Harry was walking down the streets of Logue Town, only Gin and Zoro at his sides. Luffy had decided to run off and explore on his own, particularly interested in seeing the gallows where Gol D. Roger had been executed. Harry had taken the kid there before, but from the way Luffy was going on, he had the feeling that the boy was going to try and climb it, to see the view that Roger had just before he drew his last breath. Zeff had Sanji and Usopp under his eye – signing the former up to a cooking competition, so that he could see if the kid had learned anything since they had joined Harry's crew, and making sure that the latter didn't spend his money on junk that the sales people in shops were pawning off at ridiculous prices with equally ridiculous stories.
Bellemere had all the girls – they were going shopping for clothes, books, and a few weapons so that they could defend themselves on the Grand Line.
"Where are we going Captain?" Gin asked.
"To a pub," Harry answered. "An old pub, with an old history, and where I hope I will be able to find some decent scallywags to sail with us, and maybe even a few friends."
"Are we gonna drink?" Zoro asked.
Harry halted and looked down at the green-haired boy with one spectacular katana and two stock-standard swords of the same style at his hip. "I'll think about it," he said at last, then started walking again.
Zoro grinned when Harry wasn't looking and gave Gin a thumbs up. The two boys had become good friends, along with Sanji, though the way they openly traded blows and insults almost constantly would suggest otherwise – though they were all three prepared to unite against Luffy when he was bouncing around too much. Gin cocked a half-grin in response to Zoro's, then he nodded and the two of them followed after Harry again.
Harry pushed the door of The Gold Roger open and waved the boys with him in first, then closed the door behind him.
Three different voices cried out from near the bar, while a general cry of "Eh! Potter-san!" arose from a familiar looking faces around the room.
"Shanks! Mihawk! Ace!" Harry responded happily, taking long, brisk strides straight over to them through the crowd of people who were drinking. "If all of us are together like this in Logue Town, then something very strange must be going on," he said, smiling broadly as first Shanks, then Ace gave him hugs, and Mihawk stood to bow to him before also wrapping his arms around the man who had been so important in his life.
It was especially surprising to see Ace back in Logue Town, since he'd only been on the Grand Line for a year.
"Who do you have with you?" Mihawk asked, looking over Harry's shoulder at the two boys on the verge of man-hood.
"Ah, yes, Mihawk, this is Roronoa Zoro," Harry said, waving the green haired boy over. "He wants to be the best swordsman in the world."
"Roronoa?" Mihawk asked, his golden eyes darting from the boy to Harry, who nodded subtly. "I see. Three swords?"
"He's not bad," Harry said. "Almost as good as you were at that age even," he added in a baiting voice. "Of course, you only ever used one blade at a time. Zoro here uses them all at once sometimes."
Mihawk nodded and gestured for the green-haired boy to follow him out the back of the pub.
Zoro looked to Harry, and at his nod, went.
"This other fine young man is Gin," Harry said with a smile as he lay a hand on Gin's shoulder. "I fished him out of the water myself, and I haven't regretted talking him into staying on for even a second."
Gin ducked his head in embarrassment. Harry was very free with praise, but he never said anything that he didn't mean.
Shanks extended his hand to the fifteen-year-old. "Pleased to meet you Gin," he said.
"Yeah, me too," Ace said with a grin as Gin shook Shanks' hand, then grabbing his hand as well for a few solid pumps before he let go. "I'll bet you'll be fun to hang out with!"
"Ace, you're getting ahead of yourself and being confusing," Harry scolded. "You've come back to East Blue just to join my crew?" he asked.
Ace grinned. "Yep!" he answered. "Mihawk-san too. Shanks-san called us both on the den den mushi and asked," Ace explained, then his grin slipped. "I'm sorry about what happened to everybody Harry-Oji," he said quietly.
Harry lay a hand on Ace's shoulder and nodded silently. He was sorry too. Then he looked over at Shanks and raised an eyebrow. "Anyone else you asked to come join my crew?"
