Disclaimer: Characters are not mine, mine, not mine, and various mine.
Author's Note: You're familiar with Blood Brandy's "Harry Potter's Vegas Vacation Challenge", right? If not, find whitetigerwolf's profile page on FFN and follow the link to his forums and then "Other Challenges". So, now that we're all on the same page: the challenge. I've cut way back on my fanfiction reading, on account of being busy trying to earn money to support my precious babies, but even so, every time I turn around I'm tripping over a response to Blood Brandy's challenge. This means war! Now, I'm not big on answering challenges directly. No no no. They must be folded, spindled, and mutilated. Especially when I keep tripping over the same blasted one. With that warning in place, enjoy…
Ohhhhh, the pain. His head. His eyes. His hoo-hoo.
Ohhhhh, the taste. He must have been eating caterpillars, the fuzzy kind with sticky insides. And they were all inside his mouth, making his tongue all sticky. Uhhhh…
Harry leaned over to barf, but didn't have anything in his stomach. Too bad. The barf would have been an improvement over the caterpillar goo.
After he gave up trying to be sick, Harry sat up and looked around as well as his blurry eyes could –. Wait a minute. He could see clearly. Harry checked that he wasn't wearing his glasses, then looked around again. The eye he hadn't just stuck a finger in was sharp and clear, better than glasses had ever been. Harry spent a little time just looking around the hotel room, marveling at the clarity even all the way over to the corner.
Visual acuity didn't translate to mental acuity. It was at least a minute before Harry noticed the explosion of black hair on the other side of the bed.
Hoping beyond hope that he hadn't spent a naked night with a long-haired guy, Harry lifted up the blanket to get a look. Whoa! That was the best ass he'd ever seen!
It was, in fact, the only bare ass Harry had ever seen. Female ass, that is. Except for that one little three-year-old girl on Privet Drive who kept running down the sidewalk naked, much to her mother's dismay and the gossips' delight.
So anyway. Ass. Female ass.
Naked female ass in bed with naked Harry! Harry had tapped that ass! Virgin no more! The no-longer-the-boy-who-lived looked around for someone to high-five, but even his superlatively clear eyes couldn't find anyone but the sleeping girl and himself, and high-fiving himself would be just lame. He'd high-five Moony, but he hadn't seen his so-called chaperon since about an hour after they got into town. Wonder what happened to him? Sirius was supposed to be the irresponsible one, but he'd been all mature and thoughtful, faking his own death to get the law off his back and to help his godson, while Moony had flaked out. Anyway, Sirius would be up for a high-five once Harry got back to England.
Thinking briefly about waking his bed mate up for a high-five but then discarding the idea – he'd obviously worn the poor girl, no she was a woman now, the poor woman had obviously been worn out and probably squished half flat – Harry lifted the blanket again. No, not flat at all. Very nice. Where was he? Right. Let her sleep.
Harry stumbled into the bathroom to take a shower. He'd finally figured out that he was hung over and he'd heard about a hangover cure using hot and cold water instead of potions ingredients.
Holly woke with a jerk. Which was surprising, as she didn't think she'd gone to sleep with one, but that wasn't wasn't what she meant. Someone had just screamed, waking her from her well-earned rest. If she'd done everything right, she stood to make a bundle, well worth the effort she'd put in last night and the tiredness and mild hangover she was feeling now.
A naked man – not really a man, a naked teenage boy, too young to have been drinking and gambling and winning last night – came staggering out of the bathroom.
"Did you ever hear of a hangover cure where you shower as hot as you can stand and then switch to all-the-way cold? Whoever thought of that has to be crazy! Or maybe he was just pranking everyone who's ever had a hangover. My godfather would love that."
"And good morning to you, too," Holly said dryly. "I think that hangover cure worked. You seem fine to me, just a little distracted."
"You haven't noticed you're getting a bit of morning breeze?" When the young man – H-something. Harry? – still looked puzzled, she pointed.
