Tiny Tim, a Shaggy Kneazle Story
This was originally written for the HPFF Winter Writer's Duel 2013. Thanks to my Beta FriendofMolly who suggested the happy ending. Once I had the less than 4,000 word version done I couldn't stop. The characters just had more of a story to tell. This is set in my Almost Happily Ever After universe.
Timothy Evans woke in pain, which was not a surprise. For at least the last four years waking up was waking up in pain. His situation had been steadily getting worse. Ever since he had helped his mother to escape David Evans, the man on his birth certificate as his father, David had made his life a living hell.
The one leg was bad. There was no way he was going to be able to put any weight on the bad leg; the other leg had not healed properly but he could put some weight on it. David moved around a lot, and few of the places they had lived had any place where he could go outside. The current warehouse and studio and brothel where they lived had a small area, no grass but at least open to the sky, where Timothy could go and lay in the sun. He scrounged some food and headed outside. There were high walls and a dirty concrete floor but at least there was a lounge that would allow him to lie down in the sun, sometimes lying in the sun helped ease some of his pain.
Timothy was settled in when he heard the flapping of wings. Timothy saw a large bird; he thought it was an an owl, bearing a large envelope. This was strange! He took the envelope. It was addressed to him, Timothy Evans!
Timothy opened the envelope. Inside was a letter on parchment.
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress
Dear Mr. Evans,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We have been unable to contact you in person. Would you please contact …
Timothy knew that there was no way he could contact anyone. All incoming and outgoing mail and phone calls were screened. There was only one computer connected to the outside world, and that was in a room David kept locked unless he was in it.
Timothy carefully read through the information. September 1, leaving from platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station! If he could only get to Kings Cross Station before September 1 he had a chance to escape!
He was a Wizard! That explained why he was alive, and how he could make guns not fire or misfire, how he had kept himself alive and how he had allowed his mother to escape. Things were beginning to make sense!
Timothy had hidden the envelope with the Hogwarts information, and so far no one had found it. The envelope and some money he had stolen was also hidden on him, and he was in an automobile with a couple of people who worked for his father going to another place. He saw a metro station and did something, or thought something, and the car crashed. It did not crash hard, but somehow all the front air bags engaged, temporarily disabling both people in the front. Timothy opened the back door and hobbled to the metro. When he got there he purchased a ticket and got on the first train. His first job was to get as far away from there as possible, and then to go to Kings Cross Station.
It was hard getting around on crutches, and every movement was agony, but he was free! It was July 28. He got to Kings Cross Station and purchased all the food he could, so he could eat the 28th, 29th, and 30th, and 31st. He thought he could make the food last. He was used to going without food. He then went up to a divider between platform 9 and 10. Somehow it was not a great surprise when he was able to walk right through the wall.
There was a train there, with an old fashion engine. Timothy found that he could sneak onto the train and sleep in one of the cars. There was water to drink on the train. He settled in one of the cars and waited.
It was just after noon on the 30th. Timothy had run out of food, and was getting bored. He hurt worse than usual; sometimes the pain was just unbearable and he would scream or cry, but he always pulled himself back together. Maybe they could heal him at this Hogwarts, or at least keep him from hurting all the time. Suddenly the door opened and a lady dressed in a gray suit walked in.
"Timothy Evans, your name is on this map, but who are you and what are you doing on this train?" she asked.
"I have my envelope from Hogwarts, ma'am," Timothy said. He showed her the envelope.
"What happened to you?" she asked, looking at his battered body.
"My dad doesn't like me much, and he beats me, ma'am. I never want to go back there."
"Where is your mother?"
"Hiding from my dad, so he doesn't kill her, ma'am."
"Where is your luggage?"
"I don't have any. All I own is what I have on me."
"If anyone knows what to do with you, Harry Potter will. He will make sure you get to Hogwarts, and that everything else is taken care of as well. Come along with me.
Harry listened to Timothy's sad story, gently questioning him until he was satisfied. Then he said, "Timothy, we need to get you over to our hospital, St. Mungo's. I want them to examine you before we do anything else."
Late in the day Madam Pomfrey walked into Harry's office, accompanied by Timothy. She had Timothy sit down, and then she said, "We have given Timothy some pain medicine so he can go on the train September 1. Someone needs to get him books and supplies, and I would expect it would be best if someone would accompany him on the train. Can you get that done for me?"
"We are already taking Teddy, and we can take Timothy too," Harry said. "I'm sure we can arrange for his supplies."
"We are going to have Timothy in the infirmary every weekend and over breaks healing him," Poppy said. "The internal injuries are worse than the ones you can see. He should be mostly healed by the end of the school year."
Timothy was a little groggy. The pain medicine they gave him really kept him from hurting, but it made him woozy as well. "I am used to pain, Madam Pomfrey, ma'am" he said. "I don't like being so groggy. I need to know what is going on."
"Just take one potion every six hours, not two," Poppy said. "It's all right to take two before you go to sleep.
"Harry, where is Timothy going to stay until he gets on the train, and who is going to get him his supplies?"
"I don't know, but will figure it out," Harry said. He then called Ginny and explained the situation.
Ginny said, "Call Mum. I would, but I had a couple of stringers quit at the last minute, and I'm frantic trying to get coverage for all the Quidditch games. The season starts Saturday. Between that and three demanding children even with house elf help I'm probably not going to have time.
"Mum has to take Freddy shopping tomorrow. That idiot brother of mine has been so busy selling things to other children that he's forgotten to get Freddy his things."
Harry hated to keep imposing on Molly, but could not see a better choice. He called and explained the situation to her, but before he was halfway through Molly said, "You bring that poor boy over here RIGHT NOW! The stores at Diagon Alley are open late tonight, and I can give him a good meal and get him some clothes. Now, Harry, now."
"Yes, Mum," Harry said.
"Was that your mother?" Timothy asked.
"That was my wife's mother," Harry said. "She is the closest thing I have to a mother. Mine was killed when I was just a year old."
"I'm sorry," Timothy said.
"I'm real sorry too," Harry said. "Let's get you to Mum Weasley."
Harry locked the door to his office, leaving it in more of a mess than was usual for him, and took Timothy to a private floo. In no time Harry and Timothy were in the kitchen of Molly Weasley. Molly looked at Timothy and said, "Let me hug you, young man. Tell me if I am hugging you too hard."
Molly hugged Timothy until she could see that it was beginning to hurt him, and then got him to sit at a big kitchen table. "When was the last time you have anything to eat, Timothy?" she asked.
"I had a sandwich at the hospital," Timothy said, "but before that it was yesterday afternoon."
"I told the house elves to get dinner ready for us about 8:00 PM. Before we go shopping I have fruit, sandwiches, and a salad for you." Molly pulled out serving dishes with everything on it, and a very hungry Timothy had a big salad, two sandwiches, and took two apples to put in his pocked.
Harry took his leave. About six Molly had Timothy at Missy Malcom's Modern Muggle clothes store, and within an hour she had gotten Timothy a moderate collection of necessary clothes.
"Who is buying all this?" Timothy asked as Molly went to pay for everything.
"The Harry and Ginny Potter Charitable Trust," Molly said. "It is a very long story, but my son-in-law is both very rich and very generous."
Molly and Timothy got back from shopping about 7:30. She had a house elf take him up to a guest bedroom, and he cleaned up and put on new clothes. The same house elf helped him come down for dinner at 8:00 PM, where he was introduced to Mr. Weasley and Mrs. Tonks.
