Disclaimers: I don't own Harry Potter or Halo, not that I am against the thought of it.
CHAPTER ONE: The Pillar Express
There was nothing about the poorly textured sky that night to suggest that strange and mysterious things would start happening as soon as this stupid cut scene was over.
A proud, luxurious starship (albeit a butt-ugly one) glided through the vast expanses of space, accompanied by much smaller fighter crafts that resembled the Batman logo. From the bridge of his starship, Captain Jacob Keyes stared out the window at the strange artifact that his ship had unearthed... er, unspaced. It was an incredibly boring job, but hey, the UNSC had paid him big bucks to stand on the bridge and stare out the window!
But this was just a smidgeon more interesting than any previous missions. Keyes studied the construction of the artifact. It was a gigantic ring – the inside surface bearing what resembled Earth-like terrain. The ring was supposedly 10,000 miles in diameter (almost as big as Earth), but whoever had stuck it there had done a terrible job with the graphics, since it looked maybe a quarter mile wide at the most.
"Cortana," asked the captain's pitiful voice actor, "What exactly am I looking at?" He asked it in slightly different words, but we prefer a G rating. The Autumn's built-in AI, a holographic blue chick named Cortana (obviously), spoke up with her identification of the artifact.
"It's a gigantic ring, 10,000 miles in diameter, with an inside surface bearing what resembles Earth-like terrain," she said. Five hundred years of careful planning and programming to create an intelligent artifical being, and that's the best they could come up with. "Sensors indicate that the outside is black, with lots of small lit windows on it, and the inside is green, white, and blue, and it's a ring...that's gigantic...and looks like Earth."
Captain Keyes face-palmed and yanked out Cortana's power cord. He soon realized that it would have been better simply to interrupt and call her "Captain Obvious," because without her little-known usefulness, the ship's computer network shut itself down, and took the ship's protective shields with it. Just at that moment, a ship controlled by the enemy alien collective, the Covenant, finished a Slipspace jump and rammed the side of the Pillar of Autumn, destroying the ship's newly remodeled bathrooms. Yes, shutting off the ship's AI was not a tremendously smart move.
So, after doing his best to shift the blame to someone else, Captain Keyes rebooted the little blue thorn in his side. "You have selected Microsoft Anna – English, United Nations Space Command – as the computer's default voice," she said. "You have selected Microsoft Cortana as the computer's default body."
After it seemed like she must be done loading software, Keyes tried to ask her to prepare the ship for combat, but was immediately interrupted. "You have selected Microsoft Purple-Chick-With-An-Attitude as the computer's default human interface behavior." Forget it. Keyes pressed the "Make Cortana Shut Up" button, and contacted the security department himself. The response was not pleasing. He had counted on the Master Chief fighting through all the waves of Covenant without a scratch, and coming to the bridge to save his butt. Turns out they'd forgotten him on Reach. What was he going to do now?
Create a perfect plot hole, that's what he'd do. A senseless crossover fanfiction would solve this problem easily! He radioed to the cryobay and requested that he be sent whoever might help kick some alien hindquarters.
Two calls to tech support, three hours, and two plot holes later, a group of three entirely unlikely fighters stood in Cryobay 2. All three were aged roughly 13, and clad in black robes trimmed in red. (This was all they EVER wore, because apparently the game designers were too lazy to come up with models of them wearing other outfits.) On the far left was a dark-haired boy wearing round glasses that appeared to have no lenses whatsoever. To the far right was a ginger kid. Standing between them was a girl whose hair was obviously way too light, and who otherwise just looked totally dreadful in comparison with how she looked in the Playstation 2 version of this game. Fast asleep in a corner was the cryobay technician, for entirely unknown reasons.
The ginger kid, who had a newspaper in his hand and a rat on his shoulder for some reason, spoke up first. "It says here that the Covenant forces epically nuked the wizard planet, Reach!"
"No one's ever blown up a planet before!" came the alarmed response from the erroneously blond girl. The red-haired boy's overpaid voice actor kept reading. "Twelve years ago, a huge blue monster thingy murdered thirteen people with a single green laser blast thing! Well, at least we'll be safe on Halo." He looked up at his friend, the dark-haired kid with the Marathon-symbol-shaped scar on his forehead. "What's wrong, Harry?"
