Lightning among the Stars
(A/N: Okay, so this is written as a sort of B-side to stargatesg1fan1's fic Beginning a New Path, since he has no intention of going into anime or game universes. Won't begin the same for obvious reasons (namely a Muse annoyingly picky about writing my own shit as much as possible), but it'll go a similar way; namely lots of hot females eventually warming Harry's bed, including fem!Shep. Enjoy!)
Prologue: Falling Into Destiny
Harry Potter yawned widely as he progressed down into the Death Chamber within the Department of Mysteries. It was now a year on since the fall of Voldemort, and Harry had since taken a job as an Unspeakable.
He had originally married Ginny about four months after the end of the war, but she had begun exploiting her newfound fame as the Boy-Who-Won's wife to get absolutely anything she wanted, sleeping around and acting like she was superior to everyone else. Not only that, but when he broached the topic of children she refused on the grounds that it would jeopardize her Quidditch career. As far as Harry was concerned, that ended it. He and Ginny had confided a lot in each other, not least his desire to eventually have a family, and she had thrown that back in his face.
The resultant argument and following divorce had divided the Weasley family down the middle. George, Bill, Charlie and Arthur sided with Harry along with Hermione. Molly, Ron and Percy had sided with Ginny, and after Ron made the rather erroneous claim that his status as Hermione's fiancé meant that he could order her to side with him, she broke off their engagement by inserting her engagement ring into his ass.
The whole thing had worked out alright, at least for those not on Ginny's side. When the news of Harry's and Ginny's divorce and the reason came out to the public, Molly lost access to the prominent social circles she had enjoyed access to after her defeat of Bellatrix. Ron and Ginny were kicked off the Chudley Cannons and Holyhead Harpies respectively and Percy lost his job as head of International Magical Cooperation. All four were shunned, especially Ginny, and Arthur ended up divorcing Molly.
He had overridden Harry's attempts at apologizing for tearing apart his family, stating that things had been a little rocky ever since Fred's death anyway, but had been unable to dissuade Harry from giving him enough money to keep himself comfortable. It helped that when the divorce story aired, Harry had given a personal interview making sure that Arthur, Bill, Charlie and George were untouched by the scandal.
Harry and Hermione had moved in together after the whole travesty finished, only to be contacted a few months later by Algernon Croaker and recruited into the Department of Mysteries.
That led them to where they were now; working together on researching the Veil of Death. It had taken a long time for Harry to even approach it without being overwhelmed with memories of Sirius falling through, but Hermione's influence had been instrumental in helping him get through it. Their relationship had only strengthened (if that were possible) after that.
Hermione was already seated beside the Veil, waving her wand towards the stone arch and dictating to a charmed quill and notepad at the same time. Harry allowed himself a moment to marvel at her multi-tasking capabilities before striding towards her.
Hermione turned her head and smiled when she saw her colleague and closer-than-friend approaching, "Hi Harry,"
Harry tutted at her as he crouched beside her, "Hermione, have you actually slept yet? Because if I recall correctly I left before you last night."
Hermione gave a nervous chuckle, "Hehe, I may have lost track of time a little bit…"
Harry sighed and allowed the brunette to lean against his shoulder, "You lie down for a nap. I'll handle today's scans while you rest."
Hermione opened her mouth, "But Harry…"
He cut her off by raising his right hand and giving her a gentle poke in the forehead with the Elder Wand, "Somnum," (Sleep)
Hermione instantly slumped against him as the spell took effect. Again, Harry allowed himself a moment to grin at the capabilities of the Elder Wand before conjuring a comfortable mattress and lifting Hermione onto it. It was really handy having such a powerful wand; he didn't even need conventional incantations now. All he had to do was say a word, most of the time.
As soon as the brunette was settled, Harry turned back to the Veil and closed his eyes. Raising the Elder Wand, he set to work, allowing the magic of the Veil to flow over and around his body as he began analyzing it.
