Chapter 1 : Meeting with the Minister
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 4|
Background: Font color:
“So what do you think Tyler? How can we catch the students up and build their confidence and get them excited about their studies?” She addressed the American ex-auror she had hired to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts this year. He was a fairly large wizard at nearly six feet and a stocky build. His dirty-blonde hair was trimmed short. His bright eyes sparkled with excitement to educate and pass his knowledge. His rounded face was accented by a neatly trimmed beard and mustache that suited him well.
“There are a few things we can do to catch them up. I think if the rest of the teachers are up for it we should offer a summer semester for them.” Tyler had a soft voice but when needed, he could command the attention of a classroom. “I also feel like we should petition the Wizengamot to allow the students an opportunity to study at home with their parent’s supervision, at least those with wizarding parents. And I think it’s too late to implement it for this year but having fourth and sixth year students tutor their younger housemates would help. So many of the older students seem to be above the expected level and we can’t waste that.”
“Yes I believe we have Mr. Potter to thank for that. A lot of those students were part of his D.A. group if I’m not mistaken.” Rebecca Long spoke up. She was an unusual witch. She was a half-blood with a love of muggle candy that reminded McGonagall of Albus. She usually wore earrings that looked like the colorful chocolate pieces. She was fairly short about as tall as Pomona Sprout. Minerva remembered how much Rebecca had loved Transfiguration during her time at Hogwarts and now her former student was a respected teacher in her own right. Minerva had kept the N.E.W.T. level class though, she just couldn’t stop teaching.
“I have to agree. I have heard the same from the other professors especially about the older students. Your suggestions are very good Tyler and it will give me something to discuss with the Minister.” She seemed apprehensive though. “We still need a way to entice those that are struggling to want to learn more.”
“Well why don’t we arrange a practical magic demonstration. Not teachers mind you but other students. Show them what they can learn if they apply themselves.” Rebecca suggested; she knew a young impressionable student just might be influenced.
“I think that would be wonderful. In fact I have the perfect student in mind. I was trying to plan some way to test his practical skills before the N.E.W.T.s start.” Minerva let the edge of her lips curl into a smile.
“Who would that be Minerva?” Tyler asked.
“I will keep that bit a surprise for now. Be prepared for Sunday after lunch. I have a feeling we’re in for quite a show.” He was going to hate the idea at first but he would do it to inspire others. That was just the type of man Harry was. “Now I think its time to get to class. I have to contact the Minister.” The professors left her office as she grabbed a small pinch of floo powder and tossed it into her fire.
Kingsley Shacklebolt silently cursed as he ran through the Ministry. He had just finished talking with the Headmistress and was late to get to the Department of Magical Transportation. He was meeting a very important portkey and didn’t want to miss it.
He checked his watch as he slipped into the lifts and pressed the button for level six. It was already eleven-forty. He tapped his foot impatiently as the lift banged and crashed upward. Finally the doors slid open and he rushed out of the lift as quickly as possible. He ran down the corridor to the portkey office and then through a side door labeled “International Portkey Arrivals.”
“Two minutes to spare.” He breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ll handle this next arrival Ms. Davis.” The Minister took the parchment she was holding. As he expected the next arrival was coming from Brazil and was with a new experimental portkey designed to negate the affects of the time zone differences.
“Of course Minister. I’ll just take my lunch a little early.” She relaxed and left the room. The sudden appearance of the Minister for Magic was enough to shock anyone.
Kingsley placed a silencing charm on the door and heard a squelch as it sealed. He wanted to talk to the arrivals and wanted to make sure nobody could interrupt them or overhear their conversation. Finally the clock struck eleven forty-five and five people spun into view holding piece of rope with a time turner attached.
“Welcome back Harry. It’s so good to see you.” Kingsley’s voice boomed maybe a little louder than he intended. He hadn’t anticipated the affect the disorientation would have on his young friend and his reaction time.
The experiences he had gone through had made Harry a little more cautious than other times in Brazil. He had his wand pointed at the Minister before anyone could react. He hadn’t really been expecting a personal greeting. “What assignment were you working on when we first met?”