Dinner had just started when the floo flared up and Teddy came through it. "Wow, dinner is late," he said. He went over and kissed Mrs. Tonks, and then went right up to Timothy and said, "I'm Teddy Lupin. Grandmother and I live with Gram and Gramps Weasley, but I usually have dinner with my godfather Harry and his family. He told me about you. I'm going to look after you and Freddy when you go to Hogwarts. I'm starting my SECOND year there so I can help you."
Teddy sat down next to Timothy, and Timothy watched in wonder as Molly waved her wand and a place setting flew out of the cupboards and drawers and landed in front of Teddy. Teddy helped himself to very modest portions of everything, telling Timothy, "I've already had a dinner at my godfather Harry Potter's house."
Teddy and Timothy had a very nice 'getting to know you' conversation. Gram and Gramps (as Teddy called them) joined in some, but Grandmother Tonks almost never said anything.
Dinner was over and everything was put away when the floo flared again. A a tall black woman dressed in bright magenta appeared with a trunk trailing behind, and then a boy about the age of Teddy and Timothy, who, with his tightly curled red hair and light black complexion, looked like a black Weasley, followed. He also had a trunk.
"FREDDY!" Teddy cried. "We'll get you all outfitted for Hogwarts. Timothy here is going for the first time too, and we will get you both all set. Grandma Weasley and I will make sure you have everything you need."
"I'm glad you will have an expert along, Mum Weasley," Angelina said laughing. "You've taken one or two Muggle children and their parents every year for the last ten?"
Molly said, also laughing. "Plus that husband of yours and his brothers and sister before that. I'll enjoy having Teddy along. Just don't tell George I don't mind doing this!"
Freddy and Teddy had to describe the special magical expandable trunks from Freddy's parents shop, and Grandmother Molly had to come up at about eleven to shoo Teddy out of the room and put Timothy and Freddy down to bed. She kissed both of them good night; something Timothy found almost as good as the pain potion to help him sleep.
Nothing could have prepared Timothy for the magic of the next two days, getting his own magic wand and all the other supplies, and then riding the train along with Freddy and Teddy. They knew a giant, Hagrid! Everybody seemed to know both Teddy and, because he was frequently in the store, Freddy. And he was sorted into the same house as Freddy; the same one Teddy was in, Gryffindor.
As the school was dismissed the headmistress called for Freddy and Teddy, and had them bring Timothy along. Madam Pomfrey was at the front of the hall along with a very short man. Minerva said, "Timothy, you are not going to be able to handle the stairs for a few months. We are going to teach Freddy and Teddy how to levitate you so Freddy can bring you to classes and Teddy can help when Freddy cannot."
It only took about an hour before both Freddy and Teddy were good at levitating Timothy. "Dad's let me use a wand in the basement of the shop for years," Freddy said quietly to Timothy as they left.
Every weekend Timothy had to go to the infirmary Friday night, and he was usually not released until Monday morning. Sometimes he could have visitors, but frequently the treatments were so painful or difficult that he was put to sleep or could not have visitors. The good thing about the treatments was that he was getting better. The weeks between the weekends were fascinating, and enjoyable.
Timothy had been told that he was never going to be sent back to his father. No one quite knew where his mother was or how to find her. He knew she didn't like birds, so sending her an owl was probably a bad idea. Finally one of the third year Ravenclaw girls had an idea. "I have a half-Kneazle cat," she said. "They can usually find someone if they are not too far away. If your mam is in Great Britain she should be able to find her. It takes a cat a lot longer to get anywhere, but she will not give anyone but your mother the message. If she cannot find your mother she will come back here with the message attached."
"What do we write?" Timothy asked.
"Ask where she is," Freddy said. "Ask her how we should find her."
"What if she doesn't want to tell? She is terrified of David Evans, the man who claims to be my father."
"Have her call you over the Christmas holidays," Freddy said.
"Who can she call?" Timothy asked.
"Aunt Hermione has a Muggle telephone," Freddy said. "It's attached to the wall with wires, and there are phones in her office and in the kitchen and some other places, plus some Muggle machine that answers it."
"I cannot tell her to call Aunt Hermione. First, that's my mother's middle name. My Mum's full name is Lilly Hermione Evans. She will think I'm joking. Plus no one is listed as Aunt Hermione."
"She is married to my dad's brother Uncle Ron. I guess the phone would be listed Ronald Weasley or Ronald and Hermione Weasley."
The note finally read: "Mum, this is Timothy. I escaped from David Evans the end of August, and have been at a private school in Scotland since the first of September. I will be back in London for Christmas.
"If you can tell me where you are just write it on this note and attach it to the cat. The cat will come back to its owner who also goes to school with us. If you cannot or do not tell us where you are you can call Ronald Weasley or Ronald and Hermione Weasley. They are aunt and uncle of my roommate Fred Weasley II.
Six weeks later the half-Kneazle cat came back without the message.
The cat's owner said, "Your mother got the message!"
'At least she's alive,' thought Timothy.
Lilly looked at the note for a long time. How could she tell Timothy to contact her? How could she be sure this was from him? A message on a cat? Maybe David Evans was just torturing her again? Nothing made sense? Finally she told the cat to go away. For the next month and a half she waited, and hoped that somehow Timothy would find her, even though she didn't dare expose herself to the world.
Timothy could walk without crutches! He still limped, and he looked pretty scarred, but the internal injuries that had been the focus of much of the early treatment were mostly healed, and the healers thought he would be walking normally by the end of the school year. They were going to have him stay at Hogwarts over the Christmas holidays, but he had written his mum, and he wanted to find her. He had no idea how to do it. He really didn't trust many adults. He thought Harry Potter was going to try and find his mother, but he had not heard anything.
"Freddy," Timothy asked. "Could I go home with you? Maybe we could find my mum if I was in London."
"Sure," Freddy said. The day they were scheduled to leave for London Freddy told the headmistress, "Timothy is coming home with me."
Minerva McGonagall had no idea when and how this was arranged, but she was sure Timothy would be safe with the Weasley family. She didn't think she had to tell anyone anything.
Once Timothy got to Freddy's house he was immediately put to work earning money (which he really appreciated) helping Freddy make things. When he was free he looked in every phone book and on the internet for any sign of his mother. He didn't think he would be able to find anything, because she would be hiding from David Evans. He couldn't think of anything else to do.
The morning of December 23 Harry Potter walked into the shop. "Mr. Potter," Timothy said. "Can I talk to you privately? It is important!"
"No problem, Timothy," Harry said.
Timothy told Harry all about writing to his mother. "Can you find her?" he asked. "I told her to call the phone of Ronald and Hermione Weasley, and I asked Mr. Weasley if they had received a call from mum but they had not."
"They don't have landline phones, just these wizard mobiles," Harry said.
"Freddy said he saw phones connected to wires at their house," Timothy said.
"That's listed in Hermione's Mother's name, Jean Granger," Harry said.
"WE'VE GOT TO FIND HER!" Timothy said. He was beginning to get frantic. "I told her I'd be back for Christmas."
"We know about your, whatever he is, David Evans," Harry said. "He is known to the law enforcement officers, and he is a real bad man. We have not tried too hard to find your mother because as soon as we do we are probably going to have to hide her. Let me see what I can do."
Harry called together all the staff he could. After telling them the story of Timothy he said, "We have to find Lilly Evans. We are almost sure that is not the name she is using, but someone should know where she is."
Harry and his team used all of their contacts with the Muggle law enforcement officers, contacts that had grown in number and sophistication since Harry and Arthur had been in charge of Magical Law Enforcement. Finally, after almost twenty four hours, they had a break. They found a female officer who knew where Lilly Evans was living. It took magic and memory management to get her to reveal what she knew. She knew where Lilly worked and where she lived. So mid-morning December 24 Harry and his team went to Lilly's work. She had the day off. They went to the rooming house where she rented a room. She was not there.
