DISCLAIMER THE FIRST: It is by JKR's writing alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the grace of coffee that thoughts acquire speed, the back acquires strains, the strains become a warning. The warning is that I make no money from this. It is by JKR's writing alone I set my mind in motion.
PITHY STATEMENT RELATING TO THIS CHAPTER: "We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution." – Victor Hugo – French author and Romantic Movement dramatist (1802-1885)
LAST UPDATED: 04-13-2015
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX – A RISKY BUSINESS
GRINGOTTS, LONDON, DIAGON ALLEY, OCTOBER 20th 1996 – AFTERNOON
"Yes! Oh YES!" Verity squealed as Harry increased his tempo. In moments the witch began to orgasm heavily while grinding back against his thrusts.
While Harry was enjoying the physical moment (to say nothing of the visually pleasing sight of the older witch writhing against him) he couldn't help but ponder the broader magical aspects of it. With all the changes with his magic of late, it seemed to him that sex was almost the driving force in his life. So much so that he was very glad Millie had taught him the spell which kept him from suffering from satisfying all of his physical urges.
What was worst was the plan the Coven had come up with. He understood it, agreed to it and at this moment the pay-off was physically gratifying. Yet he couldn't help but think of how much his name would be cursed later on when the consequences of this plan played out. For an orphan, Harry had to wonder how many children of the plan might grow up without a father?
Even as he pondered the ramifications of how his magic was pushing him and the morality of the plan, Harry still could not help but revel in the sensual pleasure of it. Indeed it seemed one of the few moments in his life that on a very basic level, Harry could forget and just be in the moment.
Sadly the moment never lasted long and far too soon Harry loosed his magically enhanced seed into the witch grinding so hard against him. Harry at once gloried in the feeling of sweet release even as he wondered if eventual child of this act would forgive the need for their creation.
Creating a child by accident or neglect was bad enough; to create one simply to further one's political goals (no matter how lofty) grated on Harry's already battered sense of morality.
It was thoughts such as these which were on his mind as Harry hurriedly cleaned the two up. He knew either Fred or George would be returning soon enough. He didn't want to go into the meeting with them having to explain why he'd just diddled their clerk.
"Oh Harry, you're everything Teen Witch Weekly always said you were. I never believed that rag but it's something to read to pass the time. Who would have thought they could be so right?" Verity said in a throaty, sultry voice which showed she was still very much feeling the afterglow of their tryst.
Harry shrugged, "Not sure where they are getting their info but I'll take the compliment. Not that I'm complaining mind you, but I have to ask. Why?"
Verity looked away from her compact which she was using to adjust her make-up with slight waves of her wand. "Why what?"
Harry just sighed, "Why let me shag you? I mean don't get me wrong. It's obvious we both enjoyed it. I'm just wondering why you'd just allow me, a complete stranger to shag you at the drop of the hat…or I guess in this case your knickers. And don't just say it's because I'm the Boy Who Lived!"
"Well I would hope she did it because you're our major stockholder and we here at Triple Dub U always look out for our backers," came a voice from the second level.
Verity blushed as Harry looked up to see one of the Twins looking down at him with a grin. "Fred would say the same, Harry. You're welcome to sample everything here at the Whizzes. I'm glad to see you took time to sample the wares while waiting for us to finish up in the lab."
Harry shrugged and said in a controlled voice, "Oh I didn't realize Verity was for sale."
George laughed, "Oh we have all sorts of interesting things for sale here. You can rest assured that your investment in WWW will have a handsome return. Almost as handsome as us!"
Harry forced himself to laugh even as he noticed the shadow which crossed Verity's face. "So, shall I come up or are we going somewhere for a business lunch or something. I hope not since I've already eaten."
George shook his head, "Nope! Come on up and let us show you where the real magic happens. Be prepared to be amazed, dazzled, kerfluffeled and maybe even discombobulated!"
Harry couldn't help but chuckle, "I'm sure Madam Pomfrey has a potion for that last one." With a nod and smile at Verity (which caused her to blush again) Harry made his way up the stairs to the Twins' lab. Considering the gloomy potions lab Snape preferred, Harry was curious as to what the Twins' would look like. He expected a Mad Scientists laboratory mated with a circus.
"So what do you think?" George asked as he watched Harry take in the room.
Harry smirked; he'd been right. A Technicolor Mad Scientist lab. "It's pure Weasley Twins."
George laughed at this just as a door across the lab opened with Fred coming out muttering about a problem with runes and chicken legs of all things. His face lit up when he noticed Harry standing next to his twin, "Harry, old bean! So glad you can make it! Did Verity give you the tour?"
"Our Harrikins went all the way with Verity on the tour!" George said with an exaggerated wiggling of his eyebrows.
"Oh ho! Jumping ahead in the program are we! Well I guess if you can catch the Snitch so well, catching a little snatch probably is just as easy!"
Harry tried not to roll his eyes at this as both Twins laughed nastily.
"So is there a place we can sit? I have some serious stuff to talk to you guys about," Harry said after the Twins calmed down.
"Ohhh serious he says," began Fred.
"Our interest is peaked!" George continued.
"Aroused even!" Fred finished with his own exaggerated eyebrow wiggle.
Harry sighed; he knew he was going to have to put up with a lot of Twin speak before the end of the day. He hoped he could manage to keep from hexing them both.
Fred gestured to the other door in the lab. Harry followed the Twins into a room which was obviously where they crashed to goof off or maybe work through ideas for their pranks. It had the feel of a bachelor pad and there were a few suspicious stains on the couch that implied what the Twins might do to relieve stress. He wondered how often Verity was called up here for a 'consultation' with the boss.
"So, Lordy Potterkins; what serious stuff shall we speak of?" Fred asked as they got settled.
"It's about your Wonder Wheeze product. There is a problem at Hogwarts which I had to clean up and I don't like how I had to deal with it when I didn't know there was a potential problem to begin with," Harry said tightly.
Susan had suggested that Harry go in like an affronted business partner instead of him being morally indignant and demanding answers. Luna had agreed saying that the Twins would respond better if they thought Harry was angry at the execution rather than the action itself.
It was obvious they were right when both Twins looked surprised but not especially wary.
"How so Harry? We haven't heard of any issues?" George asked.
"Of course you haven't because I've kept it quiet! Otherwise you would have had Parvati being examined by Madam Pomfrey which probably would have led to Lavender being exposed and you probably getting a visit from the DMLE," Harry said hotly.
