in which Harry has a small reunion with his adopted brother, demonstrates ‘The Ribbon’ to the Magical world, and laments lost opportunities. Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape make some very larg...
A/N2: in which Harry has a small reunion with his adopted brother, demonstrates ‘The Ribbon’ to the Magical world, and laments lost opportunities. Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape make some very large (and very final) mistakes. The Aurors find that they have no interest in anything to do with Harry Potter, and a portion of a contract is fulfilled. On the lighter side, the Outsiders learn a little about how the world works.
A/N3: This chapter is dedicated to Brian McCrary, also known as fenriswolf who passed away while this chapter was being written. His reviews and suggestions have taken my brittle efforts and produced better stories. I would ask everyone who reads and enjoys this story to raise a glass of what ever they choose to partake in memory of this talented writer of fan fiction who was always willing to help a newcomer. Here’s to you Brian, I wish we could have met in person.
Harry Potter and the Sun Source
Chapter 5: Killing Time
Remo Williams parked his rental car on the grassy shoulder of the tiny one lane road. He stood from the car and examined the admittedly imposing forest that stood perhaps a dozen yards from the road. Detecting nothing that could pose much of a threat, the big man started making his way among the trees. From everything his senses were telling him, this was the spot Harry had described in his letters as being the closest point to the magical village near his school.
Remo paused. Something was going on… For some reason he wanted to return to the car and go… somewhere. Some sort of… compulsion? No matter, Remo told his senses to ignore the distraction and it vanished.
The Earthly avatar of Shiva made his way through perhaps a half mile of the dense dark forest before it thinned out to a picturesque meadow. Perhaps a quarter mile into the meadow was what appeared to be the ruins of an ancient town, and beyond that on a hill, the ruins of a medieval castle. This he expected. Harry had told him of the illusions that the magicals used to keep people away from the village and school.
Remo fell back to one of the first lessons Chiun had taught him so long before. ‘Everything that exists vibrates, master the vibrations and you master the world.’ The big man focused his eyes, willing himself to find the pattern in the illusion and see past it. A faint smile twitched at the corners of his mouth when a castle suddenly appeared to him, with what appeared to be an 18th century village in the foreground.
His smile fell away when he spotted what was approaching the village from the point where the forest came closest. If not for his adventures with Chiun he wouldn’t believe what he was seeing. Seven man-sized shapes wearing black cloaks, accompanying the men were seven huge… things. Was this part of the war in the magical world Harry wrote about? And if so, which side were they on?
Remo ghosted across the open meadow toward the town.
Step eighteen. Harry lightly pressed the first knuckle of his left hand into the woman’s brachiocephalic artery on the right side of her face, just forward of her earlobe until her eyes started to flutter.
Step nineteen. Releasing the pressure on the artery, Harry paused for a two count, then pressed his lips against the center of her right clavicle and applied three pounds of suction. The pink haired woman’s hands reached to take hold of his buttocks and pull him deeper into herself. She bucked against him, her body searching for its release.
Breaking the kiss, Harry couldn’t help grinning, this was great. He wasn’t sure what had changed, but he was playing the woman’s body like an instrument. He was on the cusp of step twenty, and was actually beginning to believe that he would actually finish the exercise. Harry he rolled over, taking the woman with him. Step twenty. Using his right hand he begin lightly tapping at the top of her gluteal cleft. Three taps, stroke, three taps, stroke, tap, stroke, tap, and stroke… repeat that pattern seven times and then…
A thunderous crash shook the entire building, panicked screams came from the pub below and a cry of “Morsmordre!” reached Harry’s ears. The distraction pushed the woman over the edge. She shuddered into an intense orgasm, losing consciousness in the process.
“Son of a Bitch!” Harry all but screamed as he slapped the mattress in frustration. Gently rolling the woman off his body, he rose from the bed and began to dress, muttering to himself as he did so. “I was on step twenty. Step freaking twenty.”
“Har’y?” The pink haired woman murmured from the bed as she began to come around, “Where are you going?”
The building shook again when another booming crash sounded accompanied by more screaming, this time more from pain than fear.
“I’ll be back Tonksie,” Harry smiled. “I’ve just got to go kill someone.”
The Auror struggled against her own body trying to sit up in the bed. “Har’y?’ she slurred as she watched the Boy-Who-Lived leap through the open window.
Slesrok of clan Sootsjar raised his club again and began the swing that he knew would bring the Squishies’ wood cave down, then something small and light landed on his back. The Troll howled his protest when his favorite club fell from his fingers and his arms wouldn’t work any more. Slesrok screamed his anger at his arms until he remembered the small thing on his back.
The troll wheeled in place attempting to see whatever it was on his back. A Squishy? But how did a Squishy get on his back? This one was muttering something that sounded like Stlptw-tee. Slesrok was about to kill the Squishy for saying that about Slesrok’s mother when the Squishy took hold of Slesrok’s head in both his small hands and suddenly Slesrok could see his own butt, That was different. The ground rose up to Slesrok’s face, but the troll only knew oblivion before the two met.
Hermione Granger huddled on the cobblestones, her throat raw from screaming. She had tried to protect a group of third years from a trio of masked Death Eaters who was casting the Cruciatus curse on them, only to have Neville Longbottom push her out of the way and take the bulk of the curses himself. She had only caught the edge of one of the curses and thought that she was going to die. Trembling she fumbled for her wand so as to protect the younger students as best she could. She looked up at the first startled gasp to see the Death Eater in the center of the trio staring down at the wrist of his wand hand, which was spraying blood at an astounding rate. The hand that had once been attached to that wrist was lying on the ground, still grasping the Wizard’s wand. The bleeding wizard pitched forward on to the ground and was very still.
The bushy haired witch’s eyes widened as she watched Harry Potter seemingly dance between the surviving Death Eaters, Harry’s right hand appeared to float in front of the face of the shorter of the two dark wizards, his fingers seemed to braid themselves, then suddenly flicked out touching the man’s mask where his nose was hidden. The man’s head exploded in a shower of gore that was mostly contained by the hood of his robes.
Simultaneously Harry’s left hand seemed to slap the other Death Eater’s chest. The man flew bodily across the street, impacting into the wall of the Three Broomsticks. The man slid to the ground, leaving a trail of blood on the wall.
“Prefect Granger,” Harry said, pulling the girl to her feet. “Take the children and find cover.”
"Neville, take the 3rd years. I’m staying to help Harry.” The bushy haired witch pulled her wand, trying to ignore the trembling of her right arm and turned back to Harry. “I'm not afraid of Death Eaters Harry."
"You may not be but I am, Prefect Granger. There are things I need to do and you would be in my way. Move." Harry hissed, pushing the 6th year prefect toward a shaking Neville Longbottom.
“Neville, get them all out of here.” He paused to make sure that the young man who hired the assassins of Sinanju to avenge his parents was conducting the small group away before returning his attention to the fight.
