Chapter 1: Wrong Stop on the Nether Rail
Welcome, one and all, to my Harry Potter and World of Warcraft crossover, The Mists of Avalon. This is something I have been working on as a concept since I first read plum's The Wizarding Runemaster ages ago, and I finally decided to start posting it. I can honestly say right now that this story will be receiving a significant portion of my attention, since I am currently in a very WOW mood thanks to the new expansion (which is totally awesome, by the way, new raids are fun too!). This story will contain some things you may recognize from The Wizarding Runemaster, as well as The Next Great Adventure by ThatGuyYouKnew. This is not because I am copying them, but because we are all three working off of the same lore. I can guarantee that my story will start far different, however~!
That being said, nothing is totally abandoned on my profile. Hand of Judgement, Wrath of Storms, and On The Wings of Freedom are undergoing major rework, and won't be updated for some time still. The Exiles, Paladin of the Force, Shattered Chains, Mass Effect War of Ages, Silver Eyed Angel, and Guardian of the North are all currently in the process of having the next chapter being written.
Now that your little sitrep is over, I can tell you the basics of this story
Harry/Harem (duh) However, the Harem will most likely be obscenely large just because of how many truly attractive women are in WOW and…elsewhere. Will you recognize some of the women from the other two stories mentioned? Absolutely, for obvious reasons.
Political!Godlike! Harry, though neither will be apparent right away, he is going to work his way there…with some help. Political and Godlike before he gets to Azeroth, however!
Manipulative!Not-Sure-If-Evil! Dumbledore! (For the three whole chapters or so until we head to Azeroth.
WARNING: SEVERAL TIME JUMPS WILL OCCUR UNTIL WE GET TO AZEROTH. NONE IN THIS CHAPTER THOUGH!
Other minor crossover elements will run rampant, as a forewarning.
As always, read and review! If you don't review (in depth is preffered~!) than I have no idea what you think of the story, and am less inspires to work on it!
The Mists of Avalon
Wrong Stop On the Nether-Rail
Clutching her bleeding arm, she stumbled to her feet, long blond hair falling wildly where it may, torn from its usual ponytail by her previous trials. Eyes wide with confusion and no small amount of fear, she looked around ,expecting to find herself surrounded by her enemies. Instead, she was alone on a long street, paved with a solid and seamless layer of a stone she had never seen before. All along both sides lay rows of white houses, each the same as the next. White picket fences, short-cut lawns, and even utterly similar shrubbery. It was...unnatural, this total uniformity she saw, and she cast her eyes to the heavens, hoping to divine her location based on the stars, but her emotions grew wilder as she recognized not a single constellation in the sky. They were native to neither of the worlds that she had traveled and battled upon. Wherever the Twisting Nether had taken her, it was neither Azeroth nor Draenor.
A cold breeze blew down the street, and she shivered as the once-warm air turned icy, her breath visible in a cloud of white with every exhalation. Whispers, screams, began to fill her ears. She heard her sisters crying for her help, the dying screams of those she loved. The smell of burning flesh and wood as her homeland burned before her people's enemies.
Her breath came out in short pants, her lungs struggling for air, and she collapsed limply to the ground, rolling onto her back as the sounds of horror grew within her mind. So loud were they that she very nearly missed the faint sound of clothe rustling across the ground. Mustering all of the strength given by her long years of battle and survival, she raised her head and beheld a dark shadow floating towards her, low to the ground. The closer it drew, the greater the cold and the whispers grew. Gathering herself, she summoned her bow to her hands and an arrow to its string. They coalesced in a blaze of blue light, and she spared only a moment to draw the string and loose. The arrow, wreathed in arcane energy, shot like a violet meteor towards its target. Her unerring aim stayed true, and it struck its victim head on. The creature within the cloak shrieked in anger and pain, an unearthly sound that promised retribution, as on rotting, undead hand emerged from one sleeve to pull the arrow clear and throw it aside. The creature swooped down upon her. Its inhuman hands batted her bow from her hands as she fumbled to fire again. her head forced back, her mouth open, as the demon's hood fell back to reveal its horrifying visage. Noseless, eyeless, with a gaping hole where its mouth should be. Its breath rattled as it inhaled deeply, and she choked, feeling as though something was being pulled violently from the depths of her chest. Her vision began to blur as the feeling grew stronger and stronger, but then she heard a young male voice, strong and determined, cry out in language she didn't recognize. Her vision was filled with light, and demon upon her screamed in pain-filled rage as it left her. Her breath and focus returned, and she staggered to her feet, bow ready. It proved unneeded, however, as the creature fled into the night sky, merging with the darkness as it vanished into the distance. The warmth returned to the air and lampposts flickered to life. Turning her gaze to the light that had saved her, she saw a magnificent shinning silver stag standing before her, eyes steady as they met her own with something that very much seemed like intelligence. She had never seen its like in any of the lands she had wandered.
"Who the hell are you?" the young male voice demanded, and she saw its source emerge into the aura of light cast by the stag. He was human, probably in his teens, with raven hair and bespectacled eyes of a brilliant jade. A wand, simpler than those from her own home, but a wand nonetheless was held in his right hand and pointed directly at her. An aura of power emanated from him, like a blanket of energy that made the air tingle and hum with it's presence. His face was a twist of confusion and wariness as he continued. "What the hell are you, for that matter!"
"I'm a Quel'dorei, a High Elf, Ranger-Captain of Quel'thalas. Eldest Daughter of the Windrunner Clan. My name is Alleria Windrunner, and I have a question for you, human..."
She stared into his eyes, which were wide with shock and swirling confusion even as he lowered his want slightly, the glowing stag pacing slightly between them in an almost protective manner. She saw within their very depths calculation and, dare she say it, recognition?
"Where in the name of The Light am I?"
A/N: Totally was going to leave it there as a trailer, I decided not to...
"Little Whinging, Surrey, in the country of England." the boy responded, head cocked to the side slightly. His eyes raked her form, but not in the lecherous manner of most men of many races that she had met. Instead, his gaze seemed more curious and evaluating than anything else.
"And where is that?" Alleria asked, irritated by the fact that the answer told her absolutely nothing. It was interesting, however, that the language he spoke now, while different from the one he had used to cast his spell, was the same as Common from Azeroth. "What world am I on? And who are you, for that matter?"
"My name is Nudnik Shpilkes." the boy responded evenly, and Alleria frowned to herself. Despite the fact that his body language and tone gave nothing away, she had the sense he was lying through his teeth. Thousands of years of training cadets and dealing with children did have its uses, after all. However, he was also the only source of information she had on this world, and she wasn't going to risk alienating him. Besides, if a member of a species you had never seen nor heard of before appeared out of thin air, anyone would probably have been cautious as well. "We need to get out of here. I don't know if that Dementor was alone, and if it will be coming back."
Cocking her head to the side, Alleria banished her bow back into one of the many magical pouches that lined her waist, and instead settled her long daggers more comfortable where they rested at the small of her back. Despite the general feeling of trustworthiness she felt from this boy, it wouldn't be wise to be totally unprepared, after all. The boy gestured for her to join him, and waited until they were even with one another before he turned and started walking down the street, keeping a careful eye on her via his peripherals. Her estimation of him raised a couple of notches, as did her curiosity. He was obviously capable in battle, what with the way he handled that creature, and from the way his shirt and pants were somewhat snuggly fit to his body, she could tell he was more fit physically than the majority of mages back home. And speaking of that creature...
"What was that thing that attacked me? And how did you make it go away?" she asked, having never seen anything of its like on Azeroth.
"It's called a Dementor. A Dark creature that is the very essence of fear and evil, which feeds off of the good emotions and memories of those around it. If it can get close enough, it uses that hole-mouth it has to suck out its victims souls, leaving their bodies alive. The soul can never be recovered or returned to their victims once it is devoured." 'Nudnik' explained, voice filled with contempt and loathing that Alleria was inclined to share. It sounded like the kind of monster the Legion would dearly love to have join its ranks, and she shuddered at the thought. "As for how to beat it, the only way known to drive them off is the Patronus Charm. Essentially, you summon a magical guardian charged with a powerful happy memory. Since the Patronus isn't alive, the Dementor's can't drain the happiness, so they feel something akin to pain from exposure. Unfortunately, Dementor's cannot be killed or hurt in any other way. At least, that's what everyone thinks. It didn't seem to appreciate that arrow you shot it with."
"That was an Arcane Shot, a basic ability of any Hunter from my homeworld. It is nothing more than an arrow charged with pure magical energy." Alleria responded, feeling inspired to share some details like he had. She shook her head and huffed slightly. "We've nothing like Dementor's back home, I can only imagine the havoc such creatures could wreak if summoned by the Legion."
"And what exactly is-" 'Nudnik' began to ask, before falling silent as an owl screeched over-head, and the pair glanced skyward to see an the aforementioned owl flit past a street light to drop something small onto the stoop of one of the houses. the human immediately increased his pace to a jog, Alleria lagging behind for a moment from the surprise she felt at the sudden change. Perhaps it was his home?
Her thought was proven valid as the boy hurriedly unlatched the gate and retrieved the object from the ground, which she could now see was an envelope of some kind. Glancing at the front of it, he paled slightly before ripping it open and unfolding the letter. She watched as his eyes quickly scanned it before his color paled even more so, pale enough that he could have been mistaken for a corpse were it not for the fact that he was standing and breathing. Tossing the letter aside, he wrenched the door to the house open loudly and disappeared inside. Curiosity getting the best of her despite herself, Alleria stooped low to retrieve the parchment, which felt and looked not unlike what the Royal and Noble families used for the most official of documents.
Dear Mr. Potter,
We have received intelligence that you performed thePatronus Charmat twenty-three minutes past nine this evening in a Muggle-inhabited area and in the presence of aMuggle.
The severity of this breach of theDecree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorceryhas resulted in your expulsion fromHogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Ministry representatives will be calling at your place of residence shortly to destroy yourwand.
As you have already received anofficial warningfor a previous offence under Section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks'Statute of Secrecy, we regret to inform you that your presence is required at adisciplinary hearingat theMinistry of Magicat 9 a.m. on the twelfth ofAugust.
Hoping you are well,
Improper Use of Magic Office Ministry of Magic
Obviously, this was a Bad Thing, and she didn't need to be a genius or know this world to understand that the thought of having his focus destroyed would send the boy into a panic, just like any other mage. But why was performing magic illegal? Who was the Ministry of Magic? Some kind of Kirin Tor? This letter gave her even more questions than she already had, and she didn't like that. Questions meant she didn't know what was going on, which meant she was ignorant. She hated being ignorant. Her thoughts disturbed by loud shouting and banging coming from within the house, she forced herself to focus and consider her next move. While the boy was now apparently a compromised entity wanted by the government, he was also the only being she knew on this world. She had little choice, then...folding up the letter, Alleria hesitated for the slightest moment before crossing the threshold.
Once inside she looked around, and once more found herself marveled and disturbed by the differences between Azeroth and Earth. Much of the house, what of it she could see, had carpeting that covered the entire floor, a feat that not even the kings of Azeroth could or would achieve. The furniture was at least vaguely familiar, for while it seemed larger and made of a different material than back home, one could only change so much about the appearance of the chair. However, there were a great many things she didn't recognize. Plethora gadgets and foreign objects were everywhere, and while she found the strange, yet incredibly detailed and life-like paintings on the mantle, her attention was drawn to the strange black box in the middle one wall of the room with the most chairs. Curiosity once more getting the best of her, she padded silently into the room and began examining it, wondering what its purpose was. It was wide, very wide, and fairly tall as well, but was also oddly thin, barely the thickness of her fist.
Finding no hidden purpose or interest in the object after a minute or so of prodding, Alleria padded over to sit down on the couch that faced the box. The moment she sat, however, she felt a large, hard object in the cleft of her butt cheeks. Brow furrowing, she leaned slightly to the side and reached under herself to pull said object out. Her frown deepened, this time in confused interest, as she studied the strange black device in her hand. It was covered with odd protrusions, above each of which small white lettering spelled out words in Common that, while she could read them, she nevertheless failed to understand the relevance. 'Volume', 'Channel', 'Menu', and 'Record' were some, but her eyes alit on a button at the very top left corner of the device, and she smiled to herself. This one, at least, she recognized. Carefully utilizing her index finger, Alleria depressed the protrusion labeled 'ON'.
The black box before her immediately flashed to life in an explosion of noise and light, and she spat out a Thallasian curse as she back-flipped behind the couch and summoned her bow to hand. Peeking out from behind the couch, her eyes fell on the TV just in time to see a black-scaled dragon rushing towards her, maw open with flames gathering in its throat. Yelping in fear and surprise, she leapt to her feet and gave her arrow the most powerful magic charge she could muster before losing it straight down the throat of the giant black beast.
The result was...predictable, but explosive. To say the very, very, least. The super-powered Arcane Shot not only obliterated the poor television, but blew a significantly sized hole in the wall as well, leaving a opening large enough for Vernon to have driven his car through it with some room to spare on either side. Satisfied that she had bested the beast, Alleria slipped out from behind the couch and padded over to check the carcass. She was baffled, however, to find no such thing. Perhaps the black box was some sort of summoning portal, and it had closed when she killed the beast? That was the only thing that made sense, but the boy didn't seem the type…
"BOY! WHAT DID YOUR FREAK BITCH DUE TO MY HOUSE!" an older male voice roared, and she turned away from the wreckage to see a puce-faced human of truly obscene obesity standing in another door that looked to lead to a kitchen of some sort, and she frowned at the obscene insult, as well as the implication that she belonged to anyone.
"Shut up, Dursley!" she heard 'Nudnik' retort angrily, and turned to see him come in through the doorway she had used to enter the room, wand pointed at the fat angry man, a large trunk being dragged behind him by his other hand. "Now, I'm leaving, and I doubt I'll be back. I just thought I would take this chance to tell you how much I loathe you, your wife, and your son, and that I never, ever, considered this place my home!"
Unbeknownst to everyone at Privet Drive, his declaration sent a pulse of magic rippling through the house, shredding the barely-present blood wards that had only barely been able to protect the teen from external, Dark, threats.
Inside Albus Dumbledore's office at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Fawkes had time to squawk in alarm and take cover behind the desk moments before the silver instruments that monitored young Harry Potter's magic, location, health, and the blood wards at Privet Drive all exploded in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics and shrapnel. A multitude of priceless books and artifacts were damaged so greatly that even with magic, their repair was far from guaranteed.
Dumbledore, of course, was not present. He was in fact enroute to the Ministry of Magic to trade his few remaining favors in order to ensure that Harry Potter was not expelled from Hogwarts and cast from the Wizarding World. No, he needed the boy here, in order to fulfill his destiny. However, sweeping in at the last minute during the trial may be a good chance to earn more trust from the boy and to place him further into the Headmaster's debt.
Nodding to the Auror on duty at the front desk, a former student from several years ago that was still properly awed by his reputation and legend, Dumbledore swept towards the elevators and pressed the button for the floor that held the Minister's Office. He only hoped he could convince Cornelius to see things his way…
"The feeling is mutual, boy. Now, get out. Take your freak slut and get the fuck out of my house!" Vernon hissed in response, a tight-lipped Petunia nodding in agreement. "Before something else gets blown up or another hole is put in my house wall!"
It was obvious to Alleria from the way the teen fingered his wand and glared at the couple that he was considering some retribution, now that he was already a criminal of some kind. While Alleria had never had any issue with smacking down bigots or those who thought themselves better than others, she knew that in the end he wouldn't feel any better nor would it do him any good. She placed a gentle hand on his wand arm, and after a moment he huffed in frustration before grabbing his trunk and dragging it behind him as he departed Number 4, Privet Drive, never to return. Alleria watched the two older humans for a long moment, before following.
"Where do you plan on going, 'Nudnik Shpilkes'?" Alleria asked as she followed the human away from his former home as quickly as he could move.
"My name is Harry Potter." He responded shortly, eyes scanning the sky and the streets alternately for anything that may be a threat. Alleria hummed in acknowledgement, waiting for him to answer her question, and after a minute or so of silence she had it. "And I have no plan. I have no idea where I can go that the Ministry might not be able to find me."
"Then perhaps it is best to go someplace they can find you, but wouldn't look. There is nothing more elusive than an obvious fact. If they think you will avoid certain areas because you would be recognized, we change your appearance and hide in plain sight."
Harry just turned and stared at her, and she suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. Honestly, it was one of the oldest tricks in the book, and one of the simplest. However, when his eyes flicked to her ears, her eyes narrowed. Stopping, the boy opened his trunk and rummaged through it for nearly two minutes before finally extracting a black, hooded cape. Holding it out to her, he explained.
"The only kind of elves that are known to exist in this world are a servant race, small and fairly ugly. You are neither, which means you would stick out like a sore thumb and make irrelevant any efforts I make to hide myself, as you recommended."
Frowning, Alleria accepted the cape and pulled it on, grimacing at the discomfort of having her long and fairly delicate ears so entrapped by rough cloth. She was also not fond of the notion that the only elven-kind on this world were some sort of slave race. Still, Harry had a point. Her appearance would be sure to draw attention to Harry if only peripherally. Which meant she would just have to bare it for now. She made a mental note to find out if there were Glamour spells in this world, and if so, to have Harry learn them as soon as possible.
After settling the cloak as comfortably as she could, she presented herself to Harry's inspection. The boy walked around her, eyes scrutinizing as he hunted for any sign that might reveal her to be anything otherworldly. Finding nothing, he nodded in satisfaction and closed his trunk's lid.
"Here, get out of the street and onto the sidewalk." He instructed her, following his own advice hastily. Confused, Alleria nonetheless obeyed, stepping across the grassy border and onto the sidewalk proper. Satisfied, Harry thrust his wand arm out firmly, wand pointing straight up into the air. With a deafening bang, a large, hideously purple horseless carriage appeared from midair, screeching to a halt directly in front of an amused Harry and an open-mouthed Alleria. Whether it was to the Knight Bus' sudden appearance or its horrific paintjob, he wasn't sure.
"Hello and welcome aboard the Knight Bus, my name is Stan Shunpike and I will be your conductor this evening." A rather unattractive young human male said, stepping off of the bus with a bored expression on his face as he flicked through a small notebook. Looking up, his expression went from boredom, to one of surprise, to contempt. "Well, lookie here, if it aren't the "Boy-Who-Lies"! Lemme guess, off to hunt down You-Know-Who?"
"Hardly." Harry said coldly, shoving a gold coin into the other man's hand. "Two for Diagon Alley, Shunpike, and make it fast."
" Hear that, Ern? Harry Potter wants to get to Diagon Alley, and fast to!" Stan said mockingly, sneering with broken and yellowing teeth at the glasses-wearing teen. "Maybe we don't want you on our bus, eh?"
"I'm a paying customer, you don't have a choice." Said teen responded, stepping past Stan and hauling his trunk aboard. "Come on, Alleria."
Gracefully, the High Elf slipped past the now gawking Stan, who had been to busy insulting Harry to notice the cloaked but still noticably shapely and female form that was with him. So distracted was the conductor, that he didn't notice Harry palm the unopened newspaper lying near the driver, an older looking man with eyes that looked unnaturally large and bugged out behind his glasses. Looking around the interior of the carrige with interest, the Windrunner heir noted that it was filled with beds, some of which had sleeping humans in them, but nothing else. Sitting beside Harry, Alleria looked at the paper he held open and read the headline.
Boy-Who-Lies Breaks Statue of Secrecy!
By Rita Skeeter
This reporter discovered that not an hour ago, the so-called Boy-Who-Lived, Harry James Potter, broke the Statue of Secrecy by casting magic in front of a Muggle, in a Muggle neighborhood! It seems that this is just another attempt by the glory-obssessed teen to promote himself to the Wizarding World. No doubt he expects that his previous fame and respect means that he is allowed to break whatever laws he desires whenever he pleases.
The Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, Delores Umbridge, had this to saw on behalf of Minister Fudge: "Mr. Potter will not be permitted such blatant and disgusting displays of arrogance and foolhardiness. His attempts to cause a panic amongst the Wizarding populace with these ludicrous and unwarrented claims of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named are entirely unacceptable and will be severely punished. Once he is found and caught, his wand will be destroyed and he will be brought to the Ministry to face trial."
Yes indeed, my fellow Wizarding kind, Harry Potter not only broke the Statue of Secrecy but then fled upon being informed that his wand was to be destroyed! Even now, Aurors are departing to search the neighborhood he used to live in and those nearby. All of us here at the Daily Prophet hope for his swift capture and trial, that he might be punished for his fear-mongering and total disregard for the safety of the Wizarding World.
"This is not good." Harry muttered to her, and Alleria had to agree. While she knew little of this world, she had understood the basics of the article. It seemed she was now sitting next to a wanted man. Not that she particularly cared for the laws of governments of this world, her only real concern was getting home. Currently, Harry was her only chance of doing so, given that he was the only person she knew.
"Just keep it out of sight until we get to where you're heading. Better get another cloak to hide your features with." She recommended softly, and he nodded slightly before doing just that. An instant later, Alleria shrieked with surprise and clung for dear life to her young companion as the Knight Bus accelerated hard without any form of warning. With another deafening Bang, they were suddenly kilometers away, hurtling down a busy freeway.
"Relax, Alleria. No matter how much you get tossed about by the random speed changes, there are spells on the bus to keep you from actually being hurt." Harry said dryly, trying not to react to the fact that a woman of literally inhuman beauty was clinging to him as tightly as she could. Alleria managed a small, tight nod, and pulled away. Taking a deep breath, she settled herself mentally and physically. You're a Ranger-Captain, the scion of the Windrunner clan! Stop acting like a fearful child and pull yourself together! She chastised herself mentally, feeling disgusted with herself for losing her cool. She may be on a new world, but that was no excuse to fall apart and become lax.
"Yes, of course, forgive me. My homeworld, Azeroth, has nothing like this. We have only just begun to experiment with steam power for the most simple of things." Alleria explained, and Harry made a sound of understanding.
"Tell me everything about your world, everything you might wish to. It will help me figure out the differences between the two and how best to prepare you for what you might see." He requested, sounding fairly curious, though such is unsurprising given that the subject is a whole different world.
So the High Elf spoke, her voice soft but full of emotion. Pride, sorrow, regret, anger. Nothing was held back. She spoke of the her homeland, with its endless forests and crystal-clear rivers and lakes. Of the magic-filled caress of the summer breeze, charged with energy by the Sunwell. She spoke of the human kingdoms, with their factional feuding over lands and titles. Of the Orcish Horde, called to Azeroth by the corrupted Guardian, Medivh, and of the Horde's true origin, as a tribal culture corrupted by the Burning Legion. Her voice was filled with such hatred as she spoke of the green-skinned barbarians that had massacred so many innocents, so many of her friends and family, that Harry found himself inadvertently reminded of the tone of voice the likes of Malfoy and Voldemort used when they spoke of Muggles and Muggleborn. Filing that thought, and how he might handle such a troublesome thing, away for later consideration, he listened intently as Alleria continued on to describe the technological capabilities of Azeroth.
"Well, from what I gather, Azeroth is currently in what we called the Middle Ages, and in the very early stages of an Industrial Revolution." Harry mused to himself. "For us, those eras were centuries ago. However, the long-lived nature of many of the races on Azeroth, and your prevalent use of magic, means that our timeframe is of little use."
"What do you mean?" Alleria asked, confused by what being long-lived and using a lot of magic had to do with anything.
"We, that is to say the humans of Earth, have always been driven to improve. To go farther than those before us had gone. To accomplish what was once thought impossible. Indeed, to make the word impossible outdated and forgotten. This is because of how short-lived we are. Everything moves quickly because we don't have much time to do it. Much of Azeroth, however, probably develops socially and technologically at a snail's pace because you are so long lived that you do not feel any urgency to make your mark on history, as we do." He elaborated, and she cocked her head to the side and nodded slowly, acknowledging the point. "Furthermore, your uses of magic are fairly different from our own, allowing you to use magic where we had to develop scientific solutions. Fortunately, the one thing that has pushed human advancement so much-war, to be precise- seems to be lacking on your world in the intensity and brutality of our own."
"Did you hear nothing of what I explained about the Horde?" Alleria snapped angrily, incensed that Harry was belittling the suffering of her world, and herself personally.
"Yes, and their crimes are horrific. They were also under the control of a demonic army that seeks to annihilate all life, everywhere. All of the horrific crimes that my world has experienced, many of which make those of the Horde seem like playground scuffles, were done to ourselves by ourselves." He responded bluntly, which did nothing to settle the woman's anger. Sighing, he decided to give her an example. "Some seventy years ago, there was a massive war that we call 'World War Two', which involved nearly every country on the planet in some capacity. That's over 180, by the way, the smallest of which is probably the size of this Lordaron you mentioned. It lasted only six years or so, and no one is quite sure even now just how many people died, but the estimates are anywhere from 60 to 85 million people. 38 to 55 million of which were simple civilians."
Alleria's anger vanished in an instant, eyes widening in horror at the thought of so many dead. While Azeroth had the concept of a million, there had never been anything relevant that had reached that number. It was nothing more than a theory, in truth, a number proposed for the grains of sand on a beach. It seemed that here on Earth, however, they had reached and lost that many times that number many times. She couldn't imagine so many lives being lost, never mind in such a short amount of time.
"…why?" she finally whispered, and he looked at the ceiling for a minute, deep in thought.
"Interesting question, that." He mused finally, looking back at her. "Greed, different beliefs, and probably a fair amount of old prejudice. Hard to say why and where it all started, to be honest with you. All the historians have their own opinions, of course, about which nation was in the wrong first, but in the end it comes down to the very thing that is our greatest strength being our greatest weakness."
"The desire to be better?" Alleria asked, recalling his words from only minutes ago.
"Exactly." Harry nodded in approval. "Mankind's dream, mankind's desire, mankind's destiny. To be the strongest, to go the farthest, to climb the highest. To compete, to envy, to hate each other, and to devour one another."
"But should you not seek retribution for crimes committed?" she argued, thinking of her own punitive expeditions to wipe out orc strongholds or encampments both before and after her brother was butchered. "Should you not protect the future of your people, of the ones you love?"
