A longer chapter. Training begins, Draco learns a painful lesson Cho shows some balls and Dumbledore has a really, REALLY bad day.
“Señor Dursley, your credit transaction has been denied.” The concierge announced quietly. Vernon, Petunia and Dudley were read to depart this backward country and return to civilization.
“WHAT!” Vernon bellowed. These golliwogs were obviously trying to extort some money out of him! Well Vernon Dursley was nobody’s fool! These stupid dagos didn’t know whom they were messing about!
“Your credit card has been declined.” The man repeated. He sighed. This happened once in a while. Tourists would stay in the hotel and then attempt to run off without paying. Not this time! He’d already contacted La Policia Nacional
“That’s not possible! Vernon fumed. “Check it again! You’ve obviously done something wrong!” These ruddy foreigners! Some of them couldn’t even count. It was no wonder they had made a mistake with the machine.
“We have checked it three times already, with the same results. I’m afraid your account has been blocked for some reason.”
“Well, we’ll just see about that!” Vernon rose to his feet and stormed to the door.
“Señor Dursley, there’s still the matter of your bill!” The deskman called.
“I’ll be right back!” He shouted over his shoulder. “Pet, you and Dudders stay here while I go see the bank!”
“Vernon?” Petunia called out, suddenly aware of the three uniformed security men who seemed to have nothing better to do than watch her.
Outside, it only got worse. Instead of La Policia, three members of La Guardia Civil waited for Vernon Dursley. Since apparently none of them spoke English and he had no intention of learning the local language, he fell back on his patented method of getting his way. He began to bellow.
Unfortunately, they did understand the language Vernon was using, though the Queen would have been appalled, had anyone called it English. They tried to calm him but Vernon had enough with these ruddy foreigners! He began to shove. That was a mistake. A swift stroke from a truncheon, and Vernon folded.
Seeing her husband fall, and Petunia shrieked and became a vengeful harpy, which resulted in her wearing handcuffs as well. Dudley jumped up when his mother did, but the security man behind him decided to end that particular problem before it could begin. A quick arm-bar by an expert and Dudley was face down on the floor. They had to use Nylon handcuffs for both, as the normal metal ones wouldn’t fit.
Vernon Dursley woke, manacled to a bed in a jail cell. He was not happy.
A well-dressed man entered.
“Mister Dursley, my name is Alfred Eddington-Smythe. I’m the assistant consul to the Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain.”
“The ambassador? Good! Get these ruddy bracelets off me and tell me what the blazes is going on!”
“Mister Dursley, you were apprehended in what could only be seen as an attempt to flee, after failing to pay your hotel bills. You were horribly offensive to the three members of the Civil Guard, and when they tried to calm you, you became violent and assaulted them in full view of several passers-by. You are truly fortunate. They did not have to bring you here. They could have carted you off to prison, and left you to rot. I understand the prisons here in Spain are not pleasant places. Especially if one refuses to learn the language.”
“Why should I learn to speak with these foreigners! I’m British!”
“And you are in Spain. Dursley…” Suddenly Eddington-Smythe was not as polite as he’d been. “If I were you, I would keep your ruddy mouth shut, and do exactly as you are told! Anything else can, and most likely will end up with you in prison, and your wife and son, on the dole here, or shipped back to England, cost pending!”
“How dare you! I am a British subject. I demand to be heard!”
“Dursley I reckon everyone between here and Buckingham palace can hear you! Now shut up!” He bellowed as well as Vernon ever had.
Vernon had never been on the receiving end of such a bellow. He shut his mouth with a snap.
“That’s better.” Eddington-Smythe smirked. “If, and I cannot guarantee this, if the authorities here decide to extradite you to England, you will be banned from ever reentering this country in your lifetime. In addition, if the British government has to pay your arrears, you will return the cost to us, with the appropriate fines and interest. Your only good point, is that Her Majesty’s government seems to want you returned in connection with an investigation they are running.”
“Investigation?” Vernon sputtered. Surely the old fool couldn’t have discovered his little…manipulations. They were so slight it would take a pure genius to find them!
A knock on the door and Eddington-Smythe smiled thinly. “It seems you have some rather powerful people on your side. The lady outside is Carolyn Chapman of Chapman and Associates…one of the finest and most aggressive law firms in Britain. She will be your solicitor for the time being. Listen to her and do exactly as she tells you, and you might get back to England.”
With that, he asked the waiting guard to open the door, stepped through, and gestured the woman outside to enter.
As the door swung shut behind her, he spoke to the Spanish guard.
“Habría pensado que con una mujer de mirada tan fina, este lugar sería un manicomio”
“Era, señor.” The astonished and somewhat intimidated guard replied. “Ella caminó adentro y la griterío comenzó. Íbamos a dar vuelta al agua en ellos pero ella acaba de dar vuelta a un preso y dicho algo no oí. Él iba pálido y después separado la palabra. Para el momento en que ella llegara aquí, estaban tan silenciosamente como bebés durmientes. ”
One of the most beautiful women Vernon had ever seen, entered the cell. Beautiful, until he saw her eyes. Those were the eyes of a professional assassin, and she wore a smile that made him shudder in fear.
“Mister Dursley…” The shark-like woman began. “You are being detained for failing to pay your hotel bills…and you do seem to have amassed quite a tidy sum.”
Again, Vernon fell back on time proven habits. He blustered.
“That’s ridiculous! I am an upstanding member of the community. That ruddy Gyppo ran the card wrong!”
“Quite the contrary. I happen to know that your accounts at the B of E, and Barclays, not to mention the numbered accounts in the Channel Islands, have all been seized. You are in a great deal of trouble. I’m here to negotiate with the Gyppo’s for your extradition to Britain, on behalf of both the government and the person who should insist you stay here. In fact, I advised him to do just that, but despite his upbringing, it seems that he is a lot more forgiving than I am. Can you guess to whom I might be referring?”
“Nope. Mister Grunning would as soon see you rot here. He’s very disappointed in you, Vernon. Try again.”
“I don’t know.” He admitted.
“Well, it’s someone with some ‘interesting skills.”
Suddenly Vernon’s eyes lit. ‘Interesting skills.’ Meant that freak with the flashy robes!
He snarled. “That blasted Dumbledore!”
“Ooh, two for two. You’re supposed to be clever. I’m surprised you missed it.”
“Who then?” Vernon was rapidly approaching a boil.
“Who do you know…” She drawled. “That would love to see your worthless arse in a Spanish Prison? Let me give you a hint. He has a scar on his forehead.”
This time Vernon couldn’t miss it.
Carolyn was positively predatory. “Oh yes! It seems Lord Gryffindor wants you to live…though I can’t see why.”
“L…Lord…Lord Gryf…Gryffindor?” Vernon stammered.
“Oh, you might know him by anther name. I understand you call him ‘Freak’!”
Vernon passed out. Carolyn smiled broadly.
She rose, and thumped her fist on the door.
The guard peered in. “Si, señora…¡Oh! Excúseme, por favor, Señorita!”
“Procesaré el papeleo para lanzarlo a la embajada Británica, por favor lo hago tan incómodo como sea posible, sin dañarlo.”
