The second chapter in the Strike Wizard saga
The House of Bishop
The flight from where she'd found the two kids in the forest to her home gave Minnie Bishop plenty of time to both evaluate what she'd just seen of Harry and Hermione, and to make further observations.
Both were obviously magical, something that intrigued Minnie. She had never meet a male magical before (What were they called again- Wizards?) and wanted to see how much of what she'd heard was true. Harry and Hermione also practiced a different form of magic to what any witch that she'd ever met. They needed an artifact to channel magic and used a spell to work it, though this probably gave them a large number of possible effects. The magic style Minnie practiced was fairly simple, find your familiar and learn your special attack and shield. Harry and Hermione didn't feel any stronger then any other witch she'd meet, just more flexible.
It also seemed that Hermione wasn't all that fond of flying, if the way she was clinging to Harry and the way Harry was avoiding making any sudden maneuvers was any indication.
The moon was fairly high in the night sky when the trio of broom riders finally descended into the back yard of a large home, though neither Harry nor Hermione had been able to see anything more then a small red light hanging from the back of Mrs. Bishop's broom. They got Hermione's trunk untied and Harry and Hermione carried it between them as they followed Mrs. Bishop into the house. Minnie led them passed a couple of doors before she stopped beside one.
"You two can use this room for tonight and we'll sort out something more permanent in the morning" The two teen just nodded their heads tiredly and lugged the trunk into the room before saying a yawny good night to their host, pulling their shoes off and collapsed into the bed.
Morning was always one of Lynnette's favorite times. The sun was shining brightly with only a few clouds in the morning sky and some sparrows started the day with song.
Unfortunately for Lynnette, her usually peaceful morning routine was shattered by two loud, surprised yells from the floor below her. The young witch leap from her bed and ran down the hall to the source of the shouts, taking the stair two steps at a time. When she finally arrived at the source of the commotion, Lynnette found her mother standing outside their spare bedroom laughing like a hyena.
When Lynnette finally got to her laughing mother she noticed a couple of kids her age standing in the room cherry red and glaring at her mother.
"Oh come off it already!" The girl growled while the boy continued to give her mother the stink eye.
The girl had mid shoulder length bushy brown hair, expressive brown eyes and slightly larger then normal front teeth. The boy had unruly black hair and the greenest eyes Lynnette had ever seen. Both seemed to be wearing some kind of uniform that consisted of white shirts with red and gold ties, sneakers and either slacks (boy) or a skirt with red and gold stockings (girl).
"Lynne I'd like you to meet Mr. Harry Potter and Ms. Hermione Granger" Lynnette's mother said to her once she managed to get her laughing under control, then she turned back to Harry and Hermione "Harry, Hermione I'd like to introduce Lynnette, one of my daughters" The three kids all exchanged greetings of their own before Lynnette's mother started herding them all towards the kitchen and breakfast.
Breakfast was a much quieter affair then that morning's wake up call had been for Harry. Mrs. Bishop and her daughter had sat their two visitors at the table and started making breakfast, which led to the house soon being filled with the smell of baking biscuits, frying sausages and gravy. The smell of food seemed to bring children out of the wood work, which were introduced as Lynnette's younger brothers and sisters. It turned out that Mrs. Bishop was the mother of eight children, of which Lynnette was number four.
Harry couldn't help comparing the Bishops to the Weasleys and the Dursleys.
The Dursleys household was dominated by Dudley. Mrs. Dursley would cater to Dudley's every whim and would excuse his tantrums as exuberance. Mr. Dursley saw his son as a miniature version of himself. Both refused to see or hear anything bad about the son, no matter how blindingly obvious it was.
The Weasleys were the closest thing Harry had ever had to a family that he could remember. Both the Bishops and the Weasleys were large families but any similarities ended there. Unlike the Weasleys the Bishops were fairly well off though not rich. Minnie's children obviously love their mother but Harry couldn't detect the under current of nervousness that many of the Weasley kids gave when their mother was around. It probably had to do with the fact that Mrs. Bishop just didn't have the same kind of temper that Molly Weasley had. Things that in the Weasley house hold would have seen a minor eruption of 'Mount Molly' in the Bishop home merely got a firm scolding at worst.
The mothers also showed their love in different ways. Molly Weasley tried to shove her love onto people through bone crushing hugs and second helpings while Mrs. Bishop joked with children at every opportunity and made herself available if her kids needed help with something.
"Here you go" Harry's musing was interrupted by a plate of sausages being placed in front of him and Hermione by Lynnette.
