AN: This story is mostly inspired from "Commander Potter of the Starship Ascension" by C.W. Smith, and "Gods Among Us" by arturus.
The weather was clear on this afternoon of July 2000, over the British Isles. In an ovale room, several people were getting ready for an important event. The room had 9 seats, 1 in the center, the other 8 arrayed around him. All but one were currently occupied. The people on the seats were checking the various consoles in front of them. Aside from their individual monitors, there were 3 wall sized screens at the front of of the room. They were clearly projecting the view of what laid beyond the walls of the place they were in. This room was the bridge of a ship. A spaceship.
Sitting in the captain chair was Harry Potter. He, like everyone around him, was wearing a type of clothing that was halfway between a protective suit and a uniform. The top was white in the middle of the front, and dark blue on the sides and the back. The bottom was black with dark blue lines. He looked at his officers with pride, some of them with no small amount of affection. He couldn't help but look back to how things turned out this way.
Due to how he was treated by the Dursleys (a freak), Harry longed for a place to belong away from them. He developped an interest in sci-fi and space travel, dreaming of finding this place among the stars, possibly with some friendly aliens. Discovering the magical world, a place he could belong to, didn't put an end to his dream of space travel. It strenghtened it, because if there was a magical world hidden nearby, there could really be aliens not too far. He was certain that there would be magics he could use to one day reach that goal.
After his first year at Hogwart, he started to study alchemy, the art of permanent transmutation. In third year, he started studying enchanting and warding, as well as mind magic defense. In 4th year, he was forced to focus on defense, and study first aid as well. And it continued through 5th year. All these years, he continued to study sciences, focusing on the fields of material and aerospace engineering, and later adding biomedical engineering. His 6th year was the last he spent at Hogwart. All the extra studying he did during the previous years allowed him to take his NEWTs a year earlier. From then on, he focused entirely on the war.
With the war over, Harry was able to focus on his long time project once again. He created the company HexTech in the muggle world. The company specialised in material engineering, researching and producing high grade materials. The company made use of enchanting and alchemy at the core of both research and production. A second branch of the company was specialised in improving known tech with the newly developped materials, in both mechanical and biomedical engineering. A third branch worked on developping theoretical technology with the advanced materials.
While most of the employes in HexTech were muggles and magic was hidden from them, the people at the heart of the production section were magicals: muggleborns, half-bloods, a few squibs and werewolves. Among them were some of his former classmates: Hermione Granger, Terry Boot, Justin Flinch-Flechey, Anthony Goldstein. There were also a few skilled muggle scientists made aware of magic, working closely with the development and production teams.
Harry used the results of the different research branches from HexTech, as well as his own knowledge of technology and magic, to further his own project. The creation of a proper starship for space exploration. And there it was.
A 150m long, 50m wide, 30m tall frigate-class spacecraft. The hull plating was made of griffinium, a new material Harry created through alchemy. It was based on silicon carbide, boron nitride, iridium and nihonium. Dense enough to block all kinds of radiations, very tough and resistant to extrem temperatures, very strong thermal and electric insulator. The frame was made with another alchemy-made material, duramine. It was based on titanium, silicon carbide, and trinium. Light, tough, and resistant to extrem temperatures. It gave the ship incredible durability at a reasonable mass.
And that as without any enchantments added to it. Harry worked from the principle that, if, in the magical world, there were such things as magic disruption, magic resistance and magic dampening, then it would make sense that, somewhere in space, there could be things with the same effects. If he made a spaceship that relied entirely on magic to function, it would be easily destroyed if it came across one of those things. Thus the alchemy-created materials. Unlike transfiguration, enchanting and warding, they wouldn't fail if the supply of magic was disrupted or cut, because they didn't rely on magic to maintain themselves. That didn't stop him from adding enchantments and wards.
"Alright" he said. "Last check. Is everyone ready?"
"Helm is ready sir" replied Katie Bell from the pilot chair, in front of him.
"Navigation is ready sir" said Pavarti Patil, next to her.
