Faery Heroes

Response to Paladeus's challenge "Champions of Lilith". Harry, Hermione, and Luna get a chance to travel back in time and prevent the hell that England became under Voldemort's rule, and maybe line their pockets while they're at it. Lunar Harmony; plenty of innuendo, dark humor, some bashing included; manipulative!Dumbles; jerk!Snape; bad!Molly, Ron, Ginny



9. Family Reunion

A train pulling into its station is always a busy undertaking. There is, of course, some activity from the train itself, but most of the movement comes from the people standing on the platform, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their loved ones. This frenzy becomes even greater when all of the train's passengers are children returning from school; such was the case of Platform 9¾ when the Hogwarts Express became visible around the curve of the tracks.

"We're here," Harry breathed. It had been seven years since he had last had a reason to look over King Cross's magical platform. After the war was over, he had rejected the idea of returning to Hogwarts for a final year, the memories of the dead simply too strong for him to see the grounds again. Though they had eventually faded, by that time he was too involved in rebuilding Potter Manor and enjoying the company of the two women he had fallen in love with to bother visiting the castle or its platform. Seeing the platform again was just as bittersweet as he had anticipated.

Hermione hugged him from behind. "We are. We'll be able to see our families, take a break, have a little fun— Families. My parents, they're okay! I didn't memory charm them yet! They'll still remember me…"

He turned around to hold her as Luna joined in the cuddle. She had left England only a couple of days after the Battle of Hogwarts, traveling alone by her own request; she had removed their memories by herself, so she felt that she must return them by herself as well. Unfortunately, the book she had learned the charm from had neglected to mention that there was a short window of about a week for restoring altered or missing memories. She had come back a few days after she left, without 'Wendell and Monica Wilkins' or any plans for them to join her. All three of them were then alone in the world, with no one but each other to count as family.

Now though, she had the chance to reconnect with her mother and father, and Luna could be with her father. He, admittedly, would much rather have nothing to do with the Dursleys, but he would take the bad with the good. His girls were happy, and that was his number one priority.

The trio had come down from their emotional high by the time the Express had finally stopped. Grabbing their trunks, they had already walked out the door of the compartment when Hermione palmed her face. "I forgot. Weasley," she said to their curious looks.

"Do we have to transfigure him back?" Luna asked.

He shrugged. "While I would love keeping him stuck as a pillow, we're still vulnerable. We have little money, no allies, and enough enemies to host a convention. Can we keep the Light off our backs for a little while, at least until Voldemort and his minions are dead, buried, and had their graves danced on?"

She sighed in response. "Fine, let's retrieve the sleeping stomach."

A wave of Hermione's wand had the red-head back in human form, though still unconscious. She was about to Ennervate him when Harry grabbed her hand. "Hold up just a moment. There's something I want to do to him first." He drew his wand and spun it through a long, sinuous movement. "Okay, you can wake him."

"What did you do to him?"

Luna might still be as stubborn as a mule, but he had learned long ago to pick his battles; having two women looking over his shoulder had made that a necessary survival skill. "I dropped a small compulsion into his subconscious. Every time he thinks ill of one of the three of us, he'll wet himself."

"Toilet humor, Harry? Really?"

The blonde giggled, then cast a spell at him as well. "Now it'll burn when he pees."


He smiled innocently at the enraged witch. "Don't you want to curse him, too, just a little?"

"I will not be party to any retaliatory actions that are that crude and immature!" Stamping her foot like a young child removed much of the dignity from her pronouncement.

"Okay, then Hermione, you don't have to take part in the fun," Luna said while patting her arm indulgently. "We'll just hold it as an IOU."

"But I don't owe you anything!"

"Yes you do; you owe me the laughter I'll get when you finally pull that stick out of the mud."

Harry interjected, "Luna, I thing you have your metaphors mixed up again. She is a 'stick in the mud', and she needs to 'pull the stick out of her arse'."

"Harry James Potter!"

"But I like the stick up her arse, as long as I put it there."

He couldn't keep his composure and laughed at the poor mistreated woman's reddening face. "You both suck," she said.

Luna nodded. "Yes I do, and Harry has never complained about my technique."

"I actually don't suck," he replied, playing along.

Hermione just screamed in frustration, then pointed her wand at Ron. "Ennervate, and I hate you both!" She stalked out and slammed the door.

