(That moment when you've been back home for a month and you realize in the rush of cramming Europe during the last month abroad, you missed updating and scramble to piece together what you had been thinking of when you last stopped writing and regretting everything.)

This chapter begins with a two year time skip and, ya know, disappointment. All in a days work.

I don't own Magi, Adventures of Sinbad, or Harry Potter.

Two years passed (two years, nine months, twenty-seven days since Haides was released from his Dungeon – he counted each day like a precious gem, waiting for the other shoe to drop, for Arba's taint to crash down on his happy new life and force his hand into action).

Haides was busy – girls arrived in droves at the palace to enter the Court Dancers. Few came with recommendations (from his penpals Madame Keturah in Qishan and Madame No'ah in Akita), with a desire to fight. Haides, of course, sent away the girls who wanted only to get closer to the King.

He sent the ones who hid malicious intentions under their skirts back in boxes. There was only space in this palace for one true assassin (and an amateur, as Zillah got better with each day she shadowed Ja'far).

His stupid, honest, sly King kept his word. Haides was not called upon to Equip with Sinbad again. Rather, Haides was rarely called at all. Instead Haides searched out the King on his own accord, perched at the taller man's side during informational meetings or dignitary dinners.

Two years and the biggest surprise Haides had experienced was finding Sinbad observing the Court Dancers' bi-weekly lessons with Masrur (Haides could almost call the last two years boring. He held back the whisper of adventure in his blood - that way laid trouble and bitter battles).

The King's arms were crossed, his side pressed up against a supporting pillar, frowning at the training grounds of the Silver Scorpio Tower.

"You still don't approve," Haides noted, keeping his arms loose at his side. There was no need to be defensive, not after two years of sporadic contact and almost three years of being connected.

"I can't, in good conscious, allow women to fight when a man can," Sinbad admitted. It was an old fight, one the two danced around each time Sinbad saw the girls out and practicing.

Haides took a moment to check on the girls, at Ekaterina who was getting older and more beautiful with each day and Asenath who was the best among her sisters at hand-to-hand combat. At Zillah who had taken to carrying around small knives, hidden in the creases of her silk outfit and Yamraiha who finally agreed to learn how to fight with a bo-staff. At Candace, who was becoming as sharp as her smile.

"You are rather unfair," Haides decided. He gave the King an unimpressed stare, his eyes half-lidded and his mouth twisted into a familiar frown. "To see someone else when my girls are their own people."

"You keep pushing them to become someone they are not," Sinbad snapped. "There is no reason for them to know how to fight."

Haides wanted to pity the man. The djinn knew Sinbad understood the dangers of being a woman – but he was one of them. Sinbad knew hunger and war and grief and disease, slavery and mental manipulation. But he didn't see how Haides' girls watched each man that approached one of their sisters, how they tensed when a man stared for a moment too long.

They just wanted to dance. They just wanted to be free.

Haides gave them the confidence, the training to protect themselves.

"Candace asked Masrur yesterday if he could teach her how to rip out a man's jugular with her teeth," Haides confided. Sinbad stiffened, shocked and appalled.

Candace was pretty, delicate looking. Her wrists were thin and muscle slipped off her form like oil on water. Men compared her to a doll. She skipped enough martial arts lessons for gossip at Madame Akeldama's that she lacked the callouses or skills of her sisters. She hid behind her long lashes, sweet-scented soap, and meticulously washed hair. Everyone, from the children in the streets to the slightly less incompetent royal guards, underestimated her.

As if beauty was the antithesis of strength.

Haides could say with the confidence of over two years as their guardian that Candace was his most vicious ward. She was all edges, her soft skin little more than flimsy sheet failing to restrain her claws and teeth and rage. She simply preferred words and delicate looks, her hands clean while her heart was as drenched as her sisters'.

"Kezia wants to learn how to strangle a man with her sash," Haides continued. "Miriam added weights to hers, making it into a net. She managed to pull Yamraiha from the air last week. Zillah is looking for a way to safely coat her nails in poison."

