Disclaimer: All non-original Harry Potter characters belong to JK Rowling and her affiliated companies. I'm just taking them out for some overdue cleaning.
Previously: Everything happens. The Horcruxes are all destroyed but Harry and Riddle come to a tentative accord due to the other groups of manipulators and enemies. Ginny-Prime is dead and Ron-Prime is elsewhere. Fleur and the other Weasleys are fine. But after everything, Harry still has to talk to one other person. Well, make that two.
In a place of secrets
She sat in the middle of a room of darkness, her eyes closed and her breathing silent. But though nothing could be seen, she saw beyond to what was past and throughout. And she saw who else was there.
The door opened and a young man entered the room, which was sparse and clean. He saw his friend who was not his friend sitting on a chair surrounded by nothing and he felt fury. She opened her eyes, and he saw the blankness behind them. Eyes of milky white, blind to what lay before her, yet she could still see everything else.
"Neville, I'm glad to see you," she said and she smiled.
"Don't give me that Luna," said Neville. "I heard what happened to the plan. To You-Know-Who. Rookwood is dead."
"Yes, I saw that," said Luna. "An awful man, but he was working towards our cause."
"That monster wasn't even a part of our group." Neville threw his hands up in the air. "I don't even believe in our cause anymore. Not after everything you put him through."
Luna raised an eyebrow. "What I put him through? Sending him to the dead elemental subrealities wasn't part of my plan. I still don't really understand what happened there, but he came back older than when he left."
"You know I'm not talking about that," said Neville and he folded his arms. He glowered at the girl. "Yeah, I know you didn't intentionally make him a Horcrux; you weren't even alive after all. But you still messed around with him."
Luna sighed. "Neville, our cause is very old. If you are not convinced by the truth then I don't know how else to convince you."
Neville shook his head. "I'm over that vision you gave me. And I'm done with the Circle. I'm leaving and telling Harry everything."
"He deserves to know."
Luna nodded. "I suppose he does."
"You gonna have me killed?" asked Neville. "Take away my memory so I can't give away secrets?"
"I know you don't think this anymore, but I still consider you a friend. I won't let anyone give you reprisals, but I will need something first."
"Luna Prime is my actual friend," Neville grumbled. "But fine. It's a deal you want? One last favor? Another mission and we're square?"
"Yes," said Luna. "It's about Professor McGonagall. You know her affiliation?"
"Yeah, she's a part of Dumbledore's old group. Well, you know what I mean. It started as his anyway."
"Correct. But she has actually also been working for the Shadows, Grindelwald's old group."
Neville blinked and his eyes widened in surprise. "Wait, she's working both sides? Did Dumbledore know?"
"I don't know," admitted Luna. "He was always good at hiding what he was thinking and doing. Perhaps he knew, or perhaps not. In any event, I need your help. She still trusts you as a student, and if you reveal that you are from the Circle... she won't be able to resist asking about it."
"But if she's so easily throwing her allegiances around, do we really want her on our side?"
"Oh, trust me," said Luna with a grin. "She has always been obsessed with the elder kingdoms."
"Yeah, okay, I'm sure you probably have good intelligence on that sort of thing," said Neville. "But it's not like we're really that connected to old Xanadu anymore."
"Shangdu, Neville. You really need to learn to say it right."
Neville rolled his eyes. "I don't speak ancient Mongolian or ancient Chinese. And besides, I'm leaving, so what does it matter?"
"Knowledge matters. But as you wish." She leaned forward. "So do we have an agreement? Bring McGonagall to the recruiting room and convince her to join us. After that, you will be free to do whatever you wish. Unless you fight us explicitly in the future, in which case I may not have a choice but to retaliate."
"Of course you don't," said Neville in a mumble. "But... well... what if she won't listen?"
"Show her the vision. Perhaps it was not so effective on you, but on her... and if that doesn't work, and you cannot convince her, we can figure something else out."
"Fine." Neville's lips thinned. "I'll go to the Professor and show her the vision. If she's as obsessed with the elder kingdoms as you say, it'll be simple. And then... I'm gone."
Luna smiled and nodded. "Agreed."
Neville sighed. "Right, goodbye. I hope I never see you again." And then he left.
After a few moments, Luna sighed and looked at the corner of the room. "So, Harry, anything to add?"
Harry started in surprise from under his Invisibility Cloak.
"I can't see you," said Luna. "Obviously. But I have this other sort of ability." She tapped her head. "I can tell you're somewhere over there. So you've been listening in. Shall we talk?"
With annoyance, Harry whipped off his Cloak and glared at the girl. "How different are you from the real Luna? The one from the main reality?"
"I am but one facet," said Luna. "One small piece. I would say that Luna Prime does not even know about this part of herself nor would it particularly affect her."
