AUTHOR'S NOTES: (10.17.2015)
Hello everyone. I have some news regarding the future of Draco's Spirit. As you may realize, as of this note it has been over ten years since I updated this, and over twelve since I began it. I had it marked as discontinued on my profile, as I did not think I would ever get around to finishing it.
I've decided, after much reflection, that I will not be finishing Draco's Spirit. I'm afraid I have lost enthusiasm for this fic (I'm not terribly fond of writing this many original characters any more, nor is the writing up to date with my current style) so rather than have it just sit here for eons and eons unfinished, I am marking it as "completed."
As original readers may know, the first "arc" of sorts did end in chapter nineteen with the final battle and Voldemort's death. I've decided to wrap the story up there, rather than continuing onto the Dark Tournament arc. However, for fans of that arc I am keeping the two chapters I did write for it, as well as the "prelude" of sorts that was at the end of chapter nineteen for your reading pleasure. You will find all three writings below, separated out with lines and "titles".
I'd like to thank all of you for the support you've shown this fanfic over the years. It was my very first Harry Potter fanfic and was very near and dear to me. I've grown a lot as a writer since this, and I like to think that my huge love of Dramione was fueled by this original story.
Thank you and happy reading!
Prelude to Arc Two
"Did you hear that Kizi?" asked the tall, muscular man, leaning back in his chair. The radio was flipped to the Wiazarding News Network (WNN) and a reporter was informing the public of all of the new developments going around since Voldemort's fall. "They think they're all safe."
"But we know that isn't true, isn't it Lord Donovan?" he hissed, slinking up next to the man. "Soon everyone will know of us. We were thrown to the shadows, cast away from humans, but soon we will rule them all. We will be in control!" he thundered.
"Calm yourself Kizi," the man said, reaching for a bottle of wine on the table. "We will get our just reward when we deserve it. But first, I would like to satisfy a craving of my own."
"And what would that be my Lord?" asked Kizi, his long blonde hair touching the ground as he bowed before his master before taking a seat on the sofa. "Surely you wish to begin takeover immediately…"
"No, I don't," the short black haired man said, pouring a glass of wine for both of them. "We do not have an army Kizi. Only you and myself. And although I have power, it is not enough to defeat and conquer billions of people."
"Then what does my Lord decide?" the tiny man asked, taking a small sip of wine.
"We will hold a tournament. Or at least offer the idea to Ingo. I know he and his fellow crime lords will take up the tournament. Then, we will rally all the demon teams to fight, with one human team for them to face."
"And who would the human be my Lord?"
"Draco Malfoy," he sneered, black eyes narrowing in anger. "I don't know how the damn brat managed to get such powers, not even being a demon, but he will come to the tournament. If he refuses, then we will automatically threaten to begin takeover."
"But what does bringing Malfoy to the tournament mean?" questioned Kizi.
"Once other demons see me kill the boy then my power will be unquestioned. You know as well as I do Kizi that demons all around have already heard of his powers and fear him greatly? Once he is beaten by me, then they will all bow down and praise me."
"Very good my Lord," Kizi said, nodding his head feverishly. "Such a brilliant mind my Lord."
"Soon we will talk to the boy," chuckled Donovan. "And that will be his final day of peace. For all too soon, his life will belong to me."
Arc Two - The Dark Tournament
Chapter Nineteen - A Deadly Invitation
"I'M FREEEEEEEEEEEE!" shouted the silver haired blond, throwing his books into the air, dancing carelessly beneath the falling texts, fortunately not hit yet.
Sixth years had just taken their final tests for the rest of the term, and everyone was celebrating in different ways. Take Draco...he's dancing around in the middle of the yard without a care in the world.
Hermione Granger was sitting on the steps, trying desperately to stay put as Ron Weasley and Harry Potter tried to pry her from them to join in Draco's dance. Mia was bounding across the lawn, also screaming at the top of her lungs.
And me? I'm just sitting beneath the shade of this old oak tree watching everyone else. There is no need to run and jump about, seeing as it was over eighty degrees and much too humid. My blonde hair was already plastered to the back of my neck, all of my ponytail covers in my dorm.
"Is something wrong Manda?" asked Draco, flopping down next to me, his black shirt unbuttoned and robe cast off due to the heat. "You're looking a little flushed," he said, placing a hand on my forehead. "You're warm too."
"Then I must be running a fever,"I said, the sarcasm evident in my voice. "It's summer Draco! Of course we're all going to be hot!" He gave me a lopsided grin before rolling so he was on his back, arms tucked behind his head.
Hermione crossed the courtyard and settled herself next to Draco, the two Gryffindor boys joining Mia in her wild and now dangerous dance. She was twirling her wand, not noticing the colored beams of light shooting out and crashing into stray students.
"WATCH WHAT YOU'RE DOING YOU CRAZY GRYFFINDOR!" screamed Pansy Parkinson, her hair now a beautiful rainbow. Her face swelled in anger as Colin Creevy, snapped a quick photograph before running away with the Slytherin hot on his heels.
