Chapter 27 : Diagon Alley
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Both Harry and Draco felt quite pleased with the outcome of their meeting with Father McKenna and, if he were to help, they thought it would be useful to introduce him to their world. Harry, however, realised that they couldn’t just simply stroll down Diagon Alley without taking some preliminary precautions. To begin with, Draco was very much in danger from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, although it was true that the Invisibility Cloak would prevent him from being spotted. He was also well aware of how recognisable he, himself, was and the idea of using Polyjuice crossed his mind. Despite the fact that he had been in danger practically since birth, and that he wasn’t expecting an attack at that particular moment, he thought it was unnecessary to attract unwanted attention; also he didn’t consider it wise for the priest to show up in his Muggle religious clothing.
“Father,” Harry started, trying to be as diplomatic as he possibly could. “I do not wish to offend you by what I’m going to suggest but, if you are coming with us, I think it would be best if you dressed in a more inconspicuous way. Our folk often wear robes but I don’t think that’s really necessary. Plain, ordinary clothes should be fine. I seldom wear robes myself out of school anyway,” he explained.
Sean McKenna looked at the teenager slightly startled. “Robes? Is that what your people normally wear?”
“Well, the older generation in the main, and not always. I understand that you must be very proud of your profession and won’t wish to deny who you are but, trust me, I think it would generate a lot of curiosity, which we could all do without.” Harry paused for a moment trying to ascertain what reception his suggestion had had.
The priest, for what Harry could tell, didn’t appear offended and went on to explain that, after the II Vatican Council, it had been allowed for clergymen to wear plain clothes when not officiating in a religious capacity, and that that should not be a problem.
Harry felt relieved but continued to try to justify the need to keep their identity concealed. He added, “I, also, am too well known in my world and that’s also a real hassle.”
Father McKenna, at that point, frowned looking disconcerted. Of course, no-one had got round to explaining to him why Harry, at his age, was already a celebrity.
Draco expected Harry to start boasting about his history. When he did not, he begun to explain, “ok, sir, it has something to do with how his parents were killed and the fact that he sort of miraculously survived.” He omitted to say that a Killing Curse had been involved for fear of frightening him.
Harry bit his lower lip and took his gaze down.
Father Sean’s facial expression was one of active interest; however, he did not want to bring up, yet again, a subject that Harry was bound to be sensitive about.
If the priest was going to delve into their world, Harry thought, he was going to find out sooner or later. He may as well hear it from the horse’s mouth. “The thing is, umm… ok, as I said before, there are wizards whose only interest is power, world domination by whatever means. To tell the truth, I’m a bit worried about scaring you by telling you this, but I can assure you, most of us are decent people…”
Father McKenna remained silent but looked at Harry in what he read as a benign way.
Harry continued, “Well, ok, I’ll tell you what happened. In fact, you may find this interesting in a way because, as in the Bible, the power of love, of sacrifice ... seemed to have been involved.” He paused and then, taking a deep breath, he continued, “my parents were fighting against one of these guys’ regime, probably the worse one in history; they opposed his tyranny and his cruelty. He went after them, they went into hiding but they were betrayed. He turned up at their cottage one night, when I was a baby; he killed my dad, then my mum and he came after me.”
Father Sean now looked positively horrified, “He wanted to kill an innocent baby!”
“Yeah, I know. Terrible isn’t it?” Harry agreed.
Draco now withdrew his gaze. Harry had an incline that Malfoy was now beginning to feel ashamed of having once joined forces with someone capable of such deeds.
“Then something, well, uncommon happened,” Harry went on, twitching a little. “He also tried to fire the Killing Curse at me but this rebound somehow. People say that this was because my mother loved me so much and sacrificed herself. He hit me with the curse too, but I didn’t die; instead, he lost his powers. I was left unscathed, save for the scar.”
McKenna hadn’t actually noticed Harry’s scar prior to that point. Harry tossed his hair to let him see it. For some reason, he didn’t feel how he usually did when people stared at it. He realised that he wasn’t going to treat him like some circus attraction.
Once again, the priest could not believe his eyes or ears. For one thing, that scar had the oddest of shapes and, if this was true, it had been caused by a power that people would call supernatural. He didn’t completely grasp it. In fact, he didn’t quite understand the mechanism of any of it at all. Killing curses indeed! So, it was possible then to cast evil spells? And they worked? He asked, “So it is true then, black magic is for real?”
