Chapter 1 : Start of Term.
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"Harry sweetie, come on. It's time to get up, you and phe' have to catch the train, harry come on. Wake up, I made you a coffee."
"Five more minutes, Claire." Harry moaned whilst burying his head deeper into his pillow.
"No, now lazy bones, your son is waiting, we have to leave in half an hour, so move NOW!"
Groaning, Harry turned onto his side and sat up yawning and stretching. Throwing his good leg over his side of the bed, he stretched again then reached down to the floor and picked his other leg up and attached it.
"I can't believe I’m going back to that place after all this time, Claire I wonder if it's changed at all."
"Well you best hurry if you want to find out, Harry. I’ll go and see if Phe' is ready, drink your coffee."
"Yes mum." Harry grinned at her, and she flashed him a sexy smile before leaving the room.
Harry stood and retrieved his beige slacks and a red t-shirt and slipped them on. Then he made his way to the bathroom to wash and shave.
Claire walked towards her son's room after leaving Harry and paused when she heard voices....
"It's not fair phe' I’m not going till next year, I’m going to be here all alone."
"Oh Terri, you'll be there soon enough, think of it my way. I'll have dad for a professor so won't be getting away with anything. Now, that’s not fair, and, if I make Gryffindor, he'll be my head of house, so that's a double whammy."
Claire had heard enough and she stormed into the room startling them both.
"Phoenix harry potter, what do you mean by 'not getting away with anything. I won't have you stressing your dad out at Hogwarts. He'll have enough on his plate without you causing him any extra trouble. You will behave young man, you hear me.'
Phoenix hung his head and mumbled under his breath.
"Pardon? What was that?"
"I said sorry, mum, I’ll behave."
"Ok good, now is your trunk packed?"
"Yes, mum, just finished."
"Good, go downstairs and wait for your dad, "
Phoenix did as he was asked and left the room, Terri went to follow, but Claire held her back, and took hold of her shoulders.
"Terri, please don't be upset that Phe' is going to Hogwarts, you will see him on holidays and you'll be there soon yourself, ok?"
"I guess, it will just be strange not having him here, I’m going to miss him, is all."
"I know Terri, I am too, and your dad too, are you not going to miss him, at all?"
"Of course mummy, I love papa, but phe, well he's my big brother, and he's cooler than papa. Don't tell him I said that." Terri said with a slight grin on her face.
"I won't hunny." Claire said smiling and hugging her daughter to her.
"Are you ready girls?" Harry asked poking his head round the door.
"Ready" Claire announced
the three of them walked down the long staircase together. Harry turned to Claire just before entering the kitchen.
"I'm going to miss you."
"Me too, Harry, me too."
"Ron, come on...Ron get up. The boys are ready to go, we only have half an hour....Ron......MOVE!!"
Hermione Weasley was shaking her husband’s groaning form.
"Ok I’m getting up ‘Mione, sheesh, give a guy a break."
"Gladly Ron, I’ll break your nose if you don't move it now."
"Nag, nag, nag, nag, is that all you can ever do, Mione,"
"Yes Ronald, it is because it’s the only thing that gets you to shift your big flabby backside, now move it."
And with that she turned on her heal and stormed out of the room. Clearly stressed and leaving Ron to feel guilty at snapping at her.
Hermione was in their kitchen making her son's some sandwiches for the trip to Hogwarts when Ron came in.
"Hermione, can I say sorry without you biting my head off?"
Hermione didn't answer straight away. She continued to butter the bread. She was dressed in a knee length beige skirt, a red t-shirt and had on tan heels. Ron looked at her carefully taking in her appearance, she would make a rubbish bag look sexy, he thought to himself. He knew he was lucky to have her, his wife was beautiful, he needed to tell her more often.
He remembered when they first became a couple, she had recently gone through some bad times after her then boyfriend, his other best friend Harry Potter had left to fight Voldemort. He hadn't come back and Hermione had been in a right state. That was were Ron himself had come in. He had been there for her, to comfort her. In time he had fell for her and they had married then the twins came along. When they heard from an old friend that Harry had married and had a child on the way Hermione took it hard but soon got over it and got on with her life. But Ron knew she would never forget Harry.
