By DA Jones aka Ydnas Odell
Chapter I: I'm Dangerous to Love.
“Sir, what is your name?”
“Mr. Corner, I’m Augustus Pye with St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Ailments and Injuries. I’m here to help you. Do you know what spell you were hit with, sir?”
“Not a spell. I was shot. Twice.”
“Really? A muggle shot you. How many shots? How many shots did you hear, sir?”
“Maybe. The shooter was a witch.”
“Are you having trouble breathing, Mr. Corner? Any pain?”
“Pain in my abdomen. I feel liquid sloshing about. Shortness of breath.”
“Ok, we are going to take good care of you sir.”
“Do you know anything about my wife? Is Gabrielle ok?”
“To be honest sir, there were several witches wounded, I don’t know if she was one of them. I’ll find out, now you have to lay still.”
“Is she dead?”
“I’m sure she’s fine sir.”
“No, not my wife. The Butcher. The Butcher Bulstrod.”
“I don’t know. Several witches and wizards are dead sir. Ok, prep a bellows, call ahead to Mungo's we'll need the surgery room. Start two wide based IV lines stat. Saline solution. What? No Ames, this is a muggle injury and we have to treat it with muggle techniques. Nothing is experimental that saves lives. No, I've never taken a bullet out before, I don't remember the last time a wizard was shot. Just get me Ephedrine potion, wound-cleaning potion, blood-replenishing potion and breath-rite potion, stat. Hang the potions on the IV stand. Let's go people!"
"Please tell me you know what you're doing."
"Not to worry, Mr. Corner. I'm a highly trained healer, top marks in my class. You'll be alright. Move, Ames, I don't care if you report me to Smethwyk, I'm trying to save this man's life. He's bleeding out. Start the monitoring spells, stat. Now! We are going to try to apparate you, Mr. Corner, get you to St. Mungo’s immediately, Mr. Corner. Just hold on. Can you still hear me? Are you with me?”
“My kids…tell my wife and kids that I love them.”
A week before Christmas 2007, London
My name is Michael Joseph Corner. My wife Sam was killed. I will avenge her murder.
I’m a former Auror, wounded in the line of duty and retired on a three-quarters pension (that just reflects the amount of money I receive, ninety-nine percent of me works fine most days; unless its raining than my bones are very achy.) and now working as a special contract agent for the UK Muggle-Wizard Anti-Terrorism Task Force (UKMWATTF - otherwise known as: You Know Mum, What The Fuck!); a special project of the Minister for Magic and the UK Prime Minister.
The project is badly needed. We all thought the magic world was saved by Harry on 2.5.98. We were wrong. 9-11 happened. And it didn't just happen to American muggles.
We learned a lesson that day, if the muggles aren’t safe we aren’t either. My first wife learned that lesson too, tragically.
But that was six years ago, and a lot has happened. I won’t give up. But I do live a life, I have a very brave fiancée, a very litigious ex-wife and second wife who was also murdered; killed in the line of duty, unlike Sam who was a muggle civilian. I'm dangerous to love.
It’s only Sam I’m still tormented about, the other death I accept. It is how my second wife would have wanted to go. And she went in a blaze of glory.
So, that’s right, two of my three wives have been murdered. I live a dangerous life and it rubs off on my women. Cho Chang always said I was difficult to live with, but I don't think she meant that literally.
But Cho’s safe, as safe as anyone can be for an Auror. She’s married a muggle, but of course the muggle is a cop and of course the cop is a member of our task force. So she’s not safe at all, not really.
But she’s still safer then she would be if she were my wife, I think the position’s jinxed as surely as the old Defense Against the Dark Arts position at Hogwarts used to be. Hell, even my finance has been shot at she’s not an Auror or a cop, she’s a school teacher.
Like I said she’s very brave, teachers are much braver than Aurors or cops, I love her to pieces, but I’m afraid she’s going to end up in pieces like Sam, or like the other whose name I suddenly can't say. I was wrong it hurts too. But at least I know who killed her.
Of course, Harry Potter is a member of the task force too. In fact he has the cubicle next to mine. I've known him a while. And I know you won’t believe this, but really despite his fame, he’s an ordinary if spectacularly happy bloke.
But I think lately it’s as if we’ve changed lives. Everyone now knows how hard Harry’s early life was. The awful muggles that raised him, the prophecy that only he could defeat Voldemort and the fact that so many that cared about him died.
While I, until that last year at Hogwarts….my life was a paradise compared to Harry. I was good at Quidditch, near the top of class, dated pretty girls (including Harry’s future wife!) and generally had a lot of fun.
But since then, since my failed attempt to save that troublesome first year Rolf…well in some ways…it’s as if I was cursed along with being tortured. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitter. It’s just that since then, Harry’s life has been perfect…and mine, well aside from the kids…aside from the love I’ve had and so painfully lost…it’s been in many ways as if fate had taken me as a replacement for Harry, as I suspect so long ago Ginny did.
I don’t blame him. How could I? Sam’s death was in no way his fault.
Harry is perfect. Perfectly if miraculously normal. He’s one of our better Aurors. You can always count on him when he’s by your side. He’s superb at surveillance, quick on his feet, one of our best combat specialists, and as good at teaching as he ever was.
