Credit for beta-reading and lore advisory go to Joe Lawyer and Umodin, respectively.
Colette looked up from the book she was reading when a raven flew into the room and perched on top of the armchair.
"Visitors." The bird reported. "Two orcs."
"Thank you." Colette said and gave it a little neck rub.
The raven made a happy doggy panting sound that it had definitely learned from Della and flew off.
The former death knight could only shake her head at how Harry had managed to turn a flock of ravens into an early warning system. They were even connected to the wards around the tower so they could identify how much aggression whoever was approaching was feeling.
It was by no means a perfect detection system, but on the other hand, how many people would think to hide from birds?
Quickly armoring up just in case they did turn hostile, Colette went out to greet whoever it was. Hopefully, that accursed buttplug Harry had left in her ass wouldn't be too distracting.
At least she no longer had his cum sloshing about in there, it having magically disappeared about twelve hours after he'd 'deposited' it. Colette was no mage, but she had a feeling that the amount of magic that had gone into that one sex toy to make it comfortable, hygienic and as distracting as possible on top of the curse that made it impossible to remove was more than most enchanters put into their serious work.
The reported two orcs arrived in short order, pausing for a moment when they saw her, but then continuing onwards when Colette kept her sword sheathed.
Both were male, and quite brawny as was typical for their race. They were barechested in the way that many orcish warriors thought was either brave or manly or something. One of them was carrying a bloody sack.
The Alliance had always been grateful for that bit of cultural idiocy on behalf of the orcs. The brutes would be a lot more dangerous if so many of them weren't willing to run around unarmored while under arrow fire.
"Lok-." One of them began when they came into conversation range, but quickly cleared his throat and restarted. "Greet. Bounty, goblin."
The broken Common was easy enough to understand, especially with the other one dumping the contests of the sack on the ground. It was, indeed, a bunch of goblin scalps.
Colette restrained the urge to roll her eyes at the unnecessary mess and reached into one of her cloak pockets, pulling out a fat sack of gold.
As the transaction was made, she saw one of them turn speculative red eyes on her. It was a blatant threat assessment, the kind of look that wondered if they could take her and if it was worth risking it. She narrowed her eyes in response and threateningly reached towards the hilt of the Voidblade, Shadow magic boiling off her armor like a smoke from an oil fire.
The other one noticed and smacked his fist against his companion's arm. The moment passed and the two orcs turned around, leaving without further incident.
Colette didn't relax until they were out of sight, then shook her head with a snort. If those two had actually gotten those scalps from the Windshear Crag or even some other Venture Company location, she would deepthroat her sword.
It was harder to tell with orcs than with humans, but they had the generally undisciplined air of bandits rather than real warriors. The scalps had probably come from a goblin trade caravan or village in the Barrens.
Not that Harry would care. He had been perfectly aware that people would try to scam him for an easy payday. Increasing political tensions with the goblins, from either direction, was also worth paying good money for as far as he was concerned. And if anyone called him out on it, he could just say that he had only posted the bounty on the Venture Company for their destructive practices, and that it wasn't his fault if the people scamming him were dishonorable.
Colette half-heartedly tried to muster some kind of moral outrage about it, but it wouldn't come for the same reason that the Light would no longer answer her call. It was hard to get upset over such trivialities when you had already embraced the darkness of the world.
A quick spell took care of the scalp pile and Colette sauntered back into the tower, intent on returning to her book. Or maybe a bath for a relaxing masturbation session? The buttplug was awfully distracting…
But it was not to be. The bracelet tied to Harry's life suddenly pulsed in warning. He was in danger of some kind. She hurried upstairs, expecting that the other girls would be there already. Conveniently, she was already wearing her armor.
It didn't take her long to get back, but the other girls were already there,
"Collete! Hi!" Luna greeted with her usual enthusiasm, no particular sign of distress to be found. "You can relax, Harry already signaled that the danger was past. Has Sally been giving you any trouble?"
Now that Colette thought of it, the bracelet had settled down. "She tries to snoop around the tower from time to time, but otherwise refuses to interact with a 'filthy undead' like me."
The former High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade was, to put it lightly, not convinced as to the efficacy of Harry's Restoration Serum. According to her, it was all a plot of the Undead Scourge to further spread the taint of undeath.
The deluded woman gave the Lich King far too much credit. He was powerful and farsighted to be sure, but the most fanatical of the Scarlet Crusade such as Whitemane truly believed that they were the last beacon of hope in a world that was already mostly swallowed by darkness.
Harry and Luna hadn't been surprised by this. Apparently it was common for people who spend too long a time surrounded by enemies to lose the ability to think of anyone outside of their own group as friendly. They only disagreed on whether it was worth trying to break through Whitemane's paranoia.
Harry would have washed his hands of the woman, but Luna thought it was worth trying to save her.
"Oh, that's not good. I'll need to have another talk with her." Luna frowned.
Colette smiled a bit at the optimism. She might not agree with it, but it was one of Luna's more endearing traits.
"How was the Exodar?" She changed the subject.
"Oh, it was really neat!" Luna perked up excitedly. "And the draenei are super sexy. I'm hoping to seduce their blacksmith. Her name is Miall and she's got a really cute tail and horns and hooves."
"Oh, so the Battle Harem is getting another member?" Colette raised an eyebrow.
She didn't really care either way, she'd joined in for Harry. He could have as many women on the side as he wished as long as he would still make time for her. Fortunately, with his Hyperbolic Time Chamber, most of the time he spent not working was spent with them.
"Hah!" Arko barked out a laugh. "No, this is more of a case of Luna discovering that she has a thing for horns, hooves and tails. Honestly I feel like we should have seen this coming after what happened with Merithra."
"Well, you have to admit that the draenei are pretty easy on the eyes." Jessir added with small giggle. "At least she didn't go for an orc."
Later, Colette would come to understand that the timing of Harry's arrival had been dictated by the rules of cosmic irony, but for now, she was just shocked as he barged into the room alongside Jaina. Both of them were covered in blood and he had an orc female slung over his shoulder.
"No, absolutely not!" Arko said before he could get a word in. "I think I've been more than tolerant of your quirks, but this is a step too far."
"I'm with Arko on this. No orcs in the Battle Harem. I don't care how firm you think their butts are." Jessir added with a serious nod.
Harry paused for a moment at the pre-emptive resistance and then glanced over at her and Luna, obviously waiting to see if there was more.
Luna seemed merely curious and Colette herself slowly nodded. "I would prefer to slay orcs than lay them, but I am more interested in hearing why you are covered in blood."
