Harry Potter - Gamer Neighbour
Summary: The new neighbour over the street at Privet Drive number five seems pretty normal, but not Privet Drive normal. But is anyone with the power of the gamer ever even remotely normal? No bleeding way.
Disclaimer: I do own some shit, but not any recognizable characters, places or settings in this particular fanfiction.
AN2: It's a bit early, but I promised myself before publishing chapter one that I would put up a new author note in chapter one to sort of explain Gamer Neighbour once I'd hit 1000 reviews, so there wouldn't be quite as many people getting spoiled by my revelations as if it had been there right from the start. I've also promised some explanations as to how the game mechanics work in GN, since it's such a departure from many other The Gamer-fics. It turned into a 7 page monstrosity, which is a bit much for an author note and as this site doesn't allow chapters or "stories" that are just notes, I went for g docs instead.
The monstrosity can be found through this link, if you remove the spaces: short url . at / biyT1
AN: Wow, a Harry Potter / Kinda-gamer crossover from a guy most people probably thought was dead. Who would have thought it? Yeah, I'm still around, you're not getting rid of me that easy. Just haven't written much lately. I actually have the time, especially now with the current state of the world, but true inspiration has been lacking for years now. But for some reason, this particular idea just wanted to get out of my brain and into 1's and 0's on my SSD. The 50-something kb's of pure text the first chapter turned out to be was written in a single sitting over the course of a couple of hours.
Anyway, yeah, the Harry Potter setting is probably mostly familiar to most people. It's basically the same as what you are used to, with a few tweaks. The most glaring is obviously the lack of Harry James Potter who is replaced with Violet Alyssa Potter. Yeah, fem!Harry and doubling up on the flower names. Not sure where that came from. Surprised me as well.
As for The Gamer, well... I enjoyed the start of The Gamer and have read some Gamer-based fanfiction. But I dropped the webtoon a long time ago and have a hard time reading most fanfictions based of it since it seems a lot of writers spend more time writing down new skills/abilities/perks, stat changes, level-up messages and whatnot then they do writing actual story. All well and good if that's what they like, but it's not my cup of tea. I do like the idea and potential of it however, so I went with what I would have to call a Gamer:ish kinda setup where I pick the bits I like, skip the ones I dislike, tweak things a bit and add a splash of inspiration from the tabletop RPG's I'm mostly familiar with myself, which means White Wolf's World of Darkness and Äventyrsspels Drakar och Demoner ( Adventuregames Dragons and Demons, for the non-Swedish speakers out there ).
It's also why at least chapter one is completely empty of any game-stuff until a short bit at the very end. I dislike reading a chapter filled with ability gains, relationship changes and whatnot, so writing something like that has extremely low appeal for me. The amount of Gamer:ish stuff will thus obviously be low to non-existent in most chapters, but it will crop up from time to time.
I upped the ages of the Hogwarts kids by 2 years to somewhat lessen the ick-factor, but still keeping enough of it to keep the age-gap somewhat on the naughty taboo:ish side of things. I try to avoid mentioning any years and dates, but you can assume the timeline have been moved along a bit as well which explains some bits of technology that wouldn't have been around in 1994 or book, anime, movie and music references decades earlier then their actual releases. Anyway, this is set a whole lot closer to the present date then back in 1994 as would be the case in the books. Then again, this is one of my stories. I rather doubt anyone is reading them for any sort of historical accuracy, immaculate timeline or literacy value.
Admit it, you're here for the occasional chuckle and upcoming smut.
Right, I knew it!
Good to be back.
The new neighbour across the street at number 5 was a bit of an oddity, Violet finally decided after having snuck a few peeks out of the corner of her eyes while crawling around on her hands and knees, yanking weeds out of the lawn and throwing them into a bucket she dragged around with her. After she had gotten back from Hogwarts three days ago, she had immediately been put on garden duty by Aunt Petunia, so there had been plenty of time to sneakily observe the newcomer from time to time. Just like her, he was working outside in the garden, only he was building what would probably become a small greenhouse rather then pulling weeds.
From what she had picked up from Petunia and Vernon discussing him, he'd bought the house and taken it over from the 1st of June. But hadn't actually properly moved in at the time. He had just checked over the house and garden, replaced the name on the mailbox, introduced himself to the neighbours on Privet Drive and then been absent until five days ago when he had supposedly turned up in a small lorry and started carrying cardboard boxes into the house, before driving off again. Yesterday she had been trimming the hedges when a big lorry turned up and four guys in matching clothes started moving furniture and more cardboard boxes into the house. As they were doing that, the new neighbour had driven up in a blue estate car that also seemed full to the brim with stuff.
She had covertly observed him without trying to be obvious about it ever since and after a day of infrequent glances she finally decided that he was indeed a bit odd.
Perhaps misplaced was a better word for it, she amended.
As far back as she could remember, Privet Drive had always been the very definition of normal and conformity to her. The houses looked similar and indeed, several of them were in fact pretty much identical to each other. The people were obviously different, but most had quite a lot in common with each other and certainly acted a lot like each other. The homes on Privet Drive were inevitably owned by married heterosexual couples between the ages of forty to seventy, with the man of the house usually being some sort of mid to upper level management with most of the wives being housewives. Conservative political views, well-maintained gardens and sticklers for traditional values. There were some outliers, but really, the above would describe not only most of the people on Privet Drive, but also the neighbouring streets as well.
Conformity and normality were the name of the game.
The new guy was in all honestly pretty normal from what she had observed, but most certainly not the Privet Drive-kind of normal.
