Harry stared at the castle in the distance. It, and the landscape, painted an almost unbelievable amount of beauty. The beautiful hills, the picturesque sky, the vineyards that could be seen in the distance. It would have been hard to believe this kingdom had just sustained an attack from an entire legion of vampires several weeks ago.
"Alright well, first off, cool your tits. Avalon is way better than this piece of garbage. Also, Avalon doesn't get attacked by vampires because of bullshit political games between a high vampire and a bratty princess."
"I'm sorry. What did you think people thought your relationship with Isadora was exactly? Yeah, that's right. Same shit."
"I regret teaching you my slang."
"I regret you teaching me it as well. I can't seem to stop. It just slips out." Ciri groaned.
"Hmph… Where is this manor that Geralt has acquired? I am getting tired of riding." Harry complained.
"It's a couple of leagues North of the castle. And if you had listened to me and kept up more with your riding training you wouldn't be tired."
"Well, when you can teleport everywhere and turn into A DRAGON… riding horses seems to be pretty low on the list of the things I should do." Harry shot back with some annoyance. He had wanted to simply do a few teleports to get here within a day or two. Ciri had vetoed that plan and told him once they got to his Empire's borders, they would be riding the rest of the way. He had tried to argue but then she started taking off her clothes… the point being is he lost the argument.
"Hush, you big baby. This has been lovely. Seeing all the sights was a nice change from the fast-paced events we usually have to deal with." Ciri said as she pulled up next to him and slapped him on his arm.
"Oh yeah, it's really fun beating the shit outta every bandit that runs across us and having random travelers perving on you every time we see them. It's been such a fun time."
"Hey, you LIKE killing bandits. You said cutting up murders and rapists was a fun pastime."
"Yeah, sure, maybe the first twelve times but after that, it just becomes repetitive and boring."
"And I let you kill one of those pervs even though I wanted too."
"There was no 'letting' me do anything. I simply was faster in throwing out a spell than you were with pulling your blade." Harry shot back. Ciri smirked for a moment.
"It's cute that you think that." Ciri smiled. Harry rolled his eyes as they kept trotting along. He wasn't going to admit it to her, but he did agree with his lover. Beauclair was a truly beautiful place and was known for its almost fairytale appearance. It did cause him to be a little more cautious than normal though. He didn't like places that appeared perfect. He didn't trust them.
"Well. If we want to arrive before dinner, we should hurry… How about a race?"
"I'm interested. What are the terms?"
"Loser has to do anything the winner wants," Harry answered with a smirk. Ciri eyed him for a moment before smiling at his suggestion.
"Oooh. You are going to regret that. There's something I've been thinking of trying with you now for a while." Ciri admitted. Harry frowned at that.
"What is it? I am usually pretty open to your input am I not?" Harry asked. He had no problem adjusting his technique to her wants and needs.
"Oh, you're going to be pretty 'open' when I am done with you…" Ciri said with a lecherous look on her face. Harry felt his blood run cold at that.
"You don't mean…"
"I would hope you win this race if I were you," Ciri yelled as she kicked her horse and took off. Harry immediately kicked his horse and chased after her in a panic.
They raced in an intense battle for several hours. Harry had even tried to use spells subtly to try and slow her horse down and speed his up. Ciri had unfortunately noticed though and had launched a series of her own spells at him to counter,
In the last few years, Ciri had grown in her magical education due in part to him as well as the magical institution located at Avalon. He had trained her in how to control her output and she could now accomplish quite a bit though she still had a long way to go before she could compare to him in that field.
That being said, she had seemingly perfected her abilities to travel to different dimensions as well as teleporting. She could do so consecutively so many times that she could decimate a small army in less than a few seconds. He could do so as well but the way she did so was both brutal and terrifying to behold. She had done so recently with a small bandit army that had taken up residence in Kaedwen.
Harry was pulled out of his thoughts on Ciri's growth as he once more paid attention to the race that may as well been for his very life. He spurred his horse once more to make sure it was going at maximum speed. He was getting scared though as Ciri was still some distance ahead of him and it didn't look like he was closing the distance.