Sinbad's hands were white around his bicep, his jaw locked. Haides had faith – the King hadn't protested yet, haven't snapped back about corrupting children. (And wasn't that a conversation – Haides knew too much and Sinbad knew too little.)

"I know how to dance," Haides said. "I know swords and rukh and magic. I know violence and secrets and how to be quiet. I know how it feels to be prey, but I don't know the need to pick apparent a man's weakness with a look. I can only show my girls that there were others options, that their fate isn't subservience, isn't depravity. They were the ones that choose to make the step."

"You speak often of choices and options, Haides," Sinbad noted. "This or that, here or there. Nothing is ever solid in your eyes."

"I have no love for fate, my King," Haides revealed, a sardonic twist to his lips. He hated fate, hated the fascination humans had with it, the years they wasted on it. He loved Solomon, though, Solomon and Sheba, who 'wrote' the fate of this world.

Haides observed his King. Sinbad had a connection to fate, a desire to reach out and grab hold of it, to wrestle it to ground beneath his ideals and his vision. Was that disregard? Was that deference?

Solomon's loose fate made it so hard to tell.

"When I was human," Haides said. Sinbad finally, finally, looked away from the Court Dancers to stare at his eighth djinn. Haides didn't acknowledge him, Solomon's rukh stealing his attention. The ethereal butterflies danced, a whisper of acceptance and the touch of a hand against his crown.

Haides cleared his throat. "When I was human, I only had one choice." Fight. (Die.) "I don't want my girls to feel restricted like I did." (Trapped; little Harry Potter had been trapped for years and years and years.) "Two options might not be enough – fight or be protected – but it was more than I had. It was more than they had before."

"I'm starting to think your title is wrong, Haides," Sinbad said. Haides blinked at him, confused by the scrutinizing look he was being subjected to. "The djinn of chaos, deception, and creation, you told me. I don't see it."

Solomon's rukh buzzed, curious and amused, as if Haides was being outed. As if he was being proven right all over again.

Haides could picture the look, the slight smirk and lowered eyelids of his previous King. Arrogance, his former allies might have claimed. Haides recognized it, knew it as intimately as he knew a proud beam or open-mouthed horror – Hermione used it every day.

"I will give you chaos and creation," Sinbad said. "But deception? You avoid the truth maybe; yet you have never lied to me."

"I lie all the time, my King," Haides tried, spreading a smile on his face like blood under Sheba's corpse. "That you cannot detect them is not my fault."

"No," Sinbad denied, shaking his head. Haides' smile stalled, cracked at the edges, Solomon's heart when Atlas' crown was balanced on his skull. "You have never lied to me. When you lie, your eyes close while you smile, like you are shutting out the world. Ja'far used to do it too."

Haides dropped it. "Do you have a point, Sinbad?"

"What are you after?" Sinbad asked. That detestable look was back in his eye, like he saw more than he was supposed to. It was dangerous. It was disgusting. It was not allowed. "I thought you wanted action or adventure, with all of your talk of freedom and having fun. Instead, all you have done since allying with me is gather a hoard of children and lounge around the palace like a satisfied cat."

Haides stepped forward, curling his fingers around Sinbad's checks. He had to stand on the tips of his toes, but it was worth it to see Sinbad's eyes snap into the correct body – soul – again. He snatched at the edge of a wing and tugged it free from the back of his King's head. Black and oozing with the taint of a man long thought dead, Haides crushed the ethereal form between his nails. The crunch of the beady head and the disgusting mash of organ ooze was overpowered by an angry flash of sickly yellow eyes – a washed out version of Sinbad's glittering gold.

"There is so much you still don't understand, my King," Haides confessed. "I want you strong, stronger than anyone else. That is what I am after."

"Why?" Sinbad's hand hesitated, hovering over the small of the djinn's back. Haides pressed into it and smiled at the warmth of the man's touch.

"What reason could there be other than war?" Haides wondered.

It was not what Sinbad wanted, Haides knew. Sinbad saw enough war and death to last him the rest of his life…

Arba wouldn't wait for Sinbad, a man so powerful and troublesome, to pass before she acted out. She was getting stronger and more insane with each minute and Sinbad had to be prepared. The world needed to be prepared.

