Ch. 54 — Déjà Vu

Griphook stood and pointed a finger at the two newcomers. "You are wearing Glamours! Take them off, immediately!"

"No, they are not," Harry-Alt said quietly.

The new Harry and Hermione were staring at two from an alternate reality in shock, and exchanging glances with each other.

"Have them sign the paternity parchments, there is plenty of room on the backsides."

Two minutes later the three were flipping the parchments back and forth, and looking at Harry-Alt and Hermione-Alt in shock. There were only two key differences between the results. First, while Harry's listed the same parents and grandparents, he was listed as the Head of the Black Family, not Heir-secondary. Second, his age was given as seventeen.

Hermione's listed her last name as Granger, not Potter, and she was eighteen.

"This will take a while," Harry-Alt said. "But before we begin, Griphook, do I have permission to have Dobby check these two for listening, tracking, and alert charms?"

Harry and Hermione looked shocked at the thought.

They were even more shocked to discover that both had listening and tracking charms on themselves. And Harry had several alert charms.

With Griphook's permission, Dobby removed them all.

With that detail taken care of, Harry-Alt gestured at the meeting table. "We should make ourselves comfortable." He looked at the Goblin. "Griphook, you, too, and you will want to record this meeting for your superiors."

Scowling, the Goblin pulled a crystal out of the desk and sat at the end of the table. Harry and Hermione took one side and Harry-Alt and Hermione-Alt took the other, across from each other.

Harry-Alt took a deep breath. "As the paternity parchments proved, two of us," he gestured at Harry across from him, "are Harry James Potter, whose parents were Lilly and James Potter." He paused, "Similarly, they proved these two," he gestured at the Hermione-Alt beside him and the one across the table, "are Hermione Jane Granger, with this Hermione," he gestured at the girl sitting beside him, "now my wife, Hermione Jean Potter."

"First, I will state that we are not using a time-turner or similar device to come from your future." He glanced at Griphook. "Do you need me to swear an oath to that?"

Griphook studied him a moment. "My superiors might demand that in the future."

Harry nodded. "That's reasonable."

"Second, we come from an Alternate Reality that we think deviated from yours on October Twenty-third, in our Fifth Year at Hogwarts. That was a major event for us in our Reality, although we didn't realize it, at first. That night was our third meeting of the DA." He looked over at Harry. "Do you recall it?"

The other Harry shook his head.

"I had decided to skive off the late afternoon Astronomy lesson," Harry-Alt said, "and hit the Room, instead. I had some things I wanted to think over." He raised his eyebrows at Harry in question.

Harry frowned.

Both Hermione's were watching the Harry opposite their own, fascinated.

"I found Fred, George, and Lee there already. Only, they were outside the Room and Lee was walking back and forth." He paused.

The other Harry frowned harder.

"They had been experimenting with the room for the previous two weeks. They made an ice-rink, a room with reversed gravity, a water park, and several other things."

The other Harry was starting to slowly nod, but was still frowning.

"Anyway, Lee had been trying for a while to get the Room to make something special, and not having any luck."

Harry's frown went away. "I remember that!" he said triumphantly. "Lee gave up and told me to do what I wanted. I pulled up the Duelling Room."

Harry-Alt and Hermione-Alt nodded emphatically. "And that must be where we deviated!" Harry-Alt said, and smiled. "In our Reality, I had a big headache from my scar. It didn't have to be the DA room, I just wanted a space to think."

Harry was nodding, muttering, "Me, too."

"Anywhere would be fine, even what Lee was trying to do. I told the room to just give Lee what he wanted so I could use the Room. I also wanted to be far, far away, somewhere where my head didn't hurt so much."

He shook his head in wonder.

"What we got was an oval-shaped, recessed, metal wall with a shiny steel rim, without a trace of either a handle or a seam." He paused, and smirked at the other two. Hermione-Alt was grinning.

"It was a spaceship!"

Harry and Hermione's jaws dropped. Griphook looked puzzled.

"The twins insisted it was a fakeship." He shook his head.

