Chapter 7 : Ginny's Last Year at Hogwarts
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Ginny was on the train to Hogwarts. It was different. Harry was not on the train. Hermione was not on the train. Ron was not on the train. She felt like the odd person out. Sure she had friends in the seventh year. Sure she had friends in the other years. But for the first time she was really on her own, or so she felt. Yes, she was Head Girl, and she was the Captain of the Gryffindor quidditch team, and yes, she had much to do to keep herself occupied. Still, she was pre-occupied.
There was the sorting of first years, there was the grand welcoming banquet. Professor McGonagall was aware of her issues and needs, but held back until she felt that she was needed. Ginny pulled herself together and took charge. She took charge of her lessons, her homework, and her duties as Head Girl, and she really took charge of the quidditch team.
Early at breakfast Hedwig flew into the Great Hall with mail for her. She read Harry’s note with delight. Gryffindor was holding their quidditch practice on Thursday nights, and that was the best night of the week for practice since it was the closest to the actual game on Saturday. Friday night was reserved for a scrimmage between the two teams that would be facing each other on Saturday. In the past each house played each other house a total of three games per house, a total of six games per year. This year these numbers were to be doubled. There would be a complete round in the fall, and another complete round in the spring. This delighted everybody, and Ginny sent her quidditch schedule to Harry right away.
On Thursday afternoon Harry, Ron and Hermione apparated into Hogsmeade and then flew their brooms right over the wall and into Hogwarts. They were seated in the upper stands before anybody knew that they were there. Well, almost anybody, since Professor McGonagall had to lower the perimeter magic to allow their brooms to pass. Ron and Harry quietly watched the practice begin, but before long they were on their brooms circling very high above the quidditch pitch.
As soon as Harry saw the snitch, he went into a steep dive. It was from a very long way up, but the Gryffindor seeker had not seen the snitch yet. Harry flashed past her at near light speed, or so it was said, grabbed that snitch and went sailing up around the pitch, showing off the snitch, while Deborah Hancock, the new seeker was left looking at his dust. Ginny did not know that Harry was there and was dumbfounded when he and Ron circled around the pitch. McGonagall was in the stands watching, but she knew that Harry and Ron were here, and had an idea of what they planned to do.
Harry swooped on down, gave the snitch to Deborah with a smile and then flew up into the stratosphere again. Well, ok, he was very high up anyway. The practice continued and once again, Harry saw the snitch but he waited until Deborah saw the snitch and was making her move on it. Harry tipped over and flew straight down, he was flying down under full power he dashed under Deborah and reached up from under her and nabbed the snitch, pulling out into a safe direction.
Harry pulled up to a landing, and the team gathered around him. He handed Deborah the snitch. He said, “Not only do you have to see the snitch, but you have to get it too. And you have to get it before the other team’s seeker can get it. It does not matter where he is, he is going to try to beat you to it, he is going to be fast, and so you have to be fast. He will not yield to you, so you cannot yield to him. Look you may collide with him but you have to have your being focused on the snitch and not on him. Keep your focus and you ought to be able to shoulder him aside. You are both on moving platforms, so unless you are attacking the snitch from different directions, a little brush up with him will not hurt you. You may or may not get the snitch, but you will show him that you will not let him get away with it either.
“Now get back up there, and let’s try it again.”
Meanwhile Ron joined the Gryffindor keeper at the hoops. He told Ginny that the chasers would have to get by both of them.
The team took to the skies again. The chasers were playing their own game, and the seekers were playing their game. The beaters were told to both help the chasers, and to tangle up Ron as if he were an opposing keeper. Harry was to be fair game for the beaters too.
Harry saw the snitch, but one of the beaters made him move in another direction. Deborah tried for the snitch too, but it evaded her.
The chasers tried to score, but Ron caught that one, and passed it to the keeper. The chasers tried again, this time with beaters flying with them. One of the beaters hit a bludger towards Ron. Ron ducked out of the way and the score went in.
By the time that the practice was finished the Gryffindor team was worn out. But Harry told them that they looked much more like a team now. Professor McGonagall came and asked if it was fair that the Gryffindors should have extra help with their practice. Harry thought about that for a moment and then said, “Where in the rules does it say that the team can only have seven players on it. Maybe there should be a whole second string team to play the opposition during practice, and as a backup in case someone gets hurt. They always do that, you know. Besides, you can let other alumni know that they too are welcome back to help train up their teams. And that would be better for the School, since active alumni tend to give more in donations to the school.”
