AN: Here's the prologue to my new Harry Potter fiction. It's definitely A/U, and disregards that epilogue at the end of book 7. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I make no claims to this universe created by JK Rowling, and published in various formats not limited to Scholastic Books. Please do not sue me for an overactive imagination. Thank you.
Harry returned from his overseas mission exhausted. The extraction was easy, comparatively, but required a high level of energy he hadn't had to give in a few years. Not since, Then.
He tried not to about it. The period just after the war. So many things went wrong during those two years.
Reluctantly, he entered the Pisces' Net where his friend and co-worker Rojer waited on him. He'd have rather gone straight home. But Belfry Securities' rules were distinct. Check in with your handler when you got home, before getting home. This added security to their lives, and gave a sense of normalcy to their covers, as each handler worked some kind of service job where being seen waiting on yet another customer was not out of the ordinary. A few even posed as delivery drivers to manage equipment movement and other, non-time sensitive gear.
Once inside, the usual "Cheers" effect sprang up, and calls of his name washed over him, helping him relax. Rojer saw him and grinned, the even, white teeth striking within the surrounds of dusky skin tone.
"Welcome home, Harry, how'd this trip go?", Rojer asked, putting a shot of whiskey and a pint of dark beer on the bar at Harry's favorite place.
One quick sweep with his mage senses, and Harry settled on the stool. He knocked back the whiskey in short order, before answering, "Touch rough, but all right. The Bell will have more later, I'm sure." With this brief news, Rojer's smile grew larger. Good news in personnel extractions was ALWAYS desired.
"Do ya need anything?", Rojer next asked.
Harry shook his head, "Nah, I'll finish my dinner here and go home. My bed's calling."
Rojer laughed and left him to it. Harry watched some of the other patrons, who all seemed to have an instinct to leave him alone tonight. Something gained from nearly three years of constant proximity and warnings from both Harry and Rojer.
Harry sipped at his beer, relaxing from his recent travels when one of the waitresses came over to him.
"Bell note, Harry, seemed too important to wait," she said, slipping him a scrap of paper. Rojer saw the waitress, then watched Harry. Harry picked up the scrap and read: "W. D. J. Off 30. Have fun, BATS." A quick smile at Rojer let him know that everything was fine. He crumpled the scrap and put it in his jacket's pocket for later disposal. The note basically congratulated him on the job, and gave him the usual downtime before reassignment. Harry knew it was time to focus on his other life for a brief period.
After another hour, Harry had finished his beer and paid his tab. He was contemplating the short walk home, an apparate, or flight. Rojer caught him in a huge, jaw cracking yawn, and suggested, "Ye'd better walk man. Yer too tired for the others." Harry laughed and agreed. He left the bar under his own power. His own two feet, that is. Along the way back, he had time to think about what he needed to do for the most advantageous use of his next 30 days.