Sally is sat in a room, facing two other people. Both of them are cloaked in shadow, and we can't make out their faces.
"According to to everyone else, none of this happened. But I still remember it all. I remember the fights, the hearings and the celebrations. I remember The Siege of Hogwarts and The Drawn Wands" She pauses "I remember Dora and Ella blowing out candles together, and I remember Luna and Tara playing with LJ and the twins on The Compound lawn" She pauses again "I remember my husband and I remember my children" She stares at the other two "And now – now I am going to get them back"
(Eight months earlier)
"Did he say what he wanted to see us about?" Hermione asked. She and Viktor were walking through Hogsmeade, nodding to various students and members of the public as they pass them. When her husband didn't reply, she turned and glared at him "Vik?"
"I'm sorry" Viktor replied "But he asked me to keep it a secret" Hermione stared at him for a few moments longer, then nodded reluctantly.
"Okay" She sighed "But it had better be good"
"Trust me" Viktor smiled "It will be worth waiting for"
"We'll see" Hermione turned back to look along the street, then smiled as she caught sight of something in the distance "HARRY! SALLY!" Viktor watched as his wife raced away down the street, then set off to follow her.
"It's nice to see you Min" Harry hugged his friend warmly "It's been too long"
"Can't... breathe... need... air..." Sally pretended to choke as Hermione continued to hug her.
"Very amusing" Hermione took a step back, then smiled as Viktor caught up with them.
"Vik" Harry shook hands with his friend, while Sally leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
"It is good to see you, my friends" Viktor smiled at them.
"And now that you are here, we can go and get a drink!" Sally beamed, causing the other three to laugh. She then took Viktor's hand, while Harry took Hermione's, and a moment later, they turned towards The Three Broomsticks, not noticing the witch staring at them from the other side of the street.
"So – he's back" She said quietly to herself "After ten years, Harry Potter has returned to Britain" Casting a final glance at the departing group, the witch turned and hurried down the road, towards Hogwarts.
"How are Ella and the twins?" Hermione took the offered drink from Viktor, while Harry sat down next to Sally.
"They are fine, thank you" Harry smiled "We didn't know how long it would take to get settled, so we left them in Florida with Luna and her family"
"They should be across in a week or so" Sally continued "Once we get The Compound set up and the wards properly configured"
"And how are Luna and Tara doing?" Viktor asked "Have they got used to having a little one running around yet?" Harry smirked.
"I think they have used more magic in the past four months than they did in the four years before then, but I have never seen Luna happier. I am betting that once LJ gets a little older, they might consider finding a little brother or sister for him"
"Really?" Hermione smiled "Wow. You know - I love Luna, but she never struck me as the motherly type"
"Well – they'll be over soon" Sally said "And you can make up your own mind when you see her in situ, so to speak"
"But enough about us and our wacky lives" Harry smirked "How's it going with you? This is what – your fourth year as DaDa Professor?" Hermione preened as she replied.
"Fifth. I think the curse is well and truly broken and – most importantly" She paused dramatically "I have yet to attack a single student!"
"My wife is just being modest" Viktor took her hand "This last year's OWL and NEWT scores were the best the school has had in modern times" He glanced at his blushing wife "People are already talking about her as the next Headmistress, after Dumbledore retires"
"Well done" Sally smiled, then turned to Viktor "And what about you? I hear you had some kind of promotion" Viktor smirked back.
"Like you don't already know" He turned as Hermione glared at him "And I think we should tell my wife why you are here now, before she resorts to some of her more... interesting methods of extracting information" Hermione grinned evilly at them.
"Okay – okay" Harry held his hands up in surrender "We'll tell" He looked around the room, then, holding up his wand, he cast a privacy spell. When he was happy that it was in place, he turned back to her "We finally got permission to do it" She stared at him in confusion for a moment, then her eyes brightened in understanding.
As she strode through the halls of Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall flipped the hood of her cloak down. She thought back to what she had seen in Hogsmeade – from the way her former students greeted each other, it didn't seem that they had been apart for ten years. Had Harry been back before now, and just not told anyone?
She shook her head, clearing her thoughts, then walked up to the gargoyle that marked the doorway to the Headmaster's office.
"Noodle-doodles" The door opened, and she rode up the moving staircase to the top. She knocked on the office door, then entered to find Dumbledore sat behind his desk.
