Disclaimer: I do NOT own Harry Potter or Eyeshield 21 or any of the affiliated characters. What I do own is a kick ass Ash Ketchum hat and a collection of gold medal winning maple syrup. Neither of which will appear in this story.
Warnings: OC's, some OOC, Het, Slash, AU, fluff, language
The Fourth Tackle
Harry officially hated the passport system.
Not only had it taken him a full day to just find where to get the forms, but then when he got back to the Cauldron, he had been utterly confused as what to fill out even after two days of staring at it. There was the easy stuff, his name and birthday, but then he needed his mother's information, and his birth certificate. Then a bunch of other stuff that he really didn't understand and was positive he did not own nor had a way to get. What was a guarantor, and where did he find them? The instruction sheet said it was someone who has had their passport for over five years, but Harry only knew his Aunt and Uncle and there was no way they would sign for him. A picture, that would be easy, but all the other documents needed to prove his identity, his guardianship, his status as a British citizen… was it really this hard to try and leave a country? It was starting to feel like he was imprisoned in Britain.
First he should tackle the things he can get- his birth certificate being one. He hoped. He really didn't know if the wizarding world kept records like that, but it was his hope his mother –her being muggleborn and all- that she had filled out a muggle birth certificate for him. Still, Harry should ask around and find out how the wizarding world worked. It was a shame how little he actually knew about the magical world, just the little things that you don't think are important until moments like this, had him baffled. If asked where he would go to get a birth certificate in the muggle world, he knew exactly where, but not here. If asked where the nearest post office, Harry knew where to go, but in the magical side Harry didn't know if they had post offices or every just assumed you had an owl and sent mail that way. But what if you were too poor to afford an owl? Did wizards and witches trudge into the wild and catch an owl with their bare hands? Well probably not their bare hands, they probably used their wands but the owl wouldn't exactly be trained either so their mail might never arrive… bah! The whole thing was confusing and the only way he would know was to ask.
And ask he shall.
Harry sat himself on a stool and waited for Tom to notice him. Once he did, the barkeep came over and smiled. "What can I do fer ya lad?"
Harry smiled back at him. Tom was a good guy. "Could I get a butterbeer please? And if you have time could I ask you some things?"
"Course yeh can! Give me a moment," Tom answered as he poured a glass of amber liquid for another patron and got Harry's drink. "What do yeh need to know?"
"Do wizards keep birth records?" Harry jumped right in.
Tom seemed surprised but he shook it off. "When a baby is born, ta parents fill out a form at ta Ministry and all ta information is filed away in ta Family Affairs office."
"Oh… do you know if a copy is filed with the Muggle offices?" It was a long shot that Tom would know but he had to try.
"Don't know," Tom said with a shrug.
"Magical and Muggle birth records are completely different," a new voice spoke up. Harry turned in his seat to see a dark skinned woman with a kind smile looking at him and short curly hair that bounced as she talked. "When I learned that my son was a wizard, I was told I needed to fill out a form to show he was magical. The whole process was quick and easy, just some basic information- nothing to the extent you need for the muggle records. Once I was done, the professor tapped it with her wand and said it was being filed at the ministry and to show his proof of birth –that all parents with magical children needed to do it," She explained.
"I see, so I couldn't use it to get a muggle passport?" Harry asked.
The woman chuckled. "Oh heavens no. There is no way the government would accept that. It's a piece of parchment with writing. There's no proof of authentication, half the required information is missing, and it isn't on official paperwork."
Harry felt his shoulders drop at that. Well that sucked. Now he just needed to hope his mother filed his birth in the muggle world.
"Why do you need a muggle passport? Do wizards not have their own form of travel?" the woman asked.
Tom perked up and rejoined the conversation. "Course we do. There's portkeys, they can take ya just 'bout anywhere. The floo, one fireplace to the next, as long as their registered. Apparating is popular with adults. You can easily pop from one place into another. Much simpler an' faster than the muggles."
Harry nodded along and promised himself to look into these things. They did sound fast, but… a part of him wanted to do this the muggle way. His brother was a squib and he didn't want to pop up in front of him and scare him half to death.
"Any reason why you were looking at a muggle passport?" the kind woman asked.
"I want to go to America, but I want to do it the muggle way," he answered.
The woman smiled and was about to say something when she was interrupted. "Mum!"
Harry looked at the new comer and was shocked. "Dean?" he asked.
"Harry?" Dean looked just as shocked to see him but he quickly recovered and grinned. "Harry! What are you doing here?"
"I'm staying at the Cauldron for the rest of the summer, you?"
