A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. But you knew that.
Oh, for the hordes who asked: literally translated Fleur's message to the twins 'baisez vos cerveaux dehors'means 'kiss your brains out'. I am sure most people will easily figure out the true common use vulgar slang meaning... Altavista's Babelfish site is a great resource.
Harry Potter and Merlin's Reaper
Chapter Nineteen - Alliances
Riddle paced, at the conference table his Elite Death Eaters nervously waited for his next question. Standing at the far end of the conference room was Auror Shacklebolt. Shacklebolt's string of very bad days was continuing.
"Tell me again what we know about this 'Reaper'.
"Yes My Lord. We believe the terrorist to be male, but have not yet confirmed this. He is now responsible for 19 separate attacks. He is a powerful wizard, high end Class 6 magic user, possibly even, and please excuse the presumption My Lord, the second recorded Class 7 magic user."
"He attacks only those who wear your Mark. He has killed others, but only after they attack him. In 11 of the 19 attacks, he has freed body slaves. We have traced all but two of those freed slaves. Upon interrogation, it was determined that they knew nothing. He healed them and returned them to their homes. The two we have not found, the first Muggle born he stole from the Malfoys and the Veela, both no longer have any living relatives, Ipostulate that they remain with the Reaper. When the Veela was taken, you asked me to guess as to the status of the Muggle born My Lord. At that time, Iguessed that she was probably dead. Given the slaves he continues to free, Irespectfully retract my earlier guess. I believe the terrorist still has both of them with him. Probably voluntarily."
"Both the Weasley's and the Malfoy's were reportedly particularly abusive to their body slaves."
"Your projections for his next target?"
"That is hard to say My Lord. Of the 19 confirmed attacks, the only commonality we have found is the presence of those bearing your mark. You yourself reported his stated goal of causing as much death and destruction as possible to demonstrate the absurdly false idea that you could not protect your people. I have Aurors stationed at several likely targets, but so far he hasn't hit any of those targets."
"Very good Auror Shacklebolt. Urge your people to take this criminal down."
"Thank you My Lord. We live to serve you."
"Yes, you do."
"Well, this is the place."
"This is a cottage?"
"So I'm told" Harry said.
Susan, Fleur and Hermione came out on the porch.
"Oh goodie, three boy and three girls, what will we do?"
Susan shot Hermione a warning look. "Bringing us more outcasts Harry?
"No, believe it or not, these two are purebloods in good standing, who want to see our Ms. Delacour"
Fleur ran to the twins without a word and gathered them into her arms. The three of them clung together murmuring to each other.
Harry continued on to the cottage, and guided the two other witches inside "We'd best leave them alone. They have a bit of a history, and need to get reacquainted."
Inside once the door was closed Hermione wheeled on him"They look like Weasleys."
"That's mostly because they are Weasleys. Weasleys who were tortured by their own brothers when they tried to help Fleur escape." Harry smiled. "They mean a lot to Fleur, they're in love with her."
"Both of them?"
"Evidently. If she's ok with that, none of my business."
Susan looked thoughtful, "I hope they can find some happiness."
"Me too. Look, I know you two spend a lot of time in the library. I was hoping you could do a search for me to find another property Iown. We need more room, and I haven't been able to figure out how to pull down the fidelus on this house so I could put up another. That way people could come and go without me taking them in and out."
"I've seen some deeds somewhere Harry, we should be able to find something."
"Thank you Susan, you too Hermione.
Dinner was very enjoyable. The twins were almost the practical jokers he remembered from his first world, even Hermione was laughing at one point. They spent the evening in the sitting room talking and telling stories. Harry's stories of his first world were the favorites of the group, especially when he started leaving certain names out, which was harder than is sounded when he decided to do it.
The Twins especially enjoyed hearing stories of Arthur and Molly, with stories of the exploits of their counterparts being close seconds. All three girls enjoyed stories of the Triwizard Tournament, though Fleur became sad at the mention of Gabrielle at the second task and was more than a little insulted at the suggestion that she might have been taken out of the third task by a mere quidditch player. It was almost midnight when the gathering started to breakup, Hermione heading up to her room, followed by Susan excusing herself a few moments later. At 1 am, Fleur led George and Fred upstairs. Harry stopped in the kitchen to see if Dobby needed any help. He found the kitchen spotless and Dobby was insulted (in a completely subservient way) at the suggestion that he needed help to clean up after only six people.
Ensuring the wards were set, Harry headed up stairs. He stripped and took a long hot shower, and after toweling himself off, pulled on a pair of boxers and entered his room.
Susan was in the bed.
"Just shut up. I want what you did for Fleur. She needed you and I want you. Not all that much difference is there?"
"Susan I don't want to hurt you."
"Then get your ass in this bed and help me feel better. Sending me away will hurt me. We live in a crappy world Harry. Any of us can die tomorrow, why not be happy now?" she sat up, exposing her breasts. "Love me Harry. Hold me tonight."
Harry extinguished the lights and moved to get into the bed.
"Lose the boxers Potter" she growled.
Love making with Susan was very different from his previous experiences. Luna was hungry and driven. Fleur was an athletic and focused. For all her pretended aggression, Susan was hesitant and affectionate. Try as he might he could not bring her to orgasm, but she seemed happy to cling to him until they both fell asleep.
Harry woke with sunrise to find the pretty blonde still in his arms. He slipped from the bed, cleaned himself up, dragging a razor across his face, and brushed his teeth. He then returned to the bed, Susan snuggled in close and he enjoyed the smell of her hair until she started to wake.
Susan was surprised to find awarm body next to her in those first few seconds of waking up before memory engages. She looked up to his face and was welcome to wakefulness with a kiss.
"Again?" she asked hopefully.
"Yes, please." He kissed her again. "Practice makes perfect..."
"By all means, we need to practice.
