As planned, I started spending a lot of time in the Room of Requirement and inside my grandfather’s trunk. Sometimes I even moved his portrait out to the Room so he could help me with my spell work and training.
We talked a lot about not fighting fair and how I should expect Voldemort to not fight fair.
“Everyone has a weakness Harry when dueling. You just have to find his. We already know he’s overconfident. He believes in his own abilities far too much. If you can catch him off guard by using a tactic he has trouble with then you should be able to get him frustrated and off his game.”
“Yes, but by the time I figure out his weakness I will probably be dead. I’ve seen him fight Dumbledore and whatever his weakness is, it will not be easy to spot. Plus his weakest point may still be far better than my strongest.”
“That’s not possible Harry. Your strongest is something he can’t even touch no matter how hard he tries.”
“Really? What exactly would that be?”
“Harry, you have heart and a very strong will to protect others and dispense justice. As long as he never gets you to give up, then he will be beaten. What does he have to live for? Nothing. He’s just afraid of death and wants everyone to serve him to make him feel better about himself. You, on the other hand have plenty to live for. That new girlfriend of yours is just one of the reasons and that one alone is big enough to sustain you.”
“I expect that you and Gwen are just going to continue to grow closer as you spend more time together. Use that against him. He wants you dead. Want more than that to live and be with Gwen. Don’t let him take that away from you and don’t let him take you away from her. Think how much that would hurt her if you allow him to kill you. She has pledged herself to you Harry. Don’t take that lightly.”
I thought about that for a second before he spoke again.
“And don’t slack off on your exercises and keeping fit. He will be throwing a lot of Unforgivables at you and you’ll need to move out of the way of those. You’re good at casting while moving so use that to your advantage. Time your spells against his.”
“He’s extremely powerful Grandfather and eventually I’ll run out of steam.”
“Do you plan on allowing him to just stand there while he runs you ragged?”
“Use his own tactics against him. He knows your young and in good shape, so he will want to wear you down when he can’t kill you quickly. Do you think he actually has to move around much when he duels? Have you ever seen him move or step out of the way of a spell?”
“No, he always blocks it if any spells even come his way. Most of the time no one even gets a spell off, except Dumbledore of course.”
“He’s used to winning and not having to work hard for it because he’s very good at dueling. If you have to, make him move and see how long he holds up. I can guarantee he’s not in as good a shape as you.”
“How will I make him move?”
“I’ve never fought him so you’ll have to figure that out when you face him.”
“I’ve seen how well you move Harry. It won’t be a picnic even for him to be able to hit you with a spell. Just keep your distance so you can dodge the important ones.”
“And if he uses a Muggle weapon?”
“You have the advantage there and he knows it, especially if he can’t be sneaky about it. It will turn into a shootout though if that happens. Both of you will be behind a protective wall and it’ll get boring after that.”
“How could it be boring?”
“If no one is getting hit while you both hide behind a wall that would get boring.”
“I’m not sure I agree with you on that Grandfather.”
“Look Harry, he made too many mistakes when he had you dead to rights at Christmas. He’s probably thinking he should have just hit you with a killing curse and not used that rifle for all the good it did him. He has to be kicking himself for not finishing you off right away. You’ve obviously kept your protective armor as a pretty good secret. He probably thought you had some and that’s why he used a rifle to penetrate it. He just didn’t count on how much you had. Still, you almost died anyway.”
“I would still prefer to face him with my guns. He has way too many years of experience over me with magic and he is definitely more powerful than I am.”
“That is likely true but you are no slouch in magical power either Harry. He will not be able to just run you over. You’ll be able to hold your own. Don’t doubt that.”
“Now enough chit chat, back to work.”
Voldemort was not happy. He had been stewing in his unhappiness since Christmas. Potter had killed all of his Death Eaters and the only one that did join him after the seventy were slaughtered was tortured into insanity when Voldemort came back Christmas night having failed to kill Harry himself. The young Death Eater just had to ask a stupid question so he was tortured for his stupidity. It was no great loss though. He was pretty much a half-wit already.
Voldemort didn’t mean to overdo it but the young Death Eater was useless after that. He put too much into the curse and the young man just snapped. Voldemort went ahead and killed him then vanished the body. Now he truly had no followers and no one else wanted to join him. They were too afraid of Potter. This frustrated him to no end. They were all supposed to be afraid of Lord Voldemort. Not Potter!
