An Unholy Trinity.
Ginny, Luna, and Dawn looked at each other, then at the teacher at the other end of the room. Then they looked at each other again, nodding subtly. Dawn looked at the parchment in front of her, picking up her quill to look like she was proofreading a paper.
"If you so much as *think* about working on that spell, I will toast your hides and make you sorry for eternity," Professor Armwrench said crisply, coming back to confiscate it. "I don't care if it's for a good reason," he said, cutting off Ginny's protest before she could do more than think about it. He looked down at Luna. "I doubt it," he said smugly, smirking at her. Then even he blushed at the next thought from her mind. "Miss Lovegood!" he said, blushing and walking off with the spell.
Luna looked at his back. "What? I had fun thinking about it," she defended with a grin for her buddies.
Dawn sighed and raised her hand. "Sir, if you won't let me use that one, would you be kind enough to point my bitchy, cranky ass toward the person who did this to him and the book I need to help him hurt her?"
"No," he said patiently. "I'm still investigating on my own, Miss Summers. You can wait as well."
She looked back at him. "If we do, there could be a book three." The students all stared in horror, realizing what she was talking about now. "I can always ask Alex for meaner things. We do realize this, correct?"
"I do, and should he do that for you, he would quickly find himself beset," he said, staring her down. She didn't slump, only raised an eyebrow. "I promise, when we find out who did this heinous and lamentably funny act, they will be suffering. I'll go to Harry myself and help him. He *is* one of mine after all," he noted dryly, smirking at her.
"Sorry, sir, not good enough. There's more than Harry who wants a piece of the bitch," Ginny told him. "Including most of my family. Even Percy's upset about this."
Armwrench sighed and looked up. "Why me?" he asked the ceiling. He heard a thunderclap and looked outside. "Hmm. Brother's around somewhere." He shrugged and shut the shutters, only glancing back when something ran into it. "I'm teaching!" he snapped. "You can wait!" He smoothed down his hair and walked back to the front of the classroom. "I promise, ladies, whoever is doing this to him will be punished," he said calmly, staring Dawn down. "We all know I'm not going to leave this alone. Not only have I wondered why I kept getting surges from bookstores, I also know that there's been quite a few hurt feelings. I can't deny that it bothers many people. Your family, Ginny, is just the beginning. Think about those who could possibly sue her for defamation." The rest of the students shuddered. "Now, you will leave this in my hands. I can do more than you could ever dream of."
"Only if you don't end up dealing with a certain old man," Dawn said dryly. "And wouldn't we be able to do more together, sir?"
"Yes, dear, but you're still not my type. Much too girly for me." She smirked at him and he snorted, shaking his head. "While that's a nice idea, it could fry me and kill you, and my father would definitely try to kill everyone who ever knew what you were thinking. Therefore, stop it, before he shows up."
Dawn concentrated. "Too late. He's having tea."
"Bloody hell," he muttered. "Up, the three of you. I'm not getting my ass fried this time."
"He'd just tie you up again," Dawn said as she stood up and helped Luna up. She was still a bit sore after her last...date with Wesley. Those two walked out together and Dawn took the professor's arm to walk with him. They walked into the headmaster's office, startling him. "We felt an energy surge?" she asked patiently, looking at the old man standing there. She smirked and held out a hand. "Dawn Summers."
He shook it, looking at her. "I know you."
"Wonderful." She smirked at him. "I know of you as well. By the way, tie him up again near that horrible snake would make me quite...upset," she noted, letting some of the ice touch her voice. "We're dealing with a personal matter. Did you want to help perhaps?"
"Yes, father, do your Ravens say anything about who was writing those horrible books?" Professor Armwrench, also know as Loki, asked dryly.
"Not as of yet. Why are you here?"
"Because he controls some of the chaos around here," Luna said, perching on the edge of the headmaster's desk. "This is a school of magic. We are teenagers. If someone didn't teach us about sex and things, we'd have to go learn it like I did," she finished with a small purr of contentment.
"Miss Lovegood, we don't need to know why you can't walk straight today, nor do I care which of your nearly demonic men did it to you this time. Please, don't share."
"I get a vicarious thrill from it," Ginny said dryly, shrugging and smirking a bit. She looked the older man. "So, you're his father. Did he teach the children up there about naughty things and budgets too?"
Odin looked at her, then at his son. "How long did it take you to warp this one?"
"She was like that *long* before I got here. She's got six brothers." He looked at Ginny, then at his father. "If she weren't so pleasant and cheery, I'd take her as my own. She gives me quite good ideas."
"So I can tell," Odin said dryly, looking at the three girls, then back at Dawn. "You associate with them?"
"Hell, yes, they're my best damn friends," she said firmly. "Me, the pure one, and the consort. It suits me that they love me like their sister. The same as I do them. If you don't like it?" She snorted. "Yay. You're not my God, nor are you one I honor at this moment. Now, did you have another reason for being here?" she asked dryly, staring him down.
"Dear, you are human," he said gently.
She grabbed him by the ear and pulled his head closer. "You so sure of that? Remember, they made me of the slayer. I'm not the nicest girl around and he keeps me from going insane while my man is gone. After all, I'm one of the nice cursebreakers that he loves so much." She let him go when her professor made her let him go. "Sorry, I'm having a bad day. He said I can't help my best male buddy get vengeance for the person wrecking his life. You have an opinion on that?"