They spent the morning together, ignoring the hostile glares from Hermione. Fleur and the twins never did make an appearance, spending the day in Fleur's rooms, with Dobby making frequent deliveries of food.
Harry spent three hours following lunch coaching Hermione and Susan in their spell work. Neither had any formal education, discounting Hermione's stolen time with Draco's schoolbooks. Still both were powerful witches who had observed far more magic than they had attempted to use them selves. They quickly grasped wand movement and the intent behind magic. The lesson progressed well, leaving them a hour to relax prior to the evening meal.
Dobby did his usual miracle in the kitchen, Fleur and the twins actually came out for the meal. This was when Harry introduced the Twins to the concept of the Reaper.
For the first time since he had met any version of the twins, they were shocked beyond words. For about 17 seconds.
"That was you?"
"At the Burrow?"
"Yes it was. I'm sorry." He was not going to tell them that Fleur had actually done the killing that day. That he could not do it.
"With what they were doing..."
"They needed to die."
"We were six when the bastards took Mum and Dad."
"Then Bill forgot all about them."
"And became worse than the Death Eaters"
"Charlie, Percy and Ginny are still around."
"Please, stay away from them Harry."
"They're ours to deal with."
"The Weasley name will mean something again."
The Reaper apparated outside the gates of the Parkinson Mansion inside what had been Muggle London. Harry recalled the structure was called Kensington Palace, and he dimly associated it with Princess Diana. The building was lightly warded. He reached out with his senses and found six Dark Marks in residence.
Harry put up his shield and casually walked through the front gates. As soon as he crossed the threshold, he was hit by a half dozen curses. The shield absorbed them all. His magic reached out and crushed the man on his left, then threw the lifeless body at Auror on his right, that man fell to the ground unconscious. The remaining four panicked and started to run. Harry sealed the door, and then banished the running men in to the wall. They crumpled to the ground one dead, the rest badly hurt.
Harry took the stairs to the second level. Unmarked Aurors, that was new. If nothing else, he was forcing the bastards to innovate. The six Dark Marks were still in a single room... Odd that they did not react to the spell fire below... a quick examination of the walls eased his mind. This building was very well sound proofed. That must explain it. When he got to the room, they were in, he found himself confronted by an oddity, the door was not closed. Verifying that the shield was still up, he pushed the door open and was confronted by the six men he was looking for in various states of undress crowded around a single small woman, they were concentrating on the woman and did not seem to notice he was there. More rapists? Was this some kind of requirement to be Marked? He did not bother with confronting them; he just reached out and crushed their larynxes, allowing them to fall. Stepping into the room, he could finally see the girl. Oh crap. Do I have to know all the rape victims in this world? Mary? Marti? No, Mandy, Mandy Brocklehurst, she was Muggle born, Ravenclaw, two or three years behind me at Hogwarts. That would make her 14 or 15. He was suddenly furious that he had not made the bastards suffer more.
He reached down to help her up.
"Don't hurt me, please!"
"You'll be alright Mandy, I'll get you home."
The girl looked panicked. "Home? They killed Mummy last year. Daddy died before I was born. Where are you taking me? Please don't hurt me." She fumbled at the front of his cloak. "I'll make you feel good. Please don't hurt me Master. I'll be good to you!"
/Well hell/. Harry reached out with his magic and touched the sleep center of her mind, and she slumped to the ground. He performed a quick search of the room and found a cache of money. He cleared the cache out, financing a revolution was expensive, why not allow the oppressors to pay the freight?
He lifted the girl from the floor and held her close. He heard running feet coming his way. Time to go.
And they were gone.
Chapter Twenty - Relationships
Harry and the sleeping girl appeared on the steps of the cottage, Susan was there waiting for him. Hermione was on the porch keeping Susan company during her wait; both were startled by Harry's sudden appearance.
"Another girl? What is it with you Potter; you need your own Harem?"
"She's 15 at the most Hermione, and she's a Muggle born. If anyone could know what she's been through, it's you."
"I... I... I am sorry. I don't know why I'm like that."
"Let's get her inside," said Susan. "I'll get her cleaned up and into bed."
"Thank you both." He carried the girl upstairs to his room."I put her out for the night. After you get her cleaned up, put her into my bed, I'll kip out on the sofa in the sitting room."
The girls exchanged a look. "Don't be silly Harry." Susan smiled. "We'll put her in my room. I'll be in here. With you."
Harry considered arguing, and then remembered that he always lost those arguments, so he nodded and went back down stairs to find Dobby.
Dobby was in the kitchen preparing bread for the next day."Good Evening Dobby."
"Good Evening Master Harry Sir."
"Dobby, I always see you working, do you ever sleep?"
"Oh yes Master Harry Sir, Dobby sleeps a whole hour every night." He looked a little embarrassed. "Dobby not young elf no more. When Dobby was young he only sleep an hour every 4 nights, but Dobby slow now, needs more rest."
"Dobby there is a new guest here who has been hurt like Miss was before you both came here. I have put her to sleep and she should sleep through the night. If she was to wake up, would you know?"
"Yes Master Harry Sir. Dobby knows when anyone in household is awake."
"Thank you Dobby. If the new guest wakes up, would you come and wake me please?"
"Of course Master Harry Sir. Dobby is good elf!"
"Dobby you are not a good elf."
"Dobby not good elf Master Harry Sir?"
"Dobby, you are the best elf."
The elf began to cry "Thank you Master Harry Sir."
"Good night Dobby."
"Good night Master Harry Sir."
Harry lay awake holding Susan. She was sleeping, her breathing slow and rhythmic. He savored the taste of her still on his lips. It was odd just how comforting a holding her could be. Still his mind would not slow down tonight.
What am I doing here? Am I making any real difference at all? This is not my original world with fewer than 500 Death Eaters. This world had hundreds of thousands, if not millions of the bastards. How am Isupposed to make a significant dent in those kinds of numbers?
