ain't no self-insert fic.
This ain't no slash fic neither.
This is the Book of Dobby.
your way back fifty years - Iron Maiden, Tail
Gunner' -No Prayer For The
To the glow of Dresden - blood and tears
In the black above my cruel searchlight
Men will die and men will fight - yeah!
Who shot who and who fired first?
Dripping death to whet the bloodthirst
No radar lock-on - skin and bones
The bomber boys are going home.
- Iron Maiden, Tail
Gunner' -No Prayer For The
Smallest Bedroom, #4 Privet Drive,
--June 22nd 1995--
Harry James Potter, age a touch under fourteen, wasn't entirely familiar with anger. He'd always been a pretty forebearing kind of guy, willing to let byegones be byegones (probably the main reason he was still friends with Ron Weasely) and rarely quick to throw the first stone.
But there only ever so far you can push a man before he will push back. And Harry had been pushed that little bit too far.
The Wizarding World was the only place he'd ever felt at home. Hogwarts was the only place he'd ever felt like he'd belonged. And now it had been taken away from him.
The time of his trial had been changed, and he hadn't been informed until it was all over. He'd been tried in absentia, taken in to the Ministry, his wand snapped, and expelled from Hogwarts. They'd even taken most of his school things away. His books, his uniforms – even his potion supplies. Then Dumbledore - looking visibly upset, amazingly enough - had adamantly insisted he go back to Privet Drive.
That was the last straw. For the first time in a long time, he was PISSED. The last time he'd been so angry, he'd inflated Marge Dursley. The Dursleys had seen how things near Harry were randomly levitating or coming apart, and made the unusually sensible choice of staying out of the way. Currently, he was laying flat on his back on the floor in his room, muttering and snarling, fixing the ceiling with the blackest of glowers, and being watched by a visibly worried Hedwig, who was perched on the windowsill and taking a certain amount of glee in pooping down the Dursleys' wall.
The door creaked open, and
Harry directed his finest glower - learned from nauseatingly constant
study of Snape - in that
To his surprise, Dudley Dursley gulped, but came in anyway.
"Uh, hi Harry." Dudley said. It was obvious that the chronically overweight boy was still shaken up from their oh-so-recent close encounter with a pair of Dementors.
"What do you want?" Harry spat.
The bed creaked as Dudley sat down.
"I, uh, well, y'see, I wanted to, uh, thank you." Dudley said.
That was enough to pull Harry out of his funk.
"I want to thank you, Harry." Dudley repeated. "That stuff the other night... I heard what you said. I heard what the batty old cat lady said. And... well, I know I'd be dead if it wasn't for you, and I'm too young to be dead."
"And look where it got me." Harry growled, sitting up.
"Yeah, I know. I heard what that fr- what that Dumbledore dude said. You had everything, Harry. And you threw it all away for me. That's gotta mean something."
"Don't lie to yourself, Dudley. I was fighting for myself, you were just there so I was between you and the Dementors."
"Doesn't matter, does it? I know I'm a fattass and I know I'm a bit fik, but I know when I owe someone, and I owe you. Look, Harry. I told Mom and Da if they were mean to you I'd throw a wobbler till I went blue and threw up, and when they wanted me to say why I tole 'em I'd be dead if you hadn't stuck up for me, and I dunno how but I want to say thanks in a way that'll like help you mebbe as much as you helped me and... uh, I'm not good at this stuff."
"Not much you can do, is there
Dudley? I've been thrown out of the Wizarding World, which is where I
want to be. All I want is to belong, is that too fucking much to ask?
There's gonna be a war. It's gonna be really bad, Dudley. People -
lots of people – are
going to die. I tried to warn them, and did they listen? The fuck they did. They shitcanned me for trying to warn them."
"Yeah, I know. That's what that Dumbledore dude said, only you're more sweary than him... You know what I think, Harry? I think you need to get really good at duffing stuff up. Proper duffing it, not just, you know, giving it a bit of a kicking. I think you need planes and bombs and machine guns and stuff." He rooted around in his pocket, and unearthed a packet of cigarettes. "Hey, uh, you mind if I smoke? It's just I think better when I've got a fag."
Harry considered that for a moment. Smokers die younger. Fuck it, what did he have to live for?
"Sure, if you give me one." he said.
Looking surprised, Dudley offered him the packet, handed him a lighter, and watched as he lit up then, accepting the lighter back, lit up his own.
"You know what I think, Harry?" Dudley said. "I think you gotta go on the warpath like the Indians and go stomp the bastards who pulled this crap like how Montgomery stomped the Jerries. You need tanks and flamethrowers, and like Uzis and Kalashnikovs and stuff. Hey Harry, there's these like books Grandpa wanted me to read when I was little, and I think you'll really dig them, c'mon." He stood up and, trailing a cloud of tobacco smoke, headed through to his room.
Having rooted around among assorted piles of books, broken toys and computer games for a few moments, he came out with a dog-eared volume which he handed to Harry.
