What you see before you is the product of many days of planning, many nights' studious work, and then many MORE nights' worth of editing and organizing. Extraordinary was an idea in my head long before I made it my 2010 NaNoWriMo project. I've completed that contest, making this fic the longest thing I have ever written.
I am very, very pleased with how it turned out. I hope that you will like it, too. I'm aware that practically every Drarry writer on this site has done something like this, but I feel like I've added enough of my own original touches to make this stand out. But, yes, it is my take on events from the end of the war until the epilogue (it complies with the epilogue, actually). I've tried to stay true to canon as much as possible, but for the sake of plot, I've put Lucius and Narcissa in Azkaban rather than letting them go free as Jo would.
Sorry for "talking" your "ear" off over here. I promise I won't have an A/N this long again. Please, enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry, Draco, Ron, or any other part of the wonderful Harry Potter universe. I write out of pure love for the series and for personal pleasure, not monetary gain.
His footsteps were loud in the enclosed street, bouncing around the brick walls, assaulting the ears from all directions. Yet Harry Potter's were light in pursuit, silent even on the cobblestones. And they were gaining, although the suspect- a big, burly guy with a slight crick in his neck- was unaware of this.
Harry thought that there was nothing better than being an Auror. After all he'd been through, he couldn't see himself doing anything else. And, at only nineteen years old, he was the youngest on the force, the youngest in the history of the force. Well, actually, that wasn't so great; it added to the clamoring and autograph requests and general annoyances of his celebrity status.
But, such was to be expected for defeating the most evil wizard ever known. With that finite crash decades of uncertainty, fear, and loss came to an end... in an ideal world, that is. In the real world, while Voldemort was dead (good and truly this time), his supporters still remained, scattering on the wind like seeds.
To prevent them from sprouting more evil, Kingsley- or, Minister Shacklebolt, as he was properly called now- had made it priority number one to recruit the best Auror force possible. Many of the veterans having been lost- Harry's heart still gave a painful jolt when he remembered Moody and Tonks- it was up to the next generation to fill the void.
To this end, Kingsley had approached Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dean, Seamus, Neville, and a few others who were instrumental in the final battle and in the resistance inside Hogwarts the previous year. The offer was extraordinary, but, as he said, "this situation is unprecedented."
He gave each of them the opportunity to enter the Auror training program, as they were, no NEWTs required. At this point Hermione immediately declined, saying she'd already begun studying for that test and really wanted to assess her skills; and she didn't fancy being an Auror anyway. She would later confide privately in Harry and Ron that McGonagall had allowed her to return to school for her missed, final year of studies, and she was delighted about that.
However, the others readily agreed to this proposal. Well, Neville's agreement wouldn't really be considered readily; he had initially refused the offer, preferring to try something else. Yet he showed up the following week for the beginning of training, slightly pink in the face and refusing to talk about his Gran to any of them.
What followed was, by far, the fastest Auror Academy session ever held. The instructors, by pushing the boys (and the few girls) to their limits, had managed to condense three years' worth of curriculum into a single one. Thus, even though his training was short, Harry felt well prepared for anything Dark wizards could throw his way.
Already, he'd seen quite a lot of those tricks. Death Eaters were still at large, and tended to cluster together in pockets to plan evil deeds, generally in the middle of peaceful, law-abiding neighborhoods. Which made an Auror's job the perfect fit for someone with a saving-people-thing like he had; there was something incredibly rewarding about seeing the looks on people's faces when you arrived with the silver A emblazoned on your robes, and then, even better, the joyful tears when family members were returned or neighborhood peace was restored. Harry loved his job.
This running bit, though, was getting really annoying, he thought as he continued to pound the pavement. Usually he left the sprints to Ron, who was faster due to his long legs and five older brothers, but tonight they had had split up to chase two separate suspects.
He hoped Ron would catch his man; he usually did, but this group of Death Eaters had proved wilier than most. And they really were Death Eaters; he and Ron (and Seamus and Dean, before they got pulled to the giant case) had been investigating them for a month now. This bloke here was really low-level; he didn't even have the official Dark Mark, just the substitute one that had begun to crop up once the originals had faded upon Voldemort's death. Harry really couldn't understand why the man was running so furiously; his punishment would be just.
He approached a corner, and Harry redoubled his speed; he knew that the anti-Disapparition wards ended here, and it would be a nightmare trying to find this guy again. He hurled himself around the bend, phoenix wand outstretched, only to catch a glimpse of a spinning blur.
Desperately, he hurled a Tracking Jinx at the billowing cloak, praying that it hit. The loud pop! that filled the air depressed him slightly; the subtle glow on the tip of his wand, and the pull it was exerting over him removed that feeling.
The jinx had been illegal under the previous administration, but his past experience as an Auror had assured Minister Shacklebolt how valuable a tool it would be. Kingsley also knew that only when the Death Eaters were rounded up could life return to normal. So he'd issued a temporary authorization to Aurors only for the use of that spell, with fantastic results: it had led to several captures already.
