A/N Harry Potter and the Right of Justice is a sequel to my first novel-length story, Harry Potter and the Death Eater's Quest. This story is co-written with siledubhghlase (formerly Ghost Chicken, who edited DEQ). It's a post-Hogwarts story and we do our very best to stay true to known JKR canon.
Chapter 1 - Prologue
Patricia Templeton awoke from a very sweet dream about dancing with a very handsome dark-haired young man in the Great Hall and reluctantly opened her eyes. At first she was confused, wondering where she was, because this certainly wasn't her dorm at Hogwarts. There was no canopy over the bed and hers was the only one in the room. Then she realised she had awoken in her own bed in her own room at home. Her mum, Diana Murray-Templeton, sat on the edge of her bed looking down at her. "Good morning, Sweetheart," she half-whispered.
"Good morning, Mum," Patricia yawned with a stretch. "I was having such a nice dream."
"Then I'm sorry to have awoken you, but Daddy's ship is due to arrive today. We'd better have some breakfast before we go dockside, don't you think?" Patricia's father, Paul Templeton, a captain in Her Majesty's navy, was due in from a six-month tour-of-duty at sea in the Middle East.
"Right! That is today, isn't it? Oh Mummy, I can't wait to see him and tell him everything," Patricia beamed kicking the covers off her legs and feet.
While her mother padded to the kitchen to make a quick breakfast, Patricia washed and dressed, thinking about all the things she wanted tell her father about her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. What a year it had been, too. She had returned home for the Christmas holidays, but the time had been filled with family gatherings and a bit of angst about her father shipping out, so she hadn't been able to talk very much with her parents. Furthermore, because she was a Muggleborn and the only witch in her family, her Muggle relatives weren't allowed to know about her special...talents.
Patricia remembered the day she learned she indeed was a witch. It was about a year ago that an odd-looking fellow had visited her and her family, saying she was a witch. Patricia has received the invitation to study at Hogwarts, a special school for young witches and wizards. At that moment, her entire life changed. After talking with the wizard, she and her parents wanted very much for her to attend Hogwarts.
The first experience associated with her new life had been a shopping excursion to Diagon Alley, a hidden street lined with magical shops, to buy the required books and equipment for the first year. She remembered how nervous she had been that day. There was so much to see and do there and the street was crowded with witches and wizards and Hogwarts students bustling about with their own shopping. Owls of all shapes and sizes hooted from perches at Eyelop's Owl Emporium, various squawks and odd noises assaulted the ears of the shoppers from the Magical Menagerie where one could purchase a pet, often called a "familiar," to bring to school. There was an Apothecary that emitted all kinds of strange smells and displayed all manner of interesting potions and potion-making needs including cauldrons, scales and dragon-hide gloves!
The first shop Patricia and her parents stopped at was Ollivander's, Wandmakers Since 352 BC. She remembered how she had been measured by an funny magical measuring tape that measured her hands, arms, legs, and even the space between her nostrils before the old man began to show her different ones to try out, explaining that the wand chooses the wizard. She remembered with a sigh that warm feeling in her "wand" arm when a shower of pink sparks flew out of the end. "Willow and dragon heartstring, ten inches," Mr Ollivander said, tapping the box. "A very nice wand for Transfiguration, my dear." With a high-pitched chuckle, he twirled his index finger as though making a wand movement, then tapped Patricia's nose to finish his "charm."
As Patricia stepped out of Ollivander's, she met a pair of twins her own age who were also going to Hogwarts for their first year. Emma and Erica Prewett came from a Pureblood Wizarding family, but they became instant friends with Patricia, who peppered them with question after question while they finished their shopping together. The twin girls were all too eager to answer their new friend's questions the best they could, but they had to admit that there were things about Hogwarts their own parents wouldn't tell them, insisting that certain things were traditionally meant to be a surprise. As she sat down to wait for her mother to serve her breakfast, Patricia thought back to the summer of 1998.
Mostly, it was a fascinating new world Patricia had entered. The Prewett twins introduced her to Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans (and they mean every flavour), told her about Quidditch, the Wizarding sport played on broomsticks high in the air, and all sorts of wondrous things. But they also told her about a horrible war that had ended that May.