The red-head smiled easily. "There's a doctor with a reindeer waiting for you on the other side of Reverse Mountain. The reindeer is a devil fruit user, cute little fellow he is too, but can't seem to take a compliment, and the doc is an absolutely ancient woman, but she knows what's what," Shanks said, chuckling. "Apart from that? No. I know how important picking your own crew is to you Dad. I just thought I'd arrange an early birthday present for you by getting these two back and finding you a pair of really good doctors."
Harry nodded. If they were good, then Kaya would be able to learn from them as well, and then they'd have almost a whole medical team on the ship, which would doubtless come in handy on the Grand Line. "Thanks Shanks."
"Potter-san," the barman greeted pleasantly. "Usual?" he asked, reaching for a bottle of whiskey.
Harry nodded and finally took a seat, gesturing for Gin to sit with him. "And a juice for my young friends here, and for my other boy when Mihawk brings him back," he requested. "Or a glass of milk if they prefer," he added, ignoring Gin's slightly crestfallen look. "They still aren't old enough to drink," Harry stated firmly
The barman smiled and nodded obligingly.
"I'm still not old enough?" Gin asked.
Harry chuckled. "No," Harry answered. "Two more years."
The old barman chuckled as he set a two glasses of milk down in front of Gin and Ace, though they drank happily enough. They could appreciate that milk was good for them at least, even if they'd rather be allowed to try alcohol – they were in a bar after all!
Mihawk returned with Zoro shortly after the drinks were set on the bar in front of them, a smirk on his face and a very determined expression on Zoro's.
Harry raised an eyebrow at Mihawk when he noticed that Zoro was only carrying Kuina's sword now.
"He broke my other two," Zoro stated petulantly before he went to sit with Gin and Ace, accepting a milk from the barman with a mumbled 'thank you'.
"He'll do," Mihawk answered quietly to Harry's real unasked question. He shifted his gaze to follow Zoro with some small measure of pride and appreciation, even as the boy went immediately to sit with Gin and Ace, accepting the drink that was put before him without any comment. "It will be good to teach him I think, even if our styles are so different. I look forward to sailing with you again Sir," he added, utterly sincere as he looked back at Harry.
"Feeling's mutual," Harry said with a smile. "Though I don't know how I'm supposed to get more of a crew with you on side," he quipped, chuckling.
"You could steal them from the marine core," Shanks suggested with a laugh. "How many do you have?"
Harry sighed. "I can modify the ship so that it doesn't need that many people to work the sails, but doing that means that I have just a couple of very large sails, and it's hard to control how much wind you catch if you do that. A crew of thirty would really be the bare minimum, and with Mihawk, Ace and your two doctors joining us, that makes fifteen, including Bellemere, myself, and Zeff, who's only got one leg now," Harry explained, running a hand through his hair.
Shanks and Mihawk both dropped their jaws to hear that Zeff had not only joined Harry's crew – something they had never expected of the old pirate captain – but that he had also lost a leg, which left him less able to fight.
Harry ignored their reactions. "I can make up the difference with magic," he said, finally admitting to both of his boys exactly what it was he had that had meant the ship always had fireworks on the birthdays of crew members when they were young, even though Harry had never spared gunpowder for the occasion, as giving Shanks an explanation to how he'd moved all those chests out of their hiding place in Fuusha, and a few other things as well. "But I'd rather have a larger crew than cheat so blatantly."
Shanks and Mihawk both nodded in understanding. They both knew that their old man liked things to be done the way that he called the right way – which usually translated to really mean the hard way, but that wouldn't need to be fixed later unless something changed. The two of them, and probably Ace and Luffy and all the other kids he'd taken in since them, had heard Harry say often enough that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing the right way.
Harry's 'right way' meant that Shanks and Mihawk both knew how to use the stars, sun and moon to navigate with as well as a compass – or Log Pose – and it meant that they knew the best way to store food, maintain ropes, mend sails, wrap bandages, and hold a gun even though they both held a preference towards using blades. Because of Harry they could a lot of everyday sorts of things that nearly everybody of their acquaintance surprisingly didn't.
