Disclaimer; I do not hold the copyrights to Harry Potter or his friends. This is a piece of fan fiction produced for no profit at all.
"So now that we're on our honeymoon, where would you like to go?" Harry asked his new wife. They had just spent the last hour sorting through tourist brochures, both magical and mundane, touting the exotic sights of Martinique and its neighboring islands. "If you want to go somewhere French we can explore Sainte Pierre and Mount Pelee, or head over to Guadelupe. It says here there is a good Wizarding alley in Petit-Bourg, and Saint Pierre is supposed to be the Paris of the Caribbean. Or we could go somewhere English like Trinidad or Montserrat. There's a group here offering broom flights over the volcano. What would you like to do?"
Stretching like across the sofa like a cat, Gabrielle Potter ( LaPlace according to the marriage license) allowed the top of her robe to open enough to distract him as she stroked his cheek and whispered in his ear. "What I want to do is drag you into the bedroom and see how loud I can make you scream."
Harry's mind shut down as his mouth started muttering gibberish. The young veela was much more affectionate and physical than anyone he'd known and seemed to have an almost instinctive knowledge of how to make him uncomfortable. Eventually he managed to pry his eyes away from the generous cleavage and reassert control of his mind. "Err... I really don't think that's a good idea. Now that we're married and have the bonding taken care of there's no reason to rush into things."
Gabrielle crawled into his lap and pressed her chest against him, "Why won't you love me?" She wriggled in his lap a bit. "I know you want to, and there's nothing wrong now that you're my husband."
Harry closed his eyes and concentrated on clearing his mind. Even when she wasn't blasting him with her veela charm it was hard to resist. "Gabby your body may be the same age as mine, but inside you are still an eleven year old. I feel like a creepy old pervert already, just try to think with your brain and not your hormones."
He placed a finger on her lips. "No buts, now let's find something interesting to do today and I promise we can have a nice long cuddle after supper. You know, aside from Hogwarts and the Weasley home I've never really been anywhere. What should we do?"
"Let's go to St. Pierre, you definitely need clothes to suit your station and it will be nice to see what else they have that we can't get back home. Since we're on the edge of town, it's only about six kilometers. Should we fly or walk?" She stood to find her purse and assorted other things women seemed incapable of leaving the house without.
"It's pretty nice out, I don't mind a walk." Harry summoned his money pouch and vault key from his room. If there was a Wizarding bank he should be able to arrange something, according to Snape the Potter family had several million galleons so maybe it was time to start using them. "Now what was that about needing clothes to suit my station?"
"Delacour means 'of the Court'." Her voice floated out of their bedroom. "You are noblesse acienne now and people will expect you to uphold certain standards. It may not mean as much since the Revolution but being Old Nobility is still important to some people."
"That's only in France right? I'm not going to have to act stuffy while we're here will I?"
He heard a longsuffering sigh that reminded him of Hermione and he knew he'd said something wrong. "Don't they teach you anything in school? You're already in France. Martinique, Guadalupe, Guiana, and Reunion are still France."
While the muggle parts of St. Pierre had been destroyed by the volcanic eruption a century before, the wizards had just disappeared. Wards and fireproofing spells preserved most of the buildings and as soon as the eruption was finished the wizards rushed out to claim as much of the abandoned city as they could. Within days, while the ash was still falling and fires still burnings, witches and wizards in bubble head charms moved to make sections of the city unplottable and muggle repellant. Naturally this caused the muggles to assume it was all destroyed and now buried under tons of volcanic ash and debris. Within a few months magical Saint Pierre had surpassed its former glory and become the jewel of the region.
As they walked along the gravel path out of Bellefontaine, Harry couldn't help but look around him in awe. For a child who had only experienced suburban England and the Scottish highlands, a tropical island was about as radical a change as he could imagine. Mount Pelee rose in front of him to the north, and to the west he could see an ocean so blue it seemed it must have come out of a dream. About halfway to St. Pierre they passed the small store that served as a portkey point and customs office. The air was warm but a steady breeze from the trade winds kept them cool.
As they passed through the entryway into the magical town they discovered a city that was totally unique. All along the streets small merchants and craftsmen had stalls set up to hawk their wares while the larger businesses and homes hung in the background. This was not the orderly shopping district of Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade where there were only a few select places to get things and no competition. Harry noticed many stands selling the same things and there was no apparent organization to who was selling what.
Gabrielle asked for directions and they soon found themselves outside Gringotts. Unlike the white marble building of Diagon Alley, this one was built of black basalt and polished to a high shine. A lone inferi grunted and looked their way before a collar on his neck shocked him and he went back to pushing a broom. Arriving at the service desk a goblin seemed to ignore them until he was done scribbling something in the book before him.
