A/N: I don’t own Harry Potter and wouldn’t particularly care to. I would like a rental agreement with option to buy for Hermione Granger. A short term contract with Nyphadora Tonks wouldn’t be turned down. A Long-term agreement with Luna Lovegood would probably be a whole lot of fun. Any time Padma Patil wants to open negotiations, call me and oh for a weekend with Fleur. Oddly Lavender and Padma’s sister (despite being her twin) Parvarti do nothing for me…
Amelia Bones and The Man with the Umbrella
Fifty years old today. Amelia Susan Bones looked up from the base of the cliff. Half a century. One third of her expected lifespan. For some reason she found this depressing. The fact that she could and did pass for a muggle 24 year old didn’t help at all. Still…
Her gift to herself was going to be this climb. She had learned rock climbing three years out of Hogwarts to please a boyfriend back in ’36, just before everything went to shit with Grindelwald and Hitler. Recalling Jackie brought back her depression. He had died in ’44 assaulting Grindelwald’s Redoubt with Dumbledore’s team. The joy of aching muscles and a good sweat was a lesson Jackie had taught her all that time ago, one she had never forgotten.
The air cracked and shimmered in the heat and the cloudless sky has been bleached to a pale blue by the mid-day sun. The only sound is the chaotic squawks of the gulls, hanging motionlessly on the sea breezes. The cliff was black basalt, leaning out over the blue green sea below as it rose. Amelia chalked her hands and reached up for her first grips. Her body flowed with an easy power in three minutes she was 50 feet up the face. She paused for a moment.
She and Jackie had joined the Aurors together. The sexist bastards hadn’t allowed her to go on the dangerous ops with Jackie and the others, despite the acknowledged fact that she was as hard as any of them. Moody had apologized to her when he had handed her the assignment that kept her out of the fight, a personal guard for the Muggle Prime Minister. Passing for a Muggle secretary, she actually had used her wand to protect Churchill from Axis assassins three times. This won her the appreciation and admiration of both the head of the PMs Protective detail and the intelligence services.
After the War, she returned to Auror force, she swallowed her grief and did her job. Moving up the ranks, she found herself faced with being forced into administration after only fifteen years.
The young fifty year old woman pressed against the face of the cliff, her weight precariously supported by her fingers and her left foot. The right foot searched for purchase almost level with her hip, finding a fold in the rock. Her face is a picture of trance-like concentration as she focuses attention on the outcrop above. She releases the grip of one hand to brush damp hair back from her eyes, a bead of sweat runs down her temple.
The right leg flexes, boosting her body up and out, both hands reach up for the ledge. For a few seconds she dangles above the ocean held only by her fingertips before her feet find a grip again and the upward journey is resumed. She wears no harness, has no safety ropes, Amelia doesn’t play it safe, not now, not ever.
Faced with the choice of stagnation or the hell that is Administration, Alastor Moody once again came through to save her.
“Lass,” he had said “We need a liaison to the Muggle Intelligence Services. This is a field assignment, something new all the time. It’s a ten year assignment, you’re my only candidate. The rest of these children are far too soft for this job.”
“Amelia, you made friends during the War, one of them is asking for you specifically.” The old bastard smiled sardonically. “Of course he’s expecting a woman who looks her age.”
She was 20 feet from the ledge now. Purchase was becoming harder to find. It was soon after her conversation with Moody, she met his Muggle counter part. A chubby mousey little man who insisted on being called ‘Mother’. Mother was indeed surprised by her youthful appearance, but quickly modified her legend to cover for it. Amelia received her new name and personal history, which she quickly memorized, before meeting her new partner, who was something of a legend himself.
The man’s eyes widened appreciatively when he met her, his eyes sweeping up and down her body. His ardour somewhat dampened when she was introduced as a ‘Mrs.’. Her partner was unaware of her ‘special’ abilities, and Amelia took great pains to ensure he remained ignorant. They made a good team and dealt with many threats to the Empire both Muggle and Magical.
Amelia Bones finally hauled herself up and over onto the wide ledge just below the top of the cliff. Her muscles and lungs were burning and she was about to collapse onto her back when a colorful flickering caught her eye. She froze incredulously; it was a table cloth – blue and yellow checked table cloth - fluttering gaily in the breeze atop a table for one, complete with a chair and an umbrella for shade. The umbrella vivid blue and yellow, carrying the motif a knight on his mount. Next to the table was an ice bucket complete with an open bottle of Champaign.
Amelia struggled to her feet, and cautiously approached the table. Leaning against the umbrella shaft was a small business card. Amelia poured herself a glass of the Champagne, sipped, and picked up the card.
We are needed.
Her brow knitted into a frown which couldn’t quite hide the laughter in her eyes.
“Steed.” She said, not so much a call than a statement.
How did he keep doing this to her? It was then she spotted him, approaching from the road where his Bentley was parked, his familiar Bowler on his head and ever present Umbrella under his arm. She sighed.
Oh well, it would be a chance to wear that new Dragon Hide leather cat suit she had purchased on her last trip to Diagon Alley. She raised her glass to the approaching agent in a salute. It would be nice to get back to work.
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