Chapter 2 : Godfather
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On their back from the Apothecary, Andrew, a young Gryffindor Seeker spoke to Harry.“Mr.Potter. You came back. I’d like to practice Quidditch with you,” he panted after he ran down from the Quidditch pitch.
Harry turned around to see Andrew.“I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m on duty now, Andrew.”
“It will take just thirty minutes or so,” said Andrew. He looked anxious.
Harry stared at him for a while not guessing why he was in a hurry. There still two weeks left till the match.
“Go on, mate. I’ll watch him,” said Ron nodding towards Malfoy.
“Thank you, Ron,” Harry left with Andrew for the Quidditch pitch.
“The first Quidditch match will be in two weeks, right?” said Harry.
“Yeah,” said Andrew. He looked more restless.
“Andrew?” Harry raised his brow.
“Eh, Mr. Potter. I lied. To tell the truth, I just wanted to talk with you,” said Andrew sheepishly.
“What did you want to talk about with me?”
“I wanted to say thank you for your keeping the incident to yourself. I have been thinking of my father, Phil since then. Phil was also a Gryffindor. I want to be like him. I think he would not want me to revenge and he always played fair, so I will do a fair play,” said Andrew.
He had bullied Slytherin team members in a boy’s bathroom the other day. Harry found them there hidden under his Invisibility Cloak but he kept it a secret from professors though he gave Andrew a good scolding.
“Well, I can understand what you felt when you lost your stepfather. I didn’t remember when my father died, but I saw my godfather,” Harry was suddenly at a loss for words.
“Mr. Potter?” Andrew asked Harry.
“Sirius…was killed by one of Death Eaters.” Harry barely finished his words.
He felt the pain he had held down inside his heart for years surfaced off again. If Sirius was still alive, Harry could live with him anywhere they wanted like a real son and a real father.
Of course he respected his own parent and he loved them but it was Sirius who let Harry feel that he was loved for the first time in his childfood.
“Was he a Gryffindor?” asked Andrew.
“Yes, he was a Gryffindor like my father. He was a best friend of my father. Well, do your best at your first match,” said Harry forcing a smile.
Now they reached the Quidditch pitch. Harry pulled out his shrunk Firebolt and enlarged it. Andrew summoned his broomstick from the shed. He took out a used Snitch given by his father of his pocket and said,“This is Phil’s Snitch for exercises. Let’s play catch.”
“Sure,” Harry kicked off the ground mounting his Firebolt.
When he came back to a Head Boy’s room, Ron handed a piece of parchment to Harry and said,“We’ll have a Sunday morning class again.”
Harry unrolled it and read:
Magical First-Aid Treatment Lesson for Trainee Aurors
By the Black Lake
“By the Black Lake? What will we do?” said Harry.
“Dunno,” Ron shrugged.
Next Sunday morning Hestia and Dedalus came back to change shifts with Harry and Ron.
“Malfoy hasn’t felt his burning sensation at night so I don’t think we have to guard him. Don’t you agree?” Ron muttered yawning.
“I agree, but there still remains the possibility that he might be attacked by other house students. And I don’t think Umbridge and Lestrange gave up,” said Harry.
“Oh, yeah, you’re right,” said Ron.
Reflections of the mountains on the water of the Black Lake were so beautiful. Harry felt an autumn breeze blowing gently over the Black Lake. By the lake Madam Pomfrey and Neville were waiting for them. To their surprise they saw Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Cho, Padma and Parvati standing next to Neville. Parvati and Cho were wearing brand new Healer’s robes. Their clean lime-green robes were sometimes fluttering in the wind from the lake.
“I’m glad to tell you what I’ve studied for a few months. I was asked to help you with finding the stones which are useful for First Aid,” said Neville.
“I taught this lesson for seventh year students on Thursday. I should have taught this lesson to all of you, old seventh year students last year. But Carrows didn’t let me teach. I regret that. I asked them to volunteer for playing role of victim who was supposed to be injured in the Dark Magic. Volunteer students and trainee Healers will drink potions which will let their body temperature run high. Your task in this lesson is to search the curing stone and engrave runes on it with your wand to activate curing magic,” Madam Pomfrey explained.
“Blimey, curing stones, but aren’t they rare?” said Ron.
