Title: Reaching for the Stars
Fandoms: Harry Potter, DCVerse, Justice League, Marvelverse, Star Trek AOS/Reboot/2009
Categories: Crossover, xover, AU, drama, action, romance
Characters/Pairing: Hermione Granger/Jim Kirk (Reboot), Adrian Pucey, Harry Potter, Reboot Enterprise crew
Series Title: Crossing Dimensions, Saving People
Summary: Hermione Granger is an Unspeakable on a solo mission tracking down escaped Death Eaters. Unfortunately she has to travel across dimensions in pursuit of her targets.
Beta: DelphiPsmith – Delphi hon, I loved working with you
Warnings: some violence, secondary character deaths, some strong language
Author Notes: B7 EWE, Harry's dream of the big happy Weasley family does not happen.
For: LJ hgcrossovers – Hermione Granger Crossover Exchange 2011 – jadecharmer
6) The war didn't end with the death of Voldemort and has spilled over into other areas/timelines. Hermione is sent to try and clean up the mess and/or train those now caught up by the war on how to deal with magic.
1) War makes for strange bedfellows (or, the enemy of my enemy is my friend).
3) I have been known to lie to serve my own agenda.
2) Changing one moment changes more than she thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and co, J.K. Rowling does. Ironman, Wolverine, Sorcerer Supreme, Avengers, etc belong to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics. Batman, Zatanna, Wonder Woman, J'onn, Superman, Justice League, etc belong to DC comics et al. Star Trek, Jim Kirk, Spock and co belong to Gene Roddenberry, Paramount, J.J. Abrams, et al.
Summary: Unspeakable Hermione Jean Granger has received a new mission. Even though it involves a one-way trip to an alien future, she does not turn it down and her friends insist on helping her prepare. In her target time/dimension, James Tiberius Kirk has received a new mission of his own: escort a specialist to track down an unidentified anti-tech terrorist.
AN: Sequel to 'Playing with a Bat'. Hermione's parents are dead, due to something non-magical like a car accident.
AN: Post the movie Star Trek: Reboot/AOS/IX/2009.
~ooO Reaching for the Stars 1 Ooo~
Harry Potter nodded at those he recognized as he followed the maitre d' to a private table near the back of the exclusive restaurant. He was surprised to see Hermione was not alone but he did not say anything as polite greetings were exchanged and orders for drinks and appetizers placed. Adrian Pucey was an Unspeakable and co-worker. The reason for this lunch date was probably work related.
Harry waited until the maitre d' left before sitting up straighter and steeling his nerves. "All right then. Lay it on me."
Hermione was taken aback. "Excuse me?"
Harry made a gesture indicating the restaurant around them. "You've refused any spontaneous offers of having lunch together ever since you became an Unspeakable. All our lunches have been scheduled at least a week in advance. And then today you send me a memo asking me to join you for an extended lunch hour." He leaned forward on his elbows. "That tells me you have some bad news to share. Preferably in sort of private neutral territory. Like this restaurant."
The blonde wizard sitting next to Hermione laughed. "He's got you there, Granger! Pay up!"
"Hush up, Pucey," Hermione grumbled as she passed a galleon over. She reached out to place an odd pale-rose crystal geode on the table, tapping it with a fingertip. Soft silvery light lit it up from within. "Privacy ward," she explained seeing Harry's curious look. "The restaurant is run by a former Unspeakable and guarantees privacy, but it doesn't hurt." Her expression turned sober. "You're right. I do have news, probably what you'll call bad news. I've asked Adrian to join us as a neutral mediator. He understands what I've chosen to do, despite having the same reaction you probably will."
Harry blinked. "Now you're making me nervous. You aren't dying, are you?"
Hermione was taken aback. "No. No I'm not."
Harry relaxed a tad. The conversation turned to more neutral topics while they were served their drinks and appetizers. A few minutes later, after finishing off a tiny quiche tart, Harry broke the careful neutral air. "Just tell me."
And Hermione did. She gave him the vaguest details of her last project, and then outlined the dangers inherent in Crossing the Mists. And the fact several Death Eater escapees had fled to other dimensions.
