Chapter 51: Appendix Two
"This is a broom," Harry explained as he removed it from under his bed.
"I think the bunched straw makes that obvious," Robert remarked.
"This is a Nimbus 2000. It's one of the fastest brooms around."
"And how does this broom relate to the game of Quidditch?"
"This is the broom I fly when I play."
Robert stopped short. "You fly?"
"In the air?"
"Now you're getting it," Harry said with a smirk. "I fly this broom in the air when I play Quidditch. Would you like to give it a try?"
"YES!" Robert shouted, astounded at the thought.
"Then come on. I have to get to practice and we're having tryouts today. I'll explain the rules on the way there, and then you can watch how we play."
"When will I get a chance to try the broom," Robert asked eagerly.
"Tell them you want to try out for the team," Ron suggested. "Then Harry can show you the basics."
"But I've never flown. How can I try out if I don't know how to fly?"
Harry laughed. "That's only the excuse. If you're trying out for the team, you have to use a broom. We're trying to get you on the broom. When you learn how to fly, then we'll try to get you on the team."
"It's crowded," Robert said as he looked at the students in the stands, then returned Pavarti's wave when he saw her.
"Quidditch is popular," Ron said. "I'll be in the stands, watching. Good luck."
As Ron left the two cousins on the pitch, Robert had to ask, "Harry, what is going on. Am I that popular?"
"Yes and no," Harry replied. "I told you I was the Gryffindor Seeker, but I never told you how I won that position. At my first lesson, another student stole a Remembrall from Neville and flew off with it. I chased after him even though I had never been on a broom before. He threw the Remembrall away and I caught it after a fifty foot dive. McGonagall saw me and I was put on the team. I'm a natural flier, Robert, and everyone is hoping that, since you look like me, you should be able to fly as well as I can."
"Thank you, Harry. Now I have enough confidence to do anything except fly."
They both laughed as Oliver Wood came up.
"I hear your trying out for the team," Oliver said to Robert. "You'll have a tough time getting on the team proper but we always need good backup. Have you played before?"
Harry and Robert laughed. "I've never flown before."
Oliver laughed with them. "At least I know my position is safe. Have some fun, and listen to Harry. He's a natural on the broom." With that, Oliver mounted his own broom and flew out over the pitch.
Robert's eyes followed enviously. "Harry, what do I do?"
"It's a simple matter of steering," Harry said and he explained how to make the broom go up and down, left and right, faster and slower."
"That does seem simple enough. Almost like sailing but with two extra directions." Robert smirked and added, "one extra direction if you are a poor sailor."
"Try it?" Harry suggested. "I've never tried sailing a boat. I don't know how good an analogy it is."
"Is that true? Because my father says that I am a natural as far as manning the sails. When I sail, Harry, I can feel the wind. I know it the way I know myself."
"Robert," Harry said with a widening grin, "I get the same feeling when I'm on a broom. Give it a go."
"What are they waiting for?" Ron asked.
Hermione huffed. "I may be wrong, but I think Harry is explaining to Robert how a broom works. We neglected to ask him if he knew about flying."
"He'll be great, " Ron insisted. "Harry should let him get on the broom."
Pavarti Patel came over and asked, "Is anything wrong. Robert hasn't started flying, yet."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Robert's never flown before. Harry's explaining how a broom works."
Lavender came over to where they were sitting. "That Robert is so cute. I helped him comb out his hair this morning. He blushed as he asked me and I almost died."
Pavarti laughed. "I love the way he talks. And those glasses make him look smart and . . ."
"They're the same glasses that Harry wears," Ron yelled. "He looks like Harry with long hair."
Lavender and Pavarti looked at Ron like he was an idiot, and Hermione was laughing into her hand. "You don't know anything," Lavender said. "They look like brothers but Robert is just a little bit taller, and his face is thinner. You should learn to look."
"Look," Hermione shouted and pointed to the Quidditch Pitch. Robert had mounted his broom and was flying upward. As everyone watched and cheered, he looped the field twice, did a barrel roll, reversed his direction in mid air, dived to the ground, pulled up at the last minute and drove his broom right into the stands just below where Hermione was sitting. Needless to say, the cheering stopped to be replaced by Ron muttering, "That must have hurt."
"Do you really think so?" Hermione asked sarcastically. She then looked down and said, "Robert?"
A thin voice answered, "Ron was right."