Dean slapped a hand down on Harry's shoulder as he spoke, "Seamus invited me to meet up and get our Hogwarts stuff together. I was just about to meet up with him but I noticed my mum missing and went looking for her. Can't have my money supply missing can I?" Dean laughed.
Harry felt himself laughing too as he easily fell into Dean's light hearted atmosphere. It was always a pleasure being around the tall boy.
"Dean!" The woman lightly scolded as she sent him a look.
Dan took it in stride and grinned at the woman. "Come on mum, you know I love you."
"Mum?" Harry looked between the two and could he see the resemblance. Dean got his smile from his mother as they both seemed so kind and genuine, and they had the same nose and eyes.
Dean looked back at him and nodded his head. "This is my mum, Evie Thomas. Mum, this is my dorm-mate at school, Harry Potter," Dean introduced them.
Harry quickly stood up and offered his hand to the woman, "It's a pleasure to meet you ma'am."
Evie took his hand lightly and gave him another kind smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you too Harry. Dean has talked so much about you; I was hoping to meet you one day. Although I must ask," Harry steeled himself for whatever she was going to ask. He hoped it wasn't about his scar or that night. Those questions got very tiring. "Dean said that you were the best quidditch player in the entire school, and considering how much he waxes poetic about the sport and how shy he is, I was hoping to ask if you could help give him some pointers? He's been talking about trying out the team but is very nervous he won't be good enough."
"Mum!" Dean whispered hurriedly. "You can't just ask people stuff like that. Especially not Harry Potter…"
Harry blinked. That was a surprise, but a welcome one. Quidditch was one of the few areas he was actually happy and proud to talk about. "Of course I wouldn't mind. Dean is a good friend. But, I don't know how much help I will be. I'm only a seeker, but I could ask Oliver if it would be alright if Dean sat in a few practices and watched, maybe play."
"Would you? That would be wonderful, you are such a sweet boy," Evie exclaimed. "See Dean, he didn't mind at all."
Harry flushed at the woman's words. It felt nice to be complimented like that.
"Mum, Harry will be busy with his own quidditch training, I can't ask him to give up his time to teach me," Dean argued.
Harry cut in, not wanting the mother and son to fight. "I don't mind really. I think it will be fun. Plus as a seeker I just sit there looking around until I see the snitch, it's not like I have to train as hard as the chasers and other players," Harry said.
That seemed to ignite the inner sportsman in Dean as the boy instantly lit up and started talking. "Not as hard? Harry as the seeker you have the heaviest role. You have to find that snitch before the other seeker so the enemy doesn't get the extra 150 points. You battle the most brutal of bludgers, and have you seen some of the dives and catches you made. It's not easy seeing that little golden ball, let me tell you, because even we in the stands can never find it and it's usually closer to us, but not you, you spot the thing so quickly and chase it. Even when you're chasing it most of the audience doesn't see the snitch until its clutched in your hands. I mean, part of the reason I love quidditch so much is because of the awesome catches you made. "
Harry blushed again. How do you respond to that?
"Of course, I wouldn't want to be the seeker. Everyone in school even the Slytherins agree that you are the perfect seeker, but I would want to play chaser. They are just like strikers in football, and like in football they can tell each other exactly what to do with the way they pass the ball. In football the mid-fielder can pass you the ball and it can tell you whether to dribble, pass or shoot. It's all there in that one pass and you can make or break a game from your communication. I think chasers are the same way. Just watching Angelina, Alicia, and Katie play together you can tell they can speak to one another on a different level. Mind you, you are the most impressive Harry, but I think I would have more fun as a chaser," Dean rambled on.
Harry laughed lightly at his friend. "With that much passion, I think you will make a great quidditch player."
"Really? I know I will have to wait until the girls graduate but I don't mind really. Just the chance to play in one game would be amazing," Dean vehemently declared.
"I'm sure if I tell Oliver that letting you play in practices will help the future success of the team, after he leaves, he will be begging you to participate," Harry told the boy seriously. Harry meant to say it in a joking manner but as the words travelled from his brain to his mouth he realized that his prediction would be spot on. Oliver would start training Dean to take over if he knew that it would help Gryffindor in the future. No one loved the Gryffindor Quidditch team as much as Oliver Wood.
Dean seemed ecstatic at the news and the happy grin didn't even falter when the tall boy was tackled from behind with a shout, "Dean!"
"Seamus, get off me!" cried Dean as he went down.
Just then Mrs. Thomas seemed to remember why they were there as she gasped. "Oh dear, we completely forgot about the Finnigans."
"Don't worry about it Evie," a new woman said as she walked up. She was shorter than Mrs. Thomas but still taller than all the boys; she had bright red curly hair, and blue eyes.
