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The End of the Beginning-The Beginning of the End by Marc
Chapter 8 : The Red Rock
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 16


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Harry’s wand was in his hand as he ran full speed up the steps and burst through the door. “Ginny!? Hermione!? Missis Granger!?” He yelled out several times as he ran around the bottom floor of the apartment. “Ron, they’re not here! I don’t know where they are, I’m worried,” he told his friend as he kept going from room to room to see if he had missed them.

“Harry! Ron! I’ve found something,” Mr. Granger yelled from the kitchen. Both boys ran in to the breakfast nook to see Mr. Granger holding up a piece of parchment. A note was written on it in Red Ink.

Potter, Weasley,

We asked nicely once, it doesn’t happen again. If you want to have your women back, come to Uluru-Kata by five this afternoon or you won’t be seeing them again. My master had politely asked you and you turned him down. This, I will not tolerate. Be here or your ladies will not see the light of day again!

                                                    Yapa Wundurra
 

“What now?” Mr. Granger asked the boys. The two wizards looked at each other; realizing that they were back in it, again. When Harry turned to talk to Mr. Granger, the man had already gone to the broom closet, under the stairs, and pulled out the four brooms. He reached back in and pulled out a pump action shotgun as well; then threw on a vest with multiple pockets. He then reached back into the closet and came out with four boxes of shells and started filling the vest pockets with them.

“Mr. Granger I don’t think that this is a good idea, we’re going to be going up against wizards,” Harry said hesitantly.

Hermione’s father looked at Harry, “before I was a dentist I spent eight years in Her Majesties Royal Marines. I’m not going to sit around when my wife and daughter are in danger! Boys! Bloody Hell! They’ve screwed with the wrong man. You can either come with me or get out of my way. Either way, make up your minds quickly because I’m not waiting.”

“Sir we don’t even know where they are,” Ron said softly. 

“Yes, we do, they’re at Ayres Rock!” Mr. Granger retorted. 

“How do you know this?” Harry asked. 

“I know, because Uluru-Kata is Aborigine for Ayers Rock!!” Mr. Granger finished as he went and got one of his own sweeping brooms and broke off the bristles. He then snapped the handle in two and using twine started to lash two of the Firebolts together so that they were about twenty centimeters apart. “We’re flying there as soon as I finish my lashing,” he said.

Both boys stood there dumbstruck at what this mild mannered man was doing. “Sir this could be very dangerous,” Harry tried to tell him. 

“I know, isn’t it exhilarating? I always got an adrenalin charge from getting ready for battle.” Mr. Granger looked from boy to boy. “It’s all right boys. I went into combat back in the Falkland Islands. I was more alive in those two weeks then I’ve been since. Combat always pumps up the blood. You probably already know that from what you’ve just been through. Come on! Times wasting!” he said as he walked out the kitchen door into the back yard.

Harry and Ron exchanged looks, shrugged their shoulders and followed Mr. Granger into the back yard. He was already astride the two brooms waiting for the boys. “Ready! How do you get this thing off the ground?” he asked. Harry made a flick and swish movement with his wand and Mr. Granger lifted up off the ground. The two boys came along side and grabbed the broom handles with their inside hands. In seconds the three of them were zooming over the houses of Sydney. Mr. Granger pointed them in the right direction and leaned forward in an attempt to increase the brooms to their maximum speed.

“How far is this Ayers Rock, anyway?” Ron asked as they reached the Northwestern edge of Sydney. 

“Best guess, I’d say about twelve hundred and fifty kilometers,” Mr. Granger retorted. “Come on, we have a ways to go yet!”

Harry and Ron pushed as hard as they could but they weren’t going to get to Ayers Rock on brooms. After an hour of flying, they landed in one of the dry billabongs to assess what could be done. “Harry, can we disapparate to the Rock with Mr. Granger?” Ron asked. 

“I’m not sure, Ron. After all, Mr. Granger is a muggle. Sorry Mr. Granger but this is the problem we’re having. If you were a wizard we could disapparate there in seconds,” Harry finished.

“I’m game, let’s try! If it doesn’t work I’ll stay here and you can disapparate on without me, all right?” he said as he stretched his arms and legs after being on that contraption for over an hour.

“Mr. Granger, I don’t know what effect trying to disapparate with a muggle will have on you. It could kill you sir,” Harry explained.

“Hermione’s my daughter; if I’m her father then maybe I can tolerate disapparating with you. I know I can’t do it by myself but if both of you put me in the middle, maybe it’ll work. What do you think?” he asked.

Harry thought for a minute. All right, but this could be very dangerous for you. If you leave body parts behind, we can’t reattach them to you, after. I want you to understand this before we try,” Harry was adamant about his warning.

“We’re wasting time, let’s go!” Mr. Granger insisted.