"Don't worry about it Patricia," Emma said reassuringly. "Harry Potter is the greatest wizard who ever lived! He defeated that horrible dark wizard and won't let evil touch us ever again." Patricia found herself breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that the Great Harry Potter would protect her.
That was the first time she heard the name of Harry Potter, but not the last. To her amazement, she learned that Harry Potter was only 18 years old, and not an old man with long white hair and beard she first had pictured him to be. When she told her friends what she had pictured Harry to be, they giggled and showed her a Chocolate Frog card with a wizard who looked just like that, but it wasn't Harry. "That's Professor Dumbledore. He was the headmaster at Hogwarts but he was killed in the war. Harry was his apprentice," Erica explained, passing the photograph of the old man with the twinkling blue eyes and half-moon spectacles.
Emma and Erica told Patricia all about the Second Wizarding War, the Battle of Hogwarts, and how Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger had vanquished evil. Patricia was soon caught up in the twins' hero worship. "He's so dreamy," Emma declared with a sigh. Patricia also learned how Ginny Weasley—Ron's younger sister—and Neville Longbottom, also teenagers, risked their lives for other students, fighting evil Death Eaters at Hogwarts as well. "Ginny is Harry's girlfriend and the youngest witch ever to receive the Order of Merlin," Emma further explained, her voice full of admiration. "She's positively beautiful."
"Their pictures were in the Daily Prophet. Of course Harry and Ginny make a nice couple, but so do Ron and Hermione," Erica interjected. "He's handsome and strong and she's so pretty and smart. Did you know that Ron stands six-feet-five-inches tall?"
"Never mind her, Patricia," Emma said, rolling her eyes. "She's just in love."
"Am not," Erica protested. Then a smile stole across her face. "Well...maybe a little. But he's so gorgeous!"
"The Order of Merlin," Patricia repeated thoughtfully. "What's that?"
"It's the only the highest honour anyone can win, and it's only presented to those who uphold and defend the finest of Wizarding traditions," Erica enlightened her. "They're all honest-to-Merlin war heroes!"
"Wow..." was all Patricia could say. She'd been so overwhelmed by so many new sights and sounds and the wonderful stories her new friends told her over perfectly sinful sundaes at Florean Fortescue's newly-reopened Ice Cream Shoppe, she thought it would take years to process it all.
That evening back home Patricia tried to comprehend all she had learned. Most of all she pictured the heroic teenagers, led by Harry Potter. Soon she fell asleep.
"Breakfast is served," Diana said, setting a plate in front of her daughter.
"Oh! Thanks, Mum," Patricia replied with a start as she returned to the present.
Patricia glanced at her most prized possession: a signed Chocolate Frog card from her fellow Muggleborn mentor, role model and friend, Hermione Granger. She really was pretty. Hermione waved at her and she waved back before digging into her scrambled eggs, bacon and toast with marmite. "I've missed marmite," Patricia said, smacking her lips. "The House-elves prepare a gargantuan breakfast, but marmite is never on the menu."
Diana asked herself and gazed in astonishment at her daughter. Gargantuan... whenever did she learn words like that? "House-elves?"
"Yes, Mum. House-elves. Did you notice the little fellow with big eyes at Harry's and Ginny's wedding?"
"Yes... I did wonder... what it... he... was..."
"That was a House-elf, Mum. They're devoted servants and cook all the food at Hogwarts and clean all our dorms and common rooms. Some families treat their House-elves badly, but Harry is very fair and kind. He thinks of Kreacher—that's his name—as his friend and not a servant or...a slave," Patricia lectured, finding herself making a matter-of-fact gesture worthy of her idol, Hermione.
"Patty, I hope you will tell us all about Hogwarts, House-elves, and your friends from school, but right now, we really need to get going," Diana concluded, checking her watch.
Patricia shoved the last piece of marmite-covered toast into her mouth, and followed her mother to the car to bring Daddy home. As they drove along, Patricia's mind returned to the weeks leading up to the journey to Hogwarts.
There had been another couple of visits to Diagon Alley in order to gather all the required supplies listed for first-years. Just two days before leaving for Hogwarts, to Patricia's great joy, she got the three Chocolate Frog cards she desired the most—the newly-issued Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger Famous Wizard cards. Reading about them and finally seeing their pictures, it was hard not to be amazed, since they were only seven years her senior. Patricia had read in the Daily Prophet the same day that both Harry and Hermione and Harry's fiancée Ginny Weasley (whose card she already had) would be attending Hogwarts this year. Patricia felt the excitement when she understood she would actually get to see them in real life. She hoped they'd sign her cards if she could just summon up the courage to ask.
