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Happy Holidays! 

“So,” I said to the guard. His back was still to me and no one had yet to join us. “Do you mind loosening these restraints?”

“Nice try, Potter.”

“I’m serious,” I said, struggling against the metal. “If he’s going to off me and I’m trapped in this cage, what’s the problem? I don’t have a wand. I don’t have a sword. I just want to wipe my eye because there is still fucking blood in it.”

He sighed.

The basement smelled like rust and nursing home. Old books (but not the good kind) and sweat. I assumed there were abandoned unwashed uniforms around. I just wished I knew which uniforms – Tornados or Hurricanes?

“Come on, mate,” I said. “He’s going to off me anyway.”

The guard turned. “I’ll let you out of the chair for ten minutes. Then Greyson will be back.”

“Greyson? What pompous twat belongs to that name?”

“Rich coming from a Potter,” he said, but smirked. For a guard employed by Flynn, at least he had a sense of humor and hadn’t murdered me yet. That was nice. He waved his wand and the metal straps binding me to the chair were gone. I released a gasp I didn’t know I had and immediately rubbed the raw wounds. Fuck, it hurt. “Greyson is the other guard assigned to you while Mr. Flynn gets into position.”

I reached up and touched Avery’s ring under my shirt. It was still there.

Somehow, I had to escape and find her.

“Position?” I said. “What’s taking him so long to off me? It’s not like he needs information or the combination to my Quidditch locker. Personally, I thought he’d be quick about it. Also, I thought maybe he’d do it in public and make it look like an accident.”

The guard frowned, but he was facing me now. He had scars down the side of his face and bright blue eyes. The kind that looked sad even when he wasn’t. The state of his clothes gave me the idea he slept on the floor last night.

“He wants you to suffer.”

I motioned to my ribs, which were still making it difficult to be alive. Each breath was ragged and sharp.

“Really suffer,” the guard continued. “He has this idea that you’re the sole reason everything spiraled downward for him. When he traced back his misfortunes, he landed on you and because of that, he wants you to suffer.” He shoved hair away from his face and I noticed now he wasn’t making eye contact. “Before he kills you, he’s going to make you watch him kill one of your mates.”

Everything froze. My lips parted and the ensuing breath hurt so much I almost lost it right there. “One of my what?” I said, voice higher than normal. “You’re wrong.”

He shrugged. “Greyson is fetching the monitor for you to watch on.”

“Which friend?” I said. Not that it mattered. Any one of them would be the worst. And my fault. Where they were right now was my fault.

“I don’t know his name,” the guard said, glancing back toward the door and then returning his gaze to me to make sure I wasn’t trying anything. “Pretty sure he was going to off the pretty brunette, but then the blond one got cheeky and he’s going to off that one instead. I don’t think Mr. Flynn likes cheek.”


David Flynn was going to kill Bink and make me watch.

I tried not to let it show on my face that simply telling me Bink was going to die was enough torment, but the guard saw through it. Bink couldn’t die. There was no way Bink could die. He was too talented and too funny and was keeping the sunscreen companies in business. He was going to coach Gryffindor next year and pour crazy fruity drinks that make me marry girls. Well, one girl.

I leaned back in the chair.

Did his parents even know he was missing? Had they spoken to him since they told him to get lost after he didn’t take a job at the Ministry?

Godric. Rose. Rose was leaving for Greece today. I thought about her mascara-stained face when she told me she loved Bink. She never told him. He never told her.

And they wouldn’t. Because of me. Because David fucking Flynn was going to kill Bink.

“You know, Greyson should be here by now,” the guard said.

“Fucking fantastic,” I grumbled.

I thought back to a few weeks ago. Parties in Gryffindor Tower and being late on Charms assignments.

“I know there was some sort of an accident, but I think it was just traffic.”

Why was Flynn traveling via car?

The guard shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m sure he’ll be here soon, though.” The man turned and frowned. “I’m sorry, you know.”

