Revenge of the Wizard
A Fanfic by Darth Marrs,
Author's Notes: When I started this, the Master of Death Harry was not yet a cliché. Now it is. So, be warned I use that cliché. It grants Harry a long life, but he is not super-powerful by any means, nor will he always win his battles. I hope you enjoy.
And no, I don't own either of the properties.
The Wrath of Peleus' Son, the direful Spring
Of all the Grecian Woes, O Goddess, sing!
That Wrath which hurl'd to Pluto's gloomy Reign
The Souls of mighty Chiefs untimely slain;
Whose Limbs unbury'd on the naked Shore
Devouring Dogs and hungry Vultures tore.
Since Great Achielles and Atrides strove,
Such was the Sov'reign Doom, and such the will of Jove.
Homer's Iliad, by Alexander Pope
Chapter One: Living in Despayre
"Tell us the story again, Daddy!" Lily asked.
Slave Terran-2448DZ opened his eyes as the grating claxon rang through the hot, stuffy air. The first thing he saw, just like every other morning of his enslavement, was the crisscrossed metal bars supporting the cot directly above him. Already a pair of heavily calloused feet was swinging over the side in response to the bitter wake-up call. When he also sat up, he glanced across the length of the cavernous metal room at twenty rows of cots stacked twenty levels high and twenty cots deep. In all them, other people were waking up. They were all naked—the room was filled with a sea of stacked flesh comprised of eight thousand people who once had hope, but now had nothing—not even the dignity of clothing.
When he stood, he could feel the whole structure vibrating under the combined weight of so many people all moving at once. The woman in front of him avoided his gaze and instead looked down at her feet, as nude as he was. She was the fourth to inhabit the cot next to him in the months since they'd been there; all the others died either of disease, accident or execution. She was perhaps nineteen or twenty and thin, with a pinched, stressed face. Her lank hair had been cut short, like the rest of them.
Unlike the others, Slave Terran-2448DZ's hair grew back the very next day every time until it was the previous length, and then stopped growing. However, there were too many other slaves for their masters to care about that one strange aberration. It was a long wait, staring at the poor girl's bare backside, while ahead of them the other slaves started climbing down the stairs.
The moment they reached the ground level, their overseers force-marched them into two groups—men in one and women in the other, to their new day. The day began with a march into a long room lined with a sunken, latrine-like toilet of running water on either side. This was one of only two bathroom breaks they had—people learned either to hold it, or mess themselves over the course of the day.
He squatted down like the rest to relieve himself, no longer even conscious of the mass of sweating, stinking men around him doing the same. He had a name once, of course. All those around him did. But to their new, brutal masters, names carried persona, history and respect, and so no names were used, ever. To ensure he never forgot that, his slave name was branded into the flesh of his left forearm, just like all the others.
When they relieved themselves without the benefit of toilet paper, they were marched into the second part of their routine. He closed his eyes and held his breath as tepid water smelling and tasting of bitter chemicals shot up from the floor, down from the ceiling and out from the sides of the narrow passage. They did not stand in it, though. Rather, the column of slaves marched through it, with their motion serving as the means by which the spray reached everything.
Slave Terran-2448DZ took the opportunity to wipe his body with his hands in an effort to get himself as clean as he could. Those around him who had not given up all hope did the same. The last few feet the water switched to hot, dry air that blew away the moisture, leaving them mostly clean and dry. After that waited rows and rows of plain, unremarkable orange single-piece jumpsuits, one-size fits all.
He got dressed with the others and followed as they were then marched by their overseers into the mess-hall. The food was a gelatinous, foul-tasting goo, but surprisingly they were given a lot of it. Granted, they were only fed twice daily, but the meals were substantial enough that Slave Terran-2448DZ did not suffer too badly. While their overseers were cruel and inhumane, they were also dreadfully efficient. Underfed slaves did not produce as much, and so all slaves were fed.
Ten minutes to eat, and then they were once again marching out of their dormitory. The air outside the gigantic metal cube tasted bitter, hot and dry. The sky above was more purple than blue, and as far as he could look, the slave saw only wasteland. It was not a desert, for a desert implied natural forces and ecology in action. No, what they emerged into was the ravaged, violated surface of a once verdant world raped of all resources.
Large, hovering sleds waited to take them hundreds of clicks to where they would work the day away. Overhead, dominating the horizon, was their ultimate project—a man-made moon stretching it's skeletal infrastructure from the horizon to the centre of the sky, staring down ominously with one great, hollow eye.
