Holding court wasn't something Harry would have imagined himself doing a couple of years ago, but here he was.
He was, at least in theory, autocrat of this little island of his, at least until he set up people to do that stuff for him. Typically, his attitude was hands off (to avoid people coming to ask him about every damned thing), but when disputes grew heated…
Margaret had pushed, quite intensely, for him to have some sort of throne. She was very much enamored with the idea, although Harry was doggedly (no pun intended) against it. The compromise they eventually reached was a sort of raised dias topped by a completely normal chair.
The room was… pretty regular, all things considered. It had been almost completely empty before they had decided to use it, and the only real modifications made were the platform, and the installation of a number of heavy curtains over the windows. (He had gotten his hands on some Iranian fabric in a bazaar around… Hormuz, he thought? Very pretty stuff.)
Hopefully, the first 'case' he was dealing with would be simple, just some matter of two neighbors who had grown disagreeable. (Harry couldn't fathom how- there was more space than you'd ever need on the island. You could move up and get a floor to yourself, if you wanted.)
Ideally, the two would plead their case, Harry would come to some enlightened judgment, and they'd all break for supper or something. Both started bickering before they could even finish presenting their arguments.
The argument grew into loud shouting- maybe that was the problem, they were so loud that they broke soundproofing charms- but just before things seemed as if they would get physical (or magical, he supposed) thunder roared outside, so loud and terrible that their bones almost seemed to rattle. Unsurprisingly, they all fell silent.
"I think we've all heard enough. Could I have a moment to think on this?" Most everyone filtered out, leaving Harry mostly alone. He let out a long groan. "Ugh, can't I just make a parliament, or something?"
"I distinctly remember your complaints about the Ministry."
"I'm positive I could make a better government than that."
Margaret smiled. "Excuse me, I must go and retrieve some paper. You do plan on writing such a plan down, yes?"
She returned with what must have been a good ream of paper, which she set down in front of him with a smile.
Harry looked down at the paper and sighed. Work now to avoid work later, right? Best to set up the means for the place to run by itself.
Harry Potter woke up and stretched. He wasn't entirely sure what time it was, but it seemed like it was before breakfast. Someone- either Kreacher or one of the vampires, if they had the time- would occasionally bring it to him, but nothing yet.
Before he could go about getting himself some food, he rose from bed and groped blindy for his glasses. While doing so, his hand brushed a wand- and then another.
Harry quickly put his glasses on, wondering if someone had left it there, if someone was in the room- but then he took another look at the wand. An elder wand. Son of a…
He was never going to desecrate Dumbledore's grave for it. He wanted to leave it there. But the wand was here, in his hands, returned to who it must have regarded as its master. Him. Why it had waited… Harry couldn't guess. Maybe it somehow sensed that he had gone back on his refusal by getting the Stone, felt called by wavering resolve.
If he had a window in the room, he would have thrown it out. Instead, he stared at the wand, transfixed, until the door opened. "Good master…"
"Please, don't call me master."
Margaret gave him a once over, ignoring his request entirely. "If I may ask, there is something… different about you, good master. Did something happen, perchance?"
"A bad sort of different?"
"Certainly not! A very pleasing difference, although I cannot divine what the change might have been…" Then, if Harry wasn't having some sort of elaborate visual hallucination, she sniffed at him.
It turned out that having all of the Hallows… had an effect rather like catnip on the undead. Well, vampires, at least. Harry found Inferi distasteful, for obvious reasons.
Your Biggest Fan
Harry turned the stone in his palm, waiting for the shade to appear from whatever strange place lay beyond life… and nothing happened.
Margaret frowned. She hadn't doubted the stone's abilities, as she had seen it in action, but for it to not work now… it was dispiriting.
"Where is he?" Harry mumbled to himself. It was supposed to be simple. Pluck Charles I from the afterlife and introduce him to Margaret. She had drawn such a promise out of him, although he had warned her about meeting her heroes…
Some part of him was relieved that her glowing opinion of the King and Martyr wouldn't he sullied, a mystery like this intrigued him. What stopped the stone?
