Harry listened to the old witch behind the French bookstore’s counter complain about the British ministry and their narrow view on enchanted objects. He was glad that he had learned French when he had received Willow’s memories, otherwise wandering around the magical district in France wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. As much as he liked Ron’s dad he could understand the shopkeeper having a problem with people passing laws that meant that she lost an entire country of costumers for most of her inventory. “So… basically you’re saying that it’s illegal to bring most of your shop back to Brittan?”
The shopkeeper shrugged, “A lot of the stuff that I sell is classified as muggle items… thus charming it is illegal in Britain. For example… you can enchant a snitch to fly around… but enchanting a baseball to fly around could be viewed as muggle baiting… because a baseball is a muggle item. Never mind if you just want it because you don’t want to have to chase the ball down after you hit it. The laws are very screwed up there… For example you can‘t even enchant a blanket or carpet to fly because some broom company gave your ministry a bribe.”
“That’s rather jaded… any proof that they were bribed?”
“Not exactly… but what else could it be? It‘s either bribery or incompetence on a massive scale.”
“I can picture it though.” He was a bit annoyed about Britain making flying cars illegal as brooms were just as bad or worse than cars. At least a flying car looked like a car when it wasn’t in use. They had added so many features to the brooms that they barely looked like brooms anymore. While they could still pass as some strange fancy broom it was getting to the point where they were noticeably different from mundane brooms. They would certainly attract attention if a non-magical saw them. It actually made more sense to place a similar enchantment on a bike as the bike would blend in better with mundane culture.
Hermione looked up at Harry from where she was looking through one of the books, “Willow…?”
Harry was glad that he had decided to just use Willow as his female name because he had no problems answering to it without even really thinking about it. “Yes?”
She give Harry her best puppy dog eyes look as she held up a rather old looking book on enchanting things. “Can you buy this for me please? I‘ll pay you back.” While she had a little bit of spending money she didn’t have enough wizarding money on her to get the book.
Harry laughed, “Don’t worry about it. Feel free to pick a couple…” He suddenly realized that he had just told his book obsessed friend that he would pick up the tab. He watched Hermione’s face light up with glee as she collected a couple more books from the shelves. He had a sinking feeling that his pocketbook was going to suffer for that oversight. He briefly wondered if he could charge the ministry for killing Voldemort like a couple of Harrys had tried in various fan fiction stories then decided that they probably would charge him with murder just so that they didn’t have to pay out any type of reward. He gulped as he saw Hermione assemble a rather large pile of books and then winced as the shopkeeper got in on the fun by pointing out several additional supposedly useful books that she didn’t have in her pile. He smiled slightly as he remembered a couple of times that Willow and Dawn had cleaned some book dealers out of various parts of their libraries when they were rebuilding the council archives. “Any idea how we are going to carry all of this around with us?”
Hermione smiled picked one last book out and set it on the counter for the shopkeeper to ring up with the rest, “I’ve got a plan.”
“We have the nice shopkeeper shrink them temporarily then we stash the books back at the villa until we can round up some help to drag them back home.” She smiled as she looked over her rather large pile of books, “I might have found more than a couple books. You don’t mind covering the bill do you?”
Harry shrugged, “Nope…” He winced slightly as he listened to the shopkeeper gleefully ring the books up, “No, that’s fine. I‘m sure they‘ll come in helpful.”
She smiled, “I’m sure they will.”
Sirius smiled slightly as he looked at the cleaned library, “Good job Kreacher.” He was trying to put into practice some of Xander’s knowledge and treat the house elf better than he otherwise might have. While he didn’t have a problem with most house elves he didn’t particularly like Kreacher on account of a long history with the guy growing up.
Kreacher grumbled as he looked up at his current master, “Blood traitor.”
“Damn proud of it.”
Kreacher left with a snort.
Remus watched Kreacher leave, “He doesn’t like you much does he?”
“Not in the least.” He personally thought that it might be better to either free the elf now or trade him to someone before Kreacher had a chance to poison him or learn something that he shouldn’t. He was going to have to have a long talk with Kreacher about his brother. He was hoping that Kreacher’s disposition would improve after he managed to destroy the locket that his brother had sacrificed himself to get. “I don’t suppose you want to help me sort through the books and de-curse a bunch of them for when Harry and Hermione get here?”
