He's Kind of an $$#0!e
Sequel to "I think There's Been a Mistake"
Harry Potter & Dresden Files crossover
Dear Mr. Harry Dresden,
Our Potions teacher is evil and is trying to kill our friend Harry Potter. What should we do? We tried telling people, but the other professors don't believe us. I was wondering if you could do that Soul Gaze thing and find out what he is trying to do.
Hermione +RoN (this was added in a different and much less precise handwriting)
PS: Did Ron tell you we killed a troll? It attacked me in the bathroom.
I read the letter and looked up at my owl. They'd let me keep her even when I left, even if the gift wasn't intended for me originally. From the letters the two had sent me, I'd gotten and idea about this Harry kid. Bad home, never knew about magic and he got kinda sucked into the whole thing.
I set the letter down on the table and leaned back in my chair to think about what to do. Not finding a good answer, I went to the fridge and opened up a nice cold bottle of Mac's brew. Don't ever tell anyone I keep it cold. He might kill me, or worse, cut me off from the supply.
As I took a sip, Mouse chuffed and wagged his tail, watching the door open. As it swung wide, Molly Carpenter, my apprentice in all things magical, or some things magical, well, most things magical, came inside, using the key I'd given her for entrance.
"Hi Harry," she said. I nodded in greeting as I took another sip. "What's up?"
"Got a letter," I told her, holding it up. She glanced it over. I'd told her a few months ago about what was going on and so she had a good idea of my unwilling jaunt to Britain.
"Why was there a troll in a bathroom?"
"I have no idea," I admitted. There was definitely something screwy about that school, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it was because no one else I'd talked to in the White Council knew anything about it. You'd think that the greatest collection of magic users on the planet would at least have an idea about what was going on. Nope.
"So are you going to help them?" Molly asked. I didn't answer, which was apparently answer enough. "Yeah, you are. So when do we leave?"
"We? There will be no leaving of 'we' there will be leaving of me only; singular, not plural," I told her. Then she used those eyes. Maybe more like EYES. If you didn't know, Molly is more than simply attractive, but she's still young enough to be able to give me a look that seemed to melt my willpower to resist in that "you're my favorite pseudo-uncle, bend to my will" kind of way without any actual magical will bending involved. At least on this kind of thing. Her father is one of my best friends and her mother is the scariest woman on the planet, so it would never, ever go beyond this.
"Fine," I said, "We'll go to England."
"Why are we going to England?" said another voice. I turned to see my half-brother standing in the open doorway. If you don't know, my brother is kind of like a male underwear model crossed with a Greek god. He's also a member of the White Court of vampires. His branch lives by taking psychic sexual energy from members of the opposite sex. He was basically, as I've heard him described, drool-worthy to anyone remotely attracted to the male figure.
"You're coming too? Why? Don't you have a business to run?" I asked.
"It can run by itself for a while," he told me. "I needed a vacation."
"We're going to a children's boarding school in England," Molly said, struggling to keep the drool in her mouth and not dribbling down her chin. Sometimes I really hate my brother. Not too much, but when women look at him, I feel inadequate. Not that I would ever say that aloud.
"Harry? I didn't know you were that kind of guy," Thomas said. "I may have to reexamine our relationship."
"Not like that, you idiot," I said before handing him the letter.
"You're going to a magic school?" he asked. I nodded. "I didn't even know this place existed."
"England, or Scotland. I'm not too sure which," I replied.
"But you know how to get there?"
I shook my head.
"Nope," I told him about my visit early last fall.
"Really?" he said with a laugh. "The great Harry Dresden was captured, kidnapped and sent to school?"
"Haha," I said, adding in my best sarcasm. Which is really quite good. I've had years of practice at sarcasm. Like Michelangelo is to painting on ceilings, I am to sarcasm. That's not arrogance; I've pissed off fallen angels with my sarcasm. It's that refined.
"So, a girl calls for help, you ride in and save the day like a big hero and sweep her off her feet and ride off into the sunset," Thomas said with a playful grin.
"She's eleven," I said, thinking that would quell the statements. "And I think it's high time you stop implying that I'm a pedophile in front of my apprentice."
