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Chapter 9: The Offer
Last night was the trio’s final night together for the foreseeable future. The night began with a fabulous feast prepared by Kreacher at Grimmauld Place. Everyone was invited, kind of an end of the summer start the rest of your life dinner. Neville was there accompanied by Luna, the two of them had become inseparable over the summer. Neville would be leaving tonight for Brazil; he would be attending an intense Herbology and potion supplement course for the next twelve weeks. Luna and Ginny would be returning to Hogwarts for their final year, and their excitement could barely be contained. Ron and Seamus Finnigan were leaving for auror training in the morning; they had a mandatory three week sequestering for beginner aurors. Most of his close classmates had attended the dinner party at Grimmauld Place, and afterward everyone went to a lively pub in London for some adult beverages. Most of his friends had called it a night earlier than Harry had wanted, because they all had something to do tomorrow and unfortunately he did not. He knew that it was his own fault but in his current drunken stupor he could care less, he felt abandoned.
He returned to his home alone that night, feeling extremely sorry for himself. He continued to drink until he passed out on the couch in the sitting room. His summer of fun was officially over and with no clear picture of the future he fell into an inebriated depression. He woke up the following morning still on the couch in his sitting room; he could have sworn he heard someone calling his name. His senses were extremely blurry due to an alcohol induced hangover.
“Mr. Potter” Harry heard his name called again as he searched around the room for the source of the voice.
“Over in the floo Harry” the voice said as Harry tried to focus on the fireplace across the room.
Harry finally focused enough to see the head of Minerva McGonagall floating in a greenish hued flame and quickly sat up to see what had brought her about this morning.
“Good morning professor, what can I do for you today” Harry replied while trying to compose himself.
“I have a few visitors that would like to speak with you this morning, could you please ready yourself and floo to my office” Minerva asked and Harry responded he would return momentarily.
Harry ran upstairs to wash and change clothes. Kreacher helped him find his trainers and gave him a quick bite as Harry ran back down the stairs. He took the floo directly to the Headmistress office at Hogwarts School and began a quick visual survey of those requesting his presence. Seated or standing around the office were Minerva McGonagall, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and three people he had never met. One of which was a drop dead gorgeous dark haired woman who actually took Harry’s breath away. Upon seeing Harry’s reaction to the young woman Kingsley shot a wary glance at the portly gentleman wearing an expensive looking muggle business suit.
“Harry, good to see you my friend” Kingsley began “Allow me to make some introductions so we can get this matter behind us.” Kingsley stated as he stepped forward with the three guests
“This gentleman is my American counterpart President John Canton. He leads the Magical citizens in the states.” Kingsley gestured to the portly gentleman who stepped forward and quickly shook Harry’s hand.
Minerva stepped up to introduce the elderly wizard in dazzling green robes. “Harry, may I introduce Elder Elijah as he is commonly referred to. He is the headmaster of Laveau Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana.” Minerva finished as the gentleman stepped forward slightly and extended his hand. Harry graciously took the man’s hand and winced slightly at the unexpected strength in the old guys grip.
Then Elijah turned toward the young woman and said “Mr. Potter this is Amber Daugherty, she is one of my most accomplished students. She graduated a few years ago and now holds the title as Director of Dark Magic Detection or the DMD Squad if you prefer.”
The girl stepped forward and kept her eyes cast downward, she placed her hand in Harry’s direction and he slowly accepted it. She raised her eyes and the blush that the two shared was noticed by all in attendance. Kingsley stood there glaring in Minerva’s direction; they both knew it was a stroke of genius to bring this beautiful young woman along to help persuade Harry.
After the introductions were finished Winky appeared and offered drinks to all attendees. Harry took a butterbeer and directed his attention to the American school headmaster as he began to speak.
“Harry, I would like to come straight to the point” He began and Harry nodded in affirmation for him to continue. “Although we are separated by a very long distance, rumors travel very quickly in the worldwide magical community. We have it on good authority that you trained a large group of untrained and unskilled wizards and witches in your fifth year here at Hogwarts.”
