YE GODS AN UPDATE. First up, apologies to all those who've been patiently waiting for this and thank AeboUmbra and Gryphon for their insights, assistances and indulgence of my tardiness and other assorted bullshit.
"Merlin this place is as boring as bird shit when there is nearly no one here" Draco muttered to himself as he traversed the hallways.
Indeed Hogwarts was a boring place when it was empty. As it happened to basically be at this time. It was late at night and Draco was moving around carefully, unlike Potter he didn't have the luxury of an invisibility cloak and he needed this to work.
'Okay, here we go; Dumbledore's office. Now where would that old fart keep those books?' he wondered, making a quick and cursory search of the bookshelves.
There was a widely circulated rumour that some of the books in Dumbledore's office were very old, and some were very powerful. Specifically, the rumours referred to books owned by Morgana Le Fay and some other truly dark and terrible wizards and witches who'd been smart enough (or stupid enough) to put their life's work onto parchment.
"Come on, where are you damn it" he muttered.
Then a most strange thing happened: Draco pulled a book out and the bookcase slid to one side. A stone archway and a flame lit hallway lay behind the bookcase. Shrugging his shoulders, Draco wondered down the Hallway, casting a Lumos spell from his wand to add some brightness to the low abient firelight.
"What has that old fool got back here?" Draco wondered aloud
The hallway wasn't long and soon Draco's question was answered. The hallway opened up in a semi circle room with three large bookshelves on them. One was full, the other two were empty. Carefully, Draco looked at the books on the shelves.
"I don't recognise anything…what bloody languages are these written in?" he muttered.
"Convertius" he muttered a spell he learnt from one of the Beuxbaton's boys a couple of years ago.
Suddenly, Draco was repelled from the bookcase by a spell originating from the book he'd aimed at. The shockwave forced him back and on to his backside. Groaning and slowly getting up, Draco decided the most appropriate response was to yell.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" he bellowed.
Walking up to the bookcase again he saw some the books encased in an eerie red aura as if the books themselves were aware of him. To a mind of clearer thought these auras would be treated for what they were: warnings, as thorns to a bush. Draco however, was told to get books from Dumbledore's private collection. These certainly seemed better than nothing.
'Okay, let's see if I can touch them without them hurling me about' he gently bit his tongue and shakily reached out for the books.
To his surprise he was able to life the red book he chose off the shelf with no interference. Seeking others with a similar glow, Draco had a small stack of books before too long. Only one had a legible title: The Necromancer. With a quick flourish he produced a small sack and enlarged it to fit all the books.
"Okay, time to make a quick trip" he muttered.
Draco removed a small smooth stone, at first glance an ordinary rock. Then he tapped it with his wand and with a small gust of air, he was gone.
The stone was obviously a Portkey, and a powerful one too. Draco held onto the sack for dear life while he was hurled though some sort of third space before landing unceremoniously on his arse in a large garden: Malfoy Manor.
"Home sweet home" he hissed, getting up and slinging the sack over his shoulder.
Walking through the door as if he owned the place, Draco entered the main foyer of the building and instead of any fanfare (in his own mind he deserved some) he was greeted with a stony, overbearing silence. Frowning, he ventured up the stairs where he knew there was a study with an open fireplace his mother favoured.
'Is that….crying?' Draco could now hear the unmistakeable sound of soft sobbing.
Breaking into a run, he belted down the remaining distance of the hallway and burst through the doors like a force of nature. Before him sat his mother in a dress as black as night, with a string of pearls around her neck and a handkerchief clenched tightly in her hand. Bellatrix was there too, consoling her sister.
"Mother, Aunt Bellatrix, what's going on?" Draco's words made them gently acknowledge him.
"Sit down, Draco. There is grim news" Bellatrix said, since her sister didn't wish to speak.
"What, what is going on? Where is father, he's been away for days" Draco sat opposite his mother.
Narcissa's face showed signs of long, arduous sorrow. Her face streaked with makeup and tear tracks led Draco to deduce she was not merely upset because one of the House Elves broken a vase. That and the conspicuous absence of his father and his mother's eyes brimming with fresh tears at his mention added to the trepidation.
"Draco…your father was captured, we think, by Muggles" Bellatrix said.
Alternator looked around his stony confines. Aside from the Glorious Orb of Vector Sigma, there was little of interest or consequence to him. As he panned around he zeroed in on a door. His scanners indicated that the door was emitting a strange aura.
'Interesting' he thought and walked over to the portal.
