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Finale: Friends and Foes

 

Ginny carefully slid her leg out from underneath Harry’s. Moving as quietly as she could, she rolled over and sat up on the edge of the bed. It had been another late night. Glancing at the clock, she was amazed to discovered that it was after eleven.

 

Saturday morning was almost over; as was the short break the Harpies had allowed her. Behind her, Harry sighed and rolled onto his side. Not wanting to disturb him, Ginny decided to remain motionless until his breathing settled. As she breathed in the cool air, she watched motes of dust dancing in the slim sliver of sunshine streaming through a crack on the curtains and thought back over the past few weeks and days.

 

The potion had come close to taking the two most important things in her life from her. There was little doubt that had been the intent. It had failed. Despite her initial doubts, Ginny was beginning to believe that Harry was right. Somewhere, deep inside, the part of her which Harry had called “the real Ginny” had been fighting. With Harry’s help, the fight had been won, she had woken from the nightmare.

 

Despite the potion, she and Harry were together, and they were better than ever. The potion had made her stronger; it had made their relationship stronger. Over the past few days she and Harry had shared more than hopes and fears. They knew each other intimately, in every sense of the word. The haze of alcohol and conflict was banished, her life was back to normal. All was well between her and Harry, unfortunately, a new cloud had appeared to darken their lives. Fenella’s letter had made certain of that.

 

While the most important thing in her life was fixed, Ginny knew that she would need to work on the second most important. She would have to prove herself to the Harpies again. Being signed by the Harpies had been the one of the best things to have happened to her, but her success had almost been snatched away. In two days, she would be back at the stadium for a full physical examination.

 

If all was well, and it certainly seemed to be, she would soon be back in training. The previous afternoon she, Linny and Livvy had met the management, and each other for the first time since the debacle at the press conference. They had spent three hours going over events in the Magpie’s Nest with Nicola Macallan, the Harpies’ new legal advisor.

 

The Harpies were still reeling from the bad publicity but, thankfully, the press had changed targets. The club’s management were now the ones being blamed. Neither the Harpies chairman, manager nor the trainer had realised that Linny and Ginny were under the influence of dark magic. They had failed in their duty to look after their players. The “pay off the complainants” approach had been roundly condemned by the Quidditch press, and had already resulted Gus Tavistock’s dismissal.

 

At the meeting a new strategy had been agreed. Ginny had assured her flatmates that she didn’t bear a grudge. Despite this, Livy—the only one of the trio who had not been under the influence of a potion—remained distant. Linny, in a whispered conversation after the meeting, had told Ginny that the gossip in the Harpies changing room was that their flatmate had put in a transfer request. She wanted to return home to Australia.

 

During the meeting, Linny had been seething, partly with herself, but mostly with Daphne Greengrass. The Harpies Beater who, before she’d been controlled, had been pointedly unimpressed by Harry was now his biggest fan. Despite events, Ginny found herself liking the young woman more and more. However, as Linny had never managed to retain a first team place, the Beater was convinced that she’d soon be fired. “Next session, imagine the Bludger is Daphne Greengrass’ head,” Ginny suggested.

 

George’s birthday, and the Harpies game against the Cannons was now only a week away. She wouldn’t be playing of course. She, Linny and Livy would be appearing in court in Edinburgh. It was possible that the charges against her and Linny would be dropped. Despite this, the club had decided not to object to the Court date. Ginny and her flatmates had issued an apology, and their meeting with the Harpies management had been relatively straightforward, Unlike the two visits she and Harry had made the day before.

 

Ginny’s musings were interrupted when she heard movement echoing up from the lower floors of the house. Ron and Hermione were obviously starting to organise things. She really should get up, get dressed, and go and help them. Saturday had arrived. It was the first day when everyone Harry needed to speak to was available. Soon, their burdensome secret would be out. Their guests would be arriving at three, and there was a lot to do.

 

So far as the world knew, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley were on holiday. They were “taking a few days off to be together and take stock” according to the reports in the papers. There was speculation as to whether she would remain at the Harpies, which was ridiculous; speculation as to whether Harry would remain in the Auror Office, which was even more ridiculous; and speculation as to whether they were about to split, which was preposterous. They had spent much of their time in Muggle London, enjoying the anonymity it gave them.

