Story Title: Fianna de Sí
Story Title English: roughly translates as: "Warriors of the Fae"
Challenge: "The Fairy Queen's Personal Army" (aka "Champions of Lilith")
Rating: M – just to be safe. There is the possibility of allusions to sexual acts. Though primarily this story will be Limes at the absolute most. I will not be going into the realm of outright Lemons in this story. That said, the rating is more for the violence executed by the trio than anything else.
Pairings: Harry/Hermione/Luna (aka Lunar Harmony)
Key: "Speech", 'Thoughts', "Speech laden with magic", §Parseltongue§
Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling and various publishing houses. The Films are owned by Warner Brother's Studios. The Champions of Lilith Challenge is owned by Paladeus. I do not in writing this claim ownership over any properties associated with the works of these individuals. I am merely playing in their backyard while I get these ideas out of my head.
Authors Notes: Chapter 1 of this story is a modification of the first bit of Paladeus' own first chapter to this challenge as found in his collection of one shots and plot bunnies "Into a Rabbit Hole". It is used with his permission. This story also retains the reference to Perfect Lionheart's "Partially Kissed Hero" that was found in the original.
xXx Once Upon a Christmas Dreary xXx
Hermione stretched back her neck as she cuddled against Harry, her lover of the past eight years as they read one of his family's books on power enhancement rituals. It had been a book that they had found underneath of Potter Manor, hidden in a large sealed chamber filled with antiques and ancient tomes far beyond what she had ever seen even within the vaunted library of Hogwarts prior to its fall.
"It's a shame you took our virginities a long time ago," she groused at Harry, pointing at the book with a sarcastic frown. "This one could have increased our power nearly ten times."
Harry nodded and squeezed the lovely brunette in a hug. "Yes, it's certainly one of the more powerful ones we've found. But I wouldn't have given it up for anything."
Hermione smiled up at him and they kissed deeply as she hummed. "Smooth, Potter. Talk like that may make you lucky tonight."
"Lucky?" A curious voice called out as its owner, a blonde woman with pale, blue-gray eyes fell into their laps with a smile as she sprawled out on top of them. "Who's getting lucky? Can I help?"
Harry laughed and kissed Luna while Hermione scoffed and pulled the book out from underneath the younger witch. "Oh, honestly! You know very well you're helping," Hermione huffed, placing the book over top of the lounging witch and smiled down at her. "Harry's been a very bad Wizard today, and is in serious need of punishment."
"Actually, we found more ritual books in the Vault and were just looking this one over," Harry said, using the adopted name for the hidden room they had found and stroking Luna's hair as she closed her eyes and listened.
"We?" Hermione asked with a raised eyebrow. "I specifically remember one of us fiddling with the enchanted rope and trying to climb it to the ceiling." Hermione eyed Harry as she felt Luna giggle underneath her arms. Both girls knew Harry had found that silly rope to be amusing. He had even conjured a wicker basket for it to rise out of so he could play the flute he had received many long years ago from Hagrid in an attempt to replicate an Arabian snake charmer.
"Well, Hermione may have been the one to find it," he amended, "but still."
"Who would have thought your family had so many books on rituals and power-boosting magics?" Luna asked rhetorically. "They had always been hailed as some of the most powerful of the light families. I suppose now we know why."
"That, and the fact that the Vault was like a hidden lair where some rather powerful magics and magical items were stored," Hermione agreed. "I still can't believe your family was a secret bunch of cat burglars." Hermione shook her head while Harry shrugged.
"Hey," he said, looking down his nose and making his eyes twinkle. "That cache of books and goodies goes back a couple dozen generations. It's kept us from going bonkers for the past couple years. I'm willing to hold a little family pride in exchange for that."
Luna giggled as she pulled out a small box she had shrunk. "I even found the precursor to today's animated children's toys. There was a whole chest filled with dozens of races and even more of each one and all of them were literally begging to be played with." She looked Harry deep into his green eyes, ensnaring him with her wiles. Granted, she could ask from the other room and get the same answer, but it had to be done in a more fun way.
