Harry Potter - Project Omega

by Polydicta

The Minister appears to have come back from the dead, Lucius Malfoy appears to have been long-dead since before he died. On top of this, The Ministry appears to be ignoring the Statute of Re-Integration and the Home Office have launched the mysterious Project Omega ... and who is the Unspeakable Hecate?

Some limited crossover with Quatermass, Star Trek and Doctor Who, as well as influences and elements from innumerable books, short stories, movies and TV/Radio series.

Christine Moon's experiences were inspired by the events surrounding Hermione Granger in Megamatt's Know Your Rights (Chapter 5)

Thanks to the various folks on Hermans Tumbledweeds and Caer Azkaban for insanity checking, advice, insults and encouragements - keep it up, or I might run out of steam before we get far enough in to make a difference!

Disclaimer:

All fiction is derivative and fan fiction doubly so. I make no claim to own any part of any of the following, all I have done is an attempt to put together the elements in a novel fashion, using words and ideas like Lego ™ bricks.

I own the rights to nothing in this or any subsequent chapter - there is such a mixture, that only the plot may be original.

There is no money involved – all I do is to share what I do for my own amusement.

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Harry Potter: Project Omega - 1 - The Statute

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The Magical Separation Treaty of 1645 was signed by Charles I and the Leiðandi Maghe of the Mæğenmoot, one Gruffudd Ordd Crochenydd.

The treaty allowed for the formation of a shadow government led by the newly formed Wizengamut who would appoint a Minister to The Crown. The Wizengamut would have the power to raise taxes, enact By-Laws and to administer justice in return for the protection of The Crown and for neutrality in all disputes involving The Crown.

The treaty also put in place the one joint Legal Act, the Statute of Secrecy, an act designed to enforce a mutual neutrality between magical and mundane Britain. This statute was reflected within a few years across the nations of Europe, thus ending overt magical involvement in the various wars.

By 2018, the International Statute of Secrecy was no longer viable worldwide due to the massive use of surveillance cameras and the ubiquity of video devices carried by individuals, and a move made to return the magical world to the mundane. As a result, the Statute of Secrecy was repealed by the British Government, and portions of the Magical Separation Treaty set aside in August of 2023 to allow the Statute of Integration to be enacted as part of the world-wide move to re-integrate the magical people with their mundane counterparts.

Novae Historiae Praecepta Magica Legalia, 2057

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An introduction to the world of 2025

At the dawn of the twenty first century, the magical world that Harry Potter lived in was beginning its long road to recovery from the hell on Earth of the time of Lord Voldemort's occupation of Wizarding Britain.

A hundred years behind muggle society, the wizards couldn't imagine the social revolution that their non-magical counterparts were experiencing. The rise of the World Wide Web, for example, made the task of keeping magic a secret infinitely more difficult - especially given that Wizards in general had not the first inkling about technology.

Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Man-Who-Conquered and secretly, the supposed Master of Death married his best friend's sister, his best friend married their mutual best female friend, and they started families.

All was well for a long time. Kingsley Shacklebolt was the Minister for Magic, a progressive wizard with strong views on egalitarianism, and an open mind about non-magical society. He also understood exactly how massively outnumbered Wizardkind was by non-magical humans.

Then, technology passed the capacity of the magical world to hide. The non-magical governments pointedly ignored the magical world, even though satellites had mapped the unplottable, identified the spacially changed and watched magic being done on cameras all over.

More and more, the secret was leaking out - magic being photographed and observed by remote cameras until, fearing the inevitable backlash, moves were made to re-integrate and reunite the Wizarding World with the mundane.

-::::::::-

The Statute

Christine Moon, muggleborn witch, was on her way home from London with her father. They had been to Diagon Alley to collect Christine's school things, followed by a special birthday treat, a chance to see 'Phantom of The Opera,' who's star, Christine Daeé she was named for.

In five months, she would be starting at Hogwarts, just like her aunt Lillith did when she was eleven.

All of her new things were in a brand new trunk in the back of the car, and she couldn't wait to get home and to start reading about magic.

It was dark and, in the usual course of things, it was drizzling.

They had just passed the Slough exit from the motorway when they were overtaken on the inside by a driver who was obviously the worse for drink.

There was a shock and then the world went insane. When the car came to rest, Christine was upside-down in her seat, looking through a six-inch wide windscreen where the roof of the car had been crushed. She could feel the dozens of tiny glass cuts in her skin and she hurt abominably from where she had been flung against her seatbelt, he neck was particularly sore.

Her father ...

"Dad?"

There was no response.

In the yellow gloom of the street lights she could see him.

There was no way in the world that he could have ...

There was another jolt and the car slid sideways a few yards, striking sparks.

A smell of petrol.

A flame.

Christine screamed wordlessly and the world went dark.

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When she opened her eyes, Christine was laying on the wet road amongst the broken glass. She could feel the blood on her skin and in her hair, but the pain had all gone.

The world flared before her eyes as the family car caught fire and the petrol tank exploded, taking the drunk's car with it.

Her last sight before the world once more went away was of blue flashing lights and a police officer bending down to her.

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It was the morning after the accident and Anna Moon was sat by her daughter's bed in Wexham Park Hospital where she had been brought. Other than Christine being covered in blood when she was brought in, and being unconscious, there didn't seem to be a mark on her.

As Anna sat, fretting about her daughter and beginning to mourn the loss of her husband, three ... individuals walked in.

"Mrs Moon, we are here to take your daughter to St Mungo's in order to be healed before her trial."

"Trial? St Mungo's?"

"Your daughter broke the Statute of Secrecy by apparating in front of twenty-three muggles. After her trial, she will have to spend at least twelve years in Azkaban before her magic is bound and her wand snapped."

The two heavyweights had bundled Christine up and were levitating the unconscious girl.

"Trial? She saved her own life! What are you talking about - she had only collected her wand yesterday."

"It doesn't matter. She broke the Statute of Secrecy, and she will have to learn her lesson. Stupefy!"

Anna Moon's world went dark and she fell awkwardly to the floor, injuring herself on the way down.

Gawain Robards, the leader of the three spat at the unconscious woman. "Filthy muggle whore!"

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As they exited the room, they met up with two more wizards from the Obliviations Office.

The tall, ginger-haired one spoke. "The comptooters are fixed and the muggle healers obliviated."

