A/N: Another week, another chapter.
It might be easier to simply chuck Geomann in a holding cell. Once again, they needed his knowledge of the myths and legends of Old Britain, and once again Harry was left waiting for the man to come in.
"Must you insist on calling me away so frequently?" said Geomann as he entered the room. He had the same look of irritation often worn by Hermione after being interrupted. Quite what he'd been so busy with, Harry had no idea. Considering the lateness of the hour, he wasn't sure he wanted to know.
"Sorry for the interruption," said Harry though in truth he wasn't all that bothered. Whatever he was looking at had probably been buried for hundreds of years. It could no doubt stand to wait a few hours more. "We were able to get some information on a possible location for the Cauldron, but as this is all fairly time-sensitive, I decided to call you in again. I hope you understand?"
That took the wind out of his sails a bit, as Harry had hoped. It was certainly hard to argue with. "Well, I suppose that's…" He trailed off as the frustration bled out of his tone with every word. "Very well. What was it you discovered?"
"According to the MacBoons the Kings of the Old North allied together, and stole the Cauldron back, to hide it in a place they called the 'Lowland Hundred'," said Harry, as briefly as he could manage. "Does that ring any bells?"
"I'm sorry," said Geomann, holding up a hand. "Did you say 'according to the MacBoons'? You communicated with them?"
"We did," said Harry, not going into any detail. There were more important things to deal with. "But please, the 'Lowland Hundred'?"
For a few seconds, Geomann looked put out at being brushed off so quickly, but he did eventually answer. "Well, the kingdoms of the Old North, or the Hen Ogledd, were around northern England and southern Scotland," he said, looking thoughtful. "Rheged, Gododdin and Strathclyde are the most well known."
"And this 'Lowland Hundred'?"
"Hmm," said Geomann, nodding vaguely as he stared into space at something Harry could not see. "I would need to confirm it, but I think that is likely to be a translation of the legendary Cantef y Gwaelod."
That was scarcely more helpful than what he'd had before. "And that is?"
"Well, some have called it the Welsh Atlantis," said Geomann, though he looked almost insulted at the idea. "Preposterous, if you ask me, as everyone knows Atlantis is a myth. Cantref y Gwaelod, however, is completely real. I have seen Caer Wyddno myself!"
That did ring a bell. "Caer Wyddno… You said there was a dig there or something?" He was sure he remembered Geomann talking about it when Harry had met with him at the Museum after the attack.
"Indeed!" Geomann looked positively overjoyed that Harry had remembered. "Caer Wyddno was the capital of the Kingdom, which was on an island in Cardigan Bay. If Iolanthe is to be believed then it may have been as large as Anglesey!"
"Wait," said Harry, as he suddenly realised that he apparently did know about the island Geomann was talking about. "You mean the New Isle?"
That had been an interesting affair. Less than two months prior to the attack on the Museum, a small island had reared up out of the sea in the middle of Cardigan Bay. No-one was quite sure what had caused it. Some muggle fishermen nearby claimed to see 'fish men' locked in some kind of battle on the newly raised island, but they'd quickly been obliviated, and the island had been made unplottable. It had supposedly been a witch who had caused the island to sink by means of a well charmed to overflow, and it had been deemed too high-a risk if muggles had worked that particular detail out.
"Yes, well, when it was announced in the Prophet, we didn't know what we were looking at," said Geomann. He looked a little put out by Harry's mention of the name. "Now, we're sure we're looking at the lost Cantref."
"Well, that at least makes things a bit easier," said Harry, hopeful that maybe finding the Cauldron wasn't going to be as difficult as he'd feared before speaking to Geomann. "Thank you, Pavel."
"Of course," said Geomann, dipping his head in what he probably thought was magnanimity, but the effect was somewhat ruined when his glasses nearly fell off. "I'll tell Iolanthe and her team to expect you."
"Have you heard anything from them that might be related to the Cauldron?" Harry asked.
"I do not believe I have," said Geomann as he tapped his chin thoughtfully. "I am sure I would recall if something as important as that had been turned up."
That wasn't so helpful, but in the circumstances, Harry was simply grateful that the trail had not gone cold. He glanced at his clock, which readily informed him that he'd been at work for far too long already. He stood up, signalling to Geomann that their most recent meeting was done. "Well, thank you again for coming in," he said as he shook the man's hand. The handshake was surprisingly firm. "I'll let you get back to your job."
