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



7. Last Minute Errands

Teenage boys are notoriously bad at keeping up with their possessions; it is simply a fact of life. Put five of them together in a dorm for a term or two, and it is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Put five of them together in a dorm for a term or two with no adult supervision, and the room does not have to wait to become a disaster; it has already been demolished.

Such was the case with the fourth year Gryffindor boy's room. The floor was covered with clothes they had neglected to put in the hamper for the house-elves to clean; candy wrappers and game pieces, mostly Gobstones and chessmen, were strewn randomly throughout; and each boy would need to ask the others for help finding any articles of clothing they were missing. Even the bed and dresser belonging to Harry, who was obsessively neat compared to his roommates, were total wrecks.

Harry, having walked inside just after nine in the morning, stared in mute horror. After he had to live on his own, he had regained some of the cleaning habits he developed at the Dursleys', though not to the extreme Petunia had taken them. What was normal and acceptable for him at fourteen was far worse than he was willing to deal with at twenty-four, even if only in his head. All I wanted to do was get all my stuff together and have it ready for the elves to take to the train when we leave in a couple of hours, not deal with this! I don't recall everything that belonged to me at this time, and I have other things I would rather use my time for than looking through this entire dorm for my clothing. He moved to his trunk and checked inside for his invisibility cloak – he stuffed that into a space-extended pocket – photo album, and Firebolt. At least my most valuable belongings are where I left them. Now what am I going to do for the rest of my things?

"Master Harry Potter sir needs Dobby's help?"

He spun about, wand sliding into his hand from his sleeve with a wandless summoning charm, and he shoved the tip in between tennis ball-sized eyes, which crossed to keep the business end of the focus in sight. "Dobby, don't scare me like that," he said, quickly withdrawing his wand. "Now, what did you just say?"

The elf shuffled on his feet, still a little upset about making his master unhappy. "Dobby wanted to know if Master Harry Potter sir would like Dobby to help get all of master's things."

"Yes, that would be wonderful. Thanks, Dobby." Dobby regained his normal spirits with Harry's words and clapped his hands. From under beds, behind a dresser, and even inside Ron's trunk, items flew over to them. Another clap had them neatly arranged and in his luggage, which was now standing on its side and waiting to be whisked down to Hogsmeade station.

"Dobby is being done, Master Harry Potter sir. Dobby be leaving now."

"Hold on," Harry said. He had discussed the house elf situation with Hermione and Luna when they had visited the night before, after he and Pomfrey had finished their own plans, and they had asked him nicely (that is, told him to do it or else) to speak with Dobby; he now had a short list of rules that the two beings would have to follow. Speaking of… "How is Winky doing? Is she getting better?"

Dobby's frantic nodding made him wonder if he needed to carry around large rolls of tape for when the elf inevitably threw his own head off his shoulders. "Winky is being better, Master Harry Potter sir. Now that she has a family, she not be drinking and be working again. Should Dobby tell Winky Master Harry Potter sir be asking?"

"You can if you want. I have some things we need to talk about, but you can hear them now and tell her later, I suppose. Take a seat."

With great difficulty, Harry pretended that he couldn't hear the elf's mutters of how he was such a 'great and good master'. Once the elf was seated upon the corner of his trunk, he took a knee on the floor, allowing them to be at eye level. "I talked with Hermione and Luna about having you and Winky as my elves like I said, and they don't see a problem with either of you working for me as long as we set down some ground rules. You have to follow them if you want to stay our elves, do you understand?" A wary nod was his only answer.

"You and Winky may be bonded to me, but Hermione and I were raised in the Muggle world, which has laws against enslaving people. So, we are going to treat you two as employed domestic servants, which means uniforms and a salary. You and Winky can choose what outfits you want; the only requirement is that they have to complement each other and you need the Potter coat-of-arms on it. We will pay," Harry did a quick calculation, "35 galleons a month and give you every Saturday off—"

"No!" Dobby wailed. "Dobby being happy to be Harry Potter sir's elf, Dobby not be needing so much!"

"Well I have to pay you something, or Hermione is going to have my hide. What would you be willing to take?"

Dobby thought for a moment. "If Dobby must take money, Dobby wants one knut a year and no days off."

He failed to contain his sigh; why couldn't Hermione do this herself? Oh, right, because Dobby is bonded to me, personally. Even if he changed his allegiance to the Potter family, I'm still the only one in it. 'If Luna and I can't both marry you, we won't get married at all', she said. 'It just wouldn't be fair', she said. Sometimes, my life utterly sucks.

"Twenty galleons a month with a day off every two weeks."

"One sickle a month and no days off."

"You're going to be stubborn about that, aren't you? Fine, one day a week that you may use however you wish, even if that's working, but in return you have to accept fifteen galleons a month."

