HP/Farscape crossover: John Crichton and his family return to Earth in the year 2021, to find Great Britain and Europe decimated. In his search for answers, John finds a woman who has been huntin...
John Crichton looked around the command deck of Moya. D'Argo and Zhaan were braced against one of the consoles, looking eager. This was the first time they'd gone along on one of their parents' 'adventures' as full participants; since their targets on the other side were near the kids' ages, John figured they'd be helpful. And, as Aeryn had pointed out, it wasn't like they weren't both old enough to be considered skilled and experienced soldiers had they been raised as Peacekeepers.
Muoma wasn't on command for this trip. Instead, she was happily buried in the books Hermione Weasley had given her, including histories and mythologies of ancient cultures, both magical and mundane, and comprehensive treatises on archaeology, anthropology, human biology, and genetics. No one had seen her for days.
Chiana was there, looking a bit apprehensive and far too young. It was still awkward to see her, looking not much older than his daughter, but she'd lost fifteen years of normal aging in cryo-stasis at the Nebari re-education facility, before John Crichton and a cohort of Rygel's Hynerian forces managed to infiltrate and free her. The brainwashing, still in its early stages, had been easy to eradicate, but the trauma of her capture and imprisonment still sometimes showed through. She stuck to Moya now like a limpet, rarely leaving the ship unless accompanied by John, Aeryn, or both. She'd declined to go down to Earth at all during the two months they'd been visiting.
John turned to look at Pilot's image in the clamshell. "Okay, Pilot, give me manual control."
The wormhole nexus system he had finally tracked down to get back to Earth again had an exit point less than two light-years away, no more than a short starburst or a few weeks' flight at hetch velocities. It flashed open right on schedule and John took Moya in.
Eyes closed, listening to the wormhole network as they flew through its maze of interconnecting branches, John focused on a familiar time and place. Earth, March 1999. His first trip through a wormhole had started there, so the feel of it should be familiar. He wanted to show up at least a week after that, which was more difficult. He turned the ship left, left, right, left...they were getting closer.
Sweat broke out on his forehead as the course corrections got faster and trickier. There were millions of possible exits to choose from, each one representing an unrealized reality. And hidden among them, the one he wanted.
He felt a drop of liquid trickle down from his hairline and towards his chin. Total engrossment...concentration is key....
A small, distant voice. "Dad, you okay?"
The distraction was tiny, hardly noticeable. But when John opened his eyes as the final exit point was approaching, a tiny, white blur zoomed past the hammond side of the ship, almost too quickly to see.
"What the..." he gasped.
Moya burst out of the wormhole in close Earth orbit, fortunately still cloaked and invisible.
"Pilot, what was that?"
There was a long pause. "It appeared to be...your module, Commander. It was spinning out of control, but there was not time to deploy the docking web."
Commander John Crichton leaned down and hid his face with his hands. "No no no, that's not possible. This is not happening."
"Dad, what's wrong?" Zhaan touched his shoulder, shaking him lightly, her voice tight with worry.
John looked up at his daughter's face, then over at his wife, who was trying to control her laughter without much success. "This is not funny, Aeryn."
She shook her head. "No, but it is very typical."
Both teenagers were now looking back and forth between their parents in confusion.
"Commander," Pilot broke in tentatively. "Was that...."
"Yes, Pilot. Apparently the accident that threw me into your path over twenty cycles ago wasn't an accident. The wormhole I fell through...was this one. It wasn't a rogue solar flare after all; that electromagnetic wave they detected was the wormhole bubble forming as we approached. It opened because we were coming here, and I got sucked in. No wonder they could never figure it out."
Zhaan looked at her parents, then at her brother. "Cool!" they exclaimed together.
"Commander," Pilot spoke again, "there are voices on several communications channels calling your name."
John bowed his head, eyes closed. Somewhere, miles below them, Dad and DK were freaking out over his disappearance, horrified and grief-stricken. Somewhere on the other side of the galaxy, a Prowler was colliding with his module. He couldn't do a damn thing about either one. "I know, Pilot. Don't answer. Put us in orbit over Great Britain."