The ex-auror smiled. “Constant vigilance Harry, Moody would approve. I was working on tracking down your godfather, Sirius Black.” His shoulders relaxed as Harry stowed his wand.
“It’s good to see you Minister.” Harry stepped off the arrival platform and gave the man a quick hug.
“What just happened here?” Elimar asked Mariana who was watching the pair intently.
“Welcome to England. A country where ‘Arry has had be on his guard since he found out he was a wizard.” Mariana tried to explain. “It’s also a country that values him so much that the Minister for Magic would welcome him home and not even flinch when Harry pulls a wand on him.”
The rest of the group nodded their understanding. “Now do you all understand English at least a bit?” The Minister addressed the teens that had just arrived as well. The exchange between Mariana and Elimar had been in Portuguese. They all nodded to him. “Great, I must steal Harry for a meeting for about two hours or so in the mean time I have arranged for you to tour the Ministry and have lunch in the cafeteria. Afterward Harry can take you to Diagon Alley before you head to Hogwarts tomorrow.”
“I guess I’ll make the arrangements for our stay tonight, Kreacher!” Harry called.
“Master, welcome home,” Kreacher appeared with a crack and bowed low.
“Thank you Kreacher. Please take these trunks to the house. At least five of us will be staying tonight and I might have a couple other guests for dinner so please get some things to prepare a nice traditional meal.” The elf bowed and left with the trunks that had been left on the platform. “Before we go Minister let me do one more thing.” Harry tapped his head and his shortened hair lengthened to shoulder length brown locks. His nose shortened and widened slightly. He completed the look by tinting his glasses and changing their shape. “Now nobody should recognize me.”
“Very impressive Harry, you should score well in concealment and stealth at the academy.” Harry didn’t respond. He knew he would be telling the Minister about his decision before long. Kingsley unsealed the door and opened it to find the young assistant he had sent for. “Mr. Jones please take these young visitors on a tour of the Ministry and then for lunch. Anything they want to eat will be covered by me. I will meet you with James here in about two hours.”
“Of course Minister.” The young man responded. “Please come with me.” Harry smiled as his friends filed out of the room. He followed behind the Minister as they went toward his office. He had only been warned about this meeting a few minutes before leaving but he was always happy to talk with Kingsley.
Harry appreciated the anonymity his new look afforded him. He was able to walk through the offices without anyone looking at him twice. Although there were a few raised eyebrows at the Minister walking with someone nobody had ever seen. After a short ride in the lifts they arrived at the Minister’s office. There was already someone waiting for them.
“Good afternoon Gawain. I’m glad you got my message. Please come in and we’ll have lunch. I promise this isn’t about work.” The man breathed a sigh of relief and eyed Harry as he followed. Kingsley pressed his palm against the door to his office. The door clicked and swung open without him touching it further.
“Oh Minerva I wasn’t expecting you. It’s nice to see you today.” Gawain spoke as he entered the office behind the Minister. Kingsley took a seat behind his desk and conjured an extra seat on the other side as there were only two regularly.
“Good to see you too Gawain,” Professor McGonagall addressed the man before noticing Harry. “Merlin’s beard is that you Mr. Potter? What have you done to yourself?”
“Potter, you mean Harry Potter?”
Harry chuckled as he undid the transfiguration on his hair and face. It returned short and black and his glasses appeared normal. “Just some simple transfiguration professor, I thought it would be easier to walk through the Ministry that way.”
“Well I see Headmistress Roberta was right about your skills improving. That was some very impressive work.”
“Especially since he performed the spell without uttering a word, and less than a minute after he arrived by international portkey.” Kingsley added for McGonagall’s benefit.
“Truly?” Gawain asked. “That is extremely impressive. Now can I ask why we’re all here?”
“Oh yea that.” Kingsley responded as if just realizing the reason. “Well Gawain I invited you specifically because I wanted to introduce you to Harry.”
“Minister I hate to cut you off. But I know why you invited Mr. Robards here and I think it will be a disappointment if you carry on.”
“So Harry why don’t you tell me why Gawain is here and we’ll see how right you are.”
