Bubblegum

Problem-Solving, with more problems and less solving.


“You know what? I think I’ll keep it.”

Harry glared at Malfoy, who tossed the glass ball in the air with little caution. “Can’t afford one on your own, then? Have to take hand-me-downs from someone you like to call a Squib?”

The blonde sputtered. “Shut it, Potter! You want it back? Come take it.” Without a word, he sped off into the sky.

After glancing towards Hermione and Parvati, who looked deep in conversation about how useless a remembrall was if it couldn’t even remind you of what you forgot, he turned back to a grinning, floating, ponce. “You know what? I think I’m good down here.”

Malfoy laughed. “What? Scared, Potter?”

“It’s not my remembrall; Neville seems like an okay guy, but I wouldn’t literally fly through hoops for him.”

The boy scoffed. “This is what your Golden boy is, everyone! Scared of ruddy heights!”

“That’s not a bad name,” Harry muttered to himself, before he yelled back up, “At least you’ve accomplished one of your lifelong goals; High and mighty over everyone else!”

Draco looked indignant as the small crowd of children laughed at him, including a few Slytherins. “I’ll show you, Potter,” he whispered, before he tightened his legs around his broom, and pushed himself forward.

Towards the ground. Towards Harry.

The ebony-haired child looked at the boy speeding towards him incredulously. What would he mean to accomplish if he crashed into him? It would probably hurt him more. Was he planning on only getting a fright out of him, pulling up at the last minute? He hoped he realized he was going far too fast to stop at that pace.

On second thought – no. He hoped Draco didn’t realize that at all.

The children immediately around him scattered, but he stood his ground. This was Harry’s true first impression. And he liked leaving a mark.

He slid his wand out of his back pocket, marveling at how easy it’s been since using the frail object, before pointing it skywards. “Protego!” he chanted, casting a simple shield charm.

At Draco.

The boy’s eyes could only widen in surprise as the small wave of energy shot towards him, and hit him in the shoulder.

He was unconscious before he fell off the broom, his body twisting and turning as he tumbled thirty feet to the earth.

He had barely fallen ten feet when Harry swooped under him, catching him with both arms as he balanced himself on his broom.

The kid was uncomfortably light, but Harry figured that – the frail boy’s best friends were practically body guards, and for good reason.

Though, he wasn’t sure how well they were faring if they were getting paid, because they were currently staring up at him dumbly, simply watching as Harry returned their keeper to them and dropped the boy three feet into their quick-thinking arms.

He floated back to Hermione, who had ran forward to greet him, shaking her head incredulously. “I thought you were going to keep your powers a secret?” She asked him, exasperated.

“I just shot a shield charm – incantation out loud and everything. It’s got to be second year at the most, isn’t it?” Harry guessed, figuring that spell wasn’t all too complex to learn for anyone, really.

He really needed to start reading the titles of books instead of rushing right through the material.

Sixth year,” Hermione corrected him, “and as far as I’ve read, nothing suggests that it can be used as anything other than a shield that wraps around you. You can’t throw it.”

“But… I just did,” Harry pointed out.

The brunette huffed, but he could see the corners of her lips turned upwards. “So you did. Imagine everyone’s surprise when they find out they can’t.”

Harry shrugged as he hopped off the Cleansweep broom. “I’m sure if they put their mind to it – ”

“MISTER POTTER!”

Harry winced at the sound. “Haven’t heard her like that since the Sorting.”

Hermione remembered as well as he did, and she was sure she’d never forget the look on everyone’s faces when they saw the once feared dead Boy-Who-Lived. “Hopefully, she won’t force you to explain what happened this time in front of everyone.”

Harry sighed. He had decided, after he was practically forced to tell a far more dramatic tale of his upbringing to the enraptured public, that he wasn’t going to be pushed to explain anything about his life after the Dursleys. Especially with Dumbledore watching. Just looking at the elderly man gave him a headache.

“I’ll be back after class,” he muttered, turning away to follow the irate Scotswoman, and she nodded, expecting nothing less.


McGonagall’s eye twitched. Not once did she consider that he might say no to her deal. “Pardon?”

Harry set his eyes upon both Oliver Wood and his professor with firmness. “I didn’t agree to join the Quidditch team. We never even talked about it. I’ve barely been here a week! I can’t add practices and games to my schedule.” Not to mention how Hermione might respond if he had more time taken away from her. And, with her birthday coming up soon, he didn’t want anything interrupting what he had planned.

Still, looking into their eyes, he could tell that they weren’t intentionally forcing him into the sport, and were genuinely hurt by the thought that he wouldn’t even consider it. “I don’t want to go to practice. I just don’t have the time nor patience. And I don’t even own a broom.”

“You can own as many brooms as you want, Mister Potter,” the professor informed him after regaining her composure. “Your father was the chief investor in Nimbus.”

Harry’s eyebrows rose. He certainly wasn’t told that when he had gone to Gringotts. He made a mental note to see what else he hadn’t been told. “Still, I won’t have the time. I’ve heard horror stories about your training schedule, Wood. I want no part of it.”

The fifth year student, to his credit, didn’t flinch. “You’d be the only first-year to be on the Quidditch team in at least a century, Potter. You sure you wouldn’t at least try to go for the reserve? If you’re anything like your father, I’d try anything at this point.”

Harry winced at the abstract memory, of his father sneaking him onto a broom and flying him all across London for a day.

He didn’t know how his mother found out, but she did. It was not pretty.

“What would I have to do in Reserve?” He wondered, half-feigning interest.

“Show up for one of the practices once every two weeks, and only the minimum time. According to Professor McGonagall, you seem to be the best as a Chaser, but I’d like to test you on that myself. I just want you to come to the rehearsal trials.”

Harry weighed his options. “I’ll have to think about it,” he finally decided. “I’ve seen the bulletin. I’ll tell you by next Saturday if I show up or not.”

Wood seemed to breathe a sigh of relief – it was as good as he was going to get at the moment. “Alright. I’ll be in the fifth year dorm if you need anything. Thank you, Professor.” He nodded once, and after being dismissed, walked back into class.

The Deputy Headmistress looked like she very much wanted to say something, but the emerald-eyed boy looked firm in his decision. A part of her would be pleased to note that she may have inadvertently stolen a Ravenclaw student from Flitwick – willing to think ahead and focus on studies rather than sports. “Thank you for indulging me, Mister Potter. You may return to class.”

“Can I go back in a moment, Professor? My classmates are expecting me to be expelled, or worse, by you right now. I want to make them squirm a bit. Draco all but cancelled class for today.”

McGonagall caught herself from smiling. She’d be even more pleased to taunt Severus with the thought that the boy in front of her could have been a Slytherin. “Very well, Mister Potter. Shall I interest you in a biscuit? Lunch is next, anyway.”

