<A/N This is for everyone who made GT such a wonderful site. Though I never posted, I found a great deal of enjoyment there. Here I give you all my thanks and a token tribute. Thank yous also go to my betas, RG, Chi, Nancy and Emmyjean.>
From the Daily Prophet of 26 May, 2000
Potter calls it quits
Boy Who Lived forced out of Auror Division
By Cliotus Hearst
LONDON -- Dark wizards and witches all over Europe are feeling a good deal safer this morning. Harry Potter is off the case.
Under apparent pressure from an adversarial administration, the Boy Who Lived turned in his resignation from the Ministry of Magic's Auror Division on Thursday. For a nation still facing the after-effects of the recent war, it was an unexpected blow that will leave many feeling vulnerable to the lingering influences of Darkness.
"The administration is sad to hear of Mr. Potter's departure," Percy Weasley, the special assistant to Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, said in a statement. "He has been of great service to his nation and the government would like to join the magical community of Britain in thanking him. We wish Mr. Potter well in his future ventures."
Minister Fudge would not comment on the situation, though all indications are he had much to do with Thursday's resignation.
"This was a resignation in name only," said a high-ranking Ministry official on the condition of anonymity. "The administration believes Mr. Potter was using his place within the government to position himself for a run at the Minister's office. Minister Fudge saw that as a threat that needed to be removed immediately. He made it clear to Mr. Potter that, if he didn't quit, he would have been fired next week."
Potter, who could not be reached for comment, has achieved successes to rival his celebrated conflict with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named since he was given a special appointment to the Auror Division in July of 1998. Within the last 15 months, Potter, 19, has orchestrated the successive captures of a trio of leading Death Eaters: Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange and Peter Pettigrew.
"The Minister has watched Mr. Potter topple one Dark wizard after another for two years. I think he fears that he might be next," the source said. "It's the same sort of mentality we saw when the Minister suspected Professor Dumbledore before You-Know-Who's return was confirmed."
"The Minister is jealous. It's that simple," said Wizengamot member Mundungus Fletcher. "He can't match any of the things Harry has done so he is protecting his image the only way he can -- by forcing Harry out."
Whether his motivation was jealousy, paranoia or both, Fudge's move to displace Potter could have a profound effect on national security.
"Make no mistake, there are still Dark wizards out there -- lots of them," legendary former Auror Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody warned. "We need constant vigilance in order to prevail, not to be getting rid of our most proven fighters."
The Ministry's head Auror, Kingsley Shacklebolt, was quick to deny Potter's departure would result in an increased threat to the public. "I want everyone to know that this is not a reason to panic," he said. "Dark magic will always be a threat but there are no indications of immediate danger, and the Aurors are always on duty to keep that from changing."
However, the Boy Who Lived's obviously stunned former boss did indicate the loss would have an effect on his unit. "Harry was my best man. All the Aurors are powerful witches and wizards, but none of the others can match Harry's intensity and passion. He cannot be replaced."
Thursday's resignation concludes the latest in a series of highly publicized clashes between the Boy Who Lived and Minister Fudge. The two have been at odds since 1995 when the Minister questioned Potter's sanity after the then 14-year-old reported witnessing the restoration of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Their animosity grew over the following year as Fudge suspected Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore of sabotaging his regime and refused to accept the truth of the Dark Lord's return. At one point, the Minister even sought to have the Boy Who Lived expelled from Hogwarts for underage use of magic.
After the Dark side brought war to the Ministry itself in 1996, the fighting forced the two factions back together. But, when Potter vanquished He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named two years later, he clashed again with the Minister over the threat posed by the Dark Lord's remaining supporters. Only after the Death Eaters' subsequent attack on Diagon Alley did Fudge grant his rival his position as an Auror.
The most recent argument between the two began a fortnight ago when the Boy Who Lived captured evidence -- in the form of Death Eater Peter Pettigrew -- that cast doubt on the murder sentence of his own godfather, the late Sirius Black. Though Pettigrew was one of the 13 people Black was charged with killing, Minister Fudge rejected Potter's request that the alleged Dark wizard be granted a posthumous exoneration and even refused to have the case reconsidered.
Now that he has resigned, the Boy Who Lived's only recourse -- for both his godfather's good name and his own future in the Ministry -- rests with his many supporters in the Wizengamot.
"I only hope we get a chance to rectify what happened today," said Fletcher, who has stated publicly he would support Potter in a bid for Minister of Magic. "It's Fudge who should be going, not Harry."
As he waits for the council to act, unemployment leaves Potter free to contemplate a list of job options that would make most wizards drool. Sources within the Auror Division told the Daily Prophet that the Boy Who Lived has been contacted by no less than a dozen prominent wizarding-world companies about spokesmanship positions within the last two years.
"Who wouldn't want Harry Potter's name associated with their products?" asked Gladrags executive Winston Tailor, whose company offered Potter 250,000 galleons for an endorsement deal. "We have a new line of tartan boxers coming out and our sales would double if he would pitch them."
A more well-known and anticipated possibility for Potter is a professional Quidditch career. The former Gryffindor Seeker's rights belong to Puddlemere United after the club paid a reported 100,000 galleons for him Monday.
"We were very upset to hear Harry is leaving the Ministry on such bad terms," said United manager Glenn Watson. "We just want him to know we have faith in his skills and that, whenever and however he decides to play Quidditch again, there will be a job for him with Puddlemere."
It seems Potter's future is assured whether he decides to make it in the Ministry or elsewhere. With his powerful allies and countless desirable choices, even the open antipathy of the government can do little to make the Boy Who Lived's life less comfortable.
Instead, the consequences of Thursday's resignation will be greatest in the Auror Division. Minister Fudge's political manoeuvring will force the nation's Dark wizard hunters to carry on the dangerous pursuit of the last of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's supporters without their finest member.
Meanwhile, Britain's common witches and wizards are left to wonder if their safety has been put at risk.
"Harry Potter is my hero,Ö" said Braden Sullivan, 6, of Reading. "I'm scared because they're not letting him protect us from the bad wizards anymore."