Disclaimer: This is all Clell's fault, I suggest imprisonment and stoning.
In response to the blinking light on his phone, he reached down with a gloved hand and picked up the receiver.
"Sir," the tinny voice on the other hand began. "We believe that we've located Mother Owl's private residence."
"Scorched earth," a menacing voice growled.
Harry was at the train station waiting for his uncle to pick him up for another summer from hell, when the unexpected happened. Hedwig came out of nowhere and landed on his shoulder.
"Hey, girl," Harry greeted his owl. "I thought we were going to meet up back at the hell hole?"
"Preck," Hedwig said quickly. "Preck preck."
"I don't think my minders would be very happy if I did that," Harry sighed.
"Preck," Hedwig demanded.
"It's not that I have a problem with not staying with the Dursleys this summer, but don't you think Dumbledore will have something to say about it?" Harry sighed.
"Prick," she dismissed his concerns as inconsequential.
"He can be," Harry agreed. "But he's still the Headmaster."
"Terrorists?" Harry exclaimed. "How do you know that terrorists are going to attack?"
"Preck preck," Hedwig barked slowly. "Preck preck preck, preck. Preck preck."
"Official Secrets Act?" He said in surprise.
"No, I understand that you can't tell me."
"Just going to find a pay phone," Harry explained. "Just because they're all going to be horrifically murdered isn't an excuse not to be polite."
"Preck," Hedwig conceded the point.
Harry fed a coin into the slot and dialed the number to Vernon's office. "It's me, Uncle Vernon," Harry identified himself. "Yeah, I know you told me never to call you . . . I got your number off the emergency contact list on the fridge . . . copied it down in case I ever needed it . . . just wanted to let you know that I won't need a ride . . . apparently we're all being targeted by terrorists, so I'm going into hiding . . . probably torturing Dudley to death as we speak." Harry frowned. "How rude, he hung up on me."
"Preck, preck pricks."
"I know we can't expect his sort to show any manners, it's still rude."
"I could go for some bacon," Harry agreed. "Let's go."
"Your treat, where'd you get money?"
"Wow, really?" Harry gave a low whistle.
The faceless minions calmly walked out of the Dursley residence only moments before it exploded.
"Sir," one of the minions whispered into his phone. "We've finished the job here, no sign of Mother Owl." He listened to his superior's instructions. "Yes, sir, we'll be there as soon as we can."
Harry leaned back, gave a satisfied belch, and loosened his belt two notches. "Man," he moaned. "That was the best bacon I've ever had. "How did you find this place?"
"Preck," Hedwig replied.
"Well tell them thanks for me, it was amazing."
"Go ahead." He pushed his plate towards the owl. "I couldn't eat another bite."
Hedwig quickly gobbled up the left over bacon and hopped onto Harry's shoulder. "Preck."
"Yeah," he agreed. "Better not stay in one place too long."
He paid for their meal and walked out of the restaurant and in the general direction of Diagon Alley.
"There they are," a distant scream disturbed their stroll. "Get them."
"The terrorists?" Harry asked.
"Preck," Hedwig confirmed. "Preck preck," she instructed.
"But I don't know how to hot wire a car," Harry protested, shame faced.
"Preck?" Just what were they teaching in that school? "Preck, preck preck preck," she walked him through the procedure as the terrorists sprayed their position with gunfire.
"Got it," Harry said in a tone of deep satisfaction. "Now get us out of here."
"Preck," Hedwig sniffed.
"Yeah," Harry agreed. "I suppose it would be difficult if you couldn't reach the pedals." Not to mention the lack of thumbs but he was much too polite to point that bit out. "Alright, get in the passenger seat." Harry shifted into gear, stomped down on the accelerator, and took off the parking brake causing the car to shoot down the road towards the terrorists.
"Preck," Hedwig said calmly.
