Summary: A year after the final battle, Bill Weasley brings a broken Harry Potter to Forks, Washington to begin a "normal" life. But since when has life in Forks ever been normal? Eventual slash HP/EC and BW/JB.
Warnings: Two worlds colliding. Hard. Two canons left in the dust. Violence and bad language. Oh, and slash (same-sex romance) in later chapters between Harry Potter and Edward Cullen, with a bit of Bill Weasley/Jacob Black as well. No slash Harry/Bill, though - their relationship is just a friendship.
Rating: M. Don't say I didn't warn you.
"Your passports, Mr. Wolfe." Kingsley Shacklebolt held out two British Muggle passports.
Bill Weasley glanced at one of the passports and raised an eyebrow. "Mr. Wolfe? I never knew you had a sense of humor, Kingsley."
"I don't." Kingsley's face was deadpan.
"What name did you come up with for Harry, then?" Bill flipped through the other passport. "Harry Jameson? How very... creative. You put a lot of thought into this, I see."
"Neutral names are always better," said Kingsley calmly. "They make you much harder to trace. You will find that all your papers are flawless; they are in fact produced by our own Muggle government. I have been able to do the Muggle Prime Minister a favor or two since I became Minister of Magic, and in return, he has made sure that the two of you have been provided with new Muggle identities. You will take Harry to a small town in the United States, and you will be able to live there in peaceful Muggle anonymity for as long as you wish."
A slow grin spread over Bill Weasley's scarred face. "Peaceful Muggle anonymity? That sounds like what Harry and I both need right now. A place where no one has heard of The Boy Who Lived. A place where I won't run into my lovely ex-wife and her infuriating new husband every day. A place where no one has ever heard about dark magic or death eaters or Voldemort or werewolves."
"I've got just the place for you." Kingsley handed Bill a stack of thick files. "You and Harry will live in Forks, Washington, a remote American town on the western coast of the continent. You, Bill Wolfe, will work in local law enforcement. The paperwork was a bit tricky, but we got you a work permit for the United States. This pink card right here - which is called a Green Card for some reason I have not yet been able to discover - gives you the right to stay and work there. We have found you a job as deputy sheriff in a quiet rural district. Your boss will be a long-time local resident, Charlie Swan. Pleasant fellow, not too inquisitive. You will arrive with your orphaned nephew, Harry Jameson, who will be attending the local high school in Forks. He will find some of the classes a little odd, but there are some useful notes in the files to help him sort it all out. Apparently, "Algebra" is a sort of Arithmancy without any practical application, "Biology" is a lot like Care of Magical Creatures, but without the risk of injuries, and "Chemistry" is quite a bit like Potions, except that one must remember never to drink the elixirs produced. Harry will of course be a bit behind in the Muggle classes, but we can always blame that on the recent decline of the British Muggle education system. Chief Swan has been informed that you and Harry are in an FBI witness relocation program, and he knows better than to ask a lot of questions."
"I'll be a deputy sheriff?" Bill Weasley grinned broadly. "Cool!"
Something almost resembling a slight smile hovered around Kingsley's mouth for a moment. "Oh, don't get your hopes up, Bill. Forks is a very quiet town. You will probably be spending most of your time issuing parking tickets and looking for lost puppies."
Bill looked a bit disappointed. "But I'll get a gun, right?"
"Of course." Kingsley nodded. "It is America, after all."
Hestia Jones joined Kingsley Shacklebolt at the window. They watched as Bill Weasley crammed the files and passports into his dragon hide bag and jumped on a large black motorcycle parked illegally outside the Ministry. The motorcycle started up with a roar, and Bill took off, his long red curls flying behind him as he navigated the busy London traffic at breakneck speed.
Hestia Jones shook her head slightly. "This is never going to work, Kingsley."
"What do you mean?" The Minister's voice was calm and unperturbed.
Hestia sighed. "This. Harry Potter and Bill Weasley, the two most promising young aurors the Ministry has ever had, beginning a new life as ordinary Muggles. Oh, I know they are tired of it all right now, Kingsley, and I know that Harry had a bit of a breakdown last month, but they are heroes, for Merlin's sake. The are not ordinary Muggles, and they never will be. They might enjoy a peaceful life in America for a month or so, but then they will grow restless. They will grow bored. And then what will they do with themselves in... what was the place called?"
"Forks, Washington." Kingsley looked steadily out at the hectic London traffic.
Hestia frowned. "Forks, Washington... Now, where have I heard that name before?"
The large man by her side shrugged. "I couldn't say, Hestia. It's not a particularly well-known town."
"No, I..." Hestia broke off suddenly. She looked up at the Minister, a curious expression on her face. "Wait a minute. Forks, Washington? That was a name that came up in the Riddle files, wasn't it?"