“Magic is for real, yes,” answered Harry, “but as I said, magic can be used for many other purposes, to heal, to save people’s lives, to make life easier even, just like you have dishwashers, for instance.”
Father McKenna was lost in thought for a few minutes. It was true that the incidents the boy had described drew certain parallels with the story of Christ; love, sacrifice… Further, he realised that this idea of love, of harming no other, was not exclusive to Christianity. Despite his strong dislike for what he thought were false deities and creeds, he conceded in his own mind that Wiccans, for instance, appeared to profess a belief in something not dissimilar to what Harry talked about. He had read somewhere, he recalled, that in this cult, it was accepted that an evil curse could come back tenfold if the victim threw positive energy at the caster. But perhaps it wasn’t that, perhaps it would work just as well if the victim’s feelings of love overwhelmed him or her. Yes, maybe it had been God’s wish, after all, that he met these two boys, that he looked further into these similarities.
Draco and Harry kept quiet, allowing their host to gather his thoughts, to take this in, but Harry was impatient and was seeking a response, some sort of reaction. Father McKenna seemed relatively calm and he dared venture a bit further. He looked into the older man’s eyes as if asking for permission and then said, “In my humble opinion, we are fighting the same corner. Dark forces are taking over our world and we need to defeat them but, as the headmaster of our school said to me, evil shall not prevail forever. I truly believe that, but maybe, for this to happen, we need to join forces, to share our knowledge, since we seem to share the common goal of eradicating evil. I don’t know, it’s just, umm ... it’s almost a gut feeling.”
It made sense in a way, Father Sean thought. That kid seemed pretty mature for his age, also extremely determined but, he supposed, he had been through a lot in his short life. Suddenly, without knowing exactly what had prompted him, but suspecting it was a mixture of respect and pity, he surrounded Harry with his arms, and then Draco, and said to them: “Alright, I’ll see what I can do,” and after a few minutes, he told them that he needed to go the church briefly but that he would be back soon.
Meanwhile, Harry thought of something else. Something that he needed to do and with which he was almost certain, Malfoy could assist him.
“Draco,” he called him by his first name almost without thinking, “there is a small favour I need from you. I need to get into Hogwarts.”
Draco frowned, indicating surprise and suspicion but didn’t reply, merely waiting for Harry to tell him more.
“I can’t explain why just yet,” Harry tried to justify, “but I’m not up to anything dodgy. I just need to help someone.”
“To help someone? At Hogwarts?” Malfoy jeered. “Potter, have you lost it or are you just plain lying to me? There is no-one but the ghosts left at the castle!”
“Ok, I haven’t got the time to go into everything and, you are wrong, there are still some teachers living there, although not many and probably not for long, but that is basically irrelevant. Look, I’m trying to help you as much as I can, please try to be a bit co-operative,” Harry snapped frustrated.
“You always want something in return, don’t you? I’m completely excluded from knowing anything your lot is up to and then you take for granted that I will help you.”
“It’s not my fault that the Order doesn’t trust you, is it? If you really want to join in you’re going to have to prove yourself to them somehow and you know as well as I do that’s not going to be easy. I have done all I can to give you a chance. I got you off having to make the Vow, for crying out loud! But I’m not allowed to tell you Order’s business,”
“That’s only because you still don’t trust me! Do you think I’m stupid?” Draco spat out sneering.
“As a matter of fact, I do trust you. Why else would I have agreed to let you live at Headquarters?”
“Anyway, what is it that you want this time?”
“Ok, I won’t beat about the bush. I want you to tell me where exactly in Borgin & Burkes is the Vanishing Cabinet.”
Draco raised his eyebrows and laughed. “How the hell do I know? The last time I used it was three months ago; it’s probably been moved.”
“I appreciate that,” Harry retorted. “On the other hand, it might not have.”
“Anyhow, how do you know that the other one is still in the castle? You could end up anywhere,” Malfoy reasoned.
“Well, that is a risk that I’m prepared to take.”
“Ok, then, I’ll tell you where it was last I saw it … if you tell me what you are after,” Draco replied defiantly. Despite the fact that Harry had been protecting him for a while now, Draco still derived a certain pleasure from making him jump through hoops.
