Mass Effect/Harry Potter Crossover. Somewhat AU. It's still canon universe of Mass Effect. I'll start with the year 2001, three years after the defeat of Voldemort. Both Harry and Hermione will be much darker than in canon. Not evil, but not good either. It's just what the war has done to them. Hermione was tortured, she killed people; Harry killed and was killed for God's sake.
P.S. Yes, I'm Weasley hater, so, yes, it's Harry/Hermione (hopefully but I have... thoughts), but no bashing. I hate bashing. Remus and Tonks are alive, because I didn't want Harry to leave Teddy behind.
P.P.S. I'm not Sirius on this fic, just had a good mood writing it, after I ate two bowls of RAMEN. Yes, I love ramen. Real ramen, not that ugly tasteless instant piece of Vorcha… fecal matter. Unfortunately it takes a lot of time to cook it. Ramen, not the fecal matter! I wasted eight hours of my precious life to make a perfect pork-chicken-fish bouillon. Consequently it's difficult to have it every day. Fortunately I had enough for a few days... How the hell did I end up with telling you about RAMEN? Anyway, don't expect me to post next chapters soon.
P.P.P.S. Say no to ACTA!
What if Harry and Hermione didn't really like the current world of magic? What if they were fascinated with the idea of space travel? What if they would build a star ship?
X lps means X light-second per second means X * 299 792 458 metres per second.
For the Greater Good
It was the second May of the 2001, three years after the Battle of Hogwarts. Every year many wizards and witches gathered at the Hogwarts to celebrate the victory and to mourn their lost precious people. Like always the Headmistress and Minister would give a long speech before asking the Golden Trio to step forward and tell some story about the battle and their adventures. These weren't pleasant memories and so they would tell about people who helped them in the moments of need. It wasn't until headmistress McGonagall finished her speech and looked for Harry, Hermione and Ron, that they discovered that the only present member of the Golden Trio was Ronald Weasley.
He looked as confused as others, because he knew nothing about sudden disappearance of his two friends, even if their friendship was, for a better word, strained in last three years. It was like a bolt from the blue when Hermione said she was in relationship with Harry. He was angry and jealous at them and it took about a year to get over it. But even after three years he could barely think about them as friends. It was, however, strange they didn't show up today. He frowned when he remembered that he didn't saw them at least for six months. And as the three of them worked at the Ministry, it was rather odd. When his speech was over, he went to the Minister Shacklebolt.
"Ronald," the Minister said, "I really hoped to see them today. Do you know where they are? Since they resigned from the Ministry I only saw them once in the Diagon Alley."
"What? They resigned?"
"You didn't know?" Kingsley asked raising an eyebrow, "I see. That's odd, they were distant last three years, but now they basically cut themselves off from the outside world. We've tried to use tracking charms but it seems they're under fidelius or don't want to be found."
"I thought i was very difficult to cast one."
"Yes, but they're sorcerers and definitely capable."
"Why would they need one? Besides that would need a Secret Keeper."
"Did you try to ask Remus or Tonks? Harry is godfather of their son."
"They said the pair visited them only twice in the last months, but Remus said nothing about fidelius."
"Anyway, why do you need them?"
"Well, they're as important for the magical community as you are. And people are starting to ask questions about their disappearance. The fact they missed this ceremony will make that only worse. Could you try to find them or at least talk to Remus?"
"I try, but I doubt I success."
Neither of them knew that Hermione and Harry simply forgot about the ceremony being absorbed in the project they were working on for six years. Everything began on some spring day during the fourth year in Hogwarts. Hermione and Harry discussed something they were very interested in. The space travel. They both were in love with the stars and sky above, hated the magical community for being bigots towards muggles and didn't trust muggles to be not prejudged against the magic. Sure the magic was interesting, but neither wanted to limit oneself to the magical community. No one besides them was really interested in possibilities the magic was opening for the space exploring. Even other muggleborns were happy to just do a magic. The pair decided to learn muggle science in their free time. They wanted to change the magical community at first, but soon understood that they didn't want to spend their lives as politicians. After the Battle of Hogwarts they saw it first-hand. Thousands of wizards and witches did nothing during the war letting a handful of Death Eaters terrorize them. The Golden Trio already did enough for these cowards and after Ron turned his back on them and these cowards being still the same prejudiced bigots blocked every attempt of Harry and Hermione to change something for better the pair was fed up. They began to make drafts, build prototypes and a year ago started to actually build a starship. Soon they realized that the work at the Ministry was consuming their time and resigned from it in favour of their project.
It wasn't like they were hiding from the outside world. It's just they bought a really big property for the object they were building. They didn't want any attention from neither magical nor muggle worlds at first and a hundred meter long ship would likely attract many visitors. The first prototype they created was only ten meter long, but it was proven useless, since enlargement charms would be nuisance in the long run. It's too difficult to combine an enlarged room with devices outside. They, however, needed a ship to live in, so they decided to build a big one, which wouldn't need any enlargement per se. The vessel that was hidden in the hangar under the fidelius charm was inspired by a television series, but the design was still partly original. The main part of the ship was round and would resemble a flying saucer if not for four long tube-like engines in the back part. It wasn't like they wanted it to remind a flying saucer. The form was just the most efficient. Spacious on the inside; yet streamlined and functional on the outside.
Overall it was a mix of muggle technology and magic. The ship was using charms, derived from simple feather-light and deprimo spells, to reduce or increase mass, so that a faster-than-light travel and a maintaining the artificial gravity were possible. The engines weren't one would normally expect of a starship, since they didn't have nozzles; they were charmed like brooms, so no fuel was needed. The vessel had magical shields, based on protego, bubble-head and other charms, which protected passengers from radiation and other dangers. If the shield would fail, the ship still had armour, which was heavily charmed with self-repairing and strengthening enchantments. Harry took a liberty to steal a cruise missile launcher and try it on the ship's hull. Didn't leave a scratch, although some spells sure could cause damage to it. His magical version of railgun for example. Hermione was, however, furious he did something that dangerous before discussing it with her.
