Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Moments in Love

Trials and Tribulations: Part 1

by Gandalfs_Beard 0 reviews

Harry and Hermione attend an Order meeting, and learn that Harry is going to be put on trial for the destruction of Ministry property...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Published: 2017-11-03 - Updated: 2017-11-06 - 6929 words

Harry was stunned by how many of their friends were at Narcissa Black’s house when he and Hermione arrived by floo with Dora and Fleur. Besides the Twins, Ron, and Ginny, Luna, Daphne, Neville, and Viktor were also congregating in one of the parlours. The only ones missing were Parvati, Lavender, Seamus, and Dean.

“Hi Harry,” yelled Ron, grinning. “What took you so long?”

“What are you all doing here?” asked Harry, looking very puzzled.

“Our parents are all part of the Order, silly,” giggled Luna. “Except for Viktor...”

“My headmaster - he bring me here tonight,” Viktor interjected with a lopsided smile. “He say I should join - I am old enough. But I think because he does not vant to be by himself - all others from Durmstrang go home already... Though I vould stay here anyvay, for Lavender.”

“Oh... of course,” said Hermione. “Fleur is old enough too.”

“Oui,” said Fleur with a nod, smiling at Dora. “Dora invited me, and Papa, he already speaks wiz Dumbledore. He stays in France wiz Maman, but ‘e and Madame Maxime organise assistance for ze Order.”

“Bill and Charlie joined up,” said Ron, looking very glum.

“Yeah... I know about that...” Harry gave Ron a funny look. “They joined up when they met Sirius and Moody at the World Cup - after the attack... Didn’t you know?”

“Er... not really,” Ron muttered. “I didn’t find out until Bill came to watch the Final Task with Mum and Dad.”

Ginny rolled her eyes. “That’s because you weren’t paying attention Ron. Bill and Charlie were with Dad talking to Sirius and Moody about it outside the tent.

“We’re old enough and we tried to join too...” Fred growled.

“But Mum threw a wobbly - said we’re not to as we’re still in school...” said George with a sour expression, not noticing his mother entering the parlour.

“And I should think not!” snapped Mrs Weasley. “It’s bad enough that I have to worry about Bill and Charlie...”

“I don’t see why we can’t at least listen in on the Order meeting!” Fred gave his mother a mutinous glare. “It’s rubbish!”

Most of the others averted their eyes, sensing an argument building up. Neville looked extremely nervous. Luna was the only one who didn’t look away uncomfortably, appearing fascinated if anything. Hermione and Harry got the distinct impression that this wasn’t the first row of the evening between Mrs Weasley and her children on the topic.

“And I don’t see why Ron and I have to be left out just because we’re too young to join,” said Ginny heatedly. “Luna’s dad is letting her in on the meeting...”

“Yes! Well that’s up to Mr Lovegood isn’t it,” retorted Mrs Weasley, her voice rising.

“If we’re too young, then how come Harry and Hermione get to be in on the meeting?” moaned Ron.

The fight was momentarily paused as everyone stared at Ron incredulously, including Mrs Weasley. Ginny opened her mouth, looking like she was just about to say something very rude to Ron. But Mrs Weasley, now in full dudgeon, got back into the thick of it.

“Because for one thing they’re both legally of age, even if they are bit young and I don’t like it,” she shouted. “I don’t get a say about them either. And for another, if anyone’s got a right to be in on things, it’s Harry. It’s all got to do with him, doesn’t it...”

Apparently drawn by the commotion, Mr Weasley appeared in the doorway with Moody, Sirius, and Lupin.

“Molly, please...” said Mr Weasley. “They might as well sit in. Harry’s probably just going to tell them anyway...”

“We might as well just induct the lot of them then!” Mrs Weasley snapped. “Do you really want our children to be fighting Dark Wizards...?”

“And why shouldn’t they be prepared to fight Dark Wizards?” Sirius interjected sharply. “Do you think Death Eaters are going to give them a choice in the matter if they come calling?”

“Sirius is right Molly,” Moody growled. “Your kids might have to face Dark Wizards at some point whether you like it or not. We all are. They need to know what they’re facin’... They need to be prepared. Is that what you want? For them to face danger without knowin’ what it’s all about?”

“Of course not Alastor,” Mrs Weasley gasped. “But...”

“But nothin’...” Moody snapped. “That’s just how it is. Get used to it.”

Mrs Weasley quieted, and looked to Remus for support. But when he just raised his eyebrows at her, she knew that she had lost. When she turned back to glance at her children, Hermione and Harry could see the tears running down Mrs Weasley’s cheeks, all anger gone, trying hard not to lose it altogether.

