Chapter 5 : The First Training Week
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“Ask your tree.”
“Ron? Is that you?” No, it wasn’t Ron. His father, James? No, it wasn’t James.“Who are you?” Harry tried to remember the voice. Just then his snitch alarm clock rang.
On his second day as a trainee Auror he used Floo Powder to get from Grimmauld Place to the Ministry directly, so as to avoid public attention. He stepped out of the hearth in the Auror Headquarters and brushed off before noticing Dean Thomas standing there.
“Morning, Harry. It’ll get expensive if you start using the Floo network to get to work every day,” said Dean.
“Morning, Dean. I don’t mind as long as I get my privacy. Besides, I can afford it,” said Harry.
“No kidding. You’re one of the five richest wizards in the world. Here, take a look.”Dean held out the Daily Prophet to Harry.
Harry hadn’t had time to read it at Grimmauld Place. He took it from Dean and read the headline. The front page picture was Harry again. Harry in the picture was dressed in dark red robes. So someone took his picture yesterday.
The Boy Who Saved Galleons
Harry Potter, The Boy Who Saved the Wizarding World
Five Richest Wizards (see page 2)
It was bizarre. He didn’t know how much money was in his vault himself. How did they know how many Galleons he had? When he flipped to the next page, Seamus and Ron came in together.
“Good morning, Harry. I didn’t know you were such a celebrity,” Seamus smirked at him.
“It’s not just you. Zabini’s also on the list,” said Ron.
Harry turned his gaze back on the Daily prophet. He found Zabini on the page, too.
Then the other trainees and Aurors came in the office one after another.
“Morning, lads. Meet Proudfoot and Savage,” said Gawin Robards. “I’ll introduce Williamson later.”
Proudfoot and Savage were middle-aged wizards just like Robards and Kinsley. Harry remembered Williamson having a pony tail longer than Bill’s and wearing red robes and boots.
“They will teach you ‘Stealth and Tracking’ in the morning. Aberforth, who is now training the new Hit Wizards, will train you in the afternoon. We’ll divide you into group A and group B. Group A : Abbott, Bones, Boots, Corner, Finnigan, Thomas. Group B: Finch-Fletchley, Goldstein, Potter, Weasley, Zabini, Vane. Now go to the Gathering Hall.”
They moved into the Gathering Hall, which had been divided into two rooms by a wall.
“This way,” Williamson guided group B into one room. They were all astounded to see a forest inside.
“Did they cast some kind of Illusion Charm or something?” Ron muttered.
“Dunno,”Harry murmured back.
“Fugitives could hide in a forest like this. Today Dawlish and I will play the role of fugitives. Dawlish is already hiding. Your task today is to find us and bind us with magic. You got it?” asked Williamson. Harry and other trainees nodded.
“Okay. Let’s begin,” said Williamson and he vanished.
“What? Did he Disapparate? We can’t Disapparate inside the Ministry, can we?” Harry remembered Susan telling them they couldn’t on their first day. If Williamson hadn’t Disapparated, how had he vanished, Harry wondered.
“What should we do ? You’re in charge, Harry,” said Ron.
“Well, there are some possibilities. My guess is that Williamson used a Disillusionment Charm’or ‘Bedazzling Hex or something,” said Harry.
“Does Williamson have an Invisibility Cloak?” Justin suggested.
“Maybe..,” said Harry.
Zabini spoke up. “If he had an Invisibility Cloak, he could also cast an Obliteration Charm. Look,” he said, and he pointed at the spot where Williamson had vanished.
There were no foot prints around the spot.
“Zabini is right. Can someone cast ‘Homenum Revelio’ or ‘Intruder Charm’?” asked Harry.
“They are advanced spells. Can you cast them, Harry?” asked Justin.
Harry tried to remember how Hermione and Bill cast the spell in Grimmauld Place. He took out his wand and cast the spell around the spot where Williamson had vanished. He thought he could see the shadow of the man, but soon it disappeared.
“Sorry, it’s too late to cast the spell, or my spell might not be strong enough to reveal him,” said Harry biting his lip.“Does anybody know how to cast an Intruder Charm?”
