Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse @ghostandmiracle42
Act V, Chapter 10

Act V, Chapter 10: The Source


Danny stood beside Luke, arms folded, staring at the door to the Room of Requirement. He was pissed, more than pissed actually. He was completely and utterly furious at everyone, including himself. After Malfoy had been caught by Filch and escorted out of Slughorn's party the previous night, he'd followed the Death Eater fledgling on Jessica's orders. Snape had dragged him all the way down to the Dungeons. It was only once he was there that the Polyjuice Potion wore off, revealing Pansy fucking Parkinson. Snape had raged at her for a good five minutes, in which Danny learned he'd taken an unbreakable vow, but he hadn't said what about exactly. Snape had then abandoned Parkinson to search for the real Malfoy, and Danny had taken great joy in grabbing Parkinson by the hair and shoving her into an ingredient closest. He'd then used a permanent sticking charm to fix her to the roof by her panties.

Since then, he'd been standing watch outside the Room of Requirement, staring at the infernal wall, which wouldn't appear no matter what he did, waiting for Malfoy to emerge. Luke had found him there after breakfast with the news that Jessica and Matt were both missing. It wasn't comforting in the slightest.

There was a creek, and finally, Danny's patience paid off. He and Luke eased their wands out of their pockets and fixed them on the door the second it materialised. It cracked open slightly, and the entire hallway was instantly enveloped in darkness. The same darkness Electra had used in the Department of Mysteries. Danny fired his spell anyway, but before he could ignite his fist, a shockwave blasted him backwards, his head slammed into the wall, and black spots danced across his vision.

When he came too, the darkness, while still thick, was slowly dissolving. He just had time to see the tell tail swish of black-cloaked figures headed down the corridors on both sides before they disappeared.

"Fuck," he growled. Luke stirred beside him, sitting up and rubbing his head.

"Death Eaters. He let Death Eaters into the castle. That's what he was fucking doing in there." Danny jumped to his feet, berating himself for… something. He wasn't sure what exactly, but he knew this was his fault.

He stepped up to the Room of Requirement door and glimpsed inside. It was a room full of shelves, each shelf covered in odd and miscellaneous items.

'I'll come back to this fucking place and destroy whatever it was Malfoy used if it's the last thing I do.'

He slammed the door shut and stalked after the Death Eaters, Luke hot on his tail.


Hermione sat bolt upright in her Hospital Wing bed as the doors slammed open, crashing against the stone walls. Draco Malfoy stood framed in the doorway, wand in hand. Standing on either side of him were two figures in black robes. Two figures that Hermione would recognise anywhere. Bellatrix Lestrange, and Zebadiah 'Kilgrave' Jones.

Jessica's father was precisely as the posters and images described him. Brown-haired, purple-eyed, with a manic look about him that screamed at anyone within ten feet to run for their lives. Standing next to Bellatrix, with her rats' nest of thick black curls, and the murderous gaze that seemed a permanent part of her, they looked like psychotic besties.

She was on her feet in an instant, but her wand was on the side table, and she had no time to grab it before she was caught in a full body bind and sent crashing to the floor. Gwen, who had been dozing, shot upright at the crash and was placed in the same frozen state before she could even move. Luna was still unconscious.

Madame Pomfrey stormed out of her adjacent office at the sudden noise.

"What is the meaning of this?!"

"Avada Kedavra!"

The green light from Malfoy's wand slammed into the matron, and Hermione couldn't even scream as her body hit the stone floor. She couldn't even see where the nurse, who'd tended to more injuries than she could count, had landed.

Hermione's mind raced. How had the Death Eaters gotten inside? The Room of Requirement… that must have been what Malfoy was doing, opening some way through Dumbledore's wards. But where was the rest of the Defenders Army?

Malfoy advanced, walking over to Hermione with a sneer on his face.

"So, Mudblood bitch. After all these years of strutting around this school with Potter like you owned the place, it all ends as it should end. With you grovelling at my feet. I've spent months thinking about what I'd do to you once my Master came to claim what is his, and I have decided, because I am merciful, to hand you over to Lord Kilgrave. He has a marvellous method of discipline that I think you'll find most illuminating." Malfoy cackled, a harsh sound from the back of his throat, and Hermione wanted nothing more than to break the impudent ass-wipes nose.

A loud bang tore through the room, followed by three screams, and the shattering of glass. The body bind fell away from her, and Hermione sprung to her feet. Danny stood at the entrance to the Hospital Wing, both fists pulsing with golden fire. Behind him were Fitz and Simmons, looking absolutely terrified. Gwen was also on her feet, but Luna remained unconscious. There were three holes in the windows.

Danny bolted over to the closest window and peered out into the dark.

"They're gone!" He snapped, venom dripping from his voice, "Fucking Polyjuice potion!" He turned back around, and Hermione followed his gaze to Madame Pomfrey. Fitz and Simmons were standing over her, shaking their heads.

'I'm going to be sick.'

"Malfoy's let the Death Eaters into the castle. He must have opened some sort of portal in the Room of Requirement…" Danny trailed off, staring at Luna.

"What happened?"

"Longer story," Gwen told him. Hermione couldn't find her voice. 'How much death would there be before all of this ended?'

