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NOTE: Do to some unfortunate issues at where I was living at in Florida, I'm now living back home in my home state of Arizona, and I just now got internet again. Here's the next chapter, enjoy.
Seventeen year old Harry Silvermoon yawned and stretched, today was his birthday and he had it off due to the way his mother ran her ship or would have if they had been away from the Rock of Bral. With another stretch he slipped out of bed and reached for a few grapes in the silver chalice bowl they had taken off the smuggler ship the year before. Hearing a slight rumble and purr behind him he turned and grinned at the antics of his new pet.
"You want some grapes boy?" Harry asked the pseudo dragon and then tossed a few to the small dragon who snapped them out of the air as if they were flies annoying him.
Falkner purred as he swallowed the grapes and Harry laughed as he picked up an apple and cored and sliced it with his dagger. He started tossing the pieces of apple to the little dragon who gobbled them down as he caught them. With another smile he set the knife down and then gathered clean clothes to wear after he took his morning bath. As he stripped down, Falkner flew over to his bed and curled up on his pillow, his deadly hook tail wrapped around his nose and a constant purr coming from him.
Shaking his head, Harry went into his bathroom and filled the tub with water and then tossed a few heat stones into the water as he checked to see if he needed to shave. Seeing no hairs he sighed and then stepped into the water and settled into the large tub to soak. Currently the Blackwood was docked with the Rock while the ship was undergoing repairs; they were housed in a small house his mother owned on the rock. It would be six weeks to repair a damaged section of the starboard side where a pirate ship had rammed them when they were attacked by three to one odds.
All three pirate ships were captured and left burning after they sacked them of everything that could be used or sold. They had also rescued twelve prisoners who were being held for ransom and were released to the local military to be repatriated back to their homes but it had been a costly victory. Fourteen of their crew were killed and ten more seriously wounded with three permanently retired due to the loss of limbs. They had also received a five thousand gold piece reward for taking out the three pirate ships which Jalyla and the crew had given to the three that had to be retired so they had a way to survive with their injuries.
The door flew open and his mother walked in to the bathroom and Harry watched as she stripped and slipped into the large tub with him. Nudity wasn't something taboo and wasn't something he was ashamed of being raised by a half elf, so seeing his mother naked wasn't as bad as some strange woman that he didn't know. He knew he still blushed when he spoke with a pretty girl, but this was his mother and he had seen her naked many times over the years.
"Good morning sweetheart, and happy birthday. Do you feel older?" Jalyla said as she leaned over and kissed his cheek.
"Thank you, Mother, and no, it seems like just another day to me," Harry replied as he handed her the sponge to wash with.
"It is, but it's also the day your real mother gave birth to you so we honor our mothers on our birthdays as you know. Have you prepared your candles?" Jalyla asked as she dunked her head into the water.
Harry waited for her to come up and then responded, "Yes, I have two of them for my mum and father that I'll light before we break our fast and have our morning meal."
"Good, I also have some news. We will have three additional guests for dinner tonight and your party," Jalyla said as she started washing her long blond hair.
Harry moved behind his mother and started helping her with her hair, "Oh who?"
Jalyla turned her head and grinned, "It's a surprise," she said with a wink.
Harry started to frown, as he hated surprises and then shrugged knowing his mother wouldn't do anything to upset him.
"Don't worry, son, it's a good surprise," she said as she dunked her head under the water to get the soap out as Harry started on his.
Harry dunked his head under the water as his mother left the tub and when he came up she was wrapped in a towel drying her hair with her magical brush. With each brush, the magic stripped the water away until her hair shone .like wheat in the morning sun.
"What color hair are you going to have this morning?" Jalyla asked as Harry climbed from the tub and she had to stop and admire how he was becoming a handsome man. His well toned body was muscle in all the right places and not a single sign of the once malnourished boy was in displayed. Even his eyes shined without those hideous glasses that he once wore to hide them. She knew he was intelligent and the way he devoured books that he would spend his pay on or take as his part of the plunder had expanded his library from several hundred books to several thousand over the years. He even had a spell that he discovered in one of the books that would make a copy of any book and if he put enough magic behind the spell, it would be permanent.
Harry stopped and looked at his mother, with crinkle of his nose as he thought of the new color, his hair turned to the same color as his mother and grew another four inches to hang just past his shoulders and his ears changed to give a slight point to them.
