A/N One thing I am hesitant to repeat is the super-fast power ups that many fics with a SG1 cross have, either by Ascended Alterans, left behind Repositories of Knowledge creating an info dump with super technology, Asgard raising/ cloning harry they are cool the first few times but the OP does get boring. So pushed Harry Potter canon to finish in 1988 instead to give more time for the skills to branch out.
In an alley across from the Indianapolis Private Hospital, a tall figure garbed in a thick black long coat appeared out of sight with a soft pop. Ignoring the unpleasant nausea of apparition with ease of long practice, the man glanced quickly around for any observers or cameras, seeing none he tugged his coats sleeves and gave a whispered command. Slowly the woollen coat morphed starting from the sleeve, into a long white doctor's coat. A small identification badge hung from the coats front pocket with a bafflement charm to circumvent any queries towards his presence in the unlikely case that any muggleborns or magically inclined species were present.
Leaving the alley, green eyes took in the Hospital; it wasn't too impressive only eight stories tall and made of large pale grey blocky stone and liberally covered in darkened glass, a remnant of an older time before the new obsession of glass and sleekness.
Drawing his mind from his musings, he quickly jogged across the congested street, ignoring the hoots coming from the stalled cars left in his wake. Entering the lobby, he let him self blend into the crowd milling around the receptionist. A weak notice-me-not working from his coat, diverted most of the crowd's attention from his presence, and unconsciously manoeuvred them to let him pass through unimpeded as he made his way to the information listings board.
Skimming the information board listing the floors and their purposes his eyes focused on level Five, the 'Mental' Ward. Moving to the elevator the crowd again unconsciously shifted to allow him to pass unimpeded. Half running he slid into the closing elevator as the doors began to close.
The soft tinkle of house music filled his ears as the black haired wizard absently adjusted his specially crafted gloves, running fingers lightly over the intricate rune work.
A result of three years of research and study into healing. Specially collected Unicorn hairs made the body of the gloves with the runic clusters and general purpose stitching sown in Thestral hair.
Like with the speciality of Ollivander's wands for different disciplines varying with the multitude of combinations between its wood and core components, so to a similar process was in affect with the creating of the gloves.
The links with death and purity inherent in the two magical creatures provided an almost un-paralled affinity towards healing magic, while the general design sacrificed a large portion of combat utility, requiring touch range for most spells to be cast with them to be effective.
Shoes clicked softly on the black and white laminate floor as he passed along the corridor, sparing a glance through the large glass windows for the patients restrained inside. In the fourteenth room tied down with several dozen straps, he found a petite red head. From what Harry knew she had been rescued by her father when she stepped outside the cult compound she had been a member of, for the first time in nearly a year.
Drawing his wand from its wrist holster, he tapped the locked wooden door and muttered a simple unlocking charm. Sliding silently through the now open door Harry stepped into the room, oddly as he shut the door behind him the girl's eyes pierced the notice-me-not; as he faced her she met his gaze locking her eyes with his own.
"Let me out please, I just want to go back!" She gave a pleading whine, pulling herself against the restraints, her body bowed as she pulled, before the hastily muttered sleeping charm pulled her into unconsciousness. The hospital room was bare, the bed and a white padded visitors chair sitting off to the side the only features of note.
Sitting himself half on the white hospital bed he touched the medical glove to her head, Harry focused as information streamed through his mind courtesy of nearly eighty combined diagnosis and analysis spells catalysed into the gloves runic array.
The girl, Amelia had a small list of injuries bruising from fighting the restraints and quite possibly her rescuers, slight malnutrition, abnormal brain chemistry and the small microorganism he had been looking for.
Harry grimaced slightly; the microbe was different from anything he had seen in either muggle or magical world before taking a deprogramming case as a favour a several months back. The microbe was insidious growing into key parts of the brain that delt with emotion and logic causing a limited imperus effect in its victims.
This was the third victim he had found of the toxin, all the others he had found had been rescued and the time between him finding the microbe and the girls rescue the cult had disappeared shortly after leaving no trace for him to follow. A frustrating series of events.
A soft glance into her mind showed the expected obsessive need bordering on compulsion to return to her 'God'. The man Seth was the focal member of each rescued cultists thoughts. From her memories, he was a tall Caucasian man dressed in white robes with luxurious black hair. Oddly, his eyes themselves glowed, not all the time but often enough during emotional outburst to be noticed by Amelia and the other rescued girls.
Removing himself slowly from the sleeping girl's mind his brief probe branched and dived pulling along any information on the compounds location and outline or tangentially related to the cult that he could find. The rapid collection generating a small headache.
With a sigh he returned his wand to its wrist mount, gently tapped her forehead with a glowing gloved finger several transfiguration and healing spells swept through her brain eradicating the germ and chemical imbalances facilitating the obsessive obedience and devotion to Seth. The thought patterns would remain but the drive and compulsion would no longer prevent rational thoughts from overcoming the devotion.
Glancing down at the now sleeping girl's peaceful face Harry sighed, the cult leader was possibly a master potioneer to create an organic imperius but for what reason would his eyes glow, he was not sure. One thing he was certain of was from the victims he had examined, Seth used a golden focus. The golden focus was used in a similar manner to his own medical gloves but with the added ability to channel magic for spells not just at touch range. The lack of a traditional focus was troubling either indicated a preference not to use, an inability to use the more practical magic's, and relying on the more esoteric means like enchantment to create the golden focus, or he had something better than a wand at his disposal.
The window of opportunity to catch them at their base would close soon. Frowning at thought of the pilfered memories, he pulled an enspelled galleon from his pocket. He would need back up at least to deal with the brainwashed, but it would be awkward for their reunion to be over something like this, slumping in his seat he groaned.
"If I don't bring her in on this she will castrate me…" He muttered fingering a specially designed protean portkey. Similar in function to the DA's enspelled galleons, which linked the cosmetic, changes to the coins, these allowed their location to be shared and reached almost instantaneously via portkey, as well as neatly circumventing most standard ministry detection spells, great to bring in back up.
Nodding to himself, he disappeared from the hospital room with a soft crack, rhe sleeping spell would hold for another couple hours. Reappearing on an apartment complex rooftop several dozen blocks away from the hospital Harry pulled out the pendant again. Focussing on the surroundings, he activated the protean portkey, locking the other half's destination to the rooftop.
"Shouldn't be long," He spoke to himself, "Should draw up a map of the place while I wait,"
A puff of displaced air announced Hermione's arrival onto the roof. One of Britain's most talented potioneers produced in the last few decades. Tied back into a messy bun her bushy brown hair hung limply with two curled strands hanging loose framing her tired eyes, tired brown eyes that stared at Harry.
Quickly closing the gap between them, she pulled the wizard into a crushing hug, her voice trembling softly "I've missed you Harry,"
"Hey, hey it hasn't been that long. And don't think I would abandon you," He murmured softy, rubbing small comforting circles into her back, as she pressed a teary face into his shoulder. He noted to himself her general state of dishevel, a state she would never normally allow her appearance to become. Black robes stained with unusual colours and small burns, messy hair hung loosely.
"I know, it's just getting bad again back home, people are worried and the Ministry isn't helping," Pulling back a small smile formed on her face, as she leant back pulling herself out of Harry's one armed hug, "Rose misses her Uncle Harry,"
A sad smile crossed Harrys face at the thought of Rose, and tangentially the unpleasantness that had occurred with Ron, "And I miss her to Moine, I'll be back to see her soon."
"You better…" She gave a mock glare, "Now, what's got you calling me across the ocean at this hour?"
Harry gave her an amused glare, wordlessly he handed Hermione a small bundled pile of paper within was the information he had gathered on the imperious microbe and the underground facility details he had extracted from Amelia's mind.
"It's a nice map granted but…" She spoke giving him a look, her gaze skimmed over the details, nodding to herself before coming to a conclusion on why he had wanted her here. "What sort of defences are we looking at?"
"Non-standard ones definitely," Picking apart the pilfered memories, he re-examined the few that regarded the compounds defences. "Very little noticeable magic, none of the memories have Seth using a wand to perform magic. However, his unique focus operates not too dissimilarly to my own healing gloves, in addition he has a few enchanted artefacts that see heavy use, an inconspicuous Vanishing Cabinet that withdraws into the floor, and handheld stunners"
"Stunners?" Hermione quirked an eyebrow at the information, "I thought you said they were mostly muggles?"
Harry shrugged, "They are, there might be a few squibs lured onto the cult but the majority should be muggles,"
"Why hasn't the American ministry done anything?" Tiredly Hermione rubbed her eyes.
"No idea," Harry shook his head, ignoring the slight frostiness creeping into Hermione's voice, reminiscent of their S.P.E.W days.
"Corrupt or Overworked?" She lent against the small brick chimney, mulling over the information, sorting it with and against what she had known, "God I hope it's the later,"
Harry snorted, she ignored him, "How do the stunners compare to 'Stupify'?"
"It shoots blue lightening, it's slower to travel but it has a lethal component if the target gets zapped twice" Harry shrugged, "Mostly though the brainwashed Muggles are armed with non-magical weaponry."
"Shit, lightning might go around a standard protego..." An image of blue lightening crawling over an orange shield flashed through her mind. "And a knock- off Avada Kedavra to boot..."
"Yeah," Harry gave a slight grimace.
Hermione nodded to herself, her eyes hardened, "Can I see the complex?"
Harry nodded, holding out a hand. Hermione grabbed a firm grip on Harry's hand, commenting off handily "A fire suppression spell will cripple the mundane weaponry at least."
"Yeah, hold on tight there is a hill that overlooks the complex and should be beyond any possible wards," Harry focused on the clearing Amelia's father campervan had stood.
The two disappeared with a muted crack.
The duo appeared shivering with the slight chill in the evening air, on a small hill within eyesight of the cult complex. Glancing around the clearing, Hermione noticed worn down grass and tire tracks embedded in dried mud, from she assumed heavy vehicle use, away from where the two stood she saw a dozen crushed Styrofoam cups trapped in the long grass circling the clearing.
"This was Amelia's father's observation post," Harry spoke up, pre-empting Hermione's train of thought. He gestured towards the south, a three story white panelled house stood surrounded by dense foliage, allowing only a small glimpse of the property.
"Oh," She nodded. Frowning again at the strewn rubbish, she drew her wand, a casual flick and coffee cups, food wrappers and chicken bones flew into a combined pile before her feet. Vanishing the rubbish with a circular wave. Hermione turned back to Harry and to her surprise a small campsite.