"Needless to say, we used the ship for the DA simply because it was ace — and fun! All the muggles and nearly all the half-bloods wanted to do that. Everyone thought it was simply the Room making a realistic-looking ship that was huge, but we kept seeing things that didn't make sense. It took us a month to realize that it really was a spaceship.

"What proved it was real and not just something the Room had created for our convenience was that we created a radio-communicator on the ship. I took it out of the Room into Hogwarts, and it still worked!" He paused. "Anything created in the Room cannot be taken out, remember?"

The other two nodded.

"We still don't know what happened, but the ship appeared to have been abandoned many thousands of years ago and barely had power to keep the ship from freezing solid. It was also much bigger than Hogwarts." He shook his head. "And here's the best part, Hermione, it had a Star Trek-style Replicator!"

Hermione sat still for a second, then her eyes shot wide-open, and her jaw dropped.

Hermione-Alt was giggling, and nodding. "Yes, myself, anything you can imagine except magic."

Harry looked puzzled.

"Hermione will be happy to explain, later," Harry-Alt said consolingly to Harry.

"Alright," he continued, "we know where the separation came. Now it's your turn. Tell us what happened after that point in your Fifth-year."

Harry started with Harry, Fred, and George being banned from Quidditch at their first Quidditch game in November.

"That happened to me, too," Harry-Alt said.

Next came Arthur Weasley getting bit by the snake, and Harry sending a rescue party by telling Dumbledore, and Harry and the Weasleys being moved to Grimmauld Place, with Hermione showing up that weekend for the hols.

Harry-Alt had been sleeping on the Requirement every night, he explained, and missed seeing the snake bite Arthur. The wizard had found by someone in the Order of the Phoenix later that night/morning, barely alive. Then Harry-Alt asked, "Didn't you notice anything unusual in Grimmauld Place when you got there?"

Harry shook his head. "I'd been having severe headaches for months, and that didn't change in Grimmauld, so no."

Harry-Alt had nodded his understanding and said he would explain the question later.

Harry sighed. "My vision meant Dumbledore had Snape start teaching me occlumency when we got back to Hogwarts." He shook his head. "All it did was make the headaches worse . . . he just used the lessons as an excuse to torture me with mental attacks . . . I guess that didn't happen to you?"

Harry-Alt shook his head.

The rest of the second term was headaches, visions of a corridor in the Ministry, and Umbridge running roughshod over the professors. Then came his vision of Sirius being tortured, breaking into Umbridge's office, riding the thestrals to the Ministry, finding out it was a trap, and then fighting off the Death Eaters, Sirius falling through The Veil, Dumbledore and Riddle fighting in the Main Atrium of the Ministry and being seen by dozens of witnesses.

Harry-Alt recounted how the twins had developed spacesuits for them, Hermione had created the hoverboards, they had dealt with Umbridge and then started taking out Death Eaters during those months, instead.

Then came Dumbledore giving Harry the wording of the prophecy, and exile back to the Dursleys. Over that Summer, Amelia Bones and Emmeline Vance were killed, a muggle bridge was destroyed, and Dementors had been released into Britain and were attacking muggles.

Sixth-year went mostly the same for the two Harrys, except with more hostility from the Slytherins and Harry stalking Draco. Draco, Harry told them he now knew, had been fixing a Vanishing Cabinet in the RoR, then later hit him with sectumsempra and gotten detention from Snape for rest of year.

Then came the mission with Dumbledore to secure a horcrux, not that Harry said that. He just said it was something important to ending Riddle. It was a failure, and on returning to Hogwarts they had found that Draco had let in Death Eaters. Snape had killed Dumbledore.

Summer had been terrible for Harry. Professor Charity Burbage was kidnapped and murdered, Hedwig and Mad-eye Moody had died when Harry was taken from the Dursleys to the Weasleys — with Dumbledore dead, Grimmauld Place was too dangerous. Snape had probably revealed the secret to Riddle. The Muggle-Born Registration Commission was established by Umbridge and Snape became the new Headmaster.

The only bright spot had been Bill and Fleur's wedding, which the "new" Ministry invaded.

