Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, Dragon Age, or any other Book/Game referenced in this story.
"Demonic/Draconic Speech" / Emphasized Word
'Diary Narration' / 'Book Reading'
Chapter 4: I'm a Wizard, Duncan
His eyes opened slowly, and he did not need to shelter his eyes from the light, which gave the impression that he was, once more, in the space where he faced his draconic copy before. He looked around to find his duplicate, only he was changed. His eyes were no longer the wild yellow, but now were white. His skin was deathly pale; paler than Harry had ever been; and it was decaying, there were already missing chunks of skin here and there, and Harry turned his attention back to its face, unable to continue his survey. "You're awake. Finally." It said, and even its voice was different. Whereas before it sounded just like him, now it spoke in a whisper, but it felt as though it wasn't because it wanted to, but for lack of air to do so.
"You have been asleep for days now…" It said, and Harry tilted his head slightly in question, and surprise as he thought he'd only been out a few hours after the battle. "As you remember, we were struck. The blade was infected with…the blight; yes those were darkspawn; and we were dying." Harry's eyes widened, almost comically and he was about to start panicking when his doppelganger raised a hand to stay him. "We were saved, however, by…someone. They forced some liquid…down your throat and it helped you…" Harry was about to ask why it looked the way it did if those people saved him, when it continued speaking, predicting the question. "I know what you're going to ask…you want to know why I look the way I do, yes?" It paid little mind to the nod of Harry's head before continuing. "I am not real. That much is obvious. I am a magical representation of your animal side. Or at least, I was." Harry could understand it so far. When an animagus learn their animal identity, their magic shapes in order to accommodate the beast, the side effect being the creation of this…golem, of sorts. "As the blight changed you, it changed me as well. Whereas before I was a magical manifestation of your beast, now I'm the manifestation of your corruption, a reminder of what you'll one day become." Harry, despite being unnerved by the revelation, nodded his head, accepting it, and quite understanding it too.
"There is one thing I don't quite understand…" it said, closing its eyes and turning its head slightly to the side as though trying to hear something better. "I am not real…not really anyway, but I hear…something…a voice, calling out to me, for help…" It stopped for a moment, before its eyes opened abruptly. "A dragon! It calls out for help, it's being tortured…somewhere underground…but it's too late for that…it wants to be slain, it doesn't want to become…a monster…?" it turned its attention back to Harry, eyes narrowed in concentration, trying to hear whatever it was it heard as well as trying to translate from their language to something a human would understand. Its face remained like that for a while, before it sighed and shook its head "that's all the voice says…" he shook his head turning his attention to Harry, who couldn't stop the question that came out of his lips "If you are truly not alive, how can you hear the call of that dragon?" His doppelganger smiled, as though expecting that question. "I'm not sure" it said, eyes closing once again. "As I told you, I'm a magical construct, but I was created by your other magic, before you lost it, thanks to the Blight. Maybe in changing you, it also changed me, and I actually am alive now, in a way. Maybe, despite still being made of magic, I now may be like those spirits from the fade, ever wishing to interact with the real world but unable to…except, of course, I already have a host, of sorts."
For a moment Harry was unsure how to respond, but he eventually just laughed at what his counter-part said. "So…what? I'm an abomination right off the bat, is that what you're saying?" He asked, eyebrow raising in genuine curiosity. "Of course not! There would be no use if we were to become an abomination. Besides, I said I'm like a spirit of the fade, not a demon, and even then I'm not entirely sure what I am either, maybe I can hear the dragon's voice because you're also infected, and will eventually hear it yourself…?" Harry took a moment to think on it, but ended up nodding his agreement. "Could be true, you are a reflection of me, as you've said…could be something to ask the Grey Wardens then?" His clone nodded, and they just stared at each other for a moment, before Harry started disappearing from the space they were. "Remember to ask about the dragon, yes?" His doppelganger asked as his face disappeared, and he only had time to nod his acknowledgement before he opened his eyes, looking upward inside a tent.
