We had decided to eat at a magical restaurant in Diagon Alley that was just a stone’s throw past Gringotts. According to a few who had eaten there before, it was quite good. The greeter was hesitant about being able to seat eleven right away but when he asked for a name to call when a table was ready, I told him mine. His eyes grew really large then he seemed to find one quickly for us.
I guess being Harry Potter has some advantages.
The food was good but the conversation wasn’t until Andi came to my rescue. Just as I‘d thought, my friends, and the Order members were badgering me to share where I was living and how I’d managed everything so far. After my fifth utterance of “I’m sorry, but I can’t say,” Andi stood up obviously irritated. She cast a Silencing Charm around the table so other tables couldn’t hear before she spoke.
“Could I have everyone’s attention please?” she asked politely. After everyone quieted and looked up at her she continued. “I’m very disappointed in what I’ve been witnessing here today. It has become obvious to me that Harry is practically the only one at this table who is concerned about his safety.”
Molly started to protest.
“Let me finish, Molly. Harry has been polite and told you time and again that he can’t share that information for fear of not being safe. Tell me, how many people at this table actually know where Harry is living right now?”
Everyone shook his or her heads, except Harry.
“Harry is the only one and as long as Harry remains the only one then no one will be able to find him, this includes Death Eaters. The way you people keep asking your probing questions about Harry’s life with other customers around our able to hear you, I’m beginning to believe you’re not on his side at all. Do you honestly think the other customers haven’t noticed Harry is here? Do you think they’re not interested in our conversation?”
There were gasps from the table.
“I recommend you change the subject matter and quit harassing Harry for information that’s not your right to know. From what I’ve witnessed so far, he has everything under control and doesn’t need our help. He’s emancipated. He’s now an adult, free to make his own decisions without regard for anyone else’s wishes for his life. When he wants your help, he will let you know. Until then you have no say in the matter.”
Andi sat back down. I stood up patting Andi on the shoulder.
“Thank you Andi. It’s always nice to have someone on my side who understands. Look, you are all my friends and I care greatly for every one of you. That will not change but as Andi said I’m now an adult, who makes his own decisions and you must respect that. I’ve been through a lot and there is a lot still coming my way. At this point, no one can decide for me my path. I’m the only one with enough knowledge of me to make that decision and I’ve already made my decision of how I’m going to deal with it. It’s non-negotiable.”
I looked them all in the eye then sat back down.
After that, everyone settled down and the conversation lightened. I knew there were still some who wanted a say into how I live my life but they knew where I stand on that now so remained quiet. After a while and after the cancelling of the Silencing Spell, I had young children walking up and asking for my autograph. When it happened for the third time, I decided it was time to leave.
I told the kids I was sorry but I don’t give out my autograph since my signature had been stolen and used against me before to illegally enter me into the Triwizard Tournament. Instead, I talked to them for a minute and encouraged them to do well in school. I then conjured a white lily flower and gave it to each one. They were all little girls so it worked. Had there been a little boy among them I’m not sure what I could have done.
In my book on household spells, I found in the library, it showed how to magically create flowers to decorate your home. I just happened to remember that spell. I really had to go now. Once customers saw the girls had received a flower from me then there were sure to be others.
I paid the bill and headed for the door. My friends were moving a little slower but were soon following me. I had just exited the restaurant when I saw a red spell coming at me. I dove to the left while pulling my pistols as I went and taking them both off of safety. I landed on my side on the ground with both guns aimed at my assailants. The spell hit the wall that was behind me.
At the front were Bellatrix and Narcissa. Behind them were several Death Eaters.
“Your fast Potter” said Bellatrix “but you’re coming with us. We wanted to just kill you but our master wants you brought to him. Give up. You can’t fight us all.”
“Bellatrix,” I said as I stood back up with both guns still pointed at her and her sister, “if you try anything else I’m going to be forced to kill you along with your sister. I may just kill you anyway for killing Sirius. I suggest you quit while you’re ahead and just leave.” I didn’t want my friends hurt.
“Are those Muggle weapons baby Potter? Do you seriously think you can best us with Muggle weapons?” Bellatrix asked with a superior look and a manic smile.