“You’re what?”

His eyes looked sad now. Properly sad. “My son is six and has your jersey. I do have a family. I do have friends. And I’m sorry.”

He didn’t need to explain much else, but he stretched. I wondered why he was stretching. Was he tired? Sleep deprived? He didn’t look sleepy.

That’s when I noticed the wand sticking out of his back pocket.

He returned to facing away, guarding the cage.

Holy shit.

But – if he was actually trying to help me – that would put his entire family in danger. His six-year-old son. Maybe he knew what I was doing for my family. Who they were. The possibilities.

“What’s your name, mate?” I asked from the chair.

“Walter Knudsen,” he said without pausing.

“Thanks, Walter.”

I took a breath. If anyone could save Bink, it was me. And maybe Rose. I had to get out of here, get an owl to her, and swiftly locate my family. The problem was – where could they be? They wouldn’t be daft enough to hide us in the same place. That could go wrong quickly. Maybe they were in one of the other stadiums. Once I figured out which one this was, I could head to the other.

Would Flynn hear I was gone and off them anyway? Plant a trail so it looked like I went bonkers and offed my own family?

He wasn’t that good. Was he?

I had to find them and do something heroic and spur-of-the-moment because I didn’t have a plan and rescue them all before Mr. Flynn touched one blond hair on Bink’s head.

If he hadn’t already.

My heart hammered so hard it made my ribs hurt. Godric, my entire body hurt. How was I even going to make it out of this cage if I was in this much pain?

That’s when I thought about Avery. She was somewhere else entirely.

I wondered if when word got out I escaped, they would kill her anyway.

I had to try. I had to do something.


I had to hope I’d make it out of this. Even if I didn’t, I had to hope I could rescue my family first.

I leapt to my feet, keeping the sharp pain from my voice, and crossed the cage swiftly. I reached through the fence, snatched Walter’s wand, and stunned him.

That part went great. Really great.

Unfortunately, when I tried to pull the wand back through the cage to unlock it, it didn’t fit. Instead, the force sent it flying. It settled by some boxes.

The wiring was too small to reach through and Walter’s keys were in his pocket. Two meters away from me. His gun was also on the ground. Two meters away.

The basement door opened and slammed against the wall again. Great.

I straightened up in the cage, aware how bad this would look to the newcomer. “Well, fuck.”

Fucking Greyson with his monitor so I could watch Bink die. It was already too late. He would probably off me right away anyway since I stunned Walter.

Let’s just talk about how you STUN someone to get them out of your way, not KILL them. My mind floated back to the Ministry guard in the hallway. Did he have a family? Friends? A six-year-old son? It ached.

Okay. I needed a plan.

Stand here and look fierce.

Okay, it wasn’t a very good plan. Maybe when Greyson walked in with the monitor I could overpower him and drop-kick him into some boxes and steal his wand and stun him. Or – the torture tools!

I grabbed a blow-torch. Leaving me in here with the torture tools was stupid, Flynn.

“Come get me, fucker!” I cried, trying to sound fierce but my voice caught at the end and I doubled over in pain.

Footsteps, but no menacing return of the threat. Come on. I thought I was quite convincing.

Then I looked up.

Oh my god.

“Language, James.”

My mouth fell open as my father – Harry fucking Potter – came racing through the labyrinth of boxes toward the cage. He looked just as bad as I did. Cuts everywhere. Bruises. Blood down the front of his work shirt from yesterday. His glasses were still intact, though.

“I stunned him,” I said, pointing to Walter. “But then the wand fell.”

Dad’s gaze followed my pointing and nodded. He almost stepped on Walter, but I stopped him. He raised a brow as he unlocked the cage.

“He gave me the wand,” I said.

Dad nodded, not needing any more explanation. He used his wand and tried four charms before the fifth worked. The door swung open and I was in his arms, my ribs poking against my insides but I didn’t care. I buried my face in his chest and everything threatened to spill over.

