Harry Potter and Future's Past

Starts out the day after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione meet the Goddess of Love, and she offers to let them go back in time. Strictly Harry and Hermione. Minor - well maybe major Ginny, Ron and Dumbledore Bashing. Soul Bond - Time Travel

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5664828/1/Harry-Potter-and-Future-s-Past

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27. Chapter 27 Dumbledore Finds Out

June 30th 1996 continued

"Wonder why he hasn't shown yet?" Hermione asked as she looked at her watch. They had been expecting Dumbledore to arrive any minute after they had revealed their marriage to the Weasleys and yet the morning had turned into afternoon and now it was evening and still the Headmaster had not shown. It had become very frustrating because they didn't dare return to Hermione's house via the cabinet for they were sure Dumbledore would show up the instant they left.

"I don't know," Harry replied as he glanced at the door for the hundredth time. "Maybe he's busy."

"Maybe we should ask someone, or at least find out what's happening with Ron and Ginny," Hermione suggested.

"Yeah, maybe so. Should be about time for dinner though I don't think I want to eat at the table this evening."

As if someone was reading their minds, a knock started on the door. "Arry, 'Ermione? May I come in? I 'ave your dinner."

"One second," Harry replied as he quickly unlocked and opened the door.

Fleur stood there with a tray encumbered with various dishes, all giving off the most aromatic of smells. "After zis morning, Mr. Weasley zought it might be a good idea for me to bring your food. 'E didn't think you would want to eat with ze rest of zem right now."

"No, I can't say I would want to eat with Ginny or Ron," Harry admitted as he lifted a cover off of a dish. The smell was inviting. "So no love potions? Lust potions?"

"Non, but if you wish me to sample zem first I will," Fleur offered with a tired smile. "Zough if I suddenly 'ave desires for Ginny or Ron, please restrain me."

"Thanks, but I was kidding, well mostly," Harry replied. "How is everyone?"

Fleur sat down on the bed as she let out a sigh. "Eet 'as been a long day. I found four different bottles of potions in Ginny's trunk and gave zem to Arthur."

"What's happening to Ginny and Ron?"

"Zey 'aven't included me so I can only tell you what I 'ave overheard," Fleur explained. "Ron 'as been in 'is room all day but I'm not sure of ze extent of 'is punishment. Bill is trying to get 'is parents to take Ginny to Saint Mungos. 'E's seriously afraid she might do something drastic, but Arthur and Molly are reluctant for some reason."

"Why?" Hermione asked.

"I do not know, but I know zey 'ave been trying to contact Dumbledore all day with no success. Even zeir Patronuses are not getting to 'im."

"Are they really that desperate to tell him about us that it's more important than Ginny?" Harry asked incredulously.

"I can't see why it would..." Hermione's eyes flew open, "What if...no he wouldn't have..."

"What?"

"The Chamber...I mean afterwards. I...I don't remember anything being done for Ginny. I mean we got home and then after only a month they were off to Egypt."

"So...maybe she didn't need any help."

"Or they were told that she didn't need any help...persuaded in fact."

"WHAT? Who would do..." Harry stopped as he realized what Hermione was suggesting. "You're thinking Dumbledore aren't you?"

"Yes," Hermione replied and as she glanced toward Fleur she continued in her mind. "She'd been possessed by Voldemort AND had discovered a Horcrux. Do you think Dumbledore would allow her to tell her story to anyone who'd take it seriously? There is no way he could risk someone else might have recognized what the diary was."

"Why would ze 'Eadmaster do such a thing?" Fleur asked.

"I...I don't know," Hermione lied to Fleur. "Maybe he didn't want the dangers of Hogwarts getting out."

"Oui, zat might be possible. I will let Bill know of your concerns," Fleur rose from the bed and moved toward the door. "I better go back downstairs. I would 'ate if Molly...eh...laissez tomber."

"Fleur," Hermione called as the Veela witch opened the door. "As I said the other day, Mrs. Weasley will come around, but remember that there are far worse things than a future mother-in-law harassing you. You and Bill are both healthy and are in love. That's what really matters."

"Oui, I suppose so," Fleur replied.

"If it gets too bad, move out," Harry said. "We really don't need you here for my protection. That's not to say I don't appreciate the sacrifice, but I'd prefer you and Bill to be where you're happy."

Fleur shrugged. "And as I said, I will not run away. I will...eh...endure for Bill's sake. Family is important to 'im."

"I'm sure your happiness is important to him as well," Hermione argued.

"I will not force 'im to choose." Fleur's tired expressions developed an edge of determination.

"I understand," Harry said and he did since he'd faced the same circumstances with Hermione's parents. "I di…I mean I wouldn't want Hermione to have to choose between her parents and me either. Just take a break ever so often and if you ever want to talk, you know where to find us.

"You're an old married couple now?" Fleur asked as her face relaxed into a smile. "Giving advice on relationships?"

"Something like that," Hermione grinned. "Like I said this morning, I can use friends and would like to think you're one of them."

"You don't think I'm going to steal your 'usband?" Fleur didn't have many female friends either since they were all afraid their boyfriends or husbands would find her more attractive and desirable.

"No," Hermione replied as she glanced at Harry before turning back to Fleur. "Though I'm sure he finds you attractive, I know he loves me. Besides, if you're willing to put up with Molly, I know you're in love with Bill."