Several hours passed before a vineyard appeared in the area where Geralt's should have been. Unfortunately, he hadn't seen Ciri in quite a long time as she continued to pull further and further ahead of him. She had been right that when it came to riding, his stamina was abysmal. He would constantly have to slow down and use numbing spells because of the pain of constantly bouncing up and down on the animal caused. As he hurriedly pulled up to the manor, he felt a dark pit appear as he entered and rode to the stable outside the main home where Ciri's horse was already next to Roach.
He jumped off his horse and started sprinting towards the house's main entrance. He stopped when he arrived and noticed three people standing by the door. Geralt was closest and he wore his typical blank expression as he watched Harry approach. Yennefer had a smile on her own which had softened somewhat in the last few years from the smirk she used to have. Unfortunately, Ciri had seemed to pick her adopted mother's penchant for smirking and was giving him a big one while she had a predatory look in her eyes.
"Hadrian. Good to see you. Thanks for coming." Geralt said as they shook hands in greeting. Harry nodded with a smile at the man.
"Geralt, good to see you as well. I hear you've been having a fun time without me." Harry said with a smile. Geralt shook his head in exasperation.
"If that's what you want to call it. If I never have to deal with nobles again, I'll be happy. By the way, Regis wanted me to thank you for the strings you pulled. I hear he's setting up in Redania near Oxenfurt." Geralt replied.
After what had transpired here and hearing about the death of a high vampire due to another, he had reached out to Isadora to ask If she would allow Regis into her territory and allow him some protection. She had agreed with some prodding with the promise that the man would never do what he did again. He had then contacted Philippa when Regis had expressed an interest in settling in Redania. She had done so with ease and hadn't even bothered asking for anything in return.
"I am glad to hear it. He sounded like a good man and I thought it unfair that his fate would be to be hunted for the rest of his life. Other than that, though, has everything settled here?"
"I told Henrietta of your arrival and she gave permission. She wished for you and Ciri to come up for dinner at some point." Geralt admitted reluctantly.
"I'll think about that. We ARE here on vacation though. I'm not sure if I want to deal with the local nobility. Especially after the mess they almost caused." Harry muttered as he turned from the Witcher and to Yennefer. He smiled and threw his arms happily around the woman before pulling her in for a hug.
"Yennefer, you look amazing as usual. I'm glad the weather here hasn't affected your complexion negatively." Harry said with a smile as he pulled back from the woman. Yennefer's smile widened at that as she chuckled softly.
"No, not yet, though, it still may if Geralt and I decide to stay long term." She said back.
"Oh? And are you leaning towards that option?" He asked curiously. They did also have a rather nice permanent home in Avalon that he had gifted to them. Not that he minded. He could always make them a gateway for easy access between the two.
"We are leaning towards it yes. Geralt has been busy before you arrived with cleaning up the various monster related messes in the area. Apparently, in the last few years, Beauclair had become somewhat of a hotspot even without the vampires. I did already put up some wards though so we are most likely safe." Yennefer told him. Harry smiled. Yennefer had delved back into studying in recent years to expand her magical knowledge, especially in some of the fields he had introduced. She was thriving though he had expected nothing less.
"I noticed. You have gotten quite good at it if I do say so myself. In my world, you would have to pay top dollar for the kind of protection you could erect." Harry said as he looked around the property at the wards that were invisible to the naked eye. He wasn't simply blowing smoke about that either. The wards were impressive in both strength and quality. Had it been her passion, he imagined she could even pass his ability rather easily.
"I appreciate your words. Though perhaps we should break off and allow you and Ciri to clean up. You both seem quite sweaty from your ride." Yennefer said with a small wrinkle of her nose as she looked between them. Harry's smile dropped as he remembered their little race.
"Indeed, we are. Would you mind leading us to your cleaning facilities? I am sure we can take it from there." Ciri said with a warm, innocent smile at her adopted mother. Yennefer looked at her in suspicion as soon as she saw it.
