Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
ffutures

Bring Me The Head of Harry Potter part XIX

Finally managed to get my thoughts around an update for Bring Me The Head of Harry Potter, my BtVS / Angel / Sopranos / Highlander crossover. This chapter actually starts to reveal who's behind the ridiculously complicated plot and leads into the climax, which will hopefully be in the next chapter, so DON'T read it if you haven't read the rest first. Previous chapters are posted here.


A BtVs / Angel / Harry Potter / Sopranos / Highlander crossover. Minor spoilers up to the end of season 7 of Buffy. Set after Season 7 BtVS, after Season 4 Angel, after Harry Potter graduates, and nowhere in particular in Sopranos / Highlander continuity.

All characters belong to their respective creators / film companies / etc. and are used without permission. This story may only be distributed on a non-profit-making basis.

Work in Progress. If you like this story, check out my other stories on the Fanfiction Net, Twisting the Hellmouth, and Fonts of Wisdom websites.

I'm British, so's my spelling. Live with it.

Author's note: I am currently busy on a non-fanfic writing project and it is likely that updates on this and my other stories will be VERY slow for several months to come. I'm not abandoning any of my ongoing stories, but I probably won't update often or start anything new until well into the summer. See my livejournal http://www.livejournal.com/users/ffutures/ for news.

Since I began this story Angel S5 has revealed much more about events in the Buffyverse post Sunnydale. Once again I should emphasise that any resemblence between its plot and Angel post season 4 is more or less coincidental.



Bring Me The Head Of Harry Potter

by Marcus L. Rowland

XIX

"That's three butterbeers, a vodka and tonic, two sparkling mineral waters, four beers, three glasses of red wine, a pig's blood with a dash of otter and burba weed, and an.. um.. a tequila. Anything else?" asked Madame Rosmerta, landlady of the Three Broomsticks.

"That's it. How much will it be?" asked Angel.

"That's all right, dear, Professor Dumbledore said to put it on his scroll when he booked the private bar."

"Nice of him. Where is he, anyway?"

"He waited for an hour then had to go back to Hogwarts, said I should floo him when you got here."

"Sorry about the delay, we had to make a couple of calls and arrange for a baby-sitter. Could you get him?"

"I'll just get your drinks then go and put my head in the fireplace."

Angel went back to the table, carefully avoiding patches of sunlight around the windows, as a procession of mugs and glasses flew from the bar and landed on the tables.

"I think this is yours," said Willow, handing him a covered china mug and taking a glass of wine. Angel peered inside, took out a small paper umbrella, sniffed, and tried a sip of blood. "That's not bad."

"This place is usually pretty good," said Harry, "didn't know they kept weird drinks like tequila though."

"I think she had to think about it," said Fred. "Maybe she conjured it for me."

"Madame Rosmerta keeps all known magical and muggle drinks," said Hermione, "apart from some of the demonic ones like yak's urine. You'd known that if you'd ever read 'Hogsmeade, A Guide'" Harry made a rude gesture as he sank some of his beer.

"Does it say what time the sun sets here?" asked Angel.

"Twilight in an hour or so," said Dawn, checking her magically-shielded PDA, "but it won't be really dark until eleven, then sunrise is at four. The nights are really short in Scotland."

"I'm surprised you don't carry one of those machines yourself," said Professor Vector.

"He keeps breaking them," said Cordelia. "Same with his cell phone."

"Is that a problem with vampiric strength?" asked Hermione.

"Nope, he's a klutz when it comes to high tech," said Dawn, "guess it comes with being born in the eighteenth century."

"Hey," said Angel, "I'm better than I used to be."

"You'd have to be," said Gunn.

"Fine," muttered Angel, "let's all gang up on the vampire."

"Now that I'm retired I really must get a computer for myself," said Professor Vector, "you'd need a ridiculously powerful shielding spell to get one to work at Hogwarts, the magic there is just too strong, but it ought to work in my cottage."

"If you need any help on that let me know," said Willow. "Magic and computers kind of a speciality here. And if you think your successor could use a computer, I'm pretty sure I can get set up in Hogwarts. Times I've been there I had to beef up the shields on my laptop a little, and it crashed once when Peeves was being a nuisance, but apart from that things worked okay. Not sure what you'd do about power though, maybe a solar panel or something. I was never there long enough for that to be an issue. Now networking could be tricky..."

Dawn, Harry and Hermione moved to one of the tables, and Dawn said "So... Dumbledore. Never met the guy, what's he like?"

