Author's note: This story is dedicated to my best friend I have since school. We both had not been Heyes and Curry, but I never would have managed to hold on without you. Thank you!
Also I thank Avoca for proof reading the story.
I believe to be right when I make the assumption everybody today will know Harry Potter, but maybe you need a short introduction to our other heroes in this story, who live in the late 19th century in the Wild West.
"Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry: the two most successful outlaws in the history of the West.
And all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone. This made these two latter-day Robin Hoods very popular with everyone but the railroads and the banks.
Because unlike Robin Hood, Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry robbed from the rich and kept the money for themselves. It was a good life, but times were changing.
Safes were getting better, the posses were getting bigger, sheriffs were getting smarter, and modern communications made it only a matter of time until they would be captured and maybe even killed…"
-Trailer 'Alias Smith & Jones'
Alias Harry Potter
The Day the Pilot Went Wrong
It was one of that days, everything went wrong.
In the morning all seemed to be as well as usual. The sun shone brightly and the autumn sky was speckled with little clouds. It probably wouldn't get too hot to be uncomfortable to ride and - beside the usual tension at the beginning of a working day of the Devil's-Hole-Gang - the quick breakfast and departure from their hideout went pleasantly well.
The gang wasn't too upset by Heyes's short cut through the river even though the water was cold and higher than expected. The anticipation was greater. They reached their destination as scheduled.
Wheat tried to start his usual discussion about the sharing of the workload but found himself cut off by Heyes's order to observe the chopping of the tree that was meant to block the rails - a responsible task. Over the years they had gained a lot of experience in how to block the rails efficiently so that trains could be stopped but also allowing the tree to be removed quickly when needed.
Passengers were much more cooperative and easier to handle when they could look forward to as little trouble and delay as possible. Also, their hard-earned reputation, only stealing from the rich and never senselessly hurting anyone, was very helpful. Usually the travelers weren't too eager to set the lawmen on their tracks.
Meanwhile Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry split up to check the terrain one last time and found it as well as expected. They were both looking forward to the thrill and fun the day promised them.
Around noon everything was prepared and the gang backed up behind the surrounding bushes, waiting for the train to arrive. And they waited. And waited…
"Damn Heyes, where's that train of yours?" Wheat asked short-temperedly.
"Mine?" he raised a brow above his deep brown eyes. "I thought it would be 'ours', at least the payroll it carries."
"You know what I mean…" Wheat muttered discontentedly.
"Hey, 50,000 bugs - that will pay for a damn good life down south this winter," Kid Curry interjected grinning. "It's worth waiting a while!"
Heyes and Curry exchanged a short glance then Heyes shrugged and took another look at his pocket watch.
"I don't know what happened, Wheat. It should've been here half an hour ago. Train schedules are unreliable these days. Maybe some technical… "
He was interrupted by an ear numbing bang along with a large cloud of smoke and … he blinked two times … sparkles? He shook his head.
"There she is! Go boys!" he ordered. Yelling and shooting the Devil's-Hole-Gang charged forward heading for the motionless train.
Heyes blinked again. That wasn't the expected locomotive - this was a completely unknown model to him. The whole train looked odd. 'A day for shrugging,' he thought and shrugged again. 'Never mind it has a post wagon.'
He and his partner reined in their horses beside the tracking engine.
"Stand and deliver!" Heyes ordered. An old man with a bloody wound on his temple stuck his head out.
"Who says so?" he asked weakly.
"Kid Curry" "Hannibal Heyes" they introduced each other pointing with their guns.
The old man rolled the eyes and sank down unconscious.
Heyes swore. "Hank: check him out and care for him! Kyle: find the safe! The others: out with the passengers!"
The gang worked like clockwork while Heyes and Curry observed the execution of the orders. Surprised they exchanged another glance. All the passengers where … children; fancy looking children none of them old enough to shave! They hopped out of the train, giggling and babbling and watching the location surprised.
"Where are we?" a red-haired boy with freckles all over his face asked confused.
"Well, let us see," a thin brunette girl with bushy hair answered in an overbearing tone with a strong British accent. "Northern hemisphere, autumn…" She studied the members of the gang intently. "In consideration of language and clothing late 19th century America I assume, perhaps early 20th century."
The eyes of the red haired one widened frightened. "What?"
