Disclaimer JK Rowlins owns Harry and friends; I just sit here and wish I did.
Time again chapter thirty five
Having left Hogwarts as the first lesson of the day got under way, Harry stood by the carriage door and looked out at the almost deserted platform, they had said their goodbyes to Ginny and Neville at breakfast in the great hall, now he was waiting as Hermione gave a last hug to her family before she joined him on the ancient steam train that served as Hogsmeade’s main supply route.
All his in-laws were staying at Hogwarts as guests of Dumbledore, Marjorie was having some tiny increase in the trace of magic that Madam Pomfrey had found in her, so Albus wanted to keep an eye on her, or so he said, though Harry felt there might be an ulterior motive, like keeping his family around him as he got to know them, he had seemed a little disappointed when Harry and Hermione said they were leaving.
Helen and Richard Granger were staying behind to get reacquainted with the grandparents, all three of them, David Puckle had just agreed to go along with what was happening around him, Harry felt just a little sorry for him as he had so suddenly been immersed into a world of magic, that less than a week ago he had never even known existed.
Mr Granger walked the few steps to stand next to Harry “Take care of her Harry, make sure she doesn’t over do it again, you know what she’s like, and if she’s anything like her mother was with the changes she’s beginning to go through, she’s going to become rather difficult to deal with.”
Harry looked at his father in law and wondered just what kind of changes he was referring to when Hermione finally joined him, together they climbed into the drafty old carriage and Harry closed the door. Leaning through the window Hermione gave her dad one last kiss on his cheek as the train began to move slowly away from the platform and left the station.
The long train ride was far from comfortable, the ancient old carriage they were in was the only passenger carriage on the train and though they had tried nearly all the seats none were as comfortable as those on the Hogwarts express. Harry thought about all that had happened in the past week, meeting and telling the Grangers, then meeting and telling the Puckle’s followed by the strange meeting with the bishop. all followed by meeting and discovering that Albus Dumbledore, the head teacher and friend that they both thought of as a grandfather figure was indeed Hermione’s great, great grandfather. ‘Yes, this has been just another odd week in the life of Harry Potter’ he chuckled to himself and got an odd look from his wife.
By the time the ancient old train had reached Manchester both Harry and Hermione were feeling the strain of the longer than usual train ride, the Hogwarts express had been comfortable and fairly quick, whilst the old thing they now rode in was rattling and rolling all over the place, the ride was bumpy and definitely uncomfortable.
Harry suggested they get out while the train sat in the station as goods were off loaded and new goods were loaded, ‘We could get the knight bus home, then I can apparate to Poole and settle our bill there’ he suggested as he opened the carriage door.
Hermione didn’t like the idea of riding on the knight bus, she remembered only too well how she had been thrown about by the erratic way it was driven the last time she had been on it, not wanting to do anything at all that would put her babies at risk helped her make the decision.
“We should hire a car or taxi to take us to Potter house, it’s only about eighty miles from here,” she told Harry as he helped her from the carriage.
With their arms around each other like two new lovers laughing and joking with each other they walked to the huge hotel next to the station, after ordering a meal in the restaurant, Harry using his new found influence in the Muggle world that being a Lord brought him, inquired about where they could hire a car to take them home to Wales.
All the arrangements were made by the hotel staff for them, and an hour later they walked from the hotel and climbed into a nice comfortable car, sitting in the back seat Harry chuckled quietly at a thought he had.
‘Ok Mr Potter what was that all about?’ Hermione enquired looking at his grinning face.
‘I was just thinking of some of those movies I saw when I was younger, the one’s with the young couple’s kissing and cuddling in the back seat of a car, and I had the thought that it’s one of the few places we haven’t snogged’ Harry told her chuckling again at the picture in his mind.
‘I saw that Harry’ Hermione said before laughing herself, ‘and since when do we call it snogging?’
‘Well when in Muggledom, do as the Muggles do’ Harry thought before he burst out laughing, earning him an odd look from their driver.
‘Muggledom?’ Hermione said.
‘It seemed to fit’ Harry said still laughing.
Nearly two hours later Hermione woke to find the driver following Harry’s directions was just turning into the lane that would lead to Potter House, she was wrapped in Harry’s arms and together they were snuggled into the corner of the seat behind the driver.
“Did you enjoy the ride love?” Harry asked smiling at her.
“Mmmm,” she answered as she stretched a little, she would soon be home and she looked forward to getting out of her clothes and soaking in a nice hot bath, it was as she had these thoughts that the car stopped and the driver got out and rang the bell to the house.
Harry stared at the driver and suddenly realised the man must be a wizard, how else would he have been able to see the Potter house gates. Harry knew even before she spoke that Hermione was going to ask.
As the driver got back into the car and waited for the gate to open Hermione asked him “How come a Wizard is driving a Muggle car for a living?”
“How, on earth did you know?” the driver asked turning around to look at his passengers for the first time.
“The gate, only someone from the magical world could see them,” Hermione told the surprised man.
“I never even noticed they were charmed, I usually notice that sort of thing but I have a few things on my mind,” the driver said as the gates swung open for them.
