Disclaimer: I created neither Harry Potter nor Stargate. I can only hope to one day be that awesome.
AN: So this took a while. I work at a theme park, and Summer has been crazy. But here it is, the final chapter of Goblet of Fire. I hope you all like it. Please read the author's note on the bottom.
The school had assembled and stood out on the snowy grounds, heads bowed as they listened to Headmaster Dumbledore speak words of memorial for Arnold Attkinson and Marie Ellis. After Crouch had been captured, he had been interrogated with Veritaserum. Along with his confession to tampering with the tournament, kidnapping Bertha Jorkins, and killing his own father, he had confessed to the murder of the two students, whose transfigured bodies had been found buried on the school grounds.
"...and though they are no longer with us, their memory lives on in all who knew them."
The Headmaster went on for a little while longer before ending the memorial. Harry eyed the four parents who stood together by one of the floral arrangements. Dumbledore spoke to them for a moment before heading back to the castle. A few students took his place, giving their condolences to the grieving parents.
"Did you want to head back to the Great Hall? Lunch is starting," said Neville.
"I'll see you later, actually," said Harry. "I need to talk to the champions."
Cedric was standing with the Attkinsons, so Harry flagged down Victor, who had just turned to head towards the castle with a group of other Durmstrang students. He turned to find Fleur, but saw that she was already making her way over to him. It had been a couple of days since the battle, but they hadn't yet had the opportunity to meet.
"You look much better than the last time I saw you," Victor told Harry, as he walked over.
"Mais oui, I 'eard zey 'ad to remove quite a beet of gravel from you, before zey could 'eal you." Fleur said.
"Only a bit," Harry said. "I'm mostly better now."
"Mostly?" asked Cedric, who had just joined them.
Harry waved his hand over his face, dispelling the illusion that covered his mutilated eye. He heard a small gasp from Fleur.
"I'm getting it replaced this afternoon," he said, replacing the glamor. "Actually, you can see it, if you'd like to join me for lunch at my place."
"Your place?" asked Fleur.
"What, like Mad Eye?" asked Cedric.
"You mean your ship?" Victor asked.
In a flash of light, they all soon found themselves aboard the Libertas.
"Woah," said Cedric.
The three champions were looking about themselves in awe.
"Harry," greeted Sirius. "And company, excellent. I've been cooking."
"You're supposed to let the kitchen do that," said Harry, "it's much more edible that way. Besides, you're supposed to be taking it easy."
"I have been taking it easy, and I'll have you know, that lunch will be excellent."
"You're Sirius Black!" Cedric exclaimed
Harry had managed to get Sirius off of the battlefield soon after the fighting had stopped, and only Ginny Weasley had actually seen him.
"At your service, now who's up for lunch?"
"It does appear edible, this time," said Nol, joining the group.
"Might I introduce Nol Aalon, a respected scientist among the Tollan people. And my Godfather, Sirius Black."
"You're from another world," said Cedric, who was getting very wide eyed..
"I am," Nol affirmed.
"Nol, Sirius, this is Cedric Diggory the Hogwarts Champion, Fleur Delacour the Beauxbaton Champion, and Victor Krum, the Durmstrang Champion."
"Nice to meet you, it was fun watching you all in the first task." Sirius said, as he ushered them all into the dining room.
Harry saw that Sirius had made schpatsen, a Tok'Ra recipe that Sirius had butchered, but still managed to pull off decently now and then, as long as he didn't try to get creative. Sitting down, Harry was happy to see that it at least smelled good. The table adjusted the settings to the party.
"So, vat did you vant to talk about?" asked Victor, as he piled his plate high with the dish.
"Mostly I wanted to thank you for helping out during the battle, and before. I was glad we could work together. I also wanted to tell you that I will likely not be continuing with the tournament."
"You 'ave figured 'ow to unbind yourself?" Fleur asked.
"I have," Harry said. "Pending Ministry approval I will be given access to the Goblet of Fire. You should know, however, that when I unbind myself, you will be unbound as well."
"It is not only magic that binds us," Cedric said.
"Ve are bound by honor," Victor said.
"Of course," Harry said.
"So where weel you go now, once you are free?" asked Fleur.
"Off to fight aliens?" asked Cedric.
"I'm starting a research project actually. Somewhere very far away. Though I thought that I might drop by, if I have the time, for the third task. See how you all do."
"That'd be great," Cedric said.
"So," Sirius interjected. "Harry here's been very tight lipped on his date to the Yule Ball. Anyone know any good gossip?"
The rest of lunch was a light affair, and Harry was glad for a chance to meet with them without having a mystery to solve. After lunch, Harry took them to his lab to show them the eye he had built to replace his ruined one.
"It is metal," Victor noted.
"The ministry could probably get you a decent magical one. You could see through walls," Cedric noted.
Harry smiled, "This can do bit a bit more than that."
He picked it up and held it out to the older boy. Cedric smiled but shook his head. Fleur plucked it from his fingers and held it up to the light.
"Eet weel be quite unsettling; to see thees when I look at your face."
She passed it to Victor, who let it roll across his palm for a moment before handing it back to Harry.
"Built in illusion," said Harry. "Don't worry, it'll look alright." He consulted the time. "Come on, I'll show you off the ship. You probably don't want to watch my old eye getting removed."
Victor looked like he might disagree, but followed the rest of them out of the lab.
"Harry," Cedric said. "I was hoping to talk to you for a moment actually."
