Disclaimer: I don't own HP or anything else JK Rowling might claim.
Title: Twin of the BWL
Chapter: Prologue: War's End
Harry slumped down, almost falling, before being caught by Ron and Hermione. Voldemort was dead and Harry wasn't feeling too good himself. "We won?" Harry asked numbly, still shaking from exhaustion and cruciatus exposure.
"Yes Harry, we won," Hermione said, slinging his left arm over her shoulder.
"Yeah mate! The snakes got squashed and we get punch and pie!" Ron said, slinging Harry's right arm over his shoulder.
"Punch and pie?" the two muggle raised students asked in confusion.
"Yeah, punch and pie. You'd never get so many wizards and witches into a brawl like this without a promise of punch and pie," Ron said solemnly.
Harry and Hermione shared a look that all but shouted 'wizards are insane' before the three staggered like a drunken crab towards the school and Madame Pomphrey. The cheers of the light surrounding them as the dark laid down their wands, knowing they had no chance of winning this battle.
The entire castle was packed to the rafters as Hogwarts hosted the victory party. The guest of honor Harry 'The-Man-Who-Won' Potter was absent as Madame Pomphrey was still subjecting him to a variety of potions and spells.
"And this will take care of your eyesight, although you should still keep the glasses," Madame Pomphrey explained as she finished up.
"Why would I need glasses if you fixed my eyesight?" Harry asked confused.
"The same reason Dumbledore did and Minerva still does; glasses can be enchanted seven ways from Sunday with detection charms that not only allow you to understand more about magic, but also warn you of danger."
"I never thought of that. So what spells do I need to make my glasses work like Moody's eye then?"
Pomphrey looked startled. "Why would you want to do that?"
"Well you were just saying I should enchant my glasses and Mad-Eye Moody had his eye enchanted."
Pomphrey blushed. "Yes, but his eye wasn't enchanted for that purpose. Mad-Eye was a pervert who enchanted his eye to see through clothing. He became a great duelist because of the number of people that attacked him because his eye made them mad. In fact, that's why he was called 'Mad-Eye'."
Harry just stared at her, until she finally broke down laughing. "Sorry, couldn't resist. Mad-Eye's eye did see through clothes, but he only added that to search for hidden weapons, still I always teased him about it," she said wistfully.
"We lost a lot of good people," Harry sighed.
"Yes, we did," she said solemnly before grinning. "And a lot of bad ones got blown to hell. Not bad work, for a fifth year dropout."
"Harry began to smile. "Yeah".
"Now, off you go."
"I can go?" he asked, stunned.
"I'm certain that any attempts on my part to keep you here would result in rioting from the rest of the school," she replied dryly.
Harry groaned. "Merlin, I hate crowds."
"Best get used to it, dear. If you thought being the Boy-Who-Lived was bad… well, being the Man-Who-Won will be much, much worse."
"I don't suppose you'd help me fake my own Death?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Not on your life; the crowd would tear me apart!"
"Oh well, guess I have to face them then."
Madame Pomphrey quickly pushed Harry out the door where Hermione and Ron were waiting to take him to the Great Hall.
Hermione fussed with his collar as they stopped. "Do you have any idea what you're going to say?"
"I was thinking of pushing Ron forward and having him speak," Harry said, trying not to laugh as Ron turned pale.
"Don't you dare!" she commanded. "The people want to hear from you, not us!"
"Yeah mate," Ron said relieved. "You're the Man-Who-Conquered."
Harry pinched the bridge of his nose. "I should have fled while I had the chance."
Hermione sighed in exasperation. "Just go out there, say a few words and then join the party. I have a speech written out if you like," she offered, holding out a large scroll.
Harry refused. "I've already got it planned, but thanks."
Harry braced himself, hoping Hermione was right and comforted by the fact that Ron looked just as nervous as him. As they pushed open the doors to the Great Hall, a wave of sound rolled out with almost physical force, knocking them back a step. The three started forward as the magically expanded room, seeming to contain the entire magical population of Britain, cheered them on. The room fell silent as Harry stepped up to the podium with his two best friends behind him.
