Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry's New Pets

Chapter the second

by Aelfwine 18 reviews

Preparation for a shopping trip; meanwhile, Monsieur Delacour investigates and McGonagall and friends have a conversation

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor,Romance - Characters: Fleur,Harry,Hermione,Luna,Moody,Professor McGonagall - Published: 2008-07-31 - Updated: 2008-08-01 - 2106 words

"First," Fleur said, "it is necessary that we buy clothes."

"Clothes?" Luna said. "You and Hermione and I really shouldn't be wearing anything but our collars. And Master... well, I don't know Muggle fashions, but perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to question his tastes, dearest pet-sister?"

"It's not taste," Harry said, "these are my cousin's old things. They've never bought me anything else."

"Oh." Luna said. "Well, in that case, I suppose we should get Master some suitable clothing. That shop looks rather nice, doesn't it?" She pointed across the street.

Hermione couldn't help herself; she giggled. "I don't think zat's quite what we want," Fleur said. "All zat leather could be uncomfortable in the summer's warmth."

"But he'd look awfully good in it," Luna said. "And the shop's even called ‘The Master's Tailor.' It might have been put here especially for our needs. And perhaps they'll tell us what Muggle pets should wear, so we can blend in properly. Although, well, you may call me an old-fashioned girl if you wish, but you know what I think..."

"Yes, Luna," Fleur said.

"Luna," Harry said, "I... well, I'm very new to being a master. I've never had any pets at all before, not even a hamster, much less three wonderful girls. I'm afraid that you'll have to be patient with me."

"Of course I'll be patient, Master Harry," Luna said, and planted a very delicate kiss on his cheek. "Well, what are we waiting for?" she said. "Let us go and find our Master Harry some suitable attire."

"Wait a moment," Fleur said. "I must do something." She kissed Harry on the cheek. "That was very well said, ‘Arry."

He was blushing. Hermione couldn't resist. "You're... a good master, Harry," she whispered, and kissed his cheek. "The next one goes on your lips," she said.

His lips moved for a moment before he could get the words out. "Thank you. You're a very good pet. And I look forward to it." She felt her cheeks warm, and knew her face would match Harry's for redness.

"Come along," Fleur said, "let us go shopping."


Gérard Delacour was a diplomat, but there was a point at which one was forced to further diplomacy by other means, as Clausewitz had said. Things were fast approaching that point. "Tell me again," he said, "you pink-drenched type of a toad-faced woman, under what circumstances it was that my daughter disappeared from her tour group this morning. And perhaps this time you will be able to explain to me why the incompetent excuse for a guide which your... Ministry provided would lose track of one teenaged girl out of a group of only eight."

"Well, Monshoor Delacour," Madam Umbridge said, "you have to understand how difficult it is for a grown woman to keep up with the... very energetic behaviour of so many young girls. Madam Hopkins was simply taking a slight rest in the Leaky Cauldron. The girls weren't to wander out of sight..."

"And, curiously enough, the other girls have told me that they were simply told to not enter that Alley you call Knockturn, and to come back to the Cauldron at eleven-thirty. And, furthermore, not to pester your Madam Hopkins with ‘trifles' whilst she... healed herself, let us say, with what you call ‘the hair of the dog.' It was thus that my Fleur's young friends were forced to report her absence, not to Madame Hopkins, their soi-disante guardian and guide, but to one of your trainee Aurors on her foot patrol."

"Well, that was highly irregular, to say the least. They ought to have confined all dealings with the Ministry to the proper channel of their official guide. And really, Monshoor Delacour, it hasn't been twenty-four hours. Perhaps the young lady has followed the instincts of her kind and found a... gentleman friend. Surely you, as a Frenchman, understand how these things work?" She smiled contentedly. "I'm sure she'll show up in a day or two, none the worse for wear."

Gérard had killed for less, back in the day. "Madam Umbridge," he said, "I fear that my English has failed me. Why, I briefly thought that you were suggesting that my daughter, a bright, gentle, sheltered girl, barely thirteen years of age, had absented herself from her tour group in order to have a sexual assignation with some randomly met English Wizard. And that, furthermore, such a mindless act of lust was only to be expected on account of her genetic heritage, through which she is kindred to some of the noblest houses in all of Europe.

"Since, obviously, such a suggestion is both bigoted and deeply discourteous, would never pass the lips of a Ministry of Magic official, and would, in fact, if it were actually said, be nothing less than a personal challenge to duel, I must assume that, despite my having read the English literature at your Oxford, my command of this language has failed me and I have not properly understood your thoughtful expressions of concern and your promise to use all resources available to your Ministry for the purpose of finding my daughter and, if necessary, rescuing her and bringing to justice whomever is responsible for her disappearance. Is this not correct?"

"Y... yes, Monshoor Delacour."

"Excellent, Madam Umbridge. And might I suggest that you refrain from further butchering my language? You are very welcome to call me by your English "mister." Or you might address me as My Lord Gérard Antoine Théophile Delacour, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. But, since this is only a meeting between a concerned public official and a worried father, not a diplomatic conference or an affair of honour such as might result if a young girl's disappearance were not being taken seriously, such flourishes are not necessary. Non?"

"Of course not, Mister Delacour."