Unnoticed by the five, cameras hidden under dark, armoured glass domes followed their progress after a security guard in the monitoring centre noticed the five arriving and using wands on the staff.

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It was quiet in the hallway as the five made their way to the lifts - much quieter than when they had arrived.

Too quiet.

The lift dinged and the doors opened. Five wizards and an unconscious witch entered. The appropriate button was pressed and the lift began to move.

To the wizards, nothing seemed any different from when they had arrived, but the lift travelled further down than the ground floor.

A ding, and the door slid open. The five exited the lift with their prisoner. The doors closed behind them and the lift started back up.

"This isn't the way we came in!"

"Must have been a different luff. C'mon, we'll just have to go out the back way or something."

The sliding doors in front of them opened and their world turned red.

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Gawain Robards awoke with the jolt that accompanies an ennervation spell. A much larger jolt than normal.

"Ah, Senior Obliviator Robards. Welcome back."

Robards opened his eyes to see a black-haired man sitting opposite him. The scruffy black hair and piercing green eyes told him that he was in trouble. The fact that he was shackled to a steel chair and that there were magic suppression spells active merely served to confirm how much trouble.

"Potter! You will pay for this!"

Harry Potter nodded.

"Yes, yes, I've heard this all before. You have been arrested in accordance with the terms of the International Statute of Integration, two thousand and twenty-three, and are to be charged with carrying out illegal activities that have endangered both magical and non-magical citizens of the United Kingdom.

"You have the right to remain silent, but should you not do so, anything you say will be recorded and may be used in court against you. Should you not mention anything relevant to your defence, it may be ruled as inadmissible in a court of law. Do you understand?"

The ex-Auror just sat, staring at Potter.

"Do you understand?"

Robards finally responded with a faint yes.

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Kingsley Shacklebolt sighed when he read Harry's report. After resigning as Minister for Magic and leaving England for his parents' home in Mbebwe, he had stayed in contact with a few of the people he respected. He had been called up to serve as Mbebwe's representative to the International Confederation of Wizards.

He, Harry, Françoise Trudeaux of the North American Federation, Jean Delacouer of France and Krasimir Oblansk of Bulgaria had fought together for the passing of an accord that would end the Statute of Secrecy, given that the non-magical world now had instant broadcast communications and cameras everywhere. The Statute had become unmaintainable at best and a hazard to the magical world at worst.

Once the accord had been passed, a new Statute of Integration was hammered out between the muggle and magical governments of the world. A massive sigh of relief was passed by the various Far-Eastern governments, since magic was an open secret at best - it just wasn't shoved in the faces of tourists.

Harry Potter, the Chief Auror had been sacked over that piece of work, not that he cared much since his wife, Ginny, had left him for ... another woman.

Kingsley shook his head. This was the kind of stuff that had driven him to leave the British Ministry, after all.

He gasped when he saw the charges that the red-headed appetite on legs had been brought up on.

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Harry sighed. This was going to be the worst of them all.

His former best friend, Ron Weasley had been transferred to the obliviator squad as a junior obliviator. He had been involved in the raid on Wexham Park Hospital. He had 'interrogated' one of the nurses (including brutalising her physically) and had then obliviated her. The whole thing had been recorded by the hospital's security system.

Whilst his own group would be able to undo the incompetent's work, she had been wiped of approximately fifty percent of her training and all memory of her family. She had also lost everything before the age of seven years.

Ronald was being charged with aggravated assault, mind rape and attempted personality wipe on top of the other crimes under the Statute. On top of that was his attempt at escape by assaulting one of the MI19 orderlies.

He really wasn't looking forward to telling Hermione that her husband was going to be spending the rest of his life in the correctional facility at Narborough Brough, the highest security military prison buried deep under the Leicestershire landscape - the only place in Britain suitable for incarcerating magical terrorists.

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The Minister for Magic, Vikram Thakur, was summoned to Downing street to explain to the Prime Minister the actions of his Obliviator Squad.

The Minister of Magic, Vikram Thakur ignored the summons, thinking that the muggles weren't worth the bother.

A formal Notice of Summons under the Magical Separation Treaty of 1645 was sent to Vikram Thakur, informing him that he was required to present himself at Downing Street, else a warrant for his arrest under the Statute of Integration (2023) and the National Security Act (2020) would be issued.

Thakur finally presented himself with ill-concealed hostility and ill-grace seven days later. The ex-Slytherin believed himself to be above such trivialities, and intended to obliviate the stuffing out of the PM.

Thakur, having drawn his wand as he entered Number Ten, woke with a splitting headache. The first thing he noticed was a wand-tip glowing between his eyes. He vaguely recognised the dull-pink glow as that of a ribbon cutting curse. He also recognised the green eyes of the owner of the wand.

"Vikram Thakur, Minister for Magic, I choose to assume that you drew your wand as you entered Number Ten as a prelude to handing it over to the security guard. If you had used it on these premises, you would have been shot and arrested as a terrorist. You are currently here as the representative of a hostile government. Do not make the mistake of becoming the representative of an illegally constituted rebel group, you will not win."

The rest of Thakur's visit to the seat of government was not a comfortable one, especially when pointed questions were asked regarding the rejection of a treaty that the British magical government were signatory to.

Things went downhill when he was informed that a team of obliviators were being held for illegal operation on British soil, as well as for a range of other charges - including attempted kidnapping and attempted murder by mind wipe.

Thakur won himself no friends by claiming that it was the right of all magicals to treat muggles as they will.

His continued hostility found him arrested and the Ministry for Magic declared In Rebellion.

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Hermione Weasley had been less than happy at her husband's demotion from the Auror Squad to the newly instituted Department of Obliviations. She was equally unhappy that the new department had been created at all, especially in light of the moves to integrate the magical and mundane worlds.

She had been incandescent when The Ministry had passed a law that prevented any muggleborn or muggle raised magical from contacting his or her non-magical relations. The idiots had done the exact opposite of what the new treaty demanded. Even worse was when she lost her job to the new Pureblood Hiring Preference regulations.

When Harry arrived and told her that Ron was under arrest, and what he was charged with, she broke down. and told him everything that had been happening since Harry left.

"Who is this Vikram Thakur, anyway?"

"He was sorted into Slytherin in ... 1992, while you and Ronald were meeting the Whomping Willow. He was a part of Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad, but kept his nose clean afterwards. Umm ..."

"Yes?"

