I spent a fair amount of time sitting on my ass thinking of how I should end this fic (among other things). Eventually, I decided on this, which I think ties up all the loose ends while leaving things open for a sequel.
I don't own Harry Potter.
Chapter 13 – Marauder Security & Technologies
Two days after Harry and Hermione had razed Riddle Manor to the ground, slaughtering any Death Eaters that were encountered inside, they were preparing to capture and eliminate the Death Eaters within the Ministry of Magic. Ward stones would trap any marked witches and wizards inside the complex, and a separate sub-ward would send a lethal shock to those contained within.
"So, how long do you think it'll take for Dumbledore to realize who we were?" Harry asked as he laid the final ward stone at its designated location.
"Who knows," Hermione replied as she brought up the ward schematics and made final adjustments to the formulae, "he is one of the most brilliant minds in magical Britain, but on the other hand…" she trailed off.
"On the other hand, he'd probably rather convince himself that his golden boy isn't capable of the things we just did," Harry finished for her.
"Exactly," she said. Her analysis complete, she closed the display and they both Disapparated back to the house that they were renting. With a sigh, she said, "Now that the reason to what we've been doing is gone, what are we going to do now?"
"Retirement's sounding nice," Harry suggested, pulling off his helmet and removing the rest of his uniform. "I mean, between the gold from the Potter, Black and Mortis accounts, on top of the earnings we got doing mercenary work, our great-great grandchildren probably wouldn't have to work a day in their lives."
"Yeah..." Hermione agreed uncertainly, also stripping down, "but, I mean, we're not even thirty yet, we shouldn't be talking about retirement! And while I would like our children and our grandchildren to grow up comfortably, I don't want our wealth to spoil them. They could end up like Malfoy…or worse." Harry wrinkled his nose at the thought.
"Yech, that's a scary thought," he said, sitting down to ponder an alternative. "You know, I just realized, what could we do with the millions of pounds worth of gold that we have, just languishing in our vaults?"
"Buy a thousand-acre property and a fleet of yachts?" Hermione asked.
"Ha, ha," Harry deadpanned. "No, I was thinking we could start a business. I mean, we're still young, we've got the skills, we could start up a mercenary company and expand our reach further than one country at a time." Hermione thought about it and bobbed her head side to side in consideration.
"It could work, temporarily at least," she said. "However, the problem is, is that there are no magical wars currently being waged by our usual customers, and the aurors can't keep calling us forever; they'll eventually run out of money to pay us, or there'll be no one left for us to catch, and what then?"
"So, what do you suggest then?" Harry asked. "I mean, we've spent the past thirteen years training to be mercenaries, Hermione, thirteen years! It's not like we know how to do much else!"
"We do something with our mercenary work as a part of the organization," Hermione suggested. "Maybe we could make a security firm, or a research and development division, maybe even both. Just…something to keep the company going during peacetime." Harry sighed and nodded in acceptance.
"I guess it was a bit shortsighted of me to stick strictly to merc work," he admitted. "The paperwork for all this is going to be hell, though," he added.
"True, but that can wait till later," Hermione said as she pulled Harry up by his shirt. "Now, I believe we had an agreement," she said in a seductive tone. With a lecherous grin, Harry lifted his wife by her thighs and carried her to the bedroom to celebrate their victory.
The next day, the Order of the Phoenix staged an attack to retake the Ministry, only to find several dead bodies lying scattered throughout the complex, all bearing the Dark Mark on their arms. That afternoon, in Los Angeles, Harry and Hermione found themselves sitting in the American Department of Magical Business and Commerce, slowly picking their way through the mounds of paperwork that they had to sign to start a new business.
"I knew that there'd be paperwork involved, but this is ridiculous," Harry grumbled under his breath as he signed another sheet of paper from a pile that had originally stood almost three inches in height. The attendant in front of them shrugged apologetically.
"Sorry, I didn't write the laws," she said. Harry set his pen down and flexed his hand, feeling the muscles beginning to cramp. To his right, Hermione was scanning the papers and quickly signing them before setting them aside and grabbing the next one. His hand muscles sufficiently relaxed, Harry picked up his pen and resumed his long journey through the masses of paperwork before him.
Over an hour later, all the forms had finally been signed, and Harry was massaging his writing hand.
"Alright, that seems to be everything," the woman said, straightening out the papers before filing them away. "Now, will your business strictly be in the magical world, or will you also be doing work in the Muggle world?" she asked. Harry and Hermione looked at each other for a moment before shrugging.
"Umm, both I guess," Harry said uncertainly, "more money that way, right?" Harry thought he saw sympathy momentarily flicker across the attendant's face before returning to a professional smile.
"Well then, you're also going to have to sign these," she said, reaching into her file drawer and dropping a five-inch-thick stack of papers in front of the two prospective entrepreneurs. Scowling, Harry picked the pen up and grabbed the top sheet of paper, silently wishing that he was ambidextrous at that moment.
