Disclaimer; I don't own the intellectual properties associated with any of the characters portrayed in this story.
A/N; FINALLY DONE! This chapter is the last one in this story, but I do have some plans for a sequel (see the footnote at the end of this chapter).
Not long after leaving Knockturn Alley, the cloaked woman went into a small shop in Diagon and picked up a port key that she'd ordered earlier in the day. After the rush of travel wore off, the woman cast a cooling charm on her robes and removed her cloak. Odette Delacour hung her cloak on one of the designated hooks and transfiguring her clothing into something more suitable for the climate. She handed a few coins to the gentleman manning the store and got some local money and her papers stamped before leaving the store.
The black gravel path under her feet crunched with every step as she soaked up the sunshine and enjoyed her walk through the early morning air. After a short while the path found its way down the mountain and into a small coastal village. A messaging spell left Odette's wand and flew off into the village. Delicious odors and tantalizing scents wafted from the market as people set up for another day in paradise. Selecting a fresh pastry and a bottle of juice, she sat in a small café to await an answer to her spell.
It was not long before an elderly man in black robes walked into the café. The owner and other customers nodded and kissed his knuckles as he passed their tables. Finally he came to Odette and sat beside her, motioning for his usual coffee and breakfast. "It is so good to see you again, how long has it been since you came to see me?"
"Ten years at least, Father. I had forgotten how nice everything is here just before the season picks up." She sighed and looked out the window.
"So what brings you back? Thinking of settling down for your golden years?"
"No, my granddaughter has decided she's found her soulmate. They want to get married, but well... there's a few minor problems."
"Is he a good catch?"
"Well no parent or grandparent ever thinks her daughter's suitor is worthy, but I am happy for her. To find her match at such a young age, that's special."
"So you want me to take care of it?" The old man asked.
Madam Delacour nodded, "He's got a good heart and a knack for attracting trouble but I think I can straighten him out and train him up right. I came to you because I know that no one back home would be able to take care of everything, there's just too many annoying little details."
The man nodded gently and smiled. "I understand, for whatever reason you want it done quietly. I take it his family is a bit protective?"
"Very, but if I get him to you, you and the Brothers will take care of him?"
"He'll disappear without a trace and everything will be taken care of before anyone knows what's going on."
"Thank you Father, hopefully I'll bring them within the week."
Almost immediately after Voldemort left Remus Lupin and Albus Dumbledore knocked on the door of number four. Harry gave a few quick waves of his wand to vanish any debris from the recent fracas and right the couch before answering the door.
"Hey Moony, come on in. Gabrielle or Babette will get you some refreshments," Harry waved the werewolf in but put out a hand to stop his Headmaster. "I'm sorry sir but I'll have to ask you to leave."
"Harry, this place is no longer safe! You must come with us immediately."
"I'm safer than I ever have been, now if you'll excuse us my family and I have much to do." Harry slammed the door on the stunned Professor. When he turned back towards the living room he saw identical misty smiles on the faces of Remus and Gabrielle. "What?"
"You consider me family?" Gabrielle asked, barely holding back tears.
"Well I am going to marry you eventually, and I guess Remus is some kind of crazy uncle. So yeah, you're both family." He was immediately hugged by both parties and wondered if he should start watching his words a bit more carefully.
"I love you too cub," Remus said as he let go. "Now, what the bloody blue hell just happened here?"
"You mean with Voldemort?" Harry tried to shrug innocently. "I just saved more lives in thirty minutes than the entire Order did in the last war. He wanted to talk to me and make me an offer, so I listened."
"Harry, Voldemort doesn't make deals. I don't know what he offered you or what he wanted but whatever it was will backfire the moment he gets what he wants."
"I am not a complete idiot. However I am going to have to change a great many of my plans. I have a sneaking suspicion I won't be welcome in the British Wizarding World after a few weeks."
"What did you do?" Moony asked him very slowly.
"I did what any man would do, I made a very tough decision when faced with an impossible choice. Starting tomorrow and going until Easter Voldemort and his Death Eaters won't be killing anymore children unless it is self defense. Call it a truce for everyone under seventeen, if the kids don't try to kill the Death Eaters they'll be left alone in return." Harry ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "Initially they were only going to let me go free for a full year but I know I couldn't live with that if my friends were killed."
"And what do they get in return?"
