Chapter 6 : Back to Hogwarts
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“Seamus, Dean, go back to the Leaky Cauldron and please send your message to Robards and Obliviator Headquarters. Me and Ron will stay here,” said Harry. Dean and Seamus nodded and left. Then Harry took a step towards the four Muggles and said,
“Eh, we are plainclothes policemen. He is a culprit,” Harry pointed to the bound man.
The four Muggle spectators were still staring at Harry’s wand suspiciously.
“Eh, it’s a new weapon,” said Harry. Ron looked anxious. Just as they started to think about casting ‘Imperio’ on the muggles, two wizards and two witches arrived with Dean and Seamus.
“Thank Merlin! You were quick to send your Patronus!”Harry said relieved.
“We were lucky. They were there to have lunch. So we only sent a Patronus to Robards.” said Dean.
“I knew the color of the Obliviator’s robes. They were Irish green,” grinned Seamus.
“Stand back!” one of the wizards in green robes shouted. He took out his wand and casted
“We are keeping other Muggles away,” explained another wizard in green robes.
Then he and the other two witches in green robes took out their wands and pointed to four Muggle spectators, “Obliviate.”
Soon four Muggle spectators left there as if they remembered other important business.
“We have to learn those charms,” said Ron.
“Yeah.” Harry agreed. “Hermione is good at casting ‘Obliviate’. We can ask her to teach us how to cast the spell on this weekend,”
They dragged the bound man to the Leaky Cauldron and disapparated together to the Atrium. They got to their feet in the center of the Atrium as Williamson and Dawlish approached them with wary eyes.
“Potter, was he a suspect?” Dawlish nodded towards the bound man.
“Yes, sir,” Harry answered.
He glanced at the bound man. At first, he thought he had never seen him before, but upon closer scrutiny his face looked familiar.
“Well, take him along to Auror Headquarters,” Dawlish said pointing the hearth in the Atrium.
“Via Floo Powder?” Harry asked.
“Oh, here’s an emergency button,” Williamson pushed the purple button on the wall near the hearth.
“Come on!” Williamson beckoned them in the hearth.
They went back to the Auror Headquarters with the suspect. The other trainees seemed to have gone to the Gathering Hall.
“Now all of you, come with me,” Williamson took them into the back room.
“It’s an investigation room,” he opened the door. Inside there were many vials on the shelf. Harry guessed they were Veritaserum. The liquid inside vials were all clear like water.
“Sir, do you use the potion?” Harry asked.
“Not yet,” said Dawlish.
He let the bound man sit down on the chair. The eyes of the man were vacant. Harry suspected the man was under the Imperius Curse.
“What’s your name?” Dawlish asked the man.
“Terence Higgs,” The man answered.
The name sounded familiar to Harry. Then Ron shouted,
“He was a Slytherin Seeker before Malfoy seized his position!”
“Why did you try to attack Harry Potter?” Williamson bent over and asked.
Terence tried to answer but suddenly he looked confused and he got into a panic.
“Confundus Charm,” Dawlish grumbled.
Williamson got to his feet and walked to the shelf and picked up one of the vials.
As Dawlish forced Terence’s mouth open, and Williamson poured three drops inside it carefully.
“Why did you try to attack Harry Potter?” Williamson asked again.
“’Cause my father was taken captive by the remaining Death Eaters. They cursed me and forced me to attack Potter,” Terence spoke in a flat voice.
“Where is their hiding place?” asked Dawlish.
“I don’t know. I was in the Quidditch pitch of the Falmouth Falcons. They threaten me there and they cursed me,” Terence spoke in an expressionless voice.
“Do you know any other vital information about the remaining Death Eaters?” asked Williamson.
“I heard they were plotting to curse Quidditch professional players who know Harry Potter,” Terence spoke.
Harry was in a state of shock now. Trouble had found him again.
“Well, we have to discuss the matter with Gawain and Kingsley,” said Dawlish.
“Right. I will send him off to the Falmouth Falcons. Trainees, join in the Gathering Hall,” said Williamson and who let Terence stand up and cast ‘Finite’ on him.
Harry had just hit upon an idea and said,
“Sir, please wait. We need his memories of when he encountered the Death Eaters. Do you have a Pensieve in this office? ”
“Pensie.. what’s that?” asked Williamson. He looked dubious.
“I reckon what Potter is talking about is a magical tool or something in Hogwarts. We don’t have it here, Potter,” said Dawlish.