"Will you play with me? I can be the evil dictator bent on world domination and you can be the Hero."
Hermione snorted and flipped her page. "You just want an excuse to drag out that huge, golden throne Harry found down there so you can have a reason to sit on it."
"Every Dark Lady needs her pretties," Luna replied primly, causing Harry to laugh.
"Sure! I'll play with you, Luna. It'll be like that game of Risk we stole from Oakham after it fell. Wanna play Hermione? You can be the spy in both our ranks," he asked with a cheeky grin.
Rolling her eyes, Hermione sniffed and turned the page of her new book resolutely. "I'm very much entertained here, thank you. You may enjoy reading about only a few interesting topics, but I enjoy reading much more."
Harry stood and watched in no small amount of terror as creatures that he had never seen before demolished his entire army after a calm and ominous order of, "Release the Snorkacks," came from Luna. As if apparating onto the expanded game board, the creatures that he learned had a penchant for remaining invisible appeared and began to decimate his army.
"Whu?" He spluttered as Luna calmly walked towards him with a 'liberated' scepter; that looked suspiciously like an original piece of the Crown Jewels when there had been a theft scare; that she had found in the Vault. "How did they use magic? I thought all we could do was give orders!"
"There's a wonderful tome in the Vault about Snorkacks that I've already read three times, actually," she said as she quietly conjured a large bed and then, as his last man fell, she magicked him onto it and conjured bindings on his wrists and ankles. "But enough talk. It's time for the fallen to learn their place." Finished speaking, she gagged him and began to unbutton her yellow shirt; well, it was his shirt, but pilfered for the occasion and worn for just this reason. Hermione had learned six years ago that Harry enjoyed watching them undress. He hated it when they stopped, though. Odd that.
Harry silently thanked Luna for the ease in which she got bored. They had all gone through the large library within Potter Manor when they first arrived five years ago and had focused highly on their knowledge in a vain hope that they could learn enough, fast enough, to help those who they could and destroy Voldemort, who had taken over the Ministry at that point. But it had been fruitless.
Well, almost fruitless. By the year and a half mark, they had all but run out of things to do aside from learn, and that got boring rather quickly, even to Hermione. All three had been spending so much time alone with each other that natural feelings progressed and mere months after arriving, they had all begun an odd sort of relationship filled with cuddles, friendly kisses and the occasional not-so-friendly kiss that was a little more heated after so many months of close confinement in a small tent during their Horcrux hunt. When they began to get bored, it had not been much longer for them to learn there were other fun pursuit's men and women got to.
Of course, Luna's sudden question of, "why do we huddle at the table at night instead of having sweaty, dirty sex, anyway?" had probably got things going much more quickly, if he were to be honest with himself.
Just as Luna got half way down her buttons and began to stalk towards Harry with an impish grin, the fireplace flared in the foyer that they played in, so that the Risk board could be expanded to a proper size, grew and Luna spun while getting rid of the bed and gag while Harry wandlessly summoned himself the spare wand that worked best for him from the Vault. He did not need it, but it did help with most spell casting, so it was good to have. He still missed his Phoenix and Holly wand though.
Both stood and waited as Luna summoned a warning bell through the house, alerting Hermione that they may be under attack, this particular one letting her know where to go. When they had arrived at the house eight years ago, they learned that even the Ministry could not find them, much like Grimmauld Place, and had begun to do weekly drills to make sure they could handle an ambush as efficiently as possible. Even now, they did not let their guards down. It was actually Hermione who constantly yelled out "Constant Vigilance!"
Mere seconds after becoming ready, a large man in a red suit fell onto his butt in the middle of the fireplace and then literally bounced outwards to land on his feet. He was a little shorter than five feet and had a long, white beard and white trim on his suit with a large sack thrown over his right shoulder and wore a pair of glasses with black boots and gloves. The two muggle-raised children blinked in wide-eyed shock as Luna growled in the back of her throat.
