After Action Review
By Nopporn Wongrassamee the Evil Author
Summary: Harry Potter and friends discuss those wacky Americans.
Disclaimer: Transformers belong to Hasbro. Harry Potter and company belong to J.K. Rowling.
The Leaky Cauldron
One month after a Cube last made magic
It was a small private party. Such were not unusual in the Leaky Cauldron. The bar had seen plenty of small parties, groups of friends out to celebrate something they considered significant. What was unusual about this particular party was that it consisted of some of the most famous wizards and witches in Wizarding Britain.
Not that they cared. Fame was fleeting. Their friendship had been forged in fires far hotter and personal.
"Thanks, guys," Neville replied.
"So how are you settling in as Hogwart's newest professor?" Hermione asked him.
"You wouldn't believe how much paperwork I have to do," Neville answered with a mock moan. "And I haven't even had any students yet."
"Oh yes we would," Ron replied with good humor.
"Ron, Hermione, and I work in the Ministry," Harry added. "I think the whole organization just lives on paperwork."
And thus began another round of storytelling as each friend attempted to top each other with tales of workplace woes. Eventually, conversation moved on to other topics and the friends broke up into small subgroups, catching each other up on what they had been doing.
"So, Harry," Luna began. "Does the Ministry have an official position on the American problem, yet?"
"Are you asking as a friend or as a reporter?" Harry asked half-jokingly.
"There's a difference?"
"That's what I like about you, Luna," Harry quipped, "always direct and to the point. And no, as far as I know, there's no change. The Ministry's official position is that if it happens in America, it's the Americans' problem."
After the defeat of Voldemort, the Quibbler had emerged from the War with much more respect from the wizarding populace than it used to have, at least in the realm of political editorials anyway. Over the last few years though, that respect had been eroding away as the magazine began fixating on the United States. The Quibbler was claiming that the American wizards had tossed out the International Statute of Secrecy and were aiding the American muggle government in clandestine magical research. The British Ministry of Magic denied any such thing was actually happening and even if it was (which it wasn't), it was out of their jurisdiction anyway. In any case, they had too much to do putting Wizarding Britain back together after the Voldemort War. Interviews with a few American representatives also denied any such violations were going on.
Harry had read a few articles himself. There were horror stories about Initiatives and Stargates, tales of top secret projects to created magically augmented muggles like invisible men or half machine women, and the big whopper that the Americans had found Atlantis. While Harry found most of these stories as just too strange to be true, he had learned a few things. For one, there was that myth that the first Wizards had originally come from Atlantis, not that anyone he asked had actually believed it.
And since her father owned the Quibbler, Luna had of course gone to work for him as a reporter.
"Well, what about that battle last month?" Luna pressed on.
"Battle? What battle?"
"Last month, there was some kind of fight in a major American city," Hermione put in. The topic of conversation seemed to have drawn her in. "Apparently the combatants included muggle soldiers and some kind of giant robots. It's been all over the muggle news."
Everyone stared at her.
"What? Some of us like to keep up with what's going on in the muggle world, you know," Hermione huffed. She turned to Luna. "So, Luna, why don't you give us an exclusive and tell us what you think really happened over there."
"Oh, um, I really shouldn't talk about it," Luna demurred. "You might not buy the next issue if you already knew what was in it."
"We already have subscription, Luna," Ginny put in. "Wasn't that your present to all of us last Christmas?"
"Oh, right," Luna said, abashed. "Daddy's been going on about not giving stuff."
"So what's so important about muggle robots anyway?" Harry asked.
"They're not really robots," Luna explained quietly, as if being cautious about being overheard. Not that quietness would help. None of them had cast any anti-listening charms. "My sources say that they're Titans, shapeshifting giants made out of metal."
"What? Regular giants aren't good enough?" Ron asked jokingly. "Hagrid would be so disappointed to hear that."
"Actually," Hermione said thoughtfully. "Luna might have a point. These robots do seem to vaguely match the old Titan legends."
"What, Luna and Hermione are actually in agreement?" Neville interjected, laughing. "Wow, it really is the apocalypse!" he added, referring to the Quibbler's second biggest obsession. There was even a yearly article devoted to "Apocalypses Averted This Year".
"They were all fighting over a magical artifact that reportedly could…" Luna paused, as if even she was in doubt of her next statement. "Well, it could create life."
"Okay, now that's impossible," Hermione said.
"Apocalypse averted," Ron stage whispered to Neville.
"You cannot create life with magic," Hermione stated, ignoring the byplay. "On the other hand, you can animate stuff to mimic life. A really skilled wizard could even make an animation charm permanent."
"I thought about that too," Luna admitted. "There are spells that can tell the difference, but I don't know any of them."
"Well I do," Hermione said. "If there were any of these animated things around, I could prove that they're just animated, not alive."
"Oh, good!" Luna said happily. "I have one right here." She pulled something out of her pocket.
"A digital camera?" Hermione said skeptically. "Those things won't even work here."
"This one actually does," Luna told her. "I've even used it at Hogwarts. Whatever was done to it makes it work even in highly magical areas."
"That hardly constitutes life," Hermione said dubiously.
"Well, there's also this." Luna addressed her camera. "Spy Shot, say hello."
Everyone gaped as the camera suddenly transformed. It was utterly unlike transfiguration where a spell changed one thing into another. To the unaided eye, a transfiguration spell resembled the "morphing" trick so popular in muggle movies. Here, the camera seemed to disassemble and reassemble itself.
"Hello," the former camera squeaked when it was done changing. Tiny glowing blue eyes stared up at the humans surrounding it.
"Is that a Titan?" Hermione asked.
"It's kind of small for a Titan," Rod added doubtfully.
"But it looks like the pictures of the big ones in the muggle news," Hermione said thoughtfully. "It's just not… big."
"I think he's of the same species," Luna replied. "That's assuming Spy Shot is alive, of course. Hermione?"
"What?" Hermione shook herself. "Oh, right, the test." She held up her wand.
"Hurt?" the little Titan asked, looking up at Luna.
"It better not!" Luna replied, looking sharply at Hermione.
"Relax, it… he'll be fine," Hermione said quickly. "All this spell does is determine if something is alive or not. If he's alive, he'll glow yellow. It he's just an animated knick knack, he'll glow green. Either way, the spell's harmless."
"All right, then," Luna said, slightly mollified. "Go ahead then."
Hermione cast the spell.
Spy Shot glowed a bright yellow.