Harry gratefully accepted, and the two walked to her office, McGonagall subtly explaining the rules of Quidditch, and the heart-breaking tale of how the Quidditch Cup hadn’t been in her house’s hands in a decade.

That streak would end that very year.


Pamela Isley stretched lazily in her bed, her beautiful lithe form on display for anyone present.

She opened her eyes, and glanced around in confusion. She was the only one in bed. Looking at the ceiling window, designed for her whenever she felt weak, she decided that she hadn’t been sleeping for too long.

A part of her took note that a mere twelve hours ago, she would have easily assumed the worst, and thought that Harley ran away with Harry. It would have been a ridiculous thought, even then, but the thought would have crossed her mind, and she would have had a small panic, easily.

But, now, all she could do was laugh at the absurd idea, and fall back to sleep, wiggling her bare thighs minimally. She was beginning to realize how her girlfriend felt; in the moment of passion, their lovemaking felt unbelievably good – it had to, in order for her to orgasm four times – but she was still feeling a bit sensitive. Even her quick regeneration was taking more time than it should.

She’d have to go to the lab today. But first, she needed her beauty rest. They wouldn’t mind.

Her last thought was the idea of Harley snickering, wondering which shade of green she considered healthy enough to finally wake up, and she smiled in her sleep.


Hocus Pocus!” She whispered in the darkness. “Kazaam!”

Harry leaned against the wall as he spied Harley waving around his Holly wand in a battle stance, brandishing it like a sword. He was tempted to silently shoot a spell at whatever she was pointing at, but he wasn’t sure she would like being indulged like that to such a degree.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!” On second thought; maybe it would be therapeutic for her.

He kicked off the wall and stepped forward. “Disappointed at what my little stick can do, Harleen?”

She jumped, and pointed the wand at him, before quickly jamming her hands behind her back. “Oh… hey.” She chuckled nervously. “Morning.”

“Good morning,” he smiled. “Having fun?”

She pouted. “Just making sure your toy worked. Is that okay?”

Harry shrugged his shoulders. “At this point, it really is a toy. I’ve been using it because I’ve had to. It’s a great focus for my magic, but I’d rather have it go straight through my hands.”

She pulled the wand from behind her and inspected it closely. “So there’s no, like, abstract magic in it?”

He shook his head. “Afraid not. It’s got the feather of a phoenix inside it, but that won’t react unless someone magic actually holds it. Sometimes, it still won’t happen, because it’s made specifically for me.”

She hmm’ed to herself, somewhat fascinated to learn that the feather of the legendary firebird was in her hands, before pointing it towards a blank wall. “AlakazamAbracadabra!”

The boy-who-lived winced. “You’re not far off with that one from a real spell. It’s pretty dangerous, though.” He decided not to tell her the right way to say that spell, for her sake and everyone else’s.

Actually, he didn’t know if the taboo was still in effect against unforgiveable curses. Voldemort had perfected silent casting because, back in his first reign, the Unforgiveables were a taboo; one of the many attempts of capturing him that had ultimately failed.

Considering in this time, he was at his peak, he wouldn’t be surprised if his own Taboo was now in place. It likely didn’t reach outside of Europe, so he and the girls were safe.

Assuming, of course, that he was in Europe. Or anywhere.

Did this place even have a Europe?

“Harleen?” He queried, interrupting her chant.

Open Sesa – Hmm?”

“This may sound like a ridiculous question, but is there a Europe here?”

She nodded, dropping the wand to her side. “Yep. You’re British, aren’t you?”

Harry nodded, relieved. There didn’t seem to be too much of a difference between his world and theirs. Except for the twenty-one year thing, but that was a pretty minor detail, now.

Yu Mo Gui Gwai Fai Di ZaoAs-Salaam-AlaikumMecca Lecca Hi, Mecca Hiny Ho!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I have no idea.” She sighed, and dropped her hand at her waist again. “Well, that’s it. I’ve got nothing. Guess I’ll just have to settle for card tricks.” She pocketed the wand and turned back to Harry. “So – after we go back to the place that changed my life forever, what’s next for the day?”

Harry laughed at the casual way she said it, and she smirked cutely in response. “More sightseeing? Dinner and a movie? I’d like to know you two a little more, and I really want to see where I am.”

“It’s surprisingly bland during the day,” Harley explained, “and the only good movie theatre is playing some old black and white movie with some has-been star. We could see a performance? I hear there’s a magic act coming in a few days.”

Harry raised an eyebrow.

“Right – cheap imitations.” Harleen chuckled. “Though, I think Zatanna could stand head-to-head with you. She can do magic, too.”

“Zatanna?” Harry questioned, vaguely remembering his comment about ‘stage names’ when he first arrived.

“Another super-police chick. She’s not in town, but you might’ve lured her out with your magic.” She smirked. “Should be an interesting fight.”

“Do I sense a lack of confidence?” Harry wondered, wrapping an arm around her waist.

She snickered. “More like a lack of focus, when you see her.”

“I take it she uses the ‘Poison Ivy’ approach to gain an advantage?”

“Trust me – it’s a common thing to use distraction in a fight, and the ladies like to use as much as they can. Spandex, leather, and Nylon are a super-girl’s best friend. Dudes, too, now that I think about it. You actually looked out of place – the leather was good, but your pants were nowhere near tight enough.”

Harry’s eyebrows rose at the revealing fact. “What a strange world I’ve been put in. Wouldn’t there be excessive wardrobe malfunctions, especially during fights?”

She shrugged. “I’ve never seen ‘em. And neither has the news or tabloids, and they see a lot of things. There are, of course, rumors, but I wouldn’t trust ‘em. The magazines still place Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in their early twenties.” She chuckled. “Not that I’m complaining. Everyone else seems to believe it.”

Harry hmm’ed to himself. “Good to know. So if I were to, say, strip a female crime-fighter nude and threaten to put pictures of them on display, you think they would back off?”

Her eyes widened, and her lips parted slightly. “You somehow manage to do that,” she said incredulously, “And they’d join us to stop those pictures from leaking! Though you probably could have just removed their masks! Your idea is much more fun, though! Where did you get that idea?”

“Just thought of it,” he said sheepishly, “being a red-blooded male and all. Though it’s based on a regular campaign Hermione, Luna and I did, and it worked brilliantly.” He didn’t need to point out that it was Luna’s idea; the quirky girl loved to think outside the box. “Death Eaters – what Voldemort’s followers call themselves – are one-track minded, and rather obsessed with their cause of Pure Wizard superiority. Their spouses, however, might be on the same cause, but are kept at home, because they’re mainly trophy wives, and quite frankly, just want to be associated with the winning side and a large bank vault. They are there for relief and for heirs – they have no option to fight, for their own safety, and the Death Eaters don’t trust each other, or their master.”