Additionally, they had railgun driven based on feather-light charms weapons combined with partly muggle targeting systems they stole from U.S. military and consequently enchanted. Hermione had tried to develop a magical targeting systems, but it had proven to be too difficult. The hull had a disillusionment charm and cooling charm, so they hoped the ship would be secure enough even if they happen to meet some hostile alien civilizations. The vessel was equipped with either muggle communication and sensor devices, which were still enhanced by magic to speed them up and make them reach much further and magical. The second ones were looking for something relatively dangerous for the passengers, just like dark detectors. Other sensors searched for objects that were created with an intent, which meant man-made objects. The most difficult part of the work was to combine everything to enable output on a muggle display and input from muggle keyboards and joysticks. The oxygen was produced in the greenhouse, which was filled with various magical and normal plants. They had, however, backup charms for it if required. The food was a difficult part of their project. Since they planned a long-term travel, they needed much food, so Hermione suggested using her beaded handbag as a start point. They created an extended with a charm cupboard, which had a stasis field on the inside when it was closed. A bottomless fridge, as Harry called it.
At the moment the ship was almost ready for their first trip.
"Harry, did you packed the food?" Hemione asked.
Harry looked at her raising an eyebrow and said, "We won't even leave the Solar System, Mione."
"The fridge is full. We have food for at least ten years if your charms on it don't fail."
She pouted and said, "My charms never fail."
"Of course not, dear."
"Then, I think we're ready for our first flight," she breathed.
He turned to the ship and went up the ramp, "Let's go then."
"Wait, we must be sure nothing goes wrong."
"Ah, drop it, Mione, let's just try it. We know already that it flies."
With a sigh she followed Harry. "I hope you're right. Besides we need to name the ship. Let's call it the Pandora."
He smiled. "Sure, it's fitting."
When they reached a small bridge, which was designed for only two people, they took their places and switched the whole thing on. Unlike the magical parts, muggle devices needed time to go on, so they waited for a minute until the ship signalled that it was ready and with a deep breath took the ship off the land. The mass of the ship was soon decreased and the Pandra effortless left the Earth's atmosphere. Hermione took the control of the ship and turned it around so that they could glance at the Earth from the space through the viewing port of the bridge. They could use displays, but it wasn't the same.
With a smile she noted, "It's amazing, Harry."
"Yes, it is," he agreed. "Let's test the FTL."
"Alright, set the course on the Mars. Try 5lps at first."
A second later the ship accelerated and in a matter of two and half minutes reached the Red Planet. Although it was beautiful, it was bleak in comparison to the Earth.
"Want to go outside?" Harry asked.
She shook her head. "No," she answered. "There is nothing interesting here. We can take a look at it later."
"Well then, let's..."
"Wait!" Hermione shouted and, taking over the controls, directed the Pandora towards the surface.
Harry frowned and turned around to his girlfriend, "What is it, Mione?"
"Take a look at the data from magical sensors. There is something man-made there."
He laughed and waved a hand at her, "Please, Hermione, these are some bugs in the design of the whole thing. I don't believe in the Martians."
"Just take a look!" she exclaimed.
Harry looked through the glass port and said, "I don't see anything. Just a red ground."
"Because it's underground! Honestly, Harry, you will take a couch for a month if you won't be open-minded. "
"Alright, alight," he said horrified at thought of sleeping on the couch.
"See? Let's take suits and investigate it."
"We didn't test them yet."
Hermione glared at him and stated, "I created them."
Harry chuckled and nodded. He knew that everything created by his girlfriend was carefully tested. To doubt her creations was a blasphemy. His works on the other hand were often unstable, he had, however, the most wicked ideas. The FTL-drive was, for example, his creation adjusted by Hermione. His original goal wasn't a FTL-drive at all, he just wanted to see, what would happen if one creates a field using an overpowered version of feather-light charm, places a steel ball with diameter of ten centimetres there and mass of two and half kilogram and blasts the frozen ball with an overpowered impulso spell, that pushes a target from a caster. Later he would calculate the speed of the ball and get two thousandth of the speed of light at the moment of impact. It was a disaster. Energy released at the impact equalled three hundred fifty kilogram of TNT. Resulting explosion destroyed entire building (fortunately empty) and the wizard was forced to use everything he had to hold the shield charm. He discovered, however, that one could use these charms to create amazing devices and... mass destruction weapons. The later disturbed him somehow.
He put the suit on and waited for Hermione, who was very careful as always. As soon as she was ready, he closed the airlock and they waited for several seconds before leaving the ship. It was funny feeling to take a step on the Mars for both Harry and Hermione. The witch was, however, focused solely on man-made object.
"Are you sure these wand-replacements will work right?"
"Of course! I designed the glove with help of Olivander and I tested it. It worked quite well for me. Not as well as a normal wand, but it's alright."
"There is a way to find out," he said and waved the glove. "Lumos."
Hermione smiled at the glowing glove. "I told you. Let's clean this up."
With that she began to vanish sand and stones. Harry followed her example and very soon they reached the structure. Harry's sceptical mood vanished like the sand under Hermione's wand and he was engrossed by the look of obviously man-made construction.
"It's amazing, Mione," he said, "Sorry I didn't believe you."
"It's nothing Harry," she replied and pointed at the wall, "This seems to be a door, doesn't it?"
"Wait, I secure it from the outside atmosphere," he said and created a barrier to shield the door. "Alohomora."
Something clicked but the door remained to be closed with no visible means to open it. Hermione shrugged and used charms to forcibly push the door to the side. It was dark inside, so they launched glowing balls in every direction and stepped in.
"According to the information charm this construction was built more than fifty thousand years ago," Hermione sighed.
"Morgan's ass, that's ancient," Harry exclaimed. "Were they humans?"
"No. Sure, there is a possibility humans degraded over last thousand years, but it's highly unlikely."
He snorted and said, "So they were Martians."
"I didn't say they were. Look, it looks like a computer." Hermione pointed at some device.
"Let's see," he murmured and took a look at the 'computer'. "There is no power supply."