The other trainees shook their heads. Harry remembered seeing instructions about Intruder Charms in the theory book ‘Stealth and Tracking’, but he hadn’t cast the spell before, so he wasn’t confident in his abilities. He strained to see through the darkness of the trees around them. Something was moving in the shadows. Harry pointed his wand toward the spot and instinctively cast “Homorphus”. A flash of blue-white light erupted from Harry’s wand. Then an animal, a red fox, rushed out of the bush; then, a head was shooting upwards from the fox; limbs sprouting; then a man – Dawlish - was standing in front of them. Nobody could move, astonished, except Ron, who took out his wand and said, “Incarcerous!” His wand produced a rope and bound Dawlish.
Dawlish said, “Good job, Potter and Weasley.”
“Blimey, he was an Animagus!” said Ron.
“Nice team work,” Dawlish said,“But your mission is not completed. Find Williamson.” He let Harry cast “Relashio” to release him.
“Go on,” said Dawlish, standing up.
“I didn’t know you could cast a spell to transform an Animagus back to a wizard!” Ron said.
“Well, I learned it from the theory book and I’ve practiced it a little bit before. Sirius and Remus cast it on Pettigrew once, too. But I couldn’t cast ‘Homenum Revelio’. I need to learn it from Hermione,” said Harry.
“Right. She could definitely teach it to you,” said Ron.
“Your girlfriend is the cleverest girl at Hogwarts,” said Anthony, who was listening to their conversation. “I envy you, Weasley.”
Ron cleared his throat, a look of triumph on his face. Harry noticed Zabini’s scornful expression and said, “Well, if we can’t cast Intruder Charms, any ideas?”
Romilda Vane put up her hand.
“Romilda?” said Harry.
“How about casting Cheering Charms?” Romilda suggested, battering her eyelashes.
“Eh, well, where?” Harry asked.
“If all six of us cast the spell all over the place, then Williamson will start to laugh so that we can find him,” said Romilda.
“That’s actually not a bad idea. But the spells might hit us,” said Harry. He really wanted to learn ‘Intruder Charm’. Then he thought hard for a while. He was now flipping through the theory book inside his brain - there might have been some useful spells in it. Then he remembered Cedric’s father, Amos Diggory, cast a spell to detect that Winky, the house-elf, had cast ‘Morsmordre’. Harry held up his wand again and cast ‘Deletrius’ at the spot where Williamson had vanished. His footprints appeared. They tracked the footprints and reached the spot where the footprints stopped, then Harry shouted, "Romilda, now!”
Romilda nodded and cast a Cheering Charm. Though still invisible, Williamson started to laugh. Justin grabbed at the spot where the laughter was coming from and pulled away an Invisibility Cloak, revealing Williamson. Anthony cast ‘Incarcerous’. Then Dawlish walked up to him and cast ‘Finite’, ending both the Cheering Charm and the Incarcerous Spell.
“Nice team work,” Williamson said with a thumbs up.
Harry observed Williamson’s Invisibility Cloak. It wasn’t transparent like his, but the color was dark green and merged into the forest.
At lunchtime Romilda approached Harry. “I know an exclusive restaurant. You can avoid public attention and enjoy your lunch there. Will you come with me?” she said, giving him a meaningful look.
“Well, eh , thank you but…” Harry hesitated to say “Yes.”
Romilda noticed Harry’s hesitation and added quickly,“Blaise is coming, too.”
“Oh, is he?” This could be a chance to find out Zabini’s true motives behind becoming an Auror.
“Well, can Ron come? ” said Harry.
“Of course, he can.”Romilda smiled and added,“Yesterday Blasie told me that Weasley’s a Pureblood. So it’s okay. ”
“What?” said Harry frowning at Romilda.
“Oh, I guess this topic is a taboo because of his Muggle-born girlfriend. Sorry,” Romilda shrugged. She tugged on Harry’s arm and said, “Oh, Blaise is coming. Let’s go down together.”
Harry shouted to Ron who was talking with Seamus.
“Oi, Ron! Come here, we’re leaving for lunch!”
