Chapter 20: Time Matters Not
After the events that occurred in the Elven city, Harry did not speak much except to acknowledge instruction given to him by either Merlin or Cathal. His spirit seemed crushed, green eyes dull and without life. Any exuberance that Harry had once possessed was now extinguished. He rode on slightly ahead of Merlin, wanting solitude. His master allowed this since Cathal had already departed and they were almost at the Norhaven gates.
The familiar obsidian statues marking the entryway into Norhaven stood up ahead. And upon entering, Harry would immediately be placed into the Phoenix Knights officer training program, a program which he knew that would likely mean his death. At this moment in time, however, Harry did not much care if he lived or died. He had lost a girl who he thought he loved, and who he thought loved him. Like all young people, he believed that losing your first 'love' meant that there was no longer meaning to life.
There was no fanfare, no crowd gathered, nothing but empty stone streets to welcome back the returning travelers. The spring festival had just ended. He had been fortunate enough to participate in the final day of the festival's celebration the previous evening when they had stopped overnight in a nearby town. Today was a day of rest for all the people of Azcyadan.
In front of Merlin's dwelling stood four armor clad city sentinels and one black cloaked wizard, who Harry assumed to be a battle mage.
"Apprentice Potter," the mage addressed, stepping up. "As per your return arrangements you are hereby ordered to report to the Phoenix training grounds, effective immediately! We will escort you, with or without your consent."
Harry looked back, and saw his master seething with anger. He reached his hand out, placing it on Merlin's shoulder. Emerald green eyes once again met sky blue ones. "Thank you for everything master. Don't worry, I will be fine, and I will make you proud."
Merlin and Harry shared a small smile, both knowing what a hollow promise that was.
Harry walked onto Guard's Way sans shackles, but yet he was still a prisoner. On the way there, he could hear the many whispers of others along the wind. Some wondered what he did wrong, some thought it was better that he was caught in whatever he did, while many others just did not care.
"Funny," Harry thought wryly. "The gossipers of the past have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Maybe humans haven't advanced as much as they thought they have."
Harry once again set foot on the familiar grey cobblestone path leading to the main entrance. After entering the imposing double doors, however, the similarities ended. Instead of the wall melting away revealing the passageway into the training complex where he had learnt the art of physical combat from the Elven twins, a swirling blue-green portal appeared in front of them. The blinding white light emanating from the center of the vortex hid the destination that lay on the other side, if there was truly a destination instead of oblivion.
The guards stationed themselves in front of the portal, but did not enter. When Harry made no immediate move to throw himself into the unknown, the guard standing in the rear did it for him.
The last words he heard were, "Happy trip Potter, it may well be your last!" before he blacked out.
A cloaked figure moved swiftly and silently through the "training grounds" of the Phoenix Knights. The training area was nothing more than a large room full of granite basins filled with a muscle enhancing solution with many complicated runes etched into the sides of each. Within each basin slept a potential Phoenix Knight, blissfully unaware of their actual surroundings.
After being brought through the portal, all candidates were rendered unconscious and would not wake until after the full crystal bonding took place, when they would be transported to the barracks on the cliff face surrounding Norhaven. The runes served two purposes: the first was to weave a complicated illusion of being trained in one's own mind, and the second insured that the trainees would never wake and learn the secrets of how the most elite soldiers were trained.
The solution was linked to the mind manipulating magics, physically changing the Knights as they slumbered. Every injury would leave a corporeal scar, and all physical changes would follow them back into the waking world. This was done so as to avoid suspicion by convincing the Knights that the training was, indeed, real.
The figure stopped above the basin holding a young man with shoulder length raven hair and a jagged lightning bolt scar on his forehead. Lying there, he looked quite innocent and at peace. He did not look like the hardened warrior like the unknown person's employer had warned her to look out for. Taking out a vial from the folds of her cloak, she remembered the instructions that were given:
A single candle was the only source of light in the office of the Second Mage, Darius Grece. The entire chamber was bathed in shadows, but that was how she liked it. Even in the darkness she still kept the hood of her cloak up. She was tuning out the ranting of her employer until the information pertinent to her mission came up.
