WARNING: This story is unfinished and will remain so, unless the authors come back to complete it.
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Welcome to the Real World
A “Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons” and “Harry Potter” cross-over fan fiction
By Kelly Haycock and Devon Ricks
Authors’ note: All Harry Potter characters, places etc already established in the books belong to JK Rowling. All Captain Scarlet characters, places etc already established in the television series belong to Gerry Anderson. We only own the characters we created for this story.
“Imagine an instant... That the world of Captain Scarlet and the world of Harry Potter would be set in the same timeline, and in the same universe..."
Hermione sat in the Gryffindor common room, looking through some notes when she heard a faint tapping on the window. Looking round she saw a snowy white owl fluttering just outside.
Getting up, she crossed the room and opened the window just long enough for the bird to fly in. Hermione watched it circle the room and at first thought it was Hedwig, Harry’s owl. Upon a closer look she realised the markings were different and that this owl was larger. “Reganbalde?” she asked. The owl hooted and flew over to her, landing on her shoulder. “Is something wrong? Is it Arbus?”
Reganbalde hooted once more and flew over to the portrait entrance. Hermione followed, checking her wand was in its usual place on her belt. Opening the portrait, she followed Reganbalde out. Thinking he was going to lead her to White’s room, she started to head in that direction, but the owl hooted again, fluttering in a corridor the opposite way.
Confused, Hermione turned and followed again. ‘Arbus said he was going back to his room,’ she thought. Worried that something had happened, she picked up her pace.
White sat in the Room of Requirements looking at the two bound boys, then at his wand. Hermione had said that he did a good job but he never thought he’d be able to do two at once.
He was drawn from his thoughts when the door opened and, looking up, he saw Hermione walk in with Reganbalde.
She moved over towards him, looking worried, then saw her two friends lying on the floor near his feet.
“I came back for my wand,” White said, drawing Hermione’s gaze from the pair. “I heard a noise behind me and just reacted. They were wearing this at the time.” He held up his arm, indicating the invisibility cloak he’d pulled off them.
Hermione’s face broke into a grin, then she started laughing. Looking down at her friends, she said, “That serves you right for sneaking up on him then!” She looked back up at White. “Which one of them did you stun first?”
“I stunned them both at the same time. I don’t know how.”
Hermione studied him carefully for a moment, then looked back round at her friends. “It’s quite an accomplishment to stun them both at once after we only went over this today. Do you want to see if you can revive them both?”
White looked at her, then nodded. “I’ll try.”
“Don’t worry if you can’t do both of them. We can take one each in that instance.”
“Alright.” White raised his wand and pointed at the two boys, then upon saying the incantation watched as the pair of them began to wake up again.
The Colonel was too preoccupied looking at his wand in amazement to notice the boys’ arms and legs loosening as the spell was lifted.
Harry and Ron got to their feet and looked about, looking disbelieving. When they saw Hermione, ready to admonish them, their expressions turned sheepish.
“We only wanted to know what it was you were doing,” Ron said in a small voice.
“You were snooping,” Hermione stated, raising an eyebrow, then looked over at White. “Are you alright?” she asked.
He looked up at her. “Fine. I just didn’t think I’d be able to do that straight away.”
“Do what?” Harry asked. “Who the heck is he?”
‘These kids are so full of questions!’ White thought.
“His name is Arbus,” Hermione said. “He’s here to see Professor Dumbledore, but there’s not much else I can really tell you. You’re not supposed to know he’s here!”
“We won’t tell anyone!” Ron argued.
White smiled. “I trust you. Now, I need to get back to my quarters. May I borrow your invisibility cloak seeing as I left mine back there?”
Harry looked at him. “Uh, sure, but we’re coming too.”
Hermione looked ready to disagree, but White held up a hand. “They can join me for a short while. I’ve been wanting to meet the famous Harry Potter anyway.”
Harry raised his eyebrow. He knew that many people knew who he was, usually just by seeing the lightening shaped scar on his forehead, but for some reason he doubted this was how this ‘Arbus’ person knew who he was.
“You’re here to see Professor Dumbledore?” Harry asked.
“Please, I’ll answer questions once I’m back in my quarters,” White said, unfolding the cloak hanging over his arm and putting it on. “Hermione, would you lead the way?”