"That's probably a good idea," Thomas said. "So why haven't you slept with Murphy yet?"
"None of your damn business," I told him. "None."
"So how are we getting to Hogwarts?" Molly asked.
"The school's name is Hogwarts?" my brother asked. "What, was Pig-Leper already taken?"
"He already made that joke," Molly told him. "You're a couple of months late. And it wasn't funny then."
I cleared my throat to change the subject. "They connected my chimney to something called the floo, whatever that is. By throwing this powder in a fire, we call out the place and we get transported to that place."
"Really?" Thomas asked. I nodded. He let out an impressed whistle. "Sure beats walking the Ways in the NeverNever."
Molly and I both nodded in agreement, both having had less than satisfactory interaction with the NeverNever on occasion.
"I'm in," Thomas said. I shrugged and gave up on arguing. We made plans and packed a backpack each (or "magic satchel" as Molly insisted we call them). When we were ready I remembered that other people might need to know I was gone. I picked up my ancient rotary phone and dialed a number I knew by heart.
"Murphy," she said.
"Hi Murph," I said.
"What disaster is coming that I'm needed to clean up?" she asked in a serious tone. It was sometimes hard to tell if she was joking or not.
"None," I said. "I've got to be out of the country for a while."
"Yeah, some friends need some help," I told her. "So I'm not sure when I'll be back."
"So you're basically telling me that anything bad that happens won't be your fault," Murphy said flatly.
"Yeah, pretty much."
"You do know that not much happens when you're not here," she told me.
"Yeah, pretty much," I agreed again.
"Hmm…maybe I'll take that vacation I've been saving up for," Murphy pondered playfully. "Maybe I'll call Kin-"
"Sorry, can't hear your taunts, you're breaking up, going through a tunnel," I said making crackling and shushing noises into my non-cellular, non-portable, rotary phone.
"Yeah right, Dresden."
She knows me too well.
So after that, we talked about what was happening and she agreed to keep an eye on the place while I was gone. I'd be taking the three critters with me, so it wouldn't be too bad.
Grabbing my staff, blasting rod, and "magic satchel" I tossed a handful of the dust in the fire and stepped through. The other side was an old bar filled to the brim with Lord of the Rings extras dressed by tailors on LSD. I quickly stepped out of the way and the others came through behind me. Heads turned when Molly, dressed in her usual cutoffs, ragged metal band t-shirt and funky hair, stepped out. More heads turned when Thomas stepped out. Every female head.
Sometimes I really hate my brother.
"So, yuh here on business are, ye?" asked the proprietor.
"Yeah," I said. "A friend asked for my help. How do we get to Hogwarts?"
Heads turned when they heard me talk about the place.
"What are ye going there for? School's in session," the bartender said.
"I know, that's where my friends are," I told him.
"Oh," the man said. "So, ye all Americans?"
"Yes, why?" I asked. He sounded suspicious.
"Oh, well, usually we don't get yer kind coming outta the Floo from there," the bartender said.
"Well, Gandalf the Purple at Hogwarts set it up for me," I told him. I could never remember the guy's name. He was the Headmaster or something. Molly laughed slightly behind me. Turning towards her, I shrugged. "Hey, old wizard with a long white beard, a pointy hat and wore purple. Gandalf the Purple."
"Whatever, Harry," she said. I turned back to the bartender and rolled my eyes.
"Apprentices, no respect," I huffed, tugging at my collar. More than a few of the tavern's patrons had a chuckle at that, though I suspect it was more from personal experience and less from the Rodney Dangerfield reference.
"Well, yeh can take the floo up to Hogsmead and hoof it to the castle, but they won't be up for some time yet," the bartender said. "We've just got the early crowd in now. The name's Tom, by the way."
"Harry Dresden, Molly Carpenter, Thomas Raith," I said introducing us. Two women fainted when Thomas smiled.
I really hate my brother some times. Really, really hate him.
"So what do American wizards have to do at the castle?" Tom asked as he poured them something frothy into a cup for each.
"My friends said some teacher is out to kill a kid named Harry Potter," I said. There was a sudden hush and for the first time since we walked into the bar, all eyes were on me.
