Harry Potter and the Na'vi Avatar
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction and no attempt at any profit is being made here, I own nothing as it all belongs to JK Rowling (Harry Potter) and James Cameron (Avatar) and whoever they have assigned their rights to.
Beta: Celadonserpent. If you readers only knew how much work she put into editing... I'm in awe. You should be too. Any mistakes left are my own fault.
. . .
Chapter 3: The Sky People"You don't actually believe that bullshit story do you?"
Max nearly smiled at the blatant scepticism oozing from Norm's question, and he suspected his friend would have asked it even if Harry had still been within earshot.
"I mean, c'mon, how does that in any way explain how the avatar changed. Hell, if dying was all it took, why aren't the rest of the avatars being possessed as well? A lot of people die, Max, and a helluva lot more recently than 1997 too!"
Max nodded along as Norm spoke, acknowledging his points. "I agree. I think there are a lot of details that Harry didn't tell us, but in general terms… I think the overall story was true and I believe him. Don't you?"
"Oh, come on. How could that story be true?"
Max shrugged. "I don't know. But then, I also don't know how Jake managed to transfer to his avatar the other night without using the link – but you told me it happened anyway. I believed you, though the story seems impossible. A tree, able to transfer Jake Sully's consciousness to an avatar body permanently – something our science cannot do, or even explain. How is Harry's story so much harder to believe?"
"But the avatar…!"
Max nodded. "Yes, the avatar's changes are still unexplained. I also don't know how Harry got out of thef longhouse, since I locked the door myself after giving all the avatars their nutrient shots yesterday. Still, I'm sure we'll find out in time."
Norm's dubious expression showed his reluctance to let it go, so Max tried a different approach.
"Why don't you radio Jake and let him know what's happened here? Maybe he can ask Mo'at if she – or Eywa – have any ideas about how it happened."
"Yeah, alright, I'll do it tonight at our next check in. I better go see if our new guest found the garden and breakfast. He's probably just staring at Polyphemus again."
"That's how I found him. He was just sitting there, staring up at Polyphemus."
Max smiled widely, and Norm returned it with a wry smile of his own before nodding. "Yeah, Max. I know. It does help support his claim that he's from 1997. I did the same thing when I first saw it on the newscasts."
Norm turned to leave, but Max called to him before he left, and waited for him to turn around before continuing. "Norm? Maybe when you've done that you can see if one of the other drivers can spare some time to show him how his new body works?"
Norm lost the near-cheerful expression he'd had, and Max felt guilty for raising the issue with him. Perhaps he should have found Harry himself later, than remind Norm of what he'd lost. "I'm sorry, Norm, I wish…"
Norm just nodded, gave him a 'don't worry about it' wave, and left.
Max stared at the empty doorway for a couple of minutes thinking about the young scientist that had become his friend. Norm had been through a lot in the last three months, especially the last few weeks, and it was unlikely he'd had a chance to come to terms with it all. The loss of his avatar was only one of the problems he'd had to deal with.
Maybe Jake could help him? As a marine experienced in war, Jake was probably the best person to help him through it. Finding time would be a problem though. As the new olo'eyktan of the Omatikaya, Jake's first responsibility would be to the people he now led. Maybe after they found a new home there'd be more time?
Max stood up and started walking back into the lab. The trouble was, Jake's problems didn't stop at just trying to find somewhere for his people to live, so free time was going to be in very short supply. Well, too bad!
He'd have to find a way to convince Jake to make some time to help his friend. He had Neytiri and Mo'at to help with the people, but there wasn't anyone left at the base that could help Norm. Science geeks like himself, Norm and the others that had stayed behind were notoriously good at solving practical problems, but useless at emotional ones.
If only they could find out how Harry had transferred into that avatar body. He'd somehow changed it to adapt it to himself, and if they could work out how he did it, then maybe one of the other abandoned avatars could be changed to suit Norm.
The science he knew said that it was impossible to transfer to another person's avatar. That was why Jake had come here – he shared his twin brother's genome, and so could link with Tom's avatar. The company was very lucky, because if it wasn't for Jake, the 500 million it cost to create that avatar would have been wasted.
What were the odds? There were only 20 avatars in total, and the one driver that was murdered on Earth had a twin brother. A twin brother that was a marine, not a scientist… A crippled marine, that was trained to follow orders… especially if following those orders would lead to getting his legs back?
Max leaned against a desk as the evidence built to support a horrifying conclusion. Oh God, was Tom's death really just a mugging gone wrong, or was it something more sinister?
