Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling owns the Harry Potter Universe all other claimants to anything to do with the H.P. story are simply hangers on to her glory. I thank her for allowing us mere mortals to play in her world and I promise that while I have Harry in my care nothing too bad will happen to him.
Authors Note: I must apologise for the long delay in producing this chapter; Chapter ten of this story was posted on the twenty third of July 2007; slightly less than a year ago. There are more notes at the end of the chapter.
Return of the Valkyrie
Chapter 11 Brynhild
Sibyll's Muse: This morning, much like every other morning when he was woken up at half past three, Voldemort had the rats, and it didn't help that he still had a headache from his connection to Potter, "You again!" the Dark Lord screamed.
Obviously his snakyness wasn't in a very good mood; she would have to be quick today. "Well Tom, I don't know where you have been but your lot did a really crappy job on Saturday," Sibyll chastised happily, "and someone has to point out the little foibles in your master plan. Did you read the Sunday Prophet? Six nil to the good guys … Yippee!"
His bug eyed nemesis had left as soon as she had finished speaking; however all was not lost because Draco had wandered, aimlessly, into his sight.
It has been hinted at before; the fact that Wormtail is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, and he wandered into the room to see what all of the noise was about at this time in the morning.
At happy times like this he really wished that he could use two wands at the same time.
"Draco! Bring me a copy of the Sunday Prophet."
All of the Death Eaters had been franticly trying to keep Sunday's newspaper away from their master but now the ferret had a vision of his impending doom.
It was the morning of September the first and Harry reminded all of the girls to wear their body armour; however Daphne decided that she was going to wear her proper armour; under her robes of course.
Whilst they were all at breakfast Luna decided that she would accompany the magnificent seven plus one on the underground to central London; she liked the underground because it sometimes made her ears go pop.
When they came out at St Pancras station Luna decided to skip ahead as the others walked through the concourse to the adjoining Kings Cross station.
She very quickly came skipping back and told them that Scrimgeour's goons were watching the entrance to platform nine and three-quarter and the group quickly concluded that they were probably looking for Harry. Not wanting an argument or a fight with the aurors Harry changed into his kneazle Animagus form, leapt into Daphne's arms and happily snuggled into her chest.
Voldemort's migraine suddenly returned.
As the party approached the entrance to the magical platform, Dawlish, who always seemed to be in charge of the Ministers ambush aurors, asked the group of girls where Harry was. As the group disappeared onto the platform Hermione told him that Master Auror Moody would be along in a few minutes and he had better ask him that question; for some strange reason Dawlish didn't look too happy.
Of course Harry, much to his disappointment, had to revert to his human form as soon as they were all through the barrier, for security this had to be done in a quiet corner of the platform whilst he was surrounded by his girls. Because Daphne had cuddled him to her chest all of the other princesses decided to cuddle him to their chest's as well; nobody would be telling but this included the first reserve.
This did wonders for Voldemort's migraine although it didn't really improve it. (Philosophical question; would an improved migraine be one which hurt more?)
"Death Eaters come to me; I am going to finish off Potter once and for all."
The minions all cheered and then waited to hear their master's brilliant plan.
When three Order members arrived at Headquarters they were told by Molly Weasley that Luna, Harry and his seven girls had left a half an hour earlier; they had wanted to be in plenty of time to ensure that everything was in order. Which meant that Ron was going to be escorted to the station by four adult witches and wizards, which he thought was a bit over the top; also it was not too good for his image or ego; especially when some fifth and sixth year girls started pointing and sniggering at him. So by the time the carrot arrived at the Hogwarts Express, what with one thing and another, he was in a pretty foul mood.
Moody saw Scrimgeour's goons before they saw him and he asked them loudly what they were doing at the station; however he didn't wait for an answer and Ron with his escort went through to the platform.
Harry and the princesses wandered up and down the platform several times, they were chatting to parents reassuring them and their children; eventually they made their way into their section of the train.
It was not by accident that the Head Students compartment on the Hogwarts Express was approximately five times the size of all of the other compartments even so the prefects meeting was in turmoil. Everybody, apart from those actually involved in the action, had read the 'Sunday Prophet' and all of the others wanted to know who was involved and exactly what had happened.
Luna wasn't looking very happy and she was sitting as far away from Ron as was possible whilst remaining in the same compartment; Ginny had noticed this and she asked her friend, "What's the matter Lu?"