After Voldemort's fall we were all sent to the hospital wing, even Zareh and Leila. The demon twins, Draco and Harry suffered the most, of those still alive I mean, in energy loss. When the demons and Draco used their powers they used their own life energy, draining them and making them very weak. As it was, Draco was in bed for three days after the fighting, sleeping to regain his strength.
Harry lost a lot of his power because of his nearness with Voldemort and the pressure that the killing curse put on him. He awoke a day after Draco, strangely calm and level headed after his experience.
We'd all taken tests a few weeks after the incident and had now finished, just in time to enjoy the hot, sticky, humid, horrible weather that I was so not fond of. "I'm heading back to the dungeons," I said after a few minutes of silence. "It's cooler there."
"See ya Manda," said Draco lazily, lifting a hand in a wave. Hermione nodded and shifted her head on Draco's chest, her current pillow. Standing up from the grass, I headed across the grounds, the hot sun pounding relentlessly against me. One pale hand, held my hair off my neck, the other holding my school jacket I'd just removed.
Too long for me, although it was only mere minutes, I entered the empty entrance hall, wearily taking off at a leisurely pace towards the cool dungeons. Descending the stone steps, I already began to feel better; the drafty passages a blessing in disguise.
"Serpent," I muttered, facing the entrance of the Slytherin common rooms, the snake statue slithering away to allow passage in. Entering, I was relieved to see the room was empty for I wanted to collapse now, not all the way in my dorm room.
Flopping onto one of the leather couches; I breathed a small sigh of relief, thankful that I was a Slytherin. Lying there, I was starting to drift off to sleep when an odd scratching noise disturbed my dreams.
"What is that?" I murmured, hand going instinctively for my precious wand. It appeared to be coming from the boy's dormitory, although I haven't a clue of which year it belongs to.
It began to grow louder as I descended the staircase, heading for the sixth year dorms, the set Draco occupied. Turning the brass doorknob hesitantly, I was surprised when it didn't give right away, like something had been pushed against it.
Ramming my shoulder against the frame, I tumbled into the room, eyes widening in horror at the mess. And the noise which had been growing louder suddenly stopped. I carefully stood up, pressing my back against the wall by the door with my wand out in front.
After several minutes of just waiting for attack, I lowered my wand, taking a step into the destroyed room. Nightstands were toppled over, mattresses ripped, and pillows mutilated. Books pages had been torn out, the paper littering the floor while personal belongings had been tossed helter-skelter.
Sniffing the air, I realized what the scratching sound had been. It had been someone lighting a stubborn match. Draco's bed was in flames, the fire rapidly spreading on to the bed next to his. Black smoke was starting to waft over the floor, choking clouds that could kill.
Tears blurred my eyes as the smoke stung the blue orbs. Coughing, I exited the room, slamming the door behind me. I knew I had no chance by myself with only one wand. I needed to get a teacher!
Racing up the stairs I tore across the deserted common room and into the dungeons. "FIRE!" I screamed, knowing that the general word would normally get quite a bit of attention.
Pounding footsteps echoed down the hall and seconds later Draco was standing there, Hermione panting behind him. "What did you say?" he asked, eyes taking in my soot-covered form.
"There's a fire in your dorm room," I cried, wringing my hands in despair. "I'm afraid it might spread.."
"Come on!" he yelled, taking off for his rooms with Hermione and I close behind. When he reached the room, puffs of black smoke were sneaking under the door, filling the stairwell with its nauseous scent.
Kicking open the door, he entered the blazing inferno, heat radiating out in waves. Dancing orange and yellow flames were everywhere, no hope in ever saving anything in the room. "Inundantia!" he cried, water beginning to whoosh around the room.
Hermione and I both cried out the same spell and our floods joined his until the room was now a swimming pool, although not one item was left from the devastating rage of the fire. The Gryffindor bookworm muttered a charm and the water began to disappear until only the floor was left, the room bare.
"What's this?" asked Draco, kneeling down on the floor, his blond hair now flecked with dying ash. On the floor was a message written out in the ash and embers that had lived through the water.
This is a warning Draco Malfoy. Much worse will happen if you refuse. You will receive an owl with further instructions.
"A warning for what?" he exclaimed, running his hands across the words to erase the message. "What's going on?"
I exchanged looks with Hermione, both of us shrugging our shoulders. "I haven't a clue," said Hermione softly, biting her lower lip. "Come on...let's go tell Dumbledore."
"Don't," I said, voice quiet but still holding authority, pausing Hermione immediately. "There is no reason to bring the headmaster into this. School lets out tomorrow. We can report that there was a fire, but not the message."
"Why not?" asked Hermione stubbornly, arms crossed over her chest with a frown forming on her face. "We always tell Dumbledore and he's always been able to help."
"Not this time. I have this...feeling that something isn't right. Listen, I'll contact Sina and let her know. You two tell Dumbledore that a fire started in here...make up an excuse." With my little speech said, I swept from the ruined dormitory for my own, Hermione and Draco exiting behind me.