Hermione bit her lip, watching Mrs Weasley sadly. Harry swallowed, suddenly realising how much pain Mrs Weasley was in at the thought of losing her children. Mrs Weasley dabbed at her tears with a hanky and tried her best to muster a smile at the Potters.

“Sorry about all the fuss, Harry, Hermione,” said Mrs Weasley as she swept them both into a bear-hug. “It’s lovely to see you both again.”

“It’s good to see you too, Mrs Weasley,” Hermione squeaked, trying to catch a breath, unused to being on the receiving end of a hug as bone-crushing as one of her own.

“Hi Mrs Weasley,” said Harry, feeling relieved that the row was over and hoping that Mrs Weasley would cheer up a bit. Having finally arrived, Dumbledore entered the parlour, smiling warmly at everyone, eyes twinkling.

“Good! You’re here. Now we can get this thing started,” said Moody gruffly.

“Indeed, Alastor...” Dumbledore beckoned everyone in the parlour, as if he had expected all of the teenagers to be joining the meeting. “Well, if we’re all ready then, why don’t we join our gracious host at her table... Harry, Mrs Potter, if you would join me.”

The room quieted when they arrived, all eyes upon Harry and Hermione. Harry glanced around nervously at all of the people, many of whom he didn’t know. Hermione was more than a bit apprehensive too.

“Its alright guys,” Dora whispered. “I’ll be right beside you.”

There was a long highly polished ebony table in the middle of the room with numerous chairs all around it. Dumbledore led the Potters and Dora to the end of the table and gestured for them to sit beside him.

Molly Weasley looked a bit anxious as well. She was still having some difficulty getting used to being in the house of someone who had been an enemy for so long. Narcissa was a courteous host though, and Molly was on her best behaviour.

“If you would please be so kind Narcissa?” Dumbledore began, as he glanced down the lengthy table at many dubious faces. “Some here do not yet know the circumstances by which you have come to host us.”

Narcissa’s stomach tightened and she swallowed nervously. She looked to her cousin Sirius, and he gave her hand a comforting squeeze.

“I... My husband and I were betrothed at an early age,” Narcissa began. “There was a contract... For those too young to know, Marriage Contracts were once common among the Noble Houses. And though they are no-longer validated by the Ministry today, Contracts issued before times changed are still upheld. My father had pledged me to the Malfoys from birth, for a vast sum of money.”

Hermione bristled, eyes wide with shock. She couldn’t believe that such a barbaric practice could have taken place in modern Britain. Harry’s stomach churned in revulsion at the idea of an arranged marriage, bought and paid for. He felt like throwing up. It struck him as tantamount to slavery.

Fleur frowned and bit her lip. Daphne cast her eyes down, feeling humiliated, but glad that her own father had steadfastly refused Lucius Malfoy’s many offers to buy her for Draco. Luna and Ginny scowled, both nauseated by the very idea.

“I did grow to love my husband,” Narcissa continued, “and at one time I shared his beliefs. We all did in those days... we were raised to believe in the superiority of our blood. But during the last war, I came to see the cruelty and suffering that such beliefs wrought. After my son was born, I had hoped to put it all behind us.

“At first, I begged my husband to withdraw from the company he kept. But he did not, and for some years I kept my tongue to myself. But gradually, we began to draw apart - especially after my son reached the right age for Hogwarts. I did not wish for Draco to grow up with the same beliefs that I and my husband had.

“But... but as you know, my husband maintained his arrogant views, and passed them on to our son. When my son was duly sanctioned at Hogwarts for his assault against the Greengrasses first daughter, I came to realise that my hopes had been dashed... that Draco had passed the point of no return... and that my husband saw nothing amiss with our son’s actions.

“I finally sought a way out... and my solicitors found it. There was a clause buried deep within the contract... A clause which gave me the right to divorce after I had obtained a certain age...”

Her eyes glistening, Narcissa paused, and peered apologetically at Daphne and Mr and Mrs Greengrass.

“I... I am shamed by my own blood - my son. For his grievous offences I am truly sorry. Offering my home as a sanctuary for those who have been wronged by my husband and my son will never be payment enough. But it is the least I can do...”

Narcissa sat down abruptly and Sirius put his arm around her comfortingly.

Satisfied that Narcissa had assuaged the concerns of most, Dumbledore glanced around the table. He faced the largest gathering of Order members since the last war - many, many more than his Inner Circle. There were a large number of old members, and more than a few new faces, including the Greengrasses and Xenophilius Lovegood.