Without looking in Ron's direction she replied loudly enough for everyone to hear, "IT! Called school work stupid, and I don't think that I want to associate with people who think that school work is stupid. I don't really mind it when people call me Looney but I don't want them to think that I am daft."
"What on earth was that rubbish?" Ron had obviously reverted to not engaging his brain prior to opening his mouth.
Splat! Ron had been hit by a silent putrid purple spell from Luna; it turned him into a giant carrot coloured flobberworm, "If IT wants to act like IT has no brain then IT might as well be something that isn't really known to have one." The now smiling Ravenclaw said whilst practically everyone else started giggling.
Through her giggles Hermione said, "You can't leave him like that."
"Why?" was Luna's succinct reply, "He is supposed to be my boyfriend and because of his stupidity with his mother he hasn't been allowed to speak to me for three days, and then the first thing he said to me was rude."
It took over five minutes for any one of the over thirty students to come up with any kind of reasonable answer, eventually it was Harry who almost apologetically said, "The only reason I can think of is that he has to walk to the coaches when we get to Hogsmeade."
Most unusually, because it was without actually thinking it through completely, Hermione said, "Oh I'm sure the elves will move him to the school if he's like tha…What am I saying, he should be changed back."
Luna had her dreamy look on and everyone who knew her realised that Ron was in even more trouble than they had first thought, "Well I didn't bother to learn the counter charm and it's not a simple 'finite' it wouldn't be any use in a fight if it was. The spell was on an old piece of parchment tucked inside Moody's personal copy of, 'Fighting Dirty Fighters', it's meant to take people out of a fight and it seems to work."
"Can it be blocked?" Rogan Elfick the new fifth year Slytherin prefect asked; with what several people thought was unhealthy interest.
"I don't know." Luna replied dreamily and added, "Try," as she cast it at him; he became a silver, black and green banded flobberworm.
"Luna!" chastised Hermione severely.
"I didn't like the way he asked that question either." Daphne was supporting Luna.
"Neither did I," the Slytherin fifth year's girls' prefect said and continued, "His eldest brother was one of the Death Eaters you took out in Diagon Alley on Saturday."
"Apparently, when they're like that they can't understand what we are saying." Luna said as she picked up her copy of 'the Quibbler' and started reading it sideways; apparently they had all learned not to ask her, 'why sideways'.
Susan, Lavender and Parvati volunteered to do the first gossip prefect patrol whilst the others were telling the tale of their eventful Saturday, shopping in Diagon Alley
It was two hours later Hermione, Daphne and Padma were still huddled around one of the tables in the compartment trying to work out how to undo Luna's flobberworm spell; eventually they resorted to talking to Luna about it.
Hermione called her over and asked quietly, "Luna, what is the incantation for that spell?"
"Oh the incantation is easy," she whispered to them, "its 'Animus Commutatio' with a little poke and twist of your wand like this." She told and showed them at the same time and it's really easy to cast silently.
Looking puzzled Padma asked, "So why did they both become different coloured flobberworms?"
The three of them were holding their breath because Luna was looking like she did when she was talking about Crumple Horned Snorkacks, "Well, as well as the incantation and the wand twirly pokey thingy you have to think of what you want them to turn into and in the house we have a book called 'The Book of the Flobberworm' and I could remember both of those types. So that is what I was thinking of because I thought that the colours were pretty; and they would suit them."
"I've never heard of that book; who wrote it?" Padma asked; after all, amongst other things, she was quite keen on magical creatures.
"My daddy wrote it and he drew the pictures, it isn't a printed book." Luna answered brightly and she resumed reading her copy of 'the Quibbler'.
At this point the three girls decided that they would preserve their sanity and get help from Hagrid because, apart from anything else, they would need to know precisely what type of flobberworm each of the victims was before the charm could be reversed.
The rest of their journey was fairly uneventful; the lady with the trolley had been and gone; also nobody had for a second missed being visited by the ferret.
Unbeknownst to the Hogwarts Express passengers, Draco had spent a large part of the morning playing target with the Dark Lord; that is the Dark Lord was firing hexes and Draco was being the target; in line with Voldemort's master plan, the ferret was losing.
Due to the modification he had undergone Ron was unable to play chess, so Harry played exploding snap with Crookshanks; Harry told Hermione that her familiar was exceptionally good at the exploding part.
When the train was approaching Hogsmeade station all of them realised immediately that everything was not as it should be; there was no sign of Hagrid or the Thestral drawn carriages.
Luna had no armour so Harry put her in charge of the prefects and they were sent through the train to keep all of the students pacified and to make sure that they stayed on board the train.