Going over to my nightstand, I pulled out the small mirror that Sina had given Mia and I if we ever needed to contact her. Flipping open the navy lid, I gazed at my sooty reflection in the silver of the mirror, grimacing. I looked like a chimney sweep!
"Mandela to Sina, please come in," I said, our names activating the mirror. The surface shimmered but remained blank. "Mandela to Sina," I repeated, the same result happening. "Something's wrong...really wrong..." I murmured, worry growing. No matter what, Sina always kept the mirror with her. Even if she didn't answer I shouldn't be seeing a blank screen... "What's happening?" I whispered, clutching the mirror to me as a source of comfort.
After changing into an emerald tee shirt and a pair of denim shorts and putting my hair up, I made my way out of the dungeons, mirror tucked securely in my pocket, to search out my fellow spirit.
I found her, Ron, Harry, Draco and Hermione sitting beneath the oak, all of their faces worried slightly about the fire. "More bad news," I said, joining them beneath the welcome shade. "My communicator with Sina won't work. I think something happened...something really bad."
"Even worse," said Mia, her normally cheerful face a cloud of concern, "I can't transport in. It's like there is a barrier blocking us from Spirit World. I'm scared Mandela," she said, hugging her knees. "For us and for Sina."
I nodded, tears trickling down my face as I could already imagine the events taking place. Some demon had come and started a mass murder of the Spirit World employees, slaughtering them all without mercy. Sina may have put the barrier up to protect us or someone disabled her communication. I fear it is the second option...
"What are we going to do?" sobbed Mia, tears running freely down her face as well. "Leila and Zareh are up there too and I haven't a clue where Hoshiko and Kael are. For all we know they could be dead..."
"Let's think optimistically," said Hermione, forcing a watery smile on her face. "Maybe Sina is just having problems with the communication."
"I think it might be tied in to the message," said Draco softly, a look of guilt playing across his pale features. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens. That's all we can do anyway."
The rest of the day passed in a sorrowful silence, all of us picking at our meals and not joining in at any of the festivities. The next day was the end of the year feast, normally a joyous affair but not so this time.
The room was adorned in black silk to remind those of us of the people who died during the final battle against Voldemort and to honor their memory. Chattering was still going around, since we had already mourned when the students had first died, but my little group was quite subdued with worry over our friends in Spirit World.
I slept fitfully that night, my concern mounting with every passing minute. When we boarded the train the next morning, tensions were running high and Draco still hadn't received an owl from whoever had set the fire.
In my compartment, besides myself, were Draco, Mia, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Harry, and Neville. It was rather cramped but no one was complaining. It had been arranged at breakfast that Mia and I would go back with Draco to Malfoy Manor since only his mom now occupied the huge house.
After a quiet, two hour ride, the scarlet steam engine came to a halt and we all disembarked, giving each other farewells. "Let us know as soon as you get information," said Harry, giving both all of us a hug , except Draco, with Ron following suit.
Next to me, Draco and Hermione were saying their farewells, if a lip lock could be considered that. Giving a wave to the Gryffindor boys, Draco strode off the platform, beckoning for Mia and I to follow. We did, lugging our trunks behind us.
"This way," he said, leading us away from the thronging crowds to a small, secluded, section of the city. "Normally my father would take me back but since he isn't here can one of you transport us there?"
"We can try," sniffled Mia. Her hands tightly clutched my arm and we stayed still. "Never mind," she said with a sheepish grin. "We can only teleport to Spirit World. Do you have a portkey perhaps?"
"Nope, never had any use for one," he said with a shrug. "We should start walking, it's going to be a long time before we reach the manor."
The only good thing I can say is Draco knew where his home was. Exactly thirteen hours and twenty-eight minutes later, we were walking up the long, spiraling drive that led up to the gigantic mansion.
It was now close to midnight and my feet were moving on their own, my body too exhausted to think. When we reached the ornate doors, Draco muttered something and the front door swung open without a sound.
"Welcome to Malfoy Manor," he said tiredly, sagging against the doorframe. "I'll show you both to your rooms, follow me. Just leave your trunks...a house elf will take care of them."
The Slytherin led the two of us up a winding staircase and down an emerald carpeted hall. "This room is yours Mia," he said, pausing outside the first door in, "and the one next to it is yours Manda. Good night you two," he said sleepily, pulling us into a hug and then tottering off down the hall.
Without a second thought, I entered my room and collapsed on the bed, not even taking time to admire the expensive items placed around the room. Seconds later, I was sound asleep.
I might be dead on my feet -quite literally- but there was one thing I needed to do before I retired to bed...visit my mother. Passing my door, I stopped in front of hers, excitement tingling through me.
Giving a tentative knock, I pushed the door open, not quite sure of how she would receive me. Heck, I didn't even know if she knew I was alive! Dumbledore would have sent a message, but that doesn't mean she got it.
As it was, my mother was sitting up in bed, reading a small novel. Her silky blonde hair was pulled in a bun behind her, covers pulled up to her waist so that the top half of her red nightgown was visible.
"Mother," I choked out, tears pulling in my eyes to finally see her again. She jerked as though she'd been hit, blue eyes meeting my silver. A small gasp rose up from her, eyes widening in fear and surprise.
