Disclaimer: It's not mine no matter how much I wish. 'Course this disclaimer probably isn't either. This picks up after the Goblet of Fire. Yes, I've read all the books. I just choose to disregard certain deaths.Home
Approximately 10 feet from the car Harry noticed a shimmering barrier between him and it. Alanna's hand tightened on Harry's arm as they walked through the barrier. Once again Harry was brushing at his eyes in disbelief.
There before them, instead of a limousine, stood a brilliantly shining white carriage. In the back, the man from earlier was securely strapping both the trunk and Hedwig's cage to the luggage compartment. The man was now in an odd sort of uniform that looked as if it came straight out of a medieval history book. In the front of it sat a man in the same sort of uniform with a seal on the back that Harry couldn't quite make out, but it looked similar to the shield that had appeared on the breast of the suits that had been visible before. In his hands were leather reins that led to a team of four horse-like creatures that had a horn on their heads like unicorns, but wings on their backs like pegasi. Harry blinked at that. He had never thought to see animals like that on Privet Drive.
Harry was broken from his reverie by a soft chuckle behind him. He looked up to see a kind and amused smile on Alanna's face.
Alanna quickly explained, "We have special wards around all of us and our things whenever we leave home. They serve a double purpose of avoiding detection of the non-magical people and magical as well. We like our… privacy too much to allow either sort to know we exist right now. At least for now." Elra quickly stepped forward, ahead of Alanna for the first time, and opened the door for her. Alanna smiled to Elra and gestured to Harry to enter the carriage first. The last thing from Privet Drive that Harry saw as he climbed inside the carriage was old Mrs. Figg hurrying down the street towards her house.
The inside of the carriage was only slightly more ornate than the outside. The seats and the back rests were covered in, what Harry found out as he sat down, soft velvet and were extremely well padded. As Alanna and Elra climbed into the carriage, Harry examined the woodwork; it seemed to be a rich mahogany covered in odd runes and fanciful designs. Alanna smiled at Harry as she settled into her seat across from him and Elra thumped the wall of the carriage. As soon as Elra sat down across from Alanna, beside Harry, the carriage gave a sharp jerk. Harry assumed that it was the carriage beginning to move.
Alanna shifted a bit in her seat to get comfortable before turning to Harry, "So, Harry. I assume you would like to know more about me and our people?"
Harry started in surprise and asked, "Our people? What do you mean?" He stared wide-eyed at Alanna. Was this what they had avoided mentioning earlier?
"I may not have been completely open with your aunt, but I'm more than willing to explain everything to you now." Alanna turned her head to watch Elra close the window curtains as she paused to collect her thoughts before explaining, "I'm more than just your everyday magic user." Alanna hesitated again and took a deep breath. She knew that this was the point that she could make or break their relationship. "I was completely honest when I said that I was your great-grandmother. However, I neglected to mention just how we… lost your grandmother. You see, she was in line for a very important position, a position that I was holding for her for when she came of age." She paused again considering how to tell Harry just who and what she was when Elra took over for her.
"Harry, what Alanna is trying to tell you, is that she is the current queen of Atlantis. Your grandmother, the Crowned Princess Anne, didn't want to deal with the pressures and duties that came with the position. She ran away, escorted by one of her own sworn protectors. It was a scandal at the time. Not that she ran away with her own protectors, but that she swore to never return until she was released from her responsibilities."
Alanna had gathered herself to take over the explanation, "When my husband at the time passed on I realized that this entire situation was ridiculous. She could have been released from the crown and then her first daughter could have assumed her position. You see, our throne is passed along through our daughters. Even you, when you are brought back to Atlantis will be nothing more than just a Prince of the line. When she told me that her parents had adopted a child, I had so hoped that Petunia had not been adopted and when I found that she wasn't I had hoped that you were a girl. However, should you ever have a daughter or granddaughter, she will be the new Queen, should she be accepted as such."
"You see, Harry," continued Elra as he took over for Alanna. "It is not merely the bloodline that decides who can be or cannot be the Queen. When the children of the royal line are born the crown of the Queen is placed on their heads. Should they be the prospective queen they will glow with a brilliant white light. Should the future queen be of their lineage it'll be a blue glow. Otherwise, there will be no glow at all."
Alanna sighed. "You see, the Royal line of Atlantis must be descended from my blood, but I am supposed to be holding another position, a position that I cannot take up until there is an established queen of Atlantis. Historically, I hold the unifying position over the entire wizarding world. Much like the muggle United Nations actually. However, my hands are tied as long as I am tied to Atlantis. I need a female heir to take over the throne."
