Flight to the Stars
DISCLAIMER – I do NOT own Harry Potter. I also do NOT own the FireFly series. All I own is the plot.
DISCLAIMER – If you do NOT like m/m pairings, then you should NOT read my stories. I DON'T go into detail, but I still make innuendos about the relationship and I don't hesitate to show that the characters love each other. HP/ ST, RT/ FW, GW/LL, IS/MR, SS/KF, JC/BL
DISCLAIMER – The characters are going to be OOC. This is because I like to portray the characters as I see fit. This is the reason that many of us write fan fiction. If you don't like the way I portray the characters, then go and write your own story and see how hard it is to please everyone.
AUTHOR'S NOTE – This story is dedicated to my mom and dad who have supported me in everything that I wish to do in life. This story is also dedicated to Sean Maher who inspired me to write this story.
Chapter 3 – Flight to the Stars
Harry and his group all followed Mal as he led them to Serenity. No one in his group had ever seen a spaceship before. Even those that had muggle blood or training had never seen a real one before. The ships on the television were a poor excuse for the rugged beauty that was Serenity. Mal showed them around his ship and watched with a smile on his face at the awe that was on their faces. He enjoyed seeing the excitement in their eyes.
"This is my baby," said Mal. "When I bought her, it took every dime I had to fix her up. She has a good crew and she can move fairly quickly when she has to. We have had many adventures here. I have no doubt that we will have even more on Infinity. Shall we head up now so that you can all visit your new home?"
"Please," Harry acknowledged. "While you are doing that, I'll go and check with Simon and see if he has figured out how to help the Longbottoms yet. Come on Neville, as they are your parents, you should be present to see if there is anything that can be done for them. Severus is already roaming around, and I have no doubt that he will meet us there. Luna, can you please tell Fred and George to lay off their pranks please? We don't want an accident to occur while we are flying and such. I know that they want to sell and create, but we need them to wait until they are in their quarters for that. Remus can always hire someone to work in their store for them."
Nodding in agreement, Luna headed out while Harry and Neville left for the infirmary. Mal noticed that Harry was very skilled in taking charge. It would be easier working with him as he was decisive and knew what he wanted and how it was to be done. That his portion of the crew listened to him well, made things all the more easier. It would be interesting to see how the two teams worked together in a battle like scenario. He just hoped that they wouldn't meet any Reavers in space. With the few things he saw of magic so far, he knew that Harry and his group would wipe them out in a matter of moments.
Harry approached the infirmary with Neville a few steps behind him. As he entered, Simon looked over and smiled at them. His attention was mostly directed at a three dimensional picture of Alice's brain. Severus was in the room and was also looking over the images to see if he could help come up with a cure for their ailments.
"We have a few issues that are relatively simple to fix," said Simon beckoning the teens over. "There is some scar tissue that we can deal with that won't affect their daily functions. Severus stated that he can make some potions to handle these types of scars. There are certain medications that I can give them that would cause the damage done to their nerve endings to heal faster. The damage, while minimal, is spread throughout their bodies. We can start working on parts of them at a time and get them to start coming around more and more. With help from some of the basic exercises such as moving their legs up and down, we can get their muscles to ease and they can move about. From what Severus has stated Alice already walks around anyway. What I have in mind will assist in them getting their motor functions back under their own control."
"It will still be a matter of months before we can pull them out altogether, but we can do it," assured Severus. "Thanks to Simon, we now know what we are dealing with. Magical scans don't show us all of this detail. With some of the skill that I personally have in the muggle forms of healing, I know what I can and can't do with potions and spells to help them. Your parents will be able to walk and talk just like they did before, Neville. They may not be totally as they were before, but they will be able to function and show you the love you have been missing this entire time."
"Once they are back on their feet, we can take a shuttle and bring them back to that alley so they can get a wand," said Zoe smiling softly at the teens. "For a while at least, we will stay in YOUR solar system. Simon and River are good with sciences. They can help identify some of the plants and such that you all will need for your potions when we get back to our solar system. We will always be able to come back and forth to get the stuff you can't grow. When we go to our solar system, River and Simon can help you replace certain plants and animal parts for the potions you will need."
"Let's just take the time and get to know one another as a group," suggested Harry. "The more we learn about one another, the better we will get along. Severus and Neville can tell you that I HATE fighting and will avoid it as much as I can. That doesn't mean that I don't do what I have to do to protect those that are in my care. I value the lives of my friends more than I do for my own. The weasel and the beaver used to call it my "saving people thing". I hated that mantra just as much as the Boy-Who-Lived mantra. People in the wizarding world really need to stop pinning labels on people. It gets annoying after a while."