“The Pensieve is in the office of the Headmistress. Sir, we need his memories. Can I skip the training and take him to Hogwarts now?” Harry asked. Williamson and Dawlish put on questioning looks for a while, but then Williamson grinned and said,
“Well, I heard from Kingsley your instincts are the reason we’ve organized Auror Headquarters. Yes, you can take him to Hogwarts with Weasley now. Report about what you get from him through the Floo Network. And from tomorrow on, you’ll be assigned to guard Hogwarts. Don’t take your eyes off of Draco Malfoy. The two of you take naps in turns. You’ll stay at night in the Head Boy’s room at night.”
“What? Eh, sorry, sir. Why will we have to stay at night with Malfoy?” Ron asked without concealing his shock.
“You learned why today, Weasley, didn’t you? The students and graduate students who know Potter are targets of the remaining Death Eaters. And I heard Draco Malfoy helped the Death Eaters to break into Hogwarts three years ago,” Dawlish said firmly.
Like it or not, Harry and Ron accepted the order to guard their old rival.
Harry, Ron and Terence stood in the front of the hearth of Auror Headquarters. Harry pushed the purple button and the three of them moved from there to the hearth of the Atrium. They stepped out of the hearth, then Harry and Ron, holding Terence between them, disapparated to the gate of Hogwarts. In front of the gate Harry sent his Patronus. His silver Stag leapt and left to the Headmistress’s office. Soon McGonagall herself came tripping down to the gate. She opened the gate and beamed at them.
“Welcome back, Potter, Weasley and..?”
“Good afternoon, Professor. He is Terence Higgs. He was a Slytherin Seeker seven years ago. He’s a professional Seeker for the Falmouth Falcons,” Harry said.
“Oh, long time no see, Higgs. Well, please come in,” McGonagall let them enter. They followed her to the statue of the gargoyle. McGonagall said the new password,
“Treacle Tart.” Then a spiral staircase transported them upstairs.
“Treacle Tart?” asked Harry to McGonagall. McGonagall beamed at Harry and said,
“Your birthday party refreshed me.”
Harry blushed as he remembered the scene of him kissing Ginny.
“What did she mean?” Ron looked at him dubiously.
“Nothing,” said Harry.
They entered the office; McGonagall strode to the cabinet where the Pensieve was kept, placed the stone basin upon her desk and said,
“Please hand Terence his wand.”
Ron took out Terence’s wand and handed it to him. Terence was puzzled over what to do and said, “How..?”
Harry glanced back and looked up to see the portrait of Dumbledore. Dumbledore in the portrait was smiling. Harry nodded and said,
“Terence, touch the tip of your wand to your temple and keep an image in your mind of when you were threatened by the remaining Death Eaters.”
Terence touched the tip of his wand to his temple timidly. McGonagall handed over a tiny, empty glass of bottle to Harry. Harry held the tiny bottle near the head of Terence’s head with his left hand, and he held his own wand over Terence’s shoulder with his right hand and said,
“Pull your memory slowly with your wand.”
Terence closed his eyes as he tried to recall his memory, then he pulled a silver thread of memory from his temple. Harry helped him pull the silver, long thread, lifted the silver substance into the tiny bottle with his wand, and looked up at the portrait of Dumbledore again. Dumbledore in the portrait spoke,
“Well done, my boy. I think you did it. ”
Terence opened his eyes and looked around and said,
“Who was it?”
Harry poured Terence’s memory into the wide basin with its runic markings around the edge.
“Now, Ron bow over!” said Harry.
Harry and Ron bowed over the Pensieve. They felt their feet leave the office floor; they fell through darkness and landed in a Quidditch pitch. The flag of the Falmouth Falcons fluttered in the wind.
Terence was hovering in the air holding a snitch. When he tried to release the snitch, three hooded wizards apparated into the pitch. Their faces were masked. Two of them were large. Harry reckoned they were Crabbe and Goyle. Then Ron whispered to Harry.
“They are Crabbe and Goyle. And who, do you think, he is?”
“ I’m not sure.” said Harry.
One of the large Death Eaters took out his wand. He swished his wand and Terence’s snitch vanished. Terence hurtled down on the ground.
“Where’s my snitch?” shouted Terence.
The Death Eater who vanished the snitch said,
“If you killed Harry Potter, your snitch would be back to you.”
“And your father would be back, ” The other large Death Eaters said.
He grabbed the mask of the smallest hooded man. As the man’s face was revealed, Terence looked thunderstruck and murmured,
Terence’s father was standing with his eyes vacant.
“We caught him in Norfolk. He was hunting Nogtails. We cursed him with ‘Imperius’. Bertie Higgs brought us Galleons from Higgs’s vault in Gringotts,” said the other Death Eater.
“Please release my father. I’ll do anything but I can’t kill Harry Potter. He was an excellent Seeker at Hogwarts, and he defeated Dark Lord many times. Nobody will be able to beat him,” said Terence in his trembling voice.
“Potter didn’t save my son’s life. He rescued Greg and Draco. But he abandoned Vincent!” roared Crabbe’s father.
