Harry smiled at Remus when his head popped up. "I called Sirius."
"I know and he knew but he's really busy."
"Like the Ministry decided to pounce him busy?" Remus nodded. "You two know you're welcome over here."
"I know," Remus agreed with a small smile. "How does the school look?"
"A lot harder. They said their average student was like Hermione. They also said that they have special classes for those of us who can't stand the books."
"Apparently I don't fit in clothing wise either but that'll be fine. Oh, I need my broom and things."
"They're already on their way over," Remus assured him. His head turned around and he said something out of hearing then turned back around. "Harry, I've got to go, they're being bigger pains than usual."
"Do we need to talk rescue?" he asked.
"I should hope not." He smirked. "Be good, behave for them. I'll see you soon." The floo cut off.
Harry sat back and contemplated things, then he called someone. "Nymphadora Tonks." She looked startled. "Who in their stupidest mind just decided to bother Remus and Sirius?"
She blinked. "You don't get the Prophet anymore, do you?"
"Long way over here," he said dryly. "By the way, you can tell them I'm enrolled in a very good school and the very good school here thinks that Hogwarts is falling down on teaching us. My records made my new Headmistress swear. She thought I should be a second year."
She giggled. "Good to know." He gave her a pointed look. "Umbridge and Fudge, Harry. Remus is a werewolf. Sirius is under suspicion again."
"I've had about enough of them," he noted calmly.
"If you do anything, they'll take you too," she reminded him.
"Really?" He gave her a look then hung up, calling someone else. "Editor for the Daily Prophet." His head spun up and he gaped in horror. "I've had about enough of Fudge and Umbridge. Why do you think I'm not in Britain anymore? My son was the reason they gave for kicking me out of school."
"They can snap your wand," he squeaked.
"I'm enrolled elsewhere."
He swallowed. "They don't like you very much. You destroyed a good few years' work."
Harry shrugged. "Then they should've have been trying to stretch the truth anyway, huh? Even a child knows it's going to get caught in a lie eventually. I was hoping the Minister for Magic had more sense than a child."
"Can I quote you?"
"As long as you use the *full* quote," he said dryly, giving him a look. "No pulling a Skeeter."
"I won't, Mr. Potter." He glanced around nervously. "They're calling for your arrest too."
"Really?" That got a nod. "You know what? I'm going to send you something. Hermione taught me how to record things in a pensieve and I happen to have one here. She also told me how to bottle the memory and send it on."
"That would leave you without it. It could be tampered with."
Harry snorted. "You forget how smart Hermione is. She taught me how to copy, not get rid of." That got a nod. "Watch for it later tonight."
"I will! Thank you!" His head disappeared.
Harry went to save down the memory, then charmed it into a small bottle he had used for potions. He sent it to the editor himself, since that had been his secretary. Then he tuned into the WWN on the radio and listened to the havoc it caused. Because that man would shout it from the rooftops if it sold his paper. By the time he was doing that and decrying the Ministry again, Ron was there with his school trunk. "Your mum and them okay?"
"Fine. She wanted me far out of harm's way." He flopped down. "Where's Tim?"
"Under the couch taking a nap." They shared a look then shook their heads. He was odd sometimes. "We found his former friends."
"I remember meeting them," Ron reminded him.
"Sorry, long day."
"Take a nap, Harry. I'll sit up." Harry beamed and went to nap on the couch Timmy was sleeping under. Ron waited until they were both snoring to shake his head. "Gets it from his father," he muttered. He went to call his mother. "I'm here and it's all good, Mum. I'll let you know about the school stuff." He waved and turned off the floo before she could complain again. He didn't need yelled at right now. She might wake the baby. Speaking of, he heard a shifting, crawling noise and looked out toward the library. Then he grimaced. "What the bloody hell are you!" he demanded at the creature walking out there. He shot something harmless at it to get it away from Harry and the baby, then looked around. "Mr. Delko!" he yelled. "Help!" One of the guys came running so he pointed at the thing. "What is that?"
"That's very bad. Get the baby and get away from it, Weasley." Ron nodded, jumping over it when it snapped at him so he could get them. He called his boss's son. "I'm at Haven. There's an alligator that just snuck in to eat them. Front hall. Thanks." He hung up and watched the thing. If it started to crawl off again he would follow it but not get near it. Eric finally got there with a tranquilizer gun and shot the creature.
Harry peeked out of the library. "What is that thing?"
"Alligator." He looked at him. "They're dangerous. They eat anything they can get their mouth around. Where's Tim?"
"Still napping under the couch," he admitted, getting a smirk back. "He's tired today. He wore himself out at the school's daycare."
"Good." He handed Harry the rifle. "Don't do more than hold it where your hand is." He pulled the harness out of his back waistband and wrapped the muzzle around the gator's mouth then hefted the thing up and carried it out to the hummer. Where he backed into the street and called it in, jogging inside to get the rifle then back out to the hummer so he could meet the nice people who'd take it away. When they finally came he drove back inside, nodding at the workers. "Any others?"
"We sent one off yesterday," his father admitted. "They were living in the swamp that the swimming pool became."
"Eggs?" he asked.
"Not that we've seen," he admitted, clapping him on the shoulder. "You always joked that they liked you, Eric."
"Now you know it's not just me they like," he taunted back with a smirk. "I'm going to play with the baby for a bit."
"That's fine. I'm going to check on the boys anyway. We're about a day behind schedule right now thanks to some rotten beams we found."
"I'm sure Harry will be thrilled."
"No, I expected that with the swamp out there," Harry said, opening the door. "Is it gone?"
"Fully. It's being taken back out into the Everglades so it can find a new home."
"Good! I'm making dinner apparently. Are you two staying?"
"His mother would fuss," Mr. Delko admitted.
Harry smiled. "Mrs. Weasley does that too. That's why Ron calls, gives her an update, then hangs up before she can say anything."
Eric snickered. "If I did that my mother would beat me."
His father nodded. "The thought had crossed our minds many times, son. I'll see you tomorrow, Harry."
"Sure, Mr. Delko. Thank you."
"You're welcome." He went to his truck, still smiling. He liked that boy. Even if he was going to have to finish growing up and it was going to be a bit of bumpy water soon, he'd be fine soon enough.
Eric looked at the young man in front of him. "You okay?" Harry nodded. "What happened?"
"Ask Ron, I was sleeping."
Eric nodded. "That's probably a good thing. You look like you got worn out too."
"I did. I had to call home to talk to Remus and found the Ministry trying to arrest both my godfathers for telling the truth." That got a nod. "So yeah, got a bit upset, did something rash, and now I'm napping. But I can still cook dinner if you want."
Eric patted him on the back. "You're not a house elf, Harry."
"Not anymore." He let him inside, going back to the library. Ron was halfway under the couch. "Did something eat him?"
"No. He's trying to stay asleep instead of waking up for dinner."
"Let the guy sleep, please. Maybe he'll sleep all night," Harry said, laying down again. Ron came out and gave him an odd look. "He might."
"With our luck, he'll be up at two wanting to fly and read at the same time."
Tim came out from under the couch, spitting at him and scowling.
Eric picked him up to smile at him. "You got to miss the alligator."
Tim gave him a look then wiggled to be put down. Eric did that and he went back under the couch, flipping over so he could go back to sleep.
Ron snickered. "Is that a bad thing or a good thing?"
"Probably a bad thing knowing him," Eric said, helping Ron up. "Come on, I'll help you cook dinner since Harry's not a house elf."
"No, that were his relatives' ideas," he said, following him that way. "We're making food, Tim."
"Bahbah!" he shouted.
"No, I'm not bad. Come get us when you're hungry." He looked at the older guy. "Does he give you that look like you're an idiot at times?"
"Yup. Speed used to give me that then shove me out of whatever lab we were in if we were inside. He'd slam the door in my face and walk off calling me a jackass." Ron snickered. "That's probably as close as he can get so far."
"Possibly," Ron agreed dryly. He heard a shifting noise and looked back there. "Decided you're hungry anyway?" Tim spit at him. "I warned you. Next time I'm smacking your mouth. You're still a toddler." Tim glared at him. He stared back. "You are. You'll behave too."
Tim pouted, hugging Eric's leg. "He's right, you've got to be a toddler and grow up again," Eric sighed. "Otherwise we wouldn't have a problem with you spitting and calling me bad."
Tim looked up at him and grinned. "Ta!"
"No, no fish tacos tonight," he sighed. "I'll bring some Sunday?" Tim beamed and nodded. "Plus H, because the school told Harry to make him go shopping with him."
Tim cuddled his leg, watching Ron cook. "Mus!" he yelled. Ron should not be cooking, he knew that.
Ron looked at him. "He's still back at home, Tim. He'll be here soon." Tim slumped, pouting. "I do know how to cook. My mum taught me. Really." He went back to cooking, making the baby something to nibble on first. It earned him a strange look. "Try it. Ginny likes it." Tim leered. "She won't be here for a few weeks at the least." He went back to cooking, bringing food over. "Here we are." He sat down and Tim pulled himself up on his leg. "Want to sample from my plate?" he teased with a grin, pulling him up so he could grab from his plate, which he had planned. Eric smirked at that. "He's good at sampling. Harry, food whenever you're ready." No answer so he shrugged and dug in. "It'll be fine. Even if we do have to go break Sirius out of jail for being alive."
"I can't hear things like that, even if the arrest is unjust," Eric said firmly, looking at him. "I'm an officer."
"Sorry." He grinned. "We're used to not telling the adults anything, we can include you."
"Just in the illegal things, Ron. Let us know the rest, okay?"
"Sure." He nuzzled the baby's head. "Try the orange things," he whispered. Tim did that and hummed, eating another one too. Ron tried to eat one and Timmy screamed at him so he let him have all the candied carrots he had made. Tim smiled at Eric. "Yes, he'll share his with you later." Tim grunted and held up his arms to Eric, who took him so he could sample from his plate. "Harry calls it sampling."
"It basically is." Tim took two to chew on, smirking at him. "Sure, you can eat those for me. They're good for you." He looked at Ron again. "How are you two going to get into trouble down here?"
"Hopefully we won't have that much trouble coming," Ron told him. "There's no chamber with a basilisk and a student possessed against her will, right?" Eric slowly shook his head. "No teachers that're holding ghouls on the back of their head?" Eric shook his head faster but Tim was laughing. "No dark forest for detentions?" Eric shook his head again. "Then where would we get into trouble? Maybe I'll find a bint who'll like me for being cute instead of Harry's friend. Maybe they'll leave Harry alone for being Harry. It annoys him to no end." He ate another bite and Tim reached for his plate so he let him have more of his carrots. Tim nibbled on it then spit at him. "Keep it up, have a bath early," Ron warned. Tim gave him a pitiful look. "Thank you." He looked at him. "What sort of fun can we do around here?"
"Fairs, the beach, amusement parks?" he suggested. "Just watch out. Miami's full of the wrong sort of fun, like drugs and hookers."
"Oh, them. I'd hope I didn't have to sink that low. I'd rather have a girlfriend. What's an amusement park?"
Eric grinned. "Somewhere a bunch of rides and games are together for fun times."
"Rides? Like animals?"
"We'll show you soon." Ron beamed and nodded. "Just watch out if you guys decide to go out to the clubs, all right?" Ron looked confused. "I know there's dance clubs in England."
"Yeah, but my mum won't let us go and there's no wizarding ones."
"Then you two'll go out with me chaperoning the first night. That way you don't get hurt." Ron nodded and shrugged. He grinned. "It can be great but you've got some precautions you have to take. Then again, you're both about H's nephew's age." He shrugged and fed the sleepy baby another carrot. He gummed it listlessly so Eric tested his forehead with his lips. "Someone has a small fever." Ron got up and got something for that from his school trunk. "Is that for babies?"
"Mum said it was. She sent it with me. She's got seven." He read the instructions then dropped a few drops on Timmy's tongue, making him grimace. "Eat another carrot to get the taste out. Then you can go nap with Da." Tim sucked on his last handful of carrot, letting Ron carry him out to Harry. Harry felt the baby be put down and cuddled him with a grunt. "Small fever, I already gave him his meds, Harry. Watch out for the carrots." He headed back to the kitchen, digging in again. "Harry's cuddling him."
Eric smiled. "You'll get used to the heat and humidity in here."
"I hope so. I might miss snow but hopefully it won't take that long before we can go back. My brother's in Cairo and he said he misses snow," he offered before eating another bite.
"Remember, they can visit, Ron."
"It's not safe if they do," he said, looking at Eric.
"Who says they can't meet you in regular Miami? That wouldn't be exposing the house. You could meet in a park or on a beach."
"Eric, my mum would scream and rant at the girls who weren't wearing anything," he said dryly. "She yelled at Ginny for showing her calves." Eric moaned. "We're a bit Victorian according to Hermione. Though she yelled at the girls we saw rolling around on the strange wheeled boots in tiny shorts and bra tops."
"Then bikinis might be a bit too much for her to bear the first trip," Eric agreed, grinning some when he heard Harry wake up with an 'eww'. "He had carrots, Harry."
"I can see that. He just puked on me." He came in to clean them both up, looking at his son. "You that sick? If so, I'll have to call a healer." The baby gave him a miserable look. "Ron, is this food or something else?"
"With as sleepy as he's been it might be a cold or something," Eric offered, coming over to check on the baby. Then he did the smart thing and called his mother. "Mom, it's Eric. I'm here with Harry and the baby. The baby's had something for his small fever but he just threw up the carrots he ate earlier. Yeah, like that. Well, technically they were sugared carrots." He listened then nodded. "You think?" He nodded. "Thanks, Momma." He hung up. "She said he should be fine but if his fever got much worse you're to take him to the emergency room tonight."
Harry bit his lip. "Eric, they'd get us on our ages."
"Probably," he sighed. "Fine, I'll go with you two if it's necessary, okay?" Tim turned and puked again, then whimpered. "Sure, we'll go now." He got the boys into his car and headed to the local good ER, walking them inside. "The baby's got a small fever and is puking," he told the receptionist. "He's new to the city. He's had something for his fever."
She nodded, marking them down, then taking the baby's temperature. He puked on her too. "Carrots?"
"With a bit of sugar," Ron agreed. "He likes 'em that way best."
"That's fine, boys." She smiled. "Who's the father?" Harry raised his hand. "Who's your guardian?"
"He's still at home. They're moving down here soon," Harry told her. She gave him an odd look. "I'm moving here for school."
"Oh. Okay. College?" He shook his head and she smiled. "That's fine then, sir. Take a seat, it's going to be a little bit. You can probably try to give him some water safely. There's a fountain with cups in the waiting area." He nodded, heading where she pointed. She looked at Eric. "Who has custody?"
"Harry." He grinned. "It'll be fine. A few of us are watching over him while his guardians are arranging for the move." That got a nod and he went to sit with them. "We're going to have to do something about your immigration status," he said quietly.
"Can we do that without telling everyone where we are?" Ron asked. "We know the bank had a leak."
"They said they fixed it too," Harry reminded him. He looked at him. "Can the bank down here help me with that? I know the one at home dealt with those matters somewhat."
"We'll see," Eric said. He pulled out his phone, feeling the sudden need to call Horatio. "It's me. Tim's puking up his carrots for dinner. That's where we are. Thanks." He hung up. He grinned. "He was looking for you three." The nurse came out and called Harry's name, letting them all head back. "We gave him something for his fever. He started to throw up after that. Fever hasn't went down either. My mother said to bring him."
"That's fine," the nurse said, smiling at them. "Has he started to have his shots yet?"
"I've had custody of him now for two months," Harry said honestly. "The social worker over there hasn't said anything about shots." She nodded at that. "Sorry, but his mom kinda made him come into being without my help or consent. Then she rather, um, died painfully." The nurse gave him a horrified look. "That's why I have custody."
"I can see why, Mr. Black." She got to work checking the baby over. "Do you have a pediatrician yet?"
"I was in a boarding school so the school nurse did his original one. I just moved here a few days back."
"That's all right. I'm sure we can find you one so you know what to do from now on."
Eric smiled. "A few of us in the lab are watching over them for Harry's guardians. They're still back in England working on moving. He moved for school reasons with his buddy Ron."
"We do have some good schools," she said with a smile. "It looks like the flu if he doesn't have any food allergies."
"I used the sugar in the cabinets," Ron admitted. "He doesn't have a problem with usual sugar."
Eric looked at him. "You used brown sugar," he told him. Ron looked confused. "I'll go over that with you later." He looked at her. Then at Tim when he threw up again. "He did spend a few hours in the school's daycare today."
"Then it's probably that," she told him. She smiled. "Did we give tylenol or advil for his fever, boys?"
Ron handed over the bottle he had remembered to grab. "My mum makes it. She's had seven of us."
She sniffed it and looked at the label. "Does it work?"
"Greatly," Ron agreed. "Usually within ten minutes. I used three drops."
She looked at him. "Is your family part of a hippie commune or something?"
"Small insulated society," Horatio said as he walked in. He looked at the pain killer. "That works like tylenol only it's all natural."
She nodded. "Let's try the FDA approved stuff, for now until his doctor can advise you, all right, boys? Not that your mother is wrong but you don't know how the high heat and humidity will affect these things." Ron nodded that was reasonable. She smiled at Horatio. "You're watching over them too, Lieutenant?"
"I am." He patted Tim on the stomach. "Did you get sick?" The baby gave him a pitiful look. "Ron used a bit of honey in the carrots and it looks like it was a bit old," he told her.
"That's fine. We'll give him an antibiotic just in case. It won't help if it's the flu but it'll help if it's the honey or something food bourne." Horatio nodded and they let her get that for them, even a sample pack. Harry beamed at that. "All right. You give him half of a packet every six hours, Harry."
"I can do that." She handed over the small bag and he took Tim's shirt off him, bundling it in his back pocket for now. "There, less messy and you're not sweaty." Tim cooed tiredly. "Come on, you can go back to napping under the couch if you want." He grinned at her. "He decided to hide for his nap earlier."
"Some babies do when they feel sick, just like pets do. Do we have any?"
"A pet owl but he's still on his way here." That got a nod and she smiled. "Do we have a good recommendation for a baby doctor?"
"I do," Horatio assured him. That got a smile from the nurse. "The move was a bit sudden. Harry got accepted at the last moment."
"It can happen, Lieutenant. I won't worry about him since you're both watching over the boys until their families get here. Now, if his fever goes back up over a hundred and two, bring him back," she ordered. He nodded, patting Tim on the back. "Good boy. You feel better, Tim." Tim looked at her then put his head back down, letting his father carry him out. She smiled and made notes in the chart. They'd get things figured out.
Horatio smiled at the boys. "Let's head home. I left my nephew and sister-in-law waiting on us." They nodded and got into Eric's car. Harry did the carseat and it was good. He followed them back, calling Yelina on the way. "It was either the honey or the flu they think. Please." He hung up and sped up a bit. The boys were all chatting and laughing at something Eric was apparently explaining. It did bring up some problems he hadn't been wanting to think about. Immigration was going to be coming looking eventually. It wasn't going to look good. He got out, walking in behind the boys. "Ray, this is Harry and Ron. The little one is Timmy."
"Hi," he said, shaking their hands. "I'm Ray, Horatio's nephew. I'm also in your school." That got a smile. "What's wrong with the little tummy?" he asked, taking the baby to cuddle. Tim gave him an odd look then giggled. "Hi, Tim. Yes, Uncle H told me." He walked them back to the kitchen, finding his mother throwing things out. "Mom!"
"Some of them are expired," she said impatiently. "You can't eat expired food."
"We got some of that this week," Harry told her.
"Then you need to shop better places," she said simply. She took the baby to look over, then smiled. "Small fever but you'll be fine, Timothy." She handed him to Ron, who handed him to Harry. "His?"
"His. I've got six siblings, I don't need a baby."
"Not like I participated in bringing him into being," Harry said dryly. He grinned at Horatio. "How soon can we get him set up with the healer?"
"The pediatrician will be a normal one, Harry. That way he gets all his shots." Harry nodded.
"Do you guys even innoculate?" Eric asked.
"I think I got a few shots when I was younger," Ron said with a small shrug. He nodded at the floo, getting a nod from Horatio that it was safe. "Molly Weasley." Her head flowed up and she beamed. "Hi, Mum. Timmy's fine but he had an upset tummy. Can you see if Pomfrey gave him any inoculations?"
She looked confused. "Against what, dear?"
"Measles, those things?" Yelina suggested.
"No, we don't have anything against those," she said carefully. "The muggles do?" The others all nodded. "Hmm. I'll have to look into that when I have grandchildren."
"You're looking at as close as I'm getting for the next few decades, Mum," Ron said dryly. She gave him a look. "He is." Tim let out a tired coo. He pulled him over so his mother could see him. "Can you get her notes for us anyway? Just in case the new doctor wants to look at them?"
"I can do that," she agreed. "Anything else we need?"
"Hedwig," Harry told her.
"Hermione sent her off with a message recently, Harry." That got a grin. "It'll take her about a week though." She looked at the baby. "You are incredibly tiny, Timothy."
"He's grown, mum. His diapers are getting too small again. We'll have to shop for him soon."
"Molly, do the boys have anything like birth certificates?" Horatio asked. "We'll need them for the immigration paperwork."
She looked at him then nodded. "I can have that handled over here, sir."
"Mum, that's Horatio, the female is his sister-in-law Yelina, her son is Ray, and the other guy is Eric. Horatio and Eric knew Timmy in his last life."
"Interesting." She smiled. "I'll see what the bank can do about the immigration status, boys." They both smiled. "Now, anything else we need?"
"Only the stuff we left at Remus' house and them if they're finally released," Harry told her.
She snorted. "They're still in the Ministry, Harry." Harry quirked up an eyebrow. "Don't you dare."
"Hush," he ordered, staring her down. "I've had about enough of Fudge, again."
"Yes, well, you caused a stink by sending those memories to the Prophet. Dumbledore's been buried under owls all day."
Harry shrugged. "If it helps he can take a sore wrist to get them out."
"True." She smiled. "It'll happen soon, Harry. Don't fret so." He gave her an odd look. "I know you can't help it but do try."
"I'll try," he muttered. She smiled. "What about his things?"
"They'll be over in a while, boys. I sent them through a shipping company to the bank down there."
"I'll check with them tomorrow," Ron told her. She nodded at that. "Love you. Be safe, Mum. The Ministry's corked wrong."
"It's nice to actually be able to talk back to you, son."
He grinned. "Mum, you didn't need to yell at those time. Would've woken the baby." He grinned and signed off, looking at Harry. "You're not going."
"Alone?" he said dryly.
"Alone," Ron agreed.
"Someone's got to watch the baby," Ray pointed out.
Harry beamed at Ron. "See, he saw a flaw." Ron glared at him. "Not like you can."
"Harry, they want both of us under Azkaban for you showing that the Death Eaters are back and doing annoying things."
"Point," he sighed. He looked at Horatio, who shook his head. "One day," he told Ron.
"One day," he agreed. They got up and fed Tim some of his medicine, letting Yelina take him when she snatched him to hold. "Sure, my arms were sore," he said with a grin. He looked at the other adults. "Will we have other problems? Harry and I were going to go to the bank to see if they could help with the immigration stuff."
"They might be able to," Horatio admitted. "If not, I'll see if I can get you an interview. School and a war together is a good reason and I know there's wizards at ICE."
"Immigration's new nickname," Eric said at the confused looks. "They did that a lot recently." Tim snored against Yelina's shoulder, earning a mass grin. "He was hiding under the couch earlier for a nap when the alligator came."
"I heard you had to call one in," Horatio told him.
"It was in the front hall," Ron told him. He looked at Eric. "What do we do about those in the future?"
"Hopefully they won't be coming back," Eric told him. "Once that's all fixed it'll be better." They nodded at that. "Let's take him outside to get some fresh air." They all nodded and headed out to the back yard, letting Tim lay in the grass for a while. Eric looked at the east wing. "It's going," he decided. "They're still cleaning up."
Harry shrugged. "I figured it was going to take more than a month."
"Probably," Eric agreed. "My dad does good work."
Harry grinned. "If he didn't the bank wouldn't recommend him."
"True," he agreed with a small grin. It was nice the faith the boys had in his father. A goblin appeared with three boxes and a small envelope. "Hey."
"Good evening. This was shipped over priority so no one could track it, boys." He handed it over to them. "In the envelope is the immigration paperwork the London Gringotts bank set up." Horatio took that to look over so he smiled. "Now, is there anything else?"
"Did my money come with it?" Harry asked. The goblin nodded. "Is it all set up again?"
"It will be tomorrow, Mr. Potter." He patted the baby on the stomach. "You smell like a hospital. Is he ill?"
"They think it was the food tonight or the flu," Ron admitted.
"That's fine then." He straightened up, looking at them. "I was ordered to tell you to stay over here by your former headmaster. No matter what."
Harry quirked an eyebrow up. "Really? Why?"
"The Ministry went after those doing their job when they failed."
"My mother?" Ron asked.
"Probably within the week," he admitted.
"Remus and Sirius?"
"Are in custody. No one's allowed near them. That's all I know," he admitted.
Harry grimaced then looked at him. "Thank you for that information."
"You're welcome, Mr. Potter. Though I can tell you that the Black family funds were transferred at the same time." He smiled and left.
Horatio handed Harry the bank statement. "That's what they transferred over."
Harry frowned. "I had more than that. I had a lot more than that." He flipped the page over, nodding. "They moved it as separate accounts." He let Ron see, watching him gape. "Sirius moved his down here too, just in case." He looked at the baby then at Ron, who shook his head. "Ron."
"Dumbledore does have an idea, Harry."
"Then we'll listen and wait," Harry agreed. Ron relaxed. He knew Harry wouldn't let his parents stay in jail. He looked at the adults, grinning a bit. "So, I start school Monday."
"It'll be fine, Harry. Wear jeans and a nice shirt your first day," Ray told him. "We can go through your closet."
"Please. The defense teacher...."
"Thinks he's one of the pretty people," Ray said dryly. "Ignore him and his drag queen rant at everyone's clothes. We all got it. He's the lower year's defense teacher anyway. You might not have to see him again."
"So he's like Malfoy?" Ron asked dryly.
"Don't know him but maybe," Ray said. They both grinned. "Come on, let's see what you have."
"Most of this is the baby's stuff," Harry said, floating it upstairs and inside. They had rooms but not huge ones. "This is mine and Tim's." He put the boxes down and looked inside them, doing a quick unpacking charm. All the baby's things were sent to their right places. The rest of Harry's clothes were put into the closet. The last box was things he didn't recognize. He looked down inside the lumps of fabric, finding something. "Huh." He pulled out his school trunk and dug inside it, smiling at the map and things. "My invisibility cloak," he said happily, making sure it still worked. Then that got hung up too. The trunk got shoved under the bed and Harry sighed. "That's the last of it."