“I’d be glad to, it makes up for feeling like I let Harry down by not checking on him over the years.”
Sirius sighed, “So why didn’t you check on him?”
“I was told that the wards would prevent magical creatures from entering the property until he learned about magic. I thought about sending him a letter many times once he reached school but somehow I always decided to wait. It sort of just spiraled from there, old insecurities from being a werewolf.”
Part of him wondered if Albus had cursed his friend or something but the cynical part figured it was just his friend’s personal demons that had prevented him from either checking on Harry or coming to scream at him. “How come you never came to kill me in prison?”
Remus chuckled softly, “I tried, but they wouldn’t let me visit because I’m a werewolf.”
Sirius laughed, “I’m sort of glad for that, I probably would have let you kill me then I’d be dead and all that.”
“Now who is being morbid?”
“True.” Sirius stared at the Black family library with mixed regret. There were some dark books in the library but there were also a lot of useful books as well. “Let’s get to sorting the library.”
Harry adjusted her bikini then stepped out of the photo booth. “How come Britain doesn’t have any magical photo booths in Diagon Alley?”
Hermione stepped out and collected the pictures from the enchanted machine, “It’s probably not touristy enough or maybe a photo booth is regarded as a muggle artifact so it can’t be charmed. I‘ll have to do some reading to find out.”
“That doesn’t really make sense. You take magical pictures with charmed cameras, right?” He winced as an idea popped into his head, “I bet Colin would know how his camera works.”
Hermione laughed, “We can probably find a book on magical photography.”
“That would be less painful.” He knew Colin Creevey meant well but he was rather enthusiastic about photography. At the very least he wanted the chance to read through a magical book on the subject before talking to him so that he wouldn’t be completely lost.
Hermione looked over the pictures with amusement, “Far less painful.”
“Do we have any pictures that we can show Ron?”
Hermione chuckled as she looked through them, “I think most of the pictures would blow his mind.”
Harry pointed to a picture that showed a grinning Hermione behind him with her hands covering his breasts rather than his bikini top. “I like that one. Can we show him at some point?”
“His head would explode and no you can‘t if you want to ever take more interesting pictures.”
“It could be fun but you‘re probably right.”
Hermione shook her head, “You really should see about changing back to your normal self.”
He took a glance around to make sure that no one was looking in their direction. “Fine…” He concentrated on his male form and switched.
Hermione stared at him in shock, “How long have you been able to do that?”
“I figured it out last night while you were reading your new books out on the balcony.”
“So that’s why you were in the bathroom so long, I thought that you had eaten something that didn’t agree with you.”
Harry snorted, “Nope.”
She frowned, “Why didn’t you mention it?”
Harry thought about the fact that they had fallen asleep together on the couch watching a movie to celebrate his thirteenth birthday. He hadn’t mentioned it because he had wanted one nice birthday and curling up with Hermione while watching a movie was the best birthday that he could remember. He also knew that her parents wouldn’t let him sleep in her room at night if they knew he was actually a boy. The less time he spent as a guy the less chance of them finding out. “I didn’t want to spoil the mood.” He wasn’t looking forward to going back to Britain where everyone recognized his scar and expected him to save the day.
Hermione wavered between hitting his arm for not telling her that he had figured out how to swap back to his Harry shaped form and hugging him because he was back to looking like Harry. She chose to hug him rather than hit him. “Prat.”
Harry smiled innocently, “I had meant to tell you but you launched into a speech about enchanting as soon as I got back from the bathroom that was rather interesting.”
She chuckled as she pulled him back toward the photo booth, “Let’s take a couple more photos for our scrap book.”
“I can think of a couple of pictures that would blow Ron’s mind.”
Harry snickered, “Just because my hair is already black doesn’t mean I’m evil.”
Hermione laughed, “That was the nice thing about Willow’s hair, you knew to run when it went black.”
“I could always charm my hair a different color.”
“Actually, speaking of the Weasleys, I’ve got an idea.”
“What’s that?” She pulled out a couple of coins and put them in the photo booth‘s coin slot. She gently pushed Harry into the seat. “Sit.”
Harry stuck his tongue out at her but otherwise didn‘t protest sitting down on the bench. “Hedwig should be back from sending a letter to Sirius soon. I think we should send Ginny or possibly the twins some coin to pick up some interesting books in Egypt.”