"We are covered in blood because Garona here…" He slapped a hand on the unconscious orc's ass. "… Tried to kill us. Made a damn good effort of it, too."
"Garona Halforcen?!" Colette exclaimed in surprise, getting a confirming nod from him.
"Who's Garona Halforcen?" Arko asked in confusion.
Right, of course. Despite how infamous the half-orc was in the Eastern Kingdoms, the night elves would not have heard of her.
"Notorious assassin of the Old Horde, but as it turns out, she was acting under a spell of enslavement cast by Gul'dan the whole time." Harry quickly explained, dropping another shock on Colette's lap. Then he dropped the half-orc herself on her lap, figuratively speaking. "Put her in a guest room for me, would you? But don't let her leave! She'll get herself killed going off on a revenge quest if we let her run off alone and that would just be wasteful. Her daggers have a nasty cursed poison on them, so Jaina and I need to get to my laboratory to cobble together an antidote. You too, Luna. We might need some healing to stave off the symptoms."
"Coming!" Luna agreed and grabbed the rather subdued Jaina by the hand. "To the laboratory!"
"The tower sure is filling up with 'guests'." Colette mused as they left, and then frowned. "And I forgot to tell Harry to take this buttplug out of my ass."
"Buttplug?" Arko repeated with an odd tone, like she was pretending to be surprised.
It had been and objectively short amount of time since Garona had attacked them, but Harry and Jaina still returned to find Theramore on the brink of disaster. Varian was, rather predictably, accusing Thrall of treachery.
"Alright, everybody calm the fuck down." Harry boomed with magical enhancement, getting everyone attention. "It was the Twilight's Hammer behind the assassination attempt and you're giving them exactly what they want."
"How do you know this?" Varian demanded, still keeping a suspicious eye on the Horde contingent. "I doubt the assassin herself would have divulged such information freely."
"That's exactly what she did, actually." Harry countered. "As it turns out, she was acting under a spell of enslavement and was more than happy to tell us everything once I freed her."
"Where is she now? I would like to speak to her myself." Thrall said.
"She is currently resting in my tower. I will let her know that you want to talk to her after she wakes up. Whether she chooses to speak to you will be up to her."
What Harry didn't mention was that he had every intention of bringing Garona around to his own service. Whether that included fun in the bedroom was secondary to having such a talented killer loyal to him.
With the skills he had learned over the years, he had long since started thinking of himself as being impossible to sneak up on. Garona had proved him wrong. Her presence had blended into the background nearly perfectly and her execution had been flawless. When she had dragged her knife across his throat, he had tasted terror the likes of which he hadn't experienced in more years than he could count.
He was almost certain that death wouldn't hold him quite that easily, not with Luna's power and his own knowledge of necromancy and soul magic, but it had still been the closest brush with it that he'd had since he was a child.
A lesser man might have lashed out against his would-be killer in residual fear, but Harry was simply impressed. As far as he was concerned, that was the single most effective job application he'd ever received.
He had quizzed Jaina on the half-orc's history while working on a counter to the poison in her daggers (fel-based curse, the work of a powerful warlock, but fel magic fortunately didn't lend itself to sophistication), and came to a few conclusions. Jaina hadn't known everything of course, but much could be extrapolated simply by knowing the circumstances.
Garona had lived a hard life, one where she could never rely on anyone for long. There was undoubtedly a mountain of trauma, psychological complexes and trust issues buried under that self-controlled façade she'd showed.
Harry planned to use them all to secure her loyalty. It would even be for her own good in the process. Oh sure, he could probably get her to work for him by pushing her buttons just right, but that was both short term and ran the risk of dangerous backfire. Helping her heal, however?
Done properly, that would result in getting a new lover, new adopted daughter or just a friend, depending on how things went with the other girls and her own inclinations. One who would probably be happy to use her prodigious proficiency for targeted murder against whoever he decided needed to be removed.
"Harry is right." Jaina piped up. "We need to stand together, now more than ever. If the Twilight's Hammer wants us at each other's throats, then that is clear proof that working together is the right way forward."
Doing good to spite the enemy? Harry could dig it.
"Did the assassin reveal anything pertinent about the goals of the Twilight's Hammer?" Tyrande asked.
"She wasn't entrusted with their plans, for obvious reasons." Harry gave her a nod of acknowledgement for the clear attempt at moving past the tension. "She did, however, reveal the name of its leader. Cho'Gall, the two-headed ogre mage."
"He's still alive?!" Both Thrall and Varian exclaimed, apparently united in their shocked outrage.
"Looks like it." Jaina confirmed unhappily.
"This is bad news." Thrall muttered darkly. "Cho'Gall was Gul'dan's foremost apprentice, and known to be insane. There is no telling what kind of damage he might cause if left to work his schemes."
"You won't have to worry about that." Harry spoke up. "Our assassin is none too happy with him and would have rushed off to kill him right away if I hadn't restrained her. As soon as she fully recovers, the Battle Harem will be going after Cho'Gall."
"You are certain that you can handle him?" The Warchief asked. "Cho'Gall is not a foe to be taken lightly."
"Maybe not, but he won't know that we're coming and I have no plans of giving him an honorable death." Harry smirked. "If all goes well, he'll be dead before he knows it."
Thrall didn't look inclined to protest. Apparently he really didn't like the two-headed ogre, and definitely didn't respect him enough to think he deserved any kind of consideration.
It didn't take much more cajoling then that for everyone to return to their rooms. The hour was getting late and they would be back to the slow grind of diplomacy tomorrow.
Giving no hint that she was awake had long become an ingrained habit for Garona, but this time it took a bit more effort than normal. The bed she was in was easily the most comfortable thing she had ever laid on, which was very confusing because her last memory was of refusing an invitation to come to his tower from the mage that had freed her from Gul'dan's spell.
Apparently, he hadn't taken that refusal well. It almost made her want to snort in derision. Mages that don't like being denied, what else was new? The only oddity was the fact that she was in a guest bedroom instead of a prison cell.
Unless the mage gave all his prisoners such comfortable sleeping quarters? Maybe he was hoping she wouldn't want to escape if she was comfortable? The bruises she should be feeling from impact the wall certainly weren't present anymore.
The thought required the suppression of another snort. Not because it was unladylike, but because there was someone else in the room with her. She could hear them breathing. A female, given the resonance of the breaths, albeit a large one.
"Hello." The unknown female said softly, clearly aware somehow that Garona had woken up.
Seeing that there was no point in pretending further, the half-orc opened her eyes and assessed her captor.
It was a very tall human-looking woman with a glowing horizontal crescent moon on her forehead, although the pointed ears peeking from out of her blonde hair suggested a half-elf. Not many of those around and Garona couldn't help feeling just a little bit of kinship towards her fellow halfbreed, even if her life had likely been far more pleasant.