Loki created some chocolate and handed it to her. "Here, dear. It's fairly obvious." He looked at his father. "You needed to interrupt again, father?"
"We'd come searching for him," Ginny promised him patiently. "I'm sure Alex Dumass can find a way to find him. After all, he's got to be his highest priest alive at the moment."
"There's one higher," Loki said with a grin. "He's retired. When he dies in a few months Alex will be, with Ron and Harry together next on the list."
"They're together now? Why did my man not tell me this?" Dawn asked smartly, still a bit coldly as well.
"When they're working together and in physical contact, they are one of my stronger teams," Loki told her. "Adding you to that makes them blinding. The same as Draco allows Alex to break his compulsion to ...please me."
"Will she get that too?" Ginny asked. "Because that'd be weird."
"No, dear," he said patiently. "She will be one of my cursebreakers, but she won't have that compulsion. She'll only desire to please Ron."
"Good, I like you, sir, but not that way," Dawn quipped, looking at Odin. "So, you're the big, bad God in his life. Do you think Ginny would make a good Valkyrie?"
Odin looked at her, then at the girl and nodded. "Very good. She's got the care for the horses, the ability to fight and win, and the ability to beat the snot out of any warrior who protested and begged to go back. Plus she's still pure, a requisite for service. Want a job?"
"Right now I'm liking unicorns," she said plainly. "But I'll consider it, talk it over with my mum and the like."
Armwrench looked at her. "Your mother would throw a bloody fit."
"Well, yeah," she said dryly. "Especially if she knew who you were."
"Molly loved me when she was here," he offered smugly. "Used to sneak hugs."
"I'm sure her father was pleased with that," Luna said kindly. She looked at Dumbledore. "Any luck finding the person since you know who did it?"
"What makes you think I know who wrote those books?"
Luna got up and walked over to his bookshelves, pulling down the first book and looking inside. "To my favorite professor and headmaster Dumbledore, may these bring a bit of lightness and serve as a chronicle for the next generation that has to endure such vile times. Thank you for making sure he won." She closed the cover and put it back, giving him a look. "By the way, we all know that you knew about them, probably before they even came out. Did she actually break in to get your pensieve, sir?"
"Miss Lovgood, that was a very awkward accusation," Professor Armwrench chided gently. "Though quite accurate. The name?" Dumbledore mumbled something. "Thank you, Professor. I'll make sure she's suitably taught respect for the young man she's ruining." He looked at his father. "Is there another reason for this visit, father?"
"There's an offspring of the dragons around here, son. It's a powerful thing."
"Ginny's brother deals with dragons," Dawn told him. "Or is it one that's attracted to power?" He nodded at that. "Huh. So, let's all go stand in the field and see if it comes running up. Wanna change out of the tacky uniforms, Luna?"
"Me too," Ginny agreed. "I'd rather go out looking cute if I'm about to be eaten."
Loki looked at the girls. "We'll do that as our field project this semester, ladies. Not tonight. Let's gather some research first. That way I know if I need to club my brother over the head and steal his hammer."
"Why? Seduce him," Dawn said with a snort. "He's blond, dumb, and sporty. Set him up on a date with my sister. It would annoy Angel to no end."
Odin looked at her. "You're mean."
She smirked. "I'm female."
"True. I had hopes you'd be a nicer one though." She snorted and shook her head. "Very well then. I'll leave this in your hands, Loki. I'll want him bound and unkilled if possible, killed if you must." He shrugged and nodded. "Thank you." He stood up. "Thank you as well, Headmaster. You seem to give my son a purpose each year. I know he fretted last year."
"That's because he had three cursebreakers in his classes and a consort veela, who he all missed because he was rather...tied up," Ginny told him. "Which did upset us horribly. Ron was really looking forward to meeting him."
"I'm sure he was. What family are you from?"
"Findergard's line," Loki offered dryly. "Makes sense, doesn't it?"
"Quite," he agreed, staring at the young girl. "You're as fierce as any of that line's warriors, girl child. I wish you luck finding a man who's strong enough to mate with you."
She snorted. "Who said I won't end up liking girls?"
"If so, I'll send a few of ours down for you to pick from. You'll need a fierce woman to soothe and help you with your life's work," he promised, nodding at his son. "Don't be too mean to your brother, Loki. He's having a bad week. His last girlfriend tossed him over because he was arrogant."
"Thor, arrogant?" he asked dryly. "That's shocking. Who would have thought?"
Odin looked at him, sighing and shaking his head. "I wish you two would get along better." He disappeared from that spot, and the thunderstorm outside cleared up as well. "Be safe, and behave," he called back.
"Me?" he asked dryly, looking up with a wicked smirk. "Why ever for?" He looked at the girls. "All right then, research tonight in the library about that dragon. Yes, you may change and come in normal clothes, I won't care. No taking it on without me being present." They all nodded. "Good. Then I'll tell Harry who that idiot is so he can deal with him...."
"Him?" Ginny squeaked.
"Him. He apparently was trying out his gender switching and got stuck. He makes a smashing middle aged woman though." He looked at the girls. "Leave that part to me unless he asks, ladies."