Avery and Bink and having my ass kicked and letting my life slip away.

“Not now,” Dad said, backing away and putting his hands on my shoulders. The look in his eyes – I wished I could explain it. Like he knew exactly what was happening to me. Like he knew exactly how to get us out of here. “Where’s Avery?”

“I don’t know,” I choked. “She’s not here. He has her.”

“You have to go home,” Dad said. “I’ll get Avery. Everyone else is safe.”

“How – where are we? How did you find me?”

“There isn’t much time.” Dad glanced over his shoulder and then back to me. “We were being held at the Hurricanes stadium. Mason was keeping watch and Paloma seduced him into giving away your location. Then he came in to fix a light Wesley broke and your mother round-house kicked him to the face. We had to fight off a bunch of guards and everyone is pretty beat up, but they’re heading to the hospital and there’s a protective spell on the house. You have to get there.”

“I have to get Avery,” I said seriously.

“James, you are beyond injured.”

“I have to get Avery,” I repeated, louder. My voice broke again. “Avery. I’m getting Avery.”

“Okay,” Dad said, giving in without much of a fight. “Let’s get out of here and we’ll get her. There are guards everywhere now. They don’t know I’m in here, but they assume someone’s coming to break you out.”

“We’re … Tornados?”

He nodded. “Yeah. Do you know any good ways out of here?”

Despite my enormous facial pain, I smirked. “I do,” I said. “Remind me to send AliCat a giant bouquet of roses once we make sure her family is all right.”

He didn’t ask questions. “Lead the way, son.”

I grabbed Walter’s wand and tugged Dad the opposite way as the door. I knew that door went to the front stairwell. There was another emergency door on the opposite side of the lobby, but I didn’t know where it came out. I just knew what wall it would be on.

We hurried through the rows of boxes and leftover junk, careful not to make additional noise. My body burned as we went and I gripped the wand too-tight at times. It didn’t matter.

My family was safe. My mother kicked Mason in the face.

“Flynn wasn’t there yet?” I whispered.

“Not yet. He was en route, I overheard.”

“Good. Thank Godric.”

“Why? Why was he on his way instead of being here?” He shined his light against an empty wall and frowned. We had to get out of here soon, but there was no door. No fucking door.

“He was getting a monitor set up here so I could watch him murder Bink,” I said breathlessly. Again, everything threatened to spill over, but it didn’t. Adrenaline stopped it.

“Murder – he was going to kill Bink Legace?”

I nodded. “He wanted me to suffer.” I turned alone the far wall, hoping. It was dark. “He had a Ministry guard killed when he was transporting me. Then one of my transporters was killed for knowing too much. I’ve seen two dead people today. I didn’t want to see a third.” My voice caught. I hated this. It was very un-Gryffindor.

I staggered against some boxes, but they didn’t fall. Dad held my elbow.

“There!” he whispered.

Sure enough, a door appeared a few meters in front of us. It was an emergency exit, meaning an alarm would sound.

“Sure we can’t apparate?” I asked Dad. I had learned my lesson by now.

He shook his head. “Anti-Apparation spells all over this stadium. I’m sure there’s a place you can, but it wouldn’t be the room you’re held in. They will have monitors set up to detect it. This will be just as bad, won’t it? That alarm will go off the minute we open this door.”

I exchanged glances with him. “I think Avery might be at Mason’s place in the country. That’s where we went to see what Flynn was up to – right before you got kidnapped. He was staying there.”

“Can you get us there?” Dad asked.

I realized I still had the blow torch in my hands. “I can get us there,” I said.

“It’s going to be fine,” he told me.

“I know,” I said. Did I believe it?

I did. For the others. I believed my family would be fine. I believed my friends would be fine. I hoped to Godric Gryffindor that Avery would be fine.

Me? That was still up in the air.


When we kicked open the door, the alarm was deafening. Immediately, we knew every guard in the stadium was after us. I knew where to go. I knew exactly where we were going.

