Mischief Managed-Up To No Good - Kara's feeling guilty because the body wasn't her own, it was her doppelgänger. Obviously, she doesn't know where the doppelgänger came from. She just knows that she's taken over her body, and in her perspective, although she's still 'herself,' she's overshadowing someone else; someone with memories, feelings, and who generally lived. THAT is why she felt guilty, and it's a similar reason that makes all the characters disgusted at what Barry and Caitlin did, and their utter lack of remorse.
Sakura Lisel - Sorry if this was unclear, but the body of Kara's doppelgänger is close to the same age as Kara was on Earth-38. Remember, Earth-1 was a parallel world. Things happened differently there. As for why HYDRA's attacking, remember that HYDRA is still inside of SHIELD at this point. SHIELD was monitoring the cottage because of strange energy readings produced by Barry/Harry and Caitlin/Hermione. Now, Kara's there with Kal, and the two of them are totally fucking with the cottage (heat vision, accidental magic). HYDRA would see her as a threat - she's a massively powerful unknown. I'm assuming that Bucky was their best asset at the time, and that's why they'd send him. Also, if you'd think HYDRA would try to take out Flash and Frost, my counter to that is think of the differences between the two. Kara and Kal are actively destroying things, while Flash and Frost were simply speeding around the house, doing mundane things. Also, HYDRA would have no way of knowing that Kara and Kal are more or less invincible. This might be an extremely long-winded excuse to just have Bucky and Kara be friends, but really, now that I've written it out, it feels pretty valid… I think… Tell me if I'm wrong, and this is totally crazy. Sorry for the long-winded response, but I was on a roll, and when I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll.
Previously on After the New Dawn:
"What have they… we… done?" Hermione asked hoarsely as she stood shakily and stumbled towards Harry.
"This… this is horrible!" Harry exclaimed. "They - er - we had no right! I feel so different!"
"Let the tour begin!" Harry exclaimed dramatically, patting his puking friend comfortingly on the back.
Just like John, he thought amusedly.
Chapter 9 - Run, Harry, Run
Great Hall, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, After the New Dawn
November 24th, 2008
Harry was nervous.
This by itself wasn't all that unusual - he was nervous all the time for a variety of reasons.
What was unusual about this particular occurrence was what was causing the nervousness.
Today was the day of the first task.
Harry was sitting next to Hermione at the Gryffindor table, picking at his food. He didn't feel all that hungry.
"Harry!" Hermione scolded. "Eat food, you idiot."
Harry scowled at her while Ron was visibly trying not to laugh. The problem with that was that Ron had quite a bit of food in his mouth, and the combination of that and the repressed laughter was something that looked remarkably like choking.
As if they appeared out of nowhere, Fred and George were suddenly right behind Ron. Harry flinched and dropped his fork, causing it to clatter noisily as it fell to his plate.
"Ronnie, old chap," Fred said.
"Are you all right there?" George asked.
"We could…" Fred trailed off, only for George to pick up where he left off, almost seamlessly.
"Thump you on the back…"
"Turn you upside down," Fred offered.
"No, no," George countered, looking thoughtful.
"Right. Can't have that," Fred agreed.
"Whatever shall we do?" the two cried together, sounding rather dramatic.
They exchanged a concerned glance when Ron just started shaking more.
Fred turned to Hermione. "Is he actually choking?"
She shot Fred an amused look. "No… he's laughing."
George snorted. "Ah. Our beautiful brother-"
"Adorable ickle Ronniekins!" Fred interjected.
"-is choking on his own giggles. How horrific!"
"Terrible!" Fred agreed.
"Well, brother mine," George started.
"Yes," Fred replied. "Let's leave this miserable sod to his sad, sad amusement."
With that, the two bewildering sixth-year pranksters linked arms and skipped away.
Harry turned his gaze to Ron. "Actually, though, Ron. Are you okay?"
