Part Three: Chapter Three
-△⃒⃘- The Greengrass Contract -△⃒⃘-by ncronan
A/N: There has been quite a change of plans across a lot of my stuff at the moment. FIRST: Privileged Victim has been taken down and will be converted to a Harry Potter story. More information will be given in the next chapter. SECOND: This story is nearing its end: there are three chapters (including this one) left. I will not be making a Part 4. This story will finally end. Finally.I KNOW this chapter is short, but that's the way my outline panned out. Sorry.
Disclaimer: I don't own any significant portion of the Harry Potter franchise. Unfortunately.
Part IIIChapter Three: Quidditch and Exorcisms
"So there's one of Riddle's horcruxes in my mind?"
Snape nodded gravely in response to Harry's question. Harry crossed his arms.
"Well? What's the plan? How do we get it out?" Harry asked. Snape folded his hands together and leaned forward on his desk.
"There's the problem. Yes, we can get it out. It will take a lot of manpower, but we can banish it." Snape explained.
Harry raised his arms in question. "Then let's get to it! I don't see the problem."
"The problem is that you are not prepared." Snape said. "To remove and destroy the horcrux in your head, we must either kill you -"
"That sounds rather pleasant."
"- or send in a team of at least five experienced Legilemens into your mind scape to destroy it."
Harry blinked. "Ah. Having five people in your mind can't be very healthy."
"Not in the slightest." Snape agreed. "Fortunately, you are naturally skilled in the art of Occlumency. I have already spoken to Albus; we will attempt to rid you of the horcrux in about a week. If we work hard today, you will be ready for it."
"Alright. What do I have to do?" Harry asked. His professor drew his wand.
"It's a similar technique to before. You must locate the horcrux, take all your memories and feelings, and move them away. It is hard to put the technique into words, but you will catch on. Meanwhile, I will inspect the horcrux further. Are you ready?"
Harry shifted into a more comfortable position and closed his eyes. He nodded.
The Quidditch Tournament turned out to be a blast.
Because he had practiced with professionals and made his professional debut, when he played amongst his peers and against the youth players from the other teams, it all seemed so easy. Their movements were slower, their decisions easily predicted and they all seemed to shy away from him, knowing that he possessed a lot of skill.
Every game was played on the same day, but an hour time limit was put in place to move things along. The Hogwarts first team played through Beauxbatons and the Ballycastle Bats like they were toddlers. On the other end of the tournament, the Falmouth Falcons were having a similar run of form, showing off their youth team. It was a well known fact that while the Falcons were not doing the best in the league, they had the best youth academy in the world; but because it had been established so recently, their best players were only sixteen or seventeen, nowhere near their prime. But rumor had it that a big investor was interested in buying out the club.
And they weren't just rumors. After Hogwarts were declared champions of the tournament (beating the Falcons 683-230), Harry had been announced top scorer and Player of the Tournament, with over 600 points overall throughout the three games, and then they had all met up in the Great Hall. Fleur, Viktor, Harry, and Angelina bantered about the other's quality of team as usual when their agents approached them.
"Viktor, Harry." Ivanova greeted in his strange accent. "As you predicted, many scouts were sent along with the teams participating. We have been speaking with them and have found some very tempting offers we think you'd like to consider."
"Let me guess." Harry said, sitting down and motioning for his friends and agent to do so as well. "They all want Viktor and I, but they can't afford our wages."
"Right you are." Joseph cut in. "You two have every right to ask the amount of money that you've set. But all the teams either have a full squad or are too poor financially to pay for you. Except for one."
"Falmouth?" Viktor asked. Ivanova nodded.
"The rumors turned out to be true. The Falcons have just been taken over by the head of a very wealthy and ancient family." He explained.
"Does Greengrass ring a bell?" Harry asked. Joseph nodded as though he'd just been reminded of something he'd forgotten.
"That's right. I think. Anyways, that family has put in millions upon millions of galleons into the Falcons to try and make them a European powerhouse. Their scout is here and would like to speak with you. If you're interested, we can meet him now."
