Chapter 21 : Chapter 21: Garuda
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“I don’t think I can do it Harry.”
“Can’t do what?” Harry had asked.
“I don’t think I can be a Mind Healer. Healer Shelby said that she sits in her office all day long just talking to people and I don’t think that I can just sit all day. I like being up and moving about too much for that.” Ginny grabbed a bit of her hair and started to twirl it absentmindedly. “I knew that they did just sit all day but I didn’t really think about how much I would not like sitting and talking. I have met with her several times now and the first few times I was okay but today I just didn’t want to talk anymore. I can’t be like that if it is another person’s problem. I’m okay listening to others sometimes, but too much and I think I would go mental.”
“Do you know what you want to do then?” Harry asked.
“Not really. I still think I want to be a Healer but then again I don’t. I want to help people but I think I want to look into something else.” They walked into the hospital wing to find the nurse rushing about.
“Oh Ms. Weasley, I’m afraid I have to leave right now. There is a woman giving birth in Hogsmeade and I must attend to her.” Madam Pomfrey grabbed several potions and was hastily putting them into her bag.
“I didn’t know you were a Matron.” Ginny stated with interest.
“Oh dear me no but I have done just about everything although I have not delivered a baby in years. There was a Matron for the area but she was in Hogsmeade when it was attacked and she was killed. I’m afraid that no one has wanted to replace her so I have been called in to deliver the baby. I don’t really like doing this, especially not by myself. The fathers are always panicking.”
Ginny got a determined glint in her eyes. “I was thinking of becoming a Healer. May I come with you and help?”
“I’m afraid not. I would love the help but it would be too dangerous. Ah, Headmaster!” Pomfrey exclaimed as Dumbledore walked in. “Can anyone else come to help me?”
“I’m afraid not Poppy. I have Auror Scotch waiting to escort you.”
“Professor.” Ginny said quickly to Dumbledore. “I want to be a Healer and I love babies. May I go and assist Madam Pomfrey?” She gave the Headmaster her most winning smile. “Harry could come as well and help Auror Scotch keep us safe.”
“A most excellent idea!” Dumbledore agreed with a twinkle in his eye. “Yes Ms. Weasley can aid you and if I may say so, having Harry to protect you will practically guarantee your safely. However, he will have to change his looks so that he is not recognized. It would be wise to change Ms. Weasley’s as well.”
”Professor, I really don’t think I can protect them.” Harry interjected.
“Harry, you have beat me consistently in our duels for the past month and each time it takes you less time to do so. I can assure you that they are safer with you than they would be with me. Now, if you would be so kind as to change your look as well as Ms. Weasley’s, I believe that time is of the essence. Incidentally Poppy, if someone else should go into labor that requires your assistance, these two have my permission to accompany you.” With that the Headmaster swept out of the room.
The birth had gone smoothly and with the arrival of a beautiful baby girl to two very excited parents Ginny had found a new direction for her life. Harry knew it as he saw her hold the tiny infant, checking her over while Madam Pomfrey supervised. Harry had to grin at the memory, even a week later. Ginny had started doing research about becoming a Matron, a Healer who specializes in pregnancy and birth, and had found out all about what she needed to do to become a Matron.
“Harry this is really what I want to do. Delivering that baby was an amazing feeling!” She said as she practically danced out of the Great Hall that Monday after dinner. “The best part is that I won’t have to leave you at all!”
“How come? Don’t you have to become a Healer?”
”Matrons don’t have to go through as much training as a normal Healer although they do have to pass a rather extensive examination.” Hermione commented as they walked back up to the common room. Ginny had been so excited that she shared her dreams with Ron and Hermione. “Ginny will just need to assist in thirty births while being supervised and pass the exam. Witches very rarely have problems when they give birth but the pain relief spells are specialized and women often want to have someone there who knows what is going on and so that they can check over the baby.”
“Oh, so does that birth last week count then?” Harry asked.
Ginny grinned and nodded. “Madam Pomfrey told me that I had to document my entire experience and then she would sign it. After I reach thirty births then I take the exam and I can be a Matron! I can probably attend twenty births before I even graduate. Madam Pomfrey said that there are several more babies due before end of term. She is fine for supervising me since she is a full Healer and Healers have to be trained in birthing as part of their curriculum.”