"Santa!" Without a moments' hesitation, the blonde ran and launched herself at the man, much to his surprise, and landed squarely on the sack over his shoulder so that both legs and arms were firmly wrapped around it, glaring at the man who looked at her in confusion.
"Quick!" Luna yelled at the other two. "Get him while I've got his bag!"
"You're the brat that kept laying traps for me a few years ago!" Santa said as recognition flashed through his eyes.
"And you're the elf with the bag! Now gimmie!" Luna still had not released her grip on the sack and had fully attached both arms and legs around it by locking her hands and ankles so as not to be shaken off.
Santa sighed, rolled his eyes, and let go, letting the sack drop with an indignant squawk of protest from the blonde who was now underneath of it. Just as he was about to take a step away from her, a bludgeoning hex flashed by his face and hit the wall, obliterating a large section of it and going through at least one more wall from the sound of it. Oh yea! These guys were jumpy!
"Hold it right there," Harry growled as Hermione continued to scan the room and reached out with her magic to check the wards against any other intruders. Luna cackled madly as she began pulling numerous goodies out of the sack so thoughtfully purloined from the Jolly Man.
"It's okay," the ex-Ravenclaw said. "Santa's a fairy creature. That's how he could get past the wards. His alignment is also naturally good, so we don't have anything to worry about. And if we did, we couldn't stop him," she finished, falling up to her waist into the bag to reach for something else and muffling the rest of her words.
While neither of her lovers were entirely willing to trust the new person who had just waltzed right in, they did trust Luna, so they lowered their wands, even if they did not put them away. "So, what are you doing here?" Hermione finally asked.
"I'm on a mission from my Queen, Lilith," he responded, his baritone voice filling them with happiness and good spirits while his actual words caused Luna to look up in shock, blue tensile strung around her ears. "If you'd like to listen, she has a proposal for you that would help everyone out and fix a lot of problems."
Neither Harry nor Hermione knew nearly as much about fantastic creatures and the like as Luna did, though Hermione recognized the name vaguely; so she and Harry looked to Luna who shrugged. "Lilith is the Queen of all fairies, she's known by many names, including Hecate, Morrigan, Freya, and several others. She's directly tied to all other fairies as their Queen Mother and is, quite easily, one of the most powerful beings in existence."
Harry turned to Santa and asked, "Are you alone?"
Santa nodded. "In more ways than one," he said quietly, confusing the others. "Perhaps we could speak in a more comfortable location? I've had to travel long and hard to make it here without being caught, followed or tracked."
"Oh!" Hermione said in surprise. It had been so long for them to have seen anyone but each other that none of them had remembered to entertain guests. "I'm so sorry! Right this way! Dobby!"
Luna followed the others, making sure to keep his sack out of reach of Santa and glaring at him any time he so much as looked at it while Hermione requested drinks from Dobby; tea for them, milk for Santa, and cookies all around. When they reached the sitting room, they all sat down, though Luna stayed on the floor to look through the spoils of war. She only called them that because there was no way in hell he was getting that bag from her without one now!
"You've gotten worse;" Santa said to Luna, but smiling all the same. Being around her right now filled him with more good cheer than he had felt in nearly a decade.
"I'm sorry? How do the two of you know each other?" Harry asked a breath away from Hermione.
"Oh, I never told you?" Luna asked, honestly surprised. "He visited me as a child and I knocked out one of his elves and stowed away on the sleigh."
"You nearly took over the North Pole, too!" Santa exclaimed, frustrated as he recalled the majority of the visit. His own elves had laid out traps for him! He had been forced to hide out in the reindeer stalls with Blitzen, and that little bugger farted like nobody's business!
Luna waved him off airily. "Only a little," she mumbled before diving back into the bag.
"What can we help you with?" Hermione asked, wanting to get to the heart of the matter.