Even if I ignored the Death Eater problem, how am I to deal with Riddle? I have no clue if this Riddle has gone the Horocrux route. This Riddle is not the Snake faced lunatic of my world. Not having had his body destroyed by whatever ancient magic my mother used to protect me, he is still Tom Riddle. He's still human.
I checked the Gaunt house. No ring. I checked the cave. No sign that the locket or the inferni had ever been there, no sign of magic at all. There was no Diary in the Malfoy home. I have been assuming that this universe and mine diverged when he killed me here, but what if it had nothing to do with me? What if the change was here, this Riddle never made a Horocrux?What if this Riddle is smart enough not to leave magical objects with fragments of his soul attached to them lying around with some kid would find them through dumb luck?
/What difference does it make? /Asked Hermione's voice in his head
/Oh, good. My psychosis is back./
Is that what I am? I thought I was the little voice that kept you from feeling too sorry for your self.
Like I said, my psychosis. I thought I left you in our world. You haven't spoken to me since I got here.
I've been speaking, you have not been listening. Honestly, Harry, does it matter if he has Horocruxes here? You are more or less equal in power. The secret is to not kill him, just make it so he cannot use his magic, then, even if he lives forever, he's helpless.
/And how am I supposed to do that 'mione?/
I don't know, you're the wizard, I'm just a manifestation of your guilt. Use your magic in ways he won't expect. You put that girl to sleep by manipulating her sleep center, why not do the same to Riddle's frontal lobes, except put the setting on puree? How about going to his speech, vision and hearing centers and disrupting them, rendering him blind, deaf and mute? He'll be expecting any mental attacks to be Legimanic, not your physical manipulation. Hell, you could even focus your magic on his core and disrupt it!
The way to deal with an immortal isn't to try and kill him. Let the bastard live forever, just make him do it in a powerless state. That way you can hire a corporation that will send someone over to kick him in the balls every day forever.
Not very ladylike 'mione. However, I do like the way you think.
This is the way YOU think you clod. Do you honestly think anything so disorganized originated in the mind of Hermione Granger in any universe? Honestly.
/So, you're going to stay around and help?/
I've never gone anywhere. I'm your imagination, as long as you want me, I'm here.
/Thank you 'mione./
Speaking of wanting me, you know that poor girl in the next room isn't me don't you? I mean she isn't the Hermione you based me on. You know that right?
/I know it, but I don't think I believe it./
LEARN to believe it dummy. Think about the girl in your arms right now. She loves you. Either give her a chance or drop her, but don't string her along. Be a man, or be a boy, but don't be a bastard.
/Thank you 'mione./
Oh, shut up and go to sleep. You still have to deal with Mandy in the morning.
/Goodnight 'mione. You're my favorite psychosis./
Slowly the world came back. The girl lay curled into a tight ball. She was in a bed. An actual bed with clean sheets, and no one was doing anything to her. In a bed. Still pretending to be asleep, she listened carefully. No one was in the room. She carefully cracked one eye, and then the other and looked around the room. It was large and bright. The morning sun shone in through a window. The door! It locks from the inside.
What had happened last night? She had been with the man in the dark cloak carrying some kind of farm tool, and then she was here. She inspected her body. Some one had cleaned her. Her hair was clean and brushed out. She now wore a blue cotton nightshirt when before she had been naked. Amoment of panic struck her, and she rushed to the mirror over a chest of drawers. There was the face she expected, no new marks, no new scars. She returned to the bed, weeping from happiness.
Her stomach rumbled. It had been two days since her last meal. She would be all right for another day, maybe two. Hopefully who ever provided the room would also provide food.
As if on cue there was a quiet 'pop' and Dobby the House Elf appeared in front of her.
"Good Morning young Miss. Dobby bring chicken broth and tea for young Miss. Dobby know you very hungry."
"Thank you Mr. Elf." She took the bowl of broth and brought it to her lips.
"Dobby is not Mr. Elf. Dobby is Dobby young Miss. The Master of this House be coming to speak to young Miss. He wait until young Miss finish eating."
"Thank you Dobby" she said, putting the empty bowl down and picking up the mug.
"Who is the Master of this House?"
"The Master is very powerful Wizard, very good Wizard. Dobby not tell his name. If Master want young Miss to know, he will tell."
She put the now empty mug on the tray. "Thank you again Dobby. Please tell our Master that I am ready to serve him. Tell him my body is for him."
Tears filled the elf's eyes. He lay his hand atop the girls."Young Miss, the Master not do that to you. The Master Kill Wizards that do that. The Master is great Wizard. Is Good Man."
"Our Master doesn't use women for sex?"
"The Master does not take from women. The Master shares with women who want him."
The elf and his tray vanished with a pop.
There was a knock at the door. She threw herself onto the floor and knelt with her forehead pressed to the floor, arms stretched out in supplication.
The door opened.
"Please get up. You are a person, not property. You aren't aslave anymore."
She hesitantly raised her head. A man and two women stood at the door. The man came to her and knelt down in front of her.
"No one is going to hurt you here. Please, get up."
"My name is Harry. I'm no ones master. This is Susan." He gestured to the blonde. "and this is Hermione." He indicated the Brunette."There are two other men and another woman living here, you'll meet them later. Your name is Mandy, right?"
"Do you have any relatives Mandy? Any one we could take you to?"
"No Mas... No. I don't. I'm all that's left."
"Hermione and I are in the same boat, Mandy. Susan only has her Aunt left. We know something of how you are feeling. You can stay with us as long as you want. We'll ask Dobby to get you some clothes. Are you still hungry?"
She nodded. "A little."
He took her hand. "Come on then."
The day was spent making Mandy feel welcome on their little compound. She seemed intimidated by the Twins, but not at all by Fleur or the other women. Harry didn't think he should have found that odd, but did for some reason he couldn't put his finger on. The 'Hermione in his Head' was silent on the subject, but it just seemed ... odd.
