The rest of the fall session went relatively without trouble, except for skirmishes between Hermione Granger and Harry. Hermione just could not understand that books were incomplete, and sometimes (often!) inaccurate. Harry, on his side, just could not fathom why Hermione was so abrasive and hung up on books, not understanding that she was insecure and needed these wells of knowledge to feel safe.
As the Christmas vacations neared, the headmistress wondered what would happen with some of her students. Some had been literally dropped at the train station with a ‘Do not come back!’; others had come with Harry from Malfoy Manor; others had tried to return to their magical families only to discover that Voldemort and his cohort had killed every one of their family members and they were orphans. Harry had offered to take the children into his care, but Minerva just could not understand how a barely 11 year old could care for at least fifty children.
It was the arrival of Lords Black and Longbottom, along with Lady Malfoy, that set her straight.
"If I am to believe the rumors, Mister Potter is offering to shelter some fifty orphans. I do not understand how he could. Even Mug... Oh, sorry, mundanes have rules concerning underage children."
"I will take all those that he took to Hogwarts back for Christmas," said Lady Malfoy. "We have enough space for everyone. They enjoyed their stay last summer, I doubt they would want to be anywhere else."
"And Longbottom Manor has about twice the space of Malfoy Manor, if not a bit bigger, so I can take the rest."
"Hey, do not be selfish! I want to have children at the Black Residence!" protested Lord Sirius Black. "Anyway, Harry is coming to my place!"
"Says who?" said Lady Malfoy. "If you want an army of children breaking down your wards, try to keep Harry from coming to Malfoy Manor! Those that stayed behind when he took the older ones to Hogwarts are literally biting at the bits waiting for his return!"
"I know Neville will be overjoyed of having more children to play with this coming holiday. He finds Longbottom Manor supremely boring since he met Harry and Draco." said Alice Longbottom, as Frank nodded.
"I wonder if any of you realize he has the pick of where he wants to stay?" said Frank.
"What do you mean?"
"First: he hates living inside a house and probably sleeps out on the Hogwarts grounds once the last round of bed-checks is done by the prefects... if he even bothers with that. Second, he owns at least ten major castles, over fifty manors, and at least a hundred and fifty houses of varying sizes. Third, he has his own suite in every British Royal Castle, from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace. And I doubt the Queen would see with a good eye his ignoring her during the upcoming festivities."
"What do you mean, he sleeps outside?"
"Hey, he is the ultimate animagus, Minerva. I am sure he can select any form he sees fit to keep warm, including the Polar Bear, if he so chooses, or the Wooly Mammoth, come to think of it."
"Frank is right, Minerva. He never slept in my Manor every time he came to visit. It was a pain to make him enter the house to eat, and Draco would give anything to sleep with him. I found the two asleep, tucked under a Pine tree, Draco nude as Jay birds and kept warm by Harry’s abundant fur. I still have not been able to identify the species he had shape shifted into."
Minerva groaned loudly.
"You may be a Cat animagus, Minerva, but your groans leave a lot to be desired when compared to Harry’s Saber Tooth Tiger sound. Now, that is a growl to make you shiver!" added Lady Malfoy.
"I give up!" Minerva said, realizing she had no grounds to intervene.
"Good. I will be picking up Harry..." began Sirius.
"You think..." interrupted Lady Malfoy, smirking.
"What do you mean?"
"Mister Potter will decide, not you. And I doubt he will leave any of his friends behind, so forget picking and choosing..."
Now, it was the whimper of a miserable Dog that filled the Headmistress’ office.
Harry was up early December twentieth, the day those leaving Hogwarts for Christmas were to board the train. He gently woke up everyone coming with him, now numbering three hundred and seventy-five. Knowing he could not possibly have everyone at Malfoy Manor, he split the group into two: two hundred would go to Malfoy Manor, namely, those that had come from there in the first place. The rest, one hundred and seventy-five, would go to Longbottom Manor.
"I wish we could all go to either manor, but it is impossible," Harry explained to the other group. "Malfoy Manor is filled to the brim with three hundred and fifty children, and Sirius Black’s town house can barely contain fifty residents. So, remembering my visit to Longbottom Manor as a bird, I paid a visit there last night and counted the number of bedrooms. It will be able to take up the balance. I plan to work on creating a Manor fit for our needs next summer, probably during that Christian holiday called Easter. I have a huge place called Avalon’s Den, which does not do it justice. And nothing stops me from multiplying its area by twenty and also add additional layers."
"You visited my home? When?" asked an astounded Neville. "And why did you not tell me of that visit? Or, more to the point, why did we not talk to each other?"
"Because you and your family were at Buckingham Palace when I visited. I read it from the House Elves’ minds. And I did not meet you until way later, and it sort of left my mind until last night."
