Harry's travels after the fall of the Dark Lord lead him to something that scholars have sought for ages. But what will be the repercussions of this discovery? Post DH, no crapilogue.
Disclaimer:Not mine, never was, and never will be.
A/N:Many thanks again, as always, to Vern for his excellent suggestions and betaing skills. Make certain to read his stories if you haven’t already.
“Jeremy!” Hermione’s scream echoed through the dig site they’d been exploring for the last few weeks. The brown-haired half-Aborigine came running, worried about what happened and saw his research partner frantically flicking her wand at the soil around some strange object sticking out of the ground. He realized that she was using the usual spells for gently extracting archaeological artefacts, but at a rate that astounded and, quite frankly, frightened him.
Seeing his rapid approach, she cried with glee, “I found something, help me get it out.”
Relaxing from his momentary fright, he chided her as he caught his breath,“Damn, woman, you scared the shite outta me. Wha’cha got there?” Shaking his head at his ex-lover’s obsessive excitement, he helped her to extricate the thing she found so fascinating.
“I don’t know, but look at it,” she replied, engrossed in the strange object she’d unearthed as she cast spell after spell on it, trying to discover what it was. On the ground before them rested a large, roughly rectangular object that was obviously part of something much larger. It was white and made of some strange substance they couldn’t identify either visually or with the normal detection and identification charms. “And look,” she added excitedly, “there are some markings. Do you recognize them?”
Squatting down to get a better look, Jeremy studied the markings carefully for several minutes.Sitting back on the dirt, he looked up at her and admitted, “I don’t know what they are. I’ve never seen them before. I do know that they don’t even faintly resemble the writings normally associated with this area.” The young man grimaced, knowing that Hermione wouldn’t like this answer.
Staring thoughtfully at the object, she mused, “Well, we could start with the basics.” At that, the scholarly former Gryffindor cast a standard translation charm on the strange item from the past. Not expecting any results, the young mages were shocked to find a translation appear over the original script.
“Atlan?” asked Jeremy, “What the hell does that mean? Did the charm give a source for the translation?”
Looking carefully at the magically-generated image, Hermione turned to her friend in wide-eyed wonder. “J-Jeremy, the s-spell must be wrong. This j-just c-can’t be.” At his inquiring look, she just pointed at the information floating over the artefact, her hand quivering from the shock. Getting to his feet and moving behind her to get a better look, he gasped as he saw the single word: Originators.
Harry once again found himself relaxing on top of the large boulder that had become his favourite place to go for some quiet time to himself. The last several weeks since Talia’s revelations had completely changed his view of life and sometimes he needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city that was hidden in the middle of the dry bed of Groom Lake. It amazed him that, even with magic, a city and spaceport existed right in the midst of one of the most protected and secret places in the Muggle world. A place that was now his home, at least for the time being.
Talia had introduced him to the teeming alien research station the afternoon following his sighting of the shuttle. So much blending of magic and technology was openly displayed that it had left him almost catatonic in his shock and awe. “Wouldn’t the Purebloods just crap themselves if they saw this,”he thought. “Oh, wait, there aren’t any Purebloods,”he recalled with malicious glee. “We’re all part-humans by their own definition. Where’s that bloody Malfoy when I need him? I just hope I get to be the one to tell him.”
The original settlers had been on their own for almost two millennia before another ship from the Homeworld arrived. The initial distress signal, sent before the forced landing, had been garbled by the ion storm to the point of being unreadable when received. To make matters worse, the transmission that was eventually sent after they had set up the first colony had literally taken centuries to arrive and was almost missed as the signal had been incredibly weak. After attempts by the Homeworld to contact the missing colonists (allowing for the time involved in light-speed communication) failed, it was eventually decided to divert a mission heading to a relatively nearby system to seek the fate of the colonists. They thought it unlikely there would even be surviving descendants after all this time.