That accomplished, John then walked over to the one incongruous item on Moya's bridge -- an old-fashioned painting in an ornate frame, bearing a very life-like portrait of Hermione Weasley. It was one part of her plan to send her knowledge back with them, though she hadn't been certain it would work. Magical portraits, it seemed, were tied to the magical core of the wizard for whom they were created, and would only 'activate' upon their death. Hermione's logic in this was that, even though there was a Hermione alive in this time, it would not be Hermione /Weasley/, but Hermione Granger. The slight difference in her magical core, due to age and the magical bonding of her brief marriage, would in theory allow the painting to awaken as soon as they left the year 2021.
"Ms. Weasley?" he asked tentatively, feeling strange talking to a framed canvas.
The portrait's eyes opened and blinked sleepily. "Yes?"
"We've arrived. Do you...remember why we're here?" The Weasley woman's explanations of how everything worked had not instilled him with much confidence in this piece of cloth and oil.
The portrait chuckled. "Yes, Mr. Crichton. We're here to change history. This is March of 1999?" At John's nod, she continued. "Harry, Ron, and I spent the spring that year back at the Potter house in Godric's Hollow. It's a few miles outside of Chestow, in south-eastern Wales, though it's such a tiny village it doesn't appear on most maps."
"So how d'you want to do this?"
The portrait smirked. "Don't worry, I have a plan."
John blinked, then heard a snicker from behind him. Looking over, he saw Aeryn raise an ironic eyebrow. "At least it's not one of your plans, John."
He growled playfully. "Shush, you, you're gonna ruin my rep with the kids."
"Way too late for that, Dad."
Dobby bustled about the little kitchen, preparing breakfast for his Master Harry Potter, Harry Potter's Wheezy, and Miss Grangey. Just as he was piling the twentieth rasher of bacon onto the heaping platter -- Wheezy was a challenge for even the most industrious house elf to keep fed -- he heard Miss Grangey calling him.
Popping to the location of the voice, Dobby was surprised to find himself outside the cottage, in the field behind the old Potter property. Instead of finding Miss Grangey, as he expected, he found a portrait standing alone, propped against a small sapling. The picture was Miss Grangey...and yet it wasn't.
"Dobby, it's good to see you," the portrait greeted kindly.
"Miss Grangey? Miss Grangey is all grown up...why is Miss Grangey in a picture?"
"It's a long story Dobby. My future self sent this portrait back to warn the three people in that cottage of a danger they don't know they are facing. Would you be willing to pop me into the house so that I can talk to Harry, Ron and...myself?"
Dobby appeared to ponder this question for a long moment. He had been instructed to never let anyone into the cottage without approval. But a portrait was not the same as a person.
A bound elf would have returned to his master for instructions. Dobby, being free, had been learning to take initiative when necessary. He finally nodded.
Harry Potter, now eighteen years old, ambled down the stairs from the second story of his parents' cottage, still pulling on his warm dressing gown against the early spring chill. He heard Ron and Hermione talking quietly, not far behind, though Harry was still carefully not noticing whether they had emerged from the same bedroom or not. It was a game they played: Ron and Hermione pretending they weren't romantically involved, and Harry pretending he didn't know that they /were/.
It was good to be back here again; their long hunt for the remaining horcruxes too often took them traveling away from home, chasing phantom rumors and searching long forgotten sites. Godric's Hollow, for all that he'd lived here for less than six months total since the age of one, was home.
He walked into the kitchen, smelling bacon and eggs even before opening the door. They were going to get very spoiled with Dobby taking care of them.
He took three steps inside before he noticed something new at the breakfast table. Ron and Hermione nearly collided with him as they entered, then froze themselves at the sight.
The portrait at the table laughed heartily. "Oh, you three should see your faces. Priceless!"
