|SIYE Time:21:38 on 22nd September 2018|
In Search of the Isle of Drear
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Category: Alternate Universe, SIYE Challenges, Post-Hogwarts, Magical Creatures Challenge (2017-3)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Story is Complete
** Winner of Most Adventuresome, Best Overall and People's Choice in the Magical Creatures ChallengeGinny is looking for an adventure. She's wondering if she's in over her head when she joins an expedition searching for the Isle of Drear and Quintapeds. She's thrilled to find Harry Potter, who she hasn't seen in years, is part of the expedition. HP/GW, LL/RS
Hitcount: Story Total: 5132; Chapter Total: 1033
Awards: View Trophy Room
Thank you so much to Arnel for her beta skills and her support and encouragement! Obviously this challenge was very inspiring, I hope you enjoy my second story for this challenge. This was actually my first idea and the stories are quite different! All of the information about Quintapeds is taken from 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.'
The Department for Control and Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures — Beast Division is looking for able bodied witches and wizards who are skilled with a wand, adventurous, and willing to travel for an expedition to the Isle of Drear. Because of the danger associated with this expedition, anyone willing to join the expedition will be paid a fee of fifteen hundred Galleons upon their return. Those interested, please report room four hundred and twenty at the Ministry of Magic at 10am on 17 May 2002.
Ginny Weasley looked up to make sure she had the correct room. She thought there would be many more people, but there was no queue of interested applicants. Knocking on the door, she heard someone call for her to enter. Entering the room, she had her second surprise of the day.
“Ginny Weasley?” Luna Lovegood smiled as she rose and hugged her friend. “I haven’t seen you in ages.”
“Luna, you look great,” Ginny said admiringly.
Luna had been one of Ginny’s closest friends at Hogwarts even though they were in different houses. They’d kept in touch through letters, but that wasn’t the same. Luna had lost a bit of that dotty air she’d had at Hogwarts, but she still had the same friendly smile. Her blonde hair was sun bleached and she had the look of someone who spent a lot of time out in the sun.
“Are you heading this expedition?” Ginny asked.
“I’m not,” Luna said, but she was immediately contradicted by a deeper, male voice from behind them.
“Yes, you are.”
The two witches turned and Luna smiled at the young man who had spoken. “Rolf, this whole expedition is your idea. I am merely helping.”
Laughing, Rolf wrapped his arm around Luna’s shoulder. “Hello, I am Rolf Scamander. Luna and I are both leading this expedition. Welcome.”
“Thank you,” Ginny said. “I am Ginny Weasley.”
Rolf’s eyes lit up as he looked over at Luna. “Ginny, the pen pal?”
Luna nodded and Rolf said, “It is very nice to meet you, Ginny. Luna has told me a lot about you.”
Before Ginny could respond, there was another knock on the door. It quickly opened and a tall, dark haired man entered. He was easily over six feet tall and well built. His black hair was pulled back in a ponytail.
“Rolf! I was hoping you were backing this expedition.”
Rolf hurried over and pulled the other wizard into a hug. “It is great to see you. It will be great to have your wand on this trip.” Gesturing to the two witches, he said, “I’d like you to meet the co-leader of this expedition, Luna Lovegood, and Luna’s friend, Ginny.”
As Harry turned to face them, Ginny could see his brilliant green eyes. Automatically she looked to his forehead and she could see the faint pink lightning bolt scar. His eyes widened when he saw her. “Ginny Weasley?”
“Harry,” she gasped.
He hurried over and pulled her into a hug. “It is great to see you!”
Belatedly, she returned the hug. When he pulled away, he looked down at her happily. “I haven’t seen you in what…nine years.”
Ginny nodded. “Since just after my first year.”
“You are Harry Potter,” Luna spoke up.
He nodded and shook her hand. “I am. It is nice to meet you, Luna.”
“You two know each other?” Rolf spoke up gesturing between Harry and Ginny.
Harry nodded. “I went to Hogwarts for my first two years. The first person I met on the train was Ginny’s older brother, Ron. We became fast friends, but…well, once I didn’t return to Hogwarts we lost touch.”
Rolf nodded. Ginny watched as Harry and Rolf talked. It was unbelievable that Harry Potter was here. He was in the papers from time to time, each time with a beautiful witch or on some exotic adventure. She never would have figured him for this type of expedition, but she well knew that he was very capable.
