AU Post OotP, No HBP, With Voldemort gone it's time for Harry to Live.
Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter
A/N Finally we get to the World Cup. I've taken liberties with what we know from cannon and Quidditch through the Ages.
The World Cup
Morning came to early after the fireworks of the night before. Hermione had been surprised by the arrival of Krum, he'd been overjoyed to see Hermione again and Ron had been outraged and very vocal about it, which had led to a screaming fight between Ron and Hermione.
Burke had arrange for transportation to the World Cup venue and at 7am the group gathered outside to wait for their ride. Agamemnon's Flying Carpet Service sent their largest carpet for the group. Harry thought it would have been very enjoyable ride except for Ron glaring at everyone. Harry hoped the game would make Ron forget to be mad. Salvation came when Luna told Victor's teammate Todor Borev, Keeper for the Vultures, that Ron was the keeper for Gryffindor. Todor engaged Ron in a discussion of tactics that lasted well into the walk up to the stadium from the entry point.
Harry had handed out tickets, in case they got separated and they had a leisurely walk up through the tents and vendors outside the stadium.
Fred and George Weasley, with Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell were already in the box when the group got there.
"Harry," Katie squealed and hugged Harry, "thank you for inviting me."
"Me too," said Alicia as she grabbed him next. Harry eyed the twins over her shoulder as they eyed each other and bounded forward.
"Us too," said the twins together in high-pitched voices as they squashed him between them and then planted very wet kisses to either side of his head.
"Geroff, you idiots," laughed Harry, pushing them away. Turning to the girls, "You are more than welcome but did you have to bring them?"
Then he noticed Neville on the floor in front of the first row of seats rubbing the back of his head. "Neville you all right there?" he asked frowning.
"Yeah, just warm and fuzzy. They set her off again," mumbled Neville, as Harry was almost knocked down by Luna hugging him and laughed as she then assaulted each of the twins.
He then caught the look on Alicia's face as Victor and his three friends entered the box with Hermione. Harry introduced them and then sat and smirked as Alicia gushed over the Vultures chaser and Fred scowled.
"Hey look!" Harry shouted, as the giant screens set up to show close-ups during the game focused on Oliver Wood. "Ollie's here." There was an announcer speaking but all Harry recognized was Oliver's name. He leaned over to Remus. "I didn't think about the game being in Greek," he said sadly.
"Not a problem." said Remus as he cast a translation spell. Suddenly Harry could understand the announcer. He was warning that the game would start soon and refreshments could be found in the concourse beneath the stadium. As Remus cast the spell on the rest of the group they began to scramble for seats. Krum leaned over the back of Harry's seat to point to something on the other side of the stadium and they heard their names and to Harry's embarrassment a huge picture of them appeared on the screens.
"Wave, Potter," said Krum, waving and smiling at the crowd. Harry's smile was rather sickly. After several agonizing seconds the picture changed to show a member of the Weird Sisters cuddled up with a wizard with purple hair.
As the announcer called out that the Peruvian National Team's pre-game sacrifice to the Quidditch God was about to begin, a shadow caused Harry to look up in surprise. There were screams as the spectators were startled at the appearance of two Peruvian Vipertooth Dragons flying overhead. The Dragons were about 15 foot long and a smooth cooper color with short horns and were hissing quite loudly as they passed over the crowd. Harry stared in shock for a long moment and then burst into laughter.
"What is it?" asked Hermione from the row behind him where she was seated next to Victor.
"They must be close enough to snakes, I can understand them. They are singing 'I'm so pretty' and 'look at me!' over and over," Harry said, still chuckling.
The Dragons landed to either side of a stone alter where an ornately dressed Incan High Sorcerer waited. The shaman laid an intricately decorated broom on the stone alter and called out in an unknown language, while gesturing to the four corners and then the broom burst into flame. The crowd began cheering as the Dragons lifted into the air, spiraled around each other and swooped over the stadium several times before landing near the Peruvian side's bench and their handlers. Meanwhile the shaman had levitated the stone alter off the field.