"What was your plan?" Harry asked in a demanding tone. "Why did you want to destroy reality?"
Luna sighed. "We are the Circle of Attainment, Harry. We seek perfection and attainment. But the offshoot of our group, called the Order in shorthand, they are the ones that want to break apart things." She shrugged.
"Seems foolish, but it served our purpose to share information with them to further our own plans. Rookwood was just the latest in a line of those working to shatter reality. He worked for us without meaning to."
"You say 'attainment' like that should mean something to me," said Harry. "I can tell you right now that's basically gibberish. I've been to some of these subrealities. If they really are facets of the main reality, why would you want to break them apart?"
Luna smiled at him, her disconcerting empty eyes staring back at him. "Well, Harry, that is the secret. The curse of attainment. I have been cursed by the Circle to have Eternal Sight. With this curse, I see everything around me, in every subreality and subjunct. It is maddening and horrifying. Thus, I pursue their goals with vigor because I want it to stop."
"But why would they want this?"
"Oh I don't know that," said Luna. "We give people visions to convince them of our purpose, but as you heard with Neville, that doesn't even always work. It's from very old Sogdian incantation that I don't think any of us really understand. But the Curse is given through the ancestral lines. My mother had it, until she tried to remove it. The attempt killed her."
"That's..." Harry swallowed. "That's awful."
"Yes," said Luna. "But the Circle believes in a sort of perfect afterlife that can only be attained by disrupting reality. The Curse forces us to help, using the knowledge he learn from seeing things."
"Did you see... how much can you see?"
"I see around me, but my vision is not unlimited. It is dependent on where I am physically located."
Harry sighed. "So even you don't really understand why they do it, except by some... faith that they'll create a new heaven or something."
Luna nodded. "That's about right. But take heart, Harry. The Luna you know, the Luna Prime. If you tell about this, she may even help you against what the Circle wants."
"Sure, and I should just trust you?"
"Trust yourself and trust your instincts," said Luna. "The Curse is a constant agony, but I will not fight against you anymore. You are my friend, even if you don't think of me as one. But whatever you did in the elemental subreality is going to have repercussions, and what you said to Riddle will definitely have them."
"I'm just sick of it all," said Harry and he leaned against the wall. "Sick of all the secrets. Sick of losing people. I don't even know what really happened with Ginny or Ron." He looked at Luna suddenly. "Are they dead?"
"Ginny-Prime is certainly dead," said Luna. "But not all facets of her are gone. As for Ron, that is a more complicated situation." She bit her lip. "This war has been held in the secret shadows for three thousand years, Harry. That's about to change. But let me give you an accord, like I offered Neville."
Harry frowned, suspicious of anything the blind Luna had to say.
"Don't fight me and don't engage with the Circle," she said. "We will leave you be, as I said. But if you let us be, I can offer you help. I believe I may be able to help find Ron Weasley."
"Yes. He is not dead, but... somewhere else. I can't tell, because I'm not close enough to wherever he is, but the spell Fleur did, it messed with Ron in a way I don't quite understand. But I can find out. I have many resources."
Harry sighed. "I dunno."
Luna held out her hands. "I leave it with you, Harry. That is my offer, what do you wish to do?"
"Hmm." Harry thought for a moment. "I'll have to think about it." And then he disappeared.
In a small room in the House of Black, Hermione sat reading a book while she tapped the sides of her chair nervously. A look of worry was on her face.
And then there was a pop, and Harry stood in front of her.
"Harry?" Hermione dropped her book, and then quickly picked it back up. "What's going on? What has been going on? Bill and the Twins are really hurt and apparently a part of Hogsmeade blew up. And Ron and Ginny are nowhere to be found."
She scowled. "And that stupid Fleur knows something but refuses to tell me anything. 'For my own safety' she says, like I'm not already in constant danger. And where have you even been?" She glared at Harry. "You were supposed to be..."
"Hermione!" Harry interrupted. "Calm down. Just... wait a moment. Give me a minute to catch my wits here." He waved his hand and pulled a chunk of ground up through the floor. Harry sat down on the raised earth for a sigh.
Hermione's mouth dropped in surprise, and then she seemed to notice that Harry wasn't exactly the same as before. "Harry... where did you get all of those weapons?"
Harry smiled. "Oh, Hermione." He felt a twinge in his chest and he swallowed a sudden lump in his throat. "I could really use some of your advice. I have a lot to tell you."
"You know I'm always here for you, Harry," Hermione said.
"Yeah," said Harry. "I know."
Well, almost. Here are some endnotes:
Check this link for more info: i dot imgur dot com slash Cl6Y8Pa dot png
Selected bits from Dumbledore's Notes (using the image as guide) (Harry's own notes in bold):
A-chain (A1, A2, A3) - these are the primary higher realities that make up the main baseline. A1 is the baseline with the essence of elemental energy shared with all "West" realities, A3 is the essence of magical energy shared with all "East" realities, while A2 if the essence of life energy, shared with all other realities.
