I'd like to apologize in advance for any inaccuracies which may be present in this chapter, and for the intentional vagueness which I intend to use to avoid such inaccuracies. While I do hunt, the extent of my gun knowledge consists of "This is a rifle, this is a shotgun, this is a pistol. Point them thataway," and I don't feel like researching this stuff.
November came and went, the temperature dropped, snow fell, Quidditch games were played, and Christmas Break began. Most students went home for the break, but Jason hadn't found a place for them to live in yet, so Harry had to stay at Hogwarts with the few other students who weren't going home. The only other Gryffindors who were staying at Hogwarts were the Weasley family, and Royce Salinger, a second year Slytherin, was the only one of Harry's friends who was staying. Royce introduced Harry to his hobby of Gobstones, and they spent most of their time playing together in an empty classroom off of the Great Hall.
Christmas morning arrived, and Harry awoke to see, at the foot of his bed, a single wrapped package. Slightly disappointed that none of his friends had given him anything, he shrugged and climbed out of bed and got dressed. He then tore open the package without checking for a label (it was obviously from Dad, after all), to find a shimmering gray cloak. As he unfolded it, a note fell to the ground. Happy that Dad had thought to send a note, he picked it up. To his surprise, it was written in, not his father's untidy scrawl, but a thin, spidery handwriting which read Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well. A Very Merry Christmas to you.
Harry looked around for a package from his father, but he couldn't find any other presents besides those belonging to Ron, who was still sound asleep.
Why didn't he send me anything? Harry wondered, a tear crawling down his face. Even in Rapture he gave me Christmas presents. And what about my friends? I got them presents. Isn't that normal? Or do only family members give presents in Britain? And still, what about Dad?
Harry took off the cloak and stored it in his trunk, then, still crying, made his way downstairs to the Great Hall. When he arrived at the entrance, he walked through the doors, head down, and made his way to the end of the single long table that had replaced the house tables for the Holiday.
"Hey, bud. What's wrong?" called a voice.
Harry looked up. Dad? "Dad!" he yelled, vaulting over the table he'd been about to sit down at.
"Hey, son." said the grinning Jason as his adopted son hugged him around the waist. "What's got you down?"
"I thought you had forgotten about Christmas." Harry replied, "I woke up, and I only had one present. I thought it was from you and that maybe Brits only give presents to friends. But then I opened it and it had a note in somebody else's handwriting, saying it was my father's."
"Really? You got something of your birth dad's?"
"Yeah. Some sort of cloak. I still don't get why the wizards can't wear normal clothes."
"It's to make them feel special." Jason said. "And of course I didn't forget Christmas. How could I forget sneaking past a Big Daddy for the last can of pumpkin in all of Rapture?"
Harry grinned and hugged his dad again. "So, where's my present? And did you get a pumpkin pie? Apparently, they don't eat pumpkin pie in Britain."
"Look behind you!" Jason said, grin widening.
A somewhat confused Harry turned around, and his jaw hit the floor. At the end of the Great Hall, the teacher's tables had been replaced with piles upon piles of presents. Big presents, little presents, presents that made funny noises, presents in paper that changed colors, and even one present that was smoking slightly.
"Merry Christmas, Harry, my boy!" Said Dumbledore, who was sitting on top of a pile of gifts that had been arranged to form a chair. "You'll have to forgive me for not having your presents sent to your room, but there simply wasn't space for them all in your dormitory."
"What... Why... How many are there?" Harry eventually managed to choke out.
"Six hundred and forty-three, I believe. Some of them are from your friends, yes, but I understand that the vast majority of them are from the Splicers you are responsible for rescuing. They wanted to find a way to thank you. In addition to the gifts here, you now own eleven houses, two mansions, a partially restored Welsh castle, a Spanish vineyard, and, for some reason, an American arms and ammunitions company."
"What? They're giving me their houses? They can't do that! Where will they live, now that they're out of Rapture, if they've given me their houses?"