Harry blinked in surprise as he took in what she had said. He frowned thoughtfully as it started to sink in. "So you're essentially bringing me back to Atlantis to become breeding stock for you."
Alanna frowned and Elra chuckled before answering Harry, "Well, you could always take a potion to become female." Harry turned bright red at that thought and caused Alanna and Elra to smile fondly at him.
"As that is always an option should Harry choose, that is not what we are here for right now. This conversation is currently about explaining to Harry what is going to happen when he arrives at Atlantis," admonished Alanna. "We are bringing you home because you are my family and I would like you to be there. Yes, our people will be excited and yes, there will be much talk of lineage and continuing the line. But never forget that first and foremost, you are there because you are of my blood."
Elra flinched slightly before validating himself, "It may be a decision that he will be faced with in the future. He should know that the question exists before being faced with a decision."
Alanna frowned at Elra, making him visibly recoil. She nodded to him before turning back to Harry, "When we arrive back at Atlantis you will be given an immediate, quick, tour of the Crystal Palace by a pair of attendants that we have already had assigned to you. Their job is to help you settle in and assist you in understanding customs and getting around Atlantis and anything else you may need. If you have any problems with them, you are to just let Elra or me know and we can shuffle them around a bit and find you someone else for that position. The tour will end at your new bedroom and dinner will be taken in your quarters due to how late it will be by that point. You'll meet your tutors for breakfast and from there we'll set up a training schedule for you."
"Training?" questioned Harry.
"Of course, training. We can't expect a child, born a wizard and raised a Muggle, to immediately be able to fit in as a native Atlantean," replied Alanna indignantly. Harry smiled gratefully, wishing that someone had felt the same way when he had been thrown into the wizarding world.
Harry frowned as something that he had been considering for a while came to him. "What about my godfather?"
"Your godfather? You have a godfather?" questioned Alanna, immediately worried that there would be someone left to fight her intention of keeping her grandson.
Elra paled at the thought of losing the boy before they had him crowned and asked, "Then why were you staying with the Dursleys?"
Harry sighed and looked towards the door of the carriage. "He was falsely convicted of a crime, a crime that had him imprisoned in Azkaban until he escaped about a year and a half ago. He never even had a trial. He's been on the run now for about a year or so now." Elra glanced at Alanna as he sighed in relief. An escaped criminal, innocent or not, would not be able to start any custody battles.
Alanna smiled kindly at Harry. "Once I have attained my original position I would be able to have an official trial set for him also. But until I am in my position I would be happy to offer him asylum on Atlantis. Or you could even do so yourself, once you've been crowned a prince, or even princess as Elra alluded to." Harry grimaced again at the thought of becoming a girl.
"I didn't think that something like that would even be possible," said Harry frowning at the idea.
Alanna answered him immediately, "Normally it isn't. However, several centuries back in our history it became customary for barren couples that were the last of their family line to adopt children into their families. It was discovered that a combination of the blood adoption potion and an especially strong healing potion when taken directly after each other would combine to not only have their own affects but it would also reverse the child's gender. The potion's master that discovered the effect ended up adopting around twelve children in order to discover what had caused the reversals. Of course, we also now have some of the best potion brewers in the world because each of those children had the training of a talented potions master." Alanna smiled in thought. "One of those children's descendants is the current Palace Potions Master and still another is one of my own attendants."
Harry grinned at that and said, "My potions master at Hogwarts would probably have loved to meet him."
Elra smiled at Alanna fondly before continuing for her, "Back to your godfather now. While he is more than welcome to have asylum on the island and even be granted housing in the palace, we will not allow him to take over custody of you. You must remain in the line of the crown for any of this to work out."
Harry nodded, understanding the situation, but happy that he would still have some relationship with his godfather. "What about school? I don't want to leave my friends behind. They are the first friends I ever made. My only friends really."
Alanna sighed as she thought for a bit. "Your friends are more than welcome to visit. In fact, it would be much easier for them to visit you than for you to visit them once you have been officially accepted as part of the royal family. We can invite them over on your birthday to begin with to see how it goes. However, the problem comes with your attending a foreign school. In order for you to come back to Britain or any other country for that matter, we'd have to contact the appropriate government authority to alert them and then they'll probably insist on assigning an escort. Heavens knows what would happen if there were any sort of incidents." Alanna shook her head as she considered the factors in allowing Harry to attend Hogwarts.
