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Chapter 47 : Going Ape!!
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“Walter, if you hadn’t changed as you did, when you did, I wouldn’t be here. I’m just glad that we’re friends,” she told him as she stepped away from the rest of the crowd and joined him at his table.
“To be honest with you the idea of changing into anything, is terrifying to me. I hadn’t intended to change and I guess that I was controlling myself so that it wouldn’t happen. I just didn’t know what or how I was doing it. I must have changed a couple of times before but I was too little to maintain the animal form. Now I can maintain the form but it scares the bloody hell out of me,” he admitted to Pavitra.
“I’m sure that if you spend some time with Professor McGonagall, she’ll be able to help you develop the abilities to keep it under control. Think of it this way, Walter, no one will cause you any problems from this point forward; not after they saw what you did to those suits of armor. Professor Flitwick tried to repair them but you damaged them so badly that he couldn’t put them back together again,” Pavitra told him as she placed her hand on his back to comfort her sensitive friend.
Harry had completed his report to Dawlish about the statue in India. It had taken most of the afternoon to fill in all of the details of what had happen in the Khyber Pass. All of the paper work had been completed in triplicate. Dawlish marked the case closed and filed the paperwork away.
Ron met Harry as he left the Auror’s main office. “Hey, Harry! Hermione and I were wondering if you and Ginny wanted to come over for supper tomorrow night. We’ve been meaning to have you over but it’s been a bit crazy around here lately. Hermione wants to talk to you about a few things that she’s found out,” Ron told him under his breath.
The look on Ron’s face told Harry that there was something that he wasn’t saying. “What’s the matter, Ron?” Harry asked.
“Not here!” was all that Ron would say, as he glanced around to see if anyone had over heard them. Satisfied that it was safe he ventured one more statement. “Watch what you say, the walls have ears,” he whispered.
Ron wasn’t usually this careful. He had been that way when they were fighting Voldermort but that was over, wasn’t it; Harry mused.
“Potter!! Where the hell have you been?” the Minister yelled down the length of the atrium. Fortunately, the time of day had left the atrium pretty much empty.
“You want something!” Harry asked this man that he had grown to loathe. He truly wished that his old friend could come back as Minister. The investigation into the explosion that had destroyed the Ministry hadn’t turned up any new leads and the investigation had turned into a political quagmire.
“Watch yourself Potter! I’m still the Minister of Magic and I expect to receive the proper respect that my title deserves,” McLaggen barked.
“When you start doing your job correctly, then I’ll show you the respect that your office deserves. That doesn’t say that I’m going to show you any respect,” Harry yelled at him as Ron was trying to pull him away.
“Get the bloody hell out of here Potter. You’re through in this Ministry. You’ve been nothing but a grandstander, and I, for one, am fed up with your cocky attitude. Get the hell out of my Ministry,” McLaggen yelled.
“Your Ministry? Your Ministry? Since when is it your Ministry? Remember, you only work here until the Wizengamot gets tired of you,” Harry yelled out just before Ron was able to forcibly disapparate away with Harry in tow.
“Potter is not to be let back in this Ministry again. He’s fired! Anyone that lets him back in will be marked as an enemy of the Ministry,” McLaggen yelled at the three security guards that were standing near their new check in desk.
“I’ll teach him who’s boss around here,” the three men heard the Minister mutter to himself as he walked to the nearest lift that would bring him to his office.
The school in Bhangargh India had been quiet since their visitors, from the north, had left a few days before. They had gotten word that a hotel in Peshawar had been destroyed by a localized Earth tremor. What they couldn’t understand was that there were no unstable faults in the area.
There hadn’t been an Earthquake in that vicinity in over three thousand years, yet the entire hotel had collapsed as if the Earth had taken it upon itself to move in that one area. Most of the patrons were in their rooms when the temblor hit. The number of dead was unknown at this time since the rescuers would have to dig through some fifteen meters of debris to get to anyone who was lucky enough to survive or to find the bodies.
No one had seen the large green statue pushing on the northwest corner of the building before it caved in. People were to busy trying to survive, to pay attention to what was walking around, afterwards.
Harry had come home some two hours before. He had walked through the front door in such a bad mood that he didn’t even acknowledge Winky who had been standing by the door to tell him that his wife was awaiting him upstairs in their room. He had walked by her and headed for the couch in the parlour. He threw himself on the couch and put his hands behind his head. Winky could hear him mutter to himself about the Minister. She had never seen him like this before and she became alarmed after she told him for the third time that he was to go upstairs to the master bedroom.
