Pairings: yes, but I'm not spoiling the surprises + canon pairings in NCIS and HP.
Rating and notes: 15, remotely post-DH and NCIS consistent, but a major AU nonetheless. The bunny was adopted from JE Stephen.
Summary: Dumbledore's plans for Harry will not work as expected with Dr Donald Mallard in the frame.
Disclaimer: I'm just playing with other people's toys and nothing you think you know is mine. May I be forgiven in my next incarnation! Flamers will be adopted by my blood relatives (if you don't believe it's a threat... too bad for you!).
Editor: Mikee. The remaining mistakes are all mine, and I apologize for those.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I've almost finished writing this story (over 130 pages already!!), but I need to format scenes to post them here. Stay tuned.
The baby, Harry Potter, had just been left on the doorstep of his aunt's house in Little Whinging.
Albus Dumbledore, the head of the resistance against the Dark Lord and Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, truly believed that the magical protection echoing in the blood of Harry's mother's sister was the only way to protect him from the madman who'd just slaughtered James and Lily Potter. Albus explained everything in the letter he left in Harry's basket.
Albus's old friend and colleague, Professor Minerva McGonagall, was an Animagus – which meant that she was able to take the shape of an animal – and she'd spent most of the day looking like a tabby cat and observing Harry's aunt, Petunia Dursley of Number Four, Privet Drive, and her husband, Vernon, and their brat, Dudley. Albus had told Minerva that Petunia would have to take the baby in, but the good-hearted witch was really afraid for the baby's safety. She didn't know much about Muggles – non-magical people – but the Dursleys looked like a nasty lot – one that wouldn't allow Harry to grow up and develop as a healthy and happy wizard.
Minerva had left with Albus after he deposited Harry before the Dursleys' door, but she'd come back and was now hiding in the shadows, waiting for either Petunia or Vernon to open the door, find Harry and adopt him.
In the distance, Minerva heard a Muggle car sputtering. The car managed to reach Number Two, and stopped.
'Good gracious!' exclaimed the driver. 'Maybe I should have named you before I took you out.'
The Muggle got out and started to try and fix his hand-built Morgan car. Minerva found it funny and nice that he spoke to his car. It was very late, therefore he tried to be as silent as possible, so as not to disturb the people who lived there.
At one point, a tiny wail was heard.
Inside the Dursleys' house, Petunia had just finished feeding her whale of a toddler, and she heard the wail, too.
Minerva got closer to the house.
The Muggle man noticed the basket on the doorstep, and he walked towards it to investigate just as Petunia opened the door. Petunia was cunning enough not to have turned the hall light on.
'There's a baby on your step, Ma'am,' the man declared as if it were normal.
'What are you doing here? Why are you leaving a baby here?' Petunia hissed.
'My car's broken, Ma'am,' he said, pointing at his creation.
The man gently took the basket, and the baby gurgled at him and fell asleep again. Then, he spotted Albus's letter; Petunia recognized the seal on it, and she snatched it before the man could see it.
She broke the seal and read the letter.
'I can't keep that freak here! I have a son to protect!' Petunia squealed.
'You should call the police and let them take care of that baby,' the man declared.
'NO!' she shouted. Then she panicked because she didn't want to attract her neighbours' attention.
The man had been quite civil up to then, but Petunia's reaction was making him wary of her. 'That baby must be protected,' he snapped.
'Listen, Mister, that thing is my sister's sin, and she and her husband have just been killed by a criminal of some sort, and I want nothing to do with their kind. Now, leave, or I'll have to call my husband, and he'll make you go," she spat.
'Madam, I will go nowhere until I'm sure that this child is going to be safe,' he retorted.
'Fine!' she hissed. 'Then the monster is all yours!'
With those words, Petunia Dursley closed the door. She burnt Albus's letter. She would never see her nephew ever again.
The instant Petunia gave Harry to his Muggle saviour, the man shivered.
Holding the basket gently, the man was walking back to his car. 'I'll have to figure out a way to take care of you, little one,' he said. 'Good thing for you that I know enough people to survive the red tape. Now let's hope that they won't find me too old to take care of you! But I swear to protect you.'
'Would you really protect him?' Minerva asked very softly as she came out of the shadows.
The Muggle turned the basket away to shield Harry with his body.
Minerva beamed at him and said, 'You need nothing to protect this child. He's a wizard, and his aunt surrendered her link with him to you.'
