A/N: Two-for-one! Actually, it's technically four-for-one, since I'm posting up the update for Two Blondes and my new Code Geass fic along with this fic. In this chapter, we continue where we left off, with Harry meeting Louise. If you're familiar with the series, you probably know where this will go.
Disclaimer: I do not own either series. I wish I did, though, as then Saito would have never existed, the idiot.
Chapter 1: The Familiar of Zero
"My apologies for not introducing myself earlier, ma'am. I am Harry Potter, a humble traveler. How do you do?"
There was a moment of shocked silence, as those gathered tried to comprehend what they had just seen: all of them, to the student, had summoned some kind of creature for their "Summon Familiar" ritual. Louise le Blanc de la Valliere, commonly called "Louise the Zero," had summoned a commoner with hers.
Someone in the crowd snickered. It was almost immediately stifled, but the damage had been done. As if some invisible dam burst, the laughter began.
And with the laughter, came the teasing.
"It's a commoner! Louise summoned a commoner!"
"Did you hire the commoner, knowing you would fail, Zero?"
"As expected of Louise the Zero!"
"Once a Zero, always a Zero!"
"S-Shut up!" Louise demanded over the din, frustration pushing aside that strange feeling she'd gotten earlier, "I-I just made a small mistake! This thing can't possibly be my familiar!"
Unseen by anyone, a look of annoyance briefly flashed by Harry's face. Thing? Really? Boy, did that bring back memories…
"Just a mistake, huh? But aren't you always like that, Louise?" a well-endowed redhead mocked. Her companion, a petite, bespectacled girl with light blue hair and a large, gnarled staff, nodded in agreement, her eyes never leaving her book.
"Shut your mouth, Zerbst!" Louise snapped, "I'll fix this! I'll just summon another one!"
Harry raised an eyebrow in surprise as he learned that particular piece of information; to form a portal in an entirely different world- and there was no question that this was a different world from his own, if the two barely-discernable moons in the sky were anything to go by- took a lot of power. For this tiny girl to open one not only by accident, apparently, but without feeling any kind of fatigue put her magical reserves on… well, his level, and that was damn impressive!
Harry's musings and the argument between Louise and the girl apparently named Zerbst were interrupted by the teacher, a balding man with wire-framed glasses much like the ones Harry wore as a child and teenager. "Everyone, please be quiet!" he called out. The gathered students immediately settled down, and he turned his attention to Louise. "Ms. Valliere," he began.
"Mr. Colbert! Please, allow me to do the summoning one more time! I-"
"I cannot allow that, Ms. Valliere."
"What? But- I- why not?"
By this time Louise looked like she was on the verge of tears. Harry felt his heart go out to her, despite her rudeness earlier; judging by the comments and teasing, his summoner apparently failed at correctly casting magic often, much like his friend Neville Longbottom back in the day.
"Because this is the Springtime Familiar Summoning, a sacred ritual! As such, there will be no do-over's; you have called him to your service, therefore he shall be your familiar."
"But… that's…" Louise stuttered, unable to even articulate a word over her frustration and embarrassment.
"Just continue with the ritual, Ms. Valliere."
"…Yes, sir," she pouted and sighed dejectedly, before turning back to Harry. He idly noted that, even when glaring at him, his summoner was rather fetching. She reminded him somewhat of an angry kitten, really- all childlike indignation and adorableness. Made him want to scratch behind her ear and see if she could purr like one.
A small part of him took this time to wonder if finding this girl that couldn't have been more than thirteen, fourteen at most, attractive could be considered hebephilia. But that train of thought was quickly discarded when he considered that, at his age, finding any girl attractive could be considered somewhat immoral, as, more likely than not, he would be many, many, MANY times older than them.
She continued to glare up at him- he towered head and shoulders over her petite frame- before huffing indignantly and gesturing for him to lower his head. Amused and curious, Harry obliged.
When his head was at a comfortable height, she cleared her throat and said to him, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity for a commoner like you, so you better be thankful!" A blush began to stain her cheeks as she lightly rested the tip of her wand against his forehead.
"My name is Louise de Blanc de la Valliere. Pentagon of the Five Elemental Powers, grant your blessings upon this being," Louise intoned, her face slowly drifting closer to Harry's, "And bind it as my familiar." The last was almost breathed, as by now they were so close that a twitch from either of them would have their noses touching. She tilted her head the slightest bit, steeled herself, and leaned in…
Louise drew back a bit. "What?" she snapped, annoyed that the commoner was interrupting the ritual.
"Just wanted to know if this would be your first kiss."
Louise scowled- gee, thanks for the reminder. As if this wasn't a daunting enough task already, he just had to remind her that her first kiss wouldn't be with a handsome knight, like her childhood crush, Wardes, but with some random, dirty hick!