"Thank you, Mr. Potter," said Geomann before he walked over to the door and pulled it open. He paused a moment on the threshold. "Forgive me for asking, but was there any sign of Miss Greengrass?"
"There was a lot of destruction on the island," said Harry, intentionally leaving out the blood they'd discovered. They hadn't had much opportunity to look at it properly, but they'd given it and a memory of the village to the unspeakables. Hopefully they'd be able to deduce something of use from it. "My gut says Daphne's still out there, though. I don't think the quintapeds got her."
Geomann's shoulders dropped, and he nodded slightly. "Thank you. I do hope you are right."
As Geomann left, Harry's eyes lingered on him for a moment before Padma replaced him in the doorway. She looked tired, but the intensity in her gaze told him that she was bearing important news.
"You're needed downstairs," she said without any preamble.
Harry groaned. "What is it now?"
"An emergency meeting of the ICW," said Padma, her voice utterly serious. "Shack's getting taken to the cleaners."
"What?" Harry nearly yelped as he jumped up from his chair. "On Level Ten?"
Padma just nodded, and Harry darted out of the room and towards the elevator.
The International Confederation of Wizards was ordinarily not something with which he concerned himself. He left all the political crap to either Shacklebolt or Robards, and was happy to do so. Not only were they infinitely better suited to it than he was, it also meant he could focus on actually making a difference, rather than constantly trying to placate a bunch of cowardly old duffers poking their noses into things they had no idea about.
With a quick tap of his wand, he overrode the charms on the elevator and, much to the disgust of the heavily be-warted lady already present, who may or may not have been a hag, sent it directly to Level Ten.
Since the 1600s, with a few brief periods of relative reasonableness, the ICW had been the premier method for witches and wizards, who were well known to be almost terminally nosy and gossip-prone, to snoop and offer comment on the goings-on of other countries.
With the two exceptions of magical Liechtenstein, which was really more of a historical curiosity in the modern era, and which consisted of just two slowly dwindling families, and Tasmania, every magical nation in the world had signed up. In the beginning, perhaps there had been a grander vision, but in the modern era it had only one purpose: Ensuring that the global wizarding community observed and abided by the Statute of Secrecy. Really, that had been the only piece of common ground the wizarding nations of the world had been able to find, and so that was the full extent of the ICW's purpose.
That meant that Harry had a very good idea of just what he was about to walk into.
The doors to the wizengamot chambers had been charmed shut, but once again his position as Head Auror meant that very few doors within the Ministry were ever truly shut to him. The Minister had the ability to charm their own office shut in such a way that Harry could not gain entry, and there were no doubt a few similar doors in the Department of Mysteries, but everything else was open to him.
He threw the doors open with as much dramatic flair as he could manage. A number of the witches and wizards inside jumped at the noise, and a few even tried to tell him off, but Harry simply ignored them, and strode into the centre of the room.
The grand wizengamot chambers, with its three layers of tiered seating, was more than half-filled by the hundred or so ICW representatives. He was surprised to see such a small number, but perhaps the short-notice nature of the meeting meant that many of the others were indisposed.
"My apologies," he said, not bothering to even try and look appropriately contrite. "It seems I missed my invitation to this emergency session."
"Potter!" said Robards, his eyes wide. He was almost certainly about to order him away again, or try to at least, when Minister Shacklebolt, who was standing next to him, silenced him with a meaningful cough.
It did not deter others, however.
"You did not miss it, boy!" said a grey-haired woman who wore flowing burgundy robes and the expression of one who had recently tried to swallow a particularly angry wasp. The Chancellor for the Brazilian Magical Commune, if Harry was not mistaken. "Your presence was not deemed necessary to the purpose of this meeting!"
"Is that so?" said Harry, one eyebrow raised. He met Shacklebolt's eyes, which flicked for the briefest of moments over in the direction of the American delegation. "Perhaps I jumped to conclusions then, and this is not about the events surrounding the muggle group known as the Justice League?"
"I don't see—"
Harry cut her off. "I thought so. Now, what seems to be the problem?"