Danny shook himself, "The whole Castle is going nuts. The teachers are gathering the students in the Great Hall. We have to get down there, fast."

Danny moved over to Luna and slung her none too gently over his shoulder. Hermione finally managed to grab her wand and followed with Gwen, Fitz and Simmons.

Hermione hurried up to Danny, "Where are the others? Jessica? Matt? Luke?"

Danny shook his head as they ducked around a corner.

"Jessica and Matt are both missing. They haven't been seen since last night. Luke was headed for the Gryffindor Common Room last I saw him…" They took another turn, and Gwen pulled them both out of the way of two incoming spells. Gwen then rolled out into the hallway and cast a wandless banisher. Hermione followed around the corner, a shield charm in place, and watched as two Death Eaters, complete with silver masks, shot back into the Grand Staircase, falling into the abyss below. Lavender Brown was standing over a fallen Cho Chang and a cowering Marietta Edgecombe, facing down the man who'd tortured Danny at the Quidditch World Cup, who'd helped Voldemort return to life – Barty Crouch Junior. Danny lowered Luna to the ground and jerked an arm out to stop Gwen from advancing.

"He's mine," he growled. He drew his wand and ignited his free fist. He raced forward as Lavender stumbled back, tripping down the stairs, Marietta catching her just in time to prevent a head injury. Danny snarled and shot a purple curse at Crouch. He spun around, pulling up a shield charm like lightning to intercept, and the duel began.

Hermione had no time to watch, however, as two more Death Eaters, the Carrows if she remembered rightly, came down the corridor behind them. She jumped into their path and extended her shield charm to cover the whole hallway as Fitz and Simmons both bit off stunners. They were easily deflected, but Hermione's shield was strong enough to bounce back the retaliatory curses. Gwen jumped up onto the wall and dove past the shield, flicking webs from her wrists at both Death Eaters. Amycus severed the line headed for him, but his sister Alecto wasn't so lucky. She was jerked off her feet and slammed face-first into the paving stones. Amycus used a concussive orange spell to blast Gwen out of her flight path and back into the corridor behind him. She fired a stunner, and he deflected, but he'd forgotten Fitz and Simmons, who fired more spells of their own. Both hit their target, and the Death Eater collapsed like his sibling. Gwen turned back to them, and her eyes widened. Hermione didn't have time to think, she spun around, and fired the first spell that came to mind.

"Expelliarmus!"

Lucius Malfoy blasted back off his feet, his head hitting the flagstones with a crack. She caught his wand in her hand and snapped it for good measure.

Hermione glanced to Danny, just in time to see him grab the Death Eater's head with his wand hand and slam his glowing fist into the man's face. Crouch repulsed backwards, flying over the gap, where he crashed into another floating staircase several floors down. Hermione couldn't see if he was alive or not. She hoped he wasn't.

Hermione, leaving the hallway to Gwen and the Ravenclaws, raced up to Lavender, moving past Danny, who was catching his breath.

"Are you alright?" she asked her. Lavender swallowed heavily and nodded. "The Tower. I have to get to the Tower…"

"You can't. We have to get down to the Great Hall. The Castle's overrun," Hermione told her. Lavender looked ready to argue, but Marietta made a whimpering noise, drawing Hermione's attention. She was holding her hand as if in monumental pain. One of her nails was broken. Cho seemed only to be stunned. A shriek echoed up the staircase, and Danny came up behind her, peering over the side. A floor below them, Hannah Abbot was duelling with another Death Eater. Danny shot a stunner at him from above, and the black-cloaked figure collapsed with his strings cut. Hannah gazed up at them, and gave a thumbs-up, before spinning around and blasting a Death Eater away from Neville. Hermione thought it might be Yaxley.

Fitz, Simmons and Gwen reached the staircase, levitating Luna between them. Below, on the ground floor, Professor Flitwick was duelling with five Death Eaters at once, while Lance Hunter led a group of Slytherin first years into the Great Hall, Professor Slughorn bringing up the rear. A door slammed open, and Luke lead a pack of Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs down the stairs from the second floor, also aiming for the Great Hall.

"We have to get down there!" Hermione exclaimed, pushing all her focus onto that one task, to prevent the sheer horror of the situation from getting to her. As soon as she said the words, Gwen's head shot skyward, and an explosion louder than anything Hermione had heard before tore away at the roof above, exposing the castle to the night outside.


The looks on Claire, Will and Clarissa's faces as T'Challa landed the Wakandan Ship in the same park in Atlantis that Okoye had were ones of shock and awe. Harry imagined they mirrored the looks on his and Ginny's faces when they first saw it fairly accurately.

"It's incredible. To think, my Uncle wasn't insane after all," Will whispered.

"Your Uncle? Riker O'Neill? The one who wrote…"

"Ancient Runes of Forgotten Civilisations, yeah," Claire confirmed, "After he published his book, he went searching for Atlantis. He never came back."

Harry led the team up to the Gate Room, this time using the elevators.

Claire and Ginny embraced warmly, while Will stared at the Gateway, and Clarissa squinted at the Ancient writing on the stairs leading up to the control room.

"We hold these words as true," She began to translate.

