“RELASIO!” a deep voice cried. Harry barely had time to duck but he heard the wall of trees behind him being hit by the spell. Close call,
he thought to himself.
The Holyhead Auror’s office had been after the infamous werewolf Fenrir Greyback for months with virtually no success. It wasn’t until about three days ago that Harry had started to think he really was only a legend (despite his firsthand knowledge of what the wolf was capable of), only to have to run into his right-hand man... (Err right-paw... wolf?)
“INCENDIO!” Harry fired in the direction of the voice.
The rock formation that was being used as cover had now been magically set alight by Harry’s spell, which caught the wolf-man off guard. He covered his eyes and staggered backwards, only to trip over a branch and fall on his back, causing his wand to roll well away from him.
Petrificus Totalus. Harry breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the man’s arms snap to his sides at his nonverbal spell. He flicked his wand again and the body was hoisted up by the ankles - Levicorpus.
“Potter!” a muffled shout reached his ears.
Harry turned in the direction of the voice. “Over here!” he shouted back.
A few seconds later Harry was met by the flushed face of Emory Collins, his partner for the last three months he had been in Holyhead. “Good grief, I’m getting to old for this garbage,” Collins said as he took in his surroundings.
Harry chuckled at the man, who must have been about the age of Dumbledore by the look of things. “Really, Emory? I wouldn’t have taken you for a day over 365?” he said jokingly.
“Bugger off you slimy git,” Emory shot back with a smile. The young man had grown on him in the few short months. At first he’d been a bit sketchy about being the Potter boy’s babysitter, but he had seen him in action, and was starting to feel as if he was the one being babysat. “I see you’ve delayed Mr. Scorponok a bit,” he said nodding towards the upended werewolf.
“Yes, I’m afraid so,” Harry said. “He dropped his wand though, so watch your step,” he warned the old man in a more serious tone. Snapping a wizard’s wand was something he didn’t want to have on his plate (The paperwork was unbelievable!).
“Accio wand!” Emory said. There was a slight rustling of leaves and suddenly the wand flew into his hand. “Problem solved, now let’s get out of here, I’m freezing!” he said, turning on the spot, causing the silence to be filled by a deafening CRACK.
Harry pulled out an old camping mug from his inner robe pocket and said “Portus”, while picturing the Auror’s office clearly. The mug glowed a brilliant blue, and Harry took hold of Scorponok’s arm. Suddenly he felt the all-too-familiar tugging sensation at his naval and only seconds later he found himself standing in the middle of the little office alongside a now-wriggling Scorponok.
“Why are you still struggling? Honestly, what do you intend to do? Escape an office full of Aurors without a wand?” Harry said as he rolled his eyes at the rather large man. “You may be a werewolf, but I’d say you’re at a bit of a disadvantage.”
“How dare you talk to me like that, you filthy human!” Skorponok said, sounding outraged.
“Silencio” Harry muttered, suddenly very fed up with the man. Skorponok struggled for a few more moments, but saw that it was useless and followed Harry towards his temporary cell. After locking Skorponok in his new cage – he chuckled at his rather dry pun – Harry made his way over to the Head of Office to be debriefed.
Upon entering the small office, Harry saw that Emory had already filled out all of the paperwork, and he smiled gratefully at the old man. Auror Frank Longbottom walked into his office and sat down heavily in his seat. “So Potter, Collins. I Hope everything went to plan?” he picked up the file and scanned through while he said this.
Harry nodded. “The pup’s in his temporary home for now. Aurors from London should be coming by tomorrow evening to take him to Azkaban,” he glanced at his golden watch and changed his statement while sighing. “I guess I should say they’ll be here later today.”
Emory clapped Harry’s shoulder, “Ah, to be young and sleep deprived,” he chuckled lightly. “Get some shuteye, kid. I’ve got things covered here,” he said as he stood up. “If that’s all, Longbottom?”
Frank Longbottom had almost forgotten about the two men in his office and was busy filling out a form of some sort. “What? Oh! Yes, of course,” he said while waving them out.
