“Yes, Moony, we all know you like using swords to whack people with.” Sirius smirked.
Remus rolled his eyes. “That is not the purpose of fencing, and you know it, Sirius Black."
“Are you related to Jamie here?” Sirius asked, his voice loud.
Their professor laughed. “Unless my father isn’t who I thought he was, no. He’s not my brother, cousin or anything else.”
“Father?” Sirius asked.
“It’d be a medical miracle since I’m nineteen and he’s seventeen. He wasn’t even conceived at the time.” Harry smirked wickedly.
James groaned. “Between Professor Potter and Sirius, I think I’ll be insane by the time the year is out.” He confided in Lily, who was sat next to him by some off chance.
“Maybe you’re his son from twenty-odd years in the future, come back to teach us DADA because Dumbledore told you we didn’t have a teacher and you need a break after defeating Voldemort.” Sirius suggested, then added thoughtfully, “Oh yeah, and Lily-flower is your mum.”
“SIRIUS!” James and Lily roared in unison.
Harry clutched his heart dramatically. “Oh no, my secret’s out!”
Sirius sighed. “That’s a no then?”
Harry raised a brow. “What do you think?”
By dinner that evening, rumours were flying about Professor Potter. They all had a distinct similarity – he was cool, a good teacher and fair. Other rumours, however, passed from him being trained in the depths of the Amazon by native witch doctors to him being Voldemort’s secret son who rebelled against him and his reign. Harry snorted at that, struggling to suppress the urge to laugh himself sick.
Sirius grinned at the teacher, rolling his eyes. “Lovers’ spat. Even if they’re not lovers yet. I’m making it my plan to get them together. D’you want to help?”
Harry laughed. “Why would a teacher get messed up in students’ love lives?”
“Because if you’re their son from the future, you’ll want them to get together.”
“Responded very well to our pranks. He’s firm, but he knows how to laugh. Hates segregation and prejudice.” Sirius added.
“Sounds like James.” Peter grinned.
"Yeah, but no one believes me when I say he’s James’ son from the future.” Sirius
James rolled his eyes. “That’s because he’s not. Anything else?”
"Do not call me Tom! You shall address me as Lord Voldemort!" he bellowed
"Right, and you can address me as King Potter, Ruler of all!" James replied, enjoying the fact that he was managing to annoy the Dark Lord himself. Aww, why not have some fun before he died? Besides, Sirius would be proud of him, not that he'd ever see him again...
James broke through the silence spell. "WHAT?"
Voldemort grinned malevolently. "It's a spell I've been working on. I've been aching to try it out, but for some reason my Death Eaters were not too keen on having their souls sent to hell for endless torment. I wonder why. . ."
James attempted to look un-affected by these words, but failed miserably.
Sensing Harry's unease, James, on pure inspiration, added gently, "Harry, I know I haven't exactly been the best father - having been dead and all - but I'm back now, and I want you to know that I am extremely proud of you."
"Don't worry Sirius. The minute we get out of this vault I will personally see you freed."
James smacked Sirius upside the head. "You dolt, I'm the one who switched secret keepers. If I say it, they'll believe it. Or else."
"WHAT?" Fudge shouted, sounding panicked, "THEY ARE FRAUDS! UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE THEY TO ENTER THIS OFFICE, CLINE! I THOUGHT I GAVE YOU CLEAR ORDERS NOT TO DISTURB ME! PERHAPS YOUR MEMORY NEEDS ADJUSTING!" The secretary removed her hand from the box. She glared at the Minister's doors situated behind her.
"Stupid ass." She muttered, and then smiled, saying in a syrupy sweet voice, "the Minister will see you now."
"Yeah, I made the team. Not much happened that year. We fought a mountain troll; we found a dead unicorn in the forbidden forest; we illegally kept a dragon; we-"
James was in shock. "WHY IN GOD'S NAME WAS THERE A TROLL IN HOGWARTS!? AND WHY WERE YOU NEAR IT? AND WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN THE FOREST? IT'S FORBIDDEN!"
Harry snorted. "Yeah dad, you're really one to lecture on staying out of the forest."
Harry decided to spend the two and half hours he had practicing with his sword, mainly so it wouldn't get angry with him and kill him in his sleep. Of course, Harry wasn't sure whether Decimare could actually wield itself, but he was prepared to bet that it could.
"Nice try Harry, very nice. You almost had me distracted there. Not many can distract me, you know."
Remus had to laugh at this. "Right Padfoot." Suddenly, Remus jerked his head upwards and gestured wildly, "Look! A flying elephant!" Sirius immediately whirled around, studying the sky furiously.