"A heart filled welcome to those of other worlds visiting our home for the first time. Welcome again to those returning, you have been gone too long, and your absence has weighed heavy on our souls. We are whole again now that you are among us and we celebrate you being here again.

"As we leave for distant worlds, we pledge to respect the lands of our neighbours and to act with integrity as ambassadors of our people in peacetime. Travellers with open hearts will always be welcome, and refugees from tyranny may seek shelter under our roof. Our people will lay down their lives to protect the weak and the just, let this be our pledge to the inhabitants of this world and all worlds we may ever know. Always come in peace, as we strive to go in peace, and you will be welcome on our shores forevermore."

"So, it is true," T'Challa breathed, "The Ancients truly did come from the stars."

"Oh, yeah," Ginny said, a smile crossing her face, "While you guys have been away, I've been scouring the Ancient Database, which is basically their version of the internet, only way better. The Ancients controlled 73% of all habitable planets in the Milky Way before the plague wiped them out. And the plague? It was mostly their fault. These Gateways were built on hundreds of worlds across the galaxy as a method of instant transportation between colonies and outposts. As a result, when they stumbled upon a planet where this virus had been living for thousands of years, they accidentally brought it back with them. Within a generation, every planet in the system was infected. There was nowhere they could go in the Galaxy they'd be safe. Plans were made to evacuate to another galaxy located in the Pegasus Constellation, but the virus got inside the city before they could leave, and everyone either Ascended or died."

"And, you won't believe this," Shuri interjected excitedly, "the plague that killed them? It was rhinopharyngitis!"

"The most advanced civilisation ever was exterminated by the Common Cold?" T'Challa asked, his demeanour broadcasting his disbelief.

"Believe it or not," Okoye confirmed.

"That is oddly hilarious." Harry raised an eyebrow at T'Challa. It didn't seem particularly hilarious to him, more terrifying.

"But anyway," Ginny said, clearly annoyed that Shuri had interrupted her, "Since then, other races have been using the network of Gateways in the Ancients absence. The City sensors have detected foreign alien technology in several places across the planet, primarily in Egypt – the Goblins have got some explaining to do. But the big news is, at some point in the past ten thousand years, someone, not sure who, brought another Gate to Earth."

Harry's eyes widened, "From space?"

"Yep. The City sensors can detect the substance the Gate is made of, Naquadah – an element not natural to Earth. It's buried beneath Gaza, not five kilometres from an American Archaeological site."

"I've already sent a message back to Wakanda," Okoye said tensely, "The King has ordered a team to Egypt to extract the gate and return it and any other Ancient Technology they can find to Wakanda. We cannot have American stupidity bringing another alien invasion to this planet."

Harry swallowed, "Another?"

Oddly enough, it was Claire who clarified. "Last year a bunch of alien ships appeared in the upper atmosphere. We detected them in Alcheringa, so I imagine you guys probably had them pegged as well?" She said, directing the question to Okoye and T'Challa, who both nodded.

"Yeh, well, some Metahuman woman sent them all packing real quick," She finished with a shrug.

Metahuman?

A person like Matt, with bizarre, unnatural powers.

Oh.

Yeah, Okoye filled me in while you were gone.

"As fascinating as that is, perhaps we should be getting down to why we're here?" Clarissa asked, an odd edge to her voice Harry had never hear before. Actually, she and Will both looked a bit uncomfortable. Harry just put it down to them missing the invasion by being trapped in Hell.

"We don't have the means to power the City. But you do," Ginny stated, putting her hands in her pockets.

"The Dragon Force," Clarissa surmised. She turned to Will, and he turned back towards the group, though he didn't respond. They must have been talking mentally.

"Let's take a look under the bonnet then shall we?"


Dumbledore apparated with Jessica held between him and Matt. The second they arrived atop the Astronomy Tower, they realised something was terribly wrong. The giant green floating skull with a snake sticking out its mouth in the sky was kind of a dead giveaway on that account.

"Oh no," Dumbledore whispered as he helped lower Jessica to the ground, leaning her back against the body of an enormous telescope. Jessica tried to keep her attention fixed on her breathing. Tried to will her body to function properly, but it was taking longer than it should for her enhanced metabolism to burn through the poison she'd taken in. She couldn't help but think, if this was how it affected her, what would it have done to Dumbledore?

Focussing her eyes on Dumbledore – partly to keep them from closing on her, partly to avoid Matt's panicked gaze – she watched as the Headmaster placed a hand on the stone wall of the castle.

"The Death Eaters have invaded the castle. The portrait of Barnabus the Barmy saw them exiting the Room of Requirement… The staff and most of the Defenders Army are trying to gather the students in the Great Hall. The rest are scattered about the castle, trying to avoid Death Eaters as they make their way to the Great Hall. As far as the Castle can tell, no one has managed to send a distress signal. No one knows what is happening." Dumbledore took his hand off the wall and drew his wand. He turned to Matt and Jessica, neither of whom were bothering to hide their fright, and stared at them for a few moments.

"Tonight, is the night I die," he said finally, adopting an expression of utter seriousness, "Tom has not yet arrived, but it will not take him long to do so, now that the Castle is his."

