Chapter 80 - Consolidation

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Harry had been doing a lot of thinking since the final staff meeting and on the second to last day of term he arranged a meeting with Dumbledore in the evening. He left Draco overseeing the last detention of term and headed over to the headmaster's office.

"Welcome, Harry," Dumbledore said as soon as he stepped through the door. "I must say I was very happy to see you and Draco have taken the school up on their offer and are staying on for another year. I find I have grown very used to having both of you dear boys around."

"There's nowhere I'd rather be," Harry said and meant every word.

"Now," Dumbledore said, "what it is you would like to talk about?"

"A couple of things actually," he revealed and walked over to take his usual seat, "firstly, brooms. I couldn't help but notice that the school brooms are very out of date and some of them are bordering on being downright dangerous."

Dumbledore nodded as Harry spoke.

"I have to agree," the headmaster said, "but I am afraid, with all the added expenses, the brooms are something of a low priority."

"Oh, I totally understand," Harry said, "which is why I wanted to offer to replace them all. Fred and George had a line of a job lot of Nimbus 2000s. Not the latest, I'll admit, but still much better than the ones we have at the moment."

He stopped talking as he realised Dumbledore actually looked surprised, which was such a rare occurrence that it rather put him off his stride.

"That would be a very significant financial undertaking, my dear boy," Dumbledore said.

"Well, I suppose," he replied, "but these are rejects from some of the smaller professional Quidditch teams, they aren't broken, just not as fast as they wanted, so they're going cheap. I might even get them cheaper if I offer cash up front."

Dumbledore blinked and then twinkled at him.

"Well, if you are sure, Harry," the headmaster said, "I and the rest of the school would be most grateful."

"Brilliant," Harry said, "I'll get Fred and George onto it right away and have Bill forward them the money. They know all the right people. There is just one thing?"

"Yes, my boy?"

"I'd really rather no one knew where the brooms came from," he said.

"Are you sure?" Dumbledore asked. "For donations of such a considerable size it is usual to provide some sort of commemorative ..." Harry made a face. "But, I quite understand. We will log the donation as a grateful anonymous patron."

"Thank you, Albus," Harry said.

Dumbledore smiled at him.

"And what was the other matter?" the headmaster asked.

"Well," Harry said, "now that I know I'm going to be here for a while I was wondering if I could set up a lab. There are some experiments I'd like to work on and I really need somewhere I can make sure everything is safe. I know space is at a premium, what with all the extra staff now, but I think I found somewhere. It's in the dungeons and it seems to be completely disused. I'm not sure what it was, but it looks like it was damaged by fire, so I suspect it used to be a potions classroom. I don't think anyone has been in there for years and I could kit it out completely myself."

"A disused classroom damaged by fire, you say?" Dumbledore asked.

Harry nodded. He had found it a while ago when looking around the school for possible bolt holes before they had finalised the plan against Voldemort. It had seemed pretty useless then, especially since it smelt of damp and dead things, but he was sure he could deal with that if given permission.

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