Where could he possibly be, if not among the number of the departed dead? Presumably, he wasn't still alive. If he had the means of securing longevity like, say, a Philosopher's Stone, why not… avoid the whole forced loan/taxes thing which helped lead to the war by, say, making gold?
Even then, Harry wasn't sure that the Elixir of Life could work with your head separated from your body.
Then, Harry suddenly had a revelation. Maybe he wasn't part of the departed dead- maybe he was part of the decapitated dead. The decapitated dead who stayed behind as ghosts, doing things like hunting.
He'd have to write a letter…
All Hallow's Eve had grown into quite the festivity at Doggerland- everyone enjoyed a chance to cut loose- even if Harry had never really gotten in on the fun. Still, this year he and Margaret had prior obligations.
They entered Hogwarts the spitting image of a lord and his lady, although Margaret was practically festooned with shawls and the like to hide her… sensitive complexion.
Suffice it to say that this Halloween was marked by some of the most notable DADA classes in history. Seeing Cornish Pixies or Grindylows was one thing, seeing a flesh and blood vampire was another entirely.
But eventually the day drew to a close, and Harry and Margaret chased their lead: heading to a certain death-day party. Nearly Headless Nick might have invited the Headless Hunt, and if not, Harry was sure he was so anxious to join he could get in contact.
Harry couldn't help but feel a little pity for the assemblage of shades before him, stuck here as they were. (Thankfully, as far as Harry had heard, no ghosts from the deaths during the Battle of Hogwarts had appeared.)
After politely refusing some of the delightfully spoiled food, Harry and Margaret made their way to the Headless Hunt lingered, their ghostly mounts snorting and scraping the floor with shimmering hooves.
As Nearly Headless Nick pleaded his case again, Harry and Margaret circled the group, looking for the face and the hair. Eventually, there was some recognition.
He did not wear the clothes one would expect from a king, but rather the garb of a man set for execution. Perhaps that explained why he didn't attempt to draw attention to himself?
"Pardon me, sir." Harry normally wouldn't have gone with the honorific, bit he didn't want a bad first impression. "Would you happen to be named Charles?"
The man smiled faintly, which was only a little unnerving considering his head's presence in the crook of his arm. "Charles, by the Grace of God."
Margaret stepped forward. "Your majesty, I never thought I would get the chance to meet you." She curtsied.
"I was unaware anyone would w-wish to." There was a hint of a stutter there, although a good few hundred years of practice at speaking might have helped solve that problem.
"With certainty, I can assure you that every girl wanted to meet the King and Martyr." Harry wasn't so sure.
"You flatter me."
"It's my truth, your majesty." She demurred. "These past centuries have seen much change. Does the Hunt receive news of politics?"
"I lost interest in politics after Culloden, my dear."
Harry left the two to bond over a shared hatred of Oliver Cromwell, and spent a few moments trying to enjoy the party. The food was unsalvageable, of course, but the ghosts could be fairly intriguing.
Considering his current company, it was a bit of a surprise to feel someone physically bumping into him. Turning, he saw a student wearing Gryffindor colors and a look of sheer awe. (Blimey, was Harry really that small back then?)
"I'm your biggest fan!" He squeaked without so much an introduction, digging through his pockets desperately…
Oh. With a flick of his wand, Harry had a pen and paper. "Can I get a name?" He supposed he wouldn't be the only subject of borderline hero-worship tonight.
A few more students who could stomach the smell of a deathday party in full swing came by, and Harry gave signatures. Frankly, he couldn't refuse the sheer enthusiasm, not when Charles had been kind enough to indulge Margaret's.
Eventually, the party wound down and Harry reinserted himself into Margaret's conversation with the king.
