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Handfasting a Solider

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Wakanda – J’Abari territory, Gorilla City

“Now why has my cousin, brought an outsider to my throne?”

 “To spice up your life and give the other tribes’ soothsayers a headache.”

 Knowing her input wouldn’t be welcomed, Hermione watches the bantering between M’Baku, Chief of the J’Abari Tribe and his cousin, Attaché Ce’Athauna Asira Davin.  Soon fatigue begins to set in, making it hard to ignore the constant aches and pain of pregnancy.  Mindful of the guards flanking them, holding Idris’ hand they move to sit on the side bench.  Looking at the hard surface, Hermione tuts then conjures padding, sitting with a soft groan.  Idris scrambles to next her, rubbing her stomach.  Looking up Idris loudly whispers “I’m hungry, momma.”  Chuckling Hermione opens her tiny beaded bag and pulls out a container twice its size.  Peeling the top open she starts to feed her son sliced apples and peanut butter.

“Do you always ignore people in the same room, Dr. Granger?”

 Looking up with a wane smile Hermione shrugs, “You haven’t acknowledged my presence as costumed, Chief M’Baku.  So, I sit and wait for your questions.”

 M’Baku tilts his head “Tell me why I should go to the King on your behalf seeking asylum?”  Sighing wearily Hermione faces the one man that may be able to help her, “I am fleeing from a dying enclave selling off its people as breeding stock.  I am what the controlling party, the purebloods, an anomaly of the norm.  A witch born with no known magical bloodline or knowledge of magic that should be dumb as a doornail and twice as thick.  A pitiful creature that should be happy of any attention a pureblood would give.  Instead, I outstripped many of my peers, both magically and academically.  I come with financial backing from the magical world.  Hold titles and have access to long-forgotten knowledge and bring good tiding from brothers and sisters of the North.”

 “We are of old traditions here in Wakanda.  We have been hidden in plain sight for centuries, shed blood for our people.  It looks as if you just run away from a duty to your country.  Not worthy of our protection.  I have no need for weakness especially from a child of a lost tribe.”

 As M'Baku sat back the structure trembled, the glass surrounding the throne becomes thick with ice. Guards quickly position their spears towards the witch and her child, softly Hermione whispers "You should speak wiser Chief of J'Abari, for you know not of my pain and suffering at the hands of those who deem themselves my betters.  I am a product of war.  This child soldier is not one to be easily dismissed or ignored.  I come in peace and expect to leave as such, but I will not stand to be disrespected."  In sequence, the guards rush her, only shrink into juvenile pigmy apes, their spears wilts into flowers.  The hanging decor becomes spears pointing directly at the chief and attaché.

 M’Baku, snickers looking down at his guards turned apes trying to get snacks from the boy, “What other talents do you have?”

 Ce’Athauna sighs in disappointment, “Next time turn him into the ape.”


 

 Royal Palace of Wakanda – a week later

 Placing the tablet down, T'Challa looks over to his mother and sister, "Dr. Granger has impressive credentials plus her references are interesting, to say the least."

 Queen Mother, Romanda, shakes her head in agreement, "I do not like the possible ramifications.  From what I see she has abandoned her country.  She may also disrupt our magical community with her ways." 

 "Mother, she didn't run away, she escaped.  Dr. Granger's generation fought at such a young age, needlessly.  Instead of becoming a lost generation, they became productive members of society.  We barely see that in our neighboring countries.  Now the British Enclave asks for more from their people without regard to the consequences.  She is the only one requesting asylum here.  Also, she has traveled and studied in different Enclaves, she may have contacts that we may use."

 T'Challa raising his hand to quell the argument between his mother and sister, "What did Nakia’s sources find, Shuri?"

 Scrolling down she murmurs the highlights, "The Grangers have strong Iberian lineage but are British born by several generations with dual citizenship in Spain. In the last fifteen years, Dr. Hermione Granger has obtained masters in Transfiguration, Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, and Potions.  She has patented several Potions that assists cursed wounds and helped improve Wolfbane.  The Grangers have helped start several mix magic and nonmagical clinics around Europe. Now, this is where it gets interesting.  They are members of the Malta Order giving magical leniency.” 

 Perplexed Romanda voices the question, T'Challa wanted to ask.  "What makes that interesting?"