"Oh, okay... Did you ask Mom if you could bring the children? Not that she would say no! She knows how lonely I get at the Manor, but it seems polite to ask before invading..."
"Oh... Sorry, Neville... I am not the socialite you are. I just assumed that need created obligation... I guess I am wrong... for once!"
"Prick! Just ask me! It is MY home too, and I have a say on whom I want to invite... And I so decide to invite them! So it solves the faux-pas nicely, any you do not need to ask!"
"So, what do we need to pack?" asked a flustered second year.
"Nothing! I sort of introduced a new fashion at the Manor, the one we have been following ever since we went to Malfoy Manor and got introduced to nudity by Harry! It is so relaxing to be able to play without worrying about torn clothes, dirty clothes, and the likes. And I, for one, plan to surprise Dad and Mom with my animagus! I doubt they expect me to come out as a Thompson Gazelle. I plan to tease my uncle mercilessly too! He has been calling me a Squib for way too long, and he has yet to achieve an animagus form!"
"I wonder if I should show mine to Mom?"
"Why not?" asked Ernest Macmillan.
"Well, a Dragon is not a small beast, and she is getting on in age!"
"Draco, if you ever want to see a Dragon, let that comment out in front of Narcissa."
"Why? She is ages older than me!"
"Maybe so, but women do not like to be reminded of their age," said Suzan Bones. "Harry, do you think I could go with you guys? Mom has issues with the Aurors and told me she would barely be home. I would prefer not being alone during the holidays."
"Sure. Just leave everything behind. We will be back after the vacations anyway."
"So, we walk to the train station, board it and go to London, then port to whatever Manor?" asked Denis Creevy.
"Oh, it is much simpler. I want everyone leaving with me in the Room of Requirement at ten to eleven. It will be open from nine thirty forward, I will open a portal to Longbottom Manor and those going there will leave. Then I will open another to Malfoy Manor and the others will go through it to their destination."
"You say that as if you do not plan on coming with us?" asked Draco.
"I plan to... a bit later. Remember what I told you happened at the Round Table. I was forced to take my station by pompous idiots, and I plan to make them pay, with compounded interest."
"What do you plan to do?" asked Neville.
"Prank the snot out of the High Elves’ stuffy nose."
"Only you, Harry... Only you."
Those leaving with Harry gradually made their way to the Room of Requirements, that expanded as the numbers grew, offering seats and resting places for everyone. One nosy student, known as Know-Nothing Hermione Granger tried to sneak inside to find out what was going on with all the students entering what she thought was an auditorium, but she found herself outside of the Castle’s wards, much to her surprise. She quickly ran back to the Castle, meeting Minerva as the last carriages were leaving the piazza of Hogwarts.
"Professor McDonnagall! Professor McDonnagall!" yelled a puffing Hermione.
"What is the issue, my dear? And what are you doing in the snow and the cold wind without your winter cloak? Are you trying to get killed? Scotland’s weather this time of the year is far from tropical!"
Granger, puffing hard due to her run from the gates to the doors of Hogwarts, took a long breath and began a disjointed explanation of what had happened according to her.
"I was curious as to why there were so many students going on the seventh floor this morning instead of going down to the Great Hall to board the carriages to go to Hogsmeade Train Station, so I followed a group of my classmates up there. I saw them enter an auditorium, and decided to follow. Barely had I touched the door that I found myself at the Gates to Hogsmeade, and I saw one of the school carriages leave to reach the train station. I used the fact that the gates were open to return. Something is going on you are not aware of! Something Dark!"
"Ah, because you do not know what is going on, it necessarily means it is dark, Miss Granger? Has it ever occurred to you that some closed doors are closed for good reasons?"
"But if my year mates have the right to enter and listen, so do I!"
"Listen to what? And I know of no, what is it you called that place? Auditorium? On the seventh floor."
"Then it is worse than I thought! If even you have no knowledge of what dark ritual is being performed, we are doomed!"
"Get over yourself, Miss Granger. I know we do not teach much in logic while teaching Magic as it is more a question of confidence in oneself and faith in one’s innate powers than anything logical, but that does not mean you should throw reason out the window! Before jumping to conclusions, Miss Granger, get your facts aligned and checked."
"But! But! Are you not going to go check, at least?"
"Yes, when everyone that is leaving is safely on its way. There are still a few stray students and it is fifteen to eleven."
"A few strays? I can help find them!"
"You will do no such thing, Miss Granger! In fact, if I remember right, you are to get to Hogsmeade and board the train, the last two carriages are advancing. Get in one, now!"
"But I have my stuff in my room!"
"The House Elves have been informed by Magic, your luggage is already on the train. Get moving. I am more than tired of your teacher pet attitude, Miss Granger. You will grow up, even if I have to get you put on a mind stretcher to add a few feet to your mental height! Ah, here is Mister Potter... Well, Mister Potter, where is your group?"
