Disclaimer: Neither HP nor Stargate SG-1 belong to me in any way.
Title: Of Veils, Gates, and Magic
Summary: based on SG-1 episode Solitudes. Following Daniel and Teal'c, Jack and Sam entered the stargate to escape a battle, but an influx of energy made the wormhole jump, landing them in an ice cave. Enter Luna Lovegood. AU.
"Off world activation."
"Are we expecting anyone?" General Hammond asked.f
"No sir. But that's SG-1's signal coming through."
"Open the iris."
"Opening iris!" Back up soldiers lined the gate room, firearms pointed towards the Stargate. A loud rushing sound accompanied the establishment of a wormhole. Seconds later, Daniel Jackson and Teal'c ran onto the ramp in the SGC, closely followed by a loud rumble and a flashing light. The calm blue rippled surface on the Stargate disappeared.
General Hammond stormed past the soldiers and demanded, "Where are Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter?!"
Luna Lovegood walked through the quiet halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, stopping once in a while to chat with a portrait. St. Mungo's had discharged her three days ago and after seeing her father off to his research site in Egypt, she'd decided to do a little of her own at Hogwarts. No one knew she was there, of course.
"Mistress Lovegood, what bringeth thee to our humble abode? Surely thy fairness needst not saving?" Sir Cadogan asked, turning his horse—erm, noble steed—to follow the blonde witch's progress towards the dungeons.
"Oh no, Sir Cadogan, thank you. I'm just looking for some of my things that weren't sent home."
"Well then, do be careful fair lady! And mind you, don't get lost in those dark dungeons—even if Professor Snape isn't around to haunt the halls!"
She smiled and waved as he turned his horse about and started in a different direction. The halls were dark so she took her wand from behind her ear and spelled a quiet Lumos. Luna looked in all the corners and cupboards in the numerous unused classrooms, as well as behind the suits of armour littered around the hallway. After a couple of hours of searching she sat down in a dusty classroom to take a break. She took out her school trunk and enlarged it, glad that the overabundance of magic at Hogwarts hid her magical signature from the Ministry, seeing as she was still underage. She lifted out a flask of pomegranate juice (which she preferred over the usual pumpkin although she quite enjoyed the latter occasionally) and a biscuit, rooting around for the old tome on runes she had found in her father's library the night before.
Thirty minutes later, she had brought out a small cauldron and lit a fire underneath it, was crushing some dried mushrooms in her mortar, and had laid out some seeds in a circle. Luna set the pulverized mushrooms to the side and dug around in her trunk for her traveling potions kit. Professor Snape would probably reprimand her for experimenting with potions but she'd developed a passion for it as her mother had had for spell casting. As long as she didn't do it in class and he didn't know of her hobby, she figured she was safe. She sprinkled the mushrooms onto the bubbling fluid and mixed them carefully into the solution before banishing the small flame and setting the cauldron to the side to cool. Taking out her pre-inked quill, Luna looked through the book on runes until she found familiar looking ones and jotted them down on a piece of parchment.
Samantha Carter forced herself to bite back her tears. They had been stranded in some infernally cold glacier for almost three days. She had attempted to dial home on the half-broken DHD only to cause tremors as the Stargate failed to establish a wormhole time and time again. Hearing Jack groan as he temporarily woke, she moved quickly to his side.
"Colonel?" She asked, moving to his corner of the tunnel, where they had decided laid the least potential of getting caught in the water-like vortex of a wormhole establishing through the gate. They had already gone through a conversation of how the tunnel they were in might have been made solely due to the energy of the establishment of incoming wormholes.
"Carter." He croaked in greeting. She quickly took the last bottle of water they had and tipped some liquid onto his parched lips. "Anything new?"
She didn't have much news to tell him. "I finished digging the DHD out and got the Stargate to dial for home, but the wormhole wasn't established. The edges of this cave slope downwards—I couldn't see much since our flashlights have gone out, but I'm not sure that there is a way out other than up. Sir."
"Food?" he asked, moving gingerly. He might have a bruised rib or two.
"We still have some left, sir. I've filled one of the canteens with chipped ice—at least those will melt in our mouths so we won't have to worry about thirst."
"Fill one and climb out, Carter."
"Carter." Jack interrupted, his pressing gaze forcing her to meet his eyes. "I can't get out but you can. Go out there and see if you can find help all right?"
"Sir, I haven't explored the entire cave yet, there might be a tunnel that will allow both of us to get through—"
"I'm not going anywhere Sam. Not with a broken leg when the only possibility is up." She swallowed hard and turned back to the Stargate.
