Sing a Hallelujah
Archer was very concerned. Harry hadn't woken up for a long while, and nothing he said or did helped her to. He also hadn't heard back from Giovanni, despite trying to call him a few times since his last call. He was anxious to know about what was going on over there.
Once again, he called Giovanni's phone and finally got an answer.
"Archer, is this you?"
Sighing in relief, Archer spoke formally into the phone. "Yes, sir. It's me. I've been trying to call you. What's been going on?"
He could almost hear the smirk in Giovanni's voice. "Just cleaning up the mess. I had decided that, rather than just leave things be with the Wizarding World, that I would…speed up the recovery bit a little."
"Why would you do that?" Archer furrowed his eyebrows.
"Well…let's just say that Team Rocket is a terrifying yet godly fixture with them at the moment, Rufus Fudge has become somewhat of a savior and inching towards being the replacement Minister of Magic –of whom I'd disposed of too –and people have learned what has happened to Harry and why they were all attacked. Having the reason drilled into their heads, as well as some Rockets walking around to remind them has certainly helped to make them learn their lesson."
"How have the agents not been attacked with magic yet? I doubt that they would be able to rule over the wizards with fear so easily," Archer noted in concern.
"Aside from a lot of new Rocket members being recruited from this side being wizards and witches, as well as old agents back in the base having actually secretly been magical as well, a group of them had been working on creating an amulet for the rest to wear that would protect them from most basic spells. It's unknown and kept under wraps, so it can't be replicated or found out. You'll be able to see once you get here."
Impressed and a little taken aback by the practical hostile takeover of the Wizarding World in Britain, Archer thought it most fitting in the end. After all, after destroying a world, it's only right to rebuild it in one's image. Perhaps Right of Conquest and all.
And, well, it was actually more or less leaning towards Harry's image, if he were to be honest. This was all for her.
"That's fantastic news, Giovanni," Archer murmured softly. "I…have rather bad news in comparison. Harry still has not woken up. She looks pale, but not sick. I don't know what to do or what's wrong. I've been trying to contact you to get a car out here to bring us back to the estate…"
The silence from Giovanni was deafening, and Archer tensed up and worried about what was happening on the other end.
"…I see," Giovanni finally said tersely. "Keep watch over her, Archer. I will send a car out to your location immediately."
After giving the location, they hung up and Archer hurried back to where Harry was, waiting in tense anticipation. When the car finally came, he should have known that Giovanni would come himself. But instead of leaving straight after Giovanni arrived, he'd parked the car and had followed Archer back into the building, which was actually an old Bed and Breakfast back in the days. Archer didn't stall and led Giovanni to Harry, where she was 'sleeping' peacefully.
"Any changes since we talked?" his boss focused on Harry, face briefly becoming obviously pained at the sight of her like this, though it was quickly schooled into a more stoic look.
"No, sir," Archer answered truthfully.
"How long has she been like this?"
Archer looked through his memories. "Since after we escaped from the Ministry and she flew all the way here and then passed out."
Giovanni frowned, reaching out and gently placing his hand against his wife's forehead.
"She feels fine," he noted in confusion. "No fever, not clammy…If we didn't know better, she could have been mistaken for just being asleep."
Archer had also had the same confused thoughts over the past days. He couldn't figure it out and it made him anxious. He hated not being able to do anything, for once not as in control of things as he usually was. He was supposed to be good at taking care of things and making sure things happened and got done. Right now, he felt like he was failing.
And if he felt that way, he was sure that Giovanni was feeling worse. The man was even harder on himself than Archer was.
"We'll leave," Giovanni went to pick her up, scooping her petite form into his arms. "I want you to drive, Archer."
"Yes, sir. Understood," Archer answered, taking the keys from his boss. Then they were leaving the building and heading to the corner, to which Giovanni slipped into the back and held onto Harry securely and protectively.
After a quick glance at them, Archer started the car and then began to drive out, doing his best to head back home quickly.
Ash couldn't help smiling widely as she played with Teddy. The kid, at almost two, was creative and extremely smart.
"Geez, I'm stuck with a bunch of geniuses, aren't I?" she teased Teddy, while tossing a quick look at Cyrus.
Cyrus shrugged back at her, smiling slightly.
"I bet you were super smart at his age too, weren't you?" Ash accused him. "He's not even fully two and he's speaking full sentences and using big words sometimes."
Cyrus' cheeks flushed a bit. "I…suppose I was."
Ash laughed and shook her head. She watched Teddy get piled on by the pokémon that was able to be out, the toddler giggling fully from underneath them.