"By good fortune, we chanced upon your regalia. You do have a claim to it…"
The king sighed, swiping his hand through a nearby table. "What good will they do me, as I am? But p-perhaps… perhaps I could see them?"
That, Harry could do.
Code M (Please consider any of the following 'Code' omakes canon, or any combination of them, or none of them, depending on what pleases you.)
It being theoretically possible was, of course, a far cry from it being easy. Still, there were a number of potions that could be brewed for this sort of thing, and both parties were nothing but enthusiastic, once they got around to it.
Potter was… well, he was no stranger to romance, but he was happy to take things at his own pace. Finally, he had an excess of time. He could afford to chase fancies and leave things like getting a family for tomorrow.
Knowing that, and that Margaret occasionally couched her emotions in 17th century propriety, might have provided a good reason for the delay. Signals were, at times, mixed.
Still, she was a woman with passions, even if her blood flowed with no heat. Gratitude and loyalty, with time, blossomed into something far more.
Conferring with the other vampires for advice might have been a good idea- had they not been strangers to the concept of modern courtship as well. However, she was no quitter. The fight wasn't over until someone was in the ground, and she had no intention of letting that happen anytime soon.
During a quiet evening after a long day spent at Atlantis, she made her move. At first, business as usual- "Good master, are you sure you're not cold? I could fetch something, if it pleases you?" -but as the night went on and the bottle of Firewhiskey she had acquired- "For the chill," -grew empty, passions sparked. And Harry Potter was a young man. The next morning he woke up with a cold (but certainly welcome) body clinging to him.
And, by most accounts, he woke up with a monster hickey. Like, absolutely huge. It would not be the last.
In a happy compromise, their first child was named James. Admittedly, when Harry thought James he thought of his father, when Margaret thought James she thought Jacobus Rex, but the name still worked. The middle name was actually far more contentious- they eventually settled on Remus.
There were some initial… issues regarding the philosophy of rearing a child, but they reached compromise. If nothing else, Margaret could tolerate some idiosyncrasies of the modern age if it meant not suffering high child mortality.
Even then, their exact methods differed slightly. Harry was, of the two, a touch more indulgent, mellowed by time and determined to never raise a child in circumstances like his own upbringing. Margaret was there to make sure these little indulgences didn't spoil James. Well, she preferred the Latin Jacobus or some variant.
Margaret's battle against James being spoiled rotten was hard fought, although she would find a strong ally in Andromeda. "Aunt Andy" would also provide welcome help in rounding out James' education.
Harry was, of course, more than excited to teach any children of his the delicate art of broom-riding. Margaret, in her effort to raise a proper gentleman and heir, guided her son through horse-riding. (James was the only other person who would ever have success riding the Cheval Mallet- it was shockingly, uncharacteristically mild with James.)
In addition to a medley of more typical subjects which were planned- reading, writing, arithmetic, history- some other ones were planned. Dueling with wands (because James would never not be Harry's son, for good and ill) and dueling with swords, some intricacies of sailing picked up from his father's ghostly crews…
As for matters of vampirism… Her "little Jacobus" was, by most accounts, a fairly average child. A touch paler, but no less hale, and with an unusual taste for rarer meat, but otherwise? Normal. He could play in the sunlight. That particular weakness of vampires had been a special worry of theirs, in regards to any future children as well.
James was not the last, by any stretch of the imagination. I shall reiterate it: enthusiastic.
It could be said that Margaret had long since settled into the role of the island's lady, even before she had… sealed the deal, so to speak. For the most part, she kept up the same patterns of behavior as beforehand, although with the occasional indulgence in a bit of royal fashion or style. Any ambiguity about who would be in charge when Harry was away was long gone, of course.
Astoria had grown quite fond of Doggerland. It was an interesting place, not to mention that their magic had given her a much longer life than she would have expected.
Between the long forgotten archaeological sites and the colorful cast of characters, Astoria got to discover, in her own time, what becoming enamored with someone who you weren't arranged to marry was like.
