Harry Potter - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Harry Potter and the Werewolf Prophecy ❯ STAFF ROOM ( Chapter 20 )
Harry watched the students progressing out, feeling an urge to run after the Gryffindors. He felt a tap on his arm, and turned to see McGonagall smiling. “We normally have a drinks reception for the staff after the feast,” she said. “Get to know each other.”
“That will be nice,” said Harry. Would it, though? It was so strange to be a teacher.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” said Hermione, shaking her head.
“Come off it,” said Harry. “You started teaching in first year. ‘Win gar dium Levi o sa’. Come to think of it, you were telling me and Ron what to do on the train before we even got here. Ow!”
Hermione drew back her hand to slap him again. “Hey, you’re still half student. I can give you detention,” he said.
“Well, I’m half teacher, so I can let myself off,” she said.
He caught sight of Mr Creevy wandering vaguely towards a door at the back of the platform. “Hang on a minute,” he said. “Something I have to do.”
He ran over to Creevy and tapped him on the shoulder. “Mr Creevy,” he said, quietly. “It’s me. Harry Potter.”
Mr Creevy turned and gave a huge smile. “Harry! It’s Jerry. You’re grown up now. You were at the funeral. I didn’t get a chance to talk.”
“I just wanted to say… I’m sorry about Colin. He was a special boy. You must know that, of course.”
Mr Creevy nodded. “He worshipped you, y’know. Whenever he came home from the holidays, he’d always tell me how he was talking to Harry Potter, and how you were friends, and he’d show me the pictures he took. I used to tell him not to bother you so much.”
“I wish I’d given him more time,” said Harry, thinking about all the occasions when he’d snapped at Colin, or even hidden from him.
“Oh, don’t think I don’t feel the same way,” sighed Mr Creevy. “For a while, all I could think of were the times I’d ignored him, or told him I was watching the telly, be quiet. But he was a happy boy. Dennis told me that, over and over.”
“I wish I’d been kinder,” said Harry.
“He said you were good to him, and you wouldn’t make a liar of him, would you? Eh?” said Mr Creevy, clasping Harry by the shoulder.
Harry shook his head.
“It’s been hard. I didn’t think it could be worse than when my Sarah went, when the boys were only babies, but she’d had a life. I won’t say it gets easier, but you learn to cope.”
“I was surprised to see you at Hogwarts,” said Harry. “I mean, yes, to visit, but to live here?”
“Oh, I know what you mean. I was so angry, at first. You don’t expect a school to be attacked, children killed, do you? I blamed everyone. Blamed McGonagall. Blamed you. Told Dennis he wasn’t going back. He told me he was.” Mr Creevy shook his head. “We had some fine old arguments, but he put me right.”
“Won’t you miss your friends, back in…”
“Back in the Muggle world,” said Mr Creevy, laughing. “Well, I will, but here’s the thing. We know that Colin was a hero, that he died fighting for something he believed in, when he didn’t have to. Now, I can talk to you about that, but back where I lived – it has to be an accident, something that didn’t mean anything. Well, it did mean something, and I wanted to be where everybody knew that.”
“I… I was to blame, Mr Creevy, at least… I let them fight, instead of surrendering. I could have…”
Mr Creevy shook his head. “I won’t say I understand all the goings on. I’ll say this – you saved a lot of people, and you never thought about yourself. No more than Colin did. That’s good enough for me. I’d be grateful if you just let go of any guilt you might be feeling.”
“I’ll try to…” began Harry.
“No, just do it,” said Mr Creevy. “If I find I’m starting to think about all the things I didn’t do, I think about all the things I did, that I’m glad of. Leaving the army, spending time with them. You concentrate on what you did for him. The good times.”
They were at the door of the staff room, and a beaming McGonagall ushered them in. “No snacks, Har… Professor Potter. We usually don’t, after a feast. There’s Mead, Party Punch and Fire Whiskey. Help yourself. Professor Creevy, it’s wonderful to have you with us.”
“Well, that was a meal and a half, that was,” said Mr Creevy. “I don’t normally partake, but I will have a little something just this once.”
Horace Slughorn strode forward and grasped Mr Creevey’s hand. “Mis Ter Creevy. How glad, how very glad I am to be among the first to welcome you here. The first Muggle teacher at Hogwarts. Not before time, sir, not before time. We have had a catastrophe, a disaster, as who knows better than you. But we must build on this. Create something better. If there is any way I can assist you, please do not hesitate to call on me.”
As Slughorn and Creevy chatted (with Slughorn doing most of the talking) Harry looked around the room. He noticed that Hermione was talking earnestly with Viktor Krum. He felt a sudden pang as he realised how Ron would probably feel about it.
He strode over and held out his hand. “Hello, Viktor,” he said. “Haven’t see you in quite a while.”
Viktor Krum turned and looked at Harry, a long unblinking stare into his eyes. Then he grasped his hand in a bone-crushing grip, reaching around Harry’s shoulders to smack him hard between the shoulder-blades with his left hand.
“Harry Potter. My comrade from adventure of goblin on fire.”
“Goblet of,” said Hermione faintly.
“We drink toast to Cedric later. I speak to you at the wedding, but you are disguise.” He shrugged. “And then you must to leave quick.”
