Remus walked to the Rue Magique's floo access, Gringotts and shopping had taken much longer than expected. Even though Sirius had signed a letter giving him full access, even signed with a drop of his blood, the Goblins still acted suspicious. He had been interrogated by the nasty creatures for close to an hour before they finally, grudgingly, allowed him to get some galleons, supervised all the way. Remus wondered if the Goblins hated werewolves as well, or maybe it was because he was English, and the Goblins were upset about how badly their race was treated in that country.
Regardless, he finally got access to the gold and was able to stock up on some food, potions supplies, and had made an appointment with a tailor to get Sirius fitted the next day. Remus waited for an available floo, then stepped through sounding out "Black villa" as he dropped the magical powder. The first thing he saw after the world stopped spinning was his best friend's hairy naked backside, as Sirius was standing in the living room stretching in the buff.
"Dammit Padfoot, put some clothes on! What if Emma had seen you like that?"
Sirius ducked behind the sofa, wearing only a sheepish grin, "Oh hey Moony, err... don't worry, she hasn't been down all day."
Remus demonstratively turned away, "I don't even want to know why you are naked, you dog. Ugh it smells in here... get dressed for Merlin's sake, and open a window already. It smells weird in here."
He dropped the groceries, and walked to the door. "You can unpack, I'll go take a walk on the grounds. I need to clear that horrible sight from my brain," he called out as he stepped through.
"Is he gone?" a small voice came from the sofa. Emma raised her head slowly, peaking over the back. Her hair was matted around her head, and she had a sweaty, glowing hue on her face.
"That was too close," Sirius commented, picking up his pants from the floor.
"No kidding. Do you see my knickers anywhere?"
"Not where I'm looking," Sirius was grinning wide. "Damn you're a wild one."
"Look, Sirius, this was..." Emma paused as she looked around, seeing her bra hanging from a nearby houseplant – good thing Remus hadn't been paying attention – and one of her socks was halfway under the sofa itself.
"A lot of fun yes," Sirius replied, "I definitely wouldn't mind a repeat session. I have been on a dry spell for 12 years!" He found Emma's skirt tangled in his shirt, and tossed it to her.
Emma wavered, "Not... not what I mean. Look Sirius, we had fun, but this was just one time, and don't tell the others?"
"Sure Em, whatever you say" Sirius was all smiles, leaning in for a quick kiss. To his disappointment, Emma turned her head away.
"I'll... I'll be upstairs, I need to think." Emma put her skirt on, and awkwardly stood up.
"Want some company?" Sirius shot her a wink.
"No, I want to be alone for now. You go clean up." She walked towards the other room with the stairs, and headed upstairs, not seeing the wizard's face drop.
For Harry, classes served nicely to take his thoughts of breakfast. To both his and Hermione's surprise he found that he was not behind at all, in fact during their first class, Charms, they were taught the Cheering Charm, and he was the first out of the entire 3H to get it right. Their teacher, Professeur Poussin, awarded him a merit point, and Jamie earned another during the same class when he helped their classmate Julie cast it right.
"Damn Jamie, you're good," the Walloon blonde had commented to him as they left the classroom. "Usually Vittorio is the first to get the spell, either him or Jacob there."
"I guess I just have a charming personality," Harry grinned. He liked Julie, she had a good sense of humour and liked Quidditch.
"Bad joke Galles," Michel groaned, as he pushed past the two.
"Oh come on don't start calling me that," Harry whined, "it's Crochenydd, or Jamie."
""Galles" is easier," Julie grinned at him, "you'll just have to deal with it."
"It's your own fault for picking such a difficult name," Hermione hooked her arm around his, as she caught up with the group. She had stayed behind to ask their teacher some questions, but had caught the last bit of the joking.
Harry shot her a shocked look, sure he had chosen the name himself when Mr Delacour had made it clear they needed an alias, but what was she thinking potentially ruining their identities with a comment like that?
Fortunately for them, the others took it as a joke: "Heh that's nothing, at least you don't have a horrible name like Anna there," Vittorio called out.
"If you dare!" Anna shot him a murderous gaze.
"What are you going to do to me then, Anna Laflamme-Brûlé?" the Italian boy yelled out, then ran off, a furious brunette in reply, as the others of 4C descended in laughter.
The other classes of the day also went well, Harry showing remarkable aptitude in all wanded subjects. He had always been good at Transfiguration and Charms, but even he was surprised when during Transfiguration class his hedgehog turned into a pincushion on the first attempt. Hermione shot him an envious look, as even with him helping her she could not get it right.
Their lunch break was interrupted by another appearance of Fleur, with a teacher in tow.
"See Professeur Gelée? I have found you a little helper for this evening, Galles doesn't mind getting dirty, she has no manners to speak of as it is," she was commenting as she pointed out Harry to the man.
