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Chapter 9: Home...Hogwarts
I must admit I was proud of my cousin. He was taking a big risk here. With his life and his heart. I think the only thing that impressed me more was the remarkable young woman he cared so must about. She trusted him enough to cart her across the country in less than an hour and she didn’t even put out that she was intimidated or the least bit frightened.
“So what is this new job all of a sudden?” She asked. Tucking her hair behind a year.
“Dudley has been offered a job as a teacher. At the school I intended actually” I supplied. It was going to take a lot more explaining. But now wasn’t the right time. Dudley would need to tell a lot of that tale.
“Oh Dudley that’s fantastic!” She cried leaning over the seat to kiss his cheek. He blushed furiously.
“That’s not all of it. You see Penny... it’s a special school. For people like Harry...” He replied, his voice shaking a little.
“What do you mean... ‘like Harry’?”
“Penny. You’re going to think I’m crazy and I don’t blame you but...”
“Mr Potter? We’ve arrived.”
“Alright everyone out. D explain on the train.” I said.
We all got out the car and I grabbed Penny’s suitcase.
“But where’s your stuff?” Penny asked.
“Our stuff is already waiting for us. Come on. We need to get to the platform.”
“ What’s the platform number?” Penny asked as we ran through the station dodging other passengers.
“Platform 9 and ¾”
“9 and ¾? But it doesn’t exist!” She screamed. Oh yes it does.
“Trust me. Dudley grab Penny’s hand!” I yelled as I grabbed her other one... and plowed us into the wall between platforms 9 and 10. Penny screamed and tried desperately to brace herself for the impact that never came.
She stood on platform 9 and ¾ looking shaken.
“What the hell just happened...” She breathed looking at Dudley for support.
“Like I said. We have a lot to explain. On the train.” He said squeezing her hand. As we boarded the Hogwarts express.
Okay, my girlfriend is no longer calm and collected but scared out of her wits. I don’t blame her, we’d just dragged her through a solid brick wall. Not to mention we’d now put her on a train we couldn’t off. I’d be freaking out too.
We entered the first empty compartment and got her to sit down. Her whole body was shaking violently.
“Dudley... Explain now. Please” She said her voice wavering.
I sat beside her and took her hand in mine. I looked up at Harry and he took a seat opposite us.
“This is going to take a lot of explaining okay? It’s a lot to take in. But we’ve got a few hours” I began, she nodded.
“We’ll try keep it as simple as possible for you okay?” Harry said gently. “To begin with, I’m a wizard.”
“I know it sounds crazy but it’s true.” I said. “Trust me, you’re finding out the easy way. Harry found out from a half giant named Hagrid. He gave him a letter to go to this special school... Hogwarts. Where we’re going now. Gave me a pig’s tail too.”
“A pig’s tail? Seriously.” She asked, she looked less nervous in a way. Like she wanted to laugh.
“It reflected my personality back then.” I shrugged.
“You see Penny. There are wizards and witches living all over the world. Some in the wizarding world, some in your world the ‘muggle’ world. That’s what wizards call you if you don’t possess any magical ability.” Harry said
“Then how come we ‘muggles’ don’t know about it?” She asked.
“Can you imagine how much havoc it would cause? If people knew magic existed they’d think it could solve all the world’s problems. But it can’t, magic causes as many as it fixes.”
“I guess that’s true. It kinda makes a lot of sense. So how come your letting me know if I’m a muggle? Are...are you a wizard too?” Penny asked turning to me.
“No I’m not. There are special circumstances where muggles can know of the existence of the wizarding world. If they’re a parent of a wizard or witch, or their partner... Like you and me.”
“So a wizard can be born to muggle parents?” Penny asked confused.
“There are different kinds of wizards Penny, muggle-born, half bloods, pure bloods and squibs. Muggle-borns are wizards or witches that are born to non-magical parents; one of my best friends is muggle-born. Pure-bloods are wizards who are well just that ‘pure blood’ no trace of muggle blood in them what so ever. Then half bloods are anyone else who have muggle and wizard blood, either from their parents or previous relatives.” Harry explained.