Globetrotting might be a good word to describe their time together. Both were more than happy to absorb the richness of the world, especially together. There were… all sorts of enjoyable things they could be doing together. Like playing chess.
Eventually, though, some regular diagnostic charms, of the sort used to make sure Astoria was hale and hearty, came up with an interesting result. They had some worries, initially. Would birth aggravate her condition? Would she need treatment during the pregnancy?
(This was not to mention how Cyrus Greengrass felt when he heard Harry had knocked up his daughter- there was a minor economic incident springing from it. Apparently, the magicians called it a wandpoint wedding, not a shotgun wedding. There was always more to learn about the magical world!)
It was rough, but Zinnia Greengrass-Potter came into the world healthy- and loud. Perhaps that was to be expected, considering that every potion that touched Astoria's lips was made with the finest ingredients money could buy.
Harry Potter had married into a powerful family, after all, even if he didn't really give a damn about it. Still, meeting Draco at family get-togethers was… something. Something told Harry that recounting the time he nearly killed Draco was probably not the best subject of conversation with the in-laws.
Cyrus did, at one point, attempt to forge a friendship between the two by bringing them hunting. Said trip ended with Harry turning into a puma. Fun was had by all.
Daphne and Draco had some sort of thing going on that Astoria did not want to learn more about, thank you kindly.
They were an item, but how exactly that came to be remained unknown. Not a political match- Draco was not nearly as advantageous a match as he once was, so… love?
They were all proper pure blood decorum, of course. They towed the new ministry line, they were the cute pair of married professors at Hogwarts (whor refrained from public displays of affection)… but Astoria would pay money to ensure she never knew a thing about their private lives.
She knew Daph, the parts of her that weren't shown to the public. Draco… well, he wouldn't stick around if he didn't mind it, Astoria figured. For all his bluster, she would have figured he would have wanted to take the lead, but…
Agathe- the resident Selkie- was slow to open up, understandably. That was fine.
At first, much of their time spent together was in the caverns under Doggerland, or on her shores. Harry felt like swimming, and Agathe could tolerate his company.
She would occasionally go into her seal form and proceed to do… seal things. Or Selkie things? Whatever. Still, she tended to come back, and the last thing Harry wanted to do was police the woman.
"How was it?" He happened to ask as he emerged from the water one day.
After shedding her sealskin, she gave a response. "Fine. The Mermen were testier than usual. I think they hope to surprise you with a gift."
"How do you reckon?"
"They were worried I was going to… steal their thunder, was it?" She nodded. "They can be shockingly jealous creatures."
"What, they thought you were going to steal me away?"
She smiled. "Something to that effect."
Sometimes, they'd go swimming together. She wasn't a seal then- usually -instead donning a wetsuit. They did a lot of swimming, from tropical islands ringed by reefs to hidden lakes and everything in-between.
They talked. About philosophy that Harry could barely understand, sports Agathe could barely understand, or things they could learn about together.
They both knew the motions. They had done it before. Harry with Cho and Ginny, Agathe with Ross, but they felt no need to leap ahead.
She took the lead. She set the pace. And that was fine.
They hadn't had kids. At least, not ones that he sired and she gave birth to. That was perfectly fine. Harry Potter, as you might imagine, had a passion for adoption and caring for the less fortunate.
Some of their adoptions were squibs and muggles. Harry, of course, stressed that lacking magic made them no less beloved, and woe betide any who thought they could mistreat those children due to lack of magic.
Doggerland, with a bit of work, had some nice beaches. Harry lamented that they couldn't be made suitable for vampires, but what could he do?
Admittedly, he didn't have much experience with the whole beach thing. Still, he figured a bit of time spent lazing about might be a good place to start.
So he cast a few spells to make sure he wouldn't bake under the sun, set his glasses to the side, and kicked back to soak up some sun.
At some point, he might have dozed off. When he opened his eyes, a smear of silver was above him. "Bonjour, Harry."