She had seen and overheard him speaking to a few people when they were passing by his house and had decided that he was probably the most laid-back person she had ever come across. He stopped whatever he was doing and always walked over to greet people passing by, chatting briefly and in a friendly manner with everyone. He'd even chatted a bit with the mailman, which most of the people on Privet Drive wouldn't do as they probably saw it as beneath them to talk with a "common labourer". His voice was a slow relaxed drawl with a hint of an accent she couldn't quite identify, but it was very pleasant to listen to from what little she could overhear. He had a speaker next to the greenhouse he was building which constantly played a very eclectic mix of music on a fairly low volume as not to overly disturb anyone nearby and she would occasionally spot him nodding along to a particular song and sometimes miming along to the lyrics.
He had been wearing a black t-shirt with some lettering she hadn't been able to make out and a pair of well-worn blue jeans at first, but had removed the t-shirt an hour or so ago to work bare-chested on his little project. He would occasionally stop working to drink from cans he pulled out of a small cooler he had put in the shade of an apple tree in his garden and after the mailman had left, she had seen him sit down against that tree smoking a cigarette while going through a fairly significant amount of mail. He seemed to be in decent shape with some muscle definition, but not to body-builder levels. From the stubble and fuzz sprouting all over his cheeks, jaw and upper lip, it didn't look as if he had bothered to shave in the last two weeks or so.
She guessed that he was in his mid twenties or so, but with his beard and from this distance, it was kind of hard to tell for sure. But he most certainly looked a lot younger than any of the other houseowners in the area and other then the guys from the moving company, she hadn't seen anyone other then him actually entering number five.
She didn't know his name, which bothered her. Vernon and Petunia hadn't mentioned it and Dudley wasn't around much, usually going out right after breakfast and not getting back until supper or even later in the evenings. She had hoped to overhear it during one of the many times he'd stop to chat with someone passing by, but had yet to manage it.
"G'day, Miss Dursley."
Violet ever so slowly closed the lid after having dumped the trash and carefully turned around, her face decidedly neutral after a bit of effort to make it so instead of the wrathful horrified expression she felt would be more fitting after having been called 'Miss Dursley'.
Heck, she'd nearly spun around on the spot and decked the speaker. She got her fair share of being teased about red-heads and tempers, but had never really been able to refute it. She did have quite the temper, but tried her very best to control it.
"Potter." she carefully enunciated. "Violet Potter." she added after a few moments, then took the opportunity to carefully study the new neighbour who judging from the bags in his hands was also out to throw some trash away. He slowly blinked, looked over at number four behind her, then back at her before shrugging.
"Sorry, just assumed. I met Vernon, Petunia and have seen who must have been Dudley coming and going, just figured you'd be another Dursley who they somehow forgot to mention." he apologized. "Nick Jones, I'm new to the area. Just wanted to say 'hi' to a neighbour I haven't spoken with before." he introduced himself and after shifting both bags to his left hand, offered his right in greeting. She hesitantly offered hers in return and found her own hand pretty much dwarfed by his surprisingly large hand. He wasn't overly tall, perhaps just slightly above average or so, but he did have pretty massive hands. Not compared to Hagrid, but she did take note of them none the less.
She had been stuck at a maddening 149 centimetres in height for the last year, apparently not getting even the slightest bit taller during her entire year at Hogwarts. Her wild red hair, which was a mess of straight bits, curled bits and wavy bits gave her the illusion of a few extra centimetres, but that '149' had been pretty much burned into her memories now, after seeing those damnable numbers so often over the last year. She had put up a measuring stick against one corner of her bed at Hogwarts and religiously measured herself at least once a week. When she did anything strenuous, she'd usually put her hair up in a simple messy pony tail, but it was now fully unleashed in it's wildest state.
She knew that she was known as a bit of a tomboy and she doubted that she'd ever turned into a prim and proper well-polished girly-girl like Susan Bones or Daphne Greengrass, who were probably the most ladylike in her year. Nor was she unlikely to ever turn into something like the more relaxed, but still girly Lavender Brown or Parvati Patil whom she shared a dorm with in Gryffindor. She had more in common with Hermione, who also had a head of unruly hair and generally focused too much on her studies to ever doll herself up as much as Lav and Pat did every day. But even Hermione did put in a bit of an effort to tidy herself up in the mornings before facing the world outside the dorm. Violet usually settled for washing her face, raking a brush through her hair a couple of times and then she was off in search of adventure, breakfast and studies, not necessarily in that order.
It was probably why she got along pretty well with the boys, she was sometimes more like one of them then one of the girls. But she had started attracting attention from the boys for more then her skills in Quidditch, status as the girl-who-lived and her unbeaten record for longest burp which she had set during a burping contest in her first year in Hogwarts.
She was short, but frequently on her feet and usually not just sedately walking either. She darted at whatever caught her interest and even when she walked, she had to move her legs pretty darn quick to keep up with her usually taller companions. She knew that her legs were rated the highest in her year and were in the top three of all years, according to a poll many of the boys had participated in earlier in the year. Her bum was also considered somewhat of a work of art, it certainly wasn't on the bigger side of things and she'd never have the kind of stacked rear that Angelina sported, but hers was nothing to sneeze at, firm, perky and smooth as silk. Up top she also wasn't competing for any of the top spots at Hogwarts, but she measured up pretty well in her own year. And unlike someone like Susan Bones who was much bigger, hers were just as firm and perky as her bum. Her short size also made her C-sized baps appear pretty darn massive.
Tomboy she might be, but she knew that boys were finding her attractive.
"Nice to meet you, _Mister Jones_." she carefully offered, then couldn't help but give a brief choked chuckle that probably sounded more like something had gotten caught in her throat as she took note of the white letters on his blue t-shirt. It was now seven days since she had first returned to Privet Drive and she had never seen him in anything but a t-shirt or bare-chested if he was outside working for any extended amount of time. This particular one boldly proclaimed that "Fuck is the most versatile word in the English language" in bright white letters.