She had kind silver-blue eyes and a smile that made it hard to believe she could have any sort of ill intent.
"Sorry about the kidnapping." The blonde woman apologized. "Harry was warned by a cute little bronze dragon named Chromie that you'd die if he let you go off alone and he didn't have time to argue with you."
Well, that was better than what Garona had feared, although still a bit worrisome that such beings had any interest in her at all.
"Where am I?" She asked warily.
"You're in our tower, in Ashenvale Forest." The woman replied easily. "My name is Luna, by the way."
Garona knew that name. The wise assassin listened to rumors where she could, and there had been tall tales going around about an immensely powerful human priestess of Elune. Apparently the stories had been a bit off.
"I'm sorry for trying to kill your husband." She offered. The rumors also said that Luna was married to a powerful archmage that had expelled the Warsong Clan from Ashenvale. The information hadn't been relevant to her, but after what Cho'Gall had made her do, it was suddenly very relevant.
It was not the way of the orcs to apologize, but the ways of the orcs and their pride could go to the hells. Her father's people had caused her nothing but suffering and grief.
"It wasn't your fault." Luna smiled reassuringly at her again.
Garona pushed herself up against the headboard of the bed, almost drowning in the ridiculous softness of the comforter.
"Am I a prisoner?" She asked, barely paying any mind to the fact that she'd been stripped of her leathers and dressed in silk pajamas.
"You're a guest." Luna said firmly. "A guest that can't leave just yet, but still a guest."
Garona's lips briefly pulled into a wry twist. The last time she had gone after a powerful archmage, she had also ended up staying as a 'guest' in his tower for a time. She had not understood back then how foolish it was to confront someone like Medivh in his own tower, but the former Guardian was a painful memory that she quickly turned her mind away from.
"Are you hungry?" Luna asked.
Her stomach rumbled at the offer of food. Skulking around Theramore without being noticed meant that she hadn't gotten to eat much.
Harry had been enjoying Jaina's hospitality in Theramore for the duration of the diplomatic meeting. Not as a matter of convenience, but simply because it would be a bit rude to teleport back home at the end of every day.
But Garona needed to be handled quickly. Assassins were skittish sorts and he had no doubt that she would eventually find a way to slip out of the tower and escape if given enough time to do recon.
Of course, he could have taken a blood sample and tied a tracking spell to her, but that was almost certain to permanently close shut any paths towards gaining her trust and allegiance. Bringing her home against her will was already pushing things.
With these things in mind, he arrived just in time for dinner, which was coincidentally only a few minutes after Luna woke the half-orc up.
"Hello, girls." He announced himself with a grin. "Daddy's home."
"I thought you were going to stay in Theramore until the diplomatic summit was over?" Arko questioned. "Also, please never call yourself daddy again."
"It turns out that having your throat cut reminds a man of the things he cherishes." He replied, noticing the nearly imperceptible flinch from Garona. Guilt, very useful.
"It's a shame it didn't take." Sally Whitemane sneered, sitting sulkily in one of the chairs.
"No man will ever want to marry you if you keep up that kind of attitude, Sally." Harry retorted jokingly, knowing that she would hate it more than any insult he could lever against her.
Any further banter was interrupted by an enthusiastic hug from Luna. Not that her hugs were ever anything other than enthusiastic. She was not someone who did perfunctionary hugs.
"Come on, hugs for everyone." He prompted the other girls to join in. "You know you'd miss me if I actually died."
"I suppose you do grow on people, like cave fungus." Jessir drawled, but joined Arko in hugging him. And if their grip was a bit tighter than it had to be then nobody called them out on it.
"I still need you to take this buttplug out of my ass." Colette murmured into his ear.
"The curse would wear off if I died." Harry assured her. Only an idiot cast curses powerful enough to stick around after their death. Something always eventually went wrong when you did that.
"No more talking about death, we have a guest." Luna decreed and the all shuffled over to the table.
Garona had been observing them with a carefully neutral expression, which rapidly shifted into alertness when Harry turned his attention towards her.
"I owe you an apology." He said, not failing to notice her surprise at the words. "Even if it was done with good intentions, knocking you unconscious and bringing you to my tower like this was still rude."
Garona tried to hide her discomfort, but it was obvious to his eyes that she was not at all used to being apologized to.
"I did try to kill you." She replied, automatically trying to deflect. Assassins tended to be unscrupulously opportunistic, so that reaction implied an unusual sense of morals. Then again, she hadn't become an assassin willingly, which was kind of funny given her skill at it.
"No, Cho'Gall tried to kill me." Harry countered. "I don't usually take assassination attempts on me personally, but the fact that he used an enslaved third party for it pisses me off. Assassinations should either be done by oneself or by hired and paid professionals."
Garona gave him a funny look for that, as did Arko and Jessir.
"You are odd even for an archmage." The half-orc commented.
"Thank you, now let's eat." Harry decreed and there was a pause in the conversation as they brought out the food.
Garona demonstrated a rather good grasp of high society table manners, no doubt a leftover from her time spent as King Llane's guest in Stormwind.
"Luna said that you received a warning from a bronze dragon that I would die if I went after him alone?" She inquired leadingly as they started eating, getting nods from everyone at the table (except Sally, who was glaring at her soup). "Why do you care?"
"Normally I wouldn't." He conceded. "I'm not really the type to go saving people from their own decisions, but you really impressed me."
Garona was visibly taken aback by that. "I did?"
Harry smirked at her. "I'm almost a thousand years old, and I haven't been that close to death since I was a child. Letting you die ignobly because you rushed off unprepared didn't sit right with me. Plus, I do owe you something for the kidnapping anyway, so why don't you let me make you that new set of weapons and armor I offered and then we can go kill Cho'Gall together?"
"Aaah, there's nothing like a relaxing soak with my beautiful girls after a long day." Harry sighed, sinking into the hot tub and two of his lovers close. "I've missed you."
"Don't try to butter us up so that we'll be less likely to object to Garona." Arko grumbled, but still snuggled up to him.
"Honestly, now that I've met her I have no issue with it." Colette said from his other side, giving an abbreviated shrug. "She acts more like a human than an orc and I don't think she's likely to cause trouble if she joins us."
"Well, the orcs haven't really done anything good for her, so that makes sense. " Harry shook his head. "I was actually thinking of offering to make her a pureblood draenei body, but that's a risky proposition with how morphologically different the two races are."