There was a sound of uneasy shuffling from many of the representatives, as if they were small children who'd been caught out trying to get the biscuit tin down from the top of the cupboard. As Harry looked around again, he realised that the majority of those present were the representatives most in favour of more drastic action against the Justice League.
Shacklebolt had been evicted from his usual place, and in his seat at the end of the chambers, Babajide Akingbade, the Supreme Mugwump ever since Dumbledore's removal and subsequent death, sat. He was a tall man, resplendent in white robes, and with a huge ornate head-dress. "The matters concerning the ICW today regard events which occurred within the purview of MACUSA, not Wizarding Britain, and thus I do not see what your presence would bring to the proceedings."
Harry caught the eye of Carruthers who was standing beside the portly President Quahog. He was never the most sanguine of men, but as he gazed back, Harry could feel the heat of his anger. So that was their plan, cut Britain out of the response on some technicality?
"Well, I assume this is regarding the magical event which has placed the Justice League in some kind of stasis?" Harry asked, though he knew he wouldn't get a straight answer.
"The proceedings of the ICW are sensitive," said the Brazilian Chancellor. Apparently she felt buoyed by the support of the Supreme Mugwump. "They are not to be disclosed to parties to whom the events in question are of no concern."
"Ah, but you see that's where you're sadly misinformed," said Harry.
"That will be quite enough," said Akingbade. If he was hoping to be able to browbeat Harry into submission, he was surely in for an unpleasant surprise. "Much though you might wish to think otherwise, you are not Albus Dumbledore, and as such, Mr. Potter, I ask you to remove yourself from the room or I will demand it be done for you."
"You can ask all you like," said Harry unfazed. "Demand away. See how that goes." He looked over towards where two aurors were stationed by the doors. McDonald and Nestry. Both young and impressionable, but good aurors that Harry trusted. "You guys want to take a break for five minutes? Maybe grab a cup of tea? I'll keep an eye on things here."
"What?" Robards just about yelped. "McDonald, Nestry, you will remain at your posts!"
Despite that, the two aurors scurried for the exit, obviously grateful for the opportunity to get out of the way of a potential wrecking ball, Harry turned back towards the room, and fixed Robarts with a glare. "If you'd like to submit a claim concerning their failure to follow your orders, I will of course give it the attention it is due." Which was none, of course.
"Oh, just get on with it," growled Carruthers, his glare flicking from Harry to Robards, then Akingbade and back again. "It might be an alien concept to some of you people, but I actually have a job to do."
It took Akingbade a moment to compose himself, but when he did, he said to Carruthers: "Yes, hm. Well. What have you to say to the reports that the 'hero' known as Superman has gained magical capability? I do believe this assemblage was assured that this was an impossibility less than a year ago."
It had been the one thing that had eventually swayed the ICW away from simply moving to immediately lobotomise most of the members of the Justice League. The threat was too great, many had argued. What if they became aware of magic? What if a meta-human was able to actually gain magical abilities? If their actions leaked the existence of the magical world to the muggles, then witches and wizards the world over could all be in danger.
Of course, despite the casual disregard most witches and wizards typically had for non-magical types, the thought of systematically lobotomising an entire group of people was one with which few had been comfortable. It was only the fear of being uncovered or, worse, the fear that a single being like Superman could challenge the safety of their entire world, that had even made it an idea worthy of consideration in their minds.
It had been Carruthers, amazingly, who had led the counter-movement. Superman, he said, was not only as weak to magic as any muggle, but it was completely impossible that he, or any of his people, could develop magic like that used by witches and wizards. They were not a threat, the argument went. So long as separation remained complete, the problems they all feared would never manifest.
When Harry and Shacklebolt had weighed in on Carruthers' side, along with many of their closer allies, things had turned in their favour, and the Supreme Mugwump had deferred the voting date indefinitely rather than risk losing such an important resolution. Despite Harry's best-efforts, however, the issue had never truly gone away. Carruthers' solution was based on the idea of an American-style separation between the magical and the muggle, but much of the rest of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa, had much closer ties between the two worlds.
It hadn't been a problem for the first few months. Superman had been confined mostly to the continental United States, and the other heroes that had started cropping up had followed his lead. Then, however, things had started getting out of hand.