The cover showed a
Spitfire fighter aircraft, from above and to the right, with a
Messerschmidt going down in flames in the background;
topping it off was the title of the book, 'Spitfire Parade', by one Captain W.E Johns.
"I think you'll dig it." Dudley said. "It's about this dude in the second world war who like flies planes and stuff, and I think it'll give you ideas."
Turn out those lights! Don't you know there's a war
Holy Testament of Dobby: A Doghead13
fanfic Written & produced by Calum J Doghead13'
Wallace Preread by the CaerAzkaban Yahoo group &
KuroNeko Brought to you by Hairy Scottish Git Productions,
GMBH This is not a
Per Arcana ad Astra
A Doghead13 fanfic
Written & produced by Calum J Doghead13' Wallace
Preread by the CaerAzkaban Yahoo group & KuroNeko
Brought to you by Hairy Scottish Git Productions, GMBH
This is not a drill.
1: Grant me Wings, that I might Fly.
(In which plots are plotted, and Hermione J Granger has a rather fishy surprise.)
A week passed as Harry drowned his sorrows in the roar of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, the chatter of machine guns, the wind beneath wings, and the eternal duel of fighter versus fighter, pilot versus pilot, plane versus plane. Movie after movie was watched; Dudley's copy of The Dambusters' was nearly worn to the bone. Coughing at cigarette smoke was replaced by the constant presence of a half-smoked dog-end; much beer was drunk, and slowly the Second World War ingrained itself into his mind. In the time when he wasn't reading Spike Milligan or Len Deighton or Douglas Bader, he was assembling a complete picture of World War Two, muggle and wizarding side-by-side for the first time in human history. The war against Nazi Germany had been concurrent with the war against Grindlewold's Ahnernerbe, and careful study of available records had revealed something Harry found very important.
The statement that many Wizarding properties within Europe had been destroyed by unknown means' on dates that the muggle records listed air raids or artillery barrages in those areas. Apparently, falling objects – whether bombs or artillery shells – did not discriminate between things with or without muggle-repelling charms as they lacked things like perception and senses to be meddled with – just a dirty great chunk of steel and explosives going in a generally downward direction – and a half ton of high explosives worked just as well on a magical target as it did on a mundane target. Combined with the stunning tales he was reading and watching – tales of machines that flew higher and swifter than even his Firebolt, machines studded with guns and bloated with bombs – ideas began to percolate within the young wizard's mind, and soon he had arrived at a significant idea as he looked into the technical details of those aged aircraft.
There are few things a gunsight can do that an omniocular cannot, and quite a few things that an omniocular can do that it takes a hell of an expensive gunsight to emulate. Looking into the function and limitations of a machine gun gave him big ideas involving cooling charms and expanded spaces such as that one would find within a magical trunk. He studied bomb loads, and got ideas involving expanded rooms and feather-light charms. He studied ignition circuits and was stumped.
Finally, he realised that there was something he needed if he was going to get this show in the air. Something magical. Something he could trust. Someone who knew how to get a motor running, even under the influence of a supercharged magical field.
He needed Sirius Black.
It was two days before he got his opportunity. He was meandering around in the garden, smoking a cigarette and thinking about how to get a predictable spark off magic rather than a spark plug (how in Merlin's name would one arrange the timing and throttles?) when a thud and muffled curse arose from among the bushes, in a voice he vaguely recognised. That lurid-haired girl who'd been with Moody when they picked him up prior to that fake-out of a trial.
"Tonks, isn't it?" he asked, leaning against a tree.
"Uh, yeah. Oww, damnit." Said a pained and annoyed voice from the bushes.
"Couldja do something for me?" he asked.
"What sort of something?"
"Well, I want to send Sirius a letter, but I'm not sure if someone's intercepting my owl." Harry admitted. He'd tried sending Sirius letters by Hedwig three times, and never got a reply. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action, or so he'd heard.
"Sure." Tonks said, and he heard her scrambling to her feet.
Nodding, he ripped one of the few blank page out of the notebook he'd been using to jog down ideas, scrawled a quick note asking about ignition, folded it up, and passed it into the bush.
"Thanks." He said.
"No prob, I'll pass it to him once I get off shift." Tonks said, and Harry nodded and went mooching back over to the house, stubbed his cigarette out on the lid of the wheelie bin, and headed for his room, stopping dwelling on ignition and returning his thoughts to cooling machine guns and aircraft cannons.
It was another week before he got a reply. Once more, he was in the garden, this time laying on his chest and jotting down thoughts on his big list of things he needed to know. He'd just circled the phrase, Can a Repario work on an old plane?', when he became aware of someone moving around in the bushes.
"Hey, prongslet." Said a very welcome voice.
"Sirius." He said with a smile, rolling over on his back.
Footprints appeared in the grass as the invisibility-cloaked escaped convict came out the bushes, followed by a bum-print as the man sat down, then the grinning face of Sirius Black was visible as he pulled his cloak away from his head.
"Planning on building a bike, eh Harry?" Sirius asked.