Walking to the door, Rolf peered out into the empty corridor. “I guess there aren’t any more people coming. Why don’t we all sit down and talk about this expedition?”
Now that Ginny had the opportunity to look around the room, she could see there was a large map of the end of Scotland on a big board behind them. There was a picture that looked like it had been taken looking down on what she presumed would be the Island of Drear.
There was a round table with a stack of folders upon it. Following Luna, Ginny sat down between Luna and Harry. Rolf handed each of them a folder.
Opening the folder, Ginny almost jumped out of her skin at the sketch of the Quintaped. The Quintaped was a short, five-legged creature with a mouth full of sharpened teeth. It was covered with reddish brown fur with dark, glaring eyes.
Rolf must have noticed her reaction because he smiled. “They are very creepy looking, are they not? Obviously, this is a Quintaped or at least a rendering to the best of our knowledge. The Ministry of Magic wants us to investigate the Isle of Drear and see if we can determine once and for all what the Quintapeds are and what can be done about them.”
“Why?” Harry asked as he perused the picture.
Flipping over the photo, Rolf showed them the map of the tip of Scotland. He’d circled an area to the northeast of the Shetlands. “We think this might be where the Isle of Drear is located.”
Harry picked up his map and frowned. “I thought the island was supposed to be just off the northernmost tip of Scotland?”
Rolf nodded. “That is what has been put about for years. The best guesses I have heard in the past put the island to the east of Wicks, but recently there have been some attacks off the coast of Fetlar and Unst, both part of the Shetland islands, that may have been Quintaped attacks. Several ferry boats have reported extremely aggressive otters or seals in the water that we think might actually be Quintapeds. Thus far, only one known picture has been taken.”
Flipping over the map, there was a picture of a Quintaped swimming near the boat. It was difficult to see, but looking at it closely the front three legs were easily visible. The fur was dark as it was very wet and plastered to the creature. It’s eyes were dark and flat rather like a shark’s eyes.
“Damn, I thought they weren’t supposed to be able to swim,” Harry said.
“Exactly,” Rolf said. “We need to know if the Quintapeds are escaping on their own and if we can keep them contained.”
“We are hoping to see if we can discover the origins of the Quintapeds,” Luna put in.
Rolf nodded. “My grandfather, Newt, wrote about the legend of the McCliverts and the MacBoons who were the two families on the Isle of Drear. Legend has it that the head of the McCliverts was killed in a drunken duel with the head of the MacBoons. Seeking revenge, a group of McCliverts surrounded the MacBoon compound and transfigured all of them into the creatures we now call Quintapeds or as some people refer to them, Hairy MacBoons.”
“Do we know any actual facts about them… that can be confirmed?” Harry asked.
With a wave of her wand, Luna displayed a hand drawn picture of a Quintaped on the wall. “The Quintapeds that have been sighted are between half and one metre high and about a metre in diameter. They are covered with dark brownish-red fur and have a large mouth of teeth. While some sketches depict them with multiple eyes, we have reviewed all of the sighting to discount that idea. In the early twentieth century, there were several reports of Quintaped sighting and at least two reported necropsies, but the notes from the necropsies have disappeared. We do know they are highly aggressive and move quickly.”
“Are they venomous?” Ginny asked as she tried to keep her voice steady.
“We don’t think so,” Luna said. “There have been no reports of venomous bites, but again there is so much we don’t know.”
“A cache of eggs was supposedly found on the edge of the Isle of Drear in the 1950s, but that has not been authenticated,” Rolf said. “As much as Minister Shacklebolt and the others want us to find the Quintapeds, no one can tell us the location of the island.”
“How can no one know where it is?” Harry asked. “It is supposedly Unplottable — that requires people to have knowledge of where the island is located.”
“We think it might have been a pre-planned memory failure. Those who knew either never told anyone or allowed themselves to be Obliviated. In the mid-nineteenth century, there were numerous reports of Quintaped attacks and even accounts of expeditions to the Isle of Drear, but we don’t know if they are true,” Rolf explained.
“Isn’t there supposed to be a house on the island?” Ginny asked as she tried to recall what she’d read about the elusive creatures. “Someone must have lived there at some point in time.”
