Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Co. belong to J.K. Rowling, while Power Rangers and all related concepts belong to Saban/Disney/Jetix/whoever (Who does own the broadcasting rights to the series these days anyway?)
Feedback: Please; I'd really like to know that somebody's reading this
Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Guardians
In a strange sense, one thing that Jason had always missed from managing to leave the fight before it was concluded was the semi-traditional 'final press conference'. Rangers had always tried to avoid giving too many public announcements beyond what was necessary to explain the situation to the general populace and confirm any recent developments, such as when the sixth Rangers joined the team, but ever since the final confrontation with the Alliance of Evil that had ended with Zordon's death, it had become a policy for the Rangers to make sure that the public knew that the threat they'd been fighting was over.
He'd never participated in one himself, of course- the Space Rangers had agreed to keep the identities of the past Rangers secret when they'd explained what had happened, so the rest of his team had never been in a position to address the public like this apart from a few brief talks with journalists to confirm their agenda or recent events after the really big monster attacks- but he'd watched enough of them to know what he had to do. This time around, he even had the advantage that his teamamtes were essentially already familiar with the prime players in the current government; all they had to do was issue the message and then be there when the time came. They'd waited a couple of days to give everyone time to confirm independently that Voldemort and his forces were finished,
When he was apparated into a large central hall with a battered fountain behind them, facing a large collection of wizards staring at the assembled stage, Jason was surprised at how many people had come for the meeting. Considering that the wizarding world was meant to operate underground, he'd been assuming that they'd have a relatively small press, but this was easily the match of some of the conferences he'd seen held in Angel Grove after the last war against the Alliance of Evil.
"Hello," Harry said, stepping forward to look grimly at the audience, taking on the Red Ranger's leader status for the final time. "I know you all have questions, so I'll make this simple; Lord Voldemort is dead."
"You don't have to fear that name any more," Sylvia said, her voice sounding slightly amused under her helmet as a fair portion of the group in front of them flinched at the name. "I appreciate that he was terrifying for years, but he can't hurt you any more-"
"And how can you say that?" a voice asked from the crowd. "Who are you?"
"As you may have heard from the students at Hogwarts, we are the Hogwarts Guardian Power Rangers," Hermione said, stepping forward to address the group herself. "Those of you with ties to the muggle world may be aware that various teams of Power Rangers have arisen in the last few years to oppose great threats."
"Our powers were actually created by the same ancient wizard who created the original Rangers' powers," Harry said, taking up the story once again as he held up the wrist with the Guardian Gem on it. "He formed this power with the aid of Godric Gryffindor, many centuries ago, and it remained in hiding until it was needed."
"And what made you come to that decision?" another voice put in. "How-"
"The creature that attacked Hogwarts a few days ago was an alien wizard from another galaxy," Ron put in. "He gave Voldemort a weapon that increased his power levels to a point where he would wield power far beyond anything that this world could stand against. The four of us were chosen to wield the powers of the original four Guardian Gems, and our two colleagues were chosen from… those who have a history with past Rangers-"
"Excuse me?" a blonde woman in a vivid green jacket with hideously-styled glasses said, stepping forward to look at Jason and Sylvia in a very pointed manner. "Are you telling us that these two are muggles-?"
"And so what?" Sylvia asked, cutting off the woman. "Do you seriously think we're going to tell anyone about you when one of the main rules of being a Power Ranger is not to reveal your identity to anyone outside the team?"
"Precisely," Harry said, taking up the story once again. "We appreciate the need for the Statute of Secrecy, but at the same time, the wizarding world has to recognise that staying hidden isn't going to work forever. As muggle technology becomes more sophisticated, old methods aren't going to be as effective as they were, and no matter what we try to do, some people are going to have to learn the truth, if only to help us keep it secret from others. If we're going to keep living in this world, we're going to have to trust more muggles with our secret than just the leaders and muggle-born parents, and these two are just the kind of people we need to believe in if we're going to start making steps in that direction."