Ron rushed to join them and asked, “Where are we going?”
“Some fancy restaurant.”
Harry, Ron, Blasie and Romilda got on the lift. As it descended, some wizards and witches got in. Harry noticed that they whispered not only his name but also Zabini’s name. When they got off the lift, they went to the Atrium so they could Disapparate. They Apparated into a manor house.
“Blimey, it looks expensive. Do you have..?” Ron hesitated to ask about money.
“Yes, I do. Don’t worry,” Harry whispered back.
A neat house-elf came to them and they followed him. He looked like Dobby. Harry missed him. When they’d been seated, the house-elf said, “Today’s special is Scottish rope-grown mussels, smoked salmon, chips, and buttered French beans. Desserts are cherry and apple crumble.”
They ordered the special.
“Champagne?” Zabini asked the others.
“No, thank you. We’re on duty,” Harry reminded him.
“I mean champagne cider,” said Zabini.
“Oh, okay,” said Harry. Silence fell upon them. The house-elf brought them four glasses of champagne cider.
Eventually Romilda asked Zabini,“So, how does your mother know Gawain?”
The atmosphere suddenly went tense. Zabini opened his mouth.
“I don’t know. I stayed at Hogwarts until the Battle of Hogwarts started.”
Harry cleared his throat and asked, “Why did you choose to become an Auror?”
Zabini stared at Harry for a while before answering, “To protect an old friend.”
Ron looked interested, “Who’s your old friend?”
Zabini looked hesitant, but eventually answered Ron as well. “Draco Malfoy.”
Harry and Ron exchanged a look.
“How is Draco?” asked Romilda.
“He’s in his seventh year at Hogwarts. He’s a Head Boy.” answered Zabini.
“What?” said Harry. Ron looked surprised, too. Just then, the house-elf who looked like Dobby delivered their food and made a deep bow. All the dishes were very good. They were eating quietly. Then Romilda spoke to Harry.
“Where do you live?” She was now battering her lashes.
“Eh, in central London,” said Harry.
“Which part?” Romilda asked.
Ron sent Harry a meaningful look that clearly said ‘Don’t tell her your address nor phone number.’ Just then Harry felt a vibration from the moleskin pouch hung around his neck.
“Excuse me. I’ll be right back,” he said, getting to his feet. He went out of the room to the hallway of the manor house.
In the hallway, he rummaged around the pouch for the vibrating thing. It was his two-way mirror. When he looked in it, he saw Ginny.
“Hi, Harry. Is it alright for us to be talking right now?”
“Hi, Ginny, yeah, it’s lunch time. How’s school?”
“Good. We’re going to have tryouts for the Quidditch team this weekend.”
“Wow, brilliant. Ron and I will be there.”
“Yeah, I know. Hermione told me about that. She heard about it from Ron yesterday,”
“Yesterday? Why didn’t she tell Ron that Malfoy’s Head Boy thing?” said Harry.
“Oh, you two didn’t know that?” said Ginny.
“No, we didn’t. We heard from Zabini about five minutes ago,” said Harry.
“Well, I asked McGonagall about that this morning,” Ginny said.
“What did she say?”
Ginny shrugged, “She just told me to protect Malfoy. I don’t get it. Anyway, how’s Romilda? ” Ginny said.
“What? Eh, yeah, she’s fine,” said Harry.
“Really? She skipped her N.E.W.T.s to become a trainee Auror. I doubt she is cut out for it,” said Ginny.
“You said… Is she a year younger than me?” asked Harry in surprise.
“Yes, she is. Oh, Harry you didn’t know that? Has she ever been in a class with you at Hogwarts?” Ginny rolled her eyes.
“Oh.. you’re right,” Harry sighed. He wondered why Kingsley had allowed her to join up. Maybe Auror Headquarters were really short of hands. He suddenly really missed Tonks and Moody.
