Harry sat in his study reading a book. Dark Spells: A History. He was surprised when he had found this in Potter Manor's library. Of course, the book itself wasn't really that dark. It never really told you how to do a dark spell it just went into the history and creation of many of them. Many had fallen out of use while, many were still being used by dark tossers to this day. The thought of death eaters caused him to look up from his book and think about his supposed arch nemesis Lord Voldemort and his little band of inbred asshats. It had been a few months since he had seen any of them. Actually, it had been a few months since he had seen anyone.
Ever since Sirius's death, and of course since Harry destroyed Dumbledore's office, Harry had left the wizarding world completely. He had gone to Gringotts, looked into all the assets of both the Black, and Potter family, then moved into Potter Manor. He had the goblins apply every ward they knew to keep people out. Harry himself had applied a fidelus charm to the manor. Nowadays the only contact with the outside world was the letters his friends and Dumbledore kept ordering him to return. Harry had simply burned every letter that came through, that mentioned him returning, no matter who it was from. Eventually he completely blocked Dumbledore from sending him mail at all, due to all the tracking charms he kept putting on the letters he sent. He got letters from the ministry ordering him to return, with the threat of consequences.
Harry couldn't care less what the people kept telling him to do. He did feel a little bad for not telling Ron and Hermoine at first. That feeling soon stopped when they started telling him about how they knew what he was going through. They said it was no excuse too stop listening to professor Dumbledore. That was when he started blocking them as well. Now he spent his days practicing magic and reading the books from his truly massive library. When he became the head of the Black family, he got Kreacher to bring the entire Black library to him. He also had put up the wards on Grimmauld Place so the order could no longer use it as their own base. He would honestly feel more bad about that, if the order did ANYTHING to help ANYBODY. Alas, they did not so they got kicked the fuck out. Harry looked back down at his book before putting it down and sighing. The problem with isolation was how boring it could get. Still, it was much better than dealing with the hypocritical wizarding world that seemed to believe that they were done treating him like their personal whipping boy, he should stand up to the big bad dark lord. Honestly Harry wasn't sure what he disliked more, Voldemort or the pathetic masses that refused to do anything about him.
Harry stood up and made his way towards the front door of his manor. He opened the ornate double doors and stepped outside into the cool air. It was overcast as it usually was, though Harry didn't mind much. The coolness had a numbing feeling that he almost mistook for pleasant for one second as he walked towards the woods at the side of his house. It had become somewhat of a routine when he felt the need to clear his head. The forest itself was peaceful and, as far as Harry knew, was not magical in any real way. He had only seen some signs of things larger than squirrels and similar sized animals. Sadly his beautiful, peaceful walk was going to be interrupted
'This is not going well' Ciri thought as she landed on her ass in the middle of a forest on some world that she only hoped the wild hunt could not follow her too. It only took a few more seconds before a blue swirling portal opened up 20 yards away from her, dispelling that hope. Ciri immediately knew what was coming through so she go up and started to run. She had to find somewhere to hide or someone to help her. She heard the familiar barking of the hounds of the wild hunt as they hunted her down. She moved as fast as she could and idly hoped there was no beasts or monsters that would come looking for her. She briefly registered the pain coming from her left leg and immediately knew she snagged her leg on a bush she passed and was bleeding. She grimaced but didn't stop moving. Well didn't stop moving until the navigator came from behind the tree in front of her and smacked his staff into her face.
Ciri looked up from the ground groggily before scrambling to her feet so as not to be taken advantage of in her weakened form. She immediately pulled the sword strapped to her back and got ready for combat. There wasn't much room as they weren't in a clearing but surrounded by trees.
"You only forestall the inevitable Zireael. There is nowhere to run." The navigator said to Ciri. Ciri didn't bother to respond. She knew she was really pinned in a corner as she knew the rest of the wild hunt had finally caught up to her and she was going to have to fight them. She was already tired for all the energy she used to come to this world in the first place, albeit accidentally. She sensed more than saw the warrior charging at her back. She twisted her body impossibly quick for someone as tired and injured as she. She brought her blade up and used it to redirect the warrior's blade to her right as she stepped to the left. She then stabbed her blade straight through his chest cavity and pulled the blade out. She immediately jumped to the right as another one of the warriors charged from the right. She didn't even bother countering the attack, and instead simply side-stepped before stabbing her blade into his neck through the gaps in his armor.