They headed back to his room in silence. The whole way there, Harry and Ron exchanged glances, obviously curious about this man, and even more so that Hermione seems to know more about him than she was letting on.
Upon reaching the entrance to the Colonel’s room, Hermione knocked the tiny door in the portrait. White went in first, going straight over to his bed to sit down, then was followed by Harry, Ron, then Hermione.
“Have a seat,” White said, as he folded up the invisibility cloak. Walking over to Harry, he handed it back. “This is yours, I believe.”
“Yeah, thanks,” Harry said. “Now, you said you would answer our questions,” he began, but White interrupted him.
“Would you like anything? I think you two should have some chocolate just in case,” he said, looking directly at Harry and Ron as he removed his long black cloak and hung it on a hook near the door. “I didn’t mean to cast that spell on you, you understand. The least I can do is offer you some chocolate.”
“Sure,” Ron said.
White smiled and went over to his bedside table and waved a hand over a small globe. It glowed pale red for a moment, signaling to the Colonel that his call would soon be answered. The three Gryffindors couldn’t see what he was doing, but a moment later, Dobby was walking into the room. “How can Dobby help, Sir?” he asked, then looked around. “Harry Potter is here? Arbus knows Harry Potter?”
“Hi, Dobby,” Harry said, then looked over at the cloak White had just hung up.
“Dobby, I was wondering if you’d have some chocolate brought in for my young friends, here. Hot chocolate perhaps? I haven’t had a mug of Hogwarts hot chocolate in a long time,” he stated.
Dobby nodded and left.
“You have a Gryffindor crest on your cloak,” Harry remarked, looking back to White.
“Yes, when I was a student here, I was a Gryffindor.”
“You were a student here?” Ron asked. “How long ago?”
White smiled. For the time-being their questions were harmless, but he wasn’t worried if they should start to ask questions he was not permitted to answer. “Many years ago now. I started here as a first-year at least 40 years ago.”
Ron’s eyes went wide. “Whoa, that’s ages! That must make you really old!”
Hermione cringed at how blunt her companion was, then glared at him. White just chuckled. “Yes, well, to your standards, I am quite old, but not as old as your Headmaster.” He looked up again as the door opened once more to reveal Dobby bearing a tray of hot chocolate for them all. “Is there anything else Arbus wishes Dobby to bring?” the house-elf asked after offering them all a mug.
“No, that’ll be fine, thank you, Dobby,” White said, seeing that everyone took a mug each.
Dobby nodded, bowing down low, then hurriedly left.
“How did he know to come here?” Hermione asked.
White pointed at the now pearly white globe resting on his bedside unit. “When I wave my hand over it, it calls Dobby to me.”
Harry and Ron both looked at Hermione as though daring her to say something about the way house elves were treated. She had been trying to persuade others that house-elves deserve the same pay, holiday and work rights as any human, but few people listened to her due to the fact that the elves’ lives were dedicated to serving wizards. It was just how they enjoyed living.
“So, you’re here to see Dumbledore, then?” Harry asked, trying once more to get an answer to this question.
“Yes, I am. That’s the second time you’ve asked that, Harry. Drink up your hot chocolate, boys, and you, Hermione. It’ll go cold.” He picked up his own mug and took a deep sip from it, sighing slightly as the taste he loved so much brought back more memories for him.
“What do you want to see him about?” Harry asked once more, trying his best to get the information from him.
White shifted in his seat. His left arm was now folded across his chest, holding the elbow of his right arm. His right index finger was crooked on his chin so he sat in a thoughtful pose. “Why do you wish to know?”
“I was just wondering why you’re here, that’s all.”
“You’re so nosey, Harry!” Hermione said, taking another sip of her chocolate.
Harry shrugged and finished his mug-full off, placing the empty cup down beside him. “I was just curious.”
“It’s private business I’m here for, Harry,” White said.
“What sort of private business?” Ron asked.
“My, my, so curious,” White said. They were asking far too many probing questions. He had hoped he wouldn’t have to resort to this little trick of his, but it appeared it was necessary. “I can’t say,” he said, while, very discreetly, he extended his index finger to point it at Harry and Ron in turn, concentrating briefly on each. After a moment, he returned his finger to where it had been previously as though he’d done nothing. All this took the time it had taken to speak.
