Disclaimer: The properties of Harry Potter and Highlander are not mine. I am only using them for my own amusement and will put them back when I am done.
A/N: Sorry for another delay in an update. I have been rewriting some of my notes for this story as well as working on two other crossover fics that I might be posting in the near future. so without further delay on with the show.
There Can be Only One…
Chapter 11: Dangers of Shopping
August 17, 1996
Harry should have been enjoying the brisk morning air. Yet this morning his mind was a mess of jumbled thoughts. Being out in the Granger's back yard going through a Tai Chi routine that Duncan had shown him all he could think about was that everything was coming to a head. The Death Eater and Dementor attacks from earlier in the month had continued sporadically, with some of the major pro-muggle and mixed families being hit hardest, and it did not help that it seemed to the general public claimed that he should just snap his fingers and make everything go away. Frustrated at the situation Harry finished his routine and sat down on the lawn to meditate and try to clear his mind.
The problem he realized was not that he would not do something about it, but that he could not at this time. He needed the training that Dumbledore was to give him this coming school year. Hopefully Voldemort would hold off on any true offensive till either he had trained up or finished school, but Harry thought that was wishful thinking. He felt that whatever Voldemort had planned next would affect everything sooner rather than later. He just hoped that he would be ready.
Getting up, he looked up at the second floor and waved to Hermione. He knew she had been watching him since he started his Tai Chi routine. Harry was glad she was in his life. Though in what capacity he had no idea. They had shared some intimate moments since Paris, but their relationship had not progressed more than that. Would it ever, he hoped so but only when Hermione was ready. He would not force her to do anything she was not ready for.
As he thought this, he picked up a wooden practice sword and giving it a few practice swings, started the next part of his morning ritual. Going through the kata was easy, the moves had been ingrained into his mind the first day that Duncan had started to train him with a sword. As he continued on through the movies, his mind went back to the day earlier in the week when he said goodbye to Duncan. The older immortal had truly become a good friend and confidant to Harry and would be missed. Though Duncan did laughingly tell him to stay in touch every couple of decades to which Harry said he would. It was then that his thoughts turned to his best friend Ron Weasley. Harry pondered what to do about first friend. They had only exchanged one letter and even that Ron had prattled on about mundane things. It was if all the things that were said at Grimmauld Place went over his head. Harry just did not understand it. He knew something had happened at Grimmauld Place, but Hermione was not saying what. Just that she would handle it and to please stay out it as it was between her and Ron. He just hoped that he would never have to choose between them, for if he did then it would probably end the first true friendship he ever had.
It was during his musings that a strange thing happened in the backyard of the Granger's house. Four people suddenly appeared in a small whirlwind. Three of them had bright red hair and the other had a shocking pink coif. The watched Harry's fluid moves as he fought imaginary foes and was wondering why he was doing what he was doing. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the youngest male red head walked up to Harry.
"Quit playing around Harry." Ron said as he grabbed Harry by the shoulder.
Before the young teen could do anything, Harry grabbed the hand and neatly twisting the other boys arm behind his back. As Ron was letting out a yelp of surprise and pain, Harry then used his left leg to take the feet out from under Ron and pin him to the ground.
"Hello Ron, how are you?" Harry said smiling.
"Bloody hell mate, how did you do that?" Were the first words out of Ron's mouth.
Smiling more to himself than anyone else Harry said, "Magic."
While this was going on, it seemed that Hermione had headed out of the back door to greet the new arrivals. Mrs. Weasley was trying to get the boys to separate, and both her daughter and Tonks were laughing at the predicament that Ron had landed himself in.
"Harry let the poor boy up," Tonks finally got out.
Finally once Ron was let up and everyone had a small chuckle at the red heads behalf, Hermione led the group into the house with herself and Harry leading the way.
As the group was being led into the house Tonks asked Harry. "So is that how you got away from me and Snape?"
"Not really," was his reply. "I had just hoped it was you, but after you had been knocked out I noticed that you had dangly earrings, Hermione when she wears them only wears studs."