 

Ginny glanced over her shoulder at her still sleeping boyfriend, and smiled happily. She and Harry were closer than they had ever been. Her father had been right, although she was certain that he hadn’t intended for them to use Legilimency, to explore each other in both mind and body. She shivered with pleasant memories, and then shivered again when she felt fingers slowly tracing their way down her spine.

 

‘You don’t escape that easily,’ Harry murmured. ‘Not when you’re flaunting your back at me.’

 

‘My back, or my backside?’ she asked. She didn’t turn, but simply enjoyed the gentle caress.

 

‘Can’t see your backside,’ he told her. ‘It’s hidden behind the sheets.’ There was a sudden movement. ‘Now I can see it,’ he muttered. ‘Fine rump, tasty rump.’ She felt him shuffle closer to it.

 

‘It’s almost noon, Harry, and we’re expecting visitors this afternoon,’ she protested.

 

‘Plenty of time,’ he assured her. ‘Anyway, Hermione and Ron can cope. I’ve been watching you. You’ve been sitting there dreaming for ages, you must be cold. I can warm you up.’

 


 

Terry Boot Apparated into the small, well-tended, park directly across the road from Harry’s Grimmauld Place home. He was surrounded by rhododendron bushes and had to push his way through them to reach the grass. Although the bushes were sparse, barely budding, the flower beds were filled with a bright sunshine of daffodils. The square was quiet.

 

As Terry walked out onto the path, he heard a pop behind him. Turning, he was astonished see the “photographer” and wanted fugitive, Fenella Gray pushing her way out from the rhododendrons. No one had seen her since Lestrange’s death several days earlier, and her aunt was the only one of the werewolf leaders from Shivering Stone who was still at large. Immediately suspicious, he drew his wand. Fenella froze on the spot, her face nervous, and her posture slumped and almost servile.

 

Terry waited for her to speak, but she didn’t. She simply stared at him with a sad-eyed weariness. It was as though her back was bent under an unbearable burden. He tried to remember his training, and to push any thoughts of sympathy aside. It wasn’t easy.

 

He had no idea where she’d been, or what she’d been doing. She’d arrived at the werewolf village with Neville, and vanished. After a three day search of the area around Shivering Stone had found nothing, Robards concluded that she had helped her aunt, Doxine Gray, to escape. As a consequence, the Head Auror had added her name to the Auror Office’s wanted list.

 

As they stared in silence at each other, Terry thought back over the events of the past few days. Something had been nagging at him, and he was beginning to realise what it was.

 

No one in the Auror Office had seen Harry since the day after Lestrange had died. Press reports claimed that Harry and Ginny had been together at St. Mungo’s, the day after Lestrange’s death, and they’d been spotted  at Holyhead yesterday. Apart from those two occasions, they had been keeping a low profile. Ron certainly knew where they were, and what was going on, but he wasn’t talking.

 

Ron had been in the office every day. Every day, the moment he arrived, he had asked if there had been any sightings of Goyle, Bletchley, Bulstrode, Flint, or Greengrass. As he pondered, Terry finally realised the reason for his unease. Ron had never asked about Fenella’s whereabouts.

 

Now, she was standing outside Harry’s home. If Fenella knew where Harry lived, then Harry’s secret keeper, Ginny, had told her. Therefore, Harry and Ron had known where she was for some time. There were times when Terry wondered how committed Harry was to the Auror Office. He kept secrets from the Aurors, yet would share them with Ginny and Hermione.

 

For almost a minute, while Terry methodically sorted through what he knew, he and Fenella stared at each other. Neither of them moved. He examined her carefully. She wasn’t conventionally attractive, Terry knew that, but she was certainly striking. He’d watched her with increasing fascination over the weeks she’d been working with them. She had, quietly and efficiently, delivered Harry’s photographs to Robards.