"Minerva? I thought you were in Hogsmeade this morning"
"I was, but I saw Hermione and her husband meet up with some old friends" She replied.
"Oh yes?" Dumbledore replied, still reading the parchment on the desk.
"Albus, I am not sure I have your whole attention"
"Yes, you do" The Headmaster said, still staring down at the parchment "Who did you say Professor Krum-Black was meeting with?"
"Mr Potter and Miss Perks" She said calmly, but couldn't help smirking as Dumbledore jumped to his feet, sending his chair crashing backwards "They are at The Three Broomsticks, if you are curious"
"You really got permission to form the group?" Hermione asked in surprise.
"Yup" Sally nodded "Apparently Albus Dumbledore was the last out hold"
"He doesn't think that having a fully independent group operating in this country was a good idea, but" Harry smiled at Viktor "Our liaison to the ICW made sure that he was overruled in the end" Hermione turned to her husband, looking suspicious.
"And how did you manage that, my dear?"
"I threatened to have Britain thrown out of the ICW altogether" Viktor said smugly, causing Hermione to sputter on her drink.
"He was being totally unreasonable!" Viktor replied "Every other magical government in the world agreed to Harry and Sally's group – they all understand the need for the ICW to have an investigative arm – one that is not answerable to any one government but to the ICW itself, but not him. Despite the fact he is only the Headmaster of a school, he STILL thinks that HE should have the final say about the way the world is run, and that no one should be able to do anything without his say so" He shook his head "But we have had this argument before, and no doubt will have it again"
"No doubt" Hermione smiled fondly at him "So what did you decide to call the group?"
"The Western Sky" Sally said proudly, causing Hermione to sputter on her drink again.
"The Western Sky" Sally replied, uncertainly this time "It comes from a musical we saw about two, three years ago. We both fell in love with it, and have seen it twice since then..." She trailed off as she realised Hermione was staring at her in disbelief "What?"
"Let me see if I have got this straight" She replied, trying not to laugh "You have formed a group of elite mages, taken from every branch of magic you can find. You have talked the ICW – the most senior magical authority in the world – into letting you have authority over all of the other magical governments, and letting you work in secret so that no one will know who you are. Have I got that right so far?"
"Uh-huh" Harry and Sally nodded.
"And you gave it the same initials as we gave to Ginny Weasley?" At the expressions of surprise on their faces, she burst in to hysterical laughter.
"She does have a point" Harry said.
"Do you want to change it?" Sally asked.
"Then just ignore her – she will get over it" They both turned back to Hermione, who was still giggling hysterically "In theory"
As they couple walked down the main street of Hogsmeade, they realised they were attracting quite a lot of attention. The woman raised her hand, and gave a small wave. At the same time, she whispered a small poem under her breath. When she lowered her hand again, no one was taking any notice of them, almost as if they were invisible.
"So, are you over it yet?" Harry asked. Hermione had stopped laughing a few minutes before, but was still grinning at them.
"Yes" She nodded, then she stopped smiling and looked at them seriously "But, as we got on to the topic of The Wacky Slytherin, I think there is something you should know" She looked down, and started playing with her glass "I talked to Remus last week, and he said that Miss Weasley is back in the country – the first time in six years" She sighed "It seems she returned on the same day you did"
"Swell" Harry sighed "Did Remus have any idea why she might have come back? I thought she became an outcast after she was expelled from school?"
"She was, but since The Wizengamot refused to charge her, let alone try her, she wasn't banished, and she is free to come and go as she pleases" Viktor replied.
"As for why she might have come back" Hermione continued "Your guess is as good as ours. But with the timing of her return..." She shrugged "Maybe it is just co-incidence"
"Well – if it isn't, we will burn that bridge when we come to it" Sally smiled, then glanced over as the door opened "Ah – our guests have arrived" She stood up and walked out of the privacy sphere. A few moments later, she walked back in to it, accompanied by two others "You already know Viktor, and this is his wife, Professor Hermione Krum-Black. Minnie – may I present the head of our group, Mr Andy Trudeau, and his wife Mrs Prudence Halliwell-Trudeau"
(end of act 1)
Half an hour later, the six were walking back down the main street in Hogsmeade. Harry looked around, then turned to Prue.