"Someone wants to kill Harry Potter?" Tom asked in a horrified expression.
"That's what they said," I replied. "You know him?"
"You don't?" Tom asked in the tone I'd use talking to someone who'd never heard of Superman.
I shook my head. Tom proceeded to tell me a tale of horror, murder and government corruption that sounded like it could have happened in Chicago. Actually, without the infant savior complex, that kind of thing did happen in Chicago pretty frequently.
"Well, that does explain a few things," I said, pondering the events of my previous visit. I glanced over to my companions. Molly was listening closely, while Thomas was chatting up a older, but rather attractive woman with blonde hair which she was playing with even as she pretended she didn't have a ring on the finger. He never stopped. I did notice that more than a few people were still talking about Harry Potter and the Murderous Teacher.
"How much do we owe you?" Thomas asked.
"If yer here to help Harry Potter, it's on the house," Tom, the bartender said. "Now eat up quick, the fireplace is hot."
"Right," I said and quickly set into the meal, my two companions quickly following. "Hogsmead right?"
The bartender nodded. Soon, the three of us were sooty and in Scotland. Hogsmead looks like one of those tourist towns that never changed in the last thousand years. Old stone houses, moss, vines and thatched roofs, it was like walking onto a bad fantasy movie set. I also noticed that there was absolutely no electricity or lighting. Mage Sight here would be just as bad as the castle. I told Molly just the same. She nodded and together, the three of us trudged up through the snow to the castle. Hogwarts was just as nuts as the last time I saw it, a few months before.
"This is it?" Thomas asked.
"Yep," I said.
"It looks like something Walt Disney would think up while taking LSD," he said.
And people say my brother and I aren't anything alike. Fools. All of them, Fools!
Well... they would if anyone besides us knew we were brothers. Still fools, though.
"This is so freakin' awesome," Molly said.
"Ah, the innocence of youth," I drawled as I knocked on the door to the gate. Soon a familiar large man showed up.
"Oh, Harry, er, Big Harry, I guess I should call yeh," Hagrid said. "What 'er yeh doing here?"
"Hermione and Ron asked for my help," I said with a little shrug. "They think one of the teachers is trying to kill Harry Potter."
"Oh, Dumbledore would never allow that to happen. Good man, Dumbledore," Hagrid said with the familiar tone of a man who has total faith in someone. It was fanatical and quite frankly a little creepy. I'm not sure I totally trust Gandalf the Purple.
"But we came all the way from Chicago," Molly whined. "I really wanted to see the school!"
"Well, yeh see, I'm not supposed to let visitors in because Dumbledore's hiding the-oh, I'm not supposed to be talking about that kind of thing. Bad enough I told Young Harry and his friends about Nikolas Flamel, oh, I shouldn't have said that either," Hagrid admitted in shame.
"The Alchemist?" Molly asked. "That is so freakin' awesome."
"You've been saying that far too much, young padawan," I told her.
"But it IS so freakin' awesome!"
"Well, since yer here I suppose I should take yeh to the Headmaster's office," Hagrid said, as he reached into his coat to pull out a massive key to the gates. A few minutes later we were in the blessedly warm entrance chamber of the castle. Warming spells are pretty freakin' awesome. Crap, now Molly's got ME doing it. Agent Smith was right, apprentices are a virus. So I paraphrased, sue me.
"Professor Dumbledore's a great man, he is," Hagrid went on, repeating basically the same things he'd been saying for a while now. Thomas gave me a look like he couldn't believe this was the guy who kidnapped me from my home. Yep, I'm going to regret telling that story.
Eventually we got to a gargoyle, an ugly little thing. Hagrid stood in front of it and said: "chocolate frog" as if it were a completely normal thing.
"Not 'Crunchy Frog'" Molly asked, struggling to keep from laughing outright. Yes, the Python is strong with this one.
"No, why'd yeh want one a dem?" Hagrid asked. The gargoyle opened to reveal a short passage.
