Ted stared at the console. It had been one of those mornings, and the sudden [BEEEEEP] had done nothing for his nerves. He glanced around the room, gripping the pool cue tight. The message told him to expect company, which sounded... ominous.
The knock on the door, however, did not. Nevertheless, Ted jumped. He scurried to the door and poked his head around.
“Mornin’, neighbor,” chirped the much shorter girl in front of him, in an obviously affected -- and terrible -- Southern American accent. She dropped it as she added, “Or whatever time it is. That your console that woke me?”
Ted slowly lowered the pool cue. “I guess it is. You must b-”
Heather chose that moment to drop from the ceiling, landing on Ted’s head.
The as-yet-unnamed girl whipped a wand from her back jeans pocket and leveled it at Heather. “Your roof got a leak, neighbor?”
Heather grinned, looking more manic than happy. “Nope! But it does have several oddly convenient rafters!” She attempted to look more serious and failed. “What’s this about consoles?”
The girl returned her wand to her back pocket and grinned back like she hadn’t just been pointing a potentially lethal weapon at a possibly lethal maybe-opponent. “Your-- partner? --” she tilted her head at Ted-- “his console woke me up. Good thing, too, or I would’ve ruined my copy of DH with drool.”
“Oh, you’re reading Deathly Hallows? Shiny!” Heather bounced slightly. “I wasn’t exactly pleased with the epilogue, but it was an awesome book anyway!”
Ted blinked as he got off the ground. “Heather, you have a real talent for understatement, you know that? Your reaction to the epilogue was, well...” He casually tossed the pool cue aside, shattering a nearby fish tank. Fortunately, it was empty.
“Rereading. For the... let’s say ‘bazillionth’ time, I’ve lost count.” The girl shrugged. “I didn’t mind the epilogue much. Could’ve been better written, but it was decent enough. For canon.”
“Anyways, what’s this about a console beeping?” Heather turned to Ted.
“Oh, uh, we were told to expect a... Kayla.”
The girl in the doorway looked intrigued. “Was there a last name attached?”
Ted glanced at the screen. “Morrison. I wonder if that’s any relation to Jim Morrison...”
“I think I’d know if I was related to a member of the 27 Club.”
“Oh, you’re Kayla? That’s convenient. Do you know what the mission is? I wasn’t given any information besides to expect you.”
“Nope, nothing’s popped up on--”
“--my console!” Kayla finished, then turned, bolted out the door, and tore a short way down the hall to the already open door of another RC.
“Well, she’s interesting!”
Ted tilted his head. “You say that about everyone.”
Heather said nothing, but started to foof Ted’s hair into even more of a spiky mess than her own.
The [BEEEEEP] cut short. A few moments later, an enraged scream of “MERLIN’S BLOODY BALLS!” careened through the door, bounced off the walls, and landed neatly on Heather’s left shoulder before dissipating into the air.
Heather continued to foof Ted’s hair. “Merlin should get some cream for that.”
Ted was not as unaffected as Heather. “This certainly bodes well.”
Kayla returned a short while later, her face composed into a mask of neutrality with only the slight twitching of her fingers to betray her fury. “Either of you a ‘Ginny enthusiast’?” she asked. The sheer venom from her words dripped to the floor and melted small holes in it with a sizzle.
Heather shrugged. “I ship her and Luna, but I wasn’t aware that was a thing.” She looked at Ted pointedly. “Your nails are filthy, by the way.”
“Judging by what little I’ve read,” Kayla said, very calmly and clearly, “this author defines ‘Ginny enthusiast’ as ‘anyone who believes she’s a decent person’. I think this is a multi-agent mission, because I’ll snap a pen if I try and write a charge list.”
“Yeah, that’s Mister Filthy-Nails here’s job. I take care of the killing.”
Ted blinked. “Wait, anybody who believes Ginny is a decent person...? What the hell is this fic?”
Kayla smiled -- or rather, bared her teeth. “She kills James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna. And tries to kill Harry. And says she never loved Harry, right before he kills her. It’s a badfic. And I want to do the honors, Heather.”
Heather stared blankly. “What the hell? That’s the whole fic?”
“Whole first scene.”
Ted blinked. “What’s it called?”
“‘Time to Fix the Mistakes’, apparently. It’s on my console.” Kayla half-turned to go out the door again, then glanced back at Heather and Ted. “Think it’s time to fix its mistakes?”
Ted cracked his knuckles. “Yes. Let’s.”
Heather bapped Ted over the head. “Stop trying to be tough. It just looks adorable. Shall we get going?”
“Either of you already got Muggle-use wands or proper ones? Harry at least is a replacement and there could be more.”
“Nnnope.” Heather shook her head.
“All right. I have a few more in my RC -- you can borrow them. Let’s kill this thing.” Kayla stalked out of their RC and down the hall to hers.
Heather shrugged and skipped after her, Ted trailing behind. By the time they got to Kayla’s RC the other agent was bent over the console, programming in disguises. “Wands’re on the bedside table,” she said, gesturing vaguely behind her with a free hand at the aforementioned table on the other side of the room. “It’s not based in Hogwarts, so plain wizard robes should do for blending in. Any objections?”
“None at all.” Ted shrugged.
“Actually, can I go with frumpy disguised wizard?”
Ted stared. “That’s you normally.”
Heather punched Ted before swinging around to stare expectantly at Kayla.
“Sure thang,” Kayla said, slipping momentarily back into that terrible accent. She paused to pull a lock of bright green bangs down in front of her face, frowned at it, and hesitated before programming something else in. She straightened and turned to look at Ted. “You, guy with the Tennant hair. Any additional requests?”
“I’m Ted. And nothing in particular.”
“Good, that means I’m done that.” Kayla pulled out her wand and pointed it at the bedside table where the wands still lay. “Accio Muggle-use wands!”
Heather grabbed one, while Ted shrugged. “I’m the note-taker.”
Kayla caught the remaining wand and handed it to Ted handle-first anyway. “From what little I know of the Ironic Overpower, you’ll only need this if you don’t have it.”
Ted stuck it in his jeans pocket. Kayla grinned at him, turned back to the console, and slapped her hand down on the button to open the portal.
A/N: The Deathly Hallows Epilogue was truly unsatisfying. Here's the rest of the story that begins about two years after the DH Epilogue. Not for Ginny enthusiasts. Character Deaths. Time Travel. Avenging!Harry.
“Somehow I doubt ‘avenging’ is a synonym for ‘replacement’,” Kayla muttered. She pulled out her wand and examined it closely, then shook her head and eyed the hair that fell in front of her face. “Unsatisfying? This fic is unsatisfying.”
Heather shook her head. “I was just disappointed that Ginny didn’t wind up with Luna.”
Ted snerked. “I’m honestly neutral on Harry Potter. I only read Deathly Hallows to see what the horcruxes were.”
“Mmm.” Kayla glowered at the pre-fic gray. “Or who, in the case of--”
Kayla ducked the string of barbed wire in the form of alphanumeric characters. “You’re on the Pit of Voles, for all their other failings they have a proper horizontal line!”