"I can't just run them down like that," Harry protested. KER-THUMP, the car jumped as it crushed two unlucky terrorists. "Or maybe I can," he said thoughtfully. "Really thought they'd jump out of the way or something." Harry made a quick bootlegger's turn and dispatched two more terrorists that were too slow to jump out of the way. "This is easy," Harry cheered.
A quick check to the rear view mirror revealed that the surviving terrorists had piled into a van and were giving chase.
"Preck," Hedwig demanded.
"I can't do that," Harry protested. "Using magic is strictly forbidden during summer vacation. And, uh . . . I might have left my wand in my trunk."
"Preck," Hedwig cursed.
"Yeah," Harry agreed. "Won't make that mistake again."
The car spun around a corner and Harry was delighted to see someone pushing a fruit stand across the road, a quick turn of the wheel put them on a collision course and a few seconds later the street was covered in shattered watermelon.
"It's traditional," Harry explained. "Hoping to find two guys moving a gigantic pane of glass across the road next."
"Action movies mostly," Harry said absently. He glanced over and noticed something different about the owl. "Where'd you get that fedora?" Harry asked.
"Preck?" Hedwig replied. "Preck preck."
"Official Secrets Act again?" Harry said in surprise. "Well, it looks good on you."
After a quick car chase down the suspiciously traffic free streets of central London, Harry managed to evade their pursuers by jumping his car over a canal. The landing killed their suspension of course, but the car managed to hold together until the engine fell out in front of the Leaky Cauldron.
"Preck," Hedwig suggested.
"Good idea," Harry agreed. He dragged his heavy trunk up to the bar and waved to catch the bartender's attention.
"What can I do for you, Harry?" Tom asked with a smile.
"Is there any way I could persuade you to let me leave my trunk here for a while?" Harry asked hopefully. "Seems there's a group of terrorists after me this summer and I'm going to need to be able to travel light."
"No problem, Harry," Tom agreed. "Just can't keep outta trouble, eh?"
"Guess not," Harry agreed cheerfully. He pulled a couple things that out of his trunk and walked out the back to the alley.
"Why would we want to go on a shopping spree?" Harry asked with a frown. "We just ditched my trunk so we would be able to travel light."
"Preck," Hedwig clarified.
"That makes more sense," Harry agreed. "Next stop, Gringotts." Ignoring the odd looks the passers by shot him, Harry continued his conversation with Hedwig until he was in the bank and it was his turn at the counter.
"Key," the goblin barked.
"Don't have a key," Harry said, "I've got a . . ."
"Next," the goblin interrupted rudely.
"Number and a code word," Harry finished.
"What is the account number," the goblin demanded.
"Four two six five seven nine one zero one one zero two five six four six six two zero zero one nine . . . uh . . ."
"Preck preck preck," Hedwig supplied.
"That's right, seven four five," Harry said quickly.
"What is the code word, sir?" The goblin asked nervously.
"It's more of a code phrase," Harry said. "Should be; the quick white owl swooped down and ate the stupid fox because owls are better then foxes. They're apex predators, don't you know. Nothing is better then an owl." Harry shot his familiar an odd look. "Are you the one that thinks of these code phrases."
"Preck?" Hedwig asked innocently.
"This way, sir," the goblin waved his obviously unbalanced customer towards a mine wagon. "Brassballs will take you to your vault."
"Thanks," Harry said cheerfully.
The goblin waited till the mine cart was out of sight before hurrying off to notify his superiors.
The shift manager took the news with the calm and dignity that was expected of one in his position, that is to say he wet himself and began crying like a little girl. Why in the hell couldn't the Potter brat have waited till after the shift change before accessing an account owned by THE AGENCY, worse why did the Potter brat have to use Mother Owl's authorization to access the vault?
"It gets worse, sir," the teller said sickly. "The Potter is an orphan."
"Summon the orphan account manager," the shift manager ordered.
"He's waiting outside, sir."
"Then send him in," the shift manager demanded.
"You called for me?" The orphan account manager asked in an oily tone.
"A matter has been brought to my attention and I need a bit of information from you," the shift manager said with as much calm as he could manage.