“Yeah, you’re right. They are very rare but I found out there were some here in Hogwarts, especially in the Black Lake,” said Neville.
“Here are sample runes to activate antipyretic magic,” Neville handed out the sample stones to them.
Harry looked at his sample stone. It was the same serpentine at the Apothecary. A mystic rune was engraved on the stone.
“The rune on the serpentine of fine quality works well for cursed heat. We could find there were plenty of serpentines of high quality in the Black Lake this August. Well, I have patients in my hospital wing, so I must leave soon. From now Mr. Longbottom and trainee Healers, Miss Chang and Miss Patil will guide you. If something goes wrong, send your message by your Patronus,” Madam Pomfrey handed potions vials to Hermione and she left there.
“If Professor Dumbledore was still alive, he would ask merpeople to get the serpentines from the lake. But we can’t understand Mermish so we’re going to get them all by ourselves. Mr. Roberds, head of Aurors, agreed this lesson was one of required units for Auror training programs. When you’re attacked by Dark Magic on your duty, these Rune Serpentines will help you,” said Neville.
“How about cuts and bruises?” asked Harry. He wondered if there were any rune stones for taking off his scars on his body.
“It depends on how powerful witch or wizard casted the curse,” said Cho smiling at Harry.
“You mean any rune stones can’t take off the scars hurt by powerful wizard like Voldemort?” said Harry.
Tense atmosphere dominated. Cho looked perplexed and opened her mouth,“Well, I’m not sure but I heard that old Druid clans had a lot of knowledge about rune stones for cures. We sometimes lend rare rune stones from the long-established Apothecary like the one in Diagon Alley. The curing stones of Apothecary were made by old Druid clans.”
“And of course Phoenix tears have healthy powers. If you can get them soon after you were injured, you’ll recover. But it’s harder to get them. They are found only in Egypt, India and China,” said Parvati.
“Yeah, I know,” said Harry. Loyal Phoenix, Fawkes left Hogwarts with Dumbldore.
He missed Dumbldore and Fawkes.
“Well, let’s begin. We set up the tents, so change into your swimsuit in the tent. Left one is for wizards, right one is for witches,” said Neville.
In the tent Harry changed into his swimsuit trying hard not to show his scars, especially bigger one cursed by Voldemort on his left side of the chest, to other trainees.
Ron helped him to conceal them by standing in front of Harry. All trainee Aurors reappeared in swimsuit out of the tent.
“Blimey, it must be easier to swim in swimsuit than wearing a set of heavy Auror robes,” said Seamus.
“I don’t think so. The water of the Black Lake is colder than the warm water of the bath tub at the Ministry,” said Dean Thomas.
“Have you learned the Bubble-Head Charm at Auror Headquarters?” asked Neville. All trainees nodded,“Yes.”
“OK. Thank you, Merlin, we’re short of Gillyweed. Please search the same serpentine as the sample you have in thirty minutes,” said Neville.
“Thirty minutes? Is it long?” asked Ron.
“I think so. The water is cold. The victims will suffer from high fever. You must come back as fast as you can to the victims to bring down their fever,” said Neville.
“If we can’t come back in thirty minutes, what will you do?” asked Harry who worried about the volunteer witches: Hermione began to drink and Ginny had already drunk her potion.
“I will use the rest sample Rune Serpentines so please don’t worry,” said Neville.
When Harry flung himself forwards into the water after casting the Bubble-Head Charm, he expected he would gulp of icy lake water like when he used Gillyweed at the Triwizard Tournament. But he didn’t have to. He looked around and saw Ron with an enormous bubble around his head swimming after Harry deeper and deeper. Harry remembered the time he had challenged the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. Harry’s task was to retrieve Ron. He grinned at Ron. Ron also grinned back. They swirled around staring about countless pebbles at the bottom of the lake. But Harry couldn’t find any serpentines. Then Ron touched Harry’s right shoulder. He looked up the spot Ron pointed at. Hannah and Susan were struggling with Grindylows disturbing the muddy water. Harry mimed to rescue them to Ron. Ron understood. They ascended the water towards Hannah and Susan. Harry and Ron took out their wands from each pocket of swim pants and shouted “Relashio!” issuing large bubbles from each mouth. Then a jet of boiling water struck Grindylows and they sank back into the two feet deep light-green weed forest. Hannah and Susan gestured “Thank you,” towards Harry and Ron. Harry gave them the thumbs-up to show “You’re welcome.” Then Susan pointed the spot far away. She mimed “Follow me.”