Another boy - brunette, slender, wearing round glasses - put his hand on his shoulder. "Keep calm, Ron. We're in the Wild West. We will find out what went wrong."
The girl straightened and replied in her arrogant way: "Obviously an imbalanced combination of paraphernalia affecting the time-constant of …"
"Oh, shut up, Miss know-it-all! No one needs one of you lectures right now! What we need to know is how we get out of here!" Ron shouted.
Indignantly she closed the book in her hand with a loud flap. Heyes peeked out curiously to read the title: 'Life and Ecology of Mythical Creatures'. Heyes blinked irritated for the fourth time in less than ten minutes.
At that moment Kyle appeared, covering one hand with the other, looking scared and whined: "Heyes that damned safe bites!"
'That redhead wasn't too wrong - we have to find out how to get out of this,' Heyes thought and sighed.
It wasn't clear who should take over the lead of the children. A boy with nearly white hair and about the same age as the brunette girl spoke up arrogantly.
"I tell you, who should lead us, not a weak mud blood," he proclaimed cockily. "We need someone of old blood and capabilities proved by his membership in the right house."
He looked around with mean narrow eyes and pointed at one of the oldest boys among them. "Montague - he is one of the experienced students here and he is captain of Slytherin's Quidditch team."
The surrounding kids nodded and murmured in agreement.
The brunette girl rolled her eyes and sighed. "Fine, but we have to talk to them…" she gestured towards the armed men nearby.
"Why? They are Muggles anyway. What do they know?" the boy answered aloof. "And we have to keep our secret! No, we will make contact with Hogwarts! They will get us out of this," disgusted he looked around.
"But Malfoy …" she tried again.
"Why should we do what you say?" Malfoy interrupted her sharply.
"Because I know what I am doing! Can you claim the same for yourself?" she shot back self-confidently. The silence that followed proved he couldn't, but nobody was ready to admit that.
The girl snorted and drew back into a group of children of her own age.
The group, who happened to take charge rounded up the other children, threatening them and whispering instructions to them.
The brunette and her friends stepped aside.
"That will not work," she stated, "even if it could work it would take much too much time. What do you think, Harry?"
"Sure. And who knows what can happen meanwhile … here?" The boy with the round glasses gestured at their surroundings. "We have to investigate this ourselves, do you agree?"
She nodded approvingly.
"You said you have a plan?" Harry asked her.
"Not exactly a plan, but I know what we have to do to fix this," she answered.
"So, tell us," Harry invited her.
"Fred and George should take care of the younger ones; they are scared and will maybe do something stupid. Neville could find out if someone is missing or hurt while you and Ron search for the emergency manual," she suggested. "We have to find out how to solve this problem. I might have seen one or two Dementors exactly at the time the transition had to happen and maybe we can find out…"
Their friends agreed to her ideas and spread out to implement them. The girl herself turned around, heading for Heyes and Curry, who still curiously watched the children from a short distance.
"Who is the leader of this illustrious group?" she asked, remaining aloof, although she had to stretch up to face the armed men sitting high above her.
Heyes groaned. "You deal with her, partner. I doubt I can stand a girl like that right now," he muttered, nodded to her and hurried off to have a look at Kyle's 'biting safe'.
The post wagon was filled with odd looking luggage; colorful and in unusual forms. Heyes didn't take the time to examine it closer because the safe caught his interest immediately. Everything seemed different about this train so he wasn't too surprised to realize the safe was very strange, too.
It was a model he never ever heard of and she was a real beauty too; heavy, magnificent ornate, with a wonderful chiseled lock.
'Hello, my love, where have you been all my life?' he thought while the safe drew him under her spell. His mouth went dry and he couldn't take his bright shining eyes of her. He wanted to touch her, wanted to hear the sound of her delicious tumblers, moving under his tender hands. He wetted his lips. That beauty wasn't meant for dynamite, it would be a shame to destroy such an exquisite work of art.
Enchanted he moved closer enjoying every moment. He reached out his hand … and froze. The safe not only seemed to glow, she was completely cloaked by a nearly invisible cover of light. He hesitated and watched it thoughtful for a while. He couldn't help – he had to touch her and so he did.