Dumbledore was very pleased to see Igor Karkaroff, who had made an Unbreakable Vow to demonstrate his commitment - truly remarkable. Dumbledore nodded his head gratefully at Severus Snape for his successful attempt at recruiting Igor. Finally Dumbledore brought the meeting to order.

“I should like to begin by giving Madam Amelia Bones the floor. She has some grave news to impart which will affect Mr Potter and his wife greatly. Amelia, if you would be so kind...”

Madam Bones adjusted her monocle, cleared her throat, and launched into her presentation, forgoing any pleasantries.

“As you all know by now, I have been summarily dismissed from my post as Head of the DMLE. The Minister managed to persuade the Wizengamot that I was at fault for the stationing of the Dementors at the conclusion of the Triwizard tournament... and that it was due to my negligence that Voldemort took Azkaban...”

Many members of the Order winced and cringed at the mention of Voldemort by name. But Madam Bones studiously ignored them and continued.

“Fortunately, there are still a number of Aurors who are loyal to me, and me alone. One of them has brought to my attention an interdepartmental memo which indicates that Warlock Potter is to be brought to trial for the destruction of Ministry Property... namely, 416 Dementors.”

A collective gasp of shock rose among those assembled. Harry slumped in his seat and groaned. He should have known that the Minister might try something like this. Hermione’s nostrils flared with anger.

“That’s outrageous!” Hermione fumed.

“Bloody ridiculous is what it is,” snapped Sirius, “They’ll never be able to prove that a Patronus killed the Dementors. Everyone knows that’s impossible. I saw what happened to those wraiths, and I know that was no Patronus that did it...”

Harry felt a bit awkward. He wanted to tell Sirius what he and Hermione had learned through their conversation with Dumbledore the previous night. But he couldn’t say anything in the middle of an Order meeting as it was supposed to be a secret from all but a few key members of Dumbledore’s Inner Circle.

“It must have been some sort of coincidence.” Sirius continued to rage, “Something very strange had to have been happening at the same time. Maybe the Minister herself deployed some sort of secret weapon developed by Unspeakables to set Harry up. And how can anyone be held criminally liable for killing creatures which are legally determined ‘non-beings’ anyway...?”

Amelia Bones arched one eyebrow and sighed.

“The Minister is determined to at least give it a go, and given her sway, all she needs is five or six votes on the current Wizengamot to go her way. Some of the ‘wobblies’ may see that as a mere technicality Sirius...”

Sirius snorted, his face twisted in outrage, but he nodded, understanding all too well the trouble Harry faced.

“Right then. Well there’s only one thing for it Harry,” Sirius began, as he handed Harry a card, “You’ll need a lawyer, as Dumbledore won’t have any pull with the Wizengamot at the moment. Ragnok is the best. He’s a Solicitor Advocate for Gringotts and he’s done some occasional work for other members of the Order in a bind...”

Mundungus Fletcher had a coughing fit further down the table and Amelia’s eyes narrowed in distaste, as did Mrs Weasley’s.

“I thought solicitors only provided information and handled contracts and that sort of thing,” Harry whispered to Hermione, frowning in puzzlement. “Don’t I need a Barrister?”

“Solicitor Advocates are a special sort of solicitor Harry,” Hermione murmured back. “They’re allowed to represent their clients and make arguments before the Court. It’s a relatively new position which came into effect a few years ago.”

“Blimey Harry,” Hagrid gasped, clapping Harry on the back, clearly intending it to be a comforting gesture. “Whoever heard o’ such a thing...? Tryin’ yeh fer doin’ somethin’ impossible fer any wizard to do. Don’ worry though. I’m sure yeh’ll get off... Obviously yeh didn’ do nothin’ yerself... ”

“Thanks Hagrid, I appreciate it...” Harry grimaced, wincing at Hagrid’s “comforting” pat.

“Oi! Watch it Hagrid, you don’t know your own strength sometimes...” Dora glared at Hagrid, peeling his dustbin-lid sized hand from Harry’s shoulders.

“Oh... er... right Tonks!” Hagrid’s face fell. “Sorry Harry!”

Harry relaxed considerably when Dora rubbed his shoulders where Hagrid had walloped him.

“Better...?” she asked.

“Loads, thanks Dora,” Harry replied. He grinned at Hagrid. “It’s alright Hagrid. I’ll be fine... just a bit stiff from the Third Task still,” he fibbed, not wanting Hagrid to feel badly.