Dudley Dursley sat on a bench, in a cell, with some filthy men leering at him. One of them said something Spanish, and the rest of them snickered. Inwardly he was preparing to fight for his life!
“Él parece uno de los cerdos premiados de mi tío. ¡Apuesto que él chilla como uno cuando usted lo coge!” One sneered, which really wasn’t fair. Dudley was still a lot larger than he should be, but hard work over the past year had trimmed him down considerably.
A door banged open and a beautiful woman entered. “¡Si usted intenta, me cercioraré de le don' t tiene un pene para cogerlo con!”
Somehow the men in the cell understood she was not kidding. Perhaps it was the large Balisong she was expertly flipping open and closed, or perhaps it was the evil gleam in her eyes. In either case, none of them wanted to test her.
“¡Hacia fuera! ¡Usted!” She snarled. The guards opened the doors and the prisoners scrambled to escape the mujer loca!
Out in the exercise yard, the prisoners gathered in groups and discussed the situation within. They reached a consensus that the large boy was better left alone!
In the dim cell, Carolyn Chapman carefully explained the situation to a subdued Dudley.
To her surprise, he was more reasonable than his father had been. She asked why and he tried to explain, without mentioning the magical world how he’d saved his life. She actually gave him a warm smile. While Vernon was irredeemable, Dudley was at least trying to become something other than what he was.
“Dudley, I know about the magical world. Harry sent me to bring you lot back to Britain, and to try to keep you safe.”
“Why would he do that?” Dudley wanted to know. “We treated him like rubbish for years! He doesn’t owe us anything!”
“Maybe because you are his only family?”
“What about you, Dudley?” Carolyn interrupted gently. “I know all about your mother’s jealousy of her sister, and your father’s fear of the unknown, what about you?”
“I feel terrible!” Dudley confessed. “We shat all over him, his entire life, and then last summer, he saved my life from those dementy thingys. He didn’t need to do that. He could have gone and run, but he stayed and got in trouble for it! Why?”
“You’re going to have to answer that question yourself, Dudley.” Carolyn was pleased. Dudley was not as far gone as she’d thought. “In the meanwhile, I’m settling things with the Spanish government. Harry is more forgiving to you, than he is toward your parents, and so he’s taken some actions. First, your house burnt to the ground. He had nothing to do with that, by the way. The insurance inspectors believe Vernon did it for the settlement.”
“What?” Dudley was shocked. “Dad wouldn’t do that!”
“Why not?” Carolyn countered. “Money is money. After all, your father has been embezzling from Grunnings.”
“Mmmhmm. Mr. Grunning wanted him in prison. Personally, I agree with him, but Harry convinced him to keep him on…he’s being demoted, though. It looks like you’ll be going to public school.”
“That’s alright. All I ever learned at Smeltings was how to pick the ‘right’ friends, and ‘make connections to climb the corporate ladder’, and that kind of stuff.”
“I’m glad to see you handling this so well.”
“I’m not, really. I grew up in that house and now, it’s a bunch of cinders. I’m gonna miss the place.”
“That won’t be a problem. Harry has no love for that house, either, but he’s going to rebuild it anyway. By Christmas you’ll be back on Privet Drive. Harry’s even going to offer Vernon a cut in the rent.”
“Ooooh! Dad’s not gonna like that. I mean, pay rent to Harry.”
“It’s all right. I’m a solicitor. It’s part of my job to talk people into doing things they don’t want to do.”
“Hmmm. OK, the last thing I wanted to mention is that your father is likely in serious trouble with the government. The department of Inland Revenue and Taxation.”
“Let me guess.” Dudley sighed in disgust. “He’s been getting money to take care of Harry and he’s not been declaring it.”
“Correct. How did you know?”
“I can add. I know how much all that junk they bought me cost. I did a study in my economics class on how much it took to raise a family of four, and I noticed a bunch of discrepancies. Dad had way too much money. Since I know how much an executive at his level gets paid, he had to be getting money from somewhere else.”
“Basically, yes. You’ve been living rent free for the past fifteen years, because Dumbledore bought the house using Harry’s parents’ gold. What’s more, Petunia has been getting fourty Galleons per month from the day Harry was left on your doorstep.”
“How much is that in real money?”
“A little over seven hundred sixty pounds per.”
“Oh crap!” Dudley looked sick as he did the math. “That’s almost a hundred and fifty thousand pounds!” He hung his head and gripped his hair tightly.
“You can almost triple that. A mortgage on a house like that, is around a thousand pounds per.”
After a few minutes, he looked up and asked: “So what now?”
“Well, as I said, first, we’re getting you back to England. From there, you’ll be subject to some restrictions. More your parents than you personally, but there are a few for you too.”
Petunia sat, weeping in a cell, with a matron watching carefully.
Like Vernon she was manacled to the bed and like him she did not care for the privilege.
“Why am I being held here, like a common criminal!” She screeched. The matron, a woman named Rosa Concepción, Gutiérrez y Yabarra, feigned ignorance of the English language. She understood, of course. As she was a professional matron, and had to deal with drunken British tourists all the time, Rosa spoke English, French, and Italian quite well, but the scary lady barrister insisted she simply listen and learn. Given the choice of dealing with this woman and that one, she opted for the safer of the two.
A door opened and the scary lady entered. Immediately Rosa stood and greeted her.
“Ella acaba de despertar.”
“Gracias. Déjenos por favor. Deseo hablar con ella en privado.”
“Como usted desee.”
She left as quickly as she could, trying not to look like she was fleeing for her life.
Carolyn Chapman seated herself on the chair Rosa had just abandoned.
“Who are you?” Came Petunia’s snappish query.
“My name is Carolyn Chapman of Chapman and Associates. My firm was retained by Lord Gryffindor to represent your family.”
“Lord Gryffindor? I don’t know any lords!”
“Really? He’s been living in your house for fifteen years.”
Petunia fainted. Carolyn smiled.
A splash of water from her wand, and Petunia Dursley sputtered back to awareness.
“That freak is a lord?”
“Actually, he’s a lord thrice over. His official rank is ‘Duke’.”
Petunia fainted again, and again came the spray of water. Carolyn was having so much fun!
Before Petunia could begin to rant, Carolyn cut her off.
“Mrs. Dursley, you may call Harry Potter a freak, but to the entirety of wizarding Britain, he is a national hero. His defeat of the Dark Lord Voldemort brought an end to a terrorist war that had been plaguing the magical world for thirteen years. That war is was what cost your parents their lives. Legal or not, wanted or not, Dumbledore placed him in your care, but instead of nurturing him, as any decent person would have, you treated him as a beast of burden. You worked him like a slave, starved and beat him and allowed that…creature, you call husband, to rape him repeatedly!”
“We treated the freak as he deserved to be!”
“Really?” Carolyn growled. She knew how the Dursleys had abused, Harry and it made her sick. “He deserved to be starved? Beaten? RAPED? You tell me why!”
Petunia was suddenly terrified. This woman was by far the scariest person she had ever met, and that included the man with the wonky eye.
“Dumbledore.” She whispered. Carolyn smirked. She thought that had been the case.
“What about him?”
“He sent instructions almost every month telling us to brutalize the boy.”
