The Sugar Quill
Author: B. Nonymous (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Oversexed, Overpaid, and Over Here  Chapter: Expedition
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Oversexed, Overpaid, and Over Here - B. Nonymous

Oversexed, Overpaid, and Over Here.

From what I can tell, nothing in Book 5 contradicts what I plan on writing here...

This is one of the "Awvee Chronicles". I hinted at their existence in Mischief Managed, and their alumni would have played prominently into my planned Sirius Black and the Four Points. But since poor Padfoot is dead, I've decided to send everyone's second-favorite seeker and first-favorite dragon expert in Charlie Weasley and the Four Points. It will be co-written with Herm-own-ninny (aka. Mrs. Nonymous), and you all should check out our "Tastes Like Chicken" over at the Library. This story, however, is a Grindelwald-era piece, where you will meet a few of our favorite Potterverse old-timers. It will be six chapters, plus an Epilogue.

With the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings now past, let's not forget that during the Second Muggle World War, a different Dark Lord was threatening the wizarding world. We all know who defeated him, of course, but like other Dark Lords, Grindelwald had quite an organization of followers, as did his opposition.

Thanks to Night Zephyr for beta-reading, and Herm-own-ninny for alpha-reading (and lotsa love). Enjoy!

Expedition

March 2nd, 1944

To the untrained eye, it was just another troop ship. Plenty of these ships had been departing from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Norfolk, and other cities along the East Coast of the United States. For the past two-and-a-half years, the United States had been sending young men over to fight a war in Europe.

Everyone on board was certain that there would be a landing in France sometime this year. Everyone was certain that George Patton would lead a glorious assault on Calais, and that he would steamroller any German opposition. Everyone was also certain that the mysterious company sequestered at the bow was either some sort of scientific cadre, or perhaps some of Bill Donovan's OSS boys, or pilots of some new Top Secret aircraft.

Regardless of their precise speculation... everyone was wrong.

Sergeant Dominic Salvaggio was, as usual, talking with the rats. If any of the Muggle soldiers aboard the ship had seen him doing this, they would have thought that he was bucking for a Section 8 discharge. Fortunately, Dominic was following orders and not performing unusual acts outside of the Restricted Section of the ship.

Dominic had been talking to rats since he was a small boy in New York's Little Italy neighborhood. Until he was eleven, the rats were Dominic's best friends. He was a small, scrawny kid, and an easy target for the neighborhood bullies. His admission letter to the Salem Schools - the East point of the United States' Four Points - changed his life forever. His parents - thinking he was admitted to a prestigious prep school - encouraged Dominic to escape the neighborhood and take advantage of the opportunity that had brought his grandparents to America from Italy.

After seven years (equivalent to the Muggle grades six through twelve), Dominic was not only able to talk with rats, he was able to mingle with them. Transfiguration of all sorts came easily to him. When he requested to attempt the Animagus transformation his last year, it was only natural that the street-rat wizard would become a rat himself. Talking with them helped Dominic stay "in character" whenever he would change and blend in with real rats.

"Yo Dom! Are they jumping ship?" shouted a nasal, Brooklyn-accented voice. It belonged to Sergeant Herschel Yauch, who glanced at the rats while asking his question.

"You kidding me, Hersch? The food's too good on this can!" joked Dominic.

Herschel, like Dominic, was a recent graduate of the Salem Schools. While at Salem they were both in the O'Shaughnessy School - the youngest of the Salem Schools. Had they been Muggles, they would have been buck Privates, but their unit had inflated their ranks to allow easier mingling with Muggle soldiers (a Muggle soldier would less likely question a higher-ranking soldier about what he did). Because of the inflated ranks, what appeared to Muggles to be a company was actually a battalion - led by a full bird Colonel.

Like many proud American wizards, Dominic and Herschel had signed up right after graduation for the American Wizarding Volunteer Brigade - the Awvees. Two years earlier, the Federal Bureau of Magic had exposed a ring of Grindelwald supporters in Indiana. Their plans were published in the New York Auror, and other wizarding newspapers. They were to incite or encourage existing Muggle-on-Muggle violence, and slip themselves into secondary positions of Muggle power unnoticed. After that, continued Muggle-on-Muggle conflict would ensure a wizard-dominated world. It was the same tactics Grindelwald and his followers had executed so efficiently in Europe. This news galvanized the American wizarding community, and the Bureau found a means to send wizards to Europe via the Muggle War Department, which was already engaging in the Muggle war in Europe.

