Sparked by Magic: Chapter 7

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"We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding." – Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed

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Sam jumped a bit as his cell phone vibrated in his pocket. Michaela shot him a quick look before going back to giving him the cold shoulder. Honestly, how many times did he have to apologize, he –

"Aren't you going to get that?" she asked sharply.

"Trying," he grunted, shifting to reach the phone. Sitting down as he was made it a little more difficult, but he managed. He looked at the caller I.D. and saw it was Miles. He pressed accept and brought the cell to his ear.

"Hey, Miles! It's great to hear from you bud, but this really isn't the best time. Michaela and I, we're sort of, well, there was some trouble at the college and…"

"Mr. Whitwicky, I'd like to speak to the mech acting as the commander of the Autobots," a static voice interrupted.

Sam's heart seemed to stop painfully for a moment. His breath caught, and Michaela spared a look of concern.

"You're not Miles," he said weakly, shooting a pointed look at Michaela. She understood and immediately waved over the two closest Autobots – Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

"No," the voice replied coolly. "I am not."

Sam swallowed thickly. He put the phone on speaker mode. "I swear, you Decepticon bastard, that you'll pay for this. Give Miles back or we'll tear you apart."

There was a moment of heavy silence.

"I am not a Decepticon," the voice said. "Your friend, Miles Lancaster is unharmed and currently mowing the lawn of his domicile. The Autobots can verify that through satellite imaging."

Sam looked desperately at Bee, who seemed to be staring at nothing. A moment later the yellow bot gave Sam a thumbs-up and an encouraging whistle.

Sam took a breath and a second to thank every god under the sun before the static voice spoke again.

"If that is all, I'd like to speak with the leader of the Autobots."

Sam held the cell up as Optimus stepped forward. "This is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. Who are you, and what is it you wished to speak with me about?"

"My designation is Skynet. I am part of a neutral party that has been attacked twice by the Decepticon faction. We wish for information about and protection from the Decepticon threat, and are willing to exchange services for your assistance."

"What sort of services?" Optimus asked, curious.

"The militant sort," the voice replied. "One of our number is also skilled in repair work, should it be needed."

Optimus took a moment to consider. This could be a Decepticon trap. On the other hand, this really could be an innocent neutral party that needed help, and ignoring that plea for help went against both the Autobot code as well as his personal beliefs.

"We should meet in person," he replied. "Further discussion of this could be overheard with this mode of communication." He didn't say that he was hoping they could catch this group out if they were lying. Body language could reveal a lot about a mech or femme, and Ratchet was very good at discerning a lie from truth with his medical background and centuries of experience.

"I have taken measures to insure that that possibility is unlikely, but I understand your concerns," Skynet replied. "Where would you like to meet?"

Optimus gave the location of an abandoned warehouse about a day's drive from their base as well as giving a three day time period from today to meet.

"You're really going to meet with them?" Sam asked after the call disconnected.

"Yes, but not alone; Ironhide, Ratchet, and Arcee will be coming with me. If this is a Decepticon trap, we will be ready to counterattack. I shall leave Bumblebee, Mudflap, and Skids here to help protect the base while we are gone."

Optimus left then to inform the others, as well as their human allies about the new situation.

))O((

In the Arctic Skynet shared a look with Night Watch. The three day period would be a short amount of time to make it to the warehouse. Luckily, their Creator was very much present and very much willing to help.

All that was left to decide was who would be going and who would be staying behind. It was eventually decided that Skynet, as the mech who had opened the initial communication, should go. Considering mechs could get hurt if a fight broke out, Patch Up was needed nearby. Haul, as her assistant, would go with her. As Harry was acting as transportation Night Watch would go as well, and where those two went Chatter insisted on following. Sunstorm and Scramble insisted on coming too, not wanting to leave their trinemate so far away and in possible danger.

The only problem with this was they didn't wish to appear overly hostile. Sunstorm's past affiliations wouldn't help with that, and neither would their numbers. Night Watch suggested that their Creator make some of their number invisible until the meeting was concluded.

