I do not own Harry Potter or Fate/Stay Night. They belong to their respective creators and not me. I am not writing this for any kind of profit and am merely writing for fun so no one get the funny idea to sue me out of this.
By Ten-Faced Paladin
Chapter 1: Here There be Heroes
The Dark Lord, known as Voldemort (born as Tom Riddle) was not famous for his patience. He was famous for his intelligence, his power, his ingenuity, his ideals, his tactics, and most of all his cruelty. Out of these traits and more, patience was not one of them. He was a man of grand ambition along with the desire and the power to see his mission through to the end. Still, his impatience stemmed from his minions who time after time seemed completely incapable of doing anything beyond, murder, maim, and kill. Anything higher than that seemed to be beyond their petty reasoning. Still, they had powerful magic and they were Purebloods. Mix both those qualifications in with loyal and that was good enough for him. Still, if he needed anything of any true magic to be done, Voldemort was often of the mindset of 'if you want something done right, do it yourself'. Such was the case for the events he was seeing to in his current lodgings.
His current lodgings were in fact the main ballroom of Malfoy Manor. It had been converted into a throne room of sorts with a connecting master chambers for his personal use for anything deem fit. Nothing but the best was given to him be it food, drink, materials, or the most loyal of house elves. Lucius may have been a snivelling backstabber when the tides turned, but never let it be said he held fast to his true loyalties and made sure proper respect was paid. Voldemort had currently banished all of the furniture from his throne room, leaving nothing but a few candles in the air to illuminate everything. His inner circle of Death Eaters were all in attendance, assisting him where they could. He didn't dare trust them with any of the more important aspects of what he was about to do. That one iota of faith went to the one man who was looking through a very thick tome and marking on the floor the circles which would be needed.
Lars Von Einzbern was a new recruit into the ranks of the Death Eaters. He was of typical German stock with blonde hair and blue eyes, making him seem rather unremarkable in all senses of the word. He was a bastard son from the Einzbern Family, a highly respectable family of magic users from Germany. He was accepted by the family, but in name only. He had to work, scrounge, and beg for any and all teachings in magical arts until the head of the family had enough of him and sent him to the Mage's Association school Clock Tower so to get a proper education and see if he wasn't such a stain on the Einzbern name. If anything, Lars flourished under formal teaching and proved he had the Einzbern blood within him, even if it was mixed with some common female mage which his father picked up in the red light district of Berlin one night.
Recruiting Lars had been simple enough. The Einzberns already believed that being magical made them superior stock in bloodlines, even if they weren't the type to follow Voldemort's regime. However, as much as Lars believed being magical made one superior, he also believed that power made one supreme. Power was what he wanted and he wasn't getting it through the means of the Mages Association and as such, sought out the Death Eaters and quickly joined their ranks.
Truth be told, a small portion of Voldemort which the man refused to admit had existed had a soft spot for the mage. They had similar beginnings, being cast off and unwanted children of nobles, both getting in touch with the prestigious bloodlines and finding the normal system of gaining control of it lacking in their goals. Still, Voldemort admitted that Lars knew his magic and proved very willing for the cause, which helped him quickly rise through the ranks, even if he was not in the Inner Circle just yet, although should Lars' plan work, that would quickly change.
Lars had come straight to Voldemort one day with a very potent plan. Long ago, the Einzberns, Tohsakas, and Makiris, all prominent magical families in other countries had discovered the means to tap into a powerful source of magic. However, while they discovered it, tapping into it required a complex ritual. It would take seven magic-users in total to help accomplish it and that was simply the ritual itself, never mind the process need to create a bond with the source of power in the first place. The power was connected to Akasha, otherwise the Root of all Worlds, a supremely powerful place where all existence sprung from. While most magical society took it as religious gospel and nothing more, the Mages' Association constantly researched ways to try and find it, even going so far as to mix magic with muggle technology, 'modernising' themselves and making them all more or less ostracized from magical society.
Lars' plan was to emulate what his ancestors along with the Tohsakas and the Makiris had done reconnect the bond to that source of power and begin the Heaven's Feel here in England. His plan didn't stop there though. Through his own research both through the Mages' Association and the large libraries which many of his Death Eaters possessed, Lars was convinced he could force the prize of the Heaven's Feel to be summoned. After that it would only need to be charged before Voldemort could use it to grant a single wish for himself. A wish for anything in existence, no strings attached.
What Lars offered Voldemort was nothing less that the Holy Grail itself.
The plan was quite bold and much could go wrong. Even Voldemort knew that one didn't just call something like the Holy Grail down and force it to submit. Lars' approach was to trick the Grail into believing that a Heaven's Feel was already completed and that it was time for it to come down. Doing that though would be difficult. The Holy Grail War in Japan was a trying event and hard to even be considered for since the Grail was the one who selected the other competitors and had an eye on the proceedings. The Japanese already had a record for their wars being brutal and destructive while the Americans in their own attempts to hail down the Grail met with a mockery of a competition that not many felt they could take seriously after hearing of the War in Japan.
"My patience is not endless Von Einzbern," Voldemort hissed, eyeing the German work. "Is everything ready yet?"
"Just a last few checks before we begin," Lars answered. "I do not want to leave anything to chance."
Voldemort narrowed his eyes, but admitted that for something this important, Lars' precautions were valid. The blonde German searched over the runes and arrays which were drawn into the floor of the Dark Lord's impromptu throne room. Everything was found to be in order for Lars' liking and he quickly positioned everyone in their roles in the upcoming ritual. If it all worked, then Voldemort would be able to achieve his goals in a literal heartbeat and no blasted prophecy would be able to stop him!
