Presented for your amusement: a few scenes that go with the Crack Investigator story and time line. They are not a sequel. Nor are they omakes, as they can be treated as canon. Also, these few little scenes came to more words than the base story. Um, oops.
"Luna, how can you still be sober?"
Luna was sitting with Harry in a nice restaurant, a Muggle one this time. Harry took Luna out to dinner whenever he closed an important case. He always did this, because of some silly idea he had about how he'd never solve any cases without her, which was sweet, but it was nonsense. Harry always did all his own investigating and found out everything himself. All she ever did was point out a few things that he already knew but didn't know he knew.
Still, she wasn't going to turn down a free meal. Such an act would cause her to be thrown out of the Journalist's Guild. Of course, a good pasta meal needs a good wine. Better yet, it needs several bottles of good wine.
Which led them to this moment.
"Luna, how can you still be sober when I am so drunk?"
"Do you know the mating call of the Black-thatched Coochie Seeker, Harry? It's 'I'm so drunk'."
Harry just stared at her drunkenly, not getting the joke. Perhaps she shouldn't have tried to alter one of the classics.
"It's a potion, Harry, the Sobriety Sipper. It allows you to drink as much as you want and not get more than slightly tipsy. It's especially useful if you want to enjoy the taste of fine wines without drunkenness interfering with the sensations. Don't tell me you've never heard of it."
Apparently he hadn't.
Plots, plans, and schemes formed in the young woman's head. Harry had avoided her for some time after she'd first tried to seduce him, years ago, and had steadily refused to be intimate with her. Luna understood the issues of physical and emotional maturity and how his poor childhood would have interfered with his ability to open up and accept her love. She also understood that she needed love, too, preferably the sticky kind of love. And, finally, she understood the usefulness of alcohol in lowering inhibitions.
"You know, Harry, the Sobriety Sipper wasn't the only potion I took when preparing for this date. I'm all set for anything that might transpire between us tonight. Let's take ourselves to my apartment and see what transpires."
She had to get them there. Harry would probably have left bits of them behind if he'd done it, and she was very fond of all of her bits and wanted the chance to grow fond of his bits.
Luna thought about joking about role reversal and getting Harry drunk so she could take advantage of him, but decided against it because it might give him a clue to her plans. Instead she put on some music and invited him to dance with her.
As she had hoped, the holding turned to hugging and kissing. Happy, Luna stared up into Harry's eyes. She was nearly hypnotized. They were so much clearer without his glasses in the way. His right eye was circling clockwise, making one loop every 3.2 seconds, with an upward tic in time with his heartbeat. His left eye was circling counterclockwise with a period of 2.7 seconds. Luna calculated when both eyes would be looking at her at the same time. She wondered if it would throw off the timing if she moved his left hand down to her bottom.
The hand on her bottom did throw off her calculations, but the good groping she got made up for it. And then Harry's hands worked their way up her torso. Luna was happy and expecting to be happier soon.
Harry suddenly froze when his hand reached her chest. He frowned and groped her some more, then backed away as if she were a rabid parakeet. No, she was blonde. Make that, a rabid canary.
"How did I end up kissing a boy?" Harry asked drunkenly. "Luna will be so upset with me, and she's so sweet. I'm sorry, young man. I thought you were my girlfriend." He then disapparated.
He left a bit of himself behind. Luna wrestled with temptation. She wanted Harry, the whole package, not just his package. Luna wrestled and lost, and took his package into her bedroom. Surely it wouldn't hurt anything to sleep with Harry, even a just a bit of his bits, and she could check for fit and compatibility.
Taylor called an all-hands meeting of his gang. Not that "all hands" meant much: there were only the six, including himself and Wallace, their publicly acceptable front man. Still, they'd managed to insert themselves into several very profitable money streams. He'd gone for quality, not quantity.
"Look, there's no easy way to put this so I'm going to just lay it out there: The Hound is coming after us."