Fleur smile grew larger. "Oui, I do love 'im. Friends zen."

"Friends."

"I better go back downstairs for dinner, zey will be waiting for me."

"Thanks for bringing our food," Harry said.

"I'm glad I did," Fleur replied.

"Can you ask Sirius to come up?"

Non, 'e is gone."

"Where?" Harry asked suddenly suspicious that someone was clearing the way for Dumbledore to approach them without Sirius around to provide protection.

"Something about a friend and 'ow 'er review went I think," Fleur replied.

"Oh, that would probably be Marietta's mother," Hermione said.

Once Fleur had left the room, Harry and Hermione started on their dinner. As they ate, the conversation returned to Ginny and the Chamber of Secrets.

"I really think Ginny needed help then," Hermione said after a few bites. "Think about it; her mind had been wrenched open by Voldemort's soul. Think of that vision of you as she woke up? What it might have done? Remember what she said this morning, about you being there with the Sword of Gryffindor? 'I saw it, he was standing there with that sword and his wand, he'd slain the monster just to save me'," Hermione parroted Ginny as best she could before she continued. "Her mind was literally open to all and the image of you there and the Basilisk...it would have been like something from an epic story..."

"With her as the damsel," Harry added with a sigh.

"It would have been a powerful sight, one that would have fused deep within her damaged psyche."

"And she probably got no help separating the fantasy from the reality," Harry said. "Dumbledore."

"Most likely," Hermione agreed. "That was also the summer Mrs. Weasley mentioned the love potions she gave Mr. Weasley. Something else that might have lodged in her damaged mind," The rest of the meal passed in continued conversation. When they'd finished, they loaded up the tray with the dishes and Harry put it outside the door. As he closed and locked the door he heard Hermione gasp.

"What is it?" Harry asked as he whirled to face his wife. Thoughts that the food might have been tampered with after all raced through his mind. He had already pulled the Bezoar from his pocket when Hermione shook her head that it wasn't necessary.

"I just had a thought…about Dumbledore and why no one can contact him. What if he went after the ring?" Hermione face showed the concern she felt. "What if he did and we changed enough for Snape not to be able to help him this time?"

Harry thought about that possibility, of Dumbledore succumbing to the dark magic, of the Headmaster lying dead somewhere, maybe even in his own office. Frustration swept through him as his eyes hardened. "Go back to your house and have Dobby and Winky go to Hogwarts and…and check his office," Harry's eyes swept the room as he thought. "I…I don't know where the Gaunt home is but maybe Madam Bones…" He stopped speaking when they heard the locked doorknob rattle and then a familiar grandfatherly voice was heard on the other side of the door.

"Harry, Hermione may I have a word?"

A wave of relief flooded through the two teens. Though they definitely had no love of Dumbledore after what they had learned, they both knew he was still important in the fight against Voldemort. Harry had started back to the door to open it when Hermione's voice in his head stopped him. "Don't. He might recognize the cabinet if he comes in here," She warned.

"I should have thought of that," Harry replied as his eyes moved to the large cabinet. "We'll be downstairs in a minute sir."

A pause but then Dumbledore replied. "Very well, I shall await you in the Drawing Room."

"Do you think he overheard us?" Hermione asked.

"Maybe. We'll see what questions he asks us. I'm going to call Sirius just in case."

"Good idea."

"Sirius Black," Harry called to the mirror and his godfather answered it in fifteen seconds.

"What's going on Harry?" Sirius asked as a female voice could be heard in the background.

"Dumbledore's here finally. Think you can come back and give us some support if we need it?"

"Think I'm going to miss you telling..." Sirius paused as he realized he was about to give out the secret. "Telling him that? I'll be there in five minutes."

"How did Mrs. Edgecombe's hearing go?" Hermione asked and they both saw Sirius look questioning off to his side.

"She's suspended for two more weeks without pay and then will return under probation, but she'll retain her job," Sirius replied when he looked back at the mirror and then glanced away again as he said something to someone out of sight before turning back. "She wants to say thank you, she knows your words made the difference."

"I just believe in being fair," Harry said with a shrug. "I hope she'll let someone know if she's pressured like that again."

"I'm sure she will. Now let me get going so I can be there."

Dumbledore was sitting in an armchair stirring a cup of tea when Harry and Hermione entered the Drawing Room. He lifted his gaze from his cup when they entered, and his blue eyes didn't leave them until they had taken a seat, side-by-side on a sofa across from him.

"Well good evening Harry and Hermione," The Headmaster started as he sat the teacup on a spindly-legged table beside his chair. "It seems I missed out on some exciting news in my absence."

"Absence?" Harry asked in an innocent tone. "Where have you been?"

"Australia. The wards upon Privet Drive failed completely last evening so I had no choice but to act in regards to your Aunt and Uncle," Dumbledore explained. "Your idea was as good as any I could devise, so they are currently looking for a home just outside Perth," He didn't want to explain that he'd had to travel with the Dursleys to ensure his magic considered those precautions enough when it came for providing for their safety.

"Did you actually use Chuckles?"

"No, but Dudley Dursley is now Charles, who goes by Chuck to his friends," Dumbledore replied as he kept his gaze upon the teens.

"So...no one is going to call him Chuck then."

"Maybe in his new persona he might be different but that is not of concern now. I do believe you have something to tell me?" Dumbledore asked.