Meanwhile the magnificent seven plus one changed into full battle gear; if there was going to be a fight, they were going to be as prepared for it as possible.
After they got off the train Harry told the driver to move it back at least a mile along the track; they would send up three sets of three red flares when they had sorted out whatsoever was wrong. If he didn't see the signal within half an hour he was to return to London post haste.
As the Express moved out of the station the party started walking slowly towards Hogsmeade; it did not take them very long to find what they were looking for.
Whenever they discussed the fight afterwards, they could never work out just how Voldemort and his Death Eaters had survived for so long. None of them had the least idea of how to fight a battle; it seemed that they could only handle people who were running away screaming; when they thought about it their escapade in the Ministry of Magic in their fifth year sort of proved the theory. Because they were fighting as they were withdrawing, they had posed all kings of problems for Voldemort's so called inner circle.
Daphne and Harry led his group in an offensive formation up the centre of the road to find twenty or so Death Eaters stood in a bunch in front of them; the two groups were about one hundred yards apart. The full effect of the magnificent seven plus one's actions over the summer had not been known, they obviously had had a serious impact on Death Eater numbers.
Harry's party rapidly closed the distance between the two groups; when they were about twenty five yards apart the Death Eaters launched a barrage of spells, mostly Avada Kedavra; all of them were reflected back into the Death Eaters. The reflected spells were accompanied by five reducto curses from the girls; most of Voldemort's minions were either dead or seriously disabled.
Ginny was one of the most accurate and quickest of the group at casting offensive spells and her job had been to watch their backs, she never had to fire a spell.
It took less than ten seconds to close the remaining distance between the two parties; and then the two magical swords went to work, properly.
Harry's final stroke removed Voldemort's head; Daphne's bisected what remained of him from neck to crutch.
Finally it was over.
Tom Riddle was really truly dead.
What none of the participants had noticed was that after the first eruption of noise from the initial exchange of spells; people had started drifting out of their houses to see what was happening. The first the participants knew about it was the huge cheer that went up when Voldemort fell in three pieces and the cheers just kept going on . . . and on . . . and a party began.
Hermione, Ginny and Harry fired the three salvos of three red flares, signalling for the train to return to Hogsmeade with the rest of the student population.
Helped by the confusion and the dark the magnificent seven plus one snuck away and quickly walked to the school taking care to avoid the teachers who were hurrying in the opposite direction, towards the village.
The victors went into the great hall and because they were the only ones there they all sat at the Gryffindor table; Harry called Dobby and asked him if he could bring them all something to eat and drink. Mainly it was the stress, but the encounter had taken a lot out of all of them; they didn't really realise it but what Dobby brought for them was mainly chocolate as in cake, ice cream, éclairs and things like that.
When they had all finished their quasi meal Harry called Dobby again and the happy little elf took all of the victorious party to the Head Students rooms. Dobby expanded one of the beds to the same size as Harry's bed at Grimmauld Place and then the happy elf called some of his friends and went to guard the door; Merlin help anyone who tried to force their way past their fanatical protector.
Meanwhile in Hogsmeade the situation was totally chaotic; the villagers all knew who their saviours had been but the Magnificent Seven Plus One had disappeared. A few minutes into the party the Order of the Phoenix members and the school staff had arrived at virtually the same time and a contingent of aurors had arrived a couple of minutes later followed by the Press.
Milling around and panicking seemed to be something everybody there was good at and into this turmoil piled all of the children from the Hogwarts Express, as was first stated . . . chaos. The train had returned to Hogsmeade as quickly as possible when the driver had seen the nine red flares and the students, especially the senior years, had wasted no time joining the rapidly expanding party.
An hour and a half later the situation still wasn't much better when Tonks and the Headmistress came upon Remus Lupin who was leaning against a wall in the shadows, grinning.
"What are you smiling at Remus? The kids have killed the dark tosspot and now they are missing, it isn't funny." Tonks was not very happy with him.
Remus' grin became a smirk and he said, "I bet you that the kids have all had something to eat and gone to bed; if they were here this lot would be fawning all over them and you know how they would all hate that, especially Harry. The rat bags will have crept away, snuck past the teachers and gone to the school, or Hermione and Harry will have used their portkeys and taken them all, back to Grimmauld Place."
Tonks smiled lecherously, "You know, that makes sense, not half bad for a man."
The Headmistress smiled severely at a situation that could quickly become very amorous and said, "So let us concentrate on getting the students up to the school."
