Disclaimer: Uh… Um… Uh-oh, I can't think of an original way to say I'm not JKR and don't own the characters mentioned in this story. Does that mean I can't post it?

Crack Investigator

Auror Harry Potter edged his way onto the property alone. Eyes, ears, and magical senses were on the alert, desperately searching for the lethal protections he knew must be here somewhere.

A partner would have helped, someone to split the load of searching for magical traps and watching for physical attack.

Harry was alone. No partner could ever manage to keep up with the living legend.

Ha. If only they knew.

He had both hands in the middle of disabling a magical tripwire attached to a nasty-looking ward cluster when he heard a rustle in the bushes. Then he heard a "ca-a-a-a-ak" which made his blood run cold. If he stopped what he was doing to turn his wand on the new threat, he'd be blasted into bite-sized chunks. If he didn't stop what he was doing…

"Well, aren't you a pretty one?" He knew that voice. "Let me put on some light so I can get a better look at you."

A circle of light appeared, highlighting the cockatrice that had been stalking Harry. More highlit than the drab-colored lizard-bird was the long, blonde hair that went with the voice. Silvery eyes admired the beauty of the deadly beast before looking up. "Hello, Harry, fancy meeting you here."

"Luna, what are you doing here?"

"A good reporter will go anywhere there's a story. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall stop me from pointing out what's going around."

"Luna, you're not a postman."

"I'm not any kind of man. Do you want me to show you again?"

Harry suppressed a shudder. He was not, in principle, opposed to seeing young women naked, but Luna had stopped developing at about twelve. She was only a few months younger than he but he'd felt like a child molester when he saw her that one time. Especially combined with the strip-tease that led up to him seeing her childlike body naked. And the mature, knowing look in the eyes set in her youthful face. So wrong…

"Not right now, thanks. I'm kind of in the middle of not being blown up."

"Oh, that. All you have to do is cast a cutting charm right there – no, there, to the left, your other left, yes, that's it – and the ward scheme will fall apart."

"Got it. Thanks, Luna. You should probably be going. It's going to be dangerous once I go in. You can take your new friend with you if you want, though maybe he's too dangerous and I should call in Animal Control when I'm done here."

"Oh, piffle. He's a little sweetie-pie, aren't you, my little tricey-wicey? He'll be fine here while you go and bring villains to justice and I tag along. I haven't scooped the competition in almost a week, so it's lucky I happened to find you tonight."

"Lucky. Right. I know I can't stop you, so just watch out for yourself, right?"


"Potter! Get in here!"

Shacklebolt was on the warpath again. Harry trudged in, knowing what was coming.

The head of the DMLE waved the morning's newspaper in Harry's face. "What the Hell were you doing, giving the story to the press before the paperwork was even dry?"

"It's right there in my report, Boss. Luna showed up when I was going in and I wouldn't have made it through the defenses without her help. Then she just followed me in and got the story herself."

"You expect me to believe that you needed help – help from a civilian, at that – to get in? When the department's best can't keep up with you on their best day? Pull the other one. At least you're not saying that she helped you to subdue the coven. She just stayed back and took pictures, right?"

"It's all in the report. She helped–" But Shacklebolt didn't want to hear it.

"Look, Harry, I'm not telling you that you can't have a girlfriend, even a reporter, but you've got to keep your love life separate from your work. And you can't can't can't falsify your reports to try to cover it up. Go home and don't come in tomorrow. I have to suspend you for a couple of days. Spend some time with your girlfriend. Keep her too busy to write more stories about ongoing investigations, right?"

Par for the course. Harry had been working as an auror for three years, two years and eleven months of them solo. The department alternated between suspending him for talking to the press and giving him medals for heroism and for bringing in criminals no one else could.

And Luna was with him every step of the way.


Senior Investigator Harry Potter stared at his Wall of Clues, trying to crack open the case. He knew he had most of the pattern right here in front of him. His instincts, trained both on the job and in specialty courses in Muggle universities and crime schools, told him he had all of the pieces. Now all he had to was make the final connections.

Harry knew with the certainty of an unbroken string of successes that it was only a matter of time – and not much more time – before the whole group turned themselves in to the DMLE, cutting deals to sell each other out rather than have him put on his field gear and round them up. The entire department was in awe of Harry's record. His field record matched Mad-Eye Moody's and no one in history came close in terms of putting together the clues to solve cases.

If only they knew.

Luna waltzed in. She literally waltzed into his office, doing the box step with an imaginary partner. No, not quite. A small plushie snorkack was suspended in air in front of her, obviously her partner for this dance.

"Hello, Harry."

"Hello, Luna. What brings you here? It's always nice to see you, but I'm kind of in the middle of something big."

"Oh, I knew that. You're always in the middle of something big. What else could we expect of the top crime investigator in magical history?"

"I suppose so, but you and I both know the truth, don't we?"

"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just a simple investigative reporter for a newspaper which isn't regarded nearly as highly as it deserves. I came in today because the very atmosphere was quivering with your frustration and concentration and, ah, inebriation?"

