Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Harry Potter characters.
Six weeks. It was six weeks to the day since he'd fought Dark Lord wannabe: Morvis, and his misguided forces at the World Cup. It was all of two weeks later when he'd first awoken, in Sirius's old room, with the mad delusion that the last twenty months had all been a dream; just a bad dream. A simple trip to the loo had convinced him otherwise. Reality was brought jarring back when he'd looked in the mirror. In that mirror he saw the face of the once Alan Brandt, now again, Harry Potter, staring back at him. It had not been an easy for him since that moment.
At first, Remus Lupin had been over the moon to have him not only alive, but alive and free of the horrific curse that Voldemort's Spectral Basilisk had infected Harry's body and soul with.
That had been then, this was now.
Now, Remus was anything but thrilled with Harry and the changes he was instituting.
To not inform the Weasley's of his miraculous survival had been the subject of many arguments , including the one they we're now having...
"Please, Harry." Remus all but begged.
"Harry, you simply can't let them go on believing your dead. It's cruel."
Harry stifled a derisive snort. "They no more think me dead than you do."
"There's a distinct difference, cub. I know the proof stands before me. They simply believe. Their faith in you is unwavering. On a daily basis, Molly Weasley floo calls me to ask if I've heard any news regarding your possible whereabouts. She's yet to pose the question of whether or not you even survived. I believe she knows you have, but won't be at peace until she's seen you for herself. I, for one, refuse to lie to her any longer. The next time she calls I'm going to tell her you're here, I'm going to tell her everything." he threatened his young charge.
Harry did not rise to his challenge. "You will do as you must, as I have done likewise." Came his cryptic reply.
His words puzzled Remus but before the latter could inquire as to his meaning, Harry pressed on in a melancholy tone. "It doesn't matter really. I've made arrangements to announce my continued existence, and along that line, my immediate plans for the future as well."
"What? Harry,... what have you done?" Remus asked in growing concern.
Harry had been going out disguised by glamour charms, of late. Where he'd ventured to or what he's been doing had remained an intentional mystery. Each time he's returned seeming both excited and yet, unsure. The last two days, however, he'd seem more resolved and at ease with himself. He'd even returned today with a garment bag slung over his broad shoulder.
Tonks had been thrilled that he'd gone shopping, though disappointed he'd not asked her to come along to help him select his new wardrobe. She was successfully able to hide her disappointment with the knowledge that he was at last showing signs of beginning to embrace life again. The purchase of new clothes was a small concession, but hey, this was Harry Potter, any change was telling. He was rejoining the world at large. Had Tonks known what was contained in the garment bag and what tomorrow would bring, she would be less than thrilled.
"Harry...?" Remus prompted.
Harry fixed his gaze on the world outside the library window. "I'll be leaving tomorrow, Remus." He replied stoically.
"Leaving...?" Remus echoed in surprise.
"I've, er, arranged for other quarters and am beginning a new occupation tomorrow, one that's going to be taking up a considerable amount of my time."
"What new occupation? Harry, what about quidditch? You can't tell me that you want to give that up. I know you too well. You love flying, its second nature to you. The Cannon's would be thrilled to get their star seeker back. Why don't you give them a call?" he suggested, adding. "Why not do something that you enjoy. Ron would be ecstatic to know that you we're not only alive, but that he'll be playing with you, teammates again and all that. Ginny's playing as well. though she's on a different team, I'm sure you'd get plenty of opportunities to see her around the circuit."
Harry grimaced slightly at the mention of Ginny's name, but recovered quickly before Remus could notice and replied.
"Ginny has her own life to live, as do I. What she does with it is her business. I have my own ideas along those lines and they don't involve Ginny, or any of the rest of the Weasley's for that matter. Though, it may interest you to know that I have contacted the Cannon's and have agreed to play with them in a limited capacity, on reserve status." Harry added as an afterthought.
At the mention of Ginny's name, Harry's back had visibly stiffened and Remus had caught the look of regret that ghosted across his young friend's features. What Remus had thought would be the deciding factor to entice Harry to return to playing quidditch, Remus could now see he'd made a tactical blunder. There was a distinct coldness regarding the subject of his former love interest. Despite Harry's reaction, Remus was at least pleased to learn that Harry was planning to return to quid ditch in some capacity. Anything that Harry found joy in doing was worth pursuing. If there was anyone who deserved the chance to embrace life, to savor all the joy the world had to offer, it was Harry.
"I'm glad to hear that you're going to play. Dora and I would love to come and see you play sometime." he hinted slyly.
"The words are barely out of my mouth and you're already putting the touch on me for tickets, eh?" Harry chided good naturedly. "Just let me know when you plan to come and I'll be happy to get you tickets." Harry offered in a pleasant, if off hand fashion.
"That's generous of you, thank you. I don't suppose you'd care to enlighten me on what you plan to be doing with the rest of your time if you're only going to be playing quidditch on a 'limited basis'?" Remus asked innocently
"You'll have to wait till tomorrow. I have a few things I need to sort out first. I've been offered a position that I think will make the best use of my talents, but, I still require a few concessions before I will accept the post and the subsequent announcements can be made. I intend to resolve the matter this evening."
