Disclaimer: Elements of this story are copyrighted by other parties. Sadly, I neither own Blizzard Entertainment nor am I J. K. Rowling (I wouldn't want to be her age though;)
I neither own Harry Potter nor the Starcraft Universe.
The premise of this story has been somewhat inspired by Familiar of Zero.
Further Inspiration has been the story "Herald of the Void" by "Nim Maj" and "The Zerg Swarm" by East Bridge.
Thanks to Janet for betaing.
Warning: This story will contain elements of transhumanism.
Harry Potter and the Swarm
Somewhere in an unknown future on a world far away
The drone was confused; a blue glowing oval had appeared in front of it. It nervously flapped its wings, waiting for directions from the broodqueen. It didn't feel fear, its mind was not constructed in such a way to feel threatened by strange events. It wasn't its place to decide. It only had to register the event and the swarm would decide.
The drone didn't have to wait for long. It was the closest member of the swarm and the broodqueen ordered it to investigate. Hovering forward, the drone touched the oval with its pincer. The creature was surprised, when it actually entered the strange substance. Feeling no real resistance from the alien thing, the drone tried to pull back, but it couldn't. Just as it wanted to go back, the oval developed a suction. Screeching with indignation the drone was pulled into the oval. It tried to fight, although those attempts proved futile. When its head entered its connection to the swarm was separated and everything went black for the drone.
9pm on a Monday in mid-October 1996.
'What was wrong with Dumbledore,' Harry wondered. He really didn't need to watch Voldemorts ascent as a dark lord in a pensieve. Hell, why didn't Dumbledore train him? After the events in the ministry of magic it should have been obvious to the last idiot that Voldemort wanted him dead and also that he didn't stand a chance against the bastard.
Bastard... what a joke. In Voldemorts case that insult was actually truth, well sort of. Not that Harry could really blame the father for fleeing. Who wouldn't after being held under a mind control potion? It wasn't that he didn't appreciate to know how things could actually happen this way, but he had bigger problems, he really needed to get better. He needed a weapon against Voldemort, against Draco's intrigues, against the madness of the wizarding world.
Although Draco had almost killed one of his chasers, apparently McGonagall didn't care. 'She couldn't prove anything, yada yada... She didn't try to prove anything! As rich as the ponce was he'd probably used a hired goon,' Harry mentally ranted. He knew the arrogant ass had something to do with it. He even had a perfect alibi!
How could they just dismiss the possibility? Draco was a Death Eater's child. Merlin, the boy had ranted about Voldemort's greatness even before the bastard had returned. Still, nobody could be bothered to check for a dark mark! Even his friends didn't want to believe him. The fact Malfoy always had a big mouth now worked to his advantage. Nobody believed anymore that the ponce would do anything except for talking great. What a truly slytherin plot.
There had to be a simple solution. That was what magic was, after all. A simple solution for very complex problems. He just had to find the right spell, the right potion or the right curse. It always was that way. Magic somehow did the impossible.
The problem was that he had to know the means and it didn't look like Dumbledore was going to help him there. Maybe the old man had a good reason for what he did, he wasn't the leader of the light for nothing, but Harry felt it wasn't enough. He needed to help himself. Until now he'd survived Voldemort on pure luck. Harry wasn't deluding himself, by all rights he should be dead. Voldemort was sixty years his senior, one of the most powerful wizards of the world and his mother's protection was gone. There had to be something he could do, Harry didn't intend to become a martyr after all.
Deep in thought, Harry wasn't looking where he was going and stumbled over an armor. Seeing the stretched leg, he had to acknowledge that this one had tripped him. Armors weren't supposed to do that. If he'd get the prankster who enchanted it... As he glared back at the stupid thing, Harry's gaze fell on the picture of Barnabas the Barmy. The portrait of Barnabas, it reminded Harry of something. That something being the room of requirement. It was strange though. How had he come to this place? He was sure he'd followed the same way as always.
Maybe the castle wanted to tell him something, Harry figured. Maybe the room could help, it was supposed to give him whatever he was looking for. The house elves knew it as the come and go room, or the room of lost things. So the room might be able to help him, especially if the thing he was searching for was lost. Sadly, the room didn't just fulfill wishes like a genie in muggle stories, or he'd just wished to be rid of Voldemort... He'd tried that already. Nonetheless, some lost magic to destroy evil lords would be nice.
"Another day, another try," Harry whispered to himself as he began pacing in front of the portrait.
'I need a room that gives me the information to defeat Voldemort and get control of my life,' he thought frantically as he walked three turns.