"... will finally put that boy in his place," the Second Mage cackled in glee. "The great mages of the past circumvented the controls that the Dragon Council placed on the Phoenix Knight selection process by changing the crystals we used. You see, by using manufactured crystals imbued with our magic, we were able to grant many mages of Norhaven the honor of becoming Phoenix Knights, without the silly 'noble and honorable' constraints that the Dragons put forth. Unfortunately changing the crystals no longer allowed the Knights to access dragon magic, but they were still more powerful and retained the ability to fully command the great Gold and Silver dragons. The Dragons have been aware of our activities, and were not happy to say the least. They will rend and tear apart the minds of those who attempt to use a wild crystal to access their mind training."
Holding a glass tube containing a faintly glowing blue crystal, the Grece patriarch continued, "I want that boy who humiliated my son dead, and this is the perfect way to do it. Many who enter the training program of the Phoenix Knights do not even survive the training given by the modified crystals. There is no chance at all this Potter boy can survive a wild crystal being used. He will die, yet none will believe it to be more than his feeble mind being unable to handle the stress of the training. Do you understand?"
And so she replaced the red crystal that had been sitting in the mechanism above the potential Knight's head with the glowing blue one.
Harry opened his eyes, surprised that he was not groggy after the portal caused him to become unconscious. He awoke in a grass clearing; the stars were shining unnaturally bright above him. The ground under him was strangely soft, almost like it didn't exist.
"Well, that's because it doesn't. Exist, of course. My, we finally have a bright one here." Harry sharply jerked his head to be faced with two slitted yellow eyes staring amusedly at him.
"Who are you," Harry asked, though he really wanted to ask 'what' instead of 'who'.
"Don't worry. I'm not offended if you ask what I am. It's simple, I'm a part of your imagination, Figment's the name." Figment was a strange looking creature that slightly resembled a dragon. It had light purple skin, with a yellow underbelly. It was on the short side, only coming up to Harry's abdomen. It had large eyes and orange horns. Harry wondered if he hit his head very badly when he came out of that strange portal.
"Ok, forgetting that you're part of my imagination, I thought I came through the portal to train?" Harry asked, confused.
"You will be training, and I'm your coach!" said Figment sporting a large grin.
At Harry's still dazed look, the purple dragon continued, "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but since there's nothing constraining me this time I'll try to explain. The form I take on is part of your imagination. I am part of you, but at the same time I'm not. Here in your mindscape I can interact with and train you."
"So what are you then?" Harry scratched his head, still not quite getting everything.
Figment just laughed. "Well, I'm what you would call the 'embodiment of magic', or at least of Dragon Magic. It's strange, though, I haven't gotten the opportunity to train a human in a very long time. No matter, we should start. I have three years to whip you into shape!"
"What," the raven haired boy exclaimed. "Three years? I thought I was only supposed to be training for three months?"
"The beauty of magic my young lad," the creature answered. "You will only physically remain in 'training' for three months, but in your mindscape we can speed up or slow down time as I so choose. The other good thing, since you already are sleeping, you don't need any actual rest, which means I can train you for three years straight"
Harry did not like the mischievous glint sparkling in Figment's eyes. "So what do I have to learn?"
"Hrm," said Figment, tapping one of his claws to his snout. "I'll teach you how to better control the powers you already have, learn fighting techniques using and not using magic, the use of Dragon Magic, oh and of course, I'll teach you how to handle a dragon companion."
Harry thought about it, learning different magics could really help in some tight situations. Considering most magical nullifying fields only target one or two branches of magic, he would still be able to defend himself in such situations.
"Ok, let's get started."
"Righty-O," smiled Figment. "Not like you had a choice to begin with." And he snapped his claws together.
--- BLINK ---
The landscape around them shifted. Harry was now standing alone in an arena of some type. Recalling his captivity by the Dwarfs, he shuddered, trying to bury the fear that was beginning to surface.
A loudspeaker came on. It was Figment. "Time to test your skills. You can use any means necessary to defeat your opponents."
Suddenly fifteen werewolves appeared around him, snarling and growling at him. He conjured a sword just as he heard Figment say, "BEGIN!"
14 Hours Later:
"Come back down so I can fry you," yelled Harry, chasing Figment while throwing bolts of lightning, which continually missed the very agile flying purple dragon.
