Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Doppelganger

Harry Hunting

by Crucio_Crusade 3 reviews

Albus Dumbledore keeps a secret that may be the very downfall of the wizarding world. Will Voldemort learn of this secret, which Dumbledore values more than the prophecy? Or, will someone find ou...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Dumbledore,Harry,Lupin,Sirius,Tonks,Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [V] [?] - Published: 2007-06-27 - Updated: 2008-10-08 - 5016 words

Disclaimer: Characters of the Harry Potter saga are owned by J.K. Rowling. This story is written as a fan fiction. No right infringement is intended. Any similarity to other Harry Potter fan fictions is purely coincidental.

Chapter 3: Harry Hunting

Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister for Magic, grimaced when his secretary informed him, that Dumbledore wanted to see him. He looked at the file of parchments he still hadn’t read and signed. He heaved a sigh of frustration. As much as he liked to send the headmaster away, he wanted to know what machination the wily wizard was cooking up next. He handed the signed parchments to his secretary, and told her to rearrange his appointments, so as not to disturb his meeting with the headmaster.

Minister Scrimgeour was all smiles, when Hogwarts’ headmaster entered his office. “Professor Dumbledore, this is a surprise. To what do I owe the honor of your visit?” he diplomatically asked, while guiding his visitor to a seat near a window.

“Minister, I would like to thank you, for taking the time to see me,” Dumbledore kindly said, before sitting down. He politely accepted a cup of tea, and inhaled its sweet aroma. “Hmmm…heavenly. Minister, you must tell me where you get your tea. It is simply not fair, that you to have sole knowledge of the source.”

Minister Scrimgeour smiled graciously, as he sat opposite the headmaster. “Ever since I became a minister, my life has always been under scrutiny. This is one of my simple pleasures, which I don’t intend to share to the public.”

“Even with me,” Dumbledore asked with feign surprise.

“Even with you, Dumbledore,” Minister Scrimgeour lightly bantered.

“Ahhh, but a tea this good is bound to be uncovered. Rest assured, it would not be by me,” Dumbledore teasingly promised. There was a momentary lull in their conversation, as both wizards enjoyed their tea. “Minister…” Dumbledore began softly. “...The reason I came here is because I have an important proposal, I wish to discuss with you.”

Minister Scrimgeour tried to keep his expression neutral. He carefully set his cup of tea on the table, and gave the headmaster his full attention. “What is this important proposal, Dumbledore?” he disinterestedly asked

The headmaster took a careful sip of his tea to hide a small smile. In spite of the minister’s cool façade, Dumbledore knew the minister was very intrigued. “Harry Potter,” Dumbledore said simply.

“Go on…I’m listening,” Minister Scrimgeour neutrally urged. In his mind, however, he was constantly trying to divine Dumbledore’s motive. He had a feeling the headmaster was planning something. Otherwise, Dumbledore wouldn’t even consider discussing The-Boy-Who-Lived.

“As you are well aware, Mr. Potter was nearly mobbed by his adoring fans two days ago. Thanks to the prompt action of your Aurors, a certain chaos was averted.” Dumbledore paused to sip his tea. “What I propose is for you to provide security for Mr. Potter, whenever he is in a public place. In return, Mr. Potter will help you fight the threat of Lord Voldemort.”

The minister flinched, when the name of You-Know-Who was mentioned. For a moment, he considered Dumbledore’s proposal. It was too good to outrightly accept. But, it would be foolish to outrightly refuse, either. It would surely solidify his image as a competent minister, and at the same time, project a stable Ministry. On the other hand, he couldn’t ignore the warning bells, loudly ringing at the back of his mind.

“The Aurors can protect the Ministry, and the populace. I don’t need Mr. Potter’s help to fight You-Know-Who, and his Death Eaters. What can he possibly do against You-Know-Who?” Minister Scrimgeour irately asked. He couldn’t help think, that Dumbledore considered him inadequate to deal with the Dark Lord.

“Remember, minister… Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort, when he was a baby. Where would the Ministry for Magic be, if it were not for Mr. Potter? I am sure you are aware, that the wizarding world views Mr. Potter, as a savior…a beacon of hope,” Dumbledore reminded the minister, before leisurely taking a sip of his tea.

“Dumbledore, must you always speak You-Know-Who’s name?” Minister Scrimgeour asked in annoyance. He had a feeling the headmaster was doing it deliberately. To what end, he hadn’t a clue.