"We can later 'meet up' with the rest of our group at a separate location should things go well," he said. "Should things go poorly, we will have the element of surprise."

"Who should be invisible?" Harry wondered.

"Scramble and Sunstorm," Night Watch replied. "I also suggest making yourself invisible, along with Chatter and myself."

Harry agreed and began molding his magic. He wanted his children invisible, but not to each other. He concentrated and wrapped his magic around them. Once the spell settled, Harry had everyone hold hands while he perched on Night Watch's shoulder. A twist of power and they were gone, spirited away to the state of Washington, not far from the Canadian border.

))O((

Soundwave waited patiently, keeping an eye on the Arctic and Autobots both. There was no indication of activity on either end. Megatron would not be pleased to wait long, but there was little Soundwave could do. Laserbeak didn't share the hardware that allowed Ravage to travel the Arctic without malfunctioning, and Ravage was busy elsewhere.

There was nothing to do but wait.

))O((

On the day of the meeting, a white Seeker led two of his companions into the empty warehouse where the meeting with the Autobots was to take place. There were others already inside – six, to be precise. Three of them were more feminine than the others and looked remarkably alike. The three other mechs were the only ones he could recognize. The footage from Mission City regarding the battle had been hard won – the government officials responsible for covering up the events had been remarkably thorough, but they couldn't hide everything.

The tallest was supposedly the leader, Optimus Prime. It was to him Skynet bowed his head.

"I am Skynet, the one who contacted you. These two are Patch Up and Haul, also members of our neutral party. Have you thought about our offer?"

Skynet noticed that the green-yellow ambulance, whose name Skynet was frustratingly unaware of, was closely watching him. Skynet kept his body language casual and calm and as far from threatening as he could.

Optimus nodded.

"I have, but before I agree I wish to know more about your group. You must understand that we are in a precarious position and must be cautious as to who we allow among us."

"I understand," the Seeker said flatly. "There are eight members of our group. Patch Up is the medic of whom I spoke, and Haul is her assistant. There are the other two members of my trine, a mini-bot, and our tactical commander; their names in order are Sunstorm…"

"Sunstorm?" the second largest, black mech interrupted loudly. "As in Starscream's clone?"

Skynet nodded sharply, "Yes. He is no longer a Decepticon, but has declared neutrality and joined with our group. He is willing to help."

"I was not aware Sunstorm had a trine," Optimus said calmly. /Ratchet?/

/Everything I've seen so far seems to indicate he speaks the truth/ the medic sent back quickly.

"It is a recent development," the white Seeker replied. His voice was as monotonous as it had been from the start and gave nothing of his irritation away. He disliked being interrupted.

"The second of our trine is known as Scramble," he continued. "The mini-bot is Chatter, and is partnered with our tactical commander, Night Watch. The last member of our party is a human who helped us assimilate to this planet and is identified as 'Harry'."

Optimus was quite curious about that. If it was true they had a human with them, as neither a prisoner nor servant, it would be incredibly unlikely that they were Decepticons. He wanted to see this human for himself. It was a shame Harry had not been brought along.

"Would it be possible to speak with the rest of your group?" Optimus asked.

"Yes," the Seeker said. "They are not far, should you wish to meet with them."

"I would," Optimus replied. "After we have all had a chance to speak and be introduced, I will make my final decision."

Skynet simply nodded and led the way out of the warehouse. He sent Night Watch a data package regarding the meeting as they exited and then transformed, leading the way to the predestined "meeting" location.

))O((

Soundwave was very confused. He had noticed and followed the movements of the Autobots, whom had then proceeded to meet members of the neutral group Soundwave had been looking for. This ruined the ambush plans Soundwave had originally proposed to Lord Megatron; they were supposed to ambush the group before they had a chance to join the Autobots. How had they evaded his notice? There had been no indication the group had left the Arctic. Was it possible they had access to technology equal to Sentinel Prime's space-bridge?

If so, it would make things much more difficult, but also made the group much more valuable.

