Chapter 18 : The Gentle Grim
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Who’s Harold? - Harry’s ‘real’ name. I dunno why I made it that way, it just looks more… fun? :P
So, Rita does end up having custody over Harry? Will that last long? You’ll find out hither. :P But if Rita does happen to get custody, it wouldn’t be too long. I’m afraid that if I go with that route, I’ll be going crazy. I hate Rita! :P
Was there another trial Harry had with Percy Weatherby? - Yep, remember the article Rita was going to post about Harry’s illness? Well they went into court about it, so that’s where they’ve met before. :P
Is Harry going to have another fit soon? - Possibly! ;)
When will Hagrid come into the picture? - He will, probably, but I’m no sure when. Soon enough!
Why on earth did Molly have to be married to Mr. Malfoy? - Lol, Love blinds faults! They were younger when they got married, but she still clearly cares for him.
How did Rita Skeeter end up to be Harry's ‘real mom’? - I tried to think of one of the most foul characters in the HP world, and Rita just came to me because I like writing her obnoxious behavior! Hehe :P
How did Harry and Simon interact? - They got along well until he left. He was pretty normal for a while when Harry knew him so they got along good.
What was Simon's "problem"? - Voices! ;)
How many chapters in total will you write? - Right now, I’m guessing 40. :)
Have you deleted any bad reviews you got? - No, I haven’t. There are a couple in there, but I would never ask for them to be delete them unless if they were attacking me instead of the story. If they were criticizing my story, the only way I would have them deleted would have to be if they ranted on and on about how terrible the story was without backup or constructive criticism. Example: “This is so horrible! Why would you ever post this?! This shames hpff.com!”. Or something like that, but NEVER for reviews that are bring frank and honest. In fact, the only one I have EVER had deleted was this one: “What are you talking about? This is crap! Until you have an actual book written and published, don't take other's works and ruin them.” I wont tell you who said it on here, but it’s just one of those reviews that gets your spirits up for both writing the story AND any future dreams of writing at all. It was attacking me, so thus I asked for deletion. And frankly, I like it when people criticize and tell me what’s wrong with the story. That way, I have insight and I know what I can do to get my stories to be more entertaining.
What's gone on before...
“Quite. But you see, he could have helped financially support Harry,” he said.
“Don’t you think I hadn’t thought about that?! I was afraid he’d reject me! But it doesn’t matter now – we can be a family! I can have my son – no, will have my son, Mr. Fudge. Because now, I’m engaged and once we’re married, we can have the perfect future – together!”
“You did so well, Harry!” Lily praised after a long silence in the small library room
“Thanks,” Harry mumbled, still tensed.
“Do you think we’ll win?” Petunia said with much strain in her voice. There was an eerie silence that reminded Harry strongly of Snape’s potions class, without the potions and Snape, of course.
“Let’s hope so. Miss Skeeter is a very powerful woman with a great deal of money in her pocket. Sadly to say, it could be an advantage for her.”
“But I’ve got some money! I’ve paid everything on time – ” Petunia looked hysterical, like her life was slowly being ripped through her fingertips.
“I know,” Dr. Porter put a hand on her shoulder in attempt to calm the distressed woman. “You’ve helped us so much, we can old hope it’s enough.”
“Do you think Buggy’s going to have an advantage with the engagement?” Harry spoke up.
“Well it did come to us as a shock. It could impact the decision slightly, but I think we made a good case.”
“Will we hear anything today?”
“We might, they looked rather confident. I think we just might.”
Harry got to his feet and crossed his arms, not looking at anything particular. A little tug on his sleeve signaled that he was able to sit once more.
“We have come to a decision. It was complicated, both sides had strong points, and Mr. Potter needs stability right now. Joint guardianship is not one of the best decisions; however we must look into it. He needs to grasp a higher understanding of social life, try new things and get his brain pumping. We do not believe Hogwarts is supplying him with these interactions.”
Harry’s heart rose to his throat and his eyes darted to the speaker, Judge Weatherby. He seemed as though he was trying to avoid Harry’s eyes.
“However,” Harry heard Lily breath in. “I do not believe that James and Rita can properly support Harold with enough care that he needs right now. This boy can not just change drastically without medical and psychological help. People need to supervise him around the clock and give him treatments. It’s a huge responsibility, and two people can not do this and it seems impossible for you to learn everything that is needed to help. However…
“If proper care and nurses are available, we can accept this. There is no way custody can go to you without it. If this is appended, I think we could work something out. However, Rita Skeeter, you’re actions shame me. You have not taken the time out of your schedule to at least visit your son. This isn’t something we can take lightly. You avoided your responsibility, and it troubles us thinking about what kind of care you will be able to supply. However, James Faust has to be given a chance. We must also take into account our financial states. Miss Potter has upheld steady payment, but her job is not well paying and she has struggled along with her other payments. We believe that it is best…”
“…if we grant custody to Rita and James…”
“…for financial and society related reasons.”
“No!” Harry felt his throat close before the word came out and he sat in his seat, feeling quite numb.
“As such, Harold will be left under the guidance of his doctors and aunt for one week, in which time Rita and James must find suitable help. If you are unable to acquire suitable help, custody will be returned to his aunt.”
