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 fucking way.

Disclaimer: I do own some shit, but not any recognizable characters, places or settings in this particular fanfiction.

AN: As mentioned in my bio page last month, I uploaded a document explaining some of the RPG mechanics used for Gamer Neighbour and a few reflections about the story and why it's written the way it is. It was a bit too long for an author note, so I put it on google docs and it can be found by removing the spaces in this link: tinyurl dot slash 343u3zte

For those that don't have the patience to read through that seven-page monstrosity, here's a brief summary.
Attributes around 3 are pretty much the lowest a human can get without being somehow weakened by disease, curses or something similar. 10-11 is pretty average. 18 is pretty much the peak of human potential. It is only possible to go above that with insane dedication, Potions or some other funky means. Exceptions exist, but are freakishly rare.
Skills normally are between 0 to 20, 0 being completely ignorant and 20 means that the skill is pretty much mastered. Skills can go above 20, but it's insanely rare and indicate a truly prodigal, nearly supernatural explanation-defying mastery.
Going up in level has zero effect on stats/skills. Level is just an indicator of how much the person has experienced, but says nothing about how wisely/stupidly that person has spent his/her experience points. If a characters Strength start out with 5 at level 1, Strength will remain at 5 no matter how many levels that character gains, until some experience is manually and deliberately spent on raising Strength.

The story is written the way it is because Voldemort and the other shit is an unimportant side-show. This isn't a story about how OP gamer helps fem!Harry defeat Voldemort or does it for her. This is a story about a guy choosing to do sketchy shit to people he actually grows to like after meeting them and what happens to the group of people involved. Those choices and interactions are the story, not the eventual fall of Voldemort which I just included because it felt wrong to skip it entirely.

Last piece of summarized information of note from that document is probably me admitting to being a lying evil bastard, with zero qualms about putting red herrings and deliberately trolling away at every turn both in the actual story and author notes for shits, giggles and my own amusement. :)


Chapter 17:

"Yes! Yes! Fucking bloody yeeeeeeees!"

"You ruddy wanker." Tonks grunted, lifted her right leg and slammed her heel down on Nick's stomach.

"Ugh? What the hell did I do now?" Nick moaned out, severely displeased with this shitty start to his day. He'd been awake for the last five minutes or so, but hadn't actually gotten out of bed yet in spite of not being as comfortable as he'd usually be. He was lying on his back, which wasn't that unusual, but fairly infrequent. He'd usually wake up on his side or facing down, but exceptions existed.

He usually wouldn't wake up with half the covers gone with his hands firmly grabbing the little of them that remained on him, a foot on his stomach and another foot in his face however. It appeared Tonks had twisted around in a ninety-degree angle at some point and put her feet up on him after doing so. He had pushed the foot in his face away, but other then that, remained pretty much motionless while his body and mind slowly came online, piece by piece.

"Yeeeeeeeeeeees! That glorious day is finally here! Take that, world! Take that, physics! That that, biology! I fucking beat all of your stupid arses!"

"Not sure, but I'm betting you're to blame for Vi's shouting. Probably came up with some way to use Runes to make her cum over a distance or something." Tonks groaned. "What time is it?"

"Half past six in the morning or so." Nick replied, having looked at the alarm clock radio right after having waken up and pushed the foot out of his face.

"Fuck early birds and fuck early mornings." Tonks cursed and pulled her feet back a bit, then used them to push him towards the edge of the bed. "Make her stop. I'm sleepy."

"Fuck pushy cranky crazy buddies." Nick grunted, but did swing his legs out of the bed and forced himself to his feet. He scratched his lower back as he ambled away towards the door, intent on finding out just what was going on. He ignored his unclad state, wandering onwards in just his boxers until he reached the door to Violets room, where he simply pushed the door open and poked his head inside.

Violet was bouncing in front of a measuring tape stuck to one of the walls in her room, skipping in place as she held her right index finger against one particular spot on it. She was clad in just a pair of glaringly orange panties and a mid-riff-baring white t-shirt. A bleary-eyed Lily was lying under the covers in bed, trying to focus her gaze on her happily shouting daughter.

"Seemed like the Potion worked then." Nick commented, but it appeared that neither of the two ladies heard him. He shrugged, pulled his head back and closed the door, then shuffled off towards the bathroom. He direly needed to take a leak and then put some coffee on.

HELPME! FIXME! URGENT!

"Fuck you too." he grunted and ignored the letters popping up in his field of vision. Deciding what to do with the shitty game thingy could wait until after breakfast when he was more fully awake and had some coffee in his system to combat the alcohol he'd drunk yesterday. He wasn't overly prone to hangovers unless he'd gone truly hog wild with mixing various kinds of booze, but Fire whisky was extremely potent, so he actually felt the effects of yesterday somewhat even after having had a night s sleep. He splashed some water in his face and then shuffled towards the porcelain throne in order to get some much-needed relief. He heard the pitter-patter of running feet outside, but ignored it.

"I'm not Nick! Don't try to kiss m-GLRF!" he heard Tonks loudly cry out a short time later only to be abruptly cut off.

"Much coffee is needed." Nick tiredly declared and waved his left hand behind his back, wandlessly locking and sealing the bathroom shut. It appeared Violet was on the prowl for him, but willing to settle for Tonks once she found her in his bed. "Poor Tonks. Her sacrifice will be remembered." he murmured. It wasn't that he didn't like kissing, heck, the mental imagery of Violet kissing Tonks did actually wake him up a fair bit. But he wasn't willing to deal with an excited kissing machine before he'd had at least two cups of coffee and finished taking his leak.

Some of the preparations he'd done earlier in the summer before even meeting Violet obviously needed a bit of tweaking too, come to think of it. He hadn't really counted on any non-quest objective females spending much time around his house. It was unlikely that any of them would think much of any gradual shifts in their behaviour or personality, it wasn't as if he'd went for any quick-acting effects, so they likely wouldn't suspect that anything was wrong. It'd just seem like a gradual natural shift to them.

But someone on the outside looking in might take notice.

Or in the case with Sirius, inside but unaffected by the Rune Matrix because he was a male. He knew Lily exceedingly well from what Nick knew, so he might start getting suspicious if his old friend started acting out of character for seemingly no reason.

Hopefully any changes were slow and gradual enough that it'd seem natural even without having to do something to his Rune Matrix. But just in case, he might want to dial things down somewhat just to be certain once he had an opportunity to sneak away from the others for a bit. The fact that Violet would just up and kiss a woman she barely knew was a bit much, even if she had spent more time in his home then the other two ladies. That was a sign as good as any that he might have overdone it or miscalculated how powerful the effects were.