 

Fenella was tall, almost as tall as he was. Her long hair was thick and black, and it glistened like polished jet in the afternoon sun. He’d never seen her wearing anything but very traditional robes but today she wore Muggle clothes. Like him, she seemed a little uncomfortable in them. Her baggy green trousers had lots of patch pockets.

 

An olive green vest was visible under her black denim jacket. The jacket and vest were short, and didn’t quite meet her trousers. Terry found his eyes being drawn down to the inch or two of flat abdominal flesh she was displaying. She noticed, blushed, and tried to hitch up her trousers. They immediately slipped back down onto her hips, and he tried to hide his smile.

 

‘Why are you here?’ Terry asked, finally breaking the silence. ‘You’re wanted.’

 

‘I know,’ she said quietly. She looked a little frightened, but the overwhelming impression he had was of sadness and determination. ‘But some Aurors want me more than others,’ she added.

 

Wh-what?’ Terry asked, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. He was horrified to find his stammer returning.

 

‘Mr Robards doesn’t like my father, so he doesn’t want me in the Auror Office. That’s why he’s put me on the wanted list,’ she explained. ‘I’m here because Harry asked me; he thinks I’ve done the right thing. He’s known where I was since Tuesday, Terry, since the day after you got Lestrange.’ She gave him a sad and nervous smile.

 

‘Bu-but, wh-why?’ he asked. Surprised, and surprisingly pleased by the fact that she’d used his forename.

He stopped and tried to remember his vocal exercises.

 

‘Because I got a letter from my Aunt,’ Fenella said. ‘And when I met her, she told me…’ Fenella got no further. She burst into tears.

 

Terry looked helplessly at her. He knew that he should comfort her, but he wasn’t sure how. As Fenella’s shoulders shook with her sobs, he hesitantly stepped forwards and placed his large hand on her shoulder. Taking a deep breath, he murmured, ‘Th-there, there,’ feeling useless as he said the words.

 

‘What’s wrong, Fenella?’ he spoke slowly.

 

To his surprise, she threw her arms around him, buried her face onto his shoulder, and howled. Terry had no idea what to do, so he simply held her until the sobs subsided. It was a new experience for him. His previous girlfriends, or more correctly the girl friends of Michael Corner’s girlfriends, had been so much smaller than he was. He held her tightly.

 

‘Sorry,’ she whispered into his ear. As she regained control, she loosened her grip on him. He did the same, but didn’t release her. ‘Perhaps it’s a good thing; if I’ve had my cry now, I won’t cry when I meet everyone else,’ she said.

 

There was another popping noise, and Lavender Brown stepped out from the bushes. She wore a very tight-fitting pink sweater, a smart black jacket, an ankle-length black skirt, and a smug and self-satisfied smirk.

 

‘Well, well,’ Lavender purred. ‘Auror Terry Boot caught canoodling with wanted fugitive Fenella Gray. This is news. Just wait until I tell…’ Fenella broke free of Terry’s arms and turned to face the newcomer. Lavender’s expression, and comments, changed instantly. ‘You’ve been crying, Fenella. What’s the matter? Is Harry expecting you? Do you know why he wants to see us?’

 

‘Yes,’ said Fenella. She pulled a handkerchief from one of her many pockets, wiped her tears, blew her nose, and marched determinedly out of the park and across the road. It was fortunate that the road was quiet, as she didn’t check for traffic.

 

Lavender looked quizzically at Terry, apparently expecting him to know which of her questions Fenella had answered. He shrugged, and turned to follow Fenella. Lavender scampered after him, her stilettos a rapid and regular beat on the road. By the time they reached Harry’s front door it had been opened. The three were greeted by Harry’s elderly house elf.

 

‘Miss Gray, Mr Boot, Miss Brown,’ he murmured. ‘The Master’s guests are in the sitting room, we await only one more. Follow me please.

 


 

Harry looked at the kitchen clock. The minute hand clicked forwards to show one minute before three. For the past fifteen minutes his doorbell had been ringing. Kreacher was greeting the visitors and Ron and Hermione were—he hoped—dealing with them. He wasn’t in the mood for small talk; this would be almost as difficult as the visits he and Ginny had made on Thursday.