Two of his followers immediately went pale. Wallace had already been pale; he'd been the one to bring Taylor the news.
"Hinkley, where are you going?"
"I, uh, I had an accident, Boss. I gotta get cleaned up."
"Fine. Get yourself cleaned up, then come right back here. No going to the ministry and turning yourself in unless we all get a chance."
"Are you sure, Boss? Couldn't there be some mistake?" Charles was almost begging for the news to go away.
"I'm afraid not," Wallace told him. "Shacklebolt told me himself. We have until sundown tomorrow, then he's loosing The Hound."
"What's this hound?" one of the new men asked. "Are they sending a boar hound after us? A werewolf? Why's everyone so worried?"
"You remember He Who Must Not Be Named? Dark lord, killed a lot of people, almost took over the country?"
"Of course. My parents took me out of school and we lived in Denmark for a few years until he was taken down."
"Remember who took him down?"
"Potter? You mean this Hound is Potter?"
"Yah, that's right," Charles said. "Just saying he's coming is enough to scare the piss out of anyone, like Hinkley."
"The Hound isn't really Potter," Wallace said. "I met Potter at a Ministry ball once. Nice fellow, everyone says so and that's how he seemed to me."
"The Hound isn't nice! He's like some kind of monster when he comes after you!"
"That's what I meant. When Potter turns into The Hound, all the nice goes away. All that's left is the guy who took down a dark lord."
"If we know this Hound is coming after us, what are we doing here? Why don't we just get out of here? We've got a whole day, so we don't even have to leave the loot, right."
"Make him chase us all over England? That'll just make him mad."
Drury, the new guy, was skeptical. "So we just split up, right? He can't catch us all."
Taylor shuddered. "No, we really don't want to do that. If we make The Hound run us down one by one, it'll just make him mad."
"I don't get it. But, OK, let's say we can't run. Why can't we ambush him when he walks through the door? We know where he's coming and we know when he's coming, right? There's no way he can beat us all when we got the drop on him, right?"
Taylor and Hinkley both shuddered. "No, you don't want to ambush The Hound and try to kill him. That'll just make him mad."
Drury exchanged glances with the other new guy, Nab-something-no-one-could-remember. "It sounds like you're just blowing smoke, Taylor. Is this some kind of hazing, see if you can scare us? 'Cause I'm tellin' ya, I'm not scared, right?"
"Look, I'm going straight to the ministry to turn myself in. You can do what you want, but let me give you a word of advice. The Hound has a little girl who follows him around: blonde, skinny, ten or twelve years old. I don't know if she's his daughter or what. She's not always there, but when she is, watch out."
"I heard she's a demon and that's how Potter beat You Know Who."
"She might be writing a book about him," Wallace suggested. "She was with him at that party I mentioned and she had a notepad and camera."
"I heard about the camera, too," Charles put in. "I heard that she always takes your picture before she eats your soul."
"So look. Attack The Hound if you want. It'll make him mad, but it's your life. But whatever you do, don't attack the girl. Don't set any traps that might get her. Don't even look at her if you have a wand in your hand."
"Or what, he'll get mad?" Drury scoffed.
Taylor shuddered. "I knew one guy who lived through it when someone else attacked the girl. He was the toughest SOB you'd ever met. After whatever he saw that night, Heron's never said another word. Look, the coppers gave a few of us in the business a tour of the new jail a year ago. I saw Heron with my own two eyes. He just sits in his cell and hugs himself and rocks back and forth."
"You guys are all full of it. I'm going to sit here and get the Little Dog, and his pretty girl, too. I'll show you all."
"I and," Nabunenko finally put in. "I just come here one month, go police no. I fight."
Taylor glanced at Wallace, Charles, and Hinkley, then nodded. An hour later, the four surviving members of the little gang turned themselves in to the DMLE and told them where to find the bodies of the other two.