He was quite proud of this little spell. It was one of the things that had helped him throughout his military career. If anyone had ever asked him a question he didn’t want to or couldn’t answer for any reason, he would cast it over them and they’d forget what they were asking. It was only a small spell, but he had found it useful over the years.
Harry and Ron’s flow of questions had subsided now. White hadn’t felt it necessary to cast it over Hermione also because she already knew most of the answers and he trusted her enough to keep the information to herself.
“Now, boys, and Hermione too, of course. It’s getting late. I feel assured that you’re as tired as I am,” he said, standing up, the three young Gryffindor students following suit. “It was a pleasure to meet you, but as I still have a lot of work to do, I would like to get an early night.” As he said this, he threw a meaningful glance at Hermione, who smiled at him.
He walked them to the door, then once they had gone, went over to his bed and collapsed backwards onto it, looking up at the ceiling. He picked up his wand again and looked at it, thinking once more of his ability to cast on two people at once. Shrugging the thought off, he got up again and started to change for bed.
The following morning, White woke up, then washed and dressed, readying himself for the day.
Though the house-elves always came in and tried to insist on making his bed for him, the Colonel would not allow them to, assuring them that he would do it in the way he was used to and preferred.
He finished fastening his long cloak and looked around to his bedside table where his pearly white globe sat. Walking over to it, he passed his hand over it and awaited the arrival of Dobby.
He knew it wouldn’t be long, but he thought he might as well start to practice some more. Picking up his wand, he looked around, wondering what spell he could practice. He smiled to himself when he thought of the summoning spell he was getting so good at.
“Accio pillow!” he cried and a pillow from his bed rushed into his hand. He looked at it, grinning, then thought of another spell he could try.
Holding the pillow out in front of him, he pointed his wand at it again. “Mobiliarbus,” he said, watching as the pillow floated above his hand. He started to move his wand to direct the pillow back to his bed and rested it exactly back where it had been before releasing the spell.
“Well done, Arbus, Sir,” came a little voice from behind him.
White turned and looked down. “How long have you been stood there, Dobby?”
“Not long, Sir. Just long enough to watch you practice. Arbus is a very good wizard to lay the pillow back so perfectly.”
“Well, uh, thank you, Dobby,” he said, blushing slightly.
“Arbus is most welcome. Did Arbus want something?”
“Yes, Dobby. I’d like some breakfast, please.”
“The same as yesterday, Sir?”
White thought for a moment, then decided. “No, I’d like just some toast and butter today.”
“Alright then, Arbus, Sir.” And with that, Dobby wandered out again.
White watched him leave, then turned his attention back to his room, wondering what he could practice now. In the end he decided to just practice something simple until he met up with Hermione again and started levitating things round his room.
When Dobby walked back in carrying a tray of toast and a pot of tea, White was so absorbed in his practicing that he levitated Dobby before he even realised he was doing it.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Dobby!” White said, embarrassedly as he lowered him back to the floor.
“No need, Arbus, Sir, Dobby is here to help. Arbus can practice on Dobby if he wishes.”
White chuckled. “I think if I did that, I’d warn you first.”
Dobby offered a grin to the Colonel as the man sat down, then offered him the tray of toast.
White bent his head over it as he picked up a slice, then noticed that Dobby was looking at him with a peculiar expression. “What’s the matter?”
“Dobby is curious. Was Arbus meaning to change his hair?”
The Colonel frowned. “Change my hair? What do you mean?”
“Your hair has changed, Sir. Go look.”
Placing aside the tray, White picked up his wand. “Accio mirror,” he called out, summoning a small handheld mirror from the other side of the room. Sure enough, Dobby was right. His hair was changing. It had gone from being totally silvery white to now having streaks of mid-brown. White frowned again as he looked, running his hand through it. “What the-?”
“Was Arbus meaning to change his hair?” Dobby asked again.
“No I wasn’t! How has this happened?”
“Perhaps Arbus could asked Professor Dumbledore.”
“Perhaps I should,” White grumbled.
“Arbus should finish his breakfast first,” Dobby suggested. “Dobby knows that Professor Dumbledore is having his breakfast too right now.”
