So apparently moving half-way across the country is a tad time-consuming, lol. And not nearly as much fun as it sounds. But, I'm moved and somewhat settled in. And finally have an update for you D This chapter just didn't want to come together for me and I'm still not sure if it's what I wanted, but here you go anyway.
Also, I'd just like to say one thing to whoever "begging" is: putting up a review on my other story in order to tell me to update this one without so much as bothering to say anything about the one you were leaving the message on is just plain rude. Especially since, if you had bothered to read the author's notes in the beginning of said chapter, you'd know I had it written almost two months ago, but was waiting for my beta to be done with exams and such. In the future, please leave messages pertaining to this story in the review section for this story, or e-mail me directly.
My thanks to everyone for their reviews! They made me very happy.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plot. And q's robes. .. wait, his robes are plain black in this chapter. . . nevermind.
A Year with Q
Chapter 43 - I am Q
Q turned to speak to Professor Dumbledore, but suddenly a loud scream filled the air. Instantly, Dumbledore had his wand drawn and a curse fired towards Voldemort. The Dark Lord stopped the Cruciatus in order to block Dumbledore's curse.
Q rolled his eyes.
Here we go again.
There were several moments of tense silence as opposite sides glared at each other once again.
"Leave him alone, Voldemort," Harry said through clenched teeth. He was shaking with fury, his wand pointing directly at the Dark Lord. Dumbledore placed a hand on his shoulder to hold the boy back.
"Calm down, Harry," he said, his voice holding only the barest hint of kindness. Just enough for his student to get the message. "Anger alone will not defeat him."
"Indeed, Mr. Potter, your anger will not save Mr. Watson here," he said as he traced the outline of his captive's face with the tip of his wand.
"Let him go, Tom, then we can talk."
"Oi, Albus, why're you trying to reason with 'im?" Mad-Eye Moody suddenly interrupted. "We have the chance to defeat him here once and for all and I say we take it!"
"Oh? Are you really so willing to sacrifice one of the students?"
The auror gritted his teeth and Voldemort smirked triumphantly. There were several more minutes of silence. Then Q's almost non-existent patience evaporated like a drop of water in the middle of the Sahara desert.
"Dear God, you lot are thick!" he exclaimed. Eyes turned to gape at him- anger flashing in quite a few of them. He didn't bother letting them protest. "Why in the world is everyone so concerned about the stupid Hufflepuff?! I mean, I'm positive there's some sort of wonderfully wise, old, Earth saying about letting people lay on beds of nails they made themselves or something to that regard!"
"Mr. Picard!" Professor McGonagall exclaimed in outrage. "This is a fellow student you're talking about! I don't know about how things are done in America, but over here we do not so casually abandon one of our own!"
Q sighed in frustration and shook his head.
"Harry?" he began slowly in a very calm, even voice, as if he was explaining something very simple to a class of particularly daft children. Which, as far as he was concerned, he was. "Is Watson there a part of your little defence club?"
Harry seemed surprised by the sudden question. "Uh, no. . "
"Weasley, this attack of there's seems to be centred around three main points: first of all the element of surprise, secondly, knowledge of at least one of the passwords with which to hold the school hostage and thirdly, the hostage to keep you from attacking directly and thus gaining momentum in your favour. Correct?"
"Well, I suppose so.. ."
"And, you'll also agree that charging into enemy territory with the hope that you might just happen across some idiot roaming about after curfew, who could then become said hostage, is a rather stupid way of planning a major attack?"
"Now, Granger, you're supposed to be the clever one, so tell me, why would a student who is not supposed to be out patrolling with the rest of you busybodies, be wandering about at this time of night instead of either packing to go home or celebrating the end of the school year with his friends?"
Hermione thought for a moment, looking at Q through narrowed eyes. "He could have been going to the kitchens, I suppose."
"And somehow managed to take a wrong turn into the Forbidden Forest?" He didn't bother waiting for her reply. "And Ginny, you remember that conversation you had with us a while back - you know, where we told you there was a spy in the school and how we were sure it wasn't a Slytherin?"
Q gestured to the banner that still hung above the Head Table.
"Now that there would be the reason why we knew said spy wasn't from Slytherin, since I'm sure Draco's father would have otherwise had a lot more to say about the use of singing Dark Marks than he would about his son's choice of friends." He paused to think for a moment. "Although, I suppose, the two are interconnected since the singing Dark Mark was my doing. . ."