The four surviving Death Eaters noticed what Harry had done to their fellows. As the raven haired wizard-assassin looked about the village square for his next target, he saw a man in a black cloak and white mask point a wand in his direction. Automatically Harry did not respond to this man. As he had been trained to do, he first checked—in an instant—the entire pattern he was in. Other wands came out. The three surviving Trolls hefted their clubs and rampaged in his direction. Perfect. He had them right where he wanted them.
Harry would work it left to right. Not bothering to feint, he was into a large man who was swishing his wand and starting the incantation for the Cruciatus curse. The wand never cast the curse. It was jammed up into the man’s solar plexus, taking part of a lung with it. The Death Eater vomited his lungs, and Harry continued to work right so that his being in the correct pattern prevented the center and left from getting him without cursing into their own allies.
A townswoman screamed. A uniformed Auror dove for cover, catching a wayward Avada Kedavra curse in the back. Two young children, appearing to be brother and sister, no more than five, huddled together against a store front. Harry frowned; he would have to work the line of attack away from the children. But if he could not, whoever might have cast the spells that injured the youngsters would not die quickly.
The right side was too bunched. Amateurs. Harry thumbed the side of a head and interior-attacked a tall thin Death Eater. The fool held his wand too close to his body, as though the man were using a knife at close quarters. The man’s head caved in due to an elbow shot to his left temple and Harry was moving back toward the center, ducking under a club that swung into his arc of power to come up under it when the club passed over his head. Harry felt it brush his hair.
Double layer. Harry finished the troll wielding the club, taking off the creature’s testicles with a hip thrust. Harry spun back to where the second level of spell fire came from, another curse narrowly missing him from the center. He was now in cross fire. A very stupid move on his part.
From his vantage point, Remo’s mouth formed a thin line as he saw the predicament his adopted younger brother had gotten himself into. It was the presence of the two little kids too terrified to move that had force Harry slightly out of pattern for the Ribbon
Should he interfere? Harry wouldn’t appreciate his meddling, that much was certain. No, the boy was experiencing difficulties, but was not yet in real danger. Remo decided that he would wait.
Harry had killed four of the seven black cloaked men, and two of the four 12 foot tall things. Remo found himself wondering if Harry knew about the three really huge things waiting just outside the village, and if the boy knew how to deal with them.
The big man crossed his arms against his chest. He would let this play out, but God help any one who actually managed to hurt the Harry. He returned the focus of his attention to the black cloak that hadn’t come to the village with the others, but was creeping up, trying to get close to the action without being seen. The hook nosed man’s attempts at stealth were laughable, and Remo was certain that Harry had spotted him, though the boy didn’t seem to be paying this individual much attention.
Did this mean that the newcomer was not one of the bad guys? Or was he just so incompetent that Harry wasn’t worried by his presence? Remo would be watching the man.
Harry quickly put a post between himself and center left, taking that line into right side of the street, whence the second-level spell fire came. They were attacking from the inside of shops, using the storefronts as cover. One Death Eater cast from the doorway of a shop called ‘Madam Puddifoot’s’ shouting “Avada Kedavra!” at the top of his lungs.
The spell cast properly, but Death Eater was shocked to find the end of his wand was suddenly in his mouth when the spell expressed itself.
Harry’s body wove and jerk-ran into a free space that suddenly had a cutting curse in it, taking chunk of flesh from Harry's right side. A minor wound. Without thinking, Harry moved. His body reacted as it had been taught to react in the painful, pressing hours of training, reacted as Chiun had taught it despite Harry’s silent protests, despite Harry’s conscious begging for surcease, despite the long hours and high temperatures. His body reacted as it had been taught and no other way.
The Ribbon was for the defense against multiple attacks. It was not only the only defense, but against this combination it was invincible. Back toward the center he moved, keeping lines of fire within the ambush itself. He did not kill his attackers anymore because that would remove them from the equation, and the Ribbon depended upon the attackers to destroy themselves, like using the lack of coordination inherent to any group against itself.
With incredible, balanced speed, Harry spun his ribbon in the three-layered defense. Spell fire all but stopped when he was among the trolls, the trolls tempered their attacks when he was among the wizards. Wild spells. Hesitant swings of the two remaining clubs. Harry was no longer the center of the attack, he was part of it. A fifth Death Eater fell to a crushing blow from a troll’s club. The two remaining trolls died from Avada Kedavras from the tall Death Eater holding a cane as well as his wand.
Harry grinned and turned to face the sole Death Eater still in the street. The man suddenly realized that he was the last of the Death Eaters still standing. The man cast Sonorus on himself.
The ground literally trembled. Harry reached out with his senses to evaluate the new threat. A grotesque misshapen head reared over a second story building.
Giants. Three of them.
Ok, new plan. Harry scooped up a four foot piece of metal from a collapsed building and started moving toward the three hulking creatures. The chunk of metal pulsed in a blue light, then twisted and contorted until it became a sword, eight feet long fluted at the central ridge with a jeweled pommel and cross guard. Almost as an afterthought Harry cast a stunner at the Death Eater with the cane.
Lucius Malfoy managed a moment of surprise when the stunner crashed through his shield like it wasn’t there before he crumpled nervelessly to the ground.
Remo’s eyebrows rose almost to his hair line. How had the boy gotten the Sword of Sinanju? Where had it come from? It had looked like the boy had scooped up a length of copper pipe, but suddenly it was…
What that an example of the boy’s hocus pocus?
Harry had never actually demonstrated his ‘magic’ around Remo, but there was that one time that Harry had been with him when Remo had found himself going to an emergency meeting with Smitty.
Whatever Harry had done while Remo was out of the room managed to freak Smitty out for most of a month, something that Remo had never actually managed to do. Interesting. He was going to have to talk to Harry about that.
Closing on the giants Harry dodged a massive club, easily five times larger than those that had been used by the Trolls. Rounding on the first of the enormous creatures, Harry swung his sword to slice into the creature’s legs, just over each ankle, severing both Achilles’ tendons. The first giant crumpled to the ground, doing even more damage to itself.
Few people truly understand how hazardous it is for a large creature to fall. The giant’s impact with the ground probably caused more damage than Harry’s use of the sword had.
A second club smashed into the ground. Harry never broke step, running up the length of the club and onto the arm of the giant, swing his sword so as to lop off the giant’s head.
Srach Kinslayer watched in amazement as the tiny wizard killed the second of his warriors and without magic. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Dark Wizards had promised Srach that he and his warriors would be allowed to destroy the village and kill as many little magic users as they wanted… but so far the only ones to die were his giants.
The Gurg lost track of the fast moving wizard, until he felt something skittering up his back, then nothing until blinding pain blossomed from the base of his skull.