Heyes recoiled and suppressed the instinct to cover his hurting hand like Kyle did before. The safe wasn't really biting, but the touch was definitively painful. Out of sight of the others he grimaced and secretly shook his hand to ease the pain. Absently his dark brown eyes studied the safe; in an odd way the safe seemed to do the same to him. Heyes thought he remembered sparkles and tiny lightning hitting his hand, but he wasn't too eager to prove it to himself.
"Kyle," he ordered "come here and touch the safe once more."
"I won't touch this safe ever again!" Kyle refused terrified.
"If the leader of the gang tells you to do something, don't you have to do it, Kyle?" Heyes asked softly but seriously.
"Aw, Heyes, aren't you such a great leader, 'cause you'd never want someone to do what you wouldn't do yourself?" Kyle replied.
Heyes sighed resigned – it obviously had to become one of those days.
Meanwhile Kid Curry talked with the brunette.
"You can call us outlaws, Miss…?"
"Granger, Hermione Granger!" she replied.
"A pleasure, Miss Granger" his reply was accepted with a majestic tilting of the head.
"Our leader is Hannibal Heyes, Miss Granger. I'm his partner, Kid Curry. You can deal with me," he told her, smiling at her gently.
A brow rose slightly above one of her brown eyes and Curry tried to size up her age. Inwardly he grinned. Had Heyes ever been to Britain without his knowledge?
"I suppose, this might be an acceptable term for this region and time period. Besides the fact you are clueless, we are in need for your help. We were on our way to Hogwarts," she explained, "but an extremely improbable event occurred..."
She continued and still smiling he tried to follow her speech but it was just too complicated.
He caught, that the kids had been on their way to some fancy boarding school, when something technical – she really couldn't have said magical, huh? – had gone wrong.
"I don't know about this technical stuff, Miss, but I will talk to my partner. I assure you no one will be hurt by us, there's nothing for you to fear. We'll try to get you outta here as fast as we can. Be so kind to ask your friends, if one of them can come up with a way to get this train back on the right track."
He gave her a last smile, tipped at his hat and turned around heading for his partner to check up on the engine and find out how they could get it going again.
On his way he passed the other kids. They seemed to be pretty careless and a little bit crazy. They were not scared; instead they were talking and playing around with fancy sticks and exploring the surroundings. Sometimes little clouds of smoke or lightings seemed to flash up. Kid Curry laughed and shook his head; he already had stopped wondering some time ago.
"Well folks, what we're gonna do now? Suggestions?" Heyes asked the members of his gang.
"Do for what?" Wheat asked grumpily. "Them kids are not our problem."
"Hey," Curry replied upset, "they are children. We stopped them. We made it our problem!"
"What do you think we're gonna do, Wheat? Killing some dozen children? Leaving them alone? Here?" Heyes added sarcastically, "Leaving those kids stranded out here would be the same as murdering them."
"Let a posse rescue them!" Wheat replied stubbornly.
"If there'll be a posse at all. Something odd 's going on here and I doubt someone will come to search for them." Then he added casually, "besides, I can't open that safe."
"What do you mean 'you can't open it?'" Wheat snapped.
"Whatever we do, we have to get inside that safe!" Curry agreed. "Damn Heyes, we're almost broke. We need that money!"
Heyes glared at him, clearly showing he was not amused by his betrayal. He frowned. This day was not going at all well and instead of the stimulating thrill of cracking a safe he was stuck with annoying children and irksome outlaws.
"What's so hard to understand in 'I can't open her'?" he snapped. "I can't even touch her! And besides the fact it's too heavily plated, Kyle let the dynamite get wet."
"You and your short cuts…" Wheat grumbled.
Heyes grimaced displeased. "Come on Kid, let's talk to our unintentional guests. They seem to be quite an interesting bunch. Maybe we can find a way out of this together."
Hermione and her friends were sitting on some logs near the rails, discussing events, when Malfoy and one of his cohorts interrupted them.
"So, what do we have here? Looking for trouble again?" he asked in his arrogant way. "What are you doing, while we are solving the problem?"
The group of friends exchanged glances and Harry nodded towards Neville.
Neville cleared his throat, wet his lips nervously and began: "As far as I can see no one's hurt besides the train driver. He's still unconscious, but the wound wasn't too serious. I applied a first-aid-spell and he's stable. No one's missing besides Colin, but I think he's only practicing the new hiding spell. It cannot last much longer and we will know it for certain in about ten minutes."
Malfoy snorted disparagingly. "Pointless - it would have been reported to us, if there were real problems!"
