More Than Just A New Beginning
Peter did indeed awaken early to make breakfast for all of them. Well, except Malia, who was still in animal form. He'd never been more out of his element in his life. Not the cooking, no having a daughter and suddenly being a father. Not to a normal wolf pup, no she had to be a coyote and able to transform. Stuck, might be a better term, she was stuck in coyote form, or at the very least unwillingly to transform back.
It did keep his mind off what had happened to him, being busy. Regaining his life, also helped. Unfortunately, Kate Argent was never far from his mind. Each time she surfaced in his thoughts, his mind came up with more violent and depraved ways to kill her. It was the only thing that could make him lose his composure.
"Good morning," Harry murmured, as he exited the bedroom, closing the door to allow Derek to sleep a little longer. He'd woken just before his alarm went off and deactivated it.
"Morning," Peter murmured, Malia was currently asleep at the bottom of his bed.
"Roger and Drew are going to Apparate you to Beacon Hills, allow you to do whatever you feel you need and bring you back." Harry explained, "They'll give you their phone number so you can keep in touch with them." He reassured him, letting him know he could do what he needed to in private without anyone peering over his shoulder.
"Thank you," Peter said, his tone rough, part of him didn't want to go back to the place that had taken nearly everything from him, the rest of his pack. The place where he had been nearly killed, the place he had spent two years in a coma.
Harry smiled somewhat grimly, "It's fine, just take your time, it's not easy…and if you'd prefer company, I know someone who would be delighted to hear everything about Beacon Hills." He knew Derek would not even consider coming to Beacon Hills without an Alpha order. Which if he was Alpha Ordered, it would set Derek back utterly. Not that he had any intentions of doing that. One day though, Derek would return to Beacon Hills…
Just as he had returned to Godric's Hollow.
Peter just gave a small noise, neither confirming he'd like company or denying it. Focusing instead completely on the breakfast he was making for everyone. There was more than enough food in the house to last month's even on their diets. Even if the cartons said they were out of date…they smelt fresh, like they were just bought. Harry told him that it was the preservation charms he imbued into his fridge, freezer and cupboards where his food was stored, even items such as crisps and biscuits.
"I assume you're going to be taking care of the Hale estate entirely?" Harry aske approaching the kitchen, cutting up the tomatoes to put into his omelette. He needed to know that the grounds would still be the Hales in a few years' time.
"You mean continuing where you left off?" Peter asked wryly, cleaning the knife before beginning on the next ingredient. "I'm well aware of the time you took to ensure none of the Hale holdings were removed, including the reserve and land on which my…home…stands, stood." He corrected himself with a grimace.
"I could have sworn there were a few people in the department just waiting until the time was up." Harry confessed, his brow furrowing as he thought about it. "There was a bit too much anger and disappointment when I made myself known."
Peter scoffed, "Of course they were angry and disappointed. Do you realize just how much the preserve is worth? It's not the first time we've had offers on the land, they must think us idiots. If they also think we're obvious to their plans well…they're the idiots."
"They wish to build and expand on the Hale land," Harry realized, nodding, "That certainly makes more sense than some of the things I had thought. They'll not want to soon enough, the Nemeton will not allow it once it recovers."
Peter gave him an odd look.
"The offers…I bet they only recently started up right?" Harry said wryly giving Peter a knowing look. "Perhaps a decade or so ago?" having a diagnosis on the tree certainly helped.
"I couldn't honestly say, I couldn't tell you whether my parents received offers when I was young. Talia certainly did, when she mentioned it to our parents…it was the night of the fire and they were very concerned." Peter admitted, stomach churning, "I guess they realized something was happening to the Nemeton and the safety of Beacon Hill's…would the Nemeton if she was whole…would she have been able to save us?" Harry had mentioned it was sentient all on its own.
"It's difficult to say actually," Harry mused as he continued cutting up the onions, "There is a Spark in Beacon Hills, one that will be extremely powerful. If the Nemeton had been whole it could have reached out to them. It's just a matter of whether the bond keeping their magic contained was stronger than the Nemeton's power. There is no point to wondering about what can never be, Peter, focus on the present and the future."
Peter stilled, shock consuming him, "Are you telling me a Spark was born in our territory and we were none the wiser?" gaping a little.
