January 26, 1998
Remus was in trouble, and he knew it. Dumbledore had begged him to go back to the Pack and try and win some to their side, and even though Remus knew it was a lost cause, he went anyways. His life was pointless these days, he may as well try and be useful. First it was Sirius, then Harry, and then even Nymphadora left him. What was the point of carrying on? He missed his friends, his family, so much that it was an almost constant ache.
Tonight he might just get his wish to see James and Sirius again, for Greyback had shown up unexpectedly and he knew he was no match for the older wolf. Remus was just grateful it wasn't a full moon tonight, as that would have meant he died that much quicker. On second thought, that might have been a better option.
He had sent in the distress signal to the Order, but he knew that no one would be able to help. The Pack wouldn't let strangers in and he was deep in their territory tonight. Even Dumbledore would be unable to reach him. And if they tried to mount a full scale assault (the only thing that would have a hope of getting through) it would take entirely too long to be of any use besides retrieving his broken body. So he was resigned to dying and was almost looking forward to seeing his friends. If only he had got to see Harry one last time and know that the pup was okay. Ah, well, such was his life—it had never been fair.
He had been fighting for what felt like hours, though it was probably only 5 minutes or so, frantically using his magic to keep the older and larger wolf out of physical contact range, when two figures he recognised well came into his view stalking towards him. His heart sunk as any hope he had of making it out of this alive was completely and utterly quashed. Titian was known for being one of Greyback's best enforcers, and Clara was his mate and just as fierce. At least his death would be quicker with those two helping Greyback.
His surprise was so great that he stopped fighting momentarily when they instead stepped to his sides and started fighting with him. And his shock was nothing next to that displayed by Greyback. Remus could practically feel the anger rolling off the wolf at the betrayal. Drawn by Greyback's furious howl, the rest of the pack started to watch, and Remus was further surprised to realise that many of the surrounding wolves seemed to be cheering for him. Maybe he had got through to some of them. Or maybe they were just sick of Greyback and hopeful that someone might finally take him down.
The next few minutes were a blur, and he didn't fully come to until he found Greyback dead at his feet—though he was positive it wasn't by his wand, the crowd seemed to think it was—and the surrounding wolves voting to make him the Alpha, on Titian's recommendation of all things.
What in the blazes had happened?
It would be three days before he could get away from the Pack to chat with Dumbledore and find out. The only ones who had responded to his call for help had been Tonks and her boyfriend, Harry Lewis, a man Remus hadn't even met yet. They must have encountered Titian and Clara separated from the Pack and overcome them then assumed their forms, thus getting around the Pack security easily. And then they had come to his aid.
Remus wondered why they had bothered. It was no secret in the Order that Nymphadora was somewhat cold to him now, and Lewis had no reason to risk his life just for Remus' sake. He didn't even know the boy. It was all so odd.
February 1, 1998
No one looked twice at another young couple attending the Green Day concert at Astoria Theatre. They looked to be about sixteen, though it was hard to tell with their behaviour belying their apparent youth. The boy was sporting spiky blond hair tipped with blue and the girl had equally spiky vivid red hair with green woven throughout. Both had on dark eye makeup that drew attention to the unusual colour of their eyes—vivid gold. They were both dressed in tight shirts—his a tank top and hers a halter that barely covered much—and leather bottoms—he with pants and she in a short skirt and leather spike heels. Truthfully, they looked much like the other concert attenders in dress and age.
The only thing that drew any second glances was the number of tattoos lining his toned arms, as he was a little young for so much artwork. The girl was unmarked, but had numerous piercings including a sparkling jewel that drew every eye to her bare stomach. Only those who looked closely realised that it was in fact actually a ring hanging from a hook. The large centre stone appeared to be a 5 carat black opal, and its colour was enhanced by the stones on either side. One was a 3 carat red diamond and the other an equally large red beryl emerald. Of course, most didn't realise what the stones were, having never expected to see such rare gems displayed in quite such a way. The crowd was simply mesmerised by the effect of the sparkling stones against the toned stomach of the young woman.
They might have found themselves the subject of much more aggressive interest from the opposite sex if it wasn't obvious that no one stood a chance with either of them—but everyone who watched them realised that there was no hope of coming between them and limited themselves to strictly enjoying the lewdness of the show provided. The couple danced tightly together throughout the concert and often ventured towards the obscene with their displays of affection, seeming completely oblivious to their avidly watching audience. If it wasn't for the fact that they were clearly enjoying the music, an observer might have thought that the two weren't even aware of where they were.