Starro was the first truly global meta-event, and it had certainly been an eye-opener, for more than one reason. Not only did it show the level of destruction that could occur when the new 'superheroes' met enemies who were more dangerous than the usual muggle criminal, but it also showed just how vulnerable the Statute of Secrecy was in the face of such attacks.
No witches or wizards had died, but during the climactic fight between the nascent Justice League and the gigantic, starfish-shaped alien, a muggleborn witch by the name of Mozell Dooley had decided to get involved. That fight had taken place in Hong Kong harbour, and was watched by thousands of cameras and billions of people.
Muggles had assumed Dooley was some other one-of-a-kind superhero, but it had sent the ICW into a tailspin.
"Superman hasn't gained any magical abilities," said Harry simply, hoping to cut their argument off at the knees before they could get started. "As such, I fail to see what is so urgent that this emergency session needed to be called with such a small proportion of the representatives able to make it."
"The reports are clear," said another wizard who might have been one of the Mongolian representatives. "Superman conducted some kind of ritual magic which resulted in the petrification of much of the rest of the so-called 'Justice League'. Do you dispute those reports?"
"I do." His gaze flickered to Robards who wore a stony expression that completely failed to conceal his involvement. Then, with a flick of his hand, Harry conjured an image of the urn which had caused so much trouble. "Whoever it was that made that report was sadly misinformed. This is the cause of the trouble. An ancient magical artefact has taken over Superman's mind."
"Even if what you say is true, we are still left with a being of Superman's capabilities, and who is now capable of performing magic," said the Brazilian representative sourly.
"Except he is still no more capable of magic than any other muggle," said Harry before turning to Director Carruthers. "I am sure you found that the actual magic was performed by a witch who was accompanying Superman?"
President Quahog was about to say something, but Carruthers got there first. "We did," he said firmly. "The muggle recordings found at the scene showed a witch, and one of the boys you sent over identified her as Daphne Greengrass."
"So there you have it," said Harry, as his gaze swept over the assembled witches and wizards. "We have a witch using unauthorized magic on muggles, and another muggle under the influence of a dark artefact. I do not see what is so urgent about this meeting. We are currently searching for Miss Greengrass, and really that is all that can be done."
"This Justice League still represents an unparalleled threat to our society!" said another voice from the crowd, but the lack of mumbled support that followed suggested that the politicians present saw that any excuse there might have been for the drastic action they wanted to take had evaporated with Harry's reveal.
"So did Albus Dumbledore," said Harry with a noncommittal shrug. "So do you. If all of you here decided to reveal us to the muggles, there would be nothing the rest of us could do. Not really. Does that mean I should arrest you all to make sure that can never happen?"
"You wouldn't dare!" said the Brazilian Chancellor. "We are—"
"Done here," said Harry. He was probably going to regret burning his bridges quite so completely, but he'd barely slept in the past three days, and was long past caring. "I think we can all see that this was just an unfortunate misunderstanding, and that it would be best if the respective law enforcement departments handled the issue. Do you not agree?"
"Enough," said Akingbade, cutting her off again. "Mr. Potter is correct, of course. This meeting was clearly premature, and precipitated by incomplete information." His glare flipped between Harry and Robards before he waved a hand and shimmered out of existence, the spells sustaining his image ended.
Soon, the other representatives did the same, and the room was left empty except for Harry, Shacklebolt and Robards.
"I see Miss Patil found you in good time," said Shacklebolt with a tired smile.
Except for a few extra worry-lines, the man was mostly unchanged by his years as Minister for Magic. One of the benefits of being bald, Harry supposed. No grey hairs to give him away.
"She did. What the hell happened there?" Harry turned his gaze towards Robards, knowing full well that there was really only one possibility for who it was that had caused the emergency session to be called.
Robards knew there was no hiding from it. "Perhaps if you felt the need to keep me properly inform—"
"Oh don't try and weasel your way out of this one, Gawain," said Harry, cutting the man who was, at least in theory, his boss off before he could finish. "You don't want to know what's going on, so I suggest you butt out, and let me do my job."
"Now see here," said Robards. "I was acting on ICW advice to report such events."