"What are we going to do?" Matt asked, "We have to rescue the others. The kids… our friends."

"Agreed. But Miss Jones is in no position to be battling Death Eaters right now, and there is another far more important task to undertake."

"What could be more important than helping the people trapped!" Matt snapped. But Jessica, even in her hazy state, understood.

"The Horcruxes, Matt. We're the only ones who know what Slughorn's memory revealed. We're the only ones who know about the Diadem, about its hiding place here in the castle. About dispelling the Nether Force. We have to get the information to Harry and Ginny."

Matt closed his mouth, biting off what was likely a well-prepared retort.

"You must use the Home to escape while the Death Eaters and Tom are busy on the lower levels. Get out of Britain and find Harry. He must know what we have learned," Dumbledore said. He whistled, and Fawkes the Phoenix appeared beside him, the Sorting Hat clutched in his claws.

Dumbledore sighed in anguish, and Jessica watched as a tear slid down his face.

"Goodbye, my friend. I will miss you terribly; I'm afraid."

Fawkes gave a mournful trill as Dumbledore stroked his tiny head. The Phoenix bowed its head towards Dumbledore, before vanishing in a tongue of flame, the Sorting Hat in tow. Dumbledore then removed a vial from his robes and handed it to Matt.

"Show that to Harry, I wish for him to see it."

"Are you sure you're going to die?" Jessica asked. It seemed unbelievable that Albus Dumbledore could die. He was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared for a reason after all. Jessica couldn't forgive everything the Headmaster had done, but watching the target of your ire preparing for their own imminent demise had a way of making you feel remorseful.

"Yes. I will do what I can to help the students escape and hold off Tom. You must flee with all haste. But first, there is one last thing I must ask of you. If I am to be of any use, I must battle with a wand that is not my own."

"What?" That had not been what she was expecting. At all.

"My wand carries a terrible power with it. I cannot allow it to fall into Voldemort's hands. It must go to one of you, and that means I would ask to use whoever's wand is more reflexive to my own skill." Jessica, without really knowing why she was doing it – perhaps it was because her whole body still felt heavy, including her mind – withdrew her wand and handed it over. Matt hesitantly followed her lead.

Dumbledore tested both wands, but Jessica wasn't particularly surprised when hers gave off red sparks in his hand. It was elder wood, the same as Dumbledore's now that she thought about it, with a phoenix feather core.

"Do you mind, Miss Jones? I am terribly sorry…"

"It's fine," she slurred. Matt took his wand back and checked Jessica's temperature.

"She needs rest. Her fever is burning up again."

"Miss Jones, you must disarm me to claim my wand." Jessica didn't understand that. She'd never heard of a wand changing ownership simply because its owner had been disarmed before… Actually, she had. A memory stirred, but it was just out of reach, withheld by the weight of her poison fogged mind.

She nodded, and Dumbledore handed back her wand.

"Expelliarmus." It wasn't very well cast, but it did the job. Professor Dumbledore's wand sailed out of his hand and into hers – though she fumbled the catch.

Dumbledore reclaimed her wand – her old wand now, she supposed – and turned sharply to the window.

"He is here. Go now, to the Home." With that, Dumbledore turned, robes billowing out behind him, and vanished down the stairs. An explosion rocked the tower, and Jessica and Matt turned to the window. The turret containing the Headmaster's office had exploded, and black smoke was gathering around the debris.

"Come on." Matt helped Jessica to her feet, draping her arm across his shoulders to keep her upright. Jessica fumbled beneath her shirt for the necklace she hadn't removed in over a year. Lily Potter's amulet, the one with the Home symbol on it.

"Home," she whispered, and with that, Mathew Murdock and Jessica Jones, who still had the fake locket tucked into her pocket, and Dumbledore's wand in her hand, faded out of existence as the sounds of fighting and spellfire drifted up to them from below.


Shuri led them down into the depths of the City. To the lowest levels of the central tower. They walked along a corridor not unlike the one Harry and Ginny had followed to the Detention Level in their nightmare after the Yule Ball. It felt very long ago.

Eventually, they arrived in a large hexagonal chamber with red and silver metal walls. In the centre of the room was a pedestal with three circular slots in the top and a console in front of it.

Ginny placed her hand on the console, and the screen lit up. She tapped a few buttons, and three cylindrical crystal structures coloured like stained glass rose up out of the slots.

"The ZPMs," Shuri said, removing each crystal from the slot and placing them to the side.

"So how are we going to do this? You want us to recharge them?"

"You wish it were that easy," Shuri drolled, "These things are so far beyond human science I wouldn't know where to begin. No. You can't just refill them. You're going to have to pump the juice into the actual reactor core." Shuri gestured to Ginny, and she pressed another button on the console. The far wall retracted into the ceiling, revealing a steel gangway leading out towards what Harry could only describe as an egg. Supported by dozens of cables plugged into the walls at every angle, the reactor was shaped like an odd sphere and was pitch black in colour. It was about the size of a volleyball, maybe a bit bigger.

"It's smaller than I thought it would be," Harry admitted.

Shuri scoffed, "What? Did you think it would be massive like in Star Wars?"