"One person takes a life for vengeance, and someone gets revenge by killing him. Than that person is slain, and so on and so forth until the death ends, but not in any peace but that of the grave." Harry said wisely. "While I agree that protecting those you love is important, more important than anything in fact, how far do you take it? When does it stop being about protecting and start being about revenge? About hatred? That is the real question, and I think it is one you need to answer for yourself."
"You sound rather wise and well-read for a child, Harry." Alleria pointed out after a moment of silence, not willing or able to discuss her own vendetta against the Horde. Harry chuckled to himself and nodded in agreement with a small smile.
"Yes, well, as you may have noticed, my family and I don't exactly get along well. I spend a lot of time reading, whether at home or the library, and among other things I found solace in was philosophy and history, and I learned much." He responded, and Alleria nodded absently. She opened her mouth to speak again, but was abruptly cut off as the bus slammed to a halt once more.
"'iagon Alley!" Shunpike called from the front, not bothering to get up and help Harry move his trunk, despite the fact that it was his job to do so. "Off you get!"
This time, when Harry hefted his trunk, Alleria grabbed the other end, stepping off of the bus and onto the sidewalk in front The Leaky Cauldron. To most, the pub would have appeared run down and dingy, but to Alleria it looked just like any pub from back home, save for those in the middle of the major cities like Silvermoon or Lordaeron. Walking inside, Alleria inhaled the smell of musty air, stale beer, and old wood, a smile filling her expression at how familiar it all was. It actually gave her some small measure of peace.
"Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron, folks!" the barkeeper, an elderly looking fellow with a kind smile, asked from where he was wiping down glasses. After a moments silence, Harry nudged Alleria slightly with his elbow, and she started slightly, belatedly realizing Harry's voice might be recognized, which left the speaking up to her.
"No, thank you, simply passing through." She said with a smile that was partially visible under her hood. All conversation and movement stopped as the room turned to stare at the cloaked figure that had emitted such a beautiful voice, and she shifted awkwardly under their scrutiny before Harry started towards the far door, pulling her and the trunk along. Once through the door, Alleria found herself standing in a small alleyway with some large, metal trashcans against the pubs wall, with another brickwall at the end of the alley. Drawing his wand, Harry walked up to the wall and tapped a combination of stones with its tip, before turning to face Alleria.
"Welcome…to Diagon Alley!" he said with mirth in his voice at the wide-eyed way the brick wall folded in on itself to become an archway, through which Harry tugged her. "Come on, we need to get to Gringott's Bank, quickly. Its owned by goblins, is neutral ground, and the Ministry has no immediate authority there."
Wondering why a mere bank was considered neutral territory upon which the government had no authority, Alleria nonetheless followed, observing her surroundings with a great deal of interest. Stores advertizing the sale of potions, cauldrons, ingredients, books, wands, animals, trunks…the list seemed unending and varied, it felt like the markets back home in Silvermoon during the Festival of the Sun, the High Elves most sacred holiday.
After several minutes of weaving and dodging their way through the crowd, a massive white building of pure marble loomed from where it dominated the entire end of the Alley. As they drew closer, she could pick out figured standing guard near the entrance, wearing heavy plate armor and wielding long halberds. Once they were close enough, she almost dropped her end of the trunk in surprise at the blatant inhumanity of the creatures wearing the armor. While she may herself be 'inhuman' she shared 99% of their physical characteristics, but these beings shared few. About as tall as the average human teen, with small beady eyes, pointed ears, fang-like teeth, and expressions of utter contemptuous boredom.
She did take note of the carved, poetic, warning on the wall beside the large doors, and the inherent threat starkly shown through them. It also told her a fair amount about these 'goblins' as a race, in addition to the armed guards they had seen outside and those she could now see spaced evenly around the perimeter of the lobby. It seemed they were separate from the human government (reinforced by Harry telling her that the bank was neutral territory) but were still entrusted with the monies of the humans. They were also a warrior culture, much like the orcs, as she could see that even the bank tellers had belt knives and some minor armor.
"Wait here with the trunk, I will be right back." Harry told her quietly, putting his end of the trunk down and walking over to one of the guards, whom he began to speak with softly.
"Good evening, sir." Harry said awkwardly, but still quietly and respectfully to the heavily armored goblin guard. The guard, despite being only slightly taller than himself, still somehow managed to loom over him as it stared down its nose at the young human addressing it.
"Speaking to me will not allow you to skip the line, Human. You'll have to wait in line for a teller like everyone else." It said coldly after a long moment, and Harry shook his head, though he wasn't surprised by its assumption.
"I would never be as arrogant or foolhardy as to make such as assumption." He assured the guard, whose eyebrows rose infinitesimally as a result. "No, I unfortunately have found myself in a spot of bother with the Ministry, and wish to speak with a member of the Gringotts legal department. I'm afraid that due to my youth I am not learned in the ways of law and wish to pay for advice or assistance."
The guard stared down at him considering for what felt like an eternity, before its free hand flashed out faster than he could react and lifted the cowl of his cloak away enough to discern his features. Studying him for a moment, the goblin dropped the cowl back into place and grunted.
"Wait here, Harry Potter. I will return shortly." It commanded before brushing past him and clanking down a side hallway. Moments later, a totally different goblin in armor appeared and assumed the post of the previous, the same detached and indifferent expression on its visage. Feeling rather nervous now that he had been identified by at least one being, Harry tugged on his cowl and resisted the urge to hunch his shoulders protectively, aware that doing so would make him look even more suspicious than he probably already did. Looking around, he took a moment to return to Alleria and help her heft the trunk over to where the goblin had told him to wait.
Several long, tense minutes passed, with increasing attention being paid to the mysterious pair near the guard by the various witches and wizards doing business at the bank. It was, after all, considered both rude and suspicious for one to leave their hood up whilst indoors, much in the same way it is rude to leave a hat and sunglasses on inside in the Muggle world. Thus far, however, none of them felt like it was worth abandoning their place in line in order to investigate.
Fortunately, it was only ten minutes later that the guard returned and, speaking lowly so as not to be overheard by those who might be eavesdropping, instructed the pair of them to follow him immediately. Tiredly hefting his end of the trunk, and noticing with a flare of irritation at Alleria's apparently endless stamina, he nodded to the guard, who immediately snap-turned and began walking away again, leaving the encumbered pair to hasten after him as quickly as possible into the mazelike halls of Gringott's.
Many kilometers away, Aurors searching for one Harry James Potter found the soulless husk of his cousin, one Duddly Dursley, slumped against the brick wall of a pedestrian underpass near the local park. It was quickly deemed prudent by the squad leader, a man named Dawlish, to "put him out of his misery" and wipe his parents memories. A green flash lit up the night, followed by a purple flash. Moments later, Aurors Dawlish, Selwin, Bulstrode, and Nott left the underpass, leaving behind them the small, still corpse of a racoon.
A/N: That is where I am ending this chapter. I could have gone on, but personally I feel like the flow will be better this way. Now, if you have any questions or concerns, please PM me or leave a review. I will do my best to answer, although I won't go around sharing my intent for the plot. I can tell you, however, that this will be very different from similar stories, yet somewhat the same. I will not be sharing the full harem at this time.
Chapter 2: Can't Touch This
This is going to be a standard warning at the start of probably every chapter: This story is AU, and will become drastically so later on. Some events will still occur, but because of various variables, they will either have a greater or lesser impact on Azeroth, etc. I am going to be changing the established timeline significantly through the impacts Harry will be making.
Harry will not be canon Harry. Obviously.
This story WILL be getting fairly...adult at a later date. While I probably won't have any lemons on this site, cause of people like "Critics United", they will be posted elsewhere. There will also be some not so subtle non-mature elements throughout. If they disturb you, feel free to flee.
This story WILL be harem. It WILL be large, and not cause lotsa kinks, hot women and sex...well, not entirely anyway. No, this story will have a fairly significant amount of politics, subterfuge, and massed military tactics. All of which are highly relevant to the makeup of the harem. I'll let you lot chew on that for a bit.
That said, I want to thank everyone for making this without a doubt the greatest story launch I have had! I hope and pray for your continued support~! Remember, this is not going to be like the other two big stories of this category. While they are along the same basic lines (Harry, little group of followers doing good deeds) mine will not be like this. Be prepared for that.
That said, if for some god-forsaken reason you have yet to check out Plums or ThatGuyYouKnew and their HP/WOW stories, go do so as soon as you finish reading this chapter.
Also, be sure to check out my Blog, FB page, etc. Updates and character spreadsheets can be found there.
Now, Finally, Review Replies:
Redrover117: No idea what you mean about Naruto, but thanks for noticing the Gundam SEED stuff! No one else did, or at least didn't comment on it! I know Rau was a psycho, but a lot of his little rants made a shit ton of sense. More lines from Gundam will feature.
The Defenestrated Typewriter: That was deliberate on my part. As you may have noticed from the name, the entire squad was Pureblood Supremacists. They are underestimating the Muggles, and it will cause trouble down the road. Very deliberate indeed.
Fateburn: They will indeed by the core of his harem, but not necessarily the first members of it.
AlphaLegion: You are correct, Alleria mentions to herself that while she dislikes sharing so much info, she knows that she is stranded in a foreign world, and her only chance of getting home is if someone else sends her home. He will not be camping out in the lobby per-se, but something similar, and I will try to avoid those clichés. In truth, many HP characters won't feature at all. As for your last comment…well…hehehehehehe.
Zedicus101: As Alleria mentioned to herself in her thoughts, sharing information is necessary if she stands a chance of getting home. She isn't a mage, and lacks the power and knowledge to send herself home.
Maso250: No, not really, and the Burning Legion is a horde of demons who desire to wipe out all life in the universe, essentially.
Guest: Canon is, but this not taking place during the canon timeline, which I did cover in the blog for the story. In fact, it is more or less current day.
Guest: So….you came to the story, to simply leave a review saying you aren't going to bother reading it? 'Kay, bye, lol.
To everyone else, I appreciate your continued support! Remember to Read and Review!
Now that that is done, the chapter begins!
Mists of Avalon
Can't Touch This
Deep within the interior of Gringott's gilded marble halls, there is one office whose opulence, and security, are set far above the others. It is from within this office that Ragnok Gringott, heir to the Goblin Throne, runs the European branches of the banks that bear his family's name. Only the most influential and important clients were brought to see him, and only then on rare occasions.
Thus, it was all the more shocking when the goblin named Ironhide had been ordered by the Captain of the Guard to bring Harry Potter and his companions to the Heir's office immediately. He had actually expected to be told run them out of the bank, or at the very least give them an official refusal, but it seemed that was not to be. Which only made him wonder why Ragnok would give a damn about a human whelp and his female, no matter who the human was.
Rapping sharply on the door with one gauntleted fist, he awaited a muffled response before opening the door. Saluting with a fist over his heart, he informed the owner that his guests were there, and was instructed to show them in immediately.
Doing so, he was dismissed, and began his trek back to the central barracks, looking forward to some food and drink. Perhaps a cleansing to rid himself of the feeling of dealing with humans was in order...
"Welcome to my office, Harry Potter and companion. I am Ragnok Gringott, First Son and Heir to the Throne of Goblins." the scarred and rather intimidating goblin clipped out, words brisk but suitably arrogant in his power and position. "Please, have a seat."
"Thank you. Do you have any particular method you wish be referred to by? I am afraid my companion and I know little to nothing about goblin customs, especially those when dealing with one as high-ranking as yourself." Harry said respectfully, knowing that getting the goblins on his side, or at least not against him, was highly important.
"You may refer to me as Heir Ragnok, if you must refer to me at all." the goblin said shortly, and Harry nodded in acceptance. Folding his hands before him, Ragnok eyed the pair of them before continuing. "Now, human, convince me not to turn you over to the Ministry in return for concessions ot the Goblin people?"
Alleria started to her feet, light beginning to coalesce in her hands as she began to summon her bow. She wasn't going to risk the only chance she had of getting home being arrested and locked away! However, before the bow could fully form, Harry clamped one hand on her arm tightly, and she stopped, looking over at him.
"Calmly, Alleria, calmly. He is trying to test our reactions and see what we reveal, just look at him. Sit back down." the human told her softly, and Alleria did so. She noted the smirk on the other being's lips, even as shrewd and cunning eyes took in every movement that she made. Tsk-ing softly to herself, Alleria banished the partially coalesced weapon back to her bags, and took her seat again, though she decided not to mention the long dirk she had hidden in her boot.
"While that was a fascinating use of magic that I would like to know more about, I would inform you, Miss, that any use of magic within Gringott's is punishable by death." Ragnok said evenly, though internally he was rather shocked. The strange hooded and cloaked companion of Harry Potter, who was very obviously female, had been performing some kind of summoning magic without a wand, to the best that his wards could understand. That kind of skill was long lost to humanity, and even those who performed magic without wands, like goblin-kind, could no longer do it.
"Forgive her, please, she has never had dealings with goblins before, and doesn't know your laws." Harry said somewhat hastily. While he knew that Alleria could, and probably would, be able to get them out of the bank more or less unhindered if she had too, it would also be detrimental to his plans. Gesturing to her, he continued. "Heir Ragnok, may I introduce Alleria Windrunner."
"A pleasure." Alleria said, tone clipped. Clearly, she was less than pleased with being threatened and then told to suck it up by her companion, though Ragnok did note that she had obeyed him quickly, if begrudgingly.
"Now, what is it, exactly, that you wish from Goblin Nation?" Ragnok inquired calmly, and Harry leaned forward, lacing his fingers together and resting his arms on the desk.
"Simply put, I want to hire the Goblin Nation for extensive training an assistance. Politics, magic, enchanting, even rudimentary forge-work. I need armor and weapons of specific make and power. All of this, I am willing to pay fair price for." he said bluntly, and Alleria resisted the urge to groan and cover her face with her palm and his blunt demands of a foreign power, to the next ruler of said power himself, no less!
"Well, I can certainly agree that training in politics is necessary." Ragnok said dryly, amused rather than insulted by the human's blunt attitude. Indeed, while goblin society demanded respect and obedience to those in a higher rank, it also demanded honesty. Amusingly, it also promoted cunning, which often set it at odds with itself. Leaning back in his seat and enjoying the sheepish look on the human's face, he continued. "Why should I do this, Harry Potter? And even if I should, it will not be cheap."
"A few reasons. First, the Goblin Nation stands to make a fair sum from this agreement. Second, you get to tweak the Ministry's nose without even coming close to breaking a treaty. Third, and most importantly," came the prompt reply, and the boy grew very serious. "Voldemort is back, whatever the Ministry says, and it won't do the Goblin Nation any good to have him running the country. He will come after you eventually, even if only to claim the wealth and artifacts in your vaults."
"Wizards have never won a war against my kind, why should we fear any change in that simple truth from any man, even one like Voldemort." Ragnok said dismissively, waving a hand casually as if brushing the thought away.
"Perhaps, but if Voldemort manages to conquer a significant number of the Wizarding World-because I doubt he would stop at England- he would have the manpower to simply throw human waves at you. Even should you eventually be victorious, as I am sure you would be, you would still lose an incredible amount of people in the meantime, leaving you vulnerable." Harry pointed out, surprising the goblin and Alleria both with his accurate summation of a potential tactical reality. "That being said, I want Voldemort dead. He is obsessed with me, and I will never have a moment's peace until he is well and truly dead."
"Not to mention for his murder of your parents and giving you that scar, hmm?" Ragnok added shrewdly, and Harry inclined his head a little stiffly as Alleria glanced at him sidelong, surprised from the information. It seemed he knew great loss of loved ones as well. Perhaps his words about her vendetta against the orcs were not spoken with an inexperienced tongue after all. Humming to himself for a moment and tapping the table with his claws, the goblin remained deep in thought for several minutes of tense silence before nodding and slapping the table sharply. "Very well, Harry Potter, for a price we of Goblin Nation will assist you in achieving this goal. However, it must remain a secret from the public. Were it to become widely known, Gringott's image of neutrality would be damaged severely." Looking at Alleria, he continued. "If Miss Windrunner wouldn't mind stepping outside, we need to discuss the financial details, which I cannot do with a none-account member, no matter how trusted they might be, present."
Alleria considered protesting, but knew she had little to no grounds to do so on. Getting to her feet gracefully, she went outside and was immediately directed to follow the waiting guard back to the lobby, where she could wait for her companion to either return, or authorize her to return to the office they had just left.
Huffing in annoyance, Alleria found herself a pillar to lean against while she waited for Harry to come back, and spent the time thinking hard over the small pieces of information she had gathered about his past and own motivations. While her honed senses did note that she was receiving an awful lot of attention from most of the men, and a few women, waiting in line, she ignored it with the ease of long practice.
One Draco Malfoy, however, was there to do some banking. He was less inclined to simply watch from afar, especially with the perceived new power that the return of the Dark Lord gave him over others. He saw a beautiful woman and, being a 15 year old boy, decided he wanted her. The only question was: how to approach her?
Harry started slightly as a large file folder was dropped heavily onto the surface of the desk in front of him. Noting his name emblazoned across the front, he frowned and pulled it towards himself, flipping it open. The first page was dominated by a picture of himself and some basic information that he more or less ignored, such as his height, but the rest stuck out to him.
Harry James Potter
Born July 31st, 1997
Only Child of James Charlus and Lillian Marie Potter
Godchild of Sirius Black and Alice Longbottom
Heir to the Potter, Black, and Peverell Families By Blood
Heir to the Flamel Vaults By Decree
Heir of Salazar Slytherin by Right of Conquest
"What does this mean, "by Right of Conquest"?" Harry asked, both amused and stricken by the fact that he was, as the rumors had suggested in error second year, the Heir of Slytherin. He wasn't even going to try and comprehend the rest right now. "I mean, in archaic times, it meant winning the property of someone you bested on the Fields of Honor or in the Lists. I've not killed Voldemort."
"Perhaps not, but Lillian Marie Potter used ancient, powerful magic to protect your life, fueled by her own death, and in that moment she defeated Voldemort as he existed then. As she had died, the Right of Conquest passed on to her only living descendant, you." Ragnok explained, before gesturing to the file. "The rest is of little importance at the moment. Bank statements, interest, things such as that. What will interest you, however, is the last packet of pages. They detail precisely what items you have inherited from your various vaults."
"This says I am not to inherit until I become of age." Harry commented absently as he read through the indicated pages, brow furrowed as he noted some of the items mentally.
"Indeed, but your forced participation in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and the Ministry declaring their intention to try you as an adult, makes you an adult in every legal sense of the word. While you will not suddenly find yourself two years older, quite a few changes may or may not come to pass. " Ragnok explained, sounding rather vague towards the end, and Harry was sure pressing for details wouldn't do him a damn bit of good. "Now, to our discussion. Goblin Nation is perfectly willing to assist you in your goals, for appropriate compensation. As such, for three-fifths of the wealth in your various vaults, you will have the unlimited and unrestrained assistance you so desire."
"Money is of little importance to me at the moment." Harry said dismissively, not even reacting to the admittedly high sum that ratio indicated. He was used to having very little, after all, and was quite content with the items he possessed now. "The only thing I am in no way willing to part with are artifacts, heirlooms, items of that nature. Coined monies, however, have no such protection. I find your terms to be most agreeable, Heir Ragnok."
"Then we have an accord." Ragnok said cheerfully, internally dancing with glee as this human so casually handed over an enormous sum of gold, much of which he would receive personally as the one who brokered the deal. Holding out his hand, the goblin waited for the human to shake it, before doing so with a muttered 'so Mote It Be', sealing the agreement in magic. Getting to his feet, Ragnok gestured for Harry to follow him. "Come, let me show you back to your companion."
"One moment please. There is something I need your associates in the Mundane World to get me, items that will be of priceless importance with my plans for beyond Voldemort's defeat." Harry said seriously, pulling out a piece of parchment. Scribbling three words, for a total of fifteen letters, down onto the piece of paper, he handed it to the confused goblin. "I need you to get me all the information on this you can."
"This? But, this isn't even real, it's..." Ragnok started, confused enough to lose his cool attitude, but Harry simply held up a hand and smiled a little mysteriously.
"Trust me, Heir Ragnok, when I say that reality is subjective, especially when magic is involved."
"You, girl." an arrogant voice brought Alleria from her musings, and she looked up from beneath her hood to see an pompous and aristocratic-looking teenaged male human with slicked back blond hair standing in front and a little off to the side of her.
"What do you want, child?" she asked absently, having evaluated him and dismissed him as a threat or an asset, and therefore of little interest to her. Especially since he struck her as just like the children of many human nobles back home, who believed themselves better than others simply because they were human and noble. Many of the young adult humans had tried to bed her, arrogant in their belief that because of their family's rank that she, being a mere elf, would bend over and spread her legs for them. Never realizing, of course, that not only was she older than many of their "esteemed" family lines, but in belonged to a House more ancient than any surviving beyond that of Menethil.
They were often disabused of the notion rapidly, her preferred method usually involving knives, blood, and threats of castration delivered in the same tone one might use to discuss the weather. They often then paled and left, rapidly, leaving her amused by the falsehood of the stories that had told her to "impress" her. Some of them were even stupid enough to send guards or personal armsmen after her, either ignorant of or deliberately ignoring her identity and thus the stories that were told about her and her combat prowess.
"Child? Who do you think that you are?" the boy said angrily, voice getting a little shrill, much to her amusement. "Do you have any idea who I am?"
"A little bratling who relies on his family name to get anywhere in life?" she sniped rather accuratly, crossing her arms under her ample chest and smirking at the boy, who definitely wouldn't have been capable of appearing intimidating even if he wasn't staring wide eyed at her chest and stomach, both of which showed tantalizing swaths of skin thanks to the Ranger leathers she was still wearing.
"When my..." the boy started again angrily, only to be interrupted by Harry's voice.
"'When my Father hears about this'. Honestly, Malfoy, are you incapable of saying anything other than racial slurs and whining to your father. Because it doesn't seem so." the raven-haired teen commented in amused scorn as he came over to stand by Alleria, whom he addressed next. "I'm sorry about making you wait, Alleria. We just had to settle a few things before I could come back out and get you."
"Potter! When my father hears that you are here, the Ministry will drag you away to Azkaban where you belong!" the now-identified Malfoy spat angrily, pale face pinkening in anger. Jerking his head at Alleria, he continued with a vaguely sinister smirk. "Then your little friend here will be mine for the taking!"
Alleria's eyes narrowed as the boy essentially implied to them that he planned on raping her, and her hand twitched slightly with the urge to flick one of the throwing knives hidden in her bracer into her hand. One small flick later, and it would be in the brat's throat. At least then she wouldn't have to hear his irritating voice.
"Yes, yes, I'm sure, Drakey-boy." Harry said with a faux yawn as he leaned on the pillar next to her. "Totally ignoring the fact that Alleria would kill you before you could even make a move towards her, I highly doubt that someone whose bloodline is so heavily tainted by inbreeding as your own has much in the way of...equipment. I also highly doubt that your father and his Ministry bribed cronies," Harry coughed lightly and smirked. "I'm sorry, his friends, can do much of anything to either of us. Now, run along and practice your bowing and scraping, I am sure you will have a use for it soon."
With that, Harry turned to Alleria and engaged her in quiet conversation, totally ignoring Malfoy and the entirety of the lobby, all of whom had just witnessed the small showdown with keen ears and wide eyes. Growling angrily, Malfoy stormed from the building, his banking business left un-done, towards Knockturn Alley, where his father was doing some business with Borgin. He grinned darkly as he thought about what would happen when he reached him. His father was 'friends' with many powerful people at the Ministry, the Minister included, and once they knew where Pothead was, he would be expelled and sent to Azkaban. Maybe even Kissed! He was sure he could get his father to arrange that for him, after all, and the Dark Lord would reward him for so easily disposing of his enemy. The Master only wanted to kill Potter, after all, he didn't necessarily need to have a soul at the time.
"How much trouble is that boy going to cause us, Harry?" Alleria asked as the boy left the building, eyes sharp as she covertly observed the other humans and the goblins in the building. Even now, she noticed, other armed and armored guards were trickling into the lobby, acting naturally, as they took up posts with those already stationed. Unlike most times this happened, however, none of the original guards departed for the barracks, leaving twice as many guardsman on duty as there were before.
"Oh, he is going to cause quite a ruckus, but it's like I told you originally, it doesn't matter." Harry explained, sounding totally confident and at ease with being discovered. "You see, this is Goblin land. Only Goblin law is relevant here, and I have committed no crimes by Goblin law. So, since the Ministry has no authority here, and the Goblins have no issue with us, we can simply sit here in the lobby for as long as we desire, and no one can touch us. Of course, the minute we step out of the doors, they can arrest us."
"I see." Alleria murmured, nodding to herself. It was a simple enough move, but one that she had no doubt would create shockwaves through this world and its political climate. "Won't this cause problems for the Goblins? Why would they let us 'hide' here?" she asked, with audible quotes on the word "hide".
"The Goblins, thanks to ancient treaty, are guaranteed the exclusive rights to be the bank of the Wizarding World, and guaranteed fair trade with it." Harry told her with a shrug. "The Ministry cannot pressure them into letting us go quickly, because to do so would require them breaking or threatening to break the treaty, giving the Goblins the right to seize all of the gold and items in their vaults and declare war if they so desired. The Ministry can't risk that happening, so basically a lot of shouting will happen and nothing else."
"Perhaps political training is less necessary than I thought." Alleria mused, her respect for the boy next to her growing at the sound, well-planned move on his part.
"Hardly. Don't give me too much credit. Ragnok helped me come up with a fair bit of it, and the rest is less politics and more of tactics. And a fair bit of inspiration from a Yank-that's American, by the way-movie called 'The Terminal'. I'm mostly going to act like an arrogant ass if anyone comes after us to see if I can make them angry enough to do something stupid." he laughed at her praise, though she wasn't offended by his dismissal of it. (A/N: Credit to the idea for 'The Terminal' goes to AlphaLegion! Great idea man!) She was glad to see that he was humble enough to know his own faults, and wise enough to admit to them. She did, however, ask him what "America" and a "movie" were, which lead to him trying to introduce her to the (to her) utterly mind-boggling world she had somehow found herself in.
Thanks to their usage of the Knight Bus, she had seen little to none of the modern world outside of Privet Drive. Therefore, thanks to the middle-ages feel of the Wizarding World, she felt rather at home and comfortable. She had forgotten that Harry had mentioned his world was centuries ahead of hers technology wise, and now she was hearing just how.
