Slughorn sat down on a squashy chintz arm chair in the office. McGonagall urged other four to sit down. Gwenog sat down on a chintz arm chair and said,
“Last year was the hardest year for Quidditch professional teams in Britain and Ireland. All Muggle-born players were hiding or hunted by snatchers and Death Eaters.”
“Our heaviest blow was we’ve lost our former team coach Philbert Deverill who also played as a Seeker in his younger days,” said Michael.
“Though he was from Half-blood, he fought for his Muggle wife and his stepchild who was Muggle born and he was murdered,” said Michael, showing his distressed look.
Harry hit the clue when he remembered the conversation with Andrew after tryouts and said,
“Wait, was Philbert Deverill .., Professor McGonagall, was he Andrew’s father?” Harry asked McGonagall.
“Yes, he was. He was Andrew’s stepfather. Andrew’s real last name is Deverill. They changed their last name into Peverell when they were hiding from snatchers and Death Eaters. His pitiful mother is afraid of the remaining Death Eaters so Andrew keeps his last name, Peverell,” said McGonagall.
Michael lowered his voice and continued,
“Our team Seeker, Benjy Williams who was Half-blood, was tortured by Death Eaters for his refusing to tell where Phil and his family were hiding. He survived but he can’t play any longer. Quidditch Professional League has already started . We have got a star Seeker but it’s not enough. We are seeking reserve Seekers. Oliver told me you were an excellent Seeker.”
Then Slughorn opened his mouth,
“We know you’ve already started training at Auror Headquarters, my boy but we have precedents. Some Aurors had experienced Quidditch Professional League. You know Williamson? He had been a reserve Beater of Chudley Cannons before he started his training.”
“But Professor McGonagall, I decided to hang on to Auror job,” said Harry.
“Well, I still think your vocation is to capture Dark wizards and witches but you have a right to choose,” said McGonagall quietly.
Harry looked up at the portrait of Dumbledore, but he was snoring gently. He was at a loss to try or not. Then another wizard came out of the hearth. It was Ron who came back from George’s joke shop. Ron brushed soot and looked around and said,
“Blimey, Gwenog Jones, Oliver Wood and Michael O’Hara!” then Ron noticed Harry was sitting.
“Harry, why were they here?”
“They came to recruit me,”
“We’d also like to recruit you, Mr. Weasley. We need a reserve Keeper, too,” said Michael.
Ron was stunned to hear that and said,
“Oh, Merlin, do you really mean it?”
“Yes, we do. Will you join us?” said Oliver.
“Harry, what shall we do?” asked Ron.
“Eh, well, we have to talk with our head,” said Harry.
“OK. Let’s go,” said Michael.
“Now?” said Harry and Ron astonished.
They transferred from the hearth of the Headmistress’s office to the hearth in Atrium of Ministry. Harry and Ron led three Quidditch celebrities into the Auror Headquarters.
Gawain kept silent and sent his Patronus, Golden Retriever after Michael O’Hara asked him if they could recruit Harry and Ron.
Soon Kingsley entered the office.
“Harry, do you really want to be a Quidditch player?” asked Kingsley in his deep baritone voice.
“Eh, well, if you have precedents, I’d like to challenge. I heard Williamson was also a Quidditch player before his starting Auror career,” said Harry sheepishly.
Kingsley sighed and said,
“Well, if you had offered three years ago, we would accept your offer, but we face a shortage of Aurors, you know,” said Kingsley.
Harry felt very sorry to hear that. He knew the answer subconsciously. And he began to regret that he took them to the Auror Headquarters. Then Gawain opened his mouth,
“Potter, organize the Quidditch team of trainee Aurors,”
“What?” Harry couldn’t understand what Gawain said.
“The Quidditch team of trainee Aurors, brilliant! I’m for the plan, Gawain. They will spread our propaganda about the peace preservation of the Wizarding World. And more talented freshers will join us after the match,” said Kingsley satisfied.
“Eh, excuse me, Minister, but what about our plan to gain reserve players?” inquired Michael.
“I understand your difficult situation but we can’t let go Potter and Weasley. They are our precious manpower. We will promise to keep our Wizarding World peace,” said Kingsley definitely.
“How about setting the opening game between Puddlemere United and the team of trainee Aurrors next Quidditch season? And how about donating a big part of ticket profit to St. Mungo’s, especially for the patients who suffer from Dark Magic?” said Gawain.
“The opening game.., it’s not a bad idea. We still have to recruit reserve players though. OK. We are in,” said Michael.
“Michael, we may be able to find good players at Hogwarts Cup for next season. Oh, it’ll be an exciting game. Can you set the opening game between Holyhead Harpies and your Auror trainee teams, too?” said Gwenog.