"That's an issue that's currently being resolved, actually." Jason said quickly. "The majority of the property in question isn't in any condition that's suitable for living in, though the vineyard and the arms company are still running. But as a rule, when someone was invited to Rapture, they sold their property in the muggle world. What you've been given are the properties that, for whatever reason, weren't sold or repossessed by the banks, which means that they've all fallen into disrepair. Except for one place in Germany, where the owner had the good foresight to arrange for a caretaker who lives there in his absence. But don't worry, we're working on places for the splicers to live. Right now, however, you have presents to open." Jason grinned again at this last sentence.
"Which one's yours?" Harry asked happily.
"This one is," said Dumbledore, pointing to a long package on the top of a small pile of gifts. "The ones beneath it are the gifts from your friends."
Harry grinned and grabbed the package, tearing it open immediately.
"COOL!" He shouted.
"What? What is it?" Asked FredorGeorge, who'd just arrived alongside his twin.
"It's a shotgun!" Harry said happily.
"A shotgun?" asked GeorgeorFred.
"Yep. Semi-automatic, too."
"It also has all sorts of enchantments on it, courtesy of Mad-Eye. No kick, magically steadied, assisted aiming, and automatic reloading- as long as you own the ammo, it'll be transferred to the chamber as soon as it's empty. The ammo's enchanted, too, to follow it's target. You can also use this dial to give the ammo different special qualities when its fired. It also has an instant draw feature- just say 'Fratz,' and it'll appear in your hand. It's got a Notice-Me-Not charm on it, so unless someone is specifically looking for it or you draw attention to it, they won't see it. Lastly, it can't be taken away from you unless you give it up willingly (and no, things like the Imperius Curse don't count), and it's virtually indestructible."
"Sorry," said GeorgeorFred, "but what's a shotgun?"
A few other students had arrived by this point, and they were all looking equally confused.
"It's a type of gun." Harry said.
"And... what's that?" asked an older girl in Hufflepuff colors.
"What's what?" asked Jason
"What's a gun?" huffed a gangly Ravenclaw boy.
Harry and Jason just stared at the girl.
"What?" she asked.
"You don't know what a gun is?" Harry asked.
Collectively, the gathered students shook their heads. Jason turned to Professor Dumbledore.
"Professor, may I have a word with you?"
"Certainly, Jason. I suggest that you continue opening presents, Harry. You have quite a lot of them to get through." Dumbledore said, waving at the pile of gifts.
"Wait, those aren't just decorations?" asked the Hufflepuff.
Three hours later, Harry grinned as he looked around at the mountain of wrapping paper, ribbons, and tape that was the Great Hall. On the other end of the room was the pile of weapons, tools, gadgets, and other items Harry had received from the grateful Splicers. In addition to pretty much every kind of firearm he could wish for (all of which were heavily enchanted), he had received a caterpillar which would provide him with EVE, a crossbow whose quiver never emptied and had partitions for different kind of bolts, a trunk which was large enough on the inside to contain all of his new stuff, a set of body armor which would always fit him no matter how much he grew, a grappling gun, a remote controlled helicopter with a camera on it, a tent that was much larger on the inside, a small refrigerator which expanded when he opened it, a magic box which always had clean clothes, tooth cleaning ration bars (chocolate flavored), a wand holster, and a small device which showed the surrounding area and any life-forms in range.
"So Dad, can we go somewhere and try some of these out?" Harry asked excitedly.
"That's what I was talking to Dumbledore about. He's having Hagrid set up a shooting range with the pumpkins that he didn't use for Halloween. We'll be able to show your friends what exactly a gun is. And no, you can't try out the grenade launcher. Who gave you that, anyway?"
Harry consulted a piece of parchment on the table in front of him. "John Meltzer. The note said he wanted to thank me for reuniting him with his daughter."
"Well, I guess I can't chew him out too much. Still, why a grenade launcher?"
"It's the one he used in Rapture. Why can't I try it out?"
"Because I want to give it a shot first." Jason grinned.
"That's no fair! It's my gun!" Harry whined.
"Don't worry, son. You'll get a turn. Just... after I've blown some shit up."