"I am checking to make sure everyone that is supposed to be there is there. I found MacMillan getting harassed by a sixth year, Alaric Bulstrode, and dealt with it. Tell Madam Pomfrey to refresh (!) her frostbite treatments knowledge. I am off to the Room of Requirements; that is where I sent everyone."
"The Room of Requirements?" asked a dumfounded Minerva, whose questioning tone did not escape either Harry or Hermione.
"Yes, the Come and Go Room, as the House Elves call it, the Room of Lost Things, a room that supplies what you need, or require." The lost looks prompted Harry to continue: "It is on the seventh floor... I asked for the room early this morning, a bit before breakfast, and students have been slowly making their way to it. I registered one student that had not requested to enter try to do so and that student was summarily expelled."
Harry finally noticed the rather sparse clothing of one Hermione Granger as she called attention to herself with her sputtering and very brick-red face.
"From you lack of covering, not that I find it lacking, but you certainly do, I gather the nosy student was you? No need to answer, your demeanor tells the whole story. You had no reason to enter the Room of Requirements as you did not ask permission."
"What evil deeds are you doing in there? Sacrificing your fellow students on the Altar of Evil Elf Magic?"
Harry had enough of Hermione. He quickly slapped her face, both sides, lightning flashing from his eyes.
"One more word out of you, Granger, and you will find yourself a mundane. I can, and will remove your Magic! Your attitude has reached the limit of the intolerable. You are a bossy Bitch, that believes everything is due you because of your intellect. Well, you need to learn to use that intellect to control your bossy leanings! Do not ever forget Magic is a gift given by us to your kind, and it can be removed, either as a whole from the Human Species, or individually. You are skating on thin ice. It is my last warning!"
Minerva placed a hand on Hermione’s mouth, and replied for her: "I will see to it to educate Miss Granger on the facts of Life."
"If you are willing to tackle that mountain, feel free. But do include sex education. She has stubbornly refused to attend the mandatory sex education course imposed by the Queen to Hogwarts’ curriculum. Ignorance is no excuse for misbehavior, especially when said ignorance is willingly chosen!"
With that parting comment, Harry phased out to reappear in the Room of Requirements, surprising Minerva and shocking Hermione.
"I thought apparation was not allowed on Hogwarts grounds?" said a flustered and furious Hermione. "The book on the History of Hogwarts says so!"
"That book is outdated, Miss Granger. Every step Mister Potter takes in this Castle rewrites history and expands our knowledge of Magic beyond our wildest dreams. Now, get on the carriage, I will see you at your parents’ home tomorrow morning. And, for once in your life, question the validity of the contents of books! You are making yourself more enemies than Voldemort with your attitude!"
Harry’s graceful appearance in the Room of Requirement almost went unnoticed except for Neville colliding with him and falling on his ass for it.
"Hey! I did not see you! Where do you come from?"
"The Castle’s Piazza. We need to move. Have you separated those for Longbottom Manor and those destined to Malfoy Manor?"
"Yes. Those going to Malfoy Manor are grouped around Draco; I was collecting MacMillan when you came out of thin air. He is so anxious he can not stay still."
"Okay. Since I have you, you are first." With that, Harry opened a portal to Longbottom Manor, and the students streaked out as Neville counted them. "The count is exact. I am going through. I suspect the House Elves are a bit overwhelmed right now. See you later, Harry!" With that Neville made his way trough the portal which Harry immediately closed. He quickly walked to Draco.
"Is everyone present?"
"Okay, portal to Malfoy Manor coming up! It will be in the ball room, guys. Once across, go to your room and get rid of excess luggage. Your rooms are those you occupied before we came to Hogwarts. I will be following you shortly, but I need a trip at the old ministry first."
With no visible outside signs, the portal materialized in front of the group, whom began passing through. Shortly, Draco sighted. The count was complete. "I will be expecting you, Harry. Do you think you will be in for tea?"
"Hopefully. If not, well, I will be on the grounds. I am sure Dobby will inform you of my emergence in your wards."
"Oh, yes! I miss Dobby! It has been a long session without his hilarious attitude in life. I feel bored without his constant jabbering, his clumsiness, and his companionship."
"I know. So do I, but I spent so much time alone I am less sensitive to his absence than you are. Take care!" hollered Harry as Draco walked through the gate which immediately closed with a thought from the King of Magic.
Harry opened a gate to the old Ministry building, and appeared in the middle of the Atrium. His sudden walk into the highly magical space triggered alarms and a good three hundred Aurors came rushing form all directions. The first to recognize whom was standing in the middle of the Hall with a smirk to end all smirks was Amelia Bones.
"What brings you here, King of Magic, Lord Potter?"