"What price can you put on hundreds of innocent lives?" Harry stared into his friend's face, daring him to say that any price was too high. "The big thing is that unlike everybody else, I don't have a choice. Ron, Hermione, Neville and everyone else can choose to fight the Death Eaters if they want; they just give up the protection I bought them. I CAN'T fight unless it is self defense. If I'm in Diagon Alley and it gets attacked, I can't do a thing to stop them unless the curses are coming at me. I can throw up every shield I want, but I cannot fire a single curse back. But that shouldn't matter to the Order, they're always telling me to leave the fighting to the adults. The deal isn't as long as it would have been for just me either, but it's still saving lives."
Remus still didn't seem to be convinced. "How can you believe that Voldemort will hold up his end of the bargain?"
"We're going to sign a magically binding contract, if he doesn't police his side he'll lose his magic," Harry explained. "But Voldemort isn't the one I'm really worried about right now. How will the public see it? What will they say when Harry Potter doesn't come charging to the rescue? I didn't have to make this deal. I could have blown him off and those of you outside would have had to fight for your lives once he left. Instead I did what I could to reduce the amount of bloodshed that is coming. I just doubt that others will see it that way."
Lupin sat for a few minutes as he considered the implications of this choice. "You're right, they'll only see you not fighting back. They won't see how much it bothers you or the benefits of your choice. This is one of those 'big picture' deals and most people never look past themselves. So what are you going to do?"
"I'll just have to do what I can. I plan to work myself until I drop, have my fiancée nurse me back to health and start all over. I've got nine months before Voldemort comes after me personally. You've never seen him as focused as he will be the day our bargain expires." Harry shuddered dramatically, "Before he has always had many plans going at once. He had to fight the Aurors, the Order, the press, and pursue rare magical artifacts and powers. The day our deal expires he will drop everything else and throw all of his strength and that of his Death Eaters at one target, me. If he is half as smart as I think he is, the press will smear me before ink is dry. My name will be mud in Britain the moment my name hits that parchment and there will be no one to help me train for the coming war. He'll make sure that I'll never see another kind face until the day I die if he's half the opponent I know he is. He can't afford it."
"You'll be welcome with me Harry," Gabrielle squeezed his hand tightly. "And I think my family will surprise you too. My grandmother's letter said she was happy for me and promised that she would help us if we needed anything."
"Thank you, I'm going to have to depend on you a lot and I'm glad you are here for me." Harry smiled at her and once again felt the pulse of her Veela charm wash over him. "So what about you, Moony? Are you going to help me out or are you still with the Old Man?"
"Well I'm not sure we're down to one or the other yet, but if it does, family comes first."
The next morning Harry again woke up to find Gabrielle in his bed, holding him tightly. He managed to slip out of bed without waking her and moved to the shower. When he came back she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and took his place. Strangely Harry noticed a nice set of crimson dress robes laid out on the bed along with a pale yellow shirt and his Gryffindor tie. The strange part was that the tie was the only thing he recognized as being his. Where was she getting these cloths when she didn't even have a trunk and how did she know his sizes already?
Babette was busy in the kitchen by the time he got downstairs, and the morning mail had been sorted and placed on the counter. Idly Harry wondered if this was going to be his life from now on, everything done for him before he could even try, only trotted out when there was a Dark Lord to defeat or something "official" to do. Well of course he'd still have to do his school work and eventually his job as an Auror, but after being forced to do everything around the house for so long it kind of felt wrong to have someone else taking care of things.
There was no new mail for Harry, at least none he could see, so he grabbed the Daily Prophet off of Gabrielle's stack and poured himself a cup of tea as Babette tottered over with a plate of crepes and sliced fruits.
Day Three of Potter Hostage Crisis
By Ima Tellen
Yesterday marked the second day of Harry Potter's captivity at the hands of unknown assailants. While no demands have been made public, Aurors report that they have every reason to believe that the Boy Who Lived is still alive and in good health. When questioned about the identities of the attackers, the Aurors said they could not make a definitive identification. There are several reports from various witnesses that He Who Must Not Be Named and a young unnamed blond girl briefly allowed Mr. Potter to be seen, but the reports are conflicting as to his wellbeing at the time. Some claim that he displayed symptoms of a textbook Imperious victim, while others reported that the young girl was controlling him through another means such as possession.
It is unclear at this time if the kidnapping was done on You Know Who's orders or if it was perpetrated by a group who is merely sympathetic to His cause. Harry's apparent good health would point to the latter, but according to some experts the easy answer might not be the right one. One former Hit Wizard and hostage negotiator told the Prophet that it is possible that whoever is responsible has some other agenda beyond murder or ransom.
