Chapter 22 : Chapter Twenty two
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Time again chapter Twenty two
The day after their arrival at Hogwarts, Harry began to send Hedwig off to various hotels and holiday cottage owners with requests for information about vacancies, the list which he had borrowed from Albus was not exactly a long list, it seemed there were very few places that catered for people of the wizarding world, each day the replies were to say the least disappointing.
Harry had been so looking forward to surprising Hermione, in fact keeping things secret from her were not easy. It got even more difficult hiding his disappointments as each request was returned either informing him that there were no vacancies or the business no longer existed. By Sunday of the second week at school, Harry was becoming almost frantic, that afternoon he caught up with the headmaster as he was heading for the evening meal. he asked Dumbledore if he might have a list of hotels or similar establishments at any of the sea side towns or resorts, Albus promised to check it out for him, telling him not to worry too much as Wednesday was still three days away.
Harry went to bed that night feeling as though he had somehow failed Hermione. Hermione noticed the slow but sure change in Harry in the two weeks since they had started their new term, and she chose that Sunday night to ask Harry what it was that was bothering him, Harry almost panicked when she asked, he could think of no answer that might be convincing so he simply admitted to failing in a project. He politely refused her offer of help, going to bed that night he did not get to sleep very easily.
Harry and Hermione were woken on Monday morning at five thirty by a visit from an odd looking house elf, she had odd sized ears one being rather small the other being large and floppy, it was her eyes that caught Hermione’s attention, her left eye was a vivid sapphire blue while her right eye was almost like a blue and white bull’s-eye, with alternating coloured circles.
Dobby let the little elf into the living room then woke his two favourite people, and informed them that they had a visitor, Harry and Hermione were each handed an envelope “From the headmaster sir,” said the elf as she bowed low enough for her nose to touch the floor.
Harry protested about the time as they each read the Headmasters writing, each envelope was identical. ‘To be opened at six am precisely, Albus’, Harry turned the envelope over looking for something more but there was nothing.
‘What do you think this is all about?’ Hermione asked as she too checked the envelope she was holding.
‘I have no idea, but Albus does do things in an odd way sometimes’ Harry replied.
‘We have just under half an hour, might as well get dressed now we are up’ Harry yawned as he went back into the bed room.
Hermione was about to follow him when she noticed that Dobby also had an envelope exactly the same as theirs, ‘Well what ever is on Albus’s mind includes Dobby’ she thought as she too went to get dressed.
Dressed and ready Harry, and Hermione, were sitting in the living room finishing a refreshing cup of tea when they heard the clock strike six, together they opened the mystery envelopes.
Half a second after opening the envelope, Harry realised it was a portkey, he felt the usual pull just behind his navel and was whisked away, he came to a stop with a bump as his feet hit the floor just seconds later, looking around Harry found himself in a strange room, Hermione and Dobby were also looking around at the strange place they found themselves in.
Prepared for danger Hermione wand out, rushed to the window while Harry checked out the other rooms, it took them several minutes to accept that there was no apparent danger, Harry scratching his head took out the parchment contained in the envelope.
Harry, you have no doubt checked, but there is no trap, no plot to kidnap you or your wife, this portkey will reactivate at six am exactly one weeks from today. Meanwhile enjoy your break, you both deserve it. And keep that wife of yours from doing any form of work, Dobby will do all that is to be done. Albus.
Ps, There is a village two miles to the south.
Harry laughed “The crafty old…, and he let me…, I’ll get him for this.”
“Harry you are not making any sense,” Hermione told him as she wondered why he was laughing.
Harry handed the parchment to Hermione who quickly read it, “I wonder where we are?” she asked no one in particular.
Hermione read the note from her envelope as Harry placed his on the fireplace shelf. “It just says ‘Do nothing, enjoy Ireland’,” she said as she passed it to Harry.
Dobby had disappeared only to reappear two minutes later with a pot of fresh tea. Hermione insisted that he join them for a cup. Dobby was overjoyed by the gesture and sat with a tear in his eye as they all sat and sipped the tea.
After a very quick tour of the single story cottage, and finding two bedrooms, one of which was rather small, a fair sized kitchen with a large fireplace, and the cosy living room that they had arrived in. Harry and Hermione decided to take a walk, find out where they were and enjoy the break.
“You know Harry, Albus really is like a grandfather to us, and he’s an old romantic,” she said as they walked up the little stone path winding through flower beds to the gate.
Harry took her hand and gave it a squeeze, “So Mrs Potter which way shall we go?”.
