Chapter 36 : Chapter thirty six
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Time again chapter thirty six
Saturday lunchtime was just a couple of hours away as Harry helped Dig cleaning out the stables, they both stopped working and looked up, and then they both walked to the door. They had heard a car approaching, not just any car, this one was just about the noisiest they had ever heard coming up the lane. Both curious as to who would be driving such a vehicle Harry and Dig moved closer to the house to get a better look, they could see a bright orange red car that was smoking rather badly and sounded as if half the engine was dragging on the floor struggling up the lane.
As Harry and Dig watched the beat up old car struggling up the hill they both wondered if it would make it to the top. It stopped outside the Gates to Potter House and Harry knew even before he saw the driver that Peter Creevey had arrived.
The old car pulled up outside front of the house at the same time as Harry and Dig reached the front door, Peter Creevey and his wife climbed out of the car as it gave its very last gasp then with a shudder and a rather loud clunk it fell silent.
Peter introduced his wife to lord Gryffindor “This is the wife Georgina, M’lord.”
They had come to take a look at the cottage they had been offered, looking at the car Mrs Creevey sighed “It looks like we will be staying here for a while so that you can repair the car dear.”
Harry would have sworn he saw a crafty smile on Peter Creevey’s face just for a fleeting moment, he was about to remind Mrs Creevey that a simple wave of his wand could do a Reparo spell on the car, but thought better of it as he thought about it, it seemed highly possible that Peter Creevey may well have known that the car would never be able to do the complete round trip.
Harry invited the Creevey’s in for a cup of tea “You deserve one for getting here at all,” Harry chuckled as he looked at the column of smoke rising from the car, “Fancy a cuppa Dig?” he added as he walked into the entrance hall followed by Mr and Mrs Creevey.
“Yes sirree,” Dig said as he removed his wellingtons before entering the house.
Hermione came to join them from upstairs, and as she walked slowly down the stairs Harry noticed for the first time that she had a small but distinct bulge on her previously flat stomach, and it made his stomach flutter, the first real outward sign he had noticed showing that his wife was pregnant with his children, it stopped him mid stride making his heart swell with love for her. Ignoring the fact that he had guests following him he rushed up the stairs to meet her half way and then he held out his arm for her to take, just has he had done at the Yule Ball. Feeling like a king Harry led them into the kitchen where Erin soon had a pot of tea ready.
It took Harry a while to tear his eyes from the now definite bulge of his wife’s stomach, he actually missed the first part of the discussion they were having, he was instead dreaming of the future, realising that he was staring he managed to bring his mind back from its wandering and listen as Hermione explained to Mrs Creevey about the job she had offered Peter.
“Now that I’m pregnant I can’t disapparate, and I don’t really like to use the floo network, we have decided that we should get a car of our own instead of hiring one,” Hermione was saying to Mrs Creevey.
“Yeah and it’ll save us having to walk down to the village, or ride the quad bike in the rain,” Harry added nodding his agreement with Hermione.
“So this is just a temporary job, while you’re pregnant?” Mrs Creevey asked.
“Oh no, with my husband being a lord there are times when we have to go visit places or people, but can’t reveal that we are magical, so the job will be permanent. Of course we won’t use the car as often as a Muggle family would but that would give Peter more time with his family, and less time working.” Hermione answered.
The little formality that there had been between Hermione and Mrs Creevey disappeared as they discussed the cottage and the various things that might need to be done to make it fit to live in once more. Hermione even suggested that if they liked one of the cottages and decided to take the job and to stay, then they could use a room in the main house while the repairs were carried out to the cottage, they were talking like old friends even though Mrs Creevey was about the same age as Hermione’s mum.
As the tea pot was emptied Harry suggested that he take Peter and show him the cottages so that he could chose which one he liked.
Both Hermione and Mrs Creevey looked at him as though he had gone insane.
“What?” he asked as they both stared at him.
“I don’t think for one moment that I am going to have a say in this,” Peter said chuckling at the look on Harry’s face.
“You’re not?” Harry asked a little confused, then it dawned on him Mrs Creevey was the one who had to decide if they would move.
Before anything had been decided they heard the unmistakable whoosh that accompanied the arrival of some one through the floo network. Moments later they were joined by Albus.
Hermione was the first to move as she rose to meet her great, great grandfather with a hug and a kiss on his cheek, which surprisingly made the old Wizard blush a little.
“So how is my favourite grand daughter?” Albus asked smiling.
“I’m fine thank you granddad, have you met Mr and Mrs Creevey, Collin and Dennis’s parents,” she said as she introduced Albus Dumbledore to the slightly awed couple.
Harry quickly explained why the Creevey’s were there, adding that they were about to go to take a look at the old gatehouse cottages to see how much work would be needed to make them fit to live in.
Albus suggested he go back to Hogwarts and collect the Creevey boys, “It will give them a good opportunity to practice their magic in a useful way,” he said as he turned to leave again. Harry agreed with him and informed him that they would be at the cottages when he returned.