“Nah, he’d just blow the coin on crap souvenirs after getting one book then be confused why we were angry at him. Besides, I‘d like to know how solid Ginny is.” There were a lot of fan fiction stories where she was an evil gold digging bitch. He didn’t think she was but it would be nice to figure it out early. That and he wanted a reason to expand his friends list to include more than Ron and Hermione.
“That’s not a bad idea, maybe mention that she could ask her older brother Bill for some help picking out the books if she couldn‘t find anything interesting. He’s supposed to be excellent at what he does.”
“That and I want the chance to get to know Ginny, I think she’ll turn out to be more interesting than Ron. Let‘s take some pictures.” He wasn’t going to mention that he thought she might be more useful as well.
Hermione reached over and pushed the button on the time delay for the pictures then proceeded to pose for a number of pictures, some of which were even decent enough to show off at school.
Fred smiled as Hedwig flew in the cabin’s window carrying a small box. “Package.”
Ron grinned, “Harry must have sent something.”
Hedwig flew over to Ginny past Ron and dropped the box off.
Ron frowned as he tried to figure out why Harry’s bird was dropping off his package with his sister. “Maybe she’s delirious from the heat.”
George snorted as he read the name on the package, “Nope, it says Ginny, Egypt. I‘m surprised that she was able to find us with that bad of directions.”
Hedwig gave George a look that could be taken for agreement or maybe give me water or die.
Fred used his wand to fill up a cup with water and placed it by Hedwig.
Hedwig promptly took a drink.
Ron stared at the box, “What is it?”
Ginny opened the box and noticed two envelopes and a small cloth coin purse. She pulled out the envelope that said Ron on it in black letters, “Oh, here.” She handed him his envelope. She partially closed the box then set it down between her legs where Ron would be unlikely to try to grab it or even really look at it. She opened her letter and started reading it to herself. ‘Dear Ginny, I hope you’re enjoying Egypt. If this reaches you before your birthday then happy birthday if it reaches you after then happy belated birthday. Inside the box you’ll find a money pouch with an undetectable expansion charm. Please take twenty of the galleons as your birthday present and bribe. Bribe, you ask? I’m working on a project so that I don’t get too bored. Hermione reminded me that there might be some interesting books on curses or curse breaking in Egypt, I know that we don’t know each other as well as we should but I don’t really trust Ron with money. If you’re willing to help me out and score some points with Hermione, I’d appreciate it if you could use the money in the purse to buy some books on curse breaking that we can’t get in Diagon Alley. If you’re not willing to help out because you’re having too good a time on vacation then I’ll understand. If that’s the case please pass the purse onto the twins and ask them to help you find some books. In either case, feel free to show the letter to the twins or Bill. P.S. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t show the letter to Ron or Percy. Percy would complain about there being a perfectly valid reason that certain books aren’t sold in Diagon Alley and Ron would complain that I didn’t trust him with coin.’ She checked to make sure that Ron was still reading his note then she put the box and letter in her pocket.
George looked at Fred, “We’re going to have to have words with Harry.”
“Exactly, no letter for us?”
Ron shrugged, “He just said that England was boring and that he hoped we were having fun. What did he say in your letter Ginny?”
“More of the same really, hoped that my birthday was good and all of that.” She swatted his hand when he reached for her letter, “Don’t even, I’m framing this.”
Ron rolled his eyes, “I‘ll grab some parchment to send a reply.”
George watched Ron leave then turned to look at Ginny, “So what’s in the letter and the box.”
Fred snickered, “You hid it rather quickly.”
Ginny whispered, “Harry wants our help getting some slightly illegal books on ward breaking and curses. He sent some coin.”
Fred looked at George then looked back at their sister, “Wicked.”
“He doesn’t want Ron to know.” She trailed off as Ron reappeared at the door.
Ron frowned as he walked back in, “What doesn’t he want me to know?”
“That he bought a pink fedora and tap danced around the neighborhood in an attempt to discredit his family.”
Ron frowned, “What’s tap dancing?”
Fred winced, “You really should consider the muggle studies class.”
“What’s a fedora for that matter?”
George sighed, “I don’t think it would help him.”
Ron scowled as he sat down and started writing a reply knowing that his siblings were having him on.
