Disclaimer: I own nothing; it all belongs to J.K.Rowling. I'm just borrowing the characters to play with for a while. This is for pleasure only, no profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
"Ennervate" said Nicholas.
"Urgh." Hermione mumbled as she slowly ventured into the world of the conscious.
"How are you feeling, Hermy?" Nicholas asked.
Hermione's eyes snapped open at the Grawp-christened nickname. She groaned and closed her eyes back up. "I hate you, Harry Potter."
Nicholas morphed back into his natural form of Harry Potter. "No you don't sugar-britches. You love me."
"Oh Harry," was all she said before hugging her friend violently. She clung onto her annoying best friend and was having a bit of an emotional episode. "You do realize I am going to get revenge on you."
"I know, Herms, I know. But I wanted to make certain that I deserved any and all said revenge." A chuckling Harry replied.
Hermione smacked her friend in the head and pushed away.
She collected herself into her more focused, studious mindset. "So Nicholas Flamel is just a name like Dread Pirate Roberts? Passed down and only remaining useful for as long as the secret is kept?"
Hermione's eyes widened. "You taught us seventh year!"
"That's why you like the DADA curse so much! It really did make you the man you are today."
Harry gave Hermione a small quiet golf clap.
"Oh Harry. You know, it kinda ruins the point when Superman's alter-ego is Batman."
Harry shrugged. "Enh. It's still a place to hide, and no one would suspect it."
"And the Sorcerer's Stone?"
"Was a cool looking rock that makes the name, Nicholas Flamel, seem much more impressive."
Hermione shook her head and sighed. "You just like making all my books wrong, don't you?"
Harry shrugged. "I didn't write them." He paused and thought for a second. "Well, not all of them."
Hermione huffed. "Oh geez. I can't believe I'm saying this, but you've been rightfully so smug and cheeky. Leading the search for yourself." She shook her frustrated head. "Hiding in plain sight in the least likely spot. So why are you telling me now?"
"Hermy," Harry was trying to see if she would even react to the numerous smarmy nicknames, "you have got to look at it from my perspective. Can you imagine how funny it is, from my point of view? You, who must know everything, trying to figure out the mystery of 'Where in the world is Harry Potter?'"
Hermione just groaned.
"Now imagine how much fun it's going to be for you to know, and be unable to tell anyone else."
"You know, buttercup, you'd make a great Perenelle Flamel."
Hermione's head snapped up and her eyes widened in shock.
Harry burst out laughing. "I'm just kidding! Slow down. Your reaction was priceless. Oh man this is going to be fun."
Hermione went back to whimpering.
Harry put on a very serious face. "Besides, if we're really going to figure out where Harry is hiding we need to be open and honest with each other."
Hermione scowled a bit, cast a Sonorus on herself, and managed to yell out "Ngh!"
Harry just laughed. "You really need to work on your keeping secrets there. I warned you this was a big one, and required a much more stringent secrecy spell."
Hermione went back into defense mode. "All those secrecy spells preventing Nicholas from talking about Harry! Even all the spells at the Order meeting before school started! You were just making it all up as you went, weren't you?"
Harry really was trying not to snicker and smile too much, but it was not easy. Every indignant face Hermione made, or frustrated sigh was another small battle won in Harry's mind.
"I'm going to go crazy unable to whine and moan about you, aren't I?"
Harry smiled and felt a bit of pity for her. "Well, it appears Fate doesn't want you to snap just yet, as while you were unconscious, Albus called in a life-debt 'Nicholas Flamel' owed him. He's under the same secrecy spell you are, and he knows just about everything too."
"Just about everything?" Hermione asked.
Harry smiled. "Well, I'm not about to give away all my secrets, now am I?" Harry morphed his appearance into a different one. "Where would the fun be in that?"
Hermione gasped. "You're my geek friend!"
Harry morphed back. "Are you sure about that? I might just know Corey and have helped him on the program."
Hermione shook her head. "No. You are…" She sighed and thought about it and realized she wasn't sure. "This is absolutely craptacular."
Harry disagreed but restrained himself from pointing that out to Hermione.
"So, you're a Snorkack food delivery guy, eh?" Hermione said with a blush.
Harry just snickered and smiled, doing his best to give nothing away.
