Chapter 6 : 5- A Dream's Surprise
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A thick mist surrounded Harry’s feet. “He’s here somewhere.” He said to himself as he started running. As he ran he realised that he was searching through a thick maze with dark brown thorns sticking out from the hedges, the words of Narcissa Malfoy ringing through the air.
“Promise me you’ll find my husband. Please!”
He kept running, taking random corners and repeating himself. “He’s here somewhere, he’s got to be!” He took one last corner and Harry saw him. There, in the large centre of the maze, was Lucius Malfoy and on his sides were Draco, Astoria and Narcissa. Their faces were ghostly white and their hands seemed to be tied up behind them. Suddenly, four masked and hooded figures nosedived on brooms into view. They lifted up just before colliding with the ground and flew through the Malfoy family, who vanished in a puff of black smoke as they made contact. The men continued to fly towards Harry and just as he could see the colour in their cruel eyes, he awoke bolt up straight and covered in sweat.
“Harry?” He had woken Ginny up. “Harry, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I'm fine.” She placed her hand on his chest and lay him back down.
“Your heart’s thumping like mad.”
“Bad dream.” Harry said to her trying to shake off the images of the most vivid Death Eater related dream he’d had in a long time. He looked at the clock on the bedside table, it was only three in the morning. Harry continued to pant as Ginny cuddled up next to him. She kissed him on the cheek and as his heavy eye lids forced themselves closed, the plea of Narcissa Malfoy continued to ring in his head.
Harry awoke only three hours later thanks to Ginny, who had threatened to beat him with his own broom if he didn’t get up and when he did finally get down stairs, he found both James and Albus still fast asleep in their cribs.
“Here, drink this.” Ginny said as she handed him a cup of coffee.
“You not having one?” Harry asked, taking a sip.
“No,” She said kissing him on the cheek. “I woke up with energy.” Harry loved watching Ginny on the morning of a match. Something just seemed to switch on inside her that even made Harry feel energised without the help of caffeine.
“So what was it about? Last night?” Ginny asked.
“What was what about?” Harry replied innocently, though he knew exactly what she was talking about.
“Your bad dream, last night, what was it about?”
“Oh that! It was nothing Ginny, really.” He assured her, walking into the kitchen and helping himself to a croissant. She didn’t look convinced. “Right, I've got to go, Kaman will chuck me from the top of the stadium if I’m late for this.” He said, swallowing the last of the pastry and taking a hand full of Floo powder that Kreacher had left for him. He kissed Ginny saying “It was nothing, I promise. Good luck today.” And he walked into the fireplace and vanished in an emerald flame to the Ministry of Magic.
When he finally reached the Auror Office, he arrived just in time to see Albert announce to the other Aurors’ their new security stations. “Ah, Harry, slight change in your schedule too I’m afraid. You’ll now be with me and Dawlish as the security for the Minister and his Senior Undersecretary.” When Albert had assigned the new positions to the rest of the Aurors, he looked up from his notes and asked “And has anyone seen Bates?”
“Right here!” Emily said as she ran in panting and surveying everyone in the room as she continued. “Sorry, alarm was broken.”
Ron sighed and Naomi gave a short snort of laughter but Albert merely raised an eyebrow before leading the way down to the Department of Magical Transportation for the Portkeys that would take them to the stadium grounds.
“Keep in mind,” Harry advised to Naomi as they walked down “The Law Enforcers have been up since the early hours setting up the protection charms so don’t be surprised if their a bit cranky today.”
“Are you quite sure they got the right stadium?” Naomi asked in a patronising tone.
“Naomi,” Harry replied flatly.
Naomi smiled and said “I think I can handle it, thanks.” Before looking over the rest of the Aurors accompanying them. “But why are there so many of us? Surely the threat level isn’t that high to assign this many Aurors.”
Harry glanced around at the other forty other Aurors that surrounded them as they all began descending down the stairs.
“We’re not taking any chances if we’ve got active Death Eaters to deal with. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve attacked a Quidditch match.” Harry explained to her before reaching the Department for Magical Transportation.