"There," he said, finally looking up, "now what can Gringotts do for you Mr. Potter, Madame Potter."
Harry shook off the unexpected familiarity and English, jumping straight to the point, "I wish to know if it is possible for me to withdraw money from my account at this branch."
"Of course, so long as you have your keys just head to one of the regular tellers and they'll take care of it," the goblin told him. "If you wish to convert galleons to francs or East Caribbean dollars just return to this desk. The current exchange rate is one galleon to forty five francs or twenty five East Caribbean dollars."
"Thank you, do you mind if I ask why there is an inferi cleaning the floor?"
"They're called Zombi in the Caribbean Mr. Potter and local laws permit them to be used as servants in certain circumstances," the goblin gave a very toothy smile and nodded in the inferi's direction. "That one tried to rob Gringotts and was sentenced to death plus one hundred years. We find a visible deterrent helps keep crime down."
"Oh, well it would certainly make me think twice about trying. Thank you again for your assistance sir." Harry and Gabrielle went to the appropriate desk and waited for their turn with a teller.
"Votre clef si vous plait," the goblin said brusquely.
"Give him your key Harry." Gabrielle prompted her husband. The goblin examined it for a moment and pressed it to a line in his book.
"Merci, Holdspike vous mènera à votre coffre."
Another goblin came around from behind the desk and took the key, waving for them to follow him. He led them back into the bank and down a flight of stairs. Harry found himself looking at one of the infamous Gringotts carts.
"There must be a misunderstanding, my vault is in England."
"No misunderstanding, just get in the cart." The goblin insisted.
The cart took off rocketing down a dark tunnel and almost immediately dove straight down in a stomach wrenching maneuver. The ride quickly settled and within a minute or so the cart stopped outside vault 687. Dumbstruck Harry handed Holdspike his key and entered the vault. He numbly filled his money bag with enough galleons for a few weeks of playing tourist and rejoined Gabrielle in the cart. The cart shot off towards the entrance and once again Harry felt his stomach lurch as the cart made its transition from vertical to horizontal.
"The vaults aren't actually here are they?" He half asked.
"They aren't in London either," The goblin gave a bark of laughter as he escorted them back to the lobby.
Shopping with Gabrielle was definitely an experience. The first thing he learned was that he didn't know anything about shopping and he definitely knew nothing about how to buy something. While Gabrielle was off looking at shells and jewelry he had tried to buy her one of the colorful scarves the local women wore. Luckily the vendor spoke English and he was immediately given a lecture about how the cloth was of local make and how the colors were all hand dyed. When he named a price Harry agreed it was reasonable and reached for his money. Suddenly the vendor added that not only was it hand dyed, but that his wife had done this one personally and that she was renowned across the island for her style and skill, a new price was mentioned. Slightly put off Harry agreed again only to be told about how rare the purple dye in the cloth was and the lengths they had to go through to get it. Slightly annoyed Harry demanded to know how much it would cost this time.
"You're really not very good at this are you?"
"Good at what? I just wanted to buy a scarf." Harry pointed out.
"Ok maybe you really don't understand." The vendor shook his head sympathetically. "Nobody here is selling anything at a fixed price. Buying and selling is all one big game and we love to play it. You mention that you like something I have to offer. I tell you why it is the best and name a price. Then you are supposed to tell me why it isn't the best and demand a lower price. We'll go back and forth and settle somewhere in the middle. If someone agrees to your offer it means it was better than they expected and you should hurry to fix it before the deal is finished."
"But then how does anyone get a fair price?"
"Because the whole system is based on trust and mutual respect, demanding to high a price or offering too low is insulting and reflects badly on you. If you make a habit of it you'll find less people who want to do business with you and the deals won't go in your favor," The man explained. "Now let's start this again, this scarf is woven from all natural fibers and no matter how many times you wash it the colors just won't run. I just can't let this piece of art go for anything less than three galleons."
"Three galleons? That's fifteen pounds! The colors are very nice but there's no real pattern to it. I'll give you one galleon."
"Oh, and never stop to convert your currency it marks you as an outsider or a tourist." The man winced but kept going, "No pattern? Clearly you've no eye for women's fashion. I'll have you know this was hand dyed specially so that when she wears it right there will be a pattern! It's not an easy technique, I'd be robbing myself to let it go for two galleons and eight sickles."
"Not an easy technique? Half the vendors here have the same display. Surely you could take one galleon and ten sickles?"
"I'd be taking a terrible loss, but perhaps I can tempt you to buy three of them for five galleons? Such a fine looking young lady would never have only one dress. Why should she only have one scarf for her hair?"