“He would ruin us! We’d lose our house, Vernon would lose his job, Poor Duddy would have to go to a foster home!” She wailed the last.
“So, you’d be subject to some economic difficulty. That gave you the right to treat Harry the way you have?”
“He’s a freak! He can use magic!” Instantly Petunia’s eyes popped open and she slapped her free hand across her mouth. She’d said it! The ‘M’ word!
Carolyn’s next words stilled her blood.
“So can I!”
Now Petunia yelped in terror and scrambled back on the bunk trying to put as much distance between herself and the freak as possible. Unfortunately the handcuff she wore prevented her from moving too much. That the cell was all of three meters by four didn’t help either.
“I’m here to arrange for your return to England. In return you will tell me all you know about the instructions Dumbledore gave you. If Lord Gryffindor is feeling charitable, he may decide to intervene on your behalf. In either case, you will be back in England instead of in a Spanish prison. Quite frankly, you disgust me, and if I had my way, you’d be rotting at the bottom of a bog somewhere!”
Finally, Harry was ready to seal the compound. He’d been delayed for the past week by little but vital details that suddenly cropped up and couldn’t be avoided. One of those details was how to take care of several stubborn fools While most of the parents had accepted Harry’s offer of sanctuary and employment. Five had not, refusing to believe Harry’s claims. He had Graswold place monitoring charms around those parent’s homes, in an attempt to protect them even if they wouldn’t protect themselves. Another, was the influx of thirty-four more people than he’d expected. He was rather surprised to find that several of the parents, other than the Grangers, had opted to join their children in their exile. In all, there were three doctors, two healers, two dentists, an electronics technician, five teachers, both muggle and magical, a professional chef, six stay-at-home mums (and one dad) two farmers, a machinist and a mechanic. They also brought along more than a dozen children, both muggle and magical, between the ages of six months and ten years.
This had caused him some concern, as he hadn’t expected anybody to come along, but Winky had assured him the house-elves would arrange for quarters and supplies to support them all. Harry offered the little elf his heartfelt thanks.
Now he stood on the stage and faced his troops once more.
“All right. I’ll be sealing the compound tonight. From here on in, any contact you have with the outside, will be through the security office. Your mail will be censored and any references to this place, or the specifics of your training will be removed. General is fine, as long as you don’t go into too much detail. Any gossip is also fine, as long as it doesn’t compromise security. No owls will be allowed in or out.”
“How can you do that?” Ernie groused.
“Magic.” Harry replied with a smirk. Hermione rolled her eyes. “As for why, it’s to preserve our most important and irreplaceable advantage. Secrecy. If you do send mail, one of the house elves, most likely Dobby, will take it. That’s because owls can be intercepted, elves cannot.”
Ron snickered and coughed something that sounded like ‘spew’, earning him Hermione’s patented ‘glare of death and/or painful dismemberment, #3’.
Now, in joining me in this fight, you have all accepted the duties of an adult, so you will be treated as adults. Your actions will have consequences, be they good or bad, but you will be held accountable for them. During our stay, it will be very much like a muggle basic training camp. You will wake at a specific hour, exercise at specific times, study spar and practice, eat and sleep at specific times and follow a prescribed diet…” Harry stared directly at Ron, who flushed, before he continued.
“While there are house elves here, they are not your personal servants. They are under orders to not deliver midnight snacks, and the like. They will also not be cleaning up after you. You each have your bunk assignments. Two man rooms opening into a common area. There are only about sixty of us, so there’s no real need to have separate quarters for gender. Still, to preserve a modicum of privacy, the men’s dorms are on one side of the common area, and the women’s are on the other.
When you are in the common area, you will be fully dressed. That includes ‘just running to or from the loos, or the showers’.
You are responsible for cleaning up your own rooms and the common areas, including the aforementioned facilities. The house elves have the rest of the castle to do, along with three farms, a dairy, two orchards, some pasturage, the livestock and over twenty two thousand acres to maintain. They’re going to be hard-pressed to take care of all that as it is, so you lot, will clean that little bit yourselves. Both persons in the room are responsible for that room’s condition, so make friends. I’ll expect you to establish a rota for the common area, or perhaps just have everyone sweep the area once or twice a day. That’s up to you. If I get involved, it will be a rota. Your laundry will be cleaned, but only if you place it in the laundry bag at the foot of your bed. If it’s not there, you clean it yourself.
Three of the first things we will be learning are physical fitness, meditation and Occlumency. These are all critical. Physical fitness; because a strong body is a healthy body. A healthy body is better able to withstand the rigors of combat…even without calling on the force. Meditation; because it will help you to call upon the force, and Occlumency; because Voldemort and at least a few of his goons are legillimens’…most specifically Snape and Malfoy. Bellatrix Lestrange, and Alecto Carrow were, but happily they’ve both shuffled off this mortal coil and gone to sing with the choir invisible.” Harry allowed himself a satisfied smile before continuing.
“Training will begin immediately, under people who actually know how to teach. Madam Chapman has contracted several professional teachers of both the mental arts to us, for as long as necessary, and Mrs. Granger will teach you lot to meditate. She will also teach those interested, in the art of Tai chi chuan, which is actually very relaxing, and aids in meditation.”
Harry stopped and stood looking at his troops.
“You will each strive to do your utmost, because in battle, anything less will get you killed!”
Again, He stopped. He looked at a parchment and checked off several things before speaking again.
“The castle and grounds are open to anyone at any time, except the following areas. First: My office. This is the administrative center of the castle. Everything goes through that office and so, I’d really rather not have to wade through a mess of parchment to find out how well you’re doing.
Second: Medical is restricted except for real need. If you have a bellyache, you will go to one of your primary instructors first. If they send you to medical, then you can go. I’ll have no malingering here. This is far too important!
Third: The security office beside mine is strictly off limits to all, except when escorted by one of the following: Myself, Tonks, Remus, Mr. Granger. This is because the primary ward stone is in there and if that were to be damaged, assuming you survive the damage, it would remove the protections from this whole estate. We really don’t want either Voldy and the Voldettes, or Lord Manipulus, to find us.”
“Now, you’ve each got your bunk assignments. You can switch off later, if all parties are in agreement, but for now, please stick with the assignments.
In your quarters, on each of your beds, you will find three sets of uniforms like the one I’m wearing, and a full robe. Please go and put a uniform on. You can leave the robes there. Here, we are all equal, and one way to establish and maintain that equality is to wear uniforms. This is the uniform. It’s unisex, and each piece can be worn with any other piece. You will wear only that uniform unless you are in bed, in which case you will wear these.” He held out a pair of bright red and blue ‘Star Wars’ booted jammies suitable for a three year old.
“No bloody way!” Fred hollered, followed immediately by his twin and almost all of the students there. Harry snickered.
“Actually, I’m taking the piss.” He grinned. “What you wear to bed is up to you. Please go and put the uniforms on and then come back here.”
When they realized they’d been ‘got’, several of the group vowed eternal revenge. They didn’t see Harry’s ‘bring it on’ smirk.
Hermione was first back. Her uniform actually looked good on her. Harry told her so and gathered her up in a kiss, but had to release her when the others began to file in.
He walked up and down the ranks adjusting the uniforms as necessary.