"Welcome to Despayre," Slave Terran-2448DZ, formerly known as Harry Potter, whispered to himself as he looked up at the Death Star.
When Harry saw his first Wookiee, the word 'Sasquatch' came to mind. Until that moment, their only encounters with the aliens who invaded Earth were with the humanoid-shaped creatures in white armour, with their vicious blasters that could stun or kill with equal ease. But the Wookiees were something new and fascinating, like a giant, bipedal golden retriever or Labrador dog that could bark, whistle and growl in a way that evidently was a language.
Their particular overseer was a seven-foot tall female named Shewtalla. Her fur hung in golden brown clumps from her body, and she carried the smell of a very large wet dog. Harry suspected she was given no more time to groom in the morning than they were.
He only knew she was female because of a pair of pink nipples that were barely visible through the fur on her chest. She did not have breasts as such, but from the way the other Wookiees treated her, those pink nipples seemed to be something her people respected. Few of the other Wookiees had them, though many others were referred to as female. Harry could only guess that she had had young at some point. It made him wonder where her young were.
The alien invaders did not speak any language Harry had ever heard of, despite having learned a dozen over his years as both an Auror and as an Enforcer with the International Confederation of Wizards. In fact, he could lift a language right from someone's mind using a Legilimency technique he learned from a magical linguistics professor from the Escola Nacional de Magia in Brazil.
And so, on that first day on Despayre, as terrified humans were lined up and tagged like herd animals, Harry risked looking into a Wookiee's eyes and drew their language out. For meeting an overseer's gaze, he was rewarded with a backhanded blow that knocked him off his feet. He'd timed his efforts so the white-armoured soldiers would not be there, otherwise he would have been shot.
Instead, he took the blow and staggered back into line. "That was stupid, mate," someone whispered behind him.
Harry, with a completely alien language swishing through his brain, could only nod. "Yeah"
Now, months later, he had picked up just a smattering of Galactic Basic, as the alien overseers called their language. But it was Shewtalla the Wookiee who communicated most of their orders, and for that she used a silver robot who somehow spoke every Earth language. Most of the slaves in Harry's group appeared to be European, though. It made sense that slaves were clumped according to their region of capture. He had no doubt another grouping had North Americans, Africans, Asians or Polynesians and Australians.
A pair of soldiers, called, 'Stormtroopers', like Hitler's crack forces, accompanied Shewtalla as always. They were not just there to guard the slaves, he learned soon enough, but to guard her as well. The Wookiees themselves were slaves, but because of their greater strength and technical knowledge, those not working directly on the station were established as overseers to the less advanced, primitive humans recently acquired from Earth to do the more mindless tasks.
The moment the transports came to a halt, she started snarling and growling at them, and as always the silver protocol droid that accompanied her translated instructions. It was the same as always—most of the slaves worked in the assembly area at the back of the massive refinery droids that were constantly eating the planet, while the larger, stronger men would ride on the outside of the droid itself to clear the droids of native animal life that might either attack the droids, or otherwise interfere with them. It was at once boring and deadly work, and over the past few months Harry had seen at least a hundred men die in various, disgusting ways. It became so common it did not even elicit comment from the other slaves any more. Life here was worthless.
He fell in line with the rest, once more assigned to duty outside. Around them, he listened to the pained death throes of a planet.
Despayre was a primitive world compared to Earth—its entire landmass was made up of a single super continent, with clumps of hyper-forests made up of trees grown so thickly together a man would be hard pressed to pass through them. The landmass was surrounded by vast oceans that teemed with life. It was not truly a mineral rich planet, but that didn't matter. It also had magic—a magic that tasted completely alien to Earth's, and yet similar in its own way. The ley lines that on earth were a perfect grid covering the planet were here crazily interlaced with little recognizable pattern. Harry speculated it was because of the uneven distribution of the land masses.
The Galactic Empire ate the planet anyway. Harry knew that the goo the slaves ate each morning came from droid ships that trolled the seas for every iota of life, while on land, refinery droids the size of skyscrapers ate the land like caterpillars consuming a tree. The droids themselves looked like something from a Pink Floyd video: massive metal mouths on treads as wide as a football field, and wheels within the treads as tall as Big Ben.
Deep inside each mouth burned a furnace of unbelievable power, so hot that it broke down all matter the droids consumed on an atomic level, and then reassembled it into something entirely different. The mouth dug down twenty feet below the surface and another hundred feet above it, and literally swallowed everything in front of it, from soil to trees and animals, plus the occasionally unlucky or suicidal slave.