“Master!!” Winky yelled to finally break through Harry’s preoccupation with his thoughts of the day. “Mistress Ginny wishes for you to go up to your room, she’s waiting for you there. She says that she’s already done the incantation and she awaits you,” Winky said as she turned and walked out of the room, since she had given the message and felt that her part was completed.
Harry laid there for a few minutes more until what Winky said sank through the fog of preoccupation that had blocked Harry from picking up on the fact that his wife was upstairs awaiting his arrival.
Harry was stopped in the doorway of their room by what he saw awaiting him on their bed. The room was dark except for a few candles around the headboard of the bed. Ginny lay there on the bed, her left arm by her side, her right arm up next to her head. Her right leg was bent at the knee and the most striking part of what awaited Harry was that she didn’t have a stitch of clothes on.
The candle light played over her body and highlighted all of the parts that Harry found so interesting. Her hair was laid out under her head and she had put a few more pillows on the bed than there usually was. “Well, it took you long enough to get up here. I thought that I would have to come downstairs like this to get you. I’m sure that it would have mortified poor Kreacher if I had,” Ginny whispered to him in the sultriest voice that Harry had ever heard her use.
“I’ve had a bad day,” was all that Harry said from his location by the door.
“I know. Ron sent me an owl explaining all that happened. Are you really fired? If you are, I’m sure that I can find a way to keep you busy,” she told him with a smile on her lips that he had never seen before.
Harry’s heart rate almost went off the scale as Ginny stretched herself out on the bed more and patted his side of the bed. “Come here. I’m going to help you forget, completely, about what happened today. We haven’t spent any time together since you returned from India. I’m beginning to think that you don’t want me anymore,” she told him as she pouted her lips as if she was a little girl that hadn’t gotten the candy that she had wanted.
He had taken a few steps into his room when he realized that he hadn’t showered in three days. “I really stink. Will you wait for me to take a shower? I want to smell nice for you; as nice as I know you smell,” he told her as he made his way to the master bath.
The water was hot and the force of the spray invigorated him as it hit his skin. He scrubbed himself until he was sure that the smell of the last three days was gone. He was about to stick his head under the spray when the sliding door to the shower opened up and a very lovely leg stepped in. “Turn and I’ll get your back for you. You may be a wizard but it’s still impossible for you to wash your back without help,” she whispered as she took the soap out of his hands.
Harry stood there and relaxed as Ginny slowly scrubbed his back with her finger tips. She kissed him on the top of his right shoulder blade as she reached around and down with her soapy hands. Her ministrations were what were needed to make Harry feel like the husband that she knew and loved.
“If you think that I’m going to go to bed with a woman that hasn’t taken a shower, your wrong. Turn around my dear and please, place those lovely hands of yours on the wall,” Harry whispered into her ear. His breath on her wet skin sent shivers and chills up and down Ginny’s spine.
He soaped his hands up and started to massage and wash her shoulders. He worked downwards until his hands were on the hills of Ginny’s bum. She squeaked as he washed a part that she didn’t expect. He then reached around and washed his wife from shoulder to hip in such a way that he had her trembling from his ministrations.
They took their time and dried each other off with two of the larger towels in their collection. Ginny had wrapped her towel around herself and was about to step out of the bathroom when Harry caught her up in his arms and ran to their bed. He tossed her up into the air over the bed and yanked her towel off before she hit the bedspread. Ginny screamed with surprise and started to giggle as if she was a little girl that was being tickled.
Harry dropped his towel and jumped over Ginny to his side of the bed. Before she could move he had her in a tight embrace and had stopped her from making any form of protest with a most passionate kiss.
Ginny loved it when Harry held her like this. It made her feel safe and secure, knowing she was in the arms of the man she loved, who also happened to be one of the most powerful wizards on the planet. He was all hers. For some reason, it wasn’t as comfortable tonight as it usually was. She was able to identify the problem after a few seconds of thought, as she kissed her husband in that way that only a wife can kiss her husband. Harry’s hands were in tight clamshell fist, once again.
Ginny held him as she started to softly cry. She realized that the stress of what Harry was going through at the Ministry, with McLaggen, had once again triggered off Harry’s WWSS.
"Ginny? What’s the matter? Are you all right?” he whispered.
“Oh! Harry, I’m so sorry. Sh, I’ll take care of you tonight. I’ll make you forget all that’s been happening,” she whispered into his ear as she rolled over to her right side.
Ginny slipped on top of him and for the next few hours, Harry forgot the world, as she made him happy that he was her husband.