"Hey," exclaimed Figment, doing a corkscrew to avoid being electrocuted. "It was a test! How am I supposed to see your full potential if I don't push you a little bit?"
"A little bit?" muttered Harry. He shot another two streaks of jagged energy at the dragon showing his happiness with the 'little bit' of testing.
Figment had made him fight multiple opponents with everything he had. Though, what the devious dragon forgot to mention was that he would randomly deactivate one of Harry's abilities or un-conjure his swords. In these instances, he could only run away using what abilities he had left, until Figment decided to allow them again. Harry knew that he needed more training and versatility when fighting, but he was not going to admit that to Figment just yet.
"… water and energy skills are not bad, but you need to work on what you can do with the wind." Lectured figment.
Harry was sitting cross-legged in a grass clearing listening to the talking dragon. They were trying to work on his control over the last of his storm-wizard abilities before trying to improve on the other two. So here he was being told to 'feel the wind', or some such nonsense.
"It isn't nonsense," shouted Figment, smacking Harry over the head with a claw. "So, stop rolling your eyes at me. You have the ability to not only harness the wind, but to become the wind. But you have to think why being the wind is useful as it really has no shape or form, like water or lightning. That's why probably the most powerful element is often overlooked."
"Now close your eyes and feel the wind on your face…" Figment continued as Harry sighed.
An orc soldier lunged at the human with its huge battleaxe, but the blade sliced through nothing but air. A strong gust of wind slammed into the orc, sending it flying, before it 'poofed' into non-existence.
"Good," complimented Figment. "It looks like you've finally got the hang of using some wind powers in battle.
"Thanks," said Harry, tiredly. He was much quicker changing his form into that of the wind, and calling upon its powers, but it still left him incredibly fatigued. His guide for the past few months said that with time and practice, his magical core would grow to be able to channel the large amount of power required for his wind capabilities.
"After seeing what you can do, I've come up with a fighting style that I think you'll like," said Figment, flying lazily around Harry.
"Wait, why do I need another style anyways," asked the young knight in training. "I'm already a blademaster."
"What if your sword gets taken away," his guide asked, raising one eye ridge.
"I can use Cam'dagora then."
"Fine," huffed Figment. "Fight him using that Elven style." And with that a dragon larger than a Hungarian Horntail popped into existence.
Harry gulped, as he lowered himself into an Elven fighting stance, thinking, "This will not go well at all."
After being severely and humiliatingly beaten after the first five seconds of battle, Harry humbled himself and begged Figment to teach him the fighting form. The dragon finally acquiesced hours later when he decided Harry had apologized enough for doubting his 'dragon superiority', as he called it.
Harry was currently concentrating on molding a thin layer of dragon magic over his forearm, so that it would be able to withstand any strike. This was part of what Figment aptly named the 'dragon' style of fighting. The style was supposed to be similar to how a dragon actually fought. There were three phases, the earth defense phase, the grounded burst, and the winged maelstrom.
The earth defense consisted of ground defense where he would use dragon magic to form a layer of armor over his skin, enabling his body to withstand any impact. The grounded burst involved sharpening the layer covering his skin, especially over his hands and arms, and using them in slash type attacks. His wind powers would also be used in conjunction to quickly reappear behind enemies in a 'burst' type fashion, but would instead be powered by drawing upon dragon magic. The final and hardest phase was the winged maelstrom, where Harry would have to use his wind powers to actually fly above enemies and attack by flying and slashing, or tossing balls of dragon fire at opponents below.
Currently he was stuck having a lot of trouble just trying to control the dragon magic. Even though it was just a different 'channel' that he had to set his internal magic 'dial' to, he found that the magic of the dragons to be incredibly temperamental compared to human magic or the calm Elven magic.
He was determined to succeed in practice. He had to; otherwise it was likely Figment would find some other more painful method to drill in the ability.
"Have you figured it out yet," asked Figment, appearing in front of Harry.
"Not yet, I'm almost there."
"Well, I can help," said Figment gleefully, rubbing his forepaws together. "Why don't we try tossing some boulders at you to make sure it's working?"
Harry could not even muster up the energy to groan.
"I don't understand," said Harry, frustrated with his slow progress with the dragon magic. "The principles of magic are the same for regular magic, so why can't I just use that in these fighting styles?"