“Well the note said there was a village too the south, so I recon that would be a good start,” she replied squeezing his hand in return.
They had only gone a few yards when Harry stopped to listen, he could hear waves crashing over rocks somewhere behind the cottage,
“We’ll take a look over that way later,” he said as they resumed their casual stroll in the early morning air.
It took them almost an hour to reach the village as they stopped to kiss several times along the way, Harry stood on the outskirts of the village trying to make some sense of the little sign at the side of the lane. ‘draíochta sráidbhaile’ “Well what ever it says it’s obviously not English so it must be Irish, wonder what it says?” Harry said as he gave up trying to pronounce it.
“No idea sweet heart, “ Hermione was saying when a small voice said “Magical Village, of course”.
Both Harry and Hermione looked around for the owner of the voice, “You must be strangers around here,” the little voice said with a chuckle.
Harry pulled Hermione behind him protecting her from the direction he thought the voice came from. “Who’s there? Show your self,” Harry said determinedly
A small popping sound revealed what looked to Harry, like a large fairy, Harry pulled his wand and was pointing it at the fairy like creature faster than most people blink. “Ooooh little jumpy aren’t we,” the little fairy chuckled, “and that’s not exactly friendly, pointing that thing at people you know,”
“Hello, I’m Hermione Potter, and this jumpy person is my husband Harry,” Hermione said introducing them.
“Harry put your wand away, don’t forget we’re visitors here,” she told Harry as she gave him a gentle prod.
“Oh yeah, sorry about that, you just gave me a start,” Harry said as he put his wand back in his pocket.
“Oh boy, are you the great Harry Potter of Hogwarts?” the little fairy creature asked.
“Yeah, I suppose so, you’ve heard about me then?” Harry asked.
“This is going to cost me three gold pieces you know, I never should have, but then what’s life without a little gambol, eh?” the fairy creature said as his smile faded a little,
“Sorry I don’t understand, how can meeting Harry cost you three gold pieces?” Hermione asked,
“Well I bet Mcallwee that Finnegan was exaggerating when he said he went to school at Hogwarts with the great Harry Potter,” came the reply.
“You know Seamus then?” Harry asked.
The smile on the little creature fell even further almost vanishing “It’s true then, you actually know Seamus Finnegan?”
“Yes Seamus is one of our friends,” Hermione answered while Harry just stared.
“I suppose you’ll tell me next you know Dumbledore personally too,” the little creature asked hopefully.
“Well we are stopping in Albus’s cottage over there,” Harry said pointing back up the lane. “He’s rather like a grandfather too us.”
“Really?” the little one grinned.
“Yes really, during the holidays he spends three afternoons a week with us,” Harry answered again.
The little fairy like creature did a little jig clapping his hands as he did so.
“Let me guess, you bet five gold pieces on us knowing Dumbledore,” Hermione said as she laughed at the creatures dancing.
“Oh better, much better, I bet ten, ten whole gold pieces, will you be going into the village, I can show you the place Finnegan goes to for a drink,” the little fairy said happily.
“What, is your name, and might I ask without being offensive, what are you?” Hermione ventured hesitantly.
“Me names O’Keefe, as to what am I, I’m not too sure about that, I used to be a leprechaun, but they threw me out of the fairy mound because I didn’t like doing the nasty mischief stuff. Oh I still love to play tricks on people. But I much prefer the funny ones, I suppose I’m a ‘used to be fairy’, I live in the village with the wizards now.”
“We were just going in for a look around, don’t you think it’s a little early for a drink,” Harry said as O’Keefe finished speaking.
‘Harry maybe we could get a cup of tea, and I could use the little girls room’ Hermione suggested.
“Ok O’Keefe my friend, lead on to the refreshments,” Harry said making a rather exaggerated sweep of his arm and a bow toward the village. The three of them walked along the lane. Harry and Hermione following O’Keefe, they got a small commentary from O’Keefe about each house or cottage and the family that lived there as they passed along the lane.
“Now I’ll just go ahead and Make sure Mcallwee has a brew on, it’s the fourth place on the left now,” O’Keefe said before vanishing, making a small popping sound again.
“He seems a little odd, bit like Dobby, eh?” Harry commented when the little fellow vanished.
Hermione moved a little closer to him, “We seem to attract the odd ones out,” she gave a little titter “Or at least you do, oh great one.”
Harry laughed then pulled her close and kissed her with passion, then placing his arm around her and holding her close they began walking again.
