Chapter 21 - Happy Birthday Harry

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Thankfully the last week and a half of July passed without incident. It was funny, after everyone had found out about Harry and Draco deliberately putting themselves in the line of fire to catch the saboteur, the atmosphere had changed again. Harry had the sinking suspicion that someone being after him was far more normal and easy to deal with for pupils of Hogwarts than themselves being the target. Hence, as Draco had suggested, he just went with it.

Of course the end of July was very significant to Harry.

As birthdays went, he had not really had any fabulously great ones, having spent most of them with the Dursleys. His eighteenth was his first where he was with family that he would ever consider introducing to anyone else as his kin. He was pretty sure it was difficult to miss quite how excited he was by this prospect and Draco had teased him mercilessly all day on the thirtieth about how he was acting like an eight year old. Getting to sleep had been especially hard since he had not even had classes to wear him out, because the day before his birthday was a Saturday.

However, he had eventually dropped off, but he had not slept for long. At midnight Draco had woken him, and wished him a happy birthday in a very adult and direct manner. So much so that he had fallen into a very deep, very happy sleep two hours later, and he was still smiling at breakfast.

"Don't tell me what your first present was," Ron said the moment he sat down opposite Harry in the great hall, "I can guess. Happy birthday, mate."

"Thanks," he said since he was having trouble thinking of anything else.

Harry was so used to celebrating his birthday alone with owled presents that he was somewhat overwhelmed with everyone wishing him a happy birthday. So far, none of those staying for the summer had failed to say something when they came in and sat down for breakfast.

"Happy birthday, Harry," Hermione greeted and pecked him on the cheek before sitting down next to Ron.

Since he had just taken a bite of toast, this time all he could do was smile. Draco just gave him a look and shook his head, but there was no verbal or mental communication. Harry was pretty sure his soulmate was enjoying watching and feeling his reaction to the whole scenario, and he was quite happy with that.

It was not long after this that the morning owls arrived. Since it was Sunday there weren't as many as there might have been on a week day, but the Wizarding world did not shut down even as much as the Muggle world did at the weekends. An official looking brown owl landed in front of Harry and offered what looked at first glance to be a Muggle envelope, stamp and all.

Taking it and feeding the owl a piece of sausage, Harry read the typed address on the front, which consisted of his name, care of what sounded like a solicitor's office. Above this there was a handwritten addition indicating Hogwarts.

[That looks Muggle,] was Draco's distinct opinion on the matter.

[I think it is,] Harry replied, turning it over and sliding a nail under the brown flap at the end.

Several people were watching with interest as he pulled out the sheaf of papers within and two photos fell onto the table. These days he was so used to wizarding photos that the fact that the pictures fell face up and then didn't move, rather surprised him. Both prints showed a nice looking Victorian house from the front and the back. Not having a clue what this was all about, Harry opened the papers and looked at the covering letter.

Dear Mr Potter,

congratulations on your eighteenth birthday. It is with great pleasure that Graham and Clarkes are able to now dispatch the duty which it has been our honour to undertake for Dr and Mrs P. Evans. It was Dr and Mrs Evan's wish that a significant portion of their estate be held in trust for their grandchildren until the youngest of these aforementioned heirs reached their eighteenth birthday, there to be divided between however many grandchildren were still living.

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