Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! The Fourth Year moves on! We're drawing ever closer to the Third Task. The end of the year will soon be upon them. After that, it's only a matter of Harry taking his tests and graduating early. Then a trip abroad! Of course, there are some antagonistic third parties that might fuck that up.

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Chapter 46 – Spear and Communication

Harry was once again in his hidden workshop. The Artificer was working on forging a Dragon Horn into the proper shape for a spearhead. He'd chosen Magical Iron to combine the horn with for this first attempt. He hammered the billet into uniformity, evening out the carbon content that the horn added to the Magical Iron. A Dragon Steel spearhead sounded like a good start for his first Magical Spear.

'Even an Artisan like Tōshū wouldn't have anything bad to say about something like this, right?' Harry mused to himself as he continued to hammer the metal.

Once the spearhead was in the shape that Harry wanted it; a fairly standard leaf blade, he grasped it with the tongs and moved it over to a small, stone quench tank. This particular one was filled not with oil or Dragon Blood, but something that was far more foul-smelling, Dragon Fire Sac Bile. Dunking the hot metal into the bile an even more terrible smell emerged and Harry scrunched up his nose in revulsion.

"Bloody hell that's bad!" Harry barely kept himself from retching at the stench.

Pulling the spearhead out of the quench, Harry sat it on a metal rack to finish cooling. While he waited for the first prototype to cool, he'd wash off a bit and then go back to the project that had been stumping him for quite a long time now. He'd not given up on it yet, but he'd checked over everything he could think of for the item in question. Nothing worked and yet the Charm work was sound.

'I'll figure them out,' Harry thought as he washed his face in the sink. 'There's got to be something I'm missing. Something about the Charms or the materials that makes them work when all the others failed.'

Harry entered the workshop and moved to sit as his desk. He opened one of the drawers and pulled out a notebook and a stack of parchment. Spreading out the parchments and flipping the notebook open again, Harry began checking over his notes and looking through all of his previous attempts again. He was going to crack the Communication Mirrors, one way or another!

Almost three hours later and Harry was rubbing his temples in frustration. It seemed that no matter which way he came at the problem, everything checked out. The Charms worked together for the single working pair. The material was just common glass, treated to be made into a mirror. There was nothing Magical about the items at all. Only the Charms they were both enchanted with gave them their ability. So why couldn't it be replicated? Harry had been practically bashing his head against a wall for over a year on this and was still no closer to an answer.

"I guess you'll remain a mystery for another day." Harry grimaced as he packed up all of the notes and stored them away in the drawer in his desk again. He stood up and stretched, getting a satisfying pop in the process. It was almost lunch time, so he'd head down to the Great Hall and meet up with Fleur. Afterwards he'd write to Penny and Tonks, maybe they'd have some ideas about the mirrors?

-The Next Day-

Harry was lightly humming to himself as he carved a wooden pole to make the haft of his spear. This first prototype wouldn't have too many Magical parts to it. No sense in going through all of the effort if it was just going to fail in some way. If it didn't fail, then he could add more to the prototype and test it again. He really should be thankful for Champion Privileges that let him skip basically all of his classes. He only went to Defense Against the Dark Arts these days to learn some useful spells or information from Remus.

"Once this is done, it'll be time for some testing." Harry grinned as he smoothed out the wood some more. He wanted the prototype to fit comfortably in his hands after all.

"Can I watch?" Luna asked from where she was doing her homework during her free period.

"If you stay with Fleur." Harry grinned at the petite blonde.

After hearing about his plans to graduate early, Luna had taken to spending some more time in the hidden workshop with Harry. She wanted to have more time with him this year so that when he graduated she'd not feel like she missed out. Harry reassured her that they could still chat through letters and he'd even visit on Hogsmeade days occasionally. The spacey, moon-eyed Witch liked that and had even given him a hug for it.

That afternoon, after classes had ended, Harry, Fleur, and Luna were out on the grounds in the early spring weather. The temperature was still chilly, but the snow had slowly receded in the last couple weeks. Only light dustings fell on Hogwarts in the last few nights. Harry was smiling as he held his first Magic Spear prototype. Fleur could only look on amused at her lover and his joy at creating and testing things. Luna was smiling to match Harry as she watched on.

