Disclaimer: This started out as a short Omake and grew.
Harry was eight years old and he'd been called into the Headmaster's office along with his cousin Dudley for a meeting. It wasn't long before his aunt and uncle arrived to explain that their little Dudders couldn't possibly have done anything wrong and that even if he had, it was only because he'd been pushed into it by that rotten cousin of his.
"Really," the Headmaster said with a look of satisfaction. "We all know that simply can not be true, Dudley may be dull but his cousin Harry is even worse . . . bottom of his class as a matter of fact. No . . . no Dudley planned the whole thing, must have strained his rather limited intelligence, while Harry was jut along for the ride . . . I'm going to expel both of them of course but Dudley is the only one I'm going to recommend charges against."
"Dudley didn't do it," Harry spoke his first words since he'd been dragged into the office.
"You see," Vernon said with a pleased grin. "The boy admits it."
"I didn't do it either," Harry said calmly. "The theft was committed by Roger Wilson and you know it, you're just covering for him since he's your sister's eldest son and your nephew."
"How did you . . ." he began. "Open that mouth again and I'll see you in the gaol along with that fat cousin of yours."
"Speak boy," Vernon commanded. "Start from the beginning."
"Yes uncle Vernon," Harry agreed. "I first began to suspect Roger when I remembered that I didn't see him outside for quite a while after the fire alarm had been pulled, when I did I noticed that he had a bit of ink on one of his knuckles."
"That doesn't prove anything," the Headmaster blustered.
"Continue boy," Vernon said with a look of satisfaction.
"As you all know, the switches of the fire alarm are covered in ink . . . the very same shade of ink on Roger's knuckle as it so happens but the Headmaster is right, that alone doesn't prove anything."
"What proves it is the fact that Roger's finger prints are on the petty cash box."
"You little bastard," the Headmaster yelled as he lunged across his desk . . . and right into Vernon's waiting fist.
"S'what you get when you try ta frame my son," Vernon said with a look of satisfaction on his face.
"Good work lad," they all turned to look at a man standing in the office door. "Inspector Robert Green, I heard everything."
"Why'd you help me?" Dudley demanded.
"Well." Years of living with the Dursleys had taught Harry that there was a time and a place for the truth. "You're my cousin, we're supposed to look after each other." And this wasn't time for the truth.
"Right you are lad," the Inspector said with a grin. "But there's just one thing I don't understand."
"What is it sir?"
"How'd you know we'd find the thief's fingerprints on the cash box?"
"I wasn't sure Roger had done it until after we'd been called into the office and I noticed a picture of the Headmaster and Roger, the caption read 'me, my sister Mary, the bastard she married, and my nephew Roger.' That's when I knew that there was only one reason the Headmaster would have accused me and Dudley. For the fingerprints . . . well, if he wasn't careful enough to wear gloves when he was going to pull the alarm then I didn't think he'd be careful enough to wear them when he broke into the box."
"Excellent bit of deduction lad."
"Good work boy," Vernon agreed, mindful of the Inspector and thinking of the lawsuit he was going to file. "Very good work."
London, several years later . . .
"And that's why the thief could be none other then." Harry paused for dramatic effect. "Mister Moore, the bank president."
"You little bastard," the man screamed. Harry watched impassively as the man got closer and closer before being tackled by several large constables.
"It was an excellent job you did, framing Mister Weatherby," Harry continued. "Shame for you that no plan is perfect."
"Good work Harry," one of the inspectors said with a grin. "Another feather in your cap."
"Couldn't have done it without Dudley here," Harry said modestly. "If he hadn't noticed the mark on the vault door, then I might have never solved it."
"Sure you would have Harry," Dudley said quickly, red from the praise.
"Perhaps," Harry allowed. "Shall we go home?"
"Mum's making a roast," Dudley said with a grin. "And she always has a pie waiting for us after we solve a mystery."
"Excellent," Harry said with a smile. "If you will excuse us Inspector, I'm afraid my Aunt Petunia gets a bit . . . difficult when we're late for dinner."
"Go ahead boys," the Inspector agreed. Damn, he couldn't wait until the pair got old enough to join the force. The lads all had a bet that crime would come to a virtual standstill the day Harry got his badge and he couldn't wait to see it.
Dinner was rather festive as it always was after an important case. Vernon leaning forward, eagerly listening to every detail Dudley shared.