Ray looked at him then at his closet then back at him. "Were you sick and lost a lot of weight?"
"I used to live with my muggle relatives and I got the hand-me-downs from their son, who was about four times me."
"Ah. No wonder." He started to weed out things, tossing them onto the floor. "We can give these to our church for the needy and poor." Harry beamed at that, nodding a bit. "Then you can go shopping, Harry. Uncle Horatio!" He came walking in. He pointed. "He was wearing really huge clothes as hand-me-downs."
Horatio looked at the rest of the closet. "I forgot how Victorian Britain was," he admitted. "You definitely need to do a bit of shopping, Harry. Ron too." He looked at the uniform then at Harry. "Cute."
"Not really and it itched," Harry told him. "The girls did look odd in their ties too."
Horatio nodded. "I can see why." He finished looking at things. "We'll take you shopping tomorrow, Harry."
"Will the bank be open then?" Horatio nodded. "Then I can get money changed over."
"We can do the haircut thing then too," Ray told Harry. "Because it looks like you could use one, Harry." Harry shrugged. "Don't care?"
"Not usually. It covers the scar."
"So would makeup, Harry," Ray assured him, getting an odd look. "We'll show you. I have a few scars I cover sometimes." He led him back downstairs, looking at Ron. "We'll take the baby shopping tomorrow."
"I can watch him," Yelina pouted.
"He probably needs more clothes too," Ray told her.
"That reminds me, I've got to do wash," Harry said, rubbing his forehead. Ron gave him a concerned look. "Details, Ron."
"Well, 'Mione's not here to make us revision schedules at least," he said dryly.
Harry swatted at him. "Behave. She's stuck over there."
"She can hide, Harry. She's good at it."
"Not if Malfoy's joined them."
Ron smirked then shook his head. "If he does, he loses all his new power."
"Point." He looked at the adults. "Okay, what else do we need to do before school?" The goblin reappeared, handing him something. "What's this?"
"Why we only got the one account for each of you. The Ministry had the accounts frozen."
Harry gave him a look then sighed, reading it over. He went inside to call the Ministry. He was so glad he had put international calling on the floos finally. He looked at the man he had been told to call. "I got accepted at an out-of-country school," he told him. "That means I'm not a dropout. Thank you anyway. Beyond the fact that you can't do that. It's illegal."
"We're the Ministry, Mr. Potter."
"That doesn't mean you can do any shit you want," he said dryly. The man looked stunned. "You do realize which one you're talking to? That I'm not my father? That I'm the one you made live with muggles who tortured me?" he said quietly. He went pale. "That I'm not coming back until it's time for a real battle?" The official spluttered. "If you make me sue you, I will. I will for all the bad shit. I've got records on my side."
"Not any longer," he said pompously. "We're going to say that you can't come back."
"Hey, die when He-Who-Shouldn't-Be-Named shows up at the Ministry, see if we cry," Ron said as he walked behind Harry. "The prophecy said only Harry could kill him." He got some juice and headed back outside, handing it to Yelina. "For the messy one there." She smiled and let him sip from the bottle, earning a tired smile. "He'll be fine." He heard Harry start to yell. "Harry, accidental magic!" he called quietly. Harry's voice quieted but they all heard the explosion. He sighed. "Not again," he complained, heading back inside. "At least it wasn't the kitchen, Harry."
"No, it wasn't the kitchen," he admitted. He smiled sweetly at the new official. "It would've been easier if someone had taught me how to control the leaking magic I have," he noted dryly. "No one ever has."
"Mr. Potter. Mr. Weasley. Which country are you in?" Ron flipped her off. "I see. We do wish to talk to you."
"I wish to kill the people who try to hurt my friends and family," Harry said bluntly. "You come near me or my son and I'll get my wish then your corpse will get yours." She went pale. "Are we clear?" She nodded. "Good!" He smiled. "Now, I've been accepted at a very good foreign school. One that has a daycare for my son. I really do not want to come back to have to deal with you lot over my family's funds. Or over the family itself."
She swallowed. "That was Minister Fudge's...."
Harry held up a hand. "Why would I care what that half-demon wanted?"
She blinked. "He's not."
"The vengeance demon who brought me my son said he and Umbridge were," Harry told her. "In front of witnesses."
"No wonder we arrested someone from WPS," she muttered.
Harry smiled and hung up, looking at Ron when Ron helped him up. "Be back in the morning?"
"Harry," he warned. "No running off without thinking. It could get others hurt."
Harry stared at him. "Even if it's your family?"
"What're they going to hold Mum and Dad on, Harry? Too many cookies at tea?"
"Supporting Dumbledore," Horatio said. "Which they could conceive as treason, boys." They both glared at him. "You can't help. It'll only hurt things more."
Harry snorted, shaking his head. "No, I can solve some of that," Harry assured him. "Even if I do get sick later on."
Ron considered it. "Start with Malfoy, Harry. He'd know all the gossip and things." Harry gave him an odd look. "Getting Fudge out of his way gives him a clearer path to power."
"Point." He called him on the floo. "Draco Malfoy." His head spun up and he got a horrified look. "Evening."
"Not here it's not," he said dryly. "Where are you two?"
"I'm in a school where Hermione would only be average and surrounded by some very cute people," Harry said with a smug look. Draco glared at him. "We need to know what the Ministry's been pulling. I'm out of the country and not coming back until it's time for that final battle, Draco. You can be the top bad guy in the country for all I care."
"They say you are, Harry."
"Not like I wanted to be tied up and have my blood taken."
"Hmm. But it's your word against a Death Eater's."
"Half demon death eater," Ron corrected.
"So that's why they arrested the WPS worker who handled your son," he said thoughtfully. Harry nodded. "Interesting." He smirked at him. "They're saying you're the actual dark lord."
"Uh-huh." Harry snickered. "Where is he?"
"Fuming," Draco admitted.
"Figures he is," Harry agreed dryly. "Think he'll act? You can tell him I'm butting out and letting them eat each other."
Draco turned his head and said something then looked back. "The one here at the school said that might be doable. But the Dark Lord wants you."
"Give me a year so my son's the same age I was," he said dryly.
"Fine," Draco said with a sneer. "We'll see what happens in a year, Potter." He hung up. Then he went to report to the ones who had taken over the school. Fortunately Granger had some sort of link into Potter's scar and had warned most of the students so they were almost all gone except for Slytherin. The teachers too. The Ministry hadn't even gotten them. It was amazing what happened when you had some know-it-alls on your side. He waited for entrance to the office. When it didn't come quickly he looked up. "I talked to Potter," he called. The door opened and he walked upstairs. He bowed to his Dark Lord. "Sire."
"Mr. Malfoy," he hissed smoothly. "What news have you from Mr. Potter?"
"He called to see what was really happening with the Ministry. Weasley's with him." That got a nod. "He's in a foreign school. He said he's going to let them eat each other over here for now."
"Interesting. Such a non-heroic thing to do," Voldemort said with a small sneer.
"He also said he'd see you next year, when his son was the age he was when you first met."
"His son. Have you seen him?"
"A few times in the same classroom. Why? If it's about his protections, Harry's had the mudblood ward him so much that he's almost mute magically."
"Interesting. Do we know which school?"
"He said it was hard enough that Granger would be considered average and there's a bunch of pretty people."
"So not Beaubaxton's," he said thoughtfully.
"He could be in America, South America, or Asia," the death eater who was in charge of the school offered.
"He could be," Voldemort agreed. "There's many beautiful women in South America."
"Yes, but Potter doesn't seem to like girls yet," Draco told him. "He looked confused after he got kissed the first time." Voldemort gave him an odd look. "She did it in the open, Sire. A few of us saw."
He laughed. "He's a late bloomer thanks to those muggle relatives of his."
"What about the Ministry saying he's you?" Draco asked. "That's what he wanted to know about, Sire."
"They are...inconvenient, but they're holding all the fighters on the other side at the moment."
"They're also saying that you're him," Draco reminded him calmly. "That you're not really back."
"They'll all know by tomorrow, Mr. Malfoy."
"Fudge won't let that out and he has control of the Prophet," the head death eater pointed out.
"I have control of Fudge."
"Then why is he flying in?" Draco asked, pointing at the flying cars. "With aurors it looks like." Voldemort got up to look then sneered. "Fudge wants power, My Lord. He wants it very badly. He wants Potter's position because it'd give him greater power." He got stared at. "It's clear with the way he keeps trying to decry Potter so he can take his place."
"Interesting," he hissed. "We'll deal with him, Mr. Malfoy. Concern yourself with learning what you need to learn."
Draco pointed his wand at the new headmaster. "Crucio." He screamed and writhed on the floor then he looked at his Lord and Master. "Some of us have been studying for years, Sire. Mostly to decide what we want to do to Potter."
That got a smirk and a nod. "As brave as your father."
"But not stupid enough to make Potter stronger."
"Good point." He summoned his troops to defend the school, watching as Fudge's pitiful troop was all but destroyed. "Very nice," he said happily.
Draco walked over to the floo, calling someone. "It's Malfoy. Are the prisoners still at the Ministry?" The man gaped then ran to check, coming back pale. "The Ministry?"
"The building's down," he panted. "Lord Voldemort! It was a trick!"
"Weasley's excellent in wizard's chess," Draco said bluntly, looking at his lord and master when he came over to find out what had happened. "Plus Dumbledore's got most of the aurors and Department of Mysteries and Unspeakables behind him now."
The castle rocked with an explosion and they had to hold on as things fell around them. "They wouldn't dare destroy the school," Voldemort told him. Another explosion rocked the school.
"Where do you want us to meet you?" Draco asked. Voldemort shot a hex at him. "The students won't stay, My Lord. They'll want to escape. Where should we meet with the others? We're useless to you in this fight if they're going to bring down the school and we're your next generation."
The Dark Lord stared at him. "Are you sure you're not as stupid as your father, boy?"
Draco stood up. "If you don't have the purebloods to breed for a next generation, no one will be able to hold it for you when the next generation of mudbloods start," he pointed out. "Plus no one to take over when your present army dies or retires to breed more children. Having us die here means that you don't have anyone to carry on your glorious works. That's practical, not stupid."
"I do believe it's insubordination," he sneered.
"Fine. You can think that, but I can guarantee half the students are already gone." He walked out, going to gather the others. "Out! To the rendevous spot!" he ordered as he jogged into the house. "Now! They're going to bring down the school!" They grabbed their things and ran. They had been expecting it so they all had their school trunks packed. Voldemort wouldn't leave them in this drafty castle for too long. He needed them in the field. Draco made sure the last of them were out then followed, nodding at the senior death eater waiting on him. "Come on then. That way you can tell him where we are." He headed through the portal, looking around. "Where's the other half?"
"Pansy took them to her home," one of the younger Slytherins shouted. "That way we wouldn't all be caught together. She has all the technical and those with specialized training."
"Thank you, boy," the death eater said, calling that to the others. That group got protectors and so did they until the Dark Lord got there to handle Malfoy on his own. He had a bit of ego and they all knew he fancied himself in the top job. They'd see how well he did after he was dead.
Harry walked into school the first morning with Ron and Timmy, smiling at the daycare worker. "He had a bit of upset tummy Friday night. We've got him some antibiotics." He handed them over. "He's to get a dose in six hours."
"That's fine, Harry. We did have one who had the flu," Holiday admitted, taking the boy. Timmy grinned. "Hello, Tim." Ron handed over his bag. "Thanks, boys. This is heavy. We have toys."
"He likes books," Harry told her.
She smiled. "We have a few of those too." She walked Tim off. "Come down for lunch, Harry. The others do."
"Okay." He drug Ron to the office. "Hi, first day."
"Mr. Black," the secretary said happily, handing over his schedule. "Here you go. That should be good with the map on the back." Harry looked then nodded. "Who's this?"
"Ron Weasley. She's expecting him too."
"I'll tell her." She called her. "Madam, Ron Weasley is here." She smiled as she hung up. "You're right." She smiled at Ron. "What happened over there?"
Harry gave her a look. "We were told to butt out."
"Oh, dear. They brought down the Ministry building and had to take back the school, boys."
Ron looked at Harry. "Didn't I plan....." Harry nodded. "Huh." He looked at the woman walking in to meet him. "Ma'am. Ron Weasley."
"Mr. Weasley. Professor McGonagall has had a long talk about you as well." He moaned. "Not too many bad things. We'll see where you place, young man." She walked him into the office. "I'll take good care of him, Harry."
"Yes, ma'am." He smiled. "Thank you." He headed off, going to find his first teacher. He leaned in. "Hi, is this 205 homeroom?" She nodded so he let her see his schedule. "I think I'm supposed to be in here."
"You are, Mr. Black. Take the blue seat in the back please."
"Sure. Thank you." He sat down, smiling at the students near him. "Hi, Harry Black."
"Any relation to the guy Sirius that the Ministry over there got huffy about?" she asked.
"My godfather and uncle."
"No wonder you transferred. I heard Hogwarts had problems."
"With Defense teachers," he said dryly, making her laugh. "We couldn't keep one. Then again, we had Lockhart one year as a defense teacher." She cackled at that. He nodded. "That's one reason I'm over here."
"I can see why. Let's see where you're going next." He let her see his schedule. "Hmm, not in anything with me but defense 5. Looks like you're in the practical application classes? Except for Defense 4 next."
"I learn better without a book being shoved at me," he admitted.
"That happens to some of us." She pointed at the map. "Your next class is here. Which is a long hike sometimes." Harry nodded. "We'll see if you can make it. He's a grouch so watch out for him."
"I will. Thank you." The bell rang and he got up. "That's all we do?"
"This is for attendance, announcements, and to make sure we all get here."
"Wow. We didn't have this at Hogwarts. I guess it's because we all boarded." He followed the map, finding his next classroom after one wrong turn. He looked at the teacher, who scowled at him. "I think I'm in here, sir." He let him see, getting pointed at a clear seat. He sat down and accepted his new textbook. "Thank you."
"No pens or notebooks?"
"I figured today I was going to be trying really hard not to get lost, sir, and figuring out how far I had to catch up."
"Fine." He sat down behind his desk. "We're doing fear creatures." Harry nodded. "Where did you transfer in from?"
"Hogwarts. I've been doing some studying on my own though." The teachers stared at him. "We had Lockhart our second year, sir."
The man sighed and shook his head. "Have you dealt with a dementor?"
"Personally. The ministry brought some to the school for a few months." He glared in the direction of home then at him. "I don't particularly like them but I can cast a patronius."
"Interesting. When did you learn that?"
"My third year, with the only good teacher we had. It was after-hours work because the dementors bothered me unnecessarily."
The teacher nodded once then came over to look at him, moving his hair. "Mr. Black."
"Sir." He stared at him.
That got a nod. "I'll need to test you since you've had some untraditional teachers."
"Please. I'd welcome it. I know I need help in catching up in some areas."
That got a nod. "We'll see after school."
"I have a son in daycare."
The teacher gaped. "Why?"
"Someone decided to make one for me without my consent or help."
The teacher moaned. "Stupid people," he sighed.
"My son's adorable, sir. He's used to coming to classes with me."
The teacher shook his head. "The rest of you read, let me test this new one on what he knows." They all nodded, pulling out books to read. Not the textbooks Harry noticed. "Ignore them." He took him into his office to work with him. He came out impressed but Harry was still nearly seven months behind. He showed him where they were and Harry whimpered. "You'll get a lot of that, kid." He clapped him on the back. "What forms is your patronius?"
"My father's animagus form," he said quietly.
"Hmm. Never heard about that." He let him back in when the bell rang. "Harry, I want you to read through the other chapters. Write me a page on each creature for now until you get caught up." He nodded. "Then do tonight's homework that I showed you."
"Yes, sir." He walked out, going to his next class, which was potions/chemistry. The teacher gave him a look. "Am I late?"
"No, you're dressed horribly."
Harry looked at himself then at him. "I'm comfortable. What do I care if you don't like my shirt?"
The teacher smirked. "A smart ass."
"Which is why Professor Snape hated me too," he agreed, taking an empty seat. "This one, sir?" That got a nod. "I'm not very good in here."
"I'm sure you're not." He found him a copy of the book and let him find where he had done. He did look impressed. "Did you make it correctly?"
"Not hardly," he admitted. "I suck in potions." He looked at him. "I really do suck in potions."
"You can drop it next year, boy." He went back to his desk to watch the others start. "You're on page 285, Mr. Black." Harry looked then nodded, getting up to find his ingredients. He watched him hesitate. "They're labeled correctly."
"We've never had two of these in whole form. Professor Snape said it was useless teaching us to trim them, sir."
"I've heard." He came over to help him, finding him a tutor in there within a few minutes of working with him. Ron was led in as well. "Did you bring others with you?"
"Of course he did. His son considers me his mum," Ron said dryly. He smiled. "Ron Weasley, Professor."
"In relation to Harry are you better or worse?"
"Worse and I was told to warn you I have a temper when things start to explode. The headmistress said to tell you that."
"I should move you both back a year." They both shrugged at that. "We'll arrange your schedules later." He pointed. "Sit. Quietly." They did that, comparing schedules. He went to look at them then sighed, calling the Headmistress. "They're a year behind in mine," he reported quietly. "Plus Snape doesn't want them to deal with certain things." He heard why and nodded. "They'll never pass. We're doing the polyjuice formula starting next month and then dreamless sleep the one after that."
"We can do those both very well," Ron told him. He walked up there and made out a list. "Harry and I do all those very well." The teacher gaped. "I'm the planner Potter has," he said quietly. "Hermione taught us those so we'd know in case we needed them." That got a moan. "They're handy in our attack and defense kits. She usually does them but she made sure we could do those very well."
The teacher looked at him. "Fine, we'll focus on practical potions for you, Mr. Weasley." He looked at Harry, who shrugged a bit and went back to reading. "Stay for a minute after class." The bell rang. Everyone else filed out. "You are?" he asked. Harry nodded, looking at him. "Why?"
"The Ministry," he said quietly. "My son. I'll go back for battles."
The teacher looked at him then nodded. "Fine. On that list are half of this year's potions. You'll be keeping up?"
"As long as we get help when we're not or we have to deal with things that we don't know how to cut up. We're both pretty good if you explain things to us instead of letting us flounder and lurking over our shoulders like Professor Snape."
He sighed, rolling his eyes. "I've met Severus, boys."
"I'm sorry," Ron told him. The teacher gave him a look. "We had him first class for two years running, twice a week. With his precious Slytherins."
The teacher snorted. "No wonder."
"No, he hates me because my father used to prank him," Harry told him.
The teacher sighed. "All right. We'll do what we can, boys." He wrote out an excuse. "Go to your next class. Give that to the teacher." They nodded, going to do that. He sat down to hold his head. This was not good. How could they let students get so far behind?
Harry and Ron walked into their gym class and handed the teacher the note, getting a nod. "We didn't have this class at Hogwarts," Ron told him. "What do we do in here?"
"For now, you get uniforms, you change, then we'll teach you sports stuff."
"Like quidditch? Harry plays very well," Ron told him.
"Normal sports. Quidditch is an elective after school activity," he said dryly. "To the office, boys." They headed after him, getting their uniforms. "We'll want them washed every once in a while too. Even if some don't."
"We both like clean laundry," Harry assured him. They got their lockers in there and changed, then came back to watch what the other kids were doing. Throwing a round ball through a stationary, horizontal hoop after running up and down the court. Ron jumped in first, letting the other kids help him. Harry slowly edged his way in on the team he got picked for, hanging on the edges. He got the ball passed to him once and caught it then looked at it, passing it back to someone on his team. That got a nod from the teacher, who marked something down. He'd have to ask someone about that later. He hadn't done these sports in muggle school. He looked at the coach. "Soccer? Field hockey? Cricket?" he asked hopefully even though he had sucked at it.
"Soccer definitely. Cricket probably not, kid," he said tolerantly. "You'll learn. You're not the smallest or weakest in here." He caught the ball Ron had misthrown, tossing it back. "Try for the hoop, Mr. Weasley! I am not a basketball hoop!"
"Sorry, sir, more used to quidditch and standing hoops," he quipped back. The others laughed. "I am. My closest brothers play beater." He passed the ball and let his teammates take it to the goal this time. He got a foul called when he guarded someone too closely but he was learning. After they got changed back and left, it was lunch so they went to play with Timmy in the daycare, finding him laying on some girl's back. "What are you doing?" Ron teased. "You're too young for girls, Tim." Tim gave him that same smug look. "I know, she's cute and adorable."
"He pounced her that first day too," Holiday said. "You are?"
"Ron Weasley," he said, shaking her hand with a grin. "I'm Harry's lifeline with Tim. My mum had seven of us." She shuddered. "I'm Tim's godfather and favorite playtoy uncle."
That got a smile. "Then I'll expect you here too, Ron. Go ahead and sit down. Didn't bring lunch?"
"Oops," Harry said. Ron sighed. "I can."
"No, you sit."
Tim squealed making them look at him. "Quit!" It was as close to whistling as he could get but both boys got the point.
Harry smirked. "Figured that'd be your first word with as often as you heard it from Flitwick," he said dryly. "Which way to lunch?" She pointed so he went to get them something while Ron played with the baby for him. He came back with a large tray, letting Tim come over to pick out what he wanted so he could crawl off again. "You sure? You can sample if you want." Tim went back to his new girlfriend and got comfy again since she didn't seem to mind. Harry shook his head. "Some day we'll have to talk about girls, son."
"We'll have to be talked to about girls first," Ron reminded him dryly, digging in. "This is a bit much, Harry."
"I didn't have any smaller bills."
"Oh." He shrugged and they dug in, eating as much of it as they could, leaving the rest of the kids with a grin. It was a lot of fruit so that was probably fine.
Holiday shook her head, cutting it up for the smaller kids. It'd give them a good snack. Those two were some fussy parents.
Ron walked in and flopped down, looking at Mr. Delko. "Were we really late?"
"Wondering why you weren't back yet."
"The defense teacher," he said dryly, putting Timmy down. "There, go gnaw on someone who's not a blonde little girl with freckles." Mr. Delko laughed at that. "He did. We came in for lunch and he was on her back nibbling on her hair." Harry trudged in. "Tired?"
"Definitely tired." He flopped down on his usual couch. Timmy came back to pull on his arm. "What? Want to play?" Tim beamed. "Okay, I'll go nap in the sun while you crawl on the grass." He took him to the back yard with the adult following. "How's it going, Mr. Delko?"
"Pretty good, Harry. Are you coming down with something?"
"I hope not. We'll have to see." He grinned. "It's just the time switch and things probably." That got a nod. Tim got put into the grass and they watched him crawl around until he found a spot he liked then he spread out on his back, falling asleep like that. "Sure, we can nap there," Harry decided, laying down with him. It was a comfy spot of grass in the sun.
Ron shook his head, looking at Mr. Delko. "Sometimes they're like that."
"My girls were at times too," he assured him. "We got the deconstruction phase done today." Ron grinned. "Now we've got to work on putting it back together again."
"Want us to help this weekend if we don't have a lot of homework?"
"No, it'll take longer to teach you what to do than that." He clapped him on the back. "Make sure they eat today, Ron." He nodded. "Good boys. How was it?"
"It was okay. Tim likes his friend in daycare. The classes were okay. Most of the teachers swore at our old ones." That got a laugh and a nod. "We're actually ahead in some classes because of some of our extra studying and Hagrid liking deadly creatures. Gym was fun. We played basketyball."
"Basketball," he corrected. "It's a fun game if you're any good."
"Harry's not," he said dryly, cracking him up. "But he got the ball once." He shrugged. "The defense teacher was a bit impressed with us." He heard Harry let out a massive snore then flip over. Tim sniffled and flipped to cuddle his father's head, winding both hands into his hair. He shook his head, getting a smile. "Sometimes they're so alike it's not funny." He looked at the adult again. "Anything bad happen?"
"No, just making sure. Eric would fuss if I didn't."
Ron grinned. "He makes a good big brother."
"Unfortunately he's my youngest so he's got to be an uncle until his mother makes him marry one of his many girls." Ron snickered and nodded. "No pretty girls?"
Ron shrugged. "Pretty is nice but so were a few others who annoyed us. We'll worry about girls later."
"Sure." He patted him on the back. "We'll be done in an hour or so. Remember to make them eat tonight."
"I will. Thank you, Mr. Delko." He smiled and walked off, letting Ron bring their new books out there to start going through them. He had a lot of homework and so did Harry. Including stuff that was due tomorrow. Then again, Tim would be up half the night so Harry would do his then.
Ron came in from the end of his first month of classes and found Remus laying on the floor. "You need a healer or just a nap?" he asked, looking down at him since his eyes were open.
"Nap is nice," he murmured.
"Uh-huh." He cast the wellness checking spell his mother used then grimaced and called the school's infirmary. "Hi, it's Ron Weasley. One of Harry's uncles is collapsed on the floor, drained of energy and magic, and he's nearly catatonic. What do I do besides gatorade?"
"Move aside, Mr. Weasley," she said primly, mouth pressed together. He got out of the way so she could come through once she had input the special emergency codes. All healers had a code they could use to break through any floo outlet in case of emergency. She checked him over with the same spell then grimaced and worked a gentle healing charm on him. "There, that should help him some. He'll need rest beyond that." She looked at him. "What happened to him?"
Ron shrugged. "I just got home. I know the Ministry had him earlier this month for knowing what was going on."
She grimaced. "We've heard." Harry and Tim walked in. "You're running late?"
"Ron apparated, we took the bus," Harry said. "Remus, you all right?" he asked a bit loudly. Tim squealed again, making Remus wince. "Headache or hangover?" he asked.
"Magical hangover," the nurse said, standing up. "He'll need rest, boys." They both nodded. "I don't mean being the babysitter but real rest."
"We can put him into a bed," Ron promised with a cheeky grin. "Kinda used to it really."
Harry nodded. "Did you get Madam Pomfrey's notes?"
"Yes, and I should scowl at you for how often you got hurt."
Harry gave her an odd look. "Not like I planned it that way."
"Plus we can't get into half as much trouble down here," Ron offered with that same grin. "No dark forest around the school to tempt things into it."
She gave him a horrified look then went back to her office to make notes. Someone had to do something about Hogwarts. Dark creatures lived there too? She went to find the headmistress and tell her, plus what she had seen at the house.
Harry handed Ron Tim and floated his godfather up to a guest room, letting him nap in there. He came back down grinning. "Okay, I should fix dinner, huh?"
Ron shrugged. "Up to you. I can if you've got homework you still have to do."
"I handed it in before we left, Ron. Quit nagging." He went to start dinner, finding a basket with food in there. He looked then around. He found their contractor outside watching the progress on the roof. "Your wife sent us food?"
"No, my daughters sent you food. They decided you're both starved," he said with a small smile. Harry grinned back. "How's school?"
