A/N: I don't own Harry Potter and wouldn't particularly care to. I would like a rental agreement with option to buy for Hermione Granger. A short term contract with Nyphadora Tonks wouldn't be turned down. A Long-term agreement with Luna Lovegood would probably be a whole lot of fun. Any time Padma Patil wants to open negotiations, call me and oh for a weekend with Fleur. Oddly Lavender and Padma's sister (despite being her twin) Parvarti do nothing for me… I also don't own Sergeant Schlock or his plasma cannon, but if I did, some people would pay, oh yes, they would pay…
A/N2: Special thanks to Ted Carroll, Shawn Harris, for their assistance in taking my drek and turning it into something readable.
Harry Potter and the Narrative Causality
She was sitting across from him at their 7th year welcoming feast. She had just given him a very odd look. "Harry, we need to talk."
"I thought we were."
"No." she said reaching for another roll. "We need to speak privately. Meet me at my suite after the feast."
The Gryffindor Head Girl's suite was really impressive; its common room rivaled the house common room for size and comfort. Of course the suite includes her private bedchamber. A large portion of his consciousness was focused on this detail. What could his best friend of 6 years want with him? Did he dare hope?
Hermione emerged from her bedchamber, her school robes abandoned, clad in the Muggle jeans and Jumper she had been wearing on the train, her feet bare, she padded to him, and slid onto his lap, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.
She. Kissed. Him.
While his mind was attempting to deal with this, her tongue crossed his lips and gently explored his mouth. By this time his body had declared his mind a total loss and was responding as best it could without guidance. By the time his mind caught up with what was happening, Hermione was moaning into her kisses. In a single flowing move, she stood and pulled him into her bedchamber.
"Wow." He lay on his back looking up into the rafters of the Head girl's bedchamber, a delightfully naked Hermione cuddled in close beside him, kissing his chest.
"I think I have a new favorite wand." She nibbled on his earlobe, then continued "You were thinking about this while I was changing weren't you?"
"Oh, Merlin, yes."
"I've wanted to drag you into my bed for two years, but I was never brave enough to actually do it."
"Two years? But you were with Ron for most of that. What changed?"
She sat up; he was again mesmerized by her breasts. "You did Harry. Yes, I was with Ron, You were with Cho, then Ginny. I told myself that I had to settle."
"What do you mean? How did I change?"
"I've been watching you for the last year. If you want something, you tend to get it. If you expect something to happen, it does, both good things and bad. Tonight, you decided you wanted me, and I couldn't have resisted if I wanted to."
"I don't understand."
"Remember on the Express last spring? When the trolley came by, you remarked that you'd really like a Mars Bar. Bette didn't even know what a Mars Bar was, and I laughed at you for thinking you would find a Muggle sweet on the Express. Then she found a single Mars Bar in one of the drawers of her trolley. She couldn't remember stocking it, but she had one." She lay down next to him again, missing his warmth.
"But what does that mean? I mean sure, somehow a fresh Muggle candy bar showed up on the Sweets trolley, but it just seems to be a meaningless coincidence."
Hermione cuddled closer. "Let's look at your coincidences. First year, you needed to get through the traps the Professors rigged to protect the Philosophers Stone. You needed to get by fluffy, Hagrid let it slip that the beast was put to sleep by music AND Hagrid gave you the flute we used to put him to sleep. You needed someone to identify an odd plant and who could get through a logic problem. You fought a Troll to get me. You needed a chess player, by sheer coincidence you meet and befriend Ron on the train."
"Second year you needed to face the chamber alone so that you don't need to worry about anyone else, so Lockhart steals Ron's broken wand, and throws a Memory charm that somehow backfires and causes a cave in that separates you from Ron and Lockhart. You need something to keep a basilisk from killing you; Fawkes appears and blinds the beast. Then you needed to kill it, and from the Sorting Hat, you pull the Sword of Gryffindor because you needed it. Then you needed a way to destroy the Diary, the Basilisk fan in your arm does the trick, and the Phoenix, who no one has ever seen outside of the Headmaster's office, cries on your wounds to heal you. "
"Third year your magic decided that Pettigrew was too much of a danger, so it arranges for the Weasleys to win a contest that allows them to go to Egypt, have their picture taken for the Profit, and that particular issue is placed in front of Sirius in Azkaban, not a place where newspapers are very common. He manages to escape, what are the chances that he is the only animagus ever to be sent to Azkaban? Sirius manages to befriend my cat, who can not only identify an animagus but is also intelligent enough to learn to press the knot that stops the whomping willow, Do you remember what you were thinking when we returned from the Shrieking Shack?"