The Death Eaters and Voldemort himself placed themselves in a circle around the array. Not many of them were well-versed in wandless magic outside of potions, but they were quickly finding the will to do so lest they fail the ritual and ruin everything. The array in the centre of the circle of magicals began to glow as they pooled their energy into it, Voldemort putting the most in obviously being the most powerful and the Grail was meant to go to him. The array began to glow brighter and brighter, making expectations and hopes rise. As the glow began to become brighter, a sphere of power began to manifest above it.
"Yesssss!" Voldemort grinned, greed tinting his eyes as he stared at the orb. Soon ultimate power would belong to him!
"Here it comes," Lars whispered, almost unbelieving that he had planned everything leading to this moment.
The orb above the circle continued to grow as more power was funnelled into the array. All of the Death Eaters in attendance could tell that what they were hoping for was going to happen soon. Their greed for power and lust for what they arrogantly assumed to be theirs would soon become a reality. It would be theirs!
The orb then exploded, sending a backlash of power in all directions as well as everyone in the room. Death Eaters hit the walls, making sickening slamming noises. The room was illuminated to the point where everything was white as opposed to the usual dreary black. Even Voldemort was not spared as he collapsed on the marble floor, his right hand filled with an incredible burning sensation, making him fear that he had broken his wrist, the adrenaline of his situation probably numbing the pain for the moment.
As the light died down, all of the Death Eaters were groaning in pain from the sudden explosion. However, a lot of them were sharing the same thoughts of making Lars pay for his incompetence. Getting up, they all took a mental tally of their limbs and finding them intact. However, there was one of their number that was still stuck to the walls.
"Yaxley!" Macnair cried, bringing attention to the Ministry's executioner…and who was above him. Stuck to the wall next to the Malfoy coat of arms and impaled on a battle axe was Yaxley, one of Voldemort's trusted followers and a member of the Inner Circle. There was no hope for him since he was already dead. The spear-tip of the battle axe went straight through his heart, killing him instantly. The blast had dislodged the weapon, but one of its mounting hooks kept it in place, making it stick out and make it easy to be cut with.
"VON EINZBERN!" Voldemort bellowed. Yaxley was one of the most loyal and probably still competent members of his circle after his return to the world of the living. Replacing someone of his magical ability would be difficult, if not impossible thanks to the slim pickings among the wizards whom believed in his mission being petty criminals or too cowardly to try and join him with the likes of Dumbledore still attempting to meddle with him. Now Lars was going to pay the price. Gripping his wand, Voldemort pointed it at the petrified blonde. "Cru-!"
"Are you my Master?"
Voldemort's rage sputtered as he turned to see that someone new was in the room, kneeling in the blackened circle of the failed ritual. He was donned in black armour which might have been common in the era of the Crusades or some similar place in history, but it was jagged and looked like it was supposed to spark fear in all who gazed at him. He wore tattered bright red cloak which was held on with a gold brooch shaped like talons Black hair trailed down to his shoulders and his face was set in a perpetual scowl along a square jaw and a well-trimmed beard. He may have been called handsome at one point in his life, but his face reflected much hostility and the horrors of war. All of that war and aggression in his eyes was pointed at Voldemort, but he seemed unable to unleash it.
"Upon your summoning, I have come," he growled out. "I ask again, are you my Master?"
"Oh bloody hell," Lars gasped out.
"Von Einzbern, you have ten seconds to tell me what the meaning of this is," Voldemort growled out in an almost animalistic manner.
Lars gulped, his eyes not leaving the kneeling knight in the middle of the room, "He…he is a Servant. He's one of the seven who are called to participate in the Grail War." He gulped a second time. He glanced over at Voldemort. "Master, check your hands. If you are the one who summoned him, then you will have some kind of marking on your hand which holds the Command Mantras."
Swallowing his anger at the moment, Voldemort looked to his hands and quickly found a glowing marking on the back of his right hand. It was glowing red in the darkness of the reception hall. It was styled to look like a devilish spear with two prongs next to it, but kept separate from the main sigil. It rather suited Voldemort's dark style, but he didn't have a complete idea of what it meant.
"And this means?" the Dark Lord asked impatiently.
"Our ritual succeeded in connecting to the Holy Grail, but not in fooling it," Lars grunted as he managed to get back up to his feet, marvelling at the kneeling knight. "If this Servant has appeared and the markings given to you, it seems that what we succeeded in doing was triggering a Holy Grail War here in England."
Voldemort frowned, glaring at the marks on his hand before staring at the kneeling knight, who seemed to be growing more agitated. Voldemort had to admit that this plan wasn't a total loss. His Servant if what Lars said was true was a legendary hero from the past. Likely a muggle save for one of the classes which Servants were in, but at least a powerful muggle. Between his might and Voldemort's magic, what could any other Servant and wizard team have compared to him?
Beginning to grin, Voldemort stepped forward so he stood in front of the still-kneeling Servant. Looking him in the eye, he spoke, "Servant, I am your Master."
The words seemed to bring a severe reaction to the kneeling knight. He reared back and bellowed loudly, giving off a pulse of power. Voldemort quickly stepped back so to not get caught by whatever the devil was happening to the knight. The pulse of power rose into a pillar as did the knight's bellows. To the shock of the Death Eaters the knight's armour turned blood red while his skin turned pale and his hair shifted to a white colour. His teeth became clenched, revealing that the incisors had grown.
