AN: As I come to the end of The Sentinel, for now, I've been looking through my old Odd Ideas file to find my next project and I've noticed a pattern. All my Harry Potter stories are variation on the same theme. Spy/Warrior Harry Potter that handles thing with a gun or a blade rather than a wand and long winded spells. Trigger happy with little regard for the life of his enemy, and cold.
Master of War Harry was Jack Bauer, he did what he had to do for his country.
Shadow Harry was a mindless weapon that found something to fight for.
Unspeakable Potter is a washed up old Spy that has doubts about still having his edge.
Investigator Harry Steel is a Harry that's a soldier coming home from war only to find he can't stop fighting and it's not his home anymore. He's young, cocky, foul mouthed, and ruff around the edges. He's also impressionable and eager to please his new family.
This is the first chapter of Investigator Harry Steel. I hope you like it.
It was the first week of June, 2000. Anywhere else, and that would mean the sun would be shining. The birds would be chirping. The flowers would be blooming. Unfortunately, Harry was in Scotland, and the castle was under siege. Harry smiled at that little joke in his head. He had to make jokes like that or he would go crazy. Well, crazier than he already was. As time passed and he got older Harry was slowly starting to think that maybe he might be playing with less than a full deck of cards. He was a fool, that he was sure of. He knew that because he was still here. Still fighting this war. A war it seemed like no one really wanted to win. It was like the whole country was stuck playing this sick game of cops and robbers.
The Death Eaters attacked. The Order responded. Spells would be thrown. Some Death Eater would die. Some Order members would die. The Death Eaters would escape. The Order would fix what they broke. The whole time the sheep would keep on living like nothing was going on. The Ministry would try to arrest the Order for some bullshit reason. Rinse and repeat for years. Like a bad dream you couldn't wake up from.
Still today felt different for some reason. Like an end to all the bullshit. Looking around he was shocked by the level of destruction and death. This was not a normal raid. Normal raids didn't last this long. They weren't this violent. Dead bodies wherever you looked. Death Eaters. Order members. Children. It was the children he was most shocked about. Some of them were the children of the Death Eaters themselves. Harry was so shocked that he almost missed the bolt of green light heading his way. But two years of working with Moody drilled situational awareness into his head. At the last second he dove into a roll and came up firing a chain of battle spells at Riddle. The same chain that had killed countless Death Eaters. It started with a bone breaker to the chest and ended with a blasting curse. Tom didn't even move from his spot in the middle of what used to be the Great Hall. He just batted them away with the flick of his wand as he laughed.
"You are weak Potter! Is that the best you can do?" He asked tossing a killing curse at Harry causing the 19 year old to dive out of the way.
This time Harry rolled behind a destroyed stone wall for cover. This was not working. Everything he threw at Riddle since the battle started an hour ago got blocked or batted away like nothing. He was running low on power, and judging by the sounds of spell fire and explosions coming from the rest of the castle the battle was still raging on. No one was retreating this time. Chancing a glance over the wall he saw Neville and Hermione fighting in tandem to put down Bellatrix. The bitch might be nuttier then squirrel shit but she knew how to fight. The two gave as good as they got and the fight looked pretty even, but it only took one missed spell and he would lose the last two people he cared about. He needed to end this battle soon.
"Come out Harry! Come and face me so I can kill you!" The Dark Lord called out in a mocking voice.
Harry shook his head and looked down at his wand. It was still smoking from the last chain he used and the tip was still glowing. He knew that was the best stuff he had in his arsenal and it didn't even faze the Dark Lord.
"Looks like I have to go with your suggestion Moody." Harry muttered to himself with a smirk.
Harry stood calmly and walked out into the open to stand across from Riddle. He held his wand loosely in his right hand. "I'm right here Tommy. Lets finish this." He called out and his smirk grew when he saw Tom's red eyes narrow.
The Dark Lord didn't even taunt him. He just raised his wand and fired the killing curse. Harry waited until the last second before bringing his wand up and firing the stunning spell. The two spells connected and locked the brother wands together in a glowing ball of light. Riddle scowled but his face shifted to shock when Harry reached behind his back with his left hand and pulled a muggle gun out.
