AN!: Sorry this took so long, I'm working on three different stories all at the same time. also the heatwave that hit Chicago really messed with my Asthma which in turn gave me a string of really bad Panic Attacks I'm still recovering from. I hope to have the next chapter out by the end of the month and I hope to start posting the other story I'm working on a week after that.
Friday July 1, 2016.
Harry woke up to knocking at his bedroom door. He shot out of bed and looked at his watch as he ran to the door. It was five in the morning. He opened the door and found the twins standing in the hallway wearing black dress robes.
"Get dressed." Fred said.
"WHat?" Harry asked.
"We have about two hours before the sun comes up." George said ignoring his question.
"You still have time to say goodbye. The Healers just dropped off the bodies." Fred said.
"There's time before the sun comes up to make your peace." George said.
"Right. I'll be out in a few minutes." Harry said closing the door. He he hit himself with a cleaning charm and pulled on his level one armor and a black three piece suit. As he was getting dressed Hermione woke up.
"Harry? What's going on?" She asked.
"The twins came to get me. The healers delivered the bodies early and I have a chance to get over to the burrow and say goodbye. You want to come?" He asked in a voice full of emotions that he couldn't even categorize at that moment.
"Yes. Give me a few minutes to get dressed." She said rolling out of bed and hitting herself with a cleaning charm before she ran into her closet. Harry pulled on his gun rig and his bag before tossing on his jacket.
"Winky?" Harry called out and ten seconds later she was standing there looking like she just got up and threw on some clothes.
"Yes Harry?" She asked trying to hide her tired look.
"I'm sorry to disturb you Winky but I need these things. Can you get them for me and meet me at the Burrow?" Harry asked making a list on a piece of paper.
"I'll get it for you." She said looking over the list as he wrote it.
"Thank you Winky. I know this is short notice." Harry said.
"Don't worry about it." Winky said popping out of the room.
Hermione came out of her walk in closet in a black knee length dress with a black suit jacket over it, and black pumps with low wide heels. Her hair was pulled up into a bun at the back of her head and she had a black wide brimmed hat on her head. The two linked arms and walked out of the room. The twins lead them downstairs and out the front door. They held out a gold portkey card and they touched it. Fred activated the portkey and they landed in the backyard of the burrow. The twins lead them into the house and they found Bill and Charlie sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee. Harry started to say something but Bill stopped him with a big hug.
"If I would have known." Harry got out before Bill shushed him.
"It's not your fault you weren't here. We're just lucky the twins made in out of the house alive." Bill said passing him off to Charlie who also hugged him like a brother. Bill hugged Hermione.
"At least you were here in England. We were out of the country." Charlie said looking guilty.
"Then what's my excuse?" Percy asked from the doorway to the living room. He was holding Penny protectively and there was a noticeable baby bump.
"You were home protecting your family." Bill said with a tone of finality to his voice.
"Congratulations you two." Harry said walking over to Percy with a bit of trepidation.
"You know you're a wanted fugitive right?" Percy asked but his smile told a different story.
"I know. Can a wanted fugitive hug his ministry worker brother?" Harry asked with a smile of his own.
"He better." Percy said pulling Harry into a hug.
"Penny you look amazing." Hermione said hugging her.
"I don't feel amazing. This kid is going to be very powerful. My morning sickness is off the charts." She said looking green.
"Have the twins told you about what we're doing?" Harry asked looking between Percy and Penny.
"No, what are you up to?" Percy asked.
"The twins can fill you in on the details but we're going to fight back. We're not going to allow these death eaters to kill with impunity. We're done being victims. We're also pulling out of the country for the duration of the war. Something you should think about doing Percy. You've got a family now and you know Death Eater's love going after ministry workers. You know you're on their shit list. We can pay you good money to help keep the books and set you up with a nice place in America. Also get you a good healer for Penny. The twins are in. We could use a man like you Percy. As you know logistics and bookkeeping are as important to the war effort as the soldiers on the front lines. The twins are going to act as our R&D team with Hermione, Luna, and Susan." Harry said.
"We'll think about it." Percy sad.
"Please do. We've lost enough family in this new war. We don't need to lose anymore." Harry said as Winky popped into the room looking more alive. She had two bouquets of flowers, and a small shopping bag.
"I got everything on your list Harry." She said with a sad understanding nod.
"Thank you Winky. Why don't you go back to sleep." Harry said.
"No, people are starting to come around back at the house. I'm going to make coffee." She said before she vanished. Harry looked in the bag before looking up at the brothers.
"Where…" He started to ask.
Bill cut him off by leading him out the front door to where four white stone altars were set up in front of rows of chairs. Atop the simple waist high stone tables were four dead Weasleys. They were cleaned up and their battle scars were healed. They were dressed in nice robes. Harry faltered in his step when he saw them. Hermione held his arm tighter. Harry walked up to Arthur first. He reached into his bag and pulled out a cigar and a small nightlight. He tucked the cigar into his robe pocket and put the nightlight in his hand.
"A good cigar from when you make it to the other side, and a nightlight. It's a muggle thing with a plug and a lightbulb." Harry explained to the dead man as a tear slipped down his cheek as he leaned in closer. "I'll look after the rest of the boys for you." He said softly.