If even David saw this era as significant enough to risk Solomon and Haides' rage, the djinn needed to step up his plans. He needed to act.

"What could you possibly want with war, Handras?" Sinbad pulled the djinn closer, demanding his attention and honesty.

Haides startled. He looked at his King as if he was an idiot.

"Who said I wanted war?"

Maakah arrived in Sindria with the clothes on their back and a fist full of hope in Madam Celmete's rumors of a warrior harem.

(Anything to escape the threat of chains around their ankle, the one thing they feared more than starving to death because no one cared for any of them.)

They arrived without a letter, without a recommendation, with fifteen girls. Master Haides greeted each and every one of them, a shadow dressed in purple his only companion.

Four were directed to Sindria's brothel, to serve under Madame Akeldama. Seven were sent home on a ship, their money spent reimbursed. Only two were taken under Master Haides' wing with a smile and an immediate title of 'daughter'.

(Maakah watched two girls, smiles dull and eyes flat, be directed silently away by the Purple Shadow. They never saw the two again. They learned quickly how steadfast Master Haides' dancers were in their self-proclaimed duty.)

They were skeptical, at first.

For the first night, they slept at the edges of the mass of pillows and scantily clad bodies that encircled Master Haides. They were hesitant of the two young girls – children, in a harem? – that crowed and tugged at Master Haides' delicate sash for his attention every spare second he had.

They kept to the back of the hoard of twenty-two girls who swarmed the Tower's Master and called him 'Mama Haides' as if his eyes weren't poison and colder than the depths of the Seven Seas.

(Maakah was disturbed and terrified of this man, who they gave up what meager life they had to follow because of hope.)

It was on the third day Maakah hesitated enough to be noticed.

"Do you not want a weapon?"

Maakah shrank back, the knuckles of one hand pressed to their clavicle as they tried not to flinch under their Master's gaze. It was the second time they had been subjected to this strange torture and that knowledge – they survived the first time and they would do so again – did nothing to calm them.

(He was smaller than them, but lanky, like a child still growing. He wasn't a mass of muscles looming, so why did their heart seize and their mind tremble before this man barely into his second decade?)

"I..." Maakah bit their lip, but held the stare. Somehow, miraculously, they held the stare with their plain brown eyes. "I have never hurt someone before."

Master Haides canted his head, curious and bird-like. His shadow chuffed her foot.

(Maakah had heard servants in the halls comparing the Master to a cat, lazy and indulging. Maakah could only think fools and eye the hawks and Sindria's papagoras.)

"They can join Candace, Mama Haides," the shadow suggested.

Candace? Maakah tried not to balk. Candace was pretty, the type of woman Maakah expected to find at the side of a king or a noble, not a dancer and definitely not a warrior with scars and blemishes.

Candace whose smile was more a knife than the dagger she strapped to her thigh.

"Yes," Master Haides hummed, his eyes gliding up to look over their shoulder. "That should work well. If you agree, Maakah?"

Maakah nodded. Master Haides swept away to his next 'daughter' with an absentminded wave and Candace slid into place where he once stood, as if called. Maakah didn't say anything as the shadow passed them to follow after the Master.

(They didn't say anything as Candace started talking about brothels and men and hiding violence where no one – not soldiers, not kings, not even assassins – would look.

Only someone far too smart to leave alive.)

And Maakah adjusted. They covered themself in soft, loose silk designed after Lord Ja'far's cotton. They pulled their long hair up, kept in place with two sharp metal hair sticks the Shadow handed them during their sixth month with a wink.

They shrugged off her mentor's huff of 'finally'. It was okay because Maakah didn't join the 'warrior's harem' to hurt people. They just wanted to be stronger. (Strong enough)

And soon Maakah was watching new siblings, new children of Master Haides, join the shadow family. They printed the dancer's creed into their heart. They greeted Lord Masrur and Lord Sharkkan as their brothers. They curled up beside their sisters and relished in the warmth blooming inside.