Ron swallowed noisily, causing Hermione to grimace. "Yeah… sorry. I was laughing, and I couldn't really swallow while I was laughing."
Harry nodded amiably. "Happens to the best of us," he said wisely.
Hermione snorted, spearing a small portion of her pancake with her fork.
Harry frowned. "I can't believe today's the first task… I wonder what it is? They said something about bravery…"
"Remember," Hermione said, "It's traditionally been some sort of magical creature - last time they held it, it was a Chimaera, and they had to get past it, grab a flag, and get back to the starting line."
"That's reassuring," Harry muttered.
"Maybe they'll do something different now that there's a fourth champion in it?" Ron suggested hopefully.
Hermione shook her head. "Nope. They planned the tasks before he was entered."
"If they were actually considering that," Harry added, "it would be worse, not better. Flash has super-speed."
"Talking about planned tasks you were supposed to attend," Ron said, "the Daily Prophet is still on about how you didn't go to the Wand Weighing."
Harry sighed. "Really, Ron, I don't care all that much. I wasn't going to take my wand to them - they'd figure out who I was right away - and you're lucky I put up a silencing ward, otherwise, half the school would know I'm the Flash already."
Hermione checked her watch, decidedly ignoring the argument going on in front of her. She and Harry had decided together that he wasn't going to the Wand Weighing - he probably wouldn't even end up using his wand anyway. "Eat, Harry. You've got to be down there in just over an hour."
17 Days Ago - November 7th, 2008
Jasper Sitwell looked anxiously at Alexander Pierce as he watched the recording.
"You're telling me that…" Pierce started. He cradled his head in his hands. "…this ridiculously powerful woman just reversed the brainwashing we did on the asset?"
Sitwell gulped. "Yes sir… I'm having a hard time believing it myself."
"Can we get him back?"
Sitwell winced. "Well… um… he hardly ever leaves the house, and when he does, the woman is with him. I think he knows we'd want him back."
"This is a disaster," Pierce muttered.
Potter Cottage, Godric's Hollow
November 24th, 2008
Kara was packing a nice lunch.
"Ready to go soon?" Bucky called from the other room, where he was putting on a pitch-black hoodie.
"Yeah," Kara called back. "How about Kal? Is he ready?"
Bucky walked into the kitchen with Kal in his arms. "Yep. He might've protested a bit at me changing him, but we're all set now. I forgot to ask - does Harry know we're coming?"
Kara smirked. "Nope, but don't worry. I'll make sure we stay out of sight. He taught me a spell recently, it's called disillusionment. It can make a person more or less invisible."
Bucky whistled, sounding impressed. "Wow. That's pretty useful. If you don't mind, could you cast that on me whenever we leave the Cottage?"
Kara shrugged. "Sure, it'll be good practice."
Kal yawned before shooting a burst of heat-vision at the ceiling. Kara sighed before muttering a reparo, causing everything to fix itself. It looked better than it had been before Kal burned it.
Bucky smiled. "Another spell?"
"Yeah," she nodded. "I've been getting a lot of use out of that one… actually, how have you not noticed me doing that one? Kal breaks stuff all the time?"
Bucky shrugged. "Yeah, I saw it, I just never bothered asking until now."
Kara laughed. "You're weird, Bucky Barnes."
He smirked. "You're weirder, Kara Danvers."
She raised an eyebrow.
He raised both.
Kal clapped and giggled while blowing out a gust of cold from his mouth, coating half of the table with ice.
Bucky let out a startled laugh while Kara yelped, pulling her half-made lunch away from the ice.
"Know how to fix that?" Bucky drawled.
Kara took one look at the smug-looking baby and the amused visage of Bucky and shook her head despairingly. "Nope, they haven't taught me that one yet."
"Mirror call them," Bucky suggested.
"No, no. It's after nine!" Kara exclaimed.
"It's the day of the first task," he countered.
"Ugh, fine," she said as she pulled the mirror out. "Hermione Granger."
