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The Adoption by KenTheMenace
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: The Finding
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The war was over, the reconstruction of wizarding Britain was in full force and the future was looking up for everyone. He was sitting on the porch of the newly constructed "Potter Cottage" which was situated on the outskirts of Hogsmeade. It was on top of a hill overlooking a valley which was surrounded by a lush forest divided by a lazy river which winded far and lost itself in between the surrounding hills. It was separated enough from the nearby village to have complete privacy but was close enough to be considered part of the village.
The cottage itself was a modest little abode. Harry insisted on living on a realistic budget even though he inherited much more than any normal person would need from both his parents and Sirius. It was a two story wooden cottage with a wraparound deck on the main level. There was plenty of natural light coming from the large windows and the open concept made the small cottage feel larger than it appeared. The furnishing was minimal since Hermione insisted on only buying furniture when they needed it. That is not to say that it was not homey and warm. Again Hermione insisted that what they did have was perfect for what they needed was perfect for their little home.
Harry was in his bedroom getting ready for the day. He got dressed and was greeted with the delicious scent of bacon and eggs. Harry appeared in the doorway to the kitchen and paused while he took in the scene. His best friend Hermione was cooking breakfast, which was a rare occurrence since Harry did most of the cooking, for the two of them while whistling an upbeat tune. She was gracefully cracking eggs without abandon and tossing the shells over her shoulder and into the rubbish bin. Or at least in its general direction. She was wearing his signature apron which said "Kiss me, I'm the cook!". Hermione smiled to herself as she cooked and Harry stood there as he admired Hermione in his area of expertise. He was happy that he could witness the Hermione that no one else but his close friends were able to see. Stress free from all the pressure that came with the war and school. She's beautiful. He was thought absently clearly ignorant to the utter mess she making of his sacred kitchen. He was pulled out of her musings as a piece of toast hit her cheek.
"Harry 0, me 1!" Hermione teased as he continued to toss pieces of toast towards his best friend.
"'Mione!" Harry mock scowled as he tried to evade the torrent of toast. "You're going to pay for that!" Harry fired a mild tickling curse at her feet. Hermione stepped over it with ease and pulled out her wand and charmed the sink to spray small squirts of water towards Harry. The two continued to wage war until the rumbling of their tummies dictated it was time to eat.
After they were fed and the mess was cleaned up the two decided that it would be a shame to waste a beautiful day indoors. They decided to explore the surrounding area and visit the local town.
They passed kids playing in the park, skimmed through local shops and greeting the locals that recognized them from the war. They greeted everyone politely as they made their way around town. Many times they were complimented from elderly women that said they were the picture of a perfect couple. The two blushed and quickly dismissed the idea stating that they were only best friends trying to enjoy the weather. They had trouble looking each other in the eye after those comments.
Hermione decided to go back to one of the book stores to buy a book she was eyeing and seeing the excitement in her eyes.
Harry laughed as he agreed. "How did I know you were going to want to buy a book today?" He was caught off guard when he started to realize the little details of his best friend. The way her smile reached her eyes as she explained why she needed this new book and how her laugh sounded musical as she explained how it would be irresponsible to skip over a perfectly good book. He suddenly realized he was staring and immediately tensed up and looked away.
"Harry? Is something wrong?" Hermione asked she faced him with a look of concern. Blushing from the intense look Harry was giving her.
"N-nothing is wrong!" Harry yelled as he tried to hide his blush. "Sorry, nothings the matter here. Nope. Nothing. Just enjoying the view. I mean the scenery not the person in view since you were in front of me. I mean... the weather? Yeah. Hahaha..." Smooth as butter there Harry. You were almost caught staring at beautiful best friend. What the heck is wrong with me?
"Okay then." Hermione said interrupting his thoughts clearly not convinced. "I'll be back as soon as I can. I'll send a patronus when I'm done." Harry watched as she walked away noticing the swing in her hips and the way her jeans hugged her legs enough to appreciate her form and how she smiled when she looked back at Harry. Since when did she start having this effect on me? There's no doubt in my mind that Hermione is indeed a woman.
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts Harry continued walking and stumbled upon a group of kids playing outside a school. The kids were screaming and shouting as they played their games.
Wow look at these kids go. Harry thought as he imagined just how much these kids were actually running and how tired he would be if were to try and keep up with these kids.
Harry then noticed that there was a little girl who looked about 4 year sitting under a tree reading a book. Her brows were furrowed in concentration as she was reading trying to make out the word in the book when her book was knocked out her hands by the ball that the other kids were playing with. The other kids started laughing at her and she quickly retrieved her book and went back to reading under the tree.