"Think we took it too far?" Luna asked him. He just shrugged; it wasn't the first time she had said that, and it likely wouldn't be the last. Once her anger had worn off, she would apologize for her words, with them knowing that she would get them back for their mocking, and they would apologize for having a laugh at her expense, with her knowing that they weren't sorry in the slightest.

Ron stirred. "Ugh, what's going on?"

"We're at the platform, Ron." Luna was already out the door, so it fell to Harry to catch the boy on the events he 'missed'.

"Already?" he shrieked. "What happened? I never got to eat any Chocolate Frogs!"

He nodded. "Yeah, you fell asleep right after we got underway. You looked exhausted, too, so Hermione and I figured you needed your sleep."

"Why would you do something like that?" he roared, then he grabbed the crotch of his pants as the dark spot appeared and grew. He ran out of the compartment, Harry staring in astonishment; while he knew the compulsion was going to be an oft occurrence, he was surprised that its first activation came this soon.

A glare and a bright grin greeted him as he stepped off the train. "So, who are we going to meet first?"

Hermione's glare morphed into a sickly smile. "Well, my dearest Harry, I figured we could see my parents first. After all, they deserve the chance to say hello to the man who took their beloved and only daughter's virtue, don't they?"

He and Luna stared at her. "No!" the blonde shrieked, grabbing onto him. "We only just got him house-broken! It'll take another five years to properly train up our next boy toy, even if he is more pliable than this one!"

"Sometimes, Luna, you just have to know when to cut your losses," Hermione said in a sagacious tone.

Harry sputtered, and apparently that was the reaction the girls were looking for as they high-fived each other. "That's what you get for messing with me!" Hermione crowed.

"Hermione, that was so far below the belt that I'm shocked there isn't a dent in the floor. You don't joke about your father taking your boyfriend's twig and berries like that."

"Oh, pish, you two take the mickey out of me enough that you deserve whatever comes your way. Besides, Dad's a softy, and you'll win Mum over in no time." Having dismissed his concerns, she grabbed his wrist with one hand while she used the other to do the same to Luna. "Now come on, I want to see them and find out how Xeno's doing before I have to go back to my parents' house."

He struggled against her, truly he did, but the reunion with her parents had to have given her the strength of a giant for all the good he did resisting being dragged. Her walk sped up into a run when she saw them. "Mum, Dad!"

"Hermione!" her mother cheered, pulling her into a tight hug. She looked like Hermione had when she aged passed her gangly stage, so much so that they could have been mistaken as sisters. "We missed you so much! Gran came over this Christmas and was quite put out that you weren't there, though we mollified her by telling her you were attending that ball of yours. Oh," she said as she noticed the two teens her daughter was gripping like a limpet, "and who are your friends?"

"This is Harry Potter, you met him a couple of years ago, and this is Luna Lovegood. Harry and I met her this year. Harry, Luna, this is my mother Miranda and my father Jake." He and Luna chorused their greetings, and the four adults, though not all in body, shook hands.

"It's a pleasure to meet some of Hermione's friends, or meet again in your case, Harry," Jake said. He was a small, sandy-blond man, an inch or so shorter than his wife, and while he wasn't scrawny-looking, he would never be intimidating. "Are you two going to enjoy your summer break?"

"Yes, Mr. Granger," Luna chirped, "we were actually planning on getting together for a few day trips before the three of you leave on your vacation. If it's not a problem, of course."

He chuckled. "It's not a problem at all; Miranda and I are normally busy at our practice all day, so feel free to take her with you if you can drag her away from her homework and reading."

"Dad, you make me sound like I'm obsessed," Hermione complained. "Our homework is very important for our grades, and it's not like you don't read for fun as well. And just so you know, the three of us completed all our assignments during the ride here to free up time for our trips." Her point made, she stuck her tongue out in a move completely out of character for the dour teenager she had been at fifteen.

Miranda snickered at her daughter's actions. "If you two managed to loosen her up this much, you are more than welcome to come visit whenever you like. Would either of you be able to stay for dinner after your trips?"

"I'm afraid I can't, Mrs. Granger. Daddy gets lonely when I'm not home, so I think it best if I'm with him," Luna replied.

"Oh, that's too bad, maybe you and your father can both come one night. What about you, Harry?"

He thought for a moment, then admitted, "I might very well take you up on that offer. The less time I have to spend with the Dursleys, the better."

"Who?" she asked, her brows knitting together.