September 1st finally arrived and she couldn't contain her excitement as her parents drove her to King's Cross Station. Patricia felt thrilled and anxious at the same time. She had never been away from her parents this long, but once she'd been reunited with Emma and Erica, though, she felt loads better about it. After all, she'd be coming home for the Christmas holidays and they were only three-and-a-half months away. On the platform, she proudly showed her friends the Chocolate Frog cards of the fabled Golden Quartet and was happy to find out that the twins each had collected them too.
"How many Frogs did you have to buy to get all four," Emma asked.
"Eleven..." Patricia admitted, "And I had to beg Mum to buy them for me."
They looked at the other cards they had collected over the summer too. All three had also got Merlin and Dumbledore and the twins had provided a couple of their doubles for Patricia's growing collections. "Oh, we're running late, we'd better get on the train," Erica yelled when she noticed it was two minutes to eleven.
The three girls had barely hugged their parents and hopped aboard before the scarlet-and-black Hogwarts Express sounded her steam whistle and began to roll out from the station. Looking into the compartments, they thought it might be too late to find one with enough space so they could sit together. They continued to move down the train, looking for three empty seats in a single compartment. Excited about finally being on their way, however, the three girls giggled and squealed about everything and nothing as they examined the compartments they passed until they finally they found one with only three people inside, but they were older students, probably seventh-years. They opened the door.
Emma swallowed and bravely spoke. "Are these seats taken?"
"No. C'mon in. Sit," the pretty red-haired girl said with a friendly smile.
Patricia had just sat down when she looked at the older students they now shared compartment with. She could hardly believe her eyes when she realized she was sitting face-to-face with Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley. She blushed and suddenly felt like an intruder. "Oh, I'm sorry. Perhaps we should go someplace else," she suggested.
"Why? Besides, the train is probably full by now. I'm Harry Potter. What's your name," Harry asked, smiling warmly.
They introduced themselves and when Patricia dared to look at the celebrities opposite her, her eyes fell on Hermione. The twins discovered that they were very likely related to Ginny and told them about meeting Patricia during her first visit to Diagon Alley, when Hermione looked back at her.
"I'm a Muggleborn too," Hemione said proudly.
Patricia felt her spirits rise. Hermione was according to... everyone... the brightest witch in Britain, if not the world, and if she hadn't known about being a witch until she started at Hogwarts, then Patricia knew she could become a good witch too.
During the journey, Harry, Ginny, and Hermione gladly signed their Chocolate Frog cards and found that it was hard not to giggle when Harry revealed that he didn't have a clue that he was even on a card. Hermione promised them she would have Ron sign his card too.
That evening, after the trip across the lake to the castle, to Patricia's immense pride, she was sorted into Gryffindor, along with the Prewett twins. She was in the same house as Harry, Hermione and Ginny. Overall, her first day of term was an amazing one.
What a first day that had been! The three national heroes proved to be very friendly and during the first weeks at Hogwarts, they had become friends. Harry had filled in as professor several times in Defence Against the Dark Arts. He and six others from Dumbledore's Army were living at Hogwarts and training to become Aurors. All seven of them had classes but for Harry Potter to teach them was something quite extraordinary. He was, after all, the best wizard in the world at fighting the Dark Arts. Then, just after the Christmas holidays, Ron Weasley joined the DA Auror class and joined his friends and fiancée at Hogwarts.
Patricia had become especially close to Hermione because their common background as Muggleborns. They often sat together in the Great Hall or the library. Despite Hermione's workload with an almost unheard-of ten NEWT classes, she always found time to help Patricia and the twins, as well as their classmate and friend, Joseph Pointer. Harry and the others were soon involved in the task to track down remaining Death Eaters still large. This became the big news because one particularly nasty Death Eater, Mafalda Prewett, had hatched a mad plot that, had it been successful, would have destroyed their world.
