Harry woke up with a start, and in doing so, woke Rowena up as well. He panicked for a few second at the sight of an unknown location, before the previous days memories came back to him.
He slowly pulled himself up to his feet and worked the kink out of his neck. Rowena took his offered hand and he helped her out of the unfamiliar bed.
"How are you feeling?" Harry asked.
"Well enough," responded Rowena.
Harry looked her in the eye for a few seconds before nodded his head in acceptance. "Alright."
Rowena took her wand and silently cast freshening charms on the both of them before they headed out of the hut to look for Morrigan. They were still in the same clothes as the previous day, but it did not matter in the place they were going to. The other bed looked un-slept in and neither of the other occupants were currently inside.
Harry and Rowena walked outside and spied Morrigan sitting in front of a fire, with her daughter's head lying in her lap. The witch looked quite innocent, but witnessing her mangle several mages yesterday as a jaguar convinced him that she was anything but.
They took a seat across from Morrigan at the fire. Harry was about to ask an intelligent question but was interrupting with the stomach growled in hunger. "Er- ?"
"Help yourselves" Morrigan stated while motioning to a large fruit-bearing tree behind her.
Harry walked over to the odd tree and plucked two fruits off the tree, handing one to Rowena.
The fruit was unlike any had seen before. It was the same color as an apple, but that was as far as the similarities went. It had more of a citrus flavor, but it was definitely unique. Rowena watched him take a second bite and deemed it safe enough for her to eat as well.
Harry was strangely content after the single fruit and no longer hungry. He actually felt quit refreshed. He looked at the husk of the fruit with suspicion. There was more than meets the eyes as it was most certainly a magical fruit.
During their quick breakfast, none of them said a single word to each other. Harry got the distinct impression that Morrigan didn't like him. Or perhaps she just didn't like people in general.
But a promise was a promise, and Morrigan would hold her part of the bargain.
"Are you two lovebirds going to stand there all day, or can we finally leave?"
"What about your daughter?"
"Cliodna will be fine. She has inherited my shapeshifting talents and can take care of herself." She left no room for arguments, and Harry didn't think it worth the time to protest. He wanted to remain on her good side, especially if they were going to fighting together.
Cliodna was now staring up at her mother. "Will you be back for dinner Mother? Shall I make a stew?"
"That would be excellent, Daughter."
Cliodna said no more as she turned into a bird and flew u into the trees above and out of sight.
Harry continued to be amazed at the vastness of the unknown magical world. It seemed like every week he was being surprised by something new.
It seemed like Morrigan wanted to do this right away, and Harry had no real reason to say no. "Okay then girls, gather around and I will apparate us as close to the island as I can. I don't want to be caught unawares."
Rowena grabbed onto his arm, but Morrigan hesitated. "Apparate? What is that?"
Harry, instead of answering, grabbed onto her arm, and they disappeared with a pop. Morrigan actually screamed at the sensation, not expecting the odd feeling of being compressed and the dizzying display of light.
They arrived on the edge of the sea, with Azkaban isle just barely visible in the distance. Morrigan collapsed on the ground, nearly vomiting. She wiped her mouth with her arm before commenting. "That was most… unpleasant. Where are we?"
"We are at the edge of the North Sea. Azkaban is there," Harry pointed. "I tried to get us closer, but there is odd magic in the air, preventing me from going forward. I had not expected that, and I don't have a quick method for crossing this water."
"Broom?" Rowena asked.
Harry shook his head. "It isn't large enough for three people. Those waves do look unpleasant though, and cold."
"I believe I have a solution." Morrigan offered. She walked into the sea before her shape suddenly shifted into that of a large sea turtle.
The Morrigan-turtle turned around and beckoned for them to get on her shell.
Once again, Harry was at a loss for words. When he thought about what he would be doing this week, riding on the back of a shapeshifting turtle-witch was not even close.
Rowena took a seat on the shell, but Harry stood. Morrigan pushed off with her turtle flippers and started swimming towards the isle.
She was swimming faster than what Harry would have imagined, but it was still not that fast. It would surely take a few hours to get there, and Harry just wanted to get it over with.
After casting a silent warming charm on all three of them, he point his elder wand straight out in front of him.
Slowly but surely, the rough seas ahead of them died out into tame waters. The strong wind was now coming from their backs, giving Morrigan a nice boost to their speed.
Minutes passed by, first 5, then 15, then a whole hour. Rowena was humming a tune, enjoying the gentle swell of the sea. Harry remained standing up, using a mixture of all his magical expertise to silently keep the elements at bay. He was just starting to sweat from the constant maintenance of his magic.
Slowly but surely Azkaban started to loom up before them.
It was no longer a cheerful place, but one of gloom and death. The sheer cliff and the rising stone towers above them looked like a monument to the desecration of the former center of knowledge. Bloody banners and tattered flags hung from crumbling ramparts.
The state of the fortress was unnerving. It was in impeccable shape when he had last visited, and he found it baffling that this was caused by water, or even fighting. No, it looked like the fortress was eroded by evil itself.
Morrigan circled the perimeter of the island until she found a suitable landing zone for her wide bulk. She slowly beached herself and Harry immedietly jumped off and offered his hand to Rowena, who took it and carefully climbed off.
Morrigan slowly turned back into her human form, and acted like nothing was wrong. Her labored breath told a different story, but Harry did not want to insult her.
"I will admit that that was the first time I have ever been a turtle."
"And your conclusion?"
"It was… different. I do not fancy being a form of transportation more than necessary. I am not some form of pack mule..."
"I understand." Harry said, raising his hand peacefully to stop her from going into a rant. "It was much appreciated though."
Morrigan simply ignored him and started to walk up the slope to the looming fortress above.