Ted was not so lucky, having gotten wonked in the ear by the tail end of the wire. “OW GODDAMMIT WHO WOULD DO THIS?”
“An idiot?” Kayla shrugged, then pre-emptively clapped her hands over her ears.
Chapter 1: Even the Hardest Stones Crumble
Heather shrugged. “Maybe after one night in Bangkok, but I don’t think that’s what’s being referenced.”
Kayla straightened. “Ted, can we charge for utterly unsubtle and rather tacky chapter titles barely even worthy of being written by a particularly dense Gryffindor?”
Ted shrugged and marked it down. “Bit more specific than I’d usually go with, but okay.”
“What’s the usual form, then? More barbed wire coming up,” Kayla added, and ducked again.
Ted and Heather dropped to the floor.
“I usually go with ‘Incredibly dumb titles.’ I like yours better.”
“Thank you,” Kayla said. “On both counts.” She bowed briefly to Ted, smiling.
Heather looked around. The scene appeared to be a fairly unremarkable day at the Potter household.
Well, unremarkable but for the words “July 31, 2018” floating in midair. The Comic-Sans font looked quite out of place.
Kayla made a face at the floating text and fingered her wand. “D’you think an Incendio on that thing would be particularly noticeable?”
Ted raised an eyebrow as he wrote down the charge. “Do I think giant flaming midair letters would be unnoticeable, you mean?”
“Potter’s not seen them yet,” Kayla said, gesturing at the character standing in the vagueness of undescribed scenery. “And Comic Sans is offensive.”
“I’d like to have him continue to not notice it.”
Harry was talking to Ginny now, before taking a bite from something she was holding on a tray. The moment her back was turned he spat it out.
Heather eyebrowed. “Ginny a homekeeper? Can’t really see that...”
Kayla raised one pale eyebrow right back. “Can you see her as a homewrecker? This author can.”
“Point.” Heather blinked at the Words. “Uh-oh, brace yourself, it’s coming.”
Kayla glanced at Heather in confusion. “Eh?”
Heather stared at Kayla. “Why, the moidah, my deah.”
“Thank you kindly. ‘It’ is an all-encompassing word and a tad vague-- oh, fall down the stairs, you terrible excuse for a Chosen One!” That last was directed to Harry Potter, who had ‘stumbled to his feet’ despite the narration never saying he had been sitting down, and continued to stumble in the direction of a hastily self-creating set of stairs. “No? Pity.”
He made it downstairs before he was doubled over in pain. Then he came across the dining room. His children…his beautiful children…were all seated, slumped forward, but none of them were breathing.
"Help! Ginny, help."
Harry slumped against the table. His hand was out feeling for Albus' pulse. Nothing. James had none. Little Lily…oh, god. She was dead as well.
Finally Harry saw his wife saunter slowly from the kitchen.
"You're still moving, Harry? I wouldn't have expected that with the dose I gave you…"
Heather’s jaw dropped. “NOOOOOOOOOOOPE.”
“Ted. Charge for Replacing Ginny Weasley.” Kayla glared at the red-headed witch who most certainly was not Harry Potter’s real wife. “With a slimy snake. Emphasis on slimy; most snakes aren’t.”
“Noted.” Ted scribbled furiously. “Also, Heather, dear, the non-canons can hear us.”
Kayla reached up and rapped Heather on the head with her wand. “Much as I’d love to execute Potter now, there’s seven chapters of this drivel. Keep a low profile.”
Heather glared. “I say we bat-bogey her.”
Kayla ignored the now chameleon-like Heather and did the same thing to Ted. “Even more noticeable than setting that Comic Sans on fire, unfortunately.”
“Nono, I mean, while we cha-”
"You? You killed my children?"
Ginny laughed. "You think I wanted to be a brood mare for your messy haired children? I had a career before I married you, Harry, now I can go back to Quidditch and have the Potter fortune and fame to my name. The sad widow. Because of the stupid Potter entailment rules, I just had to wait for the last child to reach age 12 before I enacted my little plan. Otherwise I'd have done this years earlier, you foolish –"
At that, Harry wandlessly broke his wife's neck. He was crying in pain and grief for his children, but he'd never shed a tear for that woman. If he survived this, he would pay to have her soul excised by a necromancer. All remnants of her life and soul should be removed from the world.
He summoned his wand from his study and began sending Patronus messaging spells out as fast as he could manage. He called for the Potter elves for help. He then clutched his nearest child, poor little Albus, as he succumbed to the darkness.
“We could bat-bogey her corpse,” Kayla said mock-cheerfully. “Or Potter’s unconscious body.”
“I am beginning to suspect that Potter is also a replacement.” Ted stared at his notepad. “What the hell do I even charge for here?”
Kayla dropped her mock cheer. “Replacing Ginny Weasley with a hateful harpy who doesn’t love Harry. Creating ‘Potter entailment rules’. Causing Harry to kill Ginny. Mentioning necromancers. Causing Harry to want to excise Ginny’s life and soul from the universe.”
Heather blinked. “Also, make a charge for ending her career as a Seeker. I don’t think Harry and Ginny would have any issue finding nannies, nor can I see Ginny doing nothing but taking care of the kids all day. Obviously, giving birth utterly ruined, ah, certain parts to the point that she can’t sit on brooms. This is not a thing that should happen.”
Kayla nodded and leveled her wand at the unconscious Replacement Harry’s face. “Anyone know the incantation for a Bat-Bogey Hex?”
“Not a clue.” Ted was still writing down the charges.
“Pity. I think it was never revealed.” Kayla looked contemplative, still pointing her wand at the Potter. “Eh, this’ll do, petty as it is. Furnunculus!”
Pimples erupted all over the Replacement’s face. Kayla grinned.
“Aw, Ted, he looks like you!”
Ted whapped Heather over the head with his notebook. “Stop that.”
Kayla glanced at Ted and nodded briefly, then ducked.
This time it was Heather who was caught unprepared. She leaned against the wall, swearing heavily.
August 3, 2018
Harry woke up in St. Mungo's three days after his children died – and he executed his wife for familial betrayal (which the purebloods of old had put and kept on the books as a crime).
Kayla straightened, unfocused her eyes, and glared into the distance. “Charge for Harry knowing about pureblood policies for what people could kill for -- and caring. And using them. On his wife. And generally being replaced with a somewhat nasty specimen of Slytherin instead of the subtle-as-a-brick, hot-headed Gryffindor he is.”
“Yeah, this really doesn’t seem like Harry at all.” Ted sighed and pulled out a fresh pen.
Harry was visited by his Healers first, but he couldn't even ask about his own condition.
"Did my children suffer?"
Healer Magnusson tried to shake his head, but he ended up shrugging. "They each consumed the cake, where you only had some in your mouth before spitting it out. I'd suspect the compound acted quickly…"
“Half a point for Potter asking about his kids first.”
“Less ten for Ginny?” Ted continued his chicken-scratch note-taking.
Harry swore vengeance against Ginny’s corpse before the Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, came in.
“Why’d he stop being an auror, then?” Heather tilted her head.
“He’s Minister in canon,” Kayla explained.
“Really? I missed that bit...” Heather shrugged. “Was it the epilogue?”