"What is it?"
"Have you been skimming a bit from the Potter boy's vaults?"
"Of course," the other goblin agreed. "It's standard procedure when dealing with orphans." And the whole reason there was a manager in charge of orphan accounts, wouldn't do to accidentally skim from an account where it would be noticed.
"Guards," the shift manager screamed shrilly. "Stop the former orphan account manager. Oh no, he's resisting arrest."
"Wha . . ." A fine goblin steel blade separated the former orphan account's manager's head from his body before the surprised goblin could utter a word of protest. Having a ready scapegoat was the other reason behind the creation of the orphan accounts manager's position.
Harry made a sizable withdrawal from Hedwig's expense account and was more then a bit surprised when a large delegation of goblins met him at the surface.
"Sir," the lead goblin said politely. "It has come to our attention that your former account manager has been embezzling funds from your account. We at Gringotts would like to assure you that every last galleon will be accounted for and returned to your account with interest."
"Gee, thanks," Harry said happily.
"Preck," Hedwig interjected.
"Yeah, Harry agreed, "might be a good idea to have the agency do an independent audit to make sure he wasn't stealing from any other accounts."
"PRECK." Hedwig ignored the panicking goblins.
"That's what I said, the agency."
"Preck preck preck, PRECK."
"Oh, got it, all capital letters."
"Yeah," Harry agreed. "Kinda strange, least they don't have a pause for dramatic effect before their name."
"Preck," Hedwig sighed.
"The next budget request, huh."
"Preck preck, preck preck preck." Hedwig paused to think for a few moments. "Preck preck, preck."
"Guess we'd better get started then," Harry said. "Come on, Hedwig, let's go."
The duo left the bank and Harry waved goodbye to Tom as they walked through the Cauldron on their way to normal London.
It took a few minutes of looking, but Harry soon managed to find an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition.
"Got your seatbelt on, Hedwig?" Harry asked.
"Preck," Hedwig agreed.
"Then let's get out of here," Harry said as he pulled away from the curb.
"Preck," Hedwig commented.
"Really?" Harry couldn't believe his good fortune. "Did you arrange that?"
"Preck," Hedwig replied.
"You expect me to believe that a couple cops just left their unmarked car parked with the keys in the ignition?" Harry asked skeptically.
"Preck," Hedwig sniffed.
"Not everyone can be a professional like you," Harry said quickly. "Still, you're right, it does reek of incompetence."
"No way we were lucky enough to get an armed unit," Harry laughed.
"Of course I'm going to check it anyway," Harry agreed. "So now that we've got wheels again, what should we do?"
"Preck preck, preck."
"I mean in the short term," Harry replied. "Unless you expect me to believe that we'll be able to hunt down and eliminate the leader of the terrorists before dinner."
"Preck," Hedwig conceded.
A sudden and terrible thought occurred to Harry. "You think my friends will be okay?" Harry asked.
"Preck, preck preck."
"You're right, better go see Hermione to make sure she's okay."
"But what about her parents?" Harry asked.
"Professional courtesy, huh?"
"Preck," Hedwig shuddered.
"Yeah," Harry agreed. "No way anyone's gonna mess with a couple dentists." Harry's head swiveled back and fourth until finally, he found his target.
"Calling ahead, it's the polite thing to do after all."
"I guess now's as good a time as any to check the boot," Harry agreed. He made a quick call to Hermione's house before popping the boot to have a look. "Damn. Looks like we are that lucky, Hedwig," Harry called out.
"Preck," Hedwig replied smugly.
Hermione bound into the sitting room with a wide smile on her fact to tell her parents the good news.
"Harry's coming to visit," Hermione announced.
"One of the boys you hang around with at school?" Her mother asked.
"Yes, mum," Hermione agreed.
"The unlucky one that couldn't live without you or the one that couldn't pour piss from a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel?"
"The unlucky one, mum," Hermione explained.