Seven continents? One of which was probably twice the size of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms combined? Ships of metal? Flying machines that could cross the world in mere hours? Moving painting of such detail and accuracy that they were just like real-life people?
Granted, she had no idea how much Harry was dumbing things down for her, but he didn't mind. It was actually rather fun to watch her expressions change as he described the various technologies and lifestyles that exist in his world, though he personally loved her embarrassed one most, when he explained that the 'summoning portal' she had blown up was actually called a 'television', which had been showing a movie with a dragon in it, when she blew it up. Waving away her apologies, he commented that it was a poorly done movie anyway, and frankly he had appreciated the level of destruction she had sown into his less-than-loved relative's lives.
Luna Lovegood smiled absently as she wandered through Diagon Alley, dreamy blue eyes wandering about as she looked around the hustle and the bustle. The sound of a commotion drew her attention to the sight of the Minister, with a fat pink-clothed woman who looked like a toad at his left elbow, and the ever-impeccable Lucius Malfoy at his right. Trailing them were a half-dozen Aurors, including a tall black man with earrings and a shorter girl with bright pink hair. It seemed that they were moving en masse towards Gringotts. Eyes flashing entirely silver for a moment, she smirked and flounced off after them, looking forward to the no doubt amusing event that was about to transpire.
Slipping through the crowd that was beginning to congregate behind and around the bank as the Ministry entered, she padded through the doors and nimbly worked her way around until she was standing as close to Harry and his pretty friend as she could be without being obvious about it.
"Potter, you're under arrest!" the Minister said smugly, standing in front of the still-lounging boy.
"No, I'm not." He said lazily, not even bothering to look away from his companion.
"Now listen here, you little brat…!" the pink-clothed woman said shrilly, only for Harry's companion to speak up.
"Your voice is grating, do you mind not using it for a little while?" she asked, sounding annoyed, and despite the tone many who heard it stopped and stared at the beauty it held.
"Who do you think you are?" the pink woman shouted angrily, and the woman cocked her head to the side before glancing at Harry, who shrugged languidly.
"Ranger-Captain Alleria Windrunner, Heir and Scion of the ancient and revered Windrunner clan." She said with pride, and one could almost see the question marks forming over the heads of everyone present. Everyone except one girl, whose eyes were once again pure silver, a small glow seeming to emanate from beneath her skin.
"Whatever nonsense you're spouting, you can join him in prison!" the Minister spat, and Harry smirked predatorily.
"Why, Minister, you wouldn't be threatening to arrest innocent standers-by and send people to jail without trial, would you? Because it would be such a shame for you publicly state your intentions to break the law so egregiously."
The Minister recoiled visibly, and seemed to fluster even more when a commanding voice that demanded respect spoke up, the woman wielding it a severe-looking, brown-haired and grey-eyed individual with a monocle in one eye and a implacable expression on her face.
"Indeed you wouldn't be, Minister, especially given the fact that you as Minister have no right to suborn my Aurors and perform arrests with them, nor do you have the right to attempt to bring in someone on minor charges unless they fail to present themselves at their assigned hearing." Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, was highly displeased with the stupidity and blatant disregard for protocol and the law that her superior was showing, and so publicly at that!
"He fled from his home after committing his crimes! He showed a blatant disregard for the law and common decency, and there is no reason to believe that he will present himself at his trial!" the toad-woman barked, and Amelia quelled her with a stern stare.
"Whatever your beliefs about his motives and morals, Madam Umbridge, he is innocent until proven guilty, and you have no say in the matter regardless!" she snapped, a clear animosity for the other woman in her voice, and the toad swelled with indignation.
"How dare you! I am the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic!" she yelled, only for Amelia Bones to scoff in return.
"And I am the Head of Magical Law Enforcement. Magical Law, Madam Umbridge, is my field. Not yours." She said definitively, clearly angry and wary as she noticed the Goblin guards moving in slowly in case there was trouble. "And lest you forget, we are in sovereign Goblin territory. Our laws have no hold here, and any attempt to use force will be a violation of the ancient treaties. I am sure even you, Dolores, can understand what the result would be!"
There was an audible intake of breath from every human in the building as they suddenly glanced around nervously, abruptly hyper-aware of the numerous heavily armed and armored goblins surrounding the walls and standing at the entrance and exits.
"Yes, indeed, Minister. Wouldn't want to be responsible for starting off the next Goblin war without a single legal leg to stand on, would we?" Harry commented absently, now flipping through a book, the title of which was prominently-and deliberately- displayed to the onlookers as "Laws and Customs of Ancient and Noble Houses".
The Minister gnashed his teeth angrily, but before he or any of the others could say another word, Albus Dumbledore swept through the crowd like Moses parting the Red Sea, adorned in his usual garishly clashing robes, a twinkle in his eyes as he glanced at Harry. The Minister glared angrily before storming from the building, his cohorts trailing after him.
"Ah, Harry, glad to see that you're safe after the Dementor attack at your home. Come with me, we need to ensure your well-being and prepare your defense for your hearing." He said in his usual grandfatherly tone of voice, clearly expecting Harry to go along with him as usual. Thus, it came as a great shock when he was denied promptly.
"Sorry, Headmaster, but like I told the Minister, I'm not planning on going anywhere until it's time for my hearing, which I will be preparing for and attending my own way." He replied, turning a page in his book almost off-handedly. "And who my companion is isn't up for commentary or discussion, either." He added when he heard Dumbledore take a breath to speak again.
"Harry, she could be a danger to your safety. Better that she comes with us and answers a few questions to make sure she isn't trying to harm you. After all, you must admit that her showing up at your home moments before a Dementor attack is suspicious."
"I know all I need to know, Headmaster." Harry told him bluntly, shutting down the conversation firmly. "There is nothing more to be said. If you will excuse me, I have reading to do."
With that, Harry engrossed himself into his book. Albus took the opportunity to use his lack of attention, combined with his skill in wandless magic, to dive into
Alleria's Mindscape (Note: In this story, Mind Magics work like Aizen's zanpakuto. Similarily, memories are viewed from third person instead of first person)
Dumbledore looked around the first memort he had encountered, almost immediately, of Harry's companion. From what he could tell, he was on the curtain wall of a large, ancient city of magnificent architecture. The warm breeze carried the smells of summer and the strong hint of salt and seaweed, indicating the ocean was nearby. Birds sang their songs clearly, and the low murmur of voices echoed throughout the city.
"Hmm, I must be inside one of her memories." The old man mused to himself, totally at ease with the incredible violation of privacy he was currently performing. Looking around, he spotted several figures standing at the peak of a watchtower a few yards away, and headed towards them. The magical awareness that came with Mind Magics told him that one of them was the owner of this memory and the mind he was currently delving into. Leaping into the air, he flew to the top of the tower and landed softly in a crouch, before dusting himself off slightly and sighing wistfully. The best part of Legilimency was the ability to perform unusual feats, and it made him feel young again to run and jump about. Looking at the three women standing there, his breath caught and he found himself staring.
They were related, that much was blatantly obvious. Two were blond, the third silver-haired, and all three were of beauty that no human could hope to match naturally. Tight leather armor that revealed truly drool-worthy physical aspects protected their bodies, and all three had cloaks with quivers slung over them, and bows in their hands. All three of the cloaks bore elaborate symbols that he could only assume had some deeper meaning, given their intricacy, especially the third and tallest, whose cloak was covered in gold thread forming patterns and symbols.
What really caught his attention, however, was the long, elfin ears that all three had, and their bright, shimmering eyes of pure silver. These three were most assuredly not humans, and more suited the folktale versions of the Fair Folk, the True Elves, than anything being he himself had ever witnessed. Just whom had Harry found himself in company with.
His thoughts were sidetracked as another elf, a male this time, ran up and skidded to a halt, hands on his knees as he panted.
"Ranger-General! Ranger-Captains!" he gasped after catching his breath, standing up straight and coming to attention, right arm coming up horizontally across his chest at shoulder level, fist over his heart in a salute. (A/N: The Crusader/Youth League salute from FFX/X-2)
"Report, Scout." The woman with the most elaborate cloak said commandingly, turning to face the younger elf with a dramatic, though seemingly not staged, swirl of her cloak.
"General, the outer watch-posts just teleported in! They report that the Horde has broken through their wards and begun burning the towers! They're on their way here!" the Scout said, clearly working himself into a panic, and the "Ranger-General" sighed and stepped forward, voice soothing.
"Calm yourself, young one. Silvermoon and Quel'thalas have stood for thousands of years. The Troll Wars could not defeat our people, in all those long centuries of conflict. No undisciplined rabble of mindless, demon-controlled brutes like the Orcish Horde will be able to best us." She told him, voice firm but kind. The voice of a true leader, one who had the skill to lead her troops, and the grace and wisdom to earn their loyalty.
"Of course, Ranger-General. Please forgive me." The male said, inclining his head in a bow as he visibly calmed down.
"There is nothing to forgive, my young friend. This is your first time to war, is it not?" she asked, and he nodded hesitantly, garnering another smile from her. "Then I have no doubt that you will do your family and our people proud. What is your name, Scout?"
"Kitas Dawnsinger, My Lady." He said nervously, and she clapped him on the shoulder in a friendly and reassuring fashion.
"You've done well, Kitas Dawnsinger. I shall see you on the battlefield." She told him, and he saluted again before running off, no doubt towards other duties.
"Were we ever that young, sister?" the silver-haired woman asked in amusement, watching him leave.
"You still are, Vereesa." The General replied teasingly, and Vereesa pouted at her, crossing her arms like a child. The third laughed, shaking her head.
"Come now, Sylvanas, is that anyway for the Ranger-General of Quel'thalas to treat her poor, dear, younger sister?" she aksed with a grin, and Sylvanas looked at her with a smirk.
"Is that anyway to treat your superior, Ranger-Captain Alleria?" she responded, eyes glinting with fondness and amusement, and Alleria snorted.
"Superior, no, probably not. Younger sister?" she responded, with the same expression that her sister's wore. "Well, while you may be a better Ranger and leader than I ever was, remember that I'm the bigger sister around here!"
"Older, maybe, crone. But not any bigger." Veressa said slyly, coming up behind her eldest sibling and hugging her tightly, resting her chin on top of Alleria's head.
The trio shared a laugh as Alleria squirmed, trying to get out from under her youngest sister. Albus was utterly baffled. Totally ignoring the fact that they were a kind of elves that didn't exist outside of stories, and that they were someplace he knew wasn't anywhere on Earth, he had to wonder why they were playing about like children when there was apparently a horde of enemies boiling towards them with fel intent.
Suddenly, there was a pulse of magic, and all three turned unerringly and in the same moment to face the forest, close to five miles away from the wall. He wondered why, for a moment, before Sylvanas spoke up and answered his question.
"They've reached the edges of the outer wards. Vereesa, signal the artillery to prepare to fire. Extreme range. Alleria, get the mages ready to reinforce the wards in case they have artillery of their own."
"Aye, General." They said in unison, saluting and leaping from the wall without care for the long and, to most, suicidal fall. Both, however, landed on the ground light as a feather and ran off to do their sister's bidding. Both were back within minutes, each baring a report that the groups they had been sent to were prepared. With them came another pair of elves, one who looked about the age of Vereesa, and the other as young as the scout from earlier. The first was an auburn-haired woman dressed in silver armor with wing-like pauldrons and carrying a large, enchanted bastard sword in one hand with ease. The second was dressed in scarlet and gold robes, and carried a staff. All four clustered around Sylvanas, waiting for her orders and staring at the edge of the forest. Dumbledore, now too intrigued in events to leave Alleria's mind, looked the same direction. After a few more moments, there was movement within the trees, and a deep voice boomed, yelling phrases in a harsh sounding language, to which the air quaked with the replies from the throats of thousands. A single humanoid shape stepped out of the trees and lifted a massive battleaxe, literally roaring at the city and its defenders, and again the roar was echoed by thousands as the trees came alive, a swarm of figures filtering out. Lifting spyglasses to their eyes in unison, the three sisters and the auburn-haired woman scanned the enemy line.
"Hellscream, Doomhammer, Blackhand…none of them are here." Alleria commented, sounding pleased, and Dumbledore gaped at the surnames that their enemies apparently bore.
"Good, that means we can clean them up handily." Veressa added ,sounding pleased, but Sylvanas had a grim look on her face, which Vereesa noticed. "Sister?"
"Not good. If they were here, it would mean this force was a serious attack. The fact that none of them are means that it is an expendable distraction, meant to keep our forces busy while they attack somewhere else." Sylvanas growled angrily, hand tight on her spyglass. Turning to the robed woman, she ordered briskly. "Message the Dragonhawk Corps, tell them to deploy a flight of their fastest scouts. I need to know where the main force is, and I need to know NOW."
"Yes, Lady Windrunner." The other woman inclined her head before opening one hand and holding it palm up in front of her. With a shimmer of magic, a small orb appeared, which she promptly relayed the orders through. Satisfied, Sylvanas turned to the auburn-haired elf.
"Liadrin, are your Guardians ready to sally if needs be?" she asked, and the armored Liadrin nodded with a salute.
"Yes General. We will attack as soon as you give the command." She responded loyally, and Sylvanas smiled at her before turning back to the mage.
"I have no intention of letting them get that close. Tell the artillery commanders: Prepare to fire. Extreme range. Load arcane explosives. Hold until I give the command."
The woman nodded and relayed the command to her small orb, and all along the outer wall, commanders shouted the same orders. Rope and wood creaked as ballista and catapults were prepared and loaded. Though Dumbledore didn't know, the defensive batteries on the second wall were also preparing for the enemy to enter their own extreme bombardment range.
Spyglass back to her eyes, Sylvanas hummed to herself softly as she watched the enemy force continue to advance. Timing their pace and mentally calculating their location and the flight time of her artillery's fire, she waited nearly a full minute before giving the command to fire.
A resounding wave of thuds echoed across the city as the defenses along the outer wall fired, sending hundreds of volatile magical energy and some accelerant towards the enemy, either in a large orb or on the tip of a bolt. Violent amythyst explosions roared throughout the enemy formation, sending bodies, earth, and the parts of bodies flying through the air, followed by the agonizing screams of those who had to suffer from their wounds. The enemy roared in anger and defiance, and increased their pace.
"We'll only have time for five more salvoes. Damnit!" Sylvanas hissed as she figured out their new rate of approach. "Range, four and a half miles. Fire!"
A second salvo slammed through the air, and more of the oncoming horde perished in a single, blinding moment, but still they continued forth, uncaring of their comrades' deaths or that they themselves might soon die.
"Range, four miles. Second line, extreme range. Fire!" Sylvanas barked, and another salvo struck forth. This one, however, was worse than the others, for on the heels of the first wave came that off the second wall, sowing even greater death and destruction throughout the mass of flesh racing to meet them. "Liadrin, inform your flanking commanders to begin deploying now, and get to your primary force. Remain in reserve until I give the order."
"My Lady!" Liadrin saluted before clattering away towards her waiting infantry and cavalry. Another two salvoes followed as the smaller, but still large, eastern and western gates creaked open, and twin streams of cavalry and infantry move out, preparing to catch the enemy between them.
"First wall, Minimum Range. Second, one mile. Third, two miles. Fire at will!" Sylvanas snapped, and the air thundered with an endless echo of thuds as every forward-facing defense battery of Silvermoon began to slam away as fast as their crews could fire them, sending death itself hurtling towards the attackers of their homeland and the killers of their kin. Explosions echoed endlessly, and the enemy had lost a third of their number, but they were soon inside the minimum safe range of the artillery, and they howled in triumph as they prepared to storm the walls. "Alleria, archers are to focus those carrying ladders, we can't let them get inside the city! Mage, message to Liadrin: Sortie immediately, prepare for close combat. Where are those flanking forces?"
"My Lady, they're advancing at the double-quick. They will make contact with the enemy in ten minutes!" the mage replied, sounding harried as she tried to keep in touch with the various officers. Sylvanas glanced from one side to the other, seeing waves of crimson, gold, and silver rolling towards the flanks of the Orcish Horde.
"I didn't think a distraction force would get this close. Something else is going on here." She muttered, snapping her spyglass shut and gesturing to Alleria. "Vereesa, you have the wall. Alleria and I will sally out with Liadrin's force."
"What? But You can't leave me here!" Vereesa protested hotly, moving to follow, before Sylvanas put a hand to her chest to stop her. "I'm not a child, you can't expect me to just sit here and watch, wondering if you're not going to come back!"
"I expect you to do your duty. A Windrunner is needed on these walls to lead the defense, and that's you." She said forbiddingly, before softening at the almost-tears glistening in Vereesa's eyes. Huggin her younger sister close, she continued softly. "I love you Vereesa, and I swear to you that Alleria and I will come back safe and sound, just like always."
"You had better, I would hate to have to find a new pair of annoying older sisters." Vereesa mumbled, hugging Sylvanas tightly before stepping back and composing herself. "I understand, I will do my duty. Just keep your promise!"
"Not to worry, little sister!" Alleria called cheerfully as she followed Sylvanas down the steps. "Nothing but a bunch of Grunts out there! Easily handled, and we'll be back in time for dinner!"
Dumbledore would have followed, but he had risked to much by spending so much time here already. While he was interested in the culmination of the battle and this world Alleria seemed to be from in general, he had already gather the basics of what he needed to know.
Alleria was not human, and more importantly, would not be amenable to helping him manipulate Harry into facing his destiny. Which meant she had to be dealt with, somehow. Decision made, he withdrew from her mind.
Back Into The Real World
Dumbledore looked around as he noticed the uncomfortable shifting of the crowd around him, and glanced at the clock sidelong. It seemed he had been within Alleria's mind for some three minutes, real time, just enough for the crowd to wonder what was going on, but not long enough for anyone to get suspicious.
"I will discuss this with you later, Harry. I'm afraid I have a prior engagement." He said finally, noting the suspicious but pleased look that the teen shot him as he turned away. Clearly, Harry thought he was up to no good, and Dumbledore scoffed internally at the very idea as he swept from the building.
He was, as always, up to the Greatest Good.
"Finally." Harry sighed gustily but quietly, relieved. That had been one of the most tense moments he had ever been in. For a moment he thought that he had miscalculated, and that the Minister or Dumbledore might actually try and force him from the building, but they hadn't gone for it. Something was up with Dumbledore, though, the way he just stood there…
"Well played, Harry Potter, well played." A soft, dreamy, feminine voice said from nearby, and the pair looked over to see a girl who looked almost elven, with dreamy silver-blue eyes, delicate features, and hair so blond it almost looked silver.
"I'm sorry, do I know you?" Harry replied, baffled by the sudden approach of another human. He didn't think anyone would be stupid or crazy enough to talk to him in public after what the Prophet was saying about him, never mind after having publicly embarrassed the Minister of Magic.
"Yes, or is it no?" the girl said absently, frowning for a moment, before shrugging. "I'm not sure which, but regardless of the answer, my name is Luna Lovegood. You are Harry Potter and your friend is Ranger-Captain Alleria Windrunner. A Quel'dorei in your world, Harry Potter."
And that is a wrap! How does Luna know what she knows? What did Harry ask the Goblins for? What does the future have in store? Find out in the next chapter!
Chapter 3: Onward, to!
In Which Our Heroes Depart Earth
The timeskips will happen in this chapter, and they will be severe, as warned. Originally, there were going to be another couple of chapters before we hit the WOW universe, due to an adjustment to my outline revisions, but many reviews really wanted Harry in the WOW world. Thus, timeskips. I will be publishing another story featuring a series of one-shots describing major events during the timeskips if people care that much to know what happened.
Mostly, it was just training, training, and more training.
As a note: Harry is not a Soul Shard (Horcrux) in this story. I really thought that was lame in canon to be honest with you.
ONE FINAL THING: Unfortunately, the USB I had the original of this chapter on was crushed and I lost the data. The version on the USB was 8k+ words long, the one on my hardrive was 800 words. Therefore, most of it has been redone, but it isn't as good as the first time. I apologize for that.
ONE MORE THING! Not long after I finished this chapter and put it on my USB, my harddrive died. No data could be recovered. So, all of the finished chapters I had for SGOTN, SEA, SAO, and Mass Effect were lost. After I stop crying myself to sleep over my fallen children, I will try and make them again.
Now, finally, on with the chapter, which is quite a bit longer than usual.
The Mists of Avalon
"How do you know that word?" Alleria asked with a calm she certainly didn't feel. While her name and rank were known to anyone who had been in the building earlier, everyone thus far thought she was simply an exceptionally beautiful human woman with a penchant for wearing hoods and cloaks indoors.
"Oh, Harry hasn't told you yet?" Luna hummed, brow furrowing as she seemed to think hard. Her expression brightened and she smiled at them. "Oh, I see. Harry, mind asking if we could borrow a room? I think some things need to be explained to you before anything else."
Feeling paranoid, but unwilling to ignore the request given the information Luna apparently already had, he agreed, quietly asking a guard to escort them to an empty room where they could speak. A few minutes later, Harry was shutting the door. The instant he did, Luna was pinned to the wall with a dagger to her throat by one Quel'dorei that wanted answers and wasn't too ruffled about how she got them.
"How do you know what I am?" she snarled, desperate. "Do you know how I can get home?"
"Now, now, no need to be so rough on my poor little moon." Luna's voice was no longer that of a teenage girl, but now was that of an older woman, rich and echoing with power. Alleria immediately dropped the girl and scrambled backwards, expression darkening harshly
"I know that voice, though I've never heard it before. My Father and Mother spoke much of its owner." She hissed, apparently furious as she looked at the now-luminous Luna, whose hair and clothes rustled as if in a breeze, her eyes shining bright silver. "What do you want, Elune? Come to cause more disasters, more pain for innocents?"
"Whoa, what's with the hatred, Alleria?" Harry asked, somewhat caught off guard. As far as he knew, the Highborne, some of whom became the High Elves, worshipped Elune fervently.
"This bitch and her followers, especially Tyrande, abandoned our people when we wouldn't give up a part of our heritage and our natures out of fear." Alleria said, crossing her arms, still glaring spitefully at the goddess-possessed blond. "Instead, they drove us out of our homeland, and we were forced to wander until we founded Quel'thalas. Even when we called out for aid against a mutual enemy, the Troll Empires, it was not our cousins, our kin the Kal'dorei that came to our aid. No, instead we had to rely on the humans to survive!"
"You think that brought us happiness?"Elune asked sharply, sorrow and anger coloring her tone and expression. "You think my precious Tyrande, or Malfurion, wanted to banish their kin? Their family and friends? There was no choice!"
"There is always a choice when the other option is betrayal of kin! You claimed us as your children, yet when the Legion came you did nothing to aid us! It was our mastery of magic that forced them away!" Alleria claimed, and Harry glanced at her in a fair amount of surprise. That was different from the accounts of the War of the Ancients he had read, but then again Blizzard ignored or changed their own lore regularly. Not to mention that he was sure the banished elves had skewed the accounts their way over the years.
"It was the overuse of Arcane Magics that brought them to Azeroth!" Elune rebuked her sternly, and Harry wondered if the building would still be standing if things grew more heated. For a pacifist, Elune sounded pretty angry and close to violence.
Alleria snarled at the Moon Goddess incoherently, clearly being consumed by her anger and hatred, fingers twitching violently as she flexed her hands. Deciding an intervention was necessary, Harry stepped in, placing a gentle hand on Alleria's arm and looking at Elune.
"Perhaps it would be best if you left. Deity or not, I do not appreciate people causing those I care about pain or distress. I think it clear that Alleria is experiencing both." He said calmly, but the goddess merely cocked her host's head to the side.
"I know she is, and it brings me great pain to know that truth. However, her and her people's hatred and contempt of me and their kin is…not unexpected or entirely undeserved." The Mother Moon said finally, sounding as though she truly meant it. "That is why I sent her here, to change the fate of Azeroth and…elsewhere."
"WHAT? YOU SENT ME HERE?" Alleria roared, the momentary calm instilled in her by Harry's touch vaporizing instantly as she stormed up to loom over Elune's shorter host, intent on violence, before freezing mid-step as Elune pointed a finger at her. "Release me!"
"Not until you calm down, Alleria Windrunner." Elune said firmly, looking at Harry as his hand drifted towards his wand. "She will not be harmed, Harry Potter, there is no need for you to draw your wand."
"You'll forgive me if a goddess who admits to actively tampering with realities makes me nervous." Harry retorted, wanting to trust Elune based off of what he knew about her, but also somewhat understanding Alleria's anger.
"I sent her here because of the knowledge this world possesses, the knowledge of the future events of the reality you here call the World of Warcraft. Knowledge that can change the fate of Azeroth and…elsewhere." Elune told him bluntly, and Alleria was confused enough to ignore her anger with the deity long enough to look at Harry questioningly. Noticing this, Elune released the paralyzing spell she had placed on the High Elf. "It is time for you to be honest and tell her, Harry Potter. Tell her everything."
"Tell me what?" Alleria asked curiously, only to see him looking away in something akin to shame. "Harry?"
"What I haven't told you yet, Alleria, is that…well…" he scratched the back of his head awkwardly, clearing struggling to find the wording he wanted. Finally, he decided to be blunt. "Well, simply put, your world is a game in this one."
"What do you mean, a game?" she asked, not comprehending his words.
"I mean that Alleria Windrunner is a character in a game for teenagers. Sylvanas, Vereesa, Turalyon, even Azeroth itself. All fake, all just a story for fun. I knew what you were from the moment I saw you, knew everything about you the moment you told me your name. I probably know more about your world than you do, to be honest." He said plainly, and she stared at him before slapping him as hard as possible, twice, sending him reeling. She was advancing for a further assault when Elune stopped her with a gentle, magically powered touched.
"He wasn't sure how to tell you, Alleria, and he had no way of getting you home. How could he, when it was I that ensured you got here?" the goddess told her softly, turning the elf's rage and fear onto a new target.
"And why did you do that?" she hissed, anger flaring again. "Why did you send me here instead of letting me go home?"
"Because Harry effectively knows the future of Azeroth and other worlds besides. He knows what is to come, and it is my hope that with that knowledge, and you by his side, he can create a better future for your world, and others, than that which it or they are destined for." Elune repeated her earlier explanation, and she frowned, anger fading slightly at the blatant honesty in her voice, before rounding on Harry again, who flinched a little.