“I don’t see why I should, especially since it’s you who wants to gain our trust. But anyway, what I want is a book that I know is at Hogwarts,” Harry told him.
“A book? A book about what?”
“Look, are you going to help me or are you not? I’m the one protecting you! We are only wasting time on these petty power games, but ok, I don’t suppose you’re going to get Death Eaters come after me since you’re in danger from them. I’ll tell you if you give me your word that you’ll tell me what I’m asking you.”
“Alright then, what the hell!” Malfoy conceded dispassionately.
“Fine, then, I believe the book contains details about the Wolfsbane potion. Happy now?”
Draco found it hard to understand why Potter was prepared to go to so much trouble to help out a werewolf. It was just so typical of him, though, Saint Potter!
“Alright, last time I saw it, it was in the basement. It was originally on display on the ground floor but I made Borges hide it, so that nobody would be tempted to buy it off him.” Harry grinned sardonically. He remembered the scene well.
“I’ll better draw you a map and, whatever you do, try not to get yourself captured or something!” Draco said in what Harry thought was a patronising way.
“Thanks for your concern,” Harry retorted derisively, “but I’m usually pretty good at keeping myself alive. Now, from now on, are we going to get back to acting like friends? I found your company a lot more tolerable when we were pretending to be.”
“I guess so,” Draco agreed half-heartedly.
The next shock the priest received happened upon his return. Harry had thought about using Polyjuice himself but hadn’t had a chance to mention it so far. Now, the time had come for him to explain.
“As I said earlier,” Harry started, “it’s not a good plan for me to turn up as myself, if you know what I mean.”
“As yourself?” the priest repeated flabbergasted. No, he didn’t know what he meant at all.
“Ok, I know that this is going to sound pretty spectacular, but we do have a potion that allows us to take somebody else’s appearance, just for a short while,” Harry said.
Draco, aware of how far fetched this was going to look in the priest’s eyes, let out an involuntary giggle.
Father Sean’s expression was now one of utter concern. If this wasn’t a joke, it was clearly sorcery at its best, which the Bible expressly forbade.
Harry froze for a moment, realising that this hadn’t gone down well and he quickly added, “Please relax, there is no harm in that. The person whose appearance is taken doesn’t suffer in any way or manner. Believe me, the place we’re going to is basically a wizarding High Street and, as I’ve said, it would neither be safe nor comfortable if I turn up as I am now. You see, half of my world wants me dead and the other half wants an autograph. There is nothing sordid in my motives; magic is only dark if used with bad intentions. Please, please, trust me on this one, it’s not any worse than making yourself invisible,” Harry practically pleaded, subconsciously adopting the same look he often used to mellow down Molly Weasley.
Father Sean was now speechless. Yes, he had actually accepted that they would use the Invisibility Cloak to protect Draco’s life, but this new idea seemed just beyond the pale. It was undeniable, though, he thought, this kid had charisma, a real knack to persuade others. Either that or it was a curiosity killed the cat situation, he had to admit. In any case, he stopped protesting.
On that note, Harry Apparated back to Grimmauld Place to collect some ingredients.
The first person he came across at Headquarters was Ginny. He felt quite relieved. He wouldn’t have wanted to have to explain what he was doing back there, and what his business with Malfoy was, to many other people.
“How is it going, Harry?” she asked excitedly as she kissed him on the lips.
“I’ve got the flat! The one you liked.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful! Let’s go and tell the others,” she suggested enthusiastically.
“No, yet, Gin, later. I’m in a bit of a hurry, actually.”
“But why? What’s being going on between Malfoy and you? Merlin’s beard, Harry, I’m supposed to be your girlfriend, why are you being so secretive?”
“I’m not being secretive. I promised him privacy, that’s all,” he protested, feeling a bit guilty about not being completely upfront with her but wishing to stay true to his word.
“Does this have anything to do with Narcissa’s ghost by any chance?”
“Well, Ginny, you’re a bit of a seer, aren’t you?” he replied with a cheeky smile. “How about you, anyhow? Did you manage to arrange to meet Bill?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s fine. In fact, I’m meeting him straight after he finishes work, at The Leakey Cauldron. He has to come here after that for the Order meeting,” she paused looking a little sad. “In fact, that meeting worries me, Harry, I know you got out of it but, look, we all know what the main topic on the agenda will be, don’t we? Poor Mum!”