Santa sighed and tilted his head back, deciding on where best to begin. "This war is over, no matter how we want to look at it. Voldemort has been capturing fairies these past couple of years and experimenting on us, trying to find the exact secret to our longevity. He and his cohorts have decimated over eighty percent of my kind while doing similar things to other magical races."
"That's horrible! What on earth could he want that for? He's got horcruxes!" Hermione asked, outraged.
"It's as much our magic as our longevity, I think," Santa responded. "Regardless, we are being rounded up and he's doing the same to all magical beings, hoping to find a way to mix them all together for their strengths while removing their weaknesses. We think he is hoping to make that new body he plans to inhabit truly immortal and he is far closer to succeeding than we like to admit."
"I'm sorry, but what has this got to do with us?" Harry asked, looking at Hermione and then Luna, who had finally found something highly reflective and with lots of baubles to play with while she sat next to him and got into the conversation herself.
"Tell me. If my stories about going around the world and gifting children with toys are true, what would it that take to be able to accomplish that?" Santa asked.
"Well, in theory, you'd need to move at incredible speeds or, since we know you don't hit every child's home, you don't have nearly as many as is shown in stories," Hermione said, looking thoughtful.
"Or, you'd need to move through time, rather than within it," Luna said, trying to balance her new toy on her nose.
"Oh! That's right!" Hermione gushed. "There's a book in the Vault written by a man who called himself Perfect Lionheart! In it, one of his characters actually stated, 'time has virtually no meaning around the fae. It can flow backwards or forwards, fast or slow or even sideways sometimes'." She paused only a moment to scrunch up her nose. "How can time move sideways?"
Harry chuckled as Santa nodded and continued his story. "That's right. I am my Queen's most powerful fae in matters where Time is concerned. Moving sideways through time is like having two time streams in one, where something is duplicated or where I am one being, but in several places at one time, even though it looks like there are many. I'm here to do something very similar to that. What my Queen proposes is that I send you back as far as I can to allow you to right wrongs and stop the events in the current time from ever happening."
"Are you absolutely mad?!" Hermione shrieked, her hair standing on end and her eyes wide with her skin having paled drastically. If Harry did not love her, he would have shrieked and ran. "Messing with the flow of time like that could cause a paradox or the utter destruction of the Space-Time Continuum! That was drilled into me constantly in my third year when I got a time-turner!"
"Sideways, Hermione," Luna softly chastised with a finger in the air and a knowing smirk. "The fae travel through time constantly; even sometimes sending people back and forcing them to live new lives in what should be their pasts, even possibly as their own parent. They are exempt from such rules. It is one of their ... unique properties."
"The little hooligan is right," Santa said while nodding. "My Queen gets her power from her children, which are all of the fairy creatures. The more there are, the more powerful she is. However, all of the others get their power from the positive emotions and good will that are broadcast by humans and drifts around the world, eventually getting soaked up by us children fairy. We are creatures of beauty and pleasure. That's why I even bother with presents at Christmas time. That is when some of the strongest, positive feelings come from and some of the darkest as well. That boost in spirit gives us a massive surge in our own sustenance."
"I didn't know that," Harry said. "I just always assumed you eat things like others do; veggies, fruits, maybe some flowers or what not for the smaller ones."
"We do eat other things, but they do not sustain us alone. When muggles began to expand and destroy our homes and with the murder of our brethren by Voldemort and other wizards, we have been forced to find ways to increase those positive feelings. With the advent of technology, less people believe and there is less and less to go around."
Hermione winced as Santa sighed, having noticed how ragged and worn he looked. "It can't be very ... appetizing ... for you with this war and the many that Voldemort has killed. Especially after he authorized The Purge and they began killing muggles as they found them. I mean, the muggle population is nearly extinct now, to say nothing of the lines of magical people that have been hunted down for not being pure-blooded or following Voldemort."
Santa nodded sadly. "Even worse, the more of us die, the weaker the rest become, which means the weaker our Queen is. She creates new fae directly proportional to her levels. She can't make but a few weekly right now, and we're being exterminated much faster."