"First test is to see if it has a Fire Conjuration ability since it was quenched in fire sac bile." Harry spoke aloud and the Dicta-Quill floating in the air a few meters away transcribed the dictation into the notebook that was floating with it.

Harry let his mana flow through the wood of the haft and into the metal spearhead. The spearhead didn't change or start spouting fire, but Harry felt something happening. A little more mana and a heat haze began to emanate from the Dragon Steel. Harry frowned slightly as he channeled more mana into the spearhead. It was proving to be a rather costly item to empower from a Magical Strength perspective.

'Rather stubborn, aren't you?' Harry mused of his newest creation as he finally saw the steel change color and glow red from the heat it was producing. "Note; the spearhead takes far more mana to empower its effect than other items. This could be the result of using a horn to forge it, rather than a fang. The fire sac bile does however impart heat generation into the Dragon Steel quenched in it." He listened to the scratches of the quill on the notebook as he kept the mana flowing to see if the heat would increase over time.

"Is it always like this?" Luna questioned Fleur as they watched Harry test his new creation.

"More often than not." Fleur looked down at the shorter girl with a grin. "Harry won't let anyone else touch his new prototypes until he's tested them out a bit first." She gave Luna a side-hug with a grin. The smaller girl reminded her of Gabby a little bit. "It's for safety concerns, which is good, but sometimes it's just better for someone else to be here so that if something goes wrong, then we can help."

"Has anything ever gone wrong?" Luna tilted her head curiously.

"Only a few surprises so far," Fleur assured the Third Year girl. "There have been no catastrophic failures yet at any rate."

"Still not producing fire, huh?" Harry asked his spear with a chuckle. "Well, let's try stabbing something with you and see what happens."

With a wave of his Storage Cloak, a wooden dummy landed on the ground next to him. Harry moved back a few paces and took the still hot spear into both hands. He stabbed forward and the spearhead pierced through the dummy easily. The wood began to smolder quickly as it blackened and Harry pulled the spear back. Looking between the spearhead and the damage to the dummy, Harry made note of the burns on the wood. It seemed the spear might not throw fire around, but the heat was significant enough to help its ability to pierce a target.

"Interesting…" Harry quickly spoke his thoughts to the Dicta-Quill so the instrument would write it all down.

Harry reset his position in front of the wooden dummy, then stabbed forward again. The result was the same, over and over again, the spearhead would pierce the wood, burn it, and then Harry would remove it. Next, he cocked back the spear and swung it in a wide arc, looking to slice the dummy along the torso. The hot blade slashed through, sending chips of smoking wood off from the target. Harry quickly had the note added to the notebook about the slashing capabilities of the spearhead. He made a few more slashes with the spear, right to left and left to right, and noticed the same result each time. "Alright then, let's try another user." He turned to look at Fleur and Luna. "Luna, Fleur, could you come over here?"

The two girls moved closer until they were standing next to Harry. Luna looked curious, but Fleur had a calculating look in her eyes. She was probably already puzzling out why he'd called them over. Harry smiled as he handed the spear to Luna.

"What do you want me to do with this, Harry?" Luna questioned as she held the spear.

"Well, I need to see if this spearhead works with others the same way it does with me. You have less total mana and I want to see how you feel when you try to use it." His eyes met Fleur's next. "Fleur has a very strong affinity towards fire because she's a Veela, so once you give me your feedback, then I'm going to see how the spearhead reacts to Fleur's magic."

"Okay." Luna smiled as she got a feel for the weight of the weapon.

Harry and Fleur watched the Third Year line up the spear first, and then her face took on a more focused look. For several moments she kept the look on her face and Harry watched her while glancing at the spearhead. After almost a minute, the Dragon Steel began to glow red from the heat and Luna stabbed the spear into the wooden dummy. The blade passed into the wood, burnt it, and Luna withdrew it a second later. The new hole smoked for a short time before it cooled off.

"That was like trying to cast a really powerful spell." Luna informed Harry as she set the butt of the spear on the ground. "I don't think I could use this more than a couple of times." She shook her head, sending her blonde locks swaying from the motion.

"I figured," Harry sighed as he took the spear back. "For some reason it's a much greater mana cost to use than the other items I've made." He smiled as Fleur accepted the weapon and held it carefully as she looked it over.