Both the Twins' faces took on a sulky look. "Let them come; the Wheezes aren't illegal." George said as if being taken to task by his mother.
"I know that but when Parvati was having nosebleeds so bad that Lavender could barely deal with them, then we have ourselves a bad situation. Worse is their little porn ring would have gotten out. Did you know about that?" Harry asked.
"Of course we did," Fred said as if affronted that Harry had to ask. "It was our idea after all. Lavender is such a little tart for a Pureblood and Parvati went along after a few free samples of the Wheezes."
Harry sighed and lowered his face into his right hand. "Guys, while I'm sure the sickles came rolling in, obviously you had nothing in place to keep someone from taking too much at one time! The whole point of running an operation like this is nobody trips it up by hemorrhaging! And when did you guys start promoting sex shows?"
Both Twins gloomy faces instantly turned to their normal, zany grin, "Oh we've realized pranks can only get you so far…" Fred said.
"…but sex will take you, dare I say it, all the way!" George finished.
"Being this close to Muggle London gave us the opportunity to study Muggles like we never really could back at home," Fred explained.
"And Merlin's saggy scrotum did we find how smart the Muggles are when it comes to making money off of sex. There is this place not too far from here," George said.
"The Spearmint Rhino," Fred offered.
"Yes, we shall give thanks eternally to the horny Rhino for what it taught us about how to part equally horny wizards from their galleons," George said as if showing off their child's successful school project to friends.
"Of course the girls really helped out here, especially Angelina. They took some of the Muggle ideas and came up with ways to use magic to make it even better!" Fred said excitedly.
"Profitable and less work for them!" George agreed.
Harry felt like he was starting to get a crick in his neck going back and forth. "Whoa, hold up guys. What exactly are we talking about?"
Fred look disappointed, "A brothel of course, Harry. Don't be dense!"
"Certainly there are others in the Alley, but what me and my handsome devil of a brother have done will put them all to shame," George said proudly.
Harry's eyes narrowed at this. "So are you intending to hook girls on the Wheezes and then move them to this brothel?"
Both Twins looked at each other and then grinned as if caught half-way through a prank, "The thought might have crossed our minds," they said in unison.
Before Harry could respond to this, Fred went on, "Of course most of our employees are going to be Muggleborn. They can't get good jobs because of their blood and we, at least, can offer them a good wage."
"Why slave away in some shop on your feet all day when you can make more galleons on your back?" George said with a cheeky grin.
Harry tried not to grit his teeth at this. He knew full well that the Twins would probably work to help many witches like Lilith to have trouble at their jobs so working for them would become a one of their few viable option.
"Harry, you have to understand how many galleons are dropped every night here in the Alley for a little piece of arse. We're just going to do it better." Fred said confidently.
"How? Your track record so far is a bit spotty considering I had to cover your tracks at Hogwarts by taking Parvati as a concubine and I'll probably end up with Lavender as a consort!" Harry retorted hotly.
Fred rolled his eyes, "Oh the huge manatee! How ever will you stand having those delicious Lavender tits around you all day?"
George clutched his chest as if in pain, "Oh woe! Parvati will be such a burden when her naked, nubile body takes up space in your bed!"
Fred's face broke out in a leer, "You can always send them to us, Parvati especially. If you don't want them around, we'll keep them making money for us all."
"That's not the point, you berks! Both are Purebloods and what happened would have caused uncomfortable questions to be asked. Did that ever occur to you? Or did you just only see Lavender's big bust and didn't think anyone would care about Parvati because she's Indian? They are still both Purebloods and that matters!" Harry shouted. His anger at the situation helped him play the part of an angry Pureblood shareholder. Which was a good thing since Harry felt rather dirty for saying what he had to.
Both Twins frowned, look at each other and then looked contrite, "Sorry Harry, I guess we didn't want to wait so we went with the girls we knew who would do the job," Fred said.
George nodded, "We were going to work on the likes of Sally-Anne since she needed money for school."
"We'll do better," they said in unison.
Harry scowled before growling, "You had better. I've got enough on my plate without dealing with your issues at Hogwarts. Not one week back and I already have been accused of murder as well as almost getting into a knock-down, drag-out duel with Snape. I don't need any more hassles! Besides if word leaks out, do you two want to take the risk of your mother finding out?"
Both Twins looked at each other and turned a bit pale at the thought of what their mother would do if she learned what Lavender and Parvati had been up to at their behest.
"Harry, we'll do better. We have been pretty busy with setting everything up so I admit we've let certain things slide," Fred said in apology.
"We have been thinking of bringing in Lee Jordan to coordinate certain things so this won't happen again," George confirmed.
"You seem pretty worked up there Harry. Why don't we let Angelina show you her idea which is going to make you richer than you already are?"
"I guarantee you will enjoy the presentation," George said with a knowing leer.
Harry sighed again, "Okay, I'll see her but I'm deadly serious about Hogwarts. I know your products are legal but I also know they are only barely legal and that's because most wizards wouldn't know what cocaine is to save their lives! If they did find out, say by some Muggleborn or raised Auror, then barely legal probably wouldn't protect you if some other Pureblood kid overdoses!"
"Harry! You worry too much!" Fred said.
"This is us you're talking about!" George said.
"Getting out of any sticky situation is what we do best" they finished together.
"Fine. I will remind you of this conversation when you call me to bail you out of Azkaban."
"You wound us, good sir!" Fred said in mock anger.
"You sully our good name!" George said in a good Draco imitation.
Indeed they said in unison, "Wait till our father hears of this!"
Harry didn't laugh as much as he wanted to since he needed to stay angry and not let himself fall back into old habits of yucking it up with the Twins. He had to remember that behind their laughing faces were two wizards planning to prey on Muggleborn to feed into their brothels even as they worked to hook more on drugs back at Hogwarts.
Plus who knew how many girls like Lilith they preyed on at school who now worked in the Alley? How many would be getting a carnal visit from the Twins due to blackmail?
Harry tried to keep this off his face as Fred led him through the shop to the basement. He was left with in a room filled with plush couches facing a small stage which had an odd metal rod from the floor to the ceiling.
He only waited for a moment before Angelina joined him. Harry couldn't help but let out an appreciative whistle even as he regretted the slip. But he had forgotten how gorgeously sexy Angelina was! It didn't help she wore this slinky and quite revealing leather outfit which looked like the bad mating of a corset and a bikini. The outfit showed off her chocolate skin and helped prop up her already impressive bust.
Angelina smiled at the whistle, "Nice to see you still appreciate me, Lord Potter."