Duncan eyed the other wardens gathered around the campfire. They were still waiting for the young man to recover from his Joining, his eyes wandered to the tent the two were in, before going back to his brothers. "…I'll oversee their training. The girl is a mage, obviously, but magic alone won't save her from the Darkspawn now. The boy…is unique" one of the gathered muttered "monster" but he paid it no mind, he wouldn't judge the kid without evidence of what he was. "And he seems to be life fighting with two blades…much like myself, so I'll be a good teach in that regard. I need you to investigate this. They attacked Malcolm for a reason. Did they know of his involvement in sealing Corypheus, and if they did, why kill him outright? They could take him away to undo the barrier…this troubles me." The others nodded at his words, the new Ensigns forgotten momentarily. He wanted to know why the Darkspawn would target Malcolm directly like they did, specifically why did they intend on killing him, given that they would need him alive in order to release Corypheus from his imprisonment.
Unless…the Darkspawn didn't want Corypheus freed? If that was the case, what had Corypheus done to cause this rift between him and the darkspawn? Duncan wanted to continue pondering on it, but a shout of "He's awake!" from Bethany pulled him from his inner musings, and he, along with his companions stood from their place and walked into the tent the boy rested in. He stopped as soon as he entered, his eyes firmly on the green slit eyes of the boy he'd saved quite some time ago. "Bethany's been filling me in on what happened. Thank you for saving her." He said, bowing to the older of the group, which just happened to be Duncan himself. The older man chuckled at the boy, noting he wasn't thanking them for saving him but for saving someone he cared for. "I was about to apologize for turning both of you into Grey Wardens, but it seems that is unneeded." He replied warmly, and the boy smiled openly at him, nodding his head.
Harry looked at each of the Wardens gathered in front of him, noticing quite clearly that the only one who even seemed to attempt being nice toward him was the older looking one. He decided to ignore the others, focusing his attention on the man. "I'm sure you know my name by now, but I'm Harry Cousland, at your service." He bowed again as he introduced himself, and then extended his arm for a shake of hands, which the man reciprocated "and I'm Duncan, a pleasure to meet you, master Cousland." His voice was strong, something Harry noticed from his father, despite his looks, and he knew to respect the man. "I will be your guide in these first years of yours, Ensign Cousland, Ensign Hawke. I expect your obedience to our rules, as much as I'm expected to improve your already considerable skills." Harry saw the others snort and turn around, leaving the tent, probably having their own orders to carry out. The man seemed to relax a little as they left, most likely there was some tension involving what to do with him among them.
"Now that they're out of here…" his voice changed, from the strong yet kind tone to a harsh commanding one, and Harry couldn't help but flinch. The man inspected his wings once more before looking into his eyes. "You don't look like any abomination I've ever encountered, so I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. Be warned, should I not like your answer…" the his left hand, which was relaxed until that moment, reached for the weapon in the scabbard at his hip, and Harry gulped slightly. He was a mage, and his hand-to-hand combat was sub-par at best, despite his mother's best efforts to teach him. It had been something he noticed in that fight, he was too dependent of his magical abilities, and when they failed he could barely hold his own. He just thanked whatever god may be watching over him for careless Darkspawn. "I'm not completely human, it's true…" he saw the man tense and his hand grasp at the hilt of the blade, and hurried with his explanation "but I'm no abomination either! I'm a shapeshifter, but when I was learning to shift to dragons, I must have messed up at some point and not only did I lose the ability to shift, but this" he gestured at himself "is permanent. You could say I'm a half-dragon." It wasn't hard to come up with a cover story. This world had its own share of animagus, after all, they only had a different name for it.
Duncan seemed to be contemplating his story for a moment, before he saw the man's hand leave the weapon's hilt and he nodded, accepting the explanation. "My knowledge of magic isn't that extensive but I know enough to understand this type of strangeness can happen. Doesn't mean you're not gonna be watched. At least until I'm sure I can trust you, you understand…" Harry nodded; it'd be kind of disappointing if the man just accepted whatever he said at face value. "With that out of the way, I must tell you our destination. We'll be heading to the Deep Roads, as I feel there is no better way to prepare you for your duty than to show you what you'll be facing firsthand…" before he could say more, Harry interrupted him, although reluctantly "I'm very sorry sir, but may we pass my family's land on the way to Orzammar? I…we need to tell our family what happened…" there was sadness in his tone, and Duncan seemed understand that the shock of losing someone close was settling in now, as before they were both fighting for their lives, and couldn't afford to lament the loss properly, as he nodded and smiled kindly at them. "Of course…the trip will serve for you to properly grieve your loss as well…" He said. "Very well then, to Highever it is." And like that, the two new Grey Warden Ensigns began their journey.