Mafalda was a distant relative to Emma and Erica and Ron and Ginny. Patricia had learned many things about the fight to round up the remaining Death Eaters first-hand from Harry and his friends before it was published in the Daily Prophet. Last spring, the fight had intensified. Harry, Ron, and the rest of the DA had passed the Auror exams and become fully-fledged Aurors. Following several devastating losses to the Auror Office, including the death of Head Auror, Gawain Robards, and the resignation of his successor, John Dawlish, Harry had been appointed Head, Ron as his Assistant Head. The two of them, aided by their fiancées and crack teams of Aurors, finally brought the last remnants of Death Eaters, or DEs as they were called, to justice, crushing Mafalda Prewett and her diabolical plans.
In the midst of all of this, Hermione and Ginny managed to land their NEWTs, with Hermione having earned no fewer than 10 Os. Ginny, contracted to the Holyhead Harpies as a Chaser, led the Gryffindor Quidditch team to a record-smashing victory to claim the House Quidditch Cup. Patricia had taken her first year exams and was very pleased with her marks. Hermione had been a great inspiration and help, but the most amazing experience of Patricia's first year in the magical world was the one that had taken place only days ago—the beautiful and romantic wedding of Ginny Weasley to Harry Potter.
Patricia was thrilled to have been invited to such a prestigious and high-profile event. It had been billed for months by the Wizarding press as the Wedding of the Century. Since her father was at sea, she invited her mother along as her guest. Both Templeton women were excited to be a part of such a lovely affair, but on their way to the wedding, Diana Templeton seemed more nervous than her daughter.
"Patty, is this a big wedding?"
"Oh, yes Mum! It's the biggest! It's Harry and Ginny, Mum. The Minister for Magic himself will cast the Wedding Charm. All of the Aurors will be there and several professional Quidditch players. So will Professor McGonagall, the headmistress of Hogwarts, and Professor Hagrid, the Head of Gryffindor House. All kinds of important witches and wizards will be there!"
Arriving at the Burrow, Patricia re-introduced her mum to Emma and Erica Prewett. Soon, she more or less bumped into Professor Hagrid standing next to Headmistress McGonagall, although it's rather difficult to miss a half-giant in any crowd.
"I'm very sorry, Professor Hagrid," Patricia apologised.
"Better yer bumpin' in ter me than me in ter yer, Miss Templeton." Hagrid smiled, still blushing about his title as a Professor. He looked at her mum and stuck out a trashcan lid-sized hand. "Yer must be Patricia's mother."
"Mum, this is Professor Rubeus Hagrid, Head of Gryffindor House, and Professor Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts," Patricia said proudly as her mother shook hands with the two magical educators.
"Good afternoon, Professors. I'm very pleased to meet you," Diana said politely, but nervously. She had never seen a man as big as Professor Hagrid. But then again, if this man was the Head of Patricia's House, then she could be assured that her daughter was very safe at school.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Templeton, Patricia," Professor McGonagall replied. "I'm very pleased to meet you. Patricia is a very gifted student."
"So I'm told. It seems a certain recent graduate of yours has had a strong, positive influence on her," Diana replied. "And please, I'm Diana."
"Oh yes, of course. Patricia is very close to Miss Granger. I believe wholeheartedly that your daughter will follow very closely in Hermione's footsteps," Professor McGonagall assured her with an air of nostalgia.
"She's very good wi' animals, too, Missus Templeton. Patricia here comes ter visit 'n' 'elp me wi' fixin' up injured creatures," Hagrid gushed. "She gets on best wi' th' owls."
Patricia blushed as her headmistress and Head of House praised her. She could hardly wait for third year when she could finally take Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid, but she had to admit that her favourite Professor had to be Harry Potter. "Thank you," she said meekly.
"I suppose we should find our seats. It won't be long before the ceremony begins," Professor McGonagall reminded everyone.
"Oh yes, of course. Again, I'm very please to meet you, Professors," Diana said, leading Patricia toward the marquee.
"See, Mum? Aren't they wonderful," Patricia asked as they made their way through the crowd to some available seats about three-quarters of the way back on the groom's side.
"Yes, dear, they are. Hush, now. It looks like the singer is about to begin."
Patricia wanted to sit on Harry's side of the house because she knew he didn't have any family other than the Weasleys and Hermione. He was the last of a very old Wizarding family, the House of Potter—that is until he and Ginny would have children, but that wouldn't be for quite a long time. But most importantly, Patricia thought of Harry as more than a hero or even a Tweener's crush in a dream. She loved him like the big brother she never had and as such, she would sit proudly on his side of the house to celebrate this wonderful day as the little sister Harry never had.