In spite of himself Severus Snape was impressed by the display put on by James Potter’s spawn. He had never even heard of anyone surviving trying to attack a giant alone with a sword. Yet the boy had when he attacked the lead giant’s legs.
Still, there were still two of the huge beasts attacking. There was no way that the boy could possibly…
The Potions Master turned Defense Against the Dark Arts professor’s mouth hung open when he watched Potter run up the club of the second giant and lopping off the creature’s head with a single slashing stroke of the sword. Impossible. That was comparable to cutting down a 200 year old Oak with a single stroke. What had the boy done?
Shaking his head in disbelief Snape made his way to a bit of cover near the stunned body of Lucius Malfoy. When the boy died he would revive the fallen Death Eater so that they could together return to the Dark Lord and report Malfoy’s failure.
If the boy’s luck held out, Snape would kill him when he returned to Malfoy.
Either way Snape won. The smile that thought created died when he watched Potter climb the largest of the giant’s back and drive his oversized sword into the giant’s neck at the base of the massive skull to the hilt, leaping lightly to the ground as the giant fell. The boy had killed five Death Eaters and four trolls without using any magic at all, and had disposed of three giants with only a conjured sword.
This was not possible. Not possible at all. He felt his pulse speed as Potter left the fallen giants were they lay, stopping only to put the first beast out of his misery. The boy made his way back to the fallen Lucius Malfoy.
Snape pulled his wand and took careful aim. “Ava...”
“Is there any particular reason that you are pointing your stick at my little brother?” an American accented voice asked.
Snape whirled and slashed at the voice with his wand incanting “Sectumsempra!”
Once again Snape gaped as he watched the dark haired man dodge his spell by doing little more than twisting the trunk of his body.
“That wasn’t nice. Not nice at all.” The man said as his right hand flicked out and touched Snape’s nose, driving it deep into the wizard’s brain. “That’s the biz, sweetheart.”
Consciousness returned to Lucius Malfoy. He was suddenly staring into a pair of eyes the color of a killing curse. Lucius found himself wishing that his mask was still on. The mask wouldn’t have protected him in the slightest, but at least the terror the boy’s visage evoked would not have been quite so apparent in his face.
“Hello Mr. Malfoy. Didn’t little Draco tell you that I wanted to speak to your boss, not you?”
“The Dark Lord will…”
“Yeah, yeah. The Dark Lord will,” The boy said dismissively. “Your inbred idiot of a son keeps telling me what the Dark Lord will do, but the coward never seems to man up enough to actually meet me. He keeps sending incompetents like you instead. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was avoiding me.”
Malfoy swallowed. At times like this he found it useful to fall back onto behavior that had worked in the past. “Just turn me over to the Aurors boy, so that I can explain that I was once again put under the Imperius curse.”
The boy actually laughed at him. “I’m sorry, were you under the impression that I’m a cop? I don’t turn people over to the Aurors, Death Eater. I fix it so that weak minded fools like you are immune to the Imperius and pretty much every other curse, by killing them. But first…” the boy’s smile grew wider, “we’re going to have a little talk.”
Anger clouded Lucius’ mind. How dare this… half-blood speak to him like this? “I will tell you nothing.”
“Actually,” Potter said as he grasped the Head of House Malfoy’s left earlobe. “You’re going to tell me everything you know.”
The rapidly cooling corpse of the elder Malfoy slumped to the ground ceasing to be a member of Voldemort’s inner circle while simultaneously advancing his son to the Head of House Malfoy. Harry was satisfied with the information he had extracted from the man before allowing him to die, even if a disturbing amount of that information was about hair care and cane maintenance for some reason. Still, confirmation that Voldemort was at the Malfoy Family’s ancestral manor house was useful, assuming that he could get ‘permission’ to go after his target. If nothing else he had good news for Neville Longbottom.
“Hello Remo,” The boy said before turning to face his brother. “Any particular reason for you killing Snape?”
“Hey Little Sister. The dink with the beak? When I saw he was pointing his stick at you, it seemed the polite thing to do, covering your back after you left it exposed.”
Harry shrugged, “I knew you were there, and that Little Father would give you hell if anything happened to me.”
“Yeah, he probably would. You always were his favorite, ‘Barely Adequate’. He tells me you’re getting paid twice for a single hit.” The big man bent over to examine the wound on Harry’s left side. “You got tagged pretty good. Chiun’s gonna give you grief for that.
“I’m getting paid three times, oh ‘Great Disappointment’. I picked up another commission this morning.” Harry looked down at the wound on his side. “Nasty. Yeah, I know. Little Father’s gonna bitch at me for pulling the line of attack away from the kids, completely ignoring the fact that he would have done the same thing.”
“Other than getting tagged.”
“Other than that, yeah.”
“And your elbow was out of line when you popped the one in the head.” Remo pointed out in that helpful manner known to elder brothers’ world wide. “You’ve got blood on your sleeve. Little Father hates that.”
“You’re loving this, I can tell,” Harry said crossing his arms across his chest.
“You started this fight angry Little Sister, you know better than that,” Remo pointed out.
Harry blushed, “I know, but I was on step 20 Remo. Step 20!”
“Seriously?” Despite wanting to abuse Harry, Remo was impressed. He had only made it to step twenty four or five times. “Not bad kid.”
“Half way through 20 and getting ready for step 21 when that damned troll starts beating on the walls,” Harry said disgustedly. “Do you know how long that takes?”
“Still, step 20’s nothing to sneeze at. Troll huh? So that’s what it was. What were the really big things?”
“Giants. European Giants. A bit on the puny side when compared with Asian or South American Giants.” Harry’s head snapped up. “Incoming.”
“Yeah.” Remo agreed, and both of the Apprentices of Sinanju went on guard.
A dozen Aurors arrived via apparition with a rippling crack. Harry spotted a familiar face and waved smiling. “Auror Shacklebolt! Good to see you again.”
The bald Auror stood looking at the carnage that filled the streets, and then addressed his men. “Everyone keep your eyes open in case there are any more Death Eaters in the village. Gillman, you and Watts, start the canvas for witnesses. Pennyworth, start your triage, the rest of you, secure my crime scene.” Shacklebolt turned to face Harry as the Aurors fanned out to carry out their orders. “What is it with you kid? Can’t you come to Hogsmeade without carnage?”
“I was minding my own business in the Three Broomsticks when a Troll started beating on the building with his club.” Harry pointed out. “Are the Aurors on record as to wanting me to ignore Death Eaters and their allies killing people?”
The Auror ignored the jibe instead choosing to notice Remo for the first time. “And who are you?”
“Remo Davis.” Remo said, remembering his alias.
“My adopted older brother.” Harry volunteered. “He’s visiting for the weekend.”
“Muggle?” Shacklebolt asked. “How did you get here?”
Remo’s answer was interrupted by Harry suddenly becoming alert. “Expecting reinforcements Auror Shacklebolt?”