"Not really, besides, I'm sure Arthur and Molly have already done that," Hermione said. "Why is it a concern of yours?"

"Miss Gr... or I guess I should say Mrs. Potter?"

"So a parchment says," Hermione replied with a shrug as she refused to rise to the bait.

"I've put much effort in trying to accommodate these rebellious attitudes of you two. I was young once and understand, but please do not continue in these endeavors."

"How is it rebellious in asking why Harry and I having a marriage bond is the concern of the Headmaster of Hogwarts? We are not planning on asking for married housing, or of any other special treatment when it comes to our schooling. If you wish to be notified of my official name change, consider it done."

Dumbledore's blue eyes seemed to darken some before he answered. "Do you have so little concern for yours or Harry's safety? Just you two dating would draw Voldemort's attention; that you are married puts you in a perilous situation. Don't you think that such dangers would be my concern?"

The sound of someone running heavily up the steps could be heard from the outside the door. The door flew open a few seconds later as a heavily panting Sirius came through the door. "Did I...I miss it?" He panted.

"Molly or Arthur had already told him it seems," Harry said. "But make yourself comfortable, we're just trying to figure out why it's any of Dumbledore's business."

"So you knew about this?" Dumbledore asked Sirius with a clear look of disappointment.

"They told me," Sirius replied still trying to catch his breath.

"We told Professor McGonagall as soon as we realized it," Hermione added. "We asked her not to tell you."

"But why?" Dumbledore asked.

"I think we've already covered that," Harry replied. "When we know someone is hiding critical facts and changing memories, it doesn't go very far in allowing me to continue to trust that person. Throw in the fact you've been manipulating me for my whole life..."

"As I have already explained, I did what I thought was appropriate and necessary for your safety. Even if I did regret any of my actions, I can't change what has happened," Dumbledore replied. "But I had thought we'd worked past that."

"Are you saying you've told us everything that might concern us in regards to Voldemort?" Harry asked bluntly.

Dumbledore paused for a beat but then replied. "I have told you everything I feel you need to know. After a lifetime of experiences, I have come to know much. It would not be possible to convey all of that to you, nor would it be prudent."

"Then you must understand when we feel there are things that aren't 'prudent' to tell you sir," Harry replied as he took Hermione's hand. "What happens between us is personal. Or do you think we owe you a bloody explanation every time we kiss?"

Dumbledore sighed as he lifted his cup of tea and took a sip. He then turned his gaze back to Harry and Hermione, "As I explained, I am very much concerned for the possible peril this might have placed the two of you in. I am only trying to look out for your safety."

"Starting now are you?" Harry snorted.

Dumbledore ignored the jibe as he turned to Hermione, "In regards to this development Miss...Mrs. Potter, I think it is best if you remain here at Grimmauld place for the rest of the summer as well."

"What?" Hermione asked in disbelief.

"When this news gets out, you will be in grave peril," Dumbledore explained. "Here you'll be safe."

"I won't do it sir," Hermione answered in a firm voice. "I have spent too little time with my parents in the last few years and I refuse to surrender what little I have this summer. Or do you think the wards you placed around my parent's home are inadequate?"

"I truly must insist..."

"INSIST?" Hermione exclaimed. "Insist on what? That I remain a prisoner?"

"Sir," Harry started a voice steeped in barely controlled fury. "I told you that you will not control me anymore and the same goes for my wife. You may suggest and you may give your advice, but the next time you insist on anything when it concerns Hermione or myself, you'll find just how rebellious I can be."

"Harry please be reasonable," Dumbledore pleaded. He then eyed Sirius. "Can you not explain it to him? Surely you can see the danger he and now Hermione are in."

"What I know is Harry and Hermione have been ambushed twice in the past couple of weeks," Sirius replied. "In those ambushes, Voldemort has lost quite a few men who will not be killing anyone else. I'd say the kids can take care of themselves."

"And that doesn't bother you? The deaths? I understand that Harry was defending his friends and the ones he loves, but do you really want him to have to continue to murder people? Continue to have blood on his hands?"

"Killing someone and murdering someone are two entirely different things sir," Hermione replied coldly. "We aren't actively seeking out Death Eaters, but if they choose to pursue us, then we will defend ourselves anyway we have too."

"That is why I implore you to stay here at Grimmauld place so you aren't faced with that danger."

"Sir, I am spending a great deal of time here as I'm sure the Weasleys have informed you," Hermione said. "I also have had Sirius escort me to and from my parents since the attack, but I will not give up my time with my family. If you think the wards you have put up there are faulty then I suggest you improve them. If you'd like to provide me AND my parents with emergency portkeys, I will be glad to accept them, but do not attempt to dictate where I shall spend my time."

Miss Gran...Mrs. Potter, when word gets out about your marriage, Voldemort will seek you out as he has sought out Harry."

"We aren't advertising our marriage," Harry said. "Besides us, very few people know of it. Madam Bones even made the information level two, whatever that means. But it supposed to make the records unavailable. So unless you plan on telling Snape or if you think the Weasleys will spread the word, I see little danger of the knowledge of our marriage getting out. At least until we get to Hogwarts. The world knows we are boyfriend and girlfriend and that's exactly how we want it for now."

Dumbledore sighed as he picked up his cup of tea again. His eyes continued to gaze at the teens over the lip of the cup as he took another sip. Finally he sat it back on its saucer before replying. "It is obvious I cannot change your minds in this matter, so I will consider your recommendations and we may need to discuss it further at another time. Now may I ask why you found it necessary to attack Mrs. Weasley this morning?"