Harry sighed. Just what he needed: a sarcastic, slightly sadistic sword. What was the world coming to?
Malfoy – because he was an arrogant, evil, insensitive, prat who knew nothing but how to behave like his bastardly, insufferable git of a father. Malfoy was his enemy. And his enemy looked rather hot through night vision.
"Geeaarrdfi, don't do that, are you trying to kill me or something?"
"Yes, Harry, I've been your friend for six years and helped you through a million conflicts just so that I could slowly kill you by touching your shoulder when you least expect it."
"Am I okay? You apparate in front of me, scare me half to death and cause me to fall out of a window in the top of Hogwarts' highest tower, then use some incredible power to keep me from plummeting to the stone walkway hundreds of feet below and you can stand there and calmly ask if I'm okay? If that little trick hadn't worked do you think I would have been okay when I was lying out there broken beyond recognition with my blood seeping out of my skull?"
'Why is it that I can't just use him for his knowledge and not care what happens to him? I just - ahh, there's his hand again. I've got to find a way to get him to stop that.
"We're just going to practice your conversational skills before trying you out on someone else again."
"All right," Draco said grudgingly. "But can you still be a saucy French maid?"
"I tried this old Muggle trick I read about," Draco said proudly. "I just pictured Hermione and Ginny naked."
Hermione slapped Draco before she even had a chance to think about it, and Ginny fled the room, staring determinedly at the floor.
Draco put a hand to his face and looked at Harry. "Harry! She hit me!" he protested.
"Don't look at me for sympathy, I'm a heartbeat away from hitting you myself."
"Oh, excuse me, I forgot, Harry Potter's idea of a perfect boyfriend never interrupts," Draco said nastily.
"I don't want a perfect boyfriend, I want you!"
"...I'm not sure whether I should be happy or insulted."
"Ohhhh no. I just apologized, didn't I?" Draco looked completely put out. "Huh. I kind of expected that lightning would strike the day a Malfoy apologized. By all rights, I should have burst into flames."
"I'm not proposing, Potter. Hell, I'm not even going to stop making your life miserable. But we can talk about boys sometimes. So give me an answer before Snape comes over to taunt you again."
Harry sighed and thought about how much he hated Malfoy. Then he thought about loneliness. Then he thought about Blaise Zabini.
He turned to Malfoy. "How nice of an arse are we talking about?"
"Oh, come off it, Potter, as if you haven't broken the rules loads of times."
"Yes, but I've never broken the rules to gossip about boys with my bloody arch rival."
"I prefer arch nemesis," Malfoy said absently.
PS--Colin Creevey's new haircut has turned him into SEX ON LEGS, have you noticed?
PPS--remind me to teach you that self-destruct spell. Goyle didn't seem too pleased when I told him to swallow the note.
"The point is, I propositioned you because I thought we could handle this like adults." Harry snorted. "All right, I thought we could handle it like two horny sixteen year old boys. We snog, we mess around, we have a good time, and that's all it is. Now you, you've gone and mucked it all up by being girly."
"I don't think being shocked senseless by a proposition from my sworn enemy constitutes being girly."
He now knew that Malfoy somehow managed to keep his hands clean all through the day, whereas Harry only needed to look at a quill to get ink-stained fingers. He wondered if it was some kind of dark magic, and if it was, if it was really *too* dark for him to use.
Harry found himself in the utterly unfamiliar situation of wishing Colin Creevey was nearby.
"Great," said Malfoy, in disgust, "that's just great. That's the second time in so many days I've crashed at a sporting activity. I'm wearing a *Weasley jumper* of all bloody things. I'm skating with Harry Potter. And to cap it all off I now have a wet arse. When did my life go so wrong?"
"Good Slytherins? Isn't that an oxymoron?"
"No, no, it's Gryffindors that are the morons."
Aside from the letters the only other time they talked was in potions. It was when Harry realised he was looking forward to Snape's lessons that he decided that he, and possibly the rest of the world for good measure, had probably gone insane. He found he didn't care all that much.
"Moonbathing. And you think I'm mad. I hate to break it to you, Draco, but you're just not going to be able to get any paler. Give it up."
"I could tell her I was battling a dragon," Harry said slyly.
"Is that what you call it?"
"Yeah, but how did you know about Draco?"
Ron snorted. "Please, he's been stalking you since we were eleven! And the way you bicker. It's foreplay for preadolescents."
"Hey! I am not preadolescent!" Harry said indignantly.
A slow grin crept across Draco's lips. Pride started to build in his chest. "Do you mind terribly if I rub my win in your face for awhile?"