It was four hours later and Minerva was still in a tizzy, it had taken another hour and a half to organise the students and move them up to the castle; first was the song from the hat which was joyful and long, she was sure that the hat was adlibbing. Then there was the sorting, which for some reason seemed to go on forever and a day, she had worried that the numbers would be down, but what Harry and his group had done over the summer had prevented that.
This year's feast was particularly sumptuous and the students consequently took what seemed like hours to work their way through it and then the start of term notices . . . she hadn't known where to start with the notices. So she gave out the standard notices which surprised no one in second year or above and then she told everyone that there would be an announcement regarding the earlier evening's events tomorrow, probably in the morning.
As soon as the children had gone to their House's Moody and Hagrid were sent to the Hospital wing to reconfigure the two transformed students; this proved to be quite simple after they had scoured the library for two hours to find the proper names for each of the flobberworms.
Thank goodness that establishing the location of the eight missing heroes had been relatively simple; the first house elf she had asked had happily told her that they were safely sleeping in the Head Students rooms and Dobby was guarding them.
What happened afterwards would most probably be ingrained in all of the staff's memories forever.
The staff had congregated where the entrance to the Head Students rooms should be, they had been joined by the four house ghosts; in front of them apart from Dobby, was a blank wall; when the wall had turned to stone he had sent his helpers away.
All of the teachers looked stunned and the Headmistress asked, "Dobby. What happened?"
"My friends and me was guarding the portrait when Hogwarts she tells me all to move forward, we dids when I turns around Mrs. Hogwarts has changed it and there is only this wall." Dobby didn't appear to be the least bit worried.
Deputy Headmaster Flitwick said, "Another fine mess you've got us into Harry." He had spent too much of his summer at number twelve watching old films with Dan Granger.
The Bloody Baron spoke, "There are at least one from each house in there which gives us all great honour, but are there any others who might help?"
Dobby went to the Ravenclaw Ghost and said, "Your Grey Ladyship there is another one of yours she is held with very much honour by the great Harry Potter sir, she is called Loony Lovelygood, she might be able to help you alls."
The Grey Lady disappeared through a wall and less than a minute later she appeared in the Ravenclaw common room; she went up to Luna who was talking to several girls and for the first time that anyone knew of, spoke, "I have it on very good authority that you are a very good friend of Harry Potter, would you come with me please and see if you might help us?"
Luna smiled and said, "Of course I will my Lady." The unlikely pair went out through the portrait hole.
All of the students in the common room were stunned, the Grey Lady had been in the castle for a thousand years and she had never been known to talk before. From now on Luna would be held in very high regard; not only for this but also because she was now linked incontrovertibly with 'Harry - I Kicked the Dark Lord's Butt – Potter'.
Her house ghost had explained a little of what was worrying them so when they reached the gaggle of teachers Luna went and sat on the floor in front of Dobby. She asked him to explain exactly what had happened; the elf explained very quietly what he had done starting from feeding the warriors in the Great Hall; wisely he didn't include expanding the bed.
Luna stood and faced the wall and said, "Hogwarts I know that you can hear me so are the heroes all right?"
". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ."
"So they are all right but they appear to be restless?"
". . . . . . . . . ."
"You know that I am their friend, so will you allow me in to see if I can help them?"
". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ."
"Of course, when I come out I will explain their condition to the staff."
A shimmering silver portal appeared in the wall in front of her and without hesitation, Luna stepped through it; the portal disappeared instantly.
Luna was stood in an enormous lounge study which was decorated in a style similar to Harry's lounge in number twelve with the addition of writing desks with chairs and bookcases. It looked comfortable and was very nice but the people she was looking for weren't here, so she went through the door in the middle of the far wall; now she was in a huge bedroom and her friends were all on an enormous bed.
The room had four doors along one side wall and five along the other, they appeared to have name plates on them so, for the moment, she ignored her friends and she went and read the nearest door plate, Potter's Princess - Harry's Pisces, so the room must belong to Parvati. Wondering if she was being a little rude she went in and had a look around; to the left there was a very nice bathroom and to the right was a walk in wardrobe with all of Parvati's clothes hung in it; straight ahead was the bedroom with a standard Hogwarts bed. It was all very nice and she had seen all that she needed to, so she went back out to the central bedroom; if they could just vanish the huge bed it might even satisfy the Headmistress.
