Thread: Crossover: Answers Come The Hard Way Sa+16
View Single Post
Old 03-17-2015, 06:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
Connie
Gryffindor
Puffskein
 
Connie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,192

Hogwarts RPG Name:
Janet Lynn Gordon
Fifth Year
Default
Werecats are people too! Reader of Fan Fictions

Hey Guys, it's time for another One Shot. This one picks up in the same time frame where the last one leaves off. I hope you are all enjoying the stories. Comments are welcomed.
Hey Ivana, thank you for reading and commenting. I am especially thankful because I know how busy you are. Thank you for giving me your time and thoughts.
Quote:
I'm happy you give the opportunity of having her dance to Ginny and finally Harry has his wounds healed - although I can't believe he will be able to behave himself and take it easy for months. It's against his nature.
You know my Harry too well. You are correct, it is not in his nature to let something go and sit around resting. I loved writing Harry and Ginny having a romantic get away and the dance was a fitting way for them to end their away time. Thank yo Ivana for reading and commenting.



Reality

For these last three days since they got home Ginny floated about the house on cloud nine, dwelling on the special getaway Harry took her on. She didn’t know what her favorite part was; being on another planet in another Galaxy; the grand reception the White House had given her and Harry; the honor they bestowed upon Harry and the fine speech he made; the wonderful ball where she and Harry waltzed and danced all evening, well except for when Harry danced with Lily; or coming home and being able to celebrate their marriage properly in their own bedroom. She sighed and realized Lily was tugging on her hand.

“Lily, oh sweetheart, I’m sorry; do you need me for something?” she asked with a hint of a smile still on her face. Lily pulled her to the kitchen saying she was hungry for lunch. Ginny looked quickly at her watch and was surprised to see it was 1:30 and she was still in her night gown and robe.

“Mummy, please tell me what is wrong with you? Have you been attacked with a spell or something? You’re always happy like you love Daddy again without getting mad at him and you haven’t made me do any schoolwork. You made me promise that I would keep up with my lessons when I was in America with Sam and Jack, and you haven’t even seen what I did yet. And you don’t get dressed until late all the time. Molly said you guys just didn’t make love enough and it’s your sexy frustrations that makes you hate Daddy and makes him go out and pick fights getting all hurt and everything so he can get attention from you and be your hero. It’s why you only have three kids. That’s that time I gave her a black eye on account of what she said about you guys. She said it was what everyone at her school was saying. But Uncle Percy didn’t say she was wrong. But you’re all happy and everything now so you must have been cursed; and Daddy too ‘cause sometimes he is happy too, but mostly just sad; and he is all the time being cursed by people.”

Ginny’s smile left her face and she thought for a moment before responding to her daughter’s legitimate complaint, and at the scandal that was told to her. “You’re right; I have been unfair and neglectful. I’m very sorry. I’ll try to explain but first let me get dressed. I’ll ask Winky to get you some lunch this time, and from now on I’ll see to you properly.” She smiled and kissed her daughter on the tip of her nose. While Winky prepared lunch for Lily, Ginny went to her bedroom and laid out her clothes for the day and then quickly showered. She had a lot of explaining to do and thought seriously how to word her joy of being a wife to her little girl since; she certainly did not want her to believe what she was told by her cousin. She would at first chance be speaking to her brother, Percy, for the horrid things that were told to her daughter. She felt heart wrenched that her children thought she didn’t love their daddy.

Ginny thought carefully to see how the kids could think she didn’t love him. She wanted to make sure she didn’t just assume things because kids are good at finding out things you might be hiding from them. James and Albus were always keen to what was going on. They always knew when I was upset at their daddy. She thought some more and remembered that she always acted like everything was ok, but she wouldn’t let them do anything with Harry with the exception of when he took them all to that Botanical Garden he created in Madagascar. That ended with those men being disintegrated. She remembered being afraid for the kids to be around him since he could kill so easily. Even though it turned out that Harry hadn’t killed them, had she ever told the kids he didn’t, when they thought she thought he did? No, it was all just allowed to blow over. I always took the kids away when it was time for him to come home, or had them study for tests and such. And Lily has only known her daddy for three years. He was in a coma her first five and a half years. She only knew things about him from her brothers telling her. She tried to shove those thoughts away and thought, but I always acted like nothing was wrong to the kids. And there were days that things were right between Harry and I, like after he awoke from his coma and we went to America. But then she remembered being angry at him right after that. Things kept happening that made her think he was teaching the kids’ bad things like learning magic; magic that was beyond their years. Still she acted like she was happy, she was happy when she was teaching them. And then when he was gone the last two years, surely they knew I loved him. But then she thought about all the acting she had done before. They were probably so confused. She understood how others would be justified in thinking the horrid things they thought and couldn’t hold it against them. Of course her nieces and nephews would think those things, especially if the parents didn’t tell them any differently. She scolded herself for being such a bad parent and resolved to fix things right away.

When Lily was done eating Ginny asked her to sit with her on the couch for a talk. She had her wedding album on her lap and showed her pictures of her and Harry’s wedding. Lily was enraptured with all the pictures. “Mummy, you were so beautiful, and you looked as happy as you look now ever since the ball. Daddy is handsome too, but he looks awful sick or something. What was wrong with him? Did he just always look like he was recovering from bad people hurting him? Did he look like this when he was a little boy?”

When Ginny explained about the war and him leaving for four years, she also told her that this was the time that Mr. Bagman and his bad people began hurting and trying to kill her daddy. She told her how he helped people all over the world while the bad people were working against him. Then she told her how all the years her daddy was very brave because he had to fight alone, and take care of himself.