“You sure you’re up to staying, Emory?” Harry asked carefully. He knew that the man hated to be babied, but he really wanted to get some sleep.
“You’ve done your share, Harry, now get some rest or I’ll change my mind!” he commanded. “Be back at about six this afternoon – that should be when the London Aurors arrive.”
Harry gratefully shook the old man’s hand, muttering a quick ‘thank you’ and apparated straight home. He had never struggled to stay awake on the job, but his 72 hours of none-stop werewolf chasing had certainly taken their toll.
Harry remembered walking into his apartment, starting to undress and showering, but he found himself in his bedroom and, while he had no idea what had happened in between the shower and his room, he fell onto his bed without even bothering to put on a fresh set of clothes. He slipped into a very deep and comforting sleep.
She sighed as his hand trailed down her exposed back and he felt her quiver against his body as he started kissing her neck. “Potter,” she whispered into his ear. “Why are you naked?”
Harry pulled back immediately – her voice had taken on a very deep tone, it almost reminded him of someone, but he was too shocked to remember who. You’re a GUY??? He sputtered out.
She laughed and gripped his shoulders. “Of course I am, now wake up you git!” she shouted in her manly voice.
“Harry! Wake up, already!” Draco shouted at his best friend through his laughter.
Only moments ago he had come to visit when he found a very naked Harry snoring deeply whilst muttering ‘Ginny’ every so often. When he had tried to wake him, Harry had asked him in a disgusted voice if he was a ‘guy!?’ and Draco had been laughing ever since.
Harry’s eyes flew open and he saw Draco standing next to his bed, laughing with his arms crossed. “Draco!” he shouted, and jumped up from his bed. “Thank Salazar it’s you!” he exclaimed while wiping sweat off his forehead.
“Great to see you too, mate, but err,” he started with a raised eyebrow. “I’m sure you intended it to be a very special ‘hello’ surprise, but would you mind terribly if I asked you to, err, put away your toys?” he asked, obviously referring to Harry’s nakedness. “I’ll wait outside.” Draco chuckled and walked on the direction of the sitting room.
Once Harry had dressed, rather quickly I might add, he checked his watch and made his way to the sitting room. Five o’clock. Thankfully he wasn’t late for his appointment with the London Aurors, but he’d slept for almost 13 hours.
“What are you doing here, Malfoy,” he asked harshly - it had been an amazing dream that he was so rudely ripped out of.
“My, my, but we are cheerful this afternoon?” Draco added with a raised eyebrow. “What happened? Did the Ginny-girl walk out on you?” he asked with a smirk. He saw Harry’s confusion and continued. “I’m just asking. It’s not every day you find your friend butt naked in his bedroom... alone.”
“NO, she didn’t walk out on me! We’re just...” Harry paused, suddenly frustrated. “We’re just friends.” He’d given Ginny almost two months to get over Dean, and she had treated him in the worst possible way: as a friend. “And it’s my house; that gives me the right to be naked for no reason.”
“Still in the friend-zone, I take it?” Draco asked with a sigh. “I always knew you were thick, but how did you manage to be tossed in that bin? It’s almost impossible to ever be more than a friend after that’s happened.”
“You think I don’t know that?!” Harry snapped. “I gave her space; it was my mother’s idea.” he sighed and dropped his head into his hands.
Draco nodded sympathetically. Mrs. Potter had been known to be very involved when it came to her only son’s love life. He recalled her coming to Hogwarts back in sixth year to meet the girl her son was dating – to Harry’s utter horror, of course. Cho had broken up with him rather quickly after that, Harry had been a nightmare to share a dorm room with for weeks.
”Thanks,” Harry muttered while Draco handed him a glass of conjured Firewhiskey.
“Cheers!” he exclaimed in false cheerfulness before downing the drink.
“What’s eating you, mate?” Draco asked again. “Besides your overactive love life, of course,” he added sarcastically. Harry and Cho Chang were a couple for almost three years, her being his first and last girlfriend in all his time at Hogwarts.