“How did you get away?” asked Hermione.
“There were many of them, too many to fight. But I had my broom. Then it was fun, for a while. I let them chase me. One or two got close, and…” Viktor gave a grim smile. “Then they bunch up. Too many, so I get away.”
“What was it like, in Bulgaria?” asked Hermione.
“Was bad. Not bad like here, but not good. Stupid people – the kind who remember ‘good old days’, of Grindelwald – they try to take charge. Try to link up with Voldemort. Was some fighting.”
“What did you do when it was over?” asked Harry. “We’re trying to sort it out now. Who gets punished, who can we trust – all that.”
“Was not difficult. We tell the people, if you side with Voldemort, you are enemy. Stand down now, will forgive. Some fight, with us, with them, most hide.”
“Did you send the prisoners to Nurmengard?”
“No, was not an issue.” Viktor smiled again, even more grimly. “We give fair warning.”
“Goodness,” said Hermione.
“Tell me,” continued Viktor. “The Muggle. He is popular, yes? His son is head boy?”
“It’s not just that,” said Hermione. “His older son, Colin – he died in the battle of Hogwarts.”
“Is father of hero, then. I will talk to him. First – Harry, you are Quidditch player, yes?”
“Oh, Harry’s very good,” said Hermione. “He was the Gryffindor seeker for years, weren’t you Harry?” She sounded slightly unsure. Hermione had loyally supported Harry, and then Ron, in their Quidditch matches, but had never really developed a deep interest in the game.
“I see Harry in tournament. Good flier. Best players are on house teams, yes?”
“Pretty much, yeah. Of course, it doesn’t always balance out. Sometimes one house will have half a dozen good chasers available, and another house barely a couple.” Harry hadn’t thought about Quidditch seriously for years. He’d forgotten how much he missed it.
“I will train the best players in special sessions,” Viktor said. “Perhaps, one, maybe two will be professional standard.”
“Madame Hooch pretty much left the house teams to themselves,” said Harry, doubtfully.
“Yes, we will do better now. Harry, will do big favour? For first session, I like that you are there too. Help with training.”
Harry grinned widely. “You want me to help you? That’s fantastic. I mean, I’d be happy to.”
“Now I talk to Mr Creevy, I think,” said Viktor, and walked off, again slapping Harry hard on the shoulder.
They looked after him. “Well, Viktor, eh?” said Harry.
“I told him you were very good at Quidditch. The best speaker – seeker – for a generation, they say.”
“Best at Hogwarts, maybe. I wouldn’t expect Krum – Viktor – to be impressed by that. He’s played at a World Cup!”
“Well, he must be impressed if he wants you to help with training. That was a bit tough about the Bulgarian Death Eaters, wasn’t it?”
Harry shrugged. “I don’t know. Bellatrix was in Azkaban for years, but then she got out. If she’d been – well, not around – then Sirius would be alive. Dobby would be alive.”
“Or some other Death Eater would have killed them. And we’d all be a bit more like Death Eaters ourselves.” Hermione put a hand to her forehead. “I don’t…” She staggered for a moment.
“Hermione – are you all right?” Harry took her by the arm and guided her to a chair.
“I’m all right. It was just… I never talk about what it was like – when Bellatrix did… that. The pain was awful, but that was the least of it. It was… oh, I don’t know.”
She reached for a glass of fire-whiskey and drained it in a gulp, then choked and coughed. “I’m fine. I keep thinking I’m over it, and then...”
“Listen, Hermione, if you want to talk sometime…”
She shook her head. “Goodness, Harry, it’s not important. Nothing to what you’ve suffered over the years, or the poor Weasleys, or Neville. I’ve been very lucky, truly.”
She glanced over to where Viktor Krum was talking to Mr Creevy.
“Do you see them?” she whispered. “I wouldn’t have thought Viktor would be so gentle. There’s more to him than playing Quidditch and killing Death Eaters.”
Harry felt the presence of someone behind his shoulder and looked around. It was Sybil Trelawney. “Ah, Professor Potter. Where you belong, at last. As I predicted, many times. Miss Granger.”
“I thought you saw the Grim and predicted Harry’s death,” said Hermione.
“I saw a black beast, and death,” said Professor Trelawney. “So it came to pass. I struck down the beast, but it was too late… too late… poor, poor girl.”
Professor Trelawney wandered off, muttering sadly to herself.
“Oh, dear,” said Hermione. “I didn’t mean to upset her. We’ve all got raw wounds at the moment, I suppose. I’ve never got on with Trelawney and now I’m going to see her every day.”
“She liked me,” said Harry. “That was worse. She couldn’t stop predicting disaster.”
“Well, I’ll try to be nice to her. I remember when Umbridge tried to sack her. She was pathetic, the poor creature. I think Dumbledore took her in because he knew she had nowhere else to go.”
“I used to be harder on the professors because I didn’t expect to be doing it myself.”
“I know! I’ve been working out my lesson plans for weeks. Honestly, after Christmas I don’t know what I’ll be doing. Thank goodness I’ve only a handful of classes to teach. How about you, Harry?”
Harry sighed. He should be used to Hermione’s efficiency by now. “Well – I have a couple of ideas. I must have a word with Mr Creevy.…”