"One moment," Fleur requested as she began to pour her mana into the spearhead. The Veela felt as her mana was accepted into the weapon and noted the amount it was taking and the effort she had to use to 'push' it along. "Hmm, it accepts my mana easily enough, but it still takes more willpower to get it to move through the spearhead." She relayed her experience to Harry. The Artificer quickly added her findings to the notebook. "Let's try this…" Fleur poured far more of her mana into the spear and the red glow became orange, and then yellow.

"Hot enough that I'd worry about the Dragon Steel being compromised, yet still no flames." Harry noted as Fleur withdrew her mana and the spearhead began to cool down slowly. "How interesting…" He made sure to write down his observations.

"Should I try it again, Harry?" Fleur questioned as she held the spear at the ready while motioning to the wooden dummy.

"I'd actually like to compare the normal penetrative power versus your more intense heat version." Harry stomped his foot on the ground and a pillar of soil rose up. A quick transfiguration and the dirt became stone.

"Very well," Fleur pushed her mana back into the spearhead. The metal heated up again, going through the red, orange and finally into the yellow spectrum as the Dragon Steel was pushed to near its limit. "Ha!" She thrust the spear forward and the stone parted around the super-heated blade. Fleur pulled it back and Harry noted that the stone had stopped the spearhead about two-thirds of the way up the blade.

"Better than I was expecting," Harry examined the hole in the stone and took a few notes. "Try tossing it at the wall over there." He pointed to the closest wall, about six meters from them. "I'm curious as to how long it can maintain its temperature once cut off from a source of external mana."

Fleur changed her grip on the spear, filled it with her mana to get the heat just as high as it had been before, and then threw it to the best of her ability. The yellow-hot blade traveled through the air and sank into the stone wall. The wooden haft of the spear shook slightly as the weapon stopped. Harry was quick to walk over to inspect the results. Luna and Fleur followed after him to see what had become of the spearhead.

"Much deeper this time," Harry noticed as he saw how deeply the spear was lodged into the ancient wall of the castle courtyard. "The extra strength of the throw helped, but it looks like the haft has been burned this time." He mentioned the blackening of the wood. Putting his notebook away for now, he took hold of the spear and attempted to remove it from the wall.

Attempted.

"Come on…" Harry pulled harder on the haft. "A little stuck." He dug his heels into the ground and pulled harder.

"Would you like some help, Harry?" Luna offered her friend with a smile.

"It's really not budging." Harry placed both feet against the wall as he pulled against the spear.

"Careful, mon amour." Fleur cautioned only for a cracking sound to be heard and Harry fell to the ground with the haft in hand. "For that…" She sighed as Harry rubbed his back while getting back to his feet.

"I think you're missing something." Luna pointed to the end of the spear. Harry and Fleur both noticed that the spearhead was broken off from the haft.

"Ah…bloody hell." Harry grimaced at the state of the spear. The spearhead itself was the only inherently magical part, but he'd taken the time to carve out the haft himself.

"Can you retrieve the spearhead?" Fleur looked at the wall unsurely. She didn't believe that Harry could get back his creation.

"…I might need to excavate this part of the wall." Harry suggested with his hand on his chin.

"Wouldn't that be against the rules?" Luna asked curiously. "I don't think Hermione would like that very much."

"Luna, would you like some pudding?" Harry smiled at the petite girl.

"Yes." Luna nodded at the question. She enjoyed pudding both as a dessert and occasionally for a snack.

"Fleur, would you like to have pudding with Luna?" Harry looked at his lover with a teasing grin.

"Yes, yes," Fleur giggled as she took Luna's hand and the two blondes began to walk back towards the castle proper. "We'll be in the Great Hall, don't get caught with your rule breaking."

"Yes, dear…" Harry drawled with a playful roll of his eyes. He felt a ball of mana pop against the back of his head a second later and chuckled at Fleur's retaliation. "Now…how to take out this section and get my spearhead back?" He looked thoughtfully at the stone wall.

-Flint Manor-

"Lucius…" Voldemort hissed at the pale-blonde man. "How good of you to finally join me."

"M-My Lord," Lucius kneeled before his old Master. "I am beside myself with joy at your return! AAAAARRRRGHHH!" He fell to the floor screaming and thrashing in pain. The feeling of white-hot knives trailing along every inch of his skin made thinking impossible as he suffered under the Cruciatus Curse.

