The four of them met Sam and Bumblebee then went down town to get breakfast. Sam spotted Mikaela there, and waved at her. She waved back and smiled at him, causing him to trip over his own feet. Bumblebee played a cut of "Smooth Operator" and Harry and Hermione laughed, too, though not unkindly.
He groused at them, "Yeah, you're all a real riot."
They all sat at a table close to the street so Bumblebee could hear their conversation and participate. They introduced Remus and Sirius to the robot and started to ask more questions about him and his people.
But it was not to be. A police car came up behind Bumblebee, who said, "Danger, Will Robinson!" And he wasn't kidding. The police cruiser came right up onto the sidewalk, scattering everyone, but aiming right at Sam. The cruizer menaced him, pushing and pushing as he revved his engines.
Bumblebee followed them, and so did the wizards, all of them ending up in the same abandoned construction site that they had come to this world in. The other car was a robot as well, and he transformed, backing Sam up against an abandoned vehicle, screaming, "Where are the glasses!?"
Harry didn't hesitate a moment longer, and neither did Bumblebee. Harry pulled his wand and started throwing spells, starting with a well placed blasting hex to knock him away from Sam. Bumblebee transformed and stood up in the space Harry had just made, positioning himself between Sam and the other bot.
The two robots started fighting hand to hand, and Sam ran for it, getting back out of the construction site. Harry wanted to continue to help Bumblebee, but he couldn't get a clean shot. Then, when he finally got another opening, the police cruiser bot changed back into a car, and tried to go after Sam again. Harry shot out his tires, and yelled, "Bee, get Sam out of here!"
"What the hell""is that thing?"
Bee nodded and ran to get Sam, transforming back into his Camaro form as he ran. The other bot transformed again, and this time he pointed his weapons at Harry. "Snivelling little ape!" Harry reached into his pocket as he ducked and dodged, taking out his shrunken Firebolt. So much for secrecy. But he had no choice, because this thing was going to squish him if he didn't get some mobility and fast! "Hold still so I can hit you!"
"Not really an incentive, scrap-pile!" And with that he was mounted and flying out into the open. He saw Sirius, Remus and Hermione all pile into Remus's SUV and Sam and Mikaela jump into Bumblebee.
Thanks to Harry's spell-fire, they were not followed, but Harry was now exposed, so he disillusioned himself, shivering as the feeling of being covered in raw egg moved down his body. He also pulled out his cell phone once he was high enough to avoid traffic and called Hermione. "I'm okay."
"Where are you?"
"Overhead, and disillusioned. Find a place isolated enough for me to come down without being spotted."
"All right. Be careful. And call Sam. He's already called once asking if you were with us."
"I will. I love you."
There were tears in her voice as she said, "I love you, too."
Harry called Sam. "Sam. I shot out that other robot's tires, so he couldn't follow you right away."
"Shot out how?! And where are you?!"
"I'm following you. I have other transport. Follow Remus, because he's trying to find a place we can link up without me being seen. Sam, was he talking about your eBay page?"
"Yeah. He said he wanted the glasses. I guess that meant my great grandfather's glasses. But why would giant alien robots care about those?"
"I don't know. Where are they?"
"They're in my school bag."
"Which could be anywhere in your house. All right. Is Mikaela okay?"
"A little freaked. And so am I. The car dumped us out in the tunnel, then came back for us looking like brand new! This is all crazy, Harry."
"I know. Look, I need to concentrate, so I'm gonna hang up. Follow Remus, and I'll explain my secrets when we all get stopped." Harry ended the call and slipped the phone into his jacket pocket, trying to concentrate on his flying. It felt good to be back on a broom. He hadn't had a chance to fly in a long time, and he'd missed it.
To keep from being hit by traffic, Harry kept his broom just above Remus's SUV, alternating between going over and under traffic lights just for variety. It wasn't too long before Remus pulled into Joaquin Miller Park. It was a place he knew because he and Sirius spent every full moon there as Moony and Padfoot.
Harry came in for a landing, then nixed the disillusionment charm as soon as he was sure that no one would see him appearing out of thin air. Hermione was the first one out of the SUV and ran over to him, nearly tackling him in her enthusiasm to embrace him as he reshrunk his broom.
"Whatever comes in this fight we're about to get into, please don't die, Harry. I can't be alone." She said it quietly, almost whispering in his ear, but there was no mistaking the fervor of her request.