"I'm doing okay. The teachers explains things better most of the time. All but in charms. So we're both doing okay. Oh, Remus is in, but he's napping. The nurse at the school said to let him sleep. He might come bother you guys tomorrow."
"That's fine, Harry." He patted him on the back. "Go eat. You're still a growing boy."
Harry shook his head. "Madam Pomfrey said I wasn't going to be growing anymore."
"Even if you don't gain more height you're still growing in other ways," he said wisely. "Eric still eats like he's growing." Harry grinned and nodded, heading back inside. He shook his head. The boys still needed parents around and they'd be done with this job in another three weeks. Well, he'd have to nag Eric or get onto their families he supposed.
Harry filled plates and brought them out, then went to get them some juice. Tim finished his and went to talk to the books that had the magically moving pictures in them. They both shook their heads but smiled. "What do you think happened?"
"I think they finally let Remus go," he admitted. "Otherwise, not a clue."
Harry grimaced and nodded. "I think it's about time for us to act too, Ron. It's been a month. Things haven't calmed down. The things that've reached us over here haven't been encouraging either."
"Point," Ron agreed, considering it. He looked toward the library then at Harry. "We'd have to bring him."
"Remus is here and if we do what I want, we might be back in time for classes tomorrow."
Ron arched an eyebrow up. "Are you having hippogryph flashbacks, mate?"
"Something like that." He stared at him then took something off his shirt collar, handing it over. "Hermione sent me that last week."
He looked at the shrunken bottle then at Harry. "Do I want to know?"
"How far back?"
Ron considered it. "Enough time to get things in place and then manage the emergencies," he decided. Harry nodded. "Remus still needs sleep and it's Wednesday. We could go back Friday night."
"Horatio's coming over Friday night," Harry reminded him. "We have tests on Monday. I'd rather have the weekend to study."
Ron grimaced. "I forgot about that." He looked at the bottle then at him again. "Remus isn't in any shape, Harry."
"Then we'll go tomorrow?"
Ron nodded slowly. "That'd give him enough time to wake up," he agreed. "Plus us enough to get some things together." Harry got up and grabbed something from under the sink, handing it to him. "You kept the emergency pack?"
"It came with the bottle," he said dryly. "Hermione's been doing psychic mimicking charms again." Ron shuddered. "Apparently she's doing good being you, Ron."
Ron gave him a look. "I could never get my hair like hers."
Harry grinned. "Probably a good thing with the humidity. That was her major complaint whenever we were down here."
Ron nodded. "Probably." He dug in again. "It all set?"
"Probably." He opened the kit to go over the contents. It was their standard kit but a few extras had been included. Like extra concealment and vanishing potions. Like necklaces that had disguise spells on them. Like an extra pair of glasses for Harry. They reloaded the kit and put it back then got down to eating. They'd need the food for the trip. Traveling even by time turner wore a body out.
"That's probably why you've been so tired," Ron said finally.
"I think it is," Harry agreed, looking at him. "And you know if something happens to me...."
"I get your broom and the baby," Ron agreed, smacking him on the top of the head. "No more disturbing shit, Harry. I'm trying to eat." He dug in again, weathering the smirk Harry was giving him. "What about Malfoy?"
"What about Malfoy? He's under careful watch of the Dark Lord."
"Point. We'll deal with him if he shows up." Ron finished up and got seconds, sitting back down. Tim came back at the sound of him moving, staring at his plate. "Want some more?" He pulled him into his lap so he could nibble off his plate, making him a happy baby. "Tim, we're going out tomorrow night. Remus is going to watch you. You think you'll be okay?"
Harry smiled. "He likes his Uncle Remus. Of course he'll be fine," Harry promised with a grin. Ron grinned back but Tim was giving him a long stare. "It'll be fine, Tim. We'll be back in time to take you to school the next morning." Tim gave him a strange look but went back to eating from Ron's plate. Harry got up to get them both some more, that way Ron could actually have seconds, and sat back down to go back to eating. "We're supposed to work with Ray on Sunday for Defense," he reminded him.
"I remember. It'll be fine." Ron hoped but he wouldn't say that out loud. Hermione had planned this and he knew she was smart but planning took extra skills he wasn't sure she had. Then again, they could hide for a few minutes until they were ready to have him start planning things again. Now he knew why the incident at the Ministry had seemed so familiar, he had planned it. He handed Tim another piece of fried onion, watching him nibble on it. He did like his veggies.
Horatio walked in the next night, looking at Remus. "Where did the boys go?" Tim hooted and held his arms up until he picked him up to cuddle. "I wasn't ignoring you, Speed." The boy gave him an evil smirk. "Do you know where your fathers are?" He pointed at the clock. Horatio looked then at him. "The clock? They're inside?" Tim wiggled so he let him down, watching as he crawled into the kitchen. Horatio followed, studying what Tim was playing with. "Uh-huh. Remus?" He walked in, looking confused at the small basket on the floor. "Were they going on a picnic?"
"No," he said carefully. "They said they were going to be boys for a while. We thought it'd be a good idea because Harry's always so serious these days." He looked at the basket, sniffing it. "It smells like a potion."
Horatio sniffed then sighed, looking at the note on the inside cover. He let Remus read it and picked up Speed. "How long before they get back?"
"They said after we fell asleep but before school. How could they do that!"
"I'm sensing the subtle hand of Hermione sent them something?" Eric asked as he walked in, looking at them. "I saw she sent them a new emergency kit and some bottle outside of it." He took the basket to look at the note then at the other men. "This is Harry and Ron, guys. They'll be fine."
"They're still just boys!" Remus complained, moving to the floo.
Eric stopped him. "What did the potion look like, Remus?" He looked confused. "There's every chance it's not just a traveling potion since Harry showed me the doorway back to Hogwarts."
Horatio moaned. "Tim pointed at the clock when I asked where his fathers were," he said.
Remus burst out swearing, walking outside to vent.
Tim clapped and hooted at the good show, beaming at the older men.
Horatio looked at him. "You'll have more sense than that this time, Speed." He handed Eric the baby, letting him fuss over him. "All right," he said, thinking hard. "The boys are probably in camouflage."
"Or hiding," Eric agreed.
"Or hiding," Horatio agreed. Remus came back, still snarling. "They're doing something they felt they had to."
"Which was how we got out of the Ministry," Remus told him. "Ron planned that whole maneuver."
"Ron's a good planner," Eric agreed. "Plus he's got people who'll listen and correct him when he makes bad ones."
"Point," Remus sighed, sitting down at the table. "Why didn't they tell us?"
"For the same reason you went to swear," Horatio said, sitting down as well.
Eric looked at Tim. "Anything else you know that you can't tell us?" Tim just beamed at him. "What?"
Tim kissed him on the nose then giggled. "Quit."
"No, I'm not quitting anything." Tim kissed him again. "Quit kissing someone?" he asked, looking confused. Tim nodded. "Which someone, buddy?"
"'Bus!" he said happily, smirking at his buddy.
Only one subject had ever gotten him that look in the past - his dating life. "I'm dating a succubus?" Eric asked, looking really confused now. Tim nodded. "How would you know?" Tim kissed him again then sniffed his neck.
Remus leaned over to sniff him. "You are. She's scent marked you as her food, Eric." He got up with a small sigh and went into the library to look up the book he needed, bringing it back to make the small potion that would protect him. He handed it over and took the baby to cuddle when he sat down again. "Drink it all, even if it is foul."
Eric gulped it and suddenly felt much happier than he had been when he walked in. "Huh. Thanks, Speed."
Speed waved a hand and looked at Horatio. "Me?"
"You?" he asked with a smile, taking the baby to hold. "Did you need me to hold you?" Speed grinned and sniffed him. "No, I'm not dating." Tim stared at him. "You need to be able to say more words, Timothy."
Tim leaned forward, staring into his eyes. "Hole."
"Stetler?" Eric asked with a smirk. Tim beamed at him. "What about the asshole?" Remus moaned. "At least his memories are useful."
Horatio looked at the baby. "Did he do something or is this something new?"
Tim sniffed him again then sniffled. Everyone stared so he burst out crying. Remus ran a wellness check then moaned. "Do you usually smoke, Horatio?"
"A cigar now and then," he admitted. "Why?" He ran the spell over himself then moaned. "Okay, we'll take care of that. Thank you, Speed." Speed beamed at him. "Good boy." He kissed him on the head. "I'll be back."
"We'll be waiting up," Remus assured him dryly, taking the baby back. "Just so I can beat both of them."
Horatio smirked. "I was going to lecture them on not getting Ray Junior involved." He headed off, going to his healer of choice. The man gave him an evil look when he opened the door. "It appears someone's been trying to poison me with nicotine." He got let inside and the healer started with the same checking spell to see what was going on.
The boys snuck back into the house, not expecting to have the three adults waiting on them. "It was necessary, or else Remus would've been kissed already," Ron defended at the three unhappy looks he got.
"We had already been there, that's why I've been so tired," Harry said, flopping down. He looked around. "He went down without a fuss?" he asked hopefully.
Horatio gave him a look. "After about an hour of being read to. He knew what you two were doing, Harry. He seemed to think that it was all right. We do not."
Harry slumped, nodding. "It may not have been but it was necessary."
"Even if the Ministry's building and the school's dungeons are crashed in on themselves," Ron added, sitting down in the other free chair. "It also was why Hermione was able to get most of the students out of Hogwarts before the Death Eaters attacked and took it over. Even half the Slytherins left with them."
"Only two spies, which impressed me," Harry told him. Ron nodded. "Both in Hufflepuff too. Madam Sprout threw a fit that made McGonagall scared." He yawned. "You guys can yell if you want."
"Oh, I will be," Remus assured him. "I should paddle your asses too."
Ron looked at him then leaned closer. "If we hadn't been there, you wouldn't be here to make threats. Neither would Sirius or my mum and dad, Remus. If you feel the need to spank me for that, good on you." He stood up. "I'm off for a shower and bed. We spent the last day explaining to everyone why Hermione should be in the prophecy since she's the scary one of us. That psychic mimicking spell thingy she found is really scary." He headed for his room. He'd get it in the morning he was sure.
Harry looked at the shocked looks. "It lets her mimic how we are so she can think like us and plan like Ron. She found it our second year but it was too strong for her then."
"It could warp her mind now!" Remus said, standing up.
Harry held up a hand. "McGonagall already chewed her a new one. It took over three hours and McGonagall had to yell some of it in another language so the kids wouldn't realize she was swearing at her." He let his hand down. "It's how she felt him coming to attack." Remus gaped. "McGonagall was going on and on about brain damage so Hermione flounced off in a girl huff." Eric snickered at that. Harry nodded. "She's a girl all right. She's been huffy all week too." He looked at the others again. "We did what we had to do. Though we were the reason Fudge got exposed as a death eater. Hermione cast the hex that disrobed him in the middle of Diagon but it was necessary." He grinned a bit. "And satisfying. Let the prat pick on me again from the afterlife."
"Afterlife?" Horatio asked.
"Afterlife," Harry agreed, smirking just a bit. "One of the aurors who wasn't working for Dumbledore saw the mark on his arm; they were having a press conference for Fudge to decry whoever had taken down the building. The ministry will go on, even if we have to hold meetings in the Leaky Cauldron and so on. Fudge took a breath, Hermione cast the hex. His clothes came off and people gaped. One of the guards he had chosen because he was loyal to him saw the mark, screamed 'dark mark' and fired." That got a single nod from Horatio. "So the Ministry's actually working on the problem again and we're still staying in Miami if none of you aren't going to drive us out of the city."
"No, we're not," Eric assured him, patting him on the back. "Go to bed, Harry. That way we can complain about you and figure out what we're yelling at you for breakfast." Harry nodded, heading up to take a shower and go to bed. He looked at Remus. "Are they like that after battles?"
Remus sighed. "When my house got attacked the boys protected me and put me behind Hermione. They treated me like I was there for window dressing." Horatio sighed at that, shifting some. "They've had to fight for much too long. This can't be good for them and I hope Minerva screamed at them too."
"She let Mum and the twins have us," Ron called before walking in. He got into the refrigerator to get himself a bottle of water. "The twins started to scream first and brought Mum to see why, then she added in her screaming too." He looked at them. "If we didn't, he would've gotten the philosopher's stone our first year and would've been back longer." He stared at Remus. "He got through all the clues Dumbledore gave and only Snape was trying to stop him. Our second year, Hermione found out that it was a basilisk before anyone else did and how to uncharm them. That was when she got frozen. Which I thought was fairly coincidental in timing. The one who knows gets hit?" He opened the bottle and took a drink. "All the teachers did was lock us in our rooms and fret. Though, for some reason Madam Sprout was growing exactly the right plants that year." He gave them a look. "We know there was a seer on Dumbledore's side and he was waiting to act. Waiting for the perfect moment would've gotten my sister killed. So no, I'm going to help Harry. Even if we do continue to get screamed at. Then again, Harry hates that it's his job and this prophecy is giving him nightmares already." He walked off with his water, going up to his room to get some sleep. He felt like he could sleep for a month.
Remus looked at Horatio. "I get that from them. They're never quite wrong about things but the other adults have decided that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are really adults in smaller bodies. That's why they don't do more than yell after the fact and try to stop them now and then when they're too obvious about handling things. Dumbledore just gives them this look and tells Harry 'good job but I had it'. He never seems to. He's been letting the boys and Hermione do it for him since their first year and left Severus hanging even longer thanks to a few bad decisions in his youth."
Horatio nodded. "The boys need a buffer."
"Being in Miami is a buffer, H," Eric pointed out. "Dumbledore can't get to them over here. I'm taking him as most of the problem."
"He's the one who gave Harry to those stupid, prejudice, muggle relatives of his and made him go back," Remus said. "He's the one who has all the knowledge and keeps trying to make grand plans. Ron's plans go so well because they're usually simple." Sirius appeared. "The boys are back."
"Good." He gave him a hug. "Did anyone look at Harry's shoulder? He dislocated it a few days back."
"I'll do it in the morning," Horatio said quietly. Sirius looked at him then smiled. "We're trying to figure out how to make the boys be *boys* again."
"Make them play. We made Harry put down defense books to do some fun reading," Sirius offered. He sat down. "By the way, Remus. The paperwork to release all our money back to us, and to compensate us for what Dumbledore stole from us, went through last night. It'll be at the local bank later." That got a nod and a sigh. "So we can afford to do anything extra with the house, like fill the pool." Eric smirked a bit at that. "Your father's done some great work, Eric. I helped construct the Burrow's upstairs and it's a lot better than we did." He looked at Remus again. "Are they okay?"
"Tired," Horatio told him. "Justified themselves."
"They've done a lot of that over the last seven weeks they were back in time," Sirius said dryly. "Including to McGonagall, who nearly killed Hermione for that potion." He grinned. "The old dear found an old sword and pulled it down with every intention of using it to beat the girl bloody. Snape stepped in to stop her and Poppy had to sedate her. She woke up and started to scream at the girl again. Both times she got sedated." Remus smirked a bit at that. "Dumbledore's been with the Ministry's people most of the time since we were gotten free. Fortunately someone made emergency plans for how, where, and what to do when they had to evacuate the students. They've figured out how to hold semi-normal classes and everything. Though Ron did piss off Snape by collapsing the dungeons over his classroom."
"Severus always wanted to change the stones in there to something that wouldn't grow mold," Remus sighed, shaking his head. "What do we do with them?"
"We make them be boys," Horatio repeated. "We make them play, we make them be as normal as possible, and we support them. Until now, they've had Miss Granger, who is not a full adult even if she does want to be their teacher." That got some nods. "Eric, can you chaperone the boys and Ray Junior this weekend with Yelina? I'll be talking with some people to get the Brits help even if they don't want it."
"Sure, H. Where are they going?"
Horatio smiled. "Ray decided they should go to an amusement park." Eric gave him an evil smirk. "Make the boys be boys, Eric."
"Sure. Want us to bring Speed too? Or should I let my begging mother watch him?"
"No, bring Speed. He could use the fun as well. Even if he does get sick on some of them." He looked at the other two. "I'll need you to come with me Saturday." They both nodded. "Good." He smiled. "Now, let's rest so we can yell at them over breakfast for not telling us." That got a nod and they all went to do that. It was a good start to protecting the boys from their own instincts and the other adults around them.
Harry looked up from his Defense quiz when someone tapped on the door, going back to his last question. He answered it and handed it to the teacher when he came over to whisper in his ear. Harry nodded, grabbing his new backpack to head to the office. "What's up?" he asked the messenger.
"You have a visitor that flustered the headmistress."
"Oops." He grimaced. "Who?"
"She didn't tell me, Harry. Go to her office." He nodded, heading that way at a light jog. He walked back to his own duties shaking his head. The boys had to learn not to do those things.
Harry walked into the office, smiling at the secretary. "Who showed up?"
"Huh. Didn't ask," he assured her, heading into the office itself. "Hi. Couldn't wait until after school?"
"Not this time I'm afraid, Mr. Potter. We have to file some paperwork before certain offices close and the British offices aren't open that late." He handed over forms. "The Ministry has kindly filled in what your former headmaster stole from you and your family's accounts. Plus they've released your accounts to you fully, including your full trust vault."
Harry sat down to read the paperwork. "This clause to not sue them...."
"For this misdeed. They want it settled. It seems they've realized that you're their only hope and they've pissed you off beyond all reason," the goblin offered.
Harry looked at him. "Uh-huh. And I'm staying in Miami, even after the last battle if I survive it." He smiled at the headmistress. "I like your teachers. I miss McGonagall and Flitwick, plus Madam Pomfrey now and then, but I like your teachers so much more." He got to work signing things, handing them over. He looked at the last one. "What's this? If I die, things go to who?"
"No." He handed it back. "My will is inside my usual vault." He looked at him. "It all goes to Ron so he can figure out why being jealous of those things was wrong. So does my broom and my son."
The goblin made a note of that and nodded. "We'll make sure it transferred over."
"Gringotts helped me prepare it so I'm sure it should have," Harry said with a small smile. "Sirius made sure I had one."
"That's good of him." The goblin looked at him. "When are you going back?"
"I told him to give me a year when we talked to Draco Malfoy a few weeks back," he said, dropping his smile. "That way my son would be about the same age I was. Symbolic and he could call me a sentimental girl and all that. Because I know he does." He grinned just a bit again. "It pisses him off to no end too." He lost it. "So we'll be going back then. We'll call him out if we can. Or if he's got something planned around then we'll go attack him there. I'm all for calling out but Ron wants to attack when he's attacking something else, it'll split his focus and possibly give us a bit more backup than just our ministry."
The goblin nodded. "That could help," he agreed. "Either plan would give you advantages and disadvantages."
"Yup, including the lack of trained fighters on our side," Harry agreed. "The rest...." He shrugged. "I'm learning all I can now. So's Ron. We'll do what we have to do, then come back here to heal if at all possible." That got a nod from the headmistress. "Though I won't be taking up a spot in the infirmary like I did at Hogwarts the last four years running, ma'am. Your nurse huffs worse than Pomfrey does at me when we got hurt."
"She should've stopped you boys."
"Dumbledore should've done it for us," he said dryly, shrugging a bit. "He never acted so we had to. Remus and Sirius have been yelling at him for that too. We'll sneak off for the last battle then come back to attend classes again after our recovery."
She nodded. "I hope you do make it back, Mr. Potter. Can you possibly pull up your potions and gym grade?"
He grimaced. "Sorry, I suck in there. I warned the potions teacher I sucked in there."
"He assured me you did. As long as you pass, Mr. Potter."
"Yes, ma'am." He looked at the goblin. "Any funny family clauses I have to know about?"
"Your mother's will stated that you would be graduating an accredited school or else she would be coming back to kill you and drag you to the other side with them." He looked at the forms in his hands. "Your father's wanted you to find a nice girl and have a happy life. Otherwise?" He looked at the boy again. "Nothing outstanding."
Harry grinned. "I'd do what my father wanted but I'm not sure I like girls. They confuse the hell outta me." The headmistress coughed but laughed at that. "Sorry to swear, ma'am." He smirked a bit. "I had a girl I liked who kissed me and I was very confused. Mr. Malfoy so kindly told the Dark Lord that I might be gay because of that." The goblin burst out laughing. "So I'm not sure if I can fulfill Dad's wishes or not. I won't be killed for that one, right?"
"No, Mr. Potter, there was no clause associated if you didn't find a nice girl and settle down," the goblin assured him. He bundled up the papers. He pulled out three letters from his briefcase. "The bank in London forwarded this on behalf of a few people." Harry took the letters with a smile. "Has your owl gotten here yet?"
"She's at home watching the construction guys work. She's very confused." He grinned. "Thank you."
"You are welcome. Go back to class. We do not want to see your mother kill you for lack of graduation." Harry nodded, walking off. He looked at the headmistress. "Thank you for indulging us."
"Not a problem. It happens infrequently." The goblin nodded that he agreed not to do it again then left. She leaned back, smiling and shaking her head. Harry in a happy mood did raise one's spirits.
Horatio walked into the building in Washington, DC first thing Saturday morning, pulling out a pass. He ran it through the card reader, bringing a guard running. "Was I banned?"
"It's the old style passes, sir, not the new ones. We switched recently," he said, checking it over. "Your two guests?"
"Here to talk to my former teammate about the war in Britain." The guard scowled. "Their Dark Lord rose."
"Fuck," the guard said, letting them in and giving Remus and Sirius visitors passes. "I'm sure you know the way, Agent Caine."
"As long as they haven't redecorated in ten years," he joked with a small smile.
"Then yeah, they're on the seventh floor now," he offered. "Changed it about five ago."
Horatio shook his head. "They need to leave well enough alone." The guard smiled as they walked off. He looked at the other two once they were in the elevator. "It's not quite a Ministry but this is where our aurors are, plus our Enforcement division." The elevator's doors opened and he walked off, finding himself already in the office. "They took out the hallway so no one could talk to each other?" he joked with someone he knew.
She gave him a horrified look. "You said you'd only be back if the world was ending."
"Voldemort got raised."
"I'd call that close enough then. Peter's not here today, Mr. Caine."
"Thomas is in the hospital. His wife took a frying pan to him last night because she's knocked up," she said with a grimace. "We have a specialist in on another case. He can call the higher ups."
"That'll work." That got a nod and she called him from the back office. She pointed when he stuck his head out.
The tall, brunette man smiled and waved. "Come this way, Horatio. Let me start the conference call for you." He smiled at the two men, shaking their hands. "Tony DiNozzo."
"Remus Lupin and Sirius Black," Sirius said, shaking his hand and then Remus shook it. "Horatio said he knew some people who might be able to help us."
"Hmm. What's going on in Britain? I haven't been listening to the news. All I've heard is someone took down the Ministry building."
"That was our side to get the rest of us out of Death Eater and Ministry control," Remus told him quietly.
Tony looked at him then at Horatio. "So you were right, you only came back because the world could end?"
"Indeed," he said dryly, closing the door. Then he set up the conference call. "You might want to listen too, Tony. Your agency has an office over there." That got a nod and Tony called more chairs in for them all. Horatio finished inputting the last number. "Good morning."
"Aw, shit," a male voice said in a high-pitched squeaky noise. "Horatio?"
"Yes he is," Tony agreed dryly. "Who all is here?"
"Thomas and Peter are in my room," a female voice said. "I've got you two on speaker."
"I'm here as well," another male voice said. "This way someone briefs His Crankiness about whatever apocalypse is going on."
Horatio sat down. "Not fully one yet, gentlemen, and Tabitha. There is a massive problem however."
"Horatio, you had terrorists and you called them an annoyance," Tabitha stated. "How bad is it?"
"I'm here," he said bluntly.
"Which I know is bad. How bad?" she pressed.
Remus coughed. "This last spring Death Eaters took Harry Potter during the last trial of the Triwizard tournament to raise Voldemort."
"That was called a hoax," the single male voice said.
"By someone who was recently outed and killed for being a death eater," Sirius told him. "They're back, we've been fighting a bad little war against them. They had Hogwarts for a few days before some things happened and we freed the school. The same force freed those of us being held by the Ministry for being on Dumbledore's side."
"Well, that sucks," the single male voice sighed. "How big is their force?"
"Probably about a hundred wizards, plus the dementors and he's been trying to call other dark creatures and demons," Remus told him. "The only reason they haven't already won is that someone gave Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley a temporal potion and they went back for seven weeks to take down the Ministry and free Hogwarts." All the voices groaned. "Harry's called him out for next year, when his son's the same age he was. Just near the beginning of school really."
"Dumbledore's regrouping the Ministry, the Order of the Phoenix has been regrouped for almost six months and we've been working quietly while the Ministry huffed in irritation under Fudge's command," Sirius added. "We had to let Harry move over here to protect him since they were going to expel him and then arrest him. Then someone brilliantly decided he shouldn't be able to come home for the battles."
"There's a matter of prophecy saying that only Harry can kill him," Horatio said calmly. "If they come to negate the prophecy, Harry's hiding in Miami."
"So we have someone with a Napoleonic agenda who's out in the open, mostly, a Ministry in a friendly country that's in hiding, and a dirty little war starting," Tabitha summed up. "With their hero over here."
"Who's a fifth year," Horatio added.
"He's a.... Hold on, he's a boy?" the lone male voice asked. Horatio hummed. "How long has this been going on?"
"His first year Voldemort was a ghoul trying to get the philosopher's stone Dumbledore was hiding," Remus told him. "Harry kept it from him then with his two friends' help. We nearly lost him his second year when it was a journal charmed like a portrait with his teenage essence."
"Year before last it was more Pettigrew and those things," Sirius told them. "Then the tournament, a death eater in disguise in the school, and the kidnaping so they could raise him his fourth year."
"Though Harry did say that the death eater in disguise was the second best defense teacher he's had to date at Hogwarts," Remus offered with a small smile. Tony gave him a horrified look. "I was the first."
"They had Lockhart," Horatio told him. Tony let out a near hysterical sounding giggle. "Exactly. He's in Miami's school and a year behind. The Headmistress is swearing quite a lot about over there."
"I would too!" Tony assured him.
"Harry and them drive the teachers nuts by doing what they have to," Sirius told him.
"They're not stopping them?"
"They tried but they go around them because no one else is doing anything," Remus offered.
Tony leaned forward and banged his head on the desk a few times, then he looked at Horatio. "What do they need?"
"They need someone to gather intelligence, they might need more fighters. You've got the school's teachers and some people in the Ministry. Against a larger force, dementors, dark creatures, demons, and otherwise," Horatio told him.
Tabitha sighed. "Okay, we can extend the hand of friendship. Who's in charge?"
"Dumbledore," Remus said. "Go around him like the boys do."
"The head of the aurors isn't in the Order of the Phoenix but he knows," Sirius told her. "He's got at least a member under his command. His people are leading the battle."