“When he came home, people doubted him and he fought again alone for the most part. But at least we were able to help mend him and get him healed. He became so powerful that people became afraid of him. The bad people knew this, so they made up stories that seemed real and caused people, even his family, to become afraid of him. Many bad things happened and unfortunately, we grew apart from him. I want you to know that I still loved him, but I became angry that he was teaching you kids magic, powerful magic, that I was afraid for you to know. Plus it is against the law, but of course, your daddy had special permission from the Minister of Magic to teach you. I didn’t know this though, and that is why I was angry. I should have known Daddy wouldn’t break the law, but I didn’t think of it. Plus, I was so worried about him and confused at the same time, in which even I treated him badly. And another time I got angry at him for doing dark magic was at the beautiful garden. I thought he killed those men, but he didn’t. It was the Fairy that protected the garden who did it. He thought I didn’t love him anymore. But he never once stopped loving us. And I never ever stopped loving him.”

Ginny stopped to evaluate her young daughter to see how she was taking this huge bit of history and decided she was doing well enough she could finish. The night your daddy left so we wouldn’t be in danger from him was the worst night of my life. He had nearly died that day, and he was mistreated by some of our family. He didn’t do anything wrong, and he needed us, but he left to keep us safe. He poured out his heart to me that night, and we were finally able to understand things that drove us apart. He didn’t want to leave, but knew he had to. We were able to be strong for each other the two years he was gone. Then the terrible day came, just last month, when he had to play in that horrible Quidditch game and then fight Voldemort after he caught the Snitch.”

Ginny wiped the corners of her eyes and continued, “It’s been a month now since he’s been home, and he is having troubles healing, not only his body, but his memories that are still very much on his mind. But, he took me on a special honeymoon and although he had surgery during that time, he was able to start becoming a normal father and husband. You saw how happy he was at the White House. It’s because he was able to do what he has wanted to do for many years. He was able to be a normal husband to me without having to run off to save the world or wasn’t recovering from a near death experience. And I wasn’t angry because I was tired of everything keeping us apart. We are so very happy sweetheart because we love each other and it’s just like we were when we were first married. You see how happy we are in those pictures. Those days were the last days we had that we were able to be without him being attacked or having to save people and getting hurt seriously. And although Daddy is still healing from this last thing that happened, he is physically getting back to normal. So, this is why I have been so happy since we came back home. We had a wonderful honeymoon, and we’re just not used to being so happy.”

“Just like you are newlyweds again; right Mum?”

Ginny smiled and nodded her head, “Yes sweetheart, just like that.”

“Does that mean that you will make more babies then? ‘Because Molly said that’s what happens on Honeymoons, you make babies. She showed me secret pictures from her Tablet that her friends from school showed her, but I told her they were gross and I didn’t want to see them. She got in big time trouble, on account of Aunt Audrey came in the room and made her show her what she was looking at. She’s not allowed to use it now unless she is sitting beside her mum until she gets able to be trusted to be a good girl.”

Ginny felt better about the situation since Audrey was aware of what happened. She was still angry that her innocent little girl was subjected to it though. “Are you ok with everything? Do you have any questions about what I told you or what you were told about from Molly?”

Lily shook her head no and said, “I’m good Mum, I asked Daddy this morning while you were sleeping. He told me Molly was wrong to do what she did and he wished she hadn’t told me. He told me all about that stuff, but he said I wouldn’t remember what he said until I was old enough to know. I’m ok with that. But he told me to talk to you so you could tell me what I need to know right now so that it can come off of my mind.”

Ginny arched her eyebrows, “You already know everything I just told you; why did you let me tell you all this?”

Lily giggled, “No Mummy, I only asked Daddy how you make babies cause of what Molly told me, and the pictures she showed me before I could get my hands over my eyes. He told me he would tell me and make it so I wouldn’t remember until I was old enough. I didn’t ask him about being cursed or anything, I was afraid it would hurt his feelings. His feelings in his heart seem really tender and I didn’t want to make him hurt. He has been hurt a lot, ever since I can remember. He knew there was more I wanted to know so that’s why he told me to ask you.”

Ginny gave her a sad smile and said, “Your daddy has been hurt a lot, but he is strong; he will hopefully be able to overcome the hurt in his life eventually. Dr. Beckett said it might be slow for a while, and he might not be able to overcome it completely. We will be patient and be happy for him no matter how long it takes.”

Lily nodded her head and looked back to the pictures. She fingered over the dress her mum wore and said wistfully, “Do you think I could wear your dress for my wedding? I want to be beautiful as you.”

Ginny smiled and said she would be thrilled if she would wear it, but she wouldn’t be upset if she changed her mind when that time came.
They looked at the pictures some more; commenting about Hermione’s dress being beautiful as well and the rest of the ceremony. Lily asked her questions about dating and what stuff she was supposed to do, and when would she be allowed to get married. Ginny answered her questions honestly, but on a level a young girl could understand. The mother daughter talk continued until they came to the last picture where her mummy and daddy were floating in air while they kissed.

“Daddy is so romantic,” said Lily with a sigh. I hope I can marry someone just like him. When I was little I used to think I would marry him when I grew up, but I know that was just silly little girl wishes.”

Ginny kissed her head and closed the book with a smile. As much as she would love for her precious daughter to marry someone like her husband, there is only one Harry Potter, and no one else can even come close to being like him.

Harry came in the door and slipped off his muddy boots. He was filthy and worn out, and headed upstairs for a hot shower. Noticing his wife and daughter watching him starry eyed, he smiled innocently and asked what was on their minds.

“Oh Daddy, if you only knew,” she sighed dreamily. She walked over to him with her hands held behind her back. Harry stood motionless not knowing what was going on and when Lily stopped and stood right in front of him and motioned for him to come to her level he bent over at the hips to come face to face with her. She put both her hands on each side of his face and gently kissed the tip of his nose. Still holding his face she told him, “Daddy, I love you so very much. You are my hero because you love me. Do you think you could do something great big for me?”

