See part 1 for disclaimer and comments
Once back in the muggle world they'd gone to the Granger's bank where Dan opened an account in the name of Harry Potter depositing the twenty thousand pounds Harry had given him before they entered. An issued bankcard later they were headed to the nearest mall. Clothes shopping for himself in the muggle world was nothing like Harry expected. He thought they'd go into a store and just pick up a few items off the rack then head home. It didn't quite work that way. Everything had to be tried on and shown to both Emma and Hermione for their approval. He did manage to get boxers without having to actually wear them for a decision but it was a close thing. By the time everyone returned to the Granger's for the night Harry had enough clothes to wear a new outfit every day for a week along nightwear that was acceptable to Emma along with a suit that Dan assured him would be needed before their return to Hogwarts.
That night as everyone got ready for bed Emma checked in on Hermione who was in her room alone while Harry showered. Noticing that her daughter had chosen to wear sleep shorts and a spaghetti strap top instead of her normal thigh length nightgown she asked, "Changed your nightwear I see. Are you worried that Harry might try something?"
"Not really with this outfit I actually have more bare skin available for contact comfortably than wearing a nightgown," Hermione replied noting to herself that having sleep shorts that ended at her knees was for this night only tomorrow she'd find a way to alter them.
"And that is important because of your bond," Emma half asked half stated.
Hermione nodded adding, "Do you realize I was feeling the bond tugging on me when we were nearing the end of Harry's trying on clothes. That was one of the reasons I stopped being so enthusiastic. Even that little time we spent apart for each fitting was adding up at the end of the day. That tugging is something I'd like to end. The only way to end it is for the bond to fully form and for that skin contact is needed."
Emma looked at her daughter asking teasingly, "I'm surprised you're actually wearing a top in that case."
Hermione looked guilty for a moment before replying, "I would try that if I didn't think Harry would freak and Daddy would become upset. I figured with this outfit I could raise my top slightly allowing Harry's arm to touch my bare belly when he held me while not upsetting either one."
"That's thinking ahead," Emma said suddenly realizing her daughter would find nothing wrong with being nude around Harry. Emma recognized that was her doing, explaining the facts of life early and constantly reinforcing the facts that actions permitted between married individuals and those permitted between unmarried individuals were far different. She realized her daughter was doing her best to reconcile what Emma had taught her about the responsibilities of a wife with the contradictory teachings of how a daughter should behave. Emma thought she'd have several more years to teach her daughter how to deal with this contradiction but she could see now that was not the case. Hermione saw herself and Harry as married thus permitting far more but living with her parents she didn't want to upset her father or mother. Hearing Harry finishing up in Hermione's bathroom she quickly said her goodbyes ducking out before the young man joined her daughter.
Harry came into Hermione's bedroom smiling causing Hermione to say with worry, "I hope you aren't planning to do anything but sleep."
Harry stopped and sat on the edge of her bed saying, "Hermione I'm confused by this all. I'm just eleven-year-old Harry Potter. Before my birthday I didn't even know I was a wizard. Now I find you and I have to sleep together to keep both of us out of comas. I know adults do things in bed but what they are and such is a little beyond me right at the moment. If you want to do anything other than sleep you need to teach me."
"No Harry all I want to do is sleep. Well I suppose a good night kiss from my husband might be in order."
Older Harry smiled as younger Harry replied, "Like I said you will need to teach me how."
Hermione look startled asking, "You never kissed your aunt or anyone?"
"No why would they want to kiss a freak." Harry asked honesty radiating from him.
"Oh Harry," Hermione said leaning over and giving Harry his first kiss. She could tell from his reaction that she'd be giving him a lot more of them and soon.
The next morning Emma made sure she was up and had breakfast ready before anyone else in her house was up. She and Dan had discussed how Hermione's birthday would occur before she went back to Hogwarts last night agreeing to having a family party with Harry there to start getting the family used to him being around. Sometime after dinner Dan would take Harry aside and work out how Harry would get her a present.
