Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Family Issue

Wednesday Manuvers and Graduation

by PerfesserN 6 reviews

The title pretty well sums it up

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance - Characters: Bellatrix, Harry, Marietta Edgecombe, Other - Published: 2007-04-10 - Updated: 2007-04-11 - 5345 words

Chapter 32 - Wednesday Maneuvers and Graduation

Tuesday was spent in final preparations for the last training maneuvers, scheduled for the next day. Half the company was in Ghillie suit training and close quarter hand to hand. The other half was training in an undisclosed location, but everyone agreed that whatever tactic Commander Potter employed, Fifth Company, Avalon Regiment would remember it and shudder.

Sometime around mid-afternoon the senior staff apparated back from wherever looking sunburned, windswept and elated. The other half of the company was sent straight to the barracks to clean up before heading to the open mess for tea. Harry addressed the other half, "Gamma and Delta squads, you look like you can handle just about anything Fifth Company can throw at you, we don't want to over train today so head back to the barracks, get cleaned up, tea-ed up and just relax. I know you want to know what Alpha and Beta squads have been up to today, but leave them alone all right?" he smirked as he added "don't want to spoil the surprise!"

The camouflaged half of the Fighting Ninth chuckled evilly.

The next morning found Company Commander Jake Donovan surveying the field before him through a pair of muggle field glasses, courtesy of his brother-in-law, Royal Marines, retired. Jake was a tall, broad shouldered sandy-haired man in his early twenties, he hadn't gone straight to auror training out of Hogwarts, he'd been a sales clerk, then an early morning announcer for the WWN before starting his military career. His life experiences had given him a level of maturity that his younger fellow trainees respected and he quickly rose through the ranks. When he heard about the changes happening in Ninth Company he investigated and was amazed at what he saw. It was as though Evans (make that Potter, now) was running a school of unconventional warfare and the results spoke for themselves - Donovan had made up his mind right then to 'break out of the mold' as it were and enjoy some results of his own. He was thrilled and intimidated by the neat way Ninth Company had taken down the Seventh, thrilled at the cold, calculating efficiency, intimidated because he knew he would be the next victim if he wasn't very careful.

"I know you're out there Evans," he muttered to himself "you won't get me with your invisibility tricks."

He turned to his adjutant "have the shooters come up and lay several stunners and reductors in a wide pattern near the crest of that hill."

Using predetermined hand signals the lieutenant had four aurors in black fatigues sight in on the top of the hill and fire off a combination of reductor and stunning hexes.

The first reductor sent a large flock of black birds into the air where they squawked in protest as they circled above the peak. One stunner suddenly shot upward at a tight angle, striking two of the birds and felling them.

Donovan smiled; he'd seen were the camouflaged troops were from the shields they had put up.

"Alpha Five and Gamma Five squads, advance in covering formation."

With deadly precision the two dozen men and women moved toward the peak in eight groups of three, two aurors provided covering fire to keep the enemy's head down as the third would advance before dropping down to a firing position so that another of the team could move forward. Everyone in the company could see where the shields were because of the way spellfire was being deflected. As the first squad leader reached the top of the hill he sent a stunner into a suspicious clump of grass and was gratified to note that it wasn't deflected.

"Got one!" he shouted, then reached down and pulled up a camouflaged fatigue jacket, an empty camouflaged fatigue jacket! He didn't notice the shield rune that fell out of the uniform as he held it aloft, looking questioningly back at his commanding officer.

Commander Donovan went white "Oh shite! It's a trap lads, fall back! Fall back!"

Just then the conjured flock of blackbirds dissipated and revealed two dozen men and women on broomsticks diving at them from directly overhead, coming out of the sun in a classic combination of Wonski Feint and Stuka Dive bomber attack.

Commander Evans in the lead, flanked by Lieutenant Edgecombe and Auror Cruz and all the broom borne aurors were firing stunners to great effect on both groups of the divided Fifth Company. The flyers pulled up just before striking the ground and split into two deadly accurate formations, one streaking up the hill to stun and bind the two squads there, the other creating mayhem as flyers scattered the troops at the bottom of the hill. Then, unexpectedly all the flyers streaked straight upwards.

"Shoot em' now, shoot em' now!" screamed the commander as he spared a glance at his men and women scattered on the ground all around him.