Harley could guess the next part. “So that leads to some rather lonely nights.” Her eyes twinkled. “To have sex with the other cause’s leader, though?”

Harry shook his head. “I’m not a miracle worker – I use glamour charms, or disguising spells, so they or anyone else don’t know who I am. I pretend to be part of their cause, and bang on their door looking for immediate shelter when I know they have another meeting – and thanks to my scar, I know exactly who is in that meeting. I claim that I’m from a distant part of a pureblood family, and steal traits from that family; Sirius had vetted me well on the twenty-some of the purest bloodlines, and we have a library of notable portraits from nearly every one. The rest… well, they usually instigate it. At the very least, we become very good friends by morning, so there’s no need to blackmail.” Andrea Goyle and Terry Nott helped him on occasion, even – similar to the muggle culture, Pureblood housewives tended to keep in touch and form a network of ‘friends’, while not really trusting or associating with them, but it was best to have a few sets of watchful eyes. “Seduce them, get them to cheat on their husbands, and threaten to show them the pictures I took that night. That’s how it regularly went.”

“I don’t know the urgency of defeating the ‘Death Eaters’ in your world, so I may be out of place in saying this – but doesn’t this method seem a bit, erm, inherently and obscenely cruel?” She leaned against his chest. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You just don’t seem like a ‘means to an ends’ type of guy.”

Harry saw her point – he was basically using them for sex and then betraying them – or so it seemed. “Their husbands are rapists and killers – two things you have to do before taking the Dark Mark, Voldemort’s symbol of allegiance – and their wives know it. Arguably, you could say that it’s plenty enough reason for what I did, but I showed them some pity – I don’t actually release the pictures. It makes for a nice little scrapbook, and the occasional calendar for my most loyal friends, but I don’t ever publicly send out those pictures. Considering they don’t know my glamoured face, they’d quite easily assume I was not a wizard, and kill her before she could explain otherwise. Best situation; they could start a blood feud with the family I claimed to come from, or just kill the closest relative they know. I couldn’t live with that. Using them, though, I’m not particularly sorry about.”

He remembered something, and chuckled. “There was only one person who found our collection when she wasn’t supposed to, and she was incidentally a reporter, looking for dirt on me. She tried to blackmail me, but I knew that the biggest backers of her newspaper were those wives’ husbands and me, and she had no interest in releasing it anonymously. At some point, I realized that I was really the only one that could get away with putting up those pictures anyway – I already have Voldemort trying to kill me. One of his followers seeing his wife on her knees, barking happily and getting shagged thoroughly into by some unknown stranger, probably isn’t going to change that much if they ever found out it was me.”

“Hell of an inside job,” she laughed, “but what about Hermione and Luna? Where do they fit in?”

“So to speak,” Harry continued for her. When she looked confused at the comment, he explained. “They did the same thing I did. They use a more stable form of disguise, glamour potions, what we call Polyjuice, and they use it to look like me. We usually choose amongst each other to see who we want, and if there’s a conflict of interest… well, it’s more believable if it’s more than one guy talking about how they were ambushed by Wizard Policemen, and were looking for a place to lay low.”

The blonde’s eyes were wide with disbelief. “Are you telling me that they get…” her eyes flickered to his crotch, “…all of your appearance?”

Harry smirked at her reaction. “Harleen, don’t tell me you’re getting turned on by the thought. Ivy and I aren’t enough for you?”

The blonde smiled and pecked his lips with her own. “I thought Ivy was enough until you came along. You thought Hermione was enough until… well, more came along. But a girl can have fantasies, can’t she?”

“Indeed, she can,” Harry grinned. “I’ll make sure you get copies. That’ll help the fantasies along.”

She almost began to drool at the thought. “This demanding and predatory side of you – Is that always there, laying dormant? Some kind of bi-polar disorder? I don’t care – I like it!”

The teen chuckled, and Harley preened at the rumble of his chest against hers. “I don’t think I’m bi-polar. The voices in my head tell me I’m perfectly normal.” The two shared a laugh. “Though, as it turns out, I’m not the submissive type.”

“I am,” she smirked, “as Ivy’s taught me. But I have never seen Pammy that submissive before. Sometimes, she gives me the reigns, but she’s never – I mean, you practically had her on a leash!”

Harry nodded – he had suspected as much; that Harley and Ivy’s relationship was like that. He had seen first-hand just last night. “Probably because she didn’t give me the reigns; I took it. She put her faith in me the moment she accepted this relationship, and I wanted to see how far she would let me take it. I think she’s more submissive than you, actually.”

She almost moaned at the thought; the idea of her aggressive, compassionate, loving girlfriend wanting to be dominated and broken. “I find that hard to believe.”

“Maybe,” Harry shrugged, “but you saw the evidence yesterday. You saw how turned on she was when I took control. Like, whenever you get playful, and you start it, I bet she happily lets you. This was just a considerably rougher version of it.”

She clenched uncomfortably. “That’ll be a fun thing to bring up.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “How much time until we go to the theatre?”

“The theatre?” he wondered. “I thought you didn’t want to go there? Besides, we have to check out the portal, first.”

“Oh! I thought you noticed. The portal was right in front of the theatre, in the middle of the street. I just saw a flash, and you were there, rightly in a panic. Scared me so damn much you almost made me drop my loot. Didn’t know I’d get such a priceless gem out of it.” She reached up and kissed him once more. “How much time?” Harley wondered again, squirming against him.

Harry unwrapped his hands from her waist to glance at his watch, and grimaced. “Forgot to change the time.” He put his hands back, and answered her question. “When Pamela wakes up, I guess. I reckon at least one of the girls are working on the veil, or at least have a monitoring charm on it, and Hermione or Luna probably told them about the time difference. We still have plenty of time, and I can still put up a notice-me-not ward around the place if people are out and about.”

Harley chuckled at the unique name. “Notice-me-not…” she muttered, and giggled again.

The green-eyed boy smiled. “You haven’t been reading the Hogwarts book, have you?”

“When have I had the time?” She countered sultrily, slipping her free hand in between them. “I’ve been way too busy lately…”

“You may have a sex problem,” Harry muttered quietly, and didn’t argue any further, nor did he ever intend to.

She shrugged. “You should’ve seen me and Pammy in the first two months in after she kidnapped me. We had to do it in the greenhouse just so she wouldn’t tire out.”

Harry recalled the comment Ivy made about her plant side half-living on sunlight and water. “In the greenhouse? What happened in there that made her ban it from any, er activities?”