Even aside from Garona having to relearn how to fight and walk with the new height, tail and backwards-jointed legs, there was a serious risk of body dysmorphia. Even if she had enough resentment buillt up against her orcish heritage to abandon it, the fact of the matter was that she might be too used to her current body shape to transition into such a drastically different one. Not to mention that he'd have to get his hands on a pureblood draenei female for study first. Or maybe an eredar, that should work just as well.
"Heh, if you do that then we know Luna would be all over her." Jessir joked from said priestess' lap, poking the troll-blooded human in the thigh.
"Oh, why's that?" Harry asked, amused and smelling a juicy bit of news.
"Because she's got a thing for them. It's enough to make a girl feel self-conscious. Are we not exotic enough for you, Luna?"
"Don't be silly, you're beautiful." Luna soothed, leaning forward to nibble on the night elf archer's ear. "I'd never neglect you. It's just… their horns and hooves and tails and tentacles are so dang sexy!"
"Is that so?" Harry asked rhetorically, amused by this development. "Have you been picking up girls on the Exodar?"
"She's a blacksmith!" Luna immediately blurted out. "Her name is Miall and she does some really cool stuff with crystals, and she said that she'd love to learn from you. I don't think she's much of a fighter, though."
"Sounds good to me." He shrugged, then frowned. "Although we really are piling a lot onto our plate. With this recent thing with Cho'Gall, waiting to hear back from Karen, our pending jaunt into the Emerald Dream, cleaning up the fel corruption here on Kalimdor and the overall efforts against the Scourge, we'll probably have to set aside any big adventures on Outland."
"Azeroth is more important anyway." Arko shrugged, clearly not caring about the orcish homeworld.
"True, but there's bound to be all sorts of interesting stuff on Outland." Harry maintained his frown. "I don't want to miss out."
"What you need to do is relax." Arko countered, sitting up a bit so that she could look sternly down at him. "I know you humans can't seem to slow down to save your lives, but you don't have to do everything at once."
Harry's attention was somewhat distracted by the droplets of water carving out a tantalizing trail down her pale violet breasts. She noticed where his gaze had wandered and smirked, sticking out her chest even further.
"It's hard." He said, smirking back at her. "I just can't seem to stop thinking of all the dark holes I could plunge into."
Jessir smothered a giggle at the innuendo, while Colette chuckled throatily into his ear and started fondling him beneath the water.
Arko, on the other hand, got a certain look in her eye. "Some of those holes are surely underwater. Have you mastered a water breathing spell?"
That was a hint if ever there was one and Harry nodded. "Naturally. Here, let me demonstrate." He said and cast it on her.
Arko blinked at the odd sensation and then smirked again, diving below the surface without another word.
"You are certainly looking relaxed for someone that was nearly assassinated yesterday." Rhonin observed as Harry plopped himself down for breakfast in Theramore.
"Let's just say that elves might take a while to get going, but once you get them going… hoo boy do they get going." Harry grinned and waggled his eyebrows towards Rhonin's wife. "But I'm sure you know all about that."
Magni Bronzebeard, sitting nearby, snorted the foam off his third tankard of morning ale in surprised laughter.
Vereesa archly raised a silver eyebrow. "I still find it hard to fathom that you managed to seduce two night elves into your… battle harem."
"It's not that hard when you're powerful enough." Harry shrugged. "I'm sure you and Rhonin could do it without much difficulty yourselves, if you were so inclined. The real trick comes after you get the girls."
"Vereesa is more than enough for me, I think." The archmage in question was quick to say.
"Oh aye, I bet she is." Magni's chuckle sounded like a noise a mountain goat might make.
"What is that supposed to mean, Your Majesty?" Vereesa's words were unfailingly polite, but they had that uniquely feminine undertone of warning.
"Rhonin's word on this matter can't really be trusted." Harry explained sagely. "As his wife, you have your hand clasped firmly around his balls. Of course he's going to flatter you when he can."
"Harry, I thought we were friends." Rhonin said plaintively, more amused than truly upset.
"We are. This is me, being your friend. I'll help you hide the bodies, but I'll give you shit every step of the way."
"What bodies?" Jaina interrupted, having come up behind him.
"Jaina! Pull up a chair." Harry invited with a smile. "And the bodies are purely hypothetical at the moment. I was just letting Rhonin know that a little murder won't put me off. Being a politician, I'm sure he gets urges."
"I wish I could say you were wrong." Rhonin muttered, shaking his head.
"Aye." Magni agreed. "Nothing turns your beard grey and your heart black faster than politics. But never mind that. How are you doing, lass?" He directed the question towards Jaina.
"I'm alright." She responded politely.
"Maybe now you'll let me make you some armor." Harry interjected disapprovingly. "I'll happily admire your sexy belly in private all you want, just let me give it some protection."
"Are you really going to do this now?" She demanded in frustration. "In front of everybody?"
"You know, in dwarven culture, offering a suit of armor as fine as I've seen Harry can make would be considered a proposal of alliance between clans." Magni casually offered, grinning into his beard.
"To be sealed with a marriage, no doubt?" Vereesa asked drily. "I am glad we elves have the good sense to not mix love with business."
"Alas, Jaina refuses both my gifts and my proposals of marriage." Harry shook his head sorrowfully, interrupting the impending dwarf/elf race war. "But I'll wear her down eventually. Years from now she'll be rubbing her pregnant belly and laughing at how stubborn she used to be."
"I hate you so much right now." The young archmage ground out as everyone gave a brief laugh at her misfortune, flushing bright red from her neck to the tip of her ears. The air around her was getting noticeably colder.
"Yeah, speaking of that, I need to ask you for a favor." He said, deliberately ominous.
"What kind of favor?" Jaina asked warily.
He knew that she felt indebted to him for saving her life from Garona's attack and would feel obligated to repay him. Normal people felt like that already, but when you added magic to the mix it was almost a compulsion. That was something that he could exploit to push boundaries with her, but if he was too blatant about using such a thing as a way to get into her pants, it would make her genuinely resentful.
No, wooing Jaina required a more delicate touch, a careful balance between annoyance and flattery, just enough push to make her bend and then just enough give to make her relax.
"I need you to house sit my tower." Harry said seriously. "With Luna taking custody of Sally Whitemane and the gaggle of moonlight dragons, someone needs to be there at all times, but there are things we need to do that require all hands on deck, which means I have to ask someone else to come over and keep an eye on things."
"Would that be High Inquisitor Whitemane?" Vereesa interjected, surprised.
Of course, with Dalaran currently sitting in Alterac and threatened by the Forsaken, the movements of the Scarlet Crusade would be of interest to them.
"That's her alright." Harry nodded. "She's a real screwy piece of work, but Luna is convinced she can be brought around."