Ginny snagged a piece of paper and wrote her reply, ’I think we could all do with more friends. I’ll see if I can find what you’re looking for. I‘ve got lots of stories of Egypt so far, more than I can write in a letter. I‘ll tell you about it sometime.’ She folded the letter up and sealed it. “That should work.”
Ron gave her a strange look, “What did you say?”
“None of your business.”
Ron went back to writing after deciding that he would just ask Harry what his weird sister wrote when he saw him.
Ginny asked Hedwig, “Can you send a letter?”
Hedwig flapped her wings.
“I’ll take that for a yes.”
Ron grumbled, “Almost done.” He folded up the letter and attached it to Hedwig’s foot. Ginny did the same on her other foot. He watched her fly off. “At least we’ll have lots of stories to tell him.”
Ginny figured that it shouldn’t be too difficult to get Bill to tell her the best places to go. She would probably have to drag the twins or Bill along but she was willing to do that to help Harry out. After all he saved her from the monster in the chamber.
Hermione frowned as she looked at Harry, “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
Harry grinned as he looked at the glittering Palais de la Mediterranee Casino. It was supposed to be a very rich casino, “I want to buy a castle, I need enough money to do that.”
“You read way too many fan fiction stories about inheriting a castle.”
“That would have been easier, or finding out that the Potters were secretly wealthy beyond sanity. Sadly no such luck.” He was wealthy enough all things considered but he was way too young to actually sell off any of the properties which made generating the type of money he was going to need to pull off his crazy plan rather difficult unless he cheated. “We’ll be fine, we left our wands at the villa so even the magical security they have shouldn’t bother us. Even if things go south the glamours should keep us from being recognized.” They had heard from a couple of local witches that the casino had anti-apparation wards and wards to detect wands on all of the entrances. It wouldn’t have occurred to him before receiving Willow’s memories that a muggle organization would know about magic but he guessed that a lot of the older businesses would have to have a member of the family that was magical otherwise the magical community would have robbed them blind and broke over the years.
Hermione frowned, “It still seems a bit dishonest.”
“Just tap into Dawn’s memories and let’s party.”
“Just because this place in the other world tossed Dawn out for card counting doesn’t mean this one deserves to have us rip off several million from it.”
Harry lowered his voice just in case someone was paying more attention than they should be, “I doubt we’ll get that much from just one casino but there are a lot of them around.”
Hermione chuckled, “Fine… but when this blows up in our faces and we’re floating face down in a storm drain somewhere I’m going to be rather cross with you.”
Harry smiled, “Just as long as you bring me back to life to torture me.”
“Better if you don’t die, I’m not sure if you received Willow’s immortality with the rest of her powers. If you didn‘t then I’m not sure I can bring you back to life in this world.” She knew that only people that died by magical means could be brought back to life in Dawn and Willow’s world, she wasn’t sure how things worked in this world.
Harry thought about his parents, “We might have to test that… or at least figure out a way to test if I’m ‘still’ immortal that doesn’t involve killing me.”
Hermione looked back at the casino, “Let’s do this.”
Harry grinned as she tossed a thought to Hermione, ‘We could always play poker with you being my spotter.’
Hermione jumped slightly, ‘I’d forgotten about that.’
‘Sorry, I was just reminded of it because I was thinking about our last casino run back in eighty nine.”
‘That was fun.’ She smiled as she walked through the door of the casino and Harry’s glamour stayed in place. By the lack of shouts or surprise on the doorman’s face she assumed that her glamour also stayed in place. It almost felt like cheating when they couldn’t detect your magic. She felt a bit guilty about Harry’s plan but at the same time she liked the idea of buying a bigger library than Hogwarts had. She didn’t think it was fair of Harry to use that argument against her. She knew it would take time to acquire such a library but she had nothing but time. “Let’s get some chips then we can have some fun.”
Harry walked up to the counter and presented a charmed plastic card that had that caused people to see whatever you wanted and not think twice about it. He handed over a thousand pounds worth of French notes.
The lady behind the counter looked at the man’s identification then took the money and handed him a stack of chips. “Have a good time Mr. Black.”
Harry smiled at the lady, “I will.”
Hermione chuckled slightly as they moved away from the counter to split up the chips, ‘Mr. Black?’
