The Death Eaters in the parking garage were startled by their bad
luck and their good luck. What did Muggles call the contraption? A
'bond' ...or 'bomb,' wasn't it? Whatever the name, the Muggle explosive
device went off five minutes after it should have. They had been
waiting in the shadows in the parking garage. They were about to
Apparate to the office to make sure the Mudblood's father was dead and
cast the Dark Mark, when Steph Granger walked out of the lift right in
front of them.
The leader of the two killers raised his wand and began the Killing Curse. He never finished, "Avada Keda-"
because he was interrupted when Granger's mobile struck him in the
nose. Though his nose was not broken, the impact was hard enough to
cause both nostrils to bleed and to lacerate his right cheek. Tears
clouded his view, but he raised his wand arm again to cast the spell.
He looked down as involuntarily his hand let go of the wand. Oddly, his
wrist was bleeding profusely. Then the pain arrived at his brain. He
clutched his hand and began to scream. He would be completely
self-absorbed with his wrist for a few moments.
for the second Death Eater. In the few seconds it took him to move to
the other attacker, he wondered if they really thought those masks were
scary. At most they resembled something slightly comical out of a
Hammer horror movie. To him, they looked, as the Americans might say,
"Halloween-ish." However, if your victims were terrified of you before
you appeared, then these clownish masks would do. The dentist also
wondered if he was too stupid to be afraid or if he was in the fighting zone,
that place where your mind and body automatically did what needed to be
done, and you only thought about being scared afterwards. Later, he
would smile ruefully at the thoughts that had visited his mind in these
He realized he was too far away for an
identical attack as the first. He had hoped to cut this Death Eater
along the wrist also. His daughter had told him that a wizard without a
wand (or usable wand hand) probably could not hurt him, at least not
with magic. He was working with all of the information he had and hoped
it would be enough.
Clayton Nott was the younger brother of
the inner circle Death Eater, Marcus Nott, and uncle to Theodore Nott,
Slytherin in Hermione's year. Clayton was fascinated with the battle as
it was progressing. His leader for this mission was at least
temporarily incapacitated. Nott realized this was his chance to shine
as a new Death Eater in the Dark Lord's service.
assumed the formal stance of a wizard duelist and raised his wand. He
took a moment to adjust to the Blainfield Wand Fighting Grip. He moved
his three outer fingers and thumb so they were pointed down with his
index finger pointing along the top of the shaft. This grip gave him
extra accuracy in directing the precise assault spells he used so
When he looked back up, he noticed his target was
closer than he expected him to be. That was strange. Nott had felt sure
that the victim would be running away or cringing on the ground in
terror. It must be that this Muggle was too ignorant to know he was
about to die. Nott decided not to use any fancy spell-work. Go with the
Killing Curse and be done with it.
As he opened his mouth to
cast the spell, he realized his grip on his wand had loosened for some
reason. By the time Nott realized that the first six inches of his wand
had been cut off, along with the first two joins of his index finger,
he was barely able to register that the blade that had destroyed his
wand was moving swiftly towards his throat. Did this Muggle expect to
kill him? Clayton Nott did not have enough time left with a functioning
brain to determine what the intentions of his target had been.
Steph Granger, covered in the results of his actions, but physically
unharmed, spun around before Nott had fallen. Now his shirt was red in
back as well as the front. Granger returned to the first attacker whose
back was still turned to him. The gentle dentist finished his first
assailant as he had the second. He dropped the body and reach down for
the wand, snapping it in his hands. No wand, no wand spells. That
seemed simple enough to him and he liked to be thorough.
Granger heard two quick pops and turned to see two more men in robes
with wands raised, too far away to assault as he had these. At this
distance, the highly trained and experienced warrior knew the odds were
that he would fail in the end, but his old sergeant had always told him
that the SAS was never sent in until the odds were that they would all
be killed anyway. The former knife-fighting champion threw the
Fairbairn with all of his might and accuracy and headed towards the
wizards, hoping that they might be as incompetent in a street fight as
the first two.
Harry was climbing the walls. The four Order of the Phoenix members had
been gone less than ten minutes, and he knew, he KNEW it was too early
for them to return with any information. But he also knew that they
would know by now if the Grangers had already been attacked.