Harry immediately answered by saying, "But this is Hogwarts. It's considered the safest location in the wizarding world." Harry deliberately ignored the fact that each of his four years some event had put him at risk. "Surely I could be allowed to attend. I've only three more years left." Alanna frowned and studied him closely.
"You're leaving something out," she accused him. As she continued to stare him down Harry shifted nervously and finally ended up blurting out everything that had ever happened to him at the hands of Voldemort, including his parents' deaths.
Alanna settled back in her seat and considered Harry thoughtfully. "As a foreign authority, the people of Atlantis are forbidden from taking action in a different country without either first being asked by the appropriate government or a member of our own people being involved."
"But he killed my parents and specifically targeted me for his rebirth ceremony. Isn't that good enough?" asked Harry insistently.
Elra shook his head, "Unfortunately, Harry, you currently only carry the Atlantean bloodline. You are not a true Atlantean. You were born a British citizen. If he were to attack you after the ceremonial crowning it would be a different story altogether."
"However," Alanna interrupted, "after you are crowned a prince you would not be allowed in a situation where his attacking you would even be possible. You would not be allowed into any dangerous situation until you've secured the bloodline. This is extremely important. Our entire lifeblood depends on you. I am unable to conceive unless it is with my soul mate. On the other hand, once I am able to take on my duties officially I will be in a position such that I will be able to bring this Voldemort character to justice."
Harry folded his hands thoughtfully, "So let me get this straight. Pretty much all of my problems can be solved once you are able to move on to these other duties. And the only way that that can happen is when there is a girl available to be pronounced the queen." Alanna nodded in agreement. "And if I'm found worthy, and take those potions, we'll be able to do something sooner?"
Again Alanna nodded and watched as Harry stared at the curtained window thoughtfully. Several moments passed before he turned back to her.
Harry frowned as he thought about things seriously. "If I'm accepted as a candidate for the thrown, I'll agree to take the potions as long as I'm given a chance to discuss it with my friends first and you agree to give my godfather a fair trial and bring Voldemort to justice as soon as possible. I also want you to discuss, open-mindedly, my return to Hogwarts with the headmaster so that I can return if at all possible." He closed his mouth and stared at her, leaving the final decision in her hands, but not really willing to budge on his demands.
Alanna stared at him for a moment before smiling at him. "It's a deal. As soon as we have our first official interview together we'll plan your birthday party and write out the invitations to your friends, headmaster, and your godfather. We'll go from there directly to the chamber where the crown resides to see if you'll be accepted." Harry nodded, sealing his agreement. Elra sighed in relief as he leaned back in his seat.
Alanna frowned for a second before flushing as she realized that she forgot something fairly important. "So tell me, Harry. When is your birthday?"
Harry laughed and answered, "July 31st. Approximately two weeks from now."
Alanna paled and turned to Elra quickly and said, "As soon as we're back, I want a meeting with all of my advisors, aides, and the city representatives. Apparently, we'll have less time to plan than I originally assumed." Harry practically giggled at her consternation; embarrassing himself and making him think that he already sounded like a girl.
The carriage rocked violently once again. This time it was only Elra's arm that stopped him from falling to the floor. Elra frowned at the abrupt stop. He slipped his fingers behind the curtains and lifted them back a bit to peek out the window. He turned back to Harry and Alanna and announced that they had arrived.
Harry ran a hand through his hair nervously as he watched Elra prepare to open the carriage door. It had become obvious that there were many people outside of the carriage waiting, despite the late hour. Alanna glanced over Harry as she stood in the carriage and straightened her gown. Harry took her as his example and stood in order to straighten his own school robes. Alanna grinned at him before nodding to Elra. He nodded back at her and knocked on the wall of the carriage. Almost instantly the carriage door was opened and in the slim view that Harry had of the outside, he could see a crowd of people. Elra stepped out first and turned back to hold a hand out to help Alanna out, just as he had on Privet drive. The instant Alanna stepped out Harry could hear the crowd grow a lot louder. Harry shifted nervously as he started having second thoughts on nearly every decision he had made since Alanna had arrived at Privet Drive.