The blonde sighed, a little depressed. “We found out later that it wasn’t the best air for the plants to be around. I liked the fresh outdoors feel of it, and Ivy was more energetic with me. In hindsight, I’m kinda glad we left the greenhouse. She was a machine. I don’t think I could have survived another week. Occasionally, she surprises me, and though I’m unconscious for a few hours, I love her more every time.”

“You… really might have a sex problem,” Harry practically forced himself to say again.

“Oh, don’t worry,” she muttered. “I’ll peter out in a few days… couple of weeks, tops… maybe a month…”

“And after that?” he murmured, reaching up and gently cupping her chin.

She wrapped her fingers around his wrist. “Think I’ll get bored of you? The most interesting alien I’ve ever met?” Her eyes went unfocused for a moment. “We’ve never really had much pillow talk, have we?” She looked back into his eyes with clarity. “We haven’t even done it in a bed, have we?”

“Do you feel comfortable with that?” Harry asked her, concern in his eyes. “A relationship built on sex?”

She bit her lip. “That’s how Pammy and I started. We admitted how we felt six days in, and that was it – not much in common, so we couldn’t really tell each other anything. Our old place, for the longest time…” she glanced around the house. “It was quiet – really quiet. There was the occasional moan and groan, awkward conversations of what to do next, and more moaning and groaning. Eventually, we just… stopped talking.” Her eyes went back to him. “A full week. Maybe eight days. I didn’t bother counting. We eventually made up, and today, she’s my lover, only second to my best friend in the world.” Her eyes shined, and she grinned up at him. “You seem to be friends with all your girls. How do you do it?”

While the question was valid, Harry could easily see that it was a distraction. She would tell him the rest when she wanted to, and he would wait with Hermione-like patience; it was how she got all of the answers out of him. “I’d say the ones I mentioned are my friends, actually, before I ever got to know them intimately. For the few that I’m not too close with, well, they’re either friends by proxy with my closest friends, or students I regularly chat with in and out of class, or it’s a full-grown woman who isn’t really looking for a relationship.”

“You’re a whore?” Harley asked aloud, and covered her mouth embarrassingly.

Harry laughed heartily, expressing that he wasn’t mad at the accusation. “I suppose I am, but there’s no transaction or anything. Being a target means you have a few spells going at your back at all times. In the world I live in, women are not property, per se, but the Lord of the house is just that – the king of his household. It’s archaic, and it’s a tradition I plan to upend, but I can’t avoid it while it’s still there. Spoils of war is very much a real thing in the Wizarding World. Luna’s actually taken to calling me the Battle Master. So yes, the occasional slave may come my way, along with properties and bank vaults and… kids. I occasionally rescue girls from Marriage contracts as well – that was Daphne’s idea. So while they’re not looking for a relationship, they can’t exactly date around with a magically binding, unbreakable contract, unless I sell them, and they happen to trust me not to use them. Hermione likes to call it a comfort service.”

“Like she calls your harem a ‘mutual love affair’?” she wondered, and Harry seemed surprised she knew the term. “Ivy told me. Is Hermione really okay with this entire situation? All of your girls? Her names for them seems like she’s trying to cope with reality.”

Harry smiled. “I really don’t know what I’ve done to deserve her, and she knows it, while she feels the same – our mind links tell us that all the time. She knows I love her, and I know she loves me. She knows that I’ll always return to her.” His eyes pierced hers. “No one can have the connection we have. Maybe, in any other relationship, I can be self-conscious about everything I do around her, even if we were monogamous, but I have access to her mind – all of it. We know each other’s every little secret. She knows things about me I haven’t even figured out yet. Believe me when I say that her idea of this open relationship is just as much her idea as it is mine.”

The blonde looked confused. “So she… likes girls? And guys?”

Harry shrugged. “Maybe, she did, at some point. It’s complicated, but from what we’ve figured out, reading about soul bonds, is that there is a… well, an open limit. She likes girls because I like girls. She’s believed, that before our soul bond, I was the only one she had an inkling of feelings for, but it was nothing more than an innocent crush. So my preference, my visual images, and my preteen hormones were available to her at all times, and it eventually turned into a strong feeling. Her attraction to girls only grew as she went through puberty, and her thoughts were realigned from my reference point. Had she been attracted to boys from the beginning, I’d probably be a lot more popular with all of those housewives’ husbands. And sons.”

Harley took a moment to absorb that information. “Wow. You lucked out.”

Harry didn’t look too concerned at the thought. “Either way, my mind would have allowed me to enjoy it, because she probably would’ve enjoyed it. It’s not like I’m trapped in her vision, I just have the option to see the way she sees things. My love for books have compounded, and I look at teachers and professors, and studying material with more respect than I used to. You’ve seen that I have a bit of a domineering side, and if we didn’t have a bunch of friends by that point, we’d both probably be loners, not looking for any type of companionship but each other.”

Harleen hmmed to herself, playing with the tuft of hair on the back of Harry’s neck. “Sooo…” she drew out the word teasingly. “If you saw the way she saw things… does that mean the good and the bad?”

She squeaked in surprise as Harry picked her up by her waist and forced a leg around his, the thin holly wand clattering to the floor beside his bare feet. Understanding his silent command, she wrapped her other leg and crossed them behind his back. “If you’re asking what I think you’re asking,” he continued with a grin, “Yes, we went through puberty together. I felt some very strange, very painful things, and so did she, until we learned how to block it off completely. Now, I could safely say that we have a pretty insatiable sex drive, when we’re fully linked. Even after puberty, we’re perpetually unstoppable when we’re bored.”

“I thought I had the sex problem?” She wondered with twinkling eyes, but she wasn’t complaining.

“The first step is admitting it,” he swiftly replied, his hands resting against her cotton-clad back, against her overly large t-shirt. “We admitted it was a problem the first time we had sex – and believe me, we shagged for hours; when we were finally spent, we realized what time it was, and Hermione fell out of bed because she couldn’t move her legs. I fell on top of her when I tried to help her up, and Susan found us like that. So yeah, then we realized it was a big ruddy problem.”

Harley whistled lowly. “Sounds like a hell of a marathon.”

Harry shrugged, unconcerned, not willing to admit that back then, he was a bit of a quick-shooter, and it would have lasted far longer with the stamina he had now. “Have you noticed something?” Harley shook her head. “We haven’t found a shortage of words between each other, have we? I doubt I’d ever run out of questions, and neither will you. We’re getting to know each other, and we seem rather interested in what we have to say. Does that seem like an unhealthy friendship to you?”

She smiled fondly. “You know just what to say, don’t ya?”

He leaned back against the plaster wall, and leaned forward to kiss her unpainted lips. “Just enough to keep us talking,” he muttered, and she giggled as their lips connected once more.


Femme Fatale’s Newest Trick up Their Sleeves!
The Warlock Puts a Spell Over Gotham!
The Ménage à Terror Debuts, with a Menacing Message!