"Either we find it and switch it on or we just use a charm like on our ship," said Hermione.
"There should be some power source. It's better to fuel it with spells."
Fortunately they didn't find any bodies or skillets, but the building was creepy enough due to lack of any light and emptiness. That couldn't scare the pair since they already saw way too much violence in their lives. Harry could easily tell that those who built it were much more advanced than the muggles on the Earth. At least they found some kind of reactor. Their shields protected them from any kind of harmful radiation, but they doubted that they would understand how the thing worked, so they were prepared to inject the energy directly into the energy grid.
"Harry, stop," said Hermione. "I found energy storage cells."
He went up to her and looked at the cells Hermione was pointing to. "Good. Let's try to recharge them."
She nodded and began a complex wand work on the the cells. "It works."
"We'll see. The cable is damaged," he said pointing with his wand. "Reparo."
"Don't throw reparos at complex things, Harry."
He grinned and said, "It's the Elder Wand, Mione, don't forget it."
"Even the Elder Wand isn't almighty."
"But it works and this is just a cable. I didn't try to fix the reactor."
"I'm grateful you didn't." She finished her spell panting. "Alright, let's go. It's way too tiring."
"No reason to overstrain yourself. I'm sure it will be enough for a few hours."
She nodded and followed him to the room they found while seeking for a reactor. The room resembled a control room, since there were many computers and devices. They went up to something that seemed to be the main control panel and studied it for a moment. The power was in the energy grid, but computers didn't work. He decided to try and place a hand on the panel. The moment later they noticed light coming from the panel when a holographic interface appeared.
"Well, I don't understand the language."
Hermione grinned and said, "Let's learn it."
"You don't mean that spell?" he asked taking a step back. "Last time I learned a language with it, I had terrible headaches for a week."
"Do you have a choice?"
Harry sighed. "No. Why do you have no headaches?"
"Because I'm smart."
"And me is dumb."
"It's I am dumb, Harry," she corrected without thinking.
The wizard burst into laughing and managed to say, "I can't believe you fell for it. But I'm glad you are accepting that you are dumb."
"A couch for a week, Harry," she said sternly.
"No!" he exclaimed, "Everything but this!"
"Ah, drop it, Harry. I'm willing to forgive you, if you do the spell."
He sighed. "Alright," he said and waved his wand chanting a long spell. A few moments later he fell to his knees and clutched her head.
"Okay, Harry?" Hermione asked worriedly.
He groaned. "No, my head is about to bloody explode. I doubt I will be of any help for next hours. It's much worse than with the Spanish."
"Let me try," she said and repeated the same spell. For her it worked perfectly without any drawback as always. "See?"
"It's not my fault your spelldesign is faulty."
"My spell is flawless, it's your brain that is faulty," she huffed.
"Thank you, Hermione," he waved sarcastically, "You're as kind as always."
"I'm sorry." She sighed. "I didn't mean it."
"Well, your spellwork isn't faulty either," he said. "It's just the terrible headache."
"I'll brew you a drought when we're back at the Pandora," she suggested and took a look at the hologram. "The spell has worked. I understand the language."
"What does it say?"
He sighed and remained silent waiting for her to speak. It wasn't until three hours passed she spoke.
"It's an observation post. They were observing humans."
"Language. But you're right it's kind of creepy. Thank Morgan they aren't here anymore."
"What else? Where did they come from?"
"There is something about some station, but I have no idea what they meant. There are some starships in here and lots of interesting stuff, but the most interesting part is that the Charon… I mean the moon of Pluto isn't really a moon!"
Harry blinked. "What is it then?"
"A Mass Relay."
"Doesn't tell me much."
"Well, from what I've read, it's like a jumpgate. It works similar to your FTL but creates a mass-free corridor to the Relay on the other end and the ship can travel through the corridor almost instantly."
"That's interesting. Should try to replicate it."
"Please don't. you almost killed yourself when you discovered the FTL."
"What's the reason to live without a risk? I won't die on you, Mione."
"I'm serious. What would you do without a good research?"
She growled and glared at him for a few seconds. "Under my supervision only, Harry,"
"Okay. Can we use the gate?"
"Yes, I will need to tweak our computers, but I don't think we encounter some problems."
"That makes everything easier."
"Do you want to look around?"
"No." He pointed at his head, "It still aches."
"Oh. I don't want either, I only want to go to the storage room."
"What? Where is Hermione and what did you do to her?"
"Relax," she said laughing. "It's just we have entirely different approach to the technology. All the data here is almost useless. We may take a look at their computers, but we would need muggles anyway. Besides I don't want to sit here and research it while we can jump through Relay and see what's on the outside first-hand. This post is ancient, imagine what could happen since then? It's fifty thousand years for Morgan's sake. We should leave it for muggles to research. Perhaps we could help them find it."
"I agree, but I think there are no manned expeditions to the Mars planned."
"What is imperio for?" Hermione asked smiling.
"You do know that we would be imprisoned in Azkaban for a life-time if the Ministry would find out about what we did in last three years? Unforgivables, muggle confounding, improper use of veritaserum and muggle technologies; the list goes on. Do you really want to imperiouse muggles on that level?"
"Of course, Harry. We will be careful, won't we? It's for the greater good. Besides who would dare to stop us? Two sorcerers?"
They weren't any more powerful than others. They, however, used muggle science to create their spells and excelled in that approach. Simple useless charms became deadliest weapons which penetrated every standard shield taught in Hogwarts. Protego won't protect you from a conjured toxic gas. They developed shields that protected even from Unforgivables. Every spell could be stopped by a physical obstacle. Most wizards and witches didn't know that the air was an obstacle too if it was well compressed. But they were called sorcerers because a year after graduation they demonstrated their full control of elements. It wasn't hard if one knew physics.
"You're crazy." He grinned. "And I like that. Pity, I can't kiss you in the suit."
"There is plenty time for in once we back on the ship. Let's go to the storage room."
"Why, by the way?" he asked on the way.
"I read something really interesting. These aliens called it Element Zero."
"It's a material which can be used to control mass fields like we do with your spells."