She knew of her magic, but was terrified of using it. No amount of coaxing could get her to try
Later that afternoon Harry was in the sitting room reading. It sometimes took him several days between missions to feel up to another strike. Mandy entered the room, smiling at him. She was heading to one of the plush chairs facing the fire when she caught her toe on the coffee table and fell ass over teakettle to the floor, cursing as she did so. Harry laughed and helped her up.
"Remind me some time to tell you about an Auror friend of mine."
"You know Aurors? I thought they were looking for you."
"She's an Auror in another place. For the most part, they're good people there."
She sat quietly in the chair staring at the flames for awhile, Harry returned to his book
Dinner was a quiet affair, with discussion following making the evening's entertainment. When the evening finally wound down, Susan and Harry went upstairs to the room they were now sharing.
Mandy was at the door, waiting.
"Mas... I'm sorry. Harry, I have come to thank you for what you have done for me, I can only offer what I have." She pulled the belt on the robe she wore and it fell open displaying her naked body underneath.
"Mandy, thank you, no. Susan and I are together."
"I can please you both, I was taught."
"Mandy, no. You don't need to do this anymore."
"But I want to, I need"
"Mandy, I said no. Please let it go."
Susan had stood silent watching the exchange. She noticed what Harry missed, the flash of anger from the younger girl.
"I'm sorry Harry. I won't bother you again."
"Good night Mandy."
When Harry and Susan closed the door behind them Harry said,"That was awkward."
"There's something off about that girl."
"She's probably just still traumatized."
"She worries me."
"She shouldn't. You and I are together. I'm not one to wander. Besides," He drew her into a hug and kissed her, "Why would I want cold cereal when I've got a gourmet dinner?"
"So I'm food?"
"You feed my soul... and taste pretty good too..."
"Merlin, you're a goof."
Chapter Twenty-one - Oddities
Susan lay cuddled to Harry listening to his heartbeat in his sleep. Her joys of having Harry declare their relationship publicly was tempered by a general feeling of unease at the reactions of this new girl Mandy.
There was just something about that girl that put her teeth on edge. She was honest enough to wonder if her reaction to the girl was Mandy's pursuit of Harry. But the girl's reaction to Harry's rejection, well that was just creepy.
She cuddled closer to the man lying next to her. For now, he was hers. Her life so far had taught her not to believe that anything lasts, but for now, he was hers.
Hermione Granger lay on her bed wearing a black silk nightgown. She had a candle burning on her side table, filling the air with ahint of cinnamon. A knock at the door.
Harry Potter entered and closed the door behind him. Dressed in dark slacks and a black shirt open to the third button, he looked at her with those blazing green eyes.
"I can't do this anymore Hermione. This isn't fair to Susan."
"What does fairness have to do with anything Harry? If she isn't meeting your needs, then you need someone who can."
She stood and gestured for him to approach. He came to her, taking her left hand in his raising it to his lips. A soft kiss on the palm of her hand, he then breathed deep of the scent on her wrist.
"Oh, what you do to me." The look he gave her was one of worship, of love.
"Shh my love. Let me take care of you, let me give you what you need." She unbuttoned his shirt and ran her hands over his chest, she pushed the shirt off his shoulders, and it fell to the floor. She raised her hands to his face and guided him to her mouth; the kiss was sweet, all consuming, and intense. She felt his body shudder, her nightgown was gone, as were his trousers. She reclined onto the bed, pulling him along, never breaking the kiss. When he entered her, slowly, gently, her back arched in orgasm.
She sat up with a gasp, her body covered in a cold sweat. She was panting as if she had run a mile. That god damned dream again. Why is this happening to me? Why him? Why not any other man in the world?
The dreams had started a week before. Was it possible that on some level she was attracted to Harry Potter, or was it that he was the only man around who was not a Weasley?
Luna Lovegood cast hexes with a wand in each hand. This op had gone to hell. What was supposed to be a raid on a small potions facility in the highlands of Scotland found a dozen Aurors, waiting for them. She lost three of her eight teammates in the first volley, two more in the second when they had not had the presence of mind to run. The survivors of her team scattered per protocol. They would apparate to one of five rally points to regroup before making the jump to the consolidation rally point.
Of course, in order to apparate, one first had to lose her pursuers. The four chasing her were both tenacious and skilled. So far, they had not given her time to think much less concentrate on apparating.
Her luck ran out when a cutting hex clipped her left shoulder, the pain caused her to stumble, the next step pitched her to the ground, her right leg snapping, her wand lost in the foliage.
"You made for a good hunt Rebel. Maybe we'll have a little fun before we kill you."
"All four of you? That would almost add up to one man. Go ahead, I could use the laughs."
"Laugh at this Bitch. Crucio!"
Luna screamed as the curse hit her, the pain faded seconds later when the caster's head exploded in a bloody mist. The other three were instantly on guard, before they also fell coinciding with loud noises from the surrounding woods. Ten men in green outfits seemingly appeared from nowhere. Luna was reasonably sure they had not been disillusioned, nor was there any indication of invisibility cloaks or any other magic. One of these men pointed one of the staffs they all carried at her.
"You just be stayin' still missy." He knelt and picked up her wand. "He called you a rebel. That might make you a wand user we let live."
"I've broken my leg. Either you will have to carry me, or let me have my wand back to heal myself."
"Nice try missy. You aren't our first wand waver. Chauncey, pick her up. The major will want to talk to this one." He signaled the rest of his team. Clean this up, not a sign they or we were here."
Susan had found the records of aPotter Property on the firth of Clyde near the small uninhabited village of Toward. The descriptions were vague, but it sounded like it had the room they needed, with plenty of room to expand as needed. Harry and Fleur (being the pair who could apparate the entire distance in a single jump) were going to check it out with Dobby along to see if he could maintain it by himself or if he needed to acquire help.
