Chapter 22 : The Beginning of An Addiction
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Harry disapparated to the Ministry, to hand in his resignation. Just before he set off to the Ministry, whilst having breakfast with his family, he had wrote letters to all his team mates, the head of the Auror department and the Minister himself, informing them he wants a meeting being held as soon as possible.
When he arrived at his team’s office, he found everyone sat patiently waiting for him. He entered slowly, closing the door gently behind him.
When he turned, he turned and faced them all. They all looked back at him expectantly and slightly puzzled. Only Ron seemed calm about the sudden summoning of a meeting.
“I’m sure you’re all wondering why I have summoned you. So I will get straight to the point,” said Harry, stopping his pacing to look at his team mates. “I am retiring from the Ministry and beginning to study whatever I wish with my free time.”
“WHAT?” bellowed Rufus, standing and looking directly at Harry.
Harry ignored him. He knew the Minister would react like that and he really couldn’t care what Rufus thought of him. Harry looked at his team mates, knowing that he would be letting them down.
“You’re great people and you do amazingly well at your job. That’s why I am recommending you to join the Elite side of the Order of the Phoenix. Your expertise will be of much greater use with me out of the picture,” said Harry honestly, walking forward slowly and, one by one, shaking each member’s hand and patting them firmly.
“You’ve impressed me and any negative impressions I had of you are long gone. I respect you greater than any other man alive,” said Daniel, bowing his head slightly.
“Thanks, Daniel. It means a lot, considering you practically despised me when we first met,” said Harry, clamping a firm hand on Daniel’s shoulder and smiling slightly.
Harry moved on, slowly showing his appreciation to each team mate. And the final one for him to speak with was Samantha. He stopped and stared at her momentarily.
“You’re older than me and I never thought I would be telling this to some one older. But you’re a great person and you will do well in life. You’ll find someone worthy of you some day, I swear it,” said Harry, smiling and hugging her gently.
“Maybe there is only one person I want,” whispered Samantha, as she gently placed her mouth near Harry’s ear, as to avoid anyone else hearing.
Harry immediately stepped back and gazed at Samantha, slightly surprised by the sudden attraction. He turned away from her blushing face eventually, to come to the Minister.
“Sorry, boss. My time is over. It’s ruining my family being a part of the defence. My family is more important to me than anything in this world. If I were you, I’d begin spending money on training all your forces to Elites, as to maximise your defence. It’s time you stop being dependant on me to clean everything up,” said Harry, holding out his hand to the ex-Auror.
Rufus stared at Harry transfixed. The shock and disappointment was clear in his aging face and Harry felt no sympathy. Harry had always known that the Minister was slightly less caring about other’s feelings, as long as he got what he wanted.
“It’s been an honour to have you this far, Harry. There is a request I must ask of you,” said Rufus, shaking Harry’s hand and keeping a hold of it. “Is it possible for myself and Gawain to call on you for advice on what to do with the defence?”
“As long as you don’t expect me to take part in any of your plans and that I can advise you from home, then I am fine with that and appreciate your thoughts on me still having a role,” said Harry, shaking Rufus’ hand firmly once more and releasing it. “But there is a request I must ask of you, but I’d like to do it in privacy.”
At that, Gawain, the head of the Auror department immediately ushered everyone from the room, so it was just Harry and Rufus remaining, looking at one another.
“Everything I am about to tell you is strictly between me and you. I don’t want anyone else knowing about what I plan to do with my retirement time,” said Harry seriously, gesturing at a chair across from him, where Rufus sat. “Are you aware of the three addictions that are generally found in blessed wizards? Such as myself.”
“I know about them. It is rare to find them, but they are around. The addiction to power, knowledge and discovery. A blessed wizard is given one of them,” replied Rufus, intrigued at why Harry was mentioning this.
“Well, because of my status, I have all three. Something that was thought impossible and also something that will only happen to me. I have almost entirely fulfilled my addiction to power and now I intend on working on discovery, which will also give me knowledge,” explained Harry slowly, making sure Rufus understood everything he was saying.
“Ok. That sounds interesting. But what do you need me for?” said Rufus, sitting up properly, ready for anything Harry threw his way.