As they made their way across the dark-blue carpeted, chandelier lit corridor towards the Portkey Office, as per usual those that passed couldn’t help but peer into other offices when possible; in particular, the Broom Regularity Control Office where brand new brooms were known to be tested.
After passing the office of the Floo Network Authority, they finally made it to the Portkey Office; a caramel coloured office space that had long dark desks up against the walls to either side where employees worked away leaving a substantial space in the middle of the office.
When they entered they were greeted by the tall, aged Head of the Magical Transportation, Lucy Barns; her almost spherical curly blond hair just missing her bushy eyebrows. “Albert.” She said offering her hand, which was accepted and kissed by Kaman as he bowed. “Your Portkeys are ready. Including the... last minute requests.” She said looking Albert as though the job had been a huge inconvenience for her.
“Sorry for the late notice, Luce, but, what with recent events, you understand don’t you?” Lucy raised an eyebrow at Albert’s response making it vanish beneath her hair before turning to call her assistant.
“Marietta!” She bellowed and a tall, reddish-blond haired and slightly scarred Marietta Edgecombe came running towards her boss.
“Would you mind showing the Aurors their Portkeys for the Thornwald Quidditch Stadium?” Marietta nodded her pointed face and indicated to the crowd of Aurors to follow her.
It was very rare nowadays for Harry, or anybody else for that matter, to hear Marietta speak. In fact, this was one of the first times Harry had seen Marietta without her hair covering her spot-scarred face of which she was highly sensitive about.
Marietta led the Aurors through a door to a large white room in which Harry saw two long desks lining the walls, each of which was lined with about five or six what Harry knew to be Portkeys. “Can you get into groups of threes and fours and place your hands on a Portkey?” Marietta said so quietly, some of the Aurors had to pass on the order to their fellows. Once everyone got the message, every single Portkey had at least two Aurors holding on to it. Harry, along with Naomi and Albert, placed his hand on a nearby coat-hanger and on Marietta’s quietly said count of “Three” the Department of Magical Transportation vanished and before Harry knew it, it was replaced with a vast open field just outside of the large dark grey stadium.
“Right, we all here?” Yelled Albert as he, Harry and Naomi dropped the Portkey coat-hanger. Albert did a quick head count and when he seemed satisfied with the attendance, he said “Good, right then, now we just need to wait for De-“
“Albert! Oi, Al, over here!” Albert was interrupted by Derek Kidman the Head of The Magical Law Enforcement Patrol, a skinny, square-jawed wizard with short blond hair that showed signs of beginning to recede.
Derek approached the Aurors with a large group of his own Law Enforcers behind him. Upon reaching the Aurors, Derek embraced Albert in a hug and said “It has been too long, Al. So, I assume you’ve briefed your Aurors on Hetlim’s new security measures.”
“Of course.” Albert replied and the two spent the next half-an-hour sending their recruits to their respective jobs and, where necessary, teaming Aurors with Law Enforcers.
“Naomi, Emily you’ll be with Enforcers Rowan and Ashley on the North side, sixth floor corridor.” Albert ordered and both Naomi and Emily nodded towards Rowan and Ashley, joined them and made their way towards the stadium.
Both Aurors and Law Enforcers alike received their orders until all that remained on the grassy hill were the higher ranking Chief Aurors. Harry, Ron, Dawlish, who was also the Deputy Head of the Office; James Williamson, a stumpy looking wizard whose shoulder length hair was tied into a ponytail; Phillipa Malone, a tall, thin witch with short brown hair, dressed in long green robes and who was remarkably scarless for an Auror of her age, and Gawain Brooks, a muscular, dark skinned wizard with short, spiky black hair and an un-repairable broken nose joining a number of other scars on his face.
“Right then.” Albert said after sending the last of the Aurors, Susan Bones and Fay Dunbar, out to their positions. “Ron, I need you to double and triple check the all the protective charms around the area and then I want you to supervise the east side protection. Phillipa, James, I want you two to supervise the guards of each of the teams changing rooms then, at the match start, to supervise the west and south sides. Gawain, I want you on grounds patrol throughout.” And the four Aurors left in different directions to follow their instructions.