McGonagall nodded to Harry, and then said, “It is good to have you guys back at the castle.” Maybe I should do more to get alumni back here more often. Perhaps a Homecoming Day or a Founder’s Day would be a good thing to hold around here.
Then Harry suggested, “Another good thing would to be to open the Chamber of Secrets. Let Sixth Year students go down there as a class each year to see the chambers, for they are quite remarkable, and it will also destroy the secret, and keep them from being used again. Why don’t some of the Alumni and the Seventh years go down there this fall, and make the entrances and exits safe and accessible, put lighting torches down there, take measurements and photographs, get the right kinds of exploration equipment, and then make it a regular thing.”
“Harry, you are so full of ideas. We will have to think about this however. But if we do something, we will keep you in mind.”
They all said goodnight to Minerva and to Ginny, and then flew over the wall and returned to Hogsmeade where they apparated back home again.
Meanwhile, back at home, Ron and Hermione made their home at 12 Grimmauld Place. Kreacher returned to the house to serve them. He said it was very different to serve the house of Weasley, But Hermione treated him so well that he felt that he was better off here than anyplace else, although he loved it at Hogwarts. Through his efforts, Kreacher brought two young elves with him from Hogwarts. They were called Benji and Margo. He told that Hogwarts had lots of elves and would not miss these, and besides, since he, Kreacher, was old enough to retire, he was going to do just that, either here or at Hogwarts. Of course old elves never really retire, they still have their finger into everything, and one of the things that Kreacher decided to do in his retirement was to make family trees for the Weasleys, the Potters, the Blacks, and the Peverells. Hermione encouraged him in this project and gave him a room to call his own and to work in.
Harry was now mostly in the big house all by himself, and with Leal and Constance. Every morning he attended the chapel at 7:00, then had breakfast at 8. Sometimes Ron and Hermione were here by 8, sometimes they were here at 9, in time to start the martial arts classes. The ones with Master Ping were particularly interesting as they were strenuous. It took a lot of effort to draw the chi into one’s self. It took a lot of effort to cast spells silently and without a wand. It took even more effort to apparate quickly and without a sound, and even more to do so invisibly with the chi all drawn in.
After class one afternoon, Master Ping found time to sit down with Harry, for Harry had some questions for him. Harry asked him about prayer, about God, does God exist, and was faith real. Should he be going to church? In short, what was life anyway?
Master Ping sat on a chair facing Harry, and sat in silence. They sat like that for about 15 minutes. Then Ping said, “Yes, Harry, I think you have it.”
He continued, “In the beginning there was God. God spoke and creation was made.
“We, our magic, the muggles, the whole world, its plants and its animals were all created by God. Now not all people understand God in the same way. Not all faithful people practice their faith the same way. But really, it is all the same. Jew, Christian, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian and many more all have one thing in common. They seek. They seek something deeper than themselves. They all have different understandings, they all have different scriptures, and they all have different practices. But they all seek.
“The human brain has two major lobes. On one side is the orderly, studious home of thoughts and reason. It is always active, it is always planning, always working. Some people try to find silence in a desert, but they fail, because they bring their thoughts with them.
“The other side of the brain is the poetic side, the side of art, of music, of the deep inner being, the self, of the soul. That is the real seat of prayer of spirit of God. Call it what you will. This is the part of the brain that we develop with chi training. The intellectual side will continue like a tree of chattering monkeys, but the spiritual side can still be at peace. It is the seat of prayer because it is the seat of the self. The intellectual side will try to fool you into thinking that it is the be all and end all, but it is not so. In reality the intellectual side is the servant of the spiritual side. And you know what? The spiritual side doesn’t care. Let the other side think it is in charge if that makes it happy, we both know better. Do not over think an issue, especially in combat, or in conflict as I would rather say. You need to do what comes naturally, without thinking it through. There is more magic in your soul than you can ever imagine. Let it flow. Use the Force.”
After Master Ping had left, Harry went to the foyer, and stepped through to Godric Cottage, He then came out on the Muggle side of Godric’s Hollow. To say that it had a Muggle side of a Wizard side was a little misleading. Muggles and Wizards lived there together, and that was that.