Harry's expression turned grim. "No wonder the Department of Magical Law Enforcement haven't been able to track any of them down! Why hasn't this information been shared with the Aurors?"
Pucey's lips turned down at the corners. "That was Direcawl's decision. He's Head of the Department of Mysteries and a Traditionalist. Anyway, the escapees will not be too much of an issue for much longer. The DoM has been sending teams to retrieve them."
Harry turned to Hermione. "Is that why you've been away so much? Everyone has been sending owls and stopping by your flat, but you're never there."
"Yes." Hermione smiled as she confirmed his conclusions.
"Don't be so relaxed, Potter," Pucey warned the Gryffindor alumnus. "Direcawl really has it for Granger. She's the only one sent solo on the retrieval missions. The ritual to Cross the Mists is draining, and still she's been sent alone, repeatedly, without a break, to catch some of the most insane and lethal Dark Arts users alive today."
Harry's lips thinned. "How many?" he demanded.
"Seven," Hermione answered after a tense silence. "The next one will be the last."
Pucey snorted. "Sure. Because she'll never come back from this one."
"WHAT?" Before he could recover enough composure to demand details, Hermione gave them to him.
"It's my choice Harry. The last escapee modified the Ritual to make it harder to track him down. It was sheer luck we managed to do so. I'm the best choice to go after him. Because I'm Muggleborn, because I have experience working solo and it will be in a highly scientific Muggle society."
Harry shook his head. "I don't get it. What does he mean, you can't come back? You came back from all your other trips, right?"
Hermione nibbled on her breaded prawn and finished half of it before speaking. "My Ritual uses a customizable runic array that allows the caster to step sideways, across the mists separating worlds." Her eyes hardened. "Dolohov modified the array to go across dimensions, and forward. We can step sideways and return to the initial starting point with minimal error, but stepping sideways and forward is far more difficult. Once you step forward the universe is set. You are not in it and the future has been shaped accordingly. If you go back, it changes the future you've been to. Paradox. Going back is different because it's already happened, or will happen. Like Third Year." Her expression was knowing, alluding to the time they rescued Sirius and Buckbeak from the Ministry.
Harry turned to Pucey. "Why does Hermione have to do it? Aren't there others? I mean she created the Ritual! If she goes and never returns…" he trailed off.
Pucey's expression turned weary. "Precisely. She's being railroaded. She knows it. I know it. You know it. But she won't refuse the mission."
Hermione smiled faintly. "If I don't go then someone else will have to. Most of the other Unspeakables are too old and inexperienced with fieldwork, or they're young with families and children. I'm an orphan without a boyfriend or many friends who'd miss me."
She had sent her parents to Australia to protect them from Death Eaters. After the Battle of Hogwarts she had been unable to go and retrieve them immediately; there was too much that needed to be done. Ten weeks after Voldemort died Hermione travelled by International portkey to Australia only to find her parents had died in a car crash three weeks after they had arrived. While she had been running from Snatchers her parents had been buried under the names Monica and Wendell Wilkens.
Harry blinked back tears. "I'll miss you!"
Hermione reached out and squeezed his hand. "And I you. But I can't stand by and let someone else track down Dolohov."
Cold fingers ran down Harry's spine. "Dolohov? Antonin Dolohov?"
Hermione smiled grimly. "Yes. And you know why I can't let this go. We know how dangerous he can be. There is a ninety-four percent chance he'll kill anyone sent after him."
"And you're going after him by yourself?" Harry was horrified.
Hermione shrugged. "Direcawl will only authorize one person to neutralize Dolohov. A volunteer-only mission. If I don't volunteer, no one will. Be honest, Harry, who would volunteer to go on a one-way trip to an alien world with no magic?"
Harry opened his mouth and then shut it. He knew the answer as well as Hermione. No one. No one except her. He looked at her more closely and saw she was frightened. Terrified by the choice she had made. Begging him to support her. Just like she had supported his decision to walk out and face Voldemort. She was the closest thing he had to a sister and he was losing her. He would never see her, never know if she died of old age, or in agony and pain, if she fell in love and found a new family, or died a spinster…
She had made her choice. The best thing he could do was support her. He inhaled deeply. "Okay. Have you told anyone else of your one-way trip? Have you made any plans or packed?"