"It's interesting… for muggles, Hermione."
"Harry. I want to take a small sample to research it."
He closed his eyes and sighed. "Sorry, Mione. I really want to take a nap."
She nodded and opened a door using a spell. "Here we are."
The storage room was big.. There were containers with some kind of devices and materials. He wasn't really interested in devices, since they were probably of no use to them, but he knew that if they would bring here muggles, they would surely benefit of it.
Hermione pointed her wand at a small container shrunk it, lightened and threw it into her bag. "We can go now, Harry."
Soon they returned to the Earth and Harry went to the bed, while Hermione began to research Element Zero. Harry really hated that language learning spell and wasn't surprised when he slept for twenty two hours. He was however even more surprised when he found his girlfriend doing really weird things with some… magical dog. He blinked to be sure he wasn't hallucinating and the animal really was glowing with a blue colour. It was.
"What for Morgan's breasts are you doing?" he asked.
"Language, Harry," she yawned. "I'm doing an experiment on this dog."
"You didn't sleep, did you?"
"No, I found something really astonishing. Look at the dog!"
"It's glowing," noted Harry absently.
"Yes!" she exclaimed happily.
"I could do it with a spell too. What's so interesting about the glowing dog?"
"I integrated Element Zero into its body and connected to the nervous system. I've read about it in that alien base on the Mars."
Harry gave a start. Sometimes Hermione was way too enthusiastic. "Poor thing. And whose dog is it?"
"Don't know, found it in a park."
He frowned and said accusingly, "I'm sure the owner is worried about it."
"I know," she said giving an apologetic look. "I didn't think clearly, after I'd got an amazing result by experimenting on rats. Besides it had a tumour, the dog wouldn't live a month without me. I'll clean the dog up afterwards, don't worry."
"Why is it so peaceful?"
She shrugged. "I imperioused it. Anyway the thing is, the dog can do weird things. I disconnected some nerves that normally would allow the dog to move its legs and redirected them to Element Zero nodules. I nearly lost it..."
"My mind, Harry. It took four hours of spellcasting and potion dosing to make needed changes in its body."
"What do you mean by weird things?"'
"Well I'm commanding it, since I believe it's dangerous to let the dog do what it wants. Watch here," she said and went silent for a few seconds.
Harry didn't know what to expect and was confused when a small blue flaring ball appeared in the air next to the dog. Hermione took a pencil and threw it at the ball. The pencil didn't reach the target, however, instead it changed the direction and flew upwards for a second before falling on the floor.
"It's weak and unstable, but the dog can create mass fields," Hermione concluded. "It's amazing, isn't it?"
He caught a twinkle in her eyes and frowned. "You're planning what I'm thinking, don't you?"
She looked at him surprised and said innocently, "I don't know what you are thinking about."
"You want to test it on a human."
"Yes. I want to give some muggle these strange powers and observe for a few weeks."
He understood instantly what she was implying by that. "I won't allow you to do something like that to yourself."
"But Harry, just think about it! We're practically useless without wands, but with these powers we would be able to defend ourselves."
"We have weapons."
"They can be taken too, but this power is always with you."
"You don't know if it isn't harmful."
"That's why I'll try it on another human and heal him if needed. We'll seek someone with a terminal disease and offer him a cure if he accepts to be part of the experiment."
"What about our trip?"
"We waited for years, it can wait a week. Please, Harry, it's so interesting!"
He sighed. "Alright, but go to the bed at first; you need rest. We'll talk about it later."
"Wait, I remove it from the dog."
He wasn't happy about the delay, but if Hermione fixed on something, it's for a better to let her do it, otherwise she would do it anyway but Harry would sleep at a couch. He watched her doing manipulations with her wand on the dog and cringed. It wasn't a pleasant sight. When she completed the procedure she nodded and went to the bedroom. He looked up to the calendar and slapped himself on the forehead. It was the third May and that meant they missed the victory anniversary.
With a sigh Harry put a robe on, apparated to the main entrance of the Ministry and headed directly to the Minister. He was in a meeting, so Harry was forced to wait for twenty minutes, which were spent by a young attractive witch, the Minister's assistant, better known as Daphne Greengrass on trying to seduce the Man-Who-Won. If not for Hermione, Harry would have a really hard time to defend himself against blonde's wandless charms. She was a stunning woman and he knew that many would die to switch places with him this moment. Harry wondered if she had a veela blood in her.
What he didn't know, she was seriously interested in him and was really happy to see him for first time since he resigned six month ago. Unlike her sister she failed to find a boyfriend who would suit her and was extremely jealous of Hermione. But who wouldn't? He was a powerful and rich wizard with alluring green eyes and hot body, the head of the Black family, recipient of the Order of Merlin, first class. Quite a catch for a lucky girl. Daphne, however, was one of the few who weren't interested in his titles. Her family was rich while she was one of the most talented witches of the century second only to Granger, allowing her to consider herself equal to him.
She cursed inwardly for being coward in their fourth year at Hogwarts. He was so alone struggling for help being the youngest Champion. As far as she knew, Hermione didn't really help him. Daphne on other hand knew how to fight a dragon, it took her only three days to get information about the second task. She was just too afraid to take a step forward. She nearly offered him her help in the library, staying a few steps away looking at books he read to prepare himself for the first task. But her mouth wouldn't open and her shaking hand wouldn't dare to move last centimetres to touch his shoulder. Daphne was too afraid of consequences, concerned for her family's well being. She feared she would be shunned by other Slytherins. The girl knew, he would have been hers, if she dared to move, but she had been too scared of being rejected, so she pulled back her hand and gone away unnoticed by Harry. And then it was too late. Voldemort came back and there was no way she would dare to endanger her family by siding with the Boy-Who-Lived. But now she had hope. Perhaps she would find courage to act at last.
She let out a sigh of disappointment when the Minister showed up, because she could see that his battle against hormones was slowly going in her favour (he was a man for Merlin's sake) and Daphne believed she could snatch him if she had more time. She didn't know that he was prepared to run away to stay faithful to his girlfriend when the victory of his hormones would become obvious.