Hagrid’s features brightened. Hermione squeezed Harry’s hand, and smiled gratefully at Dora.

“I’ll be part of Harry’s escort,” Dora said firmly to Amelia Bones and Dumbledore. “I won’t put in my resignation until after the trial and I get Harry back outta the Ministry safely. But I’ll need someone else I can trust who ‘asn’t resigned ‘in protest’ yet,” Dora narrowed her eyes angrily at Shacklebolt and Dawlish.

“Tonks, The Minister already suspects that we are too close to Amelia, and therefore too close to Dumbledore,” Shacklebolt sighed, “We would be useless to the Order as Ministry employees...”

“How about Auror Mulligan?” Madam Bones offered. “He’s still loyal to me, and he’s Auror Brixton’s partner... well, was Brixton’s partner before she took a leave to look after the Potters’ immediate families. But I am absolutely certain that Reynard still has standing in the Auror Corps.”

“Right then. He’ll do,” Dora agreed.

Madam Bones and Dumbledore exchanged glances; the Headmaster nodded his approval.

Harry let out a sigh of relief when the meeting moved on to the next point of business, arranging security for Mr Lovegood and the Quibbler, and for the School’s Board of Governors. Hermione and Dora quietly departed with Harry from the head of the table and went to sit with the rest of the teens. Hermione could tell from Harry’s pensive expression that something was still bothering him though.

“What’s up Harry?” Hermione quietly asked.

“Er... I was wondering why Madam Bones called me Warlock Potter. What’s that all about?”

Hermione’s eyebrows popped up in surprise. She’d never really thought about it. But it only made sense she supposed.

“Harry,” she began, sounding a bit breathless, “It’s because you’re the last Potter... You’re the Head of your House - a Warlock. All of the Pureblood families are treated as Houses with special privileges. The Heads of Houses have seats on the Wizengamot, which are filled either by themselves or their proxies. They’re the ones who vote on legislation and preside over State trials. That’s why Dumbledore was known as the Chief Warlock...”

“She’s right Harry,” Neville chimed in, having overheard. “One day I’ll be the Warlock of the Longbottom House... or at least I will be when Gran dies. She’s Head of House at the moment.”

“But that doesn’t make an sense,” said Harry. “I’m not a Pureblood...”

“That doesn’t make a difference Harry,” Hermione responded. “Most Wizards today aren’t Pureblood, including many members of the Houses. But the Houses were established centuries ago, and they still have a lot of status and wield a lot of power in Wizarding society regardless.”

“Oh!” Harry looked startled at the idea of being the Head of a House.

He wasn’t entirely certain the he wanted the “privilege” bestowed upon his station. He never had placed much credence in that sort of thing. He hated it when people lorded their status and wealth over everyone else, and as far as he was concerned everyone should have equal say in how things were run. And if it meant that he was like the Malfoys, he wanted no part of it.

Hermione could see what Harry was thinking written all over his face, and she rather felt the same way herself. But she couldn’t help thinking that Harry could one day use that status for Good... to help make changes in Wizarding society... make it more Democratic.

“How come Dad isn’t a Warlock then?” asked Ron. “I don’t understand. We don’t have any status or special privileges...”

“Actually he is a Warlock,” said George. “He even gets to write laws and stuff. He just never put any stock in that sort of thing...”

“...because Dad thinks it’s all rubbish,” Fred added. “He’s always stood up for the rights of muggleborn, and thinks that everyone should have equal representation in the Ministry and on the Wizengamot...”

“...and that’s why Dad never made it very high up the ladder at the Ministry,” George continued.

“...Which is why Percy’s being such a bloody git now,” Fred concluded.

“Oh!” said Ron as light dawned on him. “I get it... I thought it was only arseholes like the Malfoys who thought we were Blood Traitors.”

Then Ron scowled at his brothers. “But how come nobody ever told me? I’m always the last to know everything...”

“Oh get over yourself Ron!” Ginny snapped. “I didn’t know either...”

Fred shrugged dismissively, but George piped up and tried to explain.

“It’s probably because Mum and Dad never believed in that rubbish. I expect they didn’t want us to get swelled heads. The only reason Fred and I know, is because we’re always nicking the post to see if there’s anything interesting. Sometimes stuff comes addressed to Warlock Weasley.”

“I wonder why nobody told me that I was a Warlock though...” Harry bit his lip, looking puzzled.

“Because I was planning on shepherding you through the process myself Harry...”

Startled, everyone turned around to see Sirius, who had apparently come up behind them partway through the conversation and overheard.

