Alyx peered over the lip of the trench. A shot rang out and she hunkered back down.
"I know you're wondering what's happening," she whispered to the audience. "But Bob and I have been having a fight over who should write the next disclaimer."
She reached over and dropped a mortar shell into a firing tube and a second later it launched with a muffled whump.
An explosion tore through the silence and then someone screamed.
"Yes!" she exalted.
"Oh no, he's catapulting cows again! Incoming!"
The airborne bovine crashed down next to Alyx, spraying her with mud and cow guts. She stared at the animal for a moment, then she reached for her pistol. "He's going to write that damn disclaimer or I'll pull his balls off and stir fry them," she growled.
In a flash she was up over the lip and running towards Bob's trench. He grinned at her madly and pointed to a sign behind him. She paused in bewilderment, then he turned on the huge sign. "You're in a Minefield!"
She looked around her and sure enough she spotted numerous triggers.
"Are you going to tell the people we don't own Harry Potter?" shouted Bob from his trench.
She shot him the birdie, then slowly turned around. "I don't have to," she called over her shoulder as she carefully retraced her steps.
"Because you just did!"
Bob blinked and grimaced. Damn her! She did it to him again.
"This isn't over!"
"It is for this story," she called back smugly, then she rolled into her trench only to discover Bob had filled it with butterscotch pudding.
"Ohh pudding!" exclaimed Alyx.
"Enjoy the story folks," Bob muttered, before hunkering down for her counterattack.
Black Manor in Wales, August 20th...
Harry sat with Hermione, watching Luna and Bugger duel. He had decided that they were old enough to learn the basics and had been teaching them all summer. The manor was warded so they could do magic. Bugger didn't mind so long as at least one adult was present to make sure nothing went wrong.
Bugger turned to avoid a curse from Luna and he grinned at her. He had changed her outfit into a purple sundress with live sunflowers growing out of it and it didn't phase her in the least. He had been using the wand he had taken from Dumbledore, but he still hadn't gotten used to it.
He had sent a duplicate of the wand back to Dumbledore using the most round about international mail owl route he could come up with. It was a real wand crafted to look like the one Bugger had taken. Bugger just wanted to annoy the old man by keeping it. The fake arrived at Hogwarts, four weeks later, postage due and cost the old man over 200 galleons to get the wand back.
Bugger sent a chain of curses at Luna and she dove to the floor, as she fell she managed to cast a silent disarming curse and Bugger suddenly found himself wandless.
Luna hit the ground and cried out in pain. Harry was instantly on his feet and hurrying over to her. He stopped and knelt down and gently lifted her to a sitting position. She had hurt her wrist when she fell and it was already starting to swell.
Bugger hurried over to the trio. Harry had his hand over Luna's wrist. His eyes were partially closed and he was breathing hard. A soft glow surrounded Luna's wrist and the swelling started to lessen. A moment later and the injury was gone. Luna was flushed heavily and she stared at Harry with wide eyes. "You healed me."
"I won't let you get hurt," he replied firmly, then he looked at Hermione. "Either of you."
Bugger stood off to one side. Something important had happened, but he wasn't sure exactly what. The trio stared at each other for a long moment of silence and he looked away, embarrassed by the moment as if it were something intimate and personal.
Harry gently helped Luna stand and then he impulsively kissed her cheek causing her blush to deepen even more.
Hermione smiled at the pair, then held out Luna's wand. She had broken it in half when she fell.
"Oh drat," Luna murmured, eying the ruin of her wand.
Bugger reached down and scooped up his wand that she had taken from him. "Here, try this. It hasn't worked too well for me but if it works, you can keep it. I stole it from Dumbledore."
Luna took the wand and she could feel the power surge within her. "It's a good fit," she said softly.
Bugger smiled. "Good, how about a break? Maybe you guys can take a swim and I'll tell Dobby we'll eat out by the pool tonight."
The three kids nodded eagerly and went to go change into their swim suits. Luna and Hermione exchanged a serious look. Something important had happened and once they understood it, they'd explain it to Harry.
The Elder Wand had just been placed in the hands of Luna Lovegood. For a brief moment, the world shivered in fear.
Wain Manor, the same day...
Luna smiled to herself and waved the mirror off. She wanted Luna to have the wand because she knew she'd recognize it, and safeguard it. Sirius was just too unstable to be the wielder of that wand.
She also thought about what Harry had done. That was unexpected to say the least. It was obvious to her that the blocks on Harry's magic were starting to erode. Normally returning to the Dursleys would see the blocks renewed, but without those times, they were fading away.
The blocks had been placed on Harry by Dumbledore and were of a nature that they couldn't be dispelled without killing him. They had to fade away which would take a couple of years. It was one of the primary reasons why Dumbledore was so insistent that Harry return to Privet Drive.
The blocks really weren't there for any sinister reason. Dumbledore had placed them to reduce Harry's accidental magic to a minimum. Unfortunately somewhere along the way Dumbledore's reasoning changed and he kept the ward designed to reinforce the block in place at Privet Drive. Dumbledore seemed to think it was important to keep Harry's magic under strict controls.
Now the blocks were fading and he had pulled directly from his core to heal Luna. It was a massive feat of magic and also one that could lead to interesting times in the near future. What had happened was similar to the most basic bonding rituals. They hadn't bonded, but Luna had tasted Harry's pure magic and she couldn't help but want to do it again.
Luna turned away from the mirror thinking hard. Had she only used her mirror later that night would have seen Harry sitting with his girls, holding hands and all three were glowing slightly.
Luna decided the trio would bear more scrutiny. She would watch them carefully this year.
The Evil Secret Lair of Voldemort's Minions, August 29th...
Peter Pettigrew stepped up to the table and looked out towards the seats in the large hall. Barty Crouch Jr. sat attentively at a seat in the front row. Behind him and to both sides were 799 empty seats. Even in Voldemort's heyday they never managed to fill more than 50 seats, but Voldemort insisted on the extra chairs in case they attracted more followers.
"Ahem," Peter said shyly, then he smiled. "Hello everyone, I'd like to thank you all for turning out for our annual meeting. I know it's been a bit difficult for all of us in the last few years and our numbers have dwindled. But we shall make a come back! We may be down, but we're not beaten! Oh and before I forget, there'll be tea and cookies after the meeting, so don't miss out!"
"Pettigrew you idiot, it's just the two of us," Crouch snarled, then he barked, twice. Apparently spending a number of years in Azkaban followed by being under the Imperius curse for years has an effect on people.
Crouch's barking had become the point of a betting pool at Hogwarts. Currently Lee Jordan led the pool with a guess of 45 barks in the span of a single class.
Peter looked taken aback and he tried to smile consolingly. "Now now Barty, I realize our numbers are down at the moment, but it's only a temporary setback, nothing more. Besides, if you let me finish this, we'll be able to get to those cookies, I baked them myself!"
"Bloody, idiot, why would I get rescued and end up owing a life debt to him is beyond me, but still, cookies and tea is a very pleasant way to pass the time," Barty mumbled, then he motioned for Peter to continue. "I do so hope he made his lemon sugar cookies, I always liked those!"
Peter nodded and he picked up a piece of paper. "Before we can begin new business, we must conclude the old business. I'd read last years minutes, but we were all too busy hiding to have a meeting. So instead I'm going to read the minutes from our last official meeting."
He looked up and saw there was no objection in the crowd, then he glanced down at the paper.
"The proceeds from the Ladies Auxiliary Death Eater Bake sale went well and we raised over 500 galleons from the cakes alone. The door to door sales girls managed to steal and or extort another 500 galleons. Said monies have been deposited in our main account.
"Additionally this year the ladies successfully kidnapped four daughters of blood traitors, all of whom were sold on the black market for a nice return on our investment."
"Cornelius Fudge's twin brother, Wheatilius Fudge, put forth a motion to get the Master a Bunny rabbit as a familiar. He cited allergies and an intense dislike of snakes as the reason. The Master killed him on the spot and his motion failed to obtain any seconds.
"The Master then put forth a motion that Wheatilius Fudge's brother should be elected minister on the grounds of anyone related to Wheatilius has to be a moron and would make an excellent puppet. The motion was immediately seconded by all hands present and voted up. Lucius Malfoy was put in charge of the puppet."
Peter looked up from reading the minutes from a meeting more than 10 years ago. "Do I have a motion to approve the minutes as they stand?"
Barty looked around nervously for a moment then his hand shot up. He couldn't help himself, he had never put forth a motion before and he got caught up in the moment.
"I have a motion to approve, any seconds?" Peter said, then he raised his own hand and smiled broadly.
"The motion is seconded, all in favor?"
"Aye," intoned both Peter and Barty.
Peter smiled broadly. "Now that old business is complete, we'll start with new business and talk about our diabolical plans to revive our Beloved Master. After that we'll talk about our plans for a new membership drive, we still have some wonderful toasters to give away to successful members that bring us some new recruits!"
I could use a new toaster, mused Barty.
Wain Manor, August 29th...
Luna turned away from the mirror and looked at Harry. "I am so totally embarrassed. I mean I'm a pureblood. We're raised to think we're superior, but but but... that!" she exclaimed. "Those idiots! Those morons!"
"No really, tell us how you feel. Mind you love. While I gave Peter the plans and told him to get Barty, the rest was all pure Death Eater," he replied smugly.
Luna buried her face in her hands. "I'm so embarrassed. These are the people that nearly conquered us? What does that say about us?"
Harry grinned. "It says you can't tell an idiot before you elect one to Minister."
She looked up and glared at him. "You're not helping."
He shrugged. "I'm not trying to be love. Look at it from my perspective, for thousands of universes I've heard from you just how wonderful and good the wizarding world was if you could just ignore the ugly, nasty parts. I tried to tell you that some things can't be ignored. The morons back there nearly took over the world because Wizards have forgotten how to grow."
"You may not be a pure blood Harry, but you're magical just like me," she reminded him.