“He’s here because he is the head of auror department. And to your knowledge the only career I had ever showed interest in was becoming an auror.” Gawain sat up a little excited at the revelation. “Unfortunately Minister and Headmistress I have had a change of heart. I cannot risk a career as an auror. There is too much in my life at stake.”
“Harry I want you to be happy no matter what you choose so why would I be disappointed by you changing your mind?” Professor McGonagall was just as surprised as the others she hadn’t expected this.
“Do you not remember the promise you made to Umbridge? I’m going to force you to break that.”
“Harry you could never disappoint me. I wish you the best of luck in your future no matter what you decide.”
“Thank you professor, that means a lot to me.” Harry smiled genuinely. “Now that I have gotten that off my chest I am happy that Gawain is here because he can hopefully give me some advice.” Gawain who was crestfallen to gain and lose a recruit so quickly perked back up. “Since I plan to have a long and full life I would like to do some studying by correspondence so if I ever change my mind I won’t necessarily have to start at the beginning.”
“Well I think that is very admiral and prudent planning.” Gawain looked over the young wizard. “In order to know where to begin we would have to test your current abilities.”
“I can help with that. In fact the reason I am here was to ask a favor of Harry.” The headmistress found the perfect opportunity to bring up her plan. “Many of the younger students at Hogwarts have been struggling with courses this year. We are planning some additional lessons and possibly even a summer session to get the students to the level required. However in order to get them interested in these sessions we need to build some enthusiasm with the students. I was hoping you’d be willing to give a practical magic demonstration Sunday to show what a quality education can do. It would also help us determine if we need to give you any special focus to pass your tests.”
Harry took a moment to think about her request. “Well I won’t mind assisting you especially since your needs match up well with mine. But wouldn’t someone like Hermione be more skilled at something like this?”
“She may know more spells, which is very hard to say given the spells you learned at Amazonis. But you are much more powerful and will produce more impressive results.”
“Well since I’m sure none of the new students saw your cat why don’t we start with an animagi demonstration and go from there.” Harry suggested to his professor.
“That is a wonderful idea Harry. But don’t think I didn’t notice your mention of animagi. You perfected the change didn’t you? Well don’t just sit there blushing show us.” Harry had indeed been blushing furiously.
Harry examined the room and found a spot where he could change into the griffin and spread the wings. Harry began to walk to the corner and allowed the change to take affect. He heard the gasps behind him as he turned. He bared the fangs in his mouth and growled. Finally he sat back and spread his magnificent wings to let them get the full effect.
“Harry that was amazing, let me think of how we can use that without scaring the students.” Professor McGonagall said after he had changed back to his normal form. “We can talk about the details tomorrow night.”
“Well I think that settles the business we have, except for this Harry.” Kingsley passed him a rolled up parchment. “That is your apparation license that you have rightfully earned. Now Gawain I’m sure you were already planning it, but I expect you to observe the demonstration Sunday. I know it’s your normal day off so feel free to come in late Monday.” Kingsley said kindly understanding he was asking a lot of his department head. “Now let’s have some lunch and get Harry back to his friends.”
“So Mr. Potter since you do not plan on pursuing a career as an auror what are you going to do?” The Headmistress asked after getting a plate of food. A rather impressive spread had been provided and a side table.
“Well Headmistress I received seventeen offers last week and one in particular stood out. I believe I will be accepting it.
“Seventeen offers to do what?” Gawain asked again confused.
“Why to play quidditch of course. Harry is a natural and has been the seeker for Gryffindor since his first year.” McGonagall responded while the Minister studied the group.
“I also set the record at Amazonis for fastest capture last week.”
The adults studied him closely before going back to the question at hand. “So what team will be gaining the honor of having you join them?” Kingsley was generally pleased with his friend even if he was a little disappointed.
“Well every team except one offered me a tryout. One team though offered me a guaranteed spot on the team with one condition.” Harry explained. “I plan on accepting the position with the Cannons and in order to fulfill the condition I’m hoping to take Ron with me.”
Gawain heard Kingsley sigh even more disappointed then before. “Am I to guess we just lost another auror sir?” Kingsley nodded. “Well I will evaluate Mr. Weasley Sunday evening and prepare some correspondence courses for him as well. You never can be too prepared.”