"I need access to the inter-dimensional gate found in the Department of Mysteries. I will be back as quickly as I can, once I have set the record straight with the stuffy bastards."
"Sure. Moody, you are in charge until I come up!"
With that, Amelia led the way to the elevators, only to be stopped by a stiff-necked Guard.
"Madam, we must ensure it is whom we think it is. We must weight his wand!"
Amelia looked at the Guard, abashed at his stick in the mud attitude. "Sure, weight mine as well! Who knows? Maybe I am an impostor!" said the high-ranking official.
"Wand? I do not have one! I need no crutch to get obeyed by Magic! And what stupidity is this? As if a piece of dead wood containing one or more pieces of dead animal can tell you if the person in front of you is an impostor," thundered Harry. "Whose’ idiotic idea was this anyway? Another attempt at creating official tasks for the useless?"
Now, it was Amelia’s turn to smirk at the shocked looks of one staff member she found oh so irritating. She walked on, ignoring the man, followed by a smiling Harry. They took the rackety elevators to the ninth level.
"A Weasley?" asked Harry.
Taken out of her dream world by the question, Amelia took a second to respond. "What? Where? Who? Oh, that red-head... Yes, he is doing a stage here during the Christmas season. We have the unfortunate privilege of harboring one of the red rabbits, named Percival. I think he takes from his namesake Percival Lancelot a bit too much and probably would be walking with an armor and a lance even in his bath tub! I wonder if he stands to take a dump!"
"Has he been at home lately?"
"I think he slept in the broom closet. I doubt he can bend enough to lay down."
"He smells like it too..."
"That dusty smell? I think you are right. I thought it was just my imagination. I think I will have him thrown in the fountain."
"You might end up charged with polluting the Thames! The Queen seems to insist Magical subjects have no privileges. Anyway, I thought I remembered him from my first confrontation with his younger brother, Ronald, on the train to Hogwarts. He probably carried him by the left ear right to the prefect car. I am surprised Ronald still has two of those appendages."
The two made off the elevator and walked through the department of Mysteries to the room containing the Arch and the Veil.
"I will make my way back on my own, Madam Bones. Thank you for your company. It may be quick, or it may take some time. If I am not back before the elevator makes its way down to pick you up, it means I had issues."
"The Magical plane does not follow this Mortal plane’s clock. It is both faster and slower. I can not explain things more clearly without entering into Relativity theory. If you are interested, or one of the Unspeakable wishes to have a better understanding, have a look at Einstein’s Restricted and General Relativity Theory."
"A mundane that got really close to understanding everything relative to time. His theories are on the dot... for the most part, and much more precise than any developed by Human Magical beings. Have a good day."
"I doubt it, but thanks anyway."
Harry walked into the rather sober hall, and made his way to the Veil that marked the Inter-dimension Portal entrance. He checked its charge, and finding it at its peak, he created a shield that would prevent the most stubborn of mundane or magical from damaging the entrance to (and exit from) the Elvin Kingdom. Even antimatter would not hurt the structure now.
I should have done that last fall. I am lucky no idiot came in charging in an effort blow this up trying to cut me off my home base. I will do the same on the other side, thought Harry, as idiots are as prolific over there as here As if these dinosaurs were my home anyway.
Shortly, Harry found himself in a musty room that appeared to be locked from the outside. A wall displayed a casing with stuffed heads and names below. Under each head was a vase that reminded Harry of the Pensieve he had seen at Malfoy and Longbottom Manor. A quick look at the writing on the vases confirmed his first impression: they were Pensieves. As he looked at the heads, he also noted the presence of dates written in cuneiform B, the fundamental writing of the High Elves. Dates ranged from minus fifty thousand Before Current epoch to a flurry around the death of his parents. Scratching his head, he sat near the oldest and began thinking.
The High Elves had moved to this plane some years before, from his magical memory. They had left the portal open, not really thinking it dangerous at the time, as Magicals were still bound to the High Elves and valued them too much at the time to ever consider harming them. But some two hundred and fifty years separated the first head and the parting of ways of the High Elves with the Mortal plane. Two hundred and fifty which represented a long time for even magical life in the mortal plane. By then, most, if not all, of those that had known of the High Elves had died, and the Elves were entering the realm of legends. So it made sense, in a way, that the Magical sent their unwanted through the Veil to be punished by the High Elves for violating the Laws of Magic. As time passed, the fact that this was a Portal to the High Elves’ domain was lost, and only remained that it was a portal to punish. As no one ever came back across the veil to the knowledge of the Wizards, it became the door to the underworld. Things began to add up on both sides. At first, the High Elves probably were taken by surprise, but gradually associated the passage through the portal of a magical being as another garbage disposal task. From the memories stored in the vases, one would assume the High Elves looked at the memories before disposing of the individual, and stored these memories in the vases as archives. Harry wondered what he could learn from these immemorial archives, but decided to put it off to another day. He had more important work to do and was short on time. Maybe he would come back this summer and look at the memories of those that had marked the history of the Mortal plane magically and consider fixing the record on some of those individuals. Maybe they had been misjudged, or were worse than even the mortal records showed them to be.
