Disclaimer: No matter how many times I wave my wand, I do not hold any rites to any of the Harry Potter series, but I am grateful to JK for writing them.
"[speech in parseltongue]"
Chapter 42: The Champion
The nosy neighbour at Number 5, Privet Drive looked out her window and gasped when she saw the boy at the door next door.
Dudley looked at Harry and stepped outside "Harry you look good".
"Thanks. Can we go somewhere and talk? I really need your help" Harry said as he gave a brief wave to the neighbour peeping through her kitchen window already on the phone spreading her juicy gossip.
"Come inside, mom and dad are by Aunt Marge for a few days and it's just me and my girlfriend".
Harry raised his eyebrow and followed Dudley inside. The place looked the same, except there were a few new pictures of Dudley and a trophy case with several trophies in them. Dudley however had; he was still taller than Harry but he had lost all his fat and was now pure muscle and to Harry's relief there was no hatred coming from him. He was genuinely pleased to see Harry.
A pretty blond girl came in the room with nothing on but one of Dudley's shirts "Oh Duddie who is this hunk?" She looked like she was salivating looking at Harry "Is he here for a threesome because I would definitely..."
"Abigail, this is my cousin Harry" Dudley said giving the girl a sneer "Get some clothes on and leave, I have important business to take care of with him."
"But Duddie you promised that we..."
Harry left the room and went into the kitchen and made himself a cup of tea, he sat at the table and waited a few minutes until he heard the front door slam. Dudley came into the kitchen, went into the fridge took out a beer and sat down next to Harry.
"I know she is a total flake but she is a good lay and her family owns Grunnings."
Harry did not say anything but smiled, he never imagined he and Dudley would be sitting talking like old friends but here they were.
"So what does the all powerful wizard need my help with?" Dudley asked leaning back.
"I would need to start at the beginning and it's a pretty long story" Harry said with a sigh and got up and washed his cup.
"Well as I said mom and dad are not here for another four days."
"Well, it all started with a visit to Gringotts..." For the next hour Harry told Dudley about finding out about his fiancée's betrayal and about Dumbledore and his schemes, the plots to control him, about the Heirs of Hogwarts, his being Lord Potter Black, he told him about Severus and his bond with him, and about his apprenticeship, he even told him about the orphanages and werewolf facility and he told him all about Flamel and Seth. Finally he told him about the prophecies and the trip to the Le Fey vault and about Excalibur.
When Harry was finished Dudley looked at him for a few minutes without speaking as if collecting his thoughts.
"So you need a champion and you thought of me?"
"Yeah, you are a champion, a muggle champion; I saw a lot of trophies outside besides I know how well you can fight" Harry said with a smirk.
"Harry you are not talking about a barroom brawl, you are talking about war and the sword Excalibur, like King Arthur and Merlin and shit... I am no freaking King Arthur" Dudley got up and started pacing the floor.
"Listen, just come with me to the bank and we can try it; if you pull the sword, you are my champion, if not well you would just get to spend a wonderful evening with me."
Dudley smirked but then got serious and sat back down. "I am not afraid I wouldn't be your champion Harry, I am afraid I would be... I am not like you; you are the bravest person I know. I could never have survived the way you did... Boxing in a ring with an opponent is one thing; I don't like the idea of going to war and battling six hundred year old wizards and possibly an immortal bastard who loves chaos."
"I don't like it either Duds but I can't let this evil continue. I can't have another child suffer the way I did because some of my kind decided they wanted to play with us lesser mortals like some game. I am going to stop them and I want someone at my back who would fight with me. I was hoping that person would be you."
"I didn't say I wouldn't do it. I've always wanted to see the wizarding world" Dudley got up and walked out the kitchen. Harry sighed, he threw Dudley's beer can away and followed him.
Dudley changed his T-Shirt, grabbed his jacket and his car keys and then said "You really a multi-millionaire?"
"Good, you're buying dinner I am starving."
Dudley couldn't stop staring at everything, this place was amazing, he saw people in robes and there were stores that sold brooms and cauldrons. He laughed; this was like a fairy tale. Harry watched him and laughed, he remembered how he had been on his first visit with Hagrid.