A few moments later the five members of the French Acrobroom Team flew into the stadium standing on their brooms, as if surfing, and began to leap from broom to broom. They did flips and spins, handstands, jumps and the most amazing tricks that Harry had ever seen. He watched wide-eyed, trying to figure out how to do some of the things himself. As the team flew off the field Victor leaned forward.
"I'll bet with enough practice you could do that under hand flip, Harry." Victor said only to be startled when Hermione slapped him on the side of his head.
"Don't you dare encourage him, Victor Krum!" she hissed. Victor wisely sat back in his seat and said nothing, while Ron smirked from the other side of Hermione.
Peru took the field in dazzling white with gold trim uniforms. They were the favorites to win as their Seeker, Enrico Esteban, had caught the snitch in all but two of the season's games, an outstanding record for any team.
France took the field wearing navy blue and the game began. It was fast and furious until the French beater swung hard at a Bludger and missed slamming instead into the shoulder of the Peruvian seeker. Enrico fell from his broom from 100 feet up and was barely caught by his chasers allowing the French to score. It was a blatant foul but the referee missed it. The crowd roared in the stands and Peru's reserve seeker entered the game, unfortunately the blow to Peru's morale was severe and France took the lead. Two and half hours into the game France's seeker John Paul D'Arnot caught the snitch and France won the World Cup.
"I can't believe it," laughed Harry as they were exiting the stadium. "A quidditch game."
"What are you on about Harry?" questioned Ron.
"The prophecy, Ron, Luna's prophecy was about the quidditch game," Harry looked into the startled faces of his friends and laughed again.
"I said it wasn't important," Luna said airily.
"Quidditch is too important. If we'd only known we could have bet on France and made a bundle," groused Ron. "Of course, Peru shouldn't have let Estaban's injury throw them off their game."
"You're kidding, if that had been Harry you could have just kept playing like nothing happened?" Hermione growled at Ron.
"Of course I could have but Harry probably won't be playing at Hogwarts this year as he has a pro contract, doesn't he," Ron sniped back.
Harry shook his head hearing another row between Ron and Hermione coming. He looked around, Susan was talking to Luna; Neville just rolled his eyes and shook his head. Harry leaned closer to Remus. "Where did Ginny go?"
"She went with the twins, they will meet us at the Villa later. I made sure they have a portkey," Remus said.
The group strolled on toward one of the designated departure areas and stopped to watch a juggler perform with flaming torches. When they started to move on Harry noticed that Ron was no longer with them.
"He went that way Harry." Susan said, pointing to a cook tent some distance away.
"I'll get him, meet me at the portkey point and stay together." Remus told them.
They followed the slowly moving mass of people. Some would be spending the night in tents Harry knew, as they had done at the last World Cup. As if his thoughts of that night had conjured them up Harry heard screams from in front of them. The mass of people started to stream back past them in the opposite direction.
Harry pushed past the panicked crowd toward the screams. When Hermione grabbed his arm, he shook her off and continued not really noticing her annoyed look as she huffed and then followed him.
Wands out the five approached the area warily and found a dozen men in black masks, several overturned vendor's carts, injured people on the ground and a Death Eater in mask and cloak directing the torture and robbery.
Harry glanced at Neville and motioned to the left side and held up three fingers. Neville nodded and slipped off to the left. He turned to Hermione and motioned to the right. She scowled at him and nodded.
"Stunners and bindings, take their wands," he murmured to Luna and Susan.
On the count of three Harry waded into the masked men spiting stunners and binding hexes, downing four in the first barrage and drawing the attention of the Death Eater.
"Avada Kedavra!" shouted the Death Eater, flinging the curse at Harry. Harry grinned and summoned a piece of the broken vendor cart blocking the killing curse and blasted back with a Reductor that punched straight through the Death Eater's hastily erected shield, knocking him to the ground in a bloody heap. He turned and side stepped a cutting curse but saw his assailant go down to Neville's stunner. He looked around and found the fight over.