Harry bought some flowers at a shop in town, and then he went to the church yard, to the cemetery, where he lay the flowers on his parent’s grave. And then he went into the church and sat down. He looked around for a bit, but mostly he sat there in silence. After a time, he became aware that he was not alone but there was no one else in the church that he could see. He continued his meditation. Many thoughts went through his mind, but he ignored these. He looked at the windows, surprised that they were not stained glass. He also saw no painting of saints, no statues, no candles burning. Was he really in a church at all. He looked up. He saw the altar, the lectern, and there was a cross in the front of the church. Ergo, he must be in a church.
Still, he felt a presence in the church. He was about to get up and leave when a voice said “Harry, come over here to my office.” He looked about and saw the pastor, a small man with gray hair.
Harry went over to him and introduced himself, and the pastor answered, “Yes, I know that, Harry. I am August Calvinage, I married your mother and father here in this church, and I also buried them in the cemetery. I baptized you here in this church with Sirius Black standing as your Godfather. I have followed your comings and goings all the time you were at Hogwarts. And now you have come back to Godric’s Hollow, and back to Potter Hall. Let me say, Welcome Home, Harry Potter.”
There were some tears in Harry’s eyes. He said, “I never knew anything about church. I lived with the Dursleys when I wasn’t at Hogwarts until I was 17. They never brought me to a church. I never knew faith. There was no church, no spiritual instruction at Hogwarts, I did not know that there was a God, or what the church was all about.”
“That is sad, Harry, but not at all unexpected. Wizards seldom attend church, since most churches abhor witchcraft and wizardry. Here and in a few other places there are churches that know about the magical world. It is not a mystery, it is not evil, and at the root of it, God created the world of magic as surely as he created anything else on the world. As real witches and wizards it is our duty to revere God and his teachings. We might not attend services as others might, but either God is in our hearts or else we are Dark Wizards enamored of the Dark Lord who is Satan and not Voldemort whatever he might have thought.
“Some witches and wizards can be drawn very powerfully to Satan and even worship him, but in the end they will fare no better that Voldemort did. Do not despise your creator, Harry, but worship God alone. It is better to worship in a church that is opposed to magic than it is to be in one that loves Satan. I will be happy to instruct you into the faith, to receive you into the church, and to be your spiritual director, if you so desire. Do you have a Bible? I am sure that there is a Bible at Potter Hall, your parents and grandparents were very faithful, but here, let me give you a copy of this new revised version, for it is easy to read in today’s modern English.”
Harry took the Bible, looked at it reverently. Pastor August said, “Some people start at the beginning. Some start with the New Testament. Why don’t you start at the end, the book of Revelations? Do not take it too literally. It is a volume of apocalyptical literature, but it seems that wizards can understand this kind of writing far better than the muggles can.”
“Have you ever been to Potter Hall?” Harry asked.”
“Oh yes, many times. Perhaps you will have me over sometime soon, but not today. I was just on my way out to visit some folk who must be wondering where I have gotten off to. But I saw you in the cemetery, laying flowers at your parent’s grave, so I waited here to see if you would come in. I shall see you again soon, I am sure. Good day to you, Harry Potter.”
The one thing that stood out in Harry’s mind was that Reverend Calvinage was almost the spitting image of a shorter professor Dumbledore. He had the same manor, the same regal voice, and the same good advice. Yes, Harry thought, he would see much more of Pastor Calvinage.
And when Harry got home, pulled down some books on the church, and in particular, he discovered, on Calvinism and of that particular brand of the protestant faith. That it turned out was to be very interesting. Sure Calvin would have preached fire and brimstone against witchcraft and wizardry, but it was the bulk of his thoughts that interested Harry at the moment. This he was going to study.
And study he did until he realized that it was time to go to Hogwarts to see Ginny and the Gryffindor team rise up to play against the Slytherin team.
Their keeper was keeping, their seeker was seeking, and the chasers were racking us score after score. Much of the Slytherin team looked to be young. He saw Deborah dive on the snitch, blow past the Slytherin seeker and was closing in on the snitch, which itself was more than seventy feet over the pitch, when he thought he saw a faint blue light from the ground on the Slytherin side. Deborah fell like a stone.
Harry silently apparated to the field, and without thinking, without words, and almost without moving his hand caused her fall to slow and then to stop a few inches above the grass. He let her down. Deborah Hancock was not breathing; Harry could detect no pulse. He put his hand on her breast and focused his chi through it. Ron and Hermione made their way down as quickly as they could. Harry put them to work focusing their own chi into Deborah. Ginny was down next to them in a moment.