He began a report to send to Lord Megatron about this recent development and sent a data package to Laserbeak regarding a change of orders. They would have to change their plans now if there were to be any chance of success at retrieving the third Allspark shard, and to make those plans Soundwave needed accurate reconnaissance.

))O((

It seemed like no time at all had passed before Skynet arrived, the Autobots trailing behind him. Harry and his group were now visible and Harry could feel as the Autobots' eyes raked over his children and him. There was a discrete buzz in the air as they were looked over. Harry recognized it from when his own children would privately communicate with each other – Skynet and Night Watch in particular. A part of Harry bristled – the Autobots were judging them, felt they had the right to judge them, talking about them privately to their faces

"I believe I have been remiss," Prime said, interrupting Harry's train of thought. "We haven't properly introduced ourselves. As your companion seems to know, I am Optimus Prime. My friends here are Ratchet, Ironhide, and Arcee."

Optimus gestured to each as they were introduced. To Harry's curiosity, the Prime waved to each of the feminine trio as he said "Arcee". Did they share the same name? He wanted to ask, but didn't want to accidently offend her if it was something private. What a first impression that would make!

So of course Chatter asked, despite being told that it would be best to leave the talking to Night Watch until an agreement had been made. Luckily, the trio didn't take offense. They seemed mostly amused, in fact.

"Well," she said, "we're a split-spark. We know it's tradition to put the split sparks in mini-bot cassettes, but we were a special case. It's usually a mech who has that ability, so they have the room to carry cassettes. We don't, so we did this. As for why we share the name?" she shrugged. "We're all Arcee, all a part of the original spark, and it helps to confuse the enemy."

Chatter nodded enthusiastically, but stayed silent after Night Watch sent him a private comm. It was time for negotiations.

"My designation is Night Watch," he said. "As Skynet informed you, I am the tactical officer of this group. It was also myself who was on the receiving end of both Decepticon attacks. I'm sure you understand my desire to prevent such a thing from happening again. We are willing to trade military and medical support for your assistance in this."

Optimus nodded his head, but found most of his attention drawn to the human sitting on the dark mech's shoulder.

Noticing the Autobot's attention, Harry waved. "As Skynet has probably told you, my name's Harry Potter. I've been sort of the bridge between this lot and Earth."

That, at least, was true. Harry wasn't particularly good at lying, which was part of the reason most of the talking would be left to his first-born. That was the plan, at least. First plans don't tend to survive first contact, as Optimus proved with his following question, pointedly aimed at Harry.

"How did you all come together?" Optimus asked him.

"Well," Harry began slowly. "We first met in England. I was about to be…well, I was about to be victimized before Night Watch revealed himself. He stayed with me for a while, to make sure I wasn't put in that situation again. Later I met Chatter, and was introduced to the rest on the way to their base north of here. I'd become sort of embedded in their situation at that point, seeing as how I was with Night Watch when he'd been attacked the first time."

'There,' he thought, 'that's close enough to the truth to get away with saying it.'

And that was best, considering how closely the one named Ratchet was watching him. It made him nervous, but he kept eye contact. From what he'd been told – from Hermione – a common tell of liars was an inability to look directly in the eyes of whom they were lying to. Or something like that. He couldn't really remember. The amount of random information Hermione tried to stuff down Ron and his throats was absolutely ridiculous.

"When was it you were attacked?" Iron Hide asked suspiciously.

Night Watch picked up from there, describing the attacks. This was another thing they didn't have to lie about, thankfully.

Then, Optimus gave his first-born a very penetrating stare and asked with all graveness: "And where is your Allspark shard?"

There was an awkward silence. None of them knew what he was talking about – not even Skynet. Sunstorm had been under the impression the Allspark was destroyed, and none of them knew what use a shard of the broken relic could be, or why Optimus thought they had one.

"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about," Night Watch admitted frankly. It was painful for both he and Skynet to admit that even to themselves, but this wasn't something they expected. There was no carefully crafted answer to this question. There was no lie they could be sure would be convincing, no argument they could make in their favor.