They never once, in their first year as Mama Haides' child, ever saw the King their Master was sworn to up-close.

Not until Haides disappeared one day, gone without a word to even his ever-vigilant shadow.

His twenty-four daughters – Leah being the newest and the most frantic at the newest turn of events – crowded the main room of the Tower.

The girls sat, cross legged and straight back, each eyeing the sister beside them.

"Haides can take care of himself," Yamraiha huffed, crossing her arms petulantly. Maakah tried not to eye the fifteen-year-old magician warily. She was one of Master Haides' favorites and the two loved to devolve into conversations on the 'God-King Solomon' and 'rukh' at a whim.

It felt like soul-tearing truths in their heart but Maakah, with a dungeon in their home country and no father to house them before they left, couldn't believe.

"It is not a concern as to if Mama Haides can protect himself." Candace laughed, lounging on the stone as if it were a prince's bed. "It's if we can keep the palace standing until he returns."

"King Sinbad –" Leah chimed in loyally.

"Our King is a great man; may his reign be long and prosperous." Candace rolled her hand languidly, leaving the rest of the loyalist pleasantries for the masses. "But the last time Mama Haides disappeared, King Sinbad got it into his head to wrestle with a Sea Beast, with half of his Generals cheering him on. Lord Ja'far almost nicked an artery."

Maakah leaned back. Sure, they had heard the – frankly a bit hurtful – rumors about the King's Chief Advisor, but nicked an artery seemed a bit of an exaggeration.

"Masrur and Sharkkan are with the King," Asenath faithfully informed her sisters.

"As long as King Sinbad isn't trying to take over the world, Masrur won't care," Miriam said. "And Sharkkan is insufferable when he's around the King for too long. He suggested I leave the fighting to the soldiers last time."

"Mama Haides threw him into the sea for that," Galilee soothed. "Without his precious sword."

"None of this is helping us decide what we should do with Mama Haides gone," Ahava added.

"We know one thing at least," the Shadow said. "The King cannot know."

Maakah supposed it was some twist of fate that their King choose that exact moment to come striding in through the thin drapes of the Sapphire Pisces Tower's entrance, trailed by an agitated Lord Ja'far, bored Masrur, and sheepishly smiling Sharkkan.

"Know what, girls?" Sinbad, Self-Made King of Sindria, King Vessel, and Master of Seven Djinn asked. He smiled at them and winked.

The dancers jumped to their feet, bowing to their sworn King, their right fist over their hearts loyally.

Ekaterina looked up from her doll, perhaps the calmest about Master Haides' disappearance, and said, "Hi Papa! I hope you're not here to see Mama, cause he's not here right now. Zillah is though! You can talk to her instead."

King Sinbad's royal brow furrowed. "Haides isn't here?"

Zillah stood straight and glided to the front of the mass of women. Yamraiha gleefully saddled up to her side. "Master Haides has left on one of his excursions, my King."

King Sinbad's expression pinched ever so slightly. "Do you know where, by any chance?"

Zillah gave her King a disrespectfully flat stare. "Master Haides left without a word to anyone."

"That is rather unlike him," Lord Ja'far cut in. He scanned the scene of dancers. "He usually tells you when he is gone so you don't worry."

"Master Haides is not required to check in with us," Zillah said faithfully.

"He said he's going to check up on my sisters and mock an old hermit," Ekaterina supplied, her doll doing alarmingly accurate imitations of techniques Masrur showed them just last week.

A couple sisters hid their heads in their hands.

"I heard another mercenary group showed up in Qishan, for the dungeon," Candace added, a finger up in realization. "I told Haides, but I didn't think much about it."

"Qishan is at least a three month journey from Sindria," Maakah finally spoke up. "What are we supposed to do without Master Haides for so long?"

King Sinbad looked at them, his head tilted in confusion. "I'm sorry, and you are?"

"Maakah," Candace said, hooking an arm around them. "One of my little kittens, my King. They've been with us for little over a year now. They're precious, so sweet and innocent."