Again, the friends looked at each other and decided silently the twins should continue to bore Malfoy with more information he wasn't interested in. Sooner or later he had to lose his patience and leave them alone again.
The twins exchanged a glance and chuckled. "We looked after the younger ones. They're all right. We gave them something to do by asking them to help us find the invisible rabbit that got lost."
Malfoy frowned. "What rabbit?"
The twins laughed out loudly and hit their thighs. "Exactly! They'll be busy as long as we need them to be!"
Malfoy rolled his eyes and turned to leave. "You are pretty good in wasting time. Too bad it isn't part of Hogwarts curriculum. Just go on like that, while we get us back home!"
The others waited until they were alone again and laughed. Hermione shook her head and smiled. "Harry and Ron have you found the manual?"
Harry returned her smile and waved a middle-sized compendium.
"We found it, but the emergency instructions are fairly complex. There is a chapter about interrupted journeys including the procedure for an emergency restart. When the train is running at exactly 30 km/h we have to add the required paraphernalia to the additorial components applicator of the engine. Then all we have to do is to unseal the recall button and push it. The list of the ingredients is included." He took a breath and continued seriously.
"Ron unpacked the present emergency kit of the locomotive and we have a problem. He checked the included paraphernalia and noticed that one of them is missing. The vial was broken, maybe during the accident. I see no way, how we can replace it."
"What ingredient is missing?" Hermione asked.
"A kiss stolen by a good-hearted bad man," he said.
Hermione blushed, "I might know a solution. Let's prepare a receptacle for it."
The small group of kids dispersed when Heyes and Curry approached them.
"Miss Granger, this is Hannibal Heyes," Kid Curry introduced his partner. Heyes glanced at him with smiling eyes before he turned to the girl.
"I'm pleased to meet you, Miss Granger," he bowed slightly, addressing a full dimpled smile to her.
"Very pleased Mr. Heyes," she replied majestically.
"We have a problem…" they started simultaneously and broke off, facing each other confused. Curry watched the conversation with a big smile on his face, obviously enjoying himself.
"Ladies first," Heyes offered in a polite tone.
She recovered herself and began: "We figured out two main problems to continue our journey. First, we have to restart the train, which seems to me to be a simple technical problem. We would be pleased if you could help us by refilling the steam boiler. Once it is started we can manage to hold the required temperature on our own."
Heyes nodded in agreement. "That's no problem, we can handle that." He noticed her hesitating behavior. "What else?"
"Oh, well … " she proceeded still hesitating. "There's a component … you may not understand this … it's indispensably required …."
"Please don't hesitate, Miss Granger. We all have the same aim: to get you out of here," he said gently. "So, what else do you need?"
She straightened. "A kiss stolen by a good-hearted bad man."
Heyes and Curry simultaneously glanced at each other, exchanged a disbelieving smile and faced her again.
"Have I got that right? You want to be kissed …?" Heyes asked amused.
"Absolutely not, Mr. Heyes!" She replied indignantly and blushed. "I don't want anything. I need someone with bad a reputation but unsuspected kindness to kiss whoever he might want to kiss - but it has to be unexpected! A willingly given kiss wouldn't be sufficient."
Heyes turned to his partner, winked at him and then smiled at the young lady with an amused sparkle in his eyes. "I have no doubt we can manage that, too. There is someone I already have in mind who might be appropriate to your requirements." Her kind of talk seemed to be spreading, he noticed cheerfully.
"That part of the bargain will be better kept secret, agreed?" he asked her.
She nodded and smiled in relief. "I would be very grateful, sir. You mentioned that you have a problem, too?"
"Yes, Miss Granger," he started to explain. "You have to know, that we relieve people with too much money of the worry about its safety. We do that for our living. Now, we expected a considerable profit off the train we were waiting for, when yours arrived instead. I saw your post wagon may contain something valuable too, but we were not able to examine the contents of your secured repository…"
'Oh my god,' Curry thought, 'the silver tongue is running wild!'
Kid Curry rolled his eyes and groaned. "What he wants to say is, we're train robbers and need help to open that safe of yours."
Hermione smiled at him. "Of course, Mr. Curry, there was nothing to misapprehend. I will see how we may assist our mutual attempts."
Heyes took Kid Curry aside to talk to him in private.