The mirror blurred and then Hermione appeared. She was walking, her hair appeared to be windswept, and she was wearing a light jacket.
"Yes, Kara? Why are you calling now?"
"Know any spells to get rid of excessive ice?"
"Try an overpowered Lumos Solem to melt it and then vanish it with an Evanesco. I've taught you those two, right?"
"Yes," Kara said, nodding.
"I want the story later," Hermione said.
Kara nodded. "Sure. Bye, Hermione, sorry for bothering you."
"You haven't bothered me - I'm walking to the stadium now, so I'm mostly alone. Just remember, I was only able to answer you just now because it isn't a school day."
The call cut off and the mirror returned to being reflective.
The ice began melting at a rapid pace, and the resulting water spilled on the floor.
All the water vanished.
Bucky whistled. "Impressive."
Kara smiled at him. "That combo was all Hermione. I'm sure I could have thought of it, given enough time, but she's more adapted to the concept of having magic. It's only been around three-and-a-half weeks for me."
"Think about what Kal will be able to do when he grows up," Bucky pointed out. "He'll be a Kryptonian - with all of the benefits that come with that - and he'll have grown up with magic. You're already ridiculously powerful. He'll only be more so."
She nodded, looking slightly dazed. "Yeah… wow. He really will be powerful, won't he?"
Bucky glanced at the clock. "Ah… Kara? We should've left a minute ago. We're going to be late."
"Oh, oops. Hand me Kal."
Forbidden Forest Arena, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
November 24th, 2008
Just outside the clearing, three disillusioned figures landed. Two were adults, and one was a baby.
"Well," one adult said wryly, "Harry's certainly going to have his hands full."
The other adult simply stared disbelievingly. "They're making them face dragons? What type of competition is this?"
Unspecified Hallway, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
November 24th, 2008
Harry made his way to the nearest restroom, glancing over his shoulder to check for people following him. It was ten minutes before the task was scheduled to start, and he wanted to get there just a bit early.
He slipped into the restroom and entered a stall before flashing into his suit and speeding out of the castle in the direction of the tent. As he ran, a time remnant branched off to go back to Hermione and watch the task as Harry Potter.
Harry skidded to a stop inside the tent, startling Ludo Bagman, who was standing there with a small purple sack in his hands.
Standing in various places inside the tent, the other three champions looked decidedly nervous.
"Ah!" Bagman exclaimed. "The elusive fourth champion!"
The other three champions looked up quickly and frowned as they took in Harry's costume.
Angelina spoke up. "Flash… we all have uniforms provided by our schools. The tournament advisors supposedly prepared one for you… Why aren't you wearing it?"
Harry snorted. "You think I'd just casually reveal my identity?"
Ivanov's frown became a bit more pronounced than those of the others. "Are you not… Barry Allen?"
Harry shook his head. "I was once. But, despite that, none of you know what I look like."
"Once?" Baudin queried.
"Champions, champions," Bagman interrupted, glancing between them nervously. "When the audience has assembled, I'm going to be offering each of you this bag, from which you will each select a small model of the dragon you are about to face. There are different species, you see. And… I have to tell you something else too… ah, yes, your task is to collect the golden egg!"
"Dragon?" Angelina exclaimed. "The first task is dragons?"
"Of course," Harry said. "With my luck, what else could it be."
Baudin and Ivanov looked at the two champions curiously. "You mean to say zat you did not know zat ze task was dragons?" Baudin asked.
Angelina shook her head while Flash said, "No, of course not. Why would I know? None of us were supposed to know."
"Ladies first," Bagman said as he held out the bag.
Baudin reached inside with a shaking hand and pulled out a model of a Chinese Fireball dragon labeled with a small number three.
Angelina pulled out a Swedish Short-Snout and blinked owlishly at the number one tied to its neck.
Ivanov pulled out the Hungarian Horntail with a four hanging around its neck - much to his displeasure (he was swearing under his breath).