"Explain." Was all she said, and he did. He told her about her vanishing, and the rise of the Scourge. The Sacking of Silvermoon…and the horrific torture and murder of her beloved sister Sylvanas. About the endless attacks of the Burning Legion, the thousands of deaths. The betrayal of Kael'thas Sunstrider. One sister resigning herself to be little more than a baby factory for a human mage, while the other traveled further and further down a dark path in an effort to forget her pain. He told her everything that he could, without the materials he had asked the goblins for.
The end result was her staring at him in silence before hauling off and sending her hand blurring into his cheek with a sharp crack...for a third time. Shaking his head, he worked his jaw slightly and winced before looking at Elune/Luna with a frown.
"I thought you didn't permit violence in your presence?" he asked, somewhat irritated with her inaction while he got hit by an immortal warrior-woman.
"I don't, usually, but you must admit that her anger is perfectly justified. Besides, that was the last hit I'm going to allow her for free." the deity said, leveling a stern look at Alleria, who grumbled a bit but nodded in acceptance. "Now, Harry Potter, I must return to Azeroth. Tyrande is in need of my council. I am leaving Luna in your care, and cared for I expect her to be. She will be of significant help to you in the future."
With those parting words, the presence of Elune faded from the young blonde human, the ethereal glow faded, giving way to simple human flesh and blood, albeit with delicate features and unusually bright blue eyes. Luna blinked around the room before frowning at Alleria.
"That wasn't very nice! It made her cry when they banished your people, did you know that?" she scolded the millennia-old Ranger, who was staring at her in a mixture of shock and disturbed curiosity. It wasn't every day that a dangerous, blooded (meaning she had killed) elf like herself was scolded like a child by a human who probably hadn't had her first monthly yet. Turning to Harry, the girl continued in the same manner. "And you, Harry, should have told her everything immediately and saved yourself a few slaps! Now, time for us to decide just how we are going to get to the Azerothian Universe. After all, this you can't go the same way as the other you's, since that has already been done."
"I'm sorry, the other me's?" Harry said blankly, staring at her, and she grinned at him, clapping her hands slightly in excitement as she explained.
"You see, there are multiple realities, multiple dimensions, if you will. In two of these, you went to the Azerothian Universe and did much good. Are doing much good, actually, since you're not done yet there. However, in one you went willingly, in the other you were taken by force. Nothing can happen the same way twice, so…"
"So, I can't get to Azeroth at all, is what you're saying?" Harry asked, frowning. It made no sense for Elune to specifically arrange for Alleria to arrive here at the moment she did, and ask him for his help saving those worlds of her reality, so why do so if he wouldn't even be able to get there?
"No it is not, Harry Potter. The Laws of Magic decree you cannot go there the same way twice. So, while you cannot go from Earth to Azeroth by will or force, there are other places to go, and other ways to get to Azeroth from those other places."
"…I think I see what you're getting at, but could you not just give me a straight answer in the first place?" Harry asked, exasperated but amused with her odd way of explaining things.
"Of course not, where would the fun in that be?" she giggled as if he had said the stupidest thing. Rolling his eyes, Harry rubbed his face with his hands as his mind started flying, trying to adjust his plans based on this information. Pulling out a piece of parchment from the desk in the room, he inked the quill and started scribbling on the paper as he spoke again.
"Alleria, I need you to go find a goblin, any goblin. Tell him to acquire all the written material he can on the subjects I am writing down right now. Everything."
"More inside information on my reality?" she asked, still rather sore with him about hiding that detail from her, and he shook his head as he passed her the slip.
"No, information from this world's own history. Information that we can apply to perform incredible good for your reality." He answered her, turning back to Luna and engaging her in conversation as Alleria slipped from the room, curious despite her annoyance about how Harry would change everything she knew this time.
High-Priestess Tyrande's Quarters
Tyrande shot awake, eyes wide, as she glanced around her room almost frantically for a moment before calming and placing a hand to her face as she settled back against her headboard as her mind went over the incredibly clear dream she had just experienced.
A high elf, one she recognized as the lost hero Alleria Windrunner, on a strange, foreign world with things her mind could not grasp, speaking with a strange human boy whose aura blazed with power and authority, wearing some sort of strange plate armor that she didn't recognize, speaking animatedly to one another, though she could not hear the words. She opened her mouth, to ask them where she was, what was happening, when the image changed to one of horror.
The Great Tree burned against the sky, her people fleeing in terror as they were slaughtered by rampaging demons. It changed to show Quel'thalas consumed with a sickly plague, a horde of undead mindlessly wandering as they wandered the desolate wastes of what was once a tranquil and magnificent forest. She saw all of Azeroth in flames, until the day where the Dark Titan, Sargeras, obliterated it with his mighty strength, after every bit of magic had been drained from its now-lifeless husk.
At the very end, the boy appeared beside her, and she turned to meet his piercing emerald eyes.
"This is the path you tread, now. But despair not, for the Time of my Arrival is coming. Azeroth, and indeed all worlds, shall be cleansed of the Darkness. But only if you have the strength and the wisdom to see a new path and follow it."
And then she awoke.
"Why send me such a dream, Mother Moon?" she whispered, raising her eyes to the heavens where even now the physical representation of her patron and, dare she say it, friend, glowed brightly over the tranquility of her people's capital. She was not expecting an answer, and so was surprised when Elune responded, whispering within her mind.
"To show you what will come to pass, should nothing change. I dearly love all of this world, my beloved Tyrande, and I believe that he will save this world we both love."
"Who is he?" she asked, wanting to get started on the whole world-saving thing promptly, and Her laughter warmed her mind for a moment, before She spoke again, sounding amused.
"Many names will he go by. Husband, will some say. Lover, shall others. Master, My Lord, Imperator, all these and more. His true name…he has yet to decide for himself who he truly is. For now, simply call him Catalyst, for he will be the catalyst of great change."
With that cryptic "explanation", the Mother Moon withdrew from her mind, leaving a troubled but hopeful Tyrande to her thoughts and futile attempts at sleep.
Warning: First Timeskip Ahead
Duration: One Month
The sharp, loud rapping of a oaken gavel on a round stone disk echoed through the vastness of Courtroom Ten as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge struck the podium three times in measured succession, quieting the soft murmuring of the gathered Wizengamot, who had been in the midst of making a show of discussing the trial that they were here to perform. The majority of them had already decided how they were going to vote. Many, who were supporters, and in the pocket of, Cornelius Fudge (or, more accurately, Lucius Malfoy), had already decided to vote the boy guilty, regardless of what he had to say. Others had already decided to vote him innocent, either as Dumbledore supporters or as those who were consumed by the "Boy-Who-Lived" legends and unable to imagine Harry Potter doing wrong. Finally, there were the few who remembered their oaths to judge each and every case brought before them according to the evidence, and nothing else.
"Well, it seems that the boy won't be showing himself." Fudge said gleefully, shooting a triumphant look towards the rather put-out looking Amelia Bones, who had truly believed that Potter would arrive and prove himself innocent of the charges being laid against him. He was going to enjoy punishing her for so blatantly embarrassing him in Gringotts. While she was far too popular, respected, and good at her job for him to simply have her removed, he did have other avenues of retribution at his disposal. Rubbing her face in her foolish belief in the Potter brat would be a good start. "As such, I move that the boy be found guilty of his crimes in abstentia. If the members of the Wizengamot would please indicate a yay or a nay vote...?"
Any further discussion or votes were put to an abrupt halt as the Courtroom's doors burst open, and two cloaked and cowled figures strode into the room briskly. The lead figure was obviously male, and some kind of plate armor was briefly revealed at every step as the cloak swayed with every step. The female trailing him was wearing tight studded leather armor that Fudge recognized as belonging to Potter's female companion, Alleria Wind-something or other.
"Please forgive my tardiness, members of the Wizengamot, the Duty Aurors seemed to be under the impression that I was not permitted within the premises, despite me pointing out the error in their logic. After all, how can I attend my own hearing without entering the building?"Harry Potter commented with a small smirk as he draped himself haphazardly across large, carved wooden chair in the center of the room, ignoring the dormant chains that hung off of its back and sides. The Wizengamot rustled, angered by the blatant and casual disrespect that they were being treated with, and Fudge's expression darkened as he clenched his jaw.
"Would you sit up straight and show some decorum, Potter?" he snapped angrily, and Harry waved a negligent hand in response, not moving from his position.
"Lord Potter, if you please, Minister. The goblins are ever so helpful when one provides the right incentive, and were happy to tell me everything there was to know about my family. I admit I was surprised to find out that I was a member of one of the oldest, most powerful and most respected Wizarding Houses in England! However, now that I know, it would be remiss of me not to honor my ancestors by claiming my family title."
"Hmph, very well." Fudge grunted rustling his papers slightly before clearing his voice and raising it to speak clearly. "I hereby call this trial to order. Prosecutors: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister of Magic. Amelia Ann Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Court Scribe: Percival Ignatius Weasley..."
"Representative of the Defendant, Ranger-Captain Lady Alleria Windrunner. What charges are being brought against Lord Potter?" Alleria said brusquely from her spot just behind and to the right of the chair Harry was seated in.
"Now see here, you cannot simply follow the boy into his trial and claim to speak for him!" Fudge blustered, but Alleria scoffed at him and drew a large, old-looking scroll of parchment from within her cloak.
"I think you will find that I can. According to this, which is the Potter Family's copy of the Magna Carta Liberatum Magia, as set forth on the 15th of June, 1215, by His Royal Majesty King John, which states in Paragraph Three, Sentence Six, that: "It shall be the Right of all Men, as given by God Himself and the Crown, to..." she read in a firm, clear voice, but Fudge interrupted her hastily, face purpling slightly in embarrassment.
"Yes, yes, we are familiar with the Magna Carta, thank you." he said, glancing at Madam Bones from the corner of his eye, and noting her eyeing him sourly. Looking down at his paperwork, he cleared his throat again and read the charges. "Harry James Potter, of Little Whinging, Surrey, stands accused of the following Crimes against the Ministry and Wizarding Realm: Sedition, Attempted Incitement of Panic, Fear-Mongering, and fleeing the scene of a crime. He is further charged with, in full knowledge of the illegality of his actions, breaking the Statue of Secrecy by performing the Patronus Charm in front of a Muggle, as well as breaking the Reasonable Decree of Under-Age Sorcery, by performing said charm in an unauthorized area without being of legal age. What say the Accused to these Charges?"
"Lord Harry James Potter declares these charges to be false, and proclaims himself to be innocent of any wrongdoing. He further warns the court against attempting further libel and slander against the Lord of a Most Ancient and Most Noble House. He further demands restitution and public apology for the Ministry of Magic's slanderous claims and blatant lies as published within the public newspaper The Daily Prophet." Alleria responded promptly, feeling rather in her element at the moment. While Harry's world outside of the small Magical community might be so far advanced to her own home that it was literally unfathomable to her, the magical world's traditions and way of doing things was inherently similar to that of her own people and Azeroth's humans. As the Scion and Heir of the Windrunner Clan, she had been trained since birth to be as lethal in politics and wordplay as she was with bow and blade.
Many of the Wizengamot visibly recoiled in shock. Slander and Libel against a member of the Nobility were significant crimes. When committed against a House as old and prestigious as the Potter Family, they became even more so. Fudge himself rocked back significantly, eyes widening, as he was not expecting such an offensive defense from some no-name girl from Merlin-Knows-Where.
"His casting of the Patronus Charm is well-documented, as is the presence of a Muggle..." he attempted to rally, but Alleria verbally advanced, cutting him off.
"In accordance with the Reasonable Decree of Under-Age Sorcery, a member of the Wizarding Community may, and indeed is obligated, to perform magic in the defense of themselves or innocent bystanders so long as it is within their capability to do so." Alleria said, hand dipping into her cloak again, replacing the Magna Carta with another piece of parchment. Clearing her voice, she read it aloud. "Article Four of the Statue of Secrecy, more commonly referred to as the Reasonable Decree of Under-Age Sorcery, states in Subsection A, Paragraph Three that..."
"We are familiar with the Reasonable Decree, thank you!" Fudge interupted with a hiss of anger, and Alleria returned the parchment to the depths of her cloak with a shrug and cocked her head to the side.
"Well then, Minister, I think it is obvious that when, through the incompetence or design of the Ministry, two Dementor's attacked Lord Potter and the Muggle in question, he was obligated to come to their mutual defense with the Patronus Charm." The angry muttering of the Wizengamot at the implication inherent in her speech forced her to raise her voice to be heard as she continued. "Furthermore, I submit the fact that, given the Muggle in question was the blood relative, a maternal cousin in fact, of Lord Potter, and indeed a member of the household that Lord Potter resided within for the first fifteen years of his life, the Muggle in question cannot be considered a breach of the Statue. After all, being a member of His Lordship's household, the Muggle in question was already fully aware of the Magical World, and constitutes as an Exception under the Reasonable Decree."
Fudge struggled to pull himself together. Nothing was going the way he thought it would! The boy would either not show up, and be declared guilty in abstentia, or he would show up and make a fool of himself, allowing Fudge and his supporters to declare him guilty all the same!Who would have thought that the boy and his companion could, in the space of a month, make themselves more familiar with the Wizarding World's laws than he was! Or that the girl would be so deft and skilled a speaker! The girl wasn't done yet, though, and had no intention of stopping as she continued to steamroll him.
"Furthermore, in regards to the laughable charges of sedition, Attempted Incitement of Panic, and Fear-Mongering." she continued, shaking her head in what Fudge was sure to be contempt. "Lord Potter has made no public statements or accusations of any kind. Unless the Court can provide definitive proof that Lord Potter has spoken publicly or privately against the Ministry of Magic, or publicly attempted to cause panic and fear, I demand that those charges be struck from the record."
"There is plenty of documented proof of Albus Dumbledore saying that Potter say the Dark Lord return!" Fudge snarled, and Alleria scoffed softly, shaking her head again.
"I said definitive proof that Lord Potter said something that would constitute as Sedition, Incitement of Panic, or Fear-Mongering. Another man supposedly speaking on his behalf is hardly ironclad evidence." she retorted contemptuously, and Fudge growled under his breath.
"The boy himself said it to me, while he was laying in the Hospital Wing! He even listed the names of supposed Death Eaters, names he read from scraps of old newspapers!" he declared angrily, and Alleria raised an eyebrow beneath her cowl and smirked. The Minister was losing her cool, which would make this all the easier for herself and Harry to accomplish their goals for this confrontation.
"So, you are claiming that a boy, whom had just watched a schoolmate die, is being seditious by saying that said schoolmate was murdered by one of the most evil individuals in Magical history, who everyone knows is dead?" she asked almost innocently, mentally waiting for Fudge to prove himself as much of an incompetent fool as the smarter members of the community knew he was.
"Of course, but we all know that is a lie! The only other person with Diggory at the time of his death was Harry Potter!" Fudge shouted, pointing an accusing finger at Harry. "He just used He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named as a wild attempt to divert guilt from himself!"
"So, to be clear, you are accusing Lord Potter of the murder of Cedric Diggory with no evidence to support your claim?" Alleria asked, literally licking her lips as she waited for Fudge to blunder just a little bit further in his anger.
"Cornelius..." Malfoy Sr. started to say, but Fudge shouted over him, mind clouded by his anger and embarrassment.
"Yes! HE IS GUILTY!" the Minister roared, slamming his fist onto the podium.
"You fool." Malfoy finished with an infuriated hiss. Now that the boy had been charged with a capital crime, a whole new set of laws and regulations, both ancient and recent, came into play. Malfoy eyed the boy and his companion appraisingly, his opinion of Potter changing slightly. It appeared the boy was not as stupid and foolish as he had come to believe, no doubt thanks to the girl's influence. They had just managed to lead the Minister by the nose into a trap, and while Fudge was an incompetent fool, he had an uncanny nose for politics.
"Now that Lord Potter has been accused of a capital crime, I demand the use of the truth potion Veritaserum to prove that my client is innocent of the crimes you levy against him!" Alleria crowed triumphantly. She and Harry had hoped that they could bait the Minister or another member of the trial would attempt to use the Diggory situation against Harry, which would allow them to demand the use of Veritaserum. The powerful truth potion could only be requested by the defense for the most serious of crimes, such as Dark Magic, murder, rape or treason.
"Request…approved." The Minister grated, having no choice but to agree, and Director Bones gestured for one of the bailiffs to give Harry the potion. Three drops later, they were ready to begin the questioning.
"Is your name Harry Potter?"
"Were you born July 31st, 1997?"
"Did you kill Cedric Diggory?"
"No, but it was my fault."
"How was it your fault?"
"We reached the Cup together. He insisted I take it, but I refused. I suggested a joint Hogwarts victory, and we took it together. Therefore, it was my fault that he was present at the graveyard to be killed by Peter Pettigrew."
"Peter Pettigrew is dead! Who killed Diggory?"
"Cedric Diggory was murdered by Peter Pettigrew, who is an illegal animagus. A rat, by the name of Wormtail. He cut off his finger when confronted by Sirius Black, turned into a rat, and escaped."
The Wizengamot murmured in shock and confusion to one another, even some of those in Malfoy's pocket, and Lucius grimaced imperceptibly. If Black was brought to trial and proven innocent, his son Draco would not receive the Black title and fortune. His Master would be…less than happy with his family if they failed to deliver the wealth and knowledge of the Black family.
"So you admit then, that You-Know-Who has not returned, do you not?"
"Incorrect. While it was Wormtail that killed Cedric, it was on Voldemort's orders."
Further questioning was made impossible as the doors burst open again, and Dumbledore strode into the Courtroom in all of his garish and clashingly bright robed "glory".
"Forgive me for my lateness, ladies and gentleman of the Wizengamot. It seems that, due to some unfortunate oversight, I was not informed that the time and location of this hearing had changed." He said warmly, using his wand to conjure a comfortable chair to sit into, before looking over at Harry. "Not to worry my boy, I…what is this?!"
He shot to his feet, expression stormy, as he noticed the glassy eyes and vacant expression of someone under the influence of Veritaserum.
"Why is Mr. Potter under the influence of Veritaserum?"
"Because I asked to be." Harry droned, potion-affected mind hearing a question and automatically answering it. Dumbledore actually gaped at him for a moment before recovering, and turning to the Minister.
"I demand, as Mr. Potter's legal counsel and magical guardian, that you provide and administer the antidote, immediately!" he thundered, and the Minister reflexively gestured to a bailiff. As the young woman stepped forward, however, Alleria's icy-voice stopped her cold.
"I am Lord Potter's legal counsel. Albus Dumbledore has no right to be within this room or to make decisions for Lord Potter." She said with a calm and evenness that was actually fairly disturbing. Dumbledore turned to her, and she eyed him evenly before continuing. "Regardless of Dumbledore over-stepping himself, I agree with his request. Our point has been made."
"And what point was the, Miss Alleria?" Dumbledore said with a kind smile and wise voice, and her head turned to him sharply as Harry was given the antidote.
"You will address me by my title and surname, if you are to address me at all." She commanded with heat in her voice, offended by his rude use of her first name. "You have not earned the right to speak to me with so much familiarity."
"Of course, I meant no offense." He said, inclining his head slightly, and Alleria sniffed slightly in disdain before turning back to the Wizengamot as Harry spoke up.
"As you can see, your charges are patently untrue. As such, if you could render your verdict swiftly, my companion and I have several lawsuits to file still today." He said evenly, relaxing back into the seat, which he had had to sit up correctly in for the truth potion and questioning.
"If the members of the Wizengamot could cast their votes. All in favor of a guilty verdict?" Fudge grumbled, raising his hand along with another half dozen people. Grunting, he forced himself to continue. "All opposed?"
The result was obvious, with a significant margin raising their hands in support, and Harry inclined his head slightly, rising to his feet and starting to stride from the room. Halting, he turned back and one hand dipped into his cloak, withdrawing his phoenix and holly wand from its depths.
"I forgot to mention this, what with the whole accusation of murder thing, but I quit. I quit Hogwarts, and I quit the Wizarding World." He declared, snapping his wand in half casually as he continued speaking, ignoring the shock that raced around the room. "You've crafted these beds-no, these graves- and now you must lie in them."
He offered Alleria his hand with a bow, which she took with a regal nod as they swept from the room, acting like the pair of nobles that they were.
Second Timeskip Ahead
Duration: Two Years
Screams, running feet, and the sound of wand blasts echoed through Diagon Alley, followed by loud and raucous laughter, as a seven-man team of Voldemort's Death Eaters wandered through the traditionally 'Light' magical shopping strip.
Despite the desperate attempts of the Fudge Administration to keep a lid on it, word had rapidly spread that Harry Potter had broken his wand and abandoned the Wizarding World. When the Ministry, speaking through the Daily Prophet, had tried to further slander him, they found themselves slapped down by massive fines and fees by a group of highly capable Squib lawyers, who relished the chance to damage and embarrass the society that treated them as lepers.
It had taken very little time for the Forces of Darkness to begin to act openly, with Dark creatures running rogue across the country side, and the Dark Mark began cropping up all over Muggle and Magical England. The Fudge Administration, despite being assailed by demands for a Vote of No Confidence, just barely remained in power, and assured the public that the "few, limited rogue elements of the former Dark Lord's supporters" would be found and subdued soon enough.
Clearly, this was not the case.
Nott Sr. roared in drunken laughter as his Blasting Hex obliterated the doors to Flourish and Blott's in a gout of flame and a hail of wood splinters, sending the people inside diving for cover with panicked screams. Clapping him on the shoulder, his fellow Death Eater, the elder Goyle, stepped around him, only to take a Severing Curse to the chest. A fountain of blood spurted from the fatal chest wound, and the large man crumbled with a horrific, gut-wrenching scream, and the other Death Eaters roared in anger as they spotted the lone Auror who had cast the spell, a spunky-looking young woman with bubblegum pink hair. In unison, all six remaining Death Eaters snarled out the Killing Curse. Six sickly green bolts leapt forth and streaked towards the Auror, whose eyes widened in fear and horror as she scrambled to get out of the way. But she couldn't, not in time, and those who were watching closed their eyes or gasped in horrified resignation, knowing that she was going to die.
Nymphadora Tonks closed her eyes, knowing she was about to die, and feeling oddly at peace with it. A rapid series of painfully loud shattering sounds assaulted her eardrums, and she flinched unconsciously before opening her eyes partially. They flew open a moment later as that fractional view showed her a sight she found herself enjoying a great deal.
While most of her very male savior was covered by sharply angled plate armor, his left arm was bare save for a leather glove, and she could see the powerful muscles rippling along its length. His cloak fluttered around him like a hero's cape from a Muggle movie. Jade green eyes blazed with warmth and power as he smiled lopsidedly at her, and his left hand came up and brushed her cheek slightly.
"You alright?" he asked, voice soft and warm, and she blushed and nodded slightly, feeling like a teenaged schoolgirl instead of a mid-20s combat witch. "Good. It was brave, what you did. Just leave the rest to me, hey?"
Turning away, he swirled off the cloak dramatically, revealing himself to be an older, far fitter Harry Potter than the one that had vanished two years ago. He was clad in black Mithril plate armor modeled after the Mantle of the Champion from Dragon Age II, as specified to the goblins. Unlike in the game, however, the torso plate didn't expose his abdomen, but instead covered the entire torso. His right arm was covered from shoulder to fingertips, and the gauntlet that covered his hand had spiked knuckleguards. Around the neck of the armor was a fur collar, which shifted slightly in the breeze. In his right hand he wielded a blade-staff, modeled after the Staff of Parthanan, its naked length gleaming in the midday sun. Around his feet lay the shattered remains of the bricks he had used to intercept the Killing Curses meant for her, and she watched with something fairly close to awed hero-worship as he confronted her would-be killers.
"Well, well. Looks like you're not as gone as everyone thought, eh Potter?" Nott sneered as his compatriots spread out into a loose line facing the Lord of House Potter, who simply watched them confidently.
"Yes, well, while I have no interest in playing the hero for an entire nation of incompetent idiots, I do have something of a personal issue with your snake-faced coward of a boss." He responded blithely, smirking at the enraged looks and growls he received from his foes at the insult to their Lord.
"You seem to be playing the hero right now, boy! And everyone knows heroes die early deaths!" Crabbe Sr. snarled, enraged at his best friend's death and the fact that his revenge had been interrupted by the same boy that dared insult The Master. Jabbing his wand forward, he shouted the words for the Killing Curse again.
With a wave of his hand, Harry sent a brick hurtling towards the bolt of magical energy, and the brick exploded into a cloud of dust when they met. Shaking his head, Harry sighed almost in disappointment and took a single step forward. The Death Eaters blinked in surprise as he seemed to fade away like a mirage…and then he reappeared a half step in front of and a full step to the side of Crabbe Sr., his left hand shining black with some unknown power. Crabbe had only an instant of wide-eyed shock and fear to realize his enemy was a hair's breadth away before Harry's left hand slammed into his chest, causing him to fold around it as his feet left the ground. Time seemed to slow for a moment for those watching, before a black pulse seemed to blast its way from the man's back, leaving a gaping hole and a cloud of bloody mist dissipating in the air as his lifeless corpse hit the ground.
"What the fuck?!" Nott screamed, looking wildly from his brutally slain comrade to the young man who had killed him, who had not a speck of blood on him nor seemed in any way out of sorts. Indeed, he look positively relaxed, a small smirk playing across his lips as he examined his handywork.
"Hmm. I wasn't sure that would work." He mused, referring to both his attempt at a magical enhancement of speed in short burst, best used in melee combat to gain an advantage or some breathing room, and to the energy pulse that he had used on Crabbe. Little more than magical energy turned into pure force, it was a simple technique on paper, but far harder to do in actuality. Looking over at the surviving five Death Eaters, he found himself sacrificing more bricks to act as shields as they sent a barrage of Dark and battle magic at him. Calling up a storm of debris from the surrounding area, he set it swirling around him in a semi-sentient protective tornado with himself at the center. Satisfied with the result, he cupped his hands together and began to focus his magic and his Will. Whisps of wind slowly became visible, streaming through the air and chilling rapidly as they began to form an icy white-blue orb, which grew as more and more streamers of wind sank into it. A full five seconds later, a mental command sent his debris shield hurtling towards the Death Eaters, forcing them to go on the defensive for a few seconds as they blasted and shielded away the flying projectiles of wood and stone. As they recovered and prepared to go on the offensive once more, Harry thrust his orb-filled hands towards them in a shoving gesture with a shout.