"A tent?" Harry's lips quirked as Hermione teased slipping into a faux high-class accent, "I'll have you remember I'm a married woman Mr Potter"
"Hey," Harry huffed, nodding towards the tent, "It's a luxury model I'll have you know, plenty of rooms! Besides, hopefully we won't be here too long. It's just in case I need longer to decipher any defensive enchantments around the property."
Pulling two pairs of Omnoculars out of his de-transformed coats enlarged pockets, he silently handed one to Hermione. Based on one of the more over-estimated magical artefacts, Alistair 'Mad Eye' Moodys enchanted blue eye. The layered spell work in addition to the standard enchantments used for Quidditch viewing allowed the magical binoculars to 'see' standing defensive enchantments.
Following the war, Harry had taken the time to investigate the famous blue orb, its limited capabilities had raised Harry's estimation of Moody's abilities astronomically. There was no mystical X-ray functionality to pierce the most powerful illusions or see through solid walls. It simply was a clever melding of infrared vision and an odd form of mage sight, which let the veteran Auror bluff people into believing it was so much more powerful.
Looking through the Omnoculars, Harry twisted a small knob filling the eyepiece with an enlarged image of the cult estate. Cycling into the mage sight setting nothing in the image changed, no tell tale glow of repulsion charms, defensive perimeters or even simple alert wards. All things that should be easily detectable by even a weak mage sight, but Seth seemed to forgo even that basic protection.
Twisting to adjust the sensitivity the Omnoculars went from highest sensitivity to lowest all to no avail, not even a slight discolouration to hint at concealed or weakened defences. Infrared produced better results, forty-eight heat signatures appeared spread throughout the compound, with a dozen walking a perimeter around the property in pairs.
"It will be easier than I thought," Turning back from his spot of observation, nervously he nibbled on his thumbnail.
"No wards at all, there should be some form of defence." He shook his head, if it looked too easy more often then not it was too easy "It can't be so easy that we can just walk in the front door."
"Maybe they rely on Muggle tricks," Hermione shrugged, as she drew on vaguely remembered WWII lessons and the occasional muggle romance paperback, "Trip wires and sensors would catch most wizards who came investigating unawares, probably long enough for Seth to deploy his microbe?"
"Maybe," Harry nodded, "It's possible they didn't want to draw attention from the Aurors with blatant magic, and pretending to be a simple muggle cult might explain the lack of reaction from the American Ministry,"
Glancing up the evening sky had transformed into a stunning display of crimson and blue clouds, the sun was beginning its descent.
"I figure we wait a few hours, we can slip in under cover of dark,"
Hermione looked up from fiddling with her Omnoculars controls, giving a nod of understanding.
Chewing on her bottom lip, Hermione gaze drifted between the orange and purple sunset and Harry nested in a red camping chair, reading a small leather book.
"Harry?" She spoke up quietly.
Nervous she licked her lips as their eyes met.
"What happened between you and Ron?" Her voice quivering slightly, "He won't say what you two fought about…"
Harry sighed softly, running his hand through his hair.
"It was a few things, all happening at once, really," Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he paused thinking of how best to elaborate, "One of Minister Ruisse's policy decisions, was to try and get me to join the Ministry in an official capacity. I have a few ideas why he would want me, but they aren't important."
"Now, he tried sending me official looking letters, some looking nice, some with a subtle threat about making my life harder. I more or less ignored them," Hermione gave a chuckle, "Yeah, when that didn't work they decided to try through Ron. I don't know what he said to him, but Ron kept into trying to convince me to join the Aurors with a passion. He was persistent enough I started checking to see if he had been compelled,"
The few subtle detection charms had found nothing, except for a small contraceptive spell Harry would rather not have known Ron was using.
"Before you decided to be a healer, he liked to tell me how you two would be buddy cops fighting Dark Wizards,"
Harry laughed, "Maybe I might have, I don't know. Though about the third week all this was going on, his fuse was shorter and he looked like he wasn't getting enough sleep, bags under his eyes a slight red film on his teeth from Pepper up's."
"You know how proud and stubborn the Weasley's are about gifts being handouts," Harry adopted a slightly embarrassed expression, "I was shopping with Rose, getting ready for her second year. And, well I bought her a nice broom, like Sirius did for me as sort of a Godfather thing…"
"Wait…" Hermione's forehead furrowed in thought, eyes widening in realisation, she glared at him, "YOU bought her that blasted broom! Do you have any idea how fast she flies on that damn thing pulling Wonky Feints! Of course you do…"
Harry tried not to squirm under the angry look, he resisted the urge to correct the Quidditch term, "It had top of the line safety features!"
"Yeah, and is the most expensive broom on the market," She sighed, she could see Ron's overreaction, he would see it as Harry flaunting his wealth, "That's what you two fought over? No wonder he wouldn't tell me,"
Harry nodded, "It all came out at once, he yelled, I yelled. Afterwards I was looking for an excuse for a trip, business or otherwise to take my mind of it and then I found the first girl dosed with a mysterious microbe…"
Hermione nodded her head tilted as a question occurred to her.
"What's the plan to find Seth?" Hermione asked from her seat, "Blow down the front door, wands blazing?"
Harry snorted, shaking his head.
"Hopefully, nothing like that," Looking over his shoulder to the distant compound he pulled himself to balance on the edge of his chair. "One of the things I noticed from the memories, aside from the very far and few in between nights he takes a 'consort' to his bed, Seth is in one of three rooms, rooms he forbid entry to all but himself. The Omnoculars should be enough to eliminate which room..."
Harry trailed off mid description as an idea entered his mind, Harry lent forward, tapping his wand onto the exposed dirt floor, muttering an incantation too low for Hermione to hear.
Through his Occulumancy enhanced recall Harry drew together the memories pertaining to the compound's floor plan outline he had stolen from Amelia's sleeping mind and the Omnoculars sensory data juxtaposing the memories he funnelled them into the transfiguration spell
From the point of impact of the wand four diagonal lines shot away, stopping nearly a metre away from the wand. The lines rose thickening as they drew in the loose dirt around them, compacting it. As the dirt between the crosses ends rose, the ends became the corners of a rectangle the size of a normal Volkswagen beetle. The dirt began to rise from the corners, shifting, changing from the loose and jumbled dirt to a solid and clean bone white material.
Growing like a stop-motion vine, a skeletal structure took shape, first the exterior walls formed, then the movement began to branch inwards, walls, rooms, even kitchen tables all grew from small protrusions of the bone white dirt, the interior walls of the hallways and rooms demarcated with an almost spider web like mesh.
Light filtered through the faux walls of the complex in miniature, tilting his head the optics of the house shifted, some walls appearing solid, while others shifted translucent through the optical illusion of the mesh walls. Twisting his wand anticlockwise, dozens of tiny balls of blue coloured flames shot forth, hovering in scattered rooms throughout the model compound.
Taking in the elaborate skeletal dollhouse, Hermione breathed in a breath of awe at the intricate details on display and Harry's transfiguration finesse, "Impressive,"
Harry sat a little straighter at Hermione's whispered praise at the intricacies of the spell work. Hiding a small grin, Harry looked again at the detailed sculpture, out of his mind and in the material world, he could bypass the mental fuzziness now he wasn't holding together a massive memory collage.
"Mhm, an extra void" He mused pointing at the three expected room sized voids within the doll house, and the one unexpected void, a sideways wave of his wand and they began to glow a soft green.
"So the blue light in the green void is Seth?" Hermione asked quickly catching up on the significance of the lights, marking the infrared radiation of the detected cultists.
"Yeah, that would be him," He nodded, focusing on memorising the path to Seth and routes through the surrounding rooms and hallways.
Hermione's spelled feet crushed strewn dirt silently as she followed behind Harry down the small driveway into the cult's compound. Concealed within a variety of camouflage charms, the duo were invisible, odourless and silent, Hermione only managed to follow Harry by wearing his spare pair of enchanted glasses. Even then, the wizard in front of her appeared as nothing more than a softly glowing two-dimensional outline.
The narrow driveway was in a poor condition and in need of urgent maintenance. Grass and weeds growing through the various cracks, and fissures tinged the grey concrete green. Pausing as a patrolling duo of blonde women carrying brown rifles went past them. Hermione held her breath unnecessary though the action was; it served to calm her nerves.
Seth's inconsistencies bothered her more then she wanted to admit, he had access to or created a biological variation of the Imperious Curse, developed a glove foci that was at least on par with Harry's and even exceeded it in a few capabilities and that was not even mentioning the redesign of the vanishing cabinet.
He had the access and ability for things far beyond that a wizard would ever attempt, but he seemed reliant on entirely mundane technology to defend himself. Any decent N.E.W.T student could have disabled the mundane security surrounding him, either by application of any dozens of simple charms or transfigurations to collapse or malfunction the firing mechanisms.
Something as simple a fire suppression charm, a charm known by housewitches across the nation could render the gunpowder's chemical reaction impotent, like the proverbial oil in a pan the suppression charm prevented the ignition of the chambered gunpowder.
No, he had to have a trump held in reserve, to be so confident to forgo the protection of even the most basic ward. She and Harry had agreed that simply apparating into the complex would be the first action an investigating wizard would take, and that there would have been without a doubt a measure to incapacitate such an interloper.
Silently she bemoaned her increasingly achy feet, the price for approaching so cautiously over broken terrain.
A quick gesture from Harry's outline pulled Hermione from her musings. They were at the compounds walls. Looking up she could see the three-story house in all its glory for the first time. The exterior of the compound was beautiful, ornately decorated verandas, impressive gardens and painted a pristine white with grey edging.
The duo stepped through the already open gate, the slight movement of the gravel as they moved towards the house the only indication of their presence. Nearing the door Harry tapped his glasses, the lens shifted electric blue for a moment. The enchantment giving a quick glimpse of the hallway behind the door, no people in sight.
Receiving a nod from Harry, Hermione tapped her wand on the hinges silencing them. A quick jab and a silent 'alohorma' from Harry followed. Glancing of the front veranda for any sign of a possible witness, Harry quickly opened the door and gestured for Hermione to enter. As he pulled it closed behind him, Harry mentally debated casting a quick locking charm to prevent the external cultists from entering, just as quickly he dismissed the notion, a mysteriously un-unlockable door would raise as many alarms if not more.
