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Return of the Aurors
Prologue: With Friends Like These...
By Anne B. Walsh
I disclaim everything I didn't come up with by my little own self.
He was so engrossed in his work he didn’t hear the door open.
"So," said a voice next to him, startling him into a yelp. Draco Black grinned at him. "What’s so interesting?"
"None of your business." Ron Weasley covered his parchment protectively with one hand.
"Why not?" said Harry Potter from his other side. "If it’s interesting to you, it ought to be interesting to us."
"This isn’t. Go away."
"Didn’t your mum ever teach you to share?" asked Draco, moving closer to see past Ron’s arm. Ron leaned forward to shove him away and realized his mistake too late.
"Got it!" Harry waved the parchment aloft triumphantly. "Let’s see here..." He unrolled the scroll a little ways. "â€˜Return of the Aurors,’" he read aloud. "Chapter 1. Dursley the Hutt..."
"Dursley the what?"
"You look at it." Harry made to toss the parchment over Ron’s head, then passed it laterally as Ron leaped up to try and intercept.
Draco snagged it and spun out of range. "And this is the Gryffindor Keeper," he said over his shoulder. "Let me see here. Sure enough. Dursley the Hutt." He looked at Ron. "We should never have shown you Star Wars, should we?"
"Wait a second," said Harry, frowning. "Return of the Aurors... is this what I think it is?"
"Lay off, both of you." Ron stood up and removed the parchment from Draco’s hands. "It’s not done yet."
"Are you going to show it to us when it is?" asked Draco.
"Then let us see it now," said Harry.
The brothers exchanged a look. "Ron," said Harry, looking hard at his best friend. "If you don’t let us see that, do you know what’s going to happen?"
"No, but I know what’s going to happen if I do let you see it."
"You’ll laugh at me."
"We won’t laugh at you," said Draco. "We’ll laugh near you, but not at you."
"Trust me, you’ll laugh at me."
"We trust you," said Harry. "You’re of age now, as of last month. That’s old enough to take a joke on yourself, isn’t it?"
"Harry, please. You don’t want to see this."
"Yes, I do."
Ron scowled at him, then thrust the parchment at Draco. "Here," he said. "You read it."
Draco began to skim down through the story. "Let’s see," he said. "Dursley the Hutt and his palace on Quidditchine." He shook his head. "Gifted with names, you’re not."
"Shut up," Ron muttered.
"Oh, I take it back," said Draco, reading down farther. "This is rather a good one. Ron Solo."
Harry snorted. "Ron Solo?"
"Yes, Ron Solo and his ship, the Millennium Hawk. But he’s not flying her these days. He’s frozen in carbonite in Dursley’s palace."
Harry nodded. "Makes sense. Go on."
"Hmm." Draco frowned, moving down the scroll. "Oh, here come the two droids. N-3LO and M2-B2."
"Perfect," said Harry. "One worrywart and one small and feisty."
"And they have a message from the Auror Knight..." Draco stopped and read something again, then looked at Ron with surprise. "Thanks, I suppose."
"What?" demanded Harry.
"They’ve brought Dursley the Hutt a message from Auror Knight Drake Skywalker."
"Cool," said Harry. "For once I don’t have to be the hero."
Ron edged his chair away from Harry a bit.
"All right, the droids are wandering around the palace — they see someone in disguise, someone they think might be Luna Calrissian..." Draco raised his eyebrows.
"There aren’t a lot of girls in those movies," said Ron. "I had to get creative."
"I like it," said Draco, returning to his reading. "So they see Luna Calrissian, and oh, here comes the bounty hunter with the Wookiee..."
"Chewbacca," said Harry, grinning. "What poor slob gets to be him?"
Draco frowned. "Ron, your handwriting’s terrible, I can’t make this name out."
"Doesn’t matter anyway," said Ron dismissively. "Go on."
"All right. Bounty hunter makes threats, Dursley laughs at him, bounty hunter comes back that night and gets Ron Solo out of carbonite... oh, here we are, the touching romantic scene. â€˜Who are you?’ says Ron Solo. The bounty hunter pulls off the helmet, brown hair cascades forth like a spring of living water..."
Harry fell off his chair laughing. "A spring of living water?" he choked out after a moment spent in helpless spasms.
All that could be seen of Ron was his forehead, which was hard to tell from his hair because they were about the same color at the moment. "You see why I didn’t want you reading it?" he grumbled.