Harry made a map of the rooming house where Lilly was renting a room, and the area around it. If Lilly showed up her name would appear on the map. They also made a map of the small illegal restaurant where Lilly worked part time. Harry picked up Timothy and had him show Harry and the Aurors where he though Lilly might be. The drove around until 5:00 PM, and finally Harry took Timothy to his house.
"Mr. Potter," Timothy said. "The weather is just horrible. You have to find her!"
Timothy was right. It was that kind of blowing wet almost snow type of rain that is way worse than snow. It was just a terrible day or night to be out in. Harry kissed Ginny, saying, "I'll stay at this until after midnight if I have to, Love. If she's out in this weather we really do have to find her.
"At least if she goes home I will spot her on the map."
Saturday Lilly got a strong feeling that Timothy was in London, and she spent most of both Saturday and Sunday roaming the old neighborhoods looking for any sign of him. She told a few people even though she was afraid that by saying too much she might be letting David know where she was. Monday she had to go back to work. Some of the factories were closed, and the tips were not good. She was running out of money, but she still took the Underground and busses to go and look for Timothy every evening.
December 23 she asked for the day off, and was given it. Friday December 24 it was cold and rainy, that kind of damp windy weather that blows all the warmth out of you. It wouldn't have been so bad if Lilly had some warm clothes, but she didn't have a weather resistant coat or anything, just layers of clothes that did little to keep the wet away from her skin, and no gloves or hat.
Apparently Timothy had not found her room, that pathetic room with her few possessions in them. She would have to see if he was in one of the old neighborhoods, again. She took the Polaroid photograph of five year old Timothy, the only photograph of him she had, and took her meager money to take the metro to one of the old neighborhoods, and showed people the photograph. No one could help her.
Lilly got colder and colder. She knew the quest was hopeless, but this was her son! She had to find him. There were not many Weasleys in the phone book, not in London. No Ron or Ronald or Hermione. No search of the internet found them either. She ought to give up. She ought to consider it a bad joke.
It was her son! She couldn't give up! She went to everywhere where David would not find her but where Timothy might be.
Every hour she said she couldn't give up. She couldn't give up! Every hour she got wetter and colder, and her hands felt like they were almost frozen.
Mid-morning she spotted the Black Range Rover, looking like one of the vehicles that David used. She had seen his killers go out to do their job in one of those more than once. If you tried to escape they would find you. You would get in one of those Range Rovers and no one would ever see you again.
She went to every place she could think of, terrified that they would find her. She swore that she would NEVER give up.
Almost everywhere she went she saw the same Range Rover. They never spotted her. Her panic rose and rose, but she kept saying she would never give up.
But she did.
She was almost out of money. When you tried to live under the radar, working part time for cash, you never made much money. She needed money to get to work the Monday after Christmas. She had spent almost everything she had going to the old neighborhoods looking, and there wasn't even enough money for food for tomorrow. She would go hungry until she got some money two days after Christmas.
Maybe it was for the best. How could she give Timothy a Christmas in a cold room with no money, one little bed, and no nothing? She was better off if he didn't see how poor and broken his mother had become.
The walk from the Metro to her house was a long one, and she was wet and cold. She had stayed out in the cold for way too long. She hoped her fingers were not frostbitten. By the time she got to the front door she wasn't sure if her fingers would work anymore. Lilly tried to put the key in the lock, but her fingers were so frozen she couldn't get the key to work. She tried and tried, and finally broke down in tears. She might as well just freeze to death out here in the snow. It was so hopeless.
She realized that there was a hand on her shoulder. She glanced around to see a man in a long black trench coat. Out in the street she saw the big black Range Rover.
Oh no, THEY had found her.
"Lilly Evans?" the man asked. He rubbed his eyes. "I'm sorry, but my mother's name was Lily Evans, and this is hard for me."
She had heard those words before, or something like them, when she was with David. It was usually when someone was ordered to kill, or had killed, a young mother, a child or children, a relative. What a Christmas Eve this had been, first failing to find any sign of your son, and then getting killed on her front doorstep.
"If you have to kill me do it quickly and painlessly," she said, admitting a final and futile defeat. "It is Christmas Eve after all."
"NO, NO, NO," the man said. "I haven't come to kill you. Are you the mother of Timothy Evans?"
"Who are you?" she said. "Is Timothy all right?"
Harry had been abused as a child, but not like Timothy. He had been agonizing about telling Lilly ever since they started looking for her. He could not tell her that everything was fine, and then let her see her battered son. "He is worse for wear, but he is healing. I think he is going to be all right," Harry said.
"Where is he?" Lilly asked.
"At our house, hoping we would be able to find you," Harry said.
"Who are you, and why do you have Timothy?" Lilly asked.
"My name is Harry Potter, and I am in law enforcement. There is a lot that I have to explain to you. If you come with me we can see your son. Why don't you get some things so you can stay with us and your son for a few days?"
Harry took the key and put it in the lock. In utter panic Lilly opened the door and went to the small room that contained her worldly possessions.
Lilly still didn't believe it. She was worried that they just didn't want to kill her outside. Maybe they were going to take her away in that car like she had seen done too many times before, and kill her and dump her body where it would never be found. What could she do? She went in the house and got night clothes and, well, she had almost nothing. Everything she owned fit in a small battered suitcase she had gotten used. She cleaned out the little room she was renting, trying to hold back the tears, but not succeeding.
Harry thought he had never seen such a defeated woman. Her son had spirit. He was in Gryffindor, and he had been working tirelessly to find his mother. Considering Timothy's upbringing, and especially the last four years, it was no wonder that he didn't trust anyone, and maybe hadn't gone about finding his mother the right way.
Lilly accompanied Harry to the car, and when he opened the back door she got inside. There was a young man driving. Harry said, "We're done for the night. Take the car to the Ministry and I'll take Lilly to our house where her son is."
"Yes sir, Head Auror Potter, sir. Thank you for letting me spend Christmas Eve with you," the young man said.
"Your son is an unusual young man," Harry said to Lilly. "Did you ever notice him doing things that were hard to explain, that were, well, magical?"
"Yes, and then David would beat him, or me, or both," Lilly said. "I think several times David was going to kill one or both of us, but it never worked out right.
"He sent a man to kill me once. The gun misfired a couple of times, so he pointed the gun at himself and almost like magic it fired just as it was pointing at his head. When the Bobbies came I talked them into changing my name and going into hiding, but they found me again and once more stole everything I had."
"Maybe Timothy protected you," Harry said. "There is real magic in the world, although most witches and wizards work hard to hide the fact. There was too much persecution of witches and wizards a few hundred years ago, and magical society went into hiding.
"Lilly, your son is a wizard."
Lilly was exhausted. She watched as Harry reached into his coat. Was this his gun? Was he going to kill her in the car? But he brought out a long stick and waved it.
Harry put Lilly to sleep, and examined her with the basic medical scan that all Aurors knew. Lilly's bodily temperature was close to being dangerously low, and her hands were very close to being frostbitten. He did a warming charm to get her body temperature back up to a safe level.
"Wake up, Lilly," Harry said.
She must have fallen asleep. They were in a garage with a number of cars and trucks.
"See you after the first of the year, boss," the young man said.
As she got out of the car she saw it morph from a four door to a longer six door vehicle, and two people got out of a back door. Well, one was a man, but the other was very small and looked like pictures of elves or dwarves she had seen in picture books.
"I'll accompany you to the floo and then go home, Harry," the man said. "You should be in safe space until after Christmas."
"Thank you for taking the Christmas Eve shift with me, Jim," Harry said.