"He disappeared some time before the Battle of Hogwarts and was listed as dead ..."

"You don't think that it was a mistake, do you?"

Biting her bottom lip, Hermione shook her head.

"I saw him when they brought him in. He was wearing his Slytherin robes, but he had been found out near the greenhouses. He looked pretty dead when I saw him."

"And is the Minister the same person, Hermione?"

"Oh yes! Same sneer, same sense of entitlement, same sense of superiority."

"So, either the body you saw wasn't him, wasn't dead or ..."

Hermione had gone pale. She nodded, reluctantly.

"I think it was him, that he was dead and ..."

Harry completed her thought for her. " And that we have a problem."

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Harry Potter: Project Omega - 2 - A Mission Amongst The Ruins

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By 4 April 2063, Doctor Zephram Cochrane had made plans to pilot the Phoenix on a warp flight test scheduled to launch on the morning of 5 April 2063. His primary motivation for commencing warp technology was financial gain in the devastated, poverty-stricken America that existed in the wake of the Third World War. He finally built Earth's first warp ship, the Phoenix, in the hope its success would prove profitable and allow him to retire to a tropical island filled with naked women. A historical irony was that, contrary to the fact he went on to use the Phoenix to inaugurate an era of peace, Cochrane incorporated a weapon of mass destruction into its design; constructing the Phoenix in a missile silo, he equipped a Titan II missile as its launch vehicle.

- Capt. Jonathan Archer (archived at Memory Alpha)

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It had been over three months and, unbelievably, the city was still burning.

A figure, swaddled in a mass of rags picked its way carefully through the rubble, avoiding the still hot debris and some unseen hazard it occasionally encountered.

A few pitiful remnants of humanity still lurked wherever there was shelter to be had - from the occasional, toxic rain, less frequent explosions of whatever was left to burn and, worst of all, the bands of raiders that frequently patrolled the ruins of civilization.

A heavy pall of toxic, yellowish cloud covered the sky, but a brighter area overhead indicated the position of the sun. The figure stopped briefly and, from under the cowl of its covering, looked toward the sky to the west, regarding the world through the thick goggles of some kind of gas mask.

Hurrying more, now, the figure climbed the hill that had once been clothed in the towering offices of this centre of the country's business. Office blocks that were now broken, skeletal fingers reaching, raised eternally in supplication to the poison pall hanging over the city's corpse like a shroud of stinking pond-scum.

Passing between two of the less damaged towers, the figure came to the remains of one of the country's most iconic sights. Broken, cracked like an egg stood the remains of the famous dome of St Paul's Cathedral.

Here it was that people had gathered for mutual protection and to pray to an uncaring god for divine intervention.

Here it was that those same people were interred in the collapsed remains of the great church, entombed under the tonnes of rock and sealed by the melted copper and lead of the roof.

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Shaking its head, the figure moved on, making haste toward the north, away from the trickle of yellow and red sludge that had once been the heart's blood of the city, Old Father Thames, now reduced to a poisonous ooze seeping through the mud of the former river's bed.

At least the loss of the river would make access simpler, assuming the tunnels were still accessible.

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At length, the figure arrived at the relatively clear path of what was once Newgate Street, now just a relatively safe path westwards. Making better time, the figure made its way west, along the partially-dropped remains of Holborne Viaduct and to its objective, Chancery Lane tube station.

Ducking into the reinforced bunker of the station entrance, a forgotten relic of a previous war against Germany and its V1 and V2 bombs, the figure pulled out a small device.

Two red lights and one green seemed to satisfy the figure as it made its way deeper into the station. A pause, a button press and one of the red lights became green. The figure moved forward through an open gateway, and the green light flickered to amber and then red. The passage was painted matt black, and made a double turn and then again. Here there was light, dim and slightly green. This was a part of the underground forgotten long before the bombardment that had killed humanity.

A sign on the wall carried a complex crest and the legend MIE - Omega Project - Authorised Personnel Only.

The figure passed through an open gateway, and closed the lattice-work with a final crash of metal. A click told of the lock engaging, perhaps for the last time.

Now came the long climb down, two hundred and ninety six steps down a spiralling staircase into the depths of the world below London - below the level of the river. It was clear that the bottom level had been partially flooded before the water level dropped, the muddy tide line and the all-pervading smell of damp told its own story.

The tunnel, when the figure arrived, was closed by two great iron doors that slid back on its approach. Passing through, the doors closed once more, and the crunch of a locking mechanism indicated that they wouldn't open again.

A sudden torrent of water fell from a series of nozzles in the roof of the tunnel. For a minute, the figure stood, a muddy slick of toxic dust, poison ooze and ash flowing off of it.

The water stopped and the figure shed its outer layers of rags. Stepping forward, and leaving the sodden heap where it lay.

A few more paces, and the process was repeated. This time, there was no slick of visible mire before the outer layer was shed.

The figure, now visibly female and wearing some kind of frog-suit walked forward, coming to a row of lockers. The suit was removed, revealing a short woman with wide, blue eyes, long, blonde hair and a slightly puzzled expression. The suit was hung up in one of the lockers, and she walked through a door and into a changing room.

A long, hot shower with shampoo and soap, followed by a clean set of clothes, and Luna Lovegood emerged in order to complete her mission.

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A proper meal, albeit a Tesco ready meal preserved long beyond the time when that shop still operated, provided her with her first real food in weeks, followed by a night's sleep in the quarters assigned to her when there was still a human government.

A government that existed before Zephram Cochrane's ill-fated flight of 2082, in an experimental ship built out of a decommissioned nuclear missile. Before he caught the attention of The Others, those shadowy creatures that had noticed Humanity. Before their bombardment, a mere two years later, that had blasted Humanity back to the stone age ... and beyond.

Seven days in an office in the bunker far below London saw Luna compiling her logs, her reports and her other information.

The bunker was deep enough that the miniscule power emissions from her computer equipment wouldn't be detected from above ... assuming that The Others were still around - that they were still monitoring.

A final night's sleep and Luna said farewell to her quarters, her office and the last memories of her friends - all long dead in the battle for Earth.

Through the sadness as she made her way to the main bunker, a tiny thread of amusement that a witch should be so comfortable with technology. It was a ten minute walk along a dimly lit tunnel that rose gently to a point a mere hundred feet below Whitehall.