Harry sighed and just held her for a moment or two. Then he said, "I can only promise to try and to be careful."
Reluctantly she nodded, and they separated, but didn't let go of his hand, not willing to part from him completely.
Bumblebee said, "What in tarnation""are you""Mister?"
"I'd rather only go into that explanation once, Bumblebee. Are your mates on their way?"
The robot nodded slowly. "Comin' in hot, boys!" Then he pointed upward, and everyone looked up to see four fireballs plough through the atmosphere.
Harry shook his head in bemusement. "How do you always find the right thing to say from the broadcasts?"
Bumblebee, who had transformed, smirked at him. "Correctly."
Remus and Hermione both laughed out loud at that, and Harry grinned.
Mikaela had calmed down a bit, but she said, "Okay, what the hell is going on? Sam?"
"Yeah, so I bought the car, and after I took you home that night we found out it was an alien robot."
"And what was that back there? A cop car?"
"Another robot," said Harry. "This one's name is Bumblebee, and he talks to us with the radio. He seems to be one of the good guys in this fight, where as the cop car definitely isn't. And he could talk normally. Why Bee can't, we don't know."
"Oh, so that thing at the Lookout with the radio-"
Sam finished, "Was Bee trying to be suave."
Bumblebee retorted in the voice of John Wayne. "You're short on ears and long on mouth."
Sirius said, "All right, so what do we do now? What do you need from us? From Sam ?"
"The other robot was asking about the glasses on Sam's eBay page. Is that it?"
A quick nod and the sounds of applause came from his speakers. Then he said, "The away team is hailing us, Keptin," a line from Star Trek.
Remus said, "It would be easiest and best, I think, if you had them meet us here. If you can communicate with them over distances?"
"No problem.""You got any more questions?"
Within an hour, four new vehicles came into the park. One was an ambulance, one a Pontiac Solstice, one a GMC 4x4 and the last a great Peterbilt lorry. They all stopped, surrounding the humans loosely, and transformed along with Bumblebee into their robot forms. All were massive, on the same scale as a troll or a young giant. The largest of them, the lorry, knelt down to look at Sam as close to eye level as possible. Then in a deep, commanding voice, he said, "Are you Samuel James Witwicky, descendent of Archibald Witwicky?"
Mikaela said in surprise, "They know your name."
Sam just blinked, then answered, "Yeah?"
The huge robot said, "My name is Optimus Prime. We are autonomous robotic organisms from the planet Cybertron."
The ambulance said, "But you can call us Autobots for short."
Optimus went around the group, introducing Jazz, the Solstice, Ironhide, the GMC, and Ratchet, the ambulance. "You already know your guardian, Bumblebee."
Bumblebee excitably said, "Check out the rep, yep, second to none."
Harry chuckled, drawing Optimus's eye. "And I see many more humans than you reported, Bumblebee."
"That's kind of my fault," said Harry. "He had no way of knowing I'd be able to sense his energy."
"And how is that possible?"
Harry grinned at the big mech. "Because I'm special."
Hermione smacked his arm. "Harry!"
Sirius said, "You said you wanted to help, Harry. Cards on the table."
Harry stuck his tongue out at his godfather, but then said, "Yeah. We four are wizards, humans able to do magic. We actually came here from a different dimension, and from what I can tell, humans here never developed the ability to use magical energy. Your people, on the other hand, obviously did, though less as a tool and more as a power source."
Ratchet, the medic of the group, said, "And you can sense that energy?"
"I've always been able to."
Ironhide said, "You mean this kid can sense Energon emissions?"
Optimus shrugged. "It would seem so." He asked, "You defend this world?"
Harry nodded. "We haven't had to yet, but yes, we mean to."
Sam said to Bumblebee, "So you're my guardian, huh?" He made a generally positive electronic noise in response.
Ratchet sent some kind of scanning beam at Bumblebee's throat, making him cough. "His vocal processors were damaged in battle. I'm still working on them."
Mikaela asked, "Why are you here?"
Optimus answered, "We are here looking for the AllSpark. And we must find it before Megatron."