There was no way to tell. Even if Selfridge knew about it, he was in cryo on his way back to Earth. As for Quaritch… his AMP suit was empty, but still operational, so the general consensus was that he was just a pile of viperwolf shit now.
It took him a little while to settle his suspicions and put them out of his mind before he was ready to get back to his tasks. Soon enough though, he was looking at the amnio tank where Norm's avatar had been returned, and was now floating in fluid again.
The surgery had gone well to repair the damage as best they could, and they hoped that the few nanobots they could spare for the amnio tank would help speed the healing process. But there was still no way of knowing whether Norm would ever be able to link to his avatar again.
The avatar had 'died'. They'd never had that happen before, and the signs weren't all that encouraging. This one wasn't in the same coma state that avatars remained in when unlinked to their drivers. Yet, for Norm's sake, they persisted, they hoped. Only time would tell if their gamble would pay off.
Still, the avatar bodies were more than just blue meat. There had to be something else going on in them. How had Harry been able to speak Na'vi?
He puzzled over that question as he routinely checked various displays and readouts showing the avatar's condition. Everything was nominal and within anticipated parameters. He could almost do this while asleep.
Perhaps… perhaps there were echoes of the driver left in the avatar's brain after the link was shut down? The electrical impulses that formed the neural pathways to make memories occurred in both the driver's and the avatar's brains at the same time. There was no recognisable brain activity in the avatar after the link was disconnected, but maybe the neural pathways remained?
Well, as a hypothesis it was as good as any for now. In the meantime, there was still much analysis to be done on Grace's samples.
. . .
Norm pressed the button on his throat mike. "Hey Jake, it's Norm. You there?"
There was a pause before he heard a reply. "Yeah, I'm here. Nice going numbnuts, you scared off my dinner before I got a chance to get my arrow nocked. You wanna guess what Neytiri had to say about that?"
Norm winced. Jake's mate was anything but shy about letting you know what she thought. "She called me a Skxawng didn't she?"
"Nope, she called us both morons – and she's right. I shouldn't be wearing this thing when I'm hunting, so don't be surprised if I don't answer too often in future. Why are you calling me early?""Sorry, Jake. But something's come up that you should know about. How soon can you fly here?"
"That bad is it? Don't tell me the RDA is back already?""No, nothing like that. But this isn't the kind of story that's easy to tell– Oh to hell with it. You might want to sit down for this. One of the abandoned avatars is now walking around without being linked, just like you. But it looks different, and the guy now living in it isn't the original driver. He says he woke up in it after dying on Earth back in 1997."
The silence dragged on and Norm began to wonder if they'd lost connection. "Jake, you still there?"
Norm gave him only a few seconds more before trying again. "Jake?"
"Yeah, Norm. I was just talking with Neytiri. She doesn't have any ideas other than to have Mo'at talk with him and see what Eywa has to say about it. So, is there anything interesting on this guy's sheet that might explain how he ended up here?""What do you mean?"
"Was there anything in his record that looked unusual?""Shit! I should have thought of that. Hang on, let me log in to the terminal here. Ok, searching Harry Potter, UK, circa 1980's and 90's."
"Did you say Harry Potter?""Yeah, why?"
"Nothing. Name just rings a bell for some reason.""Okay, data coming through now… Oh, crap. I think I know why you've heard of him. Damn it, now I gotta tell Max he was right! This explains it all."
"Norm! Don't make me come over there and kick your arse. What did you find out?""Alright. Remember the stories about how magic used to exist back on Earth before it got too polluted, and how the wizards had been working with the governments in the hope that they could help sort out the environmental problems? And how everyone wanted to know about the famous wizards and what magic used to be able to do and so on?"
"Hey, slow down! Yeah, I remember now. Harry Potter was one of their legends for helping to kill one of the evil wizards, right?""Uh-huh. Lord Voldemort. Though when Harry told us the story this morning he didn't mention anything about magic. I guess he thought he still had to keep it secret."
"That doesn't make sense, how did he think the psionic link was developed to drive the avatars then? Even a jarhead like me knows that was only developed after studies of the mind magics.""Jake, he really doesn't know anything. I tried talking to him today but I think he's still trying to deal with everything. I mean to him, yesterday he was in a war and he ended up dying, next thing he knows he wakes up in a blue body on another world. You see what I'm saying?"
"Yeah, I hear you. So I'm guessing you want us to take him in and teach him to be Na'vi?""What else is he going to do, Jake? He can't ever unlink, so the base is off limits to him since he can't breathe our air. The compound was only set up for exercise, not recreation, so his choices are between joining the Omatikaya or going stir crazy."
