Chapter Seven: Who don't you piss off?
A/N: Compensation? And for those of you getting worried about overpowered characters, they are seriously going to need that. Yes, there is an explanation for Luna's Legacy-ish antics, and yes, I do think it's quite a clever one myself. One does have to wonder – exactly how batshit insane but BRILLIANT were most elder dragons?
Cookie to anyone that can catch the reference in this chapter. It's fairly obvious.
Another week had passed, and the group, now including Ajani, had finally gotten settled down into a routine with their DAtDA classes and their prodigy training. The school of witchcraft and wizardry had, in the space of two months (It wasn't even Christmas yet, for crying out loud), also become known amongst the multiverse as the staging grounds of a new alliance of planeswalkers. They even had their own table in the great hall!
"Shouldn't we be worried about this reputation we've been getting?" Chandra asked Jace casually, lying down on a sofa. "I mean, Nicol Bolas-"
"Already knew where we were." Jace said bluntly. Chandra raised an eyebrow.
"Are a bit preoccupied with Zendikar right now."
"…Phyrexia?" Venser offered tentatively. Jace frowned.
"If that becomes a serious problem, we find Karn and beg for help." He said after a few seconds. Venser shrugged.
"Sounds good to me. Koth might kill you though."
"He can try." Jace smirked. "He can definitely give it a try."
Meanwhile, in Bolas' lair on Earth…
"Lord Bolas" A clothed Veldaken planeswalker said, kneeling. "Another plane's government has fallen to your secret dominion. What should we rename it-"
"Bolas Plane 871." Bolas' rumbling telepathic voice spread through the chamber.
"Right, right." The Veldaken said hurridly, walking out and bumping into a Death Eater as he left. "Sorry."
The death eater turned to Bolas, two more behind him. "My lord demands to know why it is taking so long to destroy Hogwarts-"
A wave of pure mana obliterated him. Bolas turned to the other two, one massive eye staring unblinkingly at them. "Voldemort demands NOTHING of me."
"My apologies. Our lord demands – NO, I SAID IT BECAUSE HE SAID IT-"
The second wave of mana obliterated him. Bolas' eye flickered to the last death eater, who chuckled nervously.
"First, thanks for the promotion. Second…My lord is curious as to why Hogwarts is taking so long to destroy."
"There was an unforeseen consequence from an earlier plot of mine." Bolas rumbled deeply. "A group of planeswalkers with a common cause bands together there. While I have no doubt that I could defeat them, I prefer not to take risks. In fact, my two top agents are attempting to recruit another Planeswalker, whose power is significant enough to pose a…slight irritant to me."
There was another brief pause, then the man turned to leave. A wave of mana disintegrated him as soon as Bolas figured Voldemort had the information through Legilimency – no need to leave unnecessary baggage wandering around.
Meanwhile, on Innistrad…
"Sorin." Tezzeret growled, scratching at his third etherium arm in three decades. "Have you yet come to a decision?"
"I don't see why I need to get involved." Sorin said smoothly, sitting back on his throne. "In fact, just give me one reason why I shouldn't just tell Nicol Bolas to…what was that quant phrase Ugin was so fond of all the time…ah yes, 'Piss off'."
Sarkhan, standing next to Tezzeret, snarled. "You would DARE defy the great dragon?"
"As I believe Ugin would say, 'I've got an archangel, bitch. Giant dragons mean nothing to me.'" Sorin said, slightly amused. "Run off and play, now, children. Go back to jumping to his tunes like dogs."
Sarkhan snarled and leaped out towards him, rapidly shifting into a dragon. Sorin spared him a brief glance, yawning.
He flexed one finger, and a doom blade smashed through the Sarkhan-Dragon's chest, forcing him back into his usual form severely wounded. Tezzeret immediately sheathed the mageslayer he'd just drawn, considering it a bad idea.
"Now, smarter dog – take your rabid friend back to Bolas, and tell him that if he's so scared of a bunch of children, find someone ELSE to help him, because I'm not going to. Now, if you'll excuse me, Miss Vess did one hell of a number on this place going after Grisleband and I need to fix it up a little – and you're not helping. If you are not gone in five seconds, I will make you beg before you die – like a little bitch."
Sorin gave the pair what would have been a coldly condensing smile, if it wasn't for all the fangs. Tezzeret picked up Sarkhan, and ran like hell.