"Harry!" Shacklebolt exclaimed, "Come, let's talk in my office."
Harry nodded and happily followed the Minister away from Greengrass. He sat in a chair and said, "Good day, Knigsley."
"Wish it would be good." Kingsley sighed.
"Something wrong?" Harry asked.
"No, not really. The press gives me headaches."
"Ah. It's because we haven't shown up yesterday, isn't it?"
"Sorry, we were working on a project and completely forgot about the celebration."
"Don't worry. It's nothing. I was, however, worried if something happened to you both."
"Everything is okay, Kingsley."
"Am I right that you live under a fidelius charm?"
Harry nodded. "Yes, it's convenient if you don't want to be bothered."
"I tried to contact you more than once, but my attempts were futile. It would be beneficial to share the Secret with me."
"Sorry, Kingsley, it's not that we don't trust you, but it's better to leave things as is."
Shacklebolt smiled. "It was worth a try. Could you help me with the press? There are rumours that you doesn't support me as the Minister and it makes it really difficult to change our laws."
"I hate the press, but I help you if you call for a press conference."
"Thank you, Harry."
He returned home six hours later and lay next to sleeping Hermione and slowly drifted off. Unknown to him a certain blond haired witch came up with a plan for leading Harry away from his bushy haired girlfriend. She only needed him to visit the Ministry one more time.
The next day Harry followed Hermione to the muggle hospital, where the witch confounded a nurse to access patients data. Soon they found three suitable persons. They were cancer patients, who had almost no time to live. Additionally Hermione selected only those who didn't have any close relatives to minimize the danger of information leak. The two first patients proved to be rude and untrustworthy, so they moved on the last patient who happened to be an nineteen years old girl Eve who was orphaned three years ago in a car accident. She had no known relatives and was visited only one time by a fellow student during last two month she was in the hospital. Hermione opened the door and entered her ward. Fortunately it was a private one.
Taking a seat next to the girls's bed, Hermione sat silent for a few minutes studying her. Eve still had long black hair that matched her big black eyes. It was clear that she was weak, but Hermione could tell that she was an attractive girl despite her condition. Surprisingly the terminal patient didn't say a word either, taking her time observing her visitors.
"Hello, Eve," said Hermione at last.
"Ehm... hi. May I ask who are you? You seem to have me at disadvantage." the girl asked.
"I'm Hermione and this creepy guy with glasses is Harry."
Harry huffed and protested, "I'm not creepy!"
Giving a laugh Eve said, "Well, at least you're funny. It's good to have someone visit me even if it's complete strangers."
"May we have a bit of your time to bore you with a few questions, Eve?" Hermione asked.
"Sure, why not? It isn't like I have something better to do."
"What would you do if you had another chance?"
Eve managed to give a weak smile and said, "Don't know," she said shrugging, "I would continue my education I think."
"Education seems to be important to you," noted Harry.
"Yeah, I like physics." He sighed.
"How good are you at keeping secrets?" the witch asked.
"Secrets? Why? You want to share one with me?" Eve asked clearly interested.
"It's safe with me."
"Good, you aren't lying to me," Hermione smiled.
"How would you know?"
"It's a part of the secret. We have an offer for you."
With a frown Eve looked at the witch and asked, "Offer?"
"I cure you if you take part in our experiment."
"My illness can't be cured!" the girl snapped.
"Like one can't do something like this?" Hermione asked, summoned a fireball with her wand and launched it to fly around the ward.
"Whoa! How did you do that?" Eve exclaimed being shocked. She could tell it wasn't some cheap trick.
"Magic," said Hermione releasing the fire. "I can cure cancer. It isn't easy, but not the most difficult thing I've done in my life. And no, you're not hallucinating, it's difficult to prove though. Yes, I can tell what are you thinking about through the eye contact. I can read your mind."
"Creepy," the girl whispered. "It's not some trick isn't it? Because it's cruel, if it is."
"Don't worry, it's not. You have however to be a part of our experiment, otherwise I will erase your memories about our visit."
"No! Please, don't do that!" Eve pleaded.
"I'm not doing anything at the moment."
"What's the experiment you're speaking about?"
"We have got our hands on a very rare substance that can give a human certain powers."
"Like your magic?"
"No, it's more like an ability to control the gravity."
"You're not some mutants, are you?"
The witch snickered and said, "No, we're sorcerers and the magic has nothing to do with the substance. It will be probably used by non-magical humans in later years to travel across the galaxy."
"Across the galaxy?"
"Yes, all those starships, faster-than-light travel and other nice things."
"So, you want to give me means to control the gravity and cure the illness? I'm not sure why I would say no to the offer."
"Because we want you to keep your abilities secret and don't tell anyone about our existence. We will observe you and hopefully help you learning to control the power. I only tested it on animals, so I don't really know if it's painful or dangerous. I will be there for you, if something should go wrong. You won't die because of it."
"I hope I'm not hallucinating. I agree," Eve said.
"You would accept it too, if you had only few weeks to live."
"Right. I will begin immediately."
"Are you going to do something too?" The girl looked at Harry, while Hermione prepared herself for the process.
"No, I'm not good at healing," the green-eyed wizard replied.
"And what are you good at?"
"Battle magic and crazy inventions, like FTL-drive," he replied with a smile.
"You mean you have FTL-drive?" she asked wide-eyed.
"Yes, we'll probably show it to you. Not sure if we'll let you keep these memories though."
The girl looked terrified at that though. "Please, I won't tell anyone! It's painful to think I won't remember something this big."
"We'll think about later."
She looked at Hermione, who was chanting some spells and asked, "What is she doing?"
"She's securing the room. We don't want anyone to bother us."
"I'm ready," Hermione said at last. "I have to put you to sleep."
The healing was a long process. It took three hours for Hermione to completely cure the cancer and other minor illnesses muggles couldn't diagnose. The main reason magical folk was long-lived is the magic was taking care of simple diseases and parasites. Now the girl had a really long life ahead. Soon Eve woke up confused and blinked.
