"Something rather unusual happened late last night, local time."

[A typical Skaffy understatement.] [From high orbit the GCU Short Circuit had detected the first biosourced link to the hyperspace grid in the Culture's history.] [BOTH LAYERS!] [It had been in an actual village (with huts) called Godric's Hollow (geographic nomenclature, how quaint).] [And the drone had broken the news to Dizi with a "rather unusual."]

The ho-hum, take-it-in-stride bantering-while-galaxies-collapse-due-to-Special-Circumstances of his two favorite people. A genuine pleasure. Harry mentally snorted as he re-analyzed the record of the conversation (at highest speed), despite his own clear and well-established memory of the first time he'd heard about himself — and the star-ripping power inside of him. But that was enough childish nostalgia. For grief's sake, he thought, I'm nearly twelve and don't have time for this infantile shit. I've got Refering to do.

The niceties of Minds still perplexed him. He was undeniably a Referer. He knew it. They knew it. And yet he was still a "potential" in all communications and discussions — despite the fact that it was They that had wanted him in the Field. He understood the nature of "policy" in dealing with humans — who do, admittedly, think at a trillionth the speed of a Mind. But one would assume that a secure missive responding to all of their queries — before they asked and substantially in the order they intended to present them — would count for something. Oh well, they'll catch up with him eventually. (They hated when he thought that.) Referers, after all, are a one-in-a-trillion phenomenon — so the poor, limited-to-mere-data Minds had so little experience in dealing with his very special kind of human. (They REALLY hated when he pondered their limitations.)

[But enough supercharged Minds-baiting, Sol-Terrasa Harry Potter dam Marenhide — why don't you actually Refer! (And boost that wunderkind reputation of yours, he told himself.)]

The massive errand boy, Rubeus Hagrid, has a drone relationship with Albus Dumbledore. Transporting baby-bundles and philosopher-stones will not be the man-mountain's only involvement.

Objective: Cultivate him.

"Magic" is traceable by sensors, but only "at random" — which means that the underlying order has eluded the Minds. Fact: The visual spectrum (and the logically correspondent false colors) correlate with magical grid accesses on a visceral (yet consistent) level — a level apparently inaccessible to nonbiologicals. Fact: Eldritch associations with evolutionarily commonplace photoprotein-oxidation luminescences abound in the Culture (primitively) — "the sickly green glow" of evil. Those analogies ought to be exploited, despite the crude archaisms.

Objective: Learn to SEE magic.

Minkowski spacetime notwithstanding [good internal-monologue using-the-local-primitives-jargon, Harry], mass-energy is conserved. So flying motorcycles and brooms, as well as supersonic Model Ts, just shouldn't exist — nor should finite spatial volumes that contain larger spatial volumes, nor should shrunken atoms in the form of his (and Sma's) own recently purchased [!] private copy of the Flourish and Blotts inventory — without massively detectable grid effects. But they do.

Objectives: Learn to ride a broom. Learn to enlarge spaces, shrink things — and restore them.

[The Dark Lord had (past tense) minions. Contrast: I have (present tense) drones. (Where did that brainwave come from, I wonder.)]

"The Culture would do just about anything for the ability to access both layers of hyperspace simultaneously." That was a quote. From Dizi — his mother who, beyond any doubt, had come to love him. But the fact remained. Harry had no illusions. [Oh for the carefree days back on the S'Jet Orbital — when he was three.]

Mastering the grid, he reminded himself, is a primary goal; but understanding the unique space of the Culture's intersection with the Wizarding World (a space in which he is the sole inhabitant) is even more essential.

Author's Notes:

I am very (purposely) free with my punctuation. I want to get across thoughts, varying internal monologue, self-interruption and such. ( ) are for parenthetical expressions — that's a joke — that anyone might make. [ ] are for Harry's unique Referer-type thoughts — that compare, somewhat, to the communications and thoughts { } of the Culture's Minds. I might use other, more exotic, brackets as characters and situations evolve. Hyphenated-phrases-like-this are for thoughts that would flow more lyrically in Marain. Harry is determined (unless he's in a mood) to maintain his disciplined usage of English, even in his thoughts — to become not merely fluent, but a masterful communicator. Like Sma. Dashes — are for whatever I damned well please!

I know that Banks himself didn't think much of Referers after Consider Phlebas. But, for me, the notion of Refering (with its irreplaceably human sourcing) is the only way to make a believably Special Harry who can bridge the gap between The Culture and the Wizarding World.

While I know that you wonderful readers can't make eye contact with me to Legilimize and confirm my mind-state (see what I did there) I really do try to be true to both J.K. Rowling AND I.M Banks in my AU headcanon. Ultimately, though, the goal is not fidelity to JKR and IMB, but to telling a really good story.

Not JKR. Not IMB. Not7billion+ Other Muggles. (Nor 30trillion+ Other Pan-Humans for that matter.) Just li'l old moi.