"Fine. Let's go! I wanna try out the new shotgun you gave me!" Harry said, running for the door. "C'mon, everybody! We're gonna show you what guns can do!"
Jason and Harry, followed by a crowd of curious students, made their way to the Quidditch pitch. The professors filed the students into one end of the pitch, while Harry, and a middle aged man with slightly graying hair made their way to the shooting station that Professor McGonagall had conjured.
Jason turned to the small crowd, which consisted of about twenty students and all of the teachers.
"Time for a crash-course in muggle weaponry," he started. "That's right- I'm showing you muggle devices, and why an ordinary muggle with little training is easily capable of kicking your ass." The arrayed students laughed and jeered, and one actually left the stands and walked back to the castle. "Laugh all you want, but these weapons are powerful enough that almost any splicer knows "This is what is called a handgun or a pistol." Jason held up Harry's pistol for the crowd to look at. "This particular pistol isn't very powerful, so it can't do much damage, but good shot can still do some serious damage with it." He turned to Harry and handed the gun to his son. "Professor Dumbledore, please provide a target for Harry to shoot."
Dumbledore waved his wand lazily, and a small pumpkin, roughly the size of Harry's head, floated from a pile at the end of the pitch to hover at about eye level towards the front of the Quidditch pitch. In a flash, Harry's hands moved out in front of him, there was a loud crack as if somebody had apparated, and a small hole appeared in the pumpkin.
"That wasn't terribly impressive, Harry. How about the shotgun?" Jason said as the students yawned
"Harry, could you show them your shotgun, please?"
Harry obliged, and Jason continued speaking.
"This is a twelve gauge, semi-automatic combat shotgun. Professor Dumbledore, if you would provide a series of larger targets this time." Dumbledore waved his wand again, and five largish pumpkins floated out towards the front of the pitch and began dancing around irregularly. "You may want to cover your ears." This last was, of course, to the watching students. A few of them put their hands over their ears, one cast a spell, but the rest shrugged. How bad could it be?
The first shot hit its target dead on, causing the pumpkin to explode violently, sending bits of vegetable matter into the air. The second was low, but Harry adjusted quickly, and once again, the pumpkin was obliterated. The third was a little to the left, and half of the vegetable in question was blasted into oblivion, while the remaining half spun wildly and went flying. Another quick two shots, and Harry had destroyed that half too. The fourth pumpkin Harry hit dead on, destroying it, but the fifth one he missed the first time around.
"Harry's not had too much practice with a shotgun, but that was enough to give you an idea what they can do. Now my friend here, Captain MacFarlane of the Irish Army, will be demonstrating a different kind of gun. This is a fully automatic assault rife. It doesn't do as much damage, but has better rang and it fires very quickly. One of the larger ones this time, Professor. And again, this gets a bit loud." This time, all of the students covered their ears or cast a muffling charm as Harry took aim, then let loose.
A large pumpkin as big as Jason's chest floated out and hovered in the middle of the pitch. MacFarlane took aim, then a series of bangs issued from his weapon, and the bullets tore into their target, tearing off large chunks of shell.
"Harry, could you show us the Forty-four?"
Harry shrugged and selected another gun from the variety on the counter in front of him.
"Fire when ready, son." Jason said, this time remembering that he was on a shooting range.
Harry took aim, let out a breath, and pulled the trigger.
The pumpkin abruptly exploded, bits of pulp and shell flying into the air. The crowd murmered slightly, and Jason turned back to them.
"That was a much more powerful pistol. Specifically, a Forty-four caliber Smith and Wesson Model 29. I know that doesn't mean anything to you, so let me say this- it's a fucking big gun." Professor McGonagall coughed loudly at the word "fuck," but Jason ignored her. "If somebody points one of these things at you, you're screwed."
"Lastly, we have a sniper rifle. It's absurdly powerful, has a huge range, and is extremely accurate. It also happens to be the Captain's specialty. Professor, if you'll show the target to the students first, this time."
A small apple floated out in front of the students, and they could all see that it was painted with an orange and white target on one side.