That was when Harry, Hermione, and Ron had gone on the hunt for those things that had allowed Riddle to return. They had first hidden at Grimmauld Place. Kreacher found that Dung has stolen Slytherin's Locket, and they had stolen it in turn from Umbridge.

Harry also revealed that Riddle had made his name a taboo. Speak his name, and it tells him where you are and leaves a hole through any protective spells that lets him send his Death Eaters straight to you.

Hermione-Alt sat up at that statement. "He sends his Death Eaters after anyone who says his You-Know-Who name?" she said excitedly.

The other Harry and Hermione nodded, puzzled at her excitement.

She grinned at Harry-Alt. She grabbed the collar of her robes and pulled up her helmet.

"One moment as we talk," Harry-Alt said, and pulled up his helmet, too.

The others looked startled at the helmets that now completely enclosed their heads.

"We can start right now cleaning up those Death Eaters!" she said excitedly. "The Drop Ships are currently just waiting for orders."

It had taken time to move the Marines from the Galileo and their ships to the Moon Base. Getting them through the Mirror had been easy with the SGA Base totally under their control. Then they had taken the Drop-ships to holding station over London.

While that had been time-consuming, so had Harry's stories of his difficulties over the last few years.

Harry-Alt nodded. "Go for it!"

"Attention Drop Ships!"

Every Marine in each of the four ships came to full alert at her pronouncement.

"Voldy was stupid enough to make his name a taboo, that is, if you speak his name, he knows where you are and sends Death Eaters straight to you! I'm sure you see the opportunity this gives us to severely winnow his ranks. Each ship is to pick a remote location and set-up an ambush. One Marine says his name, then heads to the perimeter. Take out the Death Eaters who arrive with stupefy, if possible. If not, take them out with prejudice. Stasis them, then transfigure them marbles. Once you have them all from that location, move to a new one, wait ten or twenty minutes, then do it again. Repeat until saying his name gets no response. Then everyone start saying his name.

"Take your gel-tabs now. Remember, they only last an hour at a time.

"Make sure to use both magic and tech to hide yourselves, and the hoverboards to manoeuvre close before engaging."

"Start now."

"Executing drop, now!" came the response.

It would take the ships a minute or two to drop from their high altitudes to ground, giving them plenty of time to select remote landing spots.

Harry reached up and pulled down his helmet.

"What was that about?" Harry said.

"Just telling the Marines that Riddle is an idiot." Harry-Alt smiled. "They are moving into position to ambush his Death Eaters by surrounding a location, then having one of them say the wanker's name."

"Marines?" Hermione said.

"Muggle-borns who joined us in hunting down the Death Eaters in our reality," Hermione-Alt explained. "When on the hunt, they are invisible and use hoverboards to silently move. The Death Eaters will land in an apparently empty field surrounded by twenty-seven invisible soldiers who will attack them at point-blank range."

"How many Marines?" Hermione said.

"One hundred and eleven."

The others again had slack jaws.

Harry-Alt smirked. "Tommy-boy will regret ever doing that taboo!" He paused. "Do you have the locket with you?"

The other two looked at each other. "We were worried this might be a trap of some kind, so we left it behind."

Harry-Alt nodded. "A wise decision. Unnecessary, but wise. Would one of you go with Dobby and get it?"

The two exchanged glances. Hermione stood. "I'll get it."

Harry-Alt looked at Griphook. "Because Dobby brought both Harry and Hermione in one trip, and not two, this will count as Hermione's trip."

The Goblin reluctantly nodded.

Less than a minute later the locket was on the table between them.

Harry-Alt turned to Griphook. "Griphook, this is where Gringotts comes in. That," he pointed at the locket, "is what wizards call a horcrux, something that holds a piece of a being's soul."

Griphook recoiled.

"We will give one of these gold bars for each of the others of these horcruxes you retrieve and destroy, as well as the ones we give you to destroy. Destroying them in situ is allowed." She pulled a gold bar from her bag.