"Then I'll get the Stargate to work, sir."
"I'm not leaving you behind, Jack." She whispered, her determined eyes boring into him. "If Daniel can't find us, we're going to find him. I'll dial for Earth once more and then start dialing the coordinates for another planet we've already explored."
"You holding that many coordinates in your head, Major?" Jack asked teasingly.
Sam refused to answer. She remembered some, but the problem was that she couldn't dial correctly without the point of origin—and she had no idea where they were. Her theory was that the wormhole had jumped from the one under Cheyenne mountain to another nearby (in galactic terms) gate due to the influx of energy from the power blast the Glider had shot at them as they scrambled to get home safely. Or Daniel had dialed the address incorrectly. But if that was the case, where were Daniel and Teal'c?
She was about to input the seventh symbol when the stargate started to spin.
"Carter? Did it work?"
She looked over at Jack and moved quickly to his side.
"It's establishing a wormhole with only six coordinates, Colonel."
"I thought that didn't work back in the SGC?"
"It shouldn't work, sir."
Without another word, both of them picked up their P90s and took defensive positions as they aimed them at the gate.
Luna looked at the placid blue filling her rune circle and cautiously poked at it. Her finger tingled when she put it into the silvery blue substance but looked fine when she pulled it out. The floor was definitely not under it anymore. She knelt down at the edge of the circle and stuck her face in.
"Hello?" she called.
Jack sneaked a glance at Sam before returning his attention to the stargate, where the sixth chevron was locking. They'd tried six-symbol coordinates and they hadn't worked back on Earth. He still remembered the point in the meeting when Sam and Daniel had been drawing the little 3-D box and a line going towards it.
The shimmering blue on the surface of the stargate rippled as something broke the placid surface. He undid the safety on his firearm and tensed his finger on the trigger.
He raised an eyebrow, moving his head to the side slightly to get a better look at the stargate. No one had yet to step out of the Stargate, but that was a voice. Speaking English.
He reached futilely to grab her shoulder when Carter moved towards the Stargate. Unfortunately, his broken leg didn't allow him his normal dexterity and she got past him.
"Hello. My name is Samantha Carter."
"I'm Luna. Just a moment, will you? I'm coming through." The young face disappeared and Sam moved towards the gate quickly, fearing it would close and leave them stranded again, only to stop when she remembered that one could only travel in one direction in an established wormhole. She stepped back just in time to avoid being hit by the young girl who slid out horizontally from the gate.
"Carter, what the hell do you think you're doing? Get back here!" Jack ordered as the girl joined them.
"Ouch, that hurt." She said, brushing herself off as she stood up to look around. "Hello Samantha Carter. I'm Luna Lovegood." She spun around as she heard a small scuffling sound in the back. "Who is that?" she asked, walking towards Jack O'Neill, who put the safety back on and lowered his P90 slightly, although he was still ready to shoot if need be. At least Carter had some sense return and she held a zat aimed at the back of the young girl. A few years ago he would have worried about being so paranoid but goa'ulds took hosts of all shapes and sizes. Luna caught the grimace on his face from the light emitting from the stargate.
"Colonel Jack O'Neill."
"You're hurt." Luna stated with a frown. "And cold, no doubt. Warming charms should help, although I'm not sure how the Ministry will take to my doing magic out of Hogwarts. Although, I'm not sure if I ever left." She plucked her wand from behind her ear and pointed it at Jack, who was furrowing his eyebrows in confusion.
"What are you going to do with that stick?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
Luna ignored his question and cast a warming charm on him, then proceeded to do one for the blonde lady Samantha Carter. Luna peered down at them curiously. "You're muggles, aren't you?"
"Muggles?" Sam asked as Luna waved her wand at the Colonel's foot. "What are you doing?" she asked, zat still aimed at Luna.
"Muggles are non-magical people. Like you. I'm numbing his foot. I can't really set the broken bones—I haven't learned that yet. But Madame Pomfrey would be able to!" she said brightly, before slumping down on the cold ground. "But she's away for the next three weeks visiting her niece. Fiddlesticks." She looked around curiously. "What's outside of the ice?"
"We don't know." Carter replied, watching Jack cautiously as he prodded his foot and raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Sir?"
"Well, it's certainly not bothering me at the moment."
"I wouldn't put your weight on it yet, Colonel O'Neill. It's still broken, after all." Luna said before turning to Sam. "Why not?"
"Why not, what?"