After signing a small forest's worth of paperwork, Harry and Hermione had finally managed to acquire five levels of a thirty-story building, straddling the line between the magical and Muggle worlds. After spending three weeks and several thousand dollars to furnish both sides, they had finally reached the hiring process; they had decided that Hermione would interview the magical prospects, while Harry would interview the Muggles. Before him now was a young, thin blonde woman whose attention seemed to drift in and out of focus.
"So, Miss…Kenning," he said, glancing at the name on the résumé, "it says here that you have an associate's degree in communications from UCLA?"
"Yes, sir," the woman said sweetly. Harry scanned the rest of the résumé; she had familiarity with Microsoft Office programs, as well as previous office experience. Other than her wandering attention, she seemed to be a good candidate for the clerical job that she was applying for.
"Well, you seem well suited for the position," he said. "How about I think about it and give you a call next week," he continued, standing up and offering his hand.
"Oh thank you, Mister Potter," Miss Kenning said, eagerly shaking the offered hand. "I really appreciate this."
"It's no trouble, Miss Kenning," Harry said politely as he sat back down. "Could you be so kind as to send the next person in on your way out, please?" The woman agreed, and practically skipped out of the office; a few seconds later, a short, round man with a balding head and thick moustache, cheap aftershave wafting off of the man, nearly causing Harry to gag. The man dropped into the chair opposite of Harry and handing his résumé. Controlling the urge to growl at the man's similarity to Vernon Dursley, he took the paper and nearly wrinkled his nose in disgust at the poor condition. The paper itself was wrinkled and torn in some placed, and there were various brown splotches on the paper that Harry assumed were coffee stains. "So, Mister…Gilfried," he said, squinting as the name was obscured by a particularly dark stain. "You said that you were applying for the position of head of security?"
"You bet your ass I am," the round man said. "I've been working security for damn near thirty years; I figure I've got enough qualifications for the job." Harry did not reply, instead looking further down the résumé, noticing an odd frequency in job changes in recent years.
"It says here that you've worked for ten offices and three shopping malls in the past three years, care to explain the frequent job changes?" he asked. Suddenly, Gilfried began to fidget nervously in his chair.
"Well…there were a couple of…incidents," he eventually admitted.
"'Incidents?'" Harry repeated. "Care to elaborate on that?"
"Well, I kind of…bumped into a lady or two," Gilfried said. "They overreacted, and the next thing you know, I've got a lawsuit on my ass," he continued, chuckling nervously. "All of it's bull-hokey, of course."
"Of course," Harry echoed neutrally. "Tell you what, I'll think about it and get back to you."
"Thanks, 'preciate it," Gilfried said, shaking Harry's hand with a sweaty palm. After the large man left, Harry drew his wand and cleaned his hand, as well as clearing the air of the lingering aftershave stench. Taking off his glasses, Harry rubbed his forehead, muttering softly.
"This'll be worth it, this will all be worth it," he whispered to himself; after massaging his head for a few more seconds before sliding his glasses back on and calling the next interviewee.
18 February 2011
Over a year had passed since Harry and Hermione had first decided to create a company. After all that time, as well as millions in both dollars and galleons spent, their dream was finally coming to fruition. Now, Harry was preparing for a press conference to announce the opening of his new company. Behind him, Hermione was carrying their three-month-old daughter, Willow Delilah Potter, sleeping after a fresh feeding.
"We've finally made it," Hermione said, holding Willow's head to her shoulder. "We've finally built something of our own."
"Yeah," Harry said as he straightened out his dress robes. "And once this press conference is over, I can become the eccentric, reclusive owner that never shows his face to the public." A brief knocking was heard before Harry's personal assistant poked his head in.
"You're needed in five, sir," he reminded his employer.
"Thank you, Josh," Harry said. With a heavy sigh, he said, "Well, time to face the masses."
"Knock 'em dead," Hermione said. Harry kissed her and the head of their daughter before he descended outside and up to the podium, where several reporters from both local and international publications were eagerly awaiting his statement. Taking a deep breath, Harry plunged in.
"Hello, my name is Harry Potter," he said, his voice magically amplified by the microphones in front of him. "As you may know, up until recently, my home nation was controlled by a terroristic faction. It was also due to the actions of some independent associates of mine that their hold was broken fifteen months ago.
"It was then that I realized that I never wanted that to happen again. So, to that end, I have decided to create Marauder Security and Technologies, a company seeking to ensure the safety and betterment of the people, both here and around the world, whether it is through technological advances, or through the use of trained personnel. It is my hope, my dream that one day, we will no longer have to worry about war, or terrorism, but instead be able to look forward to peace. It was a dream that my parents died for, a dream that I hope will be realized with this company. I will be taking your questions now."
And such is the end of Light's Hope, Death's Hunters. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did.
I am heavily considering a sequel, and have a few loose ideas floating around, I just need to hammer them into a coherent mass and write it.
Don't forget to review!