The Malfoy house elves were keeping him fed. He had to make sure not to kill any more. He had killed one that tried to leave after their masters were killed. He did that to set an example and now the others towed the line. He just wished he had some followers so he could spread terror and bring everyone under his control.
Potter was too good with the Muggle weapons so somehow he would have to draw him out for a proper wizards duel, wands only. How to do that though? How to get Potter to face him using magic only? There had to be a way.
Suddenly the Dark Lord smiled.
Looks like he was going to have to kill some people to get Harry’s attention. He knew just where to start and then he would goad him into a wizards duel only. He would have to plan carefully and gather his resources.
When the semester ended I went back home to some excited elves. They were happy to see me and had prepared a large sumptuous dinner honoring my return home for the summer. I explained to Dobby and Winky about Gwen, how she was actually a squib, and a direct descendant of Ravenclaw. Given our new commitment to each other and obvious growing affection, I let them know that Gwen was going to be let in on the secret and that hopefully she would be spending the summer with us here.
When Gwen called me on Friday, June 27, she insisted that I come visit her and her parents in London. She thought it time that I met them. She explained that her mum was very insistent about it. She had told her that I was a wizard when she was pressed to describe her new boyfriend. That just made it worse. Now I had to come over so Rona could meet me properly.
“Alright, I’ll change my clothes and see you in about ten minutes.”
“Would you rather I wait longer?”
“No, come on over. I miss you. I was thinking of the two-hour drive, which won’t matter now, will it? See you in a bit.”
I changed and apparated over to the Peterson’s. I was ringing their doorbell as promised about ten minutes later. Gwen answered the door, grabbed my arm and pulled me quickly into the house, then jumped into my arms and kissed me.
We were still kissing when we heard someone clearing their throat. We stopped and parted to see who it was.
“Oh, hi Dad. This is my boyfriend, Harry. Harry, this is my dad Royal Peterson but he goes by Roy.”
“Hello, Mr. Peterson. It’s very nice to meet you,” I said stepping up to the man with my hand offered.
He shook my hand and eyed me carefully. He was a little taller than I was, probably around six-one or so with a slight thickness around his mid-section. His hair was brown like Gwen’s but greying at the temples. He also had hazel eyes that were greener than Gwen’s.
“It’s nice to meet you Harry. You can call me Roy.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Let’s retire to the lounge you two. My wife is anxious to meet you, Harry.”
I gave Gwen a look but we followed Roy into the lounge. Gwen was holding my hand as we walked, swinging it back and forth as she smiled at me. I couldn’t help but smile back.
When we arrived in the lounge there was a beautiful, but older woman waiting. I could see where Gwen got her good looks. She managed to get her dad’s hair and eye color somewhat but everything else was from her mum. Her mum’s eyes were a bright blue with auburn hair and she was probably only about an inch or so shorter than Gwen.
Gwen pulled me right up to her mum to introduce me.
“Mum, this is Harry, my boyfriend. Harry, this is my mum, Rona.”
“Mrs. Peterson, it’s an honor to meet you.”
She offered her hand but I didn’t shake it. I took it in mine and kissed the back of it while bowing to her.
“I can see where Gwen gets all her good looks,” I said as I straightened back up. “You chose well, Roy.”
Rona smiled at the compliment.
“Yes, I suppose so. Although, she can be a bit too much to handle on occasion.”
Gwen and I laughed.
“Just lightening the mood, Rona, dear.”
“That Roy,” she replied. “You can call me Rona, Harry. What is your last name, if you don’t mind? I know you are a wizard and I do know most of the Wizarding family names. What’s yours?”
I looked at Gwen then looked back at Rona and Roy who was now standing next to his wife.
“Potter. Harry Potter. Son of James and Lily Potter.”
You could have heard a pin drop after I said that. It got deathly quiet. Rona appeared to stumble slightly but Roy caught her and eased her into the chair behind her. Gwen and I both knelt before her and asked the same question.
“Are you alright, Mum/Rona?”
“Sorry,” she said. “Yes, yes, of course. I’m fine. I was just not expecting to hear that name.” Then she looked at both of us. “Is this thing you have between you very serious?”
“I’m afraid so, Mum.”
“Yes, Rona. It is.”
“But aren’t you just 16 Harry?”