With a nightmarish moaning howl, the orb exploded forward in a hurricane of icy wind, which bore down on the frightened Dark wizards, instantly freezing the ground it passed over solid. Their attempts to shield themselves were less than futile. The average Protego charm was not meant to defend against magic and force this strong, and all the warming charms in the world could not save them when the temperature in their immediate vicinity dropped to negative one hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit in milliseconds, shortly followed by their own body temperatures. They froze to death instantly, never knowing that they had died, in between one heartbeat and the next. Their skin frosted over, their final exhalations crystalized in the air, and they became permanent frozen decorations of Diagon Alley.
"Well, haven't you gotten scary, Potter." Walden Macnair grunted, coming out from behind the building he had taken cover from the shrapnel behind. This one act had saved him from sharing his now-dead comrades and friends' fates. Walking up to one of the Death Eaters, he prodded him sharply with the point of his blood-streaked axe. The statue fell to the ground and broke apart like a macabre puzzle, and he grunted slightly in amusement as he braced his axe on his shoulder. "Seems like you've learned some new tricks, boy. Where'd you learn spells like that?"
"Made them, do you like?" Harry replied, settling his own melee weapon of choice on his shoulder in a similar fashion.
"Yeah, some impressive stuff kid. Without an incantation either. They got names?"
"The thing I used of the big guy, not really yet. Tossing a few things around, you know how it goes. The wind thing, that I do have a name for. I'm thinking: Anti-Army Technique: Cemetery Wind."
"Cemetery Wind, huh? I like that, not bad." Macnair nodded his respectful appreciation of his Master's arch nemesis' spell-crafting abilities, and the name he had given so destructive a technique.
"Thank you. Now, I think it is time that we finish this, don't you? Let us fight as God intended. No Magic, no tricks. Simply steel against steel, and skill against skill, alone." Harry responded, angling his blade so that the light of the sun rang down its length in a gleaming, and somewhat menacing, spectacle. Macnair stared at him for a long moment, before chuckling and hefting his axe off of his shoulders and into a ready stance, while Harry took up his own.
To the watchers, the following minute-long stare-down seem to last an eternity. A few, more knowledgeable than others, knew that each was waiting for the other to make a move, some slight shifting of their bodies to indicate their intentions. Then the battle would begin in earnest.
What none of the watchers were aware of, however, was the intense battle of wills that was occurring between the two combatants. Called 'The Dominance' in fencing, it was a mental and emotional battle that took place before physical combat ever began, in which the two fighters would attempt to intimidate and cause nervousness within their opponents. The weaker of the two wills would crumble before the stronger, slowing reaction time and weakening the body, making the fight easier for the possessor of the stronger-willed personality to claim victory.
A moment later, they exploded into motion, Macnair charging with impressive speed for a man of his size as he brought his axe-blade blurring through the air in an uppercut blow, forcing a surprised Harry to dodge awkwardly. An instant later, he was forced to hold his blade parallel to his body and brace it as the axe came whipping back around in a horizontal spinning cleave with all the subtlety and force of a speeding freight train. Allowing the blow to knock him off of his feet, he performed a somewhat awkward but still impressive-looking one-handed hand-spring to land in a crouch. A shadow blocked out the sun, and he was forced to perform a forward somersault as an airborne Macnair plummeted towards him, axe held high. An explosion of dust and a massive crack heralded his landing, and Harry got to his feet slowly, turning to see the man in a crouch, axe buried inside of a small crater where he had been a moment earlier.
"You're better than most of my fights, kid. Most people die to damn fast for me to really enjoy it." He commented, sounding almost happy as he rose to his feet and pulled his axe out of the ground, before turning to face Harry.
"I admit, I didn't expect a pureblood wizard to be even half as capable as you are in a physical confrontation. An arrogant and foolish assumption, it seems, for which I beg pardon." Harry admitted, knowing that Alleria, who was watching from a vantage point nearby, would be giving him a stern lecture and a cuff around the head for his stupidity. Macnair laughed loudly and shook his head.
"Well, with most you might be right. Me though? I love the feeling of my axe carving through flesh and bone. The sight of blood painting the ground and sky scarlet is," he took a deep breath through his nose, as though savoring the smell of a delicious meal. "Intoxicating." He looked Harry over and grinned. "The crimson spray of your lifeblood shall be one of my greatest masterpieces."
"Ignoring how incredibly psychotic you sound, I am not sure if I should be feeling complimented or insulted." Harry commented, frowning slightly in disgust at the other man's words. "Although that was somewhat…poetic, I will admit."
"Were I you, I would feel complimented." Macnair said with a shrug as he resettled his grip on his axe. "Not that it matters how you feel about it, you're about to die."
"Sorry, I don't plan on dying a virgin. It will not be I who falls this day." Harry shot back confidently, as Macnair advanced. His eyes and focus narrowed as he watched the older man's torso, waiting for him to telegraph his next move. Another horizontal cleave, good. Ducking under the axe, feeling the violently disturbed air from its passing ruffle his hair, he thrust upwards with his own blade, impaling the older man's chest. A choked gurgle echoed in the sudden silence of the Alley as Macnair collapsed to the ground, a crimson pool growing beneath him as he died. Harry stood above him, staring down at the man who had shown him the folly of underestimating your opponent, and noticed that he was scrabbling for something with his right hand. Seeing the object he was grasping for, he retrieved Macnair's axe and laid it on the man's chest, getting a bloody grin in return before his body went slack and the light faded from his eyes. Harry turned away, flicking his sword clear of blood as he strode passed the shocked and silent bystanders, vanishing as he turned a corner.
"OUCH! Damnit, Alleria!" Harry hissed as the high elf pulled the bandages she was wrapping around his torso a little tighter than they needed to be across his bruised side and cracked ribs. After moving out of sight from the innocent bystanders who had watched his duel with Macnair, he had quickly spelled himself into invisibility and hastened back towards Gringotts, Alleria following across the rooftops, her inhuman agility and grace unhindered by the Invisibility Cloak that he had lent to her.
"Well, maybe next time you won't be an utter fool and jump in without thinking." The woman replied, continuing to patch him up the old fashioned way. She flat out refused to allow him to be healed with magic, whether his own or another's, as punishment for his "total disregard for the plan, his safety, and common sense". She had also, as he had predicted, cuffed him across the head a few times as she lectured him, something she had picked up from his goblin instructors in combat and tactics. Tying of the bandage roughly, and receiving another wince and soft yelp as payment, she got to her feet and glared at him. "Honestly, if you had died, not only would I be alone and friendless on this Light-forsaken planet of yours, but I would never be able to get home. Which means that all those horrible things we read and talked about would happen. All because you got cocky."
"I get it!" he grumbled, though she could tell it was sincere and apologetic. "I can't just stand by and let people get hurt or killed, though, can I? I have all this power, and what is the point of it if I don't use it to do some good?"
"I never said you shouldn't, just that you should use your head when you do." She rebuked him softly, and he nodded a little mulishly. Sighing, she sat down next to him and laid a gentle hand on his arm. "Harry, I admire that you couldn't just let them hurt innocent bystanders, truly I do. It is a trait that is all too rare on any world. But if you die or become crippled, then tens of thousands at least will die back home. Just…keep that in mind next time?"
"I will, I promise." He said softly, sincerely, and she nodded sharply in satisfaction before leaning back and crossing her legs.
"Good. Now, your little intervention today is going to draw a significant amount of attention. According to your research, the only thing that will provide enough power to create a portal to my world is this celestial alignment happening on December 21st at midnight. That's only a few weeks away. Is there all that much more that we can accomplish before then for this world?"
"Drawing out and killing Voldemort and the rest of his followers. Once that is done, I can leave this world more or less content." Harry told her, and she looked at him with a skeptical expression.
"And leaving behind your family, your friends?" she asked softly, and he sighed, leaning back in his seat.
"I don't have that many of either, to be honest, and I don't think leaving this world behind might be as hard for me as you think. I was alone for years, and the friends I do have were quick to doubt me or turn their backs on me if the going got tough." He explained, thinking of the various times he had been ostracized by the school. Shrugging, he continued. "Besides, I am leaving this world a far safer place than it currently is, and I am going to help save a whole different reality. A damn good reason to leave home, if you ask me."
Alleria laughed softly, marveling not for the first time at the strangeness of the human beside her. Certainly, she had met some damn decent humans during the First and Second Wars, many of whom were like Harry in their general goodness and code of chivalry. However, unfortunately for her, many more still were greedy, arrogant, cowards at the core who discarded their oaths and flimsy morals if they thought it would be to their benefit. Like… that man.
Shaking away dark memories, she got to her feet and held a hand out to Harry, which he took. Pulling him to his feet, she smirked at him broadly, amusement glimmering in her silver-blue eyes.
"Well then, let's go about drawing out and killing one psychotic human mage, shall we?" she said, and he nodded in return, an equally amused look on his face as they began to discuss their plan of action.
Duration: Three Weeks
Former Boy-Who-Lived Challenges Dark Lord
To Pitched Battle!
You heard it from the Daily Prophet first, ladies and gentleman! Lord Potter, who three weeks ago single-handedly battled seven Death Eaters in a duel that left all seven dead, and Diagon Alley in ruins, has Challenged the Heir of Slytherin, Lord (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) to Pitched Battle the ancient traditions. The victor will take control of the loser's assets and properties in their entirety, in addition to the loser's surviving followers being banished from England forever, while the loser shall be eradicated from this world. Should Lord (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) accept the Challenge, it will constitute as an automatic acceptance of the conditions by The Laws of Magic. Lord Potter will await his opponent at the most magical location in Great Britain, the ancient ley-line nexus and sacred druidic ritual site known today as Stonehenge, at high-noon on the Winter Solstice. Below is Lord Potter's challenge in his own words, taken in full from a note he dictated to his apparent companion, Lady Alleria Windrunner.
"Harry James Potter, By the Grace of God, Lord of House Potter, does challenge the usurper and criminal Thomas Marvolo Riddle, he who styles himself Lord (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) to meet him on the field of battle, with all the forces he can muster. To the victor, and to his heirs, will go all that belongs to the loser, whilst the loser shall forever be struck from existence and his surviving forces scattered to the four winds, never to return. The method shall be pitched battle. The victory will be with total defeat of the enemy. The field shall be the ancient site of Stonehenge, the time that of the sun's apex."
Six days later, Harry found himself staring down the murderer of his parents, the man responsible for destroying any chance of a normal life he might have possessed. While the other being (Harry hesitated to call him a "man" given that he was hardly human any longer) was flanked by dozens of his supporters, with his Inner Circle Death Eaters arrayed around him in a half circle, Harry was alone save for the silent but unrelenting support of Alleria at his right flank. The same place she had stood and supported him from for the last two and a half years. He doubted he could have made it half this far without her to support him and help him to carry on.
"So, you are actually here, Potter." The Dark Lord sneered, quite confident that he could kill the boy. He had brought the majority of his followers to this field in order to counter the meager forces that he believed Potter could call up, but it seemed the boy had fewer supporters than he had thought. Only a single woman stood by his side, no doubt this "Windrunner" person he had been running about with,
"Yes, it is down to us now. Your existence will end on this field, Tom, I swear it." Harry replied calmly, and Voldemort hissed angrily at the use of his former name, before calming and smirking as he drew his wand.
"You shouldn't have destroyed your wand, Harry. Without it, there will no brother-wand bond to save you this time." He told his prophesied enemy mockingly, but Harry merely snorted and shook his head, drawing his blade-staff and holding it in front of him.
"You know, Tom, I considered this long, drawn out battle of epic proportions, which would shake the very earth and rend the sky asunder," he drawled, waving his free hand in an "etc, etc." motion. "But, in the end, I decided to show you just how great the difference between us is."
Voldemort and the Death Eaters cackled in amusement at his perceived foolish bravado, but their laughter stopped as three glowing rings appeared on the ground at Harry's feet, each filled with runic writing beyond their comprehension. Magic hummed in the air, so thick that it was almost visible, as the rings began to rotate, with the Outermost and Innermost rotating clockwise and the middle rotating counterclockwise. Far above them, the sky began to darken violently, clouds appearing from out of nowhere as they spiraled in the same counter-clockwise rotation as the middle ring of runes. Voldemort, disturbed by the magical energy pouring off of the boy and his Circle, cast a strong of powerful spells at him, including killing curses, but they were deflected or absorbed by a large crimson dome that formed at the outermost ring. Looking to his followers, he screamed out for them to kill the boy, immediately. They hastened to obey, and jagged cracks began to appear in the shield before it shattered, and the second ring flashed to life, shield appearing in a silver glow, visibly warping as it struggled to resist the power of so many killing curses.
"It's too late, Tom! No matter how many Killing Curses you throw at my shields, they've held long enough!" Harry shouted over the wand blasts. His voice took on a strange echoing quality as he continued.
"Archon of Storm, Hear My Plea!
You Who Judge All Under The Sky!
Master of Fate and Thunder, I Ask Of You!
Judge Them, Ramuh!"
A massive bolt of lightning rent the eye of the gathering storm asunder, blinding everyone as they hastned to shield their eyes, blinking rapidly in an effort to clear the spots from their vision. As their eyes cleared, they beheld the shape of an old, wise looking man dressed in royal purple and deepest black and carrying a cross-shaped stave in his right hand and a set of scales in his left floating over Harry. His shimmering golden eyes swept over each and every living being before him, even glancing towards a rocky outcropping a few dozen yards away from Stonehenge proper, before pointing his stave and Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
"Your souls are stained with the blood of the innocent, and consumed by Darkness." The Elder Primal declared, voice thundering so loudly many cried out in pain as they tried to shield their ears. "I find you all…GUILTY!"
His staff blazed with power, and arcs of lightning sprang forth to strike all of the Death Eaters. Screaming and writhing in agony, they collapsed to the ground as the lightning ate away their flesh and bones. In the end, Voldemort stood alone before a sea of ashes, feeling an emotion he had not felt in years…fear.
Even when torn from his body those 17 years ago, he felt no fear, knowing that his Soul Anchors would protect him. Before this being, this Judge of Souls, he felt absolute terror as it turned it's gaze to him.
"Thomas Marvolo Riddle." It boomed, pointing the staff at him. "You are guilty of even greater crimes than those that called you Master. Your sins are many and heinous, and as such you shall be condemned to the deepest pits of Hell. All of you."
Voldemort cried out in horror and denial as each of his Horcrux appeared in a flash of light around him. Another bolt of lightning leapt forth from Ramuh's staff and struck the first, before leaping to the second, and so on, forming a ring of lightning-charged object around him. Finally, the lightning in each object sprang into his flesh, linking himself with his soul anchors in searing agony. A deep gong-like sound reverberated through the air as a large, skull-encrusted black gate rose from the ground behind him. It's gates creaked open, showing not the grassy landscape of the real world, but the smoke-choked fiery chasm-filled depths of Hell. Shackles of black lightning sprang forth from within the gate, wrapping around Voldemort, and dragging him slowly within as he screamed and bawled for mercy. Mercy he was not deserving of. Mercy he would not receive.
The doors slammed shut and the gate sank back into the ground, leaving a shaky Alleria and Harry. While they had known, intellectually, what summoning an Elder Primal would mean, especially the Primal that helped to judge souls, seeing Ramuh's power was another thing entirely.
"Thank you for your aid, Archon." Harry bowed respectfully to the floating being, who regarded him calmly for a long moment before inclining his head in reply and vanishing in a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. The pair were silent for a long few moments, before Harry huffed out an oddly mixed laugh/sigh and shook his head. Looking at Alleria, he gave her a lopsided half smile. "Well, that was interesting , wasn't it?"
"Indeed it was, Harry, indeed it was." A familiar voice called out from nearby, and the duo turned to look at the outcropping as Dumbledore and a fair portion of the Order of the Pheonix came out of hiding and advanced into the circle of stones.
"Well, you were a great help, weren't you?" Harry said sarcastically, sheathing his blade-staff in its holster on his back and crossing his arms with a rather contemptuous look.
"Didn't seem ta need it, did ya boy?" Mad-Eye growled, ravaged face twisted into a somewhat savage grin as he looked at the piles of ash that were once the Death Eaters with both eyes. "Quite a friend you called up there, Potter!"
"Yes, just what was that, Harry?" Dumbledore asked, somewhat concerned that Harry was already being drawn down a dark path as a result of his craving for revenge against Voldemort.
"Ancient magic, professor." Came the simple reply, and Dumbledore raised his eyebrows in slight amusement. Was the boy trying to pull the wool over his eyes? He was well-read in the ancient magics, and he had never come across anything like that.
"Now, Harry, dishonesty is hardly a virtue. I hope that you can turn away from the Dark path you seem to be treading." He said, sounding almost condescending. Alleria scoffed in disgust and crossed her arms, and he looked at her sharply. "And you, Alleria Windrunner, have much to answer for. Such as leading poor Harry astray. I have seen what kind of person you are. A killer, a murderer of innocent people trying to find a new home."
"First of all, what the fuck are you talking about, old man?" Alleria snapped in response, flicking some of her hair back beneath her hood. "Secondly, I am Lady Windrunner. We've already had this discussion before, though I wonder if your memory is going in your old age."
Harry looked at his companion with something akin to shock, though he hid it well beneath a façade of calm. Alleria was always polite, cultured, and well-mannered, having been raised from birth to act as a noble lady should when outside of her Ranger duties. For her to be so combative and insulting, she must truly have an issue with the old man.
"You do not belong here, elf, and I saw within your mind the atrocities that your people committed against the orcs." Dumbledore said sharply, convinced he was right in his judgment of her character. He had, many times, delved into her mind from the security of invisibility spells whenever she had left the bank with Harry, and had seen the wholesale massacre of many an orcish camp at her hands. In his mind, the attack on Silvermoon he had witnessed in the first memory, in Gringotts, had come as retribution for her murder of innocent settlers. His inability to comprehend that the orcs were the instigators was something no other being would be able to understand or explain.
"Well, isn't that quite the invasion of privacy." She drawled, internally raging at the fact that this old fool had somehow managed to poke around her mind without her knowing. Granted, Azeroth didn't have much in the way of subtle mind magics. The only two mind magics she knew belonged to priests and the Brood of Ysera. One was a brute force control spell, which was impossible to be unaware of and almost impossible to prevent. The wielders of the other had power so far beyond most mortal's comprehension that they came and went during the mortal races's dreams without ever being noticed, cloaked in an impenetrable veil. "While I dearly want to kill you for invading my mind, I shan't. Nor shall I bother to correct you about the Orcish Horde. If you'll excuse us, Harry and I have things we need to do."
Harry took her arm and made to Apparate away, only to find himself blocked by wards. Eyes snapping to Dumbledore, he growled at the smug look on the elderly man's face as Dumbledore and the Order drew their wands, and Harry reached for his blade-staff. Before he could draw steel against his former Headmaster, however, a certain pink-haired Cadet Auror dashed out from within the ranks of the Order, grabbed onto Alleria and himself, and activated a Portkey, the trio vanishing in a swirl of light and magic.
"Find them!" Dumbledore snapped to his subordinates, bringing down his Anti-Apparation Ward, and they began vanishing in cracks as they began the hunt for Harry Potter, Alleria Windrunner, and Nymphadora Tonks. Rubbing his forhead, Dumbledore fumed and raged internally at all three of them. Didn't people understand that if they would just do what he told them, everything would work out for the best?
He was Albus Dumbledore, damnit!
The instant Alleria felt solid land under her feet again, she moved with inhuman speed and agility to grab the pink-haired girl tightly and place the blade of one of her dagger's to the girl's throat, causing her to freeze instantly in fear.
"Hey, easy now!" she said holding her very empty hands out to the side, palms up to show she meant no harm to them. Something she frankly should have thought would be obvious to them given the situation she got them out of, but she wasn't going to argue the point when with one twitch of Alleria's wrist, she would be wearing a throat-smile for the rest of her very short days. "Let's not do anything that I might regret okay?"
"Who are you and where have you taken us?" Alleria demanded, blade not moving an inch nor her grip loosening, and the pinkette grumbled in aggravation for a moment before answering.
"Nymphadora Tonks, but for the love of God do not call me by my first name. I usually just go by Tonks." She looked at Harry as best she could given the blade at her throat, and smiled slightly. "You and I are family. Your godfather's youngest sister is my mother. Furthermore, your grandmother was a Black, Dorea, who is something like my great-great-aunt. The Black family tree is a little contorted to be honest with you."
"And where are we?" Alleria growled, digging the blade into the flesh slightly without cutting it, making Tonks wince and try to back her neck away from the blade, unsuccessfully.
"Hogsmeade. Dumbledore won't look for you so close to Hogwarts. He was planning on getting rid of Alleria and locking you up if you didn't play ball, Harry. He is convinced that you're turning into a new Dark Lord because you killed Death Eaters and because of Alleria influencing you." She explained honestly, getting a growl of annoyance from behind her and crossed arms and a scowl from in front of her.
"And you don't believe him?" Harry asked, more curious than skeptical, and she nodded as much as she could, a blush staining her cheeks as she glanced away shyly. He regarded her for a long moment before looking over her head to meet Alleria's eyes, and gave her a slight nod of the head. She eyed him for a long moment before releasing the human woman somewhat roughly, a not-so-subtle reminder behave in her actions as she made a show of moving to stand just behind Harry's right hand, the dagger disappearing into a sheath in her bracer faster than Tonks could track her movements.
"Not particularly." She admitted, shrugging away his questioning expression as she elaborated. "You have your head on straight. You know what it means to fight a war, what is needed to win and ensure that the people are safe. Dumbledore just thinks that sending them to prison for "reform and penance" will make everything better. He is living a dream, and it is a dream that would have gotten a lot of people killed if you hadn't stepped in. Myself included. Thanks for saving my ass the other day, by the way."
"It was the right thing to do." He said simply, smiling at her slightly, before continuing. "Regardless, thanking me can't be all that you have in mind, Tonks, so what else is going on?"
"I want you to take me with you. To wherever it is that you are going." She said in a rush, getting shocked looks from both of the people with her, and Harry took a moment to collect himself before continuing.
"Where is it that you think we are going?" he asked, buying time while he tried to figure out how the hell she knew about his plans to leave Earth.
"I don't know. America, Europe, maybe Asia?" or maybe she just figured he would ditch this country now that he had gotten his revenge. She was right, if only on a smaller scale than he was planning.
"Planning on going a bit further away than that." Harry said dryly, leaning back against a nearby wall casually. At Tonks' questioning look, he elaborated. "Alleria isn't from Earth, as my dear old former Headmaster mentioned, and her home-world is in dire need of services that only I can provide. Now that Voldemort is dead, I plan on leaving this world behind. Permanently."
Tonks blinked at him for a long moment, and he honestly expected her to react with shock, disbelief, anger, fear. Just about anything other than the excited bounce in her step as she stepped closer, eyes shining.
"Really? Now I really want to come!" she cried gleefully, sounding absolutely giddy as she beamed at him, and he found himself taken aback by her energy. Glancing uncertainly at Alleria, he saw the same confusion and trepidation in her eyes that he felt, and he looked back at the pinkette with raised eyebrows.
"And why is that, exactly?" he asked, taking a half-step back in order to get a little personal space from the still-bouncing Metamorphmagus.
"See a whole new world? Are you kidding me? Why the hell not is a much better question!" she scoffed, seemingly shocked that Harry would even ask that question. Alleria gave a soft laugh, shaking her head, while Harry snorted in amusement.
"Fair enough." He mused, eyeing her up and down speculatively. "Alright, I can certainly use someone like you, that's for sure. Your…unique talents are truly impressive."
"What talents are those, Harry? She looks like your average mage to me." Alleria asked skeptically, still unsure of Tonks' apparent assistance and willingness to help. Moreover, she was less than pleased with the constant blushing and shy glances Tonks was shooting at Harry, though she was 'unaware' of why she might be feeling that way. In response, Tonks turned herself into an exact copy of Harry, impossible to discern the difference in any way. Alleria gaped, shock knocking her out of her usual aloofness by a display of magic she had never before witnessed.
While the magic of her world could copy the image of a person and lay it over the caster as a glamour, and the demons of the Legion could possess bodies both living and dead, she could tell even with her own meager magical skills that this was not the former, and was obviously not the latter, as she was looking at two Harry's standing side by side.
"What…are you?" she breathed finally, fascinated. Over the last two and a half or so years, she had thought that this world had run out of ways to surprise her. Obviously, this was far from the case.
"I'm what is called a metamorphmagus, a special kind of wizard-witch, in my case- that can change my features at will. I can look like any humanoid alive, regardless of appearance, or I can change my features to create entirely new looks." To punctuate her explanation, she changed her features until she look like a generic grey-haired woman in her seventies. She could have been truly anyone, yet she was truthfully no one. "And before you ask, no, this can't be taught. It's a trait a very small percentage of wizard-kind is born with. Something like .05% of the world's magical population has the trait to a greater or lesser degree."
"You're right, Harry, such an ability will prove to be an incredible boon for our goals." Alleria agreed, mind already flying as she considered the various possibilities such an advantage would provide them with.
"Excellent, I'm glad you agree." Harry said, pleased. He desired to bring Tonks along, but would never have done so if it meant causing a rift with Alleria. While he was willing to butt heads with her, and they often did, this issue was hardly worth an argument, given the lack of Tonks would not have harmed their plans any. Meeting Tonks' eyes, he continued. "I need you to take this ring," he told her, pulling off the Signet Ring of House Potter and handing it to her. "Go to Gringott's, and tell them to prepare everything for departure. Alleria and I will meet you back at Stonehenge at nine tonight."
"What if I run into anyone from the Ministry or the Order? For that matter, what do we do about telling people that Voldemort is finally gone?" Tonks asked, though not disagreeing or protesting, as she took the offered ring reverently, admiring the gleaming gold band and the large ruby embedded in its face that bore the Potter's gryphon rampant Coat of Arms.
"Evade and ignore the first two, simply do as I've instructed and everything will be fine." He answered her, sounding almost chastising, and she ducked her head in apology as he continued. "The reason I foresee you having no issues is because I am going to be making a public announcement in Diagon Alley that Voldemort and Co. is dead. That should focus everyone on me quite nicely, so you can slip by unnoticed."