Which was why he fervently thanked their Creator when a distraction made itself known – an excuse to buy them time to figure out what in the Void these mechs were talking about.

/There is something on the roof/ Skynet reported. /It's small, bird-like. It's listening in./

Night Watch sent a solemn look at the Autobots' leader and hailed him for a private conversation. He relayed what Skynet reported and sent, /We shouldn't talk about this with a spy around/.

/No, we shouldn't. But I expect an answer when we are in the privacy of our base./

/You've decided, then?/ Night Watch asked.

/I have. We'll have a trial run to see how you fit in among us. We have a tentative alliance with the humans of this planet, particularly this country. We can't risk it, not when we are surrounded by the enemy./

/I understand/ Night Watch replied blandly. /Now, if you will give my compatriot a moment, I believe we'll have a gift to ease the way./

Skynet nodded shallowly to Night Watch's private suggestion. From his upper pectoral armor slithered a dark gray hard-link communication cable. Skynet hid the extending cable in the shadows of the building and kept it close to the wall, out of sight of their interloper. Slowly, quietly, he positioned it. Without warning, he struck. The outer 'claws' at the end of the cable gripped the metallic bird's long neck as smaller wires slid out in search of any weak spots. Finally, he found one, and connected himself to the spy's hardwire. It took less than a minute to force the spy into recharge mode and ensure he'd stay that way until Skynet decided otherwise. He took the time from pulling the spy in to sift through its immediate memory files.

/It – his name is Laserbeak/ he reported. /He's one of Soundwave's cassettes. Apparently, the Decepticons also think we have this Allspark shard the Autobots mentioned./

Night Watch showed none of his frustration. He merely asked, "Will this do?"

Optimus looked at Laserbeak with a sort of distant shock. "It will," he intoned.

Indeed, what greater hostage than a cassette? Soundwave would go to great lengths to have him back, especially considering how many of his cassettes have already perished over the course of the war. If Optimus remembered correctly, Ravage and Laserbeak were the only ones still alive. And here he had one. It was also a pretty good indicator that this group wasn't some Decepticon trap; Soundwave wouldn't give one of his last remaining cassettes over on a silver platter, and Megatron tended to humor his loyal third-in-command.

"Welcome," he said, a little more composed.

/I found what they meant by an Allspark shard/ Skynet told Night Watch. /And why they think we have one/.

/And?/

/Sunstorm won't react well to this blasphemy. They think the Allspark shard is the source of our sparks./

Night Watch almost missed a step as they followed the Autobots outside.

/Blasphemy indeed/. He ended the communication with the white seeker and allowed Skynet to focus all his remaining attention on the symbiotic mech carefully wrapped in one of his two cables.

'This,' he decided, 'is going to be very hard to explain'.

He transformed and opened his driver-side door for their Creator. Once his Creator was strapped in and they were on the road once more, he very softly admitted that they had a problem.

"What is it?" his Creator asked.

Night Watch then had the very uncomfortable duty of informing his Creator of the two decisions before them. They could lie about the shard and deny Harry's true role in their making, or they could admit the truth and face what consequences came. Part of Night Watch greatly preferred the latter. To outright deny the miracle their Creator provided them was so…wrong. It was the ultimate blasphemy, the ultimate disrespect, the worst lie that could ever pass his vocalizer.

He would speak it if his Creator asked it of him. He would face his fellow mechs' anger at doing it, would even take what attacks Sunstorm would level against him if his Creator but asked it of him.

Fortunately, his Creator didn't ask it of him.

"Perhaps," his Creator said, "Perhaps it would be better to speak the truth in this. If we say it was a shard they will want proof we can't give. When it's revealed to be a lie, we'll lose any trust we might've won."

"Agreed," Night Watch said, his relief hidden to all but his Creator, who knew him through and through.