 

They would now all be in his sitting room, and all but Ron, Hermione and Fenella would be wondering what was going on. He stood, sighed sadly, and strode over to stand in front of the fireplace. Ginny, who had been sitting silently opposite him, also stood. She walked over to stand alongside him, and he felt her hand slide into his own and squeeze it.

 

‘This is why you’re such a good Auror, Harry,’ she told him. ‘You care about people.’

 

‘Thanks,’ he told her, returning the squeeze.

 

They stood in silence, looking at the flames and each taking comfort in the other’s presence. The minute hand clicked forwards once more, and at exactly three o’clock the fire flared green.

 

‘Right on time,’ said Harry as a spinning figure appeared in the flames.

 

‘Of course,’ said Ginny. ‘McGonagall will have set up the connection.’

 

The spinning form slowed, and Dennis Creevey, wearing terrain trousers and a thick, blue-check shirt, stepped out from the fireplace.

 

‘Hello Dennis,’ said Harry. ‘How are you?’ They looked at each other awkwardly, remembering Dennis’ tears when Harry had visited Hogwarts two days earlier.

 

Ginny stepped forwards, hugged Dennis, and kissed his cheek. ‘Ready?’ she asked.

 

‘Hi, Harry; hello, Ginny,’ said Dennis, his voice little more than a mournful whisper. ‘I’m as ready as I can be. Where is everyone?’

 

‘Upstairs in the sitting room, it’s this way,’ said Harry. He led Dennis up the stairs, Ginny brought up the rear.

 

The buzz of conversation emanating from the sitting room stopped the moment Harry opened the door. He motioned for Dennis and Ginny to enter first. As he followed, the room filled with expectant silence. A fire blazed in the hearth, and Hermione had used a Geminio spell to create a second white leather three-seat sofa; even so, Harry’s sitting room was crowded.

 

Ron and Hermione shared one of the white leather armchairs, Ron sprawled across the seat, Hermione perched on an arm, Ron’s forearm draped across her lap. Terry Boot was settling himself onto one of the sofas, flanked by a sad looking Fenella and a surprisingly serious-looking Lavender. On the other sofa Hannah Abbot sat sandwiched between George and Neville. Neville had a proprietary arm around Hannah. Susan Bones sat alone. She had, presumably, conjured the uncomfortable-looking upright chair on which she sat primly erect staring suspiciously at Fenella. Luna sat cross-legged on the floor; looking dreamily into the flickering flames, humming tunelessly to herself and, apparently, ignoring everything. As he entered, Harry looked nervously at his guests; he had no idea how he would start this conversation.

 

‘It’s shorty!’ George bellowed the moment he saw Dennis

 

‘Hello, lugless,’ said Dennis. ‘It’s good to see you.’

 

George shuffled sideways, so that he was hip to hip with Hannah, and patted the space he’d made. ‘Sit here,’ he ordered. ‘How’s Hogwarts, little Den? How on earth did Harry persuade the great McGonagall to let you out?’

 

‘Hogwarts is pretty quiet.’ Dennis smiled sadly. ‘But, what do you expect? No Weasleys, no Harry.’

 

As George and Dennis exchanged greetings, Harry sank into his own armchair, the only unoccupied chair in the room. Ginny immediately dropped onto his lap. Silence fell, and Harry prepared to speak. Luna looked up from the fire, blinked, and looked from person to person. Turning to face Harry, she spoke.

 

‘You’ve finally found out who killed poor Colin, haven’t you, Harry?’ she asked.

 

Susan and Lavender gave a startled gasp; Hermione rolled her eyes in disbelief; Terry, George, Neville and Ron all swore; Fenella and Dennis both sobbed. Harry stifled the laugh he knew was inappropriate under the circumstances.

 

‘Are you sure you don’t want to join the Auror Office, Luna?’ Harry asked, as he stared into Luna’s grey eyes. ‘How?’

 

‘The Auror Office doesn’t need me,’ said Luna confidently, shaking her head. ‘And I don’t need them, either. But whenever my friends need me, I’ll be here.’