“You’ll find that while these uniforms are petty utilitarian, they are also surprisingly comfortable, durable and efficient. They breathe well in heavy exercise, keep you cool in heat, warm in cold and are simple to maintain. That’s why I chose them. This sash over your shoulders, is actually a folded and sealed, survival blanket. The padded wrap under your leather belt is another. Dobby?”
Dobby stepped forward with a folded sash. Harry took it from him and with a practiced flick, snapped it open. The thin blanket spread out to cover a rectangle of around ten feet by seven. “It’s always a good idea to have an emergency blanket and it won’t impede your work any. I do expect you to wear them, as we will also be training outside, day and night, in all sorts of weather.”
Surprisingly, there were no groans at this announcement. He shrugged and continued.
“You will notice my uniform is exactly the same as yours except for the tabs on my shoulders. The color of these tabs indicates the level of training you’ve progressed to, and that - is - all. That’s why I wear blue. When I died, I was given the training in all seven forms of lightsaber combat. But I still have to practice. I have mastered Shii-Cho and Makashi, and have just finished Soresu. I’m studying Ataru now, and when I’ve mastered Ataru, I’ll go on to Shien, and a few months after that, I will begin the Djem-So variant. When I have finished Djem-So, I will go on to Niman followed by its two-bladed variation Jar-Kai, and then Juyo and it’s variant Vaapad.
Hermione, Susan, Luna and Neville are all conversant with Shi-Cho, so they all wear tan. Luna and Hermione are nearly ready to go on to Makashi, which is yellow.”
Harry raised his hand to stop the impending jealousy. “In case you are wondering, there is-and-will-be, no favoritism here. Not even for my closest friends. The reason they are so advanced is twofold. First, they’ve been studying for most of a month already. Second, I didn’t have to teach them as much. All four of them have trained with blades before, and adapted their experiences to the lightsaber. In this, the purebloods may have the advantage, seeing as how traditionally, they learn the blade.”
Ron scowled at this. His father had offered to teach him to fence, but he’d decided after the first few lessons that he’d prefer to fly in the orchard.
“You all know Remus is a werewolf. He’s well into Makashi and will be moving on to Soresu within a month or so. It’s his age, speed and overall experience that gives him this advantage.
Tonks is also well into Makashi. Her experiences as an Auror, is her advantage. She’ll be your primary instructor in hand-to-hand combat. Dr. Mackenzie Granger and Remus will assist her. Dr. Granger, may be a muggle but he was in the SAS…one of the deadliest special forces groups in the world. He’s also got twenty years of experience in handling a Katana, which is a Japanese longsword. Some time ago, he demonstrated that he can easily handle a lightsaber, and so, he will be helping to train you in Shii-Cho, and when he advances far enough, Makashi. I wouldn’t recommend dismissing him because he’s a muggle. He can touch the force, at least as well as any of you lot. He’s also a dentist, that’s a muggle healer that specializes in teeth, and he knows ways to inflict pain that will have your grandchildren screaming.”
Harry let that warning sink in, as he sipped some water.
“Tonks is also my security chief, assisted, again, by Remus and Dr. Granger. Discipline problems go to her. If she can’t work them out…if they have to come to me, it’s the tank.” He hooked his thumb over his shoulder to the pointed to the stasis tube behind him. “I haven’t the time or patience to screw around.
Speaking of that, I have a special announcement: While I expect there to be some ‘experimenting’, and even pairing off, we will all behave like adults. First off, ‘no’, means NO! Violators will have no second chance! I detest sexual predators with a passion, and so, I will investigate, by probing your thoughts, and if I discover the accusation to be true, I’ll take a great deal of pleasure in tattooing the word, ‘rapist’ across your forehead and chucking you into a tank!” Harry deliberately made pointed eye contact with each person in the hall. Behind him, Mackenzie, Tonks and Remus all smiled grimly
Now, for those who do reach a mutual agreement, Healers Merrifield and Jacoby, have orders to provide contraception potions for each of you…men and woman both. It’s the responsibility of both parties to ensure contraception, so if you want to play, you will go see either of them first. We also have three muggle doctors and two dentists with us, who are willing to talk to any of you.”
Harry looked each in the eye and gently probed their minds. Only eleven felt his probe, and only six were able to put up even a weak shield.
Harry gestured and Dobby stepped up beside him.
“Dobby is the only one of you who is past Makashi. He is almost through Soresu, as indicated by the green tabs on his shoulders. His natural affinity for magic, and the differences between human and elf magicks are to his advantage. Due to his natural…‘exuberance’, I expect he’ll have an easy time of it while learning Ataru.”
Chuckles greeted him, from those who knew the hyperactive elf. Dobby grinned widely.
“He can also touch the force more deeply than any of us, except possibly me. He and I will be teaching those of you who advance more quickly than others. You will show him the same respect as any other instructor. I have to warn you. Do not underestimate him! As Oliver once said: he’s wicked fast and damn near impossible to see!
You will notice that his lightsaber is different than mine. I designed it specifically for him. Since he’s less than half our size, it would be stupid for him to try to use the same weapon we do. He’s the only house-elf that I know of, who carries a lightsaber, and the only one who will be coming on his mission.”
“Isn’t that illegal?” Asked Ernie Macmillan. “Y’know, to arm a house elf?”
“Nope. Since he’s bonded to me, he’s under my personal authority. If there’s trouble over this, I’ll answer for it. Moreover, I trust him without reservation.”
Dobby grinned madly.
“Now, our first month or so, will be spent in trying to get you lot in to some kind of physical condition. With the exception of those of us, who’ve had to endure Oliver Wood’s…torture sessions, quiet, Ollie, you know it’s true!” Harry spoke before Oliver could object. “You lot, are in pathetic shape. Those raised in the muggle world, are in better condition because physical education is mandatory in this country’s primary schools. On the other hand, most purebloods and those half-bloods who’ve been raised in the wizarding world are so used to using magic for everything, I’d be surprised if any of you can run two kilometers without dying.”
Harry turned to Mackenzie and said: “OK, it’s your show.”
“Hello. I’m Mackenzie Granger, Hermione’s father. I served as a captain in the SAS before I was demobbed in ‘75. I used my service pay to put myself through medical school and while I call myself a dentist, I am actually an oral surgeon, which means that I am a doctor of medicine as well. I have maintained my physical condition over the past twenty years by running and practicing the martial arts. I hold black belts in Judo, Aikido and Tae Kwon Do, and as Harry said, I have been practicing the blade for that long. My experience in physical training is going to be what saves your lives, so I expect your full cooperation. Today, we’re going to start out light. Outside is a nice little nature trail. It is precisely two kilometers long. I expect that by the end of two weeks each and every one of you will breeze through it. Today, I’d be surprised if any of you make it out the other end. Let’s see if you can surprise me. Now. Outside!”
Instantly Tonks and Remus were yelling: “AWRIGHT, YOU HEARD THE MAN! GET OUTSIDE! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!”
The shocked and quite honestly, frightened, teens scrambled to escape the screaming lunatics! The elves funneled them all through the doors to the grass outside.
Mackenzie sighed: “Pathetic!”
On the lawn he yelled out: “AWRIGHT! ON YOUR BACKS!”