Once again, Rolf turned over a picture. It was looking down on the island and in the centre of the island, a roof was visible. “This was taken as proof that the McClivert and MacBoon story was true. This is supposed to be the family home of the MacBoons. I have my doubts, but you are correct someone must have lived there. We can find no information on who that might have been.”
Harry had been looking at the pictures. “I can’t imagine a transfiguration would permanently change people into creatures.”
“I can’t either,” Rolf agreed. “Not to mention, if it was one generation of a family they would have died out by now.”
“If they do have babies in eggs,” Luna said. “That makes it even more doubtful that they are transfigured humans.”
“Are there any guesses as to how many Quintapeds there are?” Ginny asked a touch nervously. She’d wanted adventure, but she wasn’t entirely sure she was ready to hunt down the extremely aggressive and very dangerous creatures.
“My grandfather estimated there were about one hundred and fifty when he first started studying them,” Rolf explained. “I’ve reviewed his notes and I think the number is probably closer to five hundred.”
Rolf pulled another file out from the stack he had. Opening it, he handed a sheet to each Harry and Ginny. “I have camping equipment that will work in a cold environment. Even though we are coming up on summer, the Shetlands and surrounding islands are quite cool, with temperatures in the forties to fifties. The water temperature will be in the forties. To begin with, I’ve rented out the Feltar Lodge. It is on the water and it is rather isolated so we will have some privacy. We may stay there the whole time, but depending on what we find we may need to provide our own shelter.
“I’ve made a list of the clothes and equipment that will be appropriate. There is a shop in Convent Garden that carries all of this.” He handed Harry and Ginny each a voucher for the shop. “This should cover the clothes and equipment you need. Ginny, do you own a broom?”
“Yes, I have a Nimbus two thousand,” she replied.
“Excellent,” he said. “I propose we start at the Shetlands and fly in pairs in a grid pattern to search for the island.”
“In pairs?” Ginny asked.
Rolf nodded. “We don’t know what we are going to find and I would prefer that no one be alone. We don’t know what exactly we are up against, so I’d rather not take chances.”
After reviewing the plans for the expedition as well as the timeline, the meeting was over. A bit dazed, Ginny left the room.
Turning, she could see Harry standing behind her. He said, “I’m going shopping now for the clothes we need. Do you want to come with me?”
Realizing she’d rather go into a Muggle area with someone who had an idea what they were doing, she agreed. “That would be lovely, thank you.”
As they fell instep together, Harry said, “It’s great to see you again. I always felt a bit badly that I wasn’t able to keep in touch with your family. How is Ron doing?”
“He’s good,” Ginny said with a smile. “We actually share a flat. Ron works for the Department of Magical Sports and Games. Until recently, I’ve been watching his daughter, Lilac, but he’s been encouraging me to work and have a life of my own.”
Harry’s eyes widened. “Ron’s a dad? That’s amazing.”
At the thought of her beautiful niece, Ginny smiled. “Lilac is four. Do you remember Lavender Brown?”
“Blonde hair, giggled a lot?”
She laughed. “That’s a good description. She and Ron dated for the last two years at Hogwarts. She became pregnant, so the two married. Unfortunately, she was killed during the Battle of Hogwarts.”
Harry’s jaw dropped. “That’s awful! How is Ron doing with all of that? I can’t imagine being a father and a widower at such a young age.”
“He’s doing better,” Ginny said. “He was a big mess for a really long time. He and Lavender had their ups and downs, but they were doing well before the battle. He’s a great dad.”
“I imagine he would be,” Harry said as they reached the atrium. “I’d love to see him again.” He gasped as a thought crossed his mind. “I was going to ask if your mum would be okay with me contacting him, but is she going to be upset that we are working together?”
Ginny stopped walking at that question. “What are you talking about?”
Harry frowned slightly. “Your mum asked me not to contact you or your brothers. She didn’t think I would be a good example. I don’t understand everything, but I can tell you that she hated my godfather and thought he was doing a horrible job raising me. I was rather upset about that. Sirius loved me and we had a great couple of years together.”
“What?” Belatedly Ginny started walking again. “Can we get some coffee and talk? I really don’t know what you are talking about.”
The two walked in an unsettled silence to a coffee shop frequented by Ministry workers. Ginny’s mind was working furiously. Her mother had asked Harry not to contact them? After the two of them sat down with their coffee and snack, Harry said, “I’m sorry, I thought you knew.” He sighed. “You know how my godfather found me after my second year?”
