Courtesy of SilverWolf7007
Chapter Thirteen – Cousin Frank
Or, The Chapter in Which We Deviate From the Normal Procedure and Merge Our Story Arcs, Possibly Due to Frank's Influence
There was a beach. Well, technically there were a lot of beaches, but one in particular had caught Jenissa's attention.
And that was because of Frank.
After finding out that he was staying near a private beach somewhere, it hadn't been hard to find him. When he stayed in one place for longer than a day or two, that place tended to change somewhat to reflect the presence of Frank.
Beaches did not normally have pink sand.
As was usual for beaches, there were seagulls everywhere. The difference was that these seagulls were rather glittery. Herring swore that he had seen a green one.
The two of them made their way across the glittering pink beach to the small brick house, but stopped when they spotted Frank further down the beach.
He was not alone.
Jenissa growled. "I can't take my eyes off that boy for a minute!"
Herring sighed from around her wrist. "Now, now, Nissa, we're not here to kill James. We're here to speak to Frank. Remember?"
She sighed irritably. "Yes, I know. But still, with Jimmy wandering off like this…"
"Fine. Let's go speak to Frank. And maybe scare Jim a bit."
Herring rolled his eyes.
Frank and James were relaxing on yellow and blue striped banana lounges in the sun. James was wearing sunglasses, black shorts and a dark red t-shirt. Frank, of course, was wearing his glittery blue robe.
"Man, Frank, even for sunbaking you wear that damn thing?" Herring asked in amusement as Jenissa came within speaking distance of the two.
James raised his sunglasses to reveal his equally amused gold eyes. "I think for Frank it's referred to as sun-bleaching. And would you really want to see him in anything less?"
Herring shuddered. "I take it back, I take it back!"
Frank turned his eye-sockets to the vampires and the snake. "So, what brings you here to my humble beach?"
Jenissa smiled. "Funny you should ask that…"
Theodore, still leaning against the closest desk trying to catch his breath, had become the centre of attention in the Transfiguration classroom.
"Penguins," Minerva said flatly. "If it weren't for the fact that we were spying on evolving cheese, I would be quite sceptical."
"I'm going to write a letter," Luna announced suddenly. "Excuse me." She stood and wandered out of the door that Theodore had left open.
Everyone blinked after her for a moment before the reality of the situation began to sink back in again.
"Shit," Bast summed up succinctly. "This is not good."
Time is a funny thing.
When it chooses to, it can pass differently in certain places.
This explains that while it was still mid-afternoon at Hogwarts, night was falling at the office of Death.
Tom was staring at the eight other people occupying his office, having just realised what time it was, and that the office was probably too small for them to sleep in.
And there was no way in hell he was going to take any of them home with him.
Really. No way.
Eventually though, it was inevitable. Some of them were going to have to go home with him – because Harry refused outright to send any of them back before they had all had the chance to prank Death.
Admittedly not everyone was thrilled with the opportunity – but the general decision was to make the most of it.
"Right," Harry said suddenly. "I have to be here when Death arrives in the morning, as there is one finishing touch to the decorations I need to take care of personally. Damon, I've read your notes, so you'll also need to stay here. Sylvan, I don't want to let you out of my sight." He looked over at his parents, Sirius and Remus. "Not that I don't love you all, but you're heading home with Tom. Cedric, you can probably go either way, so take your pick."
Cedric snorted. "Well, let me see, I can either head to the house of Death's manager and listen to those four reminisce all night, or I can stay here."
"Right then," Toms said with a nod. "Cedric, I'm no longer speaking to you, as you're deserting me. You four, if you're ready to leave…?"
It wasn't long until Harry, Cedric, Sylvan and Damon were relaxing in their beanbags in peaceful silence.
Ten minutes almost passed.
"Sylvan, have you died over the past ten minutes or so?" Harry asked suddenly.
The blond vampire blinked in utter confusion. "Uh, no?"
"Well, why the hell are you so quiet, then? Normally we can never shut you up."
He shrugged. "I don't know. I was just trying to think of something else to do to Death…oh. I've thought of it." He stood and made his way over to Tom's desk, seating himself at it and finding a pen and some paper.