"There's a lot I'd like to say, but I hate speaking in public, so let me sum it up in one simple sentence. Be excellent to each other," he said solemnly as the crowd began to applaud, "and party on dudes!" he finished, throwing his hands out and igniting a wave of applause that shook the rafters.
Hermione just stared at Harry while Ron grinned.
Harry decided to try and turn the crowd's energy to his favor while he had the chance when he heard them chanting 'Man-Who-Conquered!"
"I'm not one for titles, so if you all could do me one little favor, call me just Harry, please."
The crowd immediately changed their chant to 'Just Harry' which quickly mutated into 'Harry the Just'.
Harry shrugged it off and joined the party; at least it was shorter than the title they tried to give him.
He smiled, thinking the nightmare was over, not realizing he'd soon wish he was just facing Voldemort once more.
"Harry? Harry? Speak to me Harry! Please tell me you're alright!" a distraught girl cried tearfully over him.
He was pretty sure it was Hermione as he was sure he'd gone through this before. "Where, what, why, whine?" Harry found himself saying remarkably clearly, despite the fact that he was pretty sure he should be mumbling and slurring.
"You're in the infirmary again," Hermione explained. "Ginny slipped you something and it reacted badly to the nerve regrowth potion you're on. "Ginny is a tad insane, sorry," Hermione apologized lamely. "And I am not carrying on. I was worried about you."
Madame Pomphrey chose that moment to appear. "He almost died three times, it's not that big a deal," she snorted. "He's had worse injuries playing Quidditch. A little willingly donated acromantula venom combined with some Re'em's blood and he's fine."
"Venom, verbal?" Harry asked.
"Well, since you survived being bitten by a basilisk I figured acromantula venom was no big deal, especially willingly given venom. It has remarkable regenerative properties, provided you don't die from how poisonous it is. You'll be able to speak normally by this afternoon; parts of your brain are being regrown. Between the Amortentia and the Cruciatus, and what looks to be damage from an amateur Legimancer banging away in there with a hammer, it was quite a mess. I don't think the malnutrition did you any favors either, but like I said, you'll be fine," Poppy assured him.
"Night, nanny," Harry said and quickly drifted off.
"Cheeky bugger," Poppy said, before tucking the blankets in around him and giving him a kiss on the forehead.
"He'll really be okay?" Hermione asked worriedly.
Madame Pomphrey smiled gently at her. She'd been worried last night herself, but a formidable looking white owl had dropped a small rock on his chest followed by a familiar looking phoenix doing the same with a wand and Harry had immediately improved. Pomphrey knew exactly what they were and the fact that Harry had them wasn't all that suspicious when she thought about it. Not having to worry about Harry dying had given her a lot of leeway in how to treat him.
Acromantula venom alone would have killed a healthy patient, although it did wonderful things to their brain before they died, sharpening the memory to such an extent that it was quite common for people bitten to choose to watch their entire life flash before their eyes before they died. Having the venom willingly given was unheard of, well, in a friendly fashion anyway, and enhanced its positive traits.
Pomphrey wasn't sure how Hagrid had talked one of his 'pets' into doing so. Hagrid had just happened to have some spare Re'em blood on him… Pomphrey had almost giggled at that. Re'em blood was valuable, rare, illegal… Hagrid may have been considered a bid dim to most of the people who knew him, but his skill in getting illegal pets and supplies was legendary.
Harry sighed and mentally went over things again, as he watched the veil of death wave in an unfelt breath.
He'd paid the goblins about 150k to hire a couple of 'problem solvers' to arrange accidents for about a dozen people who'd somehow managed to get away with only a year in Azkaban or less for their crimes during the war. Normally the cost would have been a lot steeper, but since Harry gave them a deadline of five years, it allowed them to take their time and ensure their own safety and comfort, which really cut down on their asking price.
Harry had found out that he did have another vault filled with Potter Family heirlooms, when he paid them, but most of it was just old junk really, nothing really useful, since anything useful the Ministry had declared Dark, and the Potters, being a Light family, had turned in to be destroyed. Of course all the Dark families had kept their own 'Dark Artifacts' and the Ministry hadn't destroyed anything that was turned over to them so much as hoarded it. The sheer number of useful magical items he'd found in the Department of Mysteries was staggering!