Donovan couldn't believe his luck as he sighted in on the lead flyer, "now Evans, I'll show you why we don't fly brooms into combat." To his remaining troops he called out, "pick a target and knock it down, we'll cushion the ground under them so they don't get hurt too badly!"

Everyone who could aimed their wands upward and at that moment, when all of Fifth Company's eyes were on the sky, the rest of the expertly camouflaged Seventh Company rose from the flanks and stunned those aurors who were still standing.

Harry touched down in front of Commander Donovan and enervated him.

"Evans," the auror groaned, "just one question?"

"What's that Commander?"

"When we've graduated, can I join your command?"

Harry laughed and offered his hand to the downed officer.

"Not a chance Donovan, we need all the good officers we can get, and we need you leading troops!"

"But I got my arse handed to me today, I'll be lucky to graduate, let alone keep my commission."

"Donovan, I'll make you a promise," Harry said earnestly, "if they relieve you of your command I will resign my commission."

Jake Donovan realized at that time that he was looking at a young man who would some day be the leader of magical Britain.

The commandant apparated into the aftermath of the battle and congratulated both the commanders on a job well done, he turned to Donovan and asked "where did you get the idea to advance like that? That was fine teamwork Commander!"

"Thank you sir, I got it from my brother in law, late of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, sir!"

"Between you and Commander Potter here," both Harry and Jake Donovan looked shocked at the announcement, "Potter, I've been wearing this uniform for over forty years, and I know a fast paper shuffle when I see one, I don't give a flying hex for what you call yourself but I could see the Sergeant Major's hand in all of this so I cornered him and since my rank and position trumps General Order Number Three he had no choice but to tell me. You can call yourself Evans or Potter or Stubby Boardman for all I care, what I do care about is that these aurors are the finest I've seen come through here in almost twenty years and its all due to your complete disregard for the outdated training they've been receiving."

The Commandant turned to Donovan, "would you have tried your new tactics if Potter here hadn't shown the initiative first?"

"No sir, it was observing Commander Ev, um, Potter here that made me want to try and 'break the mold,' as it were, sir."

"Potter, you have an exceptional gift, the gift of inspiration, that and your ability to adapt to changing situations demonstrates that you are uniquely suited for command."

"Commanders, get your lads and lasses back to the barracks, make sure they look nice and shiny for Commencement on Friday, until then they are yours to congratulate." The Commandant stood tall and straight and saluted the Commanders, who returned the salute smartly.

"By your leave Commander Potter, Commander Donovan" and the old officer apparated away.

"Potter?" Donovan asked.

Harry nodded.

"Harry Potter?"

Harry grimaced and nodded again.

Donovan grinned, "The boy who lived just kicked my arse in a fair fight, damn, that's one I'll be tellin' me grandbabies!"

"Just remember General Order Number Three says no one outside of our command structure needs to know, all right?"

"Of course, Harry!" the big Irishman grinned.

"Lets call the troops together, shall we?" Harry said, shaking his head.

"Gather round' boys and girls" he called out in his best command voice, "Fifth Company, you are invited to a reception being held at the open mess in," he caught the gaze of his adjutant who silently signed '1 hour' "in one hour, so get y'selves cleaned up and we'll see you all there!"

Harry appeared in Regimental HQ's administrative offices to make his final report. He had just stepped out of the apparation alcove when he heard a voice thundering like the wrath of an ancient Gallic deity.

"Demoted! You were a commander for Merlin's sake! How could you do this to us? There hasn't been a McClaggan in the enlisted ranks in five generations! Who's responsible for this? I'll go to the Minister himself, this won't stand, I won't stand for it."

Harry sighed as he knew he was about to be dragged into yet another family drama when he heard Ernie McClaggan say, "no dad, you won't."

"Don't you tell me what I won't . . ."

"That's the way of it innit?" Ernie's voice grew sharp, but not loud "no one tells you anythin'. 'You're a McClaggan, you're bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than anyone' right dad? Never back down from a fight and never say no to a dare. I nearly died eating those doxy eggs a couple o' years back and what did it get me?"

"Respect, I'll wager" the red faced, barrel chested elder McClaggan rejoined.

"No, da', I got just the opposite, a handful of sickles and a reputation. 'What a balmy git' they said, and they was right. I been beat more in the past two days than I have in the past 18 years of my life an' you know what? I'm glad of it!"