“Alright, thank you, Dobby. I’ll go and see him once I’m done here.” Picking up a slice of toast, White returned to his breakfast, all the while stealing glances at the mirror.
As soon as he had finished, and Dobby had left with the breakfast things, White went over to his fireplace and pointed his wand at it. “Incendio,” he said, watching as a fire roared into life. He picked up a pot from the fireside, then threw some powder onto the blaze, making the flames turn bright green. “Professor Dumbledore’s office!” he said, then crouched down and put his head into the flames. He had long forgotten the tickling sensation around his neck as the flames whipped around him, but even more strange was feeling as though his head were moving and not his body.
Finally he saw the familiar surroundings of Dumbledore’s office and spotted the older man sat at his desk sharing a slice of toast with Fawkes.
“Ah, Arbus. I’ve been expecting you. Dobby told me you wanted to talk.”
“Yes, Grandfather, I have a question to ask.”
“Well, do feel free to join me. It’s none too comfortable talking through a fireplace.”
White nodded and stepped through, dusting himself down as he straightened up, the noticed Dumbledore was smiling at him. “What? Have I missed a bit?”
“No, I was just thinking it’s been too long since I saw you last wearing wizarding robes. Always it has been one uniform or another.”
The Colonel smiled slightly. “I know.”
“Now, anyway,” Dumbledore said, placing the last of the toast slice he held near Fawkes’ perch for the phoenix to eat. “What was it you wanted to ask me?”
“I wanted to talk about my hair. Why is it changing colour? I don’t remember casting any spells incorrectly while practicing.”
Dumbledore smiled again. “Arbus, think about it. You know how old I am, don’t you?”
“Yes, but you don’t really look it.”
“Precisely. Why do you think that may be?”
White’s brow creased as he thought. “I’m not sure.”
“Magic, Arbus. Because of magic. I’ve spent all my life using my magic and living in a magical community or environment.”
“You mean because I’m practicing my magic more, it’s affecting the way I look?”
“Yes. It’s making you look younger as it would have done had you stayed in our world. The longer and more often you practice, the more it’ll change back, you’ll find.”
White glanced upward towards his hair as though expecting to see it all totally mid-brown. Dumbledore smiled at him again. “Am I right in thinking your practices are going well?”
The Colonel nodded. “I believe so. Unfortunately, Harry Potter and his friend – Ron, is it? –” Dumbledore nodded. “They know I’m here. I left my wand in the practice room last night and went back to get it. I heard them behind me and stunned them both.”
Dumbledore chuckled. “Yes, I heard. Hermione spoke to me this morning about your ability to stun them both simultaneously, then revive them in the same manner.” White blushed slightly. “She also gave an account of something that happened. Something about the two young boys asking too many questions, all of which you were dodging, quite nicely in fact, then they suddenly stopped asking. Does that ring any bells?”
White nodded. “I had to, Grandfather. They can’t know why I’m here, it might terrify them.”
“You’d be surprised what young Harry has seen in his six years here,” Dumbledore said, the happy twinkle fading from his eyes briefly.
“Yes, I remember you saying in your correspondence. He must have been through a lot throughout his life to look at him.”
The older man nodded. “Yes, he has. But we’re not here to talk about Harry. I do understand why you cannot tell them. I believe what you meant to say was that it is classified information, am I correct?”
White nodded. “Yes, that is more to the point.”
“So, you cast your spell on them.”
The Colonel knew this wasn’t a question. “Yes, I did.”
Dumbledore shook his head, chuckling slightly. “I was wondering how long you would be here before you needed to use it.”
“I’m not going to use it on staff!” White insisted, reminding the headmaster suddenly of his young grandson on the evening of his first day of lessons. The younger man seemed to be thinking along the same lines as well. “I said the same thing at our tea on my first day, didn’t I?”
Dumbledore nodded. “Yes, you did. Though you tried it once, didn’t you?”
“Yes, Professor McGonagall gave me such an evil stare when she saw me move into that posture.”
“I know, I remember her telling me about it later.”
The two continued to talk for most of the day, then progressed onto letting the Colonel practice in the office, with Dumbledore providing guidance and offering suggestions of spells he might be able to use.