 

As Luna turned to face the others, Harry noticed that Terry had an arm around the white-faced and sobbing Fenella.

 

‘It’s obvious,’ Luna continued. She pointed to Harry, Ron, Neville, Terry, Susan and Lavender in turn. ‘Auror, Auror, Auror, Auror, Auror, wants to be an Auror,’ she chorused. ‘Everyone else here, apart from Fenella, was in Dumbledore’s Army. Fenella was Colin’s friend, and you’ve persuaded Headmistress McGonagall to let Dennis out of school. What else could it be?’

 

‘Luna’s right,’ Harry admitted. ‘Do you want me to tell everyone, Fenella? Or do you want to do it?’

 

Fenella leant forwards and peered past Terry in order to directly address Neville. ‘I grabbed your Portkey card because, that morning, I’d received a letter from my aunt. I’m sorry if I got you into trouble,’ she said as she pulled a letter from one of the pockets in her trousers.

 

‘Lots of pockets,’ Luna observed. ‘Pockets are very useful.’

 

Ignoring the blonde girl, Fenella opened the letter and read:

 

My dearest Goddaughter, Fenella,

 

I could hardly believe it when Harry Potter told me that you were working with the Aurors. I hope that it is true, as I now find myself alone and friendless. Yesterday, to add to my other crimes, I bit one of Potter’s friends.

 

If I am caught, I will probably be sent to Azkaban. But I want to retain my freedom, so you are going to help me escape from this place. I can picture the look of horror on your face as you read these words, but you will do it.

 

You will do it because I have information.

 

Your father told me of your friendship with a Mudblood who, like you, was a camera fanatic. According to my brother, this boy was a member of Potter’s gang and was killed during the Battle of Hogwarts. I know who killed him, and where he lives. Help me escape, and I will tell you. You’ll find me hiding at the cliffs south of the village. Come alone.

 

Yours,

 

Aunt Doxine

 

‘Bloody hell,’ said George.

 

‘Why didn’t you tell us, Fenella?’ Neville asked.

 

‘Because her Aunt said “come alone,” and she wasn’t sure that she could trust us,’ said Luna.

 

‘Sorry, everyone,’ Fenella whispered.

 

Fenella slumped down into the sofa and pressed herself backwards. She seemed to be attempting to make the sofa swallow her.

 

‘Ginny and I have already talked to Fenella about what she did,’ said Harry. ‘And Ginny reminded me that over the years, when I was trying to help people, I kept a few secrets from my friends and did a few stupid things.’

 

‘More than a few,’ said Ron.

 

‘Exactly!’ said Ginny decisively. ‘What’s done is done. If we could undo the past, I’d be doing something about the events of the past few weeks. The important thing is that Fenella met Doxine, stunned her, and tied her up.’

 

‘Really?’ asked Lavender, leaning forwards and peering around Terry to reassess the tall girl.

 

Fenella nodded. ‘I didn’t trust her. So I ambushed her, tied her up, took her wand and made her tell me everything.’

 

‘How?’ Susan asked suspiciously.

 

‘I promised that I’d help her escape after she told me,’ Fenella admitted. ‘She knew I’d keep my promise. I did. She told me, and I let her go. I’ve no idea where she is now.’

 

‘Who killed Colin?’ George asked.

 

‘Gregory Goyle,’ said Dennis hotly, unable to remain quiet.

 

Fenella nodded, and Terry clumsily hugged her. George put his arm around Dennis and hugged him.

 

Harry nodded. ‘Ginny and I told Dennis, and his parents, on Thursday,’ he said. ‘Doxine wasn’t at the Battle, but Zachary Youen and his wife both were. They witnessed the killing, and they told Doxine what they saw.’

 

‘Gregory Goyle rode a broom into Colin, and knocked him down. Then he grabbed Dennis’ wand, and used it to cast the Killing Curse on him,’ said Fenella quietly.

 

‘Yesterday, I got permission from Robards to interview Youen under Veritaserum. He confirmed Doxine’s story. There’s no doubt,’ Ron added.