"And that's how Harry did it," Dudley finished proudly.
"That true boy?" Vernon asked.
"For the most part," Harry agreed. "Once again Dudley has glossed over his own participation. I said this to the Inspector in charge of the case and I shall say it again, I could not have solved this one without Dudley's aid. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find a case I could have solved without him."
"Really?" Petunia asked with a smile.
"It's a nice thing to say but it's not true," Dudley said with a sigh.
"You have a perspective that I do not," Harry disagreed. "And one that I'm not sure I could do without. Do not sell yourself short cousin. If you were not helpful then the police would not allow you to accompany me, remember that."
"I guess . . . yeah, thanks Harry."
"Think nothing of it cousin," Harry said with a smile.
"We'd better get to bed," Dudley said after a look at the clock.
"So soon?" Vernon asked in shock.
"We're running tomorrow," Dudley said with a frown of distaste. "Come on Harry."
"Right behind you Dudley."
The two boys got up the next morning and paused when they found an envelope addressed to Harry sitting on the floor.
"What is it?" Dudley asked.
"It appears that I am being stalked by a madwoman," Harry said thoughtfully. "Or possibility a madman. One should never take things at face value."
"What should we do?"
"Wake your parents and have them pack some spare clothing," Harry said immediately. "We'll have them spend a few nights at a hotel while we take this to Chief Inspector Llwelyn."
"Right," Dudley agreed. He ran up the stairs and returned a few minutes later with Harry's groggy aunt and uncle.
"What's this about boy?" Vernon demanded.
"It seems that I am the object of a crazed individual's obsession," Harry replied. "I apologize for the inconvenience but I'm afraid that as a precaution, you and Aunt Petunia will have to stay in a hotel for the next couple of days while the police handle things."
"Alright boy," Vernon agreed. "Do you need a ride?"
"If it won't inconvenience you," Harry agreed.
"Get in the car," Vernon ordered. They arrived and the desk sergeant waved them into Chief Inspector Llwelyn's office.
"How'd you get my message so soon?" The man asked in shock.
"Message?" Harry asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I asked you two to drop by today," the man explained. "We have a little something we'd like to present to you."
"Yes 'oh,'" he agreed with a smile. "What's no proper young gentleman without?" Without waiting for an answer he pulled two long boxes out from under his desk and opened them with a flourish. "Walking sticks, Malacca with a silver knob."
"Walking sticks?" Harry asked flatly.
"It's strictly forbidden to carry them with the intent of using them as a weapon," the man continued. "But if you were to happen to use it for defense . . . well, no one can blame you can they? They're a bit large for you now but the two of you'll grow into them."
"I see, thank you Chief Inspector Llwelyn."
"I'll have a couple of the men bring you up to speed," Llwelyn said with a grin. "So why did you come if you didn't get my message?"
"Evidence shows that I am being stalked by a disturbed individual," Harry replied.
"What makes you think that?" The Chief Inspector asked seriously.
"I received a letter today addressed to my bedroom," Harry said as he handed it over. "I did not open it, figured the men in forensics might want a crack at it."
"This is the letter?" He asked with an amused grin.
"One moment." His eyes closed and he took a calming breath. "I need to call a colleague of mine in on this. If it's what I believe it to be then neither of you are in any danger."
"What you believe it to be?"
"I'll explain later," Llwelyn replied. "If I am mistaken then I'm afraid that I won't be able to share my suspicions because of the Official Secrets act."
"Why don't Dudley and I go get a bit of instruction with our sticks then?" Harry suggested. "Let us know when we can be of service." They hadn't been out of the Chief Inspector's office more then fifteen minutes before they were summoned back.
"Harry," Llwelyn began. "Please allow me to introduce my colleague, Madame Amelia Bones."
"Hmmmm?" Harry stared at the woman with a look of confusion.
"What is it Harry?" Llwelyn asked.
"I'm wondering why she considers a thin twelve inch stick to be a weapon," Harry replied with a frown. "I'm also wondering where her badge is."
"What?" Amelia asked in shock.
"You unconsciously reached for the stick when the door opened and you didn't let it go until after you'd looked over us and dismissed us as threats," Harry explained.
"And the badge?"
"It's not clipped onto your belt and you don't have anything large enough in any of your pockets."