Harry took a sip of his whiskey and stared into the bottom of his glass for a moment. "Maybe I will filch a couple from the marine base. Belle-chan was a marine, I might be able to get a couple of decent fighters and sailors from them."
"Dad, I was kidding," Shanks said. "Seriously Dad, if you try and make current marines into pirates, it's not going to turn out well for you."
Harry chuckled. "I've got a reputation in East Blue," he reminded his boy. "I might as well get that translated into a decent sized bounty before I hit the Grand Line. Besides, you know how picky I am about who sails with me."
"Unless they're kids who would benefit from the time at sea to help grow up some," Mihawk said with a smirk, jerking his chin in the direction of the three sitting and drinking straight milk or juice now and deeply engrossed in a conversation about fighting styles and Ace's hat.
Harry shrugged. "They don't have to unlearn stuff first," he explained. "People underestimate kids a lot as well, which gives them an advantage if they know how to use it."
Shanks and Mihawk chuckled. That was another lesson they'd gotten – take any advantage you can, and use it for all that it was worth, and then make it stretch a little further.
For a while, they just sat and drank, sometimes being interrupted by someone asking if they had heard right, and Harry wanted people for his crew. Harry always went out to the back of the bar with these people for a couple of minutes, going over their weapon skills as well as how long they'd been sailing, as well as a few trickier questions – like how they were around women and kids, their exact thoughts on treasure, and if they had any family. Most of these interviews ended with Harry smiling and shaking the ex-pirates firmly by the hand and welcoming them to his crew, only a couple with Harry turning them away politely. Harry had gained twenty new crew members by the time he was ready to leave The Gold Roger and head up to the marine base.
"I still think it's a bad idea," Shanks warned.
"I know you do," Harry answered. "That's why I'd like you to find Zeff and Bellemere, and make sure everybody is on the ship just in case this doesn't work."
Shanks sighed and stood. "Sir, yes Sir," he answered, rubbing his face even as a wry smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.
"Zoro," Harry called. "You're coming with me. Gin, Ace, I'll see you at the ship. Go straight there," he added firmly.
"Sir, yes Sir," they all answered, quickly finishing their drinks and jumping down from their stools.
Out in the street, the group split and went in two directions.
"Where are we going Captain?" Zoro asked.
"To the marine base," Harry answered, turning a corner. "I'm going to see if I can get a couple more people."
"Then why am I coming?"
Harry smiled. "If anyone wants to come, then they need to be able to keep up with you with a blade. They don't have to be able to best you, but they need to be able to keep up for a while," he explained.
Zoro nodded. He had been the strongest on his home island, but Harry had been the one to defeat him in every spar since he joined The Dreamer until yesterday, when Zoro had won his first fight – only to be bested again in the immediately following one.
"We're also going to stop by this sword dealer and get you a couple of quality swords to go with Kuina's white one," Harry added, stopping abruptly in front of a shop that had its window filled with blades.
Zoro turned to look and blanched slightly at the prices, but Harry just walked in. Scanning his eyes around the shop, his eye caught on one of the barrels of cheap swords. There was a sword there, he could tell, one that actually had its own blood lust.
"Zoro, I want you to go through those barrels until your hand comes to rest on a sword that feels different in your hand," Harry instructed quietly, nodding towards the barrels.
Zoro nodded and went to do as he was told, touching every hilt as he went through the weapons.
Harry went to talk with the man at the counter while Zoro did that.
"I would like to see your best katana please," Harry requested.
"Oh?" the balding man asked. "But I see you have a fine sabre at your hip Sir, why do you want a katana?"
"For the young swordsman," Harry said, gesturing to Zoro who was getting closer to the sword that Harry had felt the presence of. "He hasn't been taught about the quality of swords yet, but that is today's lesson."