"Communication is ready" said Lavender Brown to the side, slightly behind Pavarti.
"Defense is ready" said Dean Thomas, on the other side from Lavender.
"Engineering is ready sir" said Wayne Hopkins, next to Dean and on Harry's left.
"Environment is ready" said Susan Bones, on his right and next to Lavender
"Security is ready" said Amelia Banks, next to Susan and slightly behind him.
Each of them were in comfortable seats, slightly inclined toward the back. It wasn't a military ship, and the comfort would reduce the stress during and after work periods. The seats were also quite robusts. Their stations consisted of a big high definition digital flat screen monitor, several minor analog monitors, a panel for specialised butons, a touchscreen pad, and a keyboard and mousse. Except for helm position. That station had 1 big panoramic monitor and 2 small ones. The basic control were similar to that of an airplane, with a control wheel and pedals, but there were additional buttons on the control wheel for the more complex space manoeuvres. There were 2 panels next to the arm rests, one full of butons for engines control, the other a touchscreen for flight assistance systems.
"Crew reporting ready" announced Lavender. "Ground Control, the Marauder is ready."
"Understood Marauder" replied Hermione Granger. "Opening the gates."
The Marauder was built on the Potter ancestral property. The Potter manor had been destroyed during the first war against Voldemort, taking Harry's grandparents at the same time. He had the house rebuilt into a villa, combining 18th century and modern architecture. One of the building was an engineering workshop, with a hidden passage that led to his secret underground lab. He had expanded said lab to build his shipyard. Above it, a massive gate was opening while folding itself to the side, letting the setting sun light into the massive hangar, alongside some dirt, grass and pebbles. Within a minute, the gate was completly opened.
"The gates are open Marauder" Hermione said. "The air space is free. You are cleared for take off."
"Understood" replied Lavender, then she adressed Harry. "All clear captain."
A sense of anticipation and excitment spread throught the room. Harry looked at everyone in the room, then his eyes stopped on Katie. She was looking at him with eagerness in her eyes.
"Miss Bell, launch!"
"Aye captain" she replied with barely restrained glee. She pressed a few boutons on her console and pushed a lever forward."Marauder, launching!"
Outside the ship, 4 minor ring-shaped engines on the sides, and 2 massive ones underneath lit up; 3 near the front, the others near the rear. These were the flight engines of the ship, for atmospheric flight. The minor engines were for manoeuvering, while the big ones underneath were to lift the ship. The whole ship trembled, but within it, only a slight vibration was perceived. The spaceship slowly lifted of the ground, its engines creating powerful air currents within the confined place. Thankfully, all extra equipment had been properly stored or secured beforehand.
"We're out of the docking bay" Pavarti said. "We will reach the boundary of the wards in 10 seconds."
"Dean" Harry said.
"Activating the cloaking system."
Outside, the still rising spaceship disappeared from view. Mostly. A good observer would notice some shimmering. Around the engines, the shimmering was more noticable, but it wouldn't be a problem. With the light effects of the setting sun, it wouldn't attract enough attention. The cloaking system used a combination of magic and technology. Technological sensors captured the electromagnetic and thermal data from one side. A magical emitter would display that data on the other side, while a containment ward would keep the emissions from the spacecraft contained. The contained radiations were channeled into capacitors for either emergency use or to be dumped in space at a later time.
The ship passed through the boundary wards of the property, and started to gain speed. Under Katie's graceful control, the 4 minor flight engines directed their thrust toward the rear, and starship sped toward the upper atmosphere on a curved trajectory. Thanks to the various enchantments, the Marauder didn't need to accelerate to escape velocity to reach space. Since it didn't need high speed, it didn't leave any noticable suspicious atmospheric turbulences behind, improving stealth.