The more he thought about it the more he realized that if the Grangers
were all right, the four would be busy setting up wards or transferring
them to a safe location or something. So he told himself that the
longer he didn't hear from them the better.
"AARRGGHH!!" Forget logic. All that may be so, but he could not wait without trying something.
He pointed his wand at himself and cried. "Apparate!"
"Harry, dear, what are you doing?" asked Mrs. Figg. The concern on her
face told that she knew full well what he was attempting.
"Apparato!" Harry shouted.
"Harry, please don't."
Nothing, again. His wail of pain frightened Mrs. Figg more than his
initial barging into her home. There was nothing more that she could
"Harry, they never say anything. They just get a far away look in their
eyes and vanish." She realized that little bit of information might be
enough to splinch him to death if it did not work. But this was Harry
Potter - the Boy That Always Lived Through Everything Thrown His Way.
He always accomplished the impossible, somehow. She lowered her gaze
and stood back, and just as she raised her eyes again, she saw the most
intense look of concentration she had ever seen. There was the loudest
Disapparation noise she had ever heard. It sounded as if time and space
were being insulted right there in her sitting room. Harry vanished
before her eyes.
Sylvia Granger heard her daughter scream, "Run!" and she heard the
explosion of the door blowing in. Of course she did not run. Over 99%
of the mothers in England would either run to protect their children in
someway or just run away. Few would have reacted as Hermione's mother
She was in the kitchen. She reached up onto the top
of the refrigerator and swatted the fruit bowl and its contents onto
the floor. She pulled down the oddest contrivance in the house other
than some of her daughter's magical paraphernalia. Most of her
wizarding devices were not as foreign to a suburban home as the MAC-10
machine pistol she expertly cradled in her arms as she ran to the
The MAC-10 was designed and manufactured by an
American company. It was not very accurate except at close quarters. It
was poorly balanced and the silencer, which was longer than the 10.5"
gun, made the weapon even more unbalanced unless you practiced with it.
While still in dental school, Steph and Sylvia had married and
had moved into his flat in the same questionable part of town. Even
before marriage, he had bought the MAC-10, not because he liked it, but
because he knew its lightweight could be managed by his fiancé with
practice. He attached a crude wooden handle to the silencer to help
with balance and control. The handle was not conducive to proper
cooling for long-term firing, but that was not the issue. Everything
Steph imagined they could face would be over before one clip of 32
bullets was fired.
It was illegal to own a machine pistol
like the MAC-10 in England. Steph Granger, like most soldiers, had a
profound respect for the law. But the former SAS member was not about
to let a little thing like the law, stand in the way of his family's
safety. Before they were married, he took Sylvia out to the SAS
training range. Former SAS members were allowed to use the range in off
hours and he made sure she knew how to fire the gun accurately. The SAS
did not condone civilians breaking the gun laws of the land, but the
sergeant that managed the range had read about Granger's battle with
gang members - and every one in the SAS knew about Steph Granger.
Sylvia Granger did not like guns at all; they scared her. But she knew
her new husband-to-be was right. She would never be able to make
herself into a knife fighter - it was too gruesome, too up close and
personal. The first time she fired the MAC-10 she barely kept the gun
within a 90-degree arc, but after several weekend trips to the range,
she was accurate enough to hit a man somewhere on his body if he was
within 30 feet of her. She was deadly within ten feet.
Flashback to September of 1978 - Director Public Prosecutions Building
"Come in, Inspector, come in. You have completed the investigation I assume?"
"Yes, sir, General, sir!" The inspector demonstrated his heritage with
his crashing heels, severely straightened back, and shouted response.
"Or is it Court Advocate or Prosecutor, now, sir?"
"I never read
law, as you know, inspector. Just like it is now 'Inspector,' I am
Assistant Chief Executive in administration." There was no annoyance in
his voice. "I suppose you could call me 'Executive,' but 'sir' will be
sufficient. You have finished your investigation and that is the report?"
"Er, Yes, sir, Executive."
With the slightest turn of one corner of his mouth, and with a bit
awkwardness, he took the manila folder from under his right arm and
handed it to the other man.
The senior official read it quickly because there was little to read. "So, officially we have an unknown attacker with a machine pistol killing violent and murderous gang members and other such dregs of society?"