"No playing around in there. We all have to use it and I would rather not have to worry about if I'm rolling around in your fluids." Yennefer immediately told her. Ciri seemed to pout at that.
"Rich coming from you considering how many times I've walked in on…"
"That's enough of that. You guys get cleaned up and we'll meet you when dinner is ready." Geralt interrupted not wanting the conversation to stray even further into the direction it was heading. Yennefer smirked at the Witcher and Ciri just gave him an amused raised eyebrow. Harry just rubbed his brow in exasperation at the two before sighing.
"Let's not keep your parents waiting Ciri. I'll go get the water hot. Can you get the towels and a change of clothes for both of us?"
"Sure. Did you put your uncleaned ones at the top or bottom of your trunk?"
"Alright. I'll join you in a moment then."
Harry sighed in pleasure as he sunk slightly into the bathwater. From what Geralt had told him, he had just finished having this bathroom built a little way away from the house since it was one of the few features that had not come with it. It was quite exquisitely done too and he had a feeling it was done to appease Geralt's significant other when it was planned. The bath itself was made from stone and even had a plumbing drainage system installed. It was especially expensive outside of cities and major areas but Geralt had splurged. Not that it was a surprise. The man was quite wealthy at this point, mainly due to allowing Harry to manage and invest his fortune causing it to grow significantly.
"How is it?"
Harry focused once more and turned and watched as Ciri smoothly stepped into the bath after taking off her towel and hanging it up nearby.
"Nice and warm. I think Yennefer has placed heating runes on the stones for the water."
"She must've gotten the idea from her visit last year."
"Maybe, but it's not an uncommon use for such runes and might have simply been in one the books I had brought over. What's our room looking like?"
"It's nice. Yennefer apparently had it expanded to make it bigger with us in mind." Ciri spoke with a smile. Harry nodded at that.
"I can only imagine what she'll do in a couple more years. She really is a prodigy."
"Can you not sound like you admire my mother so much?"
"Your mother is a genius. There's not really another way to put it. I suppose Geralt is in his own way too. Anything to do with being a Witcher and he is a master at it. He may not have had a choice in his profession but he certainly has a passion for it."
"Hmph. What about me?" Ciri said with a small pout. Harry smiled in amusement at the look.
"Well… You are your parent's child and I suppose the apple didn't fall very far from the tree. You're quite good at transfiguration. I have to admit it, I always thought you'd always excel more when it came to charms."
"I'm not sure. It just would seem to fit you, I suppose. So, about the race… Were you going to… you know."
"Hehehe… No, not really. Why would you have not let me?"
"I suppose if you truly wanted, I could at least try it. It would only be fair, I guess."
"Then I suppose it's a good thing I wasn't interested in doing that to you. Never really saw the point of it, to be honest. Not like I'd be able to feel anything from it."
"I think it has something to do with dominance but I am not sure. Besides, you could always magic up a real one."
"… You can?"
"It's magic, of course, you can. I mean human transfiguration requires care but it's certainly possible. That being said, that still not me saying I want it."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Baby…"
"Pfft… Beauclair seems rather nice, doesn't it? Did you want to go and meet with Henrietta?"
"Not particularly. I don't know much about her save from reputation. What about you?"
"I'm in the same boat. I don't think I have ever met her in person. There never really was a need to before."
"To busy concentrating on me huh?"
Ciri looked over at him and gave him a teasing smile. Harry rolled his eyes but didn't say anything further. In his head years ago, telling Ciri that he had been pretty much involved in shaping her life would be the hardest part about revealing himself to her. In reality, she had accepted it rather easily. He still wasn't exactly sure why she was so fine with it but she had told him a multitude of times to not worry about it.
"You know, I know what you've told me before but… Why did you so easily forgive me for not doing more in your life? I mean, looking back, it wouldn't have surprised me if you grew to hate me so… why?"
"You're still hung up on that huh?"
At this point, Harry made sure to look at her as intensely as he could. This wasn't something he could just let go after all. He would need to know if he wished to continue moving forward. Ciri rolled her eyes before seemingly growing serious.
