Bagman & Crouch

225 5 1

Harry's POV

I disentangled myself from Ron and got to my feet. We had arrived on what appeared to be a deserted stretch of misty moor. In front of us was a pair of tired and grumpy-looking wizards, one of whom was holding a large gold watch, the other a thick roll of parchment and a quill. Both were dressed as Muggles, though very inexpertly; the man with the watch wore a tweed suit with thigh-length galoshes; his colleague, a kilt and a poncho.

"Morning, Basil," said Mr Weasley, picking up the boot and handing it to the kilted wizard, who threw it into a large box of used Portkeys beside him; I could see an old newspaper, an empty drinks can and a punctured football.

"Hello there, Arthur," said Basil wearily. "Not on duty, eh? It's all right for some...we've been here all night...you'd better get out of the way, we've got a big party coming in from the Black Forest at five fifteen. Hang on, I'll find your campsite...Weasley... Weasley..." He consulted his parchment list. "About a quarter of a mile's walk over there, first field you come to. Site manager's called Mr Roberts. Diggory...second field...ask for Mr Payne.'

"Thanks, Basil," said Mr Weasley, and he beckoned everyone to follow him.

We set off across the deserted moor, unable to make out much through the mist. After about twenty minutes, a small stone cottage next to a gate swam into view. Beyond it, I could just make out the ghostly shapes of hundreds and hundreds of tents, rising up the gentle slope of a large field towards a dark wood on the horizon. We said goodbye to the Diggorys, and I clamped my jaws together as I watched Cedric give Kat a long hug before taking off to follow his father as we approached the cottage door.

A man was standing in the doorway, looking out at the tents. I knew at a glance that this was the only real Muggle for several acres. When he heard our footsteps, he turned his head to look at us.

"Morning!" said Mr Weasley brightly.

"Morning," said the Muggle.

"Would you be Mr Roberts?"

"Aye, I would," said Mr Roberts. "And who're you?"

"Weasley – two tents, booked a couple of days ago?"

"Aye," said Mr Roberts, consulting a list tacked to the door. "You've got a space up by the wood there. Just the one night?"

"That's it," said Mr Weasley.

"You'll be paying now, then?"!said Mr Roberts.

"Ah – right – certainly –" said Mr Weasley. He retreated a short distance from the cottage and beckoned me towards him. "Help me, Harry,"!he muttered, pulling a roll of Muggle money from his pocket and starting to peel the notes apart. "This one's a – a – a ten? Ah yes, I see the little number on it now...so this is a five?"

"A twenty," I corrected him in an undertone, uncomfortably aware of Mr Roberts trying to catch every word.

"Ah yes, so it is...I don't know, these little bits of paper..."

"You foreign?" said Mr Roberts, as Mr Weasley returned with the correct notes.

"Foreign?" repeated Mr Weasley, puzzled.

"You're not the first one who's had trouble with money," said Mr Roberts, scrutinising Mr Weasley closely. "I had two try and pay me with great gold coins the size of hubcaps ten minutes ago."

"Did you really?" said Mr Weasley nervously.

Mr Roberts rummaged around in a tin for some change.

"Never been this crowded," he said suddenly, looking out over the misty field again. "Hundreds of pre-bookings. People usually just turn up..."

"Is that right?" said Mr Weasley, his hand held out for his change, but Mr Roberts didn't give it to him.

Katrina & Harry (Books 1-7) *Revised*Where stories live. Discover now