"And you like to dress up as a pirate on Halloween?"
Harry looked surprised. "A pirate? What do you mean?"
Hermione went pale for a second before realizing who she was talking to. "You were the pirates! Admit it!"
Harry looked as innocent as he ever had. "Hermione, I have no idea what you're talking about."
Hermione broke down into tears. "Harry!" She sniffled out, "I just can't take this. You have to stop lying to me." She put her head down in her arms and just sobbed. "It's too much. Too many lies. Too many deceptions."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Too much over-acting. I know you better than anyone Herms."
She snapped her tear-free face back up. "Gods above, I hate you."
"You would be so utterly bored without me." A smug Harry retorted.
It was the end of the year staff meeting. This evening was the leaving feast, and tomorrow the Hogwarts Express would be taking all the young impressionable minds back to London for the rest of summer.
Albus addressed all of his colleagues. "This has been another wonderful, quiet, Dark Lord-free year."
Severus butted in. "Albus, don't tempt fate and say things like that."
"Thank you Severus. We have survived the fighting spirit of a Marauder, and I daresay I think we're past the worst of that storm."
"Fate, Albus, fay-ate."
Albus snapped at the greasy man. "You do realize, there is now another trained Potions professor and potential Head of Slytherin House among the faculty, don't you?"
Severus wisely shut up, but Draco puffed himself up proudly. An unexpected burst of pleasure ran through the blonde ponce and he let out an undignified shriek and briefly shivered a spasm.
Albus continued. "As I was saying, we are going to be saying 'Goodbye' to Pomona Sprout, who has taught Herbology for several decades, and headed the Hufflepuff House for almost as long. We thank you for your service and time and wish you the best. Replacing her as Herbology professor will be Neville Longbottom."
Severus closed his eyes and bit his tongue to keep from saying anything. The soothing sensations his phoenix mark was sending only added to his stress.
"We are also going to be bidding adieu to Professor Flamel again." A number of people turned their heads, unaware of that fact.
"He apparently has too much respect for the mumbo-jumbo about a DADA curse." Albus said with a frown. "But he did make an interesting suggestion for a replacement." Albus looked around at the attentive faces. "He recommended tracking down the Light Lord Potter and guilting him into taking the position."
Severus opposed. "Albus, that horrible little boy cannot possibly teach properly."
Nicholas just snickered.
Albus looked at his Potions professor. "Really Severus? Because I found he taught me a lot," Albus raised a challenging eyebrow, "about myself."
Draco started snickering and was rewarded with a cuff in the head from Severus.
Tonks looked hopeful. "You think we will be able to find him? And trick him into teaching?"
Nicholas suggested. "I'm not sure 'tricking' him is the best way to do it, but don't worry about finding him. I intend to dedicate my summer to discovering all I can about that cheeky bugger and forcing him into honoring his duty to this school."
Tonks smiled. "Man, what would we do without you, Nicholas?"
Albus and Hermione had identical winces, though Hermione's was accompanied with a loud "urg."
Tonks was nodding. "We wouldn't even have a chance of getting Harry without you."
Nicholas smiled. "I like to think, I do what I can."
Hermione was getting really dizzy now and having trouble thinking straight.
Tonks smirked and added, "If you can find Harry and get him into the DADA position, I'll even take another year of sabbatical and stay on in the Caretaker position."
Albus smiled and leaned forward. "I think I will try and hold you to that, Miss Tonks."
Tonks turned to Minerva and asked, "Harry's still single, right?"
Minerva looked stern and replied. "He'd have to be. You cannot be that immature and in a relationship. Merlin help us all when the beast reproduces."
A few chuckles around the room, probably loudest from Albus and Hermione, were accompanied by a slight frown on Nicholas's face.
A concerned Draco asked, "Are we sure we want to be responsible for officially exposing students to this?"
More chuckles continued, though Nicholas's may have been a bit hollow.
Albus added, "I think he may be more capable at teaching than many of you are giving him credit for."
Any further conversation was interrupted when a battered and beaten Kingsley Shacklebolt burst into the staff room. "Albus! There's an attack!"
Albus jumped to his feet and rushed over to the injured auror. "What has happened?"