"Draco," she said hesitantly, climbing out of bed and approaching me, her face guarded. "Is that really you?" she asked, tears pooling in her eyes.
"Yes Mother, it is," I said, before I was suddenly wrapped up in a hug, her body shaking with sobs. "Father's dead," I said softly once she loosened her hold.
"Good," she said sniffling, her face shining with joy. "I heard about it on the news but I wasn't sure if Lucius was one of those sent to Azkaban or not. I've missed you so much," she said, pulling me back into her embrace.
And that's how I found myself snuggled up underneath the covers next to my mother, her arms wrapped tightly around me to insure that I wasn't going to leave. "I love you Draco," she said, planting a kiss on my forehead, eyes shining with tears once more.
"I love you too Mother," I said, smiling through my own tears. "Good night..." And despite the problems raging around in Spirit World, I slept peacefully, the presence of my mother putting my heart at ease.
Groggily, I pushed myself out of the nest of blankets I had cocooned around myself, eyes blinking in the darkness. Mother slept peacefully next to me, hands resting atop the blanket.
"Bloody owl," I muttered, scrambling out of the high bed and crossing over to the large window across the room. "Who sends birds at three in the morning?" I asked, looking at the tall clock that illuminated on its own.
Throwing open the window, a large black eagle flew in, landing on Mother's wardrobe. Everything about the bird was different, besides the fact that it was a real eagle. It was solid black, not a shred of any other color with red, beady eyes and a cruel, pointed beak.
A black piece of parchment was in its large talons, before it was suddenly on my head. Silently, the bird took off through the window, leaving me slightly dumbstruck before I picked up the letter.
The paper was very stiff, hard to unroll but I managed to. Ink, the color of blood, was what the message was written in.
I can assume you are quite curious now...Have I piqued your interest with the closing of Spirit World communication and the fire you witnessed earlier? I do so hope so. If you would like no harm to come to anyone, I suggest you follow the instructions I'm about to leave. After all, I have power at my hand to dispatch whenever I want to.
Go to the forest behind your home as soon as you receive this message from my faithful pet. I will be waiting for you Draco Malfoy and all of your questions will be answered.
"Great, just great," I growled, straightening up and stuffing the letter in my pocket. "Nothing like a nighttime stroll after everything I've done today." I debated whether I should take Mia and Mandela, but decided against it. It was pointless to wake them for a meeting. At least, I hope it is just a meeting.
Grabbing my cloak from my trunk, I disappeared as quietly as I could down the stairs, wand clutched tightly in hand for any surprises that might pop out. Stealing across the moonlit bathed grounds, I entered the woods that ran along the back of the Malfoy property.
"Lumos," I whispered, a small glow emitting from my wand tip, the small light offering a small amount of comfort in the gloom. "Who are you?" I called out, back pressed against a tree so I could face my the unknown person directly.
Branches rustled to my left and a figure emerged, the eagle on his broad shoulder. He was tall, easily almost seven feet, with his muscles bulging against the tight black shirt he wore. Short, black hair cropped his head and a grin was on his face.
"So this is the famous Draco Malfoy," he drawled, leaning comfortably against a tree trunk. "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Donovan, soon to be ruler of the world."
I snorted, mirth bubbling up inside me. "You mean to tell me that you want to take over the world? Sorry to disappoint you Donovan, but I don't think it's going to just be handed to you on a silver plate."
"It isn't?" he asked, sounding genuinely surprised. "But if I win, I was certain my wish would be granted."
"Win what?" I questioned, on my guard instantly.
"There will be a tournament soon" he said, dark eyes narrowing, "something we demons like to call a Dark Tournament."
"Demon?" I gasped, the new information taking its time to process.
"Yes, I'm a demon," he said amusedly. "As for the tournament, teams are arranged of five members to fight. The winning team is granted one wish by the tournament committee of whatever they please. My wish is simply to rule the world."
"And why are you talking to me about this?"
"Draco, Draco," he sighed, shaking his head. "The whole Demon World has heard about you, the main reason of Voldemort's demise. And many of us would love the chance to kill you. We may not have worshipped him as his Death Eaters did, but we did respect him for the evil he did. I am asking for you to join the tournament with your team. If you don't, I can't promise you that the world be a free place anymore. You have talent Draco, one of the few humans I've ever seen to harness such energy. You are a worthy opponent from what I have gathered."
"So if I don't participate in your tournament you're going to take over? Because you're the best there is? And if I don't do this you'll automatically win? How do I know you're as good as you say?"
"Watch me," he chuckled, face melting into concentration. Before my eyes, he began to grow, the shirt ripping off as his muscles rippled forth. "I have in human strength," he laughed, flicking a tree and watching as it crashed to the ground. "And one of the most powerful teams of demons you could ever find."
"What exactly would you do to the world if you managed to get it?"
"What do you think Draco? I'd be taking control, doing whatever I pleased. You forget boy, I'm a demon and thrive on causing destruction."
"Then I'm assuming I have to enter this tournament?"