Dawn gave him a cool look. "Doubt it," she said, Luna and Ginny nodding behind her. She looked at the headmaster. "Ever think of a long vacation, sir?" She walked out with her posse, going to their next class. It was Potions and she needed to talk to Snape as well. He gave her an odd look when she walked in so she whispered in his ear, getting a nod. "Thank you, sir. We'll let you help us with the dragon when we catch it. Maybe you can get a few scales or something." She winked and strolled out, heading to her next class, which was Herbology.
"Sorry we're late, sir, the Headmaster had us in his office," Ginny offered. "He's still got Professor Armwrench up there."
"So I heard," he hissed, staring at them. "Sit down and work, ladies."
"Yes, sir," Luna agreed happily, sitting down and getting to work. She enjoyed him much more now that Ethan and Wesley had explained him to her. She'd almost feel sorry for the poor guy if he didn't have Holly in his life.
Ron walked into the pub and looked around, then at the note in his hand. He caught the bartender's eye and let him see the note, getting a nod up the stairs. He mouthed 'thanks, mate' and headed that way, skipping up them. He tapped on the door and walked in at the grunt, finding his girl bent over Harry's prone form. "What's happened?"
"He's a bit drunk."
"I can smell that," he agreed, coming over to check on him. "What happened?"
"We found him, the him writing the books. He's transfigured himself into a girl. In the twin's year."
"Wonderful. Their friend Lee?" She shook her head. "Pity. They've been missing him."
"He's working for Witch's World," she offered, bending down to go back to trying to get Harry to wake up. "Harry?"
"Potter, get your miserable ass out of that bed," Ron said in a direct imitation of Snape. Harry moaned and batted at him. "Well, at least it's something."
Dawn leaned down to whisper in his ear, making him sit up and pant, looking around in horror. Then he glared at her. "You needed to get up," she said with a small grin and a shrug. "Have you seen Ginny?"
"No, all I saw was the big, blond guy getting me drunk last night so I wouldn't act rashly toward the person screwing in my life." He looked at Ron. "The Dursleys have written a book in response saying I'm a prince and I made them my slaves."
"Weren't they memory charmed?" Dawn asked.
Harry nodded while he yawned and stretched. "They were when custody was taken from them." He stood up and found his glasses and his shirt, putting them both on. "Let's go."
"Harry, you need to get a bit more presentable," Ron offered, looking him over. "You look like you went on a bender and you stink like you spilled a good few cups on yourself."
"Yay," he said dryly, taking out his wand to do a quick cleaning charm they did in the field. "Better, Ron? You sounded like your mum."
"There's a reporter down there," Dawn said with a small grin. "She stared at me like I was holy." She walked down with him, arm-in-arm, while Ron walked behind them until he could take her other side. The reporter pounced on them and Dawn gave her a look. "You look like you're gonna piss yourself," she noted. "Bad week for news?"
"Just for gossip. Mr. Potter, were you drinking to forget someone? A girl perhaps?"
"No, I was drinking to help the guy buying me drinks forget his girl problems and my family problems. Anything else, ask my aunts, please." She nodded, backing out of their way.
"Was it true, what your relative's book claims?"
Harry stopped and looked at her. "No," he said impatiently. "It was not true. It was in no way true, and why are you reading trash put out by someone who has a memory charm on them?" She looked stunned. "Look at the matter of my custody, dear. You'll find I was *taken* from them by the Ministry. For a very good reason. As a matter of fact, I'm headed for that office right this moment so you can lurk near there and catch the people as they run away in fear." He turned back around and headed off through the floo.
Ron came out the other side and dusted Dawn's backside off for her. "Where's Ginny?"
"We don't know. She changed clothes for dinner and saw someone walking something she thought was a unicorn up the path from the village, so she went out to meet them, and then Hagrid saw a pretty flash of silver and gold light and there was no one there. Dumbledore just smiled and said he was sure she was fine and had been taken to look at a new herd. Since we know who wrote the first book and we found autographed copies in his office, I'm pretty sure he's about ready to hide under his desk at the moment." A few aurors walking past them looked back at her. "Eyes forward, boys, my ass is a national treasure but it's only for curse breakers."
That got a few snickers but Ron did put a possessive hand on it to make them stop staring. Harry opened an office door without knocking and walked in, making the man behind the desk look up and his eyes go wide. "Why and how did my relatives break their memory charms?" he asked calmly, trying to keep his voice quiet. "And why did no one think to warn anyone, including me, that they were putting out such a ridiculous lie about me?"
"Huh?" he asked intelligently. Harry slammed a paperback book down in front of him and leaned closer. The guy blinked a few times. "If you could calm down, Mr. Potter?"
"No, I bloody well won't calm down!" he shouted. "This is the second book that's come out about me and this one was by someone who you supposedly memory charmed!"
"Let me look," he pleaded, taking the book to look at it. He read the back cover and groaned, then looked at him. "I'm assuming they were broken free by the other set," he offered gently. "Someone probably gave it to them and as they read it, things came back. It's rare, but it can happen. You do have the right to take action against them for this however. You can file a suit to stop them and all future sales of this piece of trash. I'll back you up in court if I have to. We store all pensieve investigation results and I checked on yours when that first book came out." Harry stood back up, looking at him. "That's how I would handle it. A court case is very open and very public, but will stop those rumors they're countering with once and for all." He looked over as his office door opened and someone stuck her head in. "Tonks, you can have him in a moment."
"Sure, mate. Hey, Harry, Ron, Dawnie." She grinned at them. "In here about those relatives?" Harry grimaced and nodded. "Where'd they move to?"