The girl sang along to all the songs, and the final encore of Good Riddance caused her to squeal in excitement. The boy merely laughed at her antics and pulled her closer. His hand often found its way to the ring at her navel as they danced, as if drawn there. No one in the audience recognised it for what it was because of their apparent young age, but the boy knew, and he was constantly reminding himself of its presence to convince himself it was real. He was still coming down off the high from her having accepted the ring along with his hand. His mind was already making plans, as he was ready for that ring to be joined by the matching bands he had purchased, which would grace a place a little more private than the third finger of their left hands.
He wondered how soon he could finish his task to allow that to happen.
February 3, 1998
Bogrod had come through once again. Gleefully Harry unpacked box after box of little pebbles that the goblin swore would do what they wished. They had even been supplied at cost—a courtesy the shrewd goblin was only extending because of their intended use. But Harry had a feeling it had more to do with who had asked for them than what they were being used for. He was just starting to realise the benefits of a good relationship with the goblins of Gringotts.
Tonks was across the room, repeatedly casting at a shimmering shield emanating from one of the small pebbles to test its resilience.
She gave up before it even faltered.
February 5, 1998
An old man walked slowly into the sitting room of the apartment, grinning at the sight of the love of his life. Her long grey hair flowed around her shoulders in soft curls and her face was well wrinkled with age, but he still thought she was lovely. He gently took her in his arms and kissed her sweetly, and then he winked and quickly dropped to his knees—a move that was shockingly agile for his age. He pushed up the bottom of her shirt to reveal the sparkling ring hanging from her remarkably toned stomach. His tongue came out and wound around the symbol of his love before dipping into her navel. Giving her one last kiss to her abdomen, he swiftly stood and took her in his arms. With a quick turn they disappeared.
No one glanced twice at them as they strolled down the London street and entered the old telephone booth. No one was there to see them drop a series of small pebbles in the booth. No one noticed as the old man's cane left similar pebbles every time it struck the floor in front of an open Floo, and again in front of all but one of the elevators.
If someone had been watching, they would have been confused by the young and rather bland looking couple that stepped out of that elevator at the very top floor of the Ministry. But no one was watching, for it was 9:30 in the morning on a Thursday and everyone was hard at work, or at least pretending to look hard at work. They dropped some more pebbles in front of the door of the Minister's office and continued on to the next. Each office, they would enter for some period of time. When they came back out, the girl would have added some new bracelets to her wrists and they would drop some more pebbles.
Nearly four hours later, every room in the Ministry was blocked off by the shields emanating from the small pebbles, and you could hear people pounding on doors on every floor. The only movement in any of the halls was the same couple calmly walking along and seeming to ignore the curse words hurled in their direction from every blocked doorway. The couple took the elevator back up to Level Two.
A pair of small children emerged and walked down to the door to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The boy dug a letter out of his pocket and then conjured a large box. The girl then proceeded to fill the box with the bracelets that were adorning both of her arms up to her shoulders. The pair then headed back to the elevator. As the doors were closing, the boy shot a spell out that dispelled the pebble created shield.
Instantly, Amelia Bones emerged, wand aloft, with half of her Auror department. When she could see no one, her attention turned to the box overflowing with gaudy jewellery and a letter on top. She cast spell after spell at both, checking for tricks and traps. When she could find none, she levitated the letter and, giving a flick to open it in mid-air, peered at it closely.
As one of the few in this building with absolute integrity, we present our gift to you. Here are the bodies of the traitors that had worked for the Ministry in one capacity or other. May you do better in the future.
February 12, 1998
Fred Weasley was grumbling under his breath. He was convinced that George had somehow managed to cheat in the coin toss to determine who got to be a boy and who was forced to be a girl. At least they were pretending to be young children, so being forced into this girl's body wasn't quite as uncomfortable as it might have been with an older body. But it was still bloody annoying. And by golly he could already imagine what teasing George had devised for him over this situation. At least he and George got the privilege of helping Tonks and Harry out. He knew that they must have somehow earned the quiet young man's trust for this request to have come; Harry had never asked for help before.
Since joining the Order, he and George had rarely been allowed to help in the actual fighting, but they were eager to nonetheless. Finally, it felt like they were able to make a real difference in the war efforts. Harry had stopped by last week and asked them to help, and then carefully laid out his plan in excruciating detail. They had been warned to be ready at a moment's notice.
He had no idea how Tonks had known when and where the attack was happening today, but he did know that he and George were handed the Polyjuice and the apparition coordinates through the Floo and told they had 30 seconds to get there. They had already gone over the plan several times, and he didn't even have enough time to get nervous before they were leaving.