Harry pretended to think about it for a bit and seemed to reluctantly give in, "Alright but you'll have to help me out with a bit of information."
"Then we have a deal," They shook hands and completed the deal. "So what is it you want to know?"
"Well I'd appreciate it if you could tell me more about the market," Harry waved at the organized chaos surrounding them. "Now that I at least understand how to bargain, how about telling me how to find anything?"
"There's no set rule for where to find any particular type of item, but most of the vendors don't move around much. I've been in this same stall for six years now and I don't plan on moving anytime soon. Being this close to the bank lets me catch people while their money bags are still full you see," He gave a conspiratorial wink. "For the most part though, anything you'll find down here was probably made locally or enchanted by the people selling it. Further up the hill in the older parts of the city there are old, established businesses and boutiques for those that can afford them. That's really where the " Paris of the Caribbean" reputation comes from but most of us are pretty content to make do with out little bazaar."
"Good to know, is there anything here I should know to avoid? Somewhere "decent people" consider to be the bad part of town?" Harry wondered if there was some equivalent of Knockturn alley he should know to avoid.
"Not any one place, like I said it's all pretty mixed up. Unless you're specifically looking for it, I'd avoid stalls or stores decorated in black and red. Those tend to cater to Vodou practitioners and those people aren't the ones you want to offend casually."
"Voodoo, you mean like the little dolls you stick pins into? I thought that was a muggle myth."
"The dolls are a muggle idea, but real Vodou is nothing to be trifled with. They speak with the dead and make deals with spirits. There aren't as many here practicing the dark side of Vodou as you will find up north in Haiti but in my mind it's best to just let them be." The man shivered slightly.
"Do you mean they speak with ghosts or with the fully dead?"
"They can speak with the dead, learn all your secrets or embarrassing faults. And sometimes if you are responsible for them being dead, they might decide to return the favor," he said darkly. "But that is enough about that. Dreadful subject Vodou, like I said leave those people be unless you've got a reason not to. You keep that in mind and learn to bargain, you'll do alright."
"Thanks for the advice, I'll try to keep it in mind. Now if you'll excuse me I better go find my wife before she gets into trouble."
Later that week, just before midnight on the day Gabrielle's grandmother was expected to arrive, Harry was scurrying down the deserted streets of St. Pierre with a very annoyed bird under one arm. He made a note to learn how to apperate soon as he searched for the tiny house he'd found a few days before. Eventually he found it and an old woman hurriedly ushered him inside, scolding him all the while for being late. She lead him into a small room that was lit with a large number of small candles. A strange pattern was drawn on the floor in a white powder. After a few last minute instructions, the woman kneeled and began chanting a few lines over and over. One by one the candles blew themselves out and Harry could feel the magic in the room building. Just as the magic built itself to a peak the woman stopped her chant and suddenly wrung the neck of the black rooster Harry had brought.
The magic in the air dropped off significantly as the woman turned to face him. Harry could see her features shifting rapidly and becoming more masculine and strong. When she spoke, it was with a powerful man's voice, "Why does a little white boy seek the council of Papa Ghede?"
Harry was surprised but remembered the woman's instructions. "I wanted to ask for advice from my family."
"And you want me to run fetch the deader for you? Advice is a good reason to ask for my help, but tell me why I should answer."
Harry straightened his back and became very serious, "A powerful man wants to kill me and all my friends. I'm not afraid of death but I need to speak with someone I can trust not to use me for his own ends. A wrong decision could cost many lives."
The spirit possessing the woman laughed in his great booming voice, "You aren't scared of death, but you're terrified of life boy! People die, that's the way things work, but what does it matter if they were never living to begin with?"
"Of course they are alive!"
"Alive, but not living... Look at yourself boy, you're the funniest thing I've ever seen. You've got power, wealth, fame, and a beautiful woman, but you do nothing with them. You're trying so hard to pretend that you're normal, it's like watching a bird try to swim!" He laughed heartily again as he pulled two cigarettes from the air and lit them.
"So you're not going to help me?" Harry asked despondently.
"No little white boy, I'll still help you. Just remember two things. First, everyone needs advice on occasion but you have to make decisions on your own. Second, live your life. When you die, you gonna see me or one of my friends. When you do, you better have a story to tell and it better not be of all the things you never got the nerve to do." The spirit smiled and blew a large smoke ring in the air, "So who do I have to bring back to knock some sense into your head?"
"I'd like to speak with my father please, James Potter."
"Ah-ha! There's hope for you yet little white boy, that man actually lived!" He pointed at the dead rooster and wiggled his fingers while stomping out a beat. The chicken stood up and began dancing a funny little dance while Harry laughed in spite of himself.