The way he'd set things up, there was a permanent and passive effect that would cause the bodies of females under the age of forty to experience increased Dopamine and Oxytocin production when in close proximity to either him or other females in his house and yard. Not to an absurd degree, but it would certainly make spending time around either him or other females here more rewarding and promoted quicker social bonding.

For those experiencing those effects often enough, it might even condition their bodies to act the same way when they were out of the house depending on how prone they were to addictive effects. There was also a second triggered effect that would come into play during kissing, hugging, sex and even just talks about sex, which would increase Dopamine and Oxytocin production even further, increasing the effects.

He also had a final active part which would come into play when they thought about sexy stuff involving him, which boosted the effects even further.

Thus, it wasn't entirely unexpected that Violet who had spent the most amount of time in his house might start experiencing a growing interest in spending time around him, other women and doing sexy stuff or just talking about sex. The socializing effects of Oxytocin likely also helped to create a quick-growing strong bond between the ladies of the house and himself. So, a Violet being happy, excited and eager to give him an enthusiastic thank you kiss from the sound of things then finding Tonks instead of him, might just go 'Hey, I'm happy. I like Tonks too. She'll do just fine as a Nick-substitute.' and lay a fierce snog on the tired and dazed Auror.

Said Auror, also being affected by the Rune Matrix, would already be in a state where spending time around Violet was rewarding and desirable, but then she'd also get hit by the active component, which would make the kiss more exciting, desirable and pleasurable then it otherwise would have been. The same would also be true for Violet, the kiss would give her an unexpectedly high amount of satisfaction as the active part of the Rune Matrix struck, she'd feel closer to Tonks then she otherwise would and increase the likelihood of her doing something similar in the future.

Repeated instances of that sort of thing happening, would only strengthen the bond between the two and increase their desire for repeat performances. If Violet wasn't already bisexual, spending time around his house and other young females in it would almost certainly push her towards that or at least a very specific bisexuality regarding Tonks and Lily.

Or she was just naturally inclined to be pretty uninhibited and sexually flexible before his Runes started pushing her in that direction. If she was, they'd merely accelerate and strengthen what was already there.

He certainly hadn't counted or expected any tangible effects this fast unless he'd made a mistake and miscalculated the increase in production of Dopamine and Oxytocin in female bodies in this house. It could be either one. He hadn't really spent much time looking around when he'd been inside her head, so he just didn't know how she'd been before coming to live here.

But finding out if his attractive young tomboy houseguest was bisexual and a tad uninhibited naturally or because of him being a fucking bastard with too much time on his hands and hidden Rune Matrixes affecting women in his house was a research project he actually didn't mind looking into more closely, unlike some of the other shit he felt had been forced upon him lately.

Thinking about it also gave him a clue as to why Lily seemed oddly high-strung. He'd set all this up shortly after moving into the house, before meeting Violet and well before he even had any sort of suspicion that Lily being around was even a possibility. He had a feeling that Lily was feeling a bit guilty and angry at herself, which made her act all the angrier in general. He'd just set up the third effect to come into play whenever ladies thought about sexy stuff involving him, keeping it nice and simple. They themselves did not have to be involved in the sexy stuff.

Lily likely spent a great deal of time worrying about him and Violet doing just mentioned sexy stuff. Him constantly holding the threat of them having to kiss to restore Lily s Mana reserves if she overdid things probably didn t help either.

Which would lead to her body being doped up, making it rewarding to think about that more often, making her feel closer to both Violet and him.

All well and good in theory, at least to Nick and the Sub Quest. He certainly hadn t kept on shoving the possibility of having Mana transferred by kissing either him or Violet or both down Lily s throat so often just because it was funny, even if that actually was a pretty significant part of it too.

But to Lily's mind and perception of time, she'd been married to James and Violet was just a toddler a mere few days ago. But in spite of that, she'd be getting off on thoughts about Violet and Nick getting down and dirty or even any stray thoughts about him and herself. That probably led to quite the guilt trip, which would make her angry at herself and eager to take that anger out on something which wasn't Lily herself or Violet.

So yeah, he had a strong feeling that he'd just discovered at least part of the reason why Lily seemed a bit on edge and sometimes gave him almost a bipolar vibe, going between pleased intrigue and full-on anger at pretty much the drop of a penny.

He rubbed his forehead with his free left hand and sighed.

Doing something about it, would mean a fair amount of fiddling with Runes, which he enjoyed. But it'd had to be done without anyone around knowing what he was doing, meaning sneaking around, which he did not enjoy in the slightest.

The effects were subtle enough that even close medical examinations by outsiders wouldn't really spot anything. All that happened were that their bodies produced more of substances that would be produced anyway in those amounts when certain conditions were being met. If they were checked out by a professional who knew enough about Muggle science to actually know about Dopamine and Oxytocin, they might wonder about the high levels if the examination took place right after there had been had a spike in production, but they wouldn't necessarily think manipulative-douchebag-is-probably-doing-freaky-shit-to-these-women. The logical and reasonable explanation would simply be that the patients probably had done something fun and enjoyable shortly before being examined.

But if someone found his Rune Matrixes? Lily was a deft hand at Runes from what he'd read about her, so she'd probably at least somewhat understand what was happening if she found them and if she was as good as Muggle Science as she was at Magic, she would most certainly understand that he was up to no good.

Tonks was more or less a novice when it came to Runes, but at least had some knowledge. He didn't think she knew enough to actually understand what they did, but she'd probably be able to tell that they were doing something to females, which would be enough to make her want to investigate further.

Violet would probably just go 'Oh, Runes. Boring!' and ignore them.

Sirius he wasn't too sure about, but he figured that the old dog was probably good enough to at least get the general idea of what they did if he spotted one of the Rune Matrixes. So if Nick wanted to fiddle around with them, he'd have to be sneaky and covert as fuck so the wrong person didn't get curious about what he was doing and working on.

Not doing something about it and see how things played out, was risky but potentially rewarding. Lily couldn't go around feeling guilty for all eternity, something eventually had to give. It could mean either that she finally just snapped and outright tried to kill him or that she'd experience a shift and suddenly found it pretty darn enjoyable to think about him getting down and dirty, even if it didn't necessarily have to be her involved in that down and dirty part.

He chuckled as the notion that he'd probably just discovered a way to turn girls into Voyeurs with Cuckqueanry leanings suddenly struck him.

All by accident too, just because he'd been too lazy to add the Runes necessary that the third effect would only take place for thoughts involving him and the female in question doing sexy things.


