Harry had just apparated home from his job at the ministry when his wife Ginny met him in the kitchen with a kiss hello. Things had gone well for him since his defeat of Lord Voldemort ten years earlier. He had finished his education during the term following the Battle of Hogwarts while picking up his romance with Ginny. Between leaving Hogwarts and beginning his auror training, he became engaged to and soon after married Ginny. Given what he had done, the Ministry accepted him into the Aurors program without any debate at all. To top it all off, he and Ginny now had a family of their own with two sons, James Sirius and Albus Severus as well as a daughter Lilly. The family sat down to dinner where Harry had told them about his day at work. Life as an auror wasn’t as exciting as the days where Death Eaters were still running around, but there was the occasional issues with wizards causing trouble with dark magic.
After finishing dessert, Harry was about to take a walk out into the garden when he caught sight of the owl. It came upon him and dropped the letter in his lap. He noticed the envelope bore the Hogwarts crest on it. He opened it and began to read:
Minister of Magic Shacklebolt and I would like to speak with you tonight on a matter of importance. Please report to the Headmistress’s office at your earliest convenience. Please come alone.
That was probably the oddest correspondence he had every received from Professor McGonagall. He picked up the letter and walked back inside.
“Ginny, I have to go to Hogwarts tonight. Professor McGonagall and Kingsley want to talk to me about something. Apparently just me. That seems strange. If it was a ministry issue Kingsley wouldn’t see the need to drag me out to Hogwarts, he’d just tell me tomorrow at work. It’s also odd because normally they’re comfortable discussing things in front of you.”
“Maybe it’s something much more top secret. I’ll be fine. Make sure you kiss the kids goodnight before you leave. Also say hello to everyone for me.”
Harry found his children playing in the lounge. It was almost time for them to go to bed but he was sure that Ginny would get them settled. He bade them good night and kissed each one of them before putting on his cloak and kissing Ginny goodbye.
“I imagine I won’t be terribly long tonight. I’ll fill you in later unless I’m absolutely forbidden.”
“Thanks, have a safe trip.” Ginny replied.
Harry walked out the front door of his home in Godric’s Hollow and turned on the spot and apparated. He apparated just outside the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade since apparition in and out of Hogwarts is forbidden unless you were a house elf. The thought brought a pang of sadness to him. Kreacher had passed on only a few short years ago. He still had fond memories of the elf that had become a very devoted servant and close friend despite their rocky start. However, Kreacher was very old and he passed on peacefully after a short illness.
He made the short walk up to the castle and entered the front doors. He was greeted by Mr. Filch who was still the caretaker and who apparently still bore a grudge against the students of Hogwarts. Filch escorted him up to the Headmistress’s office. He knocked and was told to enter.
Although Minerva McGonagall was up there in age, she was still a vital force at Hogwarts and still had the energy to be Headmistress. He went up to her and gave her a hug and then shook hands with Kingsley who was standing next to her.
“I have to admit, this is kind of a surprise for me. I can’t say I expected to be summoned by both of you tonight. So what is the urgent matter to be discussed.”
“I’m sorry about the urgency of the summons and the request that it be with just you, but we felt that you might be able to advise us best on this matter, which by the way is not auror related. We called you because the department that deals with accidental magic from children has discovered a muggle-born witch-to-be and we need to send an emissary to the family to prepare them for what is to come and help them adjust.” Kingsley stated.
“I’d be happy to help but I really don’t see how I would be best suited to be your emissary for this case.” Harry told them.
“The reason you are the perfect choice for an emissary is because the young witch in question is the daughter of your cousin, Dudley Dursley.” Minerva McGonagall said.
Harry’s mouth dropped like rock. He was flabbergasted at this bit of news.
“I remember watching your muggle relatives when you were first brought their as an infant and was not impressed by their attitudes. Have you had any contact with them lately.” McGonagall asked.
“The last time I saw any of them was when we parted ways eleven years ago. Right before I set out to destroy Voldemort. At the time, my aunt and uncle were still as obstinate as ever about magic. My cousin, on the other hand had come to appreciate the protection the wizarding community was trying to give them. We actually parted as close to friends as we could be. I have not had any contact with them after Voldemort fell and given that they had to leave Little Whinging, I can’t say I even know where they are.”