"You can," agreed Figment. "But, the potency of the spell will be much less than if you used dragon magic. Think of it this way, you spend the same amount of effort extracting either dragon or human magic from your surroundings, but the dragon magic will always be stronger than the human magic, even if it is a little bit more temperamental."
"A little bit?" Harry asked, incredulously.
"Ok ok," acquiesced Figment. "The magic's a lot more temperamental. But it's efficiency is still better than that of human magic. And…"
"And what," Harry wondered, suspicious.
"And dragon magic can stand up to boulders much better than human magic can…"
Harry flew through the air, as he slashed at another opponent that Figment had conjured. He had finally become proficient in the arts of combat, though at times like this, he didn't feel that proficient. Figment seemed to think that the better Harry got, the harder the difficulty his opponents had to be. Of course, the 'purple bastard', as Harry frequently called him, claimed that his grasp of mathematics was poor, and he could only count in exponential increases.
So, with Harry's positive progress, he now had to fight entire armies, by himself. He was surprised, however, at how good he had been doing while fighting whole forces by himself. But then again none of these forces had any magical ability, yet.
Glowing green fireballs rained down from the sky, setting the supply trains of the army ablaze. He quickly directed lightning to rain down on the archers and other long range units. Harry stayed airborne until catapult powered rocks began to pound at his shields.
Upon landing, Harry lengthened the magic surrounding his arms to form deadly sharp blades of glowing gold, which he used to separate the torsos of two unfortunate soldiers from their legs. He became a whirlwind of destruction, wreaking havoc in an area, leaving behind only death, before disappearing and reappearing randomly in another group of unsuspecting soldiers.
He neatly ducked a sword slash meant for his head, before grabbing the offending arm holding the blade and flipping the surprised Minotaur over. Before it landed, however, he struck the chest, releasing a charge of energy overloading the creature's dormant magical core, killing it before it landed.
Harry continued to disable or destroy his opponents until none were left standing. Tired and sweaty he called out, "I'm done." And suddenly the bodies on the ground disappeared, the bloodstained grass reverted to its original green, and the smell of decaying bodies became fresh and clear.
"Not bad," said Figment, lazily flying down. "Too slow though."
Harry could only glare at the innocent looking dragon.
"Now, what we need to work on is incorporating all the skills at your command, combining everything to maximize your potential. Ah, so much to each, so little time to throw orcs at you."
"I've seen your fighting style Harry, you have good natural instinct," said Figment in his evaluation. "So I figure now's a good time to teach you how to use divination in combat."
Harry laughed, "What do you want me to do, throw tea leaves at the orcs and tell them what a short future they'll have?"
Figment snorted and shot a ball of fire at Harry, who simply conjured a shield of water to protect himself, having dealt with Figment's 'lecture modes' many times before.
"Pay attention," chided the purple dragon. "This is important. You're natural instinct, or sixth sense, which allows you to do so well in fighting, is basically your untrained divination."
"Wait, how does divination have to do with my instincts, I'm not a seer," exclaimed Harry, thinking that this conversation was pointless.
"Of course you're not a seer," snorted Figment. "Seers are somewhat intelligent."
"Hey," shouted Harry, "I'm - "
"Anyways," continued Figment, ignoring the young mage's outburst. "Divination is the ability to predict future events, most of the time in the forms of prophecies or visions. Even though it is usually only the ability of predicting the distant future, or 'farsight' if you will that is considered useful, most magical beings have the ability to see somewhat into the future. You are more attuned to seeing only a few moments before the future, but it is enough to warn you of what is to come. What we will be doing is to hone that, and increase it so that the prediction's actually useful."
Figment conjured a fierce looking, loinskin wearing, forest green orc wielding a wicked looking dagger. Harry stood up, gathering magic to him, and moving forwards to attack the orc.
"Relax," chimed in Figment, before Harry dismembered his creation. "This one won't attack you. Instead I want you to focus on your inner eye, and look at the orc warrior."
Harry focused hard, yet nothing happened. "I don't see anything different."
"Focus harder," yelled Figment. "Or I'll find a way to make you focus." His yellow eyes started gleaming madly at the thought of a 'focus'.
"Uh no," said Harry quickly, backing away. "I'll get it by myself this time."
