Chapter 11 : Back to Hogwarts
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Harry arrived at Ginny’s little house right on time and found the place in complete chaos. He was greeted at the door by a frazzled looking Ginny.
“I swear I have always been able to get places on time, if not early with these two. They have known they were Weasleys for less than a month and they are already acting like them.” She said as she let Harry in.
“I CAN”T FIND MY POTIONS BOOK!” Katie yelled from somewhere upstairs.
“I’ll be right back.” Ginny said with a sigh. “Make yourself at home.” She added before hurrying up the stairs.
Harry walked around the little living room. It had a very Ginny feel about it. The room was very warm and inviting. He stopped at a wall that held the family photos. There was a tiny Katie wobbling as she learned how to walk and a baby Walter playing with his food.
Harry’s favorite picture was of Ginny sitting on the floor holding the twins when they looked to be about four years old. All three of them laughing as Ginny tickled their sides. Harry then noticed a picture of Walter and Katie flying in and out of the picture on a broomstick.
“They’ve got your natural talent.”
Harry turned around to see Ginny standing behind him with a soft smile.
“I seem to remember you having a fair amount of flying talent yourself.” He added.
Ginny just shrugged her shoulders slightly. “They’re finally ready.”
“Alright then, let’s get going.” Harry said as he walked back to the front door.
“Come on kids!” Ginny called up the stairs and soon Walter and Katie came down each lugging their trunks behind them.
“Can’t you please use magic to make these things lighter?” Katie complained as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
“You know how I feel about that.” Ginny said. “When I was your age I had to carry my own trunk and you can too. Now come on, we don’t want to be late.”
The drive to Kings Cross went surprisingly fast, much faster than when Ginny had taken a cab on September first. Ginny suspected Harry of using magic to make the traffic clear up where ever they were but she did not complain and before they knew it they were walking through Kings Cross with plenty of time to spare.
“Alright, Walter, you go through with your mother.” Harry instructed when they reached the barrier. “Katie and I will follow.”
Walter and Ginny ran at the barrier and quickly disappeared. Harry went to place his hand on Katie’s trolly but she moved it before he could.
“I don’t need your help. I did it fine before.” Katie said as she turned to face the barrier.
“Hold on Katie, I need to talk to you first.” Harry said as he placed his hand on her shoulder to keep her from going anywhere. “I know you do not like me as your father, but I need to remind you that I am also your professor. When we are in class I cannot have you giving me the attitude you have been giving me for the past few weeks. You need to treat me with the same respect you give to all of your other professors. With the same respect that you gave me before you knew I was your professor. Do you understand me?”
“Yes sir.” Katie said sarcastically before shaking off Harry’s hand and running at the barrier.
Harry sighed as he followed after her, getting through to Katie was going to be a big challenge.
“Alright you two, write to me often. Stay out of trouble, I don’t want any more letters home from the headmistress.” Ginny said as she hugged them both tightly. “I will see you at Easter. I love you both.” She finished as she kissed them both on the cheek.
“And I will see both of you in a few hours time.” Harry added.
Walter rushed forward and hugged Harry tightly. Harry looked down at him with a bit surprised. “What was that for?”
“Well. I know I’ll see you at the castle, but I always wanted to hug my dad goodbye before getting onto the train.” Walter said with a shrug.
Harry chuckled and hugged Walter again while Katie rolled her eyes in the background.
“Can we please get going now Walter?” She asked in her most annoyed voice.
“Yeah. Bye Mum, bye Dad.” Walter said with a quick wave before boarding the train with Katie.
Ginny and Harry both stood at the edge of the platform and waved as the train disappeared into the horizon.
“So, how does it feel to be a parent who just dropped their kids off at platform nine and three quarters?” Ginny asked Harry with a smile.
“It feels incredible!” Harry said with a gigantic grin. “I am still upset that I missed the first eleven years of their lives but thank you for letting me be a part of their lives now.” Harry said as gave Ginny a hug. He felt like a true parent now.
It was the first day back at class and Katie was trying her best to understand what was going on in her transfiguration class. Professor Dumbledore was lecturing them on the proper wand movements when trying to transform a key into a small pair of hand scissors. Katie was trying hard to focus but she was having difficulty.
“How about you Taylor?” Katie’s mind snapped back to attention when she heard the surname she had grown up with being used. She sighed a sigh of relief when she realized Professor Dumbledore was talking to Walter.