"Not at all," said Harry. "In fact, I'll even pretend to be upset about it."
"That's quite nice of you."
"I thought so."
Draco removed his left glove and cupped Harry's cold-reddened cheek. "Harry--," he began tenderly, as the tattoo spider crawled from Harry onto Draco's hand. Harry dipped his head slightly, looking intently at Draco as he continued. "--if you try either of them, it'll be you saying hello to Diggory."
Harry smiled wickedly, and the tattoo spider crawling across his eye was not reassuring in any way. "You're mad, Malfoy. Don't you know how dangerous it is to trust me? People have gotten hurt or died, you know, by doing so."
Draco looked up into the sky and smiled. "You're avenged, Father. Now, tell Potter to get his nancyboy arse back down here so that I can beat some sense into him."
"This," continued Harry, pulling down the corpse's hood, "is Voldemort. You've most certainly have heard of him. He is Finally Very Dead."
Draco turned to Martin. "Would you mind terribly, killing me now?"
Draco felt a blush crawl up his neck to stain his cheeks. Maybe if he begged again, Martin would kill him.
“Are you threatening me, Mister Potter?” Cornelius drew himself up to his full height, the very picture of outraged majesty. It would have been rather more effective had he not been the shortest, plumpest person in the room.
“You sure catch on quick.” Harry’s tone practically dripped with sarcasm.
Albus coughed to cover up his chuckle. This was one memory he'd certainly replay many a time in his pensieve.
“It was ridiculously easy, you mean,” the boy returned with a disgusted frown. “You’d think people would elect someone with brains, once in a while. You know, just for the hell of it.”
“Look,” Harry said, irritated, “is there somewhere I can take a bath? I may be homeless, but I’m not particularly fond of wearing blood.”
“You aren’t homeless anymore. Hogwarts is your home, now,” Albus said. Harry looked about ready to be ill at the sentiment.
“Lovely,” the youth said dryly. “And I’m sure we’ll all turn out to be one big happy family, too.”
"Behave," Leander hissed as the two of them stepped past Ronan, into the clearing. "If you offend them, I swear to all the gods I'll break your scrawny neck."
"Welcome, Prince Leander, son of Matthias," a solemn-looking gray-beared centaur intoned. "Welcome, Harry Potter, son of James."
"Hi," Harry offered. "Great to be here."
Leander gave a pained groan. This was going to be hell.
"You'd be surprised at just how many unregistered Animagi are out there," Harry said, trying to sound mysterious and superior but coming off as a jackass instead.
"You aren't a grim, Sirius, you're a regular dog," Harry replied, exasperated.
"I haven't showered in eight years. The dirt on me has evolved into a sentient being, capable of running a small government. And probably doing a better job than the existing one."
"Okay, okay, I'll get you more soap. Just never mention that again."
Harry stepped out of the shower, accompanied by a shriek from Hermione as she hurried to both cover her eyes, and run from the room at the same time. The combination didn't work well, as she banged her hip on the sink, then ran face first into the wall, before finally stumbling out of the room.
Harry returned a few seconds later, wearing a black jumpsuit, and carrying two leather sacks that looked to be big enough to comfortably hold an average sized man within. Hermione thought he looked like a nightmarish Santa Claus, but without the beard and weight.
Snape turned to him and raised his eyebrows, "It's an ancient dark arts curse that steals the victim's life energy and pulls it into your own. If you're injured, as Potter suggested, it will heal you just as fast as any medical potions. Due to the nature of it, it was banned by every wizarding government in the world, and had anyone that used it executed." He turned back to the rack of swords in front of him and began searching for the sword. Remus looked back to the entrance of the library for a moment, then joined Snape in the search.
Harry laughed darkly, a harsh, biting sound. ‘Boy-Who-Lived. Ha. I haven’t lived. I don’t live. I should have been called the Boy-Who-Existed for that is all I do. Exist, until such time as Dumbledore decides to pit his faithful pet bulldog against the evil dark snake.’
'Pansy did all of his homework.’ Harry offered.
‘Hey.’ Draco cried. ‘It wasn’t all of it.’ Suddenly the Slytherin realised his father was at the end of the table. ‘Oh bollocks.’ He groaned, dropping his head to the table top with a thud.
"Well one, the light was shining on it. Two, it's the only ring sitting in the box. Three, there's a gold snake sitting in the middle of the ring and four, I can hear the snake talking faintly," Harry explained.
"Ah that would do it then."
