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Once upon a time there was a man with very crooked teeth name Pete. You might think that he ought to have a last name, but he is a hypothetical man and so, he does not. If you, by the end of this epic tale, discover what it really is, then bravo! But I will not tell you.

Pete, as it happens, had three best friends. Their names were Jep (James) Potter, Sinbad (Remus) Lupin, and Rev (Sirius) Black. They liked to listen to Nirvana because they all thought that Kurt Cobain was the greatest musician alive… or dead. Most people (Muggles, of course) believe that his death was a suicide, a self inflicted gunshot wound. I've met people who are convinced his wife, Courtney Love, was responsible. But there are at least six people who know otherwise. That's this story. And it all began one fateful afternoon.

This was the day that Jep and his new wife Lil had their annual barbeque. Every year on the tenth Friday of September they had a barbeque. If you have done the math, you know that the tenth Friday of September actually falls on the last Friday of October. That year, it was Halloween.

Pete was overjoyed when he received his invitation by canary --- his owl was sick, so he was using a canary instead --- even though he knew it would be coming that day. He jumped up and down and sang a happy tune that sounded a lot like "Smells like Teen Spirit." However, because he had such a terrible voice, no one knew for sure. Then, by some miracle (the neighbors could hear his awful singing and wished it would be interrupted), his cell phone rang. The apartment was filled with the song, "Any Day Now" by Missy Higgins.

"Hello?" he said, answering.

"Hello," the voice was high-pitched and rather squeaky. Pete recognized it almost immediately.

"Ace! I wasn't expecting a fellytone call." He could not hide the anxiousness in his voice. This was bad. Very, very bad. And he always mispronounced the word telephone when he was nervous.

"Telephone, Pete. It's pronounced telephone. And I'm surprised you weren't expecting this call. You know what tonight is, dontcha?"

Pete, though he tried, could not stop the word from triggering lyrics from the familiar song, "Dontcha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot like Me?" in his head. "Yes," he stammered. "I know. But, Ace, maybe we could wait awhile…?"

"WAIT!?" roared Ace from the other end. "Did you just ask me to wait? Did you frickin' hear the prophecy? I have to get this done tonight! That kid is going to ruin my career and my name and my life and my reputation! If he─"

"Yes, Ace, yes. I know."

"Good! Then tell me their address! What is it? What is it, what is it, what is it?"

He had known this was going to happen. The Potters had made him, of all people, their secret keeper. They should have known he couldn't keep a secret to save his life. Last Christmas, when Rev (called so because he was always revving his flying motorcycle to impress girls at the mall) had asked him for a clue as to what his present was, Pete had gone right out and said it was a staple gun. Rev had laughed then, but Pete knew that he wouldn't laugh if he found out Pete's biggest secret of all: Ace was in his contact list. And Ace wanted to kill the Potters' baby, who might grow up to strip Ace of all his glory. That was why his friend Jep (called so because of his uncanny infatuation for the Muggle game show Jeopardy) needed a secret keeper. Ace could not find out where the Potters lived unless the one other person who knew their address told him directly. Pete knew, and he had the horrible feeling he was about to tell Ace directly.

"Pete! I am not a patient man. Tell me now!"

"Okay, okay, I'll tell you!"


"Pete! We are so glad you made it!" Lil called, running to him and hugging him.

As he stepped through the gate into the Potters' back yard, Pete was feeling guilty and sweaty. He could smell the sizzling burgers and hotdogs. His mouth was watering, but he didn't deserve to eat. He had just given their son, Harry, a death sentence. There was no way the one-year-old could fend off a guy like Ace. He was a pretty evil guy. No one liked to say his name (Lord Voldemort) because the name itself was so bone-chilling. Instead, he had allowed all of his gooneys (officially called "Death Eaters") to make up nicknames for him that they could say. Pete was good at making up nicknames. He had dubbed his three b.f.f.s and so he dubbed L.V. He called him Ace because he thought it sounded like the name of cool cousin with a sweet ride who lived in New York, the kind of person you would least expect to be an angry and dangerous wizard who wanted to murder babies.

Speaking of babies… Little Harry, Jep and Lil's one-year-old boy that could have been Jep's twin brother had he not been nineteen years younger, leaped from the picnic table bench where his father and Sinbad were discussing the Tornado's impressively awful losing streak to grab a hold of Pete's legs. "Woomtail," he said, grinning. Pete's heart melted. He had to tell someone. If Ace showed up today, it would be all his fault. He couldn't live with that guilt.

