On a back corner desk in the library Harry sat perched on top of the desk with various ancient tomes scattered around him. He was levitating several of them to float in front of his face so he could read them, and still have his hands free to munch on his crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Whenever he read something that interested him he would loudly exclaim, "Eureka," or "I knew it." He was currently irritating about a third of the students in the library, but they were too impressed by his study technique, and of course that he was THE Harry Potter, to actually tell him to shut up.
As much fun as it was constantly being crazy, the first years were finding that it was also a lot of work. In fact a couple had stopped trying to find the spells they wanted and were just inventing new ones. It was much easier than digging though the library and spending time being serious. Harry needed some crazy hard spells though and was feeling lazy, so he was doing the reading.
Halloween had passed in the usual blur of pumpkins and sugar, but Harry felt that it was time to mix it up a bit. There was no real exciting holiday in Britain in November, so Harry was inventing his own. November 22 was now being declared National Space Exploration Celebration Day. Hermione had unfortunately talked Harry out of removing the oxygen from the air surrounding Hogwarts citing some lame excuse about safety, but Harry was not letting that limitation slow him down.
A massive ward designed to look like endless deep space was being designed by the better arithmenciers. Harry was focused on illusion spells at the moment though. The goal was to have students step in to the great hall and suddenly feel like they were on the moon. Complete with cheese and extra terrestrials.
Ron double flipped as he shot across the Room of Requirements. Asking for a room with no gravity was by far the best use of the room's magic ever. Ron was supposed to be figuring out something technical, but he was having much more fun pretending to destroy aliens and zooming around the room. If only he would stop vomiting from dizziness, everything would be perfect. Hermione always loved to taunt him about his "weak" stomach, something Ron did not agree with. Hermione only ate like a quarter of what he consumed on a daily basis. There was nothing weak about that.
Dean and Seamus were hunkered down in a secret passage. They were ducking behind an old witch statue who appeared to be picking her excessively long nose. This did not seem strange to the two boys, as they had spent numerous years getting accustomed to the oddities of wizarding memorials. If this witch wanted to be remembered for her nose picking then who were they to disagree. Dean had been put in charge of the creation of laser guns and so far it was going quite smashingly. Literally, as the end of the passage was marked with pits and burns from the test trials of the laser guns. Of course, it was all magic, not actual lasers, but it looked pretty damn authentic. With a shout of "Keeowww!" Seamus and Dean charged out of their hidey hole and destroyed the imaginary alien predators with deadly accuracy. No bb guns for these boys. Finishing their shooting match Seamus holstered his new gun and Dean calmly blew the smoke from his gun away. All was well in space today.
National Space Exploration Celebration Day, November 22
Dumbledore was humming to himself as he bounced down the main staircase at 7am. He always loved a quiet cup of tea in the great hall before the chattering masses descended upon it. Most days Severus would beat him there and be deep into reading the current potions journal. Severus was certainly not known for being loud or disruptive though, so Dumbledore was normally able to relax in peace.
At the foot of the stairs Albus paused as he noticed a glittering blue banner proclaiming "National Space Exploration Celebration Day!" It was a very large banner to fit all of those long words on it. Albus hmmmed as he had been unaware of the importance of the day. He was glad someone remembered though. It was with these oblivious thoughts that Albus stepped across the threshold of the great hall and with a lurching motion suddenly found himself drifting through outer space. His sense of up and down was completely destroyed as the outline of the surface of what appeared to be the moon drifted in to his vision. Calmly noting his gradual approach to the pitted surface he twirled gracefully in the air to impact with a slight puff of moon dust. He quickly bent his knees to avoid launching off again and took a quick moment to see just what in Merlin's name might be happening.
Albus had to calm his rapidly beating heart as it appeared with apparent accuracy to every detail that he was standing on the moon. Complete blackness was only broken by the shining stars, which looked so much closer than they had the night before from the astronomy tower. The space suit he was wearing did little to shield him from the aching cold around him. He swung his arms forward to clap and no sounds reached his ears. He reached his hands up to feel around his helmet, but was too worried about the possible lack of atmosphere to take it off.
He paused to decipher what was going on here. Was it a super powerful transportation spell done by one of his political enemies to get him way out of the way? A confundus potion from one of his scorned lovers? No, if he focused he could still feel the thrum of the Hogwart's wards surrounding him. Albus gave a gusty sigh of relief as he realized despite all appearances he was safely within Hogwarts and not actually banished to the moon. At his age he did not think he was capable of apparating back to Earth. Something to ponder later though.