Bruce Wayne grumbled something unintelligible as he glared at the Gotham Gazette.

“Excuse me, sir?” Alfred wondered, and cursed himself immediately. He knew where this was leading, and now the billionaire could air his grievances.

“They still haven’t been caught,” he growled, slapping the paper on the table next to his oatmeal. “And now their speech is the headline. I knew I should’ve gone after them, Alfred.”

“You were in no condition to, Master Bruce,” he reminded his ward, almost in a bored fashion. Of course his words weren’t going to ring in his ears for long.

“They’ve gone into hiding, planning their next move. And I could’ve stopped them.”

“Sir, I feel that I have to remind you that you are in no condition to stop them, and if you had attempted to, then they could have simply killed you and continue planning.”

Bruce was unperturbed. “We’ll never know for sure.”

Yes, sir,” Alfred whispered. “That’s the problem. We do.” He was silent for a moment. “The police department could use more funding. They could even do wonders with a new cadet, if you’re interested.”

“We talked about this, Alfred. The police can’t do what I do. The system doesn’t work.”

The faithful butler sighed, and gathered his meal. “You’re right, sir. If it did, then you would have never become the Batman. I admit it. And if it worked today, they would have captured the Batman a long time ago.”

Bruce looked disbelievingly at Alfred’s back as he stood at the sink. “I am not a
criminal, Alfred!”

“Of course not, sir; what you do is perfectly legal. I’m sure the mayor is crafting a key for you at this very moment.” He put his plate up in the cupboard, and turned back to face the last Wayne. “You’ve done a lot of good things, sir. I’ve seen you stop terrible, horrible things, and put away vicious, disgraceful people. But I don’t think you know that there’s a point where you allow the police to step in and do their job. The scanner says that they have ignored everything in favor of finding those three. Perhaps the petty criminals think they might be ignored with their crimes?”

Alfred was aware that Bruce knew what he was doing – distracting them from facing the trio again, and abandoning the job completely for the police to handle.

He’d never go for it, but he figured he should try.

After a minute of silence, Bruce calmly rose from the table and walked towards the sitting room without a word.

The Englishman sighed once more and gathered the unfinished plate and utensils from the table.

Minutes later, he peeked into the sitting room, and saw the last Wayne sitting in his father’s favorite chair, with his chin resting on his knuckles, his elbows on his thighs, staring at the portrait of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Right beside him was the bust of William Shakespeare, as of yet untouched. It was, frankly, a near-obvious spot to have a secret passage, for someone who knew what they were looking for, but he could understand – it was the same spot he made the decision to become a vigilante.

Then, without warning, he jerkily pulled back the marble head and slammed down on the button. The bookcase smoothly rolled back, and by the time it stopped, Bruce was already inside the elevator beside it, pressing the button to close it.

Alfred and Bruce silently looked at each other for a brief, tense moment, before the bookcase obstructed each other’s view.

And then the sitting room was empty.

Alfred Pennyworth hoped that it wouldn’t stay that way. For Bruce’s sake.


Pamela Isley stared at her chocolate skin with a sense of wonder. “It never ceases to amaze me how good you are at this.”

“Believe it babe,” Harleen grinned, smoothing her lover’s jet-black hair, making sure all the red was covered up. “I got skills.”

Harry marveled at Ivy’s transformation. A part of him had to remind himself that she wasn’t using a glamour charm, and while the extreme change would’ve been a lot shorter, he was very interested in Harley’s skill after she bragged quite boisterously about it.

She was underselling.

Ivy still looked beautiful, and naturally so, as her purple contacted eyes blinked innocently at him, her smooth brown skin shining almost naturally under the room’s light. “So real,” he whispered, reaching out to touch her.

“Nuh uh!” Harley warned, not looking away from her hair. “Ink needs to dry; no touchy.”

A breath rushed through Pamela’s lips while her eyes rolled in annoyance. “I’m not a sculpture, Harley.”

“When you’re in my hands, you’re a masterpiece,” she muttered, running her fingers along her girlfriend’s eyebrows from behind, checking for excess powder. “Perfection enhanced,” she grinned as she stepped from behind her and walked to Harry’s side. She inspected her work carefully before nodding. “Looking good, baby!”

She gave a small grin. “I better be.”

Harley slipped on her glasses and quickly banded her hair into a ponytail, rather than the pigtails Harry had ever seen her in.

It was a damn near transformation of her entire character in a matter of seconds, that Harry was sure that Ivy was jealous of. Her blonde tail rested on her right shoulder, as she winked through her silver-framed, square-rimmed glasses. “Ready to go?” Harley asked cheerily, her smile bright and almost innocent, if the two didn’t know her.

Harry nodded, when the sound of thunder rolled in the distance, far from the house.

“Shit,” she deflated in one breath. “Ivy’s not waterproof.” She looked hopefully at Harry. “Any spell for that?”

“I don’t even think the Wizarding World knows what umbrellas are,” Harry considered, thinking back. “Except someone I know, Hagrid, and he probably won it in a bet.” He looked at his blonde girlfriend curiously. “You okay with me messing with your glamour? You seem rather proud that I can’t tell the difference.”

Harleen shrugged and shook her head, her ponytail falling from her shoulder and spilling behind her back. “Nah – I just wanted to show off. Make changes as you wish – this isn’t exactly a complete make-over.”

Pamela looked herself over. “Except for under the clothes, it looks pretty complete to me. I’d rather you keep the ink and makeup away from sensitive places – it’s pretty difficult to rub off.”

“You never complain when I clean you,” the perky blonde reminded her, and Ivy stuck out her tongue at her. “So, Harry, how long is it gonna take? Is there going to be some secret ritual? A rain dance? Perfect weather for it. What about – ?” She squeaked when Harry shook his head quickly, and his unruly black locks flashed brown in a single swish. “Woah! Okay, that works, too!”

The brunet smiled at her, flashing her his now grey eyes. “Sorry, but not much involved. I’ve been doing this for years – before I even knew magic.”

He waved his hand lazily over Ivy’s form and colors exploded from her body, completely engulfing her for a brief, tense moment. When both girls opened their eyes again and saw that she looked the exact same, with slightly curlier hair, the brown-haired boy crossed his arms. “I can certainly make it flashy, though. Feel any different? I’ve rarely gotten the opportunity to do a full-body makeover.”

Pamela felt tingly all over, and she giggled at the sensation. “Full-body?” she wondered, and pulled out the collar of her red t-shirt to look down. “This is… surreal,” she marveled, seeing the dark skin of her flat stomach.