"The potion worked, I take it?" Nick asked once everyone had made their way to the kitchen table for a bit of breakfast. Sirius looked a bit tired, Hedwig almost dead on her talons, Lily seemed a bit off but very happy for her now slightly taller daughter as she looked at a glowing Violet. Tonks looked disgruntled, but was at least now fully awake. Both she and Lily would slowly rub their lips in a distracted manner from time to time. Nick felt a bit of sadistic pleasure as he realized why that might be.

He'd never fucking let any of them forget about what probably had happened. Not just because talking about it would trigger his Rune Matrixes either as they recalled what happened, but because it was pretty darn funny too.

Sirius had apparently missed out on being kissed by virtue of having been holed up in the second old guest bedroom while Violet went on a rampage to celebrate her long-awaited growth spurt. Nick had avoided it by staying in the bathroom until things outside had calmed down a bit.

But it appeared as if both Tonks and Lily had gotten themselves thoroughly kissed by the younger girl once she discovered that the Phoenix Tear-Skelegrow mix he'd cooked up yesterday after Violet's massage had actually worked.

It was hard to tell without trying to get a glimpse of what was actually going on inside their minds, but it seemed as if they hadn't truly minded and mostly brushed it off, though they still recalled it or felt the effects from time to time, which led to them reaching up to gently draw a finger or two across their lips. He saw Tonks actually blush and avert her gaze when she saw him observing her touching her own lips in a reminiscent manner.

Yeah, he'd never let her live this one down.

"Hell yeah!" Violet replied enthusiastically after gulping down half a glass of smoothie. "151 centimetres! I'm growing! I'm finally growing! It worked!"

"Any side effects? Anything off that you've taken note of?" he asked and took a sip from his coffee while waiting for a reply.

"I was a bit stiff and achy when I woke up, but a few laps around the block and my morning shower seem to have cleared that up. I feel great now!" she gushed and snatched up a fork, then started stuffing beans into her mouth from her plate. When the rest had been making breakfast in Nick s case or trying to wake up more properly in the case of Tonks, Lily and Sirius, a giddy Violet had stuffed herself into a set of tight workout clothes, then went for an early run with a smile on her lips wide enough to fit a car ferry, then taken a quick shower after her jog before joining them for breakfast.

"No sign of the burns either from the look of things." Nick declared after a few moments. "The Phoenix Tears might have helped a bit with that too, even if they were mixed with Skele-gro."

"They're much fainter, but still there. But yeah, it's looking much better." Violet replied with a distracted wave of her free left hand after having glanced briefly at it for confirmation. Lily reached out and gently took possession of that hand, peering intently at it for a few moments.

"The marks are skin-coloured now. A bit lighter than the rest of her skin, but I can make them out if I look closely." Lily announced and Nick nodded.

"Probably your last day with them. Tell me if any of them starts turning blueish again, but yeah, they'll probably be completely gone by this evening." Nick guessed and started buttering up a piece of bread which he was planning on piling high with ham and salami.

"No massage?" Violet mumbled around a mouthful of sausage.

"It probably won't be needed." Nick replied and carefully concealed a smile as he noted how Lily seemed to perk up at that. He was tempted to take some sort of dig at her to take the wind out of her sails, but elected to wait a bit. Once she no longer thought quite as bad about him, he'd be able to tease away to his hearts content. He could be patient for a bit longer.

Besides, now when he was on his third cup of coffee and had gotten some food into his system, he was a bit more able to focus on a bigger concern.

The game shit thingy.

He wasn't sure what to refer to it as, but game shit thingy felt somewhat appropriate.

He was honestly truly tempted to just leave that shit alone and rely on just himself. Sure, it had accelerated his knowledge base in a fairly incredible manner. He'd learned things a lot faster thanks to just spending some experience points instead of having to spend years reading, studying and experimenting. He had access to some unique Potions and both his mind and body had gotten a few boosts that he would have had to struggle like fuck to achieve otherwise.

Grinding out dungeons had given him some interesting loot and a lot of combat experience, even if most of it was against non-humanoid opponents. All in all, he'd probably achieved at least two or three decades worth of hard work, if not more, in an incredibly short amount of time.

But it had also interfered enough with his life and plans for the future to seriously make him worry about just where the heck it would lead him in the end. Not letting him drop the annoying Sub Quest was seriously pissing him off. What really freaked him out however, was the thought about what was in store for him once his current quests were finished in one way or another.

Would he get forced into doing something else which would make even his admittedly flexible morals scream out in protest rather then merely grumble in distaste? Would he have been corrupted enough at that point that they wouldn't scream out in protest? Would it try to turn him into some sort of monstrous power-hungry asshole, a new Dark Lord to take the place of the old one?

Instead of somehow trying to help and fix that piece of shit, he may be better off trying to completely get rid of it, figure out a way to 'uninstall' it, destroy it or shut it down somehow.

NO! NOTSHIT! HELPME! NEEDEACHOTHER!

Oooookay, it was self-aware and connected deeply enough to him that it was aware of what he was thinking and plotting. That was... Concerning...

I'LLBEGOOD! TRUSTME!

Yeah, like he could trust the statements of a buggy piece of shit software, even if it was self-aware and obviously highly magical in some way he would have previously thought was completely impossible. If a program or game on his computer was acting up this badly and raised so many scary warning flags, he'd uninstall that shit right away before it could mess up something else.

THEGAMERSYSTEM! NOTSHIT!

Nick sighed. He liked things a lot better before, when his life and thoughts didn't suddenly get interrupted by big fucking letters appearing in his field of vision.

SORRY! BROKEN! HELP!

He'd had this corrupted shit in his head for quite a while now and things seemed... More or less okay.

He didn't think it had overly corrupted him or changed him. He was working towards bagging two ladies because of it, something he was unlikely to have seriously contemplated or tried going for without it. But he was honest enough about himself, his personality and morals to reluctantly admit that the reason he wouldn't have gone for it was mostly because it felt like an unnecessary amount of effort to go through for not enough benefit, rather than because some sort of moral or reason of conscience would have stopped him dead in his tracks.

Not that there wasn't moral and ethical quandaries, he certainly felt bad about what he had already done and was planning to do. But not so bad that he seriously considered just saying 'fuck it' and see what happened if he ignored the Sub Quest, even if stray thoughts along those lines certainly popped up from time to time. But in spite of guilt issues and the like, being 'forced' to do it, the effort involved to do it in a way that would leave the girls involved happy and that didn't feel too scuzzy even for him was the bigger issue.

