A year or so after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry realizes his life isn’t exactly making him happy.
SERIES: In Pursuit of Happiness 2
FANDOM: Harry Potter
CHARACTER: Harry Potter
WARNING: Post Book 7, but Pre Epilogue, AU
DISCLAIMER: Rowling owns Harry Potter and all his friends. I’m not making any money from this.
SUMMARY: A year or so after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry realizes his life isn’t exactly making him happy.
“What can I do for you today, Mr. Potter?”
Harry fussed with his teacup a moment before looking up at Headmistress McGonagall. The office around them was mostly the same in a timeless sort of way. The only real difference about its appearance from Albus Dumbledore’s reign as Headmaster was that all of his odd little silver trinkets were missing.
And of course, Fawkes and his perch were gone.
“This is going to sound silly and I’ll probably come off sounding a bit of a prat. One that’s not quite bright at that…”
He trailed off and blushed lightly. McGonagall just patiently gazed at him with stern features softened slightly with fondness. He shook his head and tried a different tact.
“Do you remember my fifth year career counseling session? That…hag,” he growled the word, “Umbridge completely ruined it by butting her ugly nose into my business and…well, we never did get a chance to have a real conversation about it, did we?”
McGonagall’s eyes unfocused slightly as she thought back to that day and then grimaced.
“Indeed, we did not.” Her lips pursed into a thin line of disapproval for a long moment before she sighed and shook her head. “A horrid woman, and a terrible witch.”
Harry hummed softly in agreement and took a sip of tea.
“Well, I was sort of hoping that, if you didn’t mind, we could do that now? The career counseling thing, I mean.”
McGonagall’s eyebrows rose up in astonishment.
“Of course, Mr. Potter. I don’t mind at all. However, I was under the impression that you wanted to become an Auror?”
Harry looked down at his godson and Teddy looked back up at him from where he was laying on his back on the nappy changing table.
“It’s a good job I love you, little man, because that was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Not even Severus Snape could come up with something that looked and smelled that vile, and he was a potions master.”
Andy Tonks snorted in mild amusement from his side and Harry grinned over at her while little Teddy continued to wave his arms and pump his legs in sheer joy at being clean and sweet smelling once more.
“What is it about wizards and babies?” Andy Tonks asked with a sad smile. “You’ll all willingly and cheerfully spoil little ones rotten with brooms and sweets, but ask a wizard to change a dirty nappy and they act like it’s the worst task in the world.”
Harry shrugged lightly and leaned down to pick up the only other son of a Marauder and pressed a gentle kiss to the baby’s head.
“I don’t know about other wizards, but for me it’s the Merlin awful stink.”
Andy rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“Next time cast a scent dulling charm on your nose.”
Then she turned and led the way out of the baby’s room leaving Harry to gape at her and silently mouth “next time?” at her back.
Teddy cooed softly in his arms and he looked down into those soft hazel eyes.
“Right. We should follow after her then. Maybe she’ll feed us tea and biscuits, yeah?”
Teddy stuffed three fingers into his mouth and grinned toothlessly at him, a line of drool dribbling down his chin.
Grinning at the baby, Harry slowly made his way back to the sitting room to find that Andy did indeed have some tea and biscuits waiting. He grinned at her and sat down on the chair with little Teddy cradled in his arms.
“Well, in answer to your question earlier, there are a lot of different careers available to consider. There’s even the muggle world for you since you do exist there, but you’d need to complete a muggle education if you wanted to do anything beyond the most basic of manual labor.”
Harry blinked. He’d never once even considered the muggle world, but it was true enough.
He reached out and snagged a biscuit. He broke off a tiny piece for Teddy and nibbled on the rest himself. Finally, he shook his head.
“No. I don’t really think I’d want to work in the muggle world. I mean, it’s nice to have the option if I’m ever hard up for money, but if I can stay in the wizarding world that would be best.”
Andy nodded and fussed with her tea a bit.
“Well, then it’s really a matter of figuring out what you’re good and at what you enjoy. Wizards tend to live long lives, so unless you have money to fall back on with an early retirement, it’s best to pick something you’ll really be happy at. Otherwise you’ll have a lot of years to regret it.”
“That’s my problem. For years now I’ve always thought I’d join the Aurors, but with everything that’s happened with the war…”
They both shared identically haunted looks and the name ‘Nymphadora Tonks’ hung in the air between them unspoken, yet never forgotten.
“…well, it’s just lost its appeal, is all.”
Andy nodded and drew in a shaky breath as he all but admitted that he couldn’t stand to become an Auror now that Tonks was dead.
And it was true. He’d thought that he’d apprentice to Tonks, Moody, or Shacklebolt. Of the three, only Shacklebolt was still alive and he wasn’t a field Auror anymore. It wouldn’t be the same without one of them teaching him and inspiring him.
“To be honest, I can’t really picture you in any other Ministry department. You don’t have the temperament for endless rolls of scrollwork and you’re too honest and forthright for true politics. That leaves out both the clerks and the Department Head positions.”
Harry nodded. He’d thought much the same to be honest.
“Yeah. I’m more of a hands on person. I want to practice magic, not my handwriting.”
Andy snorted lightly again and a hint of a smile upturned her lips slightly.
“Actually, I could see you enjoying a craftmans apprenticeship. Building or making something that was solid and practical and useful. Something that required you to create the object and then enchant it to work properly.”
Harry lifted an eyebrow thoughtfully. That did sound better than endless boring meetings and writing reports and filling out endless forms. Percy was very self-important with his tasks and titles at the Ministry, but Harry couldn’t help but think that 90% of it was busy make-work. Useless and unnecessary.
“That does sound better. But what types of things do craftsmen make?”
Andy shook her head lightly.
“Anything and everything. Magical trunks and bags with expanded space inside and feather weight charms on them. Magical clocks that track appointments and family members locations. Dragon skin boots, vests, and cloaks. Weights and scales for measuring potions ingredients. Magical telescopes for star gazing. Cartographers make maps and builders put up magical buildings. There are wizarding hover chairs for those that can’t walk and brooms for people to fly. There are coopers and jewelry makers and all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that need to be made. Even bludgers and snitches need to be enchanted before they can be used to play a game of Quidditch.”
He’d only considered the shops in Diagon in terms of a low paid clerk working the register. He’d never thought about the actual items for sale, but Andy had a good point. They had to be made. Enchanted, actually, before they were useful.
And while most of those things didn’t spark an interest, the idea of brooms, bludgers and snitches did leave him wondering. He thought it’d be fun and interesting to learn how to make those items. But could he see himself doing it over and over again for years on end?
That he didn’t know.