"Fine, I'll see if I can find someone to pick him up on pa'li– wait, hang on a sec. Okay, Neytiri is going to come and pick him up tomorrow around lunch time. Anything else?""Not really. You already know the readings we've been getting from ACA are indicating a stellar flare will probably occur in about 3 or 4 months?"
"Yeah, I told Mo'at about that. She said that Eywa had already warned her, but appreciated the tip anyway. What about the base?""We've got an unobtanium plant here remember? We'll be protected from the radiation. Alright, that's all the news. See you, Jake, Give Neytiri a kiss from me."
Norm could hear Jake's amusement in his final reply a moment later. "She says if you try kissing her, she'll feed you to the nantangs. Over and out."
. . .
Harry was finishing off his third lap of the obstacle course when he saw Max and Norm heading towards him. He was pleased to see that Norm hadn't brought a rifle this time.
He leaped down from the wall he'd just climbed and strode over towards them. This body was incredible! The balance and strength he had now were just amazing, and he felt like he could do this all day and still not be tired.
He dropped down to the ground and sat waiting for the other two to reach him. He felt uncomfortable towering over them as it was, but thinking about it, he supposed they must be used to it.
"Hey guys. What's up?"
He could see that Max had a grin from ear to ear behind his facemask. "Norm checked some records and we learned a bit more about you. Most importantly for you, Harry, is that you no longer have to worry about keeping magic a secret. That all changed some time after you… err, left."
"It did?" he asked cautiously. Keeping magic secret from Muggles had been drilled into him shortly after he learned he was a wizard. But then, how did they know about magic then?
He forced his mind back to the conversation, and saw that Max was nodding. "Yes, it did. The statute of secrecy was abandoned halfway through the 21st century."
Harry realised he might as well take their word for it. After all, how would the ministry summon him to a hearing now? His mind imagined a witch approaching an owl with an envelope addressed to 'Harry Potter, Hell's Gate, Pandora'. Then he pictured the horrified expression on the owl's face before it fainted dead away after seeing the destination.
"Okay, I'll have to take your word for it, but do you know why they dropped the statute?" Harry asked, curious as to what had happened.
"It turned out that all the pollution was causing a drop in magic, so the magicals were trying to work with the normals on finding a solution, before they lost it altogether."
Harry grinned. "I can just imagine the old pureblood families foaming at the mouth over that. Muggles helping wizards? I think they'd sooner lose their magic than accept their help."
"You may be right. Anyway, it didn't work out, and eventually all of the physical magical effects stopped working about fifty years ago."
Harry lost his grin. He'd just been joking! How could there be no magic left – he hadn't even finished his NEWTs! Harry wondered how his friends would have dealt with the loss of their magic, then realised that they'd all be dead by now. It was a sobering thought. No friends. No magic. Why had he decided to come here again?
Max and Norm were looking at him with concern now, and he realised he'd better say something.
"I guess I'm kinda sad at the idea of there being no magic left. I mean, I haven't really thought about magic much since I got here, what with everything else to get used to, and obviously I don't have a wand any more, but… I guess I've been trying to avoid thinking about having to live without magic."
Norm joined in the conversation. "In a way it hasn't all gone. There was a breakthrough with the mind reading magic, and scientists were able to develop the psionic link technology that allowed people to connect with their avatars. So, it's like there is still some magic left, right?"
Harry gave him a nod and a small smile in appreciation for trying to cheer him up.
"So, Harry, now that you can talk about magic, can you fill in your story a bit more?" Max asked.
"I guess so, but if you replace the weapons and gunfire with wands and spells, then the story is mostly the same. Anyway, it all started when a prophecy was made just before I was born–"
"It's okay, Harry," Max interrupted. "We already know most of that from records written by Hermione Granger. What we don't know is how you ended up here. Can you tell us now?"
"Yeah, okay. Alright, after I let Voldemort curse me, I woke up in… I guess you could call it the afterlife's waiting room. I was given the choice of either staying dead and moving on, or returning to life in one of your avatars."
"Not a hard choice then." Norm grinned, but it quickly faded at Harry's reply.
"Hardest one I've ever made," he said sombrely, and then started thinking about it yet again. The bottom line was, whether he liked it or not, he had made the decision to live on Pandora. Even if he'd chosen not to, most of his friends were still alive, so he'd still have to wait until they died to see them again. As for magic? Somehow he doubted he'd be casting spells in heaven, or whatever the afterlife actually was.
So what was he really missing out on, besides his family?