“Yes, but I was emancipated last year and will be 17 in another month.”
“Doesn’t that bother you dear to be nearly two years older, especially since he’s still under age?”
“Of course not, Mum. He acts more mature then I do. I suspect it has a lot to do with the rough life he had to endure. We’re perfectly happy.”
“What about the danger of dating Harry Potter?” asked Roy. “Even I know that.”
“We keep it a secret. If Gwen has to give a name then she uses my middle name James and my mum’s maiden name, Evans. My friends at Hogwarts think I’m not dating at all,” I answered.
“Helen knows though, Mum. She figured it out, then told me, but promised to keep it secret too. It was after that we revealed our secrets to each other.”
Rona just nodded. She did not appear to be worried about Helen knowing. That made me feel better.
“My house is under a Fidelius and I’m the only one who knows the secret, other than my two house elves. Not even my friends know. My parents were betrayed by a supposedly good friend who was their secret keeper. I trust my friends but I’m trying to avoid that so I haven’t taken any chances. Yesterday I was telling my elves that I wanted to let Gwen in on the secret so she could visit me.”
I turned to look at Gwen who smiled at me.
“We’re fairly certain there are no more Death Eaters. Apparently, I killed the last of them and no one else wants to join him. However, Voldemort is still out there so things are not completely safe yet, not until I take him out anyway.”
“How can you do that at such a young age Harry?” Rona asked while cupping my cheek.
“I quit being a kid a long time ago, Rona. My relatives were horrible people. They abused me and treated me rather poorly. It took away my childhood. At the end of my first year at Hogwarts, when I was only eleven, I killed my first man. He was our Defense professor and he was possessed by Voldemort. It was self-defense on my part but I didn’t even know I could do what I did. He was choking me but when I grabbed his hands, they turned to ash. So, I grabbed his face and it turned to ash too, killing him. Voldemort’s shade still got away though.”
“That’s horrible Harry to have to go through that at such a young age,” Rona said.
“Last year, during the battle at the Ministry I lost Sirius Black, my godfather. It was after that I formed my plan to take out all the Death Eaters until Voldemort was all alone. I had simply had enough. I realized he would be a lot easier to kill all by himself. Apparently, he’s the only one left now.”
“Are you sure Gwen should be told your secret?” asked Rona.
“Yes, she will actually be safer. I can apparate us between houses so she never has to be seen driving to my house. I can even make her a portkey that she can use. And once she’s in the house then no one will be able to find us at all.”
“You said you haven’t even told your friends whom you trust,” said Roy. “Do you trust Gwen that much more to let her in on this secret?”
I looked at Gwen who was waiting on my answer.
“Yes, there is no doubt in my mind about Gwen.”
I saw a tear on Gwen’s cheek. She then hugged me and held me close for a minute before letting me go.
“Mum, Dad. Harry has practically begged me to leave him so I would be safer, at least until Voldemort is dead. But, I will tell you what I told him. No, Harry is stuck with me. I’m not going anywhere. He is not going to go through this all alone.”
“Well, that settles it for me, Rona. Our little girl has grown up and she is now an adult who makes her own decisions. I will not interfere. Besides, from what I’ve heard about that crazy newspaper the magic folks use, Harry here can more than take care of himself. I imagine protecting Gwen will not make him even break a sweat.”
“I guess that means you both have our blessings kids. Does this mean you are going to spend your entire summer with Harry?” asked Rona.
“She can if she wants to, but I don’t see why she can’t come and visit you guys whenever she wants,” I said. “It shouldn’t be a problem. I can even make her a portkey back and forth.”
“You better be coming with her, Harry! We will expect you both. Understood?” asked Rona.
“Yes, ma’am,” I said smiling.
“You guys are always working anyway so it’s not likely I’ll be missed,” said Gwen.
“We may work a lot but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss you sweetie,” replied Roy.
“I just like to see you, honey, whenever we come home,” said Rona. “I know it’s different now that you’re going to university but I thought during the summer… you know… I would see you more.”
“Give us some times when you’ll be here and we’ll come visit. Like Harry said, it’s quite easy for us to get around. Just call me but please try to give me some lead time in case we planned something else,” said Gwen.
“I’ll make sure we come visit. I believe Gwen’s favorite restaurant is over here so we’ll definitely have to get back over for some good food,” I said.
