Harry and Draco came out of the hotel the holiday convention was being held at, waving back at their escorts. Draco was still subdued but he was back to his old persona, without the insults against non-purebloods because Xander got him on the head for that a few times. Harry looked at Draco. "Knight bus?"
"Why?" He pointed. "An auror is waiting on you."
Harry grinned. "Tonks. Here to pick us up?"
"Both of you," she agreed. "Draco, your mum is waiting at the school. Harry, so's Lupin."
"That's fine." They got into the ministry car, letting it take them back there. The flying car was fairly nice.
Draco looked around it. "There's days I miss the SUV."
"I can't imagine him getting that heavy thing to fly," Harry said.
"True but it was very comfortable."
"Plus it had the playstation back there," Harry agreed.
Tonks gave them a look over her shoulder. The driver was ignoring them. "SUV?"
"Xander has a stretch Range Rover." She whimpered. "The back was set up like limo seats and had a tv with a game system hooked up."
"They folded out in case he had to camp," Draco told her. "Plus he had emergency packs in the trunk."
Harry nodded. "Very amusing the day we cleaned those out."
"Dean's no longer tossing a fit," Draco said casually.
"Which is a good thing. I didn't think even Sam was going to get him calmed down after the wills came out."
"True. Who knew that a demon could claim you that way."
"Hmm." He grimaced, looking at Tonks. "They can claim you if they're scrying you and you don't catch them three times. Then you get to beat them up until they leave you alone. Xander had that happen a few times. He was not amused."
"Dean wasn't amused. Sam wasn't amused. For demon hunters, they were throwing hissy fits instead of going to deal with them," Draco said.
"They were already dead."
"Forgot about that," Draco admitted.
"You've changed," Tonks told Draco.
"I do try to stay interesting," he offered with a smirk.
"Good idea." She smiled at the boys. "You guys get all the right training in?"
"Plus some other training," Harry agreed. "We even caught up with the homework. We scried the classes to see where they were before the holidays."
"Good job," she praised. "How do you do that?"
"I can teach you," he promised with a smile. "How's Professor Snape?" She went pale. He stared at her, something he had learned from Xander. She shrugged. "It's good he's better."
"He is. Saw him recently."
"Even better." They landed in front of the school, getting out and grabbing their new trunks. Xander had let them charm them to be bottomless and hold everything he had bought. They carried them inside, looking at the waiting headmaster. "Sir." He hugged Remus. "We had a lot of fun during our training."
"Good. Did you keep up with your schoolwork?"
"Plus learned a lot of other things," he agreed happily. "I even have pictures of me on one fo Xander's horses." Remus grinned. He walked him to the conference room. Draco was being nagged by his mother. "He was very polite. Xander said to tell you he was an excellent student. He helped him a lot and Draco helped Xander as well."
"That's good to know," she said, sounding cool and collected. "I still would rather not have had my son taken that way."
"You'd rather the treatment I was getting here caused me to explode and send the whole school into a begging frenzy?" Draco asked her. She gasped. "I was about there when he stepped in." He sat down next to his head of house. "It's good to see that you're fine."
"I am." He smiled slightly, getting a nod back. Harry grinned at him. "Your potions?"
"I've brewed with Xander. Plus I was learning the wandless magic they had there, it had a lot of potions as well, Professor. Even though I'm not in your class he did make sure I was proficient. In areas he lacked he sent us to a coven of witches locally who did things to help around town."
"I trust it was satisfactory?" McGonagall asked as she walked in.
Harry opened his trunk, digging down while trying to get the letter.
"In the top pocket," Draco said dryly.
"Thanks. Forgot where I put it." He tossed it to her before closing and locking his trunk again. "That's from Xander on the studies and what the witches taught us."
She read it over, handing it to Snape, who nodded at the points. "Those potions do work?" he asked his student.
"I tested them, they do work," he agreed. "The calming potion tastes better than ours does too."
"Good to know. I'll want samples."
"I have them in my bag," he assured him. That got a nod. "Somewhere Potter has a lot of books they gave him."
"Some very handy things." He grinned. "Including one for Hagrid on other animals he might not have seen. It's ancient and describes some that have died out."
"I'm sure he'll appreciate that, Mr. Potter," McGonagall agreed. "Are you better?"
"As long as no one tries to herb us ever again, we're both perfectly fine and can control ourselves."
"Good." She looked at Draco. "The ones who cursed you are not happy at the moment. They were punished."
He looked at his mother. "Really?"
She glared. "It was for your own good."
"It nearly caused me to lose control. Then what would the Malfoy reputation be?" She looked away. "As I'm now a legal adult, let me make myself clear. I belong to no one but myself. Only I choose who I sleep with and who I give my affections to, Mother. No matter that you wanted an arranged union."
"I feel the same way," Harry agreed. "When and if I find boyfriend or girlfriend it will be on my own terms and by my own choice. Not forced by someone who wants to own me."
"Well stated," McGonagall agreed. "I agree with that sentiment whole heartedly."
"Good, then keep the ones who offer to keep us away please," Draco said, taking out a letter to hand to his head of house. He read it and his lips tightened before handing it over. "I'm not a party favor to be given away."
She read it and looked at him. "I will not allow that to happen, Mr. Malfoy. It's wrong of anyone to try to keep you against your will." He relaxed. "We will do what we can to shelter you while you're in school. If you should need the herbs to control a surge in the future, only Madam Pomfrey can give them to you." They both nodded. "The house elves all know that the list of herbs is not allowed near you two. There will be no more incidences unless it comes from another student. If that should happen, the punishments are going to be very severe."
"May I see that letter?" Narcissa asked. McGonagall passed it down to her. She read it then looked at Draco. "That would be a beneficial match, my son."
"I'm not a party favor, Mother. If I want someone to breach my arse, I'll ask them myself." He stared her down. "You can quote me as well." She backed up at that, looking alarmed. "We've both seen what happens to those who are kept as pretty playthings. I'd die first." Harry nodded, brushing some of his hair back. "You should have gotten a haircut before we left, Potter."
Harry shrugged. "I'll have the person in town trim it the next time I'm down there." He looked at McGonagall. "We're both very good at controlling ourselves now. Unless something happens, there shouldn't be any surges or anything. Draco and I can use the Room of Requirement to practice?" She nodded. "Good. Are we in our dorms?"
"No. It was considered safer to move you down to a more secure room," Snape said. "That would put you in my territory however. You can protest."
Harry looked at him. "I trust your students enough to not worry about them for the most part, Professor. Cunning and evil are two different things." Snape looked impressed at that reasoning. "It took a bit but Xander did point that out to me." He looked at McGonagall then pulled out the books in his pocket, unshrinking them. Draco let out a moan of distaste. "This way they know," he said with an evil smirk. "Look what's in their realm."
She looked at the cover of the one on top, giving him a horrified look. "I knew they had books on us but all these?"
He nodded. "The last one did give me some good ideas. I need to see if they're correct in what they foresaw."
"Indeed." She flipped through them. "Do they get harder as they go on?"
"They're meant to age with the reader. They came out one a year until book five if I heard right."
She nodded once then put them into her pocket once they were shrunk. "I'll see if the last book has the correct ideas, Mr. Potter. That way we can work on those issues. Does it mention this problem?" He shook his head. "Even better." She stood up. "Let us get you to your room. Do you need to do any shopping in Diagon before you formally return? We can do that today."
"He could use a haircut," Draco said dryly. "Xander made sure we had appropriate clothes, Professor. For every situation."
She smiled. "He did seem a bit fashionable even wearing leather."
"He likes leather now and then. It helps him when he's battling demons." He stood up and grabbed his case. "Lead on, please. Remus, can you take me to get my hair cut?"
"Of course, Harry. That way we can talk in private." He smiled and the boy grinned back. He and Narcissa had to wait in there but that was fine. It looked like Xander had done the boys good. They looked like normal, happy boys and Draco's mouth had been tamed. Harry and Draco came back ten minutes later. "Ready?"
"Unpacked?" he asked.
"No. I'll do that later tonight."
"The house elves can," McGonagall told him.
"I should since I've got some silk shirts I have to fold carefully." She stared. He smiled. "Xander's. He was cleaning out his closet. They're very comfortable." He walked Remus off, talking quietly about what he had done while there. The beach made him laugh but that was fine. Remus was an adult.
Draco looked at his mother. "Are we going?"
Draco looked at his professor, handing him the bag of potions. "Those are the ones they taught us." That got a nod. "Plus an extra something in there Xander sent back for you." He left, escorting his mother out properly.
Snape opened the bag, finding the locating charm laying on top, smirking at the boy's cunning. There was no way his student was going to be taken against his will if he had his way. He went to test the potions. Their calming one did work much better.
Harry got a letter the next morning, frowning at it. "Why?" he muttered, sipping his tea. "Headmaster, I've been summoned to the Ministry about my parents?"
He took the letter to look at. "I have no idea why." He handed it back. "We'll make sure you get escorted."
"Thank you." He looked at Draco, who shrugged. "How is your mother?"
"About the same as usual. Trying to convince me to marry for the family's good." He ate a bite and chewed. "I almost miss Xander's cooking."
Harry smiled. "He is an excellent cook." He dug in and went to clean up, coming back dressed in one of the silk shirts he had gotten off Xander and some of the dress pants he had been given, plus dress shoes. McGonagall brushed some lint but smiled and nodded her approval. "Xander does love to shop. It takes time and fussing so he wears himself out a bit more."
"The man shops more often than my mother," Draco agreed.
"It does help with stamina," Harry pointed out.
"I realized that the day I didn't collapse afterward." He finished up. "Do I have anything to do today?"
"Finish unpacking," Snape told him. He nodded and left to do that. "Mr. Potter, you'll be going with me."
"That's fine, sir." He handed Hagrid the book he had in his pocket, unshrinking it for him. Then he handed Professor Snape one. "The potions book they were teaching from. Draco has his copy and I got an extra one for you, sir."
"Thank you." He flipped through it, finding that calming potion. It wasn't that much different, basically given in a different order. "I'll go over some of these later for inclusion." It got put into his robe pocket and he wiped his mouth, following the boy to the entry. "You have your wand?"
"Yes, Professor." They walked down and used the portkey that had been included to get to the Ministry. Harry registered his wand and took the little pebble they gave to guide him. He had no idea who wanted to see him. That's why he was shocked to find himself in Fudge's office. "He wanted to see me?" he asked the receptionist.
"He does, Mr. Potter. Go right in."
Harry walked in after tapping on the door, looking at the Minister for Magic. "You needed to see me, Minister?"
"Mr. Potter. It's good we finally meet in person." He walked around the desk, looking him over. "You look very nice."
Harry stared at him. "Thank you. My trainer likes to shop. What did you need to see me about?"
"Your future, young man. It has come to our attention that you are now of legal age to be taken as a special friend."
"Yes, but I'm not looking for anything like that. A true relationship but only with someone of my own age."
"There is much that can be gained by going outside those bounds."
"Nothing that I need."
"What about wants?"
"I have everything I want, Minister Fudge. I'm not going to give myself to anyone as a toy."
"You are because I can make it illegal for those with your problem to not be mated."
"Then I'll go proposition someone today." He shrugged. "Or I'll go back to my trainer's and have him guard me. Demons are probably going to be better for me." Fudge sneered. He looked at him. "Minister Fudge, what makes you think I would take you up on that sort of offer? I've barely begun to date. I'm certainly not going to tie myself to someone just for political gain when I could care less about politics or power. Now if you'll excuse me I have to make sure I did keep caught up with the other students while I was off for training."
"I heard about him."
"I doubt it. The demons tell some of the most made up crap about Xander." He smirked. "Or did you hear how he had destroyed multiple demon realms when someone tried to claim him as theirs?" Fudge went pale. "I'm very certain I'll have to turn down your generous offer, Minister Fudge. I'm not interested in the same things you are." He walked out. He saw an pair of aurors walking toward him and hoped they weren't there to stop him. No such luck. "Unhand me. I'll not be the plaything of the Minister!" He got free and kicked one on the leg to make him not grab his hair. "I'll be damned and eaten by demons before I let that slimy bastard lay his hands on me against my will!" he said firmly. He stomped off. They tried to stop him. He kicked their butts, showing he was trained by Xander and Dean and Sam. Plus a bit from Ryan thrown in. He sneered. "Whoever I go to will be by *my* choice, not Fudge's. I'd never touch something like that. It'd make me ill." He walked off. He realized he had been sounding a lot like Draco in a snit but that was fine. They'd understand that. He ran into the professor down there. "We need to go right now," he said calmly.
"Minister Fudge is trying to make me his concubine by force." Snape shuddered. "I had to defend myself against two aurors. Can we please leave?"
"We shall." He created a portkey and they returned to the school. He watched the boy run for the safety inside, shaking his head. "So it's begun a bidding war."
Harry ran into Draco. "Minister Fudge tried to make me his by force."
"That's a disgusting thought," Draco decided. "Thank you for the warning, Potter."
"Welcome. Watch out for aurors too. He tried to have two stop me from getting away. I've got to write thank you letters to Ryan, Dean, Sam, and Xander for working on my self-defense." He walked off, going to calm down. Or rant and rave in his room.
Draco looked at his head of house. "Fudge actually tried to keep him?"
"Indeed. He seemed a bit panicked."
"I heard something interesting." He walked his head of house off to the side of the hallway. "Why did Potter not hit puberty until late last school year?" Snape looked alarmed. "Apparently he didn't. That's when these surges and things start. I read those books. Were they correct possibly?"
"I have no idea. I was not informed of such things."
"Would it be possible to use that knowledge to protect ourselves?" he asked quietly.
"It might be," he admitted. He went to talk to McGonagall. "Those books?"
"If they're half correct, Dumbledore is in for a world of hurt," she said firmly.
"I had no idea Mr. Potter was so delayed."
She grimaced but nodded. "I thought it odd but we've had late bloomers before, Severus."
"For the same reason?"
"If the book was correct, it's a possible reason," she agreed. "What happened?"
"Fudge wanted to keep him. He had to get free of two aurors to get out of there."
"Interesting. We'll be on the watch for it." Severus nodded so she handed him the first book. She wasn't done with the second yet. He walked off to read it in his study. That might give him a way to protect himself.
Harry appeared for dinner that night. He had been summoned actually. The headmaster said he wanted to see him at the meal. He noticed the smug looking Minister sitting there. "I'm not getting near him. He tried to force me into sexual slavery for his pleasure." The teachers all gasped. He glared at the Minister. "Everyone else has learned what the word no means. Perhaps you should look it up?"
"You're sounding a bit like a Malfoy," Draco taunted.
"I realized that earlier. I think it's because I'm pissed enough to call down demons to eat him."
"Xander said that might result in you being kept."
"As long as he's dead, I can get free of them too."
"Good point." He sipped his pumpkin juice. This would only be mildly amusing to him until it was his turn to be forced upon.
"You are?" Fudge sneered at Draco.
"Much too high born for one such as you," he sneered back. "Though I do agree. Only we have the right to say who we sleep with."
"I can make things very uncomfortable for you both. Including taking the Malfoy fortune since your father escaped."
Draco shrugged. "I can still marry well out of the country. That way I don't have to live with the shame of my relatives any longer." He smirked an evil little smirk. He did it so much better than Xander did. "Of course, you could be charged with attempted kidnaping as well. Mr. Potter is an adult and only he can say who he sleeps with. If he said no and you try anyway that's kidnaping and attempted rape." Fudge went pale. "That would not be good for your career, would it?"
"No they wouldn't. There'd be a wonderful state funeral," Harry assured him. "Anyone who touches me against my will I will destroy. Quickly and with a lot of screaming if I can." Fudge got up and backed away from him. Harry kept his spot. "I don't want you. I'll never want you no matter what you try. But you trying will give me cause to put this all out in the open in the papers when I sue the Ministry." Fudge stomped off with his aurors. He smiled and waved at one. "You could use some bruise cream." The auror sneered. "I learned from three demon hunters." They ran from him. He sat down. "There, now that the nastiness is out of the way." He looked at his head of house. "I'm finding myself stressed. Let me go to the room of requirement and work this out of myself. I'll have a snack later if no one minds?" She shook her head quickly. "Thank you." He left to do that.
"I had no idea the boy had a temper like that," she said calmly.
"He can burn hotter than Weasley but he usually picks a better target," Draco told her. He heard a small explosion and sighed. "I thought Xander had gotten that under control for him."
"He leaks?" Snape demanded.
"He did but the witches helped him with that. We should make sure we don't have to tell anyone they need a state funeral." The headmaster rushed out to check. He heard the scream and walked out, finding Harry behind him. "You?"
"No. I didn't summon that demon. Why are you here?" he asked it.
"We want you. You would make a good pair of pets," it said with a bow.
Harry pulled his gun out and shot it. "No, thank you anyway. Thank you for defeating the evil one who wanted me as well." He left, going back up to the room of requirement.
"Drama queen," Draco snorted. "He learned that off Sam." He walked off again, going back to dinner. McGonagall stomped in. "We did not summon him."
"Why would he come for you two?"
"Xander's highly wanted by them. He's the highest level you can be plus a former hunter. They think I'm splendid to look at and Potter might have some skills." She went pale. "They'll be stopped. Xander will stop them. He has most of them who try to come for us. He's destroyed sixteen of the nineteen major clan heads in the last few years because they tried to have him."
"We did learn how to protect ourselves." He nibbled on a roll. "He'll be fine once he vents." Dumbledore stomped in. "Xander will be stopping that one tonight I'm sure."
"I do not think he is a role model you think he is."
Draco stared at him then laughed. "It's not his fault people and demons want him. He does try to control it. That's why he's got two very tired boyfriends and two dogs that get played out every day. Plus the occasional protector when his boys are too tired. And horses that he rides every day." He took another nibble. "They want Xander because of his level and because he used to hunt. They want Harry and I because we're young and pretty. They don't see us as a threat. They'll be stopped fairly quickly since neither of us are that wanted." He finished his roll and got another one then dug into his real meal.
"He had a gun," McGonagall said.
"Sam and Dean taught both of us how to use them. They use them when they hunt demons. Xander's more crossbow and sword oriented because that's how he was trained. Plus you can hide them easier when you shrink a sword down as a hair ornament." Snape stomped in. "Is he going to be all right?" he asked facetiously.
"They should all be fine. The new aurors would like to talk to Mr. Potter about that."
"Neither of us summoned him. Frankly I don't know why his species would want us. They're not compatible with humans." He waved a hand. "He's in the room of requirement stressing out."
Snape went that way to interrupt him. Harry nearly jumped when he walked in. "Aurors," he said plainly.
"Bugger them," he muttered. He stopped stretching and stood up, grabbing his sword. "C'mon then. Let's go finish this bad idea off so I can get back to my normal life." He walked outside, looking at them. "I did not summon that demon. He wanted me as a shelf trophy but I did not summon him."
"Why would he know about you?" Kingsley Shacklebolt asked. He was the head auror.
"Our trainer draws them. Often. He destroys them just as often."