Ginny nodded. She vividly remembered her father calling her and her brothers into the kitchen when they returned from Egypt with the shocking news. They’d all thought Harry had been kidnapped by the evil murderer, Sirius Black. It hadn’t been until the end of the year, that Professor Dumbledore had let Ron and Hermione know that in fact, Sirius was innocent of the crimes of which he was accused, and Harry was living with Sirius.
They had hoped he might return to Hogwarts, but he didn’t. It had hurt them all that they hadn’t heard from him. Many nights she’d heard Ron and Hermione debating what had driven Harry away and why he’d never contacted them. Ginny always felt that Hermione blamed her for driving Harry away. She’d even told Ginny once that maybe if he hadn’t had to go down into the Chamber of Secrets, he would have had no reason to stay away.
“Sirius found me the night I ran away from my aunt and uncle’s house. He calmed me down and we started talking. He explained that he was my godfather and I simply left with him.” He laughed at the look of shock on her face. “I know, probably wasn’t the smartest move in the whole world, but I somehow knew I could trust him. We went to the British Virgin Islands. His family had a house there and we both needed time to get to know one another. He was brilliant! We talked about everything.
“We travelled extensively and I learned from so many people. We travelled to India, the Middle East, Africa. It was a brilliant education. I missed Hogwarts and of course I missed Ron and Hermione. I wanted so badly to keep in touch with them, but we had to use so many charms and such so Sirius wasn’t captured that it wasn’t an option. One of our contacts betrayed us and I was kidnapped and turned over to Pettigrew. He used my blood to revive Voldemort. We returned to England after that and at Dumbledore’s request, Sirius opened his family home to the Order of the Phoenix.”
Ginny blinked back tears at his matter of fact recitation of facts. His kidnapping was front page news for weeks as well as Voldemort’s rebirth. It had been a horrible time. “Grimmauld Place was Sirius’ home?”
Harry nodded. “He hated it and didn’t want to live there, but he was happy to have it used to defeat Voldemort.”
“Why didn’t we ever see you there?” Ginny asked. “We were there often enough that summer.”
“Your mum,” Harry said simply. He still winced as he thought back to that day.
It was after an Order meeting that he’d seen Mrs Weasley.
“Mrs Weasley!” Harry almost shouted in surprise.
The witch turned and with a smile engulfed Harry in a hug. “Harry, I’m so happy to see you. We were so worried about you.”
Harry blushed. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to worry anyone. Sirius rescued me from my relatives.” He looked over at his godfather with a grin. “He decided to teach me at home. I’ve really learned a lot.”
“That’s nice, dear,” Mrs Weasley replied. She threw a look at Sirius that made Harry think she didn’t really like him.
“How are Ron and Ginny and the twins?” Harry asked. While he loved spending time with his godfather, he missed his friends. “Is Ginny okay after everything that happened?”
“They are all doing well. Ginny has recovered as well as can be expected,” Mrs Weasley replied. “It is kind of you to ask after her.”
Harry looked between the two older people trying to decipher the unspoken conversation going on. Deciding he’d ask Sirius about it later, Harry ploughed on. “Mrs Weasley, I can’t get or send mail because of all of secrecy charms that have been put on me, but Sirius says we’ll see you quite a bit. Do you think you could take Ron and Ginny a message from me?”
He looked over at her, pleading with his eyes for her to allow him to write her children. Mrs Weasley sighed. “I’m so sorry, dear. I don’t think that is a good idea. Professor Dumbledore has shared with us the role you will be playing in the upcoming confrontation. I don’t agree with allowing children to participate in fighting, but your godfather disagrees. I’m afraid that you are going on a very different journey than my children. They are still children at school and you are being trained to fight and kill. I don’t want to encourage a relationship between you and them.”
Harry blinked as tears sprang to his eyes unbidden. That hurt and he really didn’t know what to say. “Oh, okay. Of course.”
He ran up to his bedroom, but not before he heard his godfather ripping into Mrs Weasley. In the end it didn’t matter, he wasn’t allowed to be friends with the Weasleys. Harry often wondered if the reason his godfather invested in the twin’s joke shop was to aggravate Mrs Weasley. Sirius never warmed to her and went to great lengths to ensure that she didn’t run into Harry.
“I am so sorry,” Ginny said. “I didn’t realize…oh my God.”
