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Chapter 25 : Chapter 25: The Color Pink
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“RON!” Hermione said disgustedly before softening. “I think I understand what you mean.” She gave a small sniff. “We have lost so many friends.” In truth they had spent the last few weeks talking about nothing else. It was horrible to have lost so many and quite a few of the students were still seeing the Mind Healers daily. It would be like this for a long time. The Dementors brought up horrible images for everyone and caused untold damage. The students were now permitted outside twice a day since there was no threat of Dementors. The professors were being cautious by going out with them; Harry was also required to be there, standing guard, but he didn’t really mind. He watched for any dangers but saw none even if it still felt like there was a black cloud covering the sun whenever he looked at the Forbidden Forest.
Harry didn’t join in with his friend’s conversations. He just sat and thought about what had happened. He had been brooding over it and feeling guilty. Ginny had actually punched him once when he started to complain about himself so he had shut up then but that was mostly because she had knocked the air out of him. She pointed out that worrying about the past would not help him kill Voldemort any faster. He knew she was right but because he didn’t have an answer as to how he was going to kill him. The only concrete thing that he knew was the Voldemort was extremely angry and thankfully he did not have to learn that through his scar.
Snape had been summoned to Voldemort. Dumbledore had let him go and had given him the cover story that they were unsure of how Harry had killed the Dementors. The Headmaster had called Harry to his office when the potions master had returned. The Dark Lord had counted on the Dementors wiping out all of the students and faculty at Hogwarts and was infuriated that Harry had stopped him. He had then planned on attacking the Ministry but was now forced to put his plans on hold. Although Snape had sneered at him as he told the story, Harry thought he detected a note of relief in the Professor’s face.
Harry was startled out of his musings by McGonagall rapping him on the shoulder. “Potter! The Headmaster has someone for you to meet in the DA’s room. Please follow me.” Harry got up with a sigh and held out a hand to Ginny. Ron and Hermione also got up to follow. The Professor turned her gaze on them. “He just wanted Potter.”
“Too bad. Where he goes, we go Professor.” Ron replied evenly.
Harry intervened quickly, although he was grateful for his best mate’s support. “I know who we are meeting and they are coming.”
She looked like she wanted to argue but refrained. They walked quickly to the third floor DA room and entered to find the headmaster standing with a man that Harry could only describe as average. He was an average height, average weight and average looks. He had graying brown hair and a nice average smile. Harry looked carefully at the man, trying to gage him but even as he did so part of his mind was telling him that there was nothing worth looking for. If anyone had a forgettable face, this man did. The only thing that was remotely interesting about this man was his eyes. They held a look that was sharp and intelligent. “This is Mr. Jean Paul Fisher.” Dumbledore told them. “He is the religion expert I have told you about. He has a few questions for you Harry and then hopefully you will have some answers to your questions.”
The man shook hands all around and again Harry thought at first that he wanted to question the man but something told him there would not be anything worth finding. Harry shrugged off the strange feeling and listened to the man as he requested in a deep but soft voice that Harry transform for him. He did so and the man smiled. “Yes, you are correct, Albus. He is Garuda.” Harry turned back into himself. He was still not comfortable being almost naked in front of anyone.
“It was not I that came up with that assessment, I’m afraid Jean Paul. Ms. Granger here saw him when they were practicing to become Animagus and knew who he was. They then alerted me.” The Headmaster explained. Hermione blushed but smiled at the compliment.
Mr. Fisher turned his gaze on Hermione. “I see.” He said but his mild expression did not change. “Tell me what you know of Garuda, Ms. Granger.”
Her expression turned to one of studious interest. “Garuda’s head, wings, talons, and beak are that of an eagle and the body and limbs of a human, well man I suppose. He has a white face and red wings. Oh, he is also supposed to have a golden body. Harry’s body is not so much golden as more tan than he normally is but I suppose that could be golden part. Garuda is the son of Kashyap and Vinata. Vinata was his mother and was also the daughter of a king. He is said to wander the whole universe devouring the bad. He hates snakes because of something that happened to his mother. He is the king birds and it is said that he could fly so fast that even the wind could not keep up.”