Harry leaned against the wall to catch his breath as he mumbled the words to cut off the spell's pull. He could find the man later, any time he wanted to. March had not yet lost its chill, so his harsh breaths filled the air, little white puffs floating upwards towards the stars. The sky had not yet changed from navy to the true black of night.
After this brief respite, Harry began to look around. The back wall of the Muggle factory against which he'd been leaning faced a small street, on the other side of which were a dozen or so houses. They'd have to be Wizarding houses, too, because the alleyway through which he'd sprinted was invisible, and, thus, inaccessible, to Muggles.
Harry had no knowledge of a Wizarding village in this part of London; yet another perk of being an Auror was that he got to travel the country and visit many of the towns in his world, something he relished. The state of the houses showed that they'd been abandoned for some time; paint was peeling, hinges had rusted, and some roofs had even caved in.
The path he walked on was smattered with weeds, too, although that wasn't surprising given that it was a simple dirt road. Muttering a quick Lumos, Harry began to cautiously explore the area. His Auror training made him alert for any possible threats that could be lurking; it could be a trap, with the criminal he'd been after as the bait.
As he walked to his left, however, it became more and more apparent that no sinister plots were afoot. Of this he was grateful; he'd had a very long day and wanted nothing more than to get home and enjoy a nice mug of tea.
For the sake of protocol (he wasn't that exhausted), he turned around and began to walk the other direction. But he did allow himself to relax and lower his wand a bit, letting the soft light bathe the ground in front of his feet so he wouldn't trip.
Just as he was about to Apparate, a flickering light caught his eye. At first he thought it was the fire, but on closer inspection realized there were flashes of colored light as well- spells, quite a lot of them in quick succession. This was coming from the side window of the last house on the block. He hurried over to the house, which was in the worst state yet; the windows were all broken, the fence had been destroyed by the winds, the shutters ranged from hanging by a thread to lying forlornly on the ground, the front stoop was crumbling, and there was almost no roof to speak of.
The path that Harry stepped onto was so overgrown with weeds- Muggle and magical alike- that he could barely discern where it was. He needed to investigate what was going on in that house, even though it was quite likely to be something of minimal concern.
Keeping his wand aloft, he silently extinguished the light, lest he give away his position. His feet still made no sound on the grass as he crept around the corner of the house. There was a door on the side, which was ajar, and revealed the flickering flames of a campfire. It appeared to have been fed with floorboards from the room adjacent.
Harry counted four men in the room, stalking around the fire, shadows stretched hugely onto the ceiling. The one was gesturing wildly, and as he stepped closer he began to make out what he was saying.
"-ing to go, huh?"
"Anywhere he bloody wants to, now the little shit's got my-"
"It's all of our money! You're not the only one who matters here!"
The man who had spoken second rose up menacingly to his full height. "I'm not, am I? Who leads this here gang, eh? Need me to show you?"
"Alright, alright, calm down a mo'," said another voice. "We can just go and get more then, can't we? More of either," it said, evidently cutting across someone else.
"It's the principle of the thing," the first guy said.
A new, fourth voice cut in, urgently. "Guys, guys, I know what to do! You know who that was? You know how much money we could get for him?"
Harry blinked in surprise. They were talking about kidnapping, and he highly doubted they'd gotten that money through legal means. Those guys had to be young, from the sounds of their voices, not older than thirty-five. Still plenty of time to be set straight. Maybe he'd even be able to talk them out of whatever scheme they were hatching.
Breathing deeply to fill his lungs with air, he forced the door open (with, it turned out, a bit too much force, for it hit the wall with a loud bang) and raised his wand in one swift motion. "Stop! Don't move," he commanded.
For one brief moment, the men obeyed. In this time span, Harry realized that they were not Death Eaters, because when they saw him their faces lit up with unexpressed gratitude instead of pure fear and loathing. Some days the gratitude got really bothersome, but today he could use it to his advantage.
"Now, guys-" he began, but one of the men blurted out "It's Harry Potter!" and dashed for the exit.
His comrades began to follow, shoving furniture behind them in a mad dash out the door. Harry was thus delayed in reaching the door by having to leap over overturned chairs and tables, and even a bookshelf, so that by the time he wrenched it open, the men were halfway down the path.
"Stop!" he yelled again, but at this the terrified men began to Apparate. One bent down to the ground, as if to grab something, but the leader yelled "Leave it!" and in an instant, they were gone.
Harry felt it was a waste to use a Tracking Jinx on them; they were only run-of-the-mill lowlifes, after all. Still, he hoped he'd run into them again, make sure they were toeing the line and keeping on this side of the law.
He reached the spot where the crook had bent down, but try as he might he couldn't see anything there. He murmured "Accio" and with a sudden woosh of wind a small talisman in the shape of a jaguar leapt into his hand. It seemed to be fairly worthless, a trinket with sentimental value only. Harry placed it on the one fence post left standing, which was supporting a rickety gate.