“Maybe. I just recall it from his HP wikia page.” Kayla shrugged back and watched as Harry deposited his memories of his attempted murder into the Pensieve Kingsley and the Aurors had brought. “Potter’s still got the pimples I gave him. Neat.”
When the group of Aurors emerged from the pensieve, they were all commenting on the evilness of Ginny’s actions. Harry assured them all that no, Ginny was not under the Imperius curse or anything of the sort.
Kayla sighed. “Lovely, more evidence Potter’s a replacement. Harry would assume she was Imperiused, considering how out of character she was. Ted?”
The replacement Potter resigned from his job as Head Auror, and called for a press conference the moment that the Minister left.
Kayla rolled her eyes. “Like we needed more evidence this isn’t Harry.”
"I want the true story of what happened to be reported. My attorney, Lord Stanhope, is documenting this entire meeting. Here is my memory of what happened…"
The journalists came out of the experience even more traumatized than Harry would have expected.
"Let it be known that Ginny Weasley is forever banished from the House of Potter for familial betrayal. May the wraiths of hell hunt her down."
It was only the oldest of the pureblood families that ever used post-mortem disownment, but Harry knew all of the laws and customs. For his old job as Head Auror, he'd had to know them all.
“... Right.” Kayla fingered her wand, then sighed and unfocused her eyes to look through the rest of the Words. “Pity. Brace yourselves. Worse things are coming. We can’t kill Potter yet.”
“Wraiths of hell? Since when has the Harry Potter universe had a wizard hell?” Heather had gone slack-jawed again.
“Since never.” Kayla gestured to Ted. “More uncanon.”
Ted shook his hand. “God, I’m going to have a cramp at this rate.”
Kayla grinned at Ted. “Too much of a cramp to get a hex in when we kill Potter?”
“Probably. Like I said, I’m just the note guy.”
“Ted’s actually pretty useless. I’ve got the advantage of being a trained killer!”
Ted thwapped Heather again. “You were in the military for two years.”
Kayla ignored the by-play and eyed the replacement as a Dreamless Sleep potion materialized in his hand and he downed it. “‘Nother scene change.”
August 8, 2018 – August 10, 2018
An abrupt setting change nearly knocked the agents off their feet, but only nearly. Kayla eyed the swarm of reporters outside the entrance to St. Mungos with distaste. “This author clearly doesn’t remember that the entrance is canonically in Muggle London. Hmpf.” She swirled her wand around herself to Disillusion herself, then began to follow the replacement Potter.
Harry mourned his children with every step, but he could no longer think of having a family in this life. His entire world was shattered. Every person became a potential betrayer. Every person was a potential enemy.
A block of narrative summary smacked her in the chest and knocked her back towards Ted and Heather. A pair of scenes flashed before them -- Harry in a Generic Estate Agent’s Office selling his home, and Harry scheduling a funeral for his children in an equally Generic funeral home -- before the Word World began to stabilize.
The morning dawned clear and beautiful. Harry put on his nicest Muggle suit. He would get through the ceremony for his children. He had to. He would cast his spells of blessing and of physical protection. He would make their gravestones the most memorable things he could.
He apparated to an abandoned shop near to the cemetery. He opened the door with his magic and stepped out and walked to the cemetery. Very few people had been notified.
“Bit late for blessing and protection,” Kayla snarked.
“Just a tetch.” Heather looked at the Words. “Oh, of course, Ginny’s already been buried, which is such a tragedy since she deserves no such respect.”
“That replacement did deserve to be crowfeed,” Kayla noted. “But Harry wouldn’t think that.”
Neville and Luna were already there as was Teddy Lupin, Harry's godson. A very elderly Filius Flitwich had also come. His old Charms professor had retired five years earlier and wouldn't likely live out another year. Kingsley showed up just a moment after Harry arrived. His children's former tutor, Madeleine Catchbasket, was the last to arrive.
Kayla lit up with a grin as the newly named mini-Aragog, Flitwich, scurried over. “Ooh!” She scooped up the mini and stroked it, still grinning. “Personally I’d prefer a Snape or a Malfoy one, but I’ll take whatever spiders I can get.”
“Please tell me you don’t ship Snape/Malfoy.”
“Hardly. Draco/Ginny. Snape’s just the snarkiest Head of House I could ask for, and Draco’s an entertaining little git.”
“Wait, Madeleine Catchbasket? Is... is that her name?”
“There are worse wizarding names in canon.” Kayla shrugged. “What’s important is she’s a bit. Heather?”
“She only appears in this scene.” Kayla grinned. “Since I want Potter, it’s only fair to let you get in at least one kill.”
“Well, it’s not exactly a harmful bit, is it?”
“Are you saying you don’t want to let off some steam?”
“I’m saying I’m sure there’s worse later.” Heather shrugged. “Besides, our last mission was totally killeriffic.”
“All right.” Kayla shrugged in return, and settled back to watch the rest of the funeral.
"…Those are the stories I remember of my children. Their beauty and puckishness, their brilliance and stubbornness. Their love of jokes, stories, pranks, and living life to the fullest. If I lived a hundred lifetimes, I would never find three children I adored more. They were robbed from me, from you, and from this world. I promise today that I will never forget and I will move mountains to give them some form of peace in the afterlife."
Ted snerked. “Okay, see, now I’m picturing Harry struggling to pick up a mountain.”
Heather laughed. “‘I TOTALLY REGRET THIS DECISION!’”
Kayla snickered and continued to watch the funeral. “Waste of perfectly good energy, preserving corpses. Let them become worm food and preserve your memories of them, sheesh.” She made a face as the narrative summary resulted in a vague buzz of noise around Harry as people spoke to him but weren’t quoted.
Ted dropped to the floor dramatically. “Oh no, not low-level background noise! It’s my only weakness!”
“Uh-huh.” Kayla pointed her wand at Ted. “Locomotor wibbly.”
Ted pouted as he flopped around helplessly.. “That was mean.”
Kayla put on a highly innocent look. “I was just helping you flop around.”
Heather smirked. “Oh, believe me, he’s more than capable of doing that himself.”
Kayla grinned and stuck her wand in her back pocket. “Never hurts to have some help.”
Heather pointed her wand at Ted. “Finite.”
Ted looked up just in time to see Kingsley talking to Harry.
Harry listened to the kind words.
“‘Kayla snarked about the irritating narrative summary’. Ted?”
“Your hand too cramped to charge?”
"Minister, may I come by your office tomorrow sometime to have that discussion?"
Kingsley looked surprised for a moment before he remembered what Harry was referencing. The Minister nodded sadly. "I hope I can talk you out of something that will make you miserable."
"Well, we'll see."
“Unfortunately for us, we don’t have a choice in seeing it.” Kayla ducked -- apparently belatedly, because--
Heather pointed and laughed at Kayla’s misfortune.
Kayla gingerly touched the spot on her cheek the barbed wire had hit, and came away with a few specks of blood. “I believe causing injury to an agent of the PPC is a chargeable offense,” she said primly.
“Already got that down when it pegged my ear. What’s this scene?”
“Talking heads, apparently.”
