An Auror’s First Day
Harry found a seat between a battered looking wizard and a portly witch. Neither looked Auror material, but then Harry’s qualifications weren’t exactly there either. Having brought down Voldemort, though a few exceptions were made for him. He still had to cram a lot of studies in, the things he would have learned if he had been able to attend his final year at Hogwarts. Hermione was a great help; Harry really doubted he would have passed the appropriate NEWTS if it weren’t for her. He did pass, though, if only barely, and was finally able to start his true training as an Auror. Now that Harry had his seat he studied the room, a well-lit, wood-paneled room on the second level of the Ministry of Magic. Harry was just in time for the first class. He was nervous, but nowhere near as nervous as soom of the others. The battered wizard was even shaking slightly.
“Are you ok, sir?” Harry asked to the man, who had about fifteen years on him.
“Oh, yes, yes. Fine, just fine.” replied the man, not looking over at Harry.
“This is the Auror class correct?”
“That it is, m’boy. This would be my second time taking it. I’m totally ready this time.”
“The class is that hard?” Harry started wondering if Hermione would help him with this as well, but really doubted it. You need to learn this for yourself. He could practically hear her in his mind: How do you expect to be a good Auror if I’m doing the work for you?.
“Indeed, indeed. The NEWTS were nothing compared to this training.”
“And I thought my days of essays were over,” Harry said under his breath, but the man still heard.
“Essays? What are you talk…” He finally turned to Harry and stopped when he saw the lightning shaped scar. ”Ha…Ha…Harry Po…”
He almost had the name out when the wall to Harry’s right blew up. Chunks of splintered wood battered the class, and smoke filled the air. Harry couldn’t hear from the impact of the explosion and the smoke cut down his visibility to a few feet. Everything past that was just dark forms. There were three tall dark forms near the large hole, but Harry couldn’t tell who they were. His attention was taken off of the figures by what looked to be waves making their way through the smoke. When Harry’s eye follow one of the waves, he saw the smoke funneling into the wand of the wizard that had been seated next to him. Once the smoke was cleared enough, one of the dark figures stepped forward with wand in hand and yelled, “WANDS DOWN! GET AGAINST THAT WALL!” It was then that Harry recognized the masks they wore. Death Eaters?! But why would they be here in the ministry? And without the protection of Voldemort. No…
“Avada kedavra!” yelled on of the other Death Eaters. A bright green bolt collided with the portly woman who was cowering on the ground.
“Expelliarmus!” was Harry’s immediate response. He ducked behind an overturned table as the other two Death Eaters targeted him, but soon the others in the class joined the fray and the Death Eaters backed from the room, taking shelter on the sides of the large hole in the wall. They were good. In little to no time most of the witches and wizards were either disarmed or incapacitated in some way. It got to the point where only Harry and the battered wizard were left. Harry heard the Death Eaters approaching. After a quick peek, he saw all three advancing, the third newly rearmed, Harry glanced at his fellow wizard and there was an instant knowing, they’d try one last ditch attempt. Together they blasted the table towards the Death Eaters, taking one out, and charged the others. Both the battered wizard and a Death Eater got lucky hits with a stunning spell taking each other out. Harry aimed his own, but the last Death Eater blocked it.
“Petrificus totalus!” the Death Eater said in a voice like tires on a gravel road. Harry’s body went rigid as a board as he fell back. The Death Eater took a moment to glance around and make sure everyone was subdued, then he walked over and stood over Harry. In his gravelly voice he said, “Well, done Mr. Potter. A valiant effort. The table was a nice touch. Hopefully, you didn’t hurt Ms. Ericson too badly.” He chuckled. It was an odd sound with the gravel sound of his voice. ”Finite incantatem. Excellent first lesson. Top marks for you and Mr. Harrison over there. Wouldn’t you agree, Ms. Jambles?”
“Oh yes!” came a honey smooth voice. The portly woman rose to her feet and started dusting herself off. ”Now the fun part. Mr. Potter, would you help us with the other students?”
“This was a…lesson?”
“Yes, indeed. Your class received the easiest one. The last class was poisoned with their afternoon tea. Quite a nasty sight, it was.” spoke the gravelly voiced man finally removing his mask, to reveal a handsome tanned face marred only by a sliver scar stretched down his cheek.
“Like you had to clean any of it up, Jarvis?” Ms. Jambles scoffed, “Now, how about the others? There is still plenty to do this lesson.”
“Er, sure,” and Harry started helping Jarvis and Ms. Jambles wake the other instructors and students. Better than an essay I suppose, Harry thought.
Serral awoke with a smile on his face. He did instantly open his eyes once regaining consciousness since he could feel Cest in his arms. He just wanted to savor the feeling. Slowly he opened his eyes and found that Cest was already awake and watching his face.
“Good morning, Ser.”
“Good morning, beautiful,” Serral responded, which prompted a smile to spread across Cest’s face. A soft warm smile. Then her countenance darkened.
Cest was still freaked out by her run in with the strange creatures, but she knew there was little hope in her falling asleep right now. No matter how inviting Serral’s arms were. She felt something for him. Love. Yes love. I don’t know how or when, but I love Serral. I don’t want to be away from him. Ever. She longed to tell Serral her revelation, but she was also so trepidations of him not returning the feelings. She had to somehow. She thought of how to say it. When. In her current state, scared of what may happen, she decided it must be now.
Cest spoke, “Serral…could we go to lake? I just want to get out in the night air for a bit. Then, we’ll come back and sleep. I just know I won’t sleep now.”