Harry turned to Ron in delight. "Ron, you have the Headmaster worried. Good for you! We each have our own little Dark Lord after us. Ahh…the joy of it!" Harry said with a delighted sigh.
Ron snorted in annoyance and said, "Sure give me the old guy," and Harry began to laugh.
"No! You can't kill him. He may have hurt me but I don't want him dead. I can't lose you again sirius," Harry said.
Sirius crossed his hands and pouted. "Fine, then I'll have Snape kill him for me," Sirius said cheerfully.
"I'd be happy to," Severus said smirking. "In fact I have this new potion that involves silver nitrate and…"
"NO! Damnit! No killing Remus," Harry exclaimed.
"Prata?" Severus suggested.
"Are you calling me a prat?" Harry asked in mock outrage.
"No, you dunderhead. It's Portuguese for silver."
Harry grinned at him. "You were perfect Dobby. I think Remus thinks you're going to torture him later."
Dobby smirked at him and said, "Who says I'm not?" He disappeared and Severus laughed at the expression on Harry's face.
"He was kidding right? Right? Severus, please tell me he was kidding. Severus, don't walk out of here," Harry yelled after the laughing Potions Master who was walking out of the room.
"Flames of Betrayal" - marietsy
(Version linked is not the version quoted from; the original was taken down and I've yet to read the new version)
Harry looked at her askance then what Rowan had said sank in. “You mean you turned me into a vampire!” He shrieked at her, shaking with anger.
“No, no, no,” Rowan said putting her hands on his shoulders so that he had to look at her. It only means that your eyesight is much keener than a human’s, more like an animal’s. Perhaps vampire was not a good metaphor to use.”
“Ya think,” Harry rebutted
“How is a sword going to show me the truth?” Harry asked. “I mean it is a weapon.”
“This sword was not made to be a wea-“
“Looks like a weapon to me.” He interrupted, eying the very large sword.
The large blue eyed man jumped up from where he sat between the dark haired man and the young woman. “I say, get out of here you... you- pig,” He yelled as he lurched forward aggressively and promptly fell on his face.
“Eww!” shrieked the young woman. “That hog has warts!” She fell over in her excitement and spilled her wine down the front of her dress. In the commotion the boar made good its escape. It ran right past Harry who watched dumbfounded. /Despite all the stories the Founding Four were obviously human./ he thought. /Very human./
The man with the long dark hair sat back lazily and sipped his drink. He seemed completely unfazed by the appearance of the boar. He also seemed to be the soberest of the group. Bright green eyes studied the blazing fire. Then, he giggled proving that he was just as drunk as the rest of them. “Hogwarts,” the man mumbled into his drink , then he giggled again. He merely hid his drunkenness better than the other three.
The boy and his friend passed through the door to the hospital wing. When in doubt argue with yourself until the decision is made for you. Though Harry still felt guilty for not helping.
“So no punishment, again, for Mr. Potter,” came a harsh voice from McGonagall’s right. The owner of the voice leaned forward to glare at the Headmaster, lank greasy hair falling in his face.
Albus was not intimidated; blue eyes twinkled at his coworker. “Severus, give Harry a brake. Besides I remember a time, not so long ago when you snuck out of the hospital wing.” He paused as if remembering something, “Last week in fact.”
Twenty minutes later Draco’s pride made him lever himself up and proceed to erase all evidence that he had ever touched the floor from his person. He slowly made his way across to the bathroom and nearly screamed when he looked into the mirror and saw his hair sticking up in several different directions. Look just like Potter. I do not need to see that first thing in the morning. Fifteen minutes after that Draco’s hair was perfectly slicked back and ready to take on wind, world, and light to mid-weight falling objects.
“I got this same lecture from Ron. Evidently Salazar Slytherin is equated with pure bloods in general and Malfoys in particular. I am nothing like Malfoy. I have never hated muggles specifically. I only think they are bigots, which wizards are too.”
"No, he won't," Snape informed him, his voice annoyed. "The Dark Lord's gay as a daisy in May. In seventh year he was voted 'Most Likely to Become a Raging Old Queen Obsessed with the Secret of Everlasting Youth.' It's funny, but that's not even a category anymore."
"Hmm," the Potions Master/spy replied, which—in Snapese—meant; 'That was terribly clever and I am very impressed.' Or, Harry thought more likely, 'Well, I suppose you could have bungled that worse if you really tried.'
"Well, I guess that explains the male Barbie Doll that is Lucius Malfoy," he added.
"So allow me to make a supposition here—and it may be merely a wild guess, since it ought to be completely improbable and entirely idiotic. Did you, by chance, formulate this whole half-baked plan on your own, with only the help of Miss Granger to save you from your staggering recklessness?" he demanded, dark eyes glittering angrily.