))O((

Skynet refused to turn over Laserbeak to the medic known as Ratchet. There was every risk of losing the information contained in the cassette if Skynet relinquished his hard-link connection to him. His rival Soundwave was already trying to clean his cassette's processor of critical data, and Skynet had little attention to spare simply holding him back. The symbiotic link the two shared was incredibly strong; it seemed to connect their very sparks, not quite unlike his own trine-bond. If Skynet had been any-mech else, Soundwave would've already stolen away all sensitive information.

As it was, Skynet was the one who'd caught Laserbeak, and his Creator's gift allowed him to create strong enough walls to keep even Soundwave out of Laserbeak's processor. To the Decepticon's credit, it would've been impossible for him if he hadn't been connected to Laserbeak's hardware - such was the strength of their symbiotic connection. And even still, Soundwave proved to be such a distraction that sorting through Laserbeak's processor was taking longer than it should.

'I have the time I need,' he thought patiently. 'Do you, Soundwave?'

He carefully brought the spy into his body as he transformed, cutting the mental ties to all but one of his chosen satellites so he could concentrate on flying as well as hacking.

'I don't think you do,' he thought as he read over an interesting data-file.

The Decepticons were starving. There had been an energon shortage before the war, and the war just made it worse. The resources the Decepticons were harvesting from other planets made passable energon for peacetime, but the energy demanded by constant fighting made it insufficient for the long-term.

They were slowly starving to death. Their only hope was an old piece of technology that could harvest the energy released by a star's destruction and refine it into rich energon. One of the only Sun Harvesters known to still exist was here, on Earth. Now that the Allspark was destroyed, it was their last hope of survival.

'How fragile a hope that is, when your enemy has already shown a willingness to destroy even the Allspark.'

He sent a data-package to Night Watch regarding what he'd found and then refocused to the treasure trove the spy's processor was proving to be.

))O((

Between a small mountain, a lake, and a forest, there was a castle. In this majestic place a young witch stroked the feathers of a snowy owl and watched the horizon with concern. Her thoughts of her absent friend were interrupted by the back-wing flaps of a brown tawny owl that landed beside her.

"For me?" she muttered. At the owl's impatient hoot, Hermione untied the letter from the owl's leg.

The letter was from her mother, who had used the Wizarding Postal Service instead of waiting for Hermione to send a school owl.

When Hermione read the beginning contents of the letter, she understood her mother's haste.

Your friend, Harry, called.

She greedily read the rest of the letter, gave her farewells to Hedwig, and dashed from the postal tower to find Ron. They would need to go to the Headmaster to share the message, but first she wanted to find Ron. He would want to know – would want to know that Harry was alive and okay and, as usual, had found himself in trouble. She nearly cried in relief. There were hints to a war even more devastating than Voldemort's, but there was room to worry about that later. Harry was alive!

))O((

Sirius Black paced quickly by the fireplace while Remus watched, worried.

"You've been at this for nearly a quarter-hour, Padfoot. What on Earth did Albus tell you?"

Sirius froze and shot a wide-eyed look to his oldest living friend. "How long have you been there?"

"Since you took your head out of the fire," Remus replied. "What did he tell you?"

Sirius ran a hand through his hair, looking disbelieving. A moment later and he threw his head back, laughing.

"Sirius," Remus said slowly. "Are you alright?"

The laughter slowed until all that was left of it was in his eyes and smile. "Yeah, Moony, I think I am. Harry's alive."

"I'm glad you're – wait, what?"

Sirius grabbed his shocked friend in a tight hug and repeated, "Harry's alive. He's alive, Moony, he's really alive!"

And if the two men cried a little, well, no one else was around to know.

))O((

Voldemort narrowed his eyes at his presented servant. "Do you have a location?"

"N-no," Draco stuttered. "W-weasley asked, but the mudblood didn't know."

Voldemort twitched his wand in the boy's direction and felt a wave of cruel amusement as the shaking boy jumped.

"Find out, or you'll have another taste of the cruciatus. Am I understood?"

"Yes, milord, I hear and I obey."

The young Malfoy bowed and then carefully made his way out of the room. His mother was waiting on the other side, a look of resigned horror on her face as she took in the sight of her tortured son. She had a potion in hand and gestured for him to drink it. He took it, and a handful of floo powder that would take him to his godfather's office.