"I knew it," Madam Pomfrey said as she came running up. She waved her wand as the Gryffindors asked if he was hurt. She replied, "considering how fast he stopped I wouldn't be surprised. And considering who his relatives are, I'm not surprised."
"Thank you for being here," Hermione said.
"It's my job," Madam Pomfrey said. "I've never had less than three accidents when they hold tryouts. Everyone is trying to prove they're better than they are. He has a few bruises, and a severe loss of dignity." She turned the boy over and force some liquid down his throat. As Robert sputtered, she stood up and walked out into the field where a Second Year Hufflepuff had finished demonstrating how not to do the Wronski Feint.
"Robert?" Hermione asked again.
"That was great," Robert said with a smile and a grimace. "Did I damage the broom?"
"I checked first thing," Ron assured him. "Nothing a good polishing won't fix."
"Well, I'd better fly it back to Harry," Robert said, muffling a few grunting noises. He mounted the broom and flew, rather carefully Hermione noted, back to Harry and dismounted.
"He should try out for the team," Ron said. "He's a natural like Harry. He's guaranteed to make it."
Hermione was the only one who disagreed.
As Robert dismounted, Oliver Wood flew by. "You were good," he nodded approvingly. "Almost as good as Harry on his first flight. He landed on his feet, though."
Harry laughed and added, "I didn't have half the girls in Gryffindor to show off for."
"I wasn't showing off to all the girls," Robert said. "I wanted to show Hermione I could handle myself and I . . . was overconfident. It was a stupid mistake."
Oliver didn't laugh at that. "I told you before that our team is set, and that we always need good backup." He looked at Harry and added, "for example, our seeker could trip just before the game and sprain his ankle. If you want to try again, we'll see how you handle yourself with the quaffle."
Robert's smile was answer enough.
It was early when Robert awoke. He carefully walked over to Harry and shook him until he was awake as well.
"What is it?" Harry asked groggily.
"It's almost time for matins," Robert explained.
"Matins? There's no such thing," Harry said and he rolled over pulling the blanket over his head.
Robert stared in disbelief and wondered what to do. Suddenly, Seamus was next to him. He whispered that Robert should get dressed. They both dressed quickly and quietly, saying nothing until they had reached the common room.
"You're Catholic?" Seamus asked.
"I suppose I am," Robert said in surprise.
"You don't know?" There was a hint of amusement in Seamus' voice.
"Dumbledore asked me, but I had never heard the word in English before. I told him no."
"That's right. Hermione said you grew up in France." He laughed lightly. "I'm glad I was there to hear you talk to Harry. That's the earliest he's ever been awake on a Sunday."
"It was my fault," Robert said. "I should have remembered that things would be different here." He looked embarrassed by what he said.
"Not really. In France, everyone's Catholic so of course you wouldn't think about it."
"Where do we go?"
"I'm waiting for Angela, she's a fifth year. We usually walk to chapel together. She'll be happy to see you."
"See who?" Angela said as she came down the stairs. "Robert?"
Seamus grinned. "He'll be coming with us. He even tried to drag Harry along."
"This early?" Angela laughed. "You couldn't drag Harry Potter to a Quidditch game this time of the morning."
"Ron could," Robert answered with a grin. "I think Ron would carry him."
As they left the common room, Angela put her hand on Robert's shoulder. "Congratulations on making the team."
"I'm only the backup," Robert admitted. "I'll probably never play in a game."
"You never know." Angela said, smiling warmly.
The chapel was a small building built into the side of the school and hidden by a small grove of trees, not to hide it from the outside world but to hold the outside world at bay. Robert entered and saw the priest, Father Maurice. The old man was hearing confession from one of only four other students there. The girl stood up and went to sit down on one of the benches and Angela walked up and knelt in her place.
When Angela had finished, Seamus motioned that Robert could go next. Robert knelt before the priest and blessed himself. "In Nominus Patres Vobiscum et cum Spiritu Sancti."
"Latin?" Father Maurice asked.
Robert started in confusion.
"It is custom to use English in this country," the priest said softly in his own well practiced English. "Where are you from that you use the old language?"
"From far away, Father Confessor," the boy said. "I did not know."
Father Maurice nodded. "Tell me your confession, then."
"Father Confessor, I must tell you honestly that I do not know if I am of your religion."
Father Maurice looked at the boy who was clearly becoming unraveled. His calm exterior was almost gone. "His Holiness the Pope tells us that all religions are one under God's eyes, and we should learn to understand each other's belief. Inwardly, all good people believe the same thing. Let this be your religion for the next hour and we will talk after the mass. I am sure God will forgive you if you have walked into the wrong church by mistake." He sighed as he saw the boy calm down, and motioned for him to take a seat.