This time he was lucky. The door appeared on the other side of the corridor, making his heart beat faster in anticipation. Harry tentatively opened the door only to see a rather small, almost empty white room. There was an old armchair, a table and a book on the other side of the room. The only remarkable thing was the ground, it was painted with a strange pattern. Something that almost looked like a pentagram.
Harry sighed. Even though this was less than he'd hoped for, it was still better than nothing. He had never seen the room like this before, but then it looked different each time he used it. The clue was obvious. Whatever help the room had against Voldemort, it was in the book.
Harry was standing in front of a glowing pentagram. It was a few days later and having finally finished reading the textbook, he found it actually helpful. It described a summoning ritual for familiars, its uses and risks. It was about real familiars, not just glorified pets with a loyalty charm like Hedwig. He loved his owl, but she was more a liability than anything else in the war against Voldemort. No, the familiars described in the book were supposed to increase the potential of the wizard several fold. Merlin's owl had come from such a ritual, as had Asklepio's snake and, thinking about it, Harry realised the same might very well be true for Dumbledore and Voldemort. He'd always wondered where the old headmaster got his phoenix from.
While Harry wasn't sure if he could really believe the book, it wouldn't hurt to try. It said the ritual required some serious magical power, but thankfully there was no risk if he failed. He only had to perform two spells. The first was the summoning ritual and the second was the binding. The latter would connect the caster and the summon with a magical bond, which allowed their 'souls to impress on each other' or so the book said.
The thought was a bit scary to Harry first, yet when he realized the Summoning itself always brought forth a familiar that fit to the caster, that fear dissolved. There was no need to worry about losing his self or morality or something. That actually was why the book warned the user away from using specialised summoning rituals as those summoned appeared for a specific reasons and not for their alignment to the caster. It also had some rather gruesome examples, which were enough for Harry to bury any aspirations into that direction.
With a sweep of his wand, Harry lighted the candles around his glowing pentagram. They were supposed to focus his magical force. Still, it was rather spooky, the room was dark, except for the luminescence of the pentagram and the flickering, dancing light of the old wax dripping candles.
"I beg of you… My servant who lives somewhere in the universe! Oh sacred, beautiful and strong familiar spirit! I desire and here I plead from my heart! Answer to my plea!"
Harry chanted and waved his wand in an intricate pattern. The spell was always spoken in the mother tongue of the caster - the meaning was important not the words. Pointing his wand at each peak of the pentagram, the young wizard completed his ritual. Static electricity was making his hair stand on end as an inhuman howling sound reverberated through the air. Harry got goosebumps as the room temperature abruptly dropped to freezing degrees. A maelstrom of blue glowing magic was moving in the center of his summoning circle.
Suddenly, everything stopped moving. The terrifying sound was replaced by an eerie silence, even the terrible cold receded.
The creature that appeared was like nothing Harry had ever seen before. A chitinous visage with teeth and strong mandibles was looking with a multitude of eyes at the shocked wizard. A strong pair of thick pincers was slowly moving as Harry took in the look of the creature. Bony, almost batlike wings were slowly beating, allowing the beast to hover. Barbels felt around under its mouth, tasting the air, smelling the environment.
Harry knew he had to act. The creature wouldn't be stunned for long and as long as it wasn't bound to his mind, it was potentially dangerous. He certainly didn't want to be in reach of those pincers if the creature decided to be hostile. Well, he had wanted help against Voldemort, he should have expected something like this, the young wizard thought, working up his courage. A fluffy rabbit certainly wouldn't help.
Walking forward, Harry moved into the attack range of the creature. It still seemed stunned, so he felt he could take the risk. Slowly bowing towards it, as he'd practiced, Harry touched the forehead of the beast - the part of its front without mouth and eyes - and chanted the binding:
"My name is Harry James Potter. By the Power of Magic, the Inventiveness of Intelligence, the Brutality of Nature, the Eternity of Life and the Emptiness of Entropy. Pentagon of the Five Elemental Powers be invoked; grant thy blessings upon this humble union and make this creature my familiar."
As these words were spoken a blue aura enveloped both Harry and the beast. Strange runes appeared on the carapace and the wings of the animal. At the same time Harry's lightning scar began to throb. A burst of pain later and Harry lost consciousness as the magic of the bond overwhelmed him.
Authors note: Well, the first chapter of my first story on published. I hope you liked this, but I'd also be thankful for critical reviews. I don't have much experience with writing in third person yet… If you have ideas for improvement please tell me.
Anyway, just review, like most authors I'm kind of addicted to them :D