Hermione blinked taken aback by his unexpected acceptance. "N-no…" she stammered. "Well, I told Adrian and Padma because they're Unspeakables also. I want to tell Luna, Neville and Minerva in person. Everyone else is getting a letter after I leave," she confessed.
Harry snorted. "Want to avoid Molly's Howlers, don't you?"
She nodded sheepishly.
"Can't blame you." Harry sat up straighter and pushed back his glasses. "First off, you're going to get a hefty settlement from the Ministry. This is a voluntary one-way exile for the benefit of Wizarding Britain and they owe you future salary you're giving up. Direcawl will give up a percentage of his budget to help kit you out with everything you could possibly need, at least for a few years while you're tracking down Dolohov and settling down. We should also check with Gringotts. The Goblins might have methods of communicating across the Mists."
Hermione blinked back tears. "Harry…"
He held his hands up. "Don't go crying on me, 'Mione. I owe you a great deal. Since you aren't going to be around for me to pay off, I'm going to make damn sure you get everything to help keep you alive and fed. Do you have any details of this world you're going to?"
"Good. Give me what you can and let's start putting together a shopping list. For Magical and Muggle stores. The Ministry is damn well going to foot the bill for this, so don't hesitate to put down anything you think you could use." Then he noticed the peculiarly intense expression of the older Slytherin. "What?" he demanded.
Pucey shook his head. "Just surprised, Potter. Didn't realize you had it in you."
Harry frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Ruthlessness. You're going to gouge the Ministry for everything you can get."
The explanation was simple for Harry. "It's for Hermione. She kept me alive when we were in Hogwarts, and after. I'm going to make damn certain she lives a comfortable life wherever she ends up." His expression hardened. "If Kingsley and Direcawl don't like it they can just suck it up, or I'm giving an interview to Rita Skeeter on how they're sending a war heroine on a one-way trip to a magicless dimension with no money or resources to live."
Hermione choked on her drink. "Harry!" she sputtered in admonishing tones.
Harry refused to feel guilty. "It's nothing but the truth, Hermione!"
Hermione shook her head. "Let's just order lunch. We have to get back to work."
Harry shook his head. "Why don't we not," he countered. "I'll let Kingsley know we're taking the next few days off to help you prepare for your trip." He turned to Pucey. "Want to join us?"
Pucey grinned. "Sure, why not? I definitely want to make sure the shopping bill destroys Direcawl's discretionary budget for the next few years."
Hermione opened her mouth to protest then shut it. Harry and Adrian did have a point. It would be only fair to have Direcawl pay for her supplies.
Captain James Tiberius Kirk hissed and threw down his PADD. The Enterprise had just missed catching the Anti-Tech Terrorist. He'd used the chaos caused by the destruction of Antiga's orbital station to escape undetected.
Kirk glared around the conference table that seated his senior staff.
"This is unacceptable," he enunciated clearly and frigidly. "We had the bastard pinned down on Antiga III. There was a complete lockdown on transportation from the surface to anything in orbit. Giotto! Spock! What happened?"
The Vulcan First Officer looked uncharacteristically perturbed. "It is undetermined at this time, Captain," he admitted. "Lt Giotto and I have confirmed there was a complete transportation lockdown. The target was on the surface. There is no logical explanation for how he managed to get onto the orbital station."
Jim inhaled sharply. "There is an explanation, gentlemen, and I expect you to find it." He turned to stare at the stars through the transparent aluminium windows. "The target killed fifteen thousand on Antiga and the orbital station. And that is just the newest number to add to his score." He looked each of his senior staff in the eye in turn. "I know criminal investigations and anti-terrorist actions are not our usual duties, but the Federation is running thin now. We cannot risk losing the trust of the member nations to violence. Admiral Pike has offered to send a specialist to help us track the target down." He smiled grimly. "I had hoped we could have finished this on Antiga, but it looks like we'll be waiting for the specialist from the Admiralty."
There was a small tense silence that only Nyota Uhura was brave enough to break. "Do we have an ETA or any other details on the specialist?"