Viktor glanced and Harry, who nodded. They then left their friends to eat dinner and followed their agents out of the Great Hall. McGonagall was in the hall, chatting animatedly with a very short but stocky middle aged man. When they approached, the man beamed and held out his hand.
"Hullo, boys! Jim Holmes, head scout and coach for the Falmouth Falcons. It's an honor to meet you both; you two flew excellently out there. World-class stuff."
"Thank you, sir." Harry said respectfully, shaking his hand. "So, you're here for our signatures, then?"
The man chuckled. "I've just been talking to your head of house, and she said that you have experience with professional Quidditch contracts. Let's step aside. Ma'am, if you could find us a place to talk, that would be lovely."
McGonagall nodded quickly, turning on heel and walking down the hall. She settled on a familiar classroom that was not in use, and they stepped inside, Harry's face growing warm at the memories this place held. Harry and Viktor sat down across from Holmes with their agents beside them. McGonagall watched dutifully from behind.
"These," Holmes said, taking out two pieces of paper, "are your potential contracts. You are both being offered 100,000 galleons a month to train and play with our team."
Viktor whistled appreciatively. Holmes grinned at him.
"While it is true that we are a mid-table team, with our new cash injection, we are looking to buy out many of the best players in the world and get their signatures as well. The Falmouth Falcons are going places in the future, and we'd be honored to have you in our ranks while we go through this change."
Harry took the contract and brought it closer. It was a rather lame one, with simple words and did not have as many questions as his national team's contract. Harry looked at Joseph with a question in his eyes.
"He's met all of your demands." Joseph said. "Now it's up to you to accept."
Harry looked at Viktor, who was having a similar discussion with his agent. Holmes smiled at him.
"I know this is a big decision to ask of you now. You may have time to think; I was just very excited to meet and talk to two of the best players in the world. Not to mention that Harry will be the youngest player in professional Quidditch if he signs this contract."
Viktor turned to Harry. "I have no qualms with this move. Harry?"
"Me neither." Harry's face split into a grin. "Let's do it."
And with that, they signed their names at the bottoms of their respective contracts with a flourish.
The next morning, Harry groaned and fell back on the grass at the same time as Fleur, Angelina, and Viktor. Hermione looked on from her spot under a tree in amusement.
"It's pretty fun to watch you guys wear yourselves down and pass out." She said cheerfully. Harry chuckled from his spot on the floor.
"Sorry if I'm pushing you guys too hard." Harry said, sitting up. "It's just that we know the Third Task will be the most dangerous, and there were no clues for this one. I want to be prepared for anything."
Viktor cracked his neck. They'd focused exclusively on the stunning curse this practice, and so all of them sported bruises all over their bodies as well as persistent headaches. "We know, Harry. We just want to survive, like you."
Harry stood up, his limbs protesting. "Great. You guys can hang out here if you'd like. I'm going inside for breakfast."
As he turned, he heard footsteps and Angelina fell in line with him.
"Hiya, Ann." Harry said. Angelina smiled weakly at him.
"Hey. I just wanted to really thank you." She said quietly. Harry stopped and turned. It was not like Angelina to be quiet and solemn like this. She continued.
"You've really made me a better witch with all of these sessions." She said, and then looked down. "And I'm not mad at you anymore for doing that thing with Fleur. I know neither of you weren't in control."
Harry smiled at her, but inside felt guilty once again. Fleur and Harry had spoken to no one about their most recent bout of sexual activity, and Harry almost regretted not telling Angelina. But at the same time he knew that would be the last straw and would cost them their friendship.
"It's fine; no need to thank me or apologize. I'm sure we'll do fine in the Third Task." Harry assured her. Suddenly, Angelina burst into tears and wrapped him in a firm hug. Harry stood still for a moment before hugging her back.
"Harry, I know I'm the worst out of all the champions." Angelina sobbed. "I almost got killed in the past two, plus in our tryouts. I'm sorry about being the weak link."
"You are not the weak link." Harry said fiercely. "You are brave, smart, powerful and amazing in every way. You are the perfect example of what many girls younger than you want to be. You will survive the Third Task and we will all be champions."
Angelina sniffed against his chest and looked up at him, longing to press her lips against his. But, of course, she knew that would be the worst idea imaginable. Instead, she settled for another long hug.