…Though she had to admit, with those emerald green eyes and messy black hair, she certainly could have done worse…
No! Bad Louise! Bad! Don't forget that this was a commoner! Someone below your station!
Her mood getting fouler by the second from both the situation and the inappropriate thoughts, she bit out a scathing, "Yes! What of it, commoner?" Much to her growing displeasure, he didn't seemed cowed in the least bit.
"Oh, just wanted to make sure," he said. Then, much to her surprise, his hand darted out from under his cloak to gently cup her cheek, and his smile, until now small and half-amused, as if there was a joke only he was in on, turned tender. Louise felt her face heat up even more than it already was as her heart began to race.
"After all, it's bad form, ruining a girl's first kiss," she heard him whisper over the roaring in her ears. And then his lips were on hers.
All she could feel was heat, a different heat from her earlier embarrassment, coursing through her veins. And pleasure. Pleasure that rushed through her, up and down her spine, swirled around her brain, rested in her chest, in the pit of her stomach, in her most secret of places, was everywhere and anywhere and nowhere, all at once. She thought she might have heard a moan that might have been hers, and that little bit of pleasant wetness that first brushed against her lips, then darted into her mouth to caress her tongue might have been his own tongue, but Louise found that she couldn't care less as she lost herself in the experience and began kissing back.
When the kiss was over and he drew away, he was met with the sight of a rosy-cheeked Louise sporting a pair of plump, slightly bruised lips and a dazed expression that practically screamed "snogged completely senseless." He almost smirked.
Heh. After so many years (centuries? millennia?) out of practice, it was nice to know that he still had it.
Unfortunately, though, she was eventually able to shake away the fog left by the kiss. When she came back to her senses and realized just what had happened, her blush turned a shade of red that Harry was quite sure he'd never encountered before.
"What- I- How- WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" she sputtered, then shrieked, jarring the class, whom had all been shocked speechless by the rather steamy kiss they had just witnessed, back to awareness.
Harry just smiled. "You wanted a kiss. That was a kiss. Why, did it not please you?" he asked. If one were to look closely, they would see the smallest glimmer of mischief in his eyes.
"Yes! I mean no! I mean- that is- how dare you take such liberties with a noble, commoner!" Harry's smile turned into an outright grin of mischief; his summoner- or would that be mistress, now, since, from what he had gathered from the scant conversations he had overheard, he had apparently just partaken in some kind of ritual that had bound him to her as her familiar- was just too cute when she was flustered!
"Well, I- huh?" he began to reply, but stopped as a burning pain flared on the back of his right hand. It wasn't even close to Cruciatus, but was still rather annoying. He glanced at the source of his pain, and blinked as he saw a bunch of runes burn into his skin.
Windalfr? What in Merlin's name was that supposed to mean?
"Um… can someone explain to me why I suddenly have this really cool tattoo?" he asked to the general audience, still studying his hand and completely forgetting the argument he had been having just seconds earlier. He didn't even deign to consciously address the slight intrusion of some sort of mind magic he could feel attempting to affect him, as his rather vicious Occlumency shields had already ripped it apart before it could get the slightest foothold.
"Those are 'Runes'," Louise answered with a huff, obviously still somewhat miffed at his actions, "They mark you as my familiar."
"Huh. I see," Harry replied absentmindedly, still studying the runes and bothering to correct her mistaken assumption that his curiosity was out of ignorance. He could recognize the runic combination for air, earth, sea, beast, mastery, and guardianship, but everything else was new to him.
"Well done, Ms. Valliere!" Mr. Colbert- whom Harry had completely forgotten was still there- called out as he approached them, "Your 'Familiar's Contract" is now complete, and it is a rather precise one, at that! I must say, those are very unique runes! Say, may I see them?"
"Um… sure?" Harry replied, holding out the marked hand. The man studied them closely, muttering under his breath as he made mental notes to himself. After he was satisfied, he thanked Harry, who smiled and nodded back, and turned back to the rest of class.
"And with that, the ritual is complete," he announced, "You may all return to your dormitories. Dismissed."
As the class dispersed, Louise grabbed Harry's hand to take a look at the runes for herself. She looked like she was about to comment when another voice, a sultry purr that hinted at things better left for a bedroom, called out to them: "Well, well, congratulations, Louise. You summoned a marvelous familiar~!" Harry was pretty sure a working brain wouldn't have been required to sense the sarcasm that practically dripped from the word "marvelous." Apparently, Louise was of the same mind, and took offense to the tone.
"Kirche, you…!" Louise bit out as the well-endowed redhead from earlier- didn't Louise call her "Zerbst" then? Was "Kirche" the girl's surname, or something?- approached them, her petite blue-haired companion in tow.
"Now, now, I don't intend to do anything," the taller girl replied with a giggle, "…Well, for now, anyway."