“I have decided to try and cure the insanity of Frank and Alice Longbottom. To do this, I need full access to all their files and medical records. As well as them to be moved to my home, where a room shall be set up to fulfill their requirements,” replied Harry, crossing his arms as he examined Rufus.
“You’re requesting the Ministry to get involved with hospital affairs. We generally leave St Mungo’s alone, due to our great use and respect of the place,” said Rufus uneasily, finding himself with a request that could be found difficult.
“You don’t quite understand what it would mean if you rejected my request. It will mean you’re not allowing me to fulfill my addiction and it will force me to use my powers to alter your mind. I don’t want to do that, as I believe in free will,” said Harry heatedly, standing and trying to control his anger and frustration.
“Listen, I’ll see what I can do. I am going to leave the position of Colonel in your possession, so you can get these types of things done for yourself in the future!” said Rufus, before leaving the room.
Harry smiled to himself. As he was about to disapparate, he heard the door open and shut gently. He tuned his senses and immediately knew who it was.
“You’re a confusing person … Samantha.”
Harry stared at her momentarily, waiting for her response. He watched as Samantha stared down upon her feet, her face growing redder and redder by the second. Her chest was moving in quick motions, signalling her anticipation of her next move.
“I’m sorry how I’ve reacted with you … Harry,” said Samantha quietly, stunning Harry as she mentioned his name for the first time, which was usually replaced with a ‘Sir’ or ‘Colonel’.
“You’ve been observing me for years. Watching and recording every single movement I make. I’ve always wanted to question you and even to yell at you for doing so. But my respect for your adopted father is greater than my respect for most men,” said Harry, finding the right moment to push for the information he has been dying to know.
“I know I have and I’m sorry. It’s just I’ve been experiencing … new t-things and w-well, I acted ridiculous and made myself look obsessive over you. I really am sorry, I never imagined it to go so far,” said Samantha, rubbing her hands together and looking everywhere except Harry, attempting and failing to hide her nerves.
“What new things can a thirty year old be experiencing, almost thirty one I believe you are?” said Harry, pacing in front of her slightly. “I’m almost thirty and I believe I’ve experienced almost everything I can.”
“I am no longer young, I understand that. But I’ve never experienced things a normal woman has. Since being taken in by Alastor, I have been more of a man than a woman. I was always more interested in fighting and work; something living with Alastor has made me to be. But I have … I have never experienced a relationship. I have never had love or felt love before,” replied Samantha, her face glowing bright red as she forced herself to continue.
“And I am sorry to hear that. But love is something that will find everyone. You are still young. Albus is not far off two hundred; give it another decade or two. And he is still young at heart. You are only beginning your life,” said Harry, waving his hand and forcing her head to move up, so their eyes met. “Trust me. You will definitely find someone someday. You’re a beautiful woman and you are extremely independent. You’d make a perfect girlfriend or wife.”
“You still don’t see it do you?” snapped Samantha, shaking her head in frustration. “I don’t want anyone else, I have found the person I love and I want that person. That person is you, Harry!”
Samantha immediately knew she had just ruined any chance she had, along with the relationship she already had with Harry. Her face revealed her shock and worry she had just caused herself; her eyes tried looking away from Harry’s, but his magic was too strong for her.
For a moment, their eyes stared at each other’s, whilst both were thinking. Harry had not been surprised by what Samantha had said; he already knew how she had begun to feel. But he was surprised she had blown it out. He just suspected her fear of losing him was the force to make her speak.
“I have always known that you had some other feelings for me. Your obsession for me has always shown how you felt. I have always ignored that aspect of it, as I have a girlfriend and children. As you fully well know,” said Harry. “If the situation was different, I can guarantee you, that I would have approached you much sooner. You’re an attractive woman and I have always liked you. But I am also a loyal, faithful and honourable man. And I would never choose to betray Hermione. I love her more than any other person can expect. If I was with you, you wouldn’t get the love I give to Hermione. I have to admit; Hermione has and always will be my soul mate.”
Harry watched a tear stroll down Samantha’s face and even when he released his power over her, she kept her eyes on him. Harry felt guilty, but he had told her the truth.