 

‘Fenella has helped a fugitive escape; she’s helped the woman who bit Lavender escape!’ said Susan sternly. She glared at Fenella. ‘And all she’s given you is second-hand information, stuff which Youen would have told us himself, eventually.’

 

‘Doxine had more information,’ Harry told an unhappy-looking Susan. ‘She knew the Goyles, and she told Fenella that they lived on an island off the north coast of Ireland. Unfortunately, it’s been hidden under a Fidelius Charm for years. Fenella has written to Doxine. We’re trying to persuade her to turn herself in, to make a deal, but she’s worried that she’ll be prosecuted for biting Lavender.’

 

‘I won’t testify against her,’ said Lavender forcefully. ‘I feel better than I have in years. I’m actually grateful to her.’

 

‘Thanks, Lavender,’ said Ginny. ‘I’m sure that will help. And I’m certain that, now we know what he’s done, we will all want to find Goyle.’

 

‘Yeah,’ Ron said. He looked across at his brother. ‘You know I said I’d quit the Auror Office after we’d rounded up the last of the Death Eaters. We’ve done it, but I’ve changed my mind.’ He squeezed Hermione’s leg, she nodded in agreement. ‘I’m staying in the Auror Office until we catch Goyle.’

 

‘No problem, Ron,’ said George. ‘What can I do to help?’

 

‘I was going to resign, too. But I’m going to stay,’ Neville announced. ‘I almost had him in the Cauldron, and I let him escape.’ He shook his head sadly.

 

‘That wasn’t your fault, Neville,’ said Hannah staunchly.

 

‘We’ve got nothing to go on,’ Harry admitted. ‘We know that, when Neville found their first hideout in Awl’s End, they moved to a little flat in Knockturn Alley.’

 

‘They weren’t there when we checked,’ said Susan. ‘And they haven’t been back.’

 

‘And after the debacle with that Sheriff, they won’t be,’ said Terry grimly.

 

‘Aunt Doxine said that the Goyles didn’t trust anyone,’ said Fenella quietly. ‘No one ever visited them, and they kept the location of their home very secret. She thinks it’s unlikely that Goyle will have told any of the others where he lives.’

 

‘I’ve checked up on the “Mark D’Arque” account at Gringotts, but it’s almost empty, and it hasn’t been used since Neville found their first hideout,’ said Ron. ‘I’ve checked Gringotts for accounts for Goyle, Bullstrode, Bletchley and Flint, too. But there’s nothing. The only thing we know for certain is they left their last hideout in a hurry, so they won’t have much money.’

 

‘Ron’s been keeping me up to date,’ said Harry. ‘You’re here because most of you are Aurors and I wanted you to be the first to know, but I want everyone else told. Terry…’

 

‘I’ll speak to Michael, and Anthony,’ Terry said.

 

‘I’ll let Parvati, Padma, Seamus and Dean know,’ said Lavender.

 

‘Leave Ernie and Justin to me,’ said Susan.

 

‘I’ll let Lee know,’ said George. ‘He can tell Alicia, and she’ll tell the other girls.’

 

‘When did you last speak to Alicia, Katie, or Angelina?’ Ginny asked her brother.

 

‘Dunno.’ He shrugged.

 

‘Wimp,’ Ginny told him. ‘I’ll deal with Cho, Harry,’

 

‘Thanks,’ Harry said. ‘Tell them that any information will be useful. Let them know everything we know about the potion, too, just in case it turns up again.,If everyone can use their contacts…’

 

‘I’m sure they will,’ said Lavender. ‘We’ll find him, Harry.’

 

‘I hope so,’ Harry told her. ‘But we need to be better prepared. The attempt to capture Lestrange was a shambles. You were injured, Lavender, and if Dacia hadn’t been there, Ross would have died. We need to be better organised, better equipped, and we need better communications. Ginny, Ron, Hermione and I have been talking about it and...’ He nodded to Ron.

 

Ron reached into his pocket, pulled out the Deluminator, and placed it on the table.

 

‘Dumbledore left me this in his will,’ Ron said. ‘If Hermione and I … get separated, when Hermione calls my name I can find her. One click and something like a Portkey appears, and off I go.’