"What does that even mean?" asked Kaylee from her spot by the door. "Why would they call you something like that? It sounds like they were making you into some sort of mortar or putting you on some kind of pedestal. I wouldn't want to be called something like that when I have a perfectly good name already. The only types of titles we like are things that go with our job description. Other than that, we don't want people to treat us like anything other than what we are."
"In the magical world there are three curses known as Unforgivables," explained Severus while Zoe turned on the com so that everyone could hear. "The first is called the Imperious Curse. When it's cast upon a person, that person is under the complete control of the one who cast the spell. They can get you to do anything they want including murder or suicide. You have no say in it at all. They can get a three hundred pound person to do back flips like they were a born gymnast."
"I'm fortunate enough to be able to throw off the curse," explained Harry as the crew of Serenity all looked at each other in disgust at the thought. "Severus could use it on me right now and I would probably just laugh at him. He could cast it on one of you and cause you to kill one of your crew if he wanted. I was even able to get around it when the Dark Lord used it on me. He is one of the two most powerful wizards walking on the planet. Dumbledore, the one you saw in the bank, is the other. They say that I have power that would match theirs easily. I guess it's just a matter of who you talk to."
"Your power level is better than theirs in some instances," insisted Severus. "The Healers stated that you are barely below Arch Mage status in your power levels. Neville and Luna are wizard level. I'm classified as a sorcerer. Dumbledore and the Dark Lord are classified as mages. At this time, you are still in that category mainly due to not coming into your full magical inheritance yet. Once you turn seventeen, your power levels will increase to the point of doubling. That will push you into the last category of Arch Mage easily. They are only better than you as Dumbledore is about one hundred and fifty years old and the Dark Lord is right around seventy five years old. You just lack the experience they have due to being around for so many years. The older you get, the higher your magical status gets until it decides to plateau. I would say you will rival the power of Merlin when you are at full power if not better."
"You said there were three Unforgivable Curses," prompted Simon drawing Harry's attention to him. "What are the other two? The more we learn some of this stuff, the better we can come up with some kind of treatment for them if at all possible. I would like to see what kind of medicines can counteract certain curses and such. I guess it's the doctor in me. I like to help people."
"The second curse is called the Cruciatus Curse," said Neville before Severus could say anything. "It's the Pain Curse. When someone casts that spell on you, it's like they are stabbing you with hundreds of hot knives all over your body. The pain caused by this curse can drive you insane. It only takes a powerful wizard up to five minutes to cause someone to go into a permanent coma or kill them. My parents are in this condition due to THAT particular curse. It's what you are currently trying to fix. They were subjected to the curse over and over."
"Who would do something like that?" asked a shocked Zoe. "Why would someone want to do that to innocent people? It doesn't make sense to me that people could be that cruel to others. Even Reavers have a reason for attacking people, as people are their source of food. It sounds to me like some of the people you know treat others like they are hunting for sport instead of necessity."
"There you have the crux of the problem," began Severus before Harry cut him off politely.
"Before we explain that, you should learn about the last curse," said Harry speaking next. "It's called the Avada Kedavra. It's the Killing Curse. There is no counter for it. Once it hits you, you die. The only way to possibly survive is to have the spell hit an item or spell that you throw in its path. Even then, it isn't a guarantee that you will live. The reason I'm known as the Boy-Who-Lived is because I'm the only one to get a direct hit from that particular spell and lived to tell the tale."
"So because you were able to do something that no one else has ever been able to do, they automatically think you are some kind of possession or trophy for them?" asked a furious River. "That is so unfair to you. It isn't like you asked to live. I don't mean to pry, but not everyone can defend their minds like you or Severus can. That spell was cast on your mother and you saw her die. Now because you lived, everyone wants something from you and insists that you defend them. What are the people on your planet? Are they sheep? Are they unable to defend themselves? You are too young to have all of this placed on your shoulders. People should learn how to stand up for themselves and not depend on one young man to defend an entire nation. It's morally wrong."
"It's why I think that Harry's godfather finished the work that his father started and had Infinity bought and fixed up," explained Severus. "They wanted him away from all of the nonsense. I don't know how the goblins or even Sirius was able to find you, but we ARE glad that they did. Harry deserves to be safe and away from the sheep. Things are going to be better for Harry if I have anything to say about it."