It was unfortunate that she couldn't react fast enough to spin around and stop the wild hound stalking up behind her. She screamed as the beast bit into her calf and yanked her to the ground. The pain was almost too much for her as the beasts continued to bite and scratch her all over before the warriors called them off her. The Navigator walked up to her.
"You should not have resisted little swallow. You have only caused yourself more pain." the Navigator said as he stood over her. Ciri looked up for him as she was slowly losing consciousness.
'Damn! I can't believe I'm going to die like this. I'll...never get to see Geralt or Yen ever again. I...I'm scared!' Ciri thought as she faded further and further from consciousness.
"What in the possibly nine hells are you doing?" was the last thing she heard before fully losing consciousness.
"What in the possibly nine hells are you doing?" Harry asked as he came upon what was probably the weirdest scene he had ever seen was quite a few large men in skeleton armor crowding around an ashen haired girl that was bleeding profusely in the middle of forest. In his forest.
"Mortal, this does not concern you. Leave now while you still have the chance." said what Harry assumed to be the de facto leader of this creepy little band.
"Leave? I think you are confused. This is my forest you currently in. You do not get to walk through here and then tell me what I should and shouldn't do. Back away from the girl. I will only ask once." Harry said as he pulled out his wand subtly from it's hiding place.
"You had your chance. Kill the hu-" The lead man tried to say before a red bolt smashed into his chest. His armor immediately caved in under the blast and he flew twenty feet backwards before crashing painfully into a tree. The rest of the warriors made the mistake of watching their leader fly through the air and into the tree, instead of watching the person who just sent their leader into said tree. While they were watching their leader, Harry started to transfigure one of the rocks near him into a grizzly bear. A giant grizzly bear to be specific. The bear charged, and immediately swatted two more of the warriors to the ground while also possibly caving their skulls in as they dropped. Harry then shot a new spell he recently learnt at the hounds gathering to attack him.
"flammis acribus" Harry yelled as a flame jumped out and started burning everything in its way. Harry smirked at the spell. It was no fiendfyre but it certainly was a hell of a lot more powerful than the incendio. Harry watched as the spell tore into the beast who at first seemed to be able to take the spell but was clear that they couldn't last long against its harsh fury. Harry turned his attention back to the few remaining warriors. Sadly it seemed as if they were killing his bear. Harry cast a reducto at what appeared to be the most injured of the warriors and watched it smash into his skull, killing him instantly. The remaining two turned to him now that the bear was finished.
"This is the part where I usually say surrender but you've caught me at a bad time and have also revealed yourself to be excellent stress relievers." Harry said as he glared at the last living members whose outfits now reminded him of death eaters and their skull mask, which only made it easier to kill them. As he had seen first-hand what happens when you didn't finish your enemies off. The two ran at him, hoping to finish him. Harry couldn't decide if that was a smart move or not. On one hand, wizards were usually much weaker against close range attacks. On the other hand, it gave them less room to dodge spells he threw at them. He pointed his wand and used another spell he had learned recently.
"magna alveo" Harry called out as he moved his wand in the correct motion. Immediately a loud screeching noise came from the end of his wand and blasted its way towards the warriors. They both dropped to their knees and screamed in pain while clutching the sides of their heads. Harry kept it up until he saw them both pass out from what he assumed was a sensory overload. With that out of the way Harry started the annoying clean up process. He levitated all the bodies and created a big pile of them. He walked over to the tree where he had thrown the leader only to find a blood smear, and no sign of the man. Harry squinted in anger knowing that one got away. He used the point me charm to see if he could track him, but the spell wouldn't work and he could see no visible trail to follow. He turned back and saw the ashen haired girl still on the ground. Harry's eyes widened as he forgot that she was actually injured and could possibly bleed out.
"Kreacher!" Harry yelled. Immediately the grumpy house elf appeared.
"What does filthy half-blood master want from Kreacher?" the house elf asked.
"Take the girl back to the manor. Put her in the biggest guest bedroom we have. Dress her wounds to stop the bleeding. I'll join you soon. And be quick!" Harry said. Kreacher nodded and apparated the girl and himself away. Harry turned back towards the pile of bodies. He cast his fire curse at the pile of bodies and watched them burst before jogging back towards his home. Kreacher was pretty good, but he knew no healing magic to fix the girl and could only delay her demise.
Harry finally reached his home once again and entered it as fast as he could.
"Kreacher!" He yelled. The elf immediately appeared and looked at him.
"Did you dress the girl's wounds and put her in the guest room?" Harry asked. Kreacher just nodded at him.