The man looked at Minerva's robes and said as if it were the most common thing in the world, 'You're a witch.'
'Professor Minerva McGonagall, at your service,' she said, a warm smile gracing her lips. 'There is magic in you, otherwise the Emergency linking spell wouldn't have activated,' she pointed out.
'Mother is a Squib,' he admitted, a bit stunned because his contacts with magic had been quite limited.
'You're holding your ward, Harry James Potter. The poor lamb lost his parents today,' she said.
'Will you tell me what happened to him once I've treated the nasty cut young Harry got there,' he said.
'It's a magical cut. There's nothing you could do, even with a medical degree,' Minerva said.
'I have a medical degree, Professor McGonagall. I'm Dr Donald Mallard, currently Medical Examiner for the NIS,' he said, bowing.
Minerva looked completely puzzled. 'I don't understand what you said, I'm sorry,' she apologized.
'Then I shall have to explain,' he said.
'Thank you, Dr Mallard.'
'My friends call me Ducky,' he said.
Minerva tilted her head and asked, 'Pardon my curiosity, but are you from Scotland?'
Ducky beamed at her and started telling her the story of his family. He stopped when they reached his broken car.
'Would you put a spell on my car in order for us to be able to leave this horrible place?' Ducky asked innocently.
Minerva chuckled and said, 'I'm afraid magic doesn't get along too well with Muggle objects – and we don't want to attract the Ministry of Magic here. I can however transport us somewhere if you give me directions.'
Ducky looked sadly at his car, convinced that he'd have to come back for it. Minerva took her wand and reduced the car to the size of a very small toy, and then she picked it up.
'Where shall we go?' Minerva asked as she placed the car next to Harry in the basket.
'I have a flat in Richmond, on Queen's Road,' he said.
'Visualize the place, and hold my hand,' she said.
He obeyed and was brought directly inside his place, miles away from where he was a second before. His non-magical education was telling him that this was impossible – and yet, here he was.
'That was Apparition,' Minerva explained. She picked up the car and asked, 'Where shall I put it to restore it to its original size?'
'Just outside,' Ducky said, a bit stunned.
She opened the window, made the car float down and reversed her spell.
Harry gurgled in his sleep.
Ducky beamed at his ward; then he realized that he had nothing with which to take care of a baby and would have to go shopping first thing in the morning.
'Professor McGonagall,' he began to say.
'Minerva,' she interrupted him.
He smiled and put Harry's basket gently down on a table. 'Minerva, if young Harry wakes up before the shops open tomorrow morning I have nothing for him,' he declared.
'Right… things you'll need for a baby,' she said pensively.
She flicked her wand, and everything Ducky would need for Harry appeared out of thin air.
Ducky looked around and gaped. 'You are fantastic, my Dear,' he whispered with admiration in his voice.
'I'm glad to help you take care of Harry. In just the few minutes that you've known him, you've shown him more kindness than even his own blood relatives,' she pointed out.
Ducky looked fondly at Harry and asked, 'Can I really take care of him? Won't his aunt come to her senses? What about wizards or witches in his family? What's going to happen when I have to go back to work in Washington?'
'He is your ward. He has no one but you… and me. He has no Wizarding family left, and his only Muggle relative surrendered him to you, a virtual stranger. His papers should be under his pillow,' she said.
Ducky lovingly put Harry in the bed Minerva had made for him, and he checked beneath Harry's pillow. There were parchments that stated that Ducky was officially Harry's guardian.
Minerva looked at them and said, 'Muggle officers of the law should acknowledge those.'
'I hope you're right,' he said with a deep sigh. 'I'll put the kettle on, and you can tell me what happened to our poor boy. I must say I'd be grateful for any suggestion to help him.'
They watched Harry sleep quietly as they sipped Earl Grey and as Ducky got a crash course about the English magical community.
Minerva told him everything about the civil war that was raging in their world, a war led by the demented Lord Voldemort. She explained what the resistance – the Order of the Phoenix – was doing. She said that there was a Prophecy about Harry, and that his parents, the late James and Lily, had gone into hiding in order to try to protect their baby. Minerva cried when she explained that no one should have been able to find them if Sirius Black – the Potters' best friend and Harry's own godfather – hadn't betrayed them to the Dark Lord.
Ducky told her that most of his mother's family had stopped seeing her when she had to go to a Muggle school because her magical powers never developed. He asked Minerva many questions about the world that was Harry's, and she clarified as many things as possible.