"Commander Po, um, Evans is spot on, I owe my company an apology, all I did was make them spit shine and march pretty - 'great lookin' corpses' he said, and he was right, an then his lef' tenant, all eight stone of her gave me a proper doin' over and she was right to do so. Dad, I can't be you, I never was; and tryin' t'be was just going to get good men and women killed, and I won't do it!"

"You're a busted officer, who's goin' to have you? Just pack it in, we'll go home and figure somethin' else. I dunno, maybe you can work for your uncle."

"No dad, I'm stayin. I didn't join up to be an officer, I joined up to fight for something bigger than meself, and if I have to do it from behind a desk I'll be doin' the best I can. Maybe in three years, after my enlistments' up I'll find somethin' else, but for now I'm stayin' right here."

"Show me a commander who'll give you a second chance an' I'll leave you to him, otherwise, I'm goin' home and you're comin' with me!"

"Mister McClaggan?" Harry interjected.

"Yes / yes." They both answered.

Harry addressed McClaggan senior, "Not you sir, I meant Ernie."

"Sah, yes sah!"

"At ease, auror, we finished the last of the maneuvers today, only thing left to do is to march across the parade field and pick up our brassards." The younger Scotsman relaxed as Harry continued "word has it that you are a brilliant organizer, is that true?"

"Sah, I mean, yes'sir."

"Just so happens I'm in need of a brilliant organizer, so if you're done here my staff needs to assemble at the open mess in" he looked at his watch, "forty minutes. Can I count on you Sergeant?" As Harry said this an additional chevron appeared on the young man's shoulder.

"Forty minutes, open mess, no problem sir."

"Very well" and turning to the elder man he said "Ernie has a chance to do very well in the Auror Corps, don't try to take that away from him, sir."

As Harry walked away he heard McClaggan senior say "Sergeant McClaggan . . . has a nice ring to it . . ."

He dropped the final paperwork in the 'out' box on his desk and nodded in satisfaction as it was spirited away to someone else's 'in' box, then apparated back to his bedroom.

Marietta was in full dress uniform which included a neatly tailored skirt under her cloak of rank.

"No time to soak in the tub commander, you'll have to run through the rain locker" she said as she laid his dress uniform out on the bed.

He sighed and peeled out of his fatigues and padded barefoot toward the shower, when he exited the shower Marietta was waiting for him with a warm, fluffy towel which she draped over his shoulders. As he dried himself he caught a whiff of her perfume and groaned, damn she smelled good! He walked into the bedroom wearing just the towel and saw Marietta bent over at the waist smoothing non-existent wrinkles from his dress uniform. He couldn't resist the temptation and he embraced her from behind so that she could feel his rapidly filling member nestled between the cheeks of her bum. Who would have thought wool could be so soft?

Marietta groaned "no fair love, we don't have the time!"

"I know, Marie, but I just wanted you to know what you do to me!"

She stood and turned so that he could kiss her properly, and into that kiss she poured the promise of all that she planned to do for him and to him when they returned later that evening.

"Now get dressed, sir!"

"Yes ma'am, right away ma'am!" he answered cheekily.

As he was throwing the cloak over his shoulders he sent his thoughts to Belle who was getting a pre-natal baseline check, "how is our little one doing?"

"She's fine milord, but I'm starting to put on weight!"

"No, really?"

"Yes, really! There's just the tiniest pooch on my belly when I lay down on my back. Healer Dumphries says that that's not unusual but Harry, I don't want to go all fat like Molly Weasley!"

"Ask him if you can run with us in the mornings."

"He says walking is better, and swimming is better still."

"Okay, we'll find a pool and add swimming to our routine, Belle, will you come to the reception with us tonight?"

"If you want me to, milord."

"I love being on the arm of the prettiest lady in the room!"

"Flatterer, besides, you'll be with Marie!"

"True, but we have to maintain the illusion of decorum when we're at a regimental function."

"In that case, I would be honored my love and my lord."

"We'll be right over."

Harry walked into the hall and was amazed at the changes there. First, it seemed to have been enlarged, which was entirely possible of course, second, the tables were covered in fine linens and were in neat rows set by company. His company was along the left side of the room, the Seventh was in the middle and the Fifth on the right. There was a place setting at the head of each table for the "old man" of the company, his adjutant on the right and his guest on the left.