Last month, before things got out of hand, AliCat and I spent an afternoon after practicing wandering the stadium. I was stressed about interviews and things with Avery and she was stressed because her date the previous night went terribly after the bloke asked her for free season tickets. So she showed me all the places she went to be alone – hallways and secret passages and empty offices, which were a lot like the empty classrooms at Hogwarts.

Just less covered in drop-cloths.

This made it easy for me to lead Dad upstairs and through some passageways not occupied by guards. They might not have known there were there – Mason certainly didn’t.

“Where’s it come out?” Dad jogged behind me and I noted he was in remarkably good shape. I guessed catching bad guys kept him working out.

“Locker rooms,” I panted. Ow. Ow. Rib. Ow.

“Which will be… empty?”

“No idea,” I said honestly. “But they’ll be there!”

I heard shouting from a hallway off to the left, but we veered right and raced down another corridor framed with white walls and no paintings. No one was down here enough to warrant it. We were still two floors below the locker rooms when I elbowed open a door.

“What’s this?” Dad said, but he nodded when we walked inside and he realized we were in Ballo’s office. “Okay, why?”

I shoved his decorative dresser out of the way and there was a passage. Ballo hated having to walk all over the place since his office was nice and quiet, so he had a passage installed to get directly to the conference room.

“He says it saves time,” AliCat had told me. “I think he’s just lazy.”

At that moment, I wanted to kiss Jackson Ballo for being lazy.

“I’ll go first,” I said.

“Son,” Dad warned, but it was too late. I was already in the passage. Once I crawled in, the ceiling heightened so I could stand properly. He followed and closed the door behind us. “James, everything is going to be fine. We’re going to get out of here.”

I was racing up the stairs, in great pain, when he said this. I stopped and turned.

“I love you,” I said.


“I love you,” I repeated. “I realized in that stupid cage I don’t say it often – or at all – and I’m really sorry. I’m sorry for fucking everything up – I know, language – and I’m sorry for getting you kidnapped and me almost killed and I’m sorry I made Mum kick someone in the face. I thought by giving myself up I was saving you, but he had other plans.”

Dad actually chuckled. “You have no idea how much I know how that feels,” he said. “And I love you too. A lot.” He stepped onto the stair below mine and ruffled my hair. “Thank you for asking for help.”

“It got you kidnapped!” I said desperately. “If you hadn’t started asking around, they would have kept with the plan that started before the Tornados first match, not now. Not sudden.”

He shrugged. “Did you look at the papers?”


“Then it was damn good you asked for my help.”

My turn to shrug. “Fine. I guess. But at the very least I’m grounded for almost getting everyone killed.”

“Whatever you say, James.” Dad kissed my forehead. “Come on. I have a daughter-in-law to save.”

I turned and continued up the steep staircase. “I was going to marry her, you know.”

“You did.”

“Properly,” I huffed.

“You will.”

I didn’t reply. I didn’t want to give myself false hope, but as long as I got Avery out, everything would be fine. She would be fine and safe and no one would be slapping her.

Fuck, I just remembered that fuckwit slapping her.

I was going to destroy his life.

We emerged from a closet in the conference room, which was strangely empty. I thought a guard would be stationed, but then I remembered the building was going nutso when the alarm went off. They must be searching for us.

“C’mon.” I shoved open the doors leading into the locker rooms, which were already empty. I was about to tell my father the best way out of the building, but then I heard it.


Real, actual singing over the sirens.

We exchanged puzzled glances. Dad jerked his head toward the men’s showers. We tiptoed toward the noise.

The singing continued. In Latin. On a lower note, I recognized the voice and almost laughed.

“Henrik goddamn Lindt.”

His voice broke and he choked. “Potter?” he sputtered. The water turned off and a towel flew off the rack. Henrik’s face swam into view. He was about to say something, but took in the appearance of my father and me. “What bloody happened?”