"Miss Delacour, I could do without the commentary, thank you very much," the man cut her off.
"Miss Crochenydd was it? Wait for me here after dinner, I will come collect you for your detention. You will be assisting me prepare for tomorrow's classes."
"Yes sir," Harry answered respectfully, knowing it was little use fighting this, but as soon as the teacher turned around, he glared at Fleur. Fleur actually stumbled as she felt the gaze of the "little girl" on her, and rushed back to her own table.
"I really can't stand that bi– witch," Harry grumbled.
"My brother says she wasn't always this bad," Michel commented. "He's in her year and class, you see. She used to be perfectly nice until puberty happened," he ignored the silly laughs and jeers of a few others, "after that she changed."
"Changed how?" Hermione asked.
"Have you noticed how she has only girls around her? Well there's a reason for that... she's a Veela, and when she was our age her Allure started coming out, she had much difficulty controlling it at first. Most guys from her year and up couldn't focus on anything when she is looking at them, and were constantly asking her out. "My brother says she turned into a real snob after that, since she thinks very little of anyone who is affected."
"Like he is," their classmate Antoine cut in, grinning widely.
"Yeah he embarrassed himself badly a couple of times trying to ask her out," Michel admitted. "That's when some people began calling her the Queen, or Queen witch-with-a-B..."
With the topic now about the Veela Queen of Beauxbatons, 3H went back to eating their lunch.
Hermione on the other hand was critically inspecting how the boys indeed seemed to avoid Fleur, or how weird they got when they got too close to her, and wondered why Harry seemed unaffected.
The wizard-in-girl-form in question was grumbling about annoying blondes, and was not looking forward to their next class, Potions.
"Emma, can I come in?" Sirius knocked on the door to her room. Emma had remained upstairs for most of the day, and he had not seen her since Remus came back.
He heard stumbling within, and after a bit more of a wait Emma opened the door. She had tears on her face again.
"Here... I brought you this," Sirius clumsily started, holding out a flask of Calming Draught he had brewed.
"Oh thank God, I needed that," Emma gulped it down as she stood, letting the relaxing magic take hold of her.
"Thanks Sirius," she said in a calm voice after the magic finished its work.
"I made a few more, just in case. Anyway Remus has cooked dinner, will you be joining us?"
"Let me freshen up a bit, I'll be right down," Emma sounded her normal self again. "Thanks Siri, I mean it."
"My pleasure Ems, oh I also think you'll want these," he handed her her knickers. "I found them just before Remus came back, don't worry he didn't see them."
"Oh... well that is good," Emma had a blush on her face as she accepted them, then gave Sirius a quick peck on the cheek before closing the door on him. The dog animagus was smiling as he walked back down to tell Remus it would be a little longer.
"Madam Bones, I hope you understand that this is very much unprecedented," John Major broke through the silence. He was sitting in one of the government's official cars, together with Tony Blair, the witch in question, and a security guard next who was sitting to the driver. Both the guard and driver had been cleared for the top secret information so he did not have to watch his words.
"The Queen has agreed to extend our normal private meeting to meet with you as well, with none of the pomp and ceremony which is otherwise required."
"I understand fully John, and I thank you again for making this possible at such short notice," Amelia answered. "Alas time is very much of the essence, the next Wizengamot meeting is Saturday and I fear Dumbledore and Fudge may be trying to get me censured there as well."
"Let us hope Her Highness is able to help then," Tony commented. Shortly after the car pulled up at Buckingham Palace.
"Your Majesty, it is an honour," Amelia Bones dropped into a small curtsy, even as Prime Minister Major and Mr Blair gave a neck bow.
"We are pleased to meet with you Madam Bones, but very unhappy with the circumstances. Please hand over your wand to good Roger, he will keep it safe during your visit," the monarch indicated one of her guards.
Amelia only hesitated for a second, before handing over her wand by the holster first. The guard took it, and stepped away from the group, allowing them their privacy.
Feeling rather uneasy, Amelia took a seat at an indication by the Queen she could do so.
"Madam, I come before you to inform you that your magical subjects have committed unspeakable crimes against the Muggle population," Amelia started.
"We are quite aware," the Queen surprised her. "Did you honestly believe we had no informants of our own?" The Queen looked remarkably energetic for a woman of her age, as a fire seemed to light in her eyes. "Still it pleases us that not all members of our Wizengamot have forgotten their oaths. Tell me, Madam Bones, what is it you wish of us?"
Amelia gulped deeply, and launched into her tale.
"Sirius, you dog," Remus scoffed his friend on the head. "I knew I shouldn't have left you two alone." They had just finished dinner together, and Emma had volunteered to wash up, saying it would clear her head. Despite Remus and Sirius's protests they could take care of it with a spell, she had ushered them out of the kitchen.