Ginny awoke the next morning to Harry’s soft kisses. They became longer as he pressed each kiss home. His hands started to move and in a few minutes Ginny was gasping for the air that she needed to fill her lungs. Harry had slept well enough during the night to be fully recovered from the night of love making that they had just abided in. Within minutes the two of them were once again consumed by the passions of two young healthy lovers. When it was over, Ginny had to admit that Harry had made up for his time away. She would feel him with her for the rest of the day.
“Ah, Mister Radcliff, come in,” Professor McGonagall told Walter as he knocked on her office door.
“I was told by Professor Sinistra that you wanted to see me, Headmistress,” Walter said as he stepped into a room that he had never been in before.
“Yes Mister Radcliff. We will begin your lessons on how to control that great ape of yours. We can’t have that great ape charging around the school now, can we?” the head of Hogwarts made the point as to why he was truly here that night.
“Before we start, would you change into these clothes please, Walter. You can use the changing screen over there,” she directed him.
The first year student looked at his Headmistress with the befuddled expression of someone who had no clue as too what was happening. Seeing this, Professor McGonagall explained, “Every time you change into you Animagus form you destroy a set of cloths. When we have finished your lessons you’ll be able to transform your cloths with you as well, but at this point you’d be destroying a set of cloths each time we work together. Also, it is not my desire to see you in your natural state as it were. You will wear these cloths until you have mastered your ability to transfigure. Do you understand young man?” she asked as she towered over this small boy.
“Yes ma’am,” he whispered.
The professor and student stepped into the center of the office. Walter’s cloths were some ten sizes to large for him and he had to hold them up so that they wouldn’t slip off to the floor as he walked. He had waited for this moment for some time and the anticipation was such that he was having trouble controlling himself.
“Now, Mister Radcliff, I want you to think of the animal that you’re destined to become. See it in your mind and try to think as it would. Feel the air around you and the floor under your feet. Imagine how your Animagus responds to the things in this environment. Feel yourself change into that which you see in your mind. I find that if you relax and clear your mind of all unnecessary thoughts that it helps. Now, Try!” she whispered to her student.
Walter stood there with his eyes closed for a few seconds. Slowly, dark course hair began to cover his arms and legs. He could feel the tickle as his body was covered by a full mat of hair. The skin on his back, chest, and arms felt tight as if it was too small to hold in all of his body. The feeling slowly left and when Walter opened his eyes he was looking out of the eyes of the silver back that had saved Pavitra.
Professor McGonagall was amazed at how fast the transformation had occurred. Most new Animagus’ struggle for days or weeks to transform, yet Walter had accomplished it in a little over five minutes.
“Very good, Mister Radcliff! I’m quite impressed. Not many new Animagus can so easily transform themselves. Now Walter I want you to focus on being human again. Try to feel how the floor felt under your human feet,” she told him.
Walter sat there on the floor for a few minutes. Slowly, his body shrank down into himself. Within a few minutes he was once again a small boy sitting at his Professor’s feet.
“Wonderful, Walter! You did very well for your first lesson. Come and see me again tomorrow night at the same time. If you can do as well then, we may be able to start trying to transform with your cloths on. Very good then, off to your common room, we don’t want you to be caught out in the corridors after hours?” she told him as she directed him to the changing screen, once again.
“I wasn’t scared this time. I knew that I would be able to change back since you were here with me. I was told by one of the other students that you can change into a cat. Is that right?” Walter asked.
“Yes, Walter, but that will have to wait for another day. Quickly now we don’t want you to be late getting back to your common room; goodnight!” his Headmistress told him as she ushered him out of her office.
Ginny had left earlier that morning for her practice with the Holyhead Harpies. She was a few minutes late since she had a hard time leaving the front room of the house. Harry had caught her from behind and the two of them were spending some time wrestling in the way that newlyweds sometimes do for the fun of it.
When she arrived at the practice, all of the girls started to laugh at how she looked. Harry had messed her hair up and her ponytail was pulled apart and sticking out in different directions. “Hey, Ginger Snap! Tell your husband that he needs to give you at least an hour’s leeway from your lovemaking so you can get yourself together. We don’t need to see what condition you’re in when he’s finished with you,” Ber yelled out as she joined the rest of the team on the list.
Ginny blushed furiously, “Well at least I have someone to mess up my hair,” she threw the jibe back at her very large teammate.
Ber took a step forward toward her but Gwenog stepped in between them before she was able to reach her. “Now, now, ladies that will be quite enough,” she admonished her fellow teammates.
"I’ll get you, when we get up there,” Ber threatened.
“Catch me if you can,” Ginny threw the challenge back at her.