"The pain is gone," she whispered. "It was successful, wasn't it?"
"You're perfectly fine now," said Hermione.
"Then it's really gone. I haven't felt this good in ages!" she exclaimed jumping up to her feet and hugged the bushy-haired girl. "Thank you!"
"We took care of everything. You're discharged from the hospital. They'll think you were misdiagnosed."
"Harry changed their memories," Hermione answered before Eve could ask. "We still have to implant the Element Zero into you. I hope you're up to the deal."
"I am. I have a problem though. I donated everything I had to a charity foundation few weeks ago. Money, my house and a car. Even clothes. I was kind of prepared to die..."
"Don't worry, we knew about it," Hermione reassured her. "You can move with us for a few weeks. We'll make sure you're well off."
"Thank you. I hope I don't have to give up my soul for your help," he smiled.
"Well, we could find a use for your soul," thoughtfully said Hermione.
"Wha-at?" The girl blanched with terror.
"Relax," Harry said suppressing a laugh. "That was a joke."
"Warn me next time," she said sighing with relief.
Harry laughed, "Take my hand, I'm going to appa... ehm... teleport us."
"Wait, I'm basically naked… How the hell am I dressed?"
"We took liberty to transfigure your hospital dress to something more appropriate."
"Transfigure?" she asked confused.
"Look, we'll show you later," Hermione said sternly, "I don't want to renew the wards."
"Okay. It the teleportation dangerous?"
Harry took her hand and said, "Don't worry, it's perfectly safe."
The next moment he disappeared with a loud CRACK, Hermione followed a second later.
"That wasn't nice," Eve said when they reappeared, holding her head with both hands feeling struggling against a feeling of nausea. "Where are we?"
"Somewhere near Birmingham." Harry said. "Let's go."
"What? You've just teleported us from London to Birmingham?" he asked following him.
"Yeah. Get used; you will work with us for next weeks."
"But it's amazing! Are there more people like you two?"
"Well, we're unique, but yes, several thousands. There are magical communities around the Earth hidden from the rest of the world."
"Wow, how is that possible?"
"Don't be too excited," Hermione yawned. "They're bigots stuck in the Stone Age. I'm exaggerating, of course. Anyway, there are laws to keep magic secret and if someone witnesses it he or she would lose memories of it."
She frowned. "I don't like the idea of manipulating memories."
"Unfortunately, it's necessary," said Hermione. "Humans fear everything unnatural. And they define anything different from them unnatural. Muggles, I mean, non-magicals would likely destroy the magical world and enslave survivors."
"You don't know it," Eve said.
"Yes, we know. Ever heard of witch-hunts?" Hermione asked. "There are many examples for mistreatment of magical children in the non-magical world. If one's own family can't accept that their child is magical, how do you expect governments to accept existence of beings with abilities like mind control, memory tampering, teleportation, invisibility? Beings that can kill and torture without any traces, beings that can fly and destroy entire cities using simple spells?"
"D-destroy entire cities?" Eve asked shuttering.
"Well, that would be me and Harry. As I said, we're unique. I doubt other magicals are able to do something like that. We on the other hand can destroy planets with our bare hands if we wish. It's not that difficult. Find a large asteroid, reduce its mass, push it towards a planet and restore the mass. We don't even have to calculate trajectory, we have spells to direct it to the planet."
"Have you done something like this already? I mean destroyed a city?"
"No, do we look like villains?" the witch asked.
"But it's disturbing that someone has such a power!"
"That's why magical world should stay hidden. Humans believe in gods, but when they meet their idols all they want is to flee."
"Are you comparing yourself to a goddess?" Eve asked Hermione.
"Why not? I can change my appearance, control elements, teleport to every single place on the Earth create things out of nothing, vanish them. I can even be immortal, Eve. Aren't my powers godlike?"
"Sure, I can bind my soul to an object, which would become almost indestructible and then live a long and happy life. Even if you atomize my body, I would eventually come back."
"Is she serious?" Eve asked Harry.
"Yes." He nodded. "We didn't plan to be immortal, but in the light of our discoveries we might consider it. There is way too much to learn. The afterlife can wait."
"Yay!" Hermione exclaimed happily. "You agree at last?"
"Well, I want to see the galaxy, not the half of it." He sighed in defeat.
"Sorry, have to erase this memory," Hermione said to Eve and pointer a wand at her. "Obliviate!"
"Immortal?" the girl asked again.
"Nah… she is joking," Harry replied. "There is no way one can be immortal. Take this," he said and handed her a small piece of paper.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Just read and remember it."
She nodded and read the note confused. As soon as she remembered it, Eve shrieked as she saw a massive old storehouse appear out of nowhere. To the left was a small three-storey house, where Hermione and Harry were leading the girl to.
"Where did all this come from?"
"It was always there. We had installed wards keeping the location hidden."
"And to see it, one needs to read the note?" Eve questioned.
"Yes, something like this," Harry answered chuckling.
"Oh, I see. But why do you live here? With your powers you could afford a palace in the middle of London!"
"We needed a place to construct a starship. This storehouse suited our needs perfectly."
"There is a startship in there?" she said excited.
"Yes," answered Hermione.
"Does it fly?"
"May I fly it?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Mione. Of course she may," Harry said..
The witch glared at him and murmured, "Couch for a week."
"No-o!" he cried crushed.
"Why is he so upset? It's just a week," Eve said smiling coyly.
"He can't live without it a day," Hermione told her grinning. "As I said he's creepy pervert with glasses."
"By the way, why does he need glasses? Can't you fix his eyes with magic?"
"They're fixed," Hermione answered, "It's just that he looks even more creepy without glasses."
"I'm not creepy!" Harry protested. "Right, Eve?"
"Leave me out of it, please," she replied laughing. "Besides, she cured me!"
"Great, now I have two women on my shoulders."
Hermione grinned madly and said, "The more the better, Harry."
A last they entered the house. Eve noticed that it was a lot larger on inside but decided to not ask, because she knew she would receive a short and clear answer: "magic". Their home looked modest, not really what she expected of beings of such power. It was furnished with an almost Spartan simplicity. But when she thought about it, why would they need something luxories? They could create everything with their magic.