"Ron," replied Harry, "I overheard your dad talking about the Covenant forces last night. The Ministry of Magic thinks they're after me!"
"The Covvies blew up Reach to come after you?" asked Hermione, the poorly-animated girl. "Oh, Harry, you'll have to be really, really careful. Don't go looking for trouble!"
"I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me!"
"But they'll catch them, won't they?" continued the disgrace of PC gaming. "I mean, they've got Master Chief looking out for them, too!"
At that moment, an antimatter charge struck the ship, sending a shudder through its hallways. She's starting to shudder. The rat on Ron's shoulder, much more startled than any humans, leaped off his perch and ran through a very convenient crack under the door of Cryobay 2. "Scabbers! Come back!" called out the ginger kid, before he turned to the light golden-haired brunette. "Can't you keep that monster under control?"
"Calm down, Ron," answered Hermione. "You don't want to wake Professor - er, that guy who's still obliviously sleeping in the corner!"
"Don't worry, Ron," said Harry. "We'll help you find Scabbers." He walked up to the door with his friends following closely behind, but somehow not treading on his heels. As he came within seven feet of the locked door, Hermione spoke up.
"You can cast Alohomora to open that door, Harry. Hold down the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON to activate your wand."
"Keep holding while you move the mouse to aim your wand," chimed in Ron.
"Can't I just walk up to it and press the "UNLOCK" button?"
"Well, yes, but that's the boring way to do it."
So the irate, mistaken-for-a-seven-year-old user held down the left mouse button, and Harry began circling his wand in the air with his right hand and randomly flexing the fingers on his left hand, in a stance that resembled an Elite with an energy sword, except not looking totally sweet. A pulsating purple lock appeared over the door's control panel.
"That's it!" chimed in Ron. "Now release the button, and you'll cast the spell!" Harry swung the wand in towards the door and shouted, "ALOHOMORA!" The door made a sound that uncharacteristically resembled an old 21st-century lock, and opened with a much more characteristic SHHH. The little ratfink made some squeaking noises (having been just slightly behind the door, thumbing his nose) and ran off, apparently too fast for three ridiculously athletic 13-year-olds to catch.
Harry stepped through the door, followed by his equally digital friends who were no smarter than the space marines. He ran to the door at the end of the hallway (since everybody runs everwhere...nobody ever walks), targeting it with the ambiguous "Cast Spell" button. Just as the three got close, an explosion blew the door out of its sliding frame, reducing the three friends' health by one bar. "Oh, no," commented Ron. "It looks like we're gonna be stuck in this hallway, with nothing but a broken door on one side and a seemingly pointless cupboard on the other!" Then he thought for a moment. "Wait a minute...!" He scratched his head in an unrealistic way that was done way better in the PS2 version of the game.
A giant cupboard with a lock symbol on it was probably not pointless, so the trio made their way (by running...surprise surprise) to the other side of the hallway. Ron walked up to the cupboard (since the player was suddenly controlling him now, despite not having pressed any buttons that indicated any desire to do so) and cast Alohomora on it. The wooden doors flew open with such force that they should have broken off and made a much louder noise, and revealed a stone statue inside.
"Umm... what's that thing?" asked Ron, motioning towards the object which was obviously a gargoyle. "It's a gargoyle, of course!" responded Hermione, for some reason lacking the sarcasm that anyone else would have used. "Cast Lumos at it, Ron," added Harry, "and a secret area will light up!"
So Ron stood in front of the statue and cast Lumos. Lumos is the most retarded spell in the entire PC version of Harry Potter. What does it do in the movie? It casts light. Lights up the wand tip and brightens the room. Or it fends off the Devil's Snare. That's all the Lumos does in the canonical Harry Potter world. And that's all it does in the PS2 version of the game, where they did everything right. For some idiotic reason, however, the PC version of Lumos causes objects to appear and certain walls to become semi-transparent so you can walk through them. Also, sometimes it creates bridges and platforms (which usually move) made entirely of light. Bullcrap! LUMOS DOES NOT MAKE LIGHT BRIDGES! FORERUNNER LIGHT-BRIDGE GENERATORS MAKE LIGHT BRIDGES!