"Mad as a hatter and cunning as Merlin," said Harry. Hermione shrugged and said "He's a little eccentric, but he usually seems to know what he's doing."

"Willow said he was pretty old."

"About a hundred and sixty-seven."

"He's immortal?"

"No, he's a pure-blood wizard," said Hermione, "some of them live to two hundred."

"And he looks it," said Harry. "I met Nicholas Flamel before he died, he was nearly seven hundred but he was using a potion for it, he looked about fifty."

"Is that sort of thing easy to do?" asked Dawn.

"No. He was using the Philosopher's Stone to make it, when that was destroyed he started aging pretty fast. And there was only one Philosopher's Stone."

"Okay.. scratch that then."

"Scratch it?" asked Hermione.

"One of these years I might want a boyfriend for the long haul. That would have been useful."

"Why on earth would your boyfriend need a longevity potion?"

Dawn lowered her voice and said "Because I don't."

"What? oh..." Dawn could almost see Hermione connecting ideas. "Is that why you carry a sword? For the challenges?"

"I told you she was bright," said Harry.

"Keep it to yourself," said Dawn. "It's not something I tell everyone, but I'd like us to be friends, and it's only fair that I warn you what to expect. If we stay friends I'll still look eighteen when you're old and grey."

"Well, I'll just have to pretend you're my niece or something." Hermione looked a little shocked, but reached into a pocket and pulled out a scroll and an Ever-Inked quill. "I've got hundreds of questions..."

"Oh Merlin," said Harry.

"We only did a few hours on immortality in Magical Creatures," said Hermione, "and most of that was vampires and potions and.. her," she gestured towards Kuryakin, "and the Wandering Jew. But you're natural, aren't you, not... cursed or undead or anything?"

"Yes, that's me, little miss natural."

"You said you were older than you looked; how old are you really?"

"I really am twenty-two," said Dawn, "It's only been four years since my first death."

"So you were thinking you might want to spend some time with me," said Harry, finally catching up with the conversation and looking a little uncomfortable. Hermione guessed that the first bloom of romance might be starting to wear off, and while Dawn seemed a nice enough person, she and Harry really didn't have a huge amount in common.

"Not necessarily you," said Dawn, "but maybe some day I'll meet someone I really want to commit to."

"But I thought you two.." began Hermione, guessing the answer.

"We kinda fell into bed together after I was shot," said Dawn, "it was fun, but adrenalin's no basis for a long-term relationship. I don't think either of us is ready for that." Harry somehow managed to look relieved and hurt simultaneously.

"Well," Hermione said mischievously, "You could do worse than Harry. His parents were both wizards, so there's a good chance he'll have some of the longevity."

"I wonder how long Dumbledore will be," Harry said, and Hermione was sure that he was worried by the way the conversation was going. Good, served him right for sleeping around. Maybe it served both of them right.

There was an uncomfortable silence at the table, and Hermione listened to the other conversations in the room for a moment. Fred and Professor Vector were talking about something called superstring theory, which she vaguely remembered from magazines in her father's surgery, Gunn and Kennedy were discussing weapons with Viktor and his squad, and Angel, Cordelia and Willow were talking about Hollywood. She had a feeling that nobody was paying complete attention to the conversations. Everyone was waiting for Dumbledore. And as if by magic (if you could call a door opening magical) Dumbledore appeared from the main bar.

"Holy crap," whispered Dawn, "that him?"

"Yep," said Harry. Dumbledore was wearing a rainbow-striped robe and trousers that more or less matched, and a bright orange shirt that was almost concealed by his beard. He was carrying a bundle of scrolls under his left arm, a mug of something that smelled like cocoa in his left hand, and his wand in his right. There were pink bunny slippers on his feet. He looked around the bar and bowed deeply to Kuryakin and Willow, said "good evening, everyone," then gently waved the wand. The tables and chairs (with their occupants) began to slide across the floor, until they were arranged in a square with the seats on the outside. Neat triangular blocks labelled with their names appeared on the tables in front of each seat. Only Willow and Kuryakin stayed where they were; once the tables had stopped moving Kuryakin's chair rose into the air, flew across the room, and landed to the left of Dumbledore. Willow grinned, picked up her chair, and carried it to the space to his right. Harry and Hermione looked as baffled as Dawn felt, but from the looks on the older wizards' faces, and a scowl from Kuryakin, Dawn guessed that Willow had just scored major points in some bizarre status game.