Harry held out his hand and said “Pensive-Scope.” Harry had no idea what a Pensive-Scope was, or if one existed at all. He knew what he wanted, and he knew what he wanted it to do. In his hand he held a silver object that looked like a binocular. It was about eight inches long, and each eye piece was about an inch in diameter. There was a wheel between the two sides, similar to that found on a binocular, but of wider diameter and it turned in the direction of the instrument rather than across it as in a binocular.
At first Harry saw nothing, but he turned the wheel, and he was able to see pictures of her memory. He could see her flying, he could see when she saw the snitch, and he could see the dive as if he were riding on her broom. She was diving nicely, she was going to get the snitch, but then came the flash of blue light from the ground. He focused in on that and could see the spell caster. It was a Slytherin boy but beyond that he did not know him. He pushed a lever on the side of the Pensive-Scope and took an image of the memory.
He then returned to Deborah and returned applying his chi, this time he put his wand to her forehead, and his hand on her bare chest, he began to chant her name, and the others followed suit. Madam Pomfrey was fluttering around as was Professor McGonagall. Harry waved them off, and continued to work his magic. Madam Pomfrey was able to discern that there was no respiration and no pulse, but she let Harry continue.
It took fifteen minutes, but then Deborah opened her eyes. She was breathing and confused. She looked in her hand, but the snitch was not there. She looked downcast. She thought that she had the snitch. And since she was here lying on the ground, she assumed that the Slytherins had caught the snitch. But they had not. The snitch was hovering over her, as if the snitch was worried for her, and she reached up and took it. She smiled, and then she was carted off to the infirmary wing.
Professor McGonagall looked at Harry, and he said to her “I need an office with a table, and I need Minister Shacklebolt here at once.
She looked at him, and he told her, “This is a case of attempted murder, and some Slytherin is going to see the inside of Azkaban real soon.”
She installed Harry in an unused classroom on her way to the Infirmary wing. Ron used the floo in Minerva’s office to floo to the Ministry, and Shacklebolt was with him when they came back. They went up to the infirmary, and listened to what Madam Pomfrey was telling Professor McGonagall. “She was not breathing, she had no pulse, but Harry was working on her, and Ron and Hermione joined him. I do not know what they were doing, but in the end it is certain that they did bring here around again and after fifteen minutes at that.”
They looked around, but did not see Harry. McGonagall told them that she had put Harry in a classroom by his own request, and that he had accused someone unknown of attempted murder. They went to the classroom and they found Harry there. He had developed the pictures that he had taken through the Pensive-Scope. He explained to them what he saw.
“I was interested in the machinations of the seeker, since on Thursday I was here and was helping her with her technique. I was high in the stands, trying to watch the game from the seekers point of view. I was as it were following down behind her when I saw a faint blue stroke from a wand down on the ground at the Slytherin end of the field. I apparated down there instantly, and using magic brought her free fall to a gentle landing just above the ground. I then set her down and examined her. She had no physical injuries since she did not hit the ground, but she was pulse less and without respirations.”
“Harry,” interrupted Hermione, “You can’t apparate on the grounds of Hogwarts.”
Harry instantly disappeared without a sound. Then from the other side of the room he said softly, “Maybe you can’t, but I can do it if I want to.”
Harry walked back to the desk where he had been talking to him. Kingsley and McGonagall looked at him.
Kingsley said, “I see that you have been keeping up with your studies. Extra points for Gryffindor House!”
They all laughed, and then Harry showed them his “Pensive-Scope”
“I asked for a ‘pensive-scope’ and this appeared in my hands. I have no idea what a pensive-scope is or even if one existed, I knew what I wanted and I knew what I wanted it to do. And it did what I wanted it to do. I looked into Deborah’s mind. Whatever that spell was it did not kill her outright like the Avada Kedavra would have done. I saw the game from her own eyes. She saw the snitch, she dived for the snitch, this blue light hit her and there the memory ended.
“Here are some of the pictures provided by the pensive-scope. There is the boy, dressed in Slytherin robes, with his wand up, and the blue light.
“Who is that boy? I want him brought here right now so that I may interrogate him.”
McGonagall said, “I do not think that it is your place to interrogate or investigate students at Hogwarts, Harry.”
But Minister Shacklebolt said, “As of this minute, Harry is an Auror, and I will let him investigate this matter. We will stay here and watch, and then we will decide what to do. If he has the power to apparate in the castle, if he has the skill to bring one back from death or near death, then he has the skill to work for me, and Gawain Robards can go and sit on an egg if he likes.”