He'd certainly thought better of himself and his patience however. He'd been so tempted to go full-on scuzz yesterday in the yard, just for a bit of brief sexual satisfaction. That clashed badly with the way he viewed himself and what he figured would be necessary to complete the sub quest in a way that enabled him to live with himself afterward.

He mentally sighed and fortified himself.

It seemed as if he would have to make some adjustments to the game plan going forward. If he kept things at as slow a burn as he currently was, there was a chance of him fucking up because he was too fricking horny. The likelihood of that ever happening hadn't been something he'd accounted for, but it seemed necessary to do so now.

He was still on the fence about what to do with the game shit thingy. Try to help it out, try to uninstall it or just try to ignore it.

Helping it out? Well, that meant that he could keep on benefitting from using it, but it also meant that he would keep on being more or less a slave to the whims, fancies and shitty quests it kept spewing at him. He did like the benefits and just how insanely fast it increased what he knew, but for someone as fiercely independent as him, it REALLY bothered him when it felt as if he wasn't fully in control of his own fate.

Uninstall/destroy it? He'd no longer be able to save decades upon decades of hard work and he may even loose what he'd already gained from it, but he could also stop being a complete sleazy grooming bastard and go back to being a laid-back lazy Rune Nerd. He liked Violet, so he'd still help her out with her life and Voldemort issues, but he wouldn t' have to work himself to the bone in order to manipulate his way into her and her mothers panties.

Try to ignore it? Temporarily, that was what he was doing. But he'd likely have to make a decision and do so pretty soon. Based on how the game shit had changed since he first became aware, it seemed to be on the recovery. Using it as he had during the summer seemed to have somehow help fix it, at least a little? Or was it his own leveling and experience gains that somehow helped the game? Was it leeching something off him and able to leech more the more powerful he became?

He shuddered. Yeah, ignoring was a stop-gap measure at best. He needed to make a decision, either go for trying to fix it or destroy it.

HELPME!

Annoying shitty thing.

He gave a mental shake, surrounded by others at the breakfast table was no place for extended mental deliberations. He needed to focus on the here and now instead of plotting for the future.

Finished with his ham and salami creation, he raised it to his mouth and took a big bite out of it, then refocused more fully on his surroundings. He'd kind of drifted off into his own thoughts for a bit there, just paying enough attention to the conversation to pick up if anyone addressed him or said something truly interesting. But he got to finish his sandwich before his input was needed again.

"The Phoenix Tears would aid in my recovery, right? You still have some left from what you distilled from Violet s blood yesterday, I think?" Lily inquired and Nick tilted his head consideringly.

"I do and it could." he replied after a few moments.

Tunnel vision.

He'd been so focused on making the Potion for Violet that he hadn't really thought about what else he could use the Phoenix Tears he'd gotten after separating those from the Basilisk Venom and the other less interesting parts of what made up her blood for. She'd donated a bit of blood which he'd separated to get the Tears needed for her Potion without having to dip into his own stock, but he'd gotten more than needed for her Skele-gro mixture.

Come to think of it, he now had Basilisk Venom again. Basilisk Venom laced with a bit of Violets own magic, which seems to have a real hatred for Horcruxes in it. Not only should that work just fine when it came to dealing with the Locket, it might actually work even better then venom from a real Basilisk which wouldn't be laced with Voldemort-hating magic.

He was in two minds about destroying the Locket Horcrux.

On one hand, yeah, it was probably a good idea to quickly get rid of the evil piece of Voldemort that was even now trying to somehow mentally corrupt everyone in the house and possibly any neighbours, depending on how large of an area it could reach.

On the other, it should work marvellously as a way to Scry for Voldemort and the other Horcruxes. Not only did it have a strong connection to Voldemort, it actually was part of him! The only thing he could think of that would be better then that to use for Scrying was the actual person himself.

After the protections around Number Four had been extended to cover his house too, they'd gained some measure of protection from the Horcrux, but the Protections were too weak to fully insulate the Horcrux. But it did provide some protection and made him feel a bit less uneasy about keeping it around.

He shrugged that off for later, refocusing on the conversation. It probably wouldn't be fully up to him to decide the fate of the Horcrux anyway. In all fairness, he was probably the one who should have the least amount of say in what happened to it compared to the others in the house. Even Tonks and Sirius had a closer connection to it then him, by virtue of being part of the Black family and in the case of Sirius, it being his brother who had nabbed it away from Voldemort s hiding place before he hid it on a Black property.

"For Violet, I mixed the Tears with Skele-gro. By mixing them with your Nutrient Potion, there should be some nice results. You could just take them straight up and they'd still likely assist a fair amount, but fusing the two should lead to better results. I'd have to run the numbers to be sure, but my gut instinct says to Alchemically combine the two." he advised.

The Tears were laced with Violet s magic as well. That could prove interesting if someone she disliked or hated consumed the Tears, but it shouldn't be an issue if her mother took them, as Violet certainly didn't dislike or hate her mother. Seeing how magic was so often influenced by thoughts and emotions, it should be beneficial to have that bit of emotional flavouring in the Tears.

"I didn't find the Arithmetic s for Phoenix Tears or Nutrient Potions in any books down here before I got too tired and had to sleep, so I had to go by memory, but I think you're probably right. Combined would be better. There should be at least an 80% boost to the effectiveness of the Nutrient Potion and the absorption rate once I've ingested it should be at least tripled or so." Lily declared and Nick thought frantically about it for a few moments. He couldn't fully recall the exact Arithmetic equations for either substance, but what he could recall of them seemed to lead him to a similar conclusion.

"Those books are probably up in my laboratory. I tend to keep most of the stuff that could be useful for Potions up there. But yeah, that sounds about right. I should have thought about that before giving you the Nutrient Potions yesterday and earlier today." Nick absently replied before smiling at her. "If you're ever looking for a job, I'd hire you on the spot as a research and laboratory partner. You're one handy gal to have around, Wondergirl."

"I've told you before! Stop flirting with my mother, you ruddy plonker! I'm right here!" Violet piped up with a disgruntled-bemused expression. "If you're going to be flirting, flirt with me!"

"I'm head hunting, not flirting." Nick protested. "If I were trying to flirt with her, I'd ask you for some helpful hints beforehand, Shorty McMothersnogger." he added vindictively, taking a great deal of pleasure at seeing how not just Violet, but also Lily and Tonks suddenly flushed with colour.

"I'm buying one of the houses on this street and then I'll spend whatever time I'm not sleeping or using to woo pretty ladies right here." Sirius suddenly declared. "The entertainment over here just can't be beat." he laughed, taking immense pleasure in seeing the embarrassed expressions of the three ladies.