Harley went around to Ivy’s hair and rubbed a few strands between her fingers. “It’s real fucking hair,” she breathed in awe. “Is it always this easy? To just change your DNA around like that?” She sounded like she was almost in shock, but Harry could see that the idea worried her a little.

Harry shook his head. “It’s not permanent – even I can’t make it last forever. It feeds off my magic after a while; it’s almost like an illusion I have to keep up. All the changes are physical, it’s not like an eye trick or anything, but it’s not your natural look, and you have to be magical for this to work, usually. Even wizards and witches normally take potions, and they’re rather difficult to obtain. Even if they did masquerade as someone you know, they wouldn’t be very good at it – they’re pants at trying to be normal. So how do you like it, Pam?”

The once green-skinned girl craned her neck to look at her backside. “I’ve always wanted one of these.”

The bespectacled blonde slapped her rear unexpectedly, and she yipped in surprise. “One to have or one to own?” she wondered, watching her lithe form closely, not seeing any differences, yet looking a slight bit more appealing right now. “Because I wouldn’t mind a few hours with my minty-chocolate goddess right now.”

The violet-eyed teen looked particularly playful as she smiled at her Harleen’s joke. “Think you can handle this, white girl? Don’t make me bend you over my knee.”

She put on an innocent face, and both onlookers had to remind themselves that this was Harley Quinn. “Do I look like a girl who could ever do something wrong?”

Ivy licked her bare lips. “You have no idea how delicious you look right now.” She shook her head wildly. “Stop that. We have things to do today.”

“I know,” she grinned. “And we’re going to be out all day. It’s going to be so fun teasing you!”

Harry was near-positive that it was going to be a short day. “When you two are done torturing me,” he said with a smile, and the girls grinned coyly at him.

very short day.


~Flashback~

“So,” eleven year-old Harry muttered awkwardly, skimming his fingers alongside the brick walls of the corridors, “I’m aware that I’m a celebrity, but I’m starting to find this a bit creepy.”

No one responded. He didn’t expect her to.

“Or maybe you’re not a fan,” he said slowly, “maybe you just find me attractive. If it helps, I find you attractive. But I honestly have no idea how that relationship would work. You can’t exactly take me to Hogsmeade without raising a few eyebrows, can you? I mean, it’s conceivable, in a year or two, but for now, it’d only be a pipedream. So I could understand why you want to follow at a distance.”

His free hand dug into the pocket of his robes for a moment, before he pulled out a small sheet of plain, normal paper. “I keep your secret, and you keep mine, okay? I can see you – I always have. My mum showed me this once. Apparently, I giggled at the dots moving randomly around the paper, and it never failed to put me to sleep. The Marauder’s Map, they called it. That’s what my dad and his friends called themselves. You work for a man who practically raised them – You should ask about them sometime. They’re a fascinating bunch; bullies with good intentions. Just like the guy you report to. Am I right?”

Silence. Harry paid it no mind as he poked the paper, watching as the animation came to life. “They all had one; it was a bit of a competition to see which one made it the best. His friend Moony won, but he got it confiscated soon after. He never tried to go after it – after all, they had three more. Filch never knew what he had. Don’t tell him I said that, okay?”

The Boy-Who-Lived watched his specially-made red dot blinking on the paper, and the two dots in close proximity. “Of course, the one mum showed me went with everything else in the fire, but as soon as I remembered it, I made one of my own before I even got here. You have no idea how bloody useful this thing is. Hermione’s got a copy, but I can’t give it to anyone else – not until I get Wormtail.” He spied the abnormally tiny red ‘X’ on the paper and groaned. “You’d know him better as Peter Pettigrew, I’d imagine. But right now, he’s in a form that makes him harder to catch – for me, anyway.”

He snapped his head sideways, towards a dark corridor, and a figure jumped back. Harry grinned. “You can come out now,” he said placatingly, leaning alongside the wall and sliding down to the floor. “You’ve been following me all this time; you’re going to have to work with me if you want this to continue. I can get away from you anytime I want. You’ve only been allowed to see the things you see because I want you to see it. Now that I’ve got it all planned out, it’s time to return the favor. It’s much more valuable than reporting on a kid doing nothing, isn’t it?”

Yellow eyes pierced from the darkness, curious. “You don’t want to catch a rat for me? I’d say he’s worth quite a few meals.”

The black cat padded silently and slowly towards the kneeling boy, her nose wriggling cutely.

She stopped a few feet away. Harry slowly pointed to the spot on the map.

“I imagine you’ve got this place mapped out in your head. You’ve been here enough years to know exactly where this is. On the third floor, next to the painting of the knight riding a unicorn into battle. There’s a small room behind the painting. There, you’ll find the fattest, juiciest rat you’ll ever see. If you get him, come back to me with the head. That’s all I want – the head.”

Mrs. Norris eyed the map with great intensity, her ears flickering back and forth, twitching excitedly. Then, without warning, the small cat shot forward, brushing past his leg, and quickly paced down the corridor, hissing menacingly.

Harry stood up when the cat drifted around the corner, tapping his map once again. He smiled to himself as he pocketed the folded sheet.

“If you want your cousin to be proved innocent, I’d hurry. No time to report to Dumbledore. Time is ticking, Ms. Tonks. We’ll talk tomorrow at that spot, this time. No one’ll know you’re missing – it’s Halloween, after all.”

Harry walked on, smiling slightly as his sensitive hearing picked up a whispered curse.


~Present Day, The Monarch Theater~

“Earlier,” Harry started, holding the compact mirror up to the girls, “I told you about glamour charms and polyjuice potions, and how I don’t really follow those rules. Ladies, I present to you the only other exception to the rule that I know. This is Nymphadora ‘Don’t Call Me Nymphadora’ Tonks.”

The pink-haired girl grinned brightly. “Wotcher, ladies!”

“Er… Wotcher, yourself!” Harley replied, almost as a question, but with the same energy the bubbly girl seemed to exude.

The pink-haired girl’s teeth gleamed. “It means hello. Old British slang, don’t worry about it.”

“Oh,” Harley flushed. “I suppose I could have guessed that.”

“Hello,” Ivy said politely, smiling warmly at the teen. “Thanks for being up so late.”

“I’m used to working the night shift,” the young beauty explained, “so it’s nothing. I’m one of the only non-students allowed in here without breaking curfew, other than Fleur, Cissy, Seppy and Ari. Luna’s keeping Hermione thoroughly distracted, and we’re doing a little to pitch in, and since she knows how you are, she hopefully won’t be losing much sleep. Dumbledore is looking closely at everyone right now, but I can just disguise as Snape and walk right through. He can do anything suspicious, and the old man will turn a blind eye to it. I don’t think he knows I’m even here right now.”

“Students go home next week,” Harry said suddenly. “Where are you moving it – if you can?”