"That's how much rot there was in your territory," Harry agreed, "Not even the deaths and sacrifices of previous Alpha and Beta Hales could wash it away."
"But it's been corrected now?" Peter hastened to ask, concerned.
"The Chaos Demon, you'll know it better as a Nogitsune has been taken care of. It's been destroyed, the land had been cleansed. Which means the supernatural will no longer be quite so drawn to Beacon Hills anymore." Harry informed him, "Although, they might be drawn in by the recent reputation."
"My parents did go on about the influx of Omega's and other creatures in the area. Creatures even we weren't used to dealing with, but thankfully, with the correct books we were able to deal with it when needed." Peter said as he put the omelettes on now that the egg was mixed into the mixture. Bacon, sausage, fried egg, scrambled egg, toast, boiled egg, boiled tomato, beans and hash browns. "More like I found out the correct combination needed to deal with them." He'd always been the reader in the family, he wasn't sure Talia had picked up a book since she finished high school. Not unless she absolutely positively had to in order to do some research. Normally it was left to him and Sebastian, Talia's husband.
Talia thought it was because of her, of her way of running the pack. To think all along it had something to do with a Nogitsune stuck in a tree and it being cut down?
The door opened, and a tired but alert – bordering on PTSD sort of alert – Derek walked out of the bedroom.
"They can Apparate more than one person should you want to take Cora," Harry spoke, "I don't advice taking Malia though, a squirming coyote…no she might end up Splinched, hell you all could if they're distracted enough."
Peter plated out the food, arching a brow as if to say what the hell is meant to be scaring about being splinched? It was just an odd word to him, as much as he'd like to, he couldn't spend every single moment reading everything about the magical world. "Splinched?"
Harry laughed softly, "Oh, yes, it means leaving behind a finger…an arm…a foot…a leg…even your own head."
Peter blanched, "Can wizards survive that?" very surprised despite himself. He'd thought magic or not they were mostly just human still.
Derek's eyebrows rose in curiosity, while Harry had spoken about a lot of things…that had most definitely not been on the list. He knew he had been Apparated though, once, he thought, after being shot. Later learning that it was a sniper rifle, and that he had been lucky to be alive. For nobody else thus far had survived what the renegade Calavera Huntress had done.
"Their heads? No, I was sort of just kidding. I've never heard of any cases where someone has Apparated and left their head behind. They have left body parts behind though, it's called Splinching and it's why the Ministry began forcing those that want to Apparate must undergo licencing and passing their tests. It made Splinching oneself numbers be lowered but not entirely…I guess I was lucky. I Apparated when I was just eight-years-old." Harry said as he took his breakfast to the couch, he might as well be comfortable. "Did you have a good sleep?" he knew he certainly had; the best one he'd had in a long ass time.
Derek's cheeks went red, he gave a curt nod, before burrowing himself in his food.
Peter rolled his eyes, eyeing his nephew with consternation. He was nothing like the boy he'd known before Paige. Worse than the boy he'd known after Paige. His embarrassment over normal bodily functions or relationships was concerning especially in regards to his mate. His gaze slid over to Harry and watched his reaction to Derek's own reaction.
Patience and understanding, was all Peter saw in Harry's eyes. Interesting, he thought, wondering on whether it was just normal patience and understanding…or if something far deeper heralded a connection of similar circumstances, they'd both endured.
Perhaps it was time to find out about Harry Potter.
All was silent as they ate breakfast, until Harry's head cocked unconsciously to the side a bit. A move so familiar that the two werewolves that were up – Cora was unsurprisingly still sleeping – would have been convinced he was a Were', if they didn't already know he was a Wizard of some calibre.
"Roger and Drew are here," Harry explained, after swallowing the food in his mouth. Righting his head, he turned to Peter, "Remember to take the trunk with you, as I said…"
"It expands I'll be able to put everything inside of it," Peter finished giving a nod, that much Derek had most definitely conveyed.
"Yes, not indefinitely, but I've not actually tested the capacity but considering the legacy of the Hale family…I've no doubt you probably could test it." Harry said wryly, hell, the Hale line was ancient, they probably had scrolls hidden down there in the vaults.