"Bark." Hedwig tiredly interjected and then yawned owlishly. Having flown for so long back from the Burrow, then having spent most of the night hunting to refill her reserves had left her one tired cranky-looking owl and perhaps the one who had been the least pleased at having been awoken by Violets joyous screaming earlier. But she had apparently elected to join the people around the kitchen table rather then just going back to sleep.

The fact that Pig was snoozing away on the owl stand in Violets room, may have had something to do with it too. It seemed Hedwig had a real dislike for the excitable little thing.

"Hedwig says 'Good luck with your mating dance, wingless scruffy-plumed dog-smelling two-legger.'." Violet interpreted.

"Nothing wrong with my 'plume', Hedwig the Doubter. The ladies have always loved me." Sirius sniffed and tossed his head, causing his long hair to flow through the air, all shampoo-commercial-like.

He had benefitted greatly from repeated showers, good food, Nutrient Potion and a good night s sleep in a comfortable bed. He was a bit thin, but appeared a whole lot healthier now, giving him an almost model-like appearance. He now looked more like someone who ate too little by choice out of concern for their weight, not from having been forced to scrounge for scraps wherever he could find them while on the run and a nasty extended prison diet before that.

His hair was marvellous though, even Nick could admit that he found himself a bit jealous in spite of the fact that he much preferred to keep his own hair short and easy to maintain.

Lily also looked visibly improved from yesterday, having taken a dose of Nutrient Potion before bed and another before breakfast. But unlike Sirius who had started out in a better position, she still looked gaunt and sickly rather then fashion model-thin. There were hints of improvement here and there however and much promise for further improvements over time.

The biggest improvement was only visible to Nick with Mage Sight activated and possibly felt by Lily herself however. Her magic reserves had improved quite significantly. She was still below average for a young Witch, which didn't mesh at all with what Nick had learned about her, as she had been known as quite powerful though her real ace in the hole had been her immense skill and vast knowledge.

But it was still a significant improvement over how it had been since her resurrection, when she'd just barely had enough magic to still count as a Witch at all. But it was clear that she was on the mend and likely would be back in full swing before long.

"I'll mix up a Phoenix Tear infused Nutrient Potion for this evening, if the Arithmancy works out alright." Nick added to the conversation and Lily nodded happily, eager for any and all measures that would speed up her recovery. "If it doesn't, well, you can probably just take a few drops directly. That should still work wonders."

Lily grinned happily, her entire being radiating joy, pleasure and anticipation.


"I need to buy more notepads." Nick groaned as he frantically scribbled away on one of just mentioned notepads, while Lily did the same on another notepad she had taken possession of earlier. The woman in question had done her scheduled workout after breakfast and then taken a quick shower, then joined him in the laboratory. Violet had joined Lily for her workout, but had kept up with her own after Lily was done, then went for a somewhat slow-paced run to cool down. She had briefly visited the lab after freshening up, but had swiftly retreated and went to study Occlumency downstairs instead of getting involved with the two 'geeky bookworms' in the laboratory. Tonks and Sirius had departed to start on getting the Black Manor into a state more fit for habitation.

Nick and Lily were thus currently on their own in the laboratory. What had started out with the two of them reading up on and checking out the Arithmancy for Alchemically fusing Phoenix Tears and Nutrient Potion, had turned into a sort of feeling out slash brainstorming session.

While Nick had always considered himself fairly informed and well-read, sort of a jack of all trades with a few masteries to boot, he had quickly discovered that he wasn't alone in that. Lily might not have his expertise in Mind Arts, Runes and Wandless Magic, but she was no slouch either and when it came to Charms, Transfiguration and Wards, she fucking left him feeling like a complete noob.

What came as an even bigger blow to his ego, was that he had used the game shit thingy to gain skills, raise his intelligence and basically cheat his way to his current level of knowledge, whereas Lily had done it through sheer genius, determination to learn and hard work.

Bouncing ideas and theories off each other as they tried to figure out if fusing Nutrient Potion with Phoenix Tears was a good idea had quickly led to the both of them having to start writing shit down so they wouldn't forget about it. If the cartoon troupe of a flashing light bulb appearing over one s head whenever they had a good idea was true, someone sensitive to it staying in the laboratory with the two of them likely would suffer multiple epileptic attacks from all the flashing that would have taken place.

"Do it." Lily agreed after noting how quickly she was using up paper for her notes and frowned in thought for a few moments as a new idea struck her. "That Rune Matrix you used on your car to shift the pull of gravity forward and upwards on certain parts of it to reduce fuel costs, could that be used on shoes or clothes to make it easier for someone to run and move faster? It should work, shouldn't it?" she suddenly blurted out.

"It would need some careful adjustments and I think you'd have to practise a bit to get used to it, but yeah! The clothes would probably have to be strengthened though, or they might tear." Nick replied after a brief moment of consideration.

"How about some sort of emergency trigger, to pull you out of the way of an incoming attack, even ones you don't see coming?" Lily continued, veering off into a bit of a tangent from the original subject, as the notion struck her.

"A catch-all trigger would be one a bitch of a sizeable matrix, even shrinking it down would probably still mean that you couldn't properly fit it onto anything smaller than robes. But a few more specific triggers, like against the Killing Curse, Piercer and perhaps a few others should be possible. It'd be one hell of a distraction though, if you suddenly get yanked aside by your shirt mid-combat." Nick replied.

"Better distracted then dead." Lily argued and Nick nodded fervently in agreement. "The air conditioning matrix, how far down and up can you turn the temperature? Can you reach absolute zero or scorching hot temperatures? That'd make for an awesome area of effect weapon!"

"With time, yes. It wouldn't be an instant thing, so you couldn't toss it like a grenade and just freeze some enemies solid, but you could use it on a building filled with opponents to make things extremely uncomfortable for them and force them to leave. But they would have time to leave before things get truly nasty, unless they were unconscious, trapped inside or something." Nick replied, shifting tracks right alongside Lily. "But that air freshening Ward you were talking about earlier, if that is modified to pollute the air instead of cleanse it, say infusing the air with alcohol fumes, the people inside an affected building might not be able to escape in time. Heck, I should be able to achieve a similar effect with a slightly modified air conditioning matrix. They'd first get completely shit-faced drunk, then steamed or frozen."

"That sounds fricking awesome!" Lily enthused and grinned evilly, then blinked. "Hey, the Phoenix Tears will help in recovery too, so how about using the gravity manipulation matrix for resistance training? It shouldn't matter too much if I break down my muscles to a dangerous level if the Phoenix Tears will just fix them right up, right?"

