Mystic Knight Online
Disclaimer: I should come up with something witty saying that Harry Potter and Sword Art Online aren't mine. Or simply acknowledge that doing this falls under the principle of Fair Use under the Copyright act of 1976. Either way, I am not making any money off of this.
Prologue – An Unexpected Trip
June 5, 2022 – Malfoy Manor
Lucius Malfoy fumed silently as he appeared inside Malfoy manor, his cloak still swirling from the twist-step of apparition. Not only had his efforts he had begun to discredit the headmaster been scuttled, but the entire series of events had ended up drawing the man's attention to him. That the Potter brat had demonstrated some basic cunning in depriving him of a servant was salt in the wound. Such a thing would never had occurred if he had been less distracted.
Still, not everything had gone badly. He had confirmation that the diary the Dark Lord had entrusted him with was far more dangerous than it seemed, and that it had been disposed of. Had the events played out as planned and Weasley been discredited, it would have been a happy bonus. Still, better it had not succeeded. Given what some of the headmaster' statements implied, he had a fair idea of what the diary had actually been, which was concerning in and of itself. There were some magics and rituals which even practitioners of the Dark Arts did not do, and even considered taboo.
Either way, that was a matter for the future. Now he had to find another way to keep Albus Dumbledore distracted, and perhaps a means of removing Potter from the picture for a time.
Several hours later, he thought he might have found a method. Several of his agents had fingers in muggle pies, and their reports frequently included information they thought might become relevant. Apparently, the Japanese muggles had developed some kind of illusory world generator that could fool all the senses simultaneously. He didn't understand all the jargon included, but the gist was clear to him, provided that the information was correct. He made a note to get more information, and to remind that contact, again, to make sure that technical terms were accompanied by a definition.
He didn't share Arthur Weasley's fascination with muggles and their technology, but that did not mean that he was ignorant of developments in the muggle world. His father, Abraxas, had warned him that muggles can come up with surprises, and he used the example of the global conflict which had lasted from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s to make that clear; a lesson made especially effective since the magical world had been fighting its own war at the time. The number of witches and wizards killed by "mere" muggle weapons had been frightening enough. The devastation of Japan's magical community by the muggle "newks" was oil on the fire.
Many of those hundreds of thousands of deaths could have been avoided had the wizards and witches merely maintained an awareness of muggle world and thus stayed out of the way of muggle armies doing their best to destroy each other. As it stood, mainland Europe's magical population, only numbering a few million at the time, had taken nearly half a century to recover.
Since then, he made sure to keep abreast of developments, mostly political and economic, within the muggle world. Some developments may indicate opportunities, after all, and at the very least, he kept informed. Knowledge and information were a power of their own to be used, after all.
And this latest bit of information presented an opportunity for him to distract one thorn in his side, while removing a potential future thorn for the time being. He would have to wait for more information.
It would be two weeks before more information came from his contact, and he had to give the man who sent it to him credit, he was thorough. This technology, called the Nerve Gear, created an artificial reality for whomever was using it and had just finished being developed. It was being released for limited testing in Japan before going public later in the year, and that was evidently a highly anticipated event.
Apparently, the technology was also the main thing to be used in a game which multiple people would be able to play together regardless of where they were. The fact that it would render the user completely unaware of anything going on outside of it held intriguing possibilities. He glanced over the information again and noted that the date all of this was to go public was to be late in October, with the game itself going live either at the end of October, or early in November.
Plenty of time for him to arrange things.
July 15, 2022 – Malfoy Manor
"Thank you for coming so promptly," Lucius said to his guest, gesturing for the man to sit down at an available chair. He poured himself some brandy and glanced at the man, who waved off the unspoken offer.
"An opportunity for my family to repay a debt owed, Lord Malfoy, is not an opportunity lightly ignored." The man replied with an American drawl as he sat down. "The Wainwrights owed the Malfoys for generations, so an opportunity to repay it is well appreciated. I hope you don't mind if I retain my anonymity, it's best if you don't know my precise identity."