"It’s the beautiful Princess Neenie," announced Draco, recovering his breath from his own laughing fit. "And you know what she says to Ron Solo, as her hair cascades about her."
"Cascades is pretty good too," said Harry, sitting up on the floor.
"She says, â€˜Someone who loves you.’" Draco did a near-perfect imitation of Hermione’s voice, sending Harry into convulsions again. He used the time to read back through the parts he’d already finished. "You should have made Hermione the droid instead of Neville," he commented. "She fits that part better."
"I’m not kissing Neville," said Ron, looking outraged. "And I’m not kissing a droid, either. Hermione makes a perfectly good Princess."
"If you say so," said Draco, returning to his reading. "All right. Dursley catches them on the way out, makes Neenie his slave and... oh, I see."
"What?" asked Harry.
"Harry, do you remember what Princess Leia wore in Jabba the Hutt’s palace?"
"Not a hell of a lot," said Harry. Then understanding dawned on his face. "Oh."
"Now I see why you did this," said Draco, brandishing the parchment. "You just wanted an excuse to imagine Hermione in a metal bikini."
Harry shook his head. "There’s just something about that phrase," he said, shuddering. "â€˜Hermione in a metal bikini.’ There’s something wrong about that."
"Are you trying to say she wouldn’t look good in one?" snapped Ron.
Harry and Draco looked at each other and burst out laughing again. "No," Draco gasped out after a few moments. "Just imagining what she’d do if you suggested she wear one."
"That’s why this was supposed to be secret," said Ron pointedly.
"Keep going," said Harry, getting his breath back. "This is good."
"There isn’t much more," said Draco, unrolling the scroll. "Looks like you’ve only got a part of it finished. Ron Solo gets thrown into the same cell as his Wookiee best friend... here, this is better, I think I can read his name now..." He frowned.
"What?" asked Harry.
"On second thought, I’d better not read it."
"Come on, Draco, I want to know."
"No, you don’t. Trust me."
"Yes I do! Let me see it!"
"Bad idea, Harry."
"How would you know? Give it here!"
Draco shook his head. Harry pulled his wand out. "You know I can get it with this," he said. "But I don’t want to get in trouble if I don’t have to. Will you please let me see it?"
Draco looked at Ron apologetically and handed the parchment over. Harry unrolled it to the place he wanted and ran his finger along the lines of ink. "â€˜Ron Solo stumbled into the dank cell,’" he read aloud. "â€˜He heard a muffled roar from somewhere nearby, but it didn’t sound like an animal. It sounded more like a friend.’
"â€˜"Hairy?" he called out. "Hairypantser, is that you?"’"
Very slowly, Harry lowered the parchment. "Hairypantser?" he said quietly.
"See why I didn’t want to show you?" Ron was on his feet, backing towards the door. "I told you you wouldn’t like it, you wouldn’t listen, it’s your own fault..."
"First you fantasize about my sister in a metal bikini," said Harry, advancing on his friend. "Then you let him be the hero." He jerked his thumb towards Draco.
"Hey, you said you liked it," protested Draco.
"And now Hairypantser the Wookiee?"
"He’s Han Solo’s best mate," said Ron weakly, his back against the door. "I thought it made sense..."
"Yes, it makes sense," said Harry, staring at him. "It makes too much sense. If I’m Hairypantser, maybe I should start living up to the name..."
Ron wrenched the door open and ran for his life, as best he could with his jeans around his ankles.
"It really is rather funny, you know," Draco remarked.
Harry whipped around and glared. "You want some?"
"No thank you, I like my clothing where it is."
Harry snorted. "Hairypantser," he repeated harshly, coming to sit down at the desk. "Wait a second. Where’s Ginny? We never got to her."
Draco unrolled the scroll all the way, looking down its length, and stopped. "I think I see another reason Ron didn’t want to show this to anyone," he said.
"He was going to make Ginny an Ewok."
Harry’s eyes widened. "He did not."
"Yes, he did. Look." Draco handed Harry the scroll. "Right there. Ginevra, chieftainess of the Ewok village."
Green eyes met gray. The same idea lurked in both of them.
"I bet Ginny would like to hear a story," said Draco, standing up. "And I bet she’d just adore her part in it."
"And maybe she’ll help us find something to do to the author." Harry rolled up the scroll and likewise stood. "D’you think we can really freeze him in carbonite?"
"We’ll find something like that. Get the twins to help us."