Disclaimer: We are the Harry Potter fic called "Not Myself". Resistance as you know it is over. We will add your reviews and flames to the bucket in the corner. You will be sucked in. Resistance is futile.
Disclaimer for Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor the Borg. Other people own them.
Not Myself by Saerry Snape
Chapter 156 – The Beginning of the End
"Hello again, Hogwarts," said Niamh as she stepped down from the horseless carriage. She smiled wanly at the castle then stepped aside so Hermione could get out of the carriage. Mika, Mischa, Ginny, and Amanda clambered out of the carriage that came up behind them as Ron and Neville followed Hermione out.
Draco pause at the top of the stairs and looked down at her with an open gray gaze. Niamh caught his glance and saw the question in it. She'd given up her feud with the blonde Slytherin over the summer and had sent him a letter telling her so. He'd written back saying that he was not surprised by it and would do his best to act civil.
The question in those gray eyes was one about Harry – which was the only reason Niamh had given up their feud. The green-eyed Slytherin had befriended the blonde and she had to accept that.
That was the only thing that she could accept.
I don't know where he is, she said mentally to the blonde, who just nodded.
Ah well… came the response and then he was gone.
Niamh sighed and started up the steps with Hermione on one side of her and Mika on the other, everyone else following at the rear. The werewolf touched her arm and she turned to stare into the one red and one brown eye.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
Niamh smiled and replied, "Fine, Mik. Did…did you hear from Harry over the summer?"
"Not a word. Jardin stayed here in the Owlery, I think. Ask him."
I don't know a thing.
Niamh looked up and saw the raven perched on the head of a stone gargoyle that loomed from the side of the castle. A smaller black bird with gray about its head and another that was as black as Jardin perched near him.
Your chicks? She inquired.
Two of them, replied Jardin. Brutus and Bartholomew. As to the matter of Harry…he's not on this plane anymore. Hasn't been all summer.
He's on the Elven plane, youngling.
Niamh sighed and shook her head. Would Harry even be returning for their seventh year?
"Aunt Shee, let me go!"
"Sheen, love, let the poor boy go. He'll miss the Sorting and the Feast if you don't."
"But, Dues, love, I don't want him to go…"
"He's got to. Now come here and let him be."
Amadeus pried Sheen away from Harry, who stepped away from them. He had spent all summer in the Elven court, learning all he could from the Elven Tethdaìr and the five Masters of War who resided there. Tylwys and Marlan, the two Tethdaìr he had learned the most from, stood nearby. Their hands were where they always were, resting lightly on the curved scimitars belted at their hips. Harry had had to learn how to use the scimitar in his training with them (as they preferred them to other blades) while the rest of the Tethdaìr had taught him the use of the heavy broadsword, the semi-heavy long sword, the light short sword, the lightning quick rapier, and even the use of throwing daggers.
Magic had been the other half of his training there and he'd refined his power over fire, as well as the sprinkling talent for wandless magic that he had. He'd found that it needed anger to fuel itself so it was mildly useless unless he was in the middle of a battle.
"I shall miss you," said Sheen, looking at him sadly.
Harry smiled at her, his face exactly the same as it had been when he'd arrived though the time difference between the planes.
"I'll miss you too, Aunt Shee." He'd begun calling her than a week after he had arrived, claiming that 'cousin' felt too impersonal for his tastes. "And you, Amadeus."
"Aye, you rampaging pup," said the gray-haired werewolf in a genial tone, offering him a scarred hand. "I'll indeed miss you. You'll have to come back someday and have another match with me. And bring that friend Ron of yours. I'd like to play him."
Harry grinned as he took the offered hand. While his days had been spent learning magic and war, his nights had been spent conversing with Sheen and having impromptu chess matches with Amadeus. Although the day was fun, the night was much more enjoyable within familiar company and more menial chat.
Tylwys stepped forward suddenly, a smile on his handsome face. His plain brown hair was plastered to his forehead from the helmet he held tucked under one arm. With the other, he undid the straps that tied his scimitar to his belt and held it out towards Harry.
"No," said Harry, eying the sword in awe. "Tylwys, I couldn't…"
"You can and will," replied the Tethdaìr warrior. "I am honored to have been able to teach you, Harry."
"You and I both," said Harry, as he gingerly took the sword. He fingered the worn hilt then blinked as Marlan stepped forward, his flaming red hair plastered to his forehead from his own helmet.
The other Tethdaìr warrior did not give him a weapon but a small medallion. Harry blinked as he recognized the Elven rune for loyalty – a rune that he bore on his own arm from the Gauntlet of Aerilsed. The runes themselves were now completely visible, black against his pale skin but hidden by the shirt he currently wore. They'd appeared the moment his training had begun and had remained. Sheen said it showed that the Gauntlet had allied itself with him rather than simply being a part of him.
The Dark runes disturbed him still but the four Light ones overpowered the other six.
"Thank you, Marlan," he said, grinning at the slightly taller warrior.
Marlan smiled slightly and said, in his unusually soft voice, "Stay strong. And always remain loyal to what you believe in."
"I will," swore Harry. He pulled the silver chain over his head, carefully pulling his braid out from under it, before he tucked it under his shirt. It clanged lightly against the basilisk pendant Ginny had given him so long ago.