I still don't know what this means...
Q-chain (Q1, Q2) - these two realities are the highest Western stable subjuncts, with a certain loss of magical energy, but very similar to the baseline.
Q1 - based on what I saw, this place had the diary (I think) and was just about the same as mine, except that Bill was with Tonks instead of Fleur! Guess Mrs. Weasley convinced them in one perspective.
Q2 - same as Q1, except that Bill was with Fleur, as expected.
P-chain (P1, P2) - these two realities are the highest Eastern stable subjuncts, with a certain loss of elemental energy, but very similar to the baseline.
P1 - A lot more dramatic differences here (at least from my perspective). I was with Parvati, Neville and Hermione were together, Ron & Luna too, and Ginny... I don't know about Ginny.
P2 - Almost the same as P1, except that Neville was with Ginny here... I wonder if she's dead here too. Oh, and Ron was dead... damn. Right, so Hermione was with Viktor - Viktur? I dunno, I'll just say Krum. And Luna was still a friend, but by herself, I think.
H-chain - simply a set of alternate subjuncts of the Q-chain.
H4 - this was Fleur's and um, my flat. Yeah, Bill won't be hearing about this one.
G-chain - the set of alternate subjuncts of the P-chain
I-chain - this chain contains secrets, and secret locations.
I3 - If I remember right, this was the Sustainers hideout
K-chain - this chain contains the humanoid races in isolation.
K4 - the weird Goblin reality
N-chain - this small chain contains intriguing aspects related to animal spirits.
N1 - Animaguses! Animagi! Whichever!
R-chain - this chain is bordering on what could be considered "lifeforms", with truly bizarre creatures.
R3 - Brr... Dementors. But Patronuses too, so that was good.
Z-chain - the only subjuncts I was able to understand were the ones related explicitly to elemental forces.
Z1 - Well, yeah.. Elemental stuff here.
π-chain - this chain was a bit easier to understand, with magical and mundane forces comprising the subjuncts.
...what the heck's a... π?
At H and I, past the Human Barrier, no Human can exist. I believe all chains and subjuncts are containers of alternate species.
At L and D, past the Physical Being Barrier, no physical being can exist. I believe all chains and subjuncts are containers of alternate life forms, such as ghosts or spirits.
At M and S, past the Physical Existence Barrier, no physical substance can exist. Here is where the very substance of magic and all the forces exist in primary subjuncts.
At Z and π (I ran out of Letters for identification), past the Perception Barrier, I have not been able to perceive any chains or subjuncts at all. This does not mean they do not exist, but nothing any human could likely ever understand.
I don't entirely understand what he meant by running out of letters. Where's X? Or Y?
Ten Plagues Appendix
Avalon (Focused and Structured Magic)
Motives Unknown, but Chaotic (formerly of Xanadu) - The Finishers - Zhōngjié zhě (终结者, literally "The Terminator") - The Circle of Attainment
Known members: Luna Lovegood (partially), Neville Longbottom, Augusta Longbottom
Break Up Realities (formerly of Xanadu) - The Utopians - Wu-Tuo-Bang (乌托邦, literally "Utopia") - Order of the Twin Ideals - All realities should break and be separate
Known members: Augustus Rookwood
Merge All Realities (formerly of Atlantis) - The Dividers - Vita Tribuo (Tribe of Life) - There should be only reality.
Maintain the Current Realities (formerly of Avalon) - The Balancers - Gravitatem Veritatis Animadvertimus (We see the weight of truth) - Sustainers of the Scales - The balance between realities must be maintained
Known members: Mr. Ollivander, Cho Chang, Mr. Chang, Beatrice Zabini, Albus Dumbledore (partially)
Power from Chaos (new group) - The Deciders - Dýnamis apo to cháos
(δύναμις απο το χάος, literally "Power From Chaos") - Exousia determinas (Εξουσια δετερμινες, literally "Power Determines")
Known members: Albus Dumbledore (founder), Minerva McGonagall, Fleur Delacour
Re-creation from Chaos (new group) - The Shadows - Temnye Teni (Темные тени, literally "Dark Shadows") - Otdyh ot haosa (Отдых от Хаоса, literally "Recreation from Chaos")
Known members: Gellert Grindelwald, Mulciber (one of them), Minerva McGonagall
Known Unaffliated: Weasleys, Severus Snape, Hermione Granger, James & Lily Potter, Sirius Black
Language Notes (mostly Latin, but also some Dutch, Japanese, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, French, Italian, and German)
From Grindelwald's Diary:
Unsterblichkeitstrank - Immortality potion
mächtige Feinde - powerful enemy
chacun aurait fait – someone would've already done it
Junjou doumei - allies of good (純情同盟)
piccolo fuoco - small fire
werkelijkheidsbreking - reality breaking/refraction
Personal Notice-Me-Not Charm: Acia Absens - Missing Thread
Ritual: Memorare Memora - Remember To Remember
Incantation: Reciproco Detrimentum Damnum Retexere - Damage, be Undone!