Uncharacteristically Jim ignored her and tapped his PADD. "Sulu, we need to be at these co-ordinates in two hours. The shuttle Ganymede will be waiting for us with our new guest."
Hikaru Sulu responded promptly. "Understood, Captain."
"Good. I'll be in my Ready Room. Comm me when we're five minutes from the rendezvous point. Giotto, Spock, go over every scrap of data and try to find something."
Giotto stiffened in his chair. "Yes, Sir!"
Spock assented calmly. "Affirmative, Captain."
Jim turned and stalked towards the doors which slid open for him. Once he was out of the conference room they slid shut, leaving his officers in a tense silence that was broken by the Enterprise CMO, Doctor Leonard 'Bones' McCoy.
"He's real pissed right now, so if y'all have any sense you'll stay outta his way."
It was good advice and taken to heart by everyone.
Over the next two hours the senior officers and their departments put all of their efforts into trying to determine just what had happened on Antiga. Chekov and Scotty worked with Spock and Giotto to re-create the events via computer simulation. Uhura went over all the comm records trying to determine if there had been any unrecognized warning messages. McCoy focused on soothing the younger, more high-strung crew members who had been badly affected by the failure on Antiga. The deaths reminded everyone of the devastation suffered during the Battle of Vulcan and the Narada's attack on Earth.
Jim Kirk brooded in his Ready Room, writing, reading and signing off on reports. He forced himself to write condolence letters to the families of the five crew members who had died on Antiga, then threw his stylus down and raked his hair back. He loved being a Captain, but this part of the responsibilities was one of the most difficult. He hated losing his crew. It reminded him too much of his own loss, of his father.
The comm chimed. He reached out and tapped the interface built into the desk surface. "Kirk here."
"Captain, we are approaching the rendezvous point. The Ganymede has confirmed their passenger will be ready for transport in ten minutes."
"Very good, Lieutenant. Ask Commander Spock and Lieutenant Giotto to join me in Transporter Room Two."
Ten minutes later Jim Kirk, Spock, and Andre Giotto were in Transporter Room Two awaiting the arrival of the specialist from Admiral Pike.
"The Ganymede reports they are ready for transport," the transporter tech informed the waiting senior officers.
Jim turned towards the platform. "Then energize."
There was a column of silver shimmer and swirls of energy that shaped itself into the outline of a female form. When it finally faded, a young human female in her mid-twenties stood on the transporter pad.
She was not tall, and more curvy than slender with light brown curls restrained at the nape of her neck and flowing down her back. She was not gorgeous or even striking, with understated, unremarkable features and dark brown eyes. Her skin was free of cosmetics, creamy with a light tan. She wore a long flared grey skirt and matching vest over a high-necked, full-sleeved pale cream blouse. Black boots laced up the front, and she carried a black satchel over one shoulder. As she stepped off the pad the skirt swirled around her legs gracefully.
Jim stepped forward, holding out a hand. "I'm Captain James Kirk." He turned, indicating his officers in turn. "This is First Officer Commander Spock and Chief of Security Lieutenant Giotto."
To his surprise she held her hand out, palm down and fingers curved to point downwards, the opening for an old-fashioned gesture. Without hesitation, he took her fingers gently in his and bowed over the back of her hand, brushing a kiss against her knuckles.
She chuckled throatily. "Well met, Captain Kirk. My name is Hermione Granger. I am the specialist from Admiral Pike." She turned her head to meet the eyes of all three officers. "I greet you. Now," her tone turned brisk. "Why don't we get down to business? I need to meet your senior officers as soon as possible. And I'll need you to change your course to these coordinates." She rattled off a series of numbers. "I'll explain at the meeting."
Jim frowned but nodded. "Do you have anything else that needs to be transported over?"
She smiled and patted her satchel. "I have everything I need in here."
As Jim led the small group to the reserved Conference Room he kept up a stream of small talk and idle flirtations. To his surprise, she did not respond to his banter but merely smiled and did not say anything. Jim was put out by her non-reaction and upped his efforts.
