• Chapter 12 - 2

    The Precious Antidote - 2nd part

    ***

      

    When he arrived at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry felt relieved as he saw Percy’s back at a table; he would not have to wait for him then.

    “Morning ! Percy” said Harry,  holding out his hand.

    Percy got up, somehow formal, and loosely took Harry’s hand:

    “Good morning, Harry. How are you ? A coffee ?” asked Percy, then gestured to the barman to bring a coffee for Harry.

    Still under the unpleasant sensation of Percy’s loose handshake, Harry shrugged:

    “Bof  ! You’ve been waiting for me for a long time ?”

    “Yes, for some while, but I was in advance, replied Percy showing his haft empty cup of coffee. I wanted to have a bit of free moment to think over”.

    “Well, I’m all ears !” said Harry who wanted to finish with it the quickest possible way.

    “About the attack of the Dementors on the other day, at Hogsmeade, everybody at the Ministry knew that it was your Patronus which had destroyed them. Professor Tofty who had questioned you at your O.W.L. maintained that it was your Patronus.

    Harry listened in silence. Percy waited for a confirmation from Harry which did not come, then he went on:

    “The Ministry stated to the Daily Prophet that the number of Dementors which were in service at Azkaban was nearly two hundred, but in reality, they were far much more than that…

    As Harry still remained silent, Percy continued:

    “I wonder if you would like to help the Ministry get rid of these monsters, and give hope to people … I know that you are good hearted …”

    “I see that the Ministry is still lying as usual. It’s getting embroiled in its own quagmire of lies. You’ve come on the Minister’s behalf  ?” asked Harry.

    “No, on my own initiative”,  Percy hastened to reply.

    “You’ve made excuses to you father ?” asked Harry.

    “I’ve tried. I’ve sent Bill a present on his wedding”, replied Percy.

    “I understand that for certain persons, it’s easier to forgive others for being wrong than for being right.  But it’s time for you to open yours eyes”, Harry said. “And for your own information, Bill did not open your present, it went straight to the waste basket. Do you think that just sending a present in that way, as if it were alms, that everybody should be glad and should kneel down to thank you ? Bill has been twice wounded, seriously wounded, on the verge of death. Have you asked for his news ?”

    “No, but through the Daily Prophet …”

    “The Minister knows my conditions”, said Harry without leaving Percy any chance to finish his sentence. “And permit me to give you an advice: Present your apologies to your father, or else one day you’ll regret bitterly your stupid pride. The longer you wait, the more it will be difficult for you to do it. And next time if you have such a brilliant idea like today, talk to your father, he has better chances to convince me”, said Harry, getting up and leaving on the table enough to pay for his cup of tea, then he walked out of the bar without looking at Percy.

    Harry went straight to Fred’s and George’s where Hermione and Ron had been waiting for him in the back of the shop.

    “Well ?”, asked Ron as soon as he saw Harry’s head in the doorway that separated the two parts of the shop.

    “Oh, he asked me whether I would like to help the Ministry get rid of the Dementors”.

    “But the whole army of Dementors, or nearly all of them, were supposed to be already destroyed, it’s reported so in the Daily Prophet”, said Hermione. “There’s nothing  much left  of them! What more does he want ?”

    “Precisely not ! The Ministry said to the Prophet that the number of Dementors in Azkaban was about two hundred, but in reality, they were many, many more than that, Percy said so !”

    “That means, the Ministry lied ! What a shame !”, burst out Ron.

    “Yes, and I said that I didn’t want to link up with liars, and I left”.

    “Well done !” said Fred. “And did you ask him whether he came on the Ministry’s order or … ?”

    “On his own initiative, he said.”

    “I understand !”, burst out George, exasperated. “He’s a big bootlicker, he hoped he could convince you that you should help the Ministry, and so enjoy on the sly the favour of the Minister, taking on the advantage of being Ron’s brother !”

    “That’s all Percy ! What a filth !”,  Fred added, “but we must report to the Order that there are still more, many more Dementors left.”

    “We’ve lost enough of our precious time for that filth !”, George said. “To come back to what we were talking about, well, we’ve succeeded in correcting the defects of our Misleading Cloak.  We’ll start its production next week. Dad said that the three first cloaks would be for you three. No, the two first cloaks will be for Lupin and Tonks, it would be their wedding presents.  The three following cloaks would be for you three.  You are the Order’s pets, the other members of the Order will come afterwards. We buy ready-made cloaks from Mme Malkin’s. The cloaks then should be soaked in various solutions, each solution is a truly magisterial magic preparation that we cannot make in mass, because the magic will be wasted away if it’s mass produced.  That’s why the production of those cloaks will be very long and tedious.

    “That’s brilliant ! And I’m happy for Lupin and Tonks”, said Harry.

    “Yes … and we hope we could produce two cloaks a month, if we work as hard as the elves”, added George.

    And at once, George got a scathing glance from Hermione who let out “Hum !”