"Getting back to the other question," said a red in the face Harry. "When Voldemort supposedly died that night, some of his followers started attacking members of the community that were opposed to his views. He felt that all members of pureblood status were better than everyone else and should have more rights. He felt that those who didn't have magical parents were nothing more than stepping stones. Not too long after my parents were murdered, Bellatrix Lestrange and Rodolphus Lestrange, along with two others, attacked Uncle Frank and Aunt Alice. They used the Cruciatus Curse on them until their minds snapped trying to get information out of them. This is the end product."
"It's all so sad that so many are hurt by so few," said River with tears falling from her face. "It just doesn't make sense as to why they would want to do something like that. I can see into the minds of Neville's parents and they are scared due to being locked in their own heads. It's like they are in a strange home with none of the lights working in the dead of night and they can't find the doors to get out."
"Hmm," said Harry thoughtfully at her remark as Inara hugged River to get her to calm down. "We might be able to lead them back to the light if we work this out well enough. With River's gift of being able to read minds and Severus' ability to use mind magic, we might be able to rescue them from themselves and wake them up. I do have a question for Zoe. How did you guys meet Sirius?"
"We were sent to this solar system due to a job that Inara had on this planet," said Zoe carefully picking her words. Unlike Mal, she didn't have a problem with the lifestyle that Inara led before they became a couple. "Being a Companion means, you are to work with a person in all manners to help soothe and calm them physically and emotionally. More often than not, sex is involved. They are trained in all forms of healing qualities and forms of defense. Inara is one of our best hand to hand combatants on the ship second to River. She can judge what a person needs just by looking at them. Sometimes, it only has to be someone who needs to talk and divulge harsh secrets too. Other times, it could be a massage or things like that. A Companion gets paid highly for their soothing services."
"Thank you Zoe," said Inara smiling at the woman. "That was a very generous and accurate description of my job. Recently I have stopped having sex with the clients as I have started dating Mal. I still do the other duties, but at the time, I was single and still acting in all capabilities of my training. Sirius was a high paying client. He and I talked about how he could rescue you from the clutches of people like Dumbledore and the one you call the Dark Lord. I told him about Serenity and Mal and they worked out a deal from there. Your godfather went on a trip with us and found someone that sold him Infinity. From there, we pulled it back to this solar system and your godfather got the goblins to help him get it ready for human occupation. It is what it is now thanks to the hard work your godfather did for you. Your father had the original idea, but back then, it wasn't possible and we weren't here. I believe that fate brought us all together for a reason."
"Between their different types of magic, they cleaned it and made the necessary repairs on it," explained Zoe. "We were going back and forth between jobs that we were already obligated to do. Therefore, the time it took to get Infinity to working order helped us as we were able to finish the jobs we were paid for. Now, we have all the money we need and you are our new job. As Mal said, we have more money than we can spend in a lifetime. We are happy just to transport you around the different solar systems and teach you what it means to live."
"This is going to be a lot of fun," said Harry as he walked off to go back to the cockpit. "I would love to learn how to fly a ship and things like that. It will be amazing to experience some of the things that we can do and so forth. Do you think your husband will teach me how to pilot a ship?"
"I'm sure he will have no trouble with that," sounded Wash's voice over the com. "I would love to be able to teach you what you want to learn. It's going to be fun to teach someone else the subtle art of flying a ship."
"I already know how," whispered River though not quite low enough to not be heard. "I just don't tell him that as I don't want to hurt his feelings that he isn't the only one that can fly this ship. To be honest, it isn't all that hard. You just push a few buttons and turn the wheel."
"I heard that Miss Tam," said Wash with high spirits that Harry enjoyed. "Remind me to throw things at you later. It just so happens that I know you have been in my spot as some of my controls are always out of place when I come back. I just didn't know for sure that it was you. Now that I do, you will have to run for a while as I make sure that you get hit with things like peas and mashed potatoes."
Harry and River started to laugh. Zoe was also laughing at the friendly banter. River seemed more relaxed around Harry and Zoe felt that this was a good thing. She had heard River mention that Simon and Harry were meant for each other. She would have to pull the younger woman aside and see what they could do to push the two of them in the right direction. She would also enlist the help of Inara. If anyone could help get a relationship started between two people that deserved it, it would be the Companion.
Harry walked into the cockpit to find all three of his elves standing there waiting. Hedwig was sitting on the console looking out of the window. She hooted in delight when Harry walked in and flew to his shoulders. From there, she started to clean his hair with her beak while River rubbed her feathers in a soothing manner.
"Kreacher when did you get here?" asked Harry. "I thought you were still with the house. I'm glad you are here though. Is there something that you need me to do for you? All you have to do is ask and I will gladly help you if I'm able to. I know you don't want to be with someone not of the Black family, but my grandmother was a Black and I am a pureblood. I don't want any problems with you not being a part of my family if I can help it."