“As for you two,” Albert continued, turning to Harry and Dawlish. “I want you to patrol the campsite until the Minister arrives. I’ll let you guys know when he gets here and we’ll meet at the north side entrance.” Harry and Dawlish nodded their understanding and headed away from the stadium, towards the campsite.
The two Aurors decided to cover more ground of the campsite and split. Harry wandered through the flourishing campsite, watching sales-Wizards and Witches take the opportunity to sell Omnioculars, Quidditch match programs and miniature versions of today’s Quidditch players and Harry was surprised to see a toy-size version his own wife, flying around a sales kart with other miniature members of the Holy Head Harpies.
“You know if you take one to the game, if the player scores or saves a goal, they’ll celebrate with back-flip.” Said a dazed voice from behind him. Harry turned and was stunned to see Luna Lovegood staring back at him with a pair of large silvery-grey eyes. His old friend and fellow D.A member had barely changed from when they were at Hogwarts together; short, pale and petit, her hair reaching down to her waist and shinning blond, Harry was surprised she hadn’t taken to just sticking an I.D to her pale robes just to avoid the constant proving of how old she really was.
“Oh, hey Luna, I didn’t know you were coming today.”
“No, well it was sort of a last minute thing really. In fact if you’re not too busy there’s someone I’d very much like you to meet.”
Harry hesitated a little but eventually replied. “Yeah, okay.” And Luna, a dazed smile on her face grabbed Harry by the hand and led the way to her tent.
“So, who exactly are you introducing me to?” Harry said while walking by Luna’s side.
“My date.” Luna said in her cool casual voice.
“Oh, really?” Harry said, the panic in his voice far more noticeable than he would have liked. “Um, Luna...?”
“Here we are.” Luna said, moving towards a shabby looking tent with an unnaturally large Holy Head Harpies flag billowing in the wind on top of it. Outside the tent, at a camp fire, sat a skinny, unshaved Wizard with shoulder length brown hair and who wore a bright green woollen jumper and shockingly purple trousers. “Rolf, there’s someone I’d like you to meet, this is Harry Potter. Harry, this is Rolf Scamander.” And as Rolf stood up to shake Harrys’ hand, Harry looked into the bright blue eyes and suddenly realized that he had heard of Rolf before.
“Hey, hang on, were you the one who helped the Ministry with the escaped Griffin last year?”
“Oh, so you heard of that?” He said in a soft, smooth voice.
“Heard of it? It’s not every day the entire Department for the Control of Magical Creatures is put to shame by one man. I tell ya, I was able to hold that over Hermione Weasley’s head for a month.” Rolf smiled and turned slightly red at Harry’s complement.
“Why don’t you join us?” Luna asked as both Harry and Rolf released their handshake.
“Sorry Luna,” Said Harry, who didn’t want to be the third wheel on anyone’s date, let alone Luna’s. “But I should get back. You know, security and all that.”
“There seems to be a lot of security around.” Luna said as she looked at the Aurors and Enforcers patrolling the cap site. “Would that have anything to do with the Malfoy kidnap yesterday? I read about in the Prophet this morning.” She added, seeing the look on Harrys’ face.
“Yes, I'm afraid so, we’re not taking any chances today.”
“I'm not worried, Harry.” She said. “I trust you. You’re a great Auror and, if you ask me, I think this is all because the Death Eaters are desperate. They’re trying for any little win to put us all down.”
“Well, let’s just hope they stay desperate.” Harry replied.
“Oh they will.” Luna said confidently. “I think that if they weren’t they wouldn’t be Death Eaters in the first place.”
Normally it was those sorts of remarks and complements from Luna that always made Harry feel slightly more cheerful, yet here, under the constant gaze of Rolf, it just made him feel uncomfortable. Thankfully, he was spared more embarrassment from the date by the arrival of a hovering silver meerkat which spoke with the voice of Albert.
“The Minister has arrived. I’ll meet you by the entrance like we planned.” And the meerkat flew off into what must be the direction of Dawlish.
“Right, I'm afraid I really must be off now.” And after another hand-shake with Rolf and a goodbye hug from Luna, he made his way towards the entrance of the Quidditch stadium.
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