Harry not sure of where this conversation was headed simply sat there and listened intently. Albus had taught him to keep his cards close to his chest whenever he had doubts about a person’s intentions.
The old wizard continued “I will take your silence as affirmation that this rumor is true. I have looked over your NEWT scores and after hearing about your prodigious skill in teaching, I would like to offer you a temporary position at Laveau Academy in our newly developed Defense against the Dark Arts division. Recent developments have proven to us that our knowledge in this field is lacking and recent history has shown that you might be able to fill this position.” Elijah finished with hopeful anticipation
“When you say recent developments, what might you be alluding to” Harry asked
“Oh well Mr. Potter you need not concern yourself with that.” The portly American President said.
“Well with all due respect President Canton but I call bullshit when I see it.” Harry replied as Kingsley and Minerva sat back with huge grin on their faces. “Why would you need a recently qualified eighteen year old wizard to travel five thousand miles to teach a course in basic defense to a bunch of school age children” Harry questioned
John’s face instantly reddened as he puffed himself up “Well I Never” he exclaimed as if he had been offended, to which Harry’s dislike instantly doubled for the man. Self-righteous pretentious pompous people always created instant dislike in Harry’s mind.
“If I may” Amber started to speak quickly for fear the conversation was going the wrong direction. “Recently several dark wizards have been causing problems……….”
John instantly cut her off “You were told not to speak of this topic Mrs. Daugherty” He defiantly proclaimed to which Amber quickly begged a private conversation with her President.
As they silently conversed over in the corner of the office Harry took the opportunity to speak with Minerva and Kingsley in private.
“What is this all about” Harry asked
“I think they need some help and are severely under trained. Intelligence says their former director was easily killed by two deatheaters. Be careful in what you accept, they may offer you a teaching position but draft you into their ministries services.” Kingsley offered
“Well can they be trusted” Harry asked again
“Yes and no” was Minerva’s response “Professor Elijah is a very honorable man, he repeatedly has requested help from Hogwarts over the years on this subject.” Minerva finished before Kingsley stated
“No I do not fully trust the current President. Not because he has given me reason to distrust, he just reminds me of Fudge a little too much and I would not want you to get yourself in above your head.” Kingsley finished the argument.
“Well between the three of us, I think this might be the opportunity I have been looking for. I have no immediate plans and I fail to see any easier choices in the near future. At least I will be doing something.” Harry replied with a look of final decision in his eyes just as the American group returned from their private conversation.
Amber was the first to speak again. “Basically we are requesting you to take over the DADA class in Laveau Academy; also we will be holding specialized training for my DMD squad and would require your tutelage in these sessions. Finally we would like support in our education of the magical community as to basic household defense. As was previously stated, we find ourselves lacking on this topic and your experience would surely help us get back into shape.” Amber finished
Amber sat there and tried to hide her thoughts from her face. She had not expected to be so effected by this young man. He was four years younger than her but he carried himself like a fully grown man, not like the eighteen year old boy she knew he was. She had seen pictures of him in the past in the British newspapers and magazines that she had read but this was a much more grown up version of those images. Gone was the little glasses wearing, hair tossed youth with what seemed to be the weight of the world on his shoulders. What sat here was a tall, buff, and damned handsome man staring daggers through her President as he spoke. She could never be claimed as a member of the Harry Potter fan club, but she also figured the members of his fan club could never have the mature thoughts that were running through her head right then. She had begun to flush clear down to her chest as she turned her attention back to the conversation. Elder Elijah had just offered Harry a lucrative benefits package and Harry had tentatively accepted the new position.
“Right then, well if that’s everything, I would like to have a private conference with you Minister Shacklebolt” John Canton had stated while standing and placing his traveling hat back on his head.
“Of course Mr. President, let us floo back to my office and leave these fine people to hash out any contract related issues.” Kingsley responded as he headed for the fireplace.