Hermione sobbed next to him and he helped her to the next alter. This one had Molly. He placed the white roses on her chest and he pulled a small gold grandfather clock hand out of the bag. He waved his wand over it and it said Harry Potter on it. He tucked the clock hand into her robe pocket.
"I'll look after your boys. I promise." He said bending over to kiss her cold cheek.
Harry waited as Hermione said a few soft words and kissed Molly's cheek. They walked over to the next alter and they both sobbed as they looked at Ginny. Harry placed the Yellow roses on her chest. He pulled out a simple silver charm bracelet and the small bar of silver he asked for. He waved his wand over the bar of silver and the bracelet and made six small silver charms. A broom, a snitch, a quaffle, a set of ring, a beater's bat, and the house cup. He clipped the bracelet around her right wrist and ignore the fact that her hand was ice cold.
"I'm sorry wasn't there for you. I'm sorry I ignored you. I'm sorry little sister." He said softly as the tears rolled down his cheeks.
He bent over and kissed her cheeks before he stepped away and watched as Hermione leaned over her friend and sobbed. She spoke broken words and clutched Ginny's hand. After a few minutes she backed away from Ginny's body and ran into Harry. She spun around and clutched onto him like a drowning woman to a life preserver. Harry held her in his arms and practically carried her a few feet over to the last stone table. There they saw Ron's body. The sight of their friend broke them both. Hermione's knees buckled and she took Harry down with her. Fred came over and helped her to a seat as Harry stepped forwards. He could barely see through the tears as he reached into the bag and took out an orange Cannon's scarf he wrapped it around Ron's shoulders.
"I have to admit something. I asked out Hermione. I did it when you were still alive and I didn't ask you if it was alright. But I had to do it. I love her too much. I'm going to ask her to marry me. I hope you're happy for me. If not I'll see you at some point and you can kick my ass. I brought you something." Harry said feeling manic all of a sudden.
He reached into the bag and pulled the last thing out of the bag. It was a wood box with Highland Park 50 year old scotch. He set the box on the stone slab and conjured seven rocks glasses with a wave of his wand. He poured a few fingers into each glass and called the brother's and Hermione over. He handed out the glasses leaving the bottle and a glass next to Ron.
"I was saving my first real drink to have it with you brother. To Ron, the best brother and friend a guy could have." Harry said holding back his sobs as they all clinked glasses. They all threw back their drinks and Harry, Hermione, and the twins all gasped.
"This is really good scotch Harry." Bill said.
"Ron's first drink should be good stuff." Harry said pouring more into their glasses. At this point the bottle was more then half empty. They all sipped this glass in a heavy silence until Bill laughed. Everyone looked at him like he had two heads.
"Charlie, remember when we got into dad's firewhiskey?" Bill asked laughing. This set Charlie off.
"It burned! I didn't think anything could burn that much." Charlie said laughing.
"Dad found us and we were scared he would punish us but he took one look at us coughing on the floor and laughed at us." Bill said.
"You going to do that again?" Charlie asked in his dad's voice.
"No sir." Bill said little kid coughing before they both laughed.
As the laughing died down the air was sucked out of them and they all finished their drinks in an awkward silence. Harry finished off the bottle in all of their glasses and set the empty bottle back down next to Ron. He raised his glass and the rest of them followed his lead.
"I vow to kill them all. I'm done fucking around and taking this war easy. Every Death Eater and their minions will pay for what they did that night in blood. I will make a list and I will keep going until every fucking name is checked off." Harry said coldly as he threw back his drink and set the empty glass next to the empty bottle. He grabbed Ron's cold dead hand and a light passed between the two hands that they all saw.
"Harry you just made a vow." Bill said in a worried voice.
"Good, because I wasn't kidding. The Death Eaters will learn to fear the shadows because I might be there. We're starting from the top of the list and working our way down. Every Mage found with a dark mark will be put down like a rabid dog. I expect by the end we'll be kicking over rat holes to find the cowards. If you want to help then the twins know how you can get to us." Harry said taking Hermione's hand.
"We'll talk it over." Bill said looking cold.
"Thank you for this. Thank you for letting us come here early." Harry said.
"It's the right thing to do." Bill said hugging them. They went down the line and finished with the twins.
"We'll see you later." Fred said.
"We'll get the house ready." Harry said holding out a portkey for Hermione. When he tapped it they vanished and landed in the entryway of the townhouse.
The second they landed Hermione sobbed. Harry held back his tears. He turned to head into the dining room but she stopped him.
"Upstairs." She said in a broken voice.
Harry nodded and helped Hermione up the stairs. It was just before six and the house was mostly still asleep. Harry took Hermione to their room. The second he closed the door Hermione attacked him. He pulled back from the aggressive kiss and looked at her confused.
"I need to feel something besides crushing sadness right now. I need to feel loved." She said sobbing.
Harry nodded understanding her need. He needed to feel something too. She kissed him. He kissed her back. She grabbed his tie and pulled him to the bed. What followed was a mad dash to get undressed she pulled him into bed and on top of her. They spent the next few minutes frantically trying to forget what they just went through. When they were done Hermione wrapped her arms and legs around him and refused to let go. Harry held her firmly in his grasp and they both passed out.