"You're going to write him a nasty letter?" Cedric asked dryly.
Sylvan glared. "No, and just for that, I'm keeping my plan a secret."
Harry, Cedric and Damon all pouted.
Sylvan ignored them.
They spent most of the night trying to get it out of him.
Jenissa had made herself comfortable on James's beach towel before she actually got around to explaining anything.
Herring, on the other hand, had decided that Frank's shoulder would make a nice perch, and was currently wrapped around the skeleton's neck.
In the short while it took her to do that, Time worked its odd magic and delivered two letters.
The first arrived with Hedwig, and was written on parchment. The second was written on paper and had appeared out of nowhere.
They were both addressed to Frank.
Jenissa, James and Herring all looked on eagerly as he opened them.
Oh yes, the owl is Hedwig, she belongs to Harry. Please keep her with you for now, as he isn't here to use her anyway. That is, unless you wish to send a reply with her. But that is entirely up to you.
There is a penguin army and an evolved cheese civilisation attempting to take over Hogwarts. If you have any suggestions, or advice, or a good escape route, please write back to me soon. I would so love to hear from you.
I hope you are having a good holiday at the beach.
Frankie boy, remember me? Yes,
it is I. No, I don't want your help with any redecoration this
Yes, it is I. No, I don't want your help with any redecoration this time.
Actually, I was wondering if you'd like to show up at Death's office sometime tomorrow? That could prove to be…amusing.
It's all Harry's fault that we're pranking Death. Honest. Well, Tom's too.
Hope you can make it.
No one had really thought of anything meaningful, helpful, useful, or at all sensible while Luna was gone, nor after she had returned.
Half an hour after she did so, while the group was discussing half-hearted battle plans while Dobby continued to spy, Hedwig flew in the window (yes, Time was being tricky again).
Luna smiled and accepted the letter the owl had brought her.
I'm gonna swing by my cousin's office tomorrow and pick up some reinforcements (read: Harry and co) before heading on down to Hogwarts to help you guys out.
Don't worry, the cavalry's a-coming!
And yes, I'm having a lovely holiday. Thanks for asking. See you soon.
PS. What type of cheese?'
The blonde Ravenclaw looked up and gave the other occupants of the room a delighted smile.
Draco raised an eyebrow at her. "Good news?"
"I would say so. Death's cousin Frank is going to bring Harry home, as well as a few friends, and they're going to save Hogwarts. Then I suppose we will be taking Dumbles out, also."
Somehow, the thought of Death's cousin showing up wasn't as comforting to everyone else as it was to Luna.
Bast, however, was grinning at their distress. "Don't worry so much!" he said with a laugh. "Frank's a good guy, and with Harry back…well, what could go wrong?"
Blaise groaned. "You just had to ask, didn't you?"
James blinked at Frank. "But I don't want to help rescue Hogwarts from penguins and cheese."
Frank sighed. "I'm afraid you don't get a choice, Jimmy. You can come willingly, or I could make you come."
"Or worse," Jenissa added sweetly. "I could make you come."
"And I'd help," Herring added.
Outnumbered, James gave in. "Fine, I'll help. But don't think I'm happy about it."
"No fear of that," Frank murmured. James glared. "Sorry. Look, it needs doing. And do you really think that Godric, Rowena, Helga and Salazar would forgive you if anything happened to their school?"
James winced. "I guess you're right. And with my luck, they'd come back just to haunt me for it."
"In that case, we need to go visit my cousin."
Jenissa frowned. "How are we going to help save Hogwarts by visiting Death's office?"
Frank turned and grinned. Admittedly that was his usual expression, but the green light flickering in a seemingly amused way in his eye sockets gave him away. "You'll see."
Reluctantly, they followed him.
Tada, new chapter! Yay for me. It was fun.
Kurai Shinigami – (Grins) Glad you like the bear. And the ducks. And the chapter. Yep, Dumbles will be rebelled against muchly.
I-ShaveClowns – Eeep. Glad you like it so much. Er, heh. Thanks heaps.
Shinigami – Aw man, now I feel all guilty-like. But, uh, I'm afraid the penguins' evilness is here to stay. Sorry. Hope you still read and all…
Thanks again, everyone, I adore you all!