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Chapter 41 : Chapter forty one
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Time again forty one
Hermione sat in the bedroom, the twins happily sleeping next to her on the bed, they had both been fed and bathed and had fallen asleep together.
As she stared down at them she decided to once again try and talk to Harry after breakfast.
Today was the fourth day since the naming ceremony and she had hardly seen anything of Harry at all, she found having one month old twins was a rather tiring task, and had taken to going to bed a little early. Before the naming Harry had helped during the day and joined her every night in a nightcap before they both, feeling tired climbed into bed, but for the past few days Harry had gotten up and gone out before she woke and came home well after she had gone to bed, and she was getting worried by this odd behaviour.
It seemed he did not wish to speak to her either because each time she tried to talk to him he told her he was just a little busy and would talk when he got home, which he had not done.
‘Tonight, I’ll wait up for him, I’ll make him talk to me’ she thought as she placed a bed sheet over her two sleeping children, “sleep well my precious ones,” she whispered.
Just a mile away over on the other side of the hill from Potter House, Harry stood in the middle of the lane that ran along the edge of his land, “So Albus just one more thing to do.”
Albus Dumbledore looked at the new building in front of him and watched as two workmen took down the sign that read ‘Higgins, Higgins and Higgins, Builders to the wizarding world’.
“It was hard work but I think it will be worth it,” Albus said cheerfully.
“I hope so, I think Hermione is beginning to suspect something,” Harry said sounding just a little worried.
“Well we’ll know in the morning if it was all worth it,” Dumbledore said smiling, “I have arranged for everyone to be here for nine.”
“One fifteen, I’ll be able to get home early today,” Harry said checking his watch as he watched four men putting up a large wrought iron gate.
Thirty minutes later Harry smiled as the last workman finished polishing the sign above the gate, a rather short stocky man approached him “Well that’s it Harry, all done and right on time.”
“Yes and thanks Claude, you did a grand job, I’m really pleased with it, I just hope it was worth risking the wife’s anger,” Harry replied grinning.
“I’ll just gather my men up and we’ll be off, thanks for the bonus by the way,” Claude Higgins said wiping at his bald head with a handkerchief.
“I rather fancy a cup of tea,” Albus said as the Higgins vans and trucks all drove off down the lane, “but first,” he pulled out his wand and with just a tiny flick the field around the building was transformed in to a beautiful lawn.
“Shall we go,” Albus said striding off in the direction of Potter House.
Harry fell in step with his friend and great, great grandfather in law,
“When I arrived this morning, I was remembering all the things that you and Hermione got up to at school,” Albus said casually as they walked, “I remember it all, from the first day you arrived, but the part that stands out in my memories is the day you kissed my granddaughter in the great hall.”
Harry blushed a little though he had no idea why, “And what bought all this on?” he asked.
“Oh I just wondered how I would have reacted had I known then that Hermione is my great, great granddaughter,” Albus chuckled as various scenes of the things that may have happened flitted through his mind.
Harry looked at the headmaster in surprise “You saw that kiss then?”
“Oh indeed Harry, and I can tell you I was so pleased that the rumours of a romance with Mr Weasley were proven false and unfounded.”
“Me too,” Harry shuddered at the memories of Hermione being married to Ron in his other life.
“What I’m trying to get at Harry is that I am proud of you both, more so than you know,” Albus smiled.
Harry had no idea what to say to the older man so he just carried on walking along side him.
Then Albus asked the question he had avoided since Harry had shown him his memories of the battle of Hogwarts.
“If Voldemort died and all three of you survived the battle as in your memory I saw, what was the reason for your being returned to the fourth year?”
Harry stared at Albus knowing if he was not told he would return to the question again and again, he decided he would tell him, but no more than he had told Hermione since the night his mother had returned.
“As you know Hermione and I are soul-mates, well I never knew that in my other time, I was foolish in that life and I believed those rumours of a romance between her and Ron, so I stepped back and buried my feelings for her, I was stupid and stood by while she married him, it was a marriage that led to her death in the end, she died married to the wrong man, and at the wrong time, and that caused some major catastrophe in the time line.
Then you appeared to me that night told me what needed to be done to put things right, you told me nothing specific, just that I had the choice of going back to correct things, and that I would have to face it all again.
You didn’t say go back in time and kiss Hermione or anything like that, you just told me that she should have died many years after she did, and that her name should have been Hermione Potter, having the chance to be with the woman I loved was something I could not resist so I took it. You know the rest.” Harry finished.
Albus nodded and fell silent, his small worry that had been there from the day he learnt Harry had come back in time, the worry that Harry had maybe returned to save or to prolong his own life left him, and relief filled him instead. Harry had returned prepared to face Voldemort again for love, he was pleased that his belief in Harry was well founded, the boy had a great capacity for love, and all of it was directed at his great, great granddaughter Hermione.