"Maybe it would be best if you took a bit of a holiday, Gawain," said Shacklebolt. The gentleness of his tone belied the order that rested just beneath the surface. "I know you've been working very hard of late. I'm sure Mr. Potter has it all under control."
Robards spun, and was about to object, until he saw the expression on Shacklebolt's face. It was obvious that Robards had gone over the Minister's head to call the ICW emergency session, and there was no way that Shacklebolt was going to take something like that sitting down. He threw up his hands and stormed out of the chamber, slamming the door behind him as he left.
As the last echoes faded away, Shacklebolt turned to Harry. "You do have it under control, don't you?"
Harry sighed. "Honestly? I don't know," he said tiredly. "We're currently chasing down millennia-old myths and legends in the hope that they'll lead us to Daphne, but I'm no bloody historian."
"What about Wonder Woman?" Shacklebolt asked as they walked towards the door together. "I was led to believe she had some knowledge in the area?"
"She's been helpful," Harry admitted. "I mean, Merlin, she actually talked to the MacBoons. That's the only reason we know where to look next. She claims to only have a limited knowledge of old British myths though."
"You talked to quintapeds?" said Shacklebolt. Only someone who knew him as long as Harry had would have been able to detect the incredulity in his tone. "What did they say?"
"Mostly, that they didn't want wizards on their island," said Harry drily.
"That much, I think we had already surmised."
"Hmm," Harry agreed. "Besides that they said the Cauldron we think Daph—" Harry paused and checked to make sure no-one was nearby-enough to overhear. "—Herpo was looking for was taken back to some sunken island off the coast of Wales."
"Ah, yes. I think I know the island you're talking about," said Shacklebolt as he rubbed the top of his head thoughtfully. "I've had more than one request to make it a special, magical-only colony, but no-one seemed all that excited to follow up on it once they saw the actual island. Are you any further forward on what Herpo's goal may be?"
"At this point, it looks like he's just doing whatever it takes to get a body of his own," said Harry, fighting a yawn that had been threatening to escape for some time. "We're basically stuck trying to beat him to the Cauldron at the moment. Hopefully Herpo's difficulty getting past the quintapeds means we can get out ahead of him. I'm gonna be heading to the island next."
"Perhaps you can leave that particular task to someone else?" said Shacklebolt. "I know how hands-on you are, but you can't be expected to do everything. I gave you command of the entire auror department so that you wouldn't have to, remember?"
"You haven't seen Superman," said Harry as he shook his head. "He's just… We've both read the briefs, but actually facing him is something else."
"So I heard," said Shacklebolt.
"Honestly, if the ICW really knew how powerful he was? There's no way they'd leave him be," said Harry. They might be generally cowardly when it came to putting their own necks on the line, but there came a point where fear was suddenly replaced by violence. Like cornered animals, they'd lash out with everything they had. "And where would that get us? In all likelihood, into a war with a man who could probably punch the moon to dust."
"They might succeed," said Shacklebolt evenly.
"Or they might not," Harry countered. "Really, the way I see it, we've got a couple of options. Either we leave him be, and come to terms with the possibility that his presence, and the presence of other people like him, might force us into the open, or we try and take him out, risking exactly the same possibility, only with the additional disadvantage of also being the bad guys."
"You think it's that bad?"
"Bad? No, not really," said Harry. "I don't think he's a threat, and you already know what I think about working to bring our worlds back together, but I worry about what might happen if we fight tooth and nail to keep our secrecy. The world is changing, Shack."
"That's what worries them," said Shacklebolt with a grimace. "It's what worries me too. It's a big risk."
"If we don't take the jump, then we risk being pushed," said Harry. He understood their worry, really he did. He'd be lying if he didn't share in it a bit, but lashing out blindly was unlikely to help anyone. "If that happens, and we're caught unawares, it could very easily go bad for us."
Shacklebolt nodded, but Harry knew his natural caution would win out. They'd been having some variation of the conversation for months, and he was still no nearer to getting the Minister to agree to anything other than preparatory planning for the worst-case scenario.
"I'll think about it again," said Shacklebolt, obviously opting to humour Harry once more. He stopped by the door to the chamber and fixed Harry with a serious expression. "You, however, should think about getting some rest. You'd be no use to anyone if you had to fight Superman again in this condition."