He nodded. "I am and your right, but our kids will be raised to question and think. Who knows, maybe we'll start a trend and you came away today a little sadder and a whole lot wiser."
She nodded and waved her hand causing the mirror to switch scenes. She really didn't need to be reminded of that.
Hogwarts Great Hall, October 30th...
Alastor Moody slipped into the room and looked around with his eye. The pervert that was Barty Crouch Jr, who hadn't been with a woman in 14 years hated this job. All the girls and women whose clothes he could see through and he didn't dare mess up the plan!
And Snape! Every time he went near the man his nostrils would flair. Barty could swear the man was smelling the Polyjuice potion on him!
Seeing the hall was empty except for the goblet he crept closer. He had a plan to deal with the goblet so that he, Barty Crouch Jr would be responsible for delivering the Master's enemy to the Master.
He stepped up to the Goblet and pulled out his wand.
"Confundo!" he intoned wanting the Potter brat to be picked.
Suddenly he heard a noise behind him and he dove under a table.
He cringed, coming up the aisle between the tables was Dumbledore. The old man looked around warily then he stepped up to the goblet.
"Confundo!" intoned Dumbledore, concentrating on forcing Harry into the tournament.
The door to the hall opened again and Dumbledore scurried under the same table as Moody.
Igor Karkarov stepped up to the Goblet while Moody and Dumbledore stared at each other in astonishment.
"Confundo!" he cast, intent on trying to make the goblet pick his candidate rather than a random selection from his school. Krum will compete for the greater glory of the Fatherland!
A noise signaled another entering the Hall.
Snape came up to where the Goblet lay and paused. Karkarov, Dumbledore and Moody looked at him from under the table. Moody climbed out from under the table. "I was just checking to see if the tables were secure! CONSTANT VIRULANCE!"
Severus blinked and watched the man scurry out of the Hall.
Dumbledore slowly climbed out from under the table and looked at his professor. "I just wanted to make sure the under sides of the tables were free from gum. Alas, it's a terrible situation and I intend to bring it up at the next staff meeting."
Severus shook his head and turned to Karkarov who was still under the table.
"What are you doing?"
"Me? Why nothing!"
"Then why are you under a table?"
"Oh so I'm under a table and now I bet you intend to accuse me of cheating somehow! I vill not stand for dis!"
Snape blinked as Karkarov climbed out from under the table with dignity and walked from the room with his back stiff.
Snape watched him go, then he looked around one more time before leaving the room.
When the hall finally emptied another pair of voices was heard.
"Yes o'brother of mine?"
"I'm not so sure this was a smart idea. I mean all those confundus spells and plus our transfiguration spell? The Goblet could end up spitting out alligators!" replied George.
"Yeah, let's get out of here before anyone finds out we've cast a spell on the Goblet as well."
Hogwarts Great Hall, October 31st...
"Excellent!" Dumbledore called happily as at last the tumult died down. "Well, we now have our three champions. I am sure I can count upon all of you, including the remaining students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, to give your champions every ounce of support you can muster. By cheering your champion on, you will contribute in a very real -"
But Dumbledore suddenly stopped speaking, and it was apparent to everybody what had distracted him.
The fire in the goblet had just turned red again. Sparks were flying out of it. A long flame shot suddenly into the air, and borne upon it was another piece of parchment.
Everything froze and Harry looked around in confusion. He could see Dumbledore reaching for the parchment, he could see the frozen expressions on the faces of nearly everyone around him and he was more than a little frightened. "What's happening," he breathed.
"I'm not sure," Hermione said in a shocked whisper.
Harry turned to Hermione, relieved to note he wasn't the only one in this strange state.
"I think we have a visitor," Luna murmured, then she pointed to the glowing figure lazily flapping her wings nearby.
"An angel," Hermione said with a gasp. The figure was encased in a blinding white light, but you could make out her form and her eyes which were a startling gray.
Harry stood and took a step forward protecting his girls.
"Do not be afraid," the Angel said softly.
"What do you want?"
"I am here to warn you Harry Potter. The name on that piece of paper is yours. Through no fault of your own you will be forced into this contest against your will. I have been sent to tell you no harm will befall you at all in this event. He watches over you and yours and He won't allow any harm to come to any of you."
"Wait," Hermione said, rubbing her temples. "Harry's been entered into this contest and you're telling us that God himself won't allow any harm to befall him."
She paused and looked a little awed. "Harry is God's chosen?"
The angel smiled gently and nodded. "All are God's chosen, but some are chosen for greater things than others."
Luna shrugged. "If he's good enough for you and me Hermione, then I think he's good enough for God."
"Luna!" hissed Hermione. She didn't want her friend to upset a messenger of God!
Luna shrugged and the Angel watched the interplay between the two girls with a smile.
Harry shook his head and looked back to the angel. "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?"
The Angel moved a little closer, she then reached out and caressed his cheek. "Gentle Harry, you were born to do great things, but some people interfered in that. For the past few years I have watched over you and made some corrections to your life."
His eyes widened. "You!" he exclaimed. "You were the reason why the Dursleys stopped hitting me?"
Both girls turned to stare at Harry in horror and he suddenly looked down at his feet. He had not told them about his time with the Dursleys.
The angel caressed his cheek again and little Luna suddenly narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
"I am your guardian angel Harry. It is my job to see that you are protected. The Dursleys were easy to influence until I could move you from that house. I regret I could not stop them from entering you in this contest, but I can keep you safe while you're in it. Understand my words. Nothing can harm you while you're performing a task. Nothing. If you want to be angry with the people that forced you into the contest then do so.
"He told me to tell you that nothing you do will be held against you this year. He asks that you don't injure any students, but the adults by forcing you to compete are all going to pay for their sins. Just remember to rely on your friends for their strength. You will need their support this year more than any other."
Harry slumped back onto the bench and nodded slowly. Luna looked between the angel and Harry and finally decided that Harry needed him more than her outlandish speculations about this 'angel'. She thought it unusual that the Angel caressed Harry just the same way she did.
"Will we see you again?" asked Hermione. The appearance of an Angel to pass a message to Harry, her Harry left her a bit awestruck.
The angel smiled at her and moved a little closer. "Sweet girl," the angel said softly, "if this year goes as it should you will have no need of me, but who can tell. Only He sees what will be. I will always be watching you three. You two girls mean much to Harry even if he hasn't learned how to say it yet."
Hermione smiled shyly at the Angel, then turned to Harry who sat trembling slightly. Luna was already cuddling up against him.
The Angel faded from view and suddenly everything rushed back into motion.
Automatically, it seemed, Dumbledore reached out a long hand and seized the parchment. He held it out and stared at the name written upon it. There was a long pause, during which Dumbledore stared at the slip in his hands, and everyone in the room stared at Dumbledore. And then Dumbledore cleared his throat and read out - "Harry Potter."
Dumbledore gloated inwardly! Finally! He thought, something has finally gone the way it should! Now I can use the second task to arrange for Harry to lose his followers.
Hogwarts Great Hall, after the crowds have left...
Argus Filch moved the large cart up to the Goblet fully intending to move the Goblet back to its resting spot like Dumbledore ordered.
He placed the heavy Goblet on the cart when it suddenly rumbled and shook violently.
Filch backed away from the Goblet in fear as the Twins Transfiguration spell finally kicked in. It was supposed to alter the names on any parchment inside the Goblet. But the twins hadn't countered on three very powerful Confundus spells.
Filch screamed as the first alligator climbed out of the goblet. Considering there were hundreds of pieces of parchment from centuries of use, there were a lot of alligators waiting for their turn to escape.
Wain Manor, November 20th...
Luna entered the room and sat down. A moment later a tea service appeared in front of her. On the tray was a package of her favorite cookies, double stuffed fudge Oreos and a box of Animal Crackers.
Harry rushed into the room. "Did I miss anything?"
"Not really," she replied, pouring herself a cup of tea.
"Cedric just finished the task and we're waiting on his score, then it's Harry's turn."
Luna sighed and he turned to her. "What's wrong love?"
"It's been a rather bad time for Harry. If it weren't for Luna and Hermione I think he would have cracked. As it stands he's getting depressed and I'm worried Harry. He's several times gone to bed and prayed for this to all end."
Harry nodded, his demeanor turning serious. "It's a shame one or both of the girls couldn't join him at night, but their too young for that activity just yet. I spoke to Bugger about it and explained what he needed to do so that there's no repeat of this ever again. He's making all the arrangements even as we speak.
"He's also been in touch with Harry helping him formulate his plan."
"Yes but what can we do to help him now?"
Harry paused and looked at her. "Luna, I am helping him now," he said carefully.
She grimaced at him, she could feel his magic flowing out around him and knew he was boosting and protecting Harry even from here. "You know what I mean!"
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair messing it more than usual. "Do you want to talk to him? Or maybe me?"
She sighed and shook her head. They both knew he couldn't talk to Harry and she shouldn't unless absolutely necessary.
Finally she decided, "I'll keep a close eye on him. If necessary I'll figure out some way to lighten his mood."
Harry nodded unhappily, they knew this was a risk for little Harry, this was the first year where he had really faced anything like Harry's past.
"Here he comes now," Luna said, nudging him, then she absently peeled a cookie apart and slowly licked off the fudge before placing the cookies aside for later. Harry watched her licking the cookies and shivered a little with desire. Finally he tore his eyes away from the sight and concentrated on the mirror.
"Harry Potter!" called Ludo Bagman.
Harry stepped from the tent and pulled out his wand. "Accio Firebolt!" he called, then he waited. While he waited he produced a large poster from under his robes which he held up to the crowd.
"The young Mister Potter is trying to tell us something," Bagman said to the crowd.
The crowd stared at the poster in confusion. They clearly didn't understand what "UP YOURS!" meant. Harry flicked his wand and the poster changed to "SCREW YOU!" which only increased their confusion.
"What's a screw?" asked Ludo.
