I STILL DON'T OWN HARRY POTTER
Betcha didn't think you'd ever see me again, did'ya? Bad news folks, you can't get rid of me that easily.
For realizes though, thanks for all the love you lot have been giving this fic in my absence. I had a monster writing block, and I've probably written about 300k words in other fics to get over it. If you want to hear about them it'll be in the AN, but I won't bore you with the details right now. Oh, and I've also been training to join the Military, so there's that.
"Stop babbling, we don't care!" The crowd screams. Well, yeah, fair enough. Here you guys go:
Chapter 11: Eleos
8th October 1995, 03:55pm
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Dumbledore sat with three fingers on each temple, eyes closed firmly in concentration. He had been sat in the same exact position for almost three entire minutes, so still that his phoenix, Fawkes, let out a concerned cry. His master was getting old, and frankly, he was expecting the old human to keel over any minute.
It was this that brought him from his thoughts, along with the firm mental poke sent along with the bird's warbled exclamation.
"You're sure of this?" He finally asked, eyes flashing open to regard the man sitting at his desk.
The two people sitting before him looked around forty. The man on the right, whom Albus had been speaking to, was a distinguished-looking gentleman in a pitch-black suit with a severe goatee and wavy brown hair that reached to his broad shoulders in a shiny river. His face was hard, with age lines accentuated by the golden rectangular glasses perched on his long nose. His legs were crossed, and his hands were rested atop an artfully engraved cane in front of him.
"Absolutely certain," he responded easily. "I doubt that anybody else on earth felt it but us, but feel it we did. A magical disturbance of massive proportions, and we are sure that it emanated from Avalon." There was a trace of a Romance accent in his rich tones, barely audible, but Albus could still hear it even after all these years.
"And you think it was..."
"Your new Defence teacher, Mr Harrison Slate," the woman confirmed, rose lips stretching into a smile. She was elegant in her age, seated properly in a simple purple dress as she sipped her tea.
Albus steepled his fingers, his mind racing to try and uncover their reasoning. "Please explain your reasoning, Nicholas."
His old friend smiled, pleased to relay information to his old student. "The day we felt it," he turned to his wife, a small frown on his brows, "it was around the start of the month of August, was it not mon ange?"
"The fifth, to be exact," the woman confirmed, tucking a curl of barley hair behind an ear. She didn't seem to be completely invested in her husband's machinations, and Albus knew she wasn't. She simply followed him and supported him with whatever he did, slyly offering small comments that often ended up changing events to how she desired them and preventing her eccentric husband from inadvertently becoming a dark lord.
Nicholas leant forward eagerly, "and hear this, I did a little investigation at St Mungo's-"
"He means that he walked in and legilimised everyone in the building," Perenelle supplied. She had begun knitting something in baby blue, the clicking of her needles adding another layer to his office's low cacophony of noise.
"Well – yes, but that's irrelevant," Nicholas waved her away, unbothered. "The point is, I got curious about this hectic new addition to the game, so I went digging."
"And you found something?" Dumbledore asked, intrigued. He had less time than he would have liked to investigate Harrison Slate, too caught up with his duty to the ICW, the Order of the Phoenix, Hogwarts and research into his suspicions on Tom's artificially extended life. It was simply too low on his list of priorities.
"Gold, so to speak," Nicholas chuckled, his eyes shining. "Something unprecedented, something I've never seen in all my long years of livi-"
"He understands Nicholas, do get to the point of the matter please dearest," Perenelle said, not looking up from her knitting. Albus smiled; he had always admired the dynamic between the two ancient mages.
"Yes yes, well it's all rather fascinating. Slate was hit by a curse – avada rictus I believe, a rather nasty curse derived from the more famous one that slowly severs the soul of the victim but doesn't kill them, essentially replicating the effects of a dementor but without the loathsome presence of the creatures themselves."
Dumbledore grimaced. He remembered that curse being a favourite of Varus Selwyn's during the first war. The twisted man loved the demoralising effects the curse had on the victims' friends and family.
People didn't survive avada rictus.
"I see you understand why this is remarkable now," Nicholas said, intelligent brown eyes shining with that almost manic curiousness he got before he dove headfirst into a new impossibility that had driven him to inventions such as the Philosophers Stone. "Slate shouldn't have survived – he should have become a shell of a man with only a ladle and drip feed to sustain him, and yet he lived. He was resurrected – have no doubt about it – and I am sure that the disturbance we felt coincides exactly with his revival. I have managed to get close to him during the few times he had left the castle, and it has only made me more sure. He is an anomaly, a discordant note, Albus, a square key in a triangular keyhole, a-"
"He doesn't belong," Perenelle summarised. "And we have felt other disturbances since that time, the timings of which are more than what can be attributed to coincidence. Just several days prior both Nicholas and I felt a calamitous event occur in the Aegean Sea. We were otherwise occupied at the time, however when we arrived we found that a blood-locked fidelius charm, one that had belonged to an… acquaintance of ours, once, had been broken into. It was most curious."
Albus blinked, horribly surprised by the news. "The secret was betrayed?" He asked for clarification, although he suspected he wouldn't like the answer.
Nicholas chuckled. "Oh no, immortals no, there are – or were, I suppose – none alive other than us that knew of Herpo's island, we were given the secret in the funeral invitation. It really wasn't worth the visit, in the end. Julian and his clan never had the same sense of flourish as, say, Marquis or Ganymede did, now there was some wizards who understood the importance of proper stagecraft-"
"You're rambling again, dear."
"Yes I am, thank you mon ange. Anyway, some upstart tore down the first fidelius and replaced it, attempting to make us forget it, which of course I refused to do-"
Albus took in the news about a legendary historical figure's secret island and the fact that, apparently, the Flamels could just refuse to let a fidelius make them forget something with a straight face and calm demeanour.
"-We ignored it, of course, there was nothing interesting left on that island but old gold and a rotting corpse, but recently, someone has taken down the fidelius and made away with all the loot that was there. We, of course, investigated, and found that there had been some dark, dark magic in the chamber where Julius buried himself. The signatures matched with those barbaric things that he created… I forget the name..."
"Horcuxes," Perenelle supplied, frowning as she knit with an angry jab. "Such a crude method to prolong one's life. What is the point in preserving your life if you lose your sanity?"
"Indeed," Albus said distantly, "the trappings of immortality are far too tempting for those who yearn for it, I fear." He sat back in his old chair, bones creaking as they always did these days. "And you think Harrison is responsible for this?" His eyes widened, "you think it's possible that..."
"Yes," Nicholas said triumphantly, with a thump of his cane, "I believe that the upstart in question was your Tom Riddle, and I believe he left a Horcrux in there. Would it not fit with his personality?"
"To break into the one who created the Horcrux's tomb and place his own inside would elevate himself beyond such a legendary figure's level of prestige, in his eyes," Albus acknowledged. "So you believe he knows of Tom's Horcruxes?"
"I find myself unsurprised, somehow," Albus said after a pause. "He located another of the Horcruxes recently, in young Harry Potter. He has offered to remove it, using a ritual."
Perenelle's lip twitched. "I take it you were not welcoming of the offer. You always were rather biased towards the practice after what happened to your dear sister. But as I have always said, that was only due to interference in the ritual, not the ritual itself. I would urge you to consider it, if only to help the boy. Who knows what could happen after prolonged exposure to such foul magic."