It stood mute testament to the engineering expertise of the contractors that the tunnel had remained largely undamaged even after the bombardment had dug a sixty-foot deep crater above it, and turned another thirty feet of ground into molten slag. She hurried through the darkened section of the tunnel, knowing that a lake of highly radioactive glass sat a mere stone's throw above her head.

She noticed that the paint was peeling in this section.

At length, she arrived at the great blast doors that stood open, waiting for her to come and to complete her final mission. The last of her kind in Britain - the last Unspeakable.

She pulled a lever and the doors slid shut behind her, powered by counter-weights as there was no power, magical or mundane, available to open and close them.

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The wards were still active, which was a good thing.

The Atrium of the former Ministry of Magic would be unrecognisable to anyone who had been here before Re-Integration.

The whole chamber was filled with structural steel, doors and defensive concrete walls. The old visitors' entrance was blocked by a massive pillar of reinforced, iron-loaded concrete. The offices overlooking the chamber were dark and empty as she made her way to the stairs.

Down further, Luna passed, unwilling to risk the lifts after so many years, and beyond the level that the tunnel from Chancery Lane had reached.

The lowest level, the former Department of Mysteries, was accessed through a security door bearing a sign, Project Omega - No Admittance - Project Staff Only.

And there it was: Project Omega. Luna looked around the control room. The door closed with a quiet hiss, and Luna was cocooned in the hushed atmosphere of this temple of science.

-::::::::-

Hermione followed her best friend along a grey corridor in Whitehall. She hardly expected to be delivered to the front entrance of the Ministry of Defence offices, and even less to be escorted by a besuited Harry Potter.

Even less did she expect to be put through several scans, have her wand weighed and then have to sign a number of forms. On top of that came a magical oath.

Harry ushered her into an office, and went to sit behind the desk, inviting Hermione to take the chair on the other side. There was a keyboard, mouse and flat monitor on the desk. He surprised her by inserting his wand into the side of the keyboard before logging in.

"Now, Hermione, I am going to give you an opportunity to do something for your country - both in the magical and non-magical worlds. There is something afoot, something big, and it has already had major repercussions both past and future ..."

He regarded her speculatively.

"Do you still watch Doctor Who, Hermione?"

She blinked, stunned at the sudden change of direction.

"Umm, yes ... ?"

"Good. What can you tell me about it?"

She thought for a moment before speaking.

"The current and last few Doctors have been based very much on Earth ... the adventures ... It's just like when Jon Pertwee was The Doctor! It's real, isn't it?"

Harry grinned. "Near enough. The Pertwee era was very much the start of the public information, but it tapered off for a while. Back in 2017, the decision was taken to return the series to preparing the public for when the Statute of Secrecy finally broke down ... amongst other issues."

"Other issues? What about UNIT?"

"Other issues. I will explain once we get there. UNIT, on the other hand, has another name in reality, and they have been around for a long, long time. They pre-date the Ministry for Magic."

"The Unspeakables of the DoM?"

Harry nodded. "Very good. They aren't all magical, and they aren't all human, either. The head of department is codenamed Croaker - you knew the current head's predecessor, Neville's uncle Algernon. Algie works for me now.

"You were earmarked for being invited into the DoM, but your marriage to Ron scuppered that - he was always considered a security risk, after all."

Hermione interrupted. "Harry, how long have you worked here?"

Harry grinned. "Twenty seven years, just over."

Hermione's face went blank. "You were working as an auror for most of that time, before becoming the Senior Auror and then Chief Auror."

Harry nodded. "Yes, and when they sacked me, I came to work for the MoD."

"But that was just two years ago."

"And? How could I work somewhere for 23 years having joined just two years since?"

"Hmmm ... time turner wouldn't work ... time compression would have aged you prematurely ... using the TARDIS ... no, that's fiction ... or ..."

Harry's grin threatened to separate the top of his head from the rest of him.

"You have a TARDIS? Really!"

"Not a TARDIS, no, but the arithmancy of the Translocation Equations has been re-examined, and the original Bode solution thrown out. There was an assumption made, an assumption that had deadly effects - not the least of which was the side result."

"The Taboo? That was part of the Bode solution to the Translocation Equations? What was the assumption?"

"Essentially that physical Translocation occurs only across an approximately spherical surface in Euclidean space. It works for short ranges, a few metres, and it works on the outside of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, but once you have things on a geographic scale, you tend to get the kind of backlash that Selene Lovegood experienced."

Hermione gasped. "Luna's mum was working on translocation?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, and there is evidence that Bode knew full well that the assumption was invalid. That one published paper has killed dozens of spell crafters. He was a Death Eater, after all."

"So what correction is needed?"

"There is a non-Euclidean term that takes account of gravitation, and there is a term that comes from the Chorister Field Equation."

"CFE ... there's a temporal element? Of course, translocation isn't instant!"

"Better than that, what do you know about the work of Jacobi, back in eighteen thirty two?"

"The Paradox theory?"

She thought for a moment. "Jacobi came up with an empirically derived set of dynamic boundaries on temporal displacement. It's why time travel is only possible backward, and why there is a limit of a few weeks on any travel. It is also the reason for there existing a lock on anything that you know has already happened ..."

Harry nodded again. "Go on ..."

"Jacobi's limits state that true time travel is impossible, and that the best that you can do is to warp your personal time-line so that you are effectively in two places at once and experience the whole as a temporal loop."

The grin was back. "We isolated the arithmantics of the Jacobi conditions, and solved the Paradox Conundrum"

"How? Tell me everything ..."

"After you agree to join the team, undergo the Rites of Induction, suffer the Black Arts of The Act and are properly briefed."

-::::::::-

It had been three months and, unbelievably, Hermione had found herself swamped by her new job. She had never imagined that she would be working alongside Harry's godson, Teddy Lupin.

The metamorph had not only completed his studies at Hogwarts, but had then taken his non-magical exams and proceeded on to university, studying Physics, and then going on to a masters and then a doctorate. He had entered the MoD directly from college, joining Harry's team immediately. Like Harry, he had been sent back, unlike Harry, he had spent much of his time studying advanced arithmancy, runes and warding within the Department of Mysteries under a woman code-named Hecate.

It was Teddy who had solved the issues with Bode's simplistic solution to the Translocation Equations. He and Hecate, along with some woman, Sylvia or Selene or something had then re-written Jacobi's Paradox Limits.