"That's right Draco. The ship leaves at midnight on July eighth off the Harshim Port."
"Wait! What did you do to Spirit World?"
"Nothing," he laughed. "I just fiddled with the connections so you couldn't contact. Wouldn't want Sina to find out about this right away, right? See you around Draco," he laughed, vanishing in the trees.
"A tournament, huh?" I repeated, smirk growing on my face. "This might actually be fun."
Arc Two - The Dark Tournament
Chapter Twenty - Assembling a Team
"What do you mean?" screeched Mandela, her blue eyes wide. "The Dark Tournament! You can't Draco! What were you thinking?"
"What's so bad about it?" I asked, helping myself to a piece of toast.
It was nine in the morning and Mia, Mandela, and myself were in the kitchen enjoying a simple breakfast, Mother still sleeping upstairs. I had decided to inform them of my meeting with Donovan, expecting support. Not exactly what I was getting…
"You are going to die!" she shrieked, waving her fork around in the air for protest. "Do you want to know the rules of the Dark Tournament, Draco? There's only one…win in whatever way you can possible. Cheating is legal there!"
"So? I know magic and I have my Spirit powers. How hard can this be?"
Mia, who had been quiet during the entire meal, added her input. "You can't use magic Draco. It's illegal since demons don't attend magic schools."
"But Manda just said anything was legal," I said, slightly confused.
"The Tournament Committee is going to be against you," the pink haired girl said, taking a bite of a banana. "They hate you for what you did to Voldemort and are putting up their own rules for your team."
"But that's not fair!"
"Life isn't fair," Mandela said. "There's something else I'm wondering about Draco. Who is your team? You need at five members per team or you automatically forfeit."
"Well…I'm pretty sure I can get Leila and Zareh to do it," I said, a thoughtful expression on my face. "And Kael and Hoshiko would probably join. And then there's me…so we have five."
"Earth to Draco," said Mandela, tapping me sharply on the head, "you also need a sponsor who will take ownership of your team. Who is that going to be?"
"Sina," I said hopefully. "She's the one who brought me into this whole mess, sort of, so she can own the team!"
"It looks like he has it all figured out," said Mandela wryly, "I can't wait to see him ask everyone." Both her and Mia broke into loud peals of laughter.
"What's so funny?" I grumbled, crossing my arms over my chest in an attempt to look imposing.
"You," giggled Mia. "Come on then…best to go find your team." She and Mandela caught each other's eye and burst out laughing again, myself leaving the kitchen in a huff.
"Stupid girls, they'll see," I muttered, stalking off down the hall. "Everyone will want to be on my team. Why wouldn't they want to be?"
Poking my head into my mother's room, I saw that she was still asleep, her arms wrapped tightly around a pillow. "I'll be back later," I whispered, giving the blonde woman a kiss on top of her head.
Stealing quietly from the room, I went to my own and quickly got dressed in a pair of blue jean shorts and an emerald tee shirt. No way would I ever be seen wearing red…a stupid Gryffindor color.
Mia and Mandela were waiting at the front door, dressed in clean clothes after our long hike yesterday. Mia wore a bright yellow halter-top and a pair of rolled up denim shorts, a pair of yellow sneakers on her feet.
Mandela had her hair pulled back like Mia and wore a navy spaghetti strap tank top and a pair of jean capris. "Ready to go?" Mia asked brightly, her hands fumbling with her birthstone necklace.
"We're going to visit Sina first," said Mandela wisely. "You can ask her about taking ownership of your team then. She might even be able to set us up with portals to Leila and Zareh's house and locate Kael and Hoshiko for us."
Each spirit took one of my arms and I was transported directly to Sina's office, right in front of the dozing Spirit World leader. The little girl was sound asleep on top of a pile of books on her desk, hand still moving the pen across a piece of paper, scribbles the outcome.
"Looks like someone is a bit tired," I joked, pulling the writing utensil out of the navy haired child's grip. "I wonder why."
"You'd be tired if you stayed up all night trying to contact the human world," the girl muttered, picking her head off of the textbooks. The whole right side of her face was bright red from having lain on the hard surface for so long. Her hair was knotted once more and her eyes red rimmed.
"Are you all right Sina?" asked Mia, picking the girl off of the hard backed chair and setting her gently on the plush couch. "I'll go get you something to eat, you must be starving!" The bubbly spirit took off out of the room and I sat down next to Sina while Mandela went in search of a hairbrush.
"Here we go," said Mia, entering the room once more. "Some apple juice, a raspberry pastry, a bagel and cream cheese, and a cup of coffee should have you up in no time. Coffee first," Mia decided, taking in the half lidded look she was getting from the young ruler.
A few minutes later, Sina's hair had been brushed and the ruler was starting to look more like her perky self, now munching happily on the sweet treat that came with her bagel. "Do you know why communication was blocked?" asked Sina, turning to Mandela.
"Yes…a demon named Donovan needed to talk to Draco and didn't want anyone else interfering. He asked him to go to the Dark Tournament and Draco accepted."