After a little while Renford Wolfrack appeared in classroom that Harry was using, and he was introduced to the people who were here.
Harry asked to see Renford’s wand. He had Ron hold it up. With his wand Harry silently invoked the Priori Incantum spell. Out of the wand spilled the last spells that were cast by that wand. It was indeed the Avada Kedavra spell, but fortunately for all concerned it was poorly preformed, hence giving the pale blue strike rather than a vivid green strike.
Harry sat across from Renford, and held up his own right index finger. It glowed a bright blue and the blue light remained there after Harry put his hand down. Renford’s eyes however were locked unblinkingly on the blue light.
Harry looked into his eyes. “Tell me, what did you do this morning at the quidditch game?”
Renford glared at Harry, but said nothing.
Harry said, “You cast a spell, a spell with this wand. And that was a forbidden curse. For that alone, as proven by examination of your wand, you can be sent to Azkaban. Why did you cast that curses?” Harry spoke faster so that Renford could not answer even if he wanted to. “Who asked you to cast this curse? Was that person a student? Was that person an adult? Maybe a Death Eater? Do you know Deborah? Did you want Slytherin to win the game that badly? What is your game?”
Harry asked all of these questions, not to get answers, but to open doors inside of Renford’s memory. Now Harry looked into his eyes, and read from him memory: Yes, he knew what he was doing. No he never used that curse before. He disliked Deborah because she would not like him. He saw her as proud. He saw her as above him. Way above him. He saw himself as useless, He wanted to kill her. He did not want her to die. He did not want her to catch the snitch. She was racing at him as if she was going to run him down. He cast the spell in self-defense. Nobody suggested it to him. He saw her fall from her broom. She was falling through space. She fell to the ground, but the ground did not rise up to kill her. I saw them working on her. I thought that she was dead. I wanted her to be dead. I did not want her to die. They keep picking on me. They say that I am no good. I thought I would show them whose magic was the strongest. They thought I could not do it. Thornton thought I wouldn’t do it. But I did it. I did it to her, and I showed them!
“Renford,” Harry asked gently, “Who suggested this to you?”
Harry continued to look into Renford’s eyes… It was Thornton’s idea. He said I couldn’t kill a snake. He said I couldn’t kill a mudblood like Deborah. He said my blood was weak. My Father said that my blood was week. I showed them that I am strong. She wouldn’t go out with me. But I had her under my power. They thought I was a baby. That I couldn’t do anything Right. They said that I was a queer. That I could never do a woman. Well I did her. She screamed and screamed, but nobody heard her. She screamed and screamed, but I would not let go of her. I got her, and she is mine! They kept picking on me. They called me a sissy. They said I had no magic. They grabbed me. They pulled my pants down. They all took turns. All of those rock hard jocks. They all took their turns. It hurt. I screamed and screamed, but nobody heard me. Nobody came to free me. Nobody helped me. They all came but nobody helped me. Nobody came for me. They all attacked me. But I showed them. I killed the girl. I killed the mudblood. Let me see them do that. Pussies. They couldn’t kill a snake if somebody held it out for them.
Harry broke free from Renford’s mind. He took his hand reached up where the blue light was, and took it in his hand, and Renford broke free from Harry’s spell. Harry stood up, went behind Renford, and massaged his shoulders. He was crying, and Harry comforted him.
Harry said to Kingsley, and to McGonagall, “He needs to go to St. Mungo’s now. He needs the psychiatric unit. Kingsley will take him, and I will write up my findings and send them to you and to Kingsley. Minerva, will you send to bring Thornton to this room, Ron you can stay here with him when he arrives I am going up to talk to Deborah again.
And Harry went up to the infirmary. Madam Pomfrey was keeping Deborah overnight. McGonagall was with him, but he asked Madam Pomfrey to step outside. Harry asked, “Can I call you Deb? I heard Ginny calling you Deb.
“Good, can you tell me in your own words what happened?”
“Well, I saw the snitch, I dived for it. I think I saw a flash of blue, and then nothing. I found you reviving me on the ground.”
Harry said, “Yes that’s right, somebody aimed a spell at you. He is already out of the school. We can work fast if we have to. Do you know Renford Wolfrack?”
“Has he ever attacked you, sexually or otherwise?”
“Has he ever asked you for a date?”
“Have you ever led him on, or let him think that you were interested in him?”