Harry put on his best Pureblood face, "That's Lord Black to you, Miss Johnson."
"Whatever!" Angelina said with a mischievous grin. "Now matter how big your britches might get, you'll always be the scrawny little seeker who tried so hard not to stare in the locker room. You were so cute! It's nice to see you've grown out of cute and into fanciable."
Harry rolled his eyes. Angelina talked a good game but she hadn't backed him up his Second Year and Harry was certain her anger at losing out to both him and Cedric in the Tri-Wizard Tournament had contributed to a lot of the frostiness some of the Gryffindors had to him when he stuck to his guns about not sneaking his name into the Goblet of Fire.
In hindsight, he wished both Angelina and Alicia had been there the night he had told off the Lions before leaving Gryffindor. He had hoped his Quidditch buddies would have backed him up but only Katie had supported him at the time. Even the Twins had been distant. Harry hadn't really noticed it at the time given his issues with Ron.
"So the Twins tell me you've come up with ways to make me lots of money. Pray illuminate me, Miss Johnson." Harry said continuing the affected Pureblood mien.
Angelina was unfazed by his dry tone; she was a Pureblood after all. "Do you like my outfit?"
Harry made a point of looking her up and down, "You are dazzling as always. Trying out for a job as Page Three girl?"
"Not exactly," Angelina said surprising Harry. He hadn't expected her to get the reference.
She gestured to the pole, "I just learned that the way to a wizard's money pouch is to draw out the anticipation. It's just like a good Quidditch game. You string the fans along; get them fired up before you finally let them have release with the catch of the Snitch. As brilliant as that 5 minute catch you did versus Ravenclaw, it was a bit of a downer for the fans. Sort of like when a guy cums from you just undoing his robe."
Harry couldn't help but frown, "Are you implying I have control problems Miss Johnson?"
Angelina laughed musically, "I'm sure it was a fluke. Verity seemed very impressed from the quick gushing report about you I got before coming down here."
Harry's frown turned to a scowl, "Does Verity always shag and tell?"
"Don't' be a prat, Harry. Verity is an employee and from a low bloodline. She knows her place and when and who to tell things when asked. She certainly isn't going to refuse me," Angelina said with a hint of a sneer in her voice.
Harry didn't let it show on his face, but there it was again. That Pureblood attitude which even families like the Weasleys let out from time to time. Harry wondered if the Squib accountant cousin needed a blood transfusion if Molly would even reply unless with a Howler to tell him to quit bothering them.
Still he was on a fact-finding mission so he kept a civil tone, "Fair enough."
Angelina nodded at this before turning and walking up to the pole. She pulled out her wand and with a wave started music with a deep, heavy beat playing from some hidden magical speakers. She placed her wand on a little slot on the wall behind her before turning back to him.
"Feel free to pull it out and have a wank. It's sort of the point," Angelina said with a flirty look.
She then jumped on the pole and began to move in a way Harry couldn't quit describe. It was like a gyrating dance crossed with gymnastic all set to the beat of the music. He had never seen anything like it although as he watched her go through these amazing (and arousing) moves, Harry realized he hard read things referencing what he was seeing. He just hadn't really connected what 'pole-dancing' actually meant till now.
Harry continued to watch and his trousers quickly got tight watching the erotic scene in front of him. After a furtive adjustment, Angelina would occasionally coo and flirt. Finally he gave in and pulled his manhood out and began to stroke himself to the music as he watched.
As he did so, Harry realized that it was probably Angelina who had given Lavender the idea to do her little dance routine. He couldn't help but think that if she did become his consort, he'd have to ask her to show it too him if Angelina's show was anything to go by.
In fact it was so arousing, Harry knew he wasn't going to last long. Something of this must have shown on his face as Angelina suddenly slid out of a spin on the pole and quickly made her way to him. Before he could say anything, she had his cock in her mouth. In very short order, he again was 'in the moment' as he came deeply down her throat.
Angelina smiled around his member before letting it slip out of her mouth as she began to stroke him, "I'm not done with you yet, Lord Black. The dancing is only one part. There are other shows I do and given how you are such an influential Lord and our primary financial backer, I want you to get the full package!"
Harry watched her as she managed to shed most of her costume with one hand while she stroked him back to hardness with the other. She then stood, turned around and shook her behind at him a bit before lowering herself until his cock was deeply embedded inside her.
"And now we ride hell for leather as the Yanks would say!" Angelina said over her shoulder as she began to grind against him, her full arse tantalizingly bouncing up and down in front of him.
Harry gritted his teeth even as he enjoyed the visual and physical stimulation. As much as this was awesome, he had to remember not to get sucked into the decadence that he was sure the Twins were counting on to keep him investing in their sordid schemes.
"I don't see why you care Harry!" Angelina said with a huff. "Oh yes I know your mother was a Muggleborn and the bookworm is a friend of yours. But you've got to get past that! Morgana's cold witch's tits, Harry! You have Narcissa Malfoy working for you now. You in the big leagues as it should be for one of your blood line. Don't let sentiment cloud the issues. It's all very cut and dried if you'd just see things as how they really are!"
"Is it?" Harry asked. He was trying very hard (and mostly failing) not to be distracted by her naked body. While only a few years older than most of the girls in the coven, Angelina was well on her way to adulthood and it showed. Even as pretty as those in the Coven were, many still had plenty of teen left in their faces and body. It was what made Narcissa so alluring above and beyond her noted beauty. If she was a fruit, there was nothing green about her.
Nor Angelina who had blossomed early, something he (and almost every boy outside of Colin) at Hogwarts had noticed. So while he was getting used to seeing plenty of the naked female form, hers was very distracting.
Of course the bigotry in her words and attitudes did help.
Before she could respond, Harry cut her off. "I know what you're getting at Angelina. I'm just uncomfortable with your execution. Yes I acknowledge that the Magical world is run a certain way. Even I can see that in the six years I've been in it. But while you may think you are doing the Muggleborn a favor with jobs here, sucking many of them in here via addiction is going to come back to bite you."
Angelina chuffed at that, "Like anyone cares what they think? Every law, custom and code is against them and always will be. You think I'm taking advantage of them; I see it as giving them a chance. This room here is a start."
"How so? Seems like a lot of time involved, doing shows all the time." Harry said.
"Ah but that's because you haven't seen all of it. Let me show you! Tolby!"
With a pop, a house elf arrived, "Yes Missy Angelina?"
