Chapter 45- Preliminary Decisions and Disjointed Explanations
Draco and his new friends were enjoying their stay upon the new planet but where feeling a little antsy in that they where wondering when they would be back on Voyager in anticipation of the voyage back to 20th century earth. It was to be soon that much they knew but anticipation made the wait seem longer.
The sound of the water lapping the shoreline was soothing even as Vedieon was trotting through the surf and enjoying the feel of sand against the frogs of his hooves. He and Mogar where obviously fast friends as the small Goblin had joined him in racing through the waves, laughing as the water splashed them both.
Ignis the small dragon was exploring the skies just above where Maraga and Draco where sitting and watching the antics of their fellow friends. After some time passed the small Centaur approached them.
Maraga, "Draco..." Vedeion's voice was a little hesitant. "We are family now... right?"
"An unusual one at best but yes I believe so." Draco answered , "Why are you asking? Are you not comfortable with the idea?"
"Oh yes.. but I have been feeling the urge to ask the Captain if I could become part of her crew." The young centaur looked out toward the forest where the herd of Centaurs now resided. "I mean it is nice and all to see the others forming a herd and all but it just doesn't feel right for me somehow. Then there is the fact I have magic like you humans do."
"I see, and The fact that you have a magic core that is different from your own kind concerns you." Maraga spoke thoughtfully, "I can see why you wish to join Voyager as a member of her crew. After all there are a few magical folk on board who could help you."
"If you came to earth you would learn to control your magic at Hogwarts but then there are the Centaur herds that reside in the Forbidden Forests who are leery of Wizarding folk and as such you might become an outcast also. I understand why you think Voyager just may be your best bet." Draco agreed with Maraga's assessment. "I must return to Earth during a time where the kind of space travel we have experienced is only a dream that hopes to become a reality." Draco answered back. "But what has it to do with the fact that Maraga and I consider you as family?"
"You know... Once we return to your planet..."
Maraga sprang up and hugged the young Centaur around his broad chest. "Oh you silly, no matter where or When you find yourself, you'll always be family."
"Anyway I will have you know that Arturus and Draconus will still be on board, and I am positive they will not only help you control your magic but also treat you and Mogar - if he wishes to stay- as family also."
"Then I won't offend you if I do?" The relief in Vedeions voice was quite evident. "I just didn't want to make you think I was abandoning my new family for this chance to live my life differently from my kind and see other... cultures."
"You have just gotten a taste of what this lifestyle is like so naturally you would wish to experience more of it." Maraga nodded as she raised her arms over her head and spread them widely. "There is so much more to life than what our people have been living with on Venificus Magus and even though I choose to go with Draco to his home planet- here on Novus Venificus Magus there will be much to see and learn about for those who stay and raise their families."
"Maraga and I are going to live back on Earth. I would love to continue on board Voyager myself but I know I need to help make the dream come true by going back and investing the Malfoy Money in ways to ..."
"Build the bridge to understanding between Muggles and Magical folk." The melodic voice of Merlin finished his thoughts. "I think those ships to the stars are such wonderful muggle inventions."
"A bit melodramatic Merlin but I have to admit spot on." A touch of humour laced the dry sarcastic velvety voice of Severus Snape as he cut in. "I came to let you know that I will be gone shortly as I am going back myself with Slithers and his Basaliskan crew to remove the colony of Acramantulas from the Forbidden Forest and transfer them back to their planet to breed and feed his people for many centuries to come.
"With Aragog gone I suppose it is for the best to remove the rest of the acramantulas. They only put up with Hagrid because of Aragog. Too dangerous to consider leaving them alone without being contained. Never thought that they would become a viable food source though." sighed Albus Dumbledore as he looked apologetically toward Slithers, "As much as I would like to experience adventures and live here on this new wonderful planet I feel that there is something that I need to finish back on Earth. I'm not exactly sure what that is- other than helping defeat Voldemort. "
"The Acramantulas will be kept upon a large warded island where they can live and breed. We will hunt for only what is needed for our families to eat." Slithers answered. "Our people have learned the hard way that it is not acceptable to hunt a species to extinction. It was quite "
"Will you be staying there Professors... or should I say Ambassadors?" Draco looked concerned as he looked back and forth between the three wizards and the Basiliskian.