Amelia's mental map provided a detailed description of the house, dozens of bedroom, a kitchen, three bathrooms and a master bedroom. A few restricted locations she had only known of and never entered. Those locations were Harry's destination.
Referencing the mental map, Harry began towards the stairs, keeping his feet on the hardwood flooring avoiding the central carpet strip. Regardless of their invisibility, a security camera or a lucky cultist would be able to see a moving depression on the carpet.
Walking down the corridor, Hermione marvelled at the extravagance of the hallways decorations. Golden trim on the paintings frames, ornate furniture polished to a mirror shine and sculptures made of impossibly complex patterns.
At the base of the stairs, Harry tapped his glasses, the lenses flashing blue as they shifted into the clairvoyant mode. Giving the stairwell a check, he caught sight of a maid descending rapidly from the third floor.
Hermione supressed a shriek as Harry grabbed and pulled her out of the hallway and into a small alcove between the banister and the wall. Turning to glare at him, she froze as a click clack of shoes drifted down the stairwell. She watched as a petite red head in a slightly indecent maids outfit stormed down the stairwell. Cursing, her voice echoed as she walked down the hallway.
Giving Harry a soft nudge with her elbow, Hermione pulled away from his grip.
Mumbling to herself she began the climbing the stairs.
Activating her borrowed glasses clairvoyance mode with a soft tap, Hermione's vision wavered as the enchantment activated, juxtaposing a transparent overlay over her normal vision.
Gripping her wand in sweaty hands she turnt to the plain white wall, within she could see numerous wires and thick coloured cables running around the door, as well as several odd bulbous connections that looked like nothing she had seen before, in the wizarding world or the muggle world. Looking pass the wires into the room itself she could see Seth. She watched as the translucent form of Seth moved around his workshop, lifting and tinkering with something on the room's workbench.
Assessing the steel door and frame, Harry frowned. The electrical locks prevented simply unlocking the door magically. The copious wires radiating from the electric keypad would trigger any number of alarms if the locking mechanism was forced or any of the surrounding cables disturbed by forcing entry through the walls.
Walking away from Hermione's stationary form, Harry followed the wires embedded into the wall, as he progressed further down the hallway the concentration of concealed wires lowered drastically, leaving numerous and sizable holes between the wires.
Through the wall, Harry could see numerous tall cabinets and machines pushed to the outer edges of the workroom, several of which would be useful in concealing any transfigurations from Seths seated figure.
Tapping his wand to the painted wall Harry sent a silent transfiguration spell into the wall, the painted wood bubbled collapsing in on itself as a trapezoidal doorway formed in the space between wires.
As the wall began to shift, Seth froze momentarily, his hands stopping there tinkering, as if disturbed by a cool breeze. A frown marked his brow as he glanced the workroom for the source of the ill feeling.
Hermione looked between the outline of Harry as he clambered into the workroom and Seth's wary figure. Edging towards the large cabinet that obscured his entrance from the rest of the room, Harry prepared his standard immobilisation spells.
Raising his wand, Harry watched from behind an odd looking machine unsure if the cult leader had any methods to bypass his invisibility as the cult leader looked around the room suspiciously. As Seth turned back to his desk dismissing the cause of his ill ease Harry stood, silenced, invisible and scentless he moved towards the man keeping to his blind spot.
Halfway across the room, keeping his eyes on Seth he missed a crucial step. His foot kicked a small wrench across the room. Skittering across the room a small wrench Harry kicked had Seth lunging around looking for the source of the noise.
As the spells of binding left his wand, Seth whirled towards the source of the illumination, his golden gauntlet glowing an ominous colour.
As the spell crashed into Seth, the cult leader froze, caught mid-spell perhaps Harry speculated, the central crystal resting on the prisoners palm, emitted an ominous scarlet glow, that has Harry's hair standing on end.
Stepping around the frozen form of Seth caught mid lunge, Harry eyed the strange foci on Seth's outstretched arm. There were no identification runes and the design was foreign to any foci he had examined in his studies. The use of gold for a medium was especially perplexing.
Slowly the glow of the jewel faded.
"There is something in his neck Harry," Hermione spoke up, having followed him through his transfigured hole.
Harry jumped slightly at the unexpected noise, under the cover of concealment charms his face lit up in embarrassment, caught up in examining the unusual focus, he had forgotten Hermione was there. Turning to his friend, he cancelled his own concealment charms. "What do you mean?"
Touching her own neck in illustration with a finger she elaborated, "It's like a thick cord wrapped around the spine,"
Acknowledging the curious information, he turned back to the frozen form of Seth. As the spelled glasses penetrated the flesh, Harry gave a grunt of surprise at the extra appendage wrapping around the man's spine. Numerous tendrils from the thing in his neck linked into his brain as well as burrowing into the various spinal vertebra.
"I'm not sure how I missed that..." Harry's mind whirled at the possibilities, the ingenious bioengineer they had been searching for and believed to be standing in front of them had a suspicious organ wrapped around the spinal column and connected into the body's nervous system.
"Hermione, I don't know what artefacts or tricks he may have left," Eyeing the perplexing cult leader warily, he shot a look at Hermione, careful to keep Seth within his line of sight. "I'm going to see if I can't get to the bottom of this, So keep your wand ready in case there are any defences I missed,"
Sliding his medical gloves on, he saw Hermione nod. "I'm going to see if I can't just find out what this has all been about,"
As the gloved hand approached his face Seth's body trembled, the body fighting with everything it had against the spell. Information began to stream into Harry's mind as the enchanted gloves touched Seth's face.
The information was confusing, the man was reading as a muggle however the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems were in conditions of health Harry had only seen in the magical or those he had treated. Nothing he knew of muggle science could result in such a healthy body.
Further discrepancies came to the fore. A colary of the body's condition the man's age had been retarded to an unnatural degree. Various internal indicators that delt with hormones and stress lines in the bones were flagging the man as nearly two hundred years old, while the more obvious signs had been altered to show a younger outward appearance. A feat that previously to Harry's knowledge only the Flamel's could claim.
Focusing on an oddity in the blood's chemistry a bright flash and a soft crackle ensued between the gloved hand and Seth's face, Harry wrenched his tingling hand away from Seth's reddened face.
"Harry!" Hermione hurriedly grabbed his singed hand, her wand hand still trained on Seth's unmoving body. Her enchanted glasses were used to watch both Seth and Harry as she turned his hand over looking for damage, "What happened?"
Making a fist, Harry felt another wave of pin's and needle's, weaker than what he had felt from the surge that examining the oddities in the blood had triggered. He pulled his hand from Hermione's worried grasp. "I'm fine… just, something in his blood triggered a feedback loop of sorts. The discharge was just an emergency purge, to remove the excess magic."
Hermione gave him a measured look, evaluating his statement. Reticent she nodded accepting his explanation. "What did you find?"
"It's weird, he is too old and too young, his blood is laced with some sort of bizarre metal," Harry rubbed his hand, massaging away the sudden bout of stiffness from his gloved hand, "The metals difficult to scan properly, the diagnostic array's looped, analysing and scanning it without stopping trying to follow the various shifts in the metal"
Harry shook his head, sparing a glance at Seth's workbench and the various gadgets and interesting enchanted items, "Each time the spell hit the metal, it would empower the spell, boosting it minutely but at the same time loosing part of it mass, which would trigger the analysis array to rescan the metal. Which triggered a loop."
"What about that thing in his neck?" Nervously she glanced again at the frozen creature wrapped around Seth's spine.
Harry ran a hand through his hair, letting out a breath, "It's weird, it's built like snake but it's body is mostly made of a brain like tissue, it's so much more complex than a human brain, extremely interconnected. But at the same time it looks like it's the primary brain overriding Seth, and it has a much higher concentration of that metal."
"The weirdest factoid is that Seth, for all intents and purposes is almost two hundred years old,"
Hermione blinked, "A Philosopher's Stone?"
"No the Flamels died years ago, and they were the only known makers of the stones..." Hermione shook her head, "Could he have been an apprentice?"
"It's possible, but it doesn't explain the snake," Harry frowned puzzled, "Why have the snake override the bodys brain?"
"Well everyone assumed the Stone was a stone..." Hermione's face turned a light shade of green as the implications hit her, "It's a body snatcher?"
"Yeah," Harry nodded.
Hermione stared at Seth in shock and disgust at the presence of a body snatcher, the idea of something burrowing into her and taking her over left a cold pit of fear in her gut, a soft nudge from Harry drew her from her shock.
"I can free his head, give it a chance to explain itself?" Harry whispered to Hermione.
Still a faint shade of green Hermione nodded gripping her wand tight with whitened knuckles.
With a gesture, the paralysis faded from Seth's head receding to below his Adam's apple, partially freeing the creature wrapped around his spinal column. Testing his increased freedom Seth's face contorted with a scowl as he regarded Harry and Hermione.
"You have managed to hide your presence well Tok'Ra," Seth's nose flared as his eyes narrowed, artificially deepened Seth's voice echoed throughout the room, "But it will avail you nothing!"
His neck muscled thickened as he strained to break the spells hold on him, faintly the gem on his golden focus gave a pale glow.
"Release me from these bonds Tok'Ra and I shall guarantee your deaths will be swift and merciful!" As if to punctuate his statement the whites of Seth's eyes flashed with a sudden back light, glowing ominously. "Do not and you shall learn the wrath of Seth!"
Hermione silenced the rant with a twitch of her wand. Seth's mouth gaped impotently, his face reddening as his voice failed him.
"Tok'Ra?" Hermione mouthed the unfamiliar word, she turned to Harry, "It sounds Egyptian?"
"Against Ra I think?" Harry shook his head, rolling his wand between his fingers, "It doesn't matter anyway, he isn't going to cooperate, or he can't."
Hermione frowned having figured out Harry's next step, "What about that metal?"
"It only acted weird when I used magic on it directly," Harry grimaced, "And I don't think Veritaserum would work on him..."
"But it won't matter soon," He knelt down to Seth's level, meeting his gaze his expression softened, "If you don't have a choice, I am so, so sorry,"
"Legilimens," Pushing into Seth's mind was easier than he had expected, a tentative probe pushed further into Seth's mind, the mind itself unusually malleable, not resisting Harry's presence or manipulations at all, giving Harry a hint at the structure of his hijacked mind as he progressed deeper.