Harry pointed to where Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall appeared with their wands drawn in front of the Three Broomsticks with a soft crack. Shacklebolt turned to face Harry. “How the hell did you know they were coming? How did you do that?”
Harry shrugged. “Trade secret.”
“Kingsley!” Dumbledore called as he strode to Harry and the Auror at a pace that was nearly a run. “What happened here?”
“I’m still trying to find out Headmaster.” The Auror said quietly. “It appears that Mr. Potter interrupted another Death Eater attack.”
McGonagall looked about incredulously. “Dinnae be ridiculous, Six men, four trolls and three giants?” In her excitement her normal gentle burr had become much thicker. “How can ye be blaming Mr. Potter?”
“Minerva…” Dumbledore said, placing his hand on his deputy’s shoulder.
“I’m not blaming anyone. We’re still trying to determine precisely what has happened Minerva.” Shacklebolt said quietly.
“It was me. Except for him.” Harry gestured toward the body of Severus Snape that one of the Aurors was taking photos of. “My brother Remo popped him when he was about to curse me in the back.”
“Severus?” Dumbledore said faintly before wheeling on Remo. “Why?”
The big man stood with his arms crossed, a faint smile on his lips. “The dink was pointing his stick at my little brother’s back, he was saying ‘Ava…’ something when I interrupted him, then he slashed his stick at me and some other light came out of it.”
Dumbledore knew that if Harry referred to this man as his ‘brother’ then this stranger was also of Sinanju. The old man could see the questions in Kingsley Shacklebolt’s eyes, but was saved from having to explain just how an apparently unarmed Muggle might have killed a fully trained Wizard who still had his wand in his hand by the arrival of the Rubeus Hagrid at a dead run, clutching an oversized crossbow in his massive hands. The half giant stopped a few meters short of the assembled group to stare open mouthed at the fallen Gurg, before shaking himself and approaching the Headmaster.
“Perfesser Dumbledore! I came as quick as I could as soon as I heard about giants in ‘ogsmeade.” The half giant said, his eyes straying back to the fallen Gurg. “That’s Srach Kinslayer!”
Seeing that he was getting blank looks from the Headmaster and the assembled Aurors. “Srach is… was the most feared giant amongst the clans in Europe. Killed twenty other giants to become Gurg, includin' ‘is own father an' both ‘is brothers, ‘e did. Tha's how ‘e got the name.”
“Well, Hagrid,” Dumbledore said, not really understanding what had his Care of Magical Creatures professor so excited, after all the danger was over. “No one will have to worry about him any longer. His reign of terror is over now.”
“Perfesser,” Hagrid said, shaking his head causing his massive beard to fly about. “’e didn’t do tha' killin’ over a period o' time. ‘e did it in a day. Against other giants who could fight back. Now someone’s killed ‘im and two of his worst? I need to let the clans know who did it.”
The assembled group turned to face Harry, seeing the young sixth year for the first time, Hagrid paled.
“What?” Harry said when everyone started looking at him. “I just flanked him. Giants are powerful, but not very fast. The trolls were more of a challenge.”
Hagrid swallowed, and seemed to steel himself. “Mr. Potter, on behalf o' the clans, I thank yeh for… what yeh’ve done.”
Harry shrugged, “Any chance anyone had a bounty on his head?”
Ignoring the looks of horror on the faces of the professors and the Aurors, Remo laughed before reaching out and slapping Harry on the back. “Good one Little Sister. You’re thinking like an assassin.”
Upon seeing Remo, Hagrid’s black eyes went suddenly wide and his mouth opened and closed several times with no sound coming forth. The group looked at him, not understanding his reaction to the Muggle Man. A horrible stench filled the air, before the half giant turned and ran toward the gates of Hogwarts as if the hound of hell were nipping at his heels.
Remo turned to Harry. “Did he just shit his pants?”
Harry just shrugged. These British wizards were a weird bunch.
“So,” Shacklebolt said, attempting to get his investigation back on track. “You didn’t leave any suspects for me to interrogate, again.”
“Oh,” Harry replied. “I knew I forgot something.” He bent at the waist, his left hand flicking out into the ornamental shrubbery at the side of the street, emerging holding a squirming rat. “This one changed as soon as he saw his side was losing. He hung around though, I’m guessing to report what happened back to his master.” Harry shook the rat vigorously. “Change back now Death Eater.”
Harry ignored the stares he was getting from the assembled group. “Now Death Eater, before I crush your spine.”
“An animagus?” Shacklebolt asked as the rat morphed into a badly injured man.
“Peter Pettigrew.” Minerva breathed. “That means…” she covered her mouth with her left hand.
“You don’t understand.” The man identified as Pettigrew said attempting to escape Harry’s grip. “Harry, don’t you remember me? Harry, you look so much like James. I…”
“Shut up Pettigrew,” Shacklebolt said. “Gibbons! Get over here. I want animagic inhibitors on this man; you escort him to a holding cell and stand outside of it until I relieve you. If he escapes, you might as well head to Azkaban because that’s where you’ll be transferred.”
Minerva McGonagall clutched the tumbler in both hands digesting what her old friend and mentor had just told her. She raised the amber liquid to her lips and swallowed the entire contents of the glass in a single gulp.
“So,” she said as she slid the now empty glass in front of the Headmaster and gestured for a refill. “You’re telling me, that because you decided to leave Lily and James’ son, the wee bairn who I bounced on my knee, on a door step in the middle of the night, he was taken by an assassin that you hired to kill You-Know-Who…”
“Really Minerva, to fear a mere name…” The ancient wizard interrupted.
“Do Not,” the woman shouted, before calming herself and continuing. “Do not presume to lecture me tonight Albus Dumbledore. We are discussing your failures tonight, not mine. Because of your arrogance, that sweet child is now himself an amoral assassin, ignorant of his parents and our culture and who thinks nothing of killing people. Because you left him alone in the dark of the night, exposed to the elements, where any villain could come along and spirit him away, he is a killer. The blood he sheds is on your hands Albus. Yours and mine because I allowed you to just leave him in the dark that horrible night.”
“Harry is hardly amoral,” Dumbledore said quietly. “His efforts today demonstrate that. None of the Death Eaters or dark creatures he… dealt with was covered by his contract, yet he placed himself in harms way to protect his fellow students and the citizens of Hogsmeade.”
“His contract. I’d almost forgotten that you had to hire Lily’s son to get him to come to Hogwarts,” She drained her second glass. “Fill it this time.” She said shoving it in front of the Headmaster.
“Minerva, you need to trust me. Despite the fact that nothing has been going the way I wanted it to, Mr. Potter is… well, he has hurt Voldemort more than anyone else since early in his first rise to power.” He poured two fingers of Ogden’s finest into the glass, then after seeing the look on Minerva’s face, filled the glass to the rim, then he slid Minerva’s drink back in front of her. This didn’t bode well. When Minerva dove this deep into her cups, it usually meant that Dumbledore’s flaws were about to be discussed at length.