August 11, 2018
"…Harry, you know I owe you my position…"
"No, Minister, you got the unrewarding task all on your own merits." Harry's voice was somber, but slightly tinged with dark mirth.
“‘Dark mirth’.” Kayla snorted.
Heather giggled. “My Sith name was Darth Mirth.”
“Really?” Kayla snickered, and moved Flitwich from her arms to on top of her head. “Sounds... interesting.”
Ted stuck his tongue out. “You wouldn’t stop giggling.”
"Not true, Harry. I served as the Interim Minister for two years after the war. Then I got booted to the Wizengamot, eventually becoming the Chief Warlock. But you brought down Minister Shipley with your corruption probe…and that basically brought me out of my Wizengamot dotage."
“Perhaps my Sith name should be Darth Growl,” Kayla muttered. “Hooray for as-you-know-Bobbing.”
“Uh, what?” Ted tilted his head. “That’s a new one.”
“The term, or the nonsense Kingsley has been spewing?”
“You’ve not heard of the crappy writing cliché known as ‘As you know, Bob’? Huh.” Kayla frowned briefly, then shrugged. “As for what poor Kingsley’s being forced to say, I haven’t the foggiest.”
Kingsley tried reapproaching the topic. "You were the one to push for the two pronged strategy after the war, Harry. The truth telling commission and amnesty for those who'd never killed or raped; combined with a redefinition of the Dark Arts that freed up entire branches of magic for renewed study, while increasing the penalties on all the parts that were genuinely considered Dark Arts. You're the reason there are now fifteen Unforgivable Curses and Rituals, Harry. You're the reason that Muggleborns are taught wizarding culture and traditions and why all purebloods are taught Muggle science, history, and such."
“I can’t put my finger on why,” Kayla mused, “but this doesn’t sound right. As something clever ol’ Hermione would demand, yeah. As something Harry would push for? Only if said Hermione laid out in simple terms why it was awesome. It sounds too Slytherin for that true Gryffy.”
“Also, pretty sure that makes the replacement a massive Stu.”
Kayla thought about that for a moment, then nodded. “True enough.”
Kingsley looked quite distressed. “You can't live in the past. It'll wither you, Harry."
"My plans are my own, Minister, but I thank you for inquiring…"
The Minister rubbed at his temples. "I know you hate the fame, Harry, but you are a public person, especially after this disaster. You won't be left alone…"
“Are they supposed to sound like they’re leaving the ends of their sentences unsaid? The tone of voice there is getting a teensy bit grating.” Judging by the tic starting to affect Kayla’s left eyelid, she might have been understating. “I sense ellipsis overuse.”
“Yeah. Almost like an ellipsis flood, really.” Heather blinked. “That... that felt like a reference.”
“Probably was. Blame the Ironic Overpower.” Kayla twirled her wand in her fingers. “Or blame this fic for being both terrible and terribly boring.” She pointedly unfocused her eyes as Kingsley and the replacement Harry continued to talk, then frowned. “And why would the Minister for Magic get an Auror’s resignation letter? Wouldn’t the head of the DMLE-- oh, wait. Harry was the head. Someone thwap me for un-Slytherin lack of intelligence.”
“Okay, den, boss.” Heather grabbed Ted’s book and thwapped Kayla over the head with it.
“Thank you kindly.”
Harry stood up from his seated position and denied Kingsley’s attempt to say that time would dull the pain of losing his children. Kayla sighed, yoinked Ted’s book from Heather and Ted’s pen from Ted, and scribbled down using more words and clunkier than necessary.
Ted looked over and said, with no trace of irony in his voice, “God, your handwriting is awful.”
“Isn’t everybody’s?” Kayla returned Ted’s charge list implements.
Ted grumbled. “I write the bloody charge lists.”
“I only know what you wrote because I told you to write it. Your chickenscratch is messier than your hair, and that’s saying a lot.”
Heather giggled and foofed Ted’s hair again.
Kingsley bit his lip and told Harry to rethink his decision to quit.
"Since the horror happened, it's all I can think of. Nothing else matters, I'm afraid. Good day, Minister."
Kayla rolled her eyes. “Perhaps a general charge of ‘mishandling the Queen’s English’, with tally marks. That repetitive sentence structure can’t be good for keeping readers awake.”
Ted blinked. “Uh, why was Kingsley talking in a sultry voice there? It sounded like Dr. Frank Furter.”
“Dr. who? And if either of you are Whovians don’t even start.”
“Oh, just a sweet transvestite.”
“Ah. Rocky Horror Picture Show. I ought to watch that one of these days.”
Ted dropped into a passable Tim Curry impression. “Oh, you really must. It’s simply... delightful.”
Kayla stared at Ted, then shivered and shook her head. “Moving on to the mission?”
“Oh, right.” Ted blinked, then coughed. “Sorry, it takes a while to get out of.”
Suddenly, the barbed wire dropped from the sky.
September 30 – December 19, 2018
Kayla dodged out of the way. Flitwich, unseated by her movement, toppled to the ground with a shriek.
Ted calmly used his backpack as an umbrella as Heather ducked and rolled to the other side.
“Merlin’s pants, these scene changes are annoying.” Kayla scooped up Flitwich and patted his back. “Sorry, little love, I know the fic’s a giant pain but I can’t do anything about it.”
“Oh, but we can.” Ted and Heather cackled in unison.
“Fair point. But not yet. Not until Potter kills himself to travel back in time, I think.” Kayla settled Flitwich on her shoulder and sighed in deep frustration as the Voice of the Narrator took over.
Harry had both disappeared from the wizarding world and become a totem for its continued change. People realized that they agreed with what Harry wanted to do, but no longer had him around to do the simple, impossible things he attempted on a monthly basis. Other people began to step up.
“Step up to da street?”
Heather smacked Ted. “No. Stop.”
“You’re no fun.” Ted hesitated a second. “Okay, wait. Let me get this straight. There are simple tasks that Harry tries to do, but fails because they’re impossible. But, there are other people who step up and accomplish them just fine...?”
“Apparently so,” Kayla said. “Charge for it. And for things being somehow both simple and impossible.”
Despite the perceptions of the rest of the wizarding world, Harry was still around. He had devoted most of his time to investigating the events that led up to Voldemort murdering his parents, since it was a bit easier to think of his parents' tragedy rather than the recent, bitter one Harry had felt.
“So basically Harry is Batman?”
Kayla lowered her voice to something approaching that of a regular gravel-gargler. “I am glitter. I am the wangst. I am Stuman!”
“And then he kidnaps a small child and accuses him of being retarded for not knowing who he is!”
Kayla made as if to say something else, then doubled over in a coughing fit. She straightened after a moment, grimacing. “Note to self: sounding like a gravel addict is nearly as hard on the throat as being one.”
Heather turned solemn. “Oh, don’t get me started of my days of gravel.”
Harry went through every record he could find from the time of Voldemorts rise to the events at Godric’s Hollow. He focused especially on court trials and the histories of the eleven old wizarding families that had been completely extinguished during the first war.
“What eleven old wizarding families?” Kayla snapped. “I’m sure this would be very interesting, but it’s not canon, so don’t parade it out like it is!”