“We think we can set another opening game as far as we would not have any emergencies,” said Gawain. They shook hands.
Harry and Ron said good-bye to Oliver and they returned to Hogwarts till noon.
“Blimey, will we arrange our own Quidditch team? Brilliant!” said Ron.
“Yeah, we’re lucky. We have only four experienced trainee players, Dean, Blaise, you and me, two Chasers, a Keeper and a Seeker. What about the rest?” Harry said sarcastically.
“Well, how about Seamus?”
“Yeah, right, he is not bad. He can be a Beater,” said Harry.
“We need one more Chaser and a Beater. How about Michael Corner and Anthony Goldstein?” said Ron .
“Eh, I don’t know even if they can fly. I wish Williamson could join us.”
They are now marching to the Great Hall.
“Can’t we organize Aurors’ team not only trainees?” said Ron.
“Maybe we can.., or next year more freshers will join us. I’ll ask Gawain, later,” said
Just then Harry saw a white blond-headed wizard walking down into the Great Hall with Hestia and Dedalus. Harry shouted,
Draco Malfoy turned round to see Harry.
“What do you want?”
“Here’s your wand,” Harry pulled Malfoy’s hawthorn wand out of his pocket of jeans and handed it to him.
“Sorry for taking time to return it to you,” said Harry.
Malfoy fingered his old wand with deep emotion and said,
“Did my wand do job at your defeating Dark Lord, didn’t it?”
“Yeah, it did,” said Harry.
Ron opened his mouth,
“Malfoy, here from my brother, George,” Ron handed the scroll of parchment to Malfoy.
Malfoy unrolled it and read through it.
“Five hundred bottles of detective powder…, Merlin’s beard, does he really mean it?” said Malfoy.
“Yes, he does. Can you do it or not? We could order this to other potions makers. Of course we will pay you royalty for your idea,” said Ron defiantly.
Malfoy curled his lips like his father, Lucius and said,
“I will do it. I’ll ask my father about increasing the production of my potions,”
Harry imagined what Lucius would say after he found out to whom his son contracted. Ron’s father, Arthur Weasley and Lucius Malfoy had had an adversarial relationship for years.
“Does your father know about this?”
Malfoy stared at Harry’s eyes for a while. Harry doubted if Malfoy casted wandless ‘Legilimens’ so sealed his mind quickly.
“It’s OK with me. I don’t have to say about my customers in detail to my father. If I wouldn’t take action, we’ll be poor forever,” said Malfoy coolly.
“It’s a deal!” said Ron contentedly.
“Owl us when you’re ready,” said Ron.
“Ron, you and me are invited to Professor Slughorn’s dinner, will you come with me?” Hermione walked up to them and said. Malfoy left there hastily like he wanted to avoid encountering with other Gryffindors.
“Yeah, I will. Harry, are you invited, of course?” asked Ron.
“Yeah,” said Harry and he pulled out a scroll of parchment.
“Did you bring your dress robes?” said Hermione.
“No, I didn’t. I only have a set of Auror’s robes. How about you, Harry?” said Ron.
“So do I,” said Harry.
Harry and Ron in Auror’s dark red robes arrived in the Entrance Hall at eight o’clock. Hermione was wearing a sky blue floor length mermaid style evening dress and Ginny was wearing the same golden dress which she wore at the wedding of Fleur and Bill. Harry and Ron lost their words.
“Well, how do I look?” said Hermione.
“Stunning!” said Ron.
“Thank you, my mother made this when I got a Head Girl’s badge,” Hermione said with a blush on her cheeks.
“Isn’t my dress too short? I had no time to buy a new one for the invitation was unexpected,” said Ginny who looked embarrassed glancing at her knee caps.
“You look breathtakingly beautiful,” said Harry and he took Ginny’s hand then led her up the marble staircase to Slughorn’s office.
The room was bathed in the light of real fairies fluttering around a chandelier dangling from the center of the ceiling. There was a big tank where a mermaid and a merman were singing and their beautiful songs were conveyed through an odd shaped speaker which was connected to the tubes of the water tank. Harry realized their songs were very similar to the Gaelic lullaby which Amdromeda sang for Teddy.
“Oh, it’s so beautiful. I wish I could learn Mermish,” said Hermione.
“Hermione, you are more beautiful than a mermaid,” said Ron.
He turned his face pink when he noticed Harry and Ginny were listening to what he said to Hermione. Harry and Ginny grinned at Ron. Then Ginny’s smiling face changed into a surprised look. She gripped Harry’s hand and whispered,
“Oh, my Merlin!”
Ron also realized what Ginny saw. Star players in British and Irish Quidditch League were chatting away while house-elves were roving through them carrying the heavy platters of food.