"Bring me the Viewer set to this room," Angelina commanded.
"I bez bringing it!" Tolby said and disappeared with another pop. Tolby reappeared before Harry could do more than wonder which gender Tolby was. It was hard to tell sometimes with house elves.
Without a word, Angelina took what looked like a larger square mirror from the elf who promptly popped away. "Could you be a dear and summon my wand?" she asked.
Harry decided a little showing off couldn't hurt so he simply beckoned with his hand and her wand came flying from the opposite wall.
"Impressive! Most impressive!" Angelina said. "I wondered about your power levels. Things the Prophet printed hinted at it regarding that fight in London. Then there was that hot, hot juice you so forcefully shot down my throat and up my quim just now. You really are the real deal, aren't you?"
Harry couldn't help but smirk, "Yes, yes I am. Accept no substitutes!"
Angelina returned the smirk before taking her wand and taping the Viewer. "Current Show start," she said in a stilted voice as if talking to a child.
Harry watched as the mirror surface changed to an image which then began to move. Harry quickly realized what he was looking at. Somewhere in the room was something which had recorded everything like a video camera would.
"It was those Marauder mirrors which gave the Twins the idea but they didn't have a clue of what to record. They only thought of recording pranks as they happened with a laugh track. Good for a chuckle but not something you'd make money on," Angelina explained.
"Now this, this is going to be a steady money maker. First you pay to rent the Viewer. Then you pay for the content. A Viewer can hold about three hours give or take. The best part is that unlike Muggle recording, the magic doesn't last more than a month or so. We'll look into making that longer but it does mean that even if a client gets a recording they like, they will have to pay to get it again after a month."
"Built in repeat customers," Harry murmured.
"Of course but it is also another way to make money. With just a little capital from you, we can be ready in just a few months. Oh and you said earlier that it would take up lots of my time, but now I can do a few shows, maybe only one a week but the recordings can be sold over and over. Plus we can charge an outrageous fee for those who want to watch the actual event here," Angelina said.
"And for those who want your extra service like I got?" Harry asked.
Angelina smirked, "That's the best part. You see the Twins happened, quite by accident, to develop a version of the Polyjuice potion which doesn't require boomslang, the most expensive and hard to get ingredient. Their version doesn't last long and but then again, most men in bed don't either. The point is, we can brew it for a fraction of the cost of real Polyjuice."
Comprehension dawned on Harry, "So none of those guys who want to shag you won't actually shagging you will they? It will be all these Muggleborn you are targeting."
"Of course not! While a tumble for Quidditch back in school or you today is acceptable, I'm not going to dirty my body with the likes of our customers. I have standards to uphold. Oh I'm sure there will be clients who will want to pay an obscene amount of galleons for the privileged of actually sexing me up but that will be looked at on a case by case basis. Besides, Alicia pointed out that this goes both ways, a little of your hair could go a long, long way. Why shouldn't we cater to witches fantasies as well?" Angelina said with a sly smile.
Before Harry could make some comment about cold days in Hell in regards to his hair, Angelina shifted which caused Harry to be distracted once again by her nude form. She really was intoxicatingly beautiful.
"Besides protecting my reputation, you have to see it as protecting these Muggleborn you are so worried about. They're wearing another's form so they are anonymous. They make money, we make money and the clients go home happy. It's win-win and we laugh all the way to Gringotts!" Angelina said with a very satisfied air.
Harry kept silent while wondering how it sounded too good to be true and sure enough Angelina confirmed it by continuing, "Of course the girls will have opportunities to make a better cut if they have sex as themselves. Clients want variety after all and who doesn't want more galleons in their vault at Gringotts? My point is we give them the opportunity; they make the choice."
"And what if some Pureblood wants more than they're willing to give?" Harry asked already fearing he knew the answer.
Angelina gave an indifferent shrug. "All our employment contracts have the standard clauses. They will do what we ask or pay the penalty."
Not grinding his teeth at Angelina's words was become harder and harder. She was so blasé about how the Magical world preyed on Muggleborn who expected working contracts to be simply standard employment documents and not the magically binding documents they actually were according to Luna.
Angelina smiled, "If anything, Alicia and I see this as a great way for witches ignored at home to get a little on the side. I'm sure your little Muggleborn will find that Ron will quickly lose interest in her after her first child. We both know Fred and George will as we're lucky to keep their interest now over their lab time. It's a fact of life, once a witch has a kid they stop being seen as a woman and are relegated to being a mother. Yet right under the boys' noses, we'll give an outlet for those witches. I'm betting Granger could make a lot of galleons as a dominatrix after seeing her in action after she got her prefect badge."
"What?" Harry blurted out.
Angelina smirked, "Oh yes, you're little bookworm is far less lily-white and far more kinky than you could imagine. I was surprised but she jumped right in to take advantage of what a prefect badge can do for you."
"Well I know she's an admitted voyeur…" Harry admitted.
Angelina cut him off with a laugh, "Is that what she told you? Well I guess that is true. A prefect sees a lot. But I'll give Granger credit. Most prefects blackmail a blow-job here, get someone to do their homework and the like. Granger? No she started a following and collecting future favors. Those who refuse got the dominatrix act and so she got her fun and the favors. Hell I think most of the what would be second years in Gryffindor would do her bidding if asked. That's on top of all the favors she's extorted. For a witch everyone thought should have been sorted into Ravenclaw, she is one of the most Slytherin witches I know!"
Harry just goggled at this but quickly shook his head to clear it. He had to stay focused. He knew there was a reason Angelina ended up dating the Twins. He'd see first hand how she like to mess with people's heads. She hadn't ever gotten along with Hermione so she could be giving out info just to put doubt's into his head.
On the other hand, w he was on the outs with Hermione for the most part, he could see her asking for future favors. Hermione wasn't a blackmailer…he hoped. Of course given she admitted to being a voyeur, Harry figured she'd probably using the Viewer as much as Ron…although how Angelina thought Hermione and Ron would ever end up together was beyond him. Sure Ron fancied her but Harry couldn't see his intelligent friend ever marrying a guy who was so totally focused only on Quidditch.
Angelina smiled at Harry's response. "Anyway, enough about Granger. I can't wait for Katie to graduate. With her cheerleader looks, she'll have wizards coming back again and again. It'll be good income for her even is she makes it onto a Quidditch team. While I'd like to think Alicia and I are better players, she's white so she might pull it off. A lot of players, early on, get low on funds during the off season."
"I wouldn't count on Katie in any of your plans," Harry said before he could stop himself.
