- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- No Beta
- Alternate Universe
When Harry Potter came online as a Guide, the world rippled.
First, Harry reached out to and found his Sentinel, an American homicide detective named Anthony DiNozzo. Tony’s search for his Guide led to the International Confederation of Wizards getting confirmation that Voldemort had taken over Britain, and to the certain knowledge that wizards entering Great Britain were disappearing.
The conditions for witches and wizards who did not have pure blood–inquisitions, forced labor camps– thus became known internationally, and the wheels turned in Switzerland to sanction Great Britain. The International Sentinel & Guide Center in Switzerland also squashed Britain’s attempt to make Harry Potter–now a known Alpha Guide potential– “Undesirable Number One.”
Second, Guide Merlin Emrys and his Sentinel, Arthur Pendragon, took up Harry’s cause.
The pair already had been working behind the scenes to create as much absolute havoc in the Ministry of Magic’s plans as they could. Lady Fate had warned them that Voldemort was Harry Potter’s to deal with, but that didn’t mean the legendary pair couldn’t mess with his minions.
Which they did. Repeatedly.
But when Merlin felt Harry come online, he knew it was time for them to make a public appearance, throw their lot in with the Light side, and render as much personal assistance as possible to his many times great-grandson, the Boy-Who-Lived.
Third, the magical people of Britain suddenly felt hope.
“So, you’re certain he’s in Cornwall?” Arthur asked his Guide as they picked their way down the path to the garage where Merlin kept his Aston Martin.
“Fairly,” Merlin hedged, pulling his keys out of his pocket as he waved a hand to open the garage door. “He came online in that direction yesterday, but I didn’t feel any bonding energy. My guess is he’s still on the spirit plane, looking for his Sentinel.”
“Why didn’t you do that when you came online?”
Merlin looked at his Sentinel incredulously. “How do you think I ended up in Camelot?”
Arthur opened his mouth, closed it, and shook his head. “Point.”
They got in the vehicle, and Merlin started it, backed out, and waved a hand at the garage door again to close it. “Feels like he’s nearly Land’s End.”
Arthur shrugged. “Let’s go, then.”
They’d driven nearly an hour when Merlin abruptly pulled over to ascend to the spirit plane, cutting the engine and falling so fast into a meditative state that Arthur wondered briefly if his Guide had fainted for some reason.
“I’ve got to learn how to drive,” Arthur muttered.
Merlin looked around the blue landscape briefly before heading toward the site of the abrupt pull he’d felt. Quietly, he watched as a coven of Shaman guided a spirit animal to the next life. He saw them close a circle, then watched as Harry Potter retreated to the physical plane before he approached the head Shaman, who looked up quickly when he sensed Merlin’s presence.
“Ah, hello,” Merlin waved. “I’m Merlin Emrys. And you are?”
Blair Sandberg stared silently. “Merlin Emrys. The Merlin Emrys?” he half-squealed.
“Um, well, yes.” Merlin cleared his throat. “I know I’ve not been on the spirit plane much in the last hundred years or so, but I felt the activity here and thought I should maybe render assistance?”
Confronted with a living legend, Blair did the only thing a true scientist would do: Ask a million questions.
Tony urged his Guide up from the floor and into the kitchen. “Let’s get some food into you, and then maybe a nap.”
“I’m fine, Tony, really,” Harry assured him. “Food would be great, though.”
“We ‘ave soup and sandwiches,” Fleur called from the kitchen. “Come and ‘elp yourselves.”
Ron, Hermione, Tony, Harry, Dean Thomas, Luna, Bill and Fleur all gathered around the kitchen table, helpfully made larger with a quick wave of Fleur’s wand.
“Right, then, mate,” Ron said as he finished swallowing a chunk of ham-and-cheese on country bread. “Explain. Are the horcruxes really gone, then?”
“Seem to be,” Harry shrugged. “We’ll likely want to check the others, if we can find them, to confirm, but we believe that there’s just a sliver left of Riddle’s spirit animal, as the spiritual representation of his soul, and it’s anchored to the body he’s currently inhabiting.”
Tony finished his soup and sat back to consider. “What do you know about the remaining anchors?”
Hermione cleared her throat. “We believe one may be in the vault of Bellatrix LeStrange at Gringotts, based on her reaction to our presence and that of Gryffindor’s sword at Malfoy Manor. How to get at that, is a question.”
Tony leaned forward. “Talk me through the logic.”
Hermione laid it out for him–Bellatrix’s overreaction to the sword, her apparent belief that it came from her vault, the sheer paranoia that resulted. “It stands to reason that something else was given to her in that vault, something that Tom doesn’t want getting out,” she finished. “I can only think it must be a Horcrux.”
“It’s possible,” Tony conceded. “It’s a gamble though.”
Harry raised a bowl to Fleur, who was coming around with second helpings of leek-and-potato soup. “Thanks,” he said to her, and looked around the table. “Does it matter? All we need is a look to confirm.”
“Sure,” Ron said sarcastically. “Let’s break in and see then, shall we? It’s Gringotts!”
Bill shook his head. “You’re mad to even think about breaking in, Ron.”
“Especially when it’s completely unnecessary,” Tony agreed. “The logic, along with confirmation that Riddle is in control of Britain and the sanction that should be coming along any day now, should be enough for us to get an international warrant to look inside the Lestrange vault.”