"Dudley I would like to warn you the bank is run by goblins and they are not exactly what you would have seen in your bedtime story book."
"The creature that appeared that time when your Headmaster came, was that a goblin?" Dudley asked looking at Harry for a moment.
"You mean Kreacher, no he is an elf."
"You mean like Santa Claus little helpers... well hello I won't mine her in my stocking..." Dudley was now openly gaping at a beautiful black haired witch who was passing them.
"God Dudley you are such a pig."
"Hey because you have your bloke, doesn't mean us free lads can't have some fun now can it?" Dudley said and gave another passing witch a wink.
Harry shook his head "What about your girlfriend Abigail?"
"Yeah well I want to keep my options opened, besides..." he had now taken off his jacket and was walking backward as his eyes followed a blond haired witch "... I think I like the wizarding world and may want to hmmm sample the magic" Dudley said as he turned back and looked at Harry's face and laughed.
"Did I say pig, I meant...
"Come on Harry why should I deny some beautiful witch this piece of manliness" Dudley raised his right arm and flexed his muscles; they heard a few witches gasp and then giggle when Dudley flashed them a smile.
Harry shook his head and laughed "Dudley, you are going to give me a bad name, thank Merlin I am already married."
"Am I going to meet him, your partner, husband, your Sev?" Dudley said.
"Yes, he is in a magical coma but I expect that he will wake in a day or two?" Harry said and Dudley nodded.
Harry took out a picture that he had of Severus taken at the Potions Conference.
"He looks ... umm dreamy" Dudley was surprisingly not sarcastic.
"Yeah he is actually" Harry said and laughed.
They reached the steps of the bank and after Dudley stopped for a second and took a breath they walked in. Dudley was surprised to see the small pointed eared sharp tooth looking creatures that were behind the desks, but he felt a strange comfort as he remembered Harry saying that he counted some of these creatures as his closest friends.
His next surprise was to see that most of the goblins and some of the people bowed to Harry as they passed, it was then he remembered that Harry was a Lord in this world.
Magnus and Grobrick came up to him "Hello Harry, I assume this is the champion you told Chief Watson about?"
"Yes, Magnus, Grobrick, this is my cousin Dudley Dursley; Dudley these are my account managers and good friends" Harry said as he introduced them.
The two goblins bowed to Dudley who didn't know what to do so he gave a brief nod.
"Dudley is a muggle champion in Boxing which is a muggle fighting sport" Harry explained to the two goblins.
"Yes, we have heard of his achievements, several of the muggleborn follow the sport and often bet on fights. Your last fight in Paris made Christopher Smith a fortune and Peter Winter hasn't bet on anyone but you since your debut in the juniors, he was drunk for two days after your fight last Christmas" Grobrick said with a smile that would have made Dudley cringe if he wasn't so happy.
"Yes and Hayden Taylor who now runs Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour has a flavour named Boxer D, he too is a fan but does not gamble" Magnus informed them.
"Really? Let me guess its taste like pink bubblegum" Harry said laughing.
"Oye you just jealous" Dudley punched Harry in the arm and several people gasped and Dudley saw the goblin guards step forward but Magnus waved them off as Harry laughed (but rubbed his arm).
"Actually it is similar to what you call Chocolate Ripple" Grobrick told them.
"See Harry its respectable and it's my favourite" Dudley said.
"Yes it is Dudley" Harry put his hand on his cousin's shoulder.
"Now to business, Magus we will be going straight down to the vault" Harry said still rubbing his arm.
"You continue to surprised us Harry, when the record showed the vault opened I think Fireforge had a heart attack. He went to his office. Then you ran out talking about your champion. Ragnog came down with his usual entourage to greet you and was upset that you left before he could give his fanfare" Magnus said as they moved towards the hallway with the carts to the vaults. As earlier, everyone moved out of the way when they saw Magnus arrive with Harry.
Dudley really was surprised at seeing everyone's reaction to his cousin.
They were getting ready to enter the cart Ragnog the Head of the Bank came hustling in with his three senior executives and bowed low to Harry whose magic immediately flared.