Her friends were all very restless on the bed and when she thought about it, it was because they were still dressed in their armour; everyone knew that if you slept in your armour you attracted Gringles and they made you restless; she would have to wake them. Luna was a very bright and inventive girl so she quickly thought of various methods of rousing her friends, dismissing the bucket of ice water as being too juvenile she settled for a quick chorus of 'Old King Cole Was a Merry Old Soul!' As she was singing loudly she was wondering what it was that made Old King Cole so merry all of the time, if she could find out what it was she would have the house elves sprinkle some onto everybody's breakfast in the morning and then we could all be merry.
Luna was startled out of her reverie by Padma, who was shaking her as she shouted, "What on earth are you doing Luna?"
For a moment the young blond looked confused but then she said, "Oh hello everyone Hogwarts told me that although you were all asleep you were all restless so she let me look and when I did look I could see that it was because you were all sleeping with your armour on and everybody knows that sleeping in armour attracts Gringles and Gringles make you restless so you need to take your armour off and then you will be able to sleep properly with no clothes on besides which it's much more fun sleeping together with no clothes on." Somehow Luna had managed to say all eighty eight words of this in a sing song manner without rushing, pausing or taking a breath.
Harry said, "Thank you Luna, I was restless and my armour is irritating me, so who's for getting their armour off?"
"What have they done to the bedroom?" Hermione said as she sat up.
Luna sat on the bed as everyone else climbed off it to remove their armour and she started to tell them what had happened outside, "The Grey Lady came to get me and she told me that Hogwarts had told Dobby that you weren't sleeping properly. . ."
"Luna, the Grey Lady never speaks to anyone." Padma was looking half amazed and half sceptical.
Luna looked worried, "Well I don't know what we can do about that now because everyone in the common room heard her and I think that all of the teachers did as well; she is very proud of us all, especially you Padma." Now the elder twin was just looking amazed.
Every one was climbing back onto the bed with very little in the way of clothing on and Hermione said quietly, "You said that you spoke to Hogwarts as well?"
Luna smiled, "She is really proud of all of us as well and she really likes Harry; she has made these rooms for us…I mean you, so you will be more comfortable."
Daphne had caught on very quickly, "You know that you can join us if you want to, don't you Luna." They were all nodding their head's in agreement.
"I haven't done it yet but I think that I am going to finish with Ron because he is so self centred and if you will have me I would like to join with you." For her, Luna was being very serious.
Smiling Harry said, "Whenever you are ready we will be proud to have you Luna."
A very happy Luna left after telling them that all of the teachers were waiting for her outside the room.
"I like what Hogwarts has done to the room." Susan murmured as she was falling asleep.
There were mumbles of agreement as the others went back to sleep as well.
Luna saw what looked like a fairly normal Hogwarts door leading from the large lounge study back into the corridor; outside she found the teachers were still waiting and they were quite fractious.
Before anyone else could say anything the Grey Lady asked kindly, "How were they my child?"
"They were fidgeting when I arrived, but that was because they were trying to sleep in their armour and you probably know that sleeping in your armour tends to irritate."
"It's the Gringles you know, sleeping in armour attracts the Gringles and they irritate something cruel." The Grey Lady said smiling at Luna.
The young Ravenclaw turned to the staff, "You probably heard what I told the Grey Lady, they are all fine and Headmistress you will be pleased to know that Hogwarts has given them each a bedroom and bathroom."
Some time ago she had vaguely heard someone mention need to know information and she didn't think that the Headmistress needed to know that they were all sleeping in one bed; it would only worry her and she wasn't as young as she used to be. She was actually quite pleased that she had sorted out in her mind just what need to know information was; she would have to remember it in the future.
"I will walk with you to the common room." The Grey Lady said and she departed with Luna.
Filius looked at his watch, "Great Merlin, it will be breakfast in four hours; I think that we should all go to bed."
The Headmistress added, "Yes and I think that we should cancel classes for a couple of days." So the teachers departed to bed.
Seven forty five in the morning saw the first signs of life in the head students rooms; they all slowly climbed out of bed and went to look at what Hogwarts had done for them; all in all they were very pleased.
Parvati called out, "If we hurry we can get some breakfast."
"Do we have to?" Harry complained he had visions of what might happen at breakfast in the great hall and them all eating peacefully in their rooms.
Hermione was having none of it, "We are Head Boy and Girl so we should be at breakfast on the first morning; besides which we have to collect our timetables for our lessons."
Harry was obviously not very happy, "Well come on then, but if anyone annoys me or everyone starts getting on my nerves I will quit school and become a hermit."
