Book 6: ?

Chapter 1: ?

"Let me share this whole new world with you."


In the year 2016, there was an explosion.

Professor Marcus Montefiore waved his wand and the layer of soot came off the windows of his classroom. Light shone down on his students cowering behind their desks.

"And that is why you never divide by zero." he said. His third year Magic Tech class brushed the ashes off their uniforms and began packing up their supplies.

"Normally, I'd assign you homework," he said, "but I have plans tonight, so enjoy your weekend."

His students gave various shouts of adulation before running out of the classroom. Marcus packed a few things away in his satchel before hanging it over his shoulders and walking out of his classroom. He made his way through the halls of bustling students, who were thrilled that another school day was over.

He had somewhere to be, but decided to take the scenic route. He came out of the building onto one of the school's rooftop gardens. He passed through a few of the flower beds and was nearly knocked over by two brawling students. One red head and one blond.

"Scorpius, Dennis, break it up." said Marcus.

The two boys separated, covered in dirt and grass stains.

"Why am I always prying you two apart?" he asked, hands on his hips.

"He's a Slytherin." shrugged Scorpius Malfoy. "I'm a Gryffindor. We have to fight."

"His mother is a Slytherin and his father is a Gryffindor." said Marcus. "They don't have to fight."

"We just do if for fun." grinned Dennis Creevey.

"This is the London School of Magic." said Marcus. "There's no fun allowed here."

"C'mon Uncle Marc." said Scorpius.

"That's Professor while were on campus." said Marcus. "And we all have somewhere to be in a few hours. Now, go to your houses and get ready. Your parents will be coming for you."

"You mean you can't take us?" asked Dennis.

"No sweetie." said Marcus. "I have to meet up with her."

They ran off inside. Marcus walked over to the railing and stared down at the campus of London School of Magic. The school occupied several city blocks, with buildings that towered over the streets below. There were sky walks going between different buildings. Occasionally, someone would open a window, fly out on a broomstick and into a different classroom. On the main administration building, Marcus could see the five shields that represented the five houses. Red and gold with a lion for Gryffindor. Yellow and black with a badger for Hufflepuff. Blue and bronze with an eagle for Ravenclaw. Black and white with a polar bear for '5'.

Since the magic users came out of hiding, the muggles and wizards had been mixing very regularly and found that they liked one another. A much larger school had to be built to accommodate the effusion of magical children being born. The London School of Magic wasn't even the largest magical school in the world. The Pacific Magic Academy took up a whole island and boasted the worlds largest magizoology environment.

The London School of Magic offered far more than the compulsory seven years of training of Hogwarts. There were different environments for all the different disciplines of magic. They had course on everything from brewing firewhiskey to thermodynamics. People of all ages came to add to their skill sets long after they first graduated.

The school also had a number of non-magical students. Classes like Magic Tech and Potions didn't actually require magical ability.

Marcus left the garden and went down a few more floors to the train station. The London Monorail system came right into the campus, at the fifth floor of the building. Marcus stopped at the turn style and pulled four jade coins out of his pocket which he dropped into the coin slot. He stepped through onto the platform.

After World War III, every system of currency had collapsed. A new system was implemented world wide. They had suggested paper money, but the goblins wouldn't have it. There were five coins that were most common. The small gold piece, the Yen, was the smallest denomination. The Rupee, a slightly bigger green coin, was worth ten Yen. The Krona, a square silver coin was worth ten Rupee. The Mark, a larger square black coin, was worth ten Krona. Ten Mark was worth a large square bronze coin called the Drachma. There were other denominations that went all the way up to 100,000,000 (Talent), but that one was the size of a dining table.

It had been an adjustment for everyone, but it was a damn sight easier than remembering that four farthings was a ha'penny, twenty four ha'pennies to a shilling, three shilling to a bob, three bob was a half crown and seven crowns was a guinea. Additionally, switching to heavy metal coinage had the unintended side effect of making bank robberies impractical, unless they came equipped with a team of elephants to haul the booty.

The monorail came gliding silently into the station. The doors hissed open and Marcus dashed in. The monorail shot away on the track suspended forty feet above the streets. Marcus looked through the train windows and saw the people walking down the streets or riding their bikes on their daily commute. Automobiles weren't a thing anymore. Public transportation was nearly instantaneous, and many people had a friend that could just Apparate them into the office.