"Why all the mystery?" Remus asked suspiciously.
"Simply taking precautions. You'll understand everything tomorrow, I promise." Harry assured him.
Harry nodded his head and replied softly, "Tomorrow."
September sixteenth dawned bright and clear finding Harry already up and dressed in what he was sure would be the attire he would be wearing for the rest of his life, however long that may be?
Satisfied with his appearance, as he looked over his reflection in the mirror of his armoire, Harry turned and was about to head down stairs when he heard a shriek followed shortly by feet pounding up the stairway toward his room. The proverbial-'cat was out of the bag' He steeled himself for the coming confrontation as fists pounded furiously at his bedroom door.
"Harry James Potter, you open this door immediately." Dora barked from the hallway.
Harry waved his hand and removed the locking charm from his door. He used wandless magic with a casual ease.
"Come in." He called pleasantly.
Tonks entered, her eyes glued to the missive she was scanning as she blurted anxiously, if sarcastically.
"Harry love, the Ministry owled a letter that all aurors are to report to the ministry this morning for a special ceremony. You wouldn't happen to know anything about a new induction into the Unspeakable Corp?"
Tonk's words trailed off as she and Remus stood gaping in the doorway of his room. Dora held the crumpled page of the message she'd received tightly in her fist.
Two pair of eyes stood transfixed at the site before them. A tall, broad shouldered, powerfully built, young man wearing a crisp night black uniform and a maroon cape that was so dark it almost appeared black to the untrained eye. Four gold bars were standing out on each shoulder lapel, proudly advertising his rank as a full commander within the Unspeakables Corp. That alone, was a rare site.
Unspeakables were rarely viewed by the public sector and an officer, let alone a full commander, was a site that few people witnessed in their lifetimes. As rare as these things were, in and of themselves, it was the presence of the shinning sword at his left hip that drew their abject attention.
The silver hued hilt of a sword with a grip wrapped in a dragon hide thong, protruded from a night black scabbard. The blade of this sword was magically forged; pure silver merged with night black iron wood from the Forbidden Forest. Goblin wrought, cold forged steel honed to razor sharpness, completed the body of the blade. By legend, such a blade as this was said to be able to slay any foe, magical or otherwise. No one knew the proof of this, however, since such a weapon has not been forged in nearly a millennia, when the last wizard to carry such a blade was still alive.
Shaking herself from her shocked stupor, Nymphadora Tonks raised her eyes from the sword at his hip to the piercing green eyes of the man before her. Her mouth worked soundlessly as she struggled to form the words to the first of many questions.
Harry quirked an eyebrow and took the lead.
"The sword's a bit much, I know. I was having trouble deciding if I should carry it traditional fashion on my hip, or warrior style across my back with the hilt over my right shoulder. I think for today, I'll go with what the Ministry officials expect. I'm not really sold on the cloak however, what do you think?" he finished grinning.
"W-What do I think?" Tonks began, the shock having finally worn off. "I'll tell you what I bloody well think. I THINK YOUR INSANE!"
"Now, Dora.." Remus cajoled, having finally found his own voice.
"Now Dora nothing!" Tonks said in growing anger. "Tell me what the rumors I've been hearing and what this message implies isn't true?" she barked, shaking the crumpled paper in her fist at him.
"Tell me that isn't what I think it is?" She pointed emphatically at the sword he carried.
Harry paused a bit too long before answering and her outrage grew proportionately.
"Tell me that's damn thing doesn't sing when it's drawn!" she shrieked at him.
Harry quirked an eye brow as he patted the sword at his hip. "Wellll,.. it does have a rather melodious hiss as the steel scraps from the scabbard, but, it only does it for me." he added ruefully.
"Merlin's manky member! He's finally gone and done it, Remus. He's gone round the twist, he has." she bellowed in outrage to her companion ,who for his part, looked totally confused as to her meaning.
"Gods, Remus! Do I have to spell it out for you? That's a song blade he's carrying!"
Remus's puzzled expression began to fade as he mulled over the significance of this revelation."A song blade? There hasn't been a singing blade since the time of the…?"
"Knights! He's become a Bloody Magical Knight!" she snapped out, finishing his train of thought.
"There's really nothing to get so excited over. It's the logical course really." Harry interjected evenly.
"Harry, please explain your reasoning for this?" Remus asked quickly, heading off another outburst from his wife. He received a cold stare from her, for his trouble.
"As an Unspeakable, I will be able to continue investigating all manner of dark crimes. That's something I had planned to do anyway by becoming an auror. Becoming an auror is what I had originally planned to do once I'd graduated from Hogwart's. As an Unspeakable, I obtain the added bonus of being unanswerable to the public at large. Reporters may not question me without the express consent of my superiors.
As a Commander within the Unspeakable Corp, I have no immediate superiors. I am answerable only to the Minister of Magic. As broad ranging as that appears, it is still quite confining ,as it limits my authority to only that within the confines of the British Isles.
The Confederation of Wizards besieged me to accept the post of Magical Knight, which grants me that same authority as an Unspeakable, only spanning the entire globe. As a knight, I am answerable only to the Confederation, when outside of the British Isles."