"There are five of those in existence, plus their creator. There were seven, but two of them have been destroyed, one by Albus Dumbledore and the other by Harry Potter." He gestured at the other boy.

Harry and Hermione were staring at the gold bar.

"I can tell you the approximate locations of three other horcruxes, based on where they were in our Reality. The closest is Hufflepuff's Goblet, which in our Reality was in Bellatrix Lestrange's Vault, here in Gringotts. It should be here, too, but no guarantees. Ravenclaw's Diadem is in Hogwarts, we can get that one and bring it here. The third is He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's pet snake, Nagini. She is located in or around the Malfoy Mansion. The fourth horcrux we will handle ourselves as the host must be kept alive. The last is that," he said, pointing at the locket.

As he had been speaking, Hermione-Alt had been stacking gold bars on the table for each horcrux he mentioned. Four gold bars glittered on the table.

"This is outside my authority," Griphook said reluctantly. He moved back to the desk by the door and started writing. After a minute, he pointed at one of the Guards. "Take this to the Lobby Head," he instructed.

He sat at the desk after the Guard left, and stared at them.

Harry-Alt turned to Harry and Hermione. "Can you get us into Hogwarts?"

The two exchanged glances. "Maybe," Harry said slowly. "All the secret tunnels to Hogsmeade are known to Wormtail and are probably watched or have alarms on them."

"The Chamber of Secrets?" Harry suggested hesitantly. "We might be able to apparate to it. It is far beneath the ground and might be outside Hogwarts anti-apparition spells."

Harry-Alt turned to Dobby. "Dobby, you can apparate to Hogwarts, can't you? Couldn't you take us with you?"

Dobby shook his head. "House-elves can't take wizzies or witchies into Hogwarts, that is forbidden."

Hermione-Alt stared at him. "Is that only Hogwarts elves are prohibited? Or is it all elves?"

Dobby frowned. "It be part of Hoggies very old spells. Long, long ago, house-elves cast it to prevent house-elves from brings or takes people."

"What happens if you were to try?"

Dobby shrugged. "I goes and witchy or wizzy stays."

Harry-Alt turned to Hermione-Alt. "Stasis me, then transfigure me to marble."

The three stared at him, appalled.

He shrugged. "If it works, I'm in, if it doesn't, I stay here. In both cases, you can easily restore me."

"Griphook," Harry-Alt called, "We wish to make an experiment. I want Hermione to stasis me and transfigure me to a marble. Then Dobby will take me to Hogwarts and come back. Because Ron didn't come, we still have a credit for a two-way elf-trip."

He studied them a moment. "You may cast those two spells, only."

Harry-Alt stood.

Hermione-Alt looked at him as she stood and took out her wand. "I really don't like this."

He shrugged. "It might be the only way in without a direct assault."

She sighed and pointed her wand at him.

He blinked.

She was grinning widely, as was Dobby.

"It worked!" was all she said.

"Huh," he said and sat back down.

Harry and Hermione were staring at him. Griphook had a slightly amused look.

Before anything more could be said, three Goblins came in with a guard. The guard took up position in the unoccupied corner of the room.

"I am Eargit," said the fancier dressed one. "What is this job which you want Goblins to do?"

Harry-Alt repeated what they had told Griphook.

Eargit took several moments to examine the paternity parchments.

It took only a few minutes to draft and sign the contracts.

"As I mentioned, in our Reality," Harry-Alt said, "there was one of these," he pointed to the locket, "in Bellatrix Lestrange's Vault. Before we do anything else, you should check that. If Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, a small golden cup with two finely-wrought handles and a badger engraved on the side, isn't there, we will pay a gold bar as penalty. It was high on a shelf. Be careful, I wouldn't doubt that Bellatrix has added a few curses of her own to the Vault's contents."

Eargit stared at him. "In advance," he said.

Hermione-Alt took one of the bars from the stack on the table and held it out. "With the understanding that if Helga Hufflepuff's Cup is there, the gold bar is the payment for the destruction of the horcrux."

The Goblin scowled, but walked over and took the bar. He barked an order to one of the guards, who hurried out of the room.