Harry grinned, ‘Everything considered, it seems fitting.’
Hermione chuckled as she took her chips, “Thanks. I’ll see about the blackjack tables while you hit the slots and roulette tables.”
“That works, keep in touch.” He smiled as he walked over to a slot machine and used a bit of magic to jinx it so that it would pay out. He scooped up the coins as the flashing lights on the machine went off then proceeded to head to the roulette table where a bit of telekinesis would ensure that he made a tidy profit.
Hermione silently cast a favorite spell of Dawn’s that allowed her to see the value of cards from the back. Dawn had researched the spell to supplement her income back in college. Buffy hadn’t really understood just how much it cost for basic necessities. Not that Buffy would have considered some of Dawn‘s purchases to be a necessity but spell books, good food and silk sheets were expensive and Willow didn‘t like it when she borrowed her books for an extended period of time. Dawn’s taste in wine was also much better than her sister’s. She joined the left most of the three blackjack tables and worked on playing the long game. It was actually possible to make money playing blackjack without cheating or being exceptionally lucky by playing conservatively and carefully. It had to do with the fact that the dealer stayed on seventeen and hit on sixteen or less. Being able know what card they were going to give you if you took a hit increased your chances of winning by enough to make it worth playing. A couple of subtle duplication charms on the chips in her pocket further increased her profit margins. It wasn’t really fair but she was channeling Dawn too much to care.
Harry grinned slightly as he checked on the two rather large men following them down the street in a car‘s mirror. They had been following them since the casino. ‘This is your fault.’
Hermione frowned, ‘How is it my fault?’
‘I recognize them from the high stakes poker game.’
‘Yeah the pinch faced guy with the cowboy hat, they are his men.’
‘Really? I don‘t think he lost more than five hundred thousand on the bluff I called.’ She snickered.
Harry knew that it hadn’t been a bluff exactly as the man had had a good hand, Hermione had just had better. ‘You’re enjoying this way too much.’
‘Maybe a little bit.’ She glanced toward an alley, ‘Shall we see what they want?’
‘Might as well.’ Harry walked into the alley and set his two briefcases filled with cash down on the ground then conjured a shield and waited for the thugs to either walk past or enter the alley after them. After all it might just be coincidence that they had taken the same path from the casino but he didn’t think so.
Hermione smiled at the thugs as they walked into the alley, “Can we help you?”
The taller thug smiled nastily, “You owe our boss some money.”
Hermione shook her head, “He lost, if he couldn’t afford the loss the shouldn’t have bet.”
The shorter thug smiled as they pulled out guns, “I’m afraid we have to insist.”
Harry gestured with his hands and blasted each of the thugs with a stunner. “Is it petty if I think we should empty their bank accounts?”
Hermione shook her head, “Not really, they were going to rob us or worse.” They had expected some trouble but they had actually expected some trouble from the casino not the various people they played against.
Harry gestured toward the thugs and used a spell to disintegrate their clothing other than their underwear. He didn’t really see a reason to reach into their pockets in case there was something nasty in their pockets like needles or blades or something. He reached down and picked up each of the thugs’ wallets. “A bit of magic and we don’t even need a pin number to empty their accounts.”
Hermione looked over the rest of the odds and ends they had in their pocket and decided that they didn’t have anything else of value. “Hopefully the guy paid his thugs well. We should turn the guns in to the cops in case they were used in any unsolved crimes.”
“After we loot their accounts.” He pulled the cash in the wallets out and put it in his pocket. He checked to make sure there weren’t any pictures of children or anything that would make him feel guilty about looting their accounts. There wasn’t, just a picture of a nasty looking naked women in one of the wallets that looked like she was wearing a pound or five of makeup. He pocketed their licenses and debit cards then dropped the wallets after wiping them for prints.
“Is it a bad thing that I’m looking forward to looting Malfoy manor after we kill him?”
Harry raised an eyebrow, “We’re planning on killing him?”
“After what he tried to do to Ginny and the inability of the ministry to keep the death eaters locked up, I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to kill a lot of death eaters.”
Harry sighed, “Dawn was always the blood thirsty one, well her and Xander.”
Hermione sighed, “No, they were just the most honest about humans being monsters.”
