The day after Halloween.
Month's worth of math in three days.
My brain is now toast.
I would just like to point out that I do not know personally what a sugar rush feels like, as I have never had one.
I own Carla Dursley and not much else. The rest belongs to Rowling.
Chapter 7 - The Day After
Harry made a mental note to never feed his children candy again.
It was the day after Halloween, which meant that it was time for another day of teaching. Harry had foolishly allowed Carla and Teddy to eat some of the candy that they had gathered the night before; now, at nearly nine 'o clock in the morning, the two children were running and bouncing around his office, an effect of the massive amounts of sugar that they had consumed.
A loud knocking broke through the noise that the two hyper-active children, Harry got up from his desk and cracked the door open, seeing Neville on the other side.
"Come in, Neville," Harry said, opening the door fully, allowing his friend entry.
"What's with them?" Neville asked, seeing Ted and Carla running around, screaming and laughing loudly.
"A mistake on my part," Harry said darkly as he closed the door. "I foolishly allowed them to eat some candy, and then this happened," he explained, waving his hands helplessly at the spectacle before him.
"Well...give it a few hours, they should drop like rocks," Neville suggested lightly.
"Oh, I hope so," Harry muttered, turning to his friend. "I doubt you just came in here for a social call, so what's up?" Neville sighed and began shuffling nervously.
"Please don't blow up on me, Harry," he pleaded. "I know you don't get the Prophet, so you wouldn't know about today's headline. I thought it'd be best for you to find out before your first class today," he continued, drawing a yellow newspaper from his robes. Harry took the paper and nearly bit his cheek to keep himself from swearing at the headline.
Harry Potter: The Man Who Triumphed, An Unwilling Family Man?
By Rita Skeeter
For years, Harry Potter (24) has been considered the most eligible bachelor in magical Britain. Now, it seems that he's off the market. Last night, while wandering through a Muggle establishment wearing a ridiculous mockery of a wizard, Harry Potter, along with his godson Ted Lupin (7) were spotted with an unidentified girl that acted too close to Mister Potter to be anything but his daughter (age unknown; pictured above), as well as head of International Magical Cooperation, Hermione Granger.
Long time readers of my column will no doubt remember rumors of Miss Granger using a love potion on both Mister Potter and now-retired Quidditch star Viktor Krum ten years ago; rumors that were never investigated. It seems that Miss Granger has sunk her claws into poor Mister Potter again, and has in fact succeeded in becoming pregnant with his child. Judging from the child's appearance, this incident is believed to have happened no later than during their sixth year at Hogwarts. This reporter only hopes that Mister Potter will see the veil of lies cast over him, and free himself from Miss Granger's spell.
Above the article itself was a photograph of Harry, Hermione and the children dressed in their costumes while trick-or-treating the previous night. Harry scowled at the image. There had been dozens of people at the mall with cameras that night, taking pictures of their children; Skeeter could have cast a glamour charm on herself and become any one of them. Glancing at his watch, Harry turned to Neville.
"I've still got an hour before my first class, how about you?" he asked. The Herbology teacher looked down at his own timepiece.
"I've got a while," he responded.
"Great; do you mind watching the kids for a while?" Harry asked, folding the offending newspaper and slipping it into his pocket, "there's some stuff I need to do and I don't really trust the kids to take care of themselves like this," he continued, waving his hand at the two children expending their seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy.
"It's no problem, mate," Neville said, watching the children run around in circles.
"Thanks, Neville, you're the best," Harry said. Lighting a fire, Harry grabbed a handful of Floo powder and threw it into the flames, disappearing.
"Where did Daddy go?" Carla asked, finally slowing down.
"He had something to do," Neville said, shrugging. "I'm sure that it's important...whatever it is."
The day clerk for the Animagus Registration section of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was doodling on a piece of scrap parchment, bored out of his mind. When the Floo flared in front of him, he hastily swept away his trash and sat straight in his chair, trying to look as professional as possible. However, he nearly lost his professionalism when he saw Harry Potter stumble out of the flames.
"H-how may I help you, Mister Potter?" the clerk asked, breathing deeply in an attempt to calm himself.
"I'd like you to look up a name in the Animagus registration roster, please," Harry said in a professional tone. The clerk cringed, as if reluctant to respond.
"I'm sorry, sir, but that information is restricted," the clerk said, wincing. Harry nodded understandingly.
"To the general population, yes, but I am a member of the Wizengamot, and therefore have a few more liberties than the average citizen, so again, I'd like you to look up a name in the roster, please," Harry said patiently.
"Of course, sir, apologies, sir," the clerk said quickly, waving his wand to make a large, thick book appear on his desk. "Who would you like me to look up?" he asked, opening the heavy tome with a creak.
"Skeeter, with a 'K'," Harry said. The clerk nodded and began flipping to the appropriate page.
"Here," the clerk said, pointing to a specific name. "Skeeter, Rita, applied for an Animagus license one week ago."