“Hey, listen. Cheer up. It isn’t something personal, but no one will ever be able to get in between me and Hermione. Let’s say we have a mutual love for each other. Because I do really like you, Samantha. I just cannot place action on them feelings, as I have stronger feelings for Hermione,” said Harry, smiling at Samantha and working forward to her.
He embraced her and held a hand on her head, as he held her close. She gripped him, hoping that she would not be able to let go and lose him. Once her aggressive sobs had subsided and they were clinging each other for several minutes longer, Harry withdrew from the hug.
“I have something to give you. Something you will be able to keep forever,” said Harry, holding Samantha’s shoulders gently.
“What’s that?” she asked curiously, feeling all her strength disappearing at his touch.
Harry looked at her deeply in the eyes and caressed her face slightly, where she pushed her face into his palm. Harry tilted down slightly and gave her a gently kiss on the lips, before removing slowly.
Harry returned his stare on Samantha and found her stood, relaxed and eyes closed. Slowly she placed a hand upon her lips, gently touching the area he had kissed.
Harry smiled and released Samantha. He patted her softly on the shoulder and vanished silently. When Samantha opened her eyes, she had a strange grin on her face. He truly had given her something she could keep forever … a memorable first kiss.
Harry couldn’t get Samantha out of his head for quite a while and decided to have a drink in the Leaky Cauldron, before he went to St Mungo’s.
He sat at the bar and was greeted warmly by the bartender, Tom. Harry began getting into conversation with him, happily chatting to Tom, who treated him as though Harry was just Harry and not a celebrity or walking god.
“So, Harry, how’s it been?” asked Tom politely, washing some glasses as he conversed with Harry.
“It’s been alright, you know. I retired from the Ministry just now,” said Harry, receiving a glass of Firewhisky, something he had to admit, he had become rather fond of.
“Oh really? I thought that that kind of work was practically made for you. What is it you’re pursuing now?” asked Tom curiously. “I don’t mean to be invasion over your life.”
“Nah, it’s ok to ask. I can’t really tell you in detail, but I’m beginning my research into invention. I want to make things that aren’t already around and that basically make the impossible possible,” said Harry, drinking his Firewhisky slowly. “A miracle in a way.”
“Wow. How fascinating. I suspect you’ll be pretty good at it as well. I can’t wait to see what you bring to us in the future,” said Tom, smiling and turning to the door as it opened. “Ah, I’ll get rid of these for you.”
Harry turned and found a flock of reporters swarming in, chatting rapidly to each other and passing on notes. Harry could immediately tell that they weren’t there for him, but he didn’t really want to wait around for them to find him.
“It’s alright, Tom. They offer better custom to you. I’m off to begin my work anyway. Thanks for the drink,” said Harry, pulling on his traveling cloak and pulling the collar high, as to hide his face slightly.
“Not a problem, Harry. Anytime. You’re always welcome here. See you around, Harry,” said Tom, shaking Harry’s hand and refusing payment.
Harry smiled and left the pub. He left the door into the Muggle London and wound his way through the crowds of shoppers and found himself in front of a closed down shop.
When he arrived inside St Mungo’s Hospital, he looked around at the rushing Healers and the differently injured patients, before proceeding to the reception, where an utmost bored young woman sat, reading idly from a women’s magazine.
“Oh, sorry. What do you want?” asked the receptionist simply, not looking twice at Harry.
“I need to see the head of the hospital,” said Harry calmly, looking away as he knew the woman would look up at him.
“Requests like that cannot just be fulfilled. You must have an appointment to see Mr Armertage. He is a very busy man,” said the receptionist, now looking at the back of Harry’s head.
“Tell him Harry Potter wishes to speak with him,” said Harry, turning to face the receptionist, who’s eyes, unsurprisingly, shot up to Harry’s scar. “I’m also a busy man, so I would appreciate if you did it now.”
“Of course, sir. I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was you. If you’ll follow me to Mr Armertage’s private elevator, I’ll direct you straight up to him,” said the receptionist, opening the door beside her and instantly leading Harry over to a golden lift at the far end of the reception.
“Thank you,” said Harry, stepping into the elevator.
“I will inform him of your appearance, so he should be expecting you,” said the woman, her breath slightly deeper as she tried to control her excitement.