“Have you ever heard any stories about him, maybe how he was treated in Slytherin House?”
“And just to be sure again, you have ever been close to him?”
“Ok, Deb, I think that this is all that I need to know. Rest up tonight and get back up on that broom again tomorrow. I’ll be looking for you on Thursday, that dive you made to the snitch was nothing less than outstanding.”
Harry left the infirmary, and returned to the class room with Professor McGonagall in tow. He sat at the table across from Thornton.
“Thornton is a nice name, is that your first name or is it your family name?”
“It’s my family name, my first name is Alistair. You can see why I go by Thornton, I would not want people to be calling me Alice, now would I?”
“Well, that is an interesting question. I came here to talk to you about Renford Wolfrack. Obviously you know him. You must be in the same year as him. What do you think of him?”
“Besides the fact that he is a big wuss, he’s just another guy, you know.”
“And just what do you do with other guys down there in Slytherin House?”
And Harry continued, “Look up here” and Harry’s finger glowed blue.
Thornton looked at it and his eyes became fixed on it. Harry looked into his eyes. Yes, Renford is a wuss. No. we never had sex with him. Some of us are gay, but so what, that is not a big deal any more. No we have never raped him. Well yes we did pull his pants down a few times, but what of that we never touched him. Well someone poked a broom stick at him once. No that was not me. I don’t know who it was, I only heard about it. So I do not know if it really happened. Yes, we all pulled his pants down at least once. Yeah, maybe he is cute. Yes, we tease him. No none of us would hurt him. He is fun to be around especially when he has no pants.
Harry said, “So what do you think of his emotional stability?”
“Besides being a wuss, you mean. He can be a bit spooky sometimes. Sometimes you want to leave him alone. You never know when the fun stops and he might do something to you. He can cast a mean spell at the tip of the hat.”
Harry said again, “Do you know Deborah Hancock?”
“Yes, everybody knows Deborah, no not that way, she is a good girl, but she doesn’t date outside of Gryffindor house. Actually, I do not know if I have seen her on a date at all.”
“Does Renford know her?”
“Yeah, he does talk about her, he wants to date her. Hasn’t even the nerve to get up and walk over to the Gryffindor table even to say hello.”
“Are you in any classes together with her?”
“Yeah, two of them this year. We have been in many classes with the Gryffs over the years. I think the school likes to stir up a bit of rivalry you know.”
“Yup, don’t I know that? Well, Alice, you have been quite helpful I’ll let you go now. Maybe we will talk again about this, but I rather doubt it.”
Thornton grinned at Harry, and gave him a thumbs up.
“Interesting,” said Harry, he conjured up some parchment and a quill. He set the quill over the paper and touched the paper. The quill wrote out Harry’s report.
He made a copy for Minerva, who read it over. “This is good writing, Harry, and an excellent report. You got all of this information by looking into their minds?”
“Not their minds actually, their memories. Snape taught me how to do it. He was teaching Occlumency I was learning Legilimency. I’d better take this down to Kingsley, I suppose he is still at St. Mungo’s. Ron, are you coming, or are you going to take your bride back home?”
“I’m going home, I’ll let you deal with the ministry. This was your project through and through!”
“Ok, I’ll see you at the Hall on Monday.”
Ron and Hermione floo back to Grimmauld, Harry floo to St. Mungo’s.
Harry appeared coming out of the floo at St. Mungo’s and was directed to the psychiatric ward, and Minister Shacklebolt was still there. Harry gave a copy of his report to Kingsley, and the other copy to the healer who was working with Renford.
The healer read the report and then introduced himself as Winston Churchill. Harry asked if his uncle was Napoleon Bonaparte. They all had a good laugh at that.
Winston then said, “You write good clear text. Either you have a good imagination or else you were reading his mind.”
Harry held his finger up and the tip glowed blue. “Well, Simon, you had eggs and bacon for breakfast this morning, the toast was a little dark for your liking. Your wife’s name is Freda, and she likes her toast darker than you. By the way, she is pretty darn good looking. The mole on her left leg is quite interesting.”
“So then, you were reading his mind.”
“No. If you want to be precise, I was reading memories. I think I can gather more by reading memories than I can just by knowing what is on your mind at the moment.”
“And how long have you been able to do this?”
“Ever since Voldemort gave me this scar. His magic was never all that great. He tried to kill me four times, but he is the one that got buried in the end, not me.”