The practice was one of the most physical that the team had had in a long time. Ginny had to fly at full speed to keep ahead of Ber for most of the first hour. The larger woman gave up going after her when she saw that she wouldn’t be able to catch her on the broom that she was using. Even with the modifications, her weight was enough to put the broom to its maximum effort just to do what she needed.
When they landed an hour later, Ber came over and grabbed Ginny around the waist, from behind and lifted her up and dropped her onto the ground, she then started to tickle her until the other girls had to step in to give Ginny the chance to breathe. “You’re lucky, Ginger Snap, that we all love you as much as we do or I’d have made you wet yourself,” the big woman told her. “That dam broom just won’t go fast enough for me to keep up with that super broom of yours,” she admitted.
Ber grabbed Ginny by the arm and hauled her up to her feet. The two of them wrapped their arms around each other and walked back to the showers together. No one noticed a woman in a bright green dress watching from the clubhouse at the top of the stadium.
Walter walked up to Professor McGonagall’s office the next night shortly after he had returned from supper time in the Great Hall. He didn’t wait for her to tell him what to do but went and changed into the oversized clothes before she had joined him in the office. When she walked into her office from her private room she was stunned to find a Gorilla, of some forty six stones in weight, sitting on the floor in the middle of her office.
“Walter! Oh my! You startled me. Very good Walter, see I told you that it would get easier. Now let’s see if you can control you Animagus state while you do the things that I ask of you. I want you to pick up the chair near the door and place it in front of the desk, please,” she asked.
The Gorilla knuckle walked over to the chair and, lifting it up with one hand, carried it over to the front of the desk. It came back and sat in front of the Professor and waited for the next instructions.
“Very good Walter, would you bring me my glasses that are on the desk?” she asked again.
Walter walked over to the desk and picked her glasses up. The pressure between his fingers was too great for the professor’s fragile glasses. A distinctive click could be heard as the glasses in the frames snapped from Walter’s power. The great ape walked over to the Professor, handed her the glasses and sat on the floor. The massive ape slowly returned to the small boy on the floor. “I’m sorry Professor; I didn’t mean to break your glasses. I don’t seem to know my own strength,” Walter told her as he sat at her feet, dejected by his failure.
“It’s all right Walter. I can fix them easily enough,” The fine motor controls that you have to get used to when you take on your Animagus form will come with time. You did very well tonight,” she told him as she escorted him out of her office door.
Harry had just come down to breakfast when Kitchi knocked on the front door. Winky walked him into the kitchen and went back to making eggs for Harry and Ginny. “Would Master’s friend want breakfast as well?” she asked as she cracked three more eggs into the frying pan without waiting for an answer. Seeing that the eggs were being prepared, Kitchi took a seat at the table.
“I came over this morning to let you know that the entire Auror’s department has moved out of the Ministry. I hope that you don’t mind but I invited Dawlish to come to Grimmauld Place. We will be running our investigations from there now. We found that the few records that we were maintaining at the Ministry have been rifled through in the last two days. For the sake of the department’s autonomy we’ve removed everything of importance and brought it to your old home. I hope that it’s all right with you, Harry. We just didn’t have anywhere else to go to.”
“That’s fine Kitchi. It doesn’t matter since I’ve been fired from my job. I’ll stay away so as not to get any of you in trouble. I wouldn’t want McLaggen to fire any of the others. They need their jobs,” Harry told him.
“You didn’t hear? The entire Auror’s department has taken a vote of no confidence in the Minister. He fired everyone late last night. That’s exactly what we wanted. He can’t interfere with our investigations anymore. This a major slap in the face for the Minister, they may ask for a recall after this is all said and done,” Kitchi told Harry.
Walter walked into one of the older unused classrooms near Professor McGonagall’s office. He carried a second set of clothes with him into the center of the room. He had locked the door behind himself to make sure that no one could walk in on him while he was attempting to transfigure with his clothes on.
Walter took his shoes off and sat in the center of the room. He had just closed his eyes to focus on his transformation when he heard a man’s voice. He spun around to find that
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Popington was floating a half meter above the floor to his right.
“Who... Who are you?” he asked.
“Young man, I’m your house ghost. You may have heard of me, Sir Nicholas?” the specter inquired.
“Oh, Yeah! I was told that we had a house ghost. It’s just that I didn’t expect to see anyone here. I’m practicing transfiguring myself into my Animagus,” Walter explained.
“Very good, young Walter. Show me!” Sir Nicholas told him.
Walter closed his eyes and after a few minutes started to feel the strange sensation of his hair growing out of his skin. This time there was something different. He felt his shirt tighten and then blend with the skin of his arms, back, shoulders, and chest. When he opened his eyes, he was once again, the massive gorilla. His shirt had been absorbed by his body but his pants were shredded and laying on the floor of the classroom.