Harry and Ron took Mr. Granger between them and wrapped their arms as tightly as they could so that all his parts would go to the same place at the same time. “Ready?” Harry asked. Mr. Granger nodded, since his spit had dried up and he could no longer talk. The three men stepped forward and in a second were standing some two hundred meters away from Uluru-Kata.

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“It worked. I particularly don’t want to do that again, but it worked! That was very uncomfortable, to put it mildly,” Mr. Granger said as he caught his breath. “Do you always get squeezed like that?” 

“Always!” Both Harry and Ron said together.

Hermione’s dad started walking toward the rock, but was grabbed by Ron before he went ten steps. “You can’t go any closer yet. The school’s wards are up. If you try to cross them you would be badly hurt, and you wouldn’t make it through, anyway.”

The two boys walked parallel to the edge of the cliff some two hundred meters away. “Can you find an opening, Ron?" Harry asked. 

“Not yet, Harry, if there is a portal, it’s well concealed,” Ron replied. After several minutes of walking back and forth they stood next to Mr. Granger and tried to figure out what could be done, next.

“Why is it that people come here all the time and never get blocked out?” Mr. Granger asked Harry.

“They’re muggles; there are other enchantments, to keep them from seeing the school. Since we’re wizards and you’re with us, the wards are in full effect against us,” Ron explained as he kept walking back and forth to see if he could find a weakness in the wards. 

Harry noticed several large stone blocks sticking out of the ground some fifty meters away. “Come on Ron, I think I have an idea,” he said as he trotted off toward the monoliths. Once they had reached the stones, Harry used his wand and levitated the smallest of the blocks which was about two meters by two meters by a half meter in size. He moved the block until he saw the shimmer of the ward. He then placed the block of stone flat on the ground so that half the rock was on the inside of the ward and the other half was on the outside. With Ron’s help he levitated the next two monoliths that were about the same size into place as side frames for a doorway. He then took the smallest of the blocks and laid it on top of the two upright ends.

Harry slowly stepped forward with his hand stretched out in front of him. When he reached the doorway he had created, his hand went right through. “All right, we can go through,” he told the other two. 

“How did you do that?” Ron asked.

“The rocks have been here for a very long time. They’re what the earth around here is made up of. Since the edges of the wards are still intact, I created a space under the wards so we can go through."
 
“Brilliant Harry! Well thought out,” Mr. Granger exclaimed.

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Two wizards and a muggle set out toward Uluru-Kata to find the door way to the school. Harry had his wand out in front of him as they went. Neither boy saw Mr. Granger load five rounds into his shot gun and wrap the sling around his upper arm. They had only traversed the first cliff base when they came to a gully on the southwestern side. Harry stopped and pointed his wand at a point on the wall. Immediately a large wooden door, similar to what sealed Hogwarts, became visible. Ron went up and pulled on the massive bronze ring in the door. With a grinding that would awake the dead, the door swung open. Mr. Granger charged in and tucked himself up against the wall behind one of the floor braziers to the left. He looked around quickly and signaled to the other two with a nod of his head to come forward. Harry could see that he had done this many times before, since he had picked the best spot from where to cover them as they entered. The boys walked in and examined the entrance hall to the school. Ron had to admit that it was very similar to its complimentary room at Hogwarts.

One of the large wooden doors leading off form the entrance hall opened. A young girl with dark brown skin, coal black eyes and raven black hair came through and stopped dead in her tracks. “Oh, are you visiting us?! How nice. I’ll get the head boy for you, if you’ll wait for a minute,” she said, in a voice that reminded Harry and Ron of Luna.

“That won’t be necessary Mirrhi, go away,” an albino aborigine told her with what Harry and Ron could clearly see was disgust, as he entered from another doorway. 

“Ok, bye,” she said as she waved to them and danced out of the room.

“Where’s, my wife and daughter?” Mr. Granger growled out at the head boy. 

“A muggle demanding information, I think not.” the albino said with an air of superiority

“Where are the girls?” Harry asked in as soft a voice as he could, to keep himself under control.

Several other students came into the hall and stood behind this boy. They all had wands in their hands. “I won’t ask again! Where are the girls?” Mr. Granger threatened. 

One of the boys closest to the albino flicked his wand and yelled, “Expelliarmus!! Mr. Grangers shot gun flew off to his right and pulled him along a foot or so, since he still had the sling wrapped around his arm. He pulled the gun back to his shoulder and fired a shot at the attacking youth and sent him flying backwards in a spray of blood. The other students stood stunned at what just happened. Harry raised his hand and all the wands of the students in that room flew to him so quickly that no one had the time to react.

“Now, I’m going to ask! Where are the girls? My patience wanes.” Harry pointed his wand at the group with the air of one who was about to kill if he didn’t get the information that he wanted immediately!