A knock on their door woke them up. Harry pulled on his boxers and ran to the door. It was Dora. She was dressed in a black suit, black blouse, and black flats. She had a dark look about her like she hadn't slept in days. She took one look at the red rimmed eyes and marked up skin on his upper body and a knowing/understanding soft smile crossed her face.
"We're getting ready to head to the Burrow for the service. Hermione said she wanted to go." Dora asked.
"We went already. The twins came and got us at five and we had a predawn private service for me. Mione, do you still want to go to the public service?" He asked as Hermione woke up.
"Yes. I have to be there or people will ask questions. I also want to go to the ministry service with you guys. I'm not a wanted criminal." She said crawling out of bed.
"Well it's half past nine now. We're planning on popping over at ten." Dora said.
"I'll be down in a few minutes." Hermione said wrapping the sheet around her as she ran to the bathroom.
"Take your time. The service is set for half past ten." Dora said with a smirk as she walked away.
Harry grabbed Hermione's dress off the floor and cleaned and ironed it with a few waves of his wand. He hung it on a conjured wood hanger and hung it on the closet door. He collected her shoes and placed them by the dress. He cleaned and pressed his suit and hung it up. Hermione walked out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. Harry tracked her with his eyes the whole way. She saw him and smiled.
"What are you looking at?" She asked with a smile.
"The woman that I love." He said with a matching smile.
"Good answer. And you cleaned and pressed my dress?" She asked seeing her dress.
"It's what a good husband does." He said with a grin.
"You remember that thought years from now and we'll be happy forever. Also, here's a free show." She said dropping her towel before she walked into the closet. Harry was treated to a sight that stopped his brain from working. He walked over to the closet and saw Hermione pulled on a set of black underwear. He blinked a few times before his mouth started working.
"I'm going to go grab a shower. I'll be out in a few minutes." He said heading off to the bathroom.
Harry took a shower, wrapped a towel around himself and was shaving by the sink when Hermione walked into the bathroom dressed in the same outfit she wore that morning. She walked up to Harry and hugged him.
"This morning was hard. Today is going to suck. It's worse that you can't go." She said as Harry finished the last swipe of his razor and wiped the rest of the shaving cream off his face. He turned around and kissed her.
"I wish I could be there. For you, for our friends, for me. I can't wait for the day when I kill that old man for putting a warrant on my head." Harry said holding her.
"Until you do I'm dating an outlaw. A Jesse James type that's got a bounty on his head." She said with a soft smile.
"You want to be the Bonnie to my Clyde?" He asked kissing her.
"Rob banks and drive get away cars?" She asked.
"Sure. Except we don't have to rob banks because we're rich, so driving a getaway car is just driving because the fuzz won't be on our tail. It's less fun but on the up side there are probably wanted posters of me all over the Alley." Harry said with a mirthless grin.
"There are posters. Neville and Susan saw them the other day when they went to the bank." Hermione said.
"Do me a favor and snag me one. I want to frame it." Harry said.
"I can do that. For now I have to go. This day is going to suck." She said.
"Get through it and I'll have a warm pool and a cold drink waiting for you." Harry said kissing her.
"I love you." She said.
"I love you too. Now go." He said turning her to the door and giving her a small push.
Harry watched her go and a heavy sadness weighed him down. Harry pulled on a track suit, t-shirt, and trainers. He wore his level one armor under all of it and he had both his gun rig and his back up gun strapped to his leg. He grabbed his bag and headed downstairs. He walked into the dinning room and saw the elder Grangers, Mary, and Winky having breakfast.
"Good morning. Does anyone want to head over to the apartment before the rest of the group gets back?" Harry said.
"You heading over there now?" Dan asked checking his watch.
"Yeah. I want to get a work out in this morning. There's a running track and I had Dobby buy me a weight bench. I also wanted to get some shooting drills in. I want to start working out in my Level two armor. So when I have to wear it I won't be winded." Harry said.
"I'd like to head over with you and workout." Dan said.
"And I guess I can get started on the stack of books waiting in the library. That way I don't have to wait here until another mage comes back. It's not like I can activate the portkey without a wand." Emma said.
"Wow, I did not think about that. We need to find an alternative to the portkeys that works without magic to activate it. We're going to have a big group of muggles that need to use these things. Maybe voice command or something. I'm sure Hermione can figure it out." Harry said.
"Just dumping another problem off on to my little girl?" Dan asked.
"It's what I do. I lead the group and she figures out the magic. It's how we taught a group of school kids, some of them older than us, Defence Against the Dark Arts last year. She found the spells and taught them to me. I, in turn, taught them to the students. No one knew I was barely a step ahead of them and that Hermione was two steps ahead of me. It just worked." Harry said with a shrug.
"Why didn't she just teach the class?" Emma asked.
"Because no one would take defence lessons off a fifth year bookworm, these were her words not mine, but she was right. She told me I have what it takes to be a leader. She didn't add that I only have what it takes as long as she's behind me feeding me the next line. I'm an actor. A puppet. A name and a reputation. Very much a fake noble knight in stage play armor. Hermione is the brains. Without her there was no Harry Potter and I'm sure in the future there won't be a Harry Steel without her. Because Hermione is the only one I know that can take a problem, hit the books, and quicker than should be possible she has an answer for me. One that's simple enough for me to understand." Harry said with a shrug and a smile.
