After the excitement of the previous day Harry and Hermione both had decided that they would spend a few days away from their compatriots in the house and instead spend some trunk time, which was proving to be almost addictive to them. They were able to learn at their own pace and push back the boundaries in their own ways. They were working towards Harry's ship at the same time of course, with Harry currently working on combining tessaract theory with expansion charms, which was already showing dividends in that he had a cavernous sided trunk now that defied all logical explanation. It was ridiculously large in there and it was itself in an enlarged trunk.
Frankly, it made Hermione's mind hurt, but she just smiled when Harry explained it to her, and went with the flow for possibly the first, but not last time in her life.
The trunk though had taken her breath away, she was literally not able to see the opposing walls in the place and even when Harry provided a blinding Luminos spell it had not penetrated the darkness for all that far. It felt huge as well; sheer breath taking size archived with a little magical knowhow and time lord technology, though all she knew was the very basics of the Tessaract theory if she were totally honest with herself. The benefits though, it was mild boggling, obviously there was absolutely no use for a trunk that was god alone knows how big, but for their ship - that was another story.
"What's the plan," Hermione finally asked, her voice didn't echo, the walls were far too far apart for that.
"Plan," Harry said with a grin.
"There must be some plan behind all this expansion," Hermione pressed.
"Of course there is, I just like to watch you exasperated," Harry said nipping forward and pressing a quick, almost chaste kiss by her lips. "Essentially," Harry went on to say, "I have a basic floor plan in my head at this moment in time, the centre of the ship - which will actually look like a ship not a trunk," he said grinning, "will be a cavern, I intend to use some of the same climate control rune wards and spell work that is used in my trunk to create a forest there, we can use that forest and gardens to give us food, hell we could also have a few animals in there if we're careful with the ecology of it all, and then we have a sustainable food source and an oxygen factory all in one. Your oxygen scrubbers will be out back up and the Air filtration systems you're coming up with will make sure the air is clean and fresh. I even have an idea for adding scent to the forest's own air to make it more natural. Just imagine," he said sweeping his arms around him excitedly, "the things we could do with several such spaces in the ship, the central location will certainly be the biggest, but it won't be the only stupidly large room in the place."
Hermione found herself swept up in his excitement as well and was beaming at him, "A forest in a space ship," she said wide eyed.
"Yep, it's a common form of making air," he said glossing over the exact make up of a breathable atmosphere. "I've seen it before, of course we'll have to magical grow the plants first, I am going to send out an order tomorrow for my London address and then floo there, which should now be set up, and grab it all."
"You have a London address," Hermione said wide eyed.
"I did tell you about it," Harry said smirking.
"I didn't realise you were serious, I suppose I should have known better, so..." she paused, "Does that mean you'll really be spending Christmas on your own?"
"Probably," Harry said not noticing her sad tone. Then he smirked, "Unless you think your parents are ready to meet your boyfriend and hopefully future husband?"
Hermione swooned slightly when he said husband she had to admit, but covered it well by bluishing and stammering out a no.
Harry chuckled, "Don't worry, dad is always busy at that time of year."
"Christmas isn't so far away anymore," Hermione said, "For all the time we spend in here it seems time out there is sometimes going almost as fast."
"You don't find the lessons boring," Harry asked curiously.
"Yes," Hermione admitted, "But it's interesting to get a fully magical perspective on it all."
"Just wait until I grab the library," Harry said with another smirk, "We'll hardly need to turn up to class after that."
"Is that such a good idea," Hermione asked.
"Well, yes for two reasons, firstly, I learn at my own pace, something Dad has always encouraged and I'm used to that, and secondly because we'll need reference materials as time goes by, my library is pretty good I have to admit, but there are tomes in the school library that just don't exist anywhere else and I'm enough of a bibliophile to want a copy of them."
Hermione grinned at him, "Me to," she admitted.
"Want your own trunk," he asked, "To store it all in?"