"Attacked Mrs. Weasley? Her daughter was caught trying to potion Harry and she's complaining about a flock of birds?" Hermione rolled her eyes but then continued, "Let's see, outside of the fact I was startled awake by an ear piercing scream after a long... long day of studying," She just avoided saying a long day at Alton park. "only to find several people staring at me with Molly Weasley calling me some very unkind words and trying to order me out of Sirius' house? Did she mention she tried to stun me?"

"She was only trying to defend herself," Dumbledore replied. "But did it not occur to you that she had reasons for her words?"

"Reasons to call me a scarlet woman? A harlot?" Hermione replied in indignation. "What reasons could she possibly have had for insulting me like that?"

"She had no idea you were married. I'm sure if she did, she'd have never said those things. Surely you must realize your actions in being in the same bed with Harry would be frowned upon."

"By whom?" Hermione asked. She could feel Harry was about to explode and squeezed his hand in an attempt to calm him. "It is none of Molly Weasley's business what Harry and I do. My mother knew I was in that bed and Sirius knew as well. THEY are the only people Harry and I have to answer to. What Molly Weasley should be concerned about is her daughter trying to give my husband potions while her son did the same to me."

"Potions it seems you knew about but chose to tell no one of them," Dumbledore said. "How could Arthur and Molly know they needed to act?"

"Though it is none of your business," Harry said. "We've already explained our reasons to Arthur."

"And hopefully they get Ginny some help," Hermione added hoping to get a reaction from Dumbledore.

"That would only bring the matter to the authorities when it is obviously just a crude attempt at snaring a tempting target by an infatuated lovesick teen," Dumbledore replied. "I understand you, yourselves were wanting to avoid it becoming a matter for the Ministry."

"A crude attempt?" Harry asked. "Those potions were from a highly advanced potions book from the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library. There was nothing crude about the attempt," Harry fought his temper down again and then continued. "It's true that we don't want her charged with a crime, but Ginny needs help."

"I've looked into the matter, and I assure you as I have assured Arthur and Molly, Ginevre only needs a few calming droughts and she'll be fine. She's disappointed of course, as can be expected when a teen is suffering from unfulfilled infatuation. But she's young and the young always recover faster than we think."

It was only a sharp, "HARRY NO!" from Hermione that kept Harry from leaping off of the sofa in anger and frustration. "It won't do any good. He's made up his mind and no matter what we say; he's not going to change it. Hopefully Fleur talking to Bill will help or Ginny can get help once Voldemort is dead, but right now Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would follow Dumbledore off the proverbial cliff."

Harry gritted his teeth as he glared at the Headmaster. Finally he calmed enough to nod. "We're married, Ginny's in need of calming drafts and my Aunt and Uncle are in Australia, got anything else to discuss with us?"

"Harry I am just trying to help, why must you be so hostile?" Dumbledore asked. "As I explained, I do feel you should have told me of your marriage so I could ensure Hermione's protection as well as your own. I went to great trouble to safeguard your relatives who, though you experienced hard times with them, I'm sure you'll want to reconcile with someday and you must see that had you brought your suspicions of Ginny and Ronald to myself or someone else, we could have prevented all that happened this morning from happening."

"If you say so sir," Harry replied through gritted teeth. "Is there anything else? We would like to get back to our studying."

"Ah, speaking of studying," Dumbledore said. "Minerva informed me of her plan to remove Ronald from being a Prefect. I truly feel that would be a mistake."

"MISTAKE?" Hermione roared. "He's an incompetent prefect, a lousy student and he tried to give me potions to influence my feelings for him."

"I think your current feelings are causing you to exaggerate Mr. Weasley's prefect abilities. You expressed none of these complaints during the last year," Dumbledore said. "I understand he is jealous of your relationship, but again I think had you told him of your bonding, your disagreement would never have occurred. Besides, would you really throw away years of friendship with someone because of a simple mistake on his part? Are you really turning your back on a friend at the very moment he needs your support?"

"Simple mistake?" Harry asked incredulously. "Trying to potion my wife is not a 'simple mistake'. Besides sir," This time the 'sir' had a distinct tone to it. "This isn't the first time he's been jealous of me."

"And the two of you were able to see past those differences and return to being the best of friends," Dumbledore replied. "Something I'm sure you can do again."

"Something that will NOT happen again," Harry exclaimed.

"But surely..."

"Sir," Hermione cut off the Headmaster, "Neither Harry nor I wish to continue our friendship with Ron. What he did this time is unforgivable. Now if you're serious about keeping Ron as a prefect, then you will need to find a second one as well. For if you truly consider Ron a representative of the Professors of Hogwarts, then I'd feel insulted to be considered the same. He refuses to take any of the responsibilities being a prefect requires while abusing the powers he receives. Then again maybe he does represent at least some of the Professors of Hogwarts. Professor Snape and Lockhart come to mind."

"It was a trying year for all don't you think?" Dumbledore asked. "He might not have lived up to the expectations but I'm sure with the..."

"Sir, it is your choice what you do," Harry said holding up his hand. "But I will say that Ron would be happier as Quidditch captain than as a Prefect. If you truly want to give him incentive to be better, that is the way."

