Father of Dragons
Series: Xiǎolóng De Fùqīn
Prequel: Stranger In A Strange Land
Universe/Series: Temeraire / Harry Potter
Relationship: Harry Potter/Prince Yongxing
Characters: Harry Potter, Prince Yongxing, Jiaqing Emperor, Liu Bao, Lung Tien Lien, Bodhi (OC Dragon), Feng Li, Gong Su, Jing Chao, Prince Mianning, Lung Tien Chuan, Prince Miankai, Zhao Wei, Captain Holt, Captain Greggson, Captain Mestis, Bin Han Li (OFC), Lung Tien Qian, General Lung Shao Chu
Tropes: Creature Fic, MoD!Harry
Warnings: Crossover, Animal Transformation, Alternate Universe - Dragons, Alternate Universe - Napoleonic Wars, Time Travel, Pre-Slash
Timeline: HPDH (pre Epilogue), Pre-Canon for Temeraire
Author's Note: All Chinese comes from Google Translate so any errors are because of that. This is the extended version of the one-shot by the same name.
Summery: After unexpectedly dying, Harry finds himself in a past very different from the history books he learned from.
April 1803; The Forbidden City, China
Harry sat in the room the Jiaqing Emperor had assigned to him while Prince Yongxing and the Emperor discussed Harry's arrival, and what he had done before Lung Tien Lien in the courtyard. Harry was more than a little worried that he had done something wrong, and he thought about escaping. Only the guards at the entryways and windows stopped that idea as soon as he had it. He also could not apparate away since he did not know any Chinese apparition points he could safely try as he was in the past of a foreign country, in a world that did not have magic in the first place. So he was stuck sitting here under guard as two strangers decided his fate. Again.
Outside his window he had a view into a lovely courtyard where Lung Tien Lien, Bodhi, the Jiaqing Emperor, and Prince Yongxing were all talking. The Emperor seemed to be spending a fair amount of time looking over Bodhi while also talking to the Prince and a man in a military uniform that Harry hadn't seen previously. Based on the elaborate style of the uniform Harry would hazard a guess that the man was a General or something similarly important.
Harry nervously tugged at his shirt hem, wondering what to do. He could cast a spell to allow him to hear what they were discussing, but without knowing Chinese it was a pointless act. He supposed he could use the book of spells Hermionie had written up during their time on the run. It was full of useful spells for living in the wild, healing, defense, and hiding. Surely she would have put in other useful things like translations spells in case they had to go to the mainland?
Harry glanced at the guard who stood in the room with him. The man's hand was still resting on the hilt of his sword, even though he was pretending not to be watching Harry. Every time Harry had caught him looking, the guard had glanced away nervously. Obviously the knowledge that Harry had brought to life a dragon from nothing but a hunk of stone had the man more than a little freaked out. Not that Harry blamed him. He could imagine how terrifying that would be for someone who had never seen real magic before.
"Master Potter, the Emperor and Prince Yongxing request your presence in the courtyard," stated the old interpreter, who Harry had learned was called Liu HuiDa.
Harry stood up and followed the old man out, the guard waited for Harry to pass before leaving his post to follow them into the courtyard. Harry ignored his presence at Harry's back, knowing there was nothing he could do to get the man to stand at his side or in front of him, short of using magic. He didn't want tot do that since he wanted to make these people his allies, not his enemies. He had enough enemies for one lifetime, and now that he was possibly on his second it would be better if his number of friends was greater then his number of enemies. And an Emperor had an entire country he could make Harry's enemy. Taking a deep calming breath Harry forced himself to relax and enjoy the feeling of a cool breeze ruffling through his hair. The room he had been waiting in had been a bit stifling after a while, so it was nice to be outside again, and not just because this meant he would find out what was going to happen to him.
Bodhi wiggled about in pleasure at Harry's returned presence, calling out a greeting. Harry smiled at him before turning to face the Emperor, bowing deeply at his waist. He held his breath and counted to ten before allowing himself to rise gracefully from the waist up. Harry tried to ignore the 'tsk' that Lung Tien Lien made when he bowed. Obviously he didn't do it to proper Chinese protocol.
The Emperor seemed not to notice, being more interested in speaking to the interpreter than in watching Harry bow to him. When the Emperor had finished speaking he turned to face Harry directly, watching him with a curious, calculating gaze.