“What’s going on here?” a strong man’s baritone voice asked. Harry turned to find that he was looking at Joe. He was dressed in splendid robes of purple and wore a wizard’s hat at an angle on his head.

“Joe, what are you doing here?" Ron blurted out.

“As you might have guessed, I’m the Head Master of Uluru-Kata! I thought that you had turned down my invitation to come to dinner.”

“We had, but someone kidnapped our girls, and told us that if we didn’t come here we would never see them again,” Harry explained.

“Enough!!!” yelled Mr. Granger. “I want my wife and daughter here now or people are going to die!” 

Joe turned to this raging man with the gun in his hand and bowed his head. “Of course, I’m sure they’re all right. Yapa, go and get our friends family,” Joe told the head boy.

“But, Head Master, they refused you. I brought them here so that you could have your meeting with the English,” Yapa spat out the last word as if it fouled his mouth.

“Are you refusing to do what I say?” Joe raised his voice until the entrance hall was resounding with its echo. 

“No, Head Master,” Yapa said, as he lowered his head and went off to do as he was ordered.

Joe went over to the boy that had been shot. He examined him for a moment and had two of the other students carried him up to their infirmary. “You are honored guests here. You needn’t be afraid or concerned for your safety, while you’re here. Mr. Granger, I would appreciate it if you put on, the safety to your gun and refrained from shooting any more of my students. It could give the school a bad name,” he said with a smile on his face.

“The Marines have a saying, ‘Leave No Man Behind.’ The safety will go on when I’m back in Sydney with all three of my girls and the boys are standing beside me, not before. Do you understand?” Mr. Granger almost yelled.

Ron came over and put his hand on Mr. Granger’s arm. “Dad, he’s given us his word, that we’re safe. If Harry and I trust him, I think that you can too!” Ron said, as he gently pushed the shot gun’s muzzle down toward the ground.

At that moment Yapa returned with the girls and Mrs. Granger. He was about to walk away when Joe reminded him to return the girls wands. “Head Master, I defeated them, their wands belong to me,” Yapa said with a bit of defiance in his voice.

“You attacked without provocation, Yapa! They weren’t given the chance to defend themselves. You’ve disgraced this school by attacking our honored guests. Now, how am I to make amends for what you did? I told you before; it’s easier to be nice, then to apologize,” Joe explained to his head strong student.

“We’re wizards! Why should we apologize for what we do? We have the power to do as we please; to yield to inferiors, just to be nice, is beneath us,” Yapa argued. Joe stared at his student for several seconds until the boy grudgingly returned the wands to Hermione and Ginny. The girls ran over to Ron and Harry. Mrs. Granger came up and stood next to Mr. Granger. He wrapped his arm around her waist and gave her a hug.

“Go make preparations for the feast, make sure everything is ready for our guests. Yapa stood there for several seconds looking as if he was going to argue again. “Go!!” Joe yelled. Yapa, jumped, turned and marched into the Great Hall and closed the doors behind him.

“Please accept my apologies; he’s young and sometimes very foolish. I had made the mistake of saying that I was disappointed that you weren’t going to come to the banquet, in front of him,” Joe explained. “His father is one of the trustees of the school and Yapa thinks that gives him the right to do anything he so chooses. To be truthful with you, I’m concerned with that boy.”

Ron looked at Joe with a serious concerned frown on his face. “Joe, the war we just finished fighting back home was caused by a wizard that was at one time just like that head moron. Get rid of him now while you have the chance. He’s already starting to gain followers. If you don’t do it now, you’ll have to kill him later, after he’s tried to destroy your world.”

“I hope that it doesn’t come to that. Anyway, that’s my concern. Please, come, refresh yourselves. Let me make amends by offering you the banquet that you were going to attend with the invitation. Please!?” Joe almost pleaded.

“I keep my shotgun! At the first sign of trouble, I start shooting, do we understand each other?” Mr. Granger told Joe in no uncertain terms.

“That won’t be necessary, I assure you, Mr. Granger,” Joe said softly.

“Maybe not, but that’s the way it’s going to be!” Mr. Granger finished.

“Very well, will you please come this way?” Joe said as he led the way through the Great Doors.

---------------------------

Joe led his guests to the center of the Great Hall and introduced them to the other professors and staff. Harry and the others were warmly greeted. Mr. Granger finally lowered his shotgun, placing it next to himself on the floor.

The tables were arranged in a connecting pattern that allowed for everyone to see everyone else. They sat in the center of the tables so that it was easy for anyone to talk with them without turning around to see them. Ginny and Harry sat on one side, Hermione and Ron sat on the other and Mr. and Mrs. Granger sat on the last free side of their table. Joe sat at the next table but the way that they were set up, allowed him to be right next to Ginny and Harry.

“Hello again, I’m glad you were able to find your girlfriends. It’s not pleasant when you’re missing part of your heart,” the girl, next to Harry said, in an almost perfect imitation of Luna.

