Pre-story Authors Notes:
WHAOO True Believers! We're BACK! And we're more bad-ass than ever!
*Miracle coughs pointedly and shoves Ghost away from the computer.
To our returning readers, welcome back! And to our new readers, it's a thrill to have you! I'm Miracle, my idiot of a husband is Ghost, and we will be your humble authors for this, your journey into the Enigmaverse.
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT! MUST READ!
This story is a SEQUEL. Therefore, there will be boat loads of SPOILERS for the original story, Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse. You can find it by clicking our profile name – Ghost-and-Miracle42 – which appears in blue at the top of the screen.
Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse
When Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley wake in the aftermath of the Chamber of Secrets with a mysterious tattoo burned into their necks, they are understandably scared for their lives. But when the true nature of the mark is revealed, they are forced on an epic journey to discover just who placed the Gemini Curse upon them, and why.
It's a 400,000-word epic that is Complete and has heaps of fun concepts in it like an Australian/New Zealander Magical School, an in depth analysis of Magic in America done properly, Wakanda (because Wakanda!), exploration of the origins of magic as a power and wizardkind as a species, SPACE MAGIC, and the Multiverse. It also introduces all the major concepts important to this story – chief of which being the Enigma Forces and Atlantis.
This story – a sequel novella to the original – picks up eight years after that story ended, and will cover some of the events that occur in the intervening years. However, the focus will be on the year 2006. Specifically, we're going to tell the stories of Harry and Ginny Potter, Nick Fury and Jean Grey. Furthermore, we will be setting the ground-work for the Episode 4 in our 'Enigmaverse' Series – our adaptation of the Avengers. Those of you who've read Gemini Curse already have a taste of what's to come.
The following chapter contains minor spoilers for the events of the Gemini Curse finale and serves as a taster of our writing style and abilities. If you enjoy this chapter, we highly recommend reading Gemini Curse before you continue. The major spoilers will begin with chapter 2, and as of chapter 3 spoilers should very much be expected. It wouldn't be much of a sequel if they weren't.
Our plans with this piece are simple: bridge the timeline gap between the end of Gemini Curse in 1998 and the events of the Battle of New York in 2012 whilst introducing the character of Jean Grey, the superhero known as the Phoenix. From there, we have a bunch of really exciting plans for adapting the rest of the MCU.
One final important note:
This story is a fusion work, which means we integrated the two fandoms (the MCU and Harry Potter) together, rather than having the two worlds as separate and then having the characters cross between. For example, the Headmaster of Ilvermorny in Gemini Curse is Doctor Strange). We have also introduced original concepts of our own – most prominently, the Alcheringa Academy of the Magical Arts, a school of magic that services Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
There are also dozens of references to other franchises interwoven within the greater narrative. As such, if you spot a reference or character from a fandom or franchise other than Marvel and HP, it is very much intentional. Also, for anyone who is interested, DC Comics does exist in this world, but, if a character from DC appears onscreen (such as Kara Zor El, aka Supergirl, whose story serves as Episode 3 of the Enigmaverse and is being released right now) presume that they do not exist in the in-world version of DC Comics. Certain Multiverse aware characters – such as William and Clarissa O'Neill and the Travellers – are exceptions to this rule, as they either know about or have travelled to other universes.
Now, Ghost is yelling at me to get to the story, so I will bid you fairwell, and, from the pair of us, we hope you enjoy The Enigmaverse Episode 2: the Blessing of the Phoenix.
The Blessing of the Phoenix: The Enigmaverse Episode 2
Act I, Chapter 1: The Window
The White House, Washington DC.
January 20th, 1999.
Josiah Bartlet, or, as of about three hours ago, the newly elected President of the United States of America, looked up towards the doorway into the Oval Office. He was currently on one knee, tapping the large seal of the President within the rich blue carpet of the room. His predecessor had left a letter on the Resolute Desk – the blocky, age-old English oak desk that dominated the room – which mentioned, amongst other things, that there was a secret passageway beneath the floor, accessible by lifting the carpet where the seal lay. But he couldn't for the life of him figure out how the thing lifted up.
"Mrs Landingham?" President Bartlet called, standing up and turning to the door, where his personal secretary – an elderly woman with greying hair that had once been amber – stood, an exasperated look on her face.
