No Need for Salvation

Chapter Six

By Shadow Fiend

Disclaimer:I claim no rights to the Harry Potter books which are the creation of J.K. Rowling and further disclaim any rights to the movies based upon the aforementioned fiction. My work is merely an extension of the material presented and will receive no monetary compensation or gratification, it is written merely for my and my reader's pleasure.

During his first weekend at Hogwarts, there was only one thing on Maverick's mind: reconnaissance. Granted with a previously unattained amount of freedom, Maverick scoured the Hogwarts castle and grounds, using his training to take in everything that might be of use to him in the future. Aware though he was of the Elder's impending arrival, Maverick's training at Excalibur was such that he was unwilling to leave anything up to chance. Unlikely though it was that the Elders would fail, Maverick wanted a backup plan just in case.

Thus, while the underclassmen played games and traversed the grounds in high spirits and the upperclassman of Hogwarts wandered Hogsmeade, buying chocolate, drinking butterbeer, and frolicking with friends, that Maverick was weaving an ancient charm that would grant him access to the heavily warded underground chambers of Hogwarts. He had happened upon the entrance (hidden behind a portrait of the hunchback Willa Wavengail) by using his extrasensory magical perception, specifically looking for barriers. When he happened upon this, he immediately saw the advantage. He very much doubted that anyone else knew that it was here.

After about two hours of uninterrupted magical activity, Maverick sat back sighing. Whatever was hidden behind this barrier must be important, it would require at least another two hours of work to gain access and if he didn't make himself seen by someone or other in the next few minutes there would doubtless be heavy inquiry into his activities.

Somewhat unsatisfied, Maverick quickly hid his work and headed towards the Great Hall. The drain on his energy was almost transparent and if anyone looked hard enough they would be able to tell he had been using his magic extensively that day. He had been foolish. If he wasn't careful, Snape or Dumbledore would surely notice.


Maverick stopped abruptly, his muscles tensing as he glanced around him fervently. A moment later his eyes were transfixed on the image of a small mouse, staring at him in a decidedly sentient way.

Maverick. The voice sounded in his head, and Maverick immediately understood that the mouse was the receptacle for an Elder's long-distance telepathy.

Master. Maverick responded, keeping eye contact with the mouse. While not absolutely necessary, maintaining eye contact with the receptacle was a more assured method of keeping contact in this type of magic.

Report on the situation.

Master, the wizards have me chained to the school and grounds. They also have my first wand and keep a constant surveillance upon me. A descendent of Merlin maintains control over the bands.

Serious threats?

None, aside from the Merlin descendent. The headmaster is adequately adept at magic but is no match for any of you.

We will be there tonight, your presence is required at Excalibur.

Yes, Master.

The mouse promptly scattered away and Maverick watched it go. From one master to another—it was his life. Anyway, he much preferred the master he knew.

For once it didn't happen in the Great Hall. Instead, the Elders sent a terrified second-year to convey the message that they had arrived when the rest of the school was settling in for dinner.

The second-year, a Hufflepuff boy by the name of Edgar Diggle came running up to the Head Table on the cusp of tears.

"Three men and two women, Professor," he nearly shouted, practically shaking out of fear and awe to the audience of the entire hall. "They are in the courtyard. They have Malfoy. Told me to tell you to bring Professor Snape and Potter."

"Thank you, Mr. Diggle," Dumbledore said passively, as though this came as no surprise to him. "We will go now. Professor Snape, Harry, please come with me. Professor McGonagall, I expect you will keep the students within the Hall for the time being."

Without waiting for McGonagall's nod of consent Dumbledore stood, Snape and Maverick rising with him and they simultaneously made their way out of the Hall.

When the double doors had shut behind them, Dumbledore whirled around and gripped Maverick by the shoulders, staring into his eyes in a way that Maverick was sure was meant to be searching. "Harry," he said, ignoring Maverick's narrowed eyes at his use of the misnomer. "I know we may not have done entirely right by you, but I want you to know that what we did was for the best. The world—your world, whether you accept it or not—needs you."

He let go of Maverick abruptly and started to turn away when Maverick interrupted what he was sure the Headmaster had meant to be a heartfelt moment between the two of them. "With all due respect, Headmaster, but this is not and never will be my world. You held me captive and treated me with disrespect. I have no duty to any of you and, if given a chance, would leave here in a second. It's actually rather sickening that you would try to convince me of your so called good intentions."

Dumbledore slowly turned around, and his eyes no longer held the sparkle he usually so readily maintained. Instead they were steel. "I'm sorry you feel that way Maverick," the name was pronounced almost sneeringly and had Maverick been anyone else he probably would have been surprised at the Headmaster's capacity to attain that level of snarkiness, "but in the end it doesn't really matter what you think. I can't let you leave here, and I have faith that in time you'll come to see how much you're needed. Severus, I trust you know what is to be done."

Snape snorted too quietly for Dumbledore to hear, but Maverick caught his gaze and the two men shared a moment of quiet understanding. And Maverick suddenly had a better conception of the man that duty forced him to obey. He didn't truly believe that what Dumbledore was doing to Maverick was right, but his position in the world was such that if he did anything else other than blindly follow the Headmaster he would be doomed. It was a sticky web and while Maverick felt an amount of compassion for the man's plight, he was unwilling to discount the man's abuse of power that he had so far showcased. It was not his place to do anything other than honor and protect a descendent of Merlin, but that would not be the case for those who waited in the courtyard.