The Awvees were a full Brigade of the United States Army. Its leader, Brigadier General Simon P. Tucker, had even attended the US Military Academy (which confused wizards who thought "West Point" was the Pacific Academy of Sorcery) after graduating from the Salem Warlocks' Institute (another of the Salem Schools). Since the 1920s, Tucker had been recruiting a small officer corps from the wizarding world in reaction to Grindelwald's rise to power. General Tucker expected the Grindelwald problem to grow to worldwide proportions. He made this very clear - as well as America's part in the solution - at the beginning of Awvee training.

General Simon Tucker was tall and gaunt - he was a descendent of one of the original wizarding families of New England. His radiated power, however, only came with experience and skill. Very few of the recruits could hope to approach his level of power - and fortunately for them, he was loathe to use it often.

"This is only the third time in American history that we have teamed up with our Muggle brethren to help serve our country. Obviously there were those of us who helped free our infant nation during the Revolution. Also, most of you have read of the exploits of the 1st Salem Mounted Rifles during the Civil War and the taming of the frontier. This Brigade is a direct descendent of the 1st Salem - my grandfather served as a Captain in the 1st Salem during the Civil War, and rose to Colonel..." he paused, looking uncomfortable, "later."

Some of the audience grumbled "Damnyankee" during this portion. There was no Confederate equivalent to the 1st Salem, something that disgusted many Southern wizards.

"Grindelwald poses a threat to all of us, the way the Muggle Hitler poses a threat to Muggles. We have already sent three other Batallions over. The 4th Batallion - your batallion - will be the last we send. You've all done very well in training. I'm going to let Colonel Ryerson take over from here."
Dominic ceased his rodent chat and instead continued with Herschel.

"Hey Hersch, do you think the Yanks can win the pennant again?"

"I dunno Dom - it just ain't the same without Joltin' Joe... can't wait 'til this damn war's over with!"

Their discussion was cut short by another new recruit - one who had been listening to their conversation with an amount of disdain.

"Would you two quit talking about meaningless Muggle games? The Colonel wants us now!"

Captain Uriah R. Grubbly was the antithesis of both Dominic and Herschel. Like General Tucker, he was a Salem Warlock with many magical generations proceeding him. Unlike General Tucker, he viewed his station with a certain amount of smug superiority. He looked forward to landing in England, where wizarding pride had a lot more meaning than it did in the Muggle-obsessed United States. Grubbly did not have any disdain for Muggles per se - after all, that was one of the big reasons why they were fighting this war - but to see wizards and witches embrace non-magical culture so willingly grated against him terribly.

Dominic looked up - he only stood five-feet five-inches tall - at the six-foot Grubbly.

"Yes sir!"

Dominic chafed at having to take orders (even only occasionally) from the "Salem Schmuck" as he was called by Hersch. The four schools of Salem - Salem Warlocks' Institute, Salem Witches' Institute, Hughes House, and O'Shaughnessy School - were rivals in all sorts of affairs. The animosity between the bluebloods of Salem Warlock and the immigrant-and-poor O'Shaughnessy ran long and deep. Dominic and Uriah were the top students in their respective schools, but they could be no less different.

Dominic was a Transfiguration expert - besides being an Animagus (with an FBM-issued license that allowed him to practice in all forty-eight states) he could transfigure many classes of items into much smaller (and easier to carry) items. The two skills made him a perfect candidate for deep-penetration reconnaisance and extraction operations. He stood at attention until Uriah turned around and walked toward the ship's forward briefing room.

Uriah excelled in the complementary arts of Potions and Herbology. He also had a grasp on fundamental Charms that, combined with his other skills, made him an expert in wizarding medicine. His seventh-year project in life-force transfers vaulted him into a coveted mediwizard apprenticeship. Because of the shortage of mediwizards, he was commissioned as a mediwizard Captain (like Muggle doctors in the Army).