"Ah, so you do still care about the young man," Dumbledore smiled. "Well if that's what it will take for you to mend your friendship, I will discuss it further with Minerva."

"He's delusional," Hermione exclaimed to her husband. "Why is he trying so hard to push our friendship with Ron? Do you think he blames himself for the horrors done by Grindelwald because of their lost friendship? Or maybe Ariana?"

"I don't know, maybe. But it could be he wants the Weasleys to continue to be an influence on me and without Ron, it might slip away fast," Harry replied and then to Dumbledore. "You misunderstand me sir, I will not, in any way, ever allow Ron Weasley near my wife again. Our friendship will never be mended. You do what you must, but if he is a prefect, Hermione has already told you she will not be. If Ron sits near us, we will leave. If he speaks to either of us, we will ignore him. If he ever threatens Hermione or me, then...then he will regret it. Do I make myself clear?"

Dumbledore sighed. "I will give you time to work through your anger. Obviously the events of this morning are still too raw for you to think clearly."

"We told you basically the same thing in your office so it's not my anger, it's a fact," Harry said as he rose from the sofa.

"Just let me know if I need to return my badge," Hermione added as she stood as well. "But sir, you need to consider if you are truly doing what is best for Hogwarts. You are the Headmaster sir. If the school and the students in that school are not your highest priority, then maybe you should consider relinquishing your position. Now if you'll excuse us. As we said earlier, we have studying to do," Without another glance at Dumbledore, Harry and Hermione walked out of the Drawing Room.

When they were safely back in Harry's room with the door locked and the Muffliato charm up they sat back on the bed.

"Can you believe him?" Harry exclaimed. "Acting like we were the ones at fault with Ginny and Ron?"

"I think he is trying to minimize Ginny's wrongdoing so the Weasleys do not take her for healing and Ron, well it could be either of the things we discussed."

"Will you really give up your Prefect badge?" Harry asked.

Hermione sighed. "For what it means to me compared to you, definitely. But I'm not sure it would be the best thing to do. Who would they get to replace me? Lavender? Pavarti? Besides we'd lose all protection from the Slytherins not to mention Ron."

"Ron would get his prefect badge pinned in a very uncomfortable place if he tried anything. As for the Slytherins, I don't care, I've already told Dumbledore I'll deal with them if I have too."

"I know, but it would be better if you're a Prefect and can work from a position of authority," Hermione replied. "Hopefully McGonagall will do the right thing."

"Guess we'll know soon."

"Maybe I'll write her and let her know what happened. Dumbledore might think I'm bluffing and not tell her," Hermione said. "Hedwig's still out hunting?"

"I told her not to hurry."

"I'll write the letter tonight and give it to Dobby or Winky. They can take it to a Hogwart's owl. That'll make sure Professor McGonagall has it tomorrow morning," Hermione glanced at her watch. "It's late. I need to get back home," She wrapped her arms around Harry's neck and kissed her husband. "Think you can come over tomorrow evening?" She murmured when the kiss ended.

"What do you have in mind?"

"I thought...maybe we'd just spend time with my parents," Hermione replied. "Mum will probably watch tennis, but maybe we can do something together."

"I'd like that," The two of them just held each other as they enjoyed the contact. Then Harry asked. "Speaking of tennis, have any idea what Sirius is hiding from us?"

"No, but it's Sirius and the Goblins. It can't be anything good can it?" Hermione replied.

"Guess we'll find out...when is the last day of this Tennis thing anyway?"

"The seventh is the scheduled men's final, a week from now."

*** E E ***

The full moon that was high in the late night sky sent brilliant moonbeams through the windows of Dumbledore's office. Several flickering candles added their light as well. As if planned, the moonlight currently was illuminating the high backed chair that Dumbledore sat in behind his desk. He didn't notice the light as he was lost in silent contemplation of the latest revelation concerning Harry Potter. The thought of the young man being married filled Dumbledore with trepidation. He was very concerned that his previous ideas about the young man and his motives were wrong.

"It's your family you protect isn't it?" Dumbledore murmured to himself. "First Sirius and now your wife," The Headmaster continued as he let out a sigh. "But is it really love that drives you or some sense of revenge because your family was taken from you? Has Voldemort got to you already?" That was the crux of the problem Dumbledore knew. It was only a matter of time before the piece of Voldemort's soul imbedded in the young man started to exert itself until finally nothing would be left of the soul of Harry Potter.

"Hopefully this will be resolved before it comes time for what must happen to happen," Dumbledore continued his silent conversation to himself. "How do I convince you to do what you must? How do I convince you to sacrifice yourself for the Greater Good? That you might live is not of concern because you can never know of the possibility."

The Headmaster had quickly discarded his plan to convince Hermione to use her influence on Harry once he'd learned of their marriage. "The love necessary for a marriage bond is too great to for her to consider it. Even if it was possible, love that powerful is too illogical to be relied on," He sat back in his chair and gazed around his office as he continued to consider the problem. Deep into the night he made and discarded plan after plan. Finally he succumbed to the fatigues of the day and night and fell asleep with his head upon his arm.

**** July 1st 1996 ****

"Good morning Hermione," Her father said jovially the next morning. "What do you have planned for today?"

"I'll be going back to Harry's this morning," Hermione replied. "We might go see Luna and Neville today, but I thought maybe he could come over here this evening. Maybe we can study over here or just watch the telly or something."