"Nellie!" Mrs. Thomas cried as she went to greet the woman. "How have you been?"
"Same ole same ole. We were waiting at the quidditch store like promised but after five minutes Seamus couldn't wait anymore and came bull rushing the pub to find Dean."
"Sorry about the wait. We were walking through the pub when I heard the sweetest little boy asking questions about the muggle world, and well I got a bit distracted. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the boy was Dean's friend Harry," Evie told the other woman. Harry flushed at her words again. He had never been called sweet before.
Just then Seamus and Dean picked themselves off the ground and Seamus noticed him. "Harry! What are you doing here?" he asked with a wide grin.
"Harry? Harry Potter?" Seamus's mother asked.
Harry looked down at the ground as he recognized that hero-worshipping tone in the woman's voice. It had been nice talking to Mrs. Thomas as she seemed not to know who he was, but Mrs. Finnigan was a witch…
"Ah Mam!" Seamus cried. "Don't embarrass my friend. Sorry Harry, I tried turning her off ya, but even after all the tales of how ya left your dirty socks on the floor, how ya never brush your hair, and that time ya started a pillow fight by throwing your dirty pants on Dean's head, she still thinks you're an angel."
Harry felt mortified as he stared at the Irish boy. "I didn't do any of that! I brush my hair every day and I put my dirty laundry in the provided hamper and I would never throw my," Harry felt another wave of mortification flash through him as he lowered his voice, "I would never throw my pants at someone else." How could Seamus say those things and to his mother?
Seamus grinned and threw an arm over Harry's shoulders "I know but you should have seen what me mam was writing to me," Seamus pitched his voice to imitate his mother, "'Don't bother Harry Potter', 'Watch Harry Potter he can teach you how to be a good wizard', 'Harry Potter is good boy, I bet he's doing great services to the wizarding world when he sneaks out at night'."
Seamus' mother looked murderous and quickly reached over and slapped the back of her son's head. "Seamus Cillian Finnigan you stop that right now. How dare you embarrass me and your friend," she scolded her son loudly.
"Mam!" Seamus yelled back as he clutched his abused head.
"You apologize right now!" Mrs. Finnigan cut an intimidating figure as she looked down on her son with her hands on her hips.
"Alright alright. Sorry Harry, didn't mean to say those things."
"It's okay," Harry waved it off, wanting the subject to drop. The faster they got away from the talk of Harry's pant's the happier he would be.
Mrs. Thomas stepped in next and took over. "We need to get you boys your school supplies so we better leave. Harry, dear, would you like to join us?" She asked kindly. Her face was so open and welcoming that Harry wanted to instantly say yes, but… he was unsure, he really didn't want to impose on them especially since this had been a day for Dean and Seamus to get together. It would be rude if he agreed and the boys had to change their plans to accommodate him.
"You don't have to come if you don't want to," Dean spoke to him. "If you already have plans to go school shopping with Ron and Hermione we will understand. No reason to feel guilty." Dean had that calming aura about him again and Harry felt more relaxed and ready to answer.
"I don't have plans with them but I don't want to be bother to you. You already had plans and now you will have to change them for me…" He trailed off. His eyes shoot to the floor, unable to look at either of the Thomas'.
Dean put a reassuring hand on his shoulder and smiled. "Nonsense, it will be fun. We will wait here as you get your money and list okay?"
Harry looked around and seeing that everyone else looked welcoming enough he agreed. It barely took him a minute to return to his room and gather his things before he was back downstairs and with the group.
"Let's get shopping boys!" Mrs. Finnigan exclaimed as she marched towards Diagon alley.
Seamus sighed and face palmed as he watched his mother. "And she says I'm embarrassing," he muttered.
Harry laughed with Dean and followed the Irish boy out.
"No! Blatching is when you grab the other guys broom by the tail!' Seamus argued. The group had finished shopping and went their separate ways but a few days later Harry heard a knock on his door and opened it to find Dean and Seamus standing on the other side grinning at him. Mrs. Thomas and Finnigan had been there as well, and Mrs. Thomas happily announced they stopped by for dinner. On the way down the stairs Seamus had whispered to Harry that his mother felt upset that Harry was staying at the pub alone so when Seamus poked her to come by for a visit she didn't argue. Dean piped in next and told Harry that Seamus mom had called his and they planned the trip to keep him company. Harry felt a wave of gratitude warm him up at the news. Once they got to a table the boys had sat down and in no time at all they got down to discussing important wizarding matters- quidditch.
"I'm telling you that Blatching is locking broom handles, like your latching them together," Dean argued back.
