Do it Yourself Disclaimer: Insert standard disclaimer here about not owning Harry Potter or Dungeons and Dragons. Then insert funny remark. Then read chapter.
AN: Sorry for those who were subjected to the wall of text. I did notice it immediately after posting the story. I then immediately took down the chapter. Unfortunately, something went wrong with deleting the chapter, and it stayed up.
And the formatting is still not what I wanted, but I'm going to put it out there anyway. Grumble.
The Second Founder
"Routine" would describe the next couple of months. Harry took to hiking in the Forbidden forest as often as he could. During his hikes, he encountered Luna several times. She, too, enjoyed being out in the woods, and felt the castle life was sucking the life out of her.
The Quibbler article, The Closing of the Chamber, came out the second week of January. Draco was quite upset, and, it turned out, so was his father. Harry learned from Ginny that he had threatened her father. Arthur didn't give in and the aurors felt that threats to a head of one of the ministry's departments wasn't something to be taken lightly. Harry speculated that the scrutiny that the aurors gave the incident might have saved Arthur's life.
Luna, much later, related to Harry that her father often got threats, but never took any of them seriously. It was unknown if he was threatened before he was killed, but whoever did it, got away with murder. Luna was devastated, and would have been sent home for a time, except there was no one to send her too. She was distantly related to Wand Wright Ollivander, and just as distantly related to Seer and Divination Professor Trelawney, but she had no connection with either. Her guardianship was left up in the air for the time being. Harry hired Andi and Ted to follow the case and represent Luna's interests, since no one seemed to be doing that.
Even though it was the middle of the week, after the funeral Harry had Luna pack for a few days away and took her out into the forest. She was amazed by his non-magical tent which, being unheated, made winter camping "interesting". But Harry was good at his job, and he and Luna spent several days hiking deeper and deeper into the woods. He took a slightly circuitous route to avoid the Acromantula colony that he knew lived in one part of the forest. They were joined part way by Umbriago and Hedwig. How they had known that Harry was out and about, he wasn't sure, but their presence seemed to help Luna, especially during the day when Umbriago allowed her to ride on his back. But when they stopped for meals or for the night, Luna would stroke Hedwig's feathers, much to the owl's delight. And she would talk about her life.
The days were filled with stories about her father and mother. It seemed that Luna hadn't had a chance to grieve her mother's death, either, being too busy helping her father cope with it. From the stories, Harry was sorry he hadn't had a chance to meet Luna's mother.
Finally, they reached some hills and cliffs not visible from the castle.
"Luna, we can return to the castle now, or we can do something potentially dangerous. Your choice."
"What's potentially dangerous?"
"A little ways up that cliff is someones secret hideout. Or something. When I discovered it, I didn't check it out too carefully, hoping to come back here with someone to share the discovery. Adventures are more fun that way. The choice is yours: we can explore, or we can start our way back."
It was Saturday, and a note had come by owl asking him to return to Hogwarts. Harry didn't let Luna know that her name wasn't on the letter. What were they thinking?
"I'd like to explore it. That's one of the things we did as a family - visit old castles throughout Europe, trying to find magical secrets in them."
"Then let's check it out. Umbriago, unless you are a mountain goat, I think you'll need to stay here. Luna, secure this rope around your waist and we'll head up the mountain."
Tied together for security, Harry led the way up the mountain. For the most part, it was just very steep hiking. But the last twenty feet were almost straight up. Luna was exhausted when they reached the ledge, and Harry was tired.
"I'm out of shape. I shouldn't be this tired. I think your world is making me soft."
"So now that we're here, what do we do?"
"One of the things I have learned is a bunch of detection spells. I'm not sure how useful they will be when I get back home, but I figure they couldn't hurt. But one of them lets me see magic. I was on that hill over there," Harry pointed across the valley they just crossed, "and saw this ledge glowing like a beacon. So, I came over here, did a little searching and found this..."
Harry put his hand behind a bit of the rock face and pulled. A door-size chunk of rock swung open, revealing a corridor.
"You do realize," Luna said, as she removed the rope and stood up, "that we could have gotten here a lot easier if we had used brooms."
"Er, I hadn't thought of that. We don't have magic brooms where I come from."
Harry and Luna entered the dark corridor. Luna lit her wand and Harry lit a lantern. "It will stay lit if I have to use my wand for something else," he explained. Luna nodded at the idea.
The tunnel remained door-sized for a few dozen paces - a meter wide, and two high. It ended at a real, wooden door with a handle. The wood door was rotting, and if it hadn't been iron-reinforced, it would have fallen apart when they opened it. Opening it, they carefully entered the room.
It lit up as they entered. It was round and about two floors tall. The ceiling was a dome with a painted blue sky. There were bookcases around the outside walls, and a brick oven in the center of the room, with some smooth-topped, shelved stone blocks around it - somewhat like kitchen counters. Harry had a strange feeling of deja vu looking around the room. There were four doors evenly spaced about the room, but at least there weren't any bas-reliefs above each one.