Upon their arrival, the presumptive rescue team was amazed to find that their brethren had not only survived, but had flourished and had somehow accomplished much of the original mission brief. Granted, they had only established a part of what had been planned, but they did have major colonies on all of the key land-masses; including a huge metropolis just off the coast of the European continent where the pinnacle of the indigenous civilization at the time seemed to be developing.
This city, the capital of their society and home to over ten thousand aliens, humans, and hybrids, was named in honour of both the Homeworld and their colony ship. They called it Atlantis.
“Harry?” Talia’s soft voice got his attention as he returned to the Groom Lake colony that evening. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, love. I just... well, I still just need to get back to what I know sometimes,” the raven-haired wizard responded thoughtfully. “I know it’s been a while, but sometimes I still feel like I’m living in the middle of an episode of Star Trek. I keep expecting to walk into a room and see some bald chap telling someone to ‘Make it so’. Some of the research labs here even kinda look like the Enterprise.”
The blonde hybrid giggled. “You do realize that both Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman were our people, don’t you?”
“Atlantians or hybrids?”
“Roddenberry’s grandfather and Berman’s, uh, great-great-grandmother, I think, emigrated here from Atlan. Neither joined the human world, but all of their children did. They both spent time here as kids from what I understand. In fact, I heard that Berman visited some of his cousins who live here just last year.” She shrugged her slim shoulders.“I’ve never met either of them, but I know people who have.” A comfortable silence fell between them as, hand-in-hand, they walked towards their comfortable apartment on the outskirts of the colony.
As they approached their home, Talia quietly spoke again. “Harry, I got a message from the Council today. They want to speak with you sometime next week.”
“Did they say what about?”
“No. But... I think... maybe they have something they want you to do for them.”
Harry touched the panel that unlocked and opened the door and drew her inside with him. “Lights,” he commanded the room as the door closed behind them. Releasing her hand, he threw himself into a large, overstuffed armchair that was reminiscent of the Gryffindor common room.
Lowering his face into his hands, his elbows resting on his knees, he dryly commented, “Lovely. Just fucking lovely.” He looked up to see a confused and slightly hurt look in his girlfriend’s deep, violet eyes, so he continued, “Sorry. I’m just so tired of being used. Ihave nothing against the Council, and really don’t mind helping out. Although I can’t imagine what they could need my help with.”
Talia crawled into his lap, and briefly pressed a tender kiss against his lips. “I did ask my grandfather about it, but he just said they’d discuss it with you next week. You’d think having family on the Council would help,” she added with a frown.
Harry chuckled. “It’s never that simple, love.” His demeanour became slightly darker as another thought crossed his mind. “I wonder if this has something to do with this mysterious list I’ve heard about?”
“Harry, you know...”
“I know, sweetheart, I know. You can’t tell me anything about it,” he reassured his lover.
“I-I’m sorry,” she said, as she looked away from him. “I don’t like keeping secrets from you, but it’s...”
He held her close to his chest and gently stroked her back. “It’s okay. I understand. It’s not your secret to tell.”
“It’s more than just that. This affects all of the Atlantians that are here.” She snuggled in closer, relishing the comfort she felt in his arms. “It’s one of the reasons I wasn’t going to tell you about myself,” she continued in a bare whisper. “I didn’t want to give myself to anyone if I couldn’t be completely open with them.” Looking back up into his emerald green eyes, she added with a tiny smile, “But nooooo. You couldn’t be happy with just my body; you just had to find a way into my heart, too.”
“Hey,” he softly exclaimed in feigned outrage, “I’m very happy with your body. Is it my fault that I couldn’t get enough and had to have more?”
Mollified, but not wanting to show it, the part-Atlantian turned herself around so she was straddling the young wizard and asked sarcastically, but still as quietly, “Really, now. Just very happy?”
“Extremely very happy.”
“Prove it, buster.”
And he did, several times, in that very same Gryffindorish armchair.