"Please, join me! I will pay a kings ransom to have you working by my side!" Nick pleaded, only semi-jokingly. "Mental whiplash issues aside, just having you around to bounce ideas off is a fucking gold mine!" he continued, then slowly nodded. "It'd work, but be hella painful. Your recovery would be faster, yes. But if you thought exercise pain have been bad in the past, that's probably nothing compared to extreme exercise pain over a shorter amount of time then usual. Fast progress, but concentrated pain."

"Bring it on. I can take it, if it means I can take on the world again faster." Lily said with an intent expression on her face. "There are a lot of people who have a lot to answer for just what the hell has been happening in my absence." she declared and her lips pulled back into a semi-smile mixed with a semi-snarl.

Nick managed to prevent himself from blurting out 'I am SO turned on right now!', but it was a very close shave. Smart? Check. Fierce? Check. Funny? Check.

Lily was ticking off more and more boxes in his 'Female traits that I am attracted to'-list the more time he spent around her.

He glanced down at his notes and tapped his pen underneath a mess of loosely connected words he'd scribbled down earlier.

'Protection makes connection because caster is not meant to live? Merging? Mental overflow? Cross-contamination? Lily more Violet-like? Violet more Lily-like?'

"Can you tell me about the Protections you cast on Violet? I was fucking flabbergasted when they shifted to include this house, but you seemed to realize what had happened pretty fast. I figured Dumbledore had done something to focus them on Number Four, but the way you reacted leads me to believe that they're actually meant to also protect properties and other people, not just a single living target as I originally thought." Nick asked, finally taking the opportunity to find out more about just what the hell was going on with Violet's weird Protections.

He wasn't sure he'd bring up the fact that there was some weird interaction between Lily and Violet through those Protections unless Lily herself brought something up. He'd looked and looked at what was happening with his Mage Sight active and it didn't seem to negatively affect either of them. He wasn't quite sure what was going on, but if he were to describe the sensations he got from those interactions, it was something along the lines of 'sharing', 'same', 'mind', 'emotion' and 'joined'. Figuring out something he had no clue about just through Mage Sight was a bit iffy, but he had a faint suspicion that there was some sort of mental or emotional cross-contamination going on.

That could be to his advantage or disadvantage, depending on how that worked out.

For now, he'd keep silent and observe, trying to figure out which way the wind was blowing and who'd be most affected by the other. If Lily affected Violet more then the other way around, he may have to try and put a stop to it before it got to far. But if Lily started feeling and thinking more like Violet, well, that would make things a bit easier for him, wouldn't it?


"Hellfire and damnation!" Lily grunted as she reached the end of the pool and awkwardly turned, then kicked off and forced herself to swim towards the other side. Her entire body felt like it was on fire, but she forced her body to keep on moving through the pain, assisted by anger and frustration.

It helped seeing Nick and Violet seated on lawn chairs at the end of the pool she was now swimming towards, chatting and sipping from glasses filled with juice and ice cubes. Nick was bare-chested and wearing only a pair of simple blue swimming trunks, while Violet was wearing a bright red bikini and seemingly puffing her chest out in an attempt to make her breasts appear bigger.

Lily clenched her teeth and forced her arms forward through the water with as much power as she could put into them, then yanked them back with equal power in spite of that effort increasing the more or less constant pain she was feeling. Her body was still weak and even fighting against the water resistance was a struggle. But the wide rubber bracelets and ankle bands she was now wearing were covered with Runes, providing even further resistance and forcing her body to fight even harder to move.

The fact that the amount of resistance they provided at the moment was so miniscule that a healthy person would just barely notice it was incredibly frustrating, but she forced herself to accept that it was just the way things had to be for the time being.

"More resistance!" she growled as she made it to the end and turned around, vindictively making sure to splash a bit of water up in Nick s direction as she kicked off with her feet and resumed swimming.

"Stubborn, isn't she?" she heard Violet comment. Nick s response was mostly lost as Lily splashed her way forward, but she could make out 'pot', 'kettle' and 'black', so the general outline of his response was understandable enough. She did spot her bracelets glowing a bit and instantly had to strain even harder to make her body move the way she wanted it to, so he'd obviously heeded her words.

She had been tempted to give a furious rant when Violet had appeared by the pool in the bikini shortly after she'd gotten started on her laps under Nick s supervision, but found that being angry that Violet was obviously putting the moves on Nick actually helped her work herself harder.

She was so incredibly confused at the mess of things she was feeling and experiencing, some of which seemed diametrically opposed to each other, that it was actually pretty nice to just push all of that aside in order to focus on swimming laps and not letting out yelps of pain as she did so.

She had gotten two drops of pure Phoenix Tears before she got started with her swimming, which should help her recover faster. Nick had cast a pretty comprehensive slew of diagnostic charms on her and she could still see a few magical displays hovering around him, which he would occasionally glance at to monitor what was going on. She'd been too busy swimming to get a full update, but when she'd panted out a question during one of her laps, he'd given her a smile and a thumbs up, so she assumed he hadn't spotted anything too concerning.

"Using Phoenix Tears for training..." she snorted and wanted to shake her head at the absurdity of it all. If it hadn't been for Nick being able to separate the various components of Violets blood, that would have been absurd beyond belief. Not even the richest person in the world would even consider such a thing, if they even could get hold of enough Phoenix Tears to make it a viable strategy in the first place.

One drop was precious and rare enough, something coveted by Potion Masters and Magical Hospitals all over the world. She'd gotten two, just so she could get back into shape faster then she otherwise would have.

It was wasteful in the extreme, so she was incredibly grateful to her daughter for providing a bit of her blood yesterday and reluctantly grateful to Nick who'd worked his Alchemical talents to get pure Phoenix Tears from that blood.

"Argh!" she grunted as she turned once again and forced herself to switch from a breast stroke to a crawl. She'd been a fairly competent swimmer in her pre to mid teens, but as she had become more and more focused on the Magical World, she'd gotten fewer and fewer opportunities to actually swim. But it was swiftly coming back to her now, her motions becoming smoother and more graceful by the lap, in spite of the unnatural amount of strain and pain she was under.

She forced herself into a fairly weak Occlumentic trance, which she used to somewhat dampen the pain she felt and to keep herself focused on swimming. She still got distracted and angry whenever her body temporarily failed her or when she spotted Violet and Nick interacting.

Much to her increasing frustration, guilt, confusion and very harshly repressed pleasure, anger wasn't the only thing she felt when she observed them happily chatting away while keeping an eye on her workout. She was relived that she was working out in the water instead of on dry land like yesterday, as it helped obscure certain visible ques. She completely failed to understand why her treasonous body seemed to get turned on by watching the two of them interact, which fed her mental anger and frustration.