“One has to officially declare oneself Warlock and the Right to take a Seat on the floor of the Wizengamot during a full session,” Sirius continued. “After everything went south since the World Cup, there simply hasn’t been the opportunity.

“And actually, your upcoming trial presents the best opportunity available since then. When you win - and with Ragnok in your corner, I don’t doubt that you shall - you should stand up and Declare yourself.”

“Are you going to be there?” asked Harry, feeling a bit anxious at the idea.

“Well, as a known associate of a ‘fugitive’ Werewolf, I thought it best to remain scarce,” Sirius sighed. “I’ll have a proxy filling in for me - which you’ll have to do yourself once you get out of the Ministry safely. But Warlock Greengrass will be there... He’s already offered to look out for you.

“That was what I was coming over tell you actually... Well, that and to tell you that I won’t be joining you in London as Remus and I will be doing some work for the Order - Mad Eye’s going to join you though, as he’s got business in London anyway.”

“And I’ll be coming with you of course,” said Dora, grinning. “And Fleur’ll come along too if you don’t mind having her at your house for a few days. She can stay in my room with me.”

“Of course,” said Harry quickly, feeling much better already.

“We don’t mind at all,” Hermione beamed.

Finally Dumbledore brought the meeting to a close, but unfortunately for Ron and Neville - who were both getting bored - Dumbledore remained with several of the professors, Sirius, and Lupin to discuss a few last details with Mr and Mrs Weasley, Mr Lovegood, Madam Longbottom, and the Greengrasses, for their ears alone.

Harry and Hermione were a bit puzzled when Dumbledore revealed that the professors and the Potters would be remaining at Hogwarts for the summer. They were even more surprised when Madam Longbottom asked the headmaster to also allow Neville to return to Hogwarts for the summer out of concern for his safety.

Dumbledore sighed but relented when Madam Longbottom refused to take no for an answer. Mrs Weasley stewed for several minutes. Finally, making what was clearly a difficult decision, she begged Dumbledore to keep her only daughter and youngest son safe at Hogwarts for the summer too. Of course, Luna decided that if Ginny was staying, then she wanted to as well.

For their part, Harry and Hermione were quite pleased that they would be having some company over the summer.


It was very late when Harry, Hermione, and Dora all tumbled out of the fireplace at Number Twelve. Fleur tittered when she gracefully stepped out of the green flames to see them all still coughing and wheezing as they dusted the soot off. Finally catching her breath, Hermione beamed and flung her arms around her mother, who was the only one who had stayed up to await their arrival.
“It’s lovely to see you again dear,” said Mrs Granger before giving Harry a hug and greeting Dora.

“Mum, this is Fleur,” said Hermione. “She’s...”

“One of the Champions in the tournament. I remember from your letters darling. I’m delighted to meet you Fleur. Have you come to stay with us for a bit then?”

“Oui... I could not let my girlfriend come to London alone.” Fleur smiled brightly at Mrs Granger. “I am vairy pleased to make your acquaintance.”

Dora grinned, blushing when Fleur introduced herself as her girlfriend. When Harry yawned, Hermione’s mother wished everyone a good night, and soon they were all off to bed.

Hermione snuggled in Harry’s arms, pleased to be at home again, even if only for a week. Harry sighed happily, stroking Hermione’s golden curls, breathing in her minty fragrance as the tension of the evening faded. For a moment, he could almost forget the travails which lay ahead of him.


It was quite early in the morning and Minister Umbridge had just sat down to her first cup of tea. As she began to peruse the reports on her desk, there was a knock on the door before it opened slightly and a familiar face peeked in. When she saw the red hair and the enthusiastic features, Minister Umbridge broke into a winning smile.
“Ah, Mr Weasley, do come in... Thank you for being so prompt,” said the Minister in her most dulcet tones.

“Of course, Minister,” Senior Undersecretary Weasley eagerly responded. “What can I do for you today?”

“Mr Potter should be returning to Privet Drive by the end of tomorrow,” replied the Minister, “and I thought it wise to begin immediate preparations for his trial, so that we might send the Summons as soon as possible. I would like to have the Summons ready for Thursday morning.”

“I’ll get right on it Minister...”


Percy Weasley rubbed his hands together gleefully as he began preparing for the trial of Harry Potter. He didn’t care that it was still early Tuesday morning and that he had a large stack of Law Books in front of him. Percy only had till Wednesday evening to formalise the charges for the summons, and less than a week to prepare for the trial on the following Monday.
It had been Percy’s greatest ambition to be Minister for Magic for as long as he could remember, and he was determined to prove to Minister Umbridge that he was up to the challenge of being Senior Undersecretary.