"Agh!" He covered himself up with both hands, though one would have been plenty big enough. To be fair, he had just gotten out of an ice-cold shower.
After turning around – Nice ass!, Holly observed – to grab a towel to cover himself, the guy said, "Ah, I'm Harry Potter. Ah, who are you? And have you seen my glasses? I was able to see before I took that shower but now everything's blurry again."
"Oh, my goodness, you don't remember me? You picked me up last night and brought me to your room and had your wicked way with me, and now you don't remember me? I'm crushed." Holly laughed a little at Harry's expression. "Relax. You started getting really friendly last night when you were halfway through your winning streak – a little too friendly for being at a roulette table out in public, but you were already pretty drunk by then – and then we went out and made a night of it. A long night of it with lots of drinking."
He visibly relaxed. "Oh, I guess that's not so bad. So, ah, sorry? What's your name?"
"I'm Holly. Holly … Potter."
"We got married last night." Holly waggled her left hand at him, large rock glittering even in the little bit of light coming in through a gap in the curtains. "You don't remember? None of it?"
Obviously not, to judge by the dropped jaw. Not the smartest look for him, but she could deal with it.
"It's like this," Holly explained. "You'd been playing roulette and drinking and doing pretty well. I started talking to you because, well, a pretty girl who doesn't have much money can get drinks and sometimes dinner and a show from a guy who's winning, and you're not old and fat like a lot of the players. And then you started drinking more and then you started to win really big." And because she'd gotten to him first, she'd barely had to use her powers to keep all of those other gold-diggers away from him. "The casino closed the table and brought you to the offices. I ran into you later – I guess it must have worked out with the management because they comped you a room – and asked you if you'd like to buy a girl dinner with some of your winnings. And one thing led to another and here we are."
"Ugh. How drunk was I? And where was Moony? Ah, that's a friend of my father's, sort of a godfather. He's supposed to be chaperoning me this trip, making sure I don't get into trouble. Too much trouble; he was kind of a trouble-maker himself when he was in school."
"I saw you talking to an older man when we went to the Elvis Wedding-a-go-go, but I didn't hear his name and I only saw his back before he shouted that you were old enough to know what you want before he went running off after a transvestite, a really obvious one." Holly had to laugh. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and a lot of uptight people let all their kinks out here.
"Uh… Moony and… a transvestite?" Harry shook his head. "Whatever. His business, except he was supposed to be keeping an eye on me, make sure I don't do something stupid, like get married."
Uh-oh. Holly was on dangerous ground now. The kid was a millionaire after last night, however much money his family already had, and he could get the marriage annulled if he acted fast. Time to sink her hooks a bit deeper.
"Oh, give it a chance. You were probably too drunk to remember, but last night was a good time." For him, maybe, not for her. He had no technique and was too drunk to do anything but hammer away. Still, he was young and should be teachable. And rich enough and naive enough to be worth some more friction burns. "I still need to clean up. Wash my back? And this hotel has a great breakfast platter. Maybe we can work up an appetite and really enjoy it?" If she could keep him sexually enthralled long enough, she'd get a chunk of his winnings in the divorce settlement and wouldn't have to scratch for enough money to keep herself fed ever again. And maybe it would even work out. He was cute and seemed nice enough, and Holly had had to put up with a lot worse to scam enough to live on.
The shower – pleasantly warm, not that hot-then-cold thing, thank you very much – led, as expected, to needing another shower. And breakfast, and then helping the breakfast to settle, then another shower. Holly would need to get some medicated cream for her lady bits, but walking out of the hotel room with Harry wrapped firmly around her finger made the pain well worth it.
Remus Lupin was in a panic. Everything had gone wrong, almost from the moment they'd set foot in Las Vegas.
The worst problem right now was that he'd lost Harry. It wasn't his fault, no one could blame him. Remus had spent just a moment ogling a hot babe who'd walked by, maybe a bit more than a moment, and then talked with her, just a few words, but cut that off and walked away as soon as he found she had a tenor voice. By the time Remus had remembered he was supposed to be watching a trouble-prone teenage boy, Harry was nowhere in sight.