“My mother and I had a falling out that summer and I’m beginning to see what happened.” Taking a deep breath, she said, “After you fought with the Death Eaters in Little Hangleton, Lucius Malfoy was arrested and Narcissa Malfoy fled the country to avoid arrest. That left Draco with Snape, who was his godfather. My mother kept going on about how Snape was a wonderful godfather because he didn’t want his godson to fight in the war.
“She actually thought Draco was on our side and he just needed a bit of friendship. She kept having me accompany her to Grimmauld Place and leaving me with him. He, of course, thought it was hysterical. Luckily, Ron realized soon what was going on and he came with me each time so Malfoy couldn’t take advantage of the fact that we were alone.
“Malfoy mocked my mother and her gullibility, but in front of her, he was a conflicted soul who couldn’t believe his parents had made such horrible decisions. He would flirt with me and mentioned how pretty I was. She lapped it up. She made a big deal over it and I guess she was…contrasting what she thought was happening with you.”
Harry lifted his gaze from the coffee he’d been staring into while she talked. A touch of anger and betrayal shone in his eyes. “I was so hurt by your mother. I thought that I’d…I don’t know, I thought that she would trust me. I am so sorry your mum took her anger at me and Sirius out on you. I’m glad Ron was there for you.”
“He was great,” Ginny said. “Malfoy was horrid. He would laugh about how he would get me pregnant and let Bellatrix raise my baby. I thought Bill was going to kill him when he found out. He put his foot down and wouldn’t let me go over to Grimmauld without him being there. Ron and I were both on the Quidditch team that next year and we took great delight in squashing Malfoy like a bug. Fred and George pranked him almost constantly. My mother was in denial until it was revealed that he had let Death Eaters into Grimmauld Place.”
Harry cursed colourfully. “I took him down during that fight. He was such a cowardly prat. Once the Death Eaters were being defeated he tried that whole ‘I didn’t realize what was happening’. I was quite glad when we were able to put him in Azkaban.”
“It took a long time for me and my mother to talk again,” Ginny said. “She had no call to be angry at you or Sirius. She wanted to keep us children and out of the war, but she always seemed to forget that I’d know Riddle better than anyone.” She sighed. “I am sorry for my mother’s actions. Trust me, she has no say in whom I am friends with or who I work with. I know Ron would feel the same way.”
She looked up to see a spark of joy in his eyes. Silently, she cursed her mother. How could she have done that? Harry was such an amazing young man and he’d saved her life. How could she have denied them contact?
“How did the rest of your family fare during the war?”
“Percy was killed when the Ministry was attacked,” Ginny said sadly. “He saved my father’s life by giving him the time to escape before the Floo Network was shut down. My dad thought Percy was right behind him, but he wasn’t. I’ve never seen my father so frantic. It took him a long time to forgive himself.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Harry said.
“I was sorry to hear about Sirius,” Ginny said.
“He was killed in an ambush almost a month before the final battle. I was so lost for a long time, but eventually I started traveling again. That’s when I ran into Rolf. We worked together in Africa when he was investigating Nundus. When I saw the advertisement in the paper, I thought it must be him. He’s a great guy.”
“He certainly seems good for Luna,” Ginny said. “She’s enjoying looking for real animals.”
“Real animals?” Harry asked curiously. He toyed with the last of his cream scone and eyed the plate wondering if he wanted another one. With a shrug, he helped himself to another one and loaded it with jam and cream.
“Luna’s father is the publisher of The Quibbler. He was always writing about these crazy made up animals,” Ginny laughed. “I’m trying to remember. I think the one she always talking about was a Crumple-Horned Snorkack. She was always spouting off theories that she’d heard from her father that honestly made no sense. It was a lot of conspiracy theories and crazy animals. When she first met Rolf, she didn’t like him because he challenged her world view, but now I think she’s realizing that there is more to being a Magizoologist than imaginary creatures. I’ve not met Rolf before, but I’ve heard about him from her letters.”
“She sounds like quite the character,” Harry said with a smile. “I can’t wait to get to know her better. Rolf really seemed entranced with her.”
The pair paid up and left the coffee shop. As they walked to the shop, Harry asked, “Do you ever see Hermione anymore?”
She made a face. “Ron and Hermione were great friends for many years, and I know they both fancied each other.”
He laughed. “Trust me, that’s not news to me. He was always a bit fascinated with her. I always thought that’s why he was a bit mean to her.”