The property was supposedly unplotable, and under Muggle concealment charms. Hopefully they still held. According to the records Susan had found the property hadn't been lived in since his grand parent's honeymoon in the 1930s. That was a long time to go unattended, even for a magical structure.
They appeared at the gate of the property. According to the deed, the house its self would be a quarter mile down the lane from the gate.
"I believe we shall." She took his arm, giving the appearance of a couple out for a walk with an elf.
As they crossed the property line Harry shuddered. "Did you feel that?"
"I felt nothing."
"We just passed through some serious wards."
"They is family wards. Master Harry. They is for letting elves know family home and turn off fight wards"
There was a pop and a house elf appeared in front of them. "Master Potter?"
"I am Harry Potter."
"We was told you died Master Potter. We was told all Potters died."
"What is your name little friend?" asked Fleur
"My name is Bleen. I is head elf here until Master Potter send me away for failing him."
"You didn't fail me Bleen. This lady is Fleur. And this, "he indicated Dobby. "Is my friend Dobby. My name is Harry. Could you call me that please?"
"Of course Master Harry." The little elf bowed. "Your house is ready for you Master Harry, and for your guests." He pointed toward the house that was only now becoming visible.
Following the humans to the house, Bleen turned to Dobby"You is Master Harry's friend? Not servant?"
"Dobby proud to be friend of powerful wizard like Master Harry."
"Potters always powerful, and good. Never hear of Potter with Elf friend before. You no work?"
"Dobby work HARD! Dobby good elf. Master Harry care about Dobby, ask if need sleep."
"Of course. Dobby very ashamed. Dobby sleep hour every night."
"Every night? You IS old. Is true what said about old elf?"
Dobby smiled and nodded. "Work more fun than ever!"
The deeds described this as a 'house', it was a mansion. Just touring the damned place took over an hour. More room than they would need for a long time, even at the rate their group had been growing so far. The final stop on the tour was the kitchen where Harry was introduced to the staff. 3 elves in addition to Bleen. Looking out the window he spotted some smoke rising from among some outbuildings.
"Oh, that group of Muggles. They come 2 month ago. They play hide in woods."
That might complicate things. "I'll go take a look. Fleur, if you would keep an eye on things here?"
"Of course Harry, be safe."
He disillusioned himself and exited the door.
He entered the camp, disillusioned and silenced. Fortunately there had yet to be snow this year, he left no tracks. Dozens of tents were scattered about, with tired looking men, women, and children about them. The largest of the outbuildings was avoided by the general population of the camp, so that became his target. The door opened so that someone could leave, he quickly entered before the door could close.
He paused for a second so that his disillusion field could settle down following his rapid movement, then he pressed on. In the largest space of the building, he found a makeshift office. And there, sitting bound in front of the desk was Luna Lovegood.
"Why were you in the part of the forest where my men found you?"
"As I've already said, I was running from the Aurors. We were attempting to rob a potions facility, it was a trap. They hit us hard, we ran, I fell down, your men caught me. We have been through this twice already. Don't you have a stake to burn me at?"
The guard on her right kicked her in her broken leg, she doubled over screaming.
The girl's leg glowed in a golden light, and it straightened, her bruising vanished and the look of pain on her face faded.
"What did you just do?"
"Actually Major, that was me." Harry removed the disillusioning, conjured a chair for himself, and sat down. He looked up to see every rifle in the room pointed at him. "Oh please gentlemen, if I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. I'm here to talk." He gestured at Luna and her bindings fell to the ground. "You, the brave man who kicks wounded prisoners while they're safely tied up. Do anything like that again and I will flay the skin from your body, and then rub you in salt. If there's one thing I hate it's a bully." He turned to the Major. "Is it now common for Her Majesty's Army to mistreat wounded prisoners?"
"His Majesty's Army."
Harry turned his attention to the new speaker, his eyes widened and he stood. "Prince William?"
"King William the IV actually, though at this time my dominion is somewhat limited. Sit down Wizard. It is unusual for me to meet anyone more or less my own age, and her I have two such individuals. I find myself wondering why like most people Miss Lovegood has no idea who I am, yet you identify me in a single glance though with a title I haven't had since Iwas a toddler."
Harry sat. Honest to God Royalty. "Your majesty, my name is Harry Potter. As she's told you the young lady is Luna Lovegood. She is aleader of a Wizarding Resistance to the pretender on your thrown, Voldemort."
"To replace him with?"
"To tell the truth, I have no idea. I never thought to ask."
"I can answer that." Interjected Luna. "It is the intention of the Resistance to return to the separation that existed prior to the Rise of Voldemort."
"So Wizard Potter, she is your leader?"
'Just Harry, Your Majesty. No, the Resistance and I have had a falling out over their problems with Muggle born magic users."
"Sorry, Muggle is a slang term for nonmagical people. Don't know where it came from, it just sort of crept into my vocabulary without my thinking about it. There are three classes of Human Magic Users, Pure Bloods, basically someone with all four grand parents were magic users, the Muggle born, spontaneous magic users, and half bloods, whose ancestry is some mix of the above groups. I am a half blood, my father pure for a thousand years, my mother Muggle born."
"And what was the falling out?"
"The resistance wouldn't accept a Muggle born friend. They blame the Muggle born for Voldemort's actions."
"Might they be correct?"
"The only in the way that he Jews were responsible for Hitler's actions during World War 2. They were just the readily available scapegoats for a lunatic with followers."
"If you aren't part of the resistance, why are you here?"
Harry smiled. "This is just one of the annoyingly frequent coincidences that make my life such an interesting one. I had no idea she was here, I was just interested to see who it was camping on my family's land." He smiled when the idea occurred to him. "If you don't have other plans, could Iinvite you and your people to stay at the Manor house? The elves could have awing available in a few hours."
"What Manor house? That pile of rubble?"
"The rubble is an illusion Major. The Manor is huge, should be more than enough room to get your people out of the weather. Hot food, Hot water. Showers for anyone who wants them..."