Alanna raised a hand to acknowledge the crowd and expectantly looked back into the carriage to Harry. He sighed and straightened himself the best he could as he prepared himself to face the masses. As he stepped out of the carriage the noise level of the crowd went up to whole new levels. Harry stared wide-eyed at all of the people in the crowd around him. Alanna reached down and took Harry's hand and started leading him towards the Palace. The crowd had him so distracted and distraught that he barely noticed as before they even made it ten feet past the carriage they were flanked by at least a dozen guards. The guards making a barrier between Harry and the crowd started making him feel a lot better. Harry was immensely relieved when they arrived in the palace.
"Welcome home, Harry," said Alanna kindly as she gestured to the entrance way to the palace. There was crystal, marble, and painted glass everywhere. There was a grand staircase with plush red carpeting on it that led up to the second floor. There were paintings and statues and suits of armor and columns decorated with runes all over the place. Harry blinked, surprised at all of the different things in the room. His attention was snagged though when he noticed two young men come forward wearing white tunics and pants that were similar to the uniform that the men from the carriage were wearing.
"Harry, these are going to be your attendants until the coronation. They'll also be showing you around the palace and to your rooms. If you need anything or to see anyone just let them know and they'll take care of it. In the mean time I have a meeting to get to. It is a pleasure to finally have you here Harry," said Alanna, smiling fondly down at Harry. She ruffled his hair affectionately before turning and walking away, up the stairs, followed by about half of the guards and several others in the same uniforms as the two she introduced as his new attendants.
Harry sighed and turned to the two attendants. The two young men just smiled at him and seemed to be waiting for some sort of sign from him.
"So… um… about that tour? Could we possibly just not do it?" asked Harry hesitantly, not quite sure of how he was supposed to act around them. "I'm just really tired right now."
"Of course, my lord," answered one of the attendants immediately. "We'll just go ahead and show you to your chambers then. Just follow Malen and I, we'll show you the way." The other attendant, Malen apparently, simply nodded his head and started leading the way down the hall.
It took them about five minutes of halls and stairs and conversation that identified the attendant that first spoke as Brian before they finally came to a stop before an unexceptional wooden door.
"And here are your current chambers. You'll probably be moved into more permanent quarters later," said Malen as he opened the door before them and the two guards that had been following took up positions beside the door. Harry stepped through the door amazed at what was spread out before him. The first room looked to be a sitting room, a sitting room the size of the Dursley's entire first floor. On the wall facing the doorway Harry had just entered by, surrounded by floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall bookcases, was a large stone fireplace with a crackling fire in it.
"Queen Alanna loves being able to watch the fireplace without getting overheated. We use cooling spells constantly throughout the summer. If you like it different, just let us know," informed Brian. Harry just shook his head and looked around some more. Clustered in a semi-circle around the fireplace were a sofa, a loveseat, and a regal looking armchair directly across from it with a long, low table in the middle of the three. On the other two walls were portraits hanging in gilded frames surrounded by even more bookcases. On the left hand wall in the corner was a door while on the opposite side sat a large desk and matching chair.
Seeing Harry looking at the other door Malen spoke up to quietly explain, "You bedroom suite is through there, my Lord." Harry nodded quietly before tiredly heading towards that door. Brian quickly stepped ahead of him and opened the door for him. In front of Harry was a small room, small compared to the rest of the rooms in the palace at least. There were more portraits and bookcases here, but also a tall full-length mirror with both frame and stand made of gold. All along the walls were candles giving light to the room, giving Harry just enough light to see that there was a larger open space to his right.
"The candles normally aren't all kept lit at this time of night," explained Brian. Harry ignored Brian. He was tired and just wanted to find his bed. He made his way to the open area he had spied. In this larger area was his actual bedroom. The large bed, obviously a king sized one, was a canopy bed with dark red velvet drapes. The large curtains covering the windows were the same color and fabric. In addition to the bed there was a dark colored wardrobe and matching dresser. In one corner stood a perch where Hedwig was happily waiting for Harry. Seeing her gave Harry a sense of relief, though he couldn't figure out for the life of him how they had gotten his belongings there first. There was another door here, which Harry assumed led to a bathroom. Now that he had his rooms plotted out he turn to Malen and Brian.
"Thanks guys, but I think I can make it from here. Could you let who ever needs to know that I'd rather skip dinner today? I really am rather exhausted," said Harry as he smothered a yawn.
Both Brian and Malen bowed to Harry as Malen responded, "Of course, my lord. Sleep well." With that they turned as one and hurried from the room. Harry sighed, turned, and flopped on the bed, too exhausted to do more than just pull off his robes and shoes before falling asleep.