It had never been more clear that Harry Potter was a menace to society - stirring up trouble with the Merpeople, and telling that ridiculous tale about Kappa assassins - making a complete mockery of the Third Task by cheating and then utilising some sort of Secret Weapon to destroy the Dementors.

Percy should have seen it from the beginning, but he reminded himself that he had still been under the influence of his parents’ misguided teachings until he joined the Ministry

Now he realised that Harry Potter had been thumbing his nose at the rules and authority from his very first day in Hogwarts. And yet that old coot Dumbledore had rewarded Potter time and again for his disorderly behaviour. Without a strict adherence to rules there could be no Order and Chaos would reign supreme.

Percy hoped that eventually he and the Minister could get rid of Dumbledore as well as Potter. It would be a real thumb in the eye to Dumbledore when Potter finally got what he deserved.

And then there was Hermione Potter! What a disappointment she had turned out to be. Percy had high hopes for Hermione Granger in her first year, and then she had befriended that little hooligan, Harry Potter. Of course, as with Potter, Percy had been too blinded to recognise what a bad influence Potter had been on her.

And it hadn’t seemed like a big deal that she was a muggleborn at the time. But again, Percy now knew that it was his father’s muggle-loving ways which was holding the Weasley family back financially, and ruining the Weasley family name.

Percy frowned, wondering if he could find a means to put Hermione Potter on trial alongside her husband. Then he remembered that she had participated in the Third Task. The Triwizard Commission had found evidence all over the maze indicating her presence. Clearly she was guilty of aiding and abetting Harry Potter’s scheme to win at any cost.

Percy cracked his knuckles and began flicking excitedly through the Law Books.


Harry and Hermione woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs wafting through Number Twelve. Feeling very hungry, they showered quickly and dressed, then jogged down the stairs to the kitchen. Hermione’s mother was the only one up as everyone else appeared to be sleeping in.
Jean Granger glanced up to see her daughter and son-in-law grinning when they burst into the kitchen.

“Well, come on then, breakfast is ready,” Jean smiled back, “You’d better get a move-on before Dudley smells it and wakes up. That boy has lost a lot of weight and is looking much more fit, but he can still put the food away like there’s no tomorrow...”

“Thank you.” Harry beamed happily at Jean as he ate his breakfast, “I’m famished, M... er...”

All of a sudden Harry felt very awkward. He wasn’t sure what to call Jean Granger. Calling her “Mrs Granger” didn’t really seem appropriate anymore, as Hermione had told him that she was in the process of getting divorced. But he still felt a bit uncomfortable about calling her Jean... somehow it wasn’t quite like calling Lupin by his first name.

Jean Granger caught on immediately to Harry’s quandary. Harry was perhaps the kindest and most mature young man that Jean had ever known, and he made Hermione so happy. She just wanted to hug him and make all of his anxiety all go away.

“Why don’t you call me Mum dear!?” said Jean, hoping that she hadn’t stepped over a line.

Hermione’s eyes widened and she stopped eating a piece of bacon in mid-bite. Hermione sensed the wave of emotion surging inside of Harry, she glanced at him and saw his eyes glistening.

Harry gulped. He knew then, that was exactly what he wanted to call Jean Granger - her hugs felt like how he imagined hugging his own mother would feel. He had often wished that he had his mum back, even knowing that it was pointless wishing for such - but if he couldn’t have his own, he could at least share Hermione’s.

“Er... Yeah! I’d really like that,” Harry croaked. “Thank you.... thanks for everything - Mum.”

Hermione beamed at her mother, sighing happily as she squeezed Harry's hand.


Petunia smelled the bacon and realised she had overslept. Fortunately it was too early for most teenagers to be awake and Dudley was still asleep. Petunia quietly crept down the stairs and headed for the kitchen. She was about to step through the entrance to the kitchen when she caught the scene.
Petunia witnessed everything. Her chest tightened and her stomach lurched. Petunia bit her quavering lip to stifle her tears and turned to go back up the stairs as quickly as she could. Not wanting to wake Dudley, she tiptoed quietly all the way up the staircase and locked herself in the bathroom on the fourth floor.

Unable to contain herself any longer, Petunia began sobbing for Harry and Lily. An image of Vernon forced itself into Petunia’s mind and she began vomiting in the toilet.