"I feel dumb, in comparison to you two," Ash admitted to Cyrus with a slight grin, though a twinge of self-consciousness hit her for a moment. She did feel that way when it came to Cyrus, always had, and sometimes she wondered if he ever felt exasperated having to deal with her slower comprehension and having to slow or dumb things down for her, as well as having to explain so much to her.
He moved closer to her and lightly brushed his fingers against hers.
"You're not," he said quietly. "So don't sell yourself short," he gave her a meaningful look. "I don't mind explaining things to you. Besides, I get to speak more and you like hearing my voice, don't you?"
Ash blushed, but she did feel much better. This had actually been a sore point for her, so even just a little reassurance from him made her feel a lot better.
"I wonder where everyone is?" Ash asked. "Giovanni left and isn't back, and Harry and Archer still hasn't come back either."
"I believe your question has just been answered," Cyrus told her, and she looked to see him looking near the entrance and she looked there too.
She was surprised to see Giovanni there, holding protectively onto Harry, who looked unconscious. Archer was quick to follow after the couple, and both men wore tight expressions on their faces.
Without a word to either her or Cyrus, they strode passed them in a hurry.
"I don't think things are okay," she said worriedly.
Cyrus frowned and reached for her hand, squeezing it and trying to reassure her.
He didn't think things were okay either.
Sirius felt like he was in over his head. He'd tried approaching Remus as he was, but he was snarled at and almost got caught with a claw. So he tentatively tried to approach Remus in his Animagus form, and while the wolf recognized him finally, he was still eyed warily and growled at lightly.
What the hell happened to his friend?
It made him panicked and upset, but there seemed to be nothing he could do to find out or more importantly, to change things.
Remus couldn't be changed back for some reason.
Reluctantly leaving his friend, he went back to the living room, where he called out for Kreacher.
"Kreacher! Come here!" and on second thought, added a "Please?"
Kreacher appeared quickly and looked at him with patience, waiting for Sirius' next command or question.
"Um, Kreacher, do you know what happened to Remus?" he asked, not sure if the House Elf did, or even if he would answer him.
"Ministry people came to him somewhere, cornered him," Kreacher said sourly. "Did something that made him start turning. He escaped to here and had Kreacher lock him up in the basement. Kreacher feed him and give him water, but not release him like Wolf said."
Sirius scowled. Damn those Ministry bastards! And what the hell was he going to do now? He couldn't just let Remus stay like this. He had to find some way to help him, but he didn't know what to do. He didn't know what he could do.
"I'm going to go back, Kreacher," Sirius told the House Elf. "I'll find a way to help Remus. In the meantime, stay here and continue to take care of him, alright? Thank you, Kreacher."
The House Elf beamed at him, which still weirded him out. Leaving Grimmauld, Sirius found a place he could Apparate from, leaving there and Apparating straight onto the front steps of the estate. From there, he strode into the home and found Ash and Cyrus solemnly sitting on the couch and watching a little boy. Looking at the boy, he could easily recognize the features of the boy's mother and father in him, and Sirius watched him sadly for a moment.
"Sirius! You're back!" Ash exclaimed, jumping from the couch and heading towards him. It drew the kid's attention, and Sirius wasn't sure he was ready to meet his dead niece's son, especially having just found out and seen the boy's father's state.
Cyrus collected the kid and followed after Ash, and Sirius forced a smile on his face.
"Hey, kiddo," Sirius greeted Ash. He looked to Cyrus and nodded, giving a brief smile and noting the man was slowly opening up and being less closed off, probably due to the efforts of the girl next to him. He then looked to the kid. "This must be Teddy. I was one of your father's friends," he smiled reminiscently, feeling nostalgic.
Teddy gave a big grin at that. "Harry and Grandmama told me about you! And Ash told me they found you, so you weren't dead!"
His eyebrows flew up and he looked to the couple (so, so obvious). "Smart kid, he is. Isn't he just two years old?"
"Almost two," Ash corrected him. She gave him a grin too. "But he is totally smart."
"I think you should go to see Giovanni," Cyrus interrupted gravely, and Sirius felt a sinking feeling in his gut.
"Something the matter?" he said, playing off being nonchalant.
"Harry's here," was all that Cyrus said and that made Sirius feel cold.
"Y-yeah, she is? I guess I should…go see her and Giovanni," he replied shakily.
His legs felt like lead, but he forced himself to walk away from them and head to where he knew his goddaughter's room was. No doubt that was where Giovanni had placed her. He knew that after they'd married that they had shared a room, but if something had happened, he would think he would place her somewhere comfortable and where others could reach her. Giovanni's room…their room…just seemed a more untouchable place.