Maybe Harry was telling the truth, Lilly thought. 'Magic?' They went through a door into a room with a couple of doors and then into a larger room, really a large atrium of some sort of grand building. There were a couple of people at a desk.
"We are going to that fireplace," Harry said. "I'm going to throw some powder in the fire, and then we are going to step into the fireplace and come out at my house."
Lilly looked at Harry. This was beginning to get really strange. Harry took Lilly's hand, went up to the fireplace, threw the powder in and said, "Grimmauld Place."
They stepped into the fireplace and came out into a large kitchen. Sitting in a comfortable chair was a woman in her twenties, Lilly guessed. She had striking red hair spilling over her front, and Lilly guessed it came to her waist when she stood up. She was very short and she looked sort of motherly. "Is this Lilly, Harry?" the woman said.
"Lilly, this is my fantastic wife Ginny," Harry said. Ginny stood up, and Harry and Ginny kissed. "We found her," Harry said to Ginny, and he broke down in tears. "We found her."
A very blond boy came noisily down the stairs. He sort of hobbled to his mother. Lilly looked at her son. Timothy had grown in the four years since she had last seen him, and he had a lot more scars. She could see from his arms and what she saw of his legs, plus some scars on his head, that he had had a really tough four years. This limping was new as well. He looked happy and excited, though.
"Mum, mum," he said. "You must have gotten my letter. I sent it by, one of the Ravenclaw girls has a half-Kneazle cat, and when you give a letter to the cat it can usually find you, and I, well, they agreed that I didn't have to go home to dad because he beat me so badly but I was going to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas but I really wanted to find you so I snuck home with Freddy Weasley, his dad owns the joke shop and I worked there to earn some money, but we couldn't find you, and finally Freddy said I should talk to Harry Potter because he was a hero and he could do anything.
"Mum, we learned all about it at school, how Harry Potter fought the wicked wizard and killed him in a duel at Hogwarts and there is a place on the floor of the Great Hall showing where it took place, and that FAMOUS Harry Potter is Freddy's Uncle, and early yesterday morning he came to the Wheezes and I asked him to find you.
"Well, when I said that I had given the half-Kneazle cat a letter for you , they said they needed to find you, because you were probably worried to death, and, did you get my letter?"
"Are you ever going to have to go back to live with your Dad?" Lilly asked.
"NO!" Timothy shouted. "I don't think he's my dad anyway. I don't look anything like him."
"I got the letter on the cat, but I thought it was some sort of a cruel joke," Lilly said. "I moved several times because David, I hate to call him my husband because we were never married, although his name is on your birth certificate, well I think he was trying to kill me. You are right. He is not your father.
"Then I was off work Christmas Eve, and I thought that if you tried to find me I wasn't where we lived before, and I spent most of the day around the old neighborhoods asking if anyone had seen you, and I'd, … I'd, … I'd given up." Lilly was exhausted and she broke down in tears.
Timothy hugged his mother tightly, and said, "It's all sort of like a fairy tale. I was on crutches and much worse when I got to Hogwarts but Madam Pomfrey and some healers from St. Mungo's have worked on me and I can walk without crutches and I don't hurt ALL the time and things are getting better.
"I don't have as many nightmares either. You are not supposed to see the Thestrals unless you have seen someone die, but I didn't have any trouble because when I was with, he's NOT my dad, that man, I saw people killed."
"Timothy," Lilly said, "I'm exhausted, and I don't have any idea what you are talking about most of the time. Let's go to sleep and we can get to know each other tomorrow."
"You both can sleep in the guest bedroom," Ginny said. "Mabel, one of our house elves, will show you."
A small creature, less than two feet high, appeared. "Mabel shows you," she said as she let the way upstairs.
Lilly thought life couldn't get much stranger but, by some miracle, she and Timothy were reunited. How could they hide from David? How could she support Timothy; she couldn't even support herself.
Lilly silently cried herself to sleep, joy mixed with apprehension, mixed with utter exhaustion.
"Mum. Mum. It's time to get up for CHRISTMAS!"
Lilly heard her son, and startled, woke up.
When you were in her profession, the one her mother was in, Christmas was never a holiday. Men wanted you, if you were a young girl or an older woman. And the last four years, the only ones where she had been free Christmas, she was desperately poor, terrified that they would find and kill her, and missing Timothy and wondering if he was alive.
She looked over at her son. He took off his pajamas to put on a shirt. She could see marks where he had been beaten; his back was somewhat of a mess, although there were not any big scars.
"We shouldn't disturb the Potters Christmas morning," Lilly said.
"No, Mum, we have stockings too, and Mrs. Potter said there was going to be STUFF in them. I'm going to have a CHRISTMAS! Mum, our first CHRISTMAS!"
Her son was eleven, and here he was excited about his FIRST Christmas. He may have been excited but she wanted to cry. She could not believe what was happening. Lilly put on a dressing gown that was lying on the bed. Somehow it magically fit her.
"I'm HERE, James, Tim. You can get up now," a voice rang out.
"Teddy's here. We need to go downstairs," Timothy said.
Lilly saw a few presents under the tree, but not as many as she expected to see considering the Potters apparent wealth. There were eight stockings on the mantle.
Harry James Potter
Ginevra Molly Potter
Theodore Remus Lupin
James Sirius Potter
Albus Severus Potter
Lilly Luna Potter
Timothy had eagerly run to get his stocking. He brought it back. Inside was a gift certificate for one hundred pounds for "clothes and necessities" and another one, this one for twenty five pounds, "not to be spent on necessities, but must be spent on things you want."
Lilly looked at the Potters. "We can't accept these gifts from you," she said. "We don't have anything to get you, and it's not like we are family or anything."
"Lilly," Harry said, "I grew up in a household where my aunt and uncle gave my cousin lavish presents and never gave me anything. My first Christmas present was a jumper from Ginny's mum when I was eleven. I get immense pleasure in giving presents to people who really need them. Don't deny me this little pleasure.
"Look in your stocking. There are presents for you as well."
Lilly looked in her Christmas stocking. Inside were three envelopes, with instructions to open them in order.
The first envelope had a gift certificate for two hundred pounds for "clothes and necessities" and another one, this one for twenty five pounds, "not to be spent on necessities, but must be spent on things you want." The gift certificates looked like credit cards. The letter was from "The Harry and Ginny Potter Charitable Trust, and it was signed, in the most elegant and fancy signature Lilly had ever seen, Fleur Isabella Delacour Weasley, trustee.
Lilly looked at Harry. "We have already gotten Timothy clothes," Harry said.
She opened the next envelope. The certificate said that they had rented an apartment for her in a building in London, and gave the address. Lilly was almost sure she could not afford an apartment where this on was.
"I can't afford to live there!" Lilly said.
Harry said, "Now look in the third envelope, Lilly."
The third envelope contained a brief letter saying that on the next Monday she had a job interview with Bill Weasley and Michael Appleleaf.
"Between the job and the apartment we can keep you safe, Lilly," Harry said.
"Mum, everything is going to be all right," Timothy said.
Lilly was beginning to believe it. She broke down in tears again, but this time they were tears of joy.
Lilly's head was spinning. In addition to getting to know her son and beginning to learn about Magic she was sharing a Weasley Christmas with a LOT of Weasleys. The New Burrow was a large house, but with fourteen children running around, plus Ginny Potter's brothers and their wives and her parents and a Mrs. Tonks, who apparently lived with the Weasleys, it was a lot of people. They weren't the quietest bunch of people either. There seemed to be a number of very outsized personalities among the both her generation and her son's generation.