"And why not? She's our friend and we'll take good care of her, especially Alicia," Angelina said with a knowing look.
Harry didn't return the look. In for a penny, in for a pound, he supposed, "I'm sure you would take good care of her. But I think I will be able to take care of the incipient Lady Potter quite well enough by myself, thank you very much."
Angelina gasped at this. "You are going to marry Katie? Why?"
Harry blinked at this, "Oh I don't know. She loves me; I love her. I've been told that getting married to the one you love is how it's done."
Angelina face grew pinched, "Harry, you're an idiot! Marrying Katie gives you nothing! No ties to other great houses! No dowry to speak of! You could keep her as a mistress and nobody would say a thing! As much as I might not like it, a wizard in your position comes with entitlements. You'd be much better off marrying a Pureblood like me or Alicia with a history with Katie. And we both know how much Katie liked warming down with Alicia after a game!"
Harry fought down his amazement at this. He always known Angelina was a Pureblood but somehow he'd never seen this side of her. It was like listening to Malfoy in a way. That and how quickly she went from shagging him, to talking about business to inviting herself or her friend into his marriage bed. Merlin! For all her passion in Quidditch, she was a cool one!
"Funny but I already have two concubines and am on track for at least two consorts. Given the needs of my houses, I need two other wives as it is. I have plenty of opportunities for political marriage. And if marrying one of three wives for love is being an idiot then I guess I'm guilty as charged." Harry said coldly, his aura making the room suddenly feel the same.
Before Angelina could retort (and it was obvious she was going to) Harry cut her off, "You know, calling your so-called major investor an idiot is probably considered bad form. Calling the head of three Ancient Houses with plenty of votes in the Wizengamot an idiot is probably unwise as well. You might want to think a bit more carefully before you speak to me like that. Others have found that mouthing off to me can be rather hazardous to one's continued health and well-being. Just ask Draco and his cronies about that."
Harry stood up, causing Angelina to slip onto the floor with a look of shock on her face. "While I understand why you might always see me as 'that scrawny seeker in the locker room' do not make the mistake of thinking I am still that boy. The dead Death Eaters in London should be proof of that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must take my leave. Thank you for this. You have shown me what I needed to see and it was certainly an eye-opener."
Without another word, Harry strode out of the room and out of the store without a backwards glance, stopping only to throw his cloak back on, leaving the Twins to quickly rush in to find Angelina looking shocked and very worried.
In short order Harry was entering Flourish & Botts and trying to rein in his aura which had already caused quite a few people to turn and stare at him. Luckily with his hood up, no one realize they were starring at the famous Harry Potter.
He found Luna pursuing the natural life section with her old dreamy smile on her face. This smile didn't last as she turned to see the look on Harry's own face.
"Ah, it went as expected then," she said quietly.
"If expected you mean a plan to fill a new brothel with Muggleborns, many of which are hooked on their magically enhanced drugs. This on top of a magical form of a video recorder and viewer where they will push porn. Worse is that the likes of Angelina seem to think they are doing the Muggleborn witches a favor by giving them such an opportunity to become whores!" Harry said in a voice which might as well been parseltongue.
Luna's face darkened for a moment before returning to her normal serene look, "At least they are being up front and honest about it."
"Doesn't make it right," Harry growled.
"And it does not mean you will not stop it," Luna said pleasantly.
"Yes well before we head back to Hogwarts, I'll have to either come back briefly or send them a note apologizing for my abrupt departure. Luckily I can play it off at being angry at Angelina treating me like her old teammate instead of my new position as a lord. This, of course, on top of insulting Katie after I let it slip she is to become the new Lady Potter." Harry replied.
Luna nodded, "Probably wise. It would not be a good thing to give them any reason to worry about what you plan to do. Do you have a plan?"
Harry shook his head, "Not exactly but right now I think the Twins and your father's punishment might be linked. It might not be as exciting as coming up with individual punishments but 'Paladin of Nemesis' or not, I'm just wanting to get a lot of this over and done with. After what I learned at Gringotts earlier, well some of this stuff seems small."
Luna pursed her lips but before she could say anything, Harry held up his hand, "I know love; I know. They deserve to be punished and they will. It's just that other things have come up which are a little more important. Things which will impact everyone in Magical Britain. Besides, again we have to be careful not to get too much involved in the punishment for revenge sake. Believe me I wanted to hex the Twins and Angelina into oblivion today so don't worry about me not following through on this."
Luna scowled at this before her features softened and she sighed, "You are right. Besides, punishment in this world will be followed in the afterlife. Such sins are punished by the Universe in this life or the next. I must find comfort in that."
Harry suddenly grinned a nasty grin, "Don't worry, my Dark Lady. We still have to deal with Skeeter. My plan for her is sure to please you."
Luna smiled nastily in return, "I am breathless in anticipation."
Harry laughed, "Well as much as revenge is fun, I need to find out about what happened to House Potter." Harry offered his elbow, "Shall we, my Lady?"
Luna giggled slightly as she took his arm, "Let us shall, my Lord!"
ALL HALLOWS ON SEA, KENT OCTOBER 20th 1996 – AFTERNOON
"I wish Hermione were here. She's so much better at this than I am," Harry quipped.
"Nonsense Harry! You have me. As I told you earlier, my family has been questing for the Hallows for generations. The clue left at Gringotts by your grandfather easily pointed here. With its name, it is obviously a place Hallow questers have looked at before," Luna explained.
Harry looked down at the goggles he had been given and then looked around. Outside the café they in, Harry had a good view of the village square with people going about their daily business. Sea gulls screeched from over head and even in-doors Harry breathed in the heady smell of the sea which was only a mere kilometer away. Luna had been shocked and saddened that today was his first time he'd seen the ocean even if it was more properly the greater Thames estuary.
While the verbal clue had pointed Luna to this village, now they had to figure out what the goggles meant. They seemed old and rather odd for Quidditch goggles. He had already checked and no Quidditch match had ever played in the area. That had been Harry's first guess; the hidden site might have been on an open area where something like the World Quidditch Cup had been played. Sadly a book Ron had given him years ago regarding Quidditch history dashed that idea.
So now the pair sat in the café and sipped on tea and ate their cucumber sandwiches. Harry was looking at a tourist info packet they had picked up. So far he hadn't seen anything which might clue him in to where they needed to look next.
"Harry," Luna suddenly said in a voice that implied she had just thought of something. "Have you actually tried those goggles on?"