"It's all in the report, sir."
have no idea why Tommy Peet went to that building or that particular
flat. The fact that his brother, Tony Peet, died a few hundred yards
away is irrelevant. While some unknown vigilante, as the American's
call them, is putting an end to Peet the Elder's latest crime spree,
Steph Granger falls from a ladder while painting the walls of his and
his new bride's new flat, breaking his arm, so he cannot be a suspect. The fact that Peet's bullet-riddled corpse was found in Granger's former flat is also irrelevant."
commissioner did not look up as he finished his observations from the
report. The inspector remained silent, assuming the comments were
rhetorical questions if questions at all.
After several more moments of silence he said, "Excellent work, inspector. Excellent. I am sure this will finish the matter."
inspector stood immediately to attention. "Sir!" He then turned to
leave the office. When he reached the door, he was stopped by nine
"Sergeant Major, please close the door. Please be seated."
After closing the door and while returning to the chair, the inspector said quietly, "Yes, sir, General."
stared at each other expressionlessly for several moments. Without a
word, the Commissioner/General opened a drawer and drew out a bottle
and two glasses. When he handed one to the other he said, "To absent
"They were the best of us, sir."
they placed the emptied glasses back on the desk, he refilled them. The
inspector spoke unbidden, "The Grangers had removed all but his trunk
from his old flat earlier that day. They had returned after midnight to
retrieve it, away from prying eyes. Apparently, Peet crashed in the
door, paper-thin it was, and Granger went to face him. Peet broke his
arm with a pipe, the ruffian's weapon of choice, and was about to cave
in his skull or some other body part when Mrs. Granger put six out of nine bullets in him from less than eight feet.
bit of shooting that, especially with a MAC-10, but then the sergeant
that runs the range, he's the one that identified the gun make, said
that she had improved handsomely over the previous few weekends.
of this is informed speculation, of course, but I believe that the
young bride dragged the trunk to his former neighbor's, Mrs. Abernathy.
Our Steph Granger had prevented the sixty-seven year old woman from
being mugged the previous spring. Mrs. Abernathy is the one who alerted
the authorities. Stated that she'd heard the sound of the breaking
door, said that the sound woke her from her sleep - nearly stone deaf,
she is. When I interviewed her, I noticed that she had a trunk-shaped
low table covered by a braided rug in the corner with boxes, magazines,
and whatnot haphazardly scattered on it and falling off. Rest of her
flat was as neat as a pin.
"As the constables showed up to
investigate, the Grangers made a big show of walking out, favoring his
broken arm. They both had plenty of dry paint splatters on them and a
few wet ones. Upon inspection of the Granger's new flat, there was all
the makings of a fall from a ladder while painting."
inspector/Sergeant Major finished his recitation and remained silent.
Both men looked into each other's eyes for a moment. They finished
their fourth glass.
"Sir Cyril Philips is forming the cadres
for his Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure. He has asked me to join
its ranks. The Crown Protective Service he proposes will in due time
eliminate the chance for such activities. Inspector, are you prepared
to be incarcerated for this fallacious report, if need be? For my part
in this, I will pay the price, if need be."
With the alcohol
and the memories the former Sergeant Major's speech loosened slightly,
"Portsmouth would be a bleedin' holiday compared to the cell I would've
been in if i' t'weren't for Granger. With this," he tapped his right
arm; it made an odd hollow sound, "I'd've never survived. Brought us
all out...even your son, God, rest his soul."
The former General swallowed. "I never saw him receive the recognition he deserved. His country...we...I owe him. This is small recompense...."
received that medal 'cause o' you, General. Even if i' t'weren't
published for alls to see. He's not facin' charges 'cause o' you, sir.
He'd get off, but it 'uld played bloody havoc with his schoolin'."
"It should have been THE medal here in England, not just a
medal off in some forgotten corner of the Commonwealth." For several
long moments, they both stared at their glasses, recently refilled.
"Tony and Tommy Peet don't have anymore brothers, cousins, uncles, or
anyone else that might seek revenge- do they, Sergeant Major?"
sir." The former General stood and the former Sergeant Major with him.
"To absent comrades," said the ramrod straight former Major General.
"They were the best of us, sir. And Granger. Finest bloody, bleedin' knife fighter I've seen, includin' me in '42."