“If you take me to Voldemort then he’s going to kill me without giving me a chance. That’s what cowards do after all. Therefore, if I have to, I will kill you to prevent my death at the hands of your master. Then I will meet him on my own terms.”
“He forbid us to kill you. He only wants you brought to him but that doesn’t mean we can’t kill your friends if you resist.”
I glanced over and saw that they were all standing near the door to the restaurant with their wands drawn. The adults were up front not realizing the D.A. members behind them could probably hold their own. I turned back and verified my aim.
“I’m not going anywhere with you. You and your sister can make the call. I’ve already told you what I’m going to do.”
“Kill his friends” Bellatrix yelled as she and Narcissa were making the wand movement for their spell. It was all going very well for them too, at least until they were both hit in the chest by the bullets that came out of the end of my Muggle weapons faster than they could see.
After I shot both Bellatrix and Narcissa twice, I took off running and began firing on the other Death Eaters. They started to cast spells at my friends but were distracted by all the blood on the front of the two sisters. My aim was true and several Death Eaters went down with shots to the head while others were hit with spells from my friends. I helped some of my friends out while they were dueling by taking out their opponent with a shot from one of my pistols, especially if I heard the start of the Killing Curse being uttered. These were killed instantly.
Before I knew it, all the Death Eaters were down with all of them bleeding from a gunshot wound. Nearly all were in the chest or the head. One Death Eater was shot in the stomach because he was apparently standing behind Narcissa and one of my bullets passed through her and hit him. He was the only Death Eater still alive but was not doing well.
I holstered my guns and checked on Bellatrix and Narcissa. They were both dead from two gunshots to their chests, nice grouping too I thought. I walked over to my friends. Mr. Weasley had a cut on his arm but Mrs. Weasley was already healing it. Tonks had fallen down and sprained her ankle. She knew how to take care of that herself. Everyone else appeared to be fine other than a little shaken up.
I knew I couldn’t leave this time. The aurors appeared on the street and started asking questions. They portkeyed the wounded Death Eater to St. Mungos right away. Kingsley came up to me and got my statement. I told him everything and left nothing out, including what happened at the will reading that preceded their attack. When he left to talk to someone else, Remus came up to me.
“Were those pistols you were using? I didn’t hear anything when you fired them.”
“Yes, they’ve been magically enhanced.”
“Where did you get them and learn how to use them?”
“I’ll have to explain that another time Moony.”
I turned to the auror who addressed me.
“I understand you used a Muggle weapon to kill these people?”
“Yes, I did.”
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to turn it over to me.”
I looked at him as if he was crazy. “That’s never going to happen.”
“Then I will be forced to arrest you.”
“On what grounds?” I asked as Remus started looking curious too.
“You are a minor in possession of an illegal Muggle weapon.”
“No, I’m not. I was emancipated weeks ago,” I said showing the auror my pocket edition papers. “I’m an adult now and I inherited my weapon from my grandfather. Besides Muggle weapons aren’t illegal in magical Britain, especially since practically everyone walks around with a wand. No one is taking my property from me when I have done nothing but defend my friends and myself. Are we clear?”
“Hand it over or I will be forced to stun you.”
“If you make one move to draw your wand against me then I will be forced to put you down just like I did all these Death Eaters. You wouldn’t want that now would you?”
The auror hesitated.
“What exactly is the problem over here?” asked Kingsley as he walked back up.
“Hello, Kingsley. Your auror appears to have a problem with me defending myself and he’s been trying to make me hand over my weapons and leave me defenseless. I’m not sure why unless he himself is a Death Eater. Maybe we should take a look at his left arm?”
“Auror Thompson? Do you know who this is?” Kingsley asked pointing at me. “This is Harry Potter and he just saved a lot of lives by killing all those Death Eaters over there. We have already established what happened here so why would you have a problem with it?”
“Raise up your left sleeve Auror Thompson.”
“Raise. up. your. left. sleeve,” Kingsley repeated slowly pointing his wand at the auror. I had already folded my arms over my chest with my hands on my pistols grips.
The auror looked at Kingsley and raised his sleeve. There was no dark mark.