"What... what do you mean Moony?" Sirius wondered what gave them away... he had taken care of all the clothes before Remus had returned, and Emma had not mentioned a thing.
"You idiot, didn't you notice how Emma is avoiding your eyes? I bet she saw you while you were doing Merlin-knows-what in the buff earlier," Remus laughed.
Sirius let out a slight sigh of relief, "Well maybe she liked what she saw Moony old pal?"
"Hah! Dream on mangy mutt," Remus laughed out loud. "I bet she is way out of your league!"
"Oh yeah? Remind me Moony, who among the Marauders was still a virgin at graduation?" Sirius had a wide smirk on his face.
"Well not me, thanks to Deina Callahan... the spirits protect her soul," Remus countered, raising his drink in salute of a fallen friend. Remus clanked his glass against it, and they were silent for a bit. Deina had been murdered in the same series of attacks that took the life of the McKinnons and so many others back in 1981.
"With you and Marlene, and of course James and Lils, that left only Peter," Remus countered, his face settling into a more serious look. "Which reminds me, once we clear your name and have Dumbledore taken care of, we need to make sure the rat is caught."
"Number two target on the list, right after Snivellus," Sirius growled.
"I want to be there when you take care of that monster," Emma's voice sounded from behind them, as she stepped into the room.
"But let's not talk about that now. How do you think the kids are doing?"
Fleur sat in her dorm room surrounded by her best friends Amélie, Juliette, and Charlotte.
"I hate that little girl!" she fumed, "have you heard what she did?"
The other three looked to each other and in unspoken communication Juliette was volunteered to bare the brunt of Fleur's anger by asking, "who do you mean?"
"Galles!" Fleur fumed, "the disrespectful salope has already become a teacher's pet, despite her complete lack of manners! How dare they compare her to me?"
Juliette looked to her friends for help, and Charlotte continued, "They compared her to you? Who did that?"
"Professeur Poussin," Fleur said with a sniff, "she said that Galles was the first third-year girl to cast the Cheering Charm right in the first attempt!"
"One attempt? Wow, it took even you multiple tries," Juliette flapped out. She winced under the glare of the Veela, and lucky for her Amélie rescued her: "Don't worry Fleur, I am sure it was just a lucky attempt."
"But she also had a perfect brew in Potions! They actually gave her five merit points in total in just one day!" Fleur whined.
The trio looked to each other for support, not used to seeing their leader be that petty...
"I haven't seen her that upset since Marcel managed to turn her down for last year's Yule Ball," Juliette whispered to Charlotte.
"Yeah but that was over a guy... you don't think Fleur actually has a crush on a girl do you?"
"Don't be absurd Charley," Juliette scoffed silently, "Fleur is as straight as they come."
To Hermione's surprise, Harry seemed happy when he returned from detention, he was actually smiling! She noticed that Jamie caught the attention of a lot of boys as she passed through the common room to the girls' side...
"Jamie, how did it go?" she asked.
"Hey Mia, it was great, much better than at Hogwarts," Harry smiled. "Professeur Gelée had me planting talking roses, nothing new for me, I used to do take care of the roses for Aunt Pet– for my relatives all the time. He said I was a natural, and it only took an hour before I could leave!"
"Wow that is great," Hermione smiled. "I started on the Potions essay while you were out, do you want to read over my draft version? It's due on Friday, remember?"
"No need Mia, but thanks," Harry said in reply, sitting down on one of the comfortable sofas.
"But it's already Wednesday evening, you should get started on it tonight," Hermione chided him.
"I just meant I don't need your draft, I wrote a draft of my own during class already Mia," Harry replied, surprising his girlfriend.
"Show me," she demanded, and with a shrug Harry took the parchment from his bag.
"I was really surprised by Potions class, I mean I knew Hogwarts was bad, but Miss Callot actually managed to explain what the ingredients did," he said as he handed over the papers.
"Professeur Callot," Hermione corrected him out of habit. "And wow Harry, this is really good. Did you really write this?"
"Of course," Harry replied with a shrug. "Do you want me to check your notes then?"
"No need but thanks," Hermione gave Harry his essay back. "Well done Galles, I think I'll copy from you for once," she said with a laugh.
As Harry grumbled about mean people not using people's correct names, they worked on their homework before bed.
Curfew started and was followed by lights out, and the two English exiles were alone in their room. Harry was asleep, maintaining the Jamie form at least for now, but Hermione lay in her own bed thinking.
"Even the male teachers are affected by Fleur, but Harry just shrugs it off. Is it because he is in girl form?"
After what seemed like an hour of fidgeting, she could no longer hold back her curiosity. Quietly Hermione got up and stepped across the small dorm room to her roommate's bed.
