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Only Forever, Not Long At All

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“Allow me to get this straight,” drawled Jareth the Goblin King, Ruler of the Labyrinth, Guardian of Wished Away, and Lord of Dreams. He was sprawled sideways on his throne in the Castle Beyond the Goblin City, staring at the most unusual petitioner to have ever graced his land. “You wish for your boy to come here where he will be safe from manipulative men, fair weather friends, and a madman with all the social graces of a rabid squirrel.”

The snowy owl, Hedwig by name, bobbed her head, looking at Jareth with hopeful golden eyes. She knew what she was doing was probably unethical if any wizard or witch heard about it, but she just knew her boy would be appreciated and loved down here, especially in Jareth’s Court. After all, he didn’t have all the silly prejudices against non-humans that the rest of the world had, and the Fae did appreciate someone who had good manners. This would have the added bonus of getting her boy away from those that would use them for their own gain.

Everyone ignored owls, even one as grand as herself, and because of that, she heard much more than what many would want her to know. She heard the youngest Smelly Weasley grumbling over her boy’s fame and money, yet isolating her boy from anyone who would be a true friend to him. She learned the female hatchling’s plans for luring her boy into a breeding to become his mate regardless of her boy’s feelings on the matter. She heard enough to know her boy would never be safe with so many wanting to order him around.

Yet, there were a few good ones as well, such as the blonde Fae touched girl who was just as lonely as her boy had been, Crookshank’s girl who meant well but sometimes didn’t know how to get her thoughts across in a reasonable manner, and Trevor’s boy who may flinch and try to fade into the shadows but had the courage of a wolf defending its pack. Those would be True Friends to her boy if the Smelly Weasley wasn’t in the way.

“Very well, but in exchange, you will owe me a favor, unquestioned when I request it,” Jareth stated, rising to his feet to offer his hand to the owl. “Do we have an accord?”

An unknown favor in exchange for protecting her boy? That was dangerous, especially coming from a Fae, but Hedwig had been willing to offer up any price, so she curled her talons around the gloved finger and gave an agreeable clack of her beak. Agreed.

Jareth smirked and pulled a bit of folded parchment out of thin air, tying it to her leg. “Then take this to your boy and know I will take care of him to the fullest of my ability.”

Well that was certainly agreeable because it meant her boy wouldn’t become a goblin and be passed off to one of the various clans. She bobbed her head, spread her wings, and flew out over the Labyrinth, heading back to her boy with a lighter heart.

 

Watching the snowy owl fly off, Jareth was unable to contain the laugh that had been building in his chest since she first arrived. Oh, he knew exactly who her boy was. His goblins in Gringotts had kept him well advised of the comings and goings of wizards in general, and one Harry Potter in particular. She may not realize it, but Hedwig the Owl was doing him quite the favor, opening an opportunity he didn’t think would be possible for decades to come.

The Old Ways were being forgotten, the Fae were starting to fade from lack of belief, and the few families that would normally honor the Old Ways were either wiped out or oppressed by those in power. Mundane Born children were the Fae’s gift to the Magical World yet they were being driven away or their potential crushed under the so-called Pure Bloods who were so inbred it was amazing any could use a wand at all.

Many Fae had wanted to seek revenge against the Wizarding World for the mistreatment of their gifts as well as the cruelty against other magical creatures, but their own laws tied their hands to keep them from acting out against those Aboveground. Or they would have already lashed out against the wizards for daring to enslave some brownies, thus creating house elves.

Now, he had been offered a golden opportunity to get revenge by taking the fabled Boy Who Lived, and there was nothing the Wizards could do to stop him.

Returning to his throne, he threw himself on it and settled in to wait for the call.