With a firing rate of 1600 rounds per minute, the MAC-10 would empty
its clip in 1.2 seconds. The night before the attack, Steph had dry
fired the gun with Sylvia enough to bring back her proficiency at
releasing quick, controlled bursts.
As Mrs. Granger rounded
the corner, she saw that Hermione was down and out of the line of fire.
Everything in Mother Sylvia wanted to run to her daughter's side and
tend to her. Warrior Sylvia knew that such an action would be fatal to
Hermione and herself.
Sylvia knew the sound of the Killing
Curse meant she had fractions of a second to save her daughter. The
first burst of ten rounds sent three bullets into the wall and door
frame. Another two bullets flew through the doorway and out of the
house to who knew where. Three bullets lodged in the chest of new Death
Eater, Cyrus Pangborn - two in his lungs and one in his heart. One
bullet caught him in the throat.
The Killing Curse died in his throat unfinished.
Sylvia tried to conserve ammunition with the next burst. She held it to
seven rounds so she would have more slugs for the second Death Eater.
Because Pangborn was falling backwards three of those seven rounds
entered his cranium. He was dead from several causes before he hit the
One round from her second burst passed by the first
attacker and hit the second in his left shoulder. This was Arbuthnot
Pew. Pew was a very experienced Death Eater and a skilled duelist. He would not panic in battle and his reflexes were finely honed.
"Expelliarmus!" and the machine pistol went flying out of the woman's hands.
Pew had been sent to this house because it was known that the young
witch would be here. He felt his experience was wasted on a student,
but she had been trained in defense by Harry Potter. Potter had faced
the Dark Lord on more than one occasion and lived. Pew had taken no
chances and had sent Pangborn in first. He'd considered the young Death
Eater as "expendable." However, Pangborn's suggestion of using the
doorbell - an idea from the one year of Muggle Studies the lad had told
no one of - had brought the young witch into easy range.
The pain in Pew's shoulder was blinding, so he raised his wand to ease
his suffering. After all, the woman had not only lost her weapon, she
had fallen on her face as the gun flew out of her hands. He could take
a moment to relieve his agony before killing the two of them.
Sylvia Granger's self-defense tactics were in the best tradition of the
SAS. You do not have to defend yourself from someone who is dead.
She did not fall. She took a flying roll to confuse her attacker and
came up feet first into Pew. Her left foot hit him first, right in his
face. His nose was broken and the pain in his shoulder was forgotten.
Then Mrs. Granger's right foot connected with Pew's stretched neck.
He wouldn't last long unless an emergency tracheotomy was performed.
The mother lion had seen her cub attacked, and merciful first-aid was
not in her plan. Sylvia took Pew's wand, broke it, and stabbed him with
the sharpest end.
Sylvia took a deep breath and decided she
would be scandalized by her actions later. She turned and ran to
Hermione's side and started to lift the heavy door off of her. Her
daughter had a look of shock on her face. Hermione's sweet mother, who
baked cookies with her, tucked her in, and told her bedtime stories,
had just killed two Death Eaters in less than thirty seconds.
"POP. POP." Mrs. Granger turned and saw the largest wizard she had ever
seen pointing his wand at her. She realized she would probably not save
her life or her daughter's, but Steph had told her to refuse to give up
until several minutes after she had died. After all, by all
conventional wisdom in this highly unconventional scenario, she should have died long before this.
As she launched herself towards the first wizard, it registered in the back of her mind that Hermione was shouting her name.
Thankfully, Bill Weasley was closest to Steph Granger. It wasn't that
Mad-Eye Moody couldn't have blocked the thrown knife, but he had to see
the knife to block it. Moody appeared facing in the wrong direction to
see the blade coming at them.
Bill had learned a wordless
wand flick charm to deal with sharp projectiles instantly hurled his
way. The dangers of going into newly discovered chambers below pyramids
were not limited to ancient and unknown curses. Poisonous darts were a
fifth century B.C. Egyptian favorite.
Steph was on his way to
attack the wizards by hand as soon as he released his knife. Bill went
into a defensive posture and was about to stun him when Mad-Eye pushed
Bill's wand down and lowered his own.
"Steph. We are friends
of Hermione." The familiar use of his first name, the lowered wands,
and the cautious friendliness in the words from this very odd looking,
older wizard stopped Granger. He assumed an attack posture right before
them. They were not wearing the Death Eating Clown masks.
am Bill Weasley. My brother Ron is a friend of Hermione's. Notice the
red hair," he said as he swung his ponytail around to make the obvious
even more so.