Now, while Teddy worked on some advanced warding scheme, Hermione was doing research into, of all things, some of the events surrounding the life of a Dr Bernard Quatermass. The man was a rocket scientist of the old school, but he had become embroiled in a number of strange adventures back in the 1950's and 60's.

Sadly Quatermass was long dead, though he had left copious notes detailing those adventures, along with photographs, recordings and so forth. There were also a number of exhibits - the remains of several creatures, samples of stuff, hollow meteorites, fragments of machinery and a stack of textbooks that were more up Teddy's street than hers.

The man was, to say the least, years ahead of his time. The idea of using a nuclear reactor to pre-heat the fuel and oxidiser in a rocket engine was remarkable, and even when faced with the design blueprints and the assistance of one of the nuclear engineers from the Admiralty Office, she couldn't see any reason why the engine should have turned spontaneously into an atomic bomb - the geometry was all wrong.

An embittered Quatermass had quit the MoD when his rocket project was axed. He took early retirement and puttered around between his own projects and put in time at Ringstone Observatory until a relatively short illness that featured a total break from reality and his subsequent death. The autopsy said that he had died as a result of his exposure to radiation in conjunction with his rocketry research.

.

"Harry?"

Harry looked round to see Hermione bearing down on him, a determined expression on her face.

"You've found something?"

She nodded and led him back to her office. her evidence was stuck to the whiteboards that she so loved.

"Harry, Bernard Quatermass didn't die of exposure to nuclear radiation. He was never exposed to significant levels of either radiation or contamination."

Harry nodded. "Go on ... "

"He was involved in a number of incidents similar to our own at Hogwarts. That may have contributed but ..."

She paused.

"But, he was researching nuclear-augmented chemical rockets. The two actual launch tests ended up in thermonuclear fireballs and a static engine test suffered a major structural failure that led to a major irradiation incident. It was easily cleaned up and nothing was damaged, and no one was injured, but ... it couldn't have happened."

"What do you mean by it couldn't have happened?"

"The test bed test was of the chemical system only. There was no nuclear fuel on board to cause any kind of radiation-related incident, and the boffin from the admiralty says that the rocket engine, whilst an excellent reactor design for heating things up, was not in any way capable of becoming an atomic bomb.

"He told me that the design was revolutionary, and probably couldn't even go into melt-down, the reactor was that self-regulating."

Harry was nodding.

"Can you write this up for me. I would like a separate summary of your findings regarding his adventures at the same time."

Hermione handed Harry a sheaf of print-out, knowing that he preferred to read off of paper to staring at his screen.

He just grinned.

"What next, Harry?"

"We have an old friend coming to visit. He is proving to be something of an enigma, just like a number of others who have come under out purview of late. Go take a break, and I'll call you when he arrives."

-::::::::-

Luna padded over to one of the consoles and pressed a green, faintly glowing button.

There were a few mechanical noises from the door. A heavy sensation filled the air and Luna smiled.

"Thank you Teddy," she whispered to her long-lost friend.

A computer display lit and the distant sound of machinery starting up could be heard.

Luna nodded as the messages scrolled up the screen.

"Environmental seals are fine. Good... Project wards activated smoothly. I just hope that the Ministry wards will be enough to hide us for a few more minutes."

She placed her laptop into one of the docking stations and went back to the screen that was displaying the project status.

Her face lit with a smile as the words temporal shield active at full strength appeared.

"We're cooking on thermite, guys!"

There was no reply, nor had she expected one. At least, not yet.

Her laptop beeped and she crossed over to it. She sent her reports to the relevant systems in the project, but she could take all the time she wanted now. That last message meant that she was no longer part of the world that she had been living in - she was in a little bubble outside of time and space, at least for as long as the power lasted.

The lights now came up to full brightness rather than the anaemic glow that she had grown used to.

The other consoles and workstations finished booting up with a chorus of beeps.

A holographic display became active and five heads appeared, ghostly, slightly transparent and currently rather expressionless. They were, above all, bodiless.

"Hello guys, I've missed you all so much."

Something shifted and the faces became animated.

"Luna?" A voice that she had missed for so long.

"Hello Harry Potter, I have missed you."

The image smiled at her. "Well, I'm not actually here, am I, Luna? At least, not the real me."

"I have no idea where the real you actually is, Harry. I know where Hermione, Teddy and Neville are. I'm here, so I know where I am, and that just leaves Bernard. Bernard?"

The bearded face with half-moon glasses and a wry smile. "I died the same years that Harry defeated that Dark Lord of yours. That Voldemort fellow. They never did figure out what I died of."

While the machines of Project Omega continued to come to operational status, Luna was able to spend time with her deceased friends.

Eventually, everything was up and running. Through the armoured glass of the control room, Luna could see the massive structure of the Tachyon Pulse Engine, a super-accelerator that changed the nature of space and time, the miraculous machine that she had helped to build, that would translocate matter and energy to wherever and whenever was required.

Hermione would have described it as a massive achievement and a feat of modern engineering. Luna described it as a miraculous exercise in constructing an insanely complex floo system without the floo.

"Oh, poo! It's time to get started. The reactor won't run forever."

The Bernard AI smiled. "You have at least thirty years before you can't power the jump matrix."

"True, but I only have two packets of crisps, a packet of Rich Tea and all of the Darjeeling I can drink. Is there a loo in the complex?"

Teddy spoke up. "I always wondered how you could drink that stuff. It's too smoky for me. I'll stick to Assam if you don't mind?"

Neville grinned. "Harry got me onto PG and I never looked back. Cheap, commonplace and plentiful. Just how I like my tea."

Hermione smiled. She had always drunk Jasmine Tea, for preference, and remembered Harry and Neville's tar-like beverage all too well.

"No use putting it off. I'll see you all on the flip-side."

.

The transport chamber was built using the seat from a decommissioned jet fighter. Indeed, the device that it was in resembled the cockpit of that same fighter, but with the addition of some really cool electronic accessories.

She caressed a few keys and her AI was projected into the transport chamber. It mimicked her actions in every detail.

The lights dimmed as she started the transfer.

"Luna Terminal calling Hecate Actual. Get your ears on Hecate Actual."

A face appeared on her screen. Well, a head hidden under the cowl of a hood.

"Hecate Actual receiving you, Luna."

"Hecate Actual, we are in the final phase of Omega Terminal. I will be transmitting as scheduled to the assigned locations. Are there any last minute changes to the plan?"