"Hmm?" Harry said as he swallowed quickly, "Why no, I guess I haven't. Do you think it's best I try it here?"
Luna looked around and shrugged, "We have our modified notice-me-not up which should cover us unless something very odd happens." The charm in question made it such that besides their waitress, no one else in the café would pay them much mind.
Harry put on the goggles. Now that they were on his head, he began to think they weren't Quidditch goggles after all but something from the Muggle world. But who wore goggles like this? Yet before he could say anything to Luna, the words 'duty' appeared on the left lens and 'dragon' on the right.
"Luna, can you see those words on the inside of the lenses?" Harry asked.
Luna shook her head, "No. I am betting you, as a Potter, are the only one who could see them. What do they say?"
"Duty and dragon," Harry said.
"Well now, haven't seen a pair of those in a long time!"
Both Harry and Luna turned to find their waitress placing the piece of pie that they had decided to share for desert on the table."
"You know what they are, uh, uhm Mable?" Harry asked after quickly checking her name badge.
Mable nodded, "My grandfather kept a pair in his den. He flew Spitfires in the war from the RAF base that used to be here. He met my grand-mum back then and stayed after the war. Where did you get them?"
Harry shook his head as he took off the goggles, "They were my grandfather's"
Mable looked him up and down, "Well perhaps your great-grandfather was a pilot as well."
"Great-Grandfather?" Harry asked. Luna nudged him under the table and he suddenly realized that due to his age, great-grandfather would make sense since Muggles had no idea Magicals existed or that they lived so long. "Oh, yeah…well I'm an orphan who grew up with relatives from the other side of the family so I'm sure you're probably right."
"Looking for ties to the past then? Well that's nice. There was talk of putting a museum up once but that fell through. So many people just wanted to forget the war after it was all over especially with the whole thing with the old Soviets started up so soon afterwards. A lot of the people around here had relatives in Canterbury before the Huns bombed it to hell and back," Mable said.
"Where was the RAF base? Does it still exist?" Luna asked.
Mable shook her head, "No dearie, but you can still tell where it used to be. It's off Radcliffe Highway to the east of here. There is a historical marker to show where it used to be. They tend to only grow ground cover on one of the fields since even after all these years, the ground is still pretty tightly packed."
Harry and Luna looked at each other as Mable left the check before going over to wait on another table.
"What are you thinking about?" Harry asked. While she might not be as obvious as Hermione when she was lost in thought, Luna had her own unique 'thinking' face.
"I think the old RAF base is the answer," Luna said slowly.
"How can you be sure?" Harry asked.
Luna gestured to the goggles in Harry's hands. "The clues. I think your grandfather was a pilot here just as Mable's grandfather was. The words in the goggles imply it as well."
"How so?" Harry asked. "I can see the connection to duty. Considering that bombs don't care if you're a Magical or Muggle, I can see my family wanting to fight considering what I've learned of late."
"Yes exactly but Mable gave us the other bit of information without which we might not make the connection," Luna pointed out.
"She did?" Harry asked. He felt like he was four steps behind Luna sometimes.
"Certainly! What else spits fire but a dragon?" Luna said with a triumphant smile.
Harry slapped his forehead with a groan, "Of course! And your typical Pureblood wouldn't know what a Spitfire was even if it crashed into their house!"
The pair walked carefully along the earthen berm which separated two fields. Mable had been right. The field that once had Spitfires roaring into the sky was a slightly different color to the ground.
Around them was very little. A twisted tree here, a bush poking up out of the side of a berm. A little mini-hillock overlooking the sea. It was that which they were working towards. Luna had said it was an old curse-breaker custom to always look to the most prominent landmark, no matter how slight when starting a search. This especially was true when the area had so little in the way of terrain.
Finally after gingerly making their way through the mud and being close to hexing the many sea gulls which kept flying around them expecting them to break out crisps or something, they reached their destination.
Harry looked out at the water. It was clear enough that one could just make out the city of Canvay Island across the Thames estuary. There was plenty of traffic on the river. He had to admit this was a grand spot to just watch the world go by.
He turned to Luna, "Well we're here. What I'm wondering about is how we are supposed to get the secret. I mean how can we be told the secret if there is no one here and there doesn't look like anything around here the secret is written on."
Luna pursed her lips. "First off, what you were told regarding Grimmauld Place isn't actually true. First off there is no Fidelius Charm. People in the know are well aware that it is the Acre Fidelium ritual."
"Acre Fidelium…hmmm, that's fortress of the faithful right?" Harry asked. At Luna's nod, he rubbed his chin a bit before going on, "You know I had wondered how a charm could hide something like Grimmauld Place like it did. I know charms like the Patronus charm are amazing but there was just so much the Fidelius would have to do and to continue doing so over time."
"Exactly! Which is why it requires a ritual. It also requires a certain level of wards to be in place. Otherwise you could use it on things such as ideas. I am also sure parts of Hogwarts would begin to disappear as prodigy students created places known only to them to snog or whatever," Luna said.
Harry laughed at this. He could just imagine what the damage the Twins could have done with such a ritual. He himself would be tempted to use it on Snape's quarters.
Luna smiled at him, "I see you can just imagine the consequences. The danger of the ritual is not just that it will be abused but what if the Secret Keeper is killed or the secret is lost? It could take centuries for the warding to fail. Therefore the ritual has a way for the secret to be triggered by a specific phrase or action."
Harry looked around before replying, "Well then were in a bit of a bind. We don't know the trigger phrase and if there is some sort of secret Potter family handshake, we're screwed because I certainly have no way of finding out what it might be."
"Actually I believe the goggles not only gave us the clue to where to go but also what to say," Luna said.
"How so?" Harry asked. He pulled out the goggles on the off chance that by being brought (hopefully) close to the secret site that another clue might appear.
"Oh the clue was actually pretty obvious…obvious to those who are familiar with your family or are just well read on the subject of bloodlines," Luna said.
Harry harrumphed at that, "I'm glad you seem to be up on this because I have no idea what duty and dragons could mean."
Luna laid a hand over his and said sadly, "That's because so much has been kept from you. So much so that you do not know the motto the Potters have rallied under for many centuries. It is Officium in cordibus nostris; Draco ignem in sanguine. Duty in the heart; dragon fire in the blood."
Harry looked around to see if anything happened before he realized that it probably needed to be said by him as the only Potter present. "Could your repeat that again?
Luna did so and but it took till Harry's third try to get the words and the pronunciation right for a small cottage to appear on the hillock.