"Megawhat?" asked Sirius
Optimus began projecting an image onto the surrounding area, an image that was very realistic, making it seem like they were all inside it, and like a wizarding painting, it moved. He narrated, "Our planet was once a powerful empire. Peaceful and just. Until we were betrayed by Megatron, leader of the Decepticons. All who defied them were destroyed. Our war finally consumed the planet, and the All Spark was lost to the stars." The image of Megatron in the simulation growled with frustration. "Megatron followed it to Earth, where Captain Witwicky found him."
"Oh- My grandfather."
"It was an accident that intertwined our fates. Megatron crash-landed before he could retrieve the Cube. And when Captain Witwicky found him, he touched him and accidentally activated his navigation system. The coordinates to the Cube's location on Earth were imprinted on his glasses."
Hermione asked, "How'd you know about his glasses?"
Remus asked the Autobots, "How bad is this?"
Ratchet said, "If the Decepticons find the All Spark, they will use its power to transform Earth's machines and build a new army."
Optimus continued, "And the human race will be extinguished. Sam Witwicky, you hold the key to Earth's survival."
Mikaela turned to Sam. "Please tell me that you have those glasses."
~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~O~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~
Remus and Sirius rode back in the SUV, the only vehicle present that was not alive, but Prime wanted to know more about them, so Harry and Hermione rode back with Prime. Sam and Mikaela, of course, rode with Bumblebee.
Wanting to keep the conversation fluid, however, Optimus patched everyone's radios together. He asked them, "How is it that you came from a different dimension?"
Hermione said, "There is an artifact there called the Veil of Justice. If you're put through it, it judges whether or not you are guilty of the crime of which you have been accused, and if you are it kills you. But if you are not, it sends you to a new world, away from your persecutors. It's only used if a person has been convicted of a capital crime. They convicted Harry and Sirius both of murders they did not commit. Remus and I came so they wouldn't be alone."
Harry smiled at her, and took her hand in his. "I've always been unique, even among wizards, in being able to actually sense magical energy. When we first arrived here, about nine months ago, I could tell that this world had no wizards, because the magic hadn't been either tamed or twisted, just like I can tell that this metal you're made of is steeped in it."
Ratchet's voice came over the radio. "Few would be able to tell so much, even with the most advanced and finely tuned scanners."
Bumblebee quoted 2001 Space Odyssey, "My God, it's full of stars!"
Ironhide said, "And what is a wizard?"
"Any human capable of using magic well enough to power a wand is called a wizard," said Remus. "There are actually four levels of magical ability that have been noted in humans. Muggles are normal people and can't use it at all. Squibs only have enough to let them see things like ghosts and dementors. Wizards and witches are able to use magic with a wand, and are able to power enchantments, runic arrays and advanced potions. And then there are sorcerers, people who can see magic and bend it to their will without needing a wand at all. Harry falls into this category, as did his nemesis, the man who actually killed the boy he was accused of murdering, and the headmaster of his school. Sorcerers are rare, and honestly, having three in any one nation at a time was stunningly rare. One in every one hundred thousand humans of that world is a wizard or witch. One in a thousand wizards and witches will be a sorcerer."
Mikaela said, "That's like only seventy-six on the entire planet!"
Sirius answered her, "Actually, it was fifty-nine last I heard."
"Sixty-five," countered Remus. "Six more were born while you were incarcerated."
"Yes," said Hermione, "But that world is eleven years behind this one. There could be as many as seventy or eighty by the time they reach this point in their history."
"And what can you guys do with your power?" asked Jazz.
Harry said, "Lots of different kinds of things. But we can't create life, or bring someone back from the dead. From the sounds of it, this Cube of yours can."
Optimus made an affirmative hum. "It can indeed create life out of raw living metal, or cyber-matter. It is responsible for the creation of our race, and without it, we would not have a Spark, what humans call a soul."
"And if this Megatron gets what he wants?"
"The All-Spark can infuse life into any machine. It doesn't have to be cyber-matter. It can just be aluminum and steel. Which means he can change every machine on the planet into a living Spark and enslave them to his will."
They arrived at Sam's house, and Sam had everyone park in the back, urging the others to stay with the Autobots and keep an eye on them. Harry said, "No way. I'm coming with you, or you'll never find them in that nest you call a bedroom."
They then had to get past Ron who tried to guilt Sam for skipping out on the chores and being late. Urgently needing to get him out of the way Sam started promising all kinds of chores, but finally Ron went back in the house. Unfortunately, Mikaela, Hermione, Sirius and Remus hadn't been enough to stop the anxious bots from transforming and coming right into the back yard, ruining the landscaping that Ron had worked so hard to do. He started arguing with Optimus, and Harry rolled his eyes. "Sam! I can fix the damage later! Come on!"