“It’s Potter, sir.” Walter said. Katie looked at Walter with a bewildered look on her face. She did not know that Walter was wanting to go by Potter.
“Excuse me?” Professor Dumbledore asked Walter.
“Over Christmas break I changed my name to my father’s name. It is now Potter, sir.” Walter explained. The entire room began to buzz with gossip. Only the Weasleys knew about Harry being Walter and Katie’s father.
Professor Dumbledore cleared his throat and the classroom fell silent again. “Very well then.” He said, “What about you? Are you going by Potter now as well?” He asked Katie.
“No sir. I have my mother’s name of Weasley.” Katie explained. She still could not believe that Walter was being a traitor and taking Harry’s name.
The class began to whisper again, but quieted down as soon as Professor Dumbledore began to speak again.
“Another Weasley, eh? As if there weren’t enough of you running around here already.” He said more to himself than to anyone else. “Alright, well on with the lesson. Potter, please demonstrate for me the correct wand movement. No, no, no. You are doing it all wrong.”
The rest of their classes went in the same manner. Each time either Katie or Walter was called on they would correct the professor and inform them about their new names. By the end of the day the entire castle seemed to be talking about the twins and how their father was the great Harry Potter and their mother must be Ginny Weasley who no one had seen or heard of for years.
By the next day there were so many different stories about what happened between Harry and Ginny and the twins’ past that no one knew what was real or what was made up anymore.
“I just wish people would mind their own business.” Katie said with a sigh as she sat down at the Gryffindor table for breakfast.
“You know, most people think that you and Walter are lying.” Arielle informed her. “I overheard a fifth year talking to her friend about how you two made up the whole story for the attention.”
“Who would want this attention?” Katie asked as she rested her head on her hands. She hadn’t gotten much sleep, she had been thinking too much about what everyone had said about her and Walter. “I never asked for any of this.”
“Morning.” Walter said sleepily as he sat down across from Katie, Henry sat down next to him.
“Couldn’t sleep either?” Katie asked as she noticed the circles under Walter’s eyes.
“No. You?” He asked her as he grabbed a piece of toast.
“Not a wink.” Katie answered. All four ate in silence for the next few minutes. Their silence was interrupted, however, by the arrival of the post.
A small brown package was delivered to Katie by an unfamiliar owl. A few seconds later Walter received a similar looking package. They looked at each other with puzzled expressions before opening them.
*Katie, your father and I go way back and he has told me so much about you. You are an amazing young lady and I would love to get together with you so we can have some girl chat. I do hope you like your little gift.
“What?” Katie said to herself as she finished reading the note. Who was Rita and why was she writing to Katie? Katie set the letter down and looked into the box. Inside was a package of Chocolate Frogs and some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans and other assorted sweets.
Katie looked over at Walter and noticed that he had received similar stuff.
“Do you know who Rita is?” He asked her.
“Not a clue, I was going to ask you the same thing.” Katie replied.
“No way!” Arielle half shouted.
Katie and Walter both turned to look at Arielle who was reading the mornings Daily Prophet.
“What?” Katie asked her.
“This.” Arielle said as she laid the paper down on the table.
Katie gasped, she was looking at a picture of her and Walter.
“POTTER TWINS” the title read.
There was also a picture of Walter and Katie standing next to Harry and Ginny on platform nine and three quarters along with a picture of Harry and Ginny hugging each other.
“The most famous disappearing act of this century is that of young Miss Ginevra Weasley.” Arielle began to read as Katie, Walter, and Henry all crowded in to hear. “She was the one who girls everywhere envied when she stole our war hero’s heart. Twelve years ago she ran away with young Harry Potter’s heart and disappeared forever, leaving the poor boy destroyed. Until just recently Weasley’s whereabouts have been unknown. Many believed her to be dead or to be hiding out in a closet somewhere, ashamed to face what she had done to Mr. Potter.
Where ever she was she was not alone. Weasley has come back to Potter and has brought with her two other people, their children. Last Sunday Potter and Weasley were seen delivering Walter and Katie Potter at the Hogwarts Express, their first official family outing since Weasley has returned with her tail between her legs. Potter seems to have willingly taken her back into his life, forgetting how terrible she treated him last time they were together. One can only suspect by what means Weasley was able to convince Potter to take her back.”
“Stop.” Katie interrupted. “I don’t want to hear any more.”
“Me neither.” Walter added. “Who would write such a terrible thing anyways?”
“Rita Skeeter.” Arielle read as she pointed to a picture of a witch with blonde curls who looked like she was trying desperately to cling to her long gone youth.