"Baba Yaga, Professor Rosenberg, ladies and gentlemen," said Dumbledore. Nobody pretended to be surprised by his use of Kuryakin's true name. "My apologies for keeping you waiting."

There was a pause, as everyone seemed to look for someone else to reply, then Harry said "Do you have some news for us, Professor?"

"Not exactly," said Dumbledore. "Gringrott's Bank, the Wizengamot and the International Confederation of Wizards have all asked me to look into recent events. It appears that they are less than happy with the progress made by the Ministry and the other government agencies involved in these cases."

"The ICW?" asked Willow, "how did they get involved? I thought that they were mostly a standards organisation. Wand strength, newt eye quality, that sort of thing."

"They are, but they are also organise international wizarding events. It's my understanding that their facilities, or rather their badge, was used to lure Harry to the attack that led to your involvement. And of course you did fight a pitched battle at the conference."

"You're very well informed," said Angel. "I'm not sure we mentioned the badge to anyone official."

"Umm..." said Harry, turning a little red. "I think that might have been me. I owled the Professor the evening after the attack, when you were working out how to capture Soprano, thought he might have some ideas."

"You did indeed," said Dumbledore. "I should explain that this is not as yet an official enquiry. If it were then someone with fewer ties to the case would be conducting it. Someone who isn't Harry's teacher, Professor Vector's colleague, and so forth."

"That makes sense," said Gunn. "You do a lot of this kinda work?"

"Enough to know when things are going badly wrong. Which I think is happening here."

"Okay," said Angel, "you know something we don't, obviously."

"Fortunately young Percy still has a little respect for his old headmaster. I... ah... persuaded him to explain a few things."

"For example?"

"I'm afraid that the fracas at the convention was caused by undercover aurors from the Ministry of Magic. They thought that they were rescuing Professor Vector."

"But I wasn't in any danger!" said the professor. "I wasn't even in the Arithmancy tent when the fight started."

"Apparently they mistook an American witch for you, and thought that they were rescuing you from certain death. No doubt we'll learn more when they recover their memories."

"Certain death?" asked Angel

Dumbledore gestured towards the Baba Yaga, who nodded courteously, then continued "After the death of Lucius Malfoy it was felt that anyone involved in the attack on Durmstrang might be in danger, even those who developed the original plan to attack Castle Dracula. Weasley had apparently sent several agents to Los Angeles after you disappeared from Diagon Alley, guessing that you'd surface there, as soon as he heard about Malfoy he told them to bring her back to the Ministry for protection. Unfortunately he said to do it 'whether she wanted to come or not', and warned them that there might be an attempt to kill her, and that seems to have caused the trouble."

"That doesn't explain the smoke bombs and the rest of it," objected Dawn, "let alone why they wiped their memories."

"It does seem a little over-dramatic," said Cordelia. "You put something like that on TV and nobody would believe it."

"The smoke was intended to confuse anyone casting spells at Professor Vector, and the potion was apparently a standard precaution to avoid interrogation if agents are captured."

"Okay," said Angel, "that explains that, but there are still a hell of a lot of unanswered questions."

"Things do seem to have become ridiculously complicated," said Dumbledore, "so let's get back to the beginning. Perhaps Harry could start by explaining exactly what happened on the night that he was shot..."

* * * * *

"So in effect," said Dumbledore and hour or so later, "there is no evidence whatever that the plot to defraud the late mister Soprano and assassinate Harry had anything to do with the attack on Durmstrang."

"What?" said Harry, Dawn, and Angel, more or less simultaneously.

"We know that the attempt to murder you began no earlier than the end of May," Dumbledore said patiently, "because that's when you decided to visit the conference. Even if someone had cast a spell to make you want to go there, it can only have happened after the conference arrangements were confirmed in February."

"February?" asked Gunn, "Isn't that kinda thing planned years in advance?"

"Normally, but in this instance the arrangements were somewhat... fluid... until Voldemort was killed. Nobody wanted to risk a large gathering of wizards that might be attacked. Once he was out of the way several institutions competed for the honour of hosting the conference, Los Angeles was the compromise choice."

"You're right," said Angel, "Soprano said as much. He was told that Harry would be in California when he first met the fake Charlie Weasley."

"That fits with the timing of the meeting at Gringrotts," said Gunn, "It'd be two or three weeks later. Was there some sort of public announcement?"