Harry reached inside and pulled out the Welsh Green, it had a number two.
"Excellent!" Bagman enthused. "Now, the numbers you see there are the order you will face the dragons in. Miss Johnson, you are first. I'm going to have to leave in a moment because I'm commentating."
A whistle blew from somewhere outside.
"Oh, good lord! I've got to run," Bagman exclaimed as he rushed out of the tent.
"Go, go," Baudin said to Angelina. "Zat is meant for you."
Angelina quickly strode out of the tent, looking particularly pale.
Seconds later, they heard the roar of the crowd as Angelina presumably did various death-defying stunts to escape the dragon.
And then they heard the voice of Ludo Bagman, sounding quite like he'd applied a Sonorous: "Oooh, narrow miss there… Clever move… too bad it didn't work."
After about twelve or so minutes, the nervous group of champions heard a deafening roar that could only mean one thing: Angelina had gotten the egg.
"Very good indeed!" Bagman had exclaimed. "And now, the marks from the judges!"
They couldn't hear anything from the tent, but Harry assumed that the judges were holding them up and showing them to the crowd.
"One down, three to go!" Bagman shouted. "Flash, if you could, please?"
Harry sped out of the tent into the open in a burst of lightning and took in his surroundings as Oliver Queen had taught him to do.
There were hundreds and hundreds of faces staring down at him, all looking particularly excited. At the other end of the enclosure, there was the Welsh Green, and she was carefully crouching upon her eggs, covering them up completely.
The crowd was making a great deal of noise, but the dragon looked utterly unperturbed. It was then that Harry realized that he couldn't just run in and grab the egg.
But then, he got an idea. Maybe it wasn't the best idea, but it could be safer than many alternatives…
~Mighty dragon!~ Harry hissed in parseltongue. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry could see many, many sets of eyes turning towards his time remnant in the stands, who was doing a great job of pretending to be completely flabbergasted.
The dragon simply roared at him. Ah, damn. So much for that plan. I guess dragons don't really classify as serpents.
With that thought in mind, Harry sped around the dragon in wide circles, looking for an obvious weakness - not that he could find one. Maybe a lightning bolt would work?
He ran back and forth a few times and generated enough Speed Force to reach back and grab some of his lightning, throwing it at the dragon, which hit her right in the center of the forehead. She simply roared its disapproval.
Hmm… could I draw it away from its nest?
He ran and created multiple speed mirages, and the dragon growled and snapped at any that got close but didn't move.
Blimey… what are the odds I got the stubborn one?
One out of four, a cheeky part of his brain retorted.
Rushing forward, he scrapped any semblance of a plan and proceeded to pummel the sides of her with Speed Force enhanced punches.
He was sure that Hermione was nearing a heart attack by this point, but he had to get the egg.
The dragon roared again before shifting just enough to swipe at him. Harry had to use every ounce of speed to avoid the hit, and even then, it only missed by an inch or two.
Suddenly, a bright beam of red energy - something that looked remarkably similar to Kryptonian heat vision - shot into the arena and hit the dragon in the side of the head.
The dragon roared in anger, but aside from that hadn't been affected in the slightest. Harry whipped around, peering in the direction the beam came from, but couldn't see anything.
Wait… didn't Hermione teach Kara disillusionment?
He looked a bit closer, and sure enough, there were three disillusioned figures watching the task; two adults and a baby.
From where he was standing, he could barely make out that one of the adults was scolding the baby.
Maybe little Kal was the one to send the beam - he couldn't picture Kara as being that irresponsible to do it herself.
That train of thought was thoroughly derailed as he had to dodge a sudden bout of fire.
How can I provoke it?
As he circled her, he contemplated the question.
Maybe I can hop on her back?
Yeah, that ought to make her angry.
Happy with his decision, he flashed forward and hopped on, causing the dragon to roar furiously and unfurl her wings, flapping them around angrily.