It was cocktail hour before dinner and Harry had selected melon juice in a martini glass for himself and Belle while Marietta sipped butterbeer from a tall stein. Everyone wanted to congratulate Commander "Evans" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), even those in the companies he had so roundly trounced earlier that week. He spied a tall, almost aristocratic looking woman in a cloak of rank and realized that someone had stepped up from Seventh Company to take command. She was walking to the group of well wishers surrounding Harry.

"Commander Evans, or do you prefer Potter?" she asked extending her hand.

He took her hand and brushed the back lightly with his lips as Belle suggested through their bond "In present company, Potter is fine Commander . . ?"

"Oh, sorry." She apologized, "Margaret Webber, Maggie to my friends, at your service sir." Her accent was North American, possibly Canadian.

"You can let go of her hand now" Belle teased him, and he released it suddenly.

"Canada?" he inquired.

"Montreal, Je suis le Canada, Monsieur." In English she added "how did you know? I've been careful not to say 'eh' y'know."

"Just a guess Commander" he answered "if you don't mind my asking, what are your plans for the Seventh?"

"Nothing really, I'll see if my calendar if full on that day."

"No, I mean Seventh Company, what . . ." by this time Harry realized he had been set up, his own ladies were about to burst from trying so hard to not laugh and Maggie smiled a crooked grin and said "gotcha!"

Harry snapped to attention and saluted her with his glass "touche!"

She returned the toast and frowned, "actually, even though we'll have graduated from auror training, we're going to Wales for some 'AIT' which is supposed to stand for Advanced Individual Training but really means "to get the combat training we should have gotten."

"I'm sorry about that" Harry said.

"I'm not" she mused, "I'll invest another month in training if it means more of my troops will come home with their shields."

Marietta looked puzzled at the reference.

Belle explained, "In ancient Sparta warriors were exhorted, by their mothers no less, to either come home with their shields as victorious heroes or on them as befitting those who died bravely in battle."

Maggie raised her glass in a toast to Spartans, Spartan mothers and coming home.

A gentle gong sounded and Harry escorted his ladies to their seats, holding their chairs out for them so they could be seated before seating himself.

Marietta leaned toward Harry and whispered "thinking of adding someone else to the 'family' milord?"

"No," he smiled, "not really, but she is a fascinating woman. I think we might become good friends."

Belle teased him with a raised eyebrow.

"No, really! I have more riches than one man should be allowed, I have you" he nodded to Marietta, "and you" he lifted Belle's palm to his lips "and Myrtle now. It would be just plain greedy of me to want more."

"Myrtle heard that Harry, I suspect she's going to want to show you how much she loves you when we get home." She lowered her eyelids and said heavily in Myrtle's voice, "I may not even wait that long!"


Marietta answered in her own voice, "I invited her along, but we won't be drinking anything stronger than butterbeer tonight, she's kind of a light weight when it comes to alcohol."

Harry looked at the menu on his plate and seeing everyone was waiting for him to order first he said "lamb chops, medium please." As soon as he said 'medium' three perfectly cooked chops appeared on his plate served with sauce béarnaise, accompanied by white asparagus and scalloped potatoes au gratin. Both ladies (or rather all three, as Marietta was "eating for two") ordered the roasted chicken.

The dinner was perfect; the party that followed was raucous and loud and was the topic of many a fond remembrance for years to come.

Of course the party after the party was memorable too as Harry and his ladies celebrated well into the wee hours of the morning.

Next day found Harry, Marietta and Ernie up to their eyeballs in paperwork. It seems that everything that is ever done in a military organization must be documented, in triplicate. Ernie was turning out to be, in fact, beyond brilliant as an organizer. When Harry and his lieutenant first arrived it was 0630, they were hoping to get a head start on the paperwork they knew they had to complete before the company could graduate when they arrived at his office at Regimental HQ it was to find Ernie with fifty neat stacks of papers on a long table, alphabetized, chronologicalized, color coded and waiting to go into individual auror folders.

"Oh," McClaggan said as Harry and Marietta entered "you're here, excellent, we can get started now!"

"Started?" Harry said in a more than surprised tone, "looks to me like you're nearly done!"

"Well sir, all the records are collated, and everyone has completed all the requirements for basic auror, some have completed the leadership requirements for non-com, and four have completed all the requirements for commissioning" he paused to take a breath, "yourselves, the Recruit Platoon Leader and a man named Cruz, Jose Cruze, have completed basic officer candidacy requirements. Your actual rank at this time is 3rd lieutenant but I suspect that will change very quickly" he grinned.

