*Chapter 36*: Chapter 36
A few days later Harry was sitting in his living room reading a wad of documents.
Actually he was reading the cover letter from President Lancet. The older man knew Harry would not be interested in technical legal mumbo jumbo and had boiled it all down.
Across from Harry in a wing back chair was Jack O'Neill. Tracey, Daphne and Pansy were doing their homework at the table. Fleur was engaged in a game of chess with Filius and Gemma and Minerva were enjoying a class of brandy by the fire.
"Is he serious about this?" Harry sighed as he waved the letter at Jack.
"Yeah, he's hoping to use it to get legislation on magicals torn down whilst appeasing the prats who want a piece of the stargate." Jack frowned... prats? He'd been in Scotland too long.
"I've got no problems with having scientists and soldiers from the US working with my gang, but... the stargate is a death trap." Harry refused to change his tune on that one. "Even if you don't kill yourself by stumbling into the backwash or an incoming pool, anyone can come through."
"Anyone can come through your portals, if they can reach it. We just need to take the same safety precautions." Jack reasoned. "You've never actually put any thought into securing the stargate for use because you had your portals. Why not put that freaky mind of yours on the task."
"Jack, please do not use the term 'freak' around Harry." Filius spoke up warningly but without malice or reproach. "He has been subjected to it in the worst of ways."
Jack frowned. "Sorry."
"S'Ok." Harry muttered. "I'm going to go and think about this stuff. Tell the President I'll have a formal letter drawn up but he should start assembling his teams for dispatch to Azkaban."
Everyone frowned as they watched Harry walk out with his shoulders hunched.
"We will finish later, Filius." Fleur nodded to the older wizard.
"Of course my dear."
Without a word the girls put their pens down and followed Fleur out with Gemma.
"For the better part of his early years, before he went to school at age five, Harry didn't know his own name. His 'relatives' called him 'Freak' or 'Boy'." Filius explained with a snarl.
"Language Mister O'Neill." Minerva admonished. She pulled out her wand and conjured a third wing-back chair in front of the fire and a stepping stool for Filius. The two males joined her as she poured them a glass. "Harry will not hold this against you. He simply has to deal with memories he tries to supress."
"Doesn't he have a counsellor he can talk to?" Jack asked with concern. He hated hearing about Harry's early life, every time they told him something new.
Filius chuckled. "He has five very willing and patient sets of ears that are even now attending to him."
"But what about a trained professional?" Jack pressed.
"David Macdonald had him talk to an army counsellor who was briefed on Harry's nature and history." Minerva answered. "After a mere two appointments they stopped. Harry has tried to explain but, we are observers and not sufferers, as Miss Macdonald has pointed out, so we cannot fully grasp the situation."
"Still, it would be better for him if he could... re-associate things like 'freak' with good things." Jack sighed. "'Freak' is also associated with good things in muggle culture. It's rare, but, like when I was trying to joke with him just now..." He trailed off.
They sat in silence for a few moments.
Then Filius let out a chuckle. "He has adapted quite a bit. He no longer shies away from physical contact and he actually provokes Aurora into chasing him with the threat of physical violence."
"She told me about the prank he played on her with the moon." Jack snorted.
Filius and Minerva shared a subtly smirk. Jack and Aurora had become quite inseparable. They weren't dating, but that was simply because they were engaged in the 'Mating Dance', as Harry called it. He'd taken great pleasure in explaining it to Filius, Minerva and the girls by using a thoroughly embarrassed Dudley and Fiona.
"Harry has a horrible history. It spans more than two decades, quite a feat for someone who is only physically fifteen." Filius gave a little giggle. Minerva was less than impressed, considering the subject matter. "Don't worry about it, Jack. He has what he needs. He has friends, family, people who love him, a purpose in life."
"If you wish to do more, I recommend you invite him to accompany your own exploration team when it tickles his fancy." Minerva nodded to the copy of the documents she had made from President Lancet.
"That surprises me, Minerva." Jack looked at her curiously. "I thought you'd be all for locking him in the castle for his own safety."
She answered him as she looked at her half-goblin colleague with narrowed eyes. "It was impressed upon us that Harry deserves to have his own freedoms, especially after he fought so hard and lost so much in ensuring ours."
"Besides, you've been in his lab." Filius said with a mock huff. "There is nowhere on the planet more dangerous!"
"You know this is going to end badly, Albus." Harry grumbled as he adjusted his cape.
"Regrettably, that is the most likely outcome." Albus sighed. "But, we owe it to the people of Britain and ourselves to be the better people and try."
"Albus, our entourage consists of two ascended beings, a widely respected quidditch team of exceeding calibre, the Immortal Alchemist and his wife aaaaannd... four, count them, four phoenixes. If they weren't going to call this fiasco off when they heard that then they certainly won't change their minds now."
"I hate politics." Perenelle added in agreement. "Give me a king or queen any day."
"You prefer dictatorships?" Moros asked in amusement.
"I prefer that there be only one fool whom I have to scare straight instead of a whole government full of them." She buffed her fingernails on her chest in a 'devil-may-care' manner.
"You can denigrate the establishment later. They are about to start." Nicholas interrupted them.
They were currently in Berlin, Germany. They had been 'summoned' by the International Confederation of Wizards to explain their 'blatant disregard for the Statute of Secrecy and the muggle's right to self govern'.
Harry had wanted to respond- fortunately Gemma caught him in time and managed to stop Hedwig from delivering the shrunken box filled with several hundred pounds of Hippogriff manure.
The current Supreme Mugwump, Babajide Akingbade, was Albus' successor.
"Order, order!" The man called out in heavily accented English. "This emergency meeting of the ICW is now in session."
"Emergency? This is an emergency?" Harry hissed at Albus incredulously.
"It is... 'impromptu', for certain, unscheduled, indeed. But there was no mention of an 'emergency' in the summons." Albus frowned.
Akingbade spoke again. "The representatives of Germany, America and Italy have called for this meeting to address concerns regarding Britain's-"
There was a lot of muttering at Harry's correction.
"Please, wait until you are called upon before speaking." The man frowned at him.
"Then please ensure you get your facts right before delivering them." Harry countered. "Also, I was not told this was an 'emergency' meeting. To be frank, I'm not pleased that I have been dragged here so rudely and now, under false pretences."
"Sir, please remain silent or you will be escorted from the room."
"You are the ones who demanded I come here!"
"To answer for your crimes you foolish child!"
Harry looked between the Italian representative and the Supreme Mugwump with a raised eyebrow. After a few seconds he asked. "Aren't you going to tell him off for talking when he wasn't called upon?"
"If you would all sit down, I will continue." The man's glare stayed fixed on Harry.
It was only Phoenix's request that convinced him to stand down. Hemi and Sparky were there as well, Hemi was partially there as a bodyguard but also with the blessing of the New Zealand government to show that Harry had their full support. Fawkes had also accompanied Albus... he and Ember were glaring at everyone who glared at Harry.
Ember was on Perenelle's shoulder. She was actually being held in place to prevent her from attacking anyone.
"Now, I will cede the floor to the German representative to state her case."
A tall woman with tightly held blonde hair in a bun stood. "Thank you Supreme Mugwump."