“But it’s wet!” Came a complaint. Harry recognized the voice. Mackenzie did not.
“Who said that?” He barked. “WHO SAID THAT!?!” The bark became a bellow.
Ron slowly raised a shaky hand.
“GET UP HERE!”
Tonks immediately appeared behind the redhead, and began to shout. “WELL WHATTYA WAITING FOR? HE SAID GET UP THERE! GO ON NOW, MOVE!”
She shoved and pushed until Ron got the message.
Soon Ron was standing in front of the group, facing Hermione’s father.
“What’s your name?” Mackenzie barked.
“Ummm…Ron. Ron Weasley.”
“Well, Ron, Ron Weasely.” Mackenzie spoke in an almost conversational tone. “Have you ever run before…I mean a real run, not just playing tag!”
“Ummm is not an answer.” Mackenzie spat. He raised his voice and called out: “When I ask you a question, you will reply with a yes sir or a no sir! IS THAT CLEAR?” The last came out ‘full blast’!
The crowd called back: “YES SIR!”
Ron was frightened, but he hated being yelled at. He clouded up. Harry saw it coming and intercepted the angry redhead. “Mack, Hold. Ron, you come with me…NOW!” He leaned into the force to back his order.”
Mackenzie accepted Harry’s judgment and as Harry took Ron up to the wall of the castle, he began to lecture the rest of the students.
Before Harry cast a silencing charm, he heard Mackenzie saying: “One of the biggest problems with running is failing to properly warm up…”
He turned to his first friend. “Ron.” He began.
“Hey look Harry…” Ron began but Harry silenced him with a raised finger.
“No, Ron, you look!” Harry growled. “I haven’t got time to baby-sit. Not even you. I have sixty-three students, twenty-five support personnel, thirteen children and seventy-nine house-elves I’m responsible for. I cannot set that to the back burner because one person’s feelings are hurt. I want you in on this, Ron, I really do, but if you can’t cooperate with an expert in training soldiers, then I’ll wipe your memories and let you go. It’s as simple as that. I can’t afford your temper here. What Mack is doing is going to save your bloody life! You might not have noticed, but I was right there in the first rank. Everything you will do, I will do. For that matter, I’ve already done. Still, I’m gonna be running right alongside the rest of you. It may not be as much fun as chess or Quidditch but it’s far more important. Physical conditioning is absolutely critical to your training. Now, you have got to focus on each day like it’s your last…every tiny little piece of training, like it’s the most important thing in the world! Mack has the experience to help you do this, and he has the ability to pass that along to you, but you’ve got to cooperate! If you drop out of a single run…if you refuse to follow his orders even once, then others will too. To defeat Voldemort, I need this whole group to be of a single mind. Without that, we’ve lost already. Now, either you listen to him, and follow his orders, or I wipe your memory and send you home. Make your decision now, Ron, because I haven’t got the time to screw around!”
Ron was torn. He really wanted to help, and he knew he as going to love the ‘fringe benefits’ of saving the world, but he wasn’t too keen on the yelling and such…especially when he couldn’t yell back.
Harry forced the decision. “What’s it gonna be?”
He sighed. “I’m in, I guess.”
“Not good enough, Ron! In or out…now!” Harry demanded.
Seeing Harry wasn’t about to back down, Ron nodded. “I’m in.”
“Good. Now, we run.” He pointed and Ron turned to see the last of the group disappearing into the forested area at a fast trot.
“And because you needed this reminder, I’m going to show you exactly what Mack was trying to tell you before. We run without a stretch-up.”
Ron had no idea what Harry was talking about. A half hour later, he did. The run hadn’t been any faster than he usually ran, but it was longer…and over hills…and under trees, and such. Worse, Harry wouldn’t let him stop to catch his breath!
They eventually reached the front lawn where the others were walking briskly.
“All right. Cool down. How do you feel Ron?”
Ron just groaned and fell to the wet grass.
“Ron if you don’t get up you’re going to feel worse than you are now. We still have another three hours of exercise to go!”
Harry physically dragged his friend from the ground and said: “Walk! Now!” Ron shambled to the group of students. Some of which were in no better shape than he.
Neville took him in tow and forced him to keep walking until he no longer hurt…as much.
Harry spoke to Mackenzie. “Whaddya think?”
“Pathetic!” Mackenzie was disgusted at the students’ level of fitness. “Still, they do show some promise…even that Weasley kid. You’ve chosen well Harry. You might find a couple who won’t make it, but really, I think they all will. Not to the level of the SAS, of course, but for general fitness, they’ll do.”
“Eventually, SAS is exactly what I’ll need, but you’ve got nearly a year before I’m gonna expect that.”
“I thought so. Don’t worry, Harry. Given time and dedication, they’ll be ready well before June.”
“Thanks. What’s next?”
“Calisthenics, of course!” Mackenzie returned with a sadistic smile.
“Oh, joy.” Harry muttered.
They approached the group again. Hermione having grown used to her father’s training regimen knew exactly what was coming next. She smirked at Harry who winked back.
“All right!” Mackenzie growled. “FALL IN!”
Again Tonks and Remus helped out. “THAT MEANS GET IN LINE! COME ON, MOVE IT! MOVE IT! MOVE IT!”
“Tonks is having way too much fun!” Hermione laughed. Harry chuckled along with her.
When the students were formed up, Mackenzie introduced them to the sadistic torments commonly referred to as calisthenics.
It was a groaning, tired and sore bunch of students who shambled into the dining hall that evening. Following the calisthenics, Mackenzie had made them run again. Dinner was filling and hot, though some of the students were barely able to lift their forks.
When the meal was over, Harry stood and addressed his troops. “Tomorrow, you won’t be exercising...” A ragged cheer throughout the room cut him off. “You’ll be learning to meditate instead. The day after tomorrow, however, you will be back to running.” With that, groans filled the room.
“I suggest you all turn in early tonight. There will be some liniment on each of your bunks. Use it! If you don’t, and tomorrow you can’t walk, I’m going to stand right here and I’m going to laugh at you!”
The students took the dismissal for what it was, and staggered out of the dining hall, a few leaning on the shoulders of others.
Fortunately the showers could accommodate ten people at a time, and so, in a short time, all the students were snoring.
Harry and his eight lieutenants remained in the training room, practicing with their lightsabers for another four hours before he called a quit.
The next morning, Harry watched his students enter the hall. Seating themselves at the many round tables, they tucked in amidst the friendly chatter of comrades. He was glad to see the group had taken his warnings to heart. The few students from Slytherin house seemed to be integrating with the others well, and more; the others seemed just as willing to have them.
He smiled in satisfaction and set his mug of coffee on the table and stood.
“Good morning!” He called with a cheery grin. “I see you have all survived the night!” Glares and muttered curses answered him. He laughed. “Imagine what it would have been like if I hadn’t given you that liniment! When Dr. Granger went through training that made yesterday look like a bare warm-up, he didn’t have it. Muggles don’t. Instead, the only thing keeping him going was his desire to survive in combat.” Mackenzie entered at that point, his white T-shirt soaked with sweat and showing his muscular torso to advantage. He smiled and waved, before grabbing a scone and departing. Judith snickered from her seat, and enjoyed the looks of lust she saw on several of the girls’ faces.