The sun was rising when Minerva put a spell on a penny she'd borrowed from Ducky. 'When you need help with something magical, or when Harry shows his first sign of magic, put the coin in your left hand, tap it three times and say my name aloud. I'll Apparate to you as fast as possible,' she promised.
'Will you really help me do what's best for Harry?' he whispered.
She nodded once.
'Thank you, Minerva. I want to protect that child – God knows why – but I'm not qualified to help a baby wizard,' he said, obviously deeply moved.
'Will it be too much for you?' she wondered.
Instantly he shook his head. 'I can't explain why, but I want him, Minerva. I'm grateful that you're a part of the adventure. I fear mother won't know enough to prepare him for school,' he said.
'He'll be taught what he needs when he goes to Hogwarts. Now, he needs to be somewhere safe, somewhere he'll be loved,' she said.
'That I can do,' he said. He paused and looked at her, 'My work doesn't allow me to meet many women, and I'd almost abandoned the hope of ever having a family. Now, I have Harry. I want to take care of him and watch him grow up. I'll tell him about his parents, and I hope you'll come visit us when he's old enough to hear more about them. I know he'll be more than just a ward.'
There was something in her voice that surprised him. 'Minerva?'
'His aunt is a complete Muggle. You are the son of a Squib. And yet you did magic to protect him. You're the best thing that has happened to this child today,' she declared.
'I'll bring Harry back home with me, but I think I'll sell this flat and try to find a house in Scotland. It would be good if Mother and I were near Hogwarts when Harry's on holiday,' he said.
Minerva grinned like the Cheshire-Cat. She was happy that Ducky's car broke down when it did and that he'd fallen for the orphaned Harry on the spot.
'I'll have to try to contact some witches or wizards in D.C.,' he said. 'Would you know how young children are taught on my side of the pond? I could always come back here if young Harry doesn't adapt to American life – after all, I have enough former fellows to come back here, even if Mother would be disappointed to have to face Scottish winters again.'
Minerva was growing quite fond of her new friend's energy. She smiled and said, 'I hear children are tutored at home by newly certified wizards or witches who volunteer when one of the parents cannot do so. I have cousins who moved to Salem last century; if you want I'll contact them, and I'll ask them what you should do when Harry shows signs of magic.'
Ducky accepted gladly. He really wanted the best for Harry.
'Going back home is going to be quite an expedition,' Ducky pointed out as he looked at what Minerva had given him for Harry.
Something occurred to Minerva and she asked, 'I have an idea. Would you accept another gift – a live one actually?'
'What do you have in mind?' he wondered.
'Do you know what a house-elf is?'
Ducky shook his head. 'I've never heard of those,' he admitted.
'They're very powerful creatures. I think I might be able to convince one of the ones working at Hogwarts to come and help you with Harry. Maybe it could even stay with you until it's time for Harry to enter Hogwarts,' she said.
'Would it be possible? Could a house-elf work without having a witch or a wizard around? Could I compensate such a creature?' he asked.
Minerva smiled and said, 'I'll Apparate to Hogwarts, and I'll ask for a volunteer.'
When she disappeared, the loud sound of Disapparition woke Harry up. Ducky took the baby in his arms, and then balanced him on his left arm as he prepared a bottle for his ward.
When Harry's meal was ready, Ducky settled on his sofa and watched Harry.
'In spite of what Mistress Minerva says, I'll try to heal that cut on your head, or you'll end up with a nasty scar, my boy,' he said.
Harry gurgled happily. One day he would understand just how lucky he'd been that Dr Mallard found him, but right then, the baby was enjoying Ducky's warmth – as well as the love already radiating from him.
Ducky started one of his tales, saying, 'I remember the time…'
The story was far from being finished – but the bottle was – when Minerva came back with a small creature that was dressed in what looked like a tablecloth.
'Kitty agreed to help you,' Minerva announced.
Ducky was blinking at Kitty.
'Squib Doctor Ducky are in shock?' Kitty asked Minerva in a whisper.
Minerva chuckled and shook her head. 'He's surprised to meet you. Ducky, allow me to introduce you to Kitty. She's one of the house-elves who work at Hogwarts,' she said.
Ducky bowed respectfully and said, 'It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Kitty.'
Kitty's huge pointed ears flapped with surprise and delight. 'I are just Kitty, Master Squib Doctor Ducky,' she protested.
'If you're just Kitty, my dear, then I'm just Ducky. All right?' he asked.