"What on earth are you doing, sir?"
Jed paused, debating whether admitting to exactly what he had been doing was a good idea or not. He was still trying to get used to the idea that he was actually the President. Winning an election and giving speeches was all well and good, but actually sitting in the Oval Office, with your photos, your files and your memorabilia on the desk, while your staff moving into offices down the hall, had a way of making it very real. Admitting to one of his oldest friends that he was searching for secret tunnels did not seem, to Jed's mind, very presidential.
He was saved from answering by his Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, entering from another door on the other side of the room. There were four doors into the Oval Office, his office.
"Mr President, the Joint Chiefs are ready for you."
"Right! Send them in Leo." Leo nodded to Mrs Landingham, and she closed the door softly behind her.
Leo stepped further inside and took up a position standing opposite one of the low couches in the centre of the room. Behind him came a number of men and women, all in military dress. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with the Director of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of the FBI, CIA, and SHIELD. Then, standing at the back of the room, were two people he didn't know. It was a room full of the most powerful people in the world, and Jed was ashamed to admit that he could only remember about half their names. He wasn't proud of it, but it was his first day, so cut him some slack.
Bartlet gestured for the men and women to sit, and they did so as he took up a seat in an armchair, positioned so that he was at the head of the rough circle.
"Mr President," Chairman Fitzwallace – a tall, stern, dark skinned man – began, "this meeting is classified superior-secret. What we are about to tell you cannot be told to your wife, or any other member of staff who doesn't have clearance."
"It's a separate branch sir. Equal to top-secret but concerned with a different field."
Bartlet frowned. He didn't like where this was going.
"Mr President, I swear to you now that everything I'm going to tell you is the truth, and I will not make any jokes or jibes. This is, unfortunately, very real." Bartlet leaned back in his chair and gestured for the Chairman to go on. He cast a glance to Leo, but the man's face was unreadable.
"In May 1977, a revolution broke out across the United States. A revolution being fought by a sect of our population we didn't know existed."
The President's expression turned very grim indeed at that, and most people in the room winced.
"It… was not a shining monument to our intelligence apparatus. It appears, through the use of a still highly mysterious and unfathomable power known simply as 'magic' a community of about 70,000 individuals across the continental United States had been living in complete autonomy and secrecy from the wider population."
The only thing that stopped Jed from laughing was the utter seriousness of the Chairman's tone, combined with the ashamed looks that passed across the faces of the CIA and FBI directors.
"Magic?" he repeated, his brain threatening to stall.
"They call it magic, sir," the new Director of SHIELD stated. He was a tall man, also dark-skinned, with an eye-patch over one eye. His name Jed did remember. Nickolas Fury. "However, my scientists and experts have been researching it extensively since President Reagan placed all Magical Intelligence under SHIELD's authority, and we believe this 'magic' is in fact an energy field of some kind generated by the presence of people, or, if the latest breakthrough is to be believed, all living things. These people, Witches and Wizards, appear to have a genetic disposition towards an ability of some kind that allows them to manipulate this field. How they do this we don't know, as the Magical Intelligence Bureau have not been very sharing." Fury turned towards one of the men standing at the back of the room – he wore an immaculate black suit and sunglasses, despite being inside.
Leo cleared his throat. "Mr President, these two men are Agent K of the Magical Intelligence Bureau, or MIB, and Secretary of Magical Affairs Mr Caleb McAdams. They're both Wizards." The two men stepped forward. The Agent saluted as if he were military, and the Secretary bowed his head in respect.
"Prior to 1977, the magical community was being governed, or repressed depending on who you ask, by an organisation calling itself MACUSA, or the Magical Congress of the United States. This congress doesn't share much with the congress you're thinking of sir. Its seats were hereditary, much like the House of Lords in Britain, and only represented the elite of society. It imposed strong laws in the eighteenth century prohibiting any communication or fraternisation with us, whom they call 'No-Majs'…"
"We're trying to come up with a less-derogatory name," the Director of Homeland Security interjected softly.
"The law was successfully repealed in '65 after mass protests that spilled out into our world."
"How did we not notice these people?" Bartlet asked, growing incredibly concerned and intrigued both at the same time.