By the time they finally reached the conference room her expression was one of patient tolerance. As they entered the room she finally spoke. "You don't have to flirt with every female in sight, Captain."
Uhura was not quite successful in hiding her reflexive smile to the newcomer's comment.
Jim looked offended. "I don't flirt with every female in sight!"
Hermione Granger ignored his statement and continued in the same tolerant voice. "I happen to be the only, ergo every, female in your field of view. You were flirting. It qualifies."
Bones snorted. Jim ignored him. "I reserve the right to take offence. I only flirt with people I'm attracted to."
Hermione Granger arched a knowing brow. "Now I must disagree. I don't believe that claim since I know I'm not your type."
Now Jim took genuine offence. "Oh really? And what is my type?"
Her response was quick and undaunted. "Tall, slim and gorgeous. Attractive people tend to date attractive people, and you are very attractive, Captain."
Jim was taken aback by the compliment and sting wrapped as one. "You think I'm that shallow?"
She tilted her head to one side, studying him intently. "No…" Her response was drawn out and thoughtful. "Not really. But it is your first preference."
Jim frowned. Mentally he went over his dating history and realized she was right. Everyone he had dated had been physically exceptional specimens of their species.
"You're right," he admitted. "Attractive people catch my attention - but only the intelligent ones keep me coming back." He smirked. "You know what they say: the brain is the biggest sexual organ."
She stared at him and shook her head bemusedly before moving to the front of the room to set her bag on the table. She reached into it and pulled out three items. A red beaded ladies evening bag. A chunk of pink crystal. A slender rod of carved wood, twenty-five centimetres long. She picked up the geode and handed it to Jim, who was sitting closest to her. "Examine it. Reassure yourself it is an ordinary chunk of crystal."
Kirk explored the rough facets and edges, then passed it to Bones who was sitting next to him. The crystal made its way around the table and finally reached Spock, who scanned it with his tricorder.
"An unremarkable chunk of rose quartz, one point two three kilograms in mass."
Hermione Granger held up the slender shaft of wood. "Would you please come forward and scan this, Commander Spock."
The Vulcan ran his tricorder along it. "Fifty year old Lebanese cedar, twenty-three point five centimeters long, one point five five in diameter at the widest point tapering to zero point six three at the other end. There is an unrecognizable organic substance in the core. It emits an almost indistinguishable energy signature in a very rare narrow spectrum." Spock's eyes narrowed. "It is in the same range as the energy signature detected at the other terrorist sites and Antiga." A murmur ran around the table at these words.
Hermione inclined her head. "Very good, Commander." She turned to the table and held up the shaft of wood. "I want you to suspend your disbelief and questions for ten minutes. Ignore the impossibilities and only consider the possibilities." She waited until everyone around the table had signalled their agreement before continuing. "You've seen and read the reports on psis, espers, paths, kinetics, clairvoyants. There is irrefutable evidence they are real and they exist. In some cases you've even encountered them personally. Consider the possibility of a small subset of humanity capable of wielding energy that manipulates matter on the quantum level; beings who can do all that and much, much more. Every fairy tale and nightmare and myth has a core of truth, stories born from a real, but seemingly impossible, event. That magic is real."
She tapped the tip of her carved stick on the crystal which began to glow with an internal light as bright as a portable lantern. She moved the tip of the stick in an intricate pattern. Feathers and butterflies burst from the tip and fluttered around the room. When the crew reached out and touched them they disintegrated into iridescent dust that vanished before hitting the surface.
The crew watched in as she created a set of intricately carved cut-glass goblets and drew a pale pink translucent liquid from the tip of her wand, directing the liquid to fill each glass. She picked up one half-full glass with her left hand and sipped from it, then raised the goblet in a toast.
"In vino veritas. If you dare, feel free to drink. You're going to need it before this meeting is over." She took another sip, then added, "Admiral Pike downed half a bottle during my presentation."
Jim was the first to take up her dare. Rose wine. Light and refreshing. One by one the crew followed his example, except for Spock and Chekov.
"This is impossible," Spock murmured. "One cannot create matter out of nothing."