No, the symbols were carved on the doors themselves. The door they stood by had a flying eagle. Across the room, which was slightly smaller than the Ravenclaw common room, was one with its eyes closed. The door to their left had the eagle holding a wand in one of its claws, and the last one had the eagle next to a simple water wave symbol.
The shelves weren't filled, but there were plenty of folios, scrolls, and tomes. Harry noted the golden reflectors behind the sconces on the wall, and the very faded, but still blue, cloth covering the chairs and couches of the room. Harry pulled out his bedroll from his Bag of Holding, and set it up on the floor. Luna had already collected several folios and a couple of tomes and sat down on the floor, not trusting the furniture. Harry made his bedroll available to her, and she took advantage of it by lying down and reading, her wand tucked behind her ear, but lit with the Lumos spell, lighting the book she was reading.
"Stay safe and stay here unless something happens, then get out quickly. Understand?"
"Yes, Harry." she replied.
"Did you even hear me?"
"Stay safe and here and run from danger. Got it," She still didn't look up from her reading.
Harry sighed. He went to the room with the wand picture. Another short, stone corridor led to something Harry wasn't expecting. It was an archery range, or at least the magical equivalent. The room lit up and came alive as he entered. It was at least two hundred paces long and three stories tall. Along one side were stone walls and buildings, with windows. The other side had trees - some half trees against the wall, some out a bit. And up and down each side, and moving back and forth between the sides were scarecrows. Some had wands and others not. They represented children or family groups. There were small objects placed on walls, and actual targets set against the far wall. Harry shot a disarming spell against a moving scarecrow. The spell missed, Harry had overestimated its speed, and it turned and cast a disarming hex against him. Harry had to dodge. He then realized, some of the closer trees and walls would give him some cover. The scarecrow cast again, so Harry returned the favor dodging behind a tree trunk at the same time. His spell hit, and the scarecrows' wand came flying at him. He caught it, dropped it, and it reversed its original flight and went back to the scarecrow who resumed his original movement from one side to the other.
Harry was sure there was a way to change the "difficulty " setting, but didn't know how. He returned to the main room. Luna was sitting with several piles of books.
"Yes, these are only referenced in other books, so are probably the only copies in existence. These," she pointed to another small pile, "are ones I know exist, but are in the original Greek or Latin. These are Arabic, and I can't read it at all, so have no idea how rare they may be. These," the largest pile, "are works I know exist today. And this," she held up one old tome, "is Rowena Ravenclaw's. It's never been published as such, and I've just been giving them a cursory look, so I'm not sure if its filled with insights or new spells, or just random thoughts. I haven't even gotten to the scrolls yet."
Why don't you label some of the bookshelves with your categories, and put them up there. I'm going to check out the other two rooms," Harry told her, and headed for the sleeping eagle. Beyond the seemingly obligatory corridor was indeed a bedroom. Hundreds of years after its use, the bedclothes were decayed, the feather mattress all but destroyed. It seemed Ravenclaw had a thing for working in stone, though, and the shelves in here also survived because of that. A closet, and a water closet, with running waterfall that filled a sink basin, were off the main room. There was a privy, and upon examination, Harry concluded that it was just attached to a very long, deep hole. Despite the waterfall, which was cold water and (he guessed) a convenient spring, this place was created before indoor plumbing. Which made him wonder about the "Chamber of Secrets."
A single portrait was on the wall in the bedroom. A mature, nude woman sat in a chair. The paint had cracked, giving it almost a mosaic look. The woman was not the current muggle ideal of skinny and had long blond hair. The face looked like no one he knew, so that didn't help. The hair had a redish tint, but the the colors were faded. It was not a moving portrait, like the ones in the castle.
He stared at the woman, his hormones kicking in. It was all well and good to be noble to the women of this world, but damn, sometimes it was difficult. He left the room.
Luna had started sorting the library, Systematically going through the bookcases. She smiled at him, and he smiled back.
"Look through there," he pointed back the way he came. "Its a latrine, but better than nothing."
He entered the final door, and was surprised when the corridor snaked through the mountain for a while. It finally arrived at a stone door. Harry opened it, and found another, unexpected sight.
It was a natural grotto. There were rocks that had been carved out to be benches, others that looked like stone beds. The center of the cavern was a pool of steaming water. Harry stuck his hand in - hot, but not too hot. It would be nice to relax in the hot water. Harry found the original exit from the room, but it looked like Ravenclaw had used her affinity to stone shaping to close it permanently.
Harry went back to Luna, who was now using a stone desk and chair for her work.
"How does a stone chair work? I would think it would be too heavy to move around."
"Oh, harry. You are never going to be a wizard are you? You use a feather light charm."
"Well, excuse me for having a career already before I got around to learning magic. There's a hot spring through there. I'm going to go have a soak. Come get me if you need anything or if any danger threatens."
Luna agreed, and Harry went to the hot spring. He removed his clothes, but kept his wand and sword near him on the edge. Twenty minutes later, he felt wonderfully relaxed. He got out, remembered he was a wizard and dried himself off with a spell, dressed, and rejoined Luna.
"We'll have to come back for the scrolls. Any protective spells on them have worn off and they're just too brittle to handle. I already destroyed one by accident."
