Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Final Fantasy.

This chapter is choppy but its where my story is going to take the original storyline and light it on fire.


Squall felt his hackles rise and looked back at the Sorceress without answering Seifer. Something about the way that Seifer had asked his question made him nervous, there shouldn't be a reason for him to pay so much attention to a stranger, he never showed interest in someone or something that didn't fit in to the whole 'romantic dream' of his.

The Sorceress seemed to shake herself slightly before continuing her barrage of ice which Seifer and his two groupies took care of entirely too easy for Squall's peace of mind. "Tell me where he is." Seifer was splitting half of his attention between defending and Squall. "Were you dumb enough to lose track of him or were you smart enough to make sure he was protected before you decided to play the good little puppet?"

Squall dodged an icicle that made it past Fuijin and glared at his eternal annoyance. "Orion decided to go for a walk; he has nothing to do with this."

"In other words you lost him." Seifer seemed equal parts relieved and annoyed. "I don't know whether I'm happy that you didn't drag him into this or pissed that you just let him wander off unprotected."

"Orion is more than capable of protecting himself and he would probably be insulted if we kept him from going anywhere and everywhere that he wants to and he isn't a part of SeeD so we can't tell him what to do." Zell fired back at Seifer as he used them to get a breather. "Why the hell are you so interested in him anyway?"

"That's none of your business kid." Seifer looked back at the Matron and tried to calculate the odds of getting out of this situation in one piece, the odds were crappy. Even if they managed to outlast the Matron's spells there were still several squadrons of soldiers who were even now making their way into the arch to raise the gates. They needed a miracle.

{C}

"Well, looks like things went very wrong, very quickly." Irvine would later deny that the voice behind him caused him to jump in a very unmanly manner. "Is there an escape plan B?"

Irvine whirled around and felt his heart rate even out at the sight of Orion leaning against the chimney of the building he had chosen for his shot. "Unfortunately not sweet thing, they knew what they were getting into and that there wasn't going to be a way out either way. Win, lose or draw they were going to go down in a blaze of glory."

Orion rolled his eyes and sauntered over to the edge of the building. He looked at the archway and seemed to be judging the distance with a calculating eye. "Have you ever been squeezed through a tube the size of a straw and dropped somewhere completely random?" The grin on Orion's face was enough to cause the strongest man to curl up in a ball and cry for his mother. Irvine only had time to whine in the back of his throat before everything went tail up.

Earlier

Rinoa had wanted to prove to everyone that she was able to make a difference; she wasn't just some spoiled little girl that wanted to play the hero. Orion was just a rude little tag along that seemed to make it his life mission to make the others look down on her, but she would make them all see that she was a freedom fighter just like all those stories that she had read. All she had to do was get the Sorceress to wear the bangle and her powers would evaporate and there wouldn't even be a need to fight her.

Getting into the Sorceress' room was a lot easier than she had thought it would be, there were hardly any guards, but with a woman with as much power as the Sorceress, there probably wasn't a need to have all that much other than the door guards that she avoided on the roof. The room was odd, there were tons of sheer curtains hanging everywhere and the only furniture in the room was the chair that the Sorceress was sitting in. She crept forward with the bangle and decided to act like the star struck politician's daughter that just wanted to give her idol a gift. There was no way that this was going to fail and then Orion would have to eat his words.

{C}

Sorceress Edea was just about to send another barrage when the entire archway lit up with a light so bright that she could practically feel her eyes burning as she slammed them shut and hit the floor in case this was some distraction meant to leave her open to attack. By the time that the light cleared and she could open her eyes to look for the ingrates that attacked her; the float was empty and the human inside of her let out a sigh of relief that she quickly stifled. She would find those that had dared to stand up to her and they would pay, just like that little girl would pay further, if of course the little upstarts didn't deal with the 'future threat' she represented.

{C}

My head is going to explode, probably violently and with a lot of collateral damage. I am never going to transfer so many people without physical contact to an unknown location ever again. Next time I think I'll just jump into the middle of the battle, at least my head wouldn't feel like this. Opening my eyes just seemed to make it worse but at least wherever I managed to apparate to fell in the shadow of a mountain. Everything spun for a minute before it settled enough to make sure that everyone made it in one piece.