"Trainer for..... Do you know how to use that sword?" he asked. Harry beamed and nodded. "Why did you have that special trainer?" Harry held up his wrist so he sniffed, moaning a bit. "You're one of those."
Harry nodded. "I am. Earlier today Minister Fudge tried to get me to be his. I refused. I walked off. He had two of your aurors try to stop me. Thankfully our trainer is a demon hunter and had his other two demon hunter students in as well. Plus his part-time protector who is a high priest to Ares, God of War." He stared him down. "I'm very sorry they needed bruise cream."
"I'm not. You should be able to get away," he said. "Then he was here?"
"To try to claim me again. He stomped off when it was pointed out that trying this was attempted kidnaping with intent to attempt rape." Shacklebolt shuddered at that. "I went up to the room of requirement to practice and the demon apparently decided he wasn't worth the trouble of arresting if he tried again. I did not summon the demon. Did not ask it for a favor. I did thank it for hurting him for me when it did, but I also reminded it I'm not going to be it's playtoy either."
"Their kind isn't compatible with humans," Draco said as he joined him. "He wanted us to stare at, Potter."
"Still not my thing."
"Heard your father was arranging you a spouse," Shacklebolt said politely.
"I've got a less intense version of what Potter has. No one touches me against my will." The auror stared, mouth slightly open. "The only one invading my arse is one I'll pick."
"Fine. That's good to know," he said quickly. "You didn't summon him?" They both shook their heads. "Thank you, boys. Try to stay safe."
"We have it under full control as long as we're left alone," Harry said firmly. That got a smirk and a nod. "Unlike before we went to Miami." He went back inside. "Draco, are we sparring tonight?"
"Please no, not that," he said blandly, glaring at his back.
"Fine. I'll be done with the room in an hour if you wanted it."
"I might." He watched him go then looked at the auror. "You can tell my father that if you find him."
"If I find him, I'll gloat at him for you, boy."
"Thank you." He walked off. "Pity, no state funeral to give us a few days off school."
"He's a bit icy," Kingsley told McGonagall.
"I think half of it was an act. He's only had bread since he saw."
"That's a good sign then. Keep them safe. He's probably in more danger now."
She smirked. "I have no doubt they trained him in how to handle himself as well."
"A high priest to Ares?"
"Xander took his training off realm a few times. One of his friends traveled with him for safety I'm sure."
"That makes more sense. I know Mad Eye said the boys were happy there. Playing and laughing but still getting some studying and some subtle lessons in."
"Harry can ride a horse as well."
"It might come in handy if he had to so he could escape." He gathered up the rest of the mess and went back to the office to file the report. Fudge would probably seal it so no one would be able to know he had gotten so desperate but that was politics.
Hermione walked into the school, finding Harry waiting on them. "Harry! We were worried when you weren't on the train." She gave him a tight hug. She smiled, looking him over. "Are you better?"
"I'm in better control," he corrected. "It never going to go away, Hermione."
"I know that now. I'm sorry."
He smiled. "I know. We saw." She swatted him on the arm, earning a smile. "What was that for?"
"For spying that way since I can't do it back."
He smirked. "I can." He waved at the staring Ron. "What? Am I leaking?"
"No, you're nearly mythical. Dad had a good laugh about the demon coming to save you from a life of slimy sex."
"Well, yeah. But that's happened a few times." Ron rolled his eyes but gave Harry a hug too. "Thanks, Ron. Dinner. C'mon, I'm starved."
"Haven't you been eating?" she demanded as they walked.
"Of course I have. But I slept through lunch today." They nodded. "I'm not in the tower anymore, Ron, but you two can come down to my room whenever you want."
"I'll take you up on that, mate." They walked in and a few students stared but he ignored it. Some of the girls liked to stare at Harry. "So, this Xander guy was good? You had a lot of studying time?"
"And a lot of fun time. He made sure he balanced it out for us. We even spent time on the beach." Hermione smiled at that. "Bikinis are very nice to look at." She spluttered. "We were in Miami, Hermione. We had to be taught why half of the women looked unnatural."
She wiped her mouth off. "Bikinis now?"
He found his pictures in his pocket, handing them to Ron. Ron nearly drooled on them. "No warping them, Ron." He went to the next one and it was nearly as good. He did laugh at the picture of Harry up on a horse but that was fine. "I learned how to ride. Xander has them. That one's actually his friend's trained war mare."
"War mare?" Hermione asked. "How did he get a war mare?"
"Some barbarians took Ryan, Xander, and Horatio because redheads were incredibly rare on their realm. Horatio's got flaming red hair. The other two were considered good to sell. Xander got them free of the barbarians with some help from Ryan, then they took them to a small village to wait to get home. There was a bunch of Greek temples. Ryan trained at the temple to Ares. Xander did too, but Ryan's a high priest. She's his horse."
"I see. How long were you there?"
"The same amount of time I wasn't here. Some realms do run on different time codes but they matched pretty well."
"That's good then." She looked him over. "You're pressed."
"All our stuff got sent to the dry cleaner before we came back."
"Xander was being fussy." She smiled. "We had a lot of fun." He took the pictures back from Ron, handing them to her. She clucked at the bikinis but she had probably seen worse on some of the beaches in Europe. They went topless there. "Dean took us to the beach when we needed to be less socially redeeming, his words."
She smirked. "So he got you to play?"
"He did. Plus play Xander's Playstation and all that good stuff. I was getting fairly good at it."
She handed the pictures back. "What else did you learn?"
"We learned from some wandless witches in a coven there. They taught us some of their potions and ways. I learned a lot from their books as well. I learned I had a lot of stamina I need in a battle because Xander taught me sword and battle axe work while Dean taught us shotguns, handguns, and machetes. Xander and Dean went over strategy. Sam taught us how to identify demons and deal with them when they popped in for no reason. The last time we got taken by some, Xander nearly destroyed the whole realm itself instead of just the demons. They were screwing with his bank accounts though so he was justified." She was looking stunned. Ron too.
"I increased my stamina a lot. I leaned a lot about myself. I learned how to shop better definitely. Xander spends some of each week shopping so he can fuss at people and to take up some of his spare time that he can't kill another way. I learned a lot of lessons that were very subtle. Like Xander showed us how to appear calm when we're not by example. He did a lot of that when people pissed him off. We were there when some gay bashing idiots tried to gas the house so we were at a hotel for a few days. Fortunately the demons who want Xander decided the officers and others were bad people so they took them to teach them better. I'm told they're still in therapy." He licked his lips. "I learned a lot from him that I can't really put into words but I know I learned something."
"Guns?" she squeaked.
"Sam and Dean use them to hunt demons. Xander uses them to protect himself from the demons. And the occasional piece of artillery." He frowned but cleared it up. "Oooh, someone gave him a pet tiger cub a few years ago to try to get his favored attention."
She scowled. "Did it get sent back?"
"He found it in a warehouse he lets them drop things off at and take them back when they realize he's not interested. She went to a local zoo. We visited and they said she's very happy there. A few years back, when they were all taken to that redhead's are sacred realm, another one of us they found there got given elephants. Two of them. They're happily at the same zoo." She shuddered. "They wanted him to return some day."
"I see. Did you get those sort of things?"
"No. I think the biggest thing I got is someone human gave me a very pretty choker. Apparently he decided I needed a collar but Dean had a talk with him and he ran off. Left the state totally. He didn't want it back so I can sell it when and if I need cash or give it to a future daughter."
She blinked. "Excuse me?"
He nodded. "If he doesn't take it back I can't do much else with it, Hermione. It'd look crappy on me."
She blushed. "I suppose it would. You're a bit different, Harry."
"And I sound like Malfoy when I'm pissed." Ron choked. "Sorry, but I do. I realized that when I was chewing Fudge a new one."
McGonagall came down. "Children." They smiled at her. "Mr. Potter, the house elves were concerned that they couldn't get into your trunk."
"They won't be able to. I'm keeping it under a locking spell, Professor. I've got pricesless books and other things in there." She nodded at that.
"Plus apparently some people wanted him and gifted him but wouldn't take it back even when they were run off," Hermione told her.
"I've heard that happens. Do you need us to safely store anything like that, Mr. Potter?"
"I might. I have it stored in there in a magical bag." She nodded. "But do tell them to leave it alone. My clothes are all unpacked already."
"I can do that. They did say you had a very nice looking suit."
"Xander was cleaning out his closet and gave it to me. He was too bulky for it now. We had it tailored in case I needed one for something." He smiled. "I look very good in Armani."
Hermione gasped. "Armani?"
Harry nodded. "They know Xander by sight." He grinned at the professor. "I figured I might need it some day."
"You might. I'll let them know that and come down to see those later on." He nodded, letting her go back to her seat. She stopped by Professor Snape to lean down next to his ear. "You might ask Mr. Malfoy if he's hiding any presents or reparations later, Severus. Harry has been. That's one reason why they can't get into his trunk." He nodded, letting her sit back down again.
Harry let Hermione and Ron into his room, plus the transfiguration teacher. "Let me pull the trunk out." He pulled it out from under the bed, undoing the lock spell and opening it. "Let's see. Books. Wicca books. Bookstore books." He dug down farther, nearly falling inside.
"Is that bottomless?" Hermione asked.
"Yup." He came out with a bag and tossed it at her then another one, tossing it at Ron. Then a third got tossed to the teacher. "Theirs are holiday presents."
Ron sat down to dig into his, smiling at that. "They had chocolate frogs?"
"To them we're a book. They had all sorts of merchandise. I thought that might amuse you."
Hermione looked at hers, smiling and kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you, Harry. I do like the outfit."
"It's a fairly long dress but it looked comfortable at the store." He looked at the stunned teacher. She was petting the pretty things. "That's one thing I was hiding." He started to pull out books to put on his desk. Hermione looked at them, frowning at him for some of them. "To learn demonology better, Hermione. It's a classification manual."
"I see that."
"Just in case so I can identify whatever when something comes." He pulled out his fun reading books. Then his other books, putting them aside. He muttered as he nearly crawled into his trunk to get the rest out, dropping them onto the floor.
"Harry, treat them better," she complained.
"There's no room on the desk," he pointed out. He found three last ones and dropped them out too. "Oh, the journal I did while I was over there. You can read it." She sat down at his desk chair to go through that. He looked at the professor. "For all that he's fashionable, Xander is quite a nerd now and then," he explained.
"I can see that. Were those his?"
"Mostly. Someone called a watcher gave them to him and Sam. He can't use them. Oh, I found the rite they used to resurrect him and it has two very good counters if we can do that."
She gave him a hug. "That's a bit of hopeful news. I've showed Albus that last book and he did say he did have those things. That they got that part right."
"Then we'll take that into account." She nodded, bundling the jewelry back up. "I can keep it in there."
"I'll lock it in my office safe. That way you don't have to worry about them, Mr. Potter." She patted him on the cheek. "It is good to have you back." She left, going to put those up. Not even Dumbledore could get into them.
Hermione looked up from her reading. "Xander shops a lot."
Harry laughed. "It takes some of his time. His boys complain when new things show up in their closets but they understand."
She smiled. "They sound like they're happily together." She went back to reading.
"He's got two blokes?" Ron asked. Harry nodded. "Why?"
"He loves them and it helps him wear himself out," Harry said simply.
"Do you need that, Harry?"
"I need a boyfriend or girlfriend but I'm still looking, Ron. Why, you offering?" he teased with a grin.
Ron blushed. "Not like that, but I'll support you getting buggered if you want," he taunted back. "Want Bill? I'm not sure but he might like boys."
"Bill's very cute according to Xander, but we'll see about that if I don't find anyone else. For right now I'm handling it okay." Hermione squeaked. "You might want to skip the convention, yeah." She flipped head, only skimming. She hit him on the arm. "Ow! What was that for?"
"Show girls," she said bluntly.
"They were very pretty."
"Not really. That's a job like any other. Though I'd imagine the shoes would hurt. High heels and heavy costumes." He shook his head before sitting up by his pillows. "So, how was your hols, Ron?"
"Pretty good. Mum was worried. She nearly suggested I use veritaserum on you, Harry." Harry just grinned. "Show girls?" he mouthed. Harry pointed at the book, getting a nod back.
She looked at them again. "He pounced in front of you?"
"He was happy. He's like that. When he's backed up he sometimes forgets to wear clothes, Hermione. It's not like they invited me to help."
She blushed. "I'd hope not." She went back to her reading. It had been a good time by what she was reading. She found a picture. "Who're these?"
He leaned over. "Dean's on the left, Sam's on the right. Horatio is behind Sam. His husband Timothy is beside him. Xander, Danny, Don, and Ryan are in the front between the two groups." She nodded, going back to it. "They're all very nice people. Horatio is a CSI."
"A criminalist?" she asked. He nodded. "Hmm. Interesting." She went back to her reading, finally handing the book to Ron before he snatched it from her. "It sounds like you had fun. Did you keep up with your studies?"
"We scried the last day before the hols to make sure we were up to date," he assured her. She smiled and left, heading back to her room. "When did she turn into a scary girl?"
"I don't know," Ron admitted, looking up the hallway. "But she clearly is." He waved it. "Can I take it back with me?"
"Go ahead. I've got to sort out the books." He nodded, leaving Harry alone to sort out things. He found two that he knew weren't his, taking them down to Malfoy's room. He found Pansy in there and walked around her, handing them over. "I think Xander meant for you to have those."
"I was studying from them. Thank you, Potter."
"Welcome." He left again, heading back to his room. He found Snape in there. "I ended up with two of Draco's books. I was giving them back."
"I was sent by the headmaster to look at the books you brought back." Harry waved a hand at the stacks. "No organization?" he sneered.
"I just pulled them out, Professor. I was going to do that before going to bed." Snape huffed but looked them over. "That's a classification manual in case something else shows up." That was confiscated. "It doesn't have how to summon them, just how to defeat them if I should need it." It was handed back. "Besides, I don't like demons that way. I need someone my own age who can understand me."
"Good luck finding one. They're all shallow at your age."
"Some are, some aren't. I'll find someone eventually." It felt very strange talking about this subject with him. Snape did confiscate one book but Harry had already read it. "That's one I've got for reference, sir. I've already been through it." His teacher glared. "Not my fault. It was a fascinating look at that set of skills. Plus it has how to undo the resurrection."
"I'll look that over and give it back."
"That's fine. It's on page twenty-eight if I remember right." Snape nodded and left. Harry piled his books in a better order beside the desk and settled in to read one of his fun reading books. He deserved it.
Snape saw the boy the next morning come storming in. "Not have a good night?"
"No, for some reason someone was in my room and stole half of my fun reading books and about a third of the others, plus about nine-tenths of my clothes," he said blandly, glaring at McGonagall.
"It was not me."
"You can find them so I can beat their arses," he pointed out. She blushed but nodded. "You can tell whoever to give the books back too." He looked at Snape. "I came to you because I found this in the bottom of my closet." He handed over the torn badge. "It looks like it ripped on the door since there's a screw sticking out."
"Interesting." It was his house's badge. "I will look for those things, Mr. Potter."
"Thank you, Professor." He went to eat, finding Hermione there. "Someone broke into my room."
"You're supposed to be more secure down there," she complained.
"I know." He settled in to eat.
"Mr. Potter, why are you not in uniform?" the headmaster asked when he came in.
"Because someone unkindly broke into my room and stole them. Be thankful I have more than lounging pajamas left, Headmaster." The headmaster glared. He stared back. "Along with some of my books. I'm very glad anything expensive was being stored by someone else." McGonagall choked but calmed herself. "At least I have clothes left," he said dryly. "And they make me look good."
Hermione nodded. "They do make you look good, Harry."
"Thank you." He dug into breakfast, following McGonagall out when she motioned him to. She cast the charms on his closet with Snape coming to check over her shoulder. All his clothes were found in Slytherin, some in fairly bad shape because they had been cut up. Nothing expensive, just his school uniforms. She glared at the students whose room it was while Harry got to watch her chew them a new one. They wouldn't admit to having his books. He summoned them back, finding all but one came. That one he summoned specifically. They heard a crash up the hall and it came floating in anyway. Harry carried them off, going to lock them in his trunk again. Then stick his trunk in place. Just in case they came back. He came back to McGonagall's classroom. "What am I doing about my uniforms?"
"You can wear decent enough clothes until this weekend. We'll let you go to Madam Malkin's then, Harry."
He nodded. "Thank you. Has Fudge tried anything like confiscating my vault?"
"Not that I'm aware of. I'll check. Do you have your key?" He pointed at Dumbledore's office. "You're an adult, why does he have it?"
"No clue," he admitted. He went to class, shaking his head at Hermione's look. "Totally trashed my uniforms."
"That's a very US turn of phrase," she teased to make him lighten up.
"I did enjoy my time over there. Maybe I'll go work on Xander's farm when the war is over with." He settled in, Professor Flitwick was staring at them. "Sorry."
"No uniforms still?"
"They decided to rip and cut them up, Professor. Professor McGonagall said I could get more this weekend."
"That's acceptable." He walked up to his podium. "Does anyone remember what we were doing before the holidays?" Harry raised his hand. "Mr. Potter."
"I scired and it said the Intellos charm, Professor."
"Can you cast it?"
"Not very well but I can try." He cast it on the student in front of him, who started to babble. He removed it, looking at the professor.
"Not bad, five points, Mr. Potter, for keeping up with the rest of the class even though you were in another realm." Harry grinned and he got back to teaching about that one. It was a very useful charm when you wanted to know something from someone. Like your girlfriend was the example he used. Some of them got the point they could use it on others when they needed information. Then he taught the counter to it. They practiced for a bit, letting him watch the trio together. Mr. Potter seemed very relaxed but something told him the boy was ready to snap on someone.
Harry walked into the bank with Ron. Professor McGonagall had sent them together for protection. He presented the key she had gotten from the headmaster. The goblin looked at it then at him. "I'm Harry Potter."
"I recognize you. Someone has tried to get into your vault recently, Mr. Potter. Would you know who?"
"I had to tell off someone about not becoming their plaything. Since he's high in the ministry it might've been him. Otherwise, no. No one should have access but me since I'm eighteen."
The goblin looked at him. "You are, aren't you?" Harry grinned and nodded. "Then we need you to fill out some paperwork before you do your shopping."
"That's fine. Why did my headmaster have my vault key?"
"The Ministry put it into his control at his asking since you went to a muggle family."
"I see. Thank you. Which office?" The goblin escorted him over, handing over the key. "I was told I had some paperwork to fill out now that I'm an adult?"
"You do." He looked at Ron. "You wish him here?"
"He'll hear anyway if I have to rant."
"As you wish." He found the proper file and handed it over. "We had not realized or you would have done this before you started school this year." Harry nodded, reading over the simple forms and only handing two back. "There are problems?"
"No one has access to my funds but me," he said. That got a nod and they were changed for him. "Can you tell if anyone else has been into my vault beyond my school shopping needs?"
The goblin looked at him. "Why do you wonder?"
"The headmaster kept my key even when I was in school."
"You were not old enough to act on your own behalf."