Over the next hour Harry caught up on all the occurrences from the previous year. They discussed the trials of the captured death eaters. Minerva explained the changes Hogwarts had undergone to compensate for the additional students. Kingsley discussed changes to the Ministry in both organization and personal. It had taken almost six months to clear out all suspected Voldemort sympathizers. Many departments would be understaffed for years. It was then that Kingsley decided to slip into the conversation that the muggle Prime Minister had discussed the war with the Queen and she wanted to knight Harry in a private ceremony following the school year. Harry knew better than to try to resist. The only bright side was only those he personally invited would be in attendance.
Finally Harry brought the topic of conversation around to a situation he had wanted to discuss. He asked Kingsley and Minerva about their progress on locating the Granger’s. Now that school was finishing up Harry wanted to give back to one of his best friends. Kingsley confessed that international relations were still strained but he had managed to gain some help and leads. However he wouldn’t discuss any of this until after the school year finished.
Harry left lunch and went toward the atrium again accompanied by the Minister. He had transfigured his hair and glasses and was again practically unrecognizable.This was a good thing because they passed Percy on the way to the lifts. When the lift came to a halt and Harry stepped out he froze. In the center of the atrium where the fountain once stood was a large white marble stone. He knew it was to be positioned there but he stared intently at the war memorial.
His friends watched closely as Harry walked around the large white stone. His hand ran over various names. Some he hadn’t been expecting since they were part of the first war. Many brought tears to his eyes as he thought about them. His parents were listed there right next to Sirius, Tonks and Remus. Severus Snape had been placed next to Lily. Alastor Moody was on the side that featured many aurors and Order members. Fred Weasley was listed there along with Neville’s parents. Even though they hadn’t died they were still casualties of the war. Cedric, Lavender and Collin Creevy had been placed together and Harry smiled to see Dobby’s name appear on the marble as well. It was an elegant symbol of sacrifice and remembrance.
“Thank you for lunch Minister. Now I’m going to take my friends to Diagon Alley and do some shopping. Can you give them my address so we can find it afterward?” Kingsley nodded and presented a small piece of parchment so that each of his friends could read it. He then shook Harry’s hand as they made their way to a floo. Harry taught them how to properly pronounce “The Leaky Cauldron.” Each one then took a handful of powder and tossed it into the fire before disappearing themselves.
After arriving at the bar of the small inn, Harry led his friends through the door to the back and tapped the bricks to open the door. He marveled at the change that had undergone the alley in the past year. None of the storefronts were empty people were walking around cheerfully greeting one another. There was no fear in the shoppers as they walked by. Nobody paid any special attention to Harry or his friends while they walked toward the large marble building at the end of the street.
“Why don’t you guys go in there and look around while I do my business at the bank.” Harry gestured to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes as they passed the brightly colored store. “Just don’t say too much to anyone with bright red hair. I don’t want them to know I’m here yet.”
His friends smiled. Harry had explained he wanted to surprise his friends in England when they were making plans to arrive with him. They left to examine the joke shop as Harry walked into Gringotts. He passed Bill Weasley who never even glanced his way and approached the head goblin. Without causing a distraction he presented his wand and was led to his vaults. He was glad he had taken Fleur with him when he went before leaving for Brazil. She had helped negotiate an agreement that allowed Harry to continue to use the bank and prevented the goblins from seizing his assets. In the end he had agreed to pay for the damages and Fleur had arranged for Charlie to have a dragon hatchling delivered as soon as possible. Harry of course had not told Hermione about this knowing how she would react.
Harry first stopped at a vault filled with galleons. He filled his money pouch knowing he had some stops to make and proceeded to another vault that he knew held his family’s jewelry. A glass case on the right hand side was his target. It was filled with small boxes containing engagement rings and wedding bands. He had been here last year and seen one set he knew he would want to give Ginny. It was a plain yellow gold band or at least he thought it was. A medium sized diamond was surrounded by two deep red rubies that reminded him of his Gryffindor colors. On the outside of the rubies were two emeralds that were bright like Harry’s eyes. The wedding band had two each of the jewels in the same configuration. Harry pocketed the black velvet box and returned to the waiting cart for the nauseating ride back to the surface.