"Well… I guess, when I thought about it, it just didn't matter that much."
"What do you mean?"
"Well… My life has been… difficult I suppose you could say, and if there were certain things I could change, I think I would go back and try but… there's also a lot of things that I am grateful for. If my mother never died and my father didn't disappear, I would never have gotten to meet Geralt and Yen. If I was raised a princess, I probably would have never learned the skills to keep myself alive for as long as I did. I would have never gotten to meet all the interesting people in my life. I'd never have met Mistle. I'd never had met Galahad or… I never would have met you. I mean, when you look at it, you didn't really interfere with my life much. You even tried to save my parents from that storm and my grandmother as well. Those were likely the only things I would've wanted to be changed and you tried to on both occasions."
"Besides, if you had gotten close to me while I was growing up to become more involved with life, our current relationship would be a lot weirder don't you think?"
"That's what your concern is?"
"I mean, a little bit. You know, I had a crush on you after we met as well."
"… You did?"
"Are you a moron? I literally kissed you."
"Yes well, when I looked back on that moment as an adult, I saw it more as you giving me something to remember you by."
"I suppose, in a way, it was. But I wouldn't have done it to someone I didn't like."
"Wow… That kind of rocks my world a little bit. What was the reason you liked me back then if I may ask? I was younger than you and quite scrawny if I remember correctly."
"Yes, you've certainly filled out since then. I suppose it had to do with your personality. I admired you, I guess. When we first met and I got to know you and what your situation was, I admired the fact that you were strong enough to simply tell your destiny to go to hell. It was something I wanted for myself. Then, of course, you helped me, a complete stranger, for no reason at all. I thought at first you wanted something from me but you never asked or demanded anything. You helped me simply because you thought it was the right thing to do."
"Weren't you the one who encouraged me to face my destiny?"
"I did but only because I believed if you didn't it would come back to bite you later. I still admired your ability to choose though. You weren't that great physically but you were nice and warm, and kind. You helped me decide to face my destiny after all."
"Plus, when I saw you next you were a prime looking piece of meat!"
"And you ruined it."
"I mean, you had REALLY filled out nicely. I remember the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes from that little magical sleep was your face and momma liked that quite a bit."
"And then I talked with you and you were so smooth and confident. It was like you hit a second puberty and turned into my personal idea of perfection!"
"Okay, I think that's enough," Harry said with a sigh. Ciri smirked at him in amusement.
"Speaking of your physique… I won the race. I wonder what I'm going to ask you to do." Ciri said as she stood and sashayed over to him. Harry looked down from her face and took in the rest of her body. He felt his eyes linger on her wet curves as she smoothly came down and sat down on his lap before wrapping her arms around his neck to bring him close. Harry suddenly found himself having a very hard time keeping himself under control.
"Ciri… Your mother specifically asked not to mess around in here did she not?"
"She did… But I trust in your ability to clean up after us." She leaned in and whispered in his ear, which caused the front of her body to press against his causing him to draw on as much occlumency skill as he could to keep himself calm enough to not have certain parts of his body react to her ministrations. She seemed to notice him doing it which caused her smile to grow and she reached back with one of her hands and started drawing mindlessly on his chest.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes before rallying and reopening his eyes look at her. Her eyes seemed to be a mix of lust and amusement and he knew if he didn't stop her soon, that looked would overwhelm him no matter how much he tried.
"Ciri… We have all night to mess around. Just wait until after the night with your parents is done with." He told her firmly. Ciri's face changed and she pouted once more.
"You're no fun. It's not like we haven't had to wait for them to finish up their own activities in the past."
"From what Geralt says, that's because Yennefer refuses to finish with a job half done."
"Of course, who do you think I learned it from?"
"That's an image I don't want in my head. C'mon you, little minx. It's time to dry off and have dinner.