"I think he can be trusted," Nicholas advised, as he had for so long. "He may not be on your side, but judging by his actions against your little Dark Lord problem, he isn't on the other side either."
Albus took his glasses off, thumbed his eyes then replaced them. "I will think about it," he said heavily, though judging by Perenelle's amused smile, she knew she had convinced him to follow her path again.
"He is very, very interesting Al. Contradictions follow him like nifflers follow gold. He is experienced beyond his years, has been causing all sorts of havoc and rings oddly against our magic," Nicholas explained. "I would keep a close eye on him, I suspect he would make either a valuable ally or a terrifying enemy."
Albus was prevented by a bright flash of pale green in the already well-lit room, from which a dog of bronze emerged, large and imposing. It landed on Albus' desk mid-run from one side, dropped something from its jaws, and then ran the rest of the length of his desk to jump off the other side, where it disappeared in another flash of light.
Two wands (and one knitting needle) were pointed at where the creature had just been, all three of the owners of which were blinking in confusion at what had just occurred.
Nicholas broke the silence, "was that..."
"Atlantean technology. Yes, it was," Perenelle said in rare awe, her knitting momentarily forgotten. "What did it deliver, Al?"
"A letter," Albus said dazedly. "But I thought that the remains of Atlantis were all in the ICW archives in Rome?"
"Obviously, there was more than just gold and souls in that tomb," Nicholas observed wryly. "What does the letter say?"
Right, of course. He should have guessed it would be Harrison again.
Albus picked up the letter with strange resignation, unfolding the obnoxiously bright pink paper to reveal the scribbled note within. He read:
"Fine, I'll come.
P.S., care to explain the two gods sitting in your throne room?"
"I like him," Perenelle declared.
"That is because you are vain, mon ange, and he called you a god," Nicholas said automatically. Perenelle didn't even bat an eye, apparently agreeing with the assessment. "What is he accepting an invite to, Albus?"
Albus put down the letter slowly. "I came to much the same conclusion as you did, my friends. Not about the curious events you mentioned, but on your suggestion to watch him carefully. Either he is a friend, in which case I want him close-"
"-Or an enemy, in which case you want him closer," Nicholas finished, nodding.
"Indeed. So to facilitate this, I invited him to a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix."
Perenelle tutted, now back to her knitting. "I still say you would better suited using your political skills rather than that ragtag group of misfits and incompetents, you're far too good at manipulation to suit being a vigilante."
"Blunt as always, Perry," Albus chuckled. "Thank you for the compliment, alas I think the politics is better left to the youngsters, these days. Unlike the two of you, I'm not getting any younger."
"Bah!" Nicholas thumped his cane in disgruntlement. "You would lead this miserable heap of rocks better than that moron Fudge deaf, blind and missing half a brain. That imbecile couldn't manoeuvre himself out of a paper bag. But I won't force you to do what's in your best interests, as I always haven't."
Dumbledore smiled at the passive-aggressive suggestion. "Thank you."
"It's rather incredible that he could sense us up here," Perenelle noted. "Nicholas and I keep our magic subdued greatly."
Nicholas hummed in agreement, thumbing the top of his cane. "I want to meet him."
Albus closed his eyes while he took a deep breath. It seemed Nicholas had a new fixation, and this one was a person. And considering the person in question…
He could think of very few ways in which this would go well.
8th October 1995, 06:34pm
Molly looked up from the dough she had been kneading when she heard a knock at the door. She clapped her hands together as she walked towards the door to knock off the flour and glanced at the grandfather clock. Seeing that her own hand was nowhere near 'mortal peril', she glanced out of the small window to the right of the door and saw the back of a tall man with flowing, azure blue robes.
Those robes could only belong to one person.
"Albus!" She greeted enthusiastically when she flung the door open. "I had no idea you were dropping by, or I would have prepared something!"
Albus chuckled, ducking as he stepped into the house. "No need, no need. Apologies for imposing on you, I'm sure you have more important things to be doing..."
"Oh! Nonsense," she waved him off, stepping with him back into the kitchen. "I was just making some bread, as you can see. It's really no trouble at all."
Albus watched the dough kneading itself with a smile. "Contrarily, I think that what you were doing was of the utmost importance. Is Arthur in?"
Molly glanced at the clock. Arthur's hand was still on 'work'. "No, not for another few hours yet. The Ministry have been running him ragged recently, with the recent upsurge of misused muggle artefacts being discovered, awful stuff."
Albus nodded gravely as he swished his wand, directing a kettle under a tap to be filled. "It's in moments like these where I am grateful for the flexibility that my titles entitle me. Tea?"
"Yes please. Milk, one sugar," Molly smiled, taking control of the dough again. Albus often came to the Burrow and made whoever was in it a cup of tea and sat with them for a talk. He had mentioned how the kitchen reminded him of a home he had once had. Molly also liked to think that the venerable headmaster considered herself and Arthur good conversationalists.
"Are the children enjoying their time at school?" Albus asked as he picked two teabags from their old tin container.
"Oh yes, they're loving it. Apart from that awful affair with the last Hogsmead trip," her breath hitched a little at the memory of when she heard the news. Still, she continued, "it's been the best year for them yet, especially for Ronald. After what happened between him and Harry last year, he was worried that Harry might not want to be his friend anymore. I told him he was being ridiculous, of course, but boys will be boys."
"There is more than enough room for forgiveness in a heart as large as Harry's," Albus said as he waited for the kettle to boil. "And the twins? How do they fare?"
"They thrive," she said simply, her nose wrinkled but still unable to hide the small smile under it. "The two trouble-makers just announced their plan to start a prank shop, of all things! Some and some of the things they've invented… nothing short of genius," she frowned. "I think that Slate character has been giving them ideas."
"I know that's true for a fact," Albus said mildly. "I think they see a kindred soul in him. And Ginevra?"
Molly shrugged. "She doesn't send as many letters as the others. She's going through that phase. But I think she's having a good time in Care of Magical Creatures. I do like Hagrid, but the man really is distressingly irresponsible. Wilhelmina is a far better teacher, I must say."
"True, true. But I fear that if I allow her to continue her beloved teachings, soon there wont be enough of her left to teach," Albus chuckled, so did Molly. A ding sounded then, indicating the kettle had finished boiling. "Ah, that jogs my memory. Would you mind writing out an invite to the Order Headquarters while I pour this tea? I find that your own letters are far easier to read than my scrawl."
Molly hesitated. "Are you sure Albus?"
He waved her off. "I trust you with all my heart my dear, it really is nothing to worry about."
Still hesitant but heartened by his words, Molly clapped her hands again, adding a touch of magic to completely vanish all the flour and dough from her hands. She then fetched a quill and parchment as the sound of water pouring into the china mugs came from behind her. She penned the invite in a steady, blocky script contained within many a recipe book.
The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.
"Thank you, Molly dear," Albus said, swiping the slip of paper away and replacing it with a steaming mug of tea, the colour exactly as she liked it. He read it briefly, then tucked it into an inside pocket.
"Who's the invite for?" She asked placidly, blowing softly on the boiling surface of her tea.