"Good. Bring me the preserved potions from the potions lab in the chest marked 'Healing' and put it in the room for me. Then go to the forest and make sure that once the bodies are done burning that the fire is put out and doesn't burn the forest to the ground. After that, erase any trace of what happened here. Then go put up the wards on the portion of the forest that I own, I have put that off for too long. After that you can do whatever you normally do to keep busy." Harry said. Kreacher nodded and popped away to do what he was told. When Harry had first found out he had gotten Kreacher, he had gave him a lot of my commands to make sure he ever purposefully betrayed him or gave away any of his secrets. He also said for him to come to Harry if he needed clarification on any orders he was to receive and to not interpret them any way he wished. Kreacher had not been happy but had done what Harry had told him. In exchange, Harry let the house elf call him whatever he wanted.
Harry did a fast walk up the stairs and entered the guest room he specified. He saw the girl laying on the bed very still and pale. Harry walked up to her and saw that Kreacher had removed her white blouse to dress her. Not that Harry could see anything since the wrappings covered everything lower than her shoulders. Harry fully removed the covers to get a full overview of what he was dealing with. He noticed her tan trousers were still on but were rolled up to her knee caps because her left leg was dressed on the ankle and calf. Harry also noticed that while her torso and legs were dressed there was blood leaking through, meaning the wounds either hit arteries or were very deep. It could have been both. Harry summoned the potion chest Kreacher had brought him so that it was next to him. He turned back to the girl and started to slowly undress the girl. He tried to make sure not to stare at anything he wasn't supposed to, but he was a teenage boy and they were literally right in front of him. He felt a light blush on his cheeks but didn't let it slow him down.
He started to use some of the limited healing spells he had learned to stop the bleeding that was still very much gushing from her body. When he made sure the bleeding was under control He pulled out a potion that looked purple in color. He put a few drops around the entrance of her wounds before rewrapping her torso. He moved down to her legs and realized he was going to have to remove her trousers completely due too blood seeping through them further up on her leg. Thankfully she was indeed wearing underwear so he didn't have to see anything he shouldn't, except of course her legs which still made him a little uncomfortable and like he was some sort of peeping tom if he were to be honest with himself. He saw that Kreature did indeed miss a wound as a chunk of wood was lodged into her skin. Harry carefully removed it from her before carefully cleaning the wound, and then reapplied the potion he used on her torso. After that he started on her calf which might have been the worst wound on her body. It was clear that one of those ice beast things had bitten her and it looked like it had torn a chunk of her leg off.
Harry was put in a difficult position. He could not heal this wound with his current skills and did not have a potion that could do it. He could, however cut the left leg under the kneecap and regrow it from there. That would not be comfortable. He could numb her but she would be very sore in the morning. Harry decided that the girl would probably rather have a leg she could use rather than the one the looked like it was half eaten. Harry gulped and hesitated for a second before steeling himself and launching a strong cutting charm at the girls leg. Her body jolted as the leg came off and Harry applied another numbing charm just to be safe. It was then he applied the skele-grow to the stump and pulled out a very small vial from his chest. Harry didn't know when, but at some point the Potter family was gifted a small vial of the Elixir of Life from the notorious Flamel's. This was that vial. While the skele-grow causing the bones to regrow, the vial would cause all the tissue and other parts to regrow as well. Harry moved to her mouth and opened it slightly allowing him to pour the potion in, which she immediately swallowed.
After that, Harry finished bandaging the rest of her up and getting her as healed as possible. He would need to find some ingredients to make a potion that would help with the soreness she would feel when she woke up, without having to go to Diagon Alley. There was an abandoned greenhouse in his backyard where potion ingredients were once grown, but they were out of commission now. He sighed as he finished bandaging her up before levitating her off the bed so he could vanish all the blood and throw some quick cleaning spells on the sheets and comforter. After he did that he put her back down gently. He gathered her clothes which he would clean for her and shrunk the potions chest to take with him. He walked over to the door and took one last look at the girl before he closed it completely.
Ciri awoke to almost all of her body being extremely sore. Her eyes fluttered open and were immediately attacked by the bright light streaming through the room. She waited a moment for eyes to adjust before taking in her surroundings. The room she in was nice, very nice. It reminded her vaguely of when she was very young and lived in Cintra. The room was one the biggest bedrooms she had ever slept in. She struggled to move her body upwards so that it was leaning against the headrest of the massive bed. She looked out the window to see that she was both low to the ground, and was in some sort of clearing surrounded by beautiful wildlife. She then looked back at her room. By now she knew two things. One, she was not in some castle like she originally thought, based on the fact that castles were usually not low to the ground but on hills, and two; if she wasn't in a castle than she was most likely in some manor.