The journey back was quiet for the first few days. They were making their way to Denerim, as Duncan had explained he had business there with a contact of his about possible recruits. He didn't share much, but the little he explained helped them figure he was expecting the darkspawn to become a much bigger threat in the coming years. Harry and Bethany stayed a few paces back from him, speaking to each other about the change to their lives, but Duncan did notice that Bethany had taken Harry's hand in hers for comfort and did not let go since, walking close beside him. As he'd promised he was mostly watching Harry for any reason to believe he'd become an abomination, but seeing that interaction from the two put a small smile on his face. "We should rest here for the night, there's still another day of march ahead of us before we arrive in Denerim, and it would be pointless to tire ourselves needlessly." With that he stopped, and pulled from his back the materials he'd brought for camping. "I'll look for firewood, if that's okay with you sir" Bethany asked, albeit a bit timidly; she was still uneasy around him, and with her new position; to which he simply nodded, allowing the younger female to walk away into the woods, leaving him with Harry for a moment.
"You know, I've been meaning to talk to you…alone" Harry said after a moment, allowing Bethany to get beyond hearing range so he could speak freely. "I noticed you've been watching me, and honestly I understand it. Ever since I was infected, my brand of magic has left me, and I am now vulnerable to the Fade and whatever that entails…" they were a few feet apart, Harry preparing his and Bethany's tent while Duncan was fixing his. "I don't know what it means to be an abomination, as I didn't have the need to worry about that, and I honestly believed I never would need to …" Harry sighed, he was getting nowhere with his ravings, so he took a deep breath and decided to approach his concern directly. "The point I'm trying to get to is, I still have this avatar inside me, and as I was unconscious we were able to talk about these changes, and he told me he hears a cry of…a dragon…? Coming from our link with the Blight, and we theorized it was because he was an actual draconic avatar that he could distinguish it from the rest of the screeching as he calls it." Harry wasn't looking directly at Duncan so he missed the man tense as he spoke "As far as we know, there aren't any dragons left in Ferelden, at least no real ones, so what is it he's hearing from the Blight?" Harry turned around, only to take an instinctive step back as he saw the proximity of Duncan, who had a hand on his sword, as if meaning to draw it. "When did this happen? This…inner dragon of yours?" The man's voice was low, and came out as a growl, which immediately put Harry on the defensive. "I…I've had him since before I was infected, before I became a Grey Warden. You see before the Blight poisoned me, and I was turned into a Grey Warden, I was a different sort of mage. I had no connection to the Fade, couldn't be affected by any sort of magics fueled by it and couldn't affect anything touched by it." Duncan paused at that, and Harry almost sighed in relief, but he didn't feel like pushing his luck with the man at the moment. "I tried becoming an Animagus, which is my magic's branch of the Shape Shifters, but something went wrong. I was supposed to tame my inner beast, as it was called, but out dispute ended in a draw, something that doesn't normally happen. Either the beast is tamed and therefore not a threat or it isn't tamed and the human is the one who is no longer a threat." Duncan's hand was no longer on the hilt of his blade, his arms were now crossed as he had a curious look on his face, regarding Harry as he told his little tale.
"Remember when I said something went wrong? Well, because I couldn't win, the transformation wasn't complete, and it became permanent. I am now officially half-dragon. If you could test my blood you would see it for the truth it is." Harry sighed, passing a hand through his messy black hair, his slit green eyes showing his own confusion over the recent developments. "I am stuck in this…half form forever, but don't get me wrong, I quite like it. I am stronger than any human, I am faster as well. Otherwise it would make no difference having these" he flexed his wings, smirking for the first time since his waking up "as I would be unable to effectively use them. The point I am trying to make is, I am not an abomination, as the avatar inside me would have to have been a Fade creature for that to happen, yes? A demon from the fade must possess a human host in order for an abomination to be created, is that not so? Or did I learn my magic history wrong, Master Duncan?" It wasn't a defiant act, or even a mockery, and he hoped the man didn't see it as such; he was really trying to educate the man of the difference between him and an actual abomination.