Harry drew the old rust marked 1911 he found in a trunk in his aunt's basement years ago and held it waist high in a tight grip like Moody taught him to. Harry was a damn good shot too. Many Death Eaters could attest to that fact. Or they could if they weren't dead. But shooting off hand while keeping up a spell? This would be tricky. Sucking in a quick deep breath, he fried four times in quick succession but once was enough to get the job done. The 230 grain copper jacketed slug tore a fist sized hole in Riddle's chest killing him almost instantly. The other three shots were overkill. The bark of the old GI issued sidearm stopped the fighting dead as everyone looked at him standing over Riddle's body holding the muggle gun.
"Harry, is he dead?" Hermione asked in shock. It was like everyone stopped what they were doing. Like when you're a little kid and the game stops because someone got hurt and you were waiting for a grown up to come help the injured kid. Even Harry was shocked. Years of fight a magical war and seeing all the death and devastation that came with it and it all ended with a muggle bullet.
Before he could answer her question Riddle's body flashed once, twice, three times and a pulse of light shot out of him in a wave knocking out the death eaters and Harry.
Harry came to on a hospital bed in St Mungo's. He stretched but stopped when he found his right wrist cuffed to the bed. "What the fuck?" He muttered. Waving his left hand over the cuff he tried to open the lock. But he felt nothing. No power flowed through him and he started to panic. Did he lose his magic?
Then he thought about it. No, he couldn't have lost his power because he could still see without his glasses and the enchanted tattoo that fixed his vision only worked for wizards with magic. He used his left hand to pull the blanket back and checked to make sure he wasn't hurt. He could see and feel all the battle scars he collected over the war but when he got to his head he couldn't feel the scar. The one that made him the Boy-Who-Lived. It must have faded with Tom's death. Good he thought, one less thing to deal with. Still why the fuck was he shackled to the bed for? He was pretty sure he just ended a decade long war. That made him a hero right? This was not how the hero was treated was it?
The door to his room opened and a dower looking heavy set nurse walked in. This was not unusual but what she did next was. She shut the door behind her and locked it before pulling her wand and casting a few spells at the door.
"Harry, you have to listen to me very carefully. I know you just got up but I need you sharp. Here drink this. It's pepper up." She said handing him a small phial.
"Do I know you?" Harry asked looking at the phial, but not taking it. She sounded like Hermione but his training taught him to question everything.
"It's me, Hermione." She said trying to get him to take the potion.
"Right, prove it." He said sitting up as far as his cuffs would allow.
"We don't have time for this Harry. Your guards will be back any minute. My password is peanut butter cup." She said looking at him with panic on her face.
"Guards? What the hell happened?" Harry asked getting his bearings back.
"After you killed Riddle his magic gave off a pulse and it knocked out you and the death eaters, including half the Wizengamot, and Minister Fudge. That was five days ago. In that power vacuum Ogden, Crabtree, and Greengrass took control of the ministry and the Wizengamot because they were the only senior members left with power. Their first order of business was to arrest all the Death Eaters that were knocked out." She said.
"Then why the hell am I shackled to the bed?" Harry asked.
"Their second order of business was to arrest you for use of a Muggle Firearm to kill Riddle. Really they just want you out of the way because they're afraid you'll take over. The man that can kill a dark lord can definitely kill three corrupt politicians. Through our contacts at the ministry we found out you are going to be tossed into Azkaban without trial today when the morning session of the Wizengamot ends. That's in twenty minutes. Now drink this." she said handing him the phial.
Harry drained it and steam shot out of his ears. In seconds he felt flush and energized. "So three power hungry politicians are running the country. What the hell happened to our people? Arthur? Diggory? Bones? Hell I would even take Minerva at this point. We need to mount a defense. Get me a law wizard. We can fight this. Where's Andy Tonks?" Harry asked sitting up and sliding off the bed to stand next to Hermione. He stood in his boxers and nothing else but he didn't mind Hermione seeing him like that. She was his sister.
"Arthur is hurt. Diggory and Bones are dead. Andy is trying to keep the Wizengamot from turning on each other and Minerva is trying to round up the kids and rebuild the school. The ministry is in shambles and right now we can't do a damn thing about anything. Half the Aurors are taking orders from Shack and the other half are working for Ogden. Our only chance to regain any power is with the election in two months. We can get Arthur healthy and elected Minister. Right now we need to get you out of the country. The power of the Wizengamot only extends to this island. I cleaned out your things from the safe house and I collected your ready cash. Neville set up a meeting with Ragnok at the bank. They know what's going on and they hate Ogden for his use of muggle banks to avoid paying their banking fees. We figured you could hide out for a few months and when the heat blows over and the ministry is back on it's feet you can come back." She said pulling out two shrunken trunks and his invisibility cloak.