Louise just let out a cute little growl, which Kirche/Zerbst/whatever ignored as she turned away. Then, much to Harry's surprise, she began to rise off the ground unassisted. It wasn't the flying part that surprised him, though- he could fly without any aid other than his magic, as well- but rather the fact that she seemed perfectly ordinary as far as mages went- he had been nearly 400 years old when he figured out the trick to unaided flight, and it had taken so much power that in the beginning he could only move several feet before his reserves- massive even then- were exhausted. The fact that not only Kirche, but the whole class seemed to know how to fly suggested that either all the mages in this world had magical cores on par with his, or magic worked differently for them.
Considering who and what he was, he was betting on the latter.
A small part of his mind idly noted that Kirche was apparently wearing black, side-tie panties. Not a bad choice; it complimented her skin tone- a healthy tan that suggested either many hours spent nude sunbathing, or dark-skinned ancestry of some type- and hourglass figure. Very sexy, that.
"I'll come and formally greet you some other time~! See ya~!" she called back as she and her quiet friend flew off, the latter never taking her eyes off of her book even during their take off and flight.
"Huh. That was pretty impressive," Harry commented as he watched the students- and Kirche/Zerbst/whatever's perfect, sexy-black-panty-clad arse, in particular- fly away. Louise just gave an unladylike snort and started walking in the opposite direction.
"Whatever. We're going back, too," she told him over her shoulder. Harry raised an eyebrow at the fact that his new mistress was apparently going to walk back instead of joining her cohorts. He had an inkling as to why that was, but decided to make sure, just in case- you know what they say about assumptions, after all…
"So… how come we're not flying back as well?" he asked as he followed after Louise. He was met with stony silence, but continued asking anyway.
"I take it that you can't do that flying thing?" Louise twitched.
"Just shut up and follow me!" she snapped, never looking back. Apparently, he had hit a nerve.
"It's alright, milady. I can't do it either," Harry consoled, adding on a mental 'at least, when I was your age, anyway.' Even with withholding that last bit from her, though, his words still served to just piss her off further.
"I said SHUT UP!" she screamed petulantly, stomping off in a foul dungeon. Harry followed after, suppressing the quiet chuckle that wanted to escape his lips at the adorable sight of her stalking away; she really was like an angry kitten. All she really needed to complete the image was a pair of cat ears and a stiff, puffed-up tail. It really was just too cute.
"So the job of a familiar is to perform various tasks for their master or mistress, like gathering potion ingredients and… reagents?"
"…Reagents. Familiars also give their masters an improvement in sight, smell, and hearing, as the master can use their senses as their own."
"Also, the familiar a mage summons determines their elemental alignment of the mage. So if a mage summons a water-type familiar, their alignment is water, if they summon a fire-type familiar, fire, and so on."
Nod. Nod. Nod.
Harry, realizing that her definition of a familiar could possibly be different from the definition he grew up with, had asked his new mistress just what his new "job" entailed. He figured: if Fate was going to make him the familiar of a loli tsundere mage (though a very cute loli tsundere mage that was only going to get more beautiful with time, if what he'd gleaned from her mind about her mother and sisters was true), then he was going to go into this with both eyes open and all the information he needed; no more being a bloody, gun-jumping, half-cocked Gryffindor idiot, his ancestry and Hogwarts house be damned!
And damn was it a good thing that he asked! Dear Merlin, what had Fate gotten him into? Gathering potion ingredients? Shared senses? And that thing with the elemental alignment! What did that make Louise's element, then? Death? Hedwig never had to deal with anything like this!
...Well, at least, not until he had awaken the Potter bloodline...
...Whoops, she was talking to him again. What did she say?
"I'm sorry?" Harry asked. Louise gave a cutely indignant huff.
"I asked you, commoner, what can you do?"
Harry pondered his answer for a moment- on the one hand, he didn't want reveal to much about his abilities because they would draw too much attention to him, and he liked his peace and quiet, thank you very much! But on the other hand, if he didn't give Louise an acceptable answer, she was likely to make the near future somewhat uncomfortable for him. Hmm… what to do, what to do…?
Unfortunately, it seemed he took too long to decide, as Louise drew her own conclusions from his silence.
"I can't believe it! You can't do anything, can you?" she ranted, "You're a vagabond! I bonded a vagabond! You're absolutely useless!"
Harry blinked. "I'm sorry…?" he asked again, somewhat lost as to how Louise had come to the conclusion of him being a vagabond when he hadn't even given her his answer. In another unfortunate case of miscommunication, Louise took his confused enquiry as an insincere apology.
"You know what?" she (cutely) growled, "Just do my laundry! You can at least do that, right?"
Harry, not completely sure on what to say (as every response he'd given [or not given, as the case may be] so far seemed to just piss his new mistress off further), simply nodded. Oh well, laundry wasn't so bad, really. It certainly wouldn't be the most demeaning or labor-intensive thing he'd ever done, and it would give him a chance to think up an answer for Louise that wouldn't reveal too much, yet would satisfy her.