"Don't sell yourself short Harry. Hermione told us all about your escapades over the last five years. She wasn't with you the whole time and you managed to make it this far." Emma said.
"That's where you're wrong. Hermione is always with me. She the voice in the back of my head. She's always there telling me to think before I act. When I'm in a fight she's back there suggesting spells. When I'm feeling low or weak she's back there yelling at me to get off my ass. It's how I know I love her. I don't mind her being in my head one bit." Harry said with a shrug and a grin.
"Tell me about it." Dan muttered and got looks from the women seated at the table.
"I mean, Emma's in my head too and I love it. I love my wife so much." Dan said a little too fast.
"Right." Emma said in a disbelieving tone.
"Let me go grab some workout clothes and I'll be ready to go." Dan said walking out of the room with more haste than necessary as Emma laughed.
"I need to gather up all the books from the study." Emma said.
"You need a hand?" Harry asked.
"I got it. You should eat something." Winky said standing up and following Emma out.
"What would you like dear?" Mary asked clearing the table with a snap of her fingers.
"Nothing. I'm good Mary." He said dropping into a seat.
"Right. But what do you want to eat?" She asked with a smirk.
"Noth…. I see, I'm not getting up from this table without eating something am I?" He asked with a smile.
"Nope. Now what would you like?" She asked with a matching smile.
"Can you make a breakfast burrito?" He asked.
"Coming right up." She said vanishing out of the room. Twenty seconds later a cup of coffee with sugar and cream appeared on the table in front of him. A glass of orange juice popped up a few seconds later. Harry shook his head as he drained the small glass of juice. A minute later and a huge breakfast burrito the size of his head landed in front of him.
"Think it's big enough?" Harry asked looking up.
"I could have made it bigger." Mary said popping in next to him with motherly smile.
"I don't doubt you." Harry said taking a bite. As soon as the food hit his mouth he felt his appetite come back full force.
"Man this is good." He said plowing through half his burrito in a few big bites. Dan stopped by the doorway and Harry nodded.
"You think you could make a to-go cup for…" He started to ask as Mary snapped her fingers. His half of burrito was wrapped in foil paper and his coffee was in a paper cup with a lid. "You're the best." He said hugging her before he jogged out of the room.
Friday July 1, 2016. Time: 10:01 am. Location: The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole.
The crowd was gathering for the service. Bill and Charlie were standing at the back door waiting to greet the guests as they arrived. The group arrived in two clusters around two portkeys. They walked up and the Brothers greeted them with hugs, handshakes, and smiles. They hugged Hermione and they shared a small laugh like it was the first time they met that day. It took a minute to get through the group but as they were entering the house the Old Man showed up with his bird on his shoulder and big gaudy shiny silver robes. As soon as they all saw him they reacted. Bill threw up a shield spell. Charlie pulled his wand. Half the group still outside pulled wands and guns and aimed them at the old man.
"That's close enough Old Man! You're not welcome here! We all know what you did to Harry and we know you sent everyone home that night to get slaughtered! Did you know ahead of time about the attack!?" Bill asked loud enough to draw a crowd from around the side of the house. Half the ministry was there and watching this.
"William. How could you say such…." Was all the old man got out before Bill went back on the offensive.
"Where's your pet Death Eater? Did he warn you of the Attack? Is that why you made sure none of the Order was at Headquarters that night? You wouldn't want the sheep to be protected behind heavy wards. You wanted them to be at home for the slaughter." Bill asked making more than a few people look at the old man with questions in their eyes.
"I can see you've lost more than your family in the attack. I will go." The old man said looking at the crowd that formed.
"You do that. You ever step foot on this property again you'll find yourself on the wrong end of my wand. We know what you did to Harry Potter. We know you like to fuck with people's minds. You ain't fucking with our heads you old pervert. Now hit the fucking road." Bill said coldly but loud enough to make sure everyone heard it.
Dumbledore looked at Bill with a sad smile but on the inside he wanted to wring the life out of the boy. He was going to have to spend a shit load of political capital today to make this go away.
"And don't bother showing your face at the ministry today. We don't want you there either. My Gran hated you with a pasion. The fact that she died before she got a chance to spit on your grave probably pissed her off more than being murdered. I'd say that I hope you get a chance to met her in the afterlife but I doubt she's in hell and that's where you're headed." Neville said coldly.
"Back to the school Fawkes." He said and vanished in a ball of fire.
"What's this about messing with people's minds?" Shack asked. Dora turned to him and gave him a sad smile.
"We have a lot to talk about. You're not going to like it. But for now we have more pressing matters to attend to." Dora said hugging her old partner.
Friday July 1, 2016. Time: 6:30 am. Location: The Potter building, New York.
Dan watched as Harry finished his last few reps on the bench. The boy was pressing two hundred pounds. When he was done he popped up off the bench and stretched. He walked over to the pull up bar and started banging out pull ups in his level two body armor. After twenty pull ups he started doing muscle ups. Dan was getting tired just watching him. After fifty of those he hung off the bar and banged out fifty leg lifts. At that point Dan had to stop the boy.
"How are you not dead yet?" Dan asked.