Back up on Cloudbase, the senior staff were having a meeting without their Colonel. This had only occurred a few times, but normally they knew where he had gone. Despite this, however, they continued as ordered. They may not have known where the Colonel was, but they had been told he would be leaving, and for a secret location at that. Captain Blue, having been asked to be the stand-in commander, was leading the meeting.
“Has anything else been reported that could be a lead to this threat?” Blue asked, looking around his fellow officers.
“No, Captain,” Grey answered. “We have been searching the databanks since the threat was announced, but this is so vague.”
“If only the Colonel had given us more of a clue,” Scarlet said. “He seemed to have an idea of its meaning before he left.”
“Which brings us nicely onto our next point,” Blue said. “Have we had any more luck in finding out how he got off the base yet?”
“None, Captain,” Scarlet offered. “I am going back to his quarters to see if I can find anything that may point us in the right direction.”
“Well, all we need to find out is how he got off the base without our knowing. We shouldn’t really go looking for him.”
Scarlet nodded at the stand-in commander. “Yes, I know.”
Blue sighed. “We don’t seem to be doing very well with this one. I can only hope that the help the Colonel said he was getting will be enough. If there is nothing else, you are dismissed.”
The assembled Captains and Angels all stood as one and filed out the door. “Captain Scarlet?” Blue called out, just before the British man was about to leave.
“Yes, Captain?” Scarlet asked, turning to face him.
Blue waited until everyone had left before speaking. “Are you going straight to his quarters now?”
“Yes, I am.”
“I know you will, but I feel I need to say this anyway. Try your best not to intrude on too much. Those are his personal quarters after all.”
“Yes, I know. I’ll do what I can without breaching privacy.”
Scarlet walked through the corridors briskly. Upon reaching the door to the Colonel’s quarters, he unlocked it and stepped in.
It looked exactly the same in there as it had done the night they had found him gone. The bed was immaculately made, not a crease in the sheets. The shelves were stacked full of books, all arranged in tidy rows and in alphabetical order by author. This was the room of a very organised person. Not a single item was out of place.
Scarlet looked around, then noticed he had thought wrong. There was an item out of place. A smallish stone was lying on the desk near a framed picture. As he moved over to it, it caught the light, and he saw a multitude of colours reflect off it.
He picked it up and held it in his hand, looking it over, then grasped it as he looked over the rest of the desk. He frowned slightly when he saw a picture of the Colonel with another, much older, man. Picking it up, he took a closer look. There was a small piece of paper in the corner of the frame, and Scarlet recognised the Colonel’s handwriting. He looked again to see what it said.
Suddenly the stone seemed to glow and feel warmer. Scarlet let go of it just as there was a bright flash, then the room seemed to literally disappear.
Scarlet didn’t remember closing his eyes, but when he opened them again, he was surprised to find that he was no longer surrounded by books, but trees.
Automatically, the Captain activated his comm. “Cloudbase from Captain Scarlet.” He listened for an answer which wouldn’t come. He couldn’t even hear the usual faint humming that indicated he had a connection. He frowned and tried again but received the same results.
His brow furrowed more at this, then he decided to look around to get a better idea of where he was. He found he was standing in a forest which was composed of the tallest trees he had ever seen, but once he turned around, he realised he was at the edge of it and that there was a castle ahead of him. His mouth opened slightly as he took in the vastness of the building and he was so occupied by it that he didn’t realise someone was heading his way from the forest.
Upon hearing a twig snap, he instantly reached for his pistol and spun round to face the person trying to sneak up on him, but almost dropped the weapon in amazement when he realised the person he was looking at was huge.
He, himself, was a tall man, but this man who had just appeared from the forest was easily 2 foot, maybe more, taller than him. He wore a long moleskin overcoat and had a long shaggy beard with hair to match it.
The stranger saw Scarlet and reacted just as the Captain had done, dropping the plants he was carrying and raising his crossbow.
“Who are yeh and how did yeh get here!” he bellowed.
It took only a further moment for Scarlet to regain himself and answer confidently. “I’m Captain Scarlet, Spectrum. Who are you?”
“How did yeh get here?” the stranger repeated.
Scarlet looked at him, then decided a truthful answer would suffice. “I don’t know. I was trying to locate something and ended up here. I couldn’t tell you how.”
The stranger looked him over, taking in his bright red uniform, then saw what he was holding. “Wha’s that in yeh hand?”