"It may have, yes." Kingsley Shacklebolt was still staring intently at the rush-hour traffic. "But that hardly matters now, does it? The Dark Lord is dead. Harry defeated him in the end. The Riddle files have been officially closed."
Hestia Jones' eyes narrowed. "So you are telling me that it is a mere coincidence that Harry Potter and his young mentor are heading to the American town Tom Riddle visited three times in the 1960s, shortly before he became Lord Voldemort?"
"A mere coincidence, yes." Kingsley inclined his head slightly. "Which is why I completely forgot to mention that curious fact to Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley - or, as we must now think of them: Mr. Jameson and Mr. Wolfe."
Hestia Jones laughed. "You are a very clever man, Minister. There is one lingering unsolved riddle as far as the Dark Lord is concerned, and you just happen to send the two best aurors the Ministry has ever seen to the very place where the clues may lie hidden. And wasn't there something else about Forks, Washington in the files? Something about some very unusual magical creatures?"
A sudden smile illuminated Kingsley Shacklebolt's dark handsome face. "Well now, we wouldn't want the boys to get too bored, would we?"
"Welcome home, Harry!" Bill Weasley looked up at the large, dilapidated house and grinned.
Harry Potter smiled for the first time in months. "It looks almost like the Burrow." He pulled his suitcase out of the boot of Bill's vintage red Jaguar - Kingsley Shacklebolt had been rather generous with their moving expenses- and hauled it through the tangled, overgrown front yard. "I suppose we should do something about the garden eventually."
"Like de-gnoming it, you mean?" Bill glanced around at the profusion of wild brambles, a puzzled expression on his face. "No need for that; there are no gnomes around here. It looks fine to me." He pulled a rusted key from his pocket and unlocked the front door. It swung open with a slow creak, and a faint scent of mold and damp wood drifted towards them. "Oh, look, there is even a little bird's nest in he mail slot. Well, we aren't expecting any mail, are we? This place is going to be perfect!"
Harry smiled to himself. Living a Muggle life with Bill Weasley was going to be very different from living with the Dursleys.
"We should go ahead and get unpacked." Bill dragged his suitcase into the front hall as well and shook the rain out of his red curls. "Chief Swan, my new boss, has invited us both for dinner at his place tonight. His daughter attends the local high school - she will be able to tell you a bit about what to expect when you start school tomorrow." Bill pulled a sleek cell phone out of the pocket of his leather jacket and blinked down at the screen in surprise. "Oh, look, Chief Swan even sent me some directions. How did they get into my phone? Marvelous things, these Muggle phones! I swear they are even better than owls. Well, better than my family's owls, anyway. My father would have died for one of these! Here, Kingsley sent along a phone for you too, Harry. Apparently, there is a way to charm them so that the phone numbers of the people you call the most will show up by themselves, but I haven't quite figured that part out yet."
"I'll help you with that, Bill." Harry accepted his new phone. "I've watched my cousin with his phone often enough - I think I know what to do. Now, what will we do with our wands? We don't want to carry them with us, of course, since we are supposed to be Muggles, but we can't leave those lying around the house either, can we? People would start to wonder."
"Wands? We don't have wands, Harry," said Bill firmly. "We have... sticks. They are part of our decor. Here, watch." He vanished outside for a few moments and returned with a handful of rain-wet twigs from the garden. He put the twigs in an empty vase on the dusty mantelpiece and added the wand he pulled out of his pocket. "See? That looks quite nice, doesn't it? Fleur always said I was rubbish at decorating, but I think I've got a magic touch."
Harry laughed and added his own holly wand to the spiky bouquet on the mantelpiece. "I think you do, Bill."
"Welcome to Forks, both of you... Oh." Chief Swan's eyes widened when he saw Bill's fang earring and his dragon hide jacket. "When I heard that you were British and that you had worked in bank security, I expected someone a little more... er, stiff and formal, I guess. Like someone with horned-rimmed glasses and a suit. But your... er... look is probably more appropriate for this area." He shook Bill's hand, still looking rather puzzled.
"Dad!" Charlie Swan's pretty dark-haired daughter Bella sighed deeply. "Never mind him, Mr. Wolfe. Hello, Harry. I'm Bella. Welcome to Forks! I think we'll be in the same year at school. I'm rather new here myself, actually; I just moved here from sunny Arizona to come and live with my dad. Please have a seat - dinner will be ready in a few minutes." She vanished into the kitchen.
Harry could smell something delicious; it reminded him of Mrs. Weasley's cooking, and he felt a small pang of nostalgia. Was there a nice maternal Mrs. Swan in the kitchen, perhaps? No, no such person materialized.
"Don't worry, Bella is the one who is cooking dinner tonight." Chief Swan offered Bill a bottle of beer, and Bill accepted gratefully. "I can't cook a thing myself; I used to eat cold beans straight out of the can before Bella moved back here."