A feeling of vertigo and seeing double assaulted Harry's senses as he felt the magic probe brush against a barrier, boring through he found a second mind in the breach, a dual consciousness.
The lesser, outer and younger consciousness was faded and weak radiating fear and pain but human, the inner consciousness was alien in its very structure, it housed a slightly human facade but it was different to any other mind Harry had entered before, ancient and powerful, it overflowed with malice and confidence.
'What is this?!' Pushing past the enraged surface thoughts, Harry's magic twisted and expanded, tendrils delved into both minds seeking what he wanted to know about the microbe and the body snatcher. Diving almost blindly into both minds knowledge, he missed the initial salvo of Seth's mental defence.
Pain exploded in his mind, nerves felt like there were burning. The creature was manually triggering the host body's nerves transmitting the pain across the mental connection.
Outside the mental battle Harry body stiffened, his back arced as his clenched jaw stifled any cries of agony, simultaneously the unrestrained head of Seth was set in a rictus of agony, as the panicking Goa'uld tried to hastily learn how to defend against a non-biological mental attack.
Pushing through the wave of pain, he ignored the silent screams from the smaller consciousness as he was inundated with a veritable flood of memories, the mind was so big, so vast, information began to flow, the Goa'uld, the parasites past atrocities and history laid bare, swamping him, distracting him, swallowing him.
Harry stood in a body not his own but his none the less. Standing at a golden pedestal he watched as a transparent screen showed the image of a brown planet, grey urban sprawl hugging the worlds planets small oceans, that was not Earth hanging in the void of space.
He felt his lips curl in a happy smile, barking an order at a nearby man, the word was both foreign but at the same time, he knew what the words meant, "Fire at my command,"
The armoured man hastened to comply, pressing buttons on a glowing control panel, his eyes downcast, as they should be in the presence of their gods.
"Fire!" An old sense of euphoria swept through him as bright flares of light of moving plasma filled the screen moving fast towards the planet as the command room he stood in shook.
Superheated plasma crashed into the world below targeting the fledgling nations few military bases, soon he would deploy the Death Gliders and these snivelling mud crawlers would know his wrath for their defiance.
Harry's mental presence seized, metaphorically shaking itself violently ending the stupor as it pulled itself from the violent and vivid memories, and the intoxicating feeling of total superiority as he had lorded over those inferior. The mind behind the Goa'uld was ancient and vast, a victor of a millennia of mental struggles and inheritor of its ancestors experiences of mental domination.
Tendrils burrowed deeper into both consciousness, collecting swathes of information while searching for the minds weak points, vital connections that if attacked would render the body comatose, slowed by the ancient minds size more than its small ability to defend against his probes.
Struggling against the ancient mind he felt the Goa'uld attack his mental presence again, it couldn't stop him nly delay or divert him. The attack blasted across the mental link with disgusting memories instead of pain, as the assault smashed against his occulumancy defences again he was submerged in memories not his own.
In the centre of the room a women in white rags hung from a golden lattice. Her hair matted with dried blood hung limp off her head, the formerly elaborate dress now torn and sliced barely concealed her modesty, stained it was heavily with blood.
With a tired defiance, her blue eyes met Harrys.
"Speak Shol'va!" Harry spoke, subtly manipulating the body's vocal cords as he slid a bejewelled finger slowly along the short blades sharpened edge.
"Never," Straining, her face twisted as she spat a bloody glob of phlegm at Harry. The glob barely made it a hands breath before it was pulled back by the lattices gravity field, splattering against her face.
"Very Well," Raising the knife to the height of the suspended woman's chest, his hands could feel the soft pull of the artificial gravity against the knife.
The familiar flash of fear, danced across her face, she knew what was coming and to Harry/Seth's immense joy there was nothing she could do, as there was nothing she could have done the three times either. Letting go, the knife sped across the room sinking to the hilt into her breast. She drew a ragged breath as her pierced heart seized.
A small trickle of bloody spittle dripped from her clenched lips, going still her lifeless body slumped, its head falling against her small chest.
"Jaffa! Take her to the sarcophagus, revive her," Disgusted at the ex-priestesses resilience, his hands sought the tools to use next on her resurrected body, "Hang her here when she is again conscious,"
Pulling himself again from the river of memories, he shook of the memory of the lust Seth had felt during the torture. Harry hacked at the Goa'ulds mind with a wild mental assault he targeted the pseudo index of the mind, he felt something give in his assault.
Lashing out at the inexperienced mind, the snake's mental presence reeled from the blow, retaliating in turn again but this time far weaker than before.
Seth stared at the tactical display, his force of twenty Ha'tak's had his foe surrounded, thousands of tiny blips wove between the heavy ships as the Death Gliders and Al'kesh exchanged fire.
"My Lord, the enemy is offering surrender," His First Prime reported from the communication console. Seth quickly glanced at the information read out in front of him, his flag ship still had nearly two thirds shield integrity.
"Keep firing," Zeus had attempted to claim his worlds, he had no need for him to live.
The plasma bolts rate of fire increased as Seth's fleet began to focus on singular targets, overwhelming the ship's shields with waves of concentrated fire.
Dozens of bolts exploded across the enemy Ha'tak's as the shields failed, the silent explosion filled the view port, Seth blinked clearing the sunspot from his eyes.
Tendrils assaulted the Goa'uld fracturing its mind, hamstringing the massive mind, Harry's final attack tore metaphorical meaty chunks from the imaginary elephant.
Pulling himself from the stilled mind, relaxing the clamped jaw muscles, Harry gave a tired sigh as he stood. A worried Hermione grabbed his shoulders, her vigil on Seth forgotten in her worry.
Harry looked at Seth his face was unmoving staring forward unfocused, a heavy trickle of blood flowing from his nose.
"Are you okay?" She asked as Harry could feel the phantom pain from clamping his jaw make itself known.
"Yeah," Harry's voice came out gravelly, "Just a lot of information to process,"
Harry lent against Hermione, his head resting on her shoulder as she wrapped him in a tight hug, wiping a small blot of blood from below his nose, she asked. "Is he a Philosopher's Stone?"
Resting his forehead against her shoulder Harry shook his head in the negative, wincing at the building headache, "No, he is something much, much worse,"
Harry spared a quick look at Seth, his left eye was twitching now, just one of many faces he had worn. He gave a mirthless chuckle, "He's an honest to god alien,"
"Like E.T?" Harry resisted a laugh at comparing the loveable little alien to the Goa'uld.
"Sort of, the things it's done, it's closer to Voldemor-"
Holding Harry, Hermione's eyes widened as she looked over his shoulder at the transfigured hole they had entered through.
"Watch out!" Hermione heaved, taking Harry by surprise she pushed him to the ground, as he hit the ground a synthetic hiss of electricity crackled through the air. An electric blue lightning bolt slammed into Hermione, another shot blasted through where Harry had stood seconds ago missing Hermione's form by inches, the lightening sparked on her skin briefly before she slumped to the floor unconscious.
Harry eyed the unconscious Hermione in shock before turning to the busty women leaning though his transfigured hole armed with one of Seth's stunners, a 'Zat'nik'tel' the plundered memories supplied; one shot was to incapacitate with immense pain, the second was death.
Ignoring his own headache and the intense throbbing he launched himself to his feet, drawing his wand as he moved upright, another electronic crackle came as she fired another shot.
Not trusting a shield against the Zat'nik'tel's energy blast with their lightning like properties, Harry twisted dodging the blue lightning apparating with a muted crack into the hallway behind the white clad girl.
As he appeared the throbbing ratcheted up another level in pain, the blonde shocked at his teleportation failed to bring the Zat'nik'tel to bare, through watering eyes Harry non verbally cast a stunner. As a flash of crimson light lit up the hallway, the blonde dropped unconscious to the floor, her head hitting with a meaty crunch, her energy weapon slipping from her fingers.
"Hermione!" Summoning the Zat'nik'tel, he clambered back through into Seth's workshop to the downed Hermione.
His coats lapels flapped wildly thumping against his chest, Harry rushed across the room the loose coat ends whipping in his wake, brushing passed the glassy eyed Seth Harry spared him no more than a quick glance as he moved to Hermione's side. Her unconscious form laid prone, frizzy brown hair arrayed around her head, her arms and legs sticking out at odd angles, she was very still almost too still for comfort.
Dropping to his knees he gently cupped her face, his gloved thumbs brushing against her cheek.
Activating the runic clusters, information began to stream through the enchanted gloves informing Harry to everything about Hermione's condition, low potassium levels, a possible concussion, small bone fracture, unconscious; and alive! Harry gave a small sigh of relief at the information, she had only been caught with a single shock, the others shots had gone wide missing Hermione completely.
A small fracture below her ear from her heads speedy impact with the floor was the most severe injury, with it a small parallel cut above the fracture releasing a small trickle of blood, spreading into her hair. A murmured 'episky' and the fracture and small cut closed leaving only the bloodied hair as evidence the wound had ever been there.
More troublesome, however were the remnants of the Zat'nik'tel's energy lingering within her body. Glancing back at the transfigured opening Harry ducked his head, it would take time to devise a way to negate the lingering energy, time they did not have, she couldn't stay unconscious while the chance of more cultists arriving was so high.
She would have to endure the constant ache from the remaining energy stimulating her nerves.
"Enervate" The gloves palms glowed a pale orange as the incantation finished, Hermione's eyes fluttered open as she regained consciousness.
"Owww," Giving an almost childlike whine, her fingers twitched, clenching and opening her hands. She pulled her body upright into a seated position; folding her legs underneath herself she took in the room around her, blinking away a few tears. "Everything aches,"
"It will," The tips of Harry's gloves flashed a crimson red as the fingers tapped over the major nerve clusters, administrating a weak localised numbing spell, enough to take the edge of the pain off for Hermione to function, "That's the Zat'nik'tel, I've done as much as I can to dull the pain,"
Hermione nodded as Harry began to explain what he knew. "When we unfroze him, Seth managed to set off a silent alarm,"
"The crystal glowed briefly, and I had assumed that he tried something with the foci and failed," Giving a tight smile, Harry brushed a few stray strands of hair behind Hermione's ears, "I was in error,"
Hermione gave an explosive sigh. "You can tell me more about the alien and his not magic after,"
Hermione shivered rubbing her partially numbed arms, "What's the plan, and how did she get through the notice me not on the hallway? I'd rather not be zapped again,"
"It's probably something to do with the microbe – 'nish'ta'" Harry offered a hand to help Hermione stand, "It changes something within the person's mind; Amelia could see through mine at the hospital. But at the time I had thought it was her that was special..."