"You did what!" Sina exclaimed, spitting out apple juice on Mia. "Why would you do something so stupid Draco? You have no chance of beating Donovan! You can't!"
"What do you know about this Donovan guy?" I asked, curiosity growing. "What makes him so bad? He showed me his strength last night but as I've heard before, strength isn't everything."
"Listen," said Sina quietly. "Twenty years ago is when Donovan first became a threat to us. He was your average demon but he participated in the Dark Tournament. His team won…but he was the only one alive at the very end. He wished for immortal strength."
"Doesn't sound too bad yet," I said, taking a sip of Sina's coffee. "You need to add a little more cream," I said, "it's too bland"
"I like it that way," protested Sina. "Do you want to here the story or not?"
"Yes my lady," I said sarcastically, earning a knock to the head from the child.
"Naturally, Spirit World has no association with the Demon World but we had to involve ourselves after Donovan's first attack. He somehow made it into the Human World and murdered over thirty people in America. Several of my workers went down and told him he had to stop, the humans were out of bounds.
"He agreed and went back to the Demon World while we sealed up the passageway he'd been using. Less then two years later attacks were reported in Brazil and we once again went to investigate. Donovan was there and we sent him back."
"One question," I said. "How did he pass so easily from the worlds? Surely some human would have noticed a demon walking around."
"Not exactly. Some demons are born with bodies that resemble humans while others get demon bodies. Leila and Zareh don't count because they used to be human but Hoshiko and Kael are full blooded demons…they just resemble a human."
"Over the next twenty years he continued to appear in the Human World and commit senseless murders. We lost our temper when he wiped out a whole town in Italy four years ago. He was put into prison in this very building."
"What happened to him?" I asked, voice hushed.
"He escaped," she said simply. "His power is too strong for us to hold down any longer. Since then he's been terrorizing towns all over the globe, murdering for pleasure. He's no longer a just a demon…he's a monster. He lives to kill and destroy, far worse then any demon I know of."
"So isn't it a good thing I'm going to go fight? I mean, we need to kill him!"
"And you think you're going to be the one to do that?" she laughed bitterly. "No one stands a chance against him…I'm honestly surprised he didn't kill you last night. But then again, if anything he does fight fair…no hidden tricks or weapons."
"Well I can't back away now," I said firmly, hands clenching into fists. "If I fail so does the world and I can't let that happen. Besides, I've never backed away from a challenge and I'm not about to start now."
"Are you sure about this Draco?" Sina asked worriedly, the fabric of her large orange shirt twisting in her fingers.
"Yes. But there's one thing I need to ask you Sina."
"Can you take ownership of my team?"
"I guess so…but you are not allowed to die Draco! If you die I'll resurrect you and then kill you myself! Got it?"
"Don't worry about me," I said softly, pulling the girl into a hug. "I'll be just fine."
"We were wondering Sina," said Mandela, "do you know where Hoshiko and Kael are? Draco needs to ask them to be on his team. And a portal to Leila and Zareh's house would be nice."
"Hang on," Sina said, scrambling off of the couch and over to her desk. "Hoshiko is currently in the Demon World…Kael is here. He had to stop by earlier yesterday and got caught in the communication loss…he's still asleep in his room. Once you talk to him I'll set you up a portal to Leila's…after that come here and I'll bring you to the Demon World."
"Thanks Sina!" said Mia, leaping off of the couch. "We'll be back in a little bit." The three of us trooped out to confront Kael and see if he had any interest in joining my team. "He'll be down this hall," said Mia, leading the way down the corridor where I had been housed during my short visit.
"This is his room," said Mandela, stopping outside the fourth door in. "I sense fire behind it." Raising her hand, the girl knocked sharply and we all waited for the Irish demon to open the door.
"Yes?" A shaggy red head poked out of the open door, the green eyes blurry with sleep. "Didja need something?"
"Can we come in Kael?" asked Mia politely. "Draco needs to ask you something."
"Sure," he yawned, gesturing for us to enter behind him. "So I take it the communication link is back then? After all, you three are here," he remarked, flopping back down on his bed and pulling out a recorder from beneath his pillow.
"It is," I said, leaning against the dresser opposite the bed. "It was down because of a demon named Donovan."
A sharp squeak emitted from the instrument and Kael dropped it like it was a hot coal. "Donovan?" he cried.
"That's right," Mia chirped, picking up the recorder and trying it herself. A whistling noise came out and the pink haired spirit happily moved over to the other side of the room to practice.
"But what did he want?" the Irish demon asked, hopping off the bed and trying to regain possession of his recorder from Mia.
"To talk to me," I sighed. "He wants to take over the world like every other bad guy out there."
"Difference is, he probably can," Mandela added.
"And you're not dead because…?"
"Donovan wants to fight me. He says that all of the demons know that I was there when Voldemort was defeated. And that I'm one of the main reasons that he was killed. If he can beat me then he'll be respected greatly by the Demon world."
"Would you quit interrupting?"
"Sorry," Kael said sheepishly, his recorder now safely back in his hands, leaving Mia pouting by the window.