“I’m not a Death Eater,” he said heatedly. “I just thought that Harry Potter needed to learn some humility. I’ve read all the books about him and how pampered he was growing up. I’ve heard about all the trouble he’s been in at Hogwarts.”
Kingsley, who was much taller, bent down until his face was right in Auror Thompson’s face.
“The next time you choose to read works of fiction Auror Thompson or listen to rumors and innuendo and treat them as fact then I suggest you hand in your badge so someone smarter than you can take your place. For now, you are dismissed. Go home and think about how you should identify the truth instead of believing in lies. It will save you further embarrassment.”
“Yes sir” he said then turned and started walking away.
“And Auror Thompson?”
“Yes sir?” Thompson stopped and turned back toward Kingsley.
“The next time you get it in your head to teach someone a lesson, be sure and run it by me first so I can kick your arse back in line where it belongs.”
“Yes sir” he said dejectedly then walked away.
Kingsley turned back to me.
“Sorry about that Harry.”
“I knew something was up with him but I never expected that to be the reason.”
“Harry, what’s this hole in your robe?” asked Remus as he joined us.
I looked at my robe and then the basilisk hide underneath while Remus walked around me.
“It looks like I was hit with a Cutting Curse.”
“There are two more spells that hit you in the back,” said Remus as he completed the circle.
“I never even felt them. I guess it was good I wore all this protection. However, it just means I’m in need of a lot more training. They were determined to not kill me since Voldemort gave them instructions to capture and bring me to him. Had they intended to kill me I might not have been so lucky.”
“Your going to have to be more careful Harry,” said Remus.
“That’s why I train so hard, Remus. The problem is I’m out of luck being able to pick my own fights.”
“Harry” said Kingsley “would you happen to know who the Unknown Wizard was the other week when five Death Eaters attacked Diagon Alley? He only used a wand against them but his fighting style, as described, was similar to what I saw you use in the Department of Mysteries against the Death Eaters there. Then today the witnesses saw similar movement out of you even though you weren’t using a wand this time.”
“Well, I guess since my name will be all over this one then I might as well come forward about the other. It was me, Kingsley. I was just trying to go to Gringotts to visit my Potter Family vault for the first time but I tried to go unnoticed. They came out right in front of me and killed that poor witch. I couldn’t stop myself from reacting. My adrenalin was pumping and my spells were overpowered. I realized it and noticed they never got a wand trained on me so I tried to do less damage on the third Death Eater.”
Kingsley nodded then asked, “Harry, why were you out and about by yourself?”
“I had just managed to get myself emancipated the day before and moved into a secure and hidden location. I was in desperate need of new clothes. I sent one of my elves to Madam Malkin’s that morning with my measurements and she returned with the nice robes I was wearing. I went after that to Muggle London and bought a bunch of Muggle clothes. I was coming back and wanted to go ahead and visit Gringotts while I was out. I noticed how no one knew it was me in The Leaky Cauldron so I thought if I kept my hood up I could make it to the bank, especially while the Alley was less busy.”
“So you just happened to be coming down the Alley the same time the Death Eaters attacked?” asked Remus.
“Yes, as I have said many times Remus, trouble always seems to find me. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“No, Harry,” said Kingsley. “You were in the right place at the right time. You saved a lot of lives and probably property damage as well that day. You were just lucky those Death Eaters weren’t ready for primetime. Had they been ones with more experience they would have given you some trouble.”
“Lucky, huh? I guess that’s another way to look at it,” I said doubtfully.
“How did you leave so fast before the aurors could question you?” asked Kingsley.
“That will need to remain my secret. I can’t give you everything.”
“Understood, Harry. I think I can guess but I’ll drop it. Just so you know, we were able to locate the witch that went with the wand. We picked her up the next day and locked her up. She wanted to know who the wizard was that attacked them and forced her to get her hand healed. She was never told and not just because we didn’t know yet either. I will see that your account is credited with the three rewards for the three Death Eaters removed off the street.”
“Contact Kurlig at the bank. He’s the Potter Accounts Manager. He’ll know where to put it.”