"I'll just have to go to Bolas Plane 469 to make sure he doesn't follow me." He thought desperately. "NO-ONE goes to Bolas Plane 469! Not after it was repopulated!"
Sorin grinned after they left. "That took six seconds. Good, I needed to kill something."
He threw himself through the blind eternities after them.
Another few weeks had rolled on by without much cause for celebration, and the first snow was beginning to set in via blizzard, much to Ajani's dislike.
"I hate that stuff." He grumbled, walking into the great all. Chandra glanced up over her copy of the Daily Prophet.
"…walking talking abominable snowman says what?" She said cheekily. Ajani gave her a glare accompanied by his best 'I swear to whatever you worship I will EAT YOU' growl. Chandra shrugged and turned back to her paper, frowning. Jace glanced over at her from the other end of the planeswalkers table.
"What could possibly be so interesting in that paper?" He asked casually. Chandra shrugged.
"Apparently Dumbledore's insane-"
"NO." Venser said snarkily. "HIM?"
Chandra ignored him. "The evil wizard allied with Bolas is still dead, and Harry's a lying scumbag."
Elspeth sighed dramatically. "Oh, the wonders of propaganda" She deadpanned. "We are right, you are wrong, and we are willing to throw a hissy fit over it."
Even Liliana got a chuckle out of that one. Garruk prodded his roast beef with his axe.
"I'm still not used to this food." He muttered. Liliana sent him a sharp glare.
"Would you rather gnaw something to the bone?" She asked innocently. The axe raised a few notches in the air. "Maybe lose control a little too-"
The axe left Garruk's hand and would have thudded into Liliana's forehead if Jace hadn't forced it back into Garruk's belt with a vapor snag. Liliana sent him a sickly sweet smile. "Thanks, honey."
"Shut up." Jace said irritably, stirring his soup. "I need as many of you alive as possible."
"You DO care!"
"Not for much longer at this rate…" Jace said threateningly. Chandra began to chuckle lowly. Jace shot her a glare. "WHAT IS IT?"
"Nothing, just thinking how that Luna girl could probably kill both of you in a second if she had a clue what she was doing"
Liliana opened her mouth to say something about how was that even BEGINNING to be relevant, but before she could say anything Jace nodded his head in agreement. "She could hit you too."
"Oh, not denying that. All I'm saying is-"
A panicked looking Tezzeret and Sarkhan randomly appeared in the room, ran screaming for a while through a suddenly silent breakfast hall, and vanished again in puffs of blue and red smoke. Jace blinked.
"Huh, wonder what all that was about-"
Sorin blinked into existence and glanced at the planeswalker's table. "Did they come this way?"
Liliana and Garruk hid themselves immediately. Sorin sighed. "NOT YOU TWO, THE OTHER TWO!"
Jace nodded, trying not to look terrified. "Um…yes. It looked like he was heading for Kamigawa-does this mean you're on our side?"
"No, it means the idiots pissed me off." Sorin growled, pointing at Liliana and Garruk. "Don't forget – I still want to talk to you two." He vanished in a puff of white and black smoke. Jace blinked for a few seconds.
"Well, hopefully that's another problem solved." He said cheerfully. "What did you two do to piss him off so bad, though?"
Garruk and Liliana shuddered. "You don't want to know." The both said, glaring at each other. Jace shrugged.
"Not my problem, anyway." Jace continued. "I'd just like to know how they managed to get in here when Venser's machine was meant to STOP planeswalking inside the castle."
Venser's fork stopped halfway to his mouth, a lone sausage wobbling forelornely at the end. "Oh. Right. That's what I was meant to do last night."
Jace's glare sent shivers down his spine. "Right, I'll just get on that…"
He disappeared in a swirl of mana and a sound strangely like VWORP. Liliana snapped out of her Sorin-induced fear to glance at Jace, the hall returning to its normal busy self.
"So, are you going to watch this 'Quidditch' thing Umbridge tried to ban when the students get back from Hogsmead?" She asked casually. Chandra glanced at her incredulously.
"Are you asking him out?"
Jace hid his face in his hands with a moan as it started again. "Could you two please give it a rest…" He started weakly, but they'd already focused on each other.
"So what if I am?"
"Because it worked out SO WELL last time…"
"Just because you're with a bloodthirsty Knight Templar-"
"WHAT DID YOU CALL GIDEON?"