"What is her problem?" Rowena whispered to Harry.
"She does not like being forced into situations beyond her control. A precious book was stolen from her, and she has a debt to pay for being rescued by us. Her personal honor demands no less."
"I suppose her attitude is understandable then…"
They quickly caught up with Morrigan who did not even spare them a second glance. They fell into place behind her as they quickly approached the fortress.
The path they were on was well worn, so it looked as if it at least lead somewhere. Wherever that place was though, it was probably not going to be pleasant.
They rounded a bend and in front of them loomed a set of large metal doors. Harry could see runes carved in them, but he could not recognize them. They didn't even look human.
Harry could feel the evil in the place, and gave an involuntary shiver. You didn't need to know anything about to place to realize that something foul was afoot.
The immortal wizard walked up to the door. He brought his hands up to within inches of the handles. It didn't feel like anything was going to happen to him, so he grabbed hold and pulled.
The right door slowly crept open as Harry exerted himself on the large handle. There were no traps waiting, unless you considered the whole of Azkaban a trap (and Harry did), but he was still in once piece.
Their ears begged for mercy though as the hinges on the door creaked like a banshee. It was so loud that it felt like his joints were popping out. He stopped pulling on the door once there was about two feet for them to walk through.
In front of them lay a large courtyard, or what remained of one. Trees long dead, and stone benches long abandoned. It did not look like anything had been through the large space in years.
Harry reached his magic out felt nothing but ambivalence. It was a confusing emotion, but probably not good in the long run. There was nothing outwardly malicious in the room, so they carefully walked their way through it to another set of doors, this time wooden.
The doors were partially rotting, the magic preserving the place weakening over time. With a silent wave of his wand, the wooden door crumpled inwards with minimal sound. Harry peeked in motioned for the two girls to follow behind him.
The hallway was unlit aside from ambient light coming in through small windows. Harry could make out torches on the walls, and with a little bit of a shamanistic nudge, they ignited to life.
Perhaps it was not the smartest thing, as a side door opened up and three mages in red robes came out. Harry did not hesitate to fire the first spell at the despicable blood mages.
He pointed the elder wand at them and unleashed a basic blasting hex. Rowena and Morrigan had the same thought pattern as well and their own blasting spells soared down the hallway.
The three spells smashed into the first mage, disintegrating him into nothing more than a fine bloody mist.
The remaining combatants took a few seconds to contemplate what they just saw before they started slinging spells back and forth.
Rowena was shooting incendiary bolts at the second blood mage while Morrigan was shooting pulses of pure magic at the third. That left Harry the odd wizard out, but he used their superior numbers to an immediate advantage.
He sent a barrage of stunners, and clipped the first mage in the first few seconds. Stunners were not permanent however, so he followed the successful up with a forceful banisher, sending the mage straight back into the mage behind him, and finally smashing his skull on the stone wall.
The man was still alive, for the moment, but his neck was broken. Harry felt no pity for him as he lit the two fallen blood mages on fire. He did cast a silencing charm so their death screams would not haunt his dreams.
Harry waited silently for a few seconds, trying to hear if there was anyone else approaching. He decided there wasn't, so he walked into the room that the blood mages had come from.
It was a large room. Thick bookshelves lined the wall, with equally thick tomes of knowledge resting on their shelves. The shelves were full of mildew, and the majority of the books his eyes saw seemed to be moldy, and most likely rotten.
The cause was evident. The architects of the time did not know how to cross large open expanses of ceiling with stone, so they used wood. And that wood was now rotting with holes in many spots. One section seemed to be completely caved in. Even with magic, Azkaban was a very large place and needed a lot of monitoring to prevent failure. Being situated on an island in the North Sea, the weather had taken its toll on the place.
One section of the room seemed to have ignored all the degradation though. Several tables were pushed off to a side, and a circle was drawn on the ground.
It was clearly a pentagram, and it was obviously drawn in blood. The mood was set with a pair of tall pewter candlesticks lit with black flames, and a pile of skulls sitting in the middle of the circle.
Morrigan must have had bigger balls than him, because he didn't particular care to pick one up. She picked several of them up, examining them. They all wore identical looks of pain and suffering.
"Monsters," was all she said.
Rowena and Harry both nodded their heads before continuing to the next room.
The only other door in the room was located opposite the previous, door, but unlike the first, this one was locked. Harry tried a basic unlocking charm 'Alohomora,' which failed. He then tried the advanced unlocking charm, 'Reducto,' which did work.
The grouped walked over the remains of the door and into a hallway. Like the rest of the place, the hallway hadn't seen use in years. Thick dust gathered on the ground, and large cobwebs gathered in the corner.
Several skeletons were on the ground as well, looking as if they tried to fight off some adversary and ultimately failing. He also noticed the burn marks around the walls, meaning these guys were burnt to death. Gruesome.
At the end of the hallway stood another door, this one locked as well. Fortunately, it was locked from their side so they opened it up with little trouble.
The next room was a hallway as well, but perpendicular to the one they just came from. There were three doors, one at each end, and one in the middle about 10 feet from their current location.
The door in the middle caught his attention immedietly. It was much larger and fancier than the other doors in the room. There was no lock upon it, and it seemed as sturdy as it would have been upon its first installation.
Needless to say, Harry pushed the door open, and the group arrived once more in a large cloister. An ambulatory was present around the rim, with decorated, but purposeful arches. The stonework in this particular area was very gloomy. Dark grays and blacks made up the majority of it. He reached his magic out and came to a simple conclusion.
It was not natural.
The grass in front of him could hardly be called glass. They blades shimmered like obsidian, and the dirt was as hard as concrete.
"I don't like the feeling of this." Harry stated to Rowena. She nodded her head, and started looking around for any sign of trouble. "Do you know where we are?"