"This is crazy. We fought a war for half our lives and three assholes take over the country? How is this even right?" Harry said.
"This is Britain. What did you expect from this backwards country? Half the people in the country don't even care that the war is over. If you're not a member of the lost generation, our generation, then the war barely touched you. There are old people and young people living in the UK that didn't even know the war was still going. After the prophet stopped printing the truth people just stopped paying attention. There are people in this country that think you're the terrorist. People are calling for your head, and I'm not talking about Ogden and his group. I'm talking about the people in the streets." She said sadly.
"You sacrifice so much for so little reward. I didn't want a title or a parade or anything like that but what did we fight for Mia?" Harry asked looking defeated.
"I don't know Harry, but you can't stay here now. You have to go. I got this key from Shack. It will open your cuffs, but the second we use it the Auror that put those cuffs on you will know they're open. Get your invisibility cloak on, and I'll open the cuffs. As soon as I open the cuffs you need to get to the bank as fast as you can. I'll slip into the room across the hall and wait for the Aurors." She said handing him his cloak.
"Why don't you come with me? What happens if you get caught helping me?" He asked looking freaked out.
"That's not going to happen Harry. The second they find out you're missing they're not going to notice a second nurse Turnbull. Besides Minerva needs Neville and I. she needs us to help her rebuild the school and get it running again. We're still teachers after all, and well respected. They don't want to arrest us. They just want you Harry." She said hugging him tight. "Stay safe and you'll be able to come back in a few months time." She said pulling back from him.
"I love you Hermione. You're the big sister I always wanted. Stay safe and if things turn worse get out too. I'll call you at the safe house and leave a number you can reach me if you need me. I think I'm also going to set up a place for all of us where ever I go, just in case you and Neville need it." Harry said before tossing the cloak on and grabbing the two small matchbox sized trunks.
"I love you too Harry. Now go while you still can." She said as she opened the cuffs.
Harry Hugged her one more time before running out of the room and down the hall. He clocked two Aurors in red robes running up the stairs. He stopped at the top of the stairs and waited until they passed before running down the stairs and out the front door coming out into the Alley. He booked it up the street until he got to the twins shop. He ducked behind the building and opened one of his trunks. He pulled on a pair of jeans and a button up blue shirt. He was just lacing up his trainers when two Aurors ran by the building headed for the Caldron shouting orders at each other. He pulled on his cloak and calmly walked to the bank. He walked all the way up to the guard standing by the hallway to the back offices before he made his presence know.
"The director is expecting me." He said pulling back his hood just enough for the guard to see his face.
"Right this way." The guard said leading him to the last office with a big gold door.
"Thank you." Harry said before knocking on the door. When he heard the director call out Enter he walked in and saw Ragnok sitting behind a big gold desk. He pulled off the cloak and took a seat. "Good to see you again Director. I wish it was under better circumstances but, what can you do? Wizard politics." Harry said shaking the goblin's hand.
"Politics. If you wizards just settled things like we goblins do there would be a hell of a lot less politics." Ragnok said.
"And how do you settle things if you don't mind me asking?" Harry asked getting the rest of his things out of the trunk. He put his wand in it's holder and attached it to his forearm and slipped his 1911 into the back of his waistband.
"We fight to the death with edged weapons in a pit under the bank. Now from what your friend told me you need an escape off this island and a way to hide from the corrupt wizard Ogden. A way off the island is easy. We can get you a portkey to our private airstrip and you can take our jet anywhere in the world. That will cover your escape. You have enough gold to live for two lifetimes without needing to work so you don't have to worry about gold. You even have a few properties in other countries. That will allow to set up a residency with less of a paper trail. My question is, where would you like to go? I have a few suggestions but what do you want?" Ragnok asked.
"Ideally an English speaking country. Even with spells I'm crap at other languages. I want a country with a good size population, and big cities so I can get lost in the crowd. Also somewhere that looks at Britain as the backwards country that it is. With practice I could lose the accent if I have to but more important, I want to be able to talk the local Aurors into letting me go and not sending me back here if I'm found out. I need a place that's going to laugh at a warrant for my capture." Harry said.
"Then you're going to want to go to America. They speak English, they have huge cities, and the Wizard government over there hates us. They think the Ministry is full of pureblood fools that are afraid of muggle cars still. Which, is true. They're going to ignore any warrant coming from the UK because they ignore us all together, and you have an apartment building in New York which is a great place to blend in." Ragnok said.