"I understand." Tonks nodded, pulling up the hood of her cloak and departing the side-alley they had arrived into. Harry looked to Alleria and gestured for her to join him as he followed Tonks out of the Alley, before the pair stopped in the street and watched the pinkette vanish.
"Not to worry about her playing both sides, Alleria. The charms on the Head of House ring would have caused her significant pain if she planned on betraying me. Something an ancestor added when a Dark Lord was gathering power during his lifetime. Every time he shook another witch or wizard's hand, the ring would shock them if they were an enemy. Made rooting out the Dark Lord's followers fairly easy, for once." Harry explained, sounding quite proud of his ancestor's thinking. Gryffindors the Potter family may usually be, but that didn't mean they couldn't let their Slytherin sides out to play every once in a while. "Now, come on. We need to go shake things up a bit."
A quarter of an hour later, Harry was standing on a large wooden platform he had conjured in the center of Diagon Alley, voice magically enhanced, speaking before a growing crowd of onlookers with the Alleria by his side, as always.
"Lord Voldemort and those minions of his that he brought to Stonehenge are dead, as surely as I stand before you now!" he shouted, holding the megalomaniac's wand in the air so the crowd could see it. Raising his other hand to clasp the other half, he dramatically snapped it in half and tossed each half to one side, the broken would clattering in the stillness of the Alley. "I claim victory, and the possession of all his properties! All of his followers are hereby banished from England, forever!"
The crowd cheered, raising their hands and arms toward him in adulation, and he threw his arms wide as if to embrace the world, seemingly basking their praise. Internally, however, he was scornful. Not too long ago, these people had been condemning him as a coward, or claiming he was a liar, or any other of a number of insults and false claims against his moral fiber. Now, he had no doubt they would all claim that they knew he was a good person all along, and that they all loved him, etc. etc. and so forth. He had succeeded in the only thing he cared about: getting the attention of the entirety of the Alley.
"Harry James Potter, you're under arrest for murder and for the extensive use of Dark Magics!" a voice shouted, as the tall and dark form of Kinglsey Shacklebolt led two dozen Aurors and Hit Wizards, before whom the crowd parted with shocked murmurs as they regarded Harry with fear, and he rolled his eyes in contemptuous amusement.
"Just because Albus Dumbledore neither knew of or is capable of calling forth the Elder Primals, my ability to do so is hardly Dark Magic." He scoffed at them in disgust, and the crowd looked at each other curiously, not knowing of what he spoke. One of them even gathered the courage to ask, and Harry directed his look to them. "The Elder Primals are some of the First Children of the Maker. Physical embodiments of Creation itself. For example, there is Ifrit, Lord of Flames. Fire itself, fire so strong and pure that it can scourge even souls. Or perhaps Titan, Lord of Earth and Stone. Every speck of dirt, every stone and mountain bows to his will." He shrugged nonchalantly. "The Primal I summoned to destroy Voldemort and his followers was Ramuh, Primal of Judgement. He is Justice itself, and judged my enemies accordingly. The fact that they were all found guilty and punished them as they deserved is their own problem."
Ignoring the angry retorts of the Dumbledore sycophants and the sheeple, Harry looked over towards Gringott's, and saw Luna and Tonks exiting the white marble bank, no doubt with the stockpiled materials and gold of the formerly living Dark Lord and his minions, as well as the assorted Lore he had requested.
"Now, if you lot will excuse us, we have a date with some beautiful women." He declared, as he grabbed Alleria's hand and disappeared in a flash-step, coming back into view further down the Alley, where the other two girls grabbed hold just before he activated a Portkey. Kingsley cursed savagely and barked for his people to start tracing the Portkey's signature, and locate its destination point. He just hoped they could get to Harry before he became totally corrupted.
Nine hours later, Harry and the three women were putting the finishing touches on a truly massive runic array, with the nexus of Stonehenge as its center. Devised by Harry after years of painstaking research through the knowledge of the ancient mages, with some help from Luna and Elune, it was designed to take the incredible power of the celestial alignment and channel it into creating a portal large enough and powerful enough to transport them across realities. According to his research and Elune's advice, his portal would require far more power than those used between Azeroth and Outlands because it was crossing dimensions and planets, as opposed to only planets in the same dimension.
At 11:00 PM, the runic array was finished, and the four humanoids took their places in the innermost ring and began chanting, each speaking in a different, ancient tongue as they weaved the spell that would take them across time and space.
At 11:55 PM, the air was filled with dozens of resounding cracks as Albus Dumbledore and what seemed like a crowd of wizards and witches appeared, including the teachers of Hogwarts, the Weasley family, and Hermione. Any attempt to approach the chanting foursome was halted by an invisible wall of pure magic. High above them, the last of the planetary alignment formed, casting an ethereal glow as some of the most powerful magic ever performed activated, creating a towering, swirling portal of crimson nether-energy in the very center of the ritualistic circle. With a final breath of their homeworld's air, the three humans followed their High Elven companion through the portal and into the Twisting Nether.
At Midnight, December 21st, 2012, the backlash of celestial-enhanced magic created by the portal closing obliterated the planet earth, and all the inhabitants thereof. As the Mayans had foreseen so many millennia before. Harry and his companions would be blissfully unaware of this fact, however, for a very long time.
The foursome found themselves tumbling out of thin air to land in a heap in foot-long grass. Getting to their feet, they looked around their surroundings, the three humans in awe of being on another world, while Alleria was frowning to herself. Before them appeared to be an endless green valley, filled with gentle hills and deep canyons. In the distance, they could see a large stone fortress rising towards the sky. Herds of massive buffalo- and elephant-like creatures roamed the plains, while flocks of birds of prey soared overhead.
"This…isn't Azeroth…" Alleria said aloud finally, looking at her companions, noting Harry's somewhat guilty look, and her eyes narrowed in suspicion and anger. It seemed he was hiding things from her again. He sighed and rand a hand through his hair.
"I thought you had figured it out when Luna said things couldn't happen the same way twice, and Elune mentioning helping several worlds. Azeroth won't be the first, and change can't be made without the strength to make it. Here," he said, gesturing to the plains around them. "Here is where we will find that strength in spades."
Is a wrap! Now, this is important. I think it obvious where they are now, and I am still planning on going to Azeroth. However, as I said, I didn't want to do things the way the other two individuals did. I considered timeskipping all the way to Azeroth from here, but I decided that probably wouldn't go over too well. Please, bear with me guys. I intend for this story to have epic battles featuring fleets and armies, and plenty of politics. Fleets, armies, and politics gotta start somewhere.
Chapter 4: Draenor?
So, I am going to cover some things here and now, though they will also be explained later in the story.
1. The assertions that Elune just let Earth get blown up and knew the whole time. This is patently untrue. While she might be a deity in the WOW universe, the only reason she is able to interact with Harry's at all is by speaking and acting through Luna. She does not possess the same power over the HP universe that she does in the WOW universe, nor is she all-knowing about the HP universe.
2. Earth (HP canon universe, technically) being destroyed was not arbitrary. It was always going to happen. Originally, the idea was that with Harry and Voldemort, the two reasons that reality existed, gone in an unnatural fashion, it self-destructed. This changed to the posted version when I was rereading some lore and came across the section covering the destruction of the Original Draenor, the one that became Outlands. Too much Nether energy was channeled into portals which, upon their collapse, caused feedback that heavily damaged the planet. Given that Draenor is inherently more magical than Earth, it seemed reasonable to me that Earth would not have the resistance, or endurance, to survive a similar event.
3. In relation to the second point, Harry isn't evil. People who claimed that he was just as or more evil as Voldemort are decidedly wrong. Voldemort intentionally set out to hurt and brutally murder people, basically cause he had daddy issues. Harry accidentally killed large number of people in an effort to save not one, but two planets, and no less than *counts* fourteen races, more if you count people like the owlkin and other semi-sentient "lesser" races. And, frankly, that sounds like it balances out on that karma scale one guy mentioned. Besides, accidents aren’t evil. Sad, yes. Terrible, often. But not evil. Something is evil because of the intent behind it.
Also, did none of you notice that it was 12/21/12? You know, fated end of the world and shit? Planetary alignment used to power the portal?
EDITED As Of 9/2/2015 to reflect the new names voted upon by the readers!
The Mists of Avalon
"So, why did you just leave behind Sirius, Remus, and the others like that?" Tonks asked, curious, as they walked through the cliff riddled expanse of what Harry and Alleria identified as the region of Nagrand on the planet of Draenor. It had taken nearly an hour of arguing and reasoning for Harry to explain to a highly irritated Alleria why and how they were in a pre-Burning Legion Draenor, and that he had no intention of breaking his word to her, before the group had gotten underway. "I mean, won't all your friends be worried about you?"
"My friends? You mean the same friends that either turned on me the moment the rest of the school did over the years, or perhaps refused to send more than vague and pointless letters over the entire summer, even knowing how much I hate my relatives?" Harry responded dryly, and Tonks frowned as she responded.
"Dumbledore told them not to say anything, he was worried the owls might get intercepted. Plus, the Headquarters was at Number 12, Grimmauld Place, Sirius' mum's house, so..." she stopped suddenly, eyes widening as she froze mid-step, causing her companions to look at her askance. "I shouldn't have been able to tell you that..."
"Why not? You promise someone or something?" Alleria asked before Harry or Luna could, wondering if she had made an oath or something of the sort, which might make her a liability to their cause. A little late for such concerns, perhaps, but she could be dealt with as easily here as on Earth. Probably more easily, actually, given the much emptier expanses, and more prevalent scavengers, of Nagrand.
"No, Dumbledore put the place under a Fidelius Charm." She responded, and sighed at the confused looks she received before elaborating. "It's a charm, very old and very powerful. Only a handful of people in the world can cast it properly, Dumbledore being one of them. What it does, is hide a Secret (which can be anything from an object, to a person, to a place) within the soul of an individual, the Secret Keeper. The existence of the Secret is forgotten by anyone who the Secret Keeper does not personally, and willingly, tell."
Seeing that they were still confused, she cast about for an example before continuing.
"Let's say a house was put under one, like Sirius' house was. Anyone who knew its existence before forgets where it is, its name, what it looks like...everything. And even when you are let in on the Secret, you can't share it with anyone else, unless you are the Secret Keeper."
"Which is why you shouldn't have been able to say the name of the place, I understand. Makes sense why Hermione said she could not tell me where she was. She literally was incapable." Harry mumbled to himself, rubbing his hand over his mouth in thought, before shrugging. "Still, doesn't excuse not having even the most basic form of conversation with me, even if it was about something so mundane as school-work or what she was looking forward to in the coming school year."
"I can only guess that you were able to name the place because the Secret no longer needs to be kept." Luna commented absently, a hint of sadness in her voice that the others assumed was in reference to the fact that they were so far from home. Harry gave her a one-armed hug of reassurance, getting a warm if small and slightly tremulous smile in return, before setting off once more towards the region that he called Talador. It was there, in the north-western region bordering the sea, that he said they would find the capital city of a race of advanced aliens that called themselves the Draenei, Shattrath City. What he hoped to find there hadn't been stated, but all three of the women were smart enough to know that he was trying to make allies as promptly as possible. What they didn't know was all of the details.
Six hours later, Harry and his companions were making camp in the shelter of a small cul-de-sac in the side of the mountain ridge separating Talador and Nagrand. Tonks and Luna had gone to bed immediately after eating, exhausted from the long trek that their less than fit bodies had endured over the trip, Tonks grumbling about how she would never claim she was the image of physical fitness again, apparently something she had prided herself on amongst the Auror Corps. Having met several of the Corps, Harry wasn't surprised that she was considered amongst the most fit of their numbers. Many were in decent shape, true, but only when one used the magical world as the only measuring stick. In the Muggle world, many would be considered average at best, as their dependence on magic and its many forms of transportation had rendered the need to be physically fit somewhat unimportant.
Harry and Alleria, however, were fine. Harry, due to his extensive (one might even say excessive) Quidditch training, which kept his torso in shape, and his training under the goblin instructors he had hired, which had taken care of everything else. Alleria, of course, was a high-elf from an ancient and powerful family, and had been hunting down poachers, criminals, and more recently orc war parties for the last few millenia. Her fitness level and stamina put everyone Harry knew to shame, and he had the feeling that he would meet many, many more like her the longer he roamed this world, and others.
Now the pair sat together beside the smoldering remains of the small, smokeless fire Alleria had made, both for warmth and to give some measure of comfort to the more sheltered young women, who were unused to being in the wilds of the worlds.
"I couldn't help but notice that you never answered Tonks' question earlier, Harry." The eldest Windrunner said softly, and Harry turned his gaze from the dark expanse of land before them to look at her. Shrugging slightly, she continued. "Yes, everyone got sidetracked by that whole 'Secret' explanation, but you revisited the subject. Why?"
"Because it doesn't matter in the end. Nothing remains there for us anymore." He responded finally, lying back to look at the stars, which shone far brighter than those back home, shrouded as they were by the waste of humanity. He was unaware of just how true his words were, as he continued to speak. "It's something I have a theory on, you see, about the magic this reality has to offer. Time and time again in this reality, magic users of all species and walks of life created portals, portals that could transcend time and space, allowing me to return to that world moments after leaving it, if I desired. Case in point, do you remember what I told you about the game's version of Garrosh Hellscream, and the Iron Horde?"
"Yes, he went to an alternate Draenor and stopped his father and the other Chieftains from drinking the blood of Mannaroth and becoming, well," she shrugged again, thinking of no other way to say it. "Well, becoming the versions of them that I knew."
"Precisely. Not only did he traverse realities into one untainted, but did so at a time and place of his choosing. Granted, the traitor Kairoz helped, but Kairoz did not help him get back, and therein lays the basis of my theory. The Iron Horde by all appearances attacked mere weeks, maybe a month or two, after Garrosh escaped, yet there is no possible way for him to have met his father, convinced him of the truth, helped form, arm, and train the Iron Horde, and begin his attack on Azeroth through his newly constructed Dark Portal within that time frame."
"So you think he chose for the portal to open into an Azeroth not long after he had left, intentionally." Alleria connected the threads, and Harry nodded in agreement. "From a tactical standpoint, that was brilliant. They were still exhausted and ravaged by taking his regime down and by the tense atmosphere between Alliance and Horde. Meanwhile he could attack with fresh, motivated, and better armed and equipped soldiers in far more massive numbers than the decimated Azeroth could produce."
"If it hadn't been for the sacrifice of the majority of the Azerothian Vanguard and their destruction of that Dark Portal, Azeroth would have fallen in a matter of months. The Iron Horde would have swept across the planet as an unstoppable tide. And then, when the Iron Horde stood alone, either the Old Gods would have been resurrected, or the Burning Legion would have taken the opportunity to move in and wipe out the survivors of all sides." Harry confirmed tiredly with another nod."I hope to change all of that, and Shattrath will only be the beginning."
With that, the young adult got to his feet and withdrew to his tent, leaving Alleria to stare after him in confusion. Sighing to herself, she moved her gaze back to the stars, thinking about his actions, his reticence to share more information than what they were doing in that very moment. They surprised her, as he had been fairly warm and friendly during the majority of the time on Earth, sharing information to further their mutual cause freely. However, now that they had actually embarked on their mission, he was clamming up. Could it be she had lost his trust? Had she offended him so greatly in some way? She could think of no action that might result in such a thing, but neither could she think of another reason for his sudden change in attitude towards her.
Getting to her feet, she took one last look at the world around her before heading for her own tent, content in the knowledge that the powerful wards and protective spells Harry and Tonks had weaved around their temporary encampment would keep all threats, whether beast or being, from entering their camp and harming them.
They did not however, block the site from sight, and so she did not notice that their movements, and their conversation, had been observed by a pair of pupil-less, pale violet eyes that narrowed intently before their owner ducked behind an outcropping. A moment later, a blue-white flash briefly emerged before fading away, leaving the night empty and silent save for the uninterrupted sounds of nature.
Soft footsteps echoed through the ornate, crystal-adorned hallways of Shattrath City's Seat of the Naaru district as the Draenei priestess-in-training, Yrel, made her way along their softly lit lengths. Each pair of guards, clad in ceremonial alabaster Crystal-forged plate armor, came to attention as she passed, favored with a slight nod in return as she swept past.
Though Yrel was young and un-trained, she was considered both immensely beautiful and devastatingly skill in her ability to wield the Light, with which she had a connection that was far stronger than most that were not centuries older than she.
Opening the door to the large gilded room that, to any other race, would be a throne room, she knelt beside a large, black circular device and typed in a series of commands to the small control panel on its base. Moments later, a red light at the top of the board changed to green with a soft ping, prompting her to get to her feet and step back as the air above the device shimmered before resolving itself into a somewhat static image of another Draenei, this one far wiser and older than she.
"It was just as you said. The Catalyst and his two female companions arrived some time yesterday. They made camp just outside the pass from Nagrand, and should arrive sometime tomorrow afternoon."
"Good, good. Everything is proceeding exactly as I had foreseen. Bring them to me, my dear, alive and unharmed. Everything hangs within the balance. No task is important as this."
"Of course, I understand. I will not fail you, I promise." Yrel inclined her head in a slight, but still respectful, bow.
"I know you won't, child. I know you won't." with that, the connection ended, leaving Yrel alone. A thoughtful look on her face, she turned and left the room the same way she had entered, considering the best way to carry out her instructions.
Harry and his companions strode along the stone paved road, keeping a watchful eye out for any of the multitudes of natural predators that called Draenor home, as well as any possible bandits. While nothing in the lore they had studied suggested banditry existed amongst the orc clans, and certainly not the draenei, before the Burning Legion corrupted the clans, it was far better to be safe then brutally dismembered. Or messily devoured. Or something else equally unpleasant and permanent.
The three women of the group were fairly concerned as they watched their leader and friend walk ahead of them. Harry appeared as though he was deep in thought, brow partially furrowed and head ducked imperceptibly, but he had given no indication of just what it was that had so deeply engrossed him. He hadn't spoken more than a few sentences to any of them since the night before, something they had discovered after they had an impromptu chat whilst the man himself had ducked off into the bushes for a moment that morning.
All three had come to the conclusion that Harry had lost a significant amount of his trusting nature of late, a nature that was already worryingly small after the events of his early life. Being abused, locked away in a cupboard, and more or less ignored the first decade of your life was not exactly the breeding ground of self-esteem and a trusting heart. This problem had, according to Luna, only grown worse when he reached Hogwarts and been summarily mistreated or ignored by the teachers. While, besides Snape, none had been outright cruel, (in fact many, Hagrid especially, had been downright kind!) they had ignored or dismissed his concerns time and time again when he tried to come to them for advice or to warn them of whatever was the most recent threat. Add that to the way the staff allwoed him to be bullied, abused, and harassed by both the staff and the students across the years (second and fourth years, most especially) and you had someone with little to no trust of authority figures.
Then you add in the various betrayals of varying degree and nature by the people who were supposed to be his 'friends', and you got someone who really didn't trust anyone at all. It was, they decided together, nothing personal. They simply had to prove to Harry that they cared for him and weren't going to betray him just because someone said so. Thus, the parts of their minds unoccupied with keeping an eye out for threats were busily considering various ways of proving their loyalty.
"You know, we three humans will probably need to come up with some new names or something of the like." Harry commented abruptly, and all three women blinked at him for a long moment in utter confusion at the rather sudden non sequitor.
"What do you mean, Harry?" Tonks asked, both curious and wary. While she loathed her first name with a passion, it was still something precious, something that her parents had decided to give to her. While it may embarrass her, what with the endless comments she had suffered at school for being a metamorph who had 'nymph' in her name, it was still the name that they had chosen for their only child out of thousands of possibilities.
"Well, once we reach Azeroth, we will be interacting with what would amount to High Middle Age humans." Harry explained. Receiving blank looks in return, he sighed a little and elaborated. "People received their names because of great feats or because of their profession. I, for example, would immediately be presumed nothing more than a lowly commoner, the son of a pot maker. Luna would likely be assumed as some sort of prostitute's child, if not a prostitute herself, while you would simply be regarded as utterly strange and foreign, Tonks."
"So what do you suggest we do then?" Luna hummed, though her eyes seemed to suggest that she already knew the answer.
"I'm...unsure. Tonks, do you have anything else you answer too? Any other name or nickname that would be easy for you to act naturally in response too?" he inquired of the Metamorph, and she hummed in thought before responding.
"When I was in school, my closest friends would call me Nym, instead of Tonks. It was really only when I joined the Auror Academy that I started going by Tonks." she was hesitant, but there was no distaste in her voice or expression, and Harry hummed in answer.
"Well if we want something other-worldly that will shorten into Nym, how about we delve into the legends of our homeland. How would you feel going by Nimue*?" he asked, and she stared at him for a moment before looking forwards again, worrying her bottom lip in thought.
"The Lady of the Lake. A powerful sorceress that enchanted Merlin himself and cast him into eternal sleep. She was also the ruler of Avalon." Alleria commented into the silence, having read the Arthurian legend during her time on Earth, one of many stories that she had devoured to better understand the world she lived in, and the new companion she had found there.
"Yes, Avalon. The Ever-Distant Utopia. The land of plenty and peace, where King Arthur was carried by the greatest ladies of the Fae to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Baden Hill, from whence he would return to aid England in its time of greatest peril. A place that is also said to be home of the 'Apple of Imortallity' from the Greek legends."
What of you, Harry?" Alleria asked after the man remained silent for a long moment, and he sighed, tilting his head back and enjoying the sun on his face for a few moments as he thought.
"There was another popular franchise on Earth, one that redefined entertainment as we knew it. Soon enough it's lore and characters reached the thousands, but there was one character who was always very highly regarded by most, if not all, fans. He was raised and trained to be a paladin of righteousness, but fought against his mentors when they refused to protect the innocents that they were sworn to protect. Thousands answered his call to arms, and soon he became the greatest general and warrior alive, and in so doing gained the strength to defeat the enemy that attacked his people. However, over the course of this great war, he found there was a far more ancient and powerful evil behind the scenes, controlling his enemy against their knowledge. He looked at the weakness and corruption that overran the government he served, and knew that they would never stand against this great evil he had uncovered."
"Well, I am seeign some parallels to our plans. The great evil would be the Old Gods and the Burning Legion, I assume, and Light knows that the governments off all the races have their fair share of corruption. Not to mention all of warring between the Alliance and Horde. What did this great general do?"
"He gathered his armies, those men and women that had fought beside him for so long, and her turned against his home. His fleets and armies now ravaged the very worlds he had once protected. He did this because he hoped that in fighting against him, his people would gain the strength and the wisdom to defeat the great evil, or in losing to him, be replaced by those capable of doing the same."
"And is that what you plan, Harry? Make yourself out as the evil warlord bent on conquest to make Azeroth unite agaisnt you, and the Burning Legion?" Alleria asked softly, suddenly worried about his motivations and plans.
"Only if there is no other choice, Alleria. Instead, I would prefer to show them an example to follow, a unified cause that transcends the petty differences and grudges they squabble over." He responded calmly, eyes meeting hers, and she felt herself relax at the honesty and goodness in them. "Anyway, I would take his name as my own. From now on, I shall be called Revan."
"revan..." Alleria hummed to herself, the group going silent as they walked before she spoke up again, half-forced cheer in her voice. "Well, I think that Luan is just fine the way she is. Luna is hardly a bad name in Azeroth, and I think it fits her bright personality and her connection to Elune!"
Despite the fact that several years had passed since she had last interacted with the diety, and gotten more details on the banishment of her people, she still said the Mother Moon's name with a fair amount of bitter disgust. Hardly unexpected, given that she had been taught from child-hood that Elune and their 'cousins', the Night Elves, had betrayed her people.
"It does, at that." Harry agreed, a faint smile on his lips as he watched his silver-eyed human friend skipping along the trail. The joy she seemed to feel every moment of every day baffled him, having spoken with her at length about the difficulties of her own childhood, and those of her years at school. How someone who had, like him, suffered much at the hands of Fate or cruel people, still be so cheerful and positive was truly beyond his comprehension. Catching a glimpse of a brightly gleaming building in the distance, he called ahead to Luna. "Luna, come back. We need to talk!"
"What is it Harryyyyyyy." The blonde almost whined as she skipped back to his side with a pount. "I was about to go find an interesting animal to pet!"
"I would suggest not doing so." A dry voice spoke from behind them, and the quartet whirled around to see a pair of gorgeous female draenei standing there, both carrying staves, though one had hers on her back whilst the other was leaning on hers and smirking at them.
"Hello ladies, how can we help you?" Harry asked calmly, hand clenched tighyl on the hilt of his weapon as he prepared to draw it. Alleria had already summoned her bow and quiver, while the two witches had their wands out.
"Oh, you can relax, Revan. Or, perhaps I should say Harry Potter?" the smirking one commented, smirk broadening as his eyes flashed to her and widened slightly in shock.
"Samaara, stop." The other chided gently, before looking at the world travelers. "There is no need to be concerned. We are here to escort you to Auchindoon, and from there take mounts to Shattrath City."
"Who are you, and how did you know who we are and that we were coming?" Harry asked, not relaxing a millimeter, and the thus far unnamed draenei inclined her head slightly as she responded.
"My apologies. My name is Yrel, a priestess of the Holy Light amongst the Draenei. This is my sister Samaara, of the same vocation. We were sent by our leader to escort you to your destination."The now-named Yrel explained, and Harry's eyes widened before he took a closer look at her. Now that he thought about it, she did look familiar. Most likely, the lack of war-mace and crystal-forged armor is what threw him off.
"While we thank you for your concern, surely there is no great threat that might endanger us ahead?" he asked, having not expected this occurrence and therefore utterly unprepared. He could, however, use the situation to get a feel for the current political and military atmosphere. "Trouble with the local Orc clans, perhaps?"
"Light, no. We've lived in peace, and dare I say tentative friendship, with the orcs of Draenor for centuries. No, our leader simply wishes for all haste to be made, and so we've been sent to ensure you know the swiftest path." Yrel shook her head with a smile, before meeting his eyes, knowledge glimmering behind them. "But I think you well know just why such hast is desired, Harry Potter."