"My mother's sister and brother-in-law and their son." At her look, he elaborated, "We don't get along; they don't like that I can do magic, you see."

Strangely, his explanation only made her expression more severe. "Well, in that case, I hope we'll see you quite often."

"Harry, Mione, let's go see Daddy," Luna begged, tugging at them. "I want him to meet you."

They acquiesced and began walking to the opposite end of the platform. Many of the families that they passed looked at the trio in confusion, and some even had a hint of fear in their gazes; apparently the Ministry was not tolerating any delays in their drive to sling mud all over his and Dumbledore's reputations.

Not that I blame them for that one, he thought to himself. After the Second Voldemort War was over, Hermione had followed Skeeter's trail as much as possible to track down her sources, and to her distress at the time, the reporter/muckraker-turned-author had dotted all her 'i's and crossed all her 't's when it came to recording what she had learned. She obviously felt any embellishments of her own would lessen the sordid tale's impact, or perhaps she just wanted to avoid being trapped in a jar again.

While they were searching for a glimpse of the eccentrically-dressed man, he managed to sneak up on them. How that was possible in robes that looked like they escaped from an acid trip, Harry would never know.

"Little moon!" he cried as he picked Luna up and spun her around. "When the wrackspurts gathered in your room, I was worried that something had happened to you." He set her back on the ground and looked her up and down, then in the ear canal and at her left thumb. "You are older now than when you left."

"Well, of course I am, Daddy." She looked down at their feet, unable to lie to her father's face. "It's been over five months since I was home for Christmas."

Xenophilius Lovegood waved her comment away. "I am so sorry that I missed all of those birthdays. How many was it, six?" He winced, "Or maybe seven?"

"No, no, Daddy, don't worry about it. You would have been there if you were able to."

He nodded. "I see. I was kidnapped by the plum-haired Sifflelessers; they must have gotten hold of one of my articles on the breeding habits of Crumple-Horned Snorkacks."

"Yes, Daddy," she sniffed, "that was exactly it. Oh, I missed you so much!" She flung herself into his arms and buried her head into his chest.

He rubbed her back comfortingly as he nodded to the two teens. "It is nice to see you again, Harry and Hermione, though I don't remember us being introduced before. Blame the Sifflelessers."

Hermione smiled weakly. "Yes, Xeno, it's good to see you again, too."

Harry, on the other hand, could make no response. He was too busy fighting back his last and only memory of the incredibly brave man in front of them.

"The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming."

Perhaps, if the people attending Bill and Fleur's wedding had received Kingsley's Patronus a minute earlier, events would have gone differently. Perhaps it would have been just Harry, Hermione, and Ron who ran off and searched for Voldemort's Horcruces. Perhaps Xeno would have sold his honor and his integrity in an attempt to protect his daughter, all while she was being used as the Death Eaters' sex toy in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor.

But that isn't what happened, for by the time the ethereal lynx arrived to deliver its message, the Dark Lord's soldiers had already Apparated onto the Burrow's grounds.

"Harry!" Luna shouted as she ran to him and took a position at his back. "What do we do?"

"I don't know, Luna, but we need to get out of here. Now." He scanned the crowd for his two best friends, firing stunners at the numerous black-robed magicals attacking the guests.

Hermione and Ron sprinted the last few feet to them, panting as they came to a halt. "Harry, we have to go. Sirius's house still has the Fidelius; we can take refuge there."

"Can we stop talking and go already?" Ron screamed as he levitated a chair in the path of a Killing Curse. None of the other teens were able to answer; a few of the Death Eaters had located their master's worst enemy and were bearing down on them. Salvation came in the form of a wall of blue smoke and a man whose fashion sense alone should have seen him admitted into an asylum.

"Xeno, we…" Harry stopped once he caught a glimpse of the wizard's visage. Gone was the jocularity and slightly vacant expression he had borne at the start of the reception; his face could very well have been hewn from granite to account for its hardness. Suddenly, Harry realized that he had seen Xeno before, in the photo of the original Order of the Phoenix Moody had shown him the summer they had stayed in Grimmauld Place.

"Harry," Xeno said, and his tone was completely serious, just as his daughter's was whenever someone insulted the Quibbler. "I do not know what duty Fate and Destiny have tasked you with, but I do know that it is essential for the downfall of this monster of a man. I will defend you while you escape from this place, if you but do one thing for me in return."

