A Fan-Fictional Account: What St. Patrick’s Night Out at the Leaky Cauldron Might Be Like
It’s a rare occasion when Harry went out on a work night, but Ron had been pestering him to meet at the Leaky Cauldron for St. Patrick’s Day. Catching up between the two best friends happens but is sporadic now with kids, mortgages, and work. Since Ron left the Ministry to help George run Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Harry saw him only every other week.
Harry crossed Muggle London quickly. He could have easily Apparated straight into Diagon Alley, but he felt like a walk. Breathing the crisp spring air, knowing summer was soon upon them, Harry smiled to himself.
At the corner of Charing Cross Road, Harry bumped into a group of people gathering on the pavement. “Oh, sorry…,” Harry started, only to be interrupted by a chorus of “Harry! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” The group of people turned out to be three: Charlie, Bill, and Hagrid.
“What are you three standing out here for?” Harry questioned.
“Trying to convince Hagrid to come join us for a pint!” replied Bill.
Hagrid crinkled a smile. “Alrigh’, alrigh’, lemme nip back to Hogwarts to feed the Manti-puffs, and I’ll come join yeh in a mo’.”
“Don’t ask,” said Bill firmly to Charlie, who was looking both intrigued and concerned at Hagrid’s retreating back. Grabbing Charlie’s and Harry’s arms, he turned them both and pushed them toward the direction of the pub two blocks down.
As Harry entered the familiar worn door, he was greeted by a cheer and a view obscured by a pint held up to his face, knocking his glasses askew.
Ron, George, Seamus, Dean, Luna, and Neville all crowded Harry, bellowing their greetings.
More and more friends and family members arrived, all fighting each other to purchase a round of drinks, soon resulting in a very merry or “pissed” atmosphere as an irate Hermione concluded when she turned up.
The air was filled with “How are you?” and “What have you been up to?” and “Did you hear about…?” Harry learned that Luna was engaged to Rolf Scamander and had been on multiple expeditions with him (yet not one had revealed a Crumple-Horned Snorkack) and that Arthur was in the middle of “tinkering” with a new flying vehicle, but “Don’t tell Molly!”
Reminded of the Ford Anglia he and Ron had flown in second year and wondering if Arthur had ever repaired Sirius’s old motorbike, Harry’s smile slipped off his face as he remembered Sirius and others who weren’t with them, enjoying St. Patrick’s Day. He looked around the room and – though the sight of these people made him smile – he couldn’t help noticing there were a few tears and tight smiles occurring as groups of others were coming to the same thought.
Harry looked at George.
George had been watching the group over the course of the evening – listening when Charlie mentioned Tonks, when Hagrid toasted each new drink to Dumbledore – and right now was staring at the crestfallen look on Harry’s face.
George felt a shove in his side even though no one was sitting to his right. He needed to act fast to turn the evening back into one of frivolity and peace. That’s what Fred would’ve done.
Standing up and striding towards the karaoke machine – a simply genius Muggle invention – George scrolled through the current list of songs. He needed lively, he needed fun, he needed something to remind everyone that those who left them are never really gone.
“Gotcha!” George smiled. He pushed a Knut into the slot and pulled a lever. The loud rhythmic sound of the Bodhran drum rang throughout the pub, causing heads to turn in George’s direction.
One hand on a magical microphone, George sang, “Tim Finnegan lived in Walken’ Street…,” peppering the lyrics with exaggerated hand gestures.
As the accordion began, he noticed some people tapping their feet, which spurred him on more, linking arms with the closest person to him and twirling around in a circle, hopping from one foot to the other before linking arms with the next person.
“He’d a sort of the tipp’ lin’ way. With the love of the liquor, poor Tim was born, and to help him on with his work each day, he’d a drop of the craythur every morn.”
As more people joined the dance, a few others started to sing along with George. Soon, everyone in the bar was clapping along, swinging their partners round and round and singing along with George to the chorus.
At one point, Ginny got up on a table with Charlie and performed a very wobbly folk dance.
The more George sang to the room, the more laughing faces he saw.
At the end of the song, he glanced at Harry. Harry was smiling. Though Harry didn’t table dance like his wife, he had been equally moved by George’s attempt to lift the mood, and as he looked at the crowd of friends and family, breathless, smiling, and once again merry, he knew that – probably – Fred, Tonks, Remus, Sirius, and his parents were having just as much fun wherever they were.