"I see," Amelia said with a nod. "Tell me Harry, have you decided on a profession yet?"
"I found him first," Llwelyn growled.
"Perhaps we could share him?" Amelia suggested hopefully.
"Perhaps," Llwelyn agreed sourly.
"Perhaps we could tell him what this is all about?" Harry suggested, a bit annoyed at the direction the conversation had taken. "I presume that she's here to brief me on the secret you referred to."
"Correct," Llwelyn agreed. "Amelia?"
"What about the other boy?"
"My cousin Dudley has my complete confidence," Harry replied coldly. "If you can not tell him then you can not tell me."
"Your cousin?" Amelia asked hopefully. "Live in the same house?"
"Yes," Harry agreed slowly.
"Then he's exempt from the rules and can see this," Amelia replied. "It's easiest to give you a demonstration first," she said mostly to herself. "How about a bit of transfiguration?" Her wand appeared in her hand and with a wave, she changed Llwelyn's desk into a large and very angry badger.
"Turn it back," the Chief Inspector shouted.
"Oops," she said sheepishly and another wave returned it to normal. "Sorry about that, just wanted to show a bit of house pride. Well Harry, do you have any questions?"
"I presume that this isn't some sort of joke?" Harry calmly directed his question to the Chief Inspector.
"It was not."
"Magic is real then," Harry said slowly. "Good to know."
"That's it?" Amelia asked in disappointment, "that's your reaction? Good to know?"
"Harry never gets shocked by anything," Llwelyn said with a laugh, "eh Dudley?"
"Yeah," Dudley managed to say after a moment, "bloody frustrating sometimes."
"So what can I do for you Madame Bones?" Harry asked. "Is there a crime in the magical society that you'd like us to give our perspective on?"
"No crime," Amelia said slowly. "How'd you know I was an Auror? Come to think of it, how'd you know that there was a separate magical world?"
"Llwelyn referred to you as a colleague, you hold yourself like a constable of some sort, and I presume that you aren't the only magical user in existence, and if there are enough magicians to need the magical equivalent of a Chief Inspector . . . well, you see where I'm going with this don't you."
"I do," Amelia sighed. "I'm not here to ask for your help."
"The letter you received was an acceptance letter for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Is there a difference?"
"Between Witchcraft and Wizardry," Harry clarified.
"Witches are female and Wizards are male," Amelia replied. "The magic is the same."
"Well?" Amelia prompted.
"Are you going to accept?"
"Possibly," Harry agreed. "Are there any other magical schools?"
"None of equivalent quality in the United Kingdom," Amelia replied quickly.
"May Dudley accompany me?"
"I"m afraid not," Amelia said. "He would have received a letter if he was qualified."
"What are the qualifications?"
"Having magical power."
"So it's not just a skill then?" Harry said thoughtfully. "I see, how might one go about testing for magical power?"
"There's a simple charm but . . ."
"Can you cast it?"
"Yes but . . ."
"Is it difficult?"
"No but . . ."
"Then please cast it on myself, Dudley, Chief Inspector Llwelyn, and yourself if you can."
"Fine," Amelia agreed with a sigh. "But I'm not sure what you expect this to do."
"I expect it to do nothing," Harry said. "I do not wish to taint my observations with preconceptions."
"Oh." Amelia waved her wand a few times. "Chief Inspector Llwelyn has little to no magic, your cousin has low levels . . . he might be able to cast a few weak spells if he works hard enough, I can not cast it on myself, and you . . ."
"You're off the charts," Amelia said as she looked up.
"Is there anyway to spoof this spell?"
"I'd rather not have people know how powerful I am if there is the possibility that I might have to deal with them later."
"Oh," Amelia said with an approving smile. He already had the correct instincts, all it would take is a coat of polish and he'd be the stuff of nightmares for Dark Wizards. "I can do that right now if you like?"
"Please." Harry watched with interest as the woman cast the spell. "Does this make me appear to have a lower power level or does it just scramble the results?"
"It scrambles the results," Amelia replied. "Any other questions?"
"I would like to know about the schools," Harry said. "Why don't we start with Hogwarts, where is it? What does it specialize in? Why haven't I gotten a letter from any of the other schools?"
"Hogwarts is in Scotland," Amelia began.