"You can, but I can't promise anything, I’m still mad at you."
"Well then, here goes. I'm sorry babe, please forgive my big flabby backside for being an idiot." Ron grinned.
He walked up behind her and placed his arms around her waist. He nuzzled her neck, which usually turned her to mush, but today she wasn't having any of it. She turned to face him, and looked into his eyes before speaking calmly, too calmly.
"Ron, I want a divorce."
"A....a...divorce, but.... 'Mione, why? Surely we can work it out, please reconsider...?"
"No Ron, I’ve...we've drifted apart. I want a divorce, that's the end of it."
"No...it....it's not Hermione ...please...is there....is there....someone else...do you want someone else?"
"Honestly Ronald, I have three kids and a house to run, when do you suppose I have time for someone else, I just think we've drifted apart...I. Don’t think I love you that way anymore."
"No, please 'Mione, you can't do this, think of the children, they need us...I...need us, I love you so much 'Mione, please reconsider."
Hermione looked him in the eye, could see the pain in them. She could see he was serious, she knew he loved her but the arguments and constant bickering where getting to her. Sighing she looked at him and spoke.
"Ok Ronald, I’ll give you a second chance, but if you mess up this time, I’m gone. I warn you Ronald, I’ll not take any more of your sloppiness."
"Ok, ok I can do that, here sit down take a load off, let me finish that."
Ron went to grab the knife but in his haste to help, he caught Hermione’s finger cutting into her flesh, red blood came squirting out, all over the freshly buttered bread. Hermione’s face grew red and Ron knew what was coming. He dropped the knife in the sink, held his hands up and backed away from her.
"Ronald...ow.......now look what you've done, I suggest you leave me alone before I reconsider my reconsideration's."
Ron turned and left the room, as Hermione tossed the sandwiches into the trash, her temper rising as she forced herself to remain calm, this was her son’s first day at School she was not going to allow her idiot of a husband spoil it. Ron sighed as he left the room, best to give her a wide berth, he thought. How stupid could he be, the moment he gets a second chance, he ruins it by stabbing his wife. Oh man, he was the stupidest bloke alive.
"Ok, phe' step into the fire and say clearly, 'Diagon Alley', we need to get a few things before heading to King's Cross."
"Ok dad, see you there."
Phoenix stepped into the fire and muttered his destination, however he didn't say it quite right,
He disappeared and Harry looked at Claire nervously.
"What did he say Harry?"
"Diagonally....oh dear we better go find him... come on."
All three of the remaining Potter's stepped into the fire and Harry threw some floo powder at their feet, muttering 'the leaky cauldron' they all vanished in green flames.
They found themselves in the leaky cauldron in a back room that was specifically kept for flooer's. Walking into the main bar Harry left his wife and daughter and went to find his son.
Making his way to the back of the pub he tapped the dividing wall and it opened to reveal his favourite place in the whole wizarding world. Diagon Alley.
Stepping into the alley he looked around him for any sign of his son. He stopped by Magical Menagerie and asked an old wizard if he had seen a boy who looked like himself, the old wizard pointed to Harry's least favourite place, Knockturn alley.
He walked down the dark smelly steps that led into the pits of Knockturn Alley and heard his son's voice in the distance.
"No...Please...I...I’ll be fine, please let me go...."
"Phoenix... Is that you...son?"
At the sound of Harry's voice the unsavoury sorts crowding him dispersed into the shadows and Phoenix ran to his father's side, his face showing relief. Harry took hold of his son's robes and pulled him out of the alley.
"Are you ok Phe', they didn't hurt you? Did they?"
"No dad, but they scared me, that old hag had her bony hands on my shoulder." he shivered at the memory.
"You want to stay away from there son, only the darkest of witches and wizards go down that alley."
"Ok dad, I don't think I’d go down there willingly again anyway, that place is scary....Where's mum and Terri?"
"In the leaky cauldron, come on lets go back."