He once again focused on his inner eye, and to his amazement saw not only the orc, but many ghostly outlines of where the orc could possibly go. As the orc started to move, the outlines shifted as one option became more solid. And as the option became more solid, the ghostly outlines shifted to form different options that branched out from the orc's current position. He realized that he was actually predicting the orc's movements.
"Wow," breathed Harry. "That'll come in handy."
"Yep," agreed Figment. "But, you're still seeing things too slowly. You have to not only see the movement, but be able to react to it. I think some practical application will help." Five mean looking orc warriors carrying a myriad of weapons appeared next to the sadistic purple dragon.
"What is it with you and orcs!" exclaimed Harry, exasperated, as he crouched into a battle stance.
"Ouch," moaned Harry, as he was being revived from a particularly nasty sleeping curse, as it could bypass most shields. "I could predict that the elven spellweaver would use a spell, but how was I supposed to know it would be a spell that would bypass my shields."
After his success with learning how to predict the movement of opponents and defeating non-magic wielding enemies, Figment had started including magic users in their simulations. Suffice it to say, his 'farsight' predictions only helped him dodge the magic thrown, but not identify how he was supposed to fight it.
"Well, I did that to teach you a lesson," smiled Figment. "I didn't want you to get too arrogant in your abilities just yet."
"Ok, so what's the lecture this time," asked Harry, getting straight to the point.
"Well," huffed Figment. "You know about mage sight correct?"
"What?" asked Harry confused.
"The ability to see magic," answered the dragon.
"Oh," said the knight-in-training, feeling foolish. "Yeah, I can see magic around me if that's what you meant."
"Then why didn't you use that with your divinations when fighting the wizard?"
"I forgot. Besides, I don't even know what everything means. I just see a lot of colors, and sometimes some weird rune type characters."
"I can't help you with the runes, you'll have to figure out what they mean on your own sometime after you train here," said Figment. "But turn on your mage sight and release a bolt of lighting. Tell me what you see"
He shot off a bolt of lighting. "I see blue with swirling white, along with gold and black specks."
"The blue denotes elemental magic, the white the absence of emotions to cast. Gold tells the power of the spell, while black specks indicate that it is a destructive force," lectured Figment, flying lazy circles in the air. "As you keep training, you will be able to see greater details. With some spells you will be able to see runes, if they were used in its casting."
"Ok, now to…" started Figment.
"Learn by using practical application," intoned Harry, resigned.
"Well, you do eventually learn." Figment grinned and filled the entire area with orcs.
"Ok, you've done pretty well," Figment said. "In fact you've exceeded my expectations."
Harry grinned, the lack of criticism made him feel very accomplished.
"So, we'll get on to the fun part, how to handle a dragon."
Harry groaned before asking, "Let me guess: I'm going to have to fight this dragon with everything that I've learned in order to talk to it or something right?"
"No, you just have to talk to it," said Figment, smirking.
"There's no way it's that easy. You're trying to trick me!" Harry yelled, pointing his finger at the purple dragon.
"Seriously Harry, there's no danger," replied Figment. The dragon put a claw up to its chin, "although, if the dragon finds you annoying he might eat you."
"I knew it!" exclaimed Harry. "So how do you handle a dragon?"
"The best way to learn is by first hand experience," answered the embodiment of dragon magic as he hit his paw into Harry's forehead. Black tendrils of smoke began to cover the young Phoenix Knight.
"Wha…" Harry said, before being completely enveloped in the dark smoke.
After he disappeared, Figment smiled saying, "Guess I should have mentioned to him that this lesson is also his trials of being worthy of a Knight. Nah!"
As Harry was being consumed by the inky strands of smoke, the crystal above his head was ground, liquefied and injected into various points on his body. His body spasmed a few times before returning to its previous peaceful slumber. The outer peacefulness, however, was a striking contrast to the happenings within his mind.
Harry stood upon nothingness. All around him was pure darkness, except for the spot that he was standing on. He wondered what horrible monsters that he would have to face here. Dropping into the first Earth Defense stance, the young mage looked around for his potential enemies.
"HARRY," someone yelled. He quickly whipped around to the voice, and what he saw had him drop his jaw in disbelief. There standing before him was a man with shaggy black hair wearing a carefree smile, a woman with flaming red hair, and a man who somewhat resembled him.