"What about yourself Ernie, don't you rate a commission?"

"I respectfully request that we keep that under our collective hats for the time being, sir, I will be declining a commission until I get my head on straight."

"Sounds like you're well on your way Sergeant."

"Thank you sir, now if you'll just sign the top three papers of each of the stacks I can get them into folders and off to Brigade HQ."

"I'm surprised that you didn't sign for me, Ernie, this is some fine work here."

"Well, Commander, I did sign where I could, you'll see that forms 11a, 22a, 35a and 39b, c, and d are signed 'E. Mc for CDR Potter' sir. But the actual statement of 'training accomplished,' as well as the certificates of completion, non-commission, and commission really should bear your signature, sir."

Harry and Marietta exchanged glances, "Ernie, when did you sleep last?"

"Oh, I don't sleep sir. I thought you knew. That's how I'm able to get so much done; I'd go balmy just sitting around."

"But you have to sleep; people have died from not sleeping!"

"Oh that, that's only true of muggles sir, some wizards never sleep at all. I suspect Dumbledore was one of those."

Partly to change the subject and partly to get done as soon as possible Harry rubbed his hands together and said "well, let's get started." Ernie handed him a self-inking quill and he signed his name along the proper dotted lines one hundred and fifty times.

When he finished he shook out his signing hand and asked cheerfully, "now what?"

"That's it sir, we just have to be in full dress for the last formation tomorrow, then we get our marching orders."

At Harry's puzzled look McClaggan explained "that's when we'll be assigned to individual auror units and take specialty or individual training sir."

Harry nodded his understanding. He would probably be resigning his commission as soon as it became official, for he already had a mission in life, and that was to kill one half human Dork Lord. The thought depressed him.

"Tell me, milord, why are you so disheartened?" he 'heard' Belle over the bond.

"You know, milady, I will miss the excellent company of my fellow aurors and" he sighed mightily "and our Marie."

"Do you think so little of her that you think she would abandon us now?"

"I expect her to, she has worked so hard to get where she is now, I don't want her to throw her future away on me!"

"Now you think too little of yourself milord. Listen carefully, YOU are her future, and my future and Myrtle's as well. We have all seen that you will need us in the coming battle and we will be with you! We. Will. Be. With. You."

"You make me believe I can do this milady. Whatever happens, please know that I love you."

"I believe I do, milord."

Next morning found them all up early and dressed, Belle looking drop-dead gorgeous in a deep forest green tea-length gown, Harry and Marietta looking resplendent in their dress uniforms and cloaks. They took one last, longing look around what had been their home for the past month and walked to the parade ground, Belle on Harry's right arm, Marietta (being 'visited' by Myrtle) walking in step with him to his left.

All too soon Harry stood at the head of his company, four neat rows of twelve his adjutant and sergeant, now Platoon Sergeant McClaggan, standing just behind him.
The 'Fighting Ninth' stood on the far right, facing the podium, the 'Lucky Seventh' to the left, and to the far left the 'Fifth Elementals.' Harry looked over at the other commanders and nodded in greeting.

The voice of Commandant Hayden rang out "Avalon Regiment, Second Brigade, Uh-Ten - shun!"

One-hundred fifty three pairs of heels clicked in unison.

The strains of God Save the Queen flowed over the assembly, reminding them that Avalon Regiment was formed to serve the reigning monarch of the day and that Queen Elizabeth II had put her royal seal on the charter forming the only modern magical military corps.

"Company commanders, report!"

"Avalon Five Two all present or accounted for Sah!"

"Avalon Seven Two all present or accounted for Sah!"

"Avalon Nine Two all present, Sah!"

"Avalon Regiment, Second Brigade, stan-dat - hease!"

"Avalon Regiment, First Brigade was formed under the auspices of the Saxon King Aethelred, to have a magical barrier against the Vikings who ruled much of the lands of Northern Europe of the time. The regiment existed for nearly 700 years until King James VI disbanded the regiment and persecuted all who practiced witchcraft and wizardry."

"When she began her reign, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II could see the growing threat within the magical world and how it was spilling over into the mundane world as well with terrible consequences. For this reason Her Royal Highness commissioned us to once again stand between the realm and those who would destroy it by magical means."