It is possible we are told that Mr. Potter is being systematically tortured until he breaks and gives in to their demands, which may include certain oaths or rituals that can only be completed when both sides are totally willing. The former Hit Wizard suggested that any number of groups, up to and including the Ministry of Magic itself (see page seven A for a report on strongarm tactics used by the Ministry in the past), might want to use the boy hero either as a pawn in the war or a political mouthpiece for their views.
As the third day of this horrible tragedy dawns, our thoughts and prayers go out this morning to the friends and family of Harry Potter. Everyone at the Daily Prophet is hoping for a swift and peaceful resolution to this crisis.
Harry stared at the paper in shock. He couldn't believe it. No, on second thought he could, why should his life ever make sense? Where had they gotten the impression that he was being held hostage? Was this something that could be used to his advantage or was it likely to make things even worse? There were no obvious answers so Harry decided he would just have to wait and see.
A knock at the front door interrupted his musings. On the other side he found two people he really felt he should know. The first was a man in his mid thirties with blonde hair and large amber eyes, he was dressed in a tweed suit and carried a basket of milk bottles. His companion was dressed in a black suit will tails and carried a chimney brush, aside from the brilliant blue eyes that seemed to know his every secret the child could have come straight off the set of Marry Poppins. The smaller one looked at Harry and her voice revealed their identities right off, "Hello Harry, we're here to give you some milk and clean your chimney. They're often infested with trollumps so you should clean them regularly."
Chuckling, Harry threw open the door and nodded to the men on the corner in green jumpsuits. Wizards really needed to learn how to blend in better. "Come on in Luna. Can I assume this is your father?"
"Laetus Lovegood at your service," the older man shook his hand while glancing around the room as if searching for a threat.
"Pleasure to meet you," Harry answered. "Why don't you and Luna join us for breakfast and you can tell me about whatever it is that brought you here this morning."
He escorted them back to the kitchen and had Babette start another batch of crepes going. They chatted companionably for a few minutes but soon Mr. Lovegood wanted to get down to business. He pulled out a dictation quill and instructed it to start recording. "So tell me Mr. Potter, how hard have the past few days been for you both physically and emotionally."
"You mean this whole hostage thing?"
"Yes, I am hoping to do a piece about it for the next issue of the Quibbler. Now if we hurry we might be able to wrap this up before your captors come back. So please answer the questions if you don't mind."
"Well honestly when I first found out I was being held hostage I was as shocked as anyone else. It's been an emotional rollercoaster the last few days but I think I've got a good handle on it right now. Physically, well I can tell you my heart just about stopped when I saw Voldemort in my relatives' living room but once I got past the initial shock I don't think it was too hard."
"And at what point did you realize you were in real danger? Can you tell us about the moment when everything clicked into place?" He asked, making notes on a separate pad about the scene and body language.
"Well I'm not sure I've been in much danger really. Well not more than I always am. As for when I realized what was going on, well that happened about five minutes before you showed up actually. I picked up the Prophet and there is was on the front page. I didn't even know I was being held hostage!" Luna took a picture of him holding up the newspaper to show the headline.
"Alright, just a few more questions and we'll be ready to go. What can you tell us about the people holding you here? Do you know what they want, are they torturing you to make you break and give into their deviant desires?" Laetus sounded a bit too eager at the end, talking about deviant desires but Harry decided he might as well answer anyway.
"Well that's a complicated question really. There are a lot of people holding me here against my will and they all want different things. The first group is called the Order of the Phoenix, and they want me to kill Voldemort. They're rather polite about and haven't interfered too much, just watch me to make sure I can't leave," Harry pointed out the window to the Order guard standing outside. "Voldemort wants to kill me but has some unfinished business to take care of first. He isn't too picky about where I am but he's got a schedule to keep and is easily annoyed. The rest of the Wizarding world seems to flip flop on what they want but last I heard it was for me to be somewhere out of sight where they didn't have to hear from me. Then of course there is me. I really don't want to be here but I'm forcing myself to stay too because it keeps certain opportunities available."
"And then there is your insanely jealous fiancée who refuses to let another female near you until you're totally hers," Gabrielle's voice came from behind him. She was definitely not looking friendly
"Oh," Luna looked surprised for the first time in Harry's memory. "I never even knew he was dating someone seriously. Let me know if you see her alright, she might not understand that I'm just Harry's friend."