"Spare me your platitudes and lies, Lucius." Voldemort raised his wand and ended the Torture Curse. "You knew I had returned. You knew the instant that Death Eaters appeared at the World Cup." The angry hiss in the Dark Lord's voice spoke of his deep displeasure. "Yet you hid. You did nothing to rejoin your Master's side."

"M-My…L-Lord…please…" Lucius panted as his body spasmed in agony.

"Silence!" Voldemort used his very will and intent to throw the downed Lucius across the floor. The man lay still and tried not to whimper from the pain. "For a decade I held onto life. Barely corporeal, every moment feeling like I was slipping away. My followers abandoned me! Only when I found a desperate man, willing to aid me did I begin my return. And yet, when I finally return to my homeland, even after I make my presence known once more, what do you all do?"

"P-Ple-Please…" Lucius tried to beg.

"You ignore me!" Voldemort thundered and all of the Death Eaters present flinched at his rage. "You betray your oaths to me! You act as if you have no loyalty to me. Did you all not swear yourselves to me and my cause?!"

"I…will do…anything…My Lord." Lucius offered as he prostrated himself before the Dark Lord.

"You're lucky that you still have the Minister's ear, Lucius." Voldemort's threat was still clear as he rolled his wand between his fingers. "See to it that the fool doesn't make things easy for the DMLE to try and counter me before I rebuild our forces."

"Yes, My Lord." Lucius didn't move from his prostrated position. "It will be done."

"Leave my sight, Lucius." Voldemort glared with hateful red-eyes as the Head of the Malfoy Family limped and stumbled out of the room.

Voldemort stood from his chair and with a single motion was left alone as all of the gathered Death Eaters hurried away. The Dark Lord headed for the study he'd taken over to continue his work. Nothing would stand in his way. Not Fate, nor any Prophecy, and certainly no mere boy! He'd not liked seeing Harry Potter become like his most respected of ancestors. An Artificer of the boy's skill and talent had not been seen in Magical Britain in centuries. It made him an obstacle that Voldemort would need to do away with regardless.

'Soon enough, Harry Potter.' The Dark Lord promised in his mind as he looked at the tome on the desk. Borgin had come through, on pain of death, but he'd acquired what Voldemort sought. He ran his hand over the gnarled cover with a twisted glee. This was a tome of truly powerful Magic. The kind of ancient and dark Magic that would see the world crushed under his foot.

Commutationibus cum Tenebris

-Hogwarts ~ Saturday, March 18th-

"Hmm, Penny doesn't have any ideas for the mirrors either." Harry sighed at the ongoing mystery.

"You'll enjoy Tonks' suggestion." Fleur laughed as she handed over the letter from the Metamorph.

Harry read over what Tonks had sent him. He got to the part where she offered her suggestion for figuring out the mirrors and bit back a snort. The fun-loving Auror had suggested smashing them if they weren't so valuable. In Tonks' opinion, anything that caused this much annoyance deserved to be smashed. He shook his head at the letter and smiled warmly at the loving words that came after the suggestion.

"It's too bad I can't just smash them," Harry exhaled heavily. "Maybe the pieces would still work and we could all just have a fragment?"

"Would they actually still work if you broke them?" Fleur cocked a delicate eyebrow. "Breaking the item usually renders the Charms on it inoperable too."

"That's the problem; I can't undo the Charms without knowing why they work together." Harry looked contemplative with his cheek resting on his palm. "It would be so much easier if I could just cut both of them in half and give one quarter to each of you. At the very least we'd all be able to stay in contact then."

"True…what's got you thinking?" Fleur switched her train of thought quickly when she saw Harry's eyes widen and a gleam begin to shine in them.

"I'm not sure, but if it's possible." Harry stood up and began to pace. "It would be ridiculous…but not impossible. If it was the same though…" He mumbled to himself for a bit and Fleur watched on confused.

"Harry, would you like to share your thoughts?" Fleur asked her lover with a tilt of her head.

"I need to ask Remus something," Harry headed for the door to the hidden workshop. "It might be the reason the mirrors work!"

"What?" Fleur jumped out of her seat and followed after him quickly. "What in the world did you just think of?"

"Connection!" Harry laughed as he made his way down a flight of stairs.

"That doesn't really answer my question!" Fleur called out exasperatedly to him while trying to keep up.

Remus Lupin, the first Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor to last more than a year in over forty years at Hogwarts, was enjoying a quiet Saturday in his quarters. He had some good coffee, his grading was done for the week, and he had gotten in a new book to read earlier in the week. It was shaping up to be a very relaxing weekend.