"That... would have been helpful to know earlier," Hermione gave a mock glare in Harry's direction.
"I didn't know," Harry protested, raising his hands defensively, Hermione snorted shaking her head partially in amusement at his theatrics.
"Fine," Accepting his token apology, she began to test her still tingling body's range of movement, reaching over her head she touched her hands together and leaning forward she bent over touching her fingers to her toes, "So what is the plan to deal with the other brainwashed muggles?"
"Well I figure there are a lot of dangerous things here we can't risk getting loose..." The nish'ta was the least of his worries, after the discovery of alien's and what was essentially incredibly advanced muggle technology, he couldn't just leave this mess, nor did he believe Hermione would leave actual slaves behind.
"Seth?" Harry nodded at her supposition, a mind controlling alien snake was just asking for trouble.
"I don't know how resilient the Goa'uld are, for all their remarkable healing abilities for the most part they rely on deliberate conscious actions to heal and at the moment he is not much more than a vegetable..." The duo gave a look at Seth's still bewitched form; a small glob of drool was forming at the corner of Seth's lax face and glassy eyes stared forward unfocused.
"So we can't just apparate and leave everything, Seth is pretty much there sole reason for living and without Seth to lead them..." Harry trailed of as the stolen memories and their associations pinged a few troublesome choice recollections, images of a golden bed filled his mind.
"What?" At his sudden silence, Hermione gave him a soft prod.
"Just a few memories that make a little too much sense now," Harry gave a grim smile, the Sarcophagus memories and its capabilities coming to the forefront of his mind. A subtle twitch of his Occulumancy pushing away the guilt and joy the tainting the torture of the ex-priestess Iss'si, "If we left Seth here I am fairly certain he would recover very quickly,"
"You seemed certain before he wouldn't, what changed?" Hermione tilted her head in confusion.
"They call it a Sarcophagus," He elaborated, briefly he considered a minor glamour to help with the description, "It's very high end technology, it can heal pretty much anything, even death, and from the pilfered memories I managed to remember Seth has one stored in this compound,"
Massaging his temple, he dispelled with a silent incantation the rebuilding headache, "Amelia didn't know about it, but some of the older victims might,"
Hermione groaned as the realisation of the implications struck.
"And the cultists would revive him with it wouldn't they..." She rubbed her nose in frustration, "Damn!"
"However, I do have sort of a plan," He said, running a thumb along the grey Zat'nik'tel's casing.
"Well?" Turning from Seth she focused again on Harry, narrowing her eyes, "...And don't say it's a very cunning plan"
"One pop culture joke..." He muttered, as he pointed at the transfigured doorway and the stunned girl outside, "Seth raised a silent alarm, they will come, but without Seth to organise them they probably will come at us piece meal. We can use that to lure them in, and stun them and heal the worst of the brainwashing, and at the same time flip them to our side or at least neutral"
He rubbed a knuckle against his eyebrow, "A quick Legilimens scan and we can tell if they all were alerted and are coming en masse or just this one will be the only one,"
Looking at Harry, Hermione frowned her eyes looking between him and the doorway.
"We can ask the one out there if the general alarm was raised," Harry opened his mouth to speak, to object to waking the cultist, "Don't think I didn't see you get rid of that headache, you haven't recovered from the mental tussle with Seth and you know it."
"If I was better at Legilimency and less likely to cause permanent mental damage at it I would probe her myself," Raising a hand she pointed a finger, "There is no point to risking any sort of backlash Legilimencing someone with you fatigued like you are, when she will talk to us of her own free will,"
Harry slightly opened mouthed watched, as Hermione finished with her chastisement turned on her heel and walked away from him to their magically created entrance.
"Okay..." Harry half muttered to himself.
Hermione leant out the hole into the hallway, her blond attacker laid sprawled out on her back on the ground, her light blonde hair fanning around her head in a halo, and her light white robe hung askew.
Flicking her wand, the busty blonde's robe pulled shut, covering her uncovered front, another twitch and the body floated off the ground, her hair and limps drooping slightly behind her rising body. Chewing her lip Hermione cast a silent locomotion charm, directing the unconscious cultist's suspended form through the transfigured hole.
"A bit further, away from the bench," Harry pulled a few stools and boxes away clearing a small space between Seth's workbenches.
Stepping up to the hovering cultist, gloved hands lightly touched the blonde-haired women temples. "Unless we Obliviate her she won't forget what's happened to her here, it might be like a dream, but from what Amelia knew it will not be peasant, I can deal with the nish'ta's drive to obey and the conviction of his 'divinity',"
Harry eyed the blonde, "The physical stuff is easy, the psychological scars not so much,"
"We can offer her the option to forget afterwards,"
"Maybe, I could scan her it would have very little risk. And maybe spare her some grief?" Harry offered.
"No," She stepped forward, her hand reaching over the blonde to softly squeeze his shoulder, "Too risky,"
From his glove foci healing and transfiguration spells swept into her head, a wave of destruction the transformative magic cleared through her brain meats targeting and destroying the embedded nish'ta living her brain. Branching out the healing spell corrected as well the internal bleeding a result of his none to gentle takedown.
Stepping away Harry nodded, a signal for Hermione to cancel the levitation and lower the woman to the ground.
Leaning over the grounded woman he tapped a gloved finger to her forehead he casting a silent enervate. As the glow of the spell work faded, the blonde-haired woman's reddened eyes shot open. Darting around the room the blonde's eyes tried to make sense of what was happened and why she was on the ground. Panicking and confused she jerked away from Harry.
"Oh god, What-" Wide eyed the women looked away from Harry's face, as memories of her body moving as if she was a passenger slammed into her mind. Furtively she glanced around the room, finally settling on Seth's frozen form, she smothered a scream, wildly clawing at the floor she scrambled backwards putting as much distance between her and her former 'god'. As her back hit the solid metal leg of a nearby bench, she pulled her legs against her chest choking out a sob, "Don't hurt me please!"
She clutched her robe as she let herself cry, rocking herself.
Harry watching her panicked scramble knelt down, his knee protesting as he lent forward bringing his eyes down to her level, extending a hand. Distracted neither could see Hermione out of their field of view twitch a short length of wood, "It's okay we aren't her to hurt you, we are here to help you, and the others."
Her teary eyes focused on the outstretched hand, weighing his words and his smile, feeling calmer her own pale hand reached forward timidly, ready to snatch back her small offering of trust. Trembling slightly her fingers tightened their grip around Harry's fingers. Her mouth opened and closed as she struggled to speak.
"Who are you?" She spoke in a softly accented Canadian accent.
"We are here to help you," Gesturing slowly between himself and Hermione, "I'm Harry and this lady behind me is Hermione,"
"Oh, uhm I'm Chloe," Ducking her head, her hands swiped across her face drying her tear-streaked eyes, not meeting their eyes she rubbed the embroidered edging of her robes between her fingers.
"We just need to know, before you came in through the wall, if there any others are coming." Chloe's face paled at the question, looking at Harry she visibly trembled.
"There are, I'm sorry, so so sorry!" She nodded, her hair whipping about her face from how frantic her nodding was. Her rushed apology shifted faster and quieter devolving into incomprehensible muttering before another crying fit struck, hiccupping and coughing she sobbed clutching her other hand to Harrys arm.
"It's okay, you weren't in control," Harry gently rubbed small circles onto her back, the woman held painfully tight to his arm. Behind them Hermione mentally intoned a slumber spell.
"Still... i'm so.. sorry..." Yawning, Chloe blinked, rocking forward her eyes closed, her head dropping against Harry's shoulder, asleep.
Holding the slumped body of Chloe to his shoulder Harry felt a small part of him sadden as he looked at her peaceful expression. It was always so hard to deal with the mental scars like this, there are no simple incantations to disappear the damage, not like healing a shattered leg at all. Maybe she would want to forget everything that had happened to her, Harry supressed a sigh, if she wanted he would do it, just let her turn up back in muggle society with years missing from her life, a freak amnesia victim. Tucking an errant hair strand behind her ear he turned his attention to Hermione.
Seeing her dimming wand, his eyes widened in realisation, Chloe's unusual coherence when she had first woken and her sudden drowsiness when her calm had threatened to collapse. He gave her a nod, "A sleeping spell, quick thinking..."
Hermione gave a small smile, her thumb sliding back and forward along her hawthorn wand, "It was my go to spell when Rose couldn't sleep, when she was still in diapers." Her eyes concentrated on Chloe's relaxed sleeping face, her expression peaceful, "She looked like she was going to hurt herself, I-I didn't think she would react to the memories that bad, I had to do something"
Harry nodded stroking Chloe's hair, running the blonde hair through his fingers. "It took me by surprise too,"
Re-adjusting his weight to the balls of his feet, he slid his free hand behind Chloe's knee. Leaning backwards, he started to leverage himself to stand and pull the slumped Chloe to his chest. Before he could begin to lift, both of them began to take off the ground. Hermione pre-empted him, casting a levitation charm on the pair. Slowly the duo rose, coming to a stop hovering above the ground high enough to touch his feet to the ground.
Resting his feet on the ground, he braced himself to hold the unlevitated weight. As Hermione cut the spell work Harry gave a grunt as the full weight of the blonde dropped into his arms.
Harry shot Hermione a grateful smile. "Thanks,"
Chloe murmured softly something unintelligible; wriggling in Harry's arms she shifted herself deeper into his embrace, grasping his arm tighter.
He shook his head.
Holding her to his chest, he cast a look around the room for a couch or something safe to sit Chloe down on, "I don't think that the de programmed are going to be of much help subduing the others."
Hermione nodded, the breakdown of Chloe fresh on her mind. "Too much has happened to them..."
"What do you want to do with Seth?" Hermione asked, nodding towards the former System Lord still standing paralysed and bound by spells in the open. His eyes glassy stared forward, unfocused, vacant.
"Honestly I don't know, normally I would transfigure him into a marble..." Harry shrugged, "But with that metal in his body, the Naquada, I don't want to find out what unfortunate side effects of transfiguring the metal there could be,"
Hermione frowned in thought, her mind running through the options to secure the Goa'uld and its host without directly targeting him with magic.
