Title: Come With Me…
Disclaimer: Captain Fangirlhumper… err, J.K. Rowling owns the Harry Potter universe. Wish they were mine so I could do utterly retarded things to them and watch my bank account get steadily larger, but sadly not mine.
Summary: Harry asks for help. He gets some. From the year 2027.
Joe's Note: No beta, no sanity, no problem. If this sucks, blame the Mt. Dew and the 4AM writing.
From one shadowy corner of the Chamber of Secrets, she watched. She listened. Unlike mortals, she was endlessly patient; one second or one hour or one day or one year, all of it was a blink of an eye to someone who could live forever as long as she received new fuel cells on schedule. And so rather than act rashly, as her creators might have, she waited.
She waited as Tom Marvolo Riddle waited impatiently for his desired prey. As Harry Potter begged him for help. As Riddle dangled hints of his true identity before eventually revealing it to his clueless foe, tracing his name in fiery letters in midair. And still she waited for the proper circumstances to be met. For if there was no danger… no lethal danger… there would be no life debt and her efforts would be for naught.
"So. Your mother died to save you. Yes, that's a powerful countercharm. I can see now… there's nothing special about you after all. I wondered, you see. There are strange likenesses between us, after all. Even you must have noticed, Harry. Both half-bloods, orphans, raised by muggles. Probably the only two parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since the great Slytherin himself. We even look something alike… but after all, it was merely a lucky chance that saved you from me. That's all I wanted to know."
Harry watched Riddle warily, waiting for the apparition to raise his stolen wand. But the older boy's just smiled wider before looking away. "Now, Harry, I'm going to teach you a little lesson. Let's match the powers of Lord Voldemort - heir of Salazar Slytherin - against famous Harry Potter and the best weapons Dumbledore can give him…" Looking down at Fawkes and the Sorting Hat, Harry gulped nervously, having a good idea what Riddle was going to try and match against his motley supporters. He watched as Riddle walked away, stopping between the high pillars and looking up into the stone face of Slytherin's statue, high above him in the gloomy chamber. He spoke not in English but parseltongue, but Harry understood every last syllable. "Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts four…"
As Harry watched, unable to turn away as nightmare became real life, Slytherin's gigantic stone face began to move. Much like Harry, the statue's mouth opened wider and wider, the jaw dropping to create a gaping black hole. And then something was stirring inside the statue's mouth, slithering up from inside it. Instinctively, Harry closed his eyes and backed slowly into the chamber wall. Fawkes' wing swept against his cheek as the phoenix took flight, and Harry found himself alone save from the silent and motionless Sorting Hat he was still clutching in one hand. Now what?
The floor vibrated as something huge hit the cold stone and Harry shuddered. The basilisk was loose. He could almost picture it slithering out of the statue's mouth, uncoiling and stretching after its temporary slumber. Then he heard Riddle's voice call out again and Harry's blood ran cold. "Kill him."
Harry turned and began to stumble blindly along the side of the chamber, one hand grasping the hat as the other alternated between touching the wall at his side and sweeping out in front of him to check for obstacles. He stumbled over something that crunched and clattered at the impact; the skeleton of a rat or some other small animal, maybe? Behind him, the basilisk's scales made an odd scratching sound as they slid along the stone floor and Riddle laughed at his panicked flight. Something caught Harry's foot as he pressed on, tripping him up and bringing him to his knees. It was only feet away from him now, Harry could tell by the sound, and then the stone vibrated rapidly with heavy footsteps. A loud hissing filled the air and he curled into a fetal ball, waiting for death, only to hear two loud thumps and a screech of pain from the basilisk.
As he lay there, wondering what to do next, there were several more thumps, hisses, and screeches, and then what was most definitely a foot kicked Harry in the kidneys. Opening his eyes, he rolled onto his back and stared up at a blonde angel in a jumper and grey skirt, standing over him as the basilisk swayed back and forth drunkenly above them. Turning away from her foe, the girl offered him one hand. "Come with me if you want to live."
"Are you… what… the basilisk… how are you not dead?" Harry chanced a closer look at the massive snake as it whipped its head back and forth, not noticing its injuries until dark red blood dripped down onto him. Both of its massive yellow eyes were gone, crushed and leaving behind gaping, empty sockets. Jaw dropping, Harry took the blonde's hand and stumbled as she yanked him roughly to his feet. As he pulled away from her, Harry finally noticed the dark red blood staining her hand - and now his own - and realization dawned. "You…"
The blonde girl twisted and shoved him towards the mouth of the Chamber of Secrets. "Evacuate the area if you value your life. My unique composition protected the majority of my systems from the basilisk's stare long enough for me to neutralize its eyes, but it is still an extremely dangerous creature."
Opening his mouth to protest, Harry closed it as he heard Riddle scream out instructions from the opposite end of the chamber. "No! They're right there! Focus; ignore the pain. You can still smell them. Kill them both: the boy first, then the girl for hurting you!"
Harry closed his mouth. That 'evacuate the area' idea was starting to sound real good in his book. He turned to the girl, whose name he still couldn't remember but looked awfully familiar, but she was busy looking around the chamber. "The basilisk must have swept it away when it was thrashing around." Then the already strange situation took a turn for the weirder as her eyes burned blue and she swept her gaze back and forth around the chamber. Focusing on the far corner, she reached up to pull her wand out of where it had been holding her blonde hair in a bun, the hair breaking free and falling to the ground in massive clumps in the process. The girl arched a brow, the skin of her face cracking and peeling at the movement, as she stared down at the mess on the floor. "The damage to my organic sheath was greater than I thought. Bother. That will take considerable time to regenerate." Looking back up, she stabbed her wand at the corner. "AccioRemington!"