In the stands, here and there, the few muggle born students and visitors were laughing and refusing to explain to their counterparts. Harry flicked his wand and the poster flew to a wall, enlarged and stuck fast against it.
Harry turned and flicked his wand at the poster changing it to "DICK HEADS!"
"Mister Potter has summoned his broom, what a nice piece of spell work!"
Shaking his head, he turned his attention to his quickly approaching Firebolt.
"Does anyone understand the sign? Who is Dick Head?" complained Bagman.
The broom came to a halt at Harry's side and he smiled. It wasn't his normal broom, no this one had been modified by Bugger. The tip had been reinforced with a metal cap that ended in a bayonet. He had also added high powered strobe lights to the front and back of the broom as well a special shield spell Harry could invoke while flying.
Harry mounted his broom, then he flicked his wand one last time at the huge poster, then he shot skywards.
He laughed when he heard Bagman ask, "What does Duck and Cover mean?"
Harry came into the arena at high speed and he activated his forward strobe light. The dragon reared back and roared at the painfully blinding light. The stand of Judges, press and VIP Visitors blinked and cringed under the intense glare. They couldn't see a thing!
According to Bugger the strobe light was capable of pulsing out 10 million foot candles per square inch, 20 times a minute. Bugger didn't know what a foot candle was and couldn't imagine why a muggle would put a candle on his feet, but it sounded impressive.
Harry laughed and waved to his girls who were sitting among the students with along Bugger and Helga, all four wore sunglasses.
The Horntail strained against her chains until one link snapped. She roared again and hurled herself into the air, trying to give chase to Harry. He spotted the dragon and zipped low over the judge's seats as he barrel rolled out of the arena.
The dragon roared again, following closely. Her tail whipped wildly and it struck Igor Karkarov as she flew by. Igor slumped unconscious in his seat and wouldn't wake for a few minutes.
"I hope this works," Harry muttered as he came to a hover. He slowly moved, positioning himself just right.
The dragon flew up to him and took a deep breath. Harry cringed as he saw the flames shoot towards him. He blinked. He felt no pain, no burning, no itching sensation. Nothing!
Below him he heard shouts as the carriage from Beauxbatons began to burn intensely."Next time they'll install fire extinguishers like the Fire Brigade suggests," Harry turned his broom actively seeking his target this time.
Grinning like mad Harry shot straight for the dragon and smashed into it's nose with his bayonet. The dragon reared back and roared in pain while Harry flew away. As he flew he carefully tried to scrape the dragon blood into a container for his girls. They would like it for potions he thought to himself.
He dove for the ground and leveled out just a few feet above it, the dragon hot on his tail. He saw the lake in the distance and he raised his altitude just enough to clear the deck of the Durmstrang ship. The dragon wasn't so lucky and immediately fouled herself in the rigging. She crashed to the deck and the ship heeled over to one side. The dragon flamed in every direction trying to break free. When she finally managed to break free the ship was on fire from bow to stern and low in the water. She was sinking fast and this time it wasn't magic doing the sinking.
Harry turned and headed back towards the castle, this time coming to a hover over one tower while he waited for the dragon to catch up.
When the dragon arrived he zipped away just in time to avoid getting hit by the flames. The dragon flew in pursuit leaving Gryffindor tower burning merrily.
Harry watched the dragon carefully, he had managed to enrage it beyond all reason. Climbing sharply on his broom he glanced one more time at the dragon, then for a lark he hissed at the dragon.
"Your mother was a lizard!" he hissed in parseltongue.
The dragon bellowed in rage, Harry could literally see flames leaking from the gaps between scales on its neck. Who knew dragons understood parseltongue?
The dragon flapped her wings furiously and Harry grinned, then dove straight down with the dragon right behind him. He laughed seeing all those important VIP visitors and press staring up at him and pointing. They read his sign, why hadn't they done what it said?
He pushed the broom to full speed and the dragon flapped several times before closing its wings and letting gravity add to it's speed.
Harry shouted with joy over the sheer excitement he felt. Just a mere ten feet above the stands he pulled up and shot away horizontal to the stands. He glanced over his shoulder as the dragon looked at him with bulging eyes, she was clearly calling him a bastard. She knew she was doomed, there wasn't enough room for her to pull up! Wronski, eat your heart out!
With a strangled roar she plunged into the stands containing the press and VIP visitors and exploded in a ball of flame. He glanced back and mused, so that's what VIP stands for, Very Incinerated People.
He swooped past the nest of eggs and grabbed his golden egg before zipping away, just feet ahead of the burning debris raining down on the arena. People ran screaming in every direction.
He tried not to smirk when he spotted the six foot long beam of wood impale the Durmstrang Headmaster. The Durmstrang headmaster woke from his little nap just in time to realize that something bad was coming straight at him. "At least he won't be able to call me names anymore," Harry muttered.
Harry slowed his broom and came to a stop, then slowly made his way back into the arena. He waved to Luna and Hermione who looked a bit put out with his performance. Bugger was on his feet cheering loudly. He was the only person cheering and he was hard to hear over the cries of pain.
As Aurors streamed into the arena trying to help the injured Harry flicked his wand at the sign which changed to read Potter 1, Tournament 0.
Luna sat back in satisfaction, "Well it's a shame about the dragon, but he made it out in one piece and seemed to enjoy himself in the process."
Harry reached into his box of animal crackers and pulled out a hippo. "I wish we could record these things, I wouldn't mind watching that again. The look on Karkarov's face was classic when he saw the beam coming his way. Or did you see Dumbledore, scuttling for cover and trying to put out a fire in his beard?"
Luna laughed and pulled the hippo from his hand and ate it. "Hey!" he protested.
Dumbledore's office, Hogwarts...
Albus leaned his elbows on his new, all metal desk and rubbed at his forehead tiredly. Headmaster Karkarov was dead, so deputy headmistress Ivanna Eurkov sat in for him. Madam Maxime had been released from the infirmary in time to attend this meeting.
His head pounded. Twelve reporters and eighteen prominent members of Wizarding Society snuffed out by one careless student. A dragon dead and both the ship used by Durmstrang and the carriage used by Beauxbatons burned beyond repair. He had no choice but to house the two schools inside the Great Hall while they tried to find alternative arrangements for them.
The door opened and Harry Potter entered followed by Lord Black and an unknown man. Dumbledore scowled, he had sent for Harry and was shocked to see Black here.
"Ah Harry, I was expecting you to come alone."
Harry shrugged at the man. He had refused to speak to him at all since he had been made to compete in the tournament. Lord Black gestured to Harry who nodded and took a seat, then Lord Black turned to Dumbledore, "What's this all about Dumbledore?"
Albus blinked at the man. "My good fellow, we have more than two dozen people dead, over one hundred injured and you need to ask what the problem is? Your ward."
"Did nothing for which he can be held accountable Dumbledore," spoke the unknown man.
Dumbledore scowled. "I'm sorry but you are?"
The man smiled at him.
"Dumbledore, I don't believe you've met my solicitor, Addison Waverly of Waverly, Smithers and Kent. They represented me in my recent legal actions against the Ministry. I asked Addison to attend today's event and to do some background research on the tournament for me."
Dumbledore's expression fell.
"Oh," he said hesitantly, "we would welcome your opinion."
Addison smirked at him. "I'm afraid my client's ward is entirely blameless in this affair. Point in fact, in 1534 the ministry's involved passed a law exempting a contestant from any civil or criminal culpability for the duration of the tournament. Then in a referendum, passed July 16, 1684, the ministry's agreed that it's impossible to change any tournament rules while the tournament is in progress.
"This isn't the first time there were fatalities among the spectators. In 1707 a Griffon was used by the organizing committee. No one knew the poor beast had been infected with drabies. It went on a rampage and ate 52 spectators. The worst tournament disaster occurred here at Hogwarts in 1842 and resulted in 102 deaths when a dragon broke loose and attacked the stands.
"So I'm quite afraid that Mister Potter cannot be held accountable for any damages, injuries or other problems."
Dumbledore sat dismayed and stared at the man.
"This is unacceptable!" shouted Eurkov. "Dumbledore! Our ship has been sunk by your student!"
"Who you forced to be in this tournament," countered Addison. "You could have opted to call the first selection a draw and reenter the names. But you chose to make him compete. The blame for today's deaths and damage lie at your feet, not at my client's ward."
Eurkov glowered at the man, her boss was dead, and their way home gone.
"I vill protest dis to my ministry!" she declared loftily.
Addison waved a hand dismissing her complaint. "Go right ahead, they'll only tell you what I told you. Your Headmaster agreed to allow his school to participate. My client cannot be held accountable for the results from decision."
Dumbledore turned to Harry. "You are awful quiet Harry, I suppose you are feeling remorse for all those poor people that died today?"
Harry looked up and he smiled widely at the old man. "Actually since the first task was so much fun I'm hoping we can hurry up and get to the second task. This tournament is turning out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be!"
"But Harry, what about those people that died?" Dumbledore asked.
Harry shrugged. "I didn't want to be in this lunacy, they didn't want to die. Looks like we both got shafted, but its not my problem. In fact, it's your fault. Murderer! How can you sleep at night? I think you're going to go to hell for what you've done!"
Bugger shot him a wide grin and nodded.
Harry's expression turned feral. "I think with the next task I'll see how many of the staff I can involve. Its just a shame that the dragon wasn't big enough. I thought about aiming for the judges, but I decided the press would be a better target."
"Non!" exclaimed Maxime. "Dis child iz inzane! Dis iz your fault Dumblydore!"
Dumbledore scowled, he was about to speak again when the door opened and McGonagall stepped in.
Albus shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Yes Professor McGonagall?"
She made a mistake. She glanced at the man. The huge sign appeared over Dumbledore's head proclaiming his scar to be a Horcrux. McGonagall shuddered and took on an expression of intense disgust. She still hadn't found out what a Horcrux really was, so Luna had arranged for a book to fall into her hands which described a Horcrux.