"We'll have to come back here anyway. My bag can hold a lot of stuff, but not the whole library."
"There are library trunks you can get."
"Let's just start with a dozen or so books that you want to bring."
She pulled all four volumes from the shelf marked Ravenclaw, seven from the Lost shelf, and one from the Unknown-Greek shelf. Harry packed them in his "group treasure" bag, and lit a fire in the oven. They shared some trail rations - cheese and magically preserved bread, some dried beef, and magically preserved fruit; Harry wondered if he could bring a few house elves back with him to his own world. They were much better cooks than he was. He shook his head. Probably not. And he wouldn't want to know what kind of potions could be made from such magical creatures that, once bonded, wouldn't even be able to fight for their own lives.
After dinner, they relaxed, Luna read, and Harry did too. They set up their sleeping arrangements on the rock around the oven, which gave off heat as well as directed it towards whatever food would go into it. The next day, at Harry's insistence, Luna tried out the hot spring. She returned a half hour later, saying she was ready for bed. As they didn't have any time table, they slept in that day (it was Sunday anyway) and headed back to Hogwarts the next day. There was another owl with an angry note from Dumbledore insisting that Harry return at once. Harry penned back that he was on his way.
That night, Harry encountered Dendreg again. But this time, he had very interesting news.
"Harry! Can you hear me?"
"Yes, Dendreg, I can."
"Who's there, Harry?"
"Wha's that, Harry?"
"Luna, my friend Druid Dendroginous is speaking to us from the astral plane. Dendreg, this is Luna Lovegood, a friend."
"Hello, Mr. Dendroginous."
"Hello, Luna. So, finally got a girlfriend, eh, Harry?"
"She's a friend and she's eleven. How's things going?"
"Not so great. The Saxons are moving out of London to take over other areas. But Harry, I got some good news, I think. We came across some information that Enchanter Mycroft had a specialized Amulet of the Planes. It could take him to one of the Nine Planes, and back to the Material Plane. We think if you activate it, there's a fifty fifty chance that you could get home. And to up the chance as much as possible, you should attempt it during one of the more positive holidays, Spring Equinox, maybe, or something like that."
"Saturnia? Christmas, which they celebrate around here, or Epiphany?"
"Probably not. Too close to the winter solstice. It's generally considered a dark time. Sorry. What time of year is it anyway?"
"Mid January, too late for the winter celebrations anyway. What makes you think I have it?"
"I gave it to you. Remember the amulet with the three triangles - nine pointed star? That was it. Has an activation word of 'Transition'."
"Damn, you mean I could have come home at any time? Thanks a lot."
"Not any time. You don't want to end up at the wrong destination."
"So hopefully in about four months time for me, or eight months for you, I'll see you in person."
"And if you end up at the wrong place, I suggest you use the amulet again right away."
"You better believe it."
"Great! I'm looking forward to seeing you. Don't be late."
"Er, any idea where I'll end up when I get to the Prime Material Plane?"
"Not a clue. However, Mycroft came from the Nottinghamshire area. That would be a good guess."
"I'll pack accordingly."
There was no reply. Suddenly, Harry had a crying Luna in his lap, arms wrapped around him.
"I don't want you to go. You're like the only family I have. You're my only friend in the world."
"You need to get new friends."
"I don't want you to go."
"We have several more months."
But she was inconsolable.
Harry held her until she fell asleep. Then he put her down next to him, covered them both with blankets, and went to sleep.
"Mr. Ranger! You just can't leave school any time you want."
Harry was in Dumbledore's office. Dumbledore was mad at him for leaving school, and taking another student with him. But that part didn't come out until Harry pointed it out to him.
Harry, for his part, didn't really care how Dumbledore felt. His respect for the headmaster had taken a downward turn during the Chamber of Secrets incident. He briefly wondered if he should tell Dumbledore that the secret room they found probably wasn't the Slytherin's Chamber of Secrets. Harry decided against it.
"I am an adult in wizarding society, right?"
"Therefore I am responsible to no one but myself."
"You will damage your schooling."
"Am I in any danger of failing any class I am taking?"
"As far as I know, no, you aren't."
"Then I don't think a few days off will really bother me. I felt it was important for Miss Lovegood."
"And that is a whole different matter. You know you can be charged with kidnapping? You are not her guardian."
"No one is her guardian. Currently, there is no one looking out for her."
"The school, and I in particular, is in loco parentis. I am responsible for her."
"And such a good job you're doing. Any student with a family would have had time off to bury a parent. . ."
"And she did."
"And to grieve and recover a bit. I gave her that time.
"But if you're her de-facto guardian, why is it that none of the notes sent to me even mentioned her? As I said, you're doing a poor job with your responsibilities."
"Responsibilities? You have more than just Miss Lovegood in mind?"
"Yes. But I see no reason to go into it here."
Dumbledore sighed. "Why can't you see that I just want what is best for you?"
"Because you're a liar."
"I take exception to that remark," the headmaster answered angrily.
"And I don't care. Until our next frackus, headmaster."
"Mr. Ranger! We have not resolved this!"
