Harry stretched leisurely at his desk on Tuesday afternoon, the tips of his fingers brushing against the steel overhead cabinet behind him. He blinked sleepily at the paperwork in front of him, wishing that the Quidditch playbook he was compiling would simply arrange itself neatly so that he could slip out of the office early. Huffing good-naturedly, Harry plucked his quill from the pine laminate desk and began scribbling more notes on the flying formations he would teach the kids tomorrow.
Immediately following the war, Harry hadn't been sure what he really wanted to do with his life. His fifth year at Hogwarts had given him aspirations toward a career as an Auror, but that fell to pieces after his final battle with Voldemort. He didn't want to have to deal with crimes, and hunting down Death Eaters, or murders. Especially that last. He was absolutely certain that he had seen enough death and destroyed souls to last a lifetime. And because of that, he decided he wanted to spend his time doing something that would make people happy. More specifically, to give kids the childhood he never really had.
Minister Shacklebolt had come to him and asked if he wanted to set up a summer Quidditch program where young witches and wizards could learn the basics of the game, while those slightly older could refine their skills and brush up before returning to their house teams at Hogwarts.
Thus, the Quidditch Camp was born. And Harry was excited, make no mistake. He was just a tad…nervous. He didn't have any kids of his own and wasn't really sure he ever would after his relationship with Ginny had gone to hell.
There was just a niggling part of his mind that was unsure how everyone would respond to him. Adults he knew how to handle. They would approach him with awe and glazed-over eyes and he would smile tightly, shaking their hands and posing for photographs. But would the campers react the same way?
Harry shook his head to get rid of the anxiety–inducing thoughts. He was twenty-six years old for fucks sake. He would just go into it the same way he approached everything. All Gryffindor bravery and wands-blazing. Well, maybe not wands-blazing. He wanted to teach the children, not scare them into juvenile heart attacks. He grinned ruefully at the thought of the Ministry trying to explain how Harry Potter had sent almost four dozen school children to St. Mungo's and then dove back into work.
Wednesday morning came sooner than expected. Harry had anticipated tossing and turning all night worrying that there was something he'd forgotten to implement for the first day's activities. But the knowledge that he had a great hand-picked staff in place calmed his nerves and his mind.
The Department of Magical Games and Sports had spent the year after Voldemort's defeat building a small, but effective Quidditch pitch and adjoining office in an abandoned field on the outskirts of Liverpool. As Harry apparated to the designated area below the stands, he took in the sight of the freshly manicured pitch with pride. The goal posts and flanking bleachers were not professional grade by any means, but they were well-made and perfectly suited for the children who'd be playing today. Morning sunlight glinted off the field of grass and caused a small smile to appear on Harry's face.
"She looks beautiful, doesn't she?" as voice said from behind him.
Harry whirled around and spotted Timothy Miel, the assistant coach for Quidditch Camp. Timothy had sandy-brown hair, icy blue eyes, and a chiseled jaw that always made Harry think of the Muggle actor, Daniel Craig. Today he wore a fitted navy blue t-shirt and dark jeans that hugged him cozily in the rear.
Harry swallowed noisily, trying to rid his mind of that thought and instead chuckled at Tim personifying the pitch as a "she." He couldn't help but agree though. "Absolutely beautiful."
"Are you ready for the kiddies today?" Tim asked with a grin, falling into step with Harry around the stands and toward the small business office.
"I think so," he admitted. "More ready to get up in the air and play than deal with more planning and paperwork."
"Too right," Tim said, clapping a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Leave all the paper pushing to Allie and Phil, yeah?"
"Don't think they'd appreciate that too much," he chastised gently. Allie and Phil were brother and sister and would be teaching the youngest players Quidditch basics. But Harry couldn't deny that their true strengths seemed to lie in administration. Allie had compiled a detailed schedule for the first week that would put Hermione's organizational skills to shame.
The office door opened before Harry could put his hand on the knob and Phil stood in the doorway looking every bit the excited camper. "All right there Harry? Tim?" he called. His brown eyes twinkled under a mop of matching brown hair almost as messy as Harry's own.
"Morning Phil," Harry and Tim echoed back.
They entered the room together and Harry was still stunned at how official the place looked. Six desks were arranged neatly, two on the left, and three on the right with Harry's large desk along the back wall. Posters featuring players from the Tornados, Cannons, and other various professional teams adorned the walls. A door on the left wall adjacent to Harry's desk led to a private bathroom and shower.