Doorways that connected to each other regardless of distance had been declared dark, as they could be used for smuggling.
Books of Kharmatic spells that would ensure good things would happen to good people while bad things happen to bad people had been seized, as the Ministry claimed that only they were allowed to decide what justice was.
Books on obscure magic had been seized as… well they never really gave a reason, they'd just seized them saying only magic approved by the ministry was allowed. Harry was pretty pissed after seeing the warehouse filled with 'Dark' items while all the truly dark items had somehow walked out of the Ministry and into the hidden rooms of pureblood families. He was rather grateful that inbreeding had so reduced their intelligence, because otherwise one of them could have realized what a gold mine the items not used to cause pain and torment were.
Harry had felt perfectly justified in pocketing the entire storage area, using one of the items that had been declared dark because someone could steal an entire… ok, they just may have a point about the snow globe that contained an island; it had made it easy for Harry to clean out the place.
He'd taken all their notes too! Every piece of paper in the department had been packed and pocketed. Since the ministry was working to stamp out knowledge he'd decided to help them by removing it. Just one of his many good deeds!
Harry thought he might have overreacted a bit, but really, what was he to do?
He was called 'Harry the Just' everywhere he went and he couldn't even get a decent night's sleep without some witch or *shudder* wizard trying to climb into his bed. Harry may have been many things, but a master warder was not one of them and since his 'fans' had been known to have curse breaking teams to get through any wards he hired the goblins to put up… well, he was pretty paranoid by this point.
He'd thought he had something special with Ginny, well right up until she said he'd never be happy unless he was chasing Voldemort. That had been a rather large clue that she had never seen him as 'just Harry' at all. At the party celebrating Voldemort's defeat he'd attempted to talk to her but she'd managed to distract him by demonstrating why the Weasley's had such large families.
Something had reacted badly with the medical potions he was on and he awoke a week later with healers explaining that love potions and nerve regrowth potions were a bad combination and a very apologetic Weasley family.
Apparently Ginny had a few screws come loose following her first year and no one had noticed. Between the war and family and friends dying they were pretty sure she didn't have one screw tightened at that point.
Once it became known that 'The' Harry Potter was single again he didn't get a moments peace.
He later found out that he'd been awarded the coffers and estates of over a dozen Death Eater families who'd died out during the war and had been cadet houses of the Black family.
Yeah, being just Harry was getting harder and harder to be when stalked by groupies and gold diggers all the time.
He'd thought he'd have problems with uncaptured Death Eaters trying to kill him, but the first one who'd managed to get close and draw a wand had been ripped apart by the girls trying to get close to him. It was a mixed blessing as even though he was safe from Death Eaters he was pretty sure that he'd meet a similar fate if he ever got close to them as they fought over him.
Harry sighed and rubbed his temples. Things had really come to a head four months after Voldemort's defeat. Molly had informed Harry that Ginny was pregnant with his child and unless he married her the Ministry would prosecute her for line theft due to how the baby was conceived, and execute her and the baby both. Molly had been frantic. She didn't think that Harry marrying Ginny would be good for Ginny at all, but she didn't want to see her daughter killed and killing a child that shared her and her adopted son's blood was unthinkable.
Harry, having not gotten a full night's sleep or even more than three hours straight sleep in months told her not to worry, he would take care of everything and asked Molly if there was anything she could do to slow down Ginny's pregnancy long enough for another woman to get pregnant and give birth.
Molly had assumed that Harry was already with someone and had been relieved. If Harry's secret lover gave birth first her child would be the heir and Ginny couldn't be charged. She assured Harry that she could have Ginny sleep for the next ten months with a potion that would keep her from giving birth until that point.
Harry, not being of sound mind from lack of sleep and justified paranoia came up with a plan. He'd simply ask some of his female friends for help and explain the situation.