"Um. Sort of."
"I see. And did you inform absolutely anyone in the Order as to your monumental witlessness?"
"Ah…no, not really. They wouldn't have let us do it, you see."
"Really. What, do you suppose, may have been the reason behind that?"
Harry couldn't read his lips behind the mask, but his mind insisted on supplying the words 'Come on, Barbie, let's go party!' as they made for the door. He wondered idly whether the Malibu Malfoy Mansion was done in pink accents and accessories, and whether the man, if he'd been born a Muggle, would have been more likely to enjoy the Barbie Ferrari or the Corvette. He'd bet on the Ferrari.
Luckily, Death Eater Barbie chose that moment to saunter in, balancing a large silver tray topped with an ornate vase. MacNair joined the circle, standing beside Harry. Lucius stood next to his master and turned to face the room, giving them his best Vanna White smile. For the whitest possible sneer, use Crest! Harry thought.
He turned lascivious eyes to the Vase—or to Malfoy; it was difficult to tell at this stage. Malfoy showcased the item by waving an elegant hand at it, once again apparently channelling a gameshow girl.
"Cripes, my ankle. Aw, I hate it when I'm all cliché."
"No one ever tells me anything and I—wait a second, MacNair? Kingsley was playing MacNair!? But…but he made a pass at me! Oh, ew!"
"Dear Merlin, the less I hear about your epidemic of sexual conquests, the better. Why two hours? Why, for pity's sake?"
"It's a knack," he told the man modestly.
"It's a raging disaster, just like the rest of you."
"And anyways what would you rather have; a dull, dreary life filled with tea and housecleaning, or sparkling bright adventure and a dashing lad intent on fulfilling your every fantasy?"
Snape's lip twitched. "All of them? Including the one where I get to bash Dumbledore repeatedly round the head with a sock filled with lemon drops? The one where I win the million-galleon lottery and retire? The one where I turn the entire Gryffindor House into randy armadillos and set them loose in a ten-pin bowling establishment?"
Severus Snape approached the Headmaster’s office with a certain amount of trepidation. Albus had been calling him into his office about once a week since summer started. He always had a ridiculous request that he somehow compelled Severus into doing. Severus had only been mildly irritated at being asked to play a friendly game of monopoly. Even the request for a written analysis of who he thought would win the latest round of Big Brother had been met with only a faint nervous tick on Snape’s part. Albus was his friend after all, and without him Severus would be in Azkaban today. But if he was asked to find another set of manacles, some cherries and an extra strong love potion, he was quitting today.
“He’ll find out, Severus,” said the werewolf.
“What in name of hell are you talking about? When did I give you permission to use my first name, and what are you doing here during the summer?” demanded an outraged Snape. “I thought you had that nice little cottage in Cornwall.” Lupin looked a bit shocked.
“I do, don’t I?” he murmured, then seemed to come back to himself. “You can’t keep it a secret much longer, Severus. He’ll find out about you knowing that he knew about you knowing about it.”
“What it?” screamed Snape. “And who’s he?” Remus gave him a knowing look.
“Harry,” he said. Snape sighed. He didn’t want to deal with this right now.
“Look Lupin. If this is about his potions grade, the Headmaster already told me I couldn’t fail him three years in a row.” He was disappointed in that, but took solace in the idea of failing him during his sixth-year.
“But-” said Lupin.
"If you’ll excuse me, I have to talk to the Headmaster,” said Snape through gritted teeth.
Albus was building a Lego model of Hogwarts when he entered. Severus groaned inwardly. Somehow he anticipated being asked to do a ridiculous favour like fetching the special edition Lego set that featured Peeves. Dumbledore snapped a flag into place on one of the towers before turning his attention to Severus.
“Sit down, Severus,” he said. Dumbledore studied the Lego version of Snape for a moment before turning to him. “I have a favour to ask of you.” Severus braced himself.
“I need you to go fetch Harry Potter for me. The Dursleys have been horribly abusing the boy. His letters are full of cheerful stories but his friends assure me that Harry is never allowed to be that happy.”
“Why should I go fetch him?” asked Snape. “Lupin is just downstairs.” Dumbledore looked stumped for a moment, then his face brightened.
“Remus is going on a mission for me. A long mission, very far away from here. He won’t be returning for ages. Ages. And no, I can’t fetch Harry myself, because I’m not allowed to leave Hogwarts, despite leaving the castle countless times in the books. And no, I can’t ask one of the other professors to do it, since they all have busy and fulfilling lives outside of Hogwarts that I couldn’t possibly intrude on.” Dumbledore ran out of breath. Severus searched for another objection.