A few hours later Elder Elijah and Amber were prepared to leave. Amber had assured Harry that his residence in New Orleans had already transferred into his ownership and to make things even better Kreacher had returned from Cathedral House and deemed it highly livable.
“Except for that damned house elf” Harry heard Kreacher mumble under his breath.
'Thats really odd' Harry thought, it seemed Kreacher had returned from New Orleans with many whelps about his neck and head, and sported a nasty black eye.
Laveau Academy term was due to start in a week, thus giving Harry ample opportunity to wrap things up in London. Harry was keeping his emotions close to his chest just as he had been taught for so many years. He was just as affected by Amber as she had been with him. ‘I am going to play this one smart’ Harry thought to himself.
Harry departed Hogwarts just after the American’s had left. He thanked Minerva for her offer of assistance and wholeheartedly accepted the help; he knew it was going to be needed. She also offered him a diagram of the various floo networks through his various properties. He remembered something being mentioned about it during the reading of his estate but did not understand the complexity of its magic. It seemed that Harry could only access Gisgon and Apotropaic through his Grimmauld floo, but the rest of his various properties were magically connected to each other. It was impossible to disapparate all the way across to America, but all he needed was his personal floo network for travel. She did advise him to route his first trip through the ministry approved floo at the international arrival and departure department inside the ministry. She figured he would be fine but wanted him to follow the law until he had a better understanding of international rules on travel.
Harry arrived back at Grimmauld Place and found Kreacher in a heated argument with another house elf.
“HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE SOMEONE CLEAN UP YOUR MESS, YOU STUPID HOUSE ELF” a squeaky female voice could be heard screaming.
Harry ran as fast as possible to the kitchen to find a small house elf wearing a bonnet and apron beating Kreacher over the head with a rolling pin.
“I DON’T HEAR ANYTHING FROM YOU IN SIXTY YEARS AND YOU JUST POP IN AND SAY MY HOUSE IS DIRTY” Wop, Wop, Bam, came the sound of the rolling pin hitting Kreacher over the head.
Harry didn’t even bother with his wand he just summoned the rolling pin and it flew out of the house elves hand into his.
“Who are you and why are you beating my friend” Harry questioned
The house elf turned and looked down at the floor, her voice barely audible she said
“begging your pardon master, Kreacher offended me earlier today and since he was a delinquent brother for sixty years, I felt I was well within my rights to beat on him”
Harry had no response he just stood there with the oddest expression, he was at a loss for words.
“Master” Kreacher began “Allow me to introduce my sister Clotille”
Clotille broke down into tears and fell on the ground sobbing.
“Imagine how I felt, always alone with no one to talk to. Worrying about my big brother for years and then someone finally comes to visit, and of all people it is my big brother Kreacher and rather than saying something nice he says my house is dirty. I have never been so ashamed in my life” She sat there sobbing
Harry began to understand that this was his house elf from Cathedral House in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“So this is your sister, is that normal in your race? To be so divided from your close family members?” Harry asked Kreacher and was told that it was perfectly normal for a house elf once of age to never see family members again, unless they were assigned to the same house. This bothered Harry much more than he let on because Harry figured if you had family no matter what race you were you should cherish them. ‘One quest at a time’ Harry thought to himself.
“Will both of you be available to help me transition to living in Cathedral House” Harry asked and both nodded in excitement.
That night they sat around the kitchen making preparations for Harry’s move to America. Kreacher would accompany him to America and Clotille said she would enjoy having the company. After that evening everything had been decided on and Harry would make the move in two days. He needed to see Ginny and let the Weasley family know how to reach him and Hermione would be extremely angry if he left without saying goodbye. Harry went to bed that night excited, which was far better than the drunken pass out he experienced the night before. He finally had a plan for the near future and felt no pressure to move beyond that.
Thank you for your previous chapter reviews. Please continue, so I can know what is going well and what needs to be changed.
Remember that JKR wrote the Harry Potter books and hopefully does not mind me taking a stroll through her literary genius with a few new characters.