Gubernare Capere - Be captivated in order to be controlled!
Aestu Gubernare - Be controlled by your passions!
Aestu Gubernans Tormentare - Passion Torment Control
To Remove: Scabies Molestans Amovere - Annoying Itch, be Removed!
Aestu Gubernans Adama - Be lustful by your controlling passions!
To Remove: Libido Sitens Amovere - Thirsting lust, be removed!
Plus Praemorde Quam Mandere Potes - Bite off more than you can chew!
Canis Filius - Son of a B!tch
Hiding from Monitoring Spell:
Tegumen Forte Firmum - Firm, Strong Shell
Celeriter Versans Lumina - Revolve quickly lights
Oculi Aeterne Commutare - Eyes, be forever altered!
Tabulatum Alterum Addere - Another layer, be added!
Vultus Novus - Include new face
mitspielen – play along
innerer geist - internal mind
verdammte Schweine - damn pigs
meine Tagebuch - my journal
neunten Kreis der Hölle – ninth Circle of Hell
Dummköpfe – idiots, fools
Schwarze Magie - Black Magic
Gott sei Dank – thank god
Macht aus dem Chaos - power from chaos
Circulus Instruere - Prepare Circle
Colligere - combine together
Solo Frangere - shatter from below
Jugulum Eripere - free throat
Si̱kó̱ne Minó̱tav̱ros ti̱s láspi̱s (σηκώνε Μινώταυρος της λάσπης) - Stand up, Minotaur of mud
Ascia Gigantis - Giant's Axe
Vaki þú, Jötnar - Wakest thou, Frost Giant
Recuperare Afflictatio - Recover grievous suffering
Macia Volantis - Mercury Mace
Proséngisi̱, Ýdra tou pyros (προσέγγιση, Ύδρα του πυρος) - Approach, Hydra of Fire
Unguis Draconis - Dragon's Claw
L'yalot shed shel shamayim b'shem melech Pazuzu (לעלות, שד של שמיים בשם מלך פזוזו) - Ascend, Demon of the Sky, in the name of King Pazuzu
Rex Ater - The Dark King
Mors mea est cogitatio mea; cor meum no est corona mea - My death is my reflection, my heart is not my crown
Fuge ab intro, animae mentis scissum - Fly from within, spirit of split mind
Harry practices Runes
Harry meets with Slughorn
Harry reads some of the journal
Ron gets Obliviated by Ginny
Ron meets up with Bill to investigate
Harry gets ambushed by Ollivander and Cho
Harry gets "cured"
The Balancers tell Harry about their history
Ron recovers his memory
Harry shifts to the East (Leaky Cauldron)
Dinner at the Weasleys
Bill and Ron discuss the problem with Ginny
Harry shifts a bit more to the East (Leaky Cauldron)
Harry leaves Leaky Cauldron and heads back
Ginny confronts Ron and Bill
Harry is brought to the Tonks' for the night
Harry reads more of the journal
Harry shifts to the Dementor/Patronus sub-dimension for the Locket Horcrux
Ginny attempts ritual, but Fleur interrupts and kills her
Fleur cleans things up. And then Harry shows up...
Harry heads over to the Gringotts/Goblin sub-dimension for the Cup Horcrux
Slughorn gets fairly badly killed
Harry runs over to the Animagi sub-dimension for the Nagini Horcrux
Fleur and Bill meet with Fred & George to discuss destroying the Horcruxes
Harry gathers together his Horcruxes thus far.
Harry travels to the Elemental sub-dimension for the Diadem Horcrux
Harry takes a quick stop at Hogwarts to get the mainline Diadem Horcrux
Dumbledore's note tells Harry of the Ring Horcrux and what exactly he did
Harry retrieves the Ring Horcrux
Harry blows up the Horcruxes
Harry faces off against the Horcrux leftovers (Zombies!)
Harry faces off against Voldemort
Harry meets up with Dumbledore after "dying"
Harry the First-Born-Who-Died "kills" Tom the First-Born-Who-Dies
Harry confronts Luna
Harry finally comes clean with Hermione
Thanks to OllieK for Russian correction, Irene for Chinese correction, Rin for Latin correction, Mindless & golan for German correction, BTT for Dutch/Greek correction, and Google "Translate" for the rest (yeah, yeah, I know). It's been eight years folks. Thanks for sticking with it!
Harry Potter will return in The Ten Commandments... you know, maybe.