Mr. Fisher gave her a small smile before turning to Harry. “You don’t need me to tell you anymore. You have all the information you need right here, in her head.” He said while pointing a finger at Hermione.
Yet again Harry wanted to ask him something but his mind started to drift and then it hit him and he started to laugh. “Finite Incantatem!” He said pointing his wand at the man.
“Harry!” Ginny yelled at him. “What are you doing?”
The man grinned broadly. “I see you have figured me out. I put a Confundus Charm on myself at all times. Helps me not get arrested when I’m in the Middle East.” He turned to Ginny. “Don’t worry about it, my dear! I would have been alarmed if he had not figured me out.” He smiled reassuringly at them. “I could tell you all sort of stories about Garuda and his family but they would probably bore everyone but Ms. Granger and I do not feel that you really need to hear more. The three main things about the god of the birds are that he controls all birds, flies extremely quickly and consumes evil. I cannot tell you much more than that which would be of any use.”
Hermione started to pace. “He can consume evil? I have never been able to find out how he does that.”
Mr. Fisher chuckled appreciatively. “That is a very good question and not one that I have a real answer for. He is said to devour the bad and it apparently does not hurt him to do so, which leads me to believe that he does it by eating them. He is also said to be able to cure snakebites but I feel that this is more of a legend. The ancients also believed that emeralds would stop venom. I find this highly intriguing considering the color of Mr. Potter’s eyes.”
They all gasped. “This just keeps on going doesn’t it?” Harry asked. “The more I learn about his guy the more I can see him in myself.”
“Mr. Potter, what you must realize is that this god was a legend that was likely made up by muggles. I cannot tell you how it is that you came to have him as your Animagus for but what I can say for sure is that you have been given a gift through this form. I don’t believe that it alone will help you to defeat Voldemort, oh yes, I know what you must do.” He said at seeing Harry’s started face. “I think that it is going to take a lot more than swallowing him. He is too evil and too powerful. Even if you somehow managed to eat him, he could tear you up from the inside. He is just too powerful.”
Harry groaned. He had been hoping for an answer and there was not one to be had or at least not one that was that simple. He sighed. “Well at least I don’t have to eat him. I’d probably vomit and if I did manage to keep him down then I’m sure I would have stomach problems for a week.”
Ron started to laugh. “Can you imagine what the press would say? POTTER EATS YOU-KNOW-WHO! IS HE REALLY GONE OR ONLY GONE UNTIL BOY WHO LIVED TAKES A MMMMM.” Hermione had clapped her hand over his mouth as everyone else laughed.
“Do not finish that sentence Ronald Bilius Weasley or you will never speak again!” She barked at him. He nodded so she let go of his mouth. “Anyway, Mr. Fisher we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. I also wish that we had more answers but I am sure that they will come to us eventually.”
“Yes, I’m sure it will. It might also be good to remember that he does not necessarily have to eat the body but consume the soul. I fear that Voldemort’s soul is too polluted for anyone to take in.”
The next day the DA had been scheduled to meet for the first time since the Dementor attack and the Headmaster had requested that Harry hold it in the Great Hall. At dinner that night Dumbledore announced that the meeting place had been changed and that everyone was encouraged to stay. The hall cleared out so that the long tables could be moved and when the doors to the Great Hall opened again Harry was astonished to see that the entire school came back in. Ginny elbowed him in the ribs to get his attention. “What?” He asked her.
“Everyone is waiting for you to speak. We’ll have to split this up by age.” She told him.
“I agree. Sonorus.” Harry muttered while pointing his wand at his throat. “Right, well welcome to everyone.” He looked over at the Slytherins who were watching him warily. “I am glad that you are here. We are going to need to split up. Colin,” He looked over at the sixth year. “Would you start working with the first and second years on stunning and disarming?”
Colin nodded. “First and second years follow me.” He moved towards the back of the hall and started explaining what they would need to do.
“Right. I want third and forth years working with Ginny over there on various hexes.” Ginny nodded and moved to where he had indicated.