"Maakah," King Sinbad started, sweeping forward to hold one of their hands between his larger, rougher, paler pair. Maakah froze. (This was the King of Sindria, the man their sisters trained to protect and could talk to as if well acquainted. And he was touching them. Touching street filth, sewer rat Maakah.) "Haides is a trusted member of my Court, a position which garners him certain capabilities. We can expect him back by tomorrow night, at the latest. I have never seen any of his trips last for any longer. I promise you, there is no need to worry yourself."

Maakah ached to step back, to be enveloped by their sisters.

Something large and green smashed against the King's skull, sending red debris flying everywhere. The King choked out a cry, bending over to rub his head as Maakah skittered away, startled.

"I leave for five hours and I come back to see your hands all over one of my children." Master Haides, a watermelon in hand, glared over at his King from his spot beside Masrur. The muscled teen accepted the large fruit from the diminutive dancer before Haides spun on the King.

The King straightened, popping a finger into his mouth to taste the red spray. "Did you throw a watermelon at me?"

Master Haides deadpanned. "You looked thirsty."

"Next time," Lord Ja'far cut in, pulling out a cloth from his sleeves to throw over King Sinbad's head. "Perhaps a pitcher of wine would suffice, Master Haides."

Master Haides' grin was familiar and warm, but Maakah could feel the sharp edge against their heart. "I will keep that in mind, little assassin. In the meantime," he turned his gaze onto his dancers. "I believe we have a dance tonight, for your fanciful diplomatic meeting. My dancers need time prepare – leave."

"Haides, you can't just –"

"This is my domain," Haides said, refusing to look at the King. His tone was cold, his bright eyes even colder. It sent a chill down Maakah's spine. Their Master was displeased. "You'll see that I can do whatever I want."

The King kept silent, taking in Haides' tense silhouette. He apparently gleaned some sort of answer as he nodded and left, beckoning his Generals out with him. Lord Masrur and Lord Sharkkon hesitated longer than Lord Ja'far who seemed to trust the King's decision on how to handle the irate Master Dancer.

"Is everything alright, old man?" Lord Sharkkon stepped forward, wary in a way Maakah rarely saw from the flippant swordsman.

Haides pursed his lips, looking up at the ceiling rather than face his son. "I met with an old ally. Age seems to have made me forget how much I hated his wrinkly ass. It's not even fun to mock him, when he likes to drag up ancient history."

Lord Sharkkon, Lord Masrur, and Yamraiha seemed to understand, backing down with little more than a glance between themselves. Maakah tried not to be hurt. They were still new, still just barely one of Haides' children. Besides, their benefactor deserved his secrets.

The Shadow, strangely enough, looked to be just as out of the loop as the rest of their sisters.

"Maybe you should let Zillah lead the dance tonight, Haides," Yamraiha suggested, her hands twisting around her staff. "It'll be good practice for her."

"Candace would be better," Maakah let slip.

Haides's head snapped around, that cold sheen still predominant in his stare. Maakah pulled back, their knuckles pressed against their collarbone. The remaining three General's looked ready to step in as Haides scanned them.

Their sisters didn't react other than to hide their smiles with hair, hands, or long sleeves.

"Oh?" Haides prompted, his poison green eyes coxing the answer out of Maakah's white-pressed lips.

"Candace." Maakah consciously pulled their hand from their chest, twisting their fingers into their outfit. "She's more aware of body language and reactions that the – than Zillah. Candace can direct us better as she's memorized our abilities and our audience's tastes."

"Zillah is too physical, you're saying, Maakah?"

Maakah twitched. They forgot what it felt like for their Master to speak their name. It was a rush of warmth – they belonged once again – and a chilling cold – Haides wasn't, couldn't be, human and every story they knew cautioned against gifting names to demons.

"Yes," they said, bowing their head just the slightest bit. They risked a look between their fringe when Haides huffed, amused.

"And Candace prioritizes information and its uses over the physical prowess her siblings favor," Haides continued. "Her leading puts her in the perfect position to manipulate the formation for each diplomat."