"Sirius?" he asked assuming their identities. "Mom? Dad? What's going on here?"
"We're here to see you, of course!", Sirius exclaimed. "And you're coming with us."
"Where are we going…," Harry asked, before noticing the stone veil that had appeared out of nowhere.
"We're going into the veil," said James. "We have to fulfill the prophecy after all."
"Yes dear," Lily said, automatically responding to Harry's gobsmacked expression. "We know you're the chosen one."
"Come Harry," said Dumbledore, appearing behind Harry. "We haven't got much time. You must fulfill the prophecy."
As Harry approached the veil, he sensed something inherently wrong about. He was not sure what it was, but the feeling he got from it made his insides twist. The young mage quickly turned around and asked, "What does this Veil do, it doesn't feel right."
"Just do as you're told," Dumbledore snarled, pulling out his wand. He sent a banishment charm at Harry, who tried to counter with his storm wizard powers, but somehow they were not working normally in this strange place. His instincts kicked in as he was thrown backwards. Harry quickly drew in as much dragon magic as he could, and used it to power his storm wizard abilities, thus throwing himself the other direction and over Dumbledore. Forming a translucent green layer of dragon magic over his forearm, he slashed upwards as Dumbledore was turning around, separating Dumbledore's wand and hand from the rest of his body. He staggered back with a look of surprise on his face, bleeding profusely, before disappearing into nothingness.
"What did you just do?" James roared. "You have just permanently incapacitated the greatest light wizard who ever lived, and our only chance of stopping Voldemort's followers after he's destroyed."
"Why did you do that Harry," Lily asked, tears running down her cheeks.
Still in a defensive stance, Harry answered, "The Veil felt wrong. I knew there was something wrong with it, and it was confirmed when Dumbledore tried to force me in."
"Harry, you have to go into the veil," yelled Sirius, drawing his wand. "It's very important that you do."
"No," answered Harry as he gathered more power in preparation for battle.
"Like his father, his arrogance knows no bounds," sneered the Hogwart's potion master, who appeared behind Sirius. "I knew that Dumbledore shouldn't have sent you three to get him to fulfill the prophecy."
"No," James said. "You're wrong. Harry is a hero, he will fulfill the prophecy. As a Potter, the propensity to be righteous is in him."
"Wait," yelled Harry. "In what prophecy does it say that I have to go through the veil?"
Lily sighed and said, "Dumbledore told us the prophecy regarding you 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... And the Dark Lord will mark him as equal, but he will have power over the Dark Lord that he knows not ... And either must die by the hand of another for neither can survive while the other lives.'"
"Don't you see Harry?" James asked. "In order to defeat Voldemort's immortality, you have to die. Albus said it was for the greater good. I know you have the strength in you to do this son. I know that you're a hero."
"But that prophecy is wrong, I don't have to die for Voldemort to be destroyed. In fact it is my destiny to kill him," Harry screamed.
"Harry," Sirius said, putting down his wand. "We know this is difficult, but you have to do this. You have to make this sacrifice."
"No," the young mage said, determined not to go into the Veil now.
"Harry," his Father said quietly. "You're mother and I died to protect you, doesn't that mean anything."
"I died while trying to save you," Sirius added. "Won't you die so that others can live?"
"You must choose between what is easy and what is right," said Dumbledore appearing again. "Your destiny lies with choosing what is right."
"I don't care," screamed Harry. "I can beat Voldemort on my own terms. I have the power to send him to Hell where he belongs. I don't care about being a hero, or about destiny. From now on, I make my own path!"
A loud booming voice rang out around him saying, "Then it is done. You have decided."
Harry was once again consumed by that inky blackness, leaving nothing behind.
He appeared in front of many bobbing balls of lights of different shapes and colors. A panel of six of the largest points of light were arrayed in front of him: two gold, two silver, one bronze, and the largest a metallic blue color. The points of light resolved themselves into six majestic dragons, while the other lights slowly faded away.
"You have done well," one gold dragon hissed, in a dialect similar to parseltongue.
"Yess…", the bronze one said. "You have passed the trials and now may bond with one of our race, but who will bond with this powerful youngling?"