Harry looked at the others. "Sure," he said turning back to Cedric. Fleur and Victor walked off to give them privacy.
"I wanted to say sorry," Cedric started. Harry looked at him in confusion.
"After we figured out it was Mad Eye, I gave it away somehow. He wouldn't have grabbed you if I hadn't."
"Don't be sorry," Harry said. "If you hadn't figured it out that night, he would have tried to grab me sooner or later once he realized that I was going to be able to unbind myself. Probably would have done it when there weren't any witnesses. I would have had to face Voldemort and all those Death Eaters on my own. Thank you again, you've been a big help these past couple of months."
Cedric grinned at him. "I'm glad you brought us in on this. I'm still excited to see the tournament through to the end, but you were right in the beginning; the tournament wasn't important in the grand scheme of things, and I'm glad I was a part of something bigger."
Harry smiled, "Well there's plenty still out there, if you're looking for an adventure after Hogwarts."
They bade each other farewell and Harry saw the three Champions off of the ship.
"Ready for a new eye?" Sirius asked.
"As ready as I'll ever be," Harry said.
They walked into the lab.
"Are you going to watch?" Harry asked.
"Do I want to watch my godson have his eye removed?" asked Sirius. "I do believe that I've been told I should be taking it easy; so I think I'll have to pass."
"Oh well," Harry said, hopping up on the work table. "Wish me luck."
"Good luck," Sirius said, walking out of the room.
"I will start the procedure," Nol said from his seat in front of a terminal.
Harry laid back on the table, for the first time realizing that he was nervous. He had been excited at the prospect of enhancing his senses. However, while he had often used technology to augment his abilities, this would be the first time he would be replacing a part of himself with a machine.
A medical drone hovered out of the cabinet it was stored in and floated over his face. A wave of energy passed over him and the pain receptors in his face were temporarily neutralized. Two small arms extended, and the eyelids over his damaged eye were peeled back. Another arm extended and a narrow beamed energy cutter started separating the damaged tissue from his eye socket. With the dead eye removed, the drone cleaned the surviving tissue and with a small pop, the new eye was inserted. Harry waited patiently as the surrounding tissue was repaired, securing the eye in the socket. Another wave of energy reactivated the nerves in his face. It's job finished, the drone flew back to its place in the cabinet..
"How does it feel," Nol asked, as Harry sat up.
"It feels like an eyeball," Harry said. "I'm going to activate it."
With a thought the mechanical eye turned on, starting in natural vision. Harry looked around, smiling as his eyes worked in tandem.
"So far so good," he said.
He activated the enhanced vision features one by one. He could see the energy flowing through the ship, the magic that maintained various charms around the room, the heat differential between various objects. With another thought he was seeing through the wall, into the next room.
"Sirius," he called. "I can see you there. If you think I'm going to fall for a prank that simple, well that's just insulting."
There was muttered cursing from the next room.
"Everything is working well it seems," comented Nol.
"It is," Harry said. "And as my brain learns to process the greater information coming from my optic nerves, I can widen the field of view gradually until I can see every which way at once," he said with a grin.
He walked over to a mirror to take a look. His first impression was that he looked almost scary with the dead looking metallic eye looking back at him, but after a moment to get used to it he thought it looked rather cool. Still though, it would be best to have two normal looking eyes. He activated the built in illusion, and the eyes looking back at him in the mirror looked like the eyes he had been born with.
"If you would like, I can have a natural eye waiting for you on Tollana," Nol said standing next to Harry, frowning at Harry's reflection in the mirror.
As much as they embraced technology, the Tollans had a high level of respect for their natural bodies, and nature in general. Grown replacements were heavily preferred to mechanical analogues for anyone on Tollana who had a missing limb or organ. For all that they did everything to maximize their physical selves, the vast majority on Tollana refused to augment themselves with anything artificial. So while children on Tollana were given treatments to maximize brain development, none would be implanted with neural stimulators.
It was one of a few areas where Harry differed significantly from the people of his adopted home planet. There had been Tollan doctors, from time to time, who had offered to remove Harry's hand device for him. They couldn't understand that to Harry, it wasn't just fused to him, it was a part of him.
"I think I'll be keeping this one for now," Harry told Nol.
"Let me take a look," Sirius said, coming into the room.
Harry turned to face his godfather, leaving the illusion in place.
"Looks good," Sirius commented.
"You're going to have to watch out," he told Sirius. "I'm going to be hard to sneak up on now."
"Challenge accepted," Sirius said.
"Come on Nol, let's get to work, see if you can't get me free from this tournament before the Ministry decides to give me that blasted Goblet."
Nol took the bait and they got to work.
As much of what Nol worked on still went over his head, Harry found himself contemplating the future of his body. Enhanced vision was but one option for him. He could enhance everything. The possibilities were endless.
"And what of these Horcruxes?" asked Minister Bones. "What threat do they still pose?"
"As far as we can tell, they were destroyed along with Voldemort's soul, they could not survive without it," Harry explained. "The one that was attached to me is now gone."
"And this magic you used to destroy his soul, I must say Mr. Potter that it reeks of dark magic."
"But it was not magic," Harry said. "It was science. Science that was used to destroy a great evil."
"You can call it what you want, but the power to destroy the soul is not to be taken lightly."
"Then it is good that I have not known Mr. Potter to take anything lightly," Dumbledore said. The three of them were sitting in his office for tea, and Harry was slightly disappointed that the fare from the last such meeting was not present at this one. "I think we can trust him not to spread this knowledge about."