"Likewise." he responded with a bit of a smile, obviously having connected her gaze briefly dipping to his chest with the weird noise she had just made. "Well, have a good day, Miss _Potter_. See ya around." he finished with an obvious emphasis on her last name as he turned around and headed for his own trash can outside number five, apparently having crossed the street on his way to it just to introduce himself to her.
"Have a nice day, Mister Jones." she offered and prepared to turn around in order to walk back inside.
"Nick is fine." he called back over his shoulder with an absent wave.
Nick Jones. Normal, but not Privet Drive normal.
"So hungry." Violet muttered. "Ruddy diet." she added as she nearly stalked towards the local supermarket, wiping a bit of drool away from the corner of her mouth now when her goal was in sight. It was not often that she found herself in full agreement with Vernon of all people, but grapefruit, other fruits, vegetables and similar 'rabbit food' as Vernon put it, did not make a full meal, especially not after this many days of nothing but that. They'd even stuck to that crap for lunches, which Dudley usually didn't attend in favour of spending time with his friends or whatever the heck he spent his days doing. This diet was doing weird things to her, other then causing her to constantly be low-key starved for something more substantial.
She could still remember bits and pieces of last nights dream, when the heroes of the Roasted Potato Squad had come to rescue her from the Evil Bunny Brigade terrorists that held her captive and was force feeding her bits and pieces of lettuce, carrots and grass. She had woken up just as the Roasted Potato Squad had invited her to an all-she-could-eat victory meat buffet at the Bacon Kings food-themed palace, surrounded by a delicious-smelling gravy moat.
Yeah, it was a weird dream.
She didn't have much in the way of money, but after sneakily rummaging through the mess that was Dudley's room she had found small amount of cash in a number of places and after a bit of hesitation taken some of it. Based on the odd locations where she had found money under, behind and inside things, she guessed that Dudley wasn't big on keeping track of where all of it was and had thusly liberated five pounds for her own use.
Vernon was at work and Aunt Petunia had dragged Dudley off to shop for new clothes to celebrate how 'well' the diet was working.
She snorted. She wasn't sure if Dudley had lost any weight or not, although she did feel like his complexion looked slightly better now compared to when she first saw him after returning from Hogwarts. He was probably sneaking as much junk food, snacks and candy in as possible whenever he left the house, which was the better part of most days. But at least he did get some fruits and veggies into him now when eating at home, which was something that had been in short supply in the Dursley household for as long as she could remember.
But with the diet in place for breakfast, no Petunia at home for lunch to open the now locked freezer, refrigerator and cupboards, Violet was freaking starving, which is why she had decided to brave Dudley's room looking for money. Five pounds wasn't a lot, but it would get her something she could get by on for a bit and some extra to hide away for possible future needs. It was still just half-way through July, so she had a lot of time left until she would be back at Hogwarts and regular meals again.
Merlin, she hoped she would be able to get away and stay with either Hermione or Ron before then. The thought of having to stay with the Dursley's all the way to September first was horrifying.
"A diet? At your age, shorty?" a now familiar voice spoke up from her right and she damn well nearly jumped out of her ratty second-hand dress in surprise.
"Gagh!" she exclaimed as her right hand slapped against her chest, trying to keep her now wildly beating heart from jumping out of her body. "Don't startle me like that, Mister Jones!" she admonished, her eyes widening slightly as she noticed that this was the first time in two weeks that she saw the new neighbour in clothes other then jeans or shorts with or without a t-shirt. He was actually wearing a pretty snazzy suit, complete with a red shirt and a black airplane-patterned tie, although the shirt now had the top two buttons unbuttoned and the tie had been loosened, giving him a somewhat sloppy appearance. His left hand held a black briefcase that looked as if it had seen quite a lot of wear and tear over a number of years. It was also the first time she had seen him shaved and she decided that her earlier estimation of his age as being around his mid twenties was probably correct. Possibly even a bit younger, but that could just be the novelty of seeing him without his beard.
"Ah, sorry." he deflected. "Or well, since you called me Mister again, I'm actually not that sorry. You earned it." he snorted and shook his head. "But a diet, at your age? You're still growing, squirt. Don't mess up your development by messing with your nutritional intake. Impressing a boy, your friends or whatever is not worth the possible future issues that can come from not eating properly while you're still growing." he added with a somewhat serious expression and tone of voice instead of the complete relaxation he had shown off when he introduced himself and from the few times she had overheard him speaking to others.
"Not my choice. My cousin is on a diet and Aunt Petunia is forcing all of us to go along with it." she grumbled, then she glared up at him. "And squirt? You want to rephrase that, _Mister Jones_?" she asked and clenched her right fist in his direction, then almost immediately regretted doing so. The hunger seemed to have shortened her fuse by a significant amount, if she was acting this belligerent towards someone she'd only exchanged a few sentences with in the past. Her temper was well-known by all who had spent any substantial amount of time around her, but she usually managed to hold it in around people she didn't know very well. She opened her mouth to offer up a hasty apology, but found herself cut off before she could.
"Hah!" he chortled with a big smile. "You may want to have your thumb on the outside if you're going to be swinging that fist around, kiddo. You'll break it if you try to sock me one like that." he hinted and clenched his own fist for a few seconds to demonstrate, then unclenched it and poked her upper right arm. "Besides, with these tiny frail little twig-like things, you'd probably hurt yourself more then me even if you managed to avoid breaking your own thumb in the process." he laughed and followed her into the supermarket, grabbing a basket on the go and stuffing his briefcase inside of it.
She moved her thumb out from underneath her fingers and glanced down at her fist as she turned it back and forth a few times, observing the new positioning of her fingers for a few seconds before she unclenched her fist and glared at the man she was now absently following around the supermarket, observing how he picked up some carrots, bell peppers, lime, papaya and cherry tomatoes from the fruit and vegetable section.