"Lord Potter Black, firstly I would like to congratulate you in being the champion of..."
Harry's voice grew cold and powerful and Dudley looked at him in shock "Ragnog please I don't have whole day."
The goblin looked nervous and bowed his head "...my humblest apologise, my lord there seems to be a misunderstanding on your part."
Harry looked at him coldly "I am not aware of any misunderstandings Ragnog, enlighten me."
"Your guest my Lord, he is a muggle and is not allowed in the vaults my Lord, he is also not named in the estate listing" Ragnog said his head still bowed.
"I insist that he accompanies me, he will be in my charge, no harm will come to him" Harry said and gestured for Dudley to enter the carts.
"My Lord you don't under..."
"Ragnog I perfectly understand my rights and I will not speak with you further on the matter. Now if you will excuse me, we have business to attend" Harry walked with dignity and sat down in the cart.
The other senior executives gasped when they saw Magnus getting in the cart and Harry gestured for Magnus to put in the coordinates for the Le Fey vault.
"Lord Potter Black I...
Harry glared at him and the goblin in black and gold stepped back and said in a small voice "...I wish you a good day my Lord."
Harry nodded and indicated for Magnus to start the cart.
"Wow, Harry you have really changed" Dudley said as he looked at his cousin.
"I had to" Harry said with a sigh "Those goblins are the worst of their kind, greedy, unethical and self-righteous. They are a disgrace to their race."
Dudley looked at Harry again and did not say anything else for the rest of the trip.
When they arrived down to the vault, Dudley walked beside Harry and while he was nervous he knew that Harry would not lead him to danger.
Harry bowed to the statue and Dudley followed suit.
"My lady I have brought my champion" Harry said and he heard the statue open her eyes.
She addressed Dudley "Are you champion prepared to bear the burden of the treasure within, to wield it with honour and goodness and protect the noble heirs of the druid's tree?"
"I don't know about any tree but I will fight with Harry, he asked for my help and as long as I could I will help him. I am no hero, Harry is. He has gotten bigger and finally learned to stand up for himself, but he still is kinda wimpy looking and he needs me. So I am prepared to take your treasure if it will help me protect him" Dudley said.
The statue was quiet for a minute but then smiled "Well champion, let's see if the treasure will have you. It is a path you must walk alone."
Harry stepped back.
The vault door opened and Dudley walked in. He gasped when he saw the sword.
"Well shit, this is so a dream, Dudley wake up" Dudley said giving his face a slap.
He walked around the sword and looked for a place to work. He rubbed his hands together and bent his knees, he took a deep breath and taking a good grip he tried to yank up the sword but it did not budge.
He flexed his muscles and tried again and yet again it did not budge.
"Harry is going to be so disappointed" he whispered. He suddenly thought of his wimpy cousin running in the school yard from bullies (okay so he was the biggest bully); he heard Harry screaming at night from all the nightmares he suffered that the wizard Dedalus told him were real; he remembered the cold demented things that attacked his soul and Harry risking all he held dear to protect him. He remembered what Dedalus had told him about the dark wizards and how everyone was depending on Harry to save them.
Dudley looked at the sword "Listen sword, I know I am no King Arthur, but Harry is the best wizard alive and he needs my help and he has never asked for anything before and I am not going to let him down. So you are coming with me." Dudley tried to lift the sword again and it still did not budge.
"Please, I can't save Harry without you" Dudley said softly and this time it took no effort and the sword slipped out of the rock, as if it were stuck in a loaf of bread.
"Thank you" Dudley said with a smile and walked out of the vault.
Harry smiled broadly at the sight of his cousin with the sword.
Dudley turned to Morgan Le Fey "It seems as if your treasure chose me but it is very temperamental."
She smiled "Yes it is, listen to it and it will serve you well."
Dudley smiled and started swinging the sword around and then to Harry's humiliation he dropped it. Dudley quickly picked it up and wiped it against his jeans.
Harry sighed and looked at the statue who was closing the vault "Arthur Pendragon he is not."
The statue laughed "No Arthur he is not. He is Dudley and don't you forget it. He is your champion, not Merlin's. He is not destined for a kingdom, but he is destined for greatness. Fair thee well Lord Gryffindor. Fair thee well Champion" she called out and Dudley came running back.
