Neville's Guardian by Sharpe34

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Chapter 2: Wands and Owwies:

Minutes later on the shore of the Great Lake...

Lord Amadeaus smiled ruefully and nodded sympathetically. He spoke with exaggerated slowness and clarity. "Star ship, falls in lake, go splash... right?"

Professor Dumbledore sighed and shook his head, his right hand stroking his beard in frustration.

"Young man, I understand your difficulty, but I must insist you get that great metal pancake out of the Black Lake this instant!"

Lord Amadeaus' eyes lit up and he grinned wickedly. "Ah-ha! So it's the BLACK Lake your worried about, not the Great Lake. Whoo, I'm relieved. Glad I'm not in that one." He let his bobbing head nod up and down rhythmically, mocking the older man.

.o0o.

Hagrid snorted softly, still covering the wet and angry Cathar woman he had dragged out of the Great Lake. Barely five and a half feet tall, the cat-like features and pointed ears looked less feline than he had originally thought, but would never let her pass as human. Her scanty top and unbelievably tight slacks did little to hide the soft golden fur, her markings not unlike a cheetah's. Curves, he had seen muggle women on billboards that weren't as curvy, but her movements were swift, feral, undoubtedly intimidating to smaller men. She was heavy for such a small thing, and the strange guns the tall man had let him take from her hips were warm, and disturbing to the touch. He never took his eyes off the beauty, even though he kept his cocked cross-bow aimed in her general direction. Only his own sodden apparel kept the slim busty woman from tossing him head first into the lake. Her golden fur was matted with lake slime, and her attitude absolutely rotten, after taking an over zealous stunning spell to the head.

The tall Sith looked at the taller man and smirked at him. "Umm, you may want to point that archaic device at me. If you point it too long at Rika, she'll get angry and put it somewhere painful. And even I'm not going to mess with her when she's so wet and pissed."

Emerald eyes shrank down to slits, and the woman's balled fists tightened even more. Both her hips had empty holsters clinging to them, but Lord Amadeaus knew she had at least two hold-out blasters, some knives, maybe a grenade, or ten, on her yet. It was fairly obvious that the castle's inhabitants were not tech savvy.

.o0o.

He kept up his idiotic grin, knowing it disarmed and annoyed people. It forced them to lower their mental guard, but the old man was like hitting a wall. Not since his early days in the slave pens had he ever ran into such a closed mind.

Again he let the Force slide out, around him, feeling the life, the wards, the castle, the forest and lake. All teemed with life, and so much of it malignant. There was no way this simple school was as innocent as claimed by the old man.

Well, if subtle doesn't work, use a bomb, the bigger the better.

"Ok, you got me, we're aliens. Rika isn't a were. I'm assuming that's a shape-shifter? Kind of species-ist if you ask me, but it's your world. Then again, she's soaked and smells like taint, so yes, she's very dangerous."

His idiot's grin faded to a more sincere one. For the first time his electric blue eyes lost their manic gleam. "We're not too sure where we are, the ship's Navi-comp took a few too many hits and we could truly use a decent set of local star charts, and maybe a few hyper-drive parts."

.§..§.

Professor McGonagall placed a restraining hand on Dumbledore's forearm, soothing the old man. "We understand that, and we do apologize for your companion's incident." Her eyes darted over to Sybill Trelawney, and the divination instructor slipped further behind the huge man called Hagrid.

"But please understand, we know nothing of the Empire, Zakuul, or the Republic. Your war has nothing to do with us, and we truly couldn't assist you in any event. Magic and science don't mix well."

The older woman's eyes kept darting over the man's face, and looking deep into his left eye. The scar on his cheek looked so much like a muggle bar-code, and in the back of his eye; she would swear it was there as well. He also had a long single scar that went from silvery eyebrow to mid-cheek, bisecting the bar-code... a scar that was so obviously not one of trauma, but intention.

.o0o.