“Harry, m’boy!” said Slughorn in a loud voice and approached them.
“Harry, I’d like your charming girlfriend to meet Gwenog Jones, a coach of Holyhead Harpies. She will visit Hogwarts again to inspect Quidditch games. I heard from Minerva your girlfriend’s ambition was to be a professional Quidditch Chaser for Holyhead Harpies,” said Slughorn.
Dark brown-headed witch held out her hand to Ginny who was trembling without hiding her emotions. Harry rubbed Ginny’s back to encourage her. Ginny seized Gwenog’s hand and they shook hands.
“I have heard you are the captain of Gryffindor Quidditch team. When is your first game this season?” asked Gwenog.
“Eh, the game will start at ten a.m. on Saturday, September 26th,” said Ginny in her trembling voice.
“Morgan! Come here,” shouted Gwenog.
Then a famous Chaser, and a captain of Holyhead Harpies, Valmai Morgan walked up to them.
“When will our game start on September 26th?” said Gwenog.
“Saturday? Well, it will start at two o’clock in the afternoon in our home ground, won’t it?” said Morgan.
Ginny looked as if she was going to faint. Harry rubbed her back gently.
“Right, so Miss Weasley, I’ll be able to inspect your game till noon,” said Gwenog beamed at Ginny.
Ginny said, “Thank you,” in her small voice.
“Wow, are you Harry Potter? I’ll say thank you for saving our Wizarding World,” said Morgan and she held out her hand to Harry.
Harry smiled shaking hands.
“I’m sorry you’re not a witch. I wish I could play Quidditch with you. I heard from Gwenog that Michael was watching for a chance to recruit you. Is he going to join in Puddlemere United, Gwenog?” said Morgan.
“No, he isn’t. Minister for Magic will not let him go,” said Gwenog.
“Oh, I’m sorry for that. I wanted to watch your stunning play,” said Morgan.
“You will. They will organize Aurors’ team, Mr.Potter? ” said Gwenog.
“Really? Wow , sounds fun,” said Morgan.
“Eh, we haven’t decided to organize Aurors’ team yet. My head just suggested organizing trainees’ team,”
“Whatever the team, it’s exciting! We will have the opening game with them in our home ground pitch next season,” announced Gwenog.
“Wow, brilliant! I can hardly wait to play against your team. Have you ever visited Wales? It’s a beautiful place. There remain magical heritages. Coast line of Aberdyfi is one of the most beautiful coast lines in the world,” said Morgan.
“Oh, Harry, is it true? Will you really organize Aurors’ team?” whispered Ginny.
“I said just trainees’. We haven’t told about Aurors’ team to Gawain yet.”
“If I could join Holyhead Harpies, you and I will fight at next season opening game won’t we?” said Ginny.
Harry was startled by Ginny’s saying.
“Yeah, you’re right. But if there would be emergency, I mean, if we would be needed on our duty, we won’t fight,” said Harry.
“Well, my ladies, here’s a future promising Seeker, Andrew Deverill, a son of Philbert Deverill,” Slughorn introduced Andrew to Gwenog and Morgan. Andrew in a set of navy blue dress robes was flushed with excitement.
“Oh, Harry, he looked just like you in your second year, he’s so cute, isn’t he?” said Hermione beaming at Andrew.
Harry glanced at Ginny’s face. She looked more relaxed to see Andrew. She was even smiling. Harry felt his old monster inside him came back. The monster was roaring for grabbing her hand to disapparate to lonely parts of the school grounds.
“Is he good?” asked Gwenog.
“Yes, he is. Andrew is a brilliant Seeker,” said Ginny whose voice now was not trembling, sounded rather confident.
Harry felt his voice inside his head admonished his childish jealousy,
“Andrew is just a boy. He is only eleven or twelve years old.”
“And ladies, this is Kinnon Pucey, his brother is a Beater in Falmouth Falcons. This is Simon Broadmor. He is a descendant of Kevin and Karl Broadmoor. This is Graham Johnson. He’s a cousin of Angelina Johnson who is a Chaser in Tutshill Tornados. And this is Josef Wood. His cousin is, you know, an excellent Keeper in Puddlemere United,” Slughorn continued to introduce young players to Quidditch celebrities while Harry watched Andrew intensely.
Then he noticed Andrew’s suspicious movement. Andrew pulled out his wand in secret and swished it. Then Kinnon’s head and Simon’s head changed into vivid pink.