"I know him," she assured him.
"I need someone to keep an ear out for Miami," Horatio told him. "The boys are off having fun being boys today." He smiled at Tony. "We got Tim back. He's Harry's son."
"Which Dumbledore about threw a fit from when he was dropped off by a vengeance demon," Remus told him. "He wanted Harry's son out of his school and then it switched to both Harry and his son. He tried to expel Harry for having his son." Horatio and Tony both looked at him. "That's why we let him run to Miami."
"He's at Haven?" Tony asked quietly.
Horatio smiled. "Eric's father is fixing Haven."
"Ah." He nodded. "Is he cute?" Horatio pulled out his pocket to show him, getting a smile. "He's still got that same shit-eating grin I see."
"And he floats when he's dirty," Remus said, cracking him up. He patted himself down, finding the papers Ron had tucked into his pocket at breakfast. "Here, Ron gave this to me at breakfast."
Horatio took it to look through. "Ah, what they found when they scouted." He handed it to Tony, who looked then held up a picture. "Apparently he's using self-transformation to give himself more power."
"It leaves him open to using demonic power," Sirius told him. "Harry said that last night as he walked past us reading something ancient and dusty. He said Hermione said so."
"Can we recruit his friends?" Tony asked.
"They might get mad over there," Tabitha said dryly. "I've heard a few grumblings about Weasley."
"Ron's a nice boy," Horatio told her. "He's over with Harry and Speed calls him Mom." That got a few more snickers. "What can we do?"
"We can offer to lend them some people," the lone male voice said. They all nodded at that. "We can offer to lend them some help for intelligence gathering too."
"Remember, the British don't even have electricity in their Ministry," Horatio cautioned. "They're still stuck in the Victorian ages. Ron's first sight of a bikini apparently nearly got him arrested for trying to touch what he thought was a prostitute."
Tony snickered. "I can see why." He leaned back again. "Do they have spies?"
"One teacher who turned sides," Horatio told him. He handed over a tape. "I dosed Harry with veritasium before I set up today's meeting. He agreed and he knew."
Tony looked at the tape, then put it with the papers. "They going to be able to handle it?"
Horatio shrugged. "Harry's still concerned about the prophecy. The rest of us are concerned that it's all resting on the shoulders of a fifteen-year-old-boy and his two best friends."
"Good point," Tony said, considering it. "Do they have enough fighters for a battle situation?" Remus and Sirius both shook their heads. "How many do we have, estimating it?"
"About thirty aurors if they pull in the recently retired like Mad Eye," Remus told him. "About the same amount of Unspeakables and from the Department of Mysteries. The Order's got about twelve outside those two and the teachers are another ten maybe."
"There's going to be other students who'll help," Sirius offered. "Hermione and Ron's been cheering them on and Harry started to train Neville too."
"Neville's another that the prophecy could be about," Remus told him. "He's a gentle boy and he doesn't do well in Defense so Dumbledore decided it was Harry instead of Neville."
"So we have a backup in case the prophecy is iron-clad," Tony said. "About seventy troops plus the trio. Any creatures coming in on the good guys' side?"
"If the battle's at the school, most of the creatures in the Dark Forest would come out to defend it."
"Hogwarts has a forest full of dark creatures surrounding it," Horatio told Tony.
"Interesting way to figure out who's drawn to the dark," Tony said dryly.
"It's been like that nearly forever," Sirius told him. "They've always protected the school before."
"Yes, but having a final battle at the school is a bad idea," Tony pointed out.
"It is," Horatio agreed. "It's also not fully structurally sound after Ron and Harry decided to free it from Death Eater control."
"I'd still like to smack Ron for firing on the school," Sirius admitted.
"It got them to run without more casualties," Remus said gently, patting him on the arm. "Even if the dungeons do need to be restored and fixed."
Sirius shook his head. "Hogwarts is supposed to be one of those things that you don't destroy."
"It's a castle and a school. Even though it's nearly mythical, it's still only a building that can be fixed," Tony reminded him. "If it has to go to save lives it's better it goes than the lives." Sirius nodded at that. He looked at Horatio, then at the phone. "Who're we sending to Miami?"
"You," Tabitha told him.
"Sure, you tell my boss that," he said dryly.
"Please don't bring your boss to Miami," Horatio begged.
Tony grinned. "I'll try not to, Horatio. I know you two had bad alpha dog fights the last time you ran into each other."
"Okay, we'll send down a few of the smarter young kids," Tabitha decided.
"Should they cause me problems you'll be getting them back in shrunken boxes," Horatio warned.
"I know, Horatio. We all know not to bother you or Miami. You handle it and hand them over." He smirked and nodded at the phone. "I'll make sure they realize they're not to bother you or the boys, just watch out for trouble. Who else do you have?"
"Eric. He's been hovering over Speed and his father's fixing the boys' house."
"Even better," she decided. "Then we'll extend the hand of friendship auror-to-auror later today." Everyone made agreeing noises. "Anything else we should know?"
"I've got the stuff Ron gave them," Tony told her.
"Even better. Horatio, or someone there, the kids in their school?"
"They're in hiding and trying to keep lessons going," Remus told her.
"I've got someone who can help with that," she decided. "Thank you, boys. Horatio was right to bring this one to us. Keep the boys safe and out of trouble. We won't be calling them except for that last battle."
"Harry and Ron both have 'do what's necessary syndrome'," Horatio warned. "They snuck off Thursday night to use the temporal potion while Remus watched Harry's son."
"They've both justified it as it's their battle to fight and they're saving the adults for the larger things," Sirius agreed.
"Make them be boys, Horatio. We'll need 'em that one battle," Tabitha said firmly. "War is no place for boys, even ones with a prophecy about them."
"We all agree on that," Horatio assured her. "The boys don't yet."
"We can fix that too. Who's their contact over there?"
"Hermione Granger," Remus told her. "But they have a truce in place with one of the younger students on the Death Eater side. He wants to be the next Dark Lord. Harry's letting him do whatever he wants on the theory that he'll solve some of the problems for them."
"Interesting plan Weasley came up with," Horatio noted dryly, looking at them. "Who?"
"Draco Malfoy. Harry said once Draco took over it'd go between them. What I remember about teaching Mr. Malfoy, he might be able to do that."
"So, Harry takes down the Dark Lord, then Mr. Malfoy steps in, and we deal with him immediately?" Tony suggested.
"I think that was Ron's plan. Draco already took out the Dark Lord's right hand man by turning over his father for helping with the plan to have Tim reborn to a female Death Eater. Voldemort turned him into goo and killed another five for it. Draco's so far shown he's got some sense and leadership abilities among the students. Snape's said that he's got some of the senior death eaters looking at him as a future leader if Harry wins."
"Harry and Draco are mortal enemies," Sirius told him. "Draco hates that Harry wouldn't come to his side of the pureblood snob war their first year."
"It's actually Malfoy versus Weasley and Harry's with the Weasley side so he attacks them."
Tony nodded. "Very interesting. Ron's letting him make his own move?"
"It can only help our own plans."
"Point," Horatio agreed. "That's a more complex plan than Ron usually favors."
Remus smiled. "Ron plans everything like it's a battle of wizard's chess, which he excels at. Harry jumps in. It frustrates him to no end."
"Is that maybe the reason why Harry's son calls Ron mother?" Tony teased with a grin.
"Harry's still too confused to get to that point," Sirius told him. "His muggle relatives stunted his physical and emotional growth."
"If I see them, they're going to be hexed," Remus said. "I'm the more mild mannered one of the two of us but I wouldn't be surprised if Ron told a death eater who they were."
Horatio nodded. "I take him as vengeful."
"Only about some things," Sirius told him. "He's got that redheaded temper too. Now and then he has it on Harry when Harry gets noted and he gets jealous, but he's got a bad temper."
Horatio nodded. "I remember mine before I got it calmed down."
"Horatio, there's world leaders who remember yours before you got it calmed down. We can trace some present conflicts with the US to your temper," Tabitha told him. He just snorted at that. "All right, let us pull ourselves back together for a meeting later tonight, boys. Go do tourist things with them, Horatio. They've probably never been to DC." She hung up.
"I agree, we'll handle it," the single male voice told him. He hung up too.
Tony beamed. "Well, I can help with the tourist stuff as long as my boss doesn't mind," Tony offered. "I left here and went to another agency," he said at the confused looks. "The same as Horatio did." He stood up, leaving everything there. "Marcia, Tabs and the others are coming in for an important meeting tonight. No one touches *anything* in the office!" he yelled. "Come on, guys. Let's get out of the way and let the gears running the governmental beast start to turn." They nodded, walking out with them. Tony handed back their passes. "Horatio, did you drive?"
"Good thing I drove over." He grinned and got them into the sedan he had checked out this morning from his agency. "I checked out a car today to go on my last assignment." He backed out of his parking spot and took off. "Want to see muggle or magical tourist things? There's a Magical Smithsonian."
"I'd like that," Remus admitted happily. Sirius nodded that'd be fine with him.
"Cool, I like playing with some of them too," Tony said happily, heading that way.
Eric looked at Yelina then smiled at Ray Junior. "Go get the boys up. We're going to be late." Ray Junior ran into the suite the boys were sharing with the baby. Yelina got them some coffee off the free breakfast and settled in to wait. Tim came floating and wiggling out to get away from the fussy fathers. "No being naked boy today, Tim. It's time to go play on the nice rides." Tim farted as he went past Eric's head, heading for the breakfast. "I've got your milk and cereal," Eric promised. "Go get dressed."
Harry walked out, hopping up to grab his son from midair. "The longer you float around the less time we all have for fun stuff, Tim." He walked him back into their bedroom to finish cleaning him up and changing him.
Yelina smiled. "I'm so glad Ray didn't manifest until he was six."
Eric smirked. "One of my sisters manifested early but it was against the bugs we had one summer. We'd all wake up to hear the house's furniture thumping repeatedly when she floated it and used it to crush bugs." Ron came out and tucked into the food. Ray was right behind him. Harry came out a few minutes later with his hair messier than normal and his glasses skewed. Ron took the baby with a small grin and sat down to feed him the cereal Eric had gotten for him while Harry went to get dressed and straighten himself up. "Which side do we want to start on today, Ray? We've got passes that'll get us into either park."
"Ron, do you want easier stuff or harder stuff?" he asked. Ron looked confused. "There's easy, kiddie rides, there's log rides, there's thrill rides. Or we can go on rides that relate back to movies."
"Um...." He shrugged. "I don't care."
"Then let's start on the Islands of Adventure side, Eric and Mom. That way we can move from the Dr. Seuss park with all the kiddie rides up to something like the dueling dragons coaster."
Eric nodded. "That's a good progression for today," he agreed happily. Harry came back out and dug into the food like he was starving. "No dinner?"
"No, someone ate it on me," Harry said, glaring at the back of Ron's head.
"Sorry, Harry," he offered without having to look.
"You two act like an old married couple," Yelina teased.
"It comes from rooming with him for five years," Harry assured her. She giggled at that. Tim let out a squeal. "Yes, good morning to you too, Tim. Excited?" he asked. Tim beamed and dove forward to get more of his own breakfast. "Good boy. Thank you." Harry got another donut while the rest cleaned up, taking his son to put him into the carrier. "Let's face you outward today, dear." He strapped him in, put a hat on him, then looked at Eric. "Now what?"
"Sunglasses," he ordered. "Sunscreen, boys. We'll be outside all day." They sighed but put some on, even Ray Junior. "Okay, let's go." He herded them out to the shuttle going to the theme park, smiling at the amused looks they got. "Not mine," he told one mother. Who could only laugh.
Yelina looked at him. "You make a very good chaperone and you can go on the thrill rides while I hold the baby." She smiled at Harry. "Should we plan on renting a stroller?"
"What's a stroller?" Harry asked.
"A wonderful invention that lets you push the baby instead of carry him," she said wisely, stopping at the first place to rent one once they were inside the park. Harry said 'oh, pram' and she realized it was a translation error so it was fine. They had all weekend tickets so it wasn't that big of a problem. She unstrapped Tim and plopped him inside, getting a smirk. "I know, you're butt height. Try not to bite like Ray Junior did the year we took him to Disney." Ray Junior giggled. "I swear you bit every single hind end that got near you, Ray." She let Harry have the handles. "Now push."
Harry pushed and beamed. "I like this! This is much better than our prams."
Ron nodded. "Mum did too when she had the twins." He grinned at Ray, then looked around. "What's that?" he asked, pointing at a building.
He looked. "That's somewhere to get your picture taken. We'll stop there on the way out." Ron nodded. "That way the stroller doesn't have to carry them and we don't have to worry about losing them." That got some smiles from the adults and Harry just shrugged it was okay with him. Ray led them to the Dr. Seuss area, watching as Tim's face lit up.
Eric gave him a sappy grin. "I know you said he was your favorite kiddy author because he got a lot deeper if you understood some of the underlying themes to his work." He let them head to the first ride, the flying cup ride. Ron stared at it for a minute then opened his mouth and pointed, looking at him. He smirked and nodded. "That's a fun ride for kids, Ron."
"Bloody hell," he muttered. "How do they do that?"
"Gears and things," Ray said happily, taking Timmy out of the stroller to walk him over to the line. "Come on, guys. This is a fairly mild ride compared to the ones later on. This one is for kids."
"Sure," Harry said, still watching it. "Is it safe?" he asked Yelina, who nodded and patted him on the back, making him follow the boys. "Ray.... Maybe he should sit out." Ray sighed and pointed at the other kids on the ride. "Yeah but that's not my son."
"It's safe, Harry," Ray promised. "It's very safe. It's been safe for *years*. It won't fall. It's not going to hurt him. This ride was built for kids' amusement. That's why it's called an amusement park." Their turn came and he grinned at the person who seated them in the same cup. "Okay, pull down the bar. That's there for our safety and to hold onto." Ron and he did that, Harry squeezed between them with Tim on his lap. Tim let out a loud squeal and patted the bar. The person who came to check smiled at him and walked on. "Here we go," he said when the cup started to move. Harry clutched Tim around the waist and dug his nails into Ron's arm. "Calm down, Harry."
"I didn't think we were holding hands, Harry," Ron said, prying the fingers off his wrist. Tim squealed and waved his arms again, letting them all smile at him. "See, he's fine and he's having fun. Relax."
"Really. This is very mild compared to the broom ride that the roller coasters later will be," Ray promised. The ride sped up a bit and he took the baby, letting Harry enjoy it for now. "Like this, Tim?" Tim beamed at him. "Want to go to the zoo next? I hear they found a lot of strange creatures." Tim leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. Then he went back to enjoying things. Ray watched Harry and Ron learn to enjoy their very first amusement ride. "I could've been mean and started at the top thrill ride and then let you have the lesser ones after that."
"No, this is a good start," Harry assured him with a smile, taking his son back. "Do you like this as much as flying?"
Tim just waved his arms when the ride ended. He pouted when the guy came over to get them out of the car. "You have to get back in line, little guy," the attendant told him, patting him on the head.
"We'll come do this again on the way out," Ray promised. Ron nodded and took the baby, letting Harry follow. Ray grinned at him. "See, nice."
"Very nice. Thank you." He smiled. "They're all like that?"
"No, some are more thrilling than dodging while chasing the snitch," Ray told him. "By the way, thank you for sending me back to being a chaser." He pulled Harry on so they could visit the zoo. It was the next attraction over. Ron and Harry relaxed and let it go, liking these things. So Ray got them over to the next section of the park, the one with all the log rides. It was getting a bit warm. He smiled at Tim. "Water time?" Tim gave him a horrified look so he grinned. "You'll enjoy it." The whole family got in line this time, letting their rented stroller sit in the stroller parking area. The attendant smiled at them. "I'll have a tight grip on him the whole time if his dad doesn't," he promised. "He's a miniature thrill junkie."
The attendant laughed. "They can be at that age." He got them onto the same log, watching as the boys pulled the bar down for him. "Good job." He checked the others, noticing the one boy had taken him back. So apparently he was the daddy. The ride started off and you could hear the baby squeal for the next few minutes, until the outraged noise at the end where they all got wet. A few parents gave him amused looks too. "First theme park visit."
Ron came back dripping wet and got back in line with Harry, without the baby this time since Yelina had claimed him and the stroller. "We can go again, right?" he asked when they got closer to the head of the line. The guy nodded and they got seated the next round, going again. They came off giggling and happy boys.
Eric smiled at them. "Wait until you guys get to the roller coaster." He walked them off, going to help them onto that one. It was a bit more daring and a lot faster. Yelina had the baby on a bench so it was good for the boys. He and Ray sat behind Harry and Ron, snickering when Harry yelped at the first really fast part. "Relax!" he shouted. "It gets better!" The ride hit a loop and they both yelled at that. Ray was yelling too but it was in fun.
They came off wobbling but Harry looked at Ray. "You weren't kidding. That's just as bad as a broom ride when you're after the gold ball."
"It is," he agreed happily. "Come on, there's faster out there."
"Let my stomach settle first," Harry pleaded. "I can only do one of those an hour."
"Sure," he agreed happily. "We'll grab Mom and get a snack, hit the next log ride." Ron nodded and went to gather Yelina and the baby. Ray followed when Ron stopped to watch. "Eww, someone's hitting on my mom," he hissed.
Eric patted him on the back. "Your mom's still a pretty woman, Ray. Of course they are."
Ray looked at him. "I do *not* want to know what you two do in your room, Eric." He walked over and grinned at the guy. "Sorry, gotta steal the baby for a snack." He took the baby and walked off. "Mom, I don't need a stepfather so if you play with him I don't want to hear unless you break him or something."
"Raymond!" she shouted after him.
The man hitting on her laughed. "Teenagers can be like that. Is that your husband?"
"Coworker. We're chaperones."
"You're a very pretty one."
"I still live in Miami."
He grinned. "I could move."
One of the boys came over, hauling Yelina up. He wrote out a number. "That's her number at work. Call her," he said bluntly, getting a beaming smile and a nod, then him leaving her alone. Ron looked at her with a grin. "Come on, Tim's being a bottomless pit and so's Harry."
"You don't have my cell number."
"I have your desk number." He walked her off. "Here, Ray. I gave him her desk number."
Ray frowned, thinking about it. "Don't you have Uncle H's desk number, not hers?" Eric burst out laughing and nodded. "Well, he'll transfer him over." He handed his mother a fruitscicle. "There, nibble, Mom. It's good for you."
Harry looked up from letting Tim have his too. "Wonder if Horatio's having this much fun?"
"No, they're talking to government people. They'll have fun later," Eric assured him. "H scares some government agents." He sucked on his. "Harry, eat your own." Harry got a lick then Tim pulled it back down to share with him. "Tim!" Tim pouted but let Harry have his instead. "Thank you." He shook his head, making Yelina laugh. "He's being greedy."
"He's a baby, they're all like that until they learn to share."
"He samples at home all the time," Ron told her. "Shares your plate very well."
She nodded. "So did Ray. His father used to give him this disgusted look when he'd eat half his dinner on him." Ray snickered at that. "He eventually learned that's what babies do." She finished off her snack and got smiled at by Tim, taking him to help him eat his as well. "You're almost cute enough to make me want to have another one, Timothy."
He spit then cackled. "No!"
"Okay, I won't since you said so."
Ray looked at her. "You could. Uncle H and I would love it if you had someone new to love, Mom. Don't make me hear about the conception or a new stepfather, but go ahead and have another baby."
She stared him down. "We'll see, son." He shrugged and finished off his snack, taking the wet wipes to clean off his face and hands, then let his mother have another one. "Here, Tim, let's clean that off." She got him cleaned off and smiled at him. "Now you're only damp." He beamed back. "Come on, boys, let's hit another ride." Harry finished his treat and they headed off again, Tim happily babbling at the people around him. Mostly at the bad outfits and too-short shorts some of the heavier women were wearing but that was fine. Even if he did look at one and start chanting 'no' over and over while shaking his head.
Eric grinned at him. "Behave. They're here having fun too, Tim," he said quietly. Tim gave him a look. "I'm having selective blindness." Tim nodded, settling down to enjoy the walk to the next ride. It was another one he could ride on and he did enjoy that. Even if his father did clutch him like he was a teddybear.
It was after lunch when the problem hit. "You're Harry Potter," a male voice said from behind them in line.
"No I'm not," Harry said, not turning around. "People do say I look a bit like him but I'm not."
The man made a scoffing noise. "Oh, please! My daughter has your picture posted all over her walls, Mr. Potter. All the hidden ones from Witch World Weekly and the other gossip rags." Ron gave him an odd look. "And hello to you too, Mr. Weasley."
"Hi," he said. He couldn't deny being a Weasley, not with his hair. "This still isn't Harry."
He rolled his eyes. "Don't worry, boys. I won't out you for having a bit of fun. Is that your son, Harry?" Harry clutched Timmy tighter so Ron took him and let him see. "Aww, you're sweet." Tim spit at him. "My own girl did that when people called her sweet too," he promised, patting him on the head. "You boys have fun. We don't have anything like this in England." He got out of line, going to call his daughter over the floo port. "I saw Harry Potter and got to pet his son on the head. Got spit at by his son too." She squealed and danced on her end of the call. He got a few nice pictures and handed them over. "Remember to send them to the right magazine too, dear."
"I will, Daddy! Thank you!" She hung up and went to get the pictures developed then send on copies to one of the magazines.
The first Eric knew of it, since they had been separated for this ride, he came off and there was a guard waiting on him with Yelina. He gave her a confused look. "The boys," Yelina told him. "Someone recognized Harry and Ron."
"Crap," he muttered. "We'd like to keep them low profile," he offered.
"I know, sir. You shouldn't have too many problems. Usually the guys like them go to Disney," he said with a small grin. "We only get the ones who miss the thrill of being on a broom."
"I can see why," Ray said as he walked off with Ron, Harry, and the baby. "What happened?"
"Some guy recognized Harry and me," Ron said grimly. "Do we have to go?" he asked the guard.
"No," he scoffed. "Do you guys want someone to walk around with you?"
"We're pretty good without it, thank you though," Harry offered quietly. He got a smile and a nod. "I don't want to be noticed. I'm hoping we don't have another mob like we did in Diagon that one day."
Ron looked at him. "Remind me that you still owe me a new shirt because your fans got panicked about you being out of the country and decided to tear your shirt."
"Sure, Ron." He looked at the guard, clutching his son. "I'm sorry if it causes any problems."
"No, you're not," he promised with a smile. "Go ahead on your tour, boys. Have fun. If you have problems there's guards at these outposts," he said, showing him on a map. "All right?" They nodded. "Let us handle it, no wands in the park."
"We left ours at the hotel," Ron promised. "In the safe." That got a nod. "Harry does occasionally leak accidental magic but only when he's pissed."
"That'll work," he agreed happily. "Now, you boys go have fun. Ignore them. We'll make sure nosy reporter types aren't hunting you and we'll be discreet, okay?" They all smiled and nodded at that. "Good boys." He walked off, going to tell his boss. He had managed to hide until two in the afternoon. He was impressed.
"I've got to do something so no one recognizes me," Harry complained quietly, sitting down on a nearby bench. "Which way were we heading next?"
Ray looked at him. "We'll hit the hotel later tonight to start that, Harry." Harry gave him an odd look. "From behind, all he could've recognized was your hair. We'll get it cut into something less bedhair and more Miami. That and some better glasses, plus some better clothes? It should be all right. I know last time you didn't care but now it's more necessary."
Harry beamed. "Thanks, Ray."
"You're welcome." He gave him a pat on the back and stole the baby. "Hey, Timmy. Want lunch before or after we tackle the next coaster?" Tim gave him a look like he was dumb. "After, okay. Come on, guys." He walked them that way, taking them to the best coaster in the park. "This is Dueling Dragons. It's a dual coaster."
"Like we'll be fighting?" Ron asked.
"No, like there's two coasters together," he said with a grin. "The dueling part is how they nearly come together to supposedly battle." Harry and Ron both nodded at that. "Good." He got them in line, letting his mother have the baby when the attendant spotted them and shook his head. No babies on this ride even with an adult holding him apparently. Yelina went to sit and be admired for being a pretty woman with a baby. Eric walked in with the boys, getting on the ice dragon side. Ron liked ice dragons better so he got to pick. The coaster started off, not much different than the last one but within half a minute they were screaming in fun at this one.
Eric gave them a look when they got off, heading to get onto the other side to do that one too. He sat down beside Yelina. "They have too much energy."
"Yes and it never seems to go toward things like cleaning his room or taking out the trash when I ask," she said dryly.
Eric laughed and nodded. "Dad caught the boys playing a game of Snap to see who took out the trash yesterday."
She shook her head. "At least your father is watching out for them during the day. What about when he's done?"
"Then the wards on the house will be back in place and it'll be fine," Eric promised. "As long as they can duck the reporters." He nodded at one. "That one of ours or a muggle one?" he asked quietly.
"Ours. She's wearing clothes with a moving pattern, Eric." She handed over the baby, going to smile and talk to her so he could get the boys out of the way. She got a page from her son twenty minutes later saying to meet them back at the Seuss park so she quit nagging the reporter and headed that way looking very smug. She had to get the stroller, the boys had forgotten it, but that was fine. She met them back at the zoo area and it was good. The boys got to calm down before dinner. Harry enjoyed the flying rides there with his son, beaming at him and his squealing nature. The reporter managed to get a shot of Ron but Harry somehow ducked her when she came back. She barely got a shot of Ron and the baby too. Ron would learn that skill soon enough and a guard came up to get the reporter and drag her off when Eric got tired of her lurking.
Horatio joined them Sunday night, smiling at the tired boys as they came back into the house from the backyard. "Have fun at Universal Studios?"
Harry beamed and nodded, giving him a hug around the neck. "We did. Even if a reporter did catch Ron holding Tim on a ride." He let him go and wandered off. "I'm going to bed. Tim, sleepy?" His son yawned and made hooting noises.
Ron got him a bottle and banished him at his father, letting Harry catch him. "Have a good rest, boys." He smiled. Then he shuddered. "Sounded like my mum." The adults all laughed. "I did." He smiled at Eric, giving him a hug. "We worship you, man. Can we hit another one sometime soon?"
"For the winter holidays. They do special things for Christmas." Ron beamed and nodded, heading up to his room.
Ray Junior flopped down next to his uncle, resting against his arm. "We need to give Harry a makeover," he said through a yawn. "Someone recognized him from behind."
"I saw the new haircut," Horatio said, smiling at his now-dozing nephew. He smiled at the other two adults. "Have fun?"
"A lot of fun, even if it did take about three rides to break Harry of being an overprotective parent," Yelina agreed happily. "Tim's nearly hoarse from squealing at everything. He even tried to grab a nice young woman in a see-through shirt after a water ride." Horatio snickered at that, shaking his head.