It was much too fragile to walk through, so he stepped around it and into the alleyway behind. Now, he stood facing the hedges of a Muggle neighborhood; hopefully there were charms to prevent them from coming out into these properties.
Harry took a perfunctory look around, alert for any signs of further trouble, but found none. He nodded once to himself, satisfied.
At that moment, the gate detached from the hedge with a creak and landed with a disproportionate crash. But there was nothing there. Shaking his head, Harry took it as a sign and ,after a few more steps, turned on the spot, vanishing into thin air with a quiet pop.
xxxxx xxxxx xxxx
It was 3:04 am, and Harry sat at the kitchen table, hands wrapped around a coffee mug. The steam wafting off of the top twirled up to the ceiling, tendrils slowly vanishing as they rose. High above a new moon shone, or didn't, whatever the proper term was, and the wind whipped twigs and trash in a chilly howl.
But the inside of Number 12, Grimmauld Place was, thankfully, nice and warm. Kreacher had reluctantly gone to bed half an hour ago, but had kindly left the fire going, softly, to radiate warmth and light out of the now-clean fireplace. The house-elf liked to stay up with Harry when his master couldn't sleep (which happened quite a lot, certainly more than he'd like), but this was the third night in a row and the elf had been exhausted.
Harry didn't mind the quiet; he could just be, reflect on things, gather his thoughts, order his emotions. The house seemed to respect that, because not even a floorboard creaked. It was clam, peaceful.
Until a knock sounded at the door. It was a short burst of frantic pounding, followed by increasingly erratic taps, further and further apart, with less force, slowly drifting down towards nothing.
Harry sat his mug down, grabbed his wand, and went to investigate. He hadn't really bothered with security too much even after the Fidelius Charm was dissolved; the Unplottable Charm helped with security a lot. Others at the Ministry had urged extreme measures to protect the residence, but Harry was content with what he had. He wanted to be able to relax in his home, and he wouldn't feel safe knowing all those enchantments were barricading him, because they served as a constant reminder to the dangers lurking in the world all around. It was a weird mindset, he knew, but that's the one he had.
Besides, the knocking didn't really seem too threatening to Harry. The Death Eaters didn't know where he lived, and besides were too scared of him, and of the rest of the elite Auror force, to be that blatant about an attack. At this hour, it had to be something important, and Harry never liked to ignore important things, especially when it seemed like another person was in serious distress.
He tapped his wand sharply against the wooden door to release the locks, and the banging started up again, as wildly as before. Harry opened the door, and before he had time to think a heavy body fell through it and into his arms.
He instinctively caught the person, pulling him close to his chest and allowed both of them sink to the floor in a controlled fall. Once there, he gently lifted the unconscious shoulders to get a better look at his visitor's face, and promptly dropped them again, eyes wide with shock.
It was Draco Malfoy! His face was thin and even paler than usual, and a nasty gash stretched across his right cheek. His robes were ripped and torn, edges unravelling, dirt coating every inch, and the sleeve of one of them was stained with blood.
While Harry filed his knowledge of Malfoy's identity away for later use, he focused on the one undeniable fact that this was a person in desperate need of help. "Kreacher!" he called, loudly. Thankfully, the horrid portrait of Walburga Black had been relocated to one of the spare bedrooms, and so wasn't disturbed. (It had taken some careful flattery and subtle manipulation of Kreacher's desire for his mistress' well-being that allowed Harry to convince the elf to move the painting to a "more dignified place better suited to someone of her status", but it had been well worth the effort.)
The elf appeared at once, his large-eared head poking out from behind the kitchen door, which had been left ajar. "Master called?" he said, and, upon seeing the limp form on Harry's lap, bustled over.
The raven-haired man stopped him. "Kreacher, I need you to go boil some rags. Clean water, maybe a bit of ointment if you can get it." The elf turned on the spot with surprising speed for one so old and hurried away.
Harry, for his part, conjured a stretcher, and then carefully magicked Malfoy onto it. He intended "carefully," anyway, but the process resulted in much jostling and what had to be discomfort for the other man. Frowning, Harry slowly maneuvered up the steps to the second floor bedroom he'd claimed as his master.
As he got Malfoy settled on the bed, he couldn't help but notice the feverish temperature of the blonde's skin, which deepened his frown. Kreacher arrived with the towels, and Harry directed him to go procure cold ones now, apologizing for the extra work.
"Actually, never mind, Kreacher, I've got it," he said decisively, and cast his strongest Cooling Charm on one of the rags, reducing the water's temperature before placing it gently on Malfoy's forehead.
Then, he turned to the window and sent a Patronus.
So, this is my least favorite chapter. The style seem really awkward to me, and I had to get a lot of the boring exposition stuff out of the way so it seems to drag a a bit... However, it's really your opinions that matter here, right? I'd really love to hear from you.