"I'll set an extra place at the table then, shall I?"
"Thanks mum," Hermione said cheerfully.
Hermione waited until she saw Harry coming up the front walk to inform her parents about the one aspect of her best friend's personality that she, and everyone else in Gryffindor, found a bit unsettling.
"Uh . . . there's something I haven't told you about Harry," Hermione admitted to her parents.
"What is it, darling?" Her father asked suspiciously. If that little punk had impregnated his baby girl . . . well, let's just say the boy would never again be able to hear the words 'is it safe?' without wetting himself.
"He talks to his owl," Hermione confessed.
"Lot's of people talk to their pets, darling," her father said, blood pressure dropping.
"Not like Harry does," Hermione promised. She threw open the door and enveloped her best friend in a bone crunching hug. "How'd you get Dumbledore to agree to let you get away from the Dursleys?"
"Turns out I'm being targeted by terrorists this summer and I'll be killed if I go back," Harry replied, ignoring the question about Dumbledore. "Dursleys have probably all been tortured to death and the house burned down anyway."
"Oh." Hermione nodded, par for the course as far as Harry's life was concerned. "Did you have any trouble finding this place?"
"Nope, your directions were good," Harry said. "And, um, regarding those terrorists."
"Yes?" Hermione prompted.
"Good chance they'll be able to connect you to me, so we're here to make sure you're okay and to ask if you want to come with us this summer."
"Why don't we discuss that later?" Hermione's father interjected smoothly. "After dinner."
"Preck," Hedwig admonished.
"Sorry," Harry said contritely. "I didn't mean to be rude."
"Not at all," her mother said with a smile. "Now, why don't you have a seat at the table so the dinner I made doesn't go to waste."
What followed was one of the best dinners that Harry had ever had. Every dish was cooked to perfection. Harry had always considered himself a fairly good cook. After what he'd just experienced, he wasn't sure could even class himself as competent.
"Preck preck." Hedwig gave a satisfied belch. "Preck."
"I agree," Harry said with a grin. "One of the better meals we've had this summer, and that's saying a lot."
"I put myself through dental school as a sous chef," Hermione's mother explained with a pleased grin.
"I suppose so," Harry agreed.
Hermione couldn't contain herself any longer. "Harry," she said sweetly. "Could I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure, Hermione. What's up?"
"In the other room," she demanded. Hermione grabbed her friend by the arm and dragged him out.
"Afraid she's always been that high-strung," Hermione's mother agreed. "Gets it from her father's side."
"We're just happy she has friends like you and Harry," Hermione's father said quickly. "Or we would have to institutionalize her."
"We wouldn't want to impose on you and Harry like that," Hermione's mother said quickly.
"Preck," Hedwig assured the couple.
"Thank you then, it's a load off our minds to know that someone will be looking after her," Hermione's father breathed a sigh of relief.
"Preck preck preck."
"Of course you can take her along with you," Hermione's mother said. "But I wouldn't worry too much about those pesky terrorists."
"My husband and I are both high ranking members of the British Dental Association," she said with a feral smile. "And we'll be sending some of the lads over to have a little discussion with them."
"Preck," Hedwig requested.
"I don't know that they can be more sadistic then they normally are," Hermione's father said thoughtfully.
"It's always nice to push your limits though," Hermione's mother added.
Hermione returned a few minutes later and dropped into her chair with a huff. Honestly, why couldn't Harry just listen to and follow every one of her 'recommendations?' Life would be much more pleasant and she'd have more time to focus on her other 'project.'
"Hermione," her mother said with a smile. "Your father and I have decided that you may go with Harry for the rest of the summer if you wish."
"I can, mum?" Hermione asked, a bit incredulous that they were allowing their teenaged daughter to go off alone with a teenaged boy.
"We don't see any harm in it," her father agreed. Not after Hedwig agreed to act as a chaperone anyway.
"Uh . . . we better get going, Harry," Hermione said quickly. The girl was eager to get out of there before her parents had a chance to think about what they were doing.