Mrs. Tonks arrived right at nine am on the dot knocking just as the grandfather clock was finishing chiming the hour. Emma Granger all ready wearing her coat against the fall chill opened the door inviting her in. "Thank you for being punctual Mrs. Tonks. No one told me what you would need for the children's classes. I was hoping you could fill me in and I would bring them home when I return from our practice tonight."
Andromeda looked at Emma for an instant in confusion before replying, "They will need nothing beyond paper and pen for their essays which I suspect you have. If I need something else I will just conjure it."
"Hermione has plenty of paper in her room. If you don't mind I'll just pop off to our practice then. Dan and I should be home around six unless something comes up. If you need us for anything the number is on the pad beside the phone." Emma stated before heading out shutting the door behind her.
Andromeda looked over at the two youngsters standing side by side at the end of the hall. Reminding herself it was up to her to give these two a good grounding in magic. Professor McGonagall had provided her with all the teacher's lesson plans for the first month. Potions had been a disaster she'd scrapped that the moment she'd seen it drawing up one that started with utensil cleanliness before moving on to the interaction tables. How that man expected students to learn based on his lesson plans she did not know. Seeing the two pair of eyes still fixed on her she reached into her shoulder bag removing two stacks of miniaturized books passing them to her waiting students saying, "The first thing we are going to cover is holding and aiming your wands."
When the Granger's arrived home Andromeda met them at the door saying, "I worked them hard so they should sleep well tonight. I'll be back tomorrow morning at nine," before she left.
The Potters made it through dinner before they started to fade and were asleep within an hour. This was their pattern for four days until the morning of the fifth when Hermione awoke to a kiss from Harry who whispered, "Happy birthday," before heading off to take a shower.
'Not quite how I expected to wake up on my twelfth birthday, although it is far better than what I expected.' Hermione thought to herself before picking out that day's wardrobe. She was a little surprised when her parents didn't leave for their practice after breakfast.
"We have company coming today." Emma announced to her daughter. Watching the excitement grow in her eyes.
"Who is coming?"
Emma debated about not telling her before replying; "Your great aunt Ester is staying for a month with your cousin Patty's family. Patti and her dad won't be here until after she gets out of school but Great aunt Ester and aunt Mary should be here for lunch."
Hermione was bouncing on her toes she didn't know what it was but she always enjoyed being around Aunt Ester. The woman was in her nineties and to say she did not fit the mold of dowager aunt was an understatement her great aunt really enjoyed life.
Emma was pleased at her daughter's reaction. Mary had told her about Ester staying with them and hinted she wasn't doing that well. Perhaps a today would help both parties.
Harry on the other hand worried how Hermione's extended family would treat him. He knew he would appear to be either freeloading or worse.
"Don't worry Harry the only problem you and I will have today is when Patti sees you. She's my age and boy crazy. Trust me I'll spend most of my time prying her off you."
Harry nodded but decided his best course of action was to stay out of sight to the extent practical.
It was ten when the door bell rang causing Hermione to dash from the living room where she'd been watching a DVD with Harry. "Aunt Ester!" Hermione yelled before giving her aunt a big hug.
"Hey take it easy girl." Her mother cautioned.
"It's all right Emma my great niece is doing just fine. Here girl let me look at you," Ester said holding Hermione out at arm's length. "I'm sorry Hermione just look at you. I should have said young woman and what's this you're wearing?" Ester asked raising her great niece's left hand only to stumble when she realized what she was looking at.
"Are you alright?" Mary asked from the doorway.
Ester steadied herself with a hand on the wall as Hermione grabbed her other arm saying, "Come in to the living room and sit down Aunt Ester."
Ester let Hermione lead her into the living room guiding her to a comfortable seat while the rest of the adults wondered just how frail their elderly aunt was. Once seated she looked around intending to reassure everyone she was all right when she spotted a boy standing near Hermione like he was ready to assist her. "I see we have a young man present that I do not know."
"Yes Aunt Ester this is Harry." Hermione said dragging Harry up so he could shake the hand her great aunt was raising off the arm of the chair.