“But at what cost Albus? What cost? And what about Sirius Black?”
A knock on the door interrupted Minerva. Dumbledore recognized the potential of saving himself from the wrath of his Transfiguration Mistress. “Come in Hagrid,” he said.
Minerva shot him another frosty glare. One day she would discover how he did that.
“You wanted ter see me Perfesser?” The half giant asked from the doorway.
“Come in Hagrid. Come in.” One of the chairs expanded to fit the huge man, and a large tankard of some kind of beverage appeared on the table next to the chair. “Minerva and I were worried about you, the way you reacted to the deaths of the giants involved in the attack…”
“T’weren’t that Perfesser,” Hagrid said, settling into the engorged chair. “Finding out that Srach is dead was good news.” The huge man leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, his eyes focused on the floor between his boots. “T’were that dark eyed bloke what was with ‘arry Potter.”
“I don’t understand, Mr. Davis never said a word to you Hagrid,” Minerva said quietly, trying to understand her friend’s concerns.
Hagrid shook his head. “Yeh don’t unnerstan Min. I told the Perfesser about how Harry Potter scares me right out o' me bloody mind. I dunno what it is about him, but he terrifies me. Them eyes o' ‘is, the color o' a killin' curse they are. I thought it was like ‘e was death ‘imself. ‘e’s scared the acromantula’s inter movin’ deeper into the forest, the centaurs are askin’ about ‘im, and ‘e’s killed I dunno how many Death Eaters, and now Trolls and the worst of the Giants.” The half giant paused to take a long pull from the tankard. “Not even usin’ magic, was ‘e? ‘e killed three giants wit’ a bloody great sword ‘e did. That alone made me want to be leavin’ and visit the clans all by its self. But ‘e killed Srach. I had to let ‘im know that the clans twern’t gonna hold no grudge agin ‘im, you know? So I tried to remember why th’ hat put me inter Gyffindor, sucked up me fear and tried to thank ‘im.”
“That explains why you’ve distanced yourself from young Potter this year Hagrid, but it doesn’t explain what happened to you this afternoon,” Minerva asked, wondering to herself what it was costing Hagrid to reveal his personal fears like this. What was it about Mr. Davis that caused you to react like that?”
“When ‘arry asked if ‘e might be gettin’ paid for killing the Kinslayer, I was as ‘orrified as the rest o ye’s. Then the dark eyed bloke laughed and slapped ‘arry on the back. Until then I never noticed ‘im.” He took another draw on the tankard, emptying it. Dumbledore waved his wand from where he was sitting and the tankard refilled. “Thank ye Perfesser. That man… Davis ye called ‘im. What ever ‘arry Potter is, Davis is worse. Ten times, mebbe, a hunerd times worse.”
That confirmed to Dumbledore’s satisfaction that this ‘adopted brother’ Harry had been with was also of Sinanju… That could complicate things.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Davis will be leaving this evening Hagrid, so you won’t be subjected to what ever you sense about him much longer. I wonder where young Harry might be. Minerva, perhaps you should contact Pomona to find out if Mr. Potter has returned to the castle.”
“’e hasn’t Perfesser,” Hagrid said. “I saw the two of ‘em when I was comin’ here to answer yer note. They’re in the clearin’ betwixt ma ‘ouse and the forest.”
“Were they? I wonder what they were doing,” The ancient wizard asked rhetorically.
“I didn’t get close enough to find out whut they was doin’ exactly, but it looked to me like they wuz… well, they wuz dancin’.”
Harry feinted with his right hand, while driving his left into his opponent’s eyes. The feint was ignored, and his actual attack turned aside with casual effort.
“Too slow Little Sister,” Remo laughed. As usual the laughter annoyed Harry, which, again as usual caused him to go all out in his attempt to sweep Remo’s feet.
As usual that failed too.
“Was your cop girlfriend pissed when you told her you were going to play with me for the rest of the day?” Remo asked as he executed the stroke that had ended their last sparing session the year before, feinting with taking the stance that indicated preparing for a kick while plunging three fingers of his left hand into the boy’s solar plexis.
He was moderately surprised and very pleased when his stroke didn’t find its target. Lord but the boy was learning fast. Harry moved inside the older man’s guard and delivered his elbow to the nerve cluster just below Remo’s left shoulder blade, deadening the arm, removing Remo’s fine control of that appendage.
“No, she apologized to me because the fight in town lead to her getting a recall to duty,” He grinned at the older man. “Did you really think I’d fall for the same thing you did last time?”
“Not really,” Remo said with a grin as he manipulated his left arm to restore full functionality to the limb. “But I had to try. How’s your side?” he asked slapping Harry on top of the spot on is side that had taken a Death Eater’s cutting curse.
“Bastard,” Harry said once again attacking at the larger man’s eyes. His attack thwarted, Harry threw himself backwards to avoid Remo’s counter, and the two apprentices of Sinanju faced each other from a distance of twelve feet. “You’re going down old man.”
“Ok, now you’re just being mean,” Remo laughed striking an exaggerated kung fu pose, which made Harry smile as the younger man launched his next attack. The Golden Triangle required that he cross his left foot with his right at the ankle. Pushing off from the ground his lower body spun violently to the left, with the upper portion of his torso following the spin. Chiun loved teaching this move because of the number of times his apprentices fell while learning it.
His left hand flashing, Remo caught Harry’s right foot and left hand and held them together, slamming Harry to the ground face first, placing all of his weight on to Harry’s back.
“Ok, who’s the master?” Remo asked in a conversational tone.
“Get off me you asshole,” Harry grunted, flailing with his free arm and leg attempting to counter Remo’s hold.
“Once Chiun retires,” Remo said, avoiding the reverse head butt Harry attempted. “I think I’ll have you say ‘Remo is better than me’ whenever you come into my presence. That has such a nice ring to it.” He tightened his hold on Harry’s arm and leg. “Why don’t you try it out, just to see what it sounds like?”
“Remo is an asshat,” Harry ground out between clenched teeth. “Chiun’s already tried retirement. He didn’t like it, and has no intention of ever doing it again. He’s likely to outlive us both.”
“True enough,” Remo said, releasing Harry’s limbs and rolling off his younger brother. “You’re getting better all the time kid.” The first Apprentice said as he leaned back against the nearest tree.
“Thanks Remo,” Harry said moving to a sitting position. “I totally meant that asshat comment by the way. I wish you could stay longer.”
“Ah, Smitty has a gig coming up, of course it may turn out to be a false alarm like most of my alerts, but there you go.” A broad smile crossed Remo’s face. “Seriously though, you are far and away better than I was at the same point in my training. You’ve made Chiun very proud; last I heard he’s promoted your performance from ‘Mostly Adequate’ to ‘Adequate’.”