Seamus puffed up his chest and turned to Harry. "Harry, you're the quidditch player here, which is it?" He asked.
Harry had been enjoying the fight and had laughed at both boys. "Blatching is flying with the intent to hit the other player. Blagging is grabbing their broom tail or handle with your hand and Blurting is locking broom handles," he explained.
"Really? I thought intentional colliding was Bumphing," Dean responded.
"No, that's when the beaters hit the bludgers at the audience," Harry explained. He learned all this from Oliver. The quidditch captain was nothing if not thorough when it came to teaching the sport.
"What's the one that the Slytherins use all the time?" Seamus asked.
"Cobbing: excessive use of elbows." Harry rubbed his side in memory of the few times he had been hit there. If it didn't seem ridiculous Harry would swear the Slytherins used a spell to make their elbows extra pointy and sharp before a match. "Though, they should define excessive because some of those jabs are nasty."
Dean snorted at that. "Nasty? Harry, we watched as one Slytherin nearly took off Katie's head with his elbow. They aren't nasty, they are downright vicious."
"What's this about being vicious?" Mrs. Thomas asked.
"Nothing mum!" Dean reacted quickly. "We were just talking about some of the plants in Greenhouse Three. Professor Sprout was talking about how some are really dangerous, but we won't be dealing with them until fifth year."
"That's good to know." Dean's mom seemed mollified. "What's that boy's name that is good with plants in your dorm?" She asked.
"Neville," Dean answered. "He's a genius at the stuff really. I don't know how he does it."
Harry felt bad that he didn't know Neville was a genius at herbology. He shared a dorm with the boy and he should really know more about him. It wasn't just Neville either. He found out all sorts of interesting things about Dean and Seamus today and the day they went shopping, and it made him wonder why he never tried to get to know them better before.
"Neville has his own greenhouse at home and he spends all summer working in it. He got some new plants recently," added Harry.
Dean and Neville both sent him surprised looks. "You write Neville?" Seamus asked.
Harry was slammed with guilt at that. Was he really that bad at being their friend? Maybe that was why Neville sounded so desperate in his letter, wanting Harry to write again. "I sent him a letter before I got here. I'm still working on a reply to his response," Harry mumbled.
"Really? That's awesome. I want to write him but we don't own an owl. I only get to talk to Seamus because we both have telephones," Dean spoke up.
"Yeah, I've been bugging me mam to get an owl but she doesn't think I can take care of it. Hey! I got an idea. How bout we go up to Harry's room and all three of us can write a letter to Neville and send it," Seamus suggested.
Harry nodded eagerly. He liked the idea of getting closer to his other dorm-mates. Mind you, there was nothing wrong with Ron, but it would be nice to have solid conversations with others beside him and Hermione, or to at least have friends to hang out with when those two got fighting.
"Why don't we all go up to Harry's room then? We've finished eating and I'm sure Tom would like his table back for other patrons. But once you finish your letter we need to leave Seamus," Mrs. Finnigan suggested.
Together the group went up to Harry's room and once inside the mothers did what mother's do best. They fussed over everything.
"Oh Harry dear, we should really look into getting you some new clothes, these ones look like they are about to fall apart," Mrs. Thomas said.
"Seems you're only half done you're summer homework. Seamus wouldn't have gotten any of his done if I didn't nag him every day." Mrs. Finnigan inspected his work.
"Harry, sweetheart, you forgot to get your Hogsmeade form signed. You should get on that, it would be a shame if you missed out."
"Seamus, see how clean Harry's owl cage is? If you can promise me to keep your owl's cage that clean I might get you your own owl."
And on and on they went as they walked around. Harry felt a part of him preen under their comments, relishing in the feeling of having a mother nag and worry over him like so. Harry didn't get to preen for long as Seamus grabbed his hand and dragged him over to the desk where together the three boys composed a letter to Neville. Dean wrote it out since he had the best penmanship, and they each talked a little about their summers so far, and invited Neville to visit Diagon Alley with them sometime before school. Seamus had begged his mother for another trip and she finally gave in, whereas Dean's mother had consented quickly enough when Dean pointed out that Harry may get lonely being here by himself. The added fact that the Thomas' lived in London helped.
They were just finishing the letter when Evie asked Harry something. "Harry dear, I was wondering this earlier but why are you applying for a passport alone? Shouldn't your guardians be helping you?" Harry looked back at the woman to see her looking over his passport application.
"Um…" Harry bit his lip in nervousness. How was he supposed to answer that without hinting towards his home life? "Well I only decided to get the passport after I left them for the summer… and since they live in Surrey and the Minister told me to stay in the wizarding world, I can't go see them…"" Harry answered.