Harry was deeply touched with his darling angel’s expressing her love for him and swallowed while he nodded his head. “I’ll do my best to do anything you want, Angel. What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to start looking for a husband for me. It will be very hard because he has to be exactly like you. That’s why you need to start looking right now, on a count that it will take years and years.” She was looking in his eyes and still holding his face waiting for an answer.

“Err well; I will most assuredly watch every young man who takes an interest in you, but I think you’ll probably want to pick someone yourself. And he doesn’t need to be like me; I’m sure there is a young man out there who is perfect for you, and he isn’t exactly like me.”

“But, no, Daddy; I want him to be just like you.”

Harry carefully knelt on the floor on one knee and sat on the heel of his foot. Putting his hands on her shoulders he squeezed them firmly. “Darling Angel, you are very sweet. How about I keep an eye out for you, but you look too? And if you find someone before I do; I’ll make sure he is someone I think is good enough for you. I don’t want just anyone to take you from me; but I know you will pick the perfect young man. I trust you.”

Suddenly she let go of his face and threw her arms around him and said, “Daddy, you are the most bestest daddy in the whole world. I love you so much.” She pulled away from him and then looked at how dirty he was and then looked at herself. She brushed at the dirt and smudges on her and said, “Daddy, what have you been doing?!”

He smiled and waved his wand over her, cleaning the dirt off of her. “I’ve been to Pride Rock; remember me showing you that big hill with the great big rock that reminds you of the Lion King? I started calling it Pride Rock. Anyway, I’ve been clearing the hillside of big rocks that can hide under the snow, and filling in ditches to make a safe place to go sledding this winter. Hopefully by the time your brothers come home for Christmas there will be snow and we can go sled riding. Would you like that, Angel?”

She danced about singing a, made up on the spot, song about sled riding. Then she stopped and helped her daddy up telling him, “You need to get cleaned up on account of it being dinnertime, and we’re going out to eat.”
Harry looked quickly at Ginny. She saw the look of dread on his face but only sighed and slowly went upstairs for his shower. He hated being in public and would rather stay home, plus going out meant waiting for food and he was looking forward to eating as soon as he was cleaned up; but he would go to make Ginny happy.

Harry stepped out of the shower to find his wife sitting on the bed with his clothes beside her. He was happy they weren’t dress clothes but instead jeans and a pullover.

“If you don’t mind I invited Ron and Hermione to come also. Mum wants Lily and Hugo to eat with them tonight, Daddy just left with her.”

She watched her husband dress and stood against him before he could pull the shirt over his head. Putting her hands on his chest gently she inspected the various cuts and trauma he was healing from. She smiled at the progress they were making and reaching for the place under his shoulder above his heart she asked, “Does this one still bother you? It’s been looking much better but tonight it-”

He gently pulled away from her touch and quietly answered, “It’s coming along slowly. It is kind of discouraging that I am still so stiff and sore. But, I know it will take time. I am healing, that is the important thing.”
He pulled the shirt over his head and finished getting ready. “Is there something going on I don’t know about?”

Ginny asked why he would think that. He answered while he managed his hair, “We’re eating out without Lily, and Ron and Hermione are joining us without Hugo. Will this be a pleasant meal? Where are we meeting them?”
Ginny grinned, “You’re being suspicious over nothing. Just enjoy the evening. We’re meeting at The Leaky Cauldron.”

Harry stiffened abruptly. An establishment full of wizards and witches. He hadn’t made many public appearances, only one actually, since he defeated Tom Riddle. The fiasco at Kings Cross came to his memory and he sat heavily on the bed and Ginny sat beside him quickly putting her hand on his thigh. “I know, Love, this must seem like tough love, but you need to get out. People are asking about you.” She stood and pulled Harry up and walked to the door with him reluctantly following. He knew she was right, but still it seemed she was hiding something.

He took a deep breath and transported them to the establishment she chose. Ginny smiled at the spot he picked to arrive at; a dark corner under the stairs. He looked around quickly to find Ron and Hermione. He spotted them and nodded his head to Ginny in their direction. He looked at his wife and she saw his jaw clench tightly. He was not happy for the table was directly under a bright light in the middle of the floor with other tables in each direction of it. In one way he was thankful it was so crowded; maybe nobody would notice he was there. In another way though he wasn’t thankful for the crowd, for if someone saw him or spoke his name loud enough … well, he just didn’t want people starting to give him attention or want attention from him. He felt a jolt of terror when he suddenly felt Ginny tug on his hand saying, “Come on Love, they’re waiting for us.”

He stepped along with her towards the table where his friends were. It seemed he was walking in slow motion and he would never get there. Then adding to his horror, Ron stood up smiling and waving his hand, “Harry, Ginny, we’re over here.”

The room became as quiet as a funeral. People were following Ron’s stare and when they saw Harry they began to whisper and murmur. Hermione yanked her husband down and glared at him.

Harry walked solemnly to the table and seated Ginny before he sat down. He lowered his head and folded his hands on his lap. A few minutes later the room began to fill with the sound of voices softly at first and then noisily the way it had been before they knew Harry and Ginny were there.

Harry raised his head and picked up the menu perusing the choices offered. The waitress came over and asked if she could take their order. Ron asked Hermione if she was ready to order and she told him to go ahead while she thought a moment longer. Ron said, “I’ll take the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet corn and green beans. And I’ll have a fire whiskey to drink.” A second later, on an afterthought he said, “Oh, and a big slab of Pecan Pie for desert.”

Hermione was still silently studying the menu and Ginny was doing the same. Harry said he’d have the same only no pie and he’d have a glass of ice water for his drink. “But you like chocolate milk, everyone knows that.” Harry smiled kindly and said, “That sounds good then, I’ll have a glass of chocolate milk also.”