"Why are they all speaking English?" Harry muttered to Albus.
"A long time ago there was a vote. We won." The old man shrugged.
Harry shook his head at the stupidity of wizards.
The woman continued with a fairly decent English accent. "Over the past few years we have received reports that the British Ministry of Magic has been interfering in the muggle government. We believe they were responsible for the death of the English muggle queen.
"More and more muggles are becoming aware of our world despite not having magical blood or relations.
"Further more, and perhaps the most serious, is that they have attacked the American muggles and annexed the magical population. This is no less an act of war in the eyes of the Americans and ours.
"To add to the horrific actions the self-proclaimed 'king' has taken on our planet, he has also begun to attack other planets! He has killed a foreign power, claimed several planets as his own and incited violence against a race of beings that have ruled certain parts of the galaxy for centuries!
"This is to say nothing of his admission of meddling with Time Magic, a highly restricted and regulated field.
"We must take action to stop this tyrant before his greed and bloodlust comes to bear on us all."
She sat down with spiteful look at Harry.
"Does the British representative have a response?" The Mugwump enquired.
Harry stood up slowly with a thoughtful look. He then stared straight at the German woman. "Prove it."
And he sat down again.
There was a rumble of mutterings around the room.
"King Potter." Albus stood with a grave and displeased look. "His Majesty does not require the approval of his post from this body. That is the joy and duty of Great Britain and her people."
The Mugwump chose to ignore Albus. "We are giving you the opportunity to defend yourself."
"From what? Where are the American wiggles to complain about me? Most muggles don't know about magic. There have been no news reports on the subject.
"Prove I have attacked other planets and such.
"And finally, I never claimed to have 'meddled' with time magic. I stated that I was involved in time travel. I also stated it was completely involuntary and uninformed.
"So... I'm waiting." And he sat down again.
Akingbade turned to the German woman expectantly.
She stood. "We have the testimony from the Americans and some of our own people who have visited Great Britain recently. You have been open about your activities in space but you have never been fully questioned about your use of time travel."
Harry stood again... he wasn't sure it was worth it or if he should just stay seated. "Where are the Americans? Their seats are empty." He indicated the vacant chairs.
"You have them imprisoned!" She said in frustration.
Harry looked at her, completely unimpressed. "If I have them imprisoned, how can you have gotten testimony from them?"
There were a few moments of uncomfortable silence.
Harry decided to put a stop to that particular line. "Unless the Germans and Italians can provide proof of these claims along with the actual claimants, then I have nothing to answer for but am well within my rights to expect an apology."
And he sat down again.
The German and Italian representatives were whispering harshly to each other. Eventually the Italian representative, a dark haired male, stood. "We have several American refugees we can present."
Everyone turned to Harry.
He didn't bother standing up. He just sat there.
"You do not wish to respond?" Akingbade enquired.
"I'm just waiting to see these 'refugees'." Harry remained seated. Actually, he leaned his chair back and plopped his feet on the table.
Albus scowled at him as Penny and Hemi chuckled. Nicholas remained stoic.
Ember managed to take advantage of Penny's distraction and hop off her shoulder and onto Harry's lap. Harry happily began petting and stroking her.
"We cannot reveal these refugees and ensure their safety." The Italian sneered.
"Then you can't prove your claims." Harry muttered loud enough for them to hear. He kept his focus on Ember who was cooing happily.
"How convenient for you." The man said sarcastically.
Harry looked up, Ember clearly grumbled as Harry stopped his fingers. "Look, either you provide proof or I leave. Quite frankly, I can't see the benefit of being a part of the ICW. All it is is a bunch of politicians spewing hot air. I'd bet you lot are to blame for global warming." He added under his breath.
"You see?" The Italian representative gestured at him violently. "He has no respect for our ways."
Harry sighed and picked up Ember, depositing her on his left shoulder. "That right there is the problem. 'Your' ways. You treat us like outsiders and expect us to suck it up.
"I'm leaving. If you ever try and pull something like this again... " Harry shook his head. "Don't."
With a flash of fire, Harry and Ember vanished.
"This was very disappointing." The New Zealand representative spoke up. "In the future, I expect to be notified before hand as to the nature of these meetings.
"When His Majesty consulted my government about this 'summons', our first reaction was disbelief. You had the audacity to call forth one of the leaders of this world as though he were a child. Clearly you know that is not the case as you have accused him of purposefully meddling with time."
The Japanese representative stood and the New Zealand representative ceded the floor to him.
"If you had sent such a letter to our Emperor we would have simply thrown it away and ignored it. We would never have insulted him by informing him of your disrespect.
"You seem to be selectively ignoring the reasons for His Majesty's actions. He was given the city of Atlantis by his ancestors. He earned the throne of Great Britain by passing a series of tests that judged his intelligence, skill and character. He attacked those aliens because they had kidnapped children from his very home!
"Finally, until these American 'refugees' are presented before this body, we should remember that the American Muggle President issued an apology for his people's part in the capture of England's king.
"Had they tried the same thing with our Emperor... we would be at war."
The large room was filled with shouts of 'here, here' and other sounds of agreement and disgust.
"And what will you do when he turns his eye to your countries?" The German woman demanded heatedly. "When he decides that ruling his little islands Isn't enough?"
"You mean the little islands and the various planets?" Came the laughing riposte of the Norwegian representative.
"I believe we need a little perspective here." The Australian representative said seriously as she stood. "How many countries represented here are behind the German and Italian motion?"
China, Argentina and Russia each raised their hands.
"How many had no idea about it or are ambivalent either way?"
Only five countries raised their hands.
"And how many are disgusted with this motion and the treatment of King Harry?"
A sea of hands shot up.
"As you can see, it is not King Harry whom we are concerned about trying to control us... it is you." She sneered at the German and Italian representatives. "How long will it be before you try and control us, send us insulting demands for our leaders to appear before you?"
The French representative stood and the Australian ceded the floor. "Honoured Colleagues, I believe we have settled this matter enough that we can return to our people and apologise for wasting their taxes on this disaster. However, before we do, I would like to put forth an official complaint against the Supreme Mugwump for his despicable attitude and disrespect to a nation and her sovereign.
"He showed clear bias in how he treated the King. Make no mistake, young though he is, he is the final authority of his country and people. Should he choose to withdraw from this body, he can and will."
There was a flash of flame back at the British seats to reveal a teenage girl with ebony hair and a look of superiority in her smirk. "Forgive my tardiness." She said in her most officious voice. "My Lord, High King Harry of Albion, has just appointed me, Pansy Parkinson, as his official representative to the ICW."
Perenelle laughed gaily at Albus' despair.
The representative of India stood up as the Supreme Mugwump and everyone else seemed speechless. "Welcome, Lady Pansy." He smiled broadly. "We were actually closing these proceedings with a complaint against the sitting Supreme Mugwump put forth by the Commandeur Rene Huppert for his disrespect towards His Majesty, King Harry."
Pansy curtsied towards the French representative who bowed in return. "Merci, Commandeur. Great Britain appreciates your efforts and your respect. We will refrain from speaking on this matter until called upon in the capacity of witness and victim."
