Chapter 10 : Chapter 10: Ginny's Gonna Kick You
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“Harry,” Professor Dumbledore began, “Mr. Laurel has come to check over the securities of the school and has consented to spend a half an hour of his time to duel with you. He is a champion dueler and one of the finest Aurors that the Ministry has. Alastor Moody trained him personally.”
“It’s an honor, sir.” Harry said to the Auror, trying to sound confident and not shake at the thought of having to duel this man.
“Harry, how far did you memorize into the manual?” Tonks asked him.
“Oh right.” Harry hefted the book from his bag and handed it back to her. “Uh, I don’t need it anymore. I memorized it all last week. I think its part of my new power or… something.” He glanced hesitantly between all of the adults.
No one moved or spoke but just stared at the young man. Finally, in a horse voice, Laurel spoke. “You are wasting my time, Auror Tonks and I do not appreciate it. You have said it yourself before that he was not making much progress and yet I agreed to test him. Obviously this boy could not have memorized the entire book in less than a week and I do not appreciate you mocking my intelligence to try and believe otherwise. I am leaving to finish my inspection.” He turned with a swish of his cloak and strode towards the door.
Harry was seething. Not only did this man insinuate that he was a child but he also thought that he was a liar. Without really thinking, he reacted by yelling after the man. “TRY ME!!!”
Laurel turned around and sneered in a look that would have made Snape proud but did not respond. Instead drawing his wand quickly and shot a spell at Harry, who ducked and rolled away from the spell, coming up again to block a spell with ‘protego’ and shout ‘silencio’, which Laurel blocked. Harry and the veteran Auror traded spells back and forth, several were ones that Harry did not know but many he did. He found the knowledge on how to block them or what the counter curses were came to him as if he had been using them for years instead of having read them in a book two days before. Harry kept up with the man, much to his amazement and if the look in the older man’s eyes was anything to go by, he was also completely surprised at Harry’s skill. After conjuring a wall to block a spell that Harry did not know and dodging quickly out of the way as said wall exploded into dust, Harry shot air at the dust particles, causing them to momentarily slow the other man. Harry was frustrated. He needed to move faster and he needed to end this soon. Then Ginny flashed in his mind and he knew what he had to do, casting the Disillusionment Charm on himself he ran full out towards to Auror before he could recover from the shock of seeing Harry, in effect, disappear, Laurel had been knocked onto his back and his wand had been summoned by Harry. For good measure, he sent the Bat-Bogey Hex at him before he reappeared standing over the man.
“Just so you know,” Harry said, looking down at the man, “I didn’t memorize the Auror manual in one week.” A look of arrogance materialized on man’s unyielding face. “I memorized it in two nights.” Harry gazed down at the man’s face as the emotions of disbelief and shock flooded over him. Harry muttered a few words and Laurel’s face cleared of Ginny’s favorite curse. Harry heard Tonks draw in a breath and he turned to face her.
“I didn’t know there was a counter-curse to that one! Ginny told me that is why she favored it, because you just had to wait for it to wear off!” Tonks turned to Dumbledore for confirmation.
Dumbledore nodded in affirmation. “I have never heard of a counter-curse to it. Harry where did you learn it?”
Harry was astonished. “I… well, I just said ‘Finite Incantatem’ and they disappeared.”
“That’s not possible!” Flitwick exclaimed with a small squeak.
“You know what this means, don’t you?” Dumbledore asked them all quietly.
“Yeah, Ginny’s gonna be right pissed when she finds out she can’t hex Harry.” Tonks said with a large smile.
Dumbledore’s face lit up with a smile. “I had not even thought that far ahead! Yes, Miss Weasley is sure to be unhappy about this, but I was thinking more along the lines of Harry’s abilities.” Dumbledore turned to look at Harry. “I do believe you are ready to start dueling me.”
Harry sighed. This one he was sure he was going to lose. Then he remembered what Tonks had said about Ginny and he smiled. Tonks was right; Ginny was going to be peeved, to say the least. “Professor, when am I going to duel with you?”