"That certainly took a while. I certainly hope you left our bath in the same condition you entered it in." Yennefer said with a raised eyebrow as both Harry and Ciri sat across from her and Geralt at the dining table. Geralt simply sighed before grabbing his cup and taking a gulp of his wine.
"It is indeed. No thanks to your daughter." Harry groused playfully. Geralt gave a small glare to his adopted child. Ciri simply gave him a daring raised eyebrow.
"I know Geralt 'I know every sorceress inside and out' Rivia isn't about to lecture me on my sex life," Ciri said with challenging smirk on her face. Geralt grunted at that but looked away showing he had clearly lost. Yennefer looked over at her significant other with amusement. Harry just politely coughed into his hand.
"So, anyway, yes the bath was fine. Dinner looks great. You must have quite the cook." Harry said, trying to steer the conversation away from its current topic. Geralt appreciated the attempt because he quickly accepted it.
"Mhm. An older, former, noblewoman. She was turned into wight years ago by a curse. I turned her back and offered her a job here as a cook. Haven't regretted it since. She promised me a warm homecooked meal anytime I wanted and she has never failed to live up to such a promise." Geralt replied. Yennefer nodded along at that.
"Yes… I spoke with her recently to see if she remembered any details of the curse placed on her."
"Yen…" Geralt frowned and spoke with a slight warning in his tone. Yennefer waved her hand flippantly.
"I was cordial and did not push past what was appropriate. She was unbothered by the question." Yennefer said back.
"Why were you curious about the curse in the first place? Did you have someone who upset you recently? Perhaps the Queen here?"
"No, nothing like that, it was simply a professional curiosity. Though I wouldn't mind using on dearest Henrietta."
"Not getting along with the local nobility?"
"Not getting along with may be too strong since I rarely talk to her. I simply am not a huge fan of her attitude." Yennefer explained. It was Ciri's turn to cough to try and hide her laugh at the irony of those words coming from her mother of all people.
"Is that so… Entitled?"
"Something like that. The constant acting like she is above others and so noble is bothersome, especially with what Geralt has told me about her." Yennefer said.
"She's not that bad." Geralt spoke sounding almost bored as he said it.
"Objectively speaking, perhaps not. She certainly keeps her kingdom running smoothly for the most part except when it comes to monsters and her own family of course…"
"The vampire thing was more bad luck than anything. Comparing her to some of the other nobles I have had to deal with, she certainly ranks at the higher end." Geralt replied.
"I think you just like that she didn't try and cheat you or tried to have you imprisoned or killed."
"Right, like I said, better than most nobles I have to deal with."
"If you wish, do feel free to throw our names around to get her off your back," Harry said kindly to them. Yennefer just scoffed.
"There's no need to go that far. As I said, I haven't encountered her except when I made my presence known to her when I first arrived. For Geralt, it has been even longer." Geralt nodded in agreement.
With that, they started to dig into the food and continue to talk about meaningless things and simply basking in the warm environment. It was certainly nice to catch up with the sorceress and Witcher. They hadn't had a chance to have a sit down like this for a while.
"So, how's dear old Emhyr doing these days?" Yennefer asked. Ciri grimaced and Harry rolled his eyes.
"He… hmm. He's doing well, I suppose." Harry said.
"He's been pushing for Harry and me to take over the empire," Ciri said bluntly. Yennefer's eyes rose at that.
"That's… surprising." Yennefer said slowly.
"Yes well… He's been spending a lot of time with his wife so…" Harry said cautiously while glancing at Ciri. The False Cirilla that Emhyr had married seemed a nice enough girl and Emhyr had grown fond of her in recent years. This caused a bit of awkwardness considering Ciri was now back in the picture. The girl was only a few years older than her after all and looked a bit like her though less so now after both women had grown and their differences became more pronounced. Her hair was the biggest give away though being a golden blonde compared to Ciri's ashen-white which she had gained her in her later teens. Still, the girl was nice but it was still weird to Ciri to have her father married to what was basically her replacement.
"She's pregnant," Ciri stated bluntly again. Yennefer started choking on a sip of wine she had been taking and Geralt completely put down his fork and stared. Harry simply sighed.