"Oh?" Harry shared a look with Dudley. "May I see exactly where it is in Scotland?"
"Got a map Llwelyn?" Amelia asked.
"Right here Amelia," he agreed.
"Hogwarts is . . ." Amelia examined the map for a few minutes. "Right here."
"Ah." Harry sighed. "Well, I don't suppose that I'll be going to another school unless Hogwarts is particularly bad."
"Smeltings is right down the road," Harry replied. "And I can't leave my assistant to brave the horrors of Public School alone can I?"
"Uh . . ." Amelia was a bit confused by Harry's answer.
"My dad went to Smeltings," Dudley explained. "And I'm already enrolled."
"Oh . . . well as to your other questions, Hogwarts specializes in general magical education though their charms program is said to be first rate, and . . . uh . . . I'm not sure why you haven't gotten acceptance letters from the other schools."
"Perhaps you could tell me why I haven't gotten any letters then?" Harry suggested.
"No," Amelia growled. "You've got a ward on you preventing it would be my guess. I know you've been sent letters before, my niece Susan had a bit of a crush on you and sent you some rather sappy love letter last month . . . poor girl was crushed when you didn't reply. I'll get to the bottom of it and then I'll personally explain to whoever is responsible what I think of people who make my Susan cry."
"Llwelyn," Harry said. "May I borrow a pen and some paper?"
"Course Harry." He pushed the items across his desk.
"Yes," Amelia agreed. She watched with a smile as Harry wrote out a quick note apologizing for the fact that he hadn't replied in a timely manner and explaining why. "Would you like me to deliver that? I can also set up a post box for your other mail."
"Please," Harry agreed. "To both. Are there magical newspapers?"
"How much do you think it would cost me to take out a full page ad explaining that I haven't been getting any mail and apologizing for my appalling rudeness in not replying?"
"I suspect the paper will do it for free," Amelia said with a smile. "Would you like me to take you there?"
"Please," Harry agreed. "Coming Dudley?"
"Right behind you Harry."
"Grab my robes," Amelia commanded. They disappeared with a pop and reappeared a moment later in front of a small office.
"That was a rather . . ."
"Peculiar?" Dudley suggested.
"Yes, thank you Dudley. Peculiar experience."
"You get used to it," Amelia said with a shrug. The small group spent the next hour visiting the two newspapers servicing the magical world as well as an assortment of periodicals ending with one called Teen Witch, Amelia commented sardonically that she figured more people get their information from the last then all of the others combined. "Well, I've still got a bit of time. Would you boys like to get your school supplies?"
"May as well," Harry agreed. They visited the shops and nothing was out of the ordinary until it became time to purchase their wands.
"Curious," Ollivander said with a frown.
"Oh?" Harry prompted.
"Hair from a sport, a bloodhound crossed with a grim. Wood from a truncheon used by an inspector of Scotland Yard more then one hundred years ago . . . a most unusual wand."
"But perfect for an Auror," Amelia said with a profound sense of satisfaction. "Come along boys."
She dropped Harry and Dudley off in Llwelyn's office and from there they collected Harry's relitives.
"Get things taken care of boy?" Vernon demanded.
"Yes," Harry agreed. "We shouldn't be getting anymore of those strange letters."
"I also had one of Chief Inspector Llwelyn's colleagues arrange for my education," Harry continued. "It's in a small public school not far from Smeltings."
"Can't be too far away from Dudley huh?" Vernon asked smugly.
"It's in case we're called in to look at another problem," Harry agreed. "Much more convenient for all around if we're not far apart."
"We can also ride the same train up," Dudley said happily. "Station is closer to Harry's school but it works out since Harry's school starts sooner."
"Be sure to thank Chief Inspector Llwelyn's friend," Petunia admonished. "Understand boys?"
"We did Aunt Petunia," Harry said quickly. "She's also the one that arranged for the letters to stop."
The weeks past quickly and before they knew it, Harry and Dudley were on the Hogwarts express.
"Oh my god," Hermione gushed. "You're Harry Potter."
"Guilty," Harry sighed. Here we go again, he thought, another bloody fan of the bloody boy who bloody lived.
"You're the boy the police call in when they can't solve a crime," Hermione continued with sparkling eyes. "I've read all about you in the Times."
"Hardly," Harry said with a smile. "I've merely been fortunate enough to be permitted to accompany the detectives on some occasions and they've been nice enough to listen to my ideas."