"Harry, I'm so glad you're here!" Allie called out, before he could walk to the back of the room. The petite brunette insinuated herself right into Harry's direct line of sight waving a piece of parchment in her hand.
"Allie, hi. What is it?" he asked, chewing his lower lip. He would never understand how someone could be quite so excitable at 8am.
"One of the kids dropped out, the Jeffries boy. Seems his parents decided to take him on a vacation to Egypt instead of coming to camp." Allie scowled, her pixie-like face visibly irked that the family had dared to waste her time.
"Well, we can just pull someone off the waiting list right?" Harry was unsure what the big deal was. Parents were sometimes more fickle than the children, but there were plenty of names to fill the missing spot.
"Yes Harry, we can, but the next child on the list - " She was abruptly cut off by the appearance of two more staff members, Sophia and Marco. The boyfriend and girlfriend duo were dynamos on brooms and once Harry had seen them in the air, he hired them without any further interview.
"Morning boss!" Sophia called out, her long black hair swinging as she crossed the room in quick strides. She arrived at her desk on the right side of the office with Marco following her lead and sitting at the desk in front of hers. "You plan to do something about those gnomes on the field or should I?"
Harry sighed and dragged a hand through his thick hair. "We've got gnomes? Shit."
"Don't worry about it Harry. There's still another hour before people start showing up. Plenty of time to get rid of a few pesky critters," Tim called from his seat. "C'mon."
Harry started toward the door and realized Allie was still trying to talk to him about the vacant position. He placed a calming hand on her forearm. "Do whatever you need to Allie. I trust your judgment." With that, he followed Tim out the front door before she could argue back.
Gnomes were evil creatures. Not inherently so. Just when you were trying to get rid of them before forty-two school kids and their parents arrived for a camp that you were touting as safe, educational, and fun.
A bead of sweat rolled down Harry's temple and he made the mistake of wiping it away with the hand where one of the more devilish gnomes had bit him. He muttered a curse under his breath as the salt stung in his wound. It was shaping up to be a lovely morning. Aside from the de-gnoming, there was scheduled to be a massive summer thunderstorm right in the middle of their day. He, Marco, and Phil had spent another twenty minutes casting a weather-proof charm in a dome around the pitch. And oh yeah. It was sweltering hot.
Harry's light blue t-shirt stuck to his torso uncomfortably and he wrinkled his nose at the sensation while walking back to the office. "Do I have time for a quick shower?" he asked Allie as he entered the room. Everyone else was back out on the pitch setting out equipment and an assortment of different colored pinnies.
She frowned at his appearance in a very Aunt Petunia-ish way. "Make time," Allie replied simply.
After showering, Harry felt much better and braced himself to meet all his campers. He could hear a multitude of loud voices from where he stood in the office.
His approach to the field was unnoticed at first until a small red-headed girl, maybe nine years old, caught his eye and yelled triumphantly."He's here! Harry Potter!"
All the other children turned in his direction from where they were sat on the grass and cheered. Harry ducked his head shyly, but continued walking nearer. They all waited in rapt attention when he reached the middle of the field and held a hand up for quiet.
"Hello everyone," he began. "I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for deciding to come to Quidditch Camp this year. Now we'll be working with three different age levels, seven to nine, ten to twelve, and thirteen to fifteen. Each age level will be broken up into two teams and will train and then compete…"
Harry finished up his welcome speech and then introduced the other coaches. While Tim was explaining that he would be working with the advanced group, Harry took a chance to look over the attendees. He was inexorably reminded of the sorting at Hogwarts and felt a twinge of sadness at how his time at the wizarding school had ended. There seemed to be a good mix of campers, roughly even with girls and boys, slight and husky. Harry squinted at a tall muscular child that was huddled with the twelve year olds. He looked to be about sixteen easy and Harry would be sure to have Allie double-check his birth documents.
Looking over at the youngest kids he noted a child sitting cross-legged on the grass paying close attention to everything Phil was saying to the beginners group. He had delicate doe-like limbs, a pale complexion and a smile on his face that could have passed as either a sneer or a smirk. But that wasn't what caught his attention. What did was the mass of white blond hair that fell over the child's face.
"I see you've spotted the replacement," Allie whispered from his side.
"Is that - " he trailed off.
She nodded vigorously. "That's what I was trying to tell you earlier. That's Draco Malfoy's son. Scorpius."