"Thank you my lady for your treasure" Harry said and bowed.
"Yeah thanks" Dudley said and bowed stiffly.
Harry grabbed Dudley by the arm and pushed him in the direction of the cart "Come on Champion."
"What? I did the same thing you did..." Dudley said accusingly.
"You dropped the sword, how could you drop the sword? That is like the greatest sword ever and you dropped it" Harry softly rebuked.
"Yeah so tell me oh great wizard do you know how to fight with this thing?" Dudley said sarcastically.
"Cool, so you are going to teach me right?"
"No! Why not?"
"I can't teach you."
"Why not? Come on Harry you have got to teach me" Dudley whined.
Morgan Le Fey listened to the two as they left her sacred hall and smiled "You two would never imagine how much like Arthur and Merlin you guys really are. Heaven help us."
When they reached the surface, Magnus quickly took them to his office, where Grobrick and Fireforge were waiting.
Fireforge was looking at the parchment in front of him and looked at Harry almost in frustration.
"You know you broke the rules again" Fireforge said.
"She asked for him, I had to go get him" Harry said with a smirk "Fireforge this is my cousin and my champion Dudley Dursley."
"Please to meet you Mr. Dursley, I am Harry's estate manager and overall get him out of trouble every time he screws with the head of the bank guy" Fireforge said.
Dudley laughed "Pleased to meet you Mr. Fireforge."
"Its just Fireforge, Mr. Dursley."
"Well then its just Dudley."
"He is definitely your cousin, come let's see this treasure of yours" Fireforge said.
Dudley raised up the sword and the goblins looked at it and then up at Harry and then Dudley.
"That is..." Fireforge started in shock.
"Excalibur" Dudley said with a smile.
Magnus fainted and Grobrick looked pale but moved to revive his friend.
"Harry do you have your invisibility cloak? I think you should use it" Fireforge said not waiting for an answer.
"You have an invisibility cloak? That is so cool" Dudley said, thinking of the girls' locker room at his college.
Harry slapped Dudley upside his head "Focus"
"Fireforge do you know if there is a scabbard and belt that we could use for the sword?" Harry asked as he took out his invisibility cloak.
Magnus who had been revived said "There are a few in the Black and Potter vaults, but I would advise getting one made."
There was a knock on the door and Harry threw the cloak over the sword now lying on the desk.
Ragnog entered with the goblin Prince Felkin and Lord Giznat. Harry bowed to the goblins who entered, so did the other three goblins. Dudley realising these were no ordinary goblins bowed as well.
Lord Giznat looked at Harry and then Dudley "Lord Potter Black it is a pleasure to meet you once more, I am sure you are satisfied with the aid Hogwarts has received?"
"I am satisfied Lord Giznat, the goblins did such a fantastic job that we hired them to do further work and as I am sure you are well aware Hogwarts pays handsomely."
"I want it" the impatient Prince said.
"I am sorry Prince Felkin, but you want what?" Harry said calmly.
"Whatever you took from the vault, it is ours" Prince Felkin said angrily.
Harry saw Brian and Alex enter the room.
"Prince Felkin, Lord Giznat, good evening. I am sure that Lord Potter Black and your good selves are having a pleasant meeting" Brian said as he sat down next to Magnus.
"He has stolen an ancient goblin treasure; we are here to claim it" Prince Felkin said ignoring the look Giznat was giving him.
"I am sorry your highness but the only vault I entered today is one that belongs to my estate, I am sure if you check the bank's records it will verify that fact and anything that was taken today was for my cousin" Harry said.
"What was in that vault belongs to the goblin nation, I want it" the young prince screamed.
"Well I am sure that if that is the case then your father will be all too happy to have discussions with me" Harry said.
"Prince Felkin, to accuse a High Lord of theft is a serious charge but since you are Prince of your nation, I would not like war to break out between our two nations over what I am sure is a misunderstanding. If you will describe this treasure, I assure you that we will make every effort to search for it" Brian said and they all saw the Prince squirm and then walked out.