“Dr. Granger has just finished a five mile run. He does that every morning without fail. I also run every morning. Hermione runs with one or the other of us. Today she ran alongside him. Soon enough, you’ll be doing that too. What’s, more, you won’t ache. It’s only the first two or three weeks that hurt. After that, your bodies will have become used to the exercise, and then you can start to learn.”
Looks of disbelief from most of the crowd met his eye. He chuckled again and said: “Today, we will be learning to meditate. Doctor Judith Granger will be your primary instructor, assisted by myself, Hermione and Doctor Mackenzie Granger. The purpose of meditation, is to calm your mind. Once you do that, you will find that touching the force is considerably easier. It will also help you in building your mental defenses and in performing your exercises. In time, it will become second nature to you, and that is our goal.”
Harry sipped his tea and then continued.
“In a few weeks, the professionals I’ve contracted, will arrive to teach you Occlumency. Until then you’ll be organizing your minds in preparation.”
September the first dawned clear and cool. As they’d done for hundreds of years, witches and wizards from all over Britain converged on London…more specifically platform 9¾ at Kings Cross station. That morning, several dozen Aurors were stationed on the platform to prevent any…unpleasantness. They did their jobs well. Six Death Eaters appeared, intent on causing terror and mayhem, but before they’d even lifted their wands, they’d been stunned and bound. Cheers followed, as the Aurors took the six black-clad pests to face Amelia Bones. Three hours later, they’d been drained of any information they had, which unfortunately was very little, and due to a deal Madam Bones had brokered with the French government, were bound to an unplottable prison, somewhere in France. A magic suppressing cuff was bonded to their skin. Just coincidentally, it was directly over their dark marks.
At eleven O’clock precisely, the train began to move.
Draco Malfoy walked up and down the train, seeking his prey. He wanted to show off his brand-new ‘tattoo’ to Scarhead, but nowhere could he find Harry Potter, or his group of friends.
Having thoroughly searched the train, he realized his dreams had come true. For some reason or other, Harry Potter was not returning to Hogwarts!
Now, Draco was a bully, and like all bullies, he understood that when the primary obstacle to his bullying was no longer present, it was time to find other targets.
Alas, he chose his target poorly. ‘Jacob Appleby’ was a weedy, pale and scared looking, muggleborne firsty, who Draco had thought would be an easy to intimidate. He couldn’t have been more wrong. To his utter shock, Appleby took no shit from Draco or any of his goons. Rather, he held them in contempt. His replies to Malfoy’s taunts were rude and derisive. Utterly unacceptable!
Draco drew his wand to teach this mudblood upstart some manners, only to find Appleby was also quite the expert in several of the martial arts. The first snap-kick removed the wand and sent it across the tiny compartment and under a couch. The second, introduced Draco to the door, which obligingly slid closed, and locked.
Draco’s ‘lesson’ as it were, was both prolonged and extremely painful. Appleby was absolutely vicious. It was almost as if he was…avenging himself, on Draco, for some reason.
When the door opened again, Appleby directed the bookends to remove ‘dear’ Drakey’s battered and bleeding body. Appleby grinned and retrieved Draco’s wand from under the bench, where it had rolled. Snapping his fingers, created a duplicate wand, which he dropped and stepped on, crushing it into ragged pieces. Leaving the broken faux wand, he stored the real one in his robes, seated himself and opened a much-read copy of ‘Hogwarts: A History’.
A Slytherin prefect rushed into the Head’s office and bellowed that someone had tried to murder Draco Malfoy. Cho Chang, the new head girl, hurried after him to the prefect’s compartment where she got a good look at the unconscious bigot. Wafting her wand over him in a standard diagnostic, she discovered that none of his injuries were life-threatening. Painful in the extreme, yes, but Malfoy was in no immediate danger of dying.
Interrogating Crabbe and Goyle gave her the reason for Draco’s much-deserved beating, and the location thereof. She marched down the train with a following of nearly every prefect she had, to the fourth compartment from the rear…the one Harry Potter and his friends usually occupied, to find it nearly empty. The lone student there, looked utterly incapable of harming a flobberworm, let alone a sixth year prefect.
She stepped into the compartment, introduced herself and sat before asking Appleby for his name and an explanation. She got both. Jacob explained more clearly than many of her prefects, how the situation unfolded. It was almost as if he were citing a police report, from the lack of emotion he put into the telling. Still, by the time he was done, she was more than furious. She swept up the pieces of Malfoy’s wand, and sealed them into a clear bag marked ‘confiscated’. She also asked for Appleby’s wand and preformed the ‘Priori Incantatum’ spell. His wand showed only two spells. Both of them, simple bursts of sparks.
Cho smirked. While she had to enforce discipline, she wasn’t particularly fussed at Malfoy’s injuries. She returned Appleby’s wand, and told him he would be restricted to his compartment for the remainder of the trip.
“The headmaster will want to have a talk with you when we arrive, and likely Professor Snape as well.”
“No doubt they will.” Replied Appleby in a strange tone. Cho looked at him askance but then decided to leave well enough alone.
Shrugging, Appleby returned his attention to the book he’d been studying. Cho thought she recognized that particular copy, having seen it many times in years past…but where?
Cho made her report to Professor McGonagall, through the floo in the engineer’s compartment. Minerva acknowledged the report and suggested she post a guard to keep Appleby safe until he arrived at Hogsmeade station.
She did, and for the next six hours a prefect sat by the door, in a rotation. Surprisingly Appleby ‘somehow’ received some three hundred fourty seven ‘thank-you’ gifts, mostly chocolate frogs and the like.
As the last of the students debarked, Jacob Appleby collected his ‘rewards’ and with an evil smile, vanished silently.
Dobby appeared in the minister’s office and handed Amelia the wand she’d loaned him for the ruse and a pile of chocolate frogs. He also handed her Malfoy’s wand.
“This is being young Malfoy’s wand. He is being marked now. Perhaps you might wish to check this Death Eater’s wand for any forbidden curses.”
Cho faced the headmaster and Snape at the castle doors.
Dumbledore asked for an explanation, which Cho gave. Snape growled that Draco had no reason to harass the lesser peoples, so obviously this ‘Appleby’ was lying!
Cho was having none, however and simply replied: “As far as I am concerned, he was bullying a younger student. That younger student decided not to be bullied, knocked him on his arse, and broke his wand. It’s better than what that evil little bastard deserves!”
“How dare you?” Severus roared, stepping forward, to intimidate her.
“Now, Miss Chang…” Dumbledore warned, as he gripped Snape's sleeve, his eyes twinkling at full speed. “Such comments are not appropriate for Head Girl.” Though mildly stated, his threat was clear.
“I saw his brand new dark mark. He was more than happy to show it off. Now, if you have any objections…other than the hurt feelings of two Death Eaters, then you must do as you see necessary. The fact of the matter is that Draco Malfoy learned…as all bullies eventually do, that some people cannot be bullied. She took the pin off and held it out for Dumbledore.
“Make your choice. Either I am your representative, or I’m not.”