She laughed and put her hand on his shoulder, relishing the power she felt under her hand, and then patted his shoulder before she wrote down his order. She drew in her breath and returned her hand back to his shoulder but before she could say what she was going to say; Harry looked at Ginny and asked her if she knew what she wanted yet. Ginny said she’d just have the salad with a glass of water. Hermione gave her order, picking the same thing only with a glass of red wine.

The waitress scooted off reluctantly and Ron broke out in a soft controlled laughter. Harry arched his eyebrow looking curiously at him. Then understanding the laugh he knew so well he grinned at his friend and said, “You better be careful or I’ll tell her-”

“There will be none of that now, come on let’s talk,” broke in Hermione shaking her head but smiling happily just the same.

Ginny smiled at Ron and then Harry. She looked at Hermione as if she were coaxing her to start the conversation. Hermione jumped as though she was shocked. “Oh, Ginny, I was talking to Johnny Drew at the office today. You know him don’t you? He’s the new editor of the, Daily Profit, and anyway, he says you are thinking of becoming a writer for the sports section. Is this true?”

She looked at Harry after just a glance at Ginny. Harry looked at his wife without saying a word. Hermione never was good at concocting a lie on the spot. So this was it; she wanted to eat out so she could see what he thought about her going to work in a crowded place with Hermione and Ron for support. He was disappointed in her strategy and decided to let them have their say and stay out of whatever was decided.

Suddenly, Ginny felt awful for the position she put her husband in and started to answer Hermione when the waitress brought their order. She picked up Harry’s ice water but bumped the bottom of the glass on his shoulder spilling the water and cubes down over his shoulder and chest. Grabbing a towel she quickly reached over him to dry his shirt but Harry flipped his wrist and he was completely dry and all the plates and glasses were before the correct person who ordered it.

The waitress was embarrassed to realize she had acted so immaturely and bagged Harry for his forgiveness. He simply smiled kindly and said, “I appreciate and accept your apology. Please don’t think anymore about it. It’s all good.”

She thanked him and left quickly. Harry looked at his dinner mates and without a word picked up his fork. Before he had a chance to take a bite, a small child with very dark circles under his eyes came over to him and pulled on his elbow. Harry looked at the child and smiled his welcome to the boy.

A young woman ran to her son and tried to take him away apologizing all the while. Harry put his hand gently on the boy’s shoulder to keep her from taking him. “It’s ok ma’am; let’s hear what is on his mind. It appears that something is bothering him.”

The little one said, “Somebody stole my doggy, and nobody can find him. I think you are the only person who can find him. I can’t sleep or eat because he is my best friend and now he’s gone. Will you help me find my doggy; his name is Chewy? My mummy is all done eating if you want to help me now.”
“I’m very sorry to hear about Chewy being stolen. If your mummy tells me your address I’ll go to your house first thing in the morning and see what we can do. Is that ok?”

The little boy slowly nodded his head; his heart slipping from any hope he had. “He’s my best friend in the whole world. Really though, he is my only friend. I’m scared he will die tonight without me.” His words were barely above a whisper.

Harry excused himself from the table asking Ron to make sure Ginny got home safely and they could visit when he got home. He stood up and told the boy he would look right then to see what he could do. He got a take home box from the waitress and gave her enough money to pay for their meals plus a big tip.

As he put his plate of untouched food in the box he said, “While I get all the information I need I want you to eat this.”

The boy nodded his head and took the box of food Harry handed him. Harry bent over and kissed Ginny and said he’d be home later. Ginny didn’t try to object; she just smiled and nodded her head. The next time she tried to get him exposed to the public would be a smaller step instead of jumping right in like she made happen this time.

Harry walked out with the young lady and her little boy who took his hand after handing the box of food to his mom to carry. When they got outside Harry asked where they lived and when the dog had come to be missing. They told him the address and said it was three days ago the dog was stolen.

“We came by Floo powder, so umm we need to go back inside.”

Harry said he could take them home and took a hold of each one by their hands. After they were aware they were home the woman said, “My name is Judy Styles and this is my son Toby. Chewy was stolen right out of our front yard. I’m afraid the Auror who took my call wasn’t able to make any progress and I am worried for Toby. He won’t eat or sleep worrying about Chewy. I didn’t know he was going to bother you; I thought he was going to the restroom.”

“It’s ok ma’am; when you need help you need help. Do you have a picture of Chewy?”

Toby pulled out a picture he had folded up in his pocket. Harry waved his wand over it to restore the image that was worn off in the creases from being folded and handled so much. He looked at the boy pictured in the photo and seen that it was a very recent photo.

He sighed and said, “I’m going to make an image of Chewy, it is only an image. I need you to give me detailed information about color, size, length of hair and such details ok?”

Toby nodded his head beginning to look hopeful, and Harry slipped the food in front of him and then said an Incantatum causing the image he spoke of to appear before them. Toby began pointing with the chicken leg, in between bites and Harry adding the color and all descriptions to the image. It was only a few minutes when Harry stopped adding things to the image. It looked like the real dog was standing before them. He walked around it several times and then stopped, stooping eye to eye with the image; he asked what color the dog’s eyes are.

“His right eye is a beautiful blue and his left eye is black as night,” answered the boy finishing off another piece of chicken and attempting to stuff a dinner roll in his mouth.

“Slow down there, cowboy, you don’t want to get sick.” He winked at the boy and took out his phone, scrolled through Wizarpedia and then nodding his head he called a number.