"Einzbern!" Voldemort shouted, demanding answers.
Lars was quick to try and get a read on the situation. He dared to get closer to the bellowing knight, trying to get a better look at him. As he did, the knight turned towards him and snarled, revealing blood red eyes which were narrowed and filled with endless anger and rage. No sense of sentient thought was present, only the urge to destroy and kill.
"Mad Enhancement," Lars spoke softly, backing away from the knight slowly. "You…You have summoned Berserker my lord."
"Berserker," Voldemort commented, testing the word. He had recalled the name during his own readings into the Holy Grail War and those who would take part. Berserker was one of the seven classes of Servant if he recalled. "A mindless rampaging beast whom only answers orders and does not grow tired or weak."
"That…that would be correct," Lars nodded, trying to back away slowly so Berserker would not be inclined to attack him.
"Excellent!" the Dark Lord grinned maliciously, a happy sneer to contrast Berserker's insane scowl.
Little Whinging, Surrey
Inside the rather plain streets of Little Whinging, there lived a seemingly plain boy. He was fifteen years old and lived at number 4 Privet Drive. He had shaggy black hair which never seemed tameable no matter how much any hairdresser tried. A pair of glasses adorned his jade green eyes which made him appear a little more frail than he was. His most distinguishable trait was the odd lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. He was thin of frame and was forced to wear baggy clothes. To the residents of Privet Drive, Harry Potter was just a face which had been sent to some private school for criminal boys according to his relatives and was thus ignored for the most part.
In truth, Harry Potter was a wizard.
He didn't know this immediately of course. For the first eleven years of his life, as far as he knew his parents died in a car accident which landed him with his relatives the Durselys, related through his aunt Petunia and his mother. For those eleven years, Harry had to play the eternal chore boy for his relatives. His Aunt Petunia was a skinny stick of a woman who was an incurable gossip who had the audacity to spy on her neighbours so she could have some dirt to spill about them. When she wasn't busy calling Harry 'worthless' or the like, she was taking credit over her prize-winning flower garden which she never laid a finger on and instead had Harry do all the work. Her husband Vernon was a walrus of a man with a bristly mousetache who was more than happy to lock up Harry whenever he could so he wouldn't ruin the 'normal' image of his family which he prided himself so much on at his drill bit manufacturing plant, Grunnings. Whenever Harry seemed to step out of line, be it truly or because someone said so, Vernon would lay down the law with a heavy hand. Lastly was Harry's cousin Dudley who was an absolutely spoiled whale of a boy whom was given everything he ever wanted and then some. Overfed and given everything, Dudley ruled the primary school system with Harry being the prime target. Many a times Harry came home with bruises and cuts due to Dudley and his gang and not having an ounce of justice since his aunt and uncle denied anything but perfection no matter how rotten spoiled, whiney, or violent Dudley got even with many other parents complaining
Harry's life of working like a dog for the Dursley's and their neglect of him save for the bare essentials continued for eleven years until one day he received a very odd letter from a school called Hogwarts. After Petunia and Vernon tried everything in their power to prevent Harry from even touching letter after letter, he finally discovered the truth. He was a wizard, much like his mother and father were. The Dursleys in their usual fits of hatred for anything they considered 'abnormal' saw fit to try and prevent Harry from learning of anything magical and eventually forcing the magic out of him so he'd be 'normal' like them. Much to their frustration, they failed miserably.
For the past four years, Harry had been learning all about magic at the school of Hogwarts. However, it wasn't at all the sweetest dream that he envisioned with being able to get away from the Dursleys. First of all, Harry just wasn't an ordinary wizard but one of the most famous. His celebrity status stemmed from how as a child, he managed to survive being hit by a killing curse cast by one of the worst dark wizards of all time, Voldemort (A.K.A. You-Know-Who) which backlashed and destroyed the man in the process. With his status came all sorts of expectations people seemed to hold on him being some kind of powerful wizard in the making or having been personally trained by some of the most powerful wizards of the day. Despite seeing the boy in person, people still seemed to expect great things from him.
Despite all the friends Harry made at school and all of the interesting things he had learned at Hogwarts, it was anything but a relaxing school experience. For the past four years Harry's life was put at risk in various insane situations. The first year, he and his friends Ron and Hermione had to protect the Sorcerer's Stone from Voldemort who had managed to remain as a kind of spirit of some sort. His second year had Harry fight a Basilisk which was prowling the school and attacking muggleborn students at the direction of a student possessed by Voldemort's childhood diary. Third year saw the escape of Sirius Black and the dementors from the wizard prison Azkaban which proved more dangerous than the wrongly accused convict could ever be. Finally, last year saw the return of the Triwizard Tournament which had been discontinued since participant fatalities became too much. In Harry's opinion, the people in charge hadn't made it much safer than they claimed they had.
During the final event of the tournament though, Harry was transported into a cemetery and used in a ritual which completely revived Voldemort into his physical form. Defeating the man in a wizarding duel and escaping, Harry tried to warn everyone, but not many took him seriously. Everyone else seemed content to stick their heads into the dirt and refuse to believe that Voldemort had returned. He really couldn't blame them, having met the man in person and witnessed his cruelty he wouldn't want to believe the dark wizard had returned either.