“Coming from Little Father, that’s high praise.”
“Tell me about it. Ok, time to explain this hocus pocus of yours. How did you get the Sword of Sinanju?”
Harry blushed, “That wasn’t really the Sword. I transfigured a hunk of copper pipe into a replica of the sword”
“Transfigured?” Remo asked.
“Yeah, that’s the using of magic to change something from one thing to another,” Harry paused before conjuring a pair of drinking glasses filled with water. “Unless you pour a buttload of energy into it, a conjuring is a temporary thing. These glasses will last about an hour or so, and then fade to nothing. The water I summoned here from the moisture in the air.”
“So that last giant has a couple feet of copper pipe stuck down its spinal column?” Remo asked.
“No, it’s still a sword. Conjuring is when you make something from nothing. I changed the pipe to a sword by changing the copper to steel and the other materials that make up the sword. That’s permanent, unless another magic user changes it to something else. Transfiguration is easier than conjuring, because you’re not making something from nothing. I did have to put extra energy into increasing the mass. I did that by taking various chunks of debris in the streets to add to the mass of the blade.”
“So you just… made a sword by thinking about it?”
Harry shrugged. “Pretty much. Chiun’s let me get to know the real Sword of Sinanju really well. If you want to transfigure something, you have to know it, you know? It’s made of really good steel, which is hard to transfigure, but worth the effort. The really hard part is getting the edge of the blade to come out right. The first time I did it, the blade came out all rounded. Good for bludgeoning someone, but lousy for a sword. Chiun and Mistress Chun Hei both drilled me until I could make a sharp blade every time.”
“I can see how that would be handy,” Remo said, not mentioning that those of Sinanju rarely used weapons of any sort. “So, what was with that huge guy? The one with the shits?”
“I have no idea. I’m told his size is accounted for by his being a half giant.”
Several seconds of silence passed between the two men while that idea sunk in. “Half giant?” Remo asked finally. “You mean some magical biker babe strapped on one of those twenty foot tall monsters? And then had a kid?”
“Actually according to the story, his father was human and mother a giant,” Harry corrected his brother.
“In some ways, that’s better and in others worse.” A grin spread across Remo’s face. “You’d need a hell of a lot more than 37 steps.”
“I’m sure you’d manage Remo, according to Chiun you’ve always liked a huge rack.” Harry dodged the thrown pinecone and continued. “Anyway, he’s on staff at the school, teaches something to do with animals, but unlike most of the other teachers, he hasn’t made the first attempt to speak with me, which suits me fine.”
Remo picked up one of the conjured glasses, and sipped. His eyebrows rose in surprise. “Good water. Real good water. Why would all the teachers want to speak with you?”
“It seems that I’m something of a legend here. They tell me that my target actually tried to kill me when I was less than two years old.” Harry said, repeating what he had managed to learn of the story behind his first two years. “The idiot calls himself a ‘Dark Lord’ if you can believe it. Anyway, the story goes that he attacked my home and killed my birth parents because of a prophecy that said I would have the power to kill him, and he wasn’t going to wait until I had it. When he tried to kill me, he supposedly used what’s called the ‘Killing Curse’ an unstoppable, unblockable, kills every time it’s used murder spell. The story claims that his killing curse somehow bounced off me and destroyed his body, leaving me with a curse scar and a blown up house.”
“You don’t sound convinced,” Remo pointed out.
Harry shrugged again. “The story makes no sense. There was exactly one survivor, me. I was too young to tell anyone what happened, but it’s a story ‘everyone’ knows. If you ask me someone is selling something.”
Remo contemplated Harry’s point for a moment and could see no flaws in his reasoning. “Ok, so if the guy that tried to kill you was killed, why has someone taken a contract out on him?”
“Not killed, his body was destroyed. Sort like that Gordon robot you played with a few times. Only instead of sending a piece of its intellect to another computer network to rebuild itself, Voldemort was cast out of his body as a wraith for a decade or so. Two years ago he managed to get reborn, or something somehow. Long story short, there’s a prophecy that says only I can kill him.”
“Killing’s not a problem. Why are you still here?”
“The client is the old guy with the beard and glasses from earlier. He’s got some weird fixation on my killing the idiot here on the grounds of the school, I don’t know why. So here I sit, trying to provoke Voldemort to come to me, which doesn’t seem to be working. That blond idiot with the cane today told me that Voldemort is at his home, or was anyway. Probably long gone by now, but here I am, bidding my time until he actually shows up here so that I can put on a show for the old man.”
“I don’t know why I’m surprised, after all of Chiun’s stories about crazy clients,” Remo laughed. “What are those other contracts for?”
“Mostly Voldemort. People keep coming to me and offering money to kill the idiot.” Harry shook his head. “I’m not turning it down, that’s for sure. I partially fulfilled a contract today with two of the Death Eaters I killed. Neville will be happy about that.”
Remo raised his eyebrows, “Neville? Are you sure it’s a good idea to be that familiar with your clients Harry?”
“I don’t know,” Harry said with a smirk. “Maybe we should ask Smitty.”
“You got me there, kid,” Remo laughed.
Tom Riddle glared at the cowering woman who knelt before him.
“Explain to me how this boy defeated my forces so easily,” He asked.
“I do not know, My Lord. I observed from a distance, as you commanded,” She said her voice quavering. “The attack started as planned: the trolls beginning the attack and your mark cast into the sky to draw in the defenders. The Potter boy was in the Three Broomsticks, and leaped from a window to attack one of the trolls.”
“He attacked a troll? What magic did he use?” Voldemort tried to ignore the scurrying house elves working to make the dining hall of Parkinson Manor suitable for his use.
Pansy Parkinson swallowed. Draco had never told her how terrifying the reborn Dark Lord was, nor what he might demand of her in his new form. Keeping her eyes fixed to the floor at the Dark Lord’s feet she answered. “He didn’t seem to be using any magic at all. He attacked the Troll physically and killed the beast by twisting its neck completely around. From there he attacked three of your marked followers who were busy torturing the Blood Traitor Longbottom and the Mudblood Granger. He killed them, again without any apparent magic.”
“Potter killed a troll and three of my Death Eaters without magic? What injuries did he receive?”
“None, my Lord. I watched as he ushered Longbottom and Granger away with a small crowd of third years. By then the rest of your followers had discovered him and were attacking. Potter moved in among them, and…” she hesitated.
“What happened, girl?” The Dark Lord hissed.
“He used them to kill each other. Lucius Malfoy cast the killing curses that killed two of the three remaining trolls; the trolls killed Rodolphus Lestrange and injured Peter Pettigrew badly. After Pettigrew was injured he disappeared. I can’t explain it, one second he was there, then he was gone. By that time only Lucius Malfoy was still standing. He called for the giants. Potter had been hit by a cutting curse during the fight, but still hadn’t drawn his wand.”