The newly created material was gathered on the assembly lines by the majority of slaves and moved to the hover sleds, which ran non-stop between the droids and the Imperial base they slept in at night, and then transported back to the base where they were placed on a space elevator and lifted to the massive body that orbited the planet. The very atomic reaction used to break the raw material down was itself the source of energy the droids used to power themselves. Harry knew that his group of slaves worked only during the day, and that another entire dormitory of slaves worked the night shift. The droids never stopped working.
The technology to create such mechanical beasts was beyond belief. That such technology was accompanied by such a disregard for life robbed Harry of any hope that things would ever get better. Not that he had any hope left. Harry should have felt rage and indignation. He should have used his power to kill as many of the damned Imperials as he could before they killed him. He should have—and sometimes at night he imagined going on a rampage. But then the numbness which had followed him from earth crept back into his thoughts, and he asked "What good would it do?"
None. It would not do any good at all. It would not bring his family back to him, and so why bother? Numb and broken, Harry continued to survive somehow, going through the motions of slavery without thought or emotion.
Out of habit, Harry glanced up and saw the station as soon as he reached his post. The station was already more than half complete, with strange pie-shaped striations still missing from the superstructure. All in all, though, it was huge, like some terrible god floating just over the horizon. When he looked at the station in the sky, he felt Death glaring down at him like a long-lost friend.
The trick to staying alive as a slave was not to be noticed. Harry's assigned duty, along with another two hundred men for his side of the droid, was to clear the occasional debris from the intake vents along the side of the droid. This required him to scramble along a narrow plank of metal some hundred and fifty feet off the ground while the droid continued running and sucking in air to catalyse the nuclear furnace within. It was hot, hard work as the initial consumption of raw materials sent debris flying everywhere. More often than not, he had to duck pieces of tree or rock. Once he had to duck a flysker rat the size of a horse.
That particular morning was hotter than normal, and very dusty. The droids had already consumed an area of several thousand square miles, and their commute to the edge of the now desolate patch of land took a little longer every day. Harry rode in silence, pressed against on all sides by other slaves packed so tightly into the sled they stood without the need for rails. Breathing became difficult sometimes, but they survived.
So close together, it was inevitable that he make eye-contact with those around him. The men who survived this long were strong to begin with—men who had a hardness or instinct that let them continue where most others would fail. They met his gaze without hint of recognition, lost in their own thoughts just as Harry himself was.
Through the heads and shoulders of those around him, Harry looked out over the flat plain that marked the refinery droid's path. There were no hills or topography of any kind—the droids ate whole mountains. If they ever reached the end of the continent, they would turn around and eat into the soil even deeper. Just in the months since Harry had been there, the air seemed harder to breathe as the Empire wiped out all oxygen-producing plant life, while the sun burned ever hotter with the death of the biosphere. What rain there was came violently and quick and the water ran off with no topsoil or vegetation to catch it.
Finally, in the far distance, Harry saw a thin line of green that grew steadily larger as they approached, until they were able to see the line of trees that marked the native forest. Far in the distance, like smoke, Harry could make out the peaks of distant mountains that would, within the year, be blasted into piles of rock for the droids to eat.
The sleds arrived at the five droids that were driving along the edge of the forest at just a few miles every hour. The droids were evenly spaced along a swath of land a hundred miles long, and would eat fifty miles in one direction each, before turning all at the same time to bite deeper into the forest to begin again.
As the sleds split up to take the slaves to their assigned droids, Harry could see the night shift workers wearily climbing out of the slowly moving droid, making their way onto the arid rock that was all the droids left behind. The shift change went quickly—Harry had only the most fleeting of glances at the night shift slaves, who all appeared to be more ethnically diverse than his group.
Then he and those assigned the most dangerous tasks were climbing the ladders to the forest-side of the droid for the remainder of the day. It was hard, difficult work, and Harry did not think twice about using magic to aid himself. Normally heavy pieces of wood managed to slip and fly off the side easier for him than for the others, who had to work together to lift off the debris.
When the droid upset a nest of flits, Harry shielded himself from the massive flying reptiles but was unable to help a fellow slave down the ramp who was struck by one of the creature's poisonous barbs. He began to convulse and fell over the side within minutes. There was no point in trying to help since the Imperials would not provide any medicine to treat him.
No one spoke about his passing; the day continued as normal. Unfortunately, normal included storms.
The consequence of having a single, super-ocean was the development of massive storms the size of continents on Earth. These storms slammed into the supercontinent and disrupted huge amounts of air. As the wind picked up energy, it also picked up dust and sand from the ravaged portion of its interior.