Ester's eyes quickly took in the boy as he approached noting he wore the matching ring as she half expected. "Mary dear could you get me my purse I believe I left it in the car," Ester called out then waited for Mary to leave never letting go of Harry's hand. Once she heard the door shut Ester said, "Emma what is going on here, I come to see my grand daughter for her twelfth birthday and find her wearing a house Potter spousal ring then I'm introduced to Harry Potter who is wearing the matching ring."
Emma, Dan, Hermione, and Harry all exchanged glances before Emma spoke up asking, "Aunt Ester where did you go to school?"
"I did not receive a Hogwarts letter, I attended Mrs. White's School for Girls, It's no longer in existence."
"What is a Hogwarts letter?" Dan managed to ask doing his best to hide their knowledge.
Ester looked at her nephew in exasperation. "Daniel Granger I am not senile. My great niece is wearing the spousal ring of the boy who lived. This is shortly after she left to attend a boarding school you were very careful not to name. Given what I know she could have met him at only one place, Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"You're a witch?" Harry asked.
"Well I sure hope so or else I really didn't send my purse back out to the car for Mary to retrieve." Ester said with a smile quickly adding, "Hermione you are the only other witch in the family so when Mary returns with my purse in a moment this topic is closed. Before she does however care to tell me just how you ended up with Harry Potter as your intended."
"Husband actually." Hermione corrected just as the door opened.
Mary entered the room saying, "Aunt Ester you are getting worse all the time I've told you it's time you stopped living alone and moved in with one of us," as she brought a black purse over to her aunt.
Obvious to the looks everyone was giving each other Mary asked, "Do you need any help with lunch Emma?"
Emma shook herself replying, "You and I can always catch up while we check on things."
Once they were out of hearing range Ester slid her hand under her purse pulling out a wand and flicking it towards the kitchen. "There that should allow us to talk. I'll ignore the husband comment until we have more time. It's September 19 shouldn't you both be in school?" she said when she was done.
"It's a long story Aunt Ester. The short version is Harry and I bonded on the train to school. My parents flipped out and pulled me out of Hogwarts. Harry and I ended up in comas due to the forced separation and now we are taking makeup classes until we are up to where our class is." Hermione said in a rush.
Ester nodded as she'd listened to her great niece taking everything in with a smile before she asked, "Who visited you and brought your letter?"
"Professor McGonagall, she's the deputy head mistress and head of our house."
Ester looked at her nephew saying, "You did alright Daniel. Minny wouldn't have made the connection with me so to get a visit from her and not a former muggle born student your daughter must be exceptional."
"Of course she is." Harry said speaking up for the first time.
Ester looked at Harry like she was measuring him. "Yes Mister Potter I agree with you. To already be her husband I assume you two have bonded but so quickly I don't think it's happened before in my life time."
"The sorting hat said we were the first in centuries." Hermione interjected.
"I wouldn't dare argue with that assessment. But I hear rumblings from the kitchen we will need to postpone the rest of this conversation until later." Ester said flipping her wand to the kitchen removing the spell she'd placed.
Ten minutes later as everyone was finishing up with washing of hands and such an owl banged against one of the dining room windows. Harry was up in a flash heading for the door as Ester pulled her wand again and uttered "Stupefy" as she pointed it at Mary before saying, "Everyone remember where you are right now."
Harry continued out and relieved owl of it's burden before returning with a roll of parchment. "It's addressed to both of us," He said looking at Hermione. Unrolling it he added, "We've violated the decree for under age magic."
"Give that here." Ester muttered then turned to Emma saying, "I'll be right back don't touch Mary," before she vanished with a slight pop.
Five minutes later she returned to the same spot saying, "I swear Maffie got more officious with age. No real powers of her own but boy she loves her rules."
"Excuse me?" Hermione asked.
"Mafalda Hopkirk, She thinks she runs the Improper Use of Magic Office. Couldn't hex her way out of a paper sack when she was in school. I handed her the warning and told her I was the one doing magic at this address and would be doing so for a few days so kindly lay off the warnings."