"The Great Jiaqing Emperor wishes to know what this dragon is called."
"I named him Bodhi, which means awakening or enlightenment in Sanskrit," replied Harry.
"What is his breed?"
"Oh!" Harry blushed in embarrassment. "He is an Ironbelly."
The interpreter inclined his head to Harry and turned to face the Emperor and Prince Yongxing. "Tā bǎ tā mìngmíng wèi Bodhi. Gāi pǐnzhǒng bèi chēng wèi Tiě-Lung."
"Tā kěyǐ zhuàn gèng duō? Nàxiē gèng lìng rén gāoxìng de yǎnguāng lái kàndài," asked the Emperor.
"The Emperor now wishes to know if you can make another dragon. One different from this one," he waved at Bodhi who had gone back to lounging comfortably on the polish stones of the courtyard, his long tail coiling around Harry. "Perhaps more pleasing to look upon."
"I can try. I have seen only a few dragons before, none quite as lovely as Lady Lung Tien Lien."
The old man's eyebrow rose at his comment about Lien, but he repeated Harry words. Prince Yongxing seemed pleased by Harry's words if the soft look in his eyes was any indication. The Emperor merely nodded for Harry to do as he directed. With a single wave of his hand, the guards stepped back, making room for Harry to cast his magic.
Glancing about Harry realized he needed something he could transfigure. "Does anyone have a stone or something else I might use to first form the body from?"
The old man pursed his lips, but reached into his robes pulling out a small stone pendant. He seemed reluctant to hand it over, but after a quick glance at the two royals from the corner of his eyes, he reached out to gently place it in Harry's open palm.
Harry closed his eyes trying to remember the image of the dragons he had seen with Hagrid the night before the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. The one he could picture most clearly was the Horntail, but he didn't have the best memories of her. No he wanted more oriental. A lightbulb went off in his head, and Harry carefully placed his other hand over the top of the palm holding the stone. He pictured the dragon he wanted as clearly as possible in his mind. The jewel-like gleam of the scarlet colored scales of its serpentine body, the contrast of its crown of golden horns that formed what closely resembled a lions mane, the almost snub-nose appearance in comparison to other dragons, the long delicate look of the almost fan like wings, and the fiercely intelligent look in its jade colored eyes.
Without opening his eyes Harry concentrated on the image in his mind and began to cast the spells to transfigure the piece of jade jewelry into an animated dragon. He could feel the necklace heat up in his hand, moving like water around his palm in serpent like coil. Just before the heat grew too great, it cooled down until it was merely as warm as his own body.
With a released sign Harry opened his eyes, lifted his top hand off, and smiled down at the small dragon curled up in his palm. The dragon gazed up at him, and let out of huff of breath.
"It is quite small," the old man stated in a disappointed voice. "Though it's scales are a most pleasing shade of scarlet."
"This is just the first step. I shall set it down now, then enlarge it and call a soul to it."
"What do you mean by 'call a soul to it'?"
Harry set the little dragon statue down on the ground, stroking a finger down the length of its back before standing upright. "Just...well it is not truly alive yet. It has no soul."
The old man made a humming noise in the back of his throat, before turning to relay Harry's words again to the Emperor. The Emperor looked thoughtful as he gazed down at the little coiled dragon, but after a moment he motioned for Harry to proceed.
Trying to find that place inside himself again that had directed him how to give life to Bodhi, Harry carefully, if a bit slowly, began to cast the magic. The guards shifted in readiness as a wind stirred up around Harry, tugging at his hair and robes before swirling about the small the dragon statue. He could almost imagine he heard a voice on the wind as the magic moved faster and faster around the statue, growing it larger and larger, until it was nearly 110 feet long, longer even than Bodhi who as only 102 feet long from nose to tail-tip.
The voices of the guards, as well as the two royals rose in excitement as the dragon stretched herself out, eyes blinking slowly, wings fluttering at the tips as they stretched wide. With a soft sigh, the dragon settled herself in a graceful coil between Harry and the others present. When Harry looked up at her, he caught her gaze and marvel at the flecks of emerald in the jade colored depths.
"What is this one called?"
If possible, Harry thought, the dragon look amused by the stunned expressions of the men around her. And once she spoke he was certain of her amusement in them.