"How many know how you killed Him?" asked Amelia.
"From this planet?" asked Harry. "Just the two of you, my godfather, and Ginny Weasley."
"Can you convince her to keep this to herself?" asked the Minister.
"I already have," said Harry. "She has her own reasons for keeping silent on the matter."
"And those reasons are?" asked Amelia.
"Her own," Harry said firmly.
The minister pursed her lips but did not press the matter.
"When will you be releasing Severus Snape?" Harry asked.
"It is not our policy to discuss ongoing criminal investigations," Madam Bones said crisply.
"He was not there to fight for Voldemort, he saved my life, and were it not for him, Voldemort would be at large."
"Do you know, Mr. Potter, what one must do to be initiated into Voldemort's inner circle?"
Harry shook his head 'no'.
"In order to carry that mark, one must commit terrible crimes. Each and every Death Eater is guilty of murder. Severus Snape was never pardoned for his crimes during the first war. His crimes were ignored because Albus told us he had turned spy, but that does not excuse the crimes he has committed. With the dementors gone, some time in Azkaban while we satisfy ourselves that he is on the strait and narrow path will do him little harm."
"I had hoped that my assurances still held weight with you," said Dumbledore.
"They do," said the Minister. "But twenty-five Death Eaters were detained three nights ago, twenty-five Death Eaters who escaped justice thirteen years ago and who were prepared to re-enter his service at his summons. You must forgive me if I want certainty that that won't happen again; the people want that certainty."
"Voldemort is dead," Harry said. "Forever. You can be certain that he will not return. As well, with his actions that night, you can be certain that Severus Snape is no longer a loyal Death Eater. What's more, I will have need of him when I leave."
Dumbledore showed quite a bit of surprise. "You intend to remove my Potions Master from this planet? Have you consulted with him in this matter."
"Not yet, but I expect he will accept my offer; the need for his services is great, and I think I can play to his character."
"What need could you have for the man?" asked Minister Bones.
"I'm afraid certain matters are still classified, but you can continue your investigation into his background while he is gone with the certainty that he isn't causing trouble here on Earth, and if you decide that he has not atoned for the crimes of his past, you can consider him permanently exiled from your world. In the meantime he will be working to improve the stability and the safety of a great many."
"We were led to believe that there is peace now, that there is no danger," said Amelia.
"There is peace, be assured of that. But there is a plague of sorts affecting a number of planets and a great many lives are at risk. These planets do not have access to our gate network, so you need not fear it affecting Earth. I have need of a potions master of Professor Snape's caliber."
Minister Bones seemed to take this in stride.
"Then in the interest of humanitarian needs, he will be released," Minister Bones said. "But I will decide if he deserves a pardon for his crimes only after a full investigation. Exile certainly sounds like a happy alternative though. One other thing Mr. Potter. I am already aware that the you have ripped the Statute of Secrecy to shreds. But the greater muggle population is still unaware of our existence. With all of this disclosure going on, what plans are there in regards to the wizarding world?"
"There are no plans to disclose the wizarding world. As far as the declassified documents show, speculation as to the origin of my abilities include alien heritage. That my abilities have been scientifically explained leaves less room for the assumption of magic. But Minister, the world has changed quite dramatically since the inception of the Statute. Perhaps the time is ripe to start discussions to end the statute. Whether you like it or not, the muggles will eventually have the technology to detect magic."
"And we will deal with that when it comes, but do not forget, Mr. Potter, that there are still countries where people are put to death for practicing witchcraft."
"Perhaps," the Headmaster began, "now would be a good time to tell Mr. Potter what the Wizengamot has decided."
The Minister nodded. "Mr. Potter," she began. "It is the decision of the Wizengamot and myself that you should be awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class. There will be an award ceremony in two days time."
Harry resisted the urge to roll his eyes, it seemed that everyone wanted to give him an award.
"I've been hoping that in a couple of days the Department of Mysteries will have finished reviewing my proposal and made the Goblet of Fire available to me."
"They report that they agree with your proposal, but wish to run some more tests before they allow you to proceed. It may be available to you around then."
Harry supposed that he would have to be satisfied with that. Madame Bones finished her tea.
Rising, she addressed the Headmaster. "Headmaster Dumbledore, thank you for your hospitality. Mr. Potter, I will see you in a two days time." The Headmaster and Harry rose, and Harry shook her hand. With that, the Minister of Magic left through the Floo leaving Harry alone with the Headmaster.
"You could of course stay, Harry," the Headmaster said. "You can always find a home here at Hogwarts. It is not your duty to save the universe; you still have time to enjoy your youth."
"You want me to spend a few more years as a student teacher?" Harry asked with a smile. "Headmaster, I must confess that in spite of everything, I did enjoy much of my time here. But I have a purpose out there, and I'm not giving that up. There are quite a few who need the skills that I have."
"You could serve a purpose here as well, Harry," said the Headmaster. "You have already done so much good for our world."
"It isn't the same," said Harry. "I think you are soon to be faced with a lot of change professor. I hope you weather it well, but I do not intend to take part."
"Then I hope you will return from time to time," the Headmaster said without much disappointment.
"I expect I will. I think I'd like to see how your society progresses from here," Harry said as he made his way to the door.
They bade each other farewell before Harry went down the moving spiral staircase.