Since returning to his personal isolation with the Dursleys though, Harry had been in a communication blackout. No one had been sending him letters and it was not helping his growing temper. Between the denial of Fudge, the Minister of Magic and seeing no sign of anything being done to stop the madman nor hearing anything from his friends, Harry was finding himself being pushed in ways he did not have the patience for. Furthermore, his patience was being further grated with his cousin Dudley. The formerly whale-shaped boy had discovered wrestling and managed to turn the majority of his body fat into muscle. What got on Harry's nerves was the fact that his aunt and uncle were acting like Dudley was the prince of Britain. It didn't help the boy's arrogance when he managed to fight and pin a boy that was older than him.
Nowadays Dudley and his gang would roam about doing delinquent things and cause trouble. Unlike when they were younger, they had enough sense not to cause trouble and get caught for it. Of course, Dudley always had a ready excuse as to why he was late, citing that he was hanging out at a friend's place having afternoon and evening tea like a proper English gentleman. As usual with their absolute denial of Dudley doing anything wrong, Vernon and Petunia swallowed his lies hook, line, and sinker.
At this point in time, Harry was sitting in one of the small parks near his house thinking about what was going on over and over again. He usually wasn't able to go there since the Dursleys had him working on chores more often than not. When he could go no one would play with him since they were afraid Dudley and his gang would beat them up in their usual Harry Hunting trips where anyone who got in the way was the target. This night, it was one of the sole sanctuaries he had as the sun sank over the horizon. His frustration was mounting with his complete isolation with people who were more or less the definition of anti-magic and made it a point to show how much they hated him when they weren't ignoring him to live as 'normally' as they possibly could.
The voices of young men alerted him of something approaching from the distance. He easily recognized the voices as belonging to Dudley and his gang of idiots. It sounded like they were returning to their homes for the night after causing somebody some trouble once again. Harry knew that once Dudley saw him, he'd decide that some picking on Harry would be the perfect day to wrap up the evening. With his temper growling and seeking release, Harry decided some scare tactics were in order so to get some payback.
After all, it wasn't as if he was going to actually cast a spell.
Hermione Granger was a girl who loved books and learning. Growing up, she read constantly and proved herself very intelligent. However, it didn't make her any friends during her primary school years. Teased because of her bushy hair, large front teeth, and being a 'teacher's pet', she grew to be rather lonely. When she received her Hogwarts letter and an explanation from Professor McGonagall, she had thought that things were finally looking up. A bit of her ideas about wizards painted them as people who liked to learn and researched into discovering new ways of magic and how to do things better. However, the reality shattered those preconceptions when she found herself to be just as ridiculed about actually liking to learn as she was in primary school. It seemed like no matter where she went she would be remain just as friendless as ever simply because she liked to do well in school rather than do the other things children her age liked to do.
Then Halloween in her first year occurred and she made her first friends.
Being rescued from a mountain troll would do that for a person. Meeting Harry Potter and Ron Weasley finally gave her the friends she so badly wanted. There were ups and downs of course, but everyday she was glad at one point or another that she had met them. She could do without the life-risking adventures, but in the end she would have gone through them anyway. Her bond with her friends simply was that strong.
Nowadays Hermione was more than a little frustrated. At the end of her fourth year the Dark Lord Voldemort had returned and as far as she could tell from her subscription to the Daily Prophet, the Ministry was denying it with all of their strength and going so far as to create a smear campaign against Harry so that no one would listen to him should he ever try to go public. It incensed her that the government which was supposed to support the people and warn them of dangers was reacting like little children who didn't want to admit that something they didn't like had happened. Then again, Cornelius Fudge wasn't the most honest of individuals in her opinion and his close relationship with Lucius Malfoy made her think that more than a few 'donations' had helped influence decisions in his term as Minister for Magic.
She wanted to talk to Harry about it and see what he thought of it, and maybe help soothe his temper but Professor Dumbledore had been quite adamant about not communicating with Harry at all, 'for his own protection' just in case someone followed the owls. Hermione truly respected Dumbledore and everything he had done, but she had to question why completely cutting Harry off from communication with his friends was supposed to be helpful. At the very least, letting him know that owls may be traced so messages would be rare or arranging a more secure means of communication would have been a better idea. She had heard stories about Harry's relatives and she refused to believe that Harry was as safe as Dumbledore believed, emotionally at least.
Again, there wasn't much she could do about it since she didn't know how to make a floo or some of the other more secure communications and even if she did, she wasn't allowed to use magic outside of school yet so she was stuck in that regard. So instead she buried herself into more magical research to learn more about the wizarding world. It was during this time that she had discovered the Mage's Association and their own school known as Clock Tower. It was surprising for her to learn that there was another school for wizards, or rather mages, in Britain and she wondered why she hadn't been invited. However, that's when she discovered that while Hogwarts was considered one of the finest schools, it catered to everyone while Clock Tower seemed more like a true private school and only made offers to certain families or those with sufficient experience. Furthermore, the Mage's Association and Magical Britain really didn't like each other all that much. The Mage's Association considered Magic Britain to be backwards and ignorant of the world at large and likely to not be amounting to anything since they continued to wallow in their own ignorance. Magical Britain on the other hand considered the Mage's Association to be borderline heretics who refuse to follow the teachings of Merlin and broach subjects which wizards have no business dealing with, such as associating with the modern muggle world.