Small bits and pieces of commentary from Bagman made it through to his ears. "…Oh! AND HE JUMPS ON THE BACK OF THE DRAGON! What a daring move!"
The dragon twisted her head around on her long neck, and suddenly, Harry and the dragon were nose to nose.
"It's BACKFIRED! The dragon has turned to face the Flash! Is this the end of our beloved hero?"
Harry hopped off as quickly as he could, and even then he barely escaped with his life.
But, lo and behold, the dragon had stood ever so slightly to face him, and Harry was treated with a glimpse of the egg… until the dragon plopped down again.
Harry was sure that if she could, the dragon would look smug.
With no other options, Harry sped right in front of her head, and ran in a circle, generating energy.
The dragon opened her mouth, looking for all the world like she was about to roast him, but Harry threw a massive lightning bolt right into her gaping maw just as she began building fire up in the back of her throat.
Her mouth snapped shut with an audible snap and her eyes rolled up into the back of her head before she collapsed bonelessly and rolled off of her eggs.
Harry let out a huge breath as the egg was revealed.
He sped forward, snatched the egg, and jumped back.
That was when he noticed the silence.
Nobody made a sound, and when Harry looked up into the stands, he noticed that even his time remnant looked genuinely surprised. Ludo Bagman had dropped his wand and was staring at Harry wide-eyed, while Hermione was pale and shaking.
Sure, she was used to seeing him in dangerous situations, but the outcome of this was closer to death than usual. He sped off to the edge of the enclosure and stood next to Angelina, who had just recently gotten out of the first aid tent. They watched as a whole crew of dragon handlers nervously approached the unconscious lump of dragon lying limply on the ground. A few of them swished their wands in a recognizable pattern - the levitation charm - and lifted the dragon, whose limbs hung down towards the ground as she floated out of the enclosure. The rest of the dragon handlers had occupied their time by carefully transporting the eggs out, following the floating mass of dragon.
"Listen for your scores," Angelina whispered, leaning over toward Harry.
Madame Maxime lifted her wand, and what looked like a long silver ribbon shot out of it - until it condensed into a large, glittery eight.
Mr. Crouch was next, he shot up a number ten.
Next, Dumbledore shot up a nine and Bagman was next, up with a ten.
And last was Karkaroff, who sneered and flicked his wand disdainfully, producing a glum-looking three.
Gasps of outrage flitted through the crowd.
Harry nodded happily. Forty was a fine score.
"Flash!" came a call from somewhere behind him.
Harry turned to see Professor McGonagall approaching him hesitantly. "Would you report to the medical tent?"
Harry shook his head. "No. I'm perfectly healthy, and if I wasn't I've got I friend who's quite qualified to heal any injuries I've not noticed. Thank you for your concern, though."
Harry turned to Angelina. "See you around, Johnson."
Without waiting for a response, Harry flashed away in a crackle of electricity and a yellow streak.
Half-a-minute later, Harry had re-merged with his time remnant and safely stored his egg away in his trunk.
"Hello, Hermione," he said casually.
"Oh!" she said in surprise. "You're back already? I thought you'd still be down there."
Harry shook his head. "My place is up here, with you. Plus, I don't think anyone besides Angelina and McGonagall has noticed my absence."
Hermione looked around before letting out a laugh. "How did you manage that?"
"I'm not quite sure, actually. I thought they'd notice."
Hermione shrugged before perking up. "Wait… before I forget…" she trailed off as she pounced on him and aggressively snogged the daylights out of him.
While the couple was otherwise 'occupied,' Ron snorted, sounding fairly amused, and turned to the other Gryffindor fourth-year to the right of him. "Those two will be out of it for a while," he said casually.
Sophie Roper laughed. "Yes, I'd imagine. They do look quite distracted." She peered at him through her square, black-rimmed glasses. "You do realize there had been a betting pool on when you and she would get together, right?"