Now his attention was drawn to the whirling asteroid belt that circled the moon. Albus may be rusty on his astronomy, but he was almost positive that that did not exist. Gleeful shrieking slowly began to leak into his helmet. It appeared that auditory abilities were now being restored in this masterful illusion. Peering closely at the asteroids with flailing legs and arms he realized what must be the entire Hogwarts house elf staff was cheerfully orbiting around the "moon." That did not bode well for an on-time breakfast.
A new sound came over the speaker and Albus spun to try and locate the direction it was coming from.
"The elite champion focuses in on his next pass. Complete concentration is required for this difficult combination. In this combo he attempts a triple back twist with a double rotated tuck that leads straight into a leaping pirouette. Lets watch," a deep male voice intoned seriously.
Albus eagerly looked around hoping to witness the impressive gymnastic stills of the elite champion. He was in luck as over a slight ridge came soaring the slim form of his potion's professor performing an excellent double rotated tuck and a magnificent leaping pirouette. Severus landed, paused significantly, and flung his arms up in victory before quickly freezing up at the sound of enthusiastic clapping.
"My boy I am truly impressed, I had no idea you were so flexible," exclaimed Dumbledore.
Severus snarled, hissed something like, "Die in a pool of drool, bastard," and attempted to stalk away, but in reality looked like he was skipping.
Albus promised to preserve the memory in his pensieve incase the suspicious wizard managed to obliviate him. Bouncing in place himself a few times he giggled at his weightlessness and could understand how Severus acted the way he did. With a dawning sense of horror Albus thought of how the students were going to react to the surprising change in the Great Hall. Lots and lots of chaos was all that he could predict.
As if summoned by his thoughts, the pronouncement of "Golly gee!," announced the arrival of several Hufflepuff students. The diminutive astronauts materialized above the moon and dropped slowly down. The instant their mini-moon boots hit the surface they were off. Severus's earlier performance had been one of planned precision. The students were more like a pool table in an earthquake. Students were dropping in from every direction and flinging themselves around with absolutely no concern for their surroundings. Going to a school of magic teaches, if anything, one to adjust to the unexpected.
Over everyone's helmet speakers a trembling violin sound started. As students noticed, their violent movements slowed and the music began to swell. A sense of waiting froze everyone in place with tense expectation. A massive cymbal crashed as the first rays of sunshine exploded over horizon of the moon and for the next several minutes where was only crackling radio silence as everyone stood riveted at the sight.
As the sun rose into the blackness a new voice grandly announced, "Welcome to National Space Exploration Celebration Day! Throughout the day there will be events celebrating the wild depths of space and thrilling adventures that occur there daily. We hope you enjoy yourselves and gain a deeper understanding of the life beyond our humble home."
With that announcement the moon everyone was standing on collapsed in on itself and students and staff alike found themselves in piles on the marble floor of the Great Hall. Students were quick to bounce up and hustle to their tables, while the staff took a little longer to sort out their limbs.
The first years had armed themselves for NSECD by learning as many "Did you know?"facts about space as they possibly could. Not all of them were entirely accurate. Draco started them off with, "Did you know that a full moon is nine times brighter than a half moon?"
Pansy fired back at him, "Did you know Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise?"
Questions were then shooting across the room from every direction.
"Did you know over 500 meteorites hit the Earth each year?"
"Did you know that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe?"
"Did you know all of the British rocket ships are named "The Butler"?
"Did you know fleas can accelerate 50 times faster than a space shuttle?"
"Did you know Mars only appears red because it is covered in rust?"
To this one Hermione said, "Yes, duh."
Professor Sinistra, Astronomy, was quivering in her seat like a rocket ship about to take off. These kids were like little genius astronauts. Turning to Filius, she couldn't help herself and blurted out, "Did you know during a total solar eclipse the temperature can drop six degrees Celsius?"
Filius blinked at her and patted her hand calmly, " Deep breaths, dear. I think the day is just beginning and we should be ready for what ever the martians have prepared for us."
Aurora blinked back at him and questioned, "The martians?"
Filius nodded eagerly, "I have always believed in the existence of other creatures in the universe and am delighted that they have chose to announce their existence to Earth finally. Our period of isolation may soon be over."
Aurora paused and debated getting in to a conversation with Filius, but instead just nodded and turned to thinking how her classes might celebrate NSECD.
The seat on the other side of Filius was knocked over as Hagrid came charging up to his much smaller friend.
"They have come!" Hagrid yelled happily, "chay' DIchDaq maH chenmoH?"(How will we make friendly contact?)
"jIH DIchDaq jaH vut!" Filius replied. (I will go make cookies!)
Hagrid nodded and spun to dash back out of the hall.
