posted by ginnyweasleyfan
Harry Potter strolled into the muggle play park and headed directly for the swings, he was certain that was where he would find them. A satisfied grin broke across his countenance as he caught sight of the two people he'd been searching for. There was Hermione clad in a pair of dark blue jeans, trainers and a hooded burgundy jumper pushing an excited Teddy on the swings. Harry grinned at the antics of his two year old godson. Andromeda had come down with a nasty bit of Hungarian Dragon Flu and Harry had quite naturally taken on the task of looking after little Teddy until she was feeling herself again. Hermione had turned up at Grimmauld the same evening overnight bag in hand and volunteered her services to assist with Teddy. Harry had gotten the impression that something was wrong but hadn't asked, he surmised that she and Ron had had a row. As she hadn't mentioned Ron since she'd arrived, he was guessing it had been right nasty. Still he wouldn't press the matter, when and if Hermione wanted to talk about these he'd be there to listen.
Shaking his head Harry allowed his thoughts to drift back to his godson. He loved to spend as much time as possible with his godson and was often warned by Andromeda, Molly, and Ginny that he was overindulging the little boy. Harry, however, ignored them preferring Hermione's point of view instead. She would always say that it was perfectly fine for him to dote on Teddy so long as he made certain that he balanced it out with a firm hand when necessary. She went on to add that she reckoned he was far better suited to understanding Teddy's situation over anyone else seeing as how he'd had to grow up with his mum and dad just as Teddy would.
Aser Harry's face softened and a warm and se he thought of Hermione and her infallible knack for always knowing precisely what to say his gaze sought her out once again. She'd moved around to stand in front of the swings; her arms flung wide as Teddy propelled his two-year-old body out of the swing and into her waiting embrace. She gathered the little boy close and began spinning around in a dizzying circle. Both Hermione and Teddy had their heads thrown back howling joyously. Watching the two of them together sense of content filled his chest as he thought to himself that he'd never seen a more singularly beautiful sight in all his life and how he could gladly spend the rest of his days watching those two people. He barely had a moment to process his thoughts before he was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of his name being called by a familiar voice that he hadn't heard in nearly two and a half years.
Harry turned around and found himself staring into the face of a large blond haired bloke with small beady eyes. A delightfully happy grin exploded across the features of Dudley Dursley as he rushed towards his cousin. He grasped Harry's hand and wrung it enthusiastically as he spoke.
“HARRY ITS SO GOOD TO SEE YOU…I KNEW IT WAS YOU THE MOMENT WE TURNED THE CORNER…PIERS SAID I WAS IMAGINING IT…BUT I KNEW IT WAS YOU…I MEAN BLOODY HELL WE ONLY SPENT MOST OF OURS LIVES IN THE SAME HOUSE…HOW COULD I NOT KNOW YOU IF I SAW YOU ON THE STREET EH…”
Harry stared slack-jawed at Dudley as he gabbled excitedly. Harry had not seen nor spoken to any of the Dursley's since the night they'd all left number four Privet Drive to go into hiding. Though he had not seen or spoken to them directly he'd deposited a tidy sum into the family's accounts to cover the cost of the upkeep of the house while they were in hiding and with a small memory modifying charm he had made certain that Uncle Vernon was able to return his job at Grunnings. Harry had also sent a letter along to his Aunt Petunia explaining the prophecy and everything that had led to his parents' deaths and his ultimate quest to defeat Voldemort. He'd explained Snape's part in the story as well as he thought his Aunt deserved to know everything about how and why her sister had died. He included a picture he had found among Snape's belongings (obviously knicked from his parents' ruined cottage) of his aunt and his mother when they were children. They were in the play park where Snape had first seen them, arms wrapped about each other's shoulders both smiling dazzlingly. Harry'd felt that he'd owed her at least that much. He hadn't added a name or return address, as he was confident that no further correspondence would be exchanged. At that moment, Harry realized that Dudley was no longer talking and that he was staring at him expectantly. Mentally shaking himself Harry focused his attention on his cousin and said.