Harry nodded and pressed the single button in the lift. The doors immediately shut and the elevator began to rise slowly.
The travel to the head office was a short one and when he stepped out, he found himself facing an elderly man, with a bald head and white hair trimming the sides of his head. A big bushy white mustache was upon his grinning mouth, as he gazed at Harry eagerly.
“It’s an honour, Mr Potter. A truly great honour to meet you. I am of course curious as to what business you have here. Unless it is on Miss Granger’s behalf,” said Mr Armertage, guiding Harry into a seat before his desk.
“Thank you for seeing me and this issue isn’t to do with Hermione. I’ve come to call on a request from you,” said Harry, straightening his clothes and accepting a glass of mead from Mr Armertage.
“And I’ll try to fulfill it as best I can,” said Mr Armertage, sitting behind his desk and focusing on Harry intently.
“Well, I am beginning to study with impossible things and attempting to discover and invent ways to overcome them. I am a good friend of Neville Longbottom and I have a lot of respect for him. That is why I am making my first discovery for him. I am going to attempt to cure his parents from the insanity they were cursed with,” explained Harry, taking a sip of his drink before he continued.
“In order for me to do this, I need all the files on Mr and Mrs Longbottom, as well as them being removed from this hospital and replaced in my home, where a room will be waiting for them. Hermione has been working on making a room for them all day today, therefore they will have adequate equipment,” said Harry, now waiting for Mr Armertage to speak.
“I don’t mean any disrespect, but Alice and Frank Longbottom’s form of insanity is completely irreversible. We have had professionals from all over working on their case and there has been no improvement. I don’t want them away from the care if they are to be placed under experiments that could ruin the peace they have,” said Mr Armertage, walking over to a large filing cabinet and searching through for a file.
“Did you not hear why I am requesting this?” asked Harry, unsure why he was being rejected. “The whole point in me taking this job upon myself is so that I can make an impossible feat possible.”
“You have no medical background other than the teachings at Hogwarts. You are not qualified to take care of a permanent hospital patient, let alone two,” said Mr Armertage, reading the Longbottom’s file. “Their file clearly states that they must be under surveillance at all times, due to being a threat to themselves.”
“There will always be someone watching over them. I will hire someone to do so. My girlfriend, Hermione, is one of the best Healers in the country. She is more than qualified for this type of work,” said Harry, his patience growing thin. “Understand, Mr Armertage, that I am the Colonel of the Ministry and I can order the two patients to be removed. I am merely seeing you, to try and do this with respect and also continue the support and alliance the Ministry and St Mungo’s has with each other.”
“I do not mean any disrespect to you, Mr Potter. I seriously do not. But I cannot see how Miss Granger can work here as well as work on this case, which requires a lot of work,” said Mr Armertage uneasily, finding himself pressurising Harry’s patience.
“Forgive me. I should have made it clearer. Hermione will be opening up her own surgery and taking on private patients. She will no longer work at St Mungo’s hospital,” said Harry, finishing his drink and placing the glass on the desk.
“A private surgery takes time to create. It must be approved by the medical board and the Ministry of Magic. She will need to register to many health societies and also gain the patients. Where will she get an income in this time?” said Mr Armertage.
“You forget who I am. I have a lot of money. Just the other day I gave five hundred thousand Galleons to Neville Longbottom for him to retrieve a batch of plants for me. I am not short of money, but I seem to be short of respect!” said Harry, standing and wrapping his travelling cloak around him. “If you’re not going to help me, I will be back within the hour with a signed order from the Minister himself with permission to remove Mr and Mrs Longbottom from your care.”
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I never meant any disrespect. The case is yours. Under one condition. That we are allowed to send a group of inspectors once a month to evaluate their care,” said Mr Armertage, standing and holding his hand up for Harry to calm down and wait.
“Fine. I will require all the files on their case and for both patients to be removed from here and taken to my home. I shall be there waiting for them. I expect to see you within two hours,” said Harry, before disapparating and reappearing home.
When Harry had arrived at home, he found that some construction had been made. The garage that had been converted into a medical learning classroom, for Hermione's study, was now a high quality medical room.
When he entered, he found Hermione pacing around the large garage, moving things into place and performing spells on every piece of furniture and equipment in the room.
