halloween feast. Slughorn has taken on two apprentices, Patrica Stimpson who was two years ahead of us and Blaise Zabini. Stimpson will help with the third though fifth years while Zabini will be helping with first and second years. I heard Slughorn plans to retire in two years. Penelope Weasley, it was Clearwater, will be teaching Transfiguration for the rest of the year but only this year and not the NEWT classes. McGonagall will be keeping them. McGonagall also announced she's looking for an apprentice as well. She hired an administrative assistant to help with her paper work named Melody Burns she looks almost as old as McGonagall. She apologized for still not being able to find a muggle studies teacher. I hadn't realized that class wasn't available this year.
Went to spar with Kingsley. We had an audience as usual he had Neville and I duel with a pair of junior aurors first. Nev and I work well together. Then we went one on one with a senior auror. I did well. He got a couple of hits in but I still won. The Kingsley said I could take him on. He was gloating that he'd be able to beat me cause I was tired out. Ha, I wiped the floor with him.
Kingsley pulled a fast one one me. After the last round this little mousy guy who'd been standing on the sidelines watching congratulates me on earning my mastery in defense. Turns out he was an examiner from the ICW testing facility in Geneva. Kingsley wanted to be sure I knew that I earned it on my own merits rather just because I defeated Voldemort.
Turns out the test Baggins, the defense teacher, gave just before Halloween was the NEWT test. Not for everyone of course just my test. Everyone knows I don't like to discuss the questions after unlike some one I know who must obsess over every question. So I didn't realize that my test was different that all the rest.
So I earned my NEWT as well as the Mastery. I wasn't alone though. You know Neville took his NEWT's when they were offered last summer since he was at Hogwarts last year even if he skipped half his classes hiding out. Well he was awarded a Mastery as well. So I didn't feel to special.
Kingsley took us to lunch and when we got back Madam Marchbanks was waiting on me. I took the Charms NEWT in her office.
So now I'm down to Transfiguration and Potions for actual classes and my Mastery studies with Flitwick. He and McGonagall were awfully smug about tricking me. I think Baggins is glad I'm out of his class though I made him nervous.
I also learned Umbridge is finally going on trial. Seems that Wizengamot finally pulled their heads out and revoked all the muggleborn legislation and the werewolf restrictions and a bunch of other bigoted decrees. She's been in a Ministry holding cell all this time. Hers is one trial I plan to attend.
Slughorn called me into his office when he found out about my testing. He wanted to know if I wanted to take the potions NEWT early. He said it should be no problem with my talent. So I confessed about using the Prince's book and that it had belonged to Snape. He just laughed and said I was channeling my inner slytherin. He ask me if I still had the book that it could be used to update the book and give credit to Snape. I retrieved it before we left for the summer sixth year but I'm not sure where it is. Do you happen to know?
Before for say anything I will be continuing that class. Our last assignment was to find five potions that might be used on a regular basis research them then compare and contrast these with spells that do the same thing in an essay. These are everyday household potion not healer grade. So far I've done beard remover versus shaving charm, contraceptive potion versus the contraceptive charm, and drain cleaner potion versus the drain snake charm. I need to find two more so I'd better get going to the library.
Glad to hear you've caught up. See I told you you could do it.
Got a letter from George, Ron threw a big frothing rant in the store when he saw the news that Nev and I had gotten our defense Masteries. George said he threw him out and told him not to come back until he could control himself.
Had a run in with Zabini he may lose his apprenticeship if he doesn't straighten up. I overheard some firstys complaining to the fifth year prefect that he was mean to to them. The little twit told them to suck it up a quit whining. I stepped in and ask just how was he mean. Turns out Slughorn was called out of the room for some reason and told Zabini to oversee the brewing. He pulled a Snape and got nasty when a cauldron melted. I went to McGonagall. He's on probation now. I suppose I shouldn't compare him to Snape, Snape never used the M word in class.
I'm conflicted over Snape. I have all those memories and I can kind of see why he was so nasty but then again it was directed at me and that still makes me angry.
Oh, did I ever tell you I heard from my Aunt Petunia this summer. Shortly after the last battle they were let back to Privet Drive and she sent me a nasty letter about storm damage to the house while they were gone and the garden not being tended.
I wrote her back saying I could magic it better and haven't heard from her since.
My charms studies are going well although I now wish I'd taken Arithmancy and Runes. I can just hear you saying "I told you so" if you're wondering. I spoke with Vector and she recommended A Basic Guide to Arithmatic Equations as Related to Charms which is charm specific. She also told me if I really want to learn Arithmancy she'd tutor me. I'm thinking about it. I did like Maths in primary.
Of course you need runes for wards which while they are an off shoot of charms is a different mastery. But I do like warding. Flitwick tells me I'm a natural at Charms and I feel like I'm learning everything easier this year. I wonder if its a by product of the horcrux being gone. Probably never been any research into that type of thing. Not that I want to bring it to anyone's attention either.
We won our first quidditch game 210 to 40 against Ravenclaw. We had a party after in the common room. I called Kreacher and ask him to bring a case of butterbeer. He seemed really surprised when he popped back the the butterbeer and half the common room shouted thanks at him. Then Dennis came back with food from the kitchen. I was a good party but I missed you.
I went to Hogsmeade with Luna and met up with Nev, Sue and Hannah. We had a nice time but now people keep asking if we are dating, me and Luna I mean. When I say no the person immediately suggests a name of some one that they know that would go out with me. Why do the they do this. Don't they think I can find a girl on my own? I know lots of girls but none I'd like to date. Well none here at Hogwarts. It's surprising how few of our year mates came back this year. Most either took the NEWTs over the summer when the Ministry offered that special session or are doing without.