"No I won't stay Draco. My path has been altered and I have agreed to be the Ambassador between Slithers people and Star Fleet. But... be not concerned as in time we will meet again."
"Of that I am sure. Severus and I will also be part of Novus Venificus Magus as their Magical representatives to not only Star Fleet but also the Cardilians and Basiliskans." Merlin winked even as he pulled out a tin from the pocket of his robe and opening it offered lemon drops to each of them.
"Now that simple action is positive proof that you are related to Dumbledore." Draco chortled even as he felt a few tears starting to slide down his cheeks.
"It is time to go." Slithers hissed softly as he watched the interactions between Snape and Malfoy, an image passed through his mind and knowing it was a promise sent by Q he said, "I believe that we will meet each other again young Draco though you will be much older."
The group walked silently over to the massive ship and once again Severus gently reached out and held Draco's chin between his thumb and finger. " Draco, I must go but promise me that you will take
what you have learned during this amazing journey and keep it and all your friends safe within your heart."
"I will sir."
After the Basiliskian ship departed with Snape on board Sirius Black felt he needed some advice before making his decision and approached the one person he knew and hoped could help. Albus Dumbledore was watching the building of what was to become the new school. It wasn't fancy, definitely nothing like Hogwarts but it was a start. Sensing the Animagis approaching him he turned with his trademark twinkling blue eyes and a genial smile on his weathered face.
"Sirius, It is such a wonderful honour to be at the beginnings of a new settlement even if the culture itself is older than any I have imagined."
"Yes sir, I suppose it is." Sirius answered as he wasn't too interested in history other than what he had experienced himself back on Earth and had pondered on since. "I am sure they will do what they can with their fresh start and all."
"What is on your mind my young friend." Albus asked knowing but wanting Sirius to verbalize his concerns.
" I assume it has something to do with not only your Godson harry back on Earth but the three youngsters who have become quite attached to you."
"Yes, that is it." Sirius nodded with relief."I want to help my Godson Harry finish off Voldemort but now that I have Dulcis, Pollax and Leonia depending on me I really don't know..."
"Their safety is paramount along with your wish to help your Godson in the fight against Voldemort." Albus looked thoughtful .
"Yes sir, I am thinking that it would not be safe to bring the three youngsters home to encounter death before they have a chance to live. Here they have that chance. I don't know if I could enjoy this wonderful bounty of peace knowing that I have the chance to return and fight alongside my Godson." Sirius looked torn between the two major decisions upon which his and that of the youngsters futures laid. "I want to do what is right but which path should I choose. I know that everyone back home assumes I am dead and will carry on but I am not and therein is my dilemma."
"We as humans whether muggle or wizarding folk take risks, when confronted , seize opportunities with both hands. Many meet change with willing adaptability even if it means often getting hurt. We cannot escape sorrow and pain and disappointment. But I have found during my long life- like Death itself they will have lost their sting. " Albus "Treasure the times of peace and prosperity, the Children's laughter at play, All the goodness of life for unfortunately, in the scheme of things there comes times of misery, war and strife which cannot be totally avoided ."
Sirius raised his right arm and rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "I know either way there are risks involved. This may be a new planet where there has been no indications of trouble yet, but I am sure there will be in time some measure of strife and hardship. As for going to Earth, I do not fear for my own self but that of Dulcis, Pollax and Leonia. Then there is my concern for Harry and the known dangers back home. I need advice and you are the most powerful wizard I know."
"I may appear powerful to you my dear Sirius but that is because I have assumed the bearing of courage and self-confidence- but at heart I have to admit to being frightened at times and vulnerable." Albus responded as he thought of the wand he now possessed that had reputedly belonged to Salazar Slytherin and Draconus' comment "In my time everyone knew it had been found and that it had been used in the battle against Voldemort."
