Date: 09th August 2011.
Time: 8:30 PM.
Place: Somewhere in Birmingham.
Andrew Strauss, taking advantage of 2 hour curfew break, was walking towards the shops across the street. He was sporting his team’s jersey which had “Captain – England Cricket Team” written behind its back. He was hoping that at least someone would recognize him and come to take his autograph. It had been ages since he signed any autograph. He had even forgotten his signature. Only time he used his signature is when ECB called him to sign the contract.
The streets were a little crowded with people rushing to get things done and reach back home before curfew break was lifted. Strauss was slowly moving towards the shop hoping that someone would recognize him. He greeted people who met his eyes. Some of them greeted him back, rest just didn’t bother.
Suddenly he saw someone familiar. He saw a boy who looked shorter than Tadenda Taibu, younger than Shahid Afridi, fairer than Nasser Hussain. The boy was wearing specs and often touching a Z shaped scar on his forehead.
‘Z? Is he a Zaheer Khan supporter? Damn. Let me handle him. Let me avenge Zaheer’s atrocities against me. Thought Strauss.
“Hey. Hey you, the boy with the scar. Stop” Andrew shouted.
The boy turned back and said “Who? Me?”
Andrew came to the boy and looked at him. He looked pleasantly surprised, “Harry Potter!!!”
“Hi” said Harry.
“What are you doing here mate? Doing some magic to stop this non-sense?”
“Well actually sir, I am going to the police station”
“I lost some stuff”
“What? Why don’t you use your magic to get it all back?”
“What have you lost? And how?”
“I lost my wand and invisibility cloak. A stranger asked for my wand and cloak to have a look at it. He put the cloak on and disappeared. I have been looking for him since then. Bloody muggles, they just cannot be trusted”
“Did you know him?”
“So you handed over the objects of immense power to some stranger. Even I would have done what he did to you. Anyone would have done the same Harry. You are so naïve. To make the matters worse, you are blaming him”
“Actually I was busy watching Trent Bridge test. By the way, do you know Ian Bell? He is a master in the art of acting naïve, isn’t he?”
“Of course I do. He is my team mate. If you are referring to that incident, it wasn’t his fault. Our opponents have little respect for the spirit of the game” said Andrew while broadening his chest, “By the way. I am Andrew Strauss, captain of soon to be number one cricket team in the world”
“Of course, I know you. You have done exceptionally well in this series. Good that those riots seem to have stopped. You can go on to win it 4-0”
“That is what scares me Harry. The Dementor is back. Plus no one is giving any chance to our opponents. They are at their dangerous best when least is expected out of them”
“But still, you can make it 4-0”
“What if they make it 2-2 Harry? I don’t know when I shall get a chance to be the captain of world’s number one team”
“So you wanted the series to stop.”
“I don’t know why the hell they haven’t stopped it. If we were in our opponent’s place, we would have rushed back home even before the riots started. Bloody Muggles are they. ”
“Yeah, the scenes were too bad.
”Exactly. Wonder how they could stand these things. In the past, we have refused to visit them even if we heard a sniff.”
“Brave people are these”
“Brave? They are used to of this kind of stuff you know”
Harry didn’t know what to say.
“So how is life Harry. Now when Voldemort is dead, what is keeping you busy?” asked Andrew.
“I am looking for a job now. Looks like recession is going to set in. Every time I come back from Hogwarts, I am told that recessions is about to begin. I wonder if you guys have ever seen a boom"
“Yeah, tough times” said Strauss in a sympathizing tone.
“If I don’t get a job soon, Ron won’t allow me to marry Ginny.”
“Oh, that is sad. And she is hot.”
“Yes. Help me Andrew, help me getting a job”
“Not a problem at all. I will hire you. With your magical powers, we shall become the best team in the universe.”
“But I have lost my wand”
“Not a worry. Everything is made in China. I will get a new wand for you. You are hired. Job begins now”
“What is my first assignment?”
“See, we are playing in Edgbaston. Opposition has brought in a new Dementor. They call him Say-Wah. “
“Is he good?”
“Bloody hell, he tormented us in 2008 as if were dogs”
“Oh. But I heard a lot of them succumbed to the injury prone conditions you provided to them.”
“Yes they did. But I don’t know how this one has come back”
“What about that little one, Sa…..”
“Ssssshhh…don’t take his name mate. He is our you-know-who. We infected him with virus but looks like he himself is a virus – just refuses to die down”
“Yeah, I remember uncle Dursley talking to someone that this you-know-who is going to retire within a few months. And this is before I joined Hogwarts”
“I don’t know mate. He just keeps coming back. He looks like Dobby but plays like Dumbledore” Andrew was looking disgusted.
“You have sent back another one. What was his name…Err.. Yu…”
“Don’t take his name Potter. He is our you-know-who part two. Barbie will start crying if he hears his name”
“But Barbie has done wonderfully well in the series, hasn’t he? The way he has played, looks like he is a wizard. Or he is a witch? What is he Straussy, a witch, or a wizard?”
“I don’t know myself Harry. But Barbie still cries if you take the name of you-know-who part two in front of him”
“I thought he would have buried the ghost of Durban by now” wondered Harry.
“People die and become ghosts Harry. Ghosts never die”
“What about their captain – the obviously, off course guy?”
“Oh yeah, we have got him under the mat. He has played so much of cricket that he is doesn’t know a thing about his whereabouts. He plays cricket while sleeping and sleeps while playing cricket. In the end, he ends up doing nothing”
“But I’ve heard that he is really rich - plays in some IPL or something. Why don’t you play IPL Andrew?”
“Oh that is crap cricket” Andrew made faces as if he had just touched horse-shit.
“Is it? Really? Or that is your Ian-Bell episode”
“Well….” Andrew looked to avoid eye contact with Harry.
“Anyways, so you are all geared up for Edgbaston. What you expect from me?”
“I don’t think you can do anything for this series Harry. Importing your wand from China will take some time. Plus I will have to time my trade so that I can get some benefit in currency exchange. Once we get your wand, I will ask you a favor”
“What would that be?”
“Get me an IPL contract Harry, get me one. Please”
PS: Imagined while sitting workless at work. Any violation of copyright or unintended insult to any dead/alive man, woman or Barbie is regretted.