Gabrielle gave her a very funny look as Harry tried to make introductions. "Gabrielle, this is Laetus Lovegood and his daughter Luna. They are here from the Quibbler and wanted to interview me. Luna is also a good friend of mine from school, she went with me to fight Death Eaters at the Ministry. She probably saved my life, I don't know if we would have made it if she didn't hold them off as well as she did." Harry decided a little white lie was probably called for, and there was no harm in inflating her worth in that particular fight. "Luna, this is Gabrielle Delacour. She's decided that we're going to get married one day."
"I wonder if that would work with Ronald," Luna mused aloud. Switching to French she spoke to Gabrielle. "It's nice to meet you. I hope we can be friends."
Reluctantly deciding she needed to be nice to people who saved her future husband's life Gabrielle nodded acceptance and joined them at the table.
Seeing that everything was settled, Mr. Lovegood moved to take control again, "Well then congratulations on your match Mr. Potter, I'm sure we'd love another interview later if you'd give us one about your personal life but for now I just have one last question. How long do you expect to remain a captive?"
"Well it's not something I can really pin down for certain, but I don't think this will all last much longer. I expect Voldemort and I will work things out later today. The Order will probably want me to leave soon after, and Gabrielle and I can keep up our little standoff just about anywhere. So in a day, maybe two, I think I'll be able to have a bit more freedom but I don't know if I'll ever be able to just do as I please without anyone trying to stop me."
"I know what you mean," Laetus said, sadly shaking his head. "For years I've been trying to prove that the Malfoy's are descended from House Elves, but the ministry still refuses to let me have one for study. Not only are they killing my dreams, but they're holding back Science!"
"Riiight," Harry said slowly. "Well I don't know what your schedule looks like for today, but if the two of you are able to stick around for a bit I can promise you the story of the year."
"You mean you've captured a crumple horned snorkack?" Luna asked quickly.
"No, but Voldemort is coming over before lunch and we've got a few minor things to sort out. When was the last time any reporter got to see the Dark Lord out in public without having to run for their lives? Not only would the pictures be a Quibbler exclusive but I'm sure we'll have a very interesting announcement when we're done." Harry promised them. "Insights into his twisted mind, candid moments with the most feared man in Britain, and a story no one will believe."
Voldemort arrived just before noon to finish their agreement and hear the prophecy. Mr. Lovegood had insisted that Luna go upstairs with Gabrielle so that Voldemort wouldn't know she was there. He might be insane, but Laetus didn't want his baby girl marked for death any more than anyone else. His breath hitched in his throat as Voldemort seemed to glide into the room, the very picture of power and grace.
Voldemort stared deep into the eyes of the reporter and pulled his aura into being. Laetus nearly tripped as he backpedaled to get away from the man who had ended so many lives. He only stopped when Harry put his hand on his shoulder to reassure him. Harry didn't have enough control of his magic to manifest an aura, but he set his face to stone and straightened his back.
"If you are done playing mind games with the press, can we get down to business?"
"Very well," Voldemort flicked his wrist and seemed to draw a roll of parchment and ribbons from the air. "I have no desire to stay in this muggle hovel any longer than necessary. Just sign it and give me what I want."
Harry took the scroll and waved to the coffee table where a tea set had just appeared. "I'll have to read it first so you might as well get comfortable. I may be young but I'm no fool and I won't be signing this until I am certain it says exactly what we agreed on."
"It's all there," Voldemort promised him. "I still can't see why you want me to spare the brats. Surely it's kinder to kill them with their parents."
"But orphanages turn out such powerful Dark wizards, wouldn't you agree?" Harry gave a smirk. "No, I have to keep that good guy image up for the press. If I give you what you want for my own safety, I'm a coward, but if I give you what you want for their children's safety I'm a hero."
"Don't delude yourself boy. You're not a hero, you're just an unmarked item on my to-do list peddling away the only thing you have of value for a few kisses with a veela."
"So you don't put any stock in the attention seeking child angle?" He was answered with a snort of disgust. "Then you're vastly more intelligent than Snape, Malfoy and Fudge. I can see why they're reduced to groveling at your feet."
Eventually Harry read through the short document. Despite its flowery words it was quite simple. Harry was agreeing to step aside completely for one year and give up the prophecy (it was very specific about which prophecy as well), Voldemort was agreeing to spare any children they came across in his raids during that same time period. There were penalties and conditions laid down about how responsible Voldemort was for the actions of the Death Eaters, but everything seemed to be exactly what they agreed on.