"Alright," Harry agreed. "Thank you for having me," he said politely as Hermione dragged him out of the house.
"Have a good summer, dear," her mother called out. "Be sure to mind Hedwig."
"So where are we going?" Hermione asked.
"I parked over here," Harry replied, leading Hermione to his new car.
"Wow." Hermione was a bit impressed, she'd expected to have to spend the summer riding busses. She opened the passenger door and was surprised when Harry stopped her from getting in.
"Sorry, but you're going to have to sit in the back," Harry said regretfully.
"What?" Hermione asked flatly.
"The front passenger seat is Hedwig's spot," Harry explained. "I need her there to give me directions."
"Honestly, I . . ." Hermione trailed off when she noticed the fedora-wearing owl in the front seat. "How did she get that seat belt on?" The confused girl murmured, allowing herself to be placed in the back of the car. "And why is there a cage separating the front and the back of the car?"
"It's an unmarked police car," Harry replied as they pulled away from Hermione's house.
"Harry, why are you driving an unmarked police car?" Hermione asked sweetly. "Come to think of it, how is it you have a license?"
"Cause I was lucky to find one with the keys in the ignition and I don't have one," Harry answered. Gunning the engine, the car roared down the street.
The Chief Editor of the Quibbler sighed as his top reporter flounced into his office with her usual disrespect.
"You called for me, Chief?" The reporter said with an impudent grin, propping her feet up on his desk.
"Get your feet off my desk, Lovegood," the Chief growled. "Need to know a few things about one of your sources."
"You know I never give up a source," the reporter growled back, her eyes flashing.
"You've already been publicly linked to this one," the Chief assured his reporter.
"Which one?" She asked.
"What about him?" She scratched her chin, more then a bit annoyed by the lack of stubble. How was she supposed to be an unshaven hard-boiled reporter if she didn't need to shave?
"What are your impressions of him?"
"Harry's nice, but he's a bit odd," Luna replied absently.
"He pretends to have conversations with his owl to cultivate the image that he's a crazed eccentric," Luna explained.
"That way everyone underestimates him, allowing Harry to stay under the radar. Brilliant."
"He is," Luna agreed. "Why did you ask, father?"
"My sources tell me that Harry Potter is rumored to be a top agent for a mysterious agency known only as THE AGENCY," he said softly. "And that he's been spending his summer dispatching terrorists and causing havoc."
"Hmmmm, that does sound like Harry," Luna agreed. "Did he have Hermione and Ron with him?"
"The reports did mention a high-strung girl with bushy hair," her father replied.
"That would be Hermione," Luna said. "I'm surprised they haven't picked up Ron yet."
"And I'm surprised that you didn't realize this was a perfect time to use that hide we constructed to stake out the Weasley house."
A chill went up Hermione's spine when she noticed that the black van behind them was the same black van that had been following them for the past fifteen minutes.
"Harry," she said with as much calm as she could muster. "We're being followed."
"Yep," Harry agreed. "Probably the terrorists again. I've been leading them to an isolated section of town so we can find out one way or another."
"Why are you dong that?" Hermione demanded. "Shouldn't we go to the police?"
"Cause if we're in an isolated area then there's less chance that innocent bystanders will get hurt and normal police won't be able to do much against hardened terrorists," Harry said reasonably.
"Harry, I . . ."
A burst of gunfire from the van silenced whoever Hermione's was about to say and confirmed that the men in the van were indeed terrorists.
"Time to go to work," Harry said cheerfully. He gunned the engine for a few seconds before executing a neat bootlegger's turn. Throwing the car into reverse and ignoring the screaming girl in the backseat, Harry floored it while leaning out the side window to return fire.
"Preck," Hedwig critiqued.
"Thanks," Harry replied. He adjusted his point of aim and fired off three quick rounds. "Think I got the driver."
"Are you sure?" Harry asked in surprise. "We've got a chance to finish off this right now."