"Q?" a quiet voice came from beside him. Q turned to Draco, who was looking up at him with furious eyes. "Are you saying that we've been spied on all year by a Hufflepuff?"
Q shrugged. "It's the perfect plan, isn't it? In this school, you're all so concerned with house divisions and the stereotypes based on them, after all. Slytherin is first place they'd go to look for a spy, Gryffindor for a hero, Ravenclaw for a bookworm and Hufflepuff tends to get overlooked and underestimated in the shuffle."
"What a clever boy," a voice suddenly interrupted. Q looked up to meet the gaze of Lord Voldemort himself. "You managed to figure that out even before the Great and All-knowing Albus Dumbledore."
"Well, not that it was all that difficult to figure out, but it certainly helps that I'm omniscient," Q quipped. Beside him, Draco rolled his eyes.
"First immortal, now omniscient, don't suppose you're omnipotent as well?" he muttered.
"Of course." Q grinned at the blond.
Q whipped his head around at the exclamation from his son. q's face was lit up with a victorious smile as he pointed at his father.
"You just broke the rules! I win again!"
Q rolled his eyes as his son did a sort of ridiculous little victory dance. He put his hands on his hips and glared at q.
"I realize stupidity is indeed contagious and you've been around quite a few unintelligent life forms recently, but that's hardly an excuse for, apparently, staring at the pretty bright lights on the ceiling instead of actually paying attention!" he admonished the DADA professor, much to the surprise and outrage of the adults in the room. "First of all, the boy doesn't even believe me. Well, until now he didn't, at least. Secondly, it's past midnight, which means the school year is now officially over. Isn't that right, headmaster?"
Q turned to the Hogwarts Headmaster, who was watching him with a rather bewildered look on his face.
"Well, I suppose. .. "
"As fascinating as this conversation isn't-" Voldemort began, his voice shaking in fury.
"Will you be quiet for a minute! This is rather important." Q turned back to Dumbledore. The Dark Lord Voldemort gaped in the background. "So, yes or no: is the school year now officially over?"
Dumbledore blinked a few times before finally answering: "Yes, yes it is."
Q flashed his son a grin, making sure to give him his best "told you so" expression as well.
"Damn." q folded his arms across his chest and pouted.
Suddenly Q felt something brush at his senses. It was a power of some sort. . . definitely wizard magic, but unlike the usual spells he'd encountered at the magic school. He looked down at his hands and saw how each of the cells of his physical form were being illuminated by a yellow-ish sort of light.
Huh? What'd I miss? What's going on?
'You are being crucioed by the Dark Lord, Eternal One.'
Oh. Should've guessed he'd go for the unoriginal easy-fix. I wonder if he got his ideas from "World Conquering for Dummies".
'What is that?'
Q looked to Voldemort, who was indeed pointing a wand at him. He had a curious expression on his face, as if he wasn't quite sure whether to hate the American student, be fascinated by him, or possibly even scared. Q cocked his head at the evil wizard.
"Umm. . . the correct reaction here would be 'ouch', right?" he asked.
Only a stunned silence answered him. Slowly, Voldemort lowered his wand.
"Mr. Picard, you are quite the intriguing individual. . . tell me, how exactly did you block the Crutiatus without your wand?"
Q pulled his wand out and twirled it casually between his fingers.
"What, you mean this worthless little stick?" He threw it somewhere behind him. "Don't need it. Besides, it's not a real wand anyway - just a plain ol' red stick. I had considered giving it pock-a-dots as well, but then I decided that might be going a bit overboard."
"Not a real wand?" Draco asked. "But you've been doing magic with it all year."
"Honestly, Mr. Picard, don't talk such nonsense," Professor McGonagall admonished.
"I can't believe I'm agreeing with Malfoy," Hermione added, "but we've all watched you do magic with it."
Q grinned and wiggled his finger in front of him.
This is more fun than I thought it would be.
"No, you've all seen me wave my wand around and then watched things happen. You merely assumed those things were happening as a result of me waving my wand. And I take absolutely no responsibility for your silly little assumptions."
"But, but. . " Hermione was clearly at a loss about what she should be thinking.
Q suddenly felt the same odd sensation from moments before wash over him. He rolled his eyes and gave the Dark Lord Voldemort an irritated look.