"He kept chanting 'no' over and over at the badly dressed tourists too," Eric offered, sitting down across from him. "How was DC?"
"Good. The ball is rolling. They're keeping them overnight for another meeting and so they can talk to their own aurors as an introduction." He smiled at them. "Were they safe?"
"Very," Eric assured him. "Even though Harry and Ron both got recognized a few times. There was a reporter there too. She got removed."
"I agree with my son, we need to help Harry look like he fits in better over here, Horatio." She started some water for tea or instant coffee. Tim came floating in. "Did your father not change you?" she teased, catching him. He snuggled in with a yawn and fell asleep on her shoulder. "Aww, so precious."
"Ray kept giving people your desk number when they hit on her," Eric told him. "Ron started that by accident." Horatio shook his head quickly. "A few were pretty nice, H."
"I'm sure they were. I'll route my phone to hers tomorrow." Yelina gave him a look and shook her head. He smiled and took the baby to hold, getting a sleepy complaint but Tim fell asleep again on him. "Was Harry using you as a pillow again, Tim?" Tim cooed in his sleep, making sucky faces. He summoned his pacifier and stuck it in the moving hole, letting him suck on it all he wanted. He shifted some, letting Ray wake up. "Sleep, Ray."
"Should," he yawned, getting up and heading for a guest room. The boys said he could stay over. He flopped down on a bed and fell asleep that way with his shoes still on.
Horatio walked the baby up to his bed, putting him down and covering him gently before giving him a pat on the head and going back downstairs to talk to the other adults. They shared what had happened over their weekends and a plan was put in place for Tim's safety if something should happen. Since he seemed to love Yelina so much.
Harry walked into the Charms classroom after hours a few weeks later, closing the door quietly, which startled the teacher. "Do you have a few moments? I've begun to wonder something and I think you can help me."
"What are you wondering about?" the teacher asked, looking grim. This boy usually wondered about bad things as far as he could tell.
"I think there's a curse on me."
"And you think I can tell?" he asked, starting to snicker. "I'm no curse breaker, Mr. Potter."
"But they learned it in a charms class so I thought maybe one of your books might have a clue where to start." He stood in front of him. "There's three good reasons why I think someone cursed me, and I think it's an emotional or a sexual curse. The first, that I haven't fully matured yet. The second that I have absolutely none of the same desires as boys my age, or younger than my age," he said at the opening mouth. "The third being that even when I think about it, it's like cotton wool being pulled over my head."
The teacher stared at him. "It could be what you went through as a child."
Harry shook his head. "The other boys in my dorms started to fool around over a year ago. Even Ron's started to wonder if it's normal. The nurse said she couldn't find anything, which means it's not medical and not related back to that."
He considered it. "That would lead you back to a curse. But who? And why?"
"Who? Any supporter of Voldemort?" he suggested. He leaned against the front table. "Or anyone who decided I had to wait forever until I could get a stiffie I suppose. Why? To keep me unable to do some of the more adult spells? Perhaps to keep me from having my son. They wouldn't want me to have a next generation that could come back and defeat them."
"Good point," he admitted. He pulled his wand. "Let's see what some revealing work comes up with." He cast a few spells at him, looking him over. He saw the beginnings of a few things. "Did the nurse get onto you about eating again?"
"No, but Ron has. Am I deficient? I've been studying and not eating recently."
"A bit. You should have a very good dinner, Harry." He cast another one to clarify what he was seeing then looked at him. "It appears that there may be a very subtle, old curse on you. I can't tell which one. I can't tell what for." He put his wand down. "The only one who probably could would be a top-notch curse breaker and they're all with Gringotts."
Harry nodded once at that. "Thank you for trying." He got a small smile back. "Could you tell if it was our magic or demonic?" The teacher gaped then did it again. He slowly nodded. "Demonic?"
"It does appear so. How did you guess?"
"A vengeance demon brought me my son. It seemed odd that she'd know me. Or even of me since our war isn't in their business."
"Good thoughts. I do wish those sort of thoughts would come out in your essays, Mr. Potter."
"I try but the stuff we're studying right now is even boring Tim."
The teacher smirked. "Reading him your assignments?"
"He loves books," he offered with a cheeky grin. "Helps him sleep at night recently." The teacher laughed. "I'll try but I do thank you." He headed out, going home to think. He decided on a course of action on the way, hurrying inside to the library to write a letter to someone who he knew would know what to do. He sent it overseas to him with a charmed picture of Timmy and a pebble charmed to bring any response back to him. Now all he had to do was wait.
Ron came out of the kitchen. "What's going on?"
"I think I have a curse on me."
"Duh, Harry," Ron said dryly. "I'd call the prophecy one."
"No, I mean another one. The charms teacher thinks he found it."
"Just wrote your older brother Bill to see if he could tell me how and where to look so we could figure out if I'm right or not."
"That's fine then. Him visiting would calm Mum and Dad down, plus get McGonagall to quit sending nagging letters for pictures of the sprout." He stared at him. "Go eat!" he snapped suddenly.
"Yes, Ron." He got up and went to do that, sharing his dinner with Tim. Ron came in and took the baby off to play with him. Harry smiled and made another sandwich, which he ate. He was hungry for some reason. He came out when Ron shouted 'mail' a few hours later, finding a letter had popped out of the floo. He sat down to read it, grimacing and answering a more complete reason. Then he sent it back since Bill was apparently not too busy to answer a letter. He got back a 'I'll be there in two days' and asked which city he was hiding in. He sent back a note saying to meet him in a certain area of Miami and they could apparate from there. Then he sent it back and looked at his best friend and curious son. "Bill's coming to make sure I'm right."
"That's fine. We have the space," Ron said dryly, giving him a look. "You'd still better eat more, Harry. If he tells Mum you haven't been eating, she's going to get both our ears again." He looked down at the baby. "Won't she?" Tim smirked at him. "See, he knows. Even worse than Eric would." Harry grumbled but went to get something to snack on. He shook his head at the baby. "Some day it'll be you watching out for your Da, Timmy. Just remember he's not doing it on purpose. The little things sometime escape your father. Don't know why. Maybe that's the curse and why he can't play wizard's chess." Tim laughed and patted his hands. "Okay, so what should we do now that you've got your own room?" He grinned. "Should we decorate?" Timmy spit at him. "It's me or your Da, Timmy, and he sucks at room painting. You might end up with pink walls."
"He might like that," Harry called from the kitchen.
Tim burst out wailing in misery. "No, I don't think so, Harry," Ron called back, shushing the baby to get him calmed down. "Come on, we'll go see your room. Let's see what the big goober's already done to it." Tim sniffled and nodded, letting himself be carried up there. His crib and rocking chair were already up there, along with a nice bench for him to stare out the window from. Under the bench were a few of his favorite books, earning a grin from both uncle and baby. The walls had creatures painted on them. "Huh, nothing too dangerous," he teased, letting him have the bench seat. Tim smiled and patted the window. Ron had to close it again on him and lock it but that was something they'd get used to. His mother would be proud, Harry had finally decorated the baby's nursery.
Harry looked up from his potions reading when he felt someone apparating in nearby. He waved and went back to his current bane, then closed the book with a sigh. "I'll never get it."
"The current potion we're doing." He looked at him. "I suck in there. Even without Snape I suck in there."
Bill smiled and ruffled his hair. "It's not your best subject but you can learn the practical things, Harry." He sat down next to him. "Are you sure?" Harry nodded. "Absolutely positive?"
"The Charms teacher found what he thinks is one but he thought it was old, demonic, and he couldn't tell what it was for. He said only a curse breaker could, probably a top-notch one as he put it. You're the only one I know well enough to ask."
"Which is a good point. You and Ron are safe, right?"
Harry grinned. "Very. He's still in school too. Timmy's in the school's daycare at the moment."
"I bet that's fun for him." He looked around. "Is this a wizarding area?"
"It's shielded but not fully. We could use the house but there's workmen there for another two hours." Bill grimaced. "I figured you couldn't get more than a few hours off."
"Not really. Though I can stay overnight to talk to Ron and beat him up for leaving home that way."
"Your mother said so."
"I'm sure she did," he sighed. "Okay, let's go back to your house. Wherever you're borrowing is." Harry nodded and led him out so they could catch the city bus, then transfer to another one. Bill gaped at the gates when they finally got there, then at him. "Where's this?" he demanded.
Harry smiled. "Home." He let him through the gates, pulling him with him. That got him past the wards this time. Bill moaned when they tested him then let him pass. "It's fully warded."
"I can feel that." He looked at the workers on the roof. "Leaks?"
"Fell in," he said, grinning and waving. "The nice older guy up there is Mr. Delko. He's the contractor fixing this place." He let him inside and to the kitchen, finding Ron back there making a snack. "Did you skip?"
"Yup. Figured I should," he said dryly, looking at Harry. "Tim's in bed too." He grinned at Bill. "Hi. Welcome to Miami."
"Thanks. Why are you here?"
"Dumbledore," the boys said in unison.
Bill groaned. "I've heard." He looked around. "This is nice."
"Very," Ron agreed happily. "I'm mooching off Harry."
"You do enough with the son, you can stay here and eat with us," Harry joked. Ron punched him on the arm. "Ow! Prat!"
"Boys," Bill said. He shook his head at that. "I sounded like Mum," he sighed.
"I did that a few weeks back," Ron said with a grin. "Have you ever been on a roller coaster?"
Bill looked at him. "They're bloody well dangerous, Ron."
"But fun," he offered with a beaming smile. "Eric took us with Ray Junior and Yelina."
"They let you go on with the baby?"
"No, Yelina held him for those rides since she didn't want to go on them. Got her hit on all the time." He handed his brother a sandwich. "I'll head upstairs to check on him so you two can have the library, Harry. Let me know if you're going to pop off somewhere." He hit Bill on the arm as he walked past. "Write, Bill. Harry's driving me nuts and the school's harder since they have teachers who have a clue." He ate a bite of his lunch as he walked up the stairs to his room.
Harry grinned at Bill. "Need something to eat or drink while we work?"
"Afterward." He let Harry lead him to the library and watched him settle into a comfortable chair. "All right, let's start with the basics for now." He cast the first discerning spell and grimaced. "Eat more often, Harry."
"I have been," he defended. "Ron's all but force-feeding me these days."
Bill sighed and moved on, finding the subtle marks of the curse on the young man.
Harry looked out at the ocean then turned around when the demon he had summoned showed up. "I know it's an awkward thing to come see me for a few but I have to ask you something because I think it was one of your brethren who did it." She looked confused. "We've recently found a curse on me." She nodded slowly. "For what and done by who?"
She frowned. "It's very old."
"Like years, Harry." She came closer, staring at the back of his head when she turned him around. "It was done nearly twelve years ago."
"So I was just over three?" he guessed.
"Apparently but it's so.... It's so you wouldn't know the love of anyone." Harry turned back around, looking confused. "You suspected?"
"I knew it had something to with my not hitting my last growth spurt and being unable to touch the adult magics," he admitted. He shrugged. "I didn't know more than that. So that means I'm never to know the touch of a lover?" He got a confused look on his face and she patted him on the head to clear it up. "Thank you. Is that part of it?"
She nodded. "It is. Why would anyone cast that on a three-year-old boy?"
Harry shrugged again. "I don't know. Can it be removed?"
"I can't and the demon who did it is passed on. I can ask the boss."
"Would doing that taint me?"
"No," she said, shaking her head. "No, not in the least. Calling me would do it more."
"Good." He smiled. "Can we?" She nodded, marking a symbol in the air. "While we're waiting can I ask two more questions?"
"I don't see why not."
"Okay, first, I know it was odd how my son came to be. Was there a reason they called *him* to be *my* son?"
She considered it. "Now that you mention it that is odd. What do you know about his past life?"
"I'm being watched over and taught by a few of his former friends. Who he still loves. He chants for them and cuddles them all the time when he can."
She smiled. "So you're wondering if him coming to you was to get him back to Miami?"
"Or someone hinting that I needed to come to Miami maybe. I'm not sure why."
"I don't know. That's another question for the boss. What's your other one?"
"It rather dovetails really. Why pull *him* since he had been sacrificed? Is he meant to be another one?" She looked confused. "Why would a death eater make me a son, knowing that it would give me a focus and a reason to fight? I might've only had abstracts before him but this gives me a concrete reason to fight for."
"Which is illogical if you're on the other side," she finished. He nodded, grimacing some. "Even if they meant for him to be a sacrifice, it makes no sense to do it that way. Why pull a powerful, newly sacrificed soul, give it a body, hype it with Malfoy blood, knowing that you'd find out somehow with the spies you had?"
"Why give me a son at all? Even without the powerful blood part?" Harry said. "They wouldn't want me to have another generation. It'd mean another challenge to Voldemort."
"Point," she agreed. "Hmm. I do not know. I have the feeling they're important questions but I don't know, Harry." A higher demon with horns appeared next to her. "D'Hoffryn, this is Mr. Potter. He called me to ask a few questions about a curse he found on him that was done as a child."
"He's still a child," the male demon noted. "I can see the curse though." Harry turned around and he studied it then frowned. "Why curse you to not know love or the touch of love when you're an infant?"
"That's what I was wondering," she admitted, staring at him. "It wasn't me, it wasn't anyone associated with childhood. It was one of the love's scorned ones, D'Hoffryn."
He hummed and nodded. "That is an odd one."
"Plus there's the question of why pull my son from his reward so soon and give him to me, plus why give me a son at all," Harry told him.
The demon stared at him. Then at Halfrek. "What?"
"His son, the one I had delivered when we went to that death eater?" He nodded once at that. "He was barely gone six months when he was specifically called back. There's no way he returned so soon without a specific call back. They made him, hyped him with a blood sacrificing ritual, knowing that his father would find out. His father has ties to the area of his old life, which they've found out about it, and him having a son at all makes no sense logically thinking. Even if she wasn't loyal or going to use the child as a sacrifice to add to her own power it made no sense to call *that* soul."
"Who was your son?" D'Hoffryn asked.
"Tim Speedle, of Miami's police department," he said with a grim look. "We ran into his former friends because one of them's father is fixing Haven for me."
D'Hoffryn blinked at him then at her. "He's right. That one was not to return at all. Much less so soon. He had earned his final rest."
She nodded. "So why call *him* back and give him to *Harry*? A son I can see if she's trying to get the blood's protection onto herself. The sacrifice she made to hype him doesn't really make sense in any way that I know."
"It wouldn't have transferred?" Harry asked.
She shook her head. "No, it wouldn't have. Plus she couldn't have been considering using him as a future warrior for her Lord. The blood he was tainted with made him unstable."
D'Hoffryn sighed then nodded. "That is a hard question to answer." He considered it. "Before you can ask, boy, he'll be free when the giver of the blood that taints him dies."
"So, Malfoy has to go?" he asked. Halfrek nodded. "I think that's in Ron's plans." She smiled at him. "He's usefully doing some of our work for us since he wants to be a Dark Lord." He shrugged. "Why stop him if he's taking some of the problems out for us?"
"Good idea," she agreed.
He grinned. "Ron's."
She laughed. "I'll remember that." She looked at her boss. "Can we remove that curse? It's not fairly done."
D'Hoffryn touched Harry's head and made him wince.
"Hands off him," Horatio said quietly.
"No, let him," Halfrek said, smiling at him. "Harry found a very old curse on him. It was done by one of us." She stared at Harry, helping her boss remove the last few curses on him. "There we go." She gave him a hug. "How's that?"
"Much better," he said, beaming at them. "Thank you!" He grinned at Horatio then at D'Hoffryn. "Thank you for your help. Any idea on the other two?"
He shook his head. "Not at the moment. Though I know who would know."
"Is his name Dumbledore?" Harry asked dryly. Both demons nodded. "Who cast the curse on me?"
"The father of the blood giver," D'Hoffryn said with a wicked smirk for the boy.
"Given freely or talked into it?" Horatio asked, coming closer.
"That I can't tell at this late date," D'Hoffyrn admitted, smirking at him now. "You do much of our work for us, Horatio Caine."
"I try," he said dryly. "What was the curse?"
"To never know the touch of a lover," Harry said. "Which makes *no* sense if Lucius did it since he was in on the making of my son." Horatio gaped and so did D'Hoffryn. He nodded. "That's why Voldemort turned him into goo."
D'Hoffryn looked at Halfrek. "Someone has been using us as pawns. Find out, tell me, tell him." He disappeared.
"Thank you," Harry called.
She smiled and patted him on the head. "Don't try it all at once, Harry."
"Yes, ma'am." She smiled and disappeared. He looked at Horatio. "I was suspecting a curse. The charms teacher found it but couldn't tell what. Bill found out more and so I called Halfrek since she's the one who had delivered Tim to me."
"Interesting. A bold play."
"A necessary one. It was keeping me at the juvenile level." He laid a hand on his arm. "The other boys had their last growth spurt long before I even realized I was behind."
"I know, Harry." He put an arm around his shoulders. "Why else were they here?"
"Why, specifically, give me Tim?" Horatio gave him a horrified look. "They agreed with me. He hadn't been gone that long when he was called back. It wasn't the way it was supposed to happen. D'Hoffryn said he had earned his final rest."
"So why call Timothy back specifically to you," Horatio finished, thinking hard. "It is an interesting question."
"Along with the why give me a son at all question," Harry agreed. "Makes no sense logically."
"Put together, it seems like someone ..." He paused then looked at him. "You said there was a blood sacrifice?"
"His mother and Lucius used Draco Malfoy's blood as a partial death sacrifice to hype him. They said it'd clear when Draco died. Since he wants to be a dark lord, he's on the dark lord's right hand at the moment, and he's a prat, we're pretty sure we'll meet him in the last battle."
Horatio stared at him. "Those are some very interesting questions."
"Hmm, and Dumbledore knows the answer to at least one of them." He stared at him. "He hated Timmy from the first moment he saw him, even without knowing that Halfrek had brought him to me. He kept trying to get the baby out of the school."
"We'll have him checked and spell cleaned," Horatio decided.
"I had Ron's brother Bill do it. He's a curse breaker. He removed one but he wouldn't tell me what."
"Is he still in town?"
"Asleep." He smiled. "I went to him about mine. Though I have *no* idea what I'm to do now."
"Now, you grow up," Horatio said. "Come on, let's get back to the house." Harry glanced around before apparating off. Horatio followed, having to land outside the gates. The walk gave him a good chance to think. They were some very interesting questions. He found Bill and Harry in the kitchen, earning a smile from Harry. "Did you remove the blood sacrifice's taint?" he asked.
"Nope, can't," Bill admitted. "I can't believe you went to talk to a demon, Harry. Mum'll shit dragons. Charlie'll have to come home to bring them to his preserve in Romania there'll be so many."
"She's not just any demon, she's a vengeance demon, Bill. Mostly safe to ask those sort of things to, especially since she's the one who gave me Tim."
Bill grunted, handing Horatio a cup and gave a nod at the hot water. "Water for tea or coffee, mate."
"Thank you." He made himself some coffee and sat down, looking at the two boys. "What did you remove?" Bill opened his mouth, glaring at him. "I think Harry has the right to know since Tim's his and I was Tim's best friend before he died the first time."
Bill swallowed some tea. "I took off a hex that would keep the baby from growing properly."
"Did I have one of those on me?" Harry asked.
"No, yours was done without it," Bill assured him. "I checked that the first time I met you, Harry. Not real shocked about the content of the curse on you, just that it was a curse. Done when you were three! How low is that!"
"Done by Lucius, who helped Tim come into being and donated Draco to the blood sacrifice," Harry added.
Bill shook his head slowly. "You're right, that doesn't make any sense."
"Also, Tim was called back after only six months of being gone," Harry told him.
"Which makes even less sense," Horatio agreed. "I have a contact who might be able to figure that part out, Harry. Can I talk to them?"
"Please do! I want Dumbledore the hell away from my son."
Horatio smiled. "Like I said when I met you, I'd like to shoot the man."
"He's a great man," Bill said.
Horatio looked at him. "I'm a former auror, Bill." He gaped. "Ah, Harry never told you. I'm Horatio Caine. Formerly of the US Aurors." Bill gaped harder and let out a small whimper. "I'm the one who took Sirius and Remus to see my people so they could help yours."
"Thank you!" he said, giving him a bat on the arm. "Helped a lot, even if some don't like it."
"Tough," Harry said dryly. "We're outnumbered two-to-one at the moment." He sipped some more of his tea. Ron wandered in and grunted at him. "Sleep, Ron. We're talking about the stuff that they found on me." Ron nodded and got a drink then went back upstairs. Both adults stared at him. "What?"
"Wondering if it worked yet."
"Not yet," Harry sighed. "I figure it'll be like normal. I'll hit a growth spurt, starting getting strange thoughts, all that."
"Probably," Bill agreed. He yawned then shook his head. "Anyway. Thank you for looking out for my idiot little brother and Harry, Horatio."
"Not a problem. Even if he didn't have Tim." That got a smile. "Where is he anyway? Usually he's up about now."
"He's hopefully still napping in his own room. I finally got it decorated and he loves it," he said proudly.
Bill stared at him. "Whose house is this?"
"It's in the family," he said with a smirk.
"Really?" Harry nodded. "Then why didn't we know about this one?"
"It was starting to fall in," Horatio said dryly. "That's how we found out he was in town. One of my coworker's father is fixing the house." Harry just beamed at him. "Doing a good job?"
"Very nice. I love what he's done." He beamed at Bill. "I know you've tested the wards. Will they hold?"
"Forever probably. Even after there's no house here." He finished his tea. "I should stay until morning to make sure you both get to school on time."
"Not tomorrow," Horatio told him. "I'm going to call them off so my friend can look Tim over, see if there's anything we can do until Mr. Malfoy dies." Harry shrugged. "No tests?"
"Will you pass?" Horatio pressed.
Harry grimaced. "I always try."
"I know, Harry. You're doing the best you can in a very hard school."
"Ron's doing stuff we did as special topics," Bill agreed. Harry smiled at him. "Just try, Harry. Mum can only scream if Ron brings her over." He looked at Horatio. "You let the boys go on those muggle roller coasters even with how dangerous they are?"
"They're not that dangerous. They went to a major theme park, Bill." He heard a wail and went to see what was wrong with the baby. "Tim!" Tim let out another one. "What's wrong?" Horatio picked him up to hold, letting him snuggle into his shoulder. "What's wrong?"
Harry walked in and checked him over. "Another of those bad dreams or a bad feeling like before the assault?" he asked gently, patting his son's back. Horatio gave him an odd look. "Before the assault at Remus' he was nervous and wouldn't quit fussing."
"Hmm." He sat down in the rocking chair, looking at Tim, casting a charm to read his tiny little baby mind. He looked at him. "I think there's been another attack."
"There." He grimaced. "We'll have to wait and see, Harry."
Harry snorted, heading down to the floo. "Nymphadora Tonks." She appeared and gave him a heated glare. "Timmy just wailed and Horatio thinks there's been an attack? Do you need me?"
"No, Harry." She grimaced. "Remus was seriously hurt, but he's not dead." Harry glared at her. "Calm down."
"You calm down!"
"Fine, then don't calm down. Just don't blow me up like you did the toady at the Ministry, all right?" Harry grimaced but nodded. "He's being worked on. We think he'll be all right. They attacked them when they were on a scouting mission."
Harry took a deep breath. "Do you need me?"
"No, we need you over there learning as much as you can," she ordered. Bill stepped up behind him. "Bill!" she said, sighing in relief. "Your mum was looking for you and couldn't get you."
"I've been here most of the day," he admitted. "Do you need me?"
"Nah, battle's done with now. Remus was the only serious injury."
"How is Sirius?" Harry asked.
"Doing poorly. He's a bit stressed. Speaking of, those American Aurors are pushy."
"Yes, we are," Horatio agreed as he walked in with the baby. "Is everyone all right?"
"Remus is banged up. He's about as bad as any auror could expect in the field after chasing a bloke for a few days." Horatio quirked an eyebrow up at that. "Madam Pomfrey's working on him."
"She's good at what she does," Bill agreed. "Are you sure we can't help? I'm heading for home later on so I can pop around."
"No, best be heading back to work, Bill. When we need you, we'll call. Like we will be Harry and Ron." Horatio nodded at that wisdom. "Now, anything I should pass back?"
Harry looked at Horatio, giving him a questioning look. Horatio nodded so he turned back around. "They removed the curse off me that Lucius put on me when I was three."
"What curse?" she demanded.
"One to never know the touch of a lover. It kept me from hitting that last growth spurt and stuff," Harry told her.
She whined. "No! No, wrong!" She stopped complaining and looked at him. "The same Lucius who donated his son?" she asked. He nodded. "Huh?" Harry shrugged.
"We'll be seeing if there's a reason tomorrow," Horatio assured her.
"Good on you, mate. I'll pass that back on to the worried mother. She's a bit loud." She grimaced. "Bill, call home sooner, 'kay?" She disappeared so she could make that report. Something about Timmy was starting to worry her. She found Tallhook and pulled him aside to go over that with him. He was with the Department of Mysteries. He'd know what was what. She saw Molly and smiled, waving a bit. "Bill went to check on Harry and Ron, Molly. He'll call soon." She beamed and nodded, hurrying off to her fireplace so she could wait on it. "Met Horatio Caine," she said dryly. "He was there too."
"He's a powerful man," he agreed. "Not just magically. Why was he there?"
"Holding Timmy Potter."
Tallhook moaned. "No!"
"Yup. Also, they removed a curse that Lucius did to Harry when he was three?" He stared her down. She beamed and nodded. "Harry said so. Which brings up some uncomfortable questions since Harry said the curse was to keep him from finding a lover."
"It kept him from that last stage of development," he said quietly.
"Then why did Lucius help give him a son?"
"Better question, why did Lucius help give him *that* son." He walked off considering it. He knew Horatio and he knew they had mutual contacts. If they were going to find out about the blood taint on Timmy Potter, there's only one witch they'd go to. So he went to talk to her first, let her know what they knew about it. It could only help her and she'd give him back what she found out later on.
"It's not often I get woken up at two in the morning," a female voice greeted as she opened the door. Her curly hair was pulled back and she gave them a slightly imperious look. "Usually it's for a body, not for a two hour call about blood."
"Sorry," Harry said, giving her a sheepish look. "Now that I know where you are, I can come back so you can sleep in."
"Fat chance," she said, pulling him inside. She looked at the man behind him, smiling a bit. "You do look cute with the baby in your arms."
"He's mine," Harry said. "Horatio's just demanding."
"I've heard that said," she agreed dryly, shutting the door behind him. "All right, during that two hour call with Mr. Tallhook at the DoM..."
"He's selling his time now?" Horatio asked dryly.
"Department of Mysteries, Horatio," she said impatiently. Harry laughed. "Sure, you laugh. I had a cranky boyfriend last night."