Harry exited the bank and made his way into a small shop across the alley from the Weasleys’. “Can I help you sir?” The attendant looked up as Harry walked in.
“Yes I placed an order about a year ago and need to pick it up.”
The witch looked over him expectantly. “We don’t usually keep orders on hold for that long Mr. Potter but I know there were extenuating circumstances. Let me get your packages.”
She left into the back room and returned with a large rectangular package levitating and a smaller cube shaped bundle under her arm. “Can you hold the larger one and deliver it across the street Monday?” She nodded as Harry stowed the smaller package in his bag and made his way across to the joke shop to join his friends. They stopped in a few more shops before Harry lead them by side-along apparation to the square where his house stood.
The outside of the house didn’t look very different but Harry could see small changes. None of the windows were cracked as they once had been and the glass was cleaner. Harry opened the door to the house and stepped in. He held the door open but nobody stepped over the threshold.
“’Arry this is a wizard house. As the owner you actually have to verbally invite us in.” Leticia explained laughing at Harry’s perplexed look.
“Sorry, please everybody come in.” Harry moved away from the door as his friends filed in. He took a moment to absorb the changes that had been made. The entrance was no longer dark and dreary. A skylight allowed sunshine right down through the entire stairwell to the entrance. The stairs had been adjusted slightly for this purpose. “Kreacher come here.” Harry called to the elf.
“Master is home. I hope you are pleased with your house.”
Harry knelt to look the elf in the eyes. “Kreacher it looks wonderful. Why don’t you give us the grand tour and explain the changes you made.”
Kreacher walked them through the large house. They started with fancy dining room then started up the stairs. Harry marveled at the change to the drawing room and Mrs. Black’s attitude. She greeted him warmly as they entered the room. He examined the expanded Black family tree that now included the Potters.
“Believe it or not I am glad you are still here Mrs. Black. You too Phineas, I’m glad Hermione removed you from her bag.” Harry addressed the portraits in the room.
“If Kreacher and the house can accept you nephew I certainly can too. I apologize for the way I treated your friends, especially Ms. Granger.”
“Nephew, how was it I never knew that?”
“I do not know why Sirius chose to not reveal it. Perhaps he didn’t want to force a relationship that you might not have wanted.” Harry slumped a little “Of course I’m not your direct aunt. My sister married your grandfather.”
“I learned that recently in my family’s album. I’m proud to be a Black, a Potter and an Evans.”
Harry expected her to react negatively to the mention of his mother. Instead the portrait smiled warmly. Kreacher continued the tour of the house. There was a small office on the same floor as the drawing room and a couple of bedrooms along with a bath. The next floor up held four bedrooms with two loos shared between them. Each had their own color scheme and design. Harry loved the rooms and finally let Kreacher lead him to the top floor.
The entire top floor was devoted to a master suite. There was a balcony at the top of the stairs allowing one to look all the way to the front door. The bedroom had a king size 4-poster bed. Three doors led off the room. The first was to a large walk in closet. The second was to a bathroom that rivaled the one in Patricia’s house. There were two sinks a shower and a huge bathtub. Harry imagined reclining in the tub. Finally the third door lead to another office that he suspected could be converted to a nursery when time came for kids.
“Kreacher this is beautiful. I’ve heard stories of how it looked before and this is amazing.” Mariana complemented the small elf.
“Kreacher, Mariana is right. Please tell me what I can do for you, anything at all name it.”
“Master I must think about that. I’s is not use to being asked what I want. For now I will return to the kitchen to start dinner. It will be served at seven.” Harry led the way back down the stairs and left his friends in the drawing room. They were planning to pick out rooms to crash for the night. He wanted to see the kitchen for himself and he needed to invite a couple extra guests.
He entered the kitchen and heard Kreacher working in the pantry. The kitchen wasn’t drastically changed though it was much improved. The long table had been polished to a shine and the cabinets had been repaired. There were new appliances and granite counter tops. It was elegant and yet simple. Harry knew he had to thank Molly Weasley as well.