"You mean an apartment don't you?" Harry asked.
"No, building. 10 floors, four apartments a floor. Top floor is a penthouse that's all yours. This file covers your assets in New York." He said handing over the file.
Harry took the file and smiled. "You were prepared I see." Harry said.
"To tell you the truth New York really is the best fit for you. I've been on the phone with my counterpart in New York. He's going to set up new accounts at his branch and he's happy to handle your business personally." Ragnok said smirking.
"You really are two steps ahead as always." Harry said laughing.
A goblin knocked on the door and stuck his head in. "Director, the Aurors are out front, they want Potter. They tracked his magical signature here." He said.
"That's what I forgot! Here put this on." The director said pulling a big gold and red pendent on a chunky gold chain out of his desk and tossed it to Harry.
Harry slipped it on and instantly felt heavy. "What is this thing?" He asked looking at the pendent closer.
"It's a magical suppressor. It mutes your magic so they can't track your magical signature." Ragnok said standing up from his chair.
"Right, I'm glad I can play muggle. I need to get out of here. Is there anything else I need to know before I go?" Harry asked standing up.
"Yes. I took the liberty of setting up a full list of fake documents for you." He said handing him a brown envelope. "The name is Harold Steel. Steel is a cadet line of Potters. The document has a brief back story you can work off of. It also has a contact number for your fourth cousin, Marcus Steel. Also in the envelope is a portkey to a private Airport. We have a plane on standby waiting to take you to New York. BLOODLETTER!" He called out and the guard came in.
"Director?" He asked.
"Sneak Mr. Potter out the back door. While I deal with these fools. Good luck Harry." Ragnok said walking towards the front door.
"See you around Director." Harry said as he let the guard lead him through a tunnel under the bank and out a door leading to a basement of a Barclays Bank branch a block away.
"The wards extend to this building, there's an ally to the left of the bank that you can use to Portkey from." The guard said.
"Thank you for your help." Harry said shaking the guards hand before slipping on his cloak and vanishing.
He made his way to the alley and opened the envelope. He found a black wallet, a silver ring with a black wolf's head, a packet of papers held together with three brass tacks, and a black rock with a note taped to it with the activation word written on it.
He slipped the ring on his right ring finger after taking off his head of house ring. It glowed and shrunk to size. He pocketed the rest of the contents and activated the portkey. After a short trip he was deposited on the clean white floor of a private hangar next to a small private jet.
A tall beautiful woman with cold blue eyes and long blonde hair pulled up in a tight bun stood by the jet wearing a tight, short white dress and a black blazer. She walked up to him with a smile playing at the corners of her red lips. Harry for his part looked towards the sound of her black high heels click clacking on the white floor. When she was standing next to him he looked from her black heels to her smooth legs and got lost in the sight of her thighs disappearing under the short dress.
"Mr. Potter? Or should I call you Mr. Steel?" She asked in an American accent reaching a hand down to him.
"Steel is good. I have to start getting used to the name." Harry said with an easy smile crafted over the year and a half he spent under Tonks' tutelage. When they started dating he could barely keep the blush off his face when he saw her wink at him across the table at Order meetings. By the time they split up he was a confident flirt, and even more confident in bed. A fact that half the women in the Order could attest to.
"I'm Abby Gibson. I'll be your personal concierge for the next two weeks as you settle in and set up your new life. I can help you with whatever you need but if I understand the situation as it stands you're a wanted man and the faster we get in the air the better." She said helping him up and leading him to the small jet.
"Yes let's make like a tree and get the fuck out of here." Harry said walking onto the plane. Inside the small jet was a hugely expanded compartment with ten first class leather seats up front. A conference room table with ten chairs in the middle and a lounge with two leather couches in the back. "Nice." Harry muttered.
"Yes, this is one of the Bank's executive jets. Take a seat in one of the chairs and I'll tell the pilots we are all set to go." She said closing the door behind her.
After a fast but smooth take off and a steep climb they leveled off and Harry saw the clear blue skies that were hiding behind the gray clouds that blanketed the island he called home for his whole life. Now that he was free he didn't know how to feel. He was fleeing his home. A home he just fought with everything he had to protect. And now, when the war was over and he was free to live a normal life out of the shadows, the corrupt government was after him. Harry was starting to feel the sadness and depression of being exiled. But as sad as he was to leave home he was also feeling anger. But more than anything he was starting to feel tired of the bullshit involved with being a citizen of the United Kingdom. Was the UK really his home? Home is where you feel safe and loved. The gray island never felt like either of those two things. Maybe he wasn't leaving home, maybe he was just starting new. Abby tapped him on the shoulder from her seat next to him.