Harry shook his head and vaguely gestured in the direction of the house. "My cousin gave me an idea." He said. "He said he reckons I need to get really good at what he calls, Duffing stuff up', and he reckoned that planes are the best way to do that… You know what planes are, right?"
"Muggle flying machines, yeah. But how'd one of those help you beat the bad guys?"
Harry chuckled. Sirius was more knowledgeable about muggle matters than most wizards, but was still pretty badly uninformed.
"A plane – even an old plane – can fly higher and faster than the fastest racing broom in the world." He said. "There's a type of plane that's called a bomber. What it does is it carries a whole load of bombs – that's like a really huge muggle version of a blasting hex – and drops them from high up on places you need to blow to bits." He sat up. "I just gotta go get something."
With that, he dashed off, leaving his notebook laying on the lawn. After a moment's hesitation, Sirius picked it up and gave it a curious look.
The top page was covered in a mixture of doodling, random diagrams, and musings. After a few moments, he recognised the biggest diagram for what it was. He'd seen it's like before – it was a diagram of a muggle engine's ignition circuit, but he hadn't know there was types that had twelve spark plugs. He'd had enough problems with the two on his hog.
Harry came jogging back out the house, holding a pair of big ring- binders, which he laid on the lawn; he opened the top one.
The top page was an old black-and-white photograph of a muggle aircraft in flight, and it was a type Sirius had never seen before. Huge and gnarly, with things he thought might be the weapons muggles called guns poking out here and there, four propellers whirling on it's wings, and other such aircraft visible in the background.
"Have a read through this, Sirius." Harry said. "I've been looking at stuff about the muggle World War Two, which was going on at the same time as the war with Grindlewald, and I spotted something very interesting…"
And so Sirius read, having passed the notebook back.
Sirius Orion Black was a very intelligent man. Not the most intelligent Marauder, that accolade went to Remus Lupin, but he'd been able to make enough sense of muggle technology to adapt his bike on his own. He swiftly spotted the connection Harry had noticed, and it made him laugh out loud.
"So you're saying the German branch of the Malfoys got blown up by muggles trying to blow up other muggles?" he asked with a chortle.
Harry nodded. "That's exactly what I'm saying. Kinda poetic really, that there was a tank factory right across the road from them. Then look at the stuff about the London Blitz. Did you know there's hardly a building in Diagon Alley that's older than fifty years old, because they weren't enforcing blackout, and the German pilots were using the Alley's lights as a Start Bombing Here' marker when it was too cloudy to see the moonlight on the Thames?"
"Figures… Harry, where are you going to get a plane, how are you going to enchant it without having a wand, and who's going to fly it?"
"I was hoping you'd help me with the enchanting it. Us wrongfully- convicted type people gotta stick together, right? And I guess there's a load of wrecks still laying around in the English Channel. I figured once I get hold of a new wand I'll head out there and use Point Me charms and a bubble-head charm to find a few wrecks, then shrink em and bring em back."
"So… how are you planning on getting a new wand?" Sirius asked.
Harry smirked, reached into his vest pocket, and fished something out.
It was a feather. Not just any feather – it's colours seemed to be that of fire, flickering slightly as it sat there.
"Fawkes dropped this in my room the other day." He said. "I figure I should be able to put together a wand myself. It probably won't be a very good wand, but it'll do the trick. Wood's easy to get, and I figure there can't be a huge difference between making a wand and making a pencil – you're just putting wand core inside it rather than pencil lead inside it. Take a stick the right sort of size and shape, split it in half down the middle, hollow out a compartment in the centre the feather will fit into when it's all squished up, then glue it all together. I think."
Sirius slowly nodded. "Yeah, that'd work. I actually did much the same after I broke out the slammer, but mine was held together by Sellotape. It was pretty crap as wands go, but it did the trick. All you need is the right sort of core, any old wood will do the job but the sort your real wand was is best, put it all together, and it'll sort-of work. Not as well as a properly crafted wand, but we can get you one of those after we get this bullshit conviction overturned. So, what about pilots for your flying machine? Who do you know who's crazy enough to jump into a fifty-year-old bucket of rust held together with spit and prayers?"
Harry frowned. Sirius grinned at
his expression, and handed him what seemed to be the handwritten
manuscript of a book, and a small
about it, Harry. Anyway, this is something I and your mother put
together round about the time when you were born. Part of it's about
how I got my bike to work like it did. You just gotta remember,
Reparios don't work quite right on complex pieces of machinery unless
you know every part, but I found you can alter healing spells to do
the job. Oh, and the mirror's the hub mirror of a set of two-way
mirrors, you can use it to get in touch with me
without any headmasters knowing. I gotta get moving before Dumbledore realises I'm not at Number 12. Keep in touch, okay Harry? Love ya."
"… yeah, love ya too, Sirius." Harry said.
With a grin and a wink, the escaped convict disappeared.
Harry shambled back into the house and to his room, thinking. Who had Sirius meant? The Weasely twins? No. Molly would never forgive him if he…
"Dobby." He suddenly realised, without really noticing he'd said it out loud.