“True. Let‘s get out of here before someone spots us or they wake up.” He didn’t particularly like guns thanks to Willow’s memories but he also knew that turning the guns in would get them off the street. He conjured a brown paper bag and used that to pick up the guns without getting his prints on them.
“Do you want to stash the money and hit a couple more casinos tonight?”
“How likely are your parents to check on us?”
“Not very, they already said goodnight. We’ll check to make sure when we stash the money.” She wasn’t going to say it because it would just encourage Harry but making a few more million was easily worth the risk of getting grounded for sneaking out. Not that there was much risk. They had placed wards on the door that would alert them to anyone knocking or opening the door. If that happened they could just teleport back to the villa with no one the wiser, at least that was the hope.
“Then yeah, let’s have some fun.”
Sirius sighed when he looked through the spy hole in the door at number twelve and saw Albus Dumbledore. “Damn it.”
“I heard that.”
Sirius opened the door knowing that he wasn‘t going to enjoy the conversation, “What can I do for you Albus?”
Albus looked over his glasses at the former Gryffindor, “Why?”
“Why did you remove Harry from his aunt’s house?”
“I haven’t actually seen Harry since he was a baby.”
Albus’s eyes narrowed, “Do you know where he is?”
“Vaguely, he said something about doing some traveling.”
“His aunt’s place is the safest place for him.”
Sirius snorted, “Not anymore. I doubt you could reform the blood wards even if Harry was willing to stay with his aunt and he isn’t.”
“Where is he?”
Sirius snorted, “Go fuck yourself and get off my property.”
Albus stared at Sirius in shock, “What?”
“I said go fuck yourself. It was written in Lily’s and James’ will that Harry was never to go to his aunt’s care. I know I screwed up for trying to catch Pettigrew myself but you placed Harry in hell. You have no fucking idea what growing up with bastard parents is like. You might be the headmaster of the school he goes to, you might even still be the chief warlock but you had no right to overrule their wills like that.”
Albus sighed, “It was the safest place.” It was either that or the minister might have had the chance to assign him to some influential family.
“Other than the Dursleys you mean. They hit him when they felt like it, they screamed at him, they starved him. He thought his name was boy until he started school. If I hear that you harass Harry once school starts about where he was on his first ever vacation then I will put my considerable fortune to use ruining you. I will drag your name through the dirt and shit on your reputation.” Sirius stepped back and slammed the door closed.
Albus sighed, “I guess tea is out of the question.” It wasn’t that he didn’t understand where Sirius was coming from it was just that he worried about Harry’s safety. Still all things considered that had went better than he had expected.
Sirius stalked off to the library to look for more wards to keep uninvited visitors out.
Hermione hugged Harry who was now back in his girl form. “I’ll see you soon.”
Harry felt his ribs creak a touch from his friend‘s hug. “Need to breathe.”
She let go of Harry, “Oh right, details.”
Dan Granger smiled at his daughter’s friend, “I’m glad that you could stay with us. I haven’t seen Hermione have this much fun on a family trip in years.”
Hermione pouted, “Dad.”
“Just saying.” He turned to look at the board that listed the outgoing flights to hide his smirk from his daughter. It was nice that she had such a good friend other than Harry and the slacker Ron. While she hadn’t exactly come right out and called him that he could read between the lines.
“It was a great summer.” The whirlwind tour of French art, beaches and shops would have seen to that even without Hermione though it wouldn‘t have been nearly as excellent without her to share it with. Then again just not being at the Dursleys would have made it the best summer Harry had had since he could remember. It might even be in the top fifty summers that Willow could remember.
“I’ll try to come visit before the end of summer.”
Dan smiled, “That shouldn’t be a problem. Your mother and I will be busy during the week for the rest of the summer.” They had some long hours scheduled to make up for taking off as much time as they did. The other dentist at the office had taken some of the more pressing cases and the rest they had pushed back until after their vacation. Having Hermione stay at a friend’s house during the week wouldn’t be a bad thing considering they were going to be working long hours for the last couple of weeks of summer.
Emma smiled at Hermione, “We’ll figure something out once we land.”
Dan looked at the young girl that would have to find a way back from the airport, “You’ll be okay once we leave right?”
Harry smiled, “I’ve got my portkey, all I have to do is touch it with my bare skin and I’ll be back in London. My guardian will pick me up from the alley.”
“In that case, good luck.”