"That it was too good to be true."
"And that's what caused Remus to forget to take his potion. Think about that, he forgot. Have you ever known him to forget the full moon before or since? Then you needed to save Sirius. I happened to have a Timeturner. Think about that, the ministry put a time turner in the hands of a thirteen year old girl. Sirius needed to escape, by sheer coincidence there was a falsely condemned hippogriff we managed to rescue. Then you, for your very first corporeal Patronus repelled over one hundred dementors."
"Do I need to go on? When you need something, want something, or expect something, it happens, or has already happened and is waiting for you to use it."
"But Hermione, those are all just coincidences."
"That's what I thought as well. This summer my mother had me sit down and tell her everything that has happened to us since first year. She listened to me, then got a note pad and had me start over while she took notes. She pointed out to me every single convenient thing that has happened to you, every time you just happened to have the talent you needed, or access to someone who had the talent, that an animal or item just happened to be available when you needed it, every time something minor and seemingly insignificant happened that turned out to be important later in the year. Mum said it was as if a bad author was plotting out a story. I suggested that it might be your magic making sure what you needed was available to you."
"So either I'm a character in a poorly plotted story or my magic is guiding my life?"
Hermione reached down to take hold of him, giving him an appreciate stroke or two. "You seem real enough for me. Ohh, someone wants to play again." She straddled him and leaned down to kiss him. "You know, I'm going to start expecting this kind of treatment."
"So where were you last night Mate? You usually wait a night or two before you start you all night roaming of the castle."
"Harry spent the night with me Ron."
Ron actually stopped eating. "With you?"
Ron just stared at them for a five count, open mouthed. He then nodded. "Good on you. Don't piss her off mate; she can be evil when she puts her mind to it." Ron returned to his meal.
Harry was relieved that Ron had taken it so well. When Ron and Hermione had broken up at the end of the previous school year, it hadn't been pretty, even after that every time another guy looked at Hermione he had gone into screaming rages. Ron must be growing up. Unless of course Hermione was right and Harry's magic had…
Had he caused Ron to change? Had his magic controlled Ron? Harry shot a look to Hermione who was smiling at him.
"Don't worry about it. If it was you, it was unconscious. Don't sell Ron short, maybe he has grown up, or maybe it's all right for me to be with another man as long as the other man is you." she whispered.
"Ok" Harry agreed. "So what do we do now?"
"I think we need to try to exploit your talent."
"Exploit how?" he asked.
"We need to see if you can learn to use your talent consciously."
"I'm not sure I understand" Neville Longbottom said. "What is you claim Harry can do?"
"It's called Narrative Causality, basically if he wants, or needs something bad enough, he will get it. If he believes something will happen, it will, good or bad."
Ginny Weasley was sitting on Neville's lap (no reason beyond she liked to do so, there was plenty of unused room on the sofa they were sharing) "So what does this mean?"
"Basically it means Harry controls the universe." Luna Lovegood was doing a hand stand in front of Ron, allowing her skirt to fall and expose her thong to the tall redhead before rolling onto his lap. "Properly motivated and focused, he cannot lose. Tommy Riddle is dead." She locked her legs around Ron and leaned backwards until she was hanging upside down. "Harry, could I get an interview for the Quibbler? The Public has a right to know how you're going to do it."
"As soon as I know what I'm doing, you'll be the first I speak to Luna."
"My readers expect nothing else."
"I don't know if I'd go as far as saying Harry controls the universe." Hermione said, attempting to regain control of the meeting. "But yes, as long as we can keep him focused and motivated, Riddle IS dead, he just doesn't know it yet." She went to the chalk board the Room of Requirements had provided. "As I see it we've got three tasks. #1, find the Horocruxes." She wrote in on the board. "#2. destroy the Horocruxes. And #3. Kill Riddle."
Luna unwrapped herself from Ron, stepped forward and quickly wrote #4 Profit!!! on the board in an odd old English script.
"What? Profit? Why did you write that?" Hermione demanded, wondering just how Luna managed to write so quickly in such a complex font
"Because that's how the list goes. If he's manipulating causality by using narrative flow then he has to work with the common clinches to get the full effect."
"Ok, that's what I've got to do; it's nice to see it laid out so simply. Would anyone care to explain precisely HOW I'm supposed to do those things?"
"You don't need to worry about how Harry, you only have to worry about why."
"Ok Hermione, why am I going to do this?"
She leaned forward and whispered in his ear.
Harry paled. "Are you serious?"