"Uh, hello?" He blinked. "Glasses?"
"Ye- Oui. Here."
Harry could see again, and was quite glad for it. Veela were something else.
They chatted for a bit, staying safely in the realm of safe small talk, never really chancing on anything too grim. Harry was kind of glad for it- he couldn't imagine serious conversation with such obvious affectation. No accent could be that thick, while also going on and off.
"Why do you feel the need to talk like that?"
"I was under the impression you liked the pretty girls with the accents, you know?"
"I suppose I do, though there's no need to force it."
"Thank goodness for that…"
The accent was funny, but it was a bit better to discover she was actually a fairly decent conversationalist. As it turned out, a lot of them were.
"Are you certain? There is much I could do for you, should you give me this simple favor…"
"Sorry, I'm not buying your biscuits." The door of the vampiric castle slammed shut, leaving Tom Marvolo Riddle high and dry.
Well, if the vampires wouldn't do it for him, he'd just need… other means to get his immortality.
He decided that vampirism was bullshit. He liked the sunlight, sort of. Sour grapes? What are those?
Off the Presses
Doggerland's prominence and population would both grow with time- and that growth incited demand in products from outside of Doggerland. Admittedly, the sprinkling of islands Harry had raised around the world assuaged some of their issues, but there were still things they wanted from outside.
And while they certainly had things to trade with outsiders, as transactions grew bigger and bigger, several of Harry's more enterprising citizens came to him with a proposal: a currency, more than just whatever you brought from your country of origin.
Perhaps someone else would have created a robust and revolutionary system based on muggle paper currencies and the fractional reserve… but Harry didn't particularly care. Other than just not really picking up the nuances of muggle economics back when he was ten, there wasn't much reason for such a plan. Why would you need to bend over backwards to increase monetary supply when you had a Philosopher's stone to literally make money?
So Doggerland became famous for two types of presses: printing, and metal. The latter were responsible for a notable flow of gold during the late 20th century. In coins, and thanks to the sheer size of some transactions, in bars.
Potter would- as expected- objected vociferously to his image being on any of the dies used to stamp the coins. The few examples which managed to escape the island before the dies were recast are collector's items, and according to some rumors, good luck charms or bringers of good weather.
(The spread of Dogger coins 'unintentionally' caused the ruin of several pureblood fortunes through inflation. Thankfully, Minister Granger's introduction of paper currency saved a number of muggleborn families from economic disaster. Allegations of some scheme to permanently ruin old pure blood money are just that. Allegations.)
Doggerland's gold supply was put to limited domestic use as well. Some experimentation with electronics, the occasional piece of jewelry, certain rituals, and according to some rumors, a room where Potter held court which was roofed with gold- the Gilded Chamber or the Gold Chamber.
Said room was also home of the occasional ball or party- including, eventually, hosting the Human-Vampire Coexistence Society, where ladies and gentlemen danced and spun in dresses and robes made of the finest cloth of gold. With a thousand candles reflecting against the brilliant, polished gold, you'd think you were under the light of the actual sun.
With time, Doggerland grew. The mermen communities ringing it had exploded in population, meaning mile upon mile of kelp and seaweed farms which had to be properly warded and protected as well. That, complemented by the muggles constantly growing more keen, meant that they had some minor space issues.
There were several ideas they had for this: encouraging movement to the satellite bases, when possible; underground tunnels if the people/mermen in question could tolerate subterranean living, and liberal use of space expansion then, that wouldn't work for everything- well, technically you could put dragons in tiny holes underground…
There was also a fair portion of the population who were very big on the idea of autarky. That was, being economically independent and not dependent on other states for much of anything. Admittedly, Harry wasn't very zealous about this idea, but there was a considerable portion of his people who were, and if they were planning something he basically had to make sure they wouldn't like, accidentally blow the lid off the whole wizarding world thing.