"A portkey to take him to a bedroom in Grimwauld Place?" She offered.
The ancestral home of his deceased Godfather's family while home to Harry in his infrequent stays in Britain was for all his efforts of the last few years and his school time holidays spent cleaning under Molly's watchful eye still suffering from decades of severe neglect and various magical pest infestations. However, it was arguably one of the most protected houses within Britain and possibly the world, if nothing else it would be secure.
Despite the power of its defensive enchantments, Harry shook his head, the idea of Seth loose within the house of Black sent shivers down his spine, "No, I don't want to leave him alone, I really don't want to risk losing track of the Goa'uld,"
"I don't know how my actions on its mind will hold... it's mind was very different, so very alien" Harry shrugged, "For all I know it could be only feigning injury to lower our guard,"
Chewing her lip in thought Hermione, started to pace as she marked her mental list, "What about storing him in an expanded bag?"
A second later, she shook her head, muttering to herself, her fingers manipulating imaginary scenarios, "No, he wouldn't have enough air..."
"What about a bubble head charm?" Harry interjected, lowering Chloe onto a hastily conjured couch. Purple and green spots decorated the soft fabric draped over the overstuffed cushions, "Would it be able to take care of the air problem?"
Hermione paused in her pacing; slowly she nodded, "That, that could work,"
She turned to Seth, clicking her tongue as she poked at his ornamental robe, the fabric was heavy and reasonably strong. She eyed the small golden wires garnishing the embroidery, a small smile spread across her face.
"Um, Hermione what are you doing?" Harry asked as he tried to pry himself from Chloe death grip, confused at looking away from Chloe to see her examining the Goa'uld's attire, poking Seth above his nipple.
Hermione snorted, briefly amused at Harry's situation and confusion, "We need to make a bag..."
"Oh!" Harry's cheeks warmed in embarrassment, his fingers returning to try to pry Chloe loose.
A faint smile still on her face Hermione traced her lightly glowing wand along the front of Seth's robes, as the wand passed, the cloth under the wands tip disintegrated. Coming full circle, a squarish circle hung suspended by Harry's initial spell, unmoving the two frozen pieces of cloth were framed by the light tan of Seth's skin showing through the from underneath the robe.
Tapping the petrified cloth, Hermione silently cast a finite on the fabric. The fabric went limp, exposing the pale stomach and chest of the Goa'ulds host, the two halves of the robes fell to the ground with a thump. The weight of the gold ornaments pulling it down, the cloth flapping as it fell like a failed parachute.
Summoning the fabric to her hands, Hermione dragged her wand along the length of the fabric, "Lineeium,"
The fibres shimmered moving individually, the two separate pieces of cloth dissolved into a mass of writhing threads, the golden threads sinking beneath the mass of moving fibre, coming to rest on her palm. Slowly directed by a singular mind the thousands of threads rewove themselves combining together to create a short squat bag, with a drawstring head.
The golden thread leapt from her palm, flowing to the lowest point of the bag the threads all but the shortest thread stitched themselves into the fabric creating a circular runic array at the base of the bag the size of her fist; the runic array was a series of concentric circles filled with Nordic runes.
The unused thread, moving like a sea serpent burrowed itself up the walls of the bag coming to a stop at the collar of the bag, under the drawstring the length of thread stitched itself into the shape of the 'Sowilo' rune.
"It's a rush job..." Hermione spoke, examining the golden filaments shaped into Nordic runes. Tugging the chord she nodded satisfied with her inspection, "But it should hold for a day or so,"
Holding her wand to the 'Sowilo' rune, she channelled a burst of magic into the magical rune. Within the bag the runic array glowed an eldritch green, space warped as the internal dimensions lost cohesion, expanding from the size of a shopping bag to the size of a small room.
Glancing at the bags shadowy depths Harry turned to Seth.
"Ager Aeris" A transparent bubble rippled from the tip of Harry's wand expanding over his mouth and slowly growing to cover his nose and his chin. Water-like, the transparent film bubbled internally as Seth breathed in and out.
With a clockwise swirl, Hermione left the bag hovering at hip height the chorded opening stretched as wide as possible. An Anticlockwise flick summoned the rock solid form of Seth.
"Wait," Harry called out, Seth's hovering body came to a stop in front of the opened bag, "I just want to get the Kara'kesh off of him,"
"The what?" Harry blinked at his unintentional use of the Goa'uld hand devices name.
"His hand device, the foci" Nodding Hermione eyed the glinting foci with caution, twisting the suspended form of Seth until his outstretched arm faced towards Harry. Nervously licking his lips, Harry with a light grip took hold of Seth's covered hand, his gloved foci shrinking the immobilisation affect to an almost skin tight film around Seth's hand underneath the Kara'kesh. Silently counting to three he wrenched the golden hand armour off, the interconnected segments clinking softly from the movement.
"Anything else?" At her question, Harry eyed Seth speculatively; none of the plundered memories raised anything else of note. He shook his head for Hermione to bag Seth.
Looking away from Seth being lowered into the expanded bag, Harry eyed the golden Kara'kesh in his hand. The golden finger links slipping over his fingers. Maybe there could be an easier way to get the brainwashed men and women to surrender, his lips twitched as an idea made itself known.
"I know that face Harry, spill," Hermione spoke, holding the folded bag of holding.
"Well I just thought. How do you get a group of fanatical followers to surrender?" Harry let himself smirk, "You look like their leader..."
"I doubt the magic of polyjuice would interact with the metal in his blood any better than your diagnosis magic," Hermione shook her head, "For all we know the transformation would be permanent,"
Harry frowned, "That is a good point I didn't consider, but I meant glamour's, like so."
"Vox dissimoolation," A small shroud of green sparkles surged forth from his wand, swirling the glittering motes wrapped around his throat, twisting the light that passed the cloud before fading from sight sinking into the flesh of Harry's neck.
"How do I sound?" Harry asked experimentally, his enchanted voice resonating deeper and smoother, matching the timbre and faint accent of Seth's voice.
Hermione shivered slightly at hearing the alien voice come from her friend's body. "It's creepy, but impressive"
"Occultant Identitatis," Like a carnival mirror the light around Harry's face twisted, creating grotesque imitations of his face, green eyes expanded becoming the size of dinner plates, his nose a cherry, before twisting settling into the familiar face of Seth, his hands skin tone darkening as well as his fingers appearing thicker.
Tugging his coat's sleeve, the coat shifted taking the form of Seth's ornamental robes. Harry prodded the loose flaps of the robe, The faux Seth standing all his finery smiled at Hermione, the Kara'kesh jingling as he slid it onto his non wand hand, "Well lets go,"
"Are you sure it's safe to leave her here?" Next to the transfigured doorway, Harry paused mid step, "We cover this doorway behind us, and she will be safe until we come back for her,"
"But first we should hide you," A flurry of spells shot forth from Harry's wand, shrouding Hermione from sight, smell and hearing. A second flourish and the top of the transfigured wall liquefied, the liquefied wall drooping like wet paint across the gap to cover hole. Tapping the wall of jelly it set, hardening, the patched hole while massively weaker was now was indistinguishable from the rest of the wall.
"You cover m – Ow!" Harry protested as an invisible Hermione jabbed his ribs, as she tried to warn him, silenced he couldn't hear her, "Oh... sorry,"
Raising his wand Harry to unsilence her he froze, the nearby thumps of shoes on wood drifted into his ears from the nearby stairwell. Straightening his back, he began to walk towards the noise, time to play his part. Activating his glasses clairvoyance, he whispered to Hermione's silhouette, "Cover me,"
"Halt!" Stepping through into the stairwell a variety of muggle and Goa'uld weaponry were raised, pointing at Harry's shadowed figure, two heavy set men bore rifles in a steady grip and a red headed women armed with a Zat'nik'tel was prepared to fire. Looked at Harry's face the trio paled, their weapons trembling.
"My Lord!" The raised rifles and Zat'nik'tel were immediately aimed at the floor, the cultists trembling as they recognised their god had been at the end of their weapons. "Forgive us My Lord, the Decrees of Periclum were raised, we thought you were the intruder!"
Eyeing the re-aimed weapons Hermione began edging around the grovelling men, her cloaked form looked down the stairwell, checking for any stragglers.
"Come my followers, there is much for us to discuss," Not-Seth smiled.
Pushing the borrowed glasses back up to their spot on the bridge of her nose with a finger Hermione began to walk around the prostrated cultists, she gave a sparing glance through the nearby walls and stairwell seeking any other nearby cultists.
Seeing none, she returned her attention to the grovelling trio as they begged for forgiveness for their insolence. She gave a snort at the woman's attempt at seduction, the red head's blouse had managed to lose a button or two 'accidentally', unveiling her moderate cleavage, bowing and scraping as she was the Seth wearing Harry was getting an eyeful.
Standing off the carpet on the polished hardwood, she hung to the edges of their peripheral vision, wary of the nish'ta controlled having previously pierced notice-me-nots she did not intend to find out if the altered brain could see through invisibility, she eyed them, contemplating her options to incapacitate them silently and non-lethally.
A stunner would be fast and if she were lucky, she would be able to down them all before they would be able to react, but it was not stealthy. The orange glow of the magic would be immediately obvious and for a group the size of the trio that could be a major liability if any armed members survived her initial barrage.
The sleeping spell she had used on Chloe would definitely be undetectable, allowing her to work invisibly with no immediately obvious signs of her presence. But the spell worked far too slow and took too long cast properly for it to be of any use on taking down a group in a quick manner, especially as the short window for the fatigued mind to blindly flail before the eventual sleep.
Maybe a combination, a one-two hit would be more viable, an impedimentia to immobilise them, followed by a stunner, it would remove the risk of panic fire and would make it very hard for them to retaliate.
Frowning she eyed the Zat'nik'tel, the rifles she was sure her magic could negate them silently but the blue stunner the women held, the Zat'nik'tel, be it powered by magic or alien technology it wouldn't be shut down with a simple fire suppression enchantment, rendering its propulsion system invalid.
The begging had begun to cease.
"Somnus Ignis" Hermione chanted, her voice supressed by Harry's concealment charms, invisibly a fire suppression ward snapped into place over the hallway covering the brainwashed trio's weaponry.
"Come my followers, there is much for us to discuss," Harry ordered the cultists, his glamoured face turned slightly to look at her cloaked form, his glasses revealing her silhouette, he gave her a small grin. A grin she took as her signal to knock them out.