"Preck," Hedwig said firmly.
"If you say so," Harry agreed. Another bootlegger's turn later and Harry was speeding away from the scene of his first gunfight.
"A royale with cheese, huh?" Harry nodded thoughtfully. "I didn't know that. Did you, Hermione?"
Hermione ignored the question in favor of wrapping her arms around her legs and rocking back and fourth.
"Preck," Hedwig said professionally.
"I can't do that," Harry said with a blush.
"I can do that," Harry agreed. "Tell me when you see a liquor store."
"Preck," Hedwig admonished him.
"I know that off-license is the correct term, but all those action movies were American and they haven't steered me wrong so far," Harry retorted.
"Preck," Hedwig conceded. "Preck preck."
"Right," Harry agreed. A spin of the wheel and a bit of braking caused the car to do several figure eights before a perfect parallel park.
"This driving stuff is easy, you want to give it a try, Hermione?" Harry looked back to see his best friend laying limply in the back staring at nothing. "Must have been really tired."
"Preck," Hedwig said scornfully.
"Not everyone is up to a life of action like us, Hedwig," Harry defended his best friend. "Besides, she was always fine with magical dangers. Maybe she isn't so good in the real world."
"Preck preck preck."
"That's sick," Harry laughed. "Where did you hear that?"
Still laughing, Harry stepped out of the car and walked into the store to buy a bottle of something potent to help calm Hermione's nerves.
He walked out a few minutes later and came face to face with what looked like a zillion armed police officers.
"We have you surrounded," an important looking one called out. "Give up or face the full might of the London Metropolitan Police."
Off to the side, Harry could see Hermione asserting that she'd played no part in his numerous crimes and that despite those numerous crimes, Harry really was a good boy.
"Um, I think there's been a misunderstanding," Harry said loudly. Hedwig had told him it would be alright after all.
The Chief was about to reply when one of his flunkies appeared and whispered something into the man's ear.
"Right, sorry bout that," the suddenly friendly Chief said with a forced grin. "Crossed wires and all that."
"Don't worry about it," Harry said magnanimously. "Everyone makes mistakes." Hedwig swooped down and landed on his shoulder.
"Preck preck," she prompted.
"Right," Harry whispered back. "I don't have to remind you not to talk about this, do I?" He had an embarrassed look on his face. "Sorry bout that, but I had to mention it."
"Quite alright," the Chief assured him. "Spent some time in the regiment, so I know how these things can go."
"Don't suppose you could spare some ammunition?" Harry asked hopefully. "Had a running gunfight earlier and used up most of mine on a van full of terrorists."
"No problem." The Chief made a gesture and several officers loaded up Harry's car with several useful things, finishing it all off with an unhappy Hermione in the back seat.
"I'll just be going then," Harry said as he stepped into the car. "Thanks for all the help."
"No problem, lad," the Chief replied.
"Sir," one of the officers said softly. "Who are they?"
"Not too sure," the Chief replied. "All I know is that the boy is some sort of hot shot agent that's liquidated several of her majesty's enemies."
Molly stepped out of the house with a pot full of tea and a put upon expression on her face.
"Would either of you two like some tea?" She asked reluctantly. Just because her neighbors were bloody loons was no reason not to be polite.
"You can see us?" Luna asked in astonishment.
"I can see you," Molly agreed.
"Then yes, please," Luna agreed.
"How did you detect us?" Luna's father asked.
"Camouflage is supposed to blend into the background," Molly explained. "Therefore, neon pink is usually a poor color to use."
"I told you we should have used neon orange," Luna muttered.
"But I like pink," Luna's father protested.
"Mind telling me what it's about this time?" Molly asked.
"We're hunting Harry Potters," Luna explained.
"Be very very quiet," her father added.
"I'd better be sure to air out the spare bedding in case Harry drops by," Molly said thoughtfully. "Thank you for telling me."
"No problem, Molly," Luna's father said with a grin. "It's the neighborly thing to do."