Finding himself in front of her door, he knocked on it and waited. The door opened and Giovanni was behind it. He looked tired and drawn out, and it made Sirius start to panic.
"What happened?" he blurted out.
Giovanni took a step back and opened the door wide. "You should come in," he said seriously.
And Sirius felt the bottom of his stomach drop on him, and he knew he wasn't going to like what he would hear.
A few months went by and Harry was still unable to wake up. It put everyone on edge, and Giovanni (most of all) was looking to snap at any second. According to one of the magical doctors he'd recruited, she was currently in a magical coma. She had exhausted not just her body, but also her magical core. She needed to rest up and regain her energy and heal herself, hence the magical coma. The rush of her magic overflowing when it was finally let loose, breaking the runic restraints, the amount of time her magic had been held back, and combined with her Animagus transformation…
It took quite a lot out of her and her magic put her into a magical coma so she could recuperate. It only made things slightly better for Giovanni to know what was wrong and that it was something to help her, however the fact she was still unconscious and not with him still put him in an aggravated state.
"Sir, I just received reports from Ariana. Do you wish for me to leave them here for you to review?" Archer interrupted his thoughts.
"Can't you deal with it?" Giovanni muttered, having gone to the kitchens to briefly find something to eat before returning to Harry's side.
"I'm sorry, Giovanni," Archer apologized. "You need to review these personally."
Giovanni scowled, but nodded reluctantly. "I'll look them here quickly. Just go up and keep an eye on Harry for me, won't you? Sirius is attempting to find a cure for his friend as well, and has been splitting his time between that and staying with Harry, so he hasn't been resting. I've had to drug him, so he's currently sleeping in his room and won't be able to take my place right now."
Archer nodded and obediently left him to go to Harry, and Giovanni stared morosely outside the kitchens' windows. It was too sunny for a day like this.
"Hey, you look like a bottle of rainbows," Ash hesitantly joked, entering the kitchens and seeing him. Cyrus, as was the usual these days, followed behind her closely.
Giovanni glanced at them before going back to staring outside silently.
"You okay?" she went to stand beside him.
"Been better," he finally answered her. He turned to look at the two properly. "I see you two have been getting busy."
Ash briefly glared at him, before her expression lightened. "Speaking of relationships," she started hesitantly, looking at the doors. "I was just…wondering about Archer's relationship with Harry?"
Giovanni gave her a mildly amused look. "What about it?"
"Isn't it…weird?" Ash struggled to ask, confused. "He's kind of…really close to her and all. And I would think you'd be…worried. Or jealous."
Giovanni's lips twitched slightly. "I can see where you would think that," he said wryly. "However, Archer is aromantic."
At her confused blink and Cyrus' blank stare (Cyrus would be a worse case than her, because both of them doubted he knew anything remotely dealing with anything to do with romance, sexuality, or anything relating to any of that), Giovanni elaborated for them.
"He has little, if any, romantic interest in people. There are people who instinctively desire a romantic connection to someone –Archer is not one of them," Giovanni explained and Ash understood just a little more. "I doubt he's asexual however, but I trust him and have known him for the longest time to not cross that line with her. I also understand his closeness and desire to be close to Harry, and it echoes a similar connection he'd developed with myself. As he explained to me, aromantics are capable of being involved in close, devoted relationships, but are more or less very close friendships. If anything, he's developed a 'squish' towards her."
At her confused look again (Cyrus had just given up trying to know and was just going to wait patiently for explanations), Giovanni continued with his clarification.
"A squish is an aromantic's version of a crush," he told her plainly. "Not romantic but still a very strong desire to have a connection with another person. It can be towards anyone and there can be many squishes at a time. Call it a 'friend crush' if you want; it's similar enough in nature."
Ash nodded slowly. "So he's, uh, got a platonic infatuation basically. Hey, does that mean he's got one on you?"
Giovanni gave her a bland look, but nodded. "More or less. But we do have a close connection already, though nevertheless he does so. If anything, he's probably got a squish on you too, after all those reports he's read on you and gets a kick out of."
Ash turned red at that, though Cyrus felt slightly jealous, regardless of Giovanni's explanation. This was all new enough to him, without it getting complicated on him.
"Haha, you," Ash mumbled, though she did waggle her eyebrows at Giovanni. "At least we're in the same boat. We just need to get Cyrus platonically crushed on and we're a set!"
This time, Cyrus was the one turning slightly red. However, they were interrupted as the doors burst open and Archer came in, looking harried but wearing a genuinely wide smile on his face.