"We finally got my curse removed so I can figure out if I want a girlfriend or not."
She blinked then looked at Horatio. "Huh?"
"Another part of this very twisted tale," he said, letting her have the baby.
"Aww, aren't you cute?" she cooed.
"Is that some sort of spell?" Harry asked Horatio. "People do that to him all the time."
"It's the allure of the innocent baby, Harry," Horatio explained. "They're all like that."
"It's so you don't murder them when they start to walk and pull things on their heads," she said, walking them into the living room. "All right. Let's hear the whole thing, from the start."
"How far back?" Harry asked. "Mine or his?"
She blinked then shook her head quickly. "Why do I need all of yours?"
"The same people keep showing up in interesting ways," Harry told her. "The same person who hates him, is keeping knowledge from us in the war, and is trying to have Timmy removed from my care and put in with the muggle relatives who were horrid to me is the same man as my former headmaster."
She nodded slowly. "Okay, let's start with yours then."
"I'm Harry Potter."
"I knew that. I've read what happened."
"That night my parents died, Sirius didn't betray them."
"Read that," she agreed.
"Dumbledore put me in with my muggle aunt, her blubbery husband, and their son to be kept in a cupboard under the stairs for eleven years."
"Didn't read that," she admitted.
He held up a hand. "Also, when I was three, *someone* convinced Lucius Malfoy to cast a demonic curse on me with the aid of a vengeance demon. It's the one we just got removed last night and it was so I'd never know the touch of a lover." She gave him a confused look. "I'm fifteen."
"You look twelve."
"That's from the curse," he said grimly. "Then, a few days after the end of the Triwizard tournament where Voldemort was raised...."
She shook her head quickly. "He's back?"
He nodded. "We're already at war. Horatio's talked to the people in DC to get my people help and I'm in Miami to protect myself and my son, plus my friend Ron is with me."
"Okay," she said slowly. "So, when did you get Timmy here?"
"A few days after the end of the tournament. A vengeance demon dropped him off while some of her sisters went after his mother."
"Three things you should know there," Horatio injected. "One, he's Speed reborn. Two, they called him specifically. Harry made sure of that part last night. Three, they were doing blood sacrifice rites on him to make him more powerful."
"Four, Dumbledore saw him and threw an absolute fit. Even before we knew about the blood sacrifice or who he was he was trying to send him off," Harry added. "He ended up trying to expel me because of him. Nearly managed it but the court wouldn't let him. That was right before the Ministry decided to stroke out, as Ray Junior says, and have a hissy. They arrested everyone fighting Voldemort and tried to have me expelled from the country, arrested, killed, or eaten. That is how the warrant was issued."
She let out a small whimper. "So, Dumbledore screwed your life up, is trying to screw Speed's up, and is now trying to hurt you?"
"We don't know. All we know right now is that he's holding information, including about Timmy."
"He hated that name."
"He likes it now," he said dryly. "Calls my friend Ron mum too."
She giggled, looking down at the sleeping baby. "You're sucking up, aren't you?"
"Quite often," Horatio agreed dryly. "He makes Eric change him as often as he can." She cackled, nodding a bit. "So, we know, thanks to the demons last night, that the blood tainting that they did will be gone when the donor...."
"Against his will. That's how Ron talked him into turning in his parents," Harry told him.
"Okay, once the donor against his will dies, the blood taint will be gone."
"The problem is why call *him* and why give *me* a son," Harry told her. "D'Hoffryn said that Dumbledore knows the answer to at least one of those."
"And again, that same name pops up," she said. "Along with the vengeance demon theme here."
"And the Malfoys," Horatio told her. "Lucius, Draco's father, was in on his creation. Draco was the one whose blood was used for the blood tainting."
"The witch took some of my hair to have him made," Harry told her. "I wasn't even in the same country at the time. Then the vengeance demons took care of her and Anyanka left Tim beside my bed one night as a favor for Halfrek."
She considered it then nodded. "That's one hell of a story, Harry. I've seen fiction novels with less complicated plots." He shrugged a bit, slinking down. "Okay, do you trust your Headmaster?"
"Not anymore," he said honestly. "Too many things have piled up and I know he's keeping stuff from me. He kept the blasted prophecy from me saying I was going to murder Voldemort or he'd kill me. He never tells me what I need to know until after I've already done something he should've been doing."
"I can agree your first year that Dumbledore should've been guarding the stone better, Harry. Though he was pulled away at the last moment."
"So he leaves the stone there? Or unguarded?" Harry asked. "A few tests aren't nearly anything and Snape had an idea. He admitted that later on."
Horatio nodded. "I can agree that wasn't the best of plans."
"Three eleven-year-olds, two of who hadn't known about magic the year before, beat it. Of course a full-blown teacher could. Even with Ron being great in wizard's chess and Hermione being smart enough to figure out Snape's riddle. And I'm sorry, one was a flying test, one was Ron's speciality, one was Hermione's area." He gave him a look. "The more I look back the more I see the subtle hand of 'no, you do it'."
"I can agree with that," Horatio said. "Your second year he was apparently trying."
"No one else thought to hunt the basilisk?" he asked dryly, giving him a look. "Or monitor the hallways? Or the opening to the chamber since he knew where it was?" Horatio moaned. "Even if there wasn't another parseltongue available in the school, it took Hermione three weeks to figure out what the creature was. Dumbledore's had how much more education? Ray pointed that one out. They could've stopped Ginny during one of her wandering sessions. I have a map of the school with everyone on it and where they are. The twins had it before me, they could've asked them for it. The headmaster knew it was around."
"He's got a point," she said. The baby yawned at her. "Good morning, Speed." Speed spit at her then wiggled until he flipped over, hiding his face in her breast. "Sorry, too early for you?" He nodded. "That's fine, you rest." She looked at him. "What about your Magical Creatures professor?"
"Hagrid? He had a problem that year but I'm surprised he didn't know. He loves deadly things."
She gave him an odd look. "Who's doing potions, Harry?"
"Snape," he said dryly. "Hates me. I suck in there anyway but he still hates me. He just hates me via long distance now."
"They haven't had a steady defense teacher either," Horatio told her. "They had Lockhart one year." She burst out laughing, making Speed bite her. "No biting, Tim." He smiled at her. "They had a Death Eater using polyjuice last year as a defense teacher; he was supposedly a retired, paranoid auror."
"I learned a lot about unforgivables. And Boggarts. He was our second-best teacher yet."
"Miami's headmistress wanted to make him a second year," Horatio told her.
"Was it like that before his year?"
Horatio shrugged. "It could've been a gradual decline and no one noticed. I got brought into it when Eric's father found Tim because he's fixing Harry's house. Harry lets us have as much fun time with him as we want."
She smiled. "That's nice of you, Harry."
He yawned then grinned. "Less nappies for me to change," he quipped, cracking her up again. His son gave him an evil look. "What? It is! The more times Eric gets to change you, the less Ron and I have to."
The baby yawned then scowled. "Bahbah." He put his face back into the comforting breast and let himself drift off again.
Harry shrugged. His son could think he was bad again. He'd get over it. Horatio was laughing. "I think we're too loud for him."
Harry took him back and cast a silencing charm around his carrier, sliding him inside it. "There, now he won't care." He grinned at her. "So, what can you help us with?"
"I'm very good at blood magics, Harry." He smiled. "Though you're right, we do need to know why someone wanted you to have a son. It's not how your current Dark Lord would play it."
"He was still dead when they made him," Harry told her. "He was a ghoul."
"No, charming was he was on the back of my first defense teacher's head," he said, giving her a look. She shuddered. "Drinking unicorn blood too. Found him on detention once in the Forbidden Forest. Yet, the anti-dark magic wards around Hogwarts never caught onto that fact or that my first year Defense teacher was hiding the ghoul on the back of his head with only a turban. The ones that supposedly have kept out dark wizards in the past and have expelled students who're playing with dark magic."
She gave him a horrified look. "You have a dark forest around your school?"
"You know, I get asked that a lot," he quipped, cracking Horatio up. "He and Eric asked the same thing. So did most of the teachers."
She moaned, holding her head. "Do we think this Dumbledore is a bad guy?"
"He beat Grinderwald," Harry told her.
"Doesn't mean anything, Harry."
"I know. He seems like a nice old man. Seems a bit barmy really. Then you look back and things start to fall into focus."
"They do say hindsight is perfect vision," she agreed. She looked at the baby again. "We'll probably have to wake him up to test him."
"Will it hurt him?"
"Piss him off maybe but it won't hurt him. Or it shouldn't hurt him as long as he's not been made into something intolerable, like a ghoul."
"No, he eats fruit, not unicorns," he offered, taking off the carrier so she could have it.
"Let Horatio and I work, you stay out here and be a nervous father." She stood up, walking him and the baby back into her work area, closing the sliding doors so they'd have a bit of privacy. "What do you think?"
"I think Dumbledore's a bit manipulative," he admitted. "I think he manipulated Lucius into casting that curse as well."
"Why vengeance demons?"
"It could be removed without consequence if it had to be reversed and they suddenly needed a next generation to fight the same war again? Perhaps because he thought no one would look and if they did, it could be argued someone else did it to him?"
"But why give him a son?"
"That's what still worries both of us. Especially *this* son." She looked at him. "D'Hoffryn agreed on that point. They had to call him specifically."
She sighed. "I'm sorry, Horatio."
"I'm not losing him or his father, or the one he thinks of as a mother," he said firmly, getting a smile back. "Even if I have to jump in and go beat his ass myself, Stella."
"Let me know if you do. I'll be there."
"You, Tony, Eric," he said dryly. "It's been a crisis of getting back in touch with people I used to work with." He laughed a bit dryly. "I walked into the office and someone nearly passed out."
"Well you said you'd be back when the world ended as you walked off in a huff over the new supervisor's crappy decisions."
"Tabitha decided I had." They smiled and got to work on the baby. He woke up once but he soothed him back into a nap and it was good enough. "Can we deal with the blood taint?"
"Yes," she decided. "But it's going to be a good, long spell to do it." He shrugged a bit one sidedly. "Some of us do work, Horatio."
"I know. I called off today, called Harry off today, called you off today."
"You called Mac for me?"
"Yup. Told him I needed you for a very important case. That it was something you'd understand better and Calleigh wasn't going to be able to get it."
"Aww, that's so sweet," she said, pinching him on the cheek. "Too bad he doesn't know." She walked out and handed Harry the baby back. "Okay. We can do a few things." She sat down across from him. She watched as Harry put the baby down next to him and readied himself. "We can strip some of the blood taint off him. That would loosen his connection to the guy who's tainting him."
"Draco," he supplied.
"Okay, it'll loosen his link to Draco. Because if he's seriously hurt, Tim could feel it."
"Voldemort likes to crucio his people but Tim hasn't felt it yet that I know of," Harry told her.
"Which is good. How long do you think it'll last?"
"Probably not very. Draco's a smartass." She smiled at that. "Just as much as I am really." He glanced at his son. "What else can we do?"
"We can take the secondary small taint off the boy. Because the vengeance demon who hefted and toted him linked him to you."
"He always fusses right before an attack," Harry agreed. She gaped. He nodded. "That's how we knew Remus was hurt. He wailed for a good, long time. I don't know how he's picking that up off me though."
"Oh, no, it goes through you to someone else," she said dryly.
He gave her a look. "Hermione's using a psychic mirroring charm."
"Then it's probably to her."
"You said he fussed at the first assault," Horatio noted. Harry nodded. "Was she using it then?"
"Who knows with Hermione," he said with a small shrug. "I may never understand girls and that one especially."
Horatio smiled. "Most men don't understand women, Harry." He looked at her. "Now what, Stella?"
"Now, we need to do both of those at night and we need to do one other thing. We need to get his dad to a point where he's stable on his own. Did you not eat breakfast, Harry?"
"I had two," he said, shrugging a bit. "Since they found the curse everyone keeps wanting me to eat and get fat."
She gave him a look then ran a check over him, sighing a bit. "Someone's mother wants to make sure you're being taken care of."
"Mrs. Weasley," he moaned.
"No, not her. You mentioned her and the stuff she put on you flashed. This was done by some other nice mothering person."
"McGonagall?" She shook her head because something else flashed. "Madam Pomfrey?"
"Can't tell, she doesn't have anything else on you." She undid the charm, making them all happier. "There, less nagging." She leaned back again. "We can spell clean him tonight. It'll be a long day however."
"I'm good with long on both sides," Harry promised. "Seen a lot of it studying since Miami's much harder than Hogwarts."
She smiled. "Good to know." She stood up. "Let me call around to gather some help." He opened his mouth. "They won't talk, Harry. I know they won't talk." He relaxed again. "Why are you so paranoid?"
"Voldemort stole me from Hogwarts during the last trial using a portkey in the maze."
"Ah. So you suspect everybody."
"Especially since someone died because they went with me."
She nodded. "That's a reasonable reason."
"Plus I know the Dark Lord wants him."
"Probably," she agreed.
"Did you figure why they brought Tim?"
"No, but I think that the Headmaster won't ever tell you. Maybe it's because they knew you'd need a strong, capable, bright son. Speed was always bright and he was a sarcastic guy so he could handle traumas."
"So they gave me a son who could manage if I died and he had to become me?" Horatio gaped at that bit of logic.
"It's possible," she admitted. "That's the nicer version of why Speed." She patted him on the head, going back to her work area. "Horatio, take the boys out to sightsee or something. Bring him and dinner back."
"Thank you, Stella," Harry called.
She smiled out at him. "It's what I do, Harry." He nodded, letting Horatio walk them off. She sighed and got to work calling around to find herself some help. That blood tainting was a bad thing and they'd either have to replace it or nearly kill the baby to get the last of the foreign blood out.
In England the next morning, Sirius was watching over their prisoner. Draco Malfoy had been captured but he wasn't being cooperative by any definition of the word. He frowned. "Madam Pomfrey!" he bellowed. She came rushing in to examine the prisoner. "What's wrong with him?"
"It looks like... Backlash?" she said.
Sirius straightened up. "They broke the blood taint on Timmy." She beamed at him. "Thank you." She left so he looked at the now scowling boy. "That means you can die without killing my great-godson."
"You know very well Weasley and I have a truce," he sneered back.
"Hmm, so does the Dark Lord probably, Draco." He smirked at him. "By the way, nice move to try to claim the Black family money when the Ministry tried to claim Harry's. Very subtle."
"Thank you." He smirked back. "Mum always said I was sneakier than she ever could be."
"Which is a good point." He leaned on the table, looking at his nephew. "You know it's still going to come down to a duel, Draco. So give him up. It can only help your standing."
"Ah, but then the others won't follow me."
"Do you really want them to? Most of them are less than stellar," Sirius pointed out.
"Perhaps not but the rebuilding will take me a good portion of my young life."
"True, but it'd mean you'd live. Because even if you escape, the moment you appear over there he'll kill you. If he knew anything about the blood tainting he'll know you're not connected to Harry and Timmy anymore."
Draco shook his head. "I have things he needs. Including the Malfoy money."
"You're overestimating your worth to him, Draco. If you don't believe me, think about it."
"I have. I also have the potion that's extending his life in my personal cauldron since Severus was captured." He gave him a smug look. "If he kills me there's no one who can make it for him unless he captures Granger or someone."
"You know very well he's tried for her twice, Draco."
"To shut her up. How did your godson stand her babbling and nagging?"
"He complained about it," he said dryly, standing up again. "He won't get her. If we have to, we'll send her somewhere."
"He has some of her blood after the last try for her," Draco said with an evil smirk. "He can track her anywhere now."
"Interesting. Why are you playing this game?"
"I'll be damned if I'm going to bow down to a half-blood like him," he sneered. "Unknown witch of unknown origins and a muggle father? No Malfoy should ever bow down to him. No, if there's going to be a pureblood movement, it's going to be run by a pureblood. As noted, I am one of the brighter ones of my generation, and apparently the two before mine." He gave him a smug grin again. "So we'll see who ends up on top. For now.... How did that magazine put it? Oh, yes, I'm networking."
Sirius laughed. "You're so full of yourself. You know we could send him the film of this interview."
Draco shrugged. "While that may happen some day, I'm still the one making his potions."
"He won't trust them."
"No, he won't. He has someone test them for him," he said with a smug look. Sirius gaped. "For now, my position suits me."
"Later, well, that's going to be a bit messy to get some people out of my way. Not if you got off your arses of course, but for the rest of us it'll be a bit messy."
"Oh, we're not sitting idly, Draco," he assured him. "Remember, you've bled there too."
"Of course I have. Took you long enough, Uncle." Sirius glared at him so he gave him a smug look. "Weasley's not the only one who can play wizard's chess."
"Point." He huffed off, going to talk to Minerva. She was in charge while Dumbeldore was with the Ministry twits again. "He pointed out that the asshole has Hermione's blood after the last try for her."
"No, he has Neville's blood after the last try for me," Hermione told him. "I commonly wear blood packs. It was also charmed to not be his. It was very old blood. It'll probably only lead back to his parents." She looked at him. "What else did he say?"
"He said it was about time when I pointed out he had bled there too. Also, the git has a tester for his potions."
"As is reasonable," Snape said from his cauldron. He looked over. "Is he still persisting in the delusion that they'll follow him?"
"He said if there's going to be a pureblood uprising, there'd better be a pureblood leading it. That he's better than his generation and the two before."
Snape snorted. "I doubt that. He doesn't know all the purebloods in the world." He went back to stirring his present concoction. "Miss Granger, the moth wings?" She handed over the crushed wings. "These are not the right sort, girl."
She snorted and opened the book. "It says to use that sort when you want to use it to get a small fix, Professor." She walked off, going back to her own potion. "How's Harry?"
"I don't know but apparently the blood taint's been broken," he announced. Snape and Hermione both stared at him, mouths open. He snickered. "You two look so much alike right now. He clutched his chest and doubled over. I had Poppy check him. She said so."
"So someone powerful knows," Snape said. "Girl, who is your tutee hiding with? There must be someone with some sense and power there if that was finally broken."
"You mean like Horatio Caine?" Snape stiffened and stared at her. She smirked and nodded. "He leads back to Timmy's former life. They met that way."
"He's an auror," McGonagall said. "I remember the last war he was barely old enough but he was here helping."
Snape nodded. "Usually helping ward houses." He went back to his potion, adding the moth wings. If she wasn't right, he'd get to browbeat her later. It was the most fun he'd had all year, wearing down her ego.
Sirius grinned at Minerva. "My dear Professor McGonagall. Can we call Harry back yet?"
"Not yet." He pouted but nodded. "You could go visit."
"It could lead them there."
"Haven is well protected and well hidden," Hermione reminded him. "As well as him having a whole school of well trained people behind him." She smiled. "You should've heard Ron's last complaint about all the homework they have to do there."
McGonagall shook her head. "She and I talked for over ten hours after she met Ron and Harry. Mostly her swearing about our educational standards being so far below the rest of the world's." Snape gave her a dirty look. "By the way, you were faulted for not making them deal with whole specimens as well as various potions by their potion master. He said he had to have them tutored in how to deal with things that were still whole."
"Making the students mangle more ingredients only costs us more time and money, and leads to more explosions in my classroom," he said dryly.
"Harry said he's only seen one. They have dampening fields built into the walls."
"I'll have to have some installed when mine gets rebuilt by your boyfriend," he sneered.
"Boyfriend?" she snorted. "Not hardly. Ron would not appreciate my mind or my body, Professor. Why would I be more than friends with him?" She went back to her potion.
"So which are you looking for?" Sirius teased. "Someone to worship your mind or your body?" She shrieked and threw something at him. He laughed. "Can't decide, Hermione?"
She glared at him. "I'd rather be worshiped for my mind. I can train him to worship the rest of me properly." McGonagall burst out laughing at that, nodding a bit at the truth. "After all, all men are like dogs and therefore trainable, even you, Sirius Black." He blushed and walked off again. She smiled at her head of house. "Sorry, had to be said," she quipped then got back to work.
Snape glared at her. "Many men would find your nature and ego offputting."
"Don't want them anyway, Professor. Why do I want some boring man who'll only read beside me?"
He huffed and went back to work. That girl was so infuriating! Minerva walked out giggling, going to share that with Poppy and Madam Sprout. He got back to work. There wasn't time to waste with these potions. "Do you have the gall ready?"
"No. You said you were going to do that." She got him the bottle and handed it over. "There." She went back to stirring hers, counting the strokes. When she was finally done she had to strain it then she could rub her sore shoulder. Snape gave her a look. "I don't like the automatic stirring charm. It doesn't lead to an even stroke for me."
"It's your nature," he assured her.
"Really? Well, I can think of a few who like my nature more than that spell then." She came over to help him since hers was done. He obviously needed it since he was behind.
Harry looked up from his potions class, frowning. Something was not right. He glanced at Ron, he wasn't reacting, so it wasn't the house or the main battle group back in England. He nodded for the teacher's benefit and walked out into the hallway, trying to figure out what was going on. "Fuck me," he muttered. The teacher gave him an odd look when he turned around. "One of the people I put alarms around just got attacked," he said quietly. "Have Ron pick up Timmy for me please. Tell him it's not at home. It's the one who just helped him." He jogged off, heading to the apparation point for the school. He sent himself there, landing in a dull alleyway just off the battle area. He strolled out and casually cast a hex at the idiots attacking the nice woman. She gave him an odd look. "You needed help?" he asked with a disarming grin, the one that usually kept him from being yelled at.
"Potter," one of them sneered.
"Yes, you brilliantly brought me out of hiding on some other city's grounds," he said flatly, hexing them both again. "Can't you go back where you came from?" Another hex. "Stupid morons! You're not even allowed over here. They have immigration rules and I doubt they'd allow the less-than-stellar brain patrol over!" He shot another one, binding them even as the shrinking spells started.
"Harry! Stop!" she commanded. He undid the last one with a mumble, giving her a sheepish look. "Bored today were we?" she demanded, tapping a foot. "I can protect myself. I'm actually trained, Harry."
"And I'm not?" he joked with another grin. "I had alarms put around you in case they came after you because you helped Tim." She gaped. He nodded, taking a step back. "I couldn't let them hurt you for helping him. It's not right!" he insisted. He took another step back and ran into someone. "Um...."
"Stella, you good?" the guy asked, holding Harry in place.
"Let him go. He's on our side, Don."
Don looked at the kid then at her. "He looks like he's supposed to be in school."
"I am, I should be in potions right about now," Harry offered.
"You're British, what are you doing over here?"
Harry beamed at hi. "Harry Potter, mate." He held out a hand. The guy just whimpered. "I'm hiding; she helped my son Timmy, so I had alarms around her in case they came for her because of that. So I'm skiving off potions at the moment. Ron's gonna be so pissed."
"You came from England?" Don Flack demanded.
"Hogwarts is in Scotland and no, I'm in the US hiding."
"So you came out of hiding, skipping a class, to come save Stella because she helped your son?" he clarified. Harry grinned and nodded. "Do you have no sense!" he shouted. "You could've died!"
"Not really. They didn't send the brightest after her in the least," Harry offered. He felt someone else coming and hid his wand. "I'm sorry, they attacked her because she helped my son. Of course I'm going to help her! I'm not some freeloading little bastard, thank you."
"Stella, are you all right? What happened?" the new guy asked as he joined them. "Who's this? And why are they tied up?"
"He did it," Don told him. "They were attacking Stella so Harry here jumped in to help her because she had helped him recently with something." Harry nodded, waving a bit. "I'm wondering if we're going to take him somewhere and scream at him, Stella?"
"Horatio said he had 'jump in' syndrome. Harry, you should stay protected."
"I'm not even from here," he protested. "They can't track me back."
"They could," she said dryly. "There's many ways of tracking you home."
"Not those two. They barely passed last year's classes." He unhooded them and waved. "Hi, Crabbe, hi, Goyle." They both mumbled 'hello' back. "Did Draco send you or did the big goober?"
"What's a goober?" Crabbe asked, looking very confused.
"I don't know, I got it off a new friend," he admitted. "But I'm sure it's bad. Did the head bad idiot send you?" They shook their heads. "Draco?" They nodded. "Why?"
"She ended one of the paths to him getting power. Now he can't take your son and sacrifice him to gain his power too," Goyle complained. "It's wrong of her to do, Potter."
Harry patted him on the head. "If you get to go home again, tell Draco I said I'm sending a dragon up his arse, all right?" They both nodded. "Good boys." He straightened up. "Now, I've got to get back to class. My new teachers are worse than Snape ever dreamed of being." They shuddered. "Exactly." He turned around and smiled. "So I'll be off then."
"Freeze," the new guy said. "I want to know what's going on."
Harry stared at his evil glare then grinned back. "You know, I've had female teachers who glare *so* much better than you do. Including a barmy one who keeps saying I'm going to die." The guy looked stunned so Harry ran off and apparated from the alley when he was out of sight.
"I'll get someone onto him later," Stella said.
"It was nice he showed up ta help," Don said dryly, staring her down. "What did you do?"
"I...." She froze Mac then looked at him again. "I removed the blood taint from his son."
"He's got a son at his age?"
"Yup," Goyle said. "One of the female death eaters had him made, called him back early from his rest and everything," he told him. "Tainted him with Draco's blood, which was why he was pissed that she removed it."
"Shut up!" Crabbe complained. "They don't need to know about that or Voldemort's new plans for the boy."
"Oh, yes I do and I'm so much scarier than any whiny little school kid, boys. I'd tell me before I have to pull out every ounce of bitch in me."
"Then you're an animagus?" Crabbe asked. "I wanted to try that."
Stella cast a hex at them. "No, I'm a former auror candidate." He screamed and writhed until she released it. "Now! What plans do you have for Timmy Potter?"
Goyle blabbed until he ran out of words, most of them unintelligible with the way they ran together. Don looked at her. "Did you get that?"
"Only the 'find him, capture him, use him as a sacrifice of power' part," she admitted. She looked at them. "Do they know what city he's in?" They shook their heads. She raised her wand. "Truth or do I have to start cutting off centimeters from the already small dicks?" They both tried to curl up and nodded. "They do know?" They shook their heads. "Does Draco know?" They shook their heads. "Where do they think he is?"
"Brazil," Crabbe squeaked. "We're sorry, ma'am! We had no idea you were worse than Professor McGonagall on the rag!"
Don stepped out of the way. "Advice, guys. Free and all that. If you live, don't mention women's cycles. It gets them cranky. She's scared heads of countries when she's cranky." They went pale and wiggled over to kiss her feet. "Aww, they like you, Stell."
"Yay me." She got free and undid Mac. "So, are we arresting them or sending them on?"
"I say we let their own people deal with them," Don offered.
Mac glared at them. "I know something just happened. I want a full explanation now, Stella." She gave him a look. "Right now."