This was terrible! Harry had no sense at all, and this was his first time in America and he'd never been allowed to wander around on his own and this was a disaster! The best that could be hoped for was that the boy was wandering around idly and wouldn't lose too much of his money to the thousands of scammers lurking in wait for wide-eyed, naive tourists. It wasn't too likely that Harry would meet up with a girl. He wasn't carrying enough money to interest the gold diggers and the odds of finding a genuinely nice girl in a town like this were almost zero and the odds of Harry turning his little bit of pocket money into big casino winnings were even lower.
Remus hadn't heard about Harry's famously hot and cold luck. Instead, he worried about criminals or even Death Eaters finding the boy. He had to find him first!
And so Remus had spent the entire afternoon and evening walking all over the city, looking for Harry on the street, looking for Harry in the casinos, looking for Harry in bars, looking for Harry in dimly-lit booths in a few of the bars when women in evening gowns invited him to join them for a drink – though at least half of those women turned out to be men in dresses. Remus had the worst luck.
He even looked in a few of the 24-hour wedding chapels, just because the sign out front said there was a genuine Elvis impersonator always on duty to meet your wedding needs. And, in a bit of amazing luck, he'd even found Harry! But before he could say more than one word, one of the fake women from earlier in the evening had come running up and Remus had to run away as fast as he could. By the time he made it back to the Elvis place – and it took quite a while because there were so many Elvis places in Las Vegas – Harry was long gone.
Finally, after an entire afternoon and evening and night and morning spent searching non-stop – almost non-stop; searching was hungry work, so he'd had to stop for a meal a couple of times – searching for Harry, Remus came back to the casino hotel where they'd booked a couple of rooms. He'd get a few hours' sleep and then try again before notifying the local police and their friends back home.
And there, in the dining room was Harry, eating lunch with a young woman! Probably not a woman. If a man as experienced as Remus could have been fooled so many times last night, there was no chance that an inexperienced boy like Harry could have found an actual girl.
"Harry! Where have you been? I've been looking for you since yesterday!"
"I've been right here, Moony, except for going out for an hour or so, I guess. Where have you been?"
Remus would have answered that, but he had just recognized Harry's companion. "Holly! What are you doing here? I never expected to see you."
"I live here in Las Vegas, Mr Lupin. I moved down here a couple of months ago. You should know that. I told you, the last time I saw you. Why wouldn't you expect to see me? And why are you here? You told me the payments stopped when I turned eighteen."
"I meant, what are you doing here with Harry? How did you meet?"
"We met at the casino last night, Moony, just before I broke the bank," Harry put in. "How do you know Holly? What's going on?"
"Ah, you see, heh-heh, that's kind of a story, Harry. You see, James, your father, was about to marry your mother – and he loved her, don't have any doubts about that. He was about to get married but he wanted one last fling before he settled into married life for the rest of his life. So at his bachelor party he went home with a woman he met at the bar. And, long story short, nine months later, you were born, Holly. It's amazing luck that you two, brother and sister, just happened to run into each other."
"What!? You mean I had a sister and you never told me?"
"Well, no, Albus thought that it would be better–"
"Wait a minute! You mean… You mean that I had a sister and never knew it and I met her by accident and slept with her and… and I married her!?"
"What? Married? You?" Remus was horrified at the news. He'd let Harry out of his sight for just a few seconds and this had happened?
Harry's look of shock and disgust was mirrored on Holly's face. Remus was in shock, too, but managed to discretely conjure buckets in case they were needed.
"Oh. My. God." Holly's disgust was replaced by reproachment. "You were there at the wedding before you ran away. You knew me and you knew Harry and you knew Harry was my brother, but it never occurred to you to tell me not to marry him? You have got to be the worst godfather in the world!"