"Now, Madam Umbridge, I am sure you must go to back to work searching for my daughter. And I will do likewise. Your Aurors are a fine force, but I was accounted quite a decent Hitwizard and intelligence operative, in my younger days. Perhaps my skills at tracking and investigation have not left me, although my only professional activity these past few years has been acting, in such spare time as I am given, as a senior combat instructor at our Académie."

I wonder, he thought as he walked to the public Floo, is her bigotry against the non-human sentient races caused by shame at the possibility that her own lineage results from experiments in the crossbreeding of human and toad carried out by some ancient Wizard?

With a brief grin, utterly humourless, he dismissed the stray speculation from his mind, and prepared himself for work. His old Seeking Monocle rested concealed in his clothing as it had every day for decades, just as did his spare wand, his wire garotte, his stiletto, and his Goblin-customised Browning Hi-Power. It was time to use it again, without a doubt.

Blessed Mother Mary, he prayed silently, pray for me to the Lord your Son that my daughter is safe and it is not again time for my other tools to see use. But if it be so... Michael Archangel, warrior against the Devil, be with me in my fight!


"Haman Harkness," Minerva said, "Hagrid here told me some very interesting news. Apparently you were engaged in a silly practical joke this very day."

"Begging your pardon, Professor," he said, kneading his hat in his hands, "but I don't follow your meaning. If it's jokes you want, there's Zonko's. I'm your man for owls, cats, rabbits, jackdaws... most any sort of creature you want, really. And of course I'm always willing to give ‘Ogwarts staff a generous discount."

"What Hagrid tells me," she said, "is that you were playing the amusing joke of pretending that two young girls were part of your stock-in-trade, stuck in a cage to be sold like your owls, cats, rabbits, jackdaws, et cetera. And Hagrid, being fond of jokes, decided to play along and ‘bought' both of them for young Mr. Potter, the son of my dear late friends James and Lily.

"So... it seems to me that the joke has run its course. It's time for you to be giving Hagrid back his money. Not to mention letting any other people who might be caged up as part of your little joke go back to their families and giving me the list of all your customers so I can make sure that everyone else who might have participated knows that the joke is over and it's time for their guests whom they pretended to "buy" to go home."

"Now just wait one minute, Pr'fessor! I--"

Minerva cut him off. "Oh, and I nearly forgot the part where you donate the extraneous equipment you might have used in your joke, such as oversized cages and magical sentient-creature traps, to Hogwarts for our advanced Care of Magical Creatures tutorials. As, of course, it is illegal to possess such items for any purpose other than that of education, with, of course, the appropriate Ministry permits."

"Look, Pr'fessor. I'm sure this is a funny joke you're tellin' me, but I'm only a simple man in the business of sellin' magic creatures as my family have done here for twelve generations. I ent wise enough to comprehend it just yet. Why don't you get round to your punch line so we all can laugh and I can get back to my work? If you want to share more jokes, you and ‘Agrid an' me can get a drink at the Cauldron once I've closed up my shop. First round's mine, of course."

"Actually, Mr. Harkness, that's all of it. What I've said is what you, my good man, will do. And if you'll not, well, I'll have to continue the joke and call in my good friend Auror Shacklebolt and my very dear friend and cousin Senior Auror Moody. I'm sure they'd love to play along, especially with the part where they pretend to throw you into Azkaban after you pretend to bribe them."

"You just don't understand, Professor. Those girls was a Veela an' a Selkie. They ent ‘uman, Professor. They may walk about on two legs, and they may talk, and they may even use a wand and act like they was proper Witches, but they isn't. And if they picks up a trap or wanders into my shop, an' some gentleman wants to buy ‘em, to look pretty in his parlour and to keep ‘im warm at night, why, that's ‘is business, ain't it? Or ‘is business and ‘is wife's, if he's got one. But nobody else's. That's the way it's always been."

"The law says otherwise, Mr. Harkness."

"But everybody knows that law ain't real. The Wizengamot only passed it so the Frogs and the Krauts an' the bloody Yanks would shut up. It's business as usual for honest British Wizards and Witches, just as it's always been."

"‘Ow very intéressant, Monsieur," said a voice from the door. "Would you like to explain zat in more detail to zis Frog? Whose dear quarter-Veela t'irteen year old daughter's magical traces ‘appen to be in your shop?"

"You've got no authority ‘ere, Frenchman!" Harkness said. "I'll call Auror Dawlish, an' we'll see who's took in for what."

"How very interesting, as my good friend and colleague Mister Delacour just said," growled another voice. "Well, Dawlish doesn't seem to be here. So you'll just have to talk with old Mad-Eye Moody. And I'd very much appreciate your answering Mister Delacour's question, Mister Harkness."

"I knows my rights."

"Apparently not. Under the circumstances, to be honest, you've hardly any, as long as we don't leave too many marks. And some of us are quite practised at that sort of thing."

"Well, what about your tame Giant, there? ‘E bought ‘em."

"Mister Hagrid," Moody said, "if it's him you're referencing, Mister Harkness, acted as a good Samaritan, removing two young girls from your hands and getting them to safety in the most effective and least violent manner available to him. If he'd... oh, say, wrung your neck as a farmwife wrings a hen's, then we might have took him in for questioning. But he's a very gentle man, is Mister Hagrid. I don't reckon he'll be doing anything of that sort. Unless, of course, he's forced to do it in the course of aiding the Crown by preventing your escape. In which case, naturally, no questioning would be necessary."

Here endeþ ðe chapter
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