He paused for a moment noticing the worried looks they were sharing with one another, before continuing emphatically…
"Let's face it, this is what I do. This is what I'm best at. I can continue to fight against dark wizards and solve dark crimes, but now I can do it freely and on a much broader scale. I can't be hounded endlessly by the press anymore. I don't have to suffer fans and crazed hero worshippers cornering me at every turn. I don't have to sift through miles of red tape, nor be bogged down by incompetent bureaucrats. I don't have to sit idly by whist criminals hide behind corrupt officials. Best of all, I can work alone. I don't have to worry about placing my friends in danger anymore, but at the same time; all local governing agencies are obligated to render me assistance if I should have need of it."
Finishing his explanation he waited patiently for their reaction. He didn't have long to wait, though he was a tad surprised by the passionate response he received as coming from Remus, not Tonks in this instance.
"Is that all that's important to you now, being alone, working alone; not having to worry about anyone else who may want to help you? That's not what the Harry I knew wanted. That Harry wanted to be with his friends and have a family of his own more than anything else in the world. That Harry wanted Voldemort out of his life so that he could have a life."
"The Harry you're describing was a boy with a boy's fanciful dreams, not a grown man, a wizard, with a grown wizard's responsibilities." he returned incredulously. "I think we can all agree that I have a certain knack for finding trouble, or should I say, it finds me. I think we can also agree that I've been well trained to deal with such occurrences and that I am imbued with the abilities that allow me to deal with them somewhat effectively. Like you said last night, Remus; I'm a natural flyer, but, that's not all I'm a natural at, is it?" He asked with a wry knowing grin.
"No, you're a natural fighter too." Remus sighed in resignation.
"You're also a talented singer. Why not pursue a career in entertainment? You could bring joy to so many." Tonks interjected hopefully, almost desperately.
"I er, don't know that I'm that good." Harry disagreed, blushing profusely.
"Awe, go on. One of my friends was working security the night of the Ministerial Ball and she said you we're nothing short of brilliant." Tonks chided, hoping to dissuade him.
"Actually, the minister suggested that I should consider doing some sort of benefit concert. It would not only benefit a good cause, but would also help appease the curiosity of the public; sort of a controlled 'meet and greet' sort of thing." Harry said somewhat unconvinced at the prospect.
"I think the idea has merit. Perhaps you could do something like that on an annual basis. Give the public a chance to see you up close, maybe even do a quick press conference before hand to alleviate some of the curiosity about your role as a Knight. Again, with the added benefit of funding a charitable cause, one of your own choosing." Remus suggested thoughtfully, ignoring the glare he was getting from his wife.
Tonks had only suggested performing as a diversion, a possible career to take the place of accepting a commission as a knight,, not as an addendum too.
"You're not seriously advocating that he accept the responsibility of knighthood?" she questioned aghast to her partner.
"No.., I don't condone his choice, Dora, but I think we have very little say in the matter. I'm sure that Harry has already made up his mind. The evidence of having done so now stands before us." Remus swept is hand the breadth of Harry, indicating his current appearance.
"I am standing right here you know. You needn't talk around me." he said huffily.
"You mentioned a midnight ceremony before, I take it you've already taken your vows? " Remus said in resignation.
Harry quirked a suspicious eyebrow, but answered truthfully. "Actually, no, I haven't. It was only a ritual for blessing me in my chosen endeavors. It's a traditional part of the knighting ceremony. I'm expected to take my vows this morning, after which the Ministry will officially announce my continued existence and the Confederation having conferred upon me Knighthood."
Remus shared a meaningful look with Tonks before he asked. "Could we possibly attend?"
"I don't see why not. The ceremony is being held publicly in the atrium of the Ministry at ten o'clock this morning. I'm pleased that you both would wish to come."He responded with a too warm sincerity. He was not oblivious to the conspiratorial look that Remus and Tonks shared with one another.
"Oh, we wouldn't miss it for the world." Dora graciously accepted his invitation.
"Great, at ten then. I'm off to the ministry to settle a few last minute details. I'm really pleased that you two are both behind me in this." Harry said gratefully as he took a hand from each and gave them an appreciative squeeze before he swept from the room.
Remus and Tonks shared a brief guilty look before they shook it off and started to move.
"You go to Hogwarts and collect Minerva and Poppy." He directed her.
"Bring them over to the Burrow where I'll be gathering the Weasleys. If we move quickly we may be able to head off the stubborn git before he gets himself into something that he can never get out of. A Knight,… of all things?" Remus huffed in exasperation.
"Should I tell McGonagal and Pomfrey what's up or wait till we get to the Burrow?" Dora asked.
"Best wait till we're all together. It'll cushion the blow. None of them even really knows for a certainty that he's still alive. I think that joyous announcement will be tempered by the news of his latest undertaking." Remus said warily.
"Hmphh, that's the understatement of the year." Tonks threw in before stepping into the grate and calling out," Hogwart's-Headmistress's office."
Tonks spun from view and Remus stepped into the grate and called out,