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Dark Storm Gathering

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Prologue
In the office of the Heroes Detective Agency Harry, Draco, Fred, Neville, Luna are sitting around a large table filled with scattered papers, empty dishes, and mugs. They are wrapping up their case file on a rare magical beast that had been attacking muggles and wizards alike across London. As Draco puts the finishing touches to the report needed in closing the case file, the flames in the fire place flash from orange to a bright blue and a paper airplane flys through and is snatched out of the air with an agility from Harry’s seeker days in Quiddach at Hogwarts. Harry unfolds and reads the message. It is from Rupert Giles, an old Watcher friend who has recently moved back to the states. The message says that the HEROES are needed to investigate supernatural activity in a small California town. He says that both magical creatures and muggles have been disappearing in the woods around the town. Giles also states the Harry and his team are the towns best hope and he hopes they can free up some time and come out to California. Harry rereads the message to the group and asks them each in turn if they are interested in taking on a new international project.

Draco says “Well I think it must be serious if Giles has asked for our help. He is a very good Watcher and has dealt with a lot of supernatural problems when he was stationed in Sunnydale years ago. I trust his judgement and if he is asking for help, then count me in.”

Harry nods to Draco, giving him a small smile and turns to Fred.

“You know I am always up for adventure, plus I have never been to California. I am in!” Fred says enthusiastically putting his arms behind his head and leaning back in his chair

Harry, a bigger smile spreading across his face, winks at Fred and turns to Neville.

“I have always wanted to study the plants in the Reserve, and it has been awhile since we left London. I vote yes.” Neville says giving Harry a big thumb up.

Harry pats Neville on the shoulder and turns to Luna how is sitting on his other side.

“Well” Luna says drawing out the word slowly like she is deep in thought, “If Giles says that something is attacking creatures and muggles, it must be some kind of magical creature. I think that we are needed.” Luna says with a far off look on her face.

“Ok then its agreed” Harrys says grabbing a quill from the stack of papers in front of him. “I will inform Giles that we will be there by the end of the week, That will give us time to finish the Venetian WaterVine case that Neville’s wrapping up and Draco can testify before the Wizenmagot on the Lastrange case. In the mean time everyone should pack what you need to be in America for a couple of months at least, and Fred you are in charge of packing the surveillance equipment and whatever else you need.” Harrys says, scribbling way on a piece of parchment. “Oh, Neville, Who will take care of your greenhouse while you are away?”

“That won’t be a problem Harry.” Nevilles says “I am going to bring it with me.”Neville’s states to the group like the answer is obvious to them all. “ Hermione created a spell that will allow me to shrink them back to seed form and then when I get to a new location I just have to plant them and reverse the spell. In 24 hours they will return to their original size. It is what I did when I traveled to Albania to work with the village that was being plagued by the paralyzing mold case.”

“Wow Neville, I thought you just had Hannah Abbott look after you greenhouse while you were away, I had no idea Hermione could invent spells like that, or I would have had her in the joke shop working on product development” Fred says looking at Neville in amazement.

“I have been trying to get Hermione to join the Agency for ages, but I don’t think she will ever leave the ministry, she loves her work in Goblins Relations. “ Harry says, glancing at Fred while folding his letter into an airplane shape. “Well I think that about does it” He says smoothing out the last fold. He raises his wand and waves it towards the flames and shouts” Fuga Ignis” The flames turn from orange to blue and Harry throws the paper airplane into it where it disappears in a rush of flames. He smiles thinking how clever Hermione is at creating new charms and says “ It’s late, why don’t you all go home and get packed and I’ll clean up around here. We will leave on Thursday after Draco is done at the Ministry. I will arrange for an international portkey. Good job on solving this case” Harry says looking at each of them with adoration in his eyes.

Draco, Neville, and Fred give him a pat on the back as they make their way out the door and Luna gives him a quick hug and peck on the cheek. “Goodnight Harry, Go home and get some sleep.” She says, following the men out the door. Harry looks around at the cozy office the five of them share and thinks how lucky he is to be working with his friends and recalls how the Heroes Detective Agency had come about.

After the war, Harry quickly accelerated through the Auror training program and rises through the ranks of the Ministry in three short years. Though he found the cases exciting, he misses working with Ron and Hermione and the adventures they shared. He becomes restless in his job and longs for the feeling of freedom that he had when he was hunting horicruxes with his friends. In his three years at the Ministry, he has not grown particularly close to any of the other Aurors. Yes they were all nice, and they liked him and all, but it seemed like they still thought of him as the boy who lived rather than just plain Harry, the Auror. This often came up as a topic of conversation with Draco at their weekly catch up sessions over tea. They would spend their hour each week day dreaming scenarios in which they both quit their jobs and start a Detective Agency. They could choose what kind of cases they wanted to work on and not be burdened with the strict rules of the ministry or the hospital. After three months of such conversations, they both decided that they needed to stop dreaming and to start putting their dreams into action.