"Harrison Slate. I'll be giving him the invite as soon as I return to the school."
She froze. "Slate? Are you certain that he's a good fit for the Order?"
Her old headmaster shook his head. "No, but it's better that he's there than not."
She pursed her lips the next time she blew, disappointed but unwilling to voice it. "Whatever you say, Albus."
He hummed and sipped his tea, an odd smile on his lips for a moment before he turned and looked out the window, tea steaming at his side. In another hour, he left, telling her he would see her at the Order meeting later in the day. It was what she had been making the bread for. It was rising in the oven as she stared fixedly at the family clock for another half hour, worry holding her in a choke hold before she shook her head with a heavy sigh and bustled off to get on with some more chores.
8th October 1995, 08:21pm
Number 12 Grimmauld Place, London
Tonks stared at the newest guest of Grimmauld place. The girl was standing on the opposite side of the room to her next to Bill Weasley, newly back from his most recent expedition to Egypt. Dumbledore had him doing some sort of research out there on the side. She was, undoubtedly, the most beautiful woman Tonks had ever seen.
"Fleur Delacour," Remus whispered back. "She's working at Gringotts. She was in the Triwizard Tournament last year."
"Well, that explains the magazine model impression she has going on then. She was a veela right?"
"Bill has a good eye," Tonks complimented. The girl certainly was beautiful. "Was he the one to bring her in?" She had only just arrived in the kitchen of number 12 Grimmauld Place to be greeted by cheers as she walked awkwardly in, her movements still slightly jerky due to the after-effects of the cruciatus.
"Yes. I'm not sure what good she can do us though. Her family is powerful, but only in France. And she's a powerful witch I'm sure, but still so young," he shrugged. "We'll have to see, just like with the other person coming today."
"Other person?" Tonks asked, still discreetly watching Delacour. The blonde beauty was pretending not to be nervous, which she succeeded with almost perfectly. Bill leant down to whisper in her ear, and she smiled weakly at him. Still, she did relax. The two were close; Tonks could tell.
"Harrison Slate. Not sure what Dumbledore was thinking inviting him, but there's no denying he would be a valuable fighter in a tight sp-"
"Harrison's coming?" Tonks asked, more high-pitched and squeaky than she would have liked.
"Should be here already," Remus confirmed, looking around him as if the guy would pop out of the biscuit tin on the kitchen table, not noticing her reaction. "As should Dumbledore, as a matter of fact. Odd, he's rarely late."
But Tonks wasn't listening to the rest. Harrison's coming. She hadn't talked to him since that day in the hospital. She had only seen his face in the series of articles in the newspapers and once, briefly, on clean-up duty in Hogsmead. He had caught her eye for a single moment. She had been transfixed, but he had looked away. Words they had and hadn't spoken had been heavy before them.
And guilt. Definitely guilt. What a shitty emotion.
"You alright Tonks?" Sirius asked as he settled in on her other side. He had always been able to discern her mood better than the others. "You look like you've seen a demon."
"Did you know that Harrison's been invited?" She hissed back.
"What? No, I didn't. Who invited him?"
"Dumbledore, I think. I bumped into him up in Portree and he told me Slate was coming," Remus explained, then frowned when he finally realised her state. "Worried?"
"Our last meeting wasn't exactly a warm send off," she murmured. Sirius gave her a brief one-armed hug, then stayed by her side.
"Greetings all," the unmistakable voice of Dumbledore came from the door. She turned to see the headmaster smiling upon them all. He was dressed in a bright orange robe trimmed in black with a large yellow pointed hat. It made him look like a lick of flame. "is everyone here?"
"Mundungus isn't, neither is Sturgis, but that's pretty normal," Emmeline said.
"So Mr Slate isn't here yet?"
"No, he isn't," Remus spoke over the people who didn't know about the new invitee.
"No matter, no matter. I think I'll take a quick trip to the lavatory then while we wait; I don't believe I've had the pleasure of visiting the one in this lovely place. Sirius?"
"First door on the left at the top of the stairs," Sirius said bemusedly.
"Thank you," Dumbledore bowed, a gleam in his eye that reminded Tonks of something else for a moment before he left. "Do feel free to speak amongst yourselves until I return, I might be a while. Wizengamot meetings do drag on so..."
He left then, a certain awkward gait to his steps that Tonks didn't like to think about. The door closed behind him, the room soon descending into low chatter as old friends greeted each other and talked about nothing.
"Did something seem… off about him to you?" Tonks asked Remus as she frowned at the door.
He looked askance at her, distracted from his chat with McGonagall. "No, why?"
"Nothing," she shook her head. It was Dumbledore; he was always odd. "Don't worry about it."
He nodded once and turned away, taking her word at face value.
"You are Nymphadora Tonks?"
Tonks stiffened as she swung her gaze to greet ice-blue eyes and beauty. Around her, she could already see the effect the girl was having on the men. Sirius had to blink a few times before his eyes cleared, and Remus shook himself like he was trying to dislodge a flea from his brain. Poor Dedalus Diggle looked like he was about to start praying to her.
"Yes," she said in a strained voice. "But I don't like to be called by my first name."
Fleur cocked her head. "Why not?"
"Not all of us have names as pretty as yours princess."
Despite the attitude behind her words, Fleur only smiled. "He called me the same. 'Zhe two of you are veery similar."
"Who do you theenk?"
"Harrison? You met him?" Tonks asked, not liking the swell of jealousy rising in her breast.
"Oui, I deed. He took me to a tomb, and togezzer we defeated a monster," those eyes were burning in their intensity. "He 'ad quite 'ze story to tell."
She nodded. "About a woman too blinded by what she sees before her eyes to see anything else."
"He did not show it, but I could tell 'e was 'urt."
"He hurt me way more than I hurt him."
"I would not be so sure. I theenk 'e 'as been alone for a long time, I could tell. 'aving you say 'ze thing you did pained him more than 'e would like to admit."
"Yeah, well, at least he has you to keep him company, he shouldn't be 'urt for too long."
Fleur gave Tonks a look that made her feel like she was the teenager in the conversation.
"Talk to 'im when he gets 'ere. 'arrison is my friend. Either you forgive each other or I convince 'im that it eez better to move on, you choose which way Mademoiselle Tonks."
She gave a smile completely devoid of warmth. She stalked away to stand next to Bill again, her eyes sliding across Tonks to land back on her ginger companion like she hadn't just been speaking to the metamorph, whose hair had gone a vivid shade of red.
Sirius whistled, pretending he hadn't just been eyeing the girls rear as she walked away.
"Shut up, Sirius."
"You just got told," he snickered.
"I said shut-"
"Greetings all," the headmaster's voice broke in, closing the door behind him, then turned to grace them with a smile. "Apologies for the hold-up. I was delayed by a ward some clever students contrived to place around my office. Is everyone here?"
Tonks looked at him askance, as did many others in the room. He had already said… most of that. And...
"Did you get changed in the bathroom Albus?" Sirius asked in amused confusion, one eyebrow raised.
"The bathroom?" Dumbledore questioned, equally confused. "Certainly not. I have never used the facilities here, and if I were to get changed it wouldn't be there."
"But you just said you were going to the bathroom..." Emmeline said.
"I am old my dear, but I don't think my memory has failed me yet. When did I say such a thing?"