"Why don't you know what's on the other side of the ice? It would be excellent breeding ground for ice dragons—have you looked?"
"We haven't, no. We're not from here, we came through the chappa'ai, like you."
Luna turned around to look at the Stargate. "Chappa'ai?"
"Oh, it's beautiful!" she said, happily skipping over to skim her fingers along the runes.
"Why are you so surprised to see it?" Sam asked.
"Because it's the first time I've seen it, of course! It's familiar, but I've never seen this before."
"But—didn't you come through one yourself?"
"Oh, no. I just made a rune circle, not a beautiful artifact such as this. Want to come see?" she asked, waving lightly at the swiveling blue surface. "If you come with me to Hogwarts, I can at least get a blood replenishing potion for Colonel O'Neill, I daresay he needs it. You could stay with me while Madame Pomfrey gets back from her trip and she can heal him. Or I could take you to a muggle clinic, I suppose. If I can find one. I've never looked, see. We usually just go to St. Mungo's."
Sam was too startled by the discovery that this teenage girl had traveled through a wormhole from something other than another stargate. Jack's stomach grumbled.
Luna cocked her head to the side. "If you're hungry, I've got food on the other side of the gate. It doesn't look like you have much here."
When Jack gave her a small nod of consent, she accepted the offer. "If you'll dial your home after the wormhole collapses to set us up for the trip to Hogwarts, we would greatly appreciate it."
"Why wait?" Luna asked, walking up to the blue stargate.
"No!" Sam cried out while reaching an arm out to stop her, but Luna had already gone through. She nearly had a heart attack when the girl's face appeared at this side of the stargate.
"Are you coming?" she asked. "I could bring the food over but it would be so much easier if you would come to this side. It's warmer here, too."
"You can travel in both directions? But the energy waves and frequencies showed with repeated testing—"
"Carter," Jack coughed, "shut up and get me out of here."
Luna stepped back through to help. "I drew my rune circle on the floor, so it might be a good idea to exit close to the edge of the circle so you can pull yourself out. Don't roll to the side since that'll disrupt the rune circle." She frowned as she watched Sam help a limping Colonel up from the cold floor and waved her wand at him. "Wingardium Leviosa. There, that's better. Samantha can go through first, and I'll float you through before me. Be careful not to dislodge any of the dittany seeds!" she added cheerfully. Wondering what they were getting into but eager to leave the tunnel of ice behind, she stepped towards the gate.
"Maybe you should crawl through." Luna said, biting her lower lip. "If you break the circle of dittany seeds, the two of us might get stuck here." Seeing the woman hesitate, she added, "there's no one on the other side right now." Sam got on her hands and knees and crawled through the stargate, the zat in her right hand.
She was somewhat surprised to find herself looking up into a room and carefully climbed over the circle of flaming seeds. Looking back at a miniature version of the stargate, she leaned forward to help guide the floating Colonel through. Luna followed, calmly laying the injured man on the floor.
Moving quickly to her trunk, Luna shifted things around until she found her bag of biscuits and a bag of apples, then passed them on to the two muggles. "I have pumpkin juice and pomegranate juice. I could also conjure water if you prefer that." She said, pointing at the flasks. Sam and Jack thanked her for the food and drink as she placed some cushioning charms on the floor.
Sam sighed as she leaned against an old dusty chair. "What is this place? Sir, none of the probes are working."
"Oh—the magic in the air interferes with most types of technology." Luna explained calmly. "Most of your technology won't work here." Jack fingered his P90 thoughtfully. Perhaps that wouldn't apply to weapons as they were mechanical rather than electrical, like Carter's gizmos that analyzed… whatever it was Carter always analyzed the moment they stepped through a gate.
"We're in an old classroom in the dungeons of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Luna said proudly, spinning around in a circle.
"Dungeons?" Jack asked, sitting up and ignoring the pain in his chest as Carter pulled out one of her gizmos that analyzed whatever it was she analyzed whenever they got to a new planet.
"Yup, this is where the Slytherins live and where we have Potions class. I think Professor Snape's quarters are down here too but I've never been to them."
"Who is this professor? Can you take us somewhere where Jack can be treated?" Sam asked.
"Oh, I don't know if the professor would help if he were here. He's more the sneer and glare sarcastic sort."
"Who else is in this castle?" Jack asked, not liking the frown on Carter's face.
