Yes, look! Chapter 66! I must be giving people orgasms by updating within a week of each other!
And no, I still haven't gone to the doctor. But I think I gave Leigh the flu. That's what she gets for hanging around me, bwahahahaha!
So... yeah... on with the story...
Therius & Velocity The Itch's Property
Harry Potter JK Rowling's Property
Chapter 66 - Therius
The pair continued to ponder in silence as they began the long trek towards Hogwarts. It would have been much simpler to take the Knight Bus, or any other form of magical transportation, but they needed the time to come up with a way of presenting the facts to Harry and Weapon that would NOT get them killed. Not only did they have to explain to him that the method of going about the Balance would result in more casualties than anyone really wanted too, but the try and draw out who's idea the Balance had been in the first place.
Remus has a sinking feeling that it was Wolfos. The man who had once been his instructor had been a master manipulator, managing more than once to convince a student that one of his ideas had been his own. Even after death Daemon Wolfos appeared had have kept his final student under his sway-- something that disturbed both Lupin and Granger, although for different reasons.
For Lupin, it was fear for the boy he considered to be somewhat of an adopted son. For Granger it was the fact that she hadn't been able to sense this despite the bond that she shared with Harry.
But for the time being, such thoughts were to be diverted, and the wealth of knowledge that was Therius had been persuaded to speak to them of what the Balance had been like-- both times he had lived through it.
"I was born into a time of Balance," Therius had begun, voice soft but carrying a ring of authority to it, "It was the Balance as it was supposed to be-- all creatures at peace with one another, although there were petty squabbles, they were frequently solved before it came down to blows. The king and queen of that era were kind and just-- caring for all that lived under their reign. But their son was not quite as pleasant as they were, and began to spread rumors and lies. Soon enough man went against myth, and they battled until man was driven into hiding. This was the era into which the Seelie and UnSeelie ruled the lands. I was still young when all this occurred, barely two hundred."
I'm four hundred, Velocity piped in cheerfully, I'm older than you were!
"Velocity..." the warning in Therius' voice was sharp, and the younger faerie shut up, "As I was saying, I was young. I didn't know very much about the world, or about the way it worked. I trained myself in the way that I had been trained during the Balance, only to find that my powers and ability out did anything the new regime could produce.
"As it turned out, I had tapped into the Power that the Living Weapons use. We didn't call it the Power, however. It was the Ocean of Life, the All-Giver, to us-- and I was her avatar. I was both loved and hated-- loved by the nobility for they controlled my actions, and hated by the poor for I damned them to eternal suffering," he looked pained, staring off into space, "For nearly a thousand years we lived like that, until another rose up with the All-Giver's favor. This time, however, it was a drow-child, born of peasants. She rose up against us, against the kingdom that had been built on the backs of the oppressed-- she was angry, and touched a dark part of the All-Giver that I had never seen before."
"There is... more than one part of the Power?" Hermione blinked in surprise, turning to look at the tiny man who perched on Remus' shoulder.
"There is," Therius nodded, allowing that to sink in for a moment, "There are five parts that I know of-- Light, Dark, Earth, Water and Spirit."
"What about fire and wind?"
"Fire falls under the control of the Dark and wind under the control of the Light," Therius shrugged, "I never did find out why. But, I digress. You wanted to hear about the Balance. When Vorpal-- that was the name the drow-child took when she became avatar-- rose up, she was using Dark and Spirit almost exclusively, where as I was versed in the control of Water and Earth. She beat me, a most unpleasant shock, I assure you. But... she refrained from killing me. Vorpal was insistent that I learn her way of doing things, and given the traditions of the time, I had no choice. See, at that time, if one were to be beaten in combat, the victor could do whatever they wanted with them-- be it death, life, or eternal servitude. Vorpal decided on servitude and stripped my names and titles from me.
"It was unbearable for the first few years, being at her beck and call, unable to do anything, due to the chains the All-Giver had used to bind us together at Vorpal's command. I was her toy, her pet, her slave, her servant, and eventually her general. I stood at her side the day she toppled my former kingdom, the day she proclaimed all to be free. That was the day she decided to return the Balance."
"So, this was a good thing, right?" wondered the younger Gryffindor, considering the warmth that had been in Therius' voice when he discussed the first Balance he had lived in.
"No," the faerie shook his head, "No, it was not. You see, Vorpal had decided to revive the Balance, but her own soul wasn't in balance, and I was not strong enough to balance her out-- over the years I had become swathed in her way of using the All-Giver's gift, unable to reach out to even touch what would make the Balance true. Vorpal attempted to reign in the Balance, and control it-- she went so far as to bring Man back into a world of myth. But the humans were treated as cruelly as she had been as a child, because Vorpal was too steeped in her Darkness, that her Spirit was fading away.