"Not five minutes ago, when you came in here!" Elphias Doge exploded.
"I assure you old friend, I have only just arrived, I have not been in here."
There was a drawn-out silence.
Of course, it was Moody who immediately figured out what was going on, drawing the most dangerous possibility from the spaghetti of schemes floating around in his head.
"IMPOSTER!" He roared, thumping his staff hard. A flood of red sparks rushed out as everyone began to talk at once. Seven plans of action were drawn up and four methods of running away were constructed simultaneously.
"QUIET!" Dumbledore called out over the throng, who all went quiet again. "Where did the imposter go?" He asked in an implacable, commanding tone.
"To the toilet," Sirius responded in a similar voice. "Up the stairs, first on the left."
All of them rushed from the kitchen, following Dumbledore's lead. They thundered up the stairs and arrayed themselves around the bathroom in a circle, all wands pointing towards the inconspicuous chipped wooden door.
"On my count, stun anything that moves within the room," Dumbledore whispered. "3...2...1..."
The door swung outwards under the headmaster's magic, and the air was soon filled with red. Tonks herself cast a single stunner before she realised that nobody was in the bathroom, but most of the others seemed content to keep raining stunners through the hallway, tossing chips of broken tile around, the air filled with the sound of shattered masonry.
"Stop! Stop!" Dumbledore called, but nobody heard.
"STOP CASTING YOU FECKIN' DULLARDS!"
"Thank you Alastor," Dumbledore said in the newborn silence. "There's nobody there. Sirius, put the house on lock down. Everyone else, we must search the house. They could be anywhere, so go around in pairs."
They all agreed, some sheepishly, and moved off to perform the task, white-knuckled grips on their wands. But Tonks was barely down the hallway before the shout came up.
"Here!" It was Emmeline; Tonks could tell. She sounded… confused? Tonks could sympathise.
They all ran, Tonks behind Dumbledore with her wand raised and ready to cast. The man moved with surprising agility for someone five times her age. They all clattered down the stairs to the kitchen they had just left, where the voice had come from. Emmeline was standing inside the room, her wand pointed across the kitchen at something she couldn't see. She was too high up on the stairs to see so far in, but that soon changed.
"Evening Dumbledore." Harrison Slate said, his boots propped up on the table as he grinned, cigarette smoke curling from his fingers. "I have to say, the security around this heap could really do with an upgrade."
'Oh for Merlin's sake…'
"Slate?" One of them questioned. Harry tried to think about what his name was and came up blank. Obviously, this dude was irrelevant.
Harry wiggled his fingers in greeting. "Hi."
"Harrison, please do me the pleasure of explaining why you were impersonating my good self, before my comrades here curse you," Dumbledore said calmly, his wand still drawn.
"What? You invited me to join your fancy little club, I wanted to see what kind of protections you had."
"I don't see how you contrived to enter this house in the first place, seeing as I never managed to locate you in order to give you an invite."
Mrs Weasley frowned at Albus, "but… you said you would give the invite I wrote for you to him as soon as you got back to the school, not even two hours ago!"
Dumbledore blinked once. Twice. Then turned to Harry with a disapproving frown. "Harrison..."
Harry maintained his innocent smile.
Mrs Weasley finally seemed to catch on. "You!" She burst out.
"You should probably get some better wards for your minions Al," Harry intoned gravely. "And maybe some precautions against people polyjuicing as you. I even got a free breakfast from it."
"Could you please do one thing without causing chaos?" Dumbledore asked, rubbing his eyes while the people behind him looked like they were about to burst from outrage.
"I'm going to pretend you didn't just say something so ridiculous. Now, would you mind introducing me? I wanna see who you have in your anti-evil club."
Harry's old headmaster took in a deep breath, then waved his hand over his shoulder. "Very well, everyone do come in. Try not to irritate Harrison too much, he bites."
"Ha-ha, old man," Harry drawled, looking at Sirius like he was a long-lost lover. Turning his face to Albus but not taking his eyes off Sirius, he continued: "You're aware you have a mass murderer in your vigilante group, right? Doesn't exactly give off a very good public image."
"Hey! I'm innocent!" Sirius protested, finally breaking the tense silence that had been enveloping the room beforehand.
"Was that ever proved in a trial?" Harry shot back instantly. At Sirius' stumped astonishment, he smiled smugly. "Didn't think so."
"Why is he here, Albus?" Hestia Jones demanded, never being one to mince words.
"Harrison has recently shown himself to be a resourceful fighter and capable wizard. I think he potentially many skills that could be of great use in the fight against Voldemort, especially in our more… physical persuits," Dumbledore explained smoothly.
"And he wants to learn all of my secrets," Harry added.
"That too," Dumbledore admitted, his smile unfaltering.
Harry was momentarily distracted when he noticed a pair of eyes that were the only ones not looking at him. Tonks was standing in the corner of the kitchen, looking like she was trying to blend into it. Unfortunately for her, she would never be able to blend in anywhere. At least never for him, even with her morphing skills.
He didn't like the twist in his heart that the sight of her conjured within him. It was obvious from the sight of her that she was just as unhappy as he was. Her hair was a distressingly normal brown, her features unobtrusive and average. The strong desire to run his hands through that hair and tease pinks and blues from the long locks was almost irresistible.
But then he remembered what she had said, and the emotions fell away like a house of cards.
"You're a psycho Harri..." Was that what he was? Was he broken? After all these years, could it be that the thing to finally defeat Harry Potter would be Harry Potter himself?
'Harry Potter? A dead man, Slate is all that's left. Can you be him and Harry at the same time?'
"I'm not sure I approve, Albus," Molly said warily. "I read the papers, and we all heard what Mad-Eye had to say. I don't think his methods would be welcome here."
"Molly, I assure you that-"
"I will vouch for 'im," Fleur declared, stepping forward. "Despite the 'orrid theengs zhat ze Daily Prophet say, I know 'im to be an honourable man, any who say ozzerwise will 'ave to deal with loosing me with him." She looked around the room, daring them to answer back. They didn't.
"That's reciprocated by the way, in case any of you get any ideas," Harry said, grinning like a wolf.
Again, Albus attempted to smooth the ruffled feathers. "Perhaps instead of speaking of what the media says, and vouching for one another, you could introduce yourselves?" He gestured around the room, "all new members have in the past, and I'm sure we're all interested to hear more about you."
"Bagsy not going first," Harry said immediately.
Fleur gave him a dirty look but began anyway. The rules of bagsy were never to be violated. "My name is Fleur Delacour, and as many of you may 'ave already guessed, I am from France. I came over for a job at Gringotts, but I am fighting here because I do not theenk ze Dark Lord would stop at 'ze borders of Bretagne if 'e won 'zhis war." She looked stoic, her eyes deep. "I 'ave a sister in France; I will do anything to keep 'er safe."
"A noble reason to fight," Dumbledore said. "And a sensible one. I believe you to be correct about Voldemort's ambitions beyond the borders of this country. Harrison, I believe it's your turn."
Harry stood up. "Hey guys, my name's Harrison, Harrison Slate. I'm a part-time teacher at Hogwarts and a full-time genius, playboy and all-around swell guy. I accepted Albus' invite because I was bored, and there's someone here I want to talk to," his eyes flicked to Tonks, who again didn't meet them. "I know that some of you may disagree with my… methods, and to that I say, try and stop me. Thank you," Harry beamed at them, then took a seat.