"Kreacher came when the goblins told him that Master Harry was here," explained the elf simply. "Dobby and Winky told Kreacher that the idiot old fool was trying to hurt Master Harry. Kreacher set a few traps for the old fool should he try to get back into Mistress' house. Master Ragnok said that he will hold on to the house long enough to teach the fool a lesson."
"Have you been taking talking lessons from Dobby?" asked Harry laughing while listening to the plan. "Your diction is improving already. I want each of you to know that you are allowed to read anything that you want in the library at any time you wish. I don't want slaves. I want family members. Each of you is now a part of my family. I won't take no for an answer. If it will make you happy, we can get you a uniform and you can wear my family crests on it. I would like to see you all in something other than a towel or pillowcase."
"I'll see to it upon our return visit to earth Master Harry," promised Dobby. "I have been teaching Kreacher. Thank you for noticing. I think a uniform for us would be great. I was thinking a shirt and jacket with some slacks. I don't like wearing shoes, but I think the rest of the ensemble would be great."
"Whatever you want to wear is fine with me so long as it is an actual uniform and not linens of some sort," stated Harry as he sat in the co-pilot seat. "I'll never understand why some members of the magical community make you wear that stuff anyway. It's degrading. You are to be treated with dignity and respect and not something that can be kicked around."
Still grumbling, Harry looked out of the window to see the stars. He could also see Infinity in the distance as well. The closer they came to the ship, the better it looked. Harry could see that the ship was cleaner and very much larger than Serenity. Harry liked this ship. It was cozy and made you feel like home. Infinity, while bigger and prettier, also seemed colder and not as personable.
"Maybe once we are on it for a while it will get better," mumbled Harry. "Right now it doesn't look all that inviting. Maybe it's because I'm on the outside looking in. It might get better if I'm on the inside looking out."
"Don't worry as it will start to feel better soon," assured Mal as he helped Wash get the landing right to enter the docking bay of Infinity. "You just aren't used to being in space yet. Give it a couple of months and you will wish you could always be amongst the stars. We should be landing in about five minutes. Also, I wanted to let you know that there is a bird in the cargo hold. It's red and gold in color and a lot bigger than your owl. It's very pretty to look at. It has a pretty singing song. It makes you feel happy."
"That sounds like Fawkes," said Harry getting up. "River, can you take me there? If it is Fawkes, we may have a problem as that's Dumbledore's bird. I wonder what he's doing here. I hope that Dumbledore didn't send him here to take me away from this area. I'm not sure if a phoenix can flame to outer space or not."
"Oh you don't need to go and see him," assured River causing Harry to stop and return to his seat. "He is no longer with the old man. From what images he sent me, he is now yours and will stay with you. Right now he is sleeping. He likes being around you. He wants to help protect you is all. You may just want to stay here and watch as they land the ship. We can get our first view of Infinity's insides soon. I think the Captain should allow you to walk onto your ship first so that you can get a feel of your new home."
"Sounds like a good plan," stated Mal as Serenity entered the docking bay. "This way, we can start unloading what we need to from this ship and we can get set up in our new living quarters. I'm going to help Simon and Severus get the Longbottoms into comfortable living quarters so that they have an easier time treating them. From there, we can just get our lives situated before we bring Harry back to the planet to talk with the Dark Lord."
"It would be best for us to get that taken care of as soon as possible," mumbled Harry as Wash landed Serenity and initiated the oxygen levels of the docking bay. "I wonder where our quarters are and if we are going to be near enough to each other so that we don't have to worry about who is doing what while we are wondering how to live."
The crew all waited while the outer door of the docking bay closed and the oxygen levels of Infinity stabilized for the passengers and crew. Mal led them to the door of Serenity and Harry walked into his ship for the first time. Mal handed everyone a miniature microphone device.
"These things will help us keep in contact with one another until we find the ones on your ship," he stated as he showed them how to use them. "As we find living quarters appropriate for everyone, we can start splitting off while having a way of staying in contact with one another. If you happen to be by yourself and get lost, just press the button and find the nearest level marker and let us know where you are."
Mal indicated the markers and showed them that they were on level Two West. Kaylee stated that she was going down instead of up so that she could find the engine room and take a look at the engine of the ship. No one was surprised when she announced that she found her living quarters down there as well. Everyone else paired up with different people and set out to explore. Jayne and Wash were bringing the last of the supplies onto Infinity when Harry called out.