Hermione gave him a wave before heading off to catch her plane with her family.
Harry picked up his bags then headed to a corner of the airport that didn’t have much traffic and was out of view of the couple of cameras positioned around the departure area. He whispered a quick notice me not spell. He gave it a slow count of thirty for people to find other things to look at then he touched his portkey and let it take him and his bags to Diagon Alley. He stumbled a touch on the landing. “Not my favorite method of travel.” He looked around to make sure that his notice me not spell was still working then he swapped back to his normal male form. He reached out with his magic and teleported to 12 Grimmauld Place. He could feel the wards surrounding the place that kept muggles from noticing it. He hauled his bags toward the door. He was looking forward to spending the last two weeks of his vacation studying and talking with Sirius. It felt strange to have more knowledge of the man from stories than he did from either his professors or his so called family. He would have thought that his aunt and uncle would have at least bitched about his father’s freaky friends but it had never came up. He was a bit surprised that no one had mentioned that he had family or something like it. Of course he hadn’t really asked either.
Remus opened the door and stared in surprise at the young man that looked remarkably like James. He had to suppress a laugh at the fact that Harry was wearing, sandals, worn shorts and a white t-shirt that said, ‘It’s okay to stare.’ in black letters. He asked, “How did you get here?”
“I teleported from Diagon Alley, is Sirius here?”
“Yeah, he’s doing a bit of research in the library.” Remus squashed the urge to ask Harry about what he was thinking running away. “Come in.” He was also curious about who had dropped him off but he figured he could let Sirius ask that. He didn’t want the boy’s first impression of him to be him bitching at him.
“Cool.” Harry picked his collection of bags up and walked into the house. He felt the weird twitchy feeling that he always got when another immortal first got close. “That answers that.”
Sirius laughed from the stairs. “Yes, yes it does Harry or should I call you Willow?”
Harry chuckled at Remus’ look of confusion, “Nah that’s my better half. I’m still Harry.”
“Where do we go from here?”
Harry shrugged, “Somewhere I can put my stuff then we’ve got some planning to do.”
Sirius gestured toward the hallway on the first floor, “Pick a bedroom and drop your stuff off. How was your vacation?”
“Best I’ve ever had.”
Remus frowned as he looked back and forth between Harry and Sirius, “I’m missing something aren’t I?”
“About a hundred and fifty years worth.” Harry chuckled as he walked into the first bedroom he came to and dropped off his bags.
Remus looked at Sirius, “Care to explain?”
Sirius shrugged, “You wouldn’t believe me if I did tell you.”
“It’s a long story.”
Harry snickered as he walked back out without his bags, “In another world people dressed as several people from this world and got turned into us for a night. When the night was over we got about two hundred years of their life stuffed in our heads.”
“Apparently not that long of a story.”
Remus looked back and forth between them, “You expect me to believe that?”
Harry shrugged, “No but that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.”
Sirius grinned, “So have you figured out what to do about Voldemort yet?”
“I’ve got a couple of things I want to do before I worry about that.”
Sirius raised an eyebrow, “Something more important than destroying the evil wizard that killed your parents.”
Harry smiled, “Not really more important but I don’t know where Voldemort is right now. I know where he’ll be later.”
Remus stared back and forth between the two of them, “Have you lost it?”
“Not really. Well maybe a little. I sort of want a castle.”
Sirius snorted, “I was going to buy you a firebolt for your birthday. A castle is a bit out of my price range.”
Harry laughed, “I have the money, I just need you to be the adult that comes with me so that the real estate agent takes me seriously.”
“In that case sure.”
Remus stared at Harry, “How did you make that kind of money?”
“Playing cards in a casino.”
“You were gambling?”
“It’s not gambling when you fix the roulette wheel so you win. Plus a friend of mine might know a spell to see what a card is from the back. It makes blackjack wicked easy to make money at.”
“Hermione is Dawn then?”
Sirius raised his fists in triumph, “Wicked. We should probably check to see if Buffy is floating around Luna’s head.”
Remus sighed, “Why does it feel like I’ve stepped into a rabbit hole and fallen all the way to Wonderland?”
Harry chuckled, “You’ll get used to it.”
Sirius rubbed his hands together, “Any other plans?”