"Before I forget dear Sirius, I have here the wand of Salazar Slytherin." Albus pulled out the wand from his sleeve to show the shocked younger wizard. It is as you can tell an elder wand.
"But...but you are against Voldemort and his followers... exclaimed Sirius as he stared in bewilderment while wondering where Albus had found one of the founders wands. 'Why it wasn't Godric Griffindors wand' he thought.
"Yes Sirius I am against what Voldemort stands for and that of his followers. But then they did not all come from Slytherin." Albus's eyes twinkled as they bored into Sirius own. "Peter was a Griffindor."
Sirius' eyes flared slightly with anger at the memory of Peters betrayal of James and Lilly. "But why are you telling me?
"I wish you to learn a basic fact that I regrettably ignored at times. Not all you meet are what they seem. This wands made of yew are reputed to endow its possessor with the power of life and death, however that could be said of any wand when faced with an adversary. Also those who are chosen by a wand like this are often attracted to the dark arts but then again might equally prove a fierce protector of others."
"So it is true Salazar Slytherin was a dark wizard." Sirius grasped onto the part of the explanation.
"Sirius... you really are a blockhead at times." sighed Albus, "I must admit that when I was young, I too found the dark arts were... interesting but do you think I am a Dark wizard?"
"No sir! Sirius objected strenuously, " Everyone knows you are a stalwart defender of the light."
"Yet here I am with Slytherins wand which accepted me."
Sirius' eyes glazed over slightly and his mouth dropped open. "But you aren't dark!"
"No and neither was Salazar Slytherin. Ask Merlin he knew the founders. He told me that Salazar Slytherin was a fierce protector and worried that in bringing muggleborn students into the castle was very dangerous in that it would have brought the attention of the Witchhunter General towards the school and hence , in his opinion all the children would have been in danger of being murdered by hysterical muggles.
"Merlin...knew. The. Founders?" Sirius blinked, "Why are you telling me all this?"
"I just wanted you to know and understand that you need to look at the whole individual and not as a member of any particular house." answered Albus. "To do otherwise is to carry unnecessary baggage and guilt."
Deciding to ponder later on upon Albus' vague references -Sirius shrugged then returned to the main reason he had approached Albus. "But I still have to decide as to whether or not I will return to Earth with my new family."
"You know in your heart what you must do as I and everyone else here knows . Each of our paths my diverge in different directions but ultimately find even our individual quests sometimes need to rise to the challenges that arise... Especially when still free to choose. For example. I know as do you of those who were still free to choose safety and ignore the plight of their friends and neighbours but had chosen the moral way of honour and decency to the almost certain ruin of their individual lives."
Albus paused and then said, "I may be returning to Earth myself as of yet I really haven't got anything here to anchor myself to and alter my choices." His head bowed slightly and in a softer barely audible voice said, "But I feel that I do have a responsibility back on Earth. " He raised his eyes and looking squarely into those of Sirius spoke strongly and firmly, ""Thank You for taking the time to listening to the ramblings of this old wizard.- But now you do Sirius and I think the Q has set this path in front of you. Ask them what they think and I think you may be surprised as to what your choice will be."
"Here we go Mr Ollivander. I am sure you have met Miss Burbage." Q/Snape said as he brought the elderly wizard to the sickbay and settled him on a bio bed The medical sensors started to go haywire as they gathered information.
The confused and bewildered wizard was wondering how Snape had managed to apparate him from the warded cell and was quite bemused to find himself in a strange looking room with funny bleeps and blipping sounds. He was further startled and stared when the figure appeared out of thin air and asked, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency"
"I thought you would appreciate another patient in need of rest and relaxation Doc."
"You do remember we are just a starship not a hotel Q." the Doctor asked as he examined Mr Ollivander. "This fellow is just a rack, he needs to take in more nourishment "
"I am sure he knows Doc, The service was a bit sparse where he had been kept." Q/Snape answered dryly, "There is a war going on... in the wizarding world... of 20th century earth."
