To commemorate Friday the 13th, I am making Gorgon a full story! Oh, and I'm sure many of you are wondering why it's called "Gorgon" since the main character is Illyasviel, who is a die hard fan of Herakles.
Wonder no more!
I'm sure many of you are aware that Illya has the Mystic Eyes of Binding. And since she's a Slytherin in this story, I thought the title would fit.
Snake+being bound+ Illya's obvious love for Greek mythology= Medusa to me, ergo Gorgon. Hope that clears it up!
Illya's last memory was that of the Golden King Gilgamesh ruthlessly ripping her heart out.
So you could imagine her confusion waking up and finding herself in what was clearly a Magically-run alley where one could shop and buy spell components, among other things.
Fortunately her apparent age worked in her favor. There was an obvious Magus teacher walking with several other children about eleven to twelve.
Illya found herself dragged along with the other children, and passing a stray mirror noted with even more confusion that her 'age' appeared to be eleven.
It was odd because she had literally stopped aging shortly after her mother died acting as the vessel for the Grail in the war. Mere days before hearing her father had destroyed the Grail rather than take it in the name of the von Einzbern clan like he had been ordered.
Illya now knew about the taint, but that didn't mean she liked the fact her Grandfather had brainwashed her into trying to kill her brother. Or the fact that she had lost Berserker thanks to the errant Servant from the last war.
Illya managed to hide her confusion and bafflement until she saw the goblins. Imagine her shock when one took a single look at her, and then spoke in perfect German.
"A homunculus? Which family do you belong to?" he said tiredly.
Illya blinked before she replied in the same language, though now she was on common ground "I am Illyasviel Emiya, and I'm only half homunculus thank you."
If her Grandfather found her here instead of in Fuyuki trying to kill everyone and serving as the Lesser Grail, the consequences would be bad. Especially since she had no intention of replacing Berserker. However claiming her father's name might be able to throw off the scent until she could figure out what the heck was going on.
"You'll have to claim your inheritance, if you are related to the Magus Killer. Third door on your right and go straight down the hall until you reach a door with the rune for blood."
"Thank you," said Illya politely, as she followed his directions.
She waited in line for about five minutes, before her name was called.
"Cut your hand with this knife and let it drop onto the parchment. And be quick about it, I don't have all day," said the goblin.
Illya deftly pricked her finger and let three fat drops touch the parchment. Almost immediately her family history (a brief one on her mother's side, and a slightly longer one for her father's) appeared. To her relief, Shirou had been included on her father's side.
She repeated the process on a second sheet, this one to reveal 'vaults'. There was nothing for her mother's side, because the chance of her having any access to the von Einzbern vaults were next to nill. Especially if her Grandfather found out she was in what appeared to be London and not Japan.
Finding out her father Kiritsugu had a large vault...untouched...had been a surprise. Apparently the goblins created one to put all the gold for the Magi he killed, but had neglected to inform him about it.
Well, Illya was going to use it since she was technically the "heir" of the Emiya family, despite the fact she was half-homunculus. Shirou was adopted, and had never gained the small amount of the Emiya crest Kiritsugu had.
"Here's a key to the Emiya vault. Now is there anything else I can do to make you go away?"
Considering the fact she wouldn't be able to do ANYTHING while looking like an eleven-year-old, Illya decided to play the 'transfer' route. By this time she had already figured out she wasn't in a Magus-run society.
Oh no, she had clearly ended up in the far more inbred and idiotic wizarding society. And if she was right that meant she could play herself off as a pure blood from Germany until she could figure out her next move. Even if it meant putting up with a bunch of annoying eleven-year-old wizards and witches who thought that they were the cream of the crop when even a third-rate Magus could kick their ass.
And don't get her started on the rampant inbreeding. At least the Magus families had the sense to marry outside their native country more than inside. And never within the same family line. They might even marry a first or second-generation Magus into an established line like the von Einzberns if they jumped through hoops first.
Her father was lucky, because he had gained a wife without having to fight for it.
"I'm going to need a form so I can go to Hogwarts, since I'm too underage to do anything else," said Illya. Which was a lie. She was almost two full years older than Shirou, and he was a legal adult in the eyes of the wizards when she found him.
The goblin barked something and a lesser one came in with the forms.
"Fill these out. We can discuss the fees once you're done. Next!"
It took her fifteen minutes to fill them out.
After that she spent another thirty minutes haggling with the goblin in charge of student fees over the more ridiculous ones meant to scam muggleborns out of more money. A trick that started shortly after the balance of power shifted from the pure bloods to the muggles. A time when the amount of money from the pure bloods stagnated and the headmaster at the time figured out he could get more from the first generation magicals than he could from the older lines.
Any pure blood that signed up their son or daughter made a point to lower the cost after they found out the moment they picked the school of their choice. And if the child happened to be squib, well, no harm done.
Illya managed to get her tuition down to an even 50 galleons a month for the entire year, which was more than some people might have managed.