Peter's face begun to form a lazy smirk, "I do think it would be amusing to try…but it would take too much time." He conceded, "There is not just books but artefacts, items, ingredients plants and such that I could honestly say I don't know what they do. Even weapons, I don't think anyone has ever stayed down there and investigated everything." He admitted, not even him but he'd certainly attempted it.
"Take all the time you need, but if you want it done swiftly, then check everything out in the trunk upon your return…feel free to do so. They'll understand what you mean." Harry explained, "You'll literally be able to climb down the trunk and wander around as if you were in the vault. Nothing will be broken or damaged, they will ensure everything goes from the vault to the trunk in its exact same condition. Should you wish to take your time…the intended to spend a few days in Beacon Hills regardless."
Peter arched a brow, "Why?" befuddled, there was nothing of note possibly that could attract wizards to the area surely?
"It's history, the magic, the Nemeton, I can honestly say the fascination will be endless," Harry said lips twisting in merriment. "When you return, you may feel it also, growing up surrounding it you won't notice the subtle buzz constantly around you. Especially when you were at home. The lack of it will make it feel more prominent upon your return. Even wizards and witches and mages can feel it. Even Druids." His distaste obvious.
The knocking at the door had Harry standing, ready to answer it.
"Just how many Druids are you familiar with?" Peter asked, watching the wizard answer the door.
"Peter will be with you in just a moment," Harry told them, leaving the door open as he wandered back. "Only one," Harry answered, confirming Peter's thoughts.
"Deaton," Peter deduced, getting up and dragging the trunk from the cupboard, "Now why do you want to know about him unless you think he's responsible for something?" arching a brow, "Talia trusted him…did she have reason not to?" easily able to carry it after it was out from beneath the cupboard. Carrying it like it was nothing more than disguised cardboard.
"I'll explain later," Harry said, "You should go…me on the other hand…I have to get to work." His stomach churning, looking like he'd very much rather remain here than think to go to work today.
Unfortunately, as boss he couldn't take days off just because he felt like it. That would be settling a bad example, plus, it was going to be one of those days. They were all going to want to stay off, but feel the need to come in to help each other cope.
Asking children questions about what they'd been through…of bloody course, they didn't want to do that. Nor did they want to sit and actually listen to any answers they might get. Sure, they'd dealt with kidnapped and murdered children before…but this was…a whole different matter altogether.
"Are you alright?" Derek asked, stepping forward, brows entirely lowered as he stared at Harry. He could sense his dread and reluctance to go to work. Which wasn't like him at all, sure he got tired, stressed and maybe annoyed by his work but never had he sensed anything like this from him before.
"Just a rather…difficult case that's currently ongoing." Harry reassured him, "It's going to be a rather tedious and draining day." Thinking of all the children he would have to talk to, the others would find it draining also. The sooner they put this case to bed the better, it was unfortunate it wouldn't be quite so easily 'put to bed' for the children who had suffered so horribly at the hands of those hunters.
Only one remained free, he was hopeful that they would return or he would get the name out of the only other hunter left alive and free. Once the bastard was caught, the children would have nothing left to fear.
Thank Merlin for Veritaserum, because one way or another he would find out who it was and deal with them. He would give those children peace of mind, as much as he was able to. They would have nightmares, it was unfortunate, but upon wakening up, they'd know nobody was coming to get them.
Peter and Derek gave him a look that suggested they wanted to know more.
"Sir?" Roger asked in query, but remained calm and patient.
"I was told you were bringing in your report…should you like, I will take it in with me, save you a trip." Harry informed them, smiling apologetically at them having to wait.
"We've already sent it in, Sir," Drew told his boss, "But thank you," it was nice of him to offer.
Harry nodded shortly, "Peter this is Drew and Roger, they're Aurors, they'll take you wherever you wish to go, wait or leave, it's entirely up to you. if you wish to take your time then they'll give you their number and return later or they can help." Giving them a look to suggest not even fighting his orders, not that they would.
"I could use the help," Peter nodded his agreement, giving them both a thankful smile. "Derek are you able to look after Malia this afternoon?"
Derek who had been staring at his uncle in suspicious amusement, nodded his immediate agreement. "I can," his course work was nowhere near more important than family. He'd had that drummed into him, and just having them back…he'd agree to anything.