"Magic. I can literally feel my muscles ripping and tearing and I can feel my magic healing them as I keep going. And now that I made myself that potion yesterday I can feel my magic working faster to fix me. It's like magical steroids. My magic is rebuilding me from the inside out. This morning I drank three big glasses of scotch and I feel fine. No hangover, no ill effects at all. On top of that I feel like I can do this all day." Harry said.
"Can I use the potion?" Dan asked.
"I'm not sure. You'll have to ask Hermione. She pointed out the potion in her potion's book. It was annotated so it's not the regular mix. I think this mix is stronger. After just two doses my eyes are way better. I can almost see without my glasses." Harry said pulling off his vest and wiping his face with his t-shirt.
"You really do depend on my daughter for everything when it comes to magic." Dan said laughing.
"It's because Hermione needs to know everything. When it comes to magic there are multiple spells that do the same thing. Like fire. There are about a hundred different fire spells used around the world for different tasks. However the flame spell, taught to us when we were first years can do almost everything the other spells can do if you're powerful enough to push your magic into the spell and over power it. Which I am. So I can use that one spell to light a cigarette or I can over power that same spell and burn a house to the ground. So I know a core group of spells that I can use for everything and I only learn new spells when I need to know them." Harry said.
"And Hermione is different?" Dan asked.
"Hermione has to know every spell. Her brain is like a library. She reads a spell, preform that spell, and stores it in her head. So while I use one fire spell to do almost everything she uses dozens of spells to do the same thing. The kicker is she's powerful enough to do almost the same thing I can do." Harry said with a shrug.
"Which way is better?" Dan asked.
"Both? Neither? A little of column A and a little of column B? Magic is fluid like that. A man can live his whole life knowing fifty spells and a handful of potions recipes and live a happy healthy life. Or they can spend their life learning everything and be happy as a pig in mud. If you dropped both of us in a maze full of deadly traps and creatures and told us to get to the end we could both make it with the knowledge in our heads. That's the thing about magic. As interesting and awesome as Magic is to look at there are some spells that have zero real life application, and I'm a pragmatist." Harry said with a shrug.
"Son, you and me are going to get along better than we think. I'm the same way. Now let's hit the running track again for a short cool down run and head down to the range for a bit of gun training. Then I want to play a round or two of Mini golf." Dan said slinging and arm around the younger man's shoulder.
"Anything to take my mind off the funerals going on that I can't attend is good with me." Harry said looking at the sunrise.
I wonder if we can get a tee time for later today?" Dan asked looking at his watch.
"I'm sure Abby can do it. Don't we need clubs?" Harry asked.
"I have my golf bag back at the townhouse you can use Emma's clubs for now and we can go shoping for a set of your own clubs later." Dan said leading them on a easy paced run.
Friday July 1, 2016. Time: 1:03pm. Location: Ministry for Magic, London.
The proceedings at the Burrow ended with the burning of the bodies at noon. The group mingled with the people still there for the next hour as they collected themselves. Watching the burning ceremony was hard on everyone. Thankfully the process used a magical fire spell that consumed the bodies in seconds and all that was left were piles of ashes. Hermione was a wreck but she steeled herself when Gorge asked her, Luna, Susan, and Neville to collect Ron's ashes into a brass urn. The process was done by hand and the ashes left on the hands were collected with a spell and placed into small glass vials as keepsakes. Hermione put her vial in her bag so fast it was like she was trying to hide something illegal. Everyone stood at the Burrow for the next hour before they left in small groups. Most of them were headed to the Ministry.
The group flooed from the Burrow to the Ministry atrium at at one and they hung around the fountain where the platform was set up and the thirteen white stone altars with dead bodies. Most of the ministry workers like the Diggels, Mafalda Hopkirk, and the Pleasegoods were up there alongside Amelia Bones, and the three Longbottoms. The last three altars held two Aurors that shared the long term care wing with the Longbottoms and Gilderoy Lockhart. The group stayed together off to the side and the adults did everything they could to surround the children as they rebuffed the press and they took the well meaning wellwishers with a nod and a shoeing hand gesture. In most cases they understood. The ones that didn't got a look from Dora and Frank and they moved on.
At half past one the minister showed up followed closely by his auror detail his undersecretary Umbridge, and the elder Malfoys. Both received more than a handful of dark stares from the gathered crowd. Hermione and Susan had to grip Neville's arms to keep him from rushing the stage and ripping Lucius' throat out with his teeth. Dora rounded on the boy and hugged him.
"You'll get your shot. But not here and not now. You don't want to make a spectacle at this service for your family. Let it go for now. Keep it to yourself." She said just loud enough for him to hear.
"But that motherfucker smiled at me. He looked me in the eyes and smiled at me." Neville growled out through clenched teeth.
"Let him smile. We'll see if he can smile when you take his fucking head off his body. He won't be smiling then will he? He'll be fucking dead. Now calm the fuck down and play it cool. This shit only works if they don't expect it. Today we bury the dead. Tomorrow we work on burying him." She said locking eyes with him. Neville looked like he was wrestling a wild best in his chest but he blinked a few times and he looked under control.
"Tomorrow." He said coldly.
"Good boy. Your gran would be proud. She understood a good revenge plot." Andy said patting him on the back.
Friday July 1, 2016. Time: 8:30am. Location: Crandon Golf Course, Biscayne bay Miami.