The book, which appeared to be something out of the Ming Dynasty, described a Horcrux as a person that practiced self genital transfiguration all for the purposes of self gratification. The book included a number of disturbing images that made Malfoy's appendage appear limp and unwieldy.
Turning so she was actually looking at the wall, she spoke. "I'm just here to tell you that the fire in the Gryffindor tower is finally out, but I'm afraid it's a ruin. I asked the elves to move the student's belongings but the fifth, sixth and seventh years lost theirs in the fire."
Dumbledore sighed heavily and nodded. "We'll contact the families Professor and see about getting replacement clothing and books for the students," he said finally. "As to where we house our students, we are very hard pressed for space at the moment with the Durmstang and Beauxbatons students and staff also needing room. Perhaps we can rent..."
"I wouldn't do that if I were you old bean," Bugger said with a vicious grin.
Dumbledore blinked at him. "Why ever not?"
"For one thing you're going to need all the money you can scrape together for your defense. Addison?" replied Bugger.
Addison stepped forward and pulled out a thick scroll from his robes. "While the law clearly protects the contestants from legal liability, it does nothing for the organizers of the tournament. And when you factor in the fact that you and the other organizers forced my client's ward into the tournament illegally. Well the grounds for a massive lawsuit with a devastating cash settlement are enough to make me quiver in anticipation."
"Oh bugger," muttered Dumbledore.
"Yes?" Bugger asked.
Harry snickered in his chair, this was almost as good as the telly!
Wain Manor, that evening...
"Harry we need to talk," Hermione said firmly.
He looked up warily. Luna and Hermione stood there with serious expressions on their faces. Both girls had avoided him except for a brief visit after the task to make sure he was in good shape and not injured.
He nodded and closed the book. He had suspected this was going to happen sooner or later.
"I'm sorry," he whispered.
Luna blinked and shook her head. "No no. Hermione, look what you've done! You've made him think we're angry with him."
Luna moved Hermione to one side and plopped down a book in front of Harry, then she opened it to page 2467. Harry glanced down at the animated illustration and then he looked away. He didn't need to see this tonight!
"Harry we're not angry at you," Luna said gently. "But do you see this?"
She stabbed her finger against the illustration and the three people in the picture turned and looked angrily at her before returning to their task.
Hermione sat down next to Harry and leaned against him.
"I see it," he said a bit reluctantly. He was very aware of how well his girls were developing and was struggling to resist the temptation that their relationship brought.
"Harry, we want to be able to do this, with you. How can we if you will risk yourself like you did today?"
He glanced to Hermione and she nodded at him. "At first I thought that bringing Luna in was just to protect her." Hermione offered, then she smiled. "But as weird as it was at first, it seemed to become more comfortable and natural as time went on."
Hermione took a breath and looked at Harry. "And then she told me that its legal in our world."
He shook his head and put his hand against his temple. "Wait, what's legal in our world?"
"Multiple marriages is not uncommon Harry," Luna said softly. "There aren't a lot of wizards and the mix of men to women varies a lot. We've adapted to that variation so that there are always children being born. Right now there are more women than men in our society, fifty years ago, it was the other way around."
Harry looked a little panicked. "You're talking about marriage!"
Hermione huffed. "Honestly Harry, its not like we're talking about it happening tomorrow, we're talking years from now. But the whole point of this conversation is that that can't happen if you kill yourself flying like a madman on a broom."
Harry looked down and he tried to wipe a tear on his sleeve. Both girls caught his action and pressed against him. Since the beginning he had had difficulties understanding that both girls wanted him. As much as they told him, he still didn't believe he could be so lucky. And he felt he was unworthy of such love.
"Harry," Luna said softly. "We know what your thinking. That you aren't good enough."
He nodded and sniffed slightly. She reached out and cupped his chin, gently turning his head to look into his eyes.
"Someday after we leave this place, you, me and Hermione are going to make a family. I can't speak for Hermione but I want to have a couple of girls and I want you to give them to me," she said, staring into his eyes deeply, as if commanding him to believe her words.
He glanced over at Hermione who was blushing heavily, but she nodded in agreement with Luna.
Big Luna looked away from the mirror with a broad smile. She didn't think she'd have to intervene to help Harry with his depression. His girls were going to do that for her.
"What's got you smiling so broadly?" Harry asked from the doorway.
She nodded towards the mirror where Harry sat with his girls having an intense discussion. "It looks like Harry isn't going to need our help with his depression after all."
Harry sat down next to her and swiped a cookie from her plate. "Oh?"
"The girls explained their long term goals to him. It wasn't easy but they managed to get him to hear them. We both know it will still be a while before he truly believes it, but the girls will be persistent," Luna replied happily. "In the meantime that particular issue will keep him occupied and too busy to worry about other things."
Harry grunted at her and took a bite from the cookie.
"So what have you been up to?" she asked.
"I've been thinking, about a bunch of things really," he replied evasively.
"Harry," she chided. She hated having to pull answers from him.
He winced. "Well it's been a while since we played with Snape. I mean I stopped using Fritz on him and he's been getting back into teaching potions and amazingly he's improved his teaching method somewhat."
Luna nodded. "Yes I noticed that as well. But is it a good thing to keep attacking him?"
He smirked at her.
"What?" she exclaimed.
"Who arranged for McGonagall to enter Ron's dorm while he was undressed? Who arranged for him to run from the showers naked because he thought he saw a spider? Who made him trip on the stairs knocking six other students down? Who caused his broom to crash?"
"Oh all right I get the point!" she declared unhappily. Couldn't he understand that she was merely playing?
"So what have you planned for Snape?" she asked.
Harry grinned. "Snape needs a date to the ball, and Madam Pomfrey is getting on in years. So I had Bugger make some arrangements via St. Mungos and the Board of Governors. Come just before Christmas she'll have a new assistant."
Luna eyed him with narrowing eyes. "And do I know this assistant?"
He grinned smugly. "Mistress Natasha wanted to learn more about healing so she could become a better addiction specialist."
Luna chuckled and shook her head. "You are so evil."
"I know," came the smug reply.
Headmaster's Office, Hogwarts, January 1st...
"Cast Access Lords of Light Forums Dot Wiz User Albie Pass Spongebob Invoke!"
To: All membership
Subject: Legal Advice Needed!
I find myself in a bit of a pickle and I'm uncertain where to turn. My latest project for the Greater Good seemed to start off so well when my tool was entered into the tournament. Unfortunately the tool has acquired some powerful supporters, including one who is threatening both me and the school with a disastrous lawsuit.
I seem to recall one of our members being part of a Law firm, but I can't remember who. If you are that person, I would greatly appreciate if you could recommend a firm in my area which is accustomed to dealing with Greater Good Issues and Light Lords. Some experience with Goblins would also be a plus since they are getting involved and talking about taking ritual hostages.
The school has its own legal council but I find myself without one and the Board seems to be doing everything they can to separate their suit and mine.
Thanks in advance,
Albus the Magnificent.
Tag: Merlin eat your heart out. I'm stronger and look better in a thong!
To Albus the Magnificent
Subject: (re) Legal Advice Needed!
The member in question was booted when it became apparent he was a lawyer. It's common knowledge that no lawyer is capable of working for the common good let alone the Greater Good.
There are a number of law firms in your area, but most seem to concentrate on defending Dark Lords and dealing with the Big Evil instead of the rarer Greater Good. I would suggest that you lower your standards slightly and try one of the neutral law firms.
There is one on Diagon Alley who's motto is "Its Okay to be Gray." Maybe they can help. Look them up in your floo directory.
Bruce, your humble admin.
Tag: I admin for the Greater Good.
To: All membership
Subject: Earn Big Bucks while defending the world!
You too can earn big money in your spare time with this simple, but highly effective marketing scheme designed to help you and advance your goals as a Lord of the Light.
Reply now to find out how and start your way to financial success!
Tag: Turn your desire to help into a way of earning cash now!
Subject: Your post to the list.
I've warned you, I've told you not to post this crap.
I've had it!
You are history, I'm deleting your account and taking down the photos you've been trying to sell online.
Bruce, your humble admin.
Tag: I admin for the Greater Good.
The Second Task, Mid February...
Harry looked up and nodded to Madam Pomfrey in thanks for healing his hands. He had broken both of them when Dumbledore announced that he had used both of his girls as hostages for this task. And while Harry had broken some bones, Dumbledore had a great many broken bones that Madam Pomfrey was just getting around to working on now.
Snape had tried to interfere, but one sharp word from Mistress Natasha had him spread against a tree trunk, his pants down around his knees. "Mistress command me!" he shouted.
Harry wasn't surprised that no one had tried to stop him from pummeling Dumbledore, in fact he heard Bugger and Helga in the stands cheering him on. The simple fact was that Dumbledore had not made many friends in recent months.
Natasha winked at Harry and turned back to attend her toy. Strangely people felt the need to flee the area rather than aid Snape or at least witness the public session.
"Mister Potter, if you're done, need I remind you that the clock is ticking?" shouted Ludo Bagman.
Harry nodded and summoned a bag to him. Inside the bag were three sets of waders, some rope and a walking stick. Hermione and Luna had put together bag and gave it to Harry. They also told him that there was a spell written down on some parchment in the bag.
He had studied the spell and had it memorized, but Hermione had insisted he bring it along just in case.
Hermione gave him the spell a week earlier in the Ravenclaw common room, "The angel sent it to me," she confided. He glanced over to Luna who had her own suspicions about the Angel, but she couldn't be angry with the being. After all if she was right, then she was being angry with herself. Just thinking about it made her feel queasy. She smiled encouragingly to Harry and he took the parchment and began to study the spell.
He pulled on a set of the waders, then lifted the bag and placed it over his shoulder. He grinned smugly at Bugger and Helga who sat in the stand farthest away from the lake. Both were wearing muggle life jackets, Bugger, ever the child, had already activated the small attached strobe light.