“Look at me girl.” Riddle hissed. Slowly Pansy raised her head to lock eyes with what the Dark Lord had become, terror filling her soul. “I need to see what you saw girl. This may be painful. Legilimens!”
Riddle dove into the terrified girl’s mind. He ignored fear, her childish affection for Draco Malfoy and her attraction to Harry Potter, searching for her memories of the early afternoon attack on Hogsmeade.
In spite of himself he was amazed at how the boy moved, and how everywhere he moved Riddle’s minions died. He saw Pettigrew take a glancing blow from a troll’s club then begin his transformation to a rat. Riddle was impressed with the speed of the transformation; it wasn’t surprising the girl missed it. Riddle was amazed with the ease with which Potter had killed the three giants. Some small part of his mind asking if he could have done so as easily… No, no doubts, never any doubts he chastised himself.
Riddle contemplated abandoning his idea of taking Potter’s body for his own. It would be far simpler to escape his current prison by taking the body of another young wizard… but the sheer physical power of the Potter boy intrigued him. To have that at his command…
From her vantage point on the upper floor of Gladrags with sight and aural enhancing charms, Pansy had witnessed everything, even the death of Severus Snape at the hands of an unknown man who moved like Potter did. A frown crossed Riddle’s face when he realized that Malfoy had broken under whatever torture that Potter was using against him and told the boy every secret that he knew. Riddle was slightly consoled in realizing that his reflexive move from the Malfoy estate had been a wise move.
Both Potter and the unknown man reacted to an incoming portkey before any hint of the incoming travelers was evident. This was disturbing. In all his years he had never heard of anyone who could detect an incoming portkey. Riddle continued to observe Pansy’s memories of the afternoon. After a short conversation with the lead Auror who appeared to be unusually competent, the boy and his unknown companion both reacted to Dumbledore and McGonagall apparating in front of the Three Broomsticks.
This was seriously disturbing. Potter and the stranger who Potter had identified as his Muggle brother both were able to discern when two different types of magical transportation were happening, before the travelers actually arrived.
Riddle pulled himself from the girl’s mind after he watched the capture of Peter Pettigrew. He would need to consider what he had learned today. But first…
The young man looked up from where he knelt, careful to not look directly at his Lord. “Yes My Lord?”
“Potter has a Muggle brother who is leaving Britain in the morning. That filthy Muggle dared kill one who bares my mark? Take a squad to Heathrow Airport tomorrow morning and bring him to me. Look at me boy.”
Marcus Flint made eye contact with the Dark Lord and was immediately rewarded with a blinding headache as Riddle put an image of Remo Davis directly into his mind.
“Fail me Flint, and your life is forfeit. Narcissa!”
“Yes My Lord?” Narcissa Malfoy answered, hoping against hope that the Dark Lord would not once again be making use of her.
“Return to your home, and await the Aurors who will be coming to tell you that you are now a widow. You know nothing of me beyond the horror stories Lucius told you of being imperioused into my service. Your son will be home in a week, you must prepare the new Lord Malfoy to take his father’s place in my service.”
A widow? Lucius had died? “Of course, My Lord.” Narcissa said, backing out of the room. She had to think of a way to protect Draco from his father’s mistakes, and dare she hope, free herself.
“Everyone else, get out.” He reached down and took hold of Pansy Parkinson’s hair with his left hand. “Not you Pansy. We have to arrange to get you back to Hogwarts before curfew. But first, you are in the perfect position to provide your next service to me.”
Pansy fought the scream that threatened to escape her lips as her head was forced down. She found herself thinking about Potter and his wonderful hands as the Dark Lord used her for his pleasure.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Millie Bustrode asked for the fifth time. “You both look like crap.”
“We’re as good as can be expected Millie.” Hermione said, her hands shaking from the residual effects of the Cruciatus curse. “The hospital wing is full of people in really bad shape. Madam Pomphrey gave us potions to take through the night.”
“Yeah.” Neville said through chattering teeth. “It c…c..c..could be a lot w..w..w..worse.”
“If there’s worse, I don’t want to see it.” Hannah said pulling Neville into a hug.
The outsiders were gathered in one of the unused classrooms in the Charms wing. With permission of Professor Flitwick they had over the years furnished the room in transfigured chairs and sofas. Whenever a common room upgraded its furnishing the outsiders were usually there to take the discarded pieces away, painstakingly repairing each item, so that they both fine tuned their skills and provided themselves with a place where they could relax as a group.
“Harry was magnificent during his fight.” Luna said. “Even though I knew roughly what he was capable of, actually seeing it was… breath taking.”
“You saw what happened?” Colin Creevey asked. “As soon as I saw people in Death Eater’s masks I ran.” The fifth year looked to the floor. “Some Gryffindor I turned out to be.”
“Y..Y..You did the r..r..right thing Colin. B.b..bbeing brave d.d.d..doesn’t mean you rush i..i..n to a f.f.f.fight you can’t win.” Neville forced out. “I..i..if it weren’t for the little ones, H..h..hermione and I..I w.w.would have beat you back to the castle.”
“Right.” Colin said doubtfully.
“Hell Colin.” Millie said smacking the smaller boy’s arm, almost knocking him out of his chair. “I’m not scared o’ nothing, and those Death Eaters had me running for cover. I saw what Potter was doing and I still can’t believe it.”
“It’s just training and discipline.” Harry said entering the room.
“Hello Harry,” Luna said with a broad smile. “Your performance was glorious today.”
“Thank you Ms. Lovegood,” Harry said with a slight bow. “I do wish people would learn to fight back against them though.”
“Most people don’t have the power needed to fight back successfully,” Hermione Grange noted. “Besides you made me leave.”
Harry shrugged. “Completely different situation Prefect Granger. The Death Eaters had setup an ambush, I needed room to move and spin a ribbon, you would have been in my way. If the citizens of Hogsmeade had attacked the Death Eaters before that ambush was set, the Death Eaters would never have stood a chance against the numerical odds they faced. As far as power goes, can the average third year at Hogwarts levitate a ten pound mass?”
“Of c…c…course.” Neville forced out.
Harry’s brow furrowed observing Neville’s and to a lesser extent Hermione’s tremors. “Didn’t the School Healer do anything about your exposure to the Cruciatus curse?”
“She gave us potions.” Hermione explained. “The ward was reserved for people who were injured, were we’re only in pain. She said it will fade in a day or so and we’ll regain our fine muscle control.”
“Amazing,” Harry said kneeling next to Neville. “Let me try something.”