“Oh, that reminds me. Did you know that Harry took me there just before Christmas without a reservation?” Gwen asked her parents.
“How did you get a table? It takes two weeks, always a minimum of two weeks for the reservation,” said Roy.
“You forced the Maître D to give you a table?” asked Rona.
“No, no. I wouldn’t do that. I used a compulsion charm but asked for a table only if one was available. I just wanted to get past the reservation requirement. Plus, it was the middle of the week and almost Christmas. I thought for sure they had at least one table available.”
“That was before I knew you were a wizard,” said Gwen.
We later said our good-byes. I shrunk Gwen’s car and placed it in my pocket. I told her we could park it at her beach house and she could use it whenever she needed it. I would make sure she could get from my house to hers instantly so it would look like she was there instead of my house whenever she needed to drive somewhere. She could drive back to her house then take a portkey over to my house. The illusion would be maintained that way.
It was likely not needed since the houses all sat on good sized parcels of land and none of the neighbors were that close. Plus, some of the houses were summer homes only and not always used. Still we decided it was better to be safe than sorry and stuck with our plan.
I had figured out how to make portkeys via some books in my library. Then Grandfather taught me the really complicated ones where you enchant an object that responds by touch and a key word. These always work and never lose their functionality. He taught me some special runes to use so the magic would never dissipate.
I took Gwen shopping for a necklace she wouldn’t mind wearing all the time, then enchanted it with three portkey locations. She basically had to touch the pendant with her finger and say a key phrase to activate it. We came up with Home Activate, Beach House Activate, and Parent’s House Activate. Adding the word Activate would help to prevent any accidental portkeys.
The destination for Home was the foyer. The Beach House landed her in the foyer as well but her parent’s house was different. That one took her straight to her own bedroom. She just had to remember to call first to make sure no one else was around and in the house that would find it odd if she just showed up in her bedroom.
I enlarged the pendant to a very large size then engraved the runes on the back before shrinking it back down to normal. The runes were barely noticeable that way but still worked. Gwen watched the whole process. She was fascinated by it.
Dobby and Winky were fawning all over Gwen who immediately fell in love with them too. They loved to take care of her every need. I was a little too independent for them so I didn’t always seek their help when I could do it myself, but they were determined to train Gwen right so they’d be used more often to help her.
They even offered to clean her beach house for her so she wouldn’t have to worry about it. She wasn’t sure what to say to that so told them she would think about it. Later, after she knew them a little better, she let them clean it for her. It wouldn’t need much maintenance to keep it clean since it wasn’t going to be in much use.
Gwen and I had a great time together through July. We used the beach and played in the water some. Sometimes we skinny-dipped in my swimming pool. I kept up my workouts and training. She would join in and do what she could then watch me finish up. She was getting better though and lasting longer each day we trained.
I even explained all about the guns during her tour of the trunk and taught her how to shoot, with Grandfather’s help of course. Winky made her a floor length basilisk hide coat like mine. It not only added protection, especially since I enchanted it for additional protection, it was very stylish. There was plenty of basilisk hide so that wasn’t an issue. I gave her a magically enhanced steel plated vest as well. Hopefully, she would never need it.
Occasionally we would go over to her parent’s house, have dinner, and spend time with them in the evening. We even spent the night there in Gwen’s bedroom one night after we went to her favorite restaurant and dancing afterwards with her parents. The evening was late when we finished. Roy had made reservations for us ahead of time at the restaurant.
About a week before my birthday, Rona called us and invited us to go sailing with them for two weeks, starting on my birthday. Turns out, they owned a yacht that was docked nearby, close to their beach house. There was a yacht club down the road a ways where it was kept.
She also told us that Helen and her parents were going to visit and join us. They usually expanded the yacht on the inside when they came along so we had enough room, she explained. No one had to twist my arm. I had never done anything like that before. We gladly accepted the invitation.
Rona told Gwen that they would arrive at the beach house on the 30th and then we could all go sailing the next day.
When the 30th arrived, Gwen received a call from Helen.
“Gwen, I’m here at the beach house. Where are you?”
“I’m at Harry’s. I’ll be over shortly. Make sure no one is standing in the foyer because that’s where I’ll appear with my portkey.”
“This I have to see, my squib of a cousin using magic.”
“Get ready then because you are about to see it. Bye!”