Harry glanced around at the contingent of Death Eaters who were making their way over to the group, their speed hampered by their need to torture the men, women, and children in their path. "Anything."

"Take Luna with you and keep her from harm. I fear that if you do not, unspeakable acts will be done to her, acts that she will never recover from. Give me your word that you will protect her."

"I give you my word." What else could he say? He did not want any of his friends to be hurt because of him, and if Xeno covered for their escape, he would owe the man a debt he would never be able to repay.

"Good, now go. I will not be able to hold them off for long, only as long as a Nargle needs to get into trouble." He waded into the fray, shouting at the Death Eaters, "You will be far more fun to hunt than Snorkacks!"

The four teens had run to the edges of the Burrow's wards when Harry finally looked behind him and stopped dead in his tracks. Thanks to Xeno's robes and hair, he could still see the man, as well as the five Death Eaters the odd man was holding back by himself. He was too far away to hear the incantations Xeno was saying, but he was flabbergasted by the volume of spells, in all the colors of the rainbow, that the Dark wizards were having to defend themselves against.

Harry turned, and grabbing Luna's hand, Disapparated to London. They would later hear that Xeno had eventually fallen in that battle, but only after the number of opponents he was facing had grown beyond eight at once.

Harry returned to the present in time to catch some of Xeno's and Hermione's conversation. "…and the article on Umgubular Slashkilter diets, you must certainly read that as well. It was one of our most popular issues, you know, due to Fudge once owning one; I sold almost as many copies of that edition as the one on Aberforth Dumbledore's affair with an entire football team in South America. And my wife added a wonderful recipe for plimpy and banana casserole that was absolutely scrumptious…" Well, perhaps it was more Xeno rambling and Hermione staring blankly at him, but at least she hadn't started arguing about the existence of the creatures he so adored.

He grabbed Hermione's arm, jarring her back to reality in the process. "It was wonderful to see you again, Xeno, but I need to get Mione back to her parents. I hope you regain the memories the, um, Sifflelessers took from you." He dragged her away from the Lovegoods and waved at their farewell.

"Ugh, I thought spending time with Luna was enough to immunize me from their insanity, but Xeno, no matter his other virtues, is completely 'round the bend. Why can't he be rational besides when he's fighting for his life?"

"If he's anything like Luna," he pondered aloud, "then he probably offended sanity at one point, and it decided that it was better off without him." His contribution to her rant over, he listened with one ear to her diatribe as he ushered her over to the adult Grangers.

"Ah, there you are," Miranda said. "Hermione, we have to get going, so say goodbye. I'm sure you two will see each other again soon enough."

Hermione turned to him with mischief in her eyes, and before he could question what she was doing, she had pulled him into deep, lust-filled kiss. Harry, out of habit, closed his eyes and pulled her tight as their tongues danced, only to remember where they were and who they were with when a muffled snort reached his ears. He immediately pulled away and removed his hand from her firm backside. Miranda had her hand in front of her face to stifle her laughter, while Jake was glaring at him in a manner oddly reminiscent of Slytherin's basilisk. Harry sighed but met his gaze head-on. He had fought and bled in two wars; what did he have to fear from a mild-mannered dentist?

"I'm afraid I have to be going, Mr. and Mrs. Granger. Mione, is there a time you want me to come over, or should I call you later?"

"Oh, just come over on Monday, Harry. We're going to spend this weekend as a family and catch up."

He nodded and backed away from her still-amused mother and equally-enraged father to depart the platform into the Muggle side of King's Cross, managing to dodge the eyes of an expectant family of red-heads. Waiting there – none too patiently, of course – were the Dursleys.

"Get a move on, you lazy freak. We don't have all day to stay around and cater to you and your kind," growled his uncle Vernon, though Harry would never refer to him by that title again. He was lucky he had suffered a heart attack after one of Dudley's particularly exciting witch burnings, or Harry would have shown him exactly why the name Potter was spoken by Death Eaters with the same amount of fear they had once reserved for Dumbledore.

"Yeah, yeah," Harry said nonchalantly. He would have loved for his relatives' cruelty to be something forced upon them, perhaps by a compulsion or some magical artifact put in the house by Dumbledore, but their hatred were lamentably and entirely natural. Thankfully, he would not have to put up with their bigotry and senseless violence for much longer.

For Harry, like the Slytherin the Sorting Hat wanted him to be, had a plan.

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