"You've room for 53 people? How long could we stay Mr. Potter?"
"As long as you like Your Majesty."
"That sounds like an offer we cannot refuse."
"As a plus we can discuss an alliance to destroy our common enemies."
Chapter Twenty-three - The Stranger Among Us
On reflection, introducing the King and his officers to Fleur might have been a mistake. The four of them were staring at the quarter Veela in open-mouthed awe. She appeared to be enjoying it just a little too much.
The Major and his staff shook off the thrall after a few moments, William however did not. /He IS only 15 after all /thought Harry, feeling every second of his oh so mature 17 years.
"Miss Delacour is a special person. She is one-quarter Veela. Veela are magical beings who are renowned for their sexual magic."
"Believe me, you don't want to know." Fleur smacked his arm. "She about killed me last time. Let me get you started on getting moved in. Bleen?"
The little being popped into existence in front of Harry. "Yes Master Harry?"
There were gasps from the Muggles. "Bleen, these gentlemen and their friends will be staying with us for a while. Could you get them moved into the Far Wing?"
"Of course Master Harry." Bleen turned to the goggling Muggles. "Could yous follow Bleen please?" The small elf saw the look on William's face. "There no need to fear Bleen. Bleen is good elf. Bleen take care of yous."
Riddle was again pacing in his conference room, at the table his Elite Death Eaters nervously waited for his next question. Standing at the far end of the conference room was Auror Shacklebolt. Shacklebolt's string of very bad days was continuing, but at least this time he had news..
"What news do you bring me about this 'Reaper'?"
"My Lord. We may have an agent in place in his harem. Our agent disappeared from one of his attacks two months ago. We have no proof, but we believe the terrorist has accepted her. At first opportunity she will attack and kill him."
"Using a woman to kill a man who steals women. Excellent Auror Shacklebolt. How long until you know?"
"I do not know My Lord; it depends on how he makes use of his women. If she is free to move about, she will attack at her first opportunity. If he uses them in a rotation, she will kill him when he takes her to his bed."
"Tell me of your agent. Is she capable of doing this?"
"My Lord, she is a half blood seeking to earn her place among your Aurors. A pointless attempt on her part, but she doesn't know this. If you are asking, can she kill? Most certainly. She has done it before. I have been using her to eliminate dangerous men for the last 4 years. She is a consummate actor, almost completely immune to discovery by mind magics because when in character, she believes her own legend. She has special talents that brought her to my attention. Special talents that I advise you not to make known, even in this room."
"Indeed? How interesting. The rest of you leave us. Now."
Hermione sat in the library, a book in her hands, pages turning, but she was not reading. Harry had been gone too long. It was supposed to be a quick evaluation of the property, no more than an hour. He had been gone for five. What if he was...?
She shook her head to clear it of that thought. She was worried about Dobby and Fleur too. Or instead. She did not worry about Harry Bloody Potter. They probably found a bedroom and she had done that Veela thing again, they would show up later, her all pleased with herself, he all wobbly legged and exhausted.
When he was supposed to be finding them a safe place to stay. Typical man, thinking with his testicles instead of protecting those he ...
Where had that come from?
Harry had never been anything but a gentleman to her. Those dreams were a product of her mind. He had never done any of the things she thought about in her dreams. No matter how much she wanted...
Damn it. She sighed. She would have to speak with him when he returned. She needed to clear the air about her feelings.
Harry and Fleur appeared on the steps of the cottage with a soft pop. The twins were waiting.
"Get packed mates. We've found a new home. There are some people there who have some nasty ideas that your talents can turn into something truly horrifying."
"Is it time?"
"To blow things up?"
"If by things you mean death eaters and their belongings, yes."
"Time for payback"
"For all those detentions"
"They thought they could break us."
"They were wrong"
"Nobody does that to Gred and Forge. Now it's time for them to pay." Harry said. The twins shot him aquick look, to see if he was mocking them. When they saw he was serious, they smiled.
When they entered the cottage, the three men found Fleur telling her fellow ladies of the discovery of Royalty and the Muggle army. Susan ran to Harry and enveloped him in a hug.
"The house is perfect. We could house a two hundred people without crowding too much. Four elves have been running the place since my... Iguess his grand parents honeymooned there in 1937."
"What do we need to take?"
"Just your personal things, the Elves will empty the library and transport it to the house in Scotland."
The room cleared as everyone scurried away to gather their things. Harry relaxed for a moment. Then he felt a pair of arms encircle his waist from behind, and a pair of breasts push into his back.
"This new house. We could have a new start there, you and I. I would like us to be together."
"You don't mean that Hermione. You know I'm with Susan now. I don't want to hurt her, I'm happy."
"You would put her over me? Why would you choose her over me?"
"I'm not going to do this Hermione. Please let me go."
Her right hand came away; her left remained wrapped around him. "I can't change your mind?"
"No Hermione, I'm sorry."
"Not as much as you will be."
It felt like a bee sting that plunged in to the core of his being. His body stopped paying any attention to him, leaving him alone in asea of pain. He collapsed like a puppet whose strings were cut. The wild-eyed brown haired girl stood over him with wild eyes and blood covering her from the waist down.
"No one rejects Hermione Granger!"
Chapter Twenty-three - The Granger Among Us
Susan had been packing her belongings when she heard Hermione yell. She abandoned her chore and went to see what had happened, she was joined on the stairs by the Twins and Fleur.
Her heart stopped. Harry! How could there be so much blood? Why had Hermione done this? She flew down the stairs, throwing Hermione out of the way to get to Harry.
"Why? Why did you do this?"
"He rejected me! He didn't want me! He thought you were good enough!" she raised the knife to slash at Susan.
"Reducto!" A red beam of force struck Hermione between the breasts, and punched through to exit out her back Susan turned to see the source of the curse, and saw... Hermione.