The six were silent, each wondering who would take the young mage standing in front of them when suddenly the blue one spoke: "I will take him."
This simple statement caused disbelief to reign throughout.
"This cannot be…"
"You cannot be serious…"
"He is a human; no human can withstand bonding with you…"
"SILENCE!" the largest called out. "I have made my decision. Are you willing to bind with me young mage?"
Harry figured that there shouldn't be any harm since the largest was certain that it would work out. So he answered: "Yes."
"Then let it be done," the blue dragon roared, before launching a giant ball of fire that engulfed Harry.
In the real world, runes around Harry's position began to glow, as a shrill alarm was sounded. Untamed magical energy began to swirl around Harry, lashing out at anything nearby. His eyelids began to flutter, signaling wakefulness.
The technicians on duty, upon realizing that he was about to wake, quickly activated the runes that would open the portal to transport him out of the room and into the main atrium. There he would return to consciousness, none the wiser to the true nature of the officer's testing.
They, however, never noticed the discharge of magical energy, nor the glittering metallic blue tattoo of a dragon located on Harry's left bicep.
Harry groggily awoke, with a massive headache no less. The sun was shining down upon him in the open air atrium. He shook his head a couple times to get the "cobwebs" out.
He wondered how long he had been training for, and if it was even real. He kept questioning himself until he heard a voice in his head hiss "It was real. My name is Aroarn. From now on, my kin and I will always be by your side."
Harry smiled at that, and shakily stood up. The young mage wondered how to get out, when from behind him two large iron doors swung open, signaling that he should enter.
Harry grimaced to himself as he tugged at the collar of his dress uniform for the umpteenth time. He was in a large banquet hall for the night's festivities. After he woke up, he was cleaned, and then went through a whirlwind of briefing, which detailed his orders, effective immediately.
He was to take command of a dragon rider unit that was the second line of defense on the eastern border of Azcyadan. Harry surmised that it was the second mage's way to quickly rid himself of the young mage, while not being overt about it.
But he couldn't even get a good night's sleep before leaving Norhaven. Instead, there was a huge celebration being held for some council member's child, in recognition of his or her marriage.
So, Harry was here as part of the guard detail to insure that nothing untoward happened.
"Well, at least it can't get any worse," said Harry to himself.
Suddenly trumpets started blaring, causing everyone to look up to the top of the Hall's staircase. There stood two familiar figures, which made Harry's breath hitch.
The second mage climbed up the stairs saying, "Thank you for coming today. It is my great pleasure to announce the joining of two well respected families, as well as welcome a new member into my family. Please join me in a toast to congratulate my son, Korvin Grece, and his lovely wife, Allison Grece."
Two words summed up perfectly what Harry was feeling, "Aw... shit!"
It was late after the celebration ended. A single candle burned in the private study of the First Magus. He had declined to join in the festivities tonight, as he always declines anything Darius Grece had his claws in. He took another sip of the dark red ruby wine from his crystal goblet, while he looked through troop movements made by the humans.
The war had not been going well since young Slytherin had discovered the implanted magical eyes in the leader of the Soldiers of Order. The First Magus still suspected that the Second had something to do with that. Without conclusive proof, however, there was nothing he could do about it.
He heard the sound of footsteps in his chamber, and gathered his magic to repel any attack, or tried to at any rate. Instead, he found that the magic would not respond to his call.
"Feeling a little puny without your magic?" A cloaked figure said, stepping out of the shadows.
"Who are you?" the First Magus asked, as he let a hidden dagger in the sleeve of his robe drop into his hand. Before he could throw the weapon, he was slammed into the unyielding stone wall by a wave of magic, consequently disarming him by loosening his hold on the blade.
"It does not matter who I am, all that matters is that you die." With that a ceremonial dagger of Elven origins found itself lodged in between the eyes of the First Magus.
A/N: Sorry for not writing for so long. I've been pretty busy for the past year. The end of this chapter was kind of rushed since I just left out a lot of imagery and tried to get the plotline out (It ended up being around 17 pages). I may try to do the same thing in the future so that the next four chapters would be condensed into one or two. I'm not sure though, I don't want to sacrifice good writing for faster updates though. Let me know what you guys think.
And as always thanks for the reviews, they made me happy, and also kept me from just abandoning the story.