"Thank you" Harry and Hermione said as they started piling meaty goodness onto their plates along with a biscuit and a healthy slathering of gravy. As Lynnette walked back to the stove Harry couldn't help watching her go. Lynnette had grayish tan hair and eyes so light blue that they were almost gray. Lynne was dressed in a long button front night shirt and long red and green banded stockings. What Harry found odd about the ensemble was that Lynne wasn't wearing either pajama pants or a night dress. Then again he came from a place were people didn't have a clue about modern fashion so he couldn't talk.
After a few minutes everyone was full and the younger kids were hustled off to school. Lynne and her mother leaned against the wall for a moment to catch their breath before they turned to start on the dishes; only to find that their guests had beaten them to it.
"You didn't have to do it ya know" Mrs. Bishop said as she picked up a towel and started drying the dishes that Harry and Hermione had scrubbed and rinsed while Lynne stacked them back in the cupboard.
"Its okay, we're used to it" the two said as they continued scrubbing away.
After a few minutes the dishes were done Lynne left to get changed into clothes better suited for a day of training, whatever that meant, and Hermione tagged along to barrow some of Lynnette's clothes so that she'd have something clean to wear for today while Mrs. Bishop led Harry up to the attic to barrow some of one of her sons old clothes for the day.
An hour later Harry was dressed in a slightly dusty pair of slacks with a button down white shirt and green vest waiting by the front door with Mrs. Bishop for Hermione and Lynnette to come down the stairs so they could get going. Finally a few minutes later they heard the sound of feet beating on wood and a quiet but heated discussion.
"This feels weird" Harry heard Hermione grump.
"Oh you look fine" Lynnette said with a little more snap in her voice then Harry had heard her use all day, even when her youngest sibling had spilled syrup all over her night shirt. A second later both girls came into view and Harry figured out why Hermione was feeling uncomfortable. The top was normal with a white blouse under a long yellow sleeveless jumper and a light brown coat but the bottom was different. Hermione was still wearing her long red and gold socks which come up to just above her knees and her leather buckle shoes but there wasn't a skirt in sight. Not that that was a problem as the jumper that Hermione was wearing hung down to mid thigh on her, so she actually wasn't showing that much skin at all.
"Well now that everyone's here lets get going" Mrs. Bishop said as she opened the door and led her three charges to a waiting car. Harry and Hermione took the back seat while Lynnette and her mother took the front.
"So, where we going?" Harry asked as Mrs. Bishop started the engine.
"The Department of Magic" Mrs. Bishop said as she guided the car out of the drive and started down the road. Harry and Hermione gave each other worried looks but decided that it would be better for them to keep their traps shut. Besides it was almost impossible for Hermione to concentrate on much as she spent most of the trip admiring the Forties-ish looking London.
After about forty five minutes of driving they pulled up to a rather non-descript brink building not far from where Mrs. Bishop said the Admiralty building was and piled out. Four soldiers were standing around the door in brown uniforms with olive drab harnesses and helmets. Three of the men had long, bolt action rifles while the last hold what looked to Harry to be a Thompson sub machine gun.
Mrs. Bishop had a quick conversation with one of the soldiers then led the kids through the front door.
Just inside the door was a desk with a woman in uniform behind it. Mrs. Bishop knocked on her desk to get her attention.
"Is General Doolittle in?"
"Yes ma'am, he's in his office right now" the secretary said. Minnie nodded before motioning for the kids to follow her and started heading down the hall. Harry and Hermione had to work to restrain the urge to look around but Minnie was walking so fast that the kids practically had to jog to keep up.
Finally they came to a door guarded by two soldiers. A plaque beside the door read 'General James H Doolittle, Commander Allied Air Forces Europe' (1). Mrs. Bishop had a quick word with the guards before turning to back to the kids.
"Wait here while I have a word with the general, it shouldn't take more then a minute or two" the three kids nodded and went to sit on a nearby bench while Mrs. Bishop entered the room. Harry and Hermione tried not to fidget too much as they waited but it was hard.
Finally after about ten minutes Mrs. Bishop opened the door again and stepped out.
"The general wants to see you two and hear your part of the story" Mrs. Bishop said with a slight smile. Harry and Hermione stood nervously and followed Mrs. Bishop back into the room with Lynnette behind them.
As they stepped into the room Harry and Hermione looked around, noting the various people in the room. There were three older men in uniforms behind a desk, one sitting in a tan uniform and two standing, one in blue and the other in a darker brown. Also in the room was a girl in a white uniform top with black hair, an eye patch and (to Harry and Hermione's growing discomfort) a Japanese style sword. Mrs. Bishop introduced the people in the room. The man sitting down was Liberian General Doolittle. Behind him were the Gallian air attach