"I was seventeen last year. I could have then. From what I learned when I asked one of the Slytherins I could have had control of it at sixteen."
"He asked for twenty-one. The courts gave him until you were eighteen."
"Why?" Ron asked. "That seems dodgy."
"We were not privy to that discussion, just the judgement paperwork." He let Harry finish signing and reading, taking one back. He looked it over. "Yes, that is worrisome."
"No, I won't sign that," Harry said.
"I can agree with that. Those were his conditions, not ours."
"I'm over eighteen. He has no right to control or demand anything."
"No he does not," the goblin agreed. "Let us get an accounting for you." Harry nodded, appearing relaxed. "It is not a worry."
"My last teacher's bank had a problem with a demon that kept stealing his money to make him come to him for favorite concubine status."
"They cannot do that to ours. Who were you training with?"
The goblin blinked. "That explains much." Harry grinned. "The problem that you thought it might be?"
"Fudge wanted me. I said no."
"We will be watching for that sort of situation. Let me get an accounting." He took the papers with him, going to talk to their head goblin. He had to know that Harry was one of them. They came back together with the accounting. "Mr. Potter, a question was raised. Which reason did you go to train with him?"
Ron shut the door and leaned in front of it. "I'm a level eight GHS," he said quietly.
The head goblin nodded. "That makes sense with the contract Dumbledore wanted you to sign."
"He can blow me," he said bluntly. "I'm not his either. I'm my own man now."
"You are," the goblin agreed. "Who has his inheritance and one from your godfather."
"Won't his remaining family protest?"
"No. They were not given the chance to," the head goblin said, coming over to go through that with him. Harry relaxed and they smiled. "We do have certain safeguards in place so things that happened to your teacher can't happen here," he said once they were done. "There is no way a demon can get access to our vaults. They cannot drop off or take away from them. We also have a special desk for when the ones like you get presents that you do not want."
"McGonagall has those for me," he admitted. "In her safe."
"We'll talk with her if you wish."
He shrugged. "I was going to keep them in case of emergencies."
"That's wise. Gems do not often lose value," the head goblin agreed. "We also have a vault monitoring service. It has a small fee but it would let a goblin take care of paying bills and things if you do not feel you can do so yourself."
"As long as I stay worn out, I'm good with that," he admitted. That got a nod. "Thank you for offering though. If I need it I will come ask."
"Excellent. Now, this accounting was as of yesterday. We did one when someone tried to gain entry without your say so. The vault was coded to only let you in until you decided who had access on midnight of your birthday."
"Decent," he agreed with a grin. He looked it over. "I thought it was higher when I was younger. That could have been size differences but was it?"
"A bit bigger. The yearly fees were taken out. Your own school shopping dented it some. This withdrawal was for your tuition?"
"We pay tuition?" Ron asked, looking confused.
"We only pay it once during our school career?" Harry asked. "The day after I got stolen during the TriWizard tournament?"
"That was an odd one to us as well. Your guardian did so. That was the entry he put."
"Hmm. That's a lot for tuition." They nodded. "Can it be investigated?"
"We did but with that reason it was overlooked mostly."
"It won't happen again," Harry told them. "No one has access to my vaults without a letter and my key or me personally. Once I've got a permanent keeper I might change that."
"We agree." Harry shook their hands, going down to get into his stash. He came up and took the goblin with him, who stared at the vault. "That was not on the accounting."
Harry looked down at him. "I figure someone's got a bit of a math error?"
The head goblin shook his head. "Give us ten days to investigate it, Mr. Potter." Harry got his coins out, letting him count them to make sure it wouldn't be counted as part of the theft. Then he and Ron went to the store. His head of security came down to look, walking off grumbling to check the other vaults. They would get it back. Goblins still had warriors. It'd be back by that night if they had their say.
Harry walked Ron into Madam Malkin's, getting a shocked look. "Some nasty little Slytherins took my uniforms to rip up, Madam."
"Lets get you refitted then, Mr. Potter. Mr. Weasley, did you need more as well?"
"I'm here to guard Harry thanks to McGonagall."
"We'll stop in on the twins and the sweet shop on the way back," Harry said with a grin.
"Thanks, Harry." He watched while they got him new uniforms, letting Harry pay for it. A quick stop at the sweet shop and they went to the twin's store. "Morning," he called into the back.
The twins jumped in the lab, coming out to stare at them. "You're back," one told Harry.
"Xander lives in Miami. We spent some goofing off time at the beach. Bikinis are very nice," he told them. They smirked back. "How have things been?"
"Mostly the same," Fred said.
"The Order's still working," George added.
"Nice?" they asked in their usual style.
"Not to date but a few very good friends."
"Good," they decided together. George got Ron something. "For Granger. She asked."
"Why?" Ron asked, looking it over. "Which twit was bothering her this time?" Both twins shrugged. "Fine. She owe you?" They shook their heads. "Decent of you. We stopped in on our way back to the school. The slytherins decided Harry didn't need uniforms."
"I look better in these clothes anyway," Harry pointed out. They all laughed. "I guess they wanted to stare." He looked at the twins. "Nothing's going on?" They shook their heads. "Good. I may have some things that can help us. Including a way of tracking types of magic through the whole pool of it." That got a happy smile. "And how to counter a resurrection. That book nearly got confiscated but I've already been through it."
"Very good," Fred agreed.
"Hope it works soon," George agreed.
"To make things end..."
"Soon as possible," they finished.
"He wanted Harry as his butt slave too," Ron said. "Nearly got beaten to death for it."
The twins stared at Harry, who nodded. "He did."
"Mum know?" Ron asked.
"I'm not getting your mother in trouble, Ron. She'll kill him." Ron nodded. The twins did too. "You know, Ron offered me Bill as a boyfriend," he teased.
"Bill's not particular but he likes them older," George said.
"Pity," Ron decided. "Harry could use a good sort to have as his own." Someone walked in. "Can we use your floo?" They nodded. "Thanks, guys. See you in a few months if you don't pop up for a weekend in town." They left while the mother was helping her daughter decide what she wanted. They got back and Ron presented Harry to McGonagall. "No problems," he said happily. "Stopped in to use the twin's floo even."
"Good. What took so long?"
"Paperwork at the bank," Harry told her. "Including some very bad contracts put into it." She grimaced. "Do we pay tuition?"
"No. Why do you ask?"
"Someone withdrew a large amount from my account for tuition the day after the last challenge of the TriWizard tournament."
She stared at him. "Who?"
"The one who had the key and got my vaults put into guardianship." She shuddered. "You might tell him they showed me that, ma'am. It's done but it won't be done again." She nodded at that. "Thank you. Let me go put these up." A house elf appeared and took them from him. "Sure, if you want to, Dobby."
"Dobby likes to put up Harry Potter's clothes. Harry Potter has many soft ones."
"I do," Harry agreed with a smile. "I'll sort out the dry clean only stuff for you guys."
"House elves can do that too," he assured him. He took them to the boy's room to put them up. The soft things were missing. He brought them back and put them back into the closet for him. Then he put a tracing tag on all of them. A few things were still missing so he found them as well. Plus all of Malfoy's stuff. He didn't like Malfoy but apparently Harry Potter did so he would try to be nice to him and his things.
Harry looked at the professor. "Did I miss out on anything while I was over there?"
"No, it seems you kept up admirably, Harry." Ron left them alone, taking his sweets back upstairs. "Would you consider that one?" she asked quietly.
"He likes girls."
"Oh, I see." She smiled. "I'm sure you'll find someone soon."
"I'm okay as long as I'm handling myself. It'll be fine. Ron did offer me Bill but the twins said he liked older sorts." She blushed, swatting him weakly. He grinned back. "I learned to do naughty very well." He stood up. "Let me go outside to enjoy the fresh winter air. Miami was very warm." He left to do that, finding some friends out there. "Hey, guys." They all smiled at him and invited him over. He kicked around a soccer ball with them, enjoying the playing in the weak sunlight. People would handle the problems going on around him. He could be a boy for now and then a boy warrior later.
Harry made it all the way to March before he had problems. He had avoided some herbs someone has put onto his bed. He had avoided it in his tea one morning. The one time they had managed to get him, he lost control during class and they never did it again. His bank account was fixed to his satisfaction. People were leaving his things alone. He had only gotten a bit frustrated with studying but he had managed to keep himself from exploding all over the library. Things were going well. So in March, when he got a summons from the headmaster he was a bit shocked. It was too early to be Voldemort. He hadn't felt him for months from his scar. He walked up there, using the password provided. He walked in the inner door and paused at the sight of the people in there. "We've had word?"
"He's not done anything recently and we're worried," Arthur told him. "The twins said you think you can track him?"
"I can track blood magic. I can track anyone who's accessed it if I have a feeling for them. I can try. I'll need to be outside the school's shields for a bit to do it though." They all nodded. "Let me get that book." It was handed over by Dumbledore. Harry glared at him. "That's not in there, Headmaster." Dumbledore flinched back. "Did you take any of the others perhaps?"
"I don't think that knowledge is needed in this school, Mr. Potter."
"Considering all but one of these books is in the regular part of the library?" Dumbledore went silent. "Mr. Weasley, let me get that book. I should know within an hour or so." He left, going to find it and the book with the scrying spell. He could use it here. He walked off shaking his head when Hagrid gave him a worried look. "Doing something for the Headmaster." He walked into the edge of the woods and settled himself down, getting comfortable on the ground. It was still a bit chilly but he had his cloak on. He set up what he needed, adding a few bits of blood while concentrating on the taint he carried in him. It showed him three sources finally. He marked down where they were. One was clearly not Voldemort but they had his blood. He canceled it, blowing out the candles. He found Mad Eye staring at him. "Who gave Molly Weasley some of my blood?"
"I don't know. Are you done?"
"I am. He's here," he said, handing over the notes. "The one that's not the Burrow." He stood up and gathered his things, walking up with him. He did turn and stun the creature trying to follow them.
"Good shot. Good to know you're staying in practice."
"I have to. People want me more now." That got a nod. They walked inside the castle and up to the headmaster's office, letting him in first. "Mr. Weasley, why does your wife have my blood?"
"She's working on a potion, Harry."
"Okay, I was wondering. I tracked the taint that my blood carries since taint goes both ways." They all stared at him. "It does. It has to displace and replace to create a taint." That got a slow nod from most everyone. "He's there." Mad Eye handed over the area.
"That's within ten miles?" the headmaster asked.
"No, that's where he was standing and peeing when I did the spell." They stared. "It tracked the blood he's spilled, which is linked to him by contagion." He let Arthur see the book. "He's there." He looked at Mad Eye, taking the other book back. "Thank you." He settled in to look over how to cancel it, letting him see it. "Can we do this?"
"Not in the middle of a battlefield, boy."
"If we had the potion part prepared, can we do that part, throwing it on him?" He looked up. "Or can we throw something on him that would knock him out so we can do the rest?"
"That's more doable." He considered it, looking at Kingsley. "Can we sneak up on him?"
"I hope so." He took the note, looking at it. "That really does work well to track." He went to find his loyal aurors to take to that location. They could scout it first and follow if they left to move their headquarters.
"Could he have tracked you back?" Dumbledore asked.
"He shouldn't have felt it. Even then, he knows I'm here, Headmaster. Where else would I be?"
"That's a good point," Arthur said. "Can we scry, Harry? Ron said you showed him you could do that."
"I need a good sized pool of water. I learned doing it on a tub." They went to the prefect's bathroom to scry. He kept it as light as possible. "If I get it any deeper he can hear and feel us," he said at the looks he was getting. Voldemort was ordering his people to start a raid tonight. They needed to draw Harry to them to defeat him. Harry smirked. He had learned how to do Xander's portal trick. He wasn't great at it, but he could probably send something. He waited until Voldemort was gone to send through the thing he wanted. Xander had given it to him in case it helped while they were in the middle of a battle. He tracked the planner to their ready room. They had the map and everything in there. He pulled the pin with his teeth once the small portal opened and dropped the hand grenade through. Then he closed the portal and watched the table they were on explode and injure the death eaters. He canceled it, standing up. "Kingsley was in position. I spotted an auror out the window."
"What was that?" Mad Eye asked calmly.
"Hand grenade. Muggles use them in wars." He smirked. "Let's make them a bit paranoid. Plus it broke up their plan to raid tonight." He walked around the staring people, heading down to his room to change. Xander was right, you needed special outfits to fight in. He grabbed his sword and gun once he was redressed, coming out pulling on his cloak. "Let's go," he told Mad Eye.
"There's no way," he started.
Harry paused to stare at him. "You can come or not. Ron, protect the school," he said when they ran into him. "They're planning a series of raids and the school was marked on the map before I blew it up."
"Sure, Harry. Let me tell the others." He rushed off to do that. "Harry said they're planning raids again," he said in Hermione's ear, making the teacher shriek at him. She nodded, getting up and following to get her DA coin so they could gather the others. "How would Harry have blown up the map?"
"Xander seems to know a lot about portals and Harry proved he can use one while scrying," she told him. "He probably did it that way."
"Good of him."
Harry and the others appeared behind the aurors, letting Harry look at them with an evil smirk. "Hand grenade to their planning map. It had Hogwarts noted and they were planning a raid in Leeds."
"Good work. Now what?"
"Now, they're running around expecting us. Let them calm down from the paranoia and we'll see what we can do." He patted himself down, then Snape down, finding the potion he had been carrying on him with him. "Thank you for holding that for me, Professor." He snuck closer, going nearly up to the house before pouring it onto the ground. Then he snuck back.
"What was that?" Kingsley demanded while the boy snuck off.
"A magic leeching potion," Snape said quietly. They all smirked at that. "It'll make it harder on everyone but mostly them."
"Excellent idea." Harry made it back. "Only the one?"
"I poured it next to the keystone for the house. Shouldn't that weaken any protections on it?" They all nodded, liking that idea. "So now we wait and we watch." More death eaters were appearing. And one figure he knew. "What is Dean doing here?" he muttered. Dean flashed a hand signal. "Oh, dear. Xander's spotted that it's going to happen. Dean's the forward scout." He waited while Dean let loose with his hormones, cheering mentally. Xander and Sam walked up to the front of the house behind him.
"Yo, fuck head," Dean called. "Pitiful and pathetic one!"
One of the death eaters came out. "Who are you?" he sneered.
"Xander, destroyer of realms." He smirked. "Come to challenge your putz because he's annoying me. I don't want to be annoyed today."
"Never heard of you." He raised his wand. His wand turned to ash. "How did you do that!" he shouted.
Xander snorted. "Really pathetic, aren't you?" They walked into the house and froze people, dragging out the one they wanted. He waited while the aurors got everyone else, letting them circle the field. He woke Voldemort up. "How pathetic are you that an infant beat you?"
"He had some strange protection." He stood up, looking around. "You will not take me alive."
"That's fine since you're not really alive," Xander pointed out. Voldemort pulled his wand. Xander raised his hand and it turned to ash. "Not looking forward to teeny, tiny stakes, dude. If you need one, that just proves you're pathetic."
"I can do other forms of magic, boy." He raised his hands. Harry threw the potion on him. Snape had been brewing it for months, he had found that out. Voldemort screamed as the potion burned him. "How dare you!" he shouted, turning to look at him. "Potter."
"Not a child anymore," he said dryly. He pulled his wand and hexed him, making him scream. "Sam, will that unresurrect work?"
"Did you get the other things?"
"All but his pet snake," Harry told him.
"Got her," Dean said. "She was freaky and trying to bite Sammy. Silver cures her too." Voldemort let out another scream of rage. "Dude, way loud and annoying."
"Very annoying," Xander agreed. "Harry? Or should I do to him what I've done to so many demons?"
"I can." He gathered himself and cast the killing curse, getting it right the first time. Voldemort went down. He saw the ghoul trying to form and got it too. Xander handed him something from the bag on Sam's back. "Capturing?"
"In case he got that far," he agreed.
The ghoul faded and the body fully died. Harry relaxed. Dean gave him a pat on the back, getting a smile back. "Now what?" Harry asked. "Do we bury him again to let someone else try sometime?"
"We'll be cremating him," Dumbledore said calmly.
Dean pulled out rock salt and lighter fluid, dusting the body liberally before pouring on the lighter fluid. Then a simple match was struck and the body went up. "There, bonfire of bad guy. Keeps all spirits from coming back too."
"That's the reason behind rock salt," Harry agreed with a grin.
"We taught you good, kiddo." He ruffled his hair. "Need a trim again. You'll make Xander fuss."
"He likes to fuss. It gives him great joy." He let Xander hug him. "Better than yours?"
"Cleaner than any I've been in," he agreed. He let Harry shelter against his side while the body finished burning. "There we go," he said when it was finally out. He looked at Mad Eye. "Need more help?"
"No, we're good. Are you taking Potter with you?"
"Do I need to?" He looked at Dean and Sam then at him. "Are others going to try for him?"
Harry looked at him. "You saw Fudge?"
"Yeah, saw him go down because the demon told us." He smirked. "Good job, Harry. Even if you didn't summon him." He walked him off, Dean and Sam following. "Sometimes things like this take brains, cunning, and a bit of hellmouth style magic instead." He tweaked the boy's nose. "Call us if you need us, kiddo. We'll show up. You or Draco. You know, you could take him in."
"I doubt he'd like that idea."
"Probably not. But it'd be safer for both of you if someone like Fudge tries again." Harry nodded at that wisdom. "Remember that in case it has to happen. Oh, left something for you at the school." He blew a kiss and they disappeared together.
Harry looked around. "I'm going back to the school if no one needs me? I'm a bit exhausted."
"Go," Snape ordered. Dumbledore was still horrified and shocked. "Take supper in tonight."
"Definitely." He left, going back to the school. The kids watching the entry stared at him. "Bonfire of bad guy complete." They cheered. "The others are being wrapped up now." They let him pass, letting him head down to his room. He changed and put those clothes carefully away. He probably wouldn't wear them again but that was fine. He laid down on his bed for a rest until someone pounded. "What?" he called.
"Are you injured?" Hermione demanded.
"No. I'm fine. Just exhausted."
"Good." She stomped off.
"She'll make someone a super fussy mum some day," he decided, letting himself drift off now. He was woken by someone coming into his room. His hand was on his gun before they more than got the door open.
"Hold on," Draco ordered. "Dinner." He handed over the tray. "The house elves wouldn't come in because you had weapons out."
"Xander decided some day we might have to protect each other, said to keep it in mind and he left us something?"
Draco grimaced. "He told me the same thing. It's in my room." He went to get it and brought it back. "He said it goes inside your trunk."
Harry opened it, looking at the box. "What is it?"
"There's a note, Potter. Read it," he snorted, leaving him alone. He went to celebrate with some of his house.
Harry nibbled his way through his dinner, enjoying letting his mind work without him for a bit. It could have nightmares about the last battle without his help. He'd worry about his soul turning black later. Someone else knocked. "I'm still dressed." Thankfully since too many people were coming to talk to him. Snape walked in. "Thank you for making that potion, Professor."