"Well, I'm pretty sure Professor McGonagall is here. I doubt the Headmaster is, he's usually out doing something or another during the summer. Professor Flitwick and Professor Sprout, Hagrid… Filch—you should stay out of his way though, him and his cat. They can be pretty mean. Then the normal denizens of the castle, of course."
"Oh, the house-elves, the ghosts, the portraits—everyone else."
"Can any of them help us? How do you—" Sam was about to ask her how she dialed her version of the stargate to reach them when they were startled by the sound of a light whoosh. The blue flames jumping from the small seeds laid out carefully in a circle flared and went out. And with it, the shimmering blue surface of the established wormhole.
"Yes, sir?" she whispered, staring at the circle of dust in shock.
"Tell me we didn't just follow someone through a stargate to a place without a stargate."
Sam swallowed thickly, her eyes never leaving the circle of dust in the middle of the floor.
"If you want to go back, you'll just have to wait for me to get enough dittany seeds to make another one," Luna interjected with a shrug. "I don't know why you'd want to go back to that cave of ice though... unless you were in the middle of looking for ice dragons when you got hurt?"
"You can make a stargate?" Sam asked in a whisper, ignoring Luna's last question.
"Well, I can make another rune circle. I don't think I can make a gate like the one where I found you."
"Are you an Ancient?"
"No. I'm a fourteen year old witch. I don't think that qualifies as ancient at all."
"A witch? You mean, brewing potions over smoking cauldrons, cackling in laughter, and riding a broomstick kind of a witch?" Jack asked. Luna nodded pointedly at the small cauldron on the other side of the room. Jack looked at it bewildered.
"Yes, I do happen to have a broom," she said "and yes, I do fly on it occasionally. What else would you do with a broom?" She looked curiously at their uniforms. "What does USAF stand for?"
"United States Air Force. We are representatives of the planet Earth."
"Of course. Where else would you be from?" Luna said distractedly as she picked up her cauldron and potion ingredients and began storing them back in her trunk. "Would you like me to fetch one of the professors? They'll help with healing Colonel O'Neill's leg but then they'll obliviate you and probably try to send you back to the ice cave—which is too bad since then they'll know I was here and I'm really not supposed to be."
"What do you mean by obliviate?" Sam asked.
"Oh, it's a spell that would make you lose any memories of magic."
"Let's hold off on calling the professors then." Jack said resolutely, "I have no wish for my head to be messed with. What are you doing here if you're not supposed to be here?"
"I was looking for some of my belongings. They weren't returned to me at the end of the year the way some of my other things were, so I was hoping to find them. To others they're just some feathers and pieces of cork but they're dead useful for making charmed objects good for keeping hokhokus away."
Sam returned the Colonel's blank look.
"I'm sure I can help you home though, if you don't mind keeping the broken leg for a little while. We'll have to get outside of the castle wards to use the portkey though." She looked at Jack thoughtfully as she shrunk her trunk and put it in her pocket. "It might be easier for you to move about if I petrify your leg. Would you like me to do that?"
"What do you mean by 'petrify'?" He asked cautiously.
"It basically turns that part of you temporarily into stone so you can't move it—or consequently, jar it."
"I think I'll avoid turning any part of me into rock, thank you. I'll manage."
Luna shrugged and led the way out of the dungeons. She helped carry their gear so that Sam would be able to help Jack as they moved down the hall and towards the stairs, looking at the medieval castle in quiet wonder.
"Mistress Lovegood, what have you found this time?"
"Sir Cadogan, please keep your voice down." Luna whispered as Jack and Sam stared at the knight sitting on a prancing horse—moving in the paining. Keeping up with them by going through some landscape paintings in the hallway.
"Oh, Mistress Lovegood, thou knowest we humble portraits will overlook much especially with regards with our dear little lady, but bringing muggles into the castle without the express permission of the Headmaster—it's not something we can overlook!"
Luna stopped walking and glared at the knight, causing him to shirk backwards slightly from the usually placid if eccentric, young lady.
"Sir Cadogan, you will not inform anyone of what I'm doing. After all, I'm merely escorting these lost muggles past the wards. And if you tell, I swear on my magic that I will stop giving you butterbeer, and where would Lady Sirilia be without her favorite drink?"
"Thou wouldst not!" Sir Cadogan protested.
"Oh, I would. But I wouldn't deprive you of chocolate frogs, everyone should have some of those." She nodded thoughtfully, turning to the muggles. "You've never had one, have you? I'll have to get you a box before sending you home."
"You are truly escorting them off the grounds?" Sir Cadogan asked worriedly, heaving a great sigh as Luna nodded. "All right then, no harm done I suppose. Carry on, young Ravenclaw, and I'll distract the portraits that would otherwise impede your path."