The great ape sat there in the center of the classroom for several minutes looking at his arms and chest. He rubbed his legs with his massive hands until the hair stood up from all of the blood rushing into the skin. He closed his eyes and after a few minutes he slowly reverted back to his small boy’s form.
“Very good, Walter. That was excellent,” the ghost complimented him.
“If I had been out in public they would have seen my bottom half. I still can’t change completely yet,” Walter complained.
“Could you change like this last week, Walter?” Sir Nicholas wanted to know.
“Well, no,” the boy admitted.
“I submit to you then that you’ve accomplished a great deal in a short time. I’ve been around for many years and I’ve seen many students transform into their Animagus. I tell you that it has always taken them months to accomplish their transformations. Except, there were four students about thirty years ago, that were exceptionally good at it; but that’s another story,” Nicholas told this young student.
“Try again, Walter!”
The boy changed his pants and sat back on the floor. He focused on the feeling that he had had when his shirt was absorbed by his skin and tried to make himself feel that same sensation on his legs. He, once again, felt his body changing but this time it was different. There was a tingling of his skin for several minutes as he transformed into his animal shape. When he opened his eyes he was the great ape, once again, his cloths were gone!
“So far we haven’t been able to find anything out about the explosion in the Ministry. We were surprised to find that the explosion wasn’t as large as it should have been. After we went to see the statue of Neptune in Italy we realized that the explosion should have been much more powerful than it had been. The wizard’s statue in the Ministry’s atrium was some six times larger than the Neptune statue, yet it was only a third of the explosive force,” Dawlish explained to Harry and the other men around the table in the kitchen at twelve Grimmauld Place.
“If you remember the statue in the muggle’s Parliament building, had solid gold inlays for the face and hands. The explosion was much more violent than it should have been,” Kitchi added.
“The statue of Neptune was made of bronze, and we know that the statue in the Parliament building had some gold to it. It seems to me that the type of material that the statue was composed of had some effect on the force of the explosion that the statue experienced,” Harry pointed out.
The Auror’s around the table sat and considered Harry analysis. “Harry, if that’s the case then why wasn’t the explosion of the wizard in the atrium much greater. The amount of gold must have been several times more than in the muggle’s statue,” Ron hit a point that no one else saw.
“Kitchi, who had the new statue of the wizard rebuilt and returned to the center of the atrium after Voldermort destroyed it?” Harry asked.
“It was, I believe, McLaggen. He was put in charge of having it rebuilt and returned to the fountain. I remember that many people were impressed by how fast he was able to get the statue fixed and returned,” Dawlish answered the question.
“I think that I’m going to take a closer look at our statue. I have a sneaky hunch that the statue isn’t what we think it is,” Harry told the others.
“What do you mean by that?” Ron wanted to know.
“I don’t think that it’s made of gold. I bet that it’s just bronze or iron. That’s why it didn’t explode with the force that it should have. The only reason that it caused such destruction is that the statue was so large. If it had been made of gold I believe that it would have destroyed the Ministry and made a rather large hole in the street above,” Harry theorized.
“Harry, if what you say is true then where is the gold?” Dawlish wanted to know.
“Your guess is as good as mine. We’ll have to investigate what happened to the original statue that was damaged that night that Dumbledore fought Voldermort. I saw how much damage there was and I don’t think that it could have been repaired as quickly as it was. I think that someone may have cut corners,” Harry surmised.
Walter walked up the stairs to Professor McGonagall’s office. When he reached the landing, he leaned against the wall and remembered what it felt like earlier that day in the classroom with Nick. Within a minute or so a massive silver back gorilla stood outside of the Headmistress’s door. He moved to the door and knocked twice with knuckles that were several times larger than his small, skinny fingers.
“Come in,” McGonagall called from her desk.
The great ape turned the door knob and knuckle walked into her office. He stepped over to her desk and took her glasses off of the ink tray and handed it to her. Once she took the unbroken glasses from his fingers, Walter sat on the floor and within a few minutes was, once again, a small, fully dressed boy.
“Wonderful Walter, I see that you’ve been practicing. Do you feel that you need anymore lessons with me?” his Professor asked.
“If I could have a few more, Professor, I need to be able to change quicker than I’m doing. I also need to develop my sensitivity, the last thing I want to do is to hurt someone by applying too much force if I go to hold someone,” Walter admitted to her.
“Very well, Walter. We’ll continue for a few more lessons, after which we’ll go to the Ministry and have you registered. I can’t wait to see their faces when you transform. It will be quite interesting,” Professor McGonagall offered.
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