"I do not have a name yet. Though I would not mind having one. Something that would reflect on my beauty perhaps?" She gazed down at the old interpreter, a smile filling her eyes.
The old man looked from her to the Emperor in a panic, speaking too quickly for Harry to make a guess at what he said. The Emperor seemed almost as amused as the dragon as he watched the older man panic, before calmly speaking to him as if what they had just witnessed was no strange sight.
"The Emperor says I might name you, if it would please you my Lady."
He turned to address Harry. "What is her breed?"
"She is a Fireball."
"Huǒqiú-Lung," he muttered to himself. "Then I shall call you Lung Huǒqiú Liang."
"Bright One...Yes, I like that name."
"I am most glad to hear you say so. Liang was my mother's name," HuiDa said with a sad smile.
"Then I am doubly honored."
"Father," whined Bodhi. "This is all very boring. Can't we go flying? I would like to go flying. Or maybe to eat. Yes, I am hungry."
"Oh, do stop whining," snapped Liang. "You are making a spectacle of yourself."
HuiDa smiled at the two dragons before looking back at Harry. Harry smiled back, wobbling on his feet until he stumbled back into Bodhi, suddenly feeling very weak. The dragons made panicked sounds, but Harry hardly noticed as his eyes rolled back into his head and he passed out.
*~*~*~* HP/TEMER *~*~*~*
Three Days Later; The Forbidden City, China
When Harry woke up he wasn't sure if he was awake. Everything that had happened certainly seemed like a dream. But the room he was in certainly didn't seem like it belonged in Hogwarts, or even a Muggle hospital. What little he could make out without his glasses, screamed opulence, not hospital ward. There was nothing resembling the smell of bleach, there was no mechanical sounds, or the pall of death that lingered around a hospital. No, it was certainly wasn't one. The air was sweet and clear, with just a hint of spices musk that reminded him of the Triwizard Tournament, the bed was not like a hospital bed at all. It was large, plush, and he could make out the edges of drapery closing it partially off from the rest of the room.
Sitting up, Harry squinted into the room beyond the curtains, trying to make out if his glasses were nearby. Not seeing them right away he pushed at the curtain with his right hand, and carefully slid out of the bed, standing on shaky legs. The room seemed to only slightly larger than the Gryffindor boys dorms, but there the similarities ended. The floors were polished wood, the walls were blurry enough he couldn't make out what they were made of, but there were larger circular windows letting in a warm breeze, and a larger doorway at the far side of the room. Blinking slowly, Harry stumbled over to small table between the bed and one of the windows. Sliding his hand across its surface he waited for his fingers to bump into his glasses, picking them up and putting them on.
For a moment he thought he might still be dreaming. He pinched himself on his arm, blinking slowly as he realized he was awake. Which meant none of it had been a dream, and he was in fact in ancient China. If he stepped outside he would be likely to find talking dragons, as well as the splendor of the Imperial gardens. His legs gave out and Harry found himself sitting on the floor only a few feet away from the door, the breeze coming in causing his shaggy locks to flitter slightly. His heart was pounding in his chest so hard he thought it might actually leap out of his chest. One hand reaching up to clutch at his chest, Harry tried to calm down. He didn't need to panic, he had lived through worse things than being lost in the past of an apparent alternate universe. So what if magic didn't really exist here, or maybe just wasn't known of. So what if there were talking dragons. So what...so what if none of his friends were here. He had spent most of his life alone without anyone to call a friend. Just because he had been lucky enough to have multiple friends for the last seven years didn't mean he couldn't do without again.
"Father," came a voice from the courtyard. "Are you awake now?"
"Hush, Bodhi," came a no-nonsense feminine voice. "Father is likely still sleeping. It must be tiring to give life to such large and impressive beings as ourselves."
"But it has been three days," whined Bodhi.
"So what? Let him sleep and when he is ready he will awaken."
"Wha," Harry mumbled confused. For a moment he tried to deny the memory of just what he had done.
"Father," cried an excited voice from outside.
Harry looked up from the floor, jumping back in surprise at the massive face blocking the doorway, one large wine red eye peering at him. Outside the door a massive Ironbelly, bigger than the one he had released from Gringotts, was wiggling about like an over excited puppy.
"Father," it, he, cried out again. "You are awake! He's awake! I told you so!"