"They call it the 'Statute of Secrecy'," Fury stated, still glaring at the Secretary and the Agent. "It's an ancient spell enacted after the Spanish Inquisition. It effectively keeps them hidden from human observation or detection. It's rearranged history to remove their existence, altered important documents, and to some extent even alters brain chemistry to make people less willing to believe in the fantastical." Bartlet paled, but Fury just grinned. "But it doesn't always work. If someone is acting deliberately to break the Statute, it breaks. It's also much weaker in places with high concentrations of ambient electricity. Also, around nuclear power-plants. Willpower appears to also be a factor, as well as things that alter brain-chemistry, such as mental illness or drug use. There are extensive reports chronicling experiences during World War II that, upon closer inspection, reveal several confrontations between the Navy and wizards serving the Japanese Empire. Under my predecessor, Director Carter, SHIELD designed a drug that, when ingested, neutralises this spell's affect permanently, leaving no side effects." Fury looked positively thrilled. The secretary stepped forward slightly, fist clenched by his side. However, the Chairman resumed his speech before he could say anything.
"The exact circumstances of what occurred after the repeal of those laws in 1965 that caused the Revolution will follow at another briefing by the Secretary, but for the purposes of this meeting, all you need to know right now is that, after a roughly three year conflict, MACUSA was dissolved, and the leader of the revolutionaries – a No-Maj born wizard – approached President Reagan after he won office in 81 asking for assistance in setting up a government that functioned under the rule of law. Now, the Secretary of Magical Affairs – Mr Adams – oversees all elements of the magical community in the continental United States. He is elected, not appointed, and answers to you, then to the Council of Magical Authority – a body made up of seventeen Witches and Wizards representing seventeen magical electorates around the country. MIB's job is to keep the barriers between their world and ours intact."
"Probably a good time to point out that we currently have no power in Hawaii, Alaska, New Orleans, Florida, or Porta Rico, and to say we control west of the Sierra Nevada in more than name would be optimistic at best," the CIA Director mumbled.
The President froze for a split second.
"Did you just reduce the United States from fifty to forty-five and a half states?" he asked, aghast.
"Another government, the Federated Kingdoms of the Druids and Mer, control the entire state of Hawaii, and have considerable influence in California," Fury clarified, "We have strong relations with them however, so it's not an overly threatening issue. There are about 100 wizards in Alaska by last count, and even less in Porta Rico, so there isn't any government structure in either area. And Florida… well, you'll need to see that to believe it."
"And, no offence Mr President, but the New Orleans magical community has considered itself part of Magical Quebecois, not America, since the Louisiana Purchase," the Secretary said, with just a hint of condescension in his voice.
Bartlet shook his head, trying desperately not to drown in all the new information his brain was trying to reject.
"Okay. If history isn't the point of this briefing, then what is?"
Fury handed him a folder.
"They are." He opened the booklet, and on the first page was a photo of two teenagers. A boy and a girl. One had pitch black hair and green eyes, with the faded outline of a lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead. The girl was slightly shorter than the boy, and had hair the colour of burning embers. She had a thick dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose, chocolate eyes, and a round face. Both of them had a hardness to their visages that suggested they'd seen conflict, despite their ages.
"Harry and Ginevra Potter. 19 and 18 years old. They are currently in possession of the most powerful weapon on the planet." Bartlet snapped up to meet Fury's gaze.
"It's, and again, I promise I'm not joking, an alien space-ship," the Chairman said. Jed's jaw slid open slightly.
"Oh, it's ten-million times better than that sir. Turn the page." Bartlet did so. The photo didn't seem real. It was of a city, easily the size of Manhattan, made of soaring silver metal towers. Flying around it were creatures identical to ancient depictions of dragons, and the entire structure was enclosed within a dome of transparent energy.
"It's an alien metropolis, with the capability to travel through space, launch targeted strikes against any city or facility on the planet with no warning, shield against our most powerful Nuclear assault and transport anyone anywhere in the world instantly. And that's only what they've discovered so far."
Bartlet turned the page again with shaking hands. It held a rough blueprint of the… of the alien city. As well as a GPS tag placing its location in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
"And it's being controlled by two teenagers?"