A scar faced man had introduced himself, and Lilly was surprised to find that he was the Bill Weasley who was going to interview her for a job. He wanted her to come to work for him in computer security! He ran some sort of business that combined Magic and non-magical things, and they needed a computer security expert. Well, when she was with David they had done some computer fraud, and she knew computer security. Better than the job she was working at now, part time and poorly paid. And they would let her live in the Magical world where she would be hidden from David Evans, or whatever alias he was using.
Christmas evening Ginny came over to Lilly and Timothy. "The family usually stays over Christmas night. The cousins like staying together. You look a little overwhelmed. Why don't you go back to our house and have a quiet day by yourselves tomorrow."
"I would like that," Lilly said. "In all honesty I am a little overwhelmed."
George Weasley heard the conversation and said, "Just a LITTLE overwhelmed? Alas, we've been TOO sedate this Christmas. Time to bring out the fireworks."
Lilly looked at Ginny in shock and amazement. George was certainly one of the more dynamic personalities, although occasionally Lilly saw, when George was not in a conversation, a sad reflection of something. Ginny said, "They actually do make fireworks. I'm going to have a couple of elves bring you back to our house. They will make sure you have food tomorrow. Monday we will get to work getting you clothes and start to settle you into your new life."
The little house elf who had taken them up to their bedroom the night before took Lilly and Timothy up to the guest bedroom again. She looked at Lilly and said, "Harry Potter and families all good peoples!"
CH. 2 Lilly and Henry Granger
Lilly was going to need a lot of education to get good at her new job. But at least she was safe. Harry Potter and his Aurors had raided David Evans operation. They had eight women, one pregnant, one baby, and seven of the eight gave testimony against David and the other men. The British authorities agreed that David Evans would just disappear. People like him had a way of doing that anyway. David was in Azkaban where he would never escape, serving life plus 300 years.
She had classes Monday through Friday evening, and all day Saturday, but they were good classes. She was getting good at her job. She had a mobile, and once a week she and Timothy would talk on the mobile.
Two of the men from where she worked had asked her out, but as soon as the first one realized that she had been forced to work as a prostitute he dropped her, and the second wanted to get free samples. At least between the medical treatments she had received before joining the magical world and the ones she had received after she was free from infections and the scarring that so often plagued women in her profession.
Henry Granger was interested to see the woman they were going to be teaching IT security. As soon as she walked in he knew she was way beyond his ability to date. He had never had a girlfriend at Hogwarts, never gone to Hogsmeade with anyone. He had actually asked four different witches to go with him, but they were all 'busy,' and when he told them to let him know when they were free no one ever did.
It was the same since then. He had gone to Muggle schools for electrical and electronic engineering, and then had a series of jobs. He always found a few women he was interested in. One date was enough to convince him that he didn't want to date most of them, but there were always one or two or three he wanted to get to know better. He seldom could get a second date and he never had gotten to the third date.
But this Lilly Evans was a looker! She was big on top and big around the bottom and had a narrow waist, classic hourglass shape. He gave up before even really getting to know her. He was average in height and looks and at thirty four a failure at girls. He wanted to get married but he was beginning to give up.
She was sitting at her desk late Friday afternoon, the middle of March. Henry Granger was in the desk across the way.
"We live in the same apartment building," Henry said.
"I thought I saw you in the building," Lilly said.
"What are you doing this Friday evening?" Henry asked.
"Laundry. I have to go to a Muggle laundry. I can't use the magical machines in the building."
"I could make the machines work for you. I have to do laundry too."
"How do you dry clothes? There are washing machines but no dryers."
"With magic. Instead of having that house elf, Terry Traffic, bring you back to the apartments I could take you. Then we could meet down at the machines."
Lilly and Henry had talked often, mostly about work. He was in sales and sales engineering, so he couldn't be that shy, but he seemed to be awfully shy around women. He had treated her like she was a fragile glass object, something that sometimes pleased her and sometimes really annoyed her.
Besides after nothing but awful dates since leaving David she was about to give up on finding anyone. A woman with her history was damaged goods. She was going to have to be content to have a loving son. She had escaped David Evans and that horrible life. That ought to be enough. Maybe she and Henry could just be friends.
Henry did his laundry first. It was fascinating to watch the damp clothes fly into the air one by one, to get dry and folded and put in the basket so neatly.
"Is there a way to dry clothes that cannot be put in the dryer?" Lilly asked. "My bras cannot go in the dryer."
Henry looked at some instructions on the wall, and began to get red in the face. You had to hold each cup and say a spell. He'd never gotten closer to a woman's undergarments than walking by them in a store. He closed his eyes. He'd never even held a girl, and this was awfully personal. He could do this! He was going to do this. He had to!
"I have to hold them and dry them a little more carefully, but yes there is a way," he said.
Lilly put her clothes in the washer and Henry ran the machine. When they came out he dried and folded all the skirts and blouses. Her knickers were all modest cotton, as were her socks and stockings. Finally there was nothing left but four rather formidable looking contraptions. He picked one up. There seemed to be a wire or something under each cup. He held one cup on his hand and did the spell, then the other one. He was sure Lilly could see how turned on and embarrassed he was. Four bras, eight cups, at one point he could see a label that said 36DD, which probably was a way of saying she was pretty big on top.
Lilly had to keep herself from laughing. Henry was SO embarrassed as he dried her bras. They were expensive underwire minimizers, and she really hoped he didn't ruin them. He didn't.
"We could go out to dinner after bringing our laundry to our apartments," Henry said, hoping he wasn't being way too forward. "I have plenty of money and I know you are just starting to earn some, so I'll treat. Not a date, just something better than eating alone."
"I'd like that," Lilly said.
So almost every Friday after that they did laundry together, and then went out for a meal. Henry always paid, and Lilly let him. The end of April, at their Friday meal, Henry said, "There is a concert this Sunday afternoon I would like to go to. Would you like to go with me?"
"Yes, I guess. A real date and not just a meal after laundry."
"You know what I did from the time I was little until I escaped about four and a half years ago?"
"You have told me. I think you had a lot of courage to escape. I'm sorry Timothy was hurt so severely, but I'm glad you are both going to be all right. I would love to meet him."
Lilly said, "Yes, Henry, I will go out on a real date with you."
The end of May there was a Muggle movie Henry wanted to see, and again he invited Lilly, and again she went. By this time they had shared a lot of their history, and Lilly knew that Henry had never kissed a girl and never had been on a third date. He had talked to Timothy on the mobile a couple of times. She couldn't see why he had not gotten married. He was a real catch.
Henry was paranoid. He loved the relationship he and Lilly had. He had no experience taking it any further. Even that third date was scary, and touching her, kissing her. He was not sure if he was ever going to get more erotic than drying her bras. But there was a concert that they both wanted to go to, the Friday night before Timothy was coming home, so he asked her, and she said yes.
Lilly had worked very hard to dress in modest clothes. Her past still haunted her. But this was the third real date, not just dinner after laundry. She purchased a bra that was not a minimizer, and that showed some cleavage. Well, she was big and it showed a lot, and she was at least a couple of inches bigger around, so none of her blouses fit without straining. She got a blouse with just enough of a V neck to show a little of that cleavage and a skirt that was tight around the top of her bum showing her shape.
Henry noticed. Lilly hoped she had not overplayed her hand. She was still not at all sure if she needed to be more patient or more forward.
Lilly enjoyed the concert. She was just a little concerned about Henry. He was close to panic. Maybe this is why he hadn't gotten any further with anyone else. He just doubted himself too much. She needed to break the pattern. So as he walked her up to her apartment she made the decision. It was time to go just a little further. It was time to break the curse.