“Hello, yes, I am looking for a dog to buy for my son. I wonder if you have a rare breed or something that would make it unique for him. It would have to be house trained and good with children. … Well, I don’t know dogs well enough to say what kind I’m looking for. Is there any way I can come over there now to see what you have? … It’s just that my son is coming home from out of country and I promised him a dog. If I break another promise my ex is going to use it against me. … I understand it’s late, but I really need to have one for him within the hour; the sooner the better. … Are you sure, money is no problem at all. … Ah great; thank you so much. … What’s that? … Yes, I’m coming right now. … Oh, yes of course; I found you on-line when I typed in businesses with rare pets available. … Yes, it certainly was worth getting that add. And do I ask for anyone at the front desk or… ok go around to the back of the house. Right, 18 Long Dr. and I will be looking for a brown two story house. … Oh, yeah, I know where that is, there’s an Elementary school just a few… right, ok I’m on my way then.”

Harry hung up the phone and said, “Wish me luck and hopefully I’ll be back soon. I can’t promise you your dog will be there, but if it isn’t, I won’t give up, but we will have to wait until morning to keep searching.”

He disappeared and reappeared along a tall hedge growing over the property line. He observed the house for a minute and listened for a minute before he saw a man come out of the house with a woman. They spoke quietly and then the woman walked back to the garage and entered. He heard dogs begin to bark and cry and then she silenced them. A minute later she came out with a dog and walked into the back yard with it. The man walked around to the side of the porch and stood in a large shadow. Nobody else showed up so Harry stepped onto the sidewalk and walked briskly to the house and looked at the house number. He pulled out a piece of paper as if he were checking information on it and then walked back to the back yard gate.
Upon reaching the gate he knocked soundly on it and was told to enter. Harry checked the shadow quickly and entered the back yard. He immediately saw the dog as Chewy and was thankful Toby would have his dog tonight. Harry pulled his Fedora further down over his face and swished a fat fake cigar to the other side of his mouth. His hair was tucked into his overcoat with the collar pulled up high and was becoming itchy. He acted like he was being particularly watchful where he stepped with his highly expensive shoes to keep anyone from seeing his face just in case the rest of his disguise wasn’t good enough to fool anyone that he was Harry Potter.

“Is this it then?” he asked handing the woman the briefcase he was carrying.

“Yes, he is a rare breed and I’m afraid we need to ask more than what my husband mistakenly told you. We’re going to need four hundred pounds more, plus the boarding fee. He’s had the best of care as you can see, and we have his papers.”

Harry gave an impatient huff and said, “Bring your husband out and we’ll negotiate. Before you get all hot and bothered let me explain. I am no fool; I can see you run a very lucrative business here and you could profit handsomely if I was to be brought in as a partner. I have stations that I am responsible for all over Great Britain where I house thousands of animals.” Harry made a point to check the time on his gold watch. He took off his glove and held out his bejeweled fingers to the dog as if he wanted to pet it. Seeing the diamonds on Harry’s fingers and the gold watch put the woman right where Harry wanted her. Her greed overcame her common sense. She called her husband to her and as soon as he came up beside Harry she told him what Harry had offered them.

The man became interested but then a red beam of light from a spell cut a deep hot path across Harry’s ear and jaw that knocked him off balance. His hat came off and he let his cigar fall out of his mouth. Now it was very obvious this man was Harry Potter. Harry quickly roped the two criminals together and ducked behind the garage.

He raised his voice to the spell caster to identify himself and to come out from the hedges. A man ran over pleading for forgiveness and started explaining that he was going to put an end to the illegal activity that was going on for the last week.

“We have a clean neighborhood here sir, we have children and we don’t want them exposed to criminals like those two. We have been working with the Auror’s all week, but they can’t catch them at anything. I was just trying to help them. I wasn’t going to kill anyone or even hurt them bad.”
Harry flipped his wand quickly and he was back to what he was wearing when he set out for an evening with his wife and friends. He spoke quietly to the two dog thieves and handcuffed them. He looked at the neighbor and said, “I appreciate the reason you became involved, but, it is best to leave the criminals to the Aurors. If you promise to be more careful, I won’t cite you with anything this time.”

The man thanked him over and over and promised at least as many times he would leave the crime fighting to the Aurors. “I did call them, and they said they’d have someone here as soon as they could spare an officer. That was twenty minutes before I shot you. I was listening to what was going on and I was afraid you were going to leave. I didn’t know who you were, are. The Aurors would have shown up too late.”

Harry nodded still not saying anything else. After making sure the man and woman were secure he went inside the garage and found a pitiful sight. Dogs and cats were obviously barking and meowing but they were silent. Harry counted the animals and called the Aurors’ office and told them to send five officers to his location and some traveling cages for the dogs and cats. “I also need someone to take in the owners and operators of the illegal business.”

Within the minute all the officers Harry called for arrived and quickly took all the animals and the man and woman to the holding facility.

Harry told the neighbor man to please go to the station in the morning at his convenience to file a report. The man said he would be happy to and then timidly asked if he could have Harry’s autograph for his little girl. “She’s been crying ever since these people came here with all the animals and all. She has a bad cold now and I just know it will make her feel better. You’re her hero, well; honestly you’re all our heroes.”

Harry was becoming uncomfortable so he just said, “I’m sorry your daughter is ill. I hope she gets feeling better soon. I don’t think having my signature could do anything for her, but she can have it if you think it will help.” They talked for a moment while he signed a piece of paper to; “Nancy, please get well soon, your friend, Harry Potter.”

He knelt down and sat on his heel, “Chewy, come here boy.”

The dog bounded to him and jumped into Harry’s arm licking his face and wagging his tail happily. The man watched as the dog continued licking Harry’s face and then laughed. Harry chuckled and said, “Well, I need to get this dog back to the little boy who it was stolen from. He’s quite sick and the sooner he gets Chewy back the sooner he will be able to recover. Good night sir.”