It had taken Hermione some time at Flourish and Blotts to discover that much about the Mage's Association since any and all books about them were crammed into a dusty corner and it took her more time to sort out the unbiased books about them. A stroke of luck however found her one of the texts which students of Clock Tower would learn from and she immediately set into it. The kinds of magic she learned of was quite interesting and very radical compared to the things she learned at Hogwarts. However, Hermione never considered knowledge a bad thing unless it was used for a bad purpose so she strove on. One aspect of the Mage's Association she found incredibly interesting was their use of familiars and summoning arrays to call for them.
That was currently what the bushy-haired young woman was doing in her basement on such a pleasant evening. She was currently drawing an ornate circle on the concrete floor with a number of geometric designs. It was very precise work and she could see why the Mage's Association embraced the modern area with their precision tools and such things. It made drawing her array ever so much easier. She had found a number of possible arrays to summon familiars with, but one in particular had caught her attention. It was supposedly one associated with what the Mage's Association said was connected to what they called the Third True Magic, a powerful kind of magic which modern science had yet been able to duplicate. The book said that it only worked under specific circumstances but didn't go into what those where. Still, eager to at least try, she set to work and created the array out of chalk and several precision instruments bought from an office supply store.
"Okay, that should do it," Hermione muttered to herself, checking her measurements and the diagrams in the book to be sure. "Now comes the tricky part."
She knew she could get in loads of trouble for doing this, but since she wasn't using her wand then there was a chance that the Ministry wouldn't be able to track it. She had read up on how the Ministry made sure that underage students didn't use their magic by keeping trackers on their wands which expired once they reached their age of majority. She had researched such things after Harry told her about how he was accused of underage magic when Dobby used magic in his relatives' house. After some digging, she had found that the method used on Harry was considered overkill compared to the ministry standard. She had assumed that it was because Harry was The-Boy-Who-Lived and thus had to be under more protection than regular students.
Placing herself in front of the circle, Hermione began reading from the book the chant which was marked alongside the circle she had chosen. The words were slightly blurred, but she managed to make them out so to cast the spell properly. The spell was much longer to invoke than the ones she was used to, showing that while Hogwarts went for speed, the Mage's Association seemed to lean towards the results and power instead. Word after word, the circle began to glow brighter and brighter.
"Servant…" she spoke out, finishing the incantation. "Come forth!"
The array triggered, bringing a flash of light which lit up the room as if a star had appeared, forcing Hermione to shield her eyes. Stumbling back from the light, she tripped and fell onto her bottom as she covered her eyes. While she struggled with her sight, the centre of the circle reacted as a figure seemed to rise out of the ground as if it were as dense as air. As the figure rose out of the ground like sprouting plant, the circle stopped glowing and all of the chalk lines vanished, having been swept away by the force.
Blinking her eyes, Hermione looked to her summoning array and gasped when she found it missing, but a man standing in its place. He was of average build, but seemed thin and light on his feet. He was dressed in a green tunic and dark brown pants with leather boots. His right hand was covered in a fingerless green glove while the other was wrapped in white bandages, as if it were used it a singular action over and over again and thus had to be protected from harm. Lastly his shoulders were adorned with a dark green cloak. His face was admittedly handsome and seemed to have an easy smile on it with hazel eyes, one of which was slightly obscured by his hair. Said hair was red, but shaggy like the wind had brushed through it. All in all, Hermione seemed almost smitten at the handsome man which had appeared before her.
"Are you my Master?" he asked plainly.
"Uh…wh…what?" the bushy-haired girl gasped out.
"Upon your summoning, I have come forth," the man replied. "Are you my Master?"
Hermione blinked and tried to get her mind back into order. Quickly coming to terms with what this handsome man was saying, she answered, "Y-yes. I am the one who summoned you. Although you weren't quite what I was expecting…."
"Eh, work with what you've got," The man shrugged. "You can call me Archer. Who might you be?"
"Hermione Granger," the young woman answered as she got to her feet, brushing off her pants. "Archer? Is that really your name?"
"My Class actually," Archer replied. "It's safer that you refer to me that way. Wouldn't want your opponents to learn about my name and abilities."
That brought Hermione up short, "My opponents?"
"The other Masters," Archer answered. "You know, the ones you have to fight for the Holy Grail?"
"Oh boy, are we in for a long night," was the soft chuckle to Hermione's shriek.
Lars Von Einzbern withheld the urge to sigh as he watched his master and fellow Death Eaters work. He and the five most loyal Death Eaters including the Lestrange Family, Lucius Malfoy, and Rookwood were sitting at six summoning arrays drawn on the floor of the Malfoy ballroom. Voldemort was sitting on his throne and next to him, Berserker was likewise watching with his insane scowl. Since confusing the Holy Grail hadn't worked and instead triggered a new Grail War, Voldemort planned to have his minions summon the remaining six Servants so that they would all do battle with each other and the winner would face Berserker and throw the match so that Voldemort could claim the Grail.
Lars doubted that the new plan would work, knowing that the Grail had a mind of its own and would no doubt choose who the seven Masters would be. He'd be surprised if the plan did work, but he couldn't voice those doubts since he was on something of thin ice already with the Dark Lord for his plan not working perfectly and getting Yaxley killed in the process even if it did give Voldemort a new Servant at the same time. So he kept his mouth shut and got the materials ready. It had taken a few days to get the materials together, but since no one else knew about the War starting all over again, everyone figured they had time enough for it. Now with the six arrays on the floor, Voldemort signalled for the Death Eaters to begin.