“I’ll get you credited with these as well,” he pointed at all the Death Eaters.
“No, credit me with just Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, plus the wounded one. Divide the rest between Remus, the Weasleys, and the others so they get the rewards. I killed the two sisters first and injured the one, but for all the others I only provided assistance. My friends should get the credit but their names should not be advertised to help keep them safe. I know my name will never be kept secret so I’ll not even ask.”
“Will do. I think I’ll let our little female Death Eater know how many of her fellow sycophants died tonight by the same hand without giving your name of course. She hopefully will realize how lucky she is to still be alive.”
“Listen guys, I have business with Gringotts before I go home. I have to discuss with Kurlig what we are going to do with everything Sirius left me. I know that I would like you, Remus, to consider taking over Headquarters and living there. I’ll be happy to provide the funds from the Black vault to refurbish the place so it becomes a nice place to live, instead of the dump that it is now. Just let me know what you decide. Also please tell the others that I’m sorry but I have business to attend to before getting back home where I’ll be safe.”
“Harry,” said Remus, “let me walk with you to the bank and help keep the reporters away. Tonks can help us.” He motioned for her to join us. She grabbed a couple more aurors and they escorted me to the bank.
The reporters backed off when they saw my escort wouldn’t let them get close to me. I just ignored their shouted questions as we walked.
I told Remus to think hard about my offer since I had no desire to set foot in the place again. It needed fixing up and changed to something nice and I thought he was the right man for the job. I told him even Tonks could help him with color choices and such. They got a laugh out of that.
When we reached the goblins standing guard at the bank, I bid them farewell. Remus wanted to wait for me to come out so they could provide protection but I told him to remember the conversation in the restaurant and that I would ask for help when I needed it and right now, I didn’t need it.
They then left me so I went in and talked to Kurlig. I decided to leave the Black fortune in the Black vault so it remains separate for now from my other accounts. I also spoke of my plans to fix up the old Black residence using money from the Black vault.
I updated him on what the aurors now know and that he should expect reward money coming for the additional Death Eaters. The new vault should get that money as I had designated it for all moneys coming from Death Eaters whether as a reward or from their fortunes.
We then talked about some good ways to invest some of my money to help grow it more. Kurlig explained what he thought some good investments would be and we put a plan into action to make a few of those investments and see how they progressed. One of the strategies was to buy up empty shops in Diagon Alley then make some good money on it after the war was over and business picked back up.
Kurlig asked me about adventures I had at Hogwarts. He wanted to confirm some rumors. Turns out just as they had found out about me killing Quirrell, they also heard about my second year and the basilisk. I told him the story and then he began to educate me in matters of importance.
After he explained how much money the parts were worth on that thing and that as the slayer, I had full rights to it, we discussed a schedule for when a team of goblins could come and harvest it for me, for a small price of course. Kurlig then explained that he could sell the parts and fatten the Potter coffers quite a bit with it. If it turns out to be as big as reported then he expected I would gain a few million galleons minimum from the sell of it.
I never knew it was worth so much, but of course, they are very rare so that drives up the price. Most parts get used in potions, Kurlig explained. We decided for them to come in September when I was back at Hogwarts. I could let them in and they could do their job. My only condition was that I receive the skin so I could have some armor made from it.
Kurlig said he would contact me in September with a time frame. I told him I would let Dumbledore know what was going to happen after I heard from him so the goblins arriving wouldn’t be a complete surprise.
Afterwards I called Dobby and he took me back home.
The next morning the Daily Prophet reported on the will reading and Death Eater attack in Diagon Alley:
Another Death Eater Attack Thwarted, Nine Dead!
Ten Death Eaters attacked in Diagon Alley yesterday, apparently in an attempt to capture Harry Potter and take him to You-Know-Who. Mr. Potter and some friends had gone to a will reading earlier and had just finished eating at Simpson’s Chophouse restaurant when Mr. Potter was attacked as soon as he exited the establishment.
Mr. Potter defended himself using some sort of Muggle weapon that appeared to surprise the Death Eaters. Mr. Potter’s friends soon joined in when they were attacked as well. When the fight was over nine of the ten Death Eaters were dead, with the last one in critical condition. Apparently, most were killed by Mr. Potter’s Muggle weapon.