"There's too much to check out. I have to talk to the researchers, see if we can't get a location for the Cauldron," said Harry, shaking his head. "We also need to try and get a handle on Herpo's plans, and what his powers might be. Then I need to check in with Carruthers, see what they've got on the Justice League's situation, and whatever it is that Quahog's playing at." He knew he was tired, and he knew Shacklebolt was right that he needed a proper night's sleep if there was a possibility of ending up in another fight with Superman and Daphne, but there was too much that needed done.
"You have many competent aurors in your office," said Shacklebolt firmly. "If they cannot be trusted to ask some questions, what can they be trusted to do?"
"Sir, I'd really—"
"Go home. Sleep," said Shacklebolt, and his tone brooked no further argument. He glanced briefly at the silver and gold timepiece on his wrist that, similar to the clock in Harry's office, did far more than merely tell the time. "I'll let you back in no earlier than 6am. Understood?"
Harry knew when he was beaten, but if he was going down, he wanted one concession before he accepted defeat. "What about the Cauldron? If something comes up, I'll need to know."
There was a delay of a couple of seconds while Shacklebolt considered the minor compromise. "Very well. But only for something that involves the presence of Superman. Your aurors can handle Miss Greengrass."
Then, with a wave of his hand, Shacklebolt opened the doors, and stepped out, turning towards the private lift that ran between the Minister's Office on Level One, and the Wizengamot chambers. "Sleep well, Harry," he said before the doors closed and he was gone.
It didn't take long for Harry to get back to the office. "Padma!" he said the moment the lift doors opened.
It took only a few seconds for her to materialise, and Harry quickly realised she looked very nearly as tired as he felt. "Hey, how'd it go?" she asked.
"I got us a few days at least," said Harry as he shook his head. "And I got Robards to piss off too, so as long as we deal with this quickly everything should be okay. Only slight issue is that Shack told me to go and get some sleep."
"Probably for the best," she responded. "You look like shit. No offense."
"Yeah, yeah, can't have me scaring the newbies," said Harry wryly. "I'll be back at six sharp. See if you can't have someone rustle up an address for the lead researcher on that island. I think Geomann said it was someone called Iolanthe? Sorry I didn't think to get the full name."
"Will do," she said before she frowned as something occurred to her. "What about Diana?"
"Where is Diana?" Harry asked, looking around.
Padma, miraculously, looked a little awkward. "I think she may have claimed your office for a nap?"
It shouldn't have been so surprising. Until they knew where to go next there wasn't a great deal she could do, and if she was still on New York time from the day before she'd probably had as little sleep as him.
"Right," he said as he started in the direction of his office. "I'll tell her to take a break too. She can have one of the mirrors."
Just before he reached the door, a thought occurred to him, and he turned around. "Oh, and can you look into a spell to conjure or transfigure Kryptonite? We might need it if it comes to another fight."
Padma frowned, no doubt remembering the same briefs Harry had received. "I'm not sure there is one," she said. "Didn't they say it required a specific spell to be created as it would be an elemental transfiguration?"
"They did," Harry allowed as he shrugged, "but that was more than a month ago. Maybe they got somewhere on creating the spell."
"It's worth a try, I guess." Padma didn't look like she held out much hope. Knowing what the unspeakables could be like, Harry silently agreed with her. They seemed to actively prefer areas of investigation that were useless.
"Thanks, Padma," he said, dismissing her with a polite nod.
When he opened the door to his office he found that Padma had indeed been correct earlier. Diana had managed to curl herself up on one of Harry's chairs and, if her deep and regular breathing was anything to go by, was fast asleep. Her sword was propped up against Harry's desk, within easy reach for when she woke up. Harry contemplated his next action for a few moments. In the end he opted to walk up to his desk and tap it whilst saying, quietly, "Diana?"
Her eyes snapped open almost instantly, leaving Harry wondering how it was that he'd managed to open the door to the office without her noticing, with how much of a light sleeper she apparently was. There was a brief second of confusion as her eyes darted around the room and she tried to gain her bearings. After a moment, they settled on Harry and widened slightly before she quickly pushed herself upright. Harry counted himself as a morning person, but even he was impressed by how quickly Diana was able to achieve wakefulness.