"We at cruising altitude and we leveled off. We can get up and move around now if you like." She said getting up and heading to the wet bar in the back. Harry followed her and took a seat on one of the couches. "Can I get you something Mr. Steel?" She asked holding up her drink.
"Scotch on the rocks if you have some, and you can call me Harry. It's less formal. You don't have to stand on any formalities with me." Harry said smiling as he tried to put his dark thoughts out of his mind.
"We have a bottle of Glenlivet 21 year old." She said pouring him three fingers over a few ice cubes in a heavy crystal glass.
"Thank you." He said taking a deep drink and sighing. "I needed that. Too bad I can't smoke." Harry said. Relaxing back in his seat.
"You can smoke if you want, magic plane remember?" She said sitting next to him on the couch.
"Really?" Harry asked. When she nodded he opened his trunk and shifted through his things until he found a box labeled nightstand which made him laugh. He loved his sister Hermione. Even when she's rushing to pack his things she still takes the time to label and separate his things for him. He opened the box and found his cigarette case, his gold zippo, and his cigar box with his expensive Cuban cigars. He pulled a black cigar out and light it with a practiced ease. "Would you like one?" He asked holding up his cigar.
"No thank you. I don't smoke." She said.
"Oh, I can hash this out." He said grabbing a crystal ashtray off the table next to the couch.
"No, you don't have to, it doesn't bother me." She said smiling.
"Thank God. I've been in a coma for five days and I need to relax. I've been running since I woke up an hour ago." Harry said sipping his drink and puffing his cigar. "When I found out wizards can't get cancer I ran out and bought a pack of smokes. You know, my own act of teenaged rebellion. It's not the nicest habit, but it helps calm me down." He said relaxing back.
"Well as of a few minutes ago we are in international airspace and you can breath easy. I'm sure your backwards inbred government can't touch you now. No offence." She said smiling.
"None taken, I'm not a pureblood. I take it you're American from your accent?" He asked.
"I am. I was born and raised in New York. I work for the New York Gringotts office. I was escorting a delegation of French Goblins back to Paris when my boss called me and directed me to London. As soon as I got them off the plane and handed them off to their people I turned the plane around and flew to London." She said walking over to a small kitchen in the back and pulling a tray of finger sandwiches out. "I hope you don't mind but I skipped lunch." She said taking a few sandwiches.
"No go right ahead. In fact pass some this way. I'm starving." Harry said grabbing a tea sandwich and popping it in his mouth.
"One of the perks of flying the executive jet is the food. These little cucumber sandwiches are the best." She said smiling.
"You fly on this jet regularly?" He asked smiling at the way she enjoyed the little tea sandwiches.
"I do, it's like my second office. I work in the concierge department. I keep clients and visiting dignitaries happy. Weather that's tickets to a Quidditch game, or a table at a five star restaurant, or some girls for company I get it. I also help with information gathering and research for business deals. For the next two weeks I'm assigned to you exclusively. My orders were to get you set up with whatever you needed to live a happy life in New York. My boss is looking forwards to meeting you. Think of me as your personal genie, your wish is my command." She said smiling.
"Good. I've never been out of the country and I've spent the last three years hiding out in a shit apartment and fighting a dark lord. I have a few things I need to set up to get my new life on track. First thing's first, I need to look over this packet of information Ragnok gave me." Harry said pulling out the packet.
"I'll leave you to it. I need to call my office anyways." She said pulling out a black cell phone and walking to the front of the plane.
Harry read the packet very closely. It was all information he needed to know to make his new life work. According to the packet he was the son of William and Mary Steel. Real relatives of his that died in a plane crash before they could have kids of there own 18 years ago. His backstory was a simple one. After his parents died when he was two, he spent most of his life attending boarding schools in the UK, before going to Hogwarts. Now that he was out he was coming home to the US to live. It was not too different than his own life.
The next page was information about the Steels. If he thought the Potter family was small he was shocked to find out there were only a few Steels alive. There was only his 50 year old cousin Marcus who was the brother of William Steel making him his new 'Uncle', his wife Margret, also 50 years old and their two daughters, 28 year old Samantha, and 25 year Barbra. All of them lived in New York except Barbra who was a law student at Harvard Law. The elder Steels were squibs, but the daughters must be low level witches because they studied magic with a private tutor. A popular option for wealthy magicals in the US the packet said. Harry was going to have to get in touch with them as soon as he could. They would be helpful to him getting settled in to his new home. Plus if he was going to pretend to be Marcus' dead brother's son then he really should introduce himself.