Harry nodded but he couldn’t find any comforting words and gave her a tight hug instead.
“Anyway, why are you back here so early and on your own?” she asked.
“Well, can you help me pinch some Polyjuice from Mad Eye? Also, I think I’ve found a way of getting into Hogwarts, and actually thanks to Draco.”
“Can you trust him, though?”
“I think so. In fact, I think a lot of the problem with him is front, actually. I don’t reckon he hates me as much as he makes out, but I guess old habits die hard. After all, you wouldn’t be supporting Voldemort if he had killed your mum, would you?” Harry brought to Draco’s defence.
“Harry, I wouldn’t have supported him in the first place. I mean, say if an Order member killed my mum, I wouldn’t just jump and join the Death Eaters, would I?”
“Fair point, but I do trust my instincts. By the way, what I intend to do is to get into the Vanishing Cabinet at Borgin & Burkes, to get into the Room of Requirement to retrieve Snape’s book. I’m pretty sure the Wolfsbane potion is written in there. Ok, I’ve confided this to Draco,” Harry told her speaking rather fast, “if something goes wrong, for whatever reason, talk to him. After all, he spent enough time in there last year himself!”
“You've told Draco! Have you lost the plot?”
“Ok, you’re the second person who tells me that today,” he said smiling. “I’ve taken a small gamble. He’s in danger from Voldemort so he has little choice but to be on our side. Also, he was a Death Eater; he’s bound to know stuff. I think he will be useful to us in the end. He can be an arrogant prat, but I guess I do trust him. Anyway, Polyjuice, babe, quickly!”
“Ok, whose hairs are you going to use? You could have some of mine but since I am going to Diagon Alley myself later, maybe not!” Ginny said playfully.
“I’m human, Gin! I couldn’t just transform myself into you and be in complete control, could I now?” he said laughing out loud but blushing fairly strongly.
“You fancy me that much?” Ginny asked flirtatiously, as she kissed him passionately.
“That much and a lot more,” he replied returning her kiss. “But now I’m really in a hurry, sorry. I’ll meet up with you later at The Leakey Cauldron though.”
Surely enough, Ginny run up the stairs to the bedroom Moody had been using when staying overnight. Since Alastor had, for some time, being boasting about having Veritaserum readily at hand, there was a very strong chance that he kept a reasonable range of potions in this room. Ginny knew he had gone out on Order’s duties, which she thought it was fortunate. What she hadn’t counted on was the fact that Moody, in his infinite wisdom, had placed enchantments on the door. She went back downstairs as quickly as she could and told Harry the score. They had to think, and fast.
“Ok, this is only a thought, but I have the feeling that I will be let in. I’m Secret Keeper and I own the house after all,” Harry said trying to remain hopeful.
Ginny shrugged. “We can try, I suppose, but I don’t really think it’s likely to work for rooms inside the house. I bet there is a password or something, something that only Mad Eye knows perhaps.”
“Ok, as you say, it’s worth a try. I would have thought that the Secret Keeper and the Head of the Order would have access to the whole of Headquarters, although I must admit, I’m only guessing.”
“Let’s go for it then, Harry. It’s the only hope we have!”
Although the situation wasn’t scary per se, Harry’s heart was pounding because the matter had now become urgent. He had been gone ages. He needed to get back and he needed the potion!
Now, they were both standing just outside the door. Harry attempted to set the ball in motion by saying very determinedly: “Please let me in, I’m the Secret Keeper and the owner of this house.”
He didn’t have to wait long. A voice just like Moody’s commanded: “Tap the door with your wand then.”
Harry did this. The voice spoke again: “How do I know that you’re not someone who has taken Potter’s wand?”
Harry shook his head in frustration. “Co’mon, Moody, I’m in a hurry!”
“Ok, let’s see. If you are whom you say you are, what were you doing with Dumbledore the night he died?”
“Very clever trick, Moody. What a sneaky way to try and make me break my promise. You know I will not tell you that!”
“Very well, let’s try something else… What do you most desire?”
Harry hesitated for a moment; various conflicting thoughts entered his mind at once. His strongest desire involved destroying the Horcruxes but he couldn't disclose that.
“Hesitation, I see… Maybe you’re trying to figure out what Harry would think. Prove me wrong.”
Being prompted like that caused Harry to blurt out without thinking: “Ginny.”
He went extremely red. She started to laugh really loudly, blushing as well.