Out of instinct, he patted the child's back. Then he took a deep breath and looked up at Lil Potter, ready to spill the beans. "Lily, there's something─"

"Prongs! Moony!" Rev, arriving late as always, pushed passed Pete and ran to the table where Jep and Sinbad sat. Harry, sensing excitement, ran wobbly behind him towards his father. "Who have you always, always wanted to meet?" he asked out-of-breath, sitting on the bench across from them and scooping up Harry to sit beside him.

"Can this wait?" Lil asked. She was already walking to the picnic table.

Pete had to admit he was curious too. Though his three best friends rarely included them in their conversations, they never cared when he listened to every word they said. He was the like the eavesdropper everyone expected to be there. He bet they would miss him if he wasn't there… probably. Pete followed Lil to the picnic table and knelt beside Rev, listening intently.

"Kurt Cobain! Am I right?" he nearly shouted.

Two awed faces nodded in unison and Lily smiled knowingly from her perch on James' lap.

"Well, he's here! He's in Godric's Hollow! I am frickin' not kidding."

Sinbad shook his head. "Padfoot, the lead singer of Nirvana isn't even in the U.K., let alone a little wizarding town like this. I mean, he's the greatest musician since the Beatles. Remember?"

Lil sighed sadly. "John Lennon."

"May he rest in peace," the others echoed serenely, raising their glasses of lemonade in tribute.

No one had thought to offer Pete a glass, so he raised a pretend one. They didn't notice.

"Sinbad has a point," Jep added as though they had not just paused to toast a member of the Beatles. "Seriously."

Rev raised his eyebrows. "How can I not be?" The others sighed in a not-again way. Even Pete, who had completely missed the joke but did not want to admit it, looked determinedly annoyed by his friend's pun.

"Come on, Sirius. Just give us the proof," Lil urged.

"Pwoof," Harry repeated, proud of his new word.

Padfoot smiled and ruffled the toddler's messy black hair. "Alright," he said, staring directly at the disbelieving Sinbad. "Oh, Kurt!" he called in a sing-song voice.

Everyone, even Harry, stared at the gate expectantly. Then, to everyone's but Rev's surprise, the tall American with long blonde hair walked straight through it. He strutted over to the picnic table, waving at Sirius as he went. "Hello, everyone. My man Sirius Black told me y'all were having a get together. Mind if I join you?"

Sinbad jumped up and ran to him, shaking his hand heartily. "You're… you're… it's…. it's…"

Kurt smiled. "Yep. And man am I starving. Someone want to get me a burger?"

Jep was at his side in seconds, a plate in his outstretched hand. Kurt Cobain took a huge bite of burger and smiled. "Mmm… good stuff. Are there pickles on here?"

"Y-y-yes," Prongs stammered. "Yes there are."

"Excellent," the musician said, making his way over to the crowded picnic table. Pete watched him with huge eyes as he walked passed. "Who's this little guy?" asked Kurt, looking down at Harry. Unlike the five adults, Harry was much more entertained by the red-checkered table cloth than by the celebrity standing beside him. Maybe his mum would bring him a pickle soon.

"That's Harry James," said Lily very sweetly, standing to introduce herself properly to the singer/guitarist. She was the only one who wasn't standing there gaping like an idiot. "And I'm Lily Potter. That's my husband James, and those are his friends: Remus Lupin and Pete. I take it you've met Sirius already."

Kurt nodded. "Yeah. I ran into him on the underground. He told me y'all…"

His next words were drowned out by a loud crack! Oh no, thought Pete. It's Ace…

The Dark Lord himself had just Apparated meters from them, brandishing a wand and glaring at them through red eyes. Lily gasped and fainted on top of Kurt Cobain. He barely steadied her. Had a creapy, snake-like man just appeared out of nowhere? Whoa…

Jep, Sinbad, and Rev collected themselves instantly. They now pointed their wands threateningly at Ace-the-Snake-Man. Pete took hold of the now wailing Harry, whispering consoling words into his wacked-out hair.

"Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Voldemort guffawed mirthlessly. "I dare you to─"

"Expelliarmus!" It was hard to tell which of three men had shouted the incantation, but Ace was no match for any of them.

The killing curse had escaped his mouth a second earlier and Jep collapsed against the barbeque grill. A shudder ran through Pete at the words. He buried little Harry against his chest and sobbed freely. After the staple gun? Why? How? Oh, Ace, how could you?