"We will charge extra for the Basilisk venom."

Harry-Alt shrugged. "You won't have to." He turned to Harry. "Remember, the Sword of Gryffindor always comes to a true Gryffindor in times of need. Hold up your hand and call for the sword to destroy the despicable evil that is a Horcrux, to destroy Tom Riddle once and for all."

Harry looked at him as if he were barmy, then shook his head. He stood, then held out his hand as if he were brandishing a sword up over the table. He gave Harry-Alt and uncertain look, then closed his eyes and apparently concentrated.

Harry-Alt fought to not laugh, the other boy looked as if he were constipated and on the toilet.

The air shimmered around his hand, and suddenly they saw the Sword of Gryffindor appear in it. Harry's eyes shot open and he stared dumbfounded at the sword as he slowly lowered it to the table.

"The Sword," Harry-Alt said, "is imbued with basilisk poison." He looked at Eargit. "Goblin Silver absorbs only that which strengthens it and it was used to kill a basilisk. So, just stab whatever you want with the sword, and the basilisk venom will do the rest."

Harry gently laid the sword on the table.

"The sword is Goblin-made, of course, and we return it to you. Just know that any true Gryffindor that needs the Sword may summon it."

Eargit scowled at him, but came over and picked up the Sword. "How do I know it is truly imbued with basilisk poison?"

"You could make a small cut on your hand, then, as you lie dying on the floor, you'll know it does, indeed, have basilisk poison," Hermione-Alt said.

Eargit scowled at her.

Harry-Alt sighed. "Or you could have Harry," he gestured at the other, "Show you his memory of his battle with a sixty-foot-long basilisk with nought but that sword."

Eargit scowled at all of them. He said something in Goblinese to one of the other two Goblins he came in with, and the Goblin hurried from the room.

Half an hour later, the three Goblins and Hermione reeled back from the crystal. Having lived it, neither Harry had been interested in seeing that memory again, and the time Hermione-Alt had seen it before was enough for her.

Eargit studied Harry with a new respect.

Hermione stared at Harry in disbelief. "You never said it was that big!"

Harry shrugged, embarrassed.

The Goblin stared at Harry a bit longer, then said in patently fake casual tone, "What has been done with the basilisk?"

"Nothing that I know of," Harry responded, "You do need Parseltongue to get into the Chamber."

"Can you still get to this Chamber of Secrets?" The Goblin's quick question showed that his eagerness had leaked past his façade of casualness.

Harry shrugged. "Maybe. It is in Hogwarts, which the Death Eaters control. They would interfere, I'm sure."

Eargit glanced at the four teens. "So," he shrugged, "we do it after you kill . . . Riddle . . . and take down the Ministry. We are patient." He paused.

"If you can get a Gringotts team in to render the creature, assuming it is still there, Gringotts will credit the Potter Vaults with fifty-percent of the profits."

"Ninety-percent," interjected Hermione-Alt, "and ten percent of the renderings."

They settled on sixty-nine and three-quarters percent of the profits, and six and a third percent of the renderings. All contingent on Harry getting them into the Chamber and the basilisk being intact as Harry had left it, except for any natural decay, of course.

When they had access to Hogwarts, they would notify the Goblins if the snake was still there. Then all they needed to do was schedule a convenient time — which Hermione said would be a time with the least likely amount of possible interference — to go in for it.

Just as Harry was signing the contracts for rendering the basilisk and collecting and destroying the horcruxes, a team of five Goblins came rushing in, four guards and one carrying a large, for him, box.

He headed straight for Eargit. "The Cup was in the Lestrange Vault and is cursed with a soul fragment. There are other curses and spells on it." He placed the box on the desk.

When Eargit opened the box, he noticed Harry winching. He closed the box, then reopened it, again not missing Harry's winch. He nodded.

"We do not allow wizards, or witches," Eargit's eyes flicked to the Hermiones, "to store dangerous items, such as that, without paying for extra protections. Ten percent of the vault's value has been credited to your Vault, Mr. Potter, as the search was paid for by yourself. We took half of the vault as penalty for failing to advise us of the thing they had stored." He glanced down at the gold bar. "You, and we, already have made a profit on the contract," he glanced down at the signed parchments.