Harry and Dan landed in the front entryway of his Miami House right after eight. Harry gave Dan a quick tour of the house before he expanded his little black Ferrari. Harry drove them off star Island and following Dan's directions he got them to the country clubs parking lot in less than ten minutes.
"Speeding down Miami streets in a black convertible Ferrari with tan leather seats. We're a couple of white suits and pink t-shirts away from a Miami Vice episode." Dan said as Harry pulled into a spot.
"I wouldn't know. I've never seen it. Dora has. She was going to sit me down and make e watch it. Apparently I have the real car from the show." Harry said expanding their golf bags.
"WHich car?!" Dan asked.
"The Ferrari Daytona. Walter the garage guy said it was a screen accurate piano black daytona with tan leather. The car even had Miami plates. I'll let you drive it right after I let Dora have a go and that's after I can put the level of shielding I have on my little car." Harry said.
"Bless you son. Are you sure we can't get you married off to my daughter faster?" Dan said with a grin.
"I'm shocked you're taking that as lightly as you are. We're sharing a bed and you haven't even blinked at that." Harry said as they walked into the country club.
"The way I see it. I thought you two had been going at it like rabbits for years. You send your kid off to a co-ed boarding school and you have zero doubt that your kid's having sex. When Emma said you two were still virgins I almost choked on my own spit. You two nerds were the only ones not getting lucky. Besides that Hermione told us all about magical birth control her second year when she came home with a case full of potions so I know she can't get pregnant." Dan said making Harry trip on his own feet. Dan laughed so hard he dropped his golf bag.
"Look. I'm in an odd position here Kid. There's a part of me. The father of a daughter that is both disgusted and horrified. But there's a part of me, the biggest part of me, the part that's rational, is happy for you two. You're young and in love and you make eachother happy. And it's nice to know my daughter found someone that makes her happy. You're a good kid Harry, and from what my little girl told her mother, and she in turn told me, it sounds like you two are finding your way and trying to make eachother happy. I'm glad my little girl found a boy like you. You love her and have every intention of marrying her. You're not some pimple faced little jerk that played with my daughter's heart to get in her pants." Dan said leading them to the front desk.
They checked in and got their nine o'clock tee time confirmed. They got their score cards. And they headed into the pro shop to get Harry a pair of golf spikes. They spent the twenty minutes before their tee time at the small driving range. Like earlier Dan spent a bulk of the time helping Harry with his swing. But like his short game Harry was a quick study when it came to physical learning. Five minutes before their tee time Dan lead them to out to the first tee box. They strapped their bags into a golf cart at the front of the line of carts and waited to be called up.
"Today is an important day for you. It is the first time you experience the lifelong anguish that is golf. There will be days when you can't hit the ball straight to save your life. On those days you will curse the game, curse the Scottish for inventing the game, and curse me for teaching you the game. But then you'll hit that one shot. Oh son that shot will change everything. That one shot will make you walk taller and you'll come back again just so you can curse everything again. At this point you might be asking yourself why you would play this most vexing of games? You play for that one shot. That one shot is everything." Dan said.
"That one shot?" Harry said testing the thought.
"That one shot. You'll see." Dan said as the steward called them up to the tee box for their tee time.
"Who goes first?" Harry asked.
"I'll go first. This is a par five. Watch me and follow my lead." Dan said teeing off and landing half way down the fairway where it bounced and rolled to about about 220 yards away.
Harry followed him and smashed his ball using everything Dan taught him. The ball landed next to dan's ball, bounced, and rolled before coming to a stop about 250 yards away in the middle of the fairway with a good angle on the green. Dan took one look at Harry's first golf shot and hugged the boy.
"You and me are going to play every chance we can get. That was perfect son. Absolutely perfect. Let's go!" Dan said excitedly as he rushed to the cart. Harry followed at a more sedated pace with a big smile on his face.
Friday July 1, 2016. Time: 5:15 pm. Location: Townhouse, London.
The group arrived back at the townhouse with a black cloud hanging over their heads. Neville, Susan, Hermione, and Luna were each carrying a urn three of them were gold plated brass with red Auror shields on them and the last one was a gold plated brass urn with the Longbottom crest. The kids all carried the urns up to Neville and Susan's room and put them on the dresser. When Susan put her aunt's urn on the dresser she lost the last bit of composure she had in her body and she collapsed on the floor. Neville picked her up and set her on the bed.
"Neville, we're going to head to the states. You two take your time. Use your portkey to get to the New York apartment and take the portkey on the table to the LA house." Hermione said hugging Neville and Susan. Luna followed her lead and they left the room. They found Dora in the hallway.
"They going to be alright?" Dora asked.
"They have each other. They'll be fine. We'll have Marry keep an eye on them. Come on. Let's get off this cursed island." Hermione said.
"Talking like Harry now?" Dora asked with a smirk.
"It must be rubbing of me." She said with a smirk of her own.
"It depends on how hard you two were rubbing." Dora shot back making them all laugh.
They met the rest of the group of adults in the front entryway. They all portkeyed over to the New York apartment where they meet Emma and Winky. From there they took their portkeys to the LA House. They all landed in the cool 1950's modern entryway that was bathed in bright mid morning sun and they were met by Harry. He was wearing board shorts, a red hawaiian shirt left open, sunglasses, and flip flops. He was holding a tray of tropical drinks with little umbrellas in them. They heard Frank Sinatra playing on a stereo somewhere.