Hermione smiled and nodded at him, "Can you really do that?"
"Sure, I am pretty sure I know exactly how this one was built now and as you can see my expansion charms don't need any help. I also have an idea for linking the library to a special access spell that will allow you to draw any book from the library you'll have, and me too for that matter, so you don't have to nip in the trunk every time you want a book."
"Oh Harry... kiss me," Hermione said drawing a smirk from Harry who did as he was asked. He knew his girlfriend very well and wasn't averse to using that knowledge to get a snog and he did so love the way she kissed.
Harry slipped out of the library in the quiet of late evening so that no one really took notice of him. He had left Hermione in the trunk to do as she pleased while he took some readings of the famous Hogwarts library with his sonic screwdriver and a ward diagram spell he had found in one of his books. The project to nick the libraries contents, well at least to copy it, was not going to be easy but he was already thinking of a few possible solutions.
Sometimes, it was good to be him. He had been brought up in a way that was totally alien literally, and that had made him expand his mind in ways that most humans couldn't even contemplate. He was literally open to the universe now and after that leap frog of discovery he had started to find out a lot about the universe all thanks to his saviour and father The Doctor. Had it not been for that wonderful man, Harry suspected that his life would be very different, probably nowhere near as much fun and he certainly wouldn't be able to soak up the current curriculum like it was nothing. He had some of the very best tutors time and space had to offer during his years with The Doctor who had made damn sure that his charge was as well educated as it was possible to be and given that he had time and space, those were some fine instructors he had been given.
Of course Hermione was starting to pick up pace as well, she was already bright but seemed to have taken it upon herself to try to catch up with him. He wasn't sure if it was a competitive streak or something else, but it did mean that he had high hopes for someday opening the universe for her as The Doctor had for him.
Harry slipped through the quiet hallways, mostly unnoticed by those that were still walking them with him. Since the other night he had been getting some very weird looks from his house, and he didn't like that one bit. Apparently curiosity about a half dead cat and a wall of blood writing had staked him as being a weirdo and whatever didn't fit into their world view was apparently to be shunned. Luckily, he could not give two hoots about that, but he did worry about Hermione being tarred with the same brush. Still, it could blow over and that was his preferred course of what could happen. He had seen looks like that before, though never directed at him, and that had never boded well. Humans could, on occasion, be petty and vindictive to those they didn't understand and it was likely they would never be able to understand Harry given the way he was brought up.
Suddenly, Harry heard raised voices up ahead which caused him to bring up his screwdriver and take some readings using the ward schema to connect to the room the voices were coming from. From the ward identification it was Snape and Quirrell in the room arguing and neither sounded happy. Without tapping into the listening wards Harry wasn't able to fully make out what was being said, but what little he could make out did not sound good. Also given the readings from his screwdriver, there was something not quite right about Quirrell either which was worrying. Harry wasn't quite sure what it was about the man, but something didn't register properly to the screwdrivers sensors though the wards themselves seemed indifferent to the odd black aura the man appeared to have.
The loud voices continued for a moment, raising enough that Harry made out a few words, Halloween, Dog, leg, and a few others that made little sense until he heard Corridor and it clicked. One of the two men had tried the corridor the headmaster had told them to stay away from, but for what reason?
Just then the door to the room slammed open and Harry ducked back into an alcove to stay out of sight and Quirrell stormed past with none of his usual demeanour showing through in fact he looked ready to hex Snape into oblivion. Harry stayed back out of view and waited for Snape to follow the man, which he did not do; instead Snape came out of the room and went in the other direction.
Curiouser and Curiouser, Harry decided.
There were a lot of really odd things going on in the castle, and Harry wasn't sure if that was normal operating standard or something that had started up recently. There was, however, one thing he was sure of, he needed more information and he needed it yesterday. It was all very interesting to a curious mind like his and what's more he felt that it was somehow linked to his destiny as well.