“Are people who are born into magical families but do not possess magical abilities. But they’re uncommon.”
“Okay... So what are you?” She asked, her calm starting to return.
“I’m half blood. My father was a pure blood and my mother, Dudley’s mother’s sister was muggle born.”
“So... you’re going to be a teacher at Hogwarts?” She turned to me.
“Yeah...” I smiled slightly.
“He’s going to teach muggle studies. It’s the study of the daily lives of Muggles and how they cope with electricity and not magic. The class aims specifically to acquaint wizards and witches who don’t have direct contact with muggles. We thought it would be smart to have a muggle teach the subject himself. Especially after everything that’s happened recently.”
Harry went into the long story of his prophecy and the years leading up to the wizarding war. About how finally he himself had been the one to conquer lord Voldemort. A few times he paused like he was going to say something but decided against it. Penny listened intently only interrupting every once in a while when she had a question. It took the whole train ride but eventually everything was up in the air. The truth was out.
“I can’t believe you guys trust me this much...” She said as we got off at the platform.
“We’re surprised you’re taking it so well” I said kissing her head and pulling her suitcase as we walked up to the Hogwarts gate. The Weasley family were waiting to greet us. “Penny, let me introduce you to my adoptive family, the Weasley’s”
Each of the Weasley’s in turn came up and introduced them self giving Penny a hug. Mr. Weasley got a little over excited and started spouting questions about rubber ducks, electricity and airplanes but Penny took it in her stride, answering what she could. Even if she did find some of his questions... well odd.
“It’s late dears. Let’s get up to Gryffindor tower. We can talk more in the morning” Mrs. Weasley said.
We made our way up to the castle and navigated our way to Gryffindor tower. Penny was in awe of everything. We practically had to drag her past every new thing she saw. Especially the talking paintings; she loved those. Students and family that were still helping with the clean up stared as we went past, a few saying hi and introducing themselves, others just continued with their jobs with puzzled looks on their faces. Hey come on people it’s not like she’s the first muggle in Hogwarts... I was.
“Well well well what do we have here hmmm? Muggles... In Hogwarts!” Called the portrait of the fat lady as we approached.
“Evening.” Harry replied.
“Ah Mr Potter home at last I see.”
“Indeed. Can we get through please. It’s late.”
“Of course. Password?”
“Umm... what password? We weren’t using a password before.” Harry asked.
“That was while things were still in chaos Mr Potter. Things are finally coming into order now. Thus so are the old protocols. Password?”
“Peace” Came a voice from behind us. Neville Longbottom.
“Thanks Neville. Appreciate it.” Harry sighed as the portrait swung open to reveal the Gryffindor common room.
“Hi I’m Neville. I’m sorry but... who are you?” Neville asked extending his arm to Penny.
“I’m Penny. Dudley’s girlfriend” She replied. Shaking his hand.
Neville raised an eyebrow in my direction and smiled.
“Pleased to meet you. So you’re going to keep him in line then I suppose?” He said with a wink and glanced over at Harry. Oh for eff sake is everyone out to get me?
“I wasn’t aware a professor needed to be kept in line” She replied quickly. Catches on quick my girl.
“Professor?” Neville asked.
“You’re looking at the new muggle studies professor.” Penny said proudly looking over at me.
“Brilliant. Except I don’t take muggle studies. Well Professor Dursley, I guess you won’t be staying in the Gryffindor dorms anymore then?”
“Well where am I supposed to stay?” I asked. The Gryffindor common room was the only one I felt comfortable finding on my own.
“Well...I...I actually don’t know where the teachers stay if I’m honest. Ask McGonagall?” He suggested as he climbed through the portrait hole and headed for the boys dorms.
“Good idea. Come on Dud, me and you can go find McGonagall. Ginny can get Penny settled. Right Gin?” Harry said.
“Course.” She said kissing his cheek. “Come on Penny you can have the bed next to mine.” Ginny levitated Penny’s case and they walked off together to the girls dorms.
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