He decided to find some of the friends he had made among the students and see about having a fly. Walking through the halls, several of the students stopped to stare at him, and he supposed he couldn't blame them. The reporters who had been present when he had fought Voldemort had all published detailed articles about the encounter, one had given an interview on the wireless. Add that incident to the Skeeter article about his extraterrestrial activities, and he supposed the students saw him as something of a legend walking among them. He had found himself giving out an embarrassing amount of autographs, particularly to the younger students.
"Oh Mr. Potter, can I please have your autograph," a faux girlish voice asked behind him.
Harry grinned, turning around. "Perhaps I should be asking you the same Miss Wessley."
Ginny scowled at him. "My father gets in the paper enough, you'd think they would get the name right."
All of the articles that had been printed about the battle had included Ginny's opportune intervention, but the Prophet article had managed to misspell 'Weasley'.
"I'm surprised to see you without your brother, I had heard he hasn't let you out of his sight since he found out you fought Voldemort."
"A few hexes solved that problem," she said sweetly. "Perhaps I shouldn't be letting you out of my sight. Make sure I don't need to save your butt again."
Harry grinned. "Well I suppose I could use a personal bodyguard, we'll have your brothers supply you with a bigger arsenal of fireworks. Although, Padma might get jealous; first I step out on our date, and then I start spending all of my time with another girl."
"Well, I guess you'll just have to finish your date. There's a Hogsmeade weekend coming up first week when term starts back up. I could come along, as your bodyguard of course. I'll keep those reporters off of you if I have to Filibuster the whole town."
"I'm afraid I'll probably have left before then."
Ginny's whimsical mood seemed to falter before it came back. "Breaking out of this prison then?"
"With any luck, in a couple of days, yes. I guess I won't need you to blow up any dark lords after that."
"I could come with you," she said smirking. "I'm sure there's trouble enough out there to be getting on with."
"Mmm, then Padma would really get jealous."
"I'm serious Harry," Ginny said earnestly. "I can't just..."
They both stopped in the middle of the hall, and Harry waited patiently while Ginny gathered her thoughts.
"After what you said; after fighting Him, I told myself that I could move on, that I had avenged something, that I had made up for what happened, but... I don't feel better. I don't feel like anything's changed, I still..." She stopped, not seeming able to put exactly what she felt into words.
"Fighting evil, saving a life; it isn't going to magically change how you feel about what happened to you, or to the other victims of Tom Riddle's Diary. But it was a good step towards healing yourself. Fighting Voldemort, helping me; it was important to your being able to move on from what was done to you. The rest comes from working with yourself, and the people who care about you, to heal over time. You aren't going to find that by leaving the planet."
Ginny shook her head. "No, I need... You're going out there to fight for something, I need that. I can't just stay here and..."
"And live your life?" Harry finished. "I didn't find peace with myself by fighting evil, I only masked the pain. Healing came later. You won't find closure out there, you will only be hiding from the trauma that has done this to you."
"But facing Him, it felt... I haven't... I don't want to feel hollow anymore. For two years I've gone to class, and pretended I'm fine, that I'm normal, that I had nothing to do with my classmates being attacked, as if I had nothing to do with Ernie's death. I've tried everything to just feel anything but guilt and anger, and I did, when I got to fight, when I faced Tom. But that's gone now, I need that. I need more. I need something to fight for. I need to do something good. You can give me that."
"And you could chase that feeling across the galaxy, through countless battles, fight injustice and wrong at every turn. But you wouldn't be chasing wellness, you'd just be filling the void with so much adrenalin and exhaustion that you could fool yourself to think that you were alright, but you wouldn't be. It would still be there with you."
"Maybe there is no getting better, maybe filling the void is enough."
"Till it gets you killed," Harry said shaking his head.
"Well then maybe that would even my debt," she said darkly.
"No," Harry said harshly. "Getting yourself killed won't balance any scales. Your mothers tears over your grave won't do anyone any good. If you want something to fight for, you can start with yourself. You need closure not more death. Not yours, and not the blood of whatever evil you find to fight."
"Then what do I do?"
"I've already given you my opinion on the matter. I've already told you where you can begin, how I began."
Ginny shook her head. "I can't, how can I face them. How could I tell them. I killed their son. They could never forgive me."
"Tom Riddle killed their son."
"I could have stopped him," said Ginny, "but I didn't, I hid what was happening to me. How could anyone forgive that."
"Do not underestimate the powers of others to forgive. But it isn't just about forgiveness. Keeping this secret is part of the problem, you said so yourself. You need to face what has happened to you, what you did and didn't do. Only then can you begin to move on."
"But what if I can't? What if I never feel better?" she asked.
"You can, and you will. You can't let fear of failure stop you from trying. You have nothing to lose."
"No," Ginny said quietly. "I suppose I don't."
"That's not what I meant. You have people who love you. Your family knows what happened, and it's obvious to everyone that your brothers love you. They know and they haven't turned from you."
"Ron thinks I'm weak. They all think that I've been messed up by what happened. That I need to be protected."
"He thinks that he'd rather not see anything bad happen to his little sister, however strong she is. He cares about you too much not to want to protect you. And he can help you, if you let him, if you tell him how. You won't be in this alone."
Ginny seemed to stare through Harry for a moment.
"Why do you fight?" she asked.
"Because I have the power to do good," said Harry. "To save lives. Sometimes that means fighting an evil, sometimes that's healing, and sometimes that's just doing research, or working out a problem. I fight when someone needs someone to fight for them and I can. But it's been a long time since I've fought because I felt I had something to make up for. That it could fix me. That I had something to avenge. I still mourn for what Isis did with me, did to me. But it no longer consumes my life, and it didn't stop until I stopped fighting and faced my feelings of guilt. I never found closure in battle, only more blood on my hands. I found closure by going back and moving on, and with the help of people who cared about me. You can too, you just need to try."