"So, what does this have to do with us? You said you wanted to send us back?" Harry said again, noticing Hermione square her shoulders.
"The three of you, yes; you've learned so much and have some kind of tie to fate with Voldemort that my Queen is allowing me to do this. She will pull the power from all of her remaining children and gather it unto herself, and then feed it to me, along with all of hers. I will live only moments longer after she sacrifices herself for power, but it will be far more than enough to send you back once I get it all."
"She's going to kill herself?" Luna asked, looking frightened beyond anything Harry could ever remember. And that was after having found her underneath one of the Snatchers at her home who were planning on using her for their amusements while her father watched. Harry had officially killed intentionally for the first time that day. He was surprised he did not regret it, even then.
"I thought the Fairy Queen was supposed to live in all times at once! If she dies here, what will happen to her there?" Hermione asked, remembering that little bit of lore from somewhere she honestly could not remember.
"She will be alive when you return," Santa assured the bushy-haired one. "While she is alive in all times and fully cognizant of them at once, this is just one of the many time streams she is aware of. She will know this path leads to her death. But because this is after then," he said, referencing the present and the past as best he could for those who didn't look at time the same way he did, "she will be aware, but alive. This will stop any of this from happening, assuming you don't fail, of course."
"What will happen to this reality?" Luna asked.
Santa shrugged his shoulders and frowned. "I have no idea. You'll be in the same time line, but you will be earlier than the current present. So, once you change things, this time line should fade away and become the new one. Or it could just continue on, I don't know. My Queen cannot see beyond a little bit from now, so she dies one way or another. And I don't question what I do, I just do it, and it works out, so I've never had to bother with what would happen after a preceding event. But, it will be the exact same in every way to the past you knew, the people will be the same, circumstances and the like. But, it is like you would have wakened from a very long, very horrifying dream that you remember in every horrid detail."
"Can items go back with us?" Hermione asked. "Will we have our same magic levels or the benefits of the rituals we've performed on ourselves, what about if we wanted to take any of the expensive things from now to help pay our way in the past?"
Santa shook his head. "There are multiple ways of sending you back. The one that requires the least amount of power, allowing you to go back further, will be sending back only your minds and nothing physical or different than need be. You can perform those rituals again and gather all of the things you have now again. You know now what you will need then."
The three looked at each other helplessly for a moment, wondering if this was really too good to be true.
On one hand, they could say no. They could go on about their lives, allowing the remaining millions to die and guarantee that the war will end in Voldemort's favor. They will be tucked safely away, or as safely as possible, in their home and continue to love each other, play with the toys they found and learn things. Unless Voldemort actually created a fae body to inhabit, since they could apparently find them.
On the other hand, they could go back in time, if this was to be believed, giving billions a new chance at life. They could save Hermione's parents, Luna's father, the Order and countless others and all of the things in their home would be there if they arrived. The only threat was of them dying now, rather than in a century and a half or so.
"I am sorry to tell you this, but I have almost no time left. You must make your decision quickly. More of my kind are dying by the minute, which keeps me from sending you back further each time. As it is, I don't even know how far you will go. I've never sent a non-fairy back before and certainly never three of them at once."
Silent communication flashed through their heads with looks and touches and they all agreed. "We'll do it," they said as one.
"Alright, then remain there," he said, closing his eyes and communicating with his Queen through a mental link all fae shared. That odd blonde still had a hold of his sack, too.
Almost immediately, fairy around the world, what was left of them, dropped from where they were and died in the middle of experimentation's as their power was pulled from them and converged at a single point in Ireland, only to get sent to Santa who began to glow a bright white. Power hummed in the air and light began to shoot out of his eyes and mouth as it sought a way free of its prison.
The trio of humans hugged each other, silently saying final I-love-you's in their heads as they felt themselves pulse once and then there was a purity of nothingness. No sound, no light, no touch and no thought. Each was aware, but not consciously, as they drifted in nonexistence and shadow until a rush of reality came and enveloped them.