“Well, Harry, you did some good work here today. We can take it from here. His parents will be here later tonight. I hope we can mend this guy up for you, keep him out of Azkaban.”
Harry smiled at Simon, “take care, I’m sure we will meet again.” Harry and Kingsley apparated to the ministry, and then went up to Shacklebolt’s office. Robards frowned as Harry and Kingsley walked past him into the Minister’s office and closed the door. Kingsley spun open a safe and pulled out a badge. “Captain---Auror --- 18”
“This was your father’s badge. It is now yours.” He went to another drawer, pulled out a blank ID card. Held it up in front of Harry. Harry now had an official Ministry ID card. And he was an Auror. And a Captain at that. It said so on his badge and on the ID card that Kingsley just printed. “The rank has more to do with a pay grade that an actual military or police rank. You just earned that, and proved it to me when you read Simon out. A mole on her leg! You are worth your weight in gold around here. But I hear you have more gold than that anyway, so… Congratulations, Harry Potter.”
“Oh, by the way, here are the official Auror textbooks Rookie to Captain, you will have to read them all, so that you are up to speed with everyone else.”
Harry was back in Potter Hall by 7 pm, it had been a long day, but he went directly to the Chapel, and sat down. He prayed, not in words, but in his heart. He sat there until almost 8 pm. When he sat down in the kitchen, Leal put his hand on Harry’s shoulder. Harry could feel power coming to him through Leal. Constance on the other hand pulled a nice supper almost out of thin air as it were.
“Thank you, Leal, Constance. I needed this it was a very long and interesting day.”
“So show us your father’s badge,” said Leal, and Harry’s mouth dropped open. “You are not the only one around here who can read memories. After all, just how do you think that house elves can do whatever you want even before you knew that you wanted it?”
Harry pulled out his Father’s badge, and Constance grabbed it up and polished it until it shone like pure gold. Within 15 minutes she made a custom leather wallet for the badge and ID card. The cover had the Potter herald on it. It was an amazing piece of work.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were at Hogwarts on Thursday to watch the Gryffs practice quidditch. The effort went well Deborah was back in the saddle again and doing even better. She was not afraid to dive on the snitch. Even some of the Slyths came out to be sure that she was ok. Harry heard from Minerva that Renford was stable and under care at St. Mungo’s. Text books and homework had been sent to him, and he was taking some classes at St. Mungo’s as part of his recovery. There were indeed some issues in his home life, but his parents showed utmost concern with what had happened, and were supportive of him. Perhaps after Christmas he could be back at Hogwarts. His wand had magical restrictions put on it, so only authorized charms, spells and hexes would work. He could still have fun hexing other students, but not of them would be harmful.
Ron and Hermione went to visit Ginny in the Gryffindor Common, while Harry slithered down to the Slytherin Common room, where he found Thornton. They went and sat down at a table near the corner. “First time in here, eh Harry?” one of them asked.
“Well, no actually, I came in here in disguise to spy on Draco Malfoy several years ago. Gee, that would have been many years ago when we were in second year. Apparently Slytherins did not have as much fun back then as they do now, or so it would seem.” Harry privately winked at Thornton. He smiled, stood up and pulled his pants down. Everybody had a great laugh at that.
“Gee, I wish someone would have thought of that when I went to school here. Now I am an adult, and I could not get away with it without child abuse charges thrown at me. The things you can get away with when you are young!
“On a more serious note, Renford is, as you know at St. Mungo’s and I hear that he is doing fairly well. He could have been sent to Azkaban, I was ready to send him to Azkaban, but when I interviewed him I saw that he had many fears and issues. There is a scared young man hiding inside of his skin. We certainly hope that the wizards at St. Mungo’s can help him get himself figured out. He has his books with him, and he is keeping up on his school work. There are teachers at St. Mungo’s to help him with that. I have heard that the plan is to have him back in here after Christmas. Even his parents are now working with him instead of against him. Now what I want to be sure of, is that you will welcome him back as a friend. Try to build him up instead of pulling him down. Some people down here seem to be ok with what is going on down here, and that is ok. Some people are gay, others are straight, some are having sex and others do not want to go there yet, but you are all wizards. Support each other, and let each other grow the way they are supposed to grow, each in their own way. Nobody, let me repeat that, nobody should feel unwelcome here, nobody should be afraid of another. If someone is hurt, someone else needs to go to his or her aid. If someone needs a shoulder to cry on, that is ok, you after all have two of them.