“Hello, I’m Harry and this is Ginny. That’s Hermione, and Ron is sitting next to her. The two adults with us are Hermione’s parents,” Harry introduced his group to this girl.

“I’m Mirrhi, but you already know that, after all you heard the Head boy say my name,” she said with that same innocent, lost air that Luna had.

“He shouldn’t have yelled at you like that, I’m sorry,” Harry told her. 

She looked at him with an intense stare. “You’re not like the others, you’re worthy of being considered a true Wirinun!” she said, in that soft faraway voice.

“What does that mean?" Ginny asked this young student. 

“It means “Sorcerer” in the highest order. I see it every time I look at him! He will be a great leader and Sorcerer of your people some day. I know this!” she said as her eyes glazed over.

Food appeared before them and Ron was the first to dig in. Mr. and Mrs. Granger couldn’t help but chuckle at seeing him dig into his plate load of food. “You do have a hearty appetite, Ron,” Mrs. Granger complimented him. Ron saluted her with his fork and continued eating. The meal continued for some time and consisted of several courses that each served to fill the eater a bit more. Finally, Ron put his fork down once the last course had been cleared.

“Joe, if I had known that your food was this good, I would have come to visit on my own ten days ago,” Ron jokingly told his patron for the night. 

“Thank you Ronald, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. I hope that this has made amends for what happened to your ladies. That, I’m truly sorry for, once again, please accept my apology,” he said as he bowed his head.

-------------------

“If you’ll step off to the side with me for a moment, please,” Joe asked as he led them to the side of the room. He took out his wand and with a single wave moved the tables into the configuration of a raised dueling dais. “It’s been a long tradition here that after supper, dueling competitions are held as entertainment.

What appeared as two second year students, stepped up on the platform and turned to their guests and bowed. Harry returned the bow and the duel began. Harry watched as both boys moved quickly and threw several spells at each other. They deftly blocked and parried each other's magic until the student on the left connected with a mild stunning spell. When the other student fell to the mat the first boy went over and helped him up. The boy who was defeated took out a Galleon showed it to Joe and handed it to the boy who won. They walked off the dais together in good spirits.

“Joe? What was that all about?” Ginny asked, her curiosity getting the better of her. 

“Oh! It’s another tradition. The winner gets the wand of the looser until the looser buys it back. For the younger students we’ve set a fee of one Galleon. For students above the fourth year the winner has the right to set the fee,” Joe completed his explanation as the next set of students took to the dais.

Several more duels took place. Each one showed the best of the friendly dueling traditions that had been instilled in the school. They were a true credit to Joe’s and his staffs training.

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The Head Boy, Yapa, finally took the dais and turned to the other students, “who will it be tonight? Who will I start with?” he asked in a snide voice. “Perkins, I haven’t dueled you since the beginning of the year; maybe you’ve gotten good enough to give me some competition tonight.” 

“I don’t wish to duel you Yapa, I don’t trust you,” Perkins said loud enough for all to hear. 

“You’re a coward, Perkins, everyone now knows it, go away from me,” Yapa dismissed him with a wave of his hand. He challenged several others to a duel but all declined and were dismissed by him as well.

The Head Boy turned to Harry, bowed and asked, “Would our honored guest care to show us how good he truly is at dueling,” Yapa asked with a sarcastic tone in his voice. 

“Thanks, I decline,” Harry said, not wanting to fall to this upstarts taunting invitation. 

“Oh, perhaps he’s not as brave as we’ve been led to think. Very well, I’ll duel his lovely lady, I’m sure she’s willing to defend him,” he said, laughing.

Ginny went to get up. Harry grabbed her by the arm. “I would suggest you keep a shield up in front of yourself, I have a bad feeling about this Yapa,” he whispered. 

“Don’t worry dear, I’ll be all right. I bet he’s never seen a Bat-Bogey Hex,” Ginny told him under her breath. She bent down and gave him a kiss on the lips and stepped across the floor and up onto the dais.

“Don’t worry, sweetie I’ll be gentle with you. I’ll even let you throw the first spell,” he said in a most condescending voice. Ginny flicked her wand and a bolt hit his shield that he had quickly brought up. The duel was on! Ginny and Yapa continued to duel, but as time went on, Harry could see that Yapa wasn’t being hit by any of Ginny’s Hexes or spells. Harry knew that something wasn’t right. He spotted an older boy on Yapa’s right side that seemed to move every time Ginny cast a spell. He watched as three other boys on Yapa’s left side seem to move their hands in time to Yapa’s wand movements. He realized she was fighting five students at the same time. Just as he was about to stop the duel, Yapa snapped a spell under his arm and caught Ginny square in the chest. The force of the spell was far harder than need be and the impact threw her off the dais.
 