So the question was where to get the space. They could, of course, completely seed the world with islands of their own, but there were some other ideas bouncing around. Ideas centering around Atlantis. Well, the portal. Admittedly, there was a non-zero portion of Doggerland's population who really liked the underwater city idea, but most liked the teleporter after realizing it wasn't just limited to the one earth.
Great idea in principle. Find some other world and set up shop there. Putting it into practice, though…
Figuring out what would be on the other side was always a trick. It required the sort of wildly temperamental Arithmancy that Harry could never dream of grasping, not to mention a dash of Divination. Without access to muggle computers to do some of the heavier computations, it might have been genuinely impossible. Even then, it was a finicky science understood best by Luna Lovegood, which should give you a rough idea of how intuitive it was.
And they had to do a lot of computations. They didn't want to bump into the same problems over there, after all. After the creation of a shell company to acquire enough computers for their purposes, they did eventually get an alternate reality they thought had the right conditions.
Setting up backups- including reverse-engineering the Atlantis teleporter room in the first place- took even longer. Even with dozens of checks and with Harry proving that he could reconstruct a similar device on the far side, everyone was still a little hesitant to let him go. But Harry was a Gryffindor, and he wouldn't let one of his people risk themselves.
It was, as these sorts of teleportations went, a big one. Comparatively speaking, their earlier teleportation experiments were like driving down to the street corner- this hop would be like a cross country trek. Except the car evaporated behind you, and you weren't entirely certain if the air was even breathable.
With a pop, Harry Potter was someplace else. Underwater, but thankfully not lodged in an ice shelf or floating through the vacuum of space… so pretty good so far. Surfacing revealed a bit of land in the distance, covered in green. That was good. He was worried he would have to search. Hesitantly, Harry removed his bubblehead charm, and breathed in good air.
They had picked a specific time for this operation. To be quite honest, a time when they could move in with the fewest issues. Still, Harry was upset that they couldn't have shown up a little later, even if he understood why.
Dammit all, why wouldn't you take the opportunity to see actual dinosaurs in the Triassic? Instead, they got whatever had survived the Permian-Triassic extinction. Were they basically throwing a wrench into evolution here? Absolutely. But if nothing else, they couldn't really be stealing from anyone, because the concept of property rights wouldn't exist for a good few million years.
And if there were entire species of magical plants- and dare he say, dinosaurs- out there waiting for him… well, Harry's curiosity was part of the reason behind this entire operation anyways.
Now the question was what they would call the place… some part of him found the idea of renaming Pangea to Doggerland 2 funny.
For Your Reading Pleasure: the fic I wrote which inspired this one, in all of its half-baked, unedited glory. I transferred to Overlord before I even graced this with a working title other than Vamp. It's… something, an outline/skeleton with considerable gaps. But I thought it would be interesting. How my writing's changed in the past… 9 months? Time, man.
Harry Potter was alone in Number 12 Grimmauld Place, which was certainly not a good thing. Sure, there was Kreacher, and Harry appreciated him, but Ron and Hermione were off finding the latter's parents in Australia (and making a vacation of it in the process) while Harry's relationship with Ginny had… soured after the war, the gap between them only seeming to grow wider the more they tried to mend it.
So Harry was alone inside the dreary environ of Grimmauld Place, his mood not brightened at all by the atmosphere. Even with the improvements the Order, Harry, and his friends had made, the place was downright gothic- if it wasn't in the middle of a Muggle neighborhood, it would have seemed like the sort of place where a mysterious vampire might make his lair.
Hmm. That might be interesting, actually. The only vampire Harry had ever met was that chap at Slughorn's party- what was it? Linguini? No, Sanguini, which seemed like an odd case of nominative determinism (assuming it wasn't a melodramatic pseudonym the vampire had adopted). Of course, Harry was hardly one to talk considering he used to know a werewolf named Remus Lupin…
Of course, being a werewolf didn't make Remus any less of a man- and if he could live a somewhat normal life, why couldn't, say, a vampire? Harry would probably have to invest in better blinds (or maybe just get Kreacher to paint the windows black) but it was doable. A vampire would definitely fit in with the theming- he had to wonder if a vampire had ever called Number 12 home, or if the Black family were too pureblood to let that sort in. If so, it would come with the extra bonus of snubbing the memories of generations of pureblood fuddy-duddies, which was always a worthwhile goal.