I ask McGonagall about it. She confessed that the expected attendance in the younger years almost doubled when I agreed to come back. So I'm glad I did. I also told her that if she wants something like that in the future that she would be better off to just ask straight out instead of trying to trick me. She gave me a guilty look and sighed. Finally she told me. Baggins is going back on active duty in January. We'll be with out a Defense teacher and she want's me to take over the class.
That why she and Kingsley set the Mastery test when they did. I thought about saying no of course but I do like teaching. I'll become a full teacher start of next term since I already have a Mastery in the subject. It won't affect my apprenticeship with Flitwick, I'll do private lessons with Slughorn and McGonagall to prepare for those NEWT's. The only bad thing is I'll have to give up quidditch come next term. McGonagall says I'll be captain in name and do the practices but I won't be able to play in the matches as Staff. I'll need to get Dennis up to snuff.
I worried that private lessons with me would drain McGonagall's already very rare spare time even more but she doesn't think so. She told me she's taking on an apprentice who'll be here in January so that's good. Wouldn't tell me who though, told me it would be a surprise.
Got to go now. Andi sent over Remus's briefcase full of lesson plans from third year. I want to go through them and see what I can use.
It's great that you're coming here for Christmas. I didn't think you'd be able to get away. I've already started the passport paperwork so I could come there but this is even better. McGonagall wanted me to spend part of the holiday doing some Transfiguration work.
Where are you planning to stay? I kind of hope it's not the Burrow. I'm not really welcome there. I have a spare room as does Andi. McGonagall would probably let you stay here in the castle as well.
Are you parents coming? I would hate for you to miss out on a family holiday.
Went to Umbridge's trial. She got life in Azkaban for all the horrible things she did to muggleborns. She deserves it.
Talked a man named Earnest Vance, he was friends with my grandfather, after the trial and found out why I don't have a seat on the Wizengamot. You probably know they are hereditary. My dad made a will when I was born leaving everything to my mum and me. My grandfather was still alive at this time. He had a seat on the Wizengamot and was active until he got sick with Dragon Pox and died. That was about the same time as my parents went into hiding. My dad claimed the seat and appointed Edgar Bones his proxy but didn't update his will to include alternate proxies or change my guardianship. However Bones was killed. Possibly my dad didn't know because he didn't appoint a new proxy and then he was killed.
Sirius could have claimed the seat in my name as my godfather but since he was in Azkaban the seat remained unclaimed. A seat unclaimed and without a proxy for ten years is reassigned to a family voted in by the Wizengamot. So I lost the seat. If I want a seat I have to wait for one to become vacant and lobby for it.
Someone challenged my guardianship a few months after and the Wizengamot pulled the will. It named my mum as regent, then guardianship should have gone to my grandfather, Sirius, Edgar Bones or Frank Longbottom. All of who were dead, in prison or incapacitated. Guardianship doesn't pass to the next of kin. Dumbledore had enough pull to keep me hidden.
What Vance was actually after was finding out if I was interested in a seat. A couple of dark families were completely wiped out during the Death Eater trials last summer and have no heirs left. So they are trying to fill those seats. I reminded him I couldn't claim it yet. He said that could be worked around and could he put my name forward. I told him yes. I don't think that they'll give me one at my age anyway.
Anyway I can't wait to see you. Let me know your travel arrangements soon.
This is the last letter before I see you again. I'm so looking forward to it. I'll pick you up at the airport. I've made all the arrangements. We'll go to my place for a couple of days, then to Andi's for Christmas with Teddy. Boxing day we'll come back to the Castle for the rest of the holiday.
I didn't realize you weren't on speaking terms with Ron. You didn't say what you argued about. I suppose you can tell me when you get here.
I promise not to hover over you when you get here. You probably have a study schedule already planned out. It will be nice to study together again.
I'll be moving my stuff out of the Gryffindor head boys room and into Staff rooms in the Defense corridor when term ends. McGonagall said you can have the rooms next to mine.
I do hope you were joking about the curse on the DADA job. If Voldemort placed it wouldn't it have died with him. I wonder if changing the name of the course would break the curse if it's still there.
I found out why Penny is only teaching Transfiguration this year and not continuing next. She's having a baby in the spring. She took the position for a little extra money and a place to stay. She said it became very uncomfortable at the Burrow once Molly found out she was pregnant. You might know Percy resigned from the Ministry during the last battle. They've rehired him. He's working with Mr. Weasley now.
Got to go do some brewing with Slughorn this afternoon. That reminds me Snape's book was were you said. Pat and I are reviewing all the alternate brewing instructions under Slughorn's supervision for a revision of the text. Slughorn got permission to for us to submit a revised edition of Advanced Potion Making. But all of the changes have to be documented. Pat will get credit as part of her Mastery.
Slughorn wanted Zabini to take part but he refused to work with me. Just a well I'd probably have hexed by now.
I'll see you in two weeks, I can't wait
I just wanted you to know how special this holiday has been. When I picked you up at the airport I had no intention of kissing you. It just happened. When you didn't object I just had to do it again. I never imagined that you might feel the same way I feel. I know I'm not good enough for you though you've made it plain that I'm an idiot.
It was tearing me up that our time was coming to an end. That I was going to have to let you go back to Australia. I had made up my mind to tell McGonagall I was leaving with you. When you told me you'd taken your NEWTs and accepted an apprenticeship here at Hogwarts. I couldn't believe it.
I should have guessed that me taking a couple early would have challenged you.
Maybe it's silly to write you a letter when you're in the next room sleeping but I wanted you to know I love you, Hermione and I always will.