"So he told me that he'd be waiting for me in the Dark Tournament to fight. It was either accept the offer or he'd start killing thousands of people now. The way I see it is that if I fight him and win, then no one else will have to die."
"And if you lose?"
"Then I guess everyone will die. And that's the reason I'm here."
Kael blinked as understanding dawned on his face. "You want me to be one of your fighters?" he asked, voice incredulous.
"That was my idea, but I understand if you don't want to do it," I added quickly.
"What? No way! I'm ready to go kick some demon butt! When do we leave? What do I need to pack? Is Leila coming? Who else is coming?"
A grin stretched across my face. "We leave off Harshim Port on July eighth. I don't know if Leila is coming…but I am going to ask. Any reason why you wanted to know about Leila though?"
"None at all," the Fire demon replied carelessly. "In July, huh? I'll be good and ready."
"Thanks," I said, grabbing Kael's hand tightly and giving it a shake. "See you then."
With a wave, I left, Mia and Mandela following a second later.
"Now where?" Manda asked, doubling her pace to keep up with my long stride.
"Let's go get Zareh and Leila first. Sina said she'd get us a portal for them, right?"
"Right," Mia bubbled, skipping along beside me. "But they did move, just so you know. I don't think their old home had…very pleasant memories for them," she said, her voice soft. "They're off in their own little spot by a lake now in the middle of a forest."
A forest? I could see both of them liking the location. Leila would have plenty of plants to work with and Zareh had the lake to practice freezing techniques on. And being hidden away in the woods, no one would bother them. Something I'm sure Leila liked quite well.
"Sina, we're back for our portal!" Mia called, once more cheerful. Nothing could keep her down for long.
"I heard that you're recruiting a team for the Dark Tournament. I am getting an invitation, correct?" Hoshiko asked, sitting comfortably in the air next to Sina, for once decently clothed in a long green skirt and a billowy white shirt. "I just arrived back from Demon World and Sina's told me all about it."
I blinked and then shook my head, trying to clear away the little stars that had formed at seeing her.
"Is that a no?"
"No! I mean yes! No?"
Hoshiko raised an eyebrow and Mia giggled.
"Will you be on my team?"
"That's better. Sure, why not? I have to keep an eye on you anyway…you're just a human. Besides, you'll need me if you're going to win. And I can help train you…I don't think the stuff we did is going to get you very far in the tournament. We really need to work on your offensive fighting; purely physical. You have no form at all!"
"And welcome to the team," I said, stopping her before every single one of my faults could be exploited. "We leave off Harshim port on July eighth."
"I knew that already." A vein throbbed in my head and Mandela rolled her eyes.
"Can we get the portal to Leila and Zareh's before someone blows?" the blonde spirit asked, nodding her head at me.
"Do I look angry? I'm not angry!"
"There you go," Sina smiled, a dark blue oval appearing in the air in front of Mia. "Just walk through it and you should be at their new home. But do be careful…Leila did set out a few traps for anyone who comes by…"
"We'll be fine," I said, heading for the portal. "What could I plant demon do?"
"Looks like his mouth speaks before his brain again," Mandela sighed, standing on the ground next to Mia and looking up at the tree in which Draco was suspended in a net.
"I heard that! Get me down! These plants are trying to strangle me!" the Slytherin cried, unsuccessfully trying to remove a red vine from creeping around his neck.
"If you're going to be the team leader you'd better toughen up a bit," drawled a voice from a few feet away. Leaning idly against a tree was Leila, clothed in a pair of black shorts and a black halter top, midnight hair pulled into two buns on the side of her head.
"How'd you know about that?" Draco asked, ceasing his struggling for a minute.
"It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. Why else would you be out here? Besides, Zareh and I know that the Tournament starts in July and that you'd out be getting a team. Am I right?"
"You're right," Draco admitted. "So, both of you coming?"
"Who said I was going? I'm not going near that place."
Draco, who'd managed to break free of the net using a small spirit blast and was now balancing on a branch so that he could hop down (the vines had stopped trying to kill him once Leila came to the scene), fell from his twenty foot drop.
"What do you mean? Why?"
"I don't believe in fighting unless it's for a reason. And some silly tournament isn't a good enough reason."
"But I need you! Donovan came and I told him I'd enter. It's the only chance to beat him before he attempts world domination."
Leila looked pointedly at Draco. "So? For one thing, Donovan isn't going to care if Zareh and I live out here- he won't even know since our energies can't be found by a tracking device. Two, since when did I owe humans anything?"
"Nope. Sorry, Draco. You're the only human I've ever met that has actually been kind. But even that isn't enough. Neither Zareh or I will be joining you so you may as well leave now."
"Quite a turn around from Kael and Hoshiko, isn't this?" Mandela asked as the Slytherin trudged back to the two girls as Leila vanished into the trees. "See why we were laughing?"
"What am I going to do? They're both really good fighters…I need them! Or I have to go find someone else who would fill in…but I don't know any other fighters! And I doubt they'd want to be on a team that's on Donovan's bad side…"
"You could go ask again," Mia suggested. "Try finding Zareh and ask. Or, better yet, let's go have Mandela ask Zareh. I'm sure he'd say yes."