"Thank you, Sir Cadogan. Quite chivalrous of you. I'll make sure to bring you an extra box of chocolate frogs the next time I visit."
"I'll be looking forward to it, my lady. But what of your quest? I highly doubt these muggles were the possessions you misplaced."
"I'll be back for them later, Sir Cadogan."
"As you say, my lady." Sam watched the knight race off on his horse, jumping from one portrait frame to another.
"Magic." Luna explained as she motioned them to follow her to the stairs. "These stairs can be kind of tricky, so you want to watch out a bit. They tend to move on their own."
Thinking that the stairs might work as escalators even if they looked quite old, Sam was startled to feel them move sideways under her feet, the entire flight of stairs moving to connect them to a different hallway on the next floor while they moved cautiously up the steps. She turned to the Colonel and followed his gaze upwards to see numerous sets of stairs displacing themselves from one hall to another and from one floor to a different one. Luna guided them in a sure-footed manner down a quiet hallway and out some large doors.
"This is a side exit. That over there," she said, waving at a large field surrounded by bleachers through which they could see two sets of three hoops. "That is the Quidditch pitch. Players have different positions—all on brooms, and play with different balls for the highest score. It's quite popular. We just have to get down to that lake over there. That should be far enough from the wards."
Sam looked over her shoulder and gasped at the castle ruins they had just walked out of. She turned her incredulous eyes at Luna, who was looking up next to her with a smile on her face. "I suppose you can't see it with the Muggle repelling charm." She put her younger hand into Sam's and nodded towards the castle. "Look now." And she did, smiling at the beauty of the castle and wondering what kind of technology was being used to hide the castle under the illusion of ruins.
"Place a finger on this bracelet," Luna instructed, helping the Colonel do so from the ground. She nodded and pulled out her wand, tapping the bracelet briskly. "Activate." And they were pulled away.
Jack fell with a thump and a cry of pain. Sam quickly moved toward him while taking in their surroundings. Luna shook her head when she saw them on the floor. "I really should have petrified your leg. Well, I'm sure we have some pain relieving potions in the cupboard…" she trailed off as she moved to the other side of the living room and opened a wooden cupboard. She moved back to the muggles and held a small potion bottle towards Colonel O'Neill. "Here you go, sir. Drink it all and it'll take away most of the pain."
Jack swallowed the potion and had to blink a couple of times at the sudden absence of pain—not only in his leg but in his chest as well. "What was that?"
"A potion. That someone would brew in a cauldron over fire." She replied, smiling. She brought out her wand and carefully levitated him onto the couch. "Twinky!" she called, clapping her hands twice. A small house elf appeared next to her with a small pop. Sam stared at the weird looking creature, not noticing that Jack sported the same look. He was comparing this trip to the first Stargate mission when Daniel had been dragged along the desert by a bit, smelly, furry beast that liked chocolate. At least this creature was small and seemed able to communicate with them.
"Twinky is here, little Miss Lovegoods, how can Twinky be of service?" she looked around, her big eyes widening further when she saw the two muggles in the living room. "Little mistress brought muggles into the home? Does little Miss need Twinky to call Obliviators from the Ministry?"
"Oh no Twinky, Obliviators won't be necessary. Do you think you can get us some dinner instead?"
"Of course, little Miss Lovegoods, Twinky bring foods right away!" With that, the little house elf disappeared with another pop.
"What was that?" Jack asked.
"That was Twinky, our house-elf. She's been in the family for generations."
After they had a remarkably normal dinner, Luna showed them to the guest room.
"We only have one extra room but if you're worried about manibozolovs, one of you is welcome to use my room. I can sleep in my father's room."
"Mani-whatsits?" Jack asked befuddled.
"Manibozolovs. They come out at night and play with your evening perceptions. Unlike the nargles though, they don't hide in mistletoe. They prefer to hide amongst dandelions and travel with the seeds when these blow in the wind. They wreck havoc between couples usually so it's usually safer to sleep in separate rooms when dandelions are in season." She blinked and turned to Sam. "Would you like to use my room? It's just across the hall." Without waiting for a reply, Luna turned her next comment to Jack. "The washroom is at next to both rooms, at the end of the hall. Do let me know if you need anything and feel free to summon Twinky. Just call her name and clap your hands. I'll be reading in my father's room!" She skipped down the hall and into another room down the hall. Sam and Jack exchanged glances as her head appeared from the doorway again.