“Sorry for that,” said Goyle’s father.
“Bloody hell! It was Vincent Crabbe himself who cast ‘Fiendfyre’ that killed himself!” Ron shouted.
“It’s just a memory of Terence, Ron. He can’t hear us,” said Harry.
Then Crabbe’s father held up his wand and began to curse Terence and said,
“Rookwood is right. We can make Galleons by using Quidditch professional players. And it’s a good idea indeed to use them who know Harry Potter. It is easy to catch them in the pitch.” The voice faded out and everything went black.
Harry and Ron landed back on the office floor. McGonagall and Terence, who had seated themselves,stared at the two young men.
“Well?” inquired McGonagall.
“I have to report what we learned to our Head. Can I use the Floo Network?”
After Harry’s report, Robards spoke,
“Aurors and the other trainees will be stationed at Gringotts and all the professional Quidditch team pitches in Britain and Ireland.”
Harry doubted if there were enough Aurors to cover all the important spots. Robards continued,
“We shouldn’t get Terence back to the Falmouth Falcons until his father has been released.”
Then Gawin talked about that with McGonagall.
Harry and Ron escorted Terence to the Great Hall.
“I’m starving. It’s brilliant to have the feast at Hogwarts,” Ron said delighted.
“Yeah, after seven years passed. I’m happy to eat dinner in the Great Hall at Hogwarts again, though my father is still a captive,” Terence said.
“We will get your father back,” Harry declared.
They opened the heavy door of the Great Hall. As Harry looked up at the enchanted ceiling, which was black and full of twinkling stars, there were several screams, and yells and whispers:
“They are Potter and Weasley!”
“It’s Harry Potter!”
“How handsome they are in Auror robes!”
Then a voice called,
“Harry! Ron! I wanted to see you again.”
It was Neville Longbottom. Neville was wearing dark brown robes. He raced to meet them.
“Brilliant, Neville. You look like a professor!” said Ron astonished.
“Oh, you, too. You look like a decent Auror in your suitable robes,” said Neville.
“I’m not a professor. I’m helping Professor Sprout.”
“Wow, brilliant! You’re teaching the students here!” said Harry.
They marched straight to the long Gryffindor table, where Hermione and Ginny were standing on tiptoe.
“We thought the two of you would come here tomorrow,” Hermione said delightedly and now hugged Harry.
Ron cleared his throat. Then Ron was hugged Hermione tightly. Harry turned; Ginny gave him a warm, bright smile. Since starting his new life at Grimmauld Place and being absorbed in his Auror training, he had nearly forgotten how beautiful she was! Not the Ginny in the two-way mirror, but the real Ginny! Her blazing countenance drew him in until he almost kissed her. Several students wolf-whistled and giggled nervously.
“How long are you going to satre at each other? Ha?” Ron said.
“Eh, well, Terence, are you O.K. with us at this Gryffindor table?” Harry asked Terence.
Terence shrugged and said,
“No problem. My house was Slytherin but now I belong to Falmouth Falcons, so it’s O.K. with me.” Terence sat down at the table with them.
“Wow, cool you are. Terence Higgs, a Seeker for the Falmouth Falcons!” There was a flash.
Dennis Creevy took a picture. Then he took a picture of Harry and Ron.
Harry, Ron and Terence reached across the other girl students who were giggling, grabbed a couple of chicken legs and chips and ate them. They enjoyed the feast very much. The Hall echoed with bright laughter and talk and the clatter of knives and forks.
As Harry glanced back to the Slytherin table to find Draco Malfoy, he saw two Aurors, Hestia and Dedalus were sitting there. Hestia noticed Harry and waved her hand, smiling. Dedalus was trying to talk to Malfoy, but Malfoy seemed to completely ignore him.
“So where will you stay? ” asked Neville.
“I don’t know. Are there vacant beds?” said Harry.
“No, I’m sorry. This year, seventh years and eighth years, I mean, our year students are studying here, too. So we don’t have any extra beds now. But you can sleep in the Gryffindor Common rooms. You can sleep on the sofa or I’ll ask Headmistress to lend you sleeping bags.”
Neville stood up and walked up to the platform where the professors were eating. McGonagall came down to them with Neville and said,
“Sorry, Potter ,Weasley. I’ll lend you sleeping bags. So please stay in the Common Room tonight. We have one vacant teacher’s office so Terence, please use that until you can get back to your team camp.”
“Eh, professor, are they going to sleep in the Common Room every weekend?” Hermione protested.
“No, they aren’t. After tomorrow night, they’ll stay in the Head Boy’s room on their duty. The Head Boy’s room is very large,” McGonagall smiled and left.