"I don't have enough to do in our own century that you've got to bring me more?" the Doctor asked."At least I have to give you credit in that you do keep me from becoming bored with my life."
"Your a hologram. A computer generated image." Q/Snape teasingly baited the Doctor.
"A Medical hologram to be precise and as sentient as any other being." the Doctor declared with pride as he continued to watch the monitor that was compiling the information from the examinations of his patients.
"Since Ambassador Snape has departed with the Basilkans, You cannot be him." sated Chief of security Tuvok as he entered at that moment with Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay
Baiting our good doctor Q?" Captain Janeway asked questioningly. She then noticed the two patients she definitely had never seen before. Her eyebrow rose questioningly as she eyed Q. "Do you have something to tell me Q?"
"You and your crew are such a welcoming lot I thought you wouldn't mind having the Doctor check over and help these two who will be departing the ship once it returns to earth."
"You mean 20th century earth." Commander Chakotay clarified.
"I do hope I and my crew will manage to survive your shenanigans long enough to reach our own homes in our own times." Captain Janeway gave Q a steely eyed look.
"Yes."Q grinned, "I promise that once I've returned to your own century I will make sure you are compensated by returning you a few months closer to your objective. As it was you would have flown through an empty void with no other lifeforms of any interest. At least this way you will have participated in an event that is memorable. It is the least I can do."
Mad-Eye waited till the youngsters had greeted Potter and then said, "Mr Malfoy A word please." He stomped into the next room without checking to see if the boy was following. The tap tap of his staff forcefully hitting the wooden floor,
"Oh oh..." said Harry, "What have you done?"
"I guess he is a little concerned with the fact I happened to come to the Burrow unannounced through the Floo and wards." shrugged Draconus. "An Auror thing I suppose. If you don't see or hear from me within a a reasonable length of time... "
"Come looking for you."
"Yeah, something like that."
Draconus followed the scarred man into the other room where the tough obviously paranoid and skilled ex-auror eyed him up and down after casting ''Muffiato'' to prevent anyone form listening in. Draconus could have sworn that the twirling magical eye implant was boring deep into his mind and soul. In a way this Auror reminded him of Seven-of-Nine whose own occular implant was quite remarkable.
Naturally Mad -Eye decided to get to the point and barked in an intimidating manner. "All right young man who are you? And what is your objective."
"Draco Malfoy sir though I go mostly by Draconus." The young blond answered calmly as he mentally put up his shields against intrusion into his memories of the future. "As for my objective... Harry Potter and his friends needs my help in bringing down Voldemort early."
Mad-Eye leaned forward and said face to face. "Who do you think you are trying to fool mister."
"Fooling? Hmmmm, No one unless... " Dracous had a very puzzled look upon his face, "Trying to keep a rather demented psycho from discovering that he is going to go down hard is rather tiring now that you mention it."
Mad-Eye reached out and grabbed Draconus' left arm and looked at the unblemished fore arm. He grunted, "So you aren't marked yet. I suppose that is good to know."
"I doubt that I will ever be marked." Draconus remarked dryly as he gently rubbed his forehead thoughtfully with his right index finger and pulled his left arm away from mad-eyes firm grasp , "In fact I don't think Moldy Voldie cares to be anywhere near me."
Startled by the boys pronouncement Mad-Eye blinked and his thin gash of a mouth opened and closed without uttering his now thoroughly confused thoughts. He took note especially of Draconus' lst remark while his Magical eye rotated as it watched for signs of trouble—Even here at the Burrow Mad-Eye felt it was too dangerous to become complacent.
After a few moments of reconnaissance the wandering eye bore down on Draconus. Fixing upon the sight of a gray short-sleeved jumpsuit with a yellow strip of colour across its chest that was mostly covered by the black robe. "You are wearing some rather unusual garments for a Pureblood. "
Blushing slightly Draconus quipped, "I hope that is all you see under my robe sir. Otherwise it would be very embarrassing."
"I am not a voyeur young man. My Magical eye can see though most anything... BUT never has it gone past layers of clothing to the human body. And I truly thank Merlin for that. " Mad-Eye snapped as he stiffened. And glared. "I also noticed your robe isn't of the traditional cut or material. It is black but is not like any I have seen ."