"Luna, changes as follow: Project Selene is a go, repeat, Selene is a go. Good luck on that one. See you on the flip side, Luna. Hecate out."

The transfer was closed and Luna sighed. It was more work, but it meant that she would get someone back who she had lost a long time ago.

-::::::::-

Hermione followed Harry along the corridor and into the morgue where a body was waiting on an examination table. The pale hair was unmistakeable.

"Malfoy? How?"

Harry shook his head. "He was transferred from Azkaban three days ago due to failing health. There is something that you need to see ..."

The medical examiner, one Barbara (Bunny) Long was waiting, ready.

"Have you ever performed or even watched an autopsy, Miss Granger?"

Hermione nodded. "Yes, it was while I still worked for The Ministry. I had to attend several."

"Then you will be performing part of the procedure under my guidance. I fear that this is something that will be necessary again in the near future."

.

Hermione was dressed in surgical greens and wearing the appropriate safety equipment. Bunny had been recording the initial findings.

"Now, Miss Granger, there is a difference between this procedure and the traditional, mainly due to a number of anomalous results form the routine CAT scans.

"Please make an incision along the median of the face, from hair-line to upper lip. The incision needs to be about six millimetres deep."

Hermione looked sharply at this. "Six mil? But the nasal septum is only about three below the surface."

"Six millimetres. That is one of the anomalies."

Hermione complied, drawing the scalpel expertly down the middle of Lucius Malfoy's face. She felt a frisson of schadenfreude at being allowed to mar the peacock's features.

"Now, place your palms on the cheeks and exert a firm downward pressure in order to separate the skin."

Hermione felt a little sick at the idea. This was not how a facial examination was normally carried out.

She pressed and there was a sensation like a sip-fastener separating. She gagged slightly at the acrid smell, sulphur and creosote were there, and maybe some sort of marsh effluvium.

She blinked.

"What the ... ?"

Her voice trailed off. The skin had separated cleanly from the underlying structures, showing a distinctly yellowish flesh. The muscles were ... wrong. The nose was ... it looked like spongy bone rather than cartilage. The eyes were twice the size of a normal person's eyes and she could see that a full sclera contact lens had been displaced on the left eye.

She lifted the lens and gasped. The orange-yellow iris was enormous and surrounded a diagonal slit pupil.

She looked up at her best friend.

"That's right, he wasn't human. This is the seventh so far."

She was shaking her head, as if to deny the horror of what she had just witnessed.

"Do you want to complete the examination, or shall we just give you the run-down?"

.

Five people were sat in the auditorium briefing room. There were two generals, an admiral, a squadron commander and a grey suit known simply as 'S'.

On the podium was Harry Potter, Bunny Long, Hermione Granger and another grey suit, one James Mycroft, the head of MI5.

The briefing had been long and tedious, but now the clinical details were being shared.

"... as you can see, the arrangement of organs in the abdominal cavity is quite unlike any human, magical or non-magical. The circulatory system is powered by a pair of heart-like organs comprising six muscular chambers, attached to the underside of the diaphragm. The entire thoracic cavity is taken up by a laminar lung structure that resembles a set of gills more than anything else.

"The head comprises a cranium similar in shape to our own and plays host to a pair of large eyes that sit behind relatively human eyelids, except for a pair of nictitating membranes.

"The nose is a bony process that is separate from the skull, resembling the internal structure of the platypus' bill. The primary dentition is very similar to our own, but the enlarged canines suggest a higher meat diet than our own. There is a secondary dentition behind the primary which comprises a series of ridged plate-like teeth used for grinding. This is a structure found regularly in animals that consume a diet of woody vegetation or have a large intake of chitinous prey.

"It has been observed that there are two venom glands located in the neck with ducts that emerge adjacent to a pair of barbs attached to the underside of the tongue. The hair appears to be exactly the same as our own species."

There was a long silence.

"What about DNA?"

"They share less than five percent of their DNA with Homo sapiens. Considering that even jellyfish share fifteen to twenty percent of their DNA with us, it is reasonable to suggest that these are representatives of a completely different evolution from our own."

More cogitation, and then -

"Then where do they come from?"

.

Harry Potter: Project Omega - 3 - Retconning the timeline

.

The solution to the complex net of limiting conditions in Paradox Theory, the empirically derived Jacobi Limits comes from a mathematical principle first noted in the 17th century. The development of fractal theory and its applications in the 1970's led to the formalisation of chaos and catastrophe theory.

It was rigorously shown that the primary branch experiential timeline is accessible, post paradox, to a putative outside observer only until the last agency of paradox generation has ceased to exist in that branch. As soon as the final agency of paradox generation is no longer available, then that timeline collapses back to the point of diversion, and will continue to exist solely in the memories of those that observed the truncated (stub-) branch.

Stub branches may only be identified by comparison of recorded experience after the paradox event. The catastrophe edge (defined by a probability cusp, the height of which increases with increasing time) for most events represents a single, total replacement of one experiential timeline with another.

Some events, and in particular predestination paradoxes as well as all time-turner (monopolar re-entry events) are characterised by a multiple-fold cusp of finite duration - whilst many paths through the event are possible, the net experiential timeline remains unchanged. Indeed, it has been suggested that most natural processes at the quantum scale are closed paradox events of instantaneous duration.

- Hermione Granger, An Introduction to Temporal Dynamics, 2017.

.

"Harry?"

"Yes, Hermione?"

Harry knew that expression and tone of voice. Hermione had a question that was burning brightly at the forefront of her curiosity centres.

"If you have been working here for twenty three years, how come you don't look any older than you did when you left The Ministry?"

Harry grinned.

"Now there, Miss Granger, is one of the great mysteries of our time. Given that we are able to travel through time and given our own experiences at Hogwarts, how would you solve the problem of aging continuously over many, many years of travelling? What solution would you suggest?"

Harry would swear that he saw a heat-haze over Hermione's head as she worked through the problem. Harry had long ago realised that Hermione preferred to reach her own answers, but needed information to do so. He had provided that information.

" ... you ... stole the ... no, you abducted ... recruited ..."

The irritated expression arrived.

"You went back and convinced Nicolas Flamel to give you the Philosopher's Stone?"

Harry smiled. "Almost. We convinced the Flamels to join the department back in 1978 - they went into hiding after our first year."

"But the stone ..."

