It was Christmas, and many people had more than one reason to celebrate.

For Dumbledore and McGonagall, it was the mark of the end of the accursed audit. To be fair, McGonagall got off lighter than Dumbledore...if one could call it that. She did do most of the paperwork, since she couldn't really call the headmaster on his 'obligations' like sudden trips to the Ministry to clean up after Fudge or his cronies, leaving her with the heavier piles.

And while Dumbledore managed to get out of the paperwork by dint of dumping it on his deputy, he still got hit with all sorts of fines, some of which he would swear on his precious beard were invented solely for him in mind.

Despite evidence by a helpful Percy that indicated he was not the first Headmaster to be busted skimming too much off the top. A little bit was fine, almost expected even. But the amount he was taking had hurt the school too much to be simply ignored, as the portraits were gleeful in reminding him.

For Sirius, Remus and Snape it marked the return of their best friends, even if Lily only tentatively forgave Snape for calling her a Mudblood.

She would neither confirm nor deny the use of recreational potions given to her by Snape. All of them designed with her in mind. Apparently hearing the real reason she married James had done wonders for his hatred of the man.

For Harry, it marked the beginning of a long-term amount of amusement both at work and at home.

Mostly because he had found out quite by accident upon looking at the pass he was to deliver to Alucard as payment for dealing with a certain author also applied to the mundane world. Apparently no one had ever gotten around to fixing it.

All Integra knew was that her grip on a certain Master Vampire had become both easier and harder at the same time.

She could no longer hold monetary concerns over the bastard, but it also meant she didn't have to listen to nearly as much bitching from the other lords who had a hold on their precious budget. Well, that and they didn't have to pay nearly as much hush money to keep people caught in the middle of Alucard's "walks" quiet.

Blake was appalled when she found out what Harry had promised Alucard. For more reasons than one.

Harry was enjoying some specially made eggnog courtesy of Dobby (Lucius had discreetly 'bribed' Harry in exchange for not auditing him for at least two years) while the party at one of the few Potter manors to escape a Death Eater raid was in full swing.

Most, if not all of the valuables in the original had been automatically transferred via the Potter elves to one of the empty homes. While they couldn't save his grandparents, they were at least able to save hundreds of years of history before the fire.

"You know I never did get the story behind why you agreed to marry the Prince of Amateur Dramatics," said Harry.

"Well it wasn't lust or money, I can tell you that much," said Lily. Harry found he could get along terrifyingly well with his mother better than James.

James never did properly grow up, and was still very much a spoiled rich kid. Harry was reserving his opinion of the man until he had a better judge of his character.

To be fair, the most he knew of his father was that he was a prankster, a not-so-reformed bully, and that he had been an only child that had been spoiled by his parents who were getting on in years. Oh, and that he had played Quidditch and had been put in Gryffindor.

The information on his mother was tainted by Petunia's jealousy and Snape's bitterness about losing her to James. The teachers always had the most annoying habit of cleaning up their stories of his parents, hoping not to paint a bad picture for a bereaved orphan.

All he knew was that Lily and James had married young, and that they had started dating sometime around the middle of seventh year. Which really didn't make much sense at all, considering from what little he knew of his mother before her resurrection, she couldn't stand James and would have most certainly held a distinct dislike of him for tormenting Snape for so long, even if they weren't speaking to each other.

Hence why Harry was somewhat suspicious that there might have been spells or love potions involved.

"You do realize I'm old enough to hear the full and unvarnished story of why you two married so young, right?"

Lily looked at her drink and downed the firewhiskey in one go.

"Oh what the hell, why not. It's Christmas after all."

Harry listened intently.

"When I was about fifteen, before sixth year, Petunia became absolutely unbearable to be around. While I was commiserating on what a brat she was, Severus introduced me to a rather unusual plant."

"Ah, I had wondered where you got started on that."

Lily snorted.

