Harry Potter and the World Beneath
By: Tellemicus Sundance
Chapter 16—Bill Takes Control
27 November 1994
The first thing she became aware of was the familiar scent of a potent acidic vapor of the jungle. But unlike when they first arrived, it wasn't a nearly-choking experience to breathe. It was just…bearable now. The next thing she felt was a faint throbbing ache from all over her body, as though she'd just sprinted a mile and her body was only just beginning to recover. Then, after several long moments, she finally regained enough consciousness to open her eyes and stare blearily up at the ceiling of her tent.
Staring up at the ceiling for several long moments, her memory replayed what few, vague images she could remember from earlier in the day. Having a meal while writing in her diary…preparing to head out for her egg…and a sudden pain in her chest and body… What had happened to her?
Her arms shook from the effort it took her just to push herself up into a sitting position. Looking around her tent's bedroom, she saw a cup of water that had been set upon the bedside table. The sight of the life-giving liquid immediately brought to her attention the dryness of her mouth and throat, thus she wasted no time in snatching it up and drinking it quickly. The cool feel of water sloshing in her dry mouth and down her throat was a welcomed respite and earned a deep sigh of relief.
Taking her wand, which was also resting on the table, she carefully pushed herself off the bed and onto her feet. It took a moment on shaking, weak legs, but she was finally able to stand. Carefully working her way outside, she leaned onto the railing of the balcony, looking out and around. The sun was clearly past its zenith and was beginning its descent as dusk began to set in. The noises of the jungle were beginning to die down slightly, but the humid winds were as potent as they always were.
There was a low snort off to the side nearby that caught Fleur's attention. Glancing over, she let out an involuntary yelp of surprise as she jumped back at the sight of the Allosaurus mother clinging to the bark of the fruit tree, staring at her with a critical gaze. The dinosaur quickly unlatched itself from the bark and landed surprisingly lightly on the protruding balcony, causing on the slightest of tremors to shake it. Fleur immediately began moving as far away from the terrifying animal as her weakened body could allow her. The Allosaurus just moved forward at an unhurried pace, it's large nostrils moving as it took slow, deep sniffs of her.
"Partez, Allie!" [Leave, Allie!] she yelped out, fear evident in her voice. As much as she understood how much Harry held her dear to his heart, that didn't mean that the dinosaur saw her (or him) as anything other than a potential meal to be eaten her leisure. "Laissez-moi la paix! Je ne suis pas votre dîner!" [Leave me alone! I am not your dinner!]
"Oi, Fleur! You're awake already?" a loud voice called from below her. Though she recognized it as Charlie, she didn't turn her attention from the large creature that was bearing down on her. "Don't worry about her! She's just trying to see how dangerous you are to her babies while Harry's gone."
"Cela ne me fait pas sentez-vous un peu mieux!" [It does not make me feel a little better!] she snapped at Charlie, momentarily forgetting the slightly dangerous situation she was in and the fact that he couldn't understand French like Bill could.
Allie caught the momentary change in her posture and voice. It reminded her of her little friend when she used to tease and taunt him when they were younger and just starting to understand one another. Even the way the yellow-haired creature quickly turned back to fearful when she remembered where she was reminded her of Harry. This amused the dinosaur and quickly helped her decide that this one probably wasn't any more threatening than the red-haired one who was playing with her babies down below. Still…why not try something fun for old time's sake? And this creature's reaction should be just as amusing as Harry's always were.
With that choice, Allie leaned in close to Fleur and opened her massive maw. Her large tongue shot out and dragged itself over Fleur's face, drenching her in foul-smelling and tasting saliva. Fleur immediately started yelling out in disgust as she tried to clean and dry her face, spitting out the slight amount of dino-spit that had worked its way into her own mouth. Allie let out a deep purr of amusement at the sight, having correctly guessed Fleur's reaction. Satisfied, Allie turned and leapt up and over the balcony, digging her long, strong claws into the tree bark as she slid down the trunk and towards her babies. Even as distracted as she was, Fleur noticed this and, belatedly, wondered if the dinosaur was copying Harry or if Harry had learned how to do that from Allie.
Speaking of which, where was Harry?
As if summoned by her thoughts, a fluid streak of movement bouncing and sliding among the entangled tree roots drew her attention. It rapidly approached the tree, letting out some kind of roared greeting. Coming to a halt upon his favored lookout root, Harry looked over the dinosaur family and the Weasley who was once again 'associating' with the hatchlings. Though Allie gave her friend a welcoming purr, the hatchlings were too distracted by their game with Charlie to notice him.
Turning and spotting Fleur standing by the balcony wall, a splash of happiness crossed over his scarred face. Climbing up the trunk the relatively short distance and hauling himself up onto the balcony wall, he crouched down upon it, watching Fleur with an intense gaze. Most other times when a boy would look at her like that, Fleur knew they were mentally undressing her and letting their perverse teenaged fantasies get the best of them. And while there may have been some of that in his mind presently, she found herself believing that he was just observing how well she'd recovered from her sickness.
Nodding in satisfaction at his inspection, Harry turned and reached into the dinosaur-leather satchel hanging from his shoulder. A glint of gold was her only warning before he unexpectedly withdrew her golden egg and held it out to her. The sight of the egg filled her with so many different emotions and urges that she was momentarily frozen. All because of this egg, she had been injured and her perfect body scarred, found an apparently undiscovered underground world beneath Britain, met and grew to somewhat understand a seemingly-simple jungle boy, was forced to sleep in a filthy hole inside of the tallest tree she'd likely ever see, and was constantly beset by dinosaur attacks, illnesses, obstacles of every shape, size, and form. All for one stupid golden egg.