Grabbing his wand he stared intently at the lake, gathering his power around him.
Slowly he concentrated his power. The air around him began to warp and people rushed to move away from him. Madam Pomfrey glanced up from working on Dumbledore and grimaced, her spell had just failed due to Harry's magic smothering all other magic around him.
She glanced down at the semi-conscious Dumbledore, then muttered, "I don't get paid enough for this," she exclaimed then she hiked up her skirt and ran for the castle, leaving Dumbledore moaning on the dock.
Harry smirked at the prone headmaster then he lifted his wand.
"Artpay esethay atersway," he intoned in a loud voice.
Sometimes it pays to have a Deity on your side. Moses learned that when he parted the Red Sea. Harry Potter learned that when he drained Black Lake in the same manner. Moses however had plenty of room to work with. Harry didn't, so the water formed up into two huge tidal waves and flowed away from the lake bed. One tidal wave went in the direction of Hogsmeade, and the other flowed up and over the stands heading towards Hogwarts.
But Harry was too busy to notice. He was slowly plodding his way through the mud towards his girls, cursing and swearing at Dumbledore all the way. He passed a stunned Krum with his partial shark transfiguration and smirked. "Pretty useless transfiguration if it requires water," he muttered.
Up on the shore the students looked up in bewilderment as the shield cast by Harry Nargle protected them. No such shield existed for the Staff, Visitors, VIP and Press stands. The staff and few press attending would be found alive, miles away, usually stuck up in a tree and sporting more than a few broken bones.
Bugger and Helga found themselves sitting on top of the astronomy tower thanks to Luna Snorkack. And while it was a very dry position it also gave them a perfect view of the tidal wave hitting Hogwarts.
Sybil Trelawney slid across the rapidly tilting floor as the water seven stories below undermined the foundation beneath her tower. She moaned in fear and thought, I just knew today was going to be a bad day!
It was her last thought as she was crushed under the weight of her desk and then buried under tons of rubble when the tower fell to the ground.
Back at the Hogwarts mud hole, Harry continued his trek deeper into the hole. He passed a hysterical Veela who had been captured by the giant squid. Now said squid clung to the Veela in terror as it lay in a puddle barely deep enough to cover it.
He sighed and pulled out his wand, casting a low power stinging hex at the squid. He really didn't want to hurt the animal. The squid dropped it's burden into the small pool of water it was in, then it resorted to one of its instinctual activities and it released a stream of slimey ink at the Veela.
Harry shook his head and continued to walk deeper into the huge hole that was dotted with knee deep puddles. "Dumb veela is upset about some ink! Some people have no sense of priorities," he said to himself.
The one kilometer distance between the lake and Hogsmeade meant that the tidal wave on that side had been reduced down to a mere 40 meter foot high wave when it struck.
Aberforth Dumbledore was sweeping in front of his tavern when he first heard the distant rumbling. He turned and looked at what appeared to be an impossibility. A wall of water was rushing towards him at jet aircraft speeds.
"Albus you bastard, this is somehow your fault I know it!" he muttered just as the water hit him. It was his last conscious thought until he woke up five days later. He had been found straddling a tree limb nearly a kilometer away from town on the other side of the town. When the healer told him he had lost his ability to father children he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. At 157 years of age, he freely admitted to himself he didn't even remember how to father children so what did it matter?
The Three Broomsticks was totally destroyed in the wave, although some survivors jokingly called what was left, the Three Matchsticks.
The sole surviving member of the town council offered a 100 galleon reward for anyone that brings him Albus Dumbledore's beard. He specifically stated said beard must have been torn from Dumbledore's face.
Back in the Black Mud Hole, formerly Black Lake, Harry figured he was approaching his destination considering the number of Merpeople who were flopping around. He spotted Cedric Diggory not to far away sitting on a rock. The boy appeared to be dazed and disoriented and Harry assumed that he had hit his head if the knot on his forehead was anything to go by.
He was also naked, which Harry didn't understand at all, but he was a Hufflepuff, and they were known for being a bit weird.
Coming up on the town of Merpeople he noted a large number of them trying to fit into a small pool of water and realized that he wouldn't have to worry about them. In the center of town he found the hostages.
He quickly released Hermione and Luna and discovered the wonder of wet girls in their nighties. The resulting blood flow problems greatly eased the concerns of the girls and had Harry worried about what they might think. It never occurred to him that their constant hugging of him may mean they enjoyed causing this reaction in him.
It also never occurred to him that said reaction may result in the trio starting to explore the early chapters of Hogwarts A History, the adult version.
He pulled bag off his shoulder and pulled out the other two waders, reluctantly handing a pair to each girl.
"I'm almost sorry to give these to you," he said, blushing heavily.
"Oh? Why?" asked Luna with a smile. She glanced at Hermione who was also smiling broadly.
Harry shrugged. "It seems a shame for you two to cover up. On the other hand if you didn't I'd have to kill all the boys in the school to keep you two for myself."
That comment resulted in more blood flow problems as both girls had to hug and kiss him several times. Finally they put on their waders and made ready for the long walk back to the top of the hole.
Harry paused and looked at the other hostages. Krum's hostage was a girl about Krum's age. At least Harry thought she was a girl, although the mustache was a strike against that idea.
Diggory's hostage was Cho Chang the Ravenclaw seeker who Harry wasn't overly fond of. The girl had teased Luna in her first year until Harry put a stop to it. Ever since then the two hadn't gotten along well.
He looked at the final hostage, the one for the Veela and he scowled. With a deft wave of his wand he cut her free and waved her to come over to them. Both Luna and Hermione looked at him curiously and he shrugged. "The others are adults and can take care of themselves. She's a kid," he said softly.
They nodded satisfied with that answer. Harry cast a warming charm on all three girls, then he offered his back to the little girl. Carrying her piggyback they made their way out of the hole.
They paused to catch their breath not far from where Fleur was having a major temper tantrum. Apparently shooting slimey ink at a Veela activated their extreme angst mode.
"Dat iz my sister," murmured Gabrielle as they passed her.
"Do you want me to leave you with her?" asked Harry.
Gabrielle looked at the mud and her ink covered big sister.
"Non, I wait top of hole for her," she murmured.
Harry grinned and hiked her up again before resuming his trek to the top of the hole.
Harry leaned back and smiled broadly. "Now that's a rescue."
Luna shook her head. "It never fails, no matter how many times we change things Harry's character still stands out. He took Gabrielle just because she was a child."
Harry buffed his nails against his shirt. "Of course, we hero types can't go against our basic instincts."
"Basic instincts Harry?" Luna asked archly. "The last time you showed your baser instincts you had me bent over a table with my skirt up around my."
"Yes I get it Luna, besides you weren't complaining at the time. Are you telling me you don't want a repeat of that?" he asked.
She blushed and looked away refusing to answer.
He smirked at her. "I thought so," he murmured.
She shook her head, "So what's next?" she asked changing the subject.
Harry shrugged letting her change the subject. "It's time to start wrapping things up. Very soon all the pieces of Voldemort will be gone. I'll talk to Sirius and get the ball rolling on his end."
"Are you sure he'll go for it? He's still got some loyalty there."
"True enough, but whatever loyalty he might have is nothing compared to his concern for Harry," he replied.
Luna nodded a bit unhappily, it was always the case in the universes where Harry and Sirius managed to hook up. Sirius unknowing slipped into a parental role for Harry and showed her Harry exactly what he had missed out on. While Sirius did act like a big kid most of the time, he clearly put Harry's welfare at the top of his list right next to Helga.
"Very well, we'll start cleaning up," she agreed.
Hogwarts Infirmary, 2 days after the task...
Albus opened his eyes and his brain finally registered that he was feeling considerable pain.
"Rest Headmaster," Poppy said firmly. "You will not be getting out of here anytime soon."
"What what what happened?"
Poppy poured him a small dose of potion and handed him the cup. "Drink that and I'll tell you."
He swallowed the disgusting mixture and handed her back the empty cup. Satisfied, she nodded and sat on a chair next to the bed. "Where to begin? Well after you announced that you had taken both of Mister Potter's friends he spent 20 minutes of the task beating you senseless. We did warn you about that so no one felt inclined to stop him.
"Now that broke a number of your bones I'm afraid. The good news is I managed to repair them, the bad news is you lost considerable bone mass due to your age so you're now six inches shorter than you used to be."
"While I had you in here I took the time to fully examine your scar. I was surprised to find it contained an alien soul fragment which is leeching power directly from your core in order to revive itself. That's the good news, the bad news is that you've damaged your core and its steadily leaking. At the current rate you'll be little more than a squib come this time next year."
Albus blinked at her in horror. "That can't be! I'm a lord of the light?"
Poppy snorted. "Yeah maybe so, but your bulb is about to go out Headmaster, if I were you I'd make sure my will is updated." Poppy hated delivering bad news, but she had done it before and would do it again.
He sighed and nodded unhappily. "And the tournament?"
She chuckled. "Well Mister Potter rescued his hostages and that little girl you put down there. The Merpeople want to declare war on you and Hagrid figures the lake will take years to refill. Unlike the last task there was only one fatality at the school and lots of broken bones. Oh and the Slytherin dorms along with Professor Snape's office and the potions classrooms are underwater."
She paused and Dumbledore looked at her carefully. "There's more isn't there?"
She nodded. "Yes, Hogsmeade been evacuated, most of the residents are living tents on the hilltops while they figure out if the water will drain. I haven't seen it for myself, but I'm told the survivors dance naked around a fire at night and burn you in effigy."
Dumbledore sighed and closed his eyes. He didn't want to know anymore. The longer this tournament lasted the less of a good idea it seemed.
Black Manor in Wales, March 1st ...
Dan and Emma Granger were more than impressed. They had met with the Blacks several times, but this time for some reason Bugger and Helga were going out of their way to impress them.
Bugger had invited the Grangers and Xenophilius to dinner because he had something important to talk to them about.