Tonks looked kinda shell shocked at Harry explanation and then just shaking her head started to laugh.
Once they were in the house Harry excused himself to go and get cleaned up and ready for the days shopping trip. Neither Harry nor Hermione noticed the look on Ron's face. Though if they did then it would be a shock that a look like that would ever have crossed their friends face.
As they entered the house, Harry headed up the stairs to go and get cleaned up. After showering and changing into some street clothes, Harry decided against grabbing his katana and just took his long jacket. With everything in hand, he headed down to the first floor.
When Harry got to living room the first thing he noticed was that Hermione and Ron were glaring at each other again while Mrs. Weasley looked like she was about to start criticizing Hermione. At least Ginny and Tonks were looking at anything but the others in the room. He figured that both got into another argument and Molly was going to take her sons position. He decided on not to interfering, and hoped they would both work things out like they had in the past. When no one noticed that Harry had entered the living room he cleared his throat and announced that he was ready to go. Hermione had a look of gratefulness on her face once she knew he was there. The group stood and then Tonks produced a long piece of rope that they all grabbed. Harry felt the pull behind his navel signaling the activation of the portkey. After the whirlwind sensation settled down he found himself in the alley behind the Leaky Cauldron, and the group made their way through the old pub and into the entrance of Diagon Alley.
After opening up the entrance to the Alley Mrs. Weasley said, "Well now that we are here why don't we split up and get our shopping done a little faster. Harry will go with Ginny and Tonks while Ron, Hermione and I go together." After she finished Mrs. Weasley started to head into the alley.
Harry stopped her and said, "Mrs. Weasley, I need to go to Gringotts to get some galleons for supplies, and I am sure that Hermione still needs to exchange some muggle money as well. So I think that it would be easier if we meet you, Ron, and Ginny start shopping afterwards."
Before Mrs. Weasley or even Ron could object, Harry grabbed Hermione by the arm and started to walk with her down the Alley, inviting Tonks to join them as an after thought.
After they got out of ear shot of the Weasley's Harry was finally able to ask, "Ok what is going on between you and Ron? And don't ask me to stay out of it this time, you are both my friends and I can't stand it when you both fight." Harry finally told her.
Hermione sighed and started to say, "Ok, when you were knocked out and taken to Grimmaulde Place, I tried to get into the meeting with the Order to find out why they did what they did. Ron said that it was not worth it to try and that I should just hang out with him. At first I was a little shocked. How could Ron not care about it you, or what was going on behind your back? I started to say something to him, when he grabbed me and kissed me. I was shocked at first and then I just pushed him back and told him not to do anything like that again. He then tells me but that is what boyfriends and girlfriends do. I then told him that I was definitely not his girlfriend and where does he get off thinking like that. He then starts to say the most ridicules things about the arguments we always have being my way of flirting with him and then tries to kiss me again. That is when I hit him and you showed up shortly after that. I did not know when Ginny showed up, so I don't know how much she heard."
Once Harry had heard all of what Hermione had to say he was a little shocked at Ron's behavior.
Before Harry could comment Hermione continued on, "And today after you went upstairs and we sat down he tried to corner me in the kitchen and groped me again. I shoved him off and told him to never touch me again and that if he did he would regret it."
Harry frowned then said, "I know you can take care of yourself, but I am going to talk to him and no you don't have a say in it."
"Harry please, don't" Hermione started to say when she was interrupted by Tonks when she finally caught up to them.
"So kiddies, Gringotts then off to the apothecary?" The pink haired Auror asked?
"Nope," Harry told her while looking over his shoulder. "Neither Hermione or I need to go to the bank. I just told Mrs. Weasley that so I could talk to Hermione in private."
"Sneaky and impressive," Was Tonks reply and stepping between the two teens the Auror linked her arms in theirs and smiling said. "Ok gossip time. What exactly is going on between you too?"
Both teens blushing a little replied, "Nothing."
Tonks started to guffaw at that, but Harry stopped her and said, "Really Tonks, there is nothing going on between me or Hermione in anyway. We are just kinda playing this by ear."