"Which are always correct," Dudley cut in.
"Forgive me," Harry said with a frown. "Please allow me to introduce my assistant and partner, Dudley Dursley."
"You're here too?" Hermione squealed. "I read all about how you stopped the Mad House Murderer."
"I stuck out my foot and he tripped," Dudley said quickly. "The press always likes to . . . help me here Harry."
"Embellish our involvement," Harry suggested.
"You're both wizards?" Hermione asked hopefully.
"Harry is," Dudley agreed. "My magical levels are a bit low to be considered a wizard." He flexed his arm. "But magic isn't the only power in the world."
"Right you are Dudley," Harry said with a grin.
AN: The start of a 'Harry the Detective' story line with Dudley along as his loyal sidekick. Wouldn't be easy to write even if the next scene was Harry starting at Hogwarts but it is something I've never seen before. Yes I'm well aware of the fact that the police wouldn't really bring children into important investigations but there are plenty of examples in fiction where they do, this is just another one of them. I'm being influenced way too much by the book 'Some Danger Involved' and the others in that series, blame them. This was supposed to be a short Omake, but alas I wrote a bit more then I intended.
Omake by: Sergey Tsvetkov
"Is it true?" he said. "They're saying all down the train that Harry Potter's in this compartment. So it's you, is it?"
"Yes," said Harry. He briefly looked at the boys with a frown and returned his eyes to the book.
"And my name's Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."
"I know," Harry answered keeping attention on the book.
"Uh... You know... Of course you know! My family..."
"You are Draco S. Malfoy, pureblood, you're planning to be sorted to Slytherin, you hate muggleborns, you had problems with the lessons your father has given you, you are lazy, not very smart, you had wizarding pox recently, your wand is not compatible with you, you left leg is in pain... Oh, and you are here because your father asked you to befriend me."
"Wha... Me... How?"
"I've studied profiles of Death Eaters since they may want to cause some problems to me. And you're looking exactly like your father except a little disproportion of the skull - it looks like your brain
is proportionally smaller. Besides you have a monogram DSM on your sleeve. And some parts of your closes made in Slytherin colors like you plan to end in that house.
I know your father trained you to hate muggleborns and I saw how you'd be looked at Hermione. Purebloods traditions say that father should train his son, and I doubt you was very successful because of brains problem. I saw you in the Alley, your wand was bought by your mother, so the wand compatibility problems. You have poxmarks on your neck and scratch on your leg. Scratch is looking exactly like one your trunk may give you. It proves that you're not too smart 'cause as pureblood you should know you could use Leviosa, the platform and the train are considered school places. Or you don't know the spell yet, it proves again your problems with lessons and laziness. And I don't think there may be any other reason for your coming here and trying to be civil unless your father asked you."
Malfoy looked like his brains were burned. Then smashed, fried and thrown out of the window.
"Oh, and I think you should take one more first name, Barfius for example, your monogram will look complete with four letters..." said Harry and turned the page of the book...
Omake: The Stone
"Harry," Hermione cried in relief. "You've got to hurry."
"I do, do I?"
"It's Snape," Hermione explained. "He's going after the stone."
"Why are you being so calm?" Hermione demanded.
"The situation has been handled," Harry replied. "Aside from that, the stone never was in any danger."
"What?" Hermione squawked.
"Dumbledore was keeping the stone in his office," Harry said mildly. "The stone you're worried about is merely a . . . hmmm, trap is the wrong word so . . . test, yes that stone is part of a test."
"A test?" Hermione asked dumbly.
"Yes," Harry agreed. "The final exam to make sure that a few clandestine lessons were understood. Piss poor job he did of it but I'm afraid that our Headmaster has yet to learn that no plan survives first contact with the enemy."
"Yes, I'm afraid that he's been attempting to manipulate events. From what I understand of his plan, he'd intended for Hagrid to pick me up with a short side trip to pick up the 'stone' at Gringotts. Then I'd befriend Weasley, he'd drop a few clues and before you know it I'd be facing the thief. It was a rather elegant plan, complicated but elegant. The mark of an armchair strategist, they come up with the most elegant and complex plans and then they're shocked when nothing seems to go right."
"That's why he hired Snape," Hermione said with dawning comprehension. "To be the last test."