Rowena nodded her head once more. "The main library should be down the hallway that is beyond… that… door."
Harry watched as Rowena's eyes lit up, and he immedietly turned around to see the cause.
Immerging from inside the large set of doors was a massive creature.
Three times as tall as Harry, and infinitely more gruesome and imposing, the demon strolled towards the group.
Atop its head lay a set of vicious horns. Its eyes glowed with demonic fire and its grey lips curled into a sneer. Its arms were massive, rippling with corded muscle. Its chest was similarly muscular too, and Harry had no doubt that it could rip them all in half with ease.
It also had a spiked tail, but that was not the oddest thing about it. Its legs were jointed backwards, and its feet looked like cleft hooves. It wore blackened chest and leg armor, adorned with human skulls.
But none of that is what caught Harry's attention. Not even the massive webbed wings that appeared from its back are what had his focus.
No, it was the massive 15 foot sword that the demon wielded. The blade was otherworldly as it seemed to be sucking all the light out of the sky. Its handle was 4 feet long, large enough for the demon to use both hands on it. The pommel stone was that of a goats face, adorned with gleaming blood red stones.
The mere presence of the demon would have made lesser men crumble beneath it, but Harry did not come all this way for nothing. It was a perversion of nature, and it was his duty to stop it.
The demon stopped about 20 feet from them, its sword hanging loosely by its side. Harry, Rowena, and Morrigan all stood at the ready, wands and staff firmly in their hands, ready to move on a whims notice.
"Greetings, mortals. Welcome to the land of Drûkskûrogoth. Now prepare to die!"
The demon started to raise its massive sword and Harry wasted no time in attacking.
The first spell out of his wand was a silver lance. It was effective against werewolves and vampires, so he figured it might be effective against demons as well.
It smashed into the demon's shoulder and had no effect at all. The three of them separated as they ran away from the demon to gain more room. They formed a vague circle around it and made sure no one else was in the path of their spellfire.
Rowena was using several different kinetic spells, none of seemed to effect the massive demon anymore than a fly would.
Morrigan was favoring a wide variety of frost spells, but the otherworldly creature responded with demonic hellfire.
The demon needed no focus to cast spells, but it didn't seem to be able to do anything other than spew fire all over the place. The fire was similar to bloodfire, in that his shamanistic magic had no control over it.
The demon aimed a fireball at him, and Harry was forced to bring up a shield. No normal shield would work, and neither would a flame freezing charm.
He had to get creative, and that involved the use of nature. The being was unnatural, so it made sense to Harry that nature was the counter to it. Belief was half the battle.
A large disk of ironwood appeared in front of Harry, and the fire washed all around him. He didn't sense another spell, so he turned the shield into a projectile and sent it careening for the demons head.
Harry didn't wait for the demon to deflect it with its sword, which it did, before continuing to find something that it was weak against.
He had to keep moving to stay out of its lunge range. None of his favorites had any major effect on the beast. Blasting and bombardment hexes did nothing more than leave a small black spot where they hit.
It killed his conjured animals and trees with nothing more than brute strength.
He tried the cleaving spell that he used from the day before, but that left nothing more than a thin scratch. He actually deflected the sword slicing hex with its own sword, which was not a good sign.
He knew he had to bring out the big guns. These spells they were all using were too weak. But big, powerful spells always come at a cost. They take a lot of magical power to cast. He did not want to tire himself out before he even found man who summoned this demon.
Harry had to take a few seconds to block another blast of hellfire from the demons hands. Then he watched with horror as the demon suddenly turned around and focused its attention upon Morrigan.
A massive blast erupted from the incendiary creature's hand, hotter and brighter than any he had yet seen. He didn't think Morrigan could block such a thing.
He almost cried in shock when he saw the fire impact her, but when the fire dissipated, a large red dragon stood where Morrigan was previously.
Harry had nearly forgotten that she could do that. Hell, he didn't know she could do that. Turning into a dragon was something he had never heard of in normal circumstances.
And it wasn't like she was a small dragon either. She was of equal height with the 20 foot tall demon.
The Morrigan-dragon seemed to be unaffected by the hellfire, but then again, who had ever heard of a dragon being burned to death?
Morrigan seemed to be quiet angry though, and Harry couldn't blame her. He watched as Morrigan breathed hot flames all over the demon, but he hardly expected that to work either.
The demon merely raised his sword and the fire dissolved around it. The demon then swung at Morrigan, trying to connect with a lethal blow.
Morrigan had to back up, but the cloister they in seemed awfully cramped now with two large creatures combating in it.
The witch of the wilds took to the air, her massive wings shadowing the demons. Se breathed fire down at the demon as she clawed with all 4 of her limbs.
The demon caught her front two with his own bulging arms and they began a contest of strength. Morrigan was forced to the ground in order to give it her fullest.
Morrigan actually used her long neck and bit down onto the demons throat. It looked like she actually got a good hold of it, but couldn't do anything more.
The demon was far more experience though, and none of them saw what came next. Its tail shot out from underneath it, and shredded through Morrigan's right wing.
She gave out a lout shriek of pain, and everyone knew it was over. Harry and Rowena had hesitated to start slinging spells with Morrigan so close, but they had to do something.
The demon threw Morrigan to the ground, and took her wings in his hands. With a sickening crack, they crumpled into a mess of broken bones. Amazingly, the demon lifted the entire dragon up, and threw it into the wall.
Harry was not about to let her die. It was his fault there she was out here anyway, trying to pay off an honor debt.
The demon stalked over to where Morrigan lay slumped at the wall. Harry needed to buy some time for Rowena to grab Morrigan and run.