"Is there some news?" she asked, and there was nothing in her voice to suggest that she'd been sleeping just a few seconds earlier.
Her hair was a bit of a mess, and that armour that she was still wearing looked incredibly uncomfortable for sleeping in, but Harry elected not to point either of those things out.
"Nothing new," he said as he gathered up a few things. Case notes, a portkey and one of the reference books he'd been using in his attempt to avoid getting hopelessly lost amid all the myths and legends Daphn— Herpo was digging up. "I'm going to head home, see if I can't get some rest. I haven't really slept for" —he glanced at his clock— "about 48 hours." He really couldn't count that nap on his desk the night before.
Diana's smile was a bit wan, and she said: "I find myself in the same situation. I am not unaccustomed to going without sleep, but I know the dangers it holds. I will need my reactions and mind at their very best if I am to face Kal again."
"Well, here," said Harry as he tossed a communications mirror over to her. "If you need to get in contact with me, just say my name." He tapped the mirror in her hands once with his wand. "Now I can do the same with you. If anything comes up, I can let you know."
"Thank you," said Diana, turning the mirror over in her hands as she inspected it closely.
Harry noted the complete lack of anything in which she could carry the mirror and opened up one of his desk drawers, before pulling out a little pouch. He tossed that over to her too.
"Here, it's a mokeskin pouch," he said, as she caught it easily. "It can hold much more than you'd expect, and should loop around your belt easy enough."
She did just that, tying it around her belt next to where her sword usually hung. She pulled the mouth of the bag open, and inserted the mirror into it. It disappeared with ease, despite the bag not being anywhere deep enough on the outside to hold something that large.
"If you want to get anything out of the bag, just say what you're looking for," said Harry. "Also, only the person who put the item in can ever remove it. So it should keep everything nice and safe."
"Mirror," said Diana, and a moment later she withdrew the mirror Harry had just given her. She looked up in surprise. "This is an impressive artefact."
"It's pretty useful," said Harry with a shrug, remembering just how true that had been during his year on the run. "Don't worry about it though, I have another."
"Nevertheless, I thank you," said Diana.
Harry just smiled and waved her thanks off. Mokeskin pouches weren't exactly an everyday item, but they were hardly irreplaceable. "Now, want me to walk you out? I assume you have somewhere you'll be staying?"
She paused then, looking thoughtful. "Actually, perhaps you can help me there," she said after a couple of seconds. "I could return to my apartments at the Hall of Justice, or to Paris, but that would mean I am a long way away should anything important happen. Do you know of anywhere within London where I could stay?"
He hadn't really thought of that, but he supposed she had a good point. After thinking about it, he also realised that she'd likely have some difficulty gaining access to many of the magical locations they may need to go. He could give her a portkey to the Ministry, but that would mean someone would have to hang around to pick her up when she did arrive, assuming she answered the mirror immediately.
"Well, I've got about a half-dozen spare bedrooms at my place," he said. He could give her the name of a hotel, but that didn't really solve all the issues. Much better if they were simply in the same place already. It was a perfectly logical suggestion, really. "If you want, you can borrow one of those for the evening? If you're worried about the Justice League, I can give you a portkey that can get you to the Hall of Justice in a few seconds."
A broad smile graced her features. "That would be perfect, I think," she said warmly. "That way, should anything happen, we can both react as quickly as possible."
"Great," said Harry, his smile mirroring her own. "In that case, there's no need to walk you out. We can just take the Floo. Let me just pick up a couple of things for some light reading and we'll get going."
"What is the Floo?"
Harry's smile changed into something which more closely resembled a grin. "You'll love it."
A/N: So, the Cantref Gwaelod is one of a number of different 'lost island kingdoms' dotted around the world, much like Atlantis. I like to imagine that it rose to the surface when it did in this story as a result of unseen events happening in Atlantis.
I want to thank everyone who has reviewed. It's really interesting and helpful to see where readers' minds go as they're progressing through the story. It's relatively easy to get things like spelling and grammar to a point where it's acceptable, but it is far more difficult to work out the details of character depiction and growth, as they tend to be much more spread out, with no single-point of failure to address. As a result, such things are hard to address in a drafted story, as they are often structural errors, but knowing about the bits that work or do not work is very helpful when it comes time to start drafting my next story.