"Is it my imagination, or are people not noticing us?" He asked. She smiled, then nodded "That's pretty impressive"
"I thought it best" She replied "Plus I have gotten in to the habit of using it when we are out and about with Dora"
"I would have thought you would have left her with Luna and Tara" Hermione said.
"Yes... well" Prue blushed "I think if we had done that, then they might never have forgiven us"
"Let's just say that our daughter has developed her mother's curious nature over the past few months" Andy replied, causing Prue to smile.
"That's an understatement, dear, and you know it" She shook her head "She has a tendency to take things apart to find out how they work. And though her powers have only barely manifested, it seems that she is going to be a very powerful mage" She frowned "Magess?" She shrugged "Anyway – the last time she got hold of a wand, she managed to make the house invisible, and shrunk Harry and Andy to the size of one of her barbies" She paused as Hermione burst out laughing "So you can see why we didn't want to leave her alone for too long"
"So she is at The Compound with Pansy?" Viktor asked.
"With Pansy and Andrew" Andy replied "She was tired after the flight over, and said she would watch Dora while we came to meet you"
"Pansy... and Andrew?" Hermione asked, eyebrows raised. Sally smirked.
"I guess we left something out of our last letter, huh?"
"So it would appear..." Hermione replied, but trailed off as she spotted someone coming down the street "Oh dear" She glanced at her friends "You can leave if you want – we can meet later"
"Leave?" Sally asked "Why would we want to do that?" A moment later, she and Harry changed their appearance, and she removed her necklace and handed it her husband "Lucy and Ricky – friends of Prue"
"You seem to have that down to a fine art" Viktor said approvingly.
"We have had a lot of practice over the past ten years" Harry replied "But once we get settled in, and make our return public, it shouldn't be necessary any more" All six turned as a wizard approached them.
"Albus" Viktor nodded "What brings you to Hogsmeade this fine day?"
"I was wondering if I could speak to Hermione for a moment"
"Is it urgent?" She gestured to her friends "I have been invited to Mr and Mrs Trudeau's for lunch, and I would not want to keep them waiting"
"I will only take a moment of your time" Dumbledore replied "I understand that you met with Mr Potter this morning?"
"That's right, sir"
"Is he still here?"
"No, sir" Hermione shook her head "He had to return home"
"Would you know how to get in contact with him?"
"Well – generally I stand in front of a mirror, call out his name five times and then he appears behind me" Hermione paused as both Harry and Sally snickered "But it wouldn't matter – he said that he and Sally had something important to do, and they would get in touch with me in a month or so"
"So you have no way of getting in touch with him before then?" Hermione shook her head, and Dumbledore sighed "Oh well - I am sure I will catch up with him later" He turned to Prue and Andy "Sorry to take up so much of your time" He glanced at Harry and Sally, then turned and walked back down the street towards the school. Hermione watched him go, then turned to Harry.
"So – what do you think he will do when he finds out how many times you have been back since you left?"
"I have no idea" Harry said with a smirk "But if you are going to tell him, can you let me watch?"
"DORA! LUNCH!" A woman's voice called out, and the girl playing in the garden looked up.
"Coming!" She shouted back, then she bounced to her feet and headed towards the house. A few seconds later, she saw someone coming up the drive, and she skidded to a halt, and started running in the other direction "MUMMY! DADDY!" She threw herself in to Prue's arms, hugging her energetically.
"Hello darling" Prue hugged her daughter "Have you been a good girl for Aunty Pansy and Uncle Andrew?" Pandora glanced over at the other four people with her parents, then nodded shyly "Good girl" She kissed her cheek, then looked over at the house "Did I hear Uncle Andrew calling you for lunch?" The little girl nodded again "Okay – lets go eat"
Pansy Parkinson looked out the window and smiled. Turning, she pulled out her wand.
"Accio Extra Settings!" Andrew turned and stared at her.
"Pan? Is Dora coming in?"
"Yup" Pansy grinned "And she's brought some friends with her" They both turned as the door opened, and Pansy walked over and gave Hermione a hug "Minnie - I haven't seen you in ages"
"I know" Hermione replied apologetically "It's a bad excuse, but work has kept me a lot busier than I thought it would" She hugged Pansy again, then grabbed her hand and pulled it up, revealing a diamond ring. She turned to Sally "Something else you forgot in your letters?"