He decided to start with the straightforward approach. This turned out to be a mistake.
As it turned out, Harry Potter posting a request to meet vampires in the Prophet and Quibbler personal columns had an effect. After his recent defeat of Voldemort, the resident big bad of Great Britain, it seemed possible that Harry was coming for the little guys next- smaller evils. Like, say, vampires.
Of course, that was never Harry's intent, but he received a cautionary letter from the ministry gently reminding him that hunting for vampires was illegal. The opinion columns were filled with rows about whether or not his alleged anti-vampire crusade was just, but they weren't the only ones upset by his apparent anti-hemovore turn, considering the cloaked figure who jumped Harry while he was out on a stroll.
Perhaps it was a preemptive strike- it didn't really matter to Harry once he felt the weight of something drop onto his back, sending him to the pavement. He could feel a pair of fangs sink into his neck, followed by an odd soothing sensation… before he flipped over and landed on the vampire, allowing Harry to get out of the creature's grasp.
With a shout of "Sectumsempra!" Harry slashed with his wand, cutting into the vampire- who proceeded to get up on shaky feet and lunge again. Oh right, you were supposed to decapitate them. A second Sectumsempra did the trick, although it left Harry with the vexing question of how he was going to explain this to the authorities.
Of course, once the news broke, it only fueled the speculation that Harry Potter was on the hunt for vampires. Sure, the Ministry had said that Harry was defending himself, but who was going to arrest Harry Potter? And who would convict him?
He would get the occasional weirdo after him at this point- typically some vampire trying to take him out preemptively (who he tried to dispatch peacefully is possible), although there was the occasional oddball self styled vampire hunter determined to learn his secrets or trounce a rival.
Of course, Harry found the whole thing exceedingly vexing, so he decided to search the continent for his potential vampire roommate. Having a foreign vampire staying over would be even cooler- and he figured that there was one person he could call if he wanted to get as close as possible to vampire central.
"What is it, Harry?"
"I was wondering if I could stop by and…"
"Hunting the vampires is illegal in Romania, you know."
"I'd just like to meet one and talk to one," Harry insisted.
"You seem to be doing a piss poor job of talking it out."
Admittedly, Harry was not exceedingly familiar with the hunting habits of Romanian vampires, but he figured that rural towns were a good place to start his search- he also kept an eye out for big, fancy castles. At the very least, he hoped that trope was real, even if it did pose the issue of how Harry would manage to get them to move away from their old abode to Number 12… but he'd figure it out.
Flying around the Carpathian mountains with his broom was pretty nice all by itself- yes, he had to take some steps to remain invisible, but the mountains were lovely. In addition, he got to see the odd magical bit that muggles would never spot, even from their planes.
The dragon preserve was interesting, although Harry would admit to thinking some of the chaps there were a little nutty. Of course, he was one to talk considering his current search for a vampire roommate.
Unfortunately his reputation and recent feats preceded him- he was thought to be some foreign crazy coming into the country to hunt vampires, so people were… less than helpful. He got names, sure, but Harry had a bad feeling that he was being pointed in the direction of vampires people wanted gone.
Still, a lead was a lead, so he flew his broom in the direction of the castle...
"I've herded sheep and watched this village since Transylvania was little more than a Hungarian voivodeship."
She sighed. "Not important. Suffice it to say, I've been here a long time, and you want me to leave?"
"Just… suggesting that you leave. I mean, this is a lovely mountain you've got here, but there's such a wide world out there."
When Dudley had his hair turn blue after giving his twins a timeout, he knew what was happening. He had lived with Harry Potter, after all- and Dudley knew he had to get in contact with his cousin.