Harry glanced into the rear view mirror to confirm that yes, Hermione was still clutching her new bottle of scotch like it was the only thing in the world that mattered to her.
"Don't you think you should go easy on that?" Harry asked.
"Don't you think you should shut up?" Hermione retorted, taking another deep pull.
"Who knew Hermione was a mean drunk," Harry said thoughtfully.
"Preck preck, preck."
"You're right, it's always the quiet ones."
"Preck preck preck preck preck, preck."
"Oh god that's foul," Harry responded between bouts of laughter and dry heaves.
"Ge'me nother bottle," Hermione slurred.
"I think you've had enough," Harry replied.
"Ge'me nother bottle or ah'll cu'yer bloody balls off," Hermione growled.
"Right, hang on a tick," Harry said nervously. He pulled over and rummaged around for a few seconds.
"Bloody now," Hermione demanded.
"Here you go," Harry said quickly. The bottle was snatched out of his hands and he watched in wonder as Hermione downed half of it.
"Preck," Hedwig said in wonder.
"You said it," Harry agreed.
Luckily, the amount of alcohol in Hermione's system soon over came the girl's mighty tolerance and she passed out into a drunken slumber.
"Preck," Hedwig barked.
"Yeah," Harry agreed. "Best call her mum."
"You've got a phone?" Harry asked in delight. "Where is it?"
"Preck preck preck."
"Right," he agreed. Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out Hedwig's phone.
"What's the Granger's number?"
"Preck preck preck, preck preck preck preck. Preck preck. Preck preck, preck preck."
Harry followed Hedwig's instructions and dialed the number. The phone rang three times before it was picked up.
"Hello, Mrs. Granger … yeah, it's Hermione . . . no, she's not sick or anything. It's just, we gave her some alcohol to calm her nerves and now she won't stop drinking." He cocked his head. "Yeah, mean drunk . . . I can't do that!" he exclaimed with a deep blush. "No it's not that, I'm physically incapable of doing it . . .yeah . . . okay . . . yeah . . . right." Harry sighed, the things he did for friendship.
"She says we need to to back to Diagon Alley," Harry replied.
"Book shopping," Harry said with an embarrassed smile. "Something I should have thought of."
"Thanks, but it's still something I should have thought of. Have been her friend since bloody first year after all."
"Well, that's convenient." Who knew there was a magical bookshop right around the corner?
Harry parked his car, walked into the bookstore, and took a look around.
"What can I do for you, lad?" the man behind the counter asked.
"I need a book," Harry replied, sounding a lot less suave then he'd intended.
"Well, this is a bookstore," the man pointed out helpfully. "What sort of book are you looking for?"
"Do you have anything like the book 'Hogwarts a History?' Cause it would be just swell if you did," Harry said hopefully.
"Not unless you want to buy the boxed set."
"The publishing house released the whole 'A History' boxed set along with the new edition of 'Hogwarts: A History' and this time it's all unabridged."
"I'll take it," Harry said. "How much do I owe you?"
"Five hundred Galleons," the man replied.
Harry paid the man and carried the massive set of books back to the car and dumped them in the trunk. He then selected a book at random from the set, closed the trunk, opened the passenger door, and carefully waved it under his best friend's nose.
Hermione's nose twitched a couple times and then her eyes shot open. "Kittens: A History?" She squealed in delight. "Oh Harry, thank you."
"No problem, Hermione," Harry said grandly. He glanced into the rear view mirror and confirmed that, yep, she was completely distracted. After running down another street mime to be sure that Hermione had returned back to normal and wasn't about to start screaming any time soon, Harry drove off the sidewalk and back into traffic.
A few minutes later, Harry was sitting at a stop light watching a single solitary pedestrian make his way across the road.
"PRECK!" Hedwig said suddenly.
"You sure? Harry asked.
"Preck," Hedwig said grimly.
"Right," Harry agreed. He waited until the pedestrian was crossing in front of the car before he gunned the engine and knocked the man down.