Satisfied with her findings, she looked closely at the things in her room to see if her weapon was nearby just in case her host weren't as benevolent as she believed. She sighed in relief seeing her blade leaning gently against the nightstand. She didn't reach for it though because honestly, she was in quite a bit of pain just from moving into this upright position. She looked around at the decorations of the room. It was much less gaudy than most rich manors tend to be. In the few manors she had been too, every room and hallway was decorated in bright colors and covered with expensive art to showcase their wealth. This room was a stark contrast with that, Their was only one painting in it, and it was just a landscape peace of a beautiful hill with a clear sky over it. The dressers, stands, and bed frame were much less ornate than most she had seen. Not to say that they weren't probably expensive, because they probably were, but it was much more...subtle than she was used to seeing. It was like the very house was saying, "I want to look nice but I am not showing off for your approval." Even the walls were more of a pleasant beige rather than the flamboyant reds she was use too. All in all, the room had a very soothing atmosphere about it.
It was that moment that her host graced her with his presence.
Harry walked into his guest's room with a large tray. He had Kreacher monitoring the room so he would know when she awoke. He also made sure he came once a day just to make sure her wounds were healing up properly. He had been amazed by how quickly her foot had regrown. The bones were expected but he had no idea how quickly the Elixir of Life would work. Apparently very quickly. As soon as Kreacher had told him the girl had awoken, Harry ordered the elf to make a well rounded breakfast and to put a pitcher of orange juice and water on it so she could drink to her hearts content. He had also gathered her folded clothes that he had cleaned and fixed with him. He set the clothes he had been levitating behind him on the floor outside the room. If the girl knew nothing of magic or perhaps had bad connotations with it, it would be wise to not go in and use it in front of her. He balanced the large tray on one hand skillfully and knocked before gently opening the door.
He saw the girl sitting upright against the bed frame. Harry winced internally at how hard that must have been to do alone in her state. He put on what he hoped was a friendly smile.
"Good morning. Glad to see you're finally awake and even strong enough to lift yourself up. That must have been uncomfortable. I would have come sooner to help if I had known you were going to immediately get up." He told her. The girl gave him a cautious smile in return.
"It's fine. Thank you for your hospitality. Would you mind telling me how I got here?" The girl asked. Harry nodded.
"Of course but first, let me put this down so you can dig in. I'll talk while you eat. Deal?" Harry asked with a smile. The girl's stomach answered for her with a loud growl at the mention of food. The girl seemed to turn completely red in the face as Harry chuckled softly. He set the tray gently down next to her, as he was afraid putting it on her legs might be painful with all the soreness.
"Alright well I didn't know if you had a breakfast preference so I had an omelette made for you. Next to it is some toast as well as some pineapple fruit. The pitchers have both orange juice and water. You may have either of course. The little bottle container next to the food and drink is medicine to help with the pain." Harry said as he gestured to each item. The ashen haired girl downed the potion immediately before digging into the huge omelette Kreacher had made for her. Harry had extras downstairs if she was still hungry after eating it. The girl got halfway through the omelette before calming down and looking at him again with another blush, though this one was much less pronounced.
"You were saying how I came to be here…" she said prompting him to continue.
"Oh yes! Forgive me for being a little forgetful. As to how I found you; I was taking a stroll through the woods outside when I heard some noises like the smashing of metal on metal in the distance. I decided to investigate but by the time I fond you, you were bleeding out on the ground. I asked those beings with the skeleton armor what they thought they were doing and they told me to leave or die. At that moment, I realized they were probably up to something unpleasant so I warned them to step away from you and to leave immediately. The one with the staff tried to order them to kill me, but as soon as I heard him start with the order I attacked. The rest it a blur. It wasn't long before all were dead including their beasts. Sadly the one with the staff escaped before I could finish him off. Despite that, I burned the dead bodies to ash and had them scattered all over the forest to throw off the trail and mess with the scent. I then got rid of any scent leading here so they could not track us here. After I brought you here I started treating your various wounds. That was four days and three nights ago. I would check in on you once a day to make sure your wounds would heal properly then told my servant to report to me immediately when you awoke so I could make sure to get you fed and watered as soon as you were awake. Now here we are." Harry said to the girl. He purposefully left out any magic just in case. The girl looked very uncomfortable by the end of the story.
"Is something wrong? Your wounds aren't acting up are they?" Harry asked in concern. She shook her.