"Mr Harry Potter Sir is calling for Dobby?"
"Dobby! I was just thinking about you." Harry said.
"Dobby is guessing that, Mr Harry Potter Sir. Mr Harry Potter Sir is calling Dobby's name, so Dobby is thinking Mr Harry Potter Sir is wanting Dobby." The little guy frowned. "Mr Dumbly-Door Sir is saying Mr Harry Potter Sir is not wanting Dobby to be bothering Mr Harry Potter Sir, but when Dobby is hearing Mr Harry Potter Sir calling for Dobby, Dobby is coming. Mr Harry Potter Sir is not being angry?"
"Nah, nah. Well, actually, yeah, but I'm not angry at you, I'm angry at the Ministry and bloody Dumbledore and that fucking twat Tom goddamned Marvolo fucking Riddle."
"Dobby is thinking Mr Dumbly-Door is being a very silly person." Dobby whispered, glancing around to make sure nobody was there to hear him saying bad things about the Headmaster of Hogwarts. "And Dobby is thinking them Ministry peoples is needing heads examined. And Dobby is knowing Mouldyvorts is being very very very very very very bad person because Mouldyvorts is trying to do very very very very very very bad things to the great and noble and magnificent wizard Mr Harry Potter Sir."
("O great and noble wizard!" The house elf Dobby cried. "Thy foes know not their blasphemy, yet if it is your will, punished they shalt be!")
"I'm not all I'm cracked up to be, Dobby." Harry said. "I'm a guy who's just had his wand snapped for trying to defend himself."
(And the Great Wizard Harry Potter thus spake: Forsooth, my child. I am but a man who hath been gravely wronged." Ever is the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir humble, and ever does he trust in those who know his great and noble truths.)
"Dobby is knowing that." Dobby gravely replied. "And Dobby is wanting to help Mr Harry Potter Sir make things right and proper again."
(And Dobby did bow down. "O great and noble wizard, this mere elf beseecehth thee! Allow thy humble servant to aid thee in thine quest!")
"I… Dobby, you've got no idea how much that means to me right now. No idea at all." Harry said, shaking his head. "I… there's something I want you to see."
And so he headed for Dudley's room, trailed by the nervous elf. Dudley was lounging around on his bed and playing some Doom 2.
"Hey, cuz. Woah, trippy – who's your mate?"
"Dobby is being Dobby." Dobby said. "Dobby is a house elf."
"This is Dobby. He's a good friend of mine." Harry said, managing to ignore the way his statement made Dobby burst into tears and cling to Harry's leg. "And, well, I reckon he can really help me with this war thing… I wanna show him The Dambusters', can I get a shot of your telly?"
"Bloody ell Harry, that's what, the third time today?" Dudley chortled. "Hey, tell you what, I'll go scrounge some beers, you guys make yourselves at home and stick the movie on."
Dudley grinned and waddled out; Harry paused Dudley's game, changed channels to receive from the video player, loaded up his favourite video, hit play, and sat back.
"Watch this, Dobby." He said. "It's awesome."
(And lo, the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir rendered unto Dobby a splendid and glorious vision; a vision of great metal beasts of the skies, a vision of nobility and might; and hark thee, for the vision it was named The Dambusters, and of the great birds of metal it told.)
As the credits rolled, Harry turned to Dobby.
"Listen, Dobby. I've figured something out, and I need your help. You've seen the bombers; do you think you could fly one?"
"Dobby is not knowing, but Dobby is thinking Dobby can learn."
"Right. Well, if you go and track down some RAF and USAF bases, or maybe where they teach BA pilots to fly, and you're really stealthy, I think you should be able to learn without anyone knowing you're there. I'm going to be seeing what I can do to track down old bombers and get them ready to fly again. You know about Voldemort and everything; I think it's time those pureblood bastards learned about air power."
"Dobby will do this for you, Mr Harry Potter Sir. And Dobby will not let the peoples see Dobby."
"Good, good." Harry muttered, nodding distractedly. "And, uh, Dobby, are there, well, any other house elves like you, who haven't like, got any masters or what-not and might, you know, be able to help us do this?"
"Dobby does not know, but Dobby will find out." Dobby gravely promised, nodding his head, his ears wobbling around.
(And the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir spake unto Dobby, and he quoth, Hark thee, for thou hast pleased me greatly in thine true and noble conduct, yet I must ask more of thee, my child. For a terrible beast is upon us; corrupt the world is, and the people they are silly buggers, like them what the wools and mutton comes off. Hark thee, O Dobby, for thou must go forth and seeketh the ways of Undercarriage and of Flaps, of Joystick and of Rudder Pedals, and yae, of Throttle. Seeketh thee in the places of Arrayeff and of Yooessayeff, yea, and of Beeay. Seeketh thee this wisdom, for mine great birds of metal resteth yet in the deeps of wet, and once more must we awaken them, that their might may aid us in the great and noble undertaking to come. Also speaketh thee to thine oppressed brothers and sisters, and bring to them mine Holy words, that they might join thee in thy enlightenment, for I name thee as my first and true Prophet.)