If this had come from almost anyone else it would have been taken with a grain of salt, but this was Harry and they all knew that there was a lot of truth in what he had just said; he couldn't help it it was just how he was.
On the way down to the great hall they discussed where they were going to sit and they decided that it would always be wherever they could find eight seats together. When they reached the hall they found it to be quite full and the Slytherin table was the only one that had eight seats together, so they sat there.
The new Muggle Studies teacher was called Splogingsworth, he had been foisted on the school by the Ministry Department of Education and he was a really obnoxious pure blood idiot; he stood and said nastily, "You must all sit at your house tables."
Harry stood jerkily causing his chair to fall over and he said, "Dobby." When his small elf friend arrived he continued, "Please pack my things and take them home for me." Dobby was wide eyed but he nodded and, with a pop, disappeared; less than two seconds later Harry disappeared as well, silently.
Hermione stood slowly, she looked furious and she had tears streaming down her face, she looked at the Headmistress and said, "How many people did that imbecilic prat kill yesterday." The other girls realised what was about to happen so they all stood quickly and held on to the Head Girl; then the seven of them disappeared.
Luna had finished with Ron first thing that morning; now she stood she was also crying but the tears weren't for Ron; to every ones surprise she looked at the Headmistress and in a scathing voice said, "The moronic fool wasn't very clever was he?"
There was a loud crash and from a cloud of smoke stepped an old man with one eye and a tall beautiful woman, in a voice like a roll of thunder the old man said, "I am Odin 'the All Father,' the 'Lord of the Æsir', we are the Gods of Asgard and my companion is Brynhild my chief handmaiden, leader of the Valkyrie, they who carry the fallen heroes to the Halls of Valhalla to feast with the other fallen heroes.
"You Headmistress have made a grave mistake! You have allowed this buffoon into your school." Odin pointed his staff at the offensive professor and said, "Return to the Ministry from whence you came." The Muggle Studies Professor disappeared with a distorted crack.
Brynhild shuddered as she winced then said to the room, "That will have hurt, Odin is not happy." Then she turned to Luna and said kindly, "Come my child, we will take you to your companions." She held out her hand and when Luna took it the three of them disappeared with another, even louder, explosion and cloud of smoke.
Very dryly Remus said, "Did you ever get a feeling that someone might have said the wrong thing?"
Harry was steaming, he didn't know if what he had done was justified or if he had overreacted; it became moot thirty seconds later when a crying Hermione landed, with six other girls, and she threw herself into his arms; his world was right again.
The magnificent seven plus one had just moved into the Granger lounge when a bright light shone in the middle of the room and Luna appeared with Odin and Brynhild; Luna grabbed Ginny and held her tightly.
"Let us all sit and talk." Odin said calmly.
As they were scrabbling around trying to find places to sit Dobby arrived and told them, "If you alls comes to the dining room you can alls have some breakfast."
All Father or no All Father they were hungry and so they moved to the dining room where they found a magnificent breakfast awaiting them.
After they had all filled their plates and started eating Odin began, "By putting yourselves forward and killing the Dark Lord you have all raised yourselves above the level of ordinary people, this means that they will always tend to look at you with some kind of reverence. We know that none of you really like it but there is very little you can do about it; unless for the majority of the time you hide yourselves away. I believe that you have two islands so why don't we go and visit the goblins and make sure, and then we can go and look at them? Eventually you can all come and live in Asgard but you won't really be ready for that for well over a hundred years; so let us try to find somewhere nice and private for you all to live."
When they had all finished their breakfast's they moved out into the hall and Susan said, "We will have to change before going to the bank." Dobby had told them that the elves had moved all of their things from the school back to the house.
"I will take care of that and your education." The All Father said with a smirk; and they all disappeared in a cloud of purple smoke.
When the smoke cleared the first thing they noticed was that they were stood in the middle of Diagon Alley; this was closely followed by the realisation of just what they were wearing; it was just as well that it was a fairly warm day.
All of the girls were wearing armour which was the same as that normally only worn by Brynhild and her great grand daughter; even Luna's assets that were normally marked as being under construction had gained at least two cup sizes; the girls all looked magnificent.
What Harry was wearing was similar to Odin; it was a brilliant white robe with ancient Norse runes embossed all over it. His hair had grown down to near his collar and he was carrying a staff with a huge glowing emerald set at the top; he looked both kindly and extremely dangerous.
Hermione made an apparent non sequitur, "Why do I seem to know everything?" This was followed by mumbled agreement from all of the others.