Lord Giznat gave Harry a stern glare and whispered something in gobbledegook and walked out.
Ragnog turned to leave and Harry said "That was your last chance Ragnog."
The goblin froze and looked at Harry with a scared look and then left.
When they left Magnus warded the room.
Brian looked at Harry "You want to tell me what that was all about?"
"Brian, Alex, I want you to meet my cousin Dudley, he is my champion" Harry said sitting down with a sigh and took the glass of wine Grobrick offered.
Dudley shook the men's hands.
"So Harry I am assuming from the Prince's tirade you opened the vault?" Alex said excitingly.
"She opened it for me but told me the treasure was not for me but for my champion" Harry informed them.
"So you went and got Dudley" Brian said.
"Yes, but Ragnog started saying something about how Dudley was not allowed down in the vaults because he is muggle and was not named on the estate."
"He would not have been if he is a muggle. Muggles can't own a Gringotts vault" Fireforge explained.
"You took Dudley down anyway?" Brian asked.
"Yes, he had to get the treasure, Morgan Le Fey said it was for him, I had to bring him to her" Harry answered.
"So what is this treasure?"
Harry withdrew the invisibility cloak.
"A sword?" Brian asked confused.
Harry saw Alex look at it and gasp. He reached over and looked at it lovingly not daring to touch it and then gave a bow to Dudley.
Alex smiled "Well if I had known before, we could have settled the matter easily. This sword was not made by goblins; it was made by high elves."
"It does not look like an elven sword, not any I know" Brian said looking at it closer.
"Brian that is Excalibur" Alex said with a smirk.
"You shitting me?" the normally well spoken Brian said looking at Alex who shook his head.
Brian looked at Harry and then Dudley and he sat back "You know Harry, life certainly has not been boring since I met you. Dudley welcome to the team."
"Thanks, I think" Dudley picked up the sword and looked at Harry questioningly.
"We need to get the sword out of here without it being noticed" Harry pondered and then said "Magnus do you by any chance have a mokeskin pouch?"
The goblin's eyes lit up "Actually Harry you have one in the Potter vault."
"I am sure Giznat's spies are waiting and monitoring and will question all of your withdrawals from your vault" Alex said.
Fireforge considered "Harry how about we take a pouch of gold out and I am sure your aunt will love an antique chair or desk or vase."
"Hey, yeah a vase could be good, Mom has this charity thing next week and she is looking for things to auction. That's why they went to Aunt Marge, to get her to donate one of her porcelain dogs" Dudley told them.
Harry smiled and nodded. Ten minutes later Grobrick came with a pouch of gold and a large (non magical) vase floating behind him and hidden in his pocket the mokeskin pouch. Harry explained to Dudley that the pouch could only be opened by him and could not be stolen or accidently ripped.
Harry shrank the vase and put it in his pocket. Harry waved his hand over the pouch and keyed it to Dudley. Harry told Dudley to put the sword in. Harry was surprised to hear Dudley talking to the sword explaining what he was going to do. The bag seemed to swallow the sword and yet remain the same size. Harry also gave Dudley the money pouch and told him to put it in.
"Harry I don't want your money, I have my own" Dudley said refusing the money pouch.
"This is wizard money for you to use in the magical world take it" Harry said.
"Well I will take it but I will pay you for it" Dudley said and took out his wallet turned to the goblin "How much is in here?"
"I put 500 galleons in that pouch. The exchange rate is 10 to 1. So it is equivalent to 5,000 pounds" Grobrick said.
Dudley looked at Harry who shrugged. He put back his wallet and took out a chequebook and wrote Harry a cheque. He handed the cheque to Harry who refused it but Fireforge took it.
"Good, so now little cousin, were can we get some food?"
They left Gringotts without incident but as they headed to Fireforge's office a young boy looking like he was about eight bumped into Dudley. The incident seemed innocent until Dudley reached over and grabbed the little boy by the scruff of his neck.
"Whatever you took give it back to me" Dudley demanded.
"Get your hands off of me, help Aurors help" the whelp shouted.
Brian stepped forward and the Aurors on the street backed off when they saw him.