If the muggle Prime Minister hadn’t specifically requested him for the task force, he would probably be teaching at the academy; but Harry has never been one to flinch from danger.
But like I said, he is truly an ordinary bloke. In fact, he even attends the boring Christmas parties, downs entirely too much cider, nog and butterbeer and complains loudly about assignments and bosses.
That’s what he did this Christmas. And it's one reason why I like him. As I said he's a mate to most everyone and obviously tough. We all are.
But the toughest bloke of all; is not Harry but my partner; the soft spoken, hugely tall and artistic black man known around the office to the muggles as The Magic Mountain but otherwise known to polite wizarding society as Dean T. Thomas. I’ve seen him take out five dark wizards at once, and he has the scars to prove it.
Harry says part of Dean must have channeled Mad-Eye, and from what he says I can believe it, God rest Moody’s soul. There’s must be something about hanging with Goblins and being chased by wizards who want to do a whole lot more than just kill you that hardens a man. I mean, never forget this; even before he was an Auror the man undertook the battle of Hogwarts without a wand!
But anyway, I was sipping tea at this Christmas party and Santa-shiting about what Christmas toys to buy for my four kids (by three wives) with Sarah one of the secretaries; when Harry came over with his cup of Christmas cider and cake. Sarah had baked it, we don’t use house-elves in our office, not even for Santa's sleigh.
He said: “Michael, have you ever hear of the Howe Hill Club?”
“The Ho-Ho club. No. Why?” I asked.
"Howe-Hill club. It's where Dudley and I are going for Christmas.”
"Getting intimate now are you?"
"Michael you're a git."
“Wait, you’re spending Christmas with your cousin Dudley, how’d you convince Ginny and your kids to do that; I thought they hated Dudley’s family?”
Harry half smiled: “No, it’s not that sort of visit. It’s an assignment; Lt. Franklin seems to think we need to bond. So he’s assigned us together to do surveillance on this Merlin-for-saken right wing place up in the nowhere peat bogs of Scotland near Hogwarts. It’s going to be damn cold, we’ll shiver our bums off, although Dudley at least still has plenty of insulation.”
“Maybe Lt. Frank is right Harry. How can it hurt you to bond with your cousin?”
“Mike, I like Dudley well enough now, we’re a bit closer than most co-workers, but I think both Dudley and I would rather spend the time with our kids and Dudley did mention some special plans he had for the time with Cho, she somehow managed to schedule a whole five days off.”
“Poor me. Ginny’s going to be furious and the worst part of all this, is that if I’m going to be spending that much time with Dudley, I’m going to have to get him a present. How about earmuffs or maybe I’ll get him one of George’s anti-hex vests, the muggle gits on our task force do seem to be rather fond of those?"
“I wonder what his mother will say if you give him that?”
"My aunt Petunia doesn’t know. She doesn’t know Cho is a witch and she doesn’t know Dudley’s working with wizards or that he even stays in touch with me. We decided a long time ago to do that. Even his kids are sworn to secrecy, but now that little Su is stating to show accidental magic, I don’t know how much longer they can keep it a secret. Vernon will probably disown him when he finds out.”
“Don’t worry Harry, I'm sure you'll have a good time and maybe even catch the bad guys in the act of whatever it is you’re going to be trying to catch them in. Dudley’s a good bloke and a good cop. I wouldn’t have let Cho marry just any chap, you know."
“You didn’t let her go Michael, she just got tired of you constantly trying to keep her safe.”
“Well, I'm just copying the best," I said ironically. "Good luck on your trip Harry and say Merry Christmas to Sgt. Dursley and Cho for me, if you can, and Ginny and the kids of course, and that whole heroic clan of yours. Happy New Year too, Harry.”
I patted him on the back and wandered over to the cake, on the wall behind the cake table was a picture of Santa and twelve tiny reindeer armed with a bazooka and about forty wanted posters, including one of Hector Torres the current Puerto Rican Dark Lord and a few minor ex-death eaters that were still on the lamb, even nine years hadn’t been enough time to round up all of them; although Dudley had literally punched his ticket to the task force by bringing in one by himself without a smidgen of Auror help. Apparently it had something to do with a traffic stop (former death eaters were horrible drivers as a rule) and his powerful right hand. Not that his connection to Harry hadn’t helped.
Most of the other posters were of Muslim muggle men including the notorious Osama Bin Laden who was famous for his horrendous deeds even within the wizarding world.
There were also a half-dozen IRA and MIRA members, the leader of a cult who was believed to be trying to obtain nerve gas, a terroristic Vampire, a werewolf who had decided to emulate Greyback, Basque separatists and the leaders of a couple of extremely violent environmental and goblin rights groups. Some photos moved and some didn’t. But right in the center was the picture of my first wife’s murderer.
“I’ll avenge you Sam.” I whispered as I did every day, Christmas party or not.
I broke the styrofoam tea cup in my hand. The tea scalded me. Who knew tea was hot?
A/N -- This fic is inspired heavily by the works of James Patterson and Nelson Demille as well as JKR of course. The problem is I'm stumped for a plot that is not an outright plagerization of the books.