"Possibly," Harry agreed. "But I'm afraid that the Thief is not Snape. Good deduction though, I believe that I can see the chain of evidence that led you to that conclusion."
"If it's not Snape then who?"
"Come now Hermione," Harry said with a smile. "You can do it."
"I don't . . . wait." Hermione closed her eyes and her lips moved. "Quirrell?"
"Is that a question or a statement?"
"A statement," Hermione said quickly. "I just couldn't believe that Cowardly Q was our thief."
"It's what some of the girls call him," Hermione explained with a blush.
"Do they have a name for me?" Harry asked with mild interest.
"Several," Hermione agreed with a blush. "How did you know it was Quirrell?"
"The same way you did. It wasn't hard," Harry said calmly. "I believe that several of the Professors figured it out."
"Snape and Dumbledore certainly," Harry said. "Possibly Sprout and McGonagall, not sure about the others."
"So what do we do now?"
"I was planning to do a bit of reading in front of the fire," Harry replied. "You are welcome to join me if you wish."
"So you're not going to do anything about the theft?"
"There's no stone to steal," Harry replied with a shrug. "Why should I risk myself?"
"But it's your chance to catch . . ."
"The traps I set should be more then sufficient," Harry said with a smile, "here."
"I thought you might enjoy it," Harry explained.
"Thank you Harry," Hermione said as she settled next to him on the chair. "So what do you think Dumbledore will do about the stone?"
"I imagine he'll panic when he finds it missing," Harry said without missing a beat.
"But you said it was a fake?"
"No I said the one behind the traps was a fake," Harry corrected. "It seems that someone took the opportunity the Headmaster's absence afforded them to make off with the real stone . . . tragic."
"Oh . . . Harry?"
"If I ever end up on the other side, you'll tell me right?"
"Other side of what?'
"The side you're not on," the girl said. "Promise you'll tell me?"
"So I can switch and join yours," the girl giggled.
Omake by dogbertcarroll
Hmmm. Dudley learning to be the muscle and reaping the benefits of being associated with his cousin. I can just see Harry being forced to go to Hogwarts, he dislikes magic's lack of logic, and Dudley insisting he gets to go too. Harry goes to classes and Dudley spends most of his time doing work with Hagrid as a sort of vocational training.
"Here, Lad, drink this." Hagrid said, handing a vial of reddish gold fluid to the chubby (Exercise running after Harry's wild cases had really thinned him a bit) young boy.
Dudley downed the vial making faces and shivering as steam shot out his ears. "What the soddin' hell was that?!"
"Rem's blood. It gives you the strength and toughness of ten men or more. I figure you'd need something like that fore we start classes and training. Of course the ministry's got it regulated and such, but my cousin Bubba got me some from a guy he knows. Best not to say anything."
A few more of my omake, not related to the story at all.
"Yes?" Hermione opened the door to find an old man standing on her doorstep.
"Excuse me," the old man said with a smile. "But would a woman named Hermione Granger happen to live here?"
"Yes," Hermione agreed slowly. "Why do you wish to speak with her?"
"I'm here to fulfill a promise to a man I can never repay," the old man explained. "Could you get her please?"
"What sort of promise?" Hermione persisted.
"I'm here to tell her a story," the old man sighed. "It's . . . it's a story of something that happened many years ago in a terrible place called Vught."
"I'm Hermione," she said with her hand on her wand.
"Are you perhaps named after your grandmother?" The old man asked gently.
"No . . . why?"
"Curious," the old man said with an odd look on his face. "But I'm not here to ask questions, may I come in? Or at least sit down somewhere? I'm afraid that I can't stay so long as could in my youth."
"Yes of course," Hermione agreed. She slowly backed in and waved the old man towards a chair. "Now what's this all about?"
"Germany invaded Holland on the tenth of may, nineteen forty . . . we gave up after just six days of fighting." He began, his eyes glazed as he continued talking. "I was a student at the time and being young and immortal, I joined the Resistance to drive the bastards out of my country."
"Go on," Hermione prompted the man.
"It was great," the old man laughed. "Scary as hell but I always had the feeling that I was doing something important, I suppose I was . . . least until I got caught and sent to Vught where I met a man named Harry Potter."
"What?" Hermione gasped.