"Stupefy" A crimson bolt shot forth from her wand, slamming into the rising form of the Zat'nik'tel wielder, as she collapsed, falling as if her strings had been cut the two men spun, fingers on their rifles trigger, simultaneously they began to fire at the source of the red light.
As they pulled their triggers they could only hear the click of the firing pin, the two glanced down at their misfiring rifles in confusion. Taking advantage of their shock Hermione cast another two stunners, the first man fell, hit centre chest was not fast enough to dodge the crimson magic, while the second slightly more on the ball cultist managed move, and half-diving he took the magic to his shoulder. Both fell to the floor with a crunch, their forgotten rifles clattering onto the wooden floor.
"Where are-" Hermione began to ask, but trailed of remembering she was concealed beneath a silencing charm. A frustrated swipe, her wand tip flashed a dark purple as she slashed it sideways. Her invisibility rippled, partially returning her to the visible spectrum as she collapsed the silencing charm.
Harry raised an eyebrow at her annoyed expression and the violent dispelling of her silencing ward. Wisely, he didn't comment on her expression.
"Should we be worried about security cameras?" Hermione glanced at the shadowed corners of the room, the glasses clairvoyance overlay looking for any close by heat sources, like a small camera or power supply.
Harry in the guise of Seth, shook his head, "No, he wasn't big on video surveillance, even if there was a system of security camera's, only he would be allowed to access it, he was a paranoid bastard though..."
She nodded, relieved at her fears of playing into a trap being groundless.
"What are we going to do with them?" Her bodiless voice asked, her silhouette pointed at the downed victims, idly as Harry considered her question she tagged her shoes with a localised silencing charm.
"If they are like Chloe..." Harry knelt down, a suspicion forming, touching the woman's cheek with a hand not adorned by the Kara'kesh, his medical gloves initiated a diagnosis spell, he nodded at the provided information confirming what he suspected "There is not a trace of Naquada in her body..."
Concealed Hermione's eyes widened at the reminder, having forgotten the side effects on spells cast on the metal.
Lifting the Zat'nik'tel from the red head's slack grip, Harry's gloved hand tapped her forehead. Her body warped, her legs and arms shrunk, her body condensing into a small red bead the size of a pea. Holding the transfigured woman to the light Harry nodded, sliding her into a pocket he turned his attention to the stupified men.
Harry eyed the rifles, nothing from the pilfered memories hinted at any extra-terrestrial improvements to the ballistic weaponry, both were assuredly muggle technology, propelled by a simple chemical explosion.
The taller man shuddered, his body trembling as his limbs and head collapsed into a sphere pulling along his rifle and ammunition, shrinking the forming sphere condensed into a small leaf green crystal bead, the second man's body twisted into the shape of a deep sea blue marble, flecked with jade spots.
Holding the balls, he noted they were cool to the touch, even to his gloved hand. Rolling them in his cupped hand, he clenched his fist tight.
Walking towards Hermiones position Harry slid the last two beads, green and blue from between his fingers into his coat pocket. Twirling the red heads extended Zat'nik'tel, he slid it into a separate pocket along with Chloe's confiscated Zat'nik'tel.
Giving another check for approaching cultists Hermione turned back to Harry, "Is this how we're going to be dealing with them? A group any larger than that or armed with something like the blue stunners and I won't be fast enough to take them all down..."
Harry's Kara'kesh fitted hand patted his breast pocket, the transfigured beads within clinked, his lips quirking downwards, "It's only going to be a problem if we have to forcefully subdue them,"
"It shouldn't come to that, however," Seth's visage frowned, crossing his arms he rested his chin on his fist, his body bending slightly, "If they hadn't shown up and interrupted me, I was going to ask if you had some draught of the living dead,"
"They wouldn't say anything, they would drink anything I put in front of them," He shrugged at Hermione's silhouettes head tilt.
"Not on me I don't" She replied, frowning, "But..."
"Whiskey" Her voice cut through the silence, echoing through the empty hallway, but nothing appeared in the hallway.
"Whiskey!" She tried again, this time a small smartly dressed elf in a miniature butlers outfit appeared in the hallway, wide eyed the small creature folded in on itself clutching its stomach in agony.
"You – calls – mistress – Hermioniee?" The small elf gasped clutching its sides, drawing heavy breaths as it tried to regain its breath.
"Whiskey, are you okay?" Stepping forward a tenor of worry entered her voice, as her small elf collapsed. As she spoke, the elf's eyes looked from Harry, looking for his mistress's voice.
Whiskey focused on a spot just above Hermione's invisible left ear, "Is okay – mistress – just Whiskey is not used – to such long distances, how can – Whiskey be of service?"
Breathing easier the elf stood with only a slight sag.
"I need a vial of Draught of the Living Dead, from my workshop. Will you be okay to get back to Britain and back?" She chewed her lip as the small elf nodded, taking a deep breath before disappearing again with a soft crack.
Harry shot her an odd look, "When did you get a House Elf? What about S.P.E.W?"
Her face burning in embarrassment Hermione was grateful Harry couldn't see her face through the concealing magic, "I needed help in the workshop dealing with a few of the more exotic creatures, and she was being abused and I treat her better than those families like the Malfoys!"
Harry chuckled at her flustered protestations.
The illusionary guise of Seth wrapped around Harry's form, as he reclined in the ornate throne, stony faced he gazed over the assembled cultists kneeling at his feet, rolling the three coloured beads within the ball of his hand, he waited for Hermione's silhouette to choose her spot.
Overlooking the spacious room, the golden throne stood on a raised platform at the forefront of the room. Old oil paintings depicting images of religious significance hung from the walls, an antique stained round table, gilded with silver and gold sat in the rooms centre, set with transfigured goblets and a massive crystal bowl filled to the bring with a sweet smelling red liquid. The dozens of brainwashed kneeled before their god, their eyes locked onto the ground.
Shifting his numbed buttocks trying to get comfortable on the throne, Harry cursed not having thought to cast a cushioning charm prior. The useless weight of the Goa'uld Kara'kesh, sat a perpetually cold weight hanging off his arm. The lack of Naquada in his veins rendering the symbol of Seth's power an ornamental paperweight, its only use for deception.
Hermione stood at the room's rear, leaning against the double doors invisibly watching Harry's performance as he sat between to ornamental Jackal headed statues. The empty vial of the Draught of the Living Dead held tight in one hand, her knuckles whitened from her grip around her wand in the other. Waiting for her time to intervene, Whiskey hid out of sight, taking to unused space like House elfs do.
Rising from the ornate golden throne, the echo of the Kara'kesh's crystal clinking against the armrest's metal embroidery, standing straight Harry crossed his arms behind his back.
"Rise," His order echoed through the room. The robed cultist hurried to obey their god, scrambling to their feet.
Stepping down from his thrones platform, the crowd parted for him, heads still bowed they shuffled aside, as he walked through the centre of the crowd towards the table adorned with the crystal finery.
"You may look," Raising a crystal goblet a soft note came from his hand he ran the golden finger links of the Kara'kesh against the crystal rim. Fearful and curious eyes watched from lowered heads.
Quirking a lip, Harry lowered the crystal goblet into the punch, the liquid swirled pouring through the goblets lips, filling the crystal to the brim.
"Ambrosia," He half whispered huskily, lifting the goblet, the faint sickly sweet aroma of the red liquid dripping from the crystal was the only sign of the diluted draught of the living dead.
"Today my followers, you shall ascend to a higher plane," Setting the crystal chalice on to the wooden table he began to fill another, the red juice clinging to the crystal pooling around the base in an ever expanding puddle, "You will shed the bonds of your earthly flesh and soar above all,"
A dozen blood red chalices stood surrounding the diminishing bowl. "And all that need be done is to sup of the blood of your god,"
Setting the last goblet down on the wet table, he turned to the crowd, "I shall lead you into divinity,"
Slowly the crowd began file forward to take a goblet each.
"Drink" Seth ordered.
Draining the goblets dry the cultists began to drop, a black haired woman collapsing first, the goblet falling to the floor from her slack hands. At the back of the room Hermione began rapidly casting cushioning charms as fast as possible as the body's began to collapse, the fields of invisible cushions catching there sleeping forms as they hit the ground. Whiskey standing hidden on a high beam snapped her fingers dissolving the crystal goblets as they fell, before they could shatter and slice open the collapsing cultists.
Just short of sixty bodies laid unconscious deep in enchanted sleep scattered across the room's floor, their body's supported by Hermione's cushioning charms, silently counting the bodies Harry sighed, a twitch of his wand cancelling his illusion.
Seth's illusionary face glowed faintly through the nose, mouth, and ears, the light intensified, cracks began spreading from the nose and mouth spreading the entirety of his face with a spiderwebbing of glowing cracks, with a flash the visage of Seth crumbled dissolving into a cloud of coloured dust.
Glinting of the surrounding lights the coloured motes rolled around Harry's body, slowly winking out of existence as they drifted south, "Whiskey, upstairs there is a young woman sleeping, could you fetch her please?"
"Yes, Mister Potter, Whiskey will," The small elf gave the disillusioned Harry's appearance an odd look before nodding, disappearing from the room with a muted crack.
"How did you end up with her?" Hermione shrugged at the question as she stepped across the floor, carefully avoiding stepping on the bodies collapsed drugged on the ground.
Sitting on the edge of the thrones raised dais, a brief shimmer signalled her dispelling of her concealment charms, leaning backwards on her seat she closed her eyes, "You remember the law I campaigned for was made official a few months ago? Giving the House elfs some basic rights?"
Harry nodded, they had celebrated after the fact, "Well, Whiskey was one of the first rescued, and she was in horrible form Harry, skin and bones, dressed in soiled towels. If I knew the owner's name... she made Dobby look healthy..."
Harry shook his head at the image.
"And no one wanted an obviously 'defective' elf," A note of disgust crept into her voice, as she remembered the various wizards remarks at the legal office, "'If she needs to punish herself so much, then she must be a lazy layabout or just incompetent' they were talking about her, as if she was spoiled goods,"
Clutching her knees, her knuckles whitened with the strength of her grip.
"No-one wanted her... and I didn't want to be responsible for another Winky, She wanted a family, not to work for Hogwarts," Hermione gave an explosive sigh, "So I took her in... I'm making progress in teaching her proper language,"
"And the suit?" Harry quirked an eyebrow.
"She was surprisingly easy to convince to wear a uniform," Chuckling slightly, she gave Harry a cross look, they both missed Chloe and Whiskey appearing across the room from them. Snapping her fingers Whiskey lifted Chloe to sit on a small red plush chair.
Hermione jabbed him softly, "And don't think I have forgotten what you started talking about earlier, so aliens?"
Harry shrugged, mentally pulling together what information on the Goa'uld he had stolen from Seth about his history and origins, "Near immortal alien body snatchers..."
"They rule empires spanning thousands of worlds, all of them worshipping there godhood. While jockeying for power amongst themselves, throwing armies in a sick sort of war game" He rubbed a finger over a smudge on the Kara'kesh, "Massive warships staffed by legions of Jaffa – biologically created incubators for their young, they would rein fire from orbit wiping out worlds who oppose them or could threaten the Goa'ulds galactic superiority,"
"They are an evil beyond anything Voldemort ever managed," Harry supressed a shudder at the remembrance of Seth's desperate mental defence, throwing him swimming within centuries of memories of torture, "I got a good idea of what the Goa'uld are like, Seth tried to stop the legilimency probe by scaring me, disgusting me... He showed me countless replays of his and his ancestor's atrocities, mass murder, torture, genocide... on a planetary scale you can name it they have done it,"
The Kara'kesh squeaked under his thumb as he rubbed trying to remove the smudge.
"They ruled this world millennium ago, they installed themselves as Gods, and millions of our ancestors worshiped them. I don't know if the way they styled themselves is the cause for our legends or they appropriated ancient humanities myths for their own purposes," He paused massaging his forehead, "Ra, Zeus, Apophis, The Jade Emperor all different religions from all over the world they were intertwined deeply within,"
"They took our ancestors as hosts and took them to the stars for labour and I assume amusement," Turning to look across the room he blinked as he noticed Chloe sitting sleeping in the rooms corner. "Scattered across the worlds within the range of the Chappa'ai network,"
Hermione shot Harry a frown, "Chappa'ai?"
"Large grey metal rings, that let you travel between two points instantaneously," Harry scratched his forehead, leaving the smudge for now, "With wormholes."
"I see..." Hermione eyed the golden Kara'kesh on Harry's arm. "So why don't they still rule us now?"
"There was a rebellion back in ancient Egypt, a slave rebellion, Seth has an idea about why they rebelled, the Goa'uld were not kind masters, they were incredibly cruel but there technology should have been incredibly intimidating to an Egyptian civilian back then. And with their technology levels he didn't know how they managed to push back Ra's forces through the Chappa'ai, maybe wizards or the Tok'Ra helped I don't know..."
"The rebellion buried the Chappa'ai afterwards stopping wormholes from forming, stranding Seth on Earth, and the other Goa'uld prevented from dialling in"
"Why not just come back with ships, and quell the rebellion?" Harry shrugged at the question, his memories didn't say and it ran counter to what Seth believed Ra would have done.
"I don't know, and as far as I can tell Seth doesn't know either," He answered, pulling the Kara'kesh off his arm, its finger links clinked as he sat it down on the wooden platform, "Seth has been stuck on Earth for longer than there has been an England, a self-exile I think, hiding possibly from his family,"
"Sort of? They are related but they are more a sub branch of Goa'uld. But they oppose the Goa'uld on principle,"
"They work to oppose the Goa'uld where ever they can," Standing Harry clapped his hands, dusting his palms he stepped off the platform walking towards the drained bowl, Hermione to his left followed suit.
"How are we going to do this?" Hermione asked, looking at the downed men and women. "Heal them here or take them elsewhere?"
Harry tilted his head, "That's a good question, but I don't see why can't de-program them here,"
Drawing his wand, Harry looked over the haphazardly piled bodies spread around the room, twitching his wand the red plush chair Chloe was sitting on began to expand filling the length of the wall, Harry turned to Hermione's house elf, "Whiskey, Could you help us move the cultists?"
Her overly large eyes blinked before she accepted, nodding, her ears wobbling with her enthusiasm. With a soft crack Whiskey re-appeared across the room next to a sleeping brunette, clicking her fingers she began to rise, stopping a meter above the ground. Ignoring the rising cultist Whiskey moved to the next one, one by one the cultists began to rise. Whiskey attending to the cultists in a seemingly random order, all hovering a meter above the ground.
Harry nudged a gawky male hovering nearest him, the levitating man moved freely with minimal resistance but remained fixed at the same altitude. He turned to Hermione, "Hermione give me a hand to push them to the couch,"
Sliding the hovering cultists across the room, the duo arrayed them above the expanded red couch.
"Whiskey, let them down please," Hermione asked as the last cultist was positioned over the couch. Clicking her fingers one by one the cultists slowly lost altitude, Harry and Hermione guided there descent to rest upright on the couch.
As Whiskey let the last cultist drop from the levitation, Harry turned moving towards Chloe at the very end of the stretched red couch.
Hermione whispered to Whiskey, "Can you hide, I don't know how they would react to seeing you,"
"Okay, Mistress Hermioniee I will," With a crack, she returned to her earlier vantage point atop a high beam.
Conjuring a short stool, Harry lowered himself down, to sit at Chloe's level; Hermione stepped up behind him, leaning her stomach against his shoulder. Pressing a gloved hand to her sleeping face, with a silently cast enervate he awoke her.
With a jerk, she returned to consciousness, her eyes darting around the room, her face paled as she recognised the Jackal headed columns of Seth's and their role in her brainwashing.
"Harry! What-" She exclaimed as she recognised him next to her, her eyes widening in panic at the sight of her fellow unconscious cultists, spread along the couch, unmoving. "A-are they dead?"
"No, just sleeping," Hermione interceded, leaning forward to rest a reassuring hand on Chloe's shoulder, Chloe supressed a shudder at the contact, "They need to be unconscious until remove the brainwashing drug that Seth used to convert you all to his cause,"
Chloe gave a shaky nod.
"There is one other thing," Chloe looked up, meeting Harry's stare she looked away moments later focusing on her hands, "We can make it so you don't remember your time with Seth,"
Her breathing hitched.
"There could be side effects," Taking a soft hold of her hand, Harry's gloves monitored her speeding heartrate, "Depending on how old the memory was, it won't be completely gone, old memories tend to leave subtle traces behind, enough to influence the subconscious..."
"Oh," Her grip tightened around Harry's hand. "I-I'll have to think about it,"
Harry nodded, offering her a tight smile.
Pushing himself off the couch Harry stood, stepping away from his conjured stool.
From her seat, Chloe watched Harry as he moved in front of the woman next to her, lowering himself to sit on his small stool he held his white gloved hands to the small African American girls head. Her eyes widened fractionally as a faint blue glow shone from underneath the gloves resting on Cassey's temples.
Cassey's arms and nose shifted as her brow furrowed, as if disturbed by an unpleasant dream.
Shifting to a red shaded light Cassey's face began to twitch, as the light faded her eyes sprung open. Looking around the ascension room Cassey began to breathe heavily her memories of following Seth and trying to ascend, her chest heaved with her frantic breathing.
Taking a hold of her hand to reassure her, Cassey's head whipped to the side staring wide-eyed, "Chloe?"
"It's okay Cassey," Chloe squeezed the small African American woman's hands, Cassey leant into her side shrinking away from Harry sitting in front of her, Chloe whispered reassuring words as the petite woman tried to make sense of everything.
Leaving Hermione to answer the awakened peoples questions, Harry watched as the heavy oak dining table dropped with a heavy thud into the Sarcophagus's room.
"Thank you Whiskey," Nodding the small elf disappeared with a crack, vanishing a small grease stain on the table as she disappeared back to aid her mistress.
Flourishing his wand Harry transfigured the table.
The table's top softened dripping over the edges like a thick taffy, the liquefied wood puddled underneath the table, between the legs, with the taffy like drippage stretching tocover the space between the legs, boxing in the table.
Bubbling the liquid box of wood began to stretch growing bigger, the liquid oak lightening and splitting into panels forming a hinged crate, the size of a small Volkswagen.
Turning, Harry eyed the Sarcophagus, evaluating its impressive size.
There was a considerable amount of Goa'uld technology to store in the compound from what Seth's fragmented memories recalled. A pair of Ring Platforms, a crystal computer and at least a dozen assorted energy weapons, a mixture of Zat'nik'tel's and Ma'Tok Staffs.
Turning to the transfigured crate, Harry hefted the hinged lid, checking the insides. Letting the lid drop, it closed with a resounding thump as Harry stepped back. Frowning he rubbed his chin, trying to decide on the best way to load the crate.
Resting a hand on the crates top Harry tried to rock it, pushing and pulling, working on harmonising his movement the crate began to lift, tilting on its corners. With a grunt, he heaved, tilting the crate enough to turn it onto its side.
Slamming onto its side the lid bounced open.
Kneeling at the entrance, Harry crawled inside the transfigured crate. Conjuring a small scalpel he reached into the corners, slicing through the soft wood Harry began carving a trio of Nordic runes for endurance, strength and eternity.
The three runes carved into the wooden frame when combined, hardened and increased the durability and the strength of the wood far beyond its normal material properties, beyond even the capabilities of high strength steel alloys.
Half-kneeling in the crates entrance, Harry tapped his wand to the closest runic cluster. The trio of carved runes under his wand flashed, seconds later a small glow throughout the crate signified the activation of the twenty runic arrays within the crates corners, strengthening the wooden frame.
Pressing an ear against the crates wall, Harry's knuckles rapped the wooden wall, the knock sounded like knocking on a metal wall. Harry nodded, crawling into the back of the crate Harry sat back on his haunches.
Pricking his finger on the conjured scalpel he traced his bleeding finger along the crates bottom face, concentrating he drew five runes surrounded by a dozen minor runes.
Tapping his wand he channelled a short burst of magic, the blood of the inscribed runes began to bubble. Turning he managed to reach the entrance as a flash of light emitted from the blood.
Behind him the runic array flashed, the air within the box shimmered, the space within stretched like a carnival fun mirror. As the interior increased a slight wind blew past Harry, sucking in air to fill the growing void. Settling, the movement inside of the box slowed its expansion as it reached the size of a truck.
Ducking his head, Harry stepped back into the modified crate, bending his neck he looked upwards at the elevated roof, the strengthening runes illuminating the expanded corners of the crate.