Ron managed a praiseworthy shocked look. "What? When… When did that happen? I mean… we bicker so much! Ours is a more sibling-like relationship than most siblings have!"
Sophie glanced at him speculatively. "Everyone thought that it was sexual tension."
Ron broke out into a coughing fit. "Merlin, no! Please, please no. I know it's not actually incest, but to me, doing something with her would feel like it. In my mind, she's just my strict older sister."
"So…" she gave him an appraising glance. "That means you're on the market?"
Ron turned red. "W-what?"
"Are you on the market?" she repeated, unperturbed as she twirled her brown hair with her right pointer finger.
"Market for what?"
She gave him a deadpan look. "Are you really that oblivious?"
"It means, are you dating anyone right now?" she said, rolling her eyes.
"No, why?" he replied, looking a bit bemused.
"I'd like to apply for the vacant position," she said, smoothing down her hair, which had been blown out of position by the wind.
He looked into her light-blue eyes and said, "Sure - er - yes!"
She smiled brilliantly and shuffled over to sit on his lap, and pressed her back against his chest.
He blushed furiously. "Um… what are you doing? Isn't that a bit… fast?" When she gave him a disappointed look, he quickly backtracked. "N-not like I don't like it, but is this what you want."
She rolled her eyes. "I'm the one who sat here, aren't I?"
"Yeah… you were…" Gathering every scrap of confidence and Gryffindor courage he held, he carefully wrapped his arms around the small frame of the witch in his lap.
He knew he'd done something very right when she twisted in his arms and pecked him on the cheek.
Next to the new couple, Harry and Hermione had just finished their intense snog. "Harry?" Hermione said.
"My eyes aren't playing tricks on me… are they?"
"Wow! Um, no. I don't think so, I see that too."
"When did he meet her? Surely we would have known her better if that was the case?"
Harry shrugged. "I don't know. He's perfectly entitled to other friends apart from us. I know for a fact that we've got two-and-a-half friends that he doesn't, and they're here actually. You saw that beam, right?
"Yeah… you're saying Kara did that?"
"No, I don't think she would do that. I think it was one of Kal's uncontrolled bursts."
"Ah, yes. I didn't think she'd be that irresponsible."
"What are you guys talking about?" Ron cut in. The two looked over at him, and then glanced at Sophie, who they noticed was there.
Harry and Hermione exchanged nervous glances. "Well, you see…" Harry started slowly as a shrill whistle sounded in the background. "Remember that red beam that hit the Flash's dragon?"
Sophie nodded. "Yeah, that was cool. Who do you think did that?"
Harry sighed in relief as Ron started discussing theories with the energetic girl.
"She's very… bubbly," Hermione commented quietly as she observed the smaller girl.
Harry cracked a smile. "Only the best for Ron, right, 'Mione?"
She smacked him on the arm. "That would have been nice sentiment if you hadn't forgotten to not call me that!"
Harry winced. "Sorry… I just thought it was a cute abbreviation, y'know? It's a cute sort of-"
Unfortunately, nobody would find out what it was a 'cute sort of,' because he was very quickly cut off by Hermione.
"No," she said. "You know how I feel about pet names. Caitlin might've been okay with it, but I don't really like any abbreviations. Hermione is just fine."
"Who's Caitlin?" Sophie piped up. Apparently, she and Ron had once again begun to pay attention to their conversation.
"Ex-girlfriend," Hermione said without missing a beat.
Sophie 'hmmed.' "Your ex or Harry's ex?"
Hermione sputtered, but Harry was quick to pick up the slack. "Mine," he responded quickly.
A roar from the dragon interrupted their conversation.
"Oh," said Harry. "We must have missed Baudin."
"How would you know that?" Fay Dunbar asked.
Harry shrugged. "This dragon sounds different than the last other three." It was a good enough excuse, and Fay seemed appeased. "What was her score anyway?"
"Thirty-five," Ron responded.