"Dobby?" Harry asked, finally finding his voice after a few seconds. "Why is there a portrait of Hermione's mum in the kitchen?"
"That's not Mum," Hermione broke in, staring at the portrait without blinking.
"Then who the bloody hell is it?" Ron wondered.
Both Hermione and the woman in the portrait turned to Ron instantly and snapped, "Ron, language!"
Harry stopped, stunned, looking back and forth between his friend and the eerily similar face on the canvas. Then he smacked his hand against his face, supporting the elbow in his other hand, and just stood there shaking his head.
"Mate, what's wrong? Scar bothering you?"
"No," Harry replied weakly. "It's just...there's two of them. We're doomed."
Ron paused, then looked between the two women who were now both giving them evil glares. "Oy, you're right. Downright scary, they are."
The portrait cleared her throat, seemingly caught between annoyance and laughter. "Perhaps I should introduce myself."
"You're me," the younger Hermione stated with assurance.
Both Ron and Harry looked at her like she was nuts, but the portrait smiled fondly. "Very good, Hermione. Now, can you deduce anything else?"
The young woman bit her lip, staring into the eyes of the portrait which were so like her own. "You're older, so you're from the future. Time turner?"
The portrait chuckled. "Close. I was never able to find anything magical that would bring me back far enough. If it were that simple, I would have come in person, rather than sending a portrait."
"So if it wasn't magic...are you saying that the muggles will discover time travel technology? You can't be more that fifteen or twenty years older than I am. It'll be that soon?"
"Not muggles as a group, but one very talented muggle, with some outside help."
Harry piped in at that point. "But why? Why send you back, to here and now? Unless...." Harry's expression fell, regressing to the depressed self-loathing that they had only managed to eradicate in the last year or so. "Something went wrong, didn't it? I failed, and Voldemort took over." Ron and Hermione gasped and looked to the older Hermione.
"No, Harry," the portrait said gently. "You succeeded, brilliantly. If anyone failed, it was me."
Her living counterpart flinched as if struck.
The portrait sighed, looking down at her own hands. "I took too long finding the horcruxes. I thought we'd found them all, but he slipped in a ringer; after you killed Voldemort, he came back again using his last horcrux."
Hermione, never one to shy away from the tough questions, asked in a low whisper, "Was it bad?"
"Bad enough. Bad enough to convince a man who has no personal stake in the wizarding world, and who nearly lost everything the last time he traveled through time, to attempt it again, and bring his family along to help. That's why we're here: to help. We're going to win this time."
Four hours later, the Golden Trio was sitting in the living room of Godric's Hollow with a portrait, a werewolf, an auror, several Weasleys, and the four members of the Sun-Crichton clan. The portrait had just finished retelling her story for the new arrivals, who listened with expressions ranging from concern to distrust on their faces.
For all his mild-mannered reputation, Arthur Weasley's was possibly the most suspicious expression. Bill and Fleur looked torn between doubt and horror. The twins were talking quietly together, and Tonks was doing her best to show no expression at all, though her hair was shifting shades somewhat randomly.
Arthur was the one who spoke. "Why are you taking the word of these strange muggles, Harry? For all you know, they could be under the Imperius, sent by Voldemort, and the portrait faked."
Harry looked unsure; saying that it was a 'feeling' wasn't going to fly with this group.
Remus, fortunately, came to the rescue. "Well, I can't say one way or another about the muggles, but I can offer some insight into the art of magical portraits. Sirius and I studied them once, many years ago. We were going to have one painted of Lily and James, for Christmas back in 1981. Needless to say, it never happened. But we did learn a great deal.
"Magical portraits are one of the most honest forms of magic in existence. You cannot paint one without the cooperation of the subject -- in this case, Hermione, but much older. The portrait is also not affected by any potions or enchantments the subject may be suffering. If you painted a portrait of a person under the imperius, the portrait would have the subject's true personality. A portrait of someone under polyjuice would show the person under the potion.