“That’s great love.” Harry said as he gave her a kiss.
“Harry.” Ron interrupted their long kiss. “Have you started working on your Animagus training yet?”
“No. To be honest, I completely forgot about it. I suppose I should get on that. I’ve also run out of books to read.”
Hermione looked scandalized. “You’ve read the entire library?”
“Yep, along with all the professor’s private collections and all the books that Fred and George brought yesterday.” Harry stopped, horrified. He wasn’t supposed to mention that the twins had been there. He had asked them to buy several things for him that he was trying to hide from Ginny.
Harry had asked the twins to buy the books but he had also sent them for an engagement ring and two wedding bands when they had been there the previous week. The twins had been stunned and had quickly given him a hard time about losing his freedom but Harry had just smiled, thinking back on it.
“You actually trust us to get rings for you?” Fred had asked.
“Hermione has written out specific instructions on what you are to get.” Harry had replied. He had asked her for advice on what to get and she had been quite helpful. Harry had pulled out the instructions and went over them. “Hermione said that Ginny likes silver best so you are to get the rings in platinum. She said to get a half carat round diamond in a low setting with a round cut emerald on either side in whatever size the jeweler thinks looks best. Get the matching wedding band and one for me. Mine can be plain. Make sure that the rings are magically adjustable, which means they will automatically resize if it is needed. Oh and buy an emerald and diamond necklace and some diamond earrings.”
Fred whistled. “You do know how much that is going to cost, right?”
Harry shrugged. “Money doesn’t matter. Hermione said that Ginny doesn’t really have any jewelry and that she’ll want some for the wedding. So you might as well get it now. Just make sure it’s really nice. I want her to like it.” Harry handed them a very large sack of gold. “If you need more, let me know or take it out of my quarterly cut of the profits from WWW. Oh and I’m giving Ron and Hermione half of my shares of the joke shop as a wedding gift, so I’m warning you about that now since they’ll be getting married in June.”
“Fair enough mate.” George had commented. “We’ll get your rings and the books you mentioned earlier and we’ll get the paperwork ready for the transfer.”
“Thanks guys, I really appreciate this.” Harry said, shaking their hands.
“We’ll be back Sunday and we’ll drop the stuff at Dumbledore’s office.” And with that, they left.
Ginny interrupted the memory. “What do you mean they dropped stuff off for you?”
“Uh… I asked them to pick up some books from Knockturn Alley and they left them with Dumbledore for me.” Harry said fumbling for an answer that was not a lie.
“Oh. So you didn’t see them?” Ginny asked suspiciously.
“No.” Harry said, relieved that this time he was being completely honest. “Anyway, I think I’ll head down to the DA room and start working on it.” Dumbledore had arranged for the DA to have the large room on the third floor that had once housed Hagrid’s three-headed dog, Fluffy.
”Can I come mate?” Ron asked. “I’ve been thinking about maybe trying to become one myself. I figure it would be easier to do it with you.”
“Oh yes, Harry I want to as well!” Ginny exclaimed.
“Yes, I want to also.” Hermione smiled and looked anxiously at him.
“I need some books and then we’ll get to it. Oh, you three need to remember to tell McGonagall so that you can register.”
“I still can’t believe you aren’t doing this illegally.” Ron muttered incredulously. “Even if you got caught, you’d still be able to get out of it.”
“That is exactly why I am registering. I don’t want anyone accusing me of using my fame.” Harry replied evenly.
“Ah Harry, you are so noble!” Ginny kissed his cheek while he blushed. “Anything you can do to avoid being on the front page of the Daily Prophet! He’s right Ron; if he didn’t register it would be a lot worse. I can see it now ‘POTTER IS ILLEGAL ANIMAGUS! BOY WHO LIVED USES FAME TO BRIBE ENTIRE MINISTRY!’” She winked at Harry. “The only headline I want to see about you is ‘HARRY POTTER MARRIED! GIRLS ALL OVER ENGLAND WEEP!’”