"Harry, are you sleeping?" she softly called. Getting no reply, she crept closer until she was standing right next to the sleeping shapechanger. "Harry... I love you," she breathed into his ear, then stepped back a bit to see the results.
Harry's breathing changed, and a smile appeared on his... her face. A little later "Hermione..." softly escaped from her lips, followed by what could only be a moan.
Blushing heavily and equally embarrassed and pleased with herself, Hermione went back to her own bed. As she listened to the soft sounds from across the room she thought to herself, "So even though Harry is not in a male form, he definitely has normal male desires. That means he should be affected by Fleur... but he isn't."
The former brunette continued listening to her best friend until she too fell asleep, a pleased expression on her face matching the one across the room.
On the other side of the English Channel, Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall heard a chime go off, meaning the Headmaster's Office was once again occupied.
Dumbledore had not returned following Madam Bones' invasion of his office, but a sulky looking Auror had come back after everyone had left bringing with him the same items which Madam Bones' group had removed, and had informed McGonagall that Dumbledore would be back as soon as he dealt with the politican situation, whatever that meant.
"Albus, thank Merlin you're back," she rounded into her employer as she saw him sitting in his office.
"Have you been able to find Severus yet?"
"Alas, not yet," Albus said with a dramatic sigh. "I fear he may be in trouble somewhere... I'll ask the Order to look for him."
"That's all good and well Albus, but what can we do about classes? Septima has been filling in for him for those hours she can, and has also volunteered to keep an eye on Slytherin, but we need a potions teacher back."
Minerva looked pained. "And what about our DADA situation? Professor Lupin sent a note he is resigning on the spot through owl!"
"Remus is a major disappointment," Albus sighed. "I fear he may have gotten in contact with the murderer Black, I may have erred in trusting him after all."
"Politics be damned Albus, DADA is one of the most important classes and you know it. This is now the third year in a row we are letting the students down, first Quirrel, than that Lockhart, and now Lupin... what can we do to make sure our students have any chance of passing their OWLs or NEWTs like this?"
"I'll see if Minister Fudge can lend us an Auror for the rest of the year at the next Wizengamot meeting," Albus thought out loud. "I'm sure you and Filius can take over in the mean time."
Minerva frowned at that, but kept her silence. She knew once her leader made a decision, it was always final.
"And what of Harry Albus? His friends are getting worried, it's been days now."
"Assure young Mister Weasley that Harry will be back with us shortly Minerva. I have several people working on it now."
"Mister Weasley? He hasn't said a word other than whine he has no-one to play chess with... and he's behind on all his homework. I meant Mister Longbottom, and for some reason Miss Lovegood from Ravenclaw also inquired on his whereabouts." Minerva corrected him. "And what about Miss Granger?"
"Miss Granger was expelled, there was nothing I could do to stop that," Albus lied. "As a Muggleborn who willingly left school before her OWLs, you know the law."
"If you're sure Albus... a damn shame that, I was rather fond of her... but perhaps it's for the best. She was still very much without friends in her year I believe, the Muggle world might suit her better."
"I'm confident you're right Minerva," Albus smiled, his eyes twinkling as he planted the suggestion in his gullible second hand's mind.
"Now if there's nothing else? I need to prepare for the upcoming Wizengamot meeting, we have a small situation brewing at the Ministry."
"Thank you Albus, I'll just be going then," Minerva nodded, and left his office.
"Fawkes my friend, it's a good thing she is so easy to convince," Dumbledore walked over to his phoenix, petting it. Inwardly he could laugh, world-wide it was actually believed that phoenixes could only bond to so-called "Light" wizards, a rumour he himself had started. Those in the far east, where phoenixes were a little more common, knew the truth in that a phoenix would always bond to whoever was the first human they ever saw, regardless of how Light, Dark, or Grey the wizard was. All it had taken him was a hefty bribe to a Japanese associate of his, and Albus had gotten one of the extremely rare phoenix eggs. Once Fawkes hatched for the first time, the creature bonded with him and with just a few statements to the press Albus had permanently changed his reputation in most of the world for life.
Now if only he could find the whereabouts of Severus, and bring Harry back home... he had spies watching at all the Wizarding Schools for the appearance of either a boy on his own, or a boy and girl couple.
A/N: I know some of you wanted to see a long meeting with Queen Liz, but that would have been too many paragraphs of "talking heads" spoiling what I have planned for the future chapters. Hope the other bits make up for it.
Again, Sirius/Emma is not a final pairing. Emma made a bad call under the influence of what is basically magical ecstasy after being on prozac ever since Dan's death, and Sirius went along with her (enthusiastically so) rather than do the right thing.
A/N 2: I've replaced all single quotes with double quotes in this story and will be using the American style from now on. I hope I haven't messed up formatting now, please let me know if you see stuff like don"t or Sirius", it's possible I missed a couple of cases in the chapters.