"Some other part of Surrey. They've changed their names too," Harry said bitterly. He tossed her the book. She looked at it, then shuddered and handed it back to Ron. "Exactly."
"Saw a copy and we've been huntin' 'em for ya, Harry."
"I like his idea," Ron admitted, looking at the auror who handled child abuse cases. Then at his best friend. "Public and no one can say it won't be the truth."
"Point," he admitted grimly. "It's still very public."
"They know anyway," Dawn pointed out. "I'm betting about half the world has those books on their shelves at home, if not in the office." She pointed at the auror's copy and Harry shuddered. "Maybe you can act against that author too."
"We figure that they're starting to get little things wrong already," Tonks offered. "Besides it's a pretty good read." Harry glared at her.
"It's also gotten some other children who have been hurt to come forward," the other auror said gently. "Some take strength from it and others realize what's going on in their homes isn't normal. We've had a two hundred percent increase in reports of abuse since the first book came out. Mostly true ones."
Harry groaned, rubbing his face. "I still don't like it."
"I wouldn't either," Tonks assured him. "Feels like invasion of privacy and rape to me."
Harry nodded, looking resigned. "It is. But you're right, there's inaccuracies in the first one and the second one." He looked at his friends. Who both nodded. "Fine, we'll go with the court case. I'm sure Uncle Alex has a lawyer somewhere." The auror dug out Harry's file and handed over the card that had been presented to him. "Why do you have this?"
"Someone had to do the legal paperwork for your custody switchover with the Ministry. He's on retainer the last I knew."
"Thank you." He looked at Dawn, then at Tonks. "Hey, Tonks, where did Ginny go? Dawn said she disappeared from school last night but Dumbledore's not really looking too worried."
"Not a clue, Harry. There's no auror up at the school this year." She grinned. "Can I go break in his door and question him like in the old days?"
"Please," Dawn agreed. "Luna's worried sick about her because of the way he's unconcerned."
"Hmm. Interesting." Tonks gave them all hugs as they came out, giving Harry a pat on the back too. "I'll keep an ear out, Dawn. Harry, you be a good boy."
"I'm always a good boy," he snorted. "I've got Ron, Uncle Alex, and Bill all looking over my shoulder every few minutes. I can't get into trouble with them there." He walked the couple off, taking them out of the Ministry and down the alley to visit with the twins and have some breakfast. The twins always had food because their kids liked to nibble. He walked in and grinned. "We're borrowing your kitchen table and some cereal."
"Yet, you don't look like our twins," one of them said dryly.
"Nor do you smell like them," the other pointed out.
"Looks like someone went on a bender last night," Tipsy finished.
"I was having a pint and feeling puny when this big blond guy came up to me and started buying me drinks to make himself forget about a girl," he said with a small shrug. "It worked, I didn't go to kill my relatives for their supposed work of fiction."
The twins just nodded and Tipsy gave him a hug. "Cereal's in the normal spot but we've got to go shopping later. There might not be any milk. Joxer was trying for the refrigerator to get some." She pinched him on the butt, making him jump. "Lindsey's coming up for the last day of her spring break."
"That's cool, we'll have to see what's going on with her," Ron said happily, beaming at them. "Mum's livid, I'd not call home."
"What did you do," Tipsy asked.
"This time?" a twin finished.
"Or should we simply get the blackmail journal and let you write it out yourself?" the other asked.
Dawn beamed. "Charlie told her she's not getting grandkids from him and to quit nagging him for a few days or he'd turn to blokes and start to take it up the bum."
"A direct quote," Ron said smugly. "Heard it while I was coming down the stairs. Said he'd be buggered by a dragon before he had any tots like yours, who'd then hurt his dragons."
"Ours would only cuddle them," Tipsy defended but she was grinning.
"Love, making him babysit...."
"Would be mean," the other finished.
"We could have that night on the town we've been wanting."
"Hmm, or a weekend away again," the first twin noted.
"Yes, but then we'd have to cart the kids to Romania with bags and sleeping pens and the like," the first sighed.
Tipsy grinned at them and shook her head. "No, we won't. Dawnie?"
"Not a chance," she snorted. "I'm not that brave, honey. I'll stare certain death in the face but not him with those horrible minions of yours."
"Minions?" Tipsy asked.
"I like that," the first twin said in awe.
"Little vampire prankers," the second twin agreed happily.
"Little messengers of doom and apocalypse," Harry pointed out dryly. "By the way, is Iolaus supposed to be trying to hang his sister off the light fixture?"
The twins hurried back there to stop them, letting Harry get his breakfast so they'd help him eat it. It'd keep them calm for a few minutes.
"Let mum babysit," Ron hissed. "She's got to be down and Joxer always makes her and dad smile."
"The last time I did that, she came out with green hair with blue stripes."
Dawn just shook her head, walking back into the kitchen. "Guys, if we don't behave, I know very well that the Santa person coming this holiday won't bring a single present or piece of candy." All four kids stared at her in horror. "So we've got to behave at least a bit and not try to kill each other, any parents or relatives, or destroy the store, okay?" They all beamed, they could live with that. "Thank you."
Joxer hugged Dawn's leg, smiling up at her. "Candy?" the little girl asked pitifully.
Dawn smirked at her. "Nice try. That's nearly as good as the slytherin trying to date me does."