Harry and phoenix walked back to the entrance of the pub and entered. Harry searched the bar for his girls and his eyes fell on a familiar face, just walking out of the flooing room brushing down her clothes. She was fussing over two identical boys, while a cute little girl with long reddish brown hair was tugging at her skirt. Ron walked out behind her and was in the process of trying to distract the little girl away from an obviously stressed Hermione. His old friends hadn't seen him yet but Harry knew it was inevitable as Claire and Terri were stood less than 10 yards from them. Breathing deeply he walked up to them.
"Hi guys, long time no see."
Hermione spun round so fast at the sound of his voice that she nearly fell over her own feet.
"Hello Hermione, you look.....well!"
Harry said looking her up and down,
"Hiya Ron, man you've gotten taller, if that's possible."
"Ha....Harry, is it really you mate, whoa" Ron, gasped.
Claire walked up to Harry and placed her arm around his waist. Hermione looked away. Harry looked down at his wife, into her inquiring eyes. He had told her about his old friends, but he had left out the part where he and Hermione had been a couple.
"Aren't you going to introduce me, Harry.”?
"Oh, yes, right, Hermione, Ron, this is Claire, my wife. Claire, these are my oldest friends in the whole world, Hermione and Ron Weasley."
Claire nodded at each of them and held her hand out, Ron looked at her strange, unsure of what this gesture meant, but immediately felt stupid as Hermione took Claire's hand, and shook it up and down, must be a muggle gesture, he thought to himself, and following Hermione's lead he too shook Claire's hand.
"I’ve heard so much about you two, from stories Harry told our kids, you three were pretty tight back in school."
"Kids?? Harry, last I heard you were expecting your first." Hermione looked at Harry questionly.
"Yes we have two, a girl and a boy, Phoenix is eleven and Theresa is ten, that’s them over there talking to those two boys."
"Oh they would be ours, that's Clark and Jimmy, our twins, they start Hogwarts today as well, let’s hope they become as good a bunch of friends as we were, eh Harry."
Hermione was looking him deep in the eye, he was getting uncomfortable, and he averted his eyes to the huge wall clock that was sat above the bar.
"Mummy, I need go pee-pee" a little voice piped up, and Harry looked down to see a pretty little girl with long brownish-red hair tugging at Hermione's skirt.
Hermione bent down and looked her daughter in the face
"Ok sweetie, give me one minute while I send the boys of with daddy then I’ll take you, ok."
The little girl smiled and nodded, Hermione stood up, and turned to Ron.
"Do you think you could get the twins to the train, while I take Lois to the lavatory, and try not to mess that up Ronald."
"Yes, Mione! Jimmy, Clark, come on we’ve got our orders, let’s go."
Ron looked at Harry and rolled his eyes, making Harry laugh, which in turn made Hermione look at them and throw daggers, at them both. Still the same, Harry thought, they were still arguing, just like old times.
"Phe', Terri, come on, we’ve got to go now."
"The train will be leaving soon, lads, come on, we'll walk with Harry and the rest of the group."
"Harry?? Are you THE Harry from dad's stories??"Clark asked in awe
"Yea did you really fight the dark wizard Voldemort and get rid of him?"
"Ahhh I see you're fathers been talking about me has he, Yes I am Harry Potter, young man, and I did fight Voldemort and defeat him."
Harry was now grinning at the two boys who were looking at him in total awe.
"Wicked" they both said in unison and Harry got an image of Fred and George Weasley flashing through his mind, he smiled.
Harry, Claire, Ron and the kids all made their way out to the platform, and found the barrier wall, Hermione and Lois soon caught up and they walked through the barrier, the children all gasped in awe at the sight in their vision, the train was as the trio had remembered it, not one slight change except that it looked smaller, but then again the trio were adults now, it was bound to look smaller to them.