Harry moved his hand and levitated Ginny just before she would have hit the stone floor, head first. He laid her down and came over from where he had watched the duel, to check her out. “Are you all right, Ginny?” he asked as he held her in his arms.
 
“What did he hit me with I’m having a hard time feeling my legs,” she complained. Harry moved his wand over her legs and in a few seconds she was able to bend her knees. 

“That feels better, thanks Harry. There wasn’t anything that I could do to get to him, he’s a lot better than I thought,” Ginny admitted.
 
“He cheated, that’s the only reason you lost. You were dueling five opponents at the same time. That’s why you couldn’t win,” Harry told her. “My turn!!”

Harry turned to Yapa, “you’re a liar and a cheat, and you just made your last mistake!” Harry yelled as he flicked his wand up in front of himself and transfigured his clothes into his Red Dueling Robes!

Everyone in the area gasped when they saw the Red Robes. Most, had heard about them, but no one thought that they would ever see any one actually use them.

A stoned faced Harry opened his arms wide and levitated himself up to the dais. The people in the area could feel wave after wave of energy pulsate out from him. When his foot touched the mat he shot off four powerful stunning spells that missed Yapa completely, and took out the other four boys involved with the deception. “Now it’s just you and me! Let’s see how good you are without your fellow goons,” Harry growled, his voice showing everyone there that he was completely enraged.

Harry stood there with his arms spread apart, daring his opponent to start. Yapa threw the most powerful spell he could in the form of a bone breaker jinx. Harry caught the spell on the tip of his wand and brought his left hand up to hold the spell between his wand and his hand. Within a few seconds the jinx evaporated into a puff of smoke.

“You’ll have to do better than that ,if you’re going to survive this duel,” Harry growled. 

Yapa pointed his wand at Harry and yelled, “Crucio.” The other students all gasped at hearing this. The bolt flew at Harry who stood there until the last second and simply batted it away with his left hand. Harry spun on his heels and hit Yapa with a stunning spell that was so powerful, that it ripped the boy’s robes when it hit him in the groin. Yapa went down as if he had been pole axed. A resounding cheer arose, from the crowd of students in attendance. Harry walked over to him and pointed his wand at the Head Boy. “Rennervate,” He said so that all could hear. Yapa opened his eyes and looked up at Harry. “Yield!!” was all Harry said. Yapa shook his head and stared at him with a look of hatred and defiance. “Have it your way,” Harry said as he pointed his wand at him again and said, “Dermal Nematoda!”

For the first few seconds nothing happened, but everyone drew close and paid attention to Yapa to see what his reaction was going to be like. He started to squirm a little at first, but within seconds he was screaming and scratching at his body with all the force he could muster, but to no avail. Harry gave him twenty seconds to get a good feel for what the rest of his life would be like if he didn’t yield. He walked over and flicked his wand again. Yapa collapsed on the dais gasping for breath. Harry pointed his wand at him again, “Yield!” 

Yapa raised his hand up and choked out, “I Yield, I Yield, no more, please,” he screamed, as he started crying.

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Harry held his hand out and the five wands jumped to him. He turned and noticed that the hall had six large pillars on either side to support the dome above the rotunda. On the top of each pillar rested stone capitals to support the stone base to the top of the dome. Harry levitated each wand up to an individual capital and sealed it in a transparent stone.

With a flick of his wand he engraved the name Yapa under the first wand and below it he wrote cheater, in big letters so that all could see. “If you want your wand back, you’ll have to repay everyone that you’ve cheated this year. Perhaps when you’ve learned some humility you’ll be better suited to carry a wand,” Harry told Yapa. The other students in the room gave him the names of the other boys that had helped the Head Boy cheat. Harry did the same with their wands, placing one wand per pillar.

Joe spoke up at this time, “Yapa you’ve shown me that you don’t deserve the position of Head Boy! Perkins the job is yours if you want it? He offered. Perkins bowed to his Head Master and accepted the position to a rousing cheer from the rest of the students.

“Go away Yapa,” Harry waved him off the dais. “Your time here is finished. Let someone who knows how to lead students do the job, right.” Perkins came over and grabbed Yapa by the arm and pulled him off the mat. Harry became concerned with what would happen to the boy because he had disarmed him. “Perkins, what will be done with him?” Harry asked. 

“You needn’t be concerned Master Harry,” the boy bowed, when he said this. “Yapa has many dishes to wash between now and the end of term. Don’t you Yapa?” Perkins asked, as he started to push him from the hall.

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Harry stood in the center of the dais and bowed to the students assembled there. He was about to step down, when the boy who had won the first duel of the night came up and challenged him. Harry accepted with admiration for this second year student. If the boy had enough balls to challenge him then he deserved the right to a fair duel. Harry stepped to the right side of the dais and saluted his opponent. The boy returned his salute and entered into his stance.