"Yes," said Hermione, after a moment's thought, "Rita Skeeter mentioned it in her column about a week after the list of participants was posted at Hogwarts. Someone must have told the Daily Prophet."

"Could have been anyone," said Harry, "with Voldemort out of the way we weren't trying to keep it secret."

"Okay," said Angel, "so the attack on Harry was arranged months after Durmstrang was destroyed. Doesn't meant that they aren't connected."

"Oh, I agree that it's possible," said Dumbledore, "but is it likely? What would be gained by it?"

"Well," said Fred, "We know now how Durmstrang was destroyed, and we're pretty sure we know who led the attack. Of course we'd know for sure if someone hadn't.. well, you know.. killed him."

"Don't you think it's more likely that they aren't connected?" asked Dumbledore.

"There are too many coincidences," said Angel. "What I keep seeing here is a wizard who thinks that he's smart enough to use magical tools to manipulate the muggle world. You think about it; the attack on Durmstrang was basically non-magical, although the way it was delivered used magic. The attack on Harry was entirely non-magical, and the way that Soprano was recruited led to us investigating Durmstrang. The end result is that Malfoy is dead and a huge can of worms has been opened. What if that was the plan all along?"

"But who could possibly do that?" asked Harry. "You're talking about someone who knows everything about the raid on Durmstrang, with contacts in the wizarding world, gangsters in America, some way to foresee the future accurately enough to ensure that I wouldn't be killed by Soprano...."

"Not necessarily," Professor Vector said thoughtfully, "your death might serve the same purposes equally well. You can imagine how thoroughly it would be investigated."

"Great," said Harry.

"So who are we looking for?" asked Hermione. "Who knew enough?"

"Percy Weasley seems a likely candidate," said Dawn. "Malfoy and his friends killed his brother, maybe it was the only way he could think of exposing them."

"Or he was a Death Eater all along," said Angel. "Someone must have tipped them off about the attack, given them the opportunity to hijack the portal."

"Percy?" said Harry, "He's no Death Eater, and he couldn't put something like that together. He's... um..." Harry trailed off into silence as he thought about it.

"Percy was a double agent capable of living a lie for months on end," said Angel, "He organised the attack, although I doubt he expected Durmstrang to be the target, and he must have organised the cover-up afterwards."

"To ensure that I turned on Voldemort," said the Baba Yaga.

"Exactly. If the Ministry had claimed that Death Eaters had taken over their attack, would you have believed them?"

"I don't like to be manipulated..."

"He knew where his brother lived, I guess," said Angel. "Did he know enough about the world outside the magical community?"

"Arthur Weasley was in charge of the Muggle Artifacts department until nearly the end of the war," said Hermione, "Percy always looked down on his father's interest in muggles, but he would have had plenty of opportunities to learn about us."

"And he went on diplomatic missions to America after the war," said Professor Vector, "I remember seeing it in the Prophet. He was the Ministry's liaison to the Department of Magic when they were hunting down the last of Voldemort's followers."

"But why impersonate his own brother?" asked Harry.

"Who better?" Dumbledore said unexpectedly. He looked saddened. "Bill was in Egypt, and if there was ever any suspicion of the transaction with Soprano it would be easy to prove that he couldn't have been involved. And if it became apparent that there had been an attempt to implicate Bill, who would suspect that Percy had impersonated him? A stranger, someone outside the family, would surely seem more likely. When he took the polyjuice and realised he was disguised as Charlie, not Bill, it must have shaken him considerably."

"But why try to get Harry assassinated?" asked Dawn, "sure, it makes a big stink, stirs things up, but he could do that without involving Harry."

"Because I hate him, of course," said a voice from the doorway. Percy was standing there, wand in hand. "Don't get up.."

Harry flicked his wand at Percy and said "Stupefy." Nothing happened.

"Don't be childish. Did you think I haven't taken precautions? You've all been drinking Madame Rosmerta's excellent beverages, and a simple muggle chemical... Stupefy!" He swung his wand towards Kennedy and stunned her as she was drawing a throwing knife. "As I was saying, none of your magic will work for the moment, and I'm quite ready for your muggle attacks."

"Think you can take us all?" asked Gunn, and Fred blew a raspberry. As Percy glanced at them Angel leaped across the table with vampiric speed. Somehow Percy saw him coming and swung his wand back, saying "Avada Kedavra!"

There was a green flash and Angel's body fell to the floor.

To Be Concluded

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