"Welcome to the crazy cool Potter Hollywood pad. It's my west coast home away from home where the California sun shines bright, the pool is a perfect 75 degrees, and every room has a fully stocked drinks cart. We are going to spend the next week trying to forget our dark pasts, duck our responsibilities, and drink away our sorrows. So all you hip cats and kitten take a drink." Harry said handing out drinks.
"Are we required to talk like that?" Dora asked.
"You're not required to but I have to admit it's fun. There are name tags on the bedroom doors find your rooms. On the beds I have beach wear laid out. I have stakes, chicken, and fish on the grill. We'll be having tacos in a half hour. I know you guys skipped lunch. We're eight hours behind on time here so after a good heavy meal you should all take a nap out by the pool. Tonight we have one last service. Adult Grangers and Tonks' your rooms are in the spacious pool house away from the likes of us youngsters. Frank you're stuck in the main house with us." Harry said handing out drinks and pointing out rooms. As everyone split off into their rooms Hermione hugged Harry from behind.
"You did good. Today was hard. We needed this. We still have Luna's father tonight." Hermione said handing him a rolled up piece of parchment.
"I know. I figured we could do it just after sunset. What's this." Harry asked unrolling his wanted poster.
"You wanted to frame it." She said.
"I do. Look at this dorkly looking kid. You know it's a crime that there's no price on this poster. My godfather was worth a thousand galleons. You'd think I'd be worth that much." Harry said setting the poster on the entryway table.
"Give it time. I'm sure as soon as Death Eaters start dying you'll be a prime suspect and I'm sure they'll add a price." Hermione said laughing harder then was called for but with her emotions all out of whack it was understandable.
"True. I'm hoping we can get the number up really high. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go flip my meat." Harry said.
"I thought that was my job." Hermione said with a sexy smile.
"You are on fire today. I kind of like it." Harry said with a wink as he walked out a side door and around the patio to the built in grill where Dan was standing watch with a cold drink in his hand.
In ones and twos people started coming out and taking seats at the big glass and metal table under the big awning. Winky, who changed into a very distracting white bikini went around and made sure everyone's drink was full as Harry finished the tacos. He floated platters with tacos to the table and plated up his black beans with cheese and his lime and cilantro rice. As people started tucking in they all made approving sounds around faces full of food.
"You know when you said you were going to be cooking I doubted you and I'm sorry I did this is really good food Harry." Winky said.
"I was a house elf to my cursed relatives all my life growing up. I have ten years cooking experience. You should try my buttermilk pancakes and steak and cheese omlets. Also I make a very good pot roast. Save room for dessert. I made grilled pineapple upsidedown cake, s'mores pie, and gooey double fudge brownies." Harry said as the wards triggered at the arrival of Neville and Susan.
Harry got up, and met them at the front door with two margarita. He didn't give them the big show he just hugged them, handed them their drinks and pointed them to their room so they could change.
"Thanks Harry." Neville said.
"It's the least I can do. Now hurry up and change before all the tacos are gone." Harry said patting Neville on the back.
Harry made sure everyone was well fed and their drinks stayed full. After lunch the group split up and found spots on lounge chairs stationed around the patio. Harry played host as he walked around with two blender pichers full of margaritas and daiquiris. When he wasn't filling drinks he was adjusting the playlist on his phone. He kept it light and fun with a lot of Beach Boys, Elvis, Jimmy Buffett, and the Rat Pack. The only rule was no Beatles much to Emma and Andy's dismay.
"You know Harry. A guy could get used to this." Ted said.
"You think this is fun you should come golfing with us tomorrow. I'm sure we can find a great course out here on the west coast. Or we can get up at the crack of dawn and go fishing. My Miami house had a dock and the pool house has boats sitting on a shelf." Harry said.
"Now you're talking kid. Yes to all of that." Ted said.
"I'll set it up." Harry said walking over to Abby who was wearing an equally distracting skimpy blue bikini.
"I heard all of that. I'll set it up for you." She said.
"Also find me a big deep water fishing boat. I don't trust the old wood boat on the shelf for that. Something that can fit a bunch of people comfortably. Money means nothing. Have one of the elves go collect it, shrink it, and put it in the Miami pool house. That reminds me. Melissa!" Harry called out and a tall well built red headed elf stood next to him wearing a green summer dress and sandals. Her eyes were dark green and she had a fun but intelligent look to her.
"You called Harry?" She asked with a confident heavy chicago accent.
"I did, Melissa meet Abby, Abby meet Melissa. If you'll both agree I'd like Melissa to be your full time elf assistent. Melissa's last job was personal assistant to a partner at a chicago magical law firm." Harry said.
"I worked with Mr. Levy for thirty years until he retired last year. Before that I was personal assistant to a New York magical ad agency. I worked there from 1948 to 1985 until the place closed down. I was one of the last employees they kept on the books. Before that I help run a clothing factory in Chicago from 1906 to 1948. I was a nanny before that." She said with a smile.
"Just how old are you?" Abby asked.
"136." Melissa said looking not a day over 30.