Kitty blushed and said, 'All right, Master Ducky.'
Ducky looked at Minerva.
'I think this is the best you'll get. You see, house-elves need a master to obey,' she explained. Then, she proceeded to tell him what he needed to know about house-elves, how they talked, and why they dressed in anything but real clothes to remain bound to their masters.
'What should I pay you, Kitty?' he asked her.
The house-elf blushed again and her ears flapped madly.
'You don't pay house-elves,' Minerva said.
Ducky tilted his head and asked Kitty, 'Would you accept gifts every once in a while?'
'You see, Kitty. I don't have magic, but I'd like to thank you for your help. If I can't give you new clothes, maybe I could give you nicer tablecloths or trinkets,' Ducky said.
Ears still flapping, Kitty said, 'Master Ducky are too good. Master Dumbledore were a good master, but Master Squib Doctor Ducky are more good!'
Ducky smiled at her very kindly.
Kitty was so embarrassed that she started casting magic on Harry's possessions and reducing their size for transport.
'As you can see she has enough power to help you. She'll pack everything for you in a few minutes, and she can help you and Harry travel anywhere in a moment,' Minerva explained.
'Won't she be missed at Hogwarts?' Ducky wondered.
'We have dozens of house-elves there, and she's only a temporary loan. When Harry is sorted, Kitty will come back to Hogwarts,' Minerva said.
Ducky took a deep breath and smiled at his new – human – friend. 'I'll have to find something with which to thank you, as well,' he told Minerva.
'Take good care of Harry,' Minerva said.
'That is not enough,' Ducky protested.
'Then let me spoil Harry as if he were a relative,' she suggested, a warm smile gracing her lips.
'Can you Apparate to the US, or would you have to take a magical plane? You're welcome to come and visit us any time you want. I'm sure Mother would be thrilled to chat with you. Maybe Kitty could help you come to our side of the world,' Ducky said.
'A plane? One of those flying Muggle boxes?' Minerva said. She shook her head and said, 'I don't need those. I can travel with magic. If I were to feel too tired to Apparate, I could take a Portkey.'
Ducky chuckled and declared, 'We'll have to talk about our worlds some day, my Dear.'
'You know, it is too early for me to phone Mother, but I could call her later and tell her about Harry… and you. Would you come with us? Merely to check that everything's fine for Harry,' Ducky said.
'Master Ducky and Master Harry will can travel in a few minutes. Mistress Minerva will can travel with us. Mistress Mallard will can be told everything over breakfast,' Kitty said.
Ducky took to blinking again. Minerva looked at him and shrugged.
Kitty reduced the size of Ducky's car again and brought it inside to be packed with the rest of her new master's belongings. Within twenty minutes she announced, 'Are Master Ducky ready to go?'
Ducky could have stayed for a few more days, but now that he had Harry in his life, settling the little one down in his new home was Ducky's priority. He nodded at his house-elf.
'Are Mistress Minerva ready to go?' Kitty asked.
Minerva looked at Ducky, who smiled.
'Ready,' Minerva said.
'Where do Master Ducky want Kitty to take them?' she asked.
'Choose a quiet room in the house,' Minerva suggested him.
'The garage,' he answered.
Ducky took Harry in his arms and was focussing on him when Kitty's magic transported them into a suburb of Washington, D.C., into the garage of a nice house.
Kitty was reversing her spell on the car when two men barged into the room, weapons drawn.
'For God's sake, Mike! It's me, Ducky!' he exclaimed loudly, startling Harry a bit.
'How did you get in here in the middle of the night?' the man named Mike inquired.
'This is my house,' Ducky growled. 'May I know what you're doing here? And point that gun away from Harry!'
Mike Franks, Special Agent of the NIS, put his gun in its holster and said, 'Sorry, Ducky. This is Sergeant Gibbs, your new neighbour. Your mother was afraid because there have been a few burglaries in the neighbourhood, and we agreed to protect her.'
'Why didn't she tell me she was afraid?!' Ducky growled.
'Because she knew where to find me,' Mike joked.
'Mike, Sergeant Gibbs, I'd like you to meet my ward, Harry Potter, and the lady who helped me rescue him, Professor McGonagall,' Ducky said.
'You're the best parent that kid could hope for. Let's go to the kitchen. Then you can tell us what happened over a drink or something,' Mike said.
'Can Kitty transform things for Master Harry?' Kitty asked.
'Yes,' Ducky answered his house-elf.