"Know that name do you?" The old man asked in surprise. "Good, if I had my way it'd be taught to every school child. Harry was in interesting fellow, never talked about himself but most of us assumed that he was a British agent. We couldn't figure out why else he was in with the rest of us and we couldn't figure out why else the guards were so interested in him . . . it . . . it was ugly what they did to him."
"Did to him?" Hermione asked sickly. This couldn't be real, she told herself. It had to be some sort of sick joke.
"Harry . . . I don't want to get too detailed but Harry didn't so much as whimper when they did things that would have broken me . . . would have had me spill everything I know to get them to stop," the old man said slowly. "He'd laugh and tell them that he'd been worked over by the best and that they were children compared to someone he called Tom." The old man licked his lips. "Our chance came when they started transferring the prisoners to Sachsenhausen, Harry gathered a group of us together and slipped out . . . don't know how he managed it but he got us away and wished us luck."
"And then the crazy bastard went back," the old man said with a look of wonder on his face. "I don't know what he was thinking, maybe he was going to try to free other prisoners . . . it's the kind of man he was. Before he went, he made us promise to come here on this day to tell Hermione Granger everything that happened. There are still three of the six men he saved that day living today and I'm the one that was chosen to come. I don't know who you are or how Harry knew you'd be here but that's my story."
"What happened to Harry?"
"I don't know," the old man admitted. "I tried to find him after the war but I could never so much as find a trace that he ever existed . . . not even sure if that was his real name. Several of the guards were executed by parties unknown the day we escaped . . . I like to think that Harry rescued as many people as he could before bringing vengeance to our tormentors . . . I don't know, I'm sorry I wish I did."
"Th . . . thank you," Hermione's voice wavered as she showed the old man out. "I don't mean to be rude but I need to check something."
"It's fine," the old man said quickly. "I need to get home anyway."
AN: Wanted to write more of this but . . .
Omake: Where's Crooky?
Harry staggered into the common room holding a broken beaters bat and covered with festering wounds.
"What happened to you mate?" Ron asked.
"Voldemort sent a demon to kill me in the locker room after practice," Harry replied breathlessly. "Damn thing almost got me but I think I managed to drown the bugger in one of the toilets."
"What'd it look like?"
"Unspeakably ugly," Harry said with a shudder. "It had a squashed in face and it was mostly bald except for a couple tufts of orange fur."
"Good going mate," Ron cheered. "I . . ." He cut off when Hermione came down the stairs and into the common room. "Guess what Harry did Herms?"
"I don't have time for that right now," Hermione replied. "I need to find Crookshanks."
"He'll turn up," Ron said with a shrug.
"You don't understand," Hermione said. "He rolled around in . . . well, I think it was tar."
"So the easiest way to get it out was to shave him and then re-grow his hair and he escaped," Hermione growled. "Ooooh when I find him he is in so much trouble."
"Did you check the locker rooms?" Ron asked.
"No I didn't," Hermione said brightly. "Thanks Ron."
"You're fucked mate," Ron said after Hermione had left the common room. "Pushed in face, tufts of orange hair, you're fucked royally and with a sandpaper condom."
"You're the one that always hated him," Harry replied. "Trying to frame poor Harry huh?"
"I don't look like I was in a fight," Ron pointed out smugly.
"We can fix that," Harry said as he balled his fist.
Hermione returned a few minutes later to find her two best friends pummeling the hell out of eachother.
"Just what do you to think you are doing?" Hermione demanded.
"Harry started it," Ron screamed.
"Forget all that," Hermione sighed. "You'll never guess what I found in the locker rooms."
"Harry did it," Ron squealed. "Harry killed that unholy demon, I had nothing to do with it, nothing I tells you."
"Is that true Harry?" Hermione turned to him with a frown. "How'd you do it?"
"Afraid so," Harry agreed. "First I used my fists, then I used a bat, then I finally drowned it in one of the toilets."
"Oh Harry." Hermione's face scrunched up and she took a couple halting steps towards him. "Thank you," she sobbed as she threw herself into his arms. "Oh it was so horrible, I never thought I'd see a Grrrr'ash'kno'kk demon in real life. It had Crooky locked up and it looked like it was going to sacrafice and eat him." She buried her face in his chest. "But you saved my Crooky."
"Uh . . ." Harry looked at the shrugging Ron. "Good?"