"One moment, please," Harry-Alt said. He walked over to the desk and put his hand on the box. "This should only take a short time. He pulled his helmet up over his head. "Connect me to the GCU," he ordered the suit's computer. "Scan the cup in the box I am touching. When you finish, replicate it beside the box on the desk."


There was a slight pause, then a copy of Helga Hufflepuffs Cup appeared on the desk.

It was a small golden cup with two finely-wrought handles, and a badger engraved on either side.

It was indistinguishable from the one in the box.

Eargit, his assistants, and Griphook turned to Harry-Alt angrily. "You were not given permission to use magic!"

Harry-Alt pulled down his helmet and shrugged. "I didn't use magic, that is strictly muggle technology." He grinned. "I'll show you." He turned to Harry and Hermione. "Are you hungry?"

They glanced at each other. "Yes," they both said, nodding.

He turned back to the Goblins. "Use whatever magic you use to detect if I am doing anything magical."

Griphook opened a drawer in the desk and handed what looked like a large magnifying glass to Eargit. Eargit turned and looked at Harry-Alt through it.

Harry-Alt moved to the table, beside Harry and Hermione. He touched the comm on his robes. "G.C.U., replicate two ploughman's platters with butterbeers on this table in front of me in one minute. Place them here," he tapped the table in front of Hermione, "and here," he tapped the table in front of Harry.


"Did I do anything that might be considered magic?" he said with a raised eyebrow to Eargit.

"No," Eargit said, scowling.

Harry-Alt moved out of the room into the corridor. "Hermione?" He nodded his head to the side. She stood and joined him. He looked at the Goblins. "You can see us, we can't see where Harry and Hermione are sitting. In a few seconds you will see the ploughmans and butterbeers appear on the table. You'll see that none of us are casting spells."

"Join them," Eargit said to Harry and Hermione, gesturing angrily. They did. He made Dobby join them.

Eargit moved until he could view the teens and that section of the table at the same time. He had Dobby move until he was standing in front of the two outside the room.

The platters and butterbeers appeared where Harry-Alt had indicated. The teens were standing with their hands in front of each of them, fingers spread to show they weren't touching their wands or anything else. Dobby was fidgeting, standing in front of them.

Eargit lowered the device he was holding and glared at them. "I did not see magic," he stated angrily.

"If it would help, we could swear on our magic that none of us used magic to create the duplicate of Helga Hufflepuff's Cup nor the ploughman platters and butterbeers right now."

He studied them. "Do that."

They did. Even Dobby elf-swore he hadn't cast magic to do those things.

"Why," Eargit said angrily, "did you duplicate the Cup?"

"I thought you might enjoy the joke of selling the exact duplicate of Helga Hufflepuff's Cup to a Wizard collector," Harry-Alt said, shrugging. "Just say that the spells cast by Helga so long ago must have worn off."

Eargit stared at him, frowning.

Harry and Hermione had sat down and were devouring their meals. They hadn't been eating well for the few weeks.

While they were eating, Harry-Alt replicated the Slytherin's Locket.

"By the way," Harry-Alt continued. "Now that Harry is of-age. He does have access to all his Vaults, correct?"

"Yes," was the surly reply from Eargit.

"Harry?" Harry-Alt. said. "There is a vast miscommunication between wizards and Goblins regarding Goblin-made items. Wizards assume that when they buy a Goblin-made item from a Goblin, they now own it. The Goblin's however, expect the item to be returned when the wizard dies, and that by keeping it, the wizards are liars and cheats.

"The truth is that the Goblins are actually leasing the items to the wizards, not selling them! Imagine how your Uncle would react if someone bought a large number of Grunnings' drills on a one-year lease, and then refused to return them at the end of the lease!"

Harry's eyes shot wide open, and he nodded.