"Of course. King Harry has saved a majority of the world from Tom Riddle more than once now. I'm fairly certain he has left out a few times he saved the planet as a whole." The representative smiled knowingly.
"If he has, then he has kept it from everyone." Pansy said firmly.
On the seats behind, Ganos began to glow a brilliant white. "If we are finished here, I believe we will leave." Moros announced.
"If this has been an example of what our legacy has become... we are extremely disappointed." Ganos looked very much the 'disappointed mother'.
Her glow expanded and they vanished with the delegates of Great Britain.
Moros had grabbed Harry, Filius and Ganos and taken them straight to Stonehenge. He had activated a set of hidden runes that hid the ancient structure from others.
"Harry, focus on the power of the country and repair the circle." Moros ordered.
Harry frowned but complied.
Filius watched in awe as the megalithic structure began to levitate and move. Dust flowed up out of the ground and from the far distant horizon and moulded together to create megaliths that had long since vanished.
In a matter of ninety seconds, Stonehenge was as good as new. Just as the Alterans had built it thousands of years before.
"Filius Flitwick, stand here." Moros ordered as he pointed to the ground in front of a free standing, flat slab of rock. "King Harry James Potter, kneel before him."
Filius raised an eyebrow as Harry simply obeyed.
"Take Filius' hands in yours like this." He clasped Harry's hands around his adopted uncle's, his hands so much larger that they covered the half-goblin's wrists as well.
"Harry James Potter, you have passed the tests required to wield the power of Albion. You have proven yourself as a ruler, a protector and a nurturer.
"Albion has flourished and she has grown under your care.
"But there are always greater dangers. Albion is but a part of a whole. That whole is at risk from both the dangers beyond the stars and those upon its surface. Reach out to Albion and through her, Terra."
Filius was bursting with questions, his mind was racing as he tried to comprehend what he was involved in. Then it all came to a screeching stop as he felt a presence. It was powerful, powerful to the point of being oppressive.
But it wanted only one thing from him. The answer to a question. 'Was the child worthy?'
Filius desperately wanted to scream 'no!'. He wanted to make sure that Harry wouldn't be seen as worthy. He wanted to save his beloved nephew from more responsibilities and burdens. He physically tried to move his hands.
Suddenly, the oppressive nature of the power ceased. He was filled with a sense of peace and calmness. But he still felt sad and broken.
The power had its answer and Filius was now no longer in control. All he could do was stand there and witness as veins of white light flowed up Harry's kneeling form, they flowed beneath his skin and clothes, around his head and hair.
Filius grunted as he felt Harry's grip tighten around his hands, he realised that Harry had gone rigid and that he was in great pain and trying hard not to crush his uncle's hands.
The light dimmed and faded, leaving scars where the veins had been... but those too faded after a second.
Harry sagged but managed to maintain his state of kneeling. Filius twisted his hands to hold Harry and lower him to the ground.
"I didn't create the Sword in the Stone legend." Moros said tiredly as he conjured a chair and sat down, Ganos copying him. "Albion did that on her own.
"Magic... it is essentially the catalyst for the ascendance of the Alteran people." He frowned in remembrance. "It isn't magic that lets us ascend, but our... curiosity about magic, it caused us to study this strange energy that we and humans could wield... but we never managed to understand it."
"To this day, we still do not." Ganos agreed. She then gave an unladylike snort. "It was our pride and refusal to acknowledge that we would never understand it that made us turn our backs on it and focus on the ability to ascend. That we could understand."
"I was taking an extreme risk when I descended and began working with magic." Moros frowned. "I wasn't a wizard like Arthur who used magic as an extension of himself. I was a scientist who was experimenting with a volatile substance.
"We created Stonehenge many millennia ago. It was simply an experiment based upon the unusual energy readings we found here. It was the early humans that erected the stones, we merely marked the prominent locations.
"Upon my experiments with magic after I descended, I made a mistake. I do not know what that mistake was, I only know that I had reached the source of the energy. The source of magic. It was not pleased, but it judged me, realised I was not trying to harm it and then chastised me and sent me away." Moros just chuckled at the memory.
"It is worse when you consider that Moros was on the Council. He was responsible for ensuring that our scientists did not breach our ethics." Ganos smirked. "I recall a report about you laying into a scientist who was working on time travel?"
Moros scowled. "That foolish boy." He turned to Harry and Filius who were still resting on the floor. "He wasn't trying to create the equivalent of a time turner. He was making a vehicle that could travel back to any point in time."
"Yeah." Harry croaked, his voice sore. "I found that particular shuttle. It's locked in my private lab."
"I ordered that thing destroyed!" Moros nearly shouted.
"Harry's lab is perfectly safe for now." Ganos assured him.
Moros shifted in his chair. He wanted to argue, but the fact of the matter was... Harry was more thorough than any of the Alterans.
"Anyway, the presence sent me off. But it couldn't stop me from thinking that the presence was probably the best way to combat any attack by the Ori.
"So I came back. And it kept sending me away. Eventually it got fed up and listened to what I wanted to propose. It agreed that it would accept a suitable... 'avatar'.
"That led me to a young orphan, begging and stealing just to survive. Arthur.
"It was years later, he was a man... well, fifteen, so a man by the standards of the time." He added quickly as he realised Harry's physical age. "We came here and found the sword buried in the standing stone... along with about a hundred men trying to pull it out."
"That sounds familiar." Filius chuckled.
"When Harry's counsel announced that he was to retrieve the sword he was challenged by most of the ruling government." Ganos explained for Moros as she smirked. "But as they couldn't even find Avalon, all they managed was to drain their magic and leave Harry well rested to face your tests."
"Well, the sword you now wield is the second generation." Moros explained. "The first was a pure construct created by Albion. The second was created from the broken fragments of the first after it was shattered in battle.
"That sword was made from the strongest substance on Earth and heavily enchanted. But some fool landed in Egypt and tried to claim he was Ra. He'd heard that the Goa'uld had been run off the planet and thought we were easy pickings!
"Unfortunately, the energy weapons he used managed to destroy the sword. It was the only time I stepped in and used my powers."
"It was also what revealed you to the rest of the Alterans." Ganos admitted.
Moros just nodded. "I had little choice. It was act or let the planet fall into slavery once again.
"Anyway, I took the sword and modified it with Alteran technology. I made it with the same genetic coding that all our technology uses and I also made it so that once it was withdrawn from the stone it would bond to the wielder. You won't be able to hand your throne to your children, you'll have to place it back in the stone at Avalon or here. If your children are worthy, they will prove it when they pull the sword."
"How are you feeling Harry?" Ganos enquired.
"Drained. Headache. Probably better to ask me in the morning." Harry sighed. "What was Fil's role?"
"It asked me if you worthy." Filius answered quietly. "I tried to tell it 'no', I didn't want you to have more burdens, but the… 'presence'… it wasn't 'listening' to my words though."
"Terra." Moros spoke. "Where Albion is the 'magic' of Britain, Terra is the 'greater consciousness'. I cannot guide you further in this instance, Harry. I have no idea of how you will interact with her."
"Well, I'm conscripting you back in to the Order of the Round." Harry glared at him. "Consider it penance for ambushing me with this."