Hermione whirled around in her seat when she sensed someone behind her. She had turned around and only just caught a glimpse of Petunia before she disappeared. Hermione really wanted to hug Harry and her mum, but it seemed like something was very wrong with Petunia. Hermione quickly ran to see where she had gone.
She spied Petunia at the top the stairs on the uppermost landing just as she entered the bathroom, and she heard the door click shut. Hoping that Mum and Harry would understand, Hermione dashed up the stairs and knocked on Auntie Joanne’s door. Yawning as she rubbed the slumber from her eyes, Joanne answered the door.

“What’s wrong dear?” Joanne asked, seeing Hermione’s distress.

“It’s Harry’s aunt... Petunia. I think she’s ill. She just ran all the way up to the top floor and locked herself in the bathroom.”

Following her niece, Joanne ran up the stairs to the bathroom on the fourth floor. Hermione unlocked the door with an alohomora charm when they heard the retching sounds within.

Joanne didn’t much care for Petunia, as they had very different views on things, and Jean had told her of Petunia’s past with Hermione’s husband. But tears sprang to her own eyes at the sight of the sobbing, heaving woman hunched over the loo.

“Oh you poor dear...” Joanne said as soothingly as she could manage, reaching out to Petunia and gently rubbing her back.

Abbie Brixton opened her door rubbing her bleary eyes, wondering what all the hullabaloo was about. Her eyes widened when she heard the commotion above and she hurried breathlessly up the stairs. Seeing Petunia’s state, Abbie waved her wand with one hand and caught the medicine kit which flew from her room with the other.

“It’s alright you two, I can manage Petunia,” Abbie said kindly. “I know you haven’t seen each other in ages. Go on, off to breakfast both of you. I’m sure that Petunia will be alright in a bit.”

By the time Hermione returned to the kitchen with her aunt, Dora and Fleur were sitting at the table, drinking tea and coffee respectively with her mother and Harry.

“Mornin’ Hermione,” said Dora with a grin.

“Bonjour ‘Ermione.” Fleur put her coffee down and smiled.

“What’s going on?” asked Harry. “Trip to the loo?”

“Er... your aunt Petunia’s not feeling very well,” Hermione replied, still looking worried. “But Abbie Brixton is looking after her now.”

“Oh...” Harry frowned, wondering if Aunt Petunia was alright.

Everyone chatted amiably as they continued breakfast. After he’d finished, Harry took a deep breath, just about to mention the upcoming trial, and how Dora was going to escort him when Abbie entered the kitchen with Dudley in tow. Dudley’s face lit up to see Harry again.

“I’ve put Petunia back to bed for now,” said Abbie. “She’ll be okay for the moment... Just go easy on her alright!?” Abbie looked pointedly at Jean and Joanne. “I think Petunia’s having a bout of PTSD - that ex of hers was a right monster. And... and I think she’s only just finally starting to come to terms with it...”

“Er... Of... of course we will,” said Jean, looking slightly ashamed of herself.

“I’ll pop by St Mungo’s later when Moody or Amelia get in,” Abbie continued. “One of the Mind-Healers there may be able to give me some advice. I wish I could do more, but it’s a bit difficult at the moment with us all having to stay under the Ministry’s radar.”

“I’ll make us a bit more breakfast then shall I?” said Hermione’s aunt, hoping to relieve the tension. “Who wants some bacon then... Dudley?”

“Yes please.” Dudley nodded eagerly, his face brightening. “I can help...” he offered.

“That’s alright dear. Why don’t you just sit down and have some orange juice - I’ll only be a minute”

“Hi Harry,” said Dudley, sitting down at the table. “Good to see you again.”

“You too Dudley,” said Harry, thinking that Dudley looked a bit sad. “Er... so you alright then?”

“Well... er... erm...” Dudley looked very embarrassed, glancing around the table, not sure that he wanted to say anything in front of everybody. Face reddening, he hung his head down and looked at the floor. “Er... I know what it’s like to not have any friends now,” he mumbled. “I’m sorry Harry...”

Harry swallowed, feeling a bit awkward. “Er... that’s all water under the bridge Dudley. There’s really no need to apologise again.”

“Th...thanks Harry...” Dudley offered a wan little smile.

“Anyway, I... er... I don’t think you’ve met Hermione...”

“Hi Dudley.” Hermione smiled a bit shyly. “It’s nice to meet you.”

After breakfast, the Potters ended up with Dudley in the parlour playing video games on Dudley’s Playstation. Fleur and Dora joined them, both fascinated by the interactive muggle technology.