“Now then, Ginny is waiting for me to appear in the Gryff house, so let me get out of here, and if anyone wants to see me for anything whatsoever, just let Ginny know and I’ll be right here.” Harry turned and apparated out of the Slytherin house and Apparated into the Gryffindor house.
Harry appeared in the Gryffindor House, without a sound. First he was not there, and then he was there. He walked up behind Ginny, and caressed her shoulders. Even though she knew it was his touch, she jumped, since she did not see him enter the common room.
Ginny asked him how he did that. “I apparated, how else could I have done it.”
“But I thought you cannot apparate inside of Hogwarts.”
“You cannot apparate in Hogwarts, but I can do it if I want to. Anybody want something from the kitchen?”
Harry apparated to the kitchen, the house elves gathered around him, and he got a large platter of pastry and a six pack of butterbeer. He apparated back to the common room, and put his treasures on the table. He grabbed a pastry and sat down.
“How did you do that,” Ginny asked. The others wanted to know too.
“My magic is just several levels above what other wizards can do. I suppose you could learn to do it too, but I’m not telling. Some of us have to be more powerful than others.”
“Yeah,” Ginny asked, “We heard that you not only saved Deborah, but you examined Renford, and sent him to St. Mungo’s instead of Azkaban.”
“Well, if he was simply a bad wizard, he would be in Azkaban, but I inspected his memories and saw how troubled he was. His thoughts were very confused, and he is a deeply troubled wizard. But it appears that St. Mungo’s will help him straighten himself back out again.”
There was one butterbeer left, and so Harry opened it, “The healers think that he may be able to come back here after Christmas. His parents are now supporting him rather than hurting him as they were before. I was just down in Slytherin talking to them. He may have been picked on down there, perhaps sexually, but they did not understand the pain they were inflicting on him. They understand that now and from my judgment I think that they will welcome him back. Maybe the Gryffs can help with that, supporting him as he may need it, intervening as needed as the case may be.
“Thornton was named as a person of interest, but he seems ok to me. Apparently they thought that pulling down a guy’s pants was a cool thing to do. Too bad they did not do fun things like that when I went to school here.” Ginny gave Harry a funny look. Harry turned and kissed her.
“I told Thornton that if he wanted to talk to me, to come to you, and you would call for me. Ditto for Renford. It would be cool if you people supported Renford, and even befriend Thornton. They all need a little support down there.”
Professor McGonagall came in, and sat down with Harry. “Well, you went down there, I hear. What do you think?”
“I think that they will welcome him back, and I think that they will support him. I don’t think they knew how they were hurting him. But then you saw my report. Would you like a follow up report?”
“Yes, I would.”
Harry conjured a parchment and a quill, set the quill to work, and then continued his conversation with Minerva. “Some of the guys down there seem to have discovered sex, and decided they did not need to bother the girls about it. Some of it was just normal grab-ass, others, well, they are people and they have drives. That is what they are in school for, is to learn about themselves and others, and how to behave in polite society.”
The quill stopped writing, Harry dismissed it, and gave the parchment to McGonagall. Harry accompanied Minerva out of the common room, and when they were alone in the hallway, Harry pulled out his wallet, and showed the badge and ID card to Minerva. “The badge was my father’s.”
“Congratulations, young Harry. I trust you will be in and out of Hogwarts for a while yet to come.”
“Sure will. Darn, I don’t know the password. Oh well, real wizards do not need passwords.” Harry disapparated and reappeared in the common room.
Deborah was there now, and she asked how he did that. Harry shrugged and said, “Same way I did it when I broke your fall.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione went to the guest hallway, and then floo to Potter Hall.
“Ok, out with it Harry.” chided Ron, “How can you apparate in Hogwarts?”
“Perfectly simple, you can do it too. You draw your chi all the way in, until you are invisible, and then you apparate. It will be very fast and quite silent. Go ahead, give it a try.”
Ron gave it a try, and found himself in the barn. He grabbed some straw, and apparated back into the Kitchen.
“Awesome!” exclaimed Harry! “You will be an Auror before you know it!” Harry had long since decided that he would not show them his badge until Ron also had one.
Ron and Hermione decided to stay at the Hall tonight, so Harry had some snacks brought out, and a little fire-whiskey. Harry said, “I am going into the chapel before I go to bed, anyone want to come with me.”
They went in and sat down, the elves came in and joined them. They simply sat in silence. Harry was recharging his chi.
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