The Captain looked down at his hand and noticed he still had hold of the picture frame he had found in the Colonel’s room. “A picture.”
The man stepped forward and took it from him to look at it, then frowned. “Tha’s Arbus an’ the Perfessor Dumbledore.”
“Arbus?” Scarlet asked, confused.
“Yeah, Arbus,” Hagrid said, studying the picture for a moment, wearing a frown. “They’re not movin’,” he said.
“Who aren’t?” the Captain questioned.
“Arbus and the Perfessor.”
Scarlet raised an eyebrow. “Right.” He looked around again. From what he could gather, this could have been how the Colonel had gotten off the base undetected, even if he couldn’t explain it. He and Blue had agreed that he wouldn’t go looking for the Colonel, and had he known about the properties of that stone, he would have left it at that. However, he himself had been transported off the base also, with no way of knowing how to get back again. He wondered if, by any chance, the Colonel might know what was going on. “Can I ask what your name is?”
“Nuthin’ wrong in askin’ tha’. Name’s Rubeus Hagrid, but jus’ call me Hagrid.”
“All right, uh, Hagrid. What is this place?”
Hagrid seemed to raise an eyebrow, though it was hard to tell from the amount of hair surrounding his face. “Are yeh a Muggle?”
“I thought so.” Hagrid heaved a great sigh. Magical folk all knew what a Muggle was, only Muggles didn’t. “I think yeh’d better come with me. I’ll take yeh to me hut. You shouldn’t be here.”
“No, I know. I got here purely by accident,” Scarlet admitted. He looked at the picture Hagrid had returned to him. “I was looking for this man, Arbus you say his name is?”
“Yeah, tha’s him. Why were yeh lookin’ fer him?”
“Private business. You don’t know where he is, do you?”
“Can’t tell yeh, I’m afraid. If yeh’d come to me hut, you can wait there while I get Perfessor Dumbledore. He should know yeh here.”
“All right,” Scarlet agreed. At least if he was going to see this Professor Dumbledore, he may find out something more. And judging by what this Hagrid had said, it was a Professor Dumbledore in the picture with the Colonel.
Quietly, Scarlet followed Hagrid to a large hut near the edge of the forest. As they drew nearer, Scarlet heard what sounded like a very large dog barking.
Hagrid noticed his expression. “Don’ worry, it’s jus’ Fang.”
“Fang?” Scarlet asked, a little more apprehensive.
“Yeah,” Hagrid said, opening the door. A large black dog bounded out and over to Hagrid. Scarlet raised an eyebrow as he watched. The dog may be large and ominous looking, but to watch him he looked harmless enough. Perhaps it was just the name ‘Fang’ that had given him a moment to worry.
“Can I trust yeh to wait in here while I get the Perfessor?”
“Of course,” Scarlet assured.
“Alrigh’, I’ll be righ’ back,” Hagrid said, then left the hut, shutting the door behind him. Scarlet looked around at his surroundings, taking in the enormity of most of the items. They were quite a bit larger than anything he’d ever seen before. He looked around some more and noticed the things hanging from the ceiling and the trinkets (if objects that large could be called trinkets). This was obviously the home of some sort of hunter or gamekeeper, Scarlet thought.
Looking around again, he moved to sit in an oversized chair. Once sat, Fang came over to him and rested his head on his knee, his face plainly asking for some attention.
Reaching out a hand, he started to hesitantly stroke the dog, feeling that what he saw previously could be deceptive, but as soon as the dog’s eyes half closed and his tongue lolled out of his mouth, Scarlet knew he was alright. Though he didn’t really enjoy the fact that Fang was drooling over his trousers now.
Dumbledore was still in his office with White when they both heard knocking.
“Who is it?” Dumbledore called out, ready to give the word to the Colonel as to whether or not to stay out of sight.
“Come on in, Hagrid,” the Professor replied.
The door opened and the half-giant walked in. “Perfessor, there’s a gentleman here, says he’s from Spectrum an’ calls himself Cap’ain Scarlet. He’s wearin’ a uniform like Arbus was wearin’ when he got here, jus’ it’s red.”
White looked up sharply upon hearing the word ‘Spectrum’, then looked almost annoyed upon hearing the codename. “Scarlet? Oh no. How in the name of Merlin’s beard did he get here?”