“Oh, nice hair!” Morgan began to laugh. Kinnon and Simon stared at their hair each other and pointed at their head and ran out of Slughorn’s office to the boy’s bathroom confused. Nothing escaped Harry’s notice. Harry witnessed Andrew also went out of the office stealthily. He followed Andrew and halted to pull his Invisibility Cloak out of pocket and threw it over himself. Harry ran down the corridor to the boy’s bathroom and heard groans from there. He entered the bathroom and found Simon and Kinnon were lying on the floor. They were bound. Harry put his Invisibility Cloak back to his pocket and chanted, “Finite” and asked,
“Who did it to you?”
“I don’t know,” said Simon.
“We were attacked from behind. We couldn’t identify who did it,” said Kinnon bitterly.
Harry helped them to their feet. After Harry saw them to Slughorn’s office, he took the Marauder’s Map out of his moleskin pouch and scanned the map carefully. Then the ink ‘Andrew Deverill’ appeared in Gryffindor Common Room. Harry climbed up to the portrait of the Fat Lady.
“Oh, I’m very glad to see you again, my boy. Password?”
“Arry Potter,” Harry said his own name hastily for he felt embarrassed.
The door swung open and he entered the Common Room. He found Andrew sitting on the sofa alone. Harry sat down on the left of Andrew. Harry thought he should persuade Andrew to tell the truth at first but waited for Andrew to open his mouth. They were just sitting there for a while. Then Andrew opened his mouth,
“Mr. Potter, do you remember when your father was killed?”
Harry lost his words. He didn’t remember when and how his father, James was killed by Voldemort. Harry could remember slightly her mother’s scream when she was murdered to protect Harry from Voldemort.
“I remember it vividly. I have the dream every night.., my stepfather.. was killed by snatchers who hunted .. for my mother and me,” said Andrew in a halting way.
Harry just kept listening to Andrew’s talk.
“My real father, he was a Muggle, died from a car accident when I was five years old. My mother is also a Muggle. When I was six years old, I lost my way back to my home then encountered a wizard who was playing with a Snitch in the air. That was Phil. He found out soon I had magic. He taught me how to fly and how to play Quidditch. He saw me home and my mother liked him. Soon my mother and Phil got married. My mother and me often went to the Quidditch pitch to cheer his team. Last year we were hiding away from Death Eaters’ hunt for Muggles and Muggle-born. The evil snatchers threatened my mother with killing me in Dean’s forest. Phil fought with them to protect us and he..,” Andrew shed tears. Harry put his right hand on Andrew’s small left shoulder gently.
Harry remembered the journey hunting for Hocrux: Camping in the forest with Hermione and Ron. Mr.Tonks and other wizards and witches were murdered or hunted by snatchers.
“Phil was a great Seeker. I loved him very much. He was a brilliant coach of Puddlemere United. I’m very proud of him,” Andrew stopped talking.
Silence fell. Then Harry broke the silence.
“Is your father proud of you now?” asked Harry.
Andrew looked startled by Harry’s words. In a short while Andrew asked Harry,
“Why are Slytherins studying at Hogwarts? All Death Eaters were from Slytherin, weren’t they? Why did Headmistress let them study here?”
Harry lost his words again after listening to Andrew’s outburst of rage. He remembered the feeling when he had known for the first time, the reason why his parents died.
“All of them are not evil, you know Terence Higgs?” said Harry.
“Yeah, he was always fair to everyone. I forgot he was from Slytherin,” said Andrew.
“Andrew, I think your duty is to be like your father. I will ask you again. Is what you’ve done today worthy of Gryffindor?”
Andrew thought for a while and said,
“No, it isn’t. I’m .. sorry, Mr. Potter.”
Harry asked Andrew before he saw Andrew to his dorm,
“Why did your family change your last name to Peverell?”
“We’ve just found the name by chance when we were hiding in the graveyard of Godoric’s Hollow,” said Andrew.
Hermione and Ginny came back with Ron to Common Room.
“Oh, Harry, you were here. We were looking for you,” said Hermione.
“You’ve lost the chance to talk with other Quidditch celebrities. What were you doing?” Ron asked.
“I was talking with Andrew,” said Harry.
“What were two of you talking about?” said Ginny.
“About Quidditch. How was the party? Did you have a good time, Ginny?”
“Yes, I did. I can’t believe. Oh, Merlin, Gwenog Jones! She’s my star. And Morgan, I would like to be such a stunning Chaser like her,” said Ginny with a dreamy look.
“You will be like her, Ginny,” said Harry.
He felt happy to see Ginny’s joyful look and smiled. Ginny took a step closer to Harry and kissed his cheek and said,
“Thank you for taking me to the dinner party.”
“You’re welcome,” said Harry and he kissed her. They didn’t break apart until Ron said,
“Oi, Harry, we’ll go back to teacher’s room.”
Next morning after breakfast in the Great Hall, Harry and Ron left Hogwarts for Auror Headquarters.
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