Filius got Harry home and he simply dropped him into bed. He was in such a deep sleep that all five girls had to work together to get him out of his clothes.
They enjoyed every damned second.
When Harry awoke he found his bed had been enlarged and the five were draped all over the bed in lingerie which was pretty pointless. Especially as they liked to torture him by sunbathing nude.
He had to admit though, they looked stunning in their nightwear.
Harry silently apparated out from them and prepared for his day, leaving them to sleep in. He needed to do some practice with his magic as he could feel the energy flowing in him.
"Your Majesty, may I introduce you to Captain Doctor Samantha Carter. She was one of the Air Force's brains behind the Stargate Program."
Harry was surprised Jack had managed to say that with a straight face. Especially considering Harry, Ganos and Moros' opinions of the American effort.
Harry, managed to keep his face devoid of any insulting expression… like laughing in her face.
"Your Majesty." She gave a small bow with her cap under her arm.
"Welcome to Azkaban, Captain Carter." Harry responded. "Are you here for research at the castle or exploration?"
"She's been recommended as part of my personal team." Jack answered.
Harry stiffened. "Define 'recommended'."
Jack allowed himself a small smile. He knew Harry wouldn't stand for Jack being foisted with someone he didn't personally choose. "Her file was passed to me along with the others from the Joint Chiefs. I picked her myself."
Harry relaxed. "Ok. I wouldn't mind seeing the files for your team myself, if you can swing it."
"I'll make a request, but I would guess it is just a formality considering we are serving under you."
"I hate breaking the chain of command."
"But not chains in general?" He asked teasingly.
"His Majesty is quite adept at that." Came the older voice of Admiral Roth. "He also excels in management and delegation."
"Oh?" Harry turned to the Admiral. Both of them had been interviewed by the Council of Britain and commended on their work.
"Supreme Commander Thor has sent a message stating that his people wish to form a true alliance. Apparently, the people sent to help them with their Replicator problem have managed to reduce the threat to nothing more than an infestation of pests." He chuckled. "Commander Thor was eager to have more scientific interaction between our people. They have a cloning issue that could see them die out and if nothing else, they want to see what our people would do with some of their unsolved questions of the universe."
"Sounds cool… but Lord Terrence was in charge of assigning those people."
The Admiral smiled. "And you were responsible for assigning him as the head of the Royal Society for Innovation, you chose a man, who, whilst being a wizard himself, saw the potential of non-magicals."
There was quiet scoff and everyone turned to a straight faced Captain.
"You have something to say, Captain?" Jack asked.
"No sir. Nothing sir." She stood at attention.
The three men looked at her curiously, but then turned back to each other.
"Are you planning another excursion soon, Your Majesty?" Roth asked.
"Wanting, yes. Planning, not yet. After Fil, Ganos and Moros did that ritual thing on me yesterday, I need to learn about my magic and Terra's power. I've got far too much to- Captain?"
Again had come the scoff.
"Explain yourself Captain." Jack ordered. "You seem to have a distinct lack of respect for King Harry and Lord Admiral Roth."
Carter seemed a little indecisive… but then decided it was worth it. "I have trouble maintaining respect for anyone who insists on using magic as an excuse for not fully understanding something."
There was a bit of silence.
"What?" Harry asked eloquently.
"I've been briefed on this so-called 'magic'. It is clearly a form of energy manipulation. Calling it 'magic' is a lazy way of claiming to understand it when you clearly haven't studied it enough to identify it."
"I'll have her shipped home immediately, Sir." Jack stood at attention.
Carter sighed as though she was expecting this. She slowly stood at attention. She was a US Soldier and she would carry herself in a manner befitting her station… but she was entitled to her beliefs and entitled to express them. She'd just have to file a discrimination complaint later.
So… she wasn't expecting that calculating statement from the boy king. She briefly wondered if he was attracted to her or something.
"You don't think we understand… this 'energy'?"
She looked to the Colonel, she wasn't going to intentionally be disrespectful. Especially if the man wanted an educated debate. It may even lead to being allowed to study this phenomenon herself.
Jack gave a nod.
"There is very little documentation on it."
Harry turned and waved his hand, indicating they should follow him. "You do realise that America has suppressed all knowledge of this 'energy'? Along with the subjugation of those capable of manipulating it?"
"Again, I have been briefed… sir." She added belatedly at the Colonel's glare.
"How much documentation is there on… nuclear energy?" Harry asked as they walked.
"It is well documented. Nearly a hundred years' worth of study has been invested in its discovery and the understanding of the energy and its possible applications."
"Uh huh… and who coined the term 'neutron'?"
Carter frowned. "A US chemist, William Harkins."
Harry led them into a conference room and took a seat indicating for the rest to join him. "Four thousand years. That's how long we've been studying this energy. Four thousand years, cultures, races and species from across the globe.
"Capable of wielding this energy and performing feats that the oldest of races in the galaxy have yet to duplicate without magic.
"Are you really that arrogant that you think only you can find unknown answers about this energy?"
Carter's face turned red despite her passive expression. "No. I did not mean to insult you-"
"This energy runs in my blood. It flowed through my parents, my father's parents and beyond for generations. My entire culture revolves around it.
"If you are as smart as you claim, then you had to know you were being insulting."
Carter wasn't sure how to respond, especially as the boy wasn't getting angry and yelling at her.
"Did you know that one of the projects the Royal Society of Innovation is working on is duplicating this energy and its effects using technology?"
"I did not." She answered quietly.
Harry nodded, his face clearly showed he was thinking. "Let's say that you and I agree that this 'magic' is a form of energy manipulation, is that what you believe?"
"It's been documented for thousands of years?"
She nodded again.
"So… how do you explain the 'neutron'?" He asked with air-quotes.
Everyone looked at him this time. Nobody had any idea why the subject had taken a near one-eighty.
"I- I don't understand."
"Why is it called a neutron? What is the… erm, entymology of the word?"
"Etymology." O'Neill winced as he realised he had spoken. Considering the look of curiosity from Harry and the amusement from Admiral Roth, he elaborated. "'Entymology' is the study of insects. 'Etymology' is the study of words."
Harry just grinned. "You're so smart."
Roth laughed as Jack glared at Harry. "He got you again, Colonel."
Harry had argued that Jack had to be fairly intelligent. The man was US Air Force Colonel and a highly trained fighter pilot. The US certainly wouldn't have sent your basic grunt on the mission to Abydos. So Harry often slipped up on words and pronunciations around Jack to catch him out.
"Anyway, Captain. The etymology of the word neutron." Harry turned to the confused soldier.
"I believe he derived it from the term 'neutered'."
"So... why not… 'Kastreon'? How about 'Chutron'? Those are plays on the word 'neuter' in other languages."
"Harkin was American." Carter said slowly. "He spoke English."
"Did you know that Uranium was named after Uranus?"
Carter shook her head and refocused on the King. She was beginning to wonder if she had been drugged, what with the constant topic changes.
"Sir, I'm not sure I'm following this discussion properly. We were talking about this energy you insist on calling 'magic'."
Jack knew that smile that crept upon his young friend's face. Here came the strike.