Beyond the expanses of black mud, they could see now the merpeople were singing a beautiful mer-song. Harry wondered why he could understand their song. The lyrics were English. And he was surprised to notice their melody was the same as the song Andromeda sang for Teddy.
My love, my love I will hide your cloak on the roof
While my dad cared his stallion’s injured hoof
My mother Mary I found your cloak
My father’s wand was made of oak
Say good bye at the mouth of River Shiel
They were swirling over the deeper spot of the bottom of the lake singing a song. Susan pointed the green spot. Harry swam faster towards the spot and he found the spot was covered with serpentines. The song stopped. And he noticed the merpeople wore thick ropes of serpentine pebbles around their necks. Harry mimed to take serpentines away from the bottom to the merpeople. Their yellowish eyes were not angry, so he took four serpentines and gestured,
“Thank you,” to the merpeople.
They began to sing again like nothing occurred. When they came back to the shore of the lake, Hermione and Ginny were lying on the ground. Parvati was watching over them. Luna and Padma were sitting next to Dean and Seamus who had been engraving the runes on the stones they could find. Cho Chang gave advice to Michael Corner and Terry Boot how to engrave the runes, and Neville was showing Blaise and Romilda how to engrave the runes. Justin and Anthony hadn’t come back yet. Harry and Ron returned the sample serpentines to Neville and approached to Hermione and Ginny. Hermione was breathing quietly. Ginny’s face was flushed by a fever. They rushed to the tent and changed into their Auror robes. Ron knelt down by Hermione and said,
“Hermione, are you OK?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Engrave the runes as Parvati says, Ron,” said Hermione panting.
“Ginny, wait a second, I’ll do it. Parvati, tell us how to engrave the stones,” said Harry.
When Harry and Ron were ready, Seamus shouted,“Neville, our stones don’t activate. What shall we do?”
“Show me,” Neville walked over to them and grabbed the stones. He examined them and said,
“I’m sorry they are not serpentines. Blaise, Romilda, please hand yours to them. I’m afraid that Justin and Anthony got lost. So, please search them.”
Ron had already put the Rune Serpentine on the forehead of Hermione and casted the incantation. Parvati sat down on the ground panting. Harry was at a loss. Neville was busy with giving instructions to Dean and Seamus. Susan and Hannah followed Neville to ask the questions about engraving runes.
“Neville, hand me the rest sample serpentines!” shouted Harry.
“Harry, use the Rune Serpentine you engraved, for Parvati first,” said Ginny panting.
Harry hesitated to do as Ginny said but did it. He put the Rune Serpentine on the forehead of Parvati and casted the incantation. Then Neville walked back to the spot where Harry was waiting.
“Sorry, Harry,” Neville handed the sample Rune Serpentine to Harry.
Harry put the Rune Serpentine on the forehead of Ginny. He looked around and observed that other volunteers got well in ten or fifteen minutes but Ginny’s face was still flushed with fever. Harry tried other sample serpentines, but they didn’t work at all.
“Parvati, Cho, come here, please! What happened to her?” Harry got into a panic.
“Normally it works, sometimes it doesn’t if the serpentine is of poor quality,” said Cho with anxious look.
“Or Ginny might have been tired out. Did she practice Quidditch hard yesterday?” said Parvati.
“Yeah, perhaps. She will have the first game in two weeks. What shall I do? Can I use other serpentines you used?” said Harry.
“No, you can’t, Harry. We must charge the magical power at least for a day after you used once for the patient,” said Cho.
“Michael, Terry, do you have another one?” Harry shouted.
“No, we don’t. We could find only one in the Black Lake,” said Michael.
“When we can’t use magical tools, the only way is Muggle way, water, Harry. I’m sorry I don’t have an antifebrile now, I mean, Muggle medicine,” said Hermione.
Harry soon understood what Hermione said, and chanted,
He dropped the dripping water from his wand to Ginny’s lips but it flowed down her face. Then he let some water run into her mouth from his own without thinking.