"Well, I just have to say that you both make a great couple." Tonks told the two as she shoved them into the apothecary to get supplies for the coming year.
An hour and half later found the trio in Flourish and Blotts waiting for the Weasley's to meet them. Harry and Hermione had spit up in the store each heading to different section to get the books they needed for the upcoming year. All their core classes were picked up quickly enough, and as they waited each started to browse the various shelves looking for anything interesting. As Harry slowly drifted between stacks running his hand across the spines of various books he wondered what his life would be like after Hogwarts if he survived Voldemort this year. He knew that Hermione would yell at him for thinking that he could be defeated by the evil wizard, but even with his immortality there was still a chance that he could still lose. After all there were spells out there that could remove his head just as easily as a sword.
As Harry wondered through the store he wondered what he was going to say to Ron about Hermione. While they were not going out officially; they were growing closer together. He was having doubts about whether or not Ron could accept this. After all Ron was a bit of a hot head and never truly thought things through about anything. The worst being in fourth year when he thought Harry had put his name in the goblet. Either way Harry knew the first true friendship he ever had would be changing soon for the worst it seemed.
It was during this train of thought that Harry felt a familiar sensation. That prickling sensation behind the ears indicating another Immortal was nearby. Looking up in confusion Harry started to look around wildly at the other customers in the store. Finally looking out the front window he spotted his quarry. There he was standing in front of the display window, his hands on a slim ebony cane. As he looked up, Harry at first took him for a Malfoy with his long blonde hair, but taking a closer decided that was a coincidence. This person did not have the high cheek bones or even the proper sneer that both Malfoy's were so fond of using. And his eyes were a cold grey as if death had followed this man for years. Harry knew the last could probably be true as he did know how old this Immortal could be.
Turning back into store Harry started to look for Hermione. He found her deep in the store looking at books of runes. He pulled her into the shadows and whispered, "There is an Immortal out front of the store."
"What? How?" Hermione started to say.
"I don't know, but I have to take care of him," Harry told her. "I don't want to take the chance he overhears anything, or tries to follow us. So if I don't return before the Weasley's get here can you make something up?"
"Harry you don't have your sword, don't go." Hermione pleaded.
"I have to Hermione. I can't take the chance he won't do anything to you or the others." Harry told her, "I care about you too much for anything to happen."
"That feeling goes both ways Harry, just be careful and come back to me." Hermione told him and then grabbing him by the back of the head she kissed him hard and passionately. When she broke the kiss off she whispered to him, "I love you Harry."
Taken a little aback by Hermione's forwardness Harry was tongue tied. Gulping for air he replied to her, "I know, I love you too, and I will be back. Promise."
He started for the front door when a hand descended on his shoulder and a voice said into his ears. "Where do you think you are going?"
"There is something I need to take care of Tonks, and I need your help so you can let me go or there will be a repeat of what happened in alley." Harry told her a little coldly as he removed her hand from his shoulder.
Tonks just stood there and was shocked at the way Harry had just talked to her. "What do you need?" She asked him finally.
"This is going to sound strange but I need you to either transfigure me a sword or conjure one." Harry said.
A little shocked by his request Tonks started to ask, "Why do you…"
"I will try to explain later." Harry told her, "Just do me this favor please."
"Ok, but you owe me and I plan to collect." Tonks said as she started to wave her wand around in a complicated pattern as Harry watched as her conjuration took place.
It was obvious from what movie she was getting the idea of what a sword should look like to Harry. He had sat through the same movie with Hermione last week. The blade was a little longer and the hilt a little larger than he was used too, but it was doable. The cross enclosed by a circle pommel made him chuckle though as he picked up the sword. The leather hilt felt right in his hand as Harry tested the balance and sharpness of the blade; satisfied he stashed the blade in his jacket and thanking Tonks started to head off into the alley to search for the other Immortal.
Before he got to far though, Tonks caught up with him and said, "It should last for an hour, two at most so what ever you are going to do with that thing do it quick." As an afterthought and smiling Tonks added, "Prince."