“He didn’t seem to know either, Perfessor,” Hagrid offered. “He’s in me hut at the minute. Said he was lookin’ fer you, Arbus. Had a picture of you with the Perfessor.”
White frowned as he thought. “He must have found the picture I have of the two of us. It’s fortunate that wasn’t a moving picture, I don’t think I’d have been able to explain that easily.”
“Arbus, go back to your room and get your invisibility cloak,” Dumbledore suggested. “I think we should go and talk to him, though only one of us be present.”
White was on his feet straight away and heading for the fireplace. “Yes, Grandfather.”
While the Colonel flooed back to his room to collect the cloak, Dumbledore and Hagrid waited in the office. Upon his return, they left as soon as White put it on, heading straight for Hagrid’s hut.
Scarlet sat in the chair in the hut waiting for Hagrid to return, with Fang’s head still resting in his lap and soaking his trousers. Absentmindedly he was patting the dog’s head.
He looked up when the door opened and Hagrid returned with the bearded man from the Colonel’s picture. His long silver beard reflected the little light that shone in through the window and his robes reached the floor. If Scarlet had been shocked by the appearance of Hagrid, he was certainly amazed by this man’s appearance. His picture was an accurate portrayal, but seeing him standing in front of him left the Captain momentarily speechless.
Dumbledore walked over to him and offered his hand. “Good afternoon, my name is Albus Dumbledore. I hear you’re a little lost, Sir?”
“You could put it that way. I have no idea how I got here. I was told that perhaps you would be able to help me?”
“I’ll certainly try,” the Professor said, gesturing back to the seats. “Hagrid, would you be so kind as to make us some drinks?”
“Course, Perfessor,” Hagrid answered, moving away to busy himself at the other side of his hut.
Dumbledore turned back to Scarlet. “Now, can you tell me what you were doing before you got here in as much detail as you can.”
“I’m afraid what I can tell you may be fragmented because of some things being confidential.”
“I understand,” Dumbledore said, nodding. “Just give as much as you can.”
“I was looking for any information I could find that may point to how an incident on our base occurred. One of the crew got off the base without our knowledge. They had returned to their quarters and less than ten minutes later they were no longer on the base. I have been ordered to investigate for any clues, and I started my search in the missing person’s private quarters.”
Beneath his invisibility cloak, White stiffened. ‘So,’ he thought. ‘Scarlet’s been in my quarters.’ He shook his head. ‘I’ll bet I know what he was doing before he appeared here!’
“There wasn’t really anything to find that was out of the ordinary, aside from one item. A small and colourful stone. I picked it up to look at it and a few moments later I found myself stood in the forest here.”
Dumbledore had been sat silently throughout this, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Did you do anything else?”
“I did find a picture,” he said, offering the photo he’d found to the older man. “I’m assuming based on what Hagrid has told me that you are the man from the photo.”
“Yes, indeed I am,” Dumbledore said. He looked over the picture, having been a long time since he had seen it last, then noticed the small piece of paper in the corner that Scarlet had seen. “Am I right in assuming you read the word on this paper?”
“I think I did, yes.”
“Then I believe I know how you got here. Tell me, could you see the castle?”
“See it?” Scarlet asked, confusion clearly written on his face. “How can you miss it?”
Dumbledore nodded. “I see.” At this point, Hagrid returned with an oversized teapot and three large cups on a tray which he placed on the table. “Hagrid, a word outside for a moment if you will.”
“O’ course, Perfessor,” Hagrid said, moving over to the door and opening it for him. Scarlet noticed that Professor Dumbledore hesitated, letting Hagrid pass by first, then stepped outside after him. He felt very confused by this point, and things weren’t getting any easier with questions about being able to see a castle that was so plainly there.
Once outside, Dumbledore spoke in a quiet tone. “You know this man, Arbus?”
“Yes, I do,” came a disembodied voice from beside the Headmaster. “He is one of my officers. He must have been holding my stone when he read out the annotation on my photograph. Trust him,” he added with a tut.
Dumbledore smiled slightly, finding this a little amusing, but still spoke in a serious tone. “So, he arrived here by magical means and can see the castle. Hagrid, is there anything about him you can tell me?”