Dimly, he registered another presence entering the chamber in the distance but passed it off as Croaker checking in on them as he continued to focus on the Veil. After a second he glanced down at Hermione and smirked, only to lose the smirk a moment later as the presence moved close enough to recognize as a specific person. "I sense something," he said in a deadpan voice, "A presence I've not felt since…"
A sudden upsurge of magic told him that whoever it was did not want to have a friendly chat, so he whirled on the spot and literally smacked the Disarming Charm aside with the flat of his hand. Glaring at the caster, he spoke, "Hello, Ron."
The youngest Weasley male looked in a bad way. His hair was scraggly and unkempt, his chin and cheeks covered in stubble and there were dark shadows under his eyes. "Potter," he snarled, "I've come to get you for ruining my life."
Harry looked impassively at him, "You ruined your own life Ron. I did nothing. We were friends; I'd have been happy to give you enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, but there's only so many times I can forgive you before I start thinking you're irredeemable."
"You're the one who's irredeemable, Potter!" yelled Ron, "I was right about you in our second year; you are turning into a Dark Wizard!"
"I haven't been able to speak Parseltongue in well over a year, Ron. You know that."
"Does that matter?" He noticed Hermione on the floor, "So this is it, huh? You divorce my sister so you can play with that whore instead?"
Harry's eyes darkened and a visible aura of magic formed around him, "Don't call Hermione a whore. She's an infinitely better person than you or your sister. Your sister is the real whore here."
Ron's face purpled, "How dare…"
"Vows at the altar," Harry cut him off with a scornful laugh, "As if. You know what happened, Ron? We went on our honeymoon, and four days after we returned I walked in on her with McLaggen. McLaggen, for crying out loud!"
On the floor, Hermione stirred. She blearily opened her eyes and immediately glared up at Harry, "Harry! I've told you before; don't use sleep spells on me when there's work to be done!" She sat up, rubbing her eyes with her knuckles like a small child, and then she noticed Ron, "Oh. It's you."
Ron sneered at her, then turned back to Harry, "Well, I'm here to teach you a lesson! Fernunculus!"
The Pimple Jinx shot towards Harry and Hermione, the former simply blocking it with a swipe of his wand.
Hermione yelled, "Stupefy!" and forced Ron to block before returning fire.
Harry shielded Hermione as he jabbed his wand forwards, "Percutere!" (Strike)
A blast of lightning shot from the tip of his wand and past Ron's ear as he ducked, taking a huge chunk out of a bench behind him. "Confringo!" Ron bellowed, jabbing his wand at Harry, who blocked again.
"Immobulus!" Hermione cried, but Ron deflected the spell so she followed it up with "Avis! Oppugno!"
"Anteoculatia!" Harry called as the bird swarm hurtled at Ron and were destroyed by an Incendio, causing a pair of large antlers to appear on Ron's head, momentarily knocking him offbalance.
"Aguamenti! Glacius!" Hermione yelled.
"Protego!" Ron responded, sending the rapidly forming spray of ice off to either side of him.
"Mucus ad Nauseum!" Harry cast, but Ron was able to avoid the Curse of the Bogies before it could hit him.
"GIVE UP!" Harry roared at Ron, "You can't beat us, Ron! You're already in enough trouble for attacking two Ministry employees!"
Ron didn't even respond; his next spell did the talking for him, "Avada Kedavra!"
The green jet went straight through Harry's shield and, almost in slow motion, hit him squarely in the chest.
Algernon Croaker, sitting in his office, looked up from his paperwork as an alarm blared. Checking the enchanted map of the Department on the wall, he saw that the Death Chamber was lit up. Slamming his fist onto the emergency button, he sped around the desk and took off down the corridor.
Ron's victorious smirk faded as he saw that Harry was still on his feet and now looked even more pissed off. "Did you think, even for a second, that that would stop the Master of Death, Weasley?" Harry snarled, his eyes behind his glasses (now no longer needed, he just wore them because he was used to them) flashing as green as the curse that had just hit him.