"If it didn't work the first time, what makes you think it'll work the second time? Or is your intellect too small to grasp such mundane concepts?"
Anger flashed in the Dark Lord's eyes and suddenly the wand changed directions. Beside Q, Draco screamed as he fell to his knees. Q stepped in front of him, eyes narrowed.
Now it was his turn to be angry.
Voldemort chuckled. "You may, somehow, be immune to the Crutiatus, but as you can see, your friends are not. Do you honestly think you can protect all of them?"
"Okay, first of all, it's not so much that I'm immune to the Crutiatus, as that it simply doesn't effect me. Kind of like a dog whistle effects dogs, but can't be heard by most humans." Now Q met Voldemort's gaze with a hard, unwavering one of his own and smirked as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Secondly. .. are you sure you want to annoy me by trying to hurt my friends?"
The entire hall gaped at Q and in that moment of utter silence. A tribble dropping would've made an ear-shattering noise.
"Awww. . . that's so sweet, you called them your friends," a snickering voice broke the silence. Q scowled at his son, who smiled sweetly at him, eyes full of mischief and face finally void of any of the mature formality he'd adopted in his role as professor.
"Shut up, brat," Q said. Outraged and astonished gasps followed, turning into even more confusion when Professor Janeway mere scowled instead of protesting the disrespectful comment.
"Mr. Picard, perhaps we have grossly underestimated you," Professor Dumbledore spoke quietly for the first time in quite a while. Q scoffed at the old wizard.
"That much is blatantly obvious." He paused for a moment. "Oh, and don't call me Mr. Picard. Since this little farce is effectively over, I no longer need that name." He grinned at everyone and then bowed formally. "I suppose I should really introduce myself. My name is Q."
"Q? Isn't that what the Slytherins call you?" Harry asked.
"Yes, it is."
"My Lord, should I kill him?" Q overheard Lucius Malfoy ask his master.
"Yes, please do," came the reply. "He is becoming a nuisance."
"Hmm, I'm only beginning to annoy you?" Q asked. "That's not good. . . I must be losing my touch."
Lucius Malfoy raised his wand and pointed it at Q. Q waved him off.
"Oh, don't bother, those spells of yours are all designed to work on simple, carbon-based life forms such as yourselves; they'll have no effect on me."
"What is he talking about?" Ron whispered to Hermione, who looked at Q suspiciously.
"What in the world are you saying?" she asked out loud. "If you're not a carbon-based life form, then what are you?"
"A non-carbon-based life form, obviously."
"That would make you a ghost."
Q sighed and shook his head. "What narrow minds you humans have. . . "
"I will not be made a fool of!" Voldemort yelled, finally at the end of his patience. He pointed his wand at Q. "Avada Kadavra!"
Q looked on, unimpressed, as the green beam of magic hit him square in the chest. He waited five seconds and raised an eyebrow at the silly Dark Lord.
"Happy now?" he asked. The Dark Lord seemed to be in too much shock to reply.
"Avada Kadavra!" "Avada Kadavra!" "Avada Kadavra!"
A harmony of exclamations accompanied by sickly green streams of light barrelled at Q. The entity rubbed the bridge of his nose as he sighed. He snapped his fingers. The light show stopped, although the noise continued, only now in the form of some very colourful curses as the Death Eaters tried and failed to make the carrots they were now holding in their hands produce any sort of magic.
"See, now you can be original," Q quipped. "I happen to know for a fact no one's ever tried taking over the world using carrots!"
"How dare you!" Voldemort roared. He pointed his wand in Q's direction (since he was the only one without a vegetable). Q narrowed his eyes; he could see quite clearly that wand wasn't aiming at him, but at one of the girls. "I am the most powerful wizard of all time and I will not be-"
"You know, you talk too much," Q commented and waved his hand in Voldemort's direction.
There was another flash of light and suddenly the front of the Great Hall was empty except for the still-floating Hufflepuff student/spy and a large cage. The cage was fairly ordinary-looking: about a metre tall and two metres wide, made of sturdy white wire. Inside, were about a dozen white bunnies. They seemed slightly panicked as they hopped about the cage in a frenzy, climbing over each other and twitching their whiskers madly. Suddenly, a huddle in the middle parted and out hopped a bunny with glowing red eyes, black ears and golden pigtails.
"There, now you all just sit tight and please try not to multiply." Q grinned smugly.