This wedding was unlike anything both Patricia and her mum ever had experienced. As they walked toward the reception area where the feast would be served, she and her mother discussed the ceremony.
"Harry and Ginny must really love each other. That was an amazing ceremony."
"Oh yes, Mum. Did you know that Harry died for Ginny," Patricia more declared than asked.
"But how could that be, Patty? He's here and certainly not dead," Diana argued, a bit confused.
"No, Mum. It's true. Harry walked into the Forbidden Forest to face down Voldemort—he was the evil wizard—alone. But some ancient magic was at work that kept Harry from dying when Voldemort threw the killing curse at him." Patricia went on to tell her mother the rest of the now-legendary tale of Harry's defeat of Lord Voldemort and the story that culminated in the beautiful expression of love they'd just witnessed.
Diana didn't quite understand what Patricia was talking about, but it sounded very romantic on this absolutely gorgeous summer day in the enchanted garden of the Burrow, scented with wildflowers and strawberries. It truly was a lovely wedding that brought back memories of her own when she pledged her life and undying devotion to a young officer in Her Majesty's Navy.
During the feast, Patricia introduced her mum to her idol and mentor, Hermione Granger and her fiancé (and Erica's crush), Ron Weasley. Diana had still been engaged in conversation with them when the Prewett twins dragged Patricia off.
"Mrs Templeton. I hope it hasn't been terribly daunting for you to have welcomed a witch home. I remember my parents having had a difficult time after my first year at Hogwarts. I mean, when I boarded the Hogwarts Express from a platform that doesn't exist..."
"'Mione! It does so exist! You've been there loads of times." Ron decided to have one over on his lovely fiancée. "How soon they forget," Ron chuckled.
Hermione shot him a mildly annoyed, but slightly amused look. "Very funny, Mr Weasley. Remind me to sort you out later."
"Okay, okay, love. I'm on my best behaviour," Ron said with his characteristic half-grin.
Following the banter as though watching a tennis match, Diana looked a felt a bit dubious at the exchange, but she had to admit that young Mr Weasley was a very fine-looking and engaging young man. It was no wonder that he and Harry were best friends.
Patricia cottoned on to her mother's obvious discomfort. "Oh don't worry, Mum. They do this all the time. Silliness is just part of Ron's charm."
Ron perked up and polished his fingernails on his robes. "See, 'Mione? Patricia thinks I'm charming," he mused in mock-embarrassment. "I'm charming. Woo hoo!"
"God grant me the serenity..." Hermione murmured.
Diana had to laugh, while her daughter clutched her sides in hysterics. These two young people had been to Hell and back to save their world, but still came out of it with a cute—if not warped—sense of humour intact. No wonder Patricia had been so taken by them—they made her laugh.
"You two are so funny," she said, collecting herself. "And please...call me Diana."
Hermione continued. "I was a Muggle girl setting off on the greatest adventure of my very young life. Although I'd done a copious amount of reading about Hogwarts and the Wizarding community, it was still a step into the unknown for me, and especially for my parents. When I returned home, I was a witch."
"Miss Granger. I..."
"Hermione...please," Hermione said, interrupting her.
"And for future reference, I'm Ron. Mr Weasley is my father," Ron added with a wink.
"Hermione, Ron, I admit there's a lot I don't understand about... all of this, but I think I speak for myself and my husband when I say we want to learn more. This is Patricia's life and we want to be a part of it too."
"Then don't hesitate to contact us, ever. Patricia is very dear to to all of us," Hermione told her.
"Yeah, but especially to Hermione, since they're both Muggleborns and have a lot in common," Ron said, nodding between Patricia and Hermione.
"Patricia auite admires you, Hermione. From what I've heard and you've confirmed so far, I think she has a fine role model."
Patricia didn't hear any more because Emma and Erica had dragged her off to meet Joseph on the dance floor. On the way, she stole a look over her shoulder to find her mother still in conversation with Ron and Hermione, and she seemed to be having a good time with them.
Patricia snapped herself out of her reverie as she looked outside and noticed they were almost to the harbour. She thought about Harry and Ginny, who were off on their honeymoon now. Patricia had been given a promise that Hermione and Ron would visit her. She was looking forward to that because despite the fact that she loved being home with her parents, she couldn't help feeling "cut off" from the Wizarding world. Her mum had been at the wedding with her, but still she couldn't really understand what the Wizarding world meant to her.