Harry appeared back at Toby’s house and knocked on the door quietly so as not to disturb the neighbors. It was going on nine o’clock and it wouldn’t due for people to see him visiting a widowed woman alone so late.

Mrs. Styles answered the door and invited him in but Harry remained on the porch. “No ma’am, if it’s just the same, I’ll just drop off Chewy and be on my way. I checked him out and he is free of any pests.”

Toby walked into the room obviously fresh from the tub and saw Harry holding Chewy. “Chewy, I was afraid for you! Are you ok? Did they hurt you? Did you thank Mr. Potter for rescuing you?”

Harry put the dog down and it barked happily as it ran full blast at the boy knocking him off his feet and began licking his face. The boy’s giggles warmed Harry’s heart and he turned back to the mother to tell her he would stop by tomorrow sometime to explain who had the dog and what they were doing. But the young woman gasped and reached for Harry’s face. He stepped backward from her and said he needed to go. “But, let me-”

“No ma’am, I’m fine, thank you but I’ll just go now; good-night ma’am; good-night Toby,” and then he disappeared.

He heard Ron laugh and didn’t know if he was happy or upset that they were still there. He walked inside and surveyed the three sitting on the couch and chair. He went into the bathroom and washed his face and tended to the deep gouge on his jaw and ear. A few centimeters to the right and there would have been a very serious hole in his ear, but this would be ok soon enough. He put some Dittany on his jaw and ear where the spell cut him. Then he carefully pulled his shirt off and looked at the wound he was babying. The scab had fallen off just this morning and he was afraid the tender skin growing into a scar would be opened up again. But thankfully it was only red. This gave him considerable joy and he came out of the bathroom pulling on a clean T shirt.

He sighed and blew out a big breath of air. He was so tired from working on that hillside clearing it to make a safe place for sledding this winter. And then missing dinner to work as an Auror made him even more tiered. He sat with Ginny and gave a weary smile. “So, let’s cut to the chase; I’ve been ambushed for a reason, let’s hear it.”

They each looked curiously at him and Harry said, “Hermione saw someone from the Daily Profit.”

A look of surprise came over their faces. Hermione smiled and said, “Harry, don’t you want to tell us what happened?”

“I’d rather like to know why I was ambushed, what is on your mind, Honey?” he asked as he looked into her eyes. “Please, I’m not angry; I’m just really tired and hungry. Tell me what you want to talk to me about that you felt you needed to have Ron and Hermione for back up support.”

The three looked at each other rather than Harry; each one nodding at the other for someone else to tell him. Harry chuckled and said, “OK, I’ll start the conversation. Hermione saw Johnny Drew of the Daily Profit. He mentioned that Ginny wanted to become a sports writer for the newspaper. That’s all the story I have, someone else needs to pick up from there.”

Hermione looked at Harry in her analyzing way and asked what Harry thought about it.

Harry looked quizzically at her and shook his head. “I think that since you said you saw the guy; then you saw him. I think that since he said Ginny wants to be a sports writer for the paper; then she wants to be a sports writer for the paper. Given the amount of information I have, that’s all I can think. What do you think? Surely you have more information than I have; you were there for the whole conversation.”

Ginny laughed and said, “I’m sorry, Love, I told Hermione that I would like to write for the Daily Profit. Mr. Drew approached me three months ago saying he wanted to re-open the Daily Profit and asked if I’d consider writing for them. I told him I couldn’t possibly even think of it at that time.”

Harry said, “Quite understandable; you had enough on your plate I should think at that time; I was gone and not knowing what I was doing and where I was doing it at. But now you are thinking about it. Is there a problem that you shouldn’t write for them? I mean, we’ll have to decide what to do about the kids, but that won’t be a problem.”

Ginny and Hermione looked at each other in shock. Ron broke in with an outburst of laughter. “They thought you’d be mad, mate. I told them they were wrong, but they wouldn’t believe me.” He continued with his laughter even more since the girls glared at him.

Harry arched his eyebrow and looked at Ginny. “I have been out of touch for one reason or another for most of our married life together. You have given up on all your dreams except for having children. Why would I be mad that you want to have what you want? It isn’t anything unreasonable or out of reach. I will not stand in your way, and I’ll do everything I can to help you if you need me. What are your thoughts on the kids? The boys won’t be a problem until Christmas break and then summer. James will be thirteen years old this summer. We can expect him to take on more responsibility with watching the other two some. Lily, on the other hand will be home all the time. I am planning on returning to the office the first of December. That only gives us two months. I can school Lily until then; but after that we’ll need to work out joint teaching responsibilities.”

Ginny glanced at Hermione who nodded her head slightly as if encouraging her to go on. “Maybe we can enroll her in a Private School. I’m sure there won’t be a problem, she’s well advanced in her education, and then I can just work while she is there.”

Harry’s eyes opened wide and his mouth dropped open. He recovered his surprise at her suggestion and then shook his head no. “I’m sorry, Honey, do you not remember what we found out about things our daughter was told, and the things she was showed by way of children at school? I don’t want this to be an option. We can think of something else.”
Hermione cut in saying that maybe he and Ginny over protected the children.

“You have to let them be exposed to the real world, Harry, for their own good.”

Harry glared at Hermione and said, “Our children are taught about the real world at home in what we teach them. Contrary to what some believe, the real world isn’t what children are exposed to. They have to make up things in their heads to fill in the gaps for what they see and hear so they can make sense of what they hear and sneak peeks of. Remember Hugo’s friend, Thomlin’s pig of a father, told him that girls are fun but women are more fun because they are sexy and fun to play with. Poor little Molly wasn’t trying to be bad showing Lily the Pornography, I’m sure she wanted to see if Lily knew what was going on in the pictures so she could tell her, because she didn’t understand. We need to watch over our children and protect them from the things of the world would teach them, and teach them how to prepare for going out into the world when they are old enough and able to discern between what is real, and what is a false reality of the world.”