"Thank you Harrison," Albus said above the discontent murmurs, "I believe now is a good time to begin our reports. Remus?"
After a minute shake of his head, Remus stepped forward and began his report. "For once, I don't actually have much to report," he said, sounding bemused. "My contact has recently gone underground and it was only by lucky chance that I managed to get a chance to talk to him before he was beyond communication."
"Did your contact tell you why?" Dumbledore asked.
Remus nodded. "He did. From what I gathered, Fenrir Greyback's pack has gone missing somewhere in Germany. An acquaintance of his managed to track them to where they vanished. From what he found, he estimated that they had all been killed, probably by a team of wizards."
"So his pack died along with him then," Dumbledore mused. He had wondered about that after Remus had told him about being sent Greyback's head. Despite efforts, they had never been able to locate the evil man's pack, so he hadn't known if they had followed him into the beyond.
"Did your contact tell you who did such a thing?"
"No, but he thought that Germany must have found them and dispatched a hit-squad. It was why he was going underground, the German's laws aren't very lenient when it comes to Werewolves."
"Perhaps," Dumbledore allowed, frowning. "But it doesn't strike me as something they would do. Despite their dislike of your race, Remus, they normally prefer to capture the culprits alive so they can be tried publicly, it warns the others that way."
There was a small cough, as if someone was trying to catch their attention. All heads yet again turned to Harry, who had his hand raised as if he had something to tell the class.
"Yes Harrison?" Dumbledore asked, wondering absently at the feeling of numb foreboding he was feeling in his gut.
"Yeah, well, now that I'm part of the Junior Dark Force Defence League here I should mention that I was actually the one to do that."
("Dark Force Defence League?" Sirius whispered to Remus.
"I think that's that made up organisation that Gilderoy Lockhart always went on about."
"What do you mean you had something to do with it?" Arthur asked.
"I..." Harry frowned, wondering how to phrase this delicately. "...Relocated them."
"Relocated?" Sirius asked with a raised eyebrow. "Where exactly did you relocate them to?" He had doubts; Bellatrix had used that same tone when they asked where the family dog had gone.
They had found it three weeks later. Well, Regulus had found it. It had been in his desk drawer, after all. At least the head had; they never found the rest.
"Somewhere where they won't be bothering anyone else?"
"Could we see them?" Dumbledore pressed, "if we went through the right channels, I think we could prosecute them to the full extent of the law."
Harry opened and closed his mouth a few times.
'Oh, fuck it.'
"You probably could," he answered, scratching his chin. "I mean, you would have to dig a good twelve feet into the earth, and I doubt they would be able to make a very responsive defence on the stand on account of all of them being… you know, dead. But you would definitely be able to see them."
There was a horrified silence.
"So it was you who sent me his head!" Remus exclaimed, pointing at him.
"You're welcome," Harry grinned.
"How did you know it was him who…?"
'Bollocks, didn't think of that.'
'Thinking's overrated,' Ron dismissed. Typical Ron, always trusting instincts over his brain.
'Shut up moron. Now think Potter, and think fast,' Bill said firmly.
"I… heard him bragging about it and recognised your name."
'Good one,' Moody praised.
"Oh," Remus responded eloquently. "Well, thanks anyway. He was a real piece of shit."
"You killed all of them?" A total milf who Harry thought might have been Emmeline Vance said. "But there must have been-"
"Fifteen," Harry finished. "Enough for a full Quidditch game, plus a spectator."
"Quite the pitch invasion," Sirius said, sounding impressed.
"I thought so too, but they didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did."
"Probably because they're all dead," Sirius deadpanned.
"Maybe, but I haven't ruled out the possibility that they just couldn't appreciate a good joke."
"Probably because they were dead before the punchline."
"There was no punchline," Harry grinned, the banter making him feel oddly nostalgic. "They were all one-liners."
He whistled. "That's cold."
"I thought so too."
"I'm sorry, are we just going to ignore that he just admitted to killing fifteen people?" A short, bald man said shakily, looking like he was about to either bolt or shit himself at any moment.
Harry gained a thoughtful look. "Fifteen and half."
"W-w-what?" The man stammered.
"They were about halfway through eating that body, so technically it was fifteen and a half."
"I think it's about time we move on," Dumbledore cut in, watching in mild concern as Sturgis turned a sickly shade of green. "Thank you, Harrison, for your… contribution."
"It was nothing," Harry waved off, ignoring everyone staring at him in awe, fear, bafflement or all three. Sirius was grinning again. So was Bill. Harry guessed that these two were some of the few that had seen the worst of humans. A glance a Remus confirmed his theory; he hardly looked surprised.
"Next on the agenda," Dumbledore said, ignoring him. "Kingsley, anything to report from inside the auror office?"
"We've had reports of people going missing all over the country," Kingsley rumbled. "I compiled them onto a map and tried to make some sense out of it. It looks like they're keeping it random, and there could be some interference from regular missing person cases throwing off the results, but I noticed a concentration of missing persons around Hampshire. I brought it to Scrimgeour's attention, but as always he turned me down to curry favour with the Minster."
Dumbledore bowed his head at the unasked permission, "you may begin your search. Anything else?"
Kingsley's eyes flicked between Harry and Tonks for a second. "Of course there is what happened last week. None of the bodies could be identified apart from the ones in Hogsmead. Their names should be released soon enough in the paper," again, his eyes flick to just Harry this time, "also, after the event, three aurors got put on leave for… medical reasons."
"That's awful," Harry said in a completely deadpan voice. Fleur and Bill snorted.
"What was the reason given?" Dumbledore asked, doing a valiant effort to pretend not to hear him.
"Griffiths, Savage and Dawlish all woke up without their thumbs on their wand arm missing. So far, it looks like they're going to have to start learning to use their left hand before they rejoin."
Sirius whistled. "Nice."
"I don't know why you're all looking at me," Harry said defensively.
"Harrison," Dumbledore said sternly.
"Fine. But they deserved it. When I got to the Hinkeypunk they were mopping her blood off the floor," Harry pointed at Tonks, who stared at him, "they were all dirty, probably been selling off information from the inside for years now."
"Can we expect any of them to unexpectedly go missing in the near future?" Dumbledore asked.
The muscled in his jaw visibly clenched as he worked them. He and Tonks were suddenly locking eyes, mirror grey meeting perfect black. "That… isn't my choice to make."
"We could get into contact with them, perhaps tell them that Slate will remove the curse if they pass on information to our side instead," Snape said, seemingly the only one socially inept enough not to notice the air of tension between Harry and Tonks that nobody else seemed willing to break.
"Perhaps," Dumbledore said. "Speaking of, I'm glad to see you healthy, Nymphadora, and thank you to you, Harrison, for retrieving her and defending the students."
Harry merely nodded. The fact that Tonks didn't correct the headmaster was telling.
"Now, Serverus, what news is there from within the Dark Lord's ranks?"