 " Each clinic has been magically warded to the teeth. The wards not only protect the land and building from different types of destruction.  Each individual who crosses into the wards is instantly recorded and tracked until they leave. Her wards can filter through any magical disguise, such as the Polyjuice potion or Animagus.  If a person is blacklisted from a site, they are instantly ejected.  If necessary, cast out to the nearest holding cell of the local government.  Her wards are very popular with the Slavic Enclaves."

 All in the room was impressed.  "Remind me what is her specialty as a doctor."

 "Brother, she is an Orthic doctor, specializing in musculoskeletal injuries and related disorders.  She can work with my team, I'm sure to find something for her to do if she is interested in expanding her work."

Romanda taps Shuri’s knee, “Her children, what of them?”

 Shuri scrolls further after a moment she chuckles “Oh, I like her style.”  Looking up Shuri explains, “Let’s say if Hermione were caught.  She would tie up the British Enclave courts for months.”

 Romanda pokes her daughter “Stop stalling, explain.”

 Shuri giggles, “Hermione circumvented the ‘Procreation Act’ by being artificially inseminated.  She fulfilled the spirit of the law.  Having more children.  She has one child and a second on the way meeting the minimum requirement.”

 Romanda points to her children, “That is why she seeks asylum here, she knows we can protect her.  In other countries, she would need twenty-four hours of protection and yet still be at risk.  Here there is no separation between the magical and nonmagical.  No Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.  Our society is closely knit and would recognize an outsider.  She could potentially have a normal life here.  Does she have a request on where she would like to live?”

 T’Challa answers, “J’Abari tribe.  Isolated with minimum technology a perfect place for her and her children.”

 Shuri grins, “Did I mention I like her style?”


The royal throne room – Same day Mid-morning

 Shuri stands next to T’Challa, “The last agenda for today’s meeting is the request of asylum by Dr. Hermione Granger and her family formerly of the British Enclave.  Please bring in the doctor and her child to the Throne room.”

 The twin doors open admitting a very pregnant curly-haired woman and four-year-old son in matching brown and green Kaftans. After both sat to facing the council, T’Challa spoke.  “After careful deliberation with the elders of the Tribal Counsel wish to speak to you before we make a decision.” 

 Hermione looks at each elder then nods her head.  The Queen Mother spoke, “Will you take an oath in exchange for shelter in our land? Will a mage of your caliber take an oath to serve Wakanda and observes its laws?”

 Hermione responds in Xhosa “I, Hermione Jean Granger, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Wakanda and observe its laws, if given shelter upon its land, so mote be.”

 A gentle breeze ruffles everyone's clothing as the sunlight bent into the shape of two large panthers circle the witch and child then proceed to the king only to disappear.  Power was felt by all within the chambers, a blessing was made.

 M’Baku smirks as the others are stunned, “Remember she’s living in my tribe.”

 Refraining from rolling his eyes T’Challa speaks “After looking at the evidence and urgency we grant you asylum and hopefully future citizenship.”

 Seeing Hermione’s expression, T’Challa asks “Is this not what you wanted?”

 Hissing in pain “Yes, ecstatic.”  Nudging her son towards M’Baku, “My water just broke.”

 As Mercury appeared in the night sky, Noelle Simone Granger, 8lbs 8 oz, 19 in, was added to the Wakandan population.


Six months later

 After two years of data gathering, reconnaissance, bribery, and chasing lead the international operation comes to an end.  Selling body parts on the Black market is a very lucrative business, generating millions of dollars each year.  Super serum-induced body parts made in small quantities makes billions.  

 A small number of men and women including Ayo and Bucky disembark the Talon fighter, all are expressionless after the operation in Croatia.  Everyone knew the mission but sometimes knowing and personally seeing was different.  The intel revealed a terrorist group was raising money by selling the salvageable body parts of the Winter Soldiers Zemo killed. 

 There was more to the story, babies up to a week old were also included.  Each body infused with super serum, ready to dissection for shipment.

 After extracting the needed data, the team collectively vaporized the facility and its occupants.

 No one was left alive including vegetation.

 They triple checked.

 Sometimes the evils that Man can achieve is profound and the punishment is seldom dealt.  On a few occasions then must be by swift through hand.

After a full checkup, Ayo and Bucky proceeded to T’Challa’s office for debriefing, the guards look amused as they opened the doors to pandemonium.