"Dobby is wondering one other thing, Mr Harry Potter Sir?" Dobby ventured.
"What's up?" Harry asked, concerned.
"Is… Is Mr Harry Potter Sir wanting Dobby to be Mr Harry Potter Sir's house elf? Is just that Dobby is having more magics if Dobby is having master."
"I dunno if I could do that, Hermione would have my guts for garters."
"Dobby will tell Miss Grangy Ma'am about how having nice masters is good thing for house elvses." Dobby said with a sharp nod, and disappeared.
"Aw, shit." Harry groaned. "What am I getting into this time…? Oh shit, Hermione's gonna kill me…"
(In those times, the Great
Wizard Harry Potter Sir's consort, the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am,
she who loves house elfses but didn't understand house elfses, was
not the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir's consort, and the Great Wizard
Harry Potter Sir was very sad, because the world was not it's right
and proper shape. The Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am did not understand
what a great and wonderful thing a good and true and noble master
like the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir is for house elfses, for she
saw only that the house elfses must be loyal to their masters, and
saw only unjustice.
And verily she did rise up in fury and decry that unjustice; and the house elfses did love her for it, but it was a love of exasperation, for she did not know of what she spoke.)
"Dobby is saying hello, Miss Grangy Ma'am. Dobby is wanting to talk to Miss Grangy Ma'am about house elfses and bonds."
Talk about ways to put Hermione Jane Granger in a bad mood.
(And so the prophet Dobby went to the Marvellous Miss Grangy, she of the words that are very hard to say, and spoke to her at great length, and told her of all the wonderful things that a good and true and noble master like the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir means to house elfses.)
"What about them?" Hermione said, not wanting to snap at the elf despite how furious the subject made her.
"It is being very complicerated, Miss Grangy Ma'am." Dobby said, hopping up on top of her desk and giving her a droopy-eared solemn look. "Miss Grangy is telling Dobby, is house elfses letting wizards be putting bonds on house elfses if bonds is always being bad things? We is not knowing big wordses like Miss Grangy Ma'am, but we is not silly buggers like them what yous is getting the wools and mutton off of. House elfses is being quite strong, Miss Grangy Ma'am. We is not being as strong as wizards and witches, and we is nothing likes as strong as Mr Harry Potter Sir, but we is being strong enough. Wards is not stopping house elfses going in and out. We is going where we is wanting to go. Is Miss Grangy Ma'am thinking house elfses can't go away if house elfses is wanting to go away? Bonds is only happens if elfses is letting wizards do bond thing. If elfses is having good bond, elfses is being able to use little bit of masters magics, and all magics that is from masters places and properties, and it is very good."
But Hermione wasn't in the mood to listen. She didn't have a whole lot of flaws, but her worst was that she was, frankly, an intellectual snob.
"You really don't know what you're talking about, Dobby." She said.
Dobby looked extremely put out.
"Miss Grangy Ma'am is being rude." He said.
"Sometimes the truth isn't good manners, Dobby." Hermione told him. "The truth is, you're an escaped slave, and all your people are slaves."
"Miss Grangy Ma'am is not being listen to Dobby whatever Dobby is saying." Dobby said with a sigh, shaking his head. "So Dobby is go and work out what Dobby is saying to Miss Grangy Ma'am that Miss Grangy Ma'am is listen to, because Miss Grangy Ma'am is makes Mr Harry Potter Sir sad."
He vanished with a pop.
"… what the…?" Hermione muttered, running that through her mind again. Filtered through her prejudice against house elf bonds, and coloured by the fact she frankly thought house elves were a bit stupid, she put two and two together and got a grand total of cabbage.
She was worried as Hell about her best friend, Harry Potter. And, as she always did, her instinct on being worried about something was to turn to any available authority figure – especially if that figure was Albus Dumbledore.
Dumbledore had left one of the school owls (a barn owl by the name of Rupert) with Hermione over the summer, and had her staying in regular contact with him. He'd been especially adamant that, if Harry were to contact her, she was to let Dumbledore know. Dumbledore had carefully explained that he was awfully worried about Harry, because Harry had seen some horrible things, and then there was all that unpleasentness with the Ministry, and, and, and… And Hermione had listened, like she always did when dealing with an authority figure.
She decided that Dobby's visit was probably something Dumbledore would want to know about, especially the hyperactive elf's cryptic comment about making Harry sad'.
So she penned a quick (by her standards) note, fastened it to Rupert's leg, and asked the owl to take it to Dumbledore.
Much to Hermione's surprise, as the owl exited the window it suddenly vanished upwards with a startled squawk; a few stray feathers drifted down past her windowsill.
(But the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am had turned her back upon the truth of the Great Wizard Harry Potter, and had listened too much to the words of the very silly Mr Dumbly-Door Sir, and allowed her faith to become shaken. And so the prophet Dobby did shake his head, and the prophet Dobby did resolve to bring a great and true and noble solution to the sorrow of the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir.)