"And I doubt we ever will. But it doesn't matter. Its the past.
"But let me ask you, Chief Warlock, what has been done about Mr. Malfoy's father? Besides being the prime suspect in the murder of Mr. Lovegood, he is also the person who set a basilisk loose on the school. Do your responsibilities involve doing something about that?"
"I have warned him that I had better not see any more of Voldemort's items in the school."
"Oh, that's scary. I'm sure he took that to heart. Now he'll just kill muggleborn outside the school, and all will be well."
"No one is murdering muggleborn."
"Only because Colin got lucky and Shacklebolt and I solved the problem. Let me ask you - were you anywhere near the solution when we stumbled upon it?"
Dumbledore looked away, "No. But as you said, you stumbled upon it."
"But that was because I was unfamiliar with the wizarding world. You, who are familiar with it, should have had the answer much sooner. Think about that when your responsibilities allow." With that, Harry did leave the room.
Dumbledore seethed. He had been called a liar. True, he withheld information, but he didn't actually lie. He misdirected and obscured. Unfortunately, this Harry Potter wasn't easily distracted. He contemplated just telling him about the prophecy. Then he shook his head. Why change plans at this late date? Things were still moving in the right direction, admittedly, without him in as much charge as he expected.
"Would it be possible for me to get extra dueling practice?" Tonks asked the scarred senior auror.
"I'm not beating you up enough as it is?" he responded.
"I'm afraid something will come up at the end of the session and I'll be out of school for a while. If that happens, I want to be as far ahead as I can be."
"What's going on?"
"I'm sorry to hear that," Mad Eye Moody responded, glancing at her stomach, as he came to the entirely wrong conclusion, which was what Tonks wanted him to do.
"These things happen, but I want to be prepared."
"Constant vigilance, right? Alright. After dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays I'll meet you in the dueling room."
"Thank you, sir."
"We'll see if you thank me after Tuesday."
Tonks walked away, wondering what she had gotten herself into. If Harry was going to another world, there was no way that she wasn't going with him. And if that was going to happen, with the sort of thing he encountered - she was going to be as good in a fight as she could be.
Leave her behind? Not bloody likely!
ADND ADND ADND
I can't believe how tired I am. If they didn't give us time off on weekends to recover, I'd have been out of here months ago.
Mad Eye is working me to the bone. I think I'm improving. At least I hope so. He's very stingy with the praise, so I'm not getting a lot of feedback.
I am looking forward to seeing you. I hope you stick around at least until Easter, which is late this year, falling on April 20. Auror training academy is closed the week before until the Tuesday afterward. If I recall correctly, Hogwarts is also. So I hope you stay around until Easter.
I can't believe you found Ravenclaw's Retreat. I'm jealous. And with a 'Claw in tow, too. Was that intentional? Was it intentional that you were with a 'Puff when you found Hufflepuff's Hole? You aren't hanging around any Gryffindors, are you? Or, worse yet, Slytherins, considering that you believe that Slytherin's Chamber (so much for alliterative names) is still to be found.
Anyway, I'm sorry you'll be leaving, yet hoping to see you before you go. Please tell me you'll see me at my parents' the week before Easter. Please?
ADND ADND ADND ADND
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tonks,
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help. I can't believe that the Malfoys tried to get a hold of me. They may have called it guardianship, but I think it would have been a quick, but 'accidental' trip to meet my parents.
And while the prospect of seeing them again would make me happy, I don't think being murdered is the way to do it.
I thank you for becoming my guardians.
Harry would have done it, but he's not staying. This makes me sad. I wish I could go with him. He hasn't told me exactly when he's leaving. He plans to do it during a "good" holiday, which would include the Spring Equinox, the first full moon of Spring, or Easter. He said something about meeting your daughter around the Easter break, so that's my guess.
Oh, yes. I almost forgot to accept your invitation to your home for the Easter Break. I'll be on the Hogwarts Express, and expect Harry to be, too.
Again, thank you for everything you have done for me.
ADND ADND ADND ADND ADND
Harry applied himself to his schoolwork with a vengeance. He knew he had only a limited time to learn as many spells as possible. He read ahead in all the years, and was talking to the three professors that taught the spell related courses, Charms, Transfigurations, and Defense. He also spent time with Professor Kettleburn of Care of Magical Creatures, to learn how they used spells in that area to control and defend against various magical creatures. Harry was more interested in the spells to use against the sorts of monsters he faced, but the knowledge was transferable.
He continued with Ancient Runes, especially learning Latin. It was still the written language of Magic Users on his world, and he felt that it could be useful to know what the books he might encounter actually said.
Another area of self study that he dove into was enchanting and enchanted objects. He skipped all the surrounding information about the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts. In his world there was no Statute of Secrecy and everyone had to be wary of cursed objects. It was a foolish man who used a magic item without learning everything he could about it. The amulet of the planes he had was a special case. He knew it was magic, he had had it checked. He knew it involved alteration, and should have realized it may have been an Amulet of the Planes. However, it may have been a teleportation trap, or just a teleportation device. Alteration may have been some sort of shape change, too. He hadn't felt the need to spend the money to resolve the object. He was going to, some day, but there always seemed to be something more important to do, or training to pay for, or duty to perform.