If he had been standing he would have dropped to the floor. He had done the impossible again.
"So Lung Tiě Bodhi is correct. You have awoken."
Harry released a shaky breath and looked at the old man pushing his way past Bodhi's massive head, to enter the room. He was dressed in robin's egg blue robes with creamy purple and mint green accents, which reminded him of Dumbledore's robes. The old interrupters near black eyes gazed at him in an assessing manor, taking in the way Harry's hands shook ever-so-slightly.
"I…" Harry swallowed, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. He released it slowly, taking another and another until his hands stop shaking. "How long was I asleep?"
"Three days." HuiDa gave Harry a pleased glance at his now steady hands. turning to face the door, he lightly called out to someone on the other side in Chinese. "Come. Sit with me. Tea will be brought along with something to break your fast."
Harry pushed to his feet, dusting off his bottom out of habit, more than a need to, and followed the older man to where a low table and some seats were situated next to one of the other windows. As they sat two servants came in. One carried an elaborate covered wooden tray which she gently set down on a low table opposite from them. She removed the cover and Harry realized that on the tray was what appeared to be a tea set made in the most beautiful white porcelain, with intricate red birds painted on. As he watched the young woman poured water into a kettle, heating it over the stove built into the table. As the water in the kettle warmed she carefully removed the teapot from the tray, setting it, and the two teacups, into the warm water.
"It wasn't a dream then? I really am in…in China?"
"You are indeed in China, Xiǎolóng De Fùqīn." HuiDa inclined his head slightly.
Harry licked his lips, leaning back as the second woman placed another porcelain bowl in front of HuiDa, filled with what appeared to be some kind of porridge. A second plate that had several fretting steamed buns was set in between himself and HuiDa, before she placed a matching bowl or the porridge in front of the Harry. "What does that mean? Show..long de fu…gin?"
HuiDa winced at the butchered words. "It means 'Father of Dragons.' We shall have to start your training on being able to speak properly as soon as you have finished your morning meal."
"Father of dragons," Harry whispered to himself confused until he glanced out the window again to where Bodhi and Liang were quietly watching him. "You are going to teach me Chinese?"
"I shall try. If you can learn to speak Cantonese or Mandarin remains to be seen."
Harry was about to respond that he was hardly stupid, but bit his tongue as the woman who had carried the food, bowed deeply to them, her gaze never reaching his, before backing out of the room. Harry watched her, confused by her behavior.
"Eat, Xiǎolóng De Fùqīn. Your congee will get cold."
"A mild-flavored rice porridge. It is easy on the stomach so you should have no trouble with it after your long rest."
"And the buns?"
"Bow…Z," Harry tried to repeat.
"Close. Try again. It is Baozi."
"Better." HuiDa lifted his spoon, and with great care dipped it into his congee.
Harry watched the man take a bite before mimicking him. HuiDa was right, the porridge was very mild-flavored. It was in fact very bland tasting in comparison to the rich flavors he was used to getting at Hogwarts. However, it was by far better than some of the food Hermione and himself had eaten on their year on the run. He was hardly going to be a picky eater after his years with the Durselys, let alone after a year of eating whatever they could find without going into populated areas.
"Thank you," Harry said quietly, his eyes meeting HuiDa's.
The older man watched him for a moment and Harry felt like he did under Dumbledore's gaze, as if the man could see into his soul. He seemed pleased, and worried, by what he saw in Harry's eyes. "Thanks are not needed. You have done the Emperor a great service by creating the two dragons. The Emperor is most pleased by them."
"Still…" Harry stopped as the second woman approached them, her tray once again in hand. The teapot was set in the center, two delicate cups placed next to it. Steam was rising in a gentle, swirling dance from the spout, filling the air with a heavenly scent and Harry closed his eyes, enjoying the smell. It wasn't Earl Gray, like the house elves usual gave him, but it smelt like home all the same.
The young woman kneeled next to them and with practiced care lifted the tea pot, pouring the steaming amber liquid into the two cups, before settling the teapot back on the try and backing away. Harry lifted the cup, breathing in the scent of the tea in a long inhale through his nose. Pleased, he took a sip, savoring the flavor before setting the cup back down.