“Minister, it is but a name. It has no power in, and of itself,” Dumbledore replied solemnly.

Minister Scrimgeour studied the headmaster’s expression, hoping to glimpse the inner working of this powerful wizard’s mind. “Tell me, Dumbledore…. What do you hope to gain from this proposal? Surely, you’re not just doing this out of the goodness of your heart? After all, you have kept the secret of Harry Potter’s whereabouts with almost…fanatical paranoia.”

Dumbledore laughed merrily. With his eyes twinkling, he said, “If you are thinking, minister, I have an ulterior motive. I assure you… I have none. I just realize Mr. Potter’s fans can attack him, as easily as Death Eaters. I offer you this proposal to ensure the safety of Mr. Potter… nothing more.”

“What did Mr. Potter say to your proposal?” Minister Scrimgeour suspiciously asked.

“If Mr. Potter is here, I am sure he will tell you the same thing. I believe he understood his importance to the wizarding world.” Dumbledore knew Minister Scrimgeour would not be easily convinced. Scrimgeour might be ambitious, but he was also a cautious man.

“Before I give you my answer, I want to personally talk with Mr. Potter. I want to hear his views on the matter.” With that said, Minister Scrimgeour stood up.

Dumbledore placed his cup on the table, and slowly stood up. “I shall let him know. Good day, minister.”

After conversing with Harry Potter, Minister Scrimgeour gave his full support. The wizarding world applauded the collaborative efforts, between Harry Potter and the Ministry, against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Dumbledore, on the other hand, continued to work tirelessly to promote the image of The-Boy-Who-Lived. He truly believed the well-being of the wizarding world defended on it. In one sense, he was right. Voldemort and his Death Eaters were mostly preoccupied, in finding Harry Potter’s hiding place. In another, he was wrong. He was torturing two innocent souls, whose only crime was to love the son of James and Lily Potter.

Dumbledore also tossed tidbits of information, anonymously of course, to different wizard newspapers and magazines. This created fandom the likes of which had never been seen, since the time of the four Hogwarts’ Founders. The headmaster himself would sometimes accidentally get fooled into admitting certain facts. Little by little the wizarding world had a rough profile of The-Boy-Who-Lived. What he liked. What he disliked. What was his favorite color? What was his favorite food? What he liked in a witch. Wizards and Witches everywhere lapped it all up.

In a hidden cave, south of the British Isle overlooking the English Channel, a large group of Death Eaters listened attentively to their snake-like leader…Lord Voldemort.

“My loyal Death Eaters, you and I know the great, magical blood that flows in our veins. For countless years, our blood has remained pure, untainted by lesser creatures. This purity of blood made us above muggles, mudbloods, half-bloods, and other magical creatures. We are the superior beings. It is only right to claim, what is rightfully ours. The whole world belongs to us. Everyone else who lives in it must serve us, or die.”

There was a loud cheering. The ground trembled, and the air was saturated with dark magic. In the middle of this wild abandon, Voldemort basked at the adulation of his devout followers. Voldemort raised his voice once more.

“Tonight, my loyal followers, you will remind the wizarding world, that Lord Voldemort is alive and well. You will go out, and kill everyone who dares oppose me. You will show them, that no one is safe from my power and might. Now, go my faithful servants!”

The Death Eaters in groups of fives and tens, used portkeys to reach their destination. When the cave chamber was empty, Voldemort tapped a stalagmite, and a hidden door opened. An adjoining cave, much like the Chamber of Secrets, was revealed. In the middle of this cave, a lone Death Eater was slightly bent over a large, black cauldron. He was busy stirring, and carefully adding ingredients to a potion. When completed, it would be used to summon Harry Potter, even under any kind of protection wards.

Voldemort stood across the Death Eater, impatiently waiting for some progress report. When none was forthcoming, Voldemort irately asked, “Severus… Is it ready?”

“It is not yet ready, my lord,” Snape answered softly, without even taking his eyes off the potion. He continued to carefully stir, and closely watch the subtle color change.

“How close are you to completion, Severus?” Voldemort asked coolly.

“Not long now, my lord,” Snape replied vaguely.

Normally, Voldemort wouldn’t stand for any show of insolent behavior from his Death Eaters. But this time, he allowed Snape certain latitude. He didn’t want to distract his Potions Master, and ruin months of hard work.