"I can't believe they made him a Captain, Dom!" Hersch complained, after Grubbly was out of earshot.

"It's all about family! I'm sure his Daddy had a chat with General Tucker. Damned brat!"

. . .

Dominic and Herschel were the last two Awvees to walk into the conference room. They were each handed a personally-addressed envelope by the guard at the door. They both tried unsuccessfully to break the seal as the Colonel stepped up to the podium.

Colonel J. Ryerson (nobody knew what the J. stood for) was a blonde Midwesterner. He stood taller than his 5-foot-8 height suggested. This had to do with his bulk - certainly that of an athlete. He was a product of the Northwoods School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Northwoods recruited mostly from the heartland of America, was located deep in the woods of Michigan's upper peninsula, and almost always won the Four Points Quodpot Cup. In spite of the occasional complaint about "that hayseed lightning-catcher" from people like Grubbly, the men respected Colonel Ryerson. It occurred to Dominic that General Tucker now had four Battalion commanders. He guessed that the other three each came from one of the remaining Four Points - Salem, Nouveauxbatons (the school originally founded by the French settlers of Lousiana), and Pacific.

Colonel Ryerson addressed the Battalion with a calm, almost-folksy demeanor.

"The ship's Captain has informed me that we're four hours away from port. After this briefing, we'll be releasing Sam," he glanced over at the bald eagle perched near a porthole, "to announce our arrival. I'm very proud of you all. Your arrival will complete the Awvee deployment, and fulfill our commitment to the fight against Grindelwald.

"Each of you has an envelope with your orders. There shouldn't be anything very surprising for most of you. A few of you specialists will be transferring to British units because of your qualifications. Most of you, however, will be flying the flag until we are brought up to speed by our British friends. I want you all to understand that we are guests of the British Ministry of Magic. You represent the Bureau, the United States Army, and our country as a whole. I'm sure you'll make us proud.

"You may open your orders now. Unless those orders are marked eyes-only, you may discuss them. Don't worry about leaving them around - each set is charmed so that only you can read it." He glanced briefly at one of of his adjutants. "Thank you, Major Richards, for that Privacy Charm. Dismissed!"

The crowd quickly rifled through their envelopes, which now could have their seals broken. Dominic opened his and read:

TO: SGT DOMINIC SALVAGGIO, 4TH BATALLION, AWV
FROM: CINC AWV
SUBJECT: ***EYES ONLY*** TRANSFER TO BRITISH MOM INTEL ***EYES ONLY***

AFTER PROCESSING IN LIVERPOOL, TAKE MUGGLE TRAIN TO KING'S CROSS STATION.
BRITISH MOM PERSONNEL WILL PROVIDE ESCORT ON MUGGLE TRAIN. FROM KING'S
CROSS PLATFORM 9 3/4, BOARD "HOGWARTS EXPRESS" TRAIN TO HOGSMEADE.

NOTE - HOGSMEADE IS ALL-MAGICAL SETTLEMENT - RULES ABOUT MAGIC USE
ARE LIFTED IN HOGSMEADE.

UPON ARRIVAL AT HOGSMEADE, MOM PERSONNEL WILL SUPPLY FURTHER ORDERS.
Aw hell, thought Dominic to himself, Mum's the word.

"Oy vey! I'm charming rings in half an hour, Dom. What do they got you doing?" Herschel's best subject was Charms.

Dominic rolled his eyes as he answered, "Patrolling the sewers of London."

Herschel looked shocked, "You're putting me on, Dom!"

Dominic nodded in reply and looked forlornly at his orders. "Wish I could say more, Hersch... I really wish I could say more."

Dominic felt depressed. He was about to be shuttled off to some godforsaken part of a country he knew nothing about. He turned himself into a rat and scurried out of the room. Maybe some of the rats could tell him what he was getting himself into.


[1] A Section 8 discharge is for insanity. (Remember Cpl. Klinger from M*A*S*H?)
[2] Read James H. Cobb's "Hex'um John" story in the anthology Civil War Fantastic for a bit more about the 1st Salem Mounted Rifles.

Stay tuned for the next chapter - Excitement.
//
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