"Welcome to our humble home," Harry announced. "Follow me, I'll show you the room."
"While I prepare everything for the procedure of implantation," the witch added.
"Now?" Eve asked startled.
"Why not?" Hermione frowned. "The sooner we do it the better. Don't worry, I hope it won't be painful."
"Well, I don't have much a choice, do I?" the girl whispered with a sigh and followed the wizard.
Now when she wasn't terminal ill now, she had her doubts. She would however keep her word, she owed them that at least. They went up the ladder and Harry opened a door on the right side. The room had a bit more comfort than the rest of the house, but still a bit Spartan for her teste.
"Here, this will be your room for next weeks. I hope it's alright," Harry said, when they went up.
"It's okay," she said. "Will I be able to go out during these weeks?"
"Well, you can go out, but not beyond the wards. We'll make sure to the borders distinguishable for you. It's for your own safety. As soon as we're finished, we'll give you some money and teleport you to London."
"Some money?" she asked.
"Don't worry, it will be enough to buy a castle and handful of Lamborghinis," Harry reassured her.
"It's too much!" she exclaimed. "You've already done for me enough by curing the cancer."
"It's nothing, Eve. We're practically the richest people on the Earth. Not that it's a known fact. We have to be sure you're well off, since you will have these powers and we will continue to observe you."
"I'll be watched entire life?"
"No, we'll just come by every few years so you can tell us how it's going," he explained. "Let's go back to Hermione. I'm sure she's already waiting for you." Harry looked at her and sighed. "Don't worry, everything will be alright, I promise you."
She took a deep breath and nodded. Harry smiled and led her to Hermione, who already prepared a surgical table and instruments. At her left he saw the dust form of Element Zero hovering in shielded field. Eve froze when she saw the table and scalpels.
"Don't worry, you won't have any scars," said Hermione looking up at the girl.
"I thought you would do it with magic," Eve said.
"Well, these instruments are magical. Lie down the table please, I'll sedate you. You won't feel anything."
The girl swallowed hard, took a step forward and forced herself to lie down on the surgical table. She was extremely scared. Her senses were screaming at her to flee, but restrained herself breathing deep trying to stay calm. She didn't remember how she fell asleep, but the moment she woke up from magic-induced sleep she felt different. Eve didn't know what exactly was different though. She looked around and saw Hermione. She looked terrible, bloodshot eyes with dark bugs, her hair was extremely messy. She was deathly pale and looked like she would fall over any momen.
"Welcome back to the world of living," the witch said with a weak smile. "How do you feel?"
"Different," she answered.
"What do you mean? Do you feel pain somewhere?"
"No, it's just different," she failed to explain, "Don't know how to explain it. Was it successful?"
"Yes, I successfully implanted Element Zero. Unlike the dog I tested it on, you have the Element Zero in almost every cell of your body. It's a strong mutagen and I sped up necessary mutations. I feared it would lead to harmful tumours, so I protected you against it. Took almost a week."
"Yes, had to be sure, you were alright. There were no complications, don't worry," Hermione said weakly.
She was very tired. She was barely holding herself from falling asleep. During the whole process she slept only eight hours. Unknown to Eve, there were complications and Harry sadly wasn't really of any help aside potions he brewed for her as stimulators. Eve nearly lost her life six times during the process. Hermione worked really hard to stop appearance of new tumours and necrosis without removing Element Zero from her body. The witch wished she'd have tested the whole process on that blasted dog at first. Fortunately Hermione managed to solve all the problems before her tiredness became an issue.
"So, do I have these powers you spoke of?"
"Yes, but you'll have to learn. If you don't mind, I'll go and take a nap."
"You didn't sleep all these days?" Eve asked horrified.
"I slept a bit, but not nearly enough."
"May I use the kitchen?"
"Don't bother, Harry will be back from the Diagon Alley any minute, he'll cook something for you. You might want to go to your room, he took liberty to buy clothes for you."
"Thank you," the girl said.
Hermione nodded and left the room leaving Eve alone. The moment she took a look at herself she barely held a shriek: she was naked. She jumped of the surgical table and ran to her room afraid that Harry would see her like this. What did Hermione think leaving her like that. Eve shook her head recalling how the witch looked like. It was obvious that she was too tired to think of it. She frowned when she remembered that it was already a week and, most likely, Harry saw her naked already. She took a shower, dressed herself, surprised by the amount of various clothes in her room and went to the hall at the same moment when Harry opened the door and entered the house. He had a beautiful white cat in his arms. She could swear that the animal actually looked at her wide-eyed in surprise as if it didn't expect to see her here.
"Eve?" the wizard asked. "Where is Hermione? Is she alright? Was she able to finish implantation?"
"Yes, everything okay. She went to bed."
"Thank Morgan," he said with relief. "I was so worried."
"She looked terrible. Will she be okay?"
"If she went to bed, than yes, she will be alright."
"Is it your cat? Didn't see it yesterday… I mean a week ago." She laughed.
"Well it's a difficult question. I found the cat today at the Diagon Alley. It's like a supermarket for wizards. Cliodna (it seems to like the name) didn't want to let go of me, so I used a spell to determine the owner. Surprisingly the cat had no owner, so I asked in the pet store if she was a run-away, but no, she wasn't! It was so cute, when she clung on to me, so I decided to take it in. Besides, Hermione loves cats. Pity that Crookshanks died." He sighed. "Of course there were problems with charms around the place, but it was worth the trouble. Cliodna is beautiful, isn't it?" he asked with a smile and let the cat on the floor.
"Yes. You looks so excited," she said grinning.
"I like the cat. It's so cute."
"Who is Morgan by the way?" she asked.
"Wait a moment. I'm sure you're hungry, aren't you?" he asked heading to the kitchen.
"Yeah, I would eat a horse!" Eve exclaimed.
"Alright, I hope you aren't a vegetarian."
"No," she replied confused following him.
"Good," he said smiling, "Because I'm not used to cook anything vegetarian."