Harry was not the first to see the storm. But when the other slaves pointed and shouted a warning, he was not surprised to see a near black wall of dust and sand bearing down at them at almost a hundred miles an hour. "Grab a hold of the rails!" he shouted, echoing the other shouts up and down the gangplank. Every slave there had been through at least one storm already and so knew what to do.
Like the others, Harry grabbed a hold of the gangplank with both arms, hugging the hot metal to his chest even as he wrapped his legs around it. The storm came faster and faster. At the last moment, when the storm blocked out Despayre's sun, he cast a bubblehead charm on himself wandlessly. Then the storm hit.
It felt as if a troll had kicked him. The wall of dirt and wind hit all at once, saturating every part of his body except his nose and mouth. He squeezed his eyes shut and held on for dear life as the wind roared around him. It felt as if his skin were being flayed, but there was nothing he could do but hold on until it passed.
Just as quick as the storm came, it left, spilling its tons of sand and dust over the forest before the trees and vegetation broke it up. The whole droid rumbled under them, rougher and louder than normal. Harry blinked opened dust-caked eyes and saw that at least another five slaves had been swept off the edge of the droid, but that didn't concern him.
Something was wrong with the droid. He looked up at the intake vents and saw they were coated in dirt. Desperately, he rushed from his position and stuck his fingers against the packed dirt in each vent slit. Try as he might, he could not make the dirt move. Down the gangplank, the other slaves were still recovering and not paying attention, so Harry stepped back and cast a blasting curse at the vent. The metal did not bend at all, but some of the dirt broke off in cakes almost as solid as rock. Three more casts had only minimal effect—the vent was as large as a London metro bus, and for all his efforts he had only cleared a foot of one of fifty slits running up the length of the vent.
The droid below them began to wine in a high-pitched tone he had never heard before. The whine was followed by a new vibration in the decking under their feet. "What's that?" one of the other slaves called.
Harry knew, though. The vents were now clogged; the droid was not pulling in oxygen. He thought it would shut down, but instead it kept rolling forward, consuming everything in front of it even though it could not breathe. Something was dreadfully wrong.
Harry knew it meant his life to leave his post, but on the other hand, he believed with every pore of his body that it would mean his life if he did nothing. So, without a second's hesitation, he tore down the gangplank to the nearest ladder. Instead of going down, though, he climbed up into the area forbidden to Terran slaves—the command deck of the droid.
The top level of the droid was spacious and lined in windows made of a material stronger than the strongest materials Earth knew about. He ran to the nearest door, which was locked. The lock came undone with a simple charm and allowed him entrance.
He entered into a room of chaos. Wookiees were growling and barking at droids, while in the corner one of the Imperial overseers was shouting at everyone. His uniform was black and normally would have been topped off with an insect-like black helmet. However, he had his helmet off to reveal a young, perfectly human face flushed with fear and stress.
Harry stood frozen in shock as realization sank into him: their masters were human. He had tried for months to understand what kind of alien monsters would do what they did, and speculated on something reptilian or insectoid. But this…this was just a man with pale skin and brown eyes, as if he were from Hamburg or Vienna.
As the shock passed, Harry realized the Wookiees were shouting at the human-sized droids to override the Refinery Droid brain to do a quick stop before the reactor went critical. Unfortunately, the droids did not have the dexterity to do what was required, being mostly protocol droids. The human was shouting his language at the Wookiees, who responded via their droids that their hands were too big to fit into the emergency access ports.
Their masters were human. The creatures that killed his family were human. Just … human…
Trembling with rage, Harry rushed across the command deck, startling Wookiees and droids alike. The human saw him coming and shouted at him in his language even while he pulled his weapon. Harry pushed the blaster aside, grabbed the suddenly terrified Imperial by his forehead, and ripped into the man's mind with abandon.
When Harry returned to his own mind, the gibbering officer collapsed to the deck and began to convulse. Harry stood perfectly still as he incorporated Basic into his thoughts. Around him, all the Wookiees had gone perfectly still, watching him intently. They knew he had just signed his own death warrant by assaulting an Imperial.
At that moment, as the young officer's entire life flashed before Harry's mind, he did not care. Stumbling, he moved toward the emergency access point within the droid and pushed one of the stumbling, clumsy robots aside before crawling into the tight space. He understood then why no Wookiee would have been able to fit.
He cast the technomage spell he learned as an enforcer with the International Confederation of Wizards on Earth. He learned the spell when he was in his twenties because of the increased incidents of technically-based magic being used on Muggles. Young witches and wizards, often Muggleborn themselves, often struck back at childhood Muggle tormentors by sending cursed emails or putting jinxes on computers. All his friends were as surprised as he was at how skilled he became with the magic. Hermione even called him a nerd in training once.