“I’m not a wizard M’lady, the wife and I are both Squibs, and a man has to do something to earn a crust,” the driver said a little sadly as he drove them up to the front of the house.
“We have a ‘cure’ for squibs, if you were to enrol in our class we could help you and your wife to learn how to perform some simple charms and spells,” Hermione told the driver as he climbed from the car to open the door for them.
Harry could see some sort of torment in the mans eyes as he politely refused the offer to enrol, there was something not quite right and Harry picked up on it as the driver shut the car door, the man seemed to have slumped a little or something Harry thought.
“Will that be all sir?” the driver asked turning toward the driver’s door.
“Not quite, if you could follow me, I’ll have a cup of tea made for us before you return to Manchester, that’s a fair drive without a drink,” Harry said walking to the now open front door where Glanry waited patiently as always.
The driver dutifully followed Harry through the house to the kitchen, it was part of his job to render an excellent service to his customers, and if they wanted him to share in a cup of tea as Lord Gryffindor had just asked him, then he would do so, keeping the customers happy was what got him extra work, and he needed all the extra hours he could get.
As promised Harry asked Erin to make them all a cup of tea, Hermione decided she would take hers in the bathroom while she took her awaited soak in the hot water.
Sitting at the table with the driver Harry asked him why he had refused Hermione’s offer “And is there any chance of the truth this time, please,” Harry said as he sipped his tea and gave a sigh, it was good to be home at last, even if he did need to go out again later.
“Well we just cant afford it sir, it’s hard enough having the two boys at Hogwarts without having to pay for myself and the wife,” the driver answered quite honestly “I make as much as I can from this job and the wife does a little cleaning job, we both do all we can for the boys, you know getting their books and the school fee’s but that doesn’t leave us anything for luxuries.”
Harry noticed how uncomfortable the man looked, “Yes I know just what it’s like to have nothing,” He told the driver, thinking of his time with the Dursleys.
‘Hermione love, you in the bath yet?’ Harry asked hoping he had caught her before she had got undressed.
‘No, not yet love I was just getting an update on the household gossip from Erin’ Hermione replied.
‘This driver, do you think we could perhaps buy a car, and hire the guy as our driver, he would be perfect for the job, mind you we would have to let him have one of the cottages down the lane, you know the two that used to be the gate house, I think we could make one of them quite nice if we got stuck in to it, I’m sure that Dig would help’ Harry asked as he thought through an idea.
‘Yes I suppose it would come in handy having a car of our own, now how about you tell me why you are asking’ Hermione said as she took a sip of her tea.
‘Well the fellow has two boys in Hogwarts and the only reason he refused your offer earlier is he cant afford it, so I’ve been thinking about something, I’ll talk to you about later, now would you do me a favour and come down here and offer the man the job, I don’t want to make the offer because we have just been talking, and I don’t want him to think I’m offering him a job out of pity or something, I don’t want to offend the guy or something’ Harry hurriedly told her.
‘Harry James Potter you really are a soft hearted hero, ok I’m on my way down, do you want me to offer him the cottage as rent free, and how much pay do we offer him’ Hermione asked as she made her way back down the stairs.
‘Yes he can take his pick of the cottages if he is willing to help fix the place up’ Harry answered.
Harry gave a little smile before taking another sip of tea then asking the man how much he made as a driver.
“Well if we have a good week, me and the wife can earn as much as hundred and fifty pounds, cause sometimes it can get a little thin if nobody needs a chauffeur, then we just have to muddle through as best we can.” the man answered being honest again. He liked Harry who didn’t act like the usual money men the fellow had to drive around.
‘Hermione love, offer him the cottage and a hundred and seventy five pounds, if his wife is willing to help out occasionally’ Harry managed to tell Hermione just before she entered the kitchen.
Hermione entered the kitchen and looked at the driver, she thought that there was something vaguely familiar about him but decided it may well have just been the journey.
“Ah I’m glad I caught you Mr?” she said looking at the driver.
“Creevey, M’lady, Peter Creevey,” the man answered with a small bow.
“Well Mr Creevey, I was just wondering if you might be interested in a job here, we were thinking of buying a car of our own, but we would need to find a driver as well, I can pay you hundred and seventy five pounds a week plus there is a cottage, mind you the cottage needs quite a lot of work doing to it, any way if you are interested you might be able to help do the work on the cottage when you aren’t driving,” Hermione said in her best business voice.
“Creevey, those boys you were talking about, they wouldn’t happen to be Collin and Denis would they?” Harry asked thinking what a small world it was.
“Yes those are my two, sir, I take it you know them,” the driver said smiling; the man had no idea that Lord Gryffindor was the one and only ‘Harry Potter’, the Creevey boys hero.
“You take the job the wife has offered you and I’ll give you the cottage just to see their faces when they first get here,” Harry chuckled; he was joined by Hermione who was also chuckling.
Peter Creevey left Potter House having promised to return at the weekend with news about whether his wife would be willing to move home, he personally would welcome a steady income and the idea of living in a cottage in the country side appealed to him.
Hermione went back to the bathroom to take her now seemingly long awaited bath, while Harry left the property then disapparated to Pool to pay his hotel bill, hoping that Mr Peter Creevey would take the job as chauffeur.