Kingsley's breathing relaxed a bit. "At the Ministry. Someone calling herself The Dark Lady FoxFire. Just appeared in the atrium with at least 40 followers." He turned his head and coughed a little blood.
"They killed the guards and watchman there, and sealed the building shut. They're going to fight their way through all the offices and take it over. The first wave of aurors was beaten back and locked into a separate section."
"We're being picked off through sheer numbers, but there are a few places holding them back." He wheezed out.
Albus took control of the situation. "I will alert the Order. We will all try to hurry there and help out in every way we can. Nicholas!"
"Do you have any idea where Harry Potter is? He would really help us out in this." Albus pleaded.
Nicholas nodded. "I have a general idea." Nicholas cast a Sonorus at his throat. His voice bellowed throughout the whole castle. "I know you're in here you cheeky bugger! Stop spying on the Prefect's bathroom." He paused. "Not you, Myrtle."
Several teen girls were covering themselves and putting their wands down innocently in the aforementioned bathroom.
"You know who I'm talking to. The boss just called. Break is over. Time for you to get back to work."
Nicholas canceled the Sonorus charm and smiled to his amused colleagues. Albus was goggling at the pretentious old man. He ordered Minerva to keep an eye on the school, and gave all the immediate Order members instructions. He neglected to give Nicholas any orders, hesitant on assuming anything about him.
Nicholas offered. "I'll help Minerva keep an eye on things here, and make sure the attack isn't a distraction."
Albus smiled and nodded. "Thank you Nicholas." A couple members of the Order used their Order portkeys to go to Headquarters and spread the word. Albus made a portkey to the Ministry and Tonks, Hermione, and Severus all grabbed on for the trip.
They arrived to see a cloaked figure just tearing through the dozen or so masked dark wizards that seemed to be guarding the atrium.
A familiar voice yelled out. "I wondered when you would get here."
Hermione tried to say 'Bloody time-turner!' but only managed to say "ngh" and give herself a headache.
The cloaked figure finished knocking the last random henchmen unconscious and said. "I think they're holed up on the fourth floor."
The Order members hurried after the still hidden cloaked figure. When they arrived up at the main hall of the fourth floor, they realized the initial assessment of 40 followers was on the low side. Or else they had at least 25 Ministry insiders, because there were at least 50 masked wizards surrounding and defending a woman who was obviously the Dark Lady FoxFire.
She was floating in air and magic was just crackling, circling and arcing around her. She apparently had some pretty polished mage sensing skill as she turned her attention straight to the stairwell and exclaimed, "You!"
She had a pair of large cats pacing protectively around her. On closer inspection, the Order gasped as they recognized them as nundus.
Everyone fighting paused and turned their attention towards the stairwell.
The Dark Lady narrowed her eyes and hissed out, "Potter!"
Everyone in the room knew very well who it was, taking off his cloak, and handing it to Hermione.
Hermione took the offered cloak and said, "You know you're out in the open officially now."
Harry shrugged and said, "It's been a pretty slow year for me actually."
Hermione snorted at her incorrigible friend.
The Dark Lady FoxFire sent a mental call out her to nundu protectors and yelled, "Attack!"
The two large cats roared out battle cries and charged towards Harry.
Harry winked at the Order members standing behind him, and turned and sprinted right towards the raging nundus. He leapt and in mid-air transformed into a much larger nundu, and smacked both of the smaller ones, viciously on the nose like a mother scolding her children. Both cats whimpered and laid down hiding their heads in shame.
The giant nundu that was Harry Potter continued his charge and tackled the frightened Dark Lady FoxFire. He had both of her arms pinned down to the ground and his jaw was clenched softly around her throat.
The Dark Lady gulped audibly and quietly asked, "Where've you been hiding?"
..oo00 THE END 00oo..
Author's Note: This was where I envisioned my story ending. And yes, I chose to name the Dark Lady after Lady FoxFire, who was the first reviewer after only Chapter 3, and before Nicholas had even shown up, to ask if Flamel was Harry. Maybe a bit more of a lucky guess than deductive reasoning at the point, but 'Cheers' nonetheless.
Be sure to check out the sequel to this story called "The Untitled
Cheekquel Project." You can reach it at
story id 2477165 or from my userpage.