Wizards on this world had reusable (or at least it could be reusable) objects called portkeys that could be set up for fast travel. He finally convinced Professor Flitwick to teach him how to make them. Then, if it turned out he could learn the skill, he might create a very useful method of quick travel. The ability to sneak an army into the heart of London came to mind.
Ginny was another situation. She still hung around Harry as much as possible. She no longer had her crush on the 'Boy-Who-Lived' but she seemed to consider him an older brother. Harry smiled as he thought that the way she talked to him, she might as well consider him an older sister. Not that there was anything wrong in her discussions; it was just that he had nothing to say about women's fashions (especially in this world), makeup, or dating, which Ginny didn't do.
He told her a bit about his limited dating life. There was an elf maiden who he befriended. She was two or three centuries older than him, but the strange elf lifespan kept her in a teenager mindset for as long as she didn't want to grow up and take on adult responsibilities. Then she would have her next growth spell, where she would grow from a maiden to a young lady. And from then on, she would slowly grow more distinguished, but never old. You could see the wisdom of the ages in some mature elves, but more often than not, they would remain carefree youths. That, probably more than anything else, kept them from over populating the world with more near immortal elves.
Ginny and Luna were fascinated by his tales of his world. But while Ginny found it romantic, but not particularly realistic, Luna more than once expressed her desire to go to his world and see the creatures and peoples there. The prospect of whole non-human cultures one could interact with drew her imagination. True, on this world there were the Centaurs and Merpeople and the goblins, but the first weren't interested in people, the second weren't available for much in the way of cultural exchanges, and the latter were thoroughly nasty to people. When Harry pointed out that there was a whole muggle world right next to the magical one, neither Luna nor Ginny were interested in it. Ginny, because of her upbringing, and Luna, because while she could go visit it, they couldn't reciprocate due to the Statue of Secrecy.
At one point Ginny's twin brothers confronted Harry.
"You may be the Boy-who-lived and the defeater of Slytherin's monster, but we want to know what your intentions towards our sister are!"
Harry almost laughed at the implication.
"Let me tell you about Peter the Woodcutter. Peter, when he was young, was by all tales an excellent Fighter. He grew rich and gained a bit of a reputation, and had a cache of magical items. That, more than anything else, tells me he was successful at his profession."
"Fighter. The guy with the sword, or in Peter's case, the two headed battle axe. Which I saw over his mantle. That was not a weapon that most people could lift, let alone use well in combat. But apparently Peter could.
"Then came the time he hired on to a group led by a Magic User searching for a particular book of spells, said to be in the lair of another Magic User a hundred years dead.
"They had the usual problems getting to the Underground, the various monsters and traps in the complex that reduced the number in the party, and finally, they reached their destination, the private apartments of the Magic User.
"They ransacked the place, searching for treasure, and Peter found a trap. It opened beneath him, and deposited him in a room beneath the floor. There, he found a crystal that had the Soul Jar spell cast upon it by the Magic User. So, in essence, the Magic User wasn't dead, despite the fact that his body had been killed a hundred years previous. When Peter came near the crystal, he was possessed. The evil wizard used Peter's body for almost a year before Peter was able to regain control of his own body. He had been a prisoner and passenger in his own mind.
"Yet, even as he came back to himself, he was attacked again and again, and soon fell to the wizards soul again. Luckily he had explained his predicament to the right people, and while his controlled body was stuck in prison, a second expedition returned to the magic user's lair and destroyed the crystal, freeing Peter.
"But there is where the tragedy really starts. Peter was so devastated that he couldn't control his own body that he hung up his weapons, withdrew from almost all human contact, never went on another adventure again, and lived an almost hermit like life even unto this day; assuming he's still alive, as I haven't been in my own world for a year and a half your time.
"That is what I don't want to happen to your sister. Luckily, she's latched on to me like a big brother, but you two are her big brothers. You can do what I do - listen to her, and I mean really listen; pay attention to her; spend time with her. I started doing this so this victory wouldn't include the destruction of a child. I don't think that's going to happen, but I'm the only adult figure that's paying attention to her. It's something she needs. And it's something I won't be able to continue doing."
"Because I have an opportunity to return to my own world. I don't think there are many ways between the worlds, so I doubt I'll be back once I go."
The twins looked serious for a moment.
"Good journey, then, Harry Ranger. We'll try to take your place as adult role models to our sister."
"Heaven help her!" Harry said with a smile. That got some smiles in return.
"When will you be leaving?"
"Not exactly sure. Could be as soon as the Spring Equinox, or as late as the Summer Solstice. It's magical travel, and there are reasons that some times are better than others."
"Well, if you need anything before you go, don't hesitate to ask us."