"Fleurrr," Harry purred out.
His voice broke through the spell of her disbelief and she rushed forward to snatch the egg. She closely examined it for any signs of damage or magical residue that could affect it in some way, but thankfully found none. Of course, there was a curious amount of river mud and slime upon its golden surface, but she paid it no mind.
Looking over at Harry, she couldn't help but utter, "Where did you find this?!" Blinking as she realized that that wasn't entirely appropriate, she gave him a heartfelt smile. "Thank you, Harry."
Harry's face visibly flushed as he awkwardly scratched the back of his neck. He didn't quite understand what she was saying, but he could guess that she was thanking him. For some reason, her showing gratitude towards him made him feel very strange. Pleased, a little lightheaded, a strange sensation rising in his chest, and quite embarrassed, all at the same time. What was wrong with him?
Suddenly, there was a flash of red in the corner of his eye and everything went dark.
Harry Potter – The World Beneath – Harry Potter
Lunging forward quickly, Fleur was able to catch Harry's unconscious body and pull him back onto the balcony before he could topple over the side and likely to his death below. Once he was safely on the floor, she spun around with her wand out, pointing towards where the Stunner had come from. There, standing in the entrance to her tent, was Bill Weasley, his own wand still out and pointed threateningly at the unconscious boy.
"What the bloody hell are you doing?!" Fleur shrieked quite angrily.
"Capturing a criminal," Bill answered in a rather cold voice as he glared down at the boy. "In case you forgot, he brought dinosaurs out of this jungle world, interrupted an international event, stole a very valuable magical artifact, probably injured and killed people during his escape, and then attacked us when we were trying to get the egg back. His guilt is unquestioned and he will stand trial for these crimes now that he's brought the egg back to us!"
Fleur was very, very close to losing her temper. In fact, she could actually feel her hands starting to heat up as flames of fury began to burn in her palms. "Harry may have done all of those things, but we were the ones who provoked him first! He hasn't lived in normal human society for years! How's he supposed to know when he's done something wrong if no one's taken the time to actually teach him?!"
"He is guilty," Bill repeated in a cold and unmoved voice, turning his wand on Fleur as he glare deepened at her defense of him. "He will be tried for his crimes. Now, pack up. We're leaving this filthy jungle now that you've got your precious egg back."
"Hey, guys, what's going on up there?!" Charlie called from down below. "I saw something flash up there!"
Moving past Fleur, but keeping her in his sight, Bill answered, "We got the egg back! Come on, we're leaving!"
"What? Already?" Charlie called out, a pout quite noticeable in his voice. "Can't we stay for a little while longer? I mean, look at these little guys! I think that—"
"We're leaving now!" Bill repeated harshly. The tone of his voice caught his younger brother by surprise. In the end, he complied with Bill's order and quickly flew his broom up to their tent to quickly dismantle and store everything away.
"What is wrong with you?" Fleur demanded, glaring at the Weasley. "You're acting very different than you were before."
"I hate this jungle," Bill growled out. "I will not stay here any longer than I have to. But since getting you back to Hogwarts with your egg is my job, that's what I'm doing."
Despite that answer, Fleur didn't believe one bit. Something had happened to him while she had been sick. And whatever it was had caused some changes in him. Hopefully, they didn't last after they did leave this beautiful jungle.
Seeing that she had calmed down somewhat, Bill moved his wand away from her and quietly cast some spells upon Harry. Naturally, most of the magic seemed to bounce off his clothes, forcing Bill to aim for his exposed skin like his hands, feet, and face. Fleur recognized most of the spells as potent sleep-inducing, body movement impediment, physical and mental disorientation, and an extra three Stunners, all to keep him well and truly unconscious and uncoordinated should he somehow awaken early. Next he bound his feet, knees, hands, and elbows with thick, short chains to further prevent any movement from him. Because his weapons were largely composed of dinosaur bones or leather, Bill had to manually remove and discard these. It was a process that took a surprisingly long time due to simply how many of them there were.
By the time that Bill had removed the final tooth-dagger, Charlie had returned and was hovering outside Fleur's cave. When he saw what Bill was up to, he quickly caught on to his brother's line of thought. "Bill, are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, Harry might not be much older than Ron, but he's way too dangerous to just bring back to Hogwarts!" He might know what Bill was up to, but that didn't mean he agreed with him!
"Then it's a good thing he's not going to Hogwarts," Bill said bluntly as he tied attached one end of a chain upon Harry's feet and the other upon his broomstick. Mounting the broom, he kicked off and lifted Harry with him, though it was a bit of a struggle since Harry was fair deal heavier than Bill and the broom wasn't designed to carry two people. Without waiting for his brother or Fleur, Bill took off flying towards the waterfalls that they'd used to first enter the jungle world.
(Author's Note) I am SO SORRY about the LONG, LONG wait for this chapter! And I equally apologize for the rather short length of this chapter. It's hardly anything to get excited about and it's length is simply pathetic. But I suppose it's better than nothing and it's my first tentative step back towards this story in over a year! Don't know what happened, I just suddenly felt like writing something here and yet I'd all but forgotten what I wanted to do after Bill took control. Hm...
Well, one thing's for certain, you can say 'goodbye' to the World Beneath for a while. The next 10+ chapters are most likely gonna be set in the World Above.
Actually, should I just 'end' this story and start up a new one titled 'World Above' since there's gonna be a lot of stuff happening up there now? Or would it be better to keep it all one story?