"Based on that," Remus finished, nodding to the older Hermione in the picture, "I believe this is exactly who it purports to be: Hermione Granger, from the year 2021."
"Thank you, Remus," the portrait said, carefully not correcting the name. She had told the Crichtons earlier that she did not intend to reveal her married name, for fear of somehow altering the nascent relationship as it was in this time.
"So," Bill Weasley, breaking into the long silence that followed, "what are you kids proposing to do?"
Harry turned to John Crichton, passing the question to him. John looked at Aeryn, who shrugged, then turned back to Harry. "All we were asked to do was bring back the portrait. It has all the information you need to find what you're looking for, faster this time, and avoid having this Voldemort character pop back up again like a bad 70's TV remake. If you want, we can just take our leave here and head back to our own time."
There was some muttered conversation amongst the adult wizards and witches of the group, along with a fair amount of nodding. After a few moments, however, the portrait cleared its throat loudly. Silence fell, as everyone turned to look at the painting.
"What Mr. Crichton failed to mention, since you're all being so insular and untrusting, is that he and his family do have something else to offer, something that could make as much difference as my information."
Fleur Weasley scoffed. "What can theez muggles do against zee most dangerous wizard in 'istory?"
"Fleur, honey," the portrait said, in the slightly condescending Southern lilt that Hermione Weasley had picked up during her years in North Carolina, "the Crichton's have been fighting evil as long as you've been alive. John and Aeryn once destroyed an entire planet in order to stop a war. I would not underestimate them if I were you."
The rest of the wizards and witches in the room turned to stare at the Crichtons with a mixture of horror and curiosity. John looked like he wanted to object to the accusation, but Aeryn's hand on his arm stilled him. Aeryn then spoke for the first time since the meeting began.
"Mrs. Weasley," she began, addressing Fleur. "I am told that you are not human, correct?"
"Oui, I am part Veela."
Aeryn nodded. "I, too, am not human. I am Sebacean, and a former member of an organization known as the Peacekeepers." She went on to give a brief synopsis of her life and training prior to meeting her husband. "I cannot train Mr. Potter and his friends in magic," she finally concluded, "but I can offer them some of the best physical and weapons training in the galaxy. My children have already been through this training, but they could certainly use the practice, so they can assist."
D'Argo rolled his eyes at that, while Zhaan smiled and winked at Harry.
The portrait spoke again as the audience attempted to digest this information. "The Crichtons also have a facility at their disposal where Harry, Ron and Hermione can train, which is more secure than Hogwarts or any Fidelius charm."
There was an explosion of protests, derisive laughter, and scoffing from the magical members of the group. Tonks finally voiced the groups doubts by saying, "There's no way a muggle could create a facility secure against wizards without the use of wards."
John sat back against the cushions with a wry smile. "Hermione here," he said, indicating the portrait, "has told me about your world's transportation types. For long distances, you have three purely magical choices: floo, portkey, and apparition, correct? We don't have fireplaces, so floo is out. How far can you apparate? Or, more to the point, how far can this Voldemort character apparate?"
Tonks looked around, but no one else was volunteering. "Most wizards can go a few hundred miles, enough to get around Great Britain and into portions of France and Belgium. Voldemort...we don't know. Maybe twice that far?"
John's grin grew wider. "How about portkeys? What's the longest range?"
Tonks was looking nervous now. "A groups of wizards working together can power one for a couple thousand miles. To the United States, for example. Any further would require a sequence of portkeys."
John's blue eyes were now twinkling with mirth, in a way that reminded everyone eerily of Dumbledore. "Then I'd say our 'facility' is just a bit out of range."
Fred and George perked up. "So where are you hiding--"
"--this wonderful place?"
The portrait was heard to mutter, "Bloody ethnocentric purebloods...."
"Hey!" One of the twins protested, echoed by the other.
"We resemble that remark!"
John laughed lightly at the exchange. "How about you, Hermione?" he asked, this time addressing the young woman sitting between Harry and Ron. "Can you think of anyplace further away than Australia or Antarctica? Someplace these other poor, ignorant wizards might not think of?"