Winky the house elf was not having a good day. She had been having not-good days for some time, ever since she'd mucked up and been clothed for it.
What she wanted to be doing was moping and attempting to drown her sorrows, but something kept distracting her.
That something was the very weird house elf called Dobby.
They were in the house elf quarters at Hogwarts, and Dobby was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the room on top of a visibly unimpressed owl. His eyes were closed, and he was making loud zooming and banging noises.
"BrrrrrrrRRrrRRrrrrrr ratatatatatatat BOOM!" Dobby said.
"What is Dobby doing?" Winky asked.
Dobby opened an eye and squinted at her.
"Dobby is meditating and prayer. BrrrrrrrRRrrrrrrRRRR BOOM ratatatatatat brrrrrrRrrrrRRr."
"Winky is thinking meditating is supposed to be being quiets."
"BOOM ratatatatatat! Is new type meditating. BrrrrRRRrrrRRRRRRR!"
Harry was just beginning to read Sirius's notes about the adaptation of Harley-Davidson electrics to allow them to withstand the effects of anti-lightning wards when he got the strangest feeling.
Something told him that Hermione was passing information on to Dumbledore, though he was darned if he knew where such a daft idea had came from. He chuckled and shook his head, thinking about how they dealt with letters containing problematic information during the War – a black marker and a great big red Censored' stamp.
Shaking the idle fantasy off, Harry went back to his book, completely unaware of what had just began.
After all, he'd never been prayed to before, so how would he have had any idea what it felt like?
"Aha! Now the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir is sending Dobby wisom and Dobby is knowing what to do!" Dobby suddenly declared. He grabbed the owl and vanished with a pop, leaving a slightly drunk and very bemused Winky to contemplate the spot where the hyper elf had been.
"… Winky is wondering what all thats is being about." She muttered.
Hermione was interrupted from her book by a tremendous CRASH as the owl came careening back through the window. The unfortunate bird landed down the side of the sofa in a cloud of feathers, and her letter went skittering across the floor.
Collecting it, she was shocked to find that virtually every word (even her address at the head of the parchment) had been scored out with a big fat black marker, and Senserded' was written in wobbly handwriting in the centre of each page.
There was an extra page too; this one bore, in the same wobbly handwriting:
"Dere Miss Grangy Maam
Yous Werds is being Sensereded, because yous Werds is being Kareless and we is all knowing that Kareless Werds is Costs Lyfs!! Kareless Werds is mayking Areyplayns gets Shotted Down and Valyerbl Pielots gets Ded!!
Is yous Wants to be cing Swastickers abuv the Bukkyking Ham Pallers place?? Yous Lites they is Litered and yous is Not Nows there is being a Wor On!! Wer is yous Arpers?? Yous is not having Flakks or Serchyliters and yous Air Rayd Syrine is Rusty bekos yous has Forgetted Are Superyoryoryty!!
Yous is being a Norty Person and if yous is not Stopps tryng to Send Klasyfykated Werds to Sylly Buggers wot Chews Lemony Thyns and sits abowt wiv Rilly Norty Persons wot hav Greesy Hare we is being has to comes rounds and Smacks yous Bum lots and lots and lots and lots and lots So Ther!!
Yous is being very Karefule wot yous is Ryts becos yous is mayking The Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir very very very very Sad!!
Ther Wor Departymenters!!
Wes is Meens It!!"
Three days had passed as, between increasingly common bouts of distracted imagining about house elves with conundrums, Harry studied the treasure-trove of information Sirius had given him. He'd had multiple discussions with the man, over the mirrors, going further and further into depth about engines, and getting so technical it largely flew over Sirius's head.
He had to hand it to his mother; Lily Potter had been an absolute genius. Reading between the lines, he gathered that it had been his mother's childhood dream to be a scientist; her primary role-model had been, for much of her life, Marie Curie.
So, on finishing at Hogwarts, she'd began to study a forbidden art; technomancy. Largely banned by the government (who couldn't tell the big difference between a nose-biting teacup and a toaster altered to run on magic instead of electricity) this branch of magic had at the time been unnamed. Lily had closely examined (and deciphered) the workings of the Knight Bus, and had been disgusted to discover that it was in fact a barely-modified and rather elderly London bus that had been converted in ways that were, for anyone but the Ministry, illegal. Likewise, so-called Wizarding Wireless' was simply a very normal VHF radio with some scrambling on it's signal and said signal propagating through the Floo network; the owners of Wizarding Wireless (the Blacks) had a legal monopoly on the device, having stolen it from it's now-dead inventor. She'd torn several Wizarding Wireless sets apart and worked out what made them tick, then applied it to many and myriad other electrical devices, most of which were probably still in the basement of the house in Godric's Hollow.
And there was indeed an entire chapter dedicated to the engine modifications on Sirius's bike. The machine had what amounted to mechanical ignition; essentially, each spark plug was replaced with something markedly similar to an extremely short wand that, when pushed down, produced a high-tension electrical spark almost identical to that produced by an ordinary spark plug.