"Keep it up with the kiddo, squirts and whatnot and I'll show you twig-like, _Mister Jones_." she grumbled, no longer sorry at all for being belligerent and certainly in no mood to give the apology she had been about to offer up.
She wasn't quite sure why she kept pace with him around the supermarket instead of doing as she had planned and buying some chocolate bars, power bars or something else that would be fast to eat and easy to hide away, then get away from the supermarket before any nosy neighbours or annoying friends of Dudley could spot her. She had been planning to be in and out of the supermarket then back at number four as fast as possible, taking the opportunity to relax on a comfy lawn chair in the small back yard. Instead she found herself following the odd-normal new neighbour around the store to sections she hadn't planned on going through.
"Sure, sure. I'm trembling with fear, dreading the day your mighty fist will fall upon me like a thunderbolt from Zeus himself." he snorted dismissively. "Hand me two cans of coconut milk, will ya?" he asked and pointed to a shelf on the other side of her from him. She glared at him for a moment, then yanked two cans off the shelf and put them into his basket. "But seriously, I can understand Vernon and Dudley being on a diet, the two of them would likely benefit from trimming down a bit. But your Aunt and you? She'll look like a cross between a scare-crow and a giraffe if she slims down any and you are still growing." he continued in a serious voice and let his gaze sweep over her from top to bottom. "You are kind of a scrawny little midget already, shorty. God knows what will happen if you go on an extended diet, you might just shrivel up and disappear entirely." he jokingly added with a brief chuckle.
He damn well nearly found himself bowled over by 149 centimetres of furious hellcat out for blood, but she just barely managed to restrain herself.
"You are without a doubt the second largest arse I've ever met." Violet fumed and clenched both her fists, although she did take care not to clench her thumbs this time. "No, wait, third largest!" she changed her mind, then thought it over a bit more. "Uhm, tenth largest arse I've ever met!" she finally exclaimed and was met with a somewhat surprised expression for a few seconds, before he chuckled again.
"That was oddly specific, but I love it. You're a hoot, short stuff. Red-heads for the win." he responded with a big smile.
Vernon. Dudley. Voldemort. Snape. Filch. Draco. Lockheart. Pettigrew. Fudge.
Mister Jones was annoying, but she had to give an edge to those nine on the arsehole scale. For some reason, she didn't really take it personally when he taunted and teased her. It was kind of like with the twins. They could turn someone's skin purple one second, the next they were laughing while their victim chased them down intent on murdering them and five minutes later, all three could be found laughing somewhere with the twins offering to prank someone on the previously mad victims behalf. It was impossible to stay mad at them for very long and she had a feeling it was the same with Mister Jones. It was hard to take whatever he said seriously and it was clear that it wasn't from malice or ill intent he said it.
"Why are you in a suit anyway? I didn't think you owned anything but inappropriate t-shirts, _Mister Jones_." she asked, wanting to switch subjects.
"Meh, had a boring meeting in London this morning I couldn't get out of, so I had to dress up for a bit." he admitted and shuddered theatrically. "I usually try to avoid anything that requires me to wear this sort of shit, but them's the breaks."
"Huh, I don't think I've ever seen you do anything except muck about in your garden, stay indoors doing whatever and go for an evening walk or jog." Violet commented, that basically being the only things she had ever seen him doing since she returned from Hogwarts. He seemed to spend just about all of his time at home except for evening walks or jogs.
"I'm fortunate enough that I can do just about all of my work from home according to my own schedule and take great pleasure in doing so, brat." he chuckled and stopped to stare at packets of boneless chicken thigh, giving them all a quick look over before he settled for one of them and transferred to his basket.
"Oh? What do you do for a living, _Mister Jones_?" she asked with an arched eyebrow.
"A lot of research and a bit of writing." he replied with a shrug. "My publisher asked me to come in today to approve the first print of a new book and they wouldn't let me get out of it. I tried to tell them that if they were happy with it, I likely would be as well. But apparently I just had to see it in person to give my stamp of approval." he grumbled with a bit of vexation in his expression.
"A book? What's it about?" she asked, more to be polite then out of genuine interest.
"A biography of a great but heavily flawed man." he promptly responded but didn't offer any more on that particular subject. Instead he added multiple cans of beer and two large bottles of Pepsi to his basket, then turned around and stopped in his tracks as Violet found herself deliberating over what sort of chocolate bars she wanted to get for herself. After a bit of mental gymnastics to calculate what would get her the most for the five pounds she had, she started snatching up bar after bar, making some sacrifices in taste to get what was cheaper. "What the hell sort of diet are you on, lass? The starvation-then-binging-on-chocolate one?" he asked with a faintly bemused expression. "While I don't approve of a growing girl being on any sort of a diet, whatever you are on just seems weird."
"Dudley's the one on a diet, the rest of us are just forced to go along with it." she snarked and grabbed a final bar of chocolate. "My Aunt put locks on everything, then dragged Dudley off to shop for clothes. Breakfast was grapefruit and I can't get to anything to eat for lunch." she sighed and slumped somewhat.
"Hmmm, I see." he said and walked up to her, while she gave him a belligerent glare with an arm full of chocolate bars. He looked her over from head to toe again, his gaze seeming to focus on her dress for a few moments while she tried to keep her expression from showing any sort of unease. Pretty much every piece of muggle clothing she had was bought by Petunia from second-hand stores and while they fit, they weren't the most flattering and often pretty worn out. "Potter. Dursley. Adoption? Fostering? Perhaps it's..." he mumbled mostly to himself and barely audible, but she could make it out. He shrugged and his expression cleared up, apparently giving up on whatever train of thought he'd been on. "Ah well, hope you like Thai food then, shorty." he simply stated and patted her head, ruffling up her hair with a grin, before he headed over to stand in line for one of the cashiers.