Harry looked at the quaint and cozy looking building, "Score another one for the curse-breakers, I guess."
Luna laughed softly, "At least it is very doubtful there will be any death-traps. Although you might want to state my name and that I am welcome to follow you. One can never be sure with places like this that are tied so heavily to a bloodline."
Harry nodded. Better safe than sorry! "I, Harry, son of James; head of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Potter name Luna Selene Lovegood a friend and ally and give her safe passage!"
Harry turned to Luna, "That sound pompous enough to be good?"
Luna rolled her eyes in a manner more typical of Hermione, "Angelina would not be so tempted to marry you if she knew your attitude towards the customs of our people."
"Not my fault the Chief Warlock dumped me with the Dursleys. That and Hogwarts doesn't seem to think such things are worth teaching. Funny how a ghost nattering on about long ago goblin wars is fine but actually teaching Muggleborn and raised finer points of Magical culture? Can't have that apparently!" Harry said with heavy sarcasm.
The pair made their way to the path which was thankfully close to where they had been standing. By the time they got to the porch, Harry again could see from the view why his grandfather had his hide-away here. It really was pretty and he was sure the cool breeze would be nice during the heat of the summer. That and it was probably a lot nicer than winter in York.
As Harry reached for the door, it opened before he could touch the doorknob.
They looked at each other before Luna shrugged, "I believe we are expected."
Harry nodded and carefully made his way inside. He had only gone a few steps before he stopped dead in his tracks.
"Young Master Harry; at long last we bez meeting."
Harry had thought Kreacher was an old elf. Yet lying on a couch, wrapped almost like a baby in swaddling clothes, was the most shriveled elf Harry had ever seen. And some of the Hogwarts elves were pretty old!
Harry looked around the room. While it had the feel of what one would expect a holiday cottage would have, the room was filled with boxes and all manner of clutter. It was like someone had backed a moving van up to the door and dumped the contents into the room.
Harry shook his head to clear it as he knelt next to the elf which seemed might pass on at any moment. "Yes I am here. I'm sorry I could not come sooner but I only was just told this place might exist! What is your name? I thought all the Potter elves were gone?"
The old elf smiled toothily or would if he had any teeth left, "I bez Gremlin, Master Harry."
"Gremlin?" Harry said with a frown at the odd name before he remembered an old Yank cartoon with Bugs Bunny he had seen as part of a film about WW II back in primary. Gremlins were little beings which sabotaged airplanes as the fictional bunny learned to his misfortune. It fit that his pilot of a grandfather might name a house elf such.
"Where are the other Potter elves, Gremlin?" Luna asked. "As long as there was one Potter property, even one under the Fidelius, they had a tether to the family."
Gremlin nodded a bit too vigorously which caused him to go into a bout of wracking coughs. Finallyhe spoke in a gratingly harsh voice, "You bez very correct, Missy Goodylovz. But there bez only me and Delphi left. The others bez giving their lives to bez saving Potter things."
Harry looked around, "The goblins told me they saved certain things from the vault."
The old elf nodded more carefully, "They bez trying very hard but much bez taken before they bez acting. We elves knew we bez having to get back what bez taken. Even if it bez taking all of our magic to bez doing it."
Luna made a startled sound which made Harry look at her. She looked pale, "Oh Harry, those poor elves stole those other items back using up all their magic and life-force in the process!"
Gremlin nodded again and shut his eyes as if exhausted, "While the rules bez legal on paper, the magic bez knowing it not. You bez still alive. It all bez belonging to youz. Other house magicks bez knowing this as did other elves. They bez not stopping the Potter elves from taking back what bez yourz even if it bez killing them."
Harry's face hardened, "What rules? Who did this Gremlin and how? I know so little but taking from House Potter, as old as it is, well I can't see how that was possible. Shouldn't there be all sorts of ways to prevent it?"
Gremlin coughed a bit more, "I bez sorry Master. I bez dying. I haz been dying for some time. I bez hanging on for so long. I bez trying to hang on a bit longer."
"Harry, he's going to die in a minute or two if you don't help him. Place your hand on his heart and will your aura into him. It will give him more time," Luna said.
Harry nodded. He knew that one facet of the Sight Luna had was a bit of mage sight. Like Su Li, she could often see auras or other magical levels. It had always been a reason she hadn't had to act too hard to be spacey at Hogwarts given all the ambient magic she was constantly seeing.
Harry placed his hand on Gremlin's chest and poured in his magic and his appreciation for the elf's loyalty.
Gremlin sighed as if in pleasure, "Thank you, Master Harry. I bez explaining. Master James bez tricked by Dumblydorz when he bez joining the Order. Many almost bez falling for this. Missy Longsbottom kept Master Frank from it but only barely. I bez hearing Master Sirius' house bez used by the Order. House Black magicks would never allow it if not for same trick by Dumblydorz."
"Of course! The Order! I had always wondered how my uncle Neoptolemus could allow so much of House Lovegood's wealth to be used by Dumbledore. I never thought there might be some sort of magical contract involved." Luna exclaimed.
Gremlin nodded again, "Many Houses bez tricked by Dumblydorz. Some more than others. Poor Master James bez tricked badly for Master Charles bez in Europe to gather allies against Voldymortz."
Harry frowned, "I don't understand. Wasn't my grandfather still head of House Potter at the time?"
"Yes he bez still in charge but he bez sick often even before he bez dying of Dragonpox. Transfer much power to Master James he did," Gremlin said sadly. "Dumblydorz contract bez subtle and bez supposedly only for war effort. Yet few bez realizing how open-ended Dumblydorz wording actually bez."
Luna snorted at this while Harry scowled, "I'm betting he worded it as more of a war against evil and for the greater good. That way it would continue after the war ended."
"That and since Voldemort didn't actually die that Halloween, it meant the contracts would still have force behind it," Luna pointed out.
"Yes that bez exactly what happened," Gremlin said before starting to cough again. It was obvious he would not live long regardless of the magic Harry was lending him.
"Dumblydorz also bez using his power as Master Harry's magical guardian to further take what bez not his. He bez sending his cat-witch to take and take. Not long ago, she bez even taking from the Hogwarts fund which bez not even officially part of House Potter. Bad, bad business which bez quietly done with no one bez saying anything. It bez such a sad day when such bez allowed."
Gremlin finally opened his eyes and smiled a very satisfied smile, "Yet we Potter elves, we bez getting revenge. Gold we bez not able to protect, almost all the lands bez lost but we bez saving the artifacts, we bez saving the portraits and such. Most importantly we bez saving the records. Master Harry, you bez able to prove what was House Potter some day and magic bez agreeing with youz."