So, after the Writer was done ranting, a section of the solid metal wall went semi-transparent, with a sparkling gold light illuminating the border to make it more obvious for players who are blind. The three grass-is-greener-on-the-PS2 kids walked through the wall, but found the pathway blocked by fallen luggage that was almost two feet high.
"You can climb over this luggage, Ron," commented Hermione during a cut scene that the player furiously tried to skip. "You just have to walk up to it, and you'll be able to start climbing!" So Ron walked into the crates and fell flat on his face, because even an idiot can figure out that you can't climb something just by walking into it. Eventually, he found the jump button. Using exaggerated grunting noises, he jumped over the crates into the second hallway that had been revealed. Harry and Hermione followed, and for some reason, they could jump and land silently. For now.
The way to the Pillar of Autumn's bridge was to the right, but the player chose to go left, since – like any experienced player of a Harry Potter PC game – he knew there was an important reward in that direction. Ron reached the end of the hallway first, discovering a treasure chest. No clue exactly why there would a treasure chest there, of all places, and a treasure chest full of jelly beans, at that. But then, it makes little sense that there would be bean-filled chests hidden deep within the Chamber of Secrets, so compared to that, a wooden chest with a lock that can be opened only with magic makes a lot of sense in a dark hallway of a starship!
So Ron cast Alohomora on the chest. It made the same "lock" noise as the door did earlier, and then the lid flew open, throwing the chest half a foot into the air before it came down in exactly the same spot. Out flew seven jelly beans. Huge foot-high jelly beans that came to rest at odd angles, and never properly on the floor. "Those are Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans," explained Harry, even though Ron had known about them for at least the last two years. "We should collect as many as we can, as they'll come in handy later!" So the three friends walked over the beans and caused them to disappear with a hiss and some colored particles. Apparently, this placed the beans in a really huge collective pocket that everyone had equal access to.
So after they'd collected the tooth-rotting sweets, the trio moved to the door on the other side of the hallway. This one opened automatically. Halfway to the next door, the three children suddenly became startled. A fraction of a second later, an explosion blew away part of the wall to the right. They continued – not caring that much – and entered the room behind the door. A large stone block to the left hindered further progress. "Hmm," said Ron. "I suppose we'll have to push this thing out of the way."
"Or," countered Hermione, noticing the bright red symbol resembling a chevron on the rock, "one of us could cast Depulso!" Depulso is the second most retarded spell in Harry Potter 3. It has virtually the same function as Flipendo, which every player has used and loved since the original game. And of course they kept it for the PS2 version, but do WE get to keep it? No! PC users get the crappy Depulso! Oh, and the game developers stole the traditional logo of the Rictusempra spell for this one.
Hermione stepped forward and faced the rock, causing the player to face-palm once again, because this was the second time he'd been suddenly forced to control a different character even though he didn't want to. Grudgingly, he held down the mouse button, and Hermione cast the lousy Knock-Back Spell's Understudy at the rock, which immediately flew out of the way. The hallway beyond was much wider and higher, and showed signs of an actual battle. A group of space marines fought a group of Elites and tried to push them back behind a soon-to-close door. The marines were exactly the same height as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and, under their steel armor, wore the same clothes, save for the robes.
Of course, these soldiers were not the only people in the hall. They were accompanied by a group of civilians wearing red-and-black robes and Hogwarts uniforms. Surprise! While the soldiers (who couldn't hit the broadside of a planet) were keeping the aliens busy, the civilians ran around and said retarded things such as "Help me help you!"
Nobody, human or Covenant, was actually injured, due in part to the marines' terrible aim and the fact that some of them were using SMGs. The blast door closed and locked out the aliens – all but one Elite Major. Soldiers bombarded him with gunfire from all sides, causing him to lose his stamina and faint. (Nobody dies in this game. Everything goes unconscious, gets knocked out, or faints. Guess they wanted it to be kid-friendly. Also, you don't have "health," you have "stamina," which you can't even pronounce without some practice.)