"Thai food? What?" she questioned, hastily scurrying over to take her place in the que behind him.
"I just had a coffee and a doughnut in the car on the way back from London to tide me over, but no real food for lunch. Thus, I'll be making some Thai for a late lunch slash afternoon snack. You are invited and declining is not an option." he answered airily.
A few minutes later, she found herself seated in the passenger seat of his blue Audi which was parked not far from the supermarket, pretty near to where he had almost scared the shit out her with his unexpected arrival.
She had no idea how or why she found herself there, nor any memory of getting into the car. After she had questioned him how it could be classed as an invitation if she couldn't refuse it, he had offered her to think of it as kidnapping if she preferred that term, then grumbled to himself that he should have picked a better target for his first kidnapping then some scrawny little scarecrow of a tomboy and after that, they had traded insults back and forth for a bit and now she was in his car, with an armful of chocolate bars.
"Here." he offered and handed her a plastic bag from a storage compartment in the driver's side door. "Better keep them all in this before all the hot air you're blowing melts them all." he added as he drove the car back towards Privet Drive, one arm hanging lazily out of the window, the other holding the plastic bag out towards her, one of his legs keeping the steering wheel in position.
Oh, that's right, he got her so annoyed that all her focus was on that, while her body just ambled along on autopilot.
"I may just have to upgrade you to ninth or even eight on the list..." she groused but accepted the bag and put her chocolate bars in it.
"Looking forward to it." he laughed and moved the hand that had been holding the bag back to the steering wheel.
"So, what are you making?" Violet asked as she returned to the kitchen after having had a quick look around the house after her 'host' had parked himself in the kitchen and started prepping, telling her to have a look around if she wanted, since it would probably take ages to make it around the place on her short legs.
The house was about the same size as number four, perhaps a tad larger but it was hard to tell for sure since the interior of it was so different. The front entrance led them straight into a huge room, which served as both entry, living room, kitchen and dining room from the look of things. The ground floor also had two bathrooms, a washroom and for someone who hadn't lived there for very long, an extremely messy room which seemed to serve as an office or possibly his designated writing area. The only tidy bit of it was the area directly around a computer, keyboard, mouse and monitor in the centre of the desk. The rest was a mess of paper, post it notes, empty coffee cups, empty beer cans, dictionaries, thesauruses, several medical textbooks and stapled to one of the walls was a big map of Great Britain covered with coloured pins and post it notes with messy unintelligible writing. Upstairs there was a master bedroom, two smaller bedrooms and another pretty big bathroom with a massive hot tub that could probably seat six or seven people at once.
Or Vernon with a bit of room to spare.
There was another room which seemed to take up a sizeable part of the upper floor, but the door was closed and for some reason featured a cartoon picture of a black-haired man in a white lab coat pointing at his own face with the caption "I'm mad scientist! It's so cool! Sonofabitch!". She had no idea whatsoever what that indicated or where it came from, but it was certainly confusing.
A quick look at the back yard through a window had made her jaw drop in shock and envy for a bit. The even numbers on Privet Drive all had pretty small back yards, which she had never minded all that much since that meant there was less garden to do chores in. She'd never bothered to pay attention to it before, but it seemed that the uneven numbers across the street from number four had a much more sizeable back yard, though most of this particular one featured a pretty big swimming pool. She hastily scanned the back yard and felt another sting of envy once she realized that the pool made it so that there was probably less lawn to move and less space for weeds to grow here in spite of the much bigger back yard then number four had. She would have happily accepted a bigger back yard and more chores to do, if it meant the Dursley's had a pool too.
The kitchen area was almost more impressive then the pool in the back yard and she forced down another wave of envy as she looked it over. Plenty of space to work in and move around in, modern appliances, two big Owens, eight burners, a massive sink and a big-ass dishwasher that seemed big enough that she could probably get inside it without having to hunch down too much. A wide window over the sink featured a shelf filled with a variety of herbs growing in colourful pots. It was a pretty big difference compared to the Dursley kitchen.
"My take on Som Tam, a papaya salad, as a starter. Then my chicken Pad Krapow, a fried Thai basil chicken dish. I usually skip dessert myself, but if you want something sweet afterwards, I think I have a bit of ice cream from when I had a hankering for it last week." he responded while mincing the chicken thighs he'd bought earlier with quick, deft knifework. Once the chicken was diced, he washed his hands in the sink, washed the knife and resharpened it before putting it aside to dry, then looked over at her as he dried his hands. "Any allergies, shorty? How well do you handle spice?"
"Uh, no allergies that I know of." she replied with a hint of confusion, then scrounged her face up." Probably not all that well. Uncle Vernon holds no truck with foreign food." she admitted with some reluctance. He fell silent for a few seconds and once again gave her that odd considering look, before he seemed to shake it off.
"Very well." he said and took new knife out of a wood block on the counter, then reached for a sliced piece of chili which was resting in a small porcelain bowl along with many other slices of chili. He deftly cut off a small piece, stuck it on a wooden toothpick from a small plastic container and offered it to her. "Have a taste. If you throw up or start crying, I know to make everything very mild. If your eyes just tear up a bit, I'll probably have to tone down the basil chicken a bit. If you get it down and ask why I use such weak-arse chilies, I'll know to add some more." he instructed with a small grin, causing her to look down at the fairly innocent-looking piece of chili stuck on the end of the toothpick.
She kept her expression neutral but suspected that she looked fairly flush and quite possibly even sweated a bit after she'd gobbled up the piece of chili.