“Wow. You’ve done a good job here. I just disapparating from St Mungo’s and it looks like I’ve arrived in one of their wards. What are the spells for?” said Harry, walking around the room and placing a few security spells on the windows and doors, to prevent Alice and Frank from escaping in any way.
“The spells prevent injuries to be made and anything to operate or move without the touch of myself or you,” replied Hermione calmly, finishing her spell work and turning to Harry. “How did St Mungo’s go?”
“Started alright, turned into a slight disagreement and then resulted in us getting the case,” replied Harry, smiling and kissing Hermione, whilst wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Good. I need to go tomorrow to hand in my resignation and when you’re doing your ancient magic stuff, I will work with Alice and Frank and when I work on doing my surgery up, you can work with Alice and Frank,” said Hermione, pushing Harry onto one of the beds.
“And we are hiring someone to come and watch over them when we are doing personal things, including filling your oven,” said Harry cheekily, grinning evilly as he moved his lips to Hermione's neck.
At first Hermione didn’t understand what Harry had said. Then she realised what he meant and cackled slightly, rolling over and mounting Harry.
“Why don’t we do it now?” asked Hermione mischievously.
Harry laughed and spun Hermione around and climbed on top, with his hand up her top, on the clasp of her bra. And then … the door swung open and in strode Remus.
“Jesus, Remus, don’t you ever knock and why in hell do you always appear at the wrong time?” snapped Harry, climbing off Hermione and covering her as she sorted herself out.
“I am so sorry. I really don’t know how I keep bumping into you guys. I’ll go and come back later, shall I?” said Remus, his face bright red with embarrassment and shame.
“Nah, it’s okay. You’ve ruined the mood already. What was it you wanted?” asked Harry, straightening the bed they were on before facing Remus.
“Well, Hogwarts opens soon and Tonks has begun working already. Preparing lessons and her office and stuff. I no form of income and I want to begin looking for a job. I was wondering if your nanny could look after baby James for us?” said Remus hopefully, mentioning his child for the very first time.
“Baby James?” asked Harry, bewildered. “Oh my fucking god. It completely left my mind. I am so sorry, Remus. I am so so sorry. I wasn’t even their for the birth of your child. Why haven’t you said anything in almost six years?” said Harry, holding his hand over his mouth and even tears forming in his eyes.
He had missed the birth of Remus and Tonks’ child. He couldn’t believe he had forgotten that. Remus was like family and he never even remember another person would be entering that family. Harry was almost in tears as he realised how absent he actually was from his old life and the real world. Tears were on the verge of falling as he realised how much he had betrayed his friend.
“I am so sorry. You should have said something. So should you, Hermione!” said Harry, sitting on the bed as he held his face in his hands.
“Don’t worry about it, Harry. I never mentioned anything as I could see you had a lot going on and it also pains me to think about the loss Tonks and I suffered,” said Remus quietly, his head bowed as he realised he had to tell Harry now. “When the baby was born, it wasn’t human. It was born as a mix of wolf and man and it wasn’t even alive. As I am a werewolf, I am unable to produce a human baby.”
“I am so sorry. You should have told me, I would have tried to help you through the suffering. So, who is baby James?” said Harry, looking up at Remus, who was pinching both his eyes with his thumb and forefinger, in an attempt to keep the tears at bay.
“We decided to adopt a new born child. We did it just yesterday. I was going to come and surprise you today, but I thought I’d better ask my favour first. The mother died at birth, so we’re just taking him in as our own. He’ll never know we aren’t his real parents,” replied Remus, his voice on the verge of breaking.
“That is a wonderful idea and I’m glad you and Tonks have finally got a baby. Things like that you should tell me, Remus. You’ve practically family to me and anything that hurts you should hurt me as well. My nanny will of course look after baby James,” said Harry, walking forward and embracing Remus, trying to find a way to repay his betrayal. “I swear to you, I will never neglect you again.”
“Thanks, Harry. It means a lot and it seems we have finally got the real Harry back. Maybe leaving the Ministry was the best idea for you. I’ll bring baby James around soon, then I can hit the Ministries job section. There aren’t many places hiring werewolves,” said Remus, cheering up slightly and placing a hand on Harry’s shoulder.