“Nothing; You’ve only just managed to turn a very good dream into an awful nightmare! Thanks to you, I’m going to have to check if Ginny really is a woman before I take things any further; that is IF we go any further,” he chuckled at Draco’s confused expression. “I’m just tired, mate. We’ve been hunting a rather elusive werewolf for the last three days, and I haven’t slept a wink since we started,” he yawned as if his body were trying to emphasize the point.
Draco chuckled, “I know what you mean! They’ve got the interns running around like mad dogs over at Mungo’s...” he smiled absently after saying this and looked at Harry. “I met someone amongst the madness, though.”
Harry laughed at his friend’s words - he’d said the same thing to Draco almost three months ago. “Who is the lucky woman?” he asked in mock enthusiasm – it wasn’t that he wasn’t happy for his friend, but it seemed as if things were always going better with Draco than they did with him.
Draco had a goofy smile plastered on his face. “Astoria Greengrass,” he said almost breathlessly. “The most exquisite creature to ever walk the face of the earth, I swear!”
Draco launched into his description of the young witch and Harry tuned him out immediately. His thoughts were drifting towards Ginny, as they tended to do at every turn, and he sighed. He would have to make a move... and soon! Draco had a point, getting out of the ‘friend-zone’ was almost impossible... almost.
“...and we’re going on our second date this Friday, although I guess cleaning a infant delivery room doesn’t exactly count as a first date, but hey! Beggars can’t be choosers!” Draco finished and looked expectantly at Harry, who gushed things like ‘that’s great!’ and ‘you were always the one that got the girls’, which seemed to satisfy the blond man.
Harry stood up and apologised to Draco, but said that he had to get to work for an important meeting. “You’re welcome to stay ‘til I get back?” Harry suggested as they walked to the door.
“No, its fine mate, I was just about to leave anyway. Speaking of which, you’re still coming to the old ‘Malfoy Dinner’ next Saturday, aren’t you?” Draco asked.
“Of course, Draco, it’s marked on my calendar. I’m counting the days,” he said sarcastically.
Draco chuckled, “I guess I’ll see you then, Potter.” He shook Harry’s hand and disapparated.
Started as he checked the time on his watch - quarter to six - and ran into his house to grab his wand. It wasn’t until he had locked his front door and started to turn on his heel when he heard Ginny calling him. “Harry! Wait up!” she called and he stopped turning immediately. He smiled as she half-jogged towards him.
“Hi Ginny, I’m in a bit of a hurry – late for work I’m afraid – so could we talk later, please?” he was getting desperate. Emory would never let him live it down if he was late.
“Sorry Harry this can’t wait – don’t give me that look; I’ll be quick! I was wondering if I could ask you a favour?” she looked almost embarrassed. “It’s fine if you say no, you know what I’m not even going to ask you – it’s stupid – and honestly...”
“Ginny! Calm down!” Harry chuckled as she started to blush. “What’s the favour?” he asked, suddenly intrigued. The list of things that she could want was endless, so maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have asked. Ten minutes to six.
She seemed very interested in a patch of grass at her feet, and Harry (unable to stop himself) gently put a hand on both her shoulders. “What’s up, Ginger?” he asked with that half smile that made her legs tremble every time. She hated the nickname, but she could talk to him about that later, he seemed like the type that would actually listen to what she was saying.
“You see, Harry,” she cleared her throat, “You know how Dean and I have, well we’ve been... what I’m really trying to say is...” she glanced up at Harry and his eyes were urging her to carry on. “Dean was going to accompany me to my brother’s wedding next Saturday, and obviously that isn’t going to happen, and I was wondering if maybe you’d go with me?” she rushed all of the words out, almost causing her tongue to tie into a knot.
Harry laughed nervously. “A wedding?” he asked. Seven minutes and I’m late...
She nodded. “I’d understand completely if you didn’t want to go, but I’d really like it if you would, because Dean is going to be there...”
“Done.” he said quickly. Space his arse. If he was to give her more space he would have to move to America, and so he decided that this was his chance to make his move.
She smiled brilliantly at him. “You’ll go with me?” she asked a little shyly. He nodded quickly and glanced at his watch. “Listen, Gin, I really need to go. Old people and all that, so I’ll see you later?” his voice sounded hopeful and she couldn’t help but nod in the affirmative.