Harry soon lost himself in his thoughts, too busy trying to figure out what to say to notice that Louise, having gotten his affirmative, had turned away from him. He had just decided to play up his traveler act and tell her he had a little bit of experience with everything, when his thoughts were derailed by something soft hitting him in the face. Blinking in surprise, Harry reached up and quickly pulled off the offending object: a shirt.
Specifically, Louise's shirt.
Glancing up, Harry was met with the sight of Louise undoing the skirt of her uniform, leaving her in nothing but a short, translucent pink negligee and a pair of virginal-white panties. Being possibly older than the country he was currently residing in and "experienced" on a level few could claim didn't stop Harry from blushing lightly as he (somewhat) unconsciously checked out what could easily be every lolicon's wet dream.
"Um… milady?" He asked after he got himself together, "What are you doing?"
"I'm taking my clothes off. What does it look like I'm doing, familiar?" she snapped, tossing her skirt at him. Harry absently grabbed it out of the air and folded it over his arm in one quick movement. His unconscious act of dexterity went unnoticed by either of them
"Yes, I can see that," he replied calmly, "What I am asking is why you're changing when I am still in the room with you. Unless this land has drastically different concepts of propriety from the ones I'm familiar with, I would think that you, being a noble lady, would know that changing in front of one of the opposite gender is highly improper."
Harry honestly started to worry when Louise just stared at him blankly in reply, wondering if maybe the local people really DID have slightly looser standards than he was used to. But then his mistress seemed to come to some kind of realization, and, with a condescending smirk that rankled him despite his millennia-honed patience, told him, "I think you have the wrong idea about this, familiar."
Harry felt an eyebrow involuntarily raise in question. "I do?" he asked.
"Yes," Louise continued imperiously, "You are my familiar. Undressing in front of you is no more different than undressing in front of a pet, like a dog or something. Do you understand?"
"Yes," Louise affirmed, before removing her panties and tossing them in her familiar's general direction. "Now, having said that, be a good familiar and wash those for me, will-"
Louise froze as a chill settled over her; his voice, up until now always laced with hints of mischief and amusement, as if he didn't take life or the world completely seriously, had suddenly shifted into one that was hard and authoritative and not a little bit irritated- it was a tone that clearly conveyed that the addressed had just made a very stupid mistake, or had taken leave of their sense. It was a tone that Louise feared above all others, as it was much like the one her mother, the legendary "Heavy Wind," Duchess Karin Desiree, would take just before she decided to shove more "necessary" etiquette lessons down her throat.
She slowly, cautiously turned to face her familiar, and saw that his eyes had changed in much the same way as his tone of voice had: from warm and soft with a constant glimmer of mischief, to the hardness of the gem they resembled. On seeing he had her attention, he continued, "While I do not mind being your familiar- in fact, I am quite happy with my current situation, all things considered- I do not appreciate not only being looked down on, but being considered less than human. I am a sentient being, with all the rights afforded thereof, and I would prefer that you keep that in mind from now on, do you understand, Ms. Valliere?" Despite never having raised his voice above a normal volume, by the end of his speech Louise had the distinct impression that he was roaring in rage. There was also a pressure that had quickly built up in the room that was making it hard to breath, and, for just a brief second, she could have sworn her familiar's eyes were glowing. Louise, for all the training and indoctrination her mother put her through, for all her previous conviction that she had summoned a useless commoner, found herself so scared at the moment that she could do nothing but nod in assent. As soon as she did, the pressure in the room was gone as suddenly as it had come, and Harry seemed to sag in on himself just the smallest bit.
"Thank you, milady," he thanked with a nod, before continuing in a voice that, while no longer as scary, was still nowhere near as warm as it was before, now somewhat stiff and distant, "Now, if you would excuse me, milady, I must go and wash your clothes, as you commanded earlier. Is there anything else you need of me, before I go?"
"Y-yes," Louise stuttered, the little voice in the back of her mind that usually kept her from doing so by constantly reminded her of her mother's teachings still cowed into silence by what she had just witnessed, "I n-need you t-to wake me a s-sunrise."
Harry gave her another nod and, with a stiff "I bid you good night, milady," left the room, softly closing the door behind him. Louise waited several seconds after he was gone before she released a breath she was only vaguely aware she had been holding. "W-what the hell was that?" she whimpered to the empty room, trying to comprehend what she had just witnessed.
She still hadn't made any leeway an hour later, when, mentally exhausted from having her thoughts run in figurative circles, she finally fell asleep.
A/N: Next time, on Mistress of Death: Harry meets Siesta, and Louise inadvertently goes mindwalking. This should be good... or boring, depending on how much I bugger this up.