Ron stared as Harry brought up his wand, "CAPIENDUM!" (Capture)
Tree roots exploded through the stone under Ron's feet, securing his feet in position.
"Now," said Harry, twitching his wand so that another root sprang up to catch Ron's wand arm, "We'll talk until the Aurors get down here."
"No talk!" Ron roared, "Maybe I can't kill you, but I can at least kill the whore!" He threw his wand from his right hand to his left and levelled it at Hermione, who Harry realized was standing directly in front of the Veil, "EXPULSO!"
The ground in front of Hermione exploded, blasting her backwards towards the Veil. The world seemed to enter slow motion as Harry dived into Hermione's path, but her momentum was too great. She crashed into his torso… and both of them fell through the archway.
Croaker and the Unspeakables following him burst into the Death Chamber a moment too late. The cry of "EXPULSO!" drew their attention, but they were too slow to do more than watch as Harry Potter attempted to catch Hermione Granger. They passed through the Veil of Death and vanished from sight.
Ron was sent crashing to the floor under the weight of more than a dozen consecutive spells as Croaker strode past him towards the Veil. Was it his imagination… or was there a light behind the Veil?
His question was answered a second later as the Veil suddenly lit up like a match in a fireworks warehouse, sending him stumbling backwards as a figure strode straight through the ragged curtain.
It was unmistakeably Harry Potter… but not in any physical form. His body seemed to be made up of magic; pure, undiluted magic. "Mr… Potter?"
Harry looked down at his body in mild fascination, "Huh, that's kinda cool. Shame Hermione couldn't do this, she'd love to see what she could do."
"How…" Croaker whispered, "How is this possible?"
"Hell if I know," responded the wizard-turned-magical-construct, "But I guess… no."
"Umm… yeah, I may have neglected to mention that I had the Deathly Hallows on me when you recruited us? From the feel of it, I would surmise that the magical paradox caused by the Master of Death dying by passage through the Veil of Death caused all three Hallows to fuse into me. Hmm… I was touching Hermione when we went through, I wonder if she got any too?"
He fixed his attention on Croaker, "Anyway, I guess this is goodbye." He held out a hand.
Croaker hesitated for a second before taking it; he felt his thinning hair stand on end at the odd magical charge that passed through his arm from the contact, "It's been an honour, Mr Potter. I regret we could not work together longer; you and Miss Granger have been a great help to the Unspeakables."
Harry grinned, "Likewise, Mr Croaker. If I may ask a favour, one colleague to another?"
Harry pointed at the immobile Weasley on the floor, or tried to; his hand had disappeared, "Tsk, appears this doesn't last long. Now, the favour; kindly make sure that that… person… is prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Croaker nodded, "Of course."
"But not the death penalty, if you can avoid it. I hear the goblins have ways of making sure that those under their care last through the full extent of their sentence. If you can, tell Griphook that Harry Potter sends his regards with the gift of a guy to shovel dragon dung out of the tunnels."
Croaker nodded, "Understood. Farewell, Mr Potter. Give my regards to your family, and make sure you tell them how brave their son was!"
Harry chuckled, "I will. Farewell. Oh and Weasley? Try to avoid dying for as long as possible if you know what's good for you; I'll be waiting on the other side with a cricket bat full of nails."
He stepped backwards, and vanished behind the Veil.
(A/N: And so it begins. Yes, I know, it's yet another fic that will probably get some way and then grind to a dead halt like the rest. I hate my Muse, I swear when she eventually comes back I am going to chain her to the wall. For the readers of my other fics… Jutsu started moving again; Sage actually began a new chapter; Reign and ROOT haven't been started yet, Maelstrom is now officially on hiatus pending a massive overhaul and rewrite, and the first rewritten chapter of Blade… well let's just sidle around that topic. I am sorry for my long absence, there is no excuse I can make. College, Skyrim and Mass Effect 3, a new manga-drawing hobby… there are far too few hours in the day, I swear. Oh well. Until next time folks, Leonineus OUT!)