In the afternoon they went back to the Gathering Hall. It had been changed from the forest back to a normal hall. There were twelve old brooms hovering at waist-level. Aberforth had them mount and dismount the brooms several times. Harry thought it was easy at the first time, but in the end he understood that to mount and to dismount at full speed was a very important skill. Then Aberforth trained them to take their wands out of their pockets as fast as they could;then he let them think where to hold or hide their own wands on their bodies; then he had them practice summoning their Patronuses and sending messages with them; then he told them to cast Expelliarmus on each other and made them summon their own wands back in pairs. It took time for Harry to be able to cast ‘Accio Wand’ after being disarmed by Ron. At the end of the class, Aberforth let them compete with each other to see who could get back their wand fastest after being Disarmed. Harry tied Ron for first place. Dean was the second. Third was Zabini.
After a short break Aberforth said,“Now take off your robes.”Then he made them all run around in the hall, which was followed by a workout: push -ups, a sit-ups and back extensions.
Then the other Aurors joined them. All the trainees dashed across the hall, dodging stunning spells from the other Aurors. After the exercises they all felt exhausted.
Harry went back to Grimmauld Place through the hearth of George’s shop by Floo Powder, because Romilda Vane had been watching him, trying to figure out where he lived. When he stepped out of the hearth of the kitchen in Grimmauld Place, Andromeda was singing a lullaby to Teddy. Harry got to his feet, brushed off soot, and was touched by the beautiful nursery song. Teddy was sleeping peacefully in Andromeda’s arms.
“I tried lots of lullabies, but this one puts him right to sleep,” she said.
“What language is that?” asked Harry.
“Gaelic, I think. I learned it from my nurse when I was a small child. My nurse, Mary, was from Ireland. She was probably from a Druid family. Her hair was as red as your girlfriend’s! I don’t know the meaning of this song in detail though. Mary told me the song was about a wizard and his wife, merpeople and their children. I feel magic in the song when I’m singing. How was your training?” said Andromeda.
“I’m a little bit tired but the training was brilliant,” said Harry.
On Thursday morning, Harry took out his Invisibility Cloak from his wardrobe and Apparated into the Atrium. Wearing the Cloak, he went down the hallway to the lift. Nobody noticed Harry until he reached the door of the Auror Headquarters. When Harry took off his cloak in front of the door, Ron recognized him from behind.
“Whoa, Harry. Good morning , mate. You wore your Invisibility Cloak.”
“Yeah, I should have used this from the first day. It’s handy to avoid attention,” Harry grinned.
For the third day of training, group B followed Proudfoot and Savage to the Gathering Hall. They learned how to cast the Disillusionment Charm to camouflage themselves. They changed the color and style of their hair, the color of their skin and their clothes. They also learned how to cast a Bedazzling Hex to conceal themselves like Williamson had done on Tuesday. At lunch time Romilda asked Harry about going to manor house again, but he declined politely. Harry, Ron, Dean and Seamus went out to eat lunch in Muggle London. They took off their Auror robes and Harry and Ron cast Bedazzling Hexes on themselves. They removed the spell when they reached the exit of the Leaky Cauldron. Dean took them to an Indian restaurant called ‘Cinnamon’ near Charing Cross Road. They ordered South Indian chicken stew and brown basmati rice.
“Where are you going to be posted on weekends?” Harry asked Dean and Seamus.
“We’re assigned to Hogsmeade,” said Dean.
“Where will you stay?” asked Ron.
“The Three Broomsticks,” said Seamus. Ron looked envious. Harry remembered Ron’s crush on Madam Rosmerta a few years ago.
They paid and left the restaurant. On their back to the Leaky Cauldron, Harry sensed someone following them. Harry glanced back. There was a man chasing them, a wand in his hand.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry shouted, pointing his wand at the man.
The man’s wand flew out of his hand. Then Ron and Dean pointed their wands at the man and shouted,
The man fell to the ground, bound in ropes.
“What do we do?” Seamus asked. “We have to report this to Gawain and Obliviator Headquarters.” He nodded towards the bound man on the ground and called their attention to the Muggle spectators around them.
“Right you are, Seamus,” muttered Harry.
Harry was now counting Muggles. One, two, three, four Muggles. They were whispering to each other.
Author's Note: Awesome beta reading by Bardic Magic.
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