A/N This short piece was written for the Bewitching Fiction Beltane Challenge 2015. If you are interested in seeing the prompt head over to the BewitchingFiction dot com website.
The Hazzards of Time Travel
Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom were sitting in a muggle cafe eating lunch. Each of them was thinking back to the meeting they had with the Headmaster last month, Neville and Harry were convinced that Albus Dumbledore must have been either drunk or high on some muggle drug or other. Just because, eleven years after Tom Riddle's final defeat, he finally discovered why one of the three Black sisters became obsessed by the evil that was Tom Riddle he had sent them back in time to try to rescue her. Dumbledore being drunk or high did not however explain why they accepted the assignment. They were stone cold sober at that meeting.
"I don't know, Neville," Harry said for the tenth time in the week, "He took us up to the rooftop where no one could overhear what he was saying to us. Then he convinced us to take this assignment. Just because Riddle found a curse that will make her turn evil and the Headmaster thinks that if we can get her back to Scotland before Beltane he will get a chance to break the curse before it becomes final. That's why we're stuck here in this bloody hellhole."
"I still don't understand why Beltane is so important. Why can it wait for Samhain, Imbolc or even Lughnasadh? Harry I keep telling you, he played us like Mik Kaminski would play a Stradivarius. A true master. That's what he is." Neville maintained. "He knew I could not refuse an assignment that might mean my parents never would have been driven insane by that bitch any more than you could refuse a chance that Sirius never would have gone through the veil."
"Remember the Headmaster explained that the day after Beltane in 1981 she turns thirty and it cannot be reversed after she reaches that age." Harry explained again. "Then he gives us this damned time turner, tells us Bellatrix is somewhere in the southern United States and here we are. We finally track her down to Hazzard County, Georgia. How many weeks now have we been trying to run her down?"
"I really have lost track. It's miserable here. Why couldn't she go to New York or Los Angeles or somewhere somewhat civilized. Even Atlanta would have been better than this backwoods bywater of a place. No butterbeer. Just this Dr. Pepper stuff. Not even any good firewhiskey. We have to drink sour mash, what ever that is. And don't get me started on the food. Beans, biscuits, collard greens and gravy till I'm ready to puke. And exactly what is chicken fried steak? It's not chicken and it's not steak. What I wouldn't give for a good English scone even without the marmalade and clotted cream." Neville ranted. "And what they do to tea! Oh Merlin. Whatever possessed them to put ice in perfectly good tea and call it sweet tea. Do they also have sour tea?"
"Don't forget the moonshine!" Harry bitterly complained. "That stuff would kill a werewolf even during a full moon! Your dream about your scones. I'll dream about shepard's pie, bubble and squeak and spotted dick. We'd better stop talking about food. My mouth is watering and wishing for Molly Weasley's cooking."
They sighed and looked out to the street. A bright orange Dodge Charger with symbols of the Confederate States of America on the hood and a big 01 on the side it was speeding down the street. Harry dropped his sweet tea and started sputtering. "Neville, did you see that car that just went by? Did you see who was driving it?"
"It was her! I'm sure it was!" shouted Neville.
They dropped their forks on the table and went running out the door but the car was almost out of sight in a cloud of dust from the red Georgia clay. Disgusted with spotting her just to lose her again, they went back into the cafe and sat back at their table. While walking back to the table Harry spotted a newspaper on one of the empty tables and picked it up. Before he sat down he stopped Neville to show him a picture on the front page.
"Neville, isn't this the same car we just saw?" he asked.
Neville took the newspaper and started reading the article. "It says that the sheriff has been trying to catch these two hooligans because he thinks they are 'running moonshine' whatever that means. But take a look at what is happening in the picture."
Harry looked closer at the picture. "It almost looks like the car is flying through the air." he said. "There must be magic involved. That explains why we saw Bellatrix driving the car."
"Does it say who owns the car or where they live?" Neville asked him.
"It just says that it's owned by the Dukes of Hazzard. It doesn't give their actual names or address, just that they live a few miles outside of town. It also says they call the car "The General Lee." I didn't realize that there were nobles here in the United States. I thought they were all commoners. We should rent a car and go looking. Maybe we'll find these here Dukes and they can tell us where Bellatrix is."
"How about we go right after lunch?" suggested Neville.
As soon as they finished eating they paid their bill and asked the manager if there was a car rental agency in the town. They were directed to an agency two blocks over. Since the Charger looked to be very fast they decided to rent the fastest car the agency had available; A 1965 white 427 Shelby Cobra convertible with two thick blue stripes down the middle of the hood and trunk. Neville was glad to let Harry do the driving since he was the better flyer and the car looked as if it really could fly. The owner of the agency actually told them that this car could go from a standstill to 100 MPH and back down a stop in less than 14 seconds. Both understood the irony of two Gryffindors renting a Cobra to catch a snake. They drove down Main street in the direction the owner of the car rental place indicated the Dukes lived. After about fifteen minutes they saw the General Lee driving directly toward them on the two lane road.
"Harry Look out!" Neville screamed. "She's not stopping!"
Harry spun the wheel to the right to try and avoid an accident. Suddenly Bellatrix's car made a sharp right hand turn and once she got the fishtail under control went tearing up a dirt road.
Harry made a 270 degree turn and followed her. He said, "This is a narrow road."
Through his terror Neville shouted, "Road? What road? This is a dirt track that some animals made. There is no road!"
The two cars tore down the dirt track for a couple of minutes. Harry wanted to pull next to Bellatrix to try to cut in front of her but there was no room for him to pass her. Suddenly about 50 yards in front of them Harry and Neville saw a bridge. With a sharp intake of his breath Neville gasped, "The center of the bridge is missing! We're all going to be killed!"
Harry slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop just before the bridge. Bellatrix however never even slowed down. If anything she accelerated to an even higher rate of speed. The two Englishmen thought to themselves. "Well if she kills herself it will be just as good as if we bring her back and Dumbledore reverses the curse." The General Lee sped up the ramp to the bridge. It took flight and soared over the broken part of of the bridge and landed on the other side. While it was in mid air Harry and Neville heard her yell out "Yee Hah!" As soon as it skidded to a stop they saw Bellatrix climb out through the driver's side window. She looked at the two of them with a sneer and said, "Cowards! Why did you stop? Real men wouldn't let a little woman show them up like that."
Harry and Neville just looked at each other. "She's beautiful!" said Neville.
"In our time the evil inside of her must have made her look like she did." Harry responded.
"Do you see how she'd dressed?" Neville said his mouth dropping open. "I don't believe she actually climbed out the window of the car with such a short skirt on. Can you?"
"Was she wearing anything under the skirt?" Harry asked. " I really don't think she was!"
"That shirt doesn't leave anything to the imagination either, does it?" Neville stared at the black haired witch. "It's unbuttoned all the way to her belly button AND SHE'S NOT WEARING ANYTHING UNDER IT!"
From across the creek Bellatrix taunted them. "Are you men or just little boys? Real men would come here and actually meet me." she said with her hand on her hip.
The two of them looked at each other. Harry said "Well?" Neville simply shrugged. Harry spun the wheel and flew back down the dirt track to a slightly wider area. He turned to face the bridge. He gunned the engine to build up the RPM. He stomped down on the gas and let the clutch out while shifting into first gear. The car accelerated to 60 mile per hour in the blink of an eye. In another blink they hit 100 and went airborne once they reached the bridge.
While the Cobra was in mid air two voices rang out with the same sound. A double "Yee Hah!" sounded in the Georgia pines.