"Oh, and the library is over that way if you want to do some reading before bed."
A couple of hours later, Luna decided to check on her house guests. She snuck into the guest room, took her wand from behind her ear and made a small swishing motion in the direction of the Colonel's foot. "Scourgify. Petrificus fascia." Nodding happily, she leaned over to pin a dream catcher at the head of the bed before moving quietly out of the room. Her room already had a dreamcatcher so she went back to the main bedroom and crawled into bed.
Jack opened his eyes completely. The dream catcher was sending off a light glow and he didn't trust it. It looked like a regular dream catcher except for the pieces of cork, seashells, weirdly colored feathers, and the charm in the middle, which was some sort of creature with the body of a horse, head of a lion, and legs of a tiger. He felt his foot with his hand. The previously sodden bandages were dry and seemed to have stiffened. Moving it from under the bed covers, he noticed that they felt clean. Tired and thankful for the warm food and lodgings, he stove off sleep until Carter sneaked back into the room.
Raising an eyebrow at her, he motioned to the dreamcatcher behind him and then waved at his foot. "The girl did something to it—I'm not sure it's all bad."
She took a look at it and nodded. "It seems that she cleaned the bandages and stiffened them, almost as good as a cast, sir."
"Well, that was nice of her. Except for trying to sneak in while I was supposedly asleep. What do you make of the dream catcher, Major?"
Sam moved over to inspect it closely. "There's a similar one in her room—I suppose these people believe in mythical creatures being able to influence their daily lives. It makes sense if they believe themselves to be wizards and witches. Sir?"
"Hmm?" Jack asked, resting his eyes.
Sam curtailed her words and bid the colonel good night. They could talk in the morning—after all, they needed rest and currently didn't have to worry about food or cold, and their injuries were being seen to. She settled herself in a nearby chair for the first watch. Friendly host or not, SG-1 had been separated and they weren't taking any chances.
Five hours later, she was loathe to wake the Colonel up but she knew he would have her head if she let him sleep longer even if it would be better for his injuries. After all, she needed some rest to keep sharp when she was the only uninjured of the two.
Jack opened his eyes slowly, wondering why someone was trying to wake him up after he was finally comfortable and in a bed. Which meant he was home—or in the infirmary—but it didn't feel like the infirmary. He blinked, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings and the familiar face of Samantha Carter. Memories of the cave of ice and the blonde haired girl came back and he nodded sharply.
"Good morning, sir." She helped him sit up and paused when he motioned for her to take the bed.
"I'll take the chair now, Major." He said with a raised eyebrow. She nodded and fell into a light sleep.
Luna moved quietly down to the living room, her hand paging through an old tome she had borrowed from the Hogwarts library. She looked up as Twinky appeared with a small pop.
"Good morning, Twinky."
"Good morning, little Miss! Twinky here to tell little Miss her muggle guests are awake and have eaten. Would little Miss like some breakfast?" the house-elf asked hopefully.
"Thank you Twinky, but that won't be necessary. I had some fruit outside this morning."
The house-elf nodded before popping away, knowing the young girl had always preferred to start her day with a walk in the woods near the property, breaking her fast with fruit she would find there. It had been a tradition with the late Mrs. Lovegood and the young little Mistress and Twinky only worried about it when winter set in and fruit was scarce. But it was now summer and she didn't have to worry about that.
Luna looked up to see the two muggles walk into the room.
"Good morning." She greeted before going back to her book.
"Good morning." Sam replied, sitting gingerly in the armchair opposite the young girl. Jack sat down in the chair next to her and cleared his throat.
"Yes?" Luna asked, looking up.
"We were wondering if you could answer some questions."
Luna nodded, closing her book and setting it to the side.
"Are there any grown ups in this place?" Jack asked, looking around.
"Not at the moment. Father is off hunting for a new breed of augureys and won't be back for a few more weeks. We are alone, other than Twinky of course."
Jack sat back and glanced at the only other member of his team in the room.
"How did you make that rune circle?" Sam asked.
"Mostly I took the design from the Veil in the Department of Mysteries, then expounded on it using my Ancient Runes textbook and this tome over here."
"It's an old stone archway with symbols like those that were on your Stargate." Luna clarified.
"Colonel—this might be what we're looking for! If it is a Stargate—"
"What do your people use this Veil for?" Jack asked.
"Honestly, it's just sitting under the Ministry. They used to send dangerous wizard criminals that were convicted through the Veil but now they just keep them locked up in Azkaban."