After Hermione and Jeremy knew what to look for, they soon found literally hundreds of pieces of that same strange material. Very few had any discernable markings, but it was evident that they had made an important find and needed help. An urgent message sent to Jeremy’s Archaeology professor was enough to bring him to the site. When the old wizard had seen what they’d unearthed, he had immediately called for a full team to explore the location. Their small research project quickly became a major archaeological dig.
Hermione knew that her strengths were more in pure research. When the full team arrived to expand the excavation, she returned to the University of Magic and Technology, Sydney to study the strange material and to try to find any information about the mysterious Originators. As much as she wanted to be part of the dig, she knew that she’d be more of an asset in the various labs and libraries that the school boasted. Besides, she admitted to herself that her loneliness was starting to get to her and was afraid that she just might jump her ex-boyfriend. “Not that he’d mind, I’m sure,” she smirked to herself,“but I can’t allow him to get his hopes up again. He’s a sweet guy, but something was just missing.”
The days became weeks as she buried herself in her research. There had been no firm answers from the people studying the strange material; it was as if it couldn’t possibly exist. Finally, they decided to send it to some Muggle experts that knew about the Magical world, hoping they could identify it.
She then decided to dedicate her time to researching these “Originators” and found that there was very little known about these people except the references to them that could be found in the earliest traditions of every known magical culture. It was as if they just... appeared from nowhere.
So deep was she in her research one day, that she failed to notice a young, dark-complexioned man creep up behind her and whisper in her ear, “Hi, baby.”
With instincts honed from teenage years spent in a time of war, she sprang from her chair and drew her vine-wood wand to find a now terrified Jeremy looking cross-eyed at its tip just millimetres from the end of his nose. Drawing a deep breath, she slowly lowered her wand and apologized to her friend.
Holding his hands up in mock-surrender, the relieved wizard reassured her,“No worries, Hermione. I should know better than to sneak up on you.” He then added with a grin, “I still have nightmares about the morning I woke up with your wand three inches up my nose.”
Shaking her head in embarrassment at her memory of the morning after their first night together, she asked, “So what brings you in from the Outback?”
“Just a break from the wilderness. Oh, and I brought you a gift.” At her questioning glare, he rapidly clarified, “No, nothing like that. We found something I thought you’d like a gander at. The tech guys aren’t certain what it is, but it looks kinda like one of those Muggle gadgets you have.” He handed her a small, thin rectangle of that same white material.
As she examined the strange object. Jeremy continued his explanation, “They figured out that if you hold it, and push your magic into it while putting your finger on that depression near the bottom, the front of it lights up, and shows some symbols like the ones you translated at the site. When I saw it, I told them about that thing your parents gave you to keep notes on last Christmas – that, whad’yacallit, er, Hand... Foot?”
Hermione’s face took on a quizzical look for a moment, and then she chuckled,“You mean my Palm PDA?”
“Yeah, that’s it. Knew it was a body part of some kind. So I, ah, sorta convinced them that you’d be the best one to figure it out.”
“Gee, thanks,” she muttered sarcastically as she followed his instructions and pushed her magic into the strange alien object.“Hope this doesn’t zap me,”she thought as the device activated. “This is the same kind of damned-fool stunt Harry would pull... and that I’d bitch at him for. I wonder how he’s doing? I haven’t talked to him in a... What the hell?”
The alien machine interrupted her thoughts as the top surface lit up, displaying the strange symbols that Jeremy described. Picking her wand up off the table she was working at, she cast the same translation charm as she had before, but nothing happened.
“They tried that, first thing,” her companion explained. “It seems that the magic involved in operating it disrupts any charms cast on it.” Seeing Hermione become totally engrossed in the item, and knowing from their previous relationship that he’d never get the witch’s attention back, he kissed her softly on the top of her head, and quietly left.
Some hours later, Hermione asked, “So, how you turn this thing off? Jeremy?” Looking away from the alien technology for a moment and glancing around the room, she called again, “Jeremy?” Shrugging her shoulders, she returned to her inspection, thinking “No patience, that one.”