Lucius nodded. The Wainwrights were well known internationally on both sides of the law, and while dealing with them was not illegal per se, there was a certain attention paid to those who retained their services. "A debt of this magnitude is not lightly called in, but I needed someone both discrete and familiar with the Masquerade on an international level, conditions your family fulfills nicely."
The man smiled. "Something that involves both worlds," he commented. "Interesting, considering how isolated the British magical community is from our perspective." His gaze sharpened. "Why don't you explain what exactly it is you require?"
Lucius nodded and decided that it was time to get to the point. He handed a neatly bound stack of parchment to the man. "I need someone to disappear and be kept occupied for an indeterminate amount of time." He replied. "Doing so will… well the whys and wherefores aren't really relevant."
His guest looked at him, one eyebrow raised. "Got a name?"
The man's other eyebrow joined its brother at his hairline. "The Boy-Who-Lived? He's still a minor, Lord Malfoy, so I do hope you want him kept alive, or whatever deal you struck is out of the question."
"I am well aware of your family's stance regarding children and anything which is designed to cause them intentional harm, Mr. Wainwright," Lucius replied smoothly. "I just want the boy out of the country and preferably on the other side of the world. The information in that stack of parchment I provided to you may explain some more."
The man nodded and then began to look over the parchment sheets. Lucius patiently waited, sipping his drink. After a few minutes, the man put the sheets down.
"So," Mr. Wainwright said. "You want us to kidnap a boy who is not yet thirteen, take him to Japan, and basically distract him with this technology and the expected game to be released with it? And have all of this prior to the release?" Lucius nodded. Mr. Wainwright returned his eyes to the parchment before clicking his tongue. "Doable, if complex. How above board do you want this to be done?"
"As above board as practicable, Mr. Wainwright," he replied. "I want this operation successful, and having it fail due to a minor being missed in the shuffle is unacceptable."
Mr. Wainwright nodded. "Is there any more information you have, then, on Mr. Potter? His location and any security?"
Lucius smiled, knowing that they wouldn't be asking for more information if they weren't going to take the job. "Indeed I do, Mr. Wainwright."
July 30, 2022 – Little Whinging, Surrey
Richard Wainwright gazed calmly at his unconscious target while the rest of his team quickly checked the area and sanitized any signs of their presence. He had to admit, for a boy who had only just turned thirteen, he had put up one hell of a fight. Richard had figured on this being a relatively easy swoop, but if they'd had just a little more trouble going through the wards, this could have ended very differently. A single mistake would have had Dumbledore and the Ministry on them in minutes, and the boy might have slipped through their fingers.
Still, he thought. Dumbledore was a bit too clever for his own good here. Relying solely on blood wards and probably a sentrywas foolish, especially if someone was willing to take their time to prepare. Making the arrangements to spirit the boy out of England would have taken some time regardless, so he had used that time to work out how to bypass the wards and get the rest of the boy's family out of the way for their little snatch and grab. The fewer potential witnesses, the better.
Still, aside from the boy putting up more of a fight than expected, things had gone well so far; he wouldn't be satisfied that things were well on their way until they started moving and put some distance from their current location, though. "Carlisle, we done?" He asked a member of his team.
"Just finished, boss," A woman responded.
"Good, the let's go. I want to be out of Surrey and on our boat waiting in Ramsgate yesterday."
The rest of his team nodded and quickly reached for their portkeys, Carlisle taking a brief second to pin one on their target, Harry Potter. Thirty seconds later, they were gone, and less than an hour later, their boat was already crossing the Channel, well on its' way to the French coastline. They disembarked the boat in southern Normandy a few hours later, before taking a series of portkeys to Marseille, where they began to split up.
Albus Dumbledore would know within an hour of their leaving England that Harry was missing. He would follow their movements to France before the first false trail was laid in Marseille. It would take two days for the false initial bout of false trails to be realized, but by then, half a dozen more had been laid and Harry was no longer in Europe.
By the time Harry was found in Japan, several months later, it would be impossible to return him to England.