"I'm impressed," Harry said as he laid it out on the table. "With your reputation for deceit and trickery I expected a lot more loopholes."
"And I never expected you to accept my offer," Voldemort returned. "Perhaps I've underestimated you."
"Perhaps... There is however just one problem with this." Harry told him.
"And just what is wrong, I took care to include all your silly rules of behavior."
"No, the contract is fine. It's your signature I have a problem with. We both know that Lord Voldemort is not your true name and the magic won't bind you."
"I will not put that name down! That filthy muggle name is no more mine than it is Albus Dumbledore's."
"Then we don't have a deal. I know better than to take your word, it's a binding contract or nothing at all. So lovely to see you again, get the hell out."
Voldemort leapt to his feet and flashed his aura again. Harry stood to match and stared him right in the eyes, daring him to lash out. He reached down inside and grabbed every scrap of magic he could find, pushing it into his eyes and voice. Magic crackled in the air between them and Harry's voice was like thunder echoing off a mountain. "This is not up for negotiation. Do. We. Have. A. Deal?"
Time stood still for a brief second as the battle of wills raged on. Harry knew he couldn't win if it came down to a real battle, but he also knew that Voldemort had sworn not to use magic against him in his relatives' home. Voldemort knew he could probably force the boy out of the house, but that would get the Aurors involved and the boy might escape while he wasted time killing them. Both of them knew that this was Voldemort's easiest and possibly last shot at discovering the prophecy.
Without a word, Voldemort signed the parchment again, Tom Marvolo Riddle. Harry added his own and the parchment's magics filled in a date and time. Pointing his wand, Voldemort placed a Dark Mark beside his signature, "Sigillum!"
Harry repeated the spell, leaving a lightning bolt crossed with Gryffindor's sword. Another quick spell "Effingo" made a copy for each of them.
"And your side of the bargain?" Voldemort prompted.
Harry pulled a small glass vial from his pocket. It contained his memory of hearing the prophecy in Dumbledore's office, extracted as if for a pensieve. No one said he had to make it easy on the Dark Lord after all. "Here, now that we've got that taken care of I don't think we have much left to discuss."
Voldemort flicked his wand and his copy of the parchment rolled itself up and flew into his hand. He prepared to leave, but timidly Laetus Lovegood raised his hand for attention.
"Could I get you both to pose for a quick picture?" He asked.
After conjuring a quick backdrop and summoning his camera, Lovegood started taking photos. Both Harry and Voldemort felt ridiculous faking for the camera what was in reality mutual hatred, but since neither were very demonstrative emotionally they had to ham it up a bit. They snarled and clutched their wands. They looked distrustful as they displayed the signed contract, and tried to look imposing for a repeat of their eye to eye face off. Once Lovegood got into the business of being a newspaperman again he was ordering the two around like a pro and seemed to have forgotten just who he was telling to do what.
"And one last shot if you don't mind," he said, working the camera all the while. "Alright this one is a candid shot. Harry I want you to hug him, maybe a quick kiss on the cheek. That's it, you're giddy as a schoolgirl to be in the presence of greatness..."
Suddenly Harry and Voldemort snapped back to reality. Harry dropped his arms and both of them leveled a VERY intimidating glare on the reporter. McGonagall would have been hard pressed to compete with either of them at that moment. With a gulp, the camera was lowered and Mr. Lovegood sat down.
Voldemort swept to the door and stopped for one last jab, "I'll see you at Easter Potter."
"I'll be waiting," Harry promised. With one last handshake the Dark Lord walked down the drive and parted the reassembled Aurors with just a glare before apparating with a crack.
Before he could even close the door, Harry heard a second crack and looked out to see an older woman in expensive robes appear. Harry felt a brief touch of desire wash over him as the crowd parted yet again, this time in reverence and awe. It wasn't hard to guess that he was being visited by one of the Delacour family but her age was impossible to gauge so he didn't know which one.
Harry gave a slight bow as she came to the door and welcomed her inside.
Surprisingly she spoke English with only a slight accent, "So you are the boy who has captured my granddaughter's heart... I am Odette Delacour."
"Harry Potter, ma'am, I am pleased to meet more of Gabrielle's family. I can see where she gets her beauty." He escorted her to the living room where the Lovegoods were putting their equipment away and preparing to leave.
"Have I come at a bad time?" She asked.
"Not at all, Mr. Lovegood here is the editor of the Quibbler. We just finished up something, and I have all the time in the world."
