Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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Disclaimer: The characters belong to JK Rowling, unless you happen to not recognise one, which means that it's probably mine. On the other hand, I might have borrowed a lesser known character from her, so you never can tell, can you?

If I own any of this, then it would be my take on the plot. (Except for the concept of Butter Rum, which I shamelessly stole from … uh, am using as a tip of the hat to UdderPD.)

Note: If you are coming into this story and have not read Like a Phoenix from the Ashes (also to be found on this site), then you will want to go back and read that one first. It's not required, but there will be comments made and relationships referred to that will make a great deal more sense to you if you start there, and then come here to read this one.

- - -

It was a beautiful day on the island, but that could be said for all of them. Even when it rained it was a beautiful warm rain, perfect for long romantic strolls that sometimes led to gentle lovemaking under the stars.

This particular day had quite a few adults and several children on a veranda overlooking the ocean. "I would not have believed that I could say this, but this is definitely the life," said the second tallest of the group. His long black hair was pulled back, and one of the ladies was actually doing a loose braid. "Thank you, Pansy," he said.

"You're welcome," the black-haired beauty said as she finished, leaning forward and kissing the tan Potions Master on the cheek. She was just starting to show on her second pregnancy. "We've got a spell that can do it as well, but it's nice to have your hair touched by a human sometimes."

"Yes, quite relaxing," Severus said. "Again, thank you." He took a long drink from the mug before him before setting it down with a very satisfied look. "What did you say this drink is, Harry?"

Harry smiled as he put down his own mug. "It's Butter Rum." He shook his head. When he started again, it sounded as if he'd changed the subject. "I can't believe that it's taken me this many years to get through all the papers and … well, to be honest, crap that both Sirius and my parents left me. All those Dark Books in the Black Vault? Yeesh. If it weren't for the fear that someday might need those as a reference on how to break said curses, I'd have had all those destroyed. But as for the drinks, I discovered about six months ago that the Potters had owned a rum production company in the Barbados. It was still a going concern, but not doing well, since the people running it at the time were more concerned with having a name that meant it was expensive than they were with actually getting it out there so that people could be drinking it." He shook his head. "Needless to say, that team no longer works for me. But while I was … we were, to be honest … while the tour was taking place, we ended up in research and development. After convincing the people in there that I was really the owner, I was introduced to this drink - a non-alcoholic alternative to Butterbeer. It should be hitting all the wizarding establishments within a month, if it's not already there."

"You will most definitely be wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice," Albus added with a smile. "This beverage is possibly the most delicious non-alcoholic drink I have ever tasted."

"We'll have to introduce you to some of the more interesting Muggle drinks, sir," Hermione said.

"Now Hermione, what have I told you?" Albus admonished.

"Yes, sir … Albus," she replied, blushing. "It's difficult, though. I'm so used to treating you with the respect you deserve."

"By that logic, dear lady, I should be calling you Mrs Potter, rather than Hermione, for you were involved in a terrible battle that few else could begin to understand."

"You've made your point," she said with a small chuckle.

"I've thought of suggesting to R and D that they should work on wizarding equivalents to other Muggle alcohols, but I draw the line at drinking Butter Scotch," Harry said with a laugh. "Probably every single Muggleborn would react the same way." At the puzzled looks from those raised in the wizarding world, he held up his hand and made an odd movement. A small wrapped candy appeared in his hand, and he handed it to Albus. "One of the best butterscotch candies out there. Most muggleborns would think of this flavouring if a drink came along with the same name." Albus popped it into his mouth and gave silent approval to the candy moments later, losing years from his countenance as he savoured the small candy.

"Enough about my business prospects, though," Harry said. "We're here to enjoy the sand and the surf, watching our children cavort. Thank you again for that sneaky little aversion field, Albus. We haven't had a worry about them drowning when our backs are turned."

"Quite all right, my boy. They are my grandchildren, if you will. Don't forget Severus's part in the casting."

"I wouldn't dream of forgetting Uncle Severus," Harry said quite seriously. He laughed a moment later. "If you had told us in the middle of fifth year that I would not only bury the hatchet with my most hated professor, but that I would also invite him to live on an island that I own and ask my children to call him Uncle Severus -"

Severus barked out his own laughter. "Quite. I likely would have looked at the individual telling us such news and asked them exactly where they had purchased their pharmaceuticals, because they quite obviously had purchased badly brewed lot."

Susan stood and kissed the man's cheek. "Aren't you glad to have children that like you around, though?"

"Much to my eternal surprise, Susan, I have to answer you 'Yes'. It is quite likely that the mere existence of my old lord and master was the underlying cause of my mood through your school years. Having the son of my worst enemy decide to 'bury the hatchet', as the phrase has been said, has done wonders for my mood as well." He looked to Harry. "I know that I have said it to you before, and you have told me that it is unnecessary, but I disagree. I thank you for being the bigger man and forgiving me my childishness. I see in you what your father James likely would have become, which is why I accepted the apology for his actions from you. I thank you for being willing to be my friend."