He dismissed Luna from consideration, because he wasn't planning on sticking around and knew the baby would need a stable father to counterbalance its … extraordinary mother. The Lovegood family may have seemed just this side of crazy to most, but the truth was they were amazing sane for what the families driving passion was. The Lovegood family wasn't just cryptozoologists, hell they were even beyond the professional dabblers in what man wasn't meant to know (AKA the Unspeakables). They were best described as finders of things that lurk in the outer darkness, who would then poke them with a stick…repeatedly.
Harry was pretty sure all the prophecies about squid like creatures from beyond that failed to come true were because the Lovegoods had found and poked them until they had gotten fed up and gone off to sulk far away from humanity for a few extra millennia.
So, Harry reluctantly decided that Luna was out, which was a shame because she was one of the few girls he trusted might want him for him.
Hermione was with Ron. Harry really didn't know what to make of that pair, until he'd accidentally overheard the two in private. Apparently Ron liked to be dominated and Hermione liked to dominate. Looking back at the way the two acted knowing that little tidbit made their relationship very clear.
He needed a girl who would be willing to be a single mom… Harry paused and rethought that bit. He needed a girl that wouldn't mind carrying his child, but the single bit wasn't necessary, which opened up the number of girls available quite a lot!
Of course, the number of guys willing to let Harry knock up their wife was… well actually that number was pretty large, but the number willing who he knew and trusted to raise his child was rather small.
A few seconds of thought brought up a couple that would probably say yes, but since they had two family lines they needed to carry on as well, he'd probably have to offer to knock up both of them in return for their help.
Harry stood before the Veil of Death and smiled. One little step and he would be with his family once more.
For the right price the goblins were always helpful. Not cheerful or friendly mind you, but very helpful.
It had been a simple matter to gain their help; he'd just told them that if they'd help him ensure the Potter line continued in England then the majority of his money and assets would remain here.
They had fallen over themselves to help him.
He'd explained his problems in detail and they'd come up with a solution that even most of the magic world thought was a myth.
Harry nodded at the ferryman and handed him four knuts, four sickles and four galleons. Sure he knew the toll was only two coins, but he planned on a round trip and couldn't remember which ones he was supposed to give him.
The ferryman chuckled and returned them. "There is no fare for you. Professional courtesy," he explained.
Harry smiled at the black robed skeleton, feeling much better now that some of his guesses were confirmed by the ferryman's response.
"I wouldn't say no to some chocolate frogs if you have any," the robed figure hinted.
"Now that I have in abundance," Harry grimaced and pulled out a small box, just large enough for a chocolate frog with 99,876 in red on the cover, and handed it to him. "Keep it; I'll pick up another one when I return."
The ferryman opened the box and a small frog made of chocolate tried to escape, futilely as the ferryman had reflexes like a snake and snagged it out of the air. The ferryman examined the box and found it now read 99,875. "That's a lot of chocolate."
Harry grinned. "The other side stores the cards that go with it. I own part of the company so it was easy to get them to make it for me."
"I'm a coin collector myself," the ferryman said as they poled off into the mist. "But if I can get them to make me something like this it'd be worth investing. I never seem to get enough candy to tide me over in between festivals and holidays where I'm welcome to walk about."
Harry nodded. "If I want anything I have to either disguise myself or have it delivered."
"The perils of fame," the ferryman commented.
They shared a laugh and then the mists cleared and they both fell silent.
"Avalon," the ferryman breathed as they both stared. "I swear that sight never gets old."
Harry nodded. "I just need the rocks where the sirens dwell."
The ferryman grinned, not that he could do much else, but somehow it was now a naughty grin as he looked at Harry.
Harry blushed. "I need to continue my family like before I duck through the Veil."
The ferryman grinned widely. "Now that is not only honest but also a decent reason for visiting them, the only better one would be because you wanted to help a friend."
Harry nodded. "I'm actually helping two friends continue their lines as well, but to be fair that's not my main purpose, as I'm pretty sure that while they can use my help, they don't really need it."
Typing by Last Primarch!
AN: I decided to take a swing at the Twin of the BWL cliches and see what I could come up with.