Ted blinked. “Seriously? We’re making canon into revisionist history?”
Kayla paused, read further into the Words, and ground her teeth. “Apparently so.”
In addition, he dug through hidden records regarding Hogwarts and many other places, especially those regarding the actions of Aurors.
Harry's perception of his world began to change.
The Death Eaters used Unforgivables and 'killed innocents.' The Aurors used Unforgivables and sometimes 'people were hurt in the crossfire from Ministry actions.'
“Apparently so,” Kayla repeated, now on the verge of growling, before she caught herself and deflated. “Ted, do you have any Bleeprin?”
Ted tossed her a bottle from his backpack. “Feel free to keep it.”
“Thank you.” Kayla popped off the bottle’s cap and dry-swallowed a pill. “Very much.”
Harry also discovered confiscated written accounts from Death eaters. These were apparently much more trustworthy than those of the Ministry.
Some of the stories agreed precisely with what the Aurors had stated – well, except for the bureaucratic language employed. But others were vastly different accounts.
The Aurors and the Death Eaters agreed on who'd killed Fabian Prewett, but disagreed on how Gideon had died (Aurors blamed Antonin Dolohov; the Death Eaters credited friendly fire from an unknown Auror). There were inconsistencies like this for almost a decade's worth of records.
“Very interesting, but that isn’t Harry and this isn’t canon. This Potter’s too methodical, and this -- nonsense -- is too much like deep-rooted, convoluted conspiracy for canon.”
“Yeah, it reads like... I dunno, like Atlantis theories. And lizardpeople controlling the world and whatnot.” Ted shrugged. “It’s really dumb, honestly.”
“Also, I want to know why the Death Eaters would document all their campaigns. Wouldn’t that be proof of their doings?” Kayla sighed. “But then, they might have been primarily Slytherins, but ambitious, unfortunately, doesn’t always correlate to clever.”
Then Harry began to pay attention to the details around the official reports (not the facts inside them): who'd approved the reports, who'd read and authorized them. Quite a few names came back again and again. Crouch, Bagnold, Fudge, and others he wasn't familiar with.
The odd divergence between Death Eater accounts, Ministry accounts, and the printed record in the Daily Prophet occurred most often when Bartemius Crouch was involved and only less often when Fudge inserted himself into the situation.
A pattern like that was problematic, given what Harry knew of both men.
“Bagnold? Bagnold? Why bring Millicent Bagnold into this? She said ‘I assert our inalienable right to party’ in defence of the celebrations after Halloween 1981, she’s too awesome for your conspiracy nut bollocks!”
“Who was this?” Ted tilted his head.
“Minister for Magic before Feetie Fudge.”
Heather burst into laughter. “F-Feetie?”
“In this one fanfic, Fudge wears footie pyjamas. As in ones with built-in socks, not football.”
Ted grinned. “That is fantastic.”
Kayla grinned back. “I thought so too.”
Harry took stacks of notes…and drew many disturbing conclusions about the history he'd never known. The Aurors killed three times as many people as the Death Eaters had at their three dozen different pitched battles (excluding the many, many raids where the Death Eaters were unopposed).
“Harry... took...” Kayla shook her head in disbelief. “Okay. I can understand that he might grow up some and be more willing to do research. But. I’m sure that if he noticed a weird pattern like this, he’d point it out to Hermione and she would be taking the stacks of notes. Even if Hermione was married to the brother of the woman who murdered Harry’s children.”
“Where are Ron and Hermione in all of this, anyways?” Ted tilted his head. “Bit of a glaring omission. Is there anybody in the books that the author actually likes?”
“Probably not, considering they didn’t even keep Harry particularly recognizable.”
On the last day of November, Harry finally realized he had enough suspicions.
"How was I so blind? I almost saw the truth in that horrible last year of the war, but I flushed all my anger. I let the dying Snape and the dead Dumbledore manipulate me again…Their half truths got me to forgive them both, the ruddy bastards."
Kayla facepalmed. “Oh, this is just stinking great. Snape and Dumbledore get the short end of the stick. And yet, somehow I’m really, really not surprised.”
“Of course Snape was evil! He used the memories leaking fresh out of his head which he had obviously manipulated to think that Harry would oh wait now that’s not true at all.” Heather fumed.
Kayla fumed with her. “This fic bloody stinks of sh--”
Harry went to Hogwarts over the winter break and got permission from Headmaster Keitch, former Defense Professor and Head of Hufflepuff House, to speak with Albus Dumbledore's portrait in a private setting.
The narrative summary ended with a lurch, sending the agents sprawling and Flitwich flying.
Ted remained face-down. “Bugger this, I’m not getting back up.”
Kayla scooped up Flitwich again, Disillusioned him, and checked herself to make sure she was still a magical chameleon herself. “Half a point for a Hufflepuff being Headmaster. Another half point for mentioning the Puffs, period, because the Badgers are too awesome to be completely sidelined.”
Harry could barely contain his contempt for his former Headmaster.
Heather scrambled for Ted’s RA, prompting him to sit on her. “No, we have to sit through this. To the end.”
"Albus, I have a few matters to discuss with you…"
"Certainly, Harry, but let me extend my condolences. Freddie Keitch told me what happened…"
“The ellipsis flood continues. Oh joyous day.” Kayla didn’t sound particularly joyful.
Harry dismissed Dumbledore’s portrait and dove into essentially a rehash of what the narrative summary had just laid out.
"I've read the transcripts from the trials and the complete text of the Wizengamot sessions from then. I know. You allowed the Ministry to pillage the estates of extinct wizarding lines without regard to the wills left behind. You allowed wizarding orphans to be sent to muggle orphanages – which is worse than what you did to me in 1981 – and many of them never came back into our world, at least not into the British portion."
“Worse than what he did the Harry in 1981? The hells is that supposed to be referring to?” Heather managed to still get a good level of noise in despite being sat upon.
Kayla looked long-suffering. “Sending Harry to the Dursleys. Also, the uncanon continues. I believe the technical term for this bollocks is ‘making nonsense up out of whole cloth’.”
“What, so sending Harry to his only living relatives, thus protecting him from Voldemort is supposed to be bad?” Heather blinked. “What is wrong with this fic?”
Ted scribbled furiously, continuing even after Heather had rolled him off.
“But the Dursleys’ emotional abuse and physical neglect was so awful, Heather!” Kayla dropped her fluttery falsetto to add, “And it was pretty awful, calling a kid a freak and giving him a cupboard under the stairs for a bed, but considering the alternative was death it could’ve been worse. What’s wrong with this fic is that it’s a cliché-ridden mess and I’ve seen them all before because I’m horribly addicted to reading trainwrecks.”
Dumbledore tried to say he couldn’t have done anything, but Harry verbally bulldozed over his denials and continued to spout the conspiracy theories he’d just been reading, as well as calling Barty Crouch Senior as much of a terrorist as Voldemort.
Kayla facepalmed and left her hand there, shaking her head in sorrow. “This fic. Really. It’s so ridiculous it hurts.”