“He never knew how to handle it,” Ginny explained. “He was very insecure when he was younger and he didn’t know how to tell her. I think he was afraid of losing her friendship if she didn’t feel the same way he did.”
“I can see that,” Harry said. “Ron was always a bit insecure. When we first met, he told me about his five older brothers and how amazing they all were.”
“In his sixth year, Lavender started flirting with him. It wasn’t really that difficult for her to snare his interest. Hermione was devastated. She’d thought they might start something and he went for her roommate. I didn’t think Ron and Lavender would last, but they did. That summer, Lavender found out she was pregnant. She and Ron were married before they returned to school that September. Lilac was born the following March. It was difficult, but between Ron, Lavender, me and Parvati we took care of her and went to class. Lavender wouldn’t be left behind when the fight started. She took Lilac to her mother’s house, but she returned to fight.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” Harry said shaking his head. “Poor Ron.”
“It was awful, the first few months after the battle. My mum was injured in the fighting so she wasn’t able to help. Fleur, Bill’s wife, was great. She helped us so much, so did Lavender’s mother,” Ginny said as she pulled a picture from her robes to show off her beautiful niece.
“She’s very pretty,” Harry said with a smile as he looked at the child. “Wow, Ron’s very tall.”
“Tell me about it,” Ginny said. “He’s well over six feet tall and I’m barely over five feet — it’s not fair!”
Harry laughed. “I was thrilled that I just managed to edge over six feet. I was so scrawny when I was a kid, I was afraid I’d be a short, scrawny git the rest of my life.”
Looking over his build, Ginny had to stop herself from blurting out that he looked great. She didn’t want to remember the horribly embarrassing crush she had on him the last time she saw him.
“So, what happened to Hermione?” Harry asked as he returned the picture.
“She and Ron tried to make a go of it about a year after the war, but Hermione isn’t the most patient person in the world. She would become upset when Ron spent time with Lilac and she made a comment to me once that Lilac just reminded her that Ron had picked someone else over her.”
Harry winced. “That’s not good.”
She shook her head. “I know she never would have hurt Lilac, but I was afraid that she would have difficulty accepting her and she could be a bit…unfeeling at times. Once I heard her make an unflattering comment about Lavender. I told her Ron was a father first and she wasn’t to badmouth Lavender. It was difficult for her and they ended up breaking up. He’s been seeing Parvati. They bonded over missing Lavender and Parvati was always close to Lilac. Lavender asked her to be the godmother so she and I have become good friends.”
“I wish I remembered more about them,” Harry said as they waited to cross the street. “I have a vague picture of what they looked like, but not much more than that.”
“They were giggly and annoying in school,” Ginny laughed as she watched the traffic pass by. She was always a bit nervous at the zebra crossings, she never knew when she should cross the street so she kept an eye on Harry to see what he was doing.
“When Lavender and Ron started dating, I was convinced she was all wrong for him, but they really showed what they were made of during that last year at school. Parvati is a healer and she was always helping with the injured. Lavender was always a bit…ditzy, but she had a good heart. I think she really helped Ron with his self-confidence issues. I was always afraid Hermione would make them worse. You know how bossy and condescending she can be at times. She means well, but she tends to think she’s always right and everyone else is wrong.”
“Trust me, I know,” Harry laughed. He shook his head. “I’m glad you stopped her from making comments in front of Lilac. One of the things I hated most about Professor Snape was his comments about my father. I lived with my aunt and uncle making comments about my mum for years. Snape was worse about my dad. It was hard because I never knew him, so I don’t know what he was really like. Do you remember Professor Lupin?”
Ginny frowned as they crossed the street. “I do, but he taught the year after you left. How do you know him?”
“He was a good friend of both my dad and Sirius,” Harry explained. “He really liked Hermione and wanted to set me up with her. I had to tell him that I never really saw her that way. For almost a year, he was singing her praises to me.”
“Hermione was always very fond of him,” Ginny laughed. “I think she had a crush on him at one point. He turned into a good mentor for her, she really looked up to him.”
“Remus and I had a complicated relationship. He was never sure that Sirius was the proper person to look after me. He never gave Sirius credit for growing up. After Sirius and I returned to Great Britain, Remus helped with my education, but we were never as close as Sirius and I. Once he and Tonks became involved, he tried harder and we eventually forged a friendship of sorts.”