Marcus could easily Apparate to the Terminal, but he loved making the trip through the city. After everything he had gone through, he loved seeing that it was still there. These days it was better than ever. There were hundreds of new sky scrapers that gleamed in the late afternoon sun. Monorails looped all over the city. People strolled down the clean streets at a leisurely pace. It was amazing how much you could invest in social infrastructure when you didn't have to worry about upkeep on an army. There were no opposing countries to worry about anymore, not with the one-world government in power, and not with the Halos in the sky above.

The Skyscrapers vanished from view and Marcus saw only green through the windows. The monorail was passing through Hyde forest. Even at this height, the trees towered above them. Every city in the world was interspersed with forests, half of the city was green with trees, with more growing past the outskirts. Twelve years ago, Neville Longbottom succeeded in making a tree that could convert sunlight into electricity. By attaching the roots to the city power grid, the city had all the energy it needed. When Cynthia heard of this, she dropped what she was doing, found Neville, and hugged him. If you're going to run a dictatorship, it should at least be a green dictatorship, after all.

The forest ended and Marcus saw a huge flat expanse, like a giant parking lot. It was covered in dozens of airships like the Silvana. There were lines of people walking up the ramps to the airships from the main building to which the monorail was pulling up. The Airships now facilitated international travel. They offered way more leg room than an airplane and you didn't have to be bothered with fastening your seat belt. The fact that an airship could accelerate past the speed of sound and cut your trip to Australia down to ten minutes was happy coincidence.

The monorail glided to a stop and Marcus disembarked. He walked to the Special Services desk of the Terminal and the attendant scanned his ID card. Her eyes bulged out of her sockets when his information came up on her screen.

"This way, sir" she said, escorting him to a high security corridor.

"Saluting isn't necessary." he said, smirking. He did enjoy the pull he had, being a Montefiore. He could cut in any line he wanted. He didn't do it, but he could if he wanted to.

"Can't be to careful." she said. "It's a small world and your mother rules all of it."

They went up a flight of stairs and came out on the roof of the Terminal, where a smaller white shuttle was waiting.

Thomas stepped inside, and the doors snapped closed behind him. The little ship went from standing still to over 1,000 kilometers per second. Marcus didn't even feel the acceleration. He saw through one of the windows, the Crown of Horns growing in the distance. It had been hovering over Britain for the past twenty years without ceasing. Since the night it had instantiated all the other Halos, nothing had happened that was so serious it had to leave the country. There had been that incident in 2012 where the world had almost ended, but they sorted that out in time for Christmas break.

A panel in the side of the ship opened and the shuttle slid inside. The shuttle door opened and Marcus stepped out into a white hallway. There were several people already there that greeted him with a nod and stepped into the waiting shuttle to go back to Terra Firma.

Marcus went down the white hallway until he found the door to Cynthia's private quarters. He raised his hand to knock, but before he could-

"Come in." said Cynthia. "It's open." How he wished he could scare his students like that.

He went inside. Cynthia's quarters were her typical spartan style. A few chairs, a desk, a picture, a huge window that looks onto the world below, and the whole room was covered in clothes. Cynthia held up two dresses, on in each hand. One was black, the other white.

"Which one?" she asked. "I can't wear white because it's a wedding, and I can't wear black because it will look like I'm in mourning."

Marcus looked around the clothing strewn floor.

"Do you have any other colors?" he asked.

"I never buy colors." she said, frustrated. "And Voldemort just told me the pleats on this one make my head look small." she said, giving the black dress a shake.

Voldemort had been imprisoned on the Crown of Horns since the Hague had handed him a life sentence. Cynthia often consulted him on matters since he was the only person in the world who had nothing to loose by offending her. His criticism was a good barometer of how functional her ideas would be. In the case of high fashion, Marcus trusted him as much as anyone else.

Marcus waved his wand and the white dress turned blue.

"Oh," said Cynthia, "right. I forgot I could do that." she went to her bathroom to get the dress on. She had been living up here permanently since the Crown of Horns first went air born. If she wanted to see someone, they came up here. But today was special.

"I can't believe Raleigh did this." said Cynthia from the bathroom. "Announcing he was getting married three days before the wedding."