"That is not me! If I ever kill him, it will be looking him in the face. Quit staring at me, get him to your healer before he bleeds out."
Susan shut her mouth, gathered Harry in her arms and disappeared.
Fleur and the twins joined Hermione to stare at the dying girl going through her death spasms. Her features twisted and changed, from Hermione's to those of Mandy, to a woman in her mid 20s, with strawberry blonde hair, and a somewhat heart shaped face.
"Metamorphagus" spat Fleur.
"We're going to need"
"If Harry dies."
"We're blowing up the Ministry tonight"
"Hermione, we were too shocked"
"To even think of killing her."
"Will you two stop doing that? It gives me a headache."
"Hermione, it's what they are, you might as well ask them to stop being red heads."
"I know Fleur. I know. I'm sorry guys. It's was weird seeing her, seeing me, covered with blood like that. I hope he's ok."
The Tall blonde nodded. "The best thing we can do is continue with the plan. Harry has found a new house, with a large number of Muggles invited to join us there. Come, we must go."
"You told us where it is,"
"We'll be along in a bit."
"Got us a project"
"To take care of first."
"Could you ask Dobby to come?"
"And help us with it?"
Five minutes after the girls left, Dobby popped into existence in front of George and Fred. He greeted them and turned to the dead woman.
"This is girl who looked like Mandygirl and wore Miss's face to hurt Harry Potter, sir?"
"Yes it is Dobby. We would like to ask you a favor."
"Would you be liking Dobby bury this girl Weezytwo?"
"We would like you to deliver her"
"Deliver her back to the one who sent her."
"We know that the Auror Headquarters in the Ministry Building cannot be apparated into, but we've seen elves popping in and out. Can you go there?"
"Oh yes WeezyOne, Wizards cannot stop elves."
Fred, 'WeezyTwo', had a sly grin. "Dobby, could you put her remains on the desk of Senior Auror Shacklebolt?"
"Of course. Dobby do good job."
"Thank you Dobby. Just be careful, don't touch the note."
"Dobby be very careful WeezyOne."
Poppy came out of her tiny surgery wiping her hands. Susan looked up at her pleadingly.
"I've repaired the physical damage. Managed to save the kidney. He's lost a lot of blood, I've given him as much blood restorative potion as his body can handle. I had to restart his heart twice. He's in a coma now. Hopefully he'll wake up tomorrow or the next day." She stroked the young witch's hair. "Let me get a look at you."
She waved her wand around Susan, a cleansing spell cleaned the blood from her body. Poppy thing cast adiagnostic spell.
"You need to rest. You won't do him or your baby any good wearing yourself out."
"You didn't know?"
"I'd hoped, but hadn't confirmed it."
"Go see your aunt. She'll love to see you."
"Is the baby ..."
"Healthy as a horse. You're due in July."
"Don't tell Harry. I want to."
"Telling him isn't my job. It's yours."
"Thank you Poppy" she hugged the older woman, and left to find her Aunt."
Shacklebolt arrived at work spot on 8 am. He went over the shift turn over with the off going and oncoming shift supervisors. The turnovers were perfunctory. The morning admin finished he left for his 3rdfloor office. No sign of the Reaper for a month. No sign of Dora either. He was getting worried. The Dark Lord would not be tolerating not finding the bastard too much longer. Greeting his secretary, he entered his private office.
There lying on his desk was Dora. His half blood plant. Her metamorphagus talents evidently had not saved her life.
"Merlin Dora, what happened to you?" He found a note affixed to her chest by means of a small dagger. He removed it.
The Note read, "Naughty Auror, you can't fool the Reaper."
It was then he felt the anti apparition and anti portkey wards bloom. Inscribed into the flesh of Dora Tonks were dozens of runes, glowing in sequence as they activated. Every door in the building slammed shut and sealed themselves, crushing a few unlucky Ministry employees who happened to be in the door ways. Every window in the building closed and sealed. The next to last set of runes in the sequence transmuted Nymphadora Tonk's body to 134 pounds of high explosive. The last set of runes detonated her body. Every person on the third floor died instantly in the explosion. 90 percent of everyone else in the building died when the upper 26 floors of the Ministry building pancaked to the ground level.
When the dust and smoke cleared, a spectra Grim Reaper and aphosphorescent glowing sign remained:
When you care to kill the Very Worst
Weasley's Wizarding Weapons
By Special Appointment to
The Grim Reaper
Chapter Twenty-four - Vive le difference When you care to kill the Very Worst
Weasley's Wizarding Weapons
By Special Appointment to
The Grim Reaper
Riddle stared at the glowing words floating over the remains of his ministry building, and below the mark of the Reaper. This was a major change in the Reaper's operations. It was also a crushingly effective change. In this single attack he had lost almost half of his aurors, and 90 percent of his administrative staff. This was an attack that actually hurt his empire.Not for the first time Riddle thought longingly for the days when he was the insurgent, capable of striking at will. He personally lacked the skills needed to find this terrorist. He had to depend on his administration and investigators to find and stop this. Now he had lost almost the entire team fighting him. Who were these 'Weasleys'? Relations to the Weasleys murdered by this Reaper? Why would they align themselves with someone who killed their family members?So many questions, so few answers....---===ooo000ooo===---...
This was the twentieth diagnostic scan Poppy Pomfrey had made on her patient. For the twentieth time she got the same result. But the result made no sense. She was a little peeved at herself for missing it the first time she had had him under her care, but things had been rushed that night, and well, what was done was done.
Her diagnostics on Harry Potter showed that he was apowerful wizard. It also went a long way in explaining some of the impossible things he was routinely doing in his role as the Reaper. The boy, only 17 years old was a Merlin class mage. Rare, but not unheard of, in the recorded history of magic there were rare times when more than one or two Merlin class mages co existed. The highest concentration recorded was the Founders of Hogwarts, when four of the titans not only co existed, but cooperated in life. In her life, she had personally known 3 of them. Albus Dumbledore, Tom Riddle and now this Harry Potter. Neither Dumbledore nor Riddle had been this powerful at such a young age, but his level of power still was not the oddity.