“No time,” Dad said. “But if you didn’t notice, there are guards stationed all over this stadium. You might not want to be naked. Did you not hear the alarm?”

“He was singing,” I said, beaming. “It was truly beautiful, Captain.”

“Where is he? Where’s Flynn?” said Lindt. He knew more than he let on.

“I don’t know,” I said. “We have to get out of here. He has Avery. He had me, but I got busted out.”

“I saw all that nonsense about you kidnapping your own family over the captaincy – is anyone believing that?”

I shrugged. “I didn’t have time to figure it out before my face was busted in.”

“Point.” Lindt nodded toward the locker room doors. “You can apparate from the pitch.”

“The pitch?” Dad said. “But the stadium-“

“Not the pitch,” Lindt said, knowing immediately what my father would say. “I had it changed my first year as captain. In case of emergency. They think their spells cover it, but they don’t.” He paused and the alarms echoed off the bathroom walls. His lips pressed together. “Get out of here, Potter. Potters. Go find Avery.”

Dad went for the door, but I paused.

“Lindt, I’m sorry about everything,” I said quickly.

His expression didn’t change, but his jaw tightened. I knew he must be backed into a corner the same as everyone. “I’ll see you at practice, Potter.”


The problem with apparating from the pitch was we would be seen. We would be out in the open with shields as the only thing to protect us. How many times could an Unforgivable Curse bounce off a shield before it gave?

I was going to find out.

The hallway outside the locker rooms was empty and I suspected it was because the guards were told normal operations were happening in the stadium. They knew Lindt was there and they didn’t want Lindt to know they were there. Which was stupid. They shouldn’t have had me there anyway.

“Dad?” I paused before the door leading to the pitch. We did practice runs just over a week ago – how to fly out properly to the audience going bonkers.

I tried not to think of the first game.

“Yeah?” He pressed his palm against the door. It was only a little bigger than mine, but worn. Potter-esque.

“I need to tell you something.”

He looked over, clearly aware we didn’t have enough time for this. The sirens were blaring through the stadium. “Okay,” he said.

“If I don’t make it out of this-“ He tried to interrupt me, but I stopped him. “If I don’t, I want you to know I’m sorry. Not for this rubbish, but for – like – not appreciating you more. Not letting you tell me how you defeated the Dark Lord and all that shit. I’m sorry I couldn’t be the son you really wanted.” I frowned and rubbed the back of my neck.

He shook his head, smiling a little. “James, you were everything I wanted. You are.” He tugged me against his chest and hugged me tight. “You want to know how I defeated Voldemort? The same way you tried to defeat David Flynn. I gave myself up to save my friends and family.”

I looked up, eyes wide as I took in my father. His warm smile and tight embrace. “You gave yourself up?”

“You might be the only one in the family – in the wizarding world – who didn’t know that,” Dad said. “I did. I ended up finding a loophole to defeat him while doing that. I found motivation. Did you find a loophole?”

I considered this. I knew there was an answer, or he wouldn’t have asked the question.

“Let me rephrase,” Dad said over the sound of the sirens. “Did you find the piece of his puzzle he put in incorrectly?” He was grinning now.

What did Flynn do wrong? It couldn’t have been Walter. Or his plan with me.

“Oh,” I said, inhaling sharply. Godric, that hurt. “He made a big mistake.”

“Yeah?” Dad said, pulling apart and resting his hand on the door again. “And what was that?”

I smirked arrogantly. “He took Avery.”

Dad’s grin couldn’t have been bigger. “Let’s go, son.”

He shoved the door open and the sirens got blindingly loud. Dad put up his shield first and I followed fast, racing for the center of the pitch. Curses were on us instantly. Guards with wands and guns and light was everywhere. It was the middle of the day, but I couldn’t see the sky.

My shield was fading and it hurt to keep up. My sides were splitting from the inside.

I stumbled.