"I had a lovely time, Henry, on our third real date 'date'," she said, as she held on to his hand and turned to face him.
"I did too, Lilly," he said. He was getting more unsure of what he could do, that she could see. She pulled her body into his and gave him a little kiss. He kissed her back, not pulling away but not clawing at her either. It was a delightful little kiss. Then she let go and put her key in the door. "I'm going to pick up Timothy tomorrow afternoon. I hope you can meet him on Sunday."
"Sunday," he said. "Sunday. Any time Sunday."
She went into her apartment and closed the door. She put her back against the door and slid down until she was sitting on the floor. It was a delightful little kiss. It was the best kiss ever. It was the first real kiss in so many ways. All that other, that was business, and a business she hated.
She felt like a teen age girl. In so many ways this was her first kiss.
It was hard to fall asleep that night, between thinking about seeing Timothy, and thinking about seeing Henry, and that kiss.
Henry looked at Lilly's door for a long time, and then walked slowly down from her fourth floor apartment to his first floor apartment. Thirty four, and finally his first kiss! But it was more. He went into his apartment and went into his bedroom and cried happy tears.
It wasn't a goodbye kiss. It was an 'I want you to meet my son and spend more time with you' kiss. It was, he hoped, a first of many kisses kiss. It was a future he had given up on coming back to life kiss.
It was a kiss worth waiting for.
Lilly was sitting on her bed, contemplating the changes in her life the last six months. She was going almost everywhere by floo now, with a house elf taking her. The house elf, Terry Traffic P/W, took five Muggles through the floo, as part of her duties. Traveling by floo was so quick Lilly didn't mind the occasional moderately long waits for Terry. The little house elf was so excited, because she was going to have a baby in about a month, and then she was going on a month long maternity leave. "No house elf ever go on Maternity Leave before Harry Potter, and Kreacher, and Azalea," the little house elf had said.
Timothy was coming home today, and she was going to go by floo to the train station to pick him up. He was supposed to go to St. Mungo's the first thing two or three days a week, for treatments and potions, but other than that he was free of the medical treatments that had taken up so much of the last year. He was almost free of pain, and his internal injuries were almost totally healed. "I'm not going to worry about the rest of the scars," he had told Lilly. "Lots of witches and wizards have scars. I don't want to go through any more treatments than necessary."
Timothy was going to be working four hours a day, five days a week, in the basement of Freddy's parents business, making magical things. "I feel like one of Santa's elves making magical things," he had told Lilly after working at the shop over spring break. Freddy was then going to go upstairs to help sell things, because as he said, "That's not work, that's fun!" Timothy was going to go to the New Burrow with Roxanne, Freddy's sister, while Lilly was at work. She was apparently not as fond of selling things.
Lilly looked at the bedroom. She had met a witch who lived in the apartment building who loved decorating, and the witch changed colors of everything and the shape of some things until Lilly felt the apartment looked like her. Timothy was thrilled with his bedroom, with twin beds so he could have a guest over. She hadn't been able to buy much, but she had purchased a big picture of Hogwarts, and Timothy was happy to see it hanging on his wall.
Lilly was sitting on the big bed in her bedroom, big enough for two. When she first moved into the apartment she couldn't imagine ever wanting to share a bed. But things had changed.
She looked at herself. She was wearing a pleated skirt in a pretty pastel blue, which came down to well below her knees, and pastel blue pumps that went with the skirt. Her blouse was frilly, with a modest scooped neckline. It was hard to hide the abundance she had on top, but nothing in the blouse blatantly advertised her wares, unlike how she had to dress before.
She had actually had three men ask her out since she had started working, and Henry and she had gone out three times. Actually they had seen each other a lot more. He worked the magical washing machines in the apartment building for her, since he lived in the same apartment building, and they had washed clothes together almost every week for the last three and a half months. He was so embarrassed to see her undergarments! He was so shy. Henry had actually told her that he had never gone out one on one with a girl his whole time at Hogwarts.
He worked odd hours, and his job involved some travel, but they saw each other at lunch once or twice a week as well. And last night, when they were at the door to her apartment, she gave him a little kiss. He was so embarrassed. He wanted to kiss her again, and didn't have a clue how to initiate it, and stammered, and got real embarrassed.
It was only a little peck, but it was the best kiss she had ever had.
And he wanted to meet Timothy, and she had not been able to keep any of her relationship with Henry from Timothy, and Timothy wanted to meet Henry.
Maybe there were Fairy Tales, and maybe they did come true.
"I've got to go back to Hogwarts in two weeks, Henry," Timothy said. "Are you going to ask my mum to marry you before I go back?"
"I want to," Henry said, "but I guess I'm scared. What if she says no? I don't want to lose what we have, and, I guess, well, I was a Hufflepuff at Hogwarts. We're not brave like you Gryffindor's. I'm just scared."
"Hufflepuffs' are some of the nicest people at Hogwarts! And Mum won't say no," Timothy said. "She told me 'If I said no he'd never get the courage to ask me again. Of course I'd say yes!' So ask her."
"When do you think I should ask her? I don't have a ring or anything."
"Now! Why wait?"
"She's making dinner."
Lilly peaked out of the kitchen at her two men, her son and her boyfriend, who were engaged in some sort of discussion. "If you two magical people would move the dinner to the table we could eat," she said.
They went into the kitchen and Henry waved his wand and moved the dinner to the table.
"What were you two talking about?" Lilly asked.
Timothy looked at Henry, who got real embarrassed. Henry said, "We were talking about when I should ask you to marry me, and we agreed that right now is as good a time as any. Lilly, would you marry me?"
Lilly grabbed ahold of Henry real tightly and said, "Oh, Yes, Yes, YES." She then gave him a real, deep, wonderful lover's kiss, and he kissed her back, and Timothy smiled. Somehow they arranged a wedding for August 31, the day before Timothy went back to school.
Timothy changed his last name from Evans to Granger, because, as he said, I want a REAL dad, and from then on Timothy did have a real dad. And Henry formally adopted Timothy, and it felt real good to both of them.
It was the morning after they were married. Lilly and Henry did not have sex until after the ceremony. Lilly was going to be a born again virgin until her wedding night. And it was good, and awkward, and she had to help Henry and teach him how to please her, but he had read the book that Ginny Potter had gotten them, and it was very satisfactory.
That morning Lilly had just relaxed, and had let Henry please her. And he had, and although she knew the difference between having a climax and being unsatisfied, she had never, in all her thirty years, gotten to the next step, never had that next level of ecstasy. And that morning, for the first time, but certainly not for the last time, she experienced that fantastic peak of pleasure. She thought that life could not get much better.
Ch. 3. Life gets better, or a little payback
It was May of Timothy's second year at Hogwarts. The Friday before the last Quidditch game parents could come and tour the school and meet teachers. Henry and Lilly had come, despite her being Eight and a Half months pregnant. Lilly was in the bathroom (again), and Henry saw three of the witches he had gone to school with coming towards him.
"Henry Granger," one of the witches, Henry thought one name Wanda, said. She got sort of a coy look on her face and said, "You can take me to Hogsmeade any time. I'll FIND the time for you!"
"Do you have a child here?" asked Henry.
"Yes, but his father was a Muggle, and he and I are not together anymore," she said. "I wish you and I had gotten together."
"I did ask you to go to Hogsmeade with me once," Henry said. "All I needed was a little encouragement, you saying you were free, to ask you again."
"I should have."
"I should have too," the second witch said. "I'm married but ... Are you married?"
"Where do you live?"
The third witch, Henry though maybe a Slytherin, and not a pleasant girl, said, "Hufflepuffs never have any money. They probably have a little apartment, or a hovel in some magical community."