“Rita” Katie said as she quickly grabbed her box and stood up from the table.
“Where are you going?” Arielle asked.
“To burn this.” Katie replied without looking back.
“Wait for me.” Walter said as he too stood up with his box and left the Great Hall, trying hard not to notice that almost everyone in the hall was staring at the two of them.
Katie was dreading going to Defense Against the Dark arts today. It used to be her favorite class but now that she knew that Harry was her father and after the article in the Daily Prophet this morning she would rather fight a dragon than go to class. But she knew better than to skip it, after all, the professor was her father so she would probably get into trouble for not showing.
Harry was used to slanderous articles written about him in the Prophet but he was not sure how the twins would react. When class started he noticed that neither one of them looked too happy, he figured that the article hit them hard. They were not used to having their lives displayed for the entire wizarding world to see. Harry decided to try and go on with class as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
Harry was in the middle of explaining some safety procedures for one of their assignments when he noticed that Katie was not paying any attention.
“Miss Weasley, please pay attention.” He said a bit sharply. She had made it clear that she did not want him to be her father so he was going to treat her like every other student.
“Why should I?” Katie retorted. “Just don’t die. I got it. It’s not like it is that complicated.”
“Watch your attitude Miss Weasley” Harry warned her.
“I mean come on, just don’t point your wand at yourself or anyone else.” Katie continued as if she had not heard Harry.
“Detention. Tonight at seven.” Harry snapped. The whole class was watching the entire scenario in shock. Harry was not one to give out detentions but Katie had openly defied him.
Katie had stopped talking when Harry assigned her detention. Instead she was glaring at Harry with her arms folded across her chest.
The rest of the class went off without another incident but Katie did not stop glaring for the rest of the class.
“I can’t believe that he gave me detention!” Katie exclaimed at lunch.
“Well you did kind of deserve it.” Walter pointed out.
“Yeah, I’ve never seen you go so bonkers before.” Henry added as he loaded his plate high with food.
“Thanks for the support you guys.” Katie said sarcastically.
“Come on Katie, you know the only reason you acted like that was because you were still upset about the article and you hate the idea of having Harry as a father.” Walter was really starting to annoy Katie. She did not want to be blamed. She wanted to rant and rave and complain about how unfair Harry was being.
When seven rolled around Katie found herself knocking on Harry’s office door, as she finished knocking the door opened of its own accord. She peeked inside and saw Harry sitting behind a large oak desk.
Katie did not know what she expected Harry’s office to look like but she did not expect what she saw. There were pictures scattered all over the walls. She recognized a fair amount of Weasleys in most of them but there were several older people who she did not recognize. The one picture that drew her attention was an older looking photo of a woman with long red hair and a man with messy jet black hair. At first she thought she was looking at Harry and Ginny but as she looked at it closer she noticed that they were not her mother and Harry. The woman had bright green eyes just like Katie’s and the man was missing a lightning bolt scar.
“Those are my parents on their wedding day.” Harry said.
Katie jumped slightly. She had forgotten about Harry and her detention for a moment and was stopped facing the wall, staring at the picture. She shook her head and walked up to Harry at his desk.
“Please take a seat.” Harry said, indicating to the chair opposite him. Katie sat down and looked expectantly at Harry. “I want you to write lines.” Harry said as he pulled out parchment and a bottle of ink along with a quill. “Please write ‘I will not disrespect my professors’”.
“How many times?” Katie asked him as she opened the bottle of ink.
“We shall see.” Harry replied vaguely before turning back to the work on his desk.
They sat there in silence for a long time with only the scratching sound of the quill in the background. Katie tried to focus on the task at hand but she kept on getting distracted by the pictures in the room. She was surrounded by the smiling faces of her family but something seemed to be missing from the photos. It took Katie a while but she finally figured out what it was.
“There are no pictures of my mum.” Katie said randomly.
“I beg your pardon?” Harry asked as he looked up from his work.
“Your pictures, you have a picture of every single Weasley except for my mum.” Katie pointed out. There were all of her aunts, uncles, cousins and her grandparents but her mother was missing from all of them.
“Well for many years your mother was a sore spot with me.” Harry explained. “I never understood why our relationship ended and I hadn’t heard from her in a long time so I tried to avoid anything that reminded me of her.”
“Oh.” Katie said before turning back to her lines that she was supposed to be working on. They sat there in silence again for a while before Katie spoke up again. “Why didn’t you ever go after her?”