Lil suddenly came to and took in the scene. James lay sprawled on top of the grill, Sirius and Remus kneeling on either side of him. Pete sat on the bench with Harry pressed against him. You-Know-Who was glaring at them all, a ruthless smile tugging at the corners of his mouth and a wand twirling in his long, white hands. It took only a second for her to realize what had happened. Oh, Pete, she thought sadly. We trusted you.

She knew what she had to do. She had to act. Fast. "Kurt Cobain!" she blurted. "Take Harry and run! I'll distract him!" Kurt gaped at her, but he did as he was told. Pete handed over the screaming child and Kurt made a mad dash for the gate.

Ace was fuming. He ran toward Kurt and Harry. But he wasn't fast enough. Lily jumped between them. "Kill me instead!" she pleaded, tears spilling down her cheeks. She pulled Harry from Kurt's arms and hugged him close. "Not Harry! Not Kurt Cobain! Please! Don't kill my baby boy!"

Voldemort growled. What a loser! She doesn't even have her frickin' wand out! "Avada Kidavra!" He pointed the wand at the forehead of the baby boy in her arms, but it was Kurt Cobain who took the hit, for he jumped out in front of the mother and child to save them. "No!" he shouted. Then, his eyes still open wide, he crumpled onto the sidewalk.

Ace couldn't believe it. He'd just killed the lead singer of Nirvana. What was the world coming to? The man was a legend. Ace listened to his music in the shower. I feel stupid and contagious. Here were are now, entertain us… something about an albino, the words ran through his mind. This sucked.

"Kurt!" Lily sobbed, falling beside the rock star. "Oh, Kurt Cobain."

Voldemort watched them, saw the love in her eyes as she rocked the Potter boy in her arms and stroked the singer's chest. And it hurt. It was disgusting. Wasn't it bad enough that he'd just murdered the greatest musician since John Lennon (may he rest in peace)? Now he had to watch this? For a man who had never felt love, it was awfully painful to watch. He just couldn't bare it any longer. Next time, Potter, he thought as he Disapparated, his strength draining from him at remarkable speed. Next time.

Then, just like that, Ace was gone.


Pete had watched all this from the picnic bench. He was too shocked to move a muscle. When he was sure that You-Know-Who was gone for good, he stood from the picnic bench and walked slowly over to Lily, Kurt, and Harry. He knelt beside her and rubbed her back. "Lily, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to, really I didn't. I tried to tell you before, but…"

"It's okay, Pete," she said, standing shakily. "It's…okay."

"No it isn't. I betrayed you all. Jep and Kurt Cobain… they're both dead because of me," he choked.

Lil nodded slowly. Tears were streaming from her eyes. "I know. But we can't dwell on that. We have to move on. I am going to switch secret keeper to Sirius now… no offense."

"No need." It was Sinbad's voice. He'd come up behind them to hug Lily and kiss little Harry. "I have a feeling that Voldemort," he ignored the expressions coming from his companions, "won't be coming back."

"What do you mean?" asked Pete.

"Well, the love he saw from you, Lily, and Kurt Cobain, hurt him so badly that he's probably almost dead. If he ever does return, it probably won't be for years and years. And we'll be ready when that time comes."

Rev had joined them now too. "Lily..." he began.

She held up a hand to silence him. "Just take me to him," she whispered.

Sinbad reached out for Harry and Lil followed Sirius to where her husband lay, moved onto a soft patch of grass beneath a tree. Pete and Sinbad were left to stand in awkward silence.

"Sinbad," Pete started.

"I forgive you," said Remus, his tone not quite as forgiving as Pete would have hoped, "because Harry's okay. He should have died tonight, but thankfully there are people here who would risk just about anything to protect him. He's a special boy and I know, deep inside, that you didn't want any harm to come to him. If you never, ever tell me how you contacted Voldemort, I promise I will never mention this again. And you won't go looking for him again, will you?"

Pete took the cell phone out of his pocket, opened his contacts, and deleted Ace once and for all. "No," he said. "I promise."

"Good." They shook hands.

Pete glanced nervously down at Kurt Cobain's body. "What do we do?"

"I guess," said Sinbad, "that we should Floo him back to his apartment. We'll let the Muggle police figure out what happened to him. In their wildest dreams, they will never figure this out."

"But we'll always remember what he's done," said Sirius, as he and Lily joined them.

"Kuht Co'ain," said Harry in what the adults concluded was a serious tone.

"May he rest in peace," the others echoed in unison, raising their glasses of lemonade.

Pete didn't have one, so he raised a pretend one. They didn't notice.


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