Harry stood up, and looked at the door. He could not help but laugh at the stupidity of the High Elves. That door was not even locked magically! He created a hair pin and easily unlocked the door, making his way out. He could not help himself and put, on the inside of the door, a message: ‘Let the one whose duty it was to guard the gate be forewarned. Dereliction of duty will cost far more than his or her Magic. King Harry Potter.’ He smirked and left the room, closing it and, this time, locking it tight. Let me see the idiot return to his office and escape notice. He or she will need a good fifty high-powered Elves to break that lock!
Harry made his way to a guard station, also empty, but freshly so, as Harry noticed the presence of food still steaming on the service counter. He passed through, and climbed up several levels, emerging in a courtyard that was occupied by some Elves doing some magical exercises. Beyond them was an open gate that led into a forest. Harry crossed the yard nonchalantly, totally ignored by the practicing Elves and the guards at the door. He was getting increasingly furious.
Not knowing where to go, Harry levitated above the forest and used his innate compass to resolve a point-me spell. He converted his shape to his favorite ice Phoenix form and took off in the direction he felt he needed to go. After an hour of flight, an eternity for a Phoenix, Harry saw a huge town dominated by an even bigger castle that dwarfed Hogwarts to the point the later looked like a doll house compared to this one.
Must be the seat of governance, though Harry. Most governments inflate from the head and that one has been ballooning for fifty thousand years, so it should not come as a surprise the castle fits the head.
Harry made his way to the castle and entered from a broken window, noting the lack of proper maintenance as he flew down the hallways, the flights of steps and the occasional room he checked. If a fire began here, it would be explosive due to the dust! Maybe that would be a good way to reduce the government’s size! Blow the castle up and see how many survived; only those really useful would have the expertise to do so... He just imagined the mess if he changed to an Earth Phoenix or worse, a Fire Phoenix!
It took him twenty minutes of flying in the castle to find where the stuffy jerks he had seen on the Round Table communicator where hiding. All that time, no one had even raised the alarm as seeing an Ice Phoenix fly around. Security was non-existent to the best of his knowledge. It seemed the ‘guards’ were more into pompous show-off actions to try and call the eyes of the Females of the species than into their duty. Peacocks, the lot of them! Luckily, they were stuffed in clothes; if they had been nude, he would not have put it beyond them to encase their virile lance in outrageously enlarged casings decorated with vibrant colors. South-American natives of the Amazon River did that... and it worked. The bigger the casing, the higher the status. At least Africans did not bother: They had the real thing to show off!
Deciding to study the Elvish government at work, Harry hid in the shadows and listened in on the debate currently occupying the stuffed relics. After all, getting first-hand assessment of those present would tell him whom to trust, if any, and whom to shorten.
"We have yet to see that supposed King, Elvas! All we have is a holographic projection, and no physical evidence whatsoever that this is not an elaborate hoax!"
"I suppose that the disappearance of the Elvin Crown and its reappearance on his head is not proof enough for you, Zoster? Given that the Crown was visible and fit the description of the jewel we had, your faction probably has some ludicrous claims on some form of cheating?"
"An image can be superimposed on another! I will believe it when I can touch it, put it on my head, and watch myself in the mirror with it!"
"A worthy descendant of Thomas Aquinas, you are, Zoster Aquinas! He too needed to put his fingers in the holes of the nails!"
"So what if my ancestor did not believe on sight? At least he had some modicum of critical thinking!"
"Anyway, Elvas, that supposed King has yet to come forth and claim his Throne! He sure did not look pleased at being forced to take that station!"
"Pleased or not, it does not affect his claim one bit! The blood sample he supplied clearly proved his lineage!"
"That too could be faked!"
"Tiberius, you are trying to tell me that the College of Lineage has been bought?"
"It would not be the first time!"
"Preposterous! Each time that claim was made, it was proven false."
"By whom? The winning faction, never the losing one!"
"It is not my fault if you are always on the losing side of things, you and your faction. You did manage to put in power enough idiots to force the people to come back to our tests! Learn to choose your side with more discernment!"
"I will always oppose Elrond and his family’s claim to governance!"
"Are you aware this is high treason?"
"For whom? That they brought us to this plane and established us in this realm is no reason to give them power as a God-given right! I want my share! My family followed them to escape one destiny and one war-torn realm, not to be held hostage in this one!"
"Hostage? No one holds you tied to this dimension!" said Runespoor, a member of Elvas’ faction.