The shop keeper stared as the green-haired young man's hand came into contact with a sword that he hadn't put there. Probably his wife had. A sword he didn't want to sell because of its curse. He quailed slightly as the boy drew out the weapon from among the others, and started to shake as the customer before him smiled.
"Zoro? What do you have there?" Harry asked.
"I'm not selling that sword," the man objected. "It's a Kitetsu, the Sandai and -"
Zoro's brow furrowed. "It's cursed," he said, cutting off the shop keeper.
Harry's easy smile became a ferocious grin.
"You knew?" the shop keeper asked.
"I can feel it," Zoro answered, shaking his head.
"It's a very fine sword though," Harry pointed out. "Not the finest that Kitetsu made, but still very well crafted."
Zoro nodded his head. "May I test my luck against this sword's curse?" he asked, drawing the blade, showing off the way the metal had been worked so that it looked like there were blue flames dancing up the sharpened edge.
Harry nodded while the shop owner's jaw dropped in horror to see the boy toss the blade up in the air, hold out his arm, and wait for the blade to come down.
"Are you crazy? It's a bloodthirsty sword with incredible sharpness! You'll lose your -" he cut his own words off as the back of the blade harmlessly touched the boy's arm before slicing into the floor.
Harry smiled. "Well, that's one sword," he said. "Now we just need one more."
The shop keeper swallowed and ran into the back of the shop. When he came back, he placed a single sword on the counter. "The finest blade in my shop," he said. "The Yubashiri."
"I think that Zoro has the finest blade in your shop," Harry corrected gently, "Zoro, come and let the man see your white sword. He is being very generous to show us his greatest prize, it deserves reciprocation in the same kind."
Zoro nodded and handed over his sword while he looked at the one that had been brought out.
"A Meito, in my shop," the man said, awed as he held the while scabbard reverently in his hands. "I agree Sir," he said humbly. "Your young man does own the best sword in this shop. The Wadou Ichimonji. I am blessed to see it."
"For these swords," Harry began, withdrawing his wallet. "As well as oils and powder and a whet-stone to care for them, shall we say fourteen-million, for the swords and an extra two-thousand for the care kit?"
"You are most generous," the shop owner said, handing the Meito sword back to Zoro and accepting the money from Harry. "The care kits are by the door, please take one as you leave."
Harry nodded. They would do best to stop and find one of the sword smiths who really knew what he was doing and commission swords just for Zoro, but the one in Logue Town that Harry had gone to for Shanks' and Mihawk's swords had died recently, and Harry didn't have the time to wait for a sword to be made this time anyway.
They would have to do until he did have the time, until then though, Zoro was going to have a problem child of a sword to contend with in the Sandai Kitetsu, but he was going to have a couple of people to help him master his swords, so it should be alright.
With Zoro's new swords at his side, Harry led the way to the centre of Logue Town – to the marine base. When they left the base a half-hour later, they left without a single marine interested in joining the crew and the base captain, the ageing Garp who had once been a vice-admiral, calling the marine headquarters to let them know about a man who would need a bounty on his head.
Getting The Dreamer over Reverse Mountain was an interesting trial for the crew, and Harry frequently employed magic to save the body of the ship from being damaged. The reward was waiting for them when they came down the other side into the Grand Line though. As was Laboon, an island whale from West Blue, the sea where Harry had started his life in the Blues of this world.
Harry smiled to see Crocus, who had been the doctor for Roger on his last sojourn into the Grand Line, and met the ancient doctor, a woman called Kureha, and the reindeer Tony Tony Chopper, who Shanks had told him would be joining The Dreamer's crew. Kaya was particularly pleased to meet them, and helped them to settle their things into the medical bay on board the ship and the adjoining rooms that Harry provided for them as the doctors.
Harry spent a bit of time sitting with Laboon while Nami was instructed in the uselessness of a conventional compass on the Grand Line by Crocus.