"It's the oldest trick in the book, he's a pickpocket" Dudley said with a sneer "Now what did you take?"
Harry stepped forward and waved his hand and Dudley's wallet and car keys came from the boy's inner pocket.
Brian called one of aurors who came to take the boy away.
"Please, please don't send me to Azkaban, the goblins, they asked me to get what you had, paid me a galleon, please" the boy confessed.
"Yeah well the speed at which you did it, suggests that this was not your first time" Brian said seriously and passed the boy to the auror.
A crowd of people had gathered and clapped as the boy was taken away. Then they heard someone shout "You're Boxer D".
They turned and saw a family of muggleborns.
For the next hour, Dudley signed autographs, got multiple kisses, was treated to dinner and beers at the Leaky Cauldron and got free ice-cream from Fortescue's. There were also five other pickpocket attempts on both Harry and Dudley but each time the perpetrator was caught.
Harry, Alex and Brian sat back at one of the tables and watched the various muggleborn wizards discussed one of Dudley's last fights with him by the bar.
Harry shook his head he had always stayed away from the limelight but Dudley revelled in it.
"Was he always like that as a child?" Alex asked seeing Dudley taking another proffered beer from a patron of the Leaky Cauldron.
"Like this, with tons of people hanging around him, yeah I guess so; but to me he was a big bully. He and his gang use to beat up all the little children in the neighbourhood and in school he would take away their lunches. I don't think I ever ate lunch in primary school. They had a game called Harry hunting, where they would hunt me until they caught me and beat me to a pulp."
"Well that explains why he knew about the pickpocket" Alex said with a laugh.
"And your aunt and uncle never stopped him?" Brian said with a frown.
"No they encouraged him, rewarded him as a matter of fact. But because of him, I learnt to always be always on my guard and how to run really fast and how to survive using my wits. After living with Dudley none of the Slytherins taunts or bullying attempts worked on me."
"If he was such a mean prat, why do you want him around, I would have thought you would never want to see him again?" Alex asked.
"Because he changed. The summer before my fifth year, we were attacked by Dementors and one of them tried to kiss him, well I should say started to kiss him before my patronus drove them away. After then Dudley changed. He cleaned his life around, he no longer bullied others, he left his little gang, he concentrated on his school work, devoted his free time to his boxing and became a much better person. The year I turned seventeen, the Dursleys went into hiding from the wizarding world and were given a wizard guard; that guard told me that Dudley constantly asked for news about me. Dudley wrote me a few times last year and told me about what was going on with himself; he even sent me tickets to his fights. If I wasn't convinced by Ginny not to go, I might have gone. He really has changed."
"Being in contact with a dementor actually changed someone's life for the better" Brian stated and Harry nodded.
"I think he saw what he was really like and didn't like what he saw" Harry said watching his laughing cousin at the bar.
Around the fifth round of beers, Harry was shocked to see Ogden come into the Bar. The house-elf whispered to Harry and then bowed and left. Harry spoke briefly to Alex and Brian who nodded and left.
Harry pulled Dudley away from the little crowd and it was only when he gave the encroaching wizards a stern glare did they back off. He then took Dudley back to Diagon Alley and to Fireforge's office. Fireforge gave Dudley the Egyptian Eye and a sobering potion.
Harry then re-transfigured his clothes into his formal robes. Dudley looked at him in astonishment, he had never seen anyone look so regal before and suddenly felt common.
Harry looked at Dudley and smiled "I know it takes some getting used to. I want you to come with me to Hogwarts; I have urgent business there now. We will apparate to the school. That is, we are going to be transported there using magic. We will in essence disappear from here and travel thousands of miles in a second; it is not painful but feels strange, like you are squeezing through a tire."
"Like taking a wormhole to another dimension?" Dudley asked and Harry laughed remembering all the sci-fi TV shows Dudley loved.
"Yeah something like that" Harry answered "Come I need to hold on to you" and he moved forward to hold on to Dudley.
"Hey none of that funny business... " Dudley said joking. Harry felt a bit of fear from Dudley but he also felt strong admiration, respect and caring from his cousin.
"Yeah, you're not my type, I don't like PIG" Harry said with a grin and grabbed Dudley's arm firmly.