Tonks thought to herself for a moment. “I’m the only one cleared to move it, but we really haven’t discussed where. The best place to hide it would be Amelia’s house, I reckon. I’ll start putting protections on it tomorrow.”

“Why?” Harry wondered curiously. “Dumbledore still doesn’t know where my house is – it’s unplottable.”

But Tonks was shaking her head even as he was talking. “Sorry, Harry, but the Unspeakables have a charm on it. That was their only condition when Amelia took it into custody. They know it’s at Hogwarts, but they’ll ask questions if it’s somewhere they can’t see. They’ve already visited this room twice since yesterday, and per our rules, agreed not to monitor us, but they’re not happy about it. They still believe you’re dead, and want no part in helping us. We’re not telling them otherwise.”

“That’s best,” Harry nodded. “They’ll be none-the-wiser about it. They’re probably not gonna tell anyone about me being alive even if we told them, but some of them could owe Dumbledore a favor.”

“Speaking of,” the girl continued, “he’s the biggest problem. He claims to be busy, dealing with the press and whatnot, but he occasionally shows up to look at our progress, and give snippets of mostly useless advice. We’ve transferred all of his monitoring charms to other items in the room, but I think he’s going to notice a missing archway when we take it out.”

Harry rubbed his chin. “He knows I’m alive and well, and he’s not in any real hurry to get me back. He just assumes I’m in a different place. He knows if he can’t find me, then Voldemort can’t find me.” He looked back into the mirror. “Does he know that Voldemort’s currently deceased? Did Snape tell him?”

She shook her head. “Unless something happened in the previous hour, Snape knows nothing, so Dumbledore definitely doesn’t know. As far as Luna can tell, the door is still locked, and the Death Eaters are afraid to intrude.”

Harry’s eyes sparkled. “Good. Tell Snape to unlock the door. That’ll keep him busy for quite a while, I imagine.”

“Will do,” Tonks nodded dutifully. “So… how are you holding up?” She switched to concern, her dark eyes shifting to a golden colour.

Harley and Ivy stared with interest at the slow shift, while Harry gave a slight smile. “Better than you would expect, transporting to another dimension. Nothing to complain about, certainly. How about you, Tonks? I don’t want you to worry – I’ll be back soon.”

“That depends entirely on whether or not this bloody thing’ll work,” she said stubbornly, looking off to the side to what Harry assumed was the veil. “Right now, we’ve got Yaxley, tied up and ready to go. We’ve used a steel cable and unicorn hair, two things famed for their toughness, and nothing so far has worked as a good fishing line. We have no idea where they went, and while part of me knows that I don’t care… well, we’re no closer to getting to you. So, unless you see the tied up bodies of Bellatrix and Goyle, then we’re shit out of luck for figuring what to do next.”

Harry made a show of glancing to the left at the empty road, devoid of bodies. “Sorry, nothing. If they did show up, I doubt they would still be here. Push Yaxley through – if he shows up here, we’ll start looking for the other two.”

The pink-haired auror nodded reluctantly. “Alright. I’ve got the Carrows here, too, if you want ‘em. We’re trying to use them sparingly. Don’t have many souls to go around.”

“I’ve got an idea to try, later,” Harry told her. “It’s something Harley thought of. I want to see if it’s possible.”

“Hm?” Harley wondered, her eyes on the back of Harry’s head. “When did that happen?”

Harry shook his head and grinned. “I’ll show you in a moment. Tonks? When you’re ready.”

“Righteo,” she murmured, flicking her wand at something out of their view. “Okay, Harry. Wrapped up in iron chains and laced with unicorn hair, I’m sending this bastard through in three – two – one.”

She flicked her wand again. “Bloody hell! The end of the chain is still here!” She rushed forward and grabbed onto the chain. “It’s… it’s the same weight! He’s still on the other side! See him?”

They waited for seconds – in the tense silence the three watched the spot that Harry had appeared, literally dropped into their lives. The first drops of moisture landed on the cobblestone, twinkling merrily, despite the dour situation.

After a few bated breaths, Harry breathed tiredly. “Nothing, Tonks. Sorry.”

Ivy looked further down the empty road both ways. “Is there a rip into space I’m supposed to be looking for? Is a body going to be falling out of nothingness?”

“Hold on, Harry.” Tonks tossed the mirror, and in a flash, they saw the pink-haired girl tugging on the rope and chain. “…Dammit,” she muttered, staring at the listless form of Abreaus Yaxley. “I think ‘e’s dead.” She looked ponderous. “What time did you go through the veil?”

“Six thirty-nine,” he answered immediately, remembering how odd he thought the time was under the streetlights when he arrived.

“Shit,” she whispered, before her eyes lowered. “It was six-thirty two when I got to the Department of Mysteries. I remember thinking it was about five or six minutes before I saw Sirius get sent through. I don’t think there’s much lag-time. There’s a chance he might fall through within a few minutes, but it’s minimal.” She sighed, and put up a fake, cheery voice. “So, what’s your idea?”

Harry stared at the unmoving Death Eater, scratching his chin. “I’ve gotten through this once, and I can do it again,” he muttered, looking up into the watery sky, the rain lightly pattering onto the trio with abandon. “Fine, then. Plan B.”


Omake by Rihaan:

Sirius stared blankly at the infinite whiteness around him. His mind was blank; his expression calm. He stood there, his eyes passively roaming the area around him, before he let out a low whistle.

“Well, at least it’s not a dark red, or black or something. So that’s probably a good thing.”

“Wouldn’t have been my bet.”

He looked back and gasped. “J-James? That really you?”

The raven-haired young man bowed. “Of course, mate. You’re lucky – they don’t really allow welcoming committees; especially in Limbo. You must be the exception to the rule. You’ve earned it Pad.”

Sirius reached out to touch his best friend, his hand trembling. James swatted his hand out the way, and immediately leaned in to hug him. “Thank you, Padfoot,” James, whispered, his voice gruff with emotion. “Thank you for taking care of my son. You don’t know how grateful Lily and I are.”

Harry’s godfather laughed at the thought. “Please, Prongs – if anything, he’s raised me. You shouldn’t have put me in any position to raise a child.”

“Considering how you got yourself killed, I agree.” The two shared a weak laugh at that.

Sirius stood back, and smiled slightly. “Look at you, Prongs; you haven’t aged a day. And I bet Tigerlily is as beautiful as ever.”

James tapped him on the back of the head. “We don’t need another Snivellus, Paddy. Stop ogling my wife.”

“And to believe, you could’ve stopped him from doing that at any time,” Sirius snickered.

James grimaced. “Had I known,” he corrected him. “Still; Harry put the life-debt to better use. Indentured servitude is the next best thing to ordering him to shut up forever.”