"It was the muggle variety in case you were wondering. I had to wait until Alice found out I happened to be a 'purveyor of fine plants' as you so eloquently put it before I was introduced to the magical variety. Once I was properly mellow, I found dealing with my sister became much easier. However it wasn't until I went back to Hogwarts that I discovered it had another use. It made it easier not to hex James for being such a braying jackass all the time."

Harry snorted in agreement.

"Anyway it wasn't until about mid-year seventh year that James found out about it, and around Christmas he finally figured out how to get me to go out on a date with him."

"He bribed you with a bag of the high quality kind didn't he?"

"That and some really, really good scotch he pilfered from the Potter family home," agreed Lily. "Anyway one thing lead to another and while we were drunk and high, we ended up sleeping together."

Harry suddenly snorted, as he realized where this was going.

"You found out you were knocked up a few months later, held him at wand point and told him he had better take some damn responsibility for me, or you'd curse him with more than just foul language?" he guessed.

"Actually my father threatened to shot him with an old hunting rifle left behind by my great grandfather when he found what happened, but I wasn't that far behind," admitted Lily. Harry might have gotten James' looks, but it was pretty clear he inherited most of his genius and personality from her.

"Queue the cliché shotgun...or wand point...wedding," said Harry amused.

"I flat out told James if he didn't want to end up on the wrong side of my wand during our marriage, he had to make sure I had a reason not to want to kill him."

"So he started supplying you with more to keep you mellow enough not to strangle him in his sleep. That actually makes a hell of a lot more sense than you suddenly having a change of heart just because he was a rich jock who wouldn't leave you alone."

Because finding out his father knocked his mother up after a night of drinking and getting high was one of the few things he could openly believe. It explained far more than the bullshit the teachers tried to tell him when he asked the first time around.

And why Snape suddenly didn't hate James nearly as much for marrying his mother.

"One thing I never did figure out was why no one said anything when they found out I was trying to grow some in the greenhouses," said Lily.

It was illegal to grow your own in the muggle world, but no one batted an eye in the magical one. Not even one token warning from the Aurors, or any comments when they tested her for potions and she knew that it came up.

Harry rolled his eyes.

"They're stuck in the Victorian era, remember? Back then cocaine and opium were still considered perfectly legal, never mind pot."

"And how did you get started?"

"How did you think I handled coming out of the underworld after signing all that damn paperwork to bring you two back? The potions they had me on to fix my broken wrist and worn muscles made me so nauseous I couldn't eat much, so a coworker introduced me to the muggle way of getting my hunger back up. After that I found it more relaxing than trying to smoke regular tobacco when finishing long hours of signing, so I got a muggle prescription. I only ever use it after the really, really long episodes of signing, filing and stamping paperwork."

Sirius went into the back room and brought out a cage.

"You do realize I already own an owl of uncommon intelligence?" said Harry when Sirius handed him the cage.

"It's not an owl," said Sirius grinning.

Harry raised an eyebrow, before lifting the cloth covering. When he saw what was inside he began to laugh and laugh and laugh. Outside there was random lightning strikes that made quite a few people jump in surprise or fear.

It was a monkey. A Capuchin monkey to be exact. It screeched at him, and immediately scrambled up his arm and onto his shoulder where it sat, tail firmly around his neck.

"What's with the monkey?" asked James.

"His name is Jack," grinned Harry more than a little evilly. He was going to have fun with this.

"Okay, now I'm really curious as to why Sirius gave you a monkey for a pet...and why you're starting to creep me the hell out," said Remus flatly.

In lieu of explaining, Harry brought out a projector and a copy of Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

James took one look at the monkey, remembered the name his son had just given his new pet, and then immediately said "I so want a monkey now!"

"No," said Lily flatly.

"But..."

"NO. Harry gets one because he's earned it, but there is no way you're getting a monkey as well. You couldn't even remember to feed my cat, let alone bother to clean the litter box unless I hexed you repeatedly! And in case you've forgotten, your own parents refused to get you a pet when you couldn't keep a simple goldfish alive for a month!" said Lily.