"How's this mother?" Harry asked with a grin.
Jalyla laughed and pulled her son into a hug, "I love you."
"Love you too, mother," Harry replied as he broke the hug and then kissed her cheek, "we should get dressed. I'm getting hungry."
"Me too," Jalyla said as she picked up her braies and slipped them on.
Harry and Jalyla quickly dressed and headed out of the bathroom. Harry stopped in his bedroom and picked up the two candles that would burn for twenty-four hours in honor of his parents and looked over at Falkner who was sound asleep on his pillow. Shaking his head he left the room, leaving the door cracked in case Falkner decided to join him downstairs. Stopping in the living room, he paused as he looked out the window towards the shipyard where the Blackwood was undergoing repairs. Going to the fireplace he placed the candles in the two silver holders and with a prayer he placed his hands together in prayer.
"Mother, father, I light the candles so you know that you're never forgotten. I give thanks to my parents for my life and promise to live it to the fullest of my abilities. Mother, Father, I don't know how you died, but Aunt Petunia said you two died in a car accident. Do I believe this? No, not really because with my adopted mother has shown me what true love is and Aunt Petunia was and is full of hate for you, Mother. All I know, is I hope you're watching down over me and are proud of what I have become. Today, I become an adult in an adult's world, but to you two and Jalyla I'll still be your little boy, a boy who arrived here scared, hurt and very lonely and totally alone. But now, I have friends, true friends who would die for me as I would for them. That is a true friend, and as for love? I haven't met her yet, but when I do, I'll know it and on that day, I hope to make you even prouder parents when I take her for my bride and give you the grandchildren that will honor all three of my parents. So on this day, July 31st on earth, I beseech you both to bless this day and in remembrance of your love I offer these candles engraved with your true names to honor and remember you on my birth day which was seventeen years ago. Know I don't remember you, but I still know you must have loved me for the eighteen months you had me and know I love and miss you both. I beseech your blessing in the Gods names. Amen," Harry said as he lit the two candles.
Jalyla stood in the doorway, tears running down her cheeks as her son asked and gave his requests to his parents. As he lit the second candle, she walked over and wrapped him in a hug, "Where ever they are, I know they have heard you and send their love to you my son. Something tells me they didn't die in what you called an accident. What it was that killed them? I don't know, but I do know… no, I feel that they loved their little boy with all their hearts."
Harry hugged his mother's arms to him as the tears ran down his cheeks as he thought of his real parents and how he has so many questions he wished he could ask them.
"You ok?" Jalyla asked in a whisper.
"No, but I'll will be," Harry replied as he turned and wrapped his arms around his mother, "I love you mother."
"Love you too," she said as she took his head in her hands and brushed the tears away, "Who'd have thought that some little scamp would work himself into this warrior's heart and show her that there was still love out there and that someone needed her when she buried her husband of three months several months before he arrived."
Harry smiled and then kissed her forehead, "I'd have liked to have met him. From what you told me, he was a wonderful person that I would have been proud to call my father."
Jalyla thought of her husband and then smiled, "Come let's eat and then we shall explore the merchant distract together as mother and son before the party tonight."
"Ok," Harry replied as he led his mother to the dining room where he pulled her chair out for her.
As she sat, Harry scooted her into the table and then sat beside her as one of the stewards from the ship came in with their breakfast on a cart.
"Thank you, Hawkins, it looks wonderful," Jalyla said to the young man who blushed under her praise.
"Thank you, Miss. Happy Birthday, Harry," Justin Hawkins said as he set Harry's plate down in front of him and grinned when he saw the look on the young man's face as he pulled the cover off the plate.
"PANCAKES!" Harry blurted out as he looked at the plate and then around the table for the syrup and took the jar that Justin produced from the cart, "Thank you, Justin. You know what I like."
"Well you taught us how to make them, and it's your birthday, so we thought you deserved something special for it," Justin said as he uncovered the rest of the plates.
A loud crash was heard from upstairs and the flapping of wings, "I hope you have another plate for the greedy guts," Jalyla said as another loud thud was heard.
"Of course Ma'am," Justin said as he reached under the cart and pulled out a large pail filled with pancakes and covered in syrup and butter.
Justin had barely hung the pail on the stand before it rocked under the twenty pound pseudo dragon that landed on the bar. Before he could pull his hand back, the dragon had his head buried into the pail and they all heard the slurps as the creature devoured the mixture of pancakes, sausage and bacon.