The Darcorn, standing in the middle of the great hall with Harry's belongings strapped to his back, stomped a hoof and snorted. Harry turned towards him slightly and nodded before saying, "Guess that's my cue…"
Sheen smiled and came forward to hug him once more before she stepped back into Amadeus' arms. The werewolf and the two Tethdaìr warriors simply nodded and Harry returned it before he slung a knapsack over his shoulder. He then walked over to the Darcorn and grabbed a fistful of mane, pulling himself up onto the broad back.
The Darcorn danced for a moment before it reared and charged into the glowing archway that had appeared. Harry waved once before he and the dark unicorn vanished.
The Sorting was over and the Feast had just begun when Harry walked into the Great Hall. Every eye stared as he walked in, the soles of his books resounding loudly in the sudden quiet. He ignored the whispers that went up as he passed, knowing full well that it was his medieval style clothes and the long sword that hung at his hip that was the main part of these whispering.
His braid streaming behind him, he walked down to where his friends sat and calmly sat in the empty seat there. He looked up at Dumbledore and nodded and look towards his wide-eyed father and smiling.
Dumbledore finally stood and looked at him over his half-moon glasses with frowning eyes.
"Welcome back, Mister Potter."
"Thank you, sir," said Harry, nodding slightly. He then smiled at his friends, who were staring at him, before he asked, "Gin, can you pass the rolls?"
Harry piled food onto his plate then dug into it with nearly same gusto as Ron. Niamh blinked at him from across the table while Draco further down began to crack up.
"So," said Mika finally as conversation began to pick up around the hall, "where've you been?"
"Elven plane," came the reply around a mouthful of chicken.
"Is that real?" gasped Mischa, staring at the long sword Harry had laid across the bench.
"Can I see it?"
"No," said Harry and Mika at once. The silver-haired girl frowned and pouted. She then jumped up and down as Draco got up from his seat and walked towards them.
The blonde leaned across the table and said, "Good to have you back, Harry. Nice sword by the way."
"Thanks," said Harry. He then cast the blonde a frowning glance and asked, "How's your father?" He'd learned from Sheen that Remus had bit the elder Malfoy during Amadeus' rescue.
Draco's eyes darkened to slate-gray and he growled, "Brooding and pissed off."
"Not yet. He's been a right bastard about it all summer."
"Sorry about that."
"What do you have to be sorry for?" he asked. "And know he leaves Mother and me alone for the most part. Stays alone in his study and broods for hours."
"That's good," said Harry.
"Right. How are you, Mischa?"
The silver-haired second year blushed as Mika's face darkened with anger.
"F-fine," she stammered.
Draco smiled a smile that showed all his teeth and said, "That's good. Well, see you all later."
He walked back to his seat with a smirk as Mika's face darkened even further. Harry noted this and looked at the werewolf.
"He's bating you and you know it."
"And its working," growled Mika. His normal eye began to turn from brown to amber and Harry clamped a hand down on his friend's arm.
"No," he said sharply. "Death Eater's are one thing, Draco's another. He's not an enemy."
"Maybe not to you. He is to me."
"So says the boy who's not his father's son," spat Mischa, glaring at her older brother. Mika glared right back and Harry suddenly felt like getting out of the middle of this confrontation.
"Oookay. I'm going to leave now."
"But the Feast hasn't ended…" began Ginny, only to be cut off by Harry's wry grin.
"Don't worry," he said lightly. "I'll be fine, you'll see." With that he strode out of the Hall, braid flopping behind him.
Niamh stared after him and felt her heart plummet from her knees to her toes.
"He didn't even look at me…"
"Oh, Ni," said Ginny sadly as Mika scowled.
Have to ignore her. Have to get her out of my mind…
Harder than it first appears, isn't it?
"Jar!" exclaimed Harry happily as the raven flew past him in the corridor. Jardin turned back and Harry offered him his arm. "I've missed you."
As have I. You still love her.
Harry turned his face away from the bird and snarled, "That's none of your business…"
I don't need to pry into your thoughts to know it, Harry, said Jardin sternly. Its in the way you do everything. The way you deliberately turn away from her, keep your eyes off her, even keeping her out of yours thoughts. But it won't work forever. She'll get in somehow.
"I won't put her in danger."
She is in danger by simply being in this school with you. She has been in danger since day one. As have all of us.
"I love her, Jar."
I know that, said the raven. And she loves you as well. But pushing her away…that is not the answer to keeping her safe, Harry.
"I don't know another one."
Then perhaps we should put our heads together and consider one. Lovely sword, by the way. Elven?
Harry just nodded and continued down into the dungeons towards Arx Serpens. He figured his bags were already in his dorm and he needed to get the weaponry stored in them out of the way before it found its way into the wrong hands.
Jardin caught that thought and blinked.
Weaponry? Is that what the White Queen has been teaching you?
Not dangerous weaponry, I hope.
"They've all got blades. I think there may be an axe in there somewhere…"
Say no more. I don't want to know what things you have in those bags of yours. The less I can be interrogated about if they are found.
"Nothing was said about me walking into the Hall with a sword at my hip," shot Harry.
Wait, shot Jardin back smugly.
Harry scowled at him then said something in Parseltongue to the entrance to Arx Serpens. He'd discovered at the end of last year that it opened that way and had told Ginny about it.
The doorway opened and he stepped into the common room, his eyes straying over to the Hexer's Corner. Then he strode across to the door to the boys dormitories and went into his own.
Jardin took up a perch on the headboard of his bed as Harry began to unpack, hiding away what needed to be hidden . When he finished, he collapsed onto his bed, drew the curtains around it, and fell asleep.