There was a brief silence as Jace stared at Chandra in horror, images of little chibi-pyromancers in heavy armor dancing around in his mind – it wasn't pretty.
"I mean…HE'S NOT MY BOYFRIEND!"
Elspeth facepalmed and sighed in despair, while Garruk just left the table.
"Not that this isn't entertaining, but…NEVILLE! TREE WRESTLING!"
A strangled scream erupted from the general direction of Gryffindor, and a heavily bandaged Neville made a mad dash for the opposite door. Chuckling, Garruk went after him at a sprint.
Venser frowned at his newest contraption. "It should be working. Why isn't it working?"
He kicked it in his frustration, only for the thing to start glowing blue. "Ah, there it is. I'm a genius."
Elspeth snorted from the corner. "You kicked it – I could have done that."
"Yes, anyone can kick a machine– but the skill is WHERE to kick the machine." Venser said sagely. Elspeth sighed and rolled her eyes.
"Whatever, Venser. Just keep telling yourself that, and I won't have to crush your ego."
Venser opened his mouth for another cutting retort when the machine started to whirr uncontrollably. Frowning, he studied a small screen on the right-hand side. "Huh. Interesting – some kind of high magical readout from Hogsmead – teleportation maybe? Say, aren't all the students meant to be there right now-"
Elspeth threw her book to the floor and grabbed her sword, pausing only to give the contraption a look of confusion before leaving. "What does that even LOOK like?"
Venser looked at it. "Well, you might not want to look too close, because it exists in six dimensions, but it does prevent planeswalking within the castle area while doing multiple other functions-"
"TELEPORTING! HOGSMEAD! EXPLOSIONS! NOW!" Elspeth said firmly, refraining from flat-out screeching in his face by great force of will. Venser looked out the window to see the blossoming plumes of magic.
"Oh yes, right. That might help." He grabbed onto her arm and the two vanished with a VWORP.
Faceless Death Eater #1 laughed with his companion as they sent another Reducto spiraling into a house on the street, screaming children fleeing. "Haha! That old dragon was right, this is easy!"
"Yeah, now all we need to do is find Potter's friends and kill them!" #2 said cheerfully. "If the dragon's right, it'll demoralize-VWORP"
#1 frowned. "VWORP? What does that mean?" he asked, turning to see his friend's wand clatter to the ground, the death eater himself nowhere to be seen. "Huh?"
#2's screaming body slammed into the spot he was looking at, splashing blood all over his horrified companion. Turning to run, #1 walked right into Venser's waiting hand, which closed around his skull. #1's voice turned into panicked gibbering as he raised his wand. "Avada-"
"No." Venser said calmly, teleporting #1's head into his chest cavity. The bloody mess that was faceless death eater #1 collapsed to the floor, spraying blood everywhere. Venser calmly turned and walked through the streets, a scowl on his face as he brought all the students back into order. Aurors started apparating into the streets, attempting to fix the damage and find the perpetrators, even as Elspeth and Venser got the kids under control. Kingsley Shacklebolt approached Venser with a calm expression on his face.
"Are you hurt, sir?"
"Now, it's all their blood." Venser said casually. "I don't suppose you've got a-"
Shacklebolt handed him a handkerchief.
"Oh, thank you." Venser muttered, wiping blood from his face. "Now, I'm sure you know this attack was started by-"
"Death Eaters, yes." Shacklebolt said off-handedly. "The official explanation is that they went on a little remembrance spree, before being brought down by a few curses from local wizards. Dumbledore told all Order members to keep your existence a secret."
Venser's brain shut down for a few seconds. "Hang on, hang on, hang on – WHAT THE HELL IS THE ORDER?"
Shacklebolt frowned. "You are not Jace Belaren?"
"No, I'm Venser Urborg, now TELL ME WHAT EMO-MAGE HAS BEEN FORGETTING TO MENTION!"
You could just ask me, you know.
"GET OUT OF MY HEAD, JACE!"
…you know what? This is faster, I'll just send you the relevant memory. Prepare to phase out for a long time.
Because you'll be me in the past for a few minutes. I'm told the experience is not quite comforting.
A/N: Flashback chapter next – Jace learns about the OotP, Venser does by extension, and Dumbledore cracks another crazy plot. All in chapter's work for this batshit insane Crack Fic.