Mike and Gibbs didn't notice the little magical creature.
'They can't see her,' Minerva whispered in Ducky's ear.
'I should wake Mother up,' Ducky said.
'I'll put the kettle on if you want,' Minerva offered.
'I'm not sure that'd be such a good idea, my Dear,' Ducky pointed out with a warm chuckle, which reminded her that she couldn't use magic on his Muggle appliances.
'I think we're going to need some scotch,' Mike declared.
'Indeed!' Minerva exclaimed. With that, she won over the two Muggle men as allies on the spot.
They went to the kitchen, and Mike retrieved a bottle of Scotch whiskey from a cabinet while the others all sat around the wooden table that belonged – like all the pieces of furniture in the house – to Mrs Mallard, and which wouldn't have been out of place in a museum or a very elegant antiques store. Mike brought glasses to the table and poured a generous amount into each one.
'Cheers!' said the two Americans.
'Slainthe!' said Ducky and Minerva.
'Great! Another Scot!' Mike joked, adding a wink at Minerva for good measure.
'Is your son hungry, or does he need anything?' Sergeant Gibbs asked Ducky very kindly.
'The poor lad is my protégé. Though he's an orphan, I'll raise him to remember he's a Potter, not a Mallard,' Ducky declared solemnly. 'Young Harry must grow up knowing how good his mum and dad were, and my love for him mustn't take that from him.'
'What happened? And how did you get here in the middle of the night?' Mike wondered.
'Give me one moment to wake Mother. I don't fancy telling my story twice,' Ducky said.
Minerva whispered, 'And I don't fancy having to cast a Memory-charm twice if they react negatively.'
Ducky stood up and took Harry to Minerva. 'Would you mind holding him?' he asked.
'Not at all,' she said.
When Harry was settled in her arms, Ducky ran upstairs to his mother's room. On the landing, he met Kitty, who was coming out of a room that he didn't remember ever seeing. He didn't think he was hallucinating and asked, 'Did you make that room for Harry?'
'Yes, Master Ducky. Next to your room,' she answered.
'Perfect!' he said with so much warmth in his voice that she blushed. 'Now, would you follow me? I need to tell Mother about our young charge.'
Kitty nodded and followed her chosen master.
In the kitchen, the two men were observing Minerva. Mike was thinking that Ducky's taste in women was quite varied; Gibbs was finding her a bit clumsy with the young boy – he was not the best expert, but his little Kelly didn't seem to complain about the way he held her, and by his estimation, the baby boy in the arms of Ducky's new friend was about his daughter's age.
'Permission to speak, Ma'am?' Gibbs asked.
'You look uncomfortable holding that baby,' he declared.
She sighed sadly and said, 'He's the first child I've held in quite a long time – I don't have children of my own, you see. Besides, I know his parents well – I mean I knew them, and it breaks my heart that he can't grow up with them.'
'I'm deeply sorry for your loss, Ma'am,' Gibbs said gently. Minerva gave him a small smile for his kindness. 'Would you like me to hold him, Ma'am? My wife trusts me with our Kelly,' he said.
Minerva knew that she wasn't holding Harry properly; therefore she surrendered him to Gibbs for Harry's comfort.
Gibbs, who up to then had almost been the stereotype of a Marine Gunnery Sergeant, transformed in the wink of an eye and made faces at Harry, who gurgled with joy.
'Cute kid,' Mike said.
'Do you have children?' Minerva asked him.
'Not that I know of,' he answered.
His voice was a bit sad; Minerva decided to change the topic. 'Is Mrs Mallard as nice as Ducky?'
'She's a lady,' Gibbs declared fondly.
'A bit eccentric, but then we know where Ducky got his weirdness!' Mike joked.
Mike proceeded to tell Minerva how he'd met Ducky, and how smoothly they worked together to bring justice to those who couldn't speak for themselves. He was telling her how he'd met Gibbs by chance while working on a case, and how the young man had helped him catch a murderer, when Mike and Minerva noticed that Harry was fast asleep in a beaming Gibbs's arms.
'You're grinning like a lunatic, Gibbs,' Mike teased him.
'This kid has something special. When I hold Kelly, she makes me feel like life is a sunny day. I've held a few other kids, but it never was the same. I thought that was because she's my baby, but this kid makes me feel as if there's hope for our future,' Gibbs explained.
'I'll tell Shannon that you get sappy when you're sleep deprived,' Mike teased his young friend.