    “Oh Hermione ! It’s just an expression !” burst out George, exasperated,  holding his arms above his head.

    “Even though !” replied Hermione angrily. She got up. “Let’s go !”, she added turning towards Harry and Ron.

    “Oh yes ! No joking in front of the Leader of the House-Elf Liberation Front” said Ron, and he too got a reproachful glance from Hermione.

     

    At the entrance door of the shop, they came upon Lupin.

    “Good morning, Professor !” they greeted their old professor all together.

    “Morning you three ! Are Fred and George there ?  I’d like to drop in and see how far they’ve been in their attempt to modify their Cloak.

    “Marvellously  to our knowledge !” replied Hermione.

    “I learnt that you’ve decided to get married. All my congratulations ! It’ll be soon ?” asked Harry.

    “Tonks and I haven’t fixed the date yet, but perhaps the Order would like to make a big issue out of it.”

    “NOO !” cried out Hermione, looking outraged.

    “Yes, it’s an idea that Aberforth proposed, and which will be debated at the next meeting.  Of course, it’ll be with our acceptation. We owe very much to the Order, and specially I do. Thanks to the Order, and to you three I’m cured.”

    “We haven’t done anything ! It’s Bill who has sacrificed his beautiful face of Star for the good of humanity”, said Harry.

    “Congratulations again, and good-bye !” said the three friends all together.

     

    ***

     

    “To day I’ll show you the Incarceration curse. I think that perhaps some of you already know how to cast it. But there is Incarceration and Incarceration. Does anyone know how to cast it already ?”

    This was taking place during a D.A. training session.

    “Yes”, Luna said.

    “Yes, me too”, said Michael Corner, a Ravenclaw, “but my Dad says that my way of casting it is not the good one”..

    “Well, Michael, we’ll look how you cast it and we’ll see on which point it’s not correct. Try and cast it on Luna, go !”

    “Incarceration !” cried Michael pointing his wand upon Luna.

    And Luna was tied up from head to foot in a rope. But after a minute, the rope started dropping little by little and Luna’s upper half body was set free.  Harry removed the rope, and turning to Michael:

    “Well, it’s the movement of your hand that’s not correct. You should close your movement this  way as if you tied up a rope and end it with a strong snap of your wand”. Harry took Michael’s hand to show him how to do it. “Try again now !” said Harry.

    “Incarceration !” cried out Michael

    And this time, Luna was tied up properly in a rope, Harry removed the rope to free Luna.

    “Wonderful ! My Dad didn’t know how to explain to me what was wrong in my way of casting the curse”, said Michael, looking happy.

    Without warning, with a wave of his wand, and without a word Harry cast the curse upon Luna, and at once she was again tied up from head to foot, but this time:

    “Ouch  ! … You suffocate me !” cried out Luna.

    “You feel the difference between the two ways you are ‘Incarcerated’ ?”

    “Yes, of course !  It’s clear !

    “The difference was only in the concentration and determination of the spirit. That’s very important.  Now, Luna, try and cast the curse upon me.”

    “Incarceration !” shouted Luna.

    And Harry was tied up but loosely, and Harry, making some movements succeeded in driving out his hand and pointed his wand upon himself to remove the rope.

    “You’ve all seen how to cast the curse. I reckon we should divide into pairs and practice ! The arm and hand wave like this and end the curse with a firm snap of your wand”,  said Harry.

    “Seamus, you commit the same mistake as Luna. You should close the movement by snapping a knot with determination. Yes, that way.”

    Then to all the room, Harry said :

    “For the Sixth and Seventh year, try to cast it without pronouncing the incantation. It’s very important the Non-verbal curses. Not only that you start your curse a nano second ahead of your oponent, but it also is quicker. The Non-verbal curse does not mean that when you cast it you pronounce mentally the incantation, because if it were so, it would not be much helpful, but when you cast a Non-verbal curse, you concentrate on the result of the curse that you want to reach, like in a flash. It means you can cast a Non-verbal curse as quickly as a flash.”

    At the end of the training session:

    “Woouuawh”, said Neville. “I’ve succeeded ! Really you explain better than Snape.  You are marvellous. I understand now what it means a Non-verbal curse !”

    “Well, good bye and good night, Harry !” said some of the D.A. members just about leaving, as it was already late.

    “Yes. Good night to you all ”, replied Harry. Then he added to Ron and Hermione when all the other members had left:

    “Well  ! Did you have news of yesterday night at Liverpool Orphanage ?”

    “Yes ! Complete victory !”, said Hermione. McGonagall told us just now when we came across her in the corridor on our way here. “She had never looked that happy. The werewolves stationed themselves under the trees in front of the Orphanage.  They were waiting. The moon rose, and they waited, waited but they didn’t transform. Then one of them said “What’s happened ?”, then they gathered, and discussed together. At the end, they broke up and went away, each one in a direction, looking completely lost. Lupin was there, perched on a leafy tree.”

     ***

     

    To be continued on next page


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