All of them began to make their chants, channelling their magical power into the arrays under Voldemort's watchful eye. They did their work quickly, not wanting to try their lord's patience any long than they had to. Soon, light filled the room as the first of them completed their chant for summoning a Servant, forcing everyone there to shield their eyes and prevent any damage that might go to them. It didn't stop the others from completing their on summoning chants, albeit with their eyes closed. The onrush of power and energy kept everyone's eyes shut, but they so dearly hoped that their efforts would prove fruitful and thus worthy of their lord's praise. As the rush died down, they opened their eyes to see if their hopes weren't in vain.
"Are you my Master?"
Lars blinked and stared at the man standing on front of him, feeling a great measure of relief. His Servant was clad in a black coat and tight brown pants made for running and fighting in. A bandolier ran across his chest while he wore old leather boots and gloves. He appeared to be a soldier in Lars' eyes, though where he came from was anyone's guess. Lars may have had better ideas if he could see the Servant's face, but it was hidden behind the shadows of the hooded black cloak he was wearing.
"Servant Rider has heeded your call," the man spoke, his voice echoing despite the hall not being that big.
With Bellatrix Lestrange was a tall man whose torso was encased in bronze Greek-style armour which had several images crafted onto it, matched by a bronze kilt. He wore leather and bronze leggings to protect his legs and wore leather sandals. In one hand was a long spear which had a silver head that looked incredibly sharp, too sharp to have been made by a mortal. His other hand gripped a shield that had many images carved into its surface. Finally he wore a helmet which was made of bronze and covered the majority of his head, save for a portion which revealed his face but even that had a section running down the length of his nose. On top of the helmet was a decoration not unlike a horse's mane, making him appear taller.
"Servant Lancer has appeared," the man spoke gruffly.
Lastly in front of Lucius Malfoy was a lithe woman who even standing still, exuded sexuality, grace, and death all in one package. Her skin was a midnight black which helped her blend into the darkened room quite easily. She wore simple leather pants over her legs with daggers on her hips while her upper arms and wrists were decorated with thin fabric straps. Her top was bikini-like in that it covered the bare minimum and let her muscled abdomen be revealed. The garment was connected to a bronze set of rings around her neck. All in all, her body looked very desirable. Her face though was a different story. She had long purple/blue hair that was tied into a simple ponytail, reaching down past her behind and silver hoop earrings which added to her beauty, but her face was concealed by a skull-like mask which prevented her true face from being seen at all.
"Servant Assassin has answered your summons," her voice called as smoothly and seductively as her body proposed it would be.
Voldemort watched with a frown as three of his Death Eaters managed to accomplish what he set them out to do. The other three on the other hand seemed to have failed miserably. Berserker seemed to hear his Master's displeasure and was growling faintly, just waiting for the order to attack. Gripped in his hand was a barbed spear which he was able to manifest whenever he felt like it, which was more or less all the time. It was long and was polished steel which was a few feet long, and that was just the metal section rather than the shaft.
"Rider, Lancer, and Assassin," Voldemort frowned. "I seem to recall that Saber, Archer, and Caster are also Servants, yet I do not see them here. Einzbern, why do I not see six Servants in front of me?"
"I...I would have to surmise…that…the Grail did not see fit to allow those three Servants to be summoned by us," Lars gulped, forgetting Rider for the moment. "If that is true, then the Grail may already be manipulating events so that someone else will summon those Servants."
"So those without Servants were unworthy, and the Grail will be finding Masters elsewhere," Voldemort frowned. Rookwood and the Lestrange brothers felt their stomachs clench, fearing that they would be made to feel the Cruciatus Curse for their failure. Voldemort merely got up from his throne as stepped forward, Berserker following him. "I should be angry at those of us here who were found unworthy, but I am a rational man and know that a powerful magic such as the Grail is not something that can be bent to one's will. However, it saw fit to grant us four Servants for our cause. For that, I feel lenient. With these four, we will be able to deal with the likes of Saber, Caster, and Archer soon enough," he then looked to the group as if acknowledging them for the first time. "Bellatrix, Lucius, Lars, you three are to remain here with me. The rest of you, leave my sight!"
Rookwood and the Lestrange brothers left without a word, leaving their fellows, master, and the four Servants behind. Although Lars did feel confident with having Four Servants on their side, he still held some doubts. Saber was hailed as one of the greatest of the classes and would be a considerable threat alone. Archer was likewise a long-range expert, something that most wizards these days had little to no skill in and thus easy prey for the Heroic Spirit. Lastly Caster would have access to powerful magic which no one would have seen in centuries, if not millennia. Oh some may argue that some branches of magic withered out because they were weaker, but Lars knew that some of the most powerful magics of all died out was because there was no one left to pass the secrets onto, or those masters merely took their secrets to the grave with them. Of all the Servants to have not been called to their side, Saber, Caster, and Archer had to be the worst ones of all.
Luna Lovegood hummed a nonsensical tune to herself as she drew a complicated circle on the floor inside of her room. Every year she attempted the same thing since her mother sadly passed away. She was one of the few witches whom conferred with both the Mage's Association and the Ministry of Magic. She was working in the Department of Mysteries and was researching ways to come into contact with Akasha, the Root of all Worlds. While the tried and true method of the Third True Magic was available at the time, it harboured too much brutality and greed for the Unspeakable's tastes. So, she researched other ways which unfortunately ended up with her discovering the Veil which took her life.