Patricia realised, like Hermione, that the Wizarding community was her world, and something her parents could only ever be guests in but never truly a part of. Also, Hermione had promised to help her prepare for her second year, going through the literature with her. Patricia also looked forward to her upcoming visit with the Prewett twins. It would be her first visit to a Wizarding home. She was very happy that her parents had been invited too, because she so wanted her parents to understand how much being a witch meant to her.
Diana Templeton parked the car in the car park just inside the barrier separating the port from the docks. Taking her daughter's hand, she rushed toward the ship just as the officers and crew began to disembark. Since the enlisted men and women came down the gangplank first, it was about twenty minutes before Captain Paul Templeton, decked out in his crisp dress-white uniform, began his descent, his sea bag slung over his left shoulder.
Diana let go of Patricia's hand, jumping and waving to her husband as his eyes scanned the crowd for his family, surrounded by shipmates already reunited with their own. "Paul," Diana screamed. "Paul! Over here!"
Paul snapped his head toward the sound of his wife's voice and broke into a jog. With only a few paces left, he swung the duffel off his shoulder and dropped it to the ground just in time to sweep his wife into his arms, holding her like he'd never let her go. "Diana. How I've missed you, my darling," he said just above a whisper. Finally, overcome with love and the emotion that comes with reunion after a long separation, he kissed her deeply, drinking in her essence as though dying of thirst.
"Daddy," Patricia cried. "Daddy, you're home!"
"Patty, my sweetie," he said, sweeping her up a hug and a kiss as his own tears began to flow. "How's my best girl?"
"Oh Daddy! I missed you so," she said, burying her face in her father's neck. "I have so much to tell you!"
"Well then, how about you tell me on the way home? I'd love to get out of this stuffy old uniform and into some real clothes," he said with a twinkle and a wink. "Then perhaps we can go out for some decent food."
"Paul, that sounds marvellous! What do you say, Pattycake? Shall we take the old salt up on his offer?"
"Oh yes, Mummy! That sounds wonderful," she replied as her parents each took one of her hands. Captain Templeton once again hefted his duffel onto his shoulder and they made their way to the car park.
All the way home, Diana and Paul listened patiently as Patricia chattered on non-stop about Hogwarts, her lessons, her friends, and all the wonderful things she'd encountered during her first year in the Wizarding world. As they parked the car, Patricia dropped a question.
"Mum and Dad, can we go to Diagon Alley? I'd like to have an owl."
"What's an owl," Paul asked.
"Dad," Patricia sighed."I told you about the owls that fly into the Great Hall every morning with our mail."
"You mean the actual living, breathing, feathered, hooting birds that you talked about," Paul asked, vaguely remembering the part about the owls. "Isn't illegal to keep owls as pets?"
"Yes, Dad, they're real owls and it's not illegal—at least not in the Wizarding world anyway. They're magical owls, not the sort one finds in the wild. I've been sending my letters with Hermione's all year. Her parents were kind enough to forward my letters on to you. Didn't you wonder why you've been sending your letters and parcels to London? Hogwarts is in Scotland, remember? The train?"
Paul and Diana realised they hadn't ever given it much thought. They had gotten a letter from Patricia a couple of weeks into September with a London address, and how to reach her.
"With an owl, I can write and send letters to my friends during the summer, and also to you once I go back to Hogwarts. Professor Hagrid says that Post Owls can carry letters and some parcels long distances in a relatively short time. They have a special instinct that tells them where to find the person the letters and parcels are for."
"But didn't you say the school has an owlery full of owls," Diana asked.
"Yes, Mummy, it has but those owls bite and I don't know them. It's always sensitive sending owls to Muggle neighbourhoods so I'd prefer an owl I know I can trust. I mean, Hermione used Ron's weeny little owl, Pig, but...well...like Ron says, he's a feathery git."
"Pig? What kind of a name is that for an owl," Paul asked, staring at his daughter in the rear-view mirror.
"Well, it's really Pigwidgeon. Ginny named him and Ron said after that, he wouldn't answer to anything else," Patricia giggled. "Hermione says Pig's just hyper and that they should slip a Calming Draught into his water."