"Abby, can you set up an appointment with Marcus Steel at his earliest convenience? I need to talk to him. Also can you get me any information you can on him and his family?" He asked looking up.
"Sure Harry, was there something in particular you wanted to know about the Steels?" She asked writing things down in a little black notebook she pulled from her small handbag.
"General info. Things like the schools they went to, where they grew up, general likes, and dislikes. Things like that. It seems the Steels are the only family I have left and I'm going to be living under the name Steel for the foreseeable future, it would be nice to be on their good side." Harry said thinking out loud.
"I'll call my assistant and have her start digging. I'll have files ready for you before we land." She said.
"Thank you Abby." Harry said going back to his packet.
Looking at the next page he saw the Steel family holdings. As the last Potter he got a small percentage of the profits which were added to his vaults every year. looking over the list of stocks he saw a lot of American muggle companies. But by far the biggest holding they had was Steel Security and Insurance. The holdings were very lucrative and he saw a good portion of his gold came from that yearly deposit. The Steel family was very well off.
"Abby can you also get me a run down of Steel Security and Insurance?" He asked looking up to see her talking on the phone.
"Are you talking about SSI? If so then I know a bunch about that company." She said
"Good I want to know what my family does for a living." Harry said.
"On it Harry. My assistant is going to start faxing us over some documents on the Steel family she'll add that to the list. Would you like me to look the files over first and sum them up for you or do you want to look over the raw files?" She asked as the fax machine in the back started spitting out pages.
"If it's not too much trouble, can you read it over?" He asked looking at the stack of paper getting bigger.
"Of course Harry." She said smiling at his look.
"Thank you Abby. Paperwork is not what I do. Hit and run raid on a well guarded house? Sure! Running fight in the streets with overwhelming odds? In my sleep! Big stack of paperwork?" He said shuddering.
"Well it is what I do." She said laughing.
"Then I'm glad I have you." He said going back to his packet.
The next page had the Potter Family land holdings in America. Aside from the apartment building in Manhattan, he also had a large estate in upstate New York, a summer house in Miami, a townhouse in Chicago, and a house in the Hollywood Hills. It would seem his grandparents enjoyed spending time in America in the 50's and 60's and his father and his friends spent some time there in the 70's. Most of the houses had cars listed with them. He didn't know what three decades of sitting unused did to a car so he didn't know if any of them were in running condition but he hoped they were. The list had words like Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, and Porsche. He didn't know much about cars but he knew those car brands and he very much wanted to drive them all. Besides, he knew how to drive, and his wallet had a muggle driver's license he thought with a smile.
The last page was a facts sheet with information Ragnarok thought he should know. Most of it was common sense muggle stuff like Americans drive on the wrong side of the street and the currency was the dollar. The information he did find interesting was the section about magic. In the U.S. wizards and witches were more integrated with muggles. There were a few dedicated Magical shopping districts in big cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. These small cities within cities housed magical schools and magical government buildings along with wand makers and and broom shops. But most magical supplies Like cauldrons, books, and potion ingredients were sold by mail order. Mail order, not owl order. There was no owl post. American Magicals used phones. Even the purebloods. They also lived almost fully integrated with Muggles, and there was no real discrimination between Magicals and Muggles. There was also no blood purity bullshit in America either.
One fact that really stood out for him was about magic schools in the U.S. they taught muggle courses too, not just charms and potions. They taught math and science as well. Reading that made Harry feel dumber. Hermione was going to be lived when she heard about this. She spent a lot of time and money over the summers catching up with her muggle schooling. The fact that she taught at supposedly the best Magic school in the world made him cringe at the thought of her finding out about American magic schools. He could just hear the screams now in his head. Her rant would be epic.
Towards the bottom of the facts sheet he found what he was really looking for. Crime statistics. Those too shocked him. Even though America had one of the highest murder rates and number of shooting deaths in the world there was very little magical crime. There were also less Aurors to go along with that stat. Aurors were stationed in a few major cities in the magical government building in the magical district and they responded to major crimes and emergencies only. Instead most muggle police departments had a few magical officers and they handled the day to day magical law breaking like stealing from muggles or illegal charms uses. The Aurors were not cops in America, they were more like FBI agents.