Dumbledore was astounded. No one in is lifetime had ever even considered returning the coveted head’s pin, and yet, Miss Chang was willing to do just that in order to prove her point. Incredible!
Minerva was smiling as proudly as she’d ever done. She knew Dumbledore would have a very hard time of it, if he removed Chang from the position of Head Girl. It was on his recommendation that she receive the Head’s badge in the first place. If he took it before the year began, his position as headmaster would be…untenable.
Dumbledore knew that as well. He also knew she was right. Draco was marked, and he was a bully. He sighed in defeat.
“You may keep your position, however, we will be having a little chat to discuss your decorum.
“As you wish.” Chang turned and sauntered away. Two sets of teeth could be heard grinding.
Snape turned to go, but Dumbledore called him to a halt.
“Severus I think you understand that since Draco is marked, he is under a death sentence. Were Madam Bones to learn of his affiliation she would have him arrested immediately. I would not be able to protect him.”
“Bones is minister only for as long as it takes the dark lord to eliminate her, Headmaster. We both know that. When she is dead, Lucius will likely be minister and I can assure you, his first order will be to have Chang and her entire family killed!”
At the start of term feast, Dumbledore discovered that his troubles were not over. Nearly all of he fourth through sixth year Gryffindors, many of the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws and even a few Slytherins of those years, were missing from their usual positions. Older and younger students were also missing. Most importantly, his pawn had failed to return to his control. The others he could care less about, but Harry Potter was vital to his plan!
He didn’t know his troubles were about to get worse.
The new students entered the Great Hall in a long nervous line, behind Minerva. There were more by nearly half, this year than in previous ones. All the teachers understood that by the time these children were conceived, the fear had gone, and the number of young witches and wizards would only go up for eight more years, before seeing another sharp drop.
Minerva ordered them to line up in the usual manner, and waited. Before more than a few seconds had passed, a large tear near the brim of the battered old hat opened and it began to sing.
What it sang was unlike anything they had ever heard before!
“Because you didn’t listen to
my sorting song last year,
The lot of you are buggered,
And rescue nowhere near.
The darkest lord has risen,
spreading strife and discontent,
and enmity amongst you,
has seen his time well spent.
But there comes to you, soon,
a savior strong and brave,
to pull your arses from the fire,
if that’s what you crave.
The chosen one you know,
with power he knows not,
Jedi master and his students
will give him what they’ve got.
But now I must apportion you,
to see which house you’ll fit.
It’s more to join a family
than to find a place to sit.
You could go to Gryffindor,
and rush in without thought,
Or maybe into Slytherin
where people don’t get caught.
The brainy types to Ravenclaw
and do their tasks all ment’ly,
And Hufflepuffs, can grow their plants,
and the best weed, incidentally.
Now listen close and listen good.
I won’t say this again.
If you refuse to heed my words,
then adios my friends.
I tried and tried to help you out,
so don’t say I didn’t warn ya’.
I’m going on tour with a rock musician,
that I met in California!
And if it comes that you’ve refused,
then I can only sigh.
Put your head between your knees
and kiss your arse goodbye!”
The hall was utterly silent. Not a sound to be heard. Even the ghosts had fallen mute.
Dumbledore’s eyes were wide with shock. McGonagall was hyperventilating. Snape was opening and closing his mouth as to say something, but the words just wouldn’t come. Hagrid was turning red, Sprout was white as The Fat Friar, Sinistra had fainted and Flitwick’s jaw was resting on his plate.
And then the giggles came. It started with an ickle firsty, then another joined in and another, and another, until all the youngsters were laughing hard. The rest of the hall followed in short order, and soon the great hall rang with peals of laughter.
Winky watched from the shadows absorbing the scene. She took picture after picture of the head table with Judith’s Nikon F-2, until she ran out of film, then popped away.
When at long last, order had been restored, and Minerva called up the first years to be sorted, she found that the mysterious ‘Jacob Appleby’ who’d so painfully incapacitated Draco Malfoy, was nowhere to be seen. Moreover, he wasn’t on her list. It was as if there was no such person!
Dumbledore had instructed the students to tuck in, and then turned to his deputy.
“Minerva, we appear to be missing several of our students.”
“Several is an understatement.” She rejoined. “Almost a fifth of the older students are missing…and not a few of the younger ones as well.” Unlike Albus, she knew precisely what was going on…and why.
“Indeed. Whatever could have happened?” He asked. She wanted to throttle him right there!
Dumbledore got his answer less than a minute later as an easily recognizable snowy owl, entered the great hall, bearing a large brown envelope. Surprisingly Hedwig was ‘escorted’ by four other, large, fierce-looking eagle owls. To Minerva they looked like an honor guard. To Albus, it was the end of the world.
Hedwig didn’t even bother to land, instead, dropping her package in a precise trajectory as to land it in the bowl of brown gravy directly in front of Dumbledore. The weight of the overstuffed envelope made an impressive splash, spraying the extremely hot, brown liquid directly toward her intended victim. To add insult to injury, the silver bowl tipped from the impact, and ended spilling the remains of its contents across his plate and onto his lap.
A scalded and seething Albus Dumbledore, bolted from his chair, and snatched out his wand to set that blasted bird on fire, when two things diverted him. First, the four other owls positioned themselves between him and Hedwig, and second, Minerva plucked up the gravy soaked envelope, just coincidentally spoiling his aim.
She cast a Scourgify on the envelope and handed it to the steaming Albus.
He opened it to find several dozen sheets of parchment, and a howler.
Before he could move, Harry Potter’s amplified voice sounded throughout the hall:
“DEAR HEADBASTARD DUMBLEMORT.
I’M NOT COMING BACK. NONE OF US ARE!
DEAL WITH IT!
HARRISON JAMES POTTER,
BOY WHO LIVED,
HEAD OF THE NOBLE AND MOST
ANCIENT HOUSE OF POTTER.
DUKE OF ANGLESY.
HEAD OF THE NOBLE AND MOST
ANCIENT HOUSE OF BLACK.
DUKE OF LINCOLNSHIRE.
HEAD OF THE MOST NOBLE AND
MOST ANCIENT FOUNDERS HOUSE
DUKE OF ORKNEY AND THE HEBRIDES.
GUY WITH MORE TITLES THAN YOU.”
Dumbledore’s shriek of rage, echoed throughout the hall. He erupted from his seat and raced from the room.
Minerva picked up the fallen parchments and read. All were the same. Each and every one of the missing students had withdrawn from Hogwarts. That they had done so before the start of term, mean that the school was obliged to return their entire year’s tuition.
Tears rolled slowly down her face as she read the list of over sixty names.
She whispered: “Godspeed, children.”
Dumbledore rushed into his office and threw a pinch of floo powder into the flames. “Minister Bones’ office!”
Amelia was smirking as she answered.
“Well, Hello, Albus! What has you in such a lather?”
“Harry Potter has kidnapped several dozen students! He must be returned to Hogwarts!”
“Well if he’s kidnapped students, shouldn’t he be sent to Azkaban instead of returning to your school?”
A third voice intruded upon their conversation.
“Oh Albus Dumbledore would never have me sent to Azkaban. I’m too important to his ‘grand plan’ to destroy Voldemort.”