A tapping at the window caught their attention before Richard could reply. A large owl sat on the window sill.

"What the blazes?" Richard Granger said as he strolled over and lifted the window.

"It's mail for me of course," Hermione replied. "But I don't recognize the owl so I wonder who it's from?" A thrill ran through her as she wondered if it was her new OWL results.

Mr. Granger took the envelope and winced slightly as he read the front of it. He handed it over to Hermione with a gruff. "For Hermione Potter."

Hermione snatched the envelope from her father's hand. An even larger thrill ran through her to see her married name appearing on an official envelope from the Ministry but she contained herself as she looked back at her father. "We did warn you that it would happen."

"I know, but…" Richard shrugged. He couldn't help but see the look of delight that spread across his daughter's face when she read her married name. A small sigh escaped his lips.

"Well if it makes you feel any better, my statements from the Building Society savings will still say Hermione Granger."

"There is that I suppose," Mr. Granger agreed. "Well what does your Ministry have to say?"

Hermione pulled the sheet of parchment from the envelope and read. Finally she looked up. "I have to be at the Ministry tomorrow morning for the trial of Delores Umbridge and be prepared to give testimony if required."

"She's that Professor who did all that stuff this year?"

"Yes," Hermione replied but then she seemed to concentrate and then looked back at her father. "Tonks just told Harry the same thing. He said to expect another owl for..." She was interrupted by another owl coming through the still open window.

Again Richard had to see his daughter's married name as he handed her the next envelope. "Not very efficient are they?" He asked.

"No, no one will ever accuse the Ministry of Magic of efficiency, but when you have magic, efficiency is one of the first things lost. Remember I use a quill to do my homework."

"So what was the second letter?"

"Tomorrow afternoon is Peter Pettigrew's trial. Same thing, I have to be there in case my testimony is required."

"You really can talk to Harry telepathically?"

"Yes. It was very unnerving to start with but now... it's the most wonderful thing."

"I'm still..." Richard stopped and nodded. "I'll take your word for it. Now this Pettigrew fellow, what did he do again?"

"He's the one who betrayed Harry's parents. Then he framed Sirius and hid as a rat until a couple of years ago. He... he was the one who brought back Voldemort."

"A rat? What do you mean he hid as a rat?"

"He was an animagus dad," Hermione explained. "An Animagus can change themselves into an animal shape. You remember Professor McGonagall? The witch who came here?"

"I'm not likely to forget her now am I?" Mr. Granger replied.

"Well she's one as well. She can turn into a cat. Harry's dad was one also. He could turn into a stag," Hermione thought of something and made a quick mental request of Harry.

Richard shook his head. "Will you be turning into an animal someday?"

Hermione shrugged. "It takes a long time to accomplish it, but Harry and I might try it sometime in the future. We have no plans of trying it at the moment."

"Let's go have some breakfast, shall we?" Richard asked trying not to think of two animals frolicking.

It was just as they finished breakfast that the doorbell rang.

As she expected, Hermione watched her father leave the table and answer the door. It wasn't long before she heard. "What? No...Stop! Get out!" A sound of feet on floor could be heard and then a large black dog entered dining room followed closely behind by Richard trying to stop it.

"No one was there but this dog. He…he got past me..." Richard said as he tried to get between his family and the dog.

The black dog dodged around him and quickly grabbed a piece of bacon off of a plate.

"Stop that…" Richard said and made another grab at the dog. Again the dog dodged and scampered under the table.

"Don't sit there laughing," Richard complained as he watched his daughter double over holding her ribs. "He doesn't have a collar so he might not have his shots."

"Padfoot..." Hermione gasped. "Bad doggie!"

The dog walked over to her chair and sat down on his haunches beside her. With a quick snap of his jaws the bacon disappeared. After licking his lips he tilted his head at Hermione as if questioning her.

"You know this dog?" Richard asked.

"I'm sorry dad," Hermione continued to struggle to get her words out. "After mentioning animagus to you, I...I thought," She took another breath to finally control her laughter. "Dad...you've met him before, but...Dad, Mum...meet Sirius, Harry's godfather."

Mr. and Mrs. Granger watched in amazement as the large dog morphed into a man. The same man who they had seen at Kings Cross.

"Dad, Mum, please don't be mad at Sirius. I asked Harry to get him to come in his Animagus form," Hermione explained.

Sirius held out his hand to Mr. Granger who was still standing with his mouth open. "I couldn't resist," He said with a grin. "I sincerely apologize if my little prank was ill conceived, but when Harry said Hermione would like me to come as Padfoot..." He shrugged.

"Welcome Sirius," Jean said as she stood up.

"Well no harm done," Richard said finally as he took Sirius' hand.

"Would you like something to eat Sirius? Plenty more bacon on the plate," Jean said.

"No thanks. If I do have to have Molly Weasley in the house, I want to at least enjoy her cooking."

"So Pettigrew?" Hermione asked.

Sirius sat down in one of the chairs and blew out a breath of air. "Been a long time coming, but I'm ready to see the bloody bast..." He looked at Richard and Jean. "Sorry. I'm not sure if you know about Pettigrew."

"Hermione said he framed you and betrayed Harry's parents," Richard said as he took his seat back at the table.

"I'm not sure if Hermione has told you everything," Sirius started. "Like how Peter was one of my best friends?"