“Er, Harry before I leave, I wonder, might I ask a favour,” Dumbledore said quietly.
“Yes sir, ask away,” Harry replied happily.
“Do you think I could maybe use that three wheeled contraption,” Albus asked his eyes lighting up.
Harry was really surprised by the request but informed Albus he could use it when ever he wanted to, and where the quad bike was kept, adding that he felt sure Dig would help if any help were needed. Try as he might he could not picture Albus Dumbledore riding the quad. With that sorted out Albus left the kitchen. Harry led the way out of the kitchen followed by Hermione and the Creevey’s.
Ten minutes later they were standing outside the first cottage they had entered, things did not look quite as good as Harry had hoped, it was obvious that the place had not been lived in for a great number of years, there was very little plaster left on the walls, and the floor and ceilings had huge holes in them, the interior doors were missing, and there was no bathroom. Slowly making their way to the other cottage Harry hoped that this one be a little better.
The second cottage which was the larger of the two houses was in a much better condition. Harry thought that maybe sometime in the last ten years the house had had residents who had done a lot of modernising. Apart from the accumulated dust, a Bogart in the bedroom and a rather large population of Gnomes wandering around, the house was in good condition, in fact as Hermione pointed out with just a few charms it would be ok for some one to move in, once the Gnomes were gotten rid of.
Harry tried to catch one of the Gnomes but unlike their garden cousins these Gnomes seemed to know they were about to loose their home and they ran for it, jumping over some of the furniture and hiding under any thing that had enough space under it. Hermione and Georgina Creevey stood laughing at the antics of Harry and the Gnomes.
After fifteen minutes Harry finally managed to catch one of the slippery little beasts, having done a flying tackle as it tried to scurry under an old armchair.
With both women now in hysterics, tears streaming down their cheeks and both of them holding onto their ribs Hermione begged him to stop “Come on Harry I haven’t laughed so hard in ages,” she said as he pouted.
Now he had caught the little being Harry wondered what he should do with it, “Shall I chuck it out of the window? Do you think?” he asked Hermione once she had stopped laughing.
“Are you trying to kill me?” a tiny little squeaky voice asked.
Harry stared at the little creature “You can talk then?”
“Of course I can talk, I’m not a blinking garden Gnome you know,” the little voice yelled indignantly.
“Well then what am I to do with you, you can’t stay here I have employees who are going to live here,” Harry said to the what he thought might be a male, Gnome.
“I suppose now you’ve caught me you’re just going to throw me out into the cold and wet,” the Gnome said looking rather miserable.
“It is rather cold out there I suppose,” Harry said as an idea formed “I could let you have the other house, it needs some work but you can stay in that one as long as you like,” he told the little creature.
“You mean like forever, or are you going to be throwing me out of that one too?” the squeaky voice asked.
“No if you promise to stay out of the other houses and cottages you can have the one next door for as long as you wish, no one will throw you out,” Harry promised.
The Gnome tried to wriggle into a more comfortable position in Harry’s hand, “Ok but you have to take me there, I’m quite pooped with all that running around,” the little Gnome replied.
“So do you think you can talk your friends into joining you?” Harry asked hopefully.
“I could try but it would do no good, they are not going to want to miss out on all the fun of the chase, I’m afraid you will have to catch them and remove them from this house, then they will be happy to live next door,” the Gnome was making an odd noise Harry thought might be a laugh.
Harry looked around at the many tiny pairs of eyes that watched him from under the furniture, he even noticed a couple sitting on top of a cupboard, “Hermione love, could you help out here, sort out Mr and Mrs Creevey and teach them the immobilus charm, while I take this talkative little guy next door.”
Harry left Hermione and the Creevey’s still chuckling at his attempts to catch a Gnome. Five minutes later he returned to find Hermione teaching the Creevey’s the Immobilus charm using her wand. “I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes,” Harry told Hermione before he vanished with a slight pop sound.
Moments later Harry reappeared outside Ollivander’s in Diagon Alley, entering the shop Harry was surprised to see the old wizard sipping tea at the counter.
“Do you have any sort of all purpose wands, I need some for the class we are running at Hogwarts” Harry said as he leant on the counter opposite Mr Ollivander.
“That would be the squib classes I assume Mr Potter,” Ollivander replied looking over his teacup. “As a matter of fact I do have six wands left from the time when I tried to create an all purpose one, you could have those, try them out, and if you promise to give me a report on them you can take them as my donation to the school,” Mr Ollivander said smiling.
Harry returned to the cottage twenty minutes after he had left, Peter and Gina Creevey were taking it in turns with Hermione’s wand catching Gnomes.
He had them both try all the wands to find one that suited them best. He told Hermione of Mr Ollivander’s generosity in donating the wands for the class.
With the four of them chasing around the house after the rather fleet footed little Gnomes, they never noticed as Albus arrived with the two Creevey boys.
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by Linny Diggory