"Do come in," we heard a moment before we got to the door. Inside was Gandalf the Purple. "Mr. Dresden, what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Got a letter that said someone was trying to kill one of your students," I said, waiting a moment before the Soul Gaze started in. It's not normally something I intentionally initiate, but I thought it prudent in this case. What I saw shocked the bejezzes out of me.
He was much older than he seemed, but that was a given for a wizard of his age apparent power. He'd also been forced to grow up roughly and quickly, as I saw his sister beaten into insanity for using magic only to be later killed by someone he considered to be a friend. Then he had to hunt down said friend when said friend went on a homicidal rampage. That act changed him, twisted him into something that looked more like a leader of SPECTER than a true hero. He was a manipulator, but truly felt he was doing the right thing, even if he believed there was no other way. He thought that Harry Potter had to die at the hands of the thing that killed his parents and that it was the only way to win. There was regret about the act and the belief, but he had settled into the fact and accepted it as inevitable. He also broke most of the Evil Overlord's list, with a tendency to make overly complicated plans that eleven year olds could unravel with some quick thinking and research. All in all, it was like looking at a Bond villain that was on the side of good. Or at least thought he was.
Not that it was this explicit. Soul Gazes are all metaphors, allusions and twistyness. I had to read between the lines.
I knew he basically saw the same kind of thing in me as he looked into my soul. As it finally settled down, he leaned back in his chair.
"You, Mr. Dresden, are a very interesting man," Gandalf the Purple said flatly. I shrugged.
"It's a living," I replied. "So, what's it like being bitten by a radioactive manipulator?"
"What?" was his only response with a look of pure confusion. His PopCulture-Fu was weak, apparently.
"Never mind that. We're here because two short friends of mine sent me a letter telling me some teacher wants to kill their friend Harry Potter," I said. "I'm guessing that's the kid who I was mistaken for."
I glanced briefly at my companions. Thomas was sitting next to me, careful to keep his inner incubus inside, but still glaring at Gandalf the Purple. Molly, however, was inspecting a bright red and orange, longtailed turkey on a perch that was leaning into her caresses.
"Well, I'm afraid that I cannot allow you to interact with the students at this time," Gandalf the Purple began.
"Okay," I said, before waiting about three seconds. "How 'bout now?"
Thomas struggled to keep from snerking at my statement.
"Look," I said. "Just let me see them at dinner, you've got that big giant hall for everyone, unless that's just for the hat/stool thing."
The hat in question got a laugh out of it. "If only, then I might not be the only thing in this castle used but once per year."
"Talking hat?" Molly and Thomas asked in unison. I nodded sagely, acting as if it was perfectly normal, although the enchanting that would be required for such a thing was on the same level as binding a second Bob: major mojo. Although I'd have used him for more than just lice collection and a few mental walkabouts once per year.
"Yeah, that's the thing responsible for all the divisions in society these days," I said, eliciting a shocked and alarmed look from Gandalf the Purple. "What? It splits them up based on supposed character types and then you've got a point system to further divide them along those lines. And you wonder why these things continue past graduation?"
Hermione and Ron had given me a basic rundown of society and what things stood for. I don't know what Slithering and Cunning had to do with Blondie Bitch, but that's where he went. "Honestly, it's like Lord of the Flies Goes to School. So, how about now?"
"What was that you just did?" Gandalf asked.
"Soul Gaze. Eyes are windows to the soul and all that," I explained half-heartedly. "It's involuntary. We magical powerhouses have it happen all too often."
Gandalf the Purple seemed to flinch slightly. Hmm... maybe that was his first time? Which would mean he wasn't a magical powerhouse... Weird... "So, we came ALL the way from Chicago to help out. If you let us take care of this quickly we'll be on our way back right away."
He seemed to slump a bit and leaned back in his chair, popping a little yellow candy into his mouth. "Oh, I suppose you might as well," Gandalf finally agreed tiredly. "Not that you'll find anything. I have complete faith in Professor Snape."
"Who said anything about Snape?" Molly asked cheekily. I nodded to her as if to say "Well done, Grasshopper." She smirked slightly and nodded back. Gandalf the Purple suddenly looked like his little yellow candy turned distinctly sour.
