Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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Ghost of a Memory

Chapter III

He awoke in a strange room, on a couch.   Sitting up, he found a note on the coffee table before him.


Brought you up to my apartment above the store.   I'm downstairs, most likely, but I'll be popping up fairly often.   I'd like it if you could tell me about your wife, if she could bring so strong a reaction from you.   From what I've seen of you (admittedly not that much), that sounds like quite the compliment to her.

See you soon.


P.S. — I will find you if you try to sneak away without at least saying goodbye.   I have spies in town, and I might just have snuck a tracer onto you. *grin*

He smiled at the note.   I'd better head downstairs.   Damn, that's not fair, though.   I'll bet money that she's got a boyfriend.   He scowled again.   Doesn't matter.   I'm not going to get involved with her — I'd try to mould her into Ginny, and she's her own woman, damn it.

He walked to the entrance to the apartment and opened the door in time to get bowled over by Margaret.   He landed falt on his back, with her atop him.   He hadn't been in this kind of a position in three years, but his body remembered it, and she quickly stood, blushing.   "I think I'd best go, Margaret," he said in response.   "That wasn't … umm …"

"I took it as the compliment that it undoubtedly was, Harry.   Your body reacted to having a sexy woman laying on top of you."   She smiled at him.

He frowned.   "That's why I'd best go, Margaret.   I reacted to having my wife laying on me.   If I stay, I'm going to try to steal you from your boyfriend and force you into the mold that reads 'Ginny'."

"How do you know I have a boyfriend?" she asked archly.

"True," he replied.   "You could have a girlfriend instead."

"What makes you assume that I have a 'significant other', to get to the question I'm really asking?"   She was tapping her foot on the floor.

"Please.   A woman as beautiful and sexy as you?   With your brains?   You probably need to beat them off with a stick."

Her eyes sparkled.   "No, I prefer my hands.   They come back then, except for the really kinky ones."   She started to laugh at Harry's extremely confused look.   "Double entendre, Harry.   You meant ‘drive them away’.   I was being sexually suggestive.   To beat off is to masturbate."

He turned bright pink.   "Oh gods, I never heard that one!" he said, and started laughing.   "I haven't been caught like that in years!"

"Sorry," she said, not sounded very serious about the apology.   "You're right, though.   I've got a boyfriend I'm trying to decide about."

"What are you trying to decide?"

"Whether or not to marry him.   He's cute, but he's not what I'm looking for.   I think."

"Can’t help you with that one, unfortunately."

"Maybe you can.   If I’m your Ginny’s psychic twin …" she said suggestively, although with no sexual component to it.

"That’s dangerous for both of us, Megs … sorry, Margaret.   What little I’ve seen of you seems so like Ginny that I’d unconsciously be trying to force you to be her.   That’s not fair to you.   And it’s not fair to me, because I’d fail to make you into Ginny and break my own heart."   He laughed.   "Amusingly, I think I did just help you with your question though, if you think about it."

She looked at him for a moment, and then snorted.   "Good point, sexy.   I’ll have to tell him no.   Care to come downstairs so you and I can hang out in front of my store?   Quiet day.   Maybe having an Adonis in front of the store will bring in the ladies, who’ll bring in the guys hoping to have a reason to ogle me."   She laughed.   "I wonder what they’d do if I dressed comfortably in my store, rather than how they expect me to dress?"

"You a naturist?" Harry laughed.

"No, but I prefer things like mini-skirts and spaghetti strap tops.   How do you think the guys would react to that?"

"Jaws on the ground and wet spots in their pants," Harry said.   He scowled again.   "Damn it to hell!"

"What’s wrong, Harry?" she asked in alarm.

"I met you not that long ago, and I’m saying things to you that I’d only have said to Ginny.   I’m sliding into that, and I have to get out of town, because I really want to stay and get to know you, and there’s a part of me that would love to try making love to you," he said, realizing that he had just babbled a run-on sentence at her.

"I’d let you, too.   Harry, you’re not the only one reacting as if we’ve known each other for years.   You think I make racy jokes like that ‘beating off’ one to guys I just met?   There’s something in me telling me that if I lick behind your left ear, you’re going to have your knees buckle on you, and if I continue by nibbling on your earlobe for a couple minutes, you won’t need me surrounding you, if you catch my meaning."   She paused.   "The fact that your eyes are so wide right now tells me that I’m right.   Now, I grew up in Kansas.   How in hell do I know that?   It certainly doesn’t work on Lukasion.   Sorry, that’s my soon-to-be-ex."   She took his hands into hers.   "If nothing else, we owe it to each other to explore this magical/psychic twin thing, Harry."     She chuckled.   "If that happens to include us fucking like bunnies for a while, I’m certainly not going to complain."