Harry smiled. "Yeah, we've travelled this road before. I understand your need to thank me, but it's not necessary. I've been there, growing up, Dudley chasing away anyone who might have thought of being friendly to me, so when I was finally adult enough to realise a few things, and realised that you had made the first overtures of peace, I couldn't not offer you the hand of friendship." He paused. "There. Think that satisfies the need for effusive 'thank yous' for another year?" Severus merely grinned his reply and took another drink from his mug.

Albus was about to speak when the permanent Floo in the middle of the table flared green, and Ron Weasley's head appeared. "Harry?"

"Yo," Harry said, to the rolled eyes of his wives. "What's up, Ron?"

"Mind if I visit you guys? I need to bring Percy along with me, though, because he's got some disturbing news I think you need to hear."

"Bring who you want. I assume that we'll see you in a bit?"

"Yeah. Give us about half an hour. Daph's just gotten back from her meeting, and I need to get Percy a little more calmed down. He's hyperventilating over the concept of talking to you." This last was punctuated with a small laugh.

"I'd think he'd be hyperventilating at the concept of seeing four extremely sexy women topless. Five, if Daphne decides to join the others. Seriously, should we dress to make him more comfortable?"

"Nah," Ron answered. "Either he'll freak out over it, be so worried about your reactions that he doesn't notice it, or not give a damn." He blinked. "If it's the last, I'll just roll him over and cover him with dirt, 'cause he's undoubtedly died and not noticed it."

"Especially if Daphne's running around topless. My ladies are better looking, I think, but you would have to be dead not to notice that your wife could easily grace the pages of Playwizard."

"What's that say for Pansy and the rest?" Ron agreed with a smile.

"That I am the luckiest man in existence to have four goddesses grace my life with not only their love but with children?"

"Excellent answer," Albus said with a laugh, to which Ron agreed before ending the connection.

"I wonder what the 'disturbing news' is?" Luna asked. "It's obvious that it must be something from within the Ministry, because Father would have told us if it was something brewing in the regular wizarding world, especially with Lorelei visiting with him right now."

"We'll see," Harry said. "Probably wanting to blame me for something. After all, it's been five years since the downfall of Riddle. Plenty of time for the people to have decided I'm to blame for something."

"Why do you think I haven't set foot in England since I moved here?" Severus drawled. "I might have become much more of a human being, but I do not wish to subject myself to the average witch or wizard."

"You're much better suited for teaching students that you know are interested in the subject you're teaching," Hermione said. "I understand that somewhat. I'm not a good teacher for the average student, because I expect that everyone studies as much as I do, and that's simply not the case."

"Plus," Severus added, "the average student comes into Potions with the general attitude that they need the class for this or that career. I teach best the student that takes the class because the love of brewing is in their blood; a part of their psyche; something that they will learn, no matter who the teacher."

"Which describes me not at all," Harry said with a laugh. "I've never been drawn to it, although I did show a remarkable ability to use your potions throughout my school career."

"Yes, well playing Quidditch the way you did tended to make that somewhat likely," was the amused response.

Cries of "Uncle Ron!" from the two oldest still on the island made them look up to see four redheads walking toward them - two male and two female. The taller of the two girls was gloriously unclad from the waist up, while the other wore enough to satisfy the needs of modesty.

Harry stood and walked toward them. "Ron, good to see you again. Ginny, it's good to see you too. More than a year since we last saw you, wasn't it?" Ginny nodded with a smile. He turned to the taller redhead. "Mrs Weasley, it's good to see you as well."

"Especially as much as you're seeing?" was the amused response.

"I'm married, not dead. Were it not for my own bewitching ladies, I would envy the children you will eventually bear," he answered her in an over-the-top manner, finishing with a bow.

He stood and turned to Percy Weasley. "It's been a long time, Percy. Come on over to the table and we'll get you all settled, and then we can cover whatever it is that's got you worked up." He led them to the table, startling Percy when he realised that both Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape were at the table. Harry chuckled at the double-take.

The Weasleys all sat down and took the mugs offered them, and Percy once again did a double-take as he tasted the Butter Rum. He quashed the questions and cleared his throat. "I should have talked to you even before your children were born, but ... well, I wonder if I ended up in the wrong house. Apologies should have been tendered from me several years ago." He took a deep breath and shook his head. "That is neither here nor there. What I need to tell you is that something is brewing at the Ministry. I am hearing rumours of a new Dark Lord attempting to rise, and even worse, that they will want you to deal with him."

Harry's eyebrows rose. "How has a new Dark Lord rising managed to miss ... of course. The Prophet never learned their lesson, and are announcing the attacks as an upswing in hooliganism that just happens to leave people dead, right?"