The Founder had tried various spells on the Demon, to no avail. But she did not have the Elder Wand, was not a shaman, and did not have Harry's raw magical power.
With those thoughts in his mind, Harry concentrated on a spell. He pointed the Elder Wand at the demon and allowed the magic all around him to flow through the wand.
"Depulso eximius!" Harry made a jabbing motion, and the overzealous banishing charm shot out of his wand like a tank round. The spell was invisible, but you could feel and taste the magic being emitted.
The spell had the desired effect. The demon took it straight to the chest and rocketed straight backwards, crashing into the wall. Part of the wall collapsed onto the demon, but it wasn't anywhere near dead.
"Rowena! Take Morrigan and go back the way we came. I will buy you some time."
Rowena hesitated only briefly upon seeing the steadfast determination in Harry's eyes. They both knew Harry was more powerful, and if this demon was going to be defeated, he had to pull out all the stops. He could not afford to hastate because she was nearby.
Rowena ran over to Morrigan, who had reverted back human form. Rowena felt for a pulse and checked her breathing, and was happy to see she was still alive.
Blood trickled from many wounds, and her mouth. Several of her bones were going to be broken, she just didn't have time to figure out which because Big Bad was getting up out of the rubble.
Rowena cast a stabilizing and hovering charm on the beat up girl. She headed for the door as quickly as she could, with Morrigan floating steadily behind her. Once she was through, she closed the door behind her and attempted to heal Morrigan.
When she turned back around, she was surprised to see Morrigan was conscious.
"Don't move! You have several broken bones. I will help."
"In my bag… potion." She rasped out.
Rowena nodded and started digging through the other girl's satchel. There were dozens of vials, but there were no more than 3 or 4 different types. She pulled out one of each and showed them to the girl.
Morrigan pointed at the red one. Rowena picked it up and took a sniff. It smelled like a standard healing potion. It would not mend bones, but it would save her from dying within the next 5 minutes. She carefully poured it down Morrigan's throat.
While the potion was working, Rowena went to work with her own magic. She wouldn't call herself a healer, but she knew more than her fair share of magic. In a castle full of children learning magic with only a handful of adults, all of the founders had to know how to heal.
Rowena started poking various parts of Morrigan's body and muttering spells under her breath.
Liberal use of healing charms followed by bone mending charms was the main course. The healing potion healed most of the superficial cuts and made her deep gashes stop bleeding, but Rowena finished the job up with her magic.
Morrigan's bones and most of her cuts were fixed, but she couldn't fix everything, not in this environment. Internal bleeding, organ damage, muscle damage, nerve damage… those were things that could not be healed with a 5 second charm.
But they were in the middle of hostile territory, and Morrigan needed to be able to fight. Rowena reached into her reservoir of knowledge and picked out a spell that would help.
It was questionable magic at best, but they had no other option.
"Extrico vigoratus." She tapped Morrigan on the head with her wand. Morrigan's wounds healed themselves to serviceable condition, but she would pay the price later when the pain comes back twice as worse and the damage twice as severe. She could very well die, but staying like she was before, she would have been guaranteed to die.
Rowena was panting slightly now from the fight with the demon and from healing Morrigan. She carefully helped Morrigan off the floor and watched as she flexed her fingers in amazement.
"Thanks… for saving me."
"You're welcome. That dragon thing was pretty amazing."
"Not amazing enough." Morrigan reached down into her satchel and brought our two vials filled with blue liquid. She handed one to Rowena.
She drank it without question after she saw Morrigan down hers. It tasted vaguely like a restorative, and she realized she was no longer panting and now felt refreshed.
They shared a view more indecisive words before they were jogging towards the door on the far wall. Rowena trusted Harry to not get himself killed, and Morrigan had no choice but to go along with it.
They hadn't walked 10 feet before the door behind them exploded and Harry bounced off the stone wall, having been hurled by the demon.
Harry slowly picked himself up out of the rubble. He saw them standing there, staring at him with shock on their faces.
"Go!" He shouted. "I'm going to kick this demons ass back to Hell!"
Harry tore off the rest of his battered tunic so now he was shirtless. He picked up his sword that he dropped when he smashed into the wall, and ran back out into the cloister.
Rowena wasted no time in blasting down the door in front of them. They walked about 50 feet before the hallway split into two, and they took the left branch.
Another door lay at the end, and another 'reducto' later, they were in.
Rowena recognized the new room as the atrium to the main library. A desk was off to their left was where visitors had to check in, but the dust on the wood indicated many years of disuse.
Instead of going into the main shelving area of the library, they decided to clear the smaller rooms first. The one on the right side of the desk was slightly open, and light could be seen coming from it.
Morrigan took position to the left of the door, and nodded to Rowena. Rowena kicked the door open, and quickly jumped into the room. Morrigan was in only a second later.
Three robbed mages were sitting at a heavily gnarled desk, eating a small feast. They were not expecting the sudden entrance from the two women.
Morrigan wasted no time in her attack. Her staff whirled faster than anyone could see, and an arc of black lightning shot from the tip of it. The bolt of black magic reeked of evil, and the Rowena gave an involuntary shiver.
The blood mage did not even have time to blink as the bolt of black death smashed into him. He died effortlessly as his body disintegrated into a pile of ash. Morrigan wasted no movement as she spun her staff once more, firing off a ball of blue energy from her staff.
Rowena only blinked at the sight of the disintegration. A similar ball of blue light shot from Rowena's wand, and hit the side of the second mage at the same time as Morrigan's.
The mage had a briefly look of agony on his face as his chest imploded from the blunt raw magic of the witches.
The third blood mage finally had enough time to move. He flipped over the table just as another spell came from Rowena, splashing harmless on his makeshift barricade.