"I went and found the Death Eaters' record of events. They planned to win, you know, and wanted to be able to write convincing histories of their great triumph over 'the muggle-loving fools.' So, I do know. I compared the Death Eater records with the official Ministry archives; they don't match in a lot of places. I have no idea why you let this happen…"
“HE LET WHAT HAPPEN?” Heather jumped to her feet. “Dumbledore was the head of the main goddamn resistance to Voldemort. And as to being the most powerful wizard in Britain... it was only barely. Can we charge for making Voldemort into far less of a threat than he was?”
Kayla nodded. “Ted, you’re the one with the pen. And keep it down, Heather -- I don’t relish the idea of being hexed by a Stu, but I’m sure you also don’t relish the idea of me Silencio-ing you.”
Harry continued to interrupt Dumbledore every time he tried to explain his inaction, going on about how Dumbledore should have done the right thing, whether it was legal or not, and should have stopped the ‘mad dog Aurors’ Crouch ‘unleashed on Britain’ as well as getting rid of Crouch.
Dumbledore protested that what Harry was advocating was Voldemort’s methods, to which Harry responded with, "They were also Crouch's, Moody's, and a whole lot of others. The Aurors killed innocents while trying to capture the Death Eaters. Innocent people died needlessly every week from 1973 to 1981."
"I mourned the deaths, Harry…"
“...” Heather looked mortified. “Th-they’ve made Dumbledore into an insensitive asshole.”
Kayla shrugged. “A common occurrence, unfortunately. Ted, there a CAD in your pack?”
Ted dug around in his backpack. “Yeah, there’s actually four. I’ve got a couple spare.” He pulled one out and tossed it to Kayla. “Have fun.”
“Thanks.” Kayla made sure the CAD was muted, arranged her grip on it in such a way that the volume slider couldn’t move, and then pointed it at Dumbledore’s portrait.
[Albus Dumbledore’s portrait. Replacement. Suggested method of disposal: Fiendfyre. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!]
“Merlin’s hat!” Kayla quickly shoved the slider to what was ostensibly the ‘full volume’ end, and the CAD mercifully shut up. For good measure, she pointed her wand at it and said, “Silencio! Who the hell mislabeled this thing?”
“Oh, that was me. The sticker came off and I put it on upside down.” Heather blushed.
Harry and Dumbledore continued their conversation for some time, with Dumbledore being unable to respond to any of Harry’s conspiracy theories. Everything went fairly boringly, with Dumbledore serving as a straw man until, suddenly, Harry had had enough.
"To think I forgave you all the horrible things you did, even after your history with Grindelwald and your dead sister and everything. You made Snape have me believe I was another sacrifice in your grand plans. I walked off believing I was about to sacrifice my life for everyone else's…and, even for that, I forgave you. Well, no more. Albus Dumbledore, you are declared enemy betrayer of the Potter Family. May peace forever escape you."
"What did you just do, boy?" Albus Dumbledore leapt to his feet within the portrait, apparently mortified at... whatever it was that Harry had just done.
"Tipping your hand, finally? 'Boy.' You sound like my Uncle Vernon."
"You can't do that to a dead man. It condemns them – me – to…"
"…eternal purgation. It's no less than you deserve. Lies after betrayals after omissions after plots. You are a piece of work, Albus. I hope the cleansing fires where you are find something inside you worth salvaging."
“Yes, of course he’s a piece of work,” Kayla said. “You’re talking to a painting, Potter.”
"No, stop, you have to stay your words, Harry. You can't do this to my soul…"
Harry turned on his heel, paused for a second, then continued turning to face Dumbledore. The action resembled a stop-motion ballet, clashing with the disturbing grin plastered on his face.
"I long ago pieced together that you arranged for my ignorance. But one more part just made sense. You arranged for me to meet that woman didn't you? I don't believe the Weasleys, even that vile woman I married, knew what you had planned by ensuring I was clueless my first time at King's Cross Station. But you certainly hoped that I'd fall in with the most prominent of the Light wizarding families, didn't you? To get laughs from the twins, to make Ron my friend, perhaps even to fall for the red headed seventh child of the Weasleys. That's why Hagrid came to speak with me, not a representative of the Ministry of Magic. Everything was always different in my life; exceptions, complications. All your doing, I know now. You, Albus, are partially to blame for me meeting that woman, the Medea of our age. Because I just now realized it, I will never release you from your torments."
The portrait was openly crying now. The bit of soul residue contained inside the portrait was beginning to feel the pain Harry had just called down for Albus Dumbledore's true soul.
"When I see you again, Albus, it will not go well for you."
Kayla sighed, closed her eyes, and began to stroke Flitwich. “Charge for mucking with the afterlife. What do you think would be an appropriate method of disposing of this travesty against canon?”
“Potter. Dumbledore, I think I’ll Incendio.”
Heather grinned. “I don’t think that would work on a portrait. They’ll be protected. Especially the portrait of one of Hogwarts most beloved headmasters. We’ll have to do something... unexpected.”
“Drop it in a volcano?”
Heather pulled a very large gun out from her cloak. “Muggle means.”
“Guns.” Kayla sniffed haughtily. “So uncivilised. And not in front of the Stu, you don’t.”
“Oh, no, we’ll just take it out back and shoot it when he’s done with it. If it makes you feel better, though, I think I’ve got some napalm... It’s basically a muggle’s Incendio.”
“Nah, the gun’s fine.” Kayla grinned.
Harry left the room. Suddenly, words hung in the air.
"I, Harry Potter, will spend the rest of my life trying to right the wrongs committed by Voldemort, Crouch, Dumbledore, and every other villain who's broken magical Britain."
Kayla winced and shielded her eyes from the glow of the ‘solemn vow’. “Well, that’s the tackiest thing I’ve seen in my PPC career.”
Ted grimaced. “One time when I was a kid, I made a newsletter mostly in Comic Sans. It was still better formatted than this.”
An abrupt and unlabeled scenery change tossed the agents and Flitwich onto the steps outside the front door of Hogwarts. Kayla scrambled up, dusting herself and her mini off, and sighed heavily. “Bloody stupid writing!”
Harry walked into the Forbidden Forest. He returned several minutes later with a small stone in his hand, striding purposefully towards Dumbledore’s tomb.
He placed his wand hand on the white stone and said, "Come to me, my true wand." Moments later an enormous crack formed in the tomb and Harry held the Elder Wand once more. He took his holly wand and transfigured the distinctive Deathstick into something much more common: cherry wood.
He gave his new 'cherry' wand a few tests and it worked like a wonder. It was ultimate power in his hand.
Harry Potter left the grounds of Hogwarts never to return in this lifetime.
Ted blinked. “So, wait, Harry is Voldemort now?”
“What I want to know is why Harry’s taking up the Resurrection Stone and Elder Wand again.” Heather fumed.
“Didn’t he intend to forget where the Stone was? Wasn’t that the whole point, so that nobody would ever find it again?”
“Exactly,” Kayla said, looking vindicated. “But nooo, Harry needs to be the Master of Death or some such nonsense. All this means is we’re going to have to put those things back once we’re done with him.”
Heather dropped to the floor, leaving the other two to get hit by barbed wire.