"...very well, Yrel, Samaara. Lead on, if you would be so kind." Harry acquiesced with a nod, guessing that the powerful Prophet Velen had foreseen his coming and his purpose in this reality, and planned accordingly.
Three hours later, the group of dimension travelers found themselves staring about with awe at the sprawling, beautiful expanse that was the Draenei's home and capital on Draenor. Though their inter-dimensional spacecraft, the Tempest, was not within his sight, Harry knew that the massive naaru fortress was no more than singe portal away. He could only hope that the Draenei, and the Naaru, would be willing to help with his plans, because the magiteknological secrets hidden within that fortress could spell the final death-note of the Burning Legion.
In rapidly became apparent to the travelers, for all they were distracted by the magnificence all around them, that they were the subject of a vast amount of interest amongst the occupants of the city. Draenei of all genders, ages, and sizes were stopping to stare after them, murmuring to each-other in their own language with their oddly Russian-sounding accents. Even the relatively few orcs in the city, most likely travelers or merchants, were stopping to see the new, strange creatures that so engrossed their friends and business partners
"I realize that we are newcomers, of a thus far unknown race, but this still seems to be an inordinate amount of attention for three people." Harry commented to his companions, two of which agreed, while the two Draenei exchanged secretive smiles. 'What is it?"
"You'll find out when you meet our leader. Come, we are almost to the Seat of the Naaru. From there, we can teleport to The Temple of Karabor." Yrel answered with a twinkle in her eye that made Harry shiver slightly. Not from any malicious intent directed towards them, but rather and aura of utter mischievousness.
"Lok-tar, friend." A somewhat hunched-over orc, leaning on a large wooden staff and dressed casually but for the hooded cloak that hid his face from view, said to the draenei beside him, whom was clad in the armor of a High Paladin of the Guard. The draenei glanced at him with a faint smile, before directing his attention back to the odd group of five that were disappearing into the central hub of the city. Only after they had vanished from sight did the watching crowd return to their usual lives, and the Draenei gestured for the orc to follow him. Several minutes later, the pair found themselves inside the draenei's home.
"I didn't expect you to arrive so swiftly, My Lord." The draenei bowed low, voice quiet and submissive, and the orc sneered within his hood as he gestured for the other male to raise his head. Doing so, the draenei waited for the orc to respond. He did not need to wait long.
"As interesting as three strangers, of a race unknown to me, being led to a meeting with your esteemed leader is, I fail to see just why you have dared to summon me here." He growled, a threat clear in his voice, and the draenei gulped before speaking hastily.
"My Lord, as you know my position as a High Paladin of the Guard allows me to hear many things, things that could greatly aid the Great One's plans." He began, looking at the orc, and said male gestured irritably for him to get on with it. "What I know is that these are the strangers that were prophesized to come so many centuries ago, the very strangers that led to the naaru and our leader bringing our people here, to your world. Our leader plans to introduce them first to Ner'zhul, and enlist his aid in convincing the other clans."
"The ones said to defeat the Legion once and for all? Said to be lead by a man who can call forth gods, who can control Fate and Destiny as if it were nothing more than a child's toy? Meeting with Ner'zhul?!" the orc growled, highly interested now, but also growing increasingly angrier as the draenei nodded in confirmation. "Does anyone else know that you know this, or have reason to believe whom you truly serve?"
"Of course not, My Lord. I was as careful as always, and all believe me to be a loyal vindicator dedicated to the Light." The draenei sneered the word contemptuously as he gained a rather smug look. "None know that my true loyalty is to the Great One, Archimonde, and his Dark Master. Just as none know of your presence here, My Lord."
"Good, good." The orc mused, shuffling beneath his robe for a moment as he turned to leave. The draenei foolishly jerked to his feet, asking him to stop. Half-turning, he snarled at the blue-skinned extra-terrestrial. "What do you want, fool? I must commune with my Master!"
"You promised a great reward for helping you, My Lord." The draenei said greedily, already imagining the woman and the wealth that would come with being a high-ranking Eredar, a Prince of the Burning Legion.
"Hmm, so I did." The orc mused, before snapping his fingers twice. The draenei began to scream silently in horrified agony as crimson flames flashed into being all across his body, eating hungrily away at his flesh with unnatural lethargy. Chuckling to himself as he turned, the orc smirked beneath his hood as he opened the door. The slight breeze of the opening wooden panel shifted his hood enough to reveal the malevolent visage of Gul'dan, Lord of the Shadow Council and loyal servant to the Burning Legion. "Now, to lay a trap for my dear 'mentor' and his little guests..."
Dark chuckles filled the night as he teleported away, the unfortunate draenei's home burning behind him, taking all potential evidence of his treachery to an ashen grave.
And that is a wrap! I planned to introduce the leader of the draenei this chapter, but ended up changing it. The whole scene with Gul'dan and his spy kind of created itself to take the other scene's place, and I liked it enough to roll with it!
As a side-note, the human trio's new names will not be used as their primary identification until the next chapter, when they meet the orcs for the first time. Only a few select people will know their true identities, the members of the harem likely on such group. Not positive yet.
Make sure to review!
Until next time guys!
Chapter 5: Velen
Alright guys, welcome back to another chapter of The Mists of Avalon! You will note that, have you read the last chapter since I closed the poll up, the names and reasoning behind them has been changed based on that poll. For those of you who don’t know, the winning trio of names was Revan, Nimue, and Luna. This refers to Harry, Tonks, and Luna in turn, and will be the only way they are referred to for the rest of the story(s) involving World of Warcraft. Baring special circumstances that may or may not arise, of course.
I personally was pulling for Azrael, Nimue, and Luna for the names, but people REALLY wanted Revan, by nearly thirty votes as a matter of fact. For those of you unhappy with these new names, I apologize, but the people have spoken.
This chapter is predominantly set-up, so don’t be expecting much action.
The Mists of Avalon
The trio of humans and their High Elven companion murmured to one another in respect, and a fair amount of awe, as they took in the high, vaulted arches of the Palace of Light, center of government and learning in Shattrath City. It was from here that the naaru and their chosen representatives interacted with the people and their representatives, and it was from here that the Prophet Velen publically led his people.
Every surface gleamed, polished until they shone with a reverence and care that seemed to border on religion by the various draenei employed to do just that. Walls and floors of flawless alabaster stone were gilded by golden trimmings, and the flawless violet crystals that permeated every facet of Draenic life were spaced evenly along the walls and ceiling, the latter of which was further adorned by magnificent murals depicting legendary Draenic heroes, important moments in the history of the Draenei, and some of the more important prophecies foretold by Prophet Velen.
Dozens of Draenei wandered the halls, either going about their duties (whether that be guard duties, clerical duties, or the like) or simply visiting such an important building, providing a living, moving atmosphere that helped to keep the massive complex from feeling like a tomb.
“This is a beautiful city. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life.” Revan said after regaining the ability to speak. He had seen the pictures of course, and a few short seconds from various cinematics during secret moments at the local library, but not even Blizzard’s cinematic brilliance could possibly capture the utter magnificence around him.
“The works of your people are truly worthy of great praise, Yrel.” Alleria complimented genuinely, and the young draenei priestess preened with pride. She knew, from the private information the Prophet had entrusted her with, that Revan’s people had knowledge and works so far beyond her comprehension that, as the Prophet had put it “she wouldn’t even understand what she didn’t understand.” Similarly, the High Elves were an ancient race that specialized in aesthetically appealing architecture and landscaping, going so far as to use powerful magics to warp reality and ensure the entire woodlands around their capitol and villages were in eternal autumn, a feat of unfathomable power and complexity.
“I thank you for your kind words. I know that both of your peoples have accomplished amazing things. To receive such praise is encouraging and brings me great pride.” She decided to voice her thoughts, before turning to Revan. “I know little about the realm that you come from, Revan, but I have so many questions I would ask of you. Is it true that your people can travel amongst the sky and stars with nothing but machines?”
“Yes. Well, partially. We can only travel to our moon and back currently, and certainly not between dimensions like your people can.” Revan responded, blinking at the question. While he had expected questions, he had presumed that they would be more along the lines of asking what his intentions were in order to determine if he was a threat. Either Yrel’s curiosity had pushed such concerns aside, or (something her words and attitude seemed to bear out) Velen knew enough about himself and his companions to be aware that they were not only not threats to his people, but hopefully allies against The Legion and its mortal minions.
Speaking of which…
His eyes narrowed as he considered his first plan of action, Yrel now fielding questions from his female companions about her race’s technomagical feats. Gul’dan, as the protégé of Ner’zhul, would not doubt be present at the meeting he was hoping to arrange with Velen as his voucher. That meant he was a significant threat, something he already knew, but also a far more immediate one. He was very likely to attempt to poison his mentor’s mind and perception of Revan and, through Velen’s support, the Draenei. That would make Ner’zhul more vulnerable to Kil’jaeden without The Deciever having to resort to such facades as taking on the form of his wife and ancestors.
So how then to prevent this? He was sure Gul’dan would make a move, whether overt or covert, at the meeting. Perhaps he could try and arrange a situation where the treacherous orc would give himself away, indebting Ner’zhul to him? The word of Ner’zhul at his back would be an unmatchable boon to his plans, which was precisely why he wanted to arrange the meeting in the first place.
But how to do it? Gul’dan was nothing if not crafty, an expert in manipulation and seduction of the mind, twisting noble, Light-loyal beings into fanatical loyalists of The Legion, weaving his web of half-truths with such skill and foresight that his victims didn’t realize what they had become until the day came that they no longer cared. Such was how he brought about the corruption of the Orcs and Ner’zhul’s transformation into the Lich King. He had promised glory, wealth, and power. All of which the orcs had received. Yet, the unmentioned cost that was paid was such that none would have chosen it had they known.
From what he recalled, the orc clans were, while tribal and war-like, largely peaceful and shamanistic people. They preferred to spend their days sparring, meditating, and pursuing their trades and hobbies. Their war-like nature only came forth when called, when provoked by crimes against one’s clans and family.
Revan’s lips quirked as he recalled a bumper-sticker he had once seen on a Yank’s backpack in London. A bald eagle, superimposed over a waving American flag, with the caption ‘Do not mistake my act of kindness for a sign of weakness’. That, he decided, seemed to sum up the pre-Legion orcs rather nicely. Peaceful as the most pacifist monks you’d ever met…right up until you got them well and truly pissed. Then they would remove your body parts in a gruesome and no-doubt-painful series of events.
He was drawn from his thoughts by the group coming to a halt in front of a large pair of doors, far more ornate than any of the others that they had used or passed by during their journey. As if that wasn’t an obvious enough indication of how important the person beyond the doors was, the dozen paladins, members of Velen’s personal guard, that stood before and to the sides of the door would have.
“Halt!” the leader commanded, stepping forward with an upheld hand as his subordinates hefted their weapons and formed up behind him. “Stand fast and declare yourself!”
“Yrel and Samaara, Acolytes of the Light, bringing forth honored and expected guests at Lord Velen’s command. Allow us to pass, Captain.” Yrel instructed calmly and respectfully, standing tall and proud despite being less than half of the massive male’s size. Partially because of just who she was and her well-known ties to their leader, but also because she had a spine of steel, though few had the opportunity or cause to see the strength behind her small frame and gentle nature.
“Your…guests must leave behind their weapons if they wish to enter the Seat.” The captain grunted in response, and Yrel’s brow furrowed even as Samaara stepped forward.
“The Prophet said nothing of this. He understands that these travelers are wary and do not know our people well. He commanded that they may keep their weapons, so that they might feel more secure against betrayal.” The priestess rebuked, tone clipped and cold. The Captain was well aware of his instructions, yet was nonetheless attempting to disobey them. Whether this was from dutiful caution, or something else entirely, she was unsure. All the same, it could not be tolerated.
“As a High Captain of the Guard…” he started, but was cut off when Revan stepped forward, drawing his sword-staff from its place on his back. The guards tensed and raised their weapons, but he ignored them, twirling the blade about to offer the hilt to the Captain with a flourish. A gesture had his companions doing the same, though Alleria and Nimue seemed far more reluctant to do so. “What…?”
“As much discomfort as this may bring me, Captain, your loyalty and dedication to perform your duties and protect your leader are worthy of admiration.” Revan said evenly, ending the argument. “You are a great asset to your people.”
“Lord Revan…!” Yrel started to protest, but Revan shook his head and interrupted her.
“He is risking both position and prestige by disobeying orders, Yrel, to ensure the Prophet’s safety. I am willing to ease his mind.” The human’s tone suggested further argument over the matter would be unwise, before returning his attention to the Captain. “If you will allow us to pass, this meeting is of no small urgency.”
“Of course My Lord, I thank you for your understanding.” The Captain gave a respectful half-bow as his subordinates parted, carefully placing the visitors’ weapons on a special bench to await their owners’ return. Nodding to the guards, Revan swept through the doors and into the room beyond.
The room was large and ornate, even by the standards of what they had seen so far. It was two-tiered, with raised, bleacher-like rows of benches overlooking the main floor, no doubt where the more prominent members of Draenei society held court with the Prophet. At the end, on another raised dais, sat the Throne, upon which sat Velen.
The ancient being’s appearance reminded Revan, Luna, and Nimue uncomfortably of Dumbledore, dressed in ornate scarlet and gold robes, with a long, flowing white beard stretching all the way down to mid-thigh. Revan’s eye twitched as he was bizarrely forced to quell a bark of laughter, as he noticed that the pictures he had seen of the Prophet were indeed accurate. His eyebrows were so long that they had merged with his beard!
Floating in a roughh semi-circle behind Velen were a half-dozen naaru, and Revan’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he felt the auras of pure energy emanating from the entire group. They had so much magical power it was visible, warping the light around them. The descriptions had not done them justice, he thought to himself somewhat distantly as Yrel and her sister led the group forward.
“Yrel, my child, I see that you have brought honored, and expected, guests.” Velen said after a long moments, placing a slight emphasis on the word. His pale, luminescent eyes narrowed slightly as he looked the group over. “I see that Lord Revan decided to surrender his weapons this time. Your generosity is appreciated, although the Captain’s disobedience is not, however much his heart might be in the right place.”
“It was of no consequence, Lord Prophet.” Revan demurred with a bow, his companions mimicking him after a brief hesitation. “I understand and admire his zeal in carrying out his duties. We are of a people unknown to him, and with your fallen brethren hunting you across the galaxies, he is wise to be cautious with your safety.”
“Perhaps.” Was all that came as an immediate reply. After nearly a minute of silently regarding the group in front of him, Velen gestured to the naaru with him and spoke once more. “These are the naaru presently within the city. M’uru, O’ros, A’dal, K’ure, K’ara, and D’ore.”
“I am honored to meet you all, Paragons of the Light.” Revan gave the six energy beings another, deeper bow, before directing his attention back towards Velen. “From what Yrel has said, I can only assume that you know precisely who we are, where we are from, and what it is we wish to accomplish.”
“I know that you were Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood, and Nymphadora Tonks of Earth, and Alleria Windrunner of Azeroth. I know you wish to stop the Burning Legion once and for all, a goal most worthy of my assistance. But, my young friend, I do not think you yet know whom you are.” Velen said serenely, and Revan blinked at him.
“I am Revan…” her started, but Velen interrupted him.
“You have claimed new names, but names alone do not define you. Names alone do not make a person. Names alone will not defeat the Legion. So I ask you, who are you?”
The silence that filled the throne room was deafening. Yrel and Samaara had looks of utter confusion on their faces, while Alleria and Nimue were clearly trying to puzzle out the ancient leader’s meaning. Luna, for her part, was simply rocking back and forth slightly and humming a nameless tune. Revan, meanwhile, was all but gaping at Velen, his mind racing as he tried to figure out what to say. This hadn’t been what he expected when he had begun planning to meet Velen, and he had no idea how to respond.
Perhaps that was the answer. He had been Harry Potter for so long, all he knew is he desperately wanted to be something else. Something other than “The Boy-Who-Lived”, a child famous for not dying alongside his parents. Someone other than the foil with which to defeat a Dark Lord and his minions that, should they only have the courage, the people could have eradicated with ease at any moment. But, now that he was in a new world, with companions who cared little for his past self, who was he? A wanna-be hero? A manipulating bastard? A masterful general?
“I do not know. All that I know is that I wish to spare Draenor and Azeroth the suffering that lies before them. To use my knowledge of the future to change its events. Perhaps that makes me a manipulator of the worst kind, the sort of man I so desperately loathed back home. Perhaps I do it only for the glory or to prove my power. Perhaps…I am not nearly as good a person as I let myself believe.” He said finally, to the shocked disbelief of his companions, who stared at him as though he had spoken another language. None of them had expected an answer of that kind, but Velen gave a satisfied hum and leaned back in his throne.
“Wise words. So, Revan, soldier of the Light, speak to me of your plans.” He gestured for the travelers to approach his dais. “Tell me how we shall preserve the lives and freedoms of millions.”
“You are sure of this, Gul’dan? The prophesized Warrior of the Light has arrived and speaks with Velen even now?” The dark and powerful presence of Kil’jaeden, Hunter of the Draenei and Deciever of Souls, surrounded Gul’dan and his nascent Shadow Council. After slipping out of Shattrath, the aged orc warlock had hastened to the dark mountain cave that he had secretly and carefully crafted into a well-supplied hideout, from which he had begun to gather followers for The Dark One. Thus far, his Shadow Council included only the banished Ogre, Cho’gall, and a handful of other Orcs, only one of whom, Giselda, was really worth anything more than cannon fodder.
The Shadow Council was kneeling around the rim of the large, violet runic array that powered and formed the portal at its center, from which a vaguely Eredar-shaped shadow was billowing. It was from this shadow that Kil’jaeden’s presence and voice emanated, and Gul’dan lowered his head even further in subservience.
“Yes, my Master. Three members of a race I’ve never seen, and one from another that is strange to me. All four have great power, but the male leader is like a beacon, his aura is blinding and unharnessed. He must be the Warrior of Light, not even Velen has the same presence as he.” The Betrayer confirmed, and Kil’jaeden growled darkly at the name of his former best-friend, brother in all but blood, and his aura pulsed in response.
“I am sending you a dozen Eredar of middling power. They will disguise themselves as draenei,” he all but spat the word, voice dripping with contempt. “And attack this meeting between the draenei, strangers, and Ner’zhul that The Coward wishes to instigate. This will drive a wedge between the orcs and draenei, allowing us to turn the orcs to the Legion as planned.”
“Yes, My Master.” Gul’dan acknowledged, and Kil’jaeden’s presence faded away. Moments later, a dozen Eredar filed through the portal, all armed with Draenic weapons and bearing an illusion to turn their crimson, fel-corrupted skin to its previous array of blues. As the Shadow Council rose to their feet, the portal dissipating, Gul’dan looked the group over. “You will have little to no support on the draenei side of things. The only spy I had within their ranks perished not hours ago. You must find a way to stay out of trouble and notice until I inform you where the meeting is. Failure will be…regrettable.”
“Mind your tongue, orc. You are nothing before we Eredar.” The leader sneered, and Gul’dan gazed at him for a moment before lashing out with his staff, a powerful blow that sent the head smashing into his jaw and throwing him to the ground.
“Know your place, weakling. I am the direct subordinate of Kil’jaeden himself, given command over all operations on this world. None here may command me, least of all a disposable grunt like you. Begone from my presence, lest your compatriots find themselves performing this mission without you.” The warlock sneered in contempt, gesturing for his Shadow Council to follow him as he turned and headed for the mouth of the cave. “I will be in touch in time. Until then, do nothing to risk our goals.”
“I see. So you hope to gain audience with Ner’zhul, and through him gain the ear of the Chieftains of the Clans.” Velen steepled his hands before his face, a frown of thought spread across his visage. “I believe that this may work, but if Gul’dan is who and what you say he is, than such a meeting may endure conflict, perhaps not even occur if he can convince his mentor to reject our offer.”
“Gul’dan doesn’t know about us yet, he can’t.” Revan shook his head in disagreement. “Even if he was aware of something he will likely use the meeting as an attempt to gather more information. Gul’dan is nothing if not cautious. His greatest strength lies in his words and manipulations, not his magics.”
“I would be wary of making too many assumptions, young Revan. Your very existence in this timeline will begin to change everything that was once fact.” A’dal said, the song-like tones of his speech automatically translating for their understanding. “The Legion is cunning and has a long reach. T’would be best to assume that they knew of your arrival the moment you entered the city. All draenei know what your coming means, and some are loyal not to Velen, but Archimonde and Kil’jaeden.”
“How could all draenei know what my coming means? I’m afraid I don’t understand…” Revan said, confused, and Velen spoke up in reply.
“Long ago, when the naaru came to me and bestowed upon me the gift of foresight, the first vision that met my eyes was that of an Army of the Light, led by a Warrior of Light. A male human, with raven hair and eyes of jade, dressed in strange armor and wielding strange weapons and powerful magics. The Amry which he lead was made up of members of every race that has suffered under the legion, from orcs, to humans, to the elves. With this army, the Warrior of Light will eradicate the Legion once and for all, even casting down The Fallen Titan, Sargeras, and purifying his soul from existence.”
“I came to this world to escape prophecy. To create my own path! Not to find myself made the center of yet another that will have me saving entire dimensions!” Revan snarled, white-hot anger and, though he would never admit it, fear filling his veins. His fists clenched and the air around him began to spark and warp as his magic reacted to his emotions, roiling and lashing against his control as it raged to consume that which infuriated him so.
“Calm yourself, child.” Velen said commandingly, and Revan swelled visibly as his aura flared.
“I Am NoT A cHiLD!” he roared, his magic distorting the words, but Velen merely raised an unimpressed eyebrow.
“You are acting more childish in this moment than you likely have for the majority of your existence. You have experienced horrors and sorrows beyond the imagining of many, and never had the opportunity to be young and frivolous. That is precisely why you should have more control than this. Now, ENOUGH!” the last word boomed with power, and Revan’s aura dissipated like fog as Velen’s flared. Revan stood frozen on the spot, eyes wide in disbelief and awe as he stared into the Heart of the Sun itself. “Better. Now, I understand why you have little desire to have the weight of worlds upon your shoulders once more, but Fate rarely gives us the choice to our duties for Her wishes. I did not ask for the duty of having to turn away from my two closest friends, my brothers in all but blood, and spend countless millennia since trying to ensure the survival of my people. Yet, this is the task that I was given, just as your tasks have been given to you. You are a Marked Child of Fate, Revan. You will save yourself much agony and rage if you should come to accept and understand that now. See it not as a burden, but an opportunity, a duty entrusted to you and you alone.”
“And I suppose God can’t be bothered to tell Fate to bugger off, can He?” Revan sighed gustily, shaking his head a little morosely. Regathering himself, he shrugged it off and continued. “Fine, so everyone knows just who I am and why I am here. I’ll need to adjust my plans accordingly, but the first step remains the same. Can you arrange a meeting with Ner’zhul at some suitable location that will leave him at ease?”
“Of course, he has come to speak with me at the Temple of Karabor many times. It should be no trouble to arrange for him to do so again.” Velen agreed amiably, as if the previous argument and lecture had never occurred. “While I do that, my young friend, perhaps it would be best is Yrel and her sister showed you and your friends the wonders of our city?”
Recognizing the polite dismissal for what it was, the group of travelers and their escorts bowed lowly in respect before withdrawing from their chamber, reclaiming their weapons from the perfectly expressionless guards, and leaving the complex itself.
“I apologize for my behavior.” Revan said finally, as they headed towards the massive Grand Bazaar, a sprawling mass of stores and street vendors several city blocks in size. In truth, it was widely considered an entire section of the city all to itself, with tens of thousands at least moving through it at any given moment. “Losing my composure like that was both childish and idiotic. Not only did I put we four at risk, but I shamed you two,” he indicated Nimue, Luna, and Alleria along with himself first, and Yrel and Samaara second. “In front of someone you consider family.”
“You did. You acted like a petulant child who had found out that their favorite toy had been taken away and they were being sent to their room.” Samaara said with brutal bluntness, and Revan grimaced while the rest of the group either gaped or glared at the draenei for her words. Her features softened along with her voice as she continued. “However, it was not without good reason, nor were some of your comments without merit. Have faith, however, that though The Maker and Fate have an…interesting life in store for you, you are not alone.”
“Thank you for that, Samaara.” Revan dipped his head in thanks, a wry smirk on his face, which broadened before he gave a soft laugh. At the questioning gazes of his companions, he explained. “There’s a saying back on Earth, from the ancient history of a land called China. It was considered a curse of ill fate on whomever you were speaking to: ‘May you live in interesting times.’”
“A curse indeed…” Yrel mused thoughtfully, before the more dominant, cheerful part of her nature came to the fore again. “Regardless, it’s time to enjoy the city! Now, I would advise you to check with Samaara and myself before you buy anything. While Draenei merchants are generally of a decent sort, they are merchants, and given the opportunity to fleece some outsiders, they will take to it with enthusiasm.”
“Salesman seem to be the same in every realm.” Alleria chortled in amusement, adjusting her quiver strap slightly to a more comfortable position. She herself had been…unsettled by the meeting that had just occurred, but she was willing to have faith in Revan, regardless of how he had acted and what doubts he seemed to have. Silently, the millennia old huntress decided to give the young human her council, whether he was willing to take it or not. She had no doubt, for that matter, that the other two humans intended to do much the same. Revan would need their council in the future, and what better way to start than helping him come to terms with the knowledge that he had never truly had a choice in coming here?
The rest of the group joined in her laughter as they entered the fringes of the Grand Bazaar, unaware and, for the moment, uncaring of what troubles tomorrow might bring.
There you go! Remember to review, but note that reviews/PMs that flame or say “Ur story shit, plums betr, his only story for category” will be ignored or reported as their crudeness demands. That being said, I do think plums’ story is better than mine…
Chapter 6: The Board Is Set
So, yeah, it's been ages. Been focusing on my The 100 and Assassin's Creed crossover, mostly because I am waffling over how to proceed with this story. Hell, part of me wants to re-write it just because I jumped the gun so badly when I posted it, but I'm going to keep going and save those other ideas for a different Warcraft crossover. Or re-write this AFTER I finish it. Not sure which yet.
Been learning a lotta things that effect this story from playing Legion, not gonna lie. Don't wanna throw to many spoilers up here, but we now know how to keep The Legion off of Azeroth entirely, which is obviously something relevant to this story. Anyway, please look forward to how things develop.