A year after the war ended, Draco’s father died in Azkaban and his mother joined him in death not two months later. Draco had lost all of his family and friends during the course of the year. His friends that were loyal to Voldemort’s cause were either rotting away in Azkaban or had turned their backs on him when he testified against his father and several escaped death eaters. The night he decided to end it all Harry Potter showed up on his doorstep with a bottle of fire whiskey in hand, and a sly smile on his face. ‘’I thought you could use some company tonight” and Draco let him in. They spent the whole evening discussing the past, and mistakes they made and the present and how life has taken them off course from where they thought they would be. What Harry didn’t know was that he saved Draco’s life that night, and for that Draco was thankful.

Draco decided to stop living in the past and to try to do something good with his life. With Harry vouching for him and his determination to make up for his and his families transgressions against the wizarding community. With no chances to be accepted in to any wizarding universities, Draco studied potions under a reluctant and retired Horace Slughorn. In the few short years since pursuing his passion, he has become the youngest Master potion maker in all of Europe. He worked for St. Mungos Hospital, researching cures for magical maladies and inventing new medicines. Draco enjoyed the solitude of the lab for a time, but he soon found working at St. Mungos to be dull and not as challenging anymore. It was one thing to work diligently working for the good of wizards everywhere, but it was quite another to be bored as hell doing it! So after months of talking with Harry about what it would be like to open the Agency, Draco decided to go for it and fully prepare to make a drastic life change.

Over the past couple of years Draco and Harry’s relationship slowly grew from enemies, to merely tolerating one another, to becoming friends that looked forward to the visit. Now since partnering up with Harry, they started doing what they had always talked about, opening a detective agency. They purchased a building located in the very furthest corner of Diagonal Alley, and it became the office of the Heroes Detective Agency. Harry using his skills as an Auror met with the clients and spent a lot of time out in the field, while Draco worked in his newly built lab and took charge of the magical forensics. Because there were only two of them working pretty much around the clock to solve their first few cold case files, they eventually asked Fred Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood to join the team.

Fred had never gotten over the death of his twin, George, when he was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts. They had opened two successful Joke shops in the two years since they left school, and after Georges death, Fred never found joy in being in the shops and inventing new products. He sold the stores to his brother Ron and his friend Lee Jordan, and left the country. The next several years became a blur of wandering from one place to the next, never staying too long in one spot, searching for something to fill the void his his heart when George was ripped away from him. Finally he found himself back in London and Harry offered him a judgement free place to stay. As the months past, he found himself loitering around the Agency, helping Harry and Draco with their cases where he could, setting up surveillance on stakeouts with Harry, having long conversations through the night. Eventually his periodic visits to the office became more routine until he was there everyday by 8 am, creating better surveillance devices and charmed objects to protect against the dark arts. Fred’s spirits were on the rise, he purchased a flat in Diagon Alley above the Quality Quiddach Shop, and he even started going back to the Burrow for family dinner on Sundays. Draco and Harry observed the change in Fred and offered him a partnership in their business. Fred responded with a sly smile, a wink , adding a “Thanks mates”.

Neville and Luna were often consulted on cases involving magical plant and creatures. Harry and Draco trusted their advice and instincts on their chosen subjects as they both have quickly rose to the top of their perspective fields.

Neville, a top herbologist, had written many books on magical plants and their uses. He has made many discoveries of new and rare plants.

Luna has traveled the world in her quest to prove the existence of several new creatures many thought to be myth, including the Rumple Skin Snorkack and the Blimbling Humdinger. Luna instinctually understands the creatures she comes in contact with, almost seemingly to be able to talk with them.

With over thirty local and international cases, under their belts in the last two years, Harry and Draco asked Neville and Luna to work full time with the Agency and thus the HEROES Detective Agency was complete. The name of the agency is also their mission statement: H.E.R.O.E.S. - Helping Explain Rare Occurrences & Extraordinary Situations. They have quickly gained a reputation of being experts in all cases concerning the supernatural.

Harry places the closed case file in the storage room, and owls the required documents to the Ministry of Magic. He magics the dishes into their small kitchen and uses a cleaning spell, flicking his wand, they dry themselves and fly into the cabinet with a small clinking sound of plates stacking. Harry turns off the lights and performs a series of locking and protection spells that will keep anyone from breaking in while they are gone. Stepping into the cobblestone street he turns and apparates to his home at 12 Grimmauld Place.