"Giovanni! She's awake!"
Giovanni was quick to start running, and after a quick, shocked look towards each other, Ash and Cyrus chased after his heels.
Harry felt exhausted. Her body still felt like dead weight, even if she was capable of movement, but she felt like she'd just ran the entirety of England on a marathon and without stop. Still, Archer's welcoming and relieved face was a wonderful sight to see, although he'd quickly told her he'd be back after informing Giovanni of her awakening, which had stumped her for a moment.
But then she thought of Giovanni and felt her breath hitch. It had been so long since she'd seen him somehow…
Her bedroom door opened and Giovanni came in, making Harry feel as if her thoughts had summoned him. Right behind him was Cyrus and Ash, who looked at her with wide eyes and disbelieving faces, which quickly transformed into content and gleeful expressions respectively.
"Harry," Giovanni breathed out, bringing her attention back to him.
She gave him a small, tired smile. "Giovanni," she murmured.
And at the sound of her voice, Ash's mouth dropped and Cyrus' eyes widened slightly again. Giovanni himself looked taken aback and looking at her in wonder. But it was his name finally on her lips, and he'd finally heard it in her voice.
The first thing she'd said to him was an acknowledgement of him and brought back earlier memories of how he'd so desperately wanted her to say it, and could she have even remembered that…?
She gave him a secretive smile that said she really had, and that this moment had been purposeful.
With a brilliant smile, Giovanni rushed forward and gathered her into his arms happily, lifting her from the bed and tucking his face into her neck. He inhaled deeply, taking in her scent and reveling in it, having missed it.
"You are a sorely missed and loved sight," Giovanni murmured.
"As are you," Harry reciprocated quietly.
She wrapped her own arms around him and closed her eyes, basking in the moment. To the side, Ash watched the scene blushingly, biting down on her lip shyly. She unconsciously leaned into Cyrus and had tucked herself under his arm and into his side. Cyrus may not have been prepared for it, but after a moment's hesitation, he moved his arm around Ash more and securely.
It would be nice if their relationship turned out to be a lot like the couple before them.
After she'd been caught up on everything, it took a while for Harry to adjust and process it all. The British Wizarding World's collapse and then its current rebuilding at the hands of Giovanni and his Team was an unexpected (well, she had some sort of clue of part of that happening…sort of…) turn of events. She had realized long ago that Giovanni would end up burning down the world for her, but she hadn't thought so literally. Or that he actually would do so.
She was still a little baffled by the actual events happening, and she wasn't sure what to make of it.
Then there was Rufus rallying around Giovanni and Team Rocket, and helping organize the Wizarding World and directing things, as well as bridging people. Talk of him maybe becoming Minister had her laugh, because it just seemed so ironic that another Fudge was going to be in that office again.
And then there was Remus, and hearing about him made her want to cry. Poor, sweet Remus. Tonks had died in childbirth and Harry had had to help pick up the grieving pieces of Remus, and all the while the war was still waging around them. After the war, Remus had been denied being near his son and Teddy given over to Andromeda, and before she could find out what happened with him she'd been taken and kept captive for a year within the Ministry.
Which was why she neared the darkened basement of Grimmauld in trepidation, unsure of what she was going to see. She ignored Kreacher walking close to her, blissful that she was back and watching her with wide, adoring eyes.
She opened the basement door and without having to ask, Kreacher provided light for her and lit up the basement, showing her the inside. She almost gasped in horror, but kept it in. However, she nearly lost her control of that when her gaze found Remus, still forced into wolf form and backed against the wall.
Without further ado, she started to walk towards him, ignoring how he snarled and made to lash out at her. The chains kept him away, but the more she walked close, the more in danger she became.
"Remus," she murmured, a bit of a trill lining her voice. She had uneasily noted over the time since she'd awoken that her voice had started to gain a musical, pleasing and pleasurable quality to it. But at the moment, she understood that the change would really help her now. "Remus, look at me."
Her voice seemed to work against Remus, who had stilled when she'd first spoken and then slowly began to sway slightly, watching her with eyes that gradually became docile. She finally reached him, trying to blink back tears. Standing in front of the hurt wolf, she gathered her father's old friend and her beloved old teacher into her arms. She fell to her knees and took him with her, and couldn't help but bring him closer to her, holding his head to her bosom as she leaned over him and cried into his fur.
Her tears landed on him, gleaming a shining pearly white for a moment, before seeping into him. He then glowed the same color briefly, before he began to shrink and then change back into a man.
Moments later, Harry was holding onto a shivering, naked Remus Lupin, who still whined like a wounded animal in her arms.