When they arrived they could see the feared visage of Lord Voldemort as he sneered down at the woman at his feet as he gleefully tortured her. What was the most shocking about the scene, however, was the fact that Voldemort was alone in his tormenting; he was not surrounded by followers as he had been every time the twins, or anyone they knew, had seen him previously. He guessed Tonks was right—most of his followers had been taken care of by the mysterious children that Fred now knew to be Tonks and Harry in disguise, and the rest had probably run away scared.
Fred was still in awe at their daring to take down Voldemort's entire army alone, but it was sheer genius to have done so as children. He didn't think he would have fared much better than the Death Eaters if faced with small children that could fight so well. The shock would have left him completely vulnerable. And it would be difficult to overcome his natural instincts when fighting a child—even the ruthless Death Eaters would have trouble fighting correctly against what appeared to be innocent children.
It seemed likely that Voldemort appearing himself tonight was to draw the children out to end them, and hence the reason he and George were Polyjuiced into a random pair of children. Previously, the children were surprising and so it worked to their advantage; tonight, children were expected, so he and his brother were providing the distraction. He and George simultaneously brought their wands up and attempted to engage the terrifying man before them, all the while praying that they could hold on long enough.
The instant Voldemort's attention was focused wholly on the two children before him, the spell arched from seeming thin air at his back.
Fred breathed a sigh of relief that Harry was there waiting for them like he had promised. He had no doubt that he and George would have been overwhelmed in moments. As a shimmer appeared in the air from the origin of the spell (which was still miraculously pumping into Voldemort—Fred had no idea what kind of spell could do that), Fred realised that he was wrong in his assumption. It was Tonks who was holding the wand at Voldemort. From behind him he heard a voice.
"You had to know I would come for you, Tom."
Fred nearly jumped out of his skin. That was the voice of Harry Potter, not Harry Lewis. He looked up as the familiar visage of his new friend Lewis morphed into the face of his old friend Potter and his jaw dropped. He knew that Harry seemed familiar. It didn't make any sense, as Harry had never shown any sign of being a metamorph, but it did answer the question about much of his odd behaviour that had appeared recently, and the way he reacted to Ron and Hermione at the Burrow. Fred also now understood why he and George were trusted to help—Harry knew they could be trusted.
"Potter! You have come back now that someone else has been fighting your battle. Coward!"
Before Fred's eyes, Harry cycled through morph after morph, some children, some older. He started laughing softly. "You have been fooled, Tom. I've been the one to fight the whole time. I have taken out all of your followers and you were none the wiser. I may have left when I had to, but I came back stronger than ever. And now I am going to finish this fight."
Voldemort sneered, as his face seemed to be the only thing he could move in his body, still held in place by Tonks' spell. "I am immortal, Potter. You will never win."
"So you think." Calmly, Harry raised his wand and shot an overpowered spell at Voldemort. It looked like a vanishing spell to Fred, but he could have sworn McGonagall told him that vanishing spells could never work on a person. But Voldemort certainly disappeared. Of course, he did so in a most unusual manner in that he disappeared one limb at a time until only his glaring head was left. Then with a final pop he was gone.
Tonks was in Harry's arms so quickly Fred was sure she apparated there. Fred immediately looked to his twin, breathing a sigh of relief to find George perfectly hale though equally flabbergasted as himself. They he turned back to the embracing couple.
"Harry?" Fred asked carefully.
Harry pulled his head away from where it was buried in Tonks' neck. "Fred. George."
Fred gaped at him. "Is it really you? This whole time, it was you? Why didn't you say anything?" He was unable to keep the hurt from his face.
"It was better for me to remain gone. Look around you, if they had known it was me do you think I could have kept Ron and Hermione away? Instead they get to enjoy what is left of their youth. I did this for them."
Fred considered this for a few minutes and acknowledged that it made sense, in a typical Harry way.
"Are you going to tell them now?" George asked.
"No. I wasn't going to tell anyone but we needed your help to distract him today. Thank you for that, by the way. I hope that in time Ron and Hermione can become friends with Harry Lewis, but I accept that we will never be as close. Too me, their safety is worth that loss. They will never again have to deal with the notoriety that has always followed me around. I am happy being Harry Lewis for the rest of my life." Harry looked at them both carefully. "Can you keep this to yourself?"
Fred looked across at George and they shared a look. They both knew that if they answered no, they might never see either Harry again. Together the brothers nodded, and George explained. "We will always be your friends, Harry, no matter what face you wear. And we can see how much happier you are without the attention. We will keep quiet. Thank you for trusting us with your secret."