"And Star Trek, Doctor Who…" Harry mumbled beneath his breath.

"So how do we do it then?" Will said, cutting off Harry's reply before he had even begun.

"You need to take hold of the reactor and pour as much energy into it as possible. The output needs to match that of a ZPM, and I'm not going to lie, it's fucking high," Ginny stated.

"How much are we talking?" Clarissa asked, twisting her hand in her pocket.

Shuri bit her lip, "About 500,000 megawatts per second. Give or take 100,000." Will's eyes went wide, and Clarissa swallowed, hard.

"Can you do it?" Ginny asked, hesitantly.

"I've… we've never tried. I suppose if I could generate enough force… gravity, gravity could do it. But I'd need to increase my mass by a fuck tonne to funnel that much power through my body," Will said, though he didn't look convinced.

"The City can convert the energy into what it needs if you can direct it into the reactor core. If you can tie off the power flow after a few minutes of injection, the feedback loop should sustain the output rate, hopefully indefinitely," Shuri said.

"Will, I don't like this," Clarissa said, ignoring everyone else now, "It's not safe. The Dragon Force was not meant to be used like this."

"It doesn't hurt to try."

"Yes, it could. It could kill you. It could kill us both," Clarissa reminded him.

"If it does kill me, you can resurrect me," Will pointed out.

"Not if we're both dead, I can't."

"Which is why we need to wipe the Libra Rune before we try," Will told her. Clarissa's face went from worry to fury in two seconds flat.

"No way! I'm not letting you handle it alone!"

"If you don't and it goes wrong then we both die. I won't let that happen," he retorted. The duo lapsed into silence, staring at each other for a solid five minutes before they finally remembered the rest of the room.

"Ready your equipment, we'll do it."


Hermione stared in horror as a tumult of black smoke shot down from the opening, heading straight for them.

"HOLD ON!" Gwen screamed. The smoke smashed through the other side of the staircase on its journey to the ground, and the row of stairs – with Hermione, Luna, Gwen, Danny, Lavender, Fitz, Simmons, Cho and Marietta in tow – collapsed, dropping down into the abyss. Hermione wasn't sure where her screaming ended, and everyone else's began.

The falling staircase slammed into another below them and cracked in half. Fitz, Simmons, Lavender and Danny managed to grab hold of the other set of stairs as Hermione and Marietta continued to fall. Gwen grabbed Luna and jumped away as a piece of masonry smashed into the section of stair they'd been on two seconds before.

Hermione grabbed Marietta by the waist and kicked off. The stone smashed into the ground floor, shattering into millions of pieces.

"ARRESTO MOMENTUM!" She screamed. She and Marietta came to a sharp holt above the debris, before lowering gingerly to the floor. Hermione let out a shaking breath.

Marietta scrambled to her feet, abandoning Hermione, and charged into the mass of students swarming into the Great Hall. Hermione, head still swimming and heart racing faster than her body could handle she was sure, forced herself to take in her surroundings. Voldemort had destroyed two other sets of stairs on his decent (both of which were crushed on the ground not far from her) and was now looming above Professor Flitwick as he stood, five Death Eaters dead at his feet.

"You do not frighten me Tom Riddle!" the tiny man squeaked, standing defiantly in front of the doors. Luke and Professor Slughorn were ushering the last of the students inside. Hermione thought they might be Ravenclaws.

"Stand aside, and I will let you live," Voldemort said. The 'Dark Lord' looked even worse than at the Ministry. His skin was paler, his eyes pitch-black instead of red. But his skin literally seemed to be cracking, breaking away in places, before reforming back into his face. She actually couldn't see his body, it seemed to be enveloped entirely within the smoke, purple lightning crackling within the cloud, the odd bolt lancing out to strike the ground beneath him.

Flitwick had no chance to answer, because, at that moment, Snape exited the hall, and shot the professor from behind. Flitwick flew across the room, struck the wall, and collapsed. Snape then backhanded two spells into Luke and Slughorn, blasting them away from the doors. Both of them created large dust clouds in the rubble. Hermione's mouth fell open, but then again, she supposed she shouldn't be surprised.

"My lord, Hogwarts is yours."

Hermione was about to struggle to her feet, when Dumbledore appeared out of nowhere, striding into the destroyed courtyard. He flicked his wand, and the doors to the Great Hall sealed shut with a slam. Snape turned on Dumbledore, but the Headmaster merely knocked him away. Hermione didn't see where he landed.

"Not while I still draw breath Tom," Dumbledore said firmly, aiming his wand at Voldemort, standing between him and the closed doors.

Voldemort grinned.

"Always you said I strived too far. Reached too far, too fast. You always hated my genius, Dumbledore! Now, look at me! I have eclipsed you! I am the most powerful being in the Universe!"

"If you are all-powerful," Dumbledore said softly, "then what chance do I have against you? You are right Tom. You could easily use your newfound power to strike me down, to destroy me utterly. But that would not truly prove what you claim, would it? It does not prove you are better than me, only that I am not a match for the Nether Force. Any of your Death Eaters could claim the same power and defeat me with it just as easily."