"We need to see this Veil—can you help us get to it? Without involving people that will get our memories erased?" Jack asked cautiously. He knew Carter wanted to stay and figure out what all the magic was about, but they needed to report to the SGC and come back with a larger—possibly diplomatic force. Two missing members of SG-1 weren't adequate for establishing relations with this population.
"It shouldn't be a problem." Luna said with a smile. "Shall we go after lunch? That'll give me time to gather what's necessary."
"What do you need?" Sam asked.
"You didn't expect the Ministry of Magic to allow two muggles into its headquarters, would you? I'll be back in a couple of hours. Feel free to call Twinky if you need anything." She said, standing up and moving towards the fireplace. Luna drew her wand and tapped a brick, grabbed some floo powder stepped into the fireplace. Colonel O'Neill watched as the young witch step threw down the powder and disappeared in green flames.
"I thought witches used to be burned to death."
Sam turned her wide eyes to the Colonel. "Somehow sir, I don't believe we're in Salem."
Luna returned with another flash of green flames. She found her two guests in the library, Samantha Carter browsing the shelves with a stack of books on a side table, while the Colonel sat pensively in another chair.
"Twinky has lunch prepared and I have what we need."
Less than an hour later, Luna handed some robes to both grown ups. "You need to wear these if you don't want to stand out as muggles. And here." She handed Sam a sheaf of parchment and a quill, then tugged Jack's shirt until he leaned down enough for her to put a camera around his shoulders. She bit her lip thoughtfully. "You can't go through the floo on your own and the three of us won't fit in the fireplace at the same time, so I'll have to take you through at the same time. Just stay to the side and don't wonder off, alright?" she asked. "Who's coming with me first?"
Jack looked at the fireplace with distrust. Well, the girl hadn't led them down a bad road yet. Fingering the zat he was holding under the robes, he raised his hand and stepped forward, glad to have a cane to help him keep his balance. It was old and he had no idea where the girl had dug it out from, but it served its purpose.
She motioned him to stand next to her in the fireplace and put one arm around his waist as she threw down the powder and said clearly into the green flames, "Ministry of Magic!"
The spinning was nothing compared to traveling through the stargate. The landing was a big harsh though and he noticed that Luna kept a firm grip on him as they landed in another fireplace. She quickly led him out into the hallway and pushed him inobstrusively to the wall. "You stay here and I'll be back in a bit with Major Carter." Jack held the zat firmly as he watched witches and wizards step in and out of fireplaces, walking towards the end of the hall where a giant sculpture seemed to be in the middle of repairs. He looked back at the fireplace as it flared and Luna returned with Carter.
"Let's go." Luna said cheerfully, leading them with the crowd to the end of the hall where a security guard stood in front of a large golden gate.
"Luna Lovegood, Samantha Carter, and Jack O'Neill, here on Quibbler business." She said, handing over her wand. The security guard looked at Jack and then at Sam expectantly.
"Oh, they're squibs." Luna explained, and the security guard nodded them through after returning her wand.
"What's a squib?" Carter asked as they stepped away from the guard and towards an elevator.
"Someone from a magical family that doesn't have any magic. Since they have no magic, they have no need for wands."
"Is the Ministry always so easy to get into?" Jack asked.
"Well, Father and I have been doing a number of articles about the Department of Mysteries after the battle a couple of months ago. They figure giving us certain limited access will endear my father's good will. Even if most wizards and witches don't take the Quibbler seriously, we still get quite a few readers. And the Daily Prophet already reported that I was there so news from the Quibbler on that subject would gather interest anyhow. And Minister Fudge really can't deal with any more bad publicity."
She saw their confused looks and clarified further. "The Daily Prophet and the Quibbler are two wizarding newspapers—my father is the editor of the Quibbler."
"What is this about a battle?" Jack asked.
"You-Know-Who lured Harry to the Department of Mysteries by making him believe he was torturing his godfather at the end of the school year. Harry couldn't get the professors to listen to him so he decided to come to save Mr. Black. He has no other family, you see. Well, his aunt and uncle don't count. Anyways, we couldn't let him come on his own so we came with him as well. It was a trap, and we ended up doing some damage in the Hall of Prophecies when we were chased by the Death Eaters, and then we ended up in the Death Chamber where the Veil was. The cavalry came through—Professor Snape was able to get the word out to the Order of the Phoenix, and they came to rescue us from the Death Eaters. Professor Dumbledore says You-Know-Who did the damage you saw to the fountain in the Atrium, but I think it was a troll the Death Eaters let in. After all, Professor Quirrel let in a troll into Hogwarts during Harry's first year at school and he turned out to be a follower of the Dark Lord."