He sighed trying to calm down and looked at Ginny and asked quietly, “Can you tell me why you want to work? Is it to get out of the house for a while, or is it because you just want to work?”

Ginny said she just wanted to work to give her something different to do.

“Why do you ask if it’s just to get out of the house?”

Harry lowered his gaze to the coffee table thinking of how to word what was on his mind. “Something you said to me once; something about being stuck here at home all the time while I’m out doing whatever it is that I do.”

He looked into her eyes remorsefully and said, “I’m sorry you had it so rough, and that you had to sacrifice so much; I really am. The good news is that you made spectacular use of your time in teaching the kids.”

Ginny swallowed and with glistening eyes managed to say, “Nobody has sacrificed more than you, Love. I just want to write about something I know; and that’s Quidditch. Maybe I can do it part time.”

Harry smiled tenderly for the tears she held back. “What about these two months I’m still home I teach Lily, and you get started in an office and then in December when I go back to work, you work at home, I’ll build you your own office and you can teach Lily in the mornings and work in your office after lunch, or however works best for you. If there are days you need to go somewhere you can either take Lily with you, or I’ll keep her with me at work. If I have to run out Wes can take her to the Library for Gwen to watch. I’m sure we can work out details to make your desire come true.”
Ginny was happy to hear Harry making all these suggestions and kissed him.

“I’m sorry I was afraid you would be upset about it. I really thought you might want me home since the fighting and all the Bagman stuff is over.”

He smiled but didn’t say anything. He looked away and when he finally spoke he addressed his comment to Ron, and his voice was quiet much the way it was most of the time. “Ron, when you go to work in the morning there will be two people you’ll need to process into prison.” He told of the happenings after he left the Leaking Cauldron.

Ginny and Hermione looked sadly at each other knowing that Ginny was right about one thing; Harry did want her to stay home but wouldn’t ask her to.
Ron said, “But how then did you get that wicked cut on your face and ear?

You said you were able to apprehend them without a fight.”

Harry sighed slowly, “That was just bad judgment on the neighbor’s part; although I certainly don’t blame him one bit. He was trying to help. His daughter saw me from her bedroom window. She thought I was trying to buy the dog and went down to tell her dad. She’s been very upset with what’s been going on there. It seems she’s been trying to make friends with a boy in her class whose dog had just been stolen. She went down and told her daddy to stop the man, me, from buying her friends dog. She knew it was his from the description he gave the class so they could watch for him. He called the Auror’s and they said they’d send someone as soon as an officer became available. So he sent her back up to her room. Her mom died three years ago so there wasn’t anyone to keep her safe in case something went wrong. Then he went out along the hedges that divide the properties. Twenty minutes later, and no signs of any Aurors, he was afraid we were finalizing the deal and he shot at us to slow us down until the Aurors got there. He was behind me, so I didn’t see the spell coming.”

Ron whistled. “I wonder what the Auror’s were working on that they didn’t get there when he called.”

Harry tilted his head and arched his eyebrow and said, “I stopped at Kingsley’s before I got here and told him I want an investigation done to find out the same thing, and also to find out what was done when Toby’s mom called in for help. Toby wasn’t afraid his dog was going to die tonight if he wasn’t found; he was afraid he was going to die, and I think his instinct was correct. Sometimes you get a feeling; you… you just know when you are near death.”

Harry stood up and turned his back on the three and walked to the kitchen. “I’m sorry, I was trying not to say anything but I’m powerful hungry, does anyone need -” He was talking so quietly that the rest of what he was saying was lost to them.

Ron got up and followed his friend into the kitchen. Harry got out the bread and some eggs. As he was whipping the eggs to scramble, Ron said he was still full from dinner, but he wanted to talk to him if he didn’t mind. Harry nodded his head without looking at him.

Harry asked him about Lily and Hugo before Ron could say anything. When Ron told him that they were spending the night with his parents Harry stopped and frowned at him. “I guess everyone thought I would be a hard case about Ginny wanting to get a job. Is that it then? I’m still a monster unfit for the kids to be around; even though I’ve been trying so hard to fit in.”

“No mate, we just wanted to have a chance to talk to you straight up and we didn’t want the kids to see you get all moody and all.”

Harry’s hair blew gently away from his face and he looked hard into the eyes of the red headed man whose face just turned very pale at Harry’s sudden show of anger.

“Straight up like going out in public where my every movement is watched and casual conversation happens to be about Hermione seeing the editor of the newspaper and him asking about Ginny writing for it; that straight up talk? I was ambushed and you know it.”

Harry doubled his fists and brought them down resting on the counter top. Then he took a deep breath and shook his head. “Forget it Ron.” He tossed the toast at him and said, “Butter those for me will ya?” He slid a jar over to him and said, “I want apple butter on mine.”

Harry tipped the skillet over a plate and scraped half of the eggs on it and then scraped the rest of them on another plate. He flicked a fork over to Ron and took two of the pieces of toast and a plate of eggs and sat on a bar stool at the island counter.

They began eating and Ron asked him if he wouldn’t like to retire from being an Auror. “We could work at the Joke Shop with George. I think we deserve a break from dirty rotten criminals. And besides that, we could have more time with our families.”

Harry shook his head slightly bewildered with Ron’s topic of conversation. “Ron, you get off at five o’clock and every Saturday and Sunday off. How would you get more hours with your family?”

Ron shrugged his shoulders and shook his head dismissing the conversation altogether. “Is this what you wanted to talk about? Do you want me to cut your hours or something?”