“Sanction?” Hermione asked. “We’re fugitives!”
“Ah, well, that’s probably the other piece of news we should have shared with you earlier,” Harry mumbled around a piece of bread. “Tony’s law enforcement.”
“And I went through the MACUSA and the ICW to get myself over here,” Tony confirmed. “They know what’s going on in Britain now, roughly, and I expect we’ll get confirmation of sanctions against Britain from the ICW and the International S & G Center any time now.”
“Huh,” Ron said. “What does that mean for us?”
“Oh, you’re still fugitives, at least in Britain,” Tony said cheerfully. “But the international community is behind you all. Especially the Alpha Guide potential here.”
Harry swallowed the last of his second sandwich, then sat back. “The spirit plane makes it tough to hide guilt, Ron. The minute I came online looking for a Sentinel, the S & G center got involved, and they know I’ve done nothing wrong but get on Tom Riddle’s bad side. Add to it that my Sentinel is a law enforcement officer, and we’ve got reasonable cause to doubt what Britain’s saying.”
“That, and international travelers go missing when they get to Britain,” Tony confirmed. “It’s raised all sorts of flags. I had to go through Paris and travel by non-magical means to get here at all.”
“So how do we go about getting a warrant to check the Lestrange vault?” Hermione asked interestedly.
“I’ll need to make a phone call,” Tony said. “And that means heading to your beach to get beyond your wards. Meanwhile, you think there’s another one, right? Do you have thoughts on what that could be?”
Luna looked up from where she was drawing a picture of a cat, using mustard, on her bread. “If he’s using Founder’s Artifacts, you might consider the lost diadem of Ravenclaw. Rumor has it that it’s probably located at Hogwarts somewhere. At any rate, we could ask Lady Helena.”
“Lady Helena?” Bill asked.
“The Gray Lady, Bill,” Luna said. “She’s Lady Helena Ravenclaw. She might know something.”
“So we have a plan, then,” Harry said. “Tony will get an international warrant to check the Lestrange vault for a Horcrux, probably Hufflepuff’s cup. We’ll plan a trip back into Hogwarts to talk to the Gray Lady and see if she knows anything about the diadem.” He looked up at his Sentinel and grinned. “Almost done.”
Tony covered his Guide’s hand with his own, and grinned back. “Let’s do this.”
Merlin opened his eyes to find that Arthur had pulled out their lunch and started eating while he’d been on the spirit plane. “Hungry, prat?” Merlin asked, shaking out his arms and legs.
“Too hungry to wait for you to get back from wherever you went, yes,” Arthur replied, waving around a slice of roasted lamb before stuffing it in his mouth.
Merlin shook his head and smirked. “Such faith in me.”
Arthur swallowed. “Always.” He dug around in their carry all for a cheese bun and handed it to Merlin. “What news from the spirit plane?”
“Harry has found his Sentinel, but because of international law, they can’t bond until he’s 18, in about three months,” Merlin reported. “He and six other Shaman banished the arse’s spirit animal to the other side, however, and that should take care of the means he used to remain on this plane, even when it should have been impossible. Soul anchors. Old, and particularly Dark, magic.”
Arthur sipped his water. “So what’s our plan?”
“Still heading to find him on the physical plane and render assistance,” Merlin rolled his shoulders, popped the last bit of bun in his mouth, and started the car. “Let’s go. I’ve got a better sense of him now.”
Tony herded Harry back up to the small room they’d been allotted by Fleur and Bill. “Come on, Guide,” he cajoled, resting a hand on Harry’s lower back. “Up you get. You need a nap.”
Harry looked up at Tony, emerald green eyes glinting from beneath sooty black lashes. “Joining me?”
Tony groaned. “I’ve been cursed with jailbait.” He shook his head and grinned down at his Guide. “Not for happy times, unfortunately. But we could do skin-to-skin cuddling if you can keep your naughty thoughts to yourself.”
Harry laughed. “What if I don’t want to?”
“Then I’ll be leaving you here to take a dip in that nice cold ocean I saw outside,” Tony said, gesturing for Harry to lie down on the single bed.
“Mmmm,” Harry said, eyes already drifting shut. “Wish we could have happy times.” One eye popped back open. “Join me anyway. I’ll try to keep my horny thoughts to myself.”
“I’ll keep my mouth to myself, you’ll keep your thoughts to yourself,” Tony blew out a breath. “I might have to take that cold dip anyway, just to make this work.”
Harry chuckled softly. “Go ahead. Didn’t you have a phone call to make, anyway?”
“True,” Tony said, then ran his hand through Harry’s unruly black hair. “I’ll go do that, take a dip, and then come up, when temptation is less likely.”
“Sounds good,” Harry mumbled, already falling asleep.
Tony looked at him fondly for a moment, then rose to take his walk on the beach.
And his very cold ocean swim.
Luna Lovegood settled herself in lotus position in the room she currently shared with Hermione Granger, and she relaxed to project herself onto the spirit plane.
Her Sentinel would be waiting for an update.
As the world turned blue, she opened her eyes to see a short, kind-eyed man in RAMC fatigues, his bull mastiff spirit guide sniffing at her feet. “John.” Luna smiled, then hugged her Sentinel. “Are you well?”
Lieutenant John H. Watson, of the Fifth Northumberland Fusilliers, wrapped his arms around his Guide and squeezed. “As ever, Luna.”
- - - -