Squall was already up and about with his normal scowl gracing his face as he looked over for a moment before shaking a grumbling Zell and Selphie. The idiot from the studio was doing the same with a woman with an eye-patch and a male with darker skin than I've seen so far. Irvine was leaning against the tree closest to me with a shit-eating grin on his face as he checked his gun. Quintus was looking out from the little niche that we were all in, probably playing guard. Rinoa was still out like a light and no one was rushing to change that, thank magic for that.

"Ah, the gorgeous savior awakens." Irvine finished his inspection of his gun and tilted his hat up to look me straight in the eye. The others, minus princess, looked over and moved in closer. They all looked like they wanted to make sure that I was okay, thankfully they all maintained a decent distance. I don't think I could handle being manhandled right now. "Squall and Seifer over there fought for about a half hour over who was going to be waking you up sweet thing, luck for you I told them that you were the one that pulled us out of there with your mojo and you needed the shut eye." Both Squall and Seifer looked away from him and each other with a dusting of pink on their cheeks.

"I would thank you, but I don't think you need any encouragement." Irvine just smiled at me and tilted his head up a bit; at least he knows he's full of himself. "Everyone is in one piece I assume?"

They all looked themselves and each other over with Selphie doing a quick check of Rinoa before Zell spoke up. "We're all alive, so I'd consider that a major plus. What kind of spell did you use to teleport us all like that, you weren't even near us and I've never felt anything like that before."

"It wasn't exactly a spell." Here goes nothing. "I used my magic to grab all of you and pull you through space with me, I've never done it without touching the people I was taking with me but it looks like it worked well even though I couldn't see some of you."

Quintus whirled around with wide eyes as Irvine, Selphie, Zell and even Squall looked like they had been smacked with a fish. Seifer and his two groupies were suspiciously calm for people who went to this Garden. Quintus was unfortunately the one that recovered first. "You use raw magic to teleport us here?!"

"I do believe that I just said that." I leaned back slightly and sighed, I could probably sleep for a week. "You would think that the large amount of spells I use that all of you have never heard of would have been a big tip off. For a bunch of Sorceress hunters you are remarkably naïve."

Squall shook his head slightly and managed to pull off a half-smile. "You have us there. At least that explains why you decided to help us out and see if we were a threat."

"Well, self-interest makes for a wonderful motivator even if princess drives me up the wall; she'll probably be twice as irritating now." I could already feel her fledgling power fluttering around her; Edea probably infused just enough of her own power to wake up the little possibility that the princess had hiding away. She certainly knew how to make an already annoying person even more annoying. "She's got a little bit of potential inside of her, she can't be a Sorceress without another one dying but Edea did something to pull a little bit of that magic to the forefront, she'll probably have bursts of uncontrolled power that should serve to make my own power spike." I could feel a migraine settling in at the thought of how hard it would be to deal with a princess that could cast magic at will.

Seifer looked at the others for a moment before focusing back on me with a look that raised the hair on the back of my neck. "You need a Knight to ground you, I could do that for you and then you wouldn't have to worry about spikes and you wouldn't have to follow these kids around as they try to get themselves killed." The look he gave me reminded me heavily of a puppy and his lackey with the darker skin was copying the expression admirably.

"Hey now, we met him first and any one of us could ground his powers." Zell looked flustered as he tried to look intimidating with a small clump of dirt in his hair. "Why are you so interested in being his Knight, don't you want to help Rinoa in her little 'save Timber' mission?"

Seifer looked at Zell like he was a mildly irritating bug. "All of you are going to continue to try to kill the Sorceress in Gabaldia, just like the good little puppets that you are. You couldn't possibly protect Orion at the same time and if any of the Gardens found out that you were harboring a Sorceress they would demand that you turn him over so they could find a way to stifle his powers completely or kill him if they couldn't or they thought that he might try to kill an innocent." Seifer looked at Rinoa with a bit of affection but also a bit of annoyance as well. "Rinoa is someone that the Headmaster met some time ago and we spent a lot of time together, she's naïve and spoiled but her heart is mostly in the right place. I'll admit that trying to help her the way I did was reckless but I was angry that you were the ones that were sent to help her when none of you have a lick of experience when just one experienced SeeD probably could have been twice as helpful. Our training at the Garden was geared toward battles with swords, guns and magic with political warfare as a side course that wasn't even a major part of the graduation process."

"That's the most mature and well thought out response I've ever heard from you." Squall looked mildly surprised. "Did you hit your head that hard?"


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