Within Harry's secret lab, in an observation chamber that was transformed into a Ground Control room, Hermione observed the departing Marauder through several wall mounted monitors. To her sides were her former classmate Terry Boot, and a muggle engineer Harry had recruited through HexTech, Peter Grodin. The 3 of them had assisted Harry in the initial conception of the Marauder. Not many people beyond them and the crew of the Marauder knew of Harry's space exploration dream, and even fewer knew about that particular project. With them were a few guests: Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Luna Lovegood. Another observator was Hedwig, there to see her human set of. It had been an incredible argument when Harry announced he wouldn't take her with him. He had to make several promises to placate her.
Remus was the last remaining marauder, and Harry's surrogate uncle. After the war, he had started to work with Harry on his new business. Since some of what Harry learned with HexTech could be used in the magical world, he made the magical business Mythril Production, making and selling new/improved potions based products and enchanted items. Mostly defensive, medical and utility items. For Mythril Productions, he mostly hired muggleborns, half-bloods and werewolves, but there were still some purebloods. Among them were also former classmates like Tracey Davis, Sally-Anne Perks and Ernie McMillan.
Nymphadora had started from being just Sirius relative during the summer before his 5th year, to being his surrogate elder sister. Sirius death was one of the big events that brough them closer to each other. She still worked as an auror for the british ministry of magic. Luna on the other hand, had become Harry's surrogate little sister. Ever since meeting her in his 5th year, he had quickly grown fond of her. She had become a magi-biologist and veterinarian. Harry just couldn't leave on an experimental trip away from Earth without telling them. And for them, seeing him leave gave them mixed feelings of pride, excitement, and worry.
The first 20 minutes of flight passed without anything of note, but that came to an end. Until then, they had moved at a constant speed, bellow 1000km/h. They had now reached the limits of the stratosphere, and air pressure and disturbances wouldn't be a problem for stealth anymore. They started to continuously accelerate, crossing the mesosphere in a short amount of time.
"Marauder, you have reached the altitude of 150km, and are entering satellites orbiting space" said Peter. "While your flight path doesn't cross with any satellites, be careful. We might have missed a few hidden military ones."
Harry was satisfied to see that the containment ward wasn't strained. He had tested his first starcraft in late Autumn 1998. It was a simple shuttle, which he named Hedwig. His owl was proud to have a creation of her human named after her. The shuttle was made with a heavy use of enchanting and warding. And it almost cost him his life. It was discovered that, as one moved away from the planet, magic became harder to use, and demanded more power to sustain. On top of the declining magic, he had to deal with the threat of space debris. Both life support and concealing charms almost failed, and he had to make a hasty trip back. It led him to developp the special wardstone that provided the Marauder with the necessary magic for its enchantments and wards, as well as the radar system to detect and avoid space objects.
"Understood" replied Lavender.
At the defense station, Dean was also responsible for monitoring the radar system. The radar system was using passive sensors because the containment ward of the stealth system prevented the use of active sensors. If anything came up, he would send the relevant informations to Katie and Pavarti. The first to move away, the second to recalculate the flight path. After all, traveling in the satellite orbital zone wasn't done in a straight line, with more than 600 objects moving at differents altitudes, speed and trajectories. Despite that restriction, the detection abilities of the Marauder were excellent. Anything that could be a problem would be detected with at least 20 seconds to spare for evasive manoeuvrre. The trip continued without incident until they reached an altitude of 1300km.
"The gravity is down to 0.7g and decreasing" announced Susan. "Engaging artificial gravity."
Since Harry was wary of magic disrupting or cancelling elements, he took inspiration from Star Trek to generate artificial gravity. Again, he created a new material using alchemy. The zero-gravity element, or zegrav. It was a material that generated a localized unidirectional gravity field when exposed to an electric current. The intensity of the gravitational pull was dependant on the amount of energy fed to the material, the amount of material and the area of effect. It was also hard to produce, so except for certain areas of the ship, the artificial gravity system could only generate up to 0.75g. Any more would strain the system. Susan continually adjusted it to match the decreasing Earth gravity and keep a total of 0.75g onboard.