"Ah, well, I don't think I've done that badly, overall, and last night I had something else on my mind…"
Harry demanded, "And wasn't it the whole reason you came to America with me, to keep me out of trouble? You let me get married – to my sister! – and I was gambling and drinking myself into a coma."
"Well, ah, you won big when you were gambling, didn't you? So that worked out just fine."
"Shut up, Remus, just shut up. You have got to be the worst chaperon in the world." Harry sat back with a glare.
Holly pointed to the buckets that had appeared a minute before. "Mr Lupin, you can do magic?"
"Well, yes. I was born to a magical family and went to magical school. That's where I met your father, in fact, when we were both eleven."
"Is that why Harry looks younger than he did last night? You used some magic charm to make him look old enough to get into the casino and bars?"
"I did it myself," Harry corrected her. "As soon as Remus ran off and ditched me yesterday, I figured I'm here to have fun, so I might as well really have fun."
"So why didn't you ever tell me about it? Isn't that the kind of thing a girl's godfather should do? I was doing some magic by accident when I was still little. It scared my family and me until we were able to figure it out."
"Ah, well, you know, I didn't know how to bring it up. It would have led to talk of your father's family and that would have led to awkward questions."
"Right. Because a middle-aged man coming to see a preteen girl every month and giving her money never led to awkward questions. So now that it's come up, why am I here if my father is English? Why don't I even know his name? It must be Potter because I just married … his … Oh, God!"
"Well, the Potters are an old, magical family. 'Pureblood', they're called, though sometimes they marry non-purebloods. Money and status and power are everything in that group. Reputation has to be watched carefully or their status and power would be destroyed.
"After James found out that his one-night stand, ah, wasn't quite so one-night, we had to get the child – you, Holly – out of the country. The, ah, by-blow of a pureblood line would face nothing but prejudice, terrible discrimination, in Britain, especially as Lily took two years to became pregnant. I was more familiar with the non-magical world, so I was given the job of bringing you to America and finding a place for you. And I did! I found you a good home to live in and made sure to get you the money that James had set aside for you. Good money, a thousand pounds a month, plenty to raise a little girl."
Harry and Holly glanced at each other before turning back to stare at Remus, jaws identically dropped.
"What?" Remus had no idea what was bothering them.
"Mr Lupin, did you say that my father, James Potter, whose name I had never heard before, set up a thousand pounds, about fifteen hundred dollars, a month for my upkeep?"
"Yes. That's what I just told you."
"But you had to bring me an envelope of cash every month? You had to bring it in person every month? All the way from England to Reno, Nevada? Every month?"
"And I'm guessing it cost eight or nine hundred pounds to get you here?"
"Yes, more or less."
"So of the fifteen hundred dollars every month, I only got less than two hundred? We were so poor when I was little! My foster parents did the best they could, but there was never enough. That's why I had to start working when I was twelve!"
"Well, yes, I understand you weren't getting as much as your father wanted, but what else was I going to do? I could have asked the goblins to transfer the money, but that would have cost even more."
"How about coming over every three months?" Harry suggested. "Mailing a bank draught? Doing a bank transfer every month?
"What? What are those? I've never heard of them."
"Gah! You were supposed to be the smart Marauder? My father must have been a moron. No wonder I do so many dumb things."
"You think you've got it bad, Harry? I had the same father and he didn't even want me."
The two teens slumped with identical sulks on their James-look-alike faces. Remus finally realized that they were just a little bit unhappy with him, so he wised up and kept his mouth shut.
At length the Potters glanced at each other and Harry asked, "That's all water under the bridge now. Holly, I've got lots of money now, American money. You can have half, so you don't have to worry about money any more. Do you know how to get a divorce here? Or get the marriage canceled because we never should have gotten married in the first place because" – shudder – "you're not supposed to marry your sister."
"I'm sure we can get an annulment for just that reason. We'll have to bring Mr Lupin with us. He can explain it and we can blame everything on him if anyone asks."