Ginny closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I can try," she said.
A bell tolled, signaling the hour.
"Damn," Ginny said. "Late for detention." she turned to go, trying to hide the signs of tears on her face.
"What did you do to get a detention during the Holidays?" Harry asked.
"Didn't you hear? Apparently flying into the Forbidden Forest to fight dark wizards after you've been ordered to your dormitory shows an extreme lack of judgment. Professor McGonnagall thinks detention every day till classes start up should cure what ails me."
"Sorry to hear that," Harry said. Though he didn't feel hypocritical at all to silently agree with the Deputy Headmistress.
"It's something to do," Ginny said.
"Will you be alright?" Harry asked.
"It's just detention."
"You know what I mean."
"I'll be alright," she said. "Really, I will. I'll work on it." She sighed. "I'll try."
They stopped outside Professor McGonagall's classroom.
"Good luck," Harry said as they parted.
He would have to talk to her Head of House about proper treatment later. He wanted to make sure Ginny would be alright after he left.
Making his way to the Gryffindor common room, he came across Ron and Hermione as he passed by the library. They were heading to the common room as well.
"I was just going to check to see if anyone wanted to go flying," Harry said.
"I'm in," said Ron.
"Oh honestly," said Hermione. "It's freezing."
"I can warm up the pitch," Harry said.
"Great," Ron said. "Let's get a group together."
They continued on to the common room; Ron stopping the occasional student in passing to announce the impromptu gathering.
"So," Ron started after a lull in conversation. "You've been flying around the galaxy all this time?"
"Cool," was Ron's estimation.
"What's it like?" Hermione asked.
"I don't know," Harry said. "I suppose it's a bit like traveling the world, and meeting all the different cultures. Learning about what makes them different, and often finding what makes us all similar. Always something new."
"So the whole Galaxy is just populated with humans?" Hermione asked.
"There are a few other sentient species out there we've come across. For the most part, even they are a lot like us."
"So what's it take to get a trip to another planet?" Ron asked.
"That's going to depend on a lot," Harry said. "But at the rate that technology is advancing here on Earth now, there could easily be a time in your future when civilians can buy tickets for interstellar travel. In the meantime, I'm sure there's plenty to see and do here on Earth to keep you entertained."
"Maybe," Ron said, unconvinced.
"Harry," Hermione said. "Do you ever wonder what your life would have been like if you had never left Earth?"
Harry had wondered; long before he had come to Hogwarts he had wondered. Who would he be if not for Isis? What would he stand for if he had not fought the Goa'uld. How would he have turned out after several more years with the Dursleys? Indoctrinated by the socially medieval wizarding world? Would Anubis have won? Would any of the Tollans still live? How many people would be dead now, and how many alive? He had long ago realized the futility of what-ifs. Though it had never stopped him from wondering.
"I suppose we'll never know," he said. "Where do you suppose your life would have gone if you had never found out you were a witch."
"Oh, I don't know. I suppose everything would be different. Everyone I know besides my family is from the wizarding world. My whole future revolves around it."
"Well I for one am glad you're a witch," Ron said.
Harry then noticed something he should have noticed before, the two teens were holding hands. He had seen them together at the Ball, but he hadn't known if they had just gone as friends or not. Harry smiled, happy for the two.
The three of them continued on to the common room together.
"Potter," Severus Snape said with disdain, as Harry walked into the man's office. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to let the man get settled after his return from Azkaban, but then again, for whatever reason, the man would hate him just as much an hour from now as he did at the moment.
"Professor Snape," Harry said. "I wanted to come by and see how you are. And also to thank you. If it weren't for you I would have likely died."
"I did not do it for you, so your thanks are unnecessary, and as you can see, I am fine. Now go." He returned his attention to the book he was reading at his desk, for all the world, looking as though he had completely forgotten that Harry was in the room.
"I also came with an offer. A chance to do a great deal of good off world."
Professor Snape's lip curled. "Saint Potter, come down to the dungeons, to save me I dare say. I neither need your help nor want it. Now you can take your offer and leave."
"Perhaps you do need saving. Minister Bones is eager to investigate your involvement in Voldemort's ranks. I don't think she'd lose any sleep to see you spend some years in Azkaban. Besides I didn't come to you to save you from that, I came because there are a great many out there who need saving. I've done my research, and you're the best in your field. Your talents have been wasted at a job you don't want. Your publications, though few, are far beyond your contemporaries. There's amazing work to be done. I'm assembling a team to take a problem head on, and I want you to be a part of it."
"I will be pardoned; my recent actions, and the Headmaster will see to that. And yes, I am done with teaching, but I see no need to do 'amazing work' with you. I will be free to do that here."
"After Grindewald, did anyone ever publish another article written by Stalinski? He escaped prison, but being the best in his field didn't seem to be enough after the association was common knowledge. He died a pariah, his works unread, his name showing up only in books about the war, not in charms periodicals. Unmourned."
"How did you..."
"I told you, I've done my research. I'm offering you a chance to work where people don't even know His name. A clean slate. The work you will be doing will be far greater than anything any other potions master here on Earth will come across. You could help save millions of lives."
"The Muggle governments have assured us that there is peace and stability in the galaxy. What danger could there be to save millions of lives from?"