There was only minor damage, such as a small cut and a sprained ankle, on the side of the defenders but the Death Eaters were thoroughly routed. Among the Death Eaters killed were Narcissa Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange, and six others. Rabastan Lestrange was the one sent to St. Mungos. We were told that they were expecting his full recovery.
Narcissa Malfoy’s husband, Lucius Malfoy was sent to Askaban in June for being a Death Eater….
As I continued to eat my breakfast, I found another article of interest on the front page:
Unknown Wizard Identified
The mystery is over folks and when I tell you the identity of the well dressed but Unknown Wizard who saved Diagon Alley a few weeks ago, you will think I’m joking, but I assure you I’m not.
The Unknown Wizard is our very own Harry Potter!
Yes! You read that right. Harry Potter. Mr. Potter will only be 16 on July 31 but he has already been emancipated and proven himself against Death Eaters three times now, at least since June anyway. First, in the Department of Mysteries where he fought Death Eaters last month and sent about a dozen that were captured to Askaban. Second, he fought in Diagon Alley a couple weeks ago when five Death Eaters appeared in front of him. And then third, he fought ten Death Eaters yesterday defeating them with just a Muggle weapon.
Could he be our Chosen One?
I don’t know but one thing is for sure, many eyewitnesses, mostly witches, have reported that once Mr. Potter gets moving he is a sight to behold. They said he moves like poetry in motion, dispensing justice with frightening accuracy.
Some older witches were wishing they were younger, some younger witches were wishing they were older, and others just wanted to know where to line up.
We also found out that Mr. Potter was named the Black family heir yesterday in his godfather’s will. Sirius Black was his godfather and made Mr. Potter the new Lord Black and recipient of the Black family fortune.
I’m not sure about you witches but I’m looking for the line right now.
Margo Kestlebaum, Reporter
A couple of days later, I received an owl from Dumbledore who was evidently back from his ICW conference. He was wanting to know where I was living now and why I had been risking my life. He wanted me to get to a safe place immediately and stay there.
I returned his message and let him know that my new home was under a Fidelius and I was the only one who knows the location. This time, I told him, not even my friends were going to be told the secret and that it would stay that way until Voldemort and his Death Eaters were all gone. I finished by reminding him that I was considered an adult now and was responsible for my own self. Where I live and what I get up to was my business and mine alone.
I then bid him a good day and assured him that I would see him at Hogwarts in September. I’m sure my response flustered him a bit.
Practice, practice, practice, and more practice were on my agenda. Working on ways to avoid getting hit was top priority. I also continued to work on my gun handling and improved my shooting even more while moving around constantly.
Grandfather started showing me more weapons to use and how they worked. I played with a pair of Uzi 9mm’s that spat out rounds at a phenomenal rate. They were a lot of fun. I also shot an M16 that could be set for semi-automatic or full automatic when firing. The sawed-off shotgun was a nasty weapon up close. The damage it could do was not pretty.
He even taught me about how to use the grenades although we never actually set off a live one. Grandfather recommended I carry some with me when hunting Death Eaters. He explained that one could be used on a group of Death Eaters to take out most if not all at the same time, especially if they were holed up in a house or building. If any survived the blast, it would be few and they could be easily finished off afterwards.
I was beginning to understand why Kurlig said the outcome would have been different at Potter Place if the Death Eaters had attacked the house when my grandfather and grandmother were still alive. With his arsenal and the knowledge of how to use it all, those Death Eaters never would have survived.
When he explained how the sniper rifles worked, I understood how he could have shot from a high window at Potter Place and picked off the Death Eaters one at a time. It would take a while for them to figure out what was happening since there would be no sound due to the magic.
I played with the sniper rifles some in the gun range since I could set a target 200 meters away. I had no difficulty hitting wherever I wanted but the problem was learning all the extra. Outside the distances may be greater and I may have to deal with the wind and other factors that without an instructor to guide me, and a spotter to help me, it would be difficult to achieve. Besides, I was not likely to have many opportunities to use a sniper rifle against the Death Eaters or Voldemort. But, I wouldn’t rule it out completely.