He decided to shake off his depressing mood, and gave the guys a smile, "Anyway, I have to say this avatar body is awesome. It feels like I can do anything – not that there's much of anything to do. Any chance I can get out of here and take a look around the forest?"
"Is tomorrow soon enough?" Norm asked.
"Yeah, one of the local Na'vi clan's leaders, Neytiri, will be coming here tomorrow to pick you up. Her mate, Jake, is their chief, and is an avatar like you. I spoke with him earlier and he's okay with you joining the Omatikaya."
"Right… what does that mean exactly?"
"It means you'll probably be assigned to one of their hunters to learn how to become one of the people. That's pretty much how Jake and Neytiri hooked up, she was his teacher and they spent a lot of time together. One thing led to another and next thing you know, they're mated. It caused quite a stir."
Harry couldn't help but think there was something in Norm's tone that reminded him of the Weasley twins, just before they pranked someone. "Ahh, okay," he said, noncommittally.
"Harry, you need to be careful. The Na'vi don't have casual relationships. When they hook up, they literally hook up through Tsaheylu, and as long as they have Eywa's blessing then they are mated for life."
"That's not going to be a problem." Harry said quickly, desperately thinking of a way to change the subject before they decided he needed to hear any more about 'the talk'. "So, tomorrow then? Great! So, what's for dinner?"
As the topic thankfully changed to food, Harry was left wondering how the conversation had turned to Na'vi mating habits. It was all Norm's fault. He almost had to be part Weasley. 'Spellman?' Surely that surname was a clue wasn't it? Damn, he was going to miss those gingers, but these two guys were starting to grow on him.
. . .
"Kaltxì, Neytiri. Ngaru lu fpom srak?"
Neytiri broke the tsaheylu with her pa'li as she slid gracefully to the ground. "I am well, thank you Norrm, but I wish to practice my Inglish more. How is it hanging?"
Norm nearly choked. He still got a chuckle hearing the Na'vi roll the r in his name, but at Neytiri's innocent enquiry he almost lost it completely.
"So, uh, Jake has been teaching you some more English greetings then? He asked, once he could speak again.
"Yes, he said I should ask you this today. So, is it hanging well?"
Norm started turning bright red and just nodded once as Max burst into laughter. Norm might have made it ahead of him to greet Neytiri at the gates, but he'd arrived in time to witness the exchange. Jake was a genius.
Max stepped closer and offered his hand. "Hello, Neytiri, it's always good to see you."
She took his hand and squeezed it firmly before letting go. "It is good to see you as well, Max. Where is Härrrypotxerr?"
"He's in the avatar compound burning off some energy." Norm told her, having recovered his composure.
Max noticed her confused look. "He is exercising, umm, training his new body."
"That is good, but we must go now. I will get him. Goodbye, Max and Norrm."
Without waiting for their reply she started striding off towards the compound. One of the two pa'li started to follow, but she barked a short "Kehe" at it and it moved back alongside its fellow, while she marched off.
"Well, see you, Neytiri. Have a good journey. Don't forget to say hi to Jake for us." Norm muttered sarcastically as he followed Max back into the base.
Max laughed and clapped him on the back. "Come on Norrrrrm. Why don't you try thinking up something to teach Neytiri to get Jake back?
Norm brightened at the idea. "Like what?"
Max grinned. "I might have an idea or two I've been saving…"
. . .
Neytiri watched the uniltìranyu as he moved effortlessly through the course that had been set up for training. He moved like one of the People, like her Jake did now. Perhaps he could learn quickly. He would need to. Because of the sawtute, they now had many mouths and not enough hunters.
They needed to go, so she called him. "Härrrypotxerr!"
Startled to hear his name called, Harry almost missed the beam he had been leaping for, and caught it awkwardly. He quickly let it go, choosing to drop the dozen feet to the ground rather than risk wrenching his shoulder.
After rolling his shoulder to make sure it was ok, he stood and walked over to the Na'vi woman who'd called to him.
"Oel ngati kameie." He said, rolling his hand from his forehead as Norm had instructed him yesterday.
"Why did you fall?" she asked him.
"You startled me," Harry replied, surprised at her bluntness.
"Why? Norrm told you I was coming, yes?"
Harry nodded. "Yes, he did. But I was focussed on my exercise and I didn't notice you arrive."
"To be taronyu – hunter – you must notice everything. You must learn this quickly."
"I'll do my best," Harry replied solemnly.
Neytiri studied him for a moment. "Yes, you will. Jake tells me that you are tireatäftxuyu, is this true?"