"Do you ever miss West Blue, Laboon?" Harry asked the whale. "I suppose that you can come and go between all the Blues as easily as you like, on this side of the Red Line at least I mean. I guess it would be a bit hard for you to go over that," he said, looking up at the mountain range that divided the Blues of the southern hemisphere from those in the northern hemisphere.
Laboon moaned softly, and Harry chuckled as though he understood.
"You're big enough to be able to take care of yourself by now surely," Harry said, patting Laboon's side where he could reach. "You know, it's possible that those pirates died out there. The Grand Line isn't the easiest of places for humans."
Laboon moaned again, a slight whine trailing off at the end.
"I'm not going to object if you want to come with us and find out," Harry said. "You're the one who decides where you go after all."
Laboon's eyes drooped slightly and he whined again.
"Of course I mean it."
"The doctors are settled Sir," Mihawk said, walking up to Harry where he was sitting beside the still-growing island whale. "And I think your young navigator is in love with the Log Pose that Crocus-san gave her," he added, the tiniest hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth.
Harry nodded. "How are you coping with Belle-chan?" he teased slightly.
Mihawk's smile grew. "It is good to argue with her again, and with Shanks nearby as well, there is no shortage of fun to be had," he answered.
"You've been bored haven't you?"
Mihawk shrugged at the accusation and looked away.
"Thought so. And Zoro?"
"I like the kid," he answered, his smile taking on a vicious edge. "He's got a lot of raw power, which he builds on all the time, but I'll teach him grace with his blades yet."
Harry chuckled and stood at last. Mihawk didn't need to be first mate, teaching all the kids how to use their weapons satisfied him enough, and Bellemere didn't need to bark out orders to him because he knew the orders from sailing under Harry – and a couple of other people – for almost all of his life.
"When do you anticipate the student surpassing the master?"
Mihawk snorted, crossed his arms, and then smiled. "Not before he's twenty."
Harry held Nami back from going to bed after dinner, and took her out onto the deck beside the helm, politely dismissing the man who stood at duty and took his place. They had been on the Grand Line for all of one day, but this was a lesson that he would not allow to wait a moment longer.
"How do you navigate Nami-chan?" he asked, gesturing for her to sit at the map space open beside the helm.
"In East Blue, I used a compass," she answered. "When we came into the Grand Line it started going crazy though, and Crocus-san gave me this Log Pose to navigate with," she added, holding out her wrist which had the bubble strapped to it, and the needle inside.
Harry shook his head. "The Log Pose points to island after island. It's a pointer rather than a proper way to navigate. You said that the compass stopped working?"
Nami nodded and pulled the compass out of her pocket to show him.
"The needle won't stop spinning," she pointed out.
Harry smiled at the little girl. "I know where North is," he said.
Nami's eyes widened. "Harry-Oji?" she asked, wanting to know. Knowing which way was North was important for making maps.
Harry pointed into the sky. "There it is," he said.
Nami frowned and crossed her arms. "Harry-Oji! North doesn't mean up!" she scolded.
Harry laughed. "I know that Nami," he answered. "But do you see that star?" he questioned, moving to stand behind her so that she could look up his arm to see where he was pointing.
"The bright one?" she asked.
Harry chuckled. "That star is the North Star. In East Blue we could see the South Star. If you hold up a piece of string with a weight on the end so that the top of the string is at that star, and the bottom of the string crosses the horizon, then that way is North," Harry explained.
"But Harry-Oji, stars move at night," Nami said.
Harry shook his head. "Not this one Nami. It is always exactly in the same place. We might move, but it will always let you know where North is. Here," he said, rolling out a large piece of paper he had brought with him. "This is a map of the stars. I made it when I still lived in West Blue." Those astrology lessons back at Hogwarts had come in handy. Of all the things he had never believed would, it was probably the most practically applicable lesson he had from his old school.
"You lived in West Blue Harry-Oji?"
"For a year, but that was a very, very long time ago. I want you to study this. If you can learn to be able to match the constellations on here to the stars in the sky, recognise them all, then you'll always be able to find North and the North Star. Okay?"