Harry-Alt turned to Eargit. "Any time a wizard wants a Goblin-made item, you should have them sign a lease to keep the item in good shape, and that they agree to have their estate return it when they die, barring extenuating circumstances, such as someone stealing it before then or another mishap over which they have no control."

"Lease? But that's for property!" he said.

Harry-Alt shook his head. "The muggles will lease almost anything, including weapons of war. Send one of your muggle-born employees to a bookstore and buy a book on leasing things, one that has several examples." He paused. "Consider that a gift to make up for the miscommunication about us using magic without your permission."

He turned back to Harry. "Now that you have access to your Family Vault, it might be a good idea to return any items in it that are Goblin-made," he said, and then turned to Eargit, "excluding galleons, sickles, and knuts, of course."

Eargit was giving him a surprised look. Griphook was making notes.

"Yes!" Harry said as soon as he finished chewing.

Harry-Alt raised an eyebrow at Harry. "Well, ask for your key and then tell Eargit what he wants to hear."

That took only a few minutes for one of the runners to retrieve the proper key.

"You might want to fold your Vault into your Family Vault, now. It'll cost a small fee," he flashed a grin at Griphook and Eargit, "but long-term, it's cheaper."

After several house-keeping tasks regarding his Vaults, they turned back to the subject that had started the whole recent mess . . . the Cup.

"I suggest we test the Sword's abilities by having it destroy the horcrux in the Cup," Harry-Alt said. "And we should probably move to a more secure location where there is less to harm, should things not go as we think."

Eargit stared at him.

Harry-Alt shrugged. "I wouldn't want any of the venom to leak onto anything in this room, and who knows how the protective enchantments Riddle placed on the Cup might react."

Eargit nodded. "And the locket?"

Harry-Alt shrugged. "I think we should save it for last, maybe use it to track Riddle and Nagini when we've disposed of the other horcruxes."

The Goblin nodded. He turned to one of his go-fers and issued an order. That Goblin hurried out of the room. "We will secure the locket, first, then."

Harry and Hermione had barely polished off the food on their platters when the Golbin returned with another box, into which they quickly dropped the locket. As soon as the box was closed, Harry's expression seemed to soften slightly as the headache-stress decreased.

They were headed for the more-secure room when the message came: The Asgard were coming. The DSF Marines in the field shut-off their equipment and relied on magic to conceal them from everyone. The GCU followed suit. With the naquadah removed from the ha'taks, they hoped the Asgard would not notice them at L4 and L5. The XE-wings immediately landed, and did the same. The captured and sedated Jaffa had been moved to an expanded trunk in one of the Runabouts.

Destroying the Cup was rather anti-climatic. The room they used was very deep . . . deep enough to require a long cart-ride to get to it. It was carved out of sold rock and Harry-Alt had the thought that it might have been one of their first Vaults.

Harry took the Sword, and swung it down on the Cup. It didn't even dent it . . . at first. There was a pause, then the edge of the Sword sunk a tiny distance into the Cup, and the Cup started hissing as the basilisk venom began to eat away at it.

Harry started to pull the sword back, but Harry-Alt said, "Leave it!" Dropping the pommel, Harry retreated to the room's door and watched as the Sword sank lower and lower until black smoke began to pour from it. There was a terrible screeching noise that became a scream as a distorted face formed in the smoke before finally just dissipating.

Harry-Alt looked around. "I believe we can safely say the Sword of Gryffindor has basilisk venom as a part of its permanent make-up now, right Eargit?" He looked down at the Goblin.

"Not a bad profit for an hour of your time, I would say," Hermione-Alt said. "The Sword of Gryffindor, a gold bar, half of the Lestrange Vault, and permission to remove from the Potter Family Vault any Goblin-made items that should have been returned to the Goblins years ago."

"Not to mention the room meeting-room rental," Harry-Alt added.

Eargit looked at them and slowly nodded.

Harry gingerly picked up the Sword and brought it to Eargit.

"Speaking of the room," Harry-Alt said. "I think our business in Gringotts is concluded. We should head back so Dobby can take us to Hogwarts to retrieve Ravenclaws Diadem. We will send Dobby with the Diadem once we get it."