Hermione just stared at her Great aunt. The change in the kindly woman was tilting Hermione's perception of her family on its side.
"Hermione sit back down I need to un-petrify your aunt Mary." Ester said smiling.
They weren't able to have any further conversation that afternoon before cousin Patti arrived with her father Simon, "Hermione I thought you'd be away at boarding school by now." Patti said giving Hermione a hug.
"A little health scare one of the students arrived with a contagious medical problem so they sent us home for a week or two." Hermione replied using the explanation everyone had agreed to.
"And who are you?" Patti asked catching sight of Harry over Hermione's shoulder.
"Harry, I met Hermione on the train to school and rode back with her when they sent us home. Mr. and Mrs. Granger invited me to stay with them until it was time to return to school."
"Lucky girl. Why didn't you just go home?"
"Patti that's a bit personal." Mary said chastising her daughter adding, "Harry you don't have to answer that."
"No it's a valid question and I'm not embarrassed by it. My folks are not in a position to take me right now. It was either stay in a hotel room for the time necessary or accept the hospitality I was offered. It has turned out to be quite nice here."
"Oh I am sure it has." Patti said looking at her cousin who stepped over next to Harry in a definite possession move. Which brought a smile to every female over the age of twenty-one.
"Everyone can come into the dining room I've prepared dinner then we can have a little cake and ice cream to celebrate Hermione's twelfth birthday." Emma said herding everyone towards the dining room.
Dinner discussion between the females was convoluted with nuances beyond the comprehension of the three males in attendance. Everything they did discuss could be summed up with a few words. Hermione has staked a claim on Harry, back off Patti. Well not everything could be summed up in those words. It was decided that Ester would spend both the holidays and a goodly about of the winter with Dan and Emma as Mary felt it would not be right for a woman of her years to be alone on her small patch of land during a Scottish winter.
The males discussed sports football to be specific. With Dan and Simon cheering for different teams the obvious topic was England's passable performance in the last world cup having lost their semifinal game to Germany, then the place game to Italy. When both Simon and Dan started discussing Paul Gascoigne's play against Germany and his second booking Harry was barely able to keep up with them. Not being allowed to participate in any sport other than Dudley's 'Harry Hunting' he found the idea of watching a bunch of men running back and forth on a field kicking a ball to each other quite boring. His only saving grace was his Uncle Vernon had been a big England booster making sure he and Dudley watched all the matches so he could discuss them at work occasionally remarking how he and his son totally enjoyed watching the matches. Given that Vernon could do nothing quietly Harry had heard a number of profane comments about Gascoigne and other players as he sat locked in his cupboard under the stairs. Comments that when made in a civilized manner gave the impression that Harry knew what he was talking about.
As night fell Mary, Simon, Patti and Aunt Ester all said their goodbyes heading back to home a few hours away. Once the door shut it was like the air was let out of a balloon the tenseness disappeared and Harry and Hermione could go back to being a magically bonded couple surrounded by people who were aware of their situation.
"You two should head up also you want to be rested for your tutor tomorrow," Emma said chasing the pre-teens to bed.
That night as Older Harry had taken control to again apologize to Hermione for ruining her life he felt her touch his face with a hauntingly familiar gesture, "You don't remember me telling you, "I will be with you always. Be in this life or the next. Think of me and I will be there."
Harry's eyes snapped open as he looked at her in shock those were the exact words she'd spoken when she was dieing in his arms. "Beloved?" Older Harry choked out.
"Yes my love it is me."
"B... But... But how?" Harry stammered.
"You carried me with you. Just as you reside in the back of younger Harry I resided in the back of your mind before transferring during the train ride to my younger self."
"I never felt you."
"I decided it was best that you not know I was there. I watched and observed speaking to you only in your dreams."
"I always heeded those dreams." Harry said attempting to reassure her of her importance to him.