"Why me?" Jaina finally asked, having spent the time quite clearly looking for angles.
"I trust you."
And he did. Jaina was such a goody two-shoes that he felt no compunction at all about leaving her alone at his tower while he was out adventuring. Most mages, himself included, would take such an opportunity to ransack the owner's workshop and steal their secrets. Jaina wouldn't do that if he gave her the master key to the tower(which he was going to) and bookmarked all the most interesting bits of his grimoire.
And even if her curiosity got the better of her, so what? She'd just feel guilty about it and be even more susceptible to his efforts to seduce her. The only danger was that she suffered a psychotic break similar to what happened in the canonical timeline and used that knowledge unwisely, but he was working to prevent that scenario.
Jaina, being the adorable little creampuff that she was, couldn't keep the flustered and pleased blush off her face at the huge compliment inherent in those three words.
"I guess I could do that." She conceded, quickly getting control of herself. "But keep in mind that I do have responsibilities here in Theramore. I can't be away for long stretches of time."
"That's fine, we shouldn't be away for more than a few days at a time." Harry nodded.
Garona had been cautious about accepting Harry's hospitality. It had seemed too good to be true, and in her experience that meant it usually was. Her intentions to sink quietly into the background, however, were quickly dashed by one overly friendly priestess.
"Come take a bath with me." Luna said, already tugging her along without even waiting for an answer.
Theories raced through Garona's mind. It was clear that Harry was in a relationship with all the women here, bar that surly white-haired human, so it wasn't much of a stretch to think that the women were also intimate with each other. It would certainly support a few things she had observed. Was Luna trying to start something with her?
Garona wasn't above using her body if it came down to it. Gul'dan's tortures during the training he subjected her to hadn't left her innocence intact, and the other abuse she'd suffered had left her with little pride to tarnish.
But she didn't really think that that was what Luna was after. Although there was a certain appreciation in her eyes – which Garona found strange in and of itself – it lacked any heat.
"Why?" She decided to just ask directly.
"You seem troubled, and a nice bath can do wonders to clear your head." Luna replied easily, still tugging her along.
Garona didn't feel any more troubled than normal, but didn't resist. Bathing together was harmless enough and it would let her gather information as well.
"Why are we going outside?" She asked a minute later, realizing that they had reached a sort of entrance hall.
"That's where the moonwell is!" Luna explained perkily.
Now Garona was getting nervous. Elune had no cause to love orcs and she'd rather not get smited for daring to sully one of her moonwells. "Could we not bathe in a normal bath instead?"
"We could, but this will be better." Luna turned to face her and smiled reassuringly. "It'll be okay, please trust me."
Well, Garona supposed that Luna was a Priestess of the Moon and would know better than her, but she was still apprehensive. She knew that she had been tainted with fel magic and couldn't imagine the Moon Goddess looking kindly upon that.
They reached the moonwell and Luna disrobed with casual ease before turning back to Garona with another smile. "Need some help undressing?"
The half-orc had been straining her senses for any kind of threat. She could feel the presence around the moonwell that could only be the goddess, but it didn't feel hostile. Slightly confused by this, she silently shook her head and cautiously took her borrowed clothes off, waiting for the slightest hint of disapproval from the looming presence.
It didn't come and Luna smiled widely once Garona was naked, reaching out to grab one of her hands again. "Come on, the water feels really nice."
The half-orc almost expected it to feel like stepping into acid, but the waters of the moonwell were cool to the touch. The kind of refreshing cool that came from a splash in the river on a scorching hot summer day.
"You're so tense." Luna commented even as Garona tried – and mostly failed – to relax. "Come on, I'll give you a massage."
The situation was making less sense by the second for the half-orc. Despite everything, it didn't really feel sexual, but she couldn't for the life of her figure out what Luna was trying to achieve here.
"I'm fine." She tried to refuse, getting uncomfortable with not knowing what was going on.
"Nuh uh, someone as nice as you shouldn't be walking around with so many knots in her shoulders." Luna countered and waved her hand. A stone table raised itself up in the middle of the moonwell.
That threw Garona for a loop. Nobody had ever called her nice before and the sheer incongruity of it left her mind stalling.
"You have a massage table built into the moonwell?" She asked, mostly to buy time.
"Yep." The priestess chirped, gently tugging her over to the table. "They really complement each other."
Still feeling very unsettled, Garona nonetheless wasn't able to resist the pleading pout and laid down on the stone table. It was much more comfortable than stone should be. Warmer, too.
The warmth provided a pleasant contrast to the refreshing coolness of the moonwell's waters that Luna dripped over her back before starting the massage. It felt like the water soaked through the skin and flowed over the muscle. Garona involuntarily relaxed, completely unable to detect any kind of threat. Quite the opposite in fact – she could hardly recall a moment when she had felt less threatened. The effect had to be at least partially magical, but she let it happen, reasoning that they had no cause for trickery if they'd wished her harm.
"That's right, just let me take care of you." Luna cooed as she really got started on the massage. Garona had to focus on stifling any embarrassing moans as the priestess' expert fingers proceeded to turn her muscles into jelly.
She started at her shoulders and then slowly moved her way down, all the way to the base of her spine and then down the legs. It felt so good that only deeply ingrained paranoia kept Garona from falling asleep on the table.
A splash at the edges of the moonwell drew her attention and her eyes snapped to the source to find… a silver dragon whelp?
"Don't mind him, he's just curious." Luna explained, not stopping her massage.
"I've never seen a dragon of that color before." Garona replied warily.
"They're new, the Moonlight Dragonflight. Elune and I purified some of Onyxia's black dragon eggs to make them."
Well, that was quite something. And it did explain a thing or two about Luna's behavior. If she was willing to save black dragons instead of just smashing their eggs like anyone else would have, then little wonder that she was so accepting of her. Some more tension left Garona as potential betrayal became even less likely.
The moonlight dragon whelp, meanwhile, had splashed over to her with an amusingly clumsy rendition of the doggy paddle and stared at her with curious blue eyes.
Garona hesitantly lifted her hand, expecting it to either flinch away or eyeball the limb like it was a juicy snack, but all it did was keep on staring.
"Go ahead." Luna encouraged, digging her fingers vigorously into the small of the half-orc's back. "They love headpats."
Stifling another groan as she felt a delicious series of pops in her spine, Garona reached over towards the whelp. As promised, it brought its head close and let out a warbling coo when she began scratching it around the horns.
A smile tugged at her lips at the cuteness, a smile which quickly gained a concerned edge when three more whelps emerged from the forest and bee-lined for the moonwell.
"Hehe, don't worry." Luna giggled. "They get a bit jealous, but they're harmless."