Hermione Granger snorted indelicately. "Who says it is created out of nothing? I'm giving up a portion of my energy. The molecules and energy in the air are being compressed and reshaped into the form I desire." The corner of one mouth lifted in a half-smile. "In fact, transfiguration could be considered the magical equivalent of replicators. Only it is not so limited as your technology."
"So what are you?" Bones asked cautiously.
"I am a witch. The male equivalent is wizard. My people use wands as a focusing tool and channel." She held up the shaft of wood. "Magic is possible without a focusing device, but the effects are more erratic." She replaced the wand on the table, then pointed her finger at Chekov who exclaimed in surprise as his gold tunic turned blue, then red, then back to gold.
She picked up the beaded evening bag, opened the clasp, and thrust in first her hand, then her forearm, then her whole arm all the way to the shoulder - into a bag that was less than fifteen centimetres along its longest side.
She tossed the bag to Chekov who warily tested the phenomenon for himself. Pushing his hand in up to the elbow, then pulling it out, feeling along the inside for the limits, eyes widening when he realized there were no limits.
She took pity on the baffled science staff. "An expansion charm," she explained. "A self-contained subspace pocket without the limitations of technologically created ones." Her nose crinkled. "Think of it as a Mary Poppins bag."
Bones coughed, choking on a stifled laugh.
Hermione merely smiled and watched the bag as it was passed around the table, various crew members taking turns trying to find the bottom. Hermione grinned as she watched the Vulcan, in particular, struggle to make sense of what his senses were telling him. He looked dazed.
"This is impossible," he murmured. "There is no such thing as magic."
Dark brown eyes lost all warmth and amusement. "Is that so, Commander Spock?" Her voice was cold. Before anyone could reply she picked up the wand and pointed it at Spock, murmuring something softly. Blue energy poured from the wand's tip and enveloped the Vulcan completely in an opaque glowing haze, before it shrank to a globe the size of a football and faded away. Once the haze was gone, and everyone could see again, Commander Spock was gone.
"Miaow!" An indignant feline yowl pierced their ears, and they turned to see a large black cat, yellow eyes narrowed in irritation.
McCoy voiced the question on everyone's mind. "Where did that cat come from? Where's Spock?"
The cat miaowed again, louder and more insistent this time. The creature hissed and yowled before leaping up onto the Conference table. From the chair that had last been occupied by Spock.
Uhura's voice raised an octave. "Turn him back!"
Stony brown eyes did not recoil from the anger in the Kenyan-born officer. "No." Hermione turned to the others present. "Any questions?"
Jim stared at the cat that, he strongly suspected, used to be his First Officer. Intellectually he knew he should be afraid and concerned. He should make the same demands as Uhura. He opened his mouth to speak and surprised himself with what came out. "Will you have dinner with me?"
Everyone turned to look at him. Including a thunderstruck Uhura and a yowling black cat.
He smiled wryly. "Anyone who can push back and put me, Spock, and Uhura down firmly is someone I want to get to know better."
Hermione looked at him with a bemused expression, then away, shaking her head. "Why don't we end the meeting at this point? All of you have been subjected to several strong paradigm shifts and a bit of information overload. Go and eat, relax and think on what you've heard and seen. I suggest we reconvene tomorrow morning at eight to continue."
McCoy blinked. "You mean there's more?"
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Of course there is. Do you think Admiral Pike would pull strings to send me to the Enterprise for no good reason?"
Understanding dawned in several faces.
"There is a magical aspect to the Anti-Tech terrorist," Lt. Giotto surmised.
Hermione inclined her head. "Yes."
The black cat on the conference table growled and patted its paw on the polished surface.
Jim coughed discreetly. "Miss Granger, would you mind turning my First Officer back? He's not much use to me as a cat."
Hermione watched him, catlike, then waved her wand and murmured something indistinct. A stream of light poured from the tip of her wand and enveloped the Spock-cat. This time the light was more orange than blue. It grew and expanded before fading to reveal Commander Spock crouching on all fours on top of the conference table.
He looked confused then embarrassed as he slid off the table. "I am... uncertain as to what just occurred."
"Meez Granger turned you into a cat!" Chekov pronounced gleefully.
Spock tugged down on his tunic. "Impossible."