"Sure! Have you found another one? We have two Realms we have access: this one and the one where that pretentious supposed King lives in!"
"Has it ever occurred to you that this dimension, the one we live in, might not actually be of natural origin?"
"Do not pull that old moldy sock! How could Elrond have the power to create a new universe? Claiming and doing are two things! And do not pull out the Book of Passages to prove your point. It was written by Elrond himself, and he could well write anything to glorify his image to posterity. It is as if he claims he is a God, which we know have no validated existence."
"I suppose if you do not see a Wolf while crossing the forest, there are no wolves in it?"
"Exactly! The only way to prove that there are wolves in the forest is to remove the forest so the wolves have no hiding place!"
"And flatten the hills as well," added Zoster Aquinas. "No use removing the forest if they can hide in the valleys!"
"You two are nuts! I wonder why we managed to survive with idiots like you around!"
"Simple, Elvas: They were always a minority," commented Ulvar. "The day idiots become the majority, I suspect Magic itself will judge us not worthy of its blessings!"
"As if Magic could judge!"
"It sure did concerning the last usurper you managed to force on us!"
"I agree with Ulvar; Marlin got his due, and I do not wish to finish in the same manner. It was ugly."
"Coward! You are a coward, Elvas!"
"Says the one that denies facts and reality. I am not too worried about your judgement, Zoster!"
Harry had heard enough. Of the twelve present at the table, four seemed decidedly opposed to his presence; six were solidly in his camp, and two seemed to be fence-sitters. Given how narrow the fence, their ass crack must be painfully bloody! Time to put fire under their asses and force them to take a stance. As for the four opponents, their fate was sealed. He would not allow that kind of opposition to mature any longer. Harry silently moved to what appeared to be the chair reserved for his use, and sat down gently. No one noticed the sinking of the cushions because of his mass. He then gently emerged from the shadows and waited for anyone to notice his presence. Finally, after five minutes and growing impatience, and listening to more bickering between the two factions, he exploded!
"ENOUGH!" he thundered, as a lightning flash exploded right in the middle of the table, which, he had noticed, was oblong in shape rather than the round table found in the Throne Room of Camelot. "I told you less than four months ago that if I came, I better not be ignored! And there you are, bickering like house Wives on whom should have access to the clothesline!"
The twelve Elves backed away from the table in a panic, Zoster and Runespoor falling on their back on the ground in a most undignified way.
"I never expected you to lick my feet, you two. Take your seats, we have a lot to settle, I have little time to do so. Move it!"
Harry’s eyes flashed a dark green, reminding the others of the Avada Kavadra spell. For those that were supporting Elrond’s lineage, it added another proof to Harry’s claim as it was rumored the High Elf King could kill with a glance. For the opposing faction, it proved only that the kid was ill-tempered, nothing else. They were not going to put up with a bully... in no shorts?? That child was not even dressed!
Orvan, another party to the opposition, whom had managed to maintain his dignity by grabbing his chair as he backed from the table quickly, looked at Harry with contempt. "Who do you think you are to barge on a High Council meeting? Get out!"
"I am Harry James Potter, Heir of Elrond, through his eldest son, King of Magic of the Mortal and Elvish Planes. You will be respectful or face my wrath!"
"You have no weapons, peep squeak!"
"I need not have any. I have killed enough without even moving my little finger to know I can and I will clean up this room of garbage faster than you can blink! But then, I might decide to enjoy myself and scare you to death instead!"
Alvarez, the last of the opposition party, sniffed disdainfully. "I have been in duels often enough to show you some dirty tricks."
"And I have been in street fights whose viciousness you would not believe! Now, sit down!"
"Not until you leave!" replied Zoster, pulling a stave from under the table and trying to hit Harry on the head with it.
Harry flashed out of the way, caught the offending stick by the end, that had now crashed on the headrest of the Throne, and sent his Magic through it to the offending party, lifting him to the ceiling. He then pushed slightly more power into the wood and it burst into flames. But he was not finished, by far! He changed into a huge flying Saurian and rose from the ground to pick the flailing Elf from near the ceiling. Once he had the offending party in his claws, he came to the ground and began eating him alive, targeting the innards, much to the horror of the other Elves in the room. Most returned their lunch on the floor as they watched, disgusted, the hollering Zoster getting eviscerated slowly by the sharp, hooked beak of the avian predator. Once the offending party stopped moving, Harry let it lie on the ground and moved away, looking at the three members of the opposition party still alive, as if he was trying to choose whom should be next!
Deciding he had made his point, Harry returned to his human form.