“What kind of work are you looking to go into?” asked Harry curiously, thinking immediately of all the contacts and power he has and was sure he could help Remus in the search of a job.
“It is okay, Harry. I’d prefer getting a job myself,” said Remus, smiling once more and heading to the door.
“You are doing. I am the Colonel of the Ministry still. Your application to jobs would have to go through my assistants, so they can send a basic background file on you to the employer,” said Harry, cracking into a grin as he realised loophole in helping Remus.
“That’s a good point. Well, I was thinking of a job where I can help people. An assistant or something. Any line of work really. I am willing to learn and take up training. I just need to get out of the house and get an income,” replied Remus honestly.
“Good. We have a job going here. We require an assistant to look after some patient we will be having here. I am beginning my training with my addiction of knowledge and discovery. I am working on curing Alice and Frank Longbottom. Hermione will be helping and she is also opening up a private surgery,” said Harry, offering a job for Remus that would surely be better than any other.
“That’s quite a job you’re doing. What would be my role?” asked Remus curiously.
“You will be watching over Alice and Frank whilst Hermione and I are not working with them and you will also be an assistant to both of us, including Hermione's surgery. Hermione will train you in everything you need to know,” said Harry. “You interested?”
“Yes, of course I am. I’ll be helping you, having an income and doing a job I am sure I’ll do well at. When do I start?” said Remus eagerly, smiling and bouncing slightly.
“You start as soon as baby James is in the care of my nanny. Alice and Frank should be here soon. What is the going wage per week nowadays?” said Harry, turning to Hermione.
“About fifty Galleons a week,” replied Hermione, thinking about all the assistants and other minor staff at St Mungo’s.
“Jesus, Fred and George are paying really well. They pay that like every day. I’ll sort your pay out, Remus. Don’t you worry, you’ll be paid well,” said Harry, grinning and shaking Remus’ hand.
“Listen; don’t go giving me loads of money just because I’m a friend. I want the right wage. I’d do it for free, you know that, but I need an income now we have a child,” said Remus, shaking Harry’s hand firmly and making his position clear.
“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll be getting paid what you are worth. Once my discovery is complete, I believe I will get a huge income, which will cover all the expense I use during it,” said Harry. “Anyway, I need to meet baby James.”
Over the proceeding three hours, Alice and Frank had been placed in their new accommodation, with minimal difficulty. They found normal things fascinating and insisted on touching everything in sight. Once they were in their room, they were commonly trying to move around to either get more sweets or to gain the attention of Harry, Hermione or Remus.
It pained the three of them to see such respectful people be in such a state of insanity. It only encouraged Harry to get to work and to work hard towards his aim. He had made sure the hospital told Neville and his grandmother that Alice and Frank had been sent to another country, where professionals were trying new methods and that all feedback will be delivered to them. This kept Neville and his grandmother from poking around and ruining the surprise Harry would have for them if he succeeded.
During the three hours, Harry and Hermione had met baby James. He was a cute little baby. A podgy fat face, arms and legs that made him adorable to look at. A small tuff of brown hair was on the top of his head and he seemed very cheerful, with a smile constantly on his face. He seemed perfect for Remus and Tonks.
At the end of the day, Harry and Hermione lay in bed together, alone at last. The day had been exhausting mentally, so they dismissed any idea of trying to make another child, something they were determined to do soon.
They bid each other goodnight and aimed to begin work first thing in the morning, beginning with analysing all the files and producing scans of Alice and Frank’s brain for themselves and observing them.
A challenging and interesting day awaited them.
Sorry for the delay people. I've got a lot on and I am finding it hard to find time to actually right. As some of you may know, I am no longer trusted author, as I was "accidently" added to the list and therefore removed once they noticed.
I am therefore on the validation list now and it will take a while after each chapter is added for the validation team to validate my chapters. Sorry about this and I hope you are patient.
I will not be able to write any faster than I am, neither will I be able to update faster than I am. I try, but I cannot make the impossbile possible, as Harry is now trying :P. So be patient and please don't comment just to tell me to hurry up. If you decide to review, please at least review the chapter.
Thanks and thanks for reading. Next chapter is: Brain Scans, Failure and Success.
What will happen in this chapter?
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