Severus Snape was waiting on the other side and escorted him back to the Slytherin dorms.

))O((

The following weekend the Order of the Phoenix gathered in Grimmauld Place, which had been acting as their Headquarters. Dumbledore was at the head of the table which seated many of the Old Order as well as many fresh faces. These new members had taken oaths and had voluntarily submitted themselves to Veritiserum to verify their identity and intentions. He wouldn't allow another Pettigrew to happen as long as he drew breath. His old friend Moody heartily approved.

"We are gathered here today to go over both good news and bad, to evaluate current events and devise what retaliation we should put into effect."

He glanced over his glasses at the group and decided to give the most relieving 'good news' last. Harry was safe where he was for the moment, and there was much that needed to be planned today. He couldn't have these good people distracted from their sworn duty.

"We have, over the course of the last month, managed to intercept no less than five attacks. This is thanks to our spies in the Death Eater camp. Unfortunately, we have still suffered fatalities, and the Minister remains convinced that this is no more than random attacks. He won't recognize that Voldemort is back, that these efforts are coordinated, and that immediate military action is required to push him back."

He allowed them a moment to grumble about the general incompetence of the Fudge Administration.

"Fortunately, Minister Fudge's seat will soon be free to a voted candidate. The Old Guard and I have begun pushing Madame Bones as a replacement, and it has been gathering favor with all but the Purists."

"Death Eater sympathizers," Moody growled lowly. There was a general agreement amongst them all at the notion.

Albus gave him a grave nod and then continued by saying, "Our members in the Auror department have been feeling out their fellows for their views in order to determine the possibility of sympathizers amongst their number. Thankfully, there aren't many. Most of them are related to muggles, or muggleborn, and hold great respect for Madame Bones. Tonks has determined that there may be a few willing to join our own numbers."

Nymphadora Tonks nodded. "I'm thinking about approaching some of them on their off-shifts. There's about five I can cover over the next two weeks. There's about three that I think might be either sympathizers or neutral. I've got a list here of both groups."

Albus accepted the list and looked it over. "Thank you, Tonks. I think it would be best for Moody, Fletcher, and Hestia to keep an ear to ground about these people while you approach the others."

He quickly duplicated the list and handed the copies to the three mentioned people.

"It has been reported to me that we can expect another two attacks over the next week. We know the location of one, but we'll have to rely on the Taboo of the Unforgivables to find the other. I want you, Kingsley, to prepare the aurors we're sure about so they are ready to respond when I call you. Make sure they're willing to accept our help beforehand. I don't want them fighting us after we've confronted the Death Eaters."

"I've already a few ideas on who to approach. I'll give you the list later," Kingsley said.

"Please do," Albus replied. "I want Freyson and O'reily on the standard medical kits and Yates on distractions and traps. I know Fred and George Weasley have been developing some interesting projects that may be of use, so don't hesitate to contact them about it. Kendall, I want you and Corbel to be ready to evacuate the non-combatants. Hutching, I want you on fire-suppressants and shields to help the evacuations."

He made sure those he called nodded before he moved onto the next order of business.

"I want everyone else willing and able to combat the Death Eaters to raise their hands."

It was an acceptable number for the plan they knew the location of. He didn't know if it would for the other. Hopefully, the supportive aurors would make up for any difference they had in numbers and ability. He hoped to have some new recruits by them as well.

"Moody, I want you to make sure everyone is prepared and any new recruits follow our training regimen. Redfield, I want you to help with that when Moody is otherwise occupied. Bill, what's our situation on the Goblin front."

Bill Weasley shook his head. "They won't support us, but they won't support the Death Eaters either. They're pretty firm in their decision of neutrality."

Albus sighed. "That wasn't unexpected. Remus, what's the word with the werewolf community."

Remus gave a half-hearted smile. "Aside from Fenrir's pack, the rest are pretty determined to have nothing to do with this. Most of those with muggle blood plan on moving, and those that don't have the resources or desire to move plan to hide amongst the muggles. The pureblooded werewolves are split between them and Fenrir."