Mojo took that opportunity to take a leak on Ironhide's foot.
Sam cringed. "Oh, this is bad. No! Mojo, Mojo! Off the robot! God!"
Ironhide growled. "Nnh, wet." Then he pointed his guns at the tiny creature, which was, on the face of it, ridiculous.
"No no no no no no! Easy! Easy! Hold on! Hold! This is Mojo. This is Mojo. He's a pet of mine. He's a pet. Okay? That's all. If you could just put the guns away... Put the- put them away. Please."
"You have a rodent infestation," Ironhide muttered.
"Shall I terminate?"
Sam was horrified. "No no no no. He's not a rodent, he's a chihuahua. This is my- this is my chihuahua. We love chihuahuas! Don't we?"
"He's leaked lubricants all over my foot!"
Sam: He peed on you? Bad Mojo. Bad Mojo! I'm sorry. He's got a male dominance thing. That's all it is.
Ironhide walked off, grumbling, "That's gonna rust."
"All right," said Sam. "Okay, okay. Shut up and go hide!"
Optimus said, "Just hurry."
Once in the house, Sam and Harry went for the bedroom, but Harry spotted Sam's backpack on the kitchen counter and grabbed it on the way up. "Didn't you put those in here?"
"Ah! That's great, Harry!" He quickly dug through the bag and then triumphantly pulled out the antique glasses, truly noticing the etching on the lenses for the first time. Harry grinned at him. Then something happened outside. One of the giant metallic beings had tripped over the neighbor's fence and had fallen, taking out a transformer and the electricity for the entire block. The only good thing about the whole incident was that this was southern California. People might not expect giant robots, but they did expect earthquakes. Thankfully, by the time Sam and Harry were back down stairs, Ron had come to the obvious conclusion and the Autobots were out of sight. But the damage to the yard was done, and Ron was apoplectic. Sam grabbed a trash can, and Harry grabbed another one, and they made their way to the alley, as if doing the chores Ron had asked of Sam. They left them in the correct places, and then got back into their robotic rides and everyone was heading out.
They missed being apprehended by only minutes, though they didn't know that.
Once in a safer location, Optimus ran a scanner through the etching on the spectacles. "Please let this work," he muttered.
Jazz said, "Fire it up, Optimus."
After scanning the resulting hologram, Optimus said, "The code... The code on these glasses indicates the All Spark is two hundred and thirty miles from here."
"I sense the Decepticons are getting ready to mobilize," said Ratchet.
Ironhide nodded. "They must know it's here, as well."
"Then we'll need to hurry," said Sirius. "We can leave the SUV here, locked up, and ride with you lot."
Ironhide said, "Why?"
Remus answered him, "Because we can't let those who would enslave this planet reach such a power any more than you can."
"And besides," said Harry, "You really can't hide well enough to walk into the Hoover Dam Power Station."
So they hit the road headed for the dam and it's hidden secrets. It was late, so taking advantage of the fact that the cars could drive themselves, the humans all napped. But Harry wasn't quite asleep when the Autobots began having a quiet conversation, still piped through the radios. Ironhide asked, "Why are we fighting to save the humans? They're a primitive and violent race."
Optimus snorted. "Were we so different? They're a young species. They have much to learn. But I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings. You all know there's only one way to end this war. We must destroy the Cube. If all else fails, I will unite it with the Spark in my chest."
Ratchet protested, "That's suicide. The Cube is raw power. It could destroy you both."
"A necessary sacrifice to bring peace to this planet. We cannot let the humans pay for our mistakes... It's been an honor serving with you all."
Harry swore to himself, as he did finally drift off to sleep, that he wouldn't let that happen. He didn't have many friends. He sure as hell wasn't going to let one of them die protecting him.
~o~ ~o~ ~o~ ~O~ ~o~ ~o~ ~o~
Notes: Thanks for your patience, guys! I hope you've all enjoyed this segment. I'm still working out the timing for the rest of the mess. They're ahead of S7 thanks to Harry's intervention, but now they have to figure out how to get to the Cube itself. And I think I know where I'm going with that, but we'll have to wait and see.