Harry limped along the long platform, levitating Phoenix's trunk, beside him as he went, Claire was chatting to Terri, who had a permanent expression of awe on her pretty little face, as she brushed her brown hair out of her eyes, Hermione gave her a long look, she should have been her daughter, if only Harry had stayed, if only he hadn't left, they could be blissfully happy, her eyes drifted to Harry's back, he was wearing a tight red top that hugged his chest beautifully and beige trousers, then her thoughts drifted to the way he walked, why was he limping?, what had happened to his leg? Was that a flash of silver she saw as he lifted his leg up onto the train's step?
As if Ron had read her thoughts, he said to her.
"Why do you suppose Harry is limping Hermione?"
She looked at Ron and noticed the sudden shocked expression on his face, he had just seen the metal too, what had happened to their friend? How had he lost his leg? Hermione stepped forward to ask him, but Ron held her back, shaking his head.
"He might not want to talk about it. Don't push him Hermione."
Hermione gave him an evil look, but she had to admit he was right. She resigned herself to not knowing. The group reached the train doors and Ron called to the twins, and they all stepped onto the train apart from the mum's and daughters, who were stood waiting on the platform.
"Come on then kids, let’s get you seated." Harry called to the twins and Phoenix, and they disappeared, in the throng of people.
"Claire." Hermione asked
"How did Harry lose his leg."
"So you noticed then, oh he's not going to like this, he's very conscious of his limp, I don't know if I should be the one to tell you what happened, it took him a while to come to terms with it."
"Please Claire, I’m his oldest friend, I would like to know."
"Well ok then." Claire pushed her blond hair behind her ear and pulled Hermione to one side.
"It was Vol...." Claire shuddered
"Voldemort?" Hermione finished for her.
"Yes, a couple of weeks before I met Harry, he fought him to the death, I used to work in St Mungo's, I’m a healer you see, but anyway, he came in, in a real state, Voldemort had used a severing charm on his leg and left arm, we managed to save the arm, but his leg was already dead, he was in a coma for three months and when he came round he was severely depressed."
Hermione gasped, oh her poor Harry, what he must have gone through.
"So that’s where you guys met, you where his carer?"
"Yea for about five months, until he was released, you see he had to learn to walk on one leg, it was hard for him, but with my help he managed it,"
"You guys really love each other don't you, did he ever, well, did he ever mention me, in those early months."
"Yea, he told me all about his friend the librarian, and his ginger friend, he used to talk about you with such love in his eyes, you must have been very close."
"Yes very." said Hermione
she looked at Claire properly for the first time, with her long blond hair and emerald eyes, she was beautiful, she could see why harry had fell in love with her, and her daughter was just as beautiful, Terri had sandy brown long hair and emerald eyes just like her parents and she looked like harry, even down to the glasses she wore on her nose.
Phoenix looked more like harry, he had the trade mark black messy hair and green eyes, but unlike his father and sister he didn't wear glasses.
The men returned and Ron walked over to Hermione and they stood waiting till the train was about to set off.
Harry walked over to Hermione and Ron and looked at them in the face.
"It's been great seeing you again, I’ll be sure to go easy on Clark and Jimmy, I’m not like Snape."
Hermione was confused.
"What do you mean Harry?"
"Oh that’s right you don't know, I’m a professor now, me. I'm teaching D.A.D.A, Phoenix isn't happy, he's upset that he can't get away with any wrong doing in his first year, remind you of anyone."
Harry was grinning, and Hermione almost fainted, god how she loved it when he grinned, but, snapping out of her daydream she laughed back and wished him luck, then she pulled him into an awkward hug. Oh he felt so warm, she didn't want him to let go, but he did and hugged Ron too, then he went over to the remainder of his family.
"I'll send Hedwig when I get there so you know we are there ok, I better get on now, the train's about to leave, he limped over to his wife and daughter, kissing Claire tenderly on the lips he said his goodbyes. I love you Claire, and Terri, be a good girl for your mum, ok."
"Ok papa, I love you, I miss you already."
Hermione’s felt a lump in her throat as Harry bent over to hug his daughter, and then he kissed Claire good bye again and stepped on the train, and out of Hermione's vision.
Ron said as Hermione looked up at him.
"What happened to his leg?"
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