“She...” Petunia wheezed. “She can’t do this, she…”
“Come on, we need to get out of here,” Lily mumbled, holding onto Petunia’s shoulders to support her.
Harry said nothing, and he hadn't intended to move either, but the guards were gently urging him along and they walked through a few halls where fancy dressed people all sipped coffee and chatted animatedly. A few shot him disapproving stares as if he had committed a crime. 'Well, this was a court after all.' Harry thought cynically. As he walked down the steps, a familiar black dog seemed to be staring at him intently. Had he been in his other world, Harry was sure that he would have run to it, but instead he stared at the scruffy dog with a pained expression.
"Padfoot," Harry muttered, as he turned away from the dog. A loud whine came from behind him as he stepped into the hulky van that he had been in earlier today. He hadn't noticed how long he was in the courthouse until now. The sun was still above the horizon but it was darker than what it was when he first came.
Kingsley was about to slam the door shut when the dog leapt inside. Lily screamed in shock and Petunia tried pushing it back out, but the dog wouldn't budge. Instead, his tail wagged and Harry put his hands in front of his face as it tried to lick his face. He could feel the tail whap against his knee repeatedly.
"Get - him - OUT!" Lily commanded and Kingsley clung to the front of his neck as he was dragged out the door. There was no collar that Harry could see, and the eyes looked so familiar.
"Don’t!" Harry tried getting up, but the door shut before he could reach out. "It's Padfoot! We cant - "
"Harry, it's just a dog," Petunia said, warily.
"Isn't that the dog who keeps prowling on our campus?" the muffled voice of Kingsley told his fellow guard, above the sounds of ear-splitting barks.
"It's not just a dog, Aunt Petunia!" Harry pounded on the door. "Please, can't we just - "
"No animals," Lily told him, as the van started and pulled away. The dog tried to follow, but a dark-haired man had restrained him and pulled him back. The scene in front of him got smaller as the vehicle pulled away.
It hadn't even been a week and everyone had solemn faces. His doses had lightened slightly and he felt himself feeling more energetic than he had when this whole mess started. Harry would have been in a good mood if not for the lingering sadness that he felt whenever he thought of being trapped with Rita. They hadn't received any news on the matter either, so he still had a chance.
He had kept a sharp eye on the window, looking for any sign of the big black dog that Kingsley had unknowingly revealed to have been known for wandering the campus. There hadn't and it hadn't helped his spirits any. A few times he had slipped over the edge and had been talking to Hermione in the library. Her face was concerned and she seemed very annoyed with him. He distinctly heard her say, "I don't know what's been up with you lately, but you have ten late assignments to work on - ten! You always hand in your work!" her voice had changed to concern and sympathetic, "If anything is bothering you, you know you can tell me. I'll tell you what, I'll help you finish these ten and -"
But he had pushed the vision aside, clearing his head. 'Maybe they've been late because I'm not there anymore!' he thought angrily at her. With his unhappy mood, many episodes like that one had taken over him. It wasn't like before, though, and getting rid of them were extremely easy. Not a word was said to his doctors either, but he decided that they had enough on their place with the other patients, the issue with Rita, and maintaining the entire building. He had heard word that Ginny and Draco had tried many times to visit him, but the doctors didn't allow it because of everything that had been happening.
It was an incredibly dull few days until he got a visitor that his doctors couldn’t refuse. Actually, visitors.
“Harold, darling!” Rita reached her arms out embracing, and pulled him into a hug. Harry felt the urge to laugh. It seems she was trying her best to play the part as ‘mother’ with a large skirt and apron, and it appeared to Harry that her glasses had much fewer jewels than he remembered. James had a large grin on his face and a look that Harry could have sworn was pleased. Two figures, a man and a woman, stood behind them, dressed casually and looking poised.
“Harry, I’d like you to meet Marcela and Jeremy. They’ll be your nurses when you come live with us!” Rita positively glowed. The woman with dark hair reached her hand out in welcome and Harry shook it, politely.
“Thank you for coming without forewarning us,” Lily tried not to sound rude, but the her voice was dripping with spite. “I see you’ve found Harry’s room without trouble.”
“Oh, that – who’s his name? Robert? Anyway, he pointed us in the right direction. So how’s my little boy today?” Rita ruffled his hair more that it was originally, if at all possible. Harry looked at her irritably.
“Don’t call me a little boy,” Harry smacked her hand away and the nurses behind her shared a glance. ‘Ah, yes,’ Harry thought. ‘First impressions.’
“Have you been good for your Doctor Porter?” she asked, and Harry could see even James grow tired of her façade.
“Impeccably,” he muttered in a monotonous tone.
“Ready to go?” Rita asked.
“Wait, you’re not suggesting he leave today!” Lily shrieked, appalled.
“I am,” she smiled sweetly. “Did you not think I would be able to find help? Oh, you are sadly mistaken, Doctor.”
“But we haven’t had enough time!” Lily argued. At the same time, Ron had jogged in.
“What’s going on here?” he asked, glumly when he saw Rita.
“She just waltzed in and said she’s taking him!”
“You can’t!” Ron’s eyes flashed at her.
“Can’t I?” she smiled. “I’ve met all the standards that were set and I’ve come to take him.”
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