"Was mostly a fake. The actual stone has to be crystallised out on a suitable substrate, and that is the difficult part of the process, since any contamination will kill off the process. It takes Nick and Perenelle three weeks to make a stone now. The answer was quite simple - a clean room and synthetic quartz. The one that they handed Albus was a failed experiment, and yielded just enough of the alchemical crystal to function for a while.

"Would you like to meet Her Majesty's Government's oldest employees, Hermione?"

Hermione's eyes lit up with delight, her irritation at Harry evaporating like a dream.

-::::::::-

Luna looked at the mission completion orders that she had received during her brief conversation with Hecate. The files contained a modified re-entry vector into the time stream.

"It's no wonder they didn't want to give me my next mission orders until this one was complete ..."

"Why is that, Luna?"

"The blibbering humdingers would have made nargle stew out of the timeline."

The Hermione AI understood this perfectly. "So when are we going from here?"

"Nineteen eighty-nine. August the eighth."

The Neville AI spoke, "so we're going to save your mum then?"

Luna nodded mutely, tears appearing in her eyes.

"Good. Will this be a hidden op or open?"

Luna smiled. "Open. I will get to meet my mum, but little Luna won't lose hers."

"Brilliant!" Harry, the least talkative of the AIs in her system had finally spoken - a pronouncement that put the seal on the whole thing.

"You do realise that that will be the primary point of divergence, and that the Hecate that you spoke with is will be not is the one you meet back then, don't you?"

Luna parsed Harry's use of temporal tenses. Of all of the AIs and departmental operatives, he was the only one that actually used the peculiar grammar for describing events across paradoxes.

"Yes I do, but I know who is will replaced her. Oh, poo! you've got me doing it, now!"

The Harry AI grinned.

"What are we taking back?"

"We have a package that will arrive after we get there, but there is the auxiliary mission core to go as well."

"You're taking us? What about the project building?" The Neville AI.

Luna's electronic image spoke for the first time. "The timeline has already collapsed. Outside of this temporal bubble, there is only the ylem of The Vortex. Once we leave and the bubble collapses, nothing will remain of this time but our memories."

"Thank you Lu, I couldn't have put it better myself."

"Of course not, Luna, after all, I am you."

"That is all well and good, but we need to go. Power's a wasting and there is stuff to send. Where is our arrival point?"

Luna checked the screen. A big smile spread across her face. "Castle Crochenydd, what in our time was the duelling chamber on sub-level three. Harry, you will need to get access to the wards as soon as you arrive. The wards will already be down in the sub-levels, but we will need to be keyed in and the wards re-enabled down there."

The AI nodded. This is what his special instrumentation package was for, after all.

.

All was ready. Luna was wearing her transit suit, a cross between a fighter-pilot's flight suit and a space suit, her helmet sat on the desk beside her.

The primary mission core had been dismounted and was in its transit case, as was the secondary unit, meaning that the only person she had for conversation was, once again, herself.

Her laptop was in its shielded case and attached to her suit, along with a stack of shrunken, unshielded print-outs.

She had packed as much of the equipment and supplies as she could. Technical salvage would be incredibly valuable to her when she got back to 1989.

The transit cases were all the size and general shape of a human torso, designed to sit in the transit chamber of Project Omega. One by one, Luna loaded them into the chamber, sending each one to its own arrival point in the castle. They should arrive within a few milliseconds of each other.

The first package had loaded itself. A biotech construct, what Luna thought of as a robotic golem, with a copy of the Harry AI installed had been sent, wearing its own built-in transit suit. It should have arrived first.

Luna set the controls for an automatic evacuation to her target time and location and, taking a walk around the complex, finally climbed into the cockpit and closed the canopy.

As was her tradition, she made aircraft zooming noises as she made herself comfortable and activated the control panel. An electronic key unlocked the Molly-guards on the controls, and she powered up the machine.

"I'll see you on the flip-side," she said as she lifted the guard hit the transmit button.

.

Accelerated tachyons flooded the chamber as the reactors pumped mega joule after mega joule into the transit coils. Sending inorganic material was low-powered stuff as it was ... predictable. Sending the bio-golem through had required about twenty-five percent of maximum power. Sending a fully-equipped human being across more than a few days was a major-league event, energy-wise.

The tachyon beam reached critical and an observer would see a solid white bar engulf the cockpit and its occupant. Then the transit coils began their electromagnetic dance, the complex fields twisting space and time in the relatively small volume of the cockpit, causing strange, rainbow ghosts of energy to flicker across the tachyon field.

When the computer system judged conditions to be just right, the massive, superconducting launch-coils triggered in sequence, catapulting the time-jumper out of the current space-time and into the abyss known as The Vortex.

An observer would have seen Luna appear to be swept backwards as a smear of light and vapour, disappearing as though evaporated.

The occupant of the capsule squeezed her eyes shut. She really, really hated this bit. It was much better being projected physically backwards as the Döpplered light didn't make the journey quite so nauseating this way round, and it meant that she would land on her back rather than squishing her nose when she arrived.

As the decades flowed past her, she giggled at Harry's description of his first time-ride, and arriving in true Harry fashion, face first into a wall, acquiring a broken nose and broken glasses in the process.

As Luna left the year 2085, or rather the space-time bubble of indeterminate era that had been wrested from 2085, the transit chamber went with her, as per the final evacuation protocols, in order to ensure that the system could never be used again in that timeline.

The energy spent in sending Luna back to the twentieth century meant that there was a sudden echoing silence in the now abandoned Project Omega. The lightshow stopped, the coils stopped their electronic dance and there was peace.

Then the process began again, this time aiming at the distant future. The accelerated tachyons once more flooded the chamber, but now more than before, the transit coils charged to maximum and began their dance and the launch coils began their sequence -in reverse.

Pulling a signal from the future was easy, but when there was nothing to lock onto because there was no future, then things became ... gnarly.

The reactor pushed its entire output into the transit system, pulling on a microwave-rich vacuum. Eventually, the fail-safes were bypassed and the temporal shields fell.

No longer anchored, the whole of Project Omega (2085) imploded down to a single point and was projected into the far future, deep into the heat-death of the universe.

-::::::::-

The year was ... indeterminate. The place was ... unknowable. Neither place not time had any meaning here. Time no longer passed, all places were one place, gravity was a long-forgotten memory of the universe's youth. The universe had stopped ages past, and now comprised a sea of microwave energy at 3.7 Kelvin.