"Who do I get to kill this week?" Ron asked dryly, looking over at her as he hugged one of the younger set of twins.
Dawn smirked. "He makes a girl feel pretty, Ron. Even if I'd only be a cover for his gayness." She sat down with Joxer in her lap, letting her steal some cereal from Harry's bowl with her little fist. "Are you guys still looking for Lee?" she asked the twin back there with them. He nodded, smirking at her. "He's working for Witch's World. McGonagall was most pleased with him when she saw his last article."
"I'll have to write him later," he said fondly, pouring himself some more coffee. "Guys, Grandmum needs a hug. Uncle Charlie was mean and said there's not going to be any cousins for you to play with. Wanna go hug the grandmum?" They all smiled at him so he gathered them and a diaper bag up, going to impose on his mother, who was lying on a couch with a cloth over her head.
Iolaus wiggled down so he could climb up on her and lay on her chest, getting comfortable. "We love you."
"I love you too, dear," she said with a small smile, patting him on the back. "Going to destroy the kitchen?"
"No, Unca Charlie," he said with a beam when she looked at him.
"Him naughty," Joxer agreed. "'Serves spanked."
"He does," that twin agreed with a grin for his mother. "I figured they'd be the best medicine for the headache you have. Besides, Charlie's kids would have to be half-dragon and then they'd smoke in the house, which you won't allow dad to do." He grinned and disappeared.
The other two twins climbed up and snuck up their grandmother to hug her too. She gave good hugs. "Candy?" one asked, beaming at her for her audacity.
"Santa?" the other asked.
Molly laughed and patted them all. "Yes, we'll talk about the holidays. You two are just about old enough to take the best joy from them." She tried to move but was hugged. "Can't I get up, children?" They shook their heads and snuggled in, Joxer curling up above her head to get her there so she wouldn't have to share. "I love you four too."
Harry looked at the goblin lawyer his uncle had on retainer and stretched. "Sorry, long night."
"I've had those as well," he agreed, putting down that book. "It's all false?"
"The other set is very close to the truth. Only has a few inaccuracies," he said quietly, glancing around.
"The office is sealed for the protection of my clients," he assured him. "The aurors?"
"Took custody of me from my aunt. I'm guessing it's a joint office between Unmentionables and the aurors."
"Unmentionables go to question, aurors enforce the orders," he noted calmly, looking at the young man. "What do you want out of this?"
"Them to stop it, them not to make a profit from it, and them to bloody miserable for trying it."
"All doable. In our legal system, they would have the right to wizarding council, but they would also be under veritasium while being questioned, like you would be. I can have the courtroom closed to any gawkers, but I can't promise it won't leak."
"The other books are already out there," Harry noted with a hand wave. "Can't get much worse."
"It probably could, but we'll see," he promised, leaning over to shake his hand. "Leave this in my capable hands. Where are you heading for today?"
"Back to the manor, going to finish doing wash and repack, then we're heading to the Malgadesh site tomorrow."
"Interesting," he noted, making note of that. "Your uncle?"
"With us. Bill Weasley as well."
"Thank you. I could be calling Ron and his parents at some point in time. Would that upset you?"
"If it helps," he said with a shrug, standing up. He shook the goblin's hand. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. It's one of the more fun things I do for your uncle. Tell him to call me later about his will?" He nodded. "Thank you, Mr. Potter. Have a good trip." Harry beamed as he walked out, heading to gather Ron from the bookstore. The goblin made more notes and called in an assistant, handing him that book. "I want the author of this found, served with a notice of a court hearing. I'll be filing in a few moments. I also want an exact account of what they said for said filing." His assistant nodded and hurried off to do that for him. "Going human was a good choice," he said quietly, going back to his planning of how to do this.
Alex looked at his lawyer later that afternoon. "My will?"
"The last one you did was nearly seventy years ago and you left everything to your remaining family, no stated heirs, and your girlfriend of the time. I believe you should update it."
"You know this is going to cause someone some pain, right?"
"Still, better pain now than when the court doesn't recognize being reanimated or resurrected for the purposes of inheritance and your nephew's aunt and uncle get the manor house."
"Hmm, good point," Aunt Cordy said as she came in. "I just expected everything was in Alex's name."
"Everything is but three family vaults," the goblin assured her. "They're listed as Dumass family assets and only the present head of the family can get into them, but he has written a letter to the bank authorizing yourself and his father into them as well." He saw Alex's subtle headshake and left it there. "Shall I send on a list to you in Malgadesh?"
"Please. You're right, I'll have to add Dawnie to the family tree as well."
"True," he agreed dryly. "Plus Severus as well."
"Fine," Xander agreed, smirking at him. "Send it on. I'll deal with it while I'm on the dig."
"Thank you, Alex. I knew you'd be willing to keep us from having to disappoint others. Do you want to add yourself to Harry's suit as an offended party?"
"No, but you might ask Ron. It's his life they're trashing." He raised an eyebrow. "Can I go kill my niece and her husband?"
"No, not with the suit being active. Unfortunately that could be pointed at as a prejudicial act against the other side."
"Pity," Aunt Cordy said dryly. "Do let us know how that goes, dear." She pinched her nephew's cheek. "You behave, dear. I know it's going to upset your father, but we'll have to figure out who has legal standing and who doesn't." She left, going to the kitchen to make some tea for her and his father.