Helga had cooked a magnificent dinner which Dobby served while dressed in his butler uniform. The meal was superb and the 150 year old Brandy that followed the meal was divine.
Dan swirled his brandy slowly, then he looked up at Bugger. "Bugger, the meal has been wonderful, but I can't help thinking you've gone to all this trouble for a reason."
Bugger placed his brandy snifter on the table and nodded. "Yes that is true Dan. I've called you here because I wanted to tell you about some things that perhaps you haven't known before."
Dan and Emma exchanged a worried look before turning back to Bugger.
"Harry was forced into a competition that is highly dangerous," he began.
Emma nodded, "Yes Hermione mentioned that in her letters."
"Did those letters also mention that as part of the competition, your daughter and Luna were both placed into a deep magical sleep and chained to the bottom of the lake in their nightclothes?" asked Bugger.
Dan exploded out of his chair and it fell back with a crash. "WHAT?" he exclaimed. "What right have they to do this?"
Bugger held up a hand trying to placate the angered muggle.
"It's not Lord Black's fault Mister Granger," Xenophilius said, cutting off his rant. "I wasn't asked and didn't find out until later, and I daresay it never occurred to anyone to ask you either. But Harry rescued both girls and in the process totally ruined the task for this part of the competition. He also beat the Headmaster bloody for daring to touch Hermione and Luna."
Bugger nodded. "That's right, the old man required a weeks stay in the infirmary and mind you, we can fix broken bones in no time," Bugger added.
Dobby appeared and fixed Dan's chair. Somewhat mollified he sat back down. "I'm sorry."
"Oh no Dan," breathed Helga. "Don't apologize, we were equally angry over the whole affair. This isn't the end of this."
Dan arched and eyebrow and looked over at Bugger who looked rather sheepish. "I'm suing the school. If I have anything to say about it, and I just might if you believe my lawyer, Hogwarts will not be opening next year."
Bugger paused and shrugged. "I wish I could sue them for what they did to your daughter Dan, but the simple fact is that Wizards here in Britain don't believe muggle parents have any say in what happens to their daughters. And that brings us to the reason why I asked you all here today."
Emma leaned forward in her chair. "Oh?"
Bugger started to speak, but Helga stopped him with a touch. "I'll handle this part dear," she said softly, then she turned to Emma. "Like it or not, your daughter and Luna have decided that they wanted a relationship in which they share Harry between them. Now before you panic, nothing dishonorable has happened between any of them yet.
"Harry is the biggest stumbling block in their relationship mainly because he doesn't believe he's worthy of either of them. The girls are taking it very slow with him and easing him into the idea. Harry wouldn't dream of doing anything that those girls don't want to do and I suspect that when the time comes, that they want more, they will need to help Harry with that."
Bugger sighed and nodded. "Xeno here can confirm that if we were all pure blood we'd already be putting betrothal contracts in place for the three of them. But we're not all pure bloods and I refuse to follow that tradition. They will do what they want to do, I'll not interfere with their choice.
"Given that fact I asked you here because I intend to hire the necessary tutors to continue Harry's education. I fully expect that the school will not be able to reopen next fall and I wanted to know if you want your daughters to attend Harry's tutoring? Whether the tutors have three students or one, the price is the same."
"So your saying what? That Hermione, Luna and Harry will end up in a three way marriage?" asked Emma, clearly alarmed.
Xeno chuckled. "Its possible Emma, right now there are more witches than wizards so those sort of arrangements are common, 50 years ago there were more wizards than witches and it wasn't uncommon to run across a witch wizard wizard pairing. But I think the key point that Lord Black is trying to bring across is that if it happens, it will be their decision, not ours and he's offering a wonderful chance for our daughters to be tutored by some of the finest minds in our world."
Bugger lifted his glass in salute to Xeno. "Yes the tutors I have lined up are the very best. My feelings are simple, even if by some off chance the school did remain open, I don't want my ward near people that believe they have absolute control over his life."
"Will we have any say in our daughter's life under your tutoring?" asked Emma archly.
"I was hoping you'd ask that Emma," Bugger said with a grin. "You see Harry's mum was muggle born like your daughter. I would really like to see Harry educated in the muggle world as well as the magical, but I have no idea of how to pick tutors for that. If you two are willing to help we might be able to see them entering University, perhaps a bit late, but living a life that straddles both worlds."
"I'd like Luna to get some of that kind of education," commented Xeno.
Dan and Emma exchanged a long silent conversation then turned back to Bugger. Dan raised his glass. "It would be our pleasure. This way we won't lose our daughter to the magical world."
Bugger raised his own glass, pleased that the conversation had gone so well.
The Evil Secret Lair of Voldemort's Minions, May 1st ...
Barty Crouch Jr entered the meeting hall and was shocked to find the entire room filled with people sitting, facing the stage. He moved a little closer and realized they were store mannequins! He moved towards his usual seat in the front and missed seeing Peter placing out trays piled high with cookies on some tables in the back.
Unlike Barty, Peter had little to do during this period and the isolation was obviously beginning to affect him.
Peter nodded to him then took his place on the stage.
"Since we didn't have anyone recording the minutes from our last meeting I'll waive the reading and jump straight to new business."
Barty nodded in appreciation. He hated when they fooled around with old stuff.
"I have finalized the ritual which will bring our Master back to us. It wasn't easy to do, but the things we will need are a special potion and a willing sacrifice from one of the Masters beloved servants. Do I have any volunteers for the sacrifice?"
Peter looked up and surveyed the crowded hall, but most sat there like dummies.
"What kind of sacrifice?" Barty asked loudly.
"Ah, the chair recognizes Barty Crouch Jr, second in charge of all of the Master's men," Peter said brightly, "If you have a question, please stand up."
Barty blinked. He didn't know he had been promoted! Standing he shuffled his feet and grinned in embarrassment. "Uh I want to know what kind of sacrifice?" repeated Barty.
Peter looked down at his papers and frowned. "According to this ritual, it requires the bone of a freshly killed goat unknowingly given, blood of an enemy forcibly taken, and the appendage of a servant willingly given. It also requires two pounds of freshly crushed walnuts and some dried pineapple shavings."
Barty looked at him intently. "So we have to cut off an arm or will a finger or hand do?"
Peter shuffled his feet. "No it clearly states that the appendage cannot contain any bone or cartilage."
Barty paled, he could only think of one such appendage that met that description. "Mr. Chairman, if it pleases the membership I would like to put forward a motion?"
Peter looked at him taken aback and nodded.
"Given that I will be at Hogwarts during the resurrection ritual, I nominate the only other member who will be present at that ritual to provide the sacrifice. I nominate Peter Pettigrew, the master's number one servant."
Peter made a whining noise in the back of his throat. "Are there any seconds?"
Barty smiled and put his wand away. The entire hall of store dummies had raised their arms.
"Motion carries," Peter whispered, then he broke down into sobs. He just knew this was going to happen to him! Damn his polyjuice allergy!
Barty smiled and headed back for the mountains of cookies, looked like this meeting of the Evil Minions of Voldemort was over.
Headmaster's office, Hogwarts, May 15th...
Dumbledore placed his head in his hands and moaned to himself. This can't be happening to me! He thought.
Yes it can old fool, came another thought that sounded frighteningly familiar.
Dumbledore's head shot up, his eyes bulging in a panic. Tom?
You know I hate that name old man, but soon I will be strong enough to push you out!
Dumbledore blinked. This can't be happening to me, it's so unfair!
What are you blathering about old man? Asked Tom
Dumbledore started to chuckle, it was a strange sound, clearly not one of joyous laughter, but instead the sound of madness tinged with a heavy dose of hysteria. Look for yourself Tom. You infected me and your Horcrux is waking up and I'm losing my magic. Not to you, no that would be easy. No my core has been damaged and will be fully empty just about the time you are fully active. We're going to be a squib Tom. A Squib!
The soul fragment of Tom Marvolo Riddle howled in fear at that news. No! You lie! Let me see!
Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and continued laughing. All that was left was going through the motions of the tournament and then arranging for someone to kill him before Voldemort took over.
Perhaps Severus will help me, he mused once he calmed down. He did not want to live as a squib.
Oh no he won't! Shouted Tom inside his head. I own Snape he's mine! Command him to save us!
Albus shook his head. Tom hadn't learned about Mistress Natasha yet it seemed.
Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch, May 16th...
"Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to the third and final task for this Triwizard Tournament! It's been an exciting contest so far and today is shaping up to be the best task of all!"
Ludo Bagman's voice echoed over the nearly empty stands. Bugger and Helga sat in the stands with Hermione and Luna. Behind them sat Xenophilius and the Grangers who Bugger brought as his personal guests.
The Delacour family also sat nearby with their daughter who waved when she spotted Harry. The girl had a bit of a crush on Harry, but had opted to just write him nice pleasant letters. Hermione and Luna helped him reply without deliberately encouraging her crush. It was Harry's first real exposure to his celebrity and it made him uncomfortable.
Harry stood with the other contestants and he smirked because all three watched him warily.
He wasn't exactly friendly with any of them and for the most part, they resented his destruction of the second task which left them all tied for first place. Except Harry who was dead last with six points and very proud of that accomplishment.
Of course Krum didn't like him since Hermione turned him down for the Ball.
The world famous seeker was very unhappy to see Harry show up to the ball escorting Hermione and Luna. He didn't like the apparent slight to his honor but there was little he could do about it. It didn't even bother Harry when he stormed from the Ball after spotting Harry sharing kisses with Luna and Hermione.
And the Veela? Well she grudgingly decided that if he could save her sister then he must be alright. Harry's response to that was to ignore her entirely after making a comment about not wanting to deal with commoners. So much for being a 'leetle boy'.
Fleur flew into a major tantrum at that remark and turned her full Veela power to bear on Harry in the Great Hall at dinner. He grinned and grabbed Luna and Hermione's hands, neatly sidestepping the 58 guys that piled onto her, tearing at her clothing. She didn't dare approach him after that.