ADND ADND ADND ADND ADND ADND
Harry learned the fine and difficult art of creating a portkey from Professor Flitwick. The difficulty with portkeys was they took a lot of magic to enchant. The longer the distance, the ability to return to the starting point, the ability to be reused - all these additons caused the enchantment to take more magical power. Unlike Charms or Transfigurations, which were over and done with in one go, to actually enchant an object could take minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. Multiple wizards could be involved. Additional complexity required additional magical power, and thus either more witches or wizards, or more time. Although, certain types of enchanted objects, with lots of spell-like effects, could be done piece by piece, like the Castle of Hogwarts itself. The magical steps were created separately from the magical doorways, or the fluid nature of the interior, or the rudimentary intelligence that controlled the whole thing. The magical motorcycle that Filius had heard about was probably built enchantment by enchantment on various parts; if it had been done against the whole thing, each successive spell would have been harder to put on, magically speaking.
But portkeys took a lot of power for even the most rudimentary one. Filius could create one in an hour, but, he humbly explained, he was rather above average magically. Dumbledore was said to create a simple one as quickly as one could charm an object. The department of the Ministry of Magic that was in charge of creating portkeys regularly used four wizards to do so, and more for international travels.
Harry, under Filius's tutelage, was able to create a simple one in about an hour. Filius noted that he, the Charms instructor, was drained after creating one and would need to rest. Harry appeared ready to create another.
So they went on to the next level, creating a portkey with return capabilities. Harry was warned that Hogwarts was protected from portkeys, either in or out, and that if he were to use his portkey, even though it had the ability to return the user to his starting place, it wouldn't if he started in Hogwarts.
"But if Hogwarts has protections against portkeying out of it, how could you start in Hogwarts in the first place?"
Professor Flitwick looked puzzled for a moment, and said, "Ten points to Hufflepuff for pointing out the blatantly obvious." Then he chuckled.
The strange thing was, when Harry created a portkey with the ability to return to its starting point, that also took an hour. And while Harry felt tired, he didn't feel the exhaustion that Filius described.
The portkey lessons took most of February and March, and when Harry finally created the most complex portkey, a permanent, two way portkey to the Tonks' house, he was finally exhausted. Yet it still only took him an hour. Filius scratched his head over the situation, but in the end accepted it as just another strange, unexpected effect of magic.
"If you could understand it, it wouldn't be magic," he explained.
ADND ADND ADND ADND ADND ADND ADND
"Mr. Ranger, do you know why you are here?"
"No, Professor McGonagall, I don't."
"I have reports from Professors Babbling, Kettleburn, Flitwick, Shacklebolt, and myself that you are not doing your assignments. You are in danger of failing. You are not even going to your Astronomy lessons. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Harry took a calming breath and looked around Professor McGonagall's office. There were stacks of rolled up parchment, books, and filing cabinets. There was virtually nothing indicating that the person who worked here had a life outside the office.
"I paid for my education, and I am seeing to it that I am getting it. I am working hard to learn as many spells as possible, and, for the most part, the essays on the spells we are learning is a distraction and waste of my time. I don't envision returning to Hogwarts next year, so the more magic I learn, the better off I'll be."
"Mr. Ranger! If you don't return to Hogwarts, how will you continue your education? You certainly can't make it in the wizarding world with a third-year education."
Harry smiled, "I don't intend to make it in the wizarding world. I intend to return to my own world."
"You can do that with just a third year education? I'd like to see that!"
"I never said I was going to do it on my own. Since Warlock Dumbledore doesn't appear to be keeping his word to help me return to my own world, I will get help elsewhere. He's not the only powerful wizard in the world, you know. I hear America, a land that doesn't exist in my world, has some very powerful Magic Users. If I have to, I will scour the world looking for help returning to my world. So, your essays and detentions don't mean a thing to me. I intend to learn as much as I can before I go."
"I cannot but help thinking you are sacrificing knowledge for skill. The skill can certainly come later, but you won't be able to gain the insight into the spells you are learning without some of these essays. And once away from Hogwarts, you won't have access to one of the best magical libraries in the world."
"I think I can live with my choices. I don't think I could forgive myself for missing the opportunities to learn the spells, if not the theory behind them."
In the end she had to accept his decision, as there was nothing she could do. Dumbledore had told her she couldn't expel him. That tied her hands. Any other student who didn't follow instructions would have been out of here. Why was Albus so interested in Harry Ranger, nee Potter?
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"Mr. Ranger, Professor McGonagall tells me that you do not intend to return to Hogwarts next year. Is this correct?"
"It is. The gods willing, I will find someone who can help me get home. It's pretty obvious that no such help is forthcoming from England."
"You mean you do not intend on staying in Britain?"
"I believe everyone says you are the most powerful wizard in all the British Islands. If you can't help me, then I must go elsewhere."
"What if there was no way back?"
"Ridiculous. I got here, therefore it's not impossible."
"But look at it this way. If you place a piece of parchment on the floor, and let a drop of ink fall on it from a story up, you might hit the parchment, but you'd never be able to hit the same place twice. You may be able to travel to another world, but you would never be able to reach the world you called home."
"That is your opinion. I think I'll check with other Magic Users for their opinions."
"I humbly present myself as the greatest wizard of this age."