Harry waved his hand to stop the duel. “Wait! There’s something not right here. Oh, yes,” Harry said in a staged voice. He waved his wand and the boys school robes were replaced by red dueling robes. The boy looked at himself, stunned. “That’s better, shall we,” Harry invited the boy.

The duel started off slowly, but picked up speed. Within a moment or so, spells and flashes of energy were being exchanged at such a speed that the others in the room had a hard time keeping track of who cast what. Harry weaved and dodged as he cast his own spells. With the wave of his hand he caused a rain cloud to form over his opponents head and the boy was immediately drenched.

This broke his concentration and allowed Harry to sneak a stunning spell under the boy’s guard. It was just strong enough to push the boy back on his heals but everyone saw that Harry had won the duel. The boy walked over and took out a Galleon and showed it to Joe as the other boys had done before. When he went to hand it to Harry, it was waved off. “I used a spell that you weren’t used to, shall we call it a draw? Harry offered. The student bowed down and thanked Harry for an enjoyable duel. The two of them stepped off the dais.

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Joe waved his wand and the dais returned to the table configuration that the guests had seen, upon entering. “Good night everyone, may your ancestors watch over you while you sleep,” Joe said, with a gentleness in his voice that showed his guests how he truly felt about his students.

The Head Master of Uluru-Kata turned to his honored guests and gestured to them to follow. “We have rooms prepared for you for the night,” he said as he looked around to see if he could find a student to escort them to their rooms. “Ah! Mirrhi, would you be a
‘dear’ and escort our guests to their rooms,” Joe asked her.

Mirrhi stood there for a moment with a puzzled look on her face. "Head Master I'm not an Animagus, but I'm willing to show them to their rooms, anyway," she said, in that same soft far away voice. 

Joe chuckled and said, “That’s fine Mirrhi, I leave them in your capable hands.”

This young girl took them from the Great Hall to one of the upper chambers. When Mirrhi reached a dead end in the corridor, she produced a wand made of some exotic white wood. She touched the separation between two of the large stone blocks in the wall with its tip. Immediately the blocks moved apart and uncovered a doorway into what appeared as a large and airy common room.

She led them in and brought them to the center of the room. “The girls will sleep in the room with the light colored wooden door. The men will sleep in the room with the dark colored wooden door. I’m sorry but this is a school, and we can’t have the two mix. At least, that’s what The Head Master tells us. Will that be all right with you?” she asked tentatively.

“Of course dear,” Mrs. Granger said. “That will be fine for tonight. It’s actually quite lovely here, I’m sure we’ll be just fine.”

“You’ve been very nice to us, we appreciate what you’ve done, thank you,” Mr. Granger finished.

“Very well then,” Mirrhi finished. Good night, sleep tight, I hope the Wrackspurts leave your dreams alone tonight,” she said in that same dreamy way she always seemed to have. She danced to the main door and waved good night and exited, without another word.

Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron looked at each other. “Oh, there can’t be two like that, can there? Ginny asked. 

“We’ve got to get her together with Luna!" Hermione said. 

“Are you kidding?” asked Harry.
 
“If you bring them together the world would explode!” Ron yelled in mock terror. Everyone, including the Grangers sat down laughing at Ron’s exaggeration.

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“What happened back at home? How did they get to you?” Harry asked Ginny. 

“That’s my fault,” Mrs. Granger admitted. “There was a knock on the door and when I opened it there was a flash and that’s all I remember. The next thing I know I was laying on a bed, here,” she said.

“We heard a noise in the front room and went to investigate. I thought that Mrs. Granger had fallen,” Ginny said. “I didn’t expect to come face to face with a wizard. He caught me before I could draw my wand. Someone hit Hermione from behind with a stunning spell, when she came into the room, seconds later,” Ginny finished the explanation.

“Harry, how come Yapa’s Crucio curse didn’t put you on the ground?” Hermione asked. “It didn’t even seem to affect you. I was amazed that you were able to bat it away like that,” she said.

“I saw that he had cast it from fear instead of hate. Like Bellatrix said, you have to really mean it for it to have the proper effect. Once I took away his little tribe of cheats, he dueled, not as a wizard but as a terrified student that had found himself in a situation that he had never been in before,” Harry told them.

“Ya, he was up against Harry Potter, in his killer robes. That’s enough to terrify anyone into giving up,” Ron said with admiration in his voice.

“What was that spell you used on him? I’ve never seen that one before?” Hermione asked Harry.

“It’s Dermal Nematoda! It causes the victim to feel as if there are tens of thousands of worms crawling around under their skin. It only affects their nerves and doesn’t really do any damage to their body. But! If it’s left on too long, it’s ten times worst then the Crucio curse because it will slowly drive the person crazy due to the sensation,” Harry concluded his explanation. “I found it my first year, when I was in the restricted section looking up who Nicolas Flamel was.”