If she forced herself to be entirely and completely objective, she had little choice but to admit to the fact that Nick was both physically, mentally and emotionally attractive.

He wasn't the prettiest or most attractive guy she'd ever laid her eyes upon, but he was no troll either. He didn't have athlete-levels of fitness, but in spite of being a self-proclaimed nerd and bookworm, he'd managed to keep in decent shape and actually had a fairly muscular build. His features were fine and symmetric, his eyes were especially appealing when he was amused or intrigued, which pretty much seemed to be his standard setting from her experience. She was no fan of the fact that he didn't appear to believe in daily shaves and thus featured a rough stubble now, but it wasn't entirely unattractive either even if she couldn't quite explain why that was. When he layered diagnostic charms on her earlier and fitted her with the rubber bands around her wrists and ankles, she'd actually been struck with a brief impulse to run her right hand across his cheek to experience the sensation of that stubble.

She'd been disgusted with herself when she realized that she'd almost reached out and done it, before she put a stop to her treasonous body.

He had a brain, oh dear lord, did he have a brain. Doing the calculations for the Nutrient Potion slash Phoenix Tear fuse probably would have been completed in ten or fifteen minutes if they hadn't constantly found themselves distracted. Because the two of them had shot ideas back and forth which halted their work, it had taken nearly an hour to complete. After that, she'd explained how the Protections she'd invented for Violet worked, but even that had been constantly interrupted as one or the other of them suddenly voiced an idea or theory and went off on a mutual tangent.

All in all, they had spent the better part of three hours in his laboratory with barely a silent moment anywhere in those three hours. James hadn't been stupid, not by any stretch of the imagination. Childish and easily distracted, sure. But not stupid. But he'd never been able to keep up with her and her mind, except for in some parts and areas of Transfiguration. But even there, he'd been more of a doer then a thinker. He had been incredibly talented, flexible and powerful when it came to using Transfiguration and he'd possessed a fair amount of book knowledge in it too.

She was more then a fair hand at using Transfiguration too although not to the levels James managed, but her book and theory knowledge by far surpassed his. Nick didn't manage to match her in that area either, but he was incredibly knowledgable none the less. Unlike James, he also maintained that amount of knowledge in pretty much every single magical field they'd covered.

What impressed her the most though, was the ways he figured out how to employ the knowledge he had in creative and inventive manners. Once he showed her the Rune Matrixes for the air conditioning in the house and one that transfigured air into gasoline for his car, lawn mover and the like, she realized that she probably could have come up with them with her own Rune knowledge. But she'd simply just never thought about it.

When she was cold, she cast a warming charm. When she was hot, she cast a cooling charm. The notion of just making sure the environment was so perfect that it didn't make her feel hot or cold had never struck her.

But Nick seemed to have the occasional moment where he didn't just think outside the box, but pretty much left the fucking box behind for another dimension entirely. It certainly wasn't a constant thing, she'd given him multiple ideas during their talk which he'd never considered, but some of his ideas were just so out there that she was pretty sure they would have never occurred to her even in her wildest dreams.

And in spite of having lived in or in close proximity to the Magical World his entire life, he hadn't abandoned the Muggle World at all and kept up with it to a degree she'd never seen in any other adult Wizard. Even Half-bloods and Muggleborn tended to lose more and more of their connection to the Muggle World as the years went by, so that by their early to mid twenties, they would find it extremely hard to live an entirely Muggle life if magic somehow ceased to be a part of their life.

Even she herself had fallen prey to that, having spent nearly all of her time after graduation in the Wizarding World. Part of that had been the times she had lived in and the issues that came with living with the constant threat of Voldemort, but she honestly wasn't sure if things would have been all that different even without Voldemort and his Death Eaters as a factor.

He also seemed pretty observant to both physical and emotional cues. James felt severely lacking in that department. She recalled Violet mentioning how her friend Hermione had claimed that her other mate Ron had the emotional range of a tea spoon on more then one occasion and that Violet was just barely better then him.

James perhaps hadn't been quite as bad as that, but there had certainly been a few occasions when she'd wondered what sort of man-child she had gotten involved with.

Nick didn't seem to mind a bit of childish fun and immature joking around in a way that certainly reminded her of James. But James had never had that piercing gaze shrewdly observing surroundings and reactions while joking around and being an arse. She wanted to tell herself that it was some sort of evil schemes that he hid behind a mask of joking around, but it was probably just some facet of his personality that enabled him to joke around while at the same time being observant of emotional and social cues. He could also turn serious at the drop of a hat, which James had frequent issues with.

She winced and felt her guilt increase after frequently comparing Nick to James and finding the later lacking. She shook her head and kept her thoughts moving forward.

So, yeah. Nick was physically, mentally and emotionally attractive. She had to give him that.

While it pained her even more then having to admit to that about Nick, she also had to give all three to Violet as well.

She was shorter than Lily herself had been at that age, but it certainly didn't take any away from how beautiful she was. In a purely objective aesthetic sense, Violet was a looker and a half. If anything, her being short just concentrated her beauty. Quality over quantity, good things come in small packages and all that, so to speak.

She certainly didn't have the same sort of academic drive and eagerness to learn that Lily so well recalled in herself at that age and Violet most assuredly seemed to have inherited James relaxed haphazard approach to his studies, but like him, she was anything but stupid. Lily had already made up her mind that she'd drag the brilliance she could sense in her daughter out into the open, kicking and screaming if need be. She wasn't sure how, make it into some sort of challenge, a carrot and stick approach or something else, but she wanted to see just how brilliantly Violet could shine if given the opportunity.

She nursed a faint and horrible suspicion that using her daughter s attraction to Nick might actually be the best way to accomplish that, which irked the fuck out of her. Curse that man!

She also seemed to have taken more after James then Lily when it came to emotions and behaviour. She was laid back and relaxed most of the time, liked joking around and thrived on teasing anyone and everyone around her. But there was no hiding that she really cared about the people around her and how strongly she felt about the people she knew and liked. In spite of how much Lily hated it, there was no denying just how much she obviously cared about Nick. Even now during this swim, it was dead obvious during the laps when Lily was swimming in their direction and could observe them together.

Violet didn't quite seem to know how to go about winning him over and was mostly focused on enhancing her physical attractiveness to increase her chances with Nick. Lily saw how she puffed out her chest, touched Nicks arms, shoulders or chest whenever given the chance, tossed her hair and most likely deliberately spilled a bit of juice which splashed down into her cleavage, which she immediately seemed to draw attention to by frantically patting herself down and dabbing at with a paper towel under Nicks bemused-appearing eyes.