"Yes, she is." Harry agreed. The entire table was silent for a moment.
"That's… good?" Yennefer seemed to ask Ciri.
"I guess it's not bad," Ciri replied as she downed her entire cup of wine.
"Becca, as we call her to avoid confusion, asked for Ciri's blessing to be with her father given the unique… situation."
"And I gave it…"
"You did. Anyway, Emhyr has expressed a longing to step away from politics and help actively raise the child. I believe he wishes to try to get what he never had with Ciri, in truth. He has asked Ciri if she and I would be opposed with… well, a merger."
"Of the Avalonian and Nilfgaardian Empires?" Yennefer asked shocked. Harry nodded.
"That's… That's major!"
"Indeed. We haven't answered yet."
"Such a union would make you the ruler of the most powerful kingdom on the planet!"
"It would. Still, it's a big decision and since I would basically be the one doing the running, it's a lot of extra work. Though I am not actually opposed to it."
"A sibling." Geralt said. Both Harry and Yennefer looked at him confused for a moment before following it to Ciri, watching her shift uncomfortably from the attention.
"Yes." She confirmed.
"How do you feel about that?" Geralt completely ignoring the political ramifications of what had just been revealed.
"I… I am not sure. Becca… Well, she was wondering if I would like to be involved in any way and I'm not sure. On one hand, she would be my little sister, on the other… Well… It's just a lot to think about."
"I think you should," Harry told her voicing his opinion. Ciri looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, I know the situation is strange but I think if you aren't involved at all you would regret not getting to know your little sister. It's just who you are. The second reason is, I think you should help raise her to eventually replace us." Harry revealed. The entire table was now paying close attention to him.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, running an Empire certainly has its benefits but we both know we don't want to do it forever, correct? I mean, we're going to live possibly forever. This whole admin thing has a couple of decades at most before it becomes mind-numbingly boring. We should prepare for what comes after when we finally leave." Harry explained.
"You truly think someone besides you can keep this Empire together if we leave?"
"With the proper training from both of us? I do. Even if she isn't an Aspect like us… she can still learn magic. There are ways to gift magic to a child during pregnancy, at least for me there is." Harry told her. Ciri seemed to think about that.
"Well… I suppose we have time to think about it, though the idea has merit and… I would like to be part of her life." Ciri admitted.
"Why don't we move on to another topic. I heard Triss was here a couple of weeks ago. How did that go?" Harry asked with genuine curiosity. It would have been the first time the fire mage had seen either Geralt or Yennefer since the Battle of Kaer Morhen.
"Oh, Triss dearest is doing quite well. Quite well indeed. Isn't that right Geralt." Yennefer said with both excitement and amusement. Harry rose an eyebrow. It had been about a year since he had last seen the sorceress personally though Ciri had seen her a little more recently.
"She brought a guest." Geralt revealed. At that, both Harry's eyebrows disappeared into his hairline.
"Did she? Anyone, I would know?" Ciri asked with excitement as she leaned forward. Yennefer smirked before looking at Geralt. Geralt sighed before answering.
"ESKEL!" Ciri yelled in shock.
"What… When did that happen?" Harry questioned in shock.
"Several months ago, I guess they met up on some mutual errand and hit it off enough to stick around each other for a while. Then that apparently grew into some sort of courtship." Yennefer explained. Harry blinked in astonishment.
"Wow… I wouldn't have seen that coming." Harry commented as he thought of the two. He didn't figure Eskel to be Triss's type.
"Neither would I. I'll have to get in touch with her after this trip and have her explain herself to me. What were they doing this far South?" Ciri asked.
"They were heading down to travel through Nilfgaard I believe. I don't think they had a particular destination in mind." Geralt explained.
"Well… I'm at least glad she's moved on." Ciri sighed with some relief in her voice.
"Mmm. It looks like we have mostly finished our food. Should we take our wine out to the patio?" Yennefer asked.
"Sounds good to me," Harry replied while Ciri and Geralt simply nodded.