The friends talked for some time, and finally went to bed with good night kisses for all. Mrs. Granger kissed each on the cheek, and gave a hug for good measure. “Good night,” they all said to each other.

--------------------------------

An hour later, Harry slipped out of the dark wooden door with his wand in hand to find Mr. Granger sitting on the couch with his shotgun on his lap. “I see we both have the same idea. I think that the two of us can take turns keeping watch tonight. You get some rest son I’ll take the first watch. I’ll wake you at two O’clock, if that’s all right with you,” Mr. Granger suggested to Harry.

“That’s what I was going to suggest to you, sir,” Harry admitted. 

Mr. Granger chuckled, “Harry you would have made a good Marine! Get some rest! That’s an order.” 

“Yes sir,” Harry replied.

Harry and Mr. Granger took two hour turns keeping watch. The light was coming through the window when Mrs. Granger and Hermione came out of the girl’s dorm. When they spotted Harry sitting up and Mr. Granger asleep on the couch, they knew what had happened. “Did you two stay up all night?” Hermione asked Harry.

“Sh,” Harry whispered and pointed to the ex Marine on the couch. “We took two hour shifts and caught some sleep in between. I felt it was prudent, given what happened last night,” Harry whispered his explanation.

With this, the light colored door opened again and Ginny came through, as she yawned. Mr. Granger awoke, sat up, and stretched himself out after a poor night's sleep. “Good morning everyone, I hoped you had a good night sleep,” he said. 

The dark wooden door opened up and Ron came out rubbing his stomach. “Have they started serving breakfast yet? I’m starving!” Everyone started laughing at Ron’s single mindedness.

The wizards and muggles left the common room and went down to the Great Hall. When they entered, they were greeted by applause and pats on the back. Several students came up and thanked them for visiting and some apologized for what Yapa had done the night before.

When they went to sit down, Joe came over and joined them at their table. Harry had noticed this the night before, and was curious to see if the Professors always sat with the students. When he pointed it out, Joe told him that it gave time for the teachers to share non-subject information with the students.

“You still don’t trust us, do you Harry?” Joe asked. 

“What make you say that, Joe?” Harry wanted to know. 

“The head of the house elves came to me this morning and complained that they couldn’t clean your common room because you and Mr. Granger were keeping watch,” Joe informed him. 

“Old habits die hard, Joe,” Mr. Granger replied with a matter of fact air to his voice.

This seemed to settle the matter and nothing more was said of it. The guests enjoyed their breakfast, and spent some time talking with the students and staff. A large stone statue near the door opened its mouth and everyone heard, in a clear loud voice, “all students to class. Do well today. We are all proud of you. Please don’t give us reasons not to be. Off you go, quickly, quickly!” The statue finished.

Ron stared at the statue and smiled, “I like that, Harry. We should get one of these for Hogwarts. Don’t you think?” He checked with his friend.

“Perhaps we could charm one of the suits of armor to do what this statue did,” Harry thought out loud. “I’ll have to talk with Professor McGonagall, when we return."

------------------------

"That’s what the big problem will be today. How do we get back to Sydney with Mr. and Mrs. Granger?” he asked those wizards that were sitting at their table. 

“It’s all right Harry; I’ve made arrangements for a Port Key for this afternoon. Until then, perhaps I could persuade you to visit some of the classes that will be in session,” Joe suggested.

For the next five hours the six visitors went from class to class to see what these students were like. Hermione was impressed with the work that they were doing in each grade. Several times she commented on the fact that they were learning things in the earlier grades then the students at Hogwarts. Harry and Ron could see that the rooms and equipment were better for some of the classes than what they had at Hogwarts as well.

All six were impressed with the dueling training each student was put through even in the first year. When Harry asked the Professor about why they started the training so soon, the Professor told them that they considered the ability to duel, the most important ability because it could save their lives in the future. That was why every student from first to seventh year was required to practice dueling on a daily basis.

In one of the rooms, a large mechanical body raised its arm up quickly and pointed a wand at whoever was in front of it. If the student didn’t get their wand up quickly enough the device would give off a stunning bolt. It reinforced the point about getting your wand out quickly. When one younger student was blasted, for the third time, Harry stepped in and set his shields up in front of the student to give him a chance to recuperate.

Harry whispered something into the boy’s ear and the boy looked at him with an astonished look on his face. The boy got up and set himself. Harry dropped his shield and the device raised its wand. The boy was able to dodge the bolt, and then send a disarming spell at the mechanical arm.

“Thank you! I’ve been trying to get past this test for three weeks. I never saw that it jogged up a hair just before it attacked. You’re right, once I saw that, I knew when it was coming and could disarm it, thank you, Master Harry!”