Shewtalla and several other Wookiees gathered around the outside of the access port, growling at each other in their intricate, ancient language. Harry did his best to ignore them as his magic showed him what the problem was. He saw immediately that there was no way to fix the problem from where he was. Instead, he realized he would have to simply shut the unit down. The problem was that the decrepit, limited droid brain had been going non-stop for so long it could no longer deactivate itself just on a verbal or button-based control.
Harry's fingers moved nimbly over the controls of the emergency droid interface as he literally programmed in a new command code that would allow the great machine to finally rest, guided by a magic spell designed by an American Muggle-born wizard who opted to go to MIT right after Miskatonic.
The world fell away as Harry concentrated on the board. The magic did not actually manipulate the machinery—rather it presented him with a mental map of what he needed to do to accomplish his goal, up to and including what commands to enter, what controls to use and exactly how to do it.
He lost all awareness of the world around him as the requirements of the magic began to tax him. The technology was tens of thousands of years more advanced than anything on Earth, and even the magic itself strained to unlock its secrets. Harry pushed more magic and concentration into the spell and continued on. The whine grew louder and the whole refinery began to vibrate so strongly the sound of it rattled his brain.
Harry's fingers virtually flew now over the emergency access panel as he manually forced the code to overwrite the droid brain's impulse to keep going. Then, with the push of the last key, the code pushed through and the refinery came to a stop for the first time since it landed on Despayre decades ago.
Harry leaned back against the cold confines of the emergency access passage and sighed. He realized abruptly that he had been sweating, because it made the dust form the storm into a muddy concrete on his skin. He crawled back out and found himself surrounded by Wookiees.
"Your life is forfeit, small one," Shewtalla said.
"Not if I can help it," Harry said, surprising the Wookiees with his understanding. "They burned my world and killed my family. I thought they were monsters—none of us knew they were only human."
"Humans are monsters," another of the Wookiees Harry did not know said.
"But they're monsters I can fight," Harry said. He looked around at the six Wookiees, the shortest of whom topped him by a foot at least. "If I can keep the overseer from reporting me, will you betray me?"
"You saved our lives, small one," Shewtalla said. "We will not act against you."
The others around her all nodded in agreement. With a smile to them, Harry crossed the spacious command deck to lean down next to the officer. His name was Daroon Holdig, and he was a lieutenant junior grade in the Imperial Navy who barely graduated from the Imperial Academy at Corulag. He was assigned as the overseer of the refinery droid not because of his dependability, but because his superior officers considered him a failure.
During his one year rotation planet-side, he had personally killed twelve slaves and violated two of them. He kept those trysts secret not because he was ashamed of his actions, but because he was ashamed to have rutted with females of such a primitive race.
Harry stood, placed a hand on his own chest, and performed a cleansing charm for the first time since his enslavement. The caked dust fell away from his body in a cloud. He then performed a switching spell with the Imperial. In a second he wore the man's black uniform, while the Imperial wore his jumpsuit. Behind him, the Wookiees snorted and barked to each other.
"Are you Jedi?" Shewtalla finally asked.
"No," he said. "I'm a wizard."
He cast a feather-light charm on the officer, threw him over his shoulder, and then left the command centre to walk onto the very top of the droid. He continued walking until he reached the steep slope that ran down to the massive metal teeth that had fallen still.
"For Ginny," he whispered as he tossed the brain-addled Imperial into the still burning maw of the droid.
He returned to the command deck and used Holdig's ID to regain entry. None of the Wookiees had moved. Ignoring them, he delved into Holdig's memories to access a channel to the shift commander on Refinery 3, even while casting a minor glamour on himself to resemble the now dead officer.
A hologram of the short, ugly fat man appeared in front of Harry when he sat down. "Lieutenant, why has your droid stopped?"
"Captain Markus, we had a potential reactor situation," Harry said with false bravado. "I was able to manually override the system to bring it to a stop. At first glance, I believe the intake vents are completely blocked. We will need to remove the exterior plates and do a thorough cleaning. Sir, I feel strongly we should do this for all the droids."
Markus stared at him, and then snorted. "Leave the thinking for those with brains, boy. Get your droid operational. You have ten minutes."
The hologram faded, as did Harry's glamour. "Shewtalla, do you think you can get the plates off and scrubbers working in ten minutes?"
"We shall try, Small One!"