"Okay. I guess we should talk about payment." Abby said.
"No need. I will be paying Melissa the same as Dobby and WInky. She'll get a 1,000 galleon a year. I'll let you two get to know each other." Harry said walking away.
With the heavy meal and all the drinks everyone was out by eleven which back in the UK was seven. Harry cast sunshade spells over everyone before he called for Dobby.
"You called?" the elf asked. He was wearing dirty jeans, a thin flannel shirt, a wife beater undershirt, work boots, and a yellow hard hat.
"I did. How's the construction going?" Harry asked smirking at his friends outfit. He must have googled construction worker.
"Good. We have the town square up. We also have about hundred elf homes built. We also have your danger room built and the fifty human homes you asked for." Dobby said with pride.
"Wow that's way more than I thought you should have by now. You guys are way ahead of schedule." Harry said.
"That's all thanks to Tom. He had a bunch of good ideas for the elf homes and he's a good forman. Also full elves are very powerful. Building's are going up faster then expected." Dobby said.
"Well good. I plan on dropping by tomorrow or the next day. I called you because I need your help. We need to build a runeral alter back here in this back corner of the property. I also need you to go get Luna's father and bring him here later. Can you do all that?" Harry asked.
"I can. The altar is just conjured white stone usually marble. What time did you want to do this?" Dobby asked looking around at all the people asleep in lounge chairs.
"Sun set. Which is in about seven hours from now." Harry said looking at his watch.
"I'll get the body and put up the altar." Dobby said.
"Thank you Dobby." Harry said hugging the taller elf.
"You are most welcome Harry. You should get a nap. The time difference gets to you." Dobby said.
"I'll go do that." Harry said walking away.
Harry took his seat next to Hermione. He cast a calming charm on himself and he was out like a light. The next thing he knew he was being shook awake by winky. He looked at his watch and saw it was just after five. Half the people were up and moving around. Harry and Winky cooked steaks and lobster tails on the grill. They severed dinner at six and by the time it was over Dobby popped in wearing black slacks and a white button down shirt. He nodded to Harry and Harry looked to Emma who up to this point had taken on the role of Luna's new mum in a very cute way. Hermione was behind it one hundred percent and over the last few days the two were never too far apart. Emma saw the look and rubbed Luna's back as she said something to her softly. The two of then stood up and walked back into the house. Harry got everyone's attention.
"We have one last service tonight. I think we should all get ready. After this one I hope we never have to have another one of these services for a while." Harry said leading Hermione into the house.
A half hour later the group gathered in the back of the yard behind the pool house where the chest high fence was the only thing stopping you from falling off the sheer cliff the house was built on. There they found a dozen chairs and a white marble altar with Xeno Lovegood dressed in dark purple dress robes. The service was short, sad, and sweet. Luna and Emma stood in front of the altar and Luna gave a small speech that included a story about an expedition to Africa she took with her mum and dad when she was six. When she was done talking there wasn't a dry eye in the group.
There was a short precession people that went up and said their goodbyes. Almost everyone promised the dead man they would look after his little girl and they all meant it. Harry went last and when he was done he stood off to the side as Luna said her last goodbyes. Emma hugged her when she was done and Harry was given the go ahead. He put up the heat shield and hit the body with the magical fire spell Hermione gave him the day before. In a flash the body was gone. Harry, Hermione, Susan, and Neville collected the ashes into a brass urn. They collected the ashes off their hands with a spell and Dobby vanished the altar.
With that done the service was over. They all walked back to the pool area and winky handed out drinks. Luna cried herself to sleep in Emma's arms. In ones and two everyone headed off to bed. Harry was one of the last one's to go. He saw Emma still holding Luna and he smile at her. He turned the lounge chair into a comfortable chaise lounge and conjured a light blanket over them. He kissed Luna on the top of the head and Emma on the cheek.
"Thank you for looking after her." he said softly.
"How could I not. Besides, I always wanted more kids." Emma said looking down at a sleeping Luna before looking back up at him with a smile.
"Good night mum. See you in the morning." He said casting a sun shade buble around the them and heading into the house. He boded 51 elves before walking into the master bedroom. He found Hermione half asleep looking at an old book in one of his button up shirts.
"Luna?" She asked as he stripped to his boxers.
"Sleeping on your mum. I turned the chair into a comfortable chaise lounge and I cast the sun shade buble over them." Harry sad slipping into bed.
"Good. Harry, hold me." Hermione said softly as she ditched her book on the bedside table and curled up to his side.
"Alway." Harry sad holding her tight.
Harry want to bed that night feeling sad and yet happy they were still alive. It was an odd feeling. He made a promise to himself that he would keep his family safe. He would end this war. He would end the two dark lords.
Little did he know his job would get easier in the coming weeks. Words yelled in anger that day would reach the ears of the Prophets ace reporter and the world's biggest gossip Rita Skeeter. For the first time in a long time Rita got the scoop on something and instead of rushing back to the paper to print the story as fast as she could she instead took the day to chew on the accusations thrown at the Headmaster by the eldest son of his now dead allie. Over the next two weeks Rita would spend her days gathering evidence from the goblins, the Weasleys, and Harry Potter himself through the bank. The story she started putting together this day would bring down the most powerful man in the world and she didn't even know it yet. No one did.