"Ah…" Remus hesitated. He had a feeling his next news wasn't going to go over well. "There might be a problem with that. The Potter family wedding vows are for life. No divorce is possible. You're bound together even after death. That's been part of the Potter family marriage vows for ages, Charlus told me. It's because Potter men tend to marry, ah, opinionated women with, ah, lively tempers. Without that clause, no Potter marriage would last a year."
"That would be only for a magical wedding, though, right?" Harry didn't seem concerned.
"We promised the standard 'Til death do you part'," Holly said. "Would that have a magical effect even though it was a normal wedding?"
"Probably. If you said 'I do' sincerely, it would be enough. We can get that tested later, see if you two are magically bound."
Harry scowled at him again, bringing to Remus's mind stories of torched teachers and dead basilisks. "If we have to stay married, it's not great, but not the end of the world. We'll just have a mistress and a, uh, mister, people that we fall in love with and treat like a wife and a husband. It's almost traditional, even."
"Ah, no, you can't do that, either. That's something your mother, Harry, insisted become part of the Potter family marriage vows. James was a, well, a ladies' man in school and Lily said that no husband of hers was going to have affairs. If your wedding vows had you promise to be true to each other, you, ah, can't sleep with anyone but each, ah…"
"That's it, then. The Potter line dies with me. With us. I'm not enough of a pureblood to get my sister pregnant."
Holly coughed nervously. "Ah, Harry? Ah, you may have already. I'd had a few too many drinks after the wedding and, well, neither of us thought about birth control last night or this morning. And the timing is about as good as you can get. As bad as you can get."
Remus started to lecture Holly about irresponsibility – pot calling the kettle black there, as she was quick to point out – and didn't notice that Harry had left the table until the boy had already slammed down four shots.
Harry paused as he held the door for his sister – his wife. His pregnant wife. He was hung over again, the same as the past three mornings: eyes crystal clear, wits muddled, temper frayed. He'd drunk until he passed out again last night. He was sixteen and he was married, to his sister, and he'd gotten his sister pregnat and he couldn't get out of any of it. Who could blame him for drinking so much?
(Remus could blame him, that's who. His oh-so-responsible chaperon and sort-of godfather was already starting to nag him about his so-called drinking problem, but Harry had problems. And Remus was the reason he had these problems, all except the Voldemort thing, so Harry wasn't inclined to listen to him now. Or travel with him now. Let the old man fool around with his transvestites, for all Harry cared.)
Hearing another shout of, "Hey, Villain, are you ignoring us?", Harry turned toward the voice. His preternaturally keen vision spotted three people in a loose arc around him. Three clowns dressed in Spandex superhero costumes, though they didn't have the figures to carry it off.
"What is your problem? And stop shouting unless you can give me some aspirin. Didn't it ever occur to you that some people might have hangovers in the morning?"
"This sounds like a job for… The Hydrator!" said the one in the white costume with a blue water drop on the front. He didn't say it, he shouted it, the bastard. "With the power to redirect water to where it is needed, The Hydrator can overcome any hangover!"
Harry felt a searing headache for a moment after the doofus pointed at him dramatically, but then all of the symptoms dropped away. As did his clear vision. Aiming his blurry eyes more-or-less toward the Spandexed Spazzes as he fumbled for his glasses, he asked, "So what are you talking about? And thanks."
"That foul villainess –"
"'Villain', you gender-distinguishing asshat," interrupted the only woman in the group. She was dressed all in green Spandex, which showed her extremely heavy thighs to maximum disadvantage. "Women can be just as villainous as men, so there's no need for a separate, diminutive term to refer to them."
"Oh, whatever, Cricket. Fine. That foul villain accompanying you is a super swindler, misusing her superpowers to trick innocent men out of their hard-earned money."
"I do not!" Holly yelled back. "I use my looks and feminine wiles and negotiable virtue, just like ten thousand other women in this town. I just use a little bit of magic to make people think I'm old enough to drink, and maybe to get an edge over the other girls."