Gibbs meant to glare at the other man, but the vibes he was getting from Harry prevented him from doing so.
'There might be another explanation,' Minerva said cryptically. 'I'll tell you what I think when Ducky gets back.'
Mike took one of Harry's tiny hands in his and smiled. 'I see what you mean,' he told Gibbs.
Minerva hoped that Ducky's friends could really feel magic – and would agree to keep Harry's secret. If not, she had her wand ready to cast a powerful Memory-charm on them.
The more Gibbs talked about his daughter, the more Minerva was convinced that the baby was a first generation witch.
As if the stars were observing them all and helping them, someone knocked on the door. 'Jethro, Mike,' a woman's voice called softly.
'Come in and join us, Shannon,' Mike invited Mrs Gibbs.
Shannon Gibbs looked so much like Lily Potter that Minerva gasped involuntarily. The witch looked so pale that Shannon rushed to her; Shannon had her daughter in her arms.
'What's wrong?' Shannon asked Minerva worriedly. 'You look as if you've seen a ghost!'
'Almost,' Minerva nearly sobbed. 'You look so much like Harry's Mum that it's disturbing.'
Shannon looked at the sleeping baby in her husband's arms and asked, 'What happened to his mum?'
'She and her husband were killed a few hours ago,' Minerva said, one tear rolling down her right cheek. 'Ducky probably saved him when he rescued Harry.'
Mike poured more scotch into Minerva's glass, and she drank it thankfully.
'Poor sweetheart,' Shannon said sadly. 'Maybe Kelly felt there was something strange going on. She woke me and kept pointing towards here.'
Minerva had dried her tears, and she hoped with all her heart that Harry would grow up with that little witch for a neighbour.
Ducky knocked on his mother's door and walked into the room, not waiting for an answer. He knelt next to her bed and whispered, 'Mother, wake up, please.'
'Donald!' she exclaimed as she sat up abruptly.
He flinched, ready to be given an earful, but Mrs Mallard saw Kitty and she squeaked.
'Donald! There's a house-elf in our house!' she exclaimed.
'I know, Mother. There's a war raging back at home, and I rescued a baby wizard whose parents were killed by a Lord Voldemort. Kitty agreed to help us until Harry goes to Hogwarts. The child is in the kitchen with Mike and our new neighbour and Professor Minerva McGonagall from Hogwarts,' he said very fast, hoping that his mother was awake enough to understand everything he said.
'We have a witch in the kitchen?!' Mrs Mallard asked joyfully.
Then and there, Ducky understood how hurt his mother must have been to never have developed magical powers.
'And we can take care of that baby wizard legally?' she asked, getting up and putting on a dressing gown.
'Minerva said I activated an Emergency Linking spell. Harry is ours to love,' he said.
Mrs Mallard framed her son's face with her old hands and was obviously deeply moved when she said, 'You would have been a splendid wizard, Donald. I'm sorry I didn't give you enough magic.'
He took her hands in his and said, 'You gave me enough magic to rescue Harry.'
'Yet, that are unusual,' Kitty pointed out.
'What do you think it means?' Mrs Mallard asked Kitty, as if it were normal to find a magical creature in one's bedroom in the middle of the night.
'Kitty can tell Mistress Mrs Mallard more when Kitty are back where Master Harry is,' the house-elf said.
'Lead the way, Kitty!' Mrs Mallard said. She turned to her son and asked, 'What's the name of your ward?'
'Harry James Potter.'
'Potter. The name rings a bell,' Mrs Mallard said.
They rushed to the kitchen.
There, Minerva was just attempting to explain Kelly's reaction. 'I think I know why your daughter managed to get you to come here,' Minerva said.
Shannon was about to ask why, but she saw Kitty and gaped.
'What's that?' Gibbs asked as he noticed Kitty, too.
'What's what?' Mike wondered.
Kelly placed one hand on Mike's cheek, and then he saw Kitty, as well.
'Allow me to introduce you to Kitty. She's a house-elf. You can see her because Kelly is a witch, and Harry is a wizard,' Mrs Mallard explained.
The three Muggles who didn't know about magic were in for a long night.
Minerva and Mrs Mallard told the Gibbses and Mike the basic facts about magic. The witch and the Squib weren't sure where Kelly would go to school because they didn't know how the magical school system worked in the US.
Gibbs sighed deeply.
'Do you have a problem with Kelly being a witch?' his wife asked.