"I know my love. Come here and hold me tight I may not have the curves I once had but tonight I wish to be in your secure arms one more time. Tomorrow we can let the youngsters take back control but tonight is for us old souls."
Harry awoke the next morning with younger Harry back in control. He spent a few minutes just looking at Hermione lying next to him joy filling him for a yet to be fully understood reason. Suddenly Hermione's eyes snapped open as the covers over her reacted to her sudden movement when she withdrew a hand whose fingers were smeared with blood Harry sprang from the bed dashing out the door yelling, "Emma come quick Hermione's hurt!"
Emma quickly bolted from her room heading for her daughter catching Harry she asked, "What's the problem?"
"Her fingers... they're all bloody."
'Oh darn if they managed to... Dan's going to kill him married or not." Emma thought quickly darting into her daughter's room.
"Mum it's all right I think my visitor arrived last night after we went to bed." Hermione said looking her mother in the eye.
Emma took in the scene before her noting the spotted sleep pants and her daughter's relaxed attitude she calmed down before replying, "That's what it looks like let's get you cleaned up and I'll get you some supplies."
Back in the hall Dan had Harry up against the wall ready to remove him from the gene pool when Emma said, "Your little girl needs support not to attend a funeral so ease up. She said her visitor arrived. I'm going to get what she needs so why don't you two just head down stairs. Given the look on Harry's face you might need to do some explaining Dan," causing Dan to blanch white and ease his hold on Harry.
Dan had just finishing explaining the facts to Harry when Emma and Hermione appeared on the stairs. Harry quickly rushed over to Hermione taking her in his arms as he asked, "You are all right then?"
"Yes I'm fine it's just I can have babies now."
"I know your father explained it all to me," Harry responded with a shudder.
"I'm sure he exaggerated, right now though I'd just like to rest a bit," Hermione said causing Harry to take her arm escorting her to the couch before insuring she had everything she could possible want.
Andromeda Tonks arrived shortly after breakfast and after a quick discussion with Emma smiled at Hermione saying, "Good timing today was going to be mostly book work anyway." Before passing this morning's potions to Harry.
After consuming them Harry quick was dispatched upstairs to get the books and paper while Hermione and Andromeda held a quick discussion of the differences between muggle and magical approaches to her current situation ending with Hermione getting directions to have a discussion with one of the older girls in her Hogwarts house for current information. Harry had waited at the top of the stairs until their discussion ended before returning with their school books. They quickly fell into a routine and the following Friday Andromeda Tonks announced they were up to their classmates and could return to Hogwarts over the weekend.
Emma looked at Andromeda a little surprised asking, "They've caught up on Six weeks of school work in three weeks?"
"Yes I admit to being a little surprised myself but these are two bright and studious individuals."
Harry noticed Hermione's down attitude and asked, "What's wrong Hermione?"
"I was getting used to being able to attend dance class again. That was the one thing I missed at Hogwarts," Hermione said.
"Let me check in the local area I'm sure there are dance classes in some of the towns around Hogwarts. I know there are always a few students that take outside instruction on the week ends, mostly Ravenclaws."
"How do they manage that? I mean don't they wonder where these students come from?" Harry asked.
"Oh they are told the students attend nearby Harrington Preparatory Academy which is well noted for its secrecy. If your parents are well off and you don't want the exposure of an Eton or similar schools Harrington is the place for you."
"Don't their fellow students recognize they don't attend with them?" Hermione asked.
"Actually no I've been told in each class room there are closets that one can be in and attend class without being scene by others. The rumor is that is how some of the females of the royal family received such good educations in past years. They attended Harrington using the closets and their essays were re-written by servants to prevent the teachers from recognizing handwriting and such. I do wonder if the closets are still there seeing as how a muggle video camera and microphone would be all that was needed in today's muggle world.
"Okay so Hermione can take dance lessons in one of the nearby muggle towns using this dodge. What about Harry?" Dan asked.
"Why would I take dance lessons?" Harry asked.
"Actually I was thinking you should take martial arts training, but I suspect a few dance lessons wouldn't be a waste either."