"Harry," Hermione said carefully, "What's that?"
"What this," Harry said indicating what he was working on. To the naked eye it looked like a small metallic as in Mithril spider. It had eight legs and several set's of eyes just like a spider but was no larger than half a matchbox. As Harry talked it twitched in its upside down state in the claw it was being held in place on the desk. Hermione eyed it nervously but nodded her agreement to Harry's question.
"It's based on something my father and I came across once out in the... what's it called now Ida Galaxy I think it was, nasty little buggers they were too," Harry told her with a wince, obviously there was some bad memories along for the ride on that one. "They nearly over ran the TARDIS on that trip but luckily the old girl is tougher than their stupid acid," he said with a grin.
"Right..." Hermione said not sure how to reply to that, "And you're making one here?"
"Good grief no, no way would I unleash those little buggers on this planet," he said with a frown, "no this is just my version of them. I had to construct them differently and I thought it would be a good time to test out a few design ideas I've had for the ship at the same time."
"The ship will look like a spider," Hermione said faintly horrified at the thought.
"No," Harry said laughing, "But I wanted to see what happens with some replication runes and a few other schemes I've been cooking up, I also installed a tiny version of the quantum computer into this little guy and wrote some basic AI routines."
"Artificial Intelligence," Hermione said sounding excited now.
"Yep, nothing amazing, some commands and given it the sense to figure out how to carry out those commands basically. It's not like its originator though, it will always been loyal to me and won't try to kill everything it can to get at the technology."
"Who on earth would create something like that," Hermione asked.
"You know I never thought to ask while the buggering thing was trying to spray acid at my home," Harry said with a smirk. "Instead we got out of there after a little scientific research of course. Dad tried to talk to them but for a change they were having none of it." Harry shuddered, "Hate to think what would happen if they managed to get in the gate system."
"Gate system," she asked.
"There are limited gates in the Ida Galaxy thankfully, but here and a couple of other galaxies then they would have spread like wildfire."
"Gate system," Hermione asked again.
"That's not a story you're ready to believe yet," Harry said with a grin, "But needless to say there is a system of planetary gates all linked to each other with an address system that one can use to travel from place to place. Now we tended to stay away from them because of the Goa'uld, who dad has tangled with before many times, well they aren't a nice race that subjugates other races under them. Luckily they virtually ignore planets that are not in this arm of the Milky Way or in fact are linked o the gate system, their own Hyper-drive system, that's a FTL, is not that impressive."
"Wow, aliens," Hermione commented, looking shocked she had known of course but this was one of the few occasions that Harry had really spoken about other races.
"There is a lot more back story to this I'll fill you in on at some point," Harry told her, "The most important thing I suppose is that the human race is a LOT older than you might think, and we're the Second such race to use this form."
Hermione looked pale so he let it lie there. "This little bugger though," he said indicating the spider like robot, "Is going to do some exploring for me, and some information gathering. Thanks to the Mithril, once charged he will be able to turn invisible too, as well as limited replication abilities that will allow a network to be built across the entire school."
"Why," Hermione asked.
"I overheard snippets of a conversation last night while I was casing the library and it intrigued me. There's a lot going on in this school and frankly that bothers me, I need to know what's going on here and as fast as possible. I could of course, sneak around myself, but this little bugger will do the job a lot better and then report to the central computer via the Trunks main access point. We can then pick up the information daily, outside time, and review the highlights."
"It's a spy bot," Hermione said with a slight grin, then frowned slightly, "You can't keep calling it little bugger though. For one thing it's rude."
Harry rolled his eyes, sat back and thought about it then grinned, "Beebob one," he said and touched the spider releasing it from its bindings. The small robot got off its back and to its tiny clicking feet and then turned to face him.
"Beebob," Hermione asked.
"Trips off the tongue don't you think. Bob for short."