“She drank. Do it again, Harry,” Luna said.
His lips touched her lips again and he let more water run into her mouth. She gulped down.
Then Susan and Hannah came to Harry with Neville and said,
“Harry, we have just activated these serpentines. We’re sorry we took more time than we expected. Try them!”
Harry put one of them on Ginny’s forehead and chanted the incantation. It worked. Ginny’s face turned into normal color in ten minutes or so.
“That was close,” Ron groaned.
Then the other trainees came back with Terry and Anthony safely from the lake.
In the Gryffindor Common Room Harry sat down on the sofa next to Ginny. He fingered his Rune Serpentine and said,
“Ginny, please don’t try to be a volunteer any more. I was so scared you wouldn’t recover.”
“Harry, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have practiced Quidditch for hours yesterday. But I was so excited ‘cause in two weeks Gwenog will come to see the match, you know?” said Ginny. She caressed Harry’s face with her hand.
“Yeah, I understand. But next time, don’t try to be a volunteer,” said Harry.
“Well, I was glad to join in your training. I like to see you work,” Ginny whispered and kissed him.
Harry kissed her back and said,
“Ron and me will join in the tracing team from next Saturday. Good night, Ginny. See you next Friday,” then he stood up, smoothed out the wrinkles in his Auror robes and left the Common Room.
After taking his shower Harry entered his bedroom that his godfather Sirius had used. He sat down on the bed with a carved wooden headboard. He stared at many pictures of Muggle motorcycles and several posters of bikini-clad Muggle girls. He turned his gaze to the only wizarding photograph on the wall. The four Hogwarts students were wearing a set of Gryffindor robes. His father, James and his godfather, Sirius were putting their arms around each other’s shoulders laughing at Harry. He stared at the picture for a while then he lay on his side and fell into sleep soon.
He had the weird dream again. This time he saw a silver-white doe in his dream.
Then she vanished. He noticed he was standing near the lake. He whispered,
The wand-tip ignited and he saw a great silver cross on the bottom of the lake again.And he found his reflection on the water was a stag. He wondered. His Animagus form was supposed to be a horse as the same as Ginny’s patronus since he mastered the first animagi after the lecture of McGonagall. Why was he a stag? Was love for Ginny fading away?
“Ask your tree,” a familiar voice echoed from somewhere.
“Sirius?” Harry asked. Then he was awake.
Harry descended down the stairs into the kitchen earlier than usual. When he went into the kitchen, Andromeda asked Harry to look after Teddy for a while.
“I decided to shut up Aunt Walburga of the portrait. She has annoyed me since I moved here. I will go up to the Entrance Hall to persuade her to behave nicely to you and your friends who might visit here, so hold him for a while, please, Harry,” said Andromeda and let Harry hold Teddy.
“But Andromeda, wait. I don’t think you will succeed,” he tried to halt her but she left Harry and Teddy.
Harry was standing there holding Teddy in his arms awkwardly. He had never held a baby before. Teddy in his arms was sleeping. His quiet sleeping face looked like his father, Lupin.
“Hey, what will you become when you are eighteen? A Defence against Dark Arts teacher like your dad, or an Auror like your mum?” whispered Harry.
Harry felt the warmth of Teddy’s small body and smiled. How pleasant was to hold a baby like this. Harry cradled Teddy in his arms for about half an hour. When Andromeda came back, Harry was stunned to see her angry face. She looked just like her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange. He could feel her burning aura with rage.
“Eh.., Andromeda?” Harry tried to ask. He could reckon she failed.
Andromeda walked up to Harry and she retrieved Teddy into her arms silently then she called the Kreacher and ordered,
“Your Master Harry is going to the Ministry. Make breakfast for him and hang thicker curtains to cover up Mrs.Black of the portrait.”
“Yes, madam,” Kreacher bowed courteously.
Harry understood now the reason why Tonks could become Moody’s favorite Auror. Her mother, Andromeda was a powerful witch like Mrs.Weasley. At the same time he recalled the scene Mrs.Weasley had beaten Bellatrix Lestrange at the Battle of Hogwarts. Those witches might be stronger than any other wizards. And he was stunned again to think about Ginny. Ginny was a daughter of Molly Weasley.
“I should not let Ginny angry,” he swore to himself shaking his head.
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