Snape stepped forward from the shadows, making that small movement look overdramatic. "The Dark Lord seems to finally have found someone he despises more than you and Potter, headmaster," Snape began, and Harry had to fight not to snort at the irony. "Slate's attack on Travers Manor cost him a sizeable chunk of manpower. The ruthlessness of the attack seems to have caught him by surprise, and we all know how the Dark Lord reacts to surprises."
"Must have been a nightmare to plan parties for," Harry joked.
"Undoubtedly," Snape drawled, "he has stayed inside recently and cursing anyone who has interrupted him. I have no doubt he is planning a new attempt on your life, Slate."
"Yeah? Well next time you see him, tell him I said that he's a wanker."
"I'm sure he'll take you're opinion into careful consideration," Dumbledore said calmly over the snickers. "Does anyone else have anything to report?"
"Oh yeah," Hestia Jones rose her hand like she was in a classroom.
"Yes, Hestia?" Dumbledore asked, amused.
"For the last couple days, every time Rita Skeeter has tried to write an article she writes 'I must not tell lies' instead. It's been brilliant, me and a few other reporters have had the chance to write articles now she isn't hogging all the limelight."
"You work in the Daily Prophet?" Harry asked interestedly. He remembered her, a pretty witch with black hair that had been kind to him.
"Yeah," she gave him a slightly apprehensive look. "Mainly Quidditch reports and duelling tournament coverage, but I've written outside of those two things a few times."
"Quite an odd curse, had to do too," Dumbledore mused.
"Hmm," Harry hummed.
"I can't think of many people who had both the motivation and ability to do such a thing," Dumbledore continued.
"Maybe she should take the advice," Harry offered sagely.
"To do that, Harrison, the curse would have to be lifted."
"You're ruining her career, Harrison."
"I'm sure I'll persevere somehow."
"Oh come on Albus," Sirius protested. "We all know you hate the woman almost as much as you hate Fudge, even if you try and hide it."
"I do recall seeing the remains of a few of the woman's articles in your fireplace, Albus," McGonagall said.
"If you want to get rid of her legally I can tell you that she's an illegal beetle animagus," Harry offered cheerfully. "I know the mental image of her getting kissed makes me happy, at least."
"Sirius, Minerva, I believe myself above ruining people's lives over personal grudges." He paused, then frowned, "and Harrison, no."
Harry harrumphed and sulked into his chair, crossing his arms. "You're no fun."
Harry put his hand up, "I'm going after Pettigrew."
Dumbledore blinked, "any reason why him, specifically?"
Harry grinned. "It's a personal grudge."
Harry had just flushed and washed his hands when he was confronted by his old godfather right outside the loo door.
"Sirius Black," he introduced himself without preamble, sticking out his hand.
"Harrison Slate," Harry said in slight bemusement, shaking the proffered hand. He winced when he felt the twinge of darkness lingering underneath the man's skin, but made sure to give him a firm shake anyway. "You look better than you did in the mugshots."
"Bad lighting," Sirius dismissed. "Should we move somewhere more comfortable?"
"Sure," Harry stood to the side and welcomed Sirius into the tiny toilet under the stairs like a hotel assistant. "Please, come in."
Sirius nodded solemnly, not showing any surprise at the offer, "thank you," he walked into the bathroom calmly and perched on the toilet cistern, his feet on the closed seat. Harry closed the door and sat in the sink, his legs dangling awkwardly as he faced Sirius.
"Sorry about the smell," Harry said as he adjusted himself so the tap wasn't digging into his back, "what did you want to talk about, Mr Black?"
"Please just call me Sirius."
"Alright Sirius, you may call me Harrison, or something shorter if you like."
"Will do. Now, I've been thinking about what you were saying back in the meeting about Pettigrew, were you serious about that?"
Harry feigned puzzlement, "I don't I've ever been you at any point, especially not then."
"But bad jokes aside, yeah, I was."
"I want him dead, too," Sirius said unashamedly, "I'll give you my reason if you give me yours?"
Harry shrugged, "sure. It's not that complicated. I did some investigating around the area the ward first went off when I was talking to Tonks. Forensic charms showed rat's paw prints, and seeing as the building has rat eversion wards, that only leaves the bloke all the Death Eaters call Wormtail and Pettigrew interchangeably, who I'm guessing is a rat animagus."
Harry was lucky he had thought to put some effort in and conjure up a believable lie. The truth was he had just ripped the information from Travers' mind, and even if he hadn't, he already knew Pettigrew was a rat.
Sirius nodded along, "that's decently well thought out. And yes, he is."
"All I need is a slice of cheddar and a spring loaded trap then, sweet. Anyway, I think I already know why you want him dead, seeing as he's supposed to be the one who killed you and you don't quite look dead, yet."
"I know. Yesterday I almost gave Podmore a heart attack when I jumped out from behind the sofa on him, I think he thought I was an inferius."
"Sweet," Harry grinned back, then frowned, "you know, I think I could fix that."
Sirius looked puzzled, "what do you mean?"
"You were bathing in dementor juice for twelve years, it's soaked into your bones, if you want I can try and get it out."
Sirius grimaced, "ew. That sound's even worse than bin juice. Give it a go, if you think it'll work."
Harry could tell that Sirius was trying to put up a stoic front, but he could sense the hopefulness beneath the shrug.
"Alright, just stay still and try to relax," Harry said, clambering out of the sink and letting his wand fall into his palm. He span it once, then gently pressed the tip of his wand into Sirius' chest, around where his heart was. Harry took in a deep breath.
"Expecto Patronum," he whispered, focusing his magic on conforming to his will. Sirius' eyes widened as he felt the foreign magic invade his own. His body was glowing from the inside, getting brighter and brighter as Harry fed more magic into it. Wisps of black magic resembling smoke began to rise from the man's pores as if he was on fire, the black magic of the dementors being forcibly removed.
Sirius giggled. "That tickles," he complained.
Harry snorted and pushed a particularly strong pulse of magic into Sirius' body, causing a body-wide plume of black magic to rise and Sirius to yelp helplessly.
"There we are, I think that's the last of it," Harry said, his wand disappearing up his sleeve again.
"Wow, thanks mate," Sirius said, looking at himself in the mirror. He looked about twenty years younger, a lot more like the mid-thirties he was supposed to be.
Harry blinked at being called 'mate' by his godfather but continued on as he settled himself back into the sink, "you're welcome. Why did you want to know about Pettigrew?"
He seemed unable to stop playing with his hair, which was smooth again. "What? Oh right, that. Do you have any leads on him?"
Harry tilted his hand from side to side in a 50/50 gesture. "Maybe, just a rumour of a rumour with some dubious evidence backing it, but it's what I've got. Why, you want in?"
"Yes," Sirius said immediately. "One-hundred percent yes."
Harry rose an eyebrow, "I didn't think you were allowed to leave this place."
Sirius raised an eyebrow right back, "I didn't think you cared."
"True," Harry agreed cheerfully. "Alright then, you can come along. But we should probably try to capture him to clear your name, then kill him after."
Sirius thought on it for a moment, then smiled. "Sounds like a plan. When are you going to start looking for him?"
Harry shrugged, "don't know, I'll come over when it's time and pick you up."
"Brilliant, thanks," Sirius sighed, relaxing back against the toilet wall. "I was going crazy cooped up in this bloody house; it'll be nice to finally get out."