Harry sighed and gently placed his quill down on the desk before answering. “Alright, I am going to answer any questions you might have but I am not going to sugar coat it for you. I don’t want you to think any less of your mother or me or anyone else in the family. Remember we were young and we have all changed a lot since then. Okay?”
“That’s fine.” Katie said eagerly, forgetting temporarily her hatred towards Harry. She was dying for answers to her questions and he was offering them. “So why didn’t you go after her?”
Harry sighed before taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes before pinching the bridge of his nose. “I was a young boy in love who believed your mother when she said that she would be back. By the time I realized she was never coming back it was too late. There was no record of Ginny Weasley anywhere after the first three weeks. It was as if she had dropped off the face of the earth. I didn’t know what to do so I gave it up for a lost cause.”
“Just like that?” Katie asked. “You just gave up?”
“Katie, I looked for months. Your Aunts and Uncles had to have an intervention with me.” Harry tried to explain, “I was going insane looking and not finding anything. If it weren’t for your aunts and uncles I probably would have gone insane for good.”
“But what about us?” Katie asked her voice barely above a whisper. “What about Walter and me? Didn’t you want to come and find us?”
“Katie, I would have but I didn’t know about you two. When your mother left I had no idea that she was pregnant. She didn’t know either.” Harry had said that he was not going to sugar coat the story but he did not want to give Katie a terrible impression of her mother. “Trust me, if I had known about you two I would have never stopped looking.”
Katie was not sure if she believed him or not. There was a part of her that wanted to but then there was another part that was remembering all of the years that she had wished on her birthday for a father and he never came. She had years of disappointment yelling at her, telling her not to trust Harry, that he would only let her down again. Katie suddenly didn’t want to talk about this anymore.
“Tell me about your parents.” Katie said, changing the subject.
“I am sure you know the story about how they died when I was a baby so I don’t really remember them. But from what I have heard about them from some of their friends that I have met I can tell that they were really great people who loved each other very much.” Harry explained in a very serious yet soft voice.
“Do you love my mum?” Katie asked, afraid of the answer.
“I used to love her very much when we were younger.” Harry answered as vaguely as he could. This was a very complicated question indeed. He used to love her and in a way as the mother of his children he loved her but not in the same way that he used to. He could never forgive her for taking away his children and hiding them from him for so long. “We are just two completely different people now.” Harry looked at the time and realized how late it was. “It is time you were going now, it is almost after hours.”
Katie looked down at her parchment, she had hardly written any lines. She got up to leave but stopped at the door. “You know, just because we talked tonight doesn’t mean I want you to be my dad.”
“I wouldn’t have expected you to.” Harry admitted. “But I hope we can at least be civil to each other now?”
“Yes, I think we can.” Katie said before turning and leaving Harry’s office.
After the door shut behind Katie Harry opened a drawer in his desk. He rifled through some of the papers before he found what he was looking for. He pulled out the old picture and looked at it. It was of Ginny and him, sitting by the lake in Harry’s sixth year, only a few days before Harry and Dumbledore went to the cave. Harry smiled as he looked at the photo; it reminded him of the better times. He used to look at this photo and wish that he could go back in time to his Hogwarts days when he and Ginny were together. But now that he has met Walter and Katie he would never want to go back in time and risk losing any time he might have with them. Even though Katie pretty much hated Harry he would not trade the two of them for anything in the world. Harry looked at the picture one last time before putting it back under all of the papers in his drawer and shutting the drawer.
When Katie got back up to Gryffindor tower she found Walter, Henry, and Arielle waiting for her.
“Well, how did it go?” Henry asked her immediately.
“Not too bad.” Katie said with a shrug. “He just made me do lines.” For some reason she did not feel like sharing what really went on with anyone.
“What was his office like?” Arielle asked.
“Um, I don’t know, like and office?” Katie answered, confused by Arielle’s question.
“Come on, give me some sort of detail. No student has ever seen the inside of it before.”
“Really?” Katie asked, surprised by this bit of information. “Why not?”
“I don’t know. He hardly ever gives out detentions and when he does they are always with Filch or some other professor.” Arielle explained with a shrug of her shoulders.
“Well that is odd.” Katie said. “His office just has a bunch of pictures of our family and stuff.” She added with a shrug of her shoulders. “Hey Henry, do you think you could help me with my Potions essay?” Henry had gotten his eating habits and emotional range from his father but he got his mother’s brains.
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