"This isn't my team," Mandela blushed, backing away. "I'm not asking Zareh anything."
"This isn't funny," Draco snapped, pacing angrily back and forth on the ground.
"You could at least give it a try," Mia huffed. "We're only trying to help, you know."
Draco sighed. "I know. I'm sorry. It's just that…I'm the only one who can stop this. For once it isn't Potter or Dumbledore. It's me. And I don't know how to do it."
"It's all right," Mandela said softly, placing a gentle hand on Draco's shoulder. "All you need is a little boost."
"And I've got just the thing! Wait just one moment!"
"Hi there! Remember me? I've got to take you somewhere for a little while."
"No time to talk," the pink haired spirit grinned, grabbing onto the girl's arm. "We have to be somewhere."
"But I'm still in my pajamas!"
"No time to change either. Don't worry- he doesn't care how you look. Hold on tight- here we go!"
"I have brought moral support," Mia beamed, pushing the Gryffindor girl towards Draco. "Now go cheer him up," she ordered Hermione. "And then get him to go face Leila."
"What is going on?" Hermione demanded, stomping her bare foot on the damp, pine needle covered ground. She was dressed simply in an overlarge pink tee shirt with a pair of blue checkered pants on.
"It's a long story," I sighed, pulling her away from Mia and Mandela so we could talk in private. "Last night, some demon named Donovan came to my house. He wants me to participate in a tournament for demons…it's either I beat him in that or he starts trying to take over the world now."
"He wouldn't get very far," Hermione pointed out. "I doubt anyone is just going to be walked over."
"My thoughts too. But he's strong…really strong. He destroyed part of the forest behind the manor last night in a matter of seconds. The only way I can really stop him is to beat him in the Tournament."
"Why did he even bother inviting you to the Tournament if he could just bypass the entire thing?"
"A lot of demons hate me…they see me as one of the main reason's for Voldemort's death. And they liked Voldemort a lot. Donovan figures that when he beats me, he'll gain their respect and allegiance, making things even easier. So, I'm off on my summer break trying to recruit the group you saw training me during school."
"And you need me because?"
"As Mia says, moral support. Kael and Hoshiko said yes right away. Leila just turned me down. Quite harshly too…and she says that Zareh won't come with us either."
"I won't go with you where?"
Hermione and Draco both screamed as the electric blue haired demon came out of the trees, a puzzled expression on his face.
"You really should be more aware of your surroundings," Zareh said, sitting down on the log next to Draco. "If I'd been an enemy you'd have been dead already. What are you doing all the way out here?"
"To ask you a favor, but Leila already gave me your answer."
"Favor? I'd be happy to help. What is it?"
"I…I wanted you and Leila to join my team for the Dark Tournament. I'm not entering it by choice," I continued, raising my hands to block his questions. "I'm trying to…save the world, I guess. Even though that sounds really stupid."
"The Dark Tournament? Are you out of your mind? Do you know how many demons die in there? Hundreds! It's like going to your own funeral!"
"And that's why you're not going," Leila said, jumping down from a tree branch. "I've already told Draco our answer. We have no connections with humans and we'll be fine all the way out here. Come on, breakfast is ready."
Zareh looked uncertainly between Draco and Leila. "But Leila…we have to help him."
The dark beauty snorted. "We don't have to help him at all. What we choose to do is on our own free will."
"But…at the trial. Don't you remember what the judge said?"
"No," she said sharply, although her face was beginning to betray worry.
"He said that our punishment for breaking into Lady Sina's vault was we had to accompany Draco on his missions…and isn't this considered a mission?"
"Listen," Draco said. "What Zareh said is true. But if you truly don't want to go…I'm not going to make you. It'll do no good having someone on my team who doesn't want to fight."
"But I'm going," Zareh declared. "I don't want to fight either. But Draco's my friend. And I'm not going to let him go out there by himself."
"Please, Leila?" Mia asked softly, stepping up to stand next to the plant demon. "Mandela and I are going too…not to fight, but for support. Won't you come?"
A few seconds of silence and then, "Fine. But only to keep an eye on Zareh."
"This is great!" Mia squealed, hugging Leila. "And Kael and Hoshiko will be there too!"
"Kael? In that case, I'm not going."
"You're joking…right?" Draco asked uncertainly.
"Nope. I'm not going if he is."
"You just had to tell her, didn't you?" Draco asked, turning to Mia. The pink haired spirit gulped and dove behind Mandela.
"How about this? I'll go but only if you keep him away from me."
"Deal!" cried Draco, shaking hands with Leila. "We leave at Harshim Port on July eighth."
"…come to think of that, I haven't any idea."
"It should be around midnight," Mandela said. "After all, it will be the witching hour."
"Promise you'll be careful, okay?" Hermione asked, placing a chaste kiss on Draco's cheek.
"Aren't I always?"
And very clearly, five voices said, "No."
Draco smiled anyway and pulled Hermione to him. In a month's time they would be participating in the Dark Tournament. And his team was going to win. He'd make sure of it.