I was originally going to have a massive segment of full-chapters focusing on Draenor, but I think what I am going to do is a series of short snippet-ish chapters that cover the major points. For example, instead of showing an entire campaign against the plant people of Gorgrond, I'll do an expositional-style overview. Frankly, twenty or so chapters of campaigning across Draenor is not the point of this story. Azeroth is.
The Mists of Avalon
The Board Is Set
######################################################### "Velen, I have not spoken with you in some time. What might the Shadowmoon clan do for the Draenei people?" Ner'zhul, Chieftain and Master Shaman of the Shadowmoon, asked the image of the ancient Prophet from where he sat on his throne-like seat at the center of his clan's village. Long ago, when the Draenei had first reached out to him, he had allowed them to install one of their "holographic projectors" in order to reach him more easily than the days a messenger would require to travel overland. "I hope that none of my people have been causing troubles within your settlements? I was quite clear that they were to adhere to your laws and customs..."
"No, no such issues have come to pass, my friend. Your people have behaved with the utmost respect and comportment. No, I wish to speak with you on another matter entirely. Do you remember the ancient enemy I spoke to you of, the one that led my brothers and their followers into evil?"
"I do indeed. You called him The Dark Titan, and said that you and your Draenei are the only members of your race that refused to serve his Darkness, and so you fled. Has something happened?" Ner'zhul sat up in his seat, no longer quite so relaxed. He knew how much of a risk the old magician had taken when he told Ner'zhul, and through him all the clans, of the danger that hunted his people. They very well could have decided to kill his people as a precaution, but his unshakable morality had compelled him to be upfront from the beginning. It was this honesty, this honorable action, that had convinced the orcs to stay their hands.
"Indeed, but to explain will involve something of a story, if you have no objections?" When Ner'zhul indicated that he did not, in fact, object to a longer-winded explanation, Velen folded his hands before him and began to speak solemnly.
"Many millennia ago, not long after I fled Argus with my people, I made a prophecy, one that we now call the Prophecy of the Warrior of Light. In this Prophecy, I beheld a male of a race neither of us had met, leading an army made up of orcs, draenei, and dozens more besides, against the vast and terrible darkness of The Burning Legion, with the shadow of the Dark One looming behind them. I foresaw that this Warrior would bring about the final destruction of the Legion, and cast down Sargeras himself.” He paused for a long moment to allow this information to sink into Ner’zhul’s consciousness, before continuing. “He has appeared at long last."
"You know I of all people give great respect to your powers of foresight, for they are indeed greater than any orc shaman's, even greater than my own, but are you sure that you are not...projecting your dream of peace and safety for your people onto this individual?" Ner'zhul asked carefully, neither wanting to offend nor be misunderstood, and Velen smiled slightly before shaking his head.
"No, for he knows things even I do not know. He thought you might be skeptical, and begs for the opportunity to meet with you. You see, soon enough Kil'jaeden, my fallen brother, will begin to appear to you disguised as the soul of your dearly departed wife. He will begin to try and convince you that it is my people who serve Sargeras, and that you must wipe us out in order to preserve your own safety. In doing so, you will sell your souls to the very Legion you were trying to escape." He explained, giving that a moment to sink in. As Ner'zhul's eyes widened, he continued somewhat hastily. "I understand this might be hard to believe, but..."
"I would scoff and call this Warrior a liar...if the very thing you speak of had not happened last night." Ner'zhul rose to his feet and began to pace in agitation, deeply disturbed, and Velen fell silent, his own eyes widening imperceptibly. "It is as you said. My wife did appear to me, or at least someone who looked like her did. They did tell me that your people were evil and a threat to all of Draenor. I didn't believe it of course, but they said they would show me proof of their claims when next they visited me."
"This is most disturbing. They are acting sooner than we expected. They must have gotten wind of the Warrior's appearance, but how..." Velen spoke, eyes narrowing as he considered it, before grimacing. "Ah, of course." At Ner'zhul's questioning look, he explained. "When the Warrior and his companions arrived, not an hour later there was a fire in Shattrath, a fire that consumed the life and home of a High-Paladin of the Guard. There was no discernible cause for the fire, and it went out the instant the building was reduced to ashes. I would be willing to wager that he was a spy for the Fallen, and was slain when he reported the Warrior's appearance. This makes my request of you all the more vital."
"And what might that be, my friend? I have no desire to see my people enslaved to so great an evil as what you have described to me, nor will I let the one who has stolen my beloved wife's appearance and in so doing desecrated her memory go unpunished." Ner'zhul frowned darkly, both appalled and angered by both the insult itself, and the gall of Kil'jaden for his attempted deception.
"I wish for you to meet with this man, Revan, and hear what he has to say. Through you, he hopes to create an alliance with all the clans of Draenor, so that when the Legion comes, they will find themselves facing a unified world. I will not have my people vulnerable, nor will I push away this chance to strike a massive blow to my people’s most ancient and personal of enemies. What of yours?”
“I will make no oaths and speak no promises, beyond saying that I am indeed interested in meeting this ‘Revan’,” he fumbled the strange word slightly, though his pronunciation was rather close and he moved forward gamely. “And hearing what he has to say. I will judge for myself the truth, or lack thereof, in his words. Far be it from me to reject him out of hand when he might speak truly of a threat to my people. Shall we meet in the Temple of Karabor in, say, three days? It is the closest thing we have to a neutral ground for our peoples. Six guards each, and any advisors we feel needed?”
“Perfectly reasonable to me, thank you, my friend. I think that you will not regret this in the days to come. Indeed, I believe that you will look back at this moment as the time your people began their ascent to glory and prosperity.” Velen said with a confidence far more boisterous then his normal calm, sage-like way, and Ner’zhul raised an eyebrow in response before exchanging pleasant farewells with his friend before Velen’s image faded away.
Seating himself upon his throne, the shaman considered what he had learned. If Velen was right, then a demonic betrayer and kin-slayer had adopted the image of his beloved wife in order to convince him to betray both oaths and personal friendships in order to kill thousands of innocents. That alone made him want to summon the clans to battle, a right that while not written, was none the less his thanks to the regard and respect with which his fellow Chieftains regarded him. However, young though he was, Ner’zhul was not one to act rashly or without proper planning, and he had no intention of avoiding one deceiver only to fall prey to another. No, he would attend this meeting with an open mind, but expectations or early judgments would be left behind. He owed his people that.
“GUL’DAN!” he bellowed, not feeling particularly inclined to enter the laboratory and research workshop his apprentice sequestered himself in whenever remotely possible. Not only did he often have experiments lying about that were dangerous to disturb, but the room and its strange scents and sensations disturbed him. A faint, answering shout from his apprentice answered him, and several minutes later a side-door to his throne room opened, admitting the hunch-backed figure of his apprentice and probable successor, Gul’dan. Staff tapping away and cloak whispering over the stones, the older orc inclined his head respectfully to his teacher and clan-leader before speaking in his soft, raspy way.
“Yes, Master Ner’zhul? What might I do to serve you and the Shadowmoon?”
“Velen has asked for a meeting, my friend. Apparently, the subject of one of his prophecies has appeared at the same time an ancient enemy has resurfaced. He wants me to meet this Warrior of Light and help convince the clans to unite against this ancient enemy of theirs. We will be meeting with them in Karabor in three days. You and six guards shall accompany me.”
“Of course, of course. I’m sure this meeting will be interesting and…enlightening to us all.” Gul’dan responded, bowing again, before shuffling out as Ner’zhul dismissed him. The moment the wizened warlock returned to the safety of his rooms, he cast his staff to the ground in a fit of rage. He had not expected Velen and the so-called Warrior to give Ner’zhul so many details, details that would put him on edge and have him leaning towards supporting this proposed alliance. He most certainly hadn’t expected for himself to be invited along, predicting instead that a clandestine meeting between Velen, the Warrior, and Ner’zhul would occur under the utmost secrecy with no one else present.
Still, he mused to himself as he sat down in his most comfortable seat before his rooms’ largest fireplace. It would be just as easy to be the wounded, horrified lone survivor of a treacherous Draenei ambush rather than the mournful apprentice who bemoaned that he hadn’t been there to protect his teacher. In fact, it was far better for his goals, the new circumstances would allow him to craft fanciful tales of horrifying treachery to hasten the clans uniting under his banner, and through him the Legion. Yes, this new change could in fact be of great use to him. Still, best to ask his Master for reinforcements and prepare a plan. Fortune favors the prepared, after all.
“It’s done. Ner’zhul has agreed to meet, and he is sure to bring his apprentice to such an important meeting. With Gul’dan in our grasp, it will be a simple task to expose his treachery and unite the clans against the Legion. With the strength of the clans and my people united, and the knowledge that you possess Revan, the beginning of the Legion’s end will be at hand. At long last.” Velen sounded so perfectly cheerful and upbeat when the group returned from the bazaar that both Yrel and Samaara stared at him in disbelief. While he was never a morose individual, his solemn wisdom and quiet patience were they had ever known. Seeing him acting so…well, normal was incredibly bizarre to the pair.
“Excellent. I have many things to show your people and the orcs, Velen. Things that with my knowledge, your technomagical abilities, and the orcs adaptability will see us victorious against the Legion on every front, though of course it will not be easy regardless of what concepts I will introduce to you.” Revan responded with a broad smile, pleased that things were beginning to work out. He had no illusions that the path to victory and peace would not be inundated by rivers of blood and tears, but in the end the tears would end and the only blood further shed would be a result of accidents, not war. At least, that was his hope.
"I look forward to it, but for now I think it best that all of you go train. Gul'dan is sure to make a play at the meeting, and it would be best to be prepared. Yrel, send in the Captain of my guard on your way out." The ancient prophet dismissed them again, and they made their way from his presence, pausing only a moment to pass his instruction along to the guards.
"Come, I'll show you to our training grounds." Yrel offered, and the foursome nodded in agreement before following her once more through the bright hallways of Shattrath, arriving soon enough to a large complex covered with protective wards and enchantments to ensure that there was no structural damage from stray attacks, and that no one was fatally injured due to a foolish mistake. Within, they found several smaller arenas surrounding a much larger one, in which a large battle seemed to be taking place between two differently attired groups of Draenei, one in silver trimmed black, the other in gold trimmed crimson. “Ah, it seems we are in time for the daily team-based melee, dedicated to streamlining teamwork, tactics, situational awareness, and the like.”
“Not bad…your people are very, very good. Not surprising, given how long you’ve been fighting the Legion. Still, I can tell you that the black team just over-extended themselves and left a gap for crimson to take advantage of. Logically, they’ll send the Vindicator with the two-handed mace straight into the gap with those two Protection Paladins covering his flanks. Black will try to collapse in on itself to add formation density, but those mages and shamans will keep them from getting organized.” Revan mused after several minutes of silent observation, half to himself and half to the group at large, and Alleria nodded in agreement, having recognized the same shift in the flow of battle that Revan had.
Sure enough, crimson’s three Paladins formed a wedge and blitzed right into the weakened flank of the black team, quite literally smashing aside the sole Protection Paladin that scrambled to stop them as they stormed towards the two healers, a priest and a shaman, at the rear echelon of their opponent’s formation. The rest of the team, an assortment of mages, shamans, hunters, and melee fighters, tried to intercept them. Instead, they found themselves under a barrage of ranged attacks from their contemporaries, including a pair of very well placed Earthquake spells from the shamans, severely disrupting their footing. In less than two minutes, the trio of paladins had taken the two healers out of the match and captured the black team’s “base”, securing their victory.
“Well predicted, Revan. I’m glad to see my instruction on military tactics did not go unheeded.” Alleria praised the young man, getting a small half-smile in return, while the other women eyed him appraisingly, surprised and impressed by his accurate deduction of how the battle would end. Clearly, he was more than a simple war-mage, knowledge of the future besides, of course. “And tell me, oh student of mine, how best could the black team have disrupted their opponent’s plans and either turned the tables, or at least made them pay dearly for their victory?”
“The shamans could have dropped Earthquakes in their path while the melee got into position to engage them. The ranged could attack crimson’s healers and ranged fighters, who would be more vulnerable lacking their protectors. Either they would manage to bring them down and be able to focus all of their attacks onto the three paladins, or the paladins would have had to break off the attack to protect their comrades. Either way, the pressure would have been off of black and allowed them to reorganize and, perhaps, press the advantage.” Revan said after a minute or two of silent contemplation, receiving a light applause from his friend and mentor.
“Correct again.” She gave him a pat on the back before looking over to where the archers of the Draenei were practicing with their large crossbows, sending bolt after bolt down the range to slam into the targets with significant force indeed. While she had never been fond of the miniaturized ballista, finding them both ungainly and far too slow to use, what with their long reload time, she had to admit that these Draenei seemed to be firing far more rapidly than any human or dwarf she had ever met. She restrained a smirk as she recalled more than one competition between her own rangers and the crossbowman assigned to her force by the Alliance. More than one man or dwarf had been baffled and embarrassed as her rangers struck not only faster and with greater accuracy, but with just as much power as their ungainly weapons. Few non-elves understood that a properly made longbow or recurve bow could strike as hard or harder than a crossbow could. Especially if they were enchanted to the fullest extent, like the Windrunner family relic, Thas'dora. A wicked thought crossed her mind, and she glanced sidelong at her student and friend once more, tone sly. "Tell me, oh raven-haired one, what say you to a friendly little match? You and I, no magic or special skills, simply steel against steel? My daggers against your blade-staff?"
"You mean an exhibition." He remarked dryly, and she opened her mouth with a challenging look in her eyes, prompting a raised hand and half-smile from him. "I didn't say no, Alleria. I accept your challenge, I've yet to best you in single combat. Today will be the day."
Alleria merely snorted and rolled her eyes, drawing her twin daggers and spinning them idly in her hands as she followed him onto the larger arena, the draenei that inhabited it and the other training sections clearing out and forming a crowd to observe with interest. Revan's own weapon twirled into his hands and he settled into a ready stance, expression closed as he eyed his opponent.
Then, they clashed. Alleria darted forward, blade flashing in a series of rapid strikes, half of which Revan twisted away from and half of which he was able to block, blade close to his body and moving in small, precise movements, only exerting what movement and pressure he needed for each blow. The minute he over-compensated a block was the minute that hastened his defeat. Despite his bold words, he wasn't delusional enough to think he could beat a millennia old elven combat expert, especially not when she had weapons and techniques that typically countered his own directly. What he could, do however, was make a good display of his own capabilities and at least make her work for her victory. The point was to show the Draenei present that they were capable, and win or lose that was something he could certainly do. A lucky counter-block had one of Alleria's daggers skittering across the ground, and a spinning back-kick from the elf had Revan reeling back with a hacking cough as her booted planted itself into the center of his chest. She darted forward, locking their blades together and twisting, disarming them both and turning the duel into hand-to-hand combat. Fist and foot lashed back and forth as the combatants pitted themselves against one another in a ballet of battle, each landing solid hits one the other, before Alleria finally was able to defeat the young male. A moment of incredible agility that few of the watchers truly caught the details of, Alleria was straddling Revan's back and pinning his hands up between his shoulder-blades. A muffled admittance of lose came from the downed human, and Alleria swung off of him with a smirk before helping him to his feet to the light applause of the observers.
"Better, but you still have work to do against opponents with twin, short-bladed weapons. You were conservative, that's good, but taken to excess you lose all hope of controlling the engagement. Aggression and Conservatism must go hand in hand with a weapon like yours, or a loss is inevitable. Dominate your opponent, force them to do combat on your terms. That which applies to the command of armies applies to a single combat, remember that." She advised him sternly before smiling and clapping him on the shoulder. "Now, go fetch our blades, since you went and dropped them."
Revan obeyed, though not without good natured grumbling about just whom had sent two-thirds of the blades flying across the arena. Re-sheathing his own across his back, he handed Alleria her two weapons hilt-first, which she accepted with a nod before turning to regard their small group, though when she spoke she was obviously addressing the room at large.
"This applies to all of you as well. Hesitate for even a moment, relinquish the initiative, and the demons of The Legion will tear to you pieces. They are stronger, faster, and more maliciously cunning than any but the most elite of mortals could hope to be. Only by controlling the battle, through strategy and teamwork, and through stubborn perseverance will you be able to achieve victory. Remember that as well." She instructed them just as firmly and solemnly, the weight of experience haunting her voice, and the Draenei and humans present nodded instinctively, recognizing it for what it was. Few of those present had faced The Legion, but those that had couldn't help but agree with the elf's words. Several Draenei came over to learn more of this new group, and from there things evolved into an in-depth discussion on strategy, tactics, and combat skill that lasted well into the night.
"What do you mean, you need further forces? Were not the Eredar I sent you sufficient?" Kil'jaeden's voice was filled with danger, and Gul'dan quailed under it's weight, debasing himself as much as he could in an effort to appease his Master's displeasure before he was vaporized.
"Of course, Master, your wisdom is unassailable, but I had not anticipated how much information has been shared, both between Draenei and the Warrior, as well as from them to Ner'zhul. I must allow for the possibility that they will have more power than the Eredar you sent me to fail in a clean sweep of the group whilst keeping me alive. If I should fall, ever so humbly in your magnificent service, then your plans for the foolish and weak inhabitants of this world will be delayed." He simpered, hating to sound so sycophantic, but his Master was prone to fits of temper and he rather valued his existence, such as it was.
"If you perished it would be because you are weak and unworthy of the power and position you so desire." The Deceiver sneered in response, before adopting a more thoughtful look and tone. "Still, your words are not entirely without some merit. This Warrior of Light will be no weakling, of that we can be sure, and Velen is no weakling either, despite his cowardice. Very well, I will send others when the time is right. Ensure that a portal is opened during the attack and they will be there."
"As you will it, so shall it be done." Gul'dan responded, his Master's presence fading once more. Rising from his subservient posture, the wizened warlock left the ritual circle and made for his official residence, mind contemplating the best way to achieve his objectives with the maximum results. It would not be as easy as he had hoped, but with reinforcements from his Master, the dozen or so guards that would be attending the meeting would be overwhelmed, the leaders of the Draenei and Shadowmoon slain. War would follow, and in the midst of this war would the full might of The Legion arriving, taking control of this world and all its inhabitants. He would be elevated to The Deceiver's right hand, his power unending, and all who mocked him would die by his whims.
Much later that night found Alleria and Revan in the magnificent lodgings that had been provided to them by Velen within the Palace, seated together in front of a fireplace within which a warm, bright fire crackled merrily away. After their impromptu combat lecture/discussion at the training grounds, the group had been shown to their quarters, where Luna and Tonks had promptly opted for sleep, more tired from the day's events then their two more hardened companions. Said companions had elected to pour over the extensive lore and information they had brought from Earth, memorizing the names of those who would either join the Legion or already had. The former would either have to die or be turned away from their paths, while the latter needed to be eliminated as soon as possible in order to prevent them from doing any damage to their people.
"Revan, tell me more of how we're going to save Azeroth. Our plans for Draenor are simple enough, with the likes of Velen on our side, but Azeroth will not easily be swayed. Everything before me says that the Alliance and Horde will never stop warring with one another, no matter what outside danger they are within the path of." Alleria asked finally, eyes remaining on a page discussing the rise of the Defias Brotherhood. A situation that would be easy to prevent or at least gain control over, by providing a home and living for the betrayed Stonemason's Guild, the other craftsman, and their families.
"The main reason the Alliance and Horde fight is because they are unable to move past old grudges, and little else beyond that. It is quite likely I will have to unify Azeroth under a single banner if there is ever to be peace amongst the native races, never mind truly defeat The Legion. To that end, our best place to make our entrance will be in Gilneas. They're small and isolated, a sufficient show of force will persuade them to join the fold, as well as providing an incredibly well defended and hidden location to acclimate our troops and figure out the situation when we arrive. Once we know that, we can figure out what our next task will be, though it will doubtless involve stopping Arthas and saving Silvermoon to some degree." He responded, looking over the information on the arch-traitor Dar'khan, the man who had/would engineer The Fall of Silvermoon and the slaughter of 90% of the Quel'dorei. He was at the very top of their 'to kill' list for Azeroth, and Alleria hoped she got the opportunity to end him personally.
"So you mean to intimidate Gilneas into joining you?" Alleria asked slowly, somewhat uncomfortable with the idea, and Revan shrugged with a sigh.
"Gilneas only emerged from behind their Wall because they were afflicted with the Worgen curse and then invaded by the Forsaken shortly thereafter. Their isolationist policies will be nothing but a hindrance and a ticking time bomb if those events are prevented. Besides which, if we are unable to stop Deathwing's awakening, we will need them sufficiently loyal or compliant to leave Gilneas and move to safer ground. Half of their country is destroyed by the Cataclysm, tens of thousands died. With them under our sway, we can prevent those casualties." He looked her in the eye, and Alleria almost gasped at the pained resolve she saw there. "If I must become enemy to the entire world in order to get them to unify at last, I will do so. If I must crush their dynasties to dust and bind them to my will in order to ensure their survival, I will. If they cannot bring themselves to move past their issues, then I will force them to move past those issues, regardless of how distasteful I find myself and my actions. Azeroth is the only hope of defeating Sargeras and the Legion for good, it cannot be allowed to fall. No matter what."
"The burden does not rest entirely upon you..." Alleria started, but Revan got to his feet with a huff of bitter laughter, running a hand through his hair and pacing slightly, the eldest Windrunner looking on in deep concern.
"Does it not? I, and I alone, was prophesized to destroy Voldemort, and in the end it was I who destroyed him, even if indirectly, with Ramuh's power. According to Velen, it is I who am meant to save the entire multiverse from the depredations of the Burning Legion, whether I like it or not. I am meant to create and lead The Army of Light, and should I fail the Burning Legion will destroy this plane of existence and move on to another, condemning the worlds of entire realities to follow this one into the fire. So tell me, my dearest friend, how is this burden not mine to bear?" he asked her, voice harsh not with anger at her, but with fear and doubt, and she hesitated for only a moment before rising and embracing him from behind, holding him tightly and resting her chin upon his shoulder.
"No King or General is without advisors, without family or friends who support them. Yes, the burden of command and leadership rests squarely upon your shoulders, but as you bear that weight we can bear your own. As you carry that responsibility, so can we carry you. Have faith in yourself and in us, and everything will turn out well enough. You are not a god, Revan, so do not punish yourself for being unable to act as one." She told him softly, gently, warmly, and he sighed gustily within her embrace, hand coming up to brush her arms lightly, fondly.
"You're a damn good person, Alleria, and a better friend than anyone could ever ask for. I just hope that you're right, that others can and will stay with me and support me, because I am afraid that when push comes to shove I will find myself standing alone." He responded before moving out of her hold and trudging off to his room, a deeply concerned Ranger-Captain looking after him.
"He is not handling everything all that well, is he? Despite the strength and unwavering determination he shows to all before him, his heart falters at the task before him. His soul is tired, Alleria Windrunner. So very, very tired." Luna's body walked into the room, but it was clear that it was Elune who was present. Alleria stiffened instinctually, frowning unhappily at her presence, but remained silent until the body-sharing blonde was next to her, and even then her voice was hushed.
"Why have you truly done this to him, Elune? Why send me to him, of all people? Why disrupt his life so severely and make him a tool for your own ends?" Her tone was clipped but cordial. As much as she despised the goddess and the kaldorei for their betrayal over her people (and, from what she had read, the ultimate hypocrisy of inviting the Highborne back into the fold when it server their own purposes), Luna was a friend and she had no interest in alienating her and putting a wedge between them.
"My own ends? Do you truly think me so shallow? No, do not answer, I know that you are fond of neither myself nor your distant cousins." Elune sighed a little sadly, gazing into the heart of the fire before them yet seeing far beyond it. "Tyrande did what she thought was best at the time, based on what had occurred and the counsel I gave her. Knowing what we do now, thanks to Revan's world, I can say that I would not have advised her the same had I known it all then. But we, I, did not know, and so your people were banished, abandoned to their deaths in a hostile world. But you persevered, mastered the arcane in ways that even the Highborne would have been jealous. Locking Eversong Woods in eternal summer? Power and skill unprecedented."
"We had to make ourselves and our new home as easy to inhabit as possible." Alleria responded shortly. "Defending ourselves from the troll empires was hard enough without having to contend with blizzards and the other hardships of winter."
"Yes, and you flourished thanks to it. Your people are strong, Alleria, strong and knowledgable. With Gilneas and Quel'thalas at his back, Revan will be able to secure all of the northern Eastern Kingdoms against threats from Northrend or any other threats. The other world leaders will be forced to take him seriously, to head his words, simply because of the power he will represent."
"And what are you telling Tyrande about us? Are you telling her to manipulate her way into our plans? To influence events in favour of the kaldorei and the Alliance?"
"Tyrande knows only that a young human with the fate to save the world will arrive in time, and what he looks like. She knows little else beyond that, for what could she be told that would affect events in a beneficial way?"
"...you never answered my question from before."
"Revan is here for the same reasons I proclaimed before. He will save lives uncountable through his deeds and bring about a true, permanent end to the Burning Legion. Through his protection and nurturing, Azeroth will fully awaken and take her place at the head of a new Titan Pantheon. Sargeras will be laid low, the Legion imprisoned for eternity, and the Void Gods forced from this plane of existence for good. That is why I have brought him here and forced such a great burden onto his shoulders. I sent you to him because you will be the one to guide him, you and the other women he gathers to his side. You will all act as his conscious, his moral compasses, his anchor in a deep and troubled sea. You will be the gentle hand that guides his blade into its sheathe when the fighting is done, you will be the one to keep him from being consumed by darkness in his struggle for the light, as Arthas, Illidan, and countless others were. That is your burden, Alleria Windrunner, and the burden of many others."
The ethereal glow faded away, and Alleria caught a lightly snoring Luna as she buckled, sweeping her into her arms and carrying her into the girls' room before gently laying her into bed. Stripping to her underwear and slipping into her own bed, Alleria tried to calm her confused, racing mind in an effort to gain some rest.
It would be sometime before she was finally successful.
That's a wrap for this chapter. Going to be keeping an eye how things develop with Legion, but I should be okay to handle all the Draenor stuff. Next chapter will be another full length one, probably a couple after that as well. Next one will be the meeting and Gul'dan's attack.