"Good, she's not eaten yet," Peter informed him, "Excuse me," already dressed and ready to go, he only grabbed his wallet which housed his cards – thanks to Harry's swiftness – he had access to his money. Before taking the trunk and making his way over to the Aurors.
He couldn't wait to ask the questions on his mind, most primarily about Harry, hopefully they knew him well enough.
"Where to, Sir?" Drew asked, a smile on her face.
"Do you know the location of Beacon Hills High School?" Peter questioned, "And please, call me Peter." He added. As fun as it would be to be called 'Sir' and able to lord over them all day…he'd rather have answers and you most certainly drew more with honey than vinegar.
"We do," Roger confirmed.
"Then as near to there as possible if you please," Peter replied.
"Close your eyes, you'll feel a sucking sensation and might feel your ears pop…" Drew explained for Peter. Hoping that was all, she hadn't actually Apparated someone supernatural before, not as yet.
Together the Aurors lightly touched Peter, before Apparating away, Drew side-long Apparating both of them. To try and Apparate with someone together was asking for trouble. They might have different Apparation destinations in mind and it could Splinch not only themselves but their passenger.
"That's um…rather open," Peter cleared his throat, surprised to see himself directly outside of the school, mere feet from the entrance to the underground vault. He had expected them to perhaps Apparate to the Preserve closest to the school.
"Too early for even the earlier risers, and those that are up are currently running the trail in the reserve." Drew said, stretching out.
"You have been watching everyone?" Peter asked bemused.
"It's our job, to observe, to protect," Roger replied, "Where to now?" Harry had made it clear they were to stick with Peter until he said otherwise.
Then the two Aurors watched Peter gain entrance to the vaults, which were much closer than either anticipated. Naturally, there was no awe or agog over the Hales having vaults underground or beside a school. They knew a lot of information, including the fact the Hales were here long before the town.
"You know I'd love to read about your ancestors' trips to settling here," Drew said, "History has always fascinated me…but slowly building up a town from nothing…it would be mesmerising to read about it."
"It wasn't easy, they built a cabin though, directly where my home…stood," Peter confessed, as he made his way down. "The pack back then was only four, the Alpha, Alpha-mate their child and a single lone Beta they'd created on the way. It was long and arduous making a home, but they did it for their family…now look at us?" he sighed, not a single Hale left in Beacon Hills – well not really since his home for now was in New York – not good at all. "My family has sacrificed everything even their lives to defend the territory."
"Don't worry so much, there are people that have been transferred here that will make sure the territory is safe." Roger said, sombre.
"Wizards, I hope?" Peter asked, eyes wide, unseen in the underground vault, no pack would wish to leave once gaining the territory.
"Yes, all those employed by MACUSA." Drew was quick to say. "Lumos!" and the darkness disappeared, as light stretched out, warm and welcoming, chasing the shadows away.
"Do you know Harry Potter well?" Peter asked, as he began to store the books into the trunk. When placed in the trunk, the trunk glowed blue, and the books disappeared.
"Harry or Harry Potter?" Drew asked, amusement lacing her voice.
Peter frowned, not understanding their amusements, "Forgive me…do you have more than one Harry?" he had a feeling that wasn't it at all.
"Sorry, no, it's just…well, when someone asks questions, we usually say do we know Harry Potter or do we know Harry Potter." Drew chuckled, really amused.
"Harry's been famous practically since he was born," Roger explained uneasily, "We're used to everyone knowing and asking questions in that regard. There was a war going on, in the United Kingdom. A self-proclaimed Dark Lord began to kill anyone not of pure blood and tried to subjugate everyone else. Both wizard and creature, a vigilante group formed to try and take care of him and his followers. They very nearly lost actually, the Dark Lord had creatures and wizards on his side and was basically weeks from overthrowing the Government when he was defeated."
Peter listened, any pretence of packing forgotten as he watched and heard what they had to say.
"Nobody really knows what happened, but the Dark Lord Voldemort decided to go after the Potters. He did not emerge unscathed from the attack. He killed James and Lily Potter, but when he turned his wand on Harry…he fired off a killing curse and the curse at a one-year old boy and it rebounded upon him utterly obliterating his body leaving him naught but a spirit. He was coined 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' by the British public…the newspapers went on about it for weeks." Roger said grimly, flicking his wand and the books slowly levitated from their position and into the trunk, the blue glow less obvious.