He crossed his arms so his hands went up his sleeves. "It was well worthy to do. Are you done with dinner? There are officials here."
"They couldn't send McGonagall? I seem to see you more than I see my head of house."
"She's presently berating some of them. As for other times, you're in my territory."
"I can understand that." He took one last gulp of juice, did a cleaning spell on his mouth, and they headed up there. He walked into the screaming match in the office. "Well, this is nice." Nothing. "People?" he called. No stopping the screaming match. He whistled. Nothing. "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" he shouted. That stopped them.
"Ten points from Gryffindor for that language," McGonagall snapped back.
He shrugged. "I tried to be more polite, Professor. You were too busy beating someone verbally. Should I step in to help? Spare your lungs for class?"
She smirked. "Smartass," she said.
"I did learn that as well." He looked at the huffy official. "You wanted to see me?"
"You're to be put under arrest for casting an unforgivable curse."
"How did you want me to end Voldemort?" he asked impatiently. "I could have stabbed him or shot him but that might have rebounded."
"Still. It is illegal."
"Then arrest me and we'll se what the Wizengomet says," he said simply, shrugging a bit. "Not like I give a damn if the rest of you die at the moment." The man stepped back, looking scared. "I've had about enough of Fudge and his minions of stupidity trying to make themselves looked more puffed up than they are. Even if we inserted an air hose up their arses, they still won't fly without a broom." He stepped closer, making the man back up looking even more scared. "You do realize you're getting me just hours after a battle to save your's and others' hind ends from that evil ghoul? And that most people after a battle aren't really considered rational? Especially after their first or second one?" The man shook. "I see you didn't. Feel lucky I'm going with logic instead of turning you into a greasy spot. If you wanted me to do it in a different way, then you should have stopped him yourself. You and the aurors didn't manage that because Fudge and others got in the way. So go after the ones who made it so an eighteen-year-old boy had to do it himself. Thankfully not alone this time." The man dove for the floo and headed back. He looked at McGonagall. "Can you come see what the present Xander left me does? I can't figure it out even with the note."
"I can do that," she agreed, walking him back down there. "Relax. That is idiocy and reaction, Harry," she said quietly.
"I know. I've seen it in action before when someone took Xander." She let out a small laugh. He let her into his room and showed it to her with the note. "What does it do?"
She tested it then smiled, letting him see. "It creates a small, localized portal to a demon bazaar it looks like."
"Brilliant," he said happily. She patted him on the head then left. "Why does everyone want to pet me like I'm the dogs?" he asked himself. He shook himself free. His mind was coming up with strange thoughts so he wouldn't have to worry about the war. He tested it. He could get through it. He came back out and shut the trunk again, putting it back where it should be. He decided to put his books up, laying them all in there beside the portal. Then his extra clothes. Including the outfit he had taken off earlier. Then he closed it up and put it back into its spot. He picked up a funny book to read again, trying to relax again. About the time he was ready to fall asleep someone else came to get him. He blinked at the headmaster. "More problems from Fudge?"
"No. He's decided to leave you alone, Harry. I thought you might want to talk."
"I'm fine. It wasn't my first fight, Headmaster."
"I know that but sometimes you need to talk about those things."
"That's what I have Ron for." He nodded, patting Harry on the arm before leaving. "At least it wasn't on my head." He felt woozy and grabbed his forehead. "Oh, that's charming." He grabbed his wand to cast a counter to whatever it was. His magic wasn't going to work this time. He couldn't quite figure out which end of his wand he held. He passed out still trying to figure that out.
Draco had seen it happen and sneered. "That's a fine reward," he said bitterly. He got Snape up there with a house elf while he watched. He pointed when he saw the Headmaster come back and them carrying Harry out toward the entry. "They drugged him," he said quietly. "Do something or I will."
"I shall." He went to intercept them. "Headmaster, is he ill? I know that potion can bother his natural magic as well if he got any on him."
"No, he's fine. We're moving him somewhere safer while the politics calm down, Severus."
McGonagall came out with her wand in hand. "Put the boy down," she ordered. "He's not leaving this school."
"I'm taking him somewhere safer," Dumbledore told her.
"I'm sure you think you are. I'm equally certain the boy wouldn't want that without his knowledge."
"He's a boy."
"He's eighteen. No longer a boy you can control. Put him down!" They put the boy down gently and moved away. "Mad Eye!" He came jogging out of the office. "Take Harry back to his room and guard him please?"
"Why is he knocked out?"
"I'm assuming someone drugged him." Snape nodded. "Who saw?"
"Mr. Malfoy sent me to stop them from making a grievous error."
"Good of the boy. Take him to his room, Alistair." He carried the boy that way with Tonk's help. "Out." They ran. She glared at Dumbledore. "He will destroy you if you hurt him, Albus. We all know that." She walked off in a huff to check her student. She quite liked his spirit and nature sometimes. "Is he all right?"
"Snoring," Mad Eye said. "Cute clothes."
"Xander shops for stress relief."
"I guess if you have the money to do it," he decided with a grimace.
"Harry said it built his stamina quite a lot," she said.
"Interesting way to do it." They were all alert when the hex hit them, knocking them out. Dumbledore took the boy with him to his safer place.
Harry woke up in a room without a door. "Oh, not this shite again," he muttered. He made himself sit up to look at the room around him. "Hmm." Then he smirked. Someone had left a hidden doorway. How nice of them. He got up and felt around it. Hidden by magic. He unraveled the magic in the room, making it reappear as it was. He walked out and found the people in the house. Including Fudge. Who was complaining the boy should be his. Harry let loose with his hormones. He'd had enough and it was time to make them sorry for coming near him. "No, no one can have me," he said bluntly. "I wish you people would know what it was like to have the same sort of problems I do."
A wish demon appeared beside him. "Just to have them wanted or to have them kidnaped like they did?" she asked.
He frowned, looking at her. "You guys can get here? I thought it was only in Xander's realm."
"No, we're multi-realm. Which way did you want it, Harry?"
"I want them to know what it's like to be wanted by something they hate and would rather die than accept," he said bluntly. "Like them." He walked off.
She giggled. "Wish granted, dear. Thank you." She waved a hand and the whole house howled as things that wanted them that they wouldn't want back tried to take them. She walked off happier. Harry was looking around outside. "You're in the Carribean."
"I've never been here before. Is my wand here?"
"I didn't feel a wand."
"Crap. Time to put theory into practice." He concentrated. Nothing. He looked around. It was clearly a wizarding village because the people on the beach were wearing robes. He walked that way, finding one staring at him. "Is there a Gringotts nearby?" She pointed. "Thank you." He walked in there, stunning the goblins. "Stupid fuckers kidnaped me as a prize for winning the war. Can I find a local travel agency and get enough out of my vault in England to get home?"
"Of course, Mr. Potter."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "You know me?"
"You've been in the papers. Your friends and teachers have been calling around to find you."
"Can we call them back maybe? Charge to my vault?"
"I can get the local Ministry here."
"Thank you." The goblin summoned an auror, who gasped when seeing him. He looked at himself then at her. "I know, the loincloth was in bad taste; I didn't dress myself. But the nice vengeance demon took care of that for me. Can you help me get home? I just woke up about a half mile away."
"Where? Can you show me first?" Harry walked her back there, letting her check the house. They were struggling with some nasty looking things. She came out green. "What did you do, Mr. Potter?"
"I made a wish." She went pale. "The very nice vengeance demon is showing them what it's like to be wanted by things that you don't want to have you. I think it's very kind of her to help me when I got myself free of Dumbledore."
"He's in there somewhere. The last person I remember seeing was him patting me on the arm and then I got really dizzy and passed out."
"I see. We can test you for that. Let me take you to the office?"
"Please. I'd like to get home to my own clothes." He shifted. "I don't mind bathing suits but loin clothes are a bit much."
"Someone probably had a jungle boy fantasy," she snorted.
"Quite possibly. I don't care because I don't want any of them and Fudge is about to get my foot up his ass for trying again."
"He did what?"
He smiled. "Kingsley Shacklebolt has the whole report, ma'am."
"I'll call him for you. Which department is he in?"
"Aurors. The head auror." She nodded, making note of that on the way to the office. He walked in and sighed in pleasure. "Ahh, air conditioning. I miss it from Xander's house sometimes."
"Where does he live?"
"Miami but in another realm. He's the one who trained me in my little hormone problem. He was there at the last battle as well."
She gave him a horrified look. "The demon destroyer was there?"
"He trained me," he said simply. "I hadn't known but he and his other two students showed up."
"Oh, dear." She took him to her boss. "Sir, look who Gringotts called to have us find."
"Where was he?"
"In a house with five or six other guys being tormented because Mr. Potter here wished them to know what it was like to be him. Wanted by something that they didn't want."
He grimaced. "Those poor men."
Harry shrugged. "They do it to me. I thought it was fair."
"It is, son. Go ahead and sit down. Make a report, Lalia."
"Yes, sir." She went to arrest them. It might help and save them some, but she could tell them that to get them to confess while her boss talked to Mr. Potter.
Harry stepped out of the floo, looking around Hogsmeade. "Nothing much ever changes." He walked off, shaking his head at the curious looks. "The Carribean that I saw was very pretty," he said lightly. He walked up to the school, finding someone waiting on him. "Hagrid." He gave him a hug. "Thank you."
"For not being like him." He looked up. "I met a vengeance demon. She seemed very nice and she giggled as well."
"You need a rest, Harry."
"I know. I'm heading to Madam Pomfrey. My rooms?"
"Still there. McGonagall's ready to spit nails." He walked him up to her, watching as she hugged him. "He said he met a vengeance demon too."
"That way people could know what it was like to be wanted so badly by people they don't want."
McGonagall winced. "That's a bit mean, Harry."
"They deserved it. I woke up in a loincloth." She shuddered. "The ministry's exam said I didn't get touched at least. Can I go nap in the infirmary to make sure I don't disappear again?"
"Please do. Your things are still in your room and no one else would dare touch you."
"Including the idiots who wanted to arrest me?"
"No, they were probably down there."
"I did see Fudge," he admitted. "The headmaster too." He walked off shaking his head.
"It's sad such a great man could be taken down by his lust for a boy," Hagrid said.
"Yes it is but it's better that he's having fun fighting off things down there than up here where I would strangle him." Hagrid smiled. "Thank you, Hagrid." He left her alone to vent again. She needed to be calmer. She knew she did.
Harry walked into the infirmary and hopped up onto his usual bed. "This way no one's going to steal me again," he said when Madam Pomfrey came closer. She ran her wand over him, earning a smile. "They checked, none of them touched me beyond redressing me in a loin cloth."
"That's why I had them check." He looked at her. "Draco all right?"
"He's fine. Still here. Ranting that you got stolen." She tucked him in. "You rest, Mr. Potter. Let us handle things." She went to make notes about what she saw. Hermione ran in but she stopped her. "Let him sleep."
"I'll guard him," she said firmly, getting free so she could sit beside Harry's bed. "Oh, Harry," she moaned quietly.
"The last I knew I wasn't your boyfriend," Harry said dryly, looking over at her. "Bedside vigil is a girlfriend thing, Hermione."
"Oh, hush, you," she said, swatting him.
"Ow," he complained, rubbing it. "Mean wench."
She gave him a look. "I am not."
He smirked. "Mean or a wench?"
"That's just a lady without manners," he teased.
"It's clear that you'll be fine," she said dryly.
He nodded. "This way no one else can steal me. Let them steal Draco a few times before they get me again."
"Snape's kept him in sight at all times," she reported. "That way he can't disappear too."
"Not my plan," he pointed out. "Anything new missing from my room?"
"I think Ron's taken a picture to scowl at while you were missing."
"That's fine." He yawned and flipped onto his side facing away from her. "I'll be up for dinner."
"That's fine. I'm here to make sure you stay here."
"I'm sure your classes are missing you," Madam Pomfrey stated firmly.
"He'll need protected."
"Young lady, I am a witch as well as a mediwitch," she stated firmly. "Out! Now!" She huffed but left. She rolled her eyes. "Some year she'll make someone a very scary, overprotective mother." Harry laughed but nodded. "I'll tell the rest to see you at dinner."
"Thank you." She closed the curtains around his bed and went back to her desk. Harry let himself doze for now. The trip had been a long one.
Draco walked up to Harry in the hall in front of their rooms, staring at him. "Why did they take you?"
"Fudge wanted me. Again. He even had a loincloth put on me."
"Eww. That's almost a fate worse than castration."
"The vengeance demon that made him know what it's like to be wanted by something you don't want was very nice," he said with a mean smirk.
"Xander warped you," he said bluntly.
Harry laughed. "Probably. Anyone try for you?"
"Snape said he got one offer but singed them with the howler he sent back to embarrass them. My mother has hopes."
"Aren't you old enough now to claim the Malfoy fortune?"
"Technically, Father has to be dead. Wanted and presumed dead isn't enough."
"They didn't capture him at the house?" Draco shook his head. "He was there, I saw him pop in."
"I'll look into that."
"Better you than him wanting another toy to prove his worth," Harry said dryly.
"My father wouldn't...." Harry gave him a pointed look. "Never mind, he might but we'd have to kill him for that."
"I'd have to kill him for that," Harry pointed out.
"True. Saves us some bloodshed in the family." He walked off happier with that thought, writing a letter to the aurors stating that Harry had seen his father at the house during the arrest. Not many could mistake Lucius, his hair was distinctive.
Harry went to lounge in his room for a while. Rescuing himself was hard work. No wonder Xander had so much stamina.
The day after graduation, Harry got three offers for lunch and two for dinner. He refused them all but Ron's, which he told he was going to do a bit of traveling. He'd understand. He put everything in his trunk into a bottomless bag Xander had given him then walked through that portal Xander had left for him. The demon bazaar was wonderful! He had no idea some of these things were around. His trunk would be sent to Ron in a few days. There were instructions not to lock or use it. He could wander from bazaar to bazaar until he got tired of being alone. Not lonely because he found an occasional companion now and then for some fun.
It was nice to travel and just be Harry. Even his hormones didn't cause him *too* many problems. Usually it was easily solved. Especially at the weapons bazaar. They treated him like the son of Xander for some reason. He guessed Xander had been there recently so he left a message with someone for him. He came out of the portal on his last day, looking around the trunk. It had things in it but the bottomless nature was working in his favor. He only had to think about getting to the top and then knocking until someone let him out since the lid wouldn't open from the inside. Ron opened it and stared in horror as he stepped out with his bags, putting them down with a grin.
"Harry, you barmy git, it's been nearly a year!" he yelled.
"Really?" He checked his watch. "Huh, only six months according to it. Must've been the time dilation." He got a hug from Ron and waved behind his back at Ginny. "Hi, Gin."
"Harry!" She piled on to hug him too. "How did you get up here?"
"The portal Xander left me is in my old trunk." He winked at her. "Went to a demon bazaar so I spent the last little bit wandering the bazaar and all the others it was connected to. They have some really amazing stuff. I even got to free a few of us who wanted freed." He grinned at Ron. "So, how's the Cannons?"
"You've been gone a year and you want to know about *quidditch*?" Ron demanded.
"I haven't seen a game in a while," he said dryly. He let Ron pull him downstairs to his mother's kitchen. "Hi, Mrs. Weasley."
"Harry, where did you come from?"
"The portal Xander left me after the battle was in my trunk. It went to a demon bazaar. I traipsed from one to another all around. The one in the Himalayas was very cold." He sat down, watching her. "What's been going on?"
"Fudge wants you dead for that curse," Ron said. "He got turned down by the Wizengomet when he tried to charge you. They said he deserved it." Harry nodded. "Dumbledore retired quietly just after graduation when he realized you weren't anywhere he could find. Supposedly to apologize." Harry grimaced but nodded at that. "Then there's been three small attacks but the people fought back. They're all gone. Malfoy is in control of his fortune. He found his father hiding and killed him. He floated his body into the bank to give them proof he was dead since they were being fussy about it and then to the aurors when one showed up to scream and rant at him."
"Draco simply shooed them off," Ginny agreed. "He's becoming a strange git."
"He's finally free. Now he has to figure out who Draco is, not Daddy's shadow Draco was."
"Maybe but he's still being a strange, quiet git." He swatted Harry again. "Demons?"
"They have some fascinating things at their bazaars. Some humans can get into, some you can't. I've basically been around the world a few times doing that. I saw a lot of amazing places while I was traveling." He looked over as Arthur came in. "Good morning."
Arthur frowned. "It's not morning, Harry. Where have you been?"
"Traveling through the portal Xander left me."
"He's been to demon bazaars all over the world," Ginny told him.
"I see." He stared at the boy. "They're calling for your arrest again, Harry. You have very bad timing."
"I can go soothe them." He stood up. "Let me do that. I'll be back in time for dinner." He popped out, heading to the front door of the Daily Prophet. He smiled. "Hello."
"Where have you been?" a reporter demanded.
"My trainer left me a portal to get to a demon bazaar in case I needed to get away. It's been a wonderful bit of traveling around the world. Who wants me now?"
"He's still in office after he kidnaped me?" he demanded. She swallowed, looking stunned. "Didn't hear how I disappeared right after the battle?"
The editor came puffing out. "It is you."
"It is me. No one heard why I disappeared after the battle?"
"It was covered up. Said you wandered off."
"I was rather unconscious so I don't see how I could have. Especially since they took me from Hogwarts. Had the headmaster do it." The editor smirked. "I woke up in a loincloth in the Carribean. Fortunately wish demons are nice."
"That part we heard about. He's saying it was an illegal cursing and you did it to get out of trouble for casting an unforgivable."
"How else did he want me to end Voldemort this time?" He shrugged. "The man's a bit loose in the head again, huh?"
"Maybe it's a demonic venereal disease." He shrugged. "Anyway, I'm back from my post-graduation road trip. My trainer had one and he encouraged it to learn more about how the real world works. I had a lot of fun. Can we go to the Wizengomet now since he wants me so much?" he asked with a smile.
"Oooh, another battle?" the reporter asked.
"Only if they make me. I'm not really that violent. No matter what anyone says." He brushed his hair back. "Need another trim too. Have to find that huge off-world bazaar with the nice people who worship good hair." They both looked stunned. Harry grinned. "Xander brought me before school. That's why we were late. Some furry ones wanted to play with his hair."
"I see," the editor said. "We can go together, Mr. Potter."
"Sure. That way they can't cover it up this time." The editor smirked because he understood perfectly. Harry got walked into the ministry and down to the chambers, ignoring security totally when they demanded his wand. One good glare and they backed off. They walked in and found Fudge ranting about how vile he was. "Am I really?" he asked dryly, making Fudge wet himself. "I come back from a marvelous time on a post-graduation roadtrip to find you, who kidnaped and drugged me, who wanted to try to own me and rape me night and day until I broke and gave in, ranting because I protected myself. That's not very just, Minister Fudge."
"How dare you," he sneered.
Harry stared him down. "I dare a lot. I remember turning you down in your office that day."
"You summoned that demon."