"Okay, well, I'm glad that's settled," I said. "We'll just head to lunch."
Before any more protests could be made, I turned around and walked down the little staircase. Once we got the bottom, Molly gave a rather loud yawn.
"Magical jet lag is a bitch," she grumbled.
"Well, a few hours to lunch, so we'll just take a nap," I suggested as I made my way to the Great Hall. I turned a corner only to walk right into Blondie-Bitch. The daddy's boy stumbled backwards, a derisive comment on his lips as his wide-as-they-are-tall minions helped him back to his feet, when he realized who he'd just bumped into. His face went an unhealthy shade of pale, looked like he was going to hurl, turned and ran.
"Oh yeah," I said, buffing my coat. "I've still got it."
"The ability to scar children?" Thomas asked.
"That one? Totally worth it," I replied. "A douchebag is about the nicest thing I could call him."
"Really?" Molly asked in between yawns. "And you've only met him twice. Must have made quite an impression."
I nodded. "He wants to be what Morgan thought I was."
"Wow, a baby warlock," Thomas said with some amount of awe. "They start 'em young in England."
"Scotland," a new voice cut in. The three of us looked over to a young woman in her late teens, school robes with a yellow and black tie and bright purple hair. The robes weren't completely shut and showed off her "Weird Sisters" t-shirt underneath. "The school's in Scotland, though my not-so-dear cousin is from England originally. I'm impressed, not many people can make a Malfoy notice they aren't the biggest fish in the pond."
"Harry's more of a Loch Ness Monster than a fish," Molly supplied with a mocking grin. The new girl laughed briefly, her hair turning a shade of sea green.
"Oh, dear lord," I said, glancing between the new girl and Molly. "There's two of them."
"Teenage rebels," Thomas said with faux sagacity. "They multiply like tribbles."
"Did you just reference Star Trek?" I asked, eyebrow cocked Spockishly.
"I did indeed," Thomas replied with a sly, almost Kirkish, smirk.
Both teenage rebels rolled their eyes at our antics. The Amazing Technocolor Wand Girl held out her hand to Molly, though her eyes were still on my brother. "Tonks."
"Molly," my apprentice answered. She pointed to us. "Harry Dresden, Thomas Raith."
The teen rebel gave my brother elevator eyes and licked her lips.
Have I mentioned I hate my brother some times?
"So, what brings Americans to Hogwarts?" she asked.
And for the third or fourth time I explained about the evil teacher wanting to kill Harry Potter. You'd think the story would have spread a bit by now. She shrugged. "Probably Snape."
"Wow, not a lot of love for that guy," Thomas said with a whistle.
"Not exactly a secret that he hates Harry's guts," Tonks explained. "So, where are you off to?"
"Lunch," I replied.
"That's not for a few hours."
"Well, sleep until lunch," I corrected. Molly yawned the Krakatoa of yawns as if to punctuate my statement.
"Sleep is good," the now-blue-haired-girl agreed. "Here's a better place."
An abandoned classroom, a few spells from the girl transforming desks to beds and we were set.
Lunch arrived with the sound of an alarm spell. It wasn't a specific sound that could be recognized as anything else. It was like someone had taken nails on chalkboards, air-raid sirens, "It's a Small World" from Disney World, and Gilbert Godfrey's voice, blending only the most annoying parts together to create the most horrific sound possible. I understood completely why it was used to get children out of bed.
I sat up and tried to muss my hair and five o'clock shadow into something remotely resembling acceptable as Molly did the same in her own fashion. Thomas stood up looking like he just got done hanging with Zeus on Mount Olympus.
Yeah, I know I've said it before, but I really hate my brother some times.
The three of us walked into the Great Hall like Aragorn striding into the Halls of Rohan. Well, maybe not that cool, but we had the doors open with a bang and everything, so it was still pretty awesome as entrances go. All faces turned to us. Wow, I was the center of attention and I hadn't even insulted their dearest beliefs or set someone on fire. Then I noticed the gaze had shifted from me to my companions.
Fine. I won't say it again.
You know, that thing about my brother?
I won't say it.
Instead I stood up, holding my staff in one hand as my eyes flew over the crowd.