Gwen appeared in the foyer as planned surprising her relatives a little bit. Rona and Roy were a little more used to their daughter using a portkey by now so were not as surprised. Gwen made the rounds hugging her family.
“Where’s Harry?” asked Rona when Gwen hugged her.
“He was working on something when I left and said he would join us in a little bit after he finishes.”
“Good! I want to meet this boyfriend of yours,” said Helen. “He’s quite famous you know.”
“Yes, I know.”
“So, my dearest niece, you’re dating the famous Harry Potter, are you?”
“Yes, Uncle Roger. I’m not just dating him I’m living with him, at least for the summer anyway. We will both have to return to school in September, unfortunately, and be apart for a while.” She said that with a frown.
“Yes, Aunt Emily. It is serious and it keeps getting more and more serious the longer we’re together,” Gwen said with a smile.
“They’re quite the young couple,” said Roy “and Harry is a very nice young man. You’ll see when you meet him.”
“I’m concerned about your safety Gwendolyn,” said Roger. “How can you be safe around Harry Potter when he has so many enemies?”
“Actually, he pretty much only has one left. Harry killed all of his Death Eaters,” said Rona.
“And this doesn’t bother any of you?” asked Roger. “At the age of 16 he’s killed how many?”
“Close to a hundred, I believe,” answered Gwen. “All Death Eaters and all in self-defense. What’s the problem?”
“He sounds dangerous,” Roger replied.
“I suppose he is, to Death Eaters anyway,” said Gwen with a smile.
“What about the age difference? Isn’t he a couple years younger than you?”
“He is almost exactly a year and eleven months younger than me, Uncle Roger, but that doesn’t bother me. He is probably more mature than anyone else in this room.” Roy and Rona were nodding their heads in agreement. “You appear to be trying to talk me out of dating Harry, Uncle Roger. You haven’t even met him yet.”
“I suppose you’re right. I should not be basing my opinion on what I’ve heard when shortly I will get to meet him for myself.”
“Oh how I wish everyone else thought that way. It sure would make my life easier.”
Everyone heard my voice from the foyer and turned toward me.
“Harry!” called Rona then came toward me to give me her usual hug.
“Hello, Rona. It’s good to see you again.”
“Let me introduce you to my family, Harry. This is my brother Roger Taggart, his wife Emily, and their daughter Helen. All, this is Harry Potter.”
I shook Roger’s hand and kissed Emily’s and Helen’s. When done Helen had a question.
“Wait a second. Wait a second. Harry, did you come by portkey like Gwen?”
“No, I apparated.”
“But you didn’t make a sound. We didn’t even hear you arrive. We heard Gwen arrive via portkey but apparition is generally louder and we didn’t hear you at all.”
“Well, you were all talking when I arrived. Perhaps you just didn’t hear me over the voices?”
“No, we would have heard you apparate into the house. It would be louder than our conversation.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said positively.
“Yes?” she asked a little less positive.
“Hmm. I don’t know what to tell you then.”
“Helen, he’s just messing with you,” said Gwen. “Harry apparates silently.”
“You’re kidding,” Helen said then looked right at me.
“Sorry about that. I guess I forgot to mention it,” I said with a smile.
Helen just stared at me for a few seconds before shaking her head. All of us talked for a bit getting to know each other until Roger asked Roy what everyone was doing for dinner?
“I thought we would just all go out to a restaurant for a bite. We didn’t really bring any food for the house and I would rather not dig into the food we brought for the trip. We might need it out there.”
“I’ve got that covered, Roy. I thought everyone would be getting hungry soon since it was close to dinner time. I had my elves prepare us some food. I hope you don’t mind.”
“That sounds great, Harry. I’d rather do that then find a restaurant we could all agree on. Is everyone getting hungry?”
After an affirmative from all present, I called for the food.
“Yes, Harry Potter sir?”
“We are ready to eat now. Is everything prepared?”
“Oh yes, Harry Potter sir. Dobby and Winky will bring it right over.”
“Thank you, Dobby,” I said as he popped back out.
Suddenly the elves were popping back and forth bringing over all the food they had prepared. It was a veritable feast with choices for everyone. We were wondering when they were going to stop bringing food. The table had already been expanded and extra chairs added but there was not much room left when they brought over the last bit.
“Wow!” said Roy. “Those little guys really know how to put on a spread.”