Mr. Blood mage used his temporary momentum to further his barricade. He waved his wand as he twirled around, banished the furnishing hanging on the wall into the pile in front him. He quickly twirled again, banishing the books from another wall at his attackers.
A gout of flame emerged from Morrigan's staff, incinerating the books. However, it took time for them to burn quickly, so Rowena acted quickly in using a blast of wind to knock the books off to the side.
Rowena had to sidestep a beam of blue light, before returning with a fiery lance of orange of her own. A steam of water emerged from her Morrigan's staff, extinguishing the books, and coating the floor underneath the blood mage.
The mage was not to be so easily defeated. He transfigured the floor underneath him, so he was now standing on a 6 inch pedestal above the water. Another sweep of his wand and the overturned table was banished towards the witches.
Morrigan took care of table with a floor to ceiling cleaving spell, and following up quickly with her own banisher. The wood shard rocketed towards the blood mage like a storm of arrows.
The blood mage waved his wand, incanting "suikale," causing a ribbon a pale green light to twist out from his wand, engulfing the wood shards. He combined his wand movements into his next spell, and an oblong ball of brackish looking magic spurted out.
Rowena knew that the longer the fight went on, the higher the chance of failure. She watched as little wavy beams of magic sprouted off the mages spell, igniting small fires where blood had puddled on the ground.
Before the situation could get out of hand, Rowena went in for the kill. She tapped her wand against the wall, chanted "contremisco", which caused the whole wall to shake, and dust to fall from the ceiling. Rowena followed up with a quick, silent, but powerful Reducto at the wall.
Morrigan saw what Rowena was up to, and threw her own demolishing curse at the wall. The spells hit, causing a large explosion of flying stone bricks. The blood mage attempted to shield, but the onslaught of stone was too much, and the bricks bludgeoned him into oblivion. His ribcage caved in first, followed by his skull.
The witches stood still for a few seconds, catching their breath. Morrigan was worse for the wear. Her body was really feeling the pain, and the large amount of magic she put off has put her into a disorientated state. She leaned up against the wall for a minute, until she could finally see straight again.
Morrigan brushed herself off, decided she wasn't in immediate danger of dying, and went over to the fresh bodies. Without hesitation she started picking through their pockets, looking for loot. Rowena simply inspected the room, while curiously watching Morrigan.
A surprised call of "Ooooh shiny!" came from Morrigan as she inspected a golden necklace she lifted from one of the bodies. A small smile tugged at Rowena's face as Morrigan's mood took a turn for the better. A few more trinkets found their way into a sack that Morrigan pulled out from her satchel.
Seemingly satisfied that she had a good haul, Morrigan stood back up, and the pair of witches walked over to the only other door in the room. They prepared themselves to enter.
Harry strafed the Demon's great sword as it cleaved into the ground. He quickly pricked at the demon's muscled thigh with his own sword. Drûkskûrogoth didn't even do so much as flinch.
Harry was forced to dodge backwards as the demon gave a massive horizontal sweep with his blade. He used the distance to his advantage. His hand moved around in a blur of motion. His clothes rippled as an invisible wind pick up.
Seconds later, the wind became tangible as a twister formed on the ground. Harry was not done though, and seconds later, the twister was heading towards the demon.
Just as it was getting within range, Harry utilized his control of the elements to the maximum. The cold, wet air played to his advantage as ice shards formed around the twister.
The demon was not expecting that, and took several huge hits from the ice projectiles, visibly startling it. Drûkskûrogoth slashed his sword through the twister to no avail. He roared in defiance as he crossed his arms to block the ice assault.
A minute went by as the twister's magic slowly dissipated. Harry took a calming breath as his body destabilized itself.
The demon snarled in rage. It lifted its non sword-hand up to the sky. His hand clenched and unclenched as a rain of hellfire poured out from the heavens on his whim.
Harry didn't wait around to see how much the spell would hurt. He shimmied backwards a few steps, and with a single thought, his sword lengthened to that of a great sword.
With an unpracticed, but nature ease, Harry threw his sword at the demon. While it was soaring, he brought the Elder Wand to bear, and empowered his blade with that of a banishing charm.
The blade punctured through the approaching rain of fire, and pierced right through the demons armor, and chest, burying itself hilt deep with the blade poking out its back.
The demon continued roaring in both rage and agony, and it began to aimlessly swing its sword around.
Harry wasted no time in continuing his attack. He waved his wand in a lazy circle. Above the field of a battle, dark clouds began to congeal into solid form.
The clouds kept darkening until they were the purest of black. Then with nary a whisper, the storm cloud unleashing its lightning fury.
Lightning arced to the ground in a frightening symphony. Six or seven streams of lightning danced along the ground in a continuous torrent.
Harry gave the lightest of motions with his wand, but all at once the lightning bundled up and struck the demon with no remorse. Harry's sword acted as a conduit as the beast began to roast within.
The demon collapsed in the midst of an agonizing scream. Harry held onto the lightning for 15 seconds more, before giving a large sigh of relief and letting the magic go.
The sky lightened up as the cloud dissipated and the crackling sound of lightning disappeared.
Harry surveyed the scene, but it was not at all to his likening.
"You've got to be shitting me," escaped from Harry's lips as he saw the demon start to move once more. The wounds started to knit themselves before his very eyes.
The demon reached for its dropped sword, before taking to a knee. It grasped its other hand around Harry's still buried sword, and slowly pulled it out, inch by inch.
Shock was plainly written on Harry's face as the Demon took to its legs once more, but now with two swords.
"Foolish Human. Now you will die!"
Harry was beyond pissed off now. It just shrugged off all the damage, even the seemingly fatal blow. He had to form a plan quick, but he also had to dodge the approaching swords as well.