"Martial Arts, are you sure Dan?" Emma asked.
"I don't know their world dear but it's always a good idea for a boy to know several ways to defend him and... his family. I know they have wands but I bet a good punch in the nose or kick to the knee would work wonders should he get in a close fight."
Emma knew just what it cost her husband to say the words 'and his family' about his daughter. She vowed right then to thank him later. "What do you think Harry?" Emma asked.
"Dan's right I need to know how to defend myself." Harry declared firmly.
Andromeda nodded saying, "I'll take it up with the headmaster Sunday when I bring Harry and Hermione back to Hogwarts. I'll be here about eleven to collect them it that's all right with you?" she finished looking at Dan and Emma.
"Sounds fine but won't they arrive a little late? On the first their train left at eleven."
"Oh we are not taking the train. I'll have a Portkey that will drop us right at the entrance to the school grounds."
"How long will that trip take?" Hermione asked.
"No time at all really just a few moments."
Harry picked himself up off the ground brushing off the dirt from where he'd fallen before he noticed Hermione was still on the ground. Holding out his hand he helped her up and brushed off the back of her cloak that she couldn't reach while saying, "I think I prefer the train ride."
"I agree, the landing at the end is a bit much." Hermione agreed.
Andromeda Tonks shook her head settling for a "Come along," as she headed through the gates and up the path to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
They were met at Hogwarts main door by Professor McGonagall Deputy Headmistress and Head of Gryffindor house saying, "Welcome back Mr. Potter and Miss Granger I take it everything has been worked out."
Before Harry had a chance to speak Hermione spoke up she'd known this was coming at some time and had her speech ready. "Deputy Headmistress I have been assured several wizards and goblins that my name is Mrs. Potter. After everything Harry and I have been through it would demean everything to use any other name. Please inform everyone of our preferences. I take it our rooms are the same?"
Hermione's reply brought their head of house up short she'd been meaning to ask if they had decided anything. Obviously they had but to hear such a still pre-teenaged girl demanding to be addressed as a married woman shook her. "Everything is as you had left it Mr. and Mrs. Potter. I have taken the liberty of having the house elves place your class schedules within your rooms."
"Thank you, if you don't mind my husband and I will go settle in. I'm sure our tutor can answer any academic questions you have."
The twosome made their way up to Gryffindor tower without running into any other students but were stymied when they reached the portrait guarding the entrance and realized they didn't have the current password. It was with a bit of trepidation they decided to wait for a few minutes to see if anyone came out. Luckily for them it was only moments before the portrait swung aside allowing them entrance. Not seeing anyone exit they looked at each other in confusion. "The fat lady said there were two students waiting out side in Gryffindor robes so we told her to open up." A red haired boy called from the couch in front of the fireplace.
"Thanks," Harry said turning towards the portrait that was the entrance to their rooms.
"Don't mention it. I take it you are better." A twin to the first asked from the other end of the couch where he was sitting with a girl around his age.
Harry's eyes flicked towards Hermione before he replied, "Yes we both are."
"If you two need some help catching up just ask," the girl said from beside the red haired boy.
"Thanks," Hermione said following Harry into their rooms.
Once in their rooms with a silencing bubble around them Harry looked at Hermione saying, "I can't believe you said that to the Headmistress."
"My other self thinks she's a bit too pompous."
Harry's eyebrows raised at that thought His older self thought much the same but to hear his other half say it was a bit astonishing. Their former head of house was the one teacher they'd never discussed in depth upon leaving school. "You know who our problem is going to be don't you," Harry said.
Hermione nodded her head in agreement saying, "Snape."
"Yup, and from this schedule we have potions first thing tomorrow morning."
Breakfast the next day was calm almost like everyone couldn't believe their eyes that Hermione was back at school and Harry was with her.
As they entered potions they were greeted by Professor Snape, "Potter you and your... companion come right down front here. I have been instructed that it is a medical necessity that you two occupy adjacent seats. Given that I have no choice in the matter I want you seated here where I can keep an eye on your attempts to cheat."