Minutes later they reached Potter House and entered the kitchen of Potter House, ‘I’m home love’ Harry called to Hermione who was still up in the bedroom.
He could feel she was not too happy with him at the moment so he added ‘your grandfather is here too’.
‘Would you mind coming and collecting your son’ Hermione replied not sounding at all happy with him, she was not going to let him get away with his odd out of character behaviour over the past few days.
Harry knew even before he left Albus who was making the tea that he was in for a rough time, Hermione was definitely mad at him for some reason.
As soon as he walked in to the bed room Hermione spoke to him rather coldly, “Oh, you remembered where you live then, and I see you haven’t changed much since our children last saw you, hopefully they will remember who you are.”
Harry surprised at her words didn’t have a single clue what to say, he knew an apology right now would not work, not when Hermione was in to a full on lecture mood.
“Don’t I get a welcome home kiss?” he asked as he approached the bed.
“I’m not sure I remember how to kiss,” Hermione said picking up little Ginny.
“Did I do something wrong, love?” Harry asked and knew instantly he had said the wrong thing, he saw the lecture face instantly vanish to be replaced by the look that told him Hermione would not speak to him. He just hoped all this was worth it.
Hermione just could not believe what he had just asked, ‘did he do something wrong, there are times when I would willingly strangle him’ she thought as she barged past him and walked out of the door.
Harry shrugged and picked up his son “Come on Rich, your old pop is in trouble again,” he sighed.
Hermione sat down at the table after giving Albus a quick hello kiss on his cheek; they were joined just seconds later by Harry who gave Albus a small shrug before he too sat down at the table.
They drank their tea without a single word being spoken, Dumbledore could feel the silence it was so strained, but for a while he just could not think what do or to say that would not lead to questions from Hermione, then he had an idea.
“So Harry you were telling me about having to face it all again, how about telling me all about your first Horcrux hunt, and how it led to the last battle, perhaps you could even tell me about that battle.”
Harry could see Hermione was purposely ignoring him and would do so for the rest of the day, so he decided now was as good a time as any to satisfy Albus’s curiosity. He reached over and picked up the tea pot, having topped up his mug he began to tell all about his, Hermione, and Ron’s hunt for the Horcrux’s, he did purposefully omit the part where he finished with Ginny, and he began his tale on the morning after they buried Dumbledore. He missed nothing important or significant out from the day after the funeral of the headmaster, he told them in detail about the last battle, some of the memories bringing back a sadness he had forgotten about. It was early evening when he finished the story; Albus had just conjured another pot of tea.
“So you had a small part of Voldemort attached to your own soul, I don’t know if I would have been able to just stand there and allow Voldemort to kill me,” Albus said quietly.
Harry thought about Albus’s sacrifice with Grindelwald, he knew he had already done it all before, that’s how he met Fawks his Phoenix. Ignoring this Harry continued with his answer.
“Yes, it was very strange really, when I woke up I knew I had been dead, I didn’t know how long for, and I didn’t remember what it was like being dead, I remember how hard it was just to lie there while Voldemort kicked me and flung me about, I remember the way Hagrid carried my apparently lifeless body, and I remember the bravery of Neville who stood up and confronted Voldemort, killing the huge snake Nagini with Gryffindor’s sword, even though they all thought me dead, they were not going to give in to him,” Harry sat back and switched Richard from one side to his other side.
“It’s a fascinating story Harry, I’m happy that you were able to prevent all that loss of life this time” Albus said as he finished his tea. “Now I really should get back to Hogwarts, the duty’s of a headmaster call.”
Harry noticed tears sliding down Hermione’s cheeks when she kissed her grandfather goodnight, he rose from his seat and took Richard and placed him in one of the two baby cots they kept in the living room, then he returned to walk to the gate with Albus, once outside the house and on the driveway Albus spoke in a whisper
“If she is still mad at you after that, I’ll swim the Atlantic naked.”
Harry couldn’t help himself and laughed, “You crafty old thing,” he said as he hugged the headmaster before he left, “see you in the morning.”
Hermione was in the living room when Harry got back, she stood by the fireplace looking down at their children, he walked over to her and without a word they both held out their arms and then hugged, Harry held his wife tight, whispering in her ear, “Hi sweetheart.”
They stood there for quite some time just holding each other before Hermione spoke “Would you have done it all again?”
“Whats that love?” he asked in reply.
“Would you have given up your life to save everyone?” she said slowly.
“I didn’t do it for everyone, I did it for you, and our friends, I wanted you to have a happy and peaceful world to bring your children into,” he answered being honest.
“I love you so much Harry,” she said squeezing him hard.
“Yeah well I don’t need to give up living now, so can I breathe?” he gasped with a huge grin on his face.