"No...she didn't mention that," Richard replied.

"There were four of us. Harry's father, James, then myself, Peter and Remus Lupin. We called ourselves the Marauders."

"Marauders?" Richard asked. "Sounds... a bit juvenile."

"Well at the time we were kids. We…we liked to play a few pranks now and then. I admit now that I'm older, that some of them might have not been as funny as we thought they were at the time, but we were kids with a touch of arrogance. At least James and I were. Remus was the level-headed one. He ended up a prefect while Pettigrew…he was a…" Sirius shrugged. "To tell you the truth, he was a kid who we hung around with because he hero worshiped us but we really did consider him a friend."

"So what happened?" Jean asked.

"You know about Voldemort right?" Sirius asked.

"We are learning more and more about him and Mr. Potter," Richard replied as he gave a significant glance toward his daughter.

"Well during our time at school and afterwards, he had a very dark army. James and Lily, that's Harry's mother, found out Voldemort was targeting them for some reason so they went into hiding. They ended up protecting themselves with a spell called the Fidelius. Basically whatever you want to protect is considered a secret and the designated 'Secret Keeper' is the only one who can give the secret away. For example, say I wanted to hide this fork," He lifted the utensil in question. "A very powerful witch or wizard could cast the Fidelius and make a person, let's say in this case, it's Hermione, the Secret Keeper. Now unless Hermione told you about the fork, you would never know it existed. It could be sitting right here on the table and you would not see it. Even if she told you, you couldn't tell anyone else about it since you were not the secret keeper."

"But…" Richard started as he tried to imagine what was being described. "you can't…I mean.."

"Dad, it's magic."

"Anyway, since I was James' best friend and the best with a wand, I was the obvious choice to be the Potters' Secret Keeper," A firm look came over Sirius' face as he was obviously trying to not be haunted by what he had to explain next. He let out a sigh and continued. "As I mentioned though, we liked our pranks. I, unfortunately, came up with the idea of pranking Voldemort and the Death Eaters. I suggested we make Peter the secret keeper while telling everyone I was," Sirius swallowed as he continued to fight the pains of the past then continued. "It was that idea and Peter that got James and Lily killed. Peter had been turned; he was already a Death Eater. He told the secret to Voldemort and…and James and Lily were killed," Sirius lost his battle of control and a haunted look came into his eyes as he remembered seeing the Potters' destroyed house that night. He finally took a breath and continued. "I went to check on Peter that night and when he was gone…I knew what had happened. By the time I made it to Godric's Hollow, it was too late. I went after the bloody rat with every intention of killing him. I wanted nothing but revenge. I finally caught up to him in London and…" More painful memories of that encounter flooded through Sirius' mind. "I…I underestimated him. When he realized he'd been cornered, he shouted to everyone around that I was James and Lily's murderer and then blew up the street around us. A dozen or so people died and in the confusion he changed into his Animagus form, a rat, and disappeared. Aurors showed up and since everyone thought I had been the Potters' secret keeper as well as believing I blew up the street, I was sent to prison while everyone thought Pettigrew was dead. They even gave him the Order of Merlin for trying to take me on. I spent almost twelve years in Azkaban. I broke out of there to save Harry when I realized Peter was still hiding in his rat form and was very close to him. I ended up getting caught and Pettigrew escaped again. If it hadn't been for your daughter I'd be dead."

When Sirius finished his narrative, everyone was silent. Richard and Jean looked at each other and then at the man in front them. They both tried to imagine what he'd been though and neither could truly succeed.

"Harry and I found Pettigrew sneaking around Hogwarts the day after everything happened at the Ministry," Hermione said. It wasn't entirely a lie since they had found him in the closet with Winky. "We were able to capture him and turn him over to the Ministry."

"So…how did you save Mr. Black's life?" Jean asked her daughter.

"It was at the end of my third year. The ministry wouldn't believe he was innocent, not without Pettigrew. Sirius was locked in a tower awaiting Dementors to arrive. Harry and I rode a Hippogriff to save him."

"But…but…you could have been arrested?"

"We had to dad, he was innocent," Hermione argued.

"And because he was Harry's godfather?" Jean asked with a raised eyebrow. "Even then you'd risk your life for him wouldn't you?"

"We were meant for each other," Hermione said. "I have and will do anything that I have to do to protect him."

"I know," Jean replied as she silently worried about what 'anything' might consist of.

"Anyway it's a lot of bad coming to end tomorrow," Sirius said. "I doubt Pettigrew's trial will last long. With him being the one who captured Harry so Voldemort could return…"

"What do you mean captured Harry?" Richard asked. "When did that happen?"

Hermione sighed. "Mum, dad there is a lot that's gone on and I promise I'll tell you everything if you want me to. Just realize that it will probably make you worry more than you'll already be worrying."

Richard looked at Sirius, "What about you? Are you comfortable with these kids fighting and killing people?"

"Do I wish my godson and Hermione as well as their friends didn't have to fight?" Sirius asked. "Of course, but I'd prefer them fighting over being killed without trying. Voldemort doesn't care about age. Heck he tried to kill Harry when he was one year old and has tried to kill him several times since and failed each time."

"But…"

"Don't underestimate Harry and Hermione," Sirius said. "Your daughter is as smart of a witch as I've ever seen and Harry…Harry is someone special."

"So I keep hearing," Richard muttered.