"You cannot do this," a shrill voice yelled, prompting the four wizards to exchange grim glances as Dolores Umbridge emerged from the crowd. "The International Statute of Secrecy was created to keep us away from those who would seek to use us-"
"We aren't planning to use anything we've learned here for our own benefit," Jason interjected, stepping forward to glare at Umbridge, clearly recognising her from the stories he'd heard. "I only found out about this world when these four came to entrust me with my own Gem, but once I learned about you, my only priority was protecting the innocent from the Dark Lord. I'm not magical myself, but I have no interest in exploiting you, persecuting you, or anything you thought muggles might want to do if they found out this world existed; all I wanted was to help, and I promise that I'll keep your secret."
"I second that," Sylvia smiled. "I've waited years to be a Ranger myself, and I'm not going to betray that secret or your secret now that I've had the chance."
"And we should believe you?" Umbridge asked. "When we don't even know who you are?"
"Everyone who needs to know who we are already does," Jason said firmly, before his tone became harsher as he looked at the woman in pink. "And quite frankly, ex-Professor Umbridge, I wouldn't trust you with my coat, much less my identity."
"Or did you think we just call ourselves the Hogwarts Guardians because it sounds cool?" Ron added, enjoying the offended look on Umbridge's face before he addressed the rest of the audience. "Believe me, everyone is safest if we maintain our secrets; the threat is gone, and that's all that matters."
"But who are you?" another woman asked. "Why were you… chosen?"
"We're the Power Rangers," Ron smiled. "All you need to know is that we were on your side, we protected you from forces that nobody else could stand against… and the force that we were assembled to confront is over."
"You won't be seeing us again," Harry said, as the team stepped back to stand together in front of the fountain, "but you can be sure that we'll be there if you need us."
With that statement, the six Rangers apparated away, leaving the press to look at the conference area in confusion, while the six-man team reappeared in Dumbledore's office at Hogwarts.
"It's over?" Dumbledore's portrait asked, looking curiously at them as Dimitria's image looked out from a nearby Pensieve.
"It's done," Harry nodded, as the team removed their helmets. "We've told the press that Voldemort's dead, confirmed where his extra power came from, and we even threw in the twist that Jason and Sylvia were muggles."
"Excellent decision," Dumbledore smiled. "What better way to encourage future interaction with our worlds than the knowledge that muggles saved us?"
"Umbridge did protest about that bit…" Hermione noted.
"And who's really going to take her seriously after everything the Ministry's been through?" Harry pointed out, indicating a Daily Prophet on Dumbledore's desk. "From what I've read, it sounds like Kingsley's pretty much a shoe-in for the next Minister after they finish sorting out who was guilty of what and who was just under the Imperius, and Kingsley's not likely to let the likes of Umbridge get away with anything."
"So we won?" Sylvia asked.
"We won," Harry confirmed, sharing a grin with his team.
He'd only wanted to do this quest alone when he'd first learned about it, but now that it was over, he couldn't imagine ever doing something this big without these five people, even if he'd only met two of them months ago.
"Well," Jason said, looking solemnly at the Gem on his wrist, "I guess there's nothing else we can do but give these back."
"What?" Ron said, looking at Jason incredulously as he placed his hand protectively over the Yellow Gem. "Are you mental? I know what we said back there, but with these things, we can-"
"Can what?" Hermione asked. "Ron, believe me, I'm going to miss being the Blue Ranger just as much as you're going to miss being the Yellow Ranger, but we have to face facts; now that we've defeated Voldemort, scattered the Death Eaters, and even vanquished that 'Master Vile' fellow, there's no reason for us to still be Rangers."
"She's right, Ron," Jason said, looking solemnly at his teammate. "Believe me, I get that it's hard to give up your powers, but it's something every Ranger has to accept; the need to move on when we've dealt with the villains."
"Jason is right," Dimitria said solemnly. "You have defeated the threat that prompted your use of the Guardian Gems, and now, the wizarding world must face its challenges without the Hogwarts Guardians to shield them what awaits them."