“The Weasl-” he began.
“Are not safe for Harry,” said Albus quickly. “Yes. They’re not safe.”
“Hagrid c-” tried Snape again.
“Too big,” said Albus. Severus gave him an incredulous look.
“Hagrid is too big to pick up Harry Potter,” said Snape slowly. Albus looked a bit sheepish, but nodded his agreement.
“You can’t be serious,” said Snape, since that’s what he always had to say to Albus in these situations.
“Just go fetch Harry Potter,” said Dumbledore with a strange gleam in his eye. “Or else you could stay and start brewing a love potion for me and-”
“I’ll go!” Snape leapt up and out of the room. Behind him, Albus fondly pet the little lego figure of him self, then placed it back in his drawer.
“Ah! Severus. Harry. Did you have a chance to bond over the horror of the Dursleys?” he asked. Harry shook his head no.
“There was no abuse, Albus. The Dursleys were perfectly reasonable,” accused Snape. The glare wasn’t half as effective when he had a large smear of chocolate on his face.
“Aunt Petunia gave him some cake,” said Harry. “He bonded with the cake.” Dumbledore didn’t seem to hear them.
“Ah, Remus. I’m glad you’re here,” said Dumbledore as Harry and Snape found seats.
“You told me to be here waiting, Headmaster,” said Lupin. “You said it was important to the plot.”
Snape felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. “Where did that come from?” he wondered. He decided to ignore it.
“What do we do now?” asked Harry.
“Well, first we have to injure you,” said Dumbledore matter-of-factly.
“You can’t have a meaningful talk with Severus unless you’re in the hospital wing, though I suppose Severus’ chambers would do in a pinch.” The Headmaster looked thoughtful. “It’s a shame to waste a good hospital scene though.”
Harry: Thanks, Dad.
Snape: [to himself] What is this highly irrational urge to by fatherly and out of character? I wonder if I can brew a potion like this…
“Map” he called it, although it was little more than a combination of squiggly lines and scrawled instructions – only about half of which were in English, no less. The fact that it was written on a paper napkin ... well, that was just adding insult to injury.
“I’m sorry.” She finally said, pronunciation awful but the words still this side of recognizable.
“You are?” He blinked slowly, once. “I’m afraid that’s not going to keep me from destroying you all in the end.” There was freedom to being in a foreign country where no one spoke his language. He could tell them all sorts of things and they simply wouldn’t have a clue.
And the questions seemed to keep on coming. Where he was born (“London ... you do know that, right?”), his favorite color (“black ... green, too, and red is rather nice as – oh, never mind, just write ‘black’.”), favorite animal (“snake, of course ... no, ‘of course’ is not part of the name, it’s just ‘snake’, you pitiful Muggles”), his occupation (“searching for immortality ... yes, yes, “jibun de”, now just give me the bloody pencil already ...”) ...
When the picture – for this was one of those strange contraptions that printed the picture immediately – was shoved in his face, he simply sighed, took the proffered pen, and scrawled on the back, in his spideriest handwriting, “Best of wishes until I come back and raze this infernal country to the ground. Lord Voldemort.”
The parchment was addressed to: Lucius Malfoy, wherever he is, the world.
“Yes, something amuses me. This Imperial Dragon Circle thinks it can execute me. I find that highly amusing.” Lucius sneered at the man.
“Oh?” said the man. “Well then, allow me to introduce myself. I am called Flame. I am the chief assassin of the Imperial Dragon Circle. I will be your executioner this evening.”
“Do have some tea, Lord Riddle. Toxis made it extra special, just for you.”
Stunned by the new information, Voldemort had been reaching for the tea without thinking about it. However, when the name of the tea brewer sank in, his hand froze. “Convey my apologies to Toxis, but I prefer my own special blend.”
Voldemort eased the door to the boy’s room open, and crept inside. There, he found a small surprise. The boy was awake, and watching. Voldemort smiled, cold and deadly. The boy was losing sleep.
“I assume this is about last weekend?” Harry asked casually, as if talking to a business partner, not his mortal enemy.
Harry also had a lack of understanding of House-elf magic. It became apparent to him that his defenses weren’t complete when about one hundred of the little buggers appeared, seemingly right through the defense systems. At the head of the small Battalion of house-elves, was a very familiar face.
“Harry Potter! Dobby has found you!” The small elf squeaked excitedly. “And Harry Potter has such a monstrous house now! Dobby brought friends to help him work for Harry Potter!”