Seamus gave Robert a concerned look then knelt before the priest who sighed again. "Why do you even bother, Seamus. The idea of making a confession is to help you improve yourself. It doesn't help if you keep committing the same sins week after week."
Seamus' grin grew wider. "I'm sorry. I'll try to think of some new sins for next week." When Father Maurice rolled his eyes, Seamus added, "You should be thankful, Father, that the Weasleys are Protestants."
"We are alone," Father Maurice said. "What do you need to tell me?"
"I am a stranger in a strange land, Father."
"Suffer the children to come unto me."
Robert's fearful looked eased at those words. "The Latin verse is above the entranceway to our family chapel. It was dedicated to Saint Robert of Anjou, for whom I was named."
"What was Robert of Anjou like?"
Robert frowned. "He is the patron saint of lost children. But you've never heard of him, Father. He never was, in your world." Robert hung his head and prayed, "Saint Robert give me aid, for I am truly your child now."
Father Maurice hesitated to react. He had been told as a matter of course about the cousin of Harry Potter, and he was surprised at Robert's appearance in the chapel. "How did you come here, to our world?"
"Our Sorcerers developed a form of Traveler Stone which placed me here with Harry Potter. I chanced upon it in dire circumstance and dared to use it."
"I understand now why you are troubled, my dear Robert. Too many things are different for you. I also understand, by the fact that we were told you were a relative, that this is to be a secret. I will keep this secret."
"How is it, Father, that you understand about my coming from another world."
"That is easy enough to answer. In my youth I met a man who also came in contact with the Traveler Stone. For some reason he never returned to his world. He told me that the most significant difference was that in his old world Prince Albert lived to a ripe old age."
"Who was Prince Albert?"
Father Maurice smiled at the comment. "You have not heard of him? He was the consort of Queen Victoria. From your look you have never heard of her either. Have you heard of Oliver Cromwell? Henry VIII?"
Robert's face brightened. "He was my mother's grandfather."
Father Maurice laughed lightly. "Either you are older than you look or you are very bad at history."
Robert took mock offense. "I excelled in history."
"Then I understand your confusion. Your world never knew of the Protestant Reformation. I assume that everyone is a member of the same church."
"There are Jews, of course, and heretics who practice Black Magic, and the Turkics and Moors who follow Mohamet, and there are also the eastern religions."
"But am I correct that almost everyone in Europe follows the Church in Rome."
"Let me guess,"Father Maurice said. "In your world, the Pope resides in Avignon."
Robert was surprised. "How did you know?"
"I am also a student of history, and I was muggle born. I learned the history of both muggles and wizards. If you like I will bring you a history of Europe when I come next Sunday, so that you may learn how our world was shaped differently."
"I would like that, Father. I would often discuss history with Father Peter between classes. I enjoy knowing what happened but I also like to know why."
"Would you like to give me your confession, now?"
Robert knelt before the priest. "I have caused the death of a good man, Father."
"And how did this happen."
Robert nodded. "I was kidnaped, Father, to be used as a hostage. I managed to escape by the aid of Father Peter who was taken at the same time. He was gravely wounded in the effort, and I know he was given no aid. His only crime was that he tried to protect me when I was taken. I was holding the stone I told you about when I was shot as well, but I received aid when I arrived here, and I still live." Robert shed a tear. "If I did not try to escape then Father Peter would still be alive as well."
"You told me that Father Peter aided you. That means that he approved. It also means that he knew that if you did nothing you would die as well. Such people as those who took you would have no use for you after their villainy was done. Cry for Father Peter because he is dead but cherish his memory. You are alive because of what he did."
Father Maurice walked with Robert back to the entrance of the school and found Albus Dumbledore waiting for him.
"Father, I must talk with you about what Robert Somerset may have told you in the chapel."
"Professor, anything that the boy said to me is under the seal of the confessional. We have nothing to talk about."
Both men smiled at each other in understanding.
"Then perhaps I should take Robert inside and make sure he eats breakfast."
"That would be wise, Professor," Father Maurice replied. He bade Robert goodbye, and activated the portkey that returned him to Beauxbatons School in France.
"Did you find your Matins?" Harry asked when Robert sat down for breakfast.
"I did, no thanks to you," Robert replied. "I see you finally decided to get up. I was told you normally sleep through on Sundays."