He shook his head and explained, 'Until I see her show signs of magic – and in spite of the fact that I can see a house-elf – I know I won't really believe it. What frightens me is our future as a family. What if I'm assigned to a base where she can't go to a magical school? I'm not sure I'm ready to agree to send her to a boarding school.'
'You have time to get ready,' Minerva pointed out.
'Jethro will never be ready to let his princess go,' Shannon joked.
Gibbs glared at his wife; she pecked his cheek.
'You should consider my offer, Gibbs. We need men like you at the NIS,' Mike said.
Gibbs looked at his daughter, then at his wife, who nodded, and then at Mike. Gibbs nodded once.
'Excellent, Probie! You won't regret it,' Mike said, grinning widely.
'When Kelly – and Harry, since he's going to grow up here – shows signs of magic, you should be contacted by tutors. Before Apparating back to London, I'll go and see my cousins in Salem. If they agree to contact you, you shouldn't be surprised to see a bird deliver a letter,' Minerva told them.
'Thank you!' Mrs Mallard said warmly. 'You'll always be welcome here, and you can Apparate as often as you want. Our Harry will need to know about his family and about his world.'
'I don't want to intrude,' Minerva protested.
'You're part of the adventure, Lady,' Mike pointed out.
'I'm a Squib, Minerva. I can tell Harry what it was like to grow up in a Wizarding household, but I can never show him how to cast a charm, how to fly, or how to brew a potion,' Mrs Mallard explained sadly.
Minerva took a very deep breath and said, 'I'll help.'
'Since we might end up keeping the house next door and not moving to yet another base, you're welcome to visit us, as well,' Shannon told Minerva.
'That's very kind of you,' Minerva answered.
'These kids are going to grow up almost as cousins,' Mike said with a happy grin.
'That are it!' Kitty exclaimed.
'Yes, Kitty?' Ducky inquired.
'Seven generations ago, the Potters and the Mallards was cousins. Master Ducky rescued a kin,' Kitty explained.
'Fascinating,' Ducky said.
'My friend, it's close to a miracle,' Mike said.
'Are you sure the people with that Lord-thingy won't try something against Harry? Are there things that we could do?' Gibbs asked Minerva.
'No need for that, Master Leroy, Kitty will can protect Master Harry,' Kitty said before Minerva could answer.
'Kitty has more power than any Death Eater,' Minerva said. 'And how many names do you have?'
'Leroy's my first name, but I prefer my second,' he explained.
Mike snorted and spat, 'Death Eater! What a pretentious name!'
'Tom Riddle was always an arrogant brat,' Minerva declared. They all blinked at that. 'That's Voldemort's real name.'
'Pompous idiot,' growled Shannon.
'But what if those people send another house-elf to hurt Harry? I'll be blunt, can your magic stop bullets?' Gibbs asked.
'Witches and wizards can be injured by Muggle weapons,' Mrs Mallard said.
'Until Master Harry pass his N.E.W.Ts, he are protected by the Emergency Linking spell. Whatever protection Master Dumbledore had in mind, thanks to Master Harry's Muggle aunt, will must has been transferred to Master Ducky,' Kitty said.
'Newts?' Shannon asked.
'Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test, the seventh year exam. Our students pass their O.W.Ls, Ordinary Wizarding Levels, in their fifth,' Minerva said.
'Interesting names,' Shannon said.
'So there are emergency spells,' Mike told Minerva.
'Yes, there are a few, and this one is quite powerful. The fact that Ducky's remotely related must have transferred whatever protection Albus thought blood relation would provide. There's a spell I can cast to check the level of protection around Harry,' Minerva said.
'That would be wise,' Gibbs declared.
Minerva took her wand and started chanting a spell. Kitty snatched Minerva's wand from her hand when she spotted all around Minerva particles of light that were part of Harry's Protection spell.
Gibbs and Mike were surprised that Kitty could move so fast.
'Well, thank you, Kitty! Now we know that no one can go through Harry's Protection,' Minerva said.
'Mistress Minerva would has been splinched all over the state,' Kitty said. 'Mistress Minerva should tries to cast a neutral spell though,' she suggested as she gave Minerva her wand back.
'Good idea, my dear,' the witch said. She flicked her wand and said, 'Wingardium leviosa.'
Her glass started floating in the air.
'I need another drink,' Mike said as he grabbed the bottle of scotch.
'Don't forget my glass!' Gibbs said.
'Great!' Shannon exclaimed.