After they'd knocked out the alien enemy, the people were left with nothing more to do. The soldier in the front turned to the trio. "Master Chief, sir!" he said, obviously scripted. "The situation is secure here! You're probably needed somewhere else!"
Hermione (still the only one the player could control) led her friends to the nearby doorway into a pitch-black passageway. She would've brightened it up by casting Lumos, but of course it had been given a screwed-up function in the PC version, a move that made the game designers laugh their rear-ends off. As the three reached the next doorway, the door slid open and revealed an angry Elite armed with a plasma pistol, triggering a sharp, startling music cue.
"Everyone cast Rictusempra!" shouted Harry, and the three started casting the spell whose symbol had mysteriously changed shape and color since the previous game. The Elite tried to fend off the attacks, but coupled with assault rifle fire from a group of marines around the corner, he was soon unconscious.
A few dimly-lit passageways later, the three encountered some totally random crates in a room similar to the site of the first battle. "We'll have to jump up to climb over those crates," commented Ron. "Right, then," responded the technically-a-brunette. "You lead the way. Walk forward, toWARDs the crates, and press the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON!"
At this moment, the presense sitting just outside the Halo universe, a player named halo_player_117, was driven to bang his head against his desk, because he had specifically reassigned the jump button to the spacebar, but the game designers had epically failed to consider that maybe the characters shouldn't tell you to press keys that might get reassigned. But he recovered, and held down W while pressing the space bar.
Ron ran forwards and jumped, catching the top of the crates with his hands. He then climbed on top of the crates with the ease and grace of the most super-athletic SPARTAN-II in history. This from the same person who, seven minutes ago, couldn't run fast enough to catch a rat.
Some time and irritating bugs later, the trio arrived in yet another hallway in which marines engaged the Covenant. A soldier by the far door flagged down Harry, who was now in halo_player_117's control. "Sir!" he called out. "The Captain needs you on the bridge, ASAP! Better follow me!" The three friends ran up to him, and he waited a full five seconds before leading them to the bridge. (This, however, can be blamed on a Halo bug, not a Harry Potter 3 PC bug.)
On the bridge, Harry shook hands with the Captain. "Captain Keyes," he said.
"Good to see you, Master Chief. Things aren't going well. Cortana did her best, but we-"
Cortana's blue avatar suddenly appeared on the pedestal beside the Captain. "ExCUSE me," she interrupted, "but the last thing I remember you doing was disconnecting my power. And you know what? That hurt my feelings! I haven't done a thing for you since. Everything we've accomplished on this ship was done by these brave, intelligent people on this bridge, sitting at computer screens and pressing buttons as if they're doing something useful! But they aren't! We haven't accomplished one single useful task on this entire ship. And do you know what? I'm sick of it! I'm going to work for your competitors!"
Before Captain Keyes could ask what she meant by "competitors," she vanished entirely from the ship's computer. Several hundred miles away, a mysterious, overly-talkative presence embedded itself in the computer system of a Covenant ship. It so surprised the alien captain that he took his eyes off the precious, ancient artifact – allowing the humans to evade his ships, land on the sacred ring, and DESECRATE IT WITH THEIR FILTHY FOOTSTEPS!11!1! (When explaining his failure to defend the ring to the Council, he blamed it on Master Chief and the Flood. He figured it was best not to mention that he found himself attracted to a certain holographic image.)
Well, since there was no more holographic AI to protect, there was also no specific need for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to be on the ship anymore, so Keyes sent them to the escape pods with the rest of the crew, intending to land the ship on the ring.
On the way to escape pod 61, the three encountered another Elite. When a bunch of spells failed to dispatch it, Ron picked up a grenade from a fallen marine and threw it at the Elite. The grenade exploded, piercing the alien's body with shrapnel fragments and causing it to faint.
This next part is spoken by the Harry Potter 3 narrator, so read it out loud with your nose pinched shut.
Finally, Harry, Ron, and Hermione boarded the escape pod, which detached from the ship and made a beeline for the giant mood ring. The three friends were delighted to be back at Halo, and ready for a good time.
Were it so easy.