“I can see that,” Ginny said. “He always seemed to use his lycanthropy as an excuse to push people away. I was close to Tonks and I know their relationship was difficult because of that.”
He nodded. “I’m their son’s godfather and Teddy is great. I always thought that Remus asked me to be his godfather because he felt guilty for not trying harder to have a relationship with me.”
“Merlin, I’d forgotten they had a child. He must be about Lilac’s age.”
Harry nodded. “Teddy was born in March of 98.”
“Lilac was too. I bet she would love to meet him — she doesn’t know many other wizarding children her own age.”
“That would be great,” Harry replied. “He lives with his grandmother, Andromeda Tonks, but I see him quite a bit. He’s a great little boy. We have a lot of fun together.”
Looking up, Harry pointed to a shop a few doors down. “I believe that’s where we are headed.”
The shop was a mountaineering shop and it sold all sorts of outdoor equipment that was both waterproof and well insulated. Ginny glanced down at the list in her hand. Rolf had requested they buy several t-shirts, both long and short sleeved, several pairs of waterproof trousers, boots, and a waterproof jacket. She was a bit overwhelmed by the choices in front of her.
“You’ll want to find some shirts from here,” Harry said gesturing to one of the racks. “They are made so they dry quickly and don’t retain water.”
Ginny nodded her understanding and started going through the rack. It took a minute to figure out the sizes and what they meant, but soon she had the clothes she needed. The jackets were surprisingly warm and comfortable — they were lightweight and waterproof. The one she was trying on was a bright, purple colour. Glancing over, she noticed Harry was trying on a grey coloured jacket.
“Should I pick a neutral coloured jacket?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I don’t think so.” He grinned. “I like that colour on you.”
Trying not to blush, and failing spectacularly, she smiled. “Thank you.”
Once they had all of their clothing picked out, Harry asked if they could be held behind the counter whilst they continued looking. They wandered around, looking at the other equipment available. Harry picked up an odd-looking belt that had a large square on in.
“What is that?” Ginny whispered. She didn’t like to ask questions too loudly in case she should have known.
“It’s a head torch,” he said with a grin. She watched as he pulled it onto the top of his head and touched something causing the square to light up. She couldn’t help but laugh, “That’s so cool.”
“They are great to use when you are flying or have your hands full,” he explained. “They run on batteries so our magic doesn’t interfere with them.”
Taking off the one he’d put on, he scooped up three more. He also showed her something called a GPS device. “Do you know what satellites are?”
“Those things in space?” she asked uncertainly. She still wasn’t entirely sure if she believed that Muggles could go into space, but she’d heard about it.
He nodded. “They can do a lot of things, but one of the things they do is send a signal to these devices so that you can see where you are on a map. I think this will work. I know some spells that can protect the electronics at least for a time.”
“What’s wrong with locating spells?”
“With all the spells and charms that we believe have been cast on the Isle of Drear, I thought maybe having a backup would be a good idea.”
She nodded. They each picked up a light-weight back pack and the other items on the list. Once they had everything, they took it back to the front. Ginny watched as the items were rung up and the total sounded like a lot. She’d given Harry the voucher from Rolf and watched as he handed both of them to the cashier. Even the left-over amount sounded expensive, but Harry simply handed the young lady some type of card and after a minute he signed a receipt.
They gathered their bags, Ginny was surprised that for all the money they spent, there weren’t more bags. She had two large bags of clothes as did Harry. He also had a large bag of pillows and blankets and a smaller bag with the electronics in it.
When they reached the end of the street, Harry gestured for her to step into the alley up ahead to their right. Once she did, he lightened and shrank the bags so they could simply be carried in their pockets.
“Are you excited about the job?” Harry asked as they returned to the Leaky Cauldron.
“I’m excited and a bit nervous,” she admitted. “Hunting for Quintapeds? I thought there would be a lot more people.”
He shrugged. “From what I’ve seen, if it involves travel or danger, people aren’t so willing to apply. Rolf is very good and he’s usually cautious, so I think we’ll be good. He mentioned that the first few days he wants to practice the spells needed. They are a bit specialized, because he wants to capture them, not kill them.”
Ginny was disappointed when they reached the Leaky Cauldron. She’d very much enjoyed her time with Harry. He smiled at her. “I’ll see you next week.”
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