"I have found the Mess Hall," he called out. "It's on level Eleven East. Apparently, each level is split into two wings as it were. Simon, the Infirmary is on Eleven West. I'm currently going up. When I get more information, I'll call again. The elevators will help us go up and down. There seems to be one on each level as well as on each side. However, only two of the doors open. I can't seem to get the north and south doors to activate."
It wasn't long before others were calling out where their rooms that they chose as their own were to be located. It appeared that there were just bedroom suites from levels sixteen through twenty five. Harry and Mal suggested that Harry take the highest point for now and if more people joined them, he could move higher as people came in. True to the words of the goblins, each suite consisted of a bedroom, bathroom, and office for each person. Even the three elves had their own suite on the ship. Harry enjoyed the fact that they had their own rooms and could go about doing what they do best.
It would take them a matter of days before they all got situated on the ship. Wash was not working too hard at the moment as they needed to stay in orbit above Britain so that when Harry had to go back for his meeting with Voldemort, they wouldn't have to travel far. The elves helped get the rooms set up for each person. Harry told the crew that they were allowed to use whatever they wanted from his heirlooms and homes to decorate as they wished. He also warned them that some of the items were not usual in that magical portraits tended to talk and move and such. When everyone was finished wandering around and exploring the layout, they met in the Mess Hall where the three elves had dinner waiting on them.
"It seems like each level has at least eight sets of rooms on each side," surmised Harry. "That means that each level has at least sixteen rooms. I have gone around and noted that some of the rooms are for guests and some are to house certain items. Each person has their own vault with a key for them in the Treasury Wing. Simon and I are going to house on the seventeenth floor while he has his office near the Infirmary so that he can keep his files and records there."
"Everything does appear to be cut and dry," admitted Zoe. "When Wash and I claimed our room, a golden plaque appeared on the door with our names on it. I liked it. It made it seem special. The three little people helped us set up our room and even had the color scheme done to our specific desires."
"Those three are the best," said River. "They don't look at me like some of our people do. All they see is me and not what I can be used for. I'm not a weapon to them. To them, I'm a person. They make me feel comfortable. I look forward to getting to know them better."
"It is easy that they can do things with the snap of their fingers," said Inara. "They had the whole East Wing on the Seventh floor set up for me for my duties as a Companion. From what I saw, they helped Shepherd set up a chapel on the sixteenth floor."
"We still have loads of crates to unpack and get set up," stated Harry with a tired yawn. "While I don't mind them helping, remember that they will wear themselves out trying to care for all of us. They are part of our family now and I want to ask that you all try and do as much as you can for yourselves so that they don't have to do it for you. On our planet, they are raised from birth to be a slave and to work for nothing with little rest in between. These three are special and I don't want them to become overworked. It won't be easy cleaning up after all of us. We may end up having to see about getting a few more of them so that they can live easier. Time will tell."
"Which means that if you do something like borrow a book from the library, you should be solicitous enough to bring it back on your own," said Luna without the spaced out look she normally wore at Hogwarts. "That will save them from having to stop other duties they feel is important just because you are finished with a book. I'll help Harry and Simon set up the library and we will label the shelves by subject matter as well as magical and non-magical books. That way, you will know by the color scheme if it is safe for you to read or not. Some of the magical books could harm a non-magical person if not handled properly. I think that white shelves will house non magical books and black shelves will house all magical ones. This will help you identify what is safest and so forth. A chart will be placed near the door and at the end of the shelves to help you know what you are looking at."
"There is no reason that we can't all pitch in and help out around the ship," said Mal. "We were doing it long before you got here and it isn't like we don't already know how. Even I help by doing things like washing dishes and such. We can all pitch in and do what we need to do so that we don't place too much of a burden on one person or another."
With that, everyone sat and talked about what they would like to do in the future. Harry sat back and watched all of this with a smile on his face. He knew he would be playing a dangerous game soon enough with the Dark Lord. He also knew that Dumbledore wouldn't give up on his prize too easily. He just hoped that he could escape the solar system before one or the other sunk their claws into him.
That evening, Harry sat at his desk in his office and thought about how he was going to handle the situation and to see if there were others that would be better off with them in space than in the actual war brewing on the planet. He looked over at Fawkes sleeping on one perch and Hedwig sleeping on the other and gave a small sigh. At least for the most part, he would now be in control of his life.
AUTHOR'S NOTE- This is a good place to stop. Next chapter will be the meeting between Harry and the Dark Lord. I was going to do it this chapter, but I went off on the exploration of Infinity. Thanks for reading. I still haven't started with North and South yet due to more things I have planned for the story in the future. They are there, just not accessible at this time.