Honestly, it was cheaper to buy a year's worth of her favorite shampoo, conditioner and body wash than it was to pay a ten galleon fee per yer. And she didn't see a point of flying on a stick when there wasn't really any place to fly outside of the magical areas, which were few and far in between. Unlike the wizards, Illya KNEW there were such things as air planes that could expose her.
There was also the dress robe fee, the Daily Prophet fee, the Hogsmeade fee...the list went on and on.
In many ways, Illya was beyond glad she was a Magus-born. It had cut down many of the 'amenities' offered by the idiot wizards for new students heading to their precious school.
To be quite honest, she was a bigger fan of the Quibbler and at most Hogsmeade was little more than a quaint tourist village on par with the one where the von Einzberns displayed their mead every year for Oktoberfest.
No thank you.
She was on her way out from the inner parts of the bank when she ran into the most adorable boy with green eyes and messy hair.
"Sorry!" he said quickly, as Illya brushed herself off.
"It's my fault for not looking where I was going. Are you heading into the vaults too?" she asked.
He nodded, though it was clear he was nervous.
"Perhaps I can keep you distracted. I've heard the goblins don't exactly give people a comfortable ride to their gold," said Illya.
Actually she heard that the ride was much like a mundane roller coaster, but she wasn't going to spoil it.
To sum up Illya's odd day, or perhaps dream, she counted everything off.
First, she woke up from something she SHOULD have died from in an eleven-year-old body when she should have been NINE.
Second, she found herself in the 'wizard-society', which was far beyond backward compared to the Magus-society she was used to. They still believed they were in the Victorian-age, for Akasha's sake! Anyone with an iota of common sense would be able to rule them within a week, if that!
Third, she had apparently traveled in time to before their little war ended permanently.
Four, she was now the first real friend of the one who ENDED the war, a much more timid Harry Potter. Frankly it was common consensus he had gotten the bad end of that deal, as he would have been much more effective if Magus-trained.
At the very least he wouldn't have been so desperate to have married one of his die-hard fan girls. So much potential lost because Dumbledore was the WORST tactician to have ever lived, and a hypocrite of the highest order.
Five, she needed time to plan her next move. If this really was the past, then she had a chance to summon Berserker again and this time she wasn't going to try and kill her brother. She might even be able to land Harry as a valuable ally in getting rid of the golden bastard who either killed her or damn near killed her because she was the lesser grail.
She was going to have fun messing with the idiots of Hogwarts...
It was cute how Harry stuck to her like glue as she easily navigated the King's Cross Station, despite never coming here. Around her neck was her new cat, who she named Iris, after her mother. The pale white cat with red eyes watched the world around her with amused, if calculating interest. She had bought the cat because it reminded her of what little she remembered of her mother.
Any magically born child (Magus or otherwise) knew the entrance to the train to Hogwarts was to take the third pillar between platforms nine and ten, between the hours of nine A.M. to eleven A.M. on the specified dates. The days the portal were open were never said, but most generally believed it to be September first, if only because there was usually a rash of wizard-born gawking at the mundanes around that day.
Illya was going to put that theory to the test.
"Where's the platform?" asked Harry.
"It's the third pillar between nine and ten. It's a portal that takes you to a subspace that is only open on specific days, but is solid any other time. You have to walk through the pillar to get onto the platform," said Illya.
Harry looked dubious, so Illya stuck her hand on the pillar...only for it to vanish halfway. Such a small trick, but enough to convince Harry there was something there. Taking a deep breath, Harry charged forward...and found himself on a train platform filled with odd people.
"Did I or did I not say that there would be a platform?" said Illya, pushing her cart at a much more sedate pace. Once you've fought in a Grail War, you tend to not freak out at the littlest detail.
Harry looked sheepish, but was able to get their trunks up to the top rack with Illya's help.
Once they settled in, Illya brought out some manga she had bought at the mundane bookstore and passed one to Harry to read. It was called Negima, and it featured a boy wizard who inadvertently creates a harem of most of his class despite being only ten.
Harry eagerly dove into the book...at least once Illya explained how one was supposed to read it.
The two spent a quiet time reading, ignoring the 'demands' of the older students wearing green and silver ties.
For some reason, not a single one of them could match Illya's stare down without running. Eventually only two students were able to secure a seat in the same compartment. A bushy haired, anal retentive girl named Hermione Granger, and a nervous pure blood by the name of Neville Longbottom.
Granger was easy to deal with. She was so eager to prove herself that she soaked up anything Illya told her like a sponge, considering she was claiming to be a German pure blood.
The girl honestly had no idea how backwards the wizarding society was, and even Neville seemed taken aback by how scathing Illya spoke about it.
"They're idiots. They still think wizards are the superior race despite the fact that the mundanes outnumber any magical bloods 3 to 1 in most countries, and that's before you get into the rather disturbing issue of the fact that most of the English stock tend to marry in-house, so to speak. At least in Germany we have the sense to go abroad to find suitable partners, instead of marrying within the same lines. And don't get me started on how backwards it is here. You'd think you were in the Victorian era with Queen Victoria still on the throne with the way they go about. The most technologically advanced thing they have is a radio! An old fashioned one that uses bulbs at that!"