“You’re right of course. Oh well, I’ll do it later tonight. Right now, Albus has some kind of ritual that he wants to show me. It must be important, or he wouldn’t have traveled so far to do it. Give me about two hours; the password is ‘Victorious.’ I look forward to seeing you again Minerva. Will you be staying for dinner?” Harry asked.
“Of course I am, Harry. I’ll see you in two hours.” Minerva made to close the connection, but paused for a final dig into the old Headmaster. “And Harry? Try not to laugh too hard when Albus fails in his ritual. He’s getting old, and his ego is probably fragile.” Then the connection closed.
“Um, just a moment,” Harry stalled as he tried to figure out what to do, “I know I have them here somewhere.”
“Take your time,” the man’s demeanor became decidedly colder as he began to regard Harry with suspicion.
“One second,” Harry reached into his new pack, trying to think of some way to keep his vacation from ending before it began, within seconds, his fingers brushed up against a small leather booklet. Pulling it out, Harry looked at it dumbly, trying to figure out what it was.
“Thank you Sir,” the man carefully took the small booklet out of Harry’s hands and began examining it, “oh, I’m sorry Mr. Black, I didn’t realize that you were stalling out of embarrassment and not because of some other purpose.”
“Yes, well I . . .” Harry replied eloquently.
“No need to say a thing,” the man stamped several pages in the small book, “I understand what it’s like to have an odd name and none need know anything but your last name.”
“Thanks,” Harry took his Passport back and resisted the urge to ask...
Diving for cover behind one of the couches in his room, Harry took a bit of time to think. “Accio crazy man.”
Consiglio screamed as he felt himself get thrown past his attacker and towards one of the windows that had been cracked in the early stages of the duel. Calling out a stereotypical “NOOOOOOOOO,” as he flew through the window he barley had time to realise what a bad idea going after Mr. Black had been before his body hit the street below.
Grabbing a piece of chocolate, Harry opened the door to the balcony and leaned on the rail. The wind in his hair, the lights of the city, could his life get anymore perfect.
Harry watched in shock as several death eaters appeared in front of him and then plumeted to their deaths. After taking a suspicious sniff of the piece of chocolate that he had been eating, Harry leaned over the rail to look at the pile of broken death eaters littering the ground in front of the hotel. Wondering why these things always happened to him and resisting the urge to cry Harry turned around and walked sadly back into his hotel room, local law enforcement would be showing up soon and it might be a good idea to pack.
"Last one in is a jar of some sort of disgusting matter," the Professor called out. "Possibly something that smells strongly of sulfur."
"I can go no further," the guide smiled. "You must take the last steps on your own."
"I owe someone money," the guide smiled. "And I'm afraid that they might be in there."
The Sorting Hat took an awfully long time with Harry Potter - probably it was getting his autograph or something - and Draco vowed that if that prat got into Slytherin instead of Draco somehow Draco would find a way to end him.
Terry blinked, which people often did when Draco launched into one of his tirades against injustice. Draco felt that the blinks signalled agreement, and regarded Terry with slightly less hauteur.
"I can't believe you saw," Hermione murmured unhappily. "Harry said he saw you looking in the window, but-"
"He certainly did not see me! I was sneaking about. Sneakily."
"Aha! Potter's a smuggler, I knew it! That's piracy, that is! Dragon piracy!"
Hermione and Terry stared at him as if he had gone crazy. "Don't worry, Hermione," Terry said. "You know how he gets. Once he's calmer, I'll talk him around."
Draco gave a cry of righteous outrage.
"You sound like an enraged teakettle," Terry told him.
"A little detention would be good for them, Hermione. Break their spirits. Then they could be your slaves."
"They would be expelled!"
"Then they can go live with Oafy," Draco soothed her. "And be your little squib slaves."
"His name is Hagrid!" Hermione exclaimed, and ran off looking upset. Draco was sure eleven was too young to be having her time of the month already.
"I'm good to her, Terry. I offer her slaves. What more could a woman want?"
"Don't call me Goldstein," Anthony said. "What's going on?"
"I must be kept away from the outside world," Draco informed him. "Invoke the power of your amulet to bar the doors!"
"It's an inhaler, Draco, for the last time."
Potter went dark red under the dirt and Draco, cheered by this small victory, put the manuever he'd been practising into effect. He slid his glasses down to give Potter a withering look over them, and then pushed them up and looked away with elaborate indifference.
When he looked back Potter was glowering. "You got those glasses just to mock me, didn't you."