“Your godfather and his friend enchanted it for me,” Dudley told Harry when he asked.

“This is brilliant!” said Dora when she had a turn with the controller. “I’ve never actually played video-games before, though my muggle cousins play them all the time.”

Harry and Hermione were in the middle of a game when they heard voices they recognised in the hallway behind them. Moody and Madam Bones had arrived. Dudley was surprised to see a girl with red hair entering the parlour.

“Oh... er... I forgot to tell you Dudley. You won’t actually be all alone this summer,” said Harry. “This is Susan Bones, Madam Bones’s niece. Susan, this is my cousin Dudley.”

“Er... Hi!” Dudley flushed. He’d never really talked to a girl before and had no idea what to say.

“Hello Dudley,” said Susan shyly before addressing Harry. “Thank you for inviting me and Aunt Amelia to stay for the summer Harry... Dad and Mum were frightened that You-Know-Who would get us now that he’s back.”

“You’re welcome Susan,” Harry responded, smiling. “Madam Bones and Dumbledore told me and Hermione about your parents being in the Order. I... I’m sorry about the rest of your family...”

Harry glanced at Dudley who was twiddling his thumbs and staring awkwardly at his shoes. “You’ll be nice to Susan over the summer won’t you Dudley?”

Dudley looked up and nodded.

“Of course I will Harry!” Dudley replied. “...It’ll be nice to have someone else around a bit the rest of the summer. I promise I’ll be nice to Susan.”


Feeling a bit agitated, Harry had taken the opportunity to escape after saying hello to Moody and Madam Bones, retiring to the library with Hermione. Being alone with her, Harry finally began to relax after the rather emotional morning. Hermione was sitting on Harry’s lap in a cozy armchair in the library, both reading a stack of superhero comics which Dora had given them to read.
“I think you two’ll love these,” Dora had said with a chuckle. “You’ll see what I mean...”

Hermione giggled as Harry carefully turned the page. “He reminds me of you Harry. He’s got the same round glasses and everything...”

Harry shook his head in amazement at how much he had in common with the protagonist. Apparently, often feeling like everything was his fault when the people he loved were put in harms way must be a more common trait than he had thought. The boy with a radioactive spider bite had even been raised by his aunt and uncle after his parents had been killed.

Harry laughed and tickled Hermione, causing her to squeal, when they read the next page.

“Yeah... well she reminds me of you...” Harry grinned, pointing at the picture of the superhero’s sexy girlfriend in the issue they were reading. “She’s the perfect partner for Spiderman - smart, gorgeous, superpowered, both of them fighting crime together...”

“Don’t be silly Harry! Her hair looks like Fleur’s...” Hermione stuck her tongue out at Harry. “...And her bust is much bigger than mine by far.” But she squirmed happily on his lap at the favourable comparison nonetheless.

“Maybe so, but the Black Cat makes a lot more sense as Spiderman’s girlfriend than the one who looks like Ginny...” Harry responded, earning himself a rather heated kiss from Hermione.

A grunt and a cough from the doorway startled the Potters, and they both blushed furiously when they spied Mad Eye grinning at them.

“You’ll want to be careful with those comics Potter... Tonks won’t take it kindly if you squash them,” Mad Eye chuckled.

“Anyway, I just wanted to let you know, I’ll be escorting you to Gringotts tomorrow mornin’... I’ve made an appointment with Ragnok for you - Right that’s it then! Carry On where you left off...” Mad Eye smirked and clomped down the stairs to the kitchen for an early lunch.

Harry waved his wand, shutting and locking the library door behind Moody. Another swish cast a silencing charm and he placed the comic carefully on the table.

“Harry!” Hermione squeaked anxiously when Harry’s lips brushed against the side of her neck, his hands roaming under her skirt. “What are you doing?”

“Carrying On!” Harry said airily. “You don’t expect me to disobey a Mad Eye order do you?”

“But everyone’s watching the television in the parlour,” Hermione moaned. “Shouldn’t we go upstairs to our room?”

“Orders are orders Hermione...” Harry grinned. “And it is our home after all.”

Hermione blushed, unable to help feeling naughtily aroused knowing that everyone was just a few rooms away.

“Honestly Harry, sometimes you are so literal... OH!... ” Hermione gasped, her face wrought with ardour as she responded to Harry's touch.

“Mmmmhmmm...” Harry murmured playfully in response.

A whirlwind of passion took Hermione and Harry by storm. Magic sparked and the library trembled, Dora’s comics fluttering lightly, remaining safely on the table.
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