"And Fredrika of Kent was the greatest Druidess of her age, having reached the level of Master Druid. Yet, when an enemy came after her because of a treasure she guarded, she was killed by an orc. Her skills, her prowess, her wisdom, and her experience weren't enough to protect her from an orc.
"I'll be seeking other's opinions."
"You will be wasting your time."
"It's my time."
"You can wait until after you graduate Hogwarts."
"My liege lord needs me. I would be remiss in my duty if I did not go."
"It is just a few more years. . . ."
"It is twice as many years on my world."
"You keep saying that, but it's not true! THIS is your world. This is the world where you were born. This is the world where you should be living! Not some backwards world such as you describe." Dumbledore was angry.
"Yes, a backwards world without automobiles and airplanes and railroads and telephones and technology. What does that sound like. Oh yes, your secret, magical world."
"A world without the magics we do!"
"Somehow, we survive quite well without all the magics you do, thank you. Although, I have to say there are an awful lot more magic items in my world than in yours."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Nothing. Just a point of difference. Good night Headmaster."
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Easter break finally came around. Many of his professors were surly with him, because Harry was barely doing the homework. Even Shacklebolt and Flitwick were angry with him. He had wanted to say goodbye to them and to thank them, but he felt he couldn't chance it. He had given less than totally honest answers to a number of people about his returning home. He realized, belatedly and abashedly, that didn't need anyone interfering with his leaving.
He took all his stuff and packed it up. He met Luna at the Ravenclaw house. He paid off his fourth year tutors.
Luna agreed to travel to the Tonks' house by portkey with Harry. They would avoid the train that way. Harry thought he would feel compelled to say goodbye to everyone he knew, and word of his leaving would leak out. They took the carriages to Hogsmeade station, took hold of the portkey, and activated it.
Harry and Luna arrived in the middle of the Tonks living room. They were soon met by Mr. Tonks ('Call me Ted, or Uncle Ted if you must') and Luna was shown to Nymphadora's room where she would be sleeping. Harry was given the guest room.
Now that they were 'home' Luna wanted to go out shopping. She wanted a broom, and thought Harry should get one too, since he had grown to like flying, and it would be an unusual and unexpected mode of travel in Harry's world.
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Harry and Luna did go on a shopping trip to Diagon Alley. They picked up brooms, ("Something solid for me, and something well built and fast for you," Luna told him). Luna also bought a book bag with a magically expanded interior. She told Harry that she was going to start carrying around all her important things with her, like he did. They stopped by Gringotts. Both Harry emptied his account and Luna took out a large amount of gold. When Harry asked why, she didn't want to say. Harry was afraid she might do something like buy a pony, but, much as he liked her, he wasn't her guardian, and it would be up to Andi and Ted to teach her how to handle her money. He would warn them about the withdrawal.
Luna did talk with an account manager about keeping the property in Dover where her house stood secure and in her family. She didn't want it lost do to something silly like not paying property taxes. The goblins, for a fee, would take care of the property. Luna left satisfied, and Harry was impressed.
Finally, they came to the most important store (in Harry's mind) - Olivander's.
"Harry Ranger, Twelve inches, unicorn and holly. Is there anything wrong with your wand?"
"No, Master Wand Wright. However, I intend to soon travel back to my own world. As there is no regular connection between our worlds, I was hoping to learn a bit about the construction of a wand, so that should I need to replace mine, I would be able to do so."
"I do not teach my craft to outsiders."
"Then is there a book telling how it is done?"
"There is not such a book for those not of my family."
"Drat. Then I'm out of luck, and your craft will never exist on my world. A shame."
"Maybe," Luna said. "And maybe it will. Uncle Ollivander, will you share your secrets with me?"
"Luna Lovegood. Ten and a half inches, whomping willow and unicorn hair. Yes, you are of the family, but you are too young."
"Then, perhaps you could give me a book, and I can start learning it on my own."
"That's not how it's done."
"How it's done is how it's done. If you gave me a book on wand making, then that would be how it's done in this case. The fact that no one else did it like that wouldn't be germane."
"But I would be extremely irresponsible to give you such a book. You could show it to your friends, and then the secret would be out!"
"I could take an unbreakable vow to never show the book to anyone not in the family and to never teach anyone in the world the secrets of wand making."
It actually took another half hour before Luna wore the old wand maker down, and he accepted her unbreakable vow. Harry thought it was funny, but left without achieving his goal.
Harry, Luna, and the whole Tonks family took a day to visit Ravenclaw's Retreat, as it was named by their daughter. They carefully cast preservation spells on the scrolls, and packed them and the entire library in moving boxes they brought for the occasion.
They had their swimsuits, and spent a very relaxing time in the hot pool. Ted took the opportunity to extoll the pleasures of indoor plumbing.
"Some places have water available inside buildings, but no, indoor plumbing, like in your world, is unknown in mine. Although the public baths in Bath are widely known and people who can do make pilgrimages there to enjoy them."
"We have places similar, although to be honest, most aren't known for their baths. The beaches on the Mediterranean Sea are usually for swimming and relaxing. Monte Carlo, on the coast of France, is known for gambling. Paris is known for its food and art treasures. America, well, America is known for wide open spaces, huge cities, and crazy people."