Then several men ran up shouting at him to throw down his wand. He realized just as he was about to curse them that they were Greek Aurors and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender.
Harry sat on a conjured bench and watched the clean up after the short fight. The Greek Auror had asked him to wait there and had taken his wand. Each of his friends had already been questioned, separately of course, as to their actions, only his statement was yet to be taken.
Remus and Ron had shown up on the edge of the cordoned off area and the rest of his friends were waiting for him with them now.
"Yes, I'm Harry Potter," Harry said, standing.
"I am Auror Commander Alexandros, you are aware that the man in the white mask is dead? I must ask you to come to our headquarters. You understand it is procedure?" asked the Auror.
Harry sighed and nodded, "I understand, may I tell my friends?" He pointed to Remus and the others.
The Auror Commander looked over toward the group. "I will have them informed." He waved to another man and said a few words. "Please touch this." He held out an odd shaped piece of metal.
At headquarters Harry was led to a small office.
"Please empty your pockets on the desk, Mr. Potter," said Alexandros.
Harry eyed the man warily for a moment and then asked, "Am I under arrest?"
"No, not at this time but the man that you attacked is dead, this raises questions that must be answered."
"That man, as you call him, was a Death Eater he would have no problems with killing or torturing any one who stood in his way. I didn't intend to kill him but I'm not sorry he is dead," Harry replied, coldly.
Alexandros raised one eyebrow and looked through Harry's wallet, examined his cell phone and then opened the leather pouch that held the Auror medallion Kingsley Shacklebolt had given him.
"Why do you have this, Mr. Potter?"
"I am a reserve Auror in Britain, sir."
"Why didn't you mention this earlier? You are very young for such a position. Can you prove this claim?"
"If you contact the Head of the DMLE in Britain, Kingsley Shacklebolt I'm sure he will vouch for me," Harry said.
Another man entered the office at this point dropped several papers on the desk and bent to whisper into Alexandros' ear. The commander's eyes widened and Harry saw his eyes dart up to his forehead. Harry sighed and pushed up his bangs revealing the distinctive scar. Alexandros flushed and the second man left with a wild look at Harry.
"Mr. Potter, please forgive me I did not realize just who you were." He gave a tired chuckle. "I seem to have made a rather large error. My supervisor has received angry calls from the British Minister of Magic as well as the Head of the DMLE there. I have a member of the British consulate in the outer office and several reporters asking if you've been arrested, at the front desk." He sighed. "May I ask that you tell me exactly what occurred so that I can stave off an international incident?"
"I'm sorry, sir, one of my friends is the Minister's niece, she probably called when you brought me in." Harry said, relieved that he wasn't in trouble.
Alexandros flipped through some of the papers that had been delivered, "Ah, that would be Susan Bones?"
"Yes sir," Harry said.
"I see," he sighed, "I had intended to scare you. To show you the folly of rushing in where you did not belong. I do not regret that the Death Eater is dead but I did feel that you were to young to have the burden of his death upon you and I wished to cause you to think twice about such actions in the future. The possibility of your death and that of your friends terrified me." He glanced up at Harry. "I hope you understand this reasoning."
Harry thought for a moment and nodded his head. "I do understand but I am long past such regrets." Then he grinned, "I'm sure it would have worked on any one else."
Alexandros glanced through the reports in front of him, and then pulled out parchment. "Shall we go over what happened, in detail?"
An hour later, Harry shook hands with a fussy little man from the British Consulate and assured him of his well-being and then apparated back to the Villa. Where he discovered his friends preparing to storm Auror Headquarters.
Harry stood in the shadows of the doorway and watched Remus struggle against the chaos in the lounge room with a smirk.
"Hey, Remus what's going on?" he questioned, in an overly loud voice.
There was complete silence for a moment and then a scream of 'Harry' and a thunder of feet toward him. He was hugged and squeezed and thumped on the back while being asked questions that they gave him no time to answer. Finally Harry broke away and shouted for everyone to sit down.
