I disclaim all ownership of these characters, etc. etc. etc.
This is a post-hogwartian fic that may require creative interpretation of some cannon events. For example, Draco as a leather pant wearing auror is too good a character to pass up, even if it is more fannon than cannon at this point.
Chapter One – Reverse Superman
His armbone shattered with a wet sounding snap, and the auror flew into the ground, screaming in pain.
Just as I'd planned.
"Gosh, terribly sorry old chap!" I cried, flying straight over, holding a thumb up behind my back at George and Fred.
Now don't get me wrong, I really was sorry the poor sod had to get his arm splintered by a bludger, but sadly we didn't have any time to come up with anything... well, less drastic, shall we say.
All of us flew over and landed to help the lad up again. Really though, the way he was carrying on was quite uncalled for. Of course, maybe this was the first time he'd had a bone broken. Of course, first time it happened to me was when I was something like five or six years old, so my heart wasn't doing a whole bunch of bleeding for him.
Eventually we got his snivelling butt inside The Burrow, and I dodged Gin who was doubtless wondering why me and the twins had conspired to break an auror's arm. Then I dodged Molly's lecture about playing too roughly, dodged the guy with the broken arm who wanted to hero worship me a bit, and finally beat a hasty retreat to my flat. With that sort of prowess in evasion, they should have called me the Artful Dodger, not Mad Harry Potter the Madman like some people did. Sadly, those people were mostly my collegues, but there you are. Comes with the territory I guess.
Anway, I figured the poor schmuck would be recovering under Molly's tender care for at least a week, which would give me all the time I needed. That was of course why we'd had to shatter his arm, not just go for a clean break. It wouldn't do at all to have him up and around and able to do his job in a couple days time after a gulp of skelegrow potion.
So I settled down with a small glass of port and went over the files one more time. The small glass was because of constant vigallence, and all that. The files were because after all that time hanging around with Hermione, I had to pick up something. But anyway, everything was coming together quite nicely.
I laughed what was quite a credible evil laugh. I'd been practicing again with Draco.
The game was starting again, and this time I was playing to win. Not just win, but win big.
The next morning I headed into work, wearing a conservative three piece suit, and looking like a total ministry drone. That is, if you were willing to overlook the bleached hair and ear rings. And the fact that I was the hotness. Whatever. It was all an image thing; necessary, but a royal pain in the arse.
I am Auror Harry James Potter, slayer of the Dark Lord Voldemort, recipient of the Order of Merlin First Class, and all-round badass.
George and Fred had made an action figure years ago, and it still sold well. Wizarding Britain still needed a big loud Griffindor superhero to buy into, even after all these years.
So I went ahead and did it.
Performed a reverse superman.
I've hidden Clark Kent and I run around like an idiot superhero, day after day, week after week, and year after year.
So as I stride through the hallways of the ministry towards my office with a firm, purposeful, heroic step, I suppose I might as well answer that question you're dying to ask.
"Mr. Potter, why are you so bloody sexy?"
That wasn't it? Sorry. You know things are bad when I'm cheeky even in my inner expository monologues. Next question.
"Why did you have to break another auror's arm yesterday?"
I'll get to that. Things might get clearer as we go.
So I get to my office and toss my jacket up onto a hook. They'd tried to get me to wear a cloak, but I just wasn't up for that. Afterall, I enjoyed wine, and anyone who wears a cloak and sips at red wine from a glass is always a complete and utter basterd who gets fully owned by the hero in the end, and I sure as hell wasn't going down that path.
And anyway, bespoke tailoring is better than fuggly robes anyday of any week.
Compared to the other auror offices, you could tell this one was mine from the movie posters up on the wall. Most wizards weren't that familiar with movies, so the big poster in the frame advertising Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo didn't mean anything to them at all, other than a wierd drawing that didn't move at all.
Yojimbo, for those who don't know, refers to a bodyguard for hire. Like me. Whoring myself out to the ministry just for the chance to make sure that nobody else has to live the life I have, and maybe save some people in the process.
One time when we were drunk, Ron asked me how they were paying me. The ministry, I mean. He knew it wasn't the money or fame. He kept pushing me, and I ended up standing up in the middle of a wedding reception, drunk off my skull, listing all the people killed by Voldemort and all the other fucking pureblood supremacists who'd come after him. All those dead people had given everything. They'd bought my soul with theirs, from the day of my birth until the day I died fighting for them.
He didn't ask again. I know that Ron, Hermie, Gin, and some of the others didn't really buy into my reasoning, but I refused to argue about it with them.
Come to think of it, that little bit of self pity that just slipped out might have given you an answer to another question. Why did people still need a superhero? Let's just say that some of Voldemort's ideals didn't exactly die with him. They just slipped underground. Death Eaters and their sympathisers went back to their businesses and fortunes and kept quiet. And every once in a while, muggle born wizards and witches would die. Squibs would be hunted down and killed. The punch at a wedding between a pureblood and a mudblood would be spiked with something other than alcohol.
Really, it was a hell of a lot harder than before. Nobody leapt around in funny outfits screaming out "Now's the time to DIE, Potter!!!". Nobody cackled an insane laugh before using the crucio curse on a puppy, or if they did it was in a members only pureblood club, hidden away from view. Or maybe the one using the crucio was an auror who's neice had been at the wedding with the poisoned punch who really wanted some answers to their questions.