He inhaled deeply; a ragged sound.   "I think you’re right about the exploration of the psychic twin thing, but I think it’s a bad idea for me to get too … umm, close with you."

"I think you’re scared of intimacy, Harry." She said in a voice that flashed Harry back to the Gryffindor common room the night he’d publicly proposed to Ginny.

"You’re scared of intimacy, Harry."

"I’ve lost everyone I ever loved, Ginny, and I was afraid of admitting it about you, because I knew I’d lose you too."

He looked to the ceiling.   "I was right, Ginny.   I did lose you, too."   He looked down, shaking his head as he did.   "I’m sorry, Meg.   I think I need to call Ginny’s family, and have them do the work on checking how alike you are.   I won’t let you get intimate with me.   That’s been a death sentence my entire life.   I know that sounds like a romance novel piece of crap, but it’s true.   My parents died for me, my godfather died for me, and my wife died because of being close to me.   The Death Eaters are still out there, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to make another person a target in my lifetime."

He shook his head again.   "If you’re still willing to deal with me, I’ll be your friend, but nothing more.   I won’t sign your death warrant."

"I’m going to work on you, Harry James Potter," she said with a dark look in her eyes.   "If I have anything to say about it, I’m going to have you in my bed someday, begging me to stop strangling you with my thighs.   Or begging me to keep strangling you with them," she finished with a grin.

He laughed in spite of himself.   "I am definitely going to enjoy being your friend, Meg.   You’re as crazy as Ginny ever was."   He crooked his right arm and held it out to her.   "What say we go downstairs to draw in the tourists?"   He looked at his watch.   "Merlin!   How did I lose so much time?   It’s five o’clock!"

Meg looked a little too innocent.   "Well, I might have sneaked a sleeping elixir into the tea I fed you once I’d gotten you up here."

"I guess I needed it, if I didn’t even recognize the taste."   He laughed.   "How much longer is your shop open?"

"In the summer?   Usually until about eight o’clock, but if we haven’t done much better by six, I’m closing for the night.   We almost never see people between six and eight."   She looked skyward, and was lost in thought for a moment.   "No, it’s not a full or new moon, so there won’t be any last minute runs on supplies.   We can close at six, most likely."   She looked at him again.   "Probably earlier."

Downstairs, Amber looked at the two of them and said, "Y’know, Megs, with how long he was up there, and how long you were just now, I’d expect you to look a little more rumpled."

"He’s all foreplay, no follow-through," Meg laughed.

"Hey!   I resemble that remark!" Harry laughed in response.

Meg looked at him.   "Somehow, sexy, I seriously doubt that."

"Oh, Megs?   Luke was here while you were upstairs.   He’d like to see you a bit later.   He’ll be by about eight o’clock, he said."   Harry heard Amber mutter, "Asshole," beneath her breath.

"Good.   I need to talk to him.   How have sales been?"

"I was tempted to strip naked and stand in the window just to attract attention.   This town is dead this week!"

"Feel free to strip naked anyway, Amber.   I doubt Harry’s going to complain about it."

"Do I look stupid?" he laughed.   "Don’t answer that, by the way."

They walked out front and sat for a while.   At about five thirty, he suddenly said, "We definitely need to bring the Ministry or someone in on this.   You’ve done two things today you shouldn’t have been able to.   I never told you my middle name, yet you used it, and you knew that I’ve been a widower for three years.   I also know I never told you my age, but I’ll bet you could tell me."

She blinked at him for a moment, and then said.   "Twenty-two tomorrow.   How in hell do I know that your birthday is July thirty-first?"

"It’s that psychic twin thing.   We definitely need to get you talked to by the people here in charge of investigating this sort of thing.   Want to cut out early?   You can close the store down, get changed in time for me to take you out to dinner in thanks for being so nice to a truly bizarre customer, and meet your Lukasion.   Interesting name.   What’s his last name?"

"Pendragon," she said as she walked in the door of the shop with Harry right behind her.

"Damn.   I’ll bet he got a lot of jokes growing up.   I’ll bet he’s glad he wasn’t named Uther or Arthur, though."

"Never asked him, but I’ll bet you’re right.   Knock off, Amber.   We’re closing for the night.   I’m going to close and get changed for dinner, and this sexy man is going to feed me."   She let her eyes twinkle.   "I know what he told me, but I still intend that it’s going to be foreplay."

Amber grinned.   "You’re doomed, Harry.   She tends to get what she wants."   She set about helping Meg close for the night, and they were finished by six PM.   Amber headed home.