The voice continued: “Umm, that could have been an easy guess. Another one, give me your most embarrassing moment.”
“Just now, what I said just now.”
“Another easy guess. Your most embarrassing moment apart from that, then?”
It had to be something that only he knew, or at least that no-one else in the magical world could guess. “Ok, landing in the roof of my Muggle school before I knew I was a wizard.”
“Now, why do you need to enter?”
“Because I need a potion to help someone,” Harry tried to see if he could get away with being slightly vague.
“To help who?” Moody’s voice questioned.
“You may enter then, but be quick,” the voice finally accepted to Harry and Ginny’s relief.
Harry pushed the door open and took a look around. There was a wardrobe there. His guess was that this was the most likely place for Alastor to have hidden his stuff. He hoped that this wasn’t similarly protected by another bunch of enchantments. His hopes came true because the Alohomora spell did the trick. And there it was, in a rather large phial, Harry recognised the dark and muddy looking bubbling substance straight away.
“Thanks, Moody. I’m sorry to have intruded,” he muttered.
Meanwhile, Ginny had got to her mother’s room and taken a few hairs from her hairbrush. She smiled satisfied. Now, she had just had a most cunning idea!
Harry Apparated back without transforming just yet.
“Please, try not to be too shocked, “ Harry said to McKenna, “I’ll go into the bathroom and when I next appear I will look like a woman and my voice will also sound like hers.”
Draco threw a curious look at Harry, “Who are you going to transform into?”
“Molly Weasley. She’s my friends’ mother,” he added looking towards the priest. “I have an idea for whom we should say you are, also. I believe she has a Muggle, I mean, non-magical, Irish cousin. We’re bound to bump into someone who knows her, so I think that should be credible enough.”
“Do you guys always have to lie about everything?” asked Father Sean disapprovingly.
“Only on special occasions,” Harry replied smiling cheekily, trying to put him at ease.
“Why, also, are you two so intent in taking me to this place?” the priest asked.
“To show you our world, Father. If you are to help us, you need to experience it, so that things don’t seem so outlandish to you anymore, that’s all,” Harry explained.
Harry went to the bathroom and proceeded at once by adding Molly’s hair to the potion. The substance began to froth and turned bright orange. Very apt, he thought, given Molly’s hair colour. It didn’t taste too vile, after all. The transformation was almost immediate. Harry felt really strange in Molly Weasley’s plump body. His glasses were now making him feel slightly dizzy. He realised that was because he now had perfect vision without them. He took them off but stuck them in Molly’s robes just in case. The effects of the potion would only last one hour, so he also remembered to pour the rest of the liquid into a small flask that Ginny had given him. This container was originally intended for carrying fire-whiskey and had once belonged to Charlie.
Father McKenna had been trying to prepare himself for a while now for what he was about to see, yet, the impact on his brain was still quite strong.
Draco just burst out laughing.
“Ok, ready now?” Harry prompted his companions, not wanting to waste any more valuable time.
“The Lord better forgive me for all the sins I’m committing today, and you two also, for persuading me to do it,” McKenna commented shaking his head as if doubting the wisdom of his decision to enter the wizarding world.
“He will, sir,” the spitting image of Molly told him reassuringly, “it’s all for a good cause.”
They had spent so much time preparing for the trip that Harry thought it sensible to Apparate instead of using the Muggle tube. “Get yourself under the cloak, Draco,” he commanded, “now, Father, hold my arm. This is going to feel weird. In fact, it’s a bit unpleasant, but it will not last long and we’ll be there instantly.”
The priest hesitated, but he had gone so far that he couldn’t pull out now. He had promised the kids to help them, so he had to stick to his word, even if he was still feeling rather apprehensive.
Father Sean suddenly felt squashed and breathless but the sensation was over soon enough, as Harry had said. In fact, that reminded him a lot of what science fiction films call teleportation.
They were now in a place that a street sign indicated was Charring Cross. His environment, so far, felt normal. They stood in front of a bookshop and a record outlet. Harry tugged Father Sean by his sleeve and brought him into a pub, which, until that moment, he had been unable to see.
The tavern was small and shabby. A round-faced barmaid was collecting glasses by sending them with her wand, floating through the air, to the top of the counter. A group of half a dozen people, who looked to the priest as if they have come from a Halloween fancy-dress party, sat chatting at a large round table by the window. He very much wanted to capture in his mind everything about the place, yet it was hard to do this without giving away his astonishment.