McCoy snorted. "You can review the security videos yourself! You turned into a small black cat. And you yowled!"
Spock looked around in consternation, disturbed by the nodding heads and agreeing expressions from everyone, including Uhura. He turned to Hermione but she paid him no attention, busy re-packing her belongings in her black satchel.
Standing next to her was the Captain. "So, will you have dinner with me?" he repeated in a low voice.
She looked amused by the Captain's beguiling, charming smile. She patted his cheek in a commiserating fashion. "Sorry, Captain, you're too much for me to handle." She turned to Doctor McCoy. "Doctor, do you mind showing me to my quarters?"
Jim couldn't believe she had turned him down. In favour of Bones. What on earth did she see in Bones? Not that he wasn't a good guy and all… But he was grumpy old Bones!
McCoy was taken aback by her request but he pulled himself together. "Yeah, sure. It's on the way to Sick Bay."
"Thank you. It's been a long day." She turned and walked towards the door.
After a fractional pause the Doctor followed and matched her pace. "I've had days like that, Miss Granger. Of course, most days on the Enterprise end up being like that. Jim could find trouble on a stellar cartography mission."
She made an understanding sound. "I completely sympathize. I've got a few friends whose middle names could be Trouble. Because it finds them like water in an ocean."
Behind them, in the conference room, Jim's confidence rebooted. So he'd lost the first skirmish. It didn't mean he was out of the running!
Hermione found her room cramped and ill-suited for entertaining, but otherwise serviceable. She replicated snacks to be consumed while she caught up on the Starfleet mission files her clearance allowed her to access.
They contained a great deal of disturbing information. But Hermione was used to disturbing information. Once she was satisfied she had a good grasp of the general picture, she asked the computer to wake her at six-thirty and went to bed.
The next day she woke up a little sore from the unfamiliar bed, but filled with more energy. She had just finished dressing after her quick shower when the door intercom chimed.
"Come in," she called out.
The door slid open to reveal one James T. Kirk.
Hermione sighed. "You're not going to give up, are you?" It was more of a statement than a question.
He grinned cheerfully. "Nope."
She grabbed her bag and walked towards the door. "You're more than welcome to try changing my mind on our way to the meeting."
He smiled brightly. "I'll take you up on that." He held out an arm.
After a small hesitation, she looped her arm through his and followed him out.
Hermione had no intention of being distracted by a too-intelligent, too-beautiful male. She had a mission to complete and it was more important than anything else. But despite her efforts to remain stern and unyielding, she could not completely resist his charm as Kirk walked her to the rec room reserved for their next meeting.
Doctor Leonard McCoy made a commiserating sound as he slipped into the chair next to her. "I know how you feel."
Hermione put down her coffee mug and turned to the Georgia-born doctor. "Excuse me?"
"You're trying to resist the Jim Kirk charm and failing. It's more potent than any drug and nearly as inescapable as a black hole."
She made a soft sound of agreement before picking up her mug and drinking her coffee. She watched as the Enterprise's officers trickled into the room one by one, softly talking to each other, occasionally looking in her direction. Hermione pretended to be unaware, intent on reading the contents of her PADD, but when the last member - Lt. Uhura - arrived she put the PADD away and stood up to walk to the front of the room.
Once she had their attention she began speaking, using her magic to illustrate her points.
"I want you to treat the Anti-Tech terrorist as a being with undetermined psi capabilities. To me and those of my world, he is a wizard, a Dark Arts practitioner. His name is Antonin Dolohov, and I have been tracking him down for months now. His primary weapon is his wand. And he is more dangerous than any terrorist or alien race you have encountered so far. Feel free to observe and record as you see fit."
From there she went into a brief demonstration illustrating the more common transfigurations, charms and hexes, spells designed to delay, damage, protect, or conceal. All throughout the demo, the senior officers experimented, trying to breach or deflect her magic. They used tricorders to record the results, feeling by turns shock, awe, and some dismay.
"Ve cannot penetrate your shields vith phaser fire," Chekov noted.
"Forget that! My tricorder and phaser shorted out when I tried to get too close while she was doing her thing," Sulu snorted.