In one fluid motion, Mr. Granger stooped to
grab his knife and reinserted it into his arm sheath. All of a sudden,
a terrifying thought occurred to the dentist and he nearly shouted, "My
"We have sent two of our best there to protect
them." Moody spoke as if the subject was closed. They were walking
towards the bodies but Steph was still looking at the two wizards
Steph patted his hip where he kept his phone and looking around saying, "Where's my mobile?"
Bill noticed the device and called "Accio Mobile!"
Bill gingerly handed the blood covered mess to Granger who grabbed it
as if nothing was different about it from any other day.
speed dialed home and received a busy signal. The phone at his house
had been disabled in the fracas. Absentmindedly he put it on his belt
clip with a distant look on his face.
"Can you vanish us there or something?"
Bill looked at Moody who spoke, "It is called Apparation. Normally we
would need permission to Disapparate a Muggle, but I do not care about
that under these circumstances. But Granger, it is very dangerous for
you. It's a 50/50 proposition that you will be hurt in someway with
only two of us trying to Apparate you there."
"Let's do it!" His desperation was obvious.
"I do not recommend it. I sent two of my best..."
In a flash that impressed the rarely impressible Mad-Eye Moody, the Fairbairn was at his throat, tip pressed at his jugular.
Moody's mad eye was whirling and even though Granger was terrified
because of that eye, he did not show it. Moody frowned for a second and
then said, "I meet Inspector Fairbairn once before the war. He'd be
proud of you. Put it away. You'll need the use of both hands to do
As Sylvia Granger launched herself into the air to hit the larger
wizard, two things happened to lessen her viscous assault. Kingsley
Shacklebolt dropped his wand and opened his hands to her. She also
heard her daughter say the word "friends."
She was in the air
with no way to stop, but now she did not want to hurt the man she was
going to collide with. He caught her wrists and stopped their heads
from butting, but their bodies thudded together. Though slightly
winded, she uncoiled from his reach and headed towards her daughter.
A spell had the door flying off Hermione before her mother reached her
side. Mrs. Granger hesitated for a moment and plunged down beside her.
Now that this second fight had been averted, Hermione returned to the
shock of seeing, at close range, her mother efficiently and
dispassionately dispatch two Death Eaters. "Mum...How did you...Where
did you get that...You killed...." Hermione was badly shaken and her
eyes were not exactly focused though pointed at her mother.
"Hermione. Are you all right? Don't think about those bad men. They are
never going to hurt anyone again. Where are you hurt?"
"Mum. Where did you learn to...?"
"Baby, don't worry about it. Your father was in the army. He taught me
how to defend myself before you were born. I'll tell you all about it
later. But we have to get you to a doctor."
into her mother's eyes for a few moments and then shook her head, took
a deep breath, and said, "I'm really okay, Mum. I was dazed, but I have
no broken bones or serious cuts, just a few minor scratches and
bruises. I was merely immobilized by the door's weight."
Granger quickly but expertly examined her daughter from head to toe,
saw she was fine, and gave her a big hug. The girl would have several
hideous bruises on her upper arms, but bruises fade.
during this brief examination Hermione was chattering nervously as the
adrenalin of the moment faded, "Mom, you were magnificent. Where did
you get a machine gun and how did you learn to use it? Was that Kung
"I will tell you about that in a minute. Gentlemen, will you watch my daughter for a moment?"
She hurried down the hall and soon they heard obvious retching sounds.
They heard the water running for a bit and then she returned. Sylvia
had a bit of toothpaste on one side of her mouth, but the bloodstains
distracted the viewer from that fact.
There was a loud crack, not a pop, and everyone went into action.
Sylvia Granger rolled to the machine pistol and came up with it cradled
in her arms. Lupin and Shacklebolt spread out with their wands drawn.