With that, they got up from the table and moved out of the room and out the front door. The sun had just set causing the sky to be a slightly darker blue but still bright enough to enjoy the evening. Along with this, several of the servants were going around lighting torches all across the property. They moved to the side patio and sat on some benches overlooking the various hills and other vineyards in the distance.
"It's beautiful out here," Ciri said as she looked at the view. Harry smiled before reaching out and rubbing small circles on her lower back. She leaned in closer to him and put her head down to rest on his shoulder as they both continued to look outward.
"Indeed, it is. It's part of the reason Geralt and I was thinking about possibly staying out here permanently. At least for now." Yennefer revealed. Harry smiled. Both Yennefer and Geralt were relatively young for a sorceress and a Witcher so they had quite a bit of time before they expired to possibly move about.
"It sounds like a wonderful idea to me," Harry commented. Ciri nodded at that.
"It shouldn't be hard to add a private gateway to the property for easy travel," Ciri added.
"Indeed, it should not." Harry agreed.
After that, they continued back into easy conversation without having much trouble avoiding any heavier topics like politics for the rest of the night. Harry looked for a moment as the daylight continued fading, even starting to see the stars appear in the sky.
"Well, I think Geralt and I should turn in for the night, we still have other things we wish to do." Yennefer said with a small smile. Geralt rolled his eyes but a small smile appeared on his lips. Ciri looked over at her adopted mother and smiled.
"Don't tell me that you brought IT here with you?"
"Of course, I did. I couldn't very well leave it, behind could I? Speaking of which, how are you enjoying that birthday gift I sent you Harry." Yennefer said with a playful smirk. Harry's mind drifted to the stuffed black unicorn that stood proudly in his bedroom back in Avalon. He felt his cheeks warm up at the thought of it.
"I… it was very thoughtful, thank you," Harry said politely.
"I trust Ciri has educated you on the proper use of unicorn?"
"You're damn right I have!" Ciri said with pride as she smiled at the sorceress. Harry just looked down in exasperation while Geralt sighed.
"Yes, of course. Apologies but we have business to attend to. Have a good night you too." Yennefer said as she grabbed Geralt's hand and led him back to the front door of the house. As she passed him thought she tilted her head and gave him a conspiratorial wink. He gave her a small nod and smile in return but said nothing. Both he and Ciri watched them leave before looking back out at the view.
"It really is beautiful out here. Perhaps we should get a home out here as well." Harry said as he took a small sip of wine as he sat on a bench and had Ciri join him, cuddling into his side.
"Another house? How many do you plan to buy?" Ciri asked. Harry looked down into her green eyes and smiled.
"As many as it takes to keep you around." He replied cheerily. She rolled her eyes.
"You don't have to buy me anything to keep me around you idiot." Ciri shot back in amusement.
"Oh? So, you're saying you're going to stay with me forever no matter what then?" Harry asked in amusement. Ciri pressed a soft kiss under his jaw.
"I thought that'd be obvious by now old man." She joked. Harry laughed out loud at that. Before settling for a moment. A moment of quiet passed between them before he responded.
"Would you like to put your money where your mouth is then?" Harry asked lightly. Ciri looked up at him curiously.
"What do you mean?" She asked. He smiled before standing up.
"I mean… Let's make it official." Harry said as he looked down at her confused scrunched up face. He deeply enjoyed watching it change from that cute, scrunched up, confused look to the eyes wide open, lips parted in shock look as he got down on one knee.
Harry just smiled at her flabbergasted look before reaching behind his back and pulling out a small hidden box he had been carrying all day. He brought it in front of him.