Privately Harry would admit the sight of her fleeing the Great Hall wearing nothing but panties and shouting obscenities in french wasn't one he was likely to ever forget.
The final Champion, Cedric Diggory didn't talk to Harry at all. It wasn't personal, he just didn't really know him and he was still slightly traumatized by the second task. Harry heard a rumor that Cho Chang stumbled on the naked Hufflepuff on the way out of the great hole and made some snide comments about his nakedness. The effect on the poor boy was rather devastating.
Now Harry stood, slightly apart from the others, he was totally prepared for this task mentally. He was going to snub wizarding Britain in the best manner possible.
Not far away stood Dumbledore, who wasn't looking too happy, Madam Maxime and Ms. Eurkov. Percy Weasley was standing in for the absent Barty Crouch and Ludo Bagman was announcing as usual.
"The Durmstrang, Beauxbatons and Hogwarts champions are currently tied for first place and will be entering the maze based on drawing straws. There'll be a 10 second gap between each contestant. Our final Champion, having only 6 points will have to wait 12 minutes before he may enter the maze," Ludo announced. His announcing wasn't a total waste of his time since the Wizarding Wireless network had a microphone in front of him. After they placed the mic and tested the connection, the technician for the network fled the scene in total terror.
Harry turned and waved to his family in the crowd, then he turned and dropped his pants and mooned the judges. Someone, probably Luna, had taken the time to show Harry a spell that wrote "Eat Me!" on his butt cheeks.
Helga and Bugger laughed uproariously in the stands while both Luna and Hermione blushed and giggled. Emma Granger smirked and chuckled, she remembered the day she streaked naked through Dan's frat house. Shortly after that Sorority prank he asked her out.
Harry pulled up his pants and turned back to the maze ignoring the outraged judges. Ludo blinked and wondered if he should report Harry's act of defiance on the wireless or not.
Dumbledore nodded to Ludo who finally realized that he was being told to start. He smiled at the Headmaster and waved to Filch who was ready at the cannon. Filch leaned forward and gripped the lanyard and started to yank on it. Suddenly the cannon pivoted away from the forbidden forest pulling the cord in his hand taut. Filch's motion plus the movement of the cannon was enough to cause it to fire.
Harry chuckled and stuck his wand back in it's holster as the cannon fired. Two second later Hagrid's hut exploded.
"Nice shooting Davy Crockett," commented Harry. Filch looked at him, then at the cannon, then at an extremely angry Hagrid clawing his way out of the wreckage and promising death to whoever blew up his house. Filch immediately did the mature thing, he fainted.
Up in the stands, Luna, Hermione and Bugger held up cards reading, "8.6", "8.8" and "6.6". Harry grinned and woke up Filch with a quick enervate. "You got good scores from everyone except for that Canadian judge, Argus. You just might win this!" He said, clapping the man on the back and helping him up. "But I think its time to run before Hagrid gets here. Better get into the maze quick!"
Filch blinked at Harry in confusion, then he shrieked as Hagrid continued to close the distance. The half giant had an axe in his hand and he clearly wanted blood! Filch pivoted and immediately ran into the maze with Hagrid hot on his heels.
"Hey! No fair!" Harry called out loud. "They aren't in the competition! If this open to anyone then I refuse to participate. This task is for champions only!"
The three judges and the three contestants stared at each other in confusion wondering what to do next. Meanwhile the fire that had been burning in Hagrid's fireplace was spreading and the wreckage started to smolder.
From somewhere in the maze Filch screamed as he ran across one of the obstacles that took offense to his presence. Not being capable of using magic, it was quite likely that Argus Filch had just become lunch for one of Hagrid's misunderstood beasties.
Harry shook his head and stomped up to the other champions. "Look I don't want to be out here all day! It looks like it's going to rain! Get in there or those other two will beat you to the center! Mush! Pronto! Shake a leg!"
All three champions stared at Harry for a moment and then he reached for his wand. They ran, climbing and clawing at each other to get out Harry's way. In a moment they rounded the bend and they were gone.
Harry looked up at the stands to see everyone, even the Delacour family laughing. Thinking he was on a roll, Harry decided to try one more thing. He turned and dashed over to the Judges. "Hurry!" he exclaimed, "If you don't watch them you'll never be able to judge them properly!"
Eurkov, Dumbledore and Maxime blinked in shock and then chased after the contestants.
In front of the stands, the huge screen displaying the interior of the maze split again to cover the three judges, three contestants, one dead squib and a bewildered half giant. Harry smirked, it was obvious how they intended to judge the champions. "Morons," Harry muttered to himself, then he eyed his next target.
Harry turned to Ludo and tapped the mic hard a couple times. "This thing on?" he asked.
Ludo nodded dumbly at him, clearly shocked by this turn of events. "Good, because I've just proved once and for all time that the judges are idiots and probably should be fired. Clearly this is beyond their abilities," Harry said grandly then he turned away.
Harry walked over to the entrance and pulled a shrunken chair from his pocket and enlarged it. Then he enlarged a fancy footrest and a small table and lamp. Sitting in the chair, an Elf appeared and handed him a drink and his book.
He placed his book on the table and trotted back over to Ludo Bagman. "Excuse me, but I need this for a bit," he said, then he grabbed the microphone.
Trotting back to his chair he sat and smiled at the folks in the stand before he began to speak.
"People of the Wizarding world! Your government has been lying to you! You have been pawns in a great conspiracy!"
He leaned back and took a sip from his drink. "Every day, you trot off to work, every day you slave and grind for your wages while your Ministry works with your real oppressors! Every day you slave at work to earn money so that your real oppressors can live a nice life with food and shelter and never worrying about having to earn a dime. Every day you toil and scrape the bitter ground while your Government helps to keep you bound to your true masters. Every day you sweat and bleed and curse and watch your magic slowly wither and why is this you ask?
"So that you may keep a house elf in a manner which suits their needs!"
Harry paused and grinned at Bugger and Helga and the rest who were rolling in the stands with laughter. "Free yourselves wizards! Throw off the chains of your bondage! Refuse to bow to the will of the Ministry!"
He paused again and picked up his book. "I will now read to you some of the famous words of one of our dearest leaders, a man whom we all respect. Albus I-Have-Too-Many-Middle-Names Dumbledore. Who wrote these touching words, and I quote;
"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
Harry paused and slowly closed his book. He looked thoughtfully at the crowd in the stands. "It gets me every time I hear those famous words and I wonder, where is Dumbledore's Bandersnatch now? Where is your Bandersnatch hmm? That is the question you need ask yourself.
"This is the Wizarding Wireless Network, signing off from Hogwarts and bidding you all fondue. Tune in next week when we premiere our new game show of 'Guess my IQ!'"
He placed the book back on the table and took another sip from his drink. He picked up the microphone and banged it on the table a few times, then he tossed it to Ludo Bagman. "Here, I don't need this anymore."
Out in the stands, Bugger, Luna, Hermione and Emma held up signs. "9.5", "9.8", "9.7", "9.9". Harry saw his scores and he mimed a victory dance for the crowd, then he bowed.
Both Hermione and Luna glared at Emma for giving Harry a higher score than they did. She couldn't help it, there was just something about a man and poetry that made her blood race.
Bagman stared at Harry. "Potter is... Potter is... Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't... Potter... Dumbledore... Oh god!"
Ludo Bagman stared at the mic in dismay! He didn't know what the say and he knew the silence was spelling the end of his career! The entire event had been derailed by an insane Potter! No he wasn't insane, he was totally nuts!
"I know you think me nuts Bagman," Harry said icily. "But I'll remind you that three of the most respected wizards in the world ran into that maze without a single thought. You wanted the publicity that this tournament would bring, well you have it. Britain, France and Germany are the laughing stocks of the world and I get to sit here and watch."
He wondered how long it would take before the judges realized what he had done, then he opened up his book and began to read. He wanted to know more about the frumious bandersnatches!
Barty Crouch stood behind Ludo and he couldn't believe what had just happened! The Potter brat had thrown the entire event into chaos.
Deciding to take charge he strode forward at a brisk, one legged pace and he grabbed Harry by the hand, pulling him into the maze with him. "Come on boy, you still have a chance to win this thing!" he shouted.
Shocked, Harry let himself be pulled along inside the maze until Professor Moody faltered in his steps and reached for his flask. Harry pulled away and stunned the man while he was still fumbling with his flask.
He slumped to the ground and lay motionless. Harry looked at him for a moment, then he picked up the flask and opened it. He sniffed the contents and realized what was happening. Picking up Moody's wand he pointed it at the man.
"Incarcerous!" he intoned.
Moody blinked his eyes and looked around warily. His features started to alter and Harry realized his hunch was right, the foul smelling liquid was Polyjuice potion. He and Bugger had played with the stuff over the summer while Bugger was instructing him in the fine art of Pranking and Wooing girls.
Moody stared up at him fearfully. "Do you have any unbound potion?"
Moody spat at him, so Harry decided to make a point. He drew back his foot and kicked the man in the nuts as hard as he could.
"I asked you a question imposter. Do you have any unbound potion?"
Moody moaned pitifully and curled up in a ball. "Yes," he squealed.
Moody was silent and Harry drew back his foot again.
"In my back pocket, I keep a backup in case I need to escape!" the man said. By now his features were decidedly not that of Alastor Moody. Both the fake leg and eye had already detached themselves from the man.
Harry hunched down and pulled the extra flask from his pocket, then he pulled a hair from his head and put it into the flask. He stared at the man for a moment longer, then he made a decision after he recalled a conversation with Bugger.
"Harry, when it comes down to the point where you're fighting for your life, or the lives of your family, just remember one important point. There are no unforgivables at that point. You do what you need to do to keep yourself and your family alive."