Filius grabbed one more slice of bacon and jumped off his chair. "Contact! Can you believe it!"
The mysterious announcer began a countdown, "10,9,8"
Spacesuits again materialized around everyone in the room.
The first years were clinging to all of their belongings as best they could.
Neville curled into a ball and sealed his eyes shut.
Shrill screams were lost in to the vacuum of space as the doors of the Great Hall disappeared and an endless black hole sucked all of the occupants of the hall into the abyss.
And so the morning went. All classes ended with a black hole exodus. Aurora led her classes in songs about planets that she made up on the spot. Filius positioned on his desk a strange metal contraption and kept pausing class when tapping sounds came over it. Up on the roof Hedwig was delighting in tapping out random patterns on the space receiver.
By the time lunch had rolled around Albus had given up any illusion of control he had held and was embracing the day of celebration. That was until his lunch floated away from him. The usual lunch of hot sandwiches and soup had become airborne. The soup formed little globules and most of it randomly met his beard.
Hermione started at her table a No-Hands Meal where everyone had to chase their food with only their mouth. Soup was definitely easier to catch than grilled cheese.
Draco placed his face directly over his plate so as food appeared and floated away he was ready to catch it.
Almost everyone was occupied with catching their food, so few people noticed the strange image in the ceiling of the Great Hall. A shape like a Frisbee came closer and closer, so that those paying attention could see it spinning in place. Then the disc zoomed out of sight.
Harry began screaming hysterically from the Slytherin table. "A UFO, noooo. Don't take me, pleeeease don't probe me!"
He had burrowed under the table and was pulling on the other students' legs to get them under the table too. As the Slytherin students all went out of view, their lunches continued to rise from the table. Albus pondered just how the poor elves were going to clean this one up.
The mysterious voice from the morning returned saying, "UFOs have been sighted across the country, faculty and students are advised to be prepared for the possibility of an invasion at any time, but probably this evening."
After that announcement Harry was not the only one screaming. Though Harry was proud to be one of the most dramatic. Draco grabbed his silverware from the table and stuffed it in his pockets as back up weapons. Hermione dug through her backpack for her collection of holographic stickers and glass beads, hopefully these would be acceptable trading items. Seamus and Dean continued to catch their meals calmly. It would take more than a little invasion to alarm these space cowboys.
Afternoon classes were a disaster. Most of the Ravenclaws did not even go to class as they were busy with Madam Pince placing all of the treasured books in a secure room. The Gryffindors were clustered together constantly scanning their surroundings. Draco had somehow managed to convince the Hufflepuff dorm that reflective metal, like tinfoil for instance, would stop the aliens from sucking their brains out. Severus was astounded to learn that foil helmets they had constructed did indeed stop him from both sucking their brains out and using legilimency on them. Ron gave Draco a rare thumbs-up for his persuasiveness and acting skills.
By the time dinner time rolled around most of the professors were ready for NSECD to end. Aurora was reluctant to let go of her excited students, while Filius and Hagrid were still doggedly attempting contact.
Students huddled together at their tables. Some wolfed down their meals to be better prepared for the chance of a siege from space. Wands were tightly clenched in everyone's hands, so many were trying to eat with the wrong hand. Dumbledore noted that it was another messy meal.
In contrast, Dean and Seamus were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Dean took a sip of his chilled pumpkin juice and blotted his lips with his napkin. Seamus was leaning back against the table looking thoughtful and wise while occasionally taking a puff on his bubble pipe. The bubbles drifted upward in a lazy spire.
The clock gong began to ring eight o'clock. Seamus nodded to Dean and dumped out the rest of the bubble solution before pocketing the pipe. Both boys clapped cowboy hats on to their heads and pushed their robes back to reveal their laser weaponry.
The air began to hum with pressure and static energy built to an uncomfortable level. A blinding beam of light pierced through the ceiling straight to the center of the hall. Shielding their eyes and squinting allowed for the sight of dark figures descending in the beam.
Dumbledore stood ready at the head table. He began to gather his formidable magic to take out the invaders, but paused when a slip of paper appeared in his left hand. "Relax pops," it said, "Just go with the game." Dumbledore's jaw dropped and his eyebrows leapt up. Swiftly scanning the room he tried to identify who or what was orchestrating the strange events of the day. As one the first year class turned their heads from watching the falling aliens to meet his gaze steadily. Albus sank back into his chair before raising a silent toast to the youngsters who clearly had way too much free time on their hands. He would have to talk to their professors about increasing the workload. But first there were aliens to destroy.
The glowing light faded out leaving maybe one hundred little aliens in the hall. The creatures were humanoid mostly, but three or more eyes stood on stalks over their heads and the neon colors of their skin clearly showed their non-humanity.