A monopoint scintilla of mass-energy flickered for a moment, and then exploded into change.

The observer nodded to himself. It was damned good light he saw, even if he hadn't caused it himself ... at least not directly. And after the long, long darkness, any change was welcome.

Well, even boredom couldn't last forever, just for eternity.

-::::::::-

Dinky popped to where the disturbance had come from, and arrived just in time to see a blossoming of not-light and magic, and the appearance of what looked remarkably like part of that Hero-Plan that master Charlus had had back in 1943. What confused Dinky was that the thing had arrived at great speed through the wall without doing any damage, over forty feet into the solid Welsh slate of Caer Crochen.

There were a few plink-plink sounds as if the metal was cooling from great heat. There was also some muffled cursing. Dinky assumed that anyone crashing their hero-plan was entitled to curse.

The canopy popped open and a figure emerged. Its flight suit was nothing like Master Charlus' was, but times changed and muggle fashion doubly so.

The helmet was removed with a slight hiss.

"I detest that! The launch is bad enough, but arriving backwards like that is ... OOOOOHHHHH!"

The figure stamped its booted foot before turning, when now Dinky saw a pretty blonde lady.

"Dinky?"

"Mistress Selene?"

"No, Dinky, I'm Luna."

The elf launched himself at her and hugged her leg.

"We's been so alone," she wailed.

-::::::::-

Hermione felt extremely silly. She was dressed in some kind of space suit and sat in what appeared to be a sawn-off section of the fuselage of some kind of fighter plane.

She had, over the past three months, been poked, prodded, measured, examined, manipulated and run through enough medical imaging systems to last several lifetimes. She imagined that with a bit of effort, they'd be able to build a copy from the data.

She had also had injections, blood tests and more injections. She decided that they were trying to turn her into a hedgehog animagus. She had also had series of minor surgeries to implant various devides under her skin.

Now she was sat and feeling very, very silly indeed. Her embarrassment level rose when the machine started. It was exactly like being in some kind of science fiction B-movie.

As the heavy feeling in the air mounted, a beam of white engulfed her. Strange rainbow lights soon joined the white. The sick feeling in her stomach and the ache in her hands suggested that her knuckles might resemble the light, and her face the pale green that was currently dancing over her tightly closed eyelids.

A rising pitch accompanied by a faint crackling sound and Hermione felt as though she were being thrown forwards from a giant catapult - her senses were assaulted by the brilliant, psychedelic colours that she had been warned about.

The lights were worse than anything that she had imagined, and her journey seemed to go on forever.

A distinct ripping sound, like velcro being pulled apart while covered in custard, and all of that elastic was catching her.

There was a brief pain and a flash of lights and Hermione was no longer aware of anything.

.

She came to lying on a medical couch, no longer wearing her silly suit, and painfully aware of a headache and the blocked-nose sensation ofhaving had her nose magically re-set.

She groaned, more out of the need to express her state of awareness than to complain about the pain.

"Tell me about it."

"Harry?"

"Welcome to the past, Hermione. You have some potions that you need to take."

She opened her eyes and saw a bluish-green potion being offered. A pain potion.

She drank it down and gagged slightly. The taste of old socks and over-ripe bananas was unmistakeable.

The pain receded, and she took the next phial.

Hermione wasn't familiar with this potion. It was a rich, ruby red and seemed to have tiny flakes of gold suspended in it. She sniffed it cautiously, and thought that she caught a hint of chocoalte syrup pudding, to which her stomach gave a growl of agreement.

She tasted the potion as she swallowed it. If gold filligree and great classical music had a taste, this was it. It tasted exactly like a metaphorical million dollars, a holiday in the sun and a romantic meal for two.

Then it hit her. She felt like she was being electrocuted cell-by-cell, starting at her stomach and working out - folowed by a feeling of heat throughout her body. Then it was gone, along with her aches and pains, the soreness of her joints, a hang-over from her time petrified by the Basilisk, the dull awareness of the scar left by Anton Dolohov's curse.

There was a strange sensation in her mouth. A questing tongue found a tooth where there had been a gap resulting from Ron Weasley's only attempt at DIY.

She cocked an eyebrow.

"Elixir of life. It only works properly after you have travelled back in time by more than a few weeks, that's why the Flamels look so young again. We've found all sorts of strange things about it."

-::::::::-

His steel-grey tunic exactly mirroring the shade of his eyes, his jaw set with determination, the man sat at the desk looked every inch an officer. Well, almost every inch … the effect was spoiled, rather, by the long, curly hair, neat moustache and a sort of a chin-strap beard.

Very well, he looked like an upper-class rogue stuffed into a military uniform of some sort. He did, however seem inordinately comfortable in uniform.

He walked, albeit smartly, through the doors into the vast, circular chamber known as The Camera Occulta.

Opposite the doors sat a figure. One could be forgiven for thinking this to be a throne room – the seat, throne-like sat upon a tall dais, the ornate surface being accented by a strange mixture of technological and magical greebling – features that seemed to be of indeterminate purpose until you understood what the seat actually did.

"Come in … come in! What have you to tell me?"

The figure in the throne, dwarfed by the thing, called the new arrival who, in defiance of all tradition, walked straight across the crystalline surface of the floor rather than skirting around on the white and obsidian walkway around the edge of the chamber – an action that saved at least a minute of walking.

Beneath the crystal surface was the Camera itself, a surface of varied shades of grey, ranging from silver-grey through to obsidian, dark shades being dominant. Shot through the dark surface were skeins of metal – threads, ropes and hair-fine filigree, metals of varied hues including the unlikely bluish and greenish coloured threads alongside the better known golds, silvers, greys and reds.

As he walked, he was aware of the subtle, slow shifting of the patterns below the crystal. He approached the dais and saw the face of his sort-of brother – messy black hair above bespectacled eyes of brown. The unremarkable nose was bracketed between high cheekbones and sat above a pair of thin lips.

"The 2085-kappa collapse has been initiated and the time-line abandoned. You should be starting to see it …"

The figure in the throne pointed, interrupting the speaker.

"It has just begun to propagate back. We'll see what happens this time, Commander. Be prepared to take action if necessary."

"Right you are then chief," the other responded, grinning roguishly. "You and Lils coming over for dinner tonight?"

The figure in the throne nodded. "Ya, see you at eight?"

-::::::::-