Less than 2 minutes later, they had left the Low Earth Orbit and entered Medium Earth Orbit. Their speed was now above 8km/s and still accelerating. They crossed the 34000km that made the MEO, and reached the Geosynchronous Earth Orbit. There, the Marauder stopped ascending and got into an stable orbit of its own, where it would stay for the following 30 minutes. All according to the flight plan. There was no way Harry Potter would reach this point, and just observe the Earth through a monitor. He activated the ship-wide speakers.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have reached geosynchronous altitude. You can now unbuckle your seatbelts, go to the observation bay, and enjoy the view!"
AN1: After watching the expanse, I can no longer imagine intrasystem space travel without G acceleration, constant acceleration, high G manoeuvres, and days to weeks of travel between planets without FTL. Neither Stargate nor BSG featured much intra system travel, so I could ignore all that, but I just can't. There is also the influence from The Lost Fleet from Jack Campbell.
AN2: Amelia Banks and Peter Grodin are characters from Stargate Atlantis. HP obviously derail canon SG1 and prevent canon SGA. Of course, as a fanfic, some other elements from the stargate universe have been modified (but not much), you'll find out later.
AN3: If you haven't noticed, it's Nymphadora Tonks, not Nymphadora Lupin. They aren't together. I dislike the canon pairings (I'm fine with FD-BW), I hate NT-RL.
AN4: "Commander Potter of the Starship Ascension" and "Gods Among Us" had elements in them that I didn't like (I did like the stories). If you didn't read them, the following rant contain spoilers (especially for Gods Among Us), so skip it except the last paragraph, it's spoiler-free.
For the former, I didn't like that Harry left on an experimental ship alone, without even robots/golems to support him in case of troubles (imagine if he had needed medical treatment). I didn't like that he left Teddy alone (him, the orphan that longed for family, left his orphan godson behind before he even entered Hogwart, basically using him as a back-up for his research). Also, "I made an exploration spaceship, but nobody is interested in making researchs in space or exploring space with me". After he landed in the 12 colonies, I didn't like how thoughtless he was when he decided to meet the locals (just get out and show myself to them without even knowing what they actually looked like). I didn't like how he told his life story to strangers. I didn't like how lax he was with security (and he has known the danger of spies/infiltrators/bullies/racists each year at Hogwart, plus the war). Heck, his entire crew consisted of newly met foreigners, and was unneccessary (aside from the fighter pilots). That Harry was naive/delusional instead of having been grounded by the harsh life experiences. Then, Harry became another Gaius with a female talking to him in his mind. Finally, I hate that he made a magic generator*, and that they created a matter replicator, without using alchemy.
For the later, I didn't like Harry brute forcing everything with magic power alone (I HATE permanent transfiguration through simple brute power, that's what Alchemy is for), his combat skills mostly unused. There was little in the way of enchanting/warding (the kind of thing Hermione would need to know to work as curse-breaker, and Harry should know some warding through auror training, or even from their time on the run). At least Hermione had some medic skills as something more than basic Hogwart education, Harry barely used anything else. Why a furling spaceship on Earth, working for humans, instead of, I don't know, an old alterran spacecraft from before they were forced to leave Earth? And Harry's apparition energy* making the FTL drive of a millions years old power-depleted ship function? Random intergalactic travel through bullshit Harry brute power? Why need Harry and Hermione to activate ancient technology**? The people from the 12 colonies were as much descendants of the ancients as the people from earth. One of the biggest offender was having 8 charged zero-point module in an outpost... Finally, I'm just sick of Harry-Hermione pairings.
*Wizarding magic has a chaotic/mystical/mysterious/unknowable side. I believe that making magic 'zero-point energy' destroy the nature of wizarding magic, and makes it 'not-magic'. It also makes the use of it by the old and advanced civilisation that is the Ancients, extremely limited. Very few applications beyond energy source, and they had more than 500 000 years working with it (as opposed to the barely 10 000 years the earthlings had). **It's worse when witches and wizards are made to have magic because they are descendants of the ancients; it doesn't explain other magical beings, beasts and plants. I could never completly enjoy stories with this feature.