It seemed Lily had experimented with altering a normal electrical ignition circuit (actually on a lawn mower) to operate within the area of the lightning wards at the Potter home (which were, it seemed, the main problem with getting ignition to do it's stuff) and had some success, simply by shielding the electrics with a layer of thin dragon hide; the magic-resistant properties of dragon hide prevented the wards interfering with the ignition circuits.
When he read that, Harry wrote Dragon Hide' on the top sheet of his notebook, and underlined it three times, then circled it for good measures. It seemed the stuff might be exactly what he was looking for.
He'd pretty much digested it all by the third day after his godfather's visit. He still hadn't heard a peep from any of his friends or the Order, despite having written to most of his friends – just brief ramblings about inconsequential stuff, nothing important, more a Hi-I'm-still-alive than anything else – and was beginning to think about how exactly to trace whether someone was intercepting Hedwig when Dobby returned.
The house-elf's apparel had changed rather dramatically in those three days. Gone was the swathes of mismatched clothing and stack of hats; instead, he was dressed like a miniature version of a stereotypical World War 2 pilot. He had a leather flying hat with goggles pushed up on his forehead, a brown leather bomber jacket, denim jeans (presumably intended for a small child) and a pair of large stompy boots. And oh boy did he look pleased with himself.
the prophet Dobby did seek of the sacred wisdom of the pilot. He did
seek in the places of Arrayeff and of Yooessayeff,
yea, and of Beeaye, and he did seek also in the places of Beebeeemmeff, and of Seeayeff. He did seek in the holy land of Duxford, yeah, and of Imperial War Museum. And lo, in those wondrous and holy places, the prophet Dobby did find enlightenment, and so the prophet Dobby did go forth and speak among the elves, to tell them of the Way of Air Superiority and the magnificent and sacred words of the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir.)
"Dobby is learning to be pilot, Mr Harry Potter Sir." Dobby said. "Dobby is thinking Dobby is knows how to fly the bombers now, Mr Harry Potter Sir. And Dobby is talking to other elvses. Thems is mostly saying Dobby is being silly, but three elvses is being fascinated when Dobby is showing them books about Mr Biggleses Sir and Mr Spikey Millygan Sir."
(And at last, upon the third day, the prophet Dobby did come before the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir, and he did bow and he did salute, and he did say, "O Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir! I have sought in the places of which thou spake, O Great Wizard, and thy sacred wisdom have I found! Bretheren also have I found, they that recognise thy holy works, tho they yet not be ready to become thy Pilots, they are sound and sturdy in mind and body! O Great Wizard, this humble elf beseecehth thee, show me what is to be done, that I might in thy services work!")
"Nice one, Dobby." Harry said, surprised and impressed. "Uh, do I have to worry about Hermione skinning me?"
(And the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir was well pleased, for now his one and true Prophet, the prophet Dobby, was upon the path of enlightenment. But vexed was he, for still his consort, the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am, she of the words that are very hard to say, had not returned to the path of the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir, and the world was not it's right and proper shape.)
"Dobby is talking to Miss Grangy Ma'am." Dobby said, his ears drooping. "But Miss Grangy Ma'am is not listening. Miss Grangy Ma'am is saying Dobby is not knows what Dobby is talking about."
(And the prophet Dobby did quail, for to the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am, she of the words that are very hard to say, had not listened when to she he tried to bring enlightenment.)
Harry frowned. "Uh, any idea has she got any of my letters?" he asked.
"Dobby is not knowing, but Dobby is not thinks so." Dobby said, scratching his head. "Dobby is not smelling smells of Mr Harry Potter Sir's owl in Miss Grangy Ma'am house."
Harry nodded thoughtfully. "Shit… I thought so. Damnit, I wish I could…"
"What is Mr Harry Potter Sir wishing?" Dobby asked.
"I wish I could understand what Hedwig's been trying to tell me." Harry admitted.
"Oh. Dobby is not thinking Dobby is being able to help with that."
"Aw, that's okay, not like anyone can." Harry sighed and picked up a blank sheet of paper, and started scrawling a quick note to Hermione.
Once he was done, Hedwig came over and stuck out her leg.
"I'm sorry, girl." Harry told her. "But until we work out how come my letters aren't getting through, I'm going to need to have these delivered another way."
"Prrek?" Hedwig queried, drooping a bit.
"Dobby, please take this to Hermione." Harry said, handing the elf the note. "And please wait until she's written a reply so you can bring it back, OK?"
(And the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir was most vexed, and to the prophet Dobby he entrusted a most sacred and holy Classified Top Secret message, that the prophet Dobby was to bear to the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am.)
Dobby snapped to somewhat sloppy attention, saluted, said, "Dobby is doing this for Mr Harry Potter Sir!" and vanished.