"I was lucky enough to be on errand on the other side of the planet when Man rose up and toppled the broken Balance, seeing it for what it was. I felt Vorpal's death in that the chains I had forgotten I wore had fallen away. It sent me into a form of shock-- by the time I recovered, Titania and Oberon had taken control of their kingdoms again, and ruled as they had before. But now man was there, and they were eventually driven out.
"After that, things moved quickly, and I find myself wandering the planet attempting to see what damage had been wrought by my former Mistress' insanity. It was... devastating. So much had been destroyed under her rule, until the old ways and ideas had become little more than myth or legend, that no one believed. I was forced to return to my homeland-- and that was when we were sealed away, Young Mistress," Therius tipped his head to the girl who had freed him, "My connection to the All-Giver faded away over those long years; the bond between it and I is very brittle, and with the current rocks splashing into the Ocean of Life, it is very hard to hold myself up. The All-Giver wants for me to use my powers again, but I swore never to use them after Vorpal's death. I do not wish to become a part of that destruction ever again."
Remus nodded in understanding, "This is why you came with us, isn't it? You want to make sure what happened with Vorpal will never return-- but Harry's following the same route, isn't he?"
"He is," Therius nodded, "I have only felt one or two pricks on the Light and Water parts of the 'Power'-- Dark, Earth and Spirit are being used quite frequently, but without the other two, there is no balance, and without that balance... then the Balance will never be fully realized."
"But without someone who knows how to control Water and Light, no one else can be taught," Hermione concluded, "Hardly a good thing."
"Indeed," Therius sighed, "As it is, I can teach something of Water to students willing to listen, but I have been cut off for so long that I can barely remember that, let alone a part of the 'Power' that I have never used before."
"That doesn't sound very good."
"Personally, I think it sounds like treason, Enchantress."
Whirling, Hermione, Remus and the Faeries found themselves confronted by the white-wearing Draco Malfoy and black-wearing Blaise Zabini. It had been Bladewhip who had spoken, his eyes hard and cold, "And to think," he spat, "that Harry and Weapon let you into their mind. Well. I'll correct that soon enough."
"Draco!" Granger glared daggers at him, "I am not committing treason-- who is there to commit treason to? Harry doesn't rule us, he is our friend!"
"Harry is friend only to those that know how to do what they're supposed to," Draco snapped back, "And you... well, you sound like you're going to try and stop him from achieving his goals. Now... we can't have that, can we?"
"Draco, you're insane!"
"Part and parcel with the Power, Mudblood. You'd know that if you had any talent with it," the cruel, mocking laughter fell from his lips, and Hermione felt her blood boil.
Calm yourself, Therius' voice flickered into the back of her mind, he's baiting you.
I know that, she shot back, but it still hurts that someone who was my dearest friend's enemy is now his closest confident!
"I don't need talent in the Power," Hermione spoke aloud, eyes dark, "I have my magic."
"Magic is nothing compared to the Power," Draco laughed, "Here, let me show you!" a ball of plasma was whipped at the young woman, and she barely managed to dodge out of the way. Soon enough all she could do was dodge, Velocity clinging desperately to her hair so as not to get knocked off. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Remus duking it out with Blaise, but a burning sensation across her arm brought her back to her own situation.
Draco was toying with her, and they both knew it.
He mind raced to find a solution, but the only thing she could think of was negating Draco's abilities-- but she didn't have any access to the Light or the Water, which would be what she needed to douse the Dark-inspired plasma balls he was whipping at her. Against her hip, her athame seemed to burn, and it was beginning to hurt, but she needed all her concentration to survive Malfoy's attack, and couldn't do anything about it.
Velocity! Therius' mental voice rang loudly through the younger faerie's mind, You're here for a reason, otherwise you wouldn't have made it across. Now do your destined task!
My what? Velocity wondered, but Therius didn't respond, to busy was he trying to help Remus stay alive. The young Faerie clung to Hermione's head, yelping suddenly as a shot nearly took him out of the game for good. Destined task? What was it, to get killed?
No... no, there was... something...
The Athame! He could feel it, too, despite being on top of her head, and for a moment he wondered what to do. Then, without thought he let go of his death grip on her hair-- just as she twisted out of the way of an attack, allowing him to land on the blade itself. He didn't believe in coincident, as he felt the blade grow hotter as he touched it.
Please, please, please, he begged to whatever higher power was out there, don't let this be the end.
Then he let his body go, a shimmering ball of turquoise guttering out as there was nothing left to sustain it.
October 2, 2007: You'll note that Chapter 67 has been deleted. There are reasons for this. Feel free to guess why.