Harry glanced curiously around the police chief's home. It was rather plain, but cozy. He suspected that Bella must be the one keeping it tidy; Chief Swan himself looked like the sort of man who was accustomed to dropping things on the floor and letting them stay there until they grew roots in the carpet.
Bella reappeared and offered Harry a can of something called root beer, and Harry sipped it hesitantly. He had tasted Muggle soft drinks at Mrs. Figg's house, but they had been very different from this. This didn't taste half bad; the flavor was sort of a cross between ginger ale and butterbeer. Bella smiled when she saw that he liked it, and for a moment, there was something about her that almost reminded Harry of Ginny. Harry closed his eyes. He did not want to be reminded of Ginny. In fact, he didn't want to think about Ginny ever again.
"Cooking? Oh damn, I forgot all about that! We are going to need meals at home, aren't we Harry?" Bill was beginning to look a bit worried. "I'm afraid I have no idea how to... what do you call it?... light a stove? I suppose we will have to find a restaurant or something. My Mum always cooked when I lived at home, and when I moved to London, I had a house el... person come and prepare my meals. And when I married Fleur, she wouldn't even let me near the stove, of course."
"You're married?" Chief Swan looked curiously at Bill. "At your age? How old are you anyway? Twenty-five?"
Bill flushed. "Twenty-seven. I was married, for less than a year, to the prettiest girl I've ever seen in my life. She left me last year. I don't think I quite... lived up to her standards."
Charlie Swan nodded sympathetically and sighed into his beer. "I know the feeling, Bill."
"Don't worry, Bill. I know how to cook a few things," Harry glanced reassuringly at Bill. "It won't be like Fleur's gourmet food, but it will be edible. You like eggs, right? And bacon?"
"Dinner's ready!" called Bella from the kitchen. "There's salad, and I made beef stew for the three of you and a veggie burger for myself. Dad said you weren't vegetarians."
"Well, I sort of assumed you weren't..." Chief Swan looked a bit worried for a moment. "Since you are in law enforcement. But maybe I was wrong."
Bella groaned. "Seriously, Dad?"
Bill grinned. "Oh, we are not vegetarians, Chief. No need to worry. Beef stew will be great. In fact, I find myself craving meat most of the time."
Charlie Swan smiled. "Do you, now? You know, I think we'll get along very well, you and I, Bill. We seem to have a lot in common. Do you hunt at all?"
"Hunt?" Bill's hand moved involuntarily to the long, red scars on his cheek. "I don't have a lot of experience with hunting, Chief, but I would like to learn."
"All right, then." Chief Swan looked very pleased. "Perhaps you can join me and my friend some time. Have another beer, Bill, and let's dig in."
When the last remnants of the excellent dinner were consumed, there was a sudden sharp knock on the door.
"Ah, there they are!" Chief Swan looked up. "I invited an old friend of mine and his kid to stop by and meet you after dinner. We don't really have enough space here in the kitchen to have a lot of people over for dinner at once. I think you will like them, Bill. Here's my old pal Billy Black, now. Give me a hand with his wheelchair, will you, Bill? Careful, the rain makes the front steps really slick. You'll get used to it soon enough, son; it's always raining around here."
Harry glanced up curiously as an elderly man in a wheelchair and a teenage boy entered the kitchen. Black? For a moment, he wondered, absurdly, if they were somehow distantly related to the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black. But the old man in the wheelchair was far from a haughty pure-blood wizard; he was dressed in worn Muggle clothing, and his kind, wrinkled face bore no resemblance to Sirius' family. The dark-haired boy with him didn't look like he gave a damn about blood purity either.
"This is Billy and his son Jacob." Chief Swan handed Billy a beer. "This is Bill Wolfe, my new deputy, and his nephew Harry. They come from Britain."
Billy and Jacob Black stared at Bill.
"Bill... Wolfe, you say?" There was a sharp note in the older man's voice. "That's... interesting." His bright black eyes scrutinized Bill's face. "That's a nasty scar you've got there, boy. Looks like it was made by a wild animal of some sort."
"Oh, that?" Bill had practiced his story well beforehand. "Family dog attacked me a few years back. He was getting older, and he wasn't quite right in the head any more. We had to put him down. Rather sad, really."
"Family dog, eh?" Billy Black gave a deep chuckle. "Interesting story, Mr. Wolfe. You don't happen to have any Native American blood in you, do you?"
"Native American?" Bill looked terribly puzzled. "No, I wouldn't think so. My family's British. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, no reason. Just a stray thought." Billy Black smiled and took a sip of his beer. "Welcome to Forks, son. I think you will meet some interesting people here. Kindred spirits, you might say..."