"War heroes," the Secretary said stiffly, "Harry, Ginny and the Defenders are the only reason we still have a planet at all. If the world knew what they did…"
"Then tell me. Right now," Bartlet said, staring back at the profile. Written below the picture of the pair were the words – Power levels unknown. Consider subjects to always be armed and extremely dangerous.
"Who are they?"
The Ruins of Hogwarts Castle, Scotland
May 15th, 2006
Hermione Granger shifted from foot to foot as her team made the final checks. She itched to do them herself, but she didn't have the time to check every function personally. Not at this scale.
She was trying to ignore the fact that she was standing in the ruins of what had once been considered the greatest magical school of all time. Her school. She had grown up here. Now…
From her position on the raised platform they'd built in the Entrance Courtyard, Hermione had a commanding view of the entire castle. Or what was left of it. The large central tower that housed the grand staircase had a gaping hole in the ceiling, and both the Headmaster's tower and Gryffindor Tower were just gone; the Clocktower was missing both the clock and the tower; and the east wing had lost an entire wall, the hallways inside easily visible. The Viaduct bridge had collapsed into the Black Lake, and the place where the Greenhouses had been was now a crater. She had taken a walk down to Hagrid's Hut when she'd arrived and hadn't been surprised to find nothing but a circle of ash. She could even see the path of dragon fire Charlie, Will and Clarissa had carved through the Forbidden Forest. But the piece of damage that haunted her the most, the place she refused to even glance at, was the central copula – where the sixth and seventh floor corridors had once been. Both floors were gone now, consumed by the destruction of the Room of Requirement. When Jessica… When Jess had…
She swallowed, refocussing herself on the Divining Rod.
It was a massive machine, shaped like a tripod with a radar-dish affixed to the top. And by massive, she meant it easily covered the entire courtyard. The dish itself was built of copper and was lined with thirty-nine runes patterned in a circle. Pointing up from the centre of the dish was a twenty-five-metre-long rod of Vibranium, as thick as Hermione's wrist. Vibranium. The amount of money it had taken to buy that made her brain swim. It was the first purchase that had ever caused a visible decrease in the size of the gold piles in Harry's vault; that was how expensive it was. But it would work. It had to work.
This was not the first time Hermione had attempted this particular experiment. In fact, she had tried it fifteen times in the past nine years – this being the sixteenth. Every time, the machine had failed. Every time, except the first.
It had been a day not unlike this one. Clear skies, a cool chill on the wind, her friends around her, the Black Lake glimmering in the distance. Only the machine they had used that day had been small enough to fit on a desk, and the friends that had been with her then – Gwen Stacy and Luna Lovegood – were long dead.
People in Hermione's life had a tendency to leave her, one way or another. She had grown used to that years ago. It was one of the physical constants of her existence. She was a world-famous witch, and a renowned and award-winning scholar. She had official qualifications from five magical universities, and honorary ones from three more. And everyone who became close to her either died or abandoned her.
Defender. Hero. Warrior. Scientist. Legend. Murderer.
She had discovered the Source. The origin point of all magical energy in the universe. In the Multiverse even. She had found it, one morning on a Hogwarts roof-top beside Luna Lovegood and Gwen Stacy, with a rickety machine cobbled together mostly from cheap cast-offs and scrap.
That was how she would be remembered. Not for all the death she left in her wake, but for discovery and wonder.
And now she was going to do it again.
She could sense it still. Over her shoulder. A silvery light hovering just out of sight and awareness. Waiting for her to surrender herself to its power. She'd exposed herself to something that day; herself and Luna. Now Luna was gone, and Hermione was getting ready to open up that pit of mystery and magic once more, regardless of the danger or stupidity of the action.
She just couldn't bring herself to care.
"Ready!" Hermione called into her microphone. It was a muggle device, with an amp beside it to send her voice out across the ruined courtyard. With the Hogwarts wards destroyed in the battle, electrical technology had begun working in the structure again. The team had elected to use that instead of magic, less they mess up the experiment.