All the years of pent up frustration broke forth.
"We have six apartments we rent at 201 Newbright Street right next to us, and duplexes at 202 Newbright Street and Two Grimmauld Place. Lilly and I live on the corner at One Grimmauld Place, on the same block as Harry and Ginny Potter and Ron and Hermione Weasley. My parents owned those buildings when I was going to Hogwarts.
"I don't have to work, but I cannot imagine doing nothing. I'm in sales working for Bill Weasley, and could pay for the house at One Grimmauld Place even if I hadn't owned it already. Lilly is in Muggle and Magical Data Processing and Security for Bill, and is going to be working part time from home after the baby is born.
"Here is Lilly now. Lilly, these are some of the girls I went to school with."
Lilly had heard much of the conversation. She gave Henry a huge kiss. "I am so lucky to have found Henry," she said. "He is the nicest wizard I could ever imagine. He's rich, with a good job and he's a fantastic lover as well." She gave him another kiss.
"See you around," Henry said as they took their leave.
"You were worth the wait," Henry said.
"I love you," Lilly replied. "I meant every word I said, even if some of it was for those witches benefit. If they had only been nicer to you one of them could have married you."
"Their loss," Henry said.
"Does it feel better, knowing that I wasn't the only one who might be interested in you?" Lilly asked.
"You know, it does," Henry replied. "It sounds like if I had been a little more persistent, or if the timing had worked out a little differently, I could have ended up dating one of those witches."
Henry wished that Lilly could have the same sort of meeting, and early that summer, as they were out in a park with their newborn, they did. A young man that had taken Lilly out for one date spotted her, approached her, and said, "I have been looking for you."
"Why?" Lilly asked.
"Just after Christmas last year I went to the little restaurant, but they said you had disappeared. I hoped nothing bad had happened to you. I just decided that not dating you because of some of your past history was really stupid and narrow of me, and I was going to ask you out again. You just seemed like such a nice person who had been having really bad luck for way too long."
Lilly looked at Henry, and then at the baby in her arms. "My luck has changed for the better, thank you. I hope you find someone as good for you as Henry has been for me. I'm in Data Security now, with a good professional job, and a husband rich enough that I don't have to work."
"It sounds pretty fantastic," the young man said.
"It feels pretty fantastic," Lilly said. "It feels like the happy ending to a real tough story. Thank you for looking for me."
After the young man had left Henry said, "Well, you know that I wasn't the only way out of the life you were living. Sooner or later someone would have found you."
"If I had lived long enough," Lilly said. "I'll never know if I would have been able to get the door open Christmas Eve, or if I would have frozen and starved to death there."
"We will never know," Henry said, "so we will just have to be grateful the worst didn't happen and you were rescued."
Lilly knew who Timothy's father was. She was not sure how she was going to react when she saw him, but the magical world was reasonably small, and she was sure she was going to run into him eventually. Lilly also warned Timothy, since he looked so much like his father. The same light blond hair, the same pointed chin.
Timothy's attitude was quite clear. Draco Malfoy was the person who started his life of terror. His father was Henry Granger, that man who had adopted him and given him his last name. But Timothy was not sure what he would say if he met Draco.
The end of August the family, now with an almost 3 month old infant, went out to eat at a new fancy restaurant in Diagon Alley. As they sat down the baby decided he wanted to eat, so Lilly nursed him, not paying attention to anything else. Finally he was done, and after he settled down she looked around.
At the next table she saw what she was sure were two older witches, their backs to her, and a grandmother with a young child on one side, a stuck up thin unpleasant looking woman on the other side, and in between Draco. She looked at him and caught his eye, but he turned away and would not look at her.
Timothy caught his mother's eye and looked at Draco with a questioning look, and she nodded. Without a word being said mother and son knew who they were looking at.
Lilly decided she would give Draco a chance to do the right thing and come over and say something before she confronted him. All during the meal the two families looked at each other uncomfortably. Finally, as the Granger family, who had ordered first, had finished their main course Lilly motioned to Timothy and they got up and went over to confront Draco.
"Timothy," Lilly said, "this is the man who raped me at the brothel and got me pregnant with you."
Timothy said, "The son-of-a-bitch sperm donor doesn't have the guts to introduce himself. He's the reason I lived eleven years of pure hell before escaping and getting to Hogwarts, where it took them a year to heal my broken body."
Lilly and Timothy stood there looking at Draco. They stood there for at least two or three very uncomfortable minutes. Finally Timothy said, "I'm glad I have a real father now and not this pile of shit." He turned and walked back to sit next to Henry, and they held hands, Henry comforting Timothy.
Lilly looked around the table. Everybody's eyes were hard except for Narcissa Malfoy, who had a look somewhere between agony and sympathy. Lilly finally turned and went back to her seat.
As the Granger family was leaving Narcissa got up and went over to Timothy and Lilly and said, "I'm sorry for your suffering. I'm not sure what I can do, but I'm Narcissa Malfoy, and if you ever need anything let me know."
"Thank you, Narcissa," Lilly said.
Timothy looked at what he knew was a grandmother that he would probably never know, a woman who seemed to be the kindest at the table. "I'm sorry if I hurt you, Mrs. Malfoy," Timothy said.
"It's not your fault, Timothy," Narcissa said.
Narcissa told Molly Weasley about the dinner, and Molly got in touch with Lilly Granger. The next Christmas Molly arranged a luncheon meeting between Narcissa and Timothy, and they slowly got to know each other. None of the other Malfoy family members knew about it for a long time, however, not until there were drastic changes in the family and certain members had died.
Rita Skeeter frequented the restaurant, because with rich witches and wizards coming there she found plenty of gossip. One of the waiters, when he noticed the resemblance between Timothy and Draco, contacted Rita, and she heard the full confrontation.
Rita looked up the people involved, and when she saw that Lilly's married name was Lilly Hermione Granger she knew she had a headline that, if misleading, was at least factually true. So the headline in the Tattler and in the Witches Weekly articles she wrote was Draco Malfoy has a son by Hermione Granger.
Of course the whole story was that he had a son by Lilly Hermione Granger, a former prostitute married to Henry Granger. Although she didn't say it everybody who read the article knew that Lilly Hermione Granger was not at all related to Hermione Jean Granger Weasley, but Draco was kidded unmercifully about it. He never did anything about it, and never tried to contact Timothy.
Hermione Weasley thought the whole thing was ridiculous as soon as she read the article, and so did Ron, after he had calmed down and read the whole article.
Lilly sort of resented the article at first, but in the end she didn't have to hide her history, and far more people applauded her for escaping and for her courage than criticized her for her past. Life was pretty good.
Lilly had sort of resented her shape, the way men stared at her, the attraction she had for certain men, when she was in the business before she had escaped. Afterwards she felt her shape hindered her escaping her past, plus they were heavy and the expensive bras were tight around you. But magical bras held you up with levitation spells, and Henry was just flabbergasted that he had married this curvy woman, and she eventually got to enjoy showing off her shape. When people complimented Henry over her she felt very good indeed; he deserved it.
Six years later Henry and Lilly were at the London Zoo with the three youngest, six, four and two. With magic Lilly was back to the same shape she was before she was pregnant. With magic she didn't need the huge bra's that a Muggle woman needed to support a big bust, and she had on a sun dress with a build in magical bra, just a second layer of fabric under the lightweight top layer. The day was hot, but the sun dress was light on her, form fitting on top with a couple of pair of spaghetti straps giving some semblance of support. There was enough cleavage showing to show she was all real, but not enough to be inappropriate for a mother. The dress was loose fitting below the bust, but as it fluttered around it showed all her shape. She looked spectacular! She knew it, and she knew Henry knew it and was very proud of her. Their six year old son was holding his father's hand, and Lilly was pushing a stroller with their four and two year old daughters.