“Oh, yeah. When he said he didn’t know where he was, I jus’ asked him whether he was a Muggle or not.”
“Oh, he’s a Muggle, alright,” White’s voice said. “How can he see the castle though? I thought there were Muggle repelling charms on it to make them believe it was a derelict decrepit old ruin?”
“There are, but one can only assume that because he arrived here by a magical method he has broken some of the charms.”
“Trust him,” White said again and Dumbledore could tell by a shuffling sound that his grandson was shaking his head. “What will we do with him?”
“I was hoping you would be able to give a suggestion,” the Professor said, looking to where the voice had been coming from.
White felt unnerved as though he could see through the cloak and was looking right into his eyes. “Me?”
“Yes, well, after all, as you said, he is one of your officers. No doubt he wants to know where you went, perhaps we should let him know.”
“You and I both know you are here because of a Mysteron threat,” Dumbledore said, his voice low so Hagrid couldn’t hear. “As much as you training to perfect your powers will help, you will still need the help of your officers.”
“But none of them are magical.”
“Don’t be so sure. Just as they didn’t know about you, so too could there be people you didn’t know about, they not knowing whom they can trust. Now, I suggest we go and introduce Captain Scarlet to ‘Arbus’.” Dumbledore had a definite twinkle in his eyes by now. “For now I suggest you refrain from talking, he’ll recognise your voice, but he may not recognise you yourself, looking as young as you do. You did quite a bit of practicing in my office today and it has certainly taken its toll on you. Your hair is almost completely brown now and your face more youthful.” More shuffling gave the Professor the impression that he had just embarrassed the younger man, and he smiled again. “Come, take off the cloak and give it to Hagrid, he can take it inside for you.”
The two watched as White reappeared from under the cloak, his face still flushed slightly from the comment about his appearance. He handed the cloak to Hagrid and straightened his hair and robes, then nodded to Dumbledore.
Scarlet looked up as the door opened and Hagrid and the Professor walked back in. He frowned slightly when another man came into view from behind Hagrid. “Who’s this?” he immediately asked, not recognising him for who he was.
“This is a friend of mine who may be able to help you when the time comes,” Dumbledore said, watching as White offered Scarlet a hand to shake.
“Nice to meet you, Mr, uh…”
“Just call him Arbus,” Dumbledore said. “I’m afraid he doesn’t talk much.”
“Oh, I see,” Scarlet said, releasing his hand.
White stood back, smiling slightly. He had found it quite amusing that Scarlet had treated him as someone new and not his Commander-in-Chief.
“You say his name is Arbus?” Scarlet questioned.
“Yes, why?” Dumbledore asked.
“According to Hagrid, the man in the photo with you is named Arbus.”
Dumbledore looked round at Hagrid who had a sheepish sort of look on his face. “Arbus is quite a common name around here,” Dumbledore answered, looking back. “In fact, quite a few of our common names are unusual to your standards.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that this is a world quite different to your own. I’m afraid, Captain Scarlet, that you have accidentally stumbled across a world which has been hidden for many, many centuries. A world which does not wish to be found.”
The Mysteron threat suddenly repeated itself in Scarlet’s mind. They would bring to light that which does not wish to be found. “What world?”
“The magical world, Sir,” Dumbledore said, calmly, and noted the expression on the young man’s face.
Scarlet raised an eyebrow. “Magical? You’re joking, right?”
“Would you like a demonstration for proof?”
“Demonstration? This I have to see.”
Dumbledore put his hand into his robes and drew out a long thin piece of wood, then glanced at White. The other shrugged slightly, then nodded. The Professor turned back to face Scarlet and pointed the piece of wood at him. “Wingardium Leviosa!” he said in a clear voice.
In White’s opinion, the expression now on Scarlet’s face was priceless. He had looked down to find himself hovering a foot above the floor and had yelped, his face going pale.
“Okay, I believe you, just put me down!”
Dumbledore smiled and lowered him down gently. “You, Captain Scarlet, are very fortunate. You are what we call a Muggle, a non-magical person. Aside from Muggle parents of some of our students, no other Muggle has ever seen our castle.”
Dumbledore merely placed a hand on his shoulder and lead him to the door so he could look at the castle. “Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
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