April 17, 2021
“OW!” Kayla flinched away from the barbed wire as it sliced a shallow cut in her cheek again. “And. Hang on. Is it just me or is this new time and date tag a good three years after the last one?”
Ted was too busy throwing up to respond.
Kayla winced. “Ah. Ted? You okay? No dumb question ignore that -- why are you throwing up?”
Heather patted him on the back. “He’s allergic to temporal distortions.”
“Understandable enough. I feel about as green around the gills as my bangs usually are.”
Once Harry recklessly decided on his improbable plan, he spent the next three years preparing. His pique of anger had not diminished in that time. He had not told the Hogwarts Headmaster why the portrait of Albus Dumbledore only moaned in pain now…Harry's anger for all manner of things was without bound.
But inside the anger, Harry's mind was still able to plan, to weight alternatives, and to prepare.
Kayla snickered. “Uh-huh. Right. This is the same hotheaded Gryffindor who spent a fair bit of book five capslocking? Really?”
“Not to mention book seven going on a completely unplanned tour around Britain in hopes of stumbling across a horcrux for close to a year.”
“Exactly. Harry James Potter cannot think straight when he is angry. Certainly not to this level of cold calculation and patience. He’s being far too Slytherin, and while I’d usually say that’s a compliment, here he can’t touch in-character with a fifty foot barge pole.”
Harry proceeded to spend even more time besides the three years coming up with a highly convoluted plan.
His plan was insane, audacious, likely to be a spectacular failure – but just bizarre enough to possibly work.
Ted grinned. “It’s a million to one chance, but it just might work!”
Kayla smacked his shoulder. “Don’t even joke about that.”
Harry was going to send himself back in time…on a one-way mission…to ensure that no one named Harry Potter ever grew up an orphan. He couldn't have children any more – couldn't stand the idea of trying to replace James, Albus, and Lily – or even use his plan to bring them back to life. He would just look at their living bodies and remember what she had done to them. No, the past he was considering was what led up to the scar on his forehead and the graves his parents dwelled in now. Harry couldn't bring himself to journey back to any point in which she had been alive.
He could ensure, however, that his own parents lived and his childhood was normal and undistinguishable from any other.
All it would take was the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisbility…Harry hoped. No one had ever attempted this sort of thing before, but Harry didn't care. He had nothing in the present. All his mind was focused on the past.
“Ooh.” Kayla grinned. “A Cloak of Invisbility? Either of you want that, or can I take it as a trophy?”
“I think it’s specifically THE cloak of invisibility. So that would be Bad.”
“Nonono. Not Invisibility. Invisbility. The author forgot an ‘i’, so it’s a completely different cloak.”
“Oh. Huh. I think that’s pretty useless.”
Ted nodded in agreement. “We’ve still got a ton of clutter from the last group inside our RC.”
“Excellent. I could use a nice cloak.” Kayla aimed her wand at the Cloak. “Accio Cloak of Invisbility!”
The cloak was hit mid-flight by a chapter change.
Chapter 2: My Kingdom For A … Horcrux
Heather grasped her stomach. “Ow. Why, fic, why? That... that pun was so bad I am in actual pain.”
May 9, 2021
It had taken three weeks of almost constant effort to arrange the last step. Harry had pulled all of his considerable wealth from Gringotts and, through various means, converted it into antique British muggle notes and golden ingots. He packed all of the things he was likely to need on his one-way through time and history.
Harry Potter was preparing to ensure that the phrase, the 'Boy-Who-Lived,' never had reason to exist.
He clutched his shrunken belongings in one hand and stuffed them in his back pocket. Then he apparated to a forest outside Kent. He knew the theory behind what he was about to do, but wanted to ensure he had the best possible opportunity to ensure the correct result.
He arrived in a clearing he'd found a year earlier in a small bit of forest. He pulled out the Cloak of Invisibility and draped it over his shoulders. Then he pulled out the masked Elder Wand and pulled the Resurrection Stone from his pocket.
He closed his eyes, pointed his wand at himself, and said, "Avada Kedavra."
Heather perked up. “Sadly, not being a horcrux anymore, Harry was now dead. Especially since the Resurrection Stone does not work like that.”
Ted slow clapped. “Well played, Potter. Well played.”
Kayla shook her head in long-suffering amusement. “You unfortunately presume logic to hold sway here, fellow agents.”
The scene changed. The group of agents were gently tipped to the ground in what appeared to be a very clean Kings Cross Station. Harry was talking with somebody who looked... well, who looked like a generic historical figure, as much as that was possible.
"Mr. Potter. Why have you come this time?"
Harry just smiled. His plan was working so far. "I'm not surprised a man so concerned with his own mortality would be the keeper of this place in Albus' unfortunate absence."
The ancient Flamel frowned. "Tell me if you know what's happened to my friend… No one can figure out how he began screaming in pain decades after his death. Purgatory sets in immediately to burn away one's sins or it never takes hold…"
“...Wait, so, HP purgatory works like a bad understanding of the Dante’s Inferno purgatory now?” Ted tilted his head.
Heather fished through her partner’s bag, pulling out his RA and activating the portal. “I’ll see you lot in a bit~” She sauntered through, taking the activator with her.
Kayla stared after Heather, then sighed and shook her head. “Your partner is insane, Ted. Did you know that?”
Ted smirked. “Yes. I am well aware. Wouldn’t worry too much, she’s just portaled ahead a bit.”
“Oh, I’m not worrying about her. I’m worrying about my sanity.” Kayla turned back to the main action of the fic and glowered at the Replacement Harry. “Someone forgot the line from Philosopher’s Stone about how the Flamels were okay with dying because they had already been alive more than six hundred years and it was getting a bit tiresome.”
“Someone besides me, obviously.” Ted shook his head. “Potterverse purgatory doesn’t work like that, right?”
“I don’t think Potterverse has a Purgatory, technically. Though I did read this one fic where this station was basically Purgatory, with Discworld’s Death as the stationmaster, and the characters had to accept whatever their ticket meant their final destination was. But that was fanfic.”
“I would much rather be in that fic.”
“As would I.”
"You won't say? Answer the question of why you're here, at least… The Master of Death should only use his power in extreme need, not just on a lark, Mr. Potter."
"The need was extreme. I aim to fix problems that Albus, you, and other powerful people couldn't be bothered to solve. I know that no man made time turner or other spell or artifact will provide me with the one remaining thing I need…"
The old, dead wizard just gasped indignantly.
"I'm not here to go back or to move forward. Or to visit on a lark…or to discuss that miserable excuse for a wizard, the one you still call 'friend'. I'm here to walk through time itself. I've had a lot of time to consider this…along with the half truths Albus insisted on feeding to me." Harry just smiled. "I am Master of Death. This place is connected to all worlds, all times, and all possible outcomes. I order a portal to June 12, 1976 to take me to the exact physical location I just left."
"No. You mustn't do that," Flamel tried to argue.
A huge groaning echo sounded through the station. Harry didn't appear nervous when the walls began to shake or when the ground underneath the unused rails buckled. Finally a massive tearing sound echoed through the room.
"Harry, what have you done?"