"I can't blame him." said Marcus. "Not after what happened when Harry and Hermione got married."

"So I planned their wedding." said Cynthia. "I'm his mother. Is that so wrong?"

"You used the Crown to conjure a cathedral out of diamonds." said Marcus.

"I gave them back when I was done." said Cynthia.

"And what about when Draco and Ginny were married?" asked Marcus. "You and Molly were tied for the 'Who's the Craziest Mother?' award."

"It's my week to have that trophy and she still hasn't sent it!" complained Cynthia, walking back into the main room.

"How do I look?" she asked, spinning around. The blue ball gown hugged her form and left her arms and shoulders bare, revealing Cynthia's forever glowing tattoos.

"It's pretty fancy." said Marcus. "Didn't Raleigh say it was a casual service?"

"Yes," she said, "and when asked, you're going to say I just threw this on."

~o!o~

An hour later, Marcus and his mother popped onto a beach on the Greater Andaman Islands. There was already a large crowd of people there. They were gathered in clumps and talking amongst themselves. The ceremony clearly hadn't started yet.

Marcus vanished his shoes and shortened his trousers as a wave crashed in. He wiggled his toes in the sand. A few people noticed them and came over to say hello. Marcus shook hands with Dumbledore, Kingsley, and Arthur Weasley. The position of Minister of Magic was now defunct since muggles and wizards were now under the same government. Arthur Weasley was named the Administrator for the British Zone following the reformation.

Remus and Tonks came with their son Teddy. The Twins were there with their twins, two each. Colin and Daphne were there with their two children Dennis and Astoria. Dennis was chasing Scorpius through the waves.

"If they both drown, then they'll at least be quiet during the ceremony." said Draco. Marcus hugged him and Ginny hello.

"How are things going in Canaveral?" asked Marcus.

For the past year, Draco had been working on a team that was building an interstellar shuttle. It was supposed to be able to make a round trip to the Alpha Centauri A system in under a month.

"The life support system is working, as well as the artificial gravity. We just need to perfect the navigation and controls." said Draco.

"Do you think you might find any aliens?" asked Marcus.

"Well," started Draco, "the gas giant Polyphemus has a moon called Pandora that has Earthlike attributes so we might-"

"Marcus!" he heard Hermione call. She ran up and hugged him, cutting Draco's explanation mercifully short. Harry was there with her and pulled Marcus into a hug next.

"How are things with the troll uprising?" Marcus asked Harry.

"We managed to stall them." said Harry. "We posted up a sign that said 'Do Not Read'. It had them confused for hours." Harry worked for a division of law enforcement called S.W.A.T. (Special Wands and Talismans). They handled the most dangerous assignments. Hermione worked for a division called I.L.P. (Intelligence, Logistics, and Payback). I.L.P. was the only division that reported directly to Cynthia. It was their job to investigate the zone administrators and department heads. They let Cynthia know if anyone was abusing their authority or being generally ineffective.

The new world wasn't perfect. Some people were still nasty. Some laws weren't fair. But no one could deny that things worked. There was no famine. There weren't any wars. There was no more pollution. The post was delivered on time, without junk mail. Toast landed butter side up.

"Hey, Marcus!" called Ron coming over. Ron lived in Japan with his wife Tohru, a chiropodist. He worked with the Japanese S.W.A.T. Division. Thanks to the Airships, his mother was able to visit frequently and deplore how thin her grandchildren were.

After saying hello to Ron, he went to look for his older brother. Diego was standing apart from the crowd, looking out over the ocean. He turned and smiled when he heard Marcus approaching. They hugged hello, Diego nearly crushing him with enthusiasm.

"My son's getting married!" he said excitedly.

"I know!" said Marcus with matching excitement. "It seems like it was just yesterday he was out here trying to save the starfish."

"He was doing that this morning, too." said Diego. "I think he's nervous. I don't know why. I'm plenty nervous for both of us."

They heard the doors of the beach house open. The crowd started to move toward the porch. Things must be getting started.

"You realize," said Diego as they walked to the house, "mother's going to start asking why you aren't married yet?"

"Don't worry." said Marcus. "I have a plan to avoid her."

"What?" asked Diego.

"Draco sold me a seat on his space ship." said Marcus.


End Book 6


The End