"No I'm fine thank you. For someone as young as you to be able to take on the Wild Hunt single handedly is unheard of. You must be a great warrior or perhaps a mage?" the girl asked in what almost sounded like a hopeful voice. Harry's eyebrows shot up. So the girl did now of magic. Or at least believed it did. Harry decided to take a leap of faith and tell her the truth.
"Well...I'm not sure if mage is the right word. My people call ourselves wizards and witches, but yes! I am proficient in magic if that's your question." Harry said sheepishly. The girl visibly relaxed at his confession and Harry was curious as to why that was.
"That's a relief. For a second I thought you may have been some manner of beast that had taken on human skin, like a high vampire or something similar." the girl explained. Harry's right eyebrow shot into his hairline and amused smile graced his face.
"A vampire really? I think you have been reading to many romance novels." Harry said to the girl in jest. She frowned.
"Do vampires not exist here?" she asked, Harry frowned at that statement and the way she said it. It was more than her just saying here as in his home or England. He got the impression she meant the world as a whole.
"They do indeed, though I have never heard of a high vampire. Unless you just mean their clan leaders like Count Dracula." Harry said back to her. She nodded.
"How soon do you think I will be fit to travel." The girl said. Harry frowned. Did he say something wrong?
"In a week at the earliest I imagine. Planning to leave so soon?" Harry asked. The girl seemed to realize she may have sounded a little to eager to leave.
"Apologies, I did not mean to say your hospitality has been anything but fantastic however, the Wild Hunt will still be looking for me, and me being here puts you in an enormous amount of danger." Harry nodded in understanding before smiling.
"You needn't worry if that's you concern then. I have wards around the home that prevent unwanted entry as well as the fidelus charm in place. It's the nearest thing to making it impossible to find my home." Harry said. The girl looked at him to explain.
"The fidelus charm is a charm that takes a secret and hides it in the depths of one's soul making it impossible for the secret to be found out unless the secret keeper tells you it. A very high level charm that has no known counter. Even things like scrying and divination are useless against it. These people that you call the Wild Hunt came have come all week to investigate where you have been and to get back on your tell. Sadly for them I destroyed your trail and any time they get near the wards, they get lost and have to immediately turn back believing they have gone the wrong way. Some were talking on the last day in a language I couldn't understand, but judging by the motions, I believe they think you have gone already. You are perfectly safe here. I promise. Plus, even if they could somehow teleport straight through the wards. The fidelus charm puts the whole house in a quasi pocket dimension, meaning they cannot look at or touch the house even if its right in front of them." Harry said as he finished the explanation. She looked very impressed.
"I have never heard of a spell that does something like that. You must be very powerful." she commented looking impressed. Harry blushed at that and stammered a bit.
"Well...I'm alright I suppose. Far from the weakest wizard I guess." He said modestly. Harry knew he had talent and that he could probably beat even most adults around him. It still didn't make him comfortable to talk about his talents though. The girl smiled and seemed to chuckle in amusement at him as she finished her meal and downed some juice.
"I feel much better thank you for the meal and the medicine. I can feel the pain dulling already." She said with a grateful smile. Harry smiled and nodded at her.
"You are most welcome. By the way. My name is Harry Potter. Lovely to meet you." Harry said. She smiled.
"Ciri. Nice to meet you too Harry Potter." she said. Harry smiled but then frowned.
"Oh I almost forgot." Harry said as he summoned her clothes.
"Here are your clothes. I noticed you wearing trousers and a blouse so I took the liberty of going and getting you some similar clothes from the store if you wish to wear something besides these. Do not feel pressured too if you don't feel comfortable doing so. I just wished to give you the option is all." Harry said as he gestured towards the dresser. He was glad that he could just go to a muggle mall instead of having to travel to a wizarding community. He knew how to get to the one in Paris because he had sent a letter to Fleur asking her how to get to it and to not tell anyone about him. It was a little uncomfortable to be honest as he had not spoken to her since the tournament. Luckily she seemed happy to hear from him and gave him a stern dressing down for taking so long to send her some sort of letter. Saying how distraught she was about how he seemed to not want to continue their friendship. She of course told him where the magical center was in France and that he should visit sometime. He shook his head to clear it from its tangent.
"I thank you for your continued kindness. Are you sure you don't mind me staying a little?" she asked.
"Of course I don't mind. I live in a big empty house with no one but my crabby house elf for company. Having company is probably good to make sure I don't go insane." He joked before gathering up the tray and departing. As he closed the door to her room, he wondered briefly what the coming weeks had in store for him.