"A one-years-old? He was named in the newspapers?" Peter asked, "Surely that's against the law?"
"With nobody to protest against it," Roger grimaced, "His magical guardian didn't seem to care one whit about it."
"He was sent to live amongst Mundane people, which protected him from the press." Drew continued where Roger left off, "Wasn't heard or seen from again until he returned to attend Hogwarts. The school protected him somewhat, at least until his…fourth year at Hogwarts. After that it went downhill, he's been through a lot."
"Oh?" Peter asked, encouraging them to continue. Watching as more of the Hale possessions were transferred from the vault to the trunk in fascination.
"Yes, the Triwizard Tournament was revived, it was supposed to be for seventeen-year-olds and up. Unfortunately, Harry's name, who is only fourteen at this time, was entered into it and he was forced due to the magically binding contract to participate. The height of irony is that he actually won, well, co-won, both Hogwarts students took the cup for a school win that went horrendously wrong." Drew said sympathetically.
"It was all a subterfuge to get Harry out from under Dumbledore's shield, Voldemort returned and Harry very nearly died…his school mate wasn't quite so lucky. Harry's always insisted the newspapers got it all wrong and exaggerated what they got right and he shouldn't have won. That he'd been helped throughout the entire tournament to make sure he won." Roger admitted, "Harry's very…down-to-earth so I can't say whether he's just being kind or if it was all true."
"Considering his powers, he's definitely just brushing it off…but he lost a friend who would want to remember those times?" Drew sighed, as they wandered down to the next part of the vault, and began those walls.
"Um…is that a tradition?" observing the claws on a string. He didn't quite touch them though.
Peter glanced at what Roger was looking at, and sighed softly, "Yes, very much so, we always keep the claws of the Alpha. Except for this time…unless Laura thought to do so." Grimly. There were dozens of Alpha claws in the vaults, in various places along with a lot of other different things.
"What happened to this Dark Lord Voldemort?" Peter queried.
"Harry killed him," Roger said seriously, "He faced that bastard six times before he managed to put an end to him."
"Do you know why he moved here?" Peter asked perplexed, "One doesn't just move away for no reason." Why move away from the fame? The acclaim? The adoration? He'd evidently more than earned it. He would have revelled in it, used it to get what he wanted.
Roger and Drew looked at each other, "Probably something you'll want to ask him." Unsure of whether to reveal that to the werewolf or not.
"He is pack," Drew pointed out, "If anyone should know it's him…Harry won't discuss it."
"Shouldn't need to," Roger refuted, scowling in annoyance, this had veered way off into dangerous territory.
"If you don't want to…please don't go into any trouble on my part, I know how…delicate family revelations can be," Peter said pained, showcasing his own pain at losing his family for more information. Manipulating them into giving him the information he sought. He had to protect what was left of his family… and make sure Harry was suitable.
"Look…when you sign up to be an Auror…you get tested," Roger sighed, shoulders slumping, "Most people don't even realize it, it's not often spoken about, it's not interesting."
Peter blinked, "Naturally, the police force gets randomly tested also," not surprised. Wondering if there was some sort of scandal involved in Harry's move. He couldn't smell the cloying scent of medication on Harry…so perhaps not.
"They found four illegal substances in his blood, four love potions, each of them getting systematically stronger when they didn't have the effects they were looking for." Drew imparted. "Starting from when he was like fifteen or something."
"Why didn't they work?" Peter questioned curiously, placing the claws reverentially into the trunk. He wasn't going to leave anything behind, even if he didn't know which relative it actually belonged to.
"He's gay, the potions weren't strong enough to ensnare his mind against his preferences. The fourth one was though…he very nearly married her too." Drew said grimacing in distaste, "I'll tell you; she lives witches a bad name."
"He was engaged to be married?" Peter said, arching a brow, did Derek even know any of this?
"You have to understand…with the potion he wasn't himself, and it wasn't really love…it was obsession…anything Ginevra Weasley asked for…Harry would have done. When you're under their thrall you'd do anything…bloody hell, its really a good job it was found before they married…" Roger exclaimed shuddering anew at the thought.
"Surely, when they found it…it would have been easy to divorce?" Peter asked blankly.