Dumbledore's plan seemed to be working, as he was not yet a pile of ash. Slowly, surely, Voldemort lowered himself to the ground, and the smoke and lightning disappeared, revealing his body. He stood before Dumbledore as a man, if twisted and disgusting. His eyes were red once more, but his skin was still cracked.

"Then let us settle who is truly the greatest Wizard of all time. Once and for all," Voldemort said, drawing his bone-white wand. Dumbledore nodded and drew his own wand. Hermione thought it looked different to the last one he'd had, but couldn't be sure.

The duel… the duel between those two titans of magic was so fast, so fluid, so incredible… it was amazing to even witness. Every spell they cast was silent, every wand movement seemed to blur together… Hermione only recognised seven of the dozens of spells they used. Stone serpents rose from the ground, arcs of lightning fell from above, corpses broke through the earth and mirages filled the room. The temperature both boiled and froze, gravity was distorted, and time seemed to jump both forward and backward as the two old enemies danced a battle of magic.

It lasted three minutes, forty-two seconds.

Dumbledore, having just redirected a barrage of debris transfigured into razor-sharp knives, fired two quick curses – the first of which Hermione didn't have a clue about, the second she'd recognise anywhere. Voldemort conjured a powerful shield to absorb both spells but underestimated the strength of the first, and the second spell sliced clean through the transparent barrier. Voldemort regained his feet, but his wand flew out of his grasp, landing softly in Dumbledore's blackened hand.

"I'm afraid you still have much to learn, Tom."

Dumbledore raised his wand again, but Voldemort – a look of righteous fury twisting his snake-like face beyond recognition – lunged forward before the Professor could gesture. Voldemort's eyes were black once more. He clamped his bone-white hand around Dumbledore's neck, reclaimed his wand, and raised the Headmaster into the air.

"I have nothing to learn from you, Dumbledore!" he snarled. Then, with a single jerk of his wrist, he snapped Dumbledore's neck.

Silence descended on the battlefield. Hermione could barely remember to breathe. Voldemort dropped Dumbledore's body, and he hit the flagstones with a soft thud. It took every ounce of Hermione's will not to scream and give away her position. 'No, no, no no nonono. This could not be happening.'

Voldemort incinerated Dumbledore's corpse for good measure. All that remained of him was his wand, which rolled softly away from the flames. Then, the Dark Lord advanced on the doors.

Hermione began to shake, adrenaline deserting her, leaving her breathless and lost. She'd bitten her lip so hard her teeth had drawn blood. Professor Dumbledore was dead, and Voldemort was about to murder the entire student population. There was nothing she could do. How could you defeat someone with Infinite Power? 'Infinite Power?' A throb of pain vibrated out of her arm, out from the Pisces Rune… and Hermione remembered. Remembered what Luna had said earlier that day. What she'd seen the diminutive girl do. The words from Harry's letters pushed to the forefront of her mind. "We're going to find the one thing we think is capable of stopping Voldemort once and for all. The Lost City of Atlantis." "We've found it."

She knew what she had to do.

Hermione closed her eyes and tried to tune out everything around her. All distraction, all sense, all thought. She'd need all her focus. It was there, she'd seen it with her own two eyes. She'd seen Luna bend it to her will. The Power she'd described hiding beneath the surface of reality. She just had to find it. Luna had said the biggest resonance point was the Earth itself. If you knew where to look, surely… She reached out with her mind, searching frantically for anything that could lead her to what Luna had seen. She tried to remember the feeling of sluggishness she'd felt. As if time itself was slowing down around her. Tried to remember the sense of awe and fear the image of Luna floating above the ground, eyes blazing white had inspired. Everything she knew fed into her narrowed focus point. Desperately, frantically. She let go of her wand and placed her hands on the stone floor.

A flicker.

There was something there. Something at the edge of nothing and everything. At the edge of the void she'd built around herself. She turned all her focus onto it, and reached like a blind woman, stumbling in the dark.

Hermione opened her eyes.

She felt power flood through her. Energy, magic, life. Everything was bathed in it. Everything had an aura surrounding it. A blurring, convulsing rippling haze that was never still, stagnant or constant. Always they were shifting, changing… evolving. She could see… feel… the magic within her. The magic she'd been using up till now, with the wand as the focus point. She could see the ambient magic, the energy given off by the stones at her feet, the air over her head, the torches in their brackets… Druidic Magic. It was nothing compared to the Power. It pulsed from all around her, resonating, feeding into her core – her soul – keeping it charged and sustained. It fed the fires, moved the air, forged the stones, churned the oceans, sustained the life in her breast… and allowed for death and the freedom of the soul as it passed beyond the constraints of the physical world, off to some higher plane. She could see the resonance of where Dumbledore's soul had been before it departed. She could see the components of his body, already feeding the environment around it. She could feel the heart of the Earth: the centre point from which all the Power surrounding her was released and reabsorbed in a never-ending cycle through the Axis Magicka. And, deeper… deeper even then the Soul of the Earth, was It. The Source. The True Source. The very essence from which the Universe was born. All Universes… all Multiverses… everything came from that one fixed point, and Hermione knew that everything would eventually return to it as well. From the lowest Demon or the most mundane mortal to the most powerful of Ascended Beings.