Coming towards them Henry saw two couples he recognized from a stint at a Muggle company. The women had both put him down pretty harshly when he had expressed an interest in them. The men had been crude and overbearing, and he found the company an unpleasant one to work for. The abuse he had encountered there had not helped his self-confidence, and he vacillated between feeling sorry for people working there and just not liking the place. It was the only place he had worked, the only people, who he felt had abused him. He had not met someone at the rest of the companies; he was beginning to think, mostly because of bad timing and his own lack of confidence.
Henry was beginning to feel sorry for the two couples. All four of them had gained a lot of weight. Henry did not think of himself as particularly good looking, but he had not gained any weight in years. Lilly at least keep telling him how good he looked, and he certainly was a lot better looking than those two men.
Henry's sympathy for the couples vanished when both men stared at Lilly and one of them said, "Look at the rack on that one!"
"How much did you pay for her?" the other one said, and gave a rough laugh.
Considering Lilly's history this was not a good question to ask.
"My wife Lilly and our three children," Henry said. "She had no idea I owned four town houses in the middle of London, fully paid for, when she agreed to marry me. As far as she knew I was making a modest living, since I was staying in an apartment. We do have household help, so she can continue with her managerial job in IT. I am traveling the world as a sales manager and we can easily afford it (".)
"How are you doing?"
"Well enough," the one man said. "We have to be going. Good seeing you." The coupes hurriedly took their leave.
"If they were doing all that well they would have stayed and bragged about it," Henry said. "I don't like bragging, but those people deserved it.
"I think I am more in love with you each year, Lilly. You were worth the wait."
"The past is past, but once in a while it's nice to know that unpleasant people don't always win," Lilly said, contemplating the women who could have married Henry if they had just been a little nicer to him. Life was very good indeed.
CH.4. "Thirty Years"
Lilly helped Harry get the freezing, soaking wet woman and her children into the big black SUV. Harry did a quick medical scan on all three, and then dried and warmed them with charms.
Lilly couldn't help remembering that she was just as cold and miserable thirty years ago. For the last twenty years she had been working with abused women and children, along with a few men. It was much more satisfying work than the ten years of computer security work, although it could be emotionally draining.
Why did families have to break apart during the holidays? Somehow Christmas Eve it was worse. For years Harry Potter had worked long hours the week before Christmas, including Christmas Eve, giving some of his Aurors a break. For twenty years she had accompanied him, as together they handled the most difficult domestic situations.
This was going to be an especially hard night. Dark dreary rain and sleet was coming down, freezing on the trees and on the people who were still about. The women and her children had been put out of their house with little to cover then, and they were close to being frostbitten, just as cold, Lilly thought, as she was when she stood outside her door thirty years before. Some wizards took advantage of their power to marry and abuse Muggle women, and a few witches did the same with Muggle men. It was wrong, and sad, and the all too frequent break up of these relationships fed a constant stream of damaged people to Lilly and her co-workers.
"You are going to be all right," Lilly said to the woman. "You are Sophia Ziegler?"
The woman nodded, sniffling. Harry had done the warming spells, and the vehicle was warm, but she was still shivering. Lilly didn't know if she was shivering from cold or fright or both.
"Your son is Sam, and your daughter Ashley?" Lilly asked.
The woman nodded again.
The son Sam spoke up, saying, "This has got to be the WORST Christmas Eve anyone has ever had. Dad's gotten drunk on Christmas before, and we haven't had any presents, but he's never thrown us out of the house into the cold rain before. It's better when he hits me than this. We could have DIED. I thought we were going to freeze to death."
"Daddy's are not supposed to hit you," Lilly said.
Sam said, "He hits everybody, and does spells that make you hurt. He says nobody can do anything about it because he's a wizard. You're not supposed to hate your dad but what he does to us is WRONG."
Lilly looked at Sophia and asked, "Are you ready to leave that situation? We can make sure you never have to go back. Your husband can ask to take classes to learn how to become a good husband and father, but unless he does, and is successful, we can make sure he never sees you and your children again."
"He almost killed us this time," Sophia said. "I want to leave but where will we go? My family is far away and poor, and his family hates me because I am a Muggle. I just can't see any way out."
"Come into my house," Lilly said. "I want to tell you a true story, and then we will have Christmas together tomorrow morning."
"It's all fairy tales, not true stories," Sam said. "No happy endings, not for us."
Lilly remembered her despair outside her door thirty years ago.
The four people ran through the freezing rain to the front door of One Grimmauld Place. Lilly put her hand on the door knob, her gloves magically keeping her hands warm, and the door recognized her and let her in. It was so different thirty years ago! Henry met them at the door and magically dried them off.
Lilly had called Henry when she knew about the situation, and he was prepared. They walked into a nicely furnished living room. There was a fire burning in the fireplace, and on the mantel there were five stockings, Henry Granger, Lilly Granger, Sophia Ziegler, Sam Zeigler, and Ashley Zeigler.
Lilly had everyone sit down. A house elf brought in hot chocolate and sandwiches, something a little more filling than Christmas candy or cookies, and the three Ziegler's eagerly started to eat.
"Thirty years ago," Lilly started, "I spent all of Christmas Eve looking for my son. I hadn't seen him in four years, but I had a note from him, and I was looking for him. I couldn't find him. I was out in a damp rain without a coat, just like you, and when I got back to the place I was living I couldn't put the key in the lock. My hands were so frozen, I was so frozen, I thought I was going to die on the front stoop of the rooming house on Christmas Eve."
"But you didn't die," Ashley said.
"No, I didn't die. Harry Potter, the same man who rescued you this evening, rescued me. I didn't have a husband, I had a job that didn't pay enough, everything I owned was in one little suitcase. I had no future and a terrible past, and everything looked hopeless, so hopeless, but I was given a chance.
"The man you see in that photograph, the one with a wife and four children, that's the boy I was looking for. He was beaten so badly by his father that his whole first year at Hogwarts he had to spend every weekend in the infirmary. He's a fine, healthy young man now. I met my husband that next year, and had three magical children with him. Those other photographs are of my other son and two daughters and their families. My youngest daughter is expecting a child in about a month, and then I will have ten grandchildren.
"Like Harry Potter I have been given so much that I want to spend the rest of my life giving back. Tomorrow morning there will be gift certificates in each of those stockings, to get you new clothes and a new place to live, and something fun for yourself.
A house elf took the three Ziegler's up to their room. She told them, "Lilly Granger and families all good peoples!"
The next morning the three looked in their stockings. In addition to little gifts for the children there were gift certificates, for necessities and for a little something special for each of them. Each certificate was from The Harry and Ginny Potter Foundation, Fleur Isabella Delacour Weasley and Lilly Hermione Granger, trustees.
"We'd gone to every house where something bad might happen," Lilly told Henry that evening as they got ready for bed. "It looked like this was going to be one Christmas Eve where nothing had gone wrong. But Harry knew, he had some prophesy or something, and he insisted we go back to every house a second time. Sophia and her children were put outside shortly after the first time we went by the house. I hate to think what would have happened if we hadn't worked late Christmas Eve."
"I hate to think what would have happened if Harry hadn't worked late Christmas Eve thirty years ago," Henry said. "Will this be another Happily Ever After?"
"Close enough," Lilly said. "Sophia and her children can stay here for a few days. I think they will make it; most do."
"We more than made it, Lilly. It's a wonderful life we are living."
"It is a wonderful life. Merry Christmas, Henry."
"Merry Christmas, Lilly."