"I can't blame you," Harry admitted, "this place is like one of those haunted houses at the fair, I'd go mental too."
Sirius grunted, "did I see you smoking earlier? You mind if I have one? I haven't smoked in 12 years, I've missed it."
Harry wordlessly passed him a cigarette and perched one of his own in his lips before pocketing the small box again.
"You ever learn this little trick?" Harry asked, then lit a flame on his finger and lit the cigarette.
Sirius nodded, "yeah, but we did it a little differently in my day," he pinched the end of the cigarette. No flame came from his fingers, but the end steadily heated until it was a merry red glow.
"Nice," Harry complimented, setting up a spell made to dispel potion fumes so they didn't stink out the toilet. "When did you go to Hogwarts?"
"Class of '78," Sirius said proudly. "They called us the golden year, some of the best witches and wizards to come out of Hogwarts were in that year. I think only Harry's year could match it. 'Course, all of them are dead now."
"All of them?" Harry asked.
Sirius hummed, "Most of the people I knew, anyway. I think Mary's still knocking around, a healer in Mungo's or something. And of course there's me and Remus," he grimaced, "and Snape, but I don't include him in any list unless it's the same one Pettigrew's on."
"Snape was in the same year as you?" Harry asked, feigning surprise, "but he looks about fifty, and not even a good fifty."
"He's always been ugly on the inside and outside," Sirius said, "always figured it was the potion fumes, but I'm not discounting the possibility that he's the spawn of a dementor and a house elf."
"It would explain the nose," Harry mused, deep in thought. "And the robes."
"I'm pretty sure Dumbledore wont let him treat with the vampires because he doesn't trust Snivelly not to ask them to bite him."
"I heard he's a unicorn animagus."
The both of them broke into snickers.
"There was a small period of time where I felt bad for giving the coward hell in school, but after meeting him again and hearing what Harry has to say about him I regret not going further."
Harry didn't disagree. He was against bullying in general, but some people just deserved it. "Harry's a good kid," he said, not even feeling like he was patting himself on the back for some reason.
"I forgot you teach him, how's he doing?" Sirius asked, leaning forwards.
"Thriving," Harry grinned. "I brought back the duelling club and he's been stomping all the kids in his year and the year above, even some two years above. I gave him a bit of a nudge and he started up a club of his own geared more towards teaching than competition."
"It's good to see him having fun, that kid doesn't get nearly enough breaks," Sirius said, then eyed him curiously. "You like him, huh?"
"He reminds me of me," Harry shrugged.
"Sirius! Where are you, you bloody dog!" An unmistakable carrying voice rang out clearly.
"In here!" Sirius called back, the noise extraordinarily loud in the cramped spot. "I'm on the throne!" He faced Harry, lowering his voice, "I have a feeling I know what she wants to talk about."
Harry sighed, slumping against the wall as the cigarette hung lazily from his lips. "Yeah."
"Where?" Tonks' voice called again, sounding much closer this time.
"Here! You can come in if you like!"
Footsteps echoed, coming close, "Merlin, youve been in there for ages! I've been looking for you, I wanted to ask if you've seen-" The door was wrenched open to reveal Tonks, her hair a short brown like her eyes, which locked onto his immediately. "-Harrison," she said, then seemed to notice the setting. "Why are you sitting in the sink?"
"Well, I was hardly going to sit on the towel rack was I."
A small smile blossomed on her pale face, then disappeared under a frown, "stop that."
"I'm just going to..." Sirius coughed, then stood. Neither of them even looked at him. "Yeah." He slipped out the door and vanished down the corridor.
The two of them stared at each other.
"We need to talk," Tonks said finally, absently picking at a splinter in the door frame.
"By all means, talk," Harry said, rolling his hand in a 'go on' motion.
"Not in here, Harrison," she snapped.
"Fine," Harry said, awkwardly clambering out of the sink. He flicked the stub of the cigarette into the toilet and flushed it. "Lead the way, my lady."
She didn't respond, just spun on her heel and walked briskly in the opposite direction that Sirius had. Harry followed dutifully behind, wondering at the pros and cons of making a run for it. Confrontation in a fight? Harry was all for it. Confronting all those icky feelings? Nope, not his thing.
"Here," Tonks barged straight into a room Harry had never been in before or even noticed. Harry looked around as he entered.
'Hello, welcome to MTV cribs, my name is Harrison Slate, and this is my crib! Over here we have the head of a Hydra, and this is my great-great-great grandfather Perseus Black, who invented the Spanish Flu.'
"Nice place," Harry complimented. "Very… Gothic."
"Shut up," Tonks said, sinking into a grand leather sofa, "we're going to have a grown up talk."
"I think you're going a bit far to call yourself a grown-up, Tonks; you have to have a bit of rationality to qualify for that," Harry said, slumping into a seat opposite her.
Tonks glared, "you're one to talk about rationality, you-" she closed her eyes and seemed to physically force her anger down. She opened her eyes, and they had gone from a dull brown to an icy blue. "You're not making this easy."
"I tend to hold a grudge against anyone who calls me a psychotic mass murderer."
"I wasn't the only one throwing out names, Harri," she said.
"I know," Harry ran his hand through his hair. "I'm… sorry," he forced out. "The things I said… they were harsh and I probably went too far. But you were being stupid, and it isn't like you didn't reciprocate."
Her eyes became a stormy grey, and she seemed to sag. "I know," she whispered, sounding like it pained her to admit it, "I talked to Sirius after, and Mad-Eye. They showed me what you meant. But I was just… I don't know. Overwhelmed, I guess. I thought I was ready for a war, ready for a fight. I was trained by Mad-Eye Moody himself, a bona fide prodigy. I got cocky, and suddenly I was tied up surrounded by Death Eaters and I couldn't do a single thing," any other girl might have been crying, but Tonks just looked angry. "Then you come along, taking them all out and making it look so easy. I hated that you didn't have any difficulty doing what it took to save someone when I couldn't even save myself. It's like you're the better version of me, and I needed to hate you for it."
Harry looked at her, horrified. What on earth was he supposed to say to that? This is what he had meant when he said he wasn't ready for all the emotional shit.
"Fucking hell, Tonks, if you wanted to make me feel like shit..." Harry breathed, then noticed her glare and scrambled for something more meaningful. He drew his wand and spun it around his fingers in an endless dance, the habit relaxing him, "look, Tonks… I've been through a lot of shit. I've been fighting for pretty much all of my life. You've only been a auror for what, a year? There's no way you could be as good as me in a fight. Even then, you still took out a few of the Death Eaters that attacked you from what I heard."
She gave him an unreadable look but lifted a shoulder in a shrug that reminded Harry of Fleur, though he imagined voicing that thought wouldn't be wise at that moment. "I tried my best." She was quiet for a while, then, so quiet Harry almost didn't hear it, "I don't think you're a monster, by the way."
Harry was tempted to reply with sarcasm but resisted bravely. "I know. I don't think you're skull is that thick, either."
There was another stretch of silence; the only sound was the tic of a massive grandfather clock in the corner and the subtle movements of the house.
"Did you mean that? What you said earlier?" She suddenly asked, as if she had been trying to work up the courage to do so.
Harry raised his bowed head, giving her a devilish smirk, "I said a lot of things, Tonks. You're going to have to be a bit more specific."