The determined man just stared at the ancient alchemist. "I'm setting things right again."
A massive swirl of blackness, like a tear of canvas on which a movie was shown, appeared in front of Harry Potter. Without a second thought, Harry stepped through it.
He was greeted on the other side by a powerful right hook from Heather.
Kayla laughed and clapped. “Clever!”
Heather grinned happily. “Like a fox!”
Ted grabbed the activator from his partner. “Excuse me a moment, ladies, but I’ll be right back.”
He tapped the activator and stepped through the portal. A few seconds later he returned, carrying Dumbledore’s portrait with him. “Found the original and put it back. Blimey, this thing’s heavy!”
“Hmm.” Kayla tilted her head as she examined the portrait. “Bean Potter with it.”
Ted did so. The portrait moaned.
Heather blinked. “Is it just me or did that sound rathe-”
Replacement!Harry stirred. Kayla promptly leveled her wand at his nose. “Good morning, Stuling.”
Harry suddenly looked rather constipated.
“Is... Is he trying to kill us with his brain?” Ted blinked.
“You are not River Tam,” Kayla told Harry stermly. “Stop that.”
Heather bounced. “Oooh, could I be Simon?”
“Who would be Kaylee?”
“I am not wearing her party dress.” Ted failed horribly at looking stern.
Kayla looked Ted up and down. “Good idea, that.”
Heather prodded Ted. “Oi, start charging him!”
Ted nodded wearily. “Alright, Harry Potter, you are charged with being a replacement of Harry Potter, being a Gary Stu, being considerably more... cunning than your namesake, being a conspiracy theorist of the worst caliber, mucking with time, plotting to completely erase the entire events of the Harry Potter series just to break up Harry and Ginny, assaulting PPC agents with barbed wire, and making Ginny into a conniving... well.. bitch. Am I forgetting anything?”
Kayla nodded, still keeping her wand trained on the Stu. “Gary Stu, you are also charged with taking up being the Master of Death when the real Harry quite deliberately gave that up, and for causing the Harry Potter afterlife to be a somewhat shoddy ripoff of Dante’s purgatory. For this, you are sentenced to death.”
Heather grinned. “I do believe this one was yours?”
“That he was.” Kayla grinned and tilted her head. “Hmmm. Let’s see... Ted, drop Dumbledore on him again, would you?”
Ted obliged. Dumbledore moaned again.
Heather blinked. “Okay, I cannot be the only one who heard that.”
Kayla kicked the replacement, who flopped limply. “Hmm. Damn. Now that I come to it, I can’t think of a decent way to off this git.”
“DROP HIM INTO THE FIRES OF MOUNT DOOOOOOOM!”
“Heather, you always say that.”
“There are worse ideas.”
“Wait. Waitwaitwait.” Heather opened a portal and pushed Kayla through.
Kayla looked around at the Potter household, and the remains of the cake that had poisoned the Stu and killed said Stu’s children, and grinned. She stuck her head back through the portal and said, “I like your mind, Heather.”
Heather winked. “Have fuuuun~”
“Uh-huh. Mind tossing the Stu through?”
Ted nudged him halfway through the portal. “Here you are.”
“Thank you.” Kayla straightened, walked over to grab a piece of cake, and returned to stuff it in the Stu’s mouth.
In the meantime, Heather readied her rifle.
Dumbledore spoke up. “You can’t do anything to me. My painting has been protected against every spell top sorcerers could think of!"
“But did they think of high-powered incendiary rounds? Ted, charge him.”
Ted coughed. “Albus Dumbledore’s painting, you are charged with being a replacement of the original Dumbledore, and for having the person you are a representation of be a bungling idiot, and not giving a damn about anybody. Additionally, you are charged with being at the centre of a conspiracy that never existed. I miss anything?”
“Not that I can think of.” Kayla grinned and nodded to Heather. “Do the honors.”
Heather shot the portrait calmly, its muted protests ceasing instantly.
“Excellent. Now we ought to find where the real Harry and Ginny are. And their kids.”
Ted looked at the Words. “I know exactly where they are.” He tapped at the RA. “Brace yourselves!”
Kayla raised her eyebrows. “For what? It’s just stepping through a portal.”
“I, uh, think you might be surprised. And cold.”
“Perhaps.” Kayla stepped through the portal with a distinct air of disbelief.
Heather prodded the stand in the middle of the... cave. “Is this where I think it is?”
Kayla looked around, her eyes nearly as wide open as her mouth. “I. Think it is.” She glanced at the water around the island they stood on and snapped her mouth shut. “And I think I would like to leave as soon as possible.” She paused and glanced at the water again. “Heather, help me drag the Stu through? Let’s toss him in the lake.”
Between the two of them, they managed to drag the replacement Harry through the portal. Kayla gingerly shoved him into the edge of the water, and hastily stepped back as dead but still moving hands dragged the corpse under. “Eugh. Zombies.” Kayla shuddered.
Ted reached into a plot hole behind the basin. “Yeah. The Potters really shouldn’t be here.” He tugged a bit, and the entire living Potter family tumbled out.
“That is true. Potters, look at me, please.”
The baffled Potters turned to look at Kayla, who promptly said, “Obliviate!”
“Right. Potters, it is Harry’s birthday. You are going to go through this portal and celebrate however you wish. Ginny, you are not out for inheritance money, and Harry... You’re Harry.” Heather gently shepherded the group through the portal. “Please keep your arms and legs inside the portal and okay have fun!”
The portal closed as soon as the tail end of Lily Luna’s robe finished fluttering through to the far side. “I suspect this is the part where we make a return portal to Headquarters,” Kayla said. “And hope the Ironic Overpower lets us have a short break.”
Ted shrugged. “I was going to say ‘Make like a tree and get outta here’, buuuuut that works too.”
Heather had already opened the portal. “Man, I’m hungry.”
“I’m a bit peckish too, but I hear the Cafeteria food is somewhat unpalatable. Any suggestions?”
“Wouldn’t know, we’ve got a never-ending pile of snack food in the middle of our RC. I have no idea what’s up with that.”
“Oooh.” Kayla grinned. “Mind if I mooch off that?”
Heather grinned. “Not in the slightest. C’mon, let’s head out.”
With that, the three stepped through the portal.
[Tray’s A/N: Yes, this is an insanely long mission. Keep in mind, though, that this was just the first chapter. We didn’t even get to the part where Harry destroys all the horcruxes. Although, that part takes place off-screen. It’s painfully obvious that the author knows what they’re doing, and that really just makes it worse. Also, I apologise for some of the larger chunks of fic quotes. My summarising abilities cannot do justice to the sheer hate that gets put into some of them, especially when Harry is talking to Flamel.]
[Lielac’s A/N: First chapter and a *half*. We didn’t even get to the part where Harry aborts Ginny from existence, though, for which I am truly grateful because ew what the hell. This fic is nasty and godawful and, in Kayla’s words, so ridiculous it hurts.]
A couple of links for those who are interested:
-Full Charge List (commentable)
There was a ton of stuff we couldn’t get to because the mission was already close to forty pages.
-The excellent MST by ZeldaQueen that Tray is reading instead of doing homework