BAM

"REMUS!" Harry yelled as he slammed the classroom door into the wall.

"Ha...shouldn't have jinxed it." Remus shook his head as he stood up from his chair and headed for the door to his quarters. As soon as he opened the door he was nearly run over by his surrogate nephew. "Harry?!"

"Remus!" Harry's eyes were practically shining as he held onto the front of the werewolf's robes. "The mirrors! Where did you get them?! Did they come from the same shop? Did they come together as a set?!"

"What are you talking about, Harry?" Remus placed his hands onto the teen's shoulders to try and calm him down.

"The Communication Mirrors," Harry spoke after a deep breath. "Where did you get the pair that worked?"

"They were just a pair of travel mirrors that James picked up from Diagon Alley one summer, why?" Remus asked after a moment to actually remember where the Marauders had gotten the two mirrors.

"They came as a set?" Harry questioned with his green-eyes looking almost manic. "You're sure?"

"Yes, as far as I'm aware." Remus nodded to the question.

"That might be why they work and all the others didn't!" Harry informed the man with a wild grin. "They may not be just a pair! They might've been made from the same piece of glass! They might be two parts of a whole!"

"Connection!" Fleur gasped, now understanding what Harry was getting at.

"Miss Delacour, when did you get here?" Remus blinked only now noticing the Veela teen standing at the doorway.

"I can make glass…" Harry mumbled to himself as Fleur and Remus greeted each other properly. "I'd have to look up the process of making a mirror, but that shouldn't be too complicated. If this works it'll revolutionize communication across the Magical World!"

"Harry?" Remus still looked slightly lost but he was catching up quickly.

"Mon amour, are you about to change the Magical World again?" Fleur gave a faux huff of exasperation with her lover.

"It's what I do, apparently!" Harry laughed as he pulled her into a hug.

"Just thinking about how much a single pair could be sold for boggles the mind." Remus mentioned as he too was looking thoughtful now. "It's a secure, private line from one mirror to its twin. No possibility of the Ministry listening in like the Floo and no Floo Powder to keep buying."

"If I make them though…" Harry had a grin on his face. "I could tie them all to a central hub with the right Runic Sequences. I could do what the Muggle phone companies do and charge monthly." He remembered from his childhood the few times that Vernon had been annoyed by the cost of a long distance call that he'd had to make for his work. "If they don't pay their bill, we just disconnect the mirror from the hub and it doesn't contact anyone anymore."

"Mon amour…" Fleur wrapped her arms around Harry's shoulders from behind and kissed his cheek. "I do believe that you're about to start the first new business empire the Magical World has seen in a long time." She pressed her body flush against his back.

"I'll need the money to rebuild the Potter Family finances and spoil the three of you rotten, right?" Harry teased his lover as he turned in her arms to face her and captured her lips.

"I would not be opposed to that." Fleur giggled as their lips separated.

"You both remember that I'm in the room, right?" Remus spoke up as he saw the looks the two teens were giving each other. "And that these are my private quarters, yes?"

"We'll just be going then!" Harry laughed as he took Fleur's hand and they headed out the door. "I'll let you know how the tests go, Remus! I'll make sure you get a lucrative cut too!"

"I don't need…" Remus trailed off as the classroom door closed behind the pair. "Horny teenagers." The werewolf shook his head. Harry was an interesting mix of James and Sirius with his girlfriends. But he'd rather not dwell on that. He'd put this excitement from his mind for a bit and just go enjoy his book and coffee.

-End Chapter-

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Oh my word…did Harry just figure out private phone lines for Witches and Wizards?

Welcome to Mirror Communications, would you like to pay your bill?

*Cackles*

The first prototype spear has some issues…but Harry should be able to work those out before his trip to Japan in the summer, hopefully.

Tonks will probably be ever so pleased with herself when she finds out she sparked the idea that figured out the mirrors!

Voldemort has his hands on a very bad tome of Magic now too.

What will the Dark Lord do with such Magics? Nothing good, that's for sure!

What else will change as we head for the end of Fourth Year?

Keep reading to find out!

Current Mana Levels

Harry – 19,384

Tonks – 14,562

Penelope – 12,546

Fleur – 13,528

Until I get your reviews, later!