“Fifth years over there with Ron and I want you working on all the shields.” They moved off following Ron. “And I want sixth years over there with Hermione. You will be dueling with each other.” Again they moved off. “Seventh years are with me. If you have mastered what you are working on you may move to the next age level.” They all got started and Harry was pleased to see that many were doing well. He even saw some of the students moving up to the next age group. Harry began his instructions with the seventh years on some of the spells that he had learned from Dumbledore. “The incantation is ‘Freezious.’ It is a new charm that will freeze a person in solid ice.”
Dean interrupted him. “Won’t that kill the person?”
“No.” Harry assured them. “Well, it could kill them if they were hit with something and they shattered but other than that they will remain in stasis until they are thawed.” Several of the students shuddered at the image of a person being broken into pieces. “The reason that this is so important is that it freezes a person from the outside in. Why would this be important?”
Padma Patil answered him. “This would be effective against giants and trolls whose skin would deflect most other spells.”
“Excellent.” Harry complimented her. “It will also work against dragons but it can hurt the creature so it is not often used. Now let’s get to work.” Harry began to walk around as the seventh years started to shoot the spell at pillows. Some of the students got it right away and he paired them with another who was struggling. Neville immediately got his pillow to freeze so Harry asked him to work with Padma who was struggling.
“Sure Harry.” Neville said amicably as he walked over to Padma. Harry watched Padma blush when he offered to help her but then she gave him a shy smile and the two began to work. Neville seemed to be oblivious to the attention that the attractive girl was giving him.
Hermione came over to Harry and looked at them as well. “Well I would never have seen that coming.”
“Is that what I think it is?” Harry said in amazement.
“Yes.” She replied with a large grin. “One of the prettiest girls in the school is flirting with Neville Longbottom and he has no idea she is doing it.”
“I wish we had some answers. It just feels like we keep asking more questions and it never goes anywhere.” Ginny lamented about a week later. They were all sitting in the common room at one of the tables.
“Let’s not dwell on it now. We can’t think of only bad things or we’ll go mad. We have to do some wedding planning so that your Mum can get started.” Hermione said taking out a quill and some parchment and something that looked to Harry like a catalogue.
“So you don’t think wedding planning will drive us mad?” Ron asked her sullenly.
She ignored him. “We have to talk about a date, flowers, decorations, guest lists, menus, honeymoon locations and what sort of cake we want and then we have to pick out bridal robes.” She wrote each thing down and left space for notes.
Harry felt his eyes glaze over. He looked at Ron and saw that his best friend had the same expression on his face. “Do you two really need us for this?” He asked.
“Yes. This is your wedding too so you will help.” Hermione retorted.
“Right. So let’s look at the list.” Ginny said taking it from Hermione. “I think we decided on June 20th, right? Right, well for guests we can only have Order members so that will narrow it down considerably. We won’t even be able to have our friends there but I’m okay with that. I say we leave the menu up to Mum since she is a wonderful cook. I trust her to do it.” Hermione nodded in agreement. “We can’t leave to go on a honeymoon but maybe we can open up some of those bedrooms on the top floor at home and turn them into our own.”
“That’s a good idea love.” Harry agreed. “Ron and I could take care of that part with Bill’s help. Maybe Fleur could tell us how to decorate it.”
Ginny kissed his cheek then went back to the list. “I don’t really care about decorations much but flowers would be nice. I’ll let you decide Hermione. Cake should be easy since we both love chocolate. I think we really should just let Mum do something rather than order one. We don’t want anyone tampering with our food.”
“I hadn’t thought of that, but I agree. I think calalilies would be lovely. It is a beautiful flower that is often used in weddings. A bonus for you Ginny is that it is a lily.”
Ginny gaped at her. “You do know how much calalilies cost right?”
Hermione ignored her and pulled out the catalogue. “Now all we have to do is choose bridal robes. I think I want Ron to wear silver because he looks so washed out in black but Harry would look lovely in black velvet or he could also wear silver. It doesn’t really matter what they look like anyway.” She started flipping through and picked out a picture. “I think I’m going to order this one for myself.”
Ginny took the book and smiled. “You’ll look lovely in that Hermione.” She turned back to the men’s robes. “I think that Harry would look best in the black. Is that fine with you?” She asked, turning to him.
