Happiness Is An Old Friend
by Benji: The Vampire Confuser
Based on Characters created by Joss Whedon, and JK Rowling. Also with a bit of Marvel Comics and original characters. Joe and Micky are my creations, and have been featured in a number of my fics.
Happiness is an Old Friend
"Hello, what's this?" Ron muttered, pulling the notice down off the post.
"Hmmm," Ginny said, taking it from him before he had a chance to read it, "It appears to be a piece of parchment with writing on it."
Ron looked at his younger sister in shock. "Where did you get a smart mouth like that?"
"Likely it's because she spent the weekend with Fred and George." Harry said. "Now come one what's it say?"
Hermione sighed, and grabbed the back of both Ron's, and Harry's cloaks, pulling them out of the traffic. It was crowded as always in Diagon Alley, more so that day because of all the Hogwarts students buying supplies. School was starting soon after all.
"Start the Year off Right." Ginny read from the flyer. "The Leaky Cauldron Proudly Presents the Music of The Celts. This Weekend Only, first time in Britain."
The group's brows all furrowed. "They've never had bands there before." Ron said, speaking aloud what they were all thinking. "What do you think? Worth the time?"
"Sounds interesting." Hermione said. "And we don't have to be back at the burrow 'till late."
"Nice place you godless heathens have here." Joe grunted, setting down a speaker. He saw the look on his friend’s face and sighed. "And now you're finally going to tell me that we don't actually need these things because you can just magic the sound louder."
Mickey shook his head. "Almost. Actually I was going to say that we do actually have a hand cart in the van."
"Right out in plain sight which is probably why you missed it."
"Crap on a bagel." Joseph Macleod sighed. "Ah well. Hmm. Do we?"
"Need the speakers?"
Mickey Keeler shrugged. "Technically no. I could
just magically amplify the sound. But we're trying to bring a touch of Muggle to the evening anyway, so they add a bit of atmosphere. We don't however need the power cords."
"Just as well because hey," Joe gestured around, "No outlets." He did a slow spin, taking the tavern in. "All sarcasm aside, this is very nice. How'd you score this gig again? This place doesn't look like they do much entertaining in the music department."
"My Uncle's friends with the owner."
"Ah yes. A little exposition goes a long way. Now let's get the damn piano out of the van. I don't suppose you could levitate it?"
"Not in front of the Muggles."
"You know as a Magic Impaired individual I feel I should be insulted by such a term as Muggle, as it sounds like it COULD be an ethnic slur."
"But it just sounds too damn silly to be offensive."
"We need roadies. WATCHIT!"
"We need more band members. WAIT STOP!"
" To the left now."
"Watch the curb."
"Got it. You're right though. Two guys does not a band make. Lift your end a little we're losing the cart."
"I know it. Soon's this is done we can start a quest. How far to the door?"
Three teenagers, one slender blond boy, and two larger dark haired ones were watching the spectacle before them, of two young men trying to move an upright piano into the Leaky Cauldron.
The boy, who looked oddly familiar to them both was smirking, obviously finding the situation incredibly funny.
Draco wasn't entirely sure what was going on, from the looks and sounds of things, it was two Muggle delivery men (and Yanks at that) trying to make a delivery to the Leaky Cauldron. But why would a piano be delivered to the Leaky Cauldron, and why would they have Muggles deliver it?
"Look if you Yanks don't mind," an indignant voice said, apparently they were blocking the sidewalk rather handily, "I'd like to be on my way."
"I don't mind in the least." Joe said with a smarmy grin. "You have yourself a nice day now."
Mickey looked at Draco. "Could you please open the door there? Joe's trying to re-start the war with England and I'd like to be inside in case he succeeds."
Draco had no particular urge to be helpful, but here WAS an opportunity for a bit of fun. Pulling out his wand, he waved and the door opened of it's own accord. He smirked, waiting for a shocked reaction. He was less than thrilled when he didn't get one. The two yanks took it in stride.
Glowering, Draco tried to think of an appropriate revenge, but though better of it just then. He didn't need any trouble at this juncture. Thanks to that damn Harry Potter his father had been revealed as a death eater and now he rather had to watch his step. Opening a door like that was one thing. Harming Muggles was apt to get him no end of trouble. He fumed.
Joe pored over the set list and some sheet music, deciding on last minute changes. He was about to be the first Muggle to ever perform in Diagon Alley. As far as he knew, the first Muggle to ever perform anywhere in the Wizarding world. Best not screw it up. It was nice to have something to focus on besides his recent, and not so recent troubles. This was after-all, what he wanted to do with his life.
Mickey for his part watched Joe carefully. It was never easy losing a friend. They had both lost several in their tenure on the Hellmouth, but the trouble had seemed to follow them, and more had died. Joe seemed to take each death as a personal failure on his part. When he'd taken this trip to England, using money left over from college, he'd decided to bring Joe along, the most recent loss having hit him particularly hard.