I'm sorry I asked. "All right sweetie, we'll get you an owl." Paul promised with a chuckle. "A feathery git. Calming Draughts..." Now I'm muttering to myself. I'm going bloody barmy.
"Thanks Dad. You're the best," Patricia squealed. "And you're pretty good too, Mum."
"We'll go to London tomorrow," Diana stated.
That night, Diana and Paul looked in on their sleeping daughter. From her picture, Hermione winked and smiled at her friend, giving a little wave to the Templetons.
"Did she move the family portrait from her bedside table," Paul whispered.
Diana nodded. "It's on her dresser. She was very particular about having Hermione on her bedside table," Diana stated "I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Granger at the wedding. She is quite something and we couldn't wish for a better role model for Patty. Look at the other kids in the neighbourhood, Paul Their idols dress like tarts or criminals and sing...or is that scream...weird music. Miss Granger is studious, well-mannered, and a decorated war hero."
She knew that last part would impress her husband. She continued to tell him what she knew about how Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger put their own lives in danger in the field, while Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom fought to keep the students at Hogwarts safe during the war. Together, their efforts served to take out the most evil entity the world had ever known. "Their Order of Merlin is essentially the equivalent of our Victoria's Cross and the Americans' Congressional Medal of Honour all rolled into one. Paul, By Wizarding standards, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville are Knights."
"The Congressional Medal of Honour is awarded only to military personnel. The equivalent for civilians is called the Medal of Freedom," Paul corrected her, but then continued. "Diana, those are some pretty strong statements. Are you sure? I mean, is the Wizarding world really a safe place for Patty?" While Captain Templeton could certainly appreciate valour and bravery in combat, but to declare knighthood on teenagers—civilian teenagers, no less—might be stretching the tale a bit.
"It's like in the fairy tales Paul. It seems that all wonderful things are so much more wonderful, but the horrors are so much more horrible. We have to face it, Paul: our Patty is a witch whether we like it or not. We don't want her harmed, but what did your parents think when you took a commission in the navy right out of university? It wasn't that long after the Falklands War."
"Diana..." Paul began, but his wife cut him off.
"Do you have any idea how frightened I was when they shipped you off to the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm? We were only just married."
"Yes, I know, but..." Paul tried again to get a word in edge-wise, but he knew the effort was futile. His wife was on a roll and there was not stopping her now.
"You are a naval officer and Patty is a witch. The only difference is that you can resign your commission, but Patty can't resign from magic. Patty couldn't stop being a witch even if she wanted to, and frankly, she wouldn't want to. The magical world is as much a part of what she is just the same as the Royal Navy is a part of what you are."
Paul had finally had enough of his wife's diatribe and had to get her attention somehow. "DIANA TEMPLETON, THAT WILL DO!" Paul hated to shout, but sometimes one had to raise one's voice to be heard above the madding crowd. Only this time, the madding crowd consisted of one very passionate woman on a juggernaut.
He pulled his startled wife to himself and held her tight, stroking her hair and kissing the top of her head. "Dear, please don't overreact! I'm sorry to have shouted at you, but I didn't mean it like that... it's just that I know so little, and we do tend to fear what we don't know. It's human nature," he said gently.
Diana collected herself while still sniffling into her husband's strong chest. She gulped and wiped her eyes before she spoke again. "I know. I'm sorry for my rant," she apologised in turn. "Paul, did Patty tell you about Hermione and Ron coming here to visit her? We're all invited to the Prewett family home for a visit. Emma and Erica Prewett are Patty's best friends. Staying with a Wizarding family for a few days would be a find opportunity for us to learn about Patty's world. I mean, what better way to learn it than to live it?"
"Well," Paul said thoughtfully. "That's certainly one way to look at it. But I guess my concern is really how to handle all of this as...what's the word? Muggles?"
Diana nodded. "Yes. Odd sort of term, isn't it?"
"Muggles. Hmmm...sounds like a salty snack food or a rather sugary breakfast cereal," he snorted. "Try new Muggles! They're delicious!"
Paul and Diana Templeton broke into fits of laughter, knowing they'd never be able to keep a straight face should they ever hear that word again. "Oh dear! I do believe we have gone well off-topic here," Diana giggled.
"Yes we have, my love. Please...continue," Paul agreed, trying to keep from breaking out into laughter again.