“Yep, I want to grab the resurrection stone and ask my parents if they want to come back to life. If they do then I’ll see about bringing them back from the dead. If they don‘t then we leave well enough alone.”
“How sure are you that it will work?”
Harry sighed, “I’m not sure. I was thinking about testing it on a couple of other people first just to make sure that it works.”
Remus looked at Sirius. He couldn’t believe that Sirius was feeding Harry’s delusion about bringing his parents back to life. “That’s impossible.”
Harry reached out with his hand and used magic to lift Remus into the air.
“What the hell?”
“I’m not sure if it’s possible or not but I want to try. Willow could bring people back from the dead in her world and I have her magic and her knowledge.”
Remus gulped as he looked down at the floor that was several feet below him, “You were serious before about having someone else’s memories?”
Sirius chuckled, “No, I’m Sirius. Seriously, yes we were serious about having other memories.”
Remus stared at Harry, “Can you prove it? I don‘t suppose you can put me down?”
Harry set Remus back on the ground then used his magic to float several feet off the ground, “Does that help?”
Remus gulped as he started to believe that something more than a prank was going on. While Sirius was decent at magic he didn’t think he could levitate a person without his wand, or if he could he was sure that it would cause more strain than Sirius was showing which meant that Harry was floating himself. He so needed a drink. “I need a drink.”
Sirius gestured toward the drawing room where he had stashed a bottle of fire whiskey earlier. “We can do that.”
Remus watched as Harry landed back on the ground. “Do you have any strange new magical powers that I have to worry about Sirius?”
“Nope, the person I have memories of was mostly non magical.” He walked into the drawing room followed by Harry and Remus, “Any particular places you’re looking at?”
“Hermione and I did a little research while we were running around France. Don’t tell people that I was there, I was in disguise. Anyway I was thinking about purchasing the Yester Castle and the land surrounding it. It’s listed at around four hundred thousand for three hundred and twenty one acres of creepy forest. Their words not mine.” He was personally hoping that the castle still had some secrets buried under the castle ruins.
Remus frowned, “That forest is home to a number of monsters if I recall.”
“There are legends about the original owner being a necromancer and a warlock.” Harry was rather curious what the truth of the property was.
“I’d like to pick up the Yester Manor as well but I’m not sure that it’s worth it. Still, a sixty room manor and another two hundred acres of garden would be nice.” He was looking at things long term. While he might only be thirteen he had over two hundred years of memories in his head to draw from. He remembered how much property values had shot through the roof in Willow’s memories. There was no reason to think the same thing wouldn’t happen in this world. “We were also looking at the Dalchully Estate, that would net us forty nine acres of ploughable land which we could use to grow magical ingredients, two hundred and ten acres of woodlands, one hundred and sixty acres of rough grazing and fifty acres of river banks and river. All told four hundred and sixty nine acres of land. For just slightly more than a million pounds.”
Remus stared at Harry in shock, “How much did you make?”
Harry grinned widely, “Enough that that I could afford to buy all three of those places several times over. I also want to put in an offer on another castle that I know sells in twenty or so years.” He didn’t remember the exact time that the Blair Castle went on the market but with almost a thousand three hundred acres of farmland and woods it would be another useful piece of land to snatch up if he could. He made a mental note to recruit Dobby and possibly Winky if he ended up buying the three estates. He would probably have to recruit a couple more house elves as well.
Sirius poured Remus a glass of fire whiskey then turned back to look at Harry, “Sounds like you had an interesting summer.”
“I got to see a lot of museums and art shows. I’ll tell you about it as long as you don’t tell anyone else about anything said here.”
Sirius chuckled as he handed Remus the glass of fire whiskey, “I’m not telling anyone.”
“Agreed.” Remus took the glass that Sirius offered then took a long drink.
“Excellent.” Harry didn’t see the harm in telling Remus about certain parts of his vacation. He planned to keep the Grangers out of the story. If Remus told a certain white bearded wizard then he would know that Remus wasn’t trustworthy with the rest of his secrets. He hated to be so paranoid but Remus hadn‘t ever visited him during his stay at the Dursleys. All it would have taken is one adult showing up and saying if you hurt Harry we‘ll curse you. He planned to ask Sirius about why Remus never made an appearance. While he could understand the man having his own life it was hard to reconcile the idea of Remus being friends with his parents for years at school and him not at least checking on him.