"Now, ordinarily a target like this would explode when it gets shot with a gun as powerful as a sniper rifle, but we wanted to be able to demonstrate how accurate these guns can be, so this particular apple is enchanted to be virtually indestructible. The rifle will dent it, but no more. Professor, if you'll move it to the far end of the pitch."
The watching students murmured to one another as the apple zoomed across the field, then, just barely visible to the audience, began rotating slowly.
"When you're ready, Captain."
The Captain laid down on the ground, rifle against his shoulder, and took aim. The small crowd watched silently as MacFarlane lay motionless in the snowy grass, then pulled the trigger. An enormous bang shot through the field. Professor Dumbledore waved his wand again, and the apple flew to the aged wizard, who carefully plucked the target out of the air and examined it. His eyebrows raised, and he handed the apple to the student next to him, who examined it, gasped, and showed it to the student next to him, who gasped, and showed it to the student next to him, and so on. When the Apple had made it about halfway through the audience, somebody finally objected.
"Bullshit!" called the Ravenclaw from earlier. "There's no way you hit it from all the way over there. You must have faked this!"
"You callin' me a liar, boyo?" MacFarlane asked in a light Irish accent. "I've been a sniper for eighteen years now. That shot was easy. I coulda hit that apple from twice that distance if I weren't so out of practice."
"Yeah, I'm calling you a liar. Nobody could have hit that. You expect me to believe muggles can do it?"
"Now see here, boy, you'd better learn not to talk about things you don't understand. Muggles could kick yo-our asses, if they knew y-we existed. Or did you forget that the entire wizarding world is hiding? If muggles are so weak and stupid, explain the fact that we've been hiding from them for centuries?"
The boy opened his mouth, closed it, then repeated the process a few more times before sitting down again with a huff and an "I still don't believe you hit that apple."
At this point, MacFarlane's hand caught fire, and Jason quickly stepped in and began talking to the Irishman in a low voice. The Captain visibly sighed, then nodded. The flame on his hand went out, and MacFarlane stepped back.
"Whether you believe it or not, that was a genuine demonstration," said Jason. "But we're not quite finished here. We've got one last gun to show you. This," he held up yet another weapon, "is a grenade launcher. It's one of the more dangerous of muggle weapons. Put simply, it makes things go 'boom.' It's kinda like a blasting charm, but much more powerful."
The students perked up at this, especially the Weasley twins. Who didn't love a good explosion?
"Harry and I have had a bit of a debate about who gets to try this one out first, but eventually, it was decided that I'd go first."
"Wait, what?" Harry asked.
"I'm bigger than you are, son. So I get to go first."
"And I'm friends with a Big Daddy. Do you really wanna go there?"
Jason hesitated, then handed his son the grenade launcher.
"As I said, eventually, it was decided that Harry would go first." The small crowd, despite not knowing what a "big daddy" was, laughed. "The big one this time, Professor. Oh, and you guys will want to cover your ears for this one."
Dumbledore waved his hand, and a tremendous pumpkin, big enough for Jason to sit in, floated out onto the Quidditch Pitch. Professor Flitwick, on Jason's instruction, erected a barrier in front of the students to prevent damage from shrapnel, and Jason nodded to Harry.
There was a loud Ka-chunk, and a round object flew out of Harry's grenade launcher. The grenade arched out into the field, then hit the pumpkin. A gigantic blast filled the air, and a huge chunk of the pumpkin was obliterated. The students gasped at the amount of damage done by the single attack- it would take a severely overpowered Bomarda Maxima to do that much damage in one shot. Another ka-chunk, another arching projectile, and the pumpkin was gone.
"And that," Jason said, "is why you don't fuck with muggles."
By the way, if you ever see "xxx" in a story, please let me know. I put that in places that I need to come back to later. That way I can just hit ctrl-f, and type xxx whenever I finish a chapter instead of trying to remember things that I need to come back to. Sometimes, though, I forget to take them out of the text when I'm done. Or I just forget to check for them.