Odin said gently, "You do not know everything, even I do not have that distinction, however each of you now know far more than the combined knowledge of all of the teachers at Hogwarts; but it will take each of you some time to assimilate all of the new information you possess."
The bookworm pouted, "Will I still be able to Read?"
Brynhild smiled, "When you have established your new home we will move all of the books each of you own to the library wherever it is, we will also include a selection of books from the library at Asgard. Beside those for Hermione's problem we will also include copies of all of Merlin's diaries; it will be up to you to select what, if any, of this information should be released into the regular wizarding world."
The Alley was quite quiet but Padma said, "We are starting to attract attention."
It was an impressive party that started to make its way down the alley towards the bank, side by side in the front were Odin and Harry, and to the rear were Brynhild and Daphne, between the two pairs were the other seven girls in a mingling group. People were intrigued but it didn't look like the sort of group that would take kindly to being disturbed; of course that was until the Weasley twins spotted Daphne and then they realised just who most of the others were.
The terrible two bounded over and Harry thought that it was Fred who said, "Hi Harry I thought that you lot were supposed to be in school? Who's your mate?"
"Hi guys!" Harry said and then with a small smile he added, "May I introduce Odin the All Father, Lord of the Æsir." The twins had been around number twelve and seen Daphne in her armour, they had subsequently been told about Odin and the Valkyrie.
"The one famed for having a bit of a temper?" Harry was now certain that this was George.
"That has been suggested," Odin had an evil grin, "However I prefer to think it is more that I don't suffer fools gladly."
"We'll be leaving you in peace then." The twins said at the same time as they disappeared back into their shop.
When the magnificent seven now plus four reached Gringotts banking hall it appeared that notice of their probable destination had preceded them; besides Rita Skeeter and Bozo their least favourite cluster of aurors were there.
Dawlish made what was to prove to be a rather foolish opening mistake, "Potter, the Minister wants to see you so you're coming with us."
Rita knew who Odin was, so sensing impending doom she had started scribbling like mad.
Before anyone else could say anything Odin asked Harry, "Does this idiot work for the same moron who appointed that fool Splogingsworth to the school?"
"Yes I do believe that that would be the case." Harry replied politely.
Odin put out his hand and Scrimgeour, Splogingsworth and Umbridge appeared, "Do you know these people?"
Harry answered, "Fatty frump is called Umbridge she is another evil Ministry fool who was inflicted on us the year before last, Splogingsworth you have met already and the other bombastic ignoramus is the twerp we all have to suffer as Minister of Magic."
Rita was starting to have the time of her life.
The Minister made the second mistake, "Who is this fool. Aurors arrest all of them!"
No one from the Ministry could move except to talk, "For your information I am Odin the All Father, Lord of the Æsir and thanks to you I am not having a good day, we must decide what to do with you."
Three strikes and you're out, this time it was Umbridge, "This is the Minister of Magic and I am his Senior Undersecretary, Mr Splogingsworth will be returning to Hogwarts to keep an eye on undesirable elements there. Release us immediately or you will be sent to Azkaban, as it is you will incur a hefty fine."
It has been suggested earlier that Odin was not the worlds most even tempered individual and he had had enough; there was a loud ripping crack and a cloud of blue smoke; when the smoke cleared the banking hall was minus six aurors and three Ministry officials.
Brynhild coughed and said, "I wish that you would let up on the smoke it's starting to get on my chest; so anyway where did you send them all?"
"It's a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, about two hundred and forty miles off the North West coast of Ireland, it isn'. . ."
"I know where Rockall is," Brynhild interrupted, "you sent 'Thor' there without his hammer and it took him over three months to get back."
Odin's temper seemed to have cooled and with an evil grin he said, "Well I sent all of their wands to the reception desk in the Ministry. Now we can talk to the goblins."
Rita Skeeter came forward and she evidently realised that it could be extremely bad for her health to annoy the All Father, she asked, "Miss Granger, Mr Potter do you think that I could have a photograph of you all?"
The pair looked at Odin, he gave a slight nod and said, "Miss Skeeter we will all be reading your article and the copyright of the photograph will remain with the Potter family, do not abuse it."
Rita hadn't been too pleased with this condition she accepted it however and then asked, "I know eight of you but I don't know you my Lady." She wasn't taking any chances.
"I am Brynhild, my Lord Odin's chief handmaiden and leader of the Valkyrie; I have decided that these eight are honorary Valkyrie and they are under my tutelage and protection."
Odin wanted more to be known so he added, "Something similar can be said of myself in respect of Lord Potter. Anyway enough of this frivolity, on with the photograph."