Somehow, Dumbledore managed to find a way to completely hide the half-blood Potter boy from him. No trickery, spy, or charm seemed to work. Until finally, his stupidest follower, Wormtail, made a stupidest suggestion… summon Harry Potter to him. After years of failure, he thought another one wouldn’t make a difference. So, he assigned his expert Death Eaters in Charms, ancient rituals, Runes, and ancient writings to research the summoning ritual for the living. They had to cross-reference everything from a simple summoning charm, to summoning the dead, to summoning the devil, until they finally found a viable formula. They called it, Evocates Anima.

It took five months to brew the right potion. And, it took the same number of months to acquire the most important ingredient…the blood of Harry Potter. Voldemort couldn’t believe that Dumbledore would be so stupid. The old fool was completely convinced that Severus was on his side. Well, his stupidity would be his downfall.

“My lord…” The insipid voice of the Potions Master interrupted Voldemort’s thought. “…The potion is ready for the last ingredient.”

“Very good, Severus… If your potion works, you will be richly rewarded,” Voldemort generously said with a malicious smile. Snape couldn’t help shiver at the evil visage. He bowed in acknowledgement while stepping away from the cauldron, and out of the rune covered pentagram on the floor. He stood to one side of the cave, and contemplated the honor, which would be heaped upon him.

Voldemort took out the vial, containing Harry Potter’s blood. He carefully poured the blood into the concoction, and indifferently threw away the vial. When the potion started to bubble, Voldemort took out his wand, and pointed it at the viscous brew. He chanted an incantation in Parseltongue, which would deliver The-Boy-Who-Lived to his hands.

His voice rose in crescendo. Black smoke billowed out of the cauldron, and formed a dark cloud on the cave roof. Lightning crackled, and sounds of thunder reverberated on the cave walls. A gale force wind began to swirl around the cave. Torch lights were blown out. Snape wedged himself between stalagmites, fearing for his life. Voldemort was unaffected inside the pentagram. He continued to chant, until a lightning bolt streaked out of the cauldron.

Both, Voldemort and Snape, instinctively raised their arms to protect themselves, when the cauldron exploded in a bright, white light. The bright light slowly faded, and the cave slipped into darkness. Everything was calm and silent. Torch lights automatically lit up. Voldemort couldn’t contain his excitement, as he slowly lowered his arms. He carefully surveyed his surroundings, expecting to find the cowering figure of the The-Boy-Who-Lived. His triumphant smile slowly turned sour. He didn’t see Harry Potter. His attention was immediately drawn to a rustling sound in one corner of the cave. He saw Snape unsteadily trying to stand up.

“Severus…” Voldemort menacingly called out, while he beckoned the Potions Master to come closer. Snape, in spite of his Occlumency training, swallowed fearfully. He slowly walked toward his master, and diffidently kneeled down, tensely waiting. He knew there was no way out of the punishment that was soon to follow. “…I must congratulate you on the most remarkable light show. It would have been amazing, if it brought me Harry Potter. Would you care to tell me what went wrong?” Voldemort asked forebodingly.

“My sincerest apology, my lord…” Snape started nervously. “…I have no idea why it failed. I have carefully examined every ingredient in the potion, including the blood of Harry Potter. You, yourself, were present when I verified the authenticity of the blood.”

Voldemort’s eyes narrowed. “Are you telling me it is my fault, Severus?” he threateningly asked.

Snape, realizing his blunder, thought fast to placate the Dark Lord. “Not at all, my lord... I… I was only trying to point out, that Dumbledore somehow managed to fool me. I should have asked for more samples.”

“Yes… yes, you should have,” Voldemort agreed patronizingly. “It was quite brilliant of him to provide you with the blood of an infant Harry Potter. That could have been what threw the ritual off. Nevertheless, you should have accounted for that deviation. Crucio!"

Snape was caught unprepared. He screamed in pain, and writhed in agony. His thought and being concentrated on one thing and one thing only… pain. The punishment lasted for several seconds. Snape’s body was still twitching on the floor, even when the Cruciatus Curse was lifted.

Voldemort had sated his lust for cruelty. “You and your fellow Death Eaters never seemed to learn your lesson. I do not condone failure. Now go back to Hogwarts, and find Harry Potter.”

Snape listened dully to the fading sound of the Dark Lord’s footsteps. He was left struggling to stand up. His eyes gleamed with pain, and anger. Dumbledore had made a fool of him. He had been deceived by the old man’s senile and feeble acts. Snape laboriously walked out of the cave, thinking of various ways to get revenge on the headmaster.