"But she's not technically registered yet?" Harry asked casually.
"Not till tomorrow, sir," the clerk said.
"Thank you," Harry said, smiling innocently. "Do you have a quill and parchment I could borrow?" he asked.
"Right here, sir," the clerk said, producing the requested items from underneath his desk. After scribbling a quick note and folding it into a paper airplane, Harry threw it into the air, where it fluttered out the door.
"Have a good day," Harry said before walking back into the Floo.
"Umm...Good day to you, sir," the clerk said awkwardly to empty air before making the large book on his desk disappear.
Several minutes later, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was sitting at his desk, slowly working his way through a large mound of paperwork, when a memo flew into his office and landed in front of him. Strange, he thought, I'm not expecting any memos today. Grabbing the paper airplane, he unfolded it and read its contents.
To the head of the DMLE:
I have heard that the Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter is an illegal Animagus. Perhaps you should investigate into this rumor.
The Head Auror crumpled up the unsigned note and tossed it into a dustbin. Skeeter's a popular lady today, he thought as he returned to his paperwork, I just sent an auror team to pick her up based on an anonymous tip saying the same thing.
After Harry had checked with the Animagus Registration department, he Flooed to the office of the Daily Prophet news publication. His face neutral, he marched to the front desk and laid his hand on the counter.
"I'd like to see the editor, please," Harry said calmly, tapping his fingers on the counter, although his eyes were glowing slightly in anger. Gulping in fear, the clerk hastily scribbled a note and sent it away.
"The editor will see you now," the clerk said nervously.
"Thank you," Harry said flatly as he followed the paper airplane fluttering to the editor's office. Harry waited for ten seconds before knocking on the door sharply. The door opened to reveal a chubby, bald man in green robes.
"Ah, Mister Potter, please come in," the editor said, stepping aside to allow Harry entry. "What can I do for you today?" Harry smiled calmly as he drew the morning Prophet from his robes.
"You can start by explaining this," Harry said, slamming the paper onto the editor's desk with a bang. "Care to explain to me why one of your reporters has written false statements about an influential member of the Ministry of Magic, as well as a personal friend of mine? False statements that seem to be a repeat of the same accusations that the same reporter leveled against the same friend ten years ago?" he asked, his glowing eyes betraying his calm demeanor.
"Umm..." the editor hummed hesitantly, considering his next words carefully. "I...cannot explain why that is so," he admitted finally.
"I see," Harry said simply. "Very well then, I want a retraction of that article at the next headline in tomorrow's Prophet," he demanded.
"Or what?" the editor asked instinctively. The malicious grin that grew on Harry's face only made him more nervous.
"Or I'll sue both you and Skeeter for printing libel against a Ministry department head. Good day," he said as he spun around and left the office, closing the door with a bang.
When Harry stumbled back into his office with fifty minutes to spare, he saw that apparently, the two children had expended their energy while he was gone, since they were lying on sleeping bags on the floor, sleeping.
"Wore themselves out a couple of minutes ago," Neville whispered to Harry.
"Thanks for watching them," Harry replied.
"No problem," Neville said before leaving, being careful to close the door as quietly as he could. Harry chuckled to himself as he sat in his chair and watched Ted and Carla sleeping soundly.
That night, after Harry and the children had Flooed back home, Harry got to work preparing dinner for them. An hour later, Hermione Apparated in just as Harry finished.
"Alright, stew's on," Harry said, levitating four steaming bowls of stew to the table. "So, how was your day?" he asked Hermione as they ate.
"Same old; yours?" she asked, shrugging.
"More hectic than usual," he said, gesturing to the children. "Those two monsters wouldn't slow down until almost nine thirty." Hermione laughed while the two children smiled innocently.
"I warned you about feeding them so much candy," Hermione admonished. Harry just rolled his eyes and went to get some more stew.
Later, after the children had been sent to bed, Harry and Hermione were lounging on the sofa, Hermione reading a book and Harry a Quidditch magazine.
"Well, I'm off to bed," Hermione said, setting down her book. Harry followed suit as Hermione stood up and began to walk up the stairs.
"Umm, Hermione?" Harry asked. She stopped and turned around when she heard her name. "Do you have anything planned this weekend?" Hermione frowned in concentration, then shook her head.
"I don't think so. Why do you ask?" she asked.
"Well, I was just thinking," Harry said, shrugging, "we haven't really done anything together, just us, for a while. So I was thinking that this weekend, I could call Neville or maybe Molly to watch the kids and we could go out for dinner and maybe go see a movie or something, just the two of us." Hermione smiled and nodded her head slightly.
"I'd like that," she said.
"Great," Harry replied, rubbing his hands together. “How about, say, Saturday at seven 'o clock?"
"I'll be there,” she said.
I don't think anyone will hate me for giving Skeeter a hard time. And the Harmony is finally taking place, yay!
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