"Precisely. And the Daily Prophet is also saying that you've had your fun and your vacation, and that it's time for you to return to the wizarding world and become an Auror as you had said you wanted to be in your fifth year."

"Excuse me?" Pansy asked dangerously. "Are you saying that the wizards and witches out there actually have the stones to say that Harry owes it to them to come back and save them? That they think that they have the right to demand his presence?"

Percy turned to look at her and blinked in surprise. Pregnancy looked quite good on all the women, but it made Pansy almost literally glow, and the righteous anger only increased that aura of hers. Percy was stunned by the sight.

"I think you need a shirt, sexy," Hermione said, tossing one at her. "The way you look, Percy may not be able to stand for a while."

"I know I won't be able to," Harry murmured.

Pansy slipped the blouse on and buttoned enough buttons to keep the shirt closed. "Now that I'm not quite so distracting, would you answer my question?"

He shook his head as if to clear it, and then said, "Unfortunately, that is exactly what they seem to be saying. If it gets any worse at the Ministry, I'll likely quit my job and look elsewhere for work."

Harry looked at him. "Is it overly mercenary for me to ask you to stay and spy for me?"

"You'd trust me?" Percy asked, incredulous. "I wouldn't, after how I've treated you these past years."

"Yet you've bitten the bullet, as the Americans say, and come to me to warn me that something is up. The Percy from my fifth year would have thought that anything the Ministry was doing was the right thing, and that I should just shut up and let them do what they wanted."

"I unfortunately must agree with you," Percy interrupted.

"But," Harry said, once again taking control of the conversation, "you now look at what's happening and realise that the Ministry can't always be trusted, and decided to warn me about it, rather than let me be blind-sided." Percy started to open his mouth, but Harry raised a hand. "You're still working at the Ministry, and I'm in more contact with Ron, Ginny and the twins than anyone else in your family." He paused. "Any word yet on Bill and Charlie? Last I heard, they'd dropped off the face of the planet."

Percy shook his head in the negative. "No sign of them for at least three years. We hope they'll show up again soon. As for the other — I assume that you want me to listen in at the Ministry in my official capacity as Fudge's toady and then pass along whatever I can to these two and the rich reprobates?"

"Precisely," Harry said. After a moment, he asked, "Have you ever called them that to their faces?"

"Yes, after spending twenty minutes as a six-foot-four penguin," Percy replied. "They simply laughed and capered around the store."

"That's Fred and George all right," Susan giggled.

Severus was about to speak when the Floo flared again, and Minerva McGonagall's voice came out. "Harry! Albus! Severus! I do hope one of you is listening!"

"We're here, Minerva," Albus said. "What has happened?"

"Oh, it's horrible! The wizarding world is in an uproar right now — Cornelius Fudge has been murdered, and a Dark Mark was floating above the body!"

"Good heavens!" Severus exclaimed. "How is it possible? If he had returned, my mark would have flared at least once, much as it did last time, and it has been utterly quiescent." He held out his arm for the others to see, and only the barest of tracings could be seen.

"I doubt that Tom has returned from beyond," Albus said. "He was quite thoroughly dead when last we saw him."

"And no little wraith body slipped out this time," Harry added. "When his head vaporised, he was gone completely. As the movie said, 'He's not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead.' Doornail city, damn it." He leaned back in his chair for a long time before sitting up and saying, "I'm betting it's someone trying to pick up where the last jerk — Tom — left off. The reason they're using the Dark Mark is twofold, I'll bet — first off, it strikes terror into the hearts of the people viewing it; and second, it was a tricky bit of magic, so they probably didn't know how to tweak it. If they can't tweak it, then they can't change the symbol. Hence, it looks like Tom rides again."

"You are likely correct," Albus said. "I suppose that I should return to the school then, since things are about to get quite ugly, I can imagine. I am relieved that you have postal filters up, since you will likely be the recipient of many a Howler — or would be, if they were deliverable to you." He looked to the image of Minerva McGonagall and said, "I will be returning to the school shortly." She nodded and ended the connection.

"They'll get to screaming for a while, but I'm not coming back to work on this one if I can avoid it. This may be what the American westerns called the 'Best Gunfighter Syndrome'. Well, they don't actually call it that, but it gets the idea across. The best gunfighter around is defeated by someone else, so now everyone wants to test their skills against the new best gunfighter." He shrugged. "I defeated the biggest, baddest Dark Lord around, so now the Dark Lord wannabes have to fight me and defeat me before they can claim the title of 'Meanest Wizard Standing'. I don't intend to go back and fight the little ponce, whoever it is, unless I have no choice in the matter."

He looked to Percy. "It's probably best for your job if you go back now, as fast as you can. Maybe whoever takes the job after Fudge will need you to help them find everything, plus, it'll position you to get as much information as you can. Are you willing to be my spy?"