Xander looked at the goblin. "How bad?" he hissed.
"The Ministry would be able to authorize a new identity for them and recognize them as living. You'd have to call in some favors." The cursebreaker nodded. "Then again, there may be a way around it." He shrugged. "I'm still working on it, Alex. Do you want me to handle Harry's suit personally?" Alex nodded. "Very well then. Do remember to write Severus to see if there's anything he wanted in particular." He disappeared from the floo.
"That's not a bad idea." He wrote out a quick message to him, sending it on with Dawn when she went back.
Dawn walked into the school, smirking at the Headmaster and McGonagall. "I'm back," she announced happily. "Harry's pissed but he's suing his relatives. They left for Malgadesh this morning right before I did. I've got tons of homework to do, including a paper for Alex, which I've got to present when I get there. I've also got a letter for Professor Snape." She looked at the very still adults. "What? Did they send themselves off plane or something?"
"No," McGonagall said, shaking herself free. "Why is Mr. Potter pissed? Beyond the obvious?"
"His relatives wrote a book saying he was a prince who was holding them as slaves."
"They did what?" she asked, staring at her. Dawn pulled out the book and tossed it to her, letting her see it. She read the back cover and snorted. "What utter rubbish."
"Percy called it stuff and nonsense when I took Harry's letter to him earlier. Yes, he's that pissed. By the way, we're working on the family will again. I'm being officially added to the Dumass family tree by the end of the month," she said proudly, smirking at them. "Let me deliver this other letter and I'll join up for my next class?"
"Which is Potions anyway," Dumbledore assured her. "Your bag and dog are already down there."
"Thank you, sir." She blew a kiss at him as she strolled that way, waving off the book. "I've got another copy for him." She strolled down the halls, heading down to the dungeons. She tapped on the door, getting Snape within a moment. "May I?"
"Go to my office, Miss Summers."
"Sure. Thank you, sir." She headed around him and into his office, smiling at her napping puppy on his desk chair, settling in to pet him until she was joined. She pulled out the book and the note as an afterthought when he did come in, handing them back.
She looked at him. "Harry's relatives wrote some trash in response to the novels." He gaped and she nodded. "Utter and complete shit, sir. With delusions of bondage no less." He shuddered at that. "The other is from Alex. His lawyer is making him update some family stuff, like the will and the family tree so I'm on it." She picked up her dog so he could have his desk chair. "There you go, sir. Let me dig out my homework for you."
"Please. Am I looking at any of your assignments for Alex and this new site?"
"You can if you want," she offered. She pulled that out as well, letting him have his homework scroll first and then the assignments from Alex. "I figured you and Professor Flitwick would both be looking over my shoulder for that paper he assigned." She stood up, turning to look at him fully. "Sir, any news on Ginny Weasley?"
"No," he said dryly. "Then again it's only been a few days and she has taken off with a unicorn herd in the past."
"Actually she was riding one this way," she said dryly. "And it didn't sound like she took off with one of them with how Hagrid described that flash of light that took her away. Gold and silver?" she asked at his odd look in her direction.
"Point," he admitted. "I will talk to Professor Armwrench when he comes back in a few days." She nodded at that. "Any news on that dragon?"
"I do actually," she offered with a grin. "Alex had a book on that whole family of dragons. Somewhere in that mess from Alex are my notes on it." He searched and found it, reading it quickly. She frowned at him, looking him over. "Sir, if you don't mind my saying so...."
"I do, Miss Summers."
"Sir, shut up. Why are your eyes red?" He looked up at her. "They are, sir. Maybe you should get them checked out?"
"I"m fine. I can see very well."
"If they weren't harmed somehow you'd be saying perfectly. Or as usual." She stared him down, then sighed and shook her head. "Fumed?" He nodded. "Should I have a subtle word with Madam Pomfrey on your behalf?"
"Holly already has and she's already done an eyewash for me. You do not need to fuss over me, Miss Summers."
"No, sir, but I'm one of those fussy sort of women. My mother was the same way," she said with a smirk. "I learned at the knees of the best, one who fed vampires cocoa while discussing their love life."
Snape shook his head. "At least you didn't say your sister."
"No, she doesn't have the energy to care usually." She leaned over, looking at him. "Sir, your left eye is becoming cloudy. I think you should go back up there."
"Unlike you I cannot leave my class unattended."
"Sir, if you go blind, you'll have to retire and let Greg have the class anyway," she said dryly. He frowned at her. "Really." She checked his forehead. "You're warm as well," she offered with a frown. He swatted at her hands, scowling hard. "Oh, quit," she sighed, rolling her eyes. "We're fucking well related, I can fuss! It's what I do and since Ron's half the world away, you're going to have to suffer!" She looked around, then at him. "You'll call Poppy or I will," she said quietly but firmly. "And I will go running up there like it's a total emergency and make everyone in this school panic and hope Alex is already headed this way."
"You're an annoying twit," he sneered.
"Yay me," she said dryly, smirking at him. "You can just call."
"Fine." He lit his small fire pot off to the side of his desk, tossing in some floo powder. "Poppy Pomfrey." Her head spun into the small fire and she gasped. "Miss Summers said I should call. She claims I'm suddenly warm."
"His left eye's cloudy as well," Dawn told her. "Just since I've been in here."
"I'll be right there with more of that eyewash, Severus. Fumigate your classroom and air it out." Her head disappeared.