"Slow down greedy guts," Harry said as he started covering his pancakes with butter.
A loud burp was heard from inside the pail but the head never stopped moving nor the throat as it swallowed the bites of food.
Jalyla giggled at the antics of the dragon and went back to her breakfast of fruit and bread while Harry ate his pancakes and sausage. Twenty minutes later, with their armor on and weapons at their hips they stepped out of the house leaving the dragon sleeping back on Harry's bed.
While Jalyla carried her normal weapon, Harry had his magical sack over his left shoulder and clutched in his right hand was his ironwood staff that he had made for himself six months before. The tips of the staff were incase in Dwarven Mythrial while the shaft was carved with hundreds of runes that Harry had self taught himself from the books his Aunt Penny had given him. Unknown to his mother that the inside of the staff had been hollowed out and filled with blood and ground up talon and hearts of three dragons, a red, a black and a silver dragon that was freely given by its mate. Tied to the top of the staff were a dozen feathers from magical creatures. Jalyla knew two of the feathers were from a Pegasus that they had rescued on Oerth from a slaughter house that was going to kill the noble creature for spell components.
"I see you finished your staff," Jalyla said as they closed the door to their house.
"I think so… I just hope Aunt Penny likes it. I followed the directions in the book she gave me, but one thing is different. They use wands while I was drawn to the staff. Why I don't know," Harry replied as they headed into town.
"I'm sure she will. I don't see much difference in a wand or staff except that a staff is limited in amount of power before it's drained while a wand will last much longer and is easier recharged. What spells did you infuse it with?" Jalyla asked.
"That's just it. I didn't. I… I just followed my heart and poured my power into it. I think it will act like Uncle Nick and Aunt Penny's wands and be a focal instead of like our wands of lightning or Barlow Rod of Smiting," Harry replied as they went around the corner and entered the market section.
Jalyla thought of how Penny and Nick's wands worked and then nodded as she knew how Harry's magic worked and nodded, "I see. Well let's head into the clothing store. You need new clothes and I won't have you looking bedraggled at your party tonight."
"I have good clothes," Harry replied as his eyes spotted several of the crew around the square and he wondered what they were doing here instead of down in the cheaper areas of the market.
"Yes, I know you do, but these are for the party, so don't complain," Jalyla said as she dragged him into the store, and called out, "Yvonne, are they ready?"
Harry groaned as the petite woman came out from the back. He had known her for the last ten years and every year they stopped at the rock, she used him as her boy toy to dress up. Plastering a smile on his face, he said, "Lady Yvonne, it's good to see you again."
"Harry! My little boy," the dark haired beauty, said as she grabbed Harry by the cheeks and gave him a kiss, "Happy birthday, my little Harry. You're all grown up now and I have to say you're looking good," she replied as she licked her lips, "Very good indeed."
Harry started blushing as he realized that he could see through the blouse that Yvonne was wearing and that her tattoos that covered her breasts made them stand out.
Jalyla laughed as she watched her son turn red from the display Yvonne was putting on, "You still have it girl, but leave him semi dressed. Now he needs his new clothes I ordered for his birthday."
Yvonne pouted and then smiled as she kissed Harry on the lips, as she broke the kiss, she replied with a small wink, "Well he's an adult now so I wouldn't feel bad if he wanted to grace my bed now, but for now, he needs his clothes and clothes is what he shall have. Look the door Jalyla."
Leaving the blushing boy behind her, she sashayed over to her counter where several bundles of clothes were laid out as Jalyla locked the door. Picking up the first piece of clothing she looked over her shoulder at Harry and commanded, "Strip."
"WHAT!" Harry gasped out.
"Strip down to your braies so we can see if these fit right," Yvonne ordered as she unfolded the shirt that was silverish in color with gold and green trim.
Harry stripped down to his braies leaving the clothes in one of the chairs and his weapons lying on the counter as he turned around, Yvonne walked up to him and held the shirt to his chest.
"Yes, you were right the green trim does bring out his eyes," Yvonne said as she walked around Harry and slipped the shirt up his arms and over his shoulder.
"Of course I was. I do know my son," Jalyla said as she watched the seamstress work on her son.
"That you do," Yvonne replied as she stepped around the young man and started buttoning the shirt up.