Harry smiled. “You pick out whatever you want.” He told her, thinking also about getting her robes.
Ginny handed the catalogue back to Hermione. “So we are done then.”
Hermione pushed the catalogue back. “You have to pick your robes.”
Ginny shook her head. “I’m just going to wear the ones you gave me. They look great on me.” Harry saw her try to smile but she didn’t quite manage it. “I… I’m fine with wearing the ones that I have.” She finally managed to say. Harry was really confused about why she wouldn’t want new ones when he had just assured her that he would get them for her.
Hermione looked at her sharply. “You aren’t thinking about the cost, are you?”
“I know how much a wedding costs Hermione even when it’s a small wedding! I do not need new robes so I’m not going to worry my parents over this!”
Harry looked at her carefully. He could see that she was trying hard not to cry. “It doesn’t really affect your parents you know.” He told her. “I’m paying for it all.”
“WHAT?” All three of them yelled at him.
“Harry, my parents left me some money and I’m going to spend it on this.” Hermione told him.
“Nope. You and Ron are going to use that money to buy yourselves a house. All these things for the wedding are nice but you should use your money to get yourselves settled.”
“What about you? Don’t you ever want to buy a house?” Ron asked him.
“I already have four! Why would I want to buy another one?” Harry said incredulously. Then he started to list them. “There is obviously headquarters, the property at Godric’s Hollow, Potter Manor and Sirius’ cottage in France. I think that Ginny and I have too many places to pick from. That is, of course, if we ever get to visit them. We’ll have to wait until Voldemort is dead.”
“Fair point.” Hermione murmured. “And you do have quite a bit of money.” She gave him a large grin. “Okay, you can pay for the wedding. I’ll make sure I get extra nice flowers since you’ll be paying for them.” She then winked at him to tell him that she was joking.
Harry laughed but the two red heads looked mutinous. “You can’t pay for this Harry.” Ron said quietly but with conviction. He had always been touchy about money.
Harry sighed. He had to say this carefully or he was going to make him mad and he did not want Ron upset because of his pride. “Ron in a month you are going to be my brother. Then we will really be family. Why can’t I do this for you? You know how much money I have. I got almost all of Sirius’s money plus I was the heir to the Black estate and I got all of the Potter money when I turned seventeen.” Harry gazed steadily at Ron. “The wedding is important but you two should have a house when this war is over. I want Hermione and Ginny to have the best wedding that they can since we can’t really have a huge wedding with all of our friends. Besides, it’s not like I have anything better to do with the money.” Harry could see that Ron relented when he saw the excitement on Hermione’s face. He then turned on Ginny. “You know, I can understand Ron’s pride but there is really no excuse for yours.” He told her. “Everything I have is yours so you can spend as much money on robes as you want.”
“You’re sure Harry?” She asked him hopefully.
“Absolutely. By the most expensive robes if you want and make sure Hermione does too. Get as many flowers as you want as well. I want you to enjoy yourself and we happen to be very rich.”
Ginny gave Hermione a wink then turned to Harry. “So if I want to buy a thousand fairies to decorate with you’ll be okay with that?”
Ron gasped. “Ginny that would cost several hundred Galleons!”
Harry laughed and kissed her on the nose. “You do whatever you want love.”
“Oh good cause I have an even better idea.” She told him.
“What’s that?” He asked knowing that she was bating him.
“Well since you said that I could pick what you wear… I think that we should dress you and Ron in pink.” She even managed to say it with a straight face. Ron looked horrified.
Harry pretended to think this over. “How about if I get you a Firebolt 200 for your birthday and I can wear black.” He returned also with a straight face.
She almost lost it there. He could see the longing in her eyes for the latest model broom. “Well, I guess that would be fine. Just as long as you two are in pink knickers then we have a deal.”
“You are a persuasive woman, so I guess we have a deal.” He stuck out his hand and she shook it.
“You two are mental, you know that right?” Ron asked them. Hermione just laughed at them.
“Oh come on Ron!” Ginny said turning towards him, “I think Hermione would like you in pink.”
A/N: It is a joke... I won't make the guys wear pink! I promise!!!
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