Old man Brett was furiously cursing his luck, as he continued to hike on the muddy path of Godric’s Hollow Cemetery. This was one of those times he wished he wasn’t a squib. He couldn’t understand what happened. It was a clear, star-filled night. Then, all of a sudden, a thick, black cloud formed. And now, a heavy rain was pouring. The stupid lantern wasn’t any help either. He couldn’t see past a meter. He, now, regretted not bringing a muggle flashlight.

Lightning bolts crisscrossed across the sky. Thunder boomed so loud, it was enough to wake up even the dead. One big lightning bolt streaked down from the sky. Old man Brett was awed. He’d never seen lightning bolt, hit so close. He turned towards the direction of the lightning strike. He was concerned it might have damaged something. After a while, he noticed the sky suddenly cleared. The stars were once again twinkling in the night sky.

When he reached the hilltop, he stopped to catch his breath. He quietly stood there for a few minutes, just enjoying the view. Some people made fun of his macabre sense of beauty. He didn’t care. The cemetery had a beauty all of its own. He was about to turn back, deciding to inspect any damage tomorrow, when he spotted a figure stumbling its way through the cemetery. He warily walked down the hill to get a better look. From the cover of a bush, he found out it was a human…a naked human. For a minute, he nervously thought it might be a Zombie, or a Vampire, even worst, a Death Eater.

For a moment, old man Brett grappled between self-preservation, and his strong sense of duty. His dedication to his work won. Old man Brett burst out from his hiding place. “Oi! You! Stop right there!” he fearfully called out loud. The person, who he noticed was partially covered in mud, suddenly stopped, slowly turned around, and faced him. He was surprised to see a boy…no…a teenage boy. He sighed with great relief. Released from his crippling fear, his anger mounted as he rapidly asked his questions. “Who are you? What are you doing here? You’re one of those nasty boys from the village, aren’t you? Have you no shame, parading around naked? What evil deeds have you been doing in my graveyard?”

The teenager seemed to hesitate for a moment. Then, he turned around, and ran until darkness swallowed him.

“Oi! You get back here! Don’t think I won’t recognize you! I know what your bum looks like!” old man Brett yelled angrily. “Teenagers these days… No respect for the dead.”

The grave-keeper retraced the strange boy’s muddy footprints. He was so busy cursing his bad luck; he forgot to watch where he was going. The next thing he knew. He was lying face down in a hole with a mouthful of mud. The profanity that broke the silence of the cemetery was so crude, sensitive ghosts would have blushed.

It was already the fourth week of July, 1996. In spite of the danger that was gripping the wizarding world, it was still business as usual at Diagon Alley. Shop keepers, buyers, peddlers, panhandlers, squibs, and goblins alike were busy conducting their businesses. Fred and George of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes were no different.

At the moment, there was a short line of Harry Potter look-alikes, in front of their joke stand. Shop keepers and bystanders were amused at the spectacle they presented. Fred was sitting on top of a barrel on the sidewalk. He was busy conducting interviews to hopeful applicants. Meanwhile, George was busy selling their products. Sometimes, George would replace Fred to give him a break. By lunch time, all the applicants were gone. They temporarily put up a close sign to discuss their selections.

“So, what do you think?” Fred was pointing to George two names on the list of applicants, who could work for them. The lucky candidate would be their helper, as well as promotional figure.

“I don’t know. They lack something. They just don’t feel right,” George hesitantly replied.

“You do realize that we have been interviewing applicants for three days now,” Fred reminded his brother. “Don’t forget. This is a promotional advertisement. Our Harry Potter doesn’t have to be like the real Harry Potter. We just need a prop to promote our products.”

George sighed in frustration. “Do you think I don’t know that? It’s just that we have something good here…something special that comes once in a lifetime. I just don’t want to muck it up.” There was a moment of silence, as they considered other options.

“We can ask Lee,” Fred suggested after some thought.

“Do you think he will leave his cushy job in the Ministry, just to work under the heat of the sun?” George asked rhetorically. They both shook their heads.

“What about Angelina, Alicia or Katie?” Fred suggested with a hopeful expression.

“Boy-Who-Lived…” George reminded him. “…Have you ever seen Harry Potter walk with a swaying hip? Now that’s a thought. It could be interesting.” Both twins had a big mischievous grin on their faces.

“That’s it then,” Fred said with resignation. “I guess one of us has to use a Glamour Charm,”

George didn’t hear him. There was a faraway look in his eyes, when someone caught his attention. “Not so fast, dear brother. I think we may have a last minute applicant.” Fred turned around to see what his brother was looking at.