"Hello, Harry. Welcome back. Would you like to go to dinner tonight and then spend the weekend with me to rest up from your no-doubt successful investigation?"
"Hello, Luna. Yes, I'd like to have dinner with you, but I have to spend this weekend finding a new apartment. This building's being torn down, so I have to move out in a few days. I didn't get the notice earlier "
"What amazingly fortuitous timing! I've moved back to the Rookery. Daddy left just yesterday on an around-the-world expedition to find animals that don't exist. He never quite recovered after we found the snorkack breeding grounds and brought back pictures, you know, and he told me he'll be gone at least a year. I don't really want to live all alone in our house, so you can move in with me and it'll be wonderful!"
Harry thought it over for just a few moments, wondering if there was some ulterior motive. No, of course not! This was Luna. Luna was sweet and straightforward and not at all devious. "That would be great. Thanks, Luna. Now I guess we can spend more than just the weekend together."
Thanks to magic, Harry's apartment was swiftly packed and shrunk and brought to Luna's family home.
"Now that you're living here and not a guest, let's go over the house rules. There are only three. First, put the seat down." Luna's face took on a fierce expression better suited to a thirty-year veteran auror than to the sweet and slightly spacey young woman she was. "Second, if you use the last of something, write it down on this list so we can buy more. And third, um… kiss me."
"I think I can live with those rules," Harry said as he complied. "So, where do I bring my stuff, to your father's room?"
Alas, Mr Lovegood's bedroom was not at all suitable as a bedroom, what with the desk and printing press. "Er, Luna? Where did your father sleep?"
"Oh, Daddy never slept, not since we lost Mama. Sometimes I wonder if that's why some of his ideas were not as well thought out as one might expect of a grizzled newsman. I do hope you'll ensure that I sleep soundly and spare me from that fate. I'll of course be only too happy to make sure that you sleep like a log every night. And speaking of logs, shall we step into the shower?"
Harry stood there, waiting and wondering how on Earth he had let Luna talk him into this. Not the wedding; asking her to marry him had been his idea. At least he thought it was. It was always possible that his frighteningly intelligent and deceptively devious girlfriend had steered him into it in some way other than by being her brilliant, bubbly, and buxom self. Either way he was glad to be standing here, ready to marry his long-term girlfriend.
Even the crowd of guests wasn't a problem, per se. While he was a private man by nature, he had come to accept that he was a prominent figure and that half the world cared about the ins and outs of his daily life and felt entitled to butt in on private matters such as weddings. He would be perfectly happy telling them all to go away and drop dead, but Luna had convinced him to tolerate a large wedding. "We either have pried into their lives in the past or likely will in the future, Harry. It's only fair they get a glimpse of us for once."
No, the crowd of guests wasn't the problem. However grudgingly, Harry accepted seeing them here. The problem was them seeing him here. Seeing all of him here. Harry had no religion. Luna did, and hers called for all important ceremonies and observances to be conducted in the nude, under Nature's eye.
Nature's eye watching him in all his glory was fine. Having guests at his wedding was fine. Putting them together was not fine, and that was the part Harry was trying to figure out. How had Luna talked him into this?
But then he stopped worrying about it because his bride had finally joined them. A large part of his mind was rejoicing. Mine! All mine! In a few minutes she'll be my wife! A small part of his mind was even happy about the guests and the nudity. See what I'm getting! Mine! I'll be sleeping with her and you won't!
The ceremony was mercifully short. He and Luna stated that they wished to be wed, then had their wrists tied together before they turned to face the crowd for the first time as a family.
"I think this patch of grass looks softest," Luna told him after the applause ended.
"What? What does that matter?"
"You don't want my back to get all scratched, do you? Lay me on this patch for the second half of the ceremony."
"Second half? Aren't we married yet?"
"No, silly. We have to consummate the marriage in front of witnesses and before Nature. How else can anyone be sure it's a real marriage and not a sham? Oh, poo. Did I forget to mention that?"