Gently nudging the door, he found that the field around it was disallowing the door to be moved. Quickly calculating the opposing field frequency, he touched the door and sent his own signal out in a pulse. After about three seconds, the immobilising field dissipated
'Academic since I can't fit through this door' he thought to himself.
Alternator stood up again and activated all of his scanners, sending out multi-frequency waves similar to a sonar system. After rearranging the patterns he received back, which took over three hours, he had a complete layout of the building he was in.
"I need to get outside" he muttered and began to scan outwards.
Alternator began scanning, a scan so powerful that no normal Cybertronian could do it on their own. His field of scan was penetrating the physical objects around him with ease, breaking them down to their base atomic components so that he could manipulate them.
The atmosphere cracked with power and energy. With a great surge of his arm, the very fabric of the material world was reshaped to his whim. A great tunnel suddenly bore its way through the Ministry of Magic, upturning desks and cabinets and people until it breached the surface. While alarms sounded and the floo network lit up in frenzy, Alternator calmly transformed and drove up the tunnel until he ended up in an alleyway.
'I best make a getaway. Vector Sigma, where should I go?' he communicated with the Great Orb.
'Scotland' was the one word response before his link went quiet.
Sensing disquiet below him, Alternator tore out of the alleyway and onto the main road, going much faster than was possible (and sometimes legal) for a vehicle of his alternate mode's vintage. He spent an hour before he was able to find the sign that directed him towards Scotland.
'What waits on this strange planet I wonder' he thought to himself, setting an autopilot so he could rest.
Rally paced around Remus, lying unconscious in the snow. In truth it would have been amazing if he hadn't done exactly that. Thinking quickly, she sat down above his head and put her arms around him, pulling him up a bit. The embrace was tight; despite being merely an avatar, she could feel him and the warmth of his body.
'I've missed this…I can't remember the last time I felt this' Rally started rocking herself back and forth, increasing the intensity of her body heat (such that it was) to ensure that Remus was kept warm.
It took about fifteen minutes for Remus to wake up; he was slow and groggy. When his eyes finally focused properly they came face to face with her. There was what many would call a pregnant pause and Rally expected Remus to leap from her embrace and back away. He didn't, although he did look a little confused.
"I really do know how to pick them" he muttered.
"Yeah, I guess you do" Rally muttered, stroking his hair.
"How long until you change, I've made a scan of the meteorological conditions around here, full moon tonight and it will be coming out soon" Rally observed.
"Not long now, maybe an hour at most…tell me something" Remus looked up.
"What?" Rally asked, leaning in closer.
"When we were drinking in the bar, all those weeks ago, you called me handsome and flirted with me. You mean it?" Remus asked, his mind racing with thoughts he dared not voice.
Rally steeled herself and leaned in and laid a gentle kiss on Remus's lips. His eyes shot open at the feeling of what to him were soft lips. There was a slight sort of, buzz, surrounding them but it honest to Merlin felt like he was being kissed by a pair of young, soft, and moist lips on a beautiful woman.
"Does that answer your question?" Rally asked; her face had a blush on it.
"Yeah, a bit" Remus was dazed: that was the first kiss he'd had in a long time.
"You better go, with a full moon and all" Rally said, her hologram fading.
Remus watched as she transformed again to robot mode. He turned his eyes to her actual body. In a strange way, he could see the attractiveness from the Holoform translate into her natural state.
Then a few things happened all at once. The moon seemed to just melt out of the clouds and Remus seemed hypnotised by it. Tonks had explained that the potion would basically leave Remus as a large, lethargic dog like animal for the night.
Rally watched the transformation with an almost professional curiosity. It was odd seeing a wholly organic being change shape from one to another without the whole movement of parts like when she and her kin transformed.
'He'd be a Transformer himself in a way' she smiled.
Then however, things changed from what she assumed would be the status quo. Instead of a lethargic dog, he looked more like some kind of beast upon its hind legs, its movements agile and jittery.
"Remus?" Rally asked and moved closer.
Werewolves are naturally aggressive creatures and as per the behaviour it attacked the first thing it saw. Unfortunately that first thing was Rally's lower leg: Cybertanium was a much harder substance than Werewolves were used to so its attack was repelled.
"What the Pit happened to the potion?" Rally wondered aloud.
Remus had stumbled back, his basic functions dazed by the impact against a hard metal. He looked up and slunk back recognising a creature much larger and stronger than himself.
Rally made a reaching gesture for him, but fast a jackrabbit, he bolted. Fastest moving biped she'd ever seen on an organic world. It then struck Rally that the direction he'd headed in was that of the Weasley household.