“We need a large mirror so that we can examine ourselves after we have transformed.” Harry said later that evening. They were in the new DA room getting ready to try the transformation. Hermione transfigured a desk into a ten-foot square mirror. “We have to know what we look like so that we can start to transform without a wand. It requires the person to picture the animal in your head and then force your body to transform.” Harry referenced the book just to make sure that he had his information correct. “Now, first we need to reveal the animal and then we start the first exercise. We probably won’t be able to make ourselves transform even a little tonight but we’ll try anyway. To reveal the animal you say the incantation, which is ‘Animagus Revelus’ while making this wand motion.” Harry waved his wand in a complicated swish, then a circle, then a flick towards his body. They practiced the wand motion. “This spell will only allow you to stay in your animal for two minutes. The only way to make the transformation for longer periods of time is through years of practice.”
“Okay Ginny, you go first.” Harry told her.
Ginny smiled at him and walked over to the mirror. She said the incantation as she moved her wand and then flicked her wand at herself. She immediately began to transform and the other three watch in amazement as she dropped to all fours and started to change into a large animal with stripes. Hermione gasped. “She’s a tiger!” Ginny finished transforming and began to look at herself in the mirror. She growled and turned still looking. When she was satisfied with her look she stalked over to Harry who scratched behind her ear and she purred. She backed off from him and then changed back to herself.
“That was AMAZING!” She was jumping up and down excitedly. “Okay, Hermione you’re next.”
Hermione repeated the process and to no one’s surprise she turned into an otter. “I am not surprised.” Hermione commented when she had transformed back. “It is my Patronus and my favorite animal. You’re right Ginny, that does feel amazing.”
Ron went next and the first time he tried to spell he messed up the wand movement. After another practice run he attempted it again. “Animagus Revelus!” His body started to transform. He turned into a large dog that was a mix of black and reddish brown fur and a long tail. He studied himself in the mirror, obviously pleased with his animal.
Hermione clapped. “He’s a German Shepard! They are really smart dogs that are very loyal and protective of their owners. They are often used by muggle police because of their fearlessness and confidence.”
Ron changed back. “I liked that! All right mate, you are up!”
Harry nodded nervously. “Here goes nothing.” Harry walked over to the mirror. He said the incantation and did the wand movement and he felt himself start to change. He felt wings sprout from his back and he saw his nose elongate into an eagle’s beak and a third eye appeared between the other two. His face was that of an eagle. He looked down and saw that his hands had talons but the rest of his body was still his own. He turned and looked at his friends to see that they were completely surprised. “What happened?” He spoke in English and jumped. English coming out of an eagle’s beak was just too much.
“Harry… you’re wearing a loin cloth.” Ginny managed to stutter while admiring the muscles on his chest.
Harry looked down and saw that he was indeed almost naked. He was extremely embarrassed. He looked up again to see that Hermione was pacing and muttering. Finally she stopped and looked at him. “I just don’t know how this could have happened. I mean, he a principle animal deity but he was a god more than an animal.”
Harry changed back at that point and started to fume. “What the hell are you talking about Hermione? How did I mess up the spell? I’m sure I did it right!”
Hermione wasn’t paying attention but started pacing again, still talking out loud. “Oh but it does make sense. He is always pictured as eating snakes and if anyone is a snake, Voldemort is. But he was a god and not just an animal. Then again if one’s animal form represents the personality of the wizard then it does make sense. Harry is so focused on killing Voldemort that he would just want to consume that dirty, rotten snake! Could this be the power that Voldemort knows not?”
“HERMIONE!!!” Harry, Ron and Ginny all yelled at her.
“What?” She asked looking at them.
“Explain.” Ginny said.
“Harry looked exactly like this Hindu animal deity that I read about a few months ago! He is revered for his fight against evildoers and was born with a hatred for evil! He is the king of birds, which are a predator of snakes and Voldemort looks like a snake and is a parselmouth so he even speaks the language of the snake and he was a Slytherin.”
“Hermione!” Harry growled in frustration. “Please how is it that I did not turn completely into an animal?”
“I’m not sure Harry! This is completely unheard of. Either you are an animal or you are not. No one has ever become a god! I even thought you might turn into a magical creature, which has only happened once in history, but you didn’t. At first I thought you had done the spell wrong but because you had on the loincloth so I knew that you had done the spell correctly. Why would an incorrect transformation result in the loincloth? No, you look exactly like a Hindu god.”
“Does this god have a name?” Ron asked her.
“Garuda. His name was Garuda.”
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