"Yeah, well you're still a Freak."
Harry shook his head only Dudley could take such a hated word and turn it into a term of endearment.
They apparated straight to the Hogwarts entrance hall. Harry had originally planned to bring Dudley via the lake so he could get the first year view of Hogwarts. But Ogden told him that it was urgent, he would have to do the tour later.
On arriving in the entrance hall they were met by Ogden who directed them to a room next to the Great Hall. Harry did not show his surprise when he found the previously abandoned classroom, to be a cosy room, with a roaring fireplace and comfortable chairs. It looked very much like Harry's living room; it even had a large frame above the fireplace, which contained the four founders.
Harry walked in the room to see Minerva, Neville, Augusta, the three Heads of Houses (Severus being absent) and Stefan Bohus waiting with a small group of High Elves.
Neville was in his formal Black and Gold Hufflepuff robes and held his staff in his hand. Minerva was also dressed formally and only she and Neville were speaking to the elves. All of the others professors looked a mixture of fear and awe.
Harry recognised Jarak Inatar at once and immediately realised that the elves who were with him were obviously royal. One was an elf of indeterminable age as he had streaks of grey in his hair; something Harry did not think was ever possible as elves lived hundreds of years and aged so slowly it was as if they did not age at all. It was this elf that Harry bowed low to.
Jarak immediately introduced them "My Lord Noldoran, High King of Elves, I would like to present, Lord Harry Potter Black Gryffindor, High Lord of Wizards."
"My Lord Gryffindor, it is a pleasure to meet you."
Harry stood up "It is my honour your Majesty. It is indeed a great privilege for Hogwarts to have you here."
After a few formal pleasantries elf king stated "Lord Gryffindor, Jarak has shown me your memories and I would like to assure you, that I have no ill feelings towards you or your partner about my son's death nor that of his children."
Harry was shocked and inwardly was glad he heard this now rather than before or he would have been really worried about the prospect of war against the Elves. He saw the King smile.
"Indeed I would like to thank you, I could not imagine the suffering and torment that you released them from. My wife and I are also relieved to know of their fate, the centuries of not knowing was torture. My daughter in law is also now free to openly morn her husband's and children's death. She sends her thanks for your mercy to them."
Harry said nothing but bowed his head a bit in reverence for the fallen. He did notice however an elf in silver and gold robes whisper in the Kings ear.
Both the other elf and the King looked at Dudley in surprise.
Dudley had very quietly moved over to the side, obviously this was far beyond anything he had ever dreamed of. This was so out of his league. He had even more deep admiration for his cousin who looked at ease with all of this.
Lord Noldoran looked at Harry "Lord Gryffindor, the young muggle, who is he?"
Harry gestured for Dudley to step forward "My Lord Noldoran, this is my cousin Dudley Dursley."
Dudley gave a shaky bow.
The elf in silver and gold spoke up "You are the champion of Le Fey?"
Harry, Dudley and the entire Hogwarts group gasped at this announcement, for different reasons.
"How did you know?" Harry asked.
"I am Feanor of Noldor, the sword's signature is very unique and I know its hum anywhere" the elf in silver and gold said.
Dudley reached into the pouch that Harry had given him and pulled out Excalibur. It glowed with a strong beam of pure light.
Most of the wizards bowed their heads at the sight of the sword.
"Harry you have found your champion" Neville said with a smile and Harry nodded.
"A champion who will fight at your right hand" Feanor stated and then asked "and who fights on your left?"
"I do" a strong baritone voice came in from behind.
Harry had to show his greatest strength not to run up and embrace his husband.
Entering the room in magnificent dark emerald green and silver robes was Severus. Harry noticed the Prince crest on the robes as well as the silver snake that surrounded the crest. Severus looked much younger than before and his nose was no longer broken and crooked, his skin glowed with a faint hue and his hair looked soft and silky and with the silver streak in his hair; he looked magnificent.
Severus genuflected on his right knee and bowed to the Elf King and stated "Greetings your Majesty, I am Severus Snape of the house of Prince and consort of Lord Gryffindor. It is my greatest honour to be in your presence."