He sidestepped one sword, but was a half second to late and took a quarter inch deep slash to the chest. He took a few hops back to gain some distance, but the demon was relentless in its pursuit.
"You know what? Fuck you!"
A cascade of spells poured out from Harry's wand, none of which made any headway. The demon's sword and Harry's seemed to dissolve the spells before they would do any harm, and the Demon's battered body was still resilient.
Harry was extremely fed up. The demon was towering him, so Harry did the only thing he could think of, consequences be damned.
Morrigan nodded to Rowena, and with a single jab of her wand, the door rocketed open on its hinge. They both quickly popped in with weapons at the ready. The room was well lit, and Rowena recognized it as the Arcane Laboratory.
Dozens of racks lined the walls, each bursting with various ingredients. There were dozens of cases as well, for completed potions. The back wall held true to the Azkaban nature, holding several sturdy bookcases will with ancient texts.
But in the midst of all this, was a creature that Rowena had never seen before. It appeared, however, that it was waiting for them.
"Welcome to my humble abode. I would ask you to nicely leave, but I already saw what you have done to my colleagues."
The creature was humanoid, in the vaguest terms. It was clad in intricate purple robes, showing only its head and two arms with long spindly fingers, leaving how many legs it had a mystery. Its face was grotesque, and as pink as a pig.
It was the tentacles that protruded from the lower half of its face that really got Rowena to thinking. The closest thing she could compare this creature to was an octopus. The creature had large eyes that seemed to bore into Rowena's skull, leaving her with a slight headache.
Morrigan, though, did know what it was. "Mindflayer. It utilizes powerful mind magic, along with the normal kind. Do not make eye contact. It is weak physically, and allergic to copper."
"That's right. Look around you, for that will be the last thing you see before I melt your brains out of your skulls."
The mindflayer needed no wand to work its magic. Its hands moved in a slow rhythmic dance, and Rowena found herself ducking a vicious red disk of energy that sawed into the wall behind her.
And without missing a beat, Morrigan as suddenly screaming in agony as the beast flayed her mind.
Rowena was quick to act. A powerful fireball emerged from her wand, scorching a path towards to mindflayer. The mindflayer put up a shield, but it was not strong enough due to its split attention.
The fireball smashed through the shield, impacting the mindflayer and setting it ablaze. The sudden mental assault on Morrigan ceased as the mindflayer screamed in agony.
Morrigan went down to her hands and knees and cough up some blood. "Yeah… I suppose fire works too."
Rowena helped Morrigan back up to her feet and gave her a once over. She looked like hell. They watched as the mindflayer burnt to ash.
"That wasn't so hard."
"You're not the one with the massive headache. Their mental attacks make it difficult at best to kill one solo."
"Well, thanks for taking one for the team."
"My pleasure." Morrigan responded dryly. It wasn't long before she was picking through the various bits around the room.
Rowena went over to the books, and turned a blind eye to Morrigan. A steady stream of 'oooh!' and 'pretty!' could be heard from Morrigan as she ransacked the place of anything she liked.
After 15 minutes or so, they both had a sizeable amount of loot. Morrigan had her pretty objects, and Rowena had a few books that she hadn't read yet.
"We should go find Artemis. He may need our help."
Harry pulled his sword from the dead hands of the demon. He took it in both hands and plunged it into the foul beast's darkened heart. Remorse was nowhere near his thought process as he decapitated to demon, just in case.
The killing curse is true to its name. It killed indiscriminately and effortlessly. He was expecting himself to vomit, go on a baby mauling spree, or suddenly want to name himself Darth Potter.
But he felt no different. There was no taint, and no bad taste in his mouth. It was only magic, and magic is what you make of it. The only stigma attached to the curse is of the one that humans put on it.
Satisfied that the demon was well and truly dead, this time for good, he took stock of his condition.
Harry had done a lot of spell slinging, and a lot of moving. He was slightly sore, and his magic was slightly fatigued. His body has a few cuts and bruises, but nothing that would impair him too much.
He clutched the Deathstick in his left hand and his now one-handed sword in his right. He made his way to the large doors the Demon had originally come through.
The room he entered was simply an arched hallway that led to another set of doors. The ceiling of the hallway was rotting away like much of the previous ceilings. Harry could see a door on the side of the hallway that led somewhere else, and his instincts told him to go through it.
A wave of his wand opened up the door, and he entered the room soundlessly.
Before him lay a grand room. It was probably the only room in the whole library complex that was in pristine condition and unmarred by the evil within.
A golden four-poster took up one side, a large desk in the middle, and several bookshelves with extremely valuable books lay on the other side.
And on the far side of the room was a glass door, leading to a large balcony, and Harry could imagine patio tables and chairs set up out there. But there wasn't.
There was a man standing there, cloaked in a black robe with hands behind his back, facing out towards the sea.
Harry made his way through the room, and out on to the promontory balcony. He stopped about 25 feet away and brought his weapons to the ready. He was not expecting the cloaked figure to speak first.
"Ah, Artemis Enteri, I've been waiting for you. Or should I call you Harry Potter?" The mysterious figured called out as he turned around.
"Who are you? How do you know my name?" Harry said, with surprise evident on his face.
"Me? I'm just the Archivist of Azkaban. There isn't much I don't know that I haven't heard or read. There's a certain power in a name, isn't there? Look how you tremble at the mere idea of me knowing your real name. Harry Potter. Asking all the wrong questions… What you should be asking is… what am I?"
The voice sent shivers down Harry's spine as the words hit home. Illogical panic had welled up in his body.
Then without the warning the Archivist unleashed his power.
Darkness poured out from the folds in the man's cloak, and evil seeped out of his every pour. Harry started hearing voices in his head, voices he had not heard since he was a student. The voice of his mother in the last seconds of her life.