“Molly, how good to see you,” greeted cheerfully a roughed looking, toothless man who appeared to be the bartender.
“Tom, this is my cousin Sean, from Ireland,” Harry said confidently, “he’s just visiting us. He’s a squib,” the fake Mrs. Weasley whispered to the landlord, hoping to explain away the priest’s gob-smacked expression.
“Good to meet yeh. Where about in Ireland are yeh from, sir?” asked Tom making small-talk.
“My family are from Limerick actually,” McKenna replied truthfully.
“How is business?” Harry asked casually.
“Terrible!” Tom complained. “Everyone is scared out of their wits, not surprisingly, well, since You-Know-Who is at large, and it’s getting worse. Since Snape killed Dumbledore I’ve had very little custom, to be honest.”
Snape? McKenna had heard this name before but where? That was it, one of his parishioners had the same surname. He was a teacher, he recalled. Obviously many people must share the same surname, although this was a bit of an uncommon one.
Harry now drew his gaze to where Draco must be and made a motion for him to sit down, before any of the customers bumped into him accidentally. Malfoy understood.
“Would you like to try a Butterbeer or perhaps a traditional mead, dear?” Harry offered the priest, trying to imitate Molly Weasley’s turn of phrase. “Mead is a bit like ale, and Butterbeer, well, is hard to describe, but it’s a low alcohol drink,” Harry explained quickly in a very low voice.
“I’ll try the Butterbeer, if that’s alright,” he replied.
“Two Butterbeers, please, Tom!” Harry ordered.
At that point, Harry cast the Muffliato charm non-verbally and was now free to explain that from then on people wouldn’t be able to listen in, that they would not pay attention to their conversation, and so that they could now talk freely.
After finishing their drink, Harry decided it was now time to show their guest Diagon Alley. They said good-bye to the landlord and walked towards a courtyard at the back of the pub. Molly’s figure tapped a brick with her wand. An ancient archway had now appeared and a cobbled street became visible.
Harry explained a little sadly that Diagon Alley used to be a vibrant place, often crowded with shoppers. “I wish you could have seen it then,” he told him reminiscing. Under the Muffliato charm, once again, he recounted how surprised he had been himself when, aged eleven, he had entered that world for the first time.
They went past a cauldron shop; on the opposite side of the road was the apothecary.
“You may find this one interesting,” said Harry leading the way, “it’s a bit like a complimentary medicine shop, only magical, of course. They sell the best headache remedy ever.”
The three of them stepped in. A young woman asked them politely how she could be of service. Harry decided to purchase an ounce of the headache painkilling powder he had just talked about.
Father McKenna looked around fascinated. There were jars everywhere, filled with all manners of herbs and powders, resting on self-supporting shelves. Feathers from birds Father Sean had never seen hanged from the ceiling. He must admit the odour of the place was rather pungent. Harry spotted him wrinkling his nose and apologised whispering, “I must admit they could do with including a range of aromatherapy products.” The priest smiled.
Malfoy was now getting rather bored. He had been born in that world, he’d seen it all before… Being invisible wasn’t nearly as much fun now as it would have been in his happier days at Hogwarts. However, in no time at all, Draco was brought back from his boredom with a bang. He couldn’t contain a loud cry as a dreamy blond girl stumbled upon him.
“Luna? Mr Lovegood?” Molly’s impersonation exclaimed in surprise. “This is my cousin Sean, by the way, Sean McKenna,” she said introducing them.
“Mr McKenna, lovely to meet you. I’m sorry that an Umgubular Slashkilter just treaded on your foot. He treaded on me too,” she said matter-of–factly in a slightly singsong voice. Draco, Harry and the priest sighed with relief.
“Don’t worry,” Father Sean replied looking, if that were possible, more confused than ever before, although he was trying hard not to show it. Unknown to him, his confusion would not have raised an eyebrow with anyone who knew Luna, wizard or not.
“I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Mrs Weasley” Xenophilius said kindly.
“Thank you, Mr Lovegood. Terrible times we’re living in,” she replied courteously. “Good to see you, too, but I’m afraid we’re in a bit of a rush, dears,” Harry said trying to brush them off. Sweet as Luna might be, the last thing they needed at that moment in time was a long conversation about Snorkacks.