“Umm…er…I…I've been well…h…how've you been?”
Having no idea what Dudley had been saying Harry hoped that he'd guessed appropriately. As Dudley smiled and replied, it was apparent that he had.
“Been good myself…at university now…got in because of my boxing…been trying to pull up my marks…Melissa's been a right help with that.”
Dudley grinned sheepishly and Harry caught on to the fact that this Melissa must be Dudley's girlfriend. Dudley's next words were slightly halting.
“M…m…mum got you letter…sh…she cried when she read it. Locked herself in the bath and cried…dad couldn't get her to come out…”
Harry was stricken with a sudden pang of remorse, he hadn't meant to upset her, he'd only wanted her to know the truth. Dudley saw the look on Harry's face and quickly tried to ease his mind.
“She wasn't upset or anything…well she was…but not at you…I…I...I think she was just sad and felt like she was losing her sister all over again…reliving the pain or something like that Melissa said…”
Dudley paused for a beat then added.
“She framed that picture you sent…its up on the mantle…over the fireplace.”
At those words, Harry met Dudley's eyes with his own and the two cousins shared a smile. Dudley was the first to speak.
“So what've you been up to since…since you know. Mr. Diggle told us how you won this big battle at your school and the letter told some things too…but nothing about you…nothing personal.”
Dudley quieted and Harry answered.
“Just been trying to get on with things you know…finished up my last bit of school…moved into my godfather's old house…”
Harry's train of thought was interrupted by Hermione's laughter and Teddy's shrieks of glee. His eye was immediately drawn to the pair. The soft smile from earlier reappeared on his face as he watched Hermione chasing Teddy around the beautifully manicured lawn of the park. Seeing the loving look that crossed his cousin's face Dudley focused his gaze in the direction of Harry's. His eyes fell upon a small brown haired boy yelping happily as he ran around in circles. The little boy was being pursued by an attractive young woman with curly brown hair. Dudley recognized the young woman as Harry's friend from King's Cross. He remembered that she had always been very affectionate with Harry when they said their goodbyes, throwing her arms around him and kissing his cheek. He had always wondered if they were quite possibly more than friends, and judging by the look on Harry's face they were. Suddenly realization crashed into Dudley and he spoke in an amazed whisper.
“Blimey Harry…is that…is that your family!”
Hermione had just scooped Teddy up and was spinning him around again. Smiling Harry nodded in answer. Dudley released a stunned breath and exclaimed.
“Bloody hell Harry you're married an…an…and you have a son!?!”
As Harry processed Dudley's words, he swung around a confused look on his face. Dudley however was still discussing his newfound revelation.
“I can hardly believe it…you're a dad! But when did all this happen when did you get married and when was your son born…was it while you were off doing whatever it was you were doing…and why didn't you mention it to mum in your letter?!”
All at once, Harry realized that Dudley was staring at Hermione and Teddy and that he had somehow gotten it into his head that he and Hermione were married and that Teddy was their son. Harry threw up his hands in a halting fashion and interjected.
“Dudley I'm not married and I don't have a son…”
Dudley pulled a confused face and cut in.
“But I asked if that was your family and you nodded and I saw how you were looking at them…at her…it was exactly the way your dad looked at your mum on that picture that used to sit by your bed…”
It was Harry's turn to interrupt.
“Look. What look…”
Harry paused for a moment to let Dudley explain what he meant then thought better of it and spoke again before Dudley had a chance to open his mouth.
“Dudley I am not married and I do not have a son. Teddy is my godson, his mother and father were killed during the war and I'm sure you remember Hermione from our school days.”
“Yeah I remember her.”
It was at that moment that Piers Polkiss called out.
“Hey Big D, get a move on, Melissa and Amandine are meeting us at the cinema in quarter of an hour!”
Dudley looked back at his friend and signaled for him to wait a moment before turning back to Harry. An awkward silence enveloped them before Dudley said.