Hermione opened herself up to the Power. Let it flood into her very being. It was a tiny sliver of potential, the potential to do anything. Be anything. And if she were not careful, it would burn her to cinders – body and soul – before she ever had a chance to use it.

It was agonising for her to ignore all the input surrounding her. All the knowledge sitting at her fingertips. The temptation to draw more, to learn more, was tantamount to agony – for she was certain that the deeper her connection to the Power, to the Source, the more understanding would be available to her. But she had one task. She had to stop Voldemort. The thought crossed her mind to simply channel the Power against him, but even linked to the Source as she was, the Nether Force shielded Tom Riddle. She could see it clearly, pulsing within him like a taint, corrupting every part of him – mind, body and soul. She could try… she might be able to wound him. Might. Maybe dispel the Force from him if she had enough time. But she could only do so much at once, and embracing the Source would not defend her from any counter-attack he launched. She could still be killed. And if she died here and now, everything would be for naught.

So instead, with every iota of her will, Hermione Granger channelled the Power into a single structure of ethereal light. A spirit guide. A Patronus. An otter.

"Find Harry," she told it softly, "Help us." She let the otter vanish, and smiled softly as she felt it travel across the world in an instant. Then, with no small degree of effort, she closed herself off from the Source. It drained away, then came the emptiness, the pain of loss, and Hermione lost consciousness before she even hit the ground.


Harry felt absolutely terrible. He hadn't given any thought to any pain the Dragons might go through. He hadn't thought about them at all. Merely as assets to use. He'd done a Dumbledore. Lost sight of the people in favour of focusing on the bigger picture. It made him think back over the decisions he'd made the past few months, and he found a disturbing number. He felt sick to the stomach, and Ginny was feeling the same way.

Clarissa sat on the staircase in the control room, staring at her wrist, now vacant of the Libra Rune. She looked so depressed, so melancholic, and it made him feel even worse. But he knew deep down in his bones that there was no other way. Without the City, they'd all die. But Will could die right now, and Clarissa was already slipping into her own personal hell. It brought into focus how much being a leader sucked.

Ginny was trying to drown her self-deprecation (and Harry's for that matter) in her consoles. Her hands were flying across the keys as she chattered rapidly to Shuri. Shuri was perhaps the only person in the City who didn't really understand the risk of what they were about to do. She was just fascinated by the science and magic involved. Harry wasn't sure whether he envied or pitied her.

T'Challa, Okoye and Claire were standing at the back of the control room, leaning up against the wall. All three had tried using the Chair, but nothing happened. None of them had the Gene. But none of them were scientists either, so there was nothing they could do to help this time.

"Will, are you good to go?"

"Yep," came Will's reply over the speakers.

"We're all good on our end. You can start when you're ready," Ginny said. Clarissa crushed her hand into a fist but said nothing. The gesture was missed by all except Harry.

"Okay. Remember, no one down here until I say it's safe. The radiation is going to be a nightmare."

"Copy that."

Everything was silent for a few minutes. Then the floor began to vibrate, and a rumbling sound swept through the room. Harry, unable to keep watching as Clarissa opened and closed her fist, stood up and walked over to Ginny. On her screen was a gauge with English numbers thankfully. It was slowly beginning to fill up, making a ticking noise as it did so.

"That's 25% output, Will. Keep it going."

Static was all that came across the speaker. Ginny bit her lip and looked to Shuri.

"The sensors are detecting a build-up of heat in the reactor room, and the gravitational field on the whole level is fluctuating, but nothing serious." Ginny nodded and brought up a security camera feed. Will was standing perfectly still, two hands on the metal egg that was the reactor. Golden energy was flowing from his hands into the egg, rippling across the surface before being absorbed. His eyes were closed.

The gauge continued to fill. 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%... The City began to rumble again.

"Temperature levels are rising," Shuri warned. Harry glanced to Clarissa. She was sitting completely rigid, staring at the Gateway on the level below.

"Will? How you doing?"

Still nothing but static. He couldn't hear them. His clothes were starting to smoulder, and Harry couldn't be sure, but it looked like he was thinner than before.

"75%... 80%..."

"The gravitational field is spiking!" Shuri exclaimed.

"Radiation levels?"

"Heading into the red. Sealing off the nearby corridors." Will's hands had begun to shake, his shirt was disintegrating.

"85%..."

Clarissa screamed but quickly cut herself off. Harry glanced at her. Her whole body was shaking, her skin deathly pale.

"Claire! Help Clarissa!" Harry yelled. Claire, who'd had her eyes closed trying to steady her breathing, snapped to attention and immediately raced to Clarissa's side, T'Challa and Okoye right behind her.

Harry glanced at the camera one more time and almost bit his tongue. Golden electricity was jumping out from Will's body, colliding with the walls and floor, searching for ground. His body had become deathly thin, and his clothes had all burned away. But he kept his hands fixed to the reactor.