"I'm fine as you can see. It is procedure to take in anyone involved in a death. Since I killed the Death Eater, I had to go in to give my statement. I wasn't under arrest or tortured or even given truth serum. I had a nice chat with Auror Commander Alexandros and a tour of their Headquarters."
There was an ominous silence at this and Harry hastily continued. "Those robbers were members of a local gang. Apparently the Death Eater, Bilby Radcliff, had escaped Britain and came here trying to recruit 'for when his master would return'. The gang members said the guy was a fanatic that believed Voldemort would return from the dead."
"Radcliff?" said Fred
"Really?" asked George.
"You know him?" asked Harry.
They nodded together and opened their mouths but Alicia interrupted, "He was a Hufflepuff a couple of years older than me. How did he manage to get mixed up with You Know Who?"
"At least we know why he was loyal, it is one of our trademark qualities," said Susan, with a smirk toward Harry.
"Dinner is served," announced Burke, from the doorway.
"Didn't you guys eat already?" Harry asked in surprise.
"No, you great prat, we were to worried about you! It the same thing every time, you rush in to a fight then disappear," snarled Hermione, and she burst into tears and ran from the room.
An embarrassed silence filled the room.
"You should go after her, Harry," Luna said, her gaze on him.
Harry looked closely at Luna and nodded, "The rest of you go on to dinner. I'll get Hermione and be there in a few.
He found her in the library.
"Hermione? I'm sorry. I'm not sure why you're mad at me but I'm sorry you are."
"Oh honestly Harry, I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at that Death Eater, I'm mad that you had to kill someone, I'm mad that you've been conditioned to run into danger instead of away from it. I'm mad because it's going to keep happening, that Dumbledore is going to continue to try to use you. I'm not stupid, Harry, I can see that. I know that he hurt you when he told you the prophecy and he's," her voice broke.
Harry's brow furrowed, "He's what Hermione, if he's hurt you I'll..." she interrupted him.
"No Harry, he asked me to watch you, this year. He said he's worried that Snape will corrupt you, that you're going dark." She laughed, almost hysterically, "He's such a stupid old man, Harry, I can tell you'll never go dark. Don't you see? You shouldn't come back to Hogwarts, you won't be safe but I don't want you to leave again. I...I like you Harry, you're my best friend and I can see how much Susan and Ginny and even Luna like you. I want to tell you to run away again but I can't stand the thought of losing you." She broke down into sobs and Harry gathered her to him and held her.
"Hermione, you aren't going to lose me. I will always be your friend. I already know what Dumbledore thinks. I'm going to be careful. I'm not going to run away again and if I do, I'll take you with me, ok?" he said, softly.
Hermione's head nodded against his chest. "I'm sorry, Harry."
"You don't have anything to be sorry for Hermione, unless you agreed to spy on me?" Harry said, with a chuckle.
"You know I wouldn't."
"Yeah, I know, hey why don't you go wash you face? We'll have something to eat and then discuss this with the others, ok?"
"So that's the story." Harry said, to the assembled group.
"Dumbledore thinks you will be the next Dark Lord? Is he insane?" asked Neville.
"Can we be,"
"in your inner circle?" asked the twins with enthusiasm.
"He didn't ask me to spy," Ron protested.
Harry looked at him with a strange expression, "Are you upset that he didn't?"
"No!" yelled Ron, outraged this time, "But I would have told him where to get off."
There were several more minutes of noisy discussion.
"So are we agreed that we will watch Harry's back and keep an eye on Dumbledore?" Neville asked the room in general. There were nods all around.
The next morning Harry's picture was splashed all over the paper and they decide to spend the day at the Villa; on the beach, playing in the surf and in the air on brooms rather than go out into public and take a chance on being mobbed.
The afternoon had turned into an impromptu Defense lesson with Harry showing his friends some of the moves he'd learned at camp.
The group agreed to meet on the 29th for shopping in Diagon Alley and went to bed happily that night most of them already packed for the return trip to Britain the next day.