As she buttoned the last shirt button she adjusted the shoulders until it sat the way she wanted.
"I think it's too loose," Harry said as he realized that the shirt was actually a size to big for him.
"It's supposed to be," Yvonne said as she pressed the two silver buttons on his shoulder and the shirt glowed blue and then shrunk to fit his muscular chest.
"By the Gods where did you get elven cloth?" Jalyla asked in shock as she sat down in one of the nearby chairs.
"From a friend of a friend," Yvonne stated as she walked over to the counter and picked up the pants that were the same color, "as he grows that outfit will expand with him. As long as it's never cut after I set the magic, it will last him for years, but I do hope he comes in for more special clothes," she said as she licked her lips.
Harry started blushing again and Yvonne laughed as she picked up the pants for him to where. They were the same silver color but instead had a one inch thick green strip that ran from each hip down to the cuffs and around the base of the pant legs. She handed them to Harry and then picked up the gold belt to slip into the loops as Harry pulled the pants up his legs.
"Sigh, why must he wear those braies, natural is so much better," Yvonne said wistfully as Harry turned bright crimson and his hair went from blond to bright red and he quickly yanked the pants up.
"Mother! Do something about your friend," Harry demanded.
"She's your friend too," Jalyla replied as she sat in her chair laughing like crazy.
"Not funny mother. Yvonne, nothing will happen between us. You're too much like family, now please can we just finish this," Harry said after he caught his breath and calmed down.
"Sure, love, if you cannot tease family, who can you," Yvonne replied as she slipped the belt through the loops and then activated the magic in the pants and they shrunk to fit him better, "That looks nice," she added as she stepped back to admire her work.
Jalyla stood up and walked around Harry taking in the tight fitting clothes and then said, "Yes it does, and Harry. Keep the color of red hair, for some reason it seems better on then you then any color you've had before even your original black that you had when you arrived here."
"Ok strip, and get up on the stool," Yvonne ordered as she picked up her magical tape measure.
"I sure wish I knew why I can change my features. Maybe I should ask Aunt Penny and Uncle Nick if they know why it keeps happening," Harry replied as he removed the outfit and handed it back to Yvonne to wrap and then stepped up on to the stool.
Thirty minutes later, Harry had an order for twenty outfits and was carrying the one for tonight's dinner in his magical sack as they stepped out of the shop. His mother had even ordered a dozen new outfits, even if she didn't need them. They headed down the lane, looking into each shop as they went. Some they entered, some they skipped but they did wave and talk with any of the owners who were near the door. Several times, Harry saw some of the ship's crew around them.
"Mother, are you expecting trouble?" Harry asked when he saw several of the marines from the ship flanking them.
"Always, but in this case, yes because we've received death threats from Ballmer's Pirates for taking out three of his raiders," Jalyla said as they entered one of the used book stores to browse the books.
Minerva looked at the calendar on her wall and sighed, "Happy Birthday, Harry," she said and then went back to her work.
The last year had been a nightmare. One student almost killed in the girls bathrooms by a mountain troll. Another injured when his broom malfunctioned during training class. Hagrid almost arrested for having a dragon, but with Albus' help, they had prevented that by saying he had recovered the egg and they were waiting to send the new hatching to the Romanian Dragon reserves.
The stone barely kept from being stolen by Voldemort when it was revealed that he was in the back of Quirrell's head. Albus then destroyed the stone for his greater good to prevent Voldemort from looking for it. Thanks to the Flamels sending Albus a fake stone, he thought they would die, but they would be here to bring Harry home when he was needed. It had been a close race but Ravenclaw had won the house cup for the first time in Twenty-five years while the Quidditch cup had been won by the Gryffindors by the skin of their chaser's teeth.
The biggest problem had been Severus who ranted that Potter thought he was too good to attend the school and didn't believe he was missing. His attitude towards all but the Slytherins had become unbarring and she was waiting on Severus to arrive at her door. It had taken talking with Penny and Nick to see how she was not doing her job and the upcoming meeting was a result of those talks.
Finishing off another report, this one about the school brooms and how an Heir to an Ancient and Noble House had almost been killed by one. She was sure this would get the new brooms the school needed even if she had to use Mr. Longbottom bad luck to get them. The board didn't need to know that. All they needed to know was it was an heir and with the Goddess luck, they'd have new brooms come next year. Setting the letter for the board to the side, she picked up the next one when a knock came to her door.