"You villain!" Cricket accused. "You are damaging the career and social prospects of millions of women across the globe. We are struggling against centuries of oppression and discrimination by the patriarchy and lowered expectations by the brainwashed masses, and you are doing nothing but reinforcing all of the negative stereotypes! I'll teach you a lesson!"
The large, green-clad woman made an impressive leap from twenty feet away, but ran afoul of Harry's levitation spell. He silenced the stream of militant feminist buzzwords spewing from her mouth. He'd heard it all before, back when Hermione got on a (mercifully short-lived) kick.
Now the third one, a scrawny, little guy in a multicolored suit, got into the act. "How dare you! I, the Big O-Man will stop you in your tracks!"
"The Omen? Oh, great, I've got a prophecy hanging over my head, and now an omen?"
"Not the Omen, the O-Man! I disable opponents by delivering a crippling measure of pleasure, then take my leisure. Preferably with women, but I'm open-minded. Take this!"
Harry dodged the beam of whatever that the guy shot at him. Holly, not an experienced fighter, caught the full blast.
"Ohhh… ohhhhhhhhhh… Oh God Oh God Oh God!" The young woman collapsed against the building, eyes rolled up.
"Agh! I didn't need to see that! That's my sister!" True, he had seen her doing just that a few times a couple of mornings ago and in fact had been responsible for her doing it, but that was before he knew he was sleeping with his sister. Now, it was nothing he needed to see. "Rarrrrgh!" The magical fabric Spandex was no match for real magic. The not-so-super heroes' costumes stretched and stretched until the seat portion wrapped up over their heads. "Take that, superdoofs! You're no match for Wedgieman! Come on, Holly, pull yourself together. We have to rush to make the portkey."
The Potters almost missed their international portkey. The first hold-up was a long departure line. At least this gave Holly a chance to recover and then to explain what had just happened.
"America unofficially recognizes magic, and we – they, now – also have a bunch of superheroes running around, people with special powers. Magic users are treated just like superheroes – or supervillains. The so-called good guys run around trying to stop the so-called bad guys."
"Are all of the superheroes that, ah, pathetic? I wouldn't trust those three to get a cat out of a tree."
"Well, no. I'm only a third-string super because I didn't get much training in using magic. We couldn't afford it. They say I'm a supervillain because I don't use my power to serve humanity, even though I didn't use my magic against other people. They sent the third-string heroes to get me. The first string are really good. I don't know if you'd be able to take on even one of them."
"Hmm. I wonder if I could get them to help with our Dark Lord problem back in Jolly Old?"
This discussion had to stop because they got up to the passport inspection station. They both turned over their paperwork, expecting a glance and a stamp and a "Next, please."
Instead, the agent looked at Harry's papers. He looked at Holly's papers. He looked at Harry's again. He looked at Holly's again. Then he called a supervisor.
"I think these two are trying to pull a fast one. Forged documents, maybe. Look, it says here they're married but look here and here. They have the same father."
"Hmm," the supervisor hmm-ed. "Are you two purebloods? Let 'em on through, Vern. English purebloods are kinda like our hillbillies. They do things a bit different over there."
Harry managed to keep his mouth shut and his not-so-accidental magic under control, but it was a close thing. In later years, the mocking laughter from the other travelers would be identified as the straw which broke the camel's back and caused the birth of Dark Lord Potter, undisputed and immortal and eternally sexually frustrated ruler of the magical (and superhero) world.
Author's note: OK, I think I met all of the specifics of the challenge while totally perverting the intent. Go me!
Holly's name? It's a flowering plant starting with H. It's pretty. It's harmful but not deadly. It's also a nod to Holly Evans, she of Spiral Path fame. (Story 4916690 on FFN. Hie thee hence.)
Another note: I've started writing stories and non-fiction under my own name. See my profile for links to buy them.