Kelly babbled happily and tried to reach out for the floating glass even though it was too far from her.
'She can feel the magic,' Minerva said fondly.
'We'll need you here, Professor,' Shannon almost begged. 'There's so much we need to learn.'
'Call me Minerva, for Merlin's sake!' she exclaimed.
'Bet it'll be Aunt Minnie before the kids are five!' Mike said.
Minerva was so surprised that she blinked.
'Aunt Minerva sounds better,' Shannon corrected him.
'We know that no one can hurt Harry before he's a certified wizard, and you can do simple magic. What about something a tad more complicated?' suggested Mrs Mallard.
Harry was waking up in Gibbs's arms, and he blinked at his new protectors.
'I know something that the children will love,' Minerva declared.
She transformed into her Animagus form and jumped onto the table.
'Scotch,' Gibbs told Mike. 'A lot more!'
The tabby cat walked closer to Harry, and the baby petted her clumsily. Minerva walked near Shannon, too, and the baby witch squealed with delight.
Minerva transformed back.
'You're gifted!' Mrs Mallard said with awe.
'I'm just Hogwarts's Transfiguration teacher,' Minerva protested.
'My mama used to say that it's not every witch or wizard who can become an Animagus,' Mrs Mallard countered her.
'I must say it's impressive,' Gibbs said.
'I have the feeling that things are taking shape here,' Mike said. 'Harry was rescued, and we can protect him, Kelly is going to discover more about her future life, and I get a new trainee!'
The first rays of light came through the window.
'A new day begins,' Shannon said dreamily.
'It's our second dawn in a day, my Dear,' Ducky told Minerva.
'Yesterday was a sad day, let's hope that Harry's life is going to be somewhat quieter for a few years,' Minerva said.
'Masters and Mistresses has better get some rest for a few hours. Kitty will can take care of Master Harry and Mistress Kelly,' the faithful elf suggested.
'Kelly needs a nap herself,' Shannon pointed out.
'As Mistress Shannon wishes,' Kitty said.
'I'll go prepare the guest room for Minerva,' Mrs Mallard said.
Kitty snapped her fingers and declared, 'Done, Mistress Mallard.'
'Thank you, Kitty!' the old lady said gratefully. 'I think we all need a few more hours of sleep.'
'You can stay with us, Mike. I'm sure you'll have thousands of things to plan with Jethro,' Shannon said.
'I don't fancy driving after killing Ducky's bottle of scotch,' Mike admitted.
The three Gibbses and Mike retreated next door for a few hours. They were invited for lunch.
Mrs Mallard went to visit the nursery with Kitty, who was carrying Harry. Kitty started playing with Harry while Mrs Mallard went back to bed.
Ducky showed Minerva to the guest room.
'I'm just next door if you need me,' Ducky told her.
'Thank you. And thank you for everything you're doing for Harry. Wherever they are, Lily and James must be relieved that their boy is with someone who will love him,' she said.
'Speaking of love, I'm a pitiful doctor. I know you said I could do nothing, but I'll go put something on Harry's cut anyway,' he said.
'Ask Kitty to help you, she might know a form of magic that might work,' Minerva said.
Ducky took her hand and kissed it. 'Thank you. I need to try, my Dear,' he said.
She blushed as she said, 'You're a good man, Donald.'
He blushed in his turn, bowed, and then left as he said, 'Sweet dreams!'
'Sweet dreams to you, too.'
Ducky, with Kitty's help, managed to seal and heal the magical cut. It left a trace so faint that the scar would only appear when Harry got a tan – if at all.
Ducky didn't turn the light on when he went to his room. He undressed completely and decided he'd look for pyjamas in the "morning".
'What the hell?!' he almost shouted when he realized that he wasn't alone in his bed.
'What are you doing in my room?' Minerva asked.
'It's my room!' he answered.
'That damned house-elf must be playing match-maker. I'm afraid she merged both rooms,' Minerva explained.
'I'll go…' Ducky began to say.
She interrupted him and said, 'I can hex on you in my sleep if need be, and we're both adults, who are no longer that young, and we need our sleep. Get in bed this instant, and face my wrath if you snore!'
Ducky chuckled and obeyed.
Kitty's ears were flapping with joy when she came in to wake them up hours later, and she found them, both naked, asleep in each other's arms.
That day was a beginning in many ways.
(Next scene as soon as possible. It's typed and edited… I "just" need to format it for here)