"Rumor has it that your companies will be disbanded to form new training units and that you will be dispersed into existing auror divisions, let me quell this rumor here and now." He managed to capture one-hundred and fifty three pairs of eyes in his own steely gaze, "look at your mates, those with whom you have toiled and bled. They are your brothers and sisters in everything but blood! Why would the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Magic break up families?"

"The war has taken a terrible toll on the lives of our magical brethren; the three companies represented here will be deployed to the three greatest concentrations of magic in the United Kingdom."

Commandant Hayden stepped down from the riser, followed by his adjutant and strode over to Commander Jake Donovan, who snapped to attention. Handing over a rolled parchment he said "Mr. Donovan, this is your commission and your charter, you will proceed to London where you will be charged with the protection of Magical London to include but not limited to Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley, St. Mungo's, and the Ministry of Magic. Congratulations and Godspeed commander!"

Next he addressed Commander Margaret Webber, "Miss Webber, this is your commission and your charter, you will proceed to Hogsmeade where you will be charged with the defense of the only purely magical community in the U.K. Congratulations and The Goddess be with you commander!"

Lastly he stopped in front of Harry. Commander Potter, this is your commission and your charter, you will proceed to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where you will be charged with the defense and protection of the future of the wizarding world. Congratulations and Godspeed commander!"

"Tradition demands that I exhort you to greater achievements, but there is no achievement that I can envision that is greater than that which you have already accomplished, you are a unit, strong and brave and relentless in your pursuit of peace, and justice."

"Your commanders have your marching orders, you will proceed with due haste to the facilities that have been set aside for you for the administration of your companies and for the continuation of your training - to quote a great military leader that is has been my privilege to know, 'respect and command goes up and down the ranks; from the rawest recruit to the Ministers of Magic and Defense and down again. Identify your strengths, make use of the talented people I know you have and work together, be a team and while another team might beat you, no one will ever defeat you!'"

The cheer that rose from the ranks was deafening, and no one present doubted that the elation and gratitude was focused on Commander Harry James Potter, the late-comer recruit that had put Auror Military training on its complacent ear and turned it around for the next several generations.

"Avalon Regiment, Second Brigade, Uh-Ten - shun!"

The regiment popped tall.

"Place your wands over your hearts and repeat after me,"
"I, now say your name,"
"do solemnly swear to uphold the laws of the land,"
"to obey the orders of the officers appointed above me"
"and to the best of my ability protect and serve"
"all law abiding peoples found in this United Kingdom."
"So mote it be!"

The combined magics of seven score and ten powerful wizards making a heart-felt vow was indescribable, it was less a light show than it was a joining, a certainty of utter solidarity at that moment. People who have never dedicated their lives and futures to an ideal far greater than the love of self, will never understand the profound passion this evokes. They are to be pitied.

"By the authority of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Dr. John Reid and the Minister of Magic the Honorable Rufus Scrimgeour I do certify that all members of Avalon Regiment, Second Brigade have completed all requirements for basic auror" saying this bright copper brassards appeared on the left front of each newly minted auror's cloaks, "further all members of Avalon Regiment Fifth and Ninth Companies have completed all requirements for special weapons and unconventional tactics."

The designated copper badges turned deep green, then matte black, as did the auror's robes.

"Never in the history of the Auror Corps has a majority of any regiment completed both certifications in the fourteen weeks allotted for basic training, Avalon regiment, I salute you."

The old auror snapped to attention and placed his wand over his heart. The three assembled companies, every man and woman returned the salute smartly, and then an auror shouted "God save the Queen!"

All present shouted "Yes!" and a clear voice began to sing "God save our gra - cious Queen . . ." all present joined in on the second verse and completed the Anthem with great feeling. When it ended Commandant Hayden again called out "Avalon Regiment, Second Brigade, Uh-Ten - shun!" then added "Company Commanders, take charge and carry out your assigned orders, Regiment, you are dis - missed!"

All present cheered lustily and then sought out their superiors to receive their orders. Members with spouses and or children were allowed to stay at home owing to the fact that they could apparate to their bases of operations at the beginning of their duty cycles. Single aurors were allowed to billet themselves in the areas they were assigned to protect or if they preferred to bunk in the barracks that abutted the administrative and training facilities found in each of the three assigned locations.

Harry found himself, once again, heading for Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the end of another summer.

And soon he and his ladies had to visit Ottery St. Catchpole, he had a wedding to attend and old friendships to renew.
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