"There is peace, for the most part, across the galaxy, yes. After that, I'm afraid I can't say anything more that isn't still a secret."
"You expect me to agree to work with you without knowing what I'm to be doing?"
"Of course not, I need only a magically binding vow from you that you will not disclose anything I am about to tell you to anyone on Earth."
"And if you tell me that you are planning to take over the wizarding world?"
"I'd hardly need your help to do that," Harry said. "But very well, you need only vow that you will not disclose anything I am about to say pertaining to extraterrestrial matters."
Professor Snape gave him a cold, penetrating look, and Harry could still see a great deal of animosity in the man's eyes.
He took out his wand and held it out. "I do hereby swear and avow that I will not disclose any matters concerning extraterrestrials spoken to me by Harry Potter today unless he releases me from this vow."
Harry smiled. He held his hand out and an image appeared across the room.
"These are the Wraith; they are the dominant power in the Pegasus galaxy right now."
The image changed.
"And this is what the Wraith feed on."
"Humans?" Snape asked.
"Yes," Harry said. "There are millions of people spread out across the Pegasus Galaxy. The Wraith have been hibernating for some time, but they woke up recently and they've started culling their human prey. Thousands have been killed already, and they have only just begun. But it gets worse. They are aware of Earth, that there is life in our galaxy. They currently are not advanced enough to make the journey to the Milky Way, but you can be assured that they are working on that problem, and may eventually work out how to get to their new feeding grounds. Earth is still the most heavily populated planet in any explored galaxy that we know of, and they are eager for our abundance. You would be working with scientists, and other experts to neutralize the Wraith threat, and to help those who survive the Wraith feeding process."
"They may find Earth, but they will not find the wizarding world," said Snape.
"Is that all you care about?"
"I do not need the likes of you to judge me," Snape said, standing angrily.
"Then perhaps you yourself should," Harry shot back.
Snape gave him a hateful look.
"What will you be doing?" Snape shot back, a non sequitur.
"I'll be coordinating this project, for the most part. Fighting in battles as needed."
Snape's eyes narrowed.
"I will be joining you. If only to make sure that you and those muggles don't lead an alien horde straight to my doorstep."
He looked like he was more than upset to be agreeing to Harry's proposal.
"Excellent, I'll look forward to working with you," Harry said, unsure how the conversation had turned around.
"I do not," Snape said curtly. "Now get out of my office."
"Be prepared to be gone for some time," Harry said as he made his way out. "I'm ordering a large variety of supplies, but let me know if there is anything you will need."
It had turned out that Harry's parents had left him a small fortune, and Harry had been making good use of mail orders.
"And so, by decree of the Wizengamot, I hereby award Harry James Potter the Order of Merlin, First Class."
There was quite a bit of applause, and several flashes went off as Minister Bones pinned him with the golden medal. Harry shook her hand as more camera's clicked away. They were outside, in the village square of Hogsmeade, the winter chill kept away by numerous charms, and a large crowd had gathered to see the award ceremony. Harry had had to suffer through a few longwinded speeches, made by various Ministry dignitaries, before the Minister had stood to give the award. Soon, however, he would be rewarded for his patience.
As he and the Minister stepped off of the small stage that had been conjured from the ground, Harry shook a few more hands before he made his way to the champions.
"Ready to go?" he asked.
They all nodded, and the Headmaster joined them, having walked over from his place by some of the ministry officials. Together they made their way to the thestral drawn carriage that they had arrived in. The trip up to the castle was quick, and Harry found himself nervous as he headed up to the castle. If this didn't work, he might be stuck until the end of the tournament. After a trek through the castle, Harry found himself riding up the spiraling staircase to the Headmaster's office for the first time. He had always shot himself up previously.
"I trust it is ready," he said, as he approached the two Unspeakables from the Ministry's Department of Mysteries, who were waiting in the office with an Auror who was standing next to an ornate wooden box.
"It is Mr. Potter," said the more senior looking of the two Unspeakables.
"I must say, after we had found that you had been bound to the tournament, a couple of us in the department spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to unbind you. If only because we like a challenge," the younger man said enthusiastically.
"Spent quite a bit of time delving the Goblet, and researching magical theory. Loxly had a couple of walls covered with runes and arithmancy equations. I suppose it was a bit of a letdown that the solution may be so simple."
Harry grinned. "Oh, is that why you've been stalling these past few days? Trying to find your own solution?"
"Well, we had to make sure it was safe. I wasn't about to sign off on a plan that could potentially kill the boy-who-lived and the best and brightest students in Europe."
"It is safe though?" Cedric asked.
"Yes," the younger man rushed to say. "We won't be tampering with the magic that binds you to compete. We'll be... Actually, since it was Mr. Potter's idea, I suppose he should explain it."
"Oh, it was Crouch's idea really. The Goblet is powerful indeed, and it's got its own sort of primal intelligence to boot. An intelligence that Crouch was able to Confund into thinking that there were four schools competing instead of three. What we'll be doing, is Confunding the Goblet into thinking that the Second, and then the Third task are taking place. After which, it will consider the tournament over and release us all. Besides, with the help of a friend, I believe I've found a way to ward us against any magical backlashes incase anything does go wrong."
"Perhaps Mr. Potter, some day you would like to settle down into the Department of Mysteries."
Harry laughed, "I don't think I will ever settle down."
"So, vat are ve vaiting for?" Victor asked.
"Nothing really," Harry said. "If you would," he asked, motioning to the Auror standing next to the wooden box. The man lifted the lid and drew forth the Goblet.