"Somewhere not on Earth, I'm assuming. Mrs. Crichton did say she wasn't human. Since she's not magical, that implies alien."
"Bingo! Give the lady a kewpie doll! Ladies and gentlemen, our 'facility' is called Moya. She's a space ship, currently parked in the L2 point, about 275,000 miles away and behind the Moon. That's a bit outside the range of your methods. The only way to reach her is via space ship, and somehow I doubt Voldemort has one in stock."
Harry and Hermione looked at each other in wonder and awe; having both been raised in the muggle world, they knew about the moon landings and satellites and space shuttles. Remus, too, seemed shocked. Everyone else just laughed, and made statements like, "Pull the other one, mate!"
John looked over at Hermione's portrait. "Well, you were right."
The woman in the painting snorted in a very unladylike manner. "I told you so. It's like the world outside doesn't even exist for them."
"Did it ever get better?"
"Yes, somewhat. After the Statute of Secrecy was dropped, a lot of the mages in the States had to learn to cope with both societies. It helped that there aren't nearly so many purebloods there; most of the magical people who emigrated to the Americas were mixed bloods and muggle-born, who didn't feel they had enough opportunities in their home country. So there wasn't the long tradition of isolationism and blood-prejudice to contend with like they have here."
The wizards in the room had gradually stopped laughing and were listening to the by-play with increasing consternation. John turned to them and challenged, "So, y'all think I'm crazy? You're probably right...but I ain't a liar. You want proof, step out the back door with me."
The whole group, over a dozen strong, trooped out onto the back porch of the old Potter cottage and gazed out across the wide expanse of grass and low hedgerows. There was nothing visible above that until you reached the forest's edge a hundred yards away.
"Pilot?" John called out, tapping his comms.
"Yes, Commander Crichton?"
Since no one in the group other than the Crichtons had translator microbes, everyone looked around startled at the strange noises being emitted from the small device.
"Can you please lower the cloaking shield on the transport pod for a few microts?"
"Of course, Commander."
With a shimmer like hot air over the desert, a large brown object faded into view near the trees in the distance. It was the size of a Hungarian Horntail, without the wings; several of the wizards took an involuntary step back.
"/That's/ a spaceship?" Hermione asked, looking at it appraisingly.
"One of Moya's shuttles. Capable of flying from here to the Moon in about ten minutes."
"Wicked!" That was Ron, who was suddenly eyeing the pod with much greater respect.
"So," John turned and faced the group, propping himself against the porch rail. "Mr. Potter. You can get all the advice and opinions that you want from these good people, but in the end, it's your decision. With the portrait in there, you have the knowledge you need to destroy those horcrux-things once and for all. But after that, you still have to face the bastard and win. In the previous time-line, you were six years older and more experienced when you faced him, but according to our Hermione, you had only had intermittent training for the task since you couldn't stay in one place very long. You won, but it cost you your life.
"We're offering you a place of safety, a place where you can train and learn and become what you need to be in order to defeat him and survive. We'll train your body. Anyone you want to train you in magic or other skills is invited, for as long as you need."
Harry leaned against the doorframe, meeting John's blue eyes with a piercing green gaze of his own. The rest of the group spread out to each side, giving them room. "Why are you doing this?" Harry asked. "This isn't your world; it isn't even your country."
"You're wrong," John replied. "This is my world. Earth. I came home after twenty years to find half of it destroyed by the stupidity of a single madman. Millions of people dead, millions more doomed to suffer. I couldn't just stand by and do nothing."
Harry smirked and glanced briefly at Hermione. "So, you're saying you have a 'saving people thing'?"
John quirked his head and shrugged one shoulder. "Never heard it put in those words, but I suppose you could say that."
Harry Potter looked into the eyes of his two best friends, posing a silent question to each one. Both thought briefly, then nodded. Harry turned back to John.