“Brilliant, I’ll see you later, Ginger.” he disapparated with a deafening CRACK and she was left with a goofy smile on her face. She sighed contently and turned to go back into her apartment.
Holyhead Auror’s office, Whales.
Emory was sitting at his desk watching the clock like a hawk when he saw his partner running toward him. “Am I late? I... err... overslept a bit,” he gasped.
“Right on time, Potter,” he said. “The London Aurors will be here any minute.”
“Thank goodness,” Harry said as he fell into his chair. “Thought I’d miss the whole thing!”
Emory chuckled, but his eyes focused on something behind Harry, and he stood up to greet someone. “Emory Collins,” Emory said in his most businesslike tone while Harry got up to stand beside him. “Harry Potter” he said, trying to imitate Emory’s professional manner.
A rather gnarled man stepped forward. “Alistair Moody and this is Nymphadora Tonks,” the witch’s hair turned a vivid shade of red as Moody indicated towards her.
Harry recognised her - She was friends with one of his father’s best friends, Remus Lupin, and Moody was, of course, legendary in the Auror World.
“Wotcher, Harry” she mumbled, then looking at Emory. “Just call me Tonks, though.”
“Pleased to meet you Tonks,” Emory said in a friendly voice. “Now – the werewolf. We caught him in the woods just out of town. So far he’s been very resistant to any interrogation methods we’ve tried, but I’m sure you’re much better equipped for this type of thing back in London.”
Moody grunted noncommittally, “Let’s just get it over with. I want to get home, my mailbox was destroyed this morning, and I’d like to get it back up and ready to defend as soon as possible.”
Harry saw that the Tonks’s hair change to a light pink colour, and she was hiding a small smile from Moody. A muttered ‘attacked me first’ could also be heard from her direction.
“Right this way,” Harry said.
As they stopped at Skorponok’s cell. The group all shared a confused expression. Skorponok was sitting in the furthest corner of his cell, far away from any metal.
The cell’s bars were either extremely clean, or... Harry’s thoughts were interrupted.
“The bars had to be transfigured into solid silver, because Skorponok’s been trying to attack the Aurors on duty,” Emory explained.
“Brilliant thinking, we’ve got it from here,” Tonks said confidently.
“So you’re sure you’ve got it all under cover?” Harry asked. He didn’t want to use another 72 hours of his life to hunt down the werewolf.
“A simple portkey and we’re out of your hair,” Tonks said, her hair suddenly mirroring of Harry’s.
“Excellent,” Harry exclaimed in relief.
A few moments later, Moody and Tonks were gone with Skorponok, and Harry stood talking with Emory.
“...and so, now I’m going with her to her brother’s wedding.” Harry finished, whilst shaking his head.
“I still fail to see the problem, Harry,” Emory answered.
“I don’t even know which brother is getting married, Emory! Am I supposed to go and share a family memory as a stranger?” Harry almost shouted out of frustration.
“Yes,” Emory said very calmly while sipping his cup of tea. “Weddings are the gateway into any family, Harry. Chances are, if the family is indeed as big as you’ve described, there’ll be plenty of other strangers there!” he chuckled. “All you have to do is sit with the girl at the ceremony and dance with her a couple of times at the reception! Oh, and you’ve also got to remember to not make a fool out of yourself in front of her friends and family. Do that and you’ll be fine.” he finished with a wink.
Harry stared incredulously at the old man. “That’s it, I’m not going,” he stated firmly.
“Nonsense, boy!” Emory said seriously. “You captured a bloody werewolf today! So my final advice to you is this: Grow. A. Pair!” and with that, he disapparated on the spot, leaving Harry to his thoughts.
He followed suit and apparated home not too long after Emory.
sorry it took so long to update, but I'll be scaling back a bit as school has just started again. I'll aim for two chapters a week, but I can almost promise at least one new chapter weekly.
I'd just like to thank all of you readers out there, again! I love you all!
PS: I'd love to hear some feedback on this chapter, so feel free to review!!!