Not waiting for permission Harry took hold of Neville’s left wrist and slid back the left sleeve of the Prefect’s robe. He ground the first knuckle of his right hand into the Brachialis muscle seeking out the Olecranon nerve. His left hand went down the back of Neville’s shirt until he reached the fifth vertebrae. Harry pinched the nerve clusters on either side of the vertebrae while maintaining the pressure on the nerve in the Prefect’s arm until Neville made a loud squeak.
“Miss Lovegood?” Harry asked. “Could you massage Neville’s back for a few moments, like this?”
“Of course Harry.” The fifth year said, beginning to mimic the movements on Neville’s back.
Harry turned to Hermione. “Your turn Prefect Granger.”
Hermione’s eyes went wide, “you aren’t touching me like that.”
“No, Hermione,” Neville said, his voice full of relief and awe. “Let him. Whatever it is he did, it worked, I feel great. No shakes, no pain at all.”
Hermione hesitated for a moment, then shrugged out of her robe and offered her bared arm to Harry. She shivered when his hand reached down the back of her blouse and tried not to think about how her body was reacting to him. She felt the pressure build within her until she too emitted a loud squeak. Then the sudden bliss of an absence of pain, followed by the sensation of Potter massaging her back.
“My apologies Prefect Granger,” he said quietly in her ear so that only she could hear him. “To gain access to the nerve clusters on your back, I needed to unhook you bra.”
He had… She hadn’t even felt it.
“How did you do that?” She asked. “Take away the pain and shakes I mean. Madam Pomphrey said that there was nothing to be done except wait it out.”
Harry shrugged. “Pressure point techniques are common in a lot of Asian cultures. The West seems to largely ignore them.”
Hermione shuddered when he removed his hands from her back and moved to stand before Neville.
“Client Longbottom, I am before you to report partial completion of your contract.”
Neville appeared to be startled by this. “Already? We only agreed this morning.”
Harry smiled and dung in his satchel, withdrawing a canvas bag far too large to have fit in the small case. “The Lestrange Brothers.”
Neville accepted the bag hesitantly, then opened it and peeked inside. He paled a bit, and then took another look. The Scion of House Longbottom steeled his expression. “Well done. The House of Longbottom thanks you for your quick efficient service.”
Harry nodded his thanks for the kind words of a client. The assembled outcasts looked on, trying to figure out what was going on.
“However,” Neville continued, “The House of Longbottom also wishes he had waited twenty four hours or so and saved himself ten thousand Galleons.”
Harry smiled enigmatically and sat on one of the vacant chairs.
Hermione looked between Harry, Neville and the bag still sitting in Neville’s lap. “Wait. That bag… it’s got the heads of Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange in it?”
“What’s in the bag isn’t important,” Neville said quietly, placing the bag on the floor beside his chair. “What’s important is that the bastards won’t be hurting anyone else, ever again.”
Silence filled the room for several seconds, until Hermione broke it.
“The hell it doesn’t matter what’s in the bag. If there are heads in that bag…”
“Are you really an assassin like Luna says Harry?” Colin Creevey asked, interrupting Hermione who was well on her way to hysterics.
Harry nodded. “The House of Sinanju, established 3987 BC, accept no substitutes. Miss Lovegood and her father visited my home village three years ago as part of his investigative series on my ‘disappearance’. My father granted him a full interview with me, and gave permission to tell of my life and training.”
“So the Quibbler was right?” Millie Bustrode asked the room.
“In this one instance.” Hermione said, still eyeing the bag that had the potential of containing a pair of heads. “There are so many other insanely impossible ideas from that magazine…”
“Like what?” Luna asked sounding uncharacteristically insulted.
“Like there being an emperor of the United States. The US is a Constitutional Republic, with a president.” The bushy haired prefect said dismissively.
“The United States does have an emperor,” Harry said quietly. “I’ve met him. His name’s Smith.”
“Emperor Smith?” Hermione asked incredulously. “That’s ridiculous, you aren’t even confusing him with a President, there’s never been one named Smith.”
“My father calls him ‘Mad Emperor Smith’,” Harry said. “My brother calls him ‘Smitty’. He prefers to be called Dr. Smith, but he’s really an emperor, he orders people killed all the time.” Harry leaned forward and lowered his voice conspiratorially. “Magic freaks him out.”
Baitullah Mahsud had worked in the Department of Janitorial Services at Heathrow airport for four years, ever since leaving school with three A levels and absolutely no ambition. His father the doctor, routinely chastised him for both his job and his lack of direction.
Baitullah opined that honest work was honest work, and none of it should be disparaged. His father quit speaking to Baitullah when the young man pointed out that a single competent janitor did more to keep disease at bay than ten doctors. That little victory still made Baitullah smile.
Baitullah was at peace with his life. He had found the majesty in a properly maintained departure lounge. He was proud that when something went wrong, he was the one called to fix it, be it the messes left behind by sick children or in one tragic day, the residue of an old woman who had quietly died while waiting for her flight.
This is why he found it exceptionally odd to be facing a tall black man wearing some sort of ceremonial robe, not terribly different than the one his brother, the solicitor, wore in court, except that Kingsley Shacklebolt’s robe was blood red rather than black, and there was no silly powdered wig atop the tall man’s head. Baitullah was trying to explain how it was he came to find seven men dressed in robes similar to the one worn by this man Shacklebolt. only they were all black, all seven stuffed into a single fifty five gallon trash drum.
Mr. Shacklebolt seemed to be very interested in the seven polished sticks Baitullah had found on top of the drum, along with the note that didn’t make any sense at all. Then Shacklebolt produced his own polished stick.
Baitullah Mahsud checked his watch, and his eyebrows rose almost to his hairline. Half an hour until the end of his shift? How had that happened? He hurriedly checked to make sure all of his checklists were completed for the day.
They were. Baitullah, smiled to himself. For the first time he truly believed the saying, ‘Time flies when you’re having fun.’
Kingsley Shacklebolt examined the note and the wands left by the seven dead Death Eaters.
Dear Dark Lord Funny French name:
Your troops are pathetic. Don’t try it again.
You really don’t want to get me angry at you. You belong to Harry. He’s just going to kill you. Me, I’d make you suffer. And you really don’t want to make our father angry with you, trust me on this.
After hearing Harry speak of his three encounters with your people, I find myself wondering if you’re really in this for the conquest…
Kinsley shook his head. What the hell did this mean anyway? And how was Harry Potter’s adopted Muggle brother involved?
A/N: the last: A special thanks to Rift120 of The Fanfiction Forum for his suggestion that any confession from Lucius Malfoy would include more information about hair care than any sane person would ever want, and to Innortal, also of TFF for pointing out that cane maintenance would also be among Lucius’ most treasured secrets…
Silas Dunsmore took the time to look at my illiterate scratchings and work a little grammatical magic to produce actual English words. Thanks Silas.
Finbar of TFF also contribute to Harry’s proof of the demise of the LeStrange brothers for Neville. I was going to have Harry present their wands to his client… Heads at dinner was funnier.