I ended up taking the Uzis and the shotgun along with my pistols whenever I went anywhere. I shrunk the Uzis and the shotgun down but my pistols always remained ready at all times. Grandfather worked with me on using my wand while leaving it in the holster to expand the guns back to normal size. It looked like I was performing wandless magic but I wasn’t really.
Pretty soon, it was my birthday. I decided to spend it at home, even though my friends begged me to come to the Burrow. We had an impromptu birthday party in the gun range so my grandfather could attend too. Dobby and Winky went all out, which made me laugh. The pool was ready so I spent some time swimming around. My grandfather recommended I make it part of my exercise routine. I also received a few gifts from my friends. Quite a few owls found their way to my house that day.
Too many owls in fact made it to my house. It was soon obvious that they were from admirers and well-wishers. Many contained offers with ladies knickers and other undergarments and even some scandalous pictures of them wearing those same undergarments. I was wondering how to stop this when Dobby waved his hands and they stopped coming. The owls who had already arrived and were waiting to have their letter or parcel removed, just left. Only a few remained that had legitimate presents.
He assured me that I would still get the owls I wanted but the ones not welcome would just return home with their mail undelivered. The ladies would think that I couldn’t be found, he explained.
“Excellent Dobby!” I then turned to my gifts.
Ron sent chocolate, Hermione sent a gun cleaning kit, Andi sent a book entitled ‘House Duties of the Pureblood Lord,’ and Tonks sent me a Weird Sisters t-shirt. I also received gifts from Ginny, Remus, and Hagrid. One of my favorites was when poor Errol showed up half dead carrying a nice warm batch of Treacle Tart from Mrs. Weasley. I had to let Errol rest for three days before I sent him back.
The next day after my birthday, I made a quick trip to Eeylops Owl Emporium in Diagon Alley and bought a large brown owl who was about the same size as Hedwig. I explained to the owl that he was a gift and I was sending him to his new home. I attached a note and had him deliver it to Mrs. Weasley. The note thanked her for the delicious Treacle Tart then explained that this was their new owl. They were to feel free to name him as they wish. I then explained that Errol was in need of a lot of rest and that I would send him back to them as soon as he was able to make the trip.
I received the brown owl back a couple days later with a note thanking me for the owl and that his new name was Jerry, compliments of Ginny. I knew that Ginny had named her Pygmy Puff she just bought Arnold and Ron’s owl Pigwidgeon. I guess she had a penchant for naming animals. I had Jerry wait. He seemed fascinated by Hedwig anyway but she just ignored him.
I wrote a reply back and sent it with Jerry letting them know that Errol was getting better and I would likely let him go back tomorrow if he steadily improved. I also planned to tell him to take his time and rest when he needed it. He was definitely due for retirement.
I had slacked off a little on my birthday but was hard at it again the next day, after I completed my errand to Diagon Alley anyway. Grandfather made sure to push me when I needed it. We had grown quite fond of each other and I think he wanted to make sure I survived a lot longer. I was hopeful myself.
Grandfather then laid a new one on me. He told me that one should never count on always having your wand or your Muggle weapons available when you need them. What if you are taken down and they remove all your weapons and wand. What can you do then, he asked me.
I wasn’t sure but he didn’t expect me to answer anyway as he continued.
“The trick is you have to move quickly,” he explained, “and use any means at your disposal to incapacitate your attackers. To give you an idea, meet me in the Armory, Harry, so I can show you something.”
I went to the Armory where my grandfather directed me to a drawer on the end. Inside the drawer were various items, including knives and metal batons with leather handles. He had me take two of the metal batons out and meet him back over in the gun range.
Once there he explained that batons were very useful if you learn how to use them. The nice part about them was that they didn’t take much talent or significant knowledge to beat someone senseless with them. The other good thing was just about anything on the street could do similar damage if used as a weapon.
He asked the room to change to combat training and suddenly there was a dummy on a pole standing in the middle of the floor. The shooting cubicles were moved back out of the way.