The sun was warm as it shone over the hedge and Hermione felt really comfortable leaning her head on his shoulder as they walked, ‘I am going to enjoy this little break’ she thought as she looked at her husband, and felt his comforting arm across her back.
‘The great Harry Potter. My man. My husband. My love’ she thought ‘I never knew I could love so much or so deep, I might have had to wait for four years before he asked me to be his girl, but it was worth all the heart ache and disappointments, another year and we can have a baby, we can make a new life between us, a little one that will be half his and half mine, wonder if we will have a boy or a girl, not that it matters Harry will be a brilliant father, I just know he will.
Yes the great Harry Potter will be a great father.
I wonder how much more these people would respect Harry, if they knew the real Harry, the Harry I know, the entire world would love him, but then I’d have to fight off all those witches that would be after him.
She was brought out of her musings by Harry turning her head to look in her eyes, “Hermione, Hermione love this is the place.”
Harry led them up a small set of steps and through a gate, there just a few yards in front of them were several tables, witches and wizards sat or stood around all chatting happily.
O’Keefe rushed over to meet them then led them to the largest table.
“Allow me to introduce two friends of mine, two of the nicest people I have the pleasure of knowing, and I might say the most beautiful female I ever met outside a fairy mound,”
“How long before you tell us who they are, O’Keefe,” laughed one of the witches.
O’Keefe coughed and cleared his throat “As I was saying the most beautiful…” he was cut off by Hermione.
“You’re going to make me blush with all the compliments O’Keefe,” Hermione said chuckling.
“My friends the Potter’s, Harry and Hermione,” O’Keefe finally managed bowing to Hermione.
“The Potter, Finnegan’s Potter, the Harry Potter dark wizard catcher,” gasped a pretty young witch as she stepped forward to take Harry’s hand.
“Mr Potter, welcome to our little community,” she said her eyes fluttering madly at him.
Hermione did not look happy till Harry spoke “Thank you for the warm welcome, you know if that affliction is annoying you, my wife could probably cure it, she is after all the greatest witch alive,”
One of the older witches roared with laughter, “Millicent, in case you don’t know, Mr Potter’s wife used to be named Granger,”
The witch named Millicent paled as she stepped back and apologised to Hermione.
Hermione smiled “What ever Seamus told you about me, I’m quite sure he exaggerated,”
The ice broken between visitors and locals, every one welcomed the Potters’ and they chatted away about all kinds of things until lunchtime.
With offers of dinner with almost the entire village, Harry and Hermione said their goodbyes and made their way back to the cottage.
Hermione prepared them a meal, one which mildly surprised Harry as he had not known just how well his wife could cook. Hermione being who she was, had done all she could to read and study everything she could about being a good wife.
Harry leant back on the couch “That my love was one of the best meals I ever had.” They spent an hour in relaxing in each others arms after lunch, giving their lunch time to settle before taking a walk into the back garden, there they found a path that led to the sea.
They spent the rest of their first day exploring the cliff tops, a hundred yards behind the cottage, they found a pathway down to the beach below and decided they would take a walk across the beach first thing the following morning.
Getting back to the cottage and settling in for the evening Harry and Hermione had just removed their shoes, and sat cuddled up on the couch. Dobby had lit then a roaring peat fire and they were both well relaxed. The knock on the door came as a surprise to them, they were not expecting visitors. Harry took out his wand before opening the door, what he found made him gasp a little, it seemed everyone from the village was standing on his doorstep.
O’Keefe stepped from the crowd, and bowed. “Mr Potter a few of the villagers have called to greet you and bid you welcome, he stepped passed Harry and was followed by as many witches and wizards as could get into the house. The party that followed lasted well into the early hours of the morning, the firewhisky and beer flowed freely making both Harry and Hermione wonder where it was all coming from. Several witches made suggestive remarks to Harry who told each one of them he would ask Hermione’s opinion on what ever they suggested, he quite enjoyed the different reactions, including one witch who ran from the house as fast as she could. ‘I wonder just what Seamus told them about Hermione’
Neither Harry nor Hermione had a drink, though they were offered plenty, when the party began to break up the Potters’ had met everyone from the village that was not away at school.
Two very tired young people finally closed the door on their last visitor at four in the morning.
“Hermione love, do you want me to take you to bed, and make mad passionate love to you?” Harry asked.
Hermione looked at Harry as though he was totally mad, “Not tonight I don’t,”
“Thank goodness for that,” Harry laughed as he made his way to the bed room.
Hermione was right behind him laughing with him, stripping their clothes off they both fell onto the bed and were asleep within seconds.
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