"Oh my god…"
"Ciri… I have been in love with you from the moment I saw you laying on that forest floor when I was fifteen. You were covered in wounds, had a sword still gripped in your hand, and were surrounded on all sides by enemies. You were knocked out yet even with all this, you were still the most breathtaking thing I had ever seen. As we grew to know each other after that, I found myself falling for you even further. I love the way you stubbornly go after anything you want. I love the way you have a soft and playful side that you show only to those close to you. I love the way your face scrunches up anytime you are annoyed or confused by something I said or did. I love the way it softens and brightens up anytime you're at peace or happy. I love the way you can kill fifteen men in one second without breaking a sweat. I love the way you go out of your way to go visit orphanages when you have free time to play with the kids there when you think no one will notice your disappearance. I love your body, mind, and soul. I love absolutely everything about you. Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon… will you marry me?"
Harry finished his speech and opened the box revealing a beautiful silver-colored ring made of Mithral. While there were no gems on the ring, it had beautiful engravings etched into it that almost seemed Celtic design. It seemed to almost give it an otherworldly feel which is exactly what Harry had hoped when had it made.
Ciri stood from the bench and looked down at him with a hand covering her mouth in shock. Her eyes looked like they were watering and her cheeks seemed to be growing redder. She looked from his face down to the ring and back up to his face again. For a moment there was nothing but silence between the two.
The silence was broken as Ciri lunged at him causing him to quickly stand up to grab her. The next thing he knew, her arms were wrapped around his neck and his head was being pulled down until his lips connected with hers with an almost surprising amount of force. Harry returned it eagerly and held her tightly by her waist as she did the same with his neck. He had no idea how long they stayed in that embrace but he knew when they pulled away to breathe that it wasn't long enough. They panted as they both tried to catch their breath while staring at each other.
"So, is that a yes?" Harry asked with a grin. Ciri laughed almost hysterically for a moment before nodding.
"Yes, you big idiot. I'll marry you!" She said. With that, they embraced lips once more. Though it wasn't as forceful as the previous kiss it was certainly more heated and pushed the realm of decency as their lips started to part as they allowed their tongues to press forward eagerly towards each other in a longing to feel even more connected.
"Well, that was certainly something." A voice interrupted. Both Ciri and Harry both stopped and turned towards it seeing both Yennefer and Geralt standing off to the side looking at them. Yennefer had a wide grin on her face while Geralt's was more reserved yet no less happy.
"Do you mind. I was in the middle of something." Ciri said with a fake upset tone in her voice. Yennefer ignored it as she walked up.
"Yes, I saw. Now let me see it. I've been waiting for over a month now." Yennefer said as reach out to Ciri's hand and pulled it up to display the now placed ring on her finger. Yennefer eyed it admiringly.
"You knew?" Ciri asked stunned.
"Harry sent a letter asking for our blessing about a month or so ago." Geralt answered as he came over and gave Harry a congratulatory pat on the back before moving over to hug Ciri.
"So, you knew he was going to do this tonight?"
"He gave us some subtle hints, yes." Yennefer said as she hugged her daughter in congratulations after examining the ring. After she pulled away, she turned to Harry and pulled him into a hug as well. Harry smiled before returning it. As they pulled away Yennefer gave him an approving nod.
"You were right about the ring. It is one of a kind."
"Just like the girl whose finger it rests on. Fitting is it not?" Harry asked. Yennefer just smiled at that. Ciri moved over back to him and pressed into his side prompting him to wrap an arm around her. She looked up at him and she had an unusual smile on his face. One that looked familiar but different as well. It was almost a mix of bliss and contentment.
"What is it?" Harry asked as he pulled her in close and placed a soft kiss on his fiancé's forehead. The look grew as he did so before their eyes met.
"Nothing, it's just… I feel like I am finally right where I am supposed to be. Right next to my big bad dragon."
"The Swallow and the Dragon huh… I like it."
This story is the second I have finished and has been worked on for years at this point. In that time, it has become one of the most popular Witcher stories, crossover or otherwise on this site. I greatly appreciate the support I received continuously while making it and hope you enjoyed it. I know it was frustrating sometimes with the long periods of time I would sometimes go without posting. For those who are curious, I have no plans to make a sequel to this though I may post another Witcher/Harry Potter crossover as I have one, I have been thinking about. In the meantime, feel free to check out some of my other stories to see if they interest you. Once again, thank you all for the years of support you have given me!