Hermione chuckled and let him go, “Sometimes Harry you can be so, so, ugh” she said.
The next morning Hermione woke to find Harry missing once again, she stroked his still warm pillow and wondered why he was gone this time. It did not take her many seconds to discover that her twins were also missing; reluctantly she pushed herself out of bed and went to shower.
She was still in the shower when she heard Harry calling her, telling her that breakfast was ready and that she should hurry up because he wanted to go out for a walk. Slightly annoyed that he was going to be going out again she finished her shower dressed and went down to the kitchen, she found two hungry babies, and a perplexed Harry who was trying to puzzle out how to work the baffling contraption that was a double baby buggy. It was obvious he had absolutely no clue what so ever of how to set it up.
Harry was in a hurry to go somewhere, Erin and cook were spectators to one of the more unusual breakfasts in the Potter household that morning, as Hermione sat at the table, breast feeding two hungry babies, which was a two handed task, leaving her unable to eat the food Harry had prepared for her, so Harry was feeding her, it all seemed a little silly to Hermione and she kept chuckling as she indicated just what she wanted to eat next.
“Harry why all the rush?” she asked between forkfuls
“We’re going for a walk, you me and the babies,” he looked at the buggy and growled “You might have to help me with that thing though it seems stuck.
Hermione finished feeding both herself and the twins, then reaching down to the buggy and simply pressing a red button she pulled the buggy handle unfolding it to its full height.
With a huge smile at the look of bewilderment on Harry’s face she put the twins into the buggy and made sure that they would be well wrapped and warm enough.
Twenty minutes later after a steady walk up the lane, Harry who had volunteered to push the buggy for her, stopped the buggy and looked out over his fields, “This way,” he said as he turned and walked straight at the hedgerow.
Hermione panicked as Harry rushed forward a little quickly, she was wondering what he was thinking pushing their twins at a hedge, she watched as Harry and the buggy vanished from view through the hedges, just as they did through the barrier on platform 9 ¾ at Kings cross station. Quickly following she rushed through the hedge just as he had done; she stopped dead in mid stride and nearly fell over as she looked at what appeared to be Hogwarts castle.
Harry had reached the main entrance and was waiting for her, as she looked she realised there was a smaller door set into the huge oak doors, Harry pushed the buggy inside then stood waiting for her.
Hermione was staring at the main gate, or more precisely at the sign above the main gate that read ‘The Hermione Potter Academy of Magic’.
‘So this is what he was doing’ she thought as she let out the breath she had been holding.
Following Harry she found herself in a small version of Hogwarts, there were six classrooms, down stairs and accommodation for forty pupils upstairs, which Harry showed her first, “Right now the heads office,” Harry said as he led her down a small corridor, Harry opened the door and stood aside for his wife to enter.
A huge cheer broke out as she entered the room followed by a chorus of happy birthday Hermione. The rather large and comfortable office was full of family and friends, along with four people Hermione did not know.
Harry introduced the new people “These dear are your new teachers,” he leant over and kissed her cheek “Happy birthday, your ladyship,” he chuckled.
Hermione stood speechless, a tear falling down her cheek, having the twins and getting ready for the naming ceremony she had forgotten her own birthday, she felt a swelling in her heart as she thought of the hours Harry had to have put into building her, her own small version of Hogwarts, and she had been ready to yell at him for it.
Everyone she knew as a friend was there, the huge pile of presents sitting on the desk were all piled behind a name plate, that said ‘Hermione Potter, Headmistress’
The birthday party went on all morning, with Harry promising that there would be another more formal party that evening at Potter House.
After most of the people had gone Hermione was left sitting with her family.
It was Aberforth who caught her by her elbow, “I think the headmistress should try her desk for size.” he said leading her around the large oak desk.
A knock on the door silenced everyone in the room, “Come in,” Hermione called.
Remus Lupin entered, “Excuse me Headmistress our first class has arrived, I just wondered if you would like to welcome them,” he said casually.
“Remus is deputy head master and has volunteered to stand in for you until you are ready to take up your post,” Albus said as the Family friend grinned from the door way.
“No Remus, as headmaster it will be your task to welcome the new pupils,” Hermione said smiling at the look he gave her “I have the twins for now.” She said answering his unasked questions about his very sudden promotion.
“We should welcome our first pupils, to the first wizard free school,” Harry said taking her hand in his “come on, I’m sure mum will watch the children.”
“Free school Harry?” Hermione asked.
“Yes love, I set up a trust to run the school, so that squibs like the Creevey’s get a chance at changing their future.” Harry answered going a little red faced.
Both Harry and Hermione walked with Remus into the first class room to be used and welcomed the ex-squibs to the new school. All the pupils there had been in the class at Hogwarts where their school had begun on a temporary basis.
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