And then the cold hit, the coldest aura Harry had ever felt. The light from the sun dimmed and the world plunged into twilight. The Archivist's aura was the worst thing Harry had felt in his life. It was as if he would never feel happy again. The very air he breathed seemed to freeze. No amount of chocolate would overcome this feeling, that he knew.
Harry then realized that this man, no, monstrosity, is the source of the evil in Azkaban. The Dementor Prime. There was no other word for the man. Harry recognized the evil magic for what it was.
Harry made his rallying effort. He reached into the deep pool of magic at his fingertips. He grasped onto all of his good memories, his happy memories. He grabbed hold of all his recent memories of Rowena, and used them as his fuel. Pleasurable experiences are happy experiences after all, and often times the most memorable.
The feeling of bliss engulfed Harry as he fought back the encroaching cold. He used his happiness in life as a shield, and he covered himself with it like articulated armor. He no longer felt the cold, or heard the voices, but he could still sense the evil pricking at his armor, trying to find a weakness in the joints.
But there wasn't any.
Harry lifted his wand, and uttered a single phrase of power. "Solarum Patronum!"
A massive burst of ecstatic light burst from his wand, burning away the Dementor Prime's aura. The light shone brighter than the sun itself, now free from the tendrils of darkness.
The Dementor Prime merely started to clap slowly as he walked a few steps closer. "Impressive. Now we fight!"
Harry was ready for most spells, but not for this spell. Bubbles of black energy poured out from the Dementor Prime's gnarled wand, before taking a mind of their own and homing in on Harry.
The bubbles effortlessly plowed through Harry's first shield, but not his second. They popped on Harry's shield of light energy, emitting a purple explosion as the magics released themselves. A few of the bubbles exploded close enough to send small shockwaves into Harry's chest, but he rolled with the pain.
"You are going to have to do better than black magic to defeat me." Harry challenged.
"Very well. Try this." The Archivist swirled his wand in several small elegant motions, and a storm cloud formed over head, black as night.
Black and ultraviolet lightning crackled in the air and the sound of a thousand winds filled their eardrums.
Harry merely raised an eyebrow at the black lightning before working his own magic. He summoned a neon green shield that absorbed the first bolts of black magic. After that he called forth his own storm cloud.
His pants rippled in the magical wind as he used his shamanism to create his largest storm cloud yet. It grew at an astonishing speed, and was even blacker than the Archivist's cloud. In only 15 seconds, it absorbed the other storm cloud into its form.
It didn't just emit lightning and thunder, but it also torrentially down poured upon the combatants. Harry utilized this and turned the rain over the Dementor Prime into ice shards. The literal icy arrows bit into the man, before he used a burst of magic to clear the air.
Harry could see he had done some damage. He did not waste the cloud's magic as he turned the lightning into growth.
Small saplings grew off the stone balcony, and soon grew into large trees. Flowers and grass grew in between, and soon they were in a small forest.
"You're forgetting one thing. Nature is the most powerful force on this planet, and I can control it."
The Archivist merely snarled "I. Will. Break. You!"
Harry smiled in responses, and quickly animated a few of the trees with his wand. The Archivist took the immedietly defensive using a mix of fire and cutting magics.
Harry didn't dawdle and continued his onslaught. Once more, winds arose around Harry as he manipulated the magic at his disposal.
Leaves gathered up into his ethereal cyclone. Dozens and dozens were at his call, and with a mere touch of his magic, they all spun on their axis viciously.
Without preemption, Harry shot the leaves at the Archivist. They were nothing short of speeding saw blades as more than a few landed home on his enemy's body. The Archivist gave a defiant roar of agony and pain, but it wasn't nearly as frightening as the Demon's he just fought.
Harry felt the magic backlash before he saw it. A blackish-purple wave of magic swept out in a concentric circle from the Dementor Prime.
The trees and nature all around them disintegrated back into the magic they came from. Harry used a white conical shield to avoid damage from the hostile magic.
"This game is over. Now you will die."
Harry braced himself once more. He could feel the magic building up in the air. If he struck before the spell was done, the raw magic could blow up the whole place. A dark ball of energy forming at the gnarled wand's tip was the only indication of the spell.
Then all at once, the Archivist released his spell. Harry did not recognize the ancient guttural language that the man chanted, but he could tell the spell wasn't used to create rainbows and daisies. The blackened sphere grew several feet at first, and then to a dozen feet. And then it started to come at him.
The black ball of magic smelled sinister, and looked like death. Harry quickly ran through a list of spells that he could used to stop the magic, and the list was very short. There was nowhere to run or dodge to either.
Harry finally recalled a spell he had once seen to block an extremely dark piece of magic; it was during his fifth year at Hogwarts while he was in the Department of Ministries. He fudged the wand movements, and intoned the incantation, and out from his wand emerged a golden dodecahedral shield.
The shield completely surrounded Harry as the dark magic smashed into him. He had to brace himself and grit his teeth to hold the magic back, but he held steady.
Harry gathered all the magic in his arsenal and poured it into the shield. The dodecahedral plates turned into flat squares as the shield took on the form of a tangible wall. Satisfied that his shield wall would hold back the nefarious magic, Harry prepared his counterattack. He wanted to finish the fight, once and for all.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on the magic in the air. In an idea eerily reminiscent of echolocation, Harry used magic to determine the Archivists location.
Aiming his wand right at the man's chest, he incanted what he hoped to be his final spell. The only sign that Harry had done magic was the intense red light that emerged from his wand, and effortlessly punched through both the shield and the dark magic ball.