Suddenly the rooster turned to face him and stopped dancing, "Harry?"
"Umm... Hi Dad," Harry gave a little wave.
"Am I a chicken? What the hell are you trying to do to me? This is the weirdest prank I think I've ever been in." The rooster looked around a bit, trying to figure out what was going on.
"Ah that, well I needed some advice but everyone who could really help is either insane or wants to use me for their own ends. So I looked around for a bit, asked the right people and here we are." Harry shrugged. "Though to be honest, when I promised the witch fifty galleons and a rooster I thought I was buying her dinner. Whoops..."
"Harry, your mother and I will love you no matter what but you really shouldn't be messing around with necromancy," James the chicken tried to shake his head disapprovingly but it just finished breaking his neck and caused his head to fall over sideways. "Now what is the problem, I'll try to give you the best advice I can. Is it girl trouble? Because if you brought me back from the dead and turned me into a chicken just because you can't ask a girl out on a date..."
"No!" Harry rushed to stop him before he heard any of the same embarrassing advice Sirius had given him the summer before, "I've got a wife of my own now so I don't think I need that. A veela in fact..."
"Wow, you snagged a veela? Way to go son!"
"Uh yes, but that's not important right now. Maybe you and mum can meet her later. I need your help with something else. You know that prophecy about me and Voldemort?" Harry asked.
"Well it could be either you or Frank's boy but yes Dumbledore told us the prophecy."
"No, it's about me we definitely know that much now. The problem is that Dumbledore hasn't helped me at all. He is still leading the Order but all they want to do is keep me locked away until there is absolutely no other choice. They aren't even teaching me anything but the basic Hogwarts classes." Harry felt himself getting a bit petulant and tried to reign it in before he acted like a complete child in front of his father and Papa Ghede. "I want your advice about what to do now. I've got a bit of time before anyone will find me from either side but I don't know if going back to Dumbledore and the Order is really the right thing to do."
"Well son, if you're married and are starting a family of your own then it is time you acted like a man and stood on your own two feet. I'm not saying to throw away your friends or everyone in the Order who was only trying to protect you, but you need to stand up and take control of your life." James sighed, but it came out as a loud cluck causing everyone to snort and smile a bit. "Your mother and I thought about that prophecy a lot after we had you and the best advice I can give you is what we planned to do in the first place. Dumbledore knows a great deal of magic, and has a lot of power, but he still has some flaws. You Know Who was one of the best students Hogwarts ever had, next to Dumbledore himself and in some areas surpassed even him. Given time Dumbledore could teach you everything he knows, make you the Dark Lord's equal in every way, but can he teach you that power that the Dark Lord doesn't know? We didn't know either. Dumbledore and the Order are a great source of strength, they protect each other and share what they know but I encourage you to seek out other options as well. We don't know what your special power is so you need to try as many different things as you can until you find something that really works for you."
"Thanks Dad, I think that's exactly what I needed to hear."
"That's what parents are for. Is there anything else you needed to talk about?"
"No, but please tell Mum and Sirus I love them for me." Harry gave one last smile and wave before turning to Papa Ghede and nodding.
"Good luck son, stay safe."
Papa Ghede wiggled his fingers and James the chicken started dancing again to a lively beat. When Papa Ghede stopped, the rooster fell dead once more. "Now you remember what I tell you. You got a good life, live it!"
Harry watched as Papa Ghede left the old woman's body, her face became feminine once again as she lost bulky muscles. She seemed to have a seizure as she fell to the floor shaking. Her eyes opened again with a gasp and she lay on the floor breathing heavily.
"Did the spirits help you child?" The mambo asked.
"More than you can know," Harry smiled and helped her to her feet. "Thank you again priestess, I have a lot I need to consider."
A/N; Well here's the start to my sequel. Let me know what you think. Mostly this is just more of the same. Some serious bits, some funny bits, and a plot loosely binding it all together.
I hope this answered some of the questions left unanswered by Taking Hostages, but if not don't worry more answers are coming. Again, please bear with me on the bad french as it is not my native language. Speaking of languages, some people might find it overly convenient that the Goblins, some merchants, and the priestess spoke English even though they are technically in France. In response, it's the Caribbean and almost everyone is multilingual. I've heard French and Creole as far north as the Bahamas, and I've heard English and Patois even in Haiti. Islands are small and people move about, if they couldn't talk to each other they'd have more wars than the Middle East. That market scene is directly out of my own experience when I first started living in Jamaica, life is very different and they treat business like a game. Fun, but confusing if you aren't used to paying different prices every time you go out for groceries (the end bill tends to wind up the same though so it evens out).