Seeing the surprised look on Neville's face, Illya smirked.
Hermione looked appalled.
"I wish. I wouldn't have even chosen a school as backwards as Hogwarts if it weren't cheaper than Durmstrang. Though if I were you I'd ask to adjust your school fees next time you're in Gringotts. About two hundred and fifty years ago a headmaster decided he'd milk the first-gens since the pure bloods started clamping down on their vaults, so they slipped in a ton of hidden fees. I've gotten mine down to fifty galleons a month, instead of the usual hundred fifty."
"What was the conversion rate for galleons to pounds again?" asked Hermione.
"Five pounds to one galleon," said Illya, who watched with open amusement as Hermione calculated the conversion rate.
Hermione bristled, much like a furious squirrel.
"Seven hundred and fifty?!" she hissed.
"Compared to my two hundred and fifty, it's obscene," said Illya smugly.
"I could be attending an exclusive private school for that kind of money!"
"Again, speak to the goblins in charge of the school fees. Or if nothing else, look in to alternative magical schools. Hogwarts is good if you want the bare bones of wizard schooling, but it's rife with house discrimination and blood supremacy. Headmaster Dumbledore does nothing to curtail the worst of the bullying, and the teaching has gone downhill in recent years. The history teacher is a ghost that does nothing but put students to sleep every class, and the Defense teacher is changed every year. It's inconsistent."
Hermione looked aghast.
Neville looked confused.
"Why do you hate Hogwarts so much?"
"Magus born and bred. I wouldn't be here if I had a choice in the matter," she replied flatly.
"What's a Magus?" asked Harry, speaking up.
"Magus are the considered the oddballs of the magical society. They have their own school in London, but it's harder to get into than any wizard school," said Neville.
Illya rolled her eyes.
"The Clock Tower isn't overly difficult, it's just that wizards dislike the fact we have an actual REASON to discriminate against first generation magicals without having to bring in blood prejudice into it," said Illya.
"What," said Hermione.
"In Magus families, the longer your lineage, the more established your connection to magic is. In Wizard families, while this is also true, the fact is that in recent years they've decided to quit focusing on advancing magical knowledge and focus more on persecuting the other magical species and believing that marry anyone with the same family line will make their magic stronger. And they don't even bother to train their magic once they're out of school! They're beyond lazy!" said Illya.
It was the same impassioned rant any Magus had of wizards. Magi at least had a goal to work towards! Wizards didn't even have that, and they scoffed at the idea of rituals!
Hermione looked aghast at the idea. Even Harry looked upset. Neville...looked confused, though to be fair he'd be happy just tending his garden.
"In any case, I'm only going here because there's no way I could go to Clock Tower this early, and it would be interesting to see magic from a wizard's perspective," said Illya smugly.
About halfway to the castle, Illya got her first look at the infamous Malfoy family heir.
Draco appeared in their car with his goons, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle.
Illya took one look at them and sniffed haughtily.
"So I suppose it's true what they say about British pure bloods. They don't understand basic manners."
"Like a mudblood like you would know."
Illyasviel sneered at him.
"My name, little boy, is Illyasviel Emiya. Daughter of Irisviel von Einzbern and Kiritsugu Emiya. At least my family wasn't chased out of their ancestral homes because of their heir raped a maiden of their ally promised to another family," sneered Illya.
Draco's face paled the second she mentioned her mother's last name, and then flared to red the second she reminded him why their name was "Malfoy", which meant Bad Faith.
The pale haired boy growled at the girl, who smiled innocently at him.
"Crabbe, Goyle, get her," snarled Draco.
Illya merely dusted off her skirt and put herself firmly in front of the two goons and gave them her best imperious glare. She was a Magus, and the previous Master of Berserker. Compared to the great Servant Herakles, these two inbred twits were nothing.
The two hulking boys looked into Illya's red eyes, and to the shock of Neville, backed down. Her eyes were as cold as the von Einzbern castle in winter, and just as friendly as their welcome to outsiders who were on the last of their patience. Her eyes said only one thing.
These two were little more than potion ingredients if they were lucky, and live test subjects for anything she could conceive if they weren't. When it came to Magi, there were things worse than death and they didn't try to limit what they were allowed to learn unless it had proved too extreme even for their loose morals.
Like research into Apostles, Reality Marbles, or anything that would expose magecraft to the world in general.
The goons looked at the innocent smiling Illyasviel, then at Draco, before coming to an almost instant agreement.
"Are you hiring?" asked Crabbe.
"I could use some big strong enforcers who won't ask too many awkward questions," said Illya. At least until she found some way to get her hands on Berserker again. A pair of overweight, hulking wizards would make acceptable replacements until that point.
"What are you doing?!" hissed Draco.
Goyle looked at Draco with a flat expression.
"It's called 'not getting killed by a girl'," said Goyle.
"And here I assumed inbreeding had killed all the brain cells of the pure bloods. I'm impressed you recognized the real alpha here," said Illya honestly.
Her fangs had cut back some of her bite, but when it came to wizards all bets were off.
She was a von Einzbern, after all.