Dad lowered his own shield and grabbed my arm, pulling my toward the grass as he was hit with a curse that created a nasty cut on his arm. I gasped. He didn’t flinch.

In that moment, I watched him as we ran. The concentration on his face. The sheer determination. Narrowed eyes. Lips pressed close together. Shaggy black hair flying back out of his face. Hand gripping mine tight.

My father was the bravest man I knew.

“James – go!”

Shit. That was my cue.

I tightened my hold on his hand though it hurt badly and I felt myself slipping away from the situation. No. Avery.

He had AVERY.

I shook it away, lowered my shield, and spun. Something hit me – my leg – but it was just blood. Just a tap compared to what I’d endured.

We landed the same place Bink, Freddie, and I did yesterday. In the trees outside of Mason’s country home. This time we didn’t have disguises with battle paint, just blood-stained clothes and fury. I figured that would be enough.

My knees buckled under me. Turned out that last hex took off a chunk of skin from my calve.

“Oh, fuck,” I gasped, clutching a fist-full of leaves.

Dad looked like he wanted to say something, but straightened up first. “Remember why you’re here,” he said calmly.

That snapped me out of it as adrenaline took over. Avery was swirling in my mind. Her beautiful brown hair and green eyes. The way she laughed and gave me that look when I was exaggerating. Her finger trailing circles on my stomach. Her sheepish smile. Her saucy stare when trying on skimpy clothes to make me uncomfortable. Her body in those skimpy clothes. The face when she concentrated on schoolwork. Her eyes when she was saving a Quaffle.

Avery kissing me on the balcony in Italy.

Kissing Avery on the beach of the grotto.

Telling Avery I loved her on my living room sofa.

Loving Avery.

I brought myself to full height, an inch or so shorter than my father, and gripped Walter’s wand tight. “Don’t let me kill anyone,” I said.

Dad just smirked. He knew I wouldn’t actually kill anyone, but I could tell he appreciated my vigor. “Let’s go get Avery, hmm?”

We didn’t have a plan this time. There was no time to hash out a window-climb or negotiations. We marched straight up to the door.

Then I kicked it down instead of using my wand.

I might have been fueled by a lot of rage, since I remembered someone slapped my beautiful wife and I wanted revenge.

Here’s what I expected: A zillion guards with their wands and guns at the ready and David Flynn with a knife to Avery’s throat.

Here’s what I saw: A zillion guards, all knocked out and sprawled out on the ground. David Flynn nowhere to be seen.

Avery Flynn Potter retying her shoes and wiping blood off her hands with a damp paper towel. She started when she heard the door, glancing up.

She did a double take before realizing it was me.

“What…?” Dad had no idea what happened.

I did.

Avery Flynn didn’t need to be saved. She never needed to be saved, only to be supported.

She straightened up and tossed the paper towel onto one of the unconscious guards. “James,” she said and it broke my heart to see the tears pouring down her cheeks. “I thought you were dead.”

“It takes more than a blow torch to kill a Potter,” I said and Dad gave me a THEY REALLY USED THAT look, but I didn’t say anything. I hopped over some of the guards, grabbed Avery, and kissed her like I haven’t kissed her before.

I pulled her close, my hands on her back, and kissed her like I wanted to since I found out she was taken. Since I got that phone call. She melted into the embrace, her arms finding their way around my neck, and we fell back into the table before finding a balance.

I tilted my head to the side and deepened the kiss, drawing her close.

Nothing else mattered in that moment but the girl in my arms. The woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with – code or father or career be damned.

I forgot about the guards and my father as we kissed, our mouths open and distracted. I never wanted it to end – that kiss, her. All of it. I wanted it all.

Until Dad awkwardly cleared his throat. The fantasy vanished and I remembered we were in Mason’s house with unconscious guards all over the place. I blushed. Avery blushed. We both turned to look at my father.

Also I knocked a vase off a shelf because it belonged to Mason and was ugly.