Padfoot barked a laugh. “That’s what I said you would’ve done!”

The latest Potter to pass on had a twinkle in his brown eyes. “I wanted him to stand out in the sun until his hair caught on fire, but when I heard your idea…”

SIRIUS!A scream echoed throughout the vast emptiness, quite a bit louder than an echo one would expect.

For the first time since Sirius’s death, the two old friends looked worried. “Harry?” Sirius croaked. “Not you, too…”

“He’s too young!” James whispered, almost in shock. “He can’t be! He promised me!”

SIRIUS!” the voice yelled once again, this time from a single source. They both turned to see a giant picture before them, Harry’s scratched, dirtied, angry, wonderful face in front of them. “NO!

Sirius watched helplessly as Harry ran towards the veil, full-speed. “No, Harry…” he whispered brokenly. He gasped. “Harry, STOP!”

Of all the things that he would have suspected to happen next, for Harry to actually stop was not one of those things. The green-eyed boy’s stride was caught mid-run by time itself, and, he noticed a moment later, so was everything else in the picture. He saw a red spell whizzing by his godson in mid-cast, but Harry had craned his neck to the side to barely avoid it.

With a stray thought, the picture zoomed out, and to his chagrin, the veil was only several strides away.

“James…” he whispered, “what do we do? James?”

“He can’t hear you, Sirius.”

An unknown echo once again ominously rang across the infinite space, and Sirius, by instinct, looked around for his friend.

He was once again alone.

“I sent him back,” the voice intoned, its smooth tenor tones calming him faster than he wanted, “but I can’t move you yet.”

Sirius nervously swallowed the air, not certain if he still had lungs to breath in or not, and looked back towards the picture. “Why not?”

“You know why. You’ve read the prophecy. The veil will not kill him. It will kill the tainted soul inside of him, but his own soul half and the half-soul of his love will remain together, intact. This has never happened before.”

Sirius thought furiously. “The tainted soul? Harry still had that damned Horcrux inside him? And it’s just been lying dormant?”

“A small piece of his soul had remained. It became even more complicated, actually. However, all traces will disappear.”

“Doesn’t the veil have another side? Can’t he just run right through?”

A mirthless chuckle filled the air. “I cannot. The veil must have one complete soul. It is the one constant I cannot change on the earth. Furthermore, I am not that inhumane. If he immediately walks out of that veil without a scratch, the boy will be considered a Deity or a Martyr. I cannot tell you the definite future, but I can predict the stupidity of the common man. The second he hits the veil of death, he must either leave that world behind, or he will fight the world – though it was planned, he is not yet ready. One day, he may be, but not this day. Right now, this is the only way it can be done. It is how it must be. For now.”

Sirius looked unsure, before he sagged his shoulders. “Okay. Am I here to watch him die? Because of my actions?”

The next laughter that rang through was full of mirth, and Sirius couldn’t bring himself to be angry – or rather, he couldn’t even try. “Once again, I am not inhumane, Sirius. No, you have already served your sentence for any transgressions. Nine years in prison, and almost six more in solitude; you have earned the right to live eternally alongside your friends. However, as I said, it is not your ward’s time. He and his mate Hermione have certain tools that guarantee their life – the veil, even if it wanted his soul, can never have it under these conditions. He will undoubtedly have a place next to you when he passes, along with his mates. None of them will appear here for a very long time.”

“A ‘Very long time?’ You mean he would have survived the fight against Voldemort? All of them?”

“I cannot tell you what I don’t know. However, the odds were in young Potter’s favor. But now, there will be no fight. There will be no Voldemort. To the rest of the Wizarding World, Harry Potter will die. The veil has some rather interesting qualities to it, however. It’s a… collector, you could say. When one Horcrux falls through, the others are sure to follow its mate. That’s how the veil works. One whole soul must go through. I only have the influence to choose the soul that is accepted, though in this instance, he’s made it significantly easier – now, I can choose where it can go. In a single instance, the broken pieces will be whole again, and stripped from the earth. The other soul… is why I have you here. You must decide, temporarily, where to take Harry Potter’s soul.”

“What do you mean? If he must leave earth, what’s left?” He almost scoffed at the thought. “Another universe? Some other dimension?”

“Precisely.”

The silence that followed spoke volumes.

The last Black grimaced. Harry Potter, his Godson, and Hermione Granger, his, for all intents and purposes, goddaughter-in-law, not to mention his girls – he was going to have to leave his life behind for – he didn’t know how long.

A part of him didn’t worry. Those two, even separate, were the most powerful forces magic had ever seen. How he would fare anywhere else, he didn’t know, but he was willing to bet that he’d find his way back to her – them – even if it broke the rules of magic itself. They’d find a way to each other.

What concerned him most, however, was that it seemed like the old bastard really was right. Love – that’s what’s going to do Voldemort in. Harry running into the veil, attempting to save his Godfather, would finally kill the Dark Lord for good.

It was time to start acting like the Godfather he never tried to be. It was time for Harry to truly enjoy his life with no interruptions.

“Fine, then.” Harry Potter’s final guardian spoke with a heavy breath. “What are my choices?”

“You were silent for longer than I expected, actually.” He sounded almost sheepish. “I had posed the question to James and Lily as well – I felt that they needed some say. Lily had a suggestion.”

He blanched at the thought. “It’s some place called Biblioworld, isn’t it? Nothing but books as far as the eye can see?”

There was a scoff at his side. “I’ve missed you too, you old dog.”

Sirius nearly jumped back in surprise. “Lily!”

The impeccably beautiful redhead really hadn’t aged a day. She smiled. “No, I’m pretty sure you’ll like where Harry’s going. It’s based on something I’ve read.”

“Of course it is – OW!” The mangy-haired man grimaced as she flicked his ear. “How does that still hurt so much?!”

She looked out, into the vast nothingness. “Make it so, Ignotus. At least this way, he’ll have a bit of a challenge with making his harem.” She glared at Sirius. “At least you weren’t riding his coattails.”

“Had I not been a convicted criminal, I might’ve,” Sirius muttered. “Ow! Stop doingthat! Where the bloody hell did you send him, anyway?”

The redhead had a fierce look in her green eyes. “A place where he’ll be ready – a place where he’ll be prepared to avenge his family. He’ll go back and lay waste to Dumbledore and all that have wronged him – us – from the very beginning. They’ll have what’s coming to him, and he’ll need powerful allies to make sure he stays on top. He’s far too nice, otherwise.”

Sirius silently conceded to her point. “Fine, then. Are there at least any companionship he can enjoy? You know his condition, Lily…”

Her smile was predatory. “We need to have a talk about that, Sirius…”

He gulped.

He was very familiar with that sinister smile. And for the first time under her scrutiny, Sirius wished he was not dead.