“I’m sorry that we didn’t talk to you about this before we did this, but we did make contact with them and gave them an ‘all clear’. They decided to return to Little Whinging and resume the lives they lived before we had to uproot them. Your cousin and his daughter live in another community not far from your aunt and uncle. He has basically gone to work with your uncle at his factory.”
“Wait a minute, you said my cousin and his daughter. Does that mean that he’s not married?” Harry asked.
“Unfortunately, we know very little about them since we allowed them to come out of hiding. As is common practice, we tend to leave the muggles alone unless we have reason to intervene. This is the first time we’ve had reason to find them since the troubles ten years ago.” Kingsley stated.
“I was also under the impression that Dudley’s line was not magical. Otherwise, Aunt Petunia would have gone to Hogwarts with my mom and all of my childhood would have been a lot happier.” Harry said as he looked up to the portrait of Dumbledore. “I don’t suppose you have any insight into this phenomenom?”
“I confess that I don’t know for certain. It is possible that there is residual magic in your mother’s side of the family that was passed on to your cousin. You also must remember that the phenomenon of muggle-born wizards is still being researched by the Department of Mysteries. In the end, little is known about how magic makes its way into muggle bloodlines. For all you know, there could be magic buried deep within your uncle’s bloodline. Though that is not likely. When speaking to your cousin, try to find out more about the child’s mother. That may be the missing piece of the puzzle. She may not be muggle born but rather a half-blood instead.” Dumbledore said from his spot on the wall.
“Very well, I guess I’ll be paying a visit to my cousin tomorrow. I’m thinking it might help if I brought Ginny and the kids along. I think it might help reconnect with him if I started to introduce my family to him.” Harry asked.
“Ginny, yes, however, I would wait before introducing kids into this. Especially given that so little is known about the child’s mother. You don’t want to evoke any feelings of envy from your cousin.” Professor McGonagall said.
“I suppose your right. I’ll take the kids to Ron and Hermione’s tomorrow. I assume you’ll let me know precisely where I’m supposed to be going tomorrow.”
“We’ll send an owl with precise directions tomorrow. I suggest you try to make it for evening. I’m not sure you want to run into your uncle. He might not be ready for that.” McGonagall said.
“I’m not ready to see him either. I at least have hope that I will be received well by Dudley since we parted on friendly terms.”
Harry left the office and made a few stops to visit other teachers and wish them well. He was happy to see everyone. He figured he would probably be back soon. He made his way towards Hogsmeade. As soon as he passed the gates he turned on the spot and apparated back to his home.
Upon returning, Harry found that Ginny was waiting up for him. Then again, he hadn’t been gone more than a couple hours. Apparently she was hoping to hear about his meeting with McGonagall and Kingsley.
“So is everything all right?” She asked as Harry sat down in his favorite chair.
“Yes and no. It is nothing auror related, which I suspected was the case. Apparently the Ministry has detected the use of accidental magic by an underage witch, pre-Hogwarts underage, to be exact, and they want me to speak with her father and learn more.”
“I don’t see how that is bad, but I also don’t see why they would send you for that. Surely the Ministry has people who handle that, as does Hogwarts.” Ginny replied.
“The reason they want me to do it and the reason why it may not be a good thing is that the child’s father is my cousin, Dudley.”
“Hmm, I can see why you would find that troubling. However, didn’t you once tell me that you parted with your cousin as close to friends as you had ever been in the 16 years you lived together?”
“Yeah, but he has had ten years to forget all that. On top of that, he has followed in the footsteps of my uncle, career-wise, which means that he’s still fairly close to them and their anti-wizard attitude. I can’t deny that I’m afraid he might have relapsed into his old ways. I was only told that the Ministry detected this. I have no idea if Dudley was witness to it at all. That could have an impact on the situation. I’m supposed to see him tomorrow and I would like it if you came with me.”
“I don’t know, isn’t this something that you are better off without me.”
“I can think of no situation where I am better off without you. You know that. Besides, Minerva and Kingsley both think that slowly introducing my family might help both of them feel more at ease. Besides, you’re so charming, how could he not like you?”
Ginny’s face reddened a little but she smiled nonetheless at the compliment.
“So how is this meeting supposed to come about?” Ginny asked.
“Not sure yet. Kingsley said he would send an owl with more details tomorrow, particularly the where and how. We want to catch him away from Uncle Vernon because his presence won’t be helpful to anyone. In the meantime, let’s just go to bed and worry about it tomorrow.”
Harry pulled Ginny up out of her chair and they walked hand-in-hand to their bedroom.
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