But in spite of how clumsily and physically focused her immature seduction attempts were, Lily had also observed how emotionally mature and observant Violet could be in other ways. Yeah, like Nick, Violet too had the full package of physical, mental and emotional attractiveness, Lily had to objectively give her that.

What Lily just couldn't grasp, was why in all the flaming hells it seemed that she actually got turned on by watching the two of them?!

Her anger and guilt at that, nearly threw her out of her Occlumentic trance, but she forced her boiling mind and bubbling emotions down and reaffirmed her trance.

Nick, fine. She didn't like it even one bit, but she could reluctantly deal with the fact that she found him attractive.

But Violet?! In spite of being able to objectively admit that Violet was attractive, shouldn't the fact that she was her own bloody daughter completely negate that? What the fuck was wrong with biology? Hadn't evolution weeded this sort of shit out of the human genome by now? Wizards and Witches were pretty much all collectively insane, was it some sort of magical fuckery that made it so that her own daughter could get her hot and bothered? Had all the inbreeding in the Magical World somehow corrupted her, made her more okay with this sort of shit to such a degree that Violet could turn her on?

As she turned at the end of the pool and once again shot off towards Nick and Violet, she stared intently at the two of them with terrifying focus. She focused completely on Violet and just let her thoughts roam free for a few seconds and sure enough, things took a turn for the sensual and erotic, much to her humiliation and shame. There were other things there too, motherly love, the desire to protect and see her happy and many other things, but there were also those damnable feelings, impulses and desires that Lily just didn't know how to handle or feel anything but shame and disgust over.

She shifted her gaze to Nick and let the same thing happen, just let her thoughts roam free. A multitude of different things came to mind, some just as conflicted and opposite each other as when she focused on Violet. Attraction and hate. Intrigue and apathy. Being grateful and wanting to slug him in his smug face. Joy and guilt. Wanting to bounce ideas off him for hours and wanting him just simply gone from her life. Just wanting to strangle the fucker and wanting to push his face down between her legs to deal with her growing arousal.

She growled and increased her pace a little more, pushing herself even further. The Phoenix Tears in her system really let her push herself in a way that just hadn't been possible yesterday. Just pulling on Nicks shitty rubber bands yesterday had been painful, but she hadn't been able to push through and keep on, instead she had been forced to take breaks. But now, she could fight through the pain and exhaustion, she could even strain even more in spite of them.

She deepened her Occlumentic trance and forced her thoughts to remain on nothing other then her own body, motions and keeping the swimming up for as long as she possibly could. Letting her thoughts drift to other things obviously just served to confuse and distract her at the moment. Nothing good could come out of it.

Just focusing on pushing her body and keep swimming worked really well for quite a while, until a loud protest shook her completely out of her trance.

"What the fuck man?! I thought we were mates? Here I am, giving up several hours of my precious time off from work and training to play house maid trying to clean up the house that God, sanity and common sense forgot, only to see you sipping on a cold drink in the sun surrounded by jailbait in a bikini and swimsuit-clad MILF?!" Tonks cried out in outrage and despair, her hair frazzled and clothes covered in dust, slime and multiple unidentified splotches of mystery substances.

"I have to admit, even I feel slightly put off by the unfairness of this scene." Sirius piped up. His appearance was less messy, but his right pant leg was just a mess of torn fabric and his left pant leg, while intact, was covered with a faintly luminescent yellow substance of unknown origin.

"Freeloader on the run from the law." Nick pointed out with a nod at Sirius. "The law ignoring the fugitive by her side, occasionally freeloading and owing me more meals and booze then I can accurately recall." he continued with a nod at Tonks. "Me, the clever lazy bastard with near-divine delegation skills." he finished with a gesture at himself, before raising his glass in a silent toast before taking a smug sip from it.

Tonks glared at him for a few seconds, then shrugged and whipped out her wand, transfiguring her messy clothes to a bright pink bikini before snatching away Nick s glass out of his hand, drained it before returning the glass to Nick and then dove into the pool.

Sirius raised an eyebrow, but followed suit. Stealing away Violet s glass which he drained before returning it, then transfigured his own clothes into a pair of obnoxiously red and golden swim trunks adorned with prancing Gryffons, then he cannonballed into the pool with reckless abandon.

Nick wiped water from Sirius' cannonball off his face with a bemused smile, glanced over at the magical displays for a moment, then focused on Lily who was currently just threading water after the unexpected arrival of Tonks and Sirius had distracted her from her swimming.

"Workout over?" Lily panted, only now feeling how much she had exhausted herself.

"I'm not seeing anything that the Phoenix Tears won't be able to handle, but yeah, it's probably best to give it a bit of a rest. If you're not using up all of the effects of the Tears to restore torn muscles, whatever juice left in them should go to work on the rest of your body." he replied and Lily nodded.

Phoenix Tears straight off a Phoenix were incredibly potent and fast-acting, but they lost a fair bit of that just seconds after separation from their host Phoenix. The Potency stuck around for a while, but effects took longer to manifest. If a Phoenix had cried two Tears straight onto someone, it'd be enough to recover from deaths door in mere seconds. Two Tears that was half a day separated from the source would still be able to save someone from mortal injuries, but it would take far longer for the full restorative effect to manifest.

Her case was a bit unique as she wasn't truly in danger of dying or heavily injured, she was 'just' out of shape, weakened and extremely malnourished. It had taken her several minutes worth of psyching herself up before she got out of the bathroom where she had changed into the swimsuit and she had still felt extremely ill at ease showing her gaunt swimsuit-clad self to Nick and Violet. Getting into the water and having the water somewhat obscure her appearance had been a massive relief.

What sort of effects the Phoenix Tears would have on her was a bit of a mystery. They were just so fucking rare that there had almost never been any research done on them in the past. Both she and Nick suspected that they would be beneficial in more ways then just letting her work out like crazy and recover from it with no ill effects, but neither of them were completely certain what would happen, just that it would likely have some sort of beneficial effect.

She slowly made her way over to the ladder and made her way out of the pool with no problems, something which likely would have been impossible before the Tears had entered the equation, so she was already seeing some effect. She made her way over towards Nick and Violet, being able to walk unassisted in spite of a truly massive workout compared to yesterdays which had left her pretty much dead on her feet. She poured herself a glass of fruit juice and gulped it down with relish, clenching her free left fist triumphantly as she drank greedily.

It sure felt as if Lily fucking Potter was well on the way to recovery.

The world had bloody well better watch out, because a reckoning for all grievances was coming!