"The term neutron was coined by a man about one hundred years ago based on his phrasing of a scientific find. The term uranium was coined a few hundred years ago by a man who probably liked astronomy or Roman mythology.
"You don't have any problems with those terms, despite their origins?"
Carter just shook her head.
"So, why do you have a problem with the term 'magic', that was coined thousands of years ago for reasons that have been lost to the ages?"
Carter huffed. "Magic is the term used for displays of sleight of hand."
"It is now, by non-magicals. But again, for thousands of years both magical and non-magical people have used the term 'magic' to refer to this energy and its use."
Harry sat forward and looked at her sternly. "What gives you the right to come here, to my society and culture, and declare you know better than the billions of minds, far greater than you, that have agreed on this word for thousands of years?"
"Your Majesty?" Roth gently asked. Harry nodded and sat back. "Captain, there are many branches of science. Chemistry, Physics, those names have been widely accepted on our planet. But there are a race of beings out there who have have existed longer than humanity and have evolved their technology beyond what we can barely imagine.
"They often have trouble communicating basic ideas to us because they have categorised the universe in a different way.
"Magic is another facet of the universe, like science to us. If you still wish to remain assigned to my command, you will need to become more open minded about how others view the world."
"And if they are wrong… sir?"
"Prove it. But make sure you can prove it before you start throwing around baseless and derogatory assumptions."
"Are you sure you don't want me to ship her back to the States?" Jack asked as he sat with Admiral Roth and Harry in the Admiral's office.
"Put her on probation." Harry shrugged. "Give her six months and see if she can't adapt and learn."
"Could I have permission to billet her in a fully magical environment? Give her a full immersive experience?"
Harry winced. "Can you imagine her living with pure magical families for more than a day? She'd have insulted them or confused them by lunch."
"I may have a suggestion, Your Majesty." Roth clearly didn't want to make it though. "Hogwarts is a purely magical environment." Harry's eyes narrowed. "But there are plenty of people there who were raised in non-magical environments or both. Sir Dudley and Miss Tonks spring to mind at first."
"And Tonks is about as close to a walking spell as you can get!" Jack added with a grin. He seemed to be on board with this. "Neither of those two would let a walking lab coat like Carter get away with ignorance and hubris."
Harry gave a few dramatic sobs. "Just don't get me in trouble."
"Harry, you know that female soldier from America?"
"Oh god, Dud, it hasn't even been four hours yet! She can't have gotten into that much trouble!"
Dudley chuckled as he took a seat opposite Harry at the desk in his office. "Well, she does seem a bit wary after Tonks morphed to look like her and then proceeded to give a speech on how all magicals are devil worshipping pagans who have been led astray from the true way of science and technology."
"You did tell Tonks not to kill her right?"
"Harry, Tonks is about as close to a pure magical being as a human get. Carter is pretty much calling Tonks a mutant without using the actual words."
"I mean in general. She's polite and all."
Harry put his pen down. "Ok, answer me plainly. Is Carter pissing Tonks off or is Tonks pissing Carter off?"
Dudley had to think for a moment. "Both. But Carter doesn't think she is doing it whilst Tonks is doing her best to do it."
Harry's eyes went slightly cross-eyed at that sentence.
*Chapter 37*: Chapter 37
"Welcome to Othala, King Harry."
"It's an honour and a pleasure to be back." Harry smiled and bowed before extending his hand.
There was a slight smile on Thor's face as he reached out his thin hand and shook it. King Harry always returned the Asgardian greeting first before offering one of the human greetings.
"We have requisitioned a large scientific compound in a remote area of the planet." Thor explained. "It was designed for weapons testing. As Asgard weapons are energy based we believed it would be the most useful to monitor your spells, you do seem to 'fire' them from your wands."
"Sounds great. And again, my thanks to you and your people for helping me with this."
Thor waved the thanks off as he led them away. "Your people have reduced the threat of the replicators to a nuisance. Now you are giving us the opportunity to study the amazing power you use.
"Which reminds me. Have you noticed any difference since you arrived?"
Harry nodded. "I feel weaker. Less energetic. You might want to send some scientists back with me to monitor what happens when I step back on Earth."
"I shall make arrangements myself." Thor agreed.
"Supreme Commander Thor-"
"Please, call me Thor." He offered the girl as they walked.
"Thank you, I am Hermione." She curtsied in her school uniform. "I was wondering if at some point you could arrange for a ship to transport Harry from Earth to Othala and back again. That way we could measure the effect of him gradually approaching and leaving Earth."
Thor stopped and smiled at her. "Some day your people will be as old and experienced as mine. Hopefully you will have made less mistakes than we have, but you will come across a civilisation that was once as young as you are now. I hope you will take joy in the freshness of their minds as we do yours.
"My personal ship will be at your disposal, Hermione. We have plenty to spare as your people have already helped relieve the stress on our planet and galaxy caused by the replicators."
Harry smiled and patted the blushing Hermione on the shoulder. "Speaking of creepy bugs, what did you all come up with to deal with them?"
"It was quite ingenious." Thor answered. "One of your people saw that the Replicators were held together by energy. This energy also gave them the power to move and essentially 'live'. They managed to create what they called 'wave cancellation'. We have since modified our weapons to emit the required energy wave."
"So you are still hunting?" Harry asked.
"Yes. But your people were also able to come up with the idea to 'imbue' our ships with the same energy. Working together we now have automated defence ships patrolling the galaxy. In the event that the Replicators defeat the ship, they will essentially be consuming poisoned food."
"Gem, make sure to get the names of all those involved. This deserves recognition. Thor, I'd like to offer the same award or recognition to the members of your people who were involved as well."
"We would be honoured." Thor inclined his head. "At the moment the teams seemed to have plateaued in their research. At Lord Terrence's suggestion we they have set the issue aside to focus on the Asgard cloning problem. He called it a mental change of pace."
"Terry's good at that." Harry nodded. "He's not really an inventor or super smart brain like that one." He jabbed his thumb at an indignant Hermione. "But he is excellent at helping people reach beyond their potential. Half of the innovations that came from his little club only did so because he recognised when individuals needed a break or who to point the towards if they had hit a block.
"Hmm… Gem, make a note for me to ask Severus if he can research making Polyjuice potion permanent. Send a suggestion to Terry to examine the DNA of a person under the effects of the standard potion.
"Nym, would you be amenable to some scientific examinations? For the benefit of aiding the survival of the Asgard."
"You aren't gonna cut me up… right?" She asked nervously.
"Nah, just test your DNA in various states and see if it would have any transferable effects and the like. I'm not interested in you being the cure, but I do think you might have some hints in you about where to find a cure."
"I trust you Harry." She said, steeling herself.
"We have purely non-invasive techniques for examining the biological blue-prints of living beings… as well as non-living." Thor assured her. "I believe you might find the experience enlightening, you may learn a lot about your body."
"Have you examined them for the source of their energy?"
Everyone turned to look at the American Air Force Captain. Most were glaring at her. Harry looked amused.
"They have not asked and there has been no need. Do you believe the energy of magic itself could help our cloning issues?" Thor asked curiously.