"Dae. Call me Dae," the tall Sith Lord said. "I don't think I'm in much of a position to demand assistance, or title use, from a people who don't even know what fluidic circuits are, am I." Ruefully he shook his head, his fingers stroking the cuffs of his armored jacket, a silent sign. Instantly Rika settled down and stopped balling up the towel (obviously making it into a weapon) that was handed to her. Instead she started wiping the algae off herself. Lord Amadeaus' head lifted, and he looked slowly around the castle, the woods, and the lake. He made sure Professor McGonagall was looking where he was, his eyes traced every ward, every spell, and every hidden trap.

"I'm a Sith Lord, the Assassin for Darth Marr. Well, I was... we're not sure if the armada made it out of... where we were ambushed. You'll have to understand my reluctance, to cooperate. For all I know we're on a Zakuul support world, but everything feels... off."

He bobbed his chin in another silent signal, and Rika started tapping away on an oversized wrist band. Soft boops and beeps sounded, and she started cursing again.

"Master," she said softly, "I have a bad feeling that the jump so close to the Maw was a slight bit more... intense than we anticipated."

She visibly blanched, cursing softly as everybody on the shore stared at her. Her pink nose went white as blood drained from her face. Her pupils went from slits, to pin pricks.

.§..§.

Professor Dumbledore had had enough, with a grunt he dismissed the other instructors. "Go back and get prepared, the term starts in two days and we have a bloody great bat pancake to get out of the Bla... the Great Lake."

His eyes never left the Sith Lord even as they all walked together back to his office. Mundane chit-chat was not even attempted as Rika's computer link cried in frustration, and howled like a lost soul. Her own foul mood, and words, making the walk even more painful. As they entered the concealed pathway to the office, she let her eyes dart off the tiny screen for an instant, then went back to work.

"Ok, either we're dead and in Kal'teth'nor, or we slipped sideways through the multi-verse."

The revelation landed on the floor like a dead body. Her eyes flashed to Fawkes.

"Can I eat that?"

"No!" echoed loudly in the room as everybody spoke up at once.

Muttering she slapped the computer closed and walked over to a huge chalkboard. With no regard to personal property, propriety, or even private space, she wiped the long equations off the board and drew a deck of cards.

"Ok, this is the multi-verse." Her chalk tapped the crude drawing. "This top card, this is Dae's and my... well world, I guess you could call it." Her chalk darted out making a small arrow pointing at the middle of the deck. "This here, this is your world. When we jumped into Hyper-space so close to the Maw, we tore a tiny rip in the multi-verse, and slipped sideways into it." She drew a bat and a circle just barely big enough to surround the ship. "The Eternal Fleet was right there next to us, so some parts of them went with us, so I'm assuming they lost a few ships. We shouldn't have to worry about them coming through into your world. But I bet we're going to have KILLER fireworks and shooting stars for the next few months."

She smiled brightly and nodded her head rapidly up and down.

"So, we won that fight! But, we're stuck in this flarking world 'cause you haven't got parts; a decent energy source for charging our ship; a star chart, or the flarking science to figure out how flarking sideways we went. Gods, you people suck!" She threw the chalk and stalked to a corner and started kicking the stone walls.

All eyes were on the fuming woman.

"So, anybody else want a parfait?" Hagrid asked happily.

Lord Amadeaus sank into a chair before the huge desk and looked into the old wizard's eyes. He slowly looked the man up and down. His head cocked to one side as both of the powerful men sized the other up. Each nodded with respect to the other, knowing they had indeed met an equal.

"You're at war old man." The younger man said softly. "The wards, the screens, all of it, you're dug in like a parasite. That's why your woman shot Rika, why you all have such a stench of fear on you."

Professor Dumbledore folded his hands together, suddenly feeling the stress of the 12 years of hidden warfare they had endured. His plans were finally falling into place. However, the risks, and his best friend's ire at his plots for one young boy, and the almost certain death of another, not to mention the destruction of both their families, have taken their toll.

He sighed heavily.

"I have a proposition for you..."


Coming soon, Chapter 3: Propositions and Prostitutes.