“Dad, why don’t you call them?” James was quite eager to meet the Dursleys.
“I was thinking exactly the same…” before Harry could finish his sentence they were interrupted by a huge barn owl that they did not recognise.
The owl stood on the window with one leg raised. There was a letter attached to it. Harry went to the owl, untied the letter and read.
“Who is it from, mate?” Ron came up to Harry.
Ron and Hermione, along with their kids, had come over and were still in the room when Harry told everyone about the Dursleys.
Harry handed Ron the letter and he read it out loud for everyone’s benefit.
The letter read:
“So?” Ron looked at Harry with his eyebrows raised.
“I will have to go get her, won’t I?” Harry asked no one in particular but bestowed a questioning glance each to Ginny, Hermione and Ron.
“Yes. Let’s go.” It was James again.
“Keep quiet James.” Ginny told her son rather strictly.
“Let your Dad decide.”
Once she had made her son take a seat and be quiet, she turned towards her husband.
“Do you want to?” Ginny asked. Ginny understood well Harry’s hesitation to visit a home that was never a home.
“It is not as if you have to stay there for ever. It is just going to be a tiny visit.”
Before Ginny could say anything to her brother. Hermione came to his defense.
“I think Ron’s right. It is Anne that needs to come first right now. You have promised her!”
Harry looked at Ginny and she nodded.
“Then I’d better be off.” He said to the room at large.
“How are you going?.” Ron asked.
“I ll apparate.” Harry told them what he had decided.
“Dad?” James piped in again.
Harry looked at his son who had not spoken a word since being told off by his mother.
“Can I come along? I have always wanted to see a Muggle house.” Harry realised that his son was pleading and a fountain of love erupted in him.
“You are coming with me.” He smiled at the glow he saw on Jame’s face.
After half an hour, Harry stood facing the door of Privet Drive No. 4. James pushed the door bell and they waited.
Dudley opened the door and,
“Ah, Harry. I just got your letter. Come in.”
They all went in and sat in the Sitting Room. As soon as they were seated, a girl came running down the stairs, the very stairs under whose cupboard Harry had spent 11 years of his life.
“Uncle Harry, how are you? I have been waiting for you since Dad said he has to go for a Business trip.”
“Mary Anne?” James asked his father.
“Yes,” confirmed Harry, and then turned to Anne, “And this James.”
After a while, with Anne’s backpack ready and on Harry’s back, they were off to Godric’s Hollow.
The two weeks that Anne spent with the Potters and the Weasleys, she learnt all they could tell her about the Wizarding World (while leaving somethings for Hogwarts to teach ). She went to the Diagon Alley through the Leaky Couldron, and did her shopping. It was still that same fascination for an 11 year old who had found out her true identity. Mary Anne along with James, Albus and Rose bought her books from Flourish and Blotts, her school robes from Madam Malkins, and the standard potion ingredients from the Apothecary. They headed towards Ollivander’s where the three bought their first wands.
Harry found Mr Ollivander to still be still the same. A person one could not really like. While finding these three the right wands, the wands that would choose them, the old wandmaker reminisced about the past; 2 full hours of reminiscence.
The wands that favoured these young magical people are as follows:
Albus was chosen by a Pheonix Feather Willow wand that was 12 1/2 inches long.
Rose got chosen by a Unicorn Tail feather Maple Wood Wand that was 10 inches long.
Mary Anne was partnered with a wand 11 1/4 inches Hawthorn wand that contained Dragon Heartstring.
They all bought a trunk each to take to Hogwarts.
Finally it was time to buy their pets. This was the most anticipated shopping experience of Mary Anne who had till date never had a pet.
Albus favoured a Great Grey Owl.
Rose followed in her mother’s footsteps and went for an Abyssinian cat.
Anne liked cats a lot but favoured an owl because she could not remain in contact with her family otherwise. She bought a Burrowing Owl.
With their shopping in place they went, to The Burrow where a delicious meal, cooked by the Mrs Weasley, awaited them. The entire Wealey family was presentand Anne was introduced to everyone. During lunch, Anne talked animatedly with Mr Weasley.
With one week for the school to start, Anne went back home (with all her shopping).
On the 31st of August, as Ginny was shouting her lungs out at James to pack his trunk, Harry went to Al’s room.
Al had just hopped into bed after packing his trunk.
“Are you up Al?” asked Harry softly.
“Yes Dad.” Came a soft reply.
“Okay if I sit in here for a while?”
“Sure,” Al was happy that his father was beside him. “Will you tell me a story?”
“You want to listen to one?”
Harry sat on his son’s bed and told him the story of the three brothers (first told by Beedle the Bard). After he completed the story he told his son about how The Cloak of Invisibility existed and what he had used it for when at school. Harry took something out of his Cloak and handed it to his son.
“This is for you. And Use it well.” Harry smiled.
Al jumped out from the bed and opened his trunk to stuff the Cloak inside so that he would not forget it at home.
At Platform 9 3/4
The parents were kissing their kids goodbye as the Hogwarts express, loaded with students and their baggage, started to move out of the station.