Hermione and Ginny looked stunned and said,
“Are you going to stay at night with Malfoy?”
Ron huffed to hear that.
“Hermione, you didn’t tell me Malfoy , a git became a Head Boy!”
They came up to the entrance of the portrait of Fat Lady.
“Oh, the rumor that the boys who saved the Wizarding World came back was right. Welcome back, my boys, you look so handsome in your dark red robes. Password?” said Fat Lady.
“Harry Potter!” said Hermione aloud.
“Is that a password?” Harry asked in surprise.
“You are the Gryffindor hero of Hogwarts. I’m very proud of you,” said Fat Lady and she opened.
“So what do you think of Malfoy as a Head Boy? Why didn’t you protest about it?” said Ron irritated.
“Because it was Headmistress’s final decision. We are loyal to her. Wizards and Witches in this new era should be cooperative in renovating this Wizarding World. Muggle-born or Pure-blood doesn’t matter at all! Wizards or Witches or Elves doesn’t matter either!” Hermione was now shouting.
“But…” Ron was cut off by Dennis Creevy. He told Hermione there was a meeting of Prefects and Head Boy.
Hermione hurried out of the Common Room. Harry asked,
“Are you alright, Ron?”
Ron smiled wryly.
“Well, I was just worrying about her. I don’t want her to be tortured like last year, you know?” said Ron.
Harry understood Ron meant the incident at Malfoy Manor last year.
“You don’t have to worry about that, Ron,” Ginny said.
“Why do you say that?” Ron asked impatiently.
“’Cause Malfoy is a little bit different this year.”
“How different?” Harry asked her.
“Well it’s hard to say. You’ll find out soon enough,” said Ginny.
Dazzling morning sunshine streamed through the net curtains of the window of the Gryffindor Common Room. Harry felt someone’s lips on his. He stirred and opened his eyes. His right hand fumbled for his glasses. He found them and he shoved them on. He blinked and Ginny came into focus, smiling down at him.
“Morning, Harry, ” she said.
“Morning, Ginny. What time is it? ” Harry asked.
“It’s six. It’s a lovely fine day. We’ll have Quidditch tryouts this morning! Can you come to the pitch?” Ginny was wearing scarlet Gryffindor team robes.
Ron stirred and woke up.
“Morning, mate. Is it time to change shifts?” Ron asked giving a big yawn.
“Not yet. After breakfast our shift will start,” Harry answered pulling off his grey shirt.
He seized his wand out of the pocket of his Auror robes that were folded by his sleeping bag and cast,
Another grey shirt hurtled from his duffel bag Kreacher had brought for him the night before.
“So yes, we can watch your team tryouts, Ginny,” Harry said putting on his shirt.
As Ginny got to her feet, staggered a little, her face turned a deep shade of pink
, and she said,
“Well, I’ll be in the pitch waiting for you.”
Harry was watched Ginny from the stand with Ron. Ginny stood in the center of the pitch. Harry felt a swooping sensation as he watched her. Her red long hair fluttered in the wind and her radiant, beautiful appearance reminded of him a blazing goddess.
Ginny started a test. The applicants began to fly around the pitch. Then she tested five Chasers. She chose two Chasers: Demelza Robins and another witch whose name Harry didn’t know. Then she tested four Beaters and three Keepers. At the end of the test Ginny descended from the air down to the spot where Harry and Ron had been watching.
“Now I must choose the best Seeker. Harry, help me,” Ginny said.
“What do you want me to do?” asked Harry.
“Race with them to catch the snitch,” Ginny said.
“O.K. Can I borrow your broom?” Harry asked.
The snitch was released into the sky. Harry mounted Ginny’s broom the faster than any of them, thanks to Aberforth’s training, and shot up into the air. The other three applicants chased after Harry. Harry dove down at full speed and then ascended back into the air sky. The action of Ginny’s Clean Sweep wasn’t as smooth as his Firebolt but it wasn’t bad. Soon he found the snitch high in the sky. As he accelerated the speed and nearly reached the snitch, he realized that a boy whose hair was as black as his own was catching up with him. But Harry was faster and he finally got the snitch with his right hand. They descended down together and they dismounted their brooms.
“What’s your name?” asked Harry.
“Andrew Peverell,” the boy answered.
“Good Job, Andrew. Ginny will choose you as a Seeker.”
Harry thought his last name sounded familiar and asked,
“Where are you from?”
“Godric’s Hollow,” The boy said.
“I’m in the second year. Last year I wasn’t here. ‘cause… you know, the Dark Lord thing. I’m Muggle-born. My stepfather’s last name was Peverell. He died last December protecting me and my mother from snatchers who had hunting Muggle-born wizards and witches.”
Author's Note Brilliant beta reading by Bardic Magic.
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