“Would you care to try, Master Harry?” the instructor asked. Harry thought for a moment and consented to the challenge. He stepped into the defenders circle, turned his left side forward and waited for the mechanical device to move. Everyone watched as Harry drew his wand out with one blindingly fast fluid motion and blasted the wand off of the arm. The instructor stood there with his mouth hanging open. “I set the speed to high. No one has ever been able to defeat it at this setting. I wanted the students to see that even you, as good as you are, couldn’t beat the machine, you truly deserve the title Master!” the instructor said as he bowed.

-----------------------------------

When the morning classes were over, the students returned to the Great Hall and quickly had lunch. When they were about to return to their classes, Joe stopped them and had everyone remain in the Hall for their guests departure.

“We are sorry for the way that you were brought here, but we’ve enjoyed having you as our guests. Please know that you will always have friends here and that we hope that you will return to visit,” Joe spoke loud enough for all in attendance to hear. He brought out an ancient looking bent piece of wood and placed it on the table in front of the guests. “Harry, this is an Aborigine boomerang, a false story states that when thrown it will return of its own accord to its master. Please accept this port key as a going away present. We hope that you will remember us to your fellow students at Hogwarts. If you’ll place your hand on it I will activate the port key so you can go back to Sidney.

Mirrhi stepped forward and gave a necklace of rough glass beads to Harry. “Would you see to it, that the girl you call Luna, receives this? Tell her it’s from one believer to another, for me. I know she’ll understand.” Mirrhi reached up on her tiptoes and gave Harry a kiss on the cheek. “Please give her that as well!” She said her goodbyes to the others and stepped back with the other students.

“Are you ready?” Joe asked. Hermione looked as if she was on the verge of crying. 

“Thank you, Joe it’s been a wonderful time, I hope our two schools can become friends; perhaps sister schools. Good bye.”

“Hermione, you and Ginny hold onto your Mother. Ron and I will keep your Dad between us for the Port Key home. We’re ready Joe. Thank you.” Harry said.

As Joe went to touch the boomerang with his wand everyone in the Hall started to clap and chant an Aboriginal farewell. The last thing that the guest heard was a crescendo of sound as the hook behind the navel feeling overtook them.

A second later, the six visitors were on the floor of the Grangers front parlour. “Oh, I like that method, even less then disapparating,” Mr. Granger complained. 

“We’re home! That’s all that matters,” Mrs. Granger sought to find the silver lining in this shared cloud.

-----------------------------------------------

The next two weeks found everyone working diligently to pack up the Granger’s home for the move back to England. Hermione used a Reducio charm on her parent’s furniture and packed them into several small boxes for transportation back to England. The clothes were placed in the pouch hanging around her neck since she didn’t want the airline to lose them in the transport home.

Harry and Mr. Granger went to the local real estate office to make arrangements to sell the apartment. The agent was instructed to send the proceeds to twelve Grimmauld Place. On the Wednesday of the third week, the last of the beds were packed and the six travelers made preparations to go to the airport.

Harry had arranged for the return tickets a few days before so that they wouldn’t suffer any hitches on the day of departure. Mrs. Granger called the Sydney City Maxi Cabs for a pick up. Within the hour, a large limo like cab pulled up in front of the apartment. A knock on the door was greeted by Harry with his wand held by his leg. “Joe!! What are you doing here?” Harry asked in surprise.

“I picked you up at the airport, so I figured that it was only right that I take you back to the airport. Do you have any bags for me to bring out to the limo?” he asked Mrs. Granger when she came to the door.

They drove back to the airport quietly, enjoying their last few minutes in the land down under. They had grown to love this city and they knew that they would miss their life here. Mrs. Granger wiped a tear from her face when she approached the part of the city where she could no longer see the Sydney Opera House. “I did enjoy the opera so,” she said to Hermione when she enquired about what was wrong.

When they reached the airports’, departure drop off site, Joe came out and opened the doors for his honored guests. Everyone thanked him again for a splendid time and told him to give their best to everyone back at Uluru-Kata.

“Is Yapa behaving himself?” Harry asked. 

Joe looked at his feet, “he ran away four days ago. We’re looking for him, but I don’t believe we’ll find him until he wants us to.”

“Harry, the last time we were here, you asked me my name. I told you that I only give my name to those that I know. It’s Burnu Durain, I thought you should know before you left,” he said as he shook Harry’s hand. "Fare thee well, Harry Potter. Go as a friend of Uluru-Kata!” Joe turned on his heels, returned to the drivers’ side of the limo and drove away.

The six airline passengers boarded their plane and left Australia for England just as the sun was setting on the western horizon. Twenty four hours later a limo from the Ministry was waiting for them at Heathrow Airport to take them to Grimmauld Place, and an uncertain future!

--------------------------------

Aborigine names: Yapa  means untamed      Wundurra means warrior   
                               Burnu means great warrior    Durain means of the mountains
                                 Mirrhi means little girl               Wirinun means Sorcerer
 
 
 


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