"There, you see, I'm right. Where's the fan?"
"For air ventilation in an emergency?" she prompted.
"Oh, the blue switch on the wall. Tap your wand to it twice and say current." She nodded, going to do that for him. He went back to trying to read. She was right but he hated to admit it or she'd fuss more. He heard the students moving about and came to the door, watching them. "Why are you leaving?"
"Madam Pomfrey wanted them in the dangerous potion's lab," Dawn said, freezing a bubbling cauldron properly. "She just went to start the air in there. She thinks it's something someone's wearing in reaction to the potion, sir. Just doing as ordered." She got the last few out and stopped their cauldrons as well, then went to check the rest, finding one last one, which was puce colored, very low in fluid, and it smelled dangerous to her. "What's this one? A personal project?"
He came over to look then sneered and put out that fire, going to put it aside. "No, but I will know who was doing that."
"Adrian Borel was trying to pick it up and carry it out, but he wasn't the panicked looking one. Timothy was."
"Interesting. Your own house?"
She stared him down. "If they're doing dangerous shit, I've got the right to complain. Or have Spike come up from Chicago and eat them. Oh, did you hear? Remus went to teach in Chicago and brought Spike and Sirius with him."
"That's supposed to be *better* than it was?" he demanded sarcastically.
She shrugged. "Before they weren't using wands, almost no one had their own wand, and they were studying very old muggle science instead of potions. They actually told people that potions were folk cures and weren't really anything working at all." He gaped and she nodded. "Not only that, they didn't teach flying, didn't have uniforms, which was kinda a nice idea, and had none of the traditional magic classes. Not even defense. They said that defense was another outdated and unnecessary class for today's witches and wizards." He grabbed a chair for support, still gaping. "Lindsey said that they were so far behind she was doing work from a few years earlier and that she was going to end up taking regular health class because that's as close to herbology as they got, herbal shampoos and the like." He sat down, shaking his head with a moan. "So when they reformed, they asked Remus to do DADA over there and he brought Spike and Sirius with him. Angel was almost happy enough to lose his soul again." He let out a quiet snicker at that. Madam Pomfrey came in and looked at them. "I was sharing news from the group in LA. Remus Lupin is teaching DADA in Chicago now with Sirius and Spike the vampire."
"I'm sure your sister must miss her friends terribly," she offered.
"Well, she more misses nagging Sirius to wear clothes now and then and play fighting with Spike, but not really. So, how can I help?"
"Can you measure out a cauldron of water, dear?" she requested. Dawn nodded and went to do so, washing her hands and checking the cauldron she selected first, then running some cold water for her. "Thank you. Now take your dog and head to class."
"This is my next class."
"Ah. I see. That's fine. Go ahead and tell Professor Flitwick about your upcoming assignments and then come back. He should be fine by then."
"Sure thing, Madam P." She gathered up her papers and went up there with her school bag and Midnight, her chow puppy. She listened and there wasn't any noise so she stuck her head in, getting a smile and a wave into the empty classroom. "I was down sharing this with Professor Snape when I figured out he was having problems. So Madam Pomfrey told me to come give you my assignment sheet so you could look over my shoulder as well," she said cheerfully, grinning as she handed that and her paper for him over.
"Thank you, Miss Summers. Very thoughtful of you." He looked at the assignment sheet and smiled. "Well, that's a bit of research."
"Which I'm good at," she reminded him smugly. He nodded at that and handed it back. "Do I copy everything for you?"
"If you could," he agreed. "What's wrong with Professor Snape?"
"Something was causing fumes and making his eyes hurt."
"Ah. That happens now and then. Thank you, dear. And hello, Midnight." The puppy barked and came over to lick his hand. "Good boy." He gave him the pets he wanted and then the duo walked out together, going back down there. "Alex is a crafty one," he said happily. "That bit of research should keep her busy most of this term."
Dawn found Madam Pomfrey forcing Snape to lie on his couch and cleared her throat. "Need more help, Madam P?"
"No, dear, thank you anyway," she said happily. "Can you contact Gregory? He won't be able to teach for a few days."
"Sure." She walked over and touched Snape's arm, concentrating very hard until she felt a surprised person on the other side. "Hmm, Professor Methos. Ah, there he is." She sent the quick message that Professor Snape was ill due to a reaction in class and needed to see Gregory about subbing, then disengaged and looked up to find Professor Methos striding in. "Sorry, sir."
"I had forgotten we still had to initiate you." He looked at her. "How did you do that?"
"I'm odd that way," she said dryly. "Ask Armwrench." She stared him down until he smirked at her. "So, any broody mood cows yet?"
"No, MacLeod is long gone for the time being. He'll probably try to pop around for the holidays." She handed over her assignment sheet, making him smirk at her. "I'm not a source to be used."
"Oh, I know, but I figure I could probably use you to verify rumors versus truths."
"Possibly. We'll see."
"Of course, sir." She looked at Madam Pomfrey. "Can I go gas the kids in the other room?"
"No, dear," she said patiently. She heard running feet and looked out of the office as one of the twins ran in. "He's fine, dear."
"He's bloody well not if he's unconscious!" He came in to look him over, then looked at Dawn. "You're a handy bit, Dawn. Let's get him upstairs. Greg's at the Ministry for the week-long reupping of his Mastery. I'm sure we can work around it. If not, I can sub for his lesser classes." Snape groaned. "Me or Tipsy, old man."