The next day was a weekend, allowing Harry to try out something he had wanted to work on for a while, though it did carry with it a hint of risk of discovery. So they waited until everyone had gone to Hogsmeade as was the usual practice of every single student in the school and then went outside to the quidditch pitch. Other than a single figure sat way up in the stands with blonde hair, they were pretty much alone.
Hermione smiled, "What are you planning then," she asked.
Harry dropped his trunk on the floor and opened it up; bring out several of what looked to be model airplanes from the storage compartment. "Yesterday while I was picking up my plants I picked up a load of model airplane parts and then went about attaching different drive systems to them. Then I hooked them all up using ht Protean charm so that I can use the controller to not only control the planes but get a visual feedback as well," he explained to her.
"Drive systems," Hermione asked looking very interested but casting a wary eye to the figure in the stands.
Harry nodded, "Nothing that would be immediately obvious as to what it was, but yeah drive systems. I've been cooking up a few for a while now."
"For..." she leaned close, "The ship."
"Yep, though at the moment only sub light drives," he told her.
"What about FTL," she asked.
"I actually have an idea about that, but that's not something to work on until the Christmas holidays."
"Have I ever told you how much I 'appreciate' your brains," Hermione said with a purr.
Harry smiled charmingly at her, "No, feel free to though."
Hermione planted a kiss on his lips that curled his toes and then pulled back with a soft expiration of air and a twinkle in her eyes, "Now hurry up and test I have other things I want to do with you today."
"Yes Ma'am," Harry said with a big smile. He settled the first plane, of the four identical looking planes on the floor and picked up what appeared to be a large radio controller, it had a great many switches and buttons on it though and that wasn't counting the actual physical controllers for the plane itself. He selected a frequency; though it wasn't radio waves he was working on and then looked around. "Only that girl up there you reckon," he asked.
"As far as I can see," Hermione admitted, "Most of the staff is in town with the students."
"Good," harry said and triggered the small plane into motion.
This drew the attention of the girl that had been sat in the stands and she watched entranced as the little craft taxied across the Quidditch pitch and then finally took off. Her brilliant blue eyes widened as it shot off like a rocket, moving far faster than it should have been and quickly gained altitude moving off into the cloudy sky.
On the ground Harry was watching the small monitor mounted on the controller and directing the craft that way, also shown were things like altitude and speed and a few other things. "It's based on the quantum computer," Harry said, "knocked it up this morning."
"Only you could knock up a quantum computer," Hermione said laughing.
"Well," Harry said smirking, "I needed to record flight data properly, which it's doing see," he said moving the controller over so Hermione could see it. Suddenly there was a muffled boom across the school and Harry grinned, "Sonic wave," he explained as the small craft crossed the sound barrier still heading upwards.
Hermione shook her head but her grin was still present, neither noticed that curiosity was getting the better of their observer and she was starting to move down towards them.
On the screen the small craft suddenly grew a magical shield that dimmed the view slightly as the craft started to go through the layers of the atmosphere.
"You're going into space!"
"I know - cool huh, " Harry said, "This drive is based on a sonic attenuation drive linked up to a magically enhanced power source, well magic IS the power source just converted to something else."
"You can do that," Hermione asked surprised.
"Of course," Harry said sounding smug, "How do you think I converted the main power source to produce electricity," he asked.
"That bright one," she asked, "I hadn't realised you did."
"We've been running on that for about a week now," he told her, "Probably should have told you that."
"Yes," Hermione said dryly, "though it is nice to be able to use my hair dryer."
"Right," Harry said assertively, "Quick loop round the moon then I'll self destruct."
"Self destruct," Hermione said sounding surprised again.
"Yeah this is a drive test, nothing more than that and they aren't hooked up to get back into Earth's atmo."
"Oh," she said, "Why not really let it find its legs though, try for the nearest planet."
"Take too long," Harry said with an apologetic shrug. "Once I find out the best drive, though I think I already know which it'll be given my calculations, then we'll do a full out speed test."
"Okay," Hermione said with a slight pout.