"Ooops?" Sally said with a blush, then she realised both Andrew and Pansy were staring at her "Definite ooops!" She turned to Harry, and a moment later, they both transformed back in to their normal selves.
"UNCLE HARRY! AUNTY SALLY!" Pandora squirmed out of her mother's arms, then ran over to Sally, who swept her up in a hug "I missed you!"
"We've only been gone a few hours" She said with a slight laugh "You can't have missed us all that much"
"CAN!" Pandora squeezed her arm again, then glanced over at Hermione and Viktor "Who are you?"
"Don't you remember Aunty Minnie and Uncle Viktor?" Prue asked. Her daughter shook her head "No - I guess you might have been too young when they last came to visit. Well, Dora – this is Hermione Krum-Black and her husband Viktor Krum" She turned to her guests "Hermione, Viktor – our daughter, Miss Pandora Haley Trudeau" Hermione and Viktor bowed, causing Pandora to giggle.
"It is very nice to meet you, Pandora" Hermione said. The young girl giggled.
"You've got a funny name" She said.
"PANDORA!!" Prue turned to her daughter, but before she could continue, Hermione laughed.
"Don't worry about it Prue" She glanced at Harry "Someone else said the same thing when they met me, didn't they, Mr Potter?" Harry smirked.
"Yup" He turned to Pandora "I met Aunty Minnie when I was just a little bit older than you, and I thought that Her-My-Own-Knee was far too long a name for a little boy like me to remember" He turned and smiled at his best friend "That's why I made everyone call her Minnie!"
"As in Minnie Mouse?" Pandora asked happily.
"Exactly!" Harry laughed "But Minnie likes her name now, don't you Minnie?"
"Of course I do" Hermione beamed "And I will also like working out a way to repay you for giving me such a sweet adorable name"
"Sounds fun!" Pansy smirked "Is this a private game, or can anyone join in?"
"Oh no – this is fun for all the family!" Hermione beamed again, causing Harry to pale a little. Everyone smirked, then Pansy turned back to Sally.
"I forgot to ask – why were you in disguise when you came in?"
"We ran in to Dumbledore in Hosgmeade" Sally shrugged "We weren't ready to talk to him, so..."
"Fair enough" Pansy smiled "So – who's ready for lunch?"
Dumbledore pushed the doors to The Great Hall opened, and slowly walked up to the front of the hall. He sat down next to McGonagall.
"So you didn't find him then?" She asked.
"No" He shook his head "By the time I arrived, he and Miss Perks had left, and Hermione was going to lunch with a friend of hers"
"And they weren't..."
"No" He sighed "She introduced them as Mr and Mrs Trudeau – they apparently have a house in Hogsmeade"
"Well – if Mr Potter has come back to Britain once, maybe he will come back again. I am sure you will catch up with him soon" She turned as another teacher walked up behind them "Paul?"
"Did I hear you say that Harry Potter had come back?"
"Yes, Mr Robertson" Dumbledore nodded "Minerva saw him walking round Hogsmeade earlier today" He paused "May I ask why you are interested?"
"Some of my students said that they saw him with Professor Krum-Black earlier on today. I thought that they must be making it up, or mistaken" He smiled "It appears I might have misjudged them"
"So it seems" Dumbledore replied "However, you might have to wait for your meeting, as Hermione said that Mr Potter and Miss Perks have returned home, and would be out of reach for a month or so"
"Oh well – maybe next time" Paul shrugged, then turned and walked away from the two students. McGonagall watched him go, then turned back to the Headmaster.
"Are you sure that Hermione's companions were not Mr Potter and Miss Perks?" Dumbledore raised his eyebrows questioningly "You and he did not part on the best of terms, and I can't imagine that his opinion of you hasn't changed all that much in the past ten years"
"So you think he and Miss Perks were hiding from me?"
"It is possible" McGonagall replied "Do you think Hermione would tell you if you asked?"
"No" He shook his head "While I believe that her attitude towards me has changed since Harry left, I am also of the opinion that her friendship with Mr Potter and Miss Perks would greatly outweigh whatever feelings of loyalty she might have to the school. I will just bide my time, Minerva - I have no doubt that I will have a chance to speak to him in the near future"
(end of act 2)
In the next episode of The Western Sky...
