Chance Meeting at The Ink Pot
Thanks to my husband for beta-ing!
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
During the following three months until the beginning of the summer holidays, Sirius, Neville and most of the professors of the Mirai school worked together to develop a combination of a spell, a potion, a Portkey, the Dark Mark on the teddy bear, Neville's earth magic and Sirius' wind magic. Unfortunately, they did not have a possibility to try out their combination as they would have only one chance to cast it properly. The professors decided that Sirius and Neville should cast the spell together with Professors Abe, Ito and Severus.
They chose the thirty-first of July, because it was the day after Neville's sixteenth birthday and Sirius' secret birthday, for their attack. After a potions induced good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast, the two students and three professors gathered on the grounds. Neville and Sirius summoned the earth and wind magic for help, and the spectators, who were watching the scene from a safety distance, felt the ground and the air vibrate with magic, when the five wizards pointed their laser wands at the small teddy bear that was lying on the ground and cast their spell. When they were finished and let their wands sink, the teddy bear rose into the air, and a huge whirlwind shot up catapulting it higher and higher into the air at an incredibly fast speed, until it completely vanished from sight. The small group stood there unmoving for another twenty minutes, before the wind and the earth calmed down completely.
Madam Pomfrey rushed to the five wizards and handed each of them an extra strong Pepperup potion, which Sirius and the others gulped down gratefully.
"Do you think we managed to succeed?" said Sirius, the first to speak.
"We can only wait and see," Ito replied darkly.
"I'll write to the owner of the Inkpot and ask him if he can find out something for us," Severus promised, before the Headmaster ushered everyone into the Planetarium, where the house-elves served tea and rice crackers for everyone.
After taking a few sips of his green tea, the Headmaster rose from his seat. "Otsukaresama deshita (well done), everyone. Some of you might wonder what the spell was supposed to do. We still don't know if it worked, but we hope so. Our spell was supposed to send the teddy bear with the Dark Mark to Mars. If everything works out, the teddy bear will summon everyone bearing the Dark Mark, which means the Dark Lord AKA Voldemort and all of his followers will be sent to Mars. Instead of killing hundreds of people like the other side does, we decided to give our enemies a minor chance of survival, because there has been water on the Mars before and a wizard should be able to recall it, provided his bubblehead charm provides enough oxygen and his climatization charm can withstand the extremes in temperature. Now we only have to wait for the good news from Britain that our efforts were fruitful."
"Jiji fy Ai-cha?" Ai was the first to break the stupor that followed the Headmaster's announcement.
"Yeah, I'll take you flying in a minute," Sirius promised. On her first birthday, his parents had grudgingly allowed him to take Ai with him to fly on Taiyo-kun, after he had convinced them that the wind would help him and Ai if they had any problems in the air, and his sister had enjoyed herself immensely.
In the morning, Severus received a message from the owner of the Inkpot.
Magical Britain is in uproar. There was a huge storm yesterday, and many people have vanished into thin air as it seems. As far as I can judge the situation, all of them were Death Eaters though. I'll send you more information as soon as I have any.'
During the following weeks, the Daily Prophet, which Severus still received every day through the owner of The Inkpot, was full of articles about persons, who had gone missing during the invisible attack that had taken place on the thirty-first of July.
However, it was nearly fourteen months later, when a barn owl suddenly appeared with a letter from Amelia Bones, the new Minister of Magic.
'Dear Professor McGonagall,' it began.
'As you might have heard from the news, the war in the British wizarding world ended a few months ago, and I have been appointed the Minister of Magic. One of my plans is to re-build Hogwarts, and I would like you to supervise the re-building effort and become the new Headmistress. Of course you have full leeway and may organise the school and choose the staff to your liking. I hope that this owl will reach you, since I am not aware where to find you. Nevertheless, I hope that you will accept my offer and I hear from you soon.'
"She doesn't know that I'm de-aged and have a baby," Minerva said, chuckling, before her features became pensive.
"Minerva, we love having you here, but we can understand that this is a special opportunity for you, and we would be willing to help with the re-building and to co-operate with a Hogwarts-Mirai school in Britain," the Headmaster said gently. "It would be a great chance to establish a system of student exchange between our two countries. Please don't misunderstand me. It's not that we want you to leave."
"I know what you mean," Minerva said softly. "I am Scottish, and Hogwarts was my home before I came here, but since this decision involves my husband and my son as well, we'll have to think about it."
"Well, I'm going to take my NEWTs in five months, and I'd love to teach afterwards, provided that I'll be able to do so where my family is," Sirius spoke up.
"I don't mind if I'm teaching here or at a new Hogwarts-Mirai school," Severus spoke up thoughtfully.
Two years later, the new Hogwarts-Mirai school opened. It was built on the old walls of Hogwarts and was connected to the Mirai school in Japan by a direct broadband Floo connection, which allowed the teachers and students of both schools to travel between the schools at any time. While Minerva became the Headmistress of the new school, Hermione, Kazumi, Mandy, Poppy, Severus, Sirius, Kenji and Neville became the teachers. The students of both schools were able to choose their elective subjects from both schools, and the teachers worked closely together and once a week met for a common staff meeting, taking turns to gather at Hogwarts or at the Mirai school.
"Hello Houston – This is Stellar Explorer 1 orbiting Mars."
"Stellar Explorer 1, we are receiving you loud and clear. How is the geological survey going guys?"
"Hello Houston – you would not believe some of the formations that we have charted. Yesterday, we found one that even looked like it was man-made in the shape of a snake and a skull. Nature can produce some scary phenomena. It looks really spooky and even glows. Mission specialist Travers said it must be a combination of wind erosion and naturally occurring silicon crystals…"
Sirius and his fiancée Kazumi entered The Ink Pot with five-year-old Ai in tow after admiring the old facade for a few minutes. He turned to the owner of the bookshop. "Good morning. I just came to bring you the Hogwarts-Mirai lists for the next school year."
"Good morning, Professor Abe, Professor Snape. Thank you so much for handing in the lists so early. I really appreciate it," the owner of the bookshop said, slightly inclining his head.
Ai looked around the huge store that had looked so small from the outside in amazement. "Where is the secret door?" she asked with interest.
The owner laughed. "You mean the door leading to the magical section?" he asked, smiling. Seeing the small girl nod in excitement, he explained, "When your father and brother returned to Britain and learned that Flourish and Blotts, who occupied the site beforehand, was destroyed in the war, they suggested that I move, and they transferred The Inkpot to this location. Therefore, I gave up the Muggle section of the shop and made The Inkpot the world's biggest magical bookshop. You can be very proud of your father and your big brother."
"I know. Sirius is the bestest brother in the world. He teaches new magical contraptions and sends people to Mars," Ai said, smiling, "and this is the bestest bookshop, because Dad said everything started here."
"And you're the world's best little sister," Sirius laughed. "Now shall we go and eat an ice cream?" Together with his fiancée and his sister, he left The Inkpot, thinking, 'and I'm the happiest wizard on earth.'
Thank you so much for your kind support throughout this story!