“Harry, take the batons and beat the living daylights out of that dummy. Pay attention to how your attacks can be improved, how you could manage to hit harder, etc. while attacking. Just keep in mind that a real person will not be able to take that many hard shots to the head or body without going down.”
I approached the dummy and hit it at various angles, getting the feel of how it responded to my strikes, how the batons felt in my hands as I pounded on it. I tried different swings with varying degrees of power. After a while, I began to work up a good sweat but I kept going. It was a good thing the dummy was spelled against damage because it would have been a bloody pulp by now otherwise.
When I finally stopped, I was breathing hard and sweat was just pouring off me.
“Do you feel better now?” asked Grandfather with a grin.
“Actually, I do. I think I just found a new workout routine.”
“Good. Keep in mind that you may not always have batons, sticks, or metal bars at your disposal but you can always use what is at hand if you just look around and think it through. Bludgeoning someone with a blunt object does not normally take any great skill.”
“Interesting concept, Grandfather. I will keep that in mind.”
Now I just had to find a way to carry those batons with me. I could see how useful they would be in close quarters.
When I wasn’t working with my new toys and guns, I spent a good bit of time in the training room working with my wand on the dummies provided. The last thing I wanted was to get rusty with my wand while I concentrated on guns and batons. I found that I had always had good aim and accuracy whether spell casting with a wand or shooting with a gun.
The library turned out to be quite good to help with my spell learning. I normally had no problem finding the right books for my needs. After going through the book on household spells, I found plenty of other good books that were just as helpful. There were even some nice books on some of the subjects I was taking in school such as Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense. I read through a few of those as well and picked up some spells I could learn.
After a while, I started wondering what old Voldemort thought about my recent encounters with his followers. I wonder if he was upset with me for trimming down his ranks. I knew Lucius was upset with me for killing Narcissa but he was in Askaban and couldn’t do much about it. I’m sure he wanted to though.
I would definitely have to watch out for Malfoy at school in the fall. Since he wanted the Black lordship and I successfully jailed his father and killed his mother, he was likely a bit miffed. I wasn’t too worried about him though at the moment.
I was trying to figure out how to thin Voldemort’s ranks even further. The quicker I left him with no followers, the quicker we could have our showdown. However, I wasn’t very anxious to face him since I knew he wouldn’t be an easy target. More practice and more real life experience battling his Death Eaters was needed for me to get fully ready.
I managed to get a little more experience in August when I scheduled to take my apparition test at the Ministry. As predicted, since I had to schedule ahead of time word spread that I was coming to the Ministry on that day. Even my time slot was advertised. Reporters showed up and you guessed it, so did a few Death Eaters.
I’ve always been amazed at how little people use their brains. I guess they don’t realize just how badly Voldemort wants to kill me. I’m also concerned about the press who believes their right to invade my privacy takes precedence over keeping people safe from harm and death when Death Eaters show up due to them leaking my activities. Or, they find out through gossip at the Ministry when I have to make an appointment.
I think next time I’m going to make my appointment using the name of Fred Flintstone or Barney Rubble. That way I can go at the appointed time and explain my reasoning for the subterfuge then get the appointment over with before word can spread and Death Eaters show up in force. It’s a shame when you have to protect them from their own stupidity and inability to keep their mouths shut. I’m starting to believe that Dumbledore’s secrecy on so many things was not such a bad idea after all.
Perhaps he developed that philosophy after his defeat of Grindelwald and subsequent popularity?
At any rate, I had just taken the floo from my house to the Ministry and stepped out of one of the many fireplaces that lined the atrium. I was suspicious before I left but the amount of people and press that were waiting on my arrival was overwhelming. I was swarmed as soon as I stood up straight. Questions were shouted at me from all directions and no one seemed to be concerned that I had an appointment to attend.
There was a huge crowd blocking my way no matter which way I turned. They were actually slowly pushing me back into the floo when I realized that the only way to deal with these people was to push back. Move forward and make them clear a path for me, I said to myself.
“Move out of my way or I’m going to be late,” I bellowed as I pushed forward forcing them to move or get run over.
As I squeezed my way through the crowd to get to the security desk and check in, I felt a spell hit my back….