Diana related what Hermione had told her about returning home to her parents after spending her first year at Hogwarts.
"Perhaps a meeting with the Grangers is in order, yeah," Paul suggested.
"Not a bad idea. As soon as we procure a proper Post Owl for Patricia, perhaps one of its first missions might be to deliver a missive to our Miss Granger to arrange it. Perhaps we might invite them to dinner, along with Ron and Hermione."
The next day, the Templetons set out for Diagon Alley. Upon arrival at the Leaky Cauldron, Tom kindly opened the passage to Diagon Alley for them and directed them to Eyelop's Owl Emporium. "They've got great specimens at Eyelop's. Best owls in Britain," he promised. "They'll fix you up right, little Miss."
Patricia soon spotted a Tawny Owl who stared at her with what appeared to be great interest.
"Hi there," Patricia cooed, offering a finger.
The owl blinked back at her and Patricia immediately knew this owl was meant for her. He was a young male with big gold-coloured eyes, with black around them. His plumage was russet brown with white streaks.
"Dad, this is the perfect owl. And he's not very expensive either," Patricia observed, showing her father the price tag hanging from his cage.
Just then, a clerk approached them. "Tawny Owls are very reliable, and last year's clutches were huge so the price has come way down."
"Please, Daddy. He's perfect, Patricia pleaded.
"All right. All right. You're sure he's not a feathery git," he chuckled.
The owl hooted his indignity at such a slight coming not from a wizard, but a Muggle, of all people.
"No, he's not, Daddy," Patricia giggled. "He's not flitting around like Pig does."
"Well then, who am I to deny love at first sight? We'll take him," he sighed.
"Oh Daddy, thank you! Thank you!" Patricia rained kisses all over her father's tanned face. "You won't regret it, I promise!"
On the way home, Patricia and her owl shared the back seat, getting to know one another. Paul had insisted that his daughter's familiar should have everything he needs to be healthy and happy, so the boot had been loaded down with a perch, dishes, food, and a small case of owl treats to last at least a year.
"You know, I need to come up with good name for you," she told the owl. He hooted softly in response.
"Does it understand you," Diana asked.
"Of course he does, Mum. How would he otherwise know where to deliver my mail," Patricia reasoned, turning back to the Tawny. "In honour of my mother, I will call you Murray."
The owl blinked again and hooted his approval.
"He seems to like it" Diana said, blushing slightly at the unexpected honour of having an owl named after her.
As soon as the car stopped, Patricia carefully lifted Murray's cage out of the car while her parents brought in his supplies. She carried her new friend up to her room and set his cage on the dresser.
"Where would you like to base Operation Owl," her father asked with a partially-assembled perch in his arms. Her mother followed him into their daughter's bedroom with the carton containing the food and dishes.
"Ummm...put his perch by the window there, so that when he comes home from a hunt or a mission, he can land right on it," she said with conviction.
"Right you are, Pattycake," her father agreed. "I'll just put this thing together, then, shall I?"
"Okay, Dad. Thanks," she replied. "Mum, just set the box down on my bed. I'll take care of it."
"All right, dear," Diana said, finally relieved of her burden. "While you two make Murray comfortable, I'll just nip down to the kitchen and fix tea."
"Okay, Mum. And thanks again," Patricia said, simply beaming with pride for her beautiful Tawny Owl.
After wrestling with the perch for roughly fifteen minutes, Paul finally managed to put it together properly. When all else fails, read the directions. Works on both sides of the magical fence, doesn't it Templeton?
"All finished, Sweetheart," Paul said, wiping his hands. "Well then, Murray. Care to have a go?"
The owl hooted is assent and Patricia opened to cage to free him. He stepped out of the cage, ruffled his feathers, and stretched his wings. He crouched down a little and then leapt into the air to flutter over to his new perch to preen himself.
His mistress' father then fastened the dish attachment, adjusting the height to suit the Tawny. "There you are, mate. Welcome home."
"Thanks again, Daddy," Patricia said, wrapping her arms around her father's waist. "And Murray thanks you too." The owl stopped preening long enough to blink at Paul and let out a hoot, and then returned to his grooming.
Once her father left the room, Patricia "stowed Murray's gear" and then pulled out a parchment, quill, and ink.
Dear Emma and Erica...