The sudden jolt caused Hermione to look up from her book. "Did you know that the word 'kitten' is also an alternative name for the young of some rodents, such as rats, rabbits, hedgehogs, beavers, squirrels and skunks?"
"No I didn't," Harry said as he stepped out of the car to check on their victim. "He's not dead," he reported.
"Preck," Hedwig ordered.
It wasn't easy, but Harry managed to load the terrorist into the trunk (boot) of the car by himself.
"Preck, preck preck."
"Right," Harry agreed. "Tell me if you see a good looking warehouse."
Under Hedwig's expert direction, it didn't take long for Harry to find and break into an abandoned warehouse. A couple minutes of quick study and he was ready to do what he had to do.
The terrorist was awoken by a bucket of cold water to the face and Harry was kind enough to allow the man a couple minutes to get over his disorientation.
"Hi," the boy said with a smile. "I'm Ha . . ."
"Preck," Hedwig said sternly.
"Right," Harry agreed. "No names. I'm someone you don't need to know the name of, and this owl is also someone you don't need to know the name of. You are someone we do need to know the name of and we're going to find out what it is."
"Preck," Hedwig commanded.
"I'm sorry," Harry said regretfully. "But Hedwig says I have to torture you now."
"Meh," the gagged terrorist mumbled confidently, sure that the kid in front of him didn't have the guts.
"Oh, sorry. Forgot to remove the gag so you could talk." Harry undid the gag. "What was that?"
"I said you don't have the guts, kid." The terrorist laughed. "And that whole crazy act of yours needs work."
Harry glanced at his owl who shrugged in reply.
"Okay. Well, first off I'm going to be using this soldering iron I found in one of the desks."
"Preck," Hedwig suggested.
"I can't just blind him," Harry protested. "I have to work up to that. You know, burn him on the cheek or something first."
"Preck," Hedwig challenged.
"I'm sure you've tortured more people then I have," Harry agreed. "But the book said that I should start out slow until I get more advanced."
"Preck," Hedwig conceded. "Preck preck, preck."
"Thank you, I'll keep that in mind."
"Haven't seen her for a while, why?" Harry asked.
"Harry Potter," Hermione growled. "Just what do you think you're doing?"
"And so, good cop arrives," the terrorist sneered.
Harry held up a book. "It's on page one oh six."
"Torture: A History," Hermione read the title. "Do you mind if I read it?" She asked hopefully, completely forgetting about the bound terrorist.
"Sure," Harry agreed. "But you might want to do it in another room, it's going to get loud in here."
"Thank you, Harry," Hermione said politely. The girl took the book and happily skipped out of the room.
"Now then," Harry said, turning back to his guest. "The iron is hot and we can begin."
"I was just trying to set the mood," Harry said as he brought the soldering iron up to the man's face.
"Nice bluff, kid. But I told you, you don't have the arrrrggg."
"This is the point where I threaten to put it in his eye, right?"
"Right," Harry agreed. "Talk or I'll be forced to put this in your left eye causing the fluid inside to flash boil and your eye to explode."
"Doesn't matter, I could just as easily take out his right eye."
"Okay," Harry agreed. "Talk or Hedwig and I will flip a coin to see which eye I blind you in."
"You. . . you really are crazy," the terrorist said in horrified wonder.
The terrified man spilled everything he knew about the operation, hoping in vain that it would be enough to buy back his life.
"I want you to know that I really appreciate what you've told us," Harry said with a happy grin. "Really makes our job easier, right Hedwig?"
"Preck," the owl agreed. "Preck preck."
"Unfortunately for you, you heard my name," Harry sighed. "Hedwig says that means we can't let you live." The boy raised his pistol and fired in one quick motion, putting a bullet right between the man's eyes. "Up for going back to that bacon place?"
"Preck," Hedwig agreed, she was always up for bacon.
AN: Leaving the credits till the last chapter and the omake till the chapter after that. Till then, start saving your loose change.