"Richard we're late," Jean said as she stood from her seat.

"I apologize again for my earlier prank," Sirius said as he held out his hand again to Richard.

"As long as you're house-trained," Richard replied.

Sirius grinned. "Well I am…as long as the Minister of Magic isn't in the room," He turned to Hermione. "Don't know if Harry told you, but Tonks snuck into Remus' room last night under an invisibility cloak. Trying to prove he wasn't a danger to her."

"He didn't smell her?"

"I helped with that," Sirius smirked. "Accidentally dropped some of that foul smelling potion used for joint pains. He wasn't smelling anything else all night."

"Remus Lupin," Jean said remembering the full name Sirius had used earlier. "Wait, didn't you have a Professor with that name last year or was it the year before?"

"That was him. It was our third year. We didn't know who he was or anything about Sirius or the Marauders at that time."

"Why would someone need to sit with him all night? Why would he be a danger to someone? Is he sick? Infectious? Is it something we can help with?"

"They don't know about his 'furry little problem'?" Sirius asked Hermione.

Hermione shook her head. As she gazed at her parents she bit upon her lower lip. Finally she sighed. "No mum, Professor Lupin is a werewolf."

"You don't mean a real…werewolf do you? Full moon and…and everything?" Jean asked as she sat back down. "That's it isn't it? Last night was a full moon."

"Yes, but…but mum he's the nicest man you could ever meet," Hermione replied. "And he was the best Defense professor we've had."

"But…but Sirius just said someone sat with him to prove…"

"That's the point Jean," Sirius said. "Maybe I shouldn't have brought this up, but it's better to get it all out since I did. Moony, that's Remus' nickname, Moony isn't dangerous as long as he takes a potion several days leading up to the full moon. He keeps his mind then and he'll just curl up and sleep."

"And if he doesn't?"

Sirius shrugged. "He will."

Jean and Richard stared at Sirius for several seconds and then moved their gaze to Hermione. "What else haven't you told us? Are there Vampires as well?"

Hermione nodded. "Yes, but I don't know any of them," This was technically a lie since she had met one at Slughorn's sixth year party. "There are also giants. I know a half-giant and again he's one of the nicest people I know. You've seen the Goblins at Gringotts and there are Leprechauns as well. I saw those at the Quidditch World cup."

"Why haven't…no never mind," Richard started and then answered his own question. "You were afraid we'd not allow you to go back if you told us wouldn't you?"

"I'm sorry but yes that's the reason."

"And you're going back no matter what we want?"

"We've already been through that," Hermione replied. "I'm a witch and that world is part of me."

"If I may add," Sirius spoke up. "It's not as dangerous as it sounds. You've only read muggle interpretation of the wizarding world. I would presume they like to glamorize the dangers. Werewolves are just wizards with a disease. For all but one night a month they go about their lives as best they can. In fact I'd bet sometime today or at least in the next week, you'll walk past a werewolf and not even realize it. Look for someone today who's pale and seems like he aches in every part of his body. He just might be one."

"It's even possible you have a werewolf as a patient," Hermione added. "Because of the biases of the Ministry of Magic, many of them live in the muggle world."

That caused the Grangers to both develop contemplative looks as each thought of their patients and if any of them seemed unusual.

"You'd never know it," Hermione said.

"So werewolves are okay, what about the rest?"

"Very few vampires live in this country," Sirius said. "But there are some that do. The ones who do live here keep to themselves mostly. They know if they attack people they would be hunted mercilessly. They might kill an animal every so often for fresh blood, but nothing much beyond that. Giants…well the full-blooded giants are aggressive and deadly. We don't have any giant colonies in the country anymore so unless they come across the channel they are not a problem. Besides, there are only about sixty or so left in the world."

Hermione decided not to tell her parents about Grawp or about the giants joining Voldemort. She'd seen the newspaper story about the wind storm that had struck the West Country and knew it had really been giants. She and Harry had been glad to see the destruction and loss of life had been very light compared to last time.

"Leprechauns are harmless enough unless you try to steal their gold," Sirius was still explaining. "And don't ever take any gold they offer you as payment. Within a couple of hours it will have vanished."

"Mum, you and dad need to go to your practice," Hermione said as she looked at her watch. "Harry's coming over this evening so we can discuss this further if you wish. I would just like to point out that whether I'm a witch or not, vampires, giant and dragons will still exist. Any non-magical person who hikes into a wrong valley can easily be killed by dragons or giants. Isn't it better that I know they exist and have the means to defend myself than to live in ignorance? Haven't you always told me how important knowledge is?"

Jean sighed as she exchanged another glance with her husband. They both turned back to Hermione and Richard was the one who answered. "Obviously you have a good point and we understand your reasons for not saying anything earlier, but we'd definitely like to discuss this later. We just need to understand."

"Dear," Jean said as she stood up from her chair and went over to her daughter. "We're worried we're losing you to the magical world. When you left us to go off to Hogwarts we thought you'd still be our Hermione, just able to do that magical stuff like the lady did. Now it's clear it's an entirely different world and sometimes we wonder if someday you're going to leave us and never come back. I mean how can we share in your life if we don't really know what your life is like?"

"I'll always come back," Hermione promised. "Harry will make sure of that. As for everything else, Harry and I will tell you what we can tonight."

Jean kissed her daughter on the cheek and pulled her into a hug. "That's all we can really ask for."

 
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