Harry woke up to Talia kissing and nibbling his neck. “Get up, sleepy-head. Grandfather sent you a message.”
The word “grandfather” acted like a bucket of cold water to his building ardour. “Wha-?”
“Grandfather would like you to meet him in his office in the Council Centre this morning. You need to get your lazy ass up and motivated. And before you start; we don’t have time.” The naked blonde giggled at the pouting expression that statement elicited. “He needs to see you as soon as you can get there. However,” she added with a sultry smile, “the sooner you see him, the sooner we can get to whatever is in your dirty little mind.” With those words of encouragement, Harry gave her a quick, yet passionate, kiss and shot off to the bathroom to prepare himself for his meeting with the Planetary High Councillor of the Terran Research Colonies.
“Harry Potter to see the Planetary High Councillor. I have an appointment,” Harry announced himself at the security desk in the entrance hall of the Council Centre.
“Certainly, sir. If you’ll follow this gentleman, he’ll guide you to the High Councillor’s office,” replied the large security officer.
“Thank you.” Harry fell in step behind another, equally large, guard.
After traversing what felt like miles of identical corridors and riding innumerable lifts, Harry found himself sitting in front of the leader of all of the Atlantians living on Earth. Even worse, the elderly, well-dressed, gentleman was also Talia’s grandfather.
“Good morning, Harry. It was kind of you to come so quickly.”
“Good morning, sir. It was no problem at all. Talia said that it was important,” Harry courteously responded as he thought wryly,“Like I had any real choice in the matter.”
“She did, did she? Hm. What else did she say? Oh, have you had breakfast, yet?” The old man was unfailingly polite.
“Just a bit of tea, sir. All I know is that there is something the Council would like me to do for them; and she only mentioned that after she spoke with you last week.”
“Hm. Good, good.” The greying Atlantian waved his hand and produced a tray of coffee, tea and various pastries on the corner of his desk. “Help yourself, young man. We’ll be here for a while and I’ve found that hunger and conversation don’t mix well. Oh, and that is a proper British tea. I spent a fair amount of time in London in my younger days and not only understand, but agree with the prejudice against American tea. You might be interested to know that tea is not found on any of the other worlds Atlan trades with and has become a rather valuable commodity in the galaxy. Oh, and while we’re alone, feel free to call me Ecklin.”
With a smile, Harry availed himself of the snacks on the tray, as did Ecklin. The old man’s seemingly rambling speech and pleasant manner was somehow comforting to Harry as the older wizard didn’t seem to be like all of the manipulative idiots and politicians he’d grown up having to deal with.
The two men spent a pleasant breakfast just getting to know each other, thankfully without Talia’s grandfather showing too much interest in their relationship. They traded stories from their lives, finding common ground in some of their struggles as it turned out that the Atlantians had helped somewhat in local battles with both Grindelwald and Voldemort, as well as most of the previous Dark Lords throughout history.
In fact, Ecklin had been there when Dumbledore had finally defeated and imprisoned Grindelwald. “Albus was a powerful wizard, but a royal fool,” Ecklin commented. “We all tried to convince him to just end Grindelwald’s life, but nooooo, the Great Dumbledore always knew better. Personally, I blame him for a lot of what’s happened in Europe the past few decades. Always trying to redeem the evil, but ignoring the rights of the innocent. I’m happy to see that you survived his nonsense mostly unscathed; and not just for Talia’s sake, either.” Harry coloured just a bit at the Atlantian elder’s gentle sincerity.
Sitting back comfortably in his high-backed office chair, the old man stretched and let out a small burp. Looking intently at his young companion, he became more serious as he said, “You’re a good man, Harry, and as much as I’d like to sit here all day just getting to know you better, we need to get down to business.” Harry sat up straighter in his chair and nodded his agreement.