There was a moment's pause and neither man spoke, rather coming to a silent consensus about his situation as a non-human Grey-Warden. Duncan could honestly see little flaw with the boy's reasoning, if he could conjure evidence of his claims to having a different set of magic skills. "I suppose, given your explanation of your…branch of magic, you will have proof of it, should I ask, young lord?" The boy seemed to pause momentarily before he beckoned the older man forward, inviting him into his tent. "Come, sit with me. I will bring you evidence…over a cup of tea maybe?" the boy entered his tent as he spoke, and Duncan decided to follow him, in case he had intended to try running away through the other side of the tent…only to be floored with the interior of said tent. It was humongous! It was like the boy had packed Highever castle into a bag and decided to travel with it. The old Warden looked around, eyes wide in wonder, taking it the details inside it. It took him a moment but he hear part of the boy's explanation about it. "…rather ingenious if you ask me, this charm is. It has lasting effects as you can see, since I no longer have the magic to sustain it…I do wonder if it is permanent though? Hmm, I'll need to read into it later…anyway, as I was saying. It is pretty simple, this charm. All I had to do was envision the space I wanted to create inside the bag, and with the correct array to help channel the magic, and sustain it, I can create this style of interior. I might have overdone it somewhat as this was my first attempt at using such magic, but I think the result was pretty good, wouldn't you say? Come, the kitchen is this way."
The pair sat at the table, watching each other as they sipped their tea. Harry was calmly watching Duncan, who was still trying to allow the new information sink in. Lying atop the table, open and turned toward the older Warden was a book on charms, specifically on the page on how to create such environments as the tent they resided in. "In there you'll find confirmation of what I've told you. This is one of the simpler spells to be honest, I've done a few of these for the rest of my family as well…along with a few other charms and wards in our castle…" Harry's voice lowered after that as though he was speaking to himself rater then to the older male "of course, I was never quite able to replicate de Fidelius spell, given it was one of the more complicated protections in that book…the defenses of the castle would be pretty basic as they are…" his concern for his family places a smile on the older Warden's face, that desire to protect was what the Wardens were all about, forsaking personal desires to ensure the safety of all of Thedas. His initial worries about the boy's status were somewhat quenched upon hearing this little rant of his about his other magic, but he would still be watched, one can never be too careful, after all.
† Timeskip: 3 Days Later †
He walked the streets of Denerim, his home for the last few months, playing his lute as he watched the people go about their business. He usually wandered the street in search for employers. See, this man was a mercenary, and a pirate. He mostly took on jobs to protect merchandise on the sea, but every now and then a job on firm land would catch his attention, or he just wanted to spend some time on land. He watched with some interest as traders came and went, listening to conversations that seemed important to see if there was a chance for a job at any point.
He watched every interaction, hoping to catch something of interest, since he wasn't just after a job, the reason he had come to Denerim was personal, and he refused to leave before it had been resolved. He watched as a young lady weaved her way through the crowd, relieving them of possessions they clearly wouldn't miss. A grin slowly formed on his face, and he decided to keep tabs on her, if nothing else it should prove most entertaining. He continued playing, changing tunes every now and then to keep the people interested, he relished the in their compliments, he did bust his ass to learn new tunes, after all.
He saw, at the corner of his eyes, three nobles with a small contingent marching toward the Alienage, and the grin on his face, which was amused moments ago, turned dark and without knowing, so did the tune he was playing. He stalked the three nobles into the Alienage, dropping the lute as to not draw as much attention; really, people wouldn't notice him if not for the fact he had been playing in the first place; and as entered the elf side of Denerim soon after the nobles had, which was rather easy, considering he had a deal with one of the guard that they'd look away whenever he felt like visiting the knife-ears; not that he shared on their sentiment, but it was oh so easy to play the part; and as he walked through not long after the others, they didn't even question his motives.