"What else is there, Gremlin? And you mentioned an elf named Delphi. Where is she?" Harry asked.
Gremlin shook his head, "I bez not sure. During the Voldymortz war, Master James bez finding a strike to be made against the Domus Devovitia."
"What's that?" Harry interrupted.
"It's the formal name of Potter Manor. It was a beautiful place, Harry. One of the best ancestral homes in all of England. It was in Upper Poppleton by York before it was destroyed," Luna said.
To both of their surprised, Gremlin coughed and shook his head, "That bez not all correct, Missy Goodylovz. Potter Manor bez hidden in plain sight. Wizards bez traveling by floo or apparating. Nobody bez actually going to places by footz! Potters bez telling the Domus Devovitia bez in Upper Poppleton but it bez not."
"So Voldemort didn't destroy it?" Harry asked.
Gremlin shook his head again, "Master James bez hiding it. Missy Lily bez giving him the idea. They bez doing a ritual which bez like a notice-me-not charm. Magicals bez thinking they are seeing a Muggle place. Master James bez having us elves build a fake Manor for Voldymortz to attack. True manor still there in Malton. Muggles bez thinking it be a fancy place to stay. It bez that way to this day. Delphi must bez staying there, though or the spell bez failing. It bez the same with me. Even with the spells, if we bez leaving to find youz, Dumblydorz would know. He might bez able to find us and steal back what we bez saving. We bez having to wait for youz, Master Harry.
Gremlin sighed closed his eyes again and went silent. After a moment he opened his eyes, his voice coming out in a tired whisper, "Delphi bez okay. Much magic bez at Domus Devovitia. Not like here. This bez a new place and only Master Charles and a few friends ever bez staying here. I bez sorry Master Harry."
Harry shook his head and smiled fondly at the old elf. Harry realized that the elf had been hanging on out of sheer willpower but now that he was here, even Harry's magic wasn't enough to keep Death at bay. "There is nothing to feel sorry for. Without your sacrifice, I would have never found out what had happened and why. You are a true friend to House Potter and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
"Thank youz, Master Harry. Delphi bez able to tell what more there bez to tell. I bez protecting Master Charles' private belongings here. The rest bez at Domus Devovitia and safe. But I bez making sure many powerful things bez here. Things youz bez needing against Voldymortz and Dumblydorz. I bez saving them for youz, Master Harry. All for youz…"
Harry's heart sank as he watched as the life faded from the old elf's eyes.
"Loyal to the last," Luna said softly, tears in her eyes."He truly held duty in his heart till the last."
Harry nodded. A lot of people had died around Harry. Yet for the first time, Harry did not feel ashamed but only could marvel at the loyalty the elf had shown in hanging on with only hope to cling to.
He would be remembered. Harry wouldn't let Gremlin and all the other elves' sacrifice be lost and forgotten. "Dobby!"
After a longer than normal pause, Dobby popped into existence looking confused. "I bez here Master Harry but I bez not sure where I bez!"
"It doesn't matter Dobby. What does matter is that Gremlin, this elf, has done House Potter a service up and beyond what anyone might ask of an elf. I want you to take his body and keep it safe. I have learned my family's home is hidden. I want Gremlin to be interned there in the family plot with honor some day. Can you do that for me Dobby?" Harry asked.
Dobby straightened up as if at attention, "It bez Dobby's honor to bez taking care of Gremlin's remains, Master Harry! It shall bez as you commandz!"
Harry looked at Luna, "Should we give Dobby the secret?"
Luna shook her head, "No. As much as he is a Potter elf now. He was a Malfoy elf before that as well as working at Hogwarts. Better not take the chance." Luna looked at Dobby, "I am sure you would never betray Harry but we play for high stakes and cannot afford any mistakes."
Dobby snapped his fingers and Gremlin's body was suddenly in an elf sized coffin, "Dobby bez understanding Missy Goodylovz. Dobby bez knowing about secrets and plots! Best Dobby bez not knowing. Master Harry can always call Dobby. I always bez able to find the Great Master Harry!" With that both he and the coffin disappeared with a loud pop.
"Creepy how elves always seem to know when you have nothing further for them," Harry said.
Luna shrugged, "Another one of those mysteries of magic. We don't have much time before we have to get back to Hogwarts. Best we dig in and see what we can find among these artifacts. I am interested in seeing what Gremlin thought you would need. As old as your House is, it is almost a certainty there is some very powerful artifacts here. Considering the Headmaster has the Elder Wand, you may need it."
Harry nodded as he looked around the room for a logical place to start given all the clutter. As much as Gremlin had saved items, it was obvious he hadn't had the strength to do more than stash everything haphazardly. Not that Harry minded. Finding out that not only did the ancestral Potter house still stood, the legacy of his family had been saved. Galleons could be replaced unlike the items he saw before him.
Of course he still had to deal with Dumbledore before he could even hope to undue the damage to his House. Luna was right about that.
Going up against Death Eaters was one thing. Going up against Voldemort was another. But both came with mostly known risks. The Headmaster remained an enigma which needed to be unraveled before Harry looked him in the eye, asked him why before the end.
A/N: I had planned to make this chapter longer, but I think, in retrospect, that a lot of them going through the stuff at the cottage can be done in a flashback next chapter rather than prolong this one. Plus I think that content will go better with what is coming next chapter. (Which I might add, will tie up one of my dangly plot lines and set the stage to resolve another)
All Hallows On Sea: As much as I like to use real world things, this base only existed in WW I. Yet with a name like All Hallows, I couldn't resist making using it for a stand in for a real RAF base of the time like the one at RAF Bekesbourne. I know it's stupid to apologize for making something up in a story which involves magic but hey, I like my attention-to-detail to be as real as possible. Oh and it's actually Ratcliffe Hwy but I couldn't help the one letter change!
Curse-Breaker Trick: Actually it's also an old scouting trick I learned once from my platoon sergeant who at one time was the First Sergeant for a scouting company. My intel section was trying to figure out where the OPFOR might have their supply caches but the terrain in eastern Oregon is pretty sparse. He told us about scouts used the terrain the best they could. So me and a fellow analyst used this to predict where the cache site might be and what do you know a few days later some of the ground pounders came back and congratulated us for being dead on! It once again showed why intel sections always had a combat arms guy in some sort of leadership role. They were there as a resource.