"Yes," the Master mused, patting Maakah's head – when did he get so close – and smiling down at them with his inhuman eyes. "I can see why Candace is so enamored with you, kiddo."

Haides sauntered off out of Pisces Tower with a backwards wave, with Ekaterina and the Shadow following behind.

Maakah dared not breathe until he was out of sight.

A deman. They signed away their soul to a demon.

Candace bowled into them, a squeal of glee ringing in their ears as she pressed a kiss to their cheek and their siblings twittered.

They smiled.

Well, at least they weren't alone in their blasphemous devotion.

Haides left the Sapphire Pisces Tower behind, too angry and discomforted by the memory of the old hermit's claims, his brief amusement at his child's analyzation pushed into the background.

"Our King Solomon is dead and his reign has fallen. Why do you linger still, Handras? What purpose does playing mortal with such fleeting lives serve you-who-are-forever?"

"What does that hermit know?" Haides growled, marching past servants as he let his feet guide him somewhere soft and familiar and achingly neutral. "He abandoned you for a faith you died for. Where does he get off waiting for some unknowing fool to fall for that death sentence?"

Ekaterina giggled, swinging as she held tightly to his upper arm, her practice doll tucked inside her dress. Zillah shadowed his steps, quiet and calm, choosing to watch and wave away concerned court members rather than try to temper his tantrum. She was not bothered by his seemingly one-sided conversation.

Haides might not have revealed his true nature or past to her, but Zillah was no idiot. Someone always answered Haides back.

"King," Haides spat. "More than age, more than disease – it is the title of King that kills. And yet humanity craves it like a drug, like a salvation."

Haides marched through the archway connecting the common hallway and the Tower, his feet leading him as he talked with the air.

"But," he continued, his voice almost a whisper. "Not you. You never wanted it." He directed a sad smile at the marble floor, remembering blue eyes closing off as that light of hope dimmed with defeat. "You hated it, so much."

Rukh kissed his cheeks, a pantomime of the tears he had long since shed.

"You just wanted everyone to be free." And fuck, did the idea of freedom appeal to Haides. To Harry. To that immortal being locked in an endless loop.

If the price of freedom was just a chain around one person's neck? Well, Haides had long since noted the similarities between himself and his first king.

(For the Greater Good)

Haides pulled up short, realizing where his feet had chosen as a safe haven away from his home in the Sapphire Pieces Tower. Or, perhaps, where his former king and queen directed him.

"Since when were the two of you matchmakers?" Haides mused, pushing open the door without so much as an introductory knock. The two guards were far smarter this time around. He made a bee-line for the bed, throwing himself on as Zillah found an appropriate corner to lurk in and Ekaterina prodded at every nock and cranny of the unfamiliar room.

The King was notably nowhere in sight.

"You two were the ones encouraging me," Haides noted, crossing his arms behind his head as he laid down to look up at the colored ceiling. "What do you think I should be doing?"

The impression of a smile pressed against his temple as Sheba's giggle circled around him.

"All I have ever done is watch over your best interests" Haides defended. "It's not like this has been a vacation."

Solomon fed Haides an image of Alma Torran's last hour, of Arba's smile, of Sheba torn to pieces – of Haides's biggest failure.

He gritted his teeth. "I know it's my fault."

Sheba shrieked, the rukh battering his sides hard enough to leave bruises. His King's blue eyes flashed through his mind, hard as glaciers and blazing in a way his empty body never replicated after his ascension.

"If I had been there, if I had tried harder, you'd still be alive!" Little Prince Aladdin would have grown up to be the most beloved child in the world – the son of his bookworms. Everyone – except Solomon, who deserved freedom just as much – would have been free instead of locked in this mockery of a race for a throne that did not exist.

Haides tried not to twitch as the bed dipped and a calloused hand pressed against his hip.

"Who are you talking to, Haides?" Sinbad wondered, staring down at his djinn. It had been nearly two years since the immortal had bothered to step foot in his rooms, preferring to invade every other aspect of his life – his meetings, his office, his training grounds. To find his djinn here, after last seeing him refusing his King's presence and in a noticeably foul mood, was a deviation from their previous exchanges.