“How can we thank them?” asked Rona.
“I’ll call them. Dobby? Winky? Come here please.”
“Is anything missing Harry Potter sir?”
“No, everything is perfect Dobby. Let me introduce you to Roy and Rona Peterson – Gwen’s parents, next to them are Roger and Emily Taggart, with their daughter Helen. All, this is Dobby and this is Winky. I could not survive without them.”
Everyone pretty much spoke at once thanking them for the food and hard work. They were both a little embarrassed at the praise. Then Dobby spoke up.
“Please do not let the Great Harry Potter sir clean up when you be finished. That is Dobby and Winky’s job. He should know better.”
Then they popped away so we could eat.
“I feel there’s a story in there somewhere, Harry. What did he mean by that?” asked Roger.
“Oh, we have a bit of a disagreement at my house. Both Dobby and Winky are traditional house elves who were accustomed to a master/slave type arrangement. I frown on that practice and consider both of them as dear friends. They think I should not be helping them with their jobs. They really do like to work and don’t like it when I do any of what they consider is only their job to do.”
“That sounds like an interesting dynamic in your household,” said Emily.
“It is and it’s very difficult to get them to feel that it’s okay to speak their mind, to realize that they have a voice, and their opinion matters. What you just saw was a work in progress. Do you see my clothes?”
Everyone looked at me.
“It’s not noticeable but I’m not a very good dresser and coordinator of clothes. Winky takes care of all that for me. She loves it. When I first met Gwen, Winky insisted that she pick out what I was going to wear. Every time I showed up at this house, I was dressed in what Winky picked out for me.”
“And, you always looked really good,” said Gwen. “I’m going to have to thank Winky profusely for her good eye. Perhaps she can help me with some of my outfits?”
“Just be careful. She really likes doing that kind of stuff. Sometimes I think I’ve created a monster.”
“No you haven’t. I love Dobby and Winky. They’re the best!”
“You should. They wait on you hand and foot. They have you really well trained you know. Pretty soon they will likely chuck me out the door and make you the new master since I won’t conform.”
“They would never do that Harry,” said Gwen laughing. “They love you too much and worship the ground you walk on.”
“Yes, I have my own little cheering section. You wouldn’t believe how hard I had to work to keep Dobby from calling me the Great Harry Potter this and the Great Harry Potter that. He still slipped up once tonight when he decided to be bold with his last statement.”
“Sounds like your house is a fun place to be, Harry” said Helen.
Gwen and I just looked at each other and smiled. We then spoke together.
“We’ll never tell.”
The next morning Gwen and I went back to her beach house to join the others for the drive down to the yacht club. Winky and Dobby provided breakfast for everyone, which they appreciated. Roy had brought a van that could hold all of us, plus our supplies and baggage, so we all piled in and took off.
The yacht was a 70 footer called ‘The Raven’s Claw.’ I thought it was a nice play on words. The yacht was big enough for their family but I could see why they used magic to expand the inside when more joined them. Evidently Roger and his family had joined them before. Roger usually performed the expansion charm for them.
He waited until we were out on the water a bit before expanding the inside for us. We didn’t want any Muggles seeing the magic. I watched what he did then asked him questions about the spell. Pretty soon, we were discussing ways to make it where Roy and Rona could activate the spell on their own if we used runes and an enchanted object, similar to the way I enchanted Gwen’s necklace so her portkeys worked.
Not long after that, I had worked out a rune sequence that was placed in each corner of the room, then we enchanted a broom in a small closet that when touched while speaking the word ‘expand’ would enlarge the room. Touching it and saying ‘normal’ would put it back to its regular size. We tested it and it worked fine for Rona and Gwen but not for Roy.
Roy was okay with that, he said, but Roger and I, along with Helen, went back to work on it anyway. A little while later, with a second power sequence and after re-charging the runes, it was working for Roy as well. That made Roy happy. Now they could easily expand the space even if they were on their own and put it back before any Muggles could see it.
We ended up travelling north up through St. George’s Channel and into the Irish Sea. Took a turn around the Isle of Man then headed back south. We saw a good many dolphins. Roy explained the ones we saw. There were bottlenose and short-beaked dolphins, plus some harbor porpoises. We thought we saw a minke whale once but it wasn’t close and we couldn’t be certain.