"No. I didn't. No one in the school did. The demon admired some of us and wanted us to stare at for inspiration. Since it wasn't compatible with human beings it couldn't want more than that. It decided you were being mean to the one it wanted. So he decided to have you dealt with for ruining his fantasy." The head judge coughed. "Yes, ma'am?"
"Mr. Potter." He stepped forward. "He said you unjustly cursed him."
"I was drugged and removed from the school, Your Honor. I woke up naked except for a loincloth. Fortunately the ministry down there said that no one had sex with me while I was unconscious." She went pale. "We're not sure if they touched me other ways but I had no receptive sex was what they told me." He looked at Fudge then at her. "I was escaping after waking up in a sealed room. I said I wished they knew what it felt like. The wish demon appeared. As far as I know they cannot unjustly curse someone." He unshrank a book from his pocket, looking it up. "The one who they come to grant wishes for must believe in the justness of the curse and have emotion behind it." He let her see. "I traveled through a number of demon bazaars to see the world for the last year," he said with a grin.
"I see. Are you consorting?"
"No! I found a few very pleasant species who only wanted to talk about things. I found one holy cloister of nun demons who wanted to talk about flying on a broom." She almost smiled. "They had wings until they took their vows. Then they had to have them clipped. They missed it."
"I would imagine they would. Unholy or holy?"
"Holy. Their holy water burned even me."
"Good to know. What brand of nun were they?"
"Interesting." The other judges nodded. "Is that source considered definitive?"
"By the one who trained me, yes. He got it from someone called a watcher."
"I've heard of them in a book my daughter likes to read," one said.
"To them we're books, sir. I brought back the series so we could look over the last book for clues on how to handle him. I gave them to McGonagall but I know she shared with Snape and the headmaster."
"That's an interesting tidbit. Was this issue of yours in there?" He shook his head. "Very well. How accurate was it?"
"Fairly. About eighty percent."
"Very interesting," the head judge agreed. "Right now we need to decide if the young man cursed him unfairly."
"Is there an unfair way of cursing someone when you're trying to get free of them keeping you a slave?" Harry asked. "I was always it was fair if you got away cleanly and safely."
"That is a consideration. We do have the casefile from the Carribean?" It was handed down. "Why is it censored?"
"Because Minister Fudge said so," the editor said. He took it out of his bag. "When he said that I had someone grab my copy that I had a source copy from their original version."
She looked it over to compare it. "It is complete and it seems to be the same on the parts that aren't blacked out." She passed it around. Most of them glared at Fudge. "Mr. Potter, why trust a vengeance demon when she showed up?"
"Because I was going to kill him. My teacher is well known for destroying those who have taken him captive. He taught me very well how to do it if I needed to. I was a bit surprised when she showed up but it was a kinder fate than any I would have given him if I had my wand with me. Thankfully I'm skilled with knives, guns, swords, battle axes, and other instruments if the need becomes critical." He looked at Fudge, whose wet spot was now larger. He looked back at the judges. "I was about to when she showed up."
"I think that's reasonable," Draco Malfoy said, handing it back. Harry nodded politely to him. He nodded back. "I'll abstain from voting since Minister Fudge has since tried to claim my arse as his as well."
"The way we were taught, there is no one who is entitled to own one of us unless we grant them that right. If we do not, we are to do everything in our power to make them miserable or to destroy them as we get ourselves free," Harry told her.
"I can see why." She reread the report, looking at Fudge. Then back at the editor. "Did you bring any other evidence?"
"Two things, ma'am." He pulled them out, handing them over. "The report of the first time Minister Fudge tried to claim Harry. If I may be so bold as to use your first name?"
"This time," Harry allowed.
He nodded. "Plus a statement from his trainer that if he had to come back here to save Harry the wizarding world was going to be shocked and appalled by what happened to him." He handed over that note as well.
Draco took that one to look at immediately. "From Dean. Not fully our trainer but one of his former students that helped him." He handed it over.
The head judge looked at him. "I remember your father taking something to mimic problem, Draco."
"Hence it caused me," he said dryly. "I'm only a quarter as bad as he is."
"That's good to note."
"The more who know the more times we have to save ourselves," Harry warned.
"This will be sealed in the archives, Mr. Potter. Only the outcome will be known. Why did you bring him?"
"To be blunt, I'll be damned if I want another coverup to come back and annoy me when I'm finally happy."
"Good. Very blunt as well. Try to modulate that."
"Yes, Your Honor." She really did sound like Hermione on a mothering kick.
She read it over. "I see no proof that it was an unfair curse."
"I'm the Minister for Magic," he started.
"Who was in a foreign country with five others in the house," Draco said firmly. "Partying while you held someone hostage in a magically sealed room. If you had touched him, we would be arguing about having you kissed." Fudge shrank back. "Potter, you are dismissed." The head judge looked at him. "I figure he's tired since he's leaking wandless magic."
"Sorry, didn't realize." He pulled it back in.
"Thank you for that warning. This is the third time you've tried to bring this claim before us. We've told you all the other times it was a pointless thing and you deserved it."
"The Rule of Threes," Draco said smugly, "states that whatever you do, good or ill, will come back on you three times." Fudge gave him a horrified look, starting to whimper. "Can we remove him?"
"The election isn't for another few weeks," one reminded him.
"I can make sure everyone knows that he's a kidnaper and wannabe rapist," the editor said happily.
"That's a bad punishment but I do believe that wasting the court's time and energy, plus disgusting us with your bad manners to piss on yourself, should be punished as well. You will be spending six months in Azkabahn. Starting immediately." The guards came forward to grab him. "You are also to compensate Mr. Potter for taking him that way and making him miss classes right before his NEWTs. You are to pay all court costs as well." She banged her gavel. "Have a good trip, Minister. I hope we never see you again." He was dragged out protesting and spluttering. "I hope Mr. Potter never has to retrieve himself from such a severe circumstance again. If so, reasonable methods are good but if you must, you must."
"There was the point raised that someone still wanted to arrest me for killing Voldemort."
"That was an act of war, Mr. Potter. War has many unforgivable things. You casting one ended the suffering of many and the worry of even more. That is what we decided while you were on your trip." Harry nodded and bowed. "Go home, Mr. Potter. Try to be safe."
"I plan on it once I figure out where I'm living." He smiled and left, letting the editor follow. "Thank you."
"Welcome, Mr. Potter. Thank you for that juicy exclusive."
"Just don't get throngs down onto my house please."
"I'd never do that. You might hex us too." He ran back to his office to write that up and put out a special edition.
Harry went to the bank to check on his accounts. "Hello."
"Mr. Potter," one said, coming out to meet him. "We heard you had a long trip. How was it?"
"Quite enlightening. I found many species of demons that I can respect and who didn't want to own me."
"Excellent. Are you back?"
"I am. I was going to take stock of my accounts, get a bit out for a room for a few nights, then decide where I'm settling down and how."
"That's a rational move." He walked him into his office to do that for him. He came back with the accounting. "You have earned some nice interest. You've also pre-rented an apartment through that group."
"I did?" He was handed that sheet. He smiled. "Xander." He handed it back. "Do you have the keys?"
"I do." He handed them over with the slip for the address. "It's prepaid for the next year."
"Thank you. Then I should only need enough for some food and things." He yawned.
"That's also doable. Someone did try to access your funds for the headmaster but they were turned away."
"Excellent." He took that note to look over. "Any idea how she got talked into it?"
"No. I was not told that."
"I'll ask." He shook his hand. "Thank you for your help."
"You're welcome." He let the boy go down to his vault for some coins then head out to check out his apartment.
Harry walked into the back door of the Burrow, finding both parents looking worried. "Xander found me an apartment when he heard I was coming back. Now all I have to do is figure out what sort of job I'm doing." He hugged Arthur and kissed Molly on the cheek. "How did he blackmail you?" She sighed, shrugging. "I know he had to."
"He was saying he'd have Ginny held back, which would make her unhireable."
"I figured it was something to do with one of the kids. I'm not mad. You let the goblins know what they needed to know to foil his attempt." He smiled. "Now, relax." Molly relaxed. "I'm going to head to my place tonight so I get a good night of sleep without Ron fussing over where I was." She nodded. "When he's ready, I'll take floo calls. That way he can calm down and not fuss as much." He winked and went to get his things from Ron's room, including his old trunk. The stuff inside got put onto Ron's bed, then he left. His new apartment was fully warded and he felt safe there. It was a good feeling. He ordered some chinese food and settled in to watch tv. He could enjoy this until he could find a job.
Draco knocked on Potter's door, looking at him. "You picked up bad habits, Potter." He walked in and let him close the door behind him. "Just boxer shorts?"
"I was going to switch to an adult channel in a few minutes. Once this show went off." He turned it off. "What's wrong?"
"Xander wrote me." He handed over the letter.
Harry read it. Xander was matchmaking again but he did have some news. "How would he hear about someone like that from here wanting us?"
"I have no idea," he admitted. "Maybe a demonic contact or something." He lounged in his seat. "I think he's being pushy for no reason."
"He thinks it could protect us both," Harry told him. Someone pounded so he got up to let Ron in. "What's happened?" he asked, seeing the fury.
"Hermione and I broke up."
"Why?" he asked, giving him a hug.
Ron got free, starting to pace. "I found something of hers that showed she had been seeing someone behind my back. She said she didn't mean to but she couldn't help it. They soothed her academic side, but she said they hadn't been physical." He snorted, throwing up his hands. "I told her to soothe her brain and he probably didn't realize she was a woman then broke it off with her."
Harry patted him. "It'll be all right, Ron. Come sit. Draco and I were going over Xander's last letter."
"Again?" he demanded. "You two keep seeing each other and people will talk."
"It happens," Draco said dryly. "He could do worse than me."
"Quit," Harry ordered. He reread the letter.
Ron read over his arm. "Another one?"
"This one's fairly wealthy but a pain the arse to get rid of," Draco told him. "Did you have fun on your trip?"
"A lot. I found some humans wandering around here and there too. I saw and learned a lot."
"Scared the crap out of me. I heard someone knocking in my room and had to open his trunk, finding him coming out of it."
"That's the way that portal was made," Draco said with a small shrug. He looked at Harry. "What do you want to do about him? He is a high ranking wizard."
"I'm almost at the find a pretend boyfriend level," Harry admitted.
"He'd never buy it unless you can act really well, Harry," Ron pointed out. "Does he want you too, Malfoy?"
Malfoy shrugged. "We're not sure. He wasn't."
Harry grimaced. "Hell."
"Basically it could be," Draco agreed. Harry glared at him. "Not my doing. I'm simply the messenger." He started to stand but a house elf appeared and pushed him down then disappeared. "Yours?"
"No. I don't have one. Um, house elf?" he called. It reappeared. "Who do you belong to?"
"Master Crissium wanted his prettiness together."
"We don't belong to him," Ron told her.
"Master Crissium said prettiness stay together." She disappeared.
Harry groaned, holding his face. "Sorry."
"Not a problem," Ron said, getting comfortable. "We'll beat this one too, Harry."
"Depending on his skills it shouldn't be that hard," Draco agreed. He looked at Harry. "Why can't you find someone to date?"
"I don't have much experience. Anytime I go out they're more likely to stare at me than date me or snog me."
"Hiring someone?" Draco pressed.
"I had some fun while on my trip, but my only experience with men is toys," he said quietly. "Xander let me experiment with some of his."
"How would you do that?" Ron asked.
"He had a lifesize model to play with and then he attached one to a pillow." He blushed, then coughed to clear it up. "It was very helpful. I learned a lot."
Draco rolled his eyes. "You're obviously too shy to pick someone up."
"I know you did while we were there." Draco nodded. "I couldn't figure out how to start the conversation."
"It happens," Ron agreed. "Now what?"
"He's not backlogged," Draco said. "So someone must have told him." Harry grimaced but nodded. He looked around the nice apartment. "How did you find this one? It's in a trendier area than I thought you'd be in."
"Xander rented it for me."
"Interesting." He stood up. The house elf reappeared and pushed him down but Draco shoved it. "Do not touch me," he snarled, making the house elf wail. "I am not your master's nor do I belong to anyone without my say so."
"Master say stay," she wailed. "Master make Booky make stay!"
"Not our thing," Ron told her. "I like girls. They're tasty." The house elf left. "Maybe that'll help. I know a few blokes and girls I've been meaning to introduce Harry to, Malfoy. It might help."
Draco nodded. "It could." A larger pop sounded and they all pulled wands on the person standing there. "Who are you to enter his house uninvited?"
"I like you. You have fire and a social station near my own," he said smugly. "Mr. Potter has one nearly as good from his exploits. The other is charming."
"Not for sale or rent," Ron said dryly. "Sorry."
"Pity. I could do much with you three at my side."
"Not interested," Harry said.
"But I can offer you much."
Harry shrugged. "So? Still not interested. Anyone I'm going to be with, it's going to be mutual."
"You'll stay here until you agree," he said, raising a hand.
Draco cast a hex, making him scream. "I doubt it. Moron." He summoned some aurors through the floo, pointing at him. "He's trying to own us and keep us here until we agree." The house elf popped in and screamed, wailing across her master's body. "Stop that," he snarled. It whimpered at him. "He sent that one to keep us here."
"We'll take him," the auror promised, taking the man and house elf with them. The boss wasn't going to be happy. "This one and his house elf wanted to keep Potter, Malfoy, and Weasley together, sir. The house elf was wailing. Malfoy nearly hexed it because it had been sent to keep them together."
"Interesting. Who is he?" He looked at his slack face. "Who hexed?"
"Malfoy since he was standing I'd guess."
"Their floo's cut off," someone called. "We can't get back or call."
They looked at the wizard, undoing the illusion. It was a golem. "Any idea how we get this to them?"
"Potter knows wandless magic," one offered. "Anything there?"
"Not that I know of. Anyone who might?"
"His trainer," one offered.
"I don't think we need to call across realms for them," he said firmly. The guy unnerved him. Harry had told him about his past and present skills but the boy moved like a little party kid. No sign of that training came out until you threatened him. He wasn't sure the guy was sane. Or dangerous to others who didn't threaten him. "Anyone closer?"
"No one I know knows anything about wandless magic," his second in command said.
Mad Eye coughed from where he was sitting. Supposedly retired but still around. "Weasley carries a muggle cellphone. Granger gave it to him."
"Can we get the number?" Kingsley demanded.
"Ask Granger. I'm sure she has it. They're dating."
"Someone find me Granger." They ran off to call her or track her down. "Figure out who this person was."
"Ask the elf," Mad Eye suggested, looking at the house elf. "Who do you belong to?"
"Master Crissium said they stay to be pretty."
"Master Crissium is where? So we can talk to him?" Kingsley asked.
Hermione stomped in, escorted by two of his aurors. "What is the meaning of this!" she demanded.
"Your boyfriend, Potter, and Malfoy are all trapped in a house by that house elf and his master," Kingsley told her.
She stared at him then laughed. "I'm certain this is amusing but there's no way that can happen."
"Master Crissium wants pretties together," the house elf said firmly. "Told Booky that pretties stay there. Booky make sure of it to make Master Crissium happy!"
Hermione stared at the house elf. "Master Crissium is the one in Boston?" The house elf beamed and nodded. "He who talks to demons?" She nodded faster. "Hmm." She looked at them. "Why drag me here? Ron and I broke up when he became intolerant of me having friends earlier."
"We need his cellphone," Kingsley said. "Or the number if he's got it with him. That way we can get them help."
Draco stormed in, smirking at them. Ron and Harry carried the other guy, dumping him next to Hermione. The house elf went back to wailing over her master. Mad Eye shot a silencing spell at her so they didn't have to hear it. "I do believe this one is mistaken about his abilities to own someone."
Hermione looked at him, ignoring Ron. "He summons demons. That's probably how he found out about you."
"He had one come for us but he relented for a kiss from Potter."
"He seemed rather nice, didn't want to keep me," Harry said. "Listerine still tastes nasty too." The aurors all nodded. He woke the wizard up, smirking down at him. "Come near me again and I'm going to do what my trainer, Xander, taught me to do and destroy you at the cellular level. Am I clear?" The man nodded quickly. "Good!" He smiled. "Excellent in fact. I haven't had to destroy anyone in *weeks*." He looked at Hermione then at Ron. "Any hope he wasn't right and you're not shagging this new friend?"
"Harry!" she shrieked. "That is a private matter!"
"Sorry, I'm about to let my hormones overrule me, Hermione. So I'm going to be blunt. Are you shagging him?"
"He's not interested in a physical relationship," she said coolly, crossing her arms over her chest.
"You've been meeting him often enough that you quit sleeping with me so you must be getting off from that stimulation," Ron shot back. She glared. "Don't start, Granger."
"Ron, I'll hormone you both and sell you in a limited contract to a demon brothel," Harry snapped. "Tempers are bad." He looked at her. "Is that true?" She huffed but flounced out. "I'll take that as a yes. Let us know if we need to buy wedding presents." He waved at her back. "You can have the couch, Ron." He looked at Draco. "Thank you for bringing that warning and the timely help while he had us captured."
"Not a problem."
Crissium raised his wand and fired at them, putting magical restraints on them. "There, now you're going to be pretty for others to take!" An auror knocked him out.
Ron looked at his wrist then at theirs. "Any clue?"
"Move apart," Mad Eye suggested. They did. Draco made it to the door before he got pulled back. "Thought so." He came over to look at them. "He'll have to undo them."
"If we kill him will they end?" Draco asked.
"They'll sink in, boy. Become permanent. It'll give you more room but you'll always be connected to them."
"That's not a thing I want to take into eternity," Draco said. He glared at Ron, then at Harry. "You just had to attract another one."
"We, Malfoy. We. He wanted both of us." He walked over to the wizard, unstunning him. "Take. Them. Off," he snarled.
"I will not and you can't make me."
Harry leaned down. "Oh, yes, I can."
He backed up. "The greatest demons will praise me for bringing them you three as a complete set. Toy, keeper, and protector."
Harry snorted. "No. Sorry. Not going to any demons."
"They'll still take you."
"And I'll still do what Xander taught me and destroy them. He seems to have fun. I'm sure I will too. Take them off!"
"Never. With my death they'll be there for eternity." He started to move but his house elf stopped him. "What are you doing!"
"Booky cannot let Master be hurt. Master's master say so to Booky."
"They'll be taken by my master."
"Bring him here so we can kill him now," Draco said blandly.
Crissium sneered. "So anxious to begin your service?"
"I doubt it'll happen," Ron said. The demon appeared, blacking out the room even as it rumbled and shook. "Harry, how do you kill that one?"
"Not that hard actually, " Draco said. "Water?" Ron pointed at a sink in the break room. "Potter, you bless it." Harry mumbled at the water as it rushed past them to burn the demon. Which screamed, flailed, and tried to get out of the stream.
Harry looked around, getting something silver. He stabbed the demon, letting the water hit the inside of him. That did it in. Harry panted, looking at Draco. "Messy but effective." He glared at the horrified wizard. "Remove them now!" he snarled, moving toward him with the dagger.
Ron took it. "Harry, if I can't have my temper, you can't have yours," he said calmly. "Let the nice aurors torture him. He'll remove them."