Nami grinned and nodded. "Thank you Harry-Oji!"
The first island of the Grand Line that The Dreamer and Red Force stopped at came a month into their Grand Line adventure, and only happened so that Harry could sell various captured pirates and their ships – the former were stowed in holding cells of his ship, and the latter were attached with tow-ropes – as well as so that supplies like food, drink, gunpowder and soap could be restocked.
It is at this island that Harry and his family, his crew, and the crew of his son, saw his first 'wanted' poster.
"Not bad for just starting," Shanks commented with a smile, passing the poster over to his father.
"It doesn't even say why I'm wanted though," Harry pointed out as he stared at it. "It just says 'highly dangerous man, wanted by the World Government, dead or alive, seventy-million belli."
"He's got a good point there," Mihawk said, taking the poster from Harry. "Nearly every other wanted poster has 'for piracy', or 'for terrorising civilians', or 'the destruction of World Government properties' or something similar."
"I suppose saying that he's wanted for being a 'sea-borne scallywag with too much money' wouldn't go over too well," Bellemere said, grinning around her cigarette.
Harry sighed. "Well, I'll see it doubled, at least, by the time we reach the end of this half of the Grand Line," he said, taking it back from Mihawk. "I may even give them the satisfaction of being able to charge me with having done something terrible by then."
"Somehow doubt it," Shanks quipped, leaning his head on his hand. "You encourage everyone to follow their dreams, but you're just too much of a nice guy to ever let them do anything bad to someone who's done nothing to provoke it."
Harry shrugged, allowing it and admitting silently that it was probably true. He just enjoyed being a scallywag too much.
Harry held his head high as he looked over his crew. The kids had grown up, his kids had grown up, and he was going on one-hundred-and-one now himself. The combination of magic in his blood, a healthy, active lifestyle, a balanced diet and Chopper and Kaya taking care of him as it was needed had given him a full life. He didn't look any older now than he did at seventy either, which was impressive.
"It has been an absolute treat to sail with all of you," he said with a smile. "It has been even more of an honour and a privilege to be permitted to be part of your lives. However, my time has come I think. I will wait for you all on the other side. Laboon," he said, turning to the now very large island whale, "will you be so kind as to take me back to Logue Town? It's only a few leagues north-east of here. I think I'm ready to go have a chat with Roger." Laboon carefully drew alongside the ship and held out a fin for Harry to climb on to.
"Dad," Shanks said quietly, wrapping an arm around Harry, preventing him from going yet. "You're still fit and healthy. Why are you so determined to -?"
Harry chuckled and lay an arm on his son's shoulder. "I promised myself I wouldn't ever let myself become a hundred-plus-year-old geezer with too many clever plans in my head. I'm a few days from being one-hundred-and-one. I incited the 'great pirate age' with Roger back in Logue Town all those, heh, decades ago now. Shanks, look behind you. I am a great-grandfather."
This was true. Quite apart from all the kids that had been adopted into his family, and the kids that they had adopted or produced, Shanks had actually had a son, who was currently carrying his own son on his shoulders as they farewelled the old man. Not one of them, Harry had been pleased to see, had even the faintest spark of magic in them – and he had let them handle his wand, just to make sure.
"I have lived a full life and now I am old," he said. "I'm not going to live forever. I wouldn't do it if I could."
Shanks sniffed and wrapped his arms around his father firmly, desperately, not wanting to let him go. It had been one thing to go off to the Grand Line that first time, he had known that he would be able to see his father again. This though, this was so final. After all their adventures, all their 'scallywagging', his dad was going to leave him.
"Sir," Mihawk said, stepping forward. "Why Logue Town?"
"I got my first crew in Logue Town," Harry answered. "And this world has already farewelled one excellent man there. I might have gone to Marineford, since it was so impressive, but we did destroy it a couple of decades back with the revolutionaries, and I doubt that their rebuilding has got it up to its former glory just yet."
That got a chuckle at least from the people who were all standing with him.