"And with that, I'm going to go back to haunting my desk," Don offered, hauling up both boys. It was bad when Mac went into full-on, pissed off Marine snit mode. Really, really bad. It was kinder if he got the idiots out of the way before they died from the yelling.
"Drop them," Mac snapped. Don did that and stepped away from the future corpses. "What is going on, Flack?"
"I got here after they were tied up, Mac."
"And I know they didn't move that far when all I did was blink." Mac stared him down then Stella. "I want answers, Stella. Now."
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," she assured him. "I have it handled, Mac."
"I don't care!"
"Hmm. How to put this delicately. Witches exist, Stella's one, and the kid who was here helping her is one too," Don said.
Mac glared. "I said a *real* explanation, Flack."
"That was!" he defended.
Stella pulled her wand and tapped him on the forehead, doing a small transformation. "Cute ears, Mac. Don, let's pick up the wannabes and take them somewhere I can call my former bosses so they can pick them up." He nodded, helping her haul one of them to his car. They came back and found Mac playing with his doggy ears. They got him back to the car by the time Mac had stormed over and taken her wand to look at. "Hey! That's like my sidearm. You don't grab it!" She snatched it back. "Asshole." She fixed his ears back. "There, better?"
"No!" he growled. He stepped closer, pressing her against the side of the car. "I want real answers, Stella, not the cute little ones and not dog ears."
She grinned. "But you looked so cute!" she cooed. "I almost wanted to pet them, Mac." His growl got deeper. "And you sound like a dog too."
Don coughed. "Mac, if you keep threatening her, the kid'll end up coming back. It'll only cause more problems. Please?" Mac glared at him and he stepped back before he got set on fire. Mac wasn't magical by any means but that death glare of his sent heat at you. "I'll gladly put off my paperwork while you two have this talk and I try to unbind those two. Please? We don't need the kid to skip more classes."
"Who was he?"
"He's a kid I helped a few days back when Horatio called me off," she admitted.
"Horatio? The guy from the Miami lab?" Don asked, looking confused. She nodded. "He's one of us?"
"Yeah, he was in the class ahead of me for auror candidates. He used to have one hell of a temper. Scared a president or three." She looked at Mac again. "See, it's all very logical but it's a very long story so I'll need water during it. Can we go back to the office?"
"Who else knows?" Mac asked. "Beyond Horatio, who I'll be calling later."
"It's not your fight, Mac," she said gently. "It's our kind over in Britain having a small war." He gave her a lesser glare. "It is!"
"I'll be hearing about that too I'm sure. Get in. Get back to the office. If Danny knows, drag him in too."
"Why would Danny know?" Don asked.
"He's not one of you?" They both shrugged. "Yes, no?"
"Not a clue," Don admitted. "I only knew Stella was because she needed my help a few times. We went to the same school but she was ahead of me."
"Whatever. Office. Now." They headed that way and he groaned, going back to his SUV so he could calm down on the drive there. On the way he decided to call Horatio. "Why did you really call off my second-in-command and why was there a young guy saving her earlier?" He heard the groan. "The truth please, Horatio. No, I'm not in my office. I'm in a truck. I'm heading back to my office to deal with the two other young boys the first one who came to help Stella captured." He listened to the off-microphone swearing. "That's what I thought. However you do it, get up to my office, Horatio. I want full answers and I want them now," he ordered calmly, then he hung up and finished his drive in the horrible midtown traffic. Maybe he'd see if however the kids had gotten here from England was applicable to him. It'd beat Manhattan traffic any day. He finally parked and got out, walking into his office. He paused when he saw Danny in the halls. "Danny, would you happen to know anything about two British boys in masks and robes attacking Stella earlier or the young guy Harry who came to save her?"
Danny Messer gave him a long stare. "Are you feeling all right, Mac? Maybe have a fever?"
"No, and if you can induce one in me, don't." He stared him down, then stepped closer. "Wooden, pointy thing please."
"Why would I have a stake?" he asked, looking a bit confused.
Don walked up behind Danny. "Mac, I told you we don't know."
"Bull. He always knows what's going on, Don. I'm sure he's got the same wooden, pointy thing you do."
Don patted Danny's pockets down, stealing a piece of gum to make it look good to those watching. "No wand on him." Danny gave him a horrified look so he grinned. "Stella was two years ahead of me in school." Danny walked off swearing. "If you were there, you can come help too, Messer."
"Fuck off, Flack," he yelled.
"My office!" Mac shouted. "Now." Danny walked that way mumbling. He glared at Don. "You too."
"I'm going," he complained, heading that way. He waved at a few people he knew. "Don't ask. Someone attacked Stella. We helped get her out of there. No one told Mac first." The rest of the lab seemed to vanish so they wouldn't have to deal with Mac's bad mood too. He walked into the office, nodding at the redhead in the chair, chatting with Stella. "Hey. How's Miami?"
"Warm and humid, like always. What happened?" He glared at the two boys when they opened their mouths. "I didn't ask you yet. Your turn is coming." They hunched down and tried to look small and invisible. Hard to do when you were as big as a football player, but they did try very hard. Mac walked in and shut his office door. "Harry skipped what to come help Stella?"
"Potions," Stella said dryly.
"I'll be yelling at him later," he assured her.
"I know you said he had 'jump in' syndrome, Horatio, but he had alarms put around me in case they came after me because I helped his son."
Horatio nodded. "They used a temporal potion to go back and liberate the school and Ministry. That's why the building fell in." She gaped. "It got their fighters, and later the school, free of Voldemort."
"There's a good place to start," Danny said, glaring at them. "He's back?" Horatio nodded. "That was declared a hoax!"
Horatio nodded. "By one of the Death Eaters hiding as the Minister for Magic, Danny. He's since died. I'm helping hide Harry and Ron Weasley. Plus Harry's son."
Danny groaned. "He's got a kid? At his age!"
"No, someone made him a son without his consent or knowledge," Horatio told him. "A vengeance demon delivered him." Danny growled. "Stella had to clear the blood taint they did to him off. Before you ask, yes, the mother was a death eater as well. He killed her and five others involved in bringing his son into being. One of them turned into goo. Those two little twerps serve that one's son and the boy wants to be the next Dark Lord."
"Goodie," Danny said flatly.
Don shook his head quickly. "And how's the war going?"
"Slowly," Horatio admitted. "They didn't want to accept American or other help. They have it anyway but they didn't want it. Two of their people in charge our people in charge have doubts about, mostly their motives. They're all in hiding. Harry's formally going back for the last battle right before school starts next year." They all moaned. "He said to give him enough time to get his son to the same age he was." He shrugged. "We're working with him of course, but it's slow going. There's been a few other things in the way. Like one of the people who're now dead having cursed him to never know the touch of a lover. It kept him from finishing his maturity."
"From the top please," Mac said, walking over to his desk. "Volde...what?"
"Voldemort, their big, bad guy. Runs a pureblood crusade to wipe out anything less than purebred," Don told him.
"Danny?" Mac asked.
"What?" He glared at him. "I don't answer to you on this, Mac. You're not even supposed ta know. We can all go ta jail for telling you."
Horatio smiled. "I have special authority." That got an evil smirk from Stella. "Yes, they put me back on the payroll temporarily since I'm helping guard the savior." He looked at Mac. "Where would you like us to start? The first version of this war? The current one? Just where it involves Stella?"
"Let's start back at the beginning. If I have an overview maybe I can help."
"Mac, this person thinks of you normal folk like roaches," Horatio told him. "He's got a severe desire to rule the world. He made himself slightly immortal to accomplish that."
"I'm still a Marine, I can still plan engagements, and it sounds like you need it if they're any indication of what's going on."
"No, those twerps are bad guys," Stella told him. Danny glared at her. "I cleared the blood taint off Timmy Potter. They came after me for destroying the next wannabe's power base since it was his blood that tainted him."
"Huh. I'm supposing Timmy's the son?"
"And reborn," Horatio agreed. Danny stiffened. "Called specifically." He stared at him. "Which is why even if we wanted to, Timmy's not leaving Miami for a good, long time. I haven't told Alexx or Calleigh yet but they're going to throw fits."
"Ya think?" Stella asked dryly. She sat down, opening her bottle of water. "All right, from the top. I'm a witch, the guys are wizards."
A petite blonde woman walked up to Eric in the CSI lab, laying a hand on his arm. "I swear I met your son earlier being held by one of Horatio's relatives."
He gave her an odd look. She could only have met one pair. "Why do you say that?"
"I said the baby was cute, but he corrected me and said he was studly. I joked and said he was too young for that yet. He said he must be because pretty women like me stopped to admire him." Eric laughed, nodding a bit. "Then he said that you and the baby gave him that line." She smiled sweetly. "You two keep disappearing to a house your father's working on. There's something going on and unless I'm being investigated I want to know what."
Eric sighed, nodding for her to follow. He walked her to Yelina's desk. "Can I bum the pictures from the park?" She smiled and handed them over. "Ron just fed her a line."
Yelina laughed. "He's very good at them. The ones you gave him seem to make him look adorable instead of lecherous like they do you, Eric. I want those back."
"Sure." He walked her outside to a small table off to the side of the building. It was technically the smoking area but no one was on break. He put the pictures down in front of her. "The redhead in there?" She nodded and pointed when she found him. "That's Ron. The dark-haired one next to him is Harry. Harry owns the house my dad's fixing," he said quietly. "The boy Timmy is Harry's son." She smiled at that. "He didn't help his conception. Someone did it for him." She scowled at him, letting him have the pictures back. "We've been watching over the boys."
He shrugged. "Guardians on Harry, parents for Ron, but they're involved in a mess at home in England so the boys are here for school reasons. It was Harry's son Tim you saw with Ron. Harry must be off doing something or getting into trouble." She grimaced. "Not that sort of trouble. He's a straight kid most of the time but he tends to find people who need help and steps in to do that." Horatio reappeared, fortunately behind her. "Horatio." He looked over and smiled. "She ran into Ron in the park and got fed one of my best lines yet."
"I see." He came over to smile at the pictures. "Harry ended up helping the person I took him to see the other day. He's in detention right now because he had to skip a few classes to do that." Eric snickered and nodded. "He's also in a lot of trouble and now Mac Taylor wants to help the boys as well."
"He's not..." Eric started.
Horatio shook his head. "No but he can plan battles. That could help Ron."
"Battles?" she asked. "What battles? Are they in a street gang?"
"No," Eric said. "There's a bad guy over at home that wants to sacrifice Harry so he has some higher bits of power."
She shook her head. "I don't understand. Did I hear you wrong?"
Eric shook his head. "No." He handed the pictures back. "Yelina's."
"I'll make sure they get back to her. Calleigh, we've both been watching out for the boys while their parents are making sure that the people who want to hurt or kill them can't find them. Unfortunately Harry likes to jump in and that draws attention." He looked at Eric. "Had alarms around her."
"Good for him. He's paranoid for a good reason, H."
"I know. Still, I spent the last little bit explaining all this to Mac." He walked off, taking the pictures back to Yelina. He ran into Frank Tripp at her desk chatting. "Frank. Here, Yelina. Thank you." He smiled at her. Then at Frank. "Anything new come up?"
"Not yet and no new cases today either. It's like Miami's on pause or something."
"It could very well be."
"Even this city has to take a day to appreciate the sun and beauty around it," Yelina agreed. "They'll start again sometime next week. How are the boys?"
"Harry had to go help Stella earlier. So I just got done talking to Mac." She burst out laughing. "Not funny. He's in detention."
"Good! It's a wise adult who's going to stop the boys."
"That's probably why Ron had the baby in the park and gave Calleigh a pickup line." He walked off, going to take something for his headache in the quiet of his office. He was going to have to teach both boys about stealth and subtlety. Soon.
Alexx Woods, their shift's ME, walked into his office and shut the door, looking at him. "There's a baby with a baby under your control and you haven't introduced me yet?"
"I think you'd overpower them, Alexx," he said honestly. "One's not used to having anyone who cares and the other's got a very good mother, she's simply unavoidably detained from being over here." He looked at her. "He's the second youngest of seven."
She frowned. "I still don't think you two can mother a pair of boys and their baby very well. You're men. It's not right."
He smiled gently. "We've done good so far. Plus Yelina's met them since the boys go to Ray Junior's school. That's who she took to Universal Studios with him and Eric."
She pursed her lips. "She's good, but I'm still better. They can't have a clue what to do with that baby."
"Actually, Ron's very good," he assured her. "If not, they have Eric's father working on one's house."
"So they're rich boys?" she asked dryly.
He shrugged. "Moderately wealthy. They're over here to do school, Alexx. I'd introduce you but I think it'd probably end up hurting someone. Probably them. You don't like to let go when you've got a new son."
She glared at him. "I will be meeting them, Horatio Caine, or I will go around you to meet them. Whatever problem they've got could only be helped by a mother's touch."
He sat up straighter. "Alexx, it's not that sort of problem. The boys are doing all right."
"They can be doing better! No one's there to fuss over their diet and things!"
He smiled. "As great as you at that, the boys are involved in a problem at home. They're being hunted by someone who wants to kill them and others for fun." She gaped. He nodded. "That's why we're hiding them. The more people who know, the more chance there is of someone overhearing something and a leak getting back to them. Which could endanger more of Miami. I don't want you or your kids hurt." Which she would be since Speed had been her adopted son. She had loved Speed so much. Seeing him now would only hurt her. And him. "Please?"
She shook her head. "You know I'm not going to talk about it, Horatio. They need a woman's hand near them. Especially the one who's never had one."
"I'll see if the boys would agree," he said finally. He had no intention of it. Ron wanted Harry to have more mothers too. Probably so he could have his back but he was all for Harry gathering more mothering sorts around him. She smiled and walked off. He put his head down, realizing there was a sealed piece of parchment on his desk. He opened it and sighed at the message in there. His former bosses did not like the twerp twins as Stella had named them. Pity. Though the question about Harry being insane was a bit funny. He'd have to tell him people were wondering again.
Harry ducked into the bookstore in the wizard's shopping area in Miami, looking around. The salesclerk smiled. "Okay, which one had my picture?"
"There's three or four, Mr. Potter." She pointed at them. "Two had you on vacation at Universal Studios. Two have you in hiding from the bad sort over that way."
"I am and if they tell people where I am, we're going to end up with a battle over here." He grabbed those to flip through, even being nice enough to pay for them. Then he got into the used book bin for Timmy. He needed some new books. He came out with an armful and went back for another armful since they had a mix of muggle and wizarding books. He put them down with a sigh and smiled. "We can do a draw slip, right?" The witch laughed and nodded, filling out the form for him. He put his new vault number on it and she ran it, getting an approval. She was bagging all the books when the goblin appeared with paperwork for Harry. He looked at him. "Did I screw that up?"
"No, simply a convenience, Harry. This is a debit card. It leads directly back to your bank. Don't go wild spending with it, but it'll make things a bit easier." Harry hugged him and took it to put into his wallet. "That's a good boy. You use it like a credit card but remember, it'll take the money directly out of your trust vault. So spend wisely with it." He nodded. "It's also able to be used in muggle shops."
"That's so great. I've got to get Timmy new clothes. He's growing."
"We figured as much," he agreed. "Babies do that every few months." Harry grinned and took the bags, stuffing the gossip rags down into one of them. "I see they noted you?"
"Two our weekend at the park and two here in town. I'm going to write a nasty letter to those two about not stalking me."
"Let your temporary guardians do it, Harry." Harry beamed and nodded, heading out to buy baby clothes. He shook his head. "His poor vault," he sighed, heading back to the bank.
The saleswitch giggled herself sick. That was so cute!
Harry walked in with four bags of clothes, one bag from a shoe place, and the two bags of books. He flopped down in the library, looking over at Timmy since he was alone in there. "Did your Mum leave you?" he joked. Tim spit at him then beamed and pointed. "Hi," he called. "I got the baby new books and clothes." Tim let out an awesome squeal so he shoved those two over, helping him down so he could tip over the bags and get into them to see what new ones he had. Ron walked in so he handed him the gossip rags. "Four of them caught us. Well, two got you." He got a head shake. "Got him new clothes."
"I heard. Get me new shoes too?" Harry nodded, pointing at that bag. "Thanks, Harry." He settled in to check his new sneakers. They were comfier than the dress shoes he had to wear at Hogwarts. They also fit in better with the locals. Timmy was patting each new book before he slid it off to the side. "Did you raid the used bin again?"
"Yup, spent about eighty muggle dollars on him today." Ron shuddered. "It's fine. He needed them. Who else is here?"
"One of Horatio's coworkers who said he's too skinny."
"She said her name's Alexx. I already called Yelina, she said she's good, just going to fuss like my mum would if we could get her away from the war camp." He shrugged and looked at the baby. "Want read to, Timmy? Your Da looks bored."
Tim gave him a smile and held up a book. "I saw that and I knew you liked the rides," Harry said, picking him up with the book _Green Eggs and Ham_. He opened it and started to read in his ear, making his son happy.
Ron shook his head. "That's better than some of the kid's books that have one whole paragraph for the whole thing. Hi, Alexx. This is Harry, Tim's Da."
Harry smiled at her. "Hi, Alexx." He got back to reading. His son beamed at the new person. "Did you sweettalk her already?" he teased. The boy gave him that same shiteating grin that Eric had identified.
"How?" Alexx asked quietly. Harry looked at her and shrugged. "You don't know?"
"I wasn't even in the same country as they were when they created him. I have no idea how babies come to be outside of vengeance demons bringing them to you in the middle of the night." Ron gave him an odd look. "What?"
"Harry, most of the time, women *have* the babies. Their mothers only think they're delivered by demons."
Harry shrugged. "How would I know?"
"Good point. We'll go over that later, when we're done with our charms homework."
"Did it in detention," he complained, going back to his reading.
"Can I...." Speed held his arms up to her and she took him. "Speedy? Baby?" He spit then giggled and smiled at her, snuggling in for a hug. "Baby, I don't know how you came back but I'm so happy." He kissed her. "Can I...." Harry handed over the book and stacked the rest Tim had thrown around next to her. She smiled and let them do whatever they needed to do. "I left dinner in the kitchen, boys."
"Whoo-hoo! One neither of us cooks," Ron said happily, rushing to eat.
"Forgive him, he's a bottomless pit sometimes," Harry said with a smile, heading that way. He came back. "You can visit all you want but you can't steal him." He went back to the kitchen to dinner.
"That was cold."
"He's all I have, Ron!"
"Point." He added more vegetables to his plate. "Eat." Harry sat down and ate. "What did we get him?"
"Mostly jeans and t-shirts for babies his size. He's still got good clothes for pictures and things."
"Yeah, he hates his little uniform." He grinned. "Heard from Sirius." Harry stared at him. "They're all still fine. 'Mione and Snape are driving each other nuts but they're working together on something. My parents are still okay. Sirius is going nuts. Remus is finally fully healed and he'll be over in a few days to coordinate with the american aurors on the current situation. They did a raid on the house they're using now. They're using your old house."
"Privet Drive?" he asked.
"They get driven out?"
"As soon as Sirius knew they were there," he assured him. That got a mean smirk. "Which means they captured another ten death eaters. Someone tried to get into the prison but it wasn't working very well. So they caught another two doing that. They're expecting an all-out assault at Azkabahn any day now. They've got his forces down by half at the moment and he's pissed."
"Would not putting up a heavy show there mean that he wouldn't call the creatures too soon?"
"He's already got the dementors. It's too late for that," Ron admitted. "I thought I told you that."
"If yo did, I was worried about Tim," he sighed, looking at him. "Now what?"
"Now, we finish studying so we can do the final battle. Then you're free, I'm going to decide about going back home. Which I might not. Here I'm just Ron, not 'the last Weasley son' and I don't have to put up with their reputations. Even if I do have to do a lot more homework." Harry smiled at that. "Are you going back?"
"Nope. Not unless they run me out of the city."
"Good. You're happier here." He smiled at Alexx when she came in to check on them. "There's juice in the fridge. He likes it." She patted him on the head and got him some, bringing out a glass for them to share. "Apparently she was like his mum his last life," he said quietly.
"That's fine. He can gather more aunts," Harry agreed. "Just as long as they don't steal him."
"They'd never do that, Harry," Ron said patiently. Harry shrugged and ate again. "What happened earlier?"
"Draco sent Crabbe and Goyle to attack the woman who took the blood taint off Timmy. He was going to use him to gain his power, use the blood taint to help him instead of Tim." He stared at him. "I put alarms around her because she helped Tim and I figured someone might want to attack her for that."
"Hmm. Horatio said he was going to yell at you about skipping class."
"She needed the help. She was alone against those two!"
"Harry," Ron chided. "You can't hide if you're up there fighting."
"I was up there, not down here."
"Point," he admitted. He sighed, shaking his head. "I'll yell when we don't have guests, Harry."
"Thanks." He grinned. "Did you get the Potions homework done?"
"Not yet. You?"
"Yup. At least the paper part. The rest I figured we could work on tonight?"
"That'll work," he agreed. "It's got a long stirring portion in there that we can read to him during." Harry grinned and nodded. "Eighty dollars at the bookstore?"
"Eighty total, fifty at the bookstore," he admitted. "I went to that thrift store for him. It's a lot cheaper."
Ron nodded. "Mum does that to us too. Usually she finds some pretty decent stuff." He ate another bite, smiling when Timmy came crawling in. "Hungry?" He let Harry pick him up but gave him part of his dinner since Harry was nearly done. Tim grinned and dug into his veggies for them, making them happy parents.
"He doesn't use a high chair?" Alexx asked as she came back, adding more food to both their plates and getting Tim one of his own. He beamed at her and dug in, eating off Harry's plate. Harry added his to his pile and Tim ate those too. She laughed. "Fine, you nibble off Daddy's plate, Tim."
"He samples off everyone's plate if they let him," Ron told her. "High chair? No. If we need him that confined we put him in his room or in the library and shut the door for a few minutes." That got a smile and a nod. Horatio came in so he waved him back. "Hi."
She smiled sweetly. "I'm going to gut you and Eric for not telling me my son was back."
"The only gutting around here is for canning stuff," Harry said firmly. She laughed. He looked at her. "I'm serious. There's no fighting here. Especially not in front of the baby."
"Sure, sugar, I'll gut Horatio tomorrow at work. Dish him some to his plate and hand him over."
"Want her to feed you?" he asked his son, who shrugged and shifted over so she could take him. Harry got her some of the vegetables and a bit of the meat, since he knew his son would like it. He usually did. She let Tim have whatever he wanted. "Tim, the brown stuff is meat, like in Ron's sandwich last night." Tim gave him a 'duh' look and ate some. "Good boy." He looked at Horatio. "You're going to yell, huh?"
"For quite a while, Harry. You can't stay protected when you're off fighting."
Ron giggled. "That's what I said. Also, here." He handed him the gossip rags. "Two said he's here."
Horatio flipped to those articles, looking at them. "Well, it looks like it can be excused as him shopping." He read the articles, sitting at the table. One did say he was enrolled at the local school. "We'll handle it."
"I suggested a nasty letter to the goblin who brought me that debit card thingy and he said you should because apparently you write better nasty letters?" Harry asked.
Horatio smiled at him. "I'll sic someone on them, Harry." He grinned evilly at that. "What else happened?"
"Got my homework for two classes nearly done. I only have to brew for the second part I'm missing."
"Good. What about your gym grade?"
"I suck in there," Harry pleaded.
"As long as you pass, Harry." He nodded, digging in again, a bit less enthusiastic.
"What's the rest of the secret?" Alexx demanded. Ron opened his mouth but Horatio's look made him shut it. "Tell me now or tell me later when I find out, Horatio Caine. Eat, boys."
"I was missing my mum until you got here, Alexx," Ron teased, digging in again.
Harry looked at him. "Missing the twins pranking you and Ginny bugging you?"
"There's always the disguise stuff for the holidays," Harry offered.
Ron considered it. "We'll see. If it's not too bad." Harry shrugged. "You sure you can handle him?"
"Ron, he's my son. I do a lot with my son. I can handle him alone, really."
"Not that the rest of us won't be popping in to check on him," Alexx assured him.
Ron grinned. "He's still not used to a sick baby. Tim's only been sick once so far and it was the flu."
"That's fine. We can field calls if something happens," she promised. She held up a bite, letting the sleepy baby take it from her fingers to nibble on. "That's my good boy." Tim cooed and yawned, showing off the half-eaten food. "You finish up and we'll go take a bath." He shook his head. "No?"
Ron looked at the clock then at the baby. "It's only an hour until your normal bath time." He shook his head again. "Now or in the morning and you hate those because they're rushed," he said dryly. Tim spit at him. "Don't do that. Want Horatio to do it or Da?" Tim spit again. "Quit that. I warned you." Tim glared. He gave him a look back. "You're still a toddler. Keep it up and I'm feeding you frog juice the next time you spit." Tim snuggled deeper into the arms holding him and spit again. Ron got up and got something, dropping a drop on his lips. They puckered and Tim wailed. "No spitting, Tim."
"No wonder he calls you mother," Horatio said dryly, looking at Harry, who was watching. "Didn't think about that?"
"I remember getting smacked on the face for it," he admitted. "Once. So I'm learning when Ron deals with it. He's an interactive teaching tool as one of the teachers said." Ron snickered, putting the bottle on the table. "Hey!" he said finally. Tim quit and got down to sniffles. "Then don't spit. That solves that." He took his son back, wiping off his mouth. "You know better."
Tim pouted at him. "Bahbah?"
"No, he's not bad and neither are you. What you were doing was bad. We still love you even when you do bad things. So quit spitting."
Tim nodded, snugging into his shoulder. "Mama bahbah?"
"No, he's not bad either." He patted him on the back. "You still have to learn those lessons again, Tim. We're not sure how much you'll keep as you grow up." Tim spit into his shoulder. "Want it again?" He quit, shaking his head. "Good boy." He let him snuggle in and fall asleep there. He smiled at Ron. "Thanks."
"Welcome. When he's older we'll tell him he can spit at Malfoy and the Death Eaters."
"If he has to see them, I'm going to destroy them all," Harry assured him patiently.
"Good point. Would a picture be enough?"
"Not funny, Ron."
"Sorry," he said with a grin. "Wanna come back for the hols?"
"No. Remus and Sirius can come over if they want to see me. They don't need to worry about me at the moment."
"Your parents must be shitting bricks," Alexx told him.
"They died when I was about Tim's age, Alexx. My other relatives belong in hell and then my godparents are in the middle of the battles so I can't take their time from that. They check in with me all the time and it's fine. It's not like I didn't raise myself so far." He stared her down. "Next year they'll be seeing me a lot more often and then this blasted war will end." He looked at Horatio. "Who do we have for planning that with Ron? We're still debating the going there while they're doing something or calling them out plan."