"…I've only been to Denerim once before, with my father, but that was when I was much younger." He barely noticed he had stepped into the city of Denerim as he chatted with Bethany, his wings wrapped around him as much like a cape, as to not raise suspicion, it had worked so far, and hopefully it would continue to. They passed the church, dedicated to Andraste, and he noticed one of the sisters was purposely misquoting the chant, probably to piss off the one that kept chastising her.
As they approached the market, Duncan frowned upon a scene not common in those times of peace. The king, Cailan Theirin, fully armored and with his great sword in hand, speaking to the guards of the Alienage. He would have bit both of the young ones wait while he looked into the situation, but in their enthused curiosity, the children sped ahead, looking to find a good place from where they could watch the events unfold.
Duncan, whose reason for taking the trip to Denerim had a secondary reason he had kept to himself, walked up to the king, who upon seeing him approach smiled widely and opened his arms. Acting the fool in public as always, the king embraced him. "Ah, my friend! Always a pleasure to receive you." His eyes sent a different message, he noticed the intensity of the man's stare, the little motions he made toward the two imprisoned men close to him. It was then Duncan understood the kings intentions when he asked his presence. He had probably foreseen that something of the sort would happen, and he would have asked for more details on the matter but this seemed urgent.
"Sorry for the bad reception, but we are in the middle of something here. We are passing judgement on these men." No one interrupted the king. Duncan noticed Anora was close by, looking a little conflicted about something, but she remained silent, as usual, when in public. He knew Cailan often sought her counsel first, but for appearance's sake she only spoke her mind when in private or on meetings with the other lords of Ferelden. "They are charged with the murder of the young lord Vaughan. Even though they brought some very disturbing facts to light, facts which will be thoroughly investigated by me and my men, their actions cannot go unpunished."
Duncan felt his curiosity peak at that, what had the arl's son done that bore investigating? He turned his attention to the accused, his eyes first passing the human male, noticing he had been really restricted. There was a metal mask over his face, which kept him from really seeing him, but other than that he noticed the man was tall, taller than he was at the very least. He had short unruly, wavy black hair, which red tips. He had no shirt on, but seeing ripped pieces of clothing on his torso, Duncan believed it had been torn during the fighting. How he came to the conclusion there had been fighting involved? Easy, the man was covered in blood and cuts all over his body, so at least some sort of struggle happened.
There was one scar on his torso that stood out from the others, it began somewhere low on his crotch, as the man's pants seemed to cover at least some of it, and stopped just short of reaching his chest. The man hand his hands tightly tied behind his back, and his legs were tied in three different places. He wore dark baggy pants, and knee-high black boots. His attention then passed on to the other prisoner, but before he could really look at the elf, his attention was brought back to the king, who paced beside him.
"The murder of a noble, no matter the reason, is an act of treason against the crown, and as such punishable by death. The two before me, who swore to have acted alone, have invaded the Arl's estate, slaughtered his men, saved the hostages inside and killed the Arl's son and his noble companions." Duncan understood that little description was for his sake, to help him on the decision he was about to make.
"If I may, your majesty…" He finally spoke, taking the attention of the king and his audience. Cailan looked at him, a grateful look upon his eyes that he only caught because he knew the man for some time now. "These two have shown traits we could use in the Wardens, sire. There has been a recent attack, much too organized that leads me to believe we may be dealing with the beginning of a new Blight. I want to conscript both to the Wardens, so, in their remaining time alive, they may help against the oldest foe of all living things."
Cailan watched him for quite some time, and he really thought he had misinterpreted the signs the man had been sending him, but after what felt like an eternity, the king laughed and turned his attention to the onlookers. "I understand! You want them to repent by giving their lives to the grey. I accept, just know this, they are also banned from ever entering Denerim again. Should this stipulation be forsaken, they will be executed. Yes?" The two nodded their heads and the king visibly; to Duncan anyway; relaxed. "Undo the restraints men, and allow the two to be on their way, along with the Grey Wardens."
The men took the bindings off the two, and as they pulled the mask, Duncan understood why it had been necessary, the young man's face was covered in blood, and his teeth as he grinned at him, were painted in blood. The five had begun to walk away from Denerim, but as he passed the crowd, he felt a hand trying to worm its way to his hip, where he kept the bag of money. Duncan turned his head ever so slightly toward the offender, noticing a girl, hair bound by a bandana, the only reason he saw that its color was a reddish one, was the ponytail. He grabbed her hand as she was moving onward.