"I’m going to change, Harry.   Come on up so we can keep talking."

He looked at her seriously.   "On one condition.   You don’t strip naked in front of me, or bring all your clothes out and dress in front of me.   You change in your bedroom, and only come back out once all the interesting bits are covered.   If you don’t, I don’t agree, and if you ‘accidentally’ flash me while dressing, I leave."

"Agreed," she said.   "I’m really not trying to be a cocktease, Harry.   You just set me on fire like no other man I’ve met, and it’s done things to my judgement."   She walked up the stairs ahead of him, and he let himself relax enough to enjoy the pleasantly natural sway of her hips.

About five minutes later she walked out in a frilly mini-skirt and green spaghetti strap top that left her navel exposed.   Harry felt his heart racing.   Jesus!   She looks even more like Ginny now!   She grinned at his look and headed into the kitchen; more precisely, she tried to head into the kitchen.   She caught her foot on the slight rise from the living room into the kitchen, and sprawled on the floor with a thump, legs splaying as she landed.   Harry ran over to see if she was all right, but stopped short at the sight before him.   Her skirt had flipped up, exposing a muscled yet curvaceous rear end.   What had stopped him, though, was the tattoo on her inner thigh, where under normal circumstances only a lover would see it.

It was a tattoo of a Golden Snitch.

He helped her to her feet shakily.   "Are you okay?" he asked.

"Yeah.   I trip there on a regular basis, damn it.   You’re not leaving because I flashed you?"

"It wasn’t intentional.   You could have been hurt."   He bit his lower lip.   "I have a question about that tattoo I saw."

She blushed furiously.   "I was hoping to show that to you someday, but not quite like that."   She frowned.   "I don’t even remember getting it.   I must have gotten it on spring break one year, though.   I don’t even know what it is.   Why would I tattoo a ball with fairy wings on my inner thigh?"   It was then that he saw her look at him seriously.   "Sit down!   You’ve gone white!"

He opened them again.   "I need to step outside and think.   I’m not imagining that tattoo."   He drew in a ragged breath.   "Too many shocks for one day."

"What does my tattoo have to do with anything?"

He shook his head.   "I’ll be back.   I need to think, and call a couple people.   Back shortly, okay?   I have got to get some air."

"You’d better come back.   You owe me a dinner," she laughed, but it was a bit ragged.

"I promise.   I will come back, no matter what," he said, trying to show his sincerity   She nodded and calmed immediately.

He headed downstairs and pulled his cell phone.   "The charges are going to be a killer," he muttered, and dialed the first speed dial number.

"Weasley residence, Hermione speaking," came the voice at the other end.

"I’m sorry and you can hit me with anything you want but I need to talk to you!" He said quickly, before her temper could hit and make her slam the phone down in his ear.

"Harry?   What’s happening?   Why are you calling at eleven thirty at night?"

"It’s six thirty here, and I’ve just had the worst shock of my life.   I need to contact the Aurors and anyone else you can think of."   He took a deep ragged breath.   "I was serious, Hermione.   For what I said to you, and for flipping you the bird, I’ll even help you brew the potions that’ll put me in St. Mungo’s for a year."   He began to cry.   "But I need the help of the smartest witch in England right now.   I’m going insane, I think.   I’ve had something happen today that simply can’t have happened."

"Explain it to me, Harry," she said, getting down to business.

He started to speak, but he heard Ron in the background.   "Harry?   What’s he want?   To abuse you more?   Hang up on him!"

"No Ron, he’s in trouble."

"Well, the bastard should have thought about it before insulting you!   Twice!   It’ll be a while before I forgive him!   I thought he was your friend."   There was a pause.   "What’s he said to twist the knife to get you to help him?"

"He thinks he’s going insane, Ron."

"Good.   Serves him right," was all he heard before the line went dead.

Well, he’s not getting any sex for at least a week, after hanging up on her like that.   I give it about five minutes before I get a call back on my … *RING*   Well, looks like two weeks, then.   "Hello?"

"Harry?   Hermione again."

"Two weeks?"

"Three.   He’s angry, but he knows better than to try to end a conversation for me."

"Put me on speaker, Hermione."   He heard the click and said, "Let him know that I am making a wizard’s oath to permit him to give me whatever punishment he feels is fitting when I see him again.   And there must be a punishment, even if it turns out that I’m not insane, and just found Ginny alive in Salem, Massachusetts.GoneGhost of a Memory - 1Ghost of a Memory - 2Ghost of a Memory - 3Ghost of a Memory - 4Ghost of a Memory - Epilogue

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