Walking toward them was a teenage boy, wearing muggle clothes. He was a bit shorter than The-Boy-Who-Lived, thin, and a little pale. He got a messy, black hair, and wearing black, wire-rimmed eyeglasses. As he stood on the other side of their joke stand, they could slightly see a sore, lightning bolt-shaped scar. It was a very convincing. The best they had seen so far. The twins also noticed his green eyes…eyes like emeralds. But, what drew their attention was the sadness in their depths. It was as if he was remembering losing loved ones. Then, shutters seemed to close. His eyes now held plain curiosity.

The twins briefly looked at each other, and nodded. An unspoken agreement seemed to pass between them. “You’re hired!”

“I am?” asked the teenager in surprise.

“Yes, you are… Congratulations!” the twins said simultaneously.

Then, Fred welcomingly beckoned the teenager. “Come on. Join us back here.”

When the youth was standing before them, George cheerfully extended his right hand. “I’m George, and this is my brother Fred. What’s your name?”

“Harry…Harry Evans,” the teenager uncertainly replied, shaking George, and then, Fred’s hand.

“Isn’t that a lucky coincidence?” George asked with a friendly smile. “We’re looking for a Harry, and we got Harry. Now, how are three galleons a week sound to you?”

“And, when can you start?” Fred added hastily also with a friendly smile.

“Fine… I guess,” Harry agreed uncertainly. “I can start now, if you like.”

“Excellent,” George beamed happily. “Welcome to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.”

Fred handed him an old, black cloak. “You can wear this one for now. Give it back, when you have your own cloak.”

“Each item has its own price tag.” George pointed at the different joke items. “If somebody asks you a question, and you don’t know the answer, just refer them to me or Fred.”

“Watch out for small children.” Fred stowed the close sign inside the stand’s compartment. “They’re sneaky little buggers. They’ll snatch anything, when you’re not looking.”

“You take the first customer. Let’s see how you handle it,” George said casually, opening a parchment to take inventory.

“Price tags… You answer all questions… Look out for small children,” Harry repeated quietly, as he donned the cloak. He nervously combed his errant hair away from his eyes with his right hand. He didn’t realize, his scar was now in plain sight.

“Excuse me… Are these Flobberworm Gummies safe for small children?” asked a female voice suspiciously. Harry faced his first customer with a friendly smile. He noticed the customer’s eyes settled on his scar. “Oh my word…” the witch gasped in disbelief. “You’re Harry Potter!”

How that declaration was heard amidst the hustle and bustle of Diagon Alley, was anybody’s guess. No one even knew why the witch believed the teenage boy was Harry Potter. Shoppers and bystanders within three meters paused, and stared. Some moved closer to investigate. Soon, words spread that Harry Potter was in Diagon Alley. By now, a large crowd had formed around Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop, clamoring to see The-Boy-Who-Lived.

Fred and George were at the end their wits, trying to find a way to disperse the crowd. Fortunately for them, Harry had the presence of mind to hide. Once in a while, they could be heard yelling, “That boy is not Harry Potter! He is not The-Boy-Who-Lived! Harry Potter is not here!” But, the more they denied it. The more the crowd demanded to see The-Boy-Who-Lived. In the end, it took a team of Aurors to disperse the unruly crowd.

The Burrow was not your typical house. It was old and rustic. And, any muggle, who could see it, would definitely say it’s in great need of repair. But, whatever it lacked in appearance, it made up in loving, and relaxed atmosphere. For the moment, inside the kitchen, the atmosphere was anything, but loving or relaxed.

Arthur Weasley, the patriarch of the Weasley family, sat quietly at the head of the table. Once in a while, he would sigh, and cast his twins a disappointed look. Molly Weasley, the matriarch of the family, was busy preparing tea. She could be heard mumbling, “Irresponsible… One toe out of line… Ridiculous idea.” They just came from the office of Madam Amelia Bones. Charges were dropped, and any punishment was left to the discretion of Mr. Weasley.

“Boys…” Mr. Weasley calmly began. “What you did was very wrong. Why didn’t you ask me first, whether it was okay to hire a Harry Potter look-alike? You could have been mauled by that angry crowd. You were very lucky you got away with only a fine.”

“But, dad, we were not breaking any Ministry law,” Fred argued.

“Evans doesn’t even closely resemble Harry Potter,” George added.