Hermione Jane Granger had of course completed her summer homework in short order as soon as she'd got home from Hogwarts. Then she'd started in on the assorted muggle correspondence courses she intended to complete over the summer.
She was just getting really involved in her physics course when an unexpected voice piped up from the region of the window:
"Dobby is bringing Miss Grangy Ma'am Classificated Top Secret very important message from Mr Harry Potter Sir! Bad peoples is Intercepticating courier owlses, so Mr Harry Potter Sir is sending Dobby on Mission for deliver Classificated Top Secret very important message to Miss Grangy Ma'am!"
Hermione was so surprised by this sudden outburst that she nearly fell out of her seat.
Dobby was stood there, on her window sill, in a rough approximation of at-attention, and saluting her with one hand while offering a sheet of paper with the other. By this time, Rupert the owl had taken one look at the elf and hidden under Hermione's bed.
"… um, thanks Dobby." Hermione said, gawking slightly at the little elf's elf-sized pilot outfit as she accepted the letter.
I'm pretty sure Hedwig's being intercepted by someone when she tries to deliver my letters, and I haven't had any letters from anyone since that bullshit trial, and while I can't say much about Ron, the idea of you not grabbing the chance to write anything seems a bit weird.
So I've decided to get Dobby to take this to you. Hedwig's probably gonna get really pissed off at me, but oh well.
Anyway, on other stuff I've been looking at ways I can really scare the crap out Voldemort and his lot, and (thanks to my cousin, who's shaped up and turned into a decent bloke since that scare with the Dementors) I decided to look at how I can apply some muggle-style solutions to the problem. I now need to locate a disused airbase from the Second World War that's still not got anything built on top of it, and some abandoned hulks of wartime planes. About making bombs and rockets, do you think it'd be a good idea to talk to Fred and George? And can you think of any ideas that'd really make the DE lot wet themselves?
PS: Don't use an owl to reply to this, that's what Dobby's waiting for.
Hermione read Harry's letter three times, then penned a brief (by her standards; it only took three feet of parchment) reply, waited until Dobby had popped away, wrote a very short note to Dumbledore asking if he could look into whatever was happening to Harry's mail, coaxed Rupert out of under the bed, gave the owl the letter to Dumbledore, and got a horrible sinking feeling when the luckless bird once more vanished upwards with a squawk and a cloud of feathers.
Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am, she of the words that are very hard to
say, did read of the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir's sacred writings,
but not yet was she enlightened, for the very silly Mr Dumbly-Door
Sir did hold the mind of the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am, she of the
words that are very hard to say, and her fears were not yet allayed.
The Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir's secrets she sought to bear unto
the very silly Mr Dumbly-Door Sir, and the prophet Dobby was afraid,
for surely if this blasphemy was not ended, the wrath of the Great
Wizard Harry Potter Sir would be
terrible to behold.)
"Ohhhh dear." She said.
Shaking off her feeling of imminent doom, she went back to her textbook.
Five minutes passed in peace and quiet, then Rupert came hurtling back into the room in yet another cloud of feathers (he was starting to look a bit baldy) accompanied by her letter to Dumbledore, which once more had pretty much it's entire contents scrubbed out with black marker.
"Shit." Hermione said.
"TURNS OUTS THEM LIGHTSES!" A chorus of squeaky voices bellowed. "IS YOUS NOT KNOWING THERE IS BEING A WAR ON?"
A trio of very oddly-dressed house elves came flying in the window. They were clad in khaki shirts and trousers, gas masks, and black Tommy-style tin hat' metal helmets with the letters A R P' in white on the fronts, and they were ferociously brandishing what appeared to be kippers.
Hermione went off the side of her chair, and grabbed it in a desperate attempt to ward the rampaging elves off.
The trio of gas-masked elves laid into her with the kippers, bellowing things like, Careless wordses is costs liveses!" and "Turns outs them lightses!' and "Yous is making the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir very sad!'.
(And thus it was that the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir's most Holy Arpers, they that guard the Faithful against the Perils of the Demon Blitz in their search for Enlightenment and Pilothood, did come to the Marvellous Miss Grangy Ma'am, and they did Slap her with the Wet Kippers, and they did tell her of the Error of her Ways, and they did Punish her most Sorely for her Unknowing Blasphemy against the Great Wizard Harry Potter Sir, that she might know her faith once more.)
"Oi cuz, someone phoned for ya. A bird, and she sounds pretty skelping mad."
"Thanks, Dudley." Harry said, accepting the cordless phone handset his cousin was vaguely waving at him.
"Hi, Harry here."
"Harry James Potter, you have got a lot of bloody explaining to do!" came a resoundingly pissed-off Hermione Granger voice. "I have just been jumped on by three house elves in gas masks and slapped with wet kippers to the point I can't sit down, and from what they were yelling it's YOUR FAULT!"
Harry removed the handset from his ear and gave it a quizzical look.
"What." he said. "The. Fuck?"
--End Chapter--AN - Well, here's my latest effort. Probably not quite what y'all were expecting from me next, but I needed a break from Top Dog, so...