"Thank you, Harry. You're a good friend." Angelina said softly. Harry smiled and patted her back.
"Don't mention it, Ann. And I can't believe you just friend-zoned me!" He said in mock sorrow. Angelina sniffed but rolled her eyes at his antics.
"Oh well. Trust me, I wouldn't friend-zone you unless I had to." She said, blushing. Harry smiled shyly and they walked in companionable silence to the castle.
"Please sit down, Harry." Dumbledore said respectfully to his student. Harry did so, looking around the room. Other than Dumbledore, Snape sat in a chair next to him, and a tall, thick dark-skinned man stood in the corner.
"So, we're getting that pesky soul-piece out of my head now?" Harry asked casually. Dumbledore nodded.
"Where are the others? I was told there would need to be at least five Legilemens to banish it." Harry asked mildly.
"Two more are on their way. This is Kingsley Shacklebolt, a close friend. He is high up in the Auror ranks."
"Who are the two others?" Harry asked. His question was answered when the doors opened behind them.
The first person to walk in was a young woman on the shorter side, with bright pink hair and dark eyes. She was pretty and obviously fit. Then walked in a man whose identity surprised Harry.
"Remus?" Harry asked, taking a long look at the man. The werewolf looked the same as he did in his third year; bedraggled, as though he didn't have a home. As usual, he had dark circles under his eyes.
"Hello, Harry." He said quietly. Harry crossed his arms.
"Before I let him waltz around in my mind, I do believe I have a bone to pick with you." Harry said quietly. Remus suddenly seemed to age ten more years.
"Harry, I'm sorry that I knew Sirius was innocent the entire time and never told you. I tried to make the Ministry see that, but there was never any doubt that he'd never take my word for granted -"
"I'm not talking about that." Harry interrupted him. He stood. "I know that even Dumbledore tried to convince the Wizengamot, but they were too far under either the Minister's or You-Know-Who's thumb. I'm not pissed about that. I'm just wondering where you've been for the past year."
Remus shifted uncomfortably. "I'm sorry, Harry. I've been mourning Sirius's death and have been running errands for Dumbledore."
"Don't try and fool me, Remus." Harry said, sounding exasperated. "I know about your little Order of the Phoenix. Oh, don't look so surprised. No one told me, but your Order was public knowledge back in the day and it only makes sense that you'd continue and do things like round up his followers and send them to Azkaban. I know that you've been having to run errands for them, like convincing the werewolves to join our side. I respect that. I just wonder where I factored into your equation."
Remus stayed silent in guilt while Harry pressed on. "I didn't factor in at all, did I? Where were you when I needed you?"
"As I said, I was mourning Sirius' death on my own." He said wearily. Harry glared at him.
"And you don't think that I was grieving too?" Harry growled. "I don't care that have self-pity about being a werewolf. But just because you're a werewolf doesn't mean you couldn't send me a letter."
Remus had no response to that and so stayed quiet. Harry took a deep breath and turned back to Dumbledore. "Right, then. I'm ready for old Voldy to get out of my brain. Do the others need to be briefed yet?"
"Remus, Nymphadora. Please sit down." Dumbledore invited. "Lemon drops?"
"Don't call me that, and no thank you." The young woman said, tossing her hair and turning it green in the process. She grinned at Harry. "Hello, my name is Tonks and today I'll be rummaging through your mind."
"Not exactly." Snape cut in. "Today, us five will enter Harry's mind scape and attempt to destroy the dark force currently nested within it."
Remus knit his eyebrows. "Won't that be dangerous and incredibly painful?"
"For me, yes." Harry said. "But me being in pain isn't that big of a deal, is it, Remus? I can handle it."
The werewolf shut his mouth and looked at his shoes as Dumbledore gave him an imploring look. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Snape and I have trained for a bit and he deems me ready for this process. I've got the method down. I'm ready when you're ready."
Dumbledore drew his wand, as did the others. "Prepare yourself, Harry. This will be painful."
Harry sighed and closed his eyes, leaning back in his chair. "Affirmative."
The others drew their wands. "On the count of three. One. Two. Three. Legilemens."