The breakfast continued much the same between them. Comfortable silence interspaced with polite conversation, and HuiDa gently instructing Harry with words for each team they ate, and what filled the room. They emptied the pot of tea, their bowls on congee, and demolished the spinach and pork filled steamed buns.
Once they had finished Harry had thought for sure he would be led into the courtyard where the dragons waited, Bodhi not so quietly. But instead HuiDa had taken the time to explain to Harry about the situation he found himself in. If he had not done the impossible in front of Lung Tien Lien, Prince Yongxing, and the Emperor, then he would have been executed for trespassing. Instead the Emperor, consulted by Prince Yongxing, had decided to let Harry live as he was obviously not human. The Prince had spoken about Gods and Spirits, and now everyone in the Forbidden City knew Harry was Xiǎolóng De Fùqīn, a God of dragons and magic.
Not sure about any of it, Harry had none-the-less accepted that for now he would be living in Prince Yongxing's section of the palace and HuiDa would be assigned as his instructor in courtly behavior and language. In return Harry was expected to teach what, if any, magic he could to men chosen by the Emperor himself, and to possibly create more dragons. Though the Emperor had been "kind" enough to say that was not needed right away since Harry was still recovering from being dead. And that story had also apparently made it's way through the court already and some of the servants and soldiers had been calling him Sǐwáng Xué Shuòshì, the Master of Death. There had even been whispers in the court, HuiDa tells him, that Harry would be tasked with learning the arts of war and training others in it as well as in his magic, creating the perfect bodyguards for the royal family.
Harry tried to explain that he had no formal training in war. But HuiDa waved his concerns away, stating that he would be taught by General Lung Shao Chu and General Ma Sayoran. Sighing, Harry had agreed to learning more. He was stuck in the past, at least two hundred years back at a guess, with no way home. His only option was to accept whatever help they were willing to offer, and adapt to his new life. He was good at adapting after all. They talked for hours, HuiDa learning everything he could of Harry's past, both good and bad, and what little of the future Harry was willing to share. Harry had been honest in his telling that his knowledge of world history was poor, his last history teacher being a ghost who did not realize he was dead, and had an obsessive compulsion to teach them only of the Goblin wars. Still, he recounted what he could, HuiDa taking copious notes on a scroll that was quickly provided for him by the young woman who had merely sat in the corner of the room while they had eaten.
HuiDa had been intrigued by Harry's explanation of parseltongue, which HuiDa called Shétou de shé, the tongues of serpents. The servant girl had been sent to have a soldier find a snake so that they might test Harry's skill. By that time, four hours had passed and they had been forced to relocate into the garden due to Bodhi's constant whining to see Harry. Currently Harry was resting against Bodhi's chest, the tip of the dragon's tail tapping the ground to Harry's left. Liang was seated across from Bodhi, HuiDa sitting in the palm of her hand. Several guards were standing nearby, watching silently as the snake was set down in front of Harry.
Harry greeted the snake with a hiss, complimenting it on its red and black pattern being quite striking.
The snake seemed surprised at being spoken to, but pleased about the compliments. After a short conversation Harry was able to get the snake to climb up his arm until it rested over his shoulders. The wave of voices around him increased as the snake then moved down his other arm and came to a stop at his feet.
After a brief bit of cajoling, Harry got one of the guards to come forward so that the snake could repeat the maneuver. Then he managed to convinced the guards to step forward and place their hand on the shoulder of the guard to their left so that the snake could travel across their shoulders like a bridge until it reached the end. Then Harry place his hand, palm up in front of the snake, showing his vulnerable flesh to the animal before calmly asking it to across over to him. It wasn't anything impressive as far as he was concerned but the men seemed suitably impressed, especially after Harry was advised that the snake was a Banded Red Snake, which was poisonous. After that Harry better understood how impressed the men were.
More test were done with the guards, dragons, and HuiDa watching. Harry was asked about other spells he could do, showing as many as he could that wouldn't cause the guards to panic. Simple levitation charms, charms to change the color of clothes, transfiguration in many varied forms, examples of defense spells, and even the animagus transformation, something Harry had only completed a few weeks before the final battle. Something that had saved his life on at least one occasion so far.
He had even, for a moment, been tempted to reveal that he could summon the souls of the departed back using the Ring. But figured being able to create living dragons on top of normal magic already made him weird enough. He would hide those other skills.