Dumbledore turned briskly on his heel, heading rapidly towards the courtyard. Snape and Maverick followed.

The moment they exited the castle, embracing the cool air and the still descending sun, they took in the sight that had so frightened Edgar Diggle.

If Draco Malfoy had ever doubted his role as prisoner, he no longer did. While his captors may have been decent, even kind to him on his way to Hogwarts, now that they have arrived they were bordering on brutal.

He had felt a momentary surge of relief when they had exited the dark and dreary woods of the Forbidden Forest. He had even, for a moment, contemplated that maybe the abduction was just an Order mission—the details of which had been kept from him for his own safety. However, the moment they had made it to the courtyard, one of his captors had promptly hit him over the head and he had lost consciousness.

When he came to, he was tied to a post in the middle of the courtyard, gagged and developing a major headache. He also noticed, to his intense discomfort, that there was a sharp object pressing lightly into his skin, a warning to discourage any movement.

He watched as the Headmaster exited the castle, followed by his Godfather and….a boy he had never seen before. The Headmaster seemed unfazed by Draco's situation, and to most eyes Snape would appear to be disinterested. Draco however, knew his Godfather and noted the sudden look in his eyes denoting surprise and a hint of fear. The boy however, had barely looked at him at all. Instead his eyes had taken in whoever was holding the blade to his neck and the remainder of his captors. A small smiling lit his face, and the boy dropped to his knees in clear subservience.

"We come in peace," the Headmaster said calmly, flashing a smile and an eye twinkle. "Please release Mr. Malfoy and allow us to discuss this as civilized human beings."

Draco tried to contain his gasp as the blade suddenly bit into his skin, drawing a drop of blood down his neck. It didn't hurt as much as shock and he recognized the action as an attempt to relate that they were not in the mood to bargain.

"There will be no discussion," a man from Draco's right said in an accent that Draco couldn't quite place. "You will release Maverick into our possession and we will consider letting this human go relatively unscathed. You realize of course that our situations are unequal. This boy means nothing to us and Maverick means very much to you." The blade cut deeper and this time Draco did release a small cry. It hurt goddammit and he didn't remember signing up as a bargaining tool for another one of Dumbledore's manipulative games. He met his Godfather's eyes trying to convey the message. These people are serious.

Snape looked up, meeting the eyes of whoever held the blade to his throat. "Release him, immediately. I command you as one of the descendents of Merlin."

A soft, melodic woman's laugh answered him. "Oh dear, I'm afraid that won't work. You see…cousin…I too am a descendent of our late ancestor and more directly than you. I'm afraid I pull rank in this particular situation. Now, why don't you release Maverick from his bonds and I'll consider not digging any deeper into your dear--godson, is it?--Well in any case, I won't kill him. What do you say?"

Snape's eyes widened fractionally, conveying his surprise—and he shot his gaze to the Headmaster who looked temporarily dumbfounded at this particular turn of events.

"Talina, might we finish this sometime today? I have business to attend to and this has gone on for long enough," this voice came from Draco's left—a lower, more sultry feminine voice. Dumbledore's eyes shot to her, and he noticed the man falter for a moment.

"A Veela Queen…but I thought…."

"What you think doesn't matter old man," the Veela responded. "In fact, the majority of your mortal affairs are far beneath my interest."

The air whooshed around Draco and he suddenly felt another sharp object (a talon?) brush against his jugular. "Release him now or I kill this boy."

"Now Eva," Talina responded chidingly, "is this any way to behave in front of our student? You are not setting a very good example."

"Very well," the woman grumbled and moved her talon away from Draco. "It would be wrong to attack a defenseless boy. I guess I'll just kill him instead."

With this announcement, the woman lunged at Snape who stared at her in befuddlement, far too slow to avoid anything other than what would undoubtedly be a life-threatening injury.

Until Maverick intercepted her, shielding the Professor with his magic and forcing the woman, who Draco could now see was most decidedly a Veela, to bounce off, screeching angrily. Wings suddenly sprouted from her back, although unlike normal Veela she maintained her alluring human form.

Maverick dropped again to his knees, baring his neck in subjugation. "I apologize, Mistress. The man is an Heir. I will not allow him to be injured."

"Come now Eva," Talina rebuked gently. "You really should know better, we've inured our mortal students to the old ways, protecting the heirs is part of their innate moral code."

"I knew keeping them chained to the old ways was a mistake Talina…"

"The old ways are not a mistake Eva! It's just unfortunate that mankind his fallen to such a low as to produce such a pathetic heir as the man that stands before us."

Eva reached down and entwined her clawed hands in Maverick's long locks. She pulled his head up, gently gazing into his eyes. "I do not begrudge you, young one."

Maverick breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you, Mistress."

Eva released his hair, gave Snape a searching look and backed away to her former position apparently no longer interested in the situation.

"We cannot attack your Heir, and you cannot force me to release our hostage," Talina said, addressing Snape and Dumbledore. "We also cannot force your heir to release Maverick's bonds, as only he can do. I want to make this very clear. If you will not release our student's bonds then we will kill your student. In fact, he now has ten more minutes to live."

And with that, the blade cut deeper and the blood started to gush.