"The Dark Lord."
"No—when you said 'You-know-who'—Who?"
"Oh, that's what we call the Dark Lord because we're not supposed to say his name. He's a dark wizard that wants to kill Harry, take over the wizarding world, and kill all muggles. Or make them subservient… something like that." She said, shrugging.
"Why don't you say his name?"
"It brings bad luck. If you say it too many times, he sets ovdas after you and trust me when I say you don't want those creatures after you. They're scary."
"Oh. Who are Death Eaters?"
"And who is trying to stop this Dark Lord?"
"Headmaster Dumbledore and Harry. We try to help, but it's hard to do much when the ministry kept saying that they were crazy and You-Know-Who wasn't back. The minister can't keep that up anymore though, since he saw the Dark Lord with his own eyes that night." She said, leading them down a dark hallway and into a circular room. The doors around them spun silently.
"What's this Dark Lord like?" Jack asked as the room stopped spinning. "And where the hell are we?"
"We're at the Department of Mysteries. The Death Chamber should be behind one of these twelve doors—we just have to find the right one. I'll look—sometimes there are things that suck you into the room, so it'll be better if you don't go near the doors."
"What about you?" Sam asked worriedly.
"Oh, I'll be fine. I have a wand, remember?" she said as she walked towards the first door and started to open them methodically.
"As for your other question, I don't rightly know. I haven't seen the Dark Lord myself although Harry describes him as 'snake-like'." She yelped and jumped back from the door she was looking into, slamming it shut as she did so.
"That was the room with the aquavirius maggots that caught Ron." She said with a shudder. "He's still recuperating in St. Mungo's—I don't think we want anything to do with that room. She opened the next door and waved them forward. "This is it!"
She led them down the stairs and Sam walked up to the Veil.
"Don't get too close." Jack warned, looking at the archway with a frown. "Something's not right here." He turned to look for Luna and found her sitting at the base of the archway.
"Can you hear them?" she breathed as she reached out to touch the veil. Trusting his own instincts, Jack quickly pulled her arm back.
"Yes, I suppose I shouldn't get too close. No one that has gone through has ever come back." She said dimly.
"I don't hear anything." Jack turned to Sam. She shook her head but was taking down notes of the markings on the archway.
"Sir, there is no DHD and that doesn't look like a completed Stargate." She said softly.
A couple of hours later, Carter was still examining the archway while taking care of not walking through it. Luna was still sitting at the foot of the stone structure, and Jack was getting a headache.
"Why did you want to see the Veil?" Luna asked after a while.
"We need a stargate to get home, and this seemed like the closest thing to one." Samantha explained.
Luna smiled. "You should have said so! We can get you home without the Veil, I'm sure."
"I thought you'd never seen a stargate before the one in the ice cave?" Jack asked.
"You don't need a stargate." Luna said. "If you can't go back using muggle methods, we can wait for my father to come back and he'll surely arrange for some international portkeys. But we'll try something else first. Come on!" she led the way out and back into the elevator. This time, they took the lift past the Atrium and into a small enclosed space. Luna stepped out and slipped off her wizarding robes, motioning for the other two passengers to do the same.
Jack took a step back in surprise when he took in Luna's smile and the view in front of him.
"Welcome to muggle London."
Her comment was met with silence.
"You have got to be kidding me." Jack looked around with a confused look on his face. "London? As in London, England?"
"Yes." Luna said with a confused look. "Aren't you Americans?"
"How—wha—" Jack shook his head hard, blinked a couple of times and looked at the teenage girl standing next to him. He turned to the other blonde standing a bit behind him and to the side. "Carter?"
"I—uh—don't know, sir."
"If you want to use a telephone, there's a working one a block that way." Luna said, waving to the left helpfully. "This one just takes you to the Ministry of Magic."
"Wait. We're in London, England, on the planet Earth?" Jack asked, just to make sure.
"Mmmhmm! I've never been to America. Is it nice?" she asked with bright eyes.
"Yeah. Peachy. Where's this telephone then?"
AN: Hahaha, I'll leave the resulting headaches of merging HP-verse with Stargate SG-1 for another time, another story... possibly to other authors. It is my humble opinion that Luna is the most likely character (other than maybe Harry, with his penchant for trouble) to wander into other universes. I hope this story was as entertaining to read as it was to write. Please review!