That, at least, was relatively good news. He'd expected most to side with Voldemort with his promises of better rights. Rights he probably wouldn't give them in the end. Knowing that at least part of the community knew better and wouldn't cause them trouble came as a great relief.

He looked to Hagrid and asked after the giants.

"Well, most all of 'em I talked ta seem ta think that Voldemort's the guy to go with. They dun really care 'bout the offer of rights so much. They jus wanna break stuff, an' fight."

Albus felt like he was sighing much too much, but it couldn't be helped. "Also expected – thank you Hagrid."

He turned to Minerva and Filius. "We'll need more automatons to support the animated armors and statues; I want some for Hogwarts and for the homes of each Order member. Madame Bones is also a person of interest that we can't risk. I'll get into contact with her about it and help you when I can. If there are any others you know skilled enough to help, don't hesitate in asking them, as you'll be quite busy during the school year. We need these guards as soon as possible."

He met the eyes of each of his Order. "We must be prepared. Ensure your homes are safe, keep your medical kits with you at all times, and don't ever travel alone. Keep your emergency portkeys at hand and don't hesitate to use them if you find yourself in a compromised position. Don't put yourself in undue risk."

"As for myself, my attention will be split between the Wizenmagot and other assorted political bodies. The first and most important thing I bring up will be related to the security of Azkaban and the questioning of suspected Death Eaters. Can I trust in your support Madame Longbottom?"

"You certainly can," the woman replied sharply. "And I hope there's a clause keeping people like Malfoy from simply claiming Imperius or buying their way out."

Albus smiled. "Veritiserum may be involved as a requirement on charges of murder and terrorism."

Madame Longbottom nodded, pleased.

Albus shot a quick look around before deciding that now would be the best time.

"Harry Potter is confirmed as alive. He is in a safe place and is guarded at all times."

There was a cacophony of sound as the members spoke over each other. He was very glad he left this for last. He was quite sure that they were too distracted for anything but flooing home.

The smiles made it worth it though. The Weasleys, Sirius, and Remus glowed the brightest in their happiness. It made an old man feel young again.

))O((

When Harry and his children made their way into the base, one of the first things Harry saw were two other young humans on a high rail. One of them was drinking out of a water bottle, but placed it aside when she saw the group. It didn't matter, the damage had been done.

'When was the last time I ate or drank anything?'

He was disturbed when he found that he honestly couldn't remember.

))O((

Author's Note: So, yay for the longest chapter of the bunch! It took a long time for me to finally get to finish it, and I ended up changing the plans I had for it originally. Writing Hagrid (spelling right?) was a b***h though. I always have trouble with his accent. Thank you to all who have reviewed and PM'd me for all previous chapters, and all who do for this and future chapters. It really makes me feel happy and it's always good to get constructive criticism. Also, it's nice to know when your work's appreciated. Thanks as well to all readers, even if you haven't reviewed, for sticking with me! I hope you all have enjoyed the story, and continue to enjoy it!

For those who are wondering, Skynet didn't know the Autobots/Decepticons saw what Harry did for Sunstorm. The government/Autobots removed it before Skynet was sparked – please, remember that Sunstorm was out for a day; the other guys had plenty of time to secure the footage. As for the information they couldn't keep from Skynet; I imagine there were some people who posted videos from cell-phones or other devices, at differing times and/or multiple times, and the other guys couldn't remove all of it immediately. This allowed Skynet to catch on to what was happening, including hearing Optimus referred to by name. He didn't, however, catch the names of the others.

Also, Night Watch wasn't planning to lie outright, but to tell their story in such a way that it wasn't clear that Harry actually made them. Like in Harry's story, it fits with what happened but doesn't outright declare Harry created them and leads the others to an alternate conclusion. To outright deny what Harry really did is what they view as wrong. There were other things they were prepared to lie about, but never that.

Please review to tell me what you think or point things out that I might have missed as incorrect. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to PM them to me.