Eventually Bozo had them all lined up in a way that didn't annoy Odin too much and the Daily Prophet's dastardly duo left the bank.
Their time with the goblins was really quite short; the Black family did have an island, mundanely it was called Black Island and unsurprisingly it was in the Black Sea, Hermione assured them that it would be extremely bleak in the winter.
Harry suggested that they should still check it out sometime in the future and if there was nothing there they wanted he would sell it; the goblins made note of this.
Potters Paradise was a completely different kettle of fish; it was virtually due east of Singapore, roughly halfway between it and Indonesia. It was about twenty kilometres by ten, some fifty thousand acres and as nearly as nature does such things, it was rectangular. There was a lot of pasture and arable land; there were a couple of small mountains and a three square kilometre, fresh water, lake. As its name implied it appeared to be a tropical paradise and there was a very large house there; the details were in the Potter vault, ergo one of the goblins took them to the vaults.
Once there they collected everything they wanted from the vault; they also collected all the details of all of the other Potter properties as well as the portkeys to get them to the respective houses; there were four other major houses. Next they went to the Black vault and did the same thing again; this time there were only two houses besides the island for them to review later.
Now that they had everything they had originally come for they went back to twelve Grimmauld Place, it looked like they had enough to keep them occupied for quite a few hours.
Luckily they arrived home during the period Dobby considered to be within the acceptable time spread for lunch.
Whilst they were eating Odin told them that the group should be able to manage on their own from now on, so the pair of them would be going back to Asgard when they had eaten. Before the two immortals left they had told the group how to contact them in Asgard; also Odin took careful note of exactly where the location of the house on Potters Paradise was.
Luna and Ginny were given the details of Black Island to look over and Harry gave Hermione the Potter Island details because she knew him better than anyone else so she had more idea as to what he would want. The other girls shared out the other houses and Harry remained free to go around and look at anything interesting they found, Hermione reiterated that they should make careful note of any libraries in their allotted houses.
The girls were reading in Harry's lounge and he wandered off to find the house elves in the kitchen, he asked them if they could find the house on Potter Island. The pair looked unhappy and told him that they could not because they had never been there neither had any of the other elves they knew. Winky then told him that if they had been there once, they would be able to travel back and forth easily, even though it was nearly half way around the world; Harry took a portkey out of his pocket and the three of them disappeared.
Two minutes later Winky Popped back into the kitchen.
There was a family of eight free elves living in and looking after the house and island; the house was lovely but because locally it was after ten at night he couldn't see anything much of the island. He had also been informed that he owed the elves sixteen years of back wages and he promised the elves that he would bring the money, it was over sixteen and a half thousand Galleons, with him when he came again, probably the next day.
When he returned to number twelve he noticed that the house rule list had been modified so he smelt trouble, it arrived in Harry's Lounge disguised as Hermione, "Where were you?" She asked casually.
Gryffindors charge forward, "I took the elves to Potters Paradise so they knew how to get there and I was diverted."
Winky had already told the girls where he had gone so it was just as well that he had been totally honest with her, "How do you mean, you were diverted?"
"Well there is a family of eight elves living there," Hermione was starting to steam, "and they told me that I owed them sixteen years back pay, so I told them that I would try to bring seventeen thousand Galleons to them tomorrow." The steam had gone away and she now had a big smile.
She was bouncing up and down, "Why can't we go there now?"
"Because the time difference is seven hours, which would make it after eleven at night and the elves are most likely wanting to go too bed." It sounded fairly reasonable to him.
The girls all looked disappointed, but it must have sounded reasonable to them as well because Daphne asked, "What was the house like?"
He gave Hermione a cheeky smile and said, "It's a bit bigger than this one."
None of the other girls understood why Hermione, who suddenly had a huge smile, had just leapt on him and started tickling him; they didn't particularly care either they just joined in.
The END . . . possibly.
This chapter is as close as I could get to my one shot 'Clueless,' which it barely resembles although the main ideas are still there, never the less I hope that you agree that it was a good target.
I have realised what some of the major causes of my writers block are. I do not like writing big battle scenes and I simply keep putting them off; so I have decided that I will always write much smaller confrontations. Also in common situations I tend to get tied down trying to think up something original to say, so unless it is either relevant to the story or entertaining, I will tend to skirt around them.
There are several open ends left for your consideration, if there is sufficient interest there is obviously scope for several short stories.
I thank all of you who have read and reviewed this tale.