Draconus sighed. "Summer wear sir. As for the garments they are my uniform."
"Uniform? For what? It looks ... of a Muggle make." Mad-Eye barked. He was a wizard known by everyone in the Wizarding world to be very though in his investigations. Sometimes a little over the top but then he just had to make sure no Dark Wizards would escape justice. Not on his beat anyway.
"And what of it?." Draconus asked with hidden amusement as he folded his arms over his chest and glared at the face which reminded him of an animated jigsaw puzzle with each piece outlined by scars.
It was at that moment the door swung wide slamming against the wall.
"Hey Draconus, We think you need our help to prove to Mad-Eye that your intentions are honourable." Ron said as he was flanked by Harry, Hermione, His sister Ginny and his twin brothers, George and Fred.
To Draconus the sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and the Twins as they entered the room was most fortunate. He knew the old Ex-Auror wouldn't intentionally harm him unless he was a Dark Wizard and anyway the Q had explained the reasons why the old curmudgeon would act the way he did.
"Anyway you and I need to discuss our next move against Voldemort and if your going to spend time debating with Mad-Eye, It is going to take forever instead of the amount of time that Q said it should." explained Harry
"And we certainly don't want to disappoint Q." Hermione said with a tiny shake of her head.
"Q? Who is this Q." Mad Eye roared as the group surrounded Draconus once again, "What are you youngsters up to?"
The stress and tension could be felt within the room.
"Are you sure you want to know Mad-Eye?" Draconus held his palm up toward his friends in an effort to tell them to calm down and listen., "You have always told everyone to use 'Constant Vigilance' in matters of observing people and surroundings. Now if you want to know what is going on don't you think as a matter of protocol that you give a wand oath to not reveal anything you may hear?"
Mad-Eye looked at the boy with narrowed eyes as he was debating with himself whether or not to comply with the boys request. After a few minutes of studying the body posture of all the youngsters who was watching him, he harrumphed and grudgingly said "Yes."
He took his wand out and did the oath to Draconus' satisfaction and that of the other teens.
"How should we proceed then." Draconus conferred with Harry who shrugged.
"The beginning I suppose."
"Yeah like when you and Snape vanished along with Peeves." Ron suggested.
"Peeves went first then returned before they did." Hermione nudged Ron's arm and he scowled at her."He came back with a prophecy I think."
Harry quoted what Peeves said that day.
A special sort of duty shall befall to the snakeys
T'will be little Malfoys destiny and that of Snapey To leave our little home and fly among the stars. An ancient world and its future to be their cause.
"What ? That is strange even for that pesky Poltergeist." exclaimed Mad-Eye as his magical eye kept twisting from one teen to the other as they spoke.
"Are you really sure you wish to hear everything sir?" asked Harry.
"From all the disappearances and Appearances," Ginny said as she gave the boys a look that meant she also wanted to know the full details and not the rumours that she had heard.
"Malfoys crazy insanity... ouch!" Ron felt Hermioine's hand as she cuffed him.
The twins piped up
"Does it matter?"
"This one is more... should we say it?" The twins grinned evilly.
"Spacey!" they chorused.
"He isn't spacey even if he works in Space." Harry looked apologetically at Draconus who shrugged the lame joke off with a smirk.
"Don't forget the Q. He certainly made an impression." Ron thought back to the time they all were in the Room of Requirement along with the Q and Neville.
Draconus snorted."Definitely not, Hard to forget him as he is the reason I am here and Granddad is back on Voyager having his adventures." he looked somewhat wistful as he thought "probably enjoying Neelix's Jimbalian Fudge Cake."
'Granddad?'Mad-Eye was feeling like he was falling down a very long rabbit hole into some other reality listening to the youngsters. His normal eye bulged and his jaw dropped even as he fell back onto the ratty looking old sofa that was behind him as he listened to a somewhat disjointed but concise update as to what had happened during the past year.