"SLAG" Rally leapt forward and transformed to vehicle mode.
The scent of humans carried over fire smoke had stirred the blood of the Werewolf in Remus and he'd run for it, the smell of food. Rally was chasing him, gunning her engine, limiter disabled but Remus was zig zagging around the field. Then he made a sharp turn, and Rally went to follow.
'Oh frag' she thought, feeling the roll.
Then the front door opened at the Weasley house and Mr. Weasley stuck his head out. Rally was mid air when she saw him and saw Lupin making for the door.
'Friend or no, if he gets in there will bloodshed and it'll be the end of him' she made a quick decision.
Transforming and landing knees bent, Rally made a massive jump that covered the distance between herself and a few feet in front of Remus, pivoting fast she thrust her hand forward gripped Remus in her large fingers, forcing him down.
"What the hell happened here?" Arthur asked.
"I don't know, his potion was supposed to work tonight" Rally held fast against the struggling beast.
Rally ignored his further rants, focusing only on Remus as other members of the family poured out of the house to see what the commotion was about. There was so much white noise in the background as she tried to think on how this could possibly happen.
"Oh by Merlin's beard, what will do with him?" Molly Weasley asked.
"I dunno love, but we can't leave him here, all that noise-" Arthur began.
"Noise…he's suffering under your nose and all you can think of is NOISE?" Rally turned around, bellowing the last word.
"Rally, calm down" Burnout appeared from around the back of the house.
"Sorry" she muttered, her strong grip keeping Remus from doing any damage.
Burnout knelt down and scanned Remus's werewolf body. The changes were not sufficient to change what is essentially a human metabolism and genetic makeup. Quickly he generated a powerful sedative and transformed his arm into the medical multi-tool and injected the sedative with a strong hypodermic needle.
The effect was almost immediate: Remus' movements ceased being strong and fast and became rather slow and weak. The sedative took fifteen seconds more to fully render Remus unconscious. There was a collective sigh of relief when Remus stopped struggling.
"Rally, can you carry him?" Burnout asked.
"Yeah, we'll take him down stairs" she nodded.
Gingerly, Rally picked Remus up and carried him around the back. Standing on a certain patch of grass, Burnout pressed a button, activating the lift. It lowered them down around fifty feet into the ground. When it stopped, they walked forward into a room that was thirty feet tall, fifty feet wide and nearly one hundred feet deep.
"That magic really helped getting this place together in such a short amount of time" he muttered.
"Where do I put him?" Rally asked.
"On this exam table, I'll make it as comfortable as I can" Burnout said, grabbing some blankets from a shelf and throwing it on the bench.
"Okay, lay him down gently" he instructed.
"How long will that sedative keep him out for?" Rally asked, gently placed Remus down and unfurled her hand to let him down.
"The morning when he changes back. I'll strap him down, just in case" Burnout activated some restraints on the bed itself.
"Okay. Thanks" Rally said, sitting down.
"You told him then?" Burnout asked, attaching some monitoring equipment.
"Yeah, he passed out" she giggled a little.
"All things considered, not too bad. What else did you do?" the Doctor eyed her carefully.
"I used my Holoform, and I…kissed him" she muttered the last part a little quickly.
"Well, this is turning into a hell of an adventure. Watch him, carefully. I'm going back to recharge" Burnout nodded and returned to his recharge dock.
Rally looked around at now their third base of operations and this was easily the best one so far: computer terminals, a crude communication system and a medical bay. Their weapons sat in their crates at the back of the room behind a locked cage to prevent 'busy fingers' from getting to them.
'I miss home' Rally thought, returning her gaze to Remus.
As gently as she could, Rally lay her upper body down on the bed, encircling Remus's small form with her arms, and positioning her head so that it would be next to his. Then she plugged herself in to a recharge port, and turned off all none essential systems. Lastly, she generated her Holoform again, so that she was sitting cross-legged across from him.
"See you in the morning" she whispered.
Boxing Day is classically regarded, as a day of rest and that was no different in Tonks' house. The pair had slept in til well past 10am and eaten breakfast in bed (courtesy of Dobby) and were watching TV when Harry remembered the sack that had Tonks' last present.
"Time to exchange our last gifts" he said, sliding in next to Tonks on the bed.
"Okay, let's see what ya got" Tonks sat up, her top riding up past her midriff.
Harry shook his head a second; his brain was already running overdrive having spent the night with Tonks. With determination he reached in and retrieved the small package and handed it to Tonks.