Mrs. Thomas tightened her gaze. "Why doesn't the Minister want you going to the muggle side?" She asked lightly.
Harry didn't know if it was true but it felt like the room got very quiet. "Well…" Harry thought about it but he didn't actually know why he had to stay on the magic side. He never asked. "I don't know. Auror Shacklebolt told me to stay on the magic side and to tell Tom when I leave."
Seamus mother stepped forward and joined the conversation. "Auror? Why was an Auror bringing you here?"
Harry felt his insides freeze. Damn, he let too much slip. "Uh…"
Mrs. Finnigan bent down and stared him straight in the eye. "What happened?" She asked in a soft and calm voice. It was a big difference from the loud and brash way she talked normally.
Harry gave a great sigh and decided in for a penny in for a pound. "I deflated my muggle aunt."
"Deflated?" Mrs. Thomas asked.
"Yeah. She was saying all this nasty stuff about me and my parents and I kinda got mad and so I wished she would run out of hot air and then there was a loud pop and she was all flimsy like a broken balloon."
"Oh sweety, what did she say?" Dean's mother asked as she wrapped her arms around Harry. It was a very warm and comforting embrace and without thought, Harry raised his arms and hugged the kind woman back. He really hoped Dean wouldn't mind that he was hugging his mom.
"She said that two bad eggs came together to create me, a little nancy," Harry mumbled into the woman's shoulder.
Evie Thomas didn't say anything; she only ran her hands up and down Harry's back in a comforting gesture.
"And your Aunt and Uncle didn't say anything in your defense?" Mrs. Finnigan asked. Harry shrugged his shoulders, not denying or confirming anything. "So you used magic and your relatives don't want you back so the ministry stuck you here until school?" Again Harry didn't say anything, but he did nod.
Mrs. Thomas pulled away from Harry and looked him straight in the eye. "Harry, I need to ask you something and you need to promise to tell me the truth okay?" Harry nodded though he was feeling very nervous about her question.
"Harry, do you want a muggle passport so you can run away?"
Harry was momentarily stunned. That thought hadn't crossed his mind at all. "No!" Harry stated with more force than he meant. "I just wanted to find my brother." He tried to reassure the woman.
At his announcement everyone in the room looked confused. Knowing he needed to explain more, Harry rushed to the desk and opened the drawer to pull out everything he knew about his brother. "My aunt accidently let it slip I had a brother. They sent him to an orphanage when they took me in, and he was adopted. I found a picture of him playing American football in America, and then I went to the library and found out his name is Thornley and the reason he never went to Hogwarts is because he's a squib." Harry presented all his gathered information to the woman, wanting them to believe that he didn't have any plans to run away. If they thought he might flee, they would possibly tell the ministry and he would never be allowed to find his brother.
Mrs. Thomas took the parchments from his hands and looked it over, while Mrs. Finnigan looked at the newspaper clipping and compared it to Harry's face.
"He's a squib… so you want to use muggle methods in case he doesn't know about magic?" Mrs. Finnigan asked.
Harry nodded his head fiercely. They needed to believe him.
"Alright then," Mrs. Thomas stood up and started gathering Harry's passport application. "My husband works in parliament, nothing too influential mind you, but enough that we should be able to take care of this. I can't promise anything but you should have a passport by Christmas."
Harry couldn't help but beaming at the woman for her assistance. It seemed like they weren't going to tell the ministry.
"If you need help Evie, you can just call me. I got any of the wizarding matters covered." Harry was quick to profusely thank both women for their help. He didn't want to get them involved but it seemed they both were going to help him if he wanted it or not, and well… Harry did want help.
The tense moment was broken when Seamus slid up next to Harry and in a not so quiet whisper asked "Did you really deflate your Aunt? Cause that sounds awesome."
Not a moment later, Mrs. Finnigan's hand was coming down on her son's head. "Seamus Cillian Finnigan! I swear if you even think about doing the same thing to your aunt, God so help me!" The woman threatened.
Dean's mother laughed the moment off before looking at her wrist watch. "It's getting late… Alright boys, finish your letter. Dean, we will come back in a few days to see Harry again." Mrs. Thomas took a moment to think before she was walking over to the desk and jotting something down on some spare parchment, "Here's our phone number Harry, and if you need anything don't be afraid to call or send your owl."
Harry agreed and after that the rest of the visit went by quickly. They finally finished their letter to Neville and Harry sent it off. Afterwards both Dean and Seamus promised to visit soon, and the group left. As Harry closed the door behind him he felt happy and like he was another step closer to his brother and his dorm-mates. This was turning out to be the best summer ever.
Fun Football Fact:
The first football ever used was round