“No time like the present Harry. I had asked Professor Flitwick to be here, so that you might practice with him as he is also a champion dueler but I believe that your display against Auror Laurel has proved you are capable of dueling against me. So, I’ll give you a few minutes to catch your breath and we shall begin.”
Harry turned to get some water and came nose to nose with Laurel. The man looked grudgingly at him and held out his hand. “Nice job Potter. I am glad to see that there is actual substance beneath the hype. When you graduate you will be accepted into the Auror training program.”
Harry shook his hand. “Thank you for the opportunity sir, but I think that if I survive through Voldemort’s reign of hell fire then I’m going to retire from hunting dark wizards. A good friend of mine suggested I might enjoy teaching. If there is an opening here at Hogwarts, then I’ll probably come here and teach Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Harry was not quite sure why he had said this. He still had not completely made up his mind about what he wanted to do but when the offer had been made for Auror training, he knew that it was not the right move for him. He heard Professor Dumbledore chuckled and he turned to face the Headmaster.
“I would love to say that there will not be an opening but alas, luck has not been on our side. A new professor every year for the past seven years, and I am sorry to say that Professor Meeks is not likely to last another year. She is, of course, well versed in the subject and a gifted teacher, but at a hundred and sixty seven years of age, she does not want to keep this up for long. She has been berating me at each staff meeting to start searching for a replacement and reminding me that she wants to enjoy retirement. Harry, if you want the job, then it is yours.”
Harry’s smile was wide. “Thanks Professor. I will consider it very seriously. All right, I think I’m…” He stopped as the door to the Room of Requirement burst open and as Ginny came bursting into the room.
“I’m sorry I’m late Harry, Snape kept me… uh, sorry Professors, I did not realize you would all be here.” She looked uncomfortably at Harry. “I’ll just go then, shall I?”
Harry ran up to her and gave her a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. “Please don’t. I’m about to duel with Professor Dumbledore and I want you to be there to hold my hand when they take me up to the hospital wing.”
Ginny laughed. “All right. If that’s okay with you Professor, I’ll stay.”
“Perfectly fine Miss Weasley, go have a seat with Ms. Tonks.” Dumbledore replied with a large smile.
“Ginny, you’ll never guess what Harry can do!” Tonks told the younger girl eagerly.
“Tonks!” Harry hissed. “Don’t tell her yet. She’s gunna be mad at me!”
Ginny raised an eyebrow at him that clearly told him to shut his mouth and turned to Tonks. “What can he do?”
“He can stop the effects of a Bat-Bogey hex.” Tonks was grinning at the look of utter incredulity on Ginny’s face. For a moment it looked like she was going to refute what Tonks had said, but then a look of understanding crossed her face, shortly replaced by a anger as she rounded on Harry.
“If you tell my brothers that you can do that, you’re a dead man Potter! Voldemort won’t have to worry about you anymore, cause I’ll TAKE CARE OF IT FOR HIM!!!”
Harry looked at his feet and mumbled that of course he wouldn’t say anything to them. He looked up again and over at Laurel who was laughing and holding his sides as if they were about to burst. The sound was gruff, almost as if he had not laughed in many years. Everyone gazed at the man, who was fighting to regain control of himself.
When he finally caught his breath, he spoke. “I just got my ass handed to me on a platter, but a seventeen year old kid. I did not even expect Potter to last a full three minutes in a duel with me and when he beat me AND performed magic that was thought to be impossible, I started to believe that this kid was invincible, but I am glad to say that I was wrong.” He turned to look at Ginny with a smile. “You remind me of my wife, Andrea. She helps take my foot out of my mouth when I need it and pulls my head out of my arse when it gets up to far. And while she would insist that our marriage is an equal partnership between us, I know that she is the better half and that listening to her has never steered me wrong. I am glad that Potter has that in you. Keep up the good work of keeping him in line and deflating his ego when it gets too large, my girl. You are a keeper.” Ginny blushed and beamed at him, before turning to Harry and pulling him into her arms. Harry put his arms around her and reveled in the feel of her against him.
Ginny looked up and him and whispered quietly. “I love you Harry and I believe that you can beat Dumbledore, but if you don’t, I’ll be here for you. Now, give me a kiss and go kick some ass.”
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