Harry nodded to himself, then he pointed Moody's wand at the man. "I don't know who you are, or why you want me and I don't care. Imperio!" he hissed.
Barty's face went slack immediately.
"You are going to drink the potion and then follow your original plan as if you were me. Do you understand?"
Barty nodded and immediately started to drink the potion. Harry backed away as he changed into a copy of himself, then he released him and threw Moody's wand at his feet.
The fake Harry Potter picked up the wand and looked at Harry for a moment before turning and going deeper into the maze.
"The shit I get into," Harry said, shaking his head. He looked around and spotting the electric blue eye and decided that maybe he could find a use for it, so he bent over and pocketed it then he turned and started to backtrack his route.
Jim Bob's Old Home Petting Zoo...
Barty appeared at the portkey point and Peter immediately stunned him, then tied him to full garbage can.
Peter stared at Potter for a moment, then he decided to wake him. He wanted to taunt him before he performed the ritual. In fact, he wanted to do anything to delay that particular task.
Nearby a huge cauldron simmered, occasionally the contents would moan and make chirping noises.
Waving his wand at Harry, the boy woke and looked around in shocked surprise.
"Where am I?"
"You are my prisoner!" declared Wormtail loftily.
"Wormtail you treasonous piece of dogshit!" spat Potter.
Peter blinked and his eyes filled with tears. He hated when people thought bad of him. His lower lip trembled slightly. "Now now Harry, don't be upset, what I do I do for the Greater Good!"
"What do you want Wormtail?"
Peter came closer to Harry and Harry discovered the effects of the dreaded Death Eater halitosis.
"You are going to help us revive our Master and then he's going to kill you," Peter said with a small laugh.
"Jesus! When was the last time you brushed your teeth? And you expect to kiss your Master with that mouth?"
Peter blanched and backhanded Harry. "Enough! Prepare yourself Harry, tonight you die! Mwahahahaha cough cough."
Peter scowled. He had practiced that laugh for weeks and he ruined it with a cough? How embarrassing.
Peter turned back to the cauldron, his moment of triumph ruined, it even took the fun out of taunting his victim. Carefully he levitated the leg bone of a freshly killed goat into the cauldron.
"Bone of a Goat, unknowingly given," he intoned.
"That explains the petting zoo," quipped Harry.
"Be silent!" snapped Wormtail.
"Make me," Harry said smugly. Barty had had enough exposure to Harry over the year to know exactly how much of a sarcastic smart ass the brat could be and he had him down perfectly.
"Now mix in the freshly crushed Walnuts and stir vigorously," Peter said, pouring in the nuts.
"Those don't look like they are well crushed if you ask me. I don't know what you're cooking, but I bet it comes out lumpy," Potter said.
Peter blinked and stared at the mixture in concern. Could he have done a better job of crushing his nuts?
Shaking his head, he decided to go with it, then he grabbed a knife and turned back to Harry.
"It's time to bleed for my Master Harry," crooned Peter.
"I don't know how, I don't know when, but I'm going to kill you Peter. I'm going to kill your dog, your mother, your father, the girl you had a crush on when you were six and all your neighbors!" Harry spat. "You may kill me, but I'll be back! A Potter never lets a weak plot device like death stop him!"
Peter looked afraid, but he knew the Master would protect him. Stepping up to Harry he used the knife to open his wrist. Blood shot out splashing Peter and coating the front of his robes.
"This isn't the end you bastard!" gasped Harry.
"No, it isn't," Peter spat back. "I'll make you pay for ruining this robe! I just bought it to impress the Master and you've ruined it!"
He turned back to the cauldron and put some of the blood into the bubbling mixture, then he added the pineapple shavings.
"Oh can I have some pineapple shavings?" asked Harry weakly.
Reaching into a bag he pulled out the cup of Hufflepuff, which turned out to be one of the earliest examples of an athletic supporter, and Ravenclaws diadem. He kissed both objects then gently lowered them into the mixture.
Peter couldn't help it. He whimpered, this was the part he was going to hate!
Dropping his pants he reached down and gave himself one final caress. "Farewell my pretty," he moaned.
"Oh this is so wrong, the last sight I see is the shriveled willy of a wormy?" moaned Harry.
"Appendage of a servant, willingly given, you will revive our Master!" he said, then his knife slashed downwards. He howled and dropped the object into the cauldron.
"That is some seriously fucked up shit," mumbled a dying Barty Crouch.
The cauldron started to spark and shake. Peter staggered back from the cauldron and tripped over his pants falling at Harry's feet.
He watched, moaning in pain, while the cauldron started to glow and shake more violently.
"I saw this in a movie once, it's gonna blow," whispered Harry. "I told you the nuts weren't crushed enough. And then you used a virgin penis! Did the instructions call for that?"
Peter glanced up at Harry, then towards the cauldron in horror. "No they didn."
The cauldron exploded, destroying the Horcruxes and killing the last two active Death Eaters on the planet.
Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch, May 16th...
Harry trudged out of the maze and looked around. Madam Pomfrey was frantically working on Krum who seemed to be missing both arms.
"So much for a Quidditch Career," Harry said shaking his head.
He glanced over to spot Dumbledore and the other two judges being yelled at by none other than Percy Weasley. This he couldn't miss.
He sidled over to the table where they stood. Ludo Bagman sat at the table staring in shock at Weasley.
"What the hell is wrong with you three? You not only ran into the maze like a bunch of idiots, you nearly killed Krum! Cedric is missing and the Veela chickie is bawling her eyes out from fear."
Harry smiled and pulled out his wand, he used it to push Ludo's microphone closer to the argument.
"What were you thinking? Why did you attack Krum?" demanded Percy.
Madam Maxime looked embarrassed, and she shuffled in place. "He tried to kiss me."
"He ran into a section we had charmed to inflict an intense lust on it's victim," admitted Dumbledore. "It was harmless, really. We honestly were hoping the Veela chick would get caught in it, give her a taste of her own medicine as it were."
"Da, so big Momma here gets a horny Krum and she pulls his arms off in fear," added Eurkov.
Percy blinked and looked at the three of them in disbelief. "And Ms. Delacouer?"
Eurkov grimaced. "Dat wuz my idea. Hogwarts champion has small willy, so we transfigured a walking talking six foot long willy to taunt him. Veela ran into dat."
Percy shook his head and glared at the three. "I'm declaring this contest over and we'll never hold another! Do you know in the past hour we've received hundreds of diplomatic messages laughing at us? You've made us look like idiots!"
"Hey, did you know this microphone is live?" called Harry.
Everyone turned to stare in horror at the microphone.
Harry shrugged. "I'm going home. Send my winnings there," he called over his shoulder.
Luna looked up and turned to Harry. "I take it that was what you had in mind?"
"Sorta? What do you mean?"
Harry scratched the back of his head and he glanced back up at the mirror. "Well I didn't think Harry would improvise like that. I mean really, poetry? I didn't know I had that in me."
Luna shook her head. She knew exactly what Harry was capable of, the only one surprised by Harry's actions was Harry himself. "I don't know, I enjoyed it. It's one of my favorite erotic poems and to have it read by you?" She shivered slightly and Harry turned to eye her speculatively.
She smiled prettily at him then asked, "Is there anything else left for us to do?"
"Nah, we're done except for watching over Dumbledore and I don't expect that to take long. The Horcrux will use the last of his magic to become fully active. That will mean the old man won't have any magic and he'll probably die within a week."
Harry paused and looked up for a moment. "Lets see, Harry's set. Bugger and Helga will see to his upbringing from here. Helga already has plans to help all the elves that have been freed by Harry's little speech.
"Finally Harry will get to explore how far he wants to go with Hermione and Luna. No I think we're just about done here."
Luna smirked. "Oh he'll explore all right. He's a little pervert just like his Multiverse hopping counterpart."
Harry grinned back at her. "And you love it."
"I do," she admitted. "Well since we're done here, I have a suggestion for our next universe."
She pulled out a file and passed it over. He opened it and quickly scanned the summary, then he saw the insertion date of 2002 instead of 1985. "Why so late?" he asked her.
"Because it seems that the event wave is now propagating through the multiverse, my divine contraception charm failed this morning and that universe is one in which you and I died there and Hermione survived," she replied. "Also the Boss phoned and said we're off the hook. We can continue hopping if we want, but it's time to build a home Harry."
Harry blinked and his eyes teared up for a moment. They were finally done. "I've always wanted to be the Queen to the ruler of a solar system," she said huskily. "Co-Queen will do also and I'm sure Hermione would enjoy the fact that she can have any book she wants."
Harry nodded, speechless for the first time in a long time. He reached over and took Luna's hand. Fate's bitch was going to retire! Soon, they would go home and if he was lucky, he'd build a palace for his girls.
12 Months Later, in another Universe...
Twenty year old Hermione Granger sat down for a meager breakfast in the Leaky Cauldron. She was rather unhappy with her life and unsure how to turn things around. Voldemort was dead, but so were most of her friends. The war left her feeling old and worn out. It had ground her down and crushed her hopes for a long and happy life.
She had a crappy job in a bookstore because the Ministry still didn't want to hire muggle born wizards. It was a dead end and she knew it.
Opening the Daily Prophet she started paging through the paper. Suddenly she had an intense desire to read a particular section she usually ignored.
Turning to the personals her eye was drawn to an ad much larger than usual.
Lightning Bolt Boy and Moon Goddess seek Friendly Bookworm for the purpose of aiding in world domination. Said candidate should be willing to share throne and occasionally enjoy fun antics involving hot tubs. If interested in reuniting with some friends who have an amazing story they want to share, turn around.
Hermione stared at the paper for a long moment. "It can't be, can it?" she whispered. Slowly she turned in her chair and instantly spotted a pair of huge smiles beaming back at her. She squealed and bolted from her chair while the rest of the patrons ignored the ruckus thanks to a notice me not charm.
"Boy have we a story to tell you," Harry whispered to his friend. He held her tight and Luna hugged her from behind.