His magical polarity was reversed.
She had not noticed. It was not something you looked for; there were no instances in the literature for someone with a negative magical index, she had not even noticed the sign until she had done the postoperative diagnostics. This was unprecedented, but it explained quite a bit about the'impossible' things Harry routinely did, penetrating wards, shielding crucios, the magic wasn't tuned to him. Still, the question remained, what did this mean?
Fred and George had found a soul mate in Corporal Geoff Miles. All three enjoyed the precision of their chosen vocation; all three had evil senses of humor and all three truly enjoyed blowing things up. Geoff had introduced them to new and horrible uses for their talents. Anti personnel mines, smart bombs and Fuel Air explosives were just a few of the new toys they toiled on endlessly. It became markedly dangerous to walk out the front door of your home if you were marked; the floating spectral Reapers that accompanied each attack had been modified to include the sound track of laughter, and of course had an ad for Weasley's Wizarding Weapons...
Dobby was recruited to the cause, and he found displaced and mistreated elves more than willing to bond to the Reaper (despite his laying unconscious in a hospital ward) and take the attack inside the wards of the Death Eaters.
News of the attacks spread among Wizards and Muggles alike. Copycats began attacking world wide.
Hermione turned the page, and made another note. She was on track of digging another spell out of these ancient texts. A few times out with the twins had taught her she had no aptitude for the operations side of their work. She was far too likely to hesitate than react, and that hesitation could get someone killed. The only time she had ever been the one to react immediately had been that one instance when she exited the library of the Cottage and saw that ... thing wearing her face with Harry's blood all over her.
She turned to see the king staring at her with those intense eyes.
"Your Majesty?" She rose from the chair, her mind searching memories of proper behavior toward royalty. The only think she could recall were the general good feelings her parents had expressed toward Elizabeth II and Diana.
"Please sit, Miss Granger. Making the sort of fuss made in the past does not make much sense any longer." William picked up one of the books in her pile for research. "So, you are researching new toys for the Weasleys and Corporal Miles?"
"Yes Your Majesty. They have me researching some obscure rune clusters that are said to generate an impenetrable shield."
"Unfortunately I have no idea what is involved in that. Have you heard any news of Mr. Potter?"
"Still in the coma, though the Healer says he is showing signs of waking." She cocked her head. "What did you really want to talk about Your Majesty?"
"That transparent am I?"
"Paying attention to what men mean when they say things kept me alive before Harry saved me."
"He does that doesn't he? I was hoping for a chance to speak with someone more or less my own age. For the bulk of my life my companions have been either adults more than 15 years older than I, or their children the oldest being 5 years younger. Coming together with your group has been refreshing in that. Miss Lovegood is a bit frightening though quite alluring, the Twins are fun but I suspect a bit insane, Miss Delacour has an affect on me that I cannot describe, and you. You, I have not interacted with. Just the fact that you haven't shown the slightest interest in me is intriguing." He smiled. "It is a very different reaction compared to what I am used to. Most people hear 'royalty' and flock around. Is it odd that I find a young woman ignoring me to be attractive?"
Hermione felt herself blush. "I just don't deal well with people."
"I believe we are all somewhat damaged by this life, I find myself wondering what we would be like in a world where the wizards hadn't destroyed us."
/Harry wake up. You've got to wake up/. said Hermione's voice in his head
/Go away 'mione. Sleepy. Back hurts./
Wake your lazy ass up. You've been laying her for weeks. Suck it up and stop feeling so sorry for your self.
Nice dreams. Susan doing nice things. Sorry 'mione, you aren't there. Do you like girls?
Sweet Merlin you perv. If you wake up, Susan will probably be more than happy to do nice things to you in real life. And I am so in your dreams, it's just that now I sit on the sidelines and make comments instead of being under you.
Susan... I love Susan. She's just so... I don't know, she's Susan. Do you mind that I don't think about you anymore 'mione?
I love Susan too you moron. I am you. Your sick mind just uses Hermione's voice in your thoughts. Wake up, she needs you.
Just because you out scored me on every test we ever took doesn't make me a moron 'mione. It makes you a genius.
So listen to the genius and wake the hell up. Honestly, what are you going to do if she actually finds someone worth while because you lay here like a lump?
/Ok, ok, waking up now./
Good. Kiss her for me.
/I will, thank you 'mione/
For the 15th day, Susan kept her vigil at Harry's bedside. Poppy had been telling her for the last couple of days that he was showing signs of waking. Holding his hand, she was dozing at his side.
She woke to see him looking at her.
"Harry? Oh sweet Merlin, you've been out for two weeks."
"I'm fine you goof. You were the one stabbed."
"It wasn't Hermione. It was Mandy, she was a shape changer. A Meta something."
"Metamorphamagus? Oh god. Tonks." He squeezed his eyes shut. "How is she?"
"Dead. Hermione hit her with a reducto to the chest."
"Crap. I wish we could have saved her."
"She tried to kill you Harry."
"I know..." he smiled. "I'm just being stupid. He reached out and pulled her face to him for a kiss. "I'll do better than that after I brush my teeth."
"Harry, you are such a..."
"Susan, I've been dreaming of you. Would you consider marrying me?"
"We are married Harry."
"We are? Fantastic. Uh, did I miss something?"
"There haven't been ceremonies for years Harry. Our magic bound us to each other. I wasn't sure you had accepted me until they asked me to stand in for you in performing the Fidelius on your manor house in Scotland. The Estate accepted me as the owner. That means you're stuck with me."
"We're married? Wow. So much for my proposal."
"I appreciate the offer husband..." she took his hand and placed it against her stomach. "Feel anything?"
"Yes. He's due in July."
Harry passed out.
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