"Go easy on both the salad and basil chicken, I see." he stated with a sage nod, then snatched an empty glass from one of the shelves then walked over to fill half of it up with milk. "Here, it'll ease the burn." he offered and she gratefully accepted the glass of milk and started swishing it around her mouth while he brought out a new chopping board and moved most of the chilies to that before chopping it up in smaller bits, which were quickly transferred to a small bowl to which he added olive oil, rice vinegar, fish sauce and a splash of soy sauce. "No worries, I'll make the food itself milder, then use this to spice it up a bit for myself."
"Many thanks, kidnapper." she managed to get out.
"No worries, pint-sized hostage." he chuckled.
Violet kept on staring at the door, as if by doing so it would somehow magically unlock and let her get inside. Her gaze slowly moved back to the piece of paper now stapled to the door. She had already read it multiple times, but she found herself doing it once again.
Won a cruise for three people. Left twenty pounds on the kitchen table. Don't wreck the place or do anything unnatural.
"Yeah, great. Would have been better if you had left the bloody key for me too!" she snarled out loud, clenched her fist and slammed it into the door with a dull thud. "Shit!" she spat out, forced her eyes shut to stop the tears she could feel welling up, spun around and rested her back against the door, slowly letting her body slide down until she was seated. She drew her legs back against her chest, rested her forehead on her knees and wrapped her arms around her legs. If her stomach wasn't already full with two big servings of papaya salad and a big serving of basil chicken on rice, with some salted Carmel vanilla ice-cream to boot, the bitterness, hatred and self-loathing she was overwhelmed with at the moment could probably have fed an army.
"I will not cry. I will not FUCKING cry!" she hissed and forced herself to take deep slow breaths of air, holding back what felt like an inevitable wave of panic. She didn't know for how long she just sat there and breathed, but after a while, she started thinking about her situation. "Okay, think Vi, think. The shed in the back yard can't be locked, so that is open. There are tools there, so I can just smash a window and get into the house if I really need to. But Vernon will kill me if I do. Some of my yard clothes are there and there are the sacks of dirt for the flowerbeds in there, so I can improvise a bed and a blanket. My window is open, so Hedwig can get in and out and she can hunt for food, so she won't starve. If I can get the bars off, I might be able to go in through that window, otherwise I will have to sleep here. I have my chocolate and five pounds, which I don't understand. Nick must have paid for my chocolate, but I don't remember him doing it." she started mumbling to herself, vocalizing her thoughts.
"When it gets dark, I can try to get the bars off. If I can't, I'll sleep in the shed. Tomorrow, I can use the payphone outside the supermarket to call Hermione, if I can get her number from somewhere. Or I can buy a pen and paper, then send Hedwig. But if Hermione is on vacation somewhere, I may not be able to reach her and it could take time for Hedwig to get there. Write Ron instead? The twins know how to get here, surely they must remember about that. I have chocolate, I have a place to sleep, I can drink rainwater from the barrel. I'll try to call Hermione, if that doesn't work, I'll send Hedwig to Ron. One day, two days tops until help is here. I can do that." she tried to convince herself.
"Yeeeeeeeeah, I'm not a big fan of that plan. If you think I'm going to let you sleep in a shed, you'd better reconsider." drawled a male voice which caused Violet to freeze for a second, then she slowly raised her head and looked up at Nick standing nearby with a smoking cigarette in his hands and one of his eyebrows reaching for the skies as he looked down on her. His gaze moved upwards to the paper on the door and he approached the door and thus her a bit, swiftly reading the extremely brief message. "Right, well..." he sighed and shook his head, an utterly disappointed expression on his face for a few seconds, before it turned into a more neutral one with a small smile on his face as he squatted down in front of her. "Seems like I'm going to have to kidnap you again, shorty. Really thought my next kidnapping victim would be a wealthy blonde big-boobed supermodel or something, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles I guess."
"W-what are you doing here?" she asked in a strangled tone of voice, staring up at him with disbelief in her eyes and a shocked expression on her face.
"Popped outside for a smoke and saw you motionless in front of the door, so I walked over and waited to see what was going on. Even had time to finish my first and start smoking a second cigarette before you started assaulting that door." he remarked and glanced up at the note on the door again, then back down at her. "Heard and seen enough to figure that you're due for another kidnapping. You'll sleep in one of the guest bedrooms tonight." he declared and reached out and ruffled her hair with the hand that wasn't holding a smoking cigarette. "If you want to talk, I'll listen, but I won't ask any questions tonight. If you want to go straight to bed, that's fine. If you want to freshen up and see if I can find some clean clothes that somewhat fits you before going to bed, that's fine. If you want to watch a movie or something, that's fine. If you want company, fine. If you want me to stay in my office, fine. But you are not fucking sleeping in a fucking shed drinking fucking rainwater from a fucking barrel on my fucking watch."
Violet once again had to close her eyes to stop tears from falling and she slowly leaned back against the door, letting the back of her head rest against it for a few seconds.
"A bath and some clean clothes would be nice." she managed to get out in a somewhat steady voice.
"Consider it done." he agreed and his left hand which was still alternating between patting her head and stroking her hair moved away. As she opened her eyes again, she saw him rising and offering up that hand to take. She managed a small shaky smile and held his hand as he pulled her back onto her feet. She let go of his hand and bent town to pick up the bag with chocolate she had dropped after realizing that the three Dursley's had left her on her own, then followed Nick back across the street towards number five. Their size difference made the selection of clothes available somewhat limited, but she found herself chuckling weakly as she was pushed towards one of the bathrooms carrying a pair of comfortable somewhat longer-legged black shorts that would be more like short-legged pants on her, a pair of dark purple silk briefs that probably were way to big but still better then going commando and a black female body inspector t-shirt she would probably be swimming in later.