Since then, Luna had always taken an interest in the Heaven's Feel, but not for the wish. What interested her more was the summoning of her own personal Hero which would obey her wishes. While she didn't really need a slave or Servant, she was hoping that she would receive a hero who would be her friend.
Luna's life in Hogwarts wasn't exactly fun. Her coming fourth year ominously felt like it would be much like her other three. She was a girl of average build with long blonde hair, but she often liked to wear a necklace made of butterbeer caps and strange earrings. Luna likewise believed in a number of magical creatures which had absolutely no proof of existing in modern magical society and she was mocked for it. She was doubly mocked because her father was the owner and publisher of The Quibbler, a magical magazine filled with all of the ideas of conspiracies and strange creatures which nearly no one believed actually existed. In Luna's opinion if people didn't want to believe simply because such small evidence existed then that was their poor luck. Funnily enough, many muggles believed the same about magic.
While Luna had a few friends like Ginny Weasley, they were all in different houses, leaving her alone in Ravenclaw to be mocked by the logic-minded students there. So part of why she was attempting to invoke the Third True Magic was to have someone she could truly trust inside of her own house. Being able to compete for the Holy Grail would be a nice side-effect. If she won then she would wish to know where all of the Crumple-Horned Snorlacks are in the world along with all of the information needed to find them. A few pictures of them would be very nice for her personal collection.
"Pumpkin, where are you?" the voice of Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna's father, called up from downstairs.
"Summoning a friend to my room Daddy," Luna answered dreamily.
"Okay. Try not to make a mess."
"I'll try," Luna called back.
With her father assured, Luna set back to work. She completed the array quickly. With the circle completed, she made her final checks before starting her chant. It was more or less gibberish based off the traditional chants which she read up in her mother's books. She just thought it was fun and perhaps might help her chances if she used words which sounded more magical.
Whatever the reason for her improvised words, it seemed to be working as the circle began to light up with magical power. She continued her chant as dreamily as she always spoke, even if the swell of hope was quite large in her chest. Maybe, just maybe this time would be the time she would receive her heroic friend. Still chanting, she closed her eyes and made a small prayer to any and all magical spirits listening, The Green Man, Hecate, whoever felt like listening. Divine spirits were busy people after all.
Then the circle unleashed a blast of light. Luna quickly covered her eyes so not to damage them; however she was finding herself to be quite thrilled with all that was going on. From the centre of the circle, a figure rose out of the wooden boards of her home. From head to toe, he was donned in emerald green armour. It held to true motif, but she could tell tree-like carvings spread across the sides. His armour held gentle slopes and branching imagery on its surface much like a forest. His helmet was was marked with a deer's head on the forehead with the antlers branching out. A pair of horns rose from the sides, spreading like antlers with leaves circling close to the neck. A single slit acted like the eyeholes with small holes around the mouth. Around his shoulders was a thick pelt of some animal which was a deep shade of green, much like his armour. On his hip was a large stone axe inlaid with several large emeralds which were glowing with their own light. All in all, he was very imposing.
"Are you my Master?" the green-armoured knight asked in a deep voice.
"I wonder," Luna pondered. Feeling a strange sensation in her right hand, she looked down to see a red marking which looked like a double-headed axe which was proken into three pieces. It was glowing softly across the back of her hand, not being harmful in the least. "It seems I am." Looking back to the knight, she asked. "May I know your name?"
"I am Caster fair lady," the knight answered, kneeling before the spacey blonde.
"My name is Luna,"
Harry cursed mentally as another one of the black cloaked monsters he loathed swooped in an attempt to nab him. He didn't know what a pair of Dementors were during in Little Whinging, but it was quite obvious that they intended some serious harm on him and Dudley whom he was forced to carry.
Harry had successfully managed to bait Dudley and threaten him with his wand, even if he wasn't allowed to cast magic. It had freaked the larger boy out, but then things went straight to hell when the pair of Dementors suddenly appeared as the sun vanished. Harry could feel the memory of his parents' death creeping into his, a sure signal of their approach. Unfortunately, Dudley was suddenly sapped of his energy and had lost his sight in the presence of the soul-suckers. Normally Harry would have cast his Patronus, but with Dudley nearby, it didn't seem he was going to last long in the open. At the very least, getting him into some shelter would diminish the effects and give Harry the time needed to use his magic to drive the pair of monsters away.
"Come on Dudley!" Harry grunted, hefting the heavy boy's arm over his shoulder. As much as Dudley obviously hated his cousin, the heavyset boy obviously knew when it was time to put that aside in favour of getting out of a given situation alive. It put him ahead of his parents at least.
The pair of teenagers dashed (i.e. stumbled) across the street towards one of the houses of Little Whinging. Harry eyed one of the houses which were for sale. The 'for sale' sign was obviously old from the childish drawings on its surface. Still, it was enough for Harry as he walked/dragged his cousin to the front door.
"Dudley, kick forward!" Harry shouted.
"Hrah!" Dudley grunted, kicking forward with what energy he had left. The lock splintered easily and the door swung open. Harry managed to get himself and his cousin inside before slamming the door shut. Glancing around, he spotted an old box filled with something he hoped was heavy. Grabbing it, he yanked the box in front of the door and pressed against it tightly. The screeching noise of the Dementors collided with the wooden door, making Harry step back with his wand. He set his cousin onto the floor, knowing that he would need mobility to take the pair of Azkaban guards down before they did some serious damage.