Carter was a bit side-swiped by that answer. "I assumed that, as you are clearly more technologically advanced, you would be able help them understand the true source of their abilities."
Harry put his knuckles gently in front of his mouth to obscure his grin.
Jack had to restrain himself from dressing down the Captain there and then.
"The Magical beings of Earth, particularly the Islands of Britain, are fully aware of their power. They have spent thousands of years studying it. I'm sure that at some point, our currently mixed team of scientists would have used our technology out of mere curiosity. But, I doubt it would reveal more than they already knew."
"Meh, she can ask the scientists later herself if she is that curious." Harry interrupted before Carter or Thor could continue. "Let's go stick me under a microscope!"
As the group moved on, Jack grabbed Carter viciously by the shoulder and yanked her to the back. "You just came a hair's breadth from an inter-galactic incident, Captain." He hissed at her. "You practically accused the Asgard of 'probing' citizens of Earth without their knowledge… the Asgard, who are the basis for the Roswell incident and the whole damned UFO conspiracy."
Carter gulped. She was a scientist and soldier. Not a diplomat. "Sh- Should I apologise?"
"To Harry, yes." Daphne said as she stepped up having dropped back to join them. "But don't mention it to the Asgard. They already consider most of humanity to be just out of the stone age."
"The President is not going to be pleased when he reads my report." Jack growled at Carter. "You were recommended by the President himself, part of the reason for that was you displayed an abhorrence towards the way the US treated magicals. What's he going to think when he hears you are insulting them and their allies?
"You'll be lucky if you get assigned to maintenance duty on an airbase!"
"Oh, I doubt Harry will let her leave like that." Daphne smirked. "He finds her to be absolutely hilarious. He'll probably ask the President to let her stay for that reason alone."
Carter was clearly offended by that. She managed to keep her mouth closed though.
Harry was put through a battery of tests that left him exhausted. Hermione also underwent the same tests to provide a comparison. She didn't have anywhere near Harry's power and Thor had been quite upset with his scientists when he returned in the evening to find Hermione had collapsed from exhaustion.
He lectured everyone from Heimdell to Harry about lab safety. It was the most animated they had ever seen him.
The group was practically thrown through the portal and told not to return for at least a week so they could recover. Thor was practically steaming and never noticed that Heimdall had gone with them.
It was a credit to the personnel at Azkaban that they took the presence of the unannounced alien in stride. Admiral Roth insisted on a brief interview for security's sake but after that, Heimdall was placed in Jack's care and escorted to Hogwarts where he wanted to assist with Harry and Hermione's recovery as he felt responsible.
It was two days later that his absence from Othalla was noticed and Thor turned up in his ship. The Supreme Commander was not happy with his colleague.
Eventually it all calmed down. Thor availed Harry and Hermione of his ship and they were able to discover that, whilst the boost he received from Terra was greatly diminished when he was not in physical contact with her, there was enough of a connection that meant Harry could cast for a long time in battle or a sustained spell and not wear himself out.
Whilst Harry was being put through the ringer, Tonks was also being tested. Her tests were a lot less tiring as all she had to do was sit in a fancy chair.
Harry and Tonks had insisted that Captain Carter be present for the exams. They loved it when she got all flustered because the super-advanced alien race was discussing magic so casually.
"I request a formal meeting."
"Ganos, why by Moros' saggy balls would you need a formal meeting? Or use my titles?" Harry asked tiredly.
"Because you appointed me as the liaison between this world and that of the Ascended." She was glaring at him. That was bad. She hadn't done that since the Americans had kidnapped them.
"Hey! No one said you had to accept." Harry said defensively.
"No, you didn't say I had to accept it. The Ascended practically came begging." She said in disgust.
"Well, first they tried demanding and commanding." She admitted. "But when they realised their bluff was failing, they switched to begging and pleading."
"Huh, who'd a thunk it." Harry mused. "So, what do the little glow worms want?"
Ganos glared at him. "Considering they asked to open negotiations and dialog with you, perhaps you can show a modicum of respect?"
"I'll let you know after I hear the subject they want to discuss and what the person they send is like."
"I believe they are looking for a better relationship with you and your people." She smirked. "They are a tad terrified that you have the ability to hurt and kill them."
Harry twisted his mouth in thought. "Whilst I am relieved to hear they are showing us at least some respect, why would they want to interact with us? Why not just stick to their world and we stick to ours?"
Ganos fought a mighty battle at that point. She tried her utmost to repress her smirk but it was all for naught. "Apparently Moros and I aren't the only ones to want to be able to return to the physical world."
"Lovely." Harry drawled. "Meta-physical tourism."
It was days later that Harry received a call from Azkaban that he had been dreading. Apophis' absence had been noticed and another goa'uld was trying to claim his territories.
The planet they had liberated Hermione and the others from was being attacked by six large pyramid shaped ships that Jack confirmed were the same as the one Ra used.
The problem was that the ships weren't landing and only three people could fly Harry's creations with any skill. Those were Dudley, Jack and himself.
Even Jack couldn't match Harry in them.
"Remind me to get a hold of one of those Harrier Jump Jets." Harry calmly called over his shoulder to Dudley who was manning one of the new weapon stations.
"Those things suck compared to this." Dudley retorted, his eyes never leaving the screen as he fired the heavy duty gattling gun at the smaller flyers.
"But I'm the only one who can fly this thing. I don't have time to start teaching. If I get a couple of Harriers we can give them to Terry and he can have a team look at them."
"If we somehow pull this off, you might want to look at the remains of those smaller ships." Jack suggested. He was a bit tenser than the other two. He was rotating through the various weapons available and trying to find something that would penetrate the shield around the pyramid ships.
"What do you mean if?" Harry turned and demanded indignantly.
"Eyes on the road!" Fiona snapped.
"Damned pushy, red headed, Scottish women." The reigning monarch grumbled.
"Harry, we think we have a solution here." Gemma called over.
"Hey Fi, take over." Harry stood up and left the controls as his cousin's girlfriend screamed at him as she tried to fly something she had only ever tried once.
She was ignored by all but Dudley and Jack who tried to encourage her.
It didn't really matter, the ship was impervious to whatever the enemy threw at it, just as the large pyramid ships were immune to Harry's marvel.
The smaller ships, however, were easy pickings as they seemed to have no shield.
"What have you got for me ladies?" Harry asked his girls as he jogged to the table they had set up nearby. Hermione was with them and they were surrounded by paper.
"Two options." Gemma informed him. "Hermione and Luna both came up with what we believe to be viable options."
"Hi Harry!" Luna chirped over the communications screen.
"Hey Luna. What's the plans?"
"Hermione has suggested heading to the planet or Earth and programming the portals to send us past the ship's shields."
Harry let out a low whistle. "Ambitious. The portals won't let us through if we were going to appear embedded in the ship, but we would still need to get the coordinates and timing down if they move."
"Luna's plan involves shooting Durry at the ships and getting him to slip between phases to bypass the shields."
It began with a slow, evil smile. It grew into maniacal laughter. It ended when Daphne shut him up with a deep kiss.
"I wish I could do that." Dudley sighed, still not looking up from his firing.
"You want to kiss your cousin?" Jack asked curiously.