Of course, the rift between Harry and Dudley's parents was far too wide to bridge, not that either side wanted to, but Dudley eventually tried to mend fences. It was helped along by Harry's access to a telephone and his ability to use it without screaming.
"Hello, Harry Potter speaking-"
"Harry, my twins have magic."
The line was silent for moment. "You're sure, Dudley?"
"My hair's as blue as the wallpaper right now, Harry."
"Ok, sure. I suppose you'll want me to stop by and explain the whole thing to your wife?"
"Yeah. I'm not even sure if she'd believe me."
Harry hesitated for a moment. "If you'd like, you could visit my house? It would let me show you magic without running the risk of any trouble with the authorities."
Dudley gulped. That was right- his girls would be subject to wizarding law now.
"Out of curiosity, do you have any strong feelings about Romanian food?"
"I was thinking we could have dinner."
Where did Harry learn to cook Romanian food?
Dudley was frankly terrified by his first experience with magical transport. The way Harry's car seemed to slide between the traffic, squeezing and stretching to fit in places it never should have been able to fit… it was nauseating, even if the twins sort of liked it.
They came to a rather rundown bunch of buildings, none of which really seemed to say wizardry to Dudley. "Uh… which one's yours, Harry?"
Harry smirked. "My house? Oh, my house is at Number 12, Grimmauld Place." Dudley looked to the row of houses, searching for number twelve, when a door popped out between two of them, swiftly followed by walls and windows until a whole house was there, seemingly conjured from the ether.
The girls let out appropriate gasps of amazement, with Dudley and his wife sharing the same sentiment. Magic. After they had all stepped out of the car, Harry tapped it with his wand and it folded in on itself, becoming small enough to tuck into a pocket- which Harry quickly did.
After passing through a small mudroom, Harry escorted them inside. The house was dark, thanks in large part to the windows being painted over. That would be suspect on its own, but it was made stranger by the fact that Harry could clearly hide his house from most people. "What's… what's with the black paint?"
"It's an… accommodation for my lady friend." Harry said, a grin on his face. Dudley blinked, and Harry continued. "She's downstairs."
Still a little shaken by the revelation of Harry's significant other, Dudley followed him downstairs, his family in tow. He was shocked out of his stupor by the sight of the woman in question. She was beautiful, with dark hair and pale skin, although far too svelte (if that was even appropriate for someone so thin) for Dudley's taste. She was also a witch, given the way the plates and dishes danced around her, seemingly guided by her wand, which she used like a conductor's baton.
"Darling!" She turned to greet them, giving them a smile that might have been warm if not for the fangs. "And of course, you must be the Dursleys. Harry's told me about you."
Harry grinned. "This is Lacrimioara...
Despite the occasional chill Dudley felt go down his spine, Lacramioara proved a wonderful host. He wasn't sure if she was a natural showboat or was just trying to wow Dudley's family, but it certainly felt a little too over the top for supper.
"You're a remarkable cook- I have to say, I've never tried Romanian before."
"Neither had Harry, but I've managed to enlighten him."
She laughed. "Oh, I can't- I'm dreadfully allergic to garlic."
"So what do you do for a living?"
"Oh, Harry does some teaching on the side." Lacrimioara said. "Writing self defense manuals, giving talks, that sort of thing. Me? I write…"
You can see some of the structure that would become Overlord there. Dudley being amazed, Harry obliterating his reputation… one bit I was set on, but didn't write much of there, was the idea of a vampire who purposefully played up the domestic ideal because she finds how people react to it funny.
Part of my inspiration for above was one particular piece of vampire maid art. Butterfly effect, huh? If I hadn't found it cute, would I have ever written this and Overlord?
Anyways, I've come up with a WBWL spoof that I've found pretty fun to write so far, so look forward to that, maybe? I suppose all we can do is wait and hope, hint hint.