His fiery lance bore through anything in its path. The magic was so intense that it radiated small explosions after ever foot of travel. It sounded like mortar shells exploding as the concussive lance smashed into the Dementor Prime.
The black magic ball dissipated into the air, and Harry knew he had won.
The victorious wizard walked over to the fallen form of the Archivist, or what was left of him. Much of the body was mangled from Harry's spell, and the robes severely burnt. Gashes were evident as well from where Harry's leaves had sliced their way through.
He was dead. No heartbeat and no breathing. Harry patted down the Archivist's garb, looking for anything of note. The only thing he found was a tiny golden key.
He stood up and took a good look around him. Everything was at peace. The stench of dark magic was there, but it was also the part of history. The lingering evil would forever taint the place, but the place was safe for now.
Just as he put the key in his pocket, he heard a sound from behind him. He spun around quicker than the eye could follow, bringing his wand to bear. Harry let go a sigh of relief as it was only Morrigan and Rowena.
"Whew. I'm glad to see you two." Harry replied.
"Is it over?"
"I think so. Let's go find our books. I have a hunch that this golden key is the answer."
Harry stumbled his way over, and Rowena quickly took hold of his arm so he wouldn't fall over. He was extremely fatigued and could hardly think straight.
"Careful now. Don't hurt yourself now that it's over."
Harry simply laughed. "I'll try not to."
They made their way back into the private quarters. The two witches searched the books while Harry looked for anything that could use the key.
It did not take long to find it. It was the desk. The top part was a giant door, and once he turned the key in its keyhole, the whole thing moved aside on a hinge. Morrigan and Rowena immediately came over to have a look.
Inside the desk compartment were several more books, and various luxury items. Harry searched through the books and finally found what he was looking for.
The only thing denoting the journal for what it was is a double S on the cover, with a serpent motif.
"This is it. This is the book that has been causing so much trouble." Harry took a brief look through the pages, but closed it in disgust.
He looked through the other books and found a plain brown book with several unfamiliar runes on the front. "This it?" Harry asked Morrigan.
She looked up from one of the other books she was inspecting, and her face brightened up upon seeing what Harry held. "My Grimmoire!"
Morrigan bounced around for a bit holding her Grimmoire before tucking it into her sack and going back to her previous business; finding pretty items. A good half dozen trinkets went into her sack, including a large bracelet encrusted with gemstones. The witch of the wilds looked dazed as she stared at the piece of jewelry for nearly a minute.
Eventually she shook her head and but the bracelet into her loot sack with the rest of her baubles. "I'm ready to leave this place." Morrigan announced.
"Me too." Harry agreed. "I'm going to need some help apparating us though."
"I'll do my best." Rowena replied, up to the challenge.
"Alright, grab each other's hands. I'll clear a tunnel through the ambient magic of the place. Rowena, you do the navigating."
They all grabbed hands as Harry concentrated the dregs of his magic. He pierced the veil of ambient magic that hung over the island, and Rowena apparated the three of them out to Morrigan's hut. It was much easier to leave the place than it was to enter. Such is life.
A loud bang signified their arrival at Morrigan's hut.
"Well that was quite the adventure." Harry stated while holding his bruised ribs. He really had taken a beating during his fights, and it was a miracle he was standing at all.
"I agree." Morrigan stated. "And for such a hazardous, but successful adventure, I think both our hero's need a reward."
Harry knew what his reward was going to be, as that was one of the reasons why they went to Azkaban. He was unaware of that Morrigan would be doing something for Rowena as well. That something became quite obvious.
Rowena was watching the scene unfold with a curious look, as Morrigan approached her. She kept walking towards Rowena, but she didn't stop in front of her like Harry expected.
No, Morrigan kept walking right up to Rowena, cupped her face with one hand, and brought her in for a kiss.
Rowena and Harry were both stunned speechless, but Rowena returned the kiss unexpectedly. It was clear that Morrigan was driving the action as she deepened the kiss and turned her head sideways slightly. She even grabbed onto Rowena's backside as she deepened the kiss even further.
But then just as it looked like things were going to get more interesting, Morrigan broke the kiss. Rowena looked dazed and confused, but Harry spoke up first. "I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be angry or aroused, but that was entertaining."
"You're lucky." Morrigan responded. "Rowena is not into the whole girl/girl thing. You can tell by the way she holds herself, she needs a man. I wasn't sure before, but now I am."
Harry gave Morrigan a small smile and walked over to Rowena who says "Well, that was interesting."
"I'll give you your shapeshifting lessons in a week's time. I need some time to recover from today; I took a beating in my form." Morrigan tells Harry, acting as if she didn't just kiss another woman.
"Alright, I'll be there." Harry replies. "Rowena, I think we should head back to the tower. I need to rest and recuperate."
"I'll apparate us." Rowena looped an arm around Harry's muscular chest and pulled him into half-hug before disappearing from Morrigan's hut.
I apologize for the long wait on this chapter. As you can see we finally get some closure on part of the story, but the new plot arc has already emerged. No sexy time in this chapter, sorry!
And before I get any complaints, there will be no Rowena/Morrigan romance at all. In fact, Morrigan's role in this story is almost at an end, sorry.
I'm not sure when chapter 16 will be written. I have been very busy with my last semester of college. I have started several other writing projects in the interim. I have started an HP/Fleur story, and a HP/DF crossover fic, neither of which have been posted yet. I have also started work on an original fiction that can be found at DarkLordPotter (.) net. The first 5 chapters are posted, and the 6th is completed and being edited.
As for the writing in this chapter. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times. A writer never sees his own mistakes, but I do spend significant time in editing my own chapters. I guarantee I have made grammar mistakes. I'm an engineer, not an English major. That being said, do let me know if you see some major errors, and please be specific in each instance.
Thanks for reading.