"You're quite the right man for that little … 'extra job', Kid."
"Me? Oh no…"
"C'mon Kid, she a pretty little thing... Where's the problem?"
"She's a child!" the Kid objected incensed.
"She's a lady in distress, Kid! By the way whom would you suggest instead? Wheat, Hank or Lobo?" Heyes asked, trying to talk him into it.
The Kid seriously thought it over. "That's a good point…"
"And don't forget it's not only to kiss a little chick, there's this extra condition … I don't know anyone around in miles, whose heart is bigger than yours, Kid," Heyes added softly.
"I'd come up with some who would deny that, Heyes," Kid Curry answered and smiled at him. "What you think, how many gang leaders out there would care about what happens to a bunch of unknown kids?"
Heyes looked serious for a moment, "Maybe that's a point, but I don't admit anything. Talk like that ruins the reputation!"
Kid Curry grinned, "True…"
Heyes put his hand on Curry's shoulder and gave him a winning smile.
"And see Kid, last but not least we are partners. I'm the man for the safes. You're the man for the ladies."
When Hermione returned to brief her friends, the twins were exited. "We crack the safe? Boy, that'll be such fun! Why we didn't' have such a great idea before? What may be inside it?"
Instantly they left to examine the safe discussing some possible strategies to analyze and dispel the guarding enchantments.
The remaining friends exchanged serious glances.
"What will we do, when the safe is open?" Ron asked. "We can't leave it to them to grab everything inside whatever it may be."
Harry suggested: "We have to check the contents first and decide what they might been given. They're interested in gold and jewels I would guess and these are things Hogwarts will not miss."
"So, we have a consensus." Hermione smiled and ended the discussion.
Hermione returned to tell the conditions for their help to Heyes who accepted it. The outlaws would wait outside the wagon, only Heyes and Curry would be allowed to stay inside. They would stay in the background until they were called to step closer in case something went wrong.
A mixed group of children and outlaws headed for the luggage wagon. The atmosphere resembled a fair.
Fred and George cast their prepared spells while their friends covered them and distracted both outlaws with a couple of questions.
When the shimmer around the safe faded and the lock opened with a rich sound the twins jumped up enthusiastically and laughed.
"Wow that was such fun! We could do this all day long!" the yelled.
Heyes smiled knowingly at them, "When you're a bit older, feel free to return. I'm often in need of good men. You're always welcome in … safe business," he offered them with a wink.
Meanwhile Harry and Hermione quickly searched the safe and found nothing the outlaws shouldn't see.
Hermione turned around to call them closer, when she was grabbed by two strong arms that turned her around, wrapped her tenderly and bent her back. Before she noticed what was happening a pair of gentle lips met with hers. Her knees went weak and involuntary she responded to the kiss.
A jingling sound was heard and the smell of roses spread around them. The blonde outlaw drew back and left her perplexed while she crossed her eyes with his sky-blue ones.
"Always a pleasure, Miss," Kid Curry said gently with a smile in his eyes, tipping with a finger at the brim of his hat.
"What was that?" Ron asked while he watched the pair with a jealous look in his eyes.
"I added a confirmation sequence to the receptacle, to let us know if we succeeded," Harry explained to his friend and smiled. "Obviously we have."
The Devil's-Hole-Gang mounted their horses and prepared to leave the location of the worst train robbery ever. The safe had contained nothing valuable to them, only some strange stuff and incomprehensible papers. Heyes raised his hand, gave the starting signal and nodded towards the train.
Thanks to Kyle and Lobo the machine was under steam again; Fred and George were in the cabin, arguing about who had to shovel the coal further on and who would drive the train. They were laughing and finally the train pulled on; no one would ever know who was who, because they absolutely resembled each other.
While the gang already was on their way back to Devil's Hole, Heyes and Curry still watched the leaving train as it headed for the sunset before it disappeared in a cloud of rainbow colored sparkling smoke.
"I'll miss her." The Kid sighed. "She was just like you!"
Heyes shot him a sharp look, turned his horse and spurred it.
Kid Curry laughed and followed his partner.
It was a long hard day none of them would ever forget.
Heyes and Curry followed the others in silence, each of them tracing his own thoughts.
After a while Curry mentioned: "You know what we're gonna get, Heyes?"
Heyes pursed his lips and nodded seriously, "Yup, out of this business - and damn, soon!"