"Come in Severus," Minerva said as she looked at the paper in front of her.
The door opened and Severus Snape, Potion Professor and head of house for the Slytherins glided into the room in his typical black with his greased back hair.
"You asked to see me?" Severus asked as he sat down without asking.
"Yes I did Severus," Minerva replied, never looking up from the paper that was dealing with the greenhouse repairs, "As of today, you're on probation…"
Severus stood up suddenly, his chair sliding back, "For what?" he demanded.
"Well one is your attitude. Another is your constant bullying of students not of your house. Really after seven years of it when you were a student here, you have become the one thing you hated, a bully…" Minerva replied as she checked off several items on the list that Professor Sprout had asked for.
"I do not bully, but I see your Gryffindors have complained again," Severus stated.
"No, I have looked at all the reports from all the houses and the point reduction you have taken. Do you know you have taken four times as many points as any of the other teachers have? Really, taking points for breathing to loud or blinking too much or even for asking questions? You have gone too far and it's going to stop…"
"Albus will never allow it…"
Minerva stood up and her eyes locked onto Severus as she snapped out in anger, "Albus will have no choice but to accept it. This is not Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor talking. This is Assistant Headmistress Minerva McGonagall speaking and your boss. Now as I was saying. You're on probation this next year. If you don't shape up and start teaching your students then by the Goddess I'll find someone who can teach. Like Horace if I have to drag his fat ass back here to get rid of you. Do I make myself clear?"
Severus nodded his head as he replied, "Crystal."
"Dismissed," Minerva ordered as she sat back down in her chair.
Severus, turned around and stomped to the door, yanking it open, he stepped out and thought of slamming it but with Minerva already angry at him, he gently shut it.
As the door shut, Minerva went back to her paperwork and was finishing up when the floo went active and a spell flew out and hit her painting freezing it. She picked up her wand and hit the portrait with another spell that put it to sleep and then called out, "What do you need Nick?"
"Want to attend a birthday party?" Nick replied from his side of the floo.
"You need to ask? When should I join you?" Minerva asked.
"In about an hour, so if you want to change you can," Nick said as he stepped through the floo.
"That would be lovely," Minerva replied as she stood up and hugged Penny as she came through the floo.
"Good pack enough for a week," Penny said as she released her friend and then handed her a small gold chain, "This is a portkey to where we will leave from. Just don't let Albus know."
"No worry on that. He's in Geneva right now for the annual ICW meetings. I will leave Filius Flitwick in charge," Minerva stated.
"Good, you'll only be gone for a few days, but I think you'll enjoy the visit," Penny replied as she stepped over to the floo, "see you in an hour."
Minerva watched the two floo out and then left her office to find Filius who she found in his office. Quickly telling him that she would be gone for the next two days and that she'd see him when she returned she left for her quarters where she packed a small bag, shrunk it and stepped through the floo to Diagon Alley to buy a present for Harry and she knew which book to get him from her talks with Penny and Nick.
Harry led his mother out of the store, a dozen new books tucked away in his bag. As they stepped out onto the street, he heard a whistling noise coming towards him and he moved his staff and a throwing star bounced off of it.
"Watch out Mother, we're under attack," Harry snapped out as his eyes searched for the assassin and found the person on the roof across from them as he hurled three more stars.
Harry twirled his staff and a glowing blue shield appeared in front of him, stopping the next three stars and sending them back at the assassin at twice their speed causing the man to flip backwards to avoid them.
Two more assassins popped up and hurled knives at Harry and his mother who was now preparing to cast at the first target but she quickly changed target and four missiles hit the second assassin, dropping him where he stood as the third pulled a Katana and jumped off the roof and charged. He cut down a woman who didn't move fast enough to get out of his way and when he had the boy in sight, he raised his sword and screamed a battle cry out.
Morick let the assassin go by him and then twirled and hurled his hammer. It caught the man in the back near his buttocks, shattering the man's spine from the magical strength of the Dwarf.
The original assailant popped up again and was about to attack when he saw a dozen humans and four dwarves converge on his targets and then a noise was heard. Valor notwithstanding, the assassin fled as the whistles of the guard were heard.
Morick shoved Harry and Jalyla back into the bookstore along with three guards while the rest formed a shield wall in front of the door to protect them.
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