"SHIT!" Abby exclaimed and Harry turned to see what happened. He saw Abby standing by the fax machine. The side panel of the machine was open and she was covered from neck to mid calf in black toner dust. She looked like Wile Coyote after a run in with the Road Runner.
"You okay Abby?" He asked standing up to help her.
"I'm far from okay! Shit, how am I going to get this off me? Off my Armani Dress!" She said looking close to tears.
"Just spell it away." He said coming up to her.
"I can't, I'm a squib." She said looking red around the ears.
"Right, that makes spelling it away a lot harder." He said trying to lighten the mood. It worked like a charm and Abby giggled softly.
"It sure does. Can you do it?" She asked.
"Sure, they can't track my magic right?" Harry asked taking the magical suppressor off and pulling out his wand.
"No, they can't track you. Now hurry it up. My hands are covered in ink and my nose is itching." She said flexing her black hands.
"Hold your horses." He muttered before waving his wand over her body. In a blink she was ink free and scratching her nose with a sigh.
"Thank God! Now I can finish printing the rest of the pages, and I can finish reading them. I'll have a full report in a few minutes. I might not have magic but I'm a hell of a good speed reader." She said confidently as she went back to flipping through the pages as they came off the printer.
"Always happy to be of serves." Harry said smiling.
Harry poured himself another drink and grabbed a few more sandwiches off the try. By the time he sat back down on the couch with his food Abby was coming over with the stack of paper.
"Well I now have everything we can find on the Steel family. What would you like to know?" She asked.
"Start with Marcus. Tell me about him. Give me the first date stuff. You know, where he grew up, where he went to school, hobbies…" He said.
"I got you, okay Marcus Steel was born and raised in New York. He attended a private school called York Academy from first grade to end of high school. He played football and basketball and excelled at both. He attended Harvard university on a football scholarship and double majored in business and fine art. He runs Steel Security and Insurance. SSI for short. His hobbies seem to be cars and guns. He drives classic touring car races and track day events on the weekends all over the country. He's a member of Grant and Hill, an upscale Gentlemen's club with a large shooting range." She said looking over her notes.
"They have a shooting range at a strip club?" Harry asked looking confused.
"What?" Abby asked.
"You said gentleman's club didn't you?" He asked.
"I did, as in a club for gentlemen. You know? Barber, tailor, steam room? No women allowed. I thought you Brits came up with the idea of the gentleman's club." She said.
"Right, I didn't know that. From now on when you talk to me just imagine you're talking to a low class fool with little to no education. As I'm finding out I'm a lot dumber than the average ten year old American wizard." Harry said with his easy smile.
"Understood. Moving on, Margret Steel, nee Cosgrove. Grew up in Chicago to a wealthy family in the transportation business. She went to private schools and was miss Illinois in 1970. She too attended Harvard. That's where she met Marcus. She graduated with a degree in fine arts as well. Margret is in charge of a few charities and that seems to take up the bulk of her time now that their daughters are adults. As for the two girls, their files are even shorter. Samantha and Barbra attended the same private school Marcus did. Both of them played tennis and ran track. They both went to Harvard where they ran track. Samantha got her degree in business, and her sister is still at Harvard getting her law degree. Samantha works at SSI with Marcus. It's all pretty boring. I'll look over the information again later and put together a list of things they like." She said taking notes in her little book.
"Good to know Abby, what can you tell me about the company?" Harry asked.
"SSI is a huge security and insurance company. They are the go to name in protection. They insure everything from works of art to cars and boats. Let's put it this way, if you have something expensive like a big demand ring or a painting and you want to make sure it stays yours then you hire these guys. If someone steals your stuff they get it back. If you plan on moving something valuable they guard it for you. If you're famous or rich and someone is trying to kill you, they protect you. They have one of the best private special forces unit in the world. They hire ex-military, ex-FBI. They are the best muggle security money can buy." She said looking over her notes.
"You said muggle, what about magical?" Harry asked.
"They tend to deal in the muggle world, but they are so good at muggle security that Gringotts has a contract with them. When ever we need to move something without magic we call SSI. That's high praise Harry." She said.
"Wow, so my family is kind of badass. I wish I would have known about them three years ago." Harry said.
"Well I can say with some certainty you will never have to worry about your government coming for you." She said smiling.
"Did you set up a meeting?" He asked.