"Excuse me," a slightly timed voice said from behind them.
Hermione turned in surprise to see the girl from the stands, "Hello," Hermione said pleasantly.
The blonde, who was actually quite lovely, smiled back looking a little shy though, "Can I ask - what are you doing?"
Hermione smiled at the taller girl, "Well we're flying some airplanes, model airplanes. That is a type..."
The girl cut her off though, "I know what it is, I suppose you could compare me to a Muggleborn," she said waiting for the hammer to fall, though she hoped it wouldn't with two obviously Muggleborn students.
"Half and half myself," Harry said half turning and flashing her a charming smile that made the blonde blush vividly, "Pleased to meet you," he told the girl before turning back to his loop of the moon, the engine was pushing the small craft at amazing speeds, still sub-light but rather fast in earth terms. Then again he was using thirtieth century technology to power the poor thing which without the magical shield would have disintegrated by now. In some ways he wasn't just testing the engines he was testing his special shielding as well, getting telemetry back from that too.
"Muggleborn also, "Hermione said with a smile, noting that while she was in 'plain clothes' the girl had a Slytherin robe thrown over her shoulders to help with the cold. She could only imagine what it was like to be 'sort of' a Muggleborn in a pureblood house like that.
"How are you getting that to fly here of all places," The girl asked, "Oh I'm Daphne by the way."
"Just some ward work," Harry hedged like crazy.
"He's really quite clever, "Hermione said with a fond smile.
"But really a model airplane here, I mean that's amazing isn't it," Daphne asked.
"Not as much as you might think," Harry said triggering the self destruct, "Okay plan B," he said.
"Plan B," Daphne asked, though she was still blushing.
"Yeah set up a few different models to see which carried on working," Harry lied easily, "That other one just went boom."
"Oh," Daphne said, "Isn't that expensive?"
"Can be, but ultimately worth it," Hermione said with a smile. "So... how are you enjoying Hogwarts, looks like you're in our year."
"I am," Daphne said, and then looked nervous, "It's alright I suppose."
"Oh," Hermione said as Harry got the next small craft ready to go, "Are you not liking it. I wouldn't blame you until we urh - went on a self study course we weren't either." Hermione said indicating herself and Harry. Harry nodded his agreement to that statement and quickly set the next plane into a taxi.
Daphne watched it go with a smile in her eyes, she did so love planes, and they were quite amazing to her even after being brought up in the Muggle world. "That's amazing," she said backing up her thoughts with words.
"Thanks," Harry said, then directed the craft upwards.
"I can't say I've ever seen one fly that fast before," she admitted.
Hermione chuckled behind her hand, wondering how they could get out of that one.
"Tachyon pulse drive," Harry answered truthfully and then laughed, "Just a lot of lift here for some reason."
"Oh," Daphne said not sure she believed that.
They settled into conversation between them Daphne finally feeling like she was connecting to someone her own age in the school, if not her own house which was a balm to a weary soul. In the end Harry went through all his planes and all the associated drive systems before packing it all away. At that point they went and sat in the stands and started to chat about a host of subjects never giving themselves away but just making conversation with someone they could tell felt a little the same way they did about the venerable school of Hogwarts.
AN: Again they start at sixteen not 11, just to clarify This chapter is a little bit of filler but does advance the plot so bear with me, I've got a lot to get out in a fairly short amount of time while keeping everything running, so it's going to be fun for a while for me as writer to figure it all out. Currently I'm using a new piece of software to write my stories that will allow me to better plot out and write them, so I hope this will allow me to better keep up with updates. I'm invested in Harry Who right now because I think it has the potential to be an immersive universe in which to play. There's quite a lot to get through before I can really start having fun though so please to bear with me on that, for one thing I know some of you wonder why he still bothers with school, and I hope to have answered that in next chapter. Please do review, I love getting them, but IO also love to see my alerts total going up as well
Thanks for reading,