"I believe you have something of mine, young lady." He said, not really angry at the young woman, having been a thief himself in his younger days, he understood her somewhat. "Och! I can'nae believe me luck!" He heard her say, mostly to herself, and figured she much have been a pirate or at least lived close to the port. He'd seen many sailors and most of them used the same wording she had just used. "I'll give ye yer fuckin bag back, le' go of me hand, ye…" she seemed to notice something about his clothing then, and her tone changed completely. "Wai' a sec…yer a Grey Warden?" He nodded and the girl launched into an excited speech, and he knew then she had been controlling her accent before, because as she began speaking again, he was glad more than a few Wardens he lived with were former pirates and sailors, otherwise he might have been completely lost. "Och! Tae tell tha truth me ma is…or was…a Warden too. I can'nae believe me luck! Dae ye know her? I think she said somethin' abou' goin' tae tha dwarves' fer somethin'…" Duncan chuckled at first, given how she had been quite rude at first, but upon learning of his status as a Warden, launched into a tirade about her mother, but then she mentioned exactly where it was her mother had gone off to, and his mood soured, and he couldn't help but feel bad for the girl.
"I think I know where she went, child. Say, the Wardens could always use spirited young people like yourself, especially during times like these, if my hunch is correct…" He would have continued, but Cailan approached a moment later, gesturing the young woman. "What is this? A thief?" He looked from Duncan to the young lady and seemed to be about to take custody of her for the crime, but Duncan, sighing in his mind decided to intervene. "Your majesty, I would like to conscript her into the wardens as well." Said girl looked between the two, apparently apprehensive over the casual tone both men used to discuss her fate.
"I dunnae about tha'. I jus' wanted tae see me ma, bu' didnae think ye meant it about joinin' tha Wardens." She seemed to think it over for a moment, before continued "Ye know, I think I'll take ye on tha offer." The king smiled at Duncan at that, waving them away, reminding Duncan he had to people who'd been banned from Denerim still in his company. "I will return when their training is done, there are many things we need to discuss, your majesty."
AN: Sorry for taking a while to post this, I'm no longer taking meds but the speech pattern for a new character introduced in this chapter took me a while to gather the courage to even try lol. I'll continue my schedule as planned but I wanna know something, should I continue writing Sirena's (an reader's OC) speech like that (I'm trying to emulate scottish with a bit of stereotype pirate accent) if it's too bad lemme know and I'll write mostly a normal way, just a few hints here and there that she has a scottish accent.
I hope the explanation talk between Harry and his inner dragon is actually explanative and not confusing lol. I know I could have said it better, and I'll correct that mistake next chapter but the reason Harry is a half-dragon is, when an animagus changes into their animal form, they turn into said animal, the fact that Harry is stuck mid transformation means that his body in stuck between transforming into a dragon and remaining human, therefore, half-dragon. Not the best explanation? Not accurate? Well, that's magic for you, it makes the impossible possible '-'
Anyway, the next few chapter will contain in no particular order, Bethany and Harry getting together, Harry and Bethany being transporter into his home world, the first meeting with Morrigan and Harry meeting The Father.
I hope you guys enjoy this chapter, I certainly enjoyed writing it
See ya \o
EDIT: I COMPLETELY FORGOT! Sorry '-'
Okay as you can see from this chapter, the origins characters (some of them anyway) will be saved, so I'll be taking profiles for those too. The Amell character is now up for grabs, since I changed the OC from the Amell mage, to a whole new character. So far I fully plan on saving, the Dwarven noble and castless, the city and dalish elf. Reasoning behind them is, the dalish elf is actually relevant to the plot, given the discovery of the eluvian, and city elf I finally played the female part these days and fuck me I felt I needed to do this, the dwarves...noble because they are the most knowleadgeble race when it comes to Darkspawn, and because dwarves will serve as an anchor of sorts in the battles to come, and the castless because Harry will be taking over the Carta and he'll still be imprisoned '-'
That's actually all origins, save the mage elf...lel '-'
Anyway, that was it, now I'm really done.
See ya, again =3