Harry walked up to the girl while giving the kids, who noticed that an adult was now present, a disappointed look that shut the kids up. Harry slowly approached the girl and gently spoke to the girl.
"Hi there. I'm Harry. Are you okay? I saw what those kids did to you." Harry said gently as to not frighten the little girl. She looked up from her book and it was evident from her puffy red eyes and tear stained cheeks that she had been crying.
"H-hi." She sniffled. She clutched her book in front of her as some sort of shield as she looked up at the two strangers in front of her.
"Don't worry sweetie" Harry said trying to calm the girl. "I won't hurt you. I noticed you got hit by that ball. I just wanted to make sure you were okay."
"I'm okay" the little girl sniffled. "The big kids don't usually talk to me because I like books and they pick on me sometimes because they say I'm weird."
Harry frowned. He didn't condone bullying and he resolved to protect this little girl and get her some justice. "What's your name sweetie? My friend Hermione also loves books. She's the most brilliant person I know! You might get to meet her." Harry said with confidence.
She looked up at him in awe hearing that someone else could like books like her giving Harry the chance to get a closer look of the little girl. "I'm Emily." She said shyly.
She was a small girl with bushy black hair tied into two pig tails. She was wearing a yellow dress and a pair a simple brown sandals. Her bright brown eyes were looking nervously at the pair of adults.
"It's nice to meet you Emily. Do you go to this school?" Asked Harry as he kneeled down to look less imposing on the little one and the girl eased up a little bit.
"Uh huh." Emily nodded looking down and she twiddled her feet. Her mood darkened immediately. "I live here but it's not a school. It's for kids who don't have Mummies or Daddies. Mrs. Bailey takes care of me. I don't have a Mummy or Daddy. Are you a daddy?"
Harry's heart broke hearing this. Here was an adorable little girl who didn't have a family to come home to.
"Excuse me, are you perhaps looking to adopt?" Said a lady in her mid-forties. This caused Emily to look up to Harry with hopeful eyes. The lady reminded him of Professor McGonagal the way she composed herself and how she talked with a no nonsense attitude, although she seemed to be softer than the Professor and less intimidating. "I'm Mrs. Bailey. The owner of this orphanage. I see you've met Emily."
"Oh, no I was just walking by and heard all the kids playing and decided to see what was happening." Harry said trying to clear the misunderstanding. Harry noticed that Emily clearly looked disappointed and was his heart was torn when she quickly got up and ran towards the school.
"That's a shame. Emily has been here for almost her whole life. She was dropped off on the doorstep with just the clothes on her back. The parents didn't even leave a note. So I named her Emily and she's been with us since then. She knows her parents didn't want her." Mrs. Bailey said sadly. Hermione was leaning into Harry with tears in her eyes as Harry wrapped his arms around her. "She deserves loving parents but no one seems to want her."
Mrs. Bailey looked towards Harry and was stunned by his eyes. The look he gave her was full of resolve and determination and she instantly knew what he wanted to do. Harry picked up the book Emily dropped looked straight into Mrs. Bailey's eyes.
I'm going to adopt her. Harry resolved. He quickly got up and asked Mrs. Bailey if he could come back the next day in order to see Emily. He told her he had to discuss with his family about adopting and would be back as soon as he could.
On his way out he was greeted with a silver otter which told him that Hermione was finished at the book store and was waiting for him at a little café down the street. He thanked the otter and then sent prongs off to tell her that he was on his way.
He was greeted by a very satisfied Hermione. "Harry! I found the book I was looking for an-" she cut herself off as she noticed Harry holding a book like it was something precious. "Oh Harry did you find a book for yourself?"
Harry looked down to his hands and realized he was still holding Emily's book. He sighed as he sat down and prepared himself for the proposition he was about to make to Hermione. He recounted the events that happened after their separating and Hermione could clearly see the conflict in Harry's eyes. The way he described little Emily and the hurt he felt when she ran off she could tell it hurt him too.
"I don't know what to do 'Mi. She's just like me and she doesn't deserve to not know what a family is." Harry looked up to his best friend and giving her the book. Recognizing the book Hermione gasped.
"Harry this book was my favourite as a child. I still tear up reading it today. I imagine that Emily is dreaming of experiencing this for herself." Hermione said in realization.
"You should meet her. She reminds me a lot of you." Harry said as he smiled at her.
Seeing the effect this little girl had on her best friend Hermione agreed to go to the orphanage the next day. They finished their coffees and headed back home.
A/N - This is my first ever Fanfic. I am by no means a writer (I'm a math/science geek) so please bear with me. Please review!