"Yep. On Snapes desk."
"Ok, Riddle is Toast!"
Hermione had Harry outside one of the multitude of empty class rooms that seemed to fill the castle. On more than one occasion Hermione had wondered just why Hogwarts had so many class rooms that never seemed to have been used. They seemed to serve no purpose other offering a rendezvous for couples looking for privacy.
Harry was walking past the door for the 10th time, chanting "I need to find all of Riddle's Horocruxes. I want to find all of Riddle's Horocruxes. I will find all of Riddle's Horocruxes."
"Ok love." Hermione stopped him. "Lets see if it worked."
The entered the room, having had to unlock the door (quite on purpose they hadn't ever entered the room before.) The room was empty other than a desk sitting in the center of the room. On that desk was a leather bag.
Harry and Hermione approached the bag hesitantly. With trembling fingers Hermione untied the knot holding the bag closed and tipped the contents out onto the desk top.
A damaged diary, a ring with a damaged stone, a locket with an ornate 'S' on it, a Teacup, and a diadem.
"Wait, we're missing one, there are only five here."
Master? Where are you master?
"Did you hear that?" Harry was looking around to locate the voice.
"I didn't hear anything."
He found the huge leather bag under the desk. Something large was writhing inside the bag. Nagini?
Speaker? Who are you speaker?
I am Harry Potter Nagini.
You! My Master will kill you!
"Found it. Under the desk." He stared at Hermione. "It worked. It really worked."
"You doubted me?"
"Of course not. I doubted me, you, you are a genius." He smiled. "We've got them. We've got them all."
"Of course we do." She said pulling him from the class room, having placed the horocruxes in stasis, and applying 9 different locking charms on the door as well as physically locking the door and placing three different stunning wards in place.
"I thought we were going to destroy them."
"We will Harry, we will. First we have an appointment in the dungeons."
Severus Snape entered his office in what for him passed for a good mood. He had just gotten a first year Hufflepuff to cry. That was always a good time. He sat at his desk, opening a drawer to get his favorite 'failure' quill. He used that quill exclusively for marking Gryffindor essays.
That was when he noticed the smell. And the general wetness on his desk top. And the… mess he was sitting in.
"What's my motivation this time Pretty Lady?"
"How about the Hospital Wing? In your special bed?"
Harry shuddered. Not his fantasy, but then neither was Snapes's desk, though it had been fun denying everything when the Potions Master had been making accusations. If it made Hermione happy, he was horny enough to go anywhere. Harry and Hermione had returned to the empty class room that contained the Horocruxes. Hermione unlocked the door, and took down the wards; Harry began his pacing outside the door, this time chanting "I need a way to destroy all of Riddle's Horocruxes. I want a way to destroy all of Riddle's Horocruxes. I will find a way to destroy all of Riddle's Horocruxes."
And they entered the 'empty' class room.
It wasn't as empty as they had expected. The Horocruxes were still on and beside the desk, shimmering slightly in the stasis charm. On the floor next to the desk was a large tub of some thick noxious liquid. And standing in the center of the room, clad in lavender robes with a matching peaked hat was Albus Dumbledore.
"Headmaster." Harry said as he crossed to the table.
"Mr. Potter, Miss Granger. Imagine my surprise when I found a collection of objects of dark magic when I did my routine checks of the school."
"You might have suspected that the Slytherin's were storing their toys outside the Dungeons again."
"That possibility did occur to me Mr. Potter. Then I investigated and found all six of Voldemort's Horocruxes, including three I had thought to be safely locked away in my office, to be here on this desk. Then this tub of something suddenly appears just before the two of you enter the room."
"Very odd Headmaster." Hermione said. "But you really don't have to worry about it anymore. Harry has the situation well in hand."
"True Professor, we've got it from here." Harry picked up the diadem and placed it in the tub. The surface of the liquid roiled for a moment, then a wisp of vapor issued forth with what sounded like a distant scream. As they watched the vapor dispersed into nothingness.
"Mr. Potter, those items are priceless artifacts, you cannot simply…"
"How's your hand Professor?"
Dumbledore raised his right hand and stared at the blackened dead flesh for a moment. "Point taken Mr. Potter."
The Locket followed the Diadem into oblivion, then the cup, the diary and the ring. Neither the diary nor the ring had the vapor escape, which confirmed to Harry that they were actually killing the soul fragments. That only left the snake. Just placing the reptile in the liquid was probably a bad idea, no doubt the substance, whatever it was would disrupt the stasis, then the beast would struggle and splash whatever was in the tub all over, which given the properties it was displaying was probably not a good thing. Harry released the snake from the bag, and before it could shake off the effects of the stasis charm, used a cutting charm to sever its head. Harry placed first the head and then the body of the snake into the fluid. Oddly the vapor that was a soul fragment issued forth when the body was dissolved, not when the head was destroyed."