"Something to do with all the people outside then?"
"Partly, the Dark Lord was just here and Mr. Lovegood wanted to be here to get the story." Harry shook Laetus' hand and gave Luna a quick hug as they were leaving. "You two make sure to send me a copy of those pictures alright?"
"I'll make sure Daddy remembers," Luna promised him. "And we'll send Gabby the pictures I took of the two of you."
"Good bye," Odette called out cheerfully. Once they were gone she turned back to Harry. "So why was the Dark Lord here? I'd heard rumors he was back but nothing official."
Harry tried to think of how to answer that without alarming her, "Well he really wants to kill me, but Gabrielle decided that fighting a war and possibly dieing would interrupt our marriage."
"So she got the two of you to sit down and talk things out," Odette nodded smugly. "We worked so hard to teach her that violence wasn't the only answer. It's not an easy thing to teach a young veela, let me tell you. You'll find out soon enough I'm sure."
"Well not exactly," He was really starting to wonder if he were the only sane wizard in the world. "He still wants to kill me, and I'm not too fond of him either, but we've agreed to a temporary truce."
"Just a year."
She looked pleased. "Good, hopefully you can give Gabrielle at least one child in that time. Do twins or triplets run in your family?"
"I don't think so," Harry was convinced. They were all mad.
"Then one will have to be enough. After all, what kind of man would leave a young wife and child alone when he went off to get himself killed?"
"Right..." Harry agreed slowly.
"Now do you have anything else urgent this week? A young man your age shouldn't have too many worries in the middle of the summer."
"No, I think I've got everything taken care of. I take it you and the rest of the family wanted to get to know me a bit?"
She scoffed a bit, "When a veela chooses a mate, family approval doesn't really matter much. But Fleur speaks highly of you and Gabby was excited for weeks after you rescued her in that Tournament so I'm sure my son and his wife will come around eventually. No, I was thinking that you should get the wedding over with and get started on those great grandchildren for me to spoil."
"But we can't get married yet. We're too young." He really wasn't up for having this particular argument again.
"Nonsense," she assured him. "Didn't Gabrielle tell you I promised to take care of everything? Now, I took the liberty of getting you a new passport. I got one for both magical places and muggle ones. Your name is Pierre LaPlace, one of the cadet branches of the Delacours that died off a while back, and you're seventeen years old."
"But Gabrielle is only..." He trailed off as aforementioned girl came down the stairs looking at least five years older. Her body had gone from young child to heart breaker in the last hour since he'd seen her.
"Oh good," Madame Delacour squealed. "You've already taken the aging potion I sent you. Now I got you new passports too."
"Do I need a new name too?" Gabrielle asked.
"Oh no, I just changed your age to match. I just gave Harry a new name because he is a bit too well known to fiddle with the age." She handed them both two leather booklets and started rummaging around in her purse. Finally she pulled out a key and a small piece of gold chain. "Now I've got a portkey here that will take you to Bellefontaine on the north end of Martinique. The Monsignor has promised to take care of the wedding for you, and you two can use my mother's summer home for a honeymoon. I'll send Babette along with your luggage in the morning and I'll join you lovebirds in a week. We'll have to work hard to tutor Gabrielle up to your level in school but I'm sure we can do it."
"Thank you Grand-mère," Gabrielle hugged her grandmother tight and took the key she offered eagerly.
Harry was still too shocked to reply as Odette laid the chain across both of their wrists and tapped it with her wand. "Bon Voyage!"
A/N; And that's the end of Taking Hostages. I've got a rough idea of what I want to do with a sequel but I'm not sure I can pull it off anytime soon. It'll pick up just after this one left off (no wedding or honeymoon scenes, sorry) and focus on the lead up to Easter (when Volde pulls out the big guns). So look out for Fugitive Lies (working title, may change) coming whenever I get around to it. Man it feels good to finally finish another story. I don't really have a good track record there do I?
This chapter has taken me practically forever to get out and I really don't know why. The first three were written in less than a week and I started work on this one even before the third was published. I ended up deciding to change the ending a bit which is what finally enabled me to finish it. Initially I was going to have Gabrielle's experiments in home cooking accidentally poison Voldemort during the final meeting (Harry served him, ergo "at the hands of the other") but I just couldn't get it to work. I even had that scene written but it was the rest of it that was bugging me. When I changed it so Voldemort lived, I just got unblocked and the rest of it oozed out somehow.