The screeches of the Dementors died down, making Harry realize that they were looking for an alternate way into the house. He reacted quickly and turned around to try ad see which way the Dementors would try to enter. He scanned the room and quickly found it filled with boxes of junk, but quickly ignored them. Dashing across the room, he discovered that there were some windows, which Harry quickly dashed towards. Pushing back boxes and feeling the corners impact against his legs, Harry began checking the locks of the windows, making sure they were locked. Frost was already collecting over the glass, indicating that the Dementors were getting closer. Locking the last of the windows in the room, Harry watched one of the pair drag its fingers across the frosted surface.
"Not today," Harry grimaced as he backed away.
Then another screech sounded off.
Harry turned around in fear and watched as a black mass of rags and smoke pour out of the fireplace, giving Harry a brief recollection of how Hogwarts acceptance letters burst out of the fireplace when he was eleven. The only difference was that what was coming out of the fireplace this time wasn't something offering him freedom from the Dursleys.
"Expecto-!" Harry cried out in preparation, but as he backed away from the Dementor, he tripped over one of the smaller boxes and fell onto his back with a thud. Groaning, he gasped as his mother's screams echoed violently in his mind as the Dementor stood tall and began reaching for him. "No!"
Then light violently exploded from the floor.
The Dementor screeched and backpedalled away from the light, attempting to shield itself from the light it despised. Harry shielded his eyes at well, and found that he was sitting on the outer edge of a strange circle filled with designs he didn't recognize. In front of him, Harry saw blood drops in the centre which made a trail up his leg where a moderate cut existed, but the bespectacled boy wouldn't quite draw the connection until later. From the centre of the circle, a figure began to rise and if anything, cause the Dementor more fear.
The figure was likely male, and donned in a completely black suit of armour. The armour was configured in jagged edges and ornate dark designs. Harry could have almost sworn that the armour was steel trying to emulate evil. From the knight's back hung several black strips of fabric with ornate black metal tips, possibly for decorative purposes or maybe some other unknown reason. The limbs looked powerful, with all of the heavy armour fitted upon the human frame, making the figure appear to be someone Harry did not want to mess with. The helmet was smooth with a single slit for eyes ending with cross-like markings on either side. From the back of the helmet a long blue ponytail-like ornament hung and while it travelled, it turned from blue to black. Harry knew logically he should have been afraid of the man's fearsome image, but for some reason all he could feel was pity as he peered into the knight's void-like visor.
The light died down and with it, a portion of the Dementor's fear. Making another screeching sound, it began to approach Harry and the strange knight which had appeared. Harry felt his mother's screams reappearing and he quickly began struggling to muster up a happy memory to drive it away. However, the black knight was already moving into action. Reaching to one of the packed boxes, he retrieved what seemed like a cricket bat and started wielding it as a weapon. At first Harry thought that the knight was insane, but to his great shock, purple veins began to spread across the item, making it grow and shift to look like it was made of steel and a twisted version of its former self. The Dementor wasn't intimidated as it continued to approach, but the knight didn't back down either. Rearing his improvised weapon back, the knight unleashed a monstrous swing which smashed the bat against the Dementor's head. Harry saw a purple flash and heard the Dementor scream before a loud crash followed. Rubbing the stars from his eyes, Harry gaped when he saw the knight releasing his stance and the Dementor rolling across the ground in some quite obvious pain.
"You…hurt it?" Harry gasped in shock.
The knight remained silent, dropping the cricket bat. Before Harry's eyes, the purple veins receded and returned the sports item to its natural form. The knight remained tense though, as if anticipating another attack. Said next attack came as the door Harry blocked was slammed open and the second Dementor came flowing inside of the space it created. Like before, the knight seemed to be unaffected by the presence of the monster and grabbed another item poking out of the cardboard boxes, this time an actual fire poker. Like before, purple veins spread through the item and turned it into a twisted spear-like version of itself. The Dementor came screaming towards the knight, but the black armoured man merely reared back his arm and hurled his improvised weapon at his opponent.
Another horrible screech echoed out as the Dementor was pierced by the transformed poker and savagely pinned to the wall. The Dementor's wail echoed and then died out completely as black smoke spewed out from every space available of the monster's body. The cloak emptied and became a crumbling mass of rags. The Dementor was dead.
The remaining Dementor, obviously terrified that its comrade had died, suddenly got a hold of itself and grit through its pain before it flew away from the knight and out of the door into the night. Harry was left alone with his nearly unconscious cousin and the black knight in the room. Harry's eyes were riveted on the black knight as he turned to face the teenager. Silently, the knight calmly approached Harry with not a single threatening move, but his image was threatening enough in his eyes. When he was only a short distance away from Harry, the knight came down on one knee and gazed at The-Boy-Who-Lived almost expectantly.
Gulping, Harry found his voice, "Who…who are you?"
"I am Saber," the knight replied, his tone grim and full of sadness. "And you are my Master."
To be Continued…
A/N: Well, when I started getting into Fate/Stay Night, I pondered with the idea of making up my own Grail war along with following the fifth Grail War from canon. Well, you all know my attempt to follow canon in Fate/Stay Night: Ultimate Master. This on the other hand is my attempts at making my own Grail War and doing things the way I want to. I set it apart from Fuyuki City since the War there would follow the canon style of war so setting it in a different country and having been triggered by the likes of Voldemort would give me some creative leeway.
For those of you who are curious, should this story be continued, Arturia, Shirou, and Rin would be making appearances eventually since two of the new Servants play a role on Arturia's past.