"It tastes like Chicken for a Chicken Hawk," he said, matter-of-factly! "I have been there, and done that. Now, clean up your mess. As for him, he stays there... as a reminder that pissing me off is not a good idea! Elrond did that to a pretentious ass hole before creating this dimension and moving the Elvin Kingdom here, so do not tell me I am setting a precedent, I am not. The only difference is the one Elrond disposed of he roasted first... I like my meat raw, from living in nature for ten years."
"Ten years?" asked Dwaine, one of the two neutrals of the three the factions present at the table.
"Some jerk, named Voldemort, killed my parents; another bastard, going by the name of Dumbledore, decided to have me delivered to a supposed family, my aunt Petunia and my uncle Vernon, to put a name on the freaks, whom found nothing more interesting than to try and kill me, which they did not succeed, as you can guess. Vernon tried to drown me and lost his hands in the effort. What the doctors do not know is I keep him alive, just so he does not enjoy the rest of death! I escaped by changing form and swimming off. Vengeance is a delicacy that needs to be savored. I disposed of Voldemort, his servants, called Death Eaters, and of the merged soul of Dumbledore and his lover Grindelwald, by sending them to Tartarus and its tenth level."
"I thought there were only nine?" asked Farrir, the other neutral Elf.
"I created the tenth especially for the enjoyment of Dumbledore and his mate, Grindelwald."
"You said merged souls? How is that possible?" asked Elvas, whom had always been interested in understanding the essence of the soul.
"They practiced a ritual on each other, splitting their souls and exchanging half of it for the other. That creates horcruxes and anchors the souls to the mortal plane."
"This is so against nature!"
"Tell me! Voldemort created seven shards intentionally, using mostly inanimate objects to do so, as using a living organism exposes the shard to death, thus countering the initial goal. He was completely nuts. I took care of his bits. I just hope Hades does not blame me for not bundling them in a package. I had enough work already getting rid of them. Anyway, if Hades is not happy, he just needs to do his job rather than let a one year old baby do it for him, the lazy bum!"
"So, since you are done disposing of the garbage, you are moving to this plane?" asked a hopeful Elvas.
"Who said my work is done there? And must I remind you I am King of Magic on both planes of reality?"
"What do you mean, you are not done?" said an astounded and worried Ulvar. "We need you to set the record straight, and govern!"
"And I plan to! You will get guidelines and protocols to follow; you will get policies to implement; you will work for the well-being of this plane under my rod; what I have seen in the few hours I have been in this plane has given me enough of an idea as to where to start!"
"What about what the people want?"
"From what I heard and have seen, you care more about power than people’s needs, Alvarez. This dimension has not evolved since Merlin! I see horse-pulled carriages, where magic could drive them! I see candles where magic could supply the lighting! I see you ride flying horses rather than use Magic to drive levitation! Even Bagdad has advanced where you stagnate! At least, they have flying carpets, and I am not even talking about how advanced the non-magical have become compared to both magical worlds! It is a shame! I plan to drag both worlds screaming and kicking into the technical word the mundanes have built for themselves. And we can no longer hide: they know of our existence!! I am openly the King of Magic and I sit at Camelot’s Throne, equal to their own Royal. The Queen insists I do so to stabilize the mundane kingdom by ensuring the ruling family is magically protected. There will be changes in both worlds. Already, Hogwarts and other magical schools have been forced to embrace the mundane world so that Witches and Wizards no longer stand out as archaic and disconnected with the world. I plan to bring out Magic’s benefits for the mundanes, be it in health, child care, police, or by investing massively in magical technology that will help reduce pollution, noise, or other inconveniences of a petrol-based economy! And you will follow my lead, or there will be hell to pay!"
"The people will revolt!"
"Alvarez, you have been fomenting revolts for years, and you have yet to succeed!" growled Elvas.
"And he and the two others better stop planning or trying to execute a palace coup if they want to keep their soul at body temperature. I am sure Hades would like fresh food to feed on, not the finger food I brought him with Voldemort!"
"How do you plan to monitor both planes?" asked a sceptic Ulvar.
"That is for me to know and you to try and find out. Remember, Magic is everywhere. I can easily do what I say and you would be hard put to find out how I did it." Harry was thinking of an advanced form of Magic similar to a trigger. It would become impossible to talk, or even think, of fomenting trouble without his getting alerted as to whom was implicated, what was planned, and where. Voldemort had implanted such a system, but it was way more primitive than the one Harry planned to set up. Harry’s would call on the essence of Magic itself to monitor both planes and forward any information he might need to intervene.
Time passed quickly and Harry finally brought up the lax security he had observed everywhere while traveling in the Elvin dimension.
"Last point for today. I want security at the gate reinforced. I was able to enter the kingdom without even raising an alarm! It has to change. I want five guards at the gate at all times, ready to fight should one break through without proper advanced warning. I plan to modify the gate so it is impossible to travel through it without triggering an alarm. For the moment, I will be the only traveller, but as we begin implementing the changes I outlined earlier today, there will be more exchanges." Harry did not bother telling them he only needed to use the gate for this one trip. From now on, Magic itself would bring him across dimensions at the mere thought of it being required.