"What?" Dudley quickly glanced away. "No! Ew! I meant I wish I could shut him up when he goes off like that."
There was a moment's silence.
"Stop laughing Fi." Dudley grumbled as he could see her shoulders shaking.
"I give up!" Jack exclaimed suddenly. "I've got nothing here that will get through their shields." He hit a button to the side. "Carter, get up here." He ordered over the internal comms.
"That bad?" Dudley asked casually from his station.
"Nothing is getting through. The only useful thing I've done is show where the shields start."
"Sir?" The requested Captain reported to her superior.
"Carter, take a seat." The Colonel ordered as he relinquished his to her. "Sir Dudley is handling the gliders. Our mission is to make a dent on the motherships. The pyramid knock-offs. Nothing I've done has done anything but light up their shields. I need you to consider, for just a few moments, that nothing is impossible, simply improbable.
"Now, use that brain that caught the attention of the President, and make something work."
Carter had a look of distaste, but remained professional. "Yes sir."
"Gliders?" Dudley asked with a smirk as Jack relieved Fiona from the pilot's seat. "Motherships?"
"What would you call them?" Jack countered.
"Alright people, buckle up!" Harry instructed over the internal comms as he relieved Jack from the pilot's seat. "We are about to do something that will see Aurora after my hide."
"Just throw Jack at her." Dudley said absently, focused more on the gliders that were now being more cautious about approaching.
Everyone was ribbing the American soldier about his relationship with the English Astronomy Professor. Usually it involved comments about 'stars in your eyes'.
"What's the insanity?" Jack asked calmly as he left Carter and moved to stand next to Harry.
"You know how Luna's dog can move between phases? I put the same thing on the ship. It was going to be my gift to Luna so she could visit what she'd been seeing all these years.
"I wanted her to be the first to use it so it hasn't been tested."
"Have you actually tested this thing yet?" Jack asked worriedly.
"Of course! You've seen Durry use it plenty of times."
"I meant on this ship."
"One second-" Harry tapped a few runes and the ship actually lurched. The ship barely vibrated when the pyramid ships hit it. Outside the windows the world was a lot more different. There were no stars just an endless murky grey of swirling mist.
Then the ship lurched again and they were treated to an up close view of one of the pyramid ships.
"Yes. Yes I have tested the ship." Harry grinned.
"You are a menace to common sense." Jack scowled. "Are we boarding?"
"We are." Harry confirmed as he flew into the large opening on one of the sides of the ship where the gliders were coming from. "Just want to have a bit o' fun first."
Jack grabbed the side of the station as Harry began flying his ship through the gliders. There was no impact felt, but it was still an instinct he couldn't put aside.
"Go and set up the portal, Jack." Harry commanded.
"Try not to cause a hull breach." Jack retorted as he left.
"What does he think I am? An amateur?"
"No one pays you to do this, Harry." Fiona reminded him from the station next to him.
"Sure they do. It's called taxes."
"Let it go Fi." Dudley sighed. "Harry's in his loopy mood. Even Luna would get tired of arguing in circles with him."
"Aww, come on Dud!" Harry whined. "It's no fun if people don't play along."
Harry landed the ship with the airlock aimed straight down one of the hallways. "Is that real gold?" He asked as he checked the view on the monitor.
"These goa'uld are worse than pure blood wizards, Harry." Gemma answered. "Teal'c said they were all about wealth and power."
"Huh." Harry tapped away at his console in slight amusement.
"He is not going to tell us?" Fleur sighed.
"Let him have his fun." Pansy shrugged.
"Harry, Admiral Roth managed to contact Mister Teal'c." Tracey called from where she was monitoring communications. "He says we are facing the goa'uld Heru'ur.
"Apparently he is a rival of Apophis."
"Harry! One of the pyramid ships just exploded!" Fiona reported urgently. "There's a big creature, several… are those… dragons?"
Everyone turned and glared at the grinning idiot. "You think I didn't expand on Durry, Hansel and Gretel?"
"Those are magical constructs?" Hermione asked with awe. "But they're massive! It would take all of Hogwarts to enchant one!"
Harry continued to smile at what he considered one of his oldest friends. "Yes, oh."
"Harry, if you have the dragons, why are we sending men onto this ship?" Tracey asked curiously.
"Intelligence gathering. I want a few prisoners and at least one working ship. Hopefully the dragons won't destroy all the ships and we can strip one for research."
Further discussion was halted when Jack came in grumpily, he was equipped with his weapons and pack. "You have got to talk to your snake and bird."
"Blinky? What's he doing up here?"
"Blinky, Ember, Hedwig and I'm sure I heard barking." Jack retorted. "That owl… I saw her get hit by a staff blast and keep going!"
Harry's breath became laboured and he turned pale.
"Harry?!" The girls were instantly attending him.
"Kid, you alright?" Jack asked as he pushed between them and started checking Harry's vitals.
Harry just gave a shakey smile. "I'm fine." He said slightly hoarse. "Just… I hadn't tested Hedwig's foot collar fully yet." A tear rolled down his cheek and his friends began to worry.
"Hedwig died in Harry's first time through." Dudley spoke up from behind Jack quietly. "She intercepted a killing curse aimed at him."
Harry was immediately smothered in hugs.
"Colonel O'Neill, considering the various assets in play at the moment, do you think His Majesty would be relatively safe if he entered the battlefield from the rear and under escort?" Dudley asked formally.
"As long as he wears that armour."
The 'armour' was a set of full body 'plates' made out of a composite of Kevlar and Acromantula Silk. They were enchanted with Hermione's special portal protection and also had a few other 'features'.
Harry wasn't actually aware of them.
"Harry… how?" Fiona was at a loss.
The group was standing in a corridor on the pyramid ship. The walls were metal grey with faint gold streaks. The floor was like a frozen river of gold.
Every now and again there was an Jaffa warrior trapped up to their ankles in the 'river'.
"The most basic runes are elemental ones." Harry grinned smugly as he casually tossed stunners at the struggling jaffa. "It wasn't hard to give the dragons the ability to breathe fire and ice."
"But you didn't send any dragons to this ship."
"Yes, but a certain little brat decided to crash the party." Harry said in exasperation. "She brought all her friends too."
The trek through the ship had been long, arduous and painful. The soldiers went first to deal with the jaffa, but the floor was so warped that nearly everyone slipped at some point.
David and Nym had been fairly embarrassed when the soldier had to carry her most of the way.
"Oh bugger." Harry said irritably as he reached the bridge of the ship, called the 'Peltak' by the goa'uld. "The git must be on one of the other ships."
He was referring to Heru'ur of course.
"He'll probably get rounded up with everyone else then." Dudley mused. Then he noticed Harry's grimace. "What did you do?"
"I may have instructed the constructs to blow all but two of the ships."
Harry managed to catch a break when Hemi reported that the goblins had managed to locate the goa'uld on the other ship that he and his men had led the charge on.
Admiral Roth had requested that Teal'c be offered a position at Azkaban as an advisor. Harry had questioned the older man as to why he was bothering to make a request for something so trivial.
Fortunately, both Admiral Roth and Colonel O'Neill were used to Harry's eccentricities.