"Our population is much smaller than yours. According to Hermione Granger, it's because of your agricultural revolution that allows fewer farmers to feed more people, and thus they can become tradesman, clerks, entertainers, and layabouts."
Andi's eyebrow raised at the last comment. "And which category do we fall into?"
"Clerks. Although in my world, there isn't enough work to have many full time barristers and solicitors. So they would spend other time as the lord of the land requires; knowing how to read and write isn't that common, and they would have many opportunities to use their skills."
"Sounds like a strange place," Ted commented, with a shake of his head.
"Let me tell you, it makes a lot more sense to me than your world. Talk about strange." Harry had a lot of comments on the strange things he had encountered, or at least strange to him. It was fascinating getting an outsider's view on what they considered normal, everyday life.
But all good things come to an end, and they dried off, packed up, and went back to the Tonks' house.
Harry did give Ted and Andi a permanent portkey that would take them to Ravenclaw's Retreat and back to their home. They would be able to slip away and enjoy what Ted called "a natural hot tub" any time they wanted.
Harry, Tonks and Luna stood in the Tonks' backyard. Harry noticed that Luna wasn't as upset as he expected.
"This is your last chance, Tonks. My world can be a pretty dangerous place, with monsters, armies, and magical items that can hex you. They are all over the place. I've lost more companions than I care to think about."
"You refused to date me because you came from a different world and were going back. I'm going back with you, so we can at least have a chance to see if we're compatible. Now let's get on with it."
"Good bye Luna. I'll miss you."
"I don't think you'll miss me as much as you think you will. You'll be very busy, fighting Saxons, saving towns, going on adventures. You'll hardly have any time to think of me."
"I would never forget you. Could never forget you. I'm just sorry I won't be around when you publish the annotated version of Ravenclaw's notebooks."
She looked sad at that. "That would be fun, but I don't think they'll be published. Some day I'll have to share with you what's in them."
"Now you've got my curiosity up."
Luna smiled at that. "Then you'll just have to do something to satisfy it. You know that an unsatisfied curiosity causes raxworms to breed in your bed. Hardly the sort of thing you want happening."
"No, I doubt anyone wants raxworms in their bed. Goodbye Luna." Harry knelt down on one knee and opened his arms for a hug. Luna jumped into them and a short time later they let go.
"Now go, before I do something like cry, and you don't want to know what that might cause."
Harry nodded, and lifted the amulet that he wore around his neck. Tonks, her stuff already in a magic bag slung over her shoulder, grabbed Harry in a hug and held his hand that was holding the amulet.
As Harry took a breath to activate the amulet, Luna lunged forward and grabbed him tight. Harry said the word and the world dimmed like the lights were going out.
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Dear Andi and Ted,
Please accept my heartfelt thanks for letting me into your home and into your lives.
When you read this, your daughter and I should be in my world. She insisted on coming, and asked that you contact Dumbledore to get her back to your world sometime in the middle of August so she can resume classes.
As long as Dumbledore doesn't try to just pull her through, as he did me, she will at the least give him a message for you, or should she decide that my world isn't what she wants, she will return. I cannot make up her mind, I am sorry to say.
Enclosed are several letters. If we do not return tonight, then we are at least out of the world, and will not be returning any time soon. So if we are not there to stop you, please send the letters to the addressed people.
Again, thank you very much.
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Dear Professor _,
Thank you for your time and work sharing magic with me. I regret to inform you that I have returned to my own world, and will not be able to finish out the year.
It was good to meet you, and perhaps we shall meet again.
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Dear Professor Dumbledore,
We did not part on good terms the last time we met, and for that I blame you. I still do not know what you wanted from me, but as of now, it is a moot question. I have either returned home, or was killed on one of the circles of Hell.
Should I still be alive, please do not try to pull me into your world again. I will kill you if you do.
Despite our differences, I do have a favor to ask you. In August, please contact Nymphadora Tonks the same way you contacted me before the kidnapping. She may want to go home at that time. I would appreciate it if you would bring her home, but only if she consents.
Please remember my threat should you kidnap me. I am known as a man of my word, and I would take my displeasure at being in your world again out on you, as honor would demand it.
Please take your responsibilities to instruct the children in your care to the best of your abilities, and protect them.
With luck, we will never see each other again.
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I have taken an opportunity to go home to my own world. Please don't think of this as a rejection of you. You should work at finding friends in your own grade now. You have successfully overcome what Riddle did to you. Don't let him win by hiding yourself from your fellow students. You are a good witch on your way to greatness.
Take care of yourself.
Your friend from afar,
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Albus Dumbledore, headmaster, Grand Sorceror, Chief Warlock, Supreme Mugwump - crumpled the letter in his hand.
"Damn. Damn. Damn! Damn! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!
"Why do people have to be so damn difficult!"
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Author Note: That's the end of the first part. The second, as if you didn't know, takes place in Harry's D&D world. I realize that I have very slow updates, but I am working on it. Thanks for the reviews and encouragement.
And a special thanks to those people who helped point out problems with the chapter when I posted it in the Caer Azkaban group.