“They’re lovely people, Father, but they’re, umm … a bit out there, even for our world. Maybe her mother’s death affected her in a weird way,” Harry tried to explain.
“Harry, what was Mr Lovegood talking about when he referred to a loss?” Father Sean had reached the conclusion that life expectancy seemed a bit short in the magical world, which he was beginning to find rather worrying.
“Ok, the very bad news first, Molly, who I’m supposed to be, is my best friend’s and my girlfriend’s mother. She’s actually a bit like a mother to me, too," Harry commented fondly. "Her elder son got married to a beautiful French girl, just this summer.” Harry continued,” Voldemort’s lot, the guy who killed my parents’ followers, found out, they call themselves Death Eaters. They kidnapped my Muggle aunt, just as I had sort of made up with her. I couldn’t do a thing,” Harry continued, his now brown eyes beginning to fill up, “We have formed an organisation ourselves to defeat this evil wizard, one of the members put a spell on me to immobilise me, because he thought they wanted me, to keep me safe.” He continued, “a few of our people went to rescue my aunt; in the battle that ensued, the bride was killed and she was pregnant!”
“Oh, this is horrific!”
Harry wasn't sure what he had blurted out that Fleur had been pregnant as he now realised that the priest was likely to oppose sex before marriage; yet again, he hadn't commented on this. Harry guessed that the thought of a young expecting woman being killed had been more of a shock.
“Luna’s mother, on the other hand, died accidentally. At least she wasn’t murdered,” Harry commented as they past Quidditch Quality Supplies.
“This, sir, is my favourite shop. It sells broom-sticks,” Harry said enthusiastically. Father Sean eyed mesmerasied the moving posters on the shop window. “It’s our sport. Draco and I both play it, but for different teams. It’s a lot of fun, though!”
“We’re both good at it, sir,” Malfoy just had to add, anticipating that Potter may start bragging about his own abilities.
“Flying brooms!" the priest couldn't but exclaim, but, impressed enough to keep any prejudice at bay, he added, "sport is good, you know. It teaches you team-building and discipline. I got a few kids from my estate to stay away from crime by getting them interested in sport.”
The two boys smiled. “The game is called Quidditch and it’s brilliant! What sport do you play, Father?” Harry asked with curiosity.
“Oh, just a bit of football,” he said timidly.
Such powers, such abilities! McKenna was now in awe. "Why do you think I may be able to help you, when your kind can do such unbelievable things?" the priest humbly asked.
"Because I reckon that Muggles have magic too. It's hard to explain," Harry said. "It seems that Muggle religions talk also of love and of positive thoughts, like prayers and you believe you can cast evil away, I don't know, I just have this feeling that you can help us understand these things. Also you have miracles. Jesus did lots of these, didn't He?"
"Yes, He did, but, Harry, miracles aren't common, saints can sometimes perform them but I certainly can't, well ... Now," he added a bit wary about the fact that Harry seem to be making parallels between miracles and wizarding magic, "you are not thinking on the lines that Jesus was like your kind, are you?"
"I don't really know, actually but, would it really matter that much? I mean, He did good, didn't He? Would he really matter that much how He was able to do things as long as He did good?"
Father Sean's expression denoted concern. Harry realised that this was getting too deep and decided to change the topic.
He showed him into Gringotts, but before he did this, he warned him that the bank was run by goblins and described what they looked like, in a feeble attempt to cushion yet another shock. Once inside, Father McKenna looked at them with absolute bewilderment but also with respect. Human-like creatures indeed!
"Why do your people do not wish for us to know you exist though?" the priest asked.
"Well..." Harry wasn't too sure how to best approach this subject. "At various times in history, we were persecuted, hunted down, burn alive even!"
Father Sean nodded, his eyes looking sad, "Yes, umm... It seems that even men of the Church have sometimes been misguided. I'm sorry," he said sincerely.
"It's not your fault," Harry told him reassuringly.
After that, on a more cheerful note, they proceeded towards the twins’ joke shop.
“This place is truly amazing! I'd introduce you to the owners if it wasn't for the fact that I l look just like their mother! Harry laughed. "But now I need to go. I'll meet you back later at the Leaky Cauldron and, Draco, if I’m not back in two hours, please contact Ginny. Have fun!” he said as he Apparated out.
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