Harry erected a ward around the champions and himself.
"Headmaster, if you would like to perform the honors."
"I thought you would, 'Arry," Fleur said.
"The process is simple enough," said Harry, "but I don't actually have any experience with the spell and I'd rather not leave anything to chance."
The Headmaster drew his wand. "If we are all ready?"
There were several nods of affirmation, and with a slash of his wand and a confident "Confundus," the task was done.
Harry used the Tollan made subspace scanner to verify that he and the other champions were no longer bound by the Gobblet.
"Well that's that," Harry said. "Cedric, Fleur, Victor, it's been a pleasure. Headmaster thank you for your hospitality. I do apologies for leaving you with a need to find a new potions master and a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, right before winter term."
"Have no fear, I have already secured replacements, besides the training aids you left for the upper level Defense classes more than makes up for the difficulty."
"Then I shall go collect Professor Snape and take my leave."
He made further farewells to the Champions, who had become his friends, and left the office.
Turning towards the dungeons, he was surprised to come across Padma Patil.
"Rumor says you're leaving today," she said.
"I should hope you know better than to believe every rumor you hear."
"I also saw that Auror bring in the Goblet of Fire."
"This time, then, the rumor is true," said Harry.
"You weren't going to say anything?" she asked.
"I've had enough fanfare for today actually, but I've left some notes, saying good bye."
"But the class; it was for nothing," she said.
"Nothing? Of course not. The class was only ever a foundation."
"So what now then?"
"Now you explore magic and the universe around you," said Harry. "If you want. You learn how the world works, and you figure out how magic interacts with it. The wizarding world has a lot to learn, and discover. I don't think I'd be wrong to say that I think you would like to be a part of that."
"I do," she said. She sighed. "It has been nice knowing you, I'm sorry to see you leave. Will you ever come back?"
"I hope so," Harry said. "I want to see how you will do with your research, and maybe some day we can finish our date."
Padma smiled at that. "Perhaps one with less excitement. Though I must say, that up until the end, I had quite a bit of fun."
"I did too," Harry said. "So until we meet again, just remember that I still owe you a couple of dances."
"Yes, well, until then you'll have this to remember me by."
With that she took a step forward, put a hand on his shoulder and leaned in to kiss him on his lips.
Harry's eyebrows shot up in surprise, and just as he started to figure out what his part in the affair should entail, it was over. Padma smiled shyly at him and left without another word, leaving Harry slightly stunned.
Shaking his head, he decided that he would definitely have to try that again at some point, preferably when he was ready for it.
"You're sure you have everything on my list? I do not wish to get there and find that I have no Bicorn Horn to work with."
"Everything and quite a bit more besides. Trust me Professor, I've been vry thorough. Besides the trip isn't that long. It's only a week, which will be plenty of time for you to brush up on everything you'll need to know about the Pegasus Galaxy."
"But I do not trust you, Potter; and it will be a week in your company. So you will have to forgive me for wanting to make sure that I make this trip as few times as possible. I can't even imagine; floating about some metal box for a week with no one but a Potter."
Ah, Harry thought, it did have something to do with his father. Professor Snape had yet to explain his intense dislike for Harry, and Harry was content to let the man keep it to himself so long as he was able to keep it from interfering with his work.
"We won't be floating professor, my ship has its own gravity. And it won't just be me, either. I'll be picking up a charms expert I've been corresponding with this past week in Japan, and a Runes expert from Egypt." Harry had felt bad for asking Professor Flitwick and Professor Babbling, since that would have been four professors the headmaster would have had to replace. They had both declined his offer however.
"Besides, if you prefer the company of yourself, you will have your own room onboard, and you can keep your own hours. You need not interact with anyone else the entire week." This would likely keep everyone happy.
"That would be preferable," said the dower professor.
"We're here," Harry said as they stepped out onto the grounds.
Professor Snape looked about, as though expecting to see the ship parked out on the lawn. Harry decided to let the man see the ship he would be flying in and made it visible before pointing up for the man. Snape took a sharp breath at the sight, and Harry grinned, proud of the ship he had designed.
"This won't hurt a bit," he said.
He beamed the both of them up into the ship.
"Let me show you to your room, and you can get settled."
They walked out of the transport room and into the lounge.
"Ah, hello Severus, I didn't quite believe it when Harry said you would be joining him. I'm glad to see you look well."
"Lupin," Snape said with disdain, before his eyes went wide with fury. "Black!" he said, drawing his wand and aiming it at Sirius.
Harry quickly removed the wand from his hand.
"You should know by now that Crouch confessed under Veritaserum to having found Peter Pettigrew through the Dark Mark they shared, and using his life force to power the Reverse Portkey that brought me back to Earth. You know that Pettigrew was in hiding as a rat after he faked his death, framing Sirius. You should therefore know that Sirius is innocent of the crimes of which he was accused."
Professor Snape sneered hatefully at Harry's godfather.
"Will he be joining us?" he asked.
"I'm dropping him off on Tollana before we head on out."
Professor Snape held out his hand and Harry gave him his wand back, which was put back in the holster the man kept it in.
"My quarters?" was all he said.
"Right this way," Harry said, leading the man out of the room. He continued to remind himself that Snape was the best Potions Master in the world; would likely be invaluable in Pegasus, and that he had helped save Harry's life.
Reaching the door to the man's room, Harry used his enhanced vision to check for any of Sirius's pranks. They wouldn't likely go over well at the moment. Banishing the bucket of water over the door, Harry showed the man in.