"You said in the hospital that you did all of that for me," she murmured, her hair becoming a long length of pitch black, "did you mean that?"
"Of course I meant it, Tonks," he said. "I don't mean everything I say, but that… I meant that."
"What did you think the roses were for?"
Slowly she stood, her eyes a swirling vortex of dark, dark blue. "I saw you and the Delacour witch… you haven't moved on already have you, Harrison?"
Harry watched her approach him as he sat in a lazy sprawl. "Far too busy being yours to fall for somebody new, I'm afraid," he croaked.
She crawled over him on all fours, the leather creaking as she made her way up his torso until she was level with his eyes, her hands pinning his to the back of the sofa. Harry didn't make any move to protest.
"You're bad," she whispered. "My dad hates you, everyone else is scared of you. Even I'm scared of you. You're the antithesis to everything I believe… And yet, I couldn't stop thinking about you for a single moment."
Nobody ever seemed to remember how fascinated Little Red Riding Hood had been by the Wolf's teeth.
"Maybe you should stay away then," Harry murmured, his eyes drawn to the swoop of her neck as he felt her brush against him.
"Yes, I should," Tonks said, then pressed her lips against his.
The kiss was languid, and their hearts seemed to beat in rhythm for the duration. Slowly, Tonks shifted her weight until she was sitting in his lap, her arm leaving his wrists to cup his face. Harry moved his own to snake around her waist, pulling her further into himself. Already he could feel her shifting as he did the same, the two of them slotting together like two pieces of a puzzle.
"Fuck," she breathed as they broke apart, "Harrison-"
"I know," he said huskily into her neck as he sucked on it. Her back arched, and she began to grind herself against him as he grasped her arse with both hands, holding her against him firmly.
"Harrison, I need you," she panted, fumbling with his chin to raise his head and crash her lips into his again. Harry groaned low in his throat as he felt his cock strain against the fabric of his cargo trousers against her. He could feel her heat infusing him, and he immediately got lost in it. He could tell she did, too; their movements were desperate and hasty, as if the world was about to end and this was all the time they had left.
Harry stood, a single hand on the small of her back keeping her against him as she wrapped her legs around his waist. He pulled off her t-shirt with the other revealing a simple black bra and a wand holster on her wrist. She pulled her wand from the holster, fired a locking charm at the door, and then tossed the wand onto the sofa as Harry lowered her delicately like she was a precious thing. The arch of her back and the smooth, unblemished skin of her stomach were things of beauty.
He knelt between her legs, towering over her. He didn't think he had ever seen something as beautiful as she looked then. Her hair was splayed around her in a pure black pool, her face constructed in a diamond shape with wide, wild violet eyes and swollen, her s abused-looking lips. She looked like something to be captured by Da Vinci or Michaelangelo, an unnatural beauty.
Because that's what both of them were. Truthfully, no painter could truly capture them and do them justice. Nobody could but themselves, for they had somehow contrived to capture each other's hearts.
"You're… beyond belief," Harry said throatily, gazing at her like she was the holy grail.
Amazingly, she became even more beautiful when two spots of rosy colour rose on her cheeks. "Shut up, Harri," she said, impatiently undoing the buttons of the simple dark green shirt he was wearing. Harry took her hand when she failed three times on one and kissed it while he undid the rest with one hand and lowered himself to be horizontal with her as she squirmed beneath him.
She threaded her fingers through his hair as he peppered kisses down her neck, grazing his cheek against the fabric covering her breasts before continuing down to her stomach. Her chest was heaving as she moaned, and the sight was made all the more alluring by the fact that her breasts had grown larger in her arousal, the bra straining.
Soon his shirt was off, and their bodies felt electric against each other. Harry felt like he was on fire.
"Shit, Harri, you're ruining me," Tonks gasped as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her fully into him. She was so tiny he practically pulled her off the sofa. "Please, don't stop."
Harry's hand was just snaking down and teasing the band of her underwear when a knock came at the door.
Tonks and Harry stared into each other's eyes, frozen, wondering if some cruel god was making them hear things to stop them from carrying on. But then the knock came again.
Harry closed his eyes, very unwilling to let her go. "If that isn't the herald of fucking Ragnorok, I'm going to behead whoever that is," he growled.
"Go," Tonks laughed, "just come back, and quickly."
Harry gave her one more heated kiss as the knocking came again before standing and striding to the door and yanking it open.
Once more, Sirius was standing outside the door, but this time he was greeted by a slightly different Harrison. Harry was still bare-chested, his figure lean, tall and well-defined. His hair was even more mussed than usual, his eyes wild, his lips swollen, and he had suspicious red marks all over his neck and chest. A glance past him revealed Tonks, who had wrapped Harry's shirt around her and was approaching to stand by Harrison.
Sirius would have cracked a joke if the situation wasn't so dire.
"Harry's broken into the Department of Mysteries, his friend somehow got captured and taken there, I don't know how, but it's definitely a trap, we need to go and help him."
All thoughts of defenestrating Sirius on the spot for blocking him from some ridiculously good make-up sex fled from his mind immediately.
Voldemort had made his move early.
AN: Yup, brace yourselves for more action. I hope you enjoyed the chapter. It's half the size of the last few, but I'll make up for it with the best bit of action the fanfiction world will ever see in the next one.
And yes, I blue-balled all of you. I am an awful person, so on and so forth.
I'm going to talk about the other fics I'm writing now, so if you don't care you can skip and I'll just say; Thanks for reading! I'll see you next time! Follow, Favourite and Review!
Alright, now those guys are gone.
One of the fics is time travel to the marauders era. I've got the classic fancast and a few OC's. It started with a name: Caspian Altair. My idea is to give the body that Harry will inhabit a backstory and won't just be a *cough* blank slate *cough* like Harrison was. The Harry in this was a disillusioned auror who absorbed Riddle's horcrux in the final battle, so he'll act very differently also. I plan to give him a sister to protect, and will be delving into family magic and pagan tradition. Heavily inspired by 'Constellations Inked in Blood' (which is really good and I hope isn't abandoned btw), where nobility is the real thing and not just the word 'Lord' pasted before every name. I'm having fun writing it and am about 20k words in, as I've restarted it about five times.
The second is more inspired by 'The Merging' which is another of my favourite fics and also Honks. I also plan to draw inspiration from the backstory of 'Circular Reasoning'. It's in first person, so you're going along with Harry for the ride. He absorbs the horcrux after the dementor attack, but doesn't just become magically overpowered. Occlumency will play a huge part, and I plan to try and capture his fear as he changes unwillingly, but also doesn't want to stop as the information is giving him the power he thinks he needs to survive.
The third is something I've only just started, but I'm optimistic. It's way more lighthearted than the rest. Inspired by 'Trouble' Harry basically decides at the age of six that if everyone is going to assume he's a troublemaker, he may as well fulfil their expectations. In which Harry has friends in the muggleworld, is a skater and a pathological liar, and isn't as eager to leave it all behind. I plan to have a lot of fun writing his mischief in Hogwarts. I guess in that respect, it will be like the 'Seven Years of Chaos' series on ao3.
That's all of em, let me know what you think. Of course I'll be focused mainly on this, but I need to vent sometimes.