"I'm going down," Harry said, then, ignoring the protests from Ginny and Shuri, his disapparated. Reappearing on the level above the sealed one, the lights illuminating in response to his presence, Harry raced down the stairs to the sealed blast door. He quickly drew a transparency rune on the door, and the colour vanished, letting him see beyond. The tiling on the floor had begun to crack, as had the lights on the walls. Harry's breath started to become laboured, despite the fact he wasn't moving. He tried to step back, but groaned at the incredible effort it was taking. Alarms began to blare through the hallway, but Harry was more focussed on trying to step backwards. Something had started pulling him forward, towards Will. The metal door groaned, and Harry lost his footing. He flung forward, slamming into the metal. But the door held, and Harry was forced to watch, unable to move. The console let out a massive burst of sparks, the lights in the room all exploded, and Will's scream of pain tore through the air. A burst of golden light filled the space beyond, and Harry had to slam his eyes closed lest he go blind.

The force vanished as if it were never there, and Harry fell to the floor. The transparency rune failed, and Harry pulled himself to his feet as Claire entangled in beside him.

"Harry, you can't go in!" She exclaimed, and Harry thought she must have grown a second head, "The radiation. It makes Chernobyl look like a backyard science project gone wrong. You'd cook instantly." Tears were pouring down her face, and she looked about ready to collapse. But instead, she redrew the transparency rune, and they watched together as the door faded from view, replaced by a room covered in scorch marks from rouge electric bolts, and the body of Will O'Neill, lying on the metal gangway, smoke curling off his body, which was covered in burns.

"New power source accepted," The voice of the City announced, "Full system functionality restored."

It was a monumental moment, but Harry couldn't bring himself to care. All he could do was stare at Will.

"What have I done?"


So Ends Act V


Acknowledgements:

Thank you to the authors, contributors and editors of…

· Pottermore:

· The Superpower Wiki: wiki/Superpower_Wiki

· The Harry Potter Wiki: wiki/Main_Page

· The Marvel Wiki: wiki/Marvel_Database

· Archive of Our Own author 'smallbrownfrog' for their complete sourced index of characters in the Harry Potter world collected in, The Hogwarts Years: Classmates, Birthdays, and Ages /works/1063231/chapters/2132188#workskin

· The Cast and Crew behind the Marvel Netflix shows, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Defenders. The characters in this fanfiction are inspired by those portrayed in these works, and the older versions of the characters are designed to match their older portrayals as shown on these shows.

· The Cast and Crew of the Spider-Man PS4 game, on which the characters of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson are based off.

· The Order of the Phoenix by Ruskbyte s/826742/1/The-Order-of-the-Phoenix and its sequel: The Well of Shadows.

· Mutant Storm by Bobmin356 s/7404056/1/Mutant-Storm

· Harry Potter and the Zodiac Charms by PulsarDragon s/9441529/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Zodiac-Charms

· Backwards with Purpose: Always and Always by deadwoodpecker s/4101650/1/Backward-With-Purpose-Part-I-Always-and-Always

· The Amplitude Frequency and Resistance of the Soul Bond by Council s/9818387/1/The-Amplitude-Frequency-and-Resistance-of-the-Soul-Bond

· A Man of Iron by Mr Chaos s/10156413/1/A-Man-of-Iron

· Harry Potter: Lost by Bear12 s/5366780/1/Harry-Potter-Lost

· The Thorny Rose by Brennus s/9631998/1/The-Thorny-Rose

· Unintended Consequences by sbmcneil s/6365342/1/Unintended-Consequences

· Harry Potter and Fate's Debt by Intromit s/2479927/1/Harry-Potter-and-Fate-s-Debt

· The Search for Victory by Morena Evensong s/10740334/1/The-Search-for-Victory

· and, Avengers of the Ring by Dr Matthattan s/8774682/1/Avengers-of-the-Ring

We'd like to once again thank Joanne Rowling for creating the incredible world that is Harry Potter and allowing us to play in it. I don't know what the world would be like if we knew nothing about Harry or his world.

To the cast and crew of the three-television series in the Stargate Franchise, thank you for introducing us to a science fiction narrative grounded in reality, rather than set in the distant and unknowable future. Thank you for your stories about freedom from tyranny and demonstrating that even the most heavily oppressed peoples can achieve peace.

To Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series, and Brandon Sanderson, who completed the series after Jordan's death, we say thank you for creating an incredibly rich tapestry of worldbuilding and lore to infuse your stories. Our use of the True Source and the One Power is an ohmage to your incredible works.

To Terry Pratchett, thank you for proving that no matter how bizarre or outlandish, everyone has a story to tell, and everyone has the right to tell it.

To Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Kevin Feige and the all the other fabulous people at Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios, thank you for creating all the Marvel comic-book characters we know and love to this day, and for making it cool to believe in Superheroes. Excelsior Stan.

Finally, to C.S. Lewis, the man who made me love reading. Thank you for teaching me to never give up on happily ever afters.


Post Credits Teaser:

Act VI: The Mighty Defenders

Voldemort has control of Hogwarts, and the hour has never been direr for Harry and the Defenders. With the Nether Force at his beck and call and the Dragon Force lost, Voldemort is unstoppable. But the Defenders have one last ace up their sleeve. The Lost City of Atlantis has been found, and within its silver towers could lie the key to salvation. The clock is ticking towards the inevitable showdown between Harry and Voldemort, and the fate of the Earth lies in the balance.

The final Act premiers Monday 14th, October 2019.

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