Teal'c's first mission was to aid the Admiral's men and the goblins in seizing control of Heru'ur's systems. It would be a long and bloody process.
Harry had managed to disappear. This was strange as he usually let the girls know where he was, but even Ember wouldn't take anyone to him.
After twenty-four hours the girls went around Ember's back to Fawkes.
Albus landed in what appeared to be a glass room… underwater. It took him a moment to realise it was one of the viewing rooms at the base of the City of Atlantis.
Slouched in a recliner in the middle of the thirty-foot round, bowl like room was Harry. Bottles of various drinks on a table at his side.
He was also sleeping.
Albus sighed, he pulled a vial from his robes and awoke the sleeping king. "Drink this Harry. We need to talk."
"Albie?" Harry bleared at the man groggily.
"Drink up, now."
Harry snorted and shuffled himself into a more upright position. "I'm not drunk Albus."
"Your décor would suggest otherwise." Albus said dryly before conjuring a chair for himself.
"These are fizzy drinks, Albus. Not alcohol." Harry scoffed. He picked up can of ginger beer and handed it over. He then snatched it back and popped the top before the old wiggle made a mess.
Albus took a sniff and then a sip.
Then he began to choke and cough.
Harry laughed and handed him a glass of conjured water.
"Oh my!" Albus wheezed. "That is… quite the experience!"
Harry just smiled and slouched back in his chair.
After a few moments silence, mainly for Albus to ensure he would start coughing again, he broached his reason for coming. "Harry, the girls are worried."
"They shouldn't be." Harry said, there was a hint of melancholy. "Ember would have done something if I was in trouble."
"Ember, amazing as she is, cannot communicate as well with humans as you can." Albus chided gently. "Now, why are you here drowning your sorrows in… 'muggle fire-whiskey'?"
Harry gave a sad sigh. "You ever hear the name 'Teddy Lupin'?"
Albus frowned in thought. "The only Lupins I knew where Remus and his parents. No Teddy. Was it short for Edward?"
"I- I don't remember." Harry sounded ashamed.
Albus was a little worried. "Harry, are you losing your memories of your first life?"
"No. I just can't remember if Teddy was his official name."
"Well, I assume, based on the name, that he was a relation of Remus'. His son, perhaps?"
Harry nodded. "Born just months before I was thrown back in time. Months before his parents died in the final battle."
"But Remus still lives." Albus pointed out. "And, we have a few years before the timelines properly sync. More than enough time for Remus to find the mother of his son."
"Won't happen." Harry shook his head. "His mother has no interest in Remus. My godson will never be born. Nymphadora Tonks has started dating David Macdonald."
"Ah." Albus now understood. "You only found out today?"
"Yesterday, whilst we were taking down the snake."
"And you are now mourning the loss of someone who will never be born."
"I never even met the kid." Harry grumbled, he sat up and leaned forward in his chair, resting his forearms on his knees. "All those memories that we showed the country at my coronation… they were heavily censored."
"I should hope so." Albus scoffed. "The people certainly didn't need to see you in various broom cupboards."
"Albie, in all of my existence, I am a virgin."
"Oh. Sorry?" Albus blushed.
"Then what was censored?" Albus asked eventually.
"People's personal lives. Who was in a relationship with whom. Who had kids. Who became a Death Eater."
Albus frowned in disapprovement. "That is a heavy burden to bear, Harry. Do the girls at least know the truth?"
"The girls, Dudley, Nev, Greg, Vin and a few of the others. They know what they ask about. I don't offer information."
They sat in silence for a few minutes, just watching the massive sea creatures swim by.
"Do you intend to sit here much longer?" Albus eventually asked.
"Just until you explain your current state of being." Harry gave him a very pointed and amused look.
Albus looked like a child being told he can't have the last cookie. "Apparently I died last night." He said grumpily. "It was very peaceful. I had no idea it had happened."
"Hurrumph! A certain lady of our mutual acquaintance has decided I owe you a good few years more of service."
Harry just grinned widely as Albus Dumbledore pouted.
"It is not funny!" Albus objected to his young friend's mirth. "I'm over a hundred! I've fought two dark lords. I've led this country for more than half my life! I believe I've earned my rest!"
"Listen here young man!" Albus flinched as Ganos appeared in front of them. "Harry has dealt with at least three 'dark lords'." She said with air-quotes. She would kill Jack later for putting the action in her repertoire. "You were very nearly one of them! You guided this country. Harry is defending the whole planet!"
"Ganos, you've just consigned him to an eternity of, shall we say; 'community service'?" Harry was enjoying this far too much. "You might want to space things out so you don't run out of steam."
"Hurrumph! Give me that." She snapped at Albus as she snatched his wand and conjured a chair for herself. She flopped into it and tossed the wand back to Albus.
"I don't see why you don't get your own wand." Albus muttered as he surreptitiously polished his.
"As an ascended we don't have innate magic." She explained. "I can only use magic when on Earth and in physical form."
"Erm… Ganos, we're not on Earth." Harry pointed out.
Ganos frowned and began looking around. "Well I never! I will have to bring Moros here to investigate further."
"YOU!" Albus and Harry jumped as the aforementioned Moros appeared in front of them. "You have gone too far Ganos!"
"Really?" Harry asked Ganos as he laughed. "Do you intend to forcibly ascend the entire planet?"
"She's no better than a cold blooded murderer!" Moros pointed at her accusingly. "She came into my room last night and stabbed me in my sleep!"
"Ganos!" Harry said, aghast. "How could you? The house-elves will be expecting that sort of mess every morning now!"
"I've always fantasized about committing regicide." She mused.
"You'd never make it." Albus said dismissively. "You'd have to get past Hedwig, Ember, Blinky, the girls, the Knights, Hogwarts herself and Terra."
"How far did you get?" Moros asked as he grabbed Albus' wand and conjured a chair.
Albus was struggling between embarrassment over realising what he had implied and outrage over his wand being nicked again.
"He couldn't get passed Hedwig." Harry smirked. "The girls found him curled up in a ball in my bedroom under an onslaught of pecks."
"I was doing Lieutenant Macdonald a favour." Albus huffed indignantly. "He asked me to test the defences around your quarters."
"You should consider yourself lucky." Harry said. "If you had managed to sneak in on the girls when they were dressing… well, death would not be on the cards. You should have heard the plans they made for the Ascended who decided to gate crash their nude sunbathing session." He chuckled.
"Answer me one question-"
"Albus, you've got eternity ahead of you." Harry mock chided. "Do you honestly think that whatever question you ask will keep you satisfied that long?"
"Just answer my question, Harry." Albus sighed. "How did you know I had ascended?"
"Pfft, I've been able to ascend for months now. Eventually you will learn to tell who is ascended and who is not."
"What? No. I just learnt how to cross been the plains of existence."
Ganos let out a long suffering sigh. "Harry, must you break every rule of existence?"
The End... for now.
This story falls into the same category as The Champion and Death's Little Brother, I want to come back and write some more. At the moment though it is finished. I do have plenty of ideas though.
I am about to post another 'short story'. 'Short' means it is only one chapter. It's about 28k words though. It's called 'The Debt' and it is about Harry's fifth year.