“You, two, be quiet, and let your father speak,” Mrs. Weasley admonished angrily. She set a cup of tea in front of her husband, and sat down at his right opposite the twins.

“Where’s ours?” Fred asked wonderingly, but lapsed into silence, when his mother glared at him.

“Fred, George, I understand what you did was a business venture, with a little bit of pranking in mind, maybe. But, you have to understand, not all wizards and witches share your kind of humor, especially when it concerns Harry Potter.” Mr. Weasley looked closely at his sons, trying to gauge their feelings. “Now, I want you to promise me never to use any Harry Potter look-alike to promote your products.”

“But, Arthur…” Mr. Weasley just raised his right hand, to forestall whatever his wife was going to say.

“We promise, dad,” the twins said at the same time. Mr. Weasley noticed their regretful expressions. They didn’t fool him one bit.

“Very good, you may go.” Mr. Weasley fondly watched his two sons leave. He knew it wouldn’t take long, before the twins found themselves in another trouble.

As soon as the kitchen door closed, Mrs. Weasley turned to her husband, frowning. “Arthur, why didn’t you just tell them to close shop, and find a decent job in the Ministry?” she asked heatedly.

Mr. Weasley reached out, and lovingly held his wife’s hands. “Molly, I can’t do what you asked. You and I know that the joke shop is their lifelong dream. They’re not that different from Bill, Charlie or Percy who followed their dreams. Let’s just let them follow their own path. And hopefully, they’ll learn from their mistakes.”

When the twins left the kitchen, they walked straight to the door leading outside. They heard Ron asked, “Where are you two jokers going now?” He was playing chess with Neville. They saw Ginny sitting on a sofa, reading a magazine. They knew the three teenagers were eavesdropping. They saw the Extendable Ears, while they were in the kitchen.

“No time to talk, Ronniekins,” Fred yelled back.

“We have places to go, business to mind,” George also yelled back.

They headed to the back of their tool shed, where their joke stand was parked. They warily looked around, making sure nobody was spying on them. George, then, bent down to remove the lock, and opened the biggest compartment.

“You can come out now. The coast is clear.” Harry stuck his head out. With slight difficulty, he managed to crawl out of the compartment.

“Thanks. I was wondering when are you going to let me out. I was beginning to feel claustrophobic,” Harry said, while stretching his cramped muscles.

“Clostro… What? Never mind. Sorry we can’t let you out sooner,” Fred said apologetically.

“Yeah, we were neck deep in trouble…Ministry kind of trouble.” George grimaced at the memory.

“I’m sorry I got you, two, in trouble.” Harry forlornly sat on the grass, resting his back on the joke stand.

“It wasn’t your fault. It was our idea to begin with. You're just an employee.” Fred also sat down on the grass facing Harry.

“Yeah, we were so sure we would attract more customers.” George joined them. He mechanically started picking blades of grass.

“Actually, we did. The only problem was, they were buying the idea of Harry Potter, not the joke items,” Fred said smiling at the irony.

”What happens now? Are your business permit going to be revoked?” Harry asked with concern.

“No. Our dad bailed us out. We got a slap on the wrist.” Fred unconsciously rubbed his wrist, as if it was really hurting.

“And, what a strong slap it was. It will set us back two, maybe three years,” George monotonously said. He was now angrily tearing the grass.

“Does this mean I’m out of job?” Harry asked uncertainly. The twins slowly nodded their heads, without looking at him. Silence descended on the trio. Each one lost in his own thoughts.

Harry surreptitiously looked at the crestfallen twins. Not really sure how it would turn out, he decided to offer a solution. “Look mates… I know you just met me. But, if you’ll let me, I like to help.” Both, Fred and George stared at him. Harry wiped his sweaty palms on his cloak. At the way the twins were looking at him, he felt like he was under a microscope. “Uhm…My parents set aside a bit of money for my…school expenses. Perhaps, I can invest some of it in your business.”

The twins looked at each other. A consensus seemed to pass between them. “It will take at least two thousand galleons. We can pay the Ministry fine, and still have enough money to properly open a joke shop.” George looked Harry in the eye. “Are you sure you want to invest your money with us. There are other joke shops. Competition will be tough.”

Harry smiled broadly. “I’m sure. I have a strong feeling you will be successful.”

We will be successful, partner,” both, Fred and George cheerfully said. They all shook hands to seal the deal.


A/N: Evocates Anima roughly means summoning the living.
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