Everyone who had ever seen a movie knew what happened next. One stepped forward and pointed directly at Padma Patil. "Take me to your leader," a familiarly squeaky voice asked. Harry snapped his eyes over to Ron with a glare. Ron had been in charge of alien disguises and had apparently forgotten voice disguising measures.
Padma shakily rose from the bench and carefully edged her way down the aisle doing a sort of crab walk to avoid placing her back toward the mob. Reaching the head table she pointed at Albus and said, "Take him if you want, but please don't hurt us."
Albus flashed a betrayed look at the little girl, but bowed toward the alien. "Welcome to Earth, I hope you had a pleasant journey."
"Shut up human," snapped the alien. "We are here to oppress you."
"Oh," said Albus.
"We were especially interested in your women," said the alien, "like that one there." The alien gestured toward Severus.
The room froze as everyone stopped breathing in horror. Harry cried inside, he knew it was a bad idea to give them artistic license.
Albus quickly spoke to avoid whatever catastrophe his potions master was about to initiate. "Is there any chance of negotiations? I would recommend this fine women here," and he held a hand out to McGonogall.
McGonogall instantly became her small calico cat form and launched herself at her employer's head. Albus's cries were muffled by fur and beard.
"Silence," howled the leader alien. "We will punish all of you now." He fired his little laser gun at the floor and a chunk blew out and vaporized leaving a crater in the historic floor. Hagrid looked heartbroken.
Attention was suddenly drawn to the entrance doors at the sound of boots approaching. The big doors swung open and two wizard cowboys stood in silhouette.
"Is there a problem here?" asked one.
"We don't put up with any trouble makers in this here castle," said the other.
In response the alien squad fired toward the boys and started the most epic fire fight the school had seen in quite a while. Draco howled, "Arm yourselves!" and swung sacks of laser guns toward the different tables. Harry retreated to a corner to put his full power and concentration toward the illusion and protection charms on everyone. The lasers may dissolve with a slight sting when they hit flesh, but there were still plenty of opportunities for harm to come to the student fighters and dangerous alien invaders.
Dean and Seamus leapt on top of the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables and charged down them firing with no accuracy at all. It did look pretty awesome though.
Dobby was thoroughly enjoying his performance as Evil Alien Invader Number 4. He had auditioned for Leader, but Chubby had blown everyone else away with his menacing voice. As students and aliens hit each other with their laser guns everyone soon realized that the lasers only stung when they hit and the battle lost its threat of enslavement. The quicker students realized the whole day had been a huge game and laughed as they continued to dodge, duck, dive, and dodge the multicolored lights. Factions formed, sides were taken, hostages stolen, backstabbing occurred, in general it was a raging success.
Ron signaled to Harry to start wrapping it up. The beam of light reappeared and began to extract the invaders toward the mother ship. Students began to cheer at their victory.
Filius tried to hide his sorrow at the loss of alien life contact, but he failed and gave into sobbing hopelessly. The last alien started to hover up after throwing down his gun in defeat. "We will be back scum. Your inferior race will be wiped from this planet."
With a buzz the alien disappeared and the pressure in the atmosphere left.
Draco rushed over to Harry where he was propped against the wall, barely staying awake. Malfoy shook his head at the amount of dedication Harry had for his tricks and games. Harry would be lucky if he woke up in the next three days. Poppy would be beside herself.
The voice once again spoke, "Thank you for saving the world from the terrible threat of invasion. I hope you have all enjoyed NSECD and look forward to other days of exploration. I also extend a thank you to the house elves for their cooperation and fantastic acting."
With that vague statement Goyle ended NSECD. He coughed to clear his throat. He may have a perfect radio voice, but it was hard to do mysterious.
Everyone shook themselves out of battle mode and realized they were still in school and had to get some homework done. Chattering excitedly kids began to stream out of the hall. Subtly the first years high fived each other and signaled they would meet to discuss later.
Soon it was only the professors left. Baffled gazes turned to the Headmaster who could only shrug his shoulders and say, "It is a school of magic, what shouldn't we expect?"
Here you all are. This chapter goes to troy952 for his or her persistence. I told them I had another chapter, so I had to deliver. Thank you all for your patience and interest.
I am not fluent in Klingon so please excuse my poorly translated attempt.
This chapter is less comedic I feel, let me know what you think. Do you like the more narrative style? I am also aware of my lack of understanding of how the solar system rotates, but I don't think it is possible to watch the sun rise on the moon. Does the Earth rise instead? Finally, realize I am missing great opportunities for the Weasley twins, any ideas?