"Going out of his head with the whole disowned thing," he said bitterly. Dawn looked at him. "Sacred bonds were broken."
"I'll see what I can find in Alex's library and here since I've got to spend so much time in there anyway."
"Thank you, Dawn." He kissed her on the cheek, helping move the professor onto the stretcher she called up. "Who's the next group?" he asked Dawn.
"Mine. The others are across the hall. He said it was a reaction and we found a puce cauldron that made him give his happy, mean smirk."
"Puce?" He walked out to sniff at it, then sneered. "Stupid, utterly stupid. Creating Pixie Lust in his classroom and doing it much too strongly. What was the rest working on?" She pointed at the other cauldrons. He examined them and nodded. "That would create a fume. Anything like Pixie Lust potion would fume against that and cause eye issues." He smiled at the Headmaster. "Greg's reupping his Mastery, so I'm subbing until the substitute can get in."
"Fumes. Discordant potions reacting against each other. Madam Pomfrey, go ahead and call the shop, Tipsy should be able to tell you which antidote works well against Pixie Lust. It was one she was working with recently so she did all that research. Just in case the older twins got sneaky again." She nodded, hurrying out. He touched his tattoo, getting a response and a smirk. "They're worried he's grabbing his arm," he told Methos dryly.
"He's rolled up his sleeves by now," he retorted. "Who, Miss Summers?"
"Adrian Borel was trying to pick up that cauldron but Timothy Titmore looked like he was about to shit his pants," Dawn offered.
"Very well. I believe I should go talk to the students," Methos noted, heading across the hall to do so. He slammed open the door, staring at them. "You will all be in here for a bit longer. We will know who was brewing and messing about with the Pixie Lust potion because it was what caused the fumes that are creating the present harm." He stared them down, noticing who went pale and who nervously started to rub her neck. "Should no one come forward, we'll have to test you all." Six students stepped forward but one still continued to rub her neck. "And you?"
"I had some mixed into my body powder, but it wasn't an active potion," she defended. He gave her the glare of death and she wilted, her and three other young women stepping forward.
One raised her hand. "Sir, I'm their dormmate, I'm not sure I didn't come into contact with it, though it was never my intention to do so. I don't need more people in lust around me, I see quite enough of that already." She stared into his eyes and he nodded, making her relax. "Thank you, sir. Should I go confiscate?"
"No, I'll send Madam Sprout up. I'm sure she can spot that dratted potion by now. Besides, I'll have a list of what it's in." He walked the culprits out and up to the office. He was not going to put up with this today.
Dawn stuck her head in. "Guys, they just carried Professor Snape out of here on a stretcher moaning about a headache and his eyes going. This is *so* not making some people happy but we're getting a sub in one of the Weasley twins until Snape's former apprentice can show up." The Hufflepuff's looked alarmed at that. "You guys remember Greg right?" she asked with a grin. They all nodded. "Him."
"Oooh, he's cute," one girl whispered. She was a Slytherin too.
"He is, and he's married to a veela," Dawn reminded her smugly. "A very jealous one." She ducked back out, closing the door behind her. She smirked at the twin. "My class is next. Where did you want us?"
"Out here in the hall for now, Miss Summers. We'll talk about this year's initiation soon enough." He patted her on the back and looked at the other room, then at her. "The culprits?"
"Professor Methos drug them off."
"Thank you, dear. I'd give points but I don't think it's allowed." He went in there to go back to his airing out and cleaning up. He'd done so many nights during detention. It was almost a fond memory for him.
Greg stomped into the school, nodding politely at McGonagall as he walked past her. "Severus?"
"He'll be fine. It's temporary. A discordant fume issue."
"That's fine. Punished already?"
"Quite," she called after him, smiling at his back.
Greg walked down to the dungeons, then slammed open the door, looking at the students who had just jumped. "Thank you, Mr. Weasley."
"You're welcome, Mr. Sanders. How did it go?"
"They hate me, still; said it's a grand idea, but impractical. Until I proved it by curing someone who was horribly ill and in pain. They accepted my new book on that basis alone." He looked at the students, then walked in and stood behind the desk. "I am Greg Saunders, I am your substitute Potions professor until Professor Snape comes back. I am a Potions' master, recently reupped, and I was trained by him as a direct apprentice. Let's not try my patience. I have toddlers, I can treat even children your age like them." They all stared at him. "Potion?"
"Anti-burn," the twin noted calmly. "Halfway done."
"Thank you. My wife's with your wife." They shared a smirk and then the twin left, going to head back to the shop. "Please continue, I'll be walking among you to see who needs help in a minute."
Dawn raised her hand. "Sir, mine's either curdled or it's supposed to be solid by now?"
"Not hardly," he said, coming over to look at it, then at her. "What did you do?" he asked dryly.
"I have no clue," she admitted. "This is not my area." The others nodded at that, she sucked in here.
Greg apparated back to his house and looked at his guest, smirking at him. "Ready?"
"Sure," he agreed quietly, glancing around. "How is your mentor?"
"Fume inhalation. Temporary blindness. He'll be fine in a week." He took his hand. "Bags?" Hodges grabbed his suitcase. "Okay, we're going. Close your eyes or you'll get dizzy." Hodges did so and they were off, taking him to deal with healing him fully.
To part 18