"Mama's talking to his ghosts!" Ekaterina chipped in as she steadily built a fort out of Sinbad's abundance of pillows. Sinbad nodded to her and made eye contact with his djinn's watcher – had her eyes always glowed like that? It was unnerving.

"What's wrong?"

Haides ignored his current king's attempt at making eye contact, keeping his attention focused steady on the ceiling. "I want to burn this world to the ground."

The room was silent for a moment, before Sinbad huffed at quiet laugh, flopping down next to Haides on the bed. "I don't know if I'm supposed to worship you or press you into submission."

"Oh?" Haides turned onto his side to get a better look at his king.

"You are a djinn," Sinbad said, revealing the truth to Haides's two daughters without a care in the world. Neither seemed surprised. "A being of unimaginable power and a direct connection to the god of this world. And yet, your fellows are sealed inside my weapons while you roam free. Would you help us if we worshiped you? Or is all of this my test, and I must force you under heel?"

Haides grinned. Sinbad's eyes were sharp, for all that he was no longer looking at the djinn. Let that snake-faced snot-nosed brat try and infringe on this.

"You give us too much credit, idiot king," Haides said, stretching out along the length of the taller man. He rested his head on the man's shoulder, watching the furrow of his brow. His lips rested right by his ear, close enough to keep his words a secret from his daughter. He didn't whisper. "We were mortal once, all of us. Little different from you, scrambling and clawing our way into power."

"That does not answer my question, Haides," Sinbad said. Haides appreciated his discretion. His daughters had no reason to know his name. Not yet.

"I have been worshiped. And I have been forced into submission. If you try either with me, idiot king, I do not care how many of my fellow djinn you hoard or how deep my seal is carved into your chest – I will kill you."

"Then what is it you want, Haides?" Sinbad wondered, his brow furrowed as the tips of his fingers brush against a forming bruise.

"All I have ever wanted, idiot King, is my freedom."

And what a bitter truth that was.

Candace the Spy-Master. The Gossip Monger. The Whisper Keeper. (Can I say, I really like my OCs?)

I really like Outsider POV stories? Kinda wanted to try it out, while still moving along the story and showing how Haides is perceived by others. Cause, let's be honest, he's not exactly the most reliable of narrators.

Reminder: Harry/Haides/Handras is not a good person. He cares about people, yeah. But, his first loyalty is to Solomon right now. He trusts Sinbad to some level, but he's too wrapped up in the past to give away all his loyalty to a man who will die before Haides does.

One of these days, I'll write a chapter I am completely satisfied with and not wanna delete before I can ever upload it. One of these days.

(*finger-guns away from the handful still asking about more mature content*)

Guest Reviews:

Guest (1) - Thank you! Oh, you're welcome! Haha, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. I try to make all of my relationships more centered around friendship and emotions than sexual attraction, cause I understand those better. Like...not to rag on people in more physical relationships, but, how?

Morrigan - Thank you!

Alazea - Thank you! *squints* ah, well, hope you were prepared to wait a while...sorry 'bout that!

Holysquitdoodle - Yay! Haha, trust me, I think I like this story too much sometimes too.

Z - No worries about that! I might take sometime *cough* months at a time *cough* but I plan to finish this story one day.Ahem. Yeah, they're getting there, but it's kinda a casual relationship? I dunno, I just see Sinbad being in an open relationship and Haides laughing at him when he gets rejected - or, you know, the whole thing with Kougyoku. Full-out cackling.

akuma - And more you will get!

Guest (2) - Well, no more waiting, yay!

Lilacantics - Haha, I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Sorry it took a while, but it's longer than usual and with more Sinbad/Harry interactions. Does that make up for the lateness?

Guest (3) - Oh shit. You're welcome, hun.

Bows Hello - Hello~ Oh, hun, so am I, like you don't even know. So many plans, not enough reactions. Haha, will do!

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter? Another timeskip next chapter - but less like a countdown this time.