Who described a dragon, even a whelp, as harmless?
Still, Garona said nothing in response and just gave the whelps a petting when they were in reach, or otherwise just watched them splash about as they vied for attention. The commotion attracted a few more whelps and soon the moonwell was filled with their antics. They got disruptive enough that Luna had to stop the massage.
Garona was surprised to feel a keen sense of disappointment about that. It was the most relaxed she'd been in decades and she was sad that it had come to an end, even if Luna did manage to work over her whole body at least once.
Luna apparently noticed, because she smiled at her reassuringly. "Don't worry, I'll be glad to rub you down anytime you want."
Having no idea how to deal with someone so accommodating, Garona just nodded quietly and followed Luna back to the edge of the moonwell, expecting that they would be leaving it.
Not so, because the priestess tugged her back down to a sitting position, but this time the half-orc found herself using her as a backrest. The intimate position had her wondering if she hadn't been wrong in her earlier assessment of Luna's intentions and if the massage had just been an elaborate seduction attempt.
"I want to try something." Luna announced. "Do you trust me?"
She absolutely did not, but could hardly say it, so Garona dodged the question with a question of her own. "What do you want to try?"
"I want to try getting all this nasty fel stuff out of your body. You're not supposed to be green."
Get rid of the fel taint? Garona had not drank Mannoroth's blood – her green pigmentation was the result of exposure to Gul'dan's foul warlock magic. That, if anything, made her hate it even more, but she had long resigned herself to carrying the signs of corruption on her skin. If it could be purged…
"You think you can do it?" She tried to hide the hope in her voice, but didn't think she succeeded. The priestess was more perceptive than she acted.
"Just watch me." Luna said firmly and pulled Garona tighter against her.
The waters of the moonwell began to glow with a silvery light and simmer against her skin. Not painful, but it suddenly felt invasive and uncomfortable. Her instincts howled at her flee, but she had barely stiffened when Luna started making shushing noises in her ear.
"Please, trust me." The priestess whispered, her hold as gentle as it was unyielding. "I know it's unpleasant. You've lived with this poison inside you for so long that you don't remember anything else. Bear with it for just a little longer."
Trust was a bit too much to ask right now, but she hated Gul'dan much more than she feared betrayal from strangers who had showed her only kindness. She kept herself still and shut her eyes as the sense of foreign power flowed through her. It was much gentler than anything she'd ever felt before, and the longer it went on the more it felt like the problem was inside her rather than with the outside element. Washing out a burn may hurt, but that wasn't the fault of the water.
And then it was over and Luna squeezed her again. "There, that's better."
Garona opened her eyes and lifted her hands in front of her face, staring in wonder at the light brown skin of them. She hadn't seen that color on herself in ages.
"Thank you." She said with feeling, extricating herself from the embrace and sitting next to the priestess instead, still very distracted by her non-corrupted skin.
"It was my pleasure." Luna said happily. "Harry was thinking of offering to turn you into a pureblood draenei, and I figured it would be best if you didn't have that nasty stuff on your soul no matter what you decided."
Turn her into a draenei? To leave behind her mixed heritage and embrace her mother's people?
When Garona had been young, she had sometimes wished that she was a full orc so that her father's clan would accept her. That desire had long since been extinguished, but she had never seriously considered what it would be like to go in the other direction.
Did she want to so completely reject that part of herself, though? It was a question that would bother Garona for some time.
The rest of the diplomatic summit was blessedly without incident, save for the occasional verbal jab. The results were far better than what Harry was used to seeing from politicians, but that made sense. This collections of politicians had some actual substance to them and weren't just hot air.
The agreement was that there would be no military altercations between the Horde and the Alliance on Draenor. Essentially, they had agreed to pointedly ignore each other. Not exactly the pinnacle of cooperation in the face of a shared threat, but it was something. It went unsaid that, Thrall, Varian and whoever would be leading the blood elves after the Forsaken were restored to life would have to keep an especially close watch on their people.
Harry was actually kind of hoping to see some kind of draenei sabotage operation aimed at the orcs. It would be hilarious to see Thrall unable to really say anything about it because his people's karma with the draenei was so deep in the negatives that he could only condemn the most blatant and egregious of trespasses done to them in turn without looking bad.
Velen could, quite literally, get away with murder – a lot of murder – and still come out of it smelling like roses for a good long while. Anything even vaguely disprovable, Velen could deny even if everyone knew otherwise.
Alas, the ancient prophet didn't seem like the type, which put Harry in the unusual position of respecting the man for not using his people's victim status to score cheap political points and disappointed for not using his spotless reputation to get revenge.
Harry briefly considered whether his attitude to these things was weird before dismissing it and deciding that no, it was everyone else who was wrong.
"What are you thinking of?" Jaina asked as they teleported into the tower. "You have a strange look on your face."
"Just wondering if Tyrande will take my advice and rub that letter on her body." Harry half-lied.
"I still can't believe you suggested she do that." Jaina muttered, shaking her head.
"You should know by now that I'm capable of anything." He chided.
"Yes, for some reason I keep giving you the benefit of the doubt." She groused.
"It's because you loooove me, Jaina." He teased.
"Do you ever get tired of reaching for the low-hanging fruit?"
"Not at all. It makes you snarky and I find that rather attractive."
Jaina elected not to respond to that and they made the rest of the trip through the tower in silence, soon arriving at the common room, which currently held only Luna, Jessir and Garona. Well, them and Jessir's wolf, Della.
"You're looking… browner than I recall." Harry noted, raising an eyebrow at Garona.
"Luna was able to purge the fel corruption that tainted my body." The half-orc replied, a small smile pulling at her lips.
"I think Thrall might be very interested in that ability." Jaina opined, looking at her with some fascination. She'd never seen an untainted orc before.
"I won't cleanse anyone else." Luna shook her head. "The reminder of what they did is good for them."
"And it would be a whole lot of work for what amounts to a cosmetic effect." Harry agreed, although he wasn't sure the effect was merely cosmetic. "We have bigger fish to fry, a two-headed one."
"I tracked Cho'Gall down to Silithus." Garona immediately offered. "From what I was able to discover, he is investigating the connection between C'thun and the qiraji in the hopes of finding the Old God."
Harry's lips twitched into a microsecond grin. The Fidelius was working. It was an obvious leap of logic to think that C'thun would be in the depths of Ahn'Qiraj, but that knowledge could only now be gained from Thrall, the Secret Keeper, so nobody could make that mental connection unless he told them.