 

‘You know that the Auror Identity Cards can be used like Portkeys,’ Harry said. ‘That’s how we managed to get to Lestrange, eventually. We need to be quicker. I want something better; I want a way for an Auror in trouble to be able to call for immediate assistance using the card. One word and Portkeys are activated to get every available Auror there to help.’

 

‘I’ve been looking at the Deluminator, trying to figure out how it works,’ said Hermione. ‘I haven’t had much luck.’

 

‘Two of the cleverest Ravenclaws I know are sitting in this room,’ said Harry. ‘Will you help us? It will be an outside work project for you, Terry. I want a working prototype of the Emergency Portcard ready to demonstrate to Kingsley before I even suggest it to Robards.’

 

‘Of course I’ll help,’ said Terry. ‘Can I talk to Michael? This is the sort of thing the Department of Mysteries loves.’

 

‘Talk to anyone in the DA, Terry,’ Harry said. ‘But no-one else.’

 

‘This is very interesting,’ said Luna, picking up the Deluminator, she held it to her ear and shook it. ‘I’d be honoured to work on something created by Professor Dumbledore.’

 

‘I’ve been talking to Harry and Hermione about the mirror you used to keep in touch with the Auror Office, Lavender,’ said Ginny. ‘Being out of contact with Harry for a month was ridiculous. The Muggles have these things called…’ she glanced across the room.

 

‘Mobile phones,’ Hermione said. ‘Mum and Dad bought one for me. ‘I’ve left it in my car, because the battery goes flat if I bring it into this house, or into the Burrow. Even so, it’s very useful. I can instantly contact lots of Muggles with it. Honestly, I love owls, but wizard communications are terrible in comparison to Muggle technology. I was wondering if the magic mirror could be turned into something like a mobile phone, with more than one connection.’

 

‘I’ll take a look at it,’ said George. ‘That sounds like it could be a money-maker. I may need some assistance, Hermione.’

 

‘Fine,’ said Hermione, sighing. ‘I seem to be an unpaid design consultant for Weasleys Wizard Wheezes in my spare time.’

 

‘Er,’ Fenella mumbled. Everyone fell silent and stared at her. ‘The magic I used on Harry’s camera, to let me remotely print copies of the photographs he took might be useful. If you want my help.’

 

‘The more the merrier,’ said George.

 

‘Why am I here?’ asked Hannah. ‘I can’t really contribute anything.’

 

‘Perhaps you’re here to keep the lovely Neville safe from predatory girls,’ Lavender suggested.

 

‘She’s here to help you, Lavender,’ said Ginny. ‘And to help the Aurors find Goyle.’

 

‘Me?’ Hannah asked. ‘What can I do?’

 

‘A werewolf in the Auror Office? Preposterous!’ said Ron, mimicking their boss.

 

‘You still see Robards most nights, don’t you?’ Ginny asked. ‘He’s one of your regulars. You can talk to him.’

 

‘If anyone can persuade Robards to let Lavender into the Auror Office, it’s you, Hannah,’ said Neville, hugging his girlfriend.

 

‘Goyle and the others were supporting themselves by manufacturing the alcoholic pumpkin juice,’ said Harry. ‘They may set themselves up under a new name.’

 

‘If they do, I’ll let you know,’ said Hannah. ‘I’ve got contacts in several other pubs. I’ll put the word around.’

 

‘Should I talk to Mum?’ Lavender asked.

 

‘Your mother?’ Harry asked. ‘Why?’

 

‘She’s a Greengrass,’ Lavender told him. ‘At least she was before she married “that common half-blood Donald Brown” and they all stopped speaking to her. Daphne’s my second cousin, or something. A lot of them still hate us but, since the Battle, a few have started speaking to Mum. There might be some family gossip.’

 

‘Great, thanks Lavender. Thanks, everyone,’ said Harry. ‘Oh, and if you’re wondering why you’re all in Muggle clothes. There’s a really good Chinese restaurant not far from here. You’re all invited to dinner, my treat.’

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