James pouted.

"I still say that goldfish had to be defective..."

"That reminds me, I got an invitation from Alucard to join in on his idea of a Christmas party. Anyone else want to come?"

"I'll be keeping the idiot duo in line with Remus. Have fun, and if you're going to cause mental trauma make sure they remember you as much as they do the vampire," said Lily absentmindedly.

Harry smirked.

He knew there was a reason he liked his mother more than his own father.

As he made sure Jack was comfortable, he left with a parting shot "I still expect siblings!"


There was chaos. There was anarchy. There was diabolical laughter and screams of terror.

Basically Alucard having far too much fun with an able and willing cohort and his new pet monkey while driving a tank that they 'appropriated' from a nearby military base.

Alucard had hired some hookers, Harry was having far too much fun driving said tank and hitting every idiot dressed as a cheap Santa and generally spreading havoc and discord. They even went through a shopping mall, though Harry had been polite enough to warn them with ample amount of time so that they could clear the bottom floor. A simple bomb threat had been sufficient to insure there were minimal pedestrians unlucky enough to almost get run over.

The fact he was grinning like a madman with a massive sucker in his mouth that was designed to look like a cigar was of little importance.

Alucard was cackling like the insane Master Vampire he was, Harry was having far too much enjoyment spreading havoc to be legal, and everyone else was trying to avoid the two of them.

When Harry rammed the tank into a lake and the cops FINALLY caught up with them, he took far too much amusement in showing off the papers declaring that both of them had diplomatic immunity.

Harry was not an idiot, and Fudge never even noticed he had basically given carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wanted to a time traveling Marauder and a Master Vampire with the most twisted sense of humor outside of a dimension hopping pain in the ass known as Zelretch.

Hearing the sounds of the most inventive swearing from the detectives and cops that had come to arrest them and charge the two of them with everything under the sun and anything they could come up with only to find they could touch them was music to Harry's ears. He was so impressed that he actually took notes to share with the twins.


"Where's the Hippogryff that hit me?" moaned James from the coach. Sirius wasn't much better.

"Have fun last night?" asked Lily to Harry. She had been given a special hangover remedy courtesy of Snape, just before he left for the night.

Harry mumbled something she couldn't quite catch from under the mass of blankets. Though from his tone alone she could speculate it had something to do with closing the curtains.

Lily was almost tempted to see if he too had a hangover like his fool of a father, but she wasn't quite that cruel.

She gently shook his shoulder, and got a glare from a pair of green eyes.

"Do I have to wake up? I despise mornings," complained Harry.

"Did you have fun?" she repeated.

Harry's hand reached out of the mass of covers, and grabbed the remote off the table. He clicked on and put it on the news channel. By this time Remus had found some hangover remedies and had generously shared them with the two other Marauders.

Once they realized what they were seeing (Harry trying to amble back into a proper bed to sleep off the fun of last night), the Marauders couldn't help but feel as though their titles as Master Pranksters had come under challenge.

Chaos. Pure unbridled chaos and disbelief.

"I don't believe it," said Sirius, listening to the news anchor give a detailed list of the havoc Harry had created on Christmas with a master vampire.

James had an odd look on his face, once he realized what his son had done while he was out drinking.

"I'm so proud! I knew he took after me!" he cackled, before clutching his head.

"How did he avoid getting arrested though? I know he gave Alucard diplomatic immunity, but..."

Lily spotted something left behind by the mass of covers.

"I think our son managed to slip his own papers in with Alucard's," she said dryly, holding them up.

James was doing a jig. He had feared the worst finding out his son was an Auditor (shudder) and a Slytherin. But now he had concrete proof his son was a proper Marauder after all.

Now they just needed a proper Marauder name for him, if he didn't have one already.