The kitchen was the best furnished room in the whole house because Harry loved a good meal, and to cook it one need a good kitchen.
"So, who was Morgan?" she asked when he started to make a dinner.
"Morgan le Fay. Surely you know of her. King Arthur Pendragon, Merlin, Nimue and Morgan."
"You mean they were real?"
"Of course! Other wizards use Merlin's name instead Morgan's. It's equivalent for God in those expressions, because he's the most respected wizard in the magical world. After I and Hermione discovered the truth about Merlin and Morgan, we vowed to never use his name like this. Sure Morgan used extremely dark magic, but unlike Merlin she never was evil. Like a sword magic can't be evil. The one who wields it may be evil, but not the sword itself. Even sacrifices can't be treated like an evil act per se. Even the darkest magic that needs sacrifice can be justified. What if one life would save thousands? One should think of the Greater Good. It's just plain stupid to consider her evil, when she was a perfect Gryffindor…"
"Gryffindor? Could you tell me the whole story? I'd like to learn more about the magical world."
"There is a school for wizards and witches. Students from the age of eleven are sorted in four houses based on their characters. House of Gryffindor for courageous and chivalrous, Ravenclaw…" he took a frying pan and used magic to heat it. "Ravenclaw for wise and witty, Hufflepuff for loyal and hard working and Slytherin for cunning and ambitious."
"You were sorted too, weren't you?" Eve asked.
"Yes, I and Hermione were sorted into Gryffindor. The bloody Hat wanted to place me into Slytherin though, but I argued with it."
"Wait, the Hat? And I though students are sorted based on their characters!" she said.
"A magical Hat that can read mind and sort students in a House. You see, if you're sorted into a Slytherin, it doesn't mean you're now wise and witty or not courageous and chivalrous. No one is that simple, right? The hat takes your wishes into consideration."
"Oh, I think I understand. Sorry, I interrupted you again. Continue about Morgan please."
"Ah, yes, of course. Morgan le Fay was a Gryffindor, Merlin – a Slytherin. Don't take me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a Slytherin. Morgan didn't care for her image and reputation, she wanted to preserve the magical world as it was and did everything she could, sacrificed everything she had, losing her children and life on the way to save magical beings. She failed. Merlin bested her, but not in a magical duel. He was a Slytherin and as such used cunning to build up an image of a good, wise and powerful wizard. At the same time he tarnished Morgan's reputation. Alas the witch wasn't prepared to all those lies Merlin spread about her. She lost her allies and chances to win the war but kept fighting desperately. In the end her kingdom fell, many sentient races were destroyed by greedy, driven by ideas of human supremacy, Merlin and Arthur."
"It's horrible. How come, they're hailed as heroes even in the normal… I mean non-magical world?"
"History is written by the winners, Eve."
"But how do you know it?"
"One should know the right person to talk to. There is a certain ghost that is quite knowledgable."
"Yes, they do exist."
"Are there still other races?"
"There are. Goblins, merpeople, vampires, werewolves, centaurs… but the majority was destroyed by Pendragons, Merlin and his followers. Elves, true dragons, dwarfs and other beings. Beautiful and intelligent race of elves was reduced to slaves for wizards. Once wise dragons were drained of sanity, and dwarves were just killed off by the alliance of goblins and humans. We hope to use DNA samples to restore some races and find counterspells for dragons and elves."
"Wow, you're passionate."
"Sorry. I didn't want to bore you to death."
"No, it's very interesting. So you two want to change the world?"
"No, not really. We have three goals: explore the universe, restore balance in the magical world and bring civilizations of the Earth to stars. The second goal is extremely difficult but we have a few ideas," he explained and put a rump steak on her plate and gave another one with a side dish. "Here you are."
They sat to table and ate silent for a few minutes. Eve was way too hungry to speak and Harry was petting his new cat, which jumped into his lap when he sat down. Harry was a bit surprised that Cliodna was so clingy, but dismissed it since he knew that in the magical world it was a common occurrence. It seemed that he found a new familiar after the death of Hedwig. Funny that it was a cat.
"So when are you going to teach me?" Eve asked the green-eyes wizard after she emptied her plates.
"We can try now, if you want, but Hermione has a better understanding of your powers. I doubt, however, she will be awake until tomorrow."
"I'd rather try now."
He nodded and said, "Alright, I need to take something and then we go outside."
Harry put Cliodna down and went out of the dinning room. Soon he returned with a big chest and waved at her to follow him. The cat went along as well to Eve's amusement. The pet was very clingy. She followed the wizard to the park and then to small clearing between the storehouse and some forest. He stopped there and said that it was the best possible place for training.
"Now, how do I control the power?" she asked being nervous.
"I don't know. Unlike the dog, you have to learn using new nerves in unfamiliar way. The best idea I have is to use extreme emotions, so that you would accidently reach for these nerves and use the power."
"And how do we do it?"
"Easy," he said, put the chest before her and opened it with a spell jumping off from it.
The next moment Eve froze horrified by the sight of a familiar woman who resembled her. Harry didn't know at first what was so scary about her, but then woman's flesh began to rot and she turned into a corpse with glowing eyes.
The girl took a step back, when the woman before her said, "You're just like me! Magic? Cure from a cancer? You've got mental like me! Insane. Insane! INSANE!" She cried and cracked up with a mad laughter.
"M-mother? No! That's not true! That can't be!" Eve exclaimed and took another step back while her mother went to her. "Get away from me!"
Eve fell to the ground and then it happened. Her body flared with blue light and the boggart was thrown away from her. The wizard would be thrown back too, but he managed to shield himself and Cliodna in time with a spell. The girl, however, passed out due to outburst of energy. Harry quickly casted a riddicolous spell at the boggart, threw the creature back to the chest and took a look at Eve. She was alright, but exhausted. It was a success. They could work on her powers now. He and Hermione would use legilimency to learn how to control it. As for now, the girl needed rest. Harry looked around and noticed scared cat, which looked at the unconscious girl warily. The wizard smirked and petted it reassuring, lifted Eve in his arms and headed home.