"They're my friends," Hermione said from under her bedclothes, "and I love them."
Draco made a truly terrible face that unfortunately she could not appreciate, and said, "I think you have Stockholm Syndrome."
Penelope and the Weasley leaped after him with pleading naked on their faces, and Potter Fan 93 righteously informed Draco that nothing would make her tell on her brother while Draco negotiated for half of Penelope's Charms and Transfigurations notes throughout her school years, for his own private consumption.
Potter Fan 93 paused, and then said: "Actually, if that git's getting notes, I could use some Potions help."
Draco laughed. "I like a girl who resorts to blackmail," he said, and she half-smiled, and after that he thought of Potter Fan 93 as Ginny.
Madam Pince gave them that Mr. Malfoy You Are My Least Favourite Ravenclaw Ever look, but Draco accepted her undying librarianly hatred in a good cause.
Draco didn't make things easy for people and he didn't hand out second chances and he certainly wasn't planning to make exceptions and crawl for Potter like everyone else did, so he'd be charmed if Potter could go away before anyone saw them and thought something filthy, like that they were having a civil conversation.
Potter began to tap against his teeth with the nib of his quill. If Draco sharpened his ruler he could stab Potter with it repeatedly before anyone had a chance to summon medical assistance. He heard Azkaban was lovely and peaceful this time of year.
He forbore, reached out and firmly drew Potter's arm down to the table, then let go of Potter's wrist.
"This? Must. Stop."
"Look," said Potter. "I'm not shouting in the library or anything, what am I supposed to do, drop dead?"
"Yes," Draco replied instantly. "That would be super."
"Okay, okay!" He threw his hands up. "I can’t play! So what if I have," He flipped his cards over. "A Queen of hearts, a Jack of hearts, a ten of hearts, a King of hearts and a one of hearts?"
Harry and Lucius both quickly checked their own cards.
"Yes, you’re right, Bob, very bad hand you have there," Lucius said quickly, closing his hand to conceal a run of two of diamonds to five of diamonds.
"Awful," Harry agreed, hiding his two nines.
Narcissa had said ‘come with me’ and foolishly - out of desperation for a toilet - he had followed her.
Yes, she had actually lead him to a toilet, which he almost kissed with relief before using, only to turn around and find that she had led him straight into Lucius’ private bathroom, where a very embarrassed Lucius was trying to pretend he wasn’t playing with battleships in the tub.
"It..." For the first time, it actually struck Harry. The reality of the situation. This situation. He was really pregnant. There was really a baby growing inside of him, a little life, protected by his own body.
He tried to push thoughts of the stomach-bursting scene from Aliens to the back of his mind. It had to be now that the one film that the Dursleys had let him watch came back to haunt him with a vengeance.
"Nothing in this family is ever quite as it seems to someone outside."
"Really?" Harry deadpanned. "You think so?"
"Mmm..." Lucius replied lazily. "Would you believe that, on top of the fact that Narcissa is transvestite called Bob, I am actually a woman by the name of Cecillia De Bouffant and Draco is really a limbo-dancing hermaphrodite dwarf called Bong?"
"Look, will you just stay still so I can kill you already?" Again, Voldemort’s wand came up. "Ava..."
"LOOK yourself!" Harry slapped Voldemort across the top of his head as vehement exclamation. "I’ve had it up to hear with you trying to bloody well kill me!" SLAP! "If you had done things the old-fashioned way," SLAP! "With a machine gun," SLAP! "Or even a bloody knife," SLAP! "I wouldn’t have had half as traumatic a life as I’ve had already!"
"Stop that! I’m trying to kill you!"
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Voldemort screamed, lunging forwards to try and retrieve his wand, only to get yanked back by a very irate, very flushed and very hormonally-charged Harry Potter.
"What is this?" Harry demanded, kicking the Dark Lord in the shin. "Star Wars?"
"Imagine, Harry Potter not attend Hogwarts," McGonagall said incredulously. "Lily and James would be rolling over in their graves."
Snape looked like Christmas had come early. "I think we should respect his decision."
"Do you want to have a go at convincing me now?" he asked.
Snape held up his hands in a gesture of peace. "Oh no, I think you’ve made a wise decision, Potter, and would just like you to know that I support you 100 percent. The magical world is a dangerous, dangerous place."
"Can’t you put aside your feud with a man who’s been dead for a decade for five minutes?" Minerva hissed at him.
"I’m merely respecting the boy’s wishes," Snape defended, not very convincingly. "It’s what they would have wanted."
"I wish you would stop referring to the wizarding world as a cult, Harry," Dumbledore told him gravely.