Moody and Bill Weasley came out of a circle and drew their wands as
well. The most amazing sight was Steph Granger, still red all over most
of his upper body and face. He was squatting in an attack stance, the
Fairbairn was drawn, and luridly red also.
and ran to her father. "You're hurt! Don't worry. I know several blood
flow stemming spells and we can get you to St. Mungo's." His daughter
was still in shock, to a degree, from the multiple shocks of her
parent's most recent activities. Mr. Granger looked to Moody who nodded
as he lowered his wand. The knife was quickly sheathed and her father
said, "This is someone else's blood. I'm not scratched, but that trip
scared the...well, it scared me. My head's ringing like an all night
drunk. Are you okay Pumpkin, Syl?"
He saw the machine pistol
and the bodies but no bullet holes were readily visible. He looked to
Shacklebolt. Granger assumed Kingsley was the leader of this team
because of his size. "Did she do this or did you handle it?"
The large Auror said, "The scariest thing about this assignment was
coming face-to-face with your wife before she drew back her claws."
Then to Moody he said, "I'll go back to the Ministry and send handlers
for the bodies. Can I assume I'll find the same thing only different at
"The office was blown-up with no one in it."
Moody related. "In the parking garage you'll find two Death Eaters and
a mess that makes him look sparkling white. We covered them with a
Disillusionment Charm but you should be able to find the scene easily.
Granger had killed both of the Death Eaters with his bloody great
Fairbairn knife, pun intended, before we arrived."
Kingsley nodded and was gone in a pop.
Hermione's mind was reeling with this latest report. "Daddy, how did
you kill two Death Eaters? When did you train Mummy to use a machine
gun? I thought you were a medical orderly in the army." She had not
called her parents "Mummy" and "Daddy" in nearly ten years.
"Not exactly, Baby. I was a field medical orderly in the SAS in the army. I was trained to do more than tend wounds," he said with a rueful smile.
Moody turned in all earnestness to the family, "You have time to change but not to clean up."
There was a hugely violent loud ripping crack, not a pop, and once
again weapons were drawn. At the opposite end of the living room there
was a mantle over a fireplace. For a second Harry Potter was poised on
that mantle, bent slightly at the waste, wand drawn. He shouted in
pain, fell off the mantle, and rolled on the floor. Continuing the roll
and coming up onto his feet, he stepped quickly to his friend.
"Are you all right Hermione?" He looked at the bodies, the blood, and
the destruction and said, "Oh." Once again, he had raced to the rescue
when none was needed.
"Harry! How did you Apparate here? You
don't know how. You're too young." Hermione never ceased to point out
to Harry what he could not do. Just because Harry had already done what she said was impossible had never stopped her.
"I just wanted to know you were okay. I've been stupid again." He
lowered his head and his voice and was about to go back into the funk
he had been living in for the last few weeks.
Moody quietly roared. "Potter, your actions in this affair have been
commendable." Then to all he said, "He forced us to act quicker than we
ever would have. If there had been Death Eater reinforcements arriving
at either scene we would have been essential. No way to know, Potter,
that the Grangers are death on Death Eaters. Finest bit of non-magical
fighting I have ever heard of. Would be an Order of Merlin in it for
you if I have anything to say about it."
Moody looked up. "Potter, are those the seat of your trousers up there in the wall? How did you Apparate here?"
Harry put his hands to the bottom of his breeches. His eyes widened and
began to back away from Hermione. "Erm, I tried every Apparate-sounding
word as a spell I could think of but none of them worked. I finally
just closed my eyes and concentrated on this living room as hard as I
could. The only picture I'd ever seen of it had been taken from the
view of the mantle at Christmas time. I thought I'd appear where I was
looking, not where I was looking from."
Had he arrived three inches farther back, Harry would have been seriously wounded.
At that exact moment, an owl flew through the smashed door, circled
Harry, dropped a sealed parchment, and swooped out. Harry opened it but
knew what it said. He read it quickly and looked even lower than he had
"I am to be expelled and have my wand confiscated because I used magic once again while underage."
A second owl entered the broken door, circled Moody, and dropped him a
note before exiting. He opened it and reported its content.
"Shacklebolt intercepted the confiscation team and warned them of the
Death Eater attacks and the chances of a second attack at this
location. They were grateful for his "suggestion" that they were not
needed here. He told them to report that Dumbledore will be by to
explain everything soon. You are cleared for now Potter, and you will
be fully pardoned soon. But it looks like you are still on Fudge's persona non grata list."