Harry used his wand to light a fire in the fireplace and grabbed the pot of floo powder. He hoped he would find her at home. “Andromeda, Andromeda are you there?”
“Merlin’s beard Harry you scared me.” She was wiping her hands on a towel at her waist. “Where are you calling from?”
“I’m at home Andromeda.” The charm on the house prevented him from saying the name. “Would you and Teddy like to join me and some friends for dinner before I have to be at Hogwarts tomorrow?”
“That would be lovely dear. We’ll be over shortly. Kingsley has already provided me with the address knowing you wouldn’t be able to resist seeing your godson.” Harry nodded as he pulled his head from the fireplace.
Harry sat at the end of long table after getting a pumpkin juice from the cooler. Kreacher had stocked well this afternoon. Not five minutes later the fire turned green and Andromeda stepped out with a struggling toddler. “Haree!” The little boy’s turquoise hair turned dark black and his brown eyes matched Harry’s green.
“Hey there big man, when did you learn my name?” Harry took the little kid from his grandmother. He had only met Teddy one other time. That had been at Remus and Tonks funeral. Still the pair had bonded.
“I’ve shown him pictures of you Harry.” Andromeda sat down at the table across from where Harry was. “I’m surprised at your invite why are you here so early, the term has almost a month left.”
“They wanted me to be here for my N.E.W.Ts. It wasn’t my idea but the professors think it’s for the best so here I am, juice?” She nodded and he poured her a glass. He filled Teddy’s sippy cup as well. “Kreacher can you get my friends and invite them down here to meet our guests?”
The elf disappeared with a crack. “What friends are those?” Andromeda asked.
“Professor McGonagall invited some of the Amazonis students to a graduation ball. Some of my friends are in their sixth year so they got to come early.” Harry explained before taking another sip of his drink. Teddy had settled into Harry’s chest and was napping quietly.
The door opened and Leticia led the group into the kitchen. She only got a few steps in when she froze. “’Arry Potter how could you not tell us you have a son?” Her scream echoed off the stones of the kitchen. Harry smiled at her knowing how things looked. She was steaming mad.
“You’re right I should’ve told you. More importantly I should introduce you to Teddy’s mother.” Harry gestured to Andromeda and gave her a sly wink. She was trying to suppress a laugh. “Don’t look so shocked. I am quite famous here. And older women do have their benefits.”
“This isn’t a laughing matter ‘Arry.” Mariana picked up the criticism. Ana Paula was too stunned to talk.
Finally Teddy woke up and started to cry. “Ana Paula would you mind holding Teddy for a moment?” The girl looked over him suspiciously but took the toddler in her arms.
The act had the desired affect. Teddy’s hair returned to the bright blue color and his eyes mimicked Ana Paula’s brown ones. “Girls please meet my metamorphmagus god-son Teddy.” He smiled wider. “Oh and his grandmother Andromeda, I probably don’t need to explain what happened to his parents.” Harry looked at Mariana knowing she’d understand.
“That was pretty funny ‘Arry.” Elimar finally found his voice. “But can you explain what a god-son is.” Harry explained the situation to Elimar who knew the least about his past. When he explained his relationship to Teddy Elimar translated the word.
Before long Kreacher announced dinner and served a Variety of traditional dishes. Harry enjoyed the shepherd’s pie and his favorite treacle tart for dessert. His friends found the experience unique and the girls took turns passing Teddy around the table. The young boy entertained the girls by changing his hair color and eye color. However every time he got near Harry he adopted the black hair and green eyes Harry was famous for. Andromeda told the teens about her daughter and son-in-law. Before long the group decided to head to bed. The heavy English food affected their bodies along with the excitement of the day.
“Sleep well guys. We’ve got another fairly busy day tomorrow. Big quidditch match to watch.” Harry smiled leaving his friends on the landing with the four bedrooms before heading up to the master suite. He settled into the large bed that seemed very lonely without anyone to share with but he finally fell asleep. His dreams were filled with visions of an attractive redhead flying on a broom.
AN: Well so the sequel starts. I will be posting a few more chapters in the next few days since I've had quite a few requests.
Other Similar Stories
Red headed e...
Bedlam and ...