At some point, the meeting of wizards had relocated out to the lake, then to the edge of the forest, then... well, as curious as it is, they had both fallen asleep propped up against a large rock. It had been pleasantly sunny and not too hot, and matters at hand hadn’t seemed as pressing as all that, really, and so... several hours later, the two blinked awake, apparently as surprised to see each other as they were to discover that they hadn’t the slightest idea where they were.
Pleasant enough place, though.
Harry and Miniver regarded one another with child-like curiosity, both gradually waking up.
“I say,” Harry hazarded finally, eyeing Miniver’s long hair, “are you a girl?”
Miniver hesitated, reaching up to twirl his hair around his fingers. “No,” he decided finally. “I should hope not. Funny, though, I can’t quite seem to remember who I am...”
“Damn.” Harry, likewise, couldn’t seem to remember who he was, but he found himself disappointed to not be waking up next to a girl. Even a really unattractive one.
Miniver tugged his hair forward to inspect its color and texture. He compared it to Harry’s. “What color are my eyes?” he asked.
Harry, finding the question a bit irrelevant, answered distractedly, “blue.” He was busy searching his pockets.
“So are yours,” Miniver pointed out. “And my hair’s the same color.”
“Oh!” Harry’s attention returned to Miniver. “Hey, I bet we’re brothers then. I don’t remember disliking you before we fell asleep.”
“I don’t remember before we fell asleep at all,” Miniver replied, “but yes, I figure you’re my brother. How come you’ve got that accent?”
“I haven’t got an accent,” Harry objected. “You have.”
“Nooo,” Miniver shook his head. “I think I’m older. I must have learned to talk first. You’ve got the accent. Cut it out. I bet you do that all the time.”
Harry frowned, but attempted to adjust the shape of his words to match Miniver’s. “Oh, all right.” It came off a bit Southern, but it was good enough for Miniver’s ears. “Better. Don’t let mom catch you doing that.”
“Oh, do we have a mother?” Harry perked up a little.
“Probably,” Miniver shrugged. “You don’t look like an orphan or anything.”
“You do.” Harry pointed at Miniver’s tattered, frayed, wrong-sized hippie clothing.
Miniver looked down at himself. “She must be away, then. She’d never let me get away with looking like this.”
“How come I let you get away with it?” Harry asked dubiously.
“Because I’m older.” Clearly, this is a valid reason. “And I keep you in line when you do stupid things like talk with a funny accent.”
Harry was willing to concede that point. He was still making an effort to speak the way Miniver did. “Brothers, then. I think we must have dozed off somewhere strange. I can’t seem to remember your name. Or mine. Oh! Wait...” He pulled out some things from his pockets. Among them was an old, battered, creased and beaten note, not dated, but still in his pocket, in the way that things tend to live in one’s pockets for months or even years if one doesn’t take notice to remove them. “Hey, what’s this?”
Miniver took it and studied it. “Looks like you forgot to deliver it. But your name’s Vulpes Blanc. Kind of a nice name.”
“Oh dear,” Harry fretted, totally missing the possible incorrectness of Miniver’s assumption that he had written it. “I hope it wasn’t important.”
“No,” Miniver decided, “probably not. You probably told me whatever it was before you’d sent the note.”
Harry looked relieved. “Oh, good. Are you Harry, then?”
“Well, obviously.” Miniver rolled his eyes. “Harry Blanc.” It sounds right. Especially the last name.
“Who are Bar and Owl?”
Miniver answered, “Our sisters,” and tucked the note into one of his own pockets, then set about emptying the others while Harry replaced his own stuff into his. All but the wand, which he noticed Miniver had one of also.
“Are we wizards?” Harry breathed in amazement.
Miniver picked up his wand, and the Harry’s. “Apparently.” He added, smugly, “Mine’s longer.”
Harry rolled his eyes and snatched his wand back, tucking it into its pocket. “What’s all that, then?” He pointed to Miniver’s scraps of paper and collection of knick-knacks.
Miniver looked over the papers. Most were small scraps torn from something larger, with buts of unfinished verse on them.
“Spells,” Miniver decided, and carefully stowed them away again. “I must be trying to work out new ones. I bet that’s what you wanted to tell me—something about a new spell I was working on.”
Harry seemed impressed. “I hope it helped.”
“It did,” Miniver proclaimed, smiling at his younger brother.
Harry smiled back. “I always wanted an older brother. Where are we, d’you suppose?”
Miniver looked around, spotting the bar almost instantly. It was a little hard to miss. “We must have gone out drinking and had to much, and fallen asleep.”
Harry rolled his eyes again. “I thought you were supposed to keep me in line!”
“Only when you talk weird.” Miniver shoved himself to his feet. “I’m thirsty,” he decided.
Harry thought about it. “Me too.”
Miniver reached down to help him up. “Good thing we’re at a pub, isn’t it?”
“Really good thing,” Harry agreed. He took a few shiny galleons, and a number of knuts from a pocket he couldn’t reach while sitting down. Miniver searched his own bellbottom pockets, taking out a few British coins from the last time Robbie had paid him, and the gold dragon coin from Ravin. “We’re paid wizards,” Harry grinned.
Miniver nodded agreement. “This looks like more than enough for a few drinks. Maybe someone in there will recognize us.”
This sounded like a fine bet to Harry. Thus, both approving of the present circumstances, the two wizards headed into Milliways...
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