"Well, I had to explain it to someone today and he's a former commander in the Marines." Ron smiled at that. "So he's volunteered. Tony and his boss are both on to help you with that if you want. Plus we've got our better planners working with your people, Harry." He nodded. He nodded at the baby. "What about him?"
"Do you think Yelina would watch him for a few days?"
"I think she would love to," he admitted, smiling at him. "Plus Alexx could go help."
"If she wanted to," Harry agreed. "Or even Stella."
"Stella's very fierce on the field of battle, Harry." He looked at her. "She decided against being an auror after taking the training."
"I wondered how you knew her." He grinned. "I'd still rather have someone guarding him, Horatio. They could easily try for him if they knew he was being guarded by muggles."
"Good point," Ron agreed. "He'll need his own guard and I'll be on Harry's right. Like usual."
"I'll see how we want to do that then," Horatio agreed. "We have time."
"Best plan it now in case he gets a wild hair up his arse and decides to try something too serious now," Harry told him.
Horatio nodded. "That could happen." He smiled. "You're not too bad at planning, Harry."
"I see situations and let Ron handle them," he said with a bright grin. "I suck at wizard's chess."
Alexx gasped. "You're wizards?" Ron nodded, smiling at him. "Is Timmy?"
"Considering he floats when he's dirty, yup," Ron assured her. She laughed at that. "They said he's going to be as powerful as his Da is."
"Hopefully without the same reason," Harry added. Ron looked at him. "The scar, Ron. Dumbledore told me that some of it leaked over when I got it."
"Shite," he said bluntly. "Pure shite. Unless he possessed you, it can't happen, Harry."
Horatio shook his head. "No, it doesn't work like that," he agreed. Harry gave him a horrified look. "What did he use that to explain?"
"Him talking to snakes," Ron said dryly. Harry nodded. "Plus him ... He said you were so strong because of him?"
"Because some of his essence leaked over when we merged or whatever when he tried to kill me. It's part of the connection between us."
"He has a connection?" Horatio asked bluntly.
"Now and then he decides to be smug and send Harry pictures of what he's doing," Ron told him. "Must have a finite limit. You haven't had any recently."
"I figure it's where Hermione's plugged into it," Harry told him. "I've felt a few twinges but nothing that came with pictures or thoughts so I figured she got them instead. It can still help them over there."
"Good point," Ron said, considering it. "Her brain's got to be fried soon."
"She never says anything when I ask," Harry protested.
"No, she's doing it to herself," Ron agreed. "Still makes no sense. She could cast it on someone else."
"She might be," Horatio offered. "When I go over in a week we'll check on her." Ron and Harry both smiled at him. "You can write long letters back too." They nodded. "If you're done, do your homework and we'll talk later, boys." They fled to the library, letting him put the dishes in the dishwasher. "Alexx...."
She held up a hand. "Wizards?" He nodded. "Are you?" He nodded. "That's why the boys are here?"
"No, this is Harry's family home," he admitted. He kissed her on the forehead. "Go enjoy a napping Tim. He'll be up soon and wanting to play." She smiled, going to do that. He went to call Stella and Tony on the same floo. He realized Harry didn't have floo waiting on his and sighed, linking them to his home floo so he could do it that way. Then he got both of them. "Sorry, no three-way flooing on his," he said dryly. "Tony, you and Gibbs need to get with Mac."
"I'm about to obliviate Mac if Danny doesn't. He's been asking questions non-stop and demanded proof three times," Stella complained. Harry brought in something and sent it through to her then walked off again. "Thanks for the chocolate brownie, Harry." She smiled. "Used to a girl around him?"
"Ah. Heard a bit about her when I called in." She nibbled on the brownie. "How's things going, Tony?"
"All around bad." He grimaced. "Gibbs has a head injury." Horatio stared at him. "Of the can't remember anything since the Gulf War sort." Horatio sighed, shaking his head. "I've sent a healer."
"If he's better, we could send him over under cover of recovery," Horatio offered.
"If he gets his memories back I'll ask. How's things?"
"I'm going over in a few days, Remus is coming back with me to report. We have to figure out what Granger's doing. She's got a psychic mimicking charm going so she's plugged into Harry's curse scar, which apparently links them." Stella choked. "That's the link you found?"
"Probably," she agreed. She wiped her mouth off. "Okay, now what?"
"Alexx just found out," he said quietly. "Also, Harry pointed out something. We'll need people here to guard his son while he's at the final battle. No matter when it's called."
Stella nodded slowly. "I'm not up to date on battlefield magics. I can do that. I might even be able to get Don Flack to help us. He likes kids."
"Harry suggested Yelina watch him but she's muggle and Ray Junior isn't fully trained. I don't want him near this." She nodded, getting that. "Can we count on at least you?"
"Sure. Call when it happens." He nodded. "Tony?"
"I have the feeling I'll be in England," he admitted. "I've taken all the refresher courses."
"I've kept in practice thanks to the drug cartels," Horatio told him. That got a smirk from Tony. "They do employ one or two to guard their shipments. Stella, you'll have Eric as well." She nodded at that. "Okay. We'll make more concrete plans at the update meeting in a week and a half?" They both nodded. "Good. Stella, get Mac onto the plans to protect the baby. We'll get him involved during that meeting." She nodded. "If he needs proof, take him to the bar." He hung up on her, looking at Tony. His former partner looked tired. "Can you handle it?"
"I hate being in charge," he said grimly. "I always have." Horatio nodded. "I'll handle it until Gibbs comes back. He's got to come back." Horatio gave him a gentle smile. "That doesn't mean I won't be coming down for a few days' rest though. I could use the rest and bikinis." He grinned and signed off.
Horatio undid the forwarding to his home floo and turned around, finding Ron there. "Floo forwarding and three-way flooing."
"That's bloody cool. Mum could use that." He grinned and handed him some juice. "When's this meeting?"
"I was going to bring you up for it," he promised. Ron beamed and nodded. "For now, work on the plans for the baby's safety. You and Mac can debate it when it's time." He nodded, going to work on that. "And do your homework."
"Yes, Daddy," he quipped.
Horatio smiled and shook his head. "There's worse kids to have as mine," he muttered as he walked toward the library.
"You could have Malfoy as yours," Harry joked.
"No, him I would've spanked straight a long time ago."
"That's an idea," Ron joked, grinning at Harry. "He obviously wants you, Harry. He's always focused on you and wanted to be you. You should try that."
"He might like it," he said dryly. "No idea why...." Horatio helped him up and walked him out back to talk to him about those things.
Ron looked up. "Thank you, Merlin," he called. "Someone has to talk to the boy about girls and things. Even if I think he's gay." He went back to his potion while their shared son giggled at him. "He probably is. Doesn't get a thing about girls, Timmy. You'll do that better than we will. Hermione warped us but we'll try not to let her warp you too much." He beamed and settled in for Alexx to read him another story. He pointed at the next one and grunted. "That's his version of please."
"He can't say please yet?" she teased, tickling his stomach. "Can my baby say please?"
"Now!" he said with a bright grin.
Ron coughed. "Manners, Tim."
Tim pouted at her, making her cave and get another book. He grinned again. "We'll teach you those important words soon, Timmy," she promised.
"He leaned no pretty fast when he did it anyway and nearly drowned in the park," Ron said dryly. "We had a talk about no after that. He learned." He went back to his stirring, frowning at what they needed. "Why do we need gall? Harry, we need gall!" he yelled.
"Kitchen," floated in from the back yard.
Ron got up to get it and came back out with the next few things. He got to work on the next few things he'd need. Potions was so much nicer without Snape, even if he was still nearly failing.
Alexx let out a squeal as Tim started to float, grabbing at him. "What are you doing?"
"Trying to get away from the nasty diaper," he joked. "Harry, your son needs changed." He came in and hopped up to grab him, taking him to change then handed him back to Alexx when she pouted. Harry went back outside with Horatio. "Good, he's learning too," Ron joked, getting back to his homework. Harry would do his sometime soon he was sure.
Alexx looked at the baby. "I thought they were joking, Timmy."
He patted his butt. "Bahbah." He grinned. "Mum!"
"No, I'm not letting you help me brew things, Timmy. You try to put them in your mouth," Ron said patiently, getting back to work, shaking his head slightly.
"All babies do it. Even my two did," Alexx assured him, cuddling Tim. "One of these days you're going to go too high and they won't be able to catch you. Then what?"
"We have brooms for those moments and Harry's a great flyer," Ron said dryly.
"You fly on brooms?"
"Yup." He grinned. "Harry's a peach on a broom so we can catch him. Even when he does swim to get away from us." He got back to work and she picked up a new book to read to the baby. He mentally smiled. Looked like they had another babysitter too.
The holidays eventually came and it was a fun time for the baby. His first Christmas and he soaked up all the attention and presents he could pout his way into. Eric was joking about him pouting at strangers when they didn't give him presents but that was to be expected from Eric. Calleigh had finally been let in on the secret so she had chipped in too. Plus she had brought her dog over to play with Timmy a few times. He loved the old dog. He tried to ride the dog but the dog didn't really mind. Harry minded, but he had bad experiences with dogs so they calmed him down and let the baby go back to playing. In truth, everyone was enjoying Tim's first holiday. Even Stella and Mac had come down. Ron and taken Mac to the actual study in the house, which no one else ever seemed to use, and talked about the baby's security with him. Mac hadn't been happy that a *kid* was challenging him but he could see he knew part of what he was doing so he was gentler on him when he explained why he had changed things. Then Ron countered why he had changed them back. They came to an easy friendship within an hour.
Harry was still bouncing around the house in worry but everyone was letting him get it out. Better a bouncy Harry than a frustrated Harry that would make them decorate the new tree *again*. It would be the third time, and after the second, Horatio decided that Harry being bouncy was just fine and made the others agree. Yelina and Ray Junior were over too. They were enjoying watching Timmy suck up to people and the dog, plus hoard his presents. Stella was teasing Timmy with a package he hadn't opened yet, making him squeal and reach and get very frustrated. He didn't cry but he figured out how to walk to chase her down. She didn't even mind when he tripped and landed with his head on her chest, joking that they were a good spot for that. Mac had blushed at that but let it go since she didn't seem to care. Though the dog decided to follow Timmy around just in case something happened to him. He didn't want his buddy hurt. Calleigh cornered Horatio to talk about what she could do to help. He pointed her at Ron and Mac, who were chatting over cocoa in a corner. She presented herself and demanded the right to help. They both smiled and went over what her place would be if they had to leave the baby to go fight suddenly.
Harry smiled at Remus when he came in. "You're finally here?" he teased.
"Finally," he agreed, giving him a hug. "Godson?" he called. "Come say hi."
Timmy squealed and came running out to clutch his legs. "Mus!" he said happily, beaming at him. "Prez!" he shouted, pointing.
"Ooho, did you get presents?" he teased, picking him up to kiss him, carrying him back in there. The dog following gave him a look. "I'm his godfather, Dog. It's fine." The dog continued to stare at him.
"Holster!" Calleigh called. "Down boy. He's allowed to take the baby." The dog laid down and continued to watch Remus.
"Maybe he senses your wild nature," Harry teased with a grin.
"Could be. Wouldn't be the first." He settled in front of the couch with the baby, who was showing him all his presents. "You cleaned up," he teased, handing over one from his pocket. "This is from me and the other doggy, Uncle Sirius." The boy beamed and hooted, waving it around before ripping it open with his teeth. He beamed at him for the books, putting them with the other toys in his collection. "You definitely cleaned up, godson."
"Did my Mum send me a letter?" Ron called.
"It's in my bag, Ron."
"Thanks, Remus." He went back to helping Calleigh and Yelina. They had decided on Yelina's house because Horatio had already shielded it to protect his brother's family. She nodded, getting it and letting it go for now. "With any luck it'll be late summer. Right before school starts again," he told her quietly.
"I can handle that." She patted him on the head. "You're pretty smart for being so young, Ron." She walked off, going to get more punch and get the baby some to share with his uncle. "Here, for the baby," she said with a smile.
"Thank you. I didn't meet you last time."
"Calleigh Duquesne. I work with Horatio and used to work with Timmy." She walked off to talk to Alexx, who was sniffling. "It's all right. Maybe you'll get to see him have kids now."
She gave her a look. "Don't wish early kids on him."
"Please," Harry agreed from his seat. "I don't want to be Grandpa Harry and I doubt Ron wants to be Grandma Ron anytime soon."
Ron looked over. "I'll get you for that later. Expect it, Harry."
"Mum!" Speed yelled.
Ron sighed, looking at the baby. "Yes, Tim?" He waved a new present with a grin. "What's that one?" He took it to check it, because he knew if he didn't Harry would snatch it and do it for him. "It's fine. You can open that one too." The baby beamed and opened it with his teeth, cuddling the stuffed animal in there. Harry grinned at him. "You hush. You tested all the presents in the house already, Harry. Go fret outside or something."
"It's his first christmas," he protested.
"Then calm down, Harry." He went back to the plans for the final battle he had going. The guys in England were sucking at it apparently. Mac agreed with him, sneak up on him when they were doing something else to get their attention. So that's the way he was going.
Harry frowned at a present coming out of the fireplace, getting up to get it. "From your Auntie Hermione, Tim. I'm not sure if you remember her." He sat down and tested it, frowning. "Guys?" he called. Horatio and Ron came over. "There's no way this isn't charmed." They opened the present, finding it being a charmed farm set with play animals that danced around and called their animal sounds. "I'm sure that's educational," Harry joked.
"Probably," Ron agreed, frowning at it. "Why does the barn have a clock? Do they usually?" Harry shrugged. "Check it for hidden spells, Harry. That's not a Hermione present." He checked the wrapping paper. "Not her handwriting either. It's too flowy." He let him see it.
Harry cast the discerning spell, finding what they had both sensed. "Nothing succeeds like success," he muttered, picking it up and carrying it off, even though Tim took a cow to play with on his way past. "Sure, you can have it back once we clear the portkey off it, Timmy." Remus gave him a horrified look. "Linked to the clock." He took it into the backyard and got to work unraveling just that spell with Stella's help. Finally only one sheep wasn't working right but the spell was gone. So he brought it back inside, letting Timmy put his cow back and poke the non-moving sheep. "I think that's one's asleep, son." Tim leaned over to play with the rest. He smiled at the worried looking adults. "Timmy is floo listed so the family could get us."
"Which makes sense," Alexx agreed. "It's probably not that they found where he was?" Harry shook his head. "Good." She checked the wrapping paper. "No address."
"He's lazy, not that dumb," Ron assured her. "He did the same thing to Harry during the tournament."
Harry nodded. "I'm still going to get in a good few hexes for Cedric too." He sat down again, smiling at his son. "Can I come play, Tim?" His son beamed so he came over to help him play with the animals. He was hoping his son remembered this when he was older. He needed his son to have many happy memories if something happened to him.
Ron nudged him and handed over some punch. "He's not going to live with your aunt. Mum would kill them and take him," he said simply, going back to his fun. Horatio and Stella both played chess very well and enjoyed having a challenge, finally. The look on Mac's face when the pieces beat each other made him giggle. "That's wizard's chess," he said fondly. Alexx came over to look, watching the game progress. His knight took Horatio's queen, making Ron blush when his knight decided to stroke her before knocking her down and dragging her off by her hair to have his way with her. "Sorry, Horatio."
"Don't be. I'm sure many knights did that when they captured queens and princesses." He smiled at him. "Checkmate," he said after making his move. Ron looked then grinned at him. "You do make me get better at it, Ron."
"True. I try." He reset the board. "Anyone else want to play?"
"I'll try," Mac offered. "Standard rules?" Ron nodded and they made careful first moves. Mac knew how Ron planned and Ron knew how Mac planned but Mac pulled out a move he hadn't seen before. He grinned. "Created by a Russian chess master."
"I'm not near that level," Ron agreed. "Yet." He got back into the game. He figured out how to defeat the board and it was nice. They came to a draw. Either one moved and their king was defeated. "Pyrrhic victory." He shuddered. "Sorry." He reset the board and Mac smiled at him. "It'll be fine."
"I'm sure it will be. Remember, it's not just you three anymore, Ron."
Ron smiled. "Which is a nice change. Really," he quipped.
"Can I smack his headmaster around?" Alexx asked Horatio.
"I still want to shoot him. Get yours before I get mine," he quipped back with a small smile. Timmy was playing with a new present and Harry was organizing the books onto the shelves for him. "Tim, where did that one come from?"
"Ron's parents," Remus told him. Ron came over to get his letter and went back to his game while reading it. It was a good holiday party.
Harry was wandering around that night when he heard Remus talking with someone. Clearly Timmy since he was talking to him and no one was answering. He went to peek in on them, finding him before the floo. "No way," he said, walking in. "You're not taking him home."
"Dumbledore wants to see him," he protested.
Harry shook his head. "No. My son doesn't go into a war zone, Remus. There's no reason for Dumbledore to see my son. He doesn't like my son."
"He does, Harry, he just thought you were too young."
"Are you under an unforgivable?" he demanded. "You wouldn't let Dumbledore near him either."
"He explained things to me, Harry," he said patiently. "I'll bring him right back."
"No. He's not leaving the house. I don't want my son anywhere near Voldemort. At all. I don't care if we're in a fortress that's guarded by everything in the world. I don't want him near Voldemort."
"I'm taking him to the headmaster, not the Dark Lord, Harry," he said impatiently.
Harry took his son back, putting him on a couch. "Then Dumbledore can explain himself to me first," he ordered. Remus looked stunned. "You know very well I don't want that war anywhere near my son. I can and will give him what my parents couldn't give me, peace and safety." He stepped closer. "If we're going, we'd best go now." Remus sighed and set the portkey for traveling. Harry glanced at his son, giving him a gentle smile. "Go wake Mum up, Timmy," he called, waking him. "Go wake up Mum," he said as he disappeared.
Timmy scowled at the empty spot, heading up to wake up his mum. It wasn't right that Daddy had left him this time! He pounded on his door until Ron opened it, giving him an odd look. "Mus! Daddy!" he said, pointing.
"What did your father and Remus do this time?" he asked. Timmy spit. "I warned you about that." Timmy shook his head. "No, I didn't?" Timmy made begging noises and pointed. "Fine," he sighed, following him down there. He found the library empty. "Where did they go?" Timmy spit again. "Tim!"
"I think he said they disappeared," Mac said from behind him. He looked at Tim. "Did they go bye-bye, Tim?" He nodded and pointed at the spot. "I think they went for a trip."
Timmy looked at Ron. "Hat!" he said, pointing at his head. "Hat! Bahbah!"
"Bad hat?" Ron said. Who wore a hat that they and Tim knew? "Dumbledore?" Timmy nodded. "Shit," he said, handing Mac the baby. "Let me get dressed and we'll see what's going on. I have a scrying spell set to Harry. Put him back into his crib please? He couldn't have gotten out alone."
"Mus!" Timmy called after him.
"That explains why he didn't send Sirius," Ron said grimly, going to put on more than a pair of boxer shorts. He came down and found Stella and Horatio both up too. "Could be a false alarm. Could be Dumbledore wanting to see Harry."
"Could be something else," Horatio told him.
"Then again, we're paranoid," Ron agreed, getting into the spell he had set for Harry. "Before anyone asks, Hermione did it." He set it off, watching as Harry's picture appeared and it was clear he wasn't with Dumbledore. Unless Dumbledore had taken up with snakes. "That's the snakey one."
"It's good to see you back in England, Harry," Voldemort said. "Though I did want your son."
"You get my son over mine and everyone else's dead body," he sneered.
"That can be arranged."
Ron passed out things. "Set to appear with Harry. Came in handy a few times really." They made sure they had things, including Mac having a few guns. Horatio called Eric right before they took off. There were still people in the house who could watch Tim for a few minutes. Ron landed behind Harry, casting a shield spell on instinct. He handed Harry something. "Yours I believe."
"Thanks, Ron." He looked behind him then at Voldemort. "You wanted a battle this way? That's fine." He shot something at Remus, waking him up from the trance he was in. "Morning."
"It was an imperious," Ron assured him. "Scram, Remus. You're in the way this time." He gave him a look and Remus managed to get away from the death eaters around him. He took off running. Ron stopped the ones going after him and cast a reflection charm back for the crucio someone cast. "Fat chance."
"Your time in the US has matured you."
"I was mature before," Harry said dryly. "Shall we go now or later? I'm tired. My son keeps me up."
"Yes, your son. Such a precious little thing." He crushed something in his hand and nothing happened. "How?" he demanded.
"I'm a bit paranoid, Tom," Harry said, sneering at him. "Of course I found the portkey. Dumbass." He cast a hex and the battle was on. "Ron, make it safe for a clean up crew!" he ordered. "Stella, right side! Mac, help Ron." He and Horatio moved forward, making the Dark Lord back off. It was not going well for him. He saw Draco sneak in and didn't nod at him. Draco stabbed the Dark Lord and Harry cast the killing curse. He looked at Draco. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He pulled his wand. "Crucio!"
Horatio deflected it back at him and cast another hex, rendering him mindless. "I think that's a better thing for you." He shot hexes at the others in the room. Then he turned to find Harry getting sick. "It's a natural response, Harry." He walked over to help him.
Ron came jogging back. "Ministry's here, Harry."
"About time," Stella complained, pushing her hair back. "Is that all of him?"
Harry looked at her. "They raised him before, Stella. We have to make sure they can't do it again." He looked at the aurors coming in. "Morning." He walked over to the body and stared at it. "Hermione!" he bellowed. "Bring me the blue bottle please!" She brought it to him at a jog. "Thanks. It'll work?"
"It'll work, Snape said it'll work, Harry." She looked around. "There's a few moving," she told an auror, pointing. They went to bind and carry out the remaining death eaters. She looked at the muggle among them. "Hello, I don't know you," she said, wand in her hand.
"I'm going to turn into him some day," Ron said with a grin. "Mac, this is our friend Hermione. 'Mione, this is Mac Taylor. He's a Marine."
"Charmed," she said, shaking his hand with a smile. "Ron, there's still about sixty of the nasty buggers left. One of them has Sirius. We were going on a rescue."
"We had Remus with an imperious," he admitted. "Wanted Timmy. Oh, they sent Timmy a farm animal set in your name with a portkey."
"Charming. I bought him a few books." She smiled. "I'll send them later today. It's been ghastly recently." She smiled at Mac. "It's not going to be pretty. You can come with us. The others as well please. It's going to get nasty in a moment."
Horatio looked at her. "I know what that is, Miss Granger."
She smiled. "You must be Horatio. Harry and Ron have told me about you." She walked the others off, letting Harry uncork the bottle and pour it on the body. It bubbled, fizzed then they ran like hell when it exploded. She beamed. "I do like that one."
"Hermione, you're scary, take off the psychic mimicking charm," Tonks told her. "Please? Before you really turn into Harry and Ron."
Harry looked at her then knocked her out. He walked off shaking his head. "Sixty more?" he asked the head of the aurors. "Let's go. I want my godfather back. He has to spoil my son with a present. Timmy demands it." He walked past him, going to find the others. He ran into Dumbledore, staring at him. "I'm staying in Miami unless Horatio throws a fit." He walked around him, heading to the others. "Tonks, I need a placement please?"
"Fat chance, Harry!" she called.
He looked at her then at Ron. Then at Draco's body. He cast something and it came up where he had been. "Hmm. Ron, they're at your place."
"Coming, Harry," he said, jogging over. They disappeared and the others could follow if they wanted.
"I thought you were kidding about them jumping in," Mac told Horatio, who shook his head.
"No, I can't joke that well. I'm going to paddle Harry tomorrow." He took Mac with him. At the very least he was invaluable as a planning helper. The american aurors gave him odd looks. "Here, he was a Marine, give him to Jethro and Tony." He went to get into the battle, giving the odd house a fond look. "Not much has changed since I warded it the first time." He rushed in to help the boys, knocking out the last of the death eaters. "After you're ungrounded, we'll see about getting you boys higher levels of hexes. Especially if you want to be an auror."
"Our potions grades suck," Ron reminded him. "Mum, this is Horatio. He's been watching out for us."
"I'm going to skin your hind end for jumping in that way, Ronald Weasley!" his mother shrieked from where she was bound.
"Uh-huh. Where's the others?" Ron called. Harry disappeared after getting Bill free. Ron mumbled something and took off with the disk he had made so he could track Harry. It was safer if he was with Harry at the moment. His mother couldn't reach him for a few hours.
Horatio got her undone. "I was going to go for paddling them black and blue then grounding them. Would you like to add to it?"
"Please!" She clutched his arm. "How is Timmy? Is he all right? I've been dreadfully worried that Ron couldn't help Harry enough."
"Harry does quite well with him," Horatio assured her with a smile. "Plus a few of my coworkers have adopted the whole family to fuss over." She smiled at that. "Tim got enough presents earlier that he was lording over them with a friend's dog. He's a very content, smart little boy."
"Good," she said happily. "Now they can come home."
"Actually, I think Harry intended to stay in Miami." She scowled. "He wanted his son to have some peace from the people who'd hunt him down, Mrs. Weasley. Plus, Ron's the only Weasley who's ever been at that school."
"That works better for him?" Bill asked. Horatio nodded. "Then I can't complain much. Miami's a great school, Mum. Much harder than Hogwarts."
"The headmistress there wanted to skin yours," Horatio told her.
She huffed. "We'll see." She walked off, going to help the others who had been held in her house.
Harry walked into Haven after a long day at work. "Ron." He came out of the kitchen with a ten-year-old Timmy and his sister Diana. Diana had come from Harry getting drunk one night seven years back. "I just realized we're all but married."
"Took you long enough, Harry. Really." He walked back into the kitchen. "Come on. Your father's an idiot so he's ordering dinner," he said dryly. He shook his head, making Tim giggle. "He is."
"Yup. He didn't realize it when you two started to sleep together in your senior year?"
"Apparently he thought I stuck around for you two and the good sex." He shrugged. "Who knows with your father, Tim. I swear he's the most clueless being ever." Harry walked in pouting. "How did you figure it out?"
"The HR department over the aurors wanted us to update the paperwork."
"Hmm. Someone asked why you didn't claim me as your husband?"
"I'd say wife," Harry teased. "After all I bugger you, Ron, not the other way around."
"Eww," Tim said firmly. "Take it to your room."
"Behave or no going to play with Ray Junior's kids this weekend," Harry shot back, giving him a look. Tim pouted but nodded. "Thank you." He looked at Ron. "You couldn't tell me?"
"Why did you think I stuck around?" Harry pointed at the kids. "You know I hate wife beaters, Harry, but now and then I seem to find an exception for you." He smacked him on the head. "Dumbass." He walked off shaking his head. "Order dinner. By the way, you missed our anniversary, Harry."
Harry whimpered, sitting down. "I'll call Alexx to see what I should give him." The kids laughed and gave him a hug. They loved him even if he was still clueless about people.