"Right. Haven't stocked overly much on female hygiene products, but I do expect a my baby sister and nieces to visit in a few months, so I brought some body soaps, shampoos, skin care products, makeup kit, perfumes, deodorants and some other bits and bobs I had lying around my old place. It should all be under the sink. Grab and use whatever you feel like. Should also be extra toothbrushes, toothpaste and whatnot under there. Towels over there on the left. Guest bathrobes to the right of the towels." Nick drawled as he waited outside the bathroom, indicating where stuff was by pointing through the doorway. "Take your time and holler if you need anything else." he said and moved off towards where she knew his office was.
She put the clothes down and crouched down to see what he had under the sink, picking through it all with a small sense of wonder, not knowing what half of them were or was used for. The other girls at Gryffindor certainly seemed to have a lot of stuff like this, but she was hardly used to it. She glanced back over her shoulder as she heard Nick stomping back from his office and tilted her head in confusion as he seemed to have found some gloves and a plastic folder in there, wondering absently what the hell he would need that for. Eventually she just grabbed a body soap and a shampoo at random, then got up, closed and locked the door, then started undressing.
A bath and some clean clothes did sound nice. Really nice. Opportunities to take an actual bath rather then just a quick shower were few and far between at number four.
Name: Violet Alyssa Potter
Age: 15 ( 16 on July 31st )
Level: 16 ( 12,5% to level )
Health Points: 12
Mana Pool: 65
Nick sighed and rubbed his right temple, slowly turning his office chair as the status screen kept itself right smack dab in the centre of his field of vision in spite of the fact that he was spinning around.
The headaches he used to get whenever he made use out of this weird as hell ability had been growing less and less of an issue the more he used it. Now he was at a point when it just gave a mild throbbing sensation if he kept it brief enough. He wished he knew what the hell it was, he wished he knew more about how it worked and most of all, he wished he knew just who the hell he was.
People don't just pop into existence from nothing, at least he didn't think they did.
But his very first memory wasn't even two months old, there was absolutely no clear memories of anything about his life until he suddenly became aware of himself, sitting inside a car outside of his newly purchased home on Privet Drive number five, waiting for the realtor to turn up with his keys. How he knew that he was waiting for the realtor was a mystery, he just knew that he was. After he'd gotten the keys and signed one final bit of paperwork about those very keys, the realtor left and he spent an hour or so walking around the property, wondering what he hell he was doing there and who the hell he was. According to the paperwork, he was Nick Edward Jones and it felt kind of, nearly, natural to write his signature as such while he did it, but something just felt wrong and off about it once he stopped writing his signature.
His head had started aching like hell and he'd crumbled to his knees from the pain in the middle of the upstairs bathroom, it had hurt like hell for perhaps four or five minutes in which he'd just been kneeling and making keening grunting noises, before the pain reduced to manageable levels. He'd been breathing like he'd just run a marathon and was sweating rivers, so he'd just figured out that he needed to get his phone out and call for an ambulance when he noted his own status screen floating around in front of his eyes. After staring at it for a bit, he'd figured out how to move to different tabs and subsections, looking at other information or deeper into the current information. He'd also spotted what was apparently his Main Questline.
He honestly thought that he was going completely and utterly bonkers, but eventually managed to get rid of the status screen and that slowly made the headache go away as well. He still almost called for an ambulance, half-way convinced that not only did he have amnesia and some sort of brain aneurysm, but also some sort of delusion. But five minutes later, he felt perfectly fine and his thoughts were a lot clearer. He would also get these weird little flashes. Like after he had decided not to call and ambulance, he stood up and figured that if there wasn't anything else to do in his new home, he might just as well go back after first introducing himself to his neighbours.
He'd been confused as he couldn't recall where he had started from, then he'd gotten that weird flash and somehow knew the address to his old home which he'd returned to after a brief round of greetings.
In the weeks since, he'd started figuring out more and more about his weird ability and gotten sporadic burst of memories from what may have been his past.
He went back to the previous entry he had been looking at, one of the entries in his own relationships tab. Through that he'd managed to go one deeper and see some basic stats on Violet. Which was both impressive and scary.
The entry he had been looking at in his relationship tab before going deeper to see Violets stats was her entry. It was a pretty weird one, because all others were sorted in alphabetical order according to how high his relationship to them had been levelled. But ever since he first introduced himself to her, she had jumped to the top and remained so even if there were others who should have been sorted higher then her.
Then again, considering that he apparently had a Main Questline that involved her, perhaps that made some sort of sense.
Violet Alyssa Potter, Acquaintance(Houseguest). Respect: 10/100, Affection: 8/100, Obedience: 7/100
Pretty low stats, but he knew from experience over the last couple of weeks that it wasn't that difficult to level any of those 3 values as long as you had patience, some sort of social skills and enough brains to figure out what added to them and what caused subtractions. Someone as starved for friendship, understanding and basic human decency as Violet would be easy to level, especially since she was now actually in his house, as opposed to some young girl he'd occasionally spot across the street.
He went back again and switched to the quest tab.
Main Questline: *Save Potter ( 1/150 )
Objective: Save Violet, keep her safe and secure. Help her grow stronger and enable her to survive her 4th year at Hogwarts and the Tri-Wizard Tournament
Interesting, it was now at 1/150 instead of 0/150 as it had been ever since he first became aware of this quest. Did it happen when he 'kidnapped' her after she had been locked out of her home?
Although he was kinda, sorta, mostly responsible for it?
It was after all he who had arranged for the Dursleys to 'win' a 5-week all-inclusive cruise for three when Petunia and Dudley was out shopping. Seriously, what sort of company would have any sort of competition for an expensive cruise without any sort of entry fee or some other way to make their money back or make up for the cost otherwise? He just approached her with the wig and beard now shoved into his briefcase, congratulated her on her win while Dudley was trying on a new pair of pants, handed over the envelope with the tickets and details and she just gobbled it all up, no questions asked? He had seen Vernon's car arrive back home unexpectedly early while he was cooking and Violet was watching him cook. 20 minutes later as the two of them were about to sit down to eat, he'd seen Vernon, Petunia and Dudley load suitcases into the car and then drive off.