"Spirit weaver? You mean a wizard? Yes, I was one before I came here, but without a wand I can't do magic."
"Mäjik?" Neytiri said softly, testing the word as though committing it to memory, before addressing Harry again.
"You must get a wond, Härrrypotxerr, as the People may have need of your Mäjik."
"Come, we must go now," she said, and turned back towards the main gate at a near jog.
Wondering what he was letting himself in for, Harry started jogging after her.
She stopped in front of two strange horses, and Harry saw that each horse – no, Pa'li – had six legs.
"These are pa'li. You will ride this one. This also you must learn quickly as we have far to travel."
Harry looked at the pa'li she'd indicated. After riding a hippogriff in his third year, a thestral in his fifth and a dragon only a couple of days ago, he was fairly confident he could ride this creature.
He approached it slowly and introduced himself by patting its neck and giving it a chance to inspect him. Taking a couple of steps and a leap, he made a fair effort of climbing aboard for a first attempt.
He inspected the moth-like antennae in front of him, and automatically started reaching behind himself for his queue as Neytiri started speaking.
"Now you must make Tsahey…lu…" She broke off seeing that he had already done so while she'd been speaking.
Meanwhile, Harry was searching the bond, learning about the pa'li he was connected to. He thought about walking slowly forwards, and it moved ahead slowly. He thought about stopping, and it did that as well.
Gripping the barrel-like chest of the pa'li with his legs, Harry decided to try moving a little faster, and spent a few minutes trotting his pa'li around and getting the feel of it before guiding it back to Neytiri.
Somehow he'd managed to annoy her, as she did not look pleased.
Mounting her pa'li as though sliding up its body, she made the bond and looked as though she was about to lead them off, when they heard a voice call out.
"Wait for me!"
Turning, they saw a female avatar running towards them.
"Hi, can I come with you?" she asked once she reached them.
"Pxasik!" Neytiri spat out in Na'vi which Harry didn't understand, but presumably the other girl did as she looked offended.
"Well there's no need to be rude about it. There's really no reason for me to stay here, and I'd much rather go with you."
Neytiri growled, and wheeled her pa'li. "Makto ko!"
Harry reached down and pulled the girl up behind him after she'd gripped his arm. Once she was settled he followed Neytiri's trail.
"She doesn't seem very happy with us," Harry said conversationally.
"She's just worried about her people, Harry. Give her a chance."
Harry was a little surprised to hear the girl defend Neytiri's behaviour, but he decided to take her word for it. After all, he'd never even met an alien before, so didn't really know what to expect. "Okay, I'll try. So, what's your name?"
"Hmm, I think I'll use Maweylu. It'll be easier for the Na'vi to say, and it makes a pretty name, don't you think?"
"Maweylu… that means 'be calm' doesn't it?"
"Close enough. Perhaps we should talk later, as I think we need to go faster now before we lose her."
Harry looked up ahead and realised he'd been letting Neytiri get too far ahead while he was focussed on the conversation.
"Alright, hold on," Harry instructed. Once he felt her arm move to his waist, he used the bond to move into a rapid trot in order to catch up.
It was a long time before Neytiri slowed and came to a halt.
. . .
A/N: Here are some translations for those of you that don't want to look up the Na'vi language on Wiki or learnnavi dot org. Listed in order of appearance.
Eywa: "World spirit" – guiding force and deity (equivalent to Gaia).
Olo'eyktan: Clan leader.
Omatikaya: The Blue Flute Clan. (Note: Omaticaya is the original James Cameron version, not the final Paul Frommer version.)
Pa'li: A direhorse.
Tsaheylu: The bond, a neural connection formed when the Na'vi join their queues to an animal or one of the sacred trees (or their mates).
Kaltxì, Neytiri. Ngaru lu fpom srak?: "Hello, Neytiri, How are you?"
Uniltìranyu: Dreamwalker. Na'vi name for an avatar.
Sawtute: Sky-people (plural of Tawtute; Sky-person). Na'vi name for the Earth people.
Oel ngati kameie: "I see you." (A standard Na'vi greeting.)
Tireatäftxuyu: Created from: Tirea: Spirit, and Täftxuyu: Weaver.
Pxasik: "Screw that!"
Makto ko: "Let's Ride!"
Maweylu: Created from: Mawey: calm, and: Lu: to be (am, is, are).
…and from Chapter 2…
Tsun oe ngahu nìNa'vi pivängkxo a fì'u oeru pllte' lu: "It's a pleasure to be able to chat with you in Na'vi."
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