"You're all welcome to come and watch if you like," Harry said. "Actually, I'd even appreciate it and be honoured if you would. I think I'd like to be burned once I'm dead, and my ashes scattered over every one of the Blues."
"We're all coming Dad," Shanks said, wiping at his eyes. "You and Laboon lead the way. We'll be right behind you."
"You couldn't pay me to stay behind," Nami added fiercely.
"Yeah Harry-Oji," the chorus went around. "We're all coming!"
Even Shanks' crew wouldn't miss it. They'd all come to really respect the old man who just kept going, and who looked out of their captain.
Harry walked down the main street of Logue Town, his hands bound just like Roger's had been, and a cupful of mischief up his coat-sleeve – he had worn his very best things, clothes that he had ordered made just for official occasions, the weddings of his children before this, and of course one's own execution was about as official as something got. His feet were clad in polished black boots that folded over at the knee, and cream trousers that were tucked into them. He also wore a cream silk shirt, deep emerald green coat, and he'd gone so far as to swap out his usual old brown tricorn for a white one with gold edging and a deep emerald green feather, and his gold-rimmed glasses. He had even been permitted to wear his sword. When he reached his place on the scaffold, the officers asked for his last words.
Harry looked out over the crowd and saw his family near the back. Shanks, Mihawk, Bellemere, Gin, Ace, Zoro, Sanji, Nojiko, Luffy, Nami, Usopp, Kaya, even little Chopper, and so many others with them – his family had grown, and some of them were almost as old as him, even as others were barely into double-digits, and they were all still proud of him, and still standing straight, tall and strong. Even if he was a hundred years old, he had still watched over them, protected them when they needed him to, and he had not faulted in his duties to his family. He was going to miss them, if this was really to be his end.
"Actually, I've got a little speech, if that's alright?" he asked, reaching into the pocket of his coat with both of his bound hands, holding up a piece of folded paper between two fingers.
The officers frowned at each other, but nodded.
"Thank you," Harry said quietly before unfolding the paper. "My name is Potter Harry. I am a father, a grandfather and a great grandfather, and I love my family. My most recent bounty was posted as being for two-billion belli, though there is no crime printed upon it that I should be wanted for, nor has there ever been since my very first wanted poster. Tomorrow, if I were to live to see it, unlikely at this point as that may seem, I would celebrate my one-hundred-and-first birthday."
"Are you quite done?" growled one of the officers.
"Just about," he said, dropping the paper into the crowd below. "I have known two Pirate Kings, the greatest swordsmen in all of the world, the best chefs, the finest mapmakers, the sharpest sharpshooters and the best doctors. I have tasted the sweetest fruit and fought every fight, never running away. I have no One Piece to tempt you with, and no D in my name, but I'll go out smiling all the same, old, content, and with no fear of death. I challenge you all here today: top that."
"Done now?" growled the other officer.
Harry shook his head at the impatience of these men and chuckled as he sat down, easing his wand out of one of his pockets as he did so. "Verdimillious maximus," he said, pointing up, causing green fireworks to erupt above him, a smile on his face.
Two spears were thrust into Harry's solar-plexus.
"Well that's just not good enough," Harry said quietly as he watched the blood seeped into his best green coat. "A slow death and a destroyed coat. I'm not pleased," he mumbled, closing his eyes and sighing deeply. "Vulnera sanentur," he whispered, the spell sending his blood back into his body and mending the wounds, though not the clothes. One of the few spells that Snape had ever taught him – though inadvertently. "Portus," he breathed, touching a finger to the wooden shackles around his wrists, the tugging sensation hooking itself behind his navel and taking him away.
Moments later, he thumped down onto his own bed on board The Dreamer. It hurt, but he was in no danger of bleeding to death now, so he'd be fine... and it seemed that he was going to live to see his birthday.
Oh well, a promise made and a promise broken. It was only to himself, and Shanks would be glad to see that he'd changed his mind about it. Maybe working himself to death was better than a public execution anyway.