Harry laughed. "I do get up to eat."
"Then I'll join you."
"What are matins?" Ron asked. "And where do you find them?"
Robert laughed at the question and was surprised when Hermione laughed as well.
"Ron," Hermione said, "matins is an old Latin term. It means Six in the morning."
"Cor," Ron replied. "Robert, do you always get up that early?"
"I have been known to sleep as late as Half Past, I will have you know," Robert said haughtily, provoking another round of laughter.
Robert was talking with Lavender Brown about the Potions homework she wanted him to help her with. He was trying to explain that Hermione Granger would be tutoring him. An argument caught his attention, and he looked up to where Colin Creevey had been bothering Harry to autograph a picture.
Robert was amazed that Harry treated Colin as a close friend because they were such a contrast. Colin was forever talking about anything when he wasn't taking a picture of it. Harry seemed more at ease and willing to take whatever may come. (When he had asked Harry about the unusual friendship, he was told it was his fault and that Colin had the pictures to prove it.)
As he watched another boy approach, Lavender said, "that's Draco Malfoy. When he's around it always means trouble."
Malfoy had heard Colin's request and was making fun of Harry, but one of the teachers, the pompous Lockhart, came up and took charge of the situation. Robert didn't hear what was said but Lockhart tried to force Harry to pose with him for a picture. Colin quickly took the picture then turned away. From the way he looked, one would assume he didn't want to take that picture. Robert excused himself.
"Colin, What happened?"
"I just wanted Harry to sign a picture for me, to send home. I always get things wrong. Tell Harry I'm sorry."
Robert made it a point to walk with Colin. "You looked ashamed after you took that last picture." Colin didn't answer and Robert decided to try a misdirected question. "Did Harry say something to you?"
"It wasn't Harry. It was Lockhart. He made me feel like a baby for having a camera. I only took that picture to make him stop. Now he wants to sign it."
"Don't develop the picture."
Colin stopped in his tracts. "What do you mean?"
"It's simple." Robert explained, "Lockhart thrives on attention. You had a camera and he had to have his picture taken. If he ever asks, you forgot about all it. He will not show it, but it will be the best insult you can give him. And if I know my popinjays, he will ignore you from then on."
Colin immediately transformed into his boisterous self. "Thanks, Robert. That's a great idea. I know Harry will like it. He hated having his picture taken. Will you tell him what I'm doing, and that it was your idea of course. I wouldn't want to take any credit away from you. That wouldn't be right. And Robert?"
"Yes?" he said as Colin paused for breath.
"Could you ask Harry if he could sign this picture for me, not for me, for my brother, so he'll believe me, that I know Harry Potter, that I'm not making it up."
"Colin, you know how Harry feels about this. I think he would disown me as his cousin if I asked him."
Colin nodded and walked on to his next class and Robert turned back to where Lavender was waiting. He knew he would have had an easier time talking Harry in signing a photograph then he would trying to explain to Lavender, without hurting her feelings, that he didn't want to study with her.
Three days later, Colin came running up to Robert while he was sitting with Harry and shouted happily, "Lockhart talked to me today." Then he ran out of the common room.
"What was that all about?" Harry asked as he looked up from his Transfiguration homework.
"He's your friend," Robert replied as he shrugged his shoulders.
"It's still your fault."
"Explain that to me, and I'll explain what Colin said."
"It's a deal," Harry said, grinning, and turned back to his homework.
It took Robert a full minute to understand that Harry wasn't going to explain anything to him.
Life fell into a routine for Robert. Two nights a week he would join Harry for Quidditch Practice. Three nights a week, he would spend a couple of hours after dinner with Hermione. She loved tutoring him, and he needed to catch up with the rest of his class. Colin, always eager to be a part of anything, would join them sometimes at first, but would often make excuses later on. Hermione also loved teasing Harry about what a fast learner his cousin was, always adding that it was because he applied himself.
It was mid-October when Hermione finally got her wish. She announced to Robert that he had succeeded in learning at least half of the first-year spells. He graciously thanked her, happy to have an end in sight so that his evenings could be free. They sat in the empty classroom, talking about this or that, when Hermione asked her question.
"Robert, when you first arrived, you mentioned that in our world England and France are two separate countries. I was curious . . ." She was cut off by Robert's laughter.
"I was wondering how long it would take you to ask, Hermione. "And I would love to tell you. In my world, the Anglo-French Empire is ruled by Our Most Serene Majesty, John IV. . ."