"Q?" a quiet voice came from behind him broke him out of his gloating. Q turned around to where Draco was shaking slightly from the effects of the Crutiatus as he leant against Blaise for support. He and the other Slytheirns were staring at Q with wide eyes.
"You really weren't kidding, were you?" Draco asked quietly, his eyes wide in realization and a bit of awe. "You mean you really are immortal, omnipotent and omniscient?"
"I told you I was being serious, didn't I?" Q winked at the boy and smiled proudly.
"That's ridiculous! No human being can possess those kinds of powers: it's simply impossible!"
"Hermione Granger." Q looked directly into the eyes of the girl who'd spoken. "Did I ever say I was human? Even once?" The girl looked stunned for a moment. .. apparently that thought hadn't even occurred to her. "Isn't it rather stupid, just how many assumptions you make about people without even realizing you're making them?"
"If you're not human, then what are you, a god?" Pansy asked.
"I've already told you, I'm Q. I am a Q. A member of the Q Continuum, a race of beings who have long since given up their corporeal forms as they unravelled the secrets of the universe- wait, I'm making the Continuum sound much too grandiose. Actually, the Q Continuum itself is a rather dull place full of a lot of powerful, but rather dull, beings. Which is why I go elsewhere to find my amusement. Usually at the expense of others. I suppose you could call me an easily bored, god-like being." He paused for a moment. "Although, I suppose I wouldn't be terribly upset if you were to start calling me God."
"You actually except us to believe that?!" Alistair Moody demanded.
"Actually, I don't really think he cares too much about whether you believe him," Professor Janeway commented. Heads swung about in surprise, as if they'd forgotten he was even there. "I mean, it's not like his existence is threatened by your inability to comprehend the truth. Although, if you feel you need convincing, I'm sure we could arrange a few suitable demonstrations. . ."
"Wait, "we"?" q grinned at Professor McGonagall.
"Why of course, I can't let him steal all the spotlight now can I?" He looked around at the confused faces. "Hmm, perhaps I should also formally introduce myself."
q snapped his fingers and there was a flash of light. It disappeared in the place of the somewhat distinguished Hogwarts professor stood a boy of about 16 with curly black hair framing his grinning face. Instead of robes he wore a simple pair of blue jeans and a red t-shirt with a picture of some sort of strange space craft on it (Q immediately recognized it as the USS Voyager and rolled his eyes). He gave a dramatic bow.
"Hello, everyone, I'm q. Although, I suppose you can call me Quinton like aunt Kathy does, to avoid confusion. I must say I have had a blast being your Defence Against the Dark Arts professor this year even if it did require gritting my teeth at some of your more ridiculous ideas."
Q noticed the British accent his son had adopted while at Hogwarts had disappeared along with his robes.
"Hang on!" Ginny suddenly exclaimed once q was done with his dramatic introduction. She pointed to Q. "If you're "Q" and-" she pointed at q "-you're "q", then does that mean you're related. . .?"
"He's my son," Q said.
"WHAT?!!" Q winced at how loud a room full of humans could be.
"Oh, come on, don't tell me you didn't see that coming; I mean, seriously: "Super Duper Purple Wall of Magic"? What the hell kind of spell is that?! Incidentally-" He looked at his son. "-if you're going to make up a spell could you at least give it an incantation that isn't equivalent to something a five-year-old human would come up with."
"H-how is he your son?" Harry asked, looking back and forth between them. "I mean, you look about the same age. .. "
Q snapped his fingers and in a flash of light was back to looking the way he normally did. He wore dark navy robes with gold embroidery around the edges and a matching cloak with a silver fur collar. The cloak's clasp was made of heavy gold with a ruby sitting at its centre. The style of the robes were a bit out-dated, but as he was, Q knew he was easily recognizable as high Wizarding nobility.
"Better?" he asked Harry. Harry merely nodded, looking stunned.
"Q?" said Blaise from behind him. Q looked over his shoulder at him. "How old are you exactly?"
"Oh, something over five billion, give or take a millenium."
One. . . Two. .. Three. ..
Q sighed dramatically, but was inwardly enjoying the human's shock. Then he broke out in a wide grin and stretched.
"Well then, I suppose it's about time to celebrate my newly restored freedom," he said to no one in particular.
Well, how was it? Please let me know what you think in a review!