Disclaimer: Do you really think I'm J.K. Rowling?
Author's note: I only barely got this posted. I have quite a bit of homework from my class. Not to mention that I was in a performance of The Taming of the Shrew. The show was today, so that's one less thing I have to do.
Thanks to everyone who's reviewed this story, and everyone who will review this story in the future.
November 1, 1979
Success! I did it! I really did it! I don't mean to sound like a little kid, but I'm just so glad to be alive. I really thought I was going to die. Actually, I would have died if it hadn't been for Kreacher. You know how I said he would disobey a direct order to save my life? I was right. And, well, I'd better start at the beginning. Kreacher led me to Dr. Riddle's inner lair, where he keeps Project Locket. Turns out, Project Locket, while involving Salazar Slytherin's locket, was a lot more complicated than I had expected. The locket was merely the container. Project Locket consisted of a huge machine that held the imprint of Dr. Riddle's soul and would be able to reconstruct him in the event of death. You'd think that the bigger the machine, the easier it is to sabotage, but that wasn't true in this case. The bloody thing was self repairing. The only easy way to disable it would be to steal the locket, but that wouldn't stop it permanently, only delay it. I told Kreacher to take the locket and go while I tried to figure out how to destroy the machine. I knew there was only one way to destroy it, and I didn't want Kreacher to be there. I wanted him to take the files back to headquarters. I wanted Sirius to get my message. Once he was gone, I took a small vial out of my bags. The most powerful acid in the world. Agent Grease gave it to me a long time ago, to be used in the event of emergency. I knew that nothing could count as more of an emergency than this, and I suspect Agent Grease would have approved of my use of it had he known. But there is a downside to this acid. The fumes are incredibly toxic. I wish I could have just thrown the vial at the machine and run. But that would not have worked. There were three key spots I would have to hit with the acid. Three places or the damage would be repaired and it would be for nothing. And in order to make sure the acid went where it should, I'd have to be exposed to the fumes for quite some time. But I was prepared to die in order to destroy Dr. Riddle. I uncapped the vial and the fumes instantly assaulted me. I started feeling dizzy immediately. But I had a mission to complete. I remember pouring the acid on the first two if the three vital points, but that's when my memory went hazy. From what Kreacher told me, he came back for me and found me collapsed on the floor, barely conscious, having only finished the first two points. He pulled me out of the room and apparently I told him what I'd been doing and he went back and finished my task. He saved my life. I can only hope we weren't too late to save Agent Prongs and Agent Lilium.
"It was Regulus," Harry murmured.
"What are you talking about?" Hermione asked.
"I was only two years old when Dr, Riddle tried to kill my family, but I still remember him standing over me and laughing, seconds before collapsing suddenly," Harry said. "People told me it was some special power in my blood, but it never seemed quite right. Now I understand. It was Regulus."
"But, if he survived, where is he now?" Ron wondered.
"An excellent question, Agent Keeper," a strange voice remarked. "The correct answer would be 'standing right behind you.'"
The trio spun around and found themselves face to face with a dark-haired man who resembled Sirius.
"You're Regulus!" Hermione realized.
"That is correct," he agreed. "However, Harry, you're wrong. I only destroyed Dr. Riddle's immortality. It was your mother who shot him in the back with a laser gun."
Harry gasped. Was it possible? He had always thought of Mom as a pacifist. Would she have killed a man to protect her son? He was surprised to realize that she would.
"Um, I'm just a junior agent," Ron pointed out.
Regulus shook his head.
"You're an Agent now," he said. "You all are. You passed the test with flying colors."
Harry stared blankly at Regulus.
"Oh! This must have been a set up since the beginning!" Hermione realized. "They wanted us to sneak out and find Regulus! That was our test!"
"Correct, Agent Otter," Regulus agreed.
"But why have we never seen you around headquarters?" Ron asked.
"I don't spend a lot of time at headquarters," Regulus told them. "I'm usually going undercover to infiltrate the bad guys' lair. There's not much sense in letting myself get seen with the Order."
"I knew I'd seen you before!" Hermione realized. "In Quirrel's lair! The idiot minion who tripped on a wire and unplugged the death ray Quirrel was pointing at us! And with Tom Riddle! The police officer! And the minion who helped us rescue Lupin! And… I don't think you helped us with the Umbridge case. That was a girl."
"I was in Russia," Regulus told her. "That was Marta."
"Marta Greengrass? Your girlfriend?" Harry asked.
"No, Marta Black, his wife," another voice corrected.
A woman they recognized from their last adventure stepped into the room.
"Congratulations, kids," she said. "It's nice to see you again."
"It's nice to see you, too," Harry told her.
"Wait! Hold on a second!" Hermione called. "Why didn't my sensors detect anyone in the house?"
"Kreacher can explain that," Regulus told her, gesturing towards the ELF unit.
Kreacher suddenly powered back to life.
"Everything in this house was designed to throw off intruders," he explained. "The wards are the strongest defense, but the walls are engineered to block sensors in the event of intrusion. I myself have the ability to seem low on power when I am not."
"That's brilliant!" Hermione gasped. "How did you do that?"
"I can't just go around revealing my secrets," Regulus told her.
"Now, I think this calls for a celebration! What say you, Reggie?"
Harry looked up in surprise as his godfather barged into the room.
"Don't call me that," Regulus snapped.
"Where'd you come from?" Ron asked Sirius.
"Been here the whole time," Sirius told him. "I was watching you on Reggie's security cameras. Brilliantly done!"
Regulus glared at his brother and muttered something about banning him from the house.
"Who else is here?" Harry asked.
"Come downstairs and see," Sirius told him with a grin.
The trio followed him down to the family room. A huge group was assembled there. James and Lily Potter stood near the front, smiling proudly. Next to them were Arthur and Molly Weasley. Molly was sobbing into her husband's arms. Hermione's parents stood back a little, looking somewhat overwhelmed. While they had known about Hermione joining the Order, they had never really known what it was about. Ron's brothers were scattered around the room. Bill and Charlie were chatting near the front of the room. Percy was looking over some papers related to his latest mission. Fred and George were plotting something in hushed whispers. Ron's sister, Ginny, was discussing something with Harry's ten year old sister, Lucy. And it wasn't just family. At the front of the crowd was Albus Dumbledore, the head of the Order. Many friends had come, too. Remus Lupin was there, with his wife, Nymphadora Tonks, and their young son, Teddy. Minerva McGonagall, their camouflage teacher, and Rubeus Hagrid, the Order's animal trainer, were sitting on the couch. Harry's friend Luna was curled up in an armchair with a copy of her father's magazine, The Quibbler. Even Severus Snape was there, standing close to Lily and almost smiling.
All the assembled guests looked up as the trio came downstairs. As one, they began applauding. Seconds later, an unplanned pyrotechnic display began, courtesy of Fred and George. Harry, Hermione, and Ron exchanged shocked glances. None of them knew what to do.
"Go see your parents," a voice whispered behind them.
They exchanged one last look before running down the stairs into their parents' waiting arms. Wrapped in his parents' warm embrace, Harry glanced back towards the top of the steps, where Regulus and Marta stood overlooking the festivities. Regulus smiled and whispered something to his wife. She laughed and kissed him.
Harry grinned. Just for this moment, everything was perfect. He knew that it wouldn't last, but it didn't matter. Agent Lightning could take anything the world could throw at him.
Thanks for reading
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