Her team began to check in. Parvati and Padma were monitoring output levels at the control centre behind her. American techno-mage Hank Mccoy and his assistant Katherine Pryde (one of Ginny's friends) were stationed in a secure bunker beside the nuclear reactor they'd be using to power the machine – encased within several feet of stone beneath them for safety purposes. The final wizards in their team were ex-Triwizard champions Peter Parker of Ilvermorny and Claire O'Neill of Alcheringa. Claire – a Mer woman from Australia – manned the emergency shut-off in the Ravenclaw Common Room – warded to the nth degree. Peter was hanging from the top of the Vibranium rod by a single finger as he checked the housings for the receptacle – a giant Heliodor. Peter Parker: ex-Defender and long-time friend of Hermione's. He was also, secretly, the New York superhero known as Spider-Man. Hermione herself had helped him build the devices attached to his wrists that allowed him to traverse so easily – web-shooters.
That comprised the magical contingent of their group. As per Ginny's agreement with the American government, SHIELD had loaned Hermione a team of scientists – and security guards, though why they were needed she wasn't sure – to help her with her research. She begrudgingly admitted that they were slightly smarter than her when it came to advanced physics. The leader of the scientists was one Reed Richards, an older man whose hair was staring to go grey at the temples. He and his co-scientist, Susan Storm, were currently inside one of SHIELD's 'Quinjets', hovering over the Window.
The Window. This was why she was sure the experiment would work this time. During the final battle, which had occurred in this very spot, Voldemort – realising his impending defeat – had attempted to summon the Great Destroyer: a cosmic being of infinite destruction and ruin. Luna had, somehow – Hermione had never managed to replicate what the girl had done – channelled massive amounts of power directly from the Source to seal the Destroyer back into his prison in the Dark Multiverse. They'd thought that was the end of it. They'd been wrong.
Hermione had first discovered the giant crack in reality now hovering above the Entrance Courtyard when she'd returned to Hogwarts for the five-year anniversary of Voldemort's defeat. Back then it had been small, a tiny fold in reality that she'd only been able to sense through her own connection to the Source. Now, three years later, it had grown to almost twice that size. To Hermione it looked like a giant scar cutting across the sky, glowing red, steaming white gaseous light seeping through it. To everyone else, it appeared as a ripple in the air, like looking at a cracked mirror.
If she performed the experiment here, it would work. She was certain of it.
Peter jumped off the Vibranium spire and used his webbing to swing up to Hermione's raised position. He had forgone his Spider-Man paraphernalia today – everyone here knew who he was anyway. Instead he was wearing a lab-coat like Hermione, and he wore an eager expression on his face that she hadn't seen… well since he and Mary Jane had stopped talking three months ago.
Hermione knew what happened of course – when Peter had refused to tell her, she'd simply called MJ. Long story short, she had failed in her attempts to get the pair to reconcile. But, knowing them, some crisis would emerge to push them back together, so she wasn't overly worried.
"Housings are ready," Peter said, before switching on the second microphone on Hermione's console – the one that connected to the Quinjet.
"Dr Richards? Is your equipment ready?"
"All functioning at 100% efficiency, Mr Parker. We're ready to precede."
Good. Time to do this.
"On the count of three then," Hermione announced, moving to grip a silver lever on the console. The floating dicta-quills and digital screens stood ready beside her.
She glanced over her shoulder at the Patil twins, who both gave her big thumbs up.
Peter pulled a pair of plastic goggles over his face, his glasses fitting awkwardly beneath them.
Hermione pulled the lever, and the runes around the copper dish lit up a dazzling white. Blue energy pulsed up the Vibranium spire, rushing towards the Window, which had begun pulsing in rhythm with the machine. A heaviness settled around them, as if gravity had suddenly increased, weighing them down. Colours began to blur, and Hermione thought she caught a glimpse of something… beyond. A sunless sky, a sea of mist, and a being of radiant light looking back at her.
An ear splintering shriek screamed out through Hogwarts, and the mist from the Window touched the spire and the gemstone affixed to the top.
The machine exploded.
The Window ripped open with a horrible shattering sound, and a shockwave blasted Hermione, Peter and the Patils from the command post, rocketing them over the cliffside and into the dark abyss below.
If anyone had been conscious to see it, a great being of cosmic fire, shaped like a giant bird of prey, broke through the Window. It hovered for a moment above the ruins, then vanished into ash.