Harry smiled in thanks. "Thank you." He looked around and his body visibly relaxed. "Well, it is over. I suppose we should tell someone."
"I'll write a letter to Madam Bones, Harry." Tonks spoke from his arms. She turned to the twins. "If you would pass along the message to Dumbledore that will be enough."
Fred nodded and George stepped up, clapping Harry on the back. "It is good to have you back, brother. You take whatever time you need for yourself, just know that you are always welcome."
Harry nodded and with a twist, he and Tonks disappeared.
Fred looked over at his twin. "Well, that was a shock."
"Quite. He has changed a lot more than his face in the last two years."
"Yes. Good thing we like him just as much as a Lewis as we did when he was a Potter."
"Do you think he's right? Is it better that no one knows who he is?"
"I understand why he doesn't want most people to know, but I do think he is making a mistake with his closest friends."
"Should we say something?"
"Right. It's his choice. Maybe he'll change his mind."
"But we'll still be his friend even if he doesn't."
February 17, 1998
Harry looked out across the water. The yacht was exactly the escape they needed. They had set sail from England the day after Voldemort was dealt with, and with the aid of several rather ingenious spells were now thoroughly alone on the water. They were both enjoying doing basically nothing for days on end.
Harry idly thought about where they should go. He wanted to get married soon and Tonks deserved somewhere amazing and romantic. Paris? No, Italy, she had always talked about visiting Italy. That was it. With a wave of his wand, he turned the boat slightly and set a new course.
He glanced over to where Tonks was sunbathing. Complete nude. He knew that she was doing so entirely for him, as she could easily give herself a tan. He was certainly appreciative of the lovely view. Maybe it was time for a break from the wheel—he could do with his own tan.
February 25, 1998
Harry was relaxing on the deck with the anchor down, Tonks at his side. They were slowly rounding the boot of Italy and were right on track to reach Venice in about a week, but he was in no rush. He and Tonks were both enjoying working on their full body tans, and the less time he spent driving the boat the more time he could spend enjoying his fiancé.
He looked up and smiled as Hedwig swooped down to land on the railing; she had been out hunting all night. A series of high-pitched hoots erupted and five little owlets scampered out to see her. Two were pure white and the other three were a dark grey with small white stripes.
She had appeared with her brood as they were sailing past France, giving him an imperious look. Harry figured this was her solution to the problem of her inability to deliver his mail. He had no idea who the father was, but was willing to bet Hedwig had simply found the best male she could and then promptly ignored him after he served his purpose.
Harry was leaning towards keeping one of the small striped ones; he had taken a liking to the smallest one. That was if Hedwig agreed.
On second thought, maybe he should let her pick.
March 2, 1998
The ancient elder smiled at the sight before him. He had married thousands of couples in his 213 years on earth but this one was certainly unique. They both had hair and eyes that were cycling through so many colours it was almost enough to give him a headache. He assumed their overwhelming happiness was causing them to lose control of their magic a bit, but it certainly made for an interesting ceremony. It was also a lovely ending to his career. He just might retire and spend the rest of his days in quieter pursuits.
He thought it might be fun to write a book on various types of marriage bonds. And to have an entire chapter dedicated to the bond used by the young couple before him. They had come to him two days ago requesting a deeper bonding than was traditionally performed and he had found an ancient ceremony once used by the Egyptian mages. He wondered if they would be willing to satisfy his curiosity on the consequences of such a bond after they had been married for a bit.
July 23, 2013
Harry looked on fondly as his five year-old son moved around the room as he told his story to his adopted uncles—Remus, Fred and George. The boy had an amazing imagination for coming up with tales. And they were even better because Jimmy would adopt the visage and voice of each of his characters in turn. This one was particularly amusing as he was telling a modified version of the classic Little Red Riding-Hood and he had managed to turn himself into a fairly realistic wolf. The fact that he could talk while wearing such a look was less disconcerting than the fact that he could do it in the first place. Harry had coined a new term for his son. He didn't think calling him a metamorph was accurate so he had taken to calling him a chameleon.
His son could become anyone and anything he wanted.
He looked down at the sleeping bundle in his arms. He idly wondered if little Lilianna would have the same ability. He smiled softly as she blinked her eyes open. It took a second for them to focus on him, and then her green was overtaken by silver to match his own. Lili's abilities had started showing themselves only yesterday and already they were rivalling her brother's. Of course, she was only three days old.
A/N: No excuses for why this is so late. But it is done now. It will be awhile before I am able to post the next story, as the three I have in the works are barely started. Happy reading in the meantime.