Moody cleared his throat to change the subject. "I was saying before
you arrived so ceremoniously, Potter, that the Grangers need to pack
and leave at once. As Shacklebolt said, more Death Eaters might still
appear at any moment when this lot doesn't report back. Grangers, go
pack a quick bag. You can change but not wash. You can clean up soon
enough where we are going."
Sylvia and Hermione wanted to
protest but Steph understood right away. One word from him and his
family was back down stairs in less than five minutes with their
essentials. In addition to their clothing and other personal objects,
Hermione had two large book bags and her father had shouldered his
dusty old chest. He was also wearing a harness waistcoat rig with a
number of throwing knives attached and several bulging pockets. "More
tricks of the trade," he said with a decidedly maniacal smile.
Mrs. Granger was carrying two clothing bags. She said, "What about this mess, the bodies, and the doorway?"
Lupin, Bill, and Moody pulled their wands and in ten seconds the door
was repaired, the bodies were arranged on a plastic sheet, and the
blood and destruction were gone.
Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Granger were amazed by an event of the day.
Moody growled once again, "You were going on vacation tomorrow so you
won't be missed by neighbors, friends, or co-workers for several weeks.
We'll have to watch this place to see if Voldemort does send
others. There's a lot to ponder. You'll have to go to an Order hiding
place temporarily - for your own safety. We may end up taking you to
Hogwarts. I don't know."
All of a sudden, his normal eye
brightened and his magical eye straightened in its socket. "What would
you two think about teaching hand-to-hand combat, street fighting, and
any other nasties to Aurors and Magical Law Enforcement Officers? I
know I'd like to learn more about how you did this."
senior Grangers looked at each other. They were a bit confused now that
the excitement of the moment was draining off. They would feel
completely exhausted in less than a half hour.
their hesitation and assured them they need not reply right away.
"Well, I'll have to talk to a number of people to arrange it -
something that commonsensical is too practical to garner much Ministry
support without a lot of effort. I'll ask you in a few days when you're
rested and more settled. I'll know better then what's possible. You two
are now on the top of Voldemort's Most Hated Muggles List regardless of
whether he has such a list or not, so your options'll be limited." The
three Grangers shared concerned looks.
Before they could begin asking questions Remus Lupin urged that they leave.
"Professor Moody, how are we traveling to--...I mean the place?" Harry
remembered at the last second that only Dumbledore, the Order's Secret
Keeper for 12 Grimmauld Place, could give out the address.
"We are going by Knight Bus." The old Auror continued muttering to
himself loudly enough for all to hear, "Never taught a minute at
Hogwarts, yet dozens of teenagers come up to me and jump right into
conversations I am supposed to understand."
"Oh? One second
please." Hermione ran to the kitchen and came back with a water bottle
and a small medicine tin. "Motion sickness pills."
Bill cautiously walked out to the street and everyone crowded at the door.
"Wands and weapons out ladies and gentlemen. 'Constant vigilance' I always say."
Bill raised his wand hand and the purple bus almost ran over his foot.
The precarious assemblage of wands, baggage, knives, and a machine
pistol scurried to the bus.
"Welcome to the Knight Bus - 'ey,
thems is Muggles. Hu can' take Muggles on th' Knight Bus! This'un whill
get blood oll over..."
"Shut it Shunpike. Get this bus headed to you-know-where, Ernie. Move it!"
"Yus sir, Mr. Moody, sir," said Ernie, and the Bus was off like a shot.
"I'll take a pill," said Mrs. Granger to her daughter. Hermione was
already drinking from the water bottle to swallow her pill. Mr. Granger
smiled queasily and nodded in her direction.
"Oi. 'arry Potter. Duz hu know yur bum is showin'?"
Harry flipped around and blushed red enough to compete with a Weasley. "It's not my bum. I'm wearing pants."
Author's Note -
First, I want to thank my readers and reviewers. Your encouragement,
your cogent observations, and your overwhelming enthusiasm for this
story have thrilled me. I am most anxious to hear your opinions of this
My deepest thanks go to my
beta, ninkenate. She deserves quite a bit of credit for your enjoyment
of this tale. Thanks also go to Tarkas for answering a number of
Disclaimer---What belongs to J K Rowling is J K Rowling's. What belongs
to anyone else is theirs. Everything left is mine, I guess, but
remember the old adage: "There is nothing new under the sun."