“Good, good. Now, as you’ve no doubt learned, we Atlantians have been here for millennia and inadvertently fostered the ability to use elu among the indigenous people. Now, it may well have transpired anyway, even without our involvement, but that’s not how it happened, so we, as a people, feel a certain… measure of responsibility in elu related matters.
“Now for a bit of history: in any culture – ours included – there have always been those who would use their superior talents and abilities to oppress others. This is simply human – and Atlantian, as well as every other culture’s – nature. In our studies, we’ve discovered that there’s a… pattern, of sorts… to the rise and fall of the darkness in any given culture. This applies, as well, to what you’d call the Muggle World.
“However, our studies have shown that in the last four hundred years, that pattern has… broken, for lack of a better word… in your so-called Magical World. Whereas the dominance of good versus evil is always in balance when looked at over time, this has not been the case on Magical Terra. Four Hundred years ago, the planet-wide average was two Dark Lords per generation. Two hundred years later, the average increased to twenty per generation. The following hundred years saw that average increase to thirty-two.
“In just the last two generations there have been a total of one hundred twelve across the planet. Europe, as a whole, had nine of them. Oddly enough, two of those were in your home country of England, which has a below average Magical population.
“In comparison; Muggle Terra, even though it, too, has accelerated somewhat, is still within the norm, although just barely. And before you ask: yes, we have allowed for the increase in population.” He paused to allow Harry to absorb this information and was pleasantly surprised to see the younger mage nodding in agreement and understanding.
“Our best minds have been trying to understand why such a small sub-culture of an otherwise unremarkable world would show such a discrepancy. There was only one possible conclusion: the artificial introduction of elu – magic – to your world. Yes, it may have come about sooner or later on its own, but it didn’t. We caused it. In our hubris, our lack of foresight, and yes, our lust, we brought this on your world,” the High Councillor concluded sadly.
Harry’s eyebrows drew together in concentration as he considered all of this carefully. Slowly, he pondered aloud, “Couldn’t there be some other reason? Maybe we’re just… different? From what I’ve seen just here in the colony, there are so many different kinds of people… Isn’t it possible that we just don’t fit the pattern?”
Nodding, the old man replied, “Possible? Yes, but unlikely to the extreme. This balance has been observed on thousands of different worlds and is the same everywhere. Granted, the period of the pattern varies from culture to culture, but the pattern itself is as absolute as the speed of light or the gravitational constant of the universe. Even in your Muggle World, the pattern still exists and the small discrepancies can easily be attributed to magical forces encroaching on the Muggle World. No, Harry, the results are conclusive. We are at fault and we need to repair the damage.”
The two men sat in contemplative silence as Harry carefully considered Ecklin’s words. He understood why the Atlantians felt responsible for the loss of balance, as he had felt that same sort of responsibility, himself, many times. But he just couldn’t imagine what they could do about it, much less why they would need his help. He decided that there was only one way to find out.
“Ecklin,” he addressed the older man, “I understand why you feel responsible. I don’t agree with it because I really think that we would have screwed things up on our own sooner or later, anyway; but I do understand it. What I don’t understand is what can be done about. Or what I can do to help.”
A fleeting smile passed across the High Councillor’s lips. “My granddaughter has chosen well,”he thought. “He will be a valuable addition to our people.”Taking a deep breath, Ecklin prepared to drop the latest bomb-shell on this young man. “Harry, we need you and several others to act as our ambassadors to the various Magical Governments around the planet. We want to give them some warning before we… correct our mistake. We would like you to appear before the British Wizengamot to present our plan. I will address the International Confederation of Wizards personally. Now, this could be potentially quite dangerous as they won’t like what they hear, especially as they don’t know that we even exist as a separate race. You will, naturally, be accompanied by a cadre of our finest troops.”
“Okay, but what will I be telling them?”