Smiling at that as well Harry took off, making his way to where the stranger had been standing he looked around to see if the Immortal could be spotted again. Turning around Harry finally spotted the man heading towards a back alley between some stores. Walking calmly and making sure no one noticed him, he followed the Immortal at a slow pace. Harry Always kept the man insight as he continued to look for other threats. Finally after what seemed an eternity to him the Immortal Harry followed turned down a dead end alley between shops and stopped to face his pursuer.
Once Harry caught up he could finally make out what the Immortal looked liked. The man looked like any middle aged business man to Harry. His facial features though are what made him stand out. His long blonde hair and cold calculating eyes made him think of the elder Malfoy. The memory was reinforced by the fact this man used a cane when he walks as well. As Harry approached the Immortal he noticed the man looked as if he was being put out by being near him.
"Ah, hello my young friend." He said with a bit of French accent. "How are you this fine day?"
"We don't have to do this." Harry told the man. "I just want to be left alone."
"Come now. I asked you a question." The Frenchman said. "There is no point in not being civil with each other. After all a Noble like myself must always be polite even to those that are beneath him." The last was said as the man was removing a speck of dirt off of his jacket.
"I was doing ok till you showed up." Harry told the man finally.
"Now see that was not so hard my young friend." He told Harry. "I am Jean-Pierre de Febre of Lorraine and I challenge you to a duel." As he finished challenging Harry, Jean-Pierre removed his jacket and removed what looked like a cutlass from it. Discarding the jacket he promptly saluted Harry and waited.
Seeing no choice in the matter Harry replied with, "Have it your way then. My name is Harry Potter of Godrics Hollow and I accept your challenge." He then took off his jacket as well, and pulled out the conjured sword. Returning the salute, Harry waited for the other Immortal to make the first move.
He did not have long to wait. Jean-Pierre lunged forth making Harry back pedal and block the thrust.
"Come my young friend you can do better than that." The Frenchman implored Harry. "I would hate to think you are unworthy of that fine young lady that was accompanying you. I am sure that after we are done here she would not mind the company of a real man."
"You will leave her alone." Harry yelled at the other immortal as he went on the offensive and swung his blade down towards his opponents arm.
Back and forth through the alley both combatants fought. Neither fighter was gaining nor giving ground, though Harry had landed a few hits on the annoying man. Harry was finding this fight to be a little easier than his last. In the back of his mind Duncan had said that as he would take heads the fighting experience of those other Immortals would combine with his own. Whether it was this or the fact his opponent was not all that good was little comfort to Harry at the moment. All he wanted to do was finish the fight and get back to the others.
As he continued fighting Harry started to notice a pattern forming. The Frenchman would first thrust in, then try to slice at him from the left. Making countering those moves easy. When it happened again Harry made his move. As the blade started to come towards him, Harry parried the blade and circled around and struck the Frenchman in the lower back bringing him to his knees. The sound of the cutlass dropping to the ground as well as the groaning of his opponent made Harry stop, and then bring his blade to the Immortals neck.
Breathing heavily Harry said, "It is over. Go back to wherever it was you are from. I don't want your head."
Getting no response from other Immortal Harry removed the blade from his neck and turned around to pick up his jacket. It was then that Jean-Pierre tried to strike. With cutlass in hand he tried to strike down Harry. Avoiding the clumsy attack Harry cut down the Immortal with a sideways slice through his stomach.
Groaning and on his knees, Jean-Pierre said, "There can be only one, do it."
Seeing as he had no choice in the matter. Harry brought his blade down and severed the other Immortals head. As the head dropped to the ground lightning and wind started to explode around Harry. Doubled over with pain Harry started to scream as the lightning started to enter and go through his body. Finally after a few seconds the storm died down Harry breathing hard looked around to see if anyone had heard the fight or the aftermath.
Grabbing both swords and wrapping his jacket around them Harry took off back towards the bookstore. Making his way through the crowds Harry entered Flourish and Blots and bypassed Tonks who was standing by the door with a look that said not now. He rushed between the bookcases wanting to get to Hermione and let her know he ok.
As he neared the spot he last remembered her to be he heard "I said no."