 Both the Merchant Tribe and River Tribe shaman were up in arms.  It seems a prank was committed towards them and they demanded satisfaction.

 T'Challa looked resigned as the Queen Mother was cooing at a child in her arms.  A woman with wild hair, wearing Gorilla Tribe colors were looking out to the night sky.

 The River Shaman B'Tumba, "We demand respect for our position.  This child has made a mockery of tradition and should be punished accordingly!  This woman refuses to do so."

 “This woman has a name Shaman B’Tumba of the River Tribe.  Dr. Hermione Granger, mother of the child you wish to bend to your will.”  The woman near the window turns, patting an infant’s back gently.  Her golden eyes are fathomless, her British upper crust voice crisp, “Idris is four years old, and holds no ill will towards either of you.”

 “The boy deliberately changed our clothing.”

 The Queen Mother questions, “What exactly is changed, I only see your traditional robes?”

 Both move the cloth draped over their shoulders.  The embroidered figures begin to wave then stop and repeat.  Both T’Challa and Romanda eyebrows rise.

 “Seriously? You are harping on the thread on your scarves moving?” Hermione rubs the bridge of her nose. 

 “Idris?” 

 The child on Romanda’s hip perks up.  “Yes, momma?”

 “Remember not every picture should move?”

 The golden-eyed boy nodded "Yes, momma.  Some can see others can't.  The ones that shouldn't.  Can get scared when they see it."

 “Correct, now why did you make Shaman B’Tumba and Shaman N’Baza pictures move?”

 Idris innocently smiles, then looks confused, “To help tell their stories.  Do I do bad?”

 All the adults look at the Shaman with annoyance.  Hermione gently corrects Idris, “Did I do something wrong?  No honey, but you have to ask permission first.”

 Scrunching his face, Idris then nods. “Down please.”  Just as Romanda bends to place Idris down, he gives a quick kiss on her cheek.  “Thank you.”

 Chuckling the Queen Mother releases him.  “Your welcome.”

 Darting in front of the shamans, “Sorry, sirs.  I only wanted to help.  You tell great stories!”  Scrunching his face again, a purple flash later the embroidery stops moving.

 Both men huff, they became annoyed when their magic couldn't remove the enchantment. Now they look just petty in front of the royal family.  “I take this matter is now absolved, gentlemen?”  Both men look to the Queen Mother, both nod in agreement.  They would need to maneuver quickly to regain their reputation.

 “We may have taken offense too quickly.”  Sighing knowing it took a lot for these stoic men to say that much T’Challa relieves the tension.  “I understand it will take some time, but I am sure we all will come to a working relationship.”  Then proceeds to lead the Spiritual leaders out the door.

 Seeing both Shamans, were no longer looking at him, Idris wonders over to Ayo and Bucky. 

 Idris loudly greets them, “Hiya, Miss Ayo.  Who dis? Another warrior?  You look sad.  Need a hug?  Momma says a good hug helps a lot.”

Chuckling at the young boy’s rapid inquiry, Ayo bends to Idris’ level, “Hello Idris. Remember your inside voice.  The man next to me is a warrior.  His name is Sgt. Barnes.  Yes, a hug would do wonders right now.”

Gathered in Ayo's arms Idris tries to give his best hug.  Then turns to Bucky, peering at him.  "Can I give you anything?"

 Perplexed Bucky nods.  Idris pulls something out his pocket, holding his hand a red button.  Just as Bucky reaches over the boy’s hand a small flash of purple turns into an agate bead.

 All but Bucky chuckle, it was not the first time Idris performed this feat.  All the members of the Dora Milaje have a stone bead from the boy.

 “I don’t know you.  But Miss Ayo says you are a warrior.  Warriors need good things.  Now you have a happy bead.”

 Surprised Bucky looks at the bead, “Thank you.”

 “Come on love, I’m sure Miss Ayo and her friend need to see the King.”

Scrambling down the boy darts back to his mother.  Bidding everyone good night they swiftly exit.

 T’Challa settles down, “Now tell me what you have found.”


Late that night in Shuri's Lab beneath Mount Bashenga

 A notice blink on Shuri’s screen.  All files retrieved from the Croatian facility was decrypted.  Quickly

Shuri funnels a majority of the files to her team.  Pausing additional files open.  Not believing the information she runs several tests.  Then cross-reference.  Twice.

“Well shit.”