“First of all, you’ll need to reveal our existence. There are those in the very highest levels of the Confederation who know about us, but almost no one on the regional levels – most certainly no Muggles do. Dumbledore did, but I find it unlikely he told anybody on the Wizengamot. I think he kept secrets from himself.”
Harry chuckled at that, “Yeah, probably. I know he kept enough of them from me. So far, I’m okay with this. I can see where the knowledge that none of them are as ‘pure’ as they seem to think could be dangerous to the messenger. To be honest, I’m kinda glad to be the one to tell them.”He remembered thinking about his wish to tell Malfoy back when Talia had told him her story. “I guess some wishes do come true,”he smiled inwardly.
A matching smile briefly crossed Ecklin’s now tired-seeming face. “I understand, my young friend. However, that’s not the dangerous information.” He slid a small, white, metallic rectangle across his desk. “Do you know what this object is?”
“Yeah, it’s one of those data pad things I’ve seen people working with. I don’t know how to use it, though.” He picked it up and turned it over, trying to figure out how to work it.
“It’s actually quite simple. You see that depression near the edge? Hold it with that depression at the bottom, facing you.” Harry did so.“Now, since this is a special model for off-colony use, it has some security. Most of these units can be used by anyone, but as you’ll be taking it out into the greater world, we don’t want anyone else to inadvertently access it. Place your thumb on the depression and think your full name while pushing some of your elu into it. This will allow it to be used only by you.” Harry complied and was rewarded by a soft glow emanating from the front of the device for several seconds before fading away.
“Well done, Harry. Now, just think about what you want to know as you push elu into it. In your case, it will be displayed in English as it’s keyed to you. If you ever need to use an unsecured unit, as you concentrate on your request, add the request that it be in English, or it will default to Atlantian. You can even ask it how to operate it, if you ever need some guidance.” Harry did so, and was rewarded with a complete tutorial in English.
“Will this even show me the plan?” The raven-haired wizard studied the display on the strange device.
“Yes, but please don’t access it until after you appear before the full Council tomorrow and officially accept this post.”
“Okay, but I’d kinda like to know what I’m agreeing to.”
“I understand, and I’d be worried if you didn’t.” The old mage seemed even more tired as he paused. “Harry, we’ve spent nearly a century trying to find a better way to repair the damage we’ve caused. Unfortunately, we’ve only been able to come up with one that is certain to work. Anything else we could come up with had an equal chance of making things worse.” He took a deep breath and locked his gaze with Harry’s. “We will be removing the ability to use elu from everyone on the planet.”
Hermione sat back from going over her notes on the Originators that she kept on her PDA. “This is quite a useful thing to have,” she mused. She glanced at the similar, yet alien, device lying on the back corner of her desk. Setting hers down carefully on its charging cradle, she picked up the alien machine and held it carefully, her thumb on that odd imperfection in the otherwise smooth surface. She focussed her magic to activate the device as she absently wished that she knew how to use it and that it displayed in at least some language she understood.
The former Gryffindor glanced down as the front took on the usual soft glow of activation. To her surprise, she could read the words at the top, which read ‘Infopadd Tutorial Version 12’. Excitedly, she read through the pages of smoothly scrolling text. When she finished, she sat back and thought in outrage,“All I had to do was wish I could read the fucking thing?” As she struggled to regain control of the sudden emotional need to throw the machine across the room, the young genius rose from her desk and got comfortable in the overstuffed armchair in the corner of her bedroom, ready for a long night of research into the vast information contained in the slim, white box.
It didn’t take long for the analytically-minded witch to master the device and be able to call up whatever data she required. “Amazing,” she thought, somewhat sarcastically, “A magical device that’s logically designed. If there was any doubt that it was extra-terrestrial in origin, this would be enough proof for me.” She sat in that chair studying things that she’d never realized were possible until, just before sunrise, she dozed off. As the infopadd slipped from her hand to fall on her lap, it powered itself down just as it displayed a page titled ‘The Redemption Plan’.