"That means he's likely still there. Excellent." He nodded. "We'll move on him first thing tomorrow morning. Garona, you come with me. I still need to make you those daggers and armor I promised. Jaina, here's the master key to the tower." He handed the aforementioned object to the blonde archmage.
"Why are you giving her the master key?" Jessir asked oddly, while Jaina herself was still dealing with the surprise of being handed free reign of another mage's tower.
Even if he had already said that he trusted her to house sit, she had still clearly not been expecting such complete trust.
Harry knew that he might as well have been declaring her family by doing that, which was, of course, the whole point. Jaina was very much a 'fair play' kind of girl and being shown such extreme trust would make it very difficult for her to not reciprocate on some level.
"She was gracious enough to agree to look after the tower and the problem child whenever we have an all hands on deck kind of situation." Harry explained, nodding towards Garona. "Such as a notoriously powerful and crazy two-headed ogre warlock."
"But aren't you at all worried that I'll snoop around in your workshop?" Jaina was the one to ask this question.
"Not at all." Harry grinned, his voice taking on a lewd inflection. "I'd love to have you in my workshop. Just say the word and I'll take you there."
"Just… get out of here." She huffed, unfortunately not blushing as much as she used to. "I'm sure Luna and Jessir can tell me what I need to know while you're busy with Garona."
"Yep!" Luna chirped, snatching her hand. "Sally is sulking in her room right now, so it's probably for the best if we leave her to it until dinner, but we can go watch Arko and Colette sparring. They'll get all hot and sweaty and then we can all take a bath together."
"Luna, wait!" Jaina protested this plan, but it was too late – she was already being dragged off.
Harry just smiled with amusement at her futile resistance and turned to look at the slightly puzzled half-orc. "Alright, let's you and me go to the forge and get you geared up."
"So, how do they feel?" Harry asked, watching Garona slowly slice her new daggers through the air. "I was thinking of calling them the Blades of Silence."
They weren't the heinously ugly monstrosities that the Kingslayers had been, but they were still large enough to qualify as short swords and with a slight curve to them as per Garona's preference. Their blades were a smoky grey as a consequence of the magic weaved into them, magic which beguiled the senses and made the blades difficult to track. Along the extremely thin edge ran a coating of indestructible elementium to keep them permanently sharp. The hilts were capped with a polished onyx crystal, which was enchanted to imbue the blades with any substance she poured on them, if she thought it was necessary.
"They are excellent blades." She declared, sheathing them. "Thank you."
"It was my pleasure." Harry nodded with a smile. "I've never made weapons for an assassin before. It was an interesting challenge."
Garona didn't quite seem to know what to say to that, so she just nodded back.
"Alright, let's move on to the armor, then. I'm going to assume that full plate is out of the question?"
"Yes?" She asked back quizzically, as if wondering why he was even asking such a ridiculous question. "I will not be able to skulk in full plate."
Harry hummed in acknowledgement. Alas, this wasn't a Jaina kind of situation. Garona would genuinely be too inconvenienced by a suit of full plate. All the little things that weren't so relevant to a mage would be serious problems for an assassin. Lack of flexibility in the soles, increased bulk, minor alterations to balance, lesser mobility of the torso, impaired dexterity and so on.
Even if he focused more enchantments on stealth than on protection, it would still be a net loss. Better to start off with a lighter armor that could be built on, instead of a heavy suit that had to be 'fixed'.
"How do you feel about skintight bodysuits?"
The Twilight's Hammer had created an outpost in the southwestern region of Silithus, about a day's westward walking distance from the entrance to Ahn'Qiraj and almost within sight of its walls to the south. With the War of Shifting Sands over and only a token garrison remaining, they could afford to be so close. It's not like anyone was going to go traipsing into the desert in search of them, especially as they had enough intelligence to use tents of a tan color that made them blend in with the sand.
Alas that such attempts at camouflage were ruined by the black and purple color scheme the Twilight's Hammer favored. To say nothing of the shackled voidwalkers several warlocks had at their side.
"This is the place." Garona confirmed. "That big tent is Cho'Gall's."
She was wearing her brand new bodysuit, the details of which were difficulty to put down. The magics weaved into it made even perceiving it a chore and it worked in tandem with her own stealth ability and the blessing of Elune that Luna had laid down on her. It functioned on the same principle as a notice-me-not charm, although made much more permanent. Unless someone was focused directly on her, attention would just slide away. There was some armoring on her forearms and shins, as well as over her chest and back, but for the most part it was security in obscurity.
"Alright, we'll do this nice and simple." Harry nodded. "You go circle around all quiet-like and wait for us to storm the front. Unless Cho'Gall is extremely paranoid, you should have a clear shot at his back once things get started."
"He dies this day." The half-orc said grimly, clearly determined to make that a reality.
There was nothing more to say after that. Garona skulked off and faded out of perception, leaving the Battle Harem alone.
"She's pretty intense." Jessir commented idly.
"She needs sooooo many hugs." Luna said, the keen sympathy in her tone audible despite the helmet. "We have to convince her to stay with us."
"Adding a rogue of her skill to our roster would certainly be beneficial." Colette opined.
"I guess she's not so bad." Arko conceded when everyone looked towards her. "Not nearly as… orcish… as I expected."
"I'm glad you all agree, because I really like her." Harry added his own two cents. "Willpower like Garona's is rare and I want to see what becomes of her."
"At least wait a few weeks before trying to seduce her." Arko sighed. "For decency's sake if nothing else."
"Would you look at the time? We need to start killing people." Harry deflected, mostly to annoy Arko. "Everyone, assume the position."
'The position' was nothing more than a basic common sense approach. Arko and Colette, as the melee fighters, took point. Harry was a little bit behind, being primarily a caster with a melee option in an emergency. And in the back were Luna and Jessir, as the support and sniper, respectively. They were decently spread out so that they all had room, but not so much that the enemy could easily get in between them.
The Twilight's Hammer camp was quick to get into an uproar when their approach was spotted. Being a bunch of doomsday cultists, there wasn't much ambiguity in seeing five heavily armored adventurers approaching in a distinctly combative posture.
Jessir handled the introductions by planting an arrow in one of the warlock's chests, causing the suddenly unbound voidwalker to go on a short rampage before being put down. Harry followed it up with an explosive fireball. The Twilight's Hammer casters retaliated, but were foiled by Luna's defenses. Seeing that they were outmatched at range, the Twilight's Hammer sent their melee fighters charging in
The Battle Harem was unconcerned by this. The average Twilight's Hammer cultist might be slightly more dangerous than the average soldier, but there weren't nearly enough of them in this camp to really matter. The only truly dangerous ones were their leaders.