"Rise Master Snape. It seems Lord Gryffindor that you have quite a powerful team " Lord Noldoran said looking at Severus, Dudley and Neville.
"I trust them with my life, your Majesty" Harry said and out of the corner of his eye he saw Dudley looking at him.
"And I foresee that you will have to. You will have the aid of the Elves in your upcoming battles, Lord Gryffindor."
"I thank you Lord Noldoran. I must advise you that the Goblin Prince Felkin has issued claims to the sword as a Goblin Artifact."
Several of the Elves frowned and Feanor said something in elvish which sounded nasty, Lord Noldoran put up his hand "I will visit King Ragnuk and settle the matter. In the mean while, if it would please you Lord Gryffindor, I offer you the services of Feanor of Noldor and Jarak Inatar of Elessar."
"We humbly thank you, their aid will be appreciated" Harry said with a bow.
After some pleasantries to Harry, Neville and Minerva, the Elven King left with the other elves, leaving the two whose services he pledged.
To everyone's (except Harry) shock Jarak then shimmered and turned back into Master Jin. He explained who he was to Minerva and apologised for his disguise. Minerva of course understood. Feanor was formally introduced to Minerva who officially issued an invitation for him to stay at Hogwarts.
Harry introduced Dudley to everyone but first to Severus.
Dudley looked overwhelmed (the talking portaits had really freaked him out) and Harry sighed and gave him an understanding look.
Dudley turned to Harry and whispered "Harry are you sure about this, I am not a warrior, I don't know how to fight with this sword."
"The sword chose you Dudley, I have every faith in you and don't worry we will help you, I will be at your side" Harry said.
The elf Feanor then turned to Dudley and said "Don't worry Dudley Le Fey, I will build your armour."
"And I will teach you, Apprentice Le Fey" Jarak Inatar said and Dudley heard everyone gasp.
After settling Dudley in one of his guest bedrooms Harry quickly walked over to his husband and held him in an embrace and then kissed him with a kiss that seemed to go on for hours.
"[Husssband I have missssed you.]"
"[And I you but throughout my trialsss I felt your presssence near and your wordsss comforted me and helped me.]"
"[The children all missssed you asss well.]"
"[Yesss Hogwartsss told me, I think I have totally lossst my mossst feared professssor title.]"
"[Ssso your cousssin Dudley isss your champion?]"
"[Yeah, no one isss asss ssshocked asss I am but I am even more ssshocked that Jarak isss taking him asss an apprentice, he never took one before.]"
"[Well non-humansss are not allowed to take wizarding apprenticesss but Dudley isss not a wizard, ssso he doesss not fall under that law. Besssidesss asss the champion of Le Fey the elvesss would know of Dudley'sss potential.]"
"[We are planning to attack Flamel'sss island in a few daysss there isss ssso much to do till then.]"
"[Well then for now Harry take me to bed, I need you ssso badly.]"
Harry grinned and pulled Severus to their bedroom but stopped when he saw the dark robed spectre of Death come into his apartment. Severus felt the cold eerie feel of death approaching, while he could not see or hear him, he was able to recognise his presence.
"Is there trouble here in the castle?" Harry asked still holding Severus' hand and sending a pulsing surge of comforting magic to his husband.
"Not in the castle, there is a centaur mare who is having difficulty in labour, she will not survive."
"And the foal?"
"Foals, she is having twins, they may or may not survive, it is still undetermined. It depends on whether the mare gets assistance" Death gave Harry a knowing look.
Harry immediately sent a message through Hogwarts to get Neville and Hagrid to go to the centaur herd with a brief explanation to try and save the foals. A few seconds later she relayed the message that Neville was on his way.
Death smiled and continued "The foals are no longer on my list. But that is not why I am here. I am here to give you and your husband your wedding gift."
Harry smiled and told Severus that Death was here to give them a wedding present. Severus was very uncomfortable but smiled politely and sent his thanks.
Death laughed and then said "I have a busy night but will be back in half an hour, so you only have half an hour."
Harry laughed and said "okay" still confused about what Death meant.
A portal opened and to both Harry's and Severus' surprise, Misty came out.