“How did you do this?” He motioned to the guards. Now that I concentrated, there were approximately twenty. They really had twenty blokes on Avery and Walter standing outside my door?

Avery shrugged. “It just took one idiot to open the door for a hyperventilating, weepy mess of a girl,” she said casually. “Then I grabbed his wand, stunned a few, and kicked the shit out of the rest.” She reached up to touch my cheek, which stung. “It wasn’t a big deal, really. I was just about to come and find you. I thought the worst.”

“It’s a long story,” I told her.

“I want the short version before we go anywhere.”

I told her the condensed story of what had happened after I got the phone call about her being taken. Turning myself in. My transport. The dead guard and transport bloke. Getting the royal shit kicked out of me. Spotting the boxes and narrowing down my location. Walter. Dropping the wand. Dad coming to save me. Henrik Lindt singing in the shower (I couldn’t leave out that part). Escaping and apparating here.

“Hold on,” Avery said, raising a finger to her lips. “You told me a rib was broken.”

I nodded to my ribs. “Broken.”

“You’re – you came in here prepared to take on twenty men when you have a broken rib?” She looked horrified.

I pulled her to me and kissed her again. I was in excruciating pain and my vision was clouded with black dots, but I didn’t care. “I came to rescue you,” I told her. “Only when I got here did I remember this was the girl who destroyed a village block.”

Avery turned to my father. “And everyone – they’re safe?”

“As far as I know, yes.”

“Oh!” I said and the two of them looked over, startled. “Which one of these asswits is the one who slapped you over the phone?”

She gave me a look. “I’m pretty sure I took care of it, James.”

“Tell me.”

“It’s not a big deal.”

“Pretty please?” I gave her my best puppy dog brown eyes face.

She caved and jerked her thumb in the direction of a guard lying by the window. I smashed his nose with my heel.

“That’s better,” I said with a grin.

Avery straightened the dress she had worn to get information out of Twitwards. It was nice – a slinky red number with bright red lipstick. The lipstick was almost gone now, but I assumed some was transferred to me. She turned again to Dad. “Mr. Potter, how can I apologize for my father’s behavior?”

His expression softened into a smile. “It’s not your apology to make,” he told her. “You didn’t know what he was capable of any more than the rest of us did.” He looked around. “Do you know where he might be? He never made it to the Hurricanes stadium and wasn’t in Tutshill when I left with James.”

We were all three thinking the same thing. To his knowledge, the only one still captured was Avery. Unless he knew she had disabled his minions.

“We should leave,” said Dad. “Get home. Get you fixed up, James. You look like a disaster.”

Avery laced her fingers with mine and squeezed. “You look heroic,” she whispered.

For a moment, I thought maybe I would make it out alive. I wouldn’t have to give Avery that letter. I could surprise her in a few weeks when I thought of a proper proposal.

That was until David Flynn stepped out from behind a wall and shot a curse straight through my damn heart. Green light.

My fingers tore from Avery’s and I flew back against the wall. Before completely blacking out from either the curse or the shooting pain through my body, I watched my father turn, disarm Flynn, and knock him out all in one wand movement.

He really was the bravest man I knew.

A/N: It always gets worse before it gets better. 

Bit of a roller coaster there. But hey - Harry Potter! 

As those of you who follow Hormones know, I am in the process of traveling and also moving in a short span of time, so the queue closure is coming at a wonderful time. Hopefully this can keep you content until I get settled in my new place and then regular updates will resume. 

Also for those of you who asked, I have no idea how long this story is going to be. I was re-reading chapter 23 the other day and it seems to be wrapping up, but I have at least 2 more planned. BUT I'm also planning to re-read all of BTQC and DTTT in one go and usually I get ideas from that, so I'll keep you posted. 

Thanks so much for all of the amazing reviews and support - you're awesome! 

UP NEXT: James figures out if he's dead or not. James also figures out if everyone else is dead or not. 



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