"What is going on here?!" Came an aggrieved, dual-toned below, followed by the stomping form of a twelve foot ogre. "Who are you?"
Cho'Gall was quite an ugly sight. Both heads had tusks like an orc. The left one sported a Fu Manchu mustache and a top knot of all things, while the right one was bald, bearded, had a single horn growing from its forehead and had only a single large eye dominated the face. He had the build of a sumo wrestler crossed with a bodybuilder and there was a massive X-shaped scar on his chest.
With his (their?) appearance and the massive maul in the ogre's right hand, one might be tempted to write him off as just another brainless brute. Many had probably done so and paid for it, but Garona had cautioned them that Cho'Gall was in fact extremely intelligent.
Harry would concede that intelligence would be required to become as powerful as the two-headed ogre felt, but he definitely wasn't wise. The familiar tinge of Old God corruption was thick in Cho'Gall's aura, even more so than many of the qiraji! This was someone who had thrown themselves whole-heartedly into the service of those abominations.
"Hello. My name is Harry. You tried to have me killed. Prepare to die." Harry answered the question, deliberately affecting a Spanish accent.
Luna giggled at the reference, but the others were just confused.
"Garona failed, then?" The bearded head, presumably Cho, spoke.
"I will do it myself!" The Fu Manchu head, presumably Gall, finished. The tinge of insanity in this one was greater.
And then both heads roared in pain as a pair of daggers slid into both necks, Garona having made a great jumping leap on top of the ogre's shoulders and sunk them in.
Cho'Gall thrashed wildly at the grievous wound, trying to throw her off, but the half-orc assassin adjusted her balance more nimbly than a mountain goat and used his own movements to launch herself off him like a spring.
As soon as she was away, Harry cast an Epidemic of Fire on the Twilight's Hammer cultists, sending a ravenous cursed flame leaping between them and setting them ablaze. They had been caught flatfooted by their leader's injury and failed to defend themselves properly. A good chunk of them were struck by the spell before one of them managed to fend it off.
Cho'Gall miraculously still alive even with two gaping holes in his necks and cursed fire devouring his body, pointed his left palm at them and spewed forth a deluge of shadow bolts.
The basic Shadow Bolt was a spell known to most warlocks, necromancers, shadow mages and others on Azeroth. It was a simple bundle of entropic energy wrapped in ill-intent, easy for anyone with a lick of magical talent to cast. Harry had not considered that anyone would bother turning the easily blocked spell into a machine gun.
Luna was quick to react, slamming the butt of her staff into the sand and calling up a shield of moonlight to defend them. The shadow bolts began slamming into it, no single one strong enough to do much, but there were so many. The brightness of her barrier began to waver as the attack continued unabated. Cho'Gall was apparently determined to not go down without taking at least someone with him.
Jessir immediately started firing arrows at him in retaliation, but Cho'Gall refused to let up even as he started looking like a bloody, burning pincushion. Harry thought to disrupt his footing by casting a spell at the ground and causing the sand to heave like the sea in a storm, but the huge lummox was a lot steadier than he had any right to be.
Arko and Colette dodged to one side each, out of the protection of Luna's barrier. Apparently, both had the idea to draw Cho'Gall's fire away and then outrun it or something. It was a bit reckless of them, really.
To be fair it worked, and Cho'Gall swung his hand to follow Arko's path, heedless of how many of his own minions he caught in the crossfire. Jessir showed him what she thought about his efforts to kill her friend by charging up one of her arrows with moonlight and loosing it at him. It struck directly in the center of the convenient X on Cho'Gall's chest and immediately started burning the surrounding flesh.
The two-headed ogre roared in pain, finally cutting off his Shadow Bolt Volley. Flesh sloughed off him, showing veins choked with Old God corruption, and he finally fell over, apparently dead. Whether it was due to blood loss from the fountains in his necks, the cursed fire, Jessir's arrows or simply him exhausting himself to death with overuse of magic was impossible to say.
The remaining Twilight's Hammer cultists were dismayed and left as easy pickings, especially with Garona darting in and out of combat and slitting throats whenever one of them turned their back on her.
"What a ridiculously tough bastard." Harry muttered with a little bit of respect towards the mangled corpse of Cho'Gall.
"That he was." Colette agreed. "I've fought ogres before and they are hardy, but this was something else."
"It's finally over." Garona sighed in relief, staring down at the corpse. "The rest of the Twilight's Hammer still needs to be destroyed, but they will be vulnerable and disorganized for a time without Cho'Gall's leadership."
"You can use our tower as a base of operations while you hunt them." Harry immediately offered, seeing what she intended. "I'll be happy to provide you with any information, supplies, gold or help you need."
"Please say yes!" Luna begged, hopping over to the half-orc and somehow managing to look whimsical despite wearing heavy plate armor. "I want to spend more time with my new friend."
"I…" Garona was clearly looking for a reason to refuse, probably out of sheer habit, but the Ultimate Puppy Dog Eyes combined with a lack of excuses conspired to foil her. She turned her eyes instead to the other three women as she cautiously replied. "… I suppose I could do that?"
"Glad to have you." Colette smiled and nodded.
"You fought well today and we put down a great evil." Arko complimented neutrally, her usual disdain for orcs nowhere to be seen.
"I wanted to ask for a spar anyway." Jessir tapped the hilts of her Holy Moonlight Shortswords. "It would be nice to fight another dual wielder."
"Then it's settled, let's go home." Harry declared, overall quite pleased with how things had gone. "… but first, let's destroy this bastard's body. No sense in taking chances."
OMAKE – Companionship.
Jaina stared at the bed with thin-lipped irritation. She was staying the night at Harry's tower to 'house sit' for him and had just retired to her bedroom.
Just the fact that she already had her own personal bedroom in the tower was already a pointed hint that she refused to think about, but the current source of her consternation was what was on the bed itself.
There was a full-sized pillow with Harry's image somehow sewn into it, so realistic that she had for a second already called up an ice bolt to blast him with. Because the image was wearing only a very small set of smallclothes that left nothing much to the imagination and was flexing his muscles with his hands behind his head.
Letting loose a long exhale, Jaina snatched up the note she had just spotted.
Among the humans of my world there was a tribe called the Japanese. They were a repressed bunch and developed the tradition of the Body Pillow, or the Dakimakura in their tongue, where lonely people would cuddle a pillow emblazoned with an image of the object of their affections.
I know it's not as good as the real thing, but I hope it helps you sleep at night.
Hugs and kisses, Harry.
P.S. It has a Sweet Sleep enchantment on it that I already keyed to you.
Jaina put down the note and stuffed the body pillow under the bed. It wasn't as good as doing it with the real thing, but it was something.