Roger snorted derisively, "Oh, no, when a Wizard and Witch marry…they bond, when we marry it's for life."
Peter swallowed, "Like mating then," the most sacred of acts being enacted on someone most unwilling. He could now understand why the boy had elected to leave. Just how long had he been drugged into loving someone against his wishes and will?
"Exactly like that," Drew nodded, as yet another row of books was transferred into the trunk along with massive glass jars with items on them but too dusty to see inside of them. "Harry lost everything when he did the right thing."
"How so?" Peter asked, wiping a dusty jar before putting it in the trunk, unable to stand being idle. He'd been idle for two years, so he liked…no, needed to be on the move as often as he could.
"Oh, yes, you wouldn't know, his best friend was Ronald Weasley, and he was Ginevra's older brother. It went to trial, idiot girl, she was found guilty, no surprise there the Ministry had all the evidence it needed. She should have pled guilty and shaved a decade off her sentence at least. The entire family turned it's back on him, the only family he'd ever known…some time after the trial he got a job offer from MACUSA to learn to run his own department when it was up and running…and boy did he get it up and running." Roger said proudly, he'd worked hard nobody could deny that. Nearly always first there, last to go home.
"Yes, what made MACUSA want to create a department like that?" Peter asked, sensing he wouldn't get anything more out of the wizards.
"MACUSA's Federal Bureau Covert Vigilance Taskforce is dealt with hunting down the hunters basically which shifted to taking on all Shapeshifter case. There were too many deaths, it came to our notice and it all snowballed from there. We decided to intervene, they're terrified that the Mundane will find out about the supernatural if it continued. At this point it's taking on more cases and people than the Major Crimes Department and closing them too, never thought I'd see that day."
"Yes, MACUSA has declared war on all Vigilantes," Roger stated strongly, as they wandered further into the vault.
"That's…a great relief," Peter murmured, perhaps now they would be on more equal footing, having someone to go to regarding rouge hunters would help them immensely. Grasping the bag off to the side behind some pieces of decorative wood. The Bearer bonds, he couldn't forget them.
"Yeah, each team is being sent further and further afield each case," Drew sighed, "Hell just a few months ago I was in Mexico…not a pretty sight."
"Anyone I know?" Peter asked.
"Um…a rouge Calavera?" Drew commented, it was no secret, it had been in the newspaper and everything.
"Then yes, I'm familiar with the Calavera's, even encountered them a few times in my youth." Peter informed them, recalling fleeing with his nephew, running from the hunters instead of facing them head on and killing them. Them and the Argent's were particularly tenacious when it came to his family and Beacon Hills.
The rest of the afternoon as they systematically cleared out the vault, Peter barely had time to think let alone brood. If he wasn't asking questions…he was answering them. If Harry had picked those Wizards in particular for him…he'd chosen well. Often his daughter was in his thoughts, but it was fleeting in knowing she and Derek were safe, the bond thrummed with contentment and happiness and the wards surrounding Harry's home were – he was assured – the best of the best.
Peter had said no to going elsewhere, fleeting as the thought had been to visit his ancestral home. It was a burnt-out wreck now, no, it would be flattened and a memorial built just after he made sure his family were buried in the Hale family plot, their way, not the way the ordinary remembered their own.
It was here, he would realize that Talia's claws were missing.
Whether the attention would latch onto the Calavera's and have them arrested for desecration of remains just to start with…would remain to be seen. Magic was after all very good…but not omnipotent…and not after two years since the event.
A/N – Normally I like focusing on Harry's work but this one's a little too grim to spend a lot of chapters on it I'm afraid. Soooo, the probability of maybe a mention in the next chapter and the focus on the next before case closed! Will Harry bring his focus on the Calavera's? How long will the Argents elude them? Will Victoria be caught and charged with murder with Aurors on the lookout? They're the only ones that seemed to have a normal-ish life I can see Gerard and Kate spending a lot of time on the downlow appearing when they're not wanted…but with wizards and witches on side…will it be easier? Hmm…I've killed them, imprisoned them…not much else different I could do to them which kinda sucks I hate repeating myself overly much! Will Harry set a trap with the Hales approval to capture the Argents? Or will they just be found by their contacts? R&R please