Roy gladly answered all my questions about boating or yachting and I had quite a few. As it turns out, Roy’s father was a boat enthusiast therefore Roy spent a good bit of his childhood on a boat learning from his dad. They sailed a lot, he said, which was different from yachting but still lots of fun.
He told me all about boating and safety measures, how and what to do in an emergency. The rules while on the water and in a harbor, all sorts of things. It was obvious Roy had inherited the same love from his father. He even taught me all about the controls and how to pilot it. Then he surprised me by telling me to take the wheel for a while so he could go hit the head, as he called it.
I wasn’t certain I should but he assured me that there was nothing for me to run into for a very good while. I took his word for it and took over as captain for a short while. Gwen found me all alone at the wheel and was teasing me about being as bad as her dad when it came to boating.
“I’m glad you’re here. Your dad had to go to the loo and insisted I take the wheel. You can help me so I don’t do anything stupid.”
“I don’t think so Harry. Dad’s never let me captain this thing and I never showed an interest like you have. You probably know more than I do already. I’ve always been just a passenger.”
“Well, you’re a lot of help.”
“I could always tickle you.”
“Not while I’m driving you’re not!”
Gwen put her hands on my sides and I was tensing up for her to tickle me, determined not to turn the wheel too fast but she just kept moving her hands around me until she was hugging me from behind.
“Thought I was going to get you, didn’t you?”
“It did cross my mind, you little tease.”
“Why do you think I came and found you? I was missing you… and while we’ve been on this boat I’ve been missing this a lot.”
She reached down and gently grabbed the front of my shorts. I nearly lost control of the wheel at that moment since I wasn’t expecting it. She let go and laughed at my reaction.
“That was a dirty trick, you minx.”
“Now you know what’s been on my mind while you’ve been all enthralled about boating or yachting or whatever it’s called.”
“What would you say if I told you I could scratch your itch later?”
“Ever heard of Silencing Charms?”
Gwen smiled and kissed my neck, breathing into my ear. I had to shake it off. I was still steering.
“We had best change the subject for now,” I suggested.
“Okay, what do you want to talk about?”
“Not you too!” she whined.
“Seriously, I was thinking of buying my own yacht. It’s not as if I can’t afford it. I was thinking of getting one a lot bigger though.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“I really like this. It’s so relaxing out on the water.”
“It is nice. I’ve always enjoyed our trips growing up. I enjoy it even more when I’m with you.”
“So, what do you think? Should I buy one that’s over 100 feet long, maybe close to 200 feet?”
“Why so big?”
“Well, the bigger they are the smoother they’ll be on the water. Of course magic can help with that too.”
“That’s a whole lot of money for a boat, Harry.”
“Yacht, not boat.”
“You do have it bad.”
“I’ve got plenty of money Gwen. In fact, it’s growing way faster than I can spend it. I plan to fix up the Potter Estate house. It was damaged several years ago and never repaired. I’m not sure if I will repair the Godric’s Hollow house or not. It would be tough to go back there for me and I understand the Ministry has turned it into some sort of shrine. I’ll probably just leave it as is. So, other than my family’s estate, I don’t have a lot of expenses.”
“I guess you don’t. So when are you going to buy it?”
“I’ll have to ask your dad to help me. I’ll probably hire him to represent me and get Gringotts to setup a legal account to pay it out of so my name doesn’t appear anywhere.”
“You have it all planned out, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Were you planning on inviting me onto this big luxury yacht you’re going to buy or did you plan to just sail off into the sunset without me?”
“Hmm, let me think about it,” I said with a smile.
She hit me on the arm.
“You better not have to think about it!”
“Hey! No hitting the captain who has to steer,” we heard from behind us.
It was Roy. He had brought two drinks with him.
“Sorry dear. I didn’t realize you had joined us. I would have brought you a drink too.”
“That’s okay. I’m not thirsty.”
“I’m glad you’re back Roy. I have a proposition for you,” I said.
I started to give him the wheel back but he gestured for me to continue on while we talked.
“You’re doing just fine Captain. What would you like to discuss?”
He gave me my drink and sat down with his own.
“I’ll leave you boys to your toys. See you later,” said Gwen.
“Bye Gwen/Sweetheart” we both said at the same time.
“I would like to hire you, Roy, as my representative so I can buy my own yacht. Would you be interested?”