"Yes, Mr Potter," Percy said. "Gladly."

"Call me Harry. And no puns meant, but it's going to get hairy there, so watch your back and stay safe. We've got a secure Floo connection here in the house, so feel free to Floo to the Ministry from here. They'll never know where it came from, courtesy of the goblins." Percy nodded and followed Hermione up to the house.

"I want to care, but I really can't," Harry said. "I feel for his family, since they've lost a loved one, but I didn't like the man after everything he tried to pull with me, including trying to get me to help his political career. I just wonder who will end up with the job now?"

As Hermione returned to the group, the table Floo flared yet again, this time displaying Lawrence Lovegood's face. "Lorelei's gone!" he screamed into the flames. "They broke in and took her!"

Harry was on his feet immediately. "Who did? What did they look like?"

"Dark robes," the newspaper man said. "Not sure what colour; just dark. I was stunned almost immediately, and when I woke up, I noticed she was gone. No blood anywhere, but there's things knocked over. She ran, I'm thinking. She's gone," he repeated, sinking out of sight of the flame. "I failed her; she's gone."

"We'll be right there, Dad," Luna said, holding back a few of her own tears. "We're coming." The connection ended, and they all stood.

As they began to run toward the house, they saw an owl flying toward them. This was a very unusual thing, given the wads, and usually meant that one of only a handful of people were writing, and they all had recognisable owls.

This one was not familiar. It swooped down to Harry and literally dropped a small package before flying off. He opened the envelope to find a letter and a jewellery box fit to hold a ring.

Mr Potter,

If you've opened the box first, you're wondering what it means. If you're looking at this letter first, it means that I've just confused you.

Either way, you need to know that I need you here in England, and I will do anything I need to in order to get you here.

Hence the small gift I gave you.

Harry opened the box. His eyes narrowed as he caught sight of what lay within — it appeared to be a child's finger. Luna gasped in horror.

If you don't want any more of her returned to you in such a manner, then I would recommend that you return to England post-haste. She will be returned to you — alive — in return for you turning yourself over to me.

Simply return to England and I shall know it soon after.

If you want her alive, we had best have a deal.

Lord Basileus

Harry crumpled the paper in a fist as he scowled at the ring box. "Our dear 'Lord Basilieus' has made his last mistake, it seems," Harry growled fiercely. A nearby rock exploded into shrapnel, which harmed no one.

"I am intending to return to England to deal with this little prick," he said. "We'd best pack up the entire family, because I know damned well that I'm not going alone." He looked to his guests. "Can I impose upon some of you to keep an eye on our other children?"

"If you'll trust me with 'em, Daph and I will watch them," Ron said.

"Done," he said after a quick consultation.

"I'll accompany you on your mission," Severus said. "They may not be my children, or even any relationship to me, but -" He stopped, choking on his emotions for the first time anyone could ever remember, other than Albus, who had been there that awful October night when Harry was fifteen months.

"They're your family," Harry said simply. "We won't leave you behind. You either, if you want in, grandpa," he added as he looked to Albus.

"If possible, I would like to be there to watch you bring this Basileus down," was Albus's only comment.

Harry nodded, and while his wives and guests packed, he called Gringott's. "A word with Ragnok, if you please?" he said into the flame. "This is Harry Potter."

"One moment, please," said the goblin at the other end. Moments later, Ragnok himself entered the room. "Mister Potter. May your gold be bright, your weapons sharp and your enemies dull."

"Also to you, good sir. I apologise for taking your valuable time, but I will be returning to England before the day is out, likely to my ancestral home. There is apparently a new Dark Lord who felt that his life expectancy needed to be severely shortened by kidnapping my daughter and sending me one of her fingers."

Ragnok snarled. "We will stand with you if you so desire, Harry Potter." The goblin stood straighter and clasped his right fist to his left breast in salute.

"We'll see if it's necessary, but no matter what, I appreciate the offer." He smiled a humourless smile. "I need to check out how much of a menace this Basileus is. I wouldn't want to involve the goblins in a meaningless pissing contest. If we call in your people, I want real battles to be in the offing."

"The offer stands, even if only one goblin stands with you," Ragnok replied seriously.

"Appreciated. Since we will be travelling to the Manor shortly, I would like to meet with someone face to face for a fact-finding mission, if you will."

"Excellent. Call the bank when you are ready, and I will come myself."

"You honour me," Harry said with as stately a nod as could be managed in the Floo fire.

"You honour all goblins by thinking us equals, my friend. I shall see you soon."

Harry was rubbing the back of his head as he exited the flame. "He surprised me, and I smacked my head on the fireplace."

"What did he do?" Albus asked.

"Called me his friend," was the simple reply.

Severus had returned in time to hear that and simply said, "I do so hope that 'Lord Basileus' has his will made out."

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