Eargit waved to one of his runners, who gathered the pieces of the Cup and stuffed them in a bag.

On the way back to the room, Eargit told them they could send Dobby to the Bank's front-steps. He could then go to the Lobby Head and tell him that Eargit was expecting him.

Dobby was waiting patiently when they returned to the room. Harry's and Hermione's plates, bottles, utensils, and napkins were still on the table. Hermione-Alt walked over, pulled a plastic bag from her expanded bag, and stuffed everything in it.

"Dobby," Harry-Alt said, "Take Harry and Hermione to where I originally called you." He turned to the two. "It's a safe place where we can talk undisturbed and plan what we need to do. Considering the time, it's probably dark, you can light your wands if you want, but don't touch anything. We'll join you as fast as Dobby can come and get us."

"Thank you," he said to Eargit and Griphook while Dobby POPped the other two teens away, "for your understanding and patience with us today. May your business always be profitable." He bowed.

Dobby POPped back, grabbed his and Hermione's hands, and POPed them both away.

As Harry-Alt had predicted, the Runabout was quite dark, despite the windows in the cockpit facing Knockturn Alley. Not so surprising, when he thought about it. Harry and Hermione had not lit their wands, and were instead staring out at the devastation revealed by the moonlight just peeking over the horizon.

They were sitting in the Pilot and Copilot seats.

"What happened?" Hermione said, gesturing at the damage outside, bewildered.

"That's what we need to talk about. You've clearly been isolated from the muggle-world for a while," Harry-Alt said. "This is the result of an attack by aliens . . . as in people not born on Earth. They arrived in two spaceships about ten days ago. They immediately started bombing the big cities on the planet. They intended to make slaves of everyone."

"But . . . Diagon Alley! How did they find it?"

"They didn't, it was a strafing run through London and they hit Diagon Alley without even realizing it." He paused. "On the other hand, from orbit, all the wizarding areas are clearly visible. Few wizards are powerful enough to cast an illusion spell that affects people a hundred-thousand miles away."

"From orbit!?" Hermione said, astonished.

"Oh, yes," Hermione-Alt said. "Coming down in this Runabout . . . which is a spaceship . . . we took pictures of Diagon Alley. We'll show them to you later. Right now, we have to stay powered down to avoid detection by the Asgard."

Which led into a "brief" explanation of Stargate Command and how they were responsible for the Goa'uld attack by Apophis. That led to Doctor Daniel Jackson discovering the Quantum Mirror, and warning Stargate Command about the coming attack.

They had just concluded explaining how they had carved up the two ha'taks with lasers when Harry-Alt and Hermione-Alt received word that Thor had departed to arrange a time for the Goa'uld to meet with the SGA. The Asgardians hadn't seemed to have noticed the destroyed ha'taks, the captured Jaffa, nor the various bits of DSF equipment on Earth and at Uranus. The two Goa'uld had been moved through to SGC, temporarily.

They had accepted the excuse that Apophis and Klorel had fled on hearing that the Asgardians were on their way.

The Marines in England reported that they had captured fifty-three Death Eaters before the Death Eaters had stopped falling for the ambushes. They planned to try three more times now that the Asgard had left, and if no one arrived, they would all start insulting Voldemort nonstop. He would either have to cancel the taboo, or be incapable of coherent thought!

Hearing how the DSF had defeated the Goa'uld in their Reality led, naturally, to the two wanting to know how their alternate selves had ended up with spaceships. By the time they finished with their story of Alternate Earth, Harry and Hermione were too stunned for words and it was in the wee hours of the morning.

"Well," Harry-Alt said, "as interesting as all this is, from your point of view, the first problem is Riddle. We should get the Diadem as soon as possible. Once that's out of the way, we can see about getting to your Reality's version of the D.S.F. Requirement. Once you power it up, you can deal with Nagini, Riddle, and the Death Eaters once and for all.

"Now that the Asgard have left, we can use our Medical Unit to deal with your scar," Hermione-Alt said as she pulled a PiMPS out of her expanded bag.

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