"Dobby cans accept that, but Winky being not." A smug grin grew on the elf's face, "Dobby not taking more than Winky."

"Ugh," Harry moaned. I should tell them they answer to Hermione but can only accept clothes from me, just to make this her problem. "All Right, Dobby, since you're wanting to play dirty. You still get that free day each week, but I will set aside up to twenty galleons every month, ten for each of you, that you and she may spend if you want on whatever catches your fancy. I don't care if you spend all of your allowance or none of it, the next month you will have a full twenty galleons available. This is my final offer; you can take it or I will order you two to receive 35 a month and every Saturday off."

Seeing his point, Dobby finally relented. "Dobby and Winky be taking one free day a week and twenty galleons a month. Does Master Harry Potter sir have more rules?"

"Yes, Dobby, just a couple more. Anything the three of us – Luna, Hermione, and I – say in private cannot be told to anyone without our express permission, even if they say that they need to know to help us. Not McGonagall, not Dumbledore, not even the Fae Queen if she comes to call, understand?"

"Dobby being a good elf," Dobby said indignantly, "Dobby not be telling Master Harry Potter sir's or his missies' secrets."

Harry held up his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, I didn't mean to insult you. It's just that, before we came back, we heard stories of elves who thought they were helping their masters and instead were tricked into betraying them. I wanted to make sure you never found yourself in that situation," he quickly lied. Kreacher had not been tricked into anything, but that was a story Dobby didn't need to hear at the moment.

"Dobby understands, Dobby and Winky not be telling secrets ever unless Master or his missies say to."

"Good. This next one is especially for you, Dobby. If you two hear about a threat to any of us, you will tell us, immediately and clearly. No hinting around the subject or trying to save my life like you did… two years ago." He barely kept himself from saying 'twelve years', which would have been a very bad slip up. I should make sure that I don't use the future as my reference point, or I'm going to make things a whole lot more difficult on us. "We will decide what, if anything, needs to be done to stay out of danger."

Dobby nodded again, so Harry was free to give the rule that he really wanted to deliver. "Last rule, I do not want you to call me 'Master Harry Potter sir' all the time. Please, just call me Harry."

"Dobby cans not be doing that, but Dobby can be calling Master Harry Master Harry."

"If that's the best you can do, I'll take it." A thought popped into his head, a wicked and devious thought. "Actually, Hermione will probably be giving you a lot of orders, and so she really deserves being called 'Missy Hermy Grangy ma'am'. Only I can tell you to call her something else, got it?"

Dobby returned to his bobble-head impression, "Dobby cans do, Dobby helps Master Harry with his joke. Does Dobby need to call Missy Lunie special, too?"

"No," he said, "just address her how you have been. I'll call on you soon, likely tonight. Don't forget to tell Winky what I told you." A squeal of happiness and a soft pop was his reply. He stood up to leave the room when the flutter of wings reached his ears; turning, he saw a white-feathered Fury glaring at him with yellow eyes from the open window.

"Hey, girl," he said in a fearful voice. "You know I would never forget about you, right?"

Down in the deep dungeons of this domain of discipline, a fairly full-figured, flaxen-haired, feminine felon flew fleet-footedly, following the foul fragrance of that fun-hating, fiendish fellow Filch. She subtly silenced the soft sound of her steps so she could seek out some suitably scintillating secret. There, the portal to possible prizes, promised per the prankster princes to provide pleasure and playful pastimes. Carefully, she cased the corridor; catching the crafty crook could compromise her companion's conspiracy to commit crazy and comic crimes.

After a glance down each end of the hall, then double-checking the ceiling, Luna walked over to the door to the caretaker's office. A quick unlocking charm later, and she was inside. The room was unimpressive, little more than a large closet that someone had stuffed a slightly battered desk and several filing cabinets into. It was to the latter that she made her way.

According to Harry, the twins had said that they found the Marauder's Map in their first year after being caught setting up a Dungbomb. That was by no means surprising to the Ottery St. Catchpole native, but exactly where they found it intrigued her. Based on her memory of the story, she sought and at last found the drawer they had spoken of.

"'Confiscated and Highly Dangerous', are we?" she giggled. "Well, my pretties, you will have a better home than this smelly old cupboard. We shall have so much fun together." She opened the drawer and peeked in, then slammed it closed as she stuffed her fist in her mouth; all her secrecy would be for nought if she revealed her presence with a burst of maniacal laughter. A second look only worsened her situation.

After she had regained her seriousness – or is it Siriusness, since he is, after all, still alive and supposedly safe in… in… well, in his home, anyway – she crept up the cabinet until she was sitting on top. Focusing on Filch's one lamp so as to not resume her cackling, she slid the drawer all the way out and untied the burlap sack wrapped around her waist. Someone who didn't know her well would wonder why she had one to begin with, but her lovers understood; though she had never seen any this far north, she knew one could never be too watchful for Blibbering Humdingers. It may not be Santa's bag, but the space-extension should allow me to hold everything.