"No, Luna, I'm not drunk. I haven't been drunk since the last time you tried to take advantage of me."

"I understand, Harry. Boys mature later than girls and you're simply not ready for that kind of relationship yet. But please keep in mind that my biological clock is tick-tick-ticking and I can't wait for you forever."

Harry didn't close his eyes fast enough, so he saw Luna run her hands down her chest and hips, and was that a hint of curvature? Perhaps she had the figure of a thirteen-year-old now. Harry twitched and turned his attention back to the conversation.

"I don't know if you should be in here, what with you being a reporter and me being an investigator with evidence up on my wall."

"Oh, poo, I don't care about that at this precise moment. I have a more urgent requirement. Here, hold Stanley." And Luna placed her plushie snorkack in Harry's arms like newborn baby. "You see, Stanley, you don't need to worry about your mommy. I can make you a picture of her any time you like."

Drawing a length of color-changing yarn from the seemingly infinite and infinitely varied stuff in her pockets, Luna quickly strung the yarn around the pushpins on the wall. "You see, Stanley? It looks just like her."

Harry could see the resemblance to an adult female snorkack … if he tilted his head and squinted.

"Now that Stanley is feeling better, we must be off. Ta-ta, Harry!" And she waltzed on out.

Shaking his head at the whimsy of his … friend? Girlfriend? Career facilitator? Whatever she was, she was gone now and he could get back to work after he cleaned up the chaos she usually left in her wake. Harry reached up to lift down the yarn and …

And Ruggerio was connected to the warehouse down by docks on the south shore. And Thompson was connected to Adams, Jackson, and Johnson. And … And the case was solved. Harry still had to write a report and bring Kingsley in to arrange for word to get to the criminals. It was customary to give them a chance to turn themselves in before the DMLE let loose The Hound.

And it looked like Harry would be buying Luna dinner again. Not tonight; he knew she'd be working all night, rushing her investigative article to print. But this was something they'd worked out for the conclusion of every big case. Harry cursed to himself. She'd be trying to get him drunk again.


"Potter! Get in here!"

Shacklebolt was on the warpath again. Harry trudged in, knowing what was coming.

The head of the DMLE waved the morning's newspaper in Harry's face. "What the Hell were you doing, giving the story to the press before the paperwork was even dry?"

"She did her own legwork, Boss, and she put the pieces together herself. She came in yesterday to visit, saw my Wall, told me a couple things I was missing, and left me to it. It's all in the report."

Shacklebolt ran his hand over his short, white hair – he hadn't been able to shave his head for years, not since a persistent rash powder had irritated his scalp; Harry had no idea who could have done such a thing and he would call you a liar to your face if you said otherwise – and demanded in a tired voice, "You expect me to believe that an untrained civilian did as good a job as the department's top investigator? That she did a better job because she had to help out our top investigator?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying, Shack. She's good, really good. I've told you before, you need to try to bring her in as a consultant."

"So now you want me to tell the Minister that I need more money in my budget because the best investigator in history wants to give his girlfriend a real job? Get out of here, Potter. Go home and don't come in for the rest of the week. I have to suspend you for a couple of days until this has settled down."

Par for the course. Harry had been an investigator for five years, promoted to Senior Investigator after his first case and working solo because no partner could follow his brilliant leaps of intuition. The department alternated between suspending him for not being able to keep his lip zipped around his girlfriend and giving him awards for cracking open cases that no one else ever could have solved.

And Luna was with him every step of the way.


Freelance Investigator Harry Potter sat, cooling his heels. After he'd left the DMLE he'd kept his hand in with a combination of private detective work and deep-investigatory articles for the Quibbler. He didn't really need the money but he needed to keep busy and to feel useful. And working on the articles let him work with Luna and – and this was very important to him – let him give her full credit for the parts she did. After he'd shared his training with her, Luna's investigative proficiency had blossomed.

Luna had blossomed in another way: once puberty finally hit her in her late twenties, she'd gone practically overnight from skin and bones to T and A.

"Potter! Get in here!"

It was like old times, having a Shacklebolt yelling his name. Harry ran into the other room, knowing what was coming.

Healer Shacklebolt, Kingsley's elder daughter, lifted the bundle into his arms. "You know the procedure. You have to acknowledge him as yours, then you and your wife name him together."

Harry, Luna, and James Potter went home so she could recover before the two got to work in planning their next article series, an investigation into monetary oddities at St Mungos. While James was nursing, Harry would take the lead on the field work, of course.

And Luna would be with him every step of the way.


This bunny hatched from a message on… Wait a minute. Bunnies don't hatch. Not unless they're Easter bunnies. Anyway, this bunny was inspired by a message on the Caer Azkaban Yahoo group. It was supposed to be a crack fic, but the romance aspect kind of crept in. So, uh, it's a gift for all of those who excoriated me for Luna's fate in Coach Granger. Enjoy, y'all!