Now, like I read in a book somewhere, it was half angels fighting half devils, and I sure as hell didn't know which I was. But it really didn't matter what I was; what mattered was who I was fighting for.
I tossed off a salute to the Yojimbo poster, grabbed my jacket and sword cane, and headed off to the Monday assignments meeting of the central auror bureau.
On my way out of the office, I almost bumped into Draco who was also heading down to the meeting.
"Wotcher, Malfoy," I slurred out, choosing to assume "distainful and sexy pose #3" this morning.
"Potter," he replied, casually violating my personal space and engaging me in a staring contest.
If there'd been any sexual tension at all between us, it would have been blazing like a forest fire.
A female trainee auror passing us turned bright red and almost fainted.
It was the little games that made life fun. Later we could read what she'd posted on the MagicBoard (tm) fangirl forums and get a good laugh.
We sauntered off to the meeting, and I murmured over to Draco.
"Cover a spell for me when we get in there, huh?"
"Sure mate. What's up?"
"I need a specific assignment, one of the last ones."
"Fill me in later?"
Slouching at the back of the room in some horribly uncomfortable chairs, Draco pulled an ostentatious cigarette holder out, tapped one in, and lit it with a unnecessarily showy wandless flame conjuration.
This helped to reinforce his already well-cultivated image, but also gave me a chance to toss a quick charm on myself without anyone noticing the comparitively minor magical release.
The last thing I wanted was for any of the higher ups to pay any real attention to me before I needed them to. In theory I was out on vacation.
The head auror arrived a couple minutes later, and we spent the next hour going over assignments for the fifty or so aurors that were in the room.
Eventually it was my turn.
"Final assignment for today: paper editor had yet another death threat. Trainee Johnston, it's yours. Trainee Johnston?"
"Ah, I'll take that one, Sir," I said, dropping the charm and lifting a languid hand. "Little Johnny got his arm smashed playing Quiddich this weekend, so I ended up coming in to cover for him until he's up and around again."
"Merlin, Potter, you're a pain in the arse. Fine, switch him onto it when he can hold a wand. Here's the file."
"Roge-oh, Sir," I said, and slipped out of the room before the ministry aide who was there could do anything about it.
Ten points to Harry bloody Potter.
And yes, that's why Johnny had to get his arm busted up on the weekend.
See, here's the back story. A paper spreads news that they'd be running a big expose on ministry corruption in a week's time. Now to me and the others I run with, its clear that the paper will never get a chance to publish that story, since the corrupt parts of the ministry are, well, corrupt. There's never a lack of bigots, dark lovers, and psychotics who are quite willing to do anything at all for a few galleons. The people in the minstry who won't want this published have plenty of galleons.
So we send a death threat, cripple the useless junior who the ministry would assign to protection duty to make things easy for their killers, and get me into the full time bodyguard gig instead.
This convinces more corrupt officials that there's something serious going on. The week goes on, and the minor thugs they send first to deal with the editor and paper get taken out by me. People who stand to loose more start to panic. They start to ask other people questions about what they should do. Money changes hands. Maybe they get themselves a werewolf or two.
The shit hits the fan.
I stand firm for a week and draw the heat onto me and the editor I'm guarding. Hermie and all the others run around like crazy for a week and spy on absolutely anything that so much as fucking squeeks, gathering evidence.
In the end, the puppet masters get exposed attempting to stop the expose. I get to take out a bunch of low level dark lover trash. Plus then there's the fallout from the expose itself. Situational irony at work.
Harry Potter and company win big.
Call it a double sting operation, or whatever you like, but in the end all that really matters is the last bit, where we win, and they loose.
So I go and draw some equipment from the materials section, including some stuff that I probably shouldn't have. But the equipment officer this morning is female, and although it irratates me, Draco insists on calling my sword cane a 'pimp stick' for a reason. Well, a reason other than the fact that it irritates me.
Not that I actually date anyone. Attachment equals vulnerability and vulnerability equals point of attack, and as the movies show, vulnerability through attachment equals doing a slow motion jump in front of that point of attack meant for your loved one, screaming "NOOOOOOOOOO!".
Anyway, so I 'port home, grab a week's worth of cloths suitable for fighting in, get Dobby to stuff them in a trunk, grab some other equipment which in no way belongs in my hands, and 'port out to the country house I'll probably be spending my week defending. I walk up to it, noting sight lines and ward systems.
I've been here before, even if it was a few years ago, so after I knock on the door, I take a pinch of sparkling dust out of the jar on the doorframe and sprinkle it over my head.
The door opens, and I find myself looking into the distinctive eyes of one of my old friends.
"Hullo, Harry Potter," she says, and gives me a nervous smile that's not quite what I expected from her.
Of course, as you may have guessed, the paper in question is The Quibbler, and the editor is Luna Lovegood.
Half angels fighting half devils is quoted from John LeCarre's Smiley's People.
Yup yup... so this is something short that turned into something longer. I'll continue as soon as I can, which could be promptish, since I'm trying to avoid death-by-studying at the moment.