Finished with his directives, Harry ported to the gate, set up the alarms, walked through and set the matching alarms on the mortal plane.
"Done! Talk about a hellish day! I am hungry. I better go to Longbottom Manor to pick up Neville and bring him to Malfoy Manor for dinner. After that, a good night’s sleep in the Tower of London, in the company of a good dozen ghosts composed of betrayers, cut-throats, and abused wives by the late Henry VIII! I find their company refreshing!"
As he walked out of the room, he noticed Amelia Bones walking toward the elevators. Surprised, he sped up to catch up with her.
"Hey! Madam Bones? What are you doing here?"
"I just turned around. I am going back to my office, young Mage. Is something wrong with the gate? I just left you!"
The comment took Harry by surprise. After all he had spent a full day of hard work with the stuffed Monkeys of the Elvish Government, setting up things so they would do as he needed them to do.
"What do you mean, you just turned around?"
"I saw you enter the room and close the door. Then here you are..."
Harry scratched his head then he flashed on to the meaning of one thing that had been bugging him as he studied the memories of Enron and his creation of the Elvin Realm. It was not that Elves were immortal, but the dimension they lived in had a different clock, a clock that was both faster and slower than the mortal realm’s. Faster as a day in the Elvish realm represented a mere second in the mundane world; slower because life was held in stasis and evolved more slowly, so Elves seemed to last forever for the mortals. How in the nine levels of Hell had Elrond succeeded in creating this contradiction?
"I am beginning to cotton to what happens when we cross that arch, Madam Bones. Relativity has some very strange properties indeed. Anyway, I spent the day fixing the issues and I am now pretty hungry."
"I did not have breakfast yet, young man, so join me. There is the dining Hall on the first basement, It is a lot less busy nowadays, ever since the Queen did a bloody cleanup."
"Do you think they would have a full supper?"
"Yes. It is open twenty-four hours, seven days a week. After all, the government runs all the time, especially the magical branch since we have to keep up with the world events, anywhere, anytime."
The two made their way to the elevator and climbed in.
"You know you could build up and get out of the ground to rise in London’s skyline?"
"Yes, Mister Potter. However, I have decided to hold back until the Queen has finished her work and the mundanes really accept us. Some are still stupid enough to try and attack our kind. The Queen is making sure laws are changed, but you can change all the laws in the world, it does not give brains to idiots. Her Majesty has been busy axing idiots, mundane idiots, as opposed to magical idiots, which she cleansed up beforehand while the Harry Potter Task Force was searching for you."
"Do you plan to take in the Minister for Magic station?"
"Oh no! Do not start on that topic as well! She has been bugging me to take that post ever since we met and I talked to her. I am more than happy as head of the DMLE! We still have idiots in our midst, and, albeit they are less organized than the Death munchers, they still cause enough disruptions as it is."
The two had reached the dining hall and sat down to continue their chat, where Harry told Madam Bones what he had done in more detail and what to expect.
"What bothers me, Madam Bones, is I think I will have to pay them a daily visit since time flows differently. I wanted to enjoy some rest; it seems I may be deprived of it."
"Sorry to hear that. Maybe you could align the clock, so to speak?"
"That is a rich idea! I will look into it! If my ancestor could create this dichotomy because he wanted to be stuck in the past forever, I have no such need! I will look into it! I think the issue is the presence of a gravity well separating the two realms. It is as if the Elvish dimension was cut off this one by an event horizon, a black hole border of sorts. I am sure that horizon’s properties can be adjusted. However, that adjustment in flow will have to wait. I worry that bringing the two planes might thin the barrier, something I am not comfortable with."
"So, how do you plan to deal with that unforeseen issue?"
"Visit the Queen, what else? She can introduce me to some people in Cambridge or Oxford, wherever there are mundanes doing some research on Physics and Relativity. I do know whom to look for, but they do not know me. I listened to their courses as a bird, not in human form, Madam Bones, and I therefore need introduction. And I admit my walking in a classroom in my normal attire could probably have some dire consequences."
"Lack of attire, you mean. You have been shocking the Ministry the moment you walked in. I suggest you do put on some garments."
"I feel like I am wearing death when I do. Everything is made up of dead material: wool, cotton, silk, processed petrol... the only thing that might find grace to my eyes is steel armor, and that is heavy, smelly, rusty, noisy, too cold or too hot, all around uncomfortable. Even Dragon plates are made from dead skin!"
"Artificial fibers... The mundanes use that in just about everything; I even saw one wear plastic. BRR!"
"I see. Well, I am at my floor. I must return to work, Mister Potter. Have a good day."