Serral’s chores passed by in a haze; his thoughts too focused on the previous day and this morning. Try as he might, he couldn’t banish the thoughts he was having about Cest. Once he had finished everything he needed to do, he returned home to await Cest’s arrival. He waited for awhile. An hour. Two. Three. Where could she be?
A cock crowed outside causing Serral to stir from his slumber. The first thing he noticed was Cest’s presence. Her very close proximity, right in his arms. Her head resting upon his chest. He was disoriented by her presence at first, but then the previous days events flooded back into his mind. It seemed all a bad dream, though Cest’s presence confirmed it all. She was still asleep curled closely to him. It seemed a shame to wake her as her face should so much peace and calm, and oddly, it felt right to Serral. His best friend right here in his arms, but it was confusing still. This was his best friend. Someone he grew up with and spent everyday with, though in a small village such as theirs, that was common. There wasn’t a single resident Serral didn’t know and most were seen on a regular basis. Yesterday Cest was merely his friend and suddenly, there’s this feeling in him. A peace brought on by her presence, but also a small passion. It wasn’t strong, but it was noticable; right there burning in his chest where her head lay.
The wagon creaked into view. There were three more of the odd, cloaked creatures escorting the wagon. One driving the wagon and two flanking it’s sides. Cest couldn’t see any weapons on the creatures, but there was no telling what was hidden within the folds of their cloaks. If the cloaked things weren’t odd enough, then the things pulling the wagon were. They were equine in shape, but that’s it. They were hard muscled, chiseled almost. Their skin was a reddish brown and devoid of all hair. Where the mane should be was a row of spikes starting from the crest of the head with a foot long horn and diminishing in size down its neck to a spot between its shoulders. The eyes were oddly small for the creature’s size. One of the beasts let out a snort followed by a strange cough.
Serral sat quietly perched in a tree overlooking the path cutting through the forest. His eyes were closed, giving strength to his other senses, and his position was completely masked by the foliage. Eyesight was limited to one’s immediate surroundings in the thick brush. Every sound made Serral’s ears prick. A ruffle of leaves. A twig snapping. Birds squabbling. These sounds were dismissed. Serral sought the sound of horses and wagon wheels. In the last week there had been many tracks found winding along this path, and though it was an often used path, there was never any sight of the makers of the tracks. These were foreigners as well, for the wagon wheel’s tracks were far too thin for what was used in Serral’s homeland. With the amount of rain received, thin wheels meant stuck wagons. The deep groves left by the outsider’s wagon’s belied it’s heavy load.
“Serral” came his whispered name from a tree across the path.
“Cest, you know we are to remain quiet!” Serral said in a hurried whisper, sure to make it’s sound sharp to convey how serious he was.
“I’m bored, Ser. We’ve been out here, for an hour already.” whined Cest from her hidden position. “Can’t we at least talk?”
“No! We have no way of knowing if the foreigners are peaceful or not. They’re obviously attempting to stay hidden. It’s our job to discover why. And we only have another hour before Tarence and Claud take our place.”
“’Only an hour’” Cest mocked, but she finally quieted down. Cest and Serral had been friends since birth, best friends. Their village was small, but it was quaint, cozy, and not far from a major trading town. Typically a village like theirs wouldn’t be called upon to deal with foreigners, but these people were elusive, and those in the small villages knew the area best.
Serral shifted in the tree, and settled in for the next hour; ears still intent. After a time, the gentle squeak of wheels made its way to Serrals ears. Queitly, he drew his bow and checked to see if his dagger was loose in its scabbard. They were to only engage if they were engaged, but Serral preferred to be ready. The sounds grew closer and every so often an odd throaty coughing sound was heard. A twig snapped near Serral’s position, and his eyes bolted open, falling upon a cloaked figure just about to pass under Serral’s tree. The man’s charcoal cloak cover his whole body from head to toe. All that could be seen were the man’s hands. Well, if indeed he was a man. His hands spoke differently. There were but three fingers, a thumb and two others. The skin was all black and stretched along the bones like the skin of a drum. The hands looked frail, but something about them told Serral they were anything but frail. The creature continued along the path, apparently scouting ahead. Finally the rest of the group came into sight…
Into the roaring flames, amidst the smoldering coals, the iron goes.
The Blacksmith watches close as the iron’s edges begin to glow,
Intense heat licking at the hard metal, melting what nature froze.
The flame’s heat spreads to the ingot’s core, seeping in ever so slow.
The Blacksmith waits…watching close, waiting for the perfect time.
When the iron glows and the time is right, He pulls it from the flame
With a pair of tongs. The glowing metal is rest upon the anvil.
A hammer is hoisted up high and paused a moment. He takes aim
And brings the hammer down. The strike resonates sharp and shrill.
The process is repeated, but quickened; the hammer and iron sing,
As the Blacksmith gets a feel for it’s mettle. Slowly, He shapes the iron.
His hammer clapping on the iron, crashing and clanging upon it.
The metal is thrust into the fire returning the heat from it’s personal sun.
The Blacksmith returns to fashioning the iron; He cannot quit
Until He is done and the iron has reached it’s full potential.
What it is to be only He knows. It’s future lays before it, written
In the stroke of His hammer. Though, in His craft He is masterful,
He still takes His time. He adds His love and care to His creation.
After the long hours crafting the iron, whether into sword or axle,
He plunges the metal into water to solidify His creation in it’s perfection.