There is good news
Three children run up the path in The Compound and jump on Harry and Sally.
There is bad news
Hermione and Viktor are stood in front of a full meeting of The Wizengamot
And there is disturbing news
Andrew is reading a paper with the headline "THREE WITCHES SLAIN"
Find out what happens next in "Coming Home - Part II", same time next week
Viktor looked up at the approaching castle, then turned to his wife.
"So – do you think they will be able to do it?"
"Do you really think that there is anything Sally can't do if she puts her mind to it?" She asked with a smirk "And with Luna and Harry's help..." She nodded "They will be fine"
"Even with Dumbledore's objections?"
"I thought Minister Bones agreed to this" She said with a laugh "Why would Dumbledore have any say in this?" At Viktor's look, she burst out laughing "Yeah - I know. He will make it his business, and since you're their liaison, and my husband, he will probably use me to get to you to get to them"
"And you are not worried about this?"
"No" She smiled "Uncle Mike's occlumency lessons have stood me in good stead for the past ten years, and I don't think that he will stoop to other methods – at least not on his staff. Not with his political situation the way it is" She paused "What about Harry and Sally though?"
"What do you mean?"
"What happens when he finds out they are part of this?"
"They aren't" Viktor smirked. At his wife's confused look, he continued "The Western Sky is made up of eight people – Gilbert, Anne, Mabel, Fred, Abigail, Timothy, Samantha and Sabrina – they are eight mages from around the world, who are all currently residing near Disney Land in Florida" He paused, realising that she was staring at him in utter confusion "Gilbert and Anne – which would make you Diana by the way – knew that secrecy was paramount. Not just because of their jobs, and what they will be doing, but also because three of their members are legally dead, and would attract way too much attention if they go under their normal names"
"And Harry thought all this up?" She asked in disbelief.
"Scary, isn't it?"
"And they can all disguise themselves?" When Viktor nodded, she continued "Well – that should make life more interesting" She smiled brightly "Dumbledore won't have as easy a time as he thinks!"
"So it was them?"
"Yes, it was them" Paul was sat with three of his students in the Slytherin common room "The Headmaster confirmed it"
"So he is coming back? To Britain I mean?"
"Maybe" Paul shrugged "Professor Krum-Black said that he had only come over for a visit"
"I thought that he was banished" Paul turned to face the seventh year who had spoken "Him and Sally-Anne Perks"
"What gives you that idea?"
"Didn't they confess to a whole bunch of murders? And that Minister Diggory said they were no longer welcome in the country?"
"No" Paul gave a slight laugh "They left Britain of their own accord, and, before he was sacked for gross stupidity, Minister Diggory was planning on giving Mr Potter and the then Miss Granger Orders Of Merlin, First Class"
"Do you think Minister Bones will do that, now that he's back?"
"I don't know" Paul replied "And even if she does, I don't know if they would accept them"
"Why not?" A sixth year student asked "They killed Voldemort, and saved the world. I would have thought they would be honoured to be... honoured"
"So would I" Paul smirked "But, just before they left, they made a speech saying that they found this world contemptible, and that they wanted nothing more to do with it"
"So why would they come back now?"
"I really don't know"
"How are the wards doing?" Harry asked, glancing out of the window.
"They are more or less done" Andrew handed him a list "Portkey, apparation, animagus, glamour and polyjuice wards, along with other wards to deal with time-turners and astral projection"
"Wow" Harry stared at him "You really work fast"
"Thank you" Andrew smiled at the praise "We made sure that Prue's house was first, what with Dora living there, but we finished the rest last night and this morning"
"Can we do The Fidelius Charm this afternoon?" Harry asked. At the curious glances he received, he continued "I know we were going to wait until Luna and her family arrived, but if Dumbledore knows that someone has moved here, he might come looking"
"So you want to do The Compound wide charm today?" Pansy asked.
"If that's okay with everyone else?" Harry said. Pansy nodded, as did Prue from the other side of the room, where she and Andy were playing a board game with their daughter "Okay. I need everyone to stay inside while we are doing it, and once we are done, stay inside The Compound until I tell you the secret, otherwise you won't be able to get back in"
"So you are holding the secret for The Compound?" Andy asked from the other side of the room.