"And what about the zords?" Ginny asked. "They're not just machines-"
"They will be safe in the castle, and you can all visit them if you so wish," Dumbledore nodded before looking at Jason and Sylvia. "I have even found space for the Dark Zords and the White Dragon to remain; your contact with the Gems should grant you enough immunity to our usual muggle protection wards if you decide to visit."
"Great!" Sylvia smiled in relief. "Thanks, Professor!"
"You are quite welcome," the portrait replied, smiling reassuringly at the assembled group. "For what it's worth, I cannot think of anyone else I would have trusted with these powers apart from the six of you."
"Even when you didn't actually choose me and Jason to join the team?" Sylvia asked, her expression half-teasing and half-anxious.
"Hey," Ginny said, reaching over to give Sylvia's shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "You took a while to introduce yourself, but as far as we're concerned, you are the Black Guardian Ranger; Malfoy's just the git who activated that Gem."
"And if Carlos or Andros give me a hard time about letting you come along with us, I'll be sure to tell them I thought you did great," Jason smiled at the younger girl. "Trust me, being Earth's first Red Ranger gives me a bit of authority when it comes to the later guys."
After looking around the group for a moment, Ron sighed in resignation as he reached up to remove the Gem from his wrist, his teammates doing the same with varying degrees of reluctance. Looking at the headmaster's desk, Harry smiled slightly as he saw the box that had originally held the Gems was now lying on the table, open and grown slightly to accommodate the Black and White Gems,
"All in here?" he asked, placing the Red Gem in the centre of the box.
"Naturally," Dumbledore nodded, as the other five placed their Gems around Harry's. "They will be kept in this study until the time is right."
"The time is right?" Ginny repeated.
"You never know what the future will hold, Miss Weasley," Dumbledore smiled, as the box floated up into the air before it vanished in a brief spark of golden flame that reminded Harry of Fawkes. "Just because these are no longer needed now doesn't mean they won't be needed in future."
"Good point," Jason nodded.
"You have all been honourable warriors, Rangers," Dimitria smiled at them from her mirror. "But it is time for us all to move on."
With that final statement, Dimitria vanished from the mirror as Dumbledore sat back in his portrait to rest, leaving the six now-powerless ex-Rangers to look solemnly around at each other.
"Hey," Ron said, looking at Jason and Sylvia with an awkward smile. "Just because we're not Rangers doesn't mean you have to just… leave, does it?"
"Well, we've both got our lives back in America, but it's not like anything's stopping anyone coming to visit," Jason said, looking reassuringly at Ron. "Next time you're abroad, don't be afraid to look anyone else up; I'm sure they'd all be happy to talk to you again, and I've got a few other teams I could introduce you to as well."
"You sure?" Ron asked. "I mean, we weren't exactly Rangers for long…"
"It's one of the first rules of the game, Ron," Jason said firmly. "Once a Ranger, always a Ranger; doesn't matter how long you were in the game or why you stopped it."
"Or how you got into it?" Sylvia asked.
"Hey, the guy most people think of as the Power Ranger only got his original power source because our enemy wanted to use him as the evil Ranger; if Tommy can move on from that, it shouldn't matter that your gem was originally evil," Jason said.
"Exactly," Harry nodded. "As Professor Dumbledore once told me, choice matters more than abilities; the only thing that matters is what we do with what we have, rather than fixate on how we got it."
"Wise words," Jason said, before he held one arm out, palm down, looking around the group with a smile. "Rangers forever, guys."
"Rangers forever," the other five agreed, as they all followed Jason's example and linked their hands in a circle.
"We'll see each other again," Jason said, looking around at his second team. "Good luck in the future, and may the Power protect you."
It was a phrase that would have meant nothing to the assembled wizards and witches a few months ago, but when Jason said it, those five words felt like the greatest blessing he could have given them.
They might have not known each other before they became Rangers, and the circumstances that had brought them together had been unconventional by any standard, but Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Sylvia and Jason had been the Hogwarts Guardian Power Rangers, and would always share that bond, even as the four wizards had become part of a far more exclusive and often more secret world than even the one they already knew.
Whatever awaited them in the future, it was certain to be very interesting…
AN: Well, that's the end of that story; hope everyone enjoyed it.