“It was really good to see you again Harry. I'm glad you came out alright.”
Harry nodded and said.
“Yeah…I'm glad things worked out for you as well.”
Dudley threw Harry a shaky smile and scrubbing the toe of his shoe in the dirt he mumbled.
“Well I guess I better get going.”
“Yeah I suppose I should get going too…take care Dud.”
Dudley nodded and mumbled an indistinct reply as Harry turned and started towards the grass where Hermione sat on a blanket with Teddy on her lap reading. Harry'd walked about two feet when Dudley called out to him again.
Harry turned around and saw Dudley rushing towards him. When they were once again face-to-face, Dudley burst out.
“I was thinking that…maybe sometimes we could get together…go down the pub maybe…and catch up…”
Dudley paused and handed Harry a scrap of paper with a hastily scribbled address and mobile number on it. As he held the paper aloft, he added.
“That is if you'd want to…I'd understand if you didn't.”
Harry took the scrap of paper and a smile turning the corners of his lips answered back earnestly.
“I'd like that Dudley…I'd like that a lot!”
Dudley beamed and replied.
“Great...I'm looking forward to it.”
Harry grinned. Dudley let out a chuckle then said.
“I really should get going but we'll get together soon, eh!”
“Yeah we will.”
Harry held out his hand for Dudley to shake. Dudley took it but didn't shake it. Instead, he pulled Harry into an embrace worthy of Molly Weasley and whispered.
“I really am glad you're okay Harry.”
Harry returned his cousin's fierce hug and said.
“Same here Dudley, same here.”
The two young men separated, and said another round of goodbyes. As Dudley was walking away, he looked back and called out.
“Hey Harry, you should bring your girlfriend…Hermione did you say her name was…I'd like a proper introduction…I'll bring Melissa, something tells me they'd get on really well those two. See you!”
Dudley turned his back and hurried up the hill to the spot where Piers Polkiss stood impatiently waiting and the two headed off towards the direction of the underground. Harry stood rooted to the place where Dudley had left him. Dudley's last words about Hermione being his girlfriend reminded Harry of what Dudley had said earlier about the way he'd been looking at Hermione in the way his father had looked at his mother. As Harry attempted to process what Dudley had meant he felt a smaller more delicate hand slip inside his own and apply the faintest of squeezes. He knew without question that it was Hermione. And in the infinitesimal second between that, touch and hearing her voice, every moment he'd share with Hermione flashed before his eyes. He saw every, hug, every kiss, every touch and every smile. He thought of how she had always stood by him, never wavering no matter how difficult things became. And in that brief, instant he realized that the word `friend' was far too inadequate to describe what she was to him. He had always known that he loved Hermione but until that moment, he'd never known how much. Standing there he wondered how different things would have been if he and Hermione had ever allowed themselves to be something other than friends. He was pulled from his revelry by Hermione's voice.
“Harry was that…was that your cousin you were talking to just now!”
Hermione's voice held a definite note of surprise. Harry nodded as he replied.
“Yeah it was.”
Harry turned towards Hermione who was staring at him curiously, one had firmly ensconced in his the other gripping Teddy's pram, in which he lay asleep amongst his blankets. Harry gently squeezed Hermione's hand within his own, she had questions about his conversation with Dudley and he had a fair few questions he wanted to ask her as well. Things hadn't been good with Ginny for a while and something was obviously not right between she and Ron and if it was one thing that Harry knew it was that life was far too short to leave things unsaid. Smiling he said.
“You're wondering what just went on with Dudley and me.”
Nodding her head emphatically Hermione answered back.
“Of course I am!”
Harry's smile grew wider and he said.
“Let's get home then shall we, get Teddy out of this cool and I'll tell you all about it.”
Hermione smiled and said.
“Alright, let's get a move on then.”
Harry grasped Teddy's pram with his free hand and set off for home his other hand still firmly enfolding Hermione's.