"Yeah" Harry nodded "I figure I have been studying occlumency for the longest, so I should be able to keep the location of The Compound to myself"
"So why not the other four?" Prue asked.
"Because on the off chance he is wrong" Sally replied "He would only give up where The Compound is, and the four houses within it would remain hidden" She took his hand "It's also the reason why four of us will be holding the secrets for the houses – one each. That way, if any one of the houses is compromised, the other three should still be safe" She looked around, and everyone nodded in agreement "Okay – Harry and I will be outside. We will come back and tell you when we are done"
"Then lets go" Harry watched as Sally started to chant the incantation for The Fidelius Charm, and a few moments later, he smiled as a wave of invisibility rose up around The Compound. Less than a minute later, the wave reached the top, and the entire compound vanished, replaced by empty land, dotted with a few trees. He turned to check on Sally, and realised that she was walking back towards Hogsmeade at top speed "I guess it worked" He ran off after Sally, and, taking her hand, pulled her back to the front gate of The Compound "So – the Notice-Me-Not Charm worked then?"
"Seems so" Sally was staring everywhere but at their home "Every time I try to focus on where I know it should be, I just have this urge to run away"
"Then maybe this will help" He leaned over, and whispered in her ear. She turned, and stared as the gate faded in to view, then walked up to it, and pushed it open.
"Thank you, sweetie" She smiled "Now – lets go and tell the others, before they start running to Hogsmeade as well" He walked up beside her, then pushed the gate closed after him. As they were about to set off up to the Trudeau house, they saw someone walking up the street towards The Compound "Do you want to see if it worked or not?" She nodded, and they turned to watch the progress of the lone figure. As they looked on, the man walked up to the boundary of The Compound, then suddenly he picked up his pace, and hurried past them, not looking back. Sally stared at the retreating figure, then turned to her husband.
"I am good!"
"Professor Dumbledore – we have had this discussion several dozen times already" Minister Bones stared at the Headmaster "I have no problem with The Western Sky working in this country – indeed - I welcome them"
"But Amelia – they are a vigilante group. Once they are here, you will have no control over them, and they will be able to do what they want, to whomever they want whenever they want"
"With all due respect" Viktor interrupted "That isn't the case and you know it" He turned back to Bones "They are bound to the laws of The ICW, and will have a specific set of rules and regulations they will work to"
"So you say, Mr Krum, but..."
"Dumbledore – enough" The Minister slammed her hand down on the desk "Albus - I mean it. Either you keep hold of your temper, or I will throw you out of my office" Dumbledore stared at her for a moment, then nodded "Good. Now – Mr Krum, while I understand and accept that The Western Sky will will be working to a... lets say a code of ethics, for want of a better phrase, you have made it clear that they will not be bound by British law"
"That's true" Viktor nodded "Rather than having the group deal with the problems of the wide array of international laws, it was decided that The Western Sky would be better off having one set of rules that they will abide by"
"Will we be given a copy of these rules?" She asked. Viktor glanced at Dumbledore, then nodded.
"To a point, Minister. If you would like to come to Geneva, I am sure that my superior will be happy to tell you all about it"
"Thank you, Mr Krum - I will make the appointment for tomorrow" She stood up "If that will be all?"
"Thank you, Minister" Viktor stood up, and turned and left the office. Minister Bones watched him go, then turned to where Dumbledore was sat.
"I am still not happy about this, Amelia"
"Then put together a proper presentation" She said firmly "Don't come to me with accusations and paranoid fantasies and expect me to act on them without question"
"Albus – you need to step carefully on this" She sat down and glared at him "You are not The Head of The Wizengamot any more, and your actions in regard to Mr Potter and his friends cost you a lot of respect in the magical community" She paused, then spoke more calmly "If you can bring me proper proof – not just supposition and paranoia – then I will act on it. Until then, this discussion is over" Dumbledore stared at her for a moment, then nodded.
"Very well, Minister Bones" He stood up "Good day" He turned, and pushed the door open, revealing Percy Weasley stood behind it "Mr Weasley"
"Headmaster" Percy nodded, then walked in to the office "Minister – we have a problem" He handed her a folder full of documents "There's been a triple murder"
(end of act 3)