She opened the sack and covered the top of the drawer with it. Now that she was safe from temptation, she drew her ebony wand and pointed it at her new toys. "Accio everything in the drawer that won't promote the Rotfang Conspiracy." Her wand hesitated a moment, then obediently pulled the summoned items into the container. After all her 'confiscated and highly dangerous' treasures were inside, she put her wand back in her pocket with a pat. "Thank you, Eric."

Her skipping gait took her out of Filch's office and into the hallway, then she stopped and walked backwards to the door again. "I knew I forgot something," she muttered, then pulled her wand back out. "Animadverto me non," she intoned, casting a notice-me-not spell on the entrance to the room. How could I be so silly? First rule of thievery: make sure that no one stumbles onto the scene of the crime.

The Hogwarts Express is a marvel, Harry thought as he gazed at the train, of the stupidity of the average wizard. A perfect example of wizards taking Muggle objects they have no comprehension of, putting spells on them that make whatever it is about five times more complicated than it needs to be, then choosing to paint it with a color so eye-watering that it leads me to wonder if attaining the title of Pureblood requires color-blindness. Scarlet generally wasn't a bad color, as long as it was on cloth, wood, or some other non-reflective surface. The metal siding of the Express, however, was not one of those, and the light bouncing off the non-painted sections onto the red was enough to make him want nothing more than the chance to dump the train in the middle of the ocean.

"Don't worry, mate," Ron said as he clapped his hand on Harry's shoulder. The raven-haired veteren-in-a-wet-behind-the-ears-boy's-body barely managed to check his initial impulse, which would have been to use the 'Voldemort Special' and Crucio the ginger into insensibility before feeding him to a conjured anaconda. "It's just a couple of months, and I'm sure that Mum will be demanding Dumbledore to let you come over."

Harry pasted on his face a smile so obviously forced that even Crabbe and Goyle would have known he was lying. "Sure, that would be great." Ron grinned back and jogged into one of the coaches.

Either I'm a better liar now than I was as a teen, or Ron Weasley is a lot more oblivious than I remember.

He, too, entered the train and searched for the compartment that Hermione said she would claim, working from the first carriage down to ensure that he found it. Most likely, she had also warded the thing to high heaven.

Of course she picked one at the very back, he thought irritably ten minutes later. It's not like there weren't more than enough in the first coach. Or the second. Or the third. He knew it wasn't fair to take his annoyance out on Hermione, they had always ridden as far back as they could, but right about now he really wanted to punt some fools off the train while it was rolling along in the middle of nowhere. Every compartment he passed, there were students gawking out the window at him, almost as if they were wondering what terrible thing would happen to him next. And soon, they'll all believe the Daily Prophet and think that I'm a mentally unstable, attention seeking, murderous psychopath. We're saving their arses for them, why again?

He looked through yet another window and smiled when he saw Hermione sitting there, reading a book. That's right, we're not saving them. We're saving us, our future; the sheep of the Wizarding world are just benefiting from it. And some of them are going to be paupers by the end, while we can be on a nice tropical island, living a life of luxury and laziness.

Oh yeah, and the weasel was inside, too.

Opening the door caught his brunette girlfriend's attention. "Hey, I was wondering when you'd get here. Did you see Luna while you were walking around?"

"No, she sent me a note this morning saying that she had something she wanted to do, and that she was going to be," he pulled the short letter in question out of his pocket, "'just the teensiest, tiniest bit late, so you two get together and start with the plotting for world domination. Don't do anything I wouldn't do in front of my grandpappy!' She signed it with three L's."

He suspected the last bit would go completely over Ron's head, and he wasn't disappointed. They each had a set of writing conventions they developed during the last war in case they had to leave public messages, and this memo had two. That particular signature was a sign that she was sure her job would be either an enormous waste of time or beneficial in the extreme. Mentions of her grandfather, who she had died before she was born, meant that she was going to be in some light risk. Thankfully, she hadn't used her father or mother; the former indicated the situation was high-risk with the possibility of combat, while the latter was a call for immediate backup and was only for situations where they honestly could not do without whatever she was after.

"I hope she doesn't get in trouble for it," Hermione fretted, and Harry couldn't resist sitting beside her and pulling her into his arms. "What if she gets caught by Filch, or Snape!"

"Bloody son of a bitch," Ron muttered.

The two lovebirds ignored the boy. "She's good enough to avoid that, Mione. I'm sure she'll come by in a few minutes, perfectly fine." The door opened, and Harry turned with a smile on his face, which died immediately when he saw it was not his favorite blonde. In fact, it was his least favorite.

"What do you want this time, Malfoy?"

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