"We've come to ask a few questions regarding some allegations," I said. That didn't come out nearly as cool and/or badass as I'd hoped.
Gandalf the Purple looked like he was trying to decide if he wanted to facepalm or kick us out. I was hoping for more of the former.
"Harry!" Hermione said, waving at me from her seat. "You came!"
"Of course I did," I said. "Now, which one of these teachers do you think's trying to kill this Potter kid?"
All the folks at the teacher table glared at me, but one in particular flinched when I said it. Sketchy looking guy in a turban.
The Potter kid, who I'm guessing was the dark haired one between Ron and Hermione, looked at his friends with a bit of confusion. Apparently they hadn't told him about their letter.
"Snape," Ron answered between bites. "He's the greasy one in the black robes."
Snape the Greasy apparently didn't like being called such and was about to shout something when I caught his gaze just a little too long.
Severus Snape wasn't a nice man. Everything inside of him was twisted and tied in ropes of red and green that crossed each other, but never connected. I looked at him and saw his arms stretch out, as if he was being drawn and quartered by the ropes. Glancing off to the sides I saw Gandalf the Purple and some scaly snake-guy hauling backwards on the ropes around his arms while a redhead woman and a messy haired man (kind of like an adult clone of the Potter kid) wrenched on his legs. He felt himself being pulled in so many directions at once he wasn't sure where to go. Wolves howled in the background as Snape shivered as the ropes threatened to tear him apart.
A moment later everything shifted and I saw him as a kid playing by a swing set with the redhead as a girl and another girl with an unnaturally long neck. Then I saw the girl grow up, get married to the adult clone of the Potter kid only for Snape to spit a sword at them. The sword hit the woman in the heart, only for the sword to stab Snape as well. He kept staring at the woman through a window of unbreakable glass he'd built himself without him knowing. He stumbled and fell to his knees only for the green ropes to go slack. Gandalf the Purple dragged Snape behind him, ignoring all the rocks and bumps in the road as Snape struggled to keep up. He was dragged and dragged and dragged, only to be stuffed in a dungeon.
The scene shifted again. Snape looked down at the messy haired kid with the John Lennon glasses sitting on a stool. The talking hat muttered this and that, but all Snape could see were knives and venom he spat constantly at the kid on the stool, but every time the kid looked back, the venom was repelled by the bright green eyes, flicking right into Snape's gangrenous self-inflicted wounds.
And then I was back.
"Sorry, kid," I said to the Potter boy. "He's an asshole, but he's not the one trying to kill you." I paused a moment. "But he is in obsessive love with your dead mother. I'll classify that as a little creepy."
The Potter kid nodded silently in mixed awe and horror.
"Yeah, but that one," Molly said, pointing to Sketchy-Turban-Guy, as she knelt down to look the Potter kid in the eyes, "has the guy that killed your folks on the back of his head. I'd put my money on him."
"WHAT?" half the school screamed, glancing in horror between the three of us and Sketchy-Turban-Guy. Snape the Greasy flinched away from Sketchy-Turban-Guy like he was on fire. Wands were drawn, spells were cast, and smoky-not-dead bad guy floated off screaming about revenge.
As we were cleaning up the aftermath, Gandalf the Purple came over. "I suddenly find myself in need of a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor."
"What's it pay?"
A few hours later, after I'd been going over the syllabus, I realized I needed to make a call.
"Hey, Morgan?" I asked, having made my way to a bar with an old style phone that allowed for international collect calls.
"Yep, it's me...nope, I'm still not guilty...no Molly's still on the up and up," I replied. "No, actually, I've got a situation that needs taking care of...Well, to be honest, you're the first one I thought of...yeah, I'd say it's about as bad as the time with the zombie Dinosaur." I waited for him to process the statement. "Tell me, have you ever heard of the Wizarding World?" He had not heard of the Wizarding World.
"Yeah, well, let's just say that if I find them messing with the Outer Gates, I've got Bingo."
I don't know if there will be any more of this any time soon. Took me quite some time before I was satisfied with this one.
Oh, and I don't even remotely own HP or the Dresden Files. Just saying.