Ron wasn’t offering any conversation so Harry tried a different approach. “You said we could work at the Joke Shop. I can’t think of any work I’d rather do than be an Auror. I’ve never had any desire to work in the Joke Shop. But I’m not saying it’s a bad place to work, it’s just not for me. But, Ron, if you-"

Ron chuckled and shook his head interrupting Harry, “Never mind Harry; it was just a question. I wondered if you might be tired of being an Auror, and if you wanted to quit, I would understand and quit with you. Just forget the whole thing.”

Harry swallowed and stared at his friend. Ron avoided making eye contact with Harry and didn’t say anything else. Finally Harry asked if he had a chance to look into the name he gave him to look up history on. Ron, thankful that Harry had calmed down and changed the subject answered him excitedly.

“I couldn’t find much on him except he was a past Minister of Magic and he wasn’t well accepted by the people. It seems he was elected under unusual circumstances. Nobody would admit that they voted for him, but he was elected anyway. What a git, he surely fixed the votes is what I say. Oh, and he had someone in his pocket from Hogwarts.”

Harry stopped eating and stared at Ron as if waiting for more. When he didn’t say anything Harry chuckled and said, “You beat all Ron. I’m the one who gave you that information and asked you to find out anything else you could. Did you find out anything else?”

Ron shrugged his shoulders in a defeated way and kind of chuckled being embarrassed that he let Harry down. “I just got wrapped up in the history I was reading. Who’d have thought that would ever happen right? Anyway, yeah, I couldn’t believe that he was elected being what a piece of work he was!” Harry though wasn’t going to let his friend think badly of himself.

“Think about what you read and tell me bit by bit. I’m sure you learned more than what you think.” He finished eating and put down his fork as Ron told him what he had researched about the man, stuffing bites in between breaks trying to remember everything.

When he was done he looked at Harry and shrugged again disappointed that he didn’t offer anything that would help his friend.

Harry got up slowly and started cleaning the mess he made in the kitchen. He was subdued and sullen and quietly said, “Excellent Ron, I knew you could do it. Well done mate. You told me the rest of what I needed to clear everything up for me. Now, I have to organize everything, do a bit more investigating and then present it to Kingsley before I can move forward. Thank you Ron.”

Ron was so surprised that he had everything Harry needed because to him it looked like it was just history stuff. He was smiling thinking once again he said something that put him in favorable eyes with Harry. Then he stopped smiling thinking it was just Harry not wanting to hurt his feelings. “You don’t look happy with what I told you though. Don’t tell me I did good if-”

Harry smiled sadly, “No mate really, you did well. I asked you to get this information because I didn’t have the heart to do it myself. I was afraid of what my investigation was uncovering. You found the truth through unbiased eyes, and you henceforth confirmed everything for me. I am very thankful. I am heartbroken with the results because three of the four men, none of which was the Minister of Magic at that time, were good and decent men. One was a great man in his time that obviously made some bad choices and was able to cover it up somehow. That man lived before my time. The second is a man you and I both know, and he too is or was a good and decent man. He was, very well liked and respected. I still have to find out information on him about his disappearance. There are those who think Riddle killed him. The third man I need to find out more information on. I already know a great deal about this man, a hero in the eyes of many, but he didn’t start out on the good side of the law. I didn’t much like him. I was confused by his good intentions and his abilities, but I never trusted him. The forth man is an honorable man who I know to be a true friend and who has also saved my life. I helped him to become an influential man in his community because he was looked up to by all, and seemed to be the man most suited for the job. Although his wicked deed occurred before I met him, it feels the same as a betrayal, and it also makes me a conspirator in the cover-up of a crime. I want you to know that I didn’t know about his involvement until tonight when you gave me the information.”
Ron swallowed hard not believing his ears.

“Well, it, whatever it was, happened before your time, and you didn’t know about it when you helped the man in question. Just, you don’t have to-”

Harry shook his head, “It’s no good mate, and I’ll not cover up anything. There is no honor in hiding the ugliness and pretending you are free of crime. I will finish this investigation and uncover the good and the bad. Hopefully my findings will clear me and these men, but if it doesn’t then I will surrender myself to the governing body. If their trial finds us guilty I don’t want to be remembered as one who tried to cover up the truth as the others have been found doing. Hopefully, things will be favorable for us though, and I will work to find the things that will prove us to be honorable and innocent men. This, is what I want to be remembered as; an honorable man.”

Ron sat white faced and was finally able to speak. “Are we going to be put in Azkaban, Harry?”

Harry shook his head and emptied the sink of the dish water. “You are not, nor have you ever been, involved in this. You will not go to Azkaban. And Ron, just so you know, I asked you to help me gather this information because of all my Aurors, you are the one I trust to do what is right no matter what. You are an honorable man. Thank you for your service.”
Harry looked into the living room where Ginny and Hermione were sitting and talking about what Ginny’s first assignment might be.

Harry put a brave smile on his face and walked in saying, “It will probably be reporting for the Quidditch World Cup. Kingsley told me tonight that the plans have been finalized and set up to be played in three days time at Hogwarts, same as last time. He’s going to use Bagman’s TV screens and televise the game for those who can’t make it there on such notice.”

Harry paused and swallowed not wanting to announce what he was going to say next. “The Wizengamot has ordered Rita Skeeter and her daughter Harriet Porter to be released from Azkaban. They somehow came up with proof that Bagman cursed them with the Obliviate spell and they claim they didn’t know what happened to them… all these years. The new Editor wants Ginny to write for the Daily Profit before Rita takes it over again.”

He became white in the face remembering the events of the last game held there and for what the future might hold for him depending on the outcome of his finished investigation. He took a deep shaky breath and asked for them to excuse him, “Please forgive me, my day has been full and tiring; good-night all.”
The End
Connie is offline   Reply With Quote