"I did. It's just before eleven in New York right now. Your meeting is set for five. I set a late meeting for you so we can get you into your apartment first incase it's not to your liking. I'm also guessing you're going to need to change." She said looking at his jeans and wrinkled button up shirt.
"I totally agree, I'm thinking a nice expensive suit. Something that says I have money and I'm not here to mooch off you. I want these people to like me, not see me as a potential money drain. If I was well off and a Brit showed up out of the blue claiming to be related to me I would think he was there to mooch. At least that's what my uptight overweight uncle would say." Harry said.
"I can see that. Do you know your sizes? I can call my tailor and have him pull a few suites for you. We can go there first, it's close to the airport." She asked pulling out her phone.
"I don't have a clue what size I am." Harry said.
"Luckily I come repaired for everything." She said reaching into her small purse and pulling out a measuring tape. "Stand up, I'll get your measurements." She said.
Harry stood and Abby started measuring. Harry was starting to like how close she was to him and he was about to tell her that when she got to his inseam Harry smirked. "Whoa there! Buy me dinner first!" He said hoping to get a blush out of her.
"I gave you a sandwich and a drink. That don't count big boy?" She asked intentionally bumping his crotch with the back of her hand.
"I'll say it does." He said locking eyes with her and smiling a wolfish grin.
"That smile is dangerous." She said writing in her book.
"The eyes only promise what my mouth can deliver Luv. I'd be happy to show you." He said with a cocky smirk.
"You wish, but I make it a habit to not to have sex with my clients." She said.
"Really? Then you're fired. How about now?" He asked.
"You can't fire me. Only my boss can reassign me. Now sit down and behave while I make a few calls. We land in a half hour." She said patting him on the cheek as she walked by him headed to the front of the plane.
As she walked away Harry sat on the couch admiring her ass and long legs, and he was sure she added a little extra swing to her hips just to mess with him. He didn't mind, in fact he kind of liked that she turned him down. It made him try harder and the reward was that much sweeter when you worked for it.
He sat back in his seat a little and sipped his drink. He would be landing in America soon and he was excited. Normally when you're driven out of your home and exiled to a foreign land you would feel bitter and sad. Fearful even. But for a guy like him. Someone that never knew his parents. Never knew a loving home. Or a family, he didn't mind the move. It would give him a chance at a fresh start. That's how he was going to look at this. It's not like he was broke. He could go anywhere and live like a king if he wanted to. And he also didn't have too many ties to his 'home'. He had Hermione, his sister in everything that mattered. And Neville who always stood by him in a pinch. Tonks, his first ex and female confidant. And her parents Andy and Ted Tonks.
But really that was it. The Order looked at him as a sacrificial lamb. Ron hated him for breaking up with his little sister. Ginny hated him for dumping her when she turned out to be just a crazy fan girl that only wanted his money. Old Man Dumbledore the manipulator was dead. His godfather was dead. Thinking about it all made him sad. He pushed the feelings down and shook his head. He was starting fresh. He was going to leave all his baggage behind him and make something new for himself.
"Harry. Hay Harry." Abby said calling his name twice to break him out of his deep thoughts.
"Yeah?" He looked up the see her standing in front of him.
"If you look out the window you can see Manhattan." She said pointing out the window as they descended through the white clouds.
Looking out the window Harry caught his first look at the concrete jungle. Even from up here it looked crowded. The grid work of the streets played velvet ropes separating the giant huge building that towered over each other trying to reach for the sky to get some sunlight. It was a beautiful sunny summer day and unlike London the sun was shining here.
"Come on let's go sit in the seats up front, we'll be landing soon. Funny enough the airport is technically in New Jersey. It's a short car ride into the city. We'll stop at the tailor's first and then look at your apartment." She said leading him to the seat they sat in to take off.
"What's the apartment like?" Harry asked.
"Big. I had my assistant take a look at it and send me the stats. Six bedrooms, seven baths. It sits on the tenth floor of the building and overlooks the park. Not bad at all." She said.
"I'll say, that's more room than I've ever lived in. Is the place covered in dust? It's been unused since the 70's." Harry said as they made a decent.
"We had a maid service clean it. You should really think about keeping them on contract. That's a lot of space to keep clean." Abby said as they touched down and slowed to a crawl.
Abby stood and walked to the door as the jet taxied into a hanger. When they came to a full stop she opened the door and waved her hand. "Welcome to America." She said with an excited smile.
"Thank you Abby." Harry said sincerely.