It was good in a way, because it yet again confirmed something that had flashed into his mind way earlier. The Dursley's were neglectful abusive assholes.
It felt like something was weird about Violet however. For some weird reason, it felt like she should be a somewhat taller black-haired boy with glasses instead of a short red-haired girl. He'd known in the back of his head that there should be a Potter living with the Dursleys, but up until he had met her face-to-face, he'd been convinced that the Potter would be a young boy in glasses with a lightening-shaped scar on his forehead even if he had found out before that meeting that there was a girl Potter who had seemed to take his place. Violet had the scar and she was somewhat of a tomboy by his estimation, but even in the ratty clothes she was wearing, you'd have to be freaking blind to mistake her for a boy.
When he'd spotted the name of the quest for the first time, he'd gotten one of those weird flashes and his head felt like it would explode again, but when the pain had passed, he 'knew' a lot of things about one Harry Potter, the wizarding world, the idiotic and overly complex plans of snake-faced Dark Lords and whatnot.
The objective of his Main Questline had just read as ? when he first spotted the quest, so he'd just known that he had to 'save Potter', but not the name of the Potter in question. It wasn't until he first had spoken to Violet that the Objective had become visible. And that counter, 1/150. Did that mean that he would have to 'save' her another 149 times before he completed the Main Questline? From the look of things, it did, though what he was supposed to save her from was incredibly vague and ill defined. He was pretty sure she would have survived one night in the shitty shack she had been planning on sleeping in, but giving her a guest room apparently counted as his first instance of saving her.
All fine and well, he liked helping people and based on his observations and assumptions, it seemed that Violet had lived a life just as shitty as Harry had growing up, so she'd certainly need a lot of help. The Tri-wizard tournament coming up certainly matched up somewhat with what he knew about Harry Potter and while Harry had indeed lived through that without someone like him along to help, it hadn't exactly been without issues.
But how the hell would he be able to complete his Main Quest when one of his Sub Quests seemed to go completely against it?
Sub Quest: *Enslave 2 female Potters ( 0/2 )
Objective: Max out Affection, Respect and Obedience and get 2 female Potters relationship statuses to Slave(Sex)
A bit weird, but it wasn't like he disliked girls or had anything against the fantasy of a duo of obedient little sex slaves. But there were some issues.
Fantasy is very different from reality. A fantasy of sex slaves is one thing, actually turning two girls into sex slaves? Very different.
Violet was also a bit out of his strike zone due to her young age, but it kinda felt like this was a bit of a long-term project and she'd likely just grow into quite the legendary beauty in a few years. She was already an admittedly extremely pretty young girl, another two or three years and she'd beat out 10/10 girls on their best day without even having to try. So yeah, kind of iffy, but it wasn't like she would stay young forever, so that was a pretty minor issue that would go away on its own with time. It wasn't like he could just snap his fingers to max out their relationship and turn her into a sex slave after all.
But the Main Quest with this particular Sub Quest? Even if it was possible to somehow match that weird Sub Quest with his Main Quest, where the hell was he supposed to find a second female Potter? From what he could recall, Harry was the last Potter. Was there another Potter besides Violet somewhere in the world? Would he have to wait until Violet had a daughter, then enslave her too? It felt weird enough setting his sights on a fifteen, soon to be sixteen-year-old girl, but pretty much observing someone from birth and just waiting until they got old enough? Basically grooming a teenager was enough of a moral challenge. Grooming someone from toddlerhood? Granted, his memories of his own past were wonky as shit and he wasn't entirely sure that they were truly genuine, but he was pretty sure that he hadn't been that much of an asshole in his hazy past.
It was just a complete and utter shit show. He'd tried dropping that Sub Quest and some other pretty weird ones he somehow wound up having, but hadn't managed to drop all weird quests. Some had titles that started with a '*' and that meant they were not optional. He'd had an absent thought about what would happen if he skipped or failed a non-optional quest and gotten a nasty flash of insight.
He shuddered at the memory, somehow he got the sensation that failing or skipping any obligatory quest he had or may get in the future, would be the equivalent of an extinction-level-event on the bad-shit-that-could-happen-to-me-scale.
In other words, something to avoid like the plague.
Even if he had no clue whatsoever why failing a stupid sub-quest would lead to some sort of major disaster.
So, he just needed to figure out some way to save Violet, making her strong and capable while somehow also turning her into his sex slave alongside some other extra Potter girl that he had no clue about.
Lovely, nothing like a challenge.
Nick rubbed his temple harder, he wasn't sure if it was this shit RPG stuff or the Gordian knot of a shitshow his obligatory quests had left him with that caused this particular headache to be worse then the ones he'd had the last couple of days whenever he'd practised with his ability.
But whichever it was, he was done thinking about it and staring at his status screen. He needed a fucking drink.
A small one, no reason to drink himself drunk and possibly make an even bigger mess of things.
He left his office and headed into the main room where he headed straight for what he had dubbed the reading corner, a corner of the big room where a comfy love seat and two foot stools had been placed, flanked by a pretty massive book shelf on one side and an equally massive liquor cabinet on the other. He poured himself a small glass of whisky and tilted his head as noticed the sound of the bath draining. Seemed like Violet was done with her bath.
He took a small sip from his whisky and chased it down by taking a deep breath.
Right. First things first.
Level their relationship to such a degree that she will want him around once she goes off to Hogwarts. He can't very well save and protect her if she's off at Hogwarts without him. Thankfully the Tri-wizard gave him a way in, but only if she asked for it.
Showtime, lets get this clusterfuck of a shit show on the road.