Hermione inclined her head. "Yes. Electronics tend to do that around heavy magic-saturated areas."
Spock made a soft humming sound. "It might be possible to compensate. If we can determine the exact energy frequency on which your spells work…."
Hermione laughed softly. "You can try, Commander Spock. Unfortunately, most spells have different frequencies based on the wand used. However since Dolohov is the only mage in your universe, it might be possible to design and build something that will contain him. If we can catch him."
McCoy spoke next. "Your magic affects the physical world. Can it affect flesh? Can it affect the mind?"
All laughter drained from her expression. "Very much so. You saw what I did to Commander Spock. Spells can do almost anything a modern weapon can to a physical body, and some you would never even dream of… Blood boiling curses, entrail expelling hexes, flesh eating curses, nightmare hexes, unclottable cutting curses, the list is almost unending. The Dark Arts are like drugs. In small amounts they can heal, in large quantities they are poisons that taint and kill. And there are some curses that are Unforgivable." She fell silent, unwilling to speak.
But McCoy seemed to catch onto the implication in her words. "Would this Dolohov use these Unforgivable curses?"
His heart sank when Hermione confirmed his suspicions. "Yes. There are three. From lowest to highest, they are Imperius, the control curse. Cruciatus, the pain curse. And Avada Kedavra, the killing curse."
Spock frowned. "Why are they Unforgivable?"
Hermione gave him an acid look. "I think causing possession, torture, and murder are good enough reasons."
Spock did not react. "Are they the only spells that can control, cause pain, or kill?"
"No," Hermione admitted.
"Then why are these three called Unforgivable?"
Brown eyes widened then narrowed as she comprehended his question. "Most magic can be treated, or stopped by shields or warding or a protective charm. The Unforgivables cannot. The only defence is a dense physical barrier - a mountain, a boulder - or a long distance. And because there is an emotional component to the spell that makes them very addictive to the caster. You must want to control and dominate to use the Imperius. You must enjoy and want to cause pain to use the Crutiatus. You must hate and want to kill to use the Killing curse."
Everyone looked grim at her explanation, but it was Jim Kirk who asked the logical question. "Can you cast these curses? At least, under controlled conditions? Spock and his department may be able to configure the scanners and tricorders to detect the specific energy signature. If we have some warning, we can take precautions."
Hermione responded in solemn tones. "I can. It is best to do this on a planetary surface. I cannot be certain of how badly it will affect any electronics."
A small frown creased Kirk's brow. "I can understand why the pain curse and the killing curse could be considered Unforgivable, but a control curse?"
"The Imperius curse is the most dangerous and insidious of all, Captain Kirk. Dead is dead and pain is pain, but Imperius destroys the soul and the heart. Can you imagine the guilt a husband would feel when the spell breaks and he realizes he raped his wife and killed his own children? Or a law-abiding citizen walking into a civic centre and setting off a bomb without his conscious intent?" Looks of understanding horror dawned on all of their faces. "Dolohov could not have succeeded on the scale he has without assistance, and he is the only other mage we know of that remains in your world. His compatriots have been…neutralized. For each of the attacks, he probably used Imperius to control dozens of locals. For example, he could have told them to break into specific buildings carrying a bomb, or set off a certain alarm-"
"Or put a shuttlecraft on a collision flight path." Sulu was horrified.
"Yes. If he was in danger of being caught, he could have used the Imperius to escape as well. Your security officers would not even be aware they had been controlled for a few crucial minutes."
McCoy frowned. "Is it possible to detect if anyone is under this mind control?"
"The most common indicator is glassy, wide eyes. The victim might be obsessively focused on one particular task. There would be personality shifts if the caster is looking for a slave rather than a sleeper agent."
McCoy turned to his First Officer. "Spock, can you work on modifying a tricorder to detect this curse as well? Part of the protocol will be random scans to check returning away teams for it."
Hermione listened and approved their pro-activeness. Starfleet needed to know if one of their own was compromised.
The meeting ended with everyone assigned to various projects, all focused on identifying and tracking down one Antonin Dolohov, the Anti-Tech terrorist.
AN: Next part is almost a month into the future
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