"I'll die first," he hissed back.
Harry took the knife back. Crissium made them disappear. Ron, Harry, and Draco came back. Crissium came back begging on his knees for mercy. Harry stared down at him. "Still so sure you want to give another being into what you went through?" he sneered.
"You did learn a lot from Malfoy," Kingsley said, not looking too pleased.
"Not like he deserves more than a sneer," Malfoy said. He waved a hand. "Remove the shackles. Now. Before I have to help again." They were removed. "Thank you. Now you may die if you so wish." Booky kept him from killing himself. The aurors put them both into a cell. "Well, it's been charming again, Potter. Do hope you clear that problem up. Since Weasley's free perhaps he'll help now that he understands better." He walked out, heading home to get very drunk and write the teachers a letter complaining about Harry's temper.
Harry looked at Ron. "You can still have the couch. I won't molest you tonight."
"Thanks, mate." He walked him out, coming back to hand back the knife. "So we don't accidentally steal it." Then he went back to taking Harry home. Harry was a bit scary when he was pissed off.
Mad Eye let out a breath. "Xander taught him how to lose his temper very well," he said quietly.
Kingsley looked at him. "How would he do that?"
"There's a reason why he's known for destroying multiple demon realms when they come for him." He stood up. "Have fun with the insane one. You might get a healer down to see how badly they treated him. With what Harry did to Dumbledore and Fudge, he probably treated him like he wanted them to be treated. It seems fitting but I'd expect at least castration since that's a usual outcome if they agree to stay with someone who's not nice about it." Kingsley and the others shuddered. Mad Eye shrugged. "That way they don't stray." He left them alone. Xander's message had been very timely. He had to learn that scrying spell. He really did.
Kingsley looked around. "Get a healer to examine him. Set up the trials." He went to his office to get a drink. Not even he wanted to do that to others. Harry Potter was going to be insane in his own defense now. Wait until the Daily Prophet got hold of this one.
Harry walked into the bank the next day. "If I wanted to go on another long trip to another realm, could I take my vault with me?" he asked the information desk goblin.
"Why would you need to, sir?"
"Because I don't want to be here anymore."
The goblin stared at him. "I saw that article."
"I don't want to have to torture the next one who wants me. I really want to visit my teachers and get a hug. Is there some way I can transfer my account to their banks in another realm easily?"
"Let me ask a higher source that question. I know your trainer has an account with us on one of the access realms." Harry beamed. "We may be able to work it that way. Let me check." He called his superior to ask that question. Special preparations had been made for Harris's accounts. He had a lot of human money and gems to safeguard after that bank had done him wrong. He nearly had a small branch's worth of vaults to himself at the moment with the one containing special files and photographs. Plus a few favored outfits in case something happened to the house. His superior came down to talk to Harry in private about what he wanted to do.
Harry came out of the portal, handing Xander a check. "The remains of the rent. I tried but I don't want to have to torture the next one." He gave him a hug. Xander hugged back. It was nice not to have to fight anymore. "I can't find anyone to date. They all stare in awe at me."
"I know, Harry." He led him inside. "Guys, Harry's back." Dean stomped in. Xander grinned. "It's not his fault. He did try."
"I know he did." He let the kid hug him too. "It's all right, Harry." Harry looked up. "What?"
"Why haven't you aged?"
"The immortality stuff."
"Oh." He let him go. "I'm being mushy but I can't handle it. I moved my accounts like Xander has his. Maybe here I won't get anyone who stares at me in awe."
"We'll see what we can do," Xander promised, getting a smile. "Go rest on the couch with Eric, Harry." He went to do that. Xander put the check down. Dean gave him a look. "For the rest of the rent on that place."
"That's cool." He looked around then at him. "What are we going to do now? That demon's been spreading around that he killed us. We told Bobby. He told us to lay low and he'd spread around that he didn't. Until then we might be hunted."
"So you open up a shop," Xander said simply. He walked him into the office, finding what he wanted. "Here. We've been storing things for you." He grinned. "This way your next life wouldn't be so hard to move into."
Dean sat down to look it over. "A gun shop," he said, sounding pleased.
"You can add a small pawn shop if you want." He kissed him on the head, getting a grin back. "Pick a good store, Dean."
"If you want. If not, we'll have to move all that stuff somewhere else." He shrugged. "Figure it out with Sam." He went to talk to Harry. Eric and Danny were already getting the whole story from him so he listened. That did suck a lot. Harry let them cuddle since he looked so miserable. He'd take him to the coven tomorrow to see if they could cheer him up. Harry had liked them. Dean took the direct route and took him to the beach with Sam so they would both quit moping. Plus it'd let Dean and Sam talk without everyone else listening in.
Mac Taylor walked down to where the boys were, sitting beside Sam. "Why is it that you guys are gathering near Xander? Is it a surge of gathering fever?"
"A demon stabbed us and crowed about it," Sam admitted grimly. "We've gotten back the right truth, with the elimination of the immie part, but we might still be hunted down. Xander wants us to open a gun shop."
"That way he has you two close by in case something happens?"
"Xander's damn tired of destroying realms," Dean told him.
"I can see why." He looked at them. "If we keep this up, we'll start to have stats like New York in a few years."
"By then, we'll all have to move because we're too old to be so young and pretty," Dean said with a grin.
"Good point. I wonder where we'll all go."
Dean shrugged. "Who knows." He watched Harry flirt, feeling more pride than when he had caught Sammy using one of the lines he had taught him. "That's our boy," he said proudly. Mac looked, grinning at the sight. "Harry said he couldn't date anyone at home, they all stared in awe."
"I hear that can happen." He patted Sam on the arm. "It'll be okay, Sam."
"I know, but it sucks."
"You can start school down here while you do whatever. That way you're still together but working on your own lives. That way you have a plan for the one after that." He stood up. "Let us know if we can help, boys. The chroniclers are liking you two for going as long as Methos is." He left to report that. Joe enjoyed those two boys. He called them plucky and mouthy but he thought they'd last for a good, long time.
Dean looked at Sam. "So you can do the college boy thing. I'll play with guns all day. We'll join Xander's poker circle now and then." Sam grinned but nodded. "You sure you want to stay here? We can go back to Kansas."
"I called Missouri. Somehow she knew but she warned us not to come back. Dad was somehow haunting her complaining. She told him to shut up and pointed out we both knew. He apologized through her." Dean snorted, shaking his head. "I offered to come finish salting and burning whatever was keeping him."
"Bobby will if they bother him that much." He watched Harry tease the girl until she walked him off to make him pay up on his teases. "He's good."
"You taught us both well," Sam agreed with a smile. He looked at Dean. "If I turn into Mcleod, you''ll fix me, right?"
"Hell yes. You turn into the brooding bastard and I'll beat you to death," he said dryly. "Then when you come back you'll be better."
"That's cool. We should tell Adam that compliment."
"Probably. We'll stop by on the way home so he knows Harry's still here." He looked around. "Any ideas?"
Sam pulled out his phone, tapping into the GPS site. He tapped in the correct codes, getting it. "He's at the Palms. I dropped one of Xander's GPS tracker dots on him."
"We need to send Edgerton a really nice present for getting his boys those."
"I thought they came from Gibbs."
"Gibbs had the idea. Ian found them and gave them to him during the last convention." He checked the readout. "Should we save him?"
"He had his wand. He clearly needed it badly. He'll get to us if he needs to." They nodded at that and waited. Harry showed up a few hours later nearly wobbling but happier. They took him home, letting everyone greet the youngest protégée of Xander's evil methodology for ruling the universe. They found Ron and Draco both there and fighting with each other while Danny and Don ate popcorn.
"What are you two doing here?" Harry asked. He was too calm and sated to demand.
"Granger," Draco said.
"That mudblood bitch I used to date," Ron said at the same time.
Harry looked at Ron. "Your mother would soap your mouth."
"She kindly put back on the manacles," Draco said, holding up his wrist. "By the way, was she good? You can feel everything thanks to them."
Harry groaned, looking at his wrist. It was on his ankle this time. "Can we go beat her, Xander?"
"Nope," he said dryly. "I have no idea where she is." He shrugged. "Sorry, guys. We'll go see the witches tomorrow, see if they can get them off."
"That might be nice," Harry agreed. "Do you think I can find a job easily?"
"We'll see what you can be trained to do. Steve might have some ideas if Horatio or Adam don't," Xander said. He gave him a hug. "Come help me cook. Sam?"
"I can help," he agreed, following Xander.
Dean sat down. "He arranged stuff for us to open a gun shop."
Danny nodded. "I thought he was buying more guns."
Don nodded. "I was hoping the warehouse wasn't going to be overloaded soon." He sipped his soda, going back to the news. "We'll let Horatio know you two are staying. Do we have new identities?"
"We'll work on that. The others are hearing that we aren't dead and it wasn't a demonic deal that brought us back."
"You'll work it out," Don promised. "As long as they don't take off your heads."
"No, they'd probably stop at shooting us."
"Which hurts like hell," Danny warned.
"You ever get shot again, I'm going to paddle you more than I should Xander for buying new leather gear," Don said firmly, glaring at his buddy and lover.
"Your arm would be tired before you got to that point," Dean reminded him, cracking Don up. "Let Xander help since he'll want to fuss and worry."
"That's mean," Danny said.
"Yay. Mac wanted to know how many more of us were moving locally before Miami became the new New York and where we're all going after Miami."
"Don't know. I might miss snow by then."
"DC?" Danny teased.
"Gibbs would freak. Even if he was ancient he'd freak out on us. Greg and Tony too."
"After this life and the farm, we're moving to Denver," Xander called.
"Okay," Don said. "Why?" he called.
Xander came out to stare at him. "Because you'll miss snow, it has a good job base, I can open a jewelry store that I'll have someone run for me. And a spa I'll have someone run for me. It's in the middle of the country and the safest parts. There's only two immies and five GHS that live in the area." That got a slow nod. "It's close to Vegas so we can check in with Jace. Has good schools if you guys want to go back but also good club potential if you wanted to open one. We can set up the place for the horses out there. Some ancient bookstores for Speed and Horatio if they come. Ryan agreed Denver was ideal and very safe. Plus lower property values and taxes. When we sell this house, we'll be able to buy a quarter of a county with it." He went back to teaching Harry more about cooking.
Ron looked over at them. "I didn't think he made plans."
"He makes all sorts of little plans. Usually ta spoil," Don admitted. "Do we already own space out there?"
"Welcome." He came out to get a kiss. "You'll like it. It's a pretty city." He went back to his cooking.
Draco shook his head. "He's very forceful when he wants his way."
"We'd argue if he didn't. We figured we'd go from this life to the farm for a bit then move on."
"Steve's planning on going to work for Jace. Ryan may for a while but he'll drift back to us." He looked at Dean. "You two can come too."
"Of course we are. We'll have to watch out for the local cops out there. I doubt they'll understand anything unless they've had some higher profile GHS members."
"With the way the government watches over us, there's a chance they'll tell Denver before we get there," Don admitted. Dean nodded at that. Draco gave him an odd look. "So, how are you two going to handle it?"
"I can get a job doing nearly anything. Draco's the picky one," Ron said.
"I'm not that picky."
"Maybe he'll let you run the spa for him," Danny offered. Draco's eyes lit up. "It's still hard work."
"But relaxing. Much more relaxing than the Wizengomet and other duties I have thanks to the name."
"Fucking go away!" Xander shouted.
"Sounds like one's here," Dean sighed, going to get a gun so they can handle it. He found a military guy. "Xander, he a demon?"
"He needs to be. He doesn't like that we found that one shopping area."
"It linked to a demon bazaar. Not our fault," Sam told him.
"You still went there," he said firmly.
"I've been many places," Xander said. "I've destroyed half of them that I didn't mean to go to, but I've been many places." The military guy went pale and backed up. "Go ask DiNozzo or Gibbs." He fled. "Bye. Don't come back!" he called with a wave. "Shithead."
Harry smiled. "I used a saying of yours and got funny looks at school."
"That's because they're British and have hardly any humor, Harry," Xander said dryly. "We'll figure out what you guys are doing soon enough." He gave him a hug. "We should go back up there to make them sorry."
"As nice as those pirates were, we don't need to see them again," Sam said firmly.
"Fine, spoil sport."
"Yup," Dean agreed. "Besides, you turned over that credit slip to Tony and we don't have anything else from their people to trade for more ready cash."
"I guess that's a point." He grinned when Horatio came in. "Let me add more chops to the oven."
Horatio pulled him to the study while Sam did that and Harry concentrated on the fruit salad. "Xander, why is there a very scared military person in my office asking me to handle you this time?"
"He didn't like that we took Harry to a few demon bazaars and one linked to the place that stole Tony on that roadtrip after we sent Hubert to his dragon mommy. Tony got to nag about it but this one got huffy and irritating. So I made him go away. Is he okay now?"
"He's quite irritated with us."
"I can hormone him, right?"
"No. That's not nice."
"I told him to talk to Tony first. He stomped off to talk to you instead."
Horatio sighed. "We'll talk about this later. For now, try not to run off the military?"
"They're being mean to me."
"No pouting, Xander." He cleared it up. "Go fix dinner. Speed will be here after he humiliates him and makes him head home." Xander bounced off to do that while he called Speed. "Tell him to talk to Gibbs. We're having chops for dinner." He hung up and went to talk to the others. He stared at Dean, who shrugged some. "Couldn't stay away?"
"Got killed by a demon who bragged. Xander's trying to get me to open a gun shop while Sammy takes some classes here and there."
"You do have the experience and knowledge to do well in the field. I would not like to see you selling parts of Xander's warehouse."
"I doubt I could find a good buyer for it anyway."
"Good. Can you perhaps get him to do another inventory? He's been buying things again."
"They're for their shop," Xander said with a grin.
Horatio looked at him. "Then why did you come back with a suspicious lack of bags from the weapons bazaar?"
"Oops. That was toys."
"We'd like a new inventory, Xander. Especially the local ATF office who watches over my shoulder as I watch over yours." Xander nodded. "Take the boys there tomorrow to do that please. You can drop the younger set at the coven's shop for a few hours."
"Yes, Horatio." The military guy came back with one of the local ATF agents. "I didn't know you guys were over demon bazaars."
"We're not. He's trying to get us to invade you so he can put you into protective custody."
Xander looked at Horatio, who shook his head. "Can't I kill him?"
"No. That would be wrong," Horatio said. "Even if he is an idiot." He glared at the guy. The ATF agent got out of the way. He knew better. Xander let loose his hormones, making him and Sam both moan.
Harry looked at them. "It could be worse. That's only a quarter of what he's got. And just think, he's destroyed whole realms of people who want him." The military guy went to his knees. Xander relaxed and let his broadcasting go, smiling at them. "Feel better?"
"I will when I drag Danny in to a bath with me." He bounced back to what he had been doing. He called Gibbs on the way. "It's us. Some military weenie came to try to arrest me for shopping. He got a local ATF guy to come with him when I sent him running and crying to Horatio like he's the mommy. They said they wanted to put me into protective custody. On his knees. In the kitchen. Go outside!" he snapped. The man crawled that way. "He's on the back porch. No, it's not supposed to rain tonight. I can make a portal if you want." He grinned. "Fine. Only a quarter. I was nice. Horatio's here." He handed over the phone, checking on the pork chops.
Horatio took the phone outside. "He was annoying Xander, Jethro. Perkins, A.," he read. "Army. First Lieutenant." Gibbs looked him up and said something. "I thought they blocked all GHS from the military." He smirked. "Good to know. Of course we can hold him for you." He hung up and pulled out his handcuffs, locking him to the grill for now. "Someone will be here shortly for you." He went back inside to help lounge around. Xander didn't let him help cook most of the time. Speed got to help cook while he got to play 'husband' with the other guys. Ray and Methos showed up to make it a real party. Mac and Stella too. Xander was happily cooking for a good, long time. It made him happy and the others relaxed about it. Adam could go over Xander's plans for the boys, plus get Harry and Draco registered for the next convention. It was a good night. Even if the weenie did get a bit damp when it rained around dawn.
Tony strolled into Horatio's office. "You have our misguided individual?"
"We do. He's in an interrogation room." He shook his hand. "How is DC?"
"About the same. Politics are hell and soul sucking. Gibbs growls so they leave us alone quickly." He smirked. "What did he want?" Horatio handed over his orders file from the weenie's hotel room. "Interesting." He faxed it to Gibbs. "He's got a broken ankle. He's growling more than usual." He got a phone call. "DiNozzo," he said happily. "Hey, Greg. What did the snarly one want us to do with him? Yes, beyond making him bait for sharks. I can do that. Xander would probably help."
"His boys have been working overtime. He's got poker contacts again," Horatio said grimly.
"Or his new poker buddies could," Tony added. Gibbs said something. Greg snarked back and Gibbs smacked him. Tony winced at the sound. "Boss, be nicer to my boy. Please? I need him without a concussion. Or we're both moving down here to live with Xander again." He listened to the orders. "On it." He hung up. "He's going back to DC. Someone in the higher ups wants to beat him."
"Please do. He's trying to claim Ryan Wolfe as well."
"Ryan's not GHS."
"No, but he's strong and tough. Plus he'd like Ares' blessing."
"Xander can send him to a temple."
"Don't tempt him."
"If you do move down here, you've got to make your own plans or else Xander will for you."
Tony smirked. "Greg can. They plan evilly together." He walked out whistling, going to get his weenie to roast. "There's our idiot of the day," he said dryly.
"Why not let the local office handle him?" Don asked.
"The Pentagon heard what he was trying to do. They're not happy. Someone imagined a whole unit of guys just like Xander and Greg."
Don could imagine that. He burst out cackling, drawing attention. He waved a hand, shaking his head. "That's a bad mental image."
"Yes it is. Which is what we're trying to prevent. He's going to be beaten and then sent to somewhere less visible." He went in to gather his idiot, reading him his rights on the way out to the car and then the plane. One of the generals had sent a private plane for this one. No troop carrier, a nice one. By that night they were back in DC and that guy was begging for mercy.
Ares came down to look at him, staring really. "While I think a whole unit would easily stop most battles, I can't see it being that beneficial to the ones in charge, soldier." The general berating him shuddered. "It'd be good for a strike team situation, but not a real unit. Even if you had someone like Wolfe to guard each one. Not even *I* could control a whole unit of guys like Xander and I'm a God." The weenie whimpered and sobbed on his boots. "Get off!" He kicked him off, looking at the general. "Did you misread his test scores for brains?"
"He had a high one, but no sense."
"That's a common problem. Have fun with him."
"Can you take GHS from his memory, Lord Ares?" he asked hopefully.
Ares did that, then left to find some way to take the idea of a whole unit of Xanders out of his head. He pulled Strife and Discord with him in case they thought it might be a good idea.
Strife looked at him. "Not even I'm that mean, Unc."
"Me either," Discord said. "That'd cause too much chaos even for Janus to handle."
They all got drunk together. It was the kindest thing they could do for the universe. Before someone thought that idea had merit.