Hermione was annoyed by the statement but calmed down at a motion from Harry who considered this the equivalent of an old friend greeting from the professor considering his treatment before he ended up in the hospital wing.
Classes soon settled into a routine and Harry found himself spending a lot of hours in the library studying as Hermione drove herself to better the marks she'd made during her first cycle through Hogwarts.
Friday Evening at dinner Professor McGonagall stopped by saying, "Tomorrow morning at my office at 9:00 am having had breakfast."
"Wonder what that's about?" Harry muttered.
"Possibly dance lessons?" Hermione said looking him in the eye.
"Right best be there early then."
Saturday morning found both Potters standing outside Professor McGonagall's office a few minutes prior to 9 am debating rather to knock early or not. Just as Harry was raising his hand Professor McGonagall rounded the corner saying, "Good to see you follow instructions as well out of class as in. Now we can continue this inside.
After opening her office she entered with Harry and Hermione following. "Your tutor, Andromeda Tonks, will be waiting in Aberfeldy to give your weekend tutoring sessions. I want you both to understand this is a great privilege and should be treated as such. Should we find you misusing this time the privilege will be revoked." She said holding out a bit of rope.
Harry looked at Hermione unsure of just how much knowledge he should admit to McGonagall sensed their hesitation. Interpreting it to be lack of knowledge she explained, "This is a Portkey the headmaster has created for your use and only your use. He will know each time it is used. It is for your trip to Aberfeldy and back. You will return it to me upon your return and get it next Saturday morning just like today. The activation phrase is your tutor's first name."
"Where can we use it?" Hermione asked knowing Hogwarts was highly warded against Portkeys.
"It will only work in my office. You will return to the same spot." McGonagall added before quickly walking off.
Back at the Granger's Emma was looking at Dan saying, "You know as well as I do what the signs meant that Harry was giving off. Afraid of medical professionals, not discussing his home life in any detail, never using the word mine when describing things. Come on Dan they are there."
"You are right but this isn't some patient in our chair. This is our daughter's husband if everything we've been told is correct."
"Given that our daughter entered a coma for no good reason beyond what they told us I tend to believe them."
"Alright I wasn't going to let you know this yet by I had Buddy Smyth in my chair today, he works for child welfare and I asked him a few questions concerning Harry's situation. He offered to pay Harry's relatives a visit based on an anonymous tip," Dan said.
"And when where you going to tell me about it?"
"When he tells me what he finds. He's visiting them tomorrow as his last visit of the day. I should know a day or so after that."
"Next time tell me what you're up to I almost paid a visit to them myself."
It didn't take two days for the answer to come the next night the phone rang as the Granger's were sitting down to dinner. "Dan, you hit that nail on the head. I knocked on their door and a rather obese man answered. When asked if I could have a moment of their time to talk about their nephew. He turned purple so quick I was worried about him having a heart attack right then. I changed tactics stating I was checking up on some rumors about bullying over the summer. I spent the next half hour being treated to a recitation of how ungrateful and ill mannered their nephew was. The shock came when I asked for a current picture so I could insure I picked up the right boy at school it turned out there wasn't a picture of him in the house despite the walls being covered with professionally done pictures of them with another child and individual pictures of that same child taken about every six months. It was like their nephew didn't exist at all. Does that answer the questions you had?"
"Yes Buddy it does."
"Should I be worried about this nephew?"
"Not at all he's about the most well mannered boy I've ever met. He and my daughter have become friends at school. Based on what she's said and you just confirmed my wife and I might be looking a push to take over guardianship of him.
"Tell your solicitor that I'm aware of things if you go forward. With luck they should route the crown's investigation to me.
"That we will, Thanks again Buddy." Dan said hanging up the phone.
"So what's our next step?" Emma asked wondering what Dan was thinking.
Dan stood with his hand on the receiver where he'd replace it lost in thought before replying, "I guess we get in touch with their tutor. Hopefully she can recommend a solicitor who works in both worlds."
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