"Washroom is over there, and that's your closet. Here is your computer terminal. I've prepared a tutorial for you on what I think you'll need to know about the Wraith and their technology. The computer is fairly self-explanatory, but the tutorial starts with an overview of how to use it. Just tap the green icon right there."
"You may go," Snape said, and Harry suppressed the urge to act his age.
"We leave in ten minutes, though you shouldn't notice any changes in the ship. After we pick up the others, I expect to leave Earth in about two hours. In case you want to watch us leave Earth behind."
Harry left without anything further.
"Are you sure you want to put up with that?" Remus asked, as Harry walked back into the lounge.
"I'm sure I want his brain working on the problems I'll have him working on."
"Well good luck with that then."
"Sirius, have you told Remus why I asked him to join us before we departed?"
"I thought I'd leave that up to you," Sirius said with a grin.
"Right, so, Remus, I take it you'd rather not have Lycanthropy, right?"
"Well of course, why? Do you want to take me out into space where there are no full moons?"
"I actually thought I'd just cure you," Harry said, pointing a small device he pulled from a pocket at Remus.
Remus's eyes widened. "You can cure me?" he asked.
"Just did actually." He tossed the small device to Remus, who fumblingly caught it.
"But it's incurable," Remus protested.
"I rather don't like that word," Harry said.
"Oh just wait a few days and see for yourself," Sirius said.
"You really did?" asked Remus.
"I did," Harry confirmed.
Harry soon found himself in a tight embrace.
"Thank you," Remus said, choked up.
"No need, really. It was a simple thing. I have something much bigger to ask of you."
"Take this," he indicated the device. "And cure any werewolf who wants it."
"How do I..."
"It's point and click really, you shouldn't have any trouble using it. But I know that there are a couple of werewolf communities out there who won't take kindly to the suggestion that they need to be cured, so be careful."
"I will, but I think I should be saying the same to you."
"I'm always careful," Harry said with a grin.
Sirius gave a derisive snort.
"Anyway, I don't need saving, so you really don't need to look for me once you've finished. Besides, I'll come and visit now and then."
"Sooner, rather than later," Remus said.
"Here here," Sirius affirmed.
After a few more thanks and admonishments for care, Harry showed Remus off of the Libertas.
Queuing up the engines for flight, Harry set a course for Egypt.
"So," Sirius said. "You destroyed the dementors."
"Obliterated the man who killed your parents and wanted to take over the world."
"Did that to."
"Cured a horrible illness, and inspired a generation of young witches and wizards to pursue science."
"Is this going anywhere?"
"Yet you still haven't kissed a girl."
"Did that actually, about an hour ago,"
"No! Who?" Sirius asked excitedly.
"Now that would be telling."
"Wait, did you kiss her, or did she kiss you?"
"What difference does it make?" asked Harry.
"Says the boy who didn't make the first move."
"I did make the first move, I asked her out to a ball," said Harry.
"Ah so it was Padma."
Harry scowled, and Sirius ruffled his hair.
"Are you ready to get back to Tollana?"
"Can't wait. I left my research project unfinished, and that woman who checks up on me now and then to make sure I'm not going to accidentally blow up the planet is very cute. What about you, you're not going to miss everything here? Girls your own age, broomsticks, a tournament you could totally win. You could always stay a bit longer."
"Nope, one adventure over, another one starts. Or in this case starts again. Besides, I got a broomstick delivered, so I can fly around Atlantis."
"Well at least you have your priorities. Come on then, lets have some lunch."
Harry really was very glad to be getting back to Atlantis, his work there was very important; so many people in the Pegasus Galaxy had been culled since he left. Thinking back though, he couldn't deny, that while he had been forced to stay at Hogwarts, he had had a good time. There really was something relaxing about being able to make friends with others his own age, to being able to forget about the problems of the universe. He rather liked to think that he had gained something from the experience, if only the experiences themselves. He knew that he wouldn't be a teenager forever, and in the years to come he doubted he would have many other opportunities to just be normal. Though thinking about it some more, he realized that much of what he had experienced at Hogwarts hadn't been normal at all, but still.
After he had finished assembling the team he was taking back to Atlantis, gotten everyone settled, and dropped Nol and Sirius off on Tollana, Harry settled down in his room and thought about where the future would take him.
AN: There it is, what do you think? This is my first crack at writing fanfiction, and I'm very happy it went as well as it did. I hope you all have enjoyed this journey, I only ask that if you did, that you take one final opportunity to review this story. I have always read each and every one of them.
While I was beta reading one of althor42's chapters for Horcrux Within, there was one scene where I commented that it would make for good fan art. For those of you who read it, and I hope you all do, it's the picture Collin took of Harry after the Dobby/Bludger incident. It got me thinking. If there's one artistic talent I lack, (there are a few) I'd have to say that it is my ability to draw. So I am hoping that anyone out there who likes to draw, whether you think you're good or not, would draw their favorite scene from any of these stories and share it with the rest of us. I'm talking to althor42 about a yahoo group or something, since the site this is posted on won't help us out.
Anyway, you've all been fantastic readers, and I will miss writing for you while I'm at boot camp... assuming nothing happens to delay me this time. BTW, this time they'll be sending me to Georgia. I'm almost finished with a one-shot that popped into my head a month or so ago. You can find it soon on my profile The Lord of Chaos (don't forget the 'the', or you'll get another author).
B/N: A yahoo group has been created, check out althor42FF.