"They're gone." Harry breathed. "Riddle can die now."
"But not tonight Harry." She took hold of his tie and pulled him from the room leaving a bemused headmaster behind. He continued to stare at the open door for several moments before he looked down to see that the tub of mysterious fluid had disappeared.
"Ok Harry. What's your plan?"
"Since when do I do the planning Hermione? You always do the plans."
"That was before the plan was to kill someone."
"Ok, fine." He paced back and forth in front of the tree. "I need something that can kill Tom Riddle. I want something that can kill Tom Riddle; I will find something that can kill Tom Riddle."
"Who's Tom Riddle?"
Harry stopped his pacing, he and Hermione slowly turned toward the voice.
In the shade of the tree… sat a amorphous blob, it had a pair of eyes that seemed to float within its mass, a large mouth, and portions of its mass extruded to form arms, which were currently crossed as the thing surveyed the pair.
"Oooh, a carbosilicate amorph." Hermione squealed. "They are very rare. They are extremely strong, they eat anything that doesn't eat them first, and they are immune to almost everything short of extreme heat and extreme cold."
"Oooh, Humans." Said the Amorph sarcastically. "Not rare in the slightest, extremely weak, eat very few things without intestinal distress, and are harmed by pretty much everything."
"How do you know about whatever he is Hermione? I've never even imagined anything like him."
"Ok Human, why am I here?" the blob interrupted looking decidedly less than pleased.
"Uh, I'm Harry Potter. Somehow, I think I accidently called you here."
"Accidently eh? In my experience accidents usually involve things being blown up." It looked about. "Well nothing seems to be exploding just now. I'm Schlock, Sergeant, Tagon's Toughs. From the ship Serial Peacemaker. How did I get here? That didn't feel like a Teraport."
"Sergeant? Are you military?" Hermione asked.
"Hardly. Mercenary. Our job is to kill people and break their things." He saw the look on Hermione's face. "What? That's in the job description that HR gave me when I signed on."
"Wait, you said You are a mercenary?"
"What would it cost me for you to take out my enemy?"
The blob's eyes narrowed. "What 'cha got?"
The negotiations went on for an hour. It was finally decided that Schlock would kill Voldemort for 2 kilograms of gold, a case of Ogdens, and Luna's butterbeer cork necklace (because Schlock felt it would look cool on his BH-209) Schlock had started insisting on the necklace when he found Luna making hand prints in his hide end. It became totally nonnegotiable when she pressed her face into his body mass, then pulled away to see how long the impression lasted.
Upon receiving payment (Harry had willed the gold and the Firewhiskey into existence and Luna returned from her dorm in a new outfit (because the old one didn't work without the jewelry) and presented the blob with her necklace) Sergeant Schlock announced himself ready to face Voldemort.
Harry stood and began his pacing again. "I need Tom Riddle here without his wand. I want Tom Riddle here without his wand. I will find Tom Riddle here without his wand."
It didn't work the first time. Or the second. It wasn't until Harry had done his chant for the tenth time that a dripping wet naked Tom Riddle wearing only a shower cap and carrying a shower brush appeared before them.
"Potter!" Riddle hissed. "What have you done?"
"Sergeant?" Harry asked.
"This is the target?" The Blob asked. "I thought this was going to be difficult."
"What the hell is that Potter?"
Schlock reached into his 'mouth' and extracted a large metal pistol-like device. The device issued an ominous hum.
"This is a BH-209 plasma cannon. It comes with the optional 'Glow of Doom'. Nice ain't it?"
Sergeant Schlock pulled the trigger on his plasma cannon and the device discharged, hitting Riddle fully in the chest, vaporizing his chest. The Dark Lord fell to the ground dead.
"Well, that was easy." He replaced the plasma cannon back in its storage location. "Hey kid, what are the chances of my going home?
Harry closed his eyes and concentrated on sending Schlock home. When he opened his eyes the Amorph was gone.
Dumbledore had came running to the site of the fight, and was staring open mouthed at the smoking corpse of the former Dark Lord.
"Mr. Potter, how did you do this?"
"I wished real hard?"
"Mr Potter, this is wonderful!"
"You bet! Now I'm wishing for something else."
Hermione took his hand and pulled him away.