"Oh, this looks mysterious" she giggled and undid the ribbon on the box.
With practiced tearing, she'd opened the gift in no time. Gingerly she lifted out a large statue shaped like a stag. Gently she turned the statue around, examining it. The statue was pure platinum and seemed that it was carved from a single piece of the metal.
"It's beautiful" she said.
"Put it down and tap it once with your wand" Harry prompted.
Tonks put the statue down and summoned her wand and gently tapped the Stag statue on the head. The room was filled a gentle silver light not unlike that generated by the Patronus charm itself.
"Wow, that's…that's amazing" Tonks tapped it again to turn it off, placing it on her bedside locker.
"Well, you're the best thing to happen to me in a long time. Despite it all, the past few months have been great" Harry smiled.
Tonks smiled broadly at Harry, and then allowed her grin to turn dangerous and without warning she leapt on him and pinned him to the bed. Tonks laid a painfully careful kiss on his lips, dragging her lips very deliberately across his to create friction.
"Merlin, Merry Christmas indeed" Harry chuckled as Tonks got up.
"Yeah, now, my present for you isn't as…corporeal as what you gave me, but, I think you'll get it" Tonks leaned under her bed, giving Harry a great view of her bum.
'Saints preserve me' he thought.
Tonks reappeared with an acoustic guitar that was obviously well worn. The wood was stained with lots of small nicks, stickers, and drawings in felt tip pen. Tonks fiddled with the tuners for a few minutes, strumming the instrument experimentally after each adjustment.
"Okay, I haven't had much chance to practice this but bear with me" Tonks paused and raised the pick.
Harry was struck by the soft melancholy tune Tonks was playing, her hands gently flowing up and down the neck of the guitar creating a tune that was both beautiful and sad at the same time. Harry closed his eyes and leaned backwards.
He wasn't sure if Tonks was putting magic into the music or the guitar was enchanted or something but he started seeing things in his minds eye. Mainly it seemed like coloured landscapes or oscillating waves but occasionally he saw parts of his life there too. The first time he met Tonks, when she escorted him from Privet Drive to Grimmauld Place. The short race they'd had over the Thames River and the flirty wink she gave him after they'd arrived.
Then there was their other race…the running race that changed their lives forever, and introduced them to some truly amazing beings that had shaken their view of the universe. The tune turned a little darker and this time he saw some of the less savoury parts of his life, the Dursleys, Draco Malfoy and his father, and of course Voldemort himself. He saw himself standing on a field of some kind, all alone against the black.
Twittering voices surrounded him, Voldemort appeared and so did his legions of followers. They advanced and for one cruel moment, Harry thought he was having a nightmare that would prophesise his death. Then Tonks appeared beside him, dressed in battle robes. Then Ron and Hermione. He noticed the music had turned more upbeat and in his head he was still on the field. Only now, he stood at the head of an army: his friends and fellow wizards, his Autobot friends and some of the mystical beasts and beings he'd befriended.
"Did you like that?" Tonks asked, setting the guitar aside.
Harry smiled and opened his eyes and sat up. He then reached out and drew Tonks close by cupping her cheek. As softly as he could he kissed Tonks, his other hand cradling her at the small of her back. The kiss was short but it held enough for Tonks to know that the music had affected Harry deeply.
"It was amazing, thank you" Harry whispered, drawing her into a tight hug.
"Merry Christmas, Harry" Tonks said back, squeezing him gently.
"Fancy a coffee or something?" Harry asked, breaking the hug.
"Yeah, that would be nice" Tonks said, laying back down, her top riding up a bit till the bottoms of her breasts were visible.
"Stare at my boobs after you make the coffee" she teased, noting Harry's stunned mullet impersonation.
"Okay" he said quickly, jumping out of bed.
Tonks smiled contentedly as she heard her teapot begin to boil, clearly some of her spells worked without causing explosions or as Rally had called it 'pulling a Wheeljack'. Then, just as things were going swimmingly well, Tonks heard her fireplace spark on. Seconds later, there was a familiar voice
"Nymphadora dear, we're here" a bright and spry woman's voice.
"Oh no…oh Merlin no" Tonks shot up, forgetting her state of near undress and stuck her head out of her room a bit.
Thankfully a foot thick wall separated the sitting room and kitchen, but that would last only so long. In the kitchen, Tonks saw a terrified Harry trying as best he could do hide somewhere, in fact he looked like he was seriously considering the fridge.
In the living room Tonks saw the two last people she thought should be in her house at the moment…
…her mum and dad.