Janus appeared while they were drunk. "Not even I could find that idea funny, people. Relax. It won't happen." He left, heading back to find a worshiper who could take his mind off that idea.
Down in Miami Xander looked up. "Not my idea or my doing. I could never do that," he called quietly. "I'm sorry they gave you a headache." Cupid appeared, giving him a hug. He grinned. "The military weenie wanted to make a whole unit of guys like me with guys like Ryan guarding guys like me." He got him a bottle. "Here, for Ares and them. I'm sure they have a migraine."
"They'll have a hangover tomorrow. Can you maybe be good for a few weeks?"
"I always try, Cupid. Besides, all my students are here," he offered with a grin. "I've got to help Dean and Sam set up. I've got to help Harry and then find a life here. I've got to decide if I want to get a new horse because the ASPCA has a few."
"No new horses," Danny called, coming out. "Cupid. We're *really* sorry if the weenie gave Ares a headache."
"Hangover. Massive hangovers in the morning. I pity the morning meeting. Wait a few years, until you have to move to Denver, Xander."
He beamed. "You like that idea?"
"It's not bad. Covers all the bases. Ma likes it." He disappeared, taking the advil to Ares' temple for him. He was *so* glad he didn't have to be at the morning meeting tomorrow.
Xander pounced Danny. "I need lovies."
"I can tell. You're already hard just from looking at me," he teased. "Run into the bedroom to surprise us." He ran that way to get ready for them. Danny got some juice for later on and some fruit to bring with them. "Xander's in a mood," he called. Don leered but came to help him. "Lock up later, guys." They walked into the bedroom, closing and locking the door behind them.
Ron looked down at the first squeal. "He's loud."
"Very," Draco agreed dryly from his bed.
Sam knocked then leaned in. "We're going out for pizza and beers." The boys looked hopeful. "Just us this time, guys. Lock up the house, be careful. Call us if there's an emergency."
"Going to hunt?" Harry asked.
"You're too young to drink. Local age is twenty-one." They all pouted. "Tough." He grinned but left with Dean to escape the noise.
Ron looked at the floor when the noise suddenly stopped. "Should we check on them?"
"Don't worry, they're immortal too," Harry said with a wave.
"Is that common?" Ron asked.
Draco shook his head. "Just them."
"Oh, good. Then we don't have to worry about that with you two."
"There's ways to do that," Draco offered with an evil smirk.
Harry looked at him. "Do it and suffer."
"How would you make me suffer?"
"Having to be Xander's bag boy for years on end."
Draco shook his head. "Never mind. I'll behave."
"I thought you liked shopping with him," Ron said.
"I do but I don't like carrying the bags. The day we hit the kitchen store we bought so much it wouldn't fit in the back of the SUV. It weighed a ton, nearly literally. We had to float it into the house."
"It took us nearly fifteen minutes to float it all," Draco agreed.
Ron gave them funny looks. "How did he do that?"
"Xander's like that when he's bored," Harry instructed. "You get a lot of stamina from it though." Someone downstairs was getting loud again, making them put up quieting spells around their room. Not that it'd help....
Dean walked up to Frank the next morning, handing over a note. "Danny told Xander to get creative. Danny knows he's got court this afternoon. He'll try to be less hoarse and tired for it."
Frank looked at the note. //Died six times, Xander four, Danny eight. Am happy but can't move. Be in tomorrow./// "Why did they decide to do that last night?"
"They were talking about the military guy who wanted to make a whole unit full of Xanders and give them guys like Ryan to guard them." Frank shuddered. "Ares and his crew did the same thing," he assured him with a smirk. "Xander sent advil. Then Danny told him to surprise them."
"No wonder. I'll let Horatio know when he comes in." Dean pulled out another note, handing it over. "I'll let Taylor know so he can cover our area." Dean smirked as he walked back to his baby so he could take her home. Frank walked inside, finding Mac coming in for a meeting. "Horatio's down with his back again."
"What happened? He looked fine the other night."
"Apparently he had a bit of a surge." He handed over the note, getting a nod. He held up the other one, getting a smirk. "Messer told the guy to surprise them."
"That's probably a bad idea," Mac agreed. "Any idea where they're going after this?"
"Horatio was looking up stuff on Denver."
"I'll let Gibbs know he can relax. He thought they might move to DC."
"I think they'd stop in to visit but they know he'd have a fit."
"Probably. Tony and Greg are enough to drive him nuts." They smirked. "Okay, let me have Stella come over to help here since we're on a low homicide day. We'll do this meeting later on." He went back to his own lab to do that, sending Stella over. It was going to be very amusing very shortly. Though he did pity Denver. He knew a few people out that way. Maybe he'd warn them. Though it might be years before one of them had to die and move on. Or one of them could be shot during stopping a crime and they had to move then. You never knew. Better to warn. The simple email message of 'ever hear of GHS' got back a swearing rant of an email a day later. So they apparently already heard.
Don Epps walked into the conference room. "It's a pre-warning," he offered. They all stared at him. He tossed down an information packet. "We have it on good authority that you are going to have a problematic person moving into your area within a couple of years. We don't know how soon. Since some of them are officers in Miami, we have no idea how long it'll take before they decide Miami's too dangerous to stay."
"Why are they problematic if they're officers?" the Commissioner of Denver's police asked.
"That's why I'm here. I know someone down there warned someone here about GHS members?" The commissioner went pale. "So you know?" He nodded slowly. "In Miami resides a level ten, his two keepers, two level five students, two protectors, four advisors, and three younger students, one level eight and one level two among them." The commissioner slumped. "One of those has this idea that playing poker with the underground takes their money so they can't use it for bad ideas."
One of the other men in the room raised his hand. "ATF has a casefile down there with one of them having real weapons."
"Remember the slave market thing in LA a few years back?" That got a nod from him but a grimace. "That was the same GHS member getting free. They decided Caine and his lab confiscating his weapons left them all weak. We got the whole group as it stood, basically minus the students at the time, kidnaped and having to get free." The ATF agent moaned. The commissioner whimpered. "He's not a problem that you'll have to watch. He's very good about his own security. He's good enough on self-defense that they let him out alone all the time. They also have a farm with horses down there right now. We're pre-warning so you guys get things into place in case he has to hormone someone to get away from them or there's other problems, like his weapons or poker habits with the cream of the underground."
"How bad?" the ATF agent asked. "His poker habit."
"He won over a hundred mil from the top drug dealers, gang members, and assassins in Miami in six months." They all stared. He smirked. "He said it makes them less able to work. He was actually friendly with the Mala Noche he was playing poker with. His boys used him to get all sorts of quiet information on the underground. He did go on fair warning whenever he had to act against them. Or when they wouldn't pay him. He got into with a major drug dealer called The General down there. It ended up killing the General because somehow the Mala Noche heard from this guy that he was cheating. They sent one of their boys to turn him into bits and pieces. Happily."
"So he's not a bad guy but he knows the system and plays with it now and then," the ATF agent said.
"He's also the one that went to the weapons bazaar four years ago and fought off that small attempt to take it over."
"Harris is coming!" he shouted, jumping up.
Don smirked and nodded. "Him and the whole clan probably. Including his horses."
The agent sat down, staring at him. "Don't we have enough problems?"
"They picked Denver because it's safer than Miami. It's in a stable area. Flack and Messer were missing winter. The students could be safe here. The place didn't have many natural disasters. All those good things." They all relaxed. "They mostly stay very quiet about it, but every now and then someone wants Xander or one of them. Fortunately he's taken care of most of them who want him. This is a pre-warning that some liveliness is coming. So you can make plans in case he has to hormone someone to get away and those things."
"Can we make him wear GPS?" one asked.
"He has some hair things that have GPS on them. We gave his boys GPS dots as well. Xander's almost always reasonable about his safety unless he's horribly backed up or he's really bored. Which is when he starts playing poker with thugs." They all nodded. "Miami said it's nice. Crime slowed down when he was playing poker. Also, he likes to cook for his lovers' station. He's brought the full station in lunch many times. He spoils the local departments that he likes. He torments any gay bashers, they're still in therapy in Miami after trying to gas him at his house, but the rest of the department gets spoiled."
"I can talk to some friends in Miami, get his file so we know what sort of weapons he'll be bringing," the ATF agent said. "That way we don't touch them. Who has oversight?"
"Caine, down in the lab. Caine's like the family's mentor. Since he got taken after confiscating the last batch, he has full oversight. They have an inventory, Xander and two of his students go through it now and then. Caine's also watching over the students since one is opening a gun shop sponsored by Xander but not out of his weapons stash."
"Are we talking an invasion vault or are we talking a few dozen guns?" the commissioner asked.
"Xander owns a fully secure warehouse facility. He has one of the warehouses ultra-secured and uses it for weapons." That made him unhappy. "No one touches Xander's weapons. Xander will destroy them because he pets his weapons like they're puppies." He grinned. "We're *really* glad he decided not to move to LA. That packet has information on the officers who you'll have making sure they're all right at first. We have agents who watch over all GHS members in case they're given presents by terrorists or stolen again." He nodded at the two in the local office. "You have their dossiers?"
"Yes, Agent Epps. Are the Winchesters coming?"
"Plus his newest students, Harry and Draco. The messy dark-haired one and the blond."
"They look just like...." Don nodded. "They are?" Don nodded again. "How?"
"Xander heard from a source across realms. One of the ones he didn't destroy. They are. Xander's sheltering them." That got a simple nod. "You may also get Kowalski and his boyfriend. You may end up with Caine too. We don't know how much of the extended clan is coming up. This is just a head's up." They all nodded. "That way you can make some future plans. But if one of them is visibly killed in Miami, they're coming sooner. If not it might be a few years."
"We'll be on the lookout for it," the ATF agent assured him. "If and when they come we'll assign a group to go over their inventory, make sure their new warehouse meets our expectations, and to keep oversight on it. I have some people who'd hate me for it but they'll understand. I've often wondered if one of them was."
"You'd have to ask them but the rule in GHS is you do not tell on other members, it can get them kidnaped. For a very good reason."
"I've seen why." That got a nod and Don left to go back to LA, praying the whole way that Xander wouldn't have to visit for a while. He looked at the other agents. "Let us have the dossiers when they get here or right before so I can brief my people." He left, going back to the office. He found one team working hard on a case but they'd understand. "My office," he said into theirs, heading for his conference area. They piled in, staring at him. "Within the next few years, we're going to have a small problem moving into the area, but it's not an illegal problem. For all that he likes to play poker with the underground to take their money."
"Why do we have to know now?" the team leader asked.
"Because his lovers are officers and if something happens suddenly they'll be up sooner." He tossed down the packet he had taken off the table. "The head of this loose family grouping is a member of that group." They looked it over, one growling. "You know of them?"
"I've protected one in the past."
"The one coming is a level ten."
That agent gave him a horrified look. "Where are they coming from?"
"Miami. They do have weapons that the local office has oversight on. It seems him having weapons keeps him from being snatched as often. He has a mentor in the local crime lab. Both his lovers are in the PD down there." They all nodded at that. "When they come up, we'll be briefing your team to be their local oversight. They have them in a fully secured warehouse that exceeds Caine's fussy standards and he has a full inventory. That'll be your job when they get here."
"No busting?" the team leader asked.
"Did you hear about that slave market in LA a few years back?" He grimaced but nodded. "That was the same guy getting himself and his family free after Miami had confiscated his weapons stores. They thought he was weak without it. You saw that mess?" They all nodded. "We don't want that to happen again. Also, if you can learn to work with the family, the head of the family gets bored very easily. He likes to play poker with the underground down there. Won over a hundred million in six months from their top drug dealers, gang members, and assassins." They all winced. "The thing with the General was him. He found him cheating and told the Mala Noche. Who I'm told he had a friendly relationship with. We expect that to happen up here so it could give us good tips as to what's going on. Plus he spoils his lovers' unit horribly by bringing them lunch all the time. The full station."
"So we'll be dogging him but casually?"
"Check out his beginning stores, make sure they're thief-proof. Meet or exceed our standards for the storage vault. Get to know them in case they do draw big trouble into town. That can help you guys because he's not against turning info in. The FBI agent from LA is one of those who watch over GHS members. He said the guy works with the local office very well." He smiled. "I chose you because you'd get the insanity that they'll have very well. Oh, and they do have horses. Harris has a few from the information I heard from the FBI agents sitting in. We know it'll at least be his personal family, him and his two lovers. It's possible we'll get part of Caine's lab since Caine is the family's mentor and a few others play protectors. It's possible we'll be getting the national head and his boyfriend, who is a homicide detective. It's possible we'll be getting their students, which there's five of. Three younger, two older. There's another few support staff like people around including a financial manager."
"So this is a head's up for whenever they get here. Make sure they know who to run to, make sure everything they bring up is safely stored in case of emergency. Can we borrow in case of emergency?" He nodded. "We're sure?"
"Caine would've made sure of that," he told him. "I've met Caine and he would make sure he could borrow from the boy if necessary."
"Good. Make sure they know who they can give tips to, which departments they can trust, which ones won't gay bash," another one said. He nodded. "We can probably do that. How close do you want us to ride them?"
"If you can get adopted into the family, it'd be a wonderful thing. If not, at least try to remain on friendly terms. If you piss him off, he can make you miserable and the city." They nodded at that. "When we hear they're coming this way we'll have full dossiers from the GHS watching agents. This is just a warning of future work for you guys."
"We'll handle it," the team leader said, leading the way out. "Look this guy up," he told his hacker. "I want more warning than that."
"The local office has to have the inventory list," he pointed out.
"We can ask someone down there that we know." That got a nod. He looked at another one. "Find any of your contacts with information."
"We can all do that," he agreed. He moved to his desk to start calling around. That was not looking like a happy event to have coming upon them.
Xander sighed as they signed the sell order on the house. Don had been shot in the line of duty, on camera, so they had to leave Miami. He looked around. "Did we get everything?"
"Take down the wards to make sure," Danny said. "Make sure you didn't forget anything in a closet." Xander grimaced but did that, showing a few things were still there. Don moved them into the SUV with Dean's help. "There, now let's head to Denver. We'll like it. They've been warned by Epps personally." Xander nodded, patting his house as they walked out. "We'll be back in a few generations."
"I know." He looked at Dean. "Coming with?"
"Yup. You'd get into more trouble without us."
"Good point." He grinned. Harry, Draco, and Ron had flown ahead. Steve had left a few days earlier to find them places to live. He hadn't found a farm yet so they'd have to move the horses later. "You guys do help me get into trouble very well."
"We try really hard not to let you get into trouble," he corrected. "You're worse than we are." Xander gave him a hug. "Get in, silly. We'll follow you." They headed out, Dean and Sam following in the Impala. It was a long drive to the airport.
Xander opened his new door a few days later, looking at the man standing there. "Mormon?" he guessed. "Or Jehovah's Witness?"
"Nothing that mundane I'm afraid. ATF." He held up his badge. "Special Agent Larabee, Mr. Harris."
"I'm in trouble already?"
"May I?" He got let into the house, looking around. "This is very nice." He looked at him. "I'm here to look over your storage facility, take your inventory list to double check, and to let you know some things about the area, like the sections of town that are more prone to gay bashing," he said quietly. "Like the Miami office did, only we're a bit more nosy since you're just setting up and Lieutenant Caine didn't come with you." He saw the guy coming down the stairs and paused. "Hiding?"
"Nope." He looked at him. "You are?"
"Special Agent Larabee, ATF. I saw it on the replay, Detective."
Don sighed, pulling out a knife to cut into his palm, showing it healing. "That's why."
"I see." He considered it, then nodded. "That's a good reason to switch then. Are any of you joining the local department?"
"Danny might. He's a CSI."
"If not, we have a lab in our building. I can keep that secret." Xander gave him a hug, making him stiffen. "Get off," he ordered. Xander stepped back with a sheepish look. "I'm here to do oversight on his collection."
"Horatio won't be up with it for about a week. We've got t finish putting in the security systems," Xander said.
"That's fine. Starting now means you won't have to go back and update something if it's too little."
"I can do that," Xander agreed. He went into the library to dig out the inventory, coming out with it. "This is the inventory as the about six months ago. I don't think I've went shopping but now and then someone decides I need something shiny and explosive as presents. Oh, and Horatio took one to use on people trying to blow up their nuclear plant."
"Good to know." He flipped through it, trying not to whimper. "Can we see the warehouse?"
"Sure. Can you tell me where the good farmland is for the horses?"
"Not going to live there?"
"Ryan is." He grinned. "Four of ours are his. His two warmares and their daughters. He'll be up once we find somewhere for them."
"I know where a few decent older farms are. In pretty good shape and all that." Xander beamed. "I'll also introduce you to the rest of my team. That way you have local support in case your poker habit gets you in trouble. We do have some undercover agents...."
"I understand about that."
"Good. Let's see the warehouse?"
"Sure. Don, can you unpack my clothes?"
"That or set up the ferret kingdom."
"I might do that instead," he admitted, moving to play with their pets. "These are Hershey and Kiss. They're trained to do drugs and explosives. I accidentally cross-trained them during their training. They're fully certified. Horatio had to borrow them a few times when K-9 was too busy."
"I'll keep that in mind." The ferrets came out of their smaller carry cage, letting the dogs sniff them and lap them a few times before they went into the bigger cages. "That's quite a kingdom."
Xander grinned. "I want the best for my pets. They're the only kids we'll have." He walked him out. "How extensive was the dossier they gave you?"
"Fairly so. Why?" Xander pointed at someone. He looked, then he stared. "What is that?"
"That is a demon who's misguided and I'm going to destroy if it touches the family," Xander said. The demon fled. He grinned. "That's one of the family's issues. Demons love to want me. Even more than princes do."
"I'll keep that in mind," he decided. He drove the boy in his SUV to the warehouse, pointing out a few spots on the way, like where the local precinct was in case they had problems. Xander had picked a good area to put the warehouse in. No one down here would ask any questions. Xander gave him the passcode to the gate and the warehouse. "Did you already check us out?"
"Don Epps told us who he told way back when. We checked up on you guys when some of my contacts heard you were checking us out."
"That's not a bad idea."
"I'm hormoned, not stupid. Usually. Now and then they do turn me into a paranoid, bouncy thing but usually just a happy, bouncy thing." He let him check the warehouse. "It looks like they've got everything but the shelves done."
"We reinforced from this side. There's something heavily classified from the military that someone gave one of my students to own them reinforcing it from this side." He checked, nodding at the invisible force field feeling thing. "That should hold up to all but a semi crashing through. They're supposed to put up walls overtop of that of thicker steel and shelves for us this week."
"Good. How is Caine getting it up here?"
Xander shrugged. "He's arranging that."
Chris looked around. The precautions were good enough for their standards. "Anything we should know about the family grouping that wasn't included? Beyond the demons?"
"A few years back Horatio, Ryan, and I were taken off-realm by some who wanted redheads. Horatio's one. We went somewhere that had a lot of ancient Greek temples. Ryan and I both trained in the temple to Ares. He's a high priest. I'm what's considered an anchor for him, Strife, and Cupid. I also know a very unique style of sword fighting dance that only GHS can do. I'm damn good with it too. That's how I've taken down realms."