“Harry!” Dumbledore almost bellowed. “You must return to Hogwarts. You are not safe anywhere else!” Albus threw himself into the flames and a second later he was spat unceremoniously onto the polished wooden floor of the minister’s office. There, standing to the side, Harry Potter. He was wearing an outfit of tan with a brown robe over it.
Dumbledore snatched out his wand to cast a stunner. Unfortunately he was too impressed by himself to pay attention to what he was doing.
Harry lifted a hand and ‘called’ the wand to himself, leaving Albus Dumbledore disarmed.
“Albus Dumbledore, you have entered my office without being invited, and attempted to attack my guest. Give me one good reason I shouldn’t have you in a holding cell!”
Dumbledore fought his baser instincts to choke the living shit out of the little arsehole! He rigidly controlled his facial features and spoke in his ‘concerned grandfather #3’ voice.
“Amelia, I am acting in the interests of the greater good. Can’t you see? Harry is headed down the dark path! Only I can prevent such a fall. He must be returned to my control so I can guide him to meet his destiny!”
“You mean my impending sacrifice, to destroy the weapon that got out of your control. The weapon you personally created to destroy your old friend Grindelwald.” Harry sneered almost as well as Malfoy ever could.
“It is your destiny, Harry.” Dumbledore returned, now calmly twinkling. Inwardly he was anything but calm. How had Harry known about his association with Grindelwald?
“Wrong!” Harry snarled. “That drivel you showed me wasn’t a real prophesy, and you know it! They were the made-up words of a lunatic intent on controlling everything around him to the nth degree.”
“I assure you, Harry, the prophecy is very real.”
“Dumbledore, right now, you could assure me the sky was dark and I’d still have to go outside and check!” Harry snarled. Then he turned to Bones.
“However he’s right. Since he ensured Death Eater, Severus Snape, brought part of his made-up prophesy to Voldemort…just enough to entice Tommy boy into killing my parents and the Longbottoms, mind you, and Riddle believes in that worthless handful of…words, he’s actually made it into a self-fulfilling prophesy. Madam Bones, it’s been a pleasure.”
With that, the oddly garbed Harry bowed to Amelia and vanished without so much as a whisper, leaving Dumbledore’s wand in a tall water-filled crystal vase, on her desk.
Dumbledore was positively fulminating by the time he returned to the castle. Bones had ordered him to pay a one thousand Galleon fine, for invading the ministry without being invited, in a non-emergency situation, and attempting to attack an invited guest, before unceremoniously ordering him to leave! It had taken all his available gold. Without access to the many vaults he usually enjoyed, he’d have to find some fools who would give him more! Just now, though he had a more pressing need.
Turning once more to the Floo, he called out: “Alastor Moody!”
“What can I do for you, Albus?” Moody was at the fireplace within seconds…almost as if he’d been waiting on this call.
“Alastor, would you mind coming through?”
“Not at all.”
Moody spun to a halt and faced his old friend.
“Alastor, Harry Potter has gone to the dark side. We must recover him. He must be returned to my control or all I’ve worked for is lost.”
“Can’t do it, Albus.” Moody replied. “Bones has recalled me to active duty for the next two years. She’s also issued an order to keep the hell away from Potter. She says he’s on government orders and to leave him strictly alone unless he calls for help.”
Albus was flabbergasted. Still, he knew how to play Alastor. He’d had years to perfect his technique.
“Nevertheless, he must be returned. Only under my tutelage will he be able to learn what he needs to know in order to destroy Tom.”
“And why haven’t you told him what he needs to know before this?” Moody asked. Dumbledore paled. This was not going well at all!
“I had my reasons. You must trust my judgment on this.”
“Sorry, Albus. Lately your judgment has been somewhat lacking.”
“Alastor! You swore your loyalty through the Gryffindor line! I call upon that oath now!”
“Again, Sorry. You told me that, but I discovered something different at the beginning of this summer. The loyalty I owed, was to Potter, not to you. To put it shortly, you lied to me. You lied to me, and you used me. Why should I trust you at all?”
Moody was no longer where he’d been. Instead, he was on one hand and his wooden leg, sweeping Dumbledore’s ankle from under him. As Albus fell, he spun back to an upright position.
“Doesn’t work on me, Albus, you should know that.” Moody snarled before throwing a pinch of his own floo-powder into the flames and hurling his body after.
Albus just stared dumbly at the empty fireplace from the floor, knowing he’d lost both a long-term friend and a valuable asset. He really didn’t care about the ‘friend’ part, but that particular ‘asset’ was irreplaceable!
A/N: I was absolutely astounded at the sheer number of racial insults and ethnic slurs I found on line. Unfortunately, we Americans seem to have led the pack in our creativity. Currently, Golliwog, Dago and Gyppo are the three most popular British insults for Spaniards. Many of the more elitist Brits consider that: “Wogs begin in Calais.”
I am conversant in Mexican Spanish, so my translation comes from Babelfish. If I got it wrong, look there.
“Habría pensado que con una mujer de mirada tan fina, este lugar sería un manicomio”
(I would have thought that with such a fine looking woman, this place would be a madhouse.)
“Era, señor.” (“It was, sir.”)
“Ella caminó adentro y la griterío comenzó. Íbamos a dar vuelta al agua en ellos pero ella acaba de dar vuelta a un preso y dicho algo no oí. Él iba pálido y después separado la palabra. Para el momento en que ella llegara aquí, estaban tan silenciosamente como bebés durmientes. ”
(“She walked in and the yelling started. We were going to turn the water on them but she just turned to a prisoner and said something I didn’t hear. He went pale and then spread the word. By the time she arrived here, they were as quiet as sleeping babes.)
“Si, señora…¡Oh! Excúseme, por favor, Señorita!”
(Yes, Ma’am… Oh! Excuse me please, Miss!)
“Procesaré el papeleo para lanzarlo a la embajada Británica, por favor lo hago tan incómodo como sea possible…sin dañarlo.”
(I’ll be processing the paperwork to release him to the British Embassy, please make him as uncomfortable as possible…without harming him.)
“Él parece uno de los cerdos premiados de mi tío. ¡Apuesto que él chilla como uno cuando usted lo coge!”
(He looks like one of my uncle’s prize pigs. I bet he squeals like one when you fuck him!)
“¡Si usted intenta, me cercioraré de le don' t tiene un pene para cogerlo con!”
(If you try, I’ll make sure you have no penis to fuck him with!)
“¡Hacia fuera! ¡Usted!” (Out! All of you!)
mujer loca (crazy woman)
“Ella acaba de despertar.” (“She just woke.”)
“Gracias. Déjenos por favor. Deseo hablar con ella en privado.” (“Thank you. Please leave us. I wish to speak with her in private.”)
“Como usted desee.” (“As you wish.”)
A Balisong is the absolute coolest, fast opening knife I’ve ever seen. I learned how to use them before they were made illegal in ‘the Peoples’ Republic of Califpornya’.
Djem-So…purple w/ red stripe
Jar-Kai…Red w/ brown stripe
The Nikon F-2 is a purely mechanical SLR camera. Even so, it was the standard of SLR’s for fifty years. I could never afford it, but in ‘86, I got a good deal on a Canon F-1, which was almost as good.