Just like with her eyes, blue light pulsed beneath the skin of the blonde's wand hand as she channeled her magic, burning through her flesh and revealing gleaming silvery metal instead of white bone beneath. Then the black shape racing out of the darkness towards them distracted Harry, a sleek object the girl caught smoothly before pivoting and aiming at the basilisk. Having only seen them before once or twice when he managed to sneak a peek of the telly, it took Harry a moment to identify it: a shotgun. Since when did the wizarding world have guns?
For that matter, when did witches have glowing blue eyes and metal bones?
The shotgun roared like thunder in the enclosed chamber, making Harry wince and clamp his hands over his ears. The girl didn't seem to mind the noise one whit, calmly emptying shot after shot into the bleeding basilisk as it screeched and tried to flee. Finally, after seven bone-rattlingly loud blasts, she ran dry and the snake began to creep away towards the statue. "I'm going to get Ginny." Harry lowered his hands from his ears, pointing towards the diary. "Grab the diary. It's behind this somehow."
"I know, Harry Potter." Emptying the last spent shell from the shotgun, the blonde began stuffing new rounds into the gun as she followed the injured basilisk. "And I know how to deal with this situation permanently. Please cover your ears." Harry decided that following her instructions sounded like a good idea, particularly when she raised that damnable gun and pointed it at the back of the retreating basilisk. It roared one last time, blowing a giant chunk out of the back of the snake's head, and the basilisk collapsed to the stone floor of the chamber. "In the words of my Uncle Bob… hasta la vista, baby."
That brought Harry up short; it was a rather anti-climactic ending to a year's worth of terror and danger. Not that he'd particularly wanted to fight that giant basilisk, but he was Harry Potter. He was starting to get used to having to bail the school out of whatever weirdness it found itself involved in. The crazy blonde robot-witch with a shotgun appearing out of nowhere and doing all the work was… unsettling. Eventually, he shrugged. He'd deal. "And the diary?"
Leveling the shotgun at the book, the blonde's brow arched again as she pulled the trigger, the stressed flesh giving way at the action and dropping to the floor to reveal an inhuman countenance beneath: a silver skull with a solid, glowing blue eye. Off to his side, the forgotten apparition of Riddle let out a dreadful, piercing scream as the shell blew a fat hole in the middle of the diary. Then silence reigned, broken only by a soft clatter as the wand Riddle had stolen from Harry dropped through his disappearing fingers and hit the floor of the chamber.
Harry blinked. Huh. Well, that solved that problem. And eww.
A soft moan sent Harry lunging for his wand, grabbing it off the floor and curling his fingers around the familiar length of wood. Whirling around, he pointed it in the direction of the noise, only to blush bright red when he realized the source: Ginny was stirring. The blonde sent him a withering glare for his stupidity as she knelt by Ginny's side, the entirely exposed metal fingers of her right hand gently brushing a lock of hair back behind Ginny's ear. With a great, shuddering gasp, the redhead's eyes opened and she stared straight up at the ceiling before the brown orbs focused and moved to the blonde holding her. "Luna?"
"Hullo, Ginny." Luna's voice seemed oddly warmer than the inflectionless, almost machine-like efficiency Harry had dealt with only minutes before and Harry wondered if the two were friends, or if Luna was always like that when under stress, or… "How are you feeling? You've been through quite an ordeal, you know. Your father must have rejected the Ministry's attempt to get him to join in the Rotfang Conspiracy and so they decided to get at him through you…"
Ginny let out a snort of laughter at that before her eyes focused on Luna and she gasped. "What happened to your face? And your hand? Why are you metal? Did T-Tom..?"
Shaking her head, Luna helped Ginny to her feet. "Just a bit of a scratch I got while saving Harry from the basilisk." Harry let out a disbelieving laugh at that; half her bloody face was missing, revealing a creepy metal skull underneath along with a glowing blue eye. On top of that was the metal hand that glowed when she used magic and the great chunks of hair missing from her head… scratch his arse! "I'll be okay after some food and rest. And maybe some pudding. The house elves make the most delightful sticky toffee pudding… have you tried it?"
After thinking about that for a moment, Ginny let out a vague noise of disagreement before clarifying. "No. I could go for some hot chocolate, though. And maybe an Obliviation. Do you think the house elves serve those?"
"I doubt it. We could sneak down to Hogsmeade and steal some firewhiskey, though. That's almost as good."
"Hmm. Let's ask my brothers first. Why sneak out if we don't have to?"
"Good idea. You sure you're not the Ravenclaw here?"
"Funny, Luna. So wait then, if Tom didn't do it to you, why are you all metal all of a sudden?"
As quickly as it'd appeared, the human side of 'Luna' disappeared and the colder, artificial personality reasserted itself. "I am a cybernetic organism known as a Terminator; a Kaliba Group class TOK624.42 to be precise. I was built in 2026 by an artificial intelligence known as Skynet to serve as an infiltrator in their war against humanity. I was captured, modified, and reprogrammed by General John Connor and his assistants, Hermione Granger and Tracey Davis, and sent back in time to protect Harry Potter while affecting various changes in the timeline. My skin sheath is living tissue and portions of it died when subjected to the basilisk's stare, along with most of my hair. Both will regenerate with time and nutrients."
Coming to an abrupt stop, Ginny let out a sigh followed by a chuckle. "I'm trying to be serious here, Luna."
"Why would you want to be Harry Potter's godfather?"
As he watched the two younger girls… or rather one younger girl and one Merlin-knew-what… resume their trek back towards the blocked passage leading to Myrtle's bathroom, Harry shook his head slowly. Every time he thought he was finally getting used to the magical world, something new came along to disabuse him of that notion.