After a full day of shopping, with Harry and Ron rather bored as the girls tried on clothes, they were headed back to the Leaky Cauldron.
"I'm rather keen to hear them." Ginny said. Hermione, and to a lesser extent, Harry, had told them about Muggle music, Hermione even had a few recordings of some, though, music was not her big thing. But from what she'd heard, Ginny was rather curious.
No sooner had they sat down, then the door burst open and in hurried Arthur Weasley. Ginny and Ron paled slightly, but the Patron of Weasly didn't notice the quartet, as he hurried to the bar. "I haven't missed anything have I?" he asked anxiously, peering curiously and intently at the two musicians.
"No Arthur they haven't started yet. Breathe." the bartender said.
Arthur strode over to the pair. "Which of you is Mickey Keeler?" he asked.
Surprised, Mickey raised his hand. "Erm, that would be me sir."
Grinning, Arthur grabbed the boy's hand and shook it enthusiastically. "Arthur Weasly. I knew your parents Mickey. Fine people the both of them."
But the gushing man had already moved on, looking in fascination at the arrayed instruments. The Piano, harmonica, guitar, even the bagpipes. Then his eyes settled on Joe. "Muggle music in Diagon Alley. Brilliant." He shook Joe's hand with even more fervor. "Please allow me to be the first to welcome you. I'm quite a fan of Muggle bands, I can't wait to hear your musical stylings."
"Thank you very much sir." Joe said easily, grinning. "Do you have any favorite songs you'd like us to play for you?"
Ron stared in horror at his father. "Please don't notice us. Please don't-"
"Hullo Ron! Ginny! Hermione, Harry! Come here I'd like you to meet someone!"
"Correction." Ginny muttered. "I WAS keen on hearing them."
"You all know what to do." he said. "The Muggle's presence in our realm will not be tolerated. Kill him, and anyone who gets in our way. You understand?" The others nodded. In the failing light of Knockturn Alley stood several Wizards and Witches who were quite at home there. It was a transitional period, the decent folk were just gone inside, while the other kind had yet to really emerge.
Flint knew that was when they had to strike. The fewer complications the better.
"A witch! A witch!"
Flint's head jerked at the unexpected interruption. The voice seemed to have come from further down in the alley.
"Burn her!" That time from the roof. The shadows were spreading and darkening. "Lumos." he muttered, shedding a light on the area. He frowned. Hadn't there been twelve in his group when they'd arrived? Two were missing.
The others noticed as well. They began to mutter.
"Shut up!" he hissed. "Spread out. They can't have gone far."
"Do you like scary stories?"
In a second, chaos erupted when several figures dropped from the rooftops. All were wearing heavy cloaks, but when they landed in the darkness of the back street they threw them off. Flint and the others gasped in horror. Vampires. Fortunately they had their wands ready and-
"C'mere you!" someone cried, grabbing Flint from behind and dragging him off his feet.
The former Slytherin chaser shrieked as his wand was ripped from his grasp. He heard a snap that he assumed was his wand, and then he was thrown onto the roof.
The cries of battle rose into the air from below, and shouts of alarm echoed from several of the nearby buildings.
"They can keep each other entertained for a while." said the still cloaked figure before him. "You and I have a different game to play. You-" The figure stopped, as if surprised. "Damn, don't you people know any dentistry spells?"
Flint sprang to his feet and charged his attacker, who dodged out of the way, grabbing him by the hair. "Now now, none of that. Now this will only hurt for the rest of your life. Which is to say, not very long at all. And when you wake up, I have a very important message for your master." Just before the pain struck his neck, Flint heard the Vampire say;
"I've just gotta see what happens when a guy with teeth like yours goes Vamp Face."
With great reluctance, to which Mr. Weasly was completely oblivious, Ron, Ginny and their friends rose.
Joe noticed however and sympathized. It was never fun when your father kind of cut in on your quality time with your friends. Particularly when said parent was trying to be hip.
"Joe, Mickey this is my son Ron, and my daughter Ginny." Arthur introduced. He introduced Harry and Hermione next, and then faltered, two girls had appeared with the group, two that he didn't know. One was staring a little blankly at Joe and Mickey. "Erm, who are you?" he asked.
Ron jumped, not having seen Loony Lovegood approach. "Bloody hell!"
"Sorry dad. Loony, er, Luna, where did you come from?"
"We were at a table when you came in." she said. "You were talking to the Celts and we wanted to introduce ourselves." She nodded at Joe, who was bemused at this exchange. The girl seemed to be, well off in a world all her own.
"Luna Lovegood." she said. "And this is my new friend, Amanda Sefton. An exchange student from Germany. She'll be in Ravenclaw."
"Raven what now?" Joe asked.
"I'll explain later." Mickey said quickly. He had the feeling that this Luna girl could go on at some length on the subject.
To be continued…