"Interesting. Can we see it?"
"Only if you tie yourself down. The last time I did some in public, I caused a small orgy."
Chris stared. "Really?" Xander grinned and nodded. "We have someone who might want warned about that."
"We have tapes for any GHS that want to learn."
"I might borrow a set if we can."
"That's fine." He grinned. "I'm not mean unless you make me be mean. You can be growly all you want, but if you piss me off I tend to destroy things."
"I'll keep that in mind, Mr. Harris."
"You can call me Xander since you're going to be nosing around for months on end."
"Fine." He took him back to the SUV and back home. Once he got there, he faced down the family. "Is there anything we will have to take precautions about beyond the weapons moving? We can call Lieutenant Caine to help out on this end."
"He figured you would be," Danny agreed. "Xander, bank?"
"Stones?" Don asked.
"Partially Steve?" He shrugged and opened the footlocker they were using as a coffee table, making Chris hiss and back up. "Things that wanted us to get my attention."
Larabee looked at him. "You leave them lying around?"
"The bank vault's full," Xander defended. "We sell them off now and then but when we do they think we need money so more come back. That's from the last year or so."
"We can escort you to one of the local banks so you can put them into a safe box."
"Almost no one's going to break in here," Don pointed out. "We'll call once we take care of them if they do." He put in an earring, which made him look a tiny bit different. "Better?"
"You look less like yourself. The hair color's a nice touch." It was now lighter brown, nearly blond like Ryan's was. Xander beamed. "Can you do that on normal people? For undercovers and things?"
"Yes, but Denver has three null areas that would negate it," Xander told him.
"We might still come to you for that." Xander beamed again. He could learn to relax around this guy. "Any other big shocks? Stacks of money, bearer bonds?"
"We usually keep at least three bundles of cash around the house," Danny agreed. "Some of the bastards have tried to get his attention by canceling his bank accounts without his permission."
"I'll keep that in mind. Your students?"
"Harry, Ron, and Draco are living downtown by the convention center in a condo. Steve found all the houses. Steve's down by them. Draco's my assistant with the business stuff. He basically tries to help Steve keep me from going catatonic when they start talking that strange financial language. Harry and Ron are both going to be opening a bookstore. Dean and Sam might be opening a weapons shop here or I might decide to let them open a gem store. There's a half-demonic gem store chain that I invested in who wants to open up a shop locally. That way I can subtly get rid of some of mine when I don't want to look at them. Danny's thinking about staying an officer?"
"We have a lab, you can apply with us or the local department," Chris said. "Most agents like to use our own labs instead of the local one. Caine would probably do a small housecleaning if he was planning on joining you in the Denver PD."
"Good ta know. I'll consider them both." That got a nod. "Ryan Wolfe will be transferring with me that way. He's a field CSI with a master's in genetics and a background in Trace."
"We might have room for him as well. The lab head's name is Myra Powers." Danny wrote that down. "I'll let her know you're out here and he's coming up. Any others?"
"Eric in a few years maybe," Don said. "Horatio and Speed maybe." That got a nod. "Calleigh if we all move because she'll pout otherwise. Ray and Adam may be coming up if Ray wants to. Adam's leaving it up to him."
"Good to know. Anything you guys need from us right now?"
"Those farms?" Xander asked. He wrote down a name. "The realtor?"
"Who's over most of those. She's got a few lesser ones but there's a few that've recently sold out that are stunning. One's fairly old. How many horses?"
"Our three, Ryan's four," Danny said.
"Though if we have extra space we do let the ASPCA use it," Xander offered. That got a nod. "That's how we got Ray Junior's horse, but he's staying in Miami."
"One of my team knows them. I'll let them know in case they need it." Xander grinned. "Let me get back to the office. If you need us, you call." He put down his card, staring at Don, who nodded. "I have a whole team to back me up if you need us to." He left, going back to the office to start making notes. He called the realtor to warn her. He called the head of the lab to warn her. She squealed. By the time he got back, someone had gotten him a sandwich for lunch. "Harris is a bit bouncy but nice. He has this off-switch for threatening situations." They all nodded. "The warehouse may meet specifications as long as they do cover the inside with thicker steel before they put up the shelves. Someone call Caine, make sure he knows we're helping on this end." One moved to look him up to do that. He looked at Josiah. "There's some very strange things going on."
"I've heard rumors of demons," Ezra said quietly.
"One showed up on the way out to the warehouse, he ran it off. He also has half a footlocker full of loose gems, at least three bundles of cash in the house in case they try his accounts again, and Don Flack did not die," he said quietly.
Ezra stared at him. "Did he perhaps have little blue lightening?" He nodded. "That's good to know but I've seen others." He would not say anything about having seen his own. "Any other good news?"
"Messer might be joining the lab with Ryan Wolfe. I called Powers to let her know they were looking. Harris' house has gate security and fence cameras, plus a sign from a good monitoring company. Their dogs are K-9 trained, bomb and drugs. They've had to lend them to Caine in the past." That got a few smiles. "He has ferrets and they're moving seven horses up here once they can find a good place for them." That got a few more smiles. The whole team rode. Chris had their horses out at his farm. "They did say that they'd let the ASPCA borrow barn space if they had extra and they needed it. They have in the past. They had another horse from that but the new owner is staying in Miami."
"So, what was he like?"
"He seemed nice. Told me I could use his first name. Told me he'd be straight with us if we were with him. Ezra, you might want to talk to him about the way Flack now looks different once he put in an earring." Ezra smirked at that. "Yes, I think he can. His other students are coming in. The younger set is helping the financial manager and setting up a bookstore. The other two will either have a gun store like they had in Miami or they'll open a branch of the jewelry store Harris invested in and use some of his that he says he's bored with. They're a bit strange but they seemed like they were pleasant people to deal with."
"I'll introduce myself later," Ezra said. "The warehouse?" Chris sketched it out for them. They all knew that area of the city. It wasn't too bad. Bad but not horribly so. No gangs.
Xander frowned when someone buzzed the gate. "Yes?" he asked into the intercom.
"May I enter, Mr. Harris? I'm Ezra Standish, I'm on Mr. Larabee's team."
"We heard about you guys. Come on." He opened the gate, letting it close behind him. He walked out, grabbing his sword on the way since he felt a buzz. "Morning."
"Not quite," he said with a smirk. "I'm not here to challenge."
"Good! I hate removing blood from the house." He nodded him inside. "I'm starting on dinner."
"That's fine." He noticed Don Flack and nodded politely. "That we did not hear about but Chris said that he was using illusions?"
"He is," Don agreed. "He also said there's a few null areas."
"Draco's better at them than I am," Xander admitted. "I'm not sure if his will fail in those areas or not."
"We can look into it," he promised. He looked around the house. "House elves?" he teased.
"It was a near thing. I almost borrowed Draco's." He shrugged. "A bit of an unpacking spell so I didn't have to deal with the closets. Plus a space expansion charm from Ron, who was complaining about doing theirs at the condo." He looked at him. "Are they trustworthy?"
"I trust very few but we are like a family on our team." That got a nod from Don. "If Mr. Larabee catches you doing something illegal he'll take great pleasure making you miserable before throwing you into jail, but as long as you play straight with him it'll be fine."
"Does he know?" Don asked.
"About you, not about me."
"We can keep that secret," he agreed. Dean and Sam walked in. "How's the new place?"
"Not bad. Huge. Good closets once Ron got done with them." Xander beamed. "I'm not letting you buy us more clothes, Xander. We'll take you shopping but you can't spoil us."
"Shut up, Dean. I'll spoil you if I want to. You, Sammy, and the ferrets are as close to kids as we'll get."
"We're not nearly as much trouble as the ferrets," Sam said. "Hi, Sam and this is Dean Winchester."
"Ezra Standish. I work on the ATF team that has oversight of this amusing family."
Xander just grinned at that. "We do try now and then."
"Try less often," Danny ordered. He looked at Ezra. "How is your lab?"
"Desperately in need of more workers. The local department's lab is not bad. Nothing special but not bad. We could definitely use you and Mr. Wolfe's skills."
"If you call him that, he'll have flashbacks to Horatio doing it," Xander told him with a grin.
"Good or bad?"
"Probably good. Things were kinda bad back then but not horrible." A shower of emeralds and sapphires came down. Xander looked up. "Do you mind!" he snapped. "I'm trying to cook and I don't know what's been on them! If you ruin dinner, I'm coming up there and you won't like it!" The stones all sorted themselves into a neat pile on the counter. "Thank you!" He looked at Dean and Sam. "Think you want to open a jewelry store?"
"If we do, we're taking some of the stuff you put into the vault," Dean said dryly. He looked at them. "Doesn't look like there's anything on them, Xander."
"Good." He went back to checking what he was making. He grimaced. "Tastes off."
Don tasted it. "Does." Xander tossed it out and started over. He looked at Ezra. "We'll do what we can to keep our own fun and games down. That way your boss doesn't have to get that pinched, need to have a stroke and get it over with, look again."
"He's had a politician running drugs and guns recently."
"I know how that goes," Danny sighed. He shook his head. "If you need us, you call. Dean and Sam are supposed to go with Xander when he gets into the damndest places."
Dean grinned. "We liked the poker circle in Miami. Even if they did swear that protegees of Xander made us too evil and win too often."
"It was nice, we got a huge place because of the poker winnings," Sam agreed. "Oh, we're demon hunters formerly, Mr. Standish."
"I'll refer things like that to you then." The whole group smiled. "If you should need us, call us. If it's a challenge, the only safe place to take it is down at the docks." He wrote out an address. "The local watcher is one that's not too fussy. He'll be horrified if and when he finds out how many of you moved locally. He has no idea about me but the other one in town is watched by him. He will give you good information on where you can take them if they happen. We're a fairly quiet city."
"That's why we moved here," Don agreed.
"Good. If you need us, mine is the second number. If you need introduced, I'll see if I can," he told Xander. "As long as you stay safe."
"One of the guys in Miami sent info on us up here so we could join the local poker circles in a few months," Xander promised with a grin. "Ares said I can only play when they're working overtime and I'm really bored."
"I can understand that. If you need more help with them, let us know. If you hear something dangerous, call us?" Xander nodded. "Good. Then I'll let you get with your repast and night's relaxation. Have a good moving in, people." He left, feeling better. The guy wasn't going to cause him any problems. He might drive Larabee nuts the first few weeks but not him.
Xander walked into the watcher's store a few days later, looking around. "Wow. African art. I haven't seen this in months." The guy behind the counter's head popped up and he gaped, then whimpered. He grinned. "Tattoo syndrome? I get that now and then."
"Mac should have warned us."
"I know he warned Joe." He moved closer. "Me, Danny, Don, Dean, and Sam are all here. Ryan's coming in a few weeks. You know we keep to ourselves unless something happens."
"Thank you for the warning, Mr. Harris. I'll warn the one I watch that you're local."
"That's cool." He grinned. "We'll still probably check in with Stella and Mac since they're semi-family. That way you're not overloaded."
"That's very nice of you. Kowalski and his boyfriend?"
"Possibly. Ray's figuring out if he can stand snow again."
"Even better. Wolfe's coming with the farm?" He smiled and nodded. "Does the local department know?"
"The agents who watch over GHS warned them. We have an ATF team who's watching over our shoulders."
"Good." He smiled. "So this is just a head's up?"
"Probably. The one who told us about you did say we needed to find out where the safe places were in case they came up." He got a map and copied it for him, handing it over. "Thank you. We don't anticipate but some people do think that they want my hair."
"I can see why, young man." Xander grinned. "What are you all doing?"
"Settling in. Oh, Steve's here too. I forgot him earlier."
"I'll make note of that for Joe when I swear at him for not warning me I was going to have a lot of work."
"Like I said, we'll still probably check in with Mac and Stella all the time."
"Good. Is Flack going into the department or ATF?"
"Illusion charms are wonderful."
"I've heard about Delko's mysterious wrinkles." Xander just grinned and left it there, walking out. He banged his head on the counter, then called his boss. "Joe, you should have warned me I had a whole clan of immies moving in," he demanded. "Yes, Harris just walked in to warn me. Little smartass. Said people challenge him to get his hair." He listened to him. "They said they'd keep in contact with Mac and Stella since they're semi-family. Ellison, Winchesters, that family, possibly Kowalski would move too if he wants to see snow again. Wolfe with the farm of horses." He nodded. "Basically. Thank you for the warning," he finished dryly and hung up. This was going to eat into his time. Unless Joe could convince the fabulous looking Stella Bonasera out to Denver to work with him. He would enjoy hitting on her and letting her do the new ones' chronicles.
Two days after the weapons move, Horatio met with Steve for breakfast. "It's a very pretty town. All it needs is an ocean view."
"Should I find you a house, Horatio? With what you'd get for your old one, you can buy something the size of Xander's. His only cost half a million."
Horatio looked at him. "It is enticing but Speed hates snow." He smiled. "Maybe in a few years."
"I can understand that. By then you might be able to take over my condo when I move to help Jace." He sipped his coffee. "How are they settling in?"
"Xander's missing his orchard."
"He has four acres to put trees on. Plus the farm. Ryan picked which one he wanted last night. They'll have close to sixty acres to plant some trees on. It used to be a food production farm with a few horses."
"I'm sure he'd enjoy that." He looked around. "It is much darker here than it is in Miami."
"There's no sun reflecting off the water," Steve teased. "A lot less bikinis too. Ron complained about that until Harry shut him up." Horatio laughed. They had all mentored the boys to make sure they made a good new life. "If you guys or Ray Junior want to move, let us know."
"I can do that." He shook his hand. "How many problems have you had?"
"Not many. A few Draco sneered at. One Harry sneered at. The goblins were helpful finding a bank that deals with magic anyway. They're specially safeguarding Xander's accounts this time. They've heard of him. There's a few more demons but otherwise it's nothing unusual."
"Good. I'll miss the insanity Xander brings."
"You have ferrets and gang members. Together they equal up to a bored Xander."
Horatio tried not to laugh. "Only when the ferrets try to come to work with us again." He failed, he burst out laughing. "That's so bad."
"I know." He grinned. "Beauty tried to follow Danny in on his first day at work. His supervisor found her in his case. Kiss is letting them out."
"All he needs is a pet dragon."
"I think the ATF team looking over their shoulders would be driven nuts if Xander got another pet dragon."
"Possibly." He finished his coffee. "Are you settling in all right?"
"Not bad. I called my brother. He's being a miserable bastard this week but otherwise it's fine." That got a nod. "I got a larger condo this time with the lower property values out here. My investments are still solid." Someone sat down with them. Steve stared for a moment. "This is JD Dunn, one of the ATF team, Horatio. Agent Dunn, this is Horatio Caine."
"I know. I wanted to meet you, sir." He shook his hand. "Xander's pouting and won't come out of the house?"
"Danny told him to stay inside and behave. He grounded him for trying to be naughty last night."
"Oh. Okay, so nothing we have to deal with?" He shook his head. "Chris wanted to know how much real oversight you did of the family, beyond being their mentor. How often did you have to rescue them, handle cases that got caused by his hormones, those things. Can we have you come talk to us later?"
"I can do that. I don't leave until tomorrow."
JD smiled. "Thank you, Lieutenant. That'll make him be less grumpy."
"Not from what we've heard."
JD giggled. "Now and then, yeah. He has levels of grumpiness. This morning he got up late so he couldn't get coffee until he got in."
"That's fine. I'll be there after lunch?"
"That's fine. Do you know where the office is?" Horatio nodded. "Cool. Thank you, sir." He handed his card to Steve. "This is my number. On the back is Chris and Ezra's. Ezra deals with a lot of undecovers. Chris said to call us directly if something was going to happen. He gave it to Xander but he figured he hadn't spread it around yet if necessary." He left.
"He is very young," Horatio said quietly.
"He was, but he'll age, like most everyone else," Steve reminded him. Horatio smiled. "You could move."
"That's up to Speed. We'll talk about it when we get home." He patted him and left, putting down money for breakfast. "Have a good day warping Draco into an investment specialist."
"I do enjoy it," he agreed happily. He tucked the card into his wallet and finished eating. He needed food to deal with Xander's transfer of things.
Horatio walked into his home, finding boxes. "Speed?" he asked calmly.
"Our ferrets miss their ferrets."
"We'll have snow."
"The boys are opening a book store."
He wobbled. "I might help." He handed him a box. "All your suits are already packed. The movers are coming in two days."
"Steve said he could find us a nice place fairly quickly. Xander only has two spare rooms."
"One's still ours. By then Wolfe will be out there too."
"What did Frank and the others say?"
"Frank threatened to follow. Mac and Stella too because the watchers called to complain that he hadn't warned him about the extra work. The new Chief is pissed as hell, but oh well." He grinned.
Horatio kissed him. "I'd follow you anywhere, you know that."
Speed took a deeper kiss. "Pack now, sex before we pack the bed." Horatio smiled, going to pack his office.
Xander frowned, opening the front door. "Speed?"
"Our ferrets missed yours." He gave him a hug.
Xander beamed, bouncing some. "You're moving with us?"
"Of course we are. You guys get into trouble when we're not there." He walked him inside, Horatio following with their ferrets. "Small housing gap. Can we bum a room?"
"Of course," Danny agreed. "We might have to switch back when we add on here so we have practice space."
"Good. We can do that."
"Frank joked about Xander buying a neighborhood to set up like his last one," Horatio said, letting the ferrets into the larger cages. They squeaked and played with each other for now. They knew each other very well.
"No," Don said when Xander looked thoughtful. "No way."
"Fine." He grinned. "I made breakfast. Danny's still eating. I can make more."
"Sure," Speed agreed, following to help. Horatio started to follow but Xander made him go sit down. Things were slowly getting back to normal.
Chris Larabee read the new reports and nearly moaned in pain. "Caine's up for good?" Ezra smiled and nodded. "Good, I guess. Tell Powers yet?"
"She went to beg him and Messer. Messer could start as early as next week. Wolfe the week after. He's definitely signed on."
"Excellent." He handed it back. "Any other good news?"
"We'll have a whole team if he decides to go agent instead of CSI. Kowalski tended his resignation according to rumors. His boyfriend was protesting but not that much. Taylor might be coming with Bonasera. Not sure about that yet. One of the detectives who was Caine's main backup is coming up because he wanted out of the moping according to rumors down there."
"Interesting news. We could use another team."
"I'm not training them."
"We can train the new team with ours. We'll have to work with them."
"Good point." He grimaced. "How certain that they won't join the local department?"
"I told AD Travis. He went to beg."
Larabee smiled. "That could be very helpful." That got a nod. "Good work."
"Thank you." He left to spread that news to the rest of the team. They'd be happy about it too. As long as no one had to deal with immortal battles in the streets, demons trying to take over Denver, or magic taking over the city, they'd be just fine with the Harris harem in town. If they did have to deal with that, well, then Chris might have to spank someone.
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