"How did you really know?" Hermione whispered to Harry.
"Horntail," he whispered back. "Ivanov pulled it."
"Hmm. Lucky it wasn't you," she responded.
"Yeah. This is quite unusual. I got one of the less aggressive ones. It was a bit more stubborn but wasn't really as fierce as the others."
Hermione nodded. "I noticed that… by the way, never, ever do something as stupid as you did today ever again!"
He cocked his head to the side. "Which stupid thing?"
"Both," she ground out. "Both the dragon-riding and the pummeling it with your fists, you idiot."
"Are you okay?" Sophie asked.
"What?" Hermione replied.
"Your mouths were moving, but no sound was coming out."
Hermione looked at Harry, who simply grinned at her. Of course, he'd put up a silencing ward. "We're fine, Sophie. Don't worry about it," she said cautiously.
Hermione looked away from Sophie, back to Harry. "Have you been practicing the Mind Arts?" she asked quietly.
He nodded. "Yes. Might I ask why you're checking with me now?"
"This conversation with Sophie just reminded me that if we aren't careful, our secrets can literally be plucked from our heads. Has anyone tried to get access?"
Harry nodded. "Snape has tried a few times. I've been avoiding eye contact with him, though. I reckon my shields will be good enough to repel him soon. There's just the deepest parts of my mind to safeguard now. I've gotten all of my memories safely guarded. It's just… there's a small portion of my mind that feels sort of… evil, almost. Er… more like it feels like it used to be evil. I reckon it had something to do with my scar… but now my scar's almost gone. I don't know. I was actually planning on taking a closer look at it later tonight once I've gone to bed."
Hermione nodded. "Come get me when you're about to do it. I don't want you to hurt yourself with me unable to help you."
Harry shrugged. "Sure. Can't hurt."
Hermione looked around. "You put up a silencing ward again, didn't you."
"Of course I did. What did you take me for? The biggest gossip in Gryffindor is sitting right behind us."
"Really?" Hermione looked up, and sure enough, Lavender Brown was sitting right behind them, watching intently as Ivanov's performance was judged.
"Ooh!" Hermione said, "You're in first place! Ivanov got thirty-eight, Baudin got thirty-five, and Angelina got thirty-nine!"
"Nice!" Harry enthused. He looked around, noticing that most of the students had begun filtering out of the stands. "Let's see if we can catch Kara before she's gone!"
"Yeah," Hermione agreed as she hopped off his lap.
Harry stood and swore. "I didn't realize how numb my legs were."
Hermione pulled up one of his pant legs a little. "Wow. You are really pale. Sorry about that."
Harry smiled at her. "Having you sit on my lap is worth a little bit of numbness," he said sincerely, which was immediately followed by both of them blushing furiously.
"Anyway," Hermione said.
"Kara?" Harry asked.
"Kara," Hermione confirmed as she dragged Harry towards the exit, pushing past several people. "We'll see what her excuse is for this mess."
Harry raised an eyebrow as he was dragged along. "Mess?"
"Of course it's a mess, Harry. What did you think, that Dumbledore would just ignore a random laser beam shooting out from nowhere and hitting a dragon in the face in the middle of the Flash's task?"
Harry sighed as they left the throng of students and looked for a private place to flash away from. "Yeah, that makes sense. I still reckon that it was Kal, not Kara."
Hermione let go of his hand briefly in order to hop over a fallen tree. "Why would Kal be here anyway? It's one thing to bring him at night when he can't really hurt anyone, but its midday."
Harry shook his head. "Kal-El is Kryptonian, and would, therefore, be unmanageable to anyone who wasn't also a Kryptonian or equal caliber. Kara is most likely the only other Kryptonian to exist in this world, and we haven't met anyone else who would handle him. Wherever she goes, he goes."
Hermione frowned. "That must be incredibly tiring."
"No kidding," Harry said before flashing away.
Hermione shook her head. "Maybe I won't be that harsh on her." Then she disappeared in a streak of blue, following the path cleared by Harry.
Forbidden Forest, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
November 24th, 2008
Sophie looked around quickly, looking as if she'd lost something important. "Ron," she started impatiently, "where did Harry and Hermione go?"
Ron shrugged. He'd heard a whisper or two concerning Kara and baby Kal, but he wasn't going to say that to someone he just talked to for the first time a few weeks ago. "Probably snogging."
Hogwarts Grounds, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
November 24th, 2008
Kara and Bucky were walking happily around the grounds, Kara having come up with the brilliant idea of levitating Kal's carrier beside them.
Not only did it make it so Kara didn't have to carry him, but it also helped her develop her magic. From what she'd seen, the more she used it (which was already fairly often) the faster it developed.
So, really, this was a great exercise.
She was enjoying herself very much, having a delightful conversation with Bucky about Harry's task, when she jumped nearly a foot in the air when she was startled by a voice behind her drawling out, "Having fun?"
Bucky wasn't quite as fazed. He knew that voice.
The dynamic duo turned to face the other dynamic duo. Kara almost laughed at the thought, only holding it in because of the stern expression on the faces of her friends.
"Kara," Harry said. "Surprising seeing you here. I wonder what tipped me off… was it the bright beam of heat-vision that came blazing into the enclosure and hit the dragon?"
Kara winced. "Sorry about that. Kal was getting a bit excited about the noise… I know I should have covered his eyes with my hand, but I was pretty enthralled by the show myself… Rao, Harry, you've got a flair for the dramatics that Barry never had."
"Thanks," Harry said haltingly. "Just… be more careful. I'm not against you using your powers, or Kal using his, but when you almost revealed yourselves to one of the most powerful wizards in the world, I was a bit worried, just a bit."
Kara took that to mean that he was worried out of his mind.
"Right," Harry said, brightening visibly. "Now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, I know that Hermione is dying to ask you how you're progressing with your magic."
"Oh, yes!" Hermione said, jumping into the conversation. "How long have you been levitating that?"
"She's been levitating him since we got here," Bucky replied. "She only stopped once for around a minute when he used his heat vision."
Harry whistled. "Your power is developing well."
"Yes," Hermione said. "I think you're around as powerful as a seventh-year student, if not more powerful; you're still levitating it now, after all."
"Oh!" Harry said. "That means you're probably nearing your magical maturity."
Kara frowned. "What does that mean anyway? I've heard you mention it before, but I don't know what it does."
"It's when your magic finishes developing," Hermione explained. "It's different for each person, and when it happens, additional abilities or affinities may reveal themselves. For example, Mr. Weasley gained an affinity for enchanting. I remember hearing him talk about it. That's why he went into the Ministry as the Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts. Most artifacts would have come into being by enchanting. Mrs. Weasley has an affinity for potions and the like, which is why she is so good at cooking. She could very easily become a Potions Mistress. It's similar with many of our professors, although particularly powerful wizards and witches might have two, or even three, affinities or special abilities. And sometimes, abilities and affinities are passed down to their descendants."
"Oh," Kara said. "So that means I'll get an affinity or another ability once I'm magically mature?"
"Yeah," Harry agreed, nodding. "It's not all that complicated, really."
"It is quite fascinating, though," Hermione added.
"Wow," said Bucky, shaking his head disbelievingly. "You mean she'll be even more powerful than before? I didn't think she could get any more powerful."